Racine man remembers nearly dying from polio in 1951. Now, he couldn’t wait to get a COVID vaccine – Journal Times

Larry Bannister, a retiree now living in Racine, leaves Festival Hall on Friday after receiving his second COVID-19 vaccine dose. Bannister made use of a wheelchair, which he said he uses when he knows he’ll be moving extensively due to the long-term effects from polio, which Bannister survived as a boy.

As a youngster, Larry Bannister was one of about 28,000 Americans who contracted polio in 1951.

Like about 95% of children at the time who caught fell ill with the poliovirus, Bannister survived; the fatality rate for adults was about five times higher.

Bannister’s body still carries the effects of fighting the virus. He usually walks with crutches. If he goes shopping or knows he needs to be more mobile, he uses a wheelchair.

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