This volunteer smallpox eradication team vaccinator was in the process of administering a vaccine to a woman who at the time, was living with her family in a bastee, which was an illegal settlement. The bastees were a place where no governmental facilities were present, and where poverty ran rampant. In this image, the bifurcated needle is clearly depicted, as the vaccinator pricks the skin of the vaccinee with the needle after it had been tipped with live vaccinia virus. The smallpox vaccine helps the body develop immunity to smallpox. The vaccine is made from a virus called vaccinia which is a 'pox'-type virus related to smallpox. The smallpox vaccine contains the 'live' vaccinia virus, not the dead virus, which is the case in many other vaccines. For that reason, the vaccination site must be cared for carefully to prevent the virus from spreading. Also, the vaccine can have side effects. The vaccine does not contain the smallpox virus and cannot give you smallpox.
CDC/ World Health Organization; Stanley O. Foster M.D., M.P.H.
November 17, 2012
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