JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A 19th century painting by Constant Desbordes (1800) showing a doctor performing a smallpox vaccination on an infant. The procedure involved the introduction of cowpox into the subject through a scratch on the skin. Cowpox is a mild disease, and confers immunity to the similar but often fatal smallpox through the production of antibodies. The doctor seen here is Alibert, who was a skin specialist.
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