Author(s): Hawgood BJ
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Abstract Waldemar Mordecai Haffkine developed an anticholera vaccine at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, in 1892. From the results of field trials in India from 1893 to 1896, he has been credited as having carried out the first effective prophylactic vaccination for a bacterial disease in man. When the plague pandemic reached Bombay, Haffkine became bacteriologist to the Government of (British) India (1896-1915). He soon produced an effective antiplague vaccine and large inoculation schemes were commenced. In 1902 19 people in Mulkowal (Punjab) died from tetanus poisoning as a consequence of antiplague vaccination. Haffkine was blamed unjustly and exonerated only in 1907, following a campaign spear-headed by Ronald Ross. In India the stigma remained. In 1925 in tribute to the great bacteriologist, the Bombay Government renamed the laboratory as the Haffkine Institute. The Haffkine Biopharmaceutical Corporation Ltd and the Haffkine Institute for Training, Research and Testing in Mumbai continue to be important centres for public health.
This article was published in J Med Biogr
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals