Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 19:33:29 -0500
From: "Eddie Bollenbach"
Sabin is the epidemic killer while Salk protects the individual.
In an epidemic, those vaccinated with Salk can take in and eliminate wild polio virus in feces. Salk cannot be counted on to stop an epidemic in a population. On the other hand Sabin can. Once immunized with Sabin an individual does not multiply and pass on the virus.
A lot of people with polio don't understand the vaccine thing. A while back I had the displeasure to write an individual at the bequest of another individual who was concerned about false information being dispensed on the Internet about Polio Vaccine. At the time, due to ideology rather than science, this misinformation person was berating the World Health Organization for its attempts to bring a polio epidemic in Africa under control. There were calls by him and others for the WHO to use Salk because Sabin could produce polio ( in about 1 in 2.5 million cases). Sabin oral live vaccine produces an immune reaction in the lymphatic tissue of the small intestine which effectively acts as a barrier to polio passing through the gut. If the virus cannot get into and out of an individual it cannot infect anyone in the population. Salk, on the other hand, produces a strong immunity in the blood, protecting the individual from acquiring paralytic polio. In an epidemic, those vaccinated with Salk can take in and eliminate wild polio virus in feces. Salk cannot be counted on to stop an epidemic in a population. On the other hand Sabin can. Once immunized with Sabin an individual does not multiply and pass on the virus.
World Health Organization-Organisation Mondiale De La Sante
Acute Flaccid Paralysis/Polio Data by Date, Country and Region
A couple of years ago I wrote the CDC and asked them to consider using only Salk in this country. I believe I was right about this. The CDC, because of similar requests and data from many Public Health specialists, subsequently recommended the elimination of Salk, for the first vaccination, in the US. But many of the ideologues are bothering the WHO's attack on polio in Africa and Asia, dumbly writing to them to suspend use of the Salk vaccine. I sometimes wonder if we would still have small epidemics of polio in America without the benefit of Sabin. It is entirely possible. If you stop a microbe's entrance and exit it will not infect anyone else in a population. Sabin is the epidemic killer while Salk protects the individual.
Oh, I can't end without this. After a series of e-mails back and forth to the person who still doesn't understand vaccines, he told me to "go back to that mail list where you all yell at each other".
Its a good thing breathing is a reflex. Imagine if it required thinking!
Contact Professor Edward P. Bollenbach
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