PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The work of Dr. Jonas Salk at the University of Pittsburgh made world news with the development of the Salk Vaccine.
Now, more than 50 years later, his son is using a new tool in the fight against polio.
“People here can make videos and people in Nigeria can see and the world really connects,” Dr. Peter Salk said.
Dr. Jonas Salk led the team that found the polio vaccine back in 1955.
“In 1952, I think there were some 57,000 cases of paralytic polio right before the vaccine came out in 1955. So, my father was totally preoccupied with the need and the desire to do something that would bring that under control,” Dr. Peter Salk said.
On Tuesday, Dr. Salk was on “Pittsburgh Today Live” to talk about the “Take A Shot At Changing The World” video contest.
It challenged students around western Pennsylvania to make videos that connect the development of the Salk Vaccine.
With the current efforts by Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, their goal is to finish the job and rid the planet of polio forever.
“My daughter knows how to make videos better than I do. So, we said, ‘Let’s let the kids make the videos and really inspire them.’ And frankly, these kids have done — it’s the opposite — these kids have inspired us. They have gotten together and made the funniest, most creative, most moving videos,” Carl Kurlander from Steeltown Entertainment said.
A shot certainly gets a student’s attention and so does the $5,000 first prize. That is what will ultimately be given out by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the school that produces the winning creation.
The winner of the contest will be announced on April 12, which is the 56th anniversary of the Salk Vaccine being declared “safe and effective.”