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September 24, 1927

Should We Be Vaccinated? A survey of the Controversy in Its Historical and Scientific Aspects.

JAMA. 1927;89(13):1084. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690130072045

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Mr. Stern, an instructor of sociology in Columbia University, has carefully analyzed the reasons for opposing vaccination offered by the peculiarly stubborn and unreasoning group that constitutes the antivaccinationists in any community. The result is as every unbiased investigation must be—a complete support of the value of vaccination in the control of smallpox. Out of the consideration come two factors of great importance: "The vast gap between the knowledge of medical men and the general public on such a question as vaccination, the tremendous lack of comprehension even of the most elementary facts of immunity and disease, from the beginning made the public an easy prey to the misinformation propounded by antivaccinationists whose economic interests were involved.... Unfortunate personal experiences with vaccination, or one or two examples of harmful vaccination that came within the range of any individual's experience, are often projected so as to outweigh all known evidence as

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