The Virus and the Vaccine by Debbie Bookchin
The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated Polio Vaccine, and the Millions of Americans Exposed

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Jonas Salk's polio vaccine has taken on an almost legendary quality as a medical miracle, for it largely eradicated one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century. But the story of the vaccine has a dark side, one that has never been fully told before...

Between 1954 and 1963, close to 98 million Americans received polio vaccinations contaminated with a carcinogenic monkey virus, now known as SV40. A concerted government effort downplayed the incident, and it was generally accepted that although oncogenic to laboratory animals, SV40 was harmless to humans.

But now SV40 in showing up in human cancers, and prominent researchers are demanding a serious public health response to this forgotten polio vaccine contaminant. A gripping medical detective story, The Virus and the Vaccine raises major questions about vaccine policy.

About Debbie Bookchin

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Debbie Bookchin is a prize-winning journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Nation, and The Boston Globe, among others.Jim Schumacher has written science articles for periodicals including the Atlantic Monthly and Boston Magazine. They are married to each other and live in Burlington, Vermont.
Published April 29, 2004 by St. Martin's Press. 400 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History. Non-fiction

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Journalists Bookchin and Schumacher argue that for nine years, from 1954 to 1963, almost every dose of polio vaccine produced in the world—and the 98 million Americans who received polio vaccinations—was contaminated with a cancer-causing virus from the monkey kidneys used to develop the vaccine.

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