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?