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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Vaccines and Patriotism


Sarah Mervosh and Amy Harmon at NYT:
When a polio vaccine became available in the United States in the 1950s, the March of Dimes, an organization that had been affiliated with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, made a major advertising push, with posters featuring young children who were most at risk of being infected, recalled René Najera, editor of the History of Vaccines project at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. To boost public interest in the vaccine, Elvis Presley got vaccinated backstage at “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

“It was seen as a patriotic thing,” Dr. Najera said.

Today, the government has planned public education efforts, but the issue has remained fragmented and divisive.