Monday, May 4, 2020

VACCINE - Meaning and Origin

Yes, I know we are all tired of hearing and reading about the dastardly coronavirus, and although most of us are adhering to quarantines, PPE’s and social distancing, we’re eager to get on with our lives with the hope we will have a vaccine sooner rather than later.

As a wordsmith and historic author, I’m always interested in the history and origins, as well as meanings, of words. Thus, I looked up the origin and meaning of the words, vaccine, vaccination and quarantine.

 Also, at the end of this article, I included an interesting timeline of vaccines developed over the centuries listed in Wikipedia.

The terms vaccine and vaccination are derived from Variolae vaccinae (small pox of the cow, the term devised by Edward Jenner to denote cowpox). He used it in 1798 in the long title of his Inquiry into the Variolae vaccinae Known as the Cow Pox, in which he described the protective effect of cowpox against smallpox. In 1881, to honor Jenner, Louis Pasteur proposed that the terms should be extended to cover the new protective inoculations then being developed.

vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as a threat, destroy it, and to further recognize and destroy any of the microorganisms associated with that agent that it may encounter in the future.

The administration of vaccines is called vaccination. Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases. Widespread immunity due to vaccination is largely responsible for the eradication of small pox worldwide and the restriction of diseases such as polio, measles, and tetanus from much of the world. The effectiveness of vaccination has been widely studied and verified; for example, vaccines that have proven effective include the Flu vaccine, HPV vaccine and the chicken pox vaccine.

The word quarantine comes from quarantena, meaning "forty days", used in the 14th–15th-centuries Venetian language and designating the period that all ships were required to be isolated before passengers and crew could go ashore during the Black Death plague epidemic; it followed the trentino, or thirty-day isolation period, first imposed in 1377 in what is now modern Croatia.

quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people and goods which is intended to prevent the spread of disease or pests. The noun form of the word is often used in connection to disease and illness, preventing the movement of those who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, but do not have a confirmed medical diagnosis. It is distinct from medical isolation, in which those confirmed to be infected with a communicable disease are isolated from the healthy population. The word is also used as a verb.

 Timeline of vaccines:
18th century
·         1796 Edward Jenner develops and documents first vaccine for smallpox.
19th century
·         1884 First vaccine for cholera
·         1885 First vaccine for rabies by Louis Pasteur and Emile Roux
·         1890 First vaccine for tetanus (serum antitoxin)
·         1896 First vaccine for typhoid fever
·         1897 First vaccine for bubonic plague
20th century
·         1921 First vaccine for tuberculosis
·         1923 First vaccine for diphtheria
·         1924 First vaccine for scarlet fever
·         1924 First vaccine for tetanus (tetanus toxoid, TT)
·         1926 First vaccine for pertussis (whooping cough)
·         1932 First vaccine for yellow fever
·         1937 First vaccine for typhus
·         1941 First vaccine for tick-—borne encephalitis
·         1945 First vaccine for influenza
·         1952 First vaccine for polio (Salk vaccine)
·         1954 First vaccine for Japanese encephalitis
·         1954 First vaccine for anthrax
·         1957 First vaccine for adenovirus-4 and 7
·         1962 First oral polio vaccine (Sabin vaccine)
·         1963 First vaccine for measles
·         1967 First vaccine for mumps
·         1970 First vaccine for rubella
·         1974 First vaccine for chicken pox
·         1977 First vaccine for pneumonia (streptococcus pneumoniae)
·         1978 First vaccine for meningitis (Neisseria meningitidis)
·         1980 Smallpox declared eradicated worldwide due to vaccination efforts
·         1981 First vaccine for hepatitis B (first vaccine to target a cause of cancer)
·         1985 First vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type b (HiB)
·         1989 First vaccine for Q fever
·         1991 First vaccine for hepatitis A
·         1998 First vaccine for Lyme disease
·         1998 First vaccine for rotavirus
21st century
·         2003 First nasal influenza vaccine approved in U.S. (FlueMist)
·         2006 First vaccine for human papillomavirus (which is a cause of cervical cancer)
·         2012 First vaccine for hepatitis E
·         2012 First quadrivalent (4-strain) influenza vaccine
·         2015 First vaccine for enterovirus71, one cause of hand foot mouth disease
·         2015 First vaccine for malaria
·         2015 First vaccine for dengue fever
·         2019 First vaccine for Ebola approved

Reverences: Wikipedia

 Wishing everyone happy and healthy trails ahead!

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  1. Very interesting history of vaccines. I enjoyed reading the book about development of the Salk polio vaccine in the 1950's where there were thousands of children infected. It will be interesting to read about the covid-19 vaccine development in a few years answering questions such as how soon, how effective, and side effects.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Don. Hopefully the covid-19 vaccine will be effective with little, if any side effects. Stay safe!


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