The “bovine” side effects of a cowpox vaccine

Edward Jenner vaccinating patients against smallpox.  Coloured etching by James Gillray (1802). (Wikimedia Commons)

Edward Jenner vaccinating patients against smallpox (1802). Etching by James Gillray. (Wikimedia Commons)

“The Cow Pock – or – the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation! by the Anti-Vaccine Society”. The above cartoon shows Edward Jenner inoculating members of the public with cowpox. The fear then was that once inoculated, people would develop “bovine” characteristics or anatomical features. In the foreground a boy carries a pot with the label: “VACCINE POCK hot from yer COW” and in his pocket are papers with the headlines “Benefits of the Vaccine”. On the desk there is a pot called “OPENING MIXTURE” with a bottle carrying the label “VOMIT”. The painting against the wall depicts the biblical scene of people worshiping the Golden Calf.

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