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Vaccination

opposition, appear, dangers and times

VACCINATION, Opposition to. At all times since Jenner's discovery there has ex isted more or- less opposition to vaccination. In England the antivaccinationists have been especially active and in that country the pro visions of the Vaccination Acts have been largely rendered null through their efforts. Parents are now relieved of any penalty un der the compulsory clauses of the acts if they offer proof that they have, within four months of the birth of a child, satisfied a stipendiary magistrate, or two justices in petty sessions, that they had conscientious scruples against vaccination and that they believed it .would be prejudicial to the health of the child. In the United States and Canada opposition to vaccination has been sporadic and while not confined to any one region of East or West appears occasionally in many districts. On the Continent while some opposition has de veloped it has made little headway, the bene fits from vaccination being the most effective answer to objectors. The basis of the argu ments of these objectors has been at times almost ludicrous. In the early days of vac cination it was seriously alleged that vaccina tion caused bovine traits to develop in the child vaccinated, that hoofs, horns, etc., would tend to develop, and bellowing would replace speech. While present-day arguments against

vaccination are less assertive and less naive than this they are equally without a sound scientific basis. The chief objections alleged for a long period have been the complications resulting by other diseases being invaccinated. Some cases of syphilis appear to have been so invaccinated but such an occurrence could not have happened if the vaccinator had taken proper care. The calf lymph now in universal use effectively prevents the trans mission of syphilis. Eczema and other skin eruptions so frequent in infancy often appear after vaccination, but it is safe to say that since these infantile evils would appear in any ease their appearance is only hastened and not caused by vaccination. While some real dangers attend vaccination, when considered in relation to the extent of vaccination work done, they are insignificant. Better precau tions and improvements in method from year to year are continually lessening these dangers, while the very real benefits accruing to millions rendered immune to the ravages of small-pox overbalance these attendant dangers a hun dred times.