History of Vaccines Blog


Very Few Religions Expressly Prohibit Vaccination, Yet Confusion Remains

November 9, 2018

News outlets are reporting an increase in the cases of vaccine-preventable diseases – and some outbreaks – from Thailand and Indonesia due to religious concerns about vaccinations. In both countries, Muslim religious authorities have declared vaccines to be unacceptable since, according to them, vaccines contain pork-derived products.

Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria

February 1, 2012

This digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph shows Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria derived from a pure culture. Borrelia burgdorferi, the cause of Lyme disease, is transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected tick.

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.

Hep B Vaccination

June 16, 2010

Vaccine developer Maurice Hilleman, PhD, watches as his granddaughter receives the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine in 1999. This hepatitis B vaccine was the first human vaccine produced by recombinant DNA methods.

Last Polio in Americas

June 16, 2010

State Rights, Parental Decisions, and Vaccine Exemptions

May 22, 2015

Policy Event, May 14, 2015How far should state power extend into medical decisions that parents make on behalf of their children? What is a parent’s responsibility to children in the community who have particular susceptibility to harm from infectious diseases?

Déjà vu for Polio Eradication Advocates?

July 16, 2012

Polio Survivors in Nigeria, USAID/Mohammed Jiya-DokoBy Alexandra Linn, History of Vaccines Intern

Cholera Vaccination in Haiti

May 12, 2012

Cholera is one of those diseases that you really don’t want to get. It begins like any other intestinal illness, with abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Suddenly, a very profuse, watery diarrhea develops. So much water leaves the body through the diarrhea that the person’s mouth becomes dry. He stops urinating because he has no fluid left.

Panel Discussion, May 14, Pennsylvania Personal Belief Exemption

April 23, 2015

Pennsylvania Capitol BuildingPlease join us on May 14, 2015, at 6:30 pm, when we'll be hosting a panel discussion on legislation pending in the Pennsylvania state legislature that would end philosophical/moral/personal belief exemptions to school vaccination requirements.

Children, Conflict, and Polio

May 14, 2014

National Library of Medicine, 101579926. WWI Red Cross NurseThe sight of a red cross or crescent on a white background is supposed to signal medical aid, neutrality, and safety. In conflicts around the world, however, hostile actors are flouting decades of protocol and the Geneva convention itself: they are killing and kidnapping Red Cross, Red Crescent, and other emergency aid workers.