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Caricature of vaccination scene at the Smallpox and Inoculation Hospital at St. Pancras Hospital in London, by James Giray, 1802. Library of Congress

Video: What we can learn from a book documenting the first vaccine, for smallpox

As the world waits anxiously for a COVID-19 vaccine, Sam Lemley, curator of special collections at Carnegie Mellon University, says that the story of the first vaccine is worth revisiting today. As curator of special collections, Lemley cares for a copy of the first edition of Jenner’s self-published book, titled “An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae.” This video provides a glimpse into the history of vaccines and how the smallpox vaccine’s unlikely beginning can provide some hope for people today.

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