Edward Jenner was born on May 17th, 1749 in Berkeley, United Kingdom. He died on January 26th, 1823 in Berkeley, United Kingdom.
Edward Jenner was the first person to find a way to make children and later adults immune to small pox. During his time, small pox was the reason for numerous deaths every years, especially among children. In his town, it was a folklore that milkmaids who suffered mild cowpox never acquired smallpox. Nobody knew why. Jenner toyed with that very idea. He injected pus taken from a cowpox pustule into the arm of an 8-year-old boy named James Phipps. This young boy was now immune to small pox.
He submitted his research to the Royal Society in 1797. The researchers rejected his work, saying that he needed more proof. Jenner went on to try his experiment on several other children including his own 11-mont-old son. His work was finally accepted in 1798. That is when the name vaccine first arose from the Latin word ‘vacca’ meaning ‘cow’
You would think that a genius such as Jenner would be appreciated and celebrated, instead after his work was published he was largely ridiculed. The general public found it disgusting that vaccines were made from materials taken from diseased animals. They didn’t make the effort to give Jenner a chance, rather newspapers published drawings of vaccinated people sprouting cow heads.
Fortunately, the obvious advantages of being vaccinated overpowered the hate. Jenner and his work became widely regarded. Jenner went on to make developments to his vaccine, he also continued to study in the field of medicine.
In total, Edward Jenner’s work saved 530 million lives.
Today, his work is used a base for the development of many new vaccines.
Thank you Edward Jenner!
Until next time...
Stay Curious ;)