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John Henry Felix recalls the efforts to eradicate polio

Dr. Jonas Salk polio vaccine
Dr. Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine, is shown in his lab in Pittsburgh, Pa., Oct. 7, 1954. (AP Photo)

The polio vaccine helped to eradicate the crippling disease in the U.S. some 30 years ago. Dr. Jonas Salk’s announcement of the vaccine came as the best defense against the disease that paralyzed both babies and adults.

Honolulu businessman and philanthropist John Henry Felix, 92, knew Salk and was intimately involved in the history of the Salk Institute in San Diego. He served on the boards of the institute and the March of Dimes.

Felix remembers going door-to-door with his mother who was a passionate supporter of the March of Dimes effort to prevent the spread of polio. Felix talked to The Conversation about that period of history in the fight against polio. He says it's imperative that we stay vigilant.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Aug. 31, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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