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June 19, 1943


JAMA. 1943;122(8):559. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840250083023

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To the Editor:—  The editorial comment "Tetanus in the Middle East" (The Journal, April 3, p. 1157) cites the experience with this disease in a section of the British army. Because of the finding that 5 patients who had received tetanus toxoid subsequently developed tetanus, the article affirms the impression of the British workers stating that "From these figures active immunization, while effective in preventing tetanus, apparently has definite limitations." This statement is, of course, entirely true and needs no confirmation. But, as it is stated, the statement may result in misunderstanding.In the first place, no one familiar with immunologic processes expects 100 per cent protection following an immunization procedure. The biologic individuality of human beings (like other animals) is such that occasional subjects will fail to respond to any given immunization procedure, as has been well established in many studies covering various types of immunization. This property is,

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