Calls for a travel ban, hostility to visitors moving between counties, school closures, an All Ireland Final in jeopardy. It’s not 2020 or 2021… it’s the story of the Polio epidemic in Cork in 1956.
Thankfully the mid-50s polio epidemic ended with a rapidly distributed vaccine - so maybe there’s an omen there - but it wasn’t easy to get everyone to take it. On a global level, it took celebrities like Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show to get the public behind vaccination. But the story of the Polio vaccine - involving Pfizer none the less - is one of the great success stories of the 1950s.
Gavan Reilly is joined by Donal Fallon for another episode of Hidden Histories.