The History of Vaccines explores the role of immunization in the human experience and examines its continuing contributions to public health

About This Project

Vaccines for Pandemic Threats

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Vaccination will likely be part of a multi-faceted public health response to the emergence of a pandemic illness.Not all disease threats, however, have a corresponding vaccine, and for those that do, there are significant challenges to their use in a pandemic. More

Chickenpox (Varicella)

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Chickenpox is an illness caused by the Varicella zoster virus. It was once an almost universal childhood illness. It is much less common now owing to widespread vaccination. More

Different Types of Vaccines

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Vaccines are made using several different processes. They may contain live viruses that have been attenuated (weakened or altered so as not to cause illness); inactivated or killed organisms or viruses; inactivated toxins (for bacterial diseases where toxins generated by the bacteria, and not the bacteria themselves, cause illness); or merely segments of the pathogen (this includes both subunit and conjugate vaccines). More

The Human Immune System and Infectious Disease

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The human immune system is essential for our survival in a world full of potentially dangerous microbes. More
Which now vaccine-preventable disease may have emerged in epidemic form as a result of increasing cleanliness of the water supply?
Measles
Polio
Whooping cough
Diphtheria
B

The improved American sanitary conditions of the early 1900s meant that exposure to polio was delayed until later in life, when a child had lost maternal protection and was also more vulnerable to the most severe form of the disease. Read more in our polio timeline.