John Enders – The Father of Modern Vaccines

John Enders (1897-1985) is often called “The Father of Modern Vaccines.”

Together with T. H. Weller and F. C. Robbins, Enders received the Nobel Prize in 1954 for their work on the cultivation of the poliomyelitis viruses (in 1949).

He also, with Thomas Peebles, isolated the measles virus in 1954 and the mumps virus, with K Habel, in 1945.

In 1963, Enders developed the first attenuated measles vaccine, using the Edmonston strain of measles that his assistant, pediatrician Thomas Peebles had taken with a throat swab from 11-year-old David Edmonston in Boston.

Enders’ measles vaccine was replaced by another live measles vaccine which was licensed in 1968. It used the further attenuated Edmonston-Enders strain and was thought to cause fewer side effects, such as fever and rash.

John Enders appeared on the cover of Time magazine on November 17, 1961.

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