SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The Salk Institute in La Jolla is honoring violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman with its medal for public service.

The award was created in 2005 to mark the 50th anniversary of Jonas Salk's development of the polio vaccine.

Perlman is a polio survivor. He contracted the disease when he was just 4 years old. For the past several decades, he has advocated for programs that aim to eradicate polio worldwide.

"My own experience with polio is that what's important is to get rid of it," Perlman said. "That means there's got to be no cases of polio, and then it's not over either unless you continue with vaccinations."

Perlman was scheduled to perform a private concert for Salk faculty and donors Thursday night.