Deaths from Erysipelas After Vaccination 1859-1880 (390)
(Vaccination Inquirer vol 5, p 84)

And Sir C Bilks followed in the same strain when he said, "The one disease which has been put forward as being distinctly caused by vaccination is erysipelas, and yet there has been a distinct decrease in the mortality from that disease." Now, such statements as these are both unfair and misleading, and quite unworthy of any scientific inquirer. As it happens, deaths from erysipelas resulting from vaccination are classified separately from erysipelas arising from other causes, and while it may be true that the latter are decreasing, Sir Lyon Playfair would, if he had taken the trouble, have found it equally true that the former are rapidly increasing. I extract the following from the yearly returns of the Registrar-General

Deaths from "Erysipelas After Vaccination"

1859 5 1865 10 1871 24 1877 29
1860 3 1866 10 1872 16 1878 35
1861 2 1867 4 1873 19 1879 32
1862 3 1868 9 1874 29 1880 39
1863 11 1869 19 1875 37 Total 22 yrs 390
1864 13 1870 20 1876 21    

The table shows these deaths have increased nearly eight-fold in thirty years, and when it is borne in mind that all such cases are not returned as such, in order, according to Mr. May, M.R.C.S., "to save vaccination from reproach," that not one of the cases at Gainsborough and only one of the cases at Norwich were certified thus, it will be seen that these figures only represent a portion of the whole truth. In my review of the Norwich inquiry. I have shown, contrary to the opinion of Sir Lyon Playfair, and in strict accord with the views of the immortal author of vaccination, that a very close relation indeed does subsist between vaccination and erysipelas—in fact, that vaccine lymph is a septic fluid containing micrococci, and, as such, is capable, per se, of causing erysipelas by inoculation, and that the normal vaccine areola is simply a local and mild erysipelas..

Sir Lyon was absolutely incorrect when he asserted that scrofula was decreasing, as the following table, which gives the average yearly deaths under one year of age per 1,000,000 births from six diseases which have been asserted to be communicable or caused by vaccination, clearly shows. The figures are given for three periods, in accordance with the changes that have been made in the Vaccination Acts, whereby more general vaccination has been secured.

  Voluntary vaccination, 1847 on 1853 Obligatory Vaccination, 1853 to 1867 Enforced Vaccination, 1867 to 1878


351 611 908
Syphilis 564 1,206 1,738
Erysipelas 817 781 834
Skin diseases 183 253 343
Pyaemia (not distinguished before 1862) ----- 155 180
Mesenteric disease 2,981 3,371 4,373


Sir Charles Dilke truly remarked, "There has been on the whole a steady diminution in the death-rate of the country from 224 in 1840-50 to 214 in 1870-80, and 19.9 in 1881-2." Surely the learned President must see that the onus then lies with him to show why it is that with diminishing general mortality, we have a steady increase of certain inoculable diseases, especially those which it has from the first been asserted were peculiarly communicable by vaccination. Surely this points to some inoculable cause at work, and it is for the oracle of the Local Government Board to indicate what that cause is, in order that it may be speedily removed.