Using cowpox for inoculations, 1890s

Using cowpox for inoculations, 1890s

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Caption: Using cowpox for inoculations. Calf with cowpox being used in India in the 1890s to inoculate humans against smallpox. Cowpox is a disease of cows that can be transmitted to humans. It is similar to smallpox but not as dangerous. In 1796, the British physician Edward Jenner coined the word vaccination to describe his use of cowpox inoculation to obtain immunity to smallpox. Smallpox was a terrible disease, epidemics of which often had a mortality rate of 20 percent and left survivors disfigured. This cyanotype print was obtained by Henry Haward, a member of the Survey of India Photographic Department at Calcutta (Kolkata) from 1884 to 1905.

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