How the Polio Vaccine Went from the Lab to the Public

The Cutter Incident was a tragic error showed how complicated it can be to distribute vaccines on a mass scale. Introduction In 1955, after a field trial involving 1.8 million Americans, the world’s first successful polio vaccine was declared “safe, effective, and potent.” It was arguably the most significant biomedical advance of the past century.[…]

The Cutter Incident: How Our First Polio Vaccine Led to a Growing Vaccine Crisis

The Cutter Incident led in part to the development of a polio vaccine that was more dangerous. By Dr. Michael FitzpatrickGeneral PractitionerBarton House Health Centre In April 1955 more than 200 000 children in five Western and mid-Western USA states received a polio vaccine in which the process of inactivating the live virus proved to[…]

A History of Polio: A 20th-Century Epidemic

Incidents of polio increased to epidemic proportions after 1900. What was going on? Introduction Poliomyelitis (polio) is an infectious disease that can cause spinal and respiratory paralysis. Children are particularly vulnerable to the disease, which used to be called infantile paralysis. There is no cure and if the infection affects the lung muscles or brain[…]

An Historical Overview of the Polio Epidemic

Polio was nearly eradicated with the Salk vaccine in 1955. Little was known about this mysterious disease that paralyzed and sometimes killed young children. Introduction The fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic may feel new to many of us. But it is strangely familiar to those who lived through the polio epidemic of the[…]

Jonas Salk’s Battle with Anti-Vaxxers in His Time

He had to deal with critics like Walter Winchell, who warned, “It may be a killer.” It turned out to be a saving grace. In 1952, Americans suffered the worst polio epidemic in our nation’s history. As in prior outbreaks, the disease spread during the summer, mainly attacking children who had been exposed to contaminated[…]

Jonas Salk and the War Against Polio

In the years after WWII, America had two great fears: communism, and polio. By Amanda McGowanHistorian For years, the fight against polio was considered one of the most successful vaccination campaigns of all time. But now, the reappearance of the disease in countries like Pakistan, Syria, and Cameroon has thrown that success into jeopardy.  How was[…]

Jonas Salk and the Eradication of Polio

Even before the 1952 and 1953 outbreaks, labs had been worked diligently to find a cure for Polio. By Dr. Atif KukaswadiaEpidemiologist Poliomyelitis is an infectious viral disease. It enters through the mouth and is usually spread by contaminated drinking water or food. The virus passes through the stomach and then replicates in the lining[…]