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January 21, 1956


Author Affiliations

Health Commissioner 129 Lake St. Oak Park, Ill.

JAMA. 1956;160(3):231-232. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960380079023

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To the Editor:—  During the week of Nov. 14, 1955, at meetings of the American Public Health Association in Kansas City, the United States Public Health Service released two reports on poliomyelitis. One report on Nov. 15 presented by Dr. Langmuir's group from the Poliomyelitis Surveillance Committee stressed the great effectiveness of one inoculation of the Salk vaccine used in 1955, namely, a 50 to 80% reduction in paralytic poliomyelitis. The other report on Nov. 17, presented by Dr. Scheele, stressed the safety of the current Salk vaccine. The widespread national publicity that followed these reports naturally led the public and medical profession at large to believe that we now had a safe and highly effective vaccine. However, what was not made sufficiently clear in the reports and the press stories that covered the country was that the first report, stressing excellent effectiveness, referred to an earlier model of a

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