Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Organized opposition to vaccination
has existed for more than 2 centuries. The content found in modern antivaccination
Web sites, as reported by Dr Wolfe and colleagues,1 is
similar in its emotions but differs in its arguments from early charges against
the procedure. The "society of antivaccinationists" was founded in 1798, the
same year that Jenner published An Inquiry Into the Causes
and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae. At that time vaccination was
considered an inappropriate meddling in the work of God. One critic claimed
that "Smallpox is a visitation from God and originates in man, but cowpox
is produced by presumptuous, impious men. The former Heaven ordained, the
latter is perhaps a daring and profane violation of our holy order."2
Abbey DM. Antivaccination Web SitesAntivaccination Web Sites. JAMA. 2002;288(14):1717–1718. doi:10.1001/jama.288.14.1717
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