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Why didn't Jonas Salk patent the polio vaccine?

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A guest writer in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal repeated the oft quoted Jonas Salk statement about his Polio vaccine: “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun? read more

Jonas Salk gives the polio vaccine to a child as part of a field trial at a Pittsburgh elementary school. Photo courtesy FDA/University of Pittsburgh Also in Slate: Jonas Salk didn’t patent the polio vaccine, but Google Doodles—like today’s on Salk—are patented. read more

It is about the Salk vaccine for polio. In an interview with Edward R. Murrow, Salk famously remarked that he hadn’t obtained a patent on the vaccine because you couldn’t “patent the sun.” This was widely interpreted to show Salk’s generosity. read more

From the 1930's through the 1940's and into the 1950's vast research was done: Francis and Salk himself applyied extensive resources to influenza vaccination; Enders, Robbins and Weller did seminal work on the development of a polio vaccine; Sabin was working contemporaneously on his own polio vaccine. read more

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