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Mass Vaccination Against Polio

Alan R. Hinman, MD
JAMA. 1984;251(22):2994-2996. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340460072029.
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The Introduction of Oral Vaccine  Although the introduction and immediate widespread use of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) in 1955 was accompanied by an abrupt decline in the reported number of cases of poliomyelitis in the United States, there was considerable excitement in the late 1950s about the impending availability of attenuated live (oral) poliovirus vaccine (OPV).1-3 This excitement stemmed both from anticipated advantages of OPV and from some disappointment with the performance of IPV.The anticipated advantages of OPV included its potential to induce effective and long-lasting protection after only one dose, obviating the need for boosters, its ability to pass to contacts of vaccinees, thereby extending the effects of the vaccine beyond those directly vaccinated, and the fact that the protection induced embraces both infection and disease.The disappointment with IPV resulted from the fact that, after a record low of 2,499 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis in 1957,


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