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22 October 2013 publication

Polio is a serious viral infection that can cause paralysis. It has been eliminated in the majority of the world due to effective vaccination, while on-going vaccination campaigns are driving it towards extinction in the tiny handful of countries where it still persists, notably Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. The polio vaccines, originally developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s, represent one of the great success stories in microbiology. The fact that these vaccines eliminated the disease in Britain and other countries demonstrates the public health benefit of concerted vaccine research.