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June 25, 1960


JAMA. 1960;173(8):912. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020260052011

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NTIL Enders isolated the measles virus in tissue culture a few years ago, little was accomplished toward prevention of this disease, despite its high incidence throughout the world. The epidemic described by Hoekenga and others in this issue of The Journal, (page 868), providing evidence that measles can be a severe and sometimes fatal disease, serves to emphasize its medical importance.

In developing a new immunizing agent for a disease such as measles, the long-range aspects as well as the immediate results must be considered. If a vaccine produces immunity for a relatively short time, then revaccination at intervals is necessary to maintain an immune population. In time, if reimmunization should be discontinued, a susceptible adult population would develop in which the disease might often be more severe than that experienced during childhood. A situation of this type might occur after use of an inactivated, or killed, virus vaccine, even

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