Edward Jenner

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Edward Jenner (May 17, 1749 – January 26, 1823) was an English physician and scientist who was the pioneer of smallpox vaccine, the world's first vaccine. Variolation or inoculation was the method first used to immunize an individual against smallpox (Variola). Jenner noted the well-known notion milkmaids were generally immune to smallpox. His insight was that pus in the blisters that milkmaids received from cowpox protected them from smallpox. On May 14, 1796, Jenner tested his hypothesis by inoculating James Phipps, an eight-year-old boy who was the son of Jenner's gardener.[1]

Vaccination sequence

  • Sarah Nelmes was a milkmaid infected with cowpow.
  • James Phipps is inoculated with cowpox pus from Nelmes.
  • Phipps falls ill with a mild case of cowpox.
  • Scabs are collected from a smallpox patient.
  • Phipps is inoculated with the scabs of smallpox and his immunity is demonstrated.


  1. Stefan Riedel, MD (January 2005). "Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination". Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center). Baylor University Medical Center. 18 (1): 21–25.