Cleveland Clinic nurse practitioner who just received COVID-19 vaccine reflects back on getting the polio vaccine as a child

Cleveland Clinic nurse who just received COVID vaccine reflects back on getting the polio vaccine

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Senior citizens are first up for the coronavirus vaccine, following healthcare workers. Those same people were also first in line for the polio vaccine as children more than half a century ago.

Ann Farah, 64, was just five years old when she got the polio vaccine.

“I just remember our parents just taking us it must’ve been in the car to a school,” Farah recalled. “Now there were two different schools we went to because it was the two different times, the two sugar cubes, both of them in Cleveland.”

When Farah got the polio vaccine, it was given to kids in a sugar cube.

“I remember being very excited, and my little brother was along, and it was really kind of hyped-up like this is really wonderful,” she said. “It’s really cool if you’re a kid and you’re getting a sugar cube you really don’t realize the whole implications of what’s in it and how just life-changing it is. I know of essentially nobody who’s had polio.”

Fast forward nearly 60 years, and Farah, a nurse practitioner at Fairview Cleveland Clinic is now getting her COVID-19 vaccine.

“My parents were older, and so they knew the disease, and they knew it was really important to protect us and to protect other members of the community and compared to today where we have the social media, we have the internet where misinformation can come by, that’s the issue,” said Farah.

Farah says she feels grateful to have this historic opportunity twice.

“It’s just really exciting,” she said. “It does give me chills to think about it and how very fortunate I am, and my colleagues are to have this, and I have others my own age, my husbands the same age and he remembers getting the sugar cube and he can’t wait to get the COVID vaccine, so it’s just really wonderful.”

Farah hopes those on the fence about getting the COVID-19 vaccine will listen to the science and get vaccinated so they can protect themselves and everyone around them.

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