The day of a successful vaccination – level 3
Smallpox was a deadly and highly infectious disease that had killed millions of people.
Edward Jenner was a country doctor who observed that milkmaids who had contracted cowpox, a much milder disease, seemed to be immune to smallpox.
On May 14, 1796, Jenner took material from a cowpox blister on the hand of a milkmaid and injected it into the arm of an 8-year-old boy.
The boy developed a mild fever and some discomfort, but he did not get seriously ill. He also became immune to smallpox.
The success of Jenner’s vaccine led to the widespread use of vaccination as a means of preventing smallpox.
The term “vaccine” comes from the Latin word for cow, “vacca,” because Jenner used cowpox to create the smallpox vaccine.
Difficult words: smallpox (a dangerous disease that can kill people), milkmaid (a woman who gets milk from cows), contract (to catch), blister (a small area under your skin full of clear liquid).
What other diseases have been prevented or eradicated through the use of vaccines?
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