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Parents and children lined up for the Sabin polio vaccine at Cincinnati Children's on Sunday, April 24, 1960.

Parents and children lined up for the Sabin polio vaccine at Cincinnati Children's on Sunday, April 24, 1960.

Albert Sabin, MD, administering his vaccine.

Albert Sabin, MD.

Albert Sabin postage stamp
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Publish Date: 04/08/10
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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UC, Cincinnati Children's to Host 50th Anniversary Celebration of Sabin Sundays

CINCINNATI—The University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will team up to remember and celebrate the 50th anniversary of "Sabin Sunday” (April 24, 1960), the first day of a campaign to vaccinate children in Cincinnati and Hamilton County using the world’s first oral, live-virus polio vaccine.

Albert Sabin, MD, developed the vaccine while on faculty at the UC College of Medicine and a member of the research staff at Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation. 

The vaccine had been tested in other countries but had no widespread use in the United States before this trial. Within a short time 180,000 local children were vaccinated, and the free distribution of vaccine–which has come to be known as Sabin Sundays–led to the vaccine being licensed in the U.S. and distributed nationwide. It has since been credited with eradicating polio from most of the world.

A series of distinguished speakers, including Phillip Russell from the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington, D.C., and Mark Dine, MD, a pediatrician who administered the vaccine in April 1960, will be on hand to honor Sabin’s work and this key date in history. Other guests will reflect on Sabin’s pioneering research and its impact locally and globally, while also highlighting current vaccine research.

The celebration will begin at 2 p.m. Friday, April 23, in the dining area of the CARE/Crawley Building, at the corner of Albert Sabin Way and Eden Avenue on UC’s medical campus.

Sabin’s widow, Heloisa Sabin, will be on hand to celebrate the anniversary with faculty and staff from UC and Cincinnati Children’s. Event-goers will be treated to a light reception and a display of historical artifacts from the era, including an early iron lung used to treat polio patients.

For more information or to RSVP to this event, call (513) 558-4553 or e-mail 

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