The development of cowpox vaccination by Jenner led to the development of immunology as a scientific discipline. The subsequent eradication of smallpox and the remarkable effects of other vaccines are among the most important contributions of biomedical science to human health. Today, the need for new vaccines has never been greater. However, in developed countries, the public's fear of vaccine-preventable diseases has waned, and awareness of potential adverse effects has increased, which is threatening vaccine acceptance. To further the control of disease by vaccination, we must develop safe and effective new vaccines to combat infectious diseases, and address the public's concerns.