man with a book on a pier

That success of the Salk polio vaccine is an illusion

“The polio vaccine was licensed in the U.S. in 1954. From ‘50 thru ‘55, the striped and clear portions of the bars represent about 85% of the reported cases, or 30,000 per year, on average. Those cases were automatically eliminated by two radical changes the CDC made to the diagnostic parameters and labeling protocol of the disease as soon as the vaccine was licensed – 30,000 cases a year we were subsequently told were eliminated by the vaccine.

That success, held aloft as a banner of the industry, is an illusion. The CDC has an awesome power of control over public perception, sculpting it from behind closed doors in Atlanta, with the point of a pen.

Over the last sixty years in the U.S., more than a million cases of what would have been diagnosed as polio pre-vaccine – same symptoms – were given different labels.

The change didn’t stop there, however. As addressed in the Ratner report, they also changed the definition of a polio epidemic, greatly reducing the likelihood that any subsequent outbreaks would be so labeled – as though the severity, or noteworthiness, of paralytic polio had halved, overnight. It’s summed up thusly in the report:

<< Presently [1960], a community is considered to have an epidemic when it has 35 cases of polio per year per 100,000 population. Prior to the introduction of the Salk vaccine the National Foundation defined an epidemic as 20 or more cases of polio per year per 100,000 population. On this basis there were many epidemics throughout the United States yearly. The present higher rate has resulted in not a real, but a semantic elimination of epidemics. >>

And that’s precisely what happened to polio: not a real, but a semantic elimination of the disease.

In the decades following the release of the vaccine, additional changes were made to the diagnostic parameters of the disease, changes involving analysis of cerebrospinal fluid and stool and additional testing, each succeeding change making it less and less likely that a diagnosis of paralytic polio would result.”

— Shawn Siegel, co-founder of

Courtesy: The Outliers


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