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Strangling AngelDiphtheria and Childhood Immunization in Ireland$
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Michael Dwyer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781786940469

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781786940469.001.0001

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Anti-diphtheria Immunization in the Irish Free State

Anti-diphtheria Immunization in the Irish Free State

(p.51) 3 Anti-diphtheria Immunization in the Irish Free State
Strangling Angel

Michael Dwyer

Liverpool University Press

Chapter three examines the rollout of anti-diphtheria schemes in the Irish Free State. It argues that a successful – albeit small-scale – anti-diphtheria scheme undertaken in Dundalk, Co. Louth, in 1927 influenced the introduction of new legislation designed to accommodate the rollout of a state-backed national anti-diphtheria immunization programme. An overview of the national picture is complemented by more in-depth analysis of local initiatives implemented by ‘front line’ medical officers in Dublin and Cork. These case studies highlight the dissimilar results obtained by a frugal and limited intervention in Dublin compared with the more comprehensive mass immunization scheme implemented by public health authorities in Cork. This chapter suggests that Cork city was the site of the largest anti-diphtheria immunization scheme ever undertaken in Ireland and Britain, the success of which drew national and international attention

Keywords:   Irish Free State, Public Health, 1920s, Inter-war Ireland, Medical Officer of Health, Anti-diphtheria Immunization, Mass childhood Immunization, Dublin, Cork, Herd Immunity, Diphtheria, Epidemic

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