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To curb the spread of smallpox decades ago, authorities had to further rely on a suite of low-tech measures. Reining in Covid-19 will be similar
Smallpox killed countless millions—300 million people in the 20th century alone—before it was finally declared eradicated on May 8th 1980. It was a momentous day, marking what the current director general of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called the greatest “public health triumph in world history”.
Smallpox, as one researcher has emphasised, “was eradicated solely through vaccination”. Today, this achievement feels particularly encouraging and seems ready for a reboot as governments worldwide tell the public that the Covid vaccine will soon end the pandemic and return life to normal.
Worldwide, advance reviews are flooding in. Vaccines are…
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