Dr. Michiaki Takashiho’s Vaccine
The first chickenpox vaccine was actually developed by Japanese doctor Michiaki Takashiihno back in 1796. He discovered that by using milder strains of the virus, those who received the vaccine were less likely to develop severe symptoms than people who had never been vaccinated.
How Does the Vaccine Work?
Vaccines work by giving the body a small amount of the microbe (virus) so the immune system recognizes it and is able to protect the individual. When the person receives the vaccine again in the future, the antibodies produced by their own immune system fight off the threat and prevent infection.
Early Trials of Chicken Pox Vaccine
Back then, many thought that the idea of vaccination was not possible because the viruses were considered too dangerous to handle. To prove them wrong, doctors started conducting trials with animals back in the early 1900s. These experiments were successful in finding out how vaccines worked and eventually led to the creation of human vaccinations.
Why Was the Vaccine So Important?
Many people believed that if they could find a way to vaccinate humans against the disease, they would have no longer need to worry about contracting it. A number of people who contracted chickenpox died due to complications stemming from the infection. There were also a lot of cases where people suffered from the illness for months on end. In fact, in some parts of England, the entire population was affected until a cure was found.
Who Developed the Vaccine?
Michiaki Takashihno was born around 1750 in Japan. During his time, he came across an outbreak of what we know today as chickenpox. As mentioned before, he was shocked at how many people became sickened and even died after contracting the disease. After further investigation, he realized that there was only one thing that was responsible for the spread of the illness and that was the fact that people weren’t being vaccinated. Not long after, he began working with different types of vaccines and created the first chickenpox vaccine.
What Is the Modern Chickenpox Vaccine Used Today?
Today, the modern version of the vaccine looks much like the original but comes in two forms. There is the live attenuated and the killed whole virus. The former contains a weakened virus that still replicates well enough to stimulate the immune system to create antibodies, while the latter does not. Both of these vaccines are meant to provide protection against the virus. However, the live attenuated vaccine may cause side effects including fever, tiredness, nausea, and headaches. Other risks include the possibility of developing encephalitis and pneumonia.
Where Can You Get Vaccinated Against Chicken Pox?
You can get vaccinated against chicken pox at your primary care physician’s office. If you are unsure whether or not you should receive the vaccine, ask your doctor for recommendations from your local health department.