1. Controversy is at present going on over the B.C.G. vaccination between Shri c. Raja Gopalcharya alias Rajaji on one side and Madame Amrit Kaur and her assistants on the other side. The controversy however does not clear the doubts in the minds of the thinking people, doubts regarding the propriety and utility of the B.C.G. vaccination. The following is therefore, written to clear the doubts by exposing the root of the matter.
2. First, let us see what B.C.G. is. It is a vaccine containing attenuated (i.e. weakened) but living germs of bovine tuberculosis. It is said that their weakness is fixed and that therefore, they cannot do any harm. But they may, increase their strength and do harm to particular individuals in whom they find favourable ground. This alone is the cause of the harm done to some individuals though the number of such individuals be very small. Shri Rajaji has cited the cases of a girl who become blind after B.C.G. Vaccination and of two others who died after the B.C.G. Vaccination.
3. Now let us see to whom vaccination is given. An individual is first tested by the tuberculin test. If the individual shows some symptoms thereby, he is called the reactor and is not given the B.C.G. If he does not show any symptoms after the tuberculin test, he is called non – reactor and is given the B.C.G. Vaccination.
4. Why is this distinction made? Why are the reactors not given the B.C.G.? Why are the non – reactors given the B.C.G. Says Dr. Galatius, the expert in B.C.G. called in by the Government of India in his paper placed before the meeting of the Madhya Pradesh Progressive Homoeopathic and Biochemic Association, Nagpur on 21-2-51, “The tuberculin test before the vaccinations is made in order to protect the reputation of B.C.G. vaccine. If B.C.G. is given to reactors to Tuberculin we can never be sure that cases of T.B. will not be vaccinated too.
If that happened and the case of T.B. was diagnosed shortly after the vaccination, the vaccination might be accused of having caused the disease.” This of course implies that there is no such danger in vaccinating the non – reactors. This clearly means non – reactors are not likely to get T.B. in the near future i.e. at present they are immune from T.B. This is also clear from the fact that they did not exhibit any symptoms after the tuberculin test.
5. What is the real meaning of the results of the Test? Those who have successfully resisted the test tuberculin, i.e. non reactors must be immune (from) to tuberculosis and those who have not been able to resist it. (i.e. reactors) must be susceptible to tuberculosis. It is the susceptible that require medial help and not the immune. This is logic pure and simple.
Now taking stand upon this logic, any man of strong common sense logic would certainly ask the following questions here. (1) Who are really in need of medical help, the reactors or the non – reactors? (2) Is it not clear that the reactors are in need of immediate medical help and that the non – reactors are not in need of such help? (3) Why do you omit to help the needful and press on to help those that are not in need? (4) Is this not perversity and pure commercialism?
6. Such questions confound the advocates of B.C.G. and then to save themselves say that the reactors are immune and the non – reactors are susceptible. This is what Dr. Galatius says in an article in Nagpur Times of 11-3-51 “The persons who are not reacting very little (.i. tuberculin positive).” This is quite illogical. those on whom tuberculin acts must be susceptible and those on whom it does not act must be immune. But Dr. Galatius supposes otherwise; this is his misconception. I must point out here that Dr. Galatius not alone in having the misconception referred to above. He is only one of those belonging to the Allopathic Schools which itself has got this misconception.
My interpretation of the tuberculin test agrees with the interpretation of the Allopathic School with respect to the schick test in Diphtheria and the Dick test in scarlet fever. But the Allopathic school gives an opposite interpretation in the vase of tuberculin test. (See Greens Pathology pages 259, 265, Edition of 1934). Almost no reasons for this opposite interpretation are given. It is certainly illogical to interpret similar facts in two different ways; they must be interpreted in the same way in all cases.
It is admitted even in respect of the tuberculin test that “A negative reaction rules, out the presence of active tuberculosis, while the positive test implies the presence of tuberculosis either in the active or the latent forms.” (Greens pathology page 265, edition of 1934). Here, it ought to be understood that a negative reaction is not possible without immunity and that the tuberculosis in active or latent form proved by positive test is not possible without susceptibility.
Therefore, even in the tuberculin test, positive reaction means susceptibility and negative reaction means immunity. It should be noted here that as after the Schick or the Dick test, you must try to immunise the positive reactors to tuberculin and not the negative reactors as is being done at present. But you dont do it. I would here recommend the reader and the government to cast eyes upon page 630 of the eleventh edition of Savils Practice of medicine and learn lesson.