[Skip to Navigation]
September 1960

Historical Aspects of the Development of Live Virus Vaccines in Poliomyelitis

Author Affiliations

Director, Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, 26th St. at Spruce, Philadelphia 4.

Am J Dis Child. 1960;100(3):428-439. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.04020040430018

Today when scientific genius has extended man's intellectual control far beyond the horizons of this planet, it somehow does not seem quite apropos to discuss an infection which, so far as we know, affects the population of only one of the planets and causes illness in only a very small fraction of this population. However, the Committee of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, who have greatly honored me as a recipient of the Alvarenga Prize, suggested that I should consider vaccination against poliomyelitis as a likely topic and, acquiescing to their demands, I have decided to trace tonight the history of the development of live polio vaccine.

"History" is one word in the lexicon of all languages which is subject to constant misinterpretation. Hegel was probably right when he said that we learn from history that men never learn anything from history. And there is Fabre's aphorism: "History records

Add or change institution