History of Vaccines Blog

Student Documentary on Polio

June 21, 2019

The following documentary on the polio epidemic in the United States was put together by Defne and Kaya Ceyhan, students at Upper Arlington High School in Columbus, Ohio. It was part of a senior group documentary competition for National History Day 2019. Their documentary won the district and state contests.

Celebrities Have Influence on Vaccination

June 16, 2019

When the 13 colonies that would become the United States of America were fighting the Revolutionary War against England, General George Washington ordered his troops to receive the variolation against smallpox. This was the time before Jenner’s smallpox vaccine, so variolation was the best protection against smallpox, a disease that would decimate whole communities when it would arrive in merchant vessels. In 1777, Gen.

Video: "The Polio Story - The Vaccine That Changed the World"

March 13, 2019

Video of the Week: "The Last Few Polio Survivors"

November 20, 2018

Polio is a vaccine-preventable disease that has almost been eradicated from the planet through the use of a safe and effective vaccine. Fifty-plus years ago, it ravaged children around the globe in an indiscriminate manner, leaving many of them unable to breathe on their own. For those who could afford it or have access to it, the Iron Lung was a way to keep breathing.

Predictions for 2027 at the Annual Conference for Vaccine Research

April 24, 2017

Stanley A. Plotkin, MD
Stanley A. Plotkin, MD

Polio: The Saddest Stories in Our Family

August 3, 2015

Courtesy P. LoughmanToday's blog post, written for National Immunization Awareness Month, is by P. Loughman.

60 Years of Polio Vaccines

April 10, 2015

Polio Pioneer Card, 1954Sixty years ago, on April 12, 1955, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the results of the largest clinical trial in history were announced. To the tremendous relief of a hopeful nation, Thomas Francis Jr., MD, revealed that the Salk inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine was “safe, effective, and potent” against paralytic polio.

My Life As A Polio Survivor

September 2, 2014

Karen Chase (photo courtesy of the author)By Karen Chase


Sixtieth Anniversary for Polio Pioneers

April 25, 2014

Card from the 1954 Salk vaccine trial, courtesy Marsha DrakeSixty years ago tomorrow the largest clinical trial in history began. On April 26, 1954, thousands of U.S. schoolchildren rolled up their sleeves to take Jonas Salk’s inactivated poliovirus vaccine. Newspapers reported that Randall Kerr of McClean, Virginia, was the first child in the trial to get the shot.

Aylward at JHSPH: Eradicating Polio

September 30, 2013

Early 1960s Pfizer monovalent OPVOn Friday, September 27, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health held its annual Vaccine Day. Bruce Aylward, MD, MPH, Assistant Director-General, Polio, Emergencies and Country Collaboration, World Health Organization, gave the keynote address. His title was "Eradicating Polio: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?"