A tale of two blisters

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 16 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:671
  1. M G Jacoby, Patchogue
  1. New York, USA

    In 1924, when I was 4 years old, there was an outbreak of smallpox in Sunderland, my home town. Everyone was getting vaccinated with three inoculations of cowpox vaccine scratched into the skin over the deltoid area on the left arm. After a few days three blisters would appear, while the surrounding area became red and inflamed. To avoid pain, those who had been vaccinated wore red ribbons on their …

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