Doctor among first to get polio vaccine wants to be among first for COVID-19 shot
A local doctor who was among the first people to get the polio vaccine now wants to be one of the first to get a vaccine for COVID-19.
Larry Mollick received the polio vaccine when he was just 6 years old. He also helped unload the first shipment in New York City.
“I can remember that day like it was yesterday,” Mollick says.
He says that he remembers the fear. The polio virus spread from person to person and could cause young children to become paralyzed.
Mollick says that he remembers meeting a young girl who had the illness. He says that he also remembers the magnitude of that moment because of all the flashing lights from the news media at LaGuardia Airport.
“I can visualize the flashing. There must’ve been 50 reporters there on the tarmac and all that flashing going in my eyes,” Mollick says.
Now at age 72, Mollick says that he is hoping that the U.S. is at a turning point in the fight against coronavirus. It forced him to retire a few years early. Mollick is an ear, nose and throat doctor.
“So, in my specialty, this time of year we see all types of respiratory illnesses, coughs and bronchitis and sinusitis and flu – flu like crazy,” he says.
While the COVID-19 risk was high, he says that he was not worried about any potential vaccine dangers. He says that he may even go back to work part-time if the shots become available.
“Being a physician when I started out, people trusted us more than they do now for whatever reason in this political environment,” Mollick says.
In the 1950s, vaccine science had its flaws. The infamous Cutter incident - where tainted polio vaccines caused dozens of children to become paralyzed from it. Though it was isolated in another part of the country, it led to a better system to regulate vaccines.