Priory girls, teachers donate to vaccinate 655 in countries still affected by polio virus | Schools
St. Andrew's Priory girls and their teachers were able to save 655 lives on Monday, April 16.
That was the day they donated $655 to vaccinate children against polio in the four countries where the virus still flourishes.
Each student's minimum donation of $1 was enough to pay for one vaccine, according to Nancy Pace, M.D., president of the Rotary Club of Honolulu. Pace and Rotary Club members were on hand to collect donations.
After their donations, the girls had their pinkie fingers painted purple with a gentian violet dye. The purple pinkie was symbolic of the method used by Rotary International in polio-afflicted Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and India to make sure that children do not get double dosages of the vaccine.
A dreaded endemic disease in the first half of the 20th century, the threat to the U.S. diminished and disappeared after the Salk Vaccine was introduced in the mid-1950s.
Rotary International began raising to money to eliminate polio in 1985. Partnering with the World Health Organization and other government and private groups Rotary has been able to reduce polio worldwide by 99 percent.