Medicine: Vaccine Safety

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Scare story of the week, aired by Gossipist Walter Winchell in his Sunday-night broadcast: "New polio vaccine . . . may be a killer . . . The U.S. Public Health Service tested ten batches . . . found that seven contained live, not dead, polio virus. It killed several monkeys ..."

The facts: the batches of vaccine containing live virus were all from pilot runs by manufacturers tooling up for the mass inoculations planned by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (TIME, March 29). None made according to Dr.

Salk's final specifications has been rejected. Authorities agree that the vaccine used will be as safe as medical knowledge can contrive. Rejections of trial-run batches prove nothing against the vaccine's safety—only that the tests are doing what they were set up to do.