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Polio vaccine

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child is vaccinated against Polio

Two polio vaccines are used throughout the world against poliomyelitis (or polio).

The first was developed by Jonas Salk and first tested in 1952. Announced to the world by Salk on April 12, 1955, it is an injection of inactivated (dead) poliovirus. An oral vaccine was developed by Albert Sabin using attenuated poliovirus.[1] Human trials of Sabin's vaccine began in 1957 and it was licensed in 1962.[2]

There is no long term carrier for poliovirus,[3] and polioviruses have no non-primate reservoir in nature. The virus cannot survive in the open environment for a long time. Therefore, interruption of person to person transmission of the virus by vaccination is the key step in removing polio entirely.[4] The two vaccines have eliminated polio from most countries in the world.[5][6] Polio worldwide has dropped from about 350,000 cases in 1988 to 1,652 cases in 2007.[7][8][9]


  1. Attenuated virus is a much less harmful strain of the same virus.
  2. "A Science Odyssey: People and Discoveries". PBS. 1998. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  3. Carriers are people who carry the virus but have no symptoms of the disease,
  4. Fine P, Carneiro I (15 November 1999). "Transmissibility and persistence of oral polio vaccine viruses: implications for the global poliomyelitis eradication initiative". Am J Epidemiol 150 (10): 1001–21. PMID 10568615 .
  5. Aylward RB (2006). "Eradicating polio: today's challenges and tomorrow's legacy". Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 100 (5–6): 401–13. doi:10.1179/136485906X97354 . PMID 16899145 . Retrieved 2009-01-02.
  6. Schonberger L, Kaplan J, Kim-Farley R, Moore M, Eddins D, Hatch M (1984). "Control of paralytic poliomyelitis in the United States". Rev. Infect. Dis. 6 Suppl 2: S424–6. PMID 6740085 .
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (October 2006). "Update on vaccine-derived polioviruses". MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 55 (40): 1093–7. PMID 17035927 .
  8. Kew O, Sutter R, de Gourville E, Dowdle W, Pallansch M (2005). "Vaccine-derived polioviruses and the endgame strategy for global polio eradication". Annu Rev Microbiol 59: 587–635. doi:10.1146/annurev.micro.58.030603.123625 . PMID 16153180 .
  9. "Wild Poliovirus Weekly Update". Global Polio Eradication Initiative. 2008-11-25. Archived from the original on 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-29.