From Central Park Historical Society Encyclopedia
From NEWSDAY January 2, 2021
Barbara Kitay informed all what it was like in 1954 when the students of Powell Avenue School were the "Polio Pioneers" to receive the first vaccination against the dreaded Polio. Polio attacked young people, and if it did not take their young life - it left them paralyzed and every parent feared this for their child. The vaccination program was organized at the school, and with parents permission almost every child received the vaccination. However, only half of the students got the Jonas Salk vaccine and the other group got a placebo. There were no government grants available to fund this endeavor, rather, money was raised by door to door fundraising and events mostly sponsored by mothers. Barbara states she does not recall, as a child, a fear of polio as adults had - remember in 1954 there was not all the media attention that we have today.
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