Jonas Salk, the man who defeated polio

The story of one of humanity's fundamental achievements: the vaccine that defeated a terrible disease that claimed thousands of victims every year, especially children. A discovery that did not enrich anyone: "The patent of the polio vaccine belongs to the people, can the sun be patented?"

THURSDAY 23RD APRIL 2020

“The patent of the polio vaccine belongs to the people, you can perhaps patent the sun”
Jonas Salk

Laboratories and pharmaceutical industries around the world are working tirelessly to discover the vaccine against COVID-19.

In the last century, in the years immediately following World War II, a similar commitment was dedicated to the search for the polio vaccine. The story is very interesting and Focus magazine tells it (article in italian only)

The hero of the United States after the Second World War was called Jonas Edward Salk.and he was not a politician, a military man or a Hollywood actor, but a doctor
His merit was to have discoveredl polio vaccine (in italian only),

an infectious disease that affected thousands of people in the last century, mostly children.

Starting from studies on the search for a vaccine for the flu, using an inactivated virus, instead of an attenuated form of virus, as he preferred to do up to that moment, in 1947 Salk began his race for the financially supported polio vaccine supported by the Foundation national paralysis for children, a powerful organization wanted by one of the most famous victims of polio: the President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, hit by the virus in 1921, at the age of 39 years.

After years of studies in 1952 begins the phase of experimentation on men, after two years the result is positive: the vaccine is safe and effective in 90% of cases.

The official announcement came on April 12, 1955 during a press conference in Michigan.

Salk, animated by a genuine humanitarian spirit that had guided him from the beginning in his choice to pursue a career as a scientist decided not to patent the vaccine, leaving his discovery available to all.

Shortly after the announcement of April 12, a journalist who in a television interview asked him why this decision, Salk answered without hesitation “The patent of the polio vaccine belongs to the people, can you perhaps patent the sun?

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