Hilary Koprowski

January 5th

Born 5 Dec 1916; died 11 Apr 2013 at age 96.

Polish virologists and immunologists who discovered the first polio vaccine  based on oral administration of attenuated poliovirus. While studying the polio vaccine, he decided to focus on the use of live attenuated (non-toxic) viruses  instead of the killed viruses that formed the basis of Jonas Salk’s injections. Koprowski believed that live vaccines would be more effective because they could directly invade the intestinal tract  and  provide lifelong immunity, but soak vaccines required additional vaccination. Vaccines are easy to get by mouth, but injections are more expensive and require medical facilities. It was ingested by the first child on February 27, 1950 and was used to vaccinate on four continents within 10 years.

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