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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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Towards a National Immunization Programme

Towards a National Immunization Programme

(p.144) 7 Towards a National Immunization Programme
Strangling Angel

Michael Dwyer

Liverpool University Press

Chapter seven undertakes close analysis of municipal immunization schemes in Cork and Dublin in the wake of the Ring incident and in the face of impaired public health service provision attendant on wartime conditions. It argues that the municipal anti-diphtheria immunization scheme in Cork city was the only intervention mounted in Ireland or Britain to attain immunization rates comparable to those achieved in North America. In Dublin, failure to organize a comprehensive immunization scheme facilitated the recrudescence of diphtheria in numbers not witnessed since the pre-vaccine era, and increased diphtheria mortality left parents with a difficult decision to make: to present children for treatment to a compromised public health service or to expose them to a rampant, virulent, and increasingly fatal diphtheria infection.

Keywords:   1940s Ireland, Public Health, National Immunization Programme, Childhood Immunization, World War II, The Emergency, Dublin, Cork, Vaccine Confidence, End of an Epidemic

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