Is Vaccination Beneficial?
A SINGLE statement is sufficient to prove to the unprejudiced mind the value of vaccination as a preventive of smallpox. Germany, which, since 1874, has had not only compulsory vaccination at the end of the first year of life, but also compulsory vaccination at the age of twelve, since that year has suffered not a single epidemic of smallpox. From 1893 to 1897 there were in the whole German empire only 287 deaths from smallpox. During the same period there died from this disease in the Russian empire 275,502 persons; in Spain, 23,000; in Hungary, 12,000; in Austria and Italy, 11,000. In Philadelphia alone, from 1901 to 1905, 5,000 persons had the disease, and 500 died. There was no death of persons who had been successfully vaccinated within ten years.
The stamping out of smallpox, therefore, requires not only vaccination soon after birth, but revaccination at least once, and better twice, at intervals of ten or twelve years. A single vaccination can not be expected to protect an individual indefinitely. In fact, experience shows that it does not.— Boston Medical and Surgical Journal.