Salk Announces Polio Vaccine in 1953 Poliomyelitis has affected mankind for thousands of years with pictorial evidence in Egyptian artworks and likely a long pre-history - the viral infection causes muscle wasting and paralysis, which is often permanent - if the respiratory muscles are affected, then patients in the mid-1900 years were placed in 'iron lungs', temporarily or longer! Salk's development of a polio vaccine was a miraculous blessing, especially to the many children who could have been crippled or even have died. More in the quotes below and also some interesting summary facts HERE. For myself (and 2 brothers), I was nearly 7 y/o when the announcement was made - we all received the injection - the Sabin oral vaccine developed later was a little easier for kids to swallow - Some recommended films for those interested: 1) Warm Springs (2005) - HBO drama-documentary about FDR's struggle w/ his paralysis and the impact of Warm Springs - highly recommended; and 2) The Five Pennies - 1959 bioptic about Red Nichols, the jazz cornetist and his group the Five Pennies - his daughter develops polio and a dramatic presentation of her struggles to walk again (w/ braces) - BUT, Louis Armstrong has a prominent guest role in this film for us jazz fans! Dave .