Fatal error: Smallpox mailed to Tarboro

“[In 1813] Congress established a National Vaccine Agency as part of the Act to Encourage Vaccination (promoted by former president Jefferson). The Vaccine Agency was closed, however, and the Act to Encourage Vaccination repealed, in 1822, after [agency director James] Smith mistakenly mailed smallpox virus instead of cowpox to a vaccinator in Tarboro, North Carolina. Dr. Smith’s error caused at least 10 deaths.”

— From “The Greatest Killer: Smallpox in History” (2002) by Donald R. Hopkins