Podcast by Vaccine: The Human Story
6. The Last Battle
In this episode, we chart the WHO smallpox eradication campaign - an international operation of massive manpower, unlikely allies, and sheer human determination. From the concept of "ring-fence" vaccination beginning with forest firefighters in America, to a junior doctor striking a bargain with smugglers on the India-Bangladesh border, it's a story that spans several continents and reveals how people's unique ability to shape the world can, just occasionally, be used for good.
5. Resistance and Fear
In the final years of the 19th century, a vast crowd takes to the streets of the city of Leicester, in an outburst of anger at the medical and political establishment.
In this episode, we look at the birth of the anti-vaccination movement. With the threat of smallpox absent from our lives, it's difficult to relate to those who resisted the vaccine in the past - but against the backdrop of Victorian class conflict and new sweeping public health measures, the revolutionary new technology became interlinked with concepts of subjugation and control in the minds of many of society's most downtrodden.
4. A Gift from Heaven
At the start of the 19th century, a ship sets sail from Bengal, India, carrying a most peculiar cargo...
In this episode, we look at the development of the smallpox vaccine by an English country doctor, which rapidly eclipsed the earlier practice of inoculation. The cowpox vaccine represented an astonishing new development in public health, but also something of a logistical challenge - how to carry it long distances, across the sea? The answer would ignite a fierce culture war, and inextricably link the new technology to the age's great historical movements of power and empire.
3. Chasing the Sun
In this Episode of Vaccine, we look at the origins of inoculation, a precursor to vaccination which gave people immunity by deliberately infecting them with a mild case of smallpox.
With origins in medieval China, it became common practices in countries such as India and Turkey in the 16th and 17th centuries, but still remained unheard of in Europe. Its introduction ignited a fierce and colourful culture war, with a cast of characters including doctors, witchfinders, and fashionable ladies of high society.
2. The Forgotten Terror
Today, it’s so difficult for many of us to imagine what it must have felt like to have lived in a time when the spectre of smallpox stalked the streets. And it’s this historical emotion, this forgotten terror, that this episode of Vaccine is going to explore.
Find out about the earliest attempts to treat the disease in the libraries of Baghdad, and along the Silk Road. Hear about the famous Queen of England who suffered with the illness, and was forever scarred by it. Discover what happened when the catastrophe of smallpox arrived in the New World, and find out how the first rays of hope began to pierce the darkness of life under smallpox.
1. An Impossible Dream
In 1980, the World Health Assembly gathered to announce that one of mankind’s greatest and deadliest enemies had been finally, and completely defeated. That enemy was smallpox.
In this opening episode, we look at the devastating impact of smallpox throughout history, as it wrought havoc on the human race. Discover how a 12th-century samurai drove the demon of smallpox away from the island of Ishima. Find out how the Yoruba people worship the god of smallpox, and in India prayers are given to the goddess Shitala - the one who cools. For centuries, smallpox was a monster, a demon - sometimes even a god. But the first lights of resistance were already being lit.
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Written and narrated by Annie Kelly
Produced by Paul Cooper
Sound engineering by Alexey Sibikin
Fantastic pod full stack developed
What a great reading voice, the topic is very will research. Annie Kelly is impressive podcaster! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Hugely interesting and factual
So happy to see yet another episode in this sensitive balanced series.
Annie Kelly is amazing! I first got to know her work through the Qanon anonymous podcast were she is always a mountain of fascinating information over a plethora of subjects. She and her team have created a concise and well researched tale of human struggle and absurdity around disease 🦠 and cure. Definitely worth a listen!