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Polio Test for Israel; Will Not Use Salk Vaccine

The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis said today that “not one drop of proved and clinically acceptable polio vaccine, licensed for use in the United States, is being sent to Israel.”

The statement was prompted by an announcement by the Israel Health Ministry that it would undertake a national immunization campaign against polio this month, using Salk vaccine. The Foundation said there had been a complete misunderstanding on the part of the Israel Government, which is concerned with increasing polio epidemics.

The Foundation declared that Dr. Joseph Melnick of Yale University, who has been conducting polio research for many years under grants from the Foundation, had volunteered to conduct a field trial in Israel using an experimental vaccine, different from the Salk formula. The Israel Government, aware of the experimental nature of the vaccine proposed for use by Dr. Melnick, had agreed to a field test involving 100,000 children.

The Foundation said that it has demanded specific release from responsibility in the use of this experimental vaccine. Meanwhile, Dr. Melnick and Israel have made tentative shipping arrangements for the vaccine if all other factors can be resolved. On that basis the Foundation would ship the vaccine.

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