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May 15, 1967


JAMA. 1967;200(7):637-638. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120200115030

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The waves of indignation that followed Jenner's introduction of cowpox to prevent man's smallpox are not entirely stilled. There are current alarms that mass immunizations of today produce an unstable immune society, demanding an ever more elaborate system of controls which might ultimately rupture into catastrophe.

Up to the present time, nothing has justified this apprehension. The patterns of population immunization are changed, as in the curious fashion with smallpox. The introduction of a single case of this disease into the United States would raise the most frightening shrieks and public proclamations of terror. Within the country all is quiet, and the maintenance of a high degree of protection of every individual is steadily being enhanced by the vaccination of entrants to the United States. Already, it seems that smallpox prevention stems significantly from this latter procedure, and little voices begin to be heard within the medical profession saying that