According to a paper published in AIMS Public Health earlier this year–We estimate the number of lives saved and morbidity reduction associated with the discovery of the first human cell strain used for the production of licensed human virus vaccines, known as WI-38. The diseases studied include poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chicken pox), herpes zoster, adenovirus, rabies and Hepatitis A.

The number of preventable cases and deaths in the U.S. and across the globe was assessed by holding prevalence rates and disease-specific death rates constant from 1960–2015. Results indicate that the total number of cases of poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, adenovirus, rabies and hepatitis A averted or treated with WI-38 related vaccines was 198 million in the U.S. and 4.5 billion globally. The total number of deaths averted from these same diseases was approximately 450,000 in the U.S., and 10.3 million globally.

“Living legend in the infectious disease world” and creator of the cell strain WI-38, Leonard Hayflick, PhD joined me in this March 2017 interview to discuss the history and development of the WI-38 cell strain, some of the controversy surrounding it and the vaccines that were produced because of it.

Vaccines: How they work and some common misconceptions

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Intro music: “Rapture” by Ross Bugden