Monday, February 4, 2013

The Cow-Pock

As I mentioned in class, objectors to vaccination have been around for a long time.

In this famous cartoon from 1802, the British satirist James Gillray caricatured a scene at the Smallpox and Inoculation Hospital at St. Pancras, showing Edward Jenner administering cowpox vaccine to frightened young women, and cows emerging from different parts of people's bodies. The cartoon was inspired by the controversy over inoculating against the dreaded disease, smallpox. The inoculation agent, cowpox vaccine, was rumored to have the ability to sprout cow-like appendages. 

This is undoubtedly due to the fact that vaccination was invented prior to any understanding of immunology or even a germ theory of disease.

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