Vaccines: Safety in Numbers

Right from the start of the first field tests, doctors and parents alike were troubled by the new measles vaccines. A single dose of the attenuated (weakened but live) virus vaccine produced nearly 100% immunity to the disease and its possibly serious aftereffects, but it also caused fevers and rashes all too similar to symptoms of the natural disease. The killed virus vaccine was almost reactionfree, but it might not provide as long-lasting immunity as the live virus. Even with a double inoculation-a shot of live virus in one arm, a shot of gamma globulin containing measles antibody in...

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