The 100th birth anniversary of Jonas Salk

Peter L. SalkJonas Salk, who lead the team that developed the first poliovirus vaccine, was born 100 years ago today, 28 October 1914, in New York City. Numerous sites across the country have convened symposia in his honor. Last week City College of New York, where Salk earned a bachelor’s degree, held a centennial celebration. The photo shows Salk’s son Peter speaking at the celebration. New York University Medical Center, where Salk obtained his MD degree, also had a celebration last week. The Salk Institute, founded by Jonas Salk, will hold a celebration on 13 November. And today’s Google Doodle is in honor of Dr. Salk.

In honor of Salk’s memory, I’ve included below my interview with his son, Peter, and a list of all the articles on poliovirus from virology blog. If you can only read one, make it Dreaming of inactivated poliovirus vaccine. Then realize that WHO has called for a switch to Salk’s IPV.

Oral polio vaccine-associated paralysis in a child despite previous immunization with inactivated virus

Poliovirus escapes antibodies

Implications of finding poliovirus in sewers of Brazil and Israel

Polio-like paralysis in California

India has been free of polio for three years

World Polio Day

Poliovirus silently (and not so silently) spreads

The wall of polio

Poliovirus on Time

WHO will switch to type 2 inactivated poliovirus vaccine

Virology lecture: Picornaviruses

World Polio Day

Can India remain polio-free?

India polio-free for one year

Wild poliovirus in China

Transgenic mice susceptible to poliovirus

Poliomyelitis after a twelve year incubation period

Poliovirus vaccine safety

Is bivalent poliovirus vaccine a good idea?

Viruses and journalism: Poliovirus, HIV, and sperm

Poliovirus on BBC radio

Poliovirus type 2 returns

Polio returns to Minnesota

Poliovirus vaccine litigation

Polio among the Amish

Dreaming of inactivated poliovirus vaccine

Polio in Nigeria

Polio and Nobel Prizes

Polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Jonas Salk’s Poliovaccine


Poliovirus is IRESistable

Vaccines lecture, 2014 (YouTube)

8 thoughts on “The 100th birth anniversary of Jonas Salk”

  1. Pingback: The 100th birth anniversary of Jonas Salk | Esc...

  2. Pingback: Polio this week: Progress towards eradication, Jonas Salk 100th birth anniversary, Pakistan cases climb | Outbreak News Today

  3. Then why are people no longer getting polio and being paralyzed or dying from it everywhere the vaccine has been used except a few countries where vaccine programs are still in progress? Polio just went pouf! and disappeared?

    Dr. Salk died a few years ago. If you don’t know that, you are hardly in a position to comment on him at all.

    Do a little exercise. Find someone who was born in about 1940 and ask him what he remembers about polio.

  4. I have lived for 20 years in India and Africa. Last year there were about 20K AFP cases after the polio vaccination. There are 1000’s of mothers in those countries that wish Salk would go to hell.

  5. It appears your ignorance extends to not knowing there are two polio vaccines. Dr. Salk developed the injectable inactivated virus vaccine and Dr. Sabin the live attenuated oral vaccine.

    The vaccine used in the current immunization programs in the countries where wild polio virus is circulating is the oral vaccine (Sabin, not Salk). There is a very small risk of getting polio from the oral vaccine. Last year there were 65 cases of vaccine derived polio, none of which were in India and 14 of which were in Africa. There have been 45 cases so far this year, 23 of which were in Africa and all but two of those in Nigeria.

    The live attenuated oral (Sabin) vaccine will eventually be replaced with the inactivated (Salk) vaccine worldwide. That will eliminate the risk of vaccine derived polio.

    Not all acute flaccid paralysis is due to polio. It is not caused by wild polio and it is not caused by polio vaccine. That is why it is called NON-polio acute flaccid paralysis. Other viruses besides polio can cause paralysis. It is ridiculous to blame NON-polio acute flaccid paralysis on polio or the vaccine.

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