For millennia, smallpox was one of the world’s most feared diseases , it killed up to 30% patients and could leave survivors scarred and blind. In 1796, physician Edward Jenner developed a vaccine , immunizing people with a cowpox virus that created immunity to smallpox , it took 2 centuries before smallpox was finally eradicated in the 1970’s.
The 1918 Spanish flu outbreak infected a third of the world , 500 million people and killed at least 50 million. It was caused by a virus thought to have come from birds. A vaccine introduced in 1945 prevented millions of deaths.
- Whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria
These bacterial diseases leads to serious illness and death , In 1948, the first combined vaccine for the 3 diseases was introduced, but adverse side effects were common. A new inoculation was developed in the 1990’s and is still in use.
This debilitating disease can attack the central nervous system, but Jonas Salks’s 1955 vaccine helped bring it under control and decade later, an oral vaccine was introduced.
Ebola is one of the most deadly known diseases ,A major 2014 breakout in Guinea West Africa, ;ed to successful human trials od a vaccine marking a major breakthrough in the fight against this killer virus.
Dozens of teams around the world are racing to find a vaccine for COVID-19 and experts say having one ready within 18 months would be very fast.