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000365.mov, 000367.mov

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Researcher Hilary Koprowski at Lederle Laboratories conducted the first human trial of his attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine at a New York State facility for intellectually disabled children and children with epilepsy. He tested his Type II vaccine, developed with co-researcher Herald R. Cox (1907-1986), on 20 children and demonstrated that none of them became ill with polio and all of them developed Type II poliovirus antibodies.

At the time, Koprowski’s methods generated considerable controversy among others who were working on experimental vaccines. Many thought that the move to testing a live vaccine in human subjects was premature, and some objected to testing the vaccine on institutionalized children, though the practice was frequent in this era.

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Diseases & Vaccines