Jonas Salk Vaccine

Improved Essays
Although he is a prominent figure in the history of Pittsburgh, the life of Jonas Edward Salk did not begin in Pittsburgh. Jonas Salk, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants to the United States was born on October 28, 1914 in New York City. It was in New York City that he became the first member of his family to attend college by attending New York University and earning his medical degree in 1939. The next stop on Jonas Salk’s journey to Pittsburgh was at the University of Michigan. At the University of Michigan, Jonas Salk worked on a research fellowship that had the goal of creating an influenza vaccine. While here, he was lucky to reconnect with a friend and mentor from New York University, Thomas Francis Jr, who was instrumental in teaching …show more content…
Salk’s idea for a polio vaccine was different than what many others at the time believed would be effective because his vaccine consisted of a dead polio virus, while others preferred to use a partially killed virus. The first people to receive the vaccine that Salk developed were himself, his lab scientist, his wife, and their children. After it was determined that they developed anti-polio antibodies and experienced no negative reactions, Salk began to test the vaccine on more people in the Pittsburgh area. Over 600 Allegheny County volunteers, or “Polio Pioneers”, were among the very first to receive the vaccine at The University of Pittsburgh’s Virus Research Laboratory. On October 9, 1953 at the annual meeting of the Academy of Pediatrics, Doctor Jonas Salk announced that 637 children and adults from Allegheny County had received the new vaccine. The purpose of this early trial was to attempt to determine the optimum dosage of the vaccine, the number of inoculations, and the correct dose and frequency that would be safe and also …show more content…
This trial, which included nearly two million children, still stands among the largest national trials in the history of the United States. In the Pittsburgh area, the trial included first, second, and third grade students from nineteen Pittsburgh area schools such as St. Stephens in Hazelwood and Arsenal Elementary in Lawrenceville. During the trial, many of the participants were presented with a certificate and a button to designate them as a “Polio Pioneer” and to commemorate their participation in the national trial. In addition to the many children who received the vaccine, the trial also required approximately twenty thousand physicians, sixty-four thousand school personnel, and two hundred and twenty thousand volunteers. This year long trial led to Dr. Jonas Salk officially declaring his polio vaccine as “safe, potent, and effective” on April 12, 1955 at a gathering of approximately five hundred other scientists and reporters the University of Michigan, where his career and experience with vaccinations began. Soon after this announcement was made, a national immunization program was developed that reached 9 million children in the first year alone. Prior to 1955, approximately ten to twenty thousand polio cases were reported each year. Ten years after the introduction of Salk’s polio vaccine, only 61

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Vaccines are very safe because many scientists and doctors carefully study and test the vaccines before they are given to children. Furthermore, vaccines protect children from life threatening diseases that could become very costly and time consuming. In addition, the number of sick children who have died has decreased immensely as a result of vaccinations. Another positive outcome of vaccinations has been the elimination of the disease smallpox and as a result, children are not vaccinated for it anymore ("Should Any"). Therefore, if people continue getting vaccinated now, some diseases of today may no longer be around to harm their children in their future ("Five…

    • 831 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Fdr's Synthesis Essay

    • 1261 Words
    • 6 Pages

    He also made a contribution to medical efforts to conquer polio. In 1934, FDR’s friend Basil O’conner raised funds for treatment of polio. The first “Birthday Ball” raised over one million dollars. O’conner was urged by FDR to found the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, also known as “The March of Dimes.” The March of Dimes was scientists working with public volunteers to find a cure for polio. They raised funds so they can better provide medical treatment facilities for those who suffer polio in the United States.…

    • 1261 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Measles Case Study

    • 1246 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Since parents who will not give their child the MMR vaccine (often because of Andrew Wakefield 's discredited study) will often give them other vaccines, the United States has almost eliminated many other diseases such as diphtheria, polio, and smallpox. With the help of vaccines, the US has almost eliminated those diseases, as well as ten others. Parents who do not vaccinate their children are stopping us from eliminating many diseases we could already be rid…

    • 1246 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The first patients were admitted within 54 hours, the triumph that became known as “The Miracle of Hickory.” Patients from all over North Carolina and some neighboring states came to the Hickory hospital. Doctors and nurses flocked in by the dozens to save the lives of these children. Hundreds of patients were treated and released, with only 12 deaths, the country’s…

    • 437 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    All have or will undergo established controlled monitoring procedures." pronounced President Obama during a presidential press after the ten months the personal spent in West Africa(Ellis). The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention sent in mobile labs so that they can find suspected Ebola patients in a matter of hours. The U.S. has spent over One billion dollars , more than any other donors(Eilperin). Many people from different countries have come together to help find a cure.…

    • 1843 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Will you vaccinate your child or let them die from a preventable disease? “Vaccines were used as early as 1000 AD”(procon.org). Since they have been around for a very long time they probably are very useful. “The first vaccine in the United States was in 1721 when Cotton Mather encouraged vaccination in response to an outbreak of smallpox”(procon.org). According to procon.org, the first smallpox vaccine was invented by Edward Jenner and was used for over two hundred years.…

    • 1757 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    Edward Jenner from England decided to write his own chapter on the history of smallpox vaccination. It was known that English milkmaids would often develop cowpox from milking infected cows. Cowpox is a minor infection in cows that is very similar to smallpox, but not near as deadly. It was known that after milkmaids recovered from the cowpox, they were immune to smallpox. With this knowledge in mind, Dr. Jenner conducted an experiment on an eight-year-old boy named James Phipps.…

    • 2205 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Head Start has come a long way since Lyndon B. Johnson’s speech in 1964. Head Start has helped over 30 million children since beginning in 1965. Head Start helps over a million children and their families each year in the fifty…

    • 1378 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “In 1952, polio reached its peak when over 58,000 cases were reported, including 3,145 deaths.” (About Jonas Salk) Polio is among the top ten epidemics in the United States history and the widespread panic created by it could have continued longer without the polio vaccine’s inventor, Jonas Salk. Although Jonas Salk’s intentions and methods were called into question by many, his Poliomyelitis vaccine ended the polio epidemic of the early-mid 20th century. Background On October 28, 1914, Jonas Salk was born in New York City, New York, to Daniel and Dora Salk. While growing up, he was an exceptional student and excelled in school. He attended Townsend Harris High School for gifted students and graduated at the age of 15.…

    • 1205 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Vaccines And Autism

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Vaccines and Autism For centuries, vaccinations have been used to prevent harmful diseases from the body. In the 1880’s, a vaccine against rabies was created. Since then, the science of immunology has only progressed. By the late 1920’s vaccines had started to become widely available. Diseases like whooping cough, tuberculosis, and tetanus were dramatically reduced, all due to the groundbreaking development of vaccinations.…

    • 834 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays