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Polio Pioneer Now Volunteers at COVID Vaccination Clinics to Give Back


Alfred Cleaves grew up during the polio pandemic of the late 40s and early 50s.

“We used to travel from our home in Providence, Rhode Island up to Maine during the summers. We would avoid Boston and any other large cities just so we would be safe,” he says.

As a young child, he was among the first to receive the new Salk vaccine to prevent polio. 

Now, age 74, Cleves is a frequent United Way volunteer at the COVID-19 mass vaccination site run by Thurston County Public Health and Social Services at South Puget Sound Community College. He says it’s his way of giving back.