Albert Sabin: the development of an oral poliovirus vaccine

Smith, Derek R., and Leggat, Peter A. (2014) Albert Sabin: the development of an oral poliovirus vaccine. In: Thompson, Gilbert, (ed.) Pioneers of Medicine without a Nobel Prize. Imperial College Press, London, UK, pp. 75-89.

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[Extract] Communicable diseases have always represented one of the most significant threats to human health. Since the Rockefeller Foundation began the first global eradication programme in 1915,1 much has been learned about disease treatment and prevention? Arguably, one of the most successful campaigns in public health has been the development of an effective and affordable vaccine against polio. Although it first appeared in the mid-20th century, the Sabin oral vaccine continues its profound influence on public health in the new millennium. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), polio cases have decreased by over 99% since 1988, and by 2012, only parts of three countries were endemic for the disease. 3

Sabin was a medical pioneer, helping to establish public health as a credible discipline by conducting rigorous scientific experiments and using the results to influence prevailing health care ethos. Despite his many achievements, he never won a Nobel Prize. This chapter describes the pioneering contributions of Albert Sabin and how his vaccine had a profound impact on the global rate of polio infections. Since many different factors influenced health care during the last century, we describe his involvement with respect to prevailing scientific paradigms and public health issues of the time. Our chapter also outlines the basic epidemiology of poliovirus and the historical development of an effective vaccine, both by Sabin and by others.

Item ID: 32062
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-78326-383-7
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2014 01:40
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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