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April 13, 1963


JAMA. 1963;184(2):43-62. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700150003002

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Measles Vaccine Expected to Curtail Annual Epidemic in Upper Volta

The annual epidemic of measles in Upper Volta, (Old French) West Africa, hopefully won't claim its usual toll this year, thanks to the Enders measles vaccine.

This is the prediction of Dr. Joseph E. Smadel, of the Division of Biologic Standards, NIH. Under a joint program administered by the U. S. Public Health Service and the Agency for International Development, more than 700,000 Upper Voltese children were recently immunized against the disease.

Vaccination began in the fall of 1962, many months before licenses for the manufacture of the measles vaccines were approved in the U. S. But the Upper Voltese were desperate. Each year, measles accounts for the death of approximately one out of every fifth child under six years of age. If successful, the immunization program will have saved an estimated 100,000 to 175,000 lives.

Smadel told The Journal

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