In 1976, Edward Jenner was the first to scientifically examine a method to protect the human population from smallpox. While he did not create the technology, he is often regarded as the father of vaccination due to his scientific approach demonstrating the method's efficacy.
According to research before the discovery of vaccination by Edward Jenner, inoculation was the most effective method of preventing smallpox.
So it is important to understand that the history of vaccines does not begin with Jenner's smallpox vaccine, and the latest immunisations against the COVID-19 pandemic will not end it.
On the occasion of National Vaccination Day let’s know about the seven vaccines that created history in medical science.
The smallpox vaccine, developed by English physician Edward Jenner in 1796, was the world’s first successful vaccine. His work helped eradicate the deadly smallpox virus from the planet.
As per Centres of Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine for smallpox is derived from vaccinia virus, a pox virus related to smallpox but less dangerous. Unlike other vaccines the smallpox vaccine contains live vaccinia virus rather than a dead or weakened virus.
According to the World Health Organisation, Dr Jonas Salk created an inactivated (killed) polio vaccine (IPV) that was first used in 1955, while Dr. Albert Sabin developed a live attenuated (weakened) oral polio vaccine (OPV) that was first used in 1961. Polio has three types of strains: type 1, type 2 and type 3.
Both IPV and OPV vaccines are highly effective against all three poliovirus strains. Yet, there are substantial variances in how each vaccination functions, as well as their safety and effectiveness profiles.
Also read: What Are Most Important Vaccines for Children In India?
MMR(measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine protects from measles, mumps, and rubella. The CDC advises that children receive two doses of MMR vaccine, the first at 12 to 15 months of age and the second at four to six years of age.
The tetanus vaccine was developed in 1924 to protect people from the deadly bacterial infection.
A tetanus shot is injected to protect you against tetanus, which is a potentially fatal bacterial illness. Infants and children require multiple doses of the vaccination at various ages. Every 10 years, adults should have a tetanus booster injection.
The COVID-19 vaccine was developed to protect people from the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine is a type of injectable immunisation that helps to create an immune response in the body, which triggers the production of antibodies that help protect against the virus. It is the first vaccine developed specifically for the novel coronavirus and has been approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Recently, the FDA updated the emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent to allow for a single booster dose at least two months following completion of main vaccination with three doses of the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
A hepatitis vaccine protects against severe infection caused by hepatitis viruses. There are several types of hepatitis vaccines, each targeting different forms of the virus. The most common types are the hepatitis A, B, and C vaccine.
Also read: Combination Vaccines For Kids: Same Protection With Fewer Shots
The hepatitis A vaccine is made from killed virus particles, and is usually given in two doses six months apart. The hepatitis B vaccine is made from a recombinant protein, and is usually given in three doses over a six month period. The hepatitis C vaccine is not yet available, but research is ongoing to develop a safe and effective vaccine.
The BCG or Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine is used to protect against tuberculosis (TB). It is a live attenuated vaccine, meaning that it is developed from a weakened form of the TB bacteria. The vaccine is given as a single injection, usually into the upper arm. It is most commonly given to infants but can also be injected to adults and adolescents.
The BCG vaccine is highly effective at preventing TB in children. According to the NHS, vaccines are estimated to provide 80-90% protection against TB for up to 15 years after vaccination. However, its effectiveness varies widely depending on the type of TB, the age at which it is given, and the individual’s immune system.