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Five 'SoloShot' syringes, United States, 1994

Five 'SoloShot' syringes, United States, 1994

Credits: Science Museum

These syringes were approved for use in the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) run by UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Fund) and the WHO (World Health Organisation). Launched in 1974, the EPI aims to vaccinate the world’s children against the biggest childhood killers, such as measles. Developed and made by Becton Dickinson & Co, the ‘SoloShot’ syringe was designed to prevent accidental reuse and the dangers of cross infection as well as overdoses. Once the syringe is filled with 0.5 ml of vaccine, a click is heard and the plunger cannot be pulled back anymore. Once the plunger has been pressed all the way down to administer the vaccine, it cannot be moved back up the syringe, preventing re-use.

Object number:

1994-150 Pt2

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    Glossary: vaccination

    The introduction of vaccine into the body for the purpose of inducing immunity. Coined originally to apply to the injection of smallpox vaccine, the term has come to mean any immunising procedure in which vaccine is injected.

    Glossary: syringe

    An instrument used for injecting or withdrawing fluids. The open end of the syringe may be fitted with a hypodermic needle for injection into the bloodstream.

    Glossary: measles

    Disease caused by a virus most commonly found in children. Measles is spread through airborne fluids. In roughly the last 150 years, measles has been estimated to have killed 200 million people worldwide.

    Glossary: vaccine

    A substance given to humans or animals to improve immunity from disease. A vaccine can sometimes contain a small amount of bacteria that is designed to stimulate the body's reaction to that particular disease. The first vaccine was developed in 1796 by Edward Jenner to prevent smallpox.