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

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Shoreditch 1859

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Shoreditch, Parish of St. Leonard]

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the following table we have the official returns for Shoreditch of the number of Registered Births and Vaccinations during the years specified.—

September 29th, 1854, to September 29th, 18552812454262
„ „ 1855, „ „ 18563094474865
„ ,, 1856, ,, „ 18573280486969
„ 1857, „ „ 18583022492260
„ „ 1858, „ „ 18592502497350

From this it might be inferred that last year one half only of the
children born were vaccinated. But this is very far from being true. I
have on former occasions pointed out, that this table bears the
following fallacies.
1. The registered births are not all the births.
2. Many children die under three months old and thus cannot be
3. The vaccinations performed by private practitioners are not
4. A considerable proportion of the registered vaccinations relate
to children above one year old and therefore do not refer to the
births of the year.
To determine the proportion of children not vaccinated other means
must be employed. I believe that nothing short of individual inspection
by medical men will accomplish the object. No reliance can be placed
upon general inquiries.