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July 20, 1907

Misuse of Term Vaccination in Opsonotherapy.

JAMA. 1907;XLIX(3):259. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530030063014

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Philadelphia, July 12, 1907.

To the Editor:  —In the publication of articles on opsonotherapy the terms "vaccine" and "vaccination" are frequently appearing. They have doubtless been employed as convenient designations to indicate a degree of parallelism between the action of vaccination and bacterial inoculations. It is obvious, however, that the analogy is only partial. In vaccination a living parasite is introduced which produces a benign, modified smallpox. The bacterial inoculations on the other hand introduce toxins which, if present theories be true, sensitize the bacteria in the body and render them ready victims for phagocytosis.There are stronger reasons than the above for the discontinuance of the use of the words "vaccine" and "vaccination" in this connection. Through a century of usage these terms have been firmly established in the medical and lay mind as related to a prophylactic measure against smallpox. The popular comprehension of "vaccination" is clear cut

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