14 September 2009

Ship to Shore Scientist

On this day in 1962, Dr. Albert B. Sabin, developer of the live-virus oral polio vaccine, was aboard the R.M.S. Queen Mary. At that time, the U.S. government was expected to announce whether or not widespread vaccinations should continue in light of outbreaks in Canada among those who received inoculation. Sabin's advice, given shipboard via radio-telephone to the Associated Press and other organizations, was to "intensify" vaccinations. He pointed out that many of the stories regarding inoculations resulting in polio were false, and that people who had already contracted the disease and then were vaccinated would not have been helped. He told the San Francisco K.O. Polio Program,"no vaccine can prevent polio in those already infected."

Free-Lance Star, Fredericksburg, VA

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