An African slave by the name of Onesimus might have been the key person in beginning the fight against smallpox in the American Colonies in the early 1700s.
Anti-vaccine activists have always been violent. It’s just that today they have very big megaphones to transmit their violence.
In recent years, we have posted a blog about survivals of early smallpox scabs in archival collections today, and in a follow-up blog, “A Scab Story Bites Back,” we described the discovery of several 19th century smallpox vaccination kits in our museum collection. These kits showed visible residue on glass slides from lymph taken from pustules on infected human bodies and desiccated scab material. Since the last report, we have begun to correspond with other European and American collections with early vaccination tools that could be assayed for residue. Our own kits were examined first by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and then via the World Health Organization to Canada’s McMaster University. At this writing, the analysis of the kits continues: exciting results will be reported in “Revenge of the Scab Story,” forthcoming.
Buzzfeed News recently made an assessment of the 2020 presidential candidates’ stances on vaccination. They concluded that all of the declared candidates so far are in agreement that parents should vaccinate their children when vaccination is recommended. Some of their statements were nuanced, while others made blanket statements of approval of vaccines.
You’ve probably heard about biological warfare. That is when a group or government uses a…