International Anti-Vaccination League
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International Anti-Vaccination League points against vaccination 1880

An epitome of the chief points against Compulsory Vaccination will be found in the following resolutions agreed to by the Executive Committee of the International Anti-Vaccination League, at the close of the Congress held in Paris, in December, 1880, at which delegates representing France, Belgium, Holland, Prussia, Würtemburg, Switzerland, England, and the United States were present:--

FIRST.—That small-pox epidemics do not increase the general death-rate; that when small-pox is rife there is less typhoid fever, scarlet fever, measles, whooping cough, and other zymotic diseases; and that, generally speaking, the total mortality increases as small-pox mortality diminishes.

SECOND.—That the diminution of small-pox mortality at the beginning of the present century could not have been due to Vaccination, as JENNER’s discovery was but very little practised. When that result was claimed for it, not more than 1 1/2 per cent, of the entire population in England were vaccinated, and in 1812 less than one per cent. of the population on the Continent. The diminution of small-pox was mainly due to the cessation of small-pox inoculation, and small-pox mortality diminished when the disease ceased to be propagated.

THIRD.—That the official returns shew that since Vaccination has been rigorously enforced, the rate of mortality from epidemic small-pox has increased.

FOURTH.—That the small-pox hospital returns, both in Europe and America, prove that Vaccination has neither prevented nor mitigated the severity of the disorder. The observations of REES, JURIN, DUVILLARD, etc., shew that the rate of fatality per cent, of those attacked before JENNER’S time was "one in six." The cases on which this result was based being many thousands. Recent Hospital statistics shew that the fatality to-day is still "one in six," the cases being more numerous, and the majority of them vaccinated. The disease is therefore unchecked and unchanged as regards fatality.

FIFTH.—That since Vaccination has been rendered obligatory, infantile syphilis (under one year old) has been increased in England, according to a Parliamentary return, dated February 25th, 1880, from 472 per million of births in 1847, to 1,736 per million in 1877, or fourfold; and that other inoculable diseases, such as pyaemia, scrofula, erysipelas, and bronchitis, were also augmented in infants. In England, the increase of inoculable diseases was 20 per cent., notwithstanding an expenditure of 200 millions sterling since 1850 in sanitary works. Another Parliamentary return (No. 443, Session 1877) demonstrates that 25,000 babies are yearly sacrificed by diseases excited by Vaccination.

SIXTH—That from the exceeding difficulty of finding a case of spontaneous cow-pox, the vaccinating profession cannot possess a standard of purity in lymph; and that no analysis, or microscopic examination, or medical experience, can enable a vaccinator to distinguish pure from impure lymph, nor can the appearance of the vesicle of the vaccinifer be relied upon to indicate freedom from taint of syphilitic or other disease. A subject highly syphilised can shew vaccine vesicles, according to Dr. WARLOMONT, "perfectly irreproachable" in appearance.

SEVENTH.—That many diseases to which animals are liable, and particularly tubercle, are transmissible by means of so-called Animal Vaccination to man, according to Veterinary Surgeons, and that the great increase in Consumption in Europe was probably owing to this cause.

EIGHTH.—Dr. H. OIDTMANN, of Aix la Chapelle, has proved by official returns from the towns of Cologne, Dusseldorf, Duren, Elberfeld, Lieghitz, Treves, Wesel, and other places, that Vaccination does not afford even a temporary protection against small-pox, but on the contrary, on the outbreaks of small-pox, there is large and constant priority amongst those attacked, of the vaccinated and re-vaccinated, over those who have escaped Vaccination.

LASTLY.—That in view of the confusion of opinion which prevails in every medical assembly amongst the so-called authorities, whenever the subject of Vaccination is discussed, it is unwise, impolitic, unjust, and tyrannical to enforce Vaccination; that such enforcement retards all improvement in the treatment, and all discoveries for the prevention of small-pox; and that all Compulsory Legislation with regard to Vaccination ought to be repealed.

Forty-five years ago, the cry throughout the country of the reformers who were trying to get the imposts on corn abolished, was that "thousands of women and children were starving for want of that bread which the Corn Laws kept out of the land." The cry of the anti-vaccinator— which is neither less mournful, nor less true—is that thousands of children are crying for the infantine health which nature offers, but which professional interest does not permit them to enjoy. They may be born of healthy parentage, yet they must be exposed to suffering and possible death, through this system of universal State blood-poisoning: and Rachels are weeping throughout the land because their hearths are made desolate.

As in the case of the Corn Laws, so in the case of the Vaccination Acts: the cause of this widespread misery can only be repealed by persistent and determined agitation. The question is of vital and national importance, and should be considered irrespective of sect or party, for- no party holds a monopoly of sympathy for the victims of cruelty and injustice, and every one who has witnessed the operation of the system which works such widespread evil, should resolve to give Parliament no rest until this pernicious legislation is repealed.

The popularity of Vaccination has disappeared The practice has been unable to face free discussion, and the only support of vaccinal tyranny, in the present day, is the dead weight of State-officialism, and the advocacy of an interested professional trades-unionism. The SCIENCE which occupies itself with providing substitutes for Municipal and Personal Cleanliness is fore-doomed to failure. [Source [1884 Book] Compulsory Vaccination in England: with incidental references to foreign states by William Tebb]