Humanity has endured a series of pandemics that wiped off entire civilizations. Smallpox and measles were common threats to life and are guilty of causing destruction of human lives, economic depression, and mass relocation.
The earliest hints of inoculation can be traced back to China in the early 10th century when deliberate variolation was used to develop immunity against the smallpox virus. The method was later practised in India and the Middle East before it gained popularity in the west.
With the development of the smallpox vaccine, which is also the world’s first vaccine, in 1796 by the English physician Edward Jenner, smallpox cases were reduced dramatically. The once rampant disease was finally declared “eradicated” by the World Health Organization in 1980.