Tag Archives: polio

Sabin and the vaccine that changed the world

Dr. Albert Sabin is famous for his development of the live oral polio vaccine and for the attempt to eradicate polio by vaccinating an entire population all at once. His commitment to the eradication of polio saved many children from death and paralysis and still does today.

He is an inspiration to us all! Please read this interesting story about Sabin’s accomplishments. I think you’ll enjoy it!

Remembering Albert Sabin and the vaccine that changed the world



Surviving Polio: Jerry’s Story

Polio isn’t something you hear much about if you live in the developed world. And thanks to the polio vaccine, it has been eradicated from the United States. But due to the fall in vaccine rates, the chances that the United States will see polio outbreaks is inclining. That’s because polio still exists; it’s hiding out in developing countries, and only a plane ride away from being at our doorstep.

Jerry before polio, age ?.

Jerry before polio, age 7.

The polio vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines at preventing disease. Since its introduction in the U.S. in 1955, the number of cases fell drastically. In the mid century there were around 35,000 cases reported (and countless cases unreported) each year, 3,000 cases in 1960, and just 10 in 1979.1 Since 1980, the United States has been polio-free. And remember, that’s because of the polio vaccine. Just because we haven’t seen a case since then, if left unvaccinated, it doesn’t mean you are immune.

So why keep getting vaccinated? We vaccinate to make sure that should this virus make its way back into our country, it doesn’t run wild. The virus needs to have nowhere to go and nowhere to hide. Because people can carry polio and spread it without ever getting sick or realizing they have the virus.

And that’s exactly what happened to Jerry in 1950. Continue reading

Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 11.37.54 AMYou may think polio is a disease of the past, and here in America, it sort of is. However, without the polio vaccine, America could easily see polio again.

Polio was once the leading cause of disability in the United States. It was also considered one of the most dreaded of the childhood diseases. During the mid twentieth century there were more than 25,000 cases of polio reported each year.3 (And probably a high number of unreported cases, as well.)

The polio vaccine was introduced in the U.S. in 1955 and by 1960, the number of reported cases had dropped to about 3,000 and in 1979 to about 10 cases.3

Today polio is considered eradicated in the United States. However, polio is still very common in some developing countries. And the effort for world-wide eradication of polio is still underway.

All it would take for polio to enter the United States is for an unvaccinated person to travel to a place where polio still exists. That person could easily carry polio back into the U.S. and begin to infect unvaccinated individuals. And those people would infect more people, and so on. This has happened several times in the past fifty years since eradication, but thankfully the cases remained isolated due to the high numbers of vaccinated individuals.

But, polio could easily make a come back, so don’t believe that if you or your children are not vaccinated that they are safe. Just because we don’t see the disease every day doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist and that we shouldn’t protect ourselves and our children.

So what’s so bad about polio, anyway?

Continue reading