Jonas Salk signed published report on the announcement of the polio vaccine, 1955, with a magnificent signed photo
signed8.5" x 10.75", photo 8" x 9.5"
April 12, 1955·San Diego, CA
by Jonas Salk
San Diego, CA, April 12, 1955. 8.5" x 10.75", photo 8" x 9.5". "Spiral bound typed report ""Vaccination Against Paralytic Poliomyelitis"", signed on the title page by Jonas Salk ""Jonas Salk"", in black ink. Bound in stiff grey green wraps, 8.5"" x 10.75"". From the Virus Research Laboratory, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh. Presented on 12 April 1955, University of Michigan. Near fine. Accompanied by a black and white printed photo of Salk, on heavy cardboard stock, signed and inscribed as, ""To Frank Brooks, with warm personal regards, Jonas Salk"" . Light spotting to photo image with slight scuffing to left edge.A near fine example of this long awaited, important report presented on April 12, 1955 by Thomas Francis, who formally declared the polio vaccine researched and created by Salk, to be effective and more importantly, safe."" The announcement was made at the University of Michigan, exactly 10 years to the day after the death of President Roosevelt. Five hundred people, including 150 press, radio, and television reporters, filled the room; 16 television and newsreel cameras stood on a long platform at the back, and 54,000 physicians, sitting in movie theaters across the country, watched the broadcast on closed circuit television. Eli Lilly and Company paid $250,000 to broadcast the event. Americans turned on their radios to hear the details, department stores set up loudspeakers, and judges suspended trials so everyone in the courtroom could hear.""The presentation was numbing, but the results were clear: the vaccine worked. Inside the auditorium Americans tearfully and joyfully embraced the results. By the time Thomas Francis stepped down from the podium, church bells were ringing across the country, factories were observing moments of silence, synagogues and churches were holding prayer meetings, and parents and teachers were weeping. After the announcement, when asked whether the effectiveness of the vaccine could be improved, Salk said, ""Theoretically, the new 1955 vaccines and vaccination procedures may lead to 100 percent protection from paralysis of all those vaccinated"" (here Salk was referring to the booster effect staged over specific time intervals).The question of safety was the most daunting for Salk as there was much disagreement regarding the use of live versus dead viruses and the primary concern was if either or both would create polio in an otherwise healthy person. Salk's concept of using a dead virus (referred to as a ""killed virus"") was highly questioned. While most scientists believed that effective vaccines could only be developed with live viruses, Salk developed a “killed virus” vaccine by growing samples of the virus and then deactivating them by adding formaldehyde so that they could no longer reproduce. By injecting the benign strains into the bloodstream, the vaccine tricked the immune system into manufacturing protective antibodies without the need to introduce a weakened form of the virus into healthy patients. Many researchers such as Polish-born virologist Albert Sabin, who was developing an oral “live virus” polio vaccine, called Salk’s approach dangerous. Sabin even belittled Salk as “a mere kitchen chemist.”Several illuminating break through's were stated in his report;""We have discussed in considerable detail elsewhere the principles involved in destruction of virus infectivity with formaldehyde; … this makes possible the prediction, rather precisely of the time required to render each preparation free of living virus. In still other experiments, the rate of decline of antigenicity has been studied similarly and it has been established that the chemical treatment required for the preparation of vaccine does not reduce, in measureable degree, the antibody producing power of the virus unless over-treatment is extended … Perhaps most interesting … it has been shown that the quantity of the virus, after conversion into the non-infectious form, required to induce an immune response in man, is far less than might have been anticipated … it is far easier to induce an immunologic response in man that it is in the monkey; the monkey, in turn is more reactive in this respect that is the mouse. Thus any preconception that my have existed, that the quantity of antigen necessary to induce antibody formation in the house, or in the monkey, would have to be multiplied proportionately for the weight of a child, seems not to apply; in fact the relationship that does exist seems to be an inverse one.""A near fine signed example of the 1955 report/manuscript that rocked the world. Polls taken during the 1950s found the only thing Americans feared more than polio was nuclear war." (Inventory #: 61041)
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