A Brief Glimpse Into the Historical Benefits of Vaccines on Humanity

Even though history remembers Edward Jenner as the creator of the first vaccine — in which he used cowpox to create immunity against smallpox — the truth is that the practices upon which his method was built have been around much longer than that. As a matter of fact, it is well known that the Chinese first started using a form of inoculation against smallpox in the year 1,000 CE. But, it was Jenner’s method that became widespread to such a degree that 200 years later, smallpox was eradicated from the face of the planet.

Since 1796, when Jenner first started working on a smallpox vaccine — almost 20 different childhood diseases, which were previously considered to be the leading causes of death or severe disability in both children and adolescents — have either been eradicated or made to almost disappear, which has increased the lifespan of humans on all continents. It is because of this and the importance of vaccination that we at Signature Medicine have created this interesting list of some of the historical benefits of vaccines on humanity.

Eradication of Deadly Disease

For many centuries smallpox claimed the lives of millions of people and was even the main cause of the colonization of the Americas. When European explorers arrived, they brought the disease with them. It quickly spread through the native population and ended up killing millions of indigenous people who had no immunity. Smallpox was eradicated officially in 1979, which translated into an enormous step in the field of immunology.

Creation of Herd Immunity

Vaccines have created a phenomenon known as “herd immunity,” wherein the inoculated members of the group protect those who are unable to receive the vaccination from getting the disease. When, for any number of reasons, the number of those who have been vaccinated decreases, small outbreaks can take place, which can then spread to others, creating a health crisis that affects humanity as a whole.

Increase of Humanity’s Life Expectancy

By getting a firm grip on the control of childhood diseases, many more children have lived to adulthood, living for longer periods of time than ever before. Vaccination creates healthy communities, which in turn has reduced the incidence of certain diseases, death, disability, and inequity around the world. Healthier societies are also more productive for a longer period of time, which increases economic markers around the world, providing a better quality of life for all.

At Signature Medicine, your foremost primary care provider in Newtown, PA, we understand the importance of vaccinations and the great role they have played in the betterment of humanity. It is because of this that our concierge doctor focuses on the many ways prevention can help you and your family have a healthier and happier lifestyle. So, don’t hesitate to give us a call and let us answer all your questions about vaccinations and the benefits they can help you reap.


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