Learn about the process of Immunisation with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series.
For many people, immunization is their only hope at survival. It is responsible for saving millions of lives every year, eradicating some of the most horrific viruses, and increasing global health awareness. Without immunization, historical plagues such as the “Black Death,” “Smallpox,” and “Spanish Influenza” would still be around. If we didn’t have immunization, many of us wouldn’t be here.
Immunization records go as far back as the 10th century, but the modern technique didn’t start until 1721. During this year, an English scientist named Edward Jenner noticed that milk maids who were infected with the cowpox virus were immune to smallpox outbreaks. Jenner swabbed some cowpox puss from a maiden’s arm and injected a small amount of it into an eight year-old boy. Being a relatively harmless virus that is related to smallpox, the cowpox virus soon ran its course. The cowpox injection, known as an “inoculation,” made the boy immune to smallpox. His body resisted the deadly disease, even though Jenner injected him with it twice!
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In clean and precise tones, actress Jude Beaumont relates the beginnings of modern immunization, the science behind why it works, the different types of immunization today, and how scientists are working to defend against a global pandemic. She also discusses the political and economic difficulties of developing vaccines for less industrialized countries. This is a nice-sized overview of the subject that puts the science into context and emphasizes the importance of vaccination in general. A useful tool for getting quickly acquainted with the subject.
"I'm learning all sorts of stuff about stuff I didn't even know I didn't know. And it sticks. In a nutshell: wonderful." (Jonathon Margolis, Financial Times)
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