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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Edward Jenner and vaccinations


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons


Edward Jenner (1749-1823) was an English physician best known for creating the first smallpox vaccination. Wikipedia says,


"Jenner is often called 'the father of immunology' and his work is said to have 'saved more lives than the work of any other human'. In Jenner's time, smallpox killed around 10 percent of the population, with the number as high as 20 percent in towns and cities where infection spread more easily." (Wikipedia: Edward Jenner, 8.21.21 UTC 19:16)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Jenner.


Benefit to mankind


"While the vaccine discovery was progressive, the joy I felt at the prospect before me of being the instrument destined to take away from the world one of its greatest calamities [smallpox], blended with the fond hope of enjoying independence and domestic peace and happiness, was often so excessive that, in pursuing my favourite subject among the meadows, I have sometimes found myself in a kind of reverie." (Quoted in The Life of Dr. Jenner, 1827)


"I shall endeavor still further to prosecute this inquiry, an inquiry I trust not merely speculative, but of sufficient moment to inspire the pleasing hope of its becoming essentially beneficial to mankind." (


"I hope that some day the practice of producing cowpox in human beings will spread over the world - when that day comes, there will be no more smallpox." (




"The deviation of man from the state in which he was originally placed by nature seems to have proved to him a prolific source of diseases." (