Edward Jenner and the Discovery of Vaccination 


Edward Jenner and the Discovery of Vaccination



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Edward Jenner                                   

Note the background view of Berkeley, in
Gloucestershire, where Jenner carried out his original
vaccinations, with milkmaid and cow on show. Mezzotint
by John Raphael Smith, from his pastel portrait
exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1800, reproduced from
W. R. Le Fanu, A bio-bibliography of Edward Jenner
1749-1823, London: Harvey and Blythe, 1951.

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Edward Jenner, M.D., F.R.S.                     
An inquiry into the causes and effects of the
Variolae Vaccinae, a disease discovered in some of the
western counties of England, particularly
Gloucestershire, and known by the name of the cow-pox
Third edition. London: printed for the author by D. N.
Shury, 1801.
Jenner's Inquiry, first published in 1798, reported how,
over a period of years, he had noticed the immunity
provided by cow-pox, and how he decided deliberately to
introduce the disease into a patient to see if the
effect could be artificially produced. Soon afterwards,
he would again inoculate his patients, this time with
live smallpox virus ("variolation"), to see if the
cow-pox had worked. The "healthy boy" whom Jenner, on
May 14 1796, first vaccinated with virus from the
dairymaid Sarah Nelmes was James Phipps, who proved
Jenner's point by surviving repeated unsuccessful
attempts to infect him with smallpox.

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Case XI: William Stinchcomb                     
Part of Jenner's argument in the Inquiry was built up
from cases like this one, recording Jenner's failure to
inoculate or infect with small-pox itself ("variolate")
a farmworker who some years before has caught a bad case
of the cow-pox.

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William Woodville, M.D., 1752-1805              
Reports of a series of inoculations for the
variolae vaccinae, or cow-pox; with remarks and
observations on this disease, considered as a substitute
for the small-pox
London: James Philips, 1799.

Soon after the publication of Jenner's case-studies,
William Woodville carried out much more extensive trials
of vaccination among patients in London. Woodville was
Director of London Smallpox and Inoculation Hospital,
and he kept detailed records on several thousand
patients. Woodville, like Jenner himself, had close ties
to Sir Joseph Banks, the influential long-time president
of the Royal Society, and his support for vaccination
was of great importance to its acceptance. As the cases
shown here indicate, however, many of Woodville's
inoculees developed the characteristic pustules across
the body of genuine smallpox, and the "vaccine" used for
his trials may in fact have been contaminated.
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Samuel L. Mitchill, 1764-1831, ed.              
The Medical Repository of original essays and
intelligence relative to physic, surgery, chemistry and
natural history.
New series, volume 1. New York: John Forbes, 1813.

An early American report on the inroads that vaccination
rapidly made on disease rates in London, even with
poorly-controlled vaccine sources.

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Christian Charles Schieferdecker, M.D.          
Dr. C. G. G. Nittinger's Evils of Vaccination.
Philadelphia: the editor, 1856.

Because of the lack of clear scientific explanation of
its effects, the frequent side-effects, and contaminated
vaccines, vaccination itself remained controversial
throughout the nineteenth century. It certainly carried
risks for the infants being vaccinated, and this volume,
playing on parental fears, argued, inter alia, that
vaccination was nonsensical, unscientific, criminal, and
even sinful. Shown here is a satiric vignette of a
protective mother's discussion with the family doctor.

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Updated 28 July 1999 by the Department of Rare Books and
Special Collections.
Copyright  1999, the University of South Carolina.
URL:
http://www.sc.edu/library/spcoll/nathist/jenner2.html


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