Letter: If we were in a polio epidemic, would Stuart Adams be calling for more iron lungs?

Iron lung at Salt Lake City hospital in 1942.

As both a “polio pioneer” — i.e. the first group to get the original and experimental Salk polio vaccine — as well as a bulbar polio survivor, I can only shake my head at the total selfishness and/or ignorance of the “anti-vaxxers.”

Yes, although I was one of the 422,000 “polio pioneers” who got the “real thing” in 1954, I did come down with bulbar polio in 1956. I got through the critical period and only had to be hospitalized for three days. Aside from physical therapy to strengthen my left side, I fully recovered. Doctors said that had the vaccine been perfected, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the disease at all. Nevertheless, they said, had I not received the vaccine, the effects would have been much worse — like iron lung worse.

Ten years after contracting polio I won the silver (2nd place) medal for the 100 yard freestyle in the statewide swimming final. I’m now 74 years old, play golf 4-5 times a week and have no ongoing physical problems related to polio thanks to the vaccine.

I seriously doubt that many of the “anti” crowd have any concept of, not only the polio epidemic, but other diseases that have been eradicated due to the strides made by medical professionals. My thanks to them.

On a related note, reading Senate President Stuart Adams’ comment regarding Regeneron, and I quote, “There’s plenty of the drug available. Why aren’t we hearing about this? We need to stand up a process to facilitate these treatments. The state should be using this treatment more than we are,” one can surmise that he is more concerned with treating COVID rather than preventing or spreading it. Using that analogy, during the polio epidemic his solution would be to invest in more iron lungs rather than vaccines.

Scott Dangerfield, Magna

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