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Old 30 July 2013, 03:22 AM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Ponder Question about the Sabin polio vaccine

I just finished reading a book about the history of polio in the US, and the development of a vaccine. To say that Salk and Sabin hated each other is putting it quite mildly. Anyway, the book mentions that a handful of people who received the Sabin vaccine did get polio. Makes sense to me: that vaccine contains live virus (vs Salk's killed virus vaccine). BUT... many people have gotten the Sabin vaccine with no ill effects. Can someone explain this to me? I guess it's just a random occurrence but I find it strange that millions of people have gotten this oral vaccine and did not get polio, but some weren't so lucky. I remember getting both when I was in either first or second grade. It was a school-wide program where we kids lined up in the cafeteria, got a sugar cube and then lined up to get a shot in the arm.
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Old 30 July 2013, 03:54 AM
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The virus in the Sabin vaccine is weakened. So, most people are able to conquer it, an unlucky few were not.

I found this bit interesting in my short research to confirm I was correct about the weakened virus:
Quote:
An important feature of Sabin’s oral polio vaccine was that immediately after vaccination, people shed weakened virus in their fecal waste. This boosted immunity for others in the community and gradually reduced the number of people susceptible to poliomyelitis.
http://amhistory.si.edu/polio/virusv.../vacraces2.htm
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Old 30 July 2013, 03:56 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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In addition to what Mags, said...
People are different, they respond differently to the same challenge.

Medical research is constantly fighting this battle. Test something on 1000 people and it works in half and harms none. Market the treatment to millions and a hundred die. Why? People are different.
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Old 30 July 2013, 04:03 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is online now
 
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If weakened virus in the fecal matter of inoculated people is helping to inoculate others, doesn't that point to a huge problem in the waste treatment process or facilities of the community in question?
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Old 30 July 2013, 04:46 PM
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ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
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It's the main way polio itself spreads. So, yes, better hygiene helps but "it happens" and you can't get rid of every tiny speck.
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Old 30 July 2013, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
It's the main way polio itself spreads. So, yes, better hygiene helps but "it happens" and you can't get rid of every tiny speck.

The book did mention that better hygiene helped, but that squalor alone was not necessarily a factor. The author talks about the reaction when FDR was diagnosed (Him? But but, one of his stature and his family?! Impossible! Oh dear what's he going to do now? Get back into politics after a brief hiatus that's what).
It's a very good book, especially if you like medical history.
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