Infectious Diseases: Rubella Vaccines

The 1963-65 U.S. epidemic of rubella, or German measles, was a national disaster. Rubella virus is as deadly as thalidomide for the unborn, and the epidemic left an estimated 30,000 babies marred for life by cataracts, deafness, heart malformations or mental retardation. Ever since, virologists have been racing against time, trying to perfect and test an effective rubella vaccine that can be marketed soon enough to avert the next predictable epidemic, expected in early 1970. Last week it appeared certain that the U.S. would have at least three different vaccines in time.

Besides the inevitable competing claims of the vaccine...

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