Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
The Conversation logo

If you have been following the media coverage of the new vaccines in development for COVID-19, it will be clear that the stakes are high. Very few vaccine trials in history have attracted so much attention, perhaps since polio in the mid-20th century.

A now largely forgotten chapter, summer polio outbreaks invoked terror in parents. Today, restrictions on gatherings and movement in the efforts to control COVID-19 have been a huge strain on society, but in the 1950s, parents locked their children in stifling hot buildings during the summer with windows sealed shut because they were terrified polio would somehow seep through the cracks in the wall.

The development of the polio vaccine in the US in 1955 was a moment of global celebration. Reaching that point involved millions of citizens raising funds to develop the vaccine, political goodwill by the bucket-load and a driven public-private scientific collaboration, with scientist Jonas Salk at the helm. Children across the US were enlisted in one of the largest clinical trials in history.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by (Department of Paediatrics)

Oxford is a subscribing member of The ConversationFind out how you can write for The Conversation.

Similar stories

New data show vaccines reduce severe COVID-19 in older adults

Coronavirus COVID-19 Research

New data show both Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines significantly reduce severe COVID-19 in older adults.

Singula Bio, a new Oxford spin-out company - Cancer need not be fatal

General Innovation Research

Singula Bio, a bold new seed-stage biotechnology company spun out of Oxford University, has been launched with the intention of helping show that cancer need not be fatal. Led by three Oxford cancer specialists, the firm is aims to become a world leader in therapies to use against difficult-to-treat solid malignancies such as ovarian cancer - using the body’s own immune system to fight previously fatal cancers.

Major rise in public support for COVID vaccine – Oxford study

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

More than three quarters of people in the UK now say they are ’very likely’ to have the vaccine – up from 50% among the same group of survey respondents five months ago –according to a two-wave Oxford University survey published today.

Coronavirus vaccination linked to substantial reduction in hospitalisation, real-world data suggests

Coronavirus COVID-19 General Research

The first study to describe the effects in real-world communities of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine has been reported in a pre-print publication today, showing a clear reduction in the risk of hospitalisation from COVID-19 amongst those who have received the vaccine.

World’s largest clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments expands internationally

Clinical Trials Coronavirus COVID-19 General

The Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) Trial, the world’s largest clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments, has now expanded internationally with Indonesia and Nepal among the first countries to join. The first patients have been recruited to RECOVERY International.