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The Sabin live poliovirus vaccination trials in the USSR, 1959.

Widespread use of the Sabin live attenuated poliovirus vaccine has had tremendous impact on the disease worldwide, virtually eliminating it from a number of countries, including the United States. Early proof of its safety and effectiveness was presented in 1959 by Russian investigators, who had staged massive trials in the USSR, involving millions of children. Their positive results were at first viewed in the United States and elsewhere with some skepticism, but the World Health Organization favored proceeding with large-scale trials, and responded to the claims made by Russian scientists by sending a representative to the USSR to review in detail the design and execution of the vaccine programs and the reliability of their results. The report that followed was a positive endorsement of the findings and contributed to the acceptance of the Sabin vaccine in the United States, where it has been the polio vaccine of choice since the mid-1960s.