April 26, 1954

On April 26, 1954, mass trials of Jonas Salk’s anti-polio vaccine began. The first shot was delivered in Fairfax County, Virginia. More than 443,000 children received the shots in the first three months. Nowhere did anyone say, “Only .5% of children with polio suffer from paralysis. The other 99.5% don’t. We don’t need a vaccine. Only .5% who catch polio have a chance of dying or being crippled. Let nature take its course.” Of course, a segment of the population may have said that if only poor people caught it. But polio, like every infectious virus, affects everyone, no matter your social class.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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