How Edward Jenner changed the medical world

The recent global pandemic of COVID19 has affected every country on the planet to some degree or another. No one has been unaffected by the virus but finally, it seems we have managed to get past the worst of it. We are now in the process of learning to live with it as well as we can. We’ve been able to get on top of the virus in a number of ways. The work of our NHS has been paramount in helping us succeed. However, the need for Medical Indemnity like that from Howden Group is vital.

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Apart from removing ourselves from each other via Lockdowns, covering our faces with masks, washing our hands regularly and not touching our face, COVID has been muted and many lives saved. However, the only true way out of the pandemic was via the use of a vaccine. The man who pioneered this approach was the Gloucestershire man Edward Jenner.

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In his age, the late 1700’s, disease and viruses were rife. One of the worst was smallpox. Very few survived it and those that did were severely debilitated by it afterwards. Jenner observed that one group of people in society rarely contracted smallpox, even when they’d been exposed to it. Dairy workers, especially milkmaids, seemed to be the most common group. Jenner saw that they did contract Cowpox, an irritating, but far less deadly, version of smallpox.  Jenner infected a young boy with Cowpox and noted that he subsequently did not contract Smallpox. We now know that the body had produced antibodies that could repel the virus.