Immunizations serve as a standard expectation in most Americans' lives. Our kids enter the world and visit the pediatrician for annual shots and boosters. But what they receive today differs from what we got. And all of our parents and grandparents even faced a different selection of shots again. August is Immunization Awareness Month, and Vaughn Pharmacy, a family-owned pharmacy in TN, wants to look at where we've been and where we're going with immunizations.
Immunizations date far back into history, probably even further than you can trace your family timeline. Traveling back to 1549 reveals the initial origins of vaccines.
The history begins before vaccines as we know them. They're unlike the ones we find in a family-owned pharmacy in Powell, TN. They started with an immunizing procedure called 'inoculation' or 'variolation.' In 1549, researchers discovered that using materials containing smallpox lesions triggered a person's immunity.
In 1796, scientists took another step toward vaccines as we know them today. Edward Jenner conducted a study where he took material from a blister from someone infected with cowpox and inoculated it into another person's skin. This happened before anyone even thought of opening a family-owned pharmacy in Powell, TN. Jenner's study was considered to be arm-to-arm inoculation. By the 1940s, science had advanced enough that the mass production of vaccinations was available, and vaccine production became possible. Immunizations have become standard practice as we know it today, but with an ever-changing timeline.
- The 1940s – Recommended immunizations looked different at this time but still had the ones we see today. Recommendations included smallpox, Diphtheria, tetanus, and Pand pertussis. Those last three on this list are now known as DTP.
- The 1950s – Take all of the 1940s recommendations and add a big one to the list. Polio was introduced in 1955. This was a game-changer. Parents no longer sent their kids away from home for the summer in fear that they would contract Polio.
- The 1960s – Measles, mumps, and rubella landed on the list of recommendations. Though vaccines began gaining momentum and changing lives, patients still needed to seek a doctor to administer shots, as any family-owned pharmacy in Powell, TN, could not give shots.
- The 1970s – In this decade, one immunization fell off the list of recommendations. Smallpox was considered successfully eradicated and no longer recommended for the population to receive the vaccine. Besides the removal of smallpox, the recommendations did not change or grow.
- The 1980s - Haemophilus influenza Type B joined the ranks in the late 1980s. Hepatitis B had been licensed in 1981, and select populations received the shot. After doctors determined it was impossible to identify specific patients at risk, it became recommended for everyone in 1989.
- The 1990s-2000s – Schedule changes occurred in the mid-1990s to keep up with the evolution of vaccines. Chickenpox, Varicella, rotavirus, hepatitis A, and pneumococcal joined the ranks of recommendations. Oral Polio was discontinued in 2003.
- Present – Medical professionals continually review schedules, review new formulas, and watch for modifications to existing ones. The Meningococcal Serogroup B vaccine has been added to the list, and influenza regularly undergoes updates and changes.
Do you remember a time before a family-owned pharmacy in Powell, TN, would administer a vaccine? In the grand scheme of things, pharmacists taking the role of administering shots is relatively recent. They didn't start injecting the public until the mid-1990s.
Each decade, we see additions and some removals of recommended vaccines. All pharmacies in the US, including any family-owned pharmacy in Powell, TN, monitor and remain current with CDC guidelines. However, more developments and changes to how immunizations are handled are evolving even further. What we're used to today may look different in the future.
- Rapid development. Science moves faster and faster as experts gain and build on knowledge. We've seen this with the new COVID-19 vaccines. It no longer takes over ten years to develop a new solution to an alarming disease.
- Vaccines without the needle. The fear of needles is rampant in the general population, which could significantly impact those who avoided a shot. Currently, scientists are concentrating on creating micro patches that deliver the vaccine. Since they are considered affordable to create, and storage doesn't involve extreme methods, the patches could be something consumers see on shelves in a family-owned pharmacy in Powell, TN, in the future.
- Iris scanning and digital storage. This one may as well come out of a sci-fi novel, but development and implementation in developing countries have already started. Developing countries grapple with tracking vaccinated individuals and managing booster schedules. West Africa has already seen this as patients' fingerprints, and retinals could be scannable to determine the individual's vaccination schedule during the Ebola outbreak. This bio-tracking development provides the benefits of accurate tracking and anonymity for those concerned with incorrect stigmatization.
Vaccinations continually evolve to meet the public's health needs. Administering immunizations moved from a doctor's appointment to a potential quick visit to a family-owned pharmacy in Powell, TN. Immunizations have changed the face of diseases and offer an advantage to the public's health, knocking down deadly illnesses. Future developments will fly down the pipeline at speeds greater than history has seen thus far. With continual advancements coming and additional lives saved.
Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966
Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!