During the summer of 1946, at the age of 6, my father contracted polio. While he never ended up in an iron lung, he was hospitalized and was totally paralyzed for several weeks. He was very fortunate and the feeling slowly began to return to his limbs. Over the next six months he had to re-learn how to walk and use his muscles. The therapy was successful and he was able to return to school. The only long term impact of the illness was that one of his thumbs still has a limited range of motion. Nine years after my father contracted polio, Jonas Salk and his team developed the first vaccine, offering the world a means to eliminate the illness.
In Peru, January 23, 1966 was identified as the day for a mass immunization, but this time on a national basis. Once again, our local bottling partner was part of the team to distribute the vaccine around the country as over 2,900,000 vaccines were given to kids between the ages of 2 months to 7 years old.
These are just a few of the stories about the role
Ted Ryan is Director of Communications, Archives Department at The
For more details on Coke’s involvement with Polio Awareness Month and even more history, check out our Heritage blog Coca-Cola Conversations.
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