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Related to Killed Poliovirus Vaccine


D. Salk. Eradication of poliomyelitis in the United States: I. Live virus vaccine-associated and wild poliovirus disease. Rev. Infect. Dis. 2:228-242, 1980.

D. Salk. Eradication of poliomyelitis in the United States: II. Experience with killed poliovirus vaccine. Rev. Infect. Dis. 2:243-257, 1980.

D. Salk. Eradication of poliomyelitis in the United States: III. Poliovaccines -- Practical considerations. Rev. Infect. Dis. 2:258-273, 1980.

D. Salk. Herd effect and virus eradication with use of killed poliovirus vaccine. Dev. Biol. Standard. 47:247-255, 1981.

D. Salk, A. L. van Wezel, J. Salk. Induction of long-term immunity to paralytic poliomyelitis using non-infectious vaccine. Lancet 2:1317-1321, 1984.

D. Salk. Polio immunization policy in the United States: A new challenge for a new generation. Am. J. Public Health 78:296-300, 1988.


Carter, Richard. Breakthrough: The Saga of Jonas Salk (Trident Press, 1966).

         This is the first and most accurate presentation of the development of the
         killed poliovirus vaccine. It was written only ten years after the vaccine
         was licensed and Carter had direct access to all of the people involved in
         the story. His material is thus based on primary sources, which are
         extensively documented in the book. Where differences of opinion existed
         among sources, Carter reports them without bias and in a balanced way.

McPherson, Stephanie Sammartino, Jonas Salk: Conquering Polio (Lerner Publications Co., 2002).

         This biography of Jonas Salk and the development of the killed poliovirus
         vaccine is intended for young readers. Its scientific and historical
         accuracy, however, and its balanced presentation make it an excellent
         choice for adults looking for an overview that can be read quickly and

Kluger, Jeffrey. Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio (Putnam, 2004).

         This historical drama, written for a general audience, is surprisingly
         well-researched and documented. It is a readable and entertaining
         description of the setting, events and people involved in the national
         collaborative effort to develop, produce and distribute the first effective
         vaccine against poliomyelitis. Although not intended to be either an in-
         depth biography of Jonas Salk nor a historical treatise, it is nevertheless
         a reliable source of accurate information. Primary sources for factual
         material are clearly identified, including dialogue and quotations when
         available. The dramatized portions of the story, which bring the basic
         facts to life, are based on an understanding of the characters and their
         personalities that Kluger obtained from studying previously unavailable
         transcripts and correspondence and through numerous


Another book frequently cited and sometimes used as a primary source by others is Patenting the Sun by Jane Smith. Unlike Carter’s and Kluger’s books cited above, however, this book cannot be considered an accurate resource. Although Smith makes general reference to interviews with primary sources, specific documentation in the text is spotty to absent. It is thus impossible to differentiate statements of fact from statements of opinion or the author’s interpretations. Invented dialogue and created scenes are indistinguishable from attributable quotations and historical events. This poor documentation alone makes the book unreliable as a source.

In addition, the overall presentation appears more to reflect the author’s desire to satisfy an intended audience than a desire to be objective. When describing events and assigning motivation about which there are substantially different subjective opinions, Smith demonstrates the bias of an advocate rather than the balance of a historian. She presents and interprets events from the 1930s through the 1960s from a 1990s perspective. While this approach allows for reporting what seem to be “newly discovered understandings” of historical events, it is an error that is avoided by serious historians and that firmly places this work in the realm of sensationalized journalism rather than historical research.

[Rev 20050715]
Copyright © 2005 Darrell Salk

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