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August 7, 1915


JAMA. 1915;LXV(6):532-533. doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02580060064028

The efforts of health authorities to promulgate vaccination are often opposed by the argument that the complications of vaccination may be of more moment than an attack of smallpox. The low mortality rate of the type of smallpox which now prevails, as a rule, in this country, is cited, and attempts are made to magnify — unduly it would seem — those infections which sometimes occur in the vaccinated at or about the time of vaccination.

Among the most frequently mentioned complications is tetanus occurring within two to three weeks after vaccination. Another infection which has been attributed by the antivaccinationists to contamination of the vaccine virus is poliomyelitis; in a certain state, the opponents of vaccination have claimed that in a number of cases the poliomyelitis infection was received through vaccine virus. To any one conversant with the nature of the virus of poliomyelitis, such an assertion is not