by Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco

I was in 1st grade when the polio vaccine first became available.MBKP 2

My mom, who was a polio survivor, was so scared that my sister and I would come down with polio. As soon as the vaccine became available, my mother allowed me to walk a mile and a half through our village from my parochial school to the public school where the polio shots were being given.

The 8th grade girls walked us up to the public school. The line of children stretched as far as I could see!!

MBKP 1Once I got my polio shot, my mother allowed me to go swimming in the river for the first time!

My baby sister got her polio shot at the child health station.

My mother often recalls that was one of her happiest summers! Her happiness at our getting immunized is the value of vaccination to me.