Smallpox Vaccination: STS Model for Global Immunization Campaigns


  • Michelle Bach Stanford University


More than 400,000 people in 18th century Europe died of smallpox each year. Today, smallpox has become a distant memory due to successful global vaccination campaigns. The smallpox vaccine led to the eradication of an entire virus from humanity, a feat thought to be impossible. Although the vaccine itself was efficacious, it alone would not have been able to combat the disease. Global vaccination campaigns incorporated a multi-dimensional strategy to ensure that this successful vaccine was administered to individuals all across the globe, including areas with limited access to resources. This paper highlights the microbiological, material, textual, legal, and bioethical dimensions of the immunization campaigns. By describing each dimension in isolation as well as in conjunction with one another, this paper describes how future eradication efforts can utilize interdisciplinary, STS (science, technology, society) approaches to combatting vaccine-preventable infectious diseases.

Author Biography

  • Michelle Bach, Stanford University

    Stanford University






Research Articles