Polio vaccines – Jonas Salk discovers one of the first vaccine in Pittsburgh

Polio vaccines – Jonas Salk discovers one of the first vaccine in Pittsburgh

Polio was considered one of the most frightening public health problems in the world until 1955 when the Salk vaccine was introduced, and epidemics were increasingly devastating in the post-war United States.

Jonas Edward Salk was an American physician, medical researcher and virologist who developed one of the first successful polio vaccines. He was born in New York City and attended the City College of New York and New York University School of Medicine, later choosing to do medical research instead of becoming a practicing physician.

In 1952, Jonas Salk invented a vaccine that made humans invulnerable to polio. The vaccine stayed in testing phases for three years before finally being given the green signal in 1955 / Image: AP

“Salk’s Virus Research Laboratory was in the basement of the building then known as the Municipal Hospital for Contagious Diseases. The hospital was built by the City of Pittsburgh in 1941 on land given to it by the University. In 1947, when Salk was recruited to Pitt School of Medicine, arrangements were made for him to build his laboratories in the hospital basement, where he assembled the core research team responsible for developing the vaccine.

Salk’s polio vaccine is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system.

Salk Polio Vaccine plaque, University of Pittsburgh / Image: Wikimedia Commons

Featured Image: Salk injects a child with his polio vaccine / Image: via The New Atlantis

Websites: pitt.edu


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