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Dried smallpox vaccine, England, 1979

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Made by the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, the dried smallpox vaccine needs to be mixed with a liquid before use. It is shown here with six bifurcated needles for smallpox vaccination (1979-61). The vaccine is dated 1979. On 9 December that year a group of eminent scientists certified the successful global eradication of smallpox.

Object number:

1986-1658 Pt2


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    Techniques and Technologies:


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    Cardboard or plastic boxes used typically for storage or shipping, especially those which are relatively small and that when filled with merchandise are enclosed in a larger or stronger container for transport.

    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: sterilisation

    To make an object free of live bacteria or other micro-organisms. Usually achieved by heat or chemical means.

    Glossary: disinfection

    A process of cleaning that kills most micro-organisms.

    Glossary: smallpox

    Smallpox is an infectious virus unique to humans. It results in a characteristic skin rash and fluid-filled blisters. After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 1800s and 1900s, the World Health Organisation certified the eradication of smallpox in 1979. Smallpox is the only human infectious disease to have been completely wiped out.

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    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.

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