But the impressive array of evidence that Thompson marshals indicates that Vietnamese healers did not adopt Chinese methods of combating smallpox until Jennerian vaccination
had already been introduced from the West.
Dutch medical texts introduced Jennerian vaccination methods to those who earlier studied with Von Siebold or with his surviving Japanese students.
Although there were arguments over the efficacy of vaccination, mostly propounded by Chinese physicians who worked for the shogun, Jennerian vaccination became widespread in much of Japan beginning in the 1850s.
In Jannetta's book, this moment is the culmination of a narrative that traces the global diffusion of Jennerian vaccination from its origins in England at the end of the 18th century to its dissemination in Japan a half-century later.
Jannetta shows that while news of the Jennerian vaccination reached Japan quickly--in 1803, only five years after Jenner's findings were first published--the widespread implementation of the practice in Japan was more fitful.
She argues, in turn, that the introduction of Jennerian vaccination to Japan provided the impetus for the formation of the kinds of social mechanisms--in particular, lateral, quasi-professional connections forged through the common pursuit of specialized knowledge--necessary for the widespread dissemination of the vaccine.
Those same practitioners, supported by Japanese families as well as those who wished to make inroads into the intentionally closed Japanese society, began to practice, in as circumspect a manner as possible, Jennerian vaccination
against West Nile virus [Editorial].