Benjamin Franklin was full of pithy quotes, often about using time well or finding success. “Early to bed, early to rise….” But perhaps his most important quote, and certainly the most personally touching, involves a very different subject: vaccines.
Usually, we here at The Immunization Partnership use this space to give our views and report helpful information about vaccines. This time, we’re handing our space over to some great thinkers, writers and contributors to the common good. Here, then, are 10 great quotes about vaccination from voices long ago and today:
1. “In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.” — Benjamin Franklin
2. “Vaccines are the tugboats of preventive health.” — William Foege, epidemiologist credited with the helping design the vaccine strategy to eliminate smallpox during the 1970s.
3. “Vaccines save lives; fear endangers them. It's a simple message parents need to keep hearing.” — journalist Jeffrey Kluger, author of Splended Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio
4. “Everybody who's a physician, who makes vaccines, who wants to find the cure for cancer. Everybody who wants to do any medical good for humankind got the passion for that before he or she was 10.” — Bill Nye the Science Guy
5. “Humans have always used our intelligence and creativity to improve our existence. After all, we invented the wheel, discovered how to make fire, invented the printing press and found a vaccine for polio.” — Naveen Jain, entrepreneur and philanthropist
6. “I don't think there is any philosophy that suggests having polio is a good thing.” — Bill Gates
7. “I'm old enough to remember when the polio vaccine was still new. Also, it hadn't been that long since most people who caught pneumonia died from it. These medical breakthroughs were practically miracles.” — Pat Cadigan, science fiction author
8. “The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.” — Jonas Salk, creator of the inactivated polio vaccine
9. “The return on investment in global health is tremendous, and the biggest bang for the buck comes from vaccines. Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective health investments in history.” — Seth Berkley, CEO of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance
10. “Imagine the action of a vaccine not just in terms of how it affects a single body, but also in terms of how it affects the collective body of a community.” — Eula Biss, author of On Immunity
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