Who is known as the father of vaccination?
Smallpox is thought to have originated in India or Egypt at least 3,000 years ago. The earliest evidence for the disease comes from the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses V, who died in 1157 B.C. His mummified remains show telltale pockmarks on his skin.
- When the Europeans arrived, carrying germs which thrived in dense, semi-urban populations, the indigenous people of the Americas were effectively doomed. They had never experienced smallpox, measles or flu before, and the viruses tore through the continent, killing an estimated 90% of Native Americans.
- Past experience indicates that the first dose of the vaccine offers protection from smallpox for 3 to 5 years, with decreasing immunity thereafter. If a person is vaccinated again later, immunity lasts longer.
- The word “vaccination,” coined by Jenner in 1796, is derived from the Latin root vaccinus, meaning of or from the cow. Once vaccinated, a patient develops antibodies that make them immune to cowpox, but they also develop immunity to the smallpox virus, or Variola virus.
Smallpox facts. Smallpox is a contagious disease caused by the variola virus. Smallpox was the first disease to be eliminated from the world through public-health efforts and vaccination. Smallpox still poses a threat because existing laboratory strains may be used as biological weapons.
- Smallpox is thought to have originated in India or Egypt at least 3,000 years ago. The earliest evidence for the disease comes from the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses V, who died in 1157 B.C. His mummified remains show telltale pockmarks on his skin.
- Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes the chickenpox infection. Most cases occur through contact with an infected person. The virus is contagious to those around you for one to two days before your blisters appear. VZV remains contagious until all blisters have crusted over.
- The smallpox vaccine helps the body develop immunity to smallpox. The vaccine is made from a virus called vaccinia which is a "pox"-type virus related to smallpox. The vaccine does not contain the smallpox virus and cannot give you smallpox.
In 1796 he inserted pus taken from Sarah Nelmes, a milkmaid with cowpox, into a cut made in the arm of a local boy, James Phipps. Several days later, Jenner exposed the boy to smallpox. He was found to be immune. Jenner called his new method 'vaccination' after the Latin word for cow (vacca).
- Cowpox. Cowpox is an infectious disease caused by the cowpox virus. The virus, part of the orthopoxvirus family, is closely related to the vaccinia virus. The virus is zoonotic, meaning that it is transferable between species, such as from animal to human.
- The steps taken by Edward Jenner to create vaccination, the first vaccine for smallpox. Jenner did this by inoculating James Phipps with cowpox, a virus similar to smallpox, to create immunity, unlike variolation, which used smallpox to create an immunity to itself.
- Edward Jenner
Updated: 10th October 2018