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Leprosy vaccine, London, England, before 1978

Made by Wellcome Physiological Research Laboratories, not much is known about the effectiveness of this vaccine. In 1986, leprosy vaccines were tested in Malawi, Africa, but further tests were needed. Today, the BCG vaccine is used in some countries but this treatment does not have universal approval. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is contagious, but few contract it. Leprosy is said to be difficult to catch and scientists are still researching how it is spread. It is shown here with a similar example (A600203).

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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: leprosy

    A chronic disease that affects the skin, mucous membrane and nerves. It is now confined mainly to the tropics and is transmitted by direct contact. Previously a widely feared disease, leprosy is not highly infectious.

    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.