VACCINATION FAILURES IN 1817.
(APPENDIX to LEPROSY AND VACCINATION by WILLIAM TEBB)
"However painful the duty, we feel ourselves called upon to notice the numerous and accumulating failures of cow-pox in preventing small-pox, whether in the natural way or by inoculation. Our communications on the subject have been numerous, and some of the cases do not appear to have been modified by the previous disease. It is not easy to account for these distressing occurrences, but were we to hazard a conjecture, we would venture to suggest that it is possible the virus may have become so modified by being confined altogether to the human subject that its powers of producing the necessary affection of the constitution, which only can be regarded as the test of security, may be so nearly worn out as to be no longer a certain preventive. Hence the necessity of frequently renewing the efficacy of vaccination by procuring the virus directly from its original source.
"Variola continues and spreads a devastating contagion. However painful, yet it is a duty we owe to the public and the profession to apprise them that the number of all ranks suffering under small-pox, who have previously undergone vaccination by the most skilful practitioners, is at present alarmingly great."-.-London Medical Repository, pp 57 and 95. Edited by George Burrows, M.D., F.L.S., etc, etc., and Anthony Todd Thompson, F.L.S., M.R.C.S., etc. -