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Penn Anti-Vax Club Working to Single-Handedly Bring Back Polio


Photo by Hughes Ransom 

Who are we to fight against Mother Nature?” says College senior Sam Parker, president of the Penn Anti-Vax Club. 

In the coming months, Parker has made it the club’s goal to bring back Polio, a virus that has been eradicated in the U.S. through vaccination. With his graduation date on the horizon, Parker says it is now or never. “I need to leave my mark on this campus—what better way than through a deadly infectious disease? Let's #bringbackpolio2018—get it trending.” 

With flu season underway, the club has a lot on its plate. “After seeing all those innocent people lined up like cattle in Houston Hall, we had to put Polio on the back burner,” said Marie Carlson (W ‘20), another club member. 

Carlson then explained how she kept students and faculty from getting the flu shot. “I stood outside the vaccination room all day. Whenever someone came to get the shot, I would writhe on the floor and scream ‘They did this to me! They did this to me!’” she said. “It was over 98% effective.” Carlson was later removed by security. 

Despite this, Polio remains the club’s focus. “It’s kind of like Throwback Thursday,” said Parker, “But instead of throwing it back with a picture on Instagram, we’re throwing it back with a degenerative disease made obsolete by modern medicine.” 

When we asked club members if they would want to contract Polio, the general consensus was a resounding no. “Me personally, I am not interested in getting Polio,” said club treasurer Mario Simpson (C ‘21). “I don’t think I would enjoy paralysis.” 

All that aside, the Penn Anti-Vaxxers press on with their mission. “We’ve grown weak. Fighting off life-threatening viruses builds character,” said Parker. “If FDR can handle it, so can you.”