- Pediatric Annals
- August 2010 - Volume 39 · Issue 8: 460-463
It is virtually impossible to overstate the effect of vaccination upon human health, and especially upon child health. And yet controversy seems to swirl around this topic and has since Edward Jenner first inoculated young James Phipps on May 14, 1796, with material from Sarah Nelmes, the milkmaid who had cowpox. Most of the controversies are because, when vaccination is successful, nothing happens. When we prevent a serious illness, nothing happens (ie, no one gets ill). As this occurs more and more, the public eventually has little or no memory of the morbidity and mortality that was caused by serious diseases like smallpox, measles, varicella, and the other vaccine-preventable infections.