Haffkine serum against cholera and plague

Professor Waldemar Haffkine’s serum, although rejected by the medical establishment in his home country of Russia, nevertheless saw great success in India when he moved there in the late 19th century to tackle the severe challenges of successive epidemics on the subcontinent.

A contemporary article, authored by William T Fee, British Consul in India, describes the Haffkine serum as follows: “In vaccination for smallpox a living germ is dealt with, whereas in plague inoculation dead seed only are injected” (Fee, 1899, p. 2047).

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