Vaccines and Immunizations: Epidemics, Prevention, and Canadian Innovation

This exhibit uses case studies of diseases that saw significant decreases in the twentieth century because of immunization – smallpox, diphtheria, polio, and whooping cough – to identify the cost of epidemics to society and explore the search for adequate treatment and preventative measures, such as vaccines.The goal of this exhibition is to show viewers that immunization is a critical tool in disease prevention and that the benefits of vaccination are significant on both personal and societal levels.Particular emphasis is put on the history of polio in Canada, and especially on bulbar polio, the use of the iron lung as a treatment, and the ongoing consequences of the disease as seen through post-polio syndrome.

Read Pamela Peacock's blog post for more on this exhibit.

Exhibit produced by: Pamela Peacock, Ph.D., Project Manager
Guest Curator/Consultant: Christopher J. Rutty, Ph.D., Health Heritage Research Services
Design Production: iQ inc and Jenny Stepa
With Support from the Staff of the Museum of Health Care: Kathy Karkut, Diana Gore, and Dr. Jim Low

This project was generously funded in part by:


and the Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives.

The renovation of the gallery housing this exhibition was funded in part by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario through the Community Infrastructure Investment Fund