This national average, however, hides large regional and local differences. The Quetelet Center has been able to reconstruct municipal vaccination maps for the years 1827-29, based on the annual ‘status of cowpox inoculation’. Although it is a snapshot and the vaccination registration had some flaws, the maps give a clear picture of the geographical patterns in vaccination.
We calculated vaccination coverage in relation to the number of births rather than the population, because smallpox was a childhood disease and vaccinations were mainly administered to children.
In many municipalities, vaccination coverage was low: less than 13 per cent of children were vaccinated (see map 1). High rates are observed in the regions around Kortrijk, Bruges, Turnhout, Wavre, Dinant, Philippeville and Luxembourg. In the north, Drenthe, Gelderland and parts of Friesland and North Brabant stand out with above-average figures. In some municipalities, 90 per cent or more were vaccinated.