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This began to change in the 1700s. The first vaccines prevented people from developing smallpox, a deadly disease. In 1796, an English doctor named Edward Jenner showed that cowpox, a similar ...
This began to change in the 1700s. The first vaccines prevented people from developing smallpox, a deadly disease. In 1796, an English doctor named Edward Jenner showed that cowpox, a similar but relatively harmless illness, could be used to protect people against smallpox. This disease has been completely eliminated -- the last naturally occurring outbreak of smallpox occurred in 1977.
Vaccines are a safe and inexpensive way to protect people against disease. The practice of vaccination has made certain illnesses almost a thing of the past. Serious diseases that can be prevented by vaccination include hepatitis, tetanus, whooping cough, and chickenpox. Vaccines against HIV and cancer may become a reality in the future. Scientists are now developing and testing vaccines to protect people from these devastating illnesses.
You probably associate vaccinations with shots, but not all vaccines are injected. For example, the Sabin vaccine, which prevents polio, is an oral vaccine. In the future, some vaccines may be delivered in foods, such as bananas and potatoes.
Vaccines aren't perfect. No vaccine is 100 percent effective, and some people get a disease even after they have been vaccinated against it. Some people think vaccines are dangerous. True, they do cause serious reactions in a small number of people, but the benefits far outweigh the risks.
An overview of vaccinations, explaining some basic terms, their development, with an emphasis on smallpox and polio vaccines, their current and future use, controversies concerning their use, and possible negative effects.
|1||Smallpox: A Success Story||7|
|2||How Do Vaccinations Work?||17|
|3||Polio: Moving Toward Success||25|
|4||Trying to Control the Hepatitis ABCs||35|
|5||What Vaccinations Have You Had?||42|
|6||Does Immunization Cause Harm?||58|
|7||Questions About Vaccinations||69|
|8||New Ways to Make and Give Vaccines||76|
|9||New Vaccines for Existing Diseases||85|
|10||Vaccinations Around the World||100|
|To Find Out More||120|