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Protection is not just about preventing disease: vaccine equity and ethics in the developing world

Jacob John, Gagandeep Kang

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2013.078


Vaccines are intended to prevent disease. In 1798, Jenner used the principle of an animal virus that caused a localised lesion but afforded protection against severe disease. This started the practice of “vaccination”. The idea of preventing disease and avoiding unnecessary suffering is attractive, but since vaccines are generally given to prevent disease in people who do not already have it, they must not themselves cause disease, or at least no more than acceptable discomfort.

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