Business Unusual

The cows are coming to save us

The headline relates to vaccine origins, this is about how close we are to a Covid-19 vaccine. The word vaccine comes from the Latin word for cow. Edward Jenner created the first vaccine using the less harmful pox virus that infected cows to infect humans and so allow them to become immune to an infection from the more serious and often deadly human version of smallpox.  He did this in a way that would horrify us today. By first infecting a young boy with cowpox he waited for him to develop the infection and then once recovered infected him with smallpox. Thankfully the boy resisted the infection. He did it to 22 more people before publishing the results of his vaccinations. That was in 1798, it would take until 1977 and a significant global effort before the World Health Organisation (WHO) could declare in 1980 that smallpox had been eradicated.  Read the article image credit: Kateryna Kon See for privacy information.

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