October marks Rotary’s polio campaign with a highlight on October 24th which is World Polio Day. Eric shared the following video on polio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwokCauP4N0[youtube.com] (Pictures and notes are taken from the video.)  
I think that you can argue that no vaccine captured the emotions of the American public, as much as the polio vaccine did. It was a very, very emotional disease for this country.  In the 1930s and 40s, parents dreaded summer because it was the start of the polio season.  Polio could target any age, but most were under the age of five. No one knew why it impacted some kids and not others. The only thing that people knew was that it would infect and kill many kids every summer.
In the 30s, we started with 9700 victims and it increased to 52,000 victims in 1952.
Polio was also called infantile paralysis disease. It was known to be a virus, but no one knew how to treat it. No one was completely sure how it was transmitted and there were a lot of myths about the disease. We now know that polio is spread by sneezing, coughing, and contact with human waste. The virus will get into the blood and impact the nervous system. It attacks a cell that tells the muscles what to do. One of the things that the disease would impact is the lungs. In that case, the child would need to be put into an iron lung – which essentially would breathe for the child.
Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt got polio in 1921 at the age of 39 and he spent the rest of his life looking for the cure and prevention. He started an organization to fight polio, which was later to become the March of Dimes.  The majority of the money in the 1950s was raised to fight disease in that time was for polio. The  dimes were gathered up and sent to the White House. In the first year, there were more than a million dollars collected. Polio became a national cause. The organization’s goal was to find a cure for polio.
In 1947, they found Jonas Salk who was currently working on an influenza vaccine. Salk transitioned over to work on a cure for the three strains of polio. Salk believed that the polio vaccine could contain a dead virus and still provide an effective immune response. Salk wanted a vaccine that was effective, but also safe.  The man who made the research possible was the president of the March of Dimes and friend of FDR, Basil O’Connnor. He helped get things through the politics. He had complete confidence in what Salk was doing.
By 1951, Salk was ready to perform his first trial. It was in a children’s home where the kids already had polio. Before he gave it to these kids, he tested it on himself and his own children.  The kids in Watsons Home couldn’t contract the disease since they already had it. The parents and kids had to agree with the experiment which was destined to help other kids not go through what they had to go through. Salk took a blood sample from each child, then gave them the shot. A few weeks later, blood was drawn again to see if the antibodies have increased. Weeks later, the data was in and the experiment worked.
In 1954, Pittsburgh enrolled 7,500 healthy children to receive the polio vaccine. The parents were convinced that the vaccine would work. Everyone who helped were volunteers – nurses, drivers, etc. That year 1.8 million children volunteered for the vaccine.  At this point in the program, we switched over to our own Glenn Johnson who was personally impacted by polio.One of the reasons that Glenn joined Rotary is because his dad had polio. His dad didn’t let polio control his life - he wasn’t a polio victim, he was a polio survivor. His dad worked in the sales career until he was 65 – donning his leg brace and using a cane to help him walk. Both his uncle and cousin joined Rotary due to its commitment to eradicating polio.
Glenn realized the impact that polio had on his dad’s life on New Years Day of his 7th grade year. Glenn had a horrible headache and by the time the doctor got to his house his fever was 103 and climbing. As the doctor was loading Glenn in his car to take him to the hospital, he saw his dad cry. What Glenn didn’t know at the time was that Glenn’s symptoms were the exact same as his dad’s when he came down with polio. Everyone was super happy to find out that Glenn had double pneumonia and not polio. As are we!  Glenn concluded his presentation by giving his check for $53 to Colleen for his part of the Rotary’s cure to polio campaign that is going on this month. This covered the requested Rotarian’s contribution of $26.50 plus a second member’s contribution as well just in case someone is not able to contribute to this very important cause.  Rotary has been distributing the vaccine for 30 years and polio has been eradicated in the US since 1994. Currently, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the last two countries with polio.