Dr. Seuss and the Pro-Vaccine Movement Through Illustration

Hi science nerds!

Did you know the first recorded instance of the word “nerd” is in Dr. Seuss’ ‘If I Ran the Zoo’ published in 1950?

He wasn’t an actual doctor. He added the “Dr.” to his pen name because his father always wanted him to practice medicine. He did, however, earn an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth in 1956.

A national Dr. Seuss Immunization Awareness Campaign on Oct. 30, 1997, released prints of illustrations from Dr. Seuss’ most famous works accompanied by rhymes encouraging parents to vaccinate their children.
Six posters featured different rhymes.

The Cat in the Hat reminds parents and doctors that “each exam is a chance to bring kids up to date. On routine and catch up, shots that shouldn’t really wait.” An illustration from the King’s Stilts, showing a quarantined child, says, “What’s going on here? What’s wrong with this fella? Why isn’t he protected against measles, mumps, and rubella?” — HuffPost

If Cat in the Hat can’t convince parents that vaccinations are important, then who can?

Here are some of his pro-vaccine pieces:

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