Jenner life and discovery

Jenner life and discovery

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  • Edward Anthony Jenner was born on the 17th of May 1749 in Berkeley, Gloucestershire
  • Jenner's father was the vicar of Berkeley, so Jenner received a strong basic education
  • At the age of 14 he was an apprentice for seven years to work for a surgeon where he gained most of the experience needed to become a surgeon himself
  • In 1796 he inserted puss, taken from a milkmaid who had cowpox, into a cut made in the arm of a young, local boy called James Phipps. Several days later Jenner exposed the boy to smallpox. He was found to be immune. Jenner had discovered the worlds first vaccination.
  • It took some time for people to accept vaccines. Although Jenner knew the system worked, he was not able to explain how or why it worked, and this made people suspicious. The idea of infecting someone with an animal disease was seen as extremely strange, and a lot of people were against it. The anti-vaccine society published images of people being forced fed the vaccine and others turning into cows.
  • Although certain groups of people were against vaccinations, there was another very powerful group that were in favour of them: Parliament. The British government favoured the new method of vaccination from the first half of the 19th century. This was because it was safer and more reliable alternative to inoculation. It was also cheaper, because recipients of vaccines did not need to be put into quarantine, whereas those receiving inoculation were in danger of spreading smallpox to others.
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