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Jenner - Essay Example

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Jenner’s theory for the treatment of smallpox has earned its place in history, and had a significant impact on the prevalence of a devastating disease sweeping Europe, resulting in the eventual extinction of the virus causing the disease. His approach and discovery was based…
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This approach ultimately proved to be highly effective, and those who received Jenner’s vaccinations had a lower chance of contracting smallpox. Historically, Jenner’s theory and approach was the first example of vaccination, which has now been used for the prevention of other diseases. His approach was an effective method of preventing smallpox from occurring in patients and did not expose them to the same level of risk that the previously used technique of inoculation had. Jenner’s approach has the potential to be applied to other viruses also, including the bubonic plague, which was a historically important disease of similar impact to smallpox.
Jenner is well-recognized within history for the critical role that he played in resolving the outbreak of smallpox and developing an effective method of preventing the disease within the general population. Within two years of his original writings on discovery, Jenner reported pleasure at seeing his vaccination “extend very widely”, saying that “upwards of six thousand persons have now been inoculated” (Jenner part III, paras 1 and 2). These numbers are important because the vaccine that Jenner developed made use of an unusual approach that had not been attempted before, and was not well-accepted by his contemporaries at the time. When Jenner approached the medical world in London with his findings, he was immediately subject to the conservatism that was prevalent during the time period, as well as significant prejudice. Jenner’s vaccine did not immediately eliminate smallpox, especially as medical treatment was not free, and consequently primarily focused on the rich. Yet, despite this, Jenner’s discovery had an important impact on the medicine of the day, leading to decreases in the number of smallpox cases, until finally smallpox was declared extinct in 1980 (Zephyrus).
The key discovery that led to the development of Jenner’s theory for smallpox, was the determination that “the person ... Read More
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