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The Cutter Incident: How America's First Polio Vaccine Led to Today's Growing Vaccine Crisis

Thursday January 2006


Paul A. Offit, M.D. Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, Professor of Pediatrics; University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Vaccines have saved more lives than any other single medical advance. Yet today, when vaccines will be the first line of defense against bioterrorism and Avian flu, only four companies make vaccines for the U.S. market and there is a growing crisis in vaccine availability.

Drawing on original research and previously unavailable archives, Dr. Paul Offit will discuss how a single lawsuit in 1955 against an early manufacturer of polio vaccine, Cutter Laboratories, led to a wave of vaccine litigation and over-regulation that has crippled the industry.