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Edward Jenner, English physician, 1749-1823

Edward Jenner, English physician, 1749-1823

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption

Portrait of Edward Jenner, an English physician born in 1749 & died in 1823. Jenner coined the word vaccination to describe his use of cowpox inoculation to obtain immunity to smallpox. Folk tales from his native Gloucestershire suggested that dairy hands who had contracted the milder cowpox did not contract the deadlier small pox. Jenner experimented on a small boy by inoculating him with fluid obtained from the blister of a patient with cowpox. Two months later he inoculated him with smallpox. The boy survived & did not get smallpox. He repeated his experiments & in 1798 published his results. The practice of vaccinating against smallpox quickly spread.

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