Topic outline

    • Edward Jenner

      About the passage

      A.  Read to understand

      1. Write T for statements that are true and F for those that are false.

      a) Edward Jenner practised medicine in London for three years before returning to Berkeley. T

      b) Smallpox was a disease of the common man. F

      c) On publication, Jenner’s results were not quite well received. T

      d) Jenner’s vaccination became popular in other countries immediately after the publication of his journal. F

      e) The practice of variolation had originated in East Asia. T


      2. Answer the following questions.

      a) How was Jenner’s apprenticeship useful in building his career?

      Ans. Edward acquired a sound knowledge of medical and surgical practice during his apprenticeship. On completing his apprenticeship at the age of twenty-one, he went to London and became the house pupil of John Hunter, one of the most prominent surgeons in London. After studying in London for 3 years, he returned to country practice in Berkeley and enjoyed substantial success.


      b) What were the drawbacks of the earlier form of vaccination against smallpox that was available to the people?

      Ans. Earlier form of vaccination against smallpox had the following drawbacks:

      1. Unfortunately, the transmitted disease did not always remain mild, and mortality sometimes occurred.

      2. Furthermore, the inoculated person could disseminate the disease to others and thus act as a focus of infection.


      c) What led Jenner to use matter from cowpox lesions to inoculate people against smallpox?

      Ans. Jenner had been impressed by the fact that a person who had suffered an attack of cowpox—a relatively harmless disease that could be contracted from cattle—could not take the smallpox—i.e., could not become infected whether by accidental or intentional exposure to smallpox. This led Jenner to use matter from cowpox lesions to inoculate people against smallpox.


      B.  Read to infer

      1. Explain the line, ‘the disease respected no social class’.

      Ans. It means that the disease was spreading and affecting, anyone and everyone, regardless of their economic status, social status, religion, sect, creed, race, sex, or any other socially constructed groups.


      2. Variolation was a ‘primitive form of vaccination’ because

      a) it entirely failed in protecting the inoculated individuals from smallpox.

      b) it belonged to a very early stage in the development of the smallpox vaccine.

      c) it was practised for the very first time by the people living in the prehistoric age.

      d) it could not provide protection without deliberately infecting healthy individuals.


      3. Jenner did not immediately publicize the results of his experiment on James Phipps. Why?

      Ans. Jenner subsequently inoculated James Phipps with smallpox more than twenty times to ensure that the protection was complete. Thus, he did not immediately publicize the results of his experiment on James Phipps.


      4. The concluding part of the passage highlights Jenner’s

      a) persuasiveness.   b) persistence.   c) shrewdness.   d)selflessness.


      5. A scientific method involves the following steps: observing some phenomenon (O), providing a possible explanation (E), testing the explanation through repeated experiments (T), and reporting the results (R). Write (O), (E), (T), or (R) for these statements.

      a) Jenner concluded that cowpox can act as a protective mechanism against smallpox. (E)

      b) Jenner noted that people suffering from cowpox do not become infected by smallpox. (O)

      c) Jenner published the book An Inquiry into the causes and Effects of the Vaiolae Vaccinae. (R)

      d) Jenner inoculated Phipps and others, first with cowpox matter and later with smallpox matter. (T)


      C.  Discuss

      You read how Edward Jenner’s findings resulted in helping people build immunity towards smallpox. Can you think of the different ways in which we can strengthen our immune system (our body’s natural disease-fighting mechanism)? Discuss in class.

      Following are the ways to strengthen our immune system:

      1. Stay away from bad habits such as overeating, smoking, drug or alcohol.

      2. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

      3. Exercise regularly.

      4. Maintain a healthy weight.

      5. Get adequate sleep.

      6. Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently.

      7. Try to minimize stress.

      (Answer will vary)