- Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (1987 book). Though we usually think of polio as affecting children, in this title the wife of Stegner’s narrator—a writer and literature professor—contracts polio while camping near a contaminated lake, and the couple learns to adapt.
- “The Polio Crusade” installment of American Experience on PBS (June 2021). Based in part on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Polio: An American Story by David Oshinsky, this one-hour documentary features interviews with historians, scientists, polio survivors, and the only surviving scientist from the core research team that developed the Salk vaccine.
- “No Exit,” The West Wing season 5, episode 20 (2004). Upon returning from the White House Correspondents’ dinner, staffers find themselves locked down in the West Wing and facing the threat of airborne contagion. This episode is a great look at how we respond to airborne viruses and use the vaccine and other tools to combat them.
- Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All by Paul Offit (2010). Offit is a pediatrician and outspoken advocate for childhood vaccines. Here he explores how preventable childhood illnesses like measles and whooping cough have cropped up amid the anti-vaccine movement that predates COVID-19.
Have you talked with your friends, family, or colleagues about vaccinations? How has that gone? What’s worked, and what’s been challenging?