London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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St Olave 1896

Annual report of the vital statistics and sanitary condition of the District for the year 1896

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34
must without hesitation be made, does not necessarily afford
an argument of any cogency against the practice, if its
consequences be on the whole beneficial and important; the
risk may be so small that it is reasonable to disregard it.
Everything depends, then, upon the extent and character of
the risk.
The Commission thus sums up this portion of their inquiry
(paragraph 434).
A careful examination of the facts which have been
brought under our notice has enabled us to arrive at the
conclusion that, although some of the dangers said to attend
vaccination are undoubtedly real and not inconsiderable in
gross amount, yet when considered in relation to the extent
of vaccination work done they are insignificant. There is
reason further to believe that they are diminishing under the
better precautions of the present day, and with the addition
of the further precautions which experience suggests will do
so still more in the future.
C.—As to whether any, and if so what means should be
adopted for preventing or lessening the ill effects, if any, resulting
from vaccination; and whether, and if so by what means vaccination
with animal vaccine should be further facilitated as a
part of public vaccination.
With regard to this question the Commission report—
(437)
We put the use of calf-lymph in the forefront because,
as we have said, this would afford an absolute security against
the communication of syphilis. Though we believe the
risk of such communication to be extremely small where
humanized lymph is employed, we cannot but recognize the
fact that however slight the risk the idea of encountering
even such a risk is naturally regarded by a parent with
abhorrence.


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