‘An American tragedy’. the Cutter incident and its implications for the Salk polio vaccine in New Zealand 1955-1960.
“During the United States polio immunisation campaign in 1955 a number of children immunised with Cutter Laboratories vaccine were stricken with the disease, halting the programme.”
? LESSONS FROM THE SALK POLIO VACCINE: METHODS FOR AND RISKS OF RAPID TRANSLATION
“Regretfully, the story of polio vaccine was not without tragedy. In April 1955, soon after mass polio vaccination began in the United States, reports trickled in to the Surgeon General concerning atypical cases of paralytic polio. Several paralytic polio cases were reported in California in patients who had received the polio vaccine about a week earlier but the paralysis only affected the arm or leg in which they received the injection. Each of these cases occurred in polio vaccine produced by Cutter pharmaceutical company. The Surgeon General immediately pulled all Cutter polio vaccine, but it was too late; nearly 400,000 children had been inoculated with Cutter polio vaccine and 250 cases of atypical paralytic polio occurred. There were also reports of the Wyeth pharmaceutical company polio vaccine causing paralysis and death in several children in the northeastern United States.
It was soon discovered that some lots of Cutter and Wyeth polio vaccine were insufficiently inactivated with formalin leading to live polio virus in more than 100,000 doses. In fact, 16 lots of Cutter polio vaccine were retested and the first 6 lots produced were positive for live polio virus. These incidents demonstrated the lack of oversight and safeguards put into place before the vaccine was made so widely available.”
Note: There is some speculation that this may be occurring with the influenza vaccine as well. More research is needed.
Review of accidents caused by incomplete inactivation of viruses.
Vaccine-derived poliomyelitis and postpolio syndrome: an Italian Cutter Incident.