Many people have a small round scar on their left arm and it’s often different in size and shape in different people. But, where did this scar come from? Well, people who have been vaccinated for small pox are those who have a scar like this. Small pox was regarded as a serious issue before 1970s and this vaccine was mandatory.
Doctors used the Vaccinia virus to trigger an immune response that was meant to protect people from the Variola virus, the one that causes smallpox.
Doctors used a bifurcated needle dipped in Vaccinia solution. Then, each individual’s arm was poked several times. As the needle broke the skin, an amount on the vaccine was unloaded. This is why blisters formed at the vaccination area, and a scar followed after them.
A small swelling appeared, right after the application of the vaccine, that stayed there for 6-8 hours. The swelling would then disappear and the site would look normal. A swelling that looks like a mosquito bite appeared one again on the same spot after 6-8 weeks. This is when it started to grow and form a nodule. The nodule would break open and discharge fluid, forming a blister.
The entire process would take 2-5 weeks and sometimes the process of forming blisters would recur 2-3 times. This is how the scar got formed – a one that stay with the individual forever.
After the 1970s smallpox was no longer present in most of the countries int he world. Thus, a vaccination wasn’t needed unless someone wanted to travel to countries where there were still traces of the virus. After 1980, the Variola virus was officially regarded to have been eradicated from the world’s population.
Smallpox is a viral infectious disease that causes severe skin rash and fever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 3 out of 10 people died from the virus during the most significant smallpox outbreaks in the 20th century, while many others remained disfigured. Fortunately, researchers have been able to create a vaccine against this virus.