5 Historical Figures Who Dared To Be Pro-Vaccine Before Their Time

benjamin franklin

With more than 100 confirmed cases of measles in the United States so far this year, many of which have been linked to the Disneyland outbreak in December, the importance of vaccines can’t be understated. Politicians and doctors have weighed in, several pushing back on exemption loopholes that exist in many states. Some took an even stronger stance, like Patsy Stinchfield, director of Pediatric Infectious Disease Services at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, who told The Huffington Post that vaccines should be as nonnegotiable as seat belts.

But is this viewpoint really so radical? Historically speaking, no. These five larger-than-life historical figures were adamant defenders of public health, vaccination and inoculation, the precursor to the vaccines developed by English doctor Edward Jenner in 1796. Inoculation is the grisly but effective process of infecting an individual with fluid from the smallpox pustules of a mildly infected person. Sounds gross, but given the choice between immunity and contracting a deadly disease, the public health benefits of inoculation (and later, vaccination) are more clear today than ever.

Meet the the original vaccine crusaders.

Benjamin Franklin

Inoculations were controversial in the 1700s, and Benjamin Franklin chose not to inoculate his young son, —> Read More Here


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