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November 4, 1998

Recruiting Volunteers for a Typhoid Vaccine

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(17):1480-1481. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-17-jbk1104

To the Editor.—The Medical News & Perspectives1 article regarding the use of volunteers in a typhoid infection study was both fascinating and distressing.

The Food and Drug Administration committee members, the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the World Health Organization have a laudable intent. However, in the tradition of their predecessors such as Hunter (syphilis), Walter Reed (yellow fever), Cournand (cardiac catheterization), and, more recently, Harrington et al2 and Herbert,3 they should be willing to consider exposing themselves to the potential "minimal" risk of the study. Did the knowledgeable and informed members of these various institutions consider this option? If only 24 volunteers are needed, that likely is fewer than the potential number of authors of the article(s) describing the outcome.

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