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Save Millions of Chinese Children! Salute to Dr. “OPV” (Oral Poliovirus Vaccine)!

It is normal to see that almost every Chinese kid vaccinates after birth nowadays. As per school’s requests, international students in the U.S. purchase student health insurance (aka 留学生保险) to get required doses. Some purchase OPT insurance (aka opt保险) or H1B insurance (aka h1b保险) after graduation. However, insurance and vaccine were completely unfamiliar for Chinese in the last century.

In the 1950s, the medical level in the newborn China after the depletion of the warfare lagged behind. Poliomyelitis (polio) was the nightmare. Death was the only consequence that awaited tens of thousands of Chinese children who were infected. Gu Fangzhou – an unfamiliar name for today’s Chinese – pursued only one thing throughout his life, that is, in the fight against polio. In 1960, he successfully developed the first anti-polio vaccine in China. Since then millions of Chinese children have been saved from death.

Born in poverty, Gu Fangzhou was matriculated at the Department of Medicine in Peking University with excellent grades in 1944. In 1951, he was dispatched to study at the Medicine Academy of Science in the Soviet Union. Four years later, Gu obtained the Candidate of Sciences (Vice Doctorate) and returned back to China and devoted to medicine research. Dr. Gu recalled that he was oftentimes too starving to hold a test tube in the experiments under arduous conditions.

Efforts were ultimately paid through the painstaking research. Dr. Gu and his team developed the anti-polio vaccine. In order to determine the success of the vaccine, at the risk of paralysis, Dr. Gu drank a small bottle of vaccine solution. His dauntless behavior embodied the merits of purity, dedication and selflessness of Chinese scientists in his age. Fortunately, his vital signs were stable without any abnormalities after a week. He then made a crazier decision: gave his one-month-old son a vaccine! Gu’s selfless spirit inspired his colleagues to have their children vaccinated as trial samples. They were all blessed. Nobody showed any physical abnormalities in the treatment, demonstrating the success of the vaccine.

In December 1960, the first batch of five million doses of liquid anti-polio vaccine were successfully produced, foreshadowing the “Gospel” of children who were infected polio and their families. Two years later, the solid, sugary OPV was generated by Dr. Gu. OPV extended the storage life of the liquid vaccine to be cryopreserved up to two months so that children in the remote villages had opportunities to have vaccine.

With the constant improvement in the medical industry — no matter in China or in the United States — the consciousness of purchasing health insurance (aka 美国医疗保险) for vaccination considerably grows. Some visitors are even willing to buy travel insurance (aka 美国旅游保险) during their short trips in America. Nevertheless, some suppliers’ endless venalities for profits drive them to produce fake vaccines and deceive consumers to purchase fraud health insurance in America (aka 美国医保). We invoke the U.S. government to issue related laws and policies to protect international students’ rights.

Salute to Dr. Gu! We will never ever forget the sugary OPV!