Poliovirus was so harsh in the United States in the early twentieth century that the vaccine invention became primarily important. The idea of chemical inactivation helped Salk to develop his successful virus vaccine in 1954, while Sabin developed an oral, live-virus version some years later (Plotkin, 2014). Unfortunately, during the race of developing the polio vaccine, “accidents occurred with both types” of the vaccine (“Two vaccines,” para. 9). However, it did not stop Salk and Sabin from continuing their job since they understood that those accidents served the greater good both for society and science. I believe that it was not the success along the way that helped the two not to give up, but rather the understanding that developing a vaccine demands some cost to be paid, but in the end, it will be compensated by millions of saved human lives.
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It is miraculous how motivated and driven sometimes people are because Sabin, an American researcher, even had to go to the Soviet Union to test his vaccine. Despite the cold war, people were eager to try the new cure because they were so afraid of polio. Later, notwithstanding political differences, Sabin was even given a medal for his contribution to the health of the Soviet people.
People who agreed to test the vaccines were surely very daring, and it is essential to remember that Salk and Sabin, with their families, were also among the volunteers. The story of the polio vaccine development shows that an outstanding invention is rarely achieved with no cost, but it is definitely worth the results. People are very fortunate that there were such precious heads as Sabin and Salk because if not for them, who knows how many more lives would have been because of polio.
Plotkin, S. (2014). History of vaccination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(34), 12283–12287.
Two vaccines. Web.