Edward Jenner

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Jenner, Edward,

1749–1823, English physician; pupil of John Hunter. His invaluable experiments beginning in 1796 with the vaccination of eight-year-old James Phipps proved that cowpox provided immunity against smallpox. His discovery was instrumental in ridding many areas of the world of a dread disease and laid the foundations of modern immunology as a science.


See W. R. Le Fanu, A Bio-bibliography of Edward Jenner, 1749–1823 (1951).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Jenner, Edward


Born May 17, 1749, in Berkeley; died there Jan. 26, 1823. English physician; discoverer of the smallpox vaccine.

Jenner studied medicine in London, and in 1773 he began an independent medical practice. He observed that milkmaids that had recovered from cowpox were not susceptible to smallpox. On May 14, 1769, he inoculated eight-year-old James Phipps with cowpox, and 1½ months later, with human smallpox; the boy did not become ill. Repeating on Phipps these inoculations over several months and years, Jenner demonstrated the possibility and high effectiveness of vaccinations against smallpox. A smallpox vaccination institute (the Royal Jennerian Society) was founded in London in 1803. Jenner was its first and lifetime director. He was also an honorary member of many academies, universities, and scientific societies of Western European countries.


An Inquiry Into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae, a Disease Discovered in Some of the Western Countries of England, Particularly Gloucestershire, and Known by the Name of the Cow Pox. London, 1798.
Further Observations on the Variolae Vaccinae or Cow Pox. London, 1799.
In Russian translation:In Gubert, V. O. Ospa i ospoprivivanie, vol. 1. St. Petersburg, 1896. Chapter 14.


Gubert, V. O. EduardDzhenneri egootkrytie. St. Petersburg, 1896.
Karlik, L. N. “Eduard Dzhenner (k 150-letiiu so dnia otkrytiia ospoprivivamia).” Pediatriia, 1946, no. 4.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Edward Jenner and the history of smallpox and vaccination.
Chapters 1 and 2 discuss previous methods used to prevent smallpox and how Edward Jenner demonstrated that a cowpox virus, transmitted through a human being, could retain its capacity to immunize against smallpox.
Included are the tales of Edward Jenner, the first person to inoculate people with cowpox to fight smallpox; Louis Pasteur, the physician who first developed a vaccine from a human virus; and others.
The prophylactic method of inoculation was imported from Turkey, yet, encouraged by Banks, it was the British who harnessed the technique, extended it by the use of Edward Jenner's discovery of vaccination (about which Banks was initially sceptical), and then sent it out again, to India, with questionable results.
Ana Maria Rodriguez's EDWARD JENNER: CNQUEROR OF SMALLPOX (0766025047, $31.93) tells of Jenner's 18th century world when smallpox was a feared disease which killed and disabled thousands around the world.
Edward Jenner, the discoverer of vaccination for smallpox, suggested in 1801 that the human race could now look forward to "the annihilation of the smallpox, the most dreadful scourge of the human species." In 1979 Jenner's vision became a reality when a global commission confirmed that the worldwide eradication campaign, begun in the 1960s, had succeeded.
The great breakthrough came in 1796 when Edward Jenner, having pondered the apparent immunity of milkmaids to smallpox, inoculated a boy called Phipps with matter from a coxpox sore.
Edward Jenner's breakthrough in 1796 started the slow and often controversial process of controlling the virus.
Gradually, the idea of inoculation took hold, but immunization against smallpox did not become generally accepted until the milder vaccination using cowpox virus was identified by Edward Jenner in the 1860s.