Turning back time to about 60 years ago, the polio vaccine was regarded as miracle. Post this successful clinical trial of the vaccine of the killer disease polio, the entire nation and also the whole world heaved a huge sigh of relief. Back then the same was recorded as the largest conducted clinical trial in the history of medicine.

jonas salk

Creator of this vaccine Jonas Salk was more than worshiped by many for more than just successfully creating this life saving vaccine. The vaccine was declared safe and effective then. However, people in the medical fraternity admit that had Jonas Salk been alive this very day, probably his greatest fear would be, if the polio immunity drops are administered below the prescribed level, polio disease could probably make a comeback.

When the discovery of Jonas Salk was made public back then, the scenes on the streets were worth a watch during that time. It was also a moment that one would not so easily forget. There were strangers embracing on the roads, kids in school were allowed to go home that day, to celebrate this creation.

What’s more is the fact that Jonas Salk was also invited to the White House. One of the medical practitioners, David Oshinsky who was also director of the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Langone Medical Center went on to add that this was a moment of celebration and it was a golden moment in science and medical research. Back then many agreed with this Pulitzer-prize winning author of Polio: An American Story.

Nevertheless, the lesser or the unknown aspect is the fact that the creation of the polio vaccine is somehow not Jonas Salk’s first. Ironically, the results of the trial were kept very secretive by Francis his co-worker and Jonas Salk himself was not aware of them. It was on the morning of the April 12, that a nervous Jonas Salk got to know that the polio vaccine he created is more than just successful.

2 Responses

  1. kirkpatrick

    The Polio vaccine of course was contaminated with the SV40 cancer virus which would kill thousands of Americans. Jonas Salk then died from one of his own vaccines.

    • Apocalypse

      Scientists did periodic studies to try to determine whether there had been any ill effects from the SV40 contamination, particularly in terms of an increased incidence of cancer in people who had received the contaminated vaccine. They failed to find any.

      Jonas Salk died at age 80 of congestive heart failure on June 23 in La Jolla, Calif.


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