America’s First Vaccinators

Lecture Description

How did Americans respond when they learned of Edward Jenner’s discovery of vaccination for smallpox? This lecture will explore the origins of vaccination and how it was implemented in the United States. While many were eager to vaccinate themselves and their children, struggles emerged as doctors sought to profit from the procedure, and some groups (especially enslaved people and Native Americans) were largely kept from receiving it. Debates over these early vaccination policies and President Thomas Jefferson’s enthusiastic private but restrained public response shaped the way Americans have responded to vaccination and public health over the centuries.


Medicine Public Health and Disease

ALL TOPICS & TITLES: Go back to all topics and titles.

More Distinguished Lectureship Program Resources