Edward Jenner Biography
Edward Jenner Biography: Edward Jenner from 17th May 1749 to 26th January 1823 was an English doctor who helped to create and popularise a vaccination for smallpox.With help of his pioneering work he saved the lives of numerous people and over the time he was awarded with the title of ‘father of immunology’ and later vaccination.
Edward Jenner Short Biography
On 18th may 1749 Edward Jenner was born in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. He was the son of the local vicar. In early age he was interested in natural history and medicine. At the age of 14 he started his training to be a doctor in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire in advance completing his training on London. Under the surgeon johnhunter, he studied at St Geoge’s hospital and was influenced by his philosophy of seeking new discoveries which was “Don’t think, try”.
In 1773 to become a general practitioner he returned to his native Berkeley. He pursued his study of native wildlife in his spare time and also followed any new development in medical sciences.
Edward Jenner and the Vaccine for Small Pox
In the late 18th century, one of the most dreaded diseases was smallpox. The disease was widespread, killing up to 33 percent of the counterparty. At that time there were little-known treatments or vaccines that could prevent that.
Jenner was interested in the observation that milkmaids in close contact with cows rarely contacted the disease. With this revelation, Jenner was interested in testing a theory that vaccination of humans with a cowpox strain could protect them from smallpox by the immunity gained from the similar but much less dangerous cowpox strain.In the beginning this practice of using a cow-pox virus had been tried on the weird cases before, for example, farmers like Benjamin Jesty intentionally arranged a cowpox infection for their family. However, these unofficial tests had not proved anything to a skeptical medical scientific community.In 1796, Jenner tested his theory by impressing James Phipps, an eight-toed boy with cowpox blisters from a milkmaid who had caught cowpox. The young James countered a mild fever, but to Jenner’s relief, when he gave James Phipp’s variant-rich material, he proved resistant to this mild form of smallpox. He wrote in 1801:‘It now becomes too manifest to admit of controversy, that the annihilation of the Small Pox, the most dreadful scourge of the human species, must be the final result of this practice’. For Jenner, this immunity to variolation was a testament to Cowpox vaccine devastating smallpox. Jenner had provided a relatively safe way to immunize people from the deadly poxvirus.
“The joy I felt as the prospect before me of being the instrument destined to take away from the world one of its greatest calamities (smallpox) was so excessive that I found myself in a kind of reverie”
– Edward Jenner
Jenner theoretically tested another 23 subjects – all of which gave the same results. After some delay, his research was published by the Royal Society as a mixture of skepticism and interest. After that, Jenner gave up his doctor’s office and devoted himself entirely to the immunization work. He received a grant from Parliament to help him with his work. It involved setting up the Jennerian Institution – a society that cares about vaccination to eradicate smallpox. Jenner’s work would eventually prove successful; In 1840, 17 years after Jenner’s death, the British government banned the use of variolation in one act of parliament and provided the cowpox vaccine free of charge. By 1979, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared that smallpox was extinct – a remarkable accomplishment whose groundbreaking work played a key role in Jenner’s seminal work on immunization.His reputation led to his appointment as a physician who was exceptional to King George IV and became the justice of the peace.
Edward Jenner Death
He died on January 26, 1823, after a stroke from which he never recovered. Allegedly, Jenner rescued more people than anyone else by working on vaccinations.
Edward Jenner Facts
1. Jenner was the first ever doctor to vaccinate people for smallpox.
2. His treatments were sometimes laughed at first. In 1802, a cartoon showed people with cow heads after Jenner had vaccinated them!
3. The vaccine was developed after vaccinating a boy with tissue from fresh cowpox lesions of a maid. In 1796, he vaccinated a little boy with matter taken from fresh cowpox lesions of a maid.
4. In 1980 about 200 years after Jenner first discovered a vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the smallpox was ultimately eradicated, while some samples were kept under laboratory conditions.
5. Jenner was interested in fossil collecting and gardening.
6. In 1805, he was awarded the “Freedom of the City” for the discovery of vaccination by the Lord Mayor and the Corporation of London.
7. He learned surgery under John Hunter’s who encouraged Jenner to experiment. His favorite saying was. “Do not think, try.”
8. Jenner earned his PhD from the University of St. Andrews in 1792.
9. In 1821, he was named Extraordinary Physician by King George IV.
10. He was fascinated with wildlife and birds, and in the last year of his life, presented the Royal Society with a paper on the Birdwatching Observations.
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