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October 11, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(15):906-909. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.52480410030001h

Owing to a lack of exact knowledge from absolutely reliable sources on the subject of vaccination, there is a good deal of misapprehension in the public mind as to the efficacy of vaccination as a protection against smallpox, and the constant inquiry is made: "When shall we vaccinate?" "How long does it protect?" and "How often should we be vaccinated?" Many members of the medical profession, busy with other things to do and not compelled to face the epidemic horrors of a hundred years ago and not exact in their knowledge on the subject of vaccination, have a halting, uncertain, confused state of mind on the subject, which goes far to create doubt in the public. There are doctors, and good ones, too, who have had so little experience with vaccination that they do not know what constitutes a successful vaccination. I visited a neighboring town where a reputable physician