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66 years ago, the world celebrated as the polio vaccine developed by the University of Pittsburgh virus lab led by Dr. Jonas Salk and his team was declared “safe and effective.” Today, vaccines are once again playing a heroic role in combating another deadly infectious disease. For “Chasing COVID”, the University of Pittsburgh was able to give viewers an inside look at Pitt’s Center for Vaccine research led by Dr. Jonas Salk and Professor Dr. Paul Duprex, who has worked with his team as well as labs around the world to unlock the secrets of coronavirus. Paul and his team were recently on “60 Minutes” talking about their groundbreaking work on coronavirus.
Following this special virtual screening will be a conversation between Dr. Paul Duprex, his colleague Dr. Anita McElroy, Dr. Sylvia Owusu-Ansah, myself, and Dr. Peter Salk, President of the Jonas Salk Legacy Foundation.
This premiere is free and open to the public.
The program was designed to be used by schools and communities to help teach about virology and vaccines, but also to show that when dealing with a novel virus, science and creativity must combine with teamwork to defeat a common enemy. After the screening, the film will be made available for free to schools and community groups.
In addition, the “Take A Shot At Changing The World” viral video contest for middle school and high school students will be announced. The goal of this contest is for students to make their own short videos about vaccines with the hope that good information about science can “go viral.”