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HomeVideoA Very Short History of Vaccines in America | FRONTLINE

A Very Short History of Vaccines in America | FRONTLINE


Did you know that George Washington is not only the founding father of the United States of America, but also one of the original supporters of mass immunization in the USA? In the wake of a massive smallpox outbreak during the Revolutionary War, Washington required all of his soldiers to get a smallpox inoculation. This radical move may have actually helped him win the war.


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Smallpox victim, Illinois, 1912
Illinois Department of Public Health
Wikimedia Commons

Patient with smallpox, Kosovo, Yugoslavia epidemic, March and April 1972.
This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #2003
Wikimedia Commons

Sketch of soldiers of the Continental Army
Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library
Wikimedia Commons

La vaccination
Louis-Léopold Boilly
Wikimedia Commons

Smallpox (left) & cowpox inoculation, day 14
George Kirtland
This file comes from Wellcome Images, a website operated by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the United Kingdom.
Wikimedia Commons

Mezzotint portrait of Cotton Mather
Peter Pelham, artist
Wikimedia Commons

Washington After the Battle of Princeton, New Jersey
Charles Willson Peale, artist
Wikimedia Commons

American Revolution Campaigns 1775 to 1781
Shepherd, William. Historical Atlas. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1911.
Wikimedia Commons