Jonas Salk became a national hero
Jonas Salk’s development of a polio vaccine was innovative because it was the first time that a killed-virus vaccine was used to prevent a crippling disease. Salk’s vaccine changed the world by decreasing the number of polio cases, decreasing the fear parents had for their children, and increasing the health of the nation and the world.

Jonas Salk’s vaccine was one of the first major health discoveries of the 1950’s and 1960’s that led to a generation where a healthy childhood was expected.  He and his team of researches moved the United States to the forefront of medicine.  This was especially important during the Cold War.

Jonas Salk left a life long impact with his founding of the Salk Institute. The Institute continued research not only on polio but later into cancer and AIDS.