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June 21, 1941


JAMA. 1941;116(25):2772-2773. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820250038011

Recently Salk and his co-workers1 of the Department of Bacteriology, New York University College of Medicine, have claimed that by proper adjustment of distance, intensity and length of exposure to ultraviolet radiation a nonviable influenza vaccine may be prepared which has proved to be a fully effective prophylactic agent for laboratory animals.

Following the discovery of ultramicroscopic viruses it was hoped that, by the use of heat-killed viruses or of viruses inactivated by chemical antiseptics, prophylactic vaccines might be prepared that would be effective against all virus diseases. Soon it became evident, however, that physically or chemically inactivated viruses are usually so altered in their biochemical properties as to be practically useless as immunizing agents. Applying newer methods of antigenic titration, for example, Webster and Casals2 found that of forty-one commercially available phenolized or chloroformed antirabic vaccines only eleven were of predictable clinical value; indeed, 75 per cent