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Three glass ampoules of cholera vaccine, Paris, France, 1924-1925

The vaccine was used to protect people against cholera. Cholera is a water-borne disease affecting the small intestine, causing diarrhoea and vomiting. The name of the Laboratoire de Vaccination Antityphoïdique de l’Armée, which made this vaccine, translates as the “Army Laboratory for Anti-Typhoid Vaccination”. Cholera, like typhoid, was a threat to soldiers who drank polluted water. Prevention of disease aimed to ensure that soldiers were at peak physical condition to fight.

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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: ampoule

    A sealed glass or plastic capsule containing one dose of a drug in the form of a sterile solution for injection.

    Glossary: cholera

    A severe infection of the small intestine commonly contracted through eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea, leading to dehydration, which can be fatal.

    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.