Canada’s Key Role in Creating a Once Awaited Vaccine


It was Dr. Farrell, one of a very small number of women then working as research chemists in Canada, who figured out how to safely produce vast quantities of virus in Medium 199. Adapting earlier work, she developed what came to be known as the Toronto Method. Racks of specially designed machines gently rocked bottles of Method 199 and the virus.

Her next task was to get enough machines built and to hire enough qualified staff to make not only enough virus for the tests in the United States, Canada and Finland, but also to create enough vaccine to inoculate all of Canada's children. In a bid to accelerate vaccination, the Canadian government gambled and placed an order with Connaught before knowing if the Salk vaccine would prove safe and effective in tests.

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