In 1959, three armed men broke into the University of Montréal and stole the whole supply of polio vaccine — 75,000 vials valued at $50,000. What have we learned from this event?
As the eradication of polio and the successful rollout of AIDS treatments have shown in the past, global cooperation in the face of COVID-19 is possible.
Historically, we immunized children against diseases like polio that were a clear danger to them, but COVID-19 is usually mild in children. However, herd immunity is unlikely without vaccinating kids.
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.
Too much hope is being pinned on the vaccine alone to get us out of the current pandemic. But 'low-tech' solutions are needed, too.
People who oppose vaccines often are dismissed as ignorant or naive. Failing to hear their concerns and address them may only be fueling vaccine resistance, however.
A tragic error showed how complicated it can be to distribute vaccines on a mass scale.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s personal battle with polio, and his steady hand while overseeing a national eradication campaign, highlights decisive leadership against a virus that terrified America.
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.