04/17/1749 – 01/26/1823
Edward Jenner’s work on the creation of the vaccine is thought to have saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives since the early 1800s. Before this inoculation was a popular technique whereby, in the case of smallpox, pus was taken from an infected patient and rubbed into a cut of a non-infected patient, the problem being many of the non-infected patients often contracted the illness with fatal results. Edward Jenner’s personal traumatic experience with this set him on his path to find a better way. Even though successful in his first trials the doctors of the time were very against the ideas of vaccines, thinking there was no truth to their work. This all changed when a doctor in London tried his technique and could offer him support and the vaccination movement finally took hold.
It was thanks to this work that smallpox was completely eradicated, and an epidemic that was spreading the word was stopped by the work of one man. Today vaccines are used globally to prevent harmful diseases that are now considered completely preventable, this advancement in medicine has revolutionized society and its boundaries.