IT MAY SEEM ANTICLIMACTIC to address a scientific session today on the subject of immunizing agents which have been in our medical practice for over 20 years. In the case of poliomyelitis, it would seem presumptuous to discuss the most widely publicized vaccines in the history of immunization. What is there to say about diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, smallpox, and poliomyelitis that is new and stimulating?
Consider these facts: (1) within the past year, the American Medical Association has undertaken national campaigns to increase the usage of smallpox vaccine and tetanus toxoid; (2) thousands of local medical societies have joined in community programs for poliomyelitis immunization; (3) during 1962 there were 444 reported cases of diphtheria, over 17,000 cases of pertussis, and 322 cases of tetanus. As far back as 1899, the House of Delegates of the AMA approved a resolution which urged local boards of health to adopt laws requiring