History of Vaccines Blog
March of Dimes and Polio 6
March of Dimes archivist David Rose discusses the work of the March of Dimes immediately after the Salk polio vaccine was approved in 1955. The Foundation turned its attention to making sure the vaccine was widely accepted and focused on public education and immunization programs.
March of Dimes and Polio 5
In 1953, the March of Dimes established the Vaccine Advisory Committee to develop a field trial of Jonas Salk’s inactivated poliovirus vaccine. The trial was funded solely by March of Dimes to test the efficacy of Salk’s vaccine. It had three stages: vaccine stage, blood sample stage, analysis stage. Because the trial was exclusively funded by March of Dimes, they felt they neded impartial entity to carry out trial. Therefore, Thomas Francis from University of Michigan supervised the trial. 1.8 million children received the vaccine or placebo (or were in the observed control group).
March of Dimes and Polio 4
March of Dimes archivist David Rose discusses the Foundation's funding of John Enders's work on poliovirus. Until Enders's breakthrough, the only way to grow poliovirus in the laboratory was to use animals. Enders developed a way to grow poliovirus in non-nervous tissue; this work led to a Nobel Prize for him and his team. Their methods reduced the cost of lab work and led to Salk’s vaccine.
HBV: Baruch Blumberg and the Nobel
Baruch Blumberg, MD, PhD, recalls receiving word that he'd benn awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on hepatitis B in 1976. He also describes the doors that opened to him after receiving the prize, particularly in that he was invited to go to China to discuss his vaccine at a time when few Westerners were allowed to visit.
HBV Vaccine Development: Blumberg (2 of 2)
Baruch Blumberg, MD, PhD, describes the processes involved in isolating and purifying the Australia antigen from the hepatitis B virus. He patented this method for creating the hepatitis B vaccine in 1971.
HBV Vaccine Development: Blumberg (1 of 2)
Baruch Blumberg's work on the hepatitis B virus led to an unorthodox approach to developing a vaccine. Here he describes getting confirmation that the antibody against the Australia antigen was protective against the hepatitis B virus.
Changing Paradigms: Blumberg
Baruch Blumberg explains that his team's findings about hepatitis B led to a classic period of turmoil in the scientific world. As the work of other scientists began to support his team's hypothesis, their ideas came to be accepted.
Changing Donor Screening: Blumberg
Baruch Blumberg, MD, PhD, relates how observations of post-transfusion hepatitis B led to the routine testing of donor blood to prevent transmission of the virus.
Blumberg: Tracking a Mystery (2 of 2)
Baruch Blumberg, MD, PhD, describes how key observations in a child with Down syndrome led to the association of the Australia antigen with hepatitis B. He also discusses the importance of disseminating his serum samples and findings to the research community. Researchers across the world were able to contribute to the growing body of knowlege about hepatitis B in part because of the open atmosphere.
Blumberg: Tracking a Mystery (1 of 2)
Baruch Blumberg, MD, PhD, relates how he began to connect his findings about the Australia antigen to hepatitis B. Along the way, he investigated different groups of people who had high incidence of Australia antigen, such as people with Down syndrome and leukemia.