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Vaccine. 2003 Mar 28;21(13-14):1382-90.

Smallpox vaccination techniques. 2. Accessories and aftercare.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, Liverpool University, UK.


The various accessories used for smallpox vaccination are surveyed. These included modified vaccination instruments and various other items which facilitated the procedure, containers for preservation and transport of vaccine, sterilising equipment, aids to interpretation and recording, and a variety of skin preparations and dressings. Three phases can be discerned in the development and use of such items and procedures. Initially, in the pre-bacteriological era, there was little need for accessory equipment apart from the means of preserving and transporting vaccine. Later, particularly by the end of the 19th century, the importance of aseptic and antiseptic procedures was realised, use was made of more traumatic vaccination techniques and glass capillaries became the standard method for preservation and transport. All this led to the increasing availability of a wide range of accessories, particularly of skin preparations and dressings. Finally, from about 1930, it was appreciated that skin preparation and dressings were often unnecessary, and could be counter-productive. So, although accessories for this were still available their use was very much reduced. In some respects the use of accessories during this last phase, based on scientific analysis was a return to the earliest, 'pre-scientific', era.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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