Salk Polio Vaccine - 1955

Salk Polio Vaccine - risks were low, benefits were high - still . . . .

June 22, 1955 – The UN Celebrates 10 Years – Jonas Salk Reassures Congress His Vaccine Is Safe.

Salk Polio Vaccine - 1955
Salk Polio Vaccine – risks were low, benefits were high – still . . . .
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June 22, 1955 – News for this day had much to do with the goings on in San Francisco, site of the original meeting of the United Nations in 1945. Ten years later it was a return to the scene; a different world, a more contentious one, one where the scars of war were healing and squabbles were new.

On this day it was the Cold War drama, repeated – this time in the form of Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov demanding the Western Powers accept the Soviet proposal to stop the arms race and ban nuclear weapons. Ignoring a warning from the Chairman not to engage in controversial subjects (it was a celebration, after all), Molotov launched into a tirade, saying that Russia had met the Western Superpowers half-way on the question of atomic weapons and that it was up to those other powers to make the next move. Molotov went on to say that the peace and welfare of mankind had never been greater.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jonas Salk told a group of Congressmen that children properly vaccinated against Polio do not transmit the disease to others. Salk went on to say that contraction of Polio through association with children who already had received the Salk immunity injections was so highly improbable that it hardly merited consideration. The question arose as Dr. Salk appeared in company with fourteen other of the nations foremost Polio authorities before a House committee. Salk told the Congressmen that it was clear that children who received properly the prepared vaccine did not transmit the disease the adults because they do not have the disease. But Salk conceded there seemed to be an association between contraction of Polio by others who come in contact with children receiving improperly made vaccine. At the same meeting, Dr. Albert Sabin, a vaccine expert recommended that production of the Polio vaccine be suspended until it was further perfected.

And that’s just a slice of what went on, this June 22, 1955 as reported by Ben Grauer and NBC Radio News.

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