It is difficult to look back at an important scientific contribution and to assess the full significance of the work. It must be evaluated in relation to the time in which it was written. What were its roots? What was the notable contribution of this work? Furthermore, where did it lead us? Only with that precious gift of knowing what really happened can we now look back and assess the broader significance of the contribution. Thus, we can examine the important article, "Considerations in the Preparation and Use of Poliomyelitis Vaccine," by Jonas Salk, published in The Journal in August 1955.1
First Polio Vaccine
In that year, there was an urgent problem, and this article represented one important response. Salk had been the first to take advantage of the basic contribution of Enders et al2 in the propagation of poliovirus in non-neural tissue cultures and produced a formalininactivated
Alexander ER. Inactivated Poliomyelitis Vaccination: Issues Reconsidered. JAMA. 1984;251(20):2710–2712. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340440068032
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