Diseases & Vaccines

History of Vaccines Blog


Influenza: Spanish Influenza Pandemic and Vaccines

January 18, 2017

In the deadly Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-19, investigators attempted to develop vaccines to prevent influenza, though they had not yet correctly identified the causative pathogen. A variety of killed whole cell bacterial vaccines were tested; these vaccines included Bacillus influenzae (now know as Haemophilus influenzae) and strains of pneumococcus, streptococcus, staphylococcus, and Moraxella catarrhalis bacteria.

Mumps in Boy

November 15, 2016

The typical swelling of mumps infection is visible under this four-year-old boy's jaw. From Koplik, Henry. The Diseases of Infancy and Childhood. New York: Lea, 1902.

French Caricature of Vaccination

June 16, 2010

David H. Smith, MD

August 26, 2011

David H. Smith, MD (1932-1998) , along with his colleague, Porter Anderson, PhD, began working on a vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type B, a cause of meningitis, in the 1960s. Their polysaccharide vaccine was licensed in 1985.

Last Polio in Americas

June 16, 2010

Antigenic Shift

June 16, 2010

Spanish Influenza

June 16, 2010

Tetanus 2

September 28, 2010

This neonate is displaying a bodily rigidity produced by Clostridium tetani exotoxin, called “neonatal tetanus”.  Neonatal tetanus occurs in infants born without protective passive immunity, because the mother is not immune. It usually occurs through infection of the unhealed umbilical stump, particularly when the stump is cut with an unsterile instrument.

Tetanus 1

September 28, 2010

This micrograph depicts a group of Clostridium tetani bacteria, responsible for causing tetanus in humans. Tetanus is an acute, often fatal, disease caused by an exotoxin produced by C. tetani.

Neisseria meningitidis

June 16, 2010

Scanning electron microscope image of Neisseria meningitidis, bacteria that cause meningococcal disease, x3750. About the image technique: Modern technologies such as electron microscopy can give finer detail to bacteria than optical (light) microscopy and can even be used to show internal features. Electron micrographs are generated by a high-energy beam of electrons, rather than by light and lenses, as with an optical microscope.