Explain the Procedure of Smallpox Vaccination and the Compulsory Vaccination Acts Based on Nadja Durbach’s Article
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Across the globe they have reduced rates of infant mortality and contributed to increasing life expectancy. Why, then, in the 21st century would there be a significant backlash against vaccinations, even as measles and polio have re-appeared in places where they had been eradicated?
Edward Jenner's discovery of vaccination in the late 18th century, and the global eradication of smallpox in the 1970s, rank among the greatest achievements in human history. Amidst recent growing concerns about bioterrorism, smallpox vaccination has resurfaced from the history books to become a topic of major importance. Inoculation with vaccinia virus is highly effective for the prevention of smallpox infection, but it is associated with several known side effects that range from mild and self-limited to severe and life-threatening. As the United States moves forward with plans to vaccinate selected health care workers and the military, and perhaps offer the vaccination to all citizens in the future, it is important to fully understand and appreciate the history, risks, and benefits of smallpox vaccination.
Fearing a serious epidemic, the chief city physician, Dr C A Grähs, demanded stricter measures. A major epidemic in 1874 shocked the city and led to widespread vaccination and an end to further epidemics. In Great Britain, pressure from the anti-vaccination movement was increasing. After a massive anti-vaccination demonstration in Leicester in 1885 that attracted up to 100 000 people, a royal commission was appointed to investigate the anti-vaccination grievances.
Today's reactionary and misguided campaigns lack even this redeeming feature.
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