Have you ever thought who is the one man because of whom you are being prevented from discomforting diseases? Well, the answer is Edward Jenner. Even though it’s slightly difficult to say if there were other practices being executed as a substitute for vaccination in other parts of the world, we can surely confirm Edward Jenner is the one to bring the medical practice of vaccination to the contemporary world.
- Edward Jenner, who is also known as ‘The Father of Immunology’, immunized an eight-year-old boy for smallpox through the vaccinia virus called ‘cowpox’ in the year 1796. After thorough experimentation and method, the official vaccination for smallpox was released in 1798.
- The renowned British physician was the first among many who was able to develop a vital vaccination with beneficial and lasting results through examination and evaluation.
- Smallpox was the first ever disease to have been cured with the help of vaccination. Smallpox at the time was a life-threatening disease which was highly contagious. Around the 18th Century, recorded data shows that over 400,000 people were killed annually due to smallpox.
- The development of the smallpox vaccination was improved on the idea of dairymaids not being the victim of smallpox as a consequence of having suffered from cowpox. Sara Nelms was the first maid who suffered cowpox in 1796. Edward Jenner then went on to base his experimentation by injecting ‘cowpox’ into his human subject, an eight-year-old boy, and later deliberately exposed him to smallpox. As a result, the child did not reciprocate and was no longer susceptible to smallpox. This guaranteed his thesis of cowpox being an eliminating factor for smallpox.
Edward Jenner liked to associate himself with multiple studies and took interest in geology as well biological aspects like the human blood. His love for the natural sciences continued lifelong. He was the person who took the first step towards the lengthy process of eradication of smallpox entirely from human lives. He was also the one to discover that cowpox not only was a protective mechanism for smallpox, but also could be transmitted from one person to another deliberately for positive effects. In effect, although he did not strictly invent vaccination, he was surely the first person to throw scientific light on the procedure.
- Confoundedly, the origin of the terms ‘vaccine’ and ‘vaccination’ have devised by Jenner himself which translate to ‘Variolae vaccinae’ meaning smallpox of the cow.
- Orphaned at the age of 5, Edward Jenner had a passion for nature and science. Born in Berkley, he went to school in Wotton-under-Edge and Cirencester. After his being an apprentice to Daniel Ludlow he studied anatomy and surgery under the prominent surgeon John Hunter.St. George’s Hospital, London.
- Today, smallpox has been identified as an eradicated disease, in gratitude to Edward Jenner. The number of people dying due to smallpox witnessed a major pitfall briefly after the vaccination was introduced. Vaccination has been a valuable addition to the medical industry saving lives of many.