Click Iogo to learn more.

Click Iogo to learn more.
Welcome to Words without Border’s tenth annual Queer issue.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Remembering the Massive Polio Vaccine Trials in DRC

While there is much celebration today for the 100th anniversary of Jonas Salk, who developed the first successful polio vaccine, which consisted of an injected dose of inactivated (dead) poliovirus,
 we should also recognize and condemn polio researchers like  Philadelphia’s own Hilary Koprowski, by way of Poland,  who represented the University of Penn’s Wistar Institute, and who:

  • arranged to have his weakened polio viruses tested in a colony of 150 chimpanzees in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • then in 1957-1960 organized the largest mass trial for an oral polio vaccine in  history, which was administered in DRC, on more  than a quarter of a million Congolese people. This is the same area that would become the epicenter of the AIDS and Ebola epidemic
  • also tested his experimental vaccine on youth committed to mental health institutions
  • tested his experimental vaccine on  the newborn infants of incarcerated women

  • Read more, and not only the following article, about what when horribly wrong in many of these trials, which is a matter of public, congressional record.

    While we debate and surmise the origin of the Ebola virus, it is imperative that we support the efforts of organizations like Doctors without Borders, who are on the ground trying to contain this pandemic. Give your support now.