Balancing Risks: Childhood Inoculations and America's Response to the Provocation of Paralytic Polio
Social History of Medicine
Oxford University Press
MetadataShow full item record
Mawdsley, S. (2013). Balancing Risks: Childhood Inoculations and America's Response to the Provocation of Paralytic Polio. Social History of Medicine, 26 759-778. https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkt043
Polio provocation has concerned health professionals for nearly a century. Before an effective polio vaccine was licensed in 1955, evidence that certain paediatric injections could precipitate a polio infection and severe forms of paralysis informed medical debates, experiments and shifts in public health policy. This article explores how the theory was received and approached in the United States and the consequences of its protracted resolution. It contends that although medical professionals sought to maximise health benefits for American citizens, varying conceptions of what constituted an appropriate balance of risk inspired diverse health policy outcomes.
United States, poliomyelitis, provocation, precipitation, immunisation, public health, tonsillectomies, injections, gamma globulin
This work was supported by Clare Hall, Cambridge; the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust; and the UK Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkt043
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/253613