April 13, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health Vaccination
Sacramento – As Sunday marked the 60th anniversary of Dr. Jonas Salk’s creation of a vaccine for polio, California Medical Association (CMA) President Luther Cobb, M.D., issued the following statement:
“None of us practicing medicine today are old enough to have lived through the first major U.S. polio epidemic, which occurred in 1894, or the first large-scale outbreak in 1916, which resulted in 6,000 deaths.
Those trends unfortunately continued, and into the 1940s and 1950s, polio was crippling over 30,000 people across the nation per year.
“Thankfully, a medical breakthrough found the light of day 60 years ago. Today, the polio epidemics that our parents and grandparents so feared are but a distant memory.
“As a state and as a nation, we simply cannot allow preventable diseases to claim the lives and the health of our children once again. The scientific advancements in public health over the last sixty years is are tribute to how far we’ve come.
“Senators Dr. Richard Pan and Ben Allen have taken the spirit of Dr. Salk’s vision in their authorship of SB 277. The bill will reduce the number of personal belief exemptions and help ensure preventable diseases stay out of our schools and our communities.”