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November 19, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(21):1779-1783. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.92690210045014

Following the analogies suggested by the successful use of prophylactic inoculation against typhoid and some other infections, a similar method was employed to some extent against influenza. The swift onrush of the pandemic, however, left little time for the preparation and development of methods. In some instances the height of the outbreak had passed before prophylactic inoculation was completed or even initiated. In certain localities pure culture vaccines were used; in others, mixed cultures of several bacterial species. For these and other reasons comparable data, indeed valid data, are not abundant. The primary uncertainty as to the nature of the true causal agent was and is a decisive factor.

It seems desirable to discuss some of the conditions that determine the reasonableness of conclusions drawn from attempts at protective inoculation (cf., also, McCoy 1919). Other parts of this summary contain many examples of factors that affect the attack rate