Drawing of Jenner vaccinating his son of smallpox

Drawing of Jenner vaccinating his son of smallpox

N536/0015

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Caption

History of smallpox vaccination. Drawing of a statue (by Monteverde) of Edward Jenner (1749- 1823) vaccinating his son. In 1796 Jenner coined the word vaccination to describe his use of cowpox inoculation to obtain immunity to smallpox. Small- pox was a greatly feared disease, epidemics of which typically had a 20% mortality rate and left survivors disfigured. Jenner, a doctor, experimented on an 8-year old boy (James Phipps) by inoculating him with fluid obtained from the blister on the hand of a milk-maid (Sarah Nelmes) who had cowpox. He later inoculated the boy with smallpox. The boy survived and did not contract smallpox. Vaccination soon became widespread.

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