For most of our lives, most of us give little thought to vaccinations – apart from receiving them as babies which we don’t remember, queuing by the school nurses office in primary school, and then later taking children of our own to the doctors for their vaccinations we take for granted that we receive them and how much they protect us from.
It is only in times like these, where the world is in the grip of a global pandemic of the novel coronavirus, that once again we start to think about vaccines, and how many lives they can save. As scientists and doctors work hard to create a vaccine to cure covid-19, here are two of the scientists before them who also helped to save millions of lives by creating vaccines for some of the most contagious and deadly diseases in mankind’s history…
Edward Jenner – The father of vaccination, Edward Jenner created the vaccine for Smallpox. Jenner, a doctor in England discovered in the late 18th Century that it was possible to prevent people from catching the deadly smallpox if they were injected with the much milder cowpox. His discovery paved the way for modern vaccinations, as well as the way vaccines are researched such as paid clinical trials https://www.trials4us.co.uk/ and smallpox was declared eradicated from the world in 1980.
Doctor Jonas Salk – A scientist who worked on the flu vaccine during the second world war, he went on to create the vaccine for polio, a disease that is hardly heard of now, but killed many children, and left many more with lifelong ailments and deformities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, until Doctor Salk’s vaccine was distributed in the 1950s.