As she checked a sample from Cutter Laboratories in Berkeley, Calif., she noticed that the vaccine designed to protect against the disease had instead given polio to a test monkey. Rather than containing killed virus to create immunity, the sample from Cutter contained live, infectious virus.Something was wrong. “There’s going to be a disaster,” she told a friend.As scientists and politicians desperately search for medicines to slow the deadly coronavirus, and as President Trump touts a malaria drug as a remedy, a look back to the 1955 polio vaccine tragedy shows how hazardous such a search can be, especially under intense public pressure.Despite Eddy’s warnings, an estimated 120,000 children that year were injected with the Cutter vaccine, according to Paul A. Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.It was “one of the worst biological disasters in American history: a man-made polio epidemic,” Offit wrote.In those days, polio, or infantile paralysis, was a terror.“A national poll … found that polio was second only to the atomic bomb as the thing that Americans feared most,” Offit wrote.“People weren’t sure how you got it,” he said in an interview last week. “Therefore, they were scared of everything. They


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