NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Caricature of Edward Jenner (left, inoculating woman) the English physician (1749 - 1823). Jenner coined the word vaccination to describe his use of cowpox inoculation to obtain immunity to smallpox. Folk tales at the time suggested that people who contracted the mild cowpox disease did not go on to contract the deadlier smallpox. Jenner investigated this by inoculating a boy with fluid obtained from the blister of a patient with cowpox. Later he inoculated him with smallpox. The boy remained unharmed. He published his results in 1798 and smallpox vaccination quickly became widespread. Etching by James Gillray.
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