Hilary Koprowski

December 5th

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 the live vaccine would be more effective because the live vaccine could go straight to the intestinal tract and provide lifelong immunity, but the soak vaccine required additional vaccination. Vaccines are easy to get by mouth, but injections are more expensive and require medical facilities. Ingested by the first child on February 27, 1950 and used for vaccination on four continents within 10 years.

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

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