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Freeze-dried BCG vaccine, England, 1994

The BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin) vaccine is used to protect against tuberculosis. The vaccine was developed by French bacteriologists Albert Calmette (1863-1933) and Camille Guérin (1872-1961) at the Pasteur Institute, Lille, France, in 1921. The vaccine was successfully used in France but did not go into widespread use until after the Second World War. By freeze-drying the vaccines, the treatment can safely be transported over long distances and diluted when needed. Made by Evans Medical Ltd, the small glass bottle gives one dose of the vaccine when diluted. It is shown here with a ten-dose bottle of the vaccine (1994-394 Pt3).

Object number:

1994-135 Pt5


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    Glossary: tuberculosis

    An infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium first identified by Robert Koch in 1882. The disease usually affects the lungs first, and is accompanied by a chronic cough.

    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.

    Glossary: BCG

    Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is a weakened strain of the tuberculosis bacteria, which is used as a vaccination against TB(. Developed in 1908, it was first used on humans in 1921.