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?
History tells us that delays, administrative hurdles, messiness and complexity are the norm.
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.
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.
'Sensible' public figures have far less influence on our behaviour than it seems
The polio eradication programme in Africa directly combated a severe debilitating disease. But it also provided a platform for broader healthcare services on the continent.
Identifying the emergence of a disease often relies on sick people seeking medical help. Wastewater monitoring can identify pathogens days or weeks earlier.
A COVID-19 vaccine isn't the only tool for fighting this pandemic. An immunologist argues that safe pneumonia vaccines would reduce the severity of COVID-19, save lives and prevent the worst cases.
This isn't the first time America's schoolchildren have studied remotely – and Chicago's 1937 'radio school' experiment shows how technology can fill the gap during a crisis.
Public trust is key to a successful immunisation programme.
A tragic error showed how complicated it can be to distribute vaccines on a mass scale.
The coronavirus pandemic isn't the first time an illness has disrupted schooling. In 1937, Toronto schools delayed re-opening for six weeks in response to the polio epidemic.
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.
The Trump administration has halted funding to the World Health Organization in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. But what does it actually do with its budget?
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.
Now is not the time to ease up the prevention effort, or decades of progress could be undone.
Ending the Boko Haram insurgency is the last hurdle in Nigeria's race against polio
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.
The polio vaccination successfully eradicated the disease in Canada. Can the same happen with other diseases?
Gene sequences can be manipulated to prevent certain diseases and improve public health.