April 26,1954 Salk’s Polio Vaccine Trials Start

Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine trails began in 1954, involving 1.8 million children, participating in the U.S., Canada, and Finland. April 12, 1955 the vaccine was scientifically proven effective and safe. The polio vaccine became an established element of childhood medicine. Once the polio vaccine was utilized, it virtually eradicated the polio disease, saving lives. Prior to the polio vaccine, polio killed millions. President Franklin Roosevelt, was diagnosed with polio at the age of 39, the disease paralyzed him from the waist down. Roosevelt founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which would become the March of Dimes, the organization assisted in funding research and the Salk vaccine trials.

65 years ago, Jonas Salk began trials of the polio vaccine, as a result, the world of medical science flourished, largely due to the research of Salk and the pioneering scientific advancements he achieved. Salk’s work continues through The Salk Institute which is dedicated to scientific research, making advancements in genetics, immunology and neuroscience, as scientists work toward cures. Imagine where the world would be without the polio vaccine, without the groundbreaking progress the vaccine provided in highlighting the way for future vaccines. As reflected on The Salk Institute website, “Salk never patented the vaccine or earned any money from his discovery, preferring it be distributed as widely as possible.” Thank you Dr. Salk, you are remembered and deeply appreciated.

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