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Study Examines Effects of Partial Dose of Polio Vaccine on Immune Response

“A partial dose of polio vaccine was as good as a full one in providing a basic level of immunity against the crippling disease, according to a study that may offer poor countries a cheap, effective way of ensuring the disease doesn’t return after it’s eradicated in an area,” Bloomberg reports. “In a trial among 310 babies in Cuba, a one-fifth-sized dose of the shot primed the immune systems of 94 percent of the infants for poliovirus type 2, compared with 98 percent of those who received a full dose, researchers at the World Health Organization wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine [Thursday],” the news service writes, adding, “After two doses of the partial vaccine, 98 percent of the infants were protected against type 2 polio, compared with 100 percent of those who got the regular dose, the researchers found.”

“We were almost blown away by the level of priming that we saw after a single dose,” Roland Sutter, a WHO researcher and one of the study’s authors, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg, adding, “We did not expect that we would see this at this level,” the news service writes. Bloomberg also discusses the WHO’s recommendations pertaining to polio vaccination and examines the potential implications of these findings for the costs of polio vaccination in developing countries (Bennett, 1/30).