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As the country is rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, many people are concerned with how this vaccine was rolled out. How is this rollout different from other rollouts, such as the polio vaccine? Why did this vaccine come through so quickly? Here is the Polio rollout vs. the COVID rollout. 

To compare the polio vaccination efforts to the COVID-19 way, we must first look at polio’s mass vaccination history. How does the polio vaccine work, what happened during the vaccine rollout, and how does this relate to our modern times? These are the questions this blog will answer. 

What is the difference between the polio vaccine rollout vs. the COVID-19 vaccine rollout? Learn more about both of these vaccine rollouts in the following blog! Click To Tweet

How Does the Polio Vaccine Work?

Although we talk about the polio vaccine in a singular form, two polio vaccines are the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) and the Oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). Since 2000, the OPV vaccine has been discontinued in the United States to reduce the risk of vaccine-derived poliovirus

The inactivated poliovirus vaccine is given in four doses over a period of time depending on the age of the patient. This virus works by causing your body to create antibodies against the disease. Without the vaccine, one case of polio (for which there is no cure) can cause paralysis, which can cost a person the use of their legs, arms, or even lungs. 

Polio Vaccine Rollout History 

Because of how dangerous this disease was, the health department rolled out a vaccine program as quickly as possible. That was easier said than done. The time from when polio was identified to the time vaccination was created was 47 years. In 1955 the first polio vaccine was created by Dr. Jonas Salk. 

Polio at the Time 

At this time, polio was a huge concern for public health. The organization March of Dimes came up right after World War II as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. It was founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt who is a well-known polio survivor. At the time there was a lot of concern about this disease because it is so dangerous. This vaccine was a much-needed miracle at the time, so when it came out in 1955 there was no hesitation. 

The Cutter Incident

In 1955, there was a mistake at Cutter Laboratories in California in which the live poliovirus was put in vaccines and distributed. According to the CDC, over 250 cases of polio were attributed to these vaccines. This incident went a long way in forming our current vaccine manufacturing system. Because of this tragedy, the government improved the manufacturing process and increased its oversight.

COVID-19 Vaccine vs. the Polio Vaccine

While there are some parallels to the polio vaccine, there are some key differences. When the 1955 polio vaccine came out, it was the only vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine has 3 versions available in the United States alone.  

Another difference is how fact the vaccines were rolled out. Because the researchers who made the vaccine already had some groundwork with other SARS vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine was completed pretty quickly. The polio vaccine took years to develop due to the technology of the time and having to start from scratch. 

Get Vaccinated Today

Although there are some similarities between the polio vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine, there are some differences. The COVID-19 vaccine has more versions available and was developed much quicker than the polio vaccine. 

Contact us for more information on the COVID-19 vaccine!