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February 17, 1951

POLIOMYELITIS AND PROPHYLACTIC IMMUNIZATION

Author Affiliations

35-36 76th Street, Jackson Heights, N. Y.

JAMA. 1951;145(7):508. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920250060024

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  An editorial entitled "Poliomyelitis and Prophylactic Immunization" in the September 16 issue of The Journal reviews evidence that immunization against diphtheria and pertussis during an epidemic of poliomyelitis may involve the risk of activating poliomyelitis, with localization of paralysis most frequently in the inoculated limb. In the same issue (page 259) Dr. James P. Leake discusses data bearing on the problem and refers to the possible influence of overactivity as well as tonsillectomy in lowering resistance to invasion of poliomyelitis. The editorial conclusion is that immunizations might better be postponed during an epidemic of poliomyelitis whenever diphtheria and pertussis are not unduly prevalent.Although this recommendation may later be justified, at present there is reason to consider its implication with emphasis on related facts of practical bearing, particularly in the first year. Reduction in the incidence and mortality of whooping cough and diphtheria in the past two

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