Vaccinology and the Heritage of Jonas Salk

Jonas Salk, American medical researcher and virologist best known for inventing the first polio vaccine, proposed the term of "vaccinology" in 1977 to refer to "the study and application of the basic requirements for effective immunization."

A few years later, in 1984, he developed the concept of "applied vaccinology" as "the application of basic knowledge and practical solutions to the development of effective vaccination programs suitable for particular population groups."

Salk conceived of vaccinology as a single field of science, bringing together the biomedical, socio-economic, and cultural considerations underlying vaccine development and provision. In this sense, vaccinology requires not only an understanding of the immune system, but also the application of basic knowledge to develop immunization programs adapted to the specific social, political, and environmental context.