We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

“Sixty-four years ago, residents of this tiny town in southwestern Kansas set a public health example by making it the first in the nation to be fully inoculated against polio … Protection’s Polio Protection Day took place on April 2, 1957. Families, many dressed in their Sunday best, lined up in the high school gym to get shots from nurses dressed in starched white uniforms. That event, sponsored by what was then known as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now the March of Dimes), received widespread media coverage.” The success and leadership back then makes Protection an interesting place to revisit during the rollout of another vital vaccine. Times have changed. NPR: In Tiny Kansas Town, Pandemic Skeptics Abound Amid False Information And Politics. “‘A lot of people still believe it [COVID-19] is made up and that it’s not as bad as the media is saying,’ says Steve Herd, a 72-year-old farmer who was in the third grade on the day that virtually every resident of Protection under age 40 got a polio shot.Today, some in the town of about 400 people insist that the federal government ‘invented’ the coronavirus so that it could force people to take a vaccine containing a microchip that could track their movements … In 1957, Herd says, ‘We didn’t have people who believed such crazy stuff.'”

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