Maybe you know that Edward Jenner is sometimes called the “Father of Immunology.” Maybe you know that Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine and declined to patent his invention. Maybe you’ve kept your finger on the pulse of vaccine news in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and consider yourself something of an amateur expert on the topic.

Whatever level of knowledge you have, there’s always more to learn about vaccines, from when they were first introduced to how they actually work. On this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is covering it all.

Was Catherine the Great an early proponent or opponent of the smallpox vaccine? Why did we start calling it a vaccine in the first place?

Press play below to learn those answers and more.

For future fascinating videos, be sure to subscribe to the Mental Floss YouTube channel.