The move in the US to a more benign version of the polio vaccination has met with some strong opposition, albeit from a partial quarter the manufacturer of the vaccine to be dropped!
As reported last month, health officials want to introduce an inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to replace the current active variety, which is causing between eight and 10 cases of paralytic polio every year at a time when there are virtually no wild cases of the disease.
Lederle Laboratories, which makes the oral polio vaccine (OPV) currently in use, has warned that the new regime being proposed might result in reduced levels of immunity, and would not eliminate all cases of vaccine associated paralysis in any case. This much the health officials have already admitted, but expect the move to IPV would halve the number every year.
The point was reinforced by Wyeth Ayerst Laboratories, which pointed out that 17 cases of vaccine associated paralysis were reported between 1961 and 1964 among people given the regime proposed by health officials.
Unfortunately, Wyeth is not an impartial bystander; it is in the throes of taking over Lederle (JAMA, November 22, 1995).