Outstanding scientist and bacteriologist Waldemar Haffkine

  • I. B. Chen
  • H. B. Humeniuk


Waldemar Haffkine is an outstanding bacteriologist, immunologist and epidemiologist who was born in Ukraine. He studied at the Department of Natural Sciences at the Imperial Novorossiisk University (now Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University), and his scientific career as a zoologist began under the guidance of the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine Ilia Mechnikov. Working at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, he developed a vaccine against cholera, tested its effectiveness on himself and for the first time vaccinated people against bacterial diseases. During the cholera epidemic in India, he established a vaccine production, organized preventive vaccinations and inoculated tens of thousands of people, as a result of which morbidity and mortality decreased tenfold. When the plague epidemic struck Bombay, W. Haffkine soon developed a plague vaccine and re-tested its safety. He founded a bacteriological laboratory in Bombay for the production of vaccines and organized large-scale vaccination schemes. The Haffkine Institute still makes millions of doses of vaccines and serums, saving people from cholera, plague, typhus, rabies, tetanus and other diseases.

Keywords: anticholera vaccine, antiplague vaccination, inoculation schemes, the Haffkine Institute.


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