Star Wars Droids Support Immunization

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Public domain image from the National Library of Medicine.

While browsing through public service posters from decades past, I ran across this gem and wanted to share it with all of you!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released this poster in 1977 after the success of the first Star Wars film. To give the time period context, the DTP (diptheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine had been around since 1948, but it had been only six years since the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine was licensed in the US. It had been only five years since smallpox vaccinations ended, thanks to near-eradication of the disease. In 1976, the year prior, the fewest cases of whooping cough to date had been reported, thanks to the vaccine. Around the time of this poster, the pneumococcal vaccine was licensed, and a year later, measles became the next target for elimination.

To see another icon used on behalf of health, see this poster in which Spock speaks for the Great American Smokeout.

By day, Ruth works to make open source software communities better. The rest of the time, she makes things, which means her husband and kids know to watch out for stray sewing pins and to ask before eating anything made of fondant.