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Vaccination lancet, late 18th-early 19th century.

Vaccination lancet, late 18th-early 19th century.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm


Vaccination lancet belonging to Edward Jenner (1749-1823). In the 1790s, Jenner used a lancet to introduce fluid from a cowpox sore through a person's skin, in order to inoculate them against smallpox, a similar but more dangerous disease. He called his method 'vaccination', from 'vacca', the Latin word for cow. The 1853 Vaccination Act heralded an era of compulsory vaccination against smallpox.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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