Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I'm almost 65 years old, so I'm old enough to remember polio.  Yesterday I did a post about being thankful for the invention of the X-ray and that got me to thinking once again about one of the biggest medical breakthroughs in my life.  I'm talking about the polio vaccine that was discovered by Jonas Salk back in mid 1950's. 

Today, I'm thankful for the Salk vaccine (and the later Sabin oral vaccine) which has almost completely eradicated this horrible disease.  Sadly, there are still a few places in the world where polio exists, but for the most part it's been eliminated.

Growing up in the 1950's I still remember when some of the O'Brien kids up the street came down with polio.  It was a scary time.

I was a Polio Pioneer in 1954 and had one of these buttons shown in the picture below.  I still remember how they lined us up alphabetically at school and we went in for the shot.  I wasn't too crazy about getting the shot and was so envious of Peter Zenkel.  :)
Now polio is something we hardly even think about.

Yes, I am very thankful for the polio vaccine.

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  1. Betty,
    I, too, remember lining up in my school gym for the polio shot. My cousin, Peter, did get polio and he limped for years until he had several surgeries to correct the limp. People today would never know that he had polio although some of us in the family can still detect a slight limp. Polio really was a horrible disease and we should be thankful to Jonas Salk for helping eradicate it.

  2. I had a math teacher in middle school whose arm had been affected by polio. What a wonderful benefit vaccines are. Now my children won't even get chicken pox.


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