Dr. László Erdős (1909 - 1984)

After Dr. László Erdős graduated from the University of Medicine, he began to work at Department of Serology of his first and only workplace, the National Public Health Institute, from 1st August 1936. At that time at the Department of Serology they began the production of human vaccines in Hungary, except for the only smallpox vaccine, which was never produced at the Institute, but they used to do every control tests here.

After the tests were begun from 1928 on and the preliminary encouraging results got in 1936-37 they began, with the efficacy collaboration of Dr. Erdős, the vaccination of the two-year old children and that of the revaccination of the 7-year old children against diphteria anatoxin.

From 1937, the Department began to provide the appropriate sera for vaccinating against Calmette tuberculosis for the field, produced from 1936.

Dr. Erdős intensively participated at this time in the production and qualification of typhus and scarlatina preventive sera and in the control of smallpox sera and tuberculin preparation.

In 1938, the Decree 245.300/1938 BM was published which regulated the production, control and release of the sera, vaccine and diagnostics used in human medicine. The preparation of the decree was mainly Dr. Erdőss work.

At the Department of Serology there was an independent service, the Vaccine Control Service, created in 1939 and the head of which already as Department of Vaccine Control became Dr. Erdős from 1940.

In 1951, the 137/1951 EüM decree was released also fruit of Dr. Erdőss work which was the modernized version of the 1938 BM decree.

Dr. Erdős got the candidates degree in medicine in 1952.

In conformity with the regulations of the Decree 137/1951 EüM the BCG vaccine production was taken off the department and, from 1961, the sphere of activity related to the medical bacteria strain collection too, so it became possible to do more numerous controls in a more differentiated way at the Vaccine Control Department.

After 1st January 1968, the National Institute of Pharmacy was detached off the NPHI and became an independent Institute; so with the division of the authority powers the Vaccine Control Department, headed by Dr. Erdős did every control activities related to the immunobiological products.

In conformity with the structural changes made inside the Institute in 1972, the Department of Immunology was created headed by Dr. Erdős until his retirement in 1978. He helped the work of the Department as an adviser until the end of 1979.

During the development of several vaccines Dr. Erdős elaborated the system of quality requirements of the products and the methods of the control in Hungary, which were not yet gathered together in such a system in the 1940s like nowadays. He controlled the parameters during laboratory and clinical examinations.

He widely examined the efficacy and reactogenity of the vaccines, seeking for the most adequate immunization dose, immunization method (subcutan, intracutan, muscularis) and the optimal age for the individual products and the most adequate interval for the occurrence of repeated immunizations.

For several products, he determined the minimal effectiveness of the individual agents and the expiration date of the products.

He introduced the system for the production conditions, process and control of production in Hungary, warding off in this way, if possible, the distribution of the not first-quality products in Hungary and also the introduction of the control by production number.

He dealt extremely much with the questions of the diphteria-tetanus-pertussis, smallpox and typhus vaccines and with that of tuberculin screenings.

He worked with the same intensity on the elaboration of the quality requirements of the products used for the passive immunization and on the control of these quality requirements.

He introduced in the case of some products the system of controlled immunizations in small groups, preceding the mass vaccinations. The experiences gathered in such a way had contributed to the results and success of the Hungarian vaccination practices.

From 1953, he introduced the registration of the side-effects of the vaccinations and the investigation of the reported cases.

As vaccine-controller he actively participated in the introduction of the forthcoming virus vaccines in Hungary from the 1950s (polio, measles, then rubella, mumps and tick-borne encephalitis).

He was an active and decisive performer of the elaboration and realization of the vaccine schedules in Hungary.

His proposals, elaborated on the basis of his well-founded and thorough knowledge were always accepted by the authorities at decision makings. No decision was taken without his signing.

He was a member of the:

  • Biological-Microbiological Subcommittee of the 7th Hungarian Pharmacopeia Editorial Committee
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences Ministry of Health, Epidemiology and Vaccine Committee

Because of his well-founded and definite commitment he did not belong to those overwhelmed by state decorations. At the beginning of the 1950s, when professional questions were treated as political questions, Dr. Erdős stood out  for next to the professional aspects most categorically and therefore, for to the real qualification of his colleagues. Nevertheless, he was not ousted from his position although his work was not facilitated as his professional commitment, well-founded opinion were always indispensable in taking responsible decisions related to vaccinations.

He was decorated several times:

1976 - Manninger Rezső Memorial Medallion of the Hungarian Microbiology Association
1978 - at retiring - Silver grade of Work Merit
1979 - Fodor József Memorial Medallion of the Hungarian Microbiology Association.

In 72 publications and 152 lectures he reported his scientific results.

Publications of Dr. László Erdős

Dr. Imre Lontai
Vaccines Control Department
Retired Head of Department

 

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