updated 10/12/2004 6:04:53 PM ET 2004-10-12T22:04:53

A switch in the type of polio vaccine recommended for use in the United States appears to have wiped out U.S. cases of the disease caused by the vaccine itself, the government says.

In 2000, U.S. policy-makers recommended that doctors use only shots containing inactivated polio virus. They reached that conclusion after receiving evidence that the oral vaccine containing live polio virus might have actually caused cases of the disease in rare instances.

The strategy seems to have worked: Government data from 1990 to 2003 show that the last case of vaccine-related polio occurred in 1999, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researcher Lorraine Nino Alexander and colleagues from the CDC pronounced that a “major public health accomplishment in the United States.”

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