This section is from the book "Health", by W. H. Coefield.
He tried vaccination from a person who had caught cow-pox from the cow-from the cow directly, and afterwards from the person who had been inoculated from the cow, and found all equally successful.
I could give other instances of experiments made while inoculation was legal to prove that persons who were inoculated with cow-pox were not able to take smallpox either by inoculation or contagion, and it was considered at that time to be distinctly proved.
We do not needlessly make experiments of that kind, and it would not be justifiable now needlessly to expose persons to the infection of smallpox, only I want you all to know that when vaccination was introduced, before it was made obligatory, experiments were made on a very large scale indeed. A pamphlet was published of experiments made by various medical men, and a law passed making vaccination gratuitous, but not obligatory ; this, I think, was in 1844 ; and in 1853 vaccination of infants, before they were three months old, was made compulsory. The result of this, up to the year 1860, was published for us by the report of the Smallpox and Vaccination Committee of the Epidemiological Society. The average annual number of deaths in England from smallpox during the three years before the vaccination laws was 11,944, the average annual number of deaths in England during nine years while vaccination was gratuitous but not compulsory was 5221, the average annual number of deaths in the third period, from 1853 to 1860, when vaccination was compulsory, was 3234
Mr. Simon calculated some time ago that the death-rate at that time among unvaccinated people varied from 14 1/2 per cent of those attacked to 53 4/5 per cent, and the death-rate of vaccinated people varied from 1/2 per cent to 12 1/2 per cent ; and Mr. Marson, who was for many years resident-surgeon in the smallpox hospital, says that the average death-rate among vaccinated people was about 5 1/4 per cent of those attacked.
Suppose I put it in this way then : I told you, you will remember, that in 1796 the smallpox caused 184 deaths out of every 1000 deaths from all causes. Suppose we take 50 years at a time, from 1750 to 1800 there were 96 deaths from smallpox out of every 1000 deaths ; from 1800 to 1850, including part of the inoculation period and part of the gratuitous vaccination period, there were 35 deaths out of every 1000; from 1850 to 1860, when vaccination had become compulsory, there were but 11 deaths out of every 1000. These are figures which no amount of argument can explain away. You may write a book full of sophistry of all kinds on the subject, but no person of any sense would believe in any reasons that do not take into account the facts proved by these figures.
A few more figures. In 1853, before the compulsory law was passed, a return was presented to Parliament showing the mortality from smallpox in various places in the United Kingdom where vaccination was practised among people sufficiently educated to avail themselves of it while it was gratuitous but not compulsory, and showing at the same time the mortality in various countries abroad where vaccination was directly or indirectly compelled. It showed in London 16 deaths out of every 1000, Glasgow 36, Connaught 60, Edinburgh 19 to 20, Limerick 41, all Ireland 49, and in England and Wales 22, the smallest number thus being in London. These were the number of deaths which occurred in England when it was proposed to make vaccination compulsory. The largest return that was given from abroad, in countries where vaccination was directly or indirectly compulsory, was for Saxony, viz., 8 1/3. Several countries abroad bad been much before us in this matter-we do things slowly but surely-but many countries had turned vaccination to use, and the numbers vary downwards, through Westphalia 6, Bavaria 4, Sweden 2.7, Venice a little over 2, Bohemia and Lombardy 2 ; so that at that time, in 1853, before our compulsory Act was passed, there were actually countries in Europe where the number of deaths from smallpox was reduced to 2 out of every 1000 deaths from all causes. I mention this to show you that there was sufficient reason at the time for the passing of the Compulsory Vaccination Act. Dr. Jenner himself believed that by vaccination smallpox could be stamped out, and he was one of the few discoverers who lived to see, to a very great extent, the fruit of his discovery and its value recognised.
In Baron's Life of Jenner we are told, " from the year 1762 to 1792 the-number that died of smallpox in the Danish dominions amounted to 9728. About the year 1802 vaccination was first introduced, and the practice became general but not universal ; however, 58 persons only died of the smallpox to the year 1810. Vaccination, by command of the king, was now universally adopted, and smallpox inoculation prohibited, and from the year 1810 to the year 1819, not a single case of smallpox has occurred."
It was then clearly shown by Jenner himself that when cow-pox was inoculated into a human being, that person was not susceptible to smallpox either by inoculation or by exposure to the poison; and there is no instance of a vaccinated person getting smallpox until about fifteen years after vaccination was first introduced, but about that time there gradually came to be instances of vaccinated people getting smallpox And so it came to be seen that a certain number of years after being vaccinated people required to be vaccinated again, and for a long time there were a lot of very strange ideas afloat, such as that we required to be vaccinated once in every seven years. But to make a long matter short, I may tell you at once that the fact is that after infant vaccination people only require to be vaccinated once again at about the age of 15 or 16. I must give you one or two instances showing the results of vaccination and of re-vaccination. Dr. Balfour tells us that after vaccination was made compulsory in the army and navy, in the dragoon regiments and guards -with 44,611 men, between 1817 and 1836, out of 627 deaths only 3 were from smallpox. In the regiment at Gibraltar, of the same strength, out of nearly 1300 deaths only 1 was from smallpox There are plenty of instances on record where troops subjected to compulsory re-vaccination were completely protected from smallpox-did not in fact have a case of smallpox among them-while the natives died by hundreds from that disease. Now Malta gives an excellent example of the protection of re-vaccination. During the 21 years from 1818 to 1838, the British troops, numbering 40,826, only lost 2 men by smallpox. In 1830, in Malta itself, 1 in every 12 persons was attacked by smallpox, and 1 out of every 85 persons in the island died; but among the military, including wives and children, only 1 out of every 188 was attacked, and only 1 out of every 682 died of it. The Bavarian army, too, gives a remarkable example of the power of re-vaccination. From 1843 to 1857, 14 years, there was not a single case of unmodified smallpox in the army, nor a single death from smallpox. The nurses in smallpox hospitals also give proof of the power of re-vaccination. Mr. Marson, in his evidence some years ago, tells us that during an experience of 36 years of the London Smallpox Hospital, he has never had a case of a nurse having smallpox, because he re-vaccinated them all within three days of their arrival. During the last epidemic, out of the number of nurses in attendance, amounting sometimes to 300, there was scarcely any case of smallpox, and the few that occurred were cases of nurses or attendants who through the hurry of business had not been re-vaccinated.