LIVE, as opposed to killed, virus is still the recommended poliomyelitis vaccine strategy—but probably not for much longer.
The National Academy of Sciences— chartered Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC, is recommending that the present policy of immunization against poliomyelitis continue to emphasize the oral polio vaccine. The recommendation goes to the Public Health Service, which commissioned the study (JAMA 1988; 259:1608-1609).
At the same time, change is in the air. In the near future, circumstances are likely to develop that will make the new inactivated vaccine, which was licensed last November, more attractive.
Within the next two to five years, the committee predicted that the new inactivated vaccine will be combined with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine. When it is, the committee recommended considering a regimen that employs two or more doses of this agent as the primary immunogen followed by two doses of the oral vaccine, one at 18 months of age