SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Edward Jenner. Portrait of Edward Jenner (1749- 1823), British physician. Jenner coined the word "vaccination" to describe his use of cowpox inoculation to confer immunity to smallpox, a deadly viral disease. 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 in 1796 by inoculating a boy with fluid obtained from the blister of a patient with cowpox. Six weeks later he inoculated him with smallpox. The boy remained unharmed. He published his results in 1798 and smallpox vaccination became widespread.
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