Jenner, Edward


Jenner, Edward
SUBJECT AREA: Medical technology
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b. 17 May 1749 Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England
d. 26 January 1823 Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England
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English medical practitioner, pioneer of vaccination against smallpox.
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In 1770, following a local surgical apprenticeship in Gloucestershire, he became a resident pupil in London under John Hunter. In 1773 he returned to Berkeley to practise, but he continued correspondence with Hunter on a variety of topics of natural history, including the study of earthworms and hibernation.
From his apprentice days he had known of the country belief that an attack of cowpox would protect against smallpox. Soon after 1775 he had been in touch with Hunter, who gave him the celebrated advice to "trie the experiment". However, it was not until 14 May 1796 that he made the first vaccination from a case of cowpox. The practice of vaccination from mild cases of smallpox was already well established.
He was unable to undertake further observations until 1798, when he published the results of twenty-two more cases. The procedure gained wide acceptance and in 1802 he received a parliamentary award of £10,000; the Royal Jennerian Society for the promotion of smallpox vaccination was founded in 1803. In 1806 he was awarded a further £20,000. He received his first degree, of MD, from Oxford in 1813.
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Bibliography
1798, An Enquiry into the Cause and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae, London.
Further Reading
Crookshank, 1889, Pathology and History of Vaccination.
MG

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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