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The great polio vaccine mess and the lessons it holds about federal coordination for today’s COVID-19 vaccination effort

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The great polio vaccine mess and the lessons it holds about federal coordination for today’s COVID-19 vaccination effort

Photo: The world initially rejoiced as Salk’s vaccine came online. He declined to patent it, to make it available to all. PhotoQuest / Archive Photos via Getty Images. Article by Bert Spector. The Conversation – January 14, 2021.

I nervously fell into a long line of fellow first graders in the gymnasium of St. Louis’ Hamilton Elementary School in the spring of 1955. We were waiting for our first injection of the new polio vaccine.

The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis – with money raised through its annual March of Dimes campaign – had sponsored field tests for a vaccine developed by Jonas Salk. The nonprofit had acquired sufficient doses to inoculate all the nation’s first and second graders through simultaneous rollouts administered at their elementary schools. The goal was to give 30 million shots over three months. […]

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