History of Vaccines Blog

The Public Health Crisis in Venezuela Is Spreading to Its Neighbors

January 30, 2019

To be honest, I was not surprised to read that dozens and dozens of families in Venezuela are making the risky trip to Colombia in order to get healthcare and other services.

The Side-Benefits of Vaccination on Type I Diabetes

January 28, 2019

Since Doctor Edward Jenner first inoculated James Phipps back in the late 1700s, the primary purpose of vaccines has been to prevent the diseases for which they are intended. However, as the effects of the vaccines became known and more epidemiological studies were done on the populations receiving those vaccines, beneficial side-effects of vaccines became better understood.

Vaccine News Roundup - January 25, 2019

January 25, 2019

“Washington declares public health emergency as measles hits anti-vaccination community” (https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/426593-washington-officials-declare-public-health-emergency-as-measles-outbreak)

Vaccine Hesitancy is a Top Ten Priority for the World Health Organization

January 23, 2019

The World Health Organization (WHO) released the list of its top ten priorities for 2019. Listed among those priorities is combating what it terms vaccine hesitancy. This is what WHO states:

Vaccine Epidemiology, Part Two: Some Basic Concepts

January 17, 2019

This is the second part of a series of explainers looking at what vaccines have done to and for human populations since their invention in the late 1700's. (Click here for part one.) In this second part, we talk about a few simple concepts that are necessary to understand how vaccines work. We review virology, bacteriology, immunology, chemistry, toxicology and the basic reproduction number. It's about 20 minutes.

Vaccine Epidemiology, Part One: A Brief History of Vaccines

January 9, 2019

I've decided to create and share with you a series of short explainer videos (about 20 minutes each) on the epidemiology of vaccines. Epidemiology is the study of diseases, conditions and other events that affect human populations. In this first video, I give you a very brief history of vaccines. Of course, you can find more great history on this site, but here is just a quick synopsis of Edward Jenner's work back in the 1700s, Louis Pasteur's work in the 1800s, and the modern work done on vaccine science in the 20th century.

Influenza in 1919 and 100 Years Later

January 2, 2019

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning that more and more states in the country are reaching “Widespread” influenza activity, let’s look back at where we were one hundred years ago with regards to influenza. As you may know, the world experienced a severe pandemic (worldwide epidemic) of influenza in 1918. The exact origin of the pandemic is not known, but there are strong indicators that it started in Kansas and then spread around the world as American soldiers traveled to fight in World War I.