How residents of the Canaries (and South America) were vaccinated against smallpox

Posted by Mencey

The Guardian newspaper has a fascinating account HERE of how the Canaries were vaccinated in 1803, and highlights how easy we have it these days. The vaccine was produced in Spain but only survived 12 days in vitrio. The challenge was to find a method of transporting it on a long sea voyage, and the answer was a team of boys. Towards the end of the 12-day period of live vaccine, two boys would get vaccinated and then the serum from their pustules was taken to infect two more children, and so on until they arrived at their destination with fresh serum. Obvious ethical issues here, but 22 boys were used (and survived) to save possibly thousands of lives in the Canaries and South America.

Having written all that, I now see that Diana McGlone beat me to it, with a link which is far more informative, HERE