Canada’s Key Position in Making a As soon as Awaited Vaccine


Connaught, nonetheless, had provide you with an artificial, liquid development combination, often called Medium 199, for most cancers cell analysis that produced extra virus, extra shortly and with out contamination. It was supplied to Dr. Salk for his polio efforts.

Credit score…Sanofi Pasteur Canada Archives

It was Dr. Farrell, one among a really small variety of ladies then working as analysis chemists in Canada, who found out learn how to safely produce huge portions of virus in Medium 199. Adapting earlier work, she developed what got here to be often called the Toronto Technique. Racks of specifically designed machines gently rocked bottles of Technique 199 and the virus.

Her subsequent job was to get sufficient machines constructed and to rent sufficient certified workers to make not solely sufficient virus for the checks in the US, Canada and Finland, but in addition to create sufficient vaccine to inoculate all of Canada’s kids. In a bid to speed up vaccination, the Canadian authorities gambled and positioned an order with Connaught earlier than figuring out if the Salk vaccine would show secure and efficient in checks.

It did, with the consequence made public on April 12, 1955, the day earlier than Dr. Farrell’s birthday. “I couldn’t assist feeling that I had acquired a reasonably high-quality current,” she mentioned in a speech that fall.

Variations of the Toronto Technique had been used till the 1970s to make polio vaccines, Dr. Rutty instructed me. Apparently, at Dr. Farrell’s request, Connaught determined to not patent the method.

Dr. Rutty, who’s the skilled relating to Canada’s function in polio analysis and who serves because the historian for Connaught’s successor firm, Sanofi Pasteur Canada, mentioned that frustratingly little is understood about Dr. Farrell’s private life. She by no means married, as was the case with many different ladies in Canadian medical analysis, nor had kids.


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