TAMPA, Fla. — Who’s that on Google’s homepage? If you’ve spent any time searching online today, you may have seen a special Google Doodle dedicated to Dr. Rudolf Weigl. Google is celebrating the good doctor today on what would have been his 138th birthday.
He’s the Jewish biologist, physician and inventor known for creating the first vaccine found to be effective against typhus, a disease that’s caused millions of deaths worldwide.
The condition regularly plagued soldiers, so Dr. Weigl’s discovery is credited with saving millions of lives during World War II. He also rescued fellow Jews from the Holocaust, by giving them shelter in Poland.
Effective vaccines were still a new form of medicine at the time. The decades of research since then has helped modern medical professionals quickly develop new treatments. The best example of that today is the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson all developed vaccines against the coronavirus and got emergency authorization to distribute them in less than a year.