The triumph of immunisation

My father, who was born in Poland in 1898, only received one vaccine in his childhood, which was designed to protect him against smallpox. In Radom, as elsewhere, infectious diseases were regarded as an inescapable part of growing up, and there were regular outbreaks of diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox, causing fear, inconvenience and significant mortality. At that time, around 30% of all deaths occurred in children under the age of 5 years, with tuberculosis, pneumonia and diarrhoeal disease the biggest killers