- First-ever vaccine was made to fight smallpox, a highly infectious disease thought to have killed half a billion
- Chart reveals how deaths dropped after vaccine was developed, before disease wiped out globally in 1980
- Graphs also reveal how cases and deaths from polio and measles dropped rapidly after vaccines
- Coronavirus vaccination has now begun worldwide, bringing hope that life may soon return to normality
Fascinating graphs reveal how some of the deadliest and most infectious diseases in human history were all-but wiped out after vaccines were developed to fight them.
Smallpox, measles and polio together killed hundreds of millions of people throughout human history, while leaving many millions more with life-long disfigurements or disabilities.
But with the help of vaccines, smallpox has now been eradicated worldwide, polio cases have been reduced by 99 per cent, and measles infections have also drastically reduced.