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Small-Pox Hospital

Soon after the practice of vaccination became prevalent, Dr. Woodville, physician to the hospital, first introduced it, January 21, 1799, and adopted it very generally during the following year; and in the space of three years from that time, 9,000 were vaccinated, without any complaint of unsuccessful practice. In 1801, their number increased to 11,800, of whom 2,500 were afterwards tested by various inoculation; and the progress was so rapid, that 4,290 were vaccinated in eleven months. In 1802 the number of vaccinated patients had increased to 131,715, and no failure of success appeared. After this time the new practice seems to have declined in reputation, for in the following year only 2,802 were vaccinated at the hospital. In 1806, Dr. Adams having succeeded the deceased Dr. Woodville in the office of physician, vaccination was slowly recovering from its depression; and from the monthly tables of the hospital in 1805, it appeared, that the in and out-patients vaccinated amounted to 2,096, and those of various inoculation to 2,638. In 1807, vaccination further declined; but there was no fatality in the hospital in the natural disease during five mouths. From the report communicated by Dr. Adams to the college of physicians, it appears that 20,324 had been vaccinated by the institution since its commencement in 1799, of whom only 18 bad afterwards taken the smallpox casually; and that three years was the critical period at which the greater part of them had taken it. The prejudice, however, against vaccination prevailed. During the year 1808, the patients relieved in the casual small-pox amounted to 132; those for inoculation to 1,296; and those of vaccination to 1,252; and the total number of the latter, since 1799, amounted to 23,197; of casual patients, since the first establishment, 21,868; and of variolated patients, 47,471; making an aggregate of 92,536.

The late Dr. Lettsom stated, in favour of vaccination, that not more than four had died in 60,000 vaccinated patients. The airiness of the situation, and the cleanliness which is preserved through both hospitals, and the good order maintained by the vigilance of the resident surgeon, and the assiduous attention of the matron, render these hospitals deserving of the notice and patronage of every friend to humanity.

There has recently been opened in this building " a house of recovery for typhus and scarlet fever." It is supported by voluntary subscriptions.

Source: Leigh's New Picture of London. Printed for Samuel Leigh, 18, Strand;
by W. Clowes, Northumberland Court. 1819