The World's Oldest Vaccine Certificate Viral, Here Are the Facts

Again, there are many pictures of vaccine certificates that are claimed to be the oldest in the world from the time of the Ottoman Empire. Is that true, here are the facts.

The narrative circulating on social media or WhatsApp broadcasts is as follows: The oldest vaccine certificate in the world is 1721 AD. Issued by the Ottoman Caliph of Islamiyah. Vaccines are part of an advanced Islamic civilization.

Along with the narration, there is a photo of brown paper that looks old. There is an Arabic script and a French Certificat du Vaccin.

Is it true that the oldest vaccine certificate? In our search a Google Image search yielded several answers. There are a number of photos that are similar but not the same.

It is called similar because the part of the paperhead is the same, it has the inscription Certificat du Vaccin. Then the paper layout is also the same consisting of tables. Only the bottom seems like a signature or date, slightly different writing.

What photo is this? Apparently this is indeed a Vaccine Certificate from the Ottoman Empire. However, his age is not as old as claimed in broadcasts on social media.

In fact, this vaccine certificate has become the news of a number of media abroad. Some of those who reported were Alsat and Slobodenpecat media from Macedonia. The headline is A document shows how the Ottomans checked if anyone had been vaccinated.

The vaccine certificate is from 1908 written in Arabic and French. That means he is 113 years old. At that time, measles and bubonic plague vaccines had been found. The contents of the document are vaccine data for a 10-year-old child from Istanbul, Turkey.

The certificate is a confirmation of vaccination against the pandemic in the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1326 H (1908 AD). Other writings are defined as follows:

Seal: Abdulhamid Khan bin Abdulmejid al-Muzafer daima

Name of vaccine recipient: Ismail Efendi

Age: 10

Father's name: Mehmed Aga

Father's occupation: Train driver


Address: Istanbul, apartment 17, Uskudar District, Tunusbagi Mahalla, Ed'hem Pasha Street No 44

Vaccine date: October 13, 1326 H

Vaccine officer: Mustafa bin Hussein

In conclusion, the broadcast circulating is half true. The photo is indeed a vaccine certificate (most likely measles vaccine) from the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. But not from 1721, but from 1908.

The claim to be the oldest vaccine certificate in the world is inconclusive. Alsat reported that at that time there were only measles and bubonic vaccines. It is not known whether before that there was a vaccine certificate or not.

But, it's really interesting to study people today. While many still have doubts about vaccines or even don't believe in COVID-19 vaccines, know that 100 years ago the Ottoman Caliph had already vaccinated and gave vaccine certificates.

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