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October 26, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(17):1408. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600430054011

With respect to serums and vaccines in influenza, there are certain simple facts and considerations that physicians will do well to keep in mind at this time. The main point to keep always in sight is that unfortunately we as yet have no specific serum or other specific means for the cure of influenza, and no specific vaccine or vaccines for its prevention. Such is the fact, all claims and propagandist statements in the newspapers and elsewhere to the contrary notwithstanding. This being the case, efforts at treatment and prevention by serums and vaccines, now hurriedly undertaken, are simply experiments in a new field, and the true value of the results cannot be predicted by any one. Indeed, the exact results can be determined if at all only after a time, in most cases probably not until the epidemic is past and all the returns fully canvassed. Consequently the physician

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