Nearly 200 million cases of polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, adenovirus, rabies and hepatitis A — and approximately 450,000 deaths from these diseases — were prevented in the U.S. alone between 1963 and 2015 by vaccination, researchers estimate. The study is published in AIMS Public Health.
[Photo: Dr. S. Jay Olshansky]
In 1963, vaccination against these infections became widespread, thanks to the development of a human cell strain that allowed vaccines to be produced safely. Globally, the vaccines developed from this strain and its derivatives prevented an estimated 4.5 billion cases of disease and saved more than 10 million lives.
Author Dr. S. Jay Olshansky, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, was approached by co-author Dr. Leonard Hayflick of the University of California, San Francisco, who wanted to know how many lives had been saved by his development of cell strain WI-38.
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