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Salk Polio Vaccine, Saukett Strain

Salk Polio Vaccine, Saukett Strain

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Description
Jonas Salk first tested his polio vaccine on humans in July 1952 when he inoculated thirty children at the D. T. Watson Home for Crippled Children near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These children had already had polio, so Salk's test was designed to prove that his vaccine would create a higher level of immunity than a natural infection. Salk also tested his vaccine on residents of the Polk State Home and on himself and members of his laboratory staff.
This vial contains residue of polio vaccine from these first tests. The polio virus exists in hundreds of different strains, all of which fall into three major types. A complete vaccine must contain a strain from each of these three types. However, the children at the Watson Home received only one type of vaccine matching the strain of their original polio infection. This vial is labeled for the Saukett strain (Type III).
Researchers isolated this strain from James Sarkett who contracted polio when he was ten years old. However the label on the sample taken from Sarkett was misread as “Saukett.” In scientific and medical research the strain continues to be referred to as the “Saukett strain.”
Object Name
vaccine, polio
biological
date made
1952
maker
Salk, Jonas E.
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh
Physical Description
vaccine residue, polio virus (overall, drug ingredient)
rubber; fabric; ink; adhesive (overall material)
glass (overall, container material)
Measurements
overall: 5.4 cm x 2.5 cm; 2 1/8 in x in
overall: 2 1/8 in x 1 in; x 5.3975 cm x 2.54 cm
ID Number
MG.221419.05
catalog number
221419.05
accession number
221419
Credit Line
Gift of The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis
subject
Vaccines
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
National Treasures exhibit
Health & Medicine
The Antibody Initiative
Antibody Initiative: Polio
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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