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First mass inoculation for polio

Published: 2/23/2014

Free from Polio

Sixty years ago, one of the most dreaded diseases of the 20th century was essentially vanquished. That was when Jonas Salk's polio vaccine became available, and the first experimental doses were given to children. No one who didn't live through the era of polio epidemics can fully understand the intense fear the disease caused and the immense relief that accompanied the successful vaccine trials. But for those whose lives and limbs were spared by Salk's research, he was a great hero.

Today we remember the excitement that accompanied the announcement of the polio vaccine, six decades ago.


Feb. 23, 1954: Children Receive First Polio Vaccine

On this day in 1954, a group of children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.

source: history.com

Whatever Happened to Polio?

The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis chose Dr. Thomas Francis Jr. at the University of Michigan to implement the first mass polio vaccine trial in 1954. More than 300,000 people, mostly volunteers, including physicians, nurses, schoolteachers, public health officials, and community members, carried out the work.

source: si.edu

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