Stamp Honors Anniversary of Ending Smallpox
On May 8, 2020, the Geneva office of the United Nations issued a stamp commemorating the 40th anniversary of the global eradication of smallpox. The stamp shows a close up of a patient receiving a smallpox vaccine. The words “Eradication of smallpox and World Health Organization” are written in French.
Smallpox had affected mankind for centuries before the vaccine was developed and distributed around the world. On December 9, 1979, the World Health Organization stated that the disease had been eradicated. The World Health Assembly made a similar decree on May 8 the following year. The programs put in place to eradicate smallpox continue to be used to fight other diseases including polio and the Ebola virus.