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The Great InoculatorThe Untold Story of Daniel Sutton and his Medical Revolution$
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Gavin Weightman

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300241440

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300241440.001.0001

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(p.121) 14 Cowmania!
The Great Inoculator

Gavin Weightman

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses how vaccination was to conquer the world in a very short space of time, despite the fact that the research on which it was based was very limited and, in some vital respects, faulty. Edward Jenner was ingenious and imaginative but he was not meticulous. This very soon became apparent as experiments were made with the vaccine. There was one great problem when experiments with the effectiveness of cowpox vaccine were begun in earnest in many parts of the world: where to get the necessary infective matter. Ultimately, 'Cowmania' was a wild, worldwide clamour for a medical innovation which had not been subject to more than cursory, and not always satisfactory, scrutiny. Suttonian inoculation, on the other hand, had stood the test of time and there were those who doubted if vaccination offered a great improvement. One, not surprisingly, was Daniel Sutton himself.

Keywords:   vaccination, Edward Jenner, cowpox vaccine, Cowmania, medical innovation, Suttonian inoculation, Daniel Sutton

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