A few months ago, I was interviewed by “Endless Thread,” a podcast from National Public Radio in Boston. In the first podcast of a series on vaccination, the podcast hosts talked to an expert on the history of smallpox. They mentioned that people would often find it very hard to live with the scarring from smallpox, to the point of ending their lives. Today, we don’t have to deal with smallpox thanks to a very effective vaccine and the effort that went into using it worldwide.
Here is a quick, 6-minute video from SciShow on YouTube talking about the last major smallpox outbreak in America in 1947. Note how many people lined up for vaccination… And, sadly, how some people perpetuated fraudulent schemes. But also note how quickly the vaccine stockpile was on the move and distributed throughout a city of 8 million people.