UMW professor discusses challenges of delivering vaccines through the ages on 'With Good Reason' Radio

UMW professor discusses challenges of delivering vaccines through the ages on 'With Good Reason' Radio

July 26, 20212 min read

If you thought today’s walk-up and drive-thru clinics to get vaccinated for COVID-19 were a lot of work, imagine how vaccines were safely transported across the Atlantic, without deep freezers or jets?

Recently, UMW Professor of History and American Studies Allyson Poska was asked by 'With Good Reason' Radio - and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - to lend her expert opinion on the history of vaccines and the challenges the world has had trying to keep the public healthy and inoculated.

Over two centuries ago, as the Spanish Empire embarked on the first-ever vaccination campaign against smallpox, "getting shots into arms" had an entirely different meaning. And government authorities back then faced as many challenges with promoting vaccinations as they do today. 

The First Vaccine

Allyson Poska (University of Mary Washington)
There’s been a lot of coverage about the challenges of distributing the Covid-19 vaccine. How do we get it to distant areas? How do we use a whole vial before it expires? What about the special refrigerators needed to keep it cold enough? But these problems seem minor compared to the very first vaccine distribution in the early 1800s. Historian Allyson Poska shares the story of 29 orphan boys who crossed the Atlantic Ocean as live incubators for the smallpox vaccine and what lessons we can learn from this early campaign.  July 21 - With Good Reason

This is a fascinating topic, and if you are a journalist looking to cover this topic, then let us help. Dr. Allyson Poska is available to speak with media regarding this subject - simply click on her icon now to arrange an interview today.

Connect with:
  • Allyson Poska
    Allyson Poska Professor

    Dr. Poska is an internationally known expert on the history of women in early modern Europe and colonial Latin America.

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