Abstract

The discovery of a novel influenza strain at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1976—dubbed Swine Flu—prompted differing responses from national and international health organizations. The United States crafted a vaccination campaign to inoculate every citizen; conversely, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a 'wait and see' policy. An examination of the WHO conference that issued the influenza policy reveals the decision was driven by the limits of its member states' ability to produce inactivated vaccine and concern over the premature use of unstable live-virus vaccines. The WHO recommendation's reliance upon an uneven surveillance system would have replicated the 1957 and 1968 vaccination failures if a pandemic had appeared.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1468-4373
Print ISSN
0022-5045
Pages
pp. 478-513
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-23
Open Access
No
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