Have you noticed that small round scar that some people have on their upper left arm?
This scar means that they were vaccinated against smallpox, which was a common practice before the 70s. In that period of time, doctors used a live Vaccinia virus so that they can activate an immune reaction thus protecting people from the influence of Variola virus which caused smallpox.
The usual reaction to this vaccination was formation of blisters which later on developed into a crust and that one healed in a few weeks. After that, the round scar appeared. In the process of vaccination, the physicians used a bifurcated needle dipped into the Vaccinia solution where the person’s arm was poked couple of times and every time the needle poked the skin a small amount of the vaccine was inserted, which caused blistering. Due to this way of vaccination the scars appeared rather large.
After the Vaccination
Commonly a small swelling appeared on the vaccinated spot which lasted for 6 to 8 hours. However, another swelling occurred after 6 to 8 weeks in appearance very similar to a mosquito bite. The swelling continued to grow forming a nodule that bursts and releases a fluid by which an ulcer is created. Fortunately, the ulcer healed, but the scar remained on the skin. Some people experienced reoccurrence of the ulcer and healing process 2 to 3 times.
After The 70s
After the seventies, the Variola virus disappeared in the western countries, and the practice of this type of vaccination ceased. Yet, in the countries where the virus was still active a vaccination was still needed. Luckily, in the eighties the Variola virus was eradicated from the entire population and the need for smallpox vaccines stopped.
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