Sylvia Hoișie, Romanian vaccine inventor, Holocaust survivor, dead at 94

Sylvia Hoișie

Sylvia Hoișie,  a Romanian doctor who survived the Holocaust and went on to invent the Polidin vaccine which is credited with saving thousands of lives in her country has died. She was 94.

“With deep sorrow, the Jewish Community of Iasi announces the passing into eternity of Dr. Sylvia Hoisie. She was a person of great sensitivity, a true professional, one of a team that invented the Polidin which saved many lives. Before that, she survived the hell in Trans-Dniester, fighting hunger and misery,“ the Iasi Jewish Community said on Wednesday.

Known as the ‘Mother of Polidin’ Dr Hoisie was one of a team that created the vaccine that revolutionized the Romanian medical world.

The vaccine took six years to create, she said in an interview last year when Romania was rolling out its anti-Covid vaccine campaign.

It was licensed by the Cantacuzino Institute in 1966 and used up until 2012.

“Polidin  helped increase the body’s resistance. We recommended Polidin, as well as other treatment in schools. When the flu season started in the autumn, children had Polidin jabs with very good results “, she told ProTV.

She was one of thousands of Jews and Roma deported during World War II to Trans-Dniester, today a separatist region in Moldova. Thousands died there from hunger, disease and cold.

After the war ended, she began studying medicine and began working at the Cantacuzino Institute in 1952.

Asked about the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, she said. “It doesn’t appear to be a virus created in the laboratory. It might be a mutation of a virus that appeared in the bat and transmitted by it to another animal. The Spanish flu was caused by an avian virus, transmitted to humans. At that time there were no modern laboratories were it could have been created.”

She will be  buried on Friday, May 27, in the Jewish Cemetery in Iaşi. There was no word on survivors.

Aurel Vainer, last Romanian Jewish leader to survive the Holocaust, dies at 89



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