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March 22, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(12):768-769. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480120026006

The recent accidents of tetanus after vaccination in Camden, N. J., amounting as they did almost to a limited epidemic, have left some questions rather unsatisfactorily answered. We can be reasonably certain that the vaccine lymph itself was free from germs and therefore innocent to that extent and also that there must have been an unusually general dissemination of the tetanus infection. But just why so many subjects of vaccination should thus suffer, when other traumatisms were only rarely affected, is a question that disturbs the laity and helps the antivaccination cause. It is not a pleasant suggestion that the organism, or whatever it is, of vaccine is a specially favorable adjuvant to the toxic action of Nicolaier's bacillus, but nevertheless that is one of the possible inferences to be drawn from these recent occurrences. A rather interesting and suggestive paper on post-vaccination tetanus is contributed by Drs. W. and