Daily Archives: September 9, 2023

Book Bits: 9 September 2023

Foreign Bodies: Pandemics, Vaccines, and the Health of Nations
Simon Schama
Review via The Economist
The first recorded vaccine—for smallpox—was administered by Edward Jenner, an English doctor, in 1796 to an eight-year-old boy, James Phipps. Jenner (pictured) took fluid from the lesions of a dairymaid who had become infected with cowpox and used it to inoculate Phipps against cowpox and smallpox.
That people could become immune to diseases after being exposed to them had been known for more than a thousand years before Jenner carried out his experiments. But the idea that people could be purposely infected as a way to ward off future illness, though ancient, took a surprisingly long time to spread and become accepted around the world.

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