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

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Hackney 1885

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hackney]

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return of the Small-pox mortality. The answers by the
Commissioners to eight questions propounded by the Imperial
Board of Health, were as follows:—
1. With rare exceptions, one survived attack of Small-pox
confers immunity against further attacks. 2. Vaccination
exerts a similar protection. 3. The duration of the protection
afforded by vaccination varies within wide limits, but is
about ten years on the average. 4. At least two well developed
vaccine vesicles arc necessary to ensure efficient protection.
5. Revaccination is necessary ten years after primary vaccination.
6. A well vaccinated condition of the community
increases the relative protection which the individual has
acquired against Small-pox; and thus vaccination is useful, not
only individually, but generally, against Small-pox. 7. Vaccination
may, under certain circumstances, be injurious to
health. In the case of human lymph, the danger of transfering
syphilis, although extremely slight, cannot be entirely excluded.
Any other injurious effects are apparently due only to accidental
wound-diseases. All these dangers may, by precautions in the
performance of vaccination, be reduced to such a minimum, so
that the benefits of vaccination infinitely outweigh any possible
injurious effects. 8. Since the introduction of vaccination, no
scientifically provable increase of any special disease or of the
general mortality has occurred, such as might be regarded as a
consequence of vaccination. The statistics brought forward by
the Imperial Board of Health to show the effect of the law of
1874, introducing compulsory revaccination throughout Germany
at the age of 12, have been already published. Other valuable
statistics were now produced, in particular the Bavarian
statistics of Dr. von Kerchensteiner; the Leipzig statistics of
Dr. Seigel, and the elaborate army statistics of Dr. Grossheim.
In the last case, accurate particulars were known as to 1,005
Small-pox cases, with 61 deaths. Of these 1,005, 4 were not
vaccinated, with 1 death, or=25 percent.; 109 were successfully
revaccinated, with 2 deaths,=1.1 percent.; 224 were unsuccessfully
vaccinated, with 10 deaths,=4.5 per cent.; 531 were not

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