Letter written by ‘father of vaccines’ could sell for £ 8,000
A letter written by the father of vaccination, Dr Edward Jenner, to a fellow doctor who had supported his pioneering work is expected to fetch up to £ 8,000 at auction.
In 1798, Dr. Jenner published his study on the cause and effects of the disease now known as cowpox and how it might act as a vaccine against the smallpox virus.
Four years later he wrote to Dr John Glover Loy, a doctor based in Whitby, thanking him for his own work.
Dr. Loy’s research had confirmed Dr. Jenner’s theory that the origins of smallpox were a disease in horses called “fat,” known as horse pox, and supporting smallpox’s role in preventing smallpox. smallpox.
The letter, which is being sold by the descendants of Dr Loy, will be put under hammer at Dominic Winter Auctioneers in South Cerney, Gloucestershire on June 16.
Dr Jenner writes that he wants Dr Loy’s findings to be widely read, especially in London, where they will be seen by his own critics.
“I don’t know of any production on the subject of the vaccine that has given me more satisfaction, since it was first presented to the public, than yours,” wrote Dr. Jenner.
“It contains the experimentum crucis and has effectively put an end to the sneers of those little minds who think everything impossible that does not come within the narrow sphere of their own understanding.”
“I regret that your confirmation that I had advanced is not known more generally.”
The development of the smallpox vaccine led to the eradication of the disease worldwide in 1980.
“Edward Jenner’s letters are rarely auctioned and are always interesting and this one is expected to fetch over £ 5,000,” said auctioneer Chris Albury.
“Getting one that relates to vaccination is ideal, but this letter also offers insight into Dr. Jenner’s character and true feelings as he fought with the medical establishment while promoting his ideas.
Mr Albury said Dr Jenner’s ideas had been greeted enthusiastically in some quarters, but were not universally accepted and there were strong anti-vaccination sentiments then and now. hui, for a variety of reasons.
“One can understand some of the anti-vaccination skeptics who were not fazed by the idea of using cowpox pus to vaccinate people against smallpox in terms of hygiene and its ‘unchristian’ practice. “associated with mistrust of medicine in general,” he said.
“The most common practice at the time was to use smallpox itself to vaccinate against the disease, but the risks were great with a death rate of 2% and the added danger of creating local epidemics and more. transmitters of the deadly disease.
“Dr Jenner’s vaccination theories were proven correct and in 1840 the British government banned the use of variola – the use of smallpox to induce immunity – and provided the vaccination using cow pox free.
The 18th century scientist discovered the smallpox virus vaccine at his home in Berkeley, Gloucestershire.
Dr. Jenner built a one-room hut in his backyard to vaccinate people for free. He died of a stroke in his study in 1823.