History of Vaccines Blog


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

Author of POLIO BOULEVARD

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?"

Sioux City Polio Epidemic 1952

July 16, 2013

Flooded Sioux City, 2011, fema.govI was raised in Sioux City, Iowa, a town of about 80,000 people on the western edge of the state, where the Big Sioux and Floyd rivers join the Missouri.

American Presidents and Infectious Diseases

July 3, 2013

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and MuseumWe've expanded and updated a popular post from 2012 by History of Vaccines former intern Alexandra Linn. 

Circulating Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus and the Eradication Endgame

May 29, 2013

Department of Defense, OPV in AfghanistanA recent paper published in Journal of Virology describes sporadic and sustained outbreaks of illness from vaccine-derived polioviruses in Nigeria.[i] This study draws attention to what is often called the polio endgame – the vaccines and immunization activities that will be necessary to eradic