I tried saving UPC symbols once as a kid, to get a tee-shirt. The thing never arrived, and I was a kid, so I didn’t really know who to complain to. Ah well.
As a lad, we used to save bottle caps and box tops and turn them in at school. Every so many caps/tops got some polio-stricken kid “X” amount of time on an iron lung or helped pay for the steel leg braces. All Hail Dr. Jonas Salk for ending the scourge of polio. Those of you too young to remember polio can take it from my generation – the Salk vaccine was a godsend, a miracle.
We got Dr. Salk’s shots (was it three, or five, weeks apart?) and later, the Sabin sugar cubes. Then there were some other sugar cubes (but that was much later, and more fun…)
I hear there’s more polio going around, in places where you can’t get either kind. Need to fix that.
Part of the reason polio is undergoing a resurgence has to do with the Sabin vaccine. Salk was the first on the market and used a “killed” polio virus. Truly a Godsend. But there was a problem at one of the labs and vaccine with insufficiently dead (i.e., live, active polio virus) was released and administered to children. 200 children contracted polio and several died. That pretty much blew it for Salk’s vaccine, at least for a while. Sabin’s “attenuated” polio vaccine was touted as a much safer vaccine, as the manufacturing process made the creation of live vaccine impossible.
Problem is, now we’re finding out that the Sabin vaccine might not provide life-long immunity. There is also a period of time where the person getting the Sabin vaccine can transmit the disease. There was a case back in the ’80s in Kansas where a grandfather had changed his granddaughter’s diapers after the baby had recv’d the Sabin vaccine. Shortly thereafter, he came down with a mystery illness and had to be rushed to the University hospital in Kansas City, where the doctors were baffled. Finally one of the older doctors said, “You know, if this were 30 years ago, I’d say he had polio.” Turns out the guy hadn’t ever been vaccinated, and hadn’t washed his hands after changing the diaper.
The places where they’re having the most success in eliminating polio is where they’re using both vaccines, like in Israel.
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