A History Lesson on Polio: Part II (Safety & Effectiveness)

(Continued from: A History Lesson on Polio: Part I)

A History Lesson on Polio: Part II (Safety & Effectiveness)

Part I Re-Cap:  In 1963, Sabin’s live virus oral vaccine replaced Salk’s injectable shot.  It was cheaper to make, easier to take, and appeared to provide greater protection, including “herd immunity” in unvaccinated people.  It was always known that this vaccine could not be given to people with compromised immune systems, that it was capable of causing polio in some recipients of the vaccine, and in individuals with compromised immune systems who come into close contact with recently vaccinated children. Even still, this vaccine (OPV) was given for 37 years, until 2000 when the CDC “updated” it’s U.S. polio vaccine recommendations, reverting back to the original vaccine given that was given in 1950’s, saying that children should only be given the killed-virus shot (IPV).

I asked the question:
After 37 years, why did we stop using the oral live-virus vaccine (also known as OPV) and switch back to the killed-virus shot (also known as IPV: Inactivated Polio Virus)?

Today I will answer that question.


The following information was taken directly from the book: Vaccine Safety Manual. By: Neil Z. Miller, medical research journalist and Director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute. The chapter on Polio comes referenced with 316 citations. 

ARE POLIO VACCINES SAFE? When national immunization campaigns were initiated in the 1950s, the number of reported cases of polio following mass inoculations with the killed-virus vaccine was significantly greater than before mass inoculations, and may have more than doubled in the U.S. as a whole.

I bet you have never been told this? This information comes from U.S. Government Statistics.

Doctors and scientists on the staff of the National Institutes of Health during the 1950s were well aware that the Salk vaccine was causing polio. Some frankly stated that it was “worthless as a preventive and dangerous to take”. They refused to vaccinate their own children. Health departments banned the inoculations. The Idaho State Health Director angrily declared: “I hold the Salk vaccine and its manufacturers responsible” for a polio outbreak that killed and hospitalized citizens. Even Salk himself was quoted as saying: “When you inoculate children with a polio vaccine you don’t sleep well for two or three weeks”.But the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, and drug companies with large investments in the vaccine coerced the U.S. Public Health Service into falsely proclaiming the vaccine was safe  and  effective.

ABOVE: Family with fifteen children lined up for oral polio vaccine, around 1963
Albert Sabin of the University of Cincinnati feeding oral polio vaccine to a child,  American History.edu website.



  • In 1976, Dr. Jonas Salk, creator of the killed-virus vaccine used in the 1950s, testified that the live-virus vaccine (used almost exclusively in the U.S. from the early 1960s to 2000) was the “principal if not sole cause” of all reported polio cases in the U.S. since 1961. (The virus remains in the throat for one to two weeks and in the feces for up to two months. Thus, vaccine recipients are at risk, and can potentially spread the disease, as long as fecal excretion of the virus continues).
  • Albert Sabin, the inventor of the live-virus oral polio vaccine, 30 years after inventing the vaccine, admitted “official data has shown that the large scale vaccinations undertaken in the U.S. have failed to obtain any significant improvement of the diseases for which they were supposed to provide immunization. In essence it was and is a failure”.
  • In 1992, the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an admission that the live-virus vaccine had become the dominant cause of polio in the United States. In fact, according to CDC figures, every case of polio in the U.S. since 1979 was caused by the oral polio vaccine.

After the CDC’s admission that every case of polio in the U.S. since 1979 was caused by the oral polio vaccine, “Public outrage at these tragedies became the impetus for removing the oral polio vaccine from immunization schedules” 

(Please verify the above statements with the following references)
-Washington Post (September 24, 1976)
American Academy of Pediatrics, Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases: 1986 (Elk Grove Village, Illinois: AAP): 284-5
-Aventis Pasteur, Inc. “Polio Vaccine Inactivated, Ipol.” Product insert from the vaccine manufacturer. Product Information as of April 2005.
-Strebel PM., et al. “Epidemiology of poliomyletis in U.S. one decade after the last reported case of indigenous wild virus associated disease.” Clinical Infectious Diseases CDC, (February 1992):568–79.
-Institute of Medicine. “An evaluation of poliomyelitis vaccine policy options.” IOM Publication 88-04 (Washington DC: National Academy of Sciences, 1988)
-Gorman C. “When the vaccine causes the polio.” Time (October 30, 1995):83.
-Shaw D. “Unintended casualties in war on polio.” Philadelphia Inquirer (June 6, 1993):A1.
-Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), Rockville, MD. Government database.
-IOS. “The Polio vaccine coverup-OPV Vaccine Report: Document #14.”


How Safe is the Current Inactivated Polio Vaccine? Today, fact sheets on polio published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, warn parents that the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) can cause “serious problems or even death…”  The company that manufactures the current inactivated polio vaccine warns that Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a debilitating ailment characterized by muscular incapacitation and
nervous system damage, “has been temporally related to administration of another inactivated poliovirus vaccine.” And although this company makes the claim that “no causal relationship has been established,” it also admits that “deaths have occurred” after vaccination of infants with IPV. Yet, like the days of old, despite these “danger alerts,” medical authorities continue to assure parents that the currently available inactivated polio vaccine is both safe and effective.

I will end Part II with the following question:

Do you believe it is necessary to administer 4 doses of the polio vaccine to children at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, & 5 years? 

THIS IS PART II of a 4 Part Series:
Part I: History
Part II: Vaccine Safety & Effectiveness
Part III: Vaccine Effectiveness & Diagnosis
Part IV: Where Are We Now? 

One thought on “A History Lesson on Polio: Part II (Safety & Effectiveness)

  1. I was so touched to read your story this morning and will pray for your expanding family. Amazing!
    Thank you for all your awesome information. We are having baby number three soon and our boys are healthier than ever. I feel fortunate to live in Colorado as we do not get pushed on vaccines at all but simply sign a waiver for pre-school. That being said I have been challenged by many parents lately as well as prenatal dr. on flu shots, pertussis and more. When I start to doubt, and honestly I do often, I find comfort in the research you have done and often visit your site for confirmation. Our oldest has no signs of asthma and we stopped vaccines when he was 2. He is 5 now and so healthy and has not been on a nebulizer for almost 3 years now. He is now in the 60th percentile for weight, a long way from the 3rd percentile when he was on a nebulizer. Our 2nd son who has had no vaccines is so healthy. I want to thank you for your dedication to research and for what you have provided for me. Just wanted to say thanks and that you are appreciated!

    I do have a question as I know you have traveled. We are traveling to Africa next year and are told we are required to have certain vaccines to protect us and our children when we return. They are not going with us.. any thoughts on this and what was your experience.


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