Anniversary Celebration Coincides with Contest to Choose Ohio National Statuary Hall Representative

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of “Sabin Sunday,” Major General (Ret.) Philip Russell, Sabin Vaccine Institute Founding President and current Trustee; and Heloisa Sabin, Sabin Honorary Trustee and widow of the late Dr. Albert B. Sabin, will participate in a ceremony at 2 p.m. today on the University of Cincinnati (UC) Medical Campus.

Sabin Sunday—first held on April 24, 1960—was a campaign to vaccinate Cincinnati-area children with the world’s first oral live-virus polio vaccine. The successful campaign led to the oral live-virus polio vaccine’s licensure and distribution in the United States, and the eradication of polio from the Americas and most of the world. Dr. Sabin developed the vaccine as a faculty member at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a member of the research staff at Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sabin Sunday with my colleagues and friends from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and the Sabin Vaccine Institute,” said Heloisa Sabin. “Albert dedicated his entire professional career to developing the oral polio vaccine and we’ve made incredible progress in globally eradicating polio since the first Sabin Sunday was held in 1960.”

While the Cincinnati community celebrates the 50th anniversary of Sabin Sunday and the city’s distinguished ties to Dr. Sabin and global polio eradication efforts, all of Ohio is currently engaged in a contest that would allow the legacy of Dr. Sabin to be commemorated on a national stage—with a statue in the National Statutory Hall in the United States Capitol.

Dr. Sabin is one of ten finalists, chosen by the Ohio National Statutory Collection Study Committee, in a “Who Should Stand for Ohio?” competition to choose a replacement for one of Ohio’s statues in the National Statuary Hall.

Ohio residents have been asked to cast a vote for Ohio’s representative at one of 36 polling stations set-up around the state or by casting a ballot online. The contest runs until June 12, 2010 and the final selection will be announced in July 2010.

“The legacy of Ohio would be well represented by Dr. Sabin who is a remarkable example of a true hero in the fields of science and public health,” said Maj. Gen. Russell. “Dr. Sabin’s legacy is heavily rooted in Ohio, but the oral live-virus polio vaccine that he developed at the University of Cincinnati has touched the lives of millions across the globe. His story is an inspiration to Ohioans, Americans, and global citizens alike.”

Dr. Sabin’s legacy will soon be easily accessible to individuals around the world online. The University of Cincinnati has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize a large portion of Dr. Sabin’s archives.
Over 50,000 pages of Dr. Sabin’s correspondences and related documents, and 1,000 photographs, will be digitized and freely available on the web once the project, slated to begin in July, is completed.

About Sabin Vaccine Institute:
Sabin Vaccine Institute is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization dedicated to reducing human suffering from infectious and neglected diseases. Through its efforts in vaccine research, development and advocacy, Sabin works to provide greater access to vaccines and essential medicines for millions stuck in pain, poverty and despair. Founded in 1993 in honor of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, discoverer of the oral polio vaccine, the Sabin Vaccine Institute works with prestigious institutions, scientists, medical professionals, and organizations to provide short and long-term solutions that result in healthier individuals, families and communities around the globe. For more information about Sabin’s research and commitment, visit: www.sabin.org.

Media Contact