Norwich Disaster

[1883 book] A Review of the Norwich Vaccination Inquiry by William J. Collins, M.D., B.S., B.Sc. (Lond)

Another Local Government Board Inquiry of the same kind was held at Norwich, in 1882, by Mr. J. J. Henley and Dr. Airy. This was due to a complaint made by Mr. Lee Bliss, of Norwich, "that eight cases of death and injury had resulted" in that city after vaccination by the local Public Vaccinator. As in the other inquiry, the lymph was made to appear blameless! The Inspectors condemned the "crowded" vaccination station, and, curiously enough, while stating "that no blame was proved to attach to the Public Vaccinator" in the performance of his duties, forthwith reprimanded him for "using again and again the same ivory points." They said :"We consider that it was an error of judgment on his part" to continue vaccination while in attendance on erysipelatous cases. (See page 478, Fourth Report, Royal Commission.)
    It may be here observed that, in this Norwich Disaster, there were four deaths, three of which were misleadingly certified, no mention of vaccination appearing on any of those death certificates. These, so to speak, accidental revelations as to falsely certifying, occurring as they do in different parts of the country, are eloquent in their suggestiveness as to the widespread prevalence of the discreditable "hushing-up" business.