You can do a lot in your daily life to prevent disease, stay in shape, and set yourself up for a long, healthy life. However, not even the healthiest habits can protect you from all illnesses. And vaccines are the most effective way to protect yourself — and those around you — from the world’s deadliest diseases.
There’s a lot you might not know about vaccines, too, like how they started, how they’re developed, whether they’re safe, and how effective they are. Let’s take a closer look at everything you might not know about vaccines.
1. Immunizations began with smallpox
Smallpox was the first vaccine-preventable disease we eradicated — and the only one thus far. According to HealthyChildren.org, Edward Jenner developed this first vaccine in 1796. Nearly 100 years later, Louis Pasteur developed a rabies vaccine, then the polio vaccine followed in the mid-1900s. Scientists have since developed vaccines for a number of illnesses that used to cost thousands of people their lives.
Next: Here’s how scientists know if a vaccine is safe or not.