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Impartial polio vaccine distribution committee urged

WASHINGTON, April 22, 1955 (UP) -- The drug industry urged the national polio conference here today to recommend creation of an impartial committee to supervise the distribution of all Salk vaccine. It said this would be the best way to assure fair handling of the lifesaving shots during the next 100 days when supplies are especially short.

The conference sessions -- closed to the public - started this morning with about 100 delegates on hand. They came from the Government, public health services, medical profession, drug industry and National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

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The meeting was called at President Eisenhower's suggestion to draft a voluntary distribution and priority system to make sure that every child in danger of polio gets an equal chance for protection.

Eisenhower presented achievement citations today to Dr. Jonas E. Salk, the vaccine's developer, and Basil O'Connor, president of the national foundation which financed the research.

Federal health officials who are running the polio conference hope the delegates can agree on a distribution plan by tonight, or tomorrow at the latest.

Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby, secretary of health, education and welfare, plans to report the findings to Eisenhower as quickly as possible. The White House is expected to make the recommendations public promptly.

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Under the drug industry proposal, the supervising committee would be composed of impartial citizens representing the Government, public health groups and private physicians. The industry itself would not necessarily be represented.

The committee would, by common consent, be given full power to allocate all vaccine - deciding what proportion of the total production is assigned to the national foundation, to state and municipal groups and to commercial outlets. It also would decide what geographical areas should get first call on supplies because of such things as earlier polio seasons.

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