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Episode 93: Vaccine Variation

(Topic suggestion from Patron, Eric Rush)

In the early 1950s, Jonas Salk and other scientists led the effort to develop and deploy an effective vaccine against polio. In subsequent decades, significant progress was made to eradicate other diseases through the development of successful vaccines and widespread immunization programs.

How might the course of medical and social history be different if Salk's vaccine had proved ineffective or delayed?

What are the lessons and implications of those vaccines on the current global pandemic and efforts to stem the spread of COVID?

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Space Doctor
Space Doctor
Mar 10, 2021

Nice episode! I was thinking that the branching point simply could have been FDR's diagnosis, given that today it's thought to be more likely that he had Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) than polio. Since GBS had been described in the early 20th century, a few years before FDR's acute illness of 1921, we can imagine a scenario in which doctors diagnose GBS, so poliomyelitis does not get the attention that it got as a result of the connection with FDR. I'm a scientist, doctor, and science communicator and could come up with various premises centered on science and medical issues. Here is my Twitter feed If you scroll down, you'll find a tweet to Eric about the episode, but h…

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