History of Vaccines Blog


April 4, 2019  Rene F. Najera

During the month of March, 2019, the southern hemisphere experienced one of its worst tropical storms in recorded history. Cyclone Idai slammed into the east coast of Africa, striking deep into the continent and leaving hundreds dead and hundreds of thousands severely affected by flooding and destroyed infrastructure. Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe were all impacted, and now we have word that a cholera epidemic has started in Mozambique due to the lack of potable water and sanitation. Read More...

Posted in: Cholera, General

April 1, 2019  Rene F. Najera

A recent order for unvaccinated children to stay out of public spaces in Rockland County, New York, has made the headlines. But it is hardly the first time such a quarantine has been imposed in the United States... And it will likely not be the last one. Read More...

Posted in: General, Measles

March 31, 2019  Rene F. Najera

A student made a wonderful documentary on the history of the vaccines developed by Louis Pasteur. It's about 8 minutes long and very well done. Read More...

Posted in: General, Rabies

March 27, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Wars and armed conflicts have affected humans throughout history. When they happen, they injure and kill people in different ways. One of those ways is through the erosion of healthcare and public health infrastructure. With that erosion comes reduced vaccination, and an eruption of outbreaks of serious diseases. Read More...

Posted in: General

March 23, 2019  Rene F. Najera

We can look back at important events in history and understand them through various sources of information and evidence. But what about diseases? Where did they come from? In this lecture by Prof. Steve Jones at Gresham College talks about the history of disease and where that history is taking us. Read More...

Posted in: General

March 21, 2019  Rene F. Najera

The American Psychological Association has released a study which found evidence that belief in anti-vaccine conspiracies is associated with belief in other conspiracy theories. Read More...

Posted in: General

March 14, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Before the development of vaccines against deadly diseases like smallpox, typhoid fever and measles, public health authorities relied heavily on quarantines in order to stop epidemics from spreading. The concept was simple: keep sick people away from the healthy people. Unfortunately, there were plenty of times where quarantines were broken and the epidemics allowed to continue. Read More...

Posted in: General, Measles, Public Health

March 13, 2019  Rene F. Najera

From BBC, this documentary tells the story of the polio vaccine. Read More...

Posted in: General, Polio

March 12, 2019  Rene F. Najera

We have known that vitamin A supplementation prevents deaths in children from infectious diseases. We also know that a vaccine with an excellent track record of safety prevents measles. However, recent anti-vaccine misinformation has been falsely stating that vitamin A prevents measles when, in fact, it doesn't. Read More...

Posted in: General, Measles

March 10, 2019  Rene F. Najera

Frontline from PBS published a short video on YouTube about the history of mass immunization in the United States. General George Washington ordered his troops to be inoculated against smallpox, even forcing some of them to get the inoculation (variolation). This assured that the Continental Army would remain smallpox-free at a time when the disease was causing a lot of disease and death, and leading to the defeat of the British troops during the War for Independence. Read More...

Posted in: Historical Medical Library, Smallpox