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).

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.