Yesterday celebrates the 60th anniversary as Polio vaccine was first introduced to the nation where the disease had spread uncontrollably . At the same time it marks the 10th death anniversary of the polio victim Franklin D. Roosevelt when Jonas Edward Salk’s inactivated polio vaccine results was proclaimed “safe , effective and potent “ .
“People were hugging in the streets, kids were let out of school, Salk was invited to the White House where President Dwight D. Eisenhower broke down in tears thanking him – it was really this shining moment of great faith in science and in medical research,” recalled David Oshinsky , director of the Division of Medical Center and the author who won the Pulitzerprize for Polio: An American Story. “The nation went into this extraordinary, almost unprecedented celebration short of anything but the end of the world war.”
Polio had been a great problem at that time when people are so scared as to when and who it might next infect since it was considered fatal and there was no cure for it . The announcement of Sack’s vaccine had finally removed everyone’s fear of the disease .
Yet Salk had already invented an inactivated virus earlier and was at first criticized that it cant be made possible . Still he was able to prove its potency by inventing the first inactivated viral vaccine which also marks the beginning of today’s inactivated flu vaccines to progress .
The March of Dimes then had agreed to fund Sack to do a research on polio which started in 1948. The first trial was administered to 5,300 people while including himself and his family in 1953 to 1954. The vaccine had no negative effects that it was later on administered in 44 states that include grade schoolers that reached up to 1.8 million who were considered “Polio Pioneers” . The cost that went up to $7.5 million was funded by the March of Dimes.
Sack was at first worried that his vaccine invention will not be effective enough . Yet it all ended up that the vaccine was indeed a success and proven effective until six years later the polio cases dropped to 96 percent.