Edward Jenner's ivory vaccination points, England, 1821

1821 in England
Edward Jenner

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Vaccine points, two (one missing), prepared by Edward Jenner, 1821. Black background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Vaccine points, three, prepared by Edward Jenner, 1821- one missing since 1977

Ivory points were used to give smallpox vaccinations. These ivory points were used and prepared by the pioneer of smallpox vaccination himself, Edward Jenner (1749-1823). They measure 25 mm in length. Jenner successfully tested the idea that an attack of cowpox, a milder form of smallpox, gave immunity to smallpox. The vaccine was the lymph material from a pustule of a person already vaccinated with cowpox. Pustules are skin blisters filled with pus that appear approximately five to eight days after vaccination. This is known as arm-to-arm vaccination. The points were rubbed, scratched on, or inserted into a cut in the skin.

Related people


Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
vaccination point
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment

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