Wooden box containing tube of calf lymph, supplied by the Associationfor the supply of Pure Vaccine Lymph, English, 1888
After calves had been inoculated with smallpox, the lymph containing white blood cells which fight against disease are extracted and preserved in capillary tubes. This is then used to vaccinate people against smallpox. Calf lymph replaced the human kind in 1898 as human lymph spread other infections, such as syphilis. The vaccine was blown on to a clean arm and scratched into the skin using a needle or pin point. The vaccine was supplied by the Association for the Supply of Pure Vaccine Lymph, as the compliment slip shows.
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