Were there efforts made in the 19th century to inoculate the natives against smallpox?



In 1832, Congress passed legislation — the Indian Vaccination Act — that allowed the federal government to use about $17,000 to hire doctors to vaccinate Native Americans who were living near White frontier settlements. Many White settlers feared that Indians would spread the disease to them. 

How did Native Americans deal with smallpox?

For example, when the first smallpox epidemics coursed through North America, Northern Plains individuals attempted to use “drum and rattle” incantations to ease the spread of the disease and to increase the will to survive. The most common medical treatment during this period was the sweat lodge.

When did they start inoculating for smallpox?





The smallpox vaccine, introduced by Edward Jenner in 1796, was the first successful vaccine to be developed. He observed that milkmaids who previously had caught cowpox did not catch smallpox and showed that inoculated vaccinia protected against inoculated variola virus.

What methods were used to protect against smallpox in the past?

The basis for vaccination began in 1796 when the English doctor Edward Jenner noticed that milkmaids who had gotten cowpox were protected from smallpox. Jenner also knew about variolation and guessed that exposure to cowpox could be used to protect against smallpox.

How was the smallpox vaccine given in the 1800s?

From 1796 to the 1880s, the vaccine was transmitted from one person to another through arm-to-arm vaccination.

Was smallpox intentionally spread to natives?

North American colonists’ warfare against Native Americans often was horrifyingly brutal. But one method they appear to have used—perhaps just once—shocks even more than all the bloody slaughter: The gifting of blankets and linens contaminated with smallpox.

Why was smallpox so devastating to the native populations in the New World?





With the arrival of Europeans in the Western Hemisphere, Native American populations were exposed to new infectious diseases, diseases for which they lacked immunity. These communicable diseases, including smallpox and measles, devastated entire native populations.

How did they inoculate smallpox?

Smallpox inoculation was a simple procedure: a doctor removed pus from an active pustule of an infected person, and then inserted that pus into the skin of a non-infected person via a small incision. The insertion of the pus resulted in the inoculated person contracting smallpox.

How did they treat smallpox before the vaccine?

There was no treatment for smallpox before the creation of vaccines. Doctors gave people supportive care to help them manage the symptoms, but that was all they could do. Smallpox vaccines prevented people from getting smallpox, but they were not a cure for existing cases.

When did they stop inoculating for smallpox?

Routine smallpox vaccination among the American public stopped in 1972 after the disease was eradicated in the United States.



How did Native Americans treat diseases?

In some cases, disease was seen as a punishment for disregarding tribal traditions or disobeying tribal rituals. Spiritual powers were called on to cure diseases through the practice of shamanism. Most Native American tribes also used a wide variety of medicinal plants and other substances in the treatment of disease.

Why did diseases like smallpox affect Native Americans so badly?

Why did diseases like smallpox affect Native Americans so badly? Native Americans were less robust than Europeans. Europeans deliberately infected Native Americans. Native Americans had no immunity to European diseases.

How did they sterilize Native American?

Hysterectomies and tubal ligation were the two main sterilization methods used.

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