Celebrate Maurice Hilleman’s birthday this August 30

photo of an aged Maurice HillemanPlan to celebrate the first international Maurice Hilleman Day to honour “The man who saved your life.”

Fom Wikipedia’s article on Maurice Hilleman:

Maurice Ralph Hilleman (August 30, 1919 – April 11, 2005) was an American microbiologist who specialized in vaccinology and developed over three dozen vaccines, more than any other scientist. Of the fourteen vaccines routinely recommended in current vaccine schedules, he developed eight: those for measles, mumps, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, chickenpox, meningitis, pneumonia, and Haemophilus influenzae bacteria. He also played a role in the discovery of the cold-producing adenoviruses, the hepatitis viruses, and the cancer-causing virus SV40.

He is frequently credited with saving more lives than any other scientist of the 20th century.

Let’s look at the results of introducing immunizations.


disease measles cases before and after immunization in England

Hepatitis A:

cases of Hepatitis A before and after immunization, in England, Wales, and Scotland

Hepatitis B:

cases and deaths of Hepatitis B before and after immunization, in England and Wales


Meningitis cases in England

Notice that if some outside cause were reducing the cases of meningococcal disease, it should work on both serogroup B and serogroup C. Instead, illness drops only for the strain that is immunized against.

Diphtheria vaccine:

Notice how the deaths drop from about 8,000 a year to none.

One Response to “Celebrate Maurice Hilleman’s birthday this August 30”

  1. pKay Says:

    Amazing….. To think that I have not even heard of him :(… So much for doing a course in ‘biomedical science’ gezz…

    Great find tho!! I have seen a bunch of outdated graphs (i.e. stopped in the mid 90’s) similar to the ones above. Concluding the positive effects of immunisation!

    Keep up the great work :)

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