Testimonies of Medical Men,
London Society for the Abolition of Compulsory Vaccination Westminster, S.W. 114, Victoria Streetpage break
It is often said that a discovery so momentous as that of Dr. Jenner, affecting every household in its most sacred relations of parent and child, creating, as it does, the most intolerant anxiety to use compulsion, and thus utterly destructive of all respect for the right of private judgment, could not by any possibility have obtained general belief until it had passed the ordeal of stringent inquiry and positive proof.
Little do such reasoners understand the motives which sway the popular mind, or the exaggerated hopes and fears in which superstitions take their rise; and little do they comprehend or admit the infinitesimal difference between to-day and a century ago, in the logical acumen and mental activity of the leaders of society and of fashion. Had Dr. Jenner's famous discovery been delayed till the present day, inquiry and sarcasm, in certain narrow circles, would doubtless have been trenchant and severe. But did not Jenner himself bitterly complain of the opposition of his medical compeers; of their determined refusal to confer the much-coveted degree of the London College of Physicians, unless he consented to undergo the usual and not very difficult examination; and of the ungracious reception of the cow-pox by the medical world, as compared with the bright and glowing enthusiasm of lords and ladies, the simple faith of philanthropists and theologians, and the involuntary admiration of wondering country squires?
It must in candour be admitted that the public of our day, though critical, is eminently superficial; it has no time to spare from its amusements, it has had a surfeit of discoveries, and it is content to accept with credulity and adhere with pertinacity to the sentiments and dogmas instilled in the nursery, and completed, confirmed, and established in the school. For the beliefs of our youth, growing with our growth like a cherished tree which our forefathers planted, gradually and insensibly wind into our affections, and imbue us with the feeling of our own superiority; and our anger at the woodman who ventures to strike at the root of the leafy monarch of the pasture, is parallelled by our anger at the logician who strikes at the root of our infantile superstitions and schoolboy science.page 4
When we survey the diversified grades of society which surround us, we cannot avoid observing that untold thousands still patronise the advertised cures for almost every form of bodily affliction; and when we search the files of a former century, we find a multitude of advertised protectives against almost every variety of human ill. Of this state of things Vaccination is a survival; and in place of medical protectives against plague, ague, and a score of varying zymotics, the present generation reposes its hopes and fears on an imaginary royal road to security by the aid of calf or cow, against its outrageously-exaggerated fears of the beauty threatener which permanently endangers the careless and ignorant breakers of every sanitary law.
It was not the publicity, but the secrecy, of the manifold mixtures and practices, curative and protective, that fascinated and overawed the general public in the protection era. Even now the purchasers of pills and draughts, patent or otherwise, embrace and engulph them in faith and hope, without the slightest knowledge of their constituent ingredients. Medicine has always required, and has always obtained, a much greater amount of uninquiring submission than theology. Sutton, a famous inoculator of the last century, amassed a large fortune by a method which was avowedly secret; and the amazing sums paid to Dimsdale, Maitland, and others, for operating upon princes, were assuredly not given for the common routine easy of accomplishment by the certificated members of the profession. And when did Jenner disclose his secret? The constitution of vaccine lymph is a mystery even now. Whether it be a suppositious disease in the cow, or a transmuted or transubstantiated small-pox; or whether it be, as many anti-vaccinators assume, a mingled result of varied zymotics, are questions still sub judice.
When Jenner's Memoirs were published in 1838, we learnt to our surprise, that in 1817 he had already supplied The National Vaccine Establishment with horse-pox; and we were told in Jenner's own words, that the horse's diseased heel "contained the true and life-preserving fluid." This horse-virus, says Jenner's biographer, was extensively used in England and in Scotland. We need not wonder then, that the vaccine dogma, in all the stages of its developement and growth, has constantly been discountenanced by the few thoughtful and independent minds, in a profession peculiarly under the influence of aristocratic whims and courtly exigencies; and the following pages will display the continuity of the opposition of the really scientific portion of the medical confraternity to the infallible empiricism which the fashionable circles of the gay world have so persistently and pertinaciously sought to thrust upon them.
Dr. Benjamin Moseley, 1805, Physician to the Chelsea Hospital for 30 years.
The people at large are not to be reproached for putting their faith in this splendid imposition on humanity; and to the credit of their discernment and parental feelings, the middle and inferior classes have taken precedence in renouncing the delusion. At this moment, unless attacked by surprise, or with threats, or cajoled by artifice, (all of which have been practised on them,) there are now none among them in London and the adjacent villages who will expose their children to cow-pox inoculation.—A Treatise on the Lues Bovilla or Cow-Pox. By Benjamin Moseley, M.D. Second Edition. London, 1805. P. 142.
The Royal Jennerian Society.
It is admitted by the Committee, that a few cases have been brought before them of persons having the small-pox who had apparently passed through the cow-pox in a regular way.—Report, 2nd January, 1806.
The Royal College of Surgeons, 1806.
In reply to a circular letter addressed to more than eleven hundred of its members, asking their experience of the protective powers of vaccination, the Board received 426 answers, and the information obtained was that there had been 56 cases of small-pox after vaccination, 3 deaths, 66 cases of eruptions, and 24 bad arms.—See Pamphlet by John Birch, Surgeon to St. Thomas's Hospital. London, 1807.
Thomas Brown, Surgeon, Musselburgh, 1809.
The practice (of vaccination) was introduced and recommended to the public by its Author, as a perfect antidote and security against small-pox without any exception or reserve, and capable of banishing variola from the catalogue of human misery. I have no hesitation in confessing that I became an early convert and advocate of the new practice; and it is now eight years and a half since I have uniformly advised and practised Vaccination, in which period, I may safely say, I have vaccinated upwards of twelve hundred patients, and have only inoculated three at the positive request of parents. This course I persevered in until the present time, notwithstanding I met with several instances where it appeared to fail in giving security; some about three years after the introduction of the practice; a few more about two years ago; and those which make part of the present volume within the last six months.
I am convinced from what has passed under my own observation for these last three or four years, that we have been all guilty of rejecting evidence that deserved more attention, in consequence of the strong prepossessions which existed, from the very persuasive proof of vaccination resisting inoculation and exposure to infection, and from our judgments being goaded and over-powered with the positive and arbitrary opinions of its abettors. I am now perfectly satisfied, from my mind being under the influence of prejudice and blind to the impression of the fairest evidence, that the last time small-pox was prevalent, I rejected and explained away many cases which were entitled to the most serious attention, and showed myself as violent and unreasonable a partisan as any of my brethren in propagating a practice, which I have now little doubt we must ere long surrender at discretion.—An Inquiry into the Anti-Variolous power of Vaccination; in which, from the state of the Phenomena and the occurrence of a great variety of Cases, the most Serious Doubts are suggested of the Efficacy of the Whole Practice, and its Powers at best proved to be only Temporary. From which also will appear the Necessity of and the proper period for, again submitting to Inoculation with Variolous Virus. By Thomas Brown, Surgeon, Musselburgh. Edinburgh, 1809. P. 307. From Vaccination Inquirer, Vol. 2. P. 159.
John Birch, Surgeon to St. Thomas's Hospital, 1815, referring to the excuses made by the Jennerians for vaccine failure.
It cannot be meant to class Mr. Wachsell, Apothecary to the Small-pox Hospital, or Mr. Ring, the Accoucheur, among ignorant and equivocal practitioners; and yet from the patients vaccinated by these two persons, I could bring instances of more failures, more deaths, and more diseases than have occurred in the practice of any other two persons who have come within my knowledge.
And again, were an architect to undertake to build an edifice which should be firm in its foundations, all its rooms wind and water tight, and such as might be inhabited with perfect security; if before the edifice were well finished, the foundations were discovered to be rotten; and if in less than seven years, several apartments had fallen in and killed those who occupied them, while in a great number of rooms the wind or rain was continually beating in, could I be blamed for declaring that the architect had broken his contract, and that the edifice ought no longer to be inhabited? Certainly not. Why then am I to be told that I am acting perversely when I remonstrate against the practice of cow-pox? for such an edifice as I have described, so rotten in its foundations, so ill built, so ruinous, is vaccination.—An Appeal to the Public on the Hazard and Peril of Vaccination, otherwise Cow-pox, by the late John Birch, Esq., together with his Serious Reasons for uniformly objecting to Vaccination; and other Tracts by the same Author. 3rd Edition. London, 1817.
Professor Maunsell, M.D., Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.
The term imperfect or spurious vaccination is frequently to be met with in books, and has been the cause of no small degree of confusion in practice, although, at the same time, it has frequently afforded the practitioner an excellent asylum against the storms now and then arising out of failures in the protective power of the vaccine disease.—A Practical Treatise on the Management and Diseases of Children. By Richard T. Evanson, M.D., and Henry Maunsell, M.D., Professors in the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. 2nd Edition. P. 422. Dublin, 1838.
George Gregory, M.D., Physician to the London Small-pox and Vaccination Hospital.
Dr. Jenner suggested the notion that cow-pox possesses powers adequate to the extirpation of small-pox from the face of the earth. page 8 The doctrine that cow-pox possesses an exterminating power assumes, first, that small-pox arises invariably from contagion; secondly, that the susceptibility of cow-pox is universal in mankind; and, thirdly, that the influence of vaccination is permanent through life. All these are questionable points, and therefore on physiological grounds the notion must be abandoned. Vaccination, then, we confidently affirm, can be maintained only by having small-pox constantly before our eyes; and nothing warrants us in the expectation of banishing the bane by even the liberal application of the antidote.—Elements of the Theory and Practice of Medicine. 5th Edition. London, 1839.
Just half a century has elapsed since the discovery and introduction of vaccination, and after a quarter of a century of transcendental laudations of this measure, with merely occasional whisperings of doubt; and after another quarter of a century of reverberated encomiums from well-paid 'vaccination boards'—raised with a view of overbearing the increasing murmurings of disbelief among those who observe and think for themselves—the middle of the nineteenth century finds the majority of the profession, in all latitudes and hemispheres, doubtful as to the preponderance of advantages, present and prospective, to be obtained cither from inoculation or vaccination.—From Copeland's Medical Dictionary. P. 832.
Dr. T. Brown, 1842.
The practice of vaccination is full of inconsistencies, contradictions, and imperfections, and unless it be improved is unworthy of further confidence. * * * When we consider, that vaccination has not yet been proved by above one half of the period of human life, it does not seem asserting too much to say, that unless some expedient can be contrived to render the anti-variolous effect more complete, the whole, or nearly so, of the vaccinated cases may suffer an attack of small-pox, and this not of the safest and mildest, but of the most severe and fatal nature.—From An Investigation of the Present Unsatisfactory and Defective State of Vaccination. By Thomas Brown. 1842.
Lancet, 21st May, 1853.
In the public mind extensively, and to a more limited extent, in the profession itself, doubts arc known to exist as to the efficacy and eligibility of vaccination. The failures of the operation have been numerous and discouraging.
Dr. J. Brady, M.P.
Whether or not the Act, as a compulsory measure, be in accordance with the spirit of the British constitution, I will not discuss; but the very able and excellent "report on the state of small-pox and vaccination in England and Wales, and other countries, of the Vaccination Committee of the Epidemiological Society," clearly shows, that in those countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, where vaccination is compulsory, the per centage of deaths from small-pox is much higher than in those countries, such as France and Belgium, where honorary distinctions and rewards are held out to medical men as inducements to exertion in furthering the object of vaccination; and this important fact I strenuously brought before the House, and endeavoured to point out the inference that it would be found impossible to fully carry out the provisions of this Act, however desirable general vaccination might be considered, unless the operators were treated with some degree of courtesy, and were somewhat better remunerated than a cab-driver.—Speech in the House of Commons. 1854.
Dr. Noirot, France,
After stating the general increases in the duration of middle life in the half century, adds : "Notwithstanding that the mortality of all ages has successively diminished, that of the period from 10 to 30 years has considerably increased. A disturbing cause has therefore appeared in our day, not only to arrest during that period of life the progressive decrease of mortality, but even to give it an impulse in the opposite direction." This disturbing cause (M. Noirot names it elsewhere) is Vaccination.—Etudes Statistiques sur la Mortalité. P. 29.
Josef Hermann, Principal Physician at the Imperial Hospital, Vienna, from 1858 to 1864.
My experience of small-pox during those six years of bedside attendance has given me the right, or rather has imposed on me the duty, of taking part in the bold and spirited onslaught on vaccination which is now being carried on in Switzerland, Germany, England, and other countries. ... I am convinced that vaccination is the greatest mistake and delusion in the science of medicine; a fanciful illusion in the mind of the discoverer; a phenomenal apparition, devoid of scientific foundation, and wanting in all the conditions of scientific possibility.
T. Massey Harding, M.R.C.S., formerly House Surgeon of Middlesex Hospital, and for 12 years Public Vaccinator in Worcestershire.
In 1798 small-pox was gradually on the decline, and in all probability would have continued to do so without vaccination, unless artificially kept up by the evil practice of variolous inoculation. It was not very long before cases of post-vaccinal small-pox were announced, and though for a time the vaccinists sought to discredit these cases, they were so numerous that the possibility of small-pox occurring after vaccination was acknowledged. When a variolous epidemic occurred, the number of cases of post-vaccinal small-pox was increased, but I see no reason for concluding that the vaccinated in the time of Jenner were more effectually protected than the vaccinated of the present day.—Small-Pox and Vaccination; an Essay published by the Ladies Sanitary Association. 1868. P. 32.
Mr. Badcock, of Brighton.
Vaccination is in a wretched state, getting worse instead of better; more than 60 per cent, of the cases admitted with small-pox at the London Small-pox Hospital, last year, having been previously vaccinated.—Letter to T. Massey Harding, M.R.C.S., Surgeon to St. Pancras Union; formerly House-Surgeon of Middlesex Hospital.
C. T. Pearce, M.R.C.S.
In his Essay on Vaccination (1868), and in his voluminous evidence before the Vaccination Committee of the House of Commons(1871), he has demonstrated that vaccination is a violation of God's law, and a contaminator of the body : that the increased death-rate of children is coeval with the extension of vaccination : that so far from the practice being protective against small-pox, the liability to small-pox in adult life is greater in the vaccinated than in the unvaccinated.
Dr. James Rowell, Health Officer for San Francisco, U.S A.
"Another marked peculiarity of this epidemic, was the want of prophylaxy afforded by vaccination." And further, "those vaccinated or revaccinated since the commencement of the epidemic, were apparently thereby rendered more susceptible to the disease.—From Dr. Meares' Report of the Small-pox Epidemic, in San Francisco, of 1868-9.
Dr. Ballard, one of Her Majesty's Inspectors of Vaccine.
Dr. Jenner's prediction has not been fulfilled, experience has not verified it, small-pox is not eradicated. Let me add that scientific observations lend no countenance to the belief that it ever will be eradicated, even from civilised communities.—Prize Essay on Vaccination. P. 36.
Sir James Y. Simpson, M.D. Edin.
Small-pox can never be exterminated by vaccination.
Mr. Simon, F.R.C.S., Medical Officer to the Privy Council.
Small-pox after vaccination, has been a disappointment both to the public and the medical profession.
Dr. Caron, 22, Rue du Bouloi, Paris, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, and late Government Physician to the Paris Prisons:
Writes, under date of March 20th, 1870 :—Vaccination, so called, modifies not one tittle of either the virulence or the consequences of the small-pox. I have long since refused to vaccinate at any price.
Mr. Marson, Surgeon to the Highgate Small-pox Hospital.
Of the 950 cases of small-pox, 870, or 91.5 per cent, of the whole cases had been vaccinated.—Report of Highgate Hospital for 1871.
To operate on the mortality, [referring to vaccination and inoculation,] protection against every one of the fatal zymotic diseases is required; otherwise the suppression of one disease element opens the way to others.—Thirtieth Annual Report.
Lancet, January 21st, 1871.
From the early part of the century, cases of small-pox after vaccination have been increasing, and now amount to four-fifths of cases.
Dr. Muller, Privy-Councillor to the Imperial Government, Berlin.
|Cases of Small-pox in Vaccinated Children.||Deaths of ditto.||Percentage of Deaths on cases.|
|Under 1 year||179||99||55.30|
|Under 2 years||298||127||42.62|
|Under 3 years||295||111||37.62|
|Under 4 years||244||78||31.96|
|Under 5 years||175||69||39.42|
|Total Cases under 5 years||1191||Total Deaths 484||Percentage 40.63|
—Quoted by Dr. Kolb, of Munich, from Dr. Muller's Report on Small-Pox in Berlin, in 1871; and Published by the National Anti-Compulsory Vaccination League.
Dr. Vick, Eckerbery, near Stettin.
I should have been glad to say a few words about small-pox epidemics, because in the year 1871-72, I had 652 small-pox patients under my care, of whom 431 were French and 221 German, of various origin and ages. According to my experience—from accurate notes made at the time—vaccination does not exercise the slightest influence in mitigating the force of the epidemic; for many of the patients had been recently vaccinated, some only 14 days, and others within 6 months of their being seized with the disease. The theory is propounded, that after vaccination small-pox is less severe. I contest it most vigorously; because the majority of those vaccinated were seized with the genuine small-pox (variola). Among the French who were not vaccinated, the spurious small-pox (varicella) principally prevailed; which speaks strongly against vaccination. You must be aware of the injurious consequences so frequently resulting from the vaccination of children. Vainly do I seek to discover the advantages of vaccination.—From Papers read at Medical Congress, Chemnitz, Lower Saxony, September 27th, 1872.
It is just as reasonable to say that umbrellas prevent thunder-storms, as that vaccination can prevent a small-pox epidemic.
Dr. Nittinger, of Stuttgart, writes, in 1872, of Wurtemburg:—
In five districts scarcely any medical man practised vaccination. Out of the 462 physicians in the country, only 229 vaccinated. We have to lament that since vaccination there has been no year free from small-pox; that small-pox hospitals have been built, and are continually open; that of 100 patients before vaccination, only 5 to 7 died; but since, from 10 to 20 die.—The Anti-Vaccinator, October 1st, 1872.
Charles John Bricknell, M.R.C.S., Banbury.
I shall be ready at any time to state my belief in the inefficacy of vaccination as a preventive of small-pox, and also that the practice of vaccination is contrary to the principles of medical science. I believe it would be a great benefit to mankind if it were rendered penal to vaccinate.—Letter to Thomas Baker, Esq. February 17th, 1872.
Dr. Leander Josef Keller,
Who is chief Physician to the Austrian State Railways, kept a record of the mortality amongst the Company's servants and their families, of 373 small-pox cases, during the year 1872.
|1.||Generally more vaccinated than unvaccinated persons are attacked by small-pox.|
|2.||Re-vaccination did not protect from small-pox, and did not lessen the general mortality.|
|3.||Neither vaccination nor re-vaccination exercised a favourable influence upon the mortality of small-pox.|
Dr. Keller concludes by saying that, if all reports on smallpox were made in the same way and with the same conscientiousness as his, there would very soon not be the slightest doubt about the complete uselessness of vaccination.—Allgemeine Wiener Medi-zinische Zeitung for August 1873.
Chas. T. Pearce, M.R.C.S.
Vaccination was made compulsory by an Act of Parliament in the year 1853, again in 1867, and still more stringent in 1871. Since 1853 we have had three epidemics of small-pox.
|Date.||Deaths from Small-pox.|
|Increase of population from 1st to 2nd epidemic||7 per cent.|
|Increase of small-pox in the same period nearly||50 per cent.|
|Increase of population from 2nd to 3rd epidemic||10 per cent.|
|Increase of small-pox in the same period||120 per cent.|
|Deaths from small-pox in the first ten years after the enforcement of vaccination by Parliament, 1854 to 1863||33,515|
|Ditto in the second ten years, 1864 to 1873||70,458|
—From a Letter to the Right Hon. G. Sclater-Booth, M.P. February 1877.
John Simon, Medical Officer of Privy Council.
The small-pox epidemic of 1870-3 was part of a world-wide prevalence of the disease. It seems universally testified by skilled observers, that no small-pox epidemic in living memory had been, (if I may so express it,) of equally malignant intention with that which is here in question.—Public Health Reports. No. 4, for 1874. P.9.
Dr. H. Oidtmann, of Linnich.
In Sweden, prior to the introduction of vaccination, in 1801, died of small-pox, 600 persons per one million inhabitants, and since vaccination has been assiduously practised there, the mortality of small-pox has gradually but regularly increased. In 1874, with a population exceeding but little the number of four millions, there died of small-pox, in this state, 4,063, exhibiting thus an increase of more than 400 per million of inhabitants.—Impfgegner vor dem Polizeigericht, P. 99.
Dr. Stramm, Medical Staff Officer in the Prussian Army.
I, myself, have been vaccinated, and twice successfully re-vaccinated; and yet, in the exercise of my official medical duties during the late epidemics in Prussia, I have been attacked with small-pox in the most virulent confluent form, and been only saved from worse consequences by a speedy change of climate.—From a Pamphlet on Vaccination.
New York Medical Journal, February 1875.
One of the most interesting facts brought out by the hospital cases, (Small-pox Hospital Blackwell's Island,) is the value of vaccination as a prevention. The vaccination of childhood is of no value unless repeated at intervals of three years. This is proved by the fact that All, or nearly all, of the cases have good pock marks. Again, the fact of having had the disease does not preclude the possibility of again taking it; and should not preclude the necessity of re-vaccination. It not unfrequently happens that a patient enters who is strongly pitted.—Quoted in Public Opinion, March 13th, 1875.
The epidemic of small-pox, which began in England towards the close of 1870, and terminated in the second quarter of 1873, was part of a general epidemic outbreak of that disease, of world-wide diffusion, marked wherever it occurred by an intensity and malignancy unequalled by any previous epidemic of the disease within living memory. In every country attacked, so far as our information extends, the peculiar intensity of this epidemic was manifested by the extreme diffusiveness of the disease; by its attacking, in unusual proportion, persons who were regarded as protected against the disease, whether by previous small-pox or by vaccination, and by the occurrence with quite remarkable frequency of cases of a malignant and hemorrhagic type, and a consequent unusually high ratio of deaths to attacks.—Public Health Reports, No. 4. for 1874. P. 51.
Thomas Skinner, M.D., Liverpool.
I will add this, however, that according to the most recent statistics of the mortality of small-pox in the metropolis, out of eleven deaths, five were vaccinated and six were not. Where is the advantage or protection? I am perfectly certain that if this point was thoroughly sifted and accurately observed, it will be found that vaccination, at the present day, is no preventive of fatal or other consequences of small-pox, coroners', judges', lawyers', and doctors' opinions to the contrary notwithstanding.—Liverpool Daily Post, Oct. 25, 1876.
Dr. Charles Lakin, L.R C.P., Leicester.
Objected to have his child vaccinated as it did not alleviate small-pox, and there was danger attending the operation.—August 28th, 1876.
Dr. J. Shorthouse.
Vaccination either is, or is not a preventive. If it be so it is effective the first time, and does not need to be repeated. To say that it requires repeating at stated periods of five, or seven, or ten years, is arrant humbug and quackery.—Croydon Chronicle, Jan. 6th, 1877.
Dr. Von Niemeyer, Professor of Medicine at Tübingen, 1878.
The remarkable fact that, even at the present day, extensive epidemics of small-pox occur in spite of most persons being vaccinated or even revaccinated, once or oftener, has induced me to make some very careful observations regarding the duration of the protective power of vaccination; I have not yet completed this work, but have gone far enough to satisfy myself that the protection afforded against variola by vaccination, is for a far shorter period than is generally supposed.
Mr. Ceely, M.R.C S., Aylesbury.
They would not be able to annihilate small-pox by vaccination, and he defied any one to shew that he had claimed such a result; from the experience he had had, no such thing could, or ever would happen.—Address at Calf Lymph Conference, London, Dec. 1879.
Dr. W. Job Collins, L.R.C.P.
That, having regard to the fact that Vaccination has in no way mitigated the severity, nor lessened the frequency of small-pox epidemics; and farther, that it has on several occasions been the means of extensively propagating syphilis, as shown by Drs. Warlomont and Cameron,—Resolved—That this Conference condemn the present system of Vaccination as mischievous in its results, and inoperative as a prophylactic against the disease it is designed to suppress.—Resolution read at London Medical Animal Vaccination Conference. 1879.
Dr. Chas. Cameron, M.P.
From a return laid before the House of Commons on August 14th, 1877 (Table 16), it appears that while in seven years prior to the Vaccination Act the mortality from small-pox in England and Wales amounted to 0.0302 per cent, of the population, in the following 14 years, when vaccination was obligatory, but the obligation, owing to defective machinery, was not enforced, it fell to 0.0189. But in the following eight years, when the defective machinery was rectified, and the national system of vaccination was greatly improved and extended, the mortality rose to 0.0297. page 17 The return concludes with the year 1875, but as since then we have had several most alarming outbreaks of small-pox, the average would hardly be improved if carried down to the end of last year. Now, it is all very well, as has been done, to explain this recrudescence of small-pox mortality by the occurrence of exceptional epidemics; but it seems reasonable to argue that in the course of the 22 years, during which vaccination has been compulsory and over which the return extends, some impression should have been made upon epidemic as well as sporadic smallpox. The recurrence, therefore, in the latest period, of mortality almost as high as that experienced prior to the Vaccination Act, shows, either that the protective virtues of vaccination are mythical, or that there is something radically wrong in our national system of vaccination.—Letter to The Times, Nov. 24th, 1879.
Enoch Robinson, M.R.C.S.
Epidemics of small-pox will recur from time to time, and the cry of the newspapers ascribing the origin to neglect of vaccination is ridiculous and mischievous. We read, sometimes, Brussels is free from small-pox, whilst Paris is decimated, a striking instance of the value of vaccination! Next week we regret that small-pox has been introduced into Brussels and spreads. The same is said of Ireland. But we may ask, where is the boasted power of vaccination if it does not defend from imported disease? The fact is small-pox exists without us; we may hope for its extinction when poverty, filth, sordid homes, and sordid-clothes-tramps and beggars shall be extinguished.—From Can Disease Protect Health. P.' 19-20. 1880.
Enoch Robinson, M.R.C.S., late Medical Officer of Health, Dukinfield.
Whilst I have shewn that the increase of 53 to 75 per cent, of small-pox after vaccination, is owing to vaccination as an operation having a tendency to increase small-pox, I wish the reader to understand that I do not look upon this tendency as constituting the most serious of the unsafe conditions inseparably connected with vaccination. The promotion of the other diseases referred to in former pages is the influence which condemns vaccination as an unsafe remedy.—From Can Disease Protect Health. P. 32. 1880.
Dr. C. Spinzig, St. Louis, U.S.A.
It is believed that vaccination was never more generally resorted to by our citizens, than during the winter of 1871 and 1872.*
* Report of Board of Health, 1872, p. 87.
—Front Variola, its Causes, Nature, and Prophylaxis. P. 57. 1880.
* Report of Board of Health, p. 121.
Geo. Worthington, M.D.
Every one knows that it is not maintained for vaccination that it is a sure and certain protection against small-pox, even should the operation have been in all respects efficient.—British Medical Journal, July 31st, 1880.
I suppose no one is prepared to say that primary vaccination is an absolute preventive of small-pox.—Homerton Report, from 1871-7.
Dr. H. Oidtmann, Linnich.
The number of unvaccinated persons is at present 5 to 6 times less extensive than fifty years ago; but, secondly, the rate of occurrence of small pox is 26 times more extensive. These facts may be learned from the following table.
|Period.||No. unvaccinated.||Small-pox mortality per 100,000 inhabitants.|
—From Official Prussian Records, Impfgegner. P. 90.
Dr. Risdon Bennett.
Nobody maintains that Vaccination is an absolute protection after the expiration of a certain number of years, against the taking of small-pox.—Lancet, 7th August, 1880.
Dr. Charles Pigeon, Fourchambault, (Nievre,) France.
Every physician who has been engaged in an epidemic knows, that a relatively large number of the vaccinated have been attacked; and that the vaccine virus, instead of being a preservative, actively assists, the natural causes of small-pox, and tends to render the attack more dangerous.—Letter to the French Deputies, 1881.
Dr. Jules Guerin, Paris.
A large number of medical men consider a general vaccination and revaccination to be in itself one of the causes of small-pox; a crowd of the newly vaccinated to be itself a dangerous centre of infection; and the 150,000 revaccinations in Paris during the siege to be in some degree responsible for the great epidemics of 1870-1.—Address before the French Academy of Medicine, 1881.
Dr. Charles Cameron, M.P.
Since 1836 our statistics have been compiled so as to enable us to compare the mortality, not merely in small-pox occurring in all classes of vaccinated persons, at different periods, but in each separate class of vaccinated persons—in persons, that is, with one, two, three, or four good or indifferent marks. I have gone into these details, and found that not merely has the mortality in smallpox occurring after vaccination progressively increased in the aggregate, but it has increased in each class of cases, and increased enormously in the best vaccinated class of cases.—Letter to The Times, May 24th, 1881.
Dr. Fraser Nicolson.
Reports that he recently had charge of 43 cases of small-pox in Bromley Union, between April 25th and June 29th, of which 16 were confluent, 14 discrete, 13 modified; two of the confluent cases died. All had been vaccinated, and three re-vaccinated.—Lancet, August 27th, 1881.
W. J. Collins, B.Sc. M.R.C.S.
He would ask, Has compulsory vaccination realised what was expected of it? has it annihilated small-pox? has it lessened the mortality from that disease? In reply, he would refer to the statistics of London and England, which showed that with 94 per cent, of the community vaccinated under a "perfected" system, there had been far more small-pox than when only half the population was protected, and vaccination was purely voluntary. In conclusion, he would repeat his conviction that there was not a shred of scientific evidence which lent support to the theory of vaccination; and that there was not a single dogma of Jenner that had stood the test of time and experience, and that ere long vaccination would be discarded before the advance of sanitary science.—(Speech at the Abernethian Society, St. Bartholomew's Hospital.) Reported in Student's Journal for March 19th, 1881.
J. J. Garth Wilkinson, M.R.C.S.E.
But it is demonstrable that vaccination has no influence whatever over the small-pox death rate. For the whole hospital death rate now of vaccinated and unvaccinated is just about 18 per cent.; almost exactly what it was before vaccination existed. The tables of Jurin in the last century, and of Marson now, attest this. There is, then, no difference in the hospital mortality of small-pox since vaccination. The difference is, that vaccination has sorted the deaths into two classes, and that the unvaccinated are from the necessity of the case, the rotten sheep of health, rotten before they were sorted, and afterwards. A thousand other factors, which cannot be causal, would, as sorters, produce the same effect as non-vaccination. Thus, the people who wear best black and employ fashionable tailors, die of small-pox at a vastly less rate than those who wear fustian; and these again, than those who arc in rags. The drinkers of the best port die less in the case than the drinkers of the cheapest beer. Any circumstance that shows condition and social quality, as vaccination also does, is attended with a smaller death rate from zymotic diseases; anything that demonstrates weak persons and sordid surroundings, which non-vaccination docs, is attended with the greater death rate. But the sifting process produced by a thousand circumstances is of no consequence. For put the two heaps of deaths together, and they come to just the same figure now, as before vaccination existed.—From the Eastern Daily Press, Sept. 2nd, 1881.
Recent Vaccination Disasters in the United States.
Vaccination and Death.
A singular death, resulting from Vaccination, has just occurred here; Miss Flora Hare, aged 18½ years, an only child of a substantial farmer, was vaccinated on the arm, and, seven days after, the operation was repeated on the same arm, at a distance of six or eight inches from the first incisions. Soon after, she was taken with pains about the head, followed by swelling of the head and neck, and she soon entered into a semi-conscious condition, which continued for three days. Her parents became alarmed, and summoned physicians from Middlebury, Burlington, and other places, who seemed unable to account for her illness, or to relieve her. On Monday she sank into a comatose state, and died on Tuesday evening. The vaccine virus was obtained from a reliable house in New York, and the young woman had enjoyed good health up to the time of her Vaccination. Several parties who have been vaccinated here have been severely indisposed in consequence. The fatal result in Miss Hare's case has caused a general feeling that one had better leave Vaccination alone, rather than to invite the Grim Monster by such dangerous experiments.
—Boston Daily Globe.
Dangers of Vaccination with Calf Lymph
The following communication from Dr. T. S. Hopkins, of Thomasville, Ga., concerning the results which have followed the use of "patent solid lymph," is published for general information: "Our town authorities have employed a physician to vaccinate all persons who present themselves for the purpose. The virus was procured from the New England Vaccine Company, Chelsea, Mass., as 'bovine matter.'
The Result has been Fearful.
Nearly everyone vaccinated has suffered severely from Erythema or Erysipelas, the arm swollen from shoulder to wrist, and the point of puncture presenting the appearance of a sloughing ulcer, discharging freely sanious pus. Many of the sufferers have been confined to bed, with high fever, from five to ten days, requiring the constant application of poultices to the arm, and a free use of morphia for the relief of pain. I deem it my duty to inform you of the result here from the matter used and from whence it came. It came in cones, each cone said to contain enough to vaccinate 100 persons, at a cost of one dollar per cone.
"Those who have tried it tell me they would much prefer to have smallpox."
The London Society for the Abolition of Compulsory Vaccination,
Any persons who may suffer, in their own persons, or in those of their children, from the effects of Vaccination, are invited to send the fullest particulars to William Young, at the above address, stating whether the operation was performed with lymph from the arm, or with so-called calf lymph, with the name of the Vaccinator, as the Society is resolved to give the utmost publicity to these lamentable atrocities, which, although of daily occurrence home hitherto been rarely recorded.