Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: January 8-14

January 8, 1958

“NEW YORK—I came home from Warm Springs, Ga., and the 20th anniversary celebration of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis with a feeling of great hope. I was delighted that the foundation looks upon its present achievements not as an ending, but as a beginning, and my hope is that it will succeed as well in the next 20 years as it has in the first.

I remember well the beginning of the foundation, and sometimes it seems just a short time ago. So much has been accomplished in 20 years. Through an appeal that reached the hearts of fathers and mothers, the people of the United States, through the March of Dimes, have made it possible for the foundation to finance research and to give scholarships—7,000 of them—to young promising students so they could train for their specialty in science and care for polio patients.

It was through one of these scholarships that Dr. Jonas Salk became a virologist, so it seemed especially fitting that he should be the one finally to give us the vaccine that has practically removed the fear of crippling paralysis.

No vaccine is, of course, 100 percent effective. Some individuals will not react to the Salk vaccine, but by and large the drop in crippling paralysis since children have been vaccinated with it has proved the vaccine almost 99 percent effective.”

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