Dr. William Collins, a public vaccinator of extensive experience, in a paper read by him before the Sanitary Committee of St. Pancras, upon vaccination, re-vaccination, etc., June 9th, 1863, stated that:—
“In 1847-8 and in 1851-2 I had every opportunity, as public vaccinator to one of the largest parishes of the metropolis, of watching the progress of small-pox among the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, independent of which, numerous cases of clandestine inoculation with small-pox came under my notice. About two-thirds of these inoculated cases had been successfully vaccinated. I watched the progress of the disease with more than ordinary care and anxiety, and found when the children were strong and healthy, both among the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, that the disease was somewhat modified in both patients; but those who were exposed to the more concentrated sources of the infection and of delicate constitutions or scrofulous habit shared a very different fate, especially those who had been previously debilitated by vaccination, several of whom had confluent small-pox in its most malignant form. Some persons, particularly those who were physically strong, accustomed to pure air, cleanliness, and moderation in all things, I found unsusceptible to the vaccine disease. A well-known pugilist (Tom Sayers), who was in training for some professional engagement, came to me to be vaccinated, the smallpox having broken out where he was lodging; he had not been vaccinated in infancy, and never had the small-pox. I performed the operation on him and two others at the same time; at the expiration of a week I saw him again with the other cases, both of whom had taken, but I found little or no signs on this distinguished individual. I then vaccinated him and three children with matter direct from the cow, saw him a week afterwards with no better result He became dissatisfied, and was immediately afterwards inoculated with the small-pox, and that too failed, thus proving that he was constitutionally strong, and capable of resisting disease altogether. With respect to the children, the eldest, a most lively child, with large blue eyes and flaxen hair, suffered severely after vaccination; in fact, for more than ten days her life was despaired of. On the third day after the operation, the arm and the glands in the axilla began to swell; delirium and low typhoid fever ensued for more than a fortnight, when the arm began to slough, and the bone was nearly denuded of flesh. Change of air was recommended and the patient was taken to Margate, returned at the expiration of six months with some ugly looking scars, and the arm useless. . . . If I were to depict one-third of the numerous unhappy victims that I have seen laid prostrate by vaccination, 'I could a tale-unfold whose lightest word would harrow up your souls.' ... I have given you the result of my experience, and after careful examination of all the facts, I am bound to admit that I have no faith in vaccination, nay, I look on it with the greatest disgust, and firmly believe that it is often the medium of conveying many filthy and loathsome diseases from one child to another, and it is no protection from small-pox. Indeed, I consider we are now living in the Jennerian Epoch for the slaughter of the Innocents, and the unthinking portion of the population "
Extracted from [1868 Book] Essay on Vaccination by Dr. Charles T. Pearce, M.D.