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Big Island polio survivor stresses the importance of vaccines

robert camara polio big island 1955
Star-Bulletin Archives
Robert Camara, 4, was confined to his bed with paralytic polio at Hilo Memorial Hospital in 1955.

Following The Conversation's interview with polio survivor Leigh Wai Doo, a listener from Hāmākua reached out to share his experience.

Robert "Bobby" Camara, 71, contracted polio at age 4 before the vaccine was available in Hawaiʻi. He was one of several children from the Big Island who contracted polio and became paralyzed. Camara said during the pandemic he felt compelled to tell people why they should consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Sept. 9, 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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