On May 14, 1796, Edward Jenner, an English physician and scientist who pioneered the concept of vaccines, administered the first smallpox vaccination to 8 year old James Phipps.

In 1977, with assistance from the World Health Organization, the smallpox virus became the first disease in the world to be eradicated from the global  population as a result of vaccinations.

Jenner’s work was preceded by Chinese and Turkish practices of inoculating with weakened cowpox and smallpox derivatives.