Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The beginning of the end for two killers ...

Immunizations have been much in the news lately, so I found interesting the following article published on the front page of The Chariton Herald-Patriot of April 29, 1941 --- just 80 years ago. 

Both diphtheria, bacteria-based, and smallpox, virus-based, were major concerns when my parents were children. By the time I came along, immunizations against both were routine. 

Routine vaccination against smallpox ceased in the United States in 1972 after the disease had been eradicated. During 1980, the World Health Organization declared the world smallpox-free. Vaccinations against diphtheria continue.

Here's the article, published under a banner headline that read, "Immunization Program Dates Are Set."


Approximately 200 Chariton school children will receive "shots" in the arm next week from May 5-9.

While no definite schedule has been received as yet, Supt. J. R. Cougill said today that the immunization program, instituted in this city several years ago, will again be carried out during the coming week.

Children will receive immunization "shots" to protect them from diphtheria as well as vaccination to guard against small pox. Local doctors will carry on the work.

The diphtheria immunization program has been carried on for some time in Chariton with outstanding results. "Since it was started we have had no epidemics of diphtheria," Supt. Cougill said today.

"The small pox vaccination program has been adopted more recently and is now part of the entire program. Since the vaccinations were first given in city schools, there has been no epidemic of this disease. We have had a few scattered cases but they have never risen to epidemic like proportions."

So far, as a result of the program carried on in past years, it is estimated that 75 percent of Chariton school children have either been immunized or vaccinated.

Through the cooperation of and by special arrangement with members of the local medical society, parents may either take their children to the doctors' offices to have the "shots" administered or have them taken at the children's respective schools where doctors will call during the next week.

Cost of the immunization is $1 with small pox vaccination series also the same price. The Lucas county Red Cross chapter in cooperation with the Chariton Parent Teachers Association, has made available a limited fund which will be used to pay the costs in cases where children's parents are unable to meet the expense.

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