WORLDKINGS - On This Day - July 08, 2018 - Dr Benjamin Waterhouse gives 1st cowpox vaccination in the US to his son to prevent smallpox


( Cowpox is an infectious disease caused by the cowpox virus. The virus, part of the orthopoxvirus family, is closely related to the vaccinia virus. The virus is zoonotic, meaning that it is transferable between species, such as from animal to human.



Benjamin Waterhouse (March 4, 1754, Newport, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations – October 2, 1846, Cambridge, Massachusetts) was a physician, co-founder and professor of Harvard Medical School. He is most well known for being the first doctor to test the smallpox vaccine in the United States, which he carried out on his own family.



Waterhouse first wrote to then-President John Adams, his former roommate, hoping to spread the word about cowpox vaccinations preventing smallpox. When he found President Adams unresponsive, he wrote a letter to Vice President Thomas Jefferson entitled "A prospect of exterminating the smallpox."



Jefferson replied with a letter dated Christmas Day, 1800, and soon offered his support. Once Jefferson became President the following year, Waterhouse introduced Edward Jenner's method of cowpox vaccination in the United States. He attempted to maintain a monopoly over the cowpox vaccine, for both financial reasons and to protect the vaccine from incompetent or fraudulent physicians. Waterhouse made the first vaccinations in the United States on four of his children. He commissioned a controlled experiment at the Boston Board of Health in which 19 vaccinated and 2 unvaccinated boys were exposed to the smallpox virus. The vaccinated boys demonstrated immunity and the 2 unvaccinated boys succumbed to the disease.



According to wikipedia


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