Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 605


Traditional inoculation practices that led to the development of modern vaccination Techniques: A review

Tadesse Mehari
  • Tadesse Mehari
  • National Commission for Higher Education, Eritrea.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 18 July 2020
  •  Accepted: 23 December 2020
  •  Published: 31 January 2021


Most developments in biotechnology during the last few decades focused on the potential applications of human health, vaccination being the most prominent invention to date. Disease prevention is the most convenient and highly effective approach to promoting human health and prolonging life. Vaccinations have prevented millions of deaths worldwide every year and diseases that used to kill, disable or debilitate millions of people are either gone or seen very rarely. Prevention is the first essential step that needs to be taken before a preventive medicine or vaccine is developed and public health pays a prominent role in this respect. This is, actually, what is happening currently with the Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic, although recently vaccines are being administered in different parts of the world. This paper reviews the traditional inoculation methods that were practiced in several societies around the world for the last several hundreds of years, before the advent of the modern vaccination techniques. The paper was compiled using literature review of various publications consultations of the customary laws, and interviews of knowledgeable people on the subject matter. The paper emphasizes how the traditional inoculation practices have laid down the foundation for the advent of the modern vaccination techniques. The principle of isolating infected people leading to the modern practice of quarantine.

Key words: Inoculation, immunization, smallpox, traditional biotechnology, vaccination, vaccine, variolation.