This information sheet traces the history of vaccine development in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, vaccines are one of the most important measures for protecting people from contagious diseases and preventing the spread of these diseases. To fight widespread smallpox, British physician Edward Jenner (1749–1823) developed a procedure to prevent smallpox by immunizing people who had not yet contracted the disease, for the first time in 1796. In the 19th century, further progress was made in medicine and in the research of infectious diseases (for example, tuberculosis, cholera bacteria).
Information and ideas:
Working through the history of vaccination can be integrated in science lessons as a supplement or in history lessons for an interdisciplinary perspective.
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Learning resource type:
Biology; Chemistry; History; Personal, social and health education (PSHE)
Grade 7 to 9; Grade 10 to 13
Middle/high school; Vocational training
Disease; Health; Infection; Infectious disease; Medicine (medical science); Vaccination; Inoculation; Vaccination; Variolation
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