With poliovirus circulating in New York, health authorities worry that pockets of the county with low polio vaccination rates could give the virus a foothold.
The oral polio vaccine – which is no longer given in the US – relies on a live but weakened virus that can actually be passed from person to person.
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.
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.