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September 11, 1981

Is There a Need for `Catch-Up' Polio Vaccination in Preadolescence?

Author Affiliations

Centers for Disease Control Atlanta

JAMA. 1981;246(11):1239. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320110051030

The introduction and widespread use of the inactivated and live poliovirus vaccines in the United States have brought about a dramatic reduction in the incidence of poliomyelitis: More than 20,000 paralytic cases were reported in 1952, whereas the current annual average is less than 20.1,2 As a consequence of this extraordinary degree of control, there is virtually no wild poliovirus circulation in the United States; individual protection from wild virus introduction depends on successful vaccination. Data available in 1976 and 1977 indicated that a substantial proportion (perhaps one third) of American children younger than 5 years had not received a full course of trivalent oral polio vaccine (TOPV).3,4 These and other findings led a study group convened by the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, to recommend routine administration of an additional dose of TOPV at age 11 to 12 years.5 This dose was proposed not