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Vital Signs

Facts & Figures: Vaccine Victories

Given this year's flu-shot shortage, here are a few numbers showing that those needle-sticks really do work:

Year the first vaccine ever, for smallpox, was developed

Number of people worldwide who died of smallpox in 1904

Number of people worldwide who have died of smallpox since 1998

Year the measles vaccine was developed

503,282 *
Number of Americans who died of measles in 1962

89 *
Number of Americans who died of measles in 1998

Year an influenza vaccine was developed

Number of Americans who died in the influenza pandemic of 1918-19

Number of Americans who died of influenza in 2003-04

Number of individuals with a Dartmouth affiliation who have chaired the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (alumnus Samuel Katz, M.D., and faculty member John Modlin, M.D.)

Sources: The Scientist; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

* In the print edition of the magazine, these figures were erroneously identified as worldwide deaths. They are correct as described here.

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