Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsInfectious Diseases · 1 decade ago

Pros and Cons of the polio vaccine?

I need to find pros and cons of how the artifically selection vaccine (polio) affects people and the environment in both positive and negative ways.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    First, there are 2 different kinds of vaccine - One is the oral, live virus. The other is the killed virus in an injection (which was the original vaccine).

    For many years and still today in many 3rd world countries, the oral vaccine was used. It was effective and little special training was required to give the dosage. However, back in the 80s or 90s, it was noted that a number of college students contracted polio (about 8 annually). Eventually, it was determined that it was not wild virus but virus from the live vaccine booster. While these cases were very rare, they were avoidable given that the US does not have a shortage of qualified nurses to inject people. As a result, the US and Canadian governments chose to eliminate use of the oral vaccine and switch to the injectable so that none of their citizens contracted the disease from the vaccine. No oral vaccine has been given in the US since 2000.

    3rd world countries are still dealing with both the wild vaccine and the rare vaccine induced polio. There have been many attempts to eliminate polio throughout the world and like smallpox, I think they will eventually succeed. Wild virus can't take a hold on someone who is already vaccinated, so the sources of infection are disappearing.

    All that said, I think that the current schedule is overly aggressive. Given that the chance of infection from polio for most infants in the US is negligible, there is no reason to start giving that injection until a year old or even older. The risk is small unless you live near the Amish or areas where many people are not vaccinating at all (CO and CA come to mind).

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