Polio is an unfair comparison, Polio spreads with much more difficulty, and our species has had literal thousands, possibly tens of thousands of years to begin an evolved response to the virus, fast spreading viruses new to our species are a much more difficult prospect.Well Polio (I'm told by someone who used to work as a doctor) still spreads easily, easily enough that transmission elsewhere in the world wasn't eliminated until there was a vaccine.* Herd immunity has also been achieved to measles with another vaccine. Measles is also no longer endemic everywhere in the world and was considered a mild illness before there was a vaccine against it. Herd immunity to smallpox has also been achieved mostly through vaccination.
Certainly a higher vaccination uptake is needed to stop transmission of a faster spreading virus than one that spreads less easily but doesn't mean it can't be achieved. Let's wait and see what happens once there is near universal vaccination in many other countries. I do believe transmission among the fully vaccinated is rare.
I am not old enough to have been around, but I know for a near fact that when Salk and then Sabin produced a vaccine there was exactly zero people protesting their 'right' to not have the vaccine - quite the opposite, especially with Sabin's creation near everyone was queuing up for their little paddle pop stick of sugared liquid.Firstly, one of the Polio vaccines is oral while all the current COVID-19 vaccines are given by a needle and a needle-phobe will understand what difference that makes. Secondly, you seem to be noting that vaccination against polio has never been a political issue.
One of the most disappointing things about the Taliban controlling Afghanistan is that we may never see what was formerly the looming end of Polio arrive until they're gone.It is also still circulating in Pakistan.
*In fact polio spreads easily enough that swimming pools and movie theatres used to have to close during summer before a polio vaccine was found.
You need to do more reading - or at least take a closer look at what I wrote.
Polio DOES spread with much more difficulty than what aerosol/respiration viruses like COVID do. Polio is/was spread via ingestion of fecal coliform contaminated foods and drink, or via ingestion of an infected person's mucus.
What you speak of in terms of theatres and public pools being closed you need to understand that these almost exclusively occurred before it was understood what Polio was, and how it was spread. Polio used to be attributed to stray animals and imported fruits and foods. Today, yes, sure, the closing of public pools is absolutely rational at the height of the Polio peak, closing of cinemas, maybe not quite so.
If you missed your Australian issued Polio vaccination as a child and went to Afghanistan or Pakistan today and walked through their equivalent of a hardware store, even having MULTIPLE people infected with Polio walking around that same store ought cause you no concern, so long as you didn't ingest their poo or lick their snot.
That's not quite the same as COVID, where even if everyone was wearing a face mask, and you never directly sampled their bodily secretions, you would in fact be presumed to have the virus on exit of the store.
You should have noticed that I mentioned Salk and Sabin, that I named them might tell you I know a thing or two about them... Today, the Polio vaccination of choice is Sabin's oral vaccine, you might also have noticed that I mentioned the paddle pop stick of sugared liquid... BUT, again, the 'heavy lifting' toward the low risk of Polio experienced by us today came initially from Salk, which was very much in a needle...
The USA went from over 35 Polio cases per 100,000 in 1952 to 0.47 Polio cases per 100,000 in 1962 ahead of the introduction of Sabin's vaccine to the US in 1963, by 1965 Polio infection rates were 'in the noise' around 0. Data is hard to get from Australia, but 83% of children in NSW were vaccinated by Salk's vaccine ahead of the approval and introduction of Sabin's vaccine in 1966 - I don't think a fear of needles was really at play.
Polio is a special subject of mine, I urge you to read, or watch some documentaries on Salk and/or Sabin, and the 'March of Dimes', some of the most amazing public health work ever done.
Measles? That's a different prospect, measles is very contagious, and you're right, it's eliminated in many countries, including Australia, but the current vaccine was released in 1968, and measles was only eliminated in Australia in 2009, 40+ years is quite the wait. SHAMEFULLY, the US beat Australia to elimination, but in the late 1970s the US CDC said that they were going to eliminate measles in the first few years of the 1980s, and they got there in 2000, only 15-20 years later than expected - still, almost a whole decade before us, and we are an island.
Herd immunity to Smallpox? Not in Australia mate, likely not in any country. I don't think ANY country in the world routinely vaccinates for Smallpox today, or ever. Minor distinction, but since you seem to want to be all technical, Smallpox is regarded as near eradicated throughout the world, but not so much via vaccination as we know it today, but inoculation, AND not via 'herd immunity' but by 'ring immunity'. If you're some sort of 'needle-phobe' then the Smallpox vaccination is one you're really not going to want.
So to sum up, Smallpox, infecting humans for a minimum of three millennia, likely a lot longer, hence some evolutionary/genetic assistance probably available to us. Eradicated today, after 200 (give or take) years of inoculation/vaccination but with no 'herd immunity' likely anywhere in the world.
Polio, infecting humans for maybe 4 millennia, hence similar story to Smallpox. Near eradicated with 'herd immunity' likely existing in most of the world, 60 ish years after vaccine introduction, approximately 50 years required to eradicate in Australia. BTW, I am well aware that Pakistan has Polio, so too does Nigeria, my issue with Afghanistan if you read it, is that under Taliban rule vaccination rate for Polio will be reduced to 'Bronze Age' numbers of near zero. You might find that ironic if you understand what the word 'Taliban' actually means.
Measles, more than 1000 years old, now non endemic to most countries, 'herd immunity' levels alarmingly decreasing in some countries, maybe a 'minor illness' to you, unless you develop encephalitis... Vaccine of similar age to Polio Vaccines, so again 50 ish years of progress required to clear Australia of the disease.
The bulk of the 'heavy lifting' toward eradicating the above was done before rapid international and intercontinental travel was a thing, the spread for those (including measles) was relatively easy to contain.
Covid19, infecting humans for 18 ish months, we have exactly zero naturally acquired resistance to it, endemic right across the world, highly transportable, highly infectious, rapid spreading, vaccines about 6 months old - so take a stab when we will hit eradication. At this point, even containment in the short term is closer to impossible than possible.