Normal Limits

"Chance is the very guide of life"

"In practical medicine the facts are far too few for them to enter into the calculus of probabilities... in applied medicine we are always concerned with the individual" -- S. D. Poisson

October 23, 2005

The Cutter Incident

Dr. Paul A. Offit from U Penn writes about the Cutter Incident. Soon after the Salk vaccine was shown to effectively immunize children against the polio virus in the 50s, pharmaceutical companies around the country started to produce the vaccine. Sadly, the vaccines produced by Cutter Laboratories contained live viruses, making thousands of vaccinated children ill, and 200 children paralyzed. As Dr. Offit explains, many of the problems with today's vaccines, such as frequent shortages and lack of new development, can be traced to the legal and political aftermath of this unfortunate incident.

Note that Dr.Offit is a patent-holder on the rotavirus vaccine. It was withdrawn after post-market surveillance showed statistically significantly increased occurrence of intussuception.

He also has an article in the May/June issue of Health Affiars on vaccines.

Review pending.

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