Massive vaccine distribution efforts take a lot of coordination. The rollout of the Salk polio vaccine in the US in 1955 holds lessons for those delivering COVID-19 shots today.
The high cost of pharmaceuticals often means only the richest patients get lifesaving medicines. As coronavirus drugs emerge, it will require hard, creative work to ensure they're available to all.
Polio was nearly eradicated with the Salk vaccine in 1955. At the time, little was known about this mysterious disease that paralyzed and sometimes killed young children.
A challenge in eradicating polio comes from a version of the vaccine itself, which relies on live but attenuated virus. Rationally designing a new vaccine could help get rid of polio once and for all.
Polio can be circulating through a community long before anyone is paralyzed. Monitoring sewage for the virus lets public health officials short-circuit this 'silent transmission.'
Pakistan had only eight new diagnoses of polio in 2017. The virus' days look numbered – but health workers have their work cut out for them to eradicate the devastating disease once and for all.
Social media rumours are putting Nigeria's vaccination campaigns at risk.
Current plans to eradicate polio mean keeping the virus alive – and risk restarting the epidemic.
Vaccination is not to be taken for granted.
A new polio outbreak in Nigeria has hampered the country's efforts to be declared polio free by 2017.