Topics

Whooping Cough
On Jonas Salk's 100th birthday, a celebration of his polio vaccine
On Jonas Salk's 100th birthday, a celebration of his polio vaccine

Few scientific achievements have had as swift and dramatic effect — and been surrounded by as much myth — as the development of the polio vaccine by Jonas Salk, who would have turned 100 on Tuesday. Salk, who died in 1995, is remembered Tuesday around the medical world; there's even a Google doodle perched atop its search page. But the more telling illustration is the accompanying graph, which shows the sharp and virtually permanent drop in polio incidence in the U.S. after mass vaccination began. The Salk vaccine was declared safe and effective in 1955. An oral vaccine developed by Albert Sabin was first tested in 1957 and went into widespread use in 1963. Since then,...

Loading