Have you ever wondered what that small scar on the upper left arm is? You might have seen it on some people, or you might even have it. Well, it is from being vaccinated from small pox. The vaccine was actually pretty common before the 1970’s, What it did is use live Vaccinia virus so that it can trigger an immune response that would protect people against the Variola virus that was dangerous and that caused smallpox.
How Did the Scar Appear?
After being vaccinated with this one, some blisters started forming in the area where the vaccination was put. After a couple of weeks of course, it healed. However, at the end, it still left a round scar.
In order to deliver the vaccine, a bifurcated needle was taken and dipped in the Vaccinia solution and the person who was being treated was poked a couple of times. Thus, a small amount of the vaccine was deposited each time that the needle went into the skin. This way some blisters formed. This is the explanation as to why the scars are actually so large.
Anyways, right after the vaccine there would be a small swelling at the vaccination place which would have been there for 6-8 hours. Afterwards, when the swelling disappeared the vaccination started to look normal.
Then, 6-8 weeks later some swelling would again appear, and this one looked like a mosquito bite. It would start to grow and then form a nodule which would break open and discharge fluid and form an ulcer. The ulcer would be healed by forming a scar. This process took from 2-5 weeks. Sometimes, it might have even took the whole ulceration and healing process 2-3 times. Thus, the scar that would appear would last a lifetime.
However, after the 1970’s, smallpox was gone in most of the Western world, so, a vaccination was not necessary. Well, unless you wanted to travel to a countrscay where the virus was still there.
The Variola virus was actually certified that it was eradicated from the whole world’s population in the 1980’s and the vaccination for smallpox was stopped right after that.