Printed in “As We See It”
Denies Bad Effect of Vaccination
BECAUSE of a continual cry in certain quarters against vaccination, the Washington Times had an investigation conducted by Dr. M. S. Iseman, who visited twenty-four public schools and personally examined one thousand children who had been vaccinated, the larger part during 1909 and 191o. The average age of those vaccinated was five years.
Dr. Iseman characterizes the cry against vaccination as a “survival of the great-great-grandfather days brought over from England, and, in spite of the progress of the age, cropping every now and then in their descendants.”
The doctor sees a rehearsal of those scenes in Italy and Russia to-day, where, in time of a cholera plague, “the peasantry resist the efforts of the doctors to stay infection, and accuse them of poisoning the people.”
Dr. Iseman carefully examined one thousand pupils, making inquiry as to mortality rates, detention from school on account of vaccination, general health of the children, and knowledge of any permanent disability resulting from the vaccination.
If, as the antivaccinationists claim, disastrous results follow the inoculation, there should have been some sign of it in some of these one thousand children, and there should be a decided increase of mortality among the vaccinated; but, as a matter of fact, the doctor reports that he was unable to discover a single child suffering from any apparent disease or affection, and that, for health, vigor, and alertness, these vaccinated children can not be surpassed by an equal number of unvaccinated children on earth.
We look upon the peasants in Italy and Russia who attempt to prevent the efforts of the officers to stay cholera, as ignorant and only semicivilized. How is it when this spirit breaks out in a country where there is more opportunity for obtaining knowledge regarding these matters? Is civilization any proof against the promulgation of superstitious beliefs, such as these which have prevented in other countries effectual work against plague and cholera?
Printed in “As We See It”
IT would seem that these inoculations are pretty well beyond the experimental stage. An article by Major Gosman, of the United States Army Medical Corps, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, October 1, reports that of 8,510 United States Army medical officers inoculated up to June, 1910, not one has developed typhoid fever, in spite of varied exposure, though there have been in the same time in the army among unprotected persons more than two hundred cases of typhoid. The same favorable results are reported by others; for instance, the Massachusetts General Hospital reports that since the beginning of inoculation of all persons coming in contact with typhoid patients, there has not been a single case of typhoid among the nurses and ward tenders, although heretofore there has never been a year in which there have not been such cases.
Major Russell, of the United States Army Medical Corps, in a paper giving results of three thousand six hundred doses of the antityphoid vaccine, says: “It is in some ways a matter of surprise that a method which promises so much has been used so little. It may be said that it has scarcely been used outside of the English, German, and American armies.” In conclusion, he states that vaccination against typhoid undoubtedly protects to a very great extent against the disease.
The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal in June made the suggestion that those whose occupation or vocation would subject them to a special risk of typhoid, should be inoculated. In view of the statistics, this advice would appear to be sound.
Printed in “News Notes”
The Antivaccination League Declining.— The antivaccination cause in Europe is experiencing hard times. Yearly its support from the public is growing less, and there are no signs of rejuvenation. In 1907 the monthly receipts of the society were over eighty pounds; in 1908, over sixty pounds; in 1909, over forty pounds; in 1910, barely twenty pounds. The British Medical Journal comments: “This is a source of uneasiness to the headquarters,— a very natural state of affairs,— seeing there is less money to share among those who have made the antivaccination cause a sort of profession.” But the troubles do not end there; there has been dissension among the leaders, and their leading paper has a number of times been forced to offer profuse apologies to physicians it has maligned.