Pioneers in Public Health The NYU - Bellevue Contribution

Progress & the Polio Vaccine Today

In 1957, Dr. Albert Sabin, a 1931 graduate of the NYU School of Medicine, introduced the oral polio vaccine created from a weakened live virus. The oral vaccine managed to successfully prevent the initial intestinal infection caused by polio, thereby preventing further transmission of the disease. Dr. Sabin’s OPV vaccine, a more cost-effective and deployable improvement to the Salk injection vaccine, was licensed in the U.S. in 1961.

In 2000 the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) recommended returning to exclusive use of an IPV vaccine in the United States, to eliminate the instances of polio that could be potentially acquired from the OPV vaccine. As a result, the United States no longer administers the OPV vaccine, though it continues to remain in use throughout the world.