Lege Artis Medicinae

[The big target: eradication of poliomyelitis by 2000]

LELKES Miklós1, VEDRES István1

MAY 25, 1994

Lege Artis Medicinae - 1994;4(05)

[The decisive turning point in the fight against poliomyelitis (epidemic polio) was the solution to the problem of how polioviruses can be cultured on tissue culture in 1948, followed by the discovery of an inactivated poliovirus vaccine for mass vaccination in 1953 (Salk vaccine). Subsequently, the discovery and widespread use of live vaccines was a major step forward (Sabin vaccine: licensed in the USA in 1961, but used for mass vaccination in many countries as early as 1960). The WHO Expanded Programme on Immunisation, which began in 1974, included poliomyelitis as a target disease. Surveys published in 1977 made it clear that poliomyelitis was a major public health problem in developing countries. The fight against poliomyelitis was also given new impetus by the eradication of smallpox, which was completed in 1977 and formally declared in 1980. The major goal of eradicating poliomyelitis by the year 2000 was adopted by the WHO General Assembly in 1988. The key to eradication is the presence of live poliovirus vaccine (Sabin vaccine), which is a vaccine that can confer local immunity and thus break the chain of infection, thus eliminating the wild virus from the population. Hungary is playing its part in the international fight to eradicate poliomyelitis, including through its high and exemplary poliomyelitis vaccination coverage rate. ]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Semmelweis Orvostudományi Egyetem Közegészségtani és Járványtani Intézet Budapest

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