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Why Vaccinate

Category: Infectious Diseases

Because vaccination is a preventive of all forms of
smallpox, and because by traveling, or by travelers, by articles received
in the mail or from the stores or shops, or other various ways anyone at
any time, may, without knowing it, be exposed to smallpox, it becomes
important so far as possible without injury to health to render every
person incapable of taking the disease. This may be done so perfectly by
vaccination and re-vaccination with genuine bovine vaccine virus that no
question of ordinary expense or trouble should be allowed for a day to
prevent the careful vaccination of every man, woman and child in Michigan,
and the re-vaccination of every one who has not been vaccinated within
five years. It is well established that those who have been properly
vaccinated are far less likely to take smallpox if exposed to it, and that
the very few who have been properly vaccinated and have smallpox have it
in a much milder form and are much less disfigured by it than those who
have not been thus vaccinated. The value of vaccination is illustrated by
the following facts: On March the 13th, 1859, Dr. E. M. Snow, of
Providence, R. 1., found in a cluster of seven houses twenty-five
families, and in these families ten cases of smallpox, all apparently at
about the same stage of the disease. In the same families there were
twenty-one children, who had never been vaccinated. The ten cases and the
remaining members of the families, including the twenty-one children, were
quarantined at home, and the children were all vaccinated and compelled to
remain with the sick. Several other cases of smallpox occurred in the
persons previously exposed, but not one of the twenty-one children
referred to had the slightest touch of the disease.

In Sweden, the average number of deaths in each year from smallpox per
million inhabitants was:

Before the introduction of vaccination (1774-1801), 1,973;
During the period of optional vaccination (1802-1816), 479;
And during the period of obligatory vaccination (1817-1877), 189.

Vaccination was introduced in England near the beginning of the nineteenth
century, and since 1853 compulsory vaccination has been attempted. In
England the number of deaths in each year from smallpox per one million
inhabitants was:

At the close of the eighteenth century, 3,000.
From 1841 to 1853 (average), 304.
From 1854 to 1863 (average), 171.

Next: Smallpox entirely prevented by re-vaccination

Previous: SMALLPOX or Variola

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