I’ve noticed with the recent Rona situation, how the broader sense of health and wellbeing (freedom, mental wellbeing, human connections, socialising, enjoying our families, experiencing happiness and hope and purpose) has been cast aside for a very restricted definition of ‘health’ (presence or absence of a certain pathogen, or presence or absence of a certain set of symptoms), and how destructive it really is.
It wasn’t all that long ago, when testing positive for a certain pathogen (whether you displayed symptoms or not) was enough to have your freedoms removed, and spend the rest of your days in misery…all in the name of public health
The most famous, of course, was ‘Typhoid Mary’.
Mary Mallon (1869 – 1938) arrived in America as a penniless 15-year-old Irish immigrant. She loved to cook, and she was good at it, too – that’s how she came to be working for affluent families.
Typhoid typically struck the poor and dirty parts of town, so when it struck the well-to-do family that Mary had been working for, they hired a sleuth to investigate – one George Soper.
When Mr Soper turned up at Mary’s door, demanding she give him samples of her urine and feces, Mary did what any respectable lady would do, under the circumstances – she chased him away with a meat fork! .
Soper, however, was undeterred. He went to the city health board, with his suspicions that Mary was an ‘asymptomatic carrier’ of typhoid. When Mr Soper returned with the police, Mary hid for five hours, before they finally discovered her hiding place, and hauled her off to the hospital to be tested. When her test returned positive, she was sent to Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island. She was there for 2 years, before she was allowed back into society, on the promise that she would not work as a cook.
During that time, Mary was forced to provide 163 samples of various bodily substances, in order to be tested. One hundred and twenty of those tested positive. Doctors pressured her to have her gallbladder surgically removed – Mary refused .
Mary went to work as a laundry maid. But the pay was poor and she missed cooking…and she didn’t really believe she was carrying diseases, when she seemed perfectly healthy. So she changed her name, and got a job in the kitchen at Sloane Maternity hospital. When a typhoid outbreak occurred there, she was discovered, and sent back to North Brother Island, where she stayed for the next 25 years, until her death in 1938.
Mary became infamous, the butt-end of jokes and cartoons, and an object of fear, in the media. At the time, approximately 1000 people per year in New York were diagnosed with typhoid – but they were mostly poor. Mary’s alleged victims were all rich, and perhaps that, along with the fact that she was an immigrant woman, is why Mary got the treatment she did? 
They blamed Mary for the death of three people, and sickness in dozens more, although by the time she died, hundreds of other ‘asymptomatic carriers’ had been discovered in the US, although, none were quarantined.
Numerous US newspapers ran stories in 1954, stating that “known carriers are kept under strict surveillance by the Public Health Officials and are visited at least twice yearly.
None, under any circumstances, are permitted to work commercially with milk or other foods. Members of the carrier’s household are advised to be vaccinated, and annual booster shots are given (to the carrier) for additional protection.
All known typhoid carriers are listed in the State Registry so that, among other things, occupation and residence can be frequently checked upon by investigators. Owing to the instruction and supervision given, carriers usually prevent no menace to the community or household.
No drug yet found will rid the carrier’s body of the germs. However, since they frequently localize in the gallbladder or kidney, surgical removal of these organs frequently clears up the infection. Where both kidneys are infected, such an operation is, of course, impossible” .
Meanwhile, in the UK, it turns out that many ‘Typhoid Mary’s’ had their lives shattered because they tested positive for a particular germ…
IN 2008, BBC News broke the story, that at least 43 women ‘typhoid carriers’ had been locked up in Long Grove Asylum, Epsom, between 1907, and 1992, when it finally closed.
All were from the London area, and none displayed symptoms of typhoid. By all accounts, these women were mentally stable when admitted to the asylum, but years of living in isolation had affected them mentally (hardly surprising), and so their continued confinement was considered justified, even after the advent of antibiotic treatment for typhoid, in the 1950’s.
The Isolation Unit closed in 1972, and all but two of the women were moved into open wards in the asylum. The remaining two women were ‘incurable’ typhoid carriers, and were confined to two separate small rooms, where they lived out their days, with just the daily paper and a small tv as company.
This information came to light only because historians uncovered two volumes of records in the ruins. Most of the records from the asylum were (conveniently) destroyed after it shut down. 
Two women were still alive, when the asylum closed in 1992. They were transferred to other institutions. One woman, Rosina Bryans, had spent 60yrs of her life in confinement.
Staff don’t recall any of the women ever having visitors, despite many of them having been married with children, before being admitted .
In memory of Mary Allouis, A Brice, Mary Brooks, Rosina Bryans, Johannah Buckland, Lillian Buzzi, Martha Caunt, Lilian Clark, Marguerite Cross, R Cross, Mrs Davies, Elizabeth Driver, Ella Eves, Jane Caroline Finn alias Jackson, Charlotte Forward, Jennie French, Henrietta Victoria, Florence Fortune Greenhalf, Mabel Hardwick, Ellen Jones, Nellie Keylock, Maud Powell, Rebecca Restall, A Redson, Sarah Reynolds, Edith Rhodes, Charlotte Rock, Elsie Stacey, Bridget Tallott, Rose Thacker, Maud Louise Thomas, Ada Elizabeth Thompson, Emily Titcombe, Florence Elizabeth Truman, Margaret Vanderpant, Lily Wade, Margaret Warren, Ada Caroline Wellington, Marie Westlake, Sarah Whall, Ivy Whitmey-Smith, Emma Munnings, Florence Pell .
It was taken circa 2012 when I was living in a developing nation. ( I used to have a photo of my face covered in these sores, but that photo has since been lost to the ether).
The locals there call these sores ‘pala’ (it’s common, especially amongst children). Here in the West, I would have been swabbed for a staph infection.
150 yrs ago it would have been classed as smallpox.
When they claim to have ‘eradicated smallpox’ from the world, what they’re really claiming is to have eradicated a pathogen (if such a thing were possible, especially since neither Jenner’s early vaccine, nor the later glycerinated calf lymph vaccine, or the current one used for military personnel used the actual virus said to cause smallpox – but a related virus from the same family [1-2], and given to only some of the population – according to WHO estimates, less than 50% in some African countries, up to 80% in other countries.) 
What they did not eradicate is the disfiguring skin diseases that still plague people in poorer nations, and would have once been included in smallpox statistics.
I eventually recovered from that bout, after I relented and went to the catholic nuns clinic. It was run by little old nuns, who were kind, but didn’t mince words. We arrived there early in the morning, and there was already a small crowd milling around the front door and sitting on the long bench seats. I took a number (34, I still remember) and went back to the van to put my swollen, throbbing legs up. The sun climbed higher into the sky. The humidity of tropical wet season was stifling, and my 4mth old daughter was sweaty and cranky.
FINALLY, as the afternoon sun beat down mercilessly, my number was called. I hobbled past the benches of people still waiting, into the little clinic rooms. The nun made tssking noises as she liked at my sores, then instructed a local girl to fill a bucket of warm water with disinfectant in it. I sat with my legs in that warm water for 15 minutes or so, then a nun came with a pair of tweezers, and began to pull off the crusty scabs that covered the sores. Yeah, that was fun. But it was necessary, because until you got rid of the scab, the infection continued to fester away underneath.
When she finally finished, she dabbed the sores with a silver cream, then wound bandages around my feet and up my legs, and around my face. I bet I looked a sight. As I hobbled back out through the waiting area, past the few patients still waiting patiently in the humid heat, I could hear the murmers of pity.
As per the nun’s instructions, I had to bathe in the ocean each day. The first day I went to the ocean, happened to be at high tide, and the waves rushing past my legs was excruciating, as the weeping sores had again formed scabs that had to be washed off. It took more than 10 days for the sores to heal. I still have pockmarks on my lower legs, one inside my wrist, one on my chest, but mercifully none on my face.
Over the next several years, I had several bouts of this, but only ever when I was under stress, and each bout was less severe than the last. Each time, the sores were preceded by what seemed like itchy bites, that would appear overnight. I wondered if it was bedbugs, and in fact, approximately 120 years ago, one Texan doctor became convinced that bedbugs (Cimex Lectularius) were the true cause of smallpox.
Charles Campbell MD (1865 – 1931) was a remarkable doctor, who was nominated for a Nobel Prize, for his work on using bats to control mosquito populations. He also spent a number of years observing and conducting experiments surrounding bedbugs, as head of the ‘Pest House’ (where smallpox patients were quarantined and cared for). He observed that bed bugs were always present, where smallpox was present.
He noted that there was no evidence that bed bugs had existed in North America, until the white man arrived. (This would potentially explain why handing out blankets, which were likely inhabited by bed bugs, to Native American tribes, who were also presumably being introduced to the settler’s nutrient-poor foodstuffs, along with the stress and trauma of having their way of life up-ended) resulted in smallpox devastation of tribes.
(It could also explain why ‘sanitation’ worked so well in Leicestershire, England?)
Campbell also noted that smallpox began to recede as washing machines became commonplace .
My personal belief, at this point in time, is that some type of bite starts the process, and infection takes hold ONLY in individuals that are run down or nutrient depleted. Some of the pictures portraying smallpox victims covered in scabs, without so much as a space between scabs, could, I feel, potentially be explained by the conventional treatment methods used for smallpox at the time.
For example, one of the treatment methods was applying gauze that had been soaked in phenol (also known as carbolic acid), or bichloride of mercury . Carbolic acid, of course, is highly corrosive and results in inflammation and blistering . Daily baths containing bichloride of mercury were also used .
If patients became feverish (hardly surprising, given the skin infections and the mercury treatments) bromide drugs were given. One of the notable side effects of bromides is pustular skin eruptions – known as bromoderma, a sign of bromide toxicity . A Google image search of bromoderma shows pustules that look similar to those attributed to smallpox.
 Esparza J, Schrick L, Damaso CR. Equination (inoculation of horsepox): An early alternative to vaccination (inoculation of cowpox) and the potential role of horsepox virus in the origin of the smallpox vaccine, Vaccine, 2017, 35(52): 7222-7230
 Damaso CR. Revisiting Jenner’s mysteries, the role of the Beaugency lymph in the evolutionary path of ancient smallpox vaccines, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2018, 18(2):e55-e63.
 Belongia EA, Naleway AL. Smallpox vaccine: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Clin Med Res. 2003;1(2):87-92.
 Campbell C.A.R, Bats, Mosquitos & Dollars, The Stratford Company Publishers, Boston Massachusetts, 1925.
 Blumgarten AS. A Text Book of Medicine – For Students in Schools of Nursing, Macmillan, 1937.
Dr Saul Krugman (1911-1995) was a pediatrician, and medical researcher. In his quest to study hepatitis and develop a vaccine, he experimented on mentally-disabled children at Willowbrook State School, on Staten Island.
His method of study was to collect feces from sick children, add it to chocolate milkshakes, and feed it to other disabled children, in order to study how and when they got sick.
Yes, chocolate poo milkshakes.
Krugman reasoned that nearly every child would get hepatitis, anyway (the reason for this will become abundantly clear as you keep reading).
His work was funded by the US military, who were apparently keen to find a cure for hepatitis, after it had wreaked havoc on American troops, during World War II.
Willowbrook State School was an institution for severely mentally disabled children and adults. There were very few options for those severely disabled children, at the time, and desperate parents signed consent forms for their children to take part in ‘vaccine research’ in return for a place at the school. One mother remembers asking why the experiments could not be conducted on animals, instead, and was told that would be ‘too expensive’ .
The school was opened in 1947, on Staten Island, and designed to hold 4000 residents, but for many years, 6000 residents were crammed into close quarters.
In 1965, Robert F Kennedy, then a New York Senator, paid an unannounced visit to the school, and was appalled by what he found – squalor, neglect and stench. He later testified before Congress, that the place was a ‘snake pit’ .
Seven years later, a local television news reporter, Geraldo Rivera, snuck into the grounds and filmed the appalling conditions that residents lived in. Some were naked, some were smeared in their own excrement, or banging their head against a wall. Staffing levels were woefully inadequate to provide proper care. The footage can still be viewed online (it is very disturbing) . He says “It’s almost 50 years and speaking about it still makes me cry”.
Rather than using his influence to clean up the filthy conditions that fostered ill health, Krugman chose to deliberately sicken children, so as to study the progression of disease.
Not only was Krugman lauded for his work, receiving the Robert Koch medal, and other prestigious awards, he later became President of the American Paediatric Society.
Krugman is credited as having paved the way for the rubella, hepatitis and measles vaccines that are currently on the childhood schedule.
Strangely enough, his son, Richard Krugman, would later become head of the US Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, and still publicly defends his father’s work…
Before DDT was introduced in the 1940s, lead arsenate was widely used as a pesticide. It was originally introduced in the United States in 1892, to control gypsy moth.
Massachusetts was the first state to manufacture and begin spraying lead arsenate.
The first small outbreak of polio (26 cases) occurred the following year, in 1893 .
Also in Massachusetts.
Boston, Massachusetts actually, which happened to be downstream of where the lead arsenate was being manufactured by Merrimack Chemical Corporation (later bought by Monsanto) in Woburn.
(By the end of the century, Merrimack Chemical Corporation was the biggest manufacturer of lead arsenate in the US. It is estimated that 13 tonnes of arsenic made it’s way into the Aberjona River and Mystic Lakes, which were then public water supplies, during the decades that lead arsenate was being manufactured in Woburn) .
Arsenic still contaminates the watershed area downstream of Woburn today, and even decades after production had ceased, rates of childhood leukemia in Woburn were 4-fold higher than the national average .
The following year, 1894, an even bigger outbreak occurred just over the state border in Rutland County, Vermont – now officially recognised as America’s first polio epidemic.
Nearly all cases occurred in the Otter Creek Valley, a fertile valley nestled between two mountain ranges, and surrounded by agricultural industries. It was noted that numerous horses, dogs and fowls had also died with symptoms of paralysis, (yet polio is said to only affect humans), and some victims died suffering strange rashes and convulsions (symptoms of poisoning) .
Strangely, convulsions were often reported in relation to poliomyelitis, with many doctors confirming that the disease did not seem to be contagious, often seeming to affect only one child in the household, and put it down to “abnormal atmospheric conditions” .
There had been numerous isolated cases of ‘infantile paralysis’ for decades, and was originally blamed on teething, because of its propensity to strike suddenly when a child was teething. It may seem odd to us now, to blame teething for paralysis and convulsions, but teething used to be a dangerous business! For example, in 18th century France, one half of all infant deaths were attributed to teething. In 19th century England, 12% of all deaths under 4yrs of age were recorded as teething .
What made teething dangerous? The teething powders used to soothe fussing and fractious infants contained mercury . Unfortunately, the connection between mercury and ‘teething deaths’ wasn’t made until the 1940’s, and only after some observant doctors noted the similarities between arsenic and mercury poisoning .
It wasn’t just mercurial teething powders that made teething fraught with danger. Opiates, such as laudanum were commonly used to sedate irritable babies and dull the pain of teething, and many cases of lethal intoxication occurred .
With the advent of arsenical pesticides, however, clusters of young paralysis victims became more and more common, especially during the summer and autumn months (when the fruits sprayed with arsenic were being eaten, and children were swimming in creeks and waterholes contaminated by pesticide run-off).
As the codling and gypsy moths developed resistance, heavier applications of lead arsenate were required – up to 5 or 6 applications per season. It was not until the 1920’s that researchers realized pesticide residues were not removed by washing or rubbing – about two-thirds of the residue remained on the fruit .
By 1929, almost 30 million pounds of calcium or lead arsenate were being sprayed every year, onto the fields and orchards of America .
Arsenic was also being widely used in medicine, during the early 20th century, especially as a treatment for syphilis – some patients were given more than 100 injections of arsenic-containing Tryparsamide (which was developed by the Rockefeller Foundation, and manufactured by Merck) to ‘treat’ advanced syphilis .
There were several reports of polio following arsenical injections – one of those occurred in a children’s home in Germany in 1913, where 5 children were diagnosed with polio. All were being treated for syphilis at the time, via arsenical injections .
Arsenical injections were also employed to treat yaws – a tropical skin disease. In 1936, a campaign to eradicate yaws in Western Samoa preceded a large polio epidemic. Thirty-six thousand locals were given two or more injections in the buttock. A week after the second injection, the first cases of paralysis appeared – all were in the lower limbs, and all had received arsenical injections. In total, 138 locals suffered paralysis after receiving injections. .
When widespread vaccination campaigns began, for diptheria and pertussis, paralysis cases, diagnosed as ‘polio’, also followed . At the time, those vaccines contained mercury as a preservative.
It was not just arsenic or mercury that caused polio symptoms – phosphorus, lead, carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning were also reported in cases of poliomyelitis.
Lead arsenate finally fell out of favour in the 1940’s and was largely replaced by another poison – DDT. Arsenic-based pesticides weren’t banned until the 1980’s, however, and some ‘modified arsenates’ are still in use today, on cotton crops. It is thought that ground contamination is the cause of elevated levels of arsenic in rice today.
The use of arsenical pesticides in China continued beyond the year 2000, and it is suspected they still continue to use them illegally, hence the presence of arsenic in apple juice imported from China 
 Putnam JJ, Taylor EW. Is Acute Poliomyelitis Unusually Prevalent This Season? Boston Med Surg J, 1893, 129:509-510.
 Aurilio, A.C., Durant, J.L., Hemond, H.F. et al. Sources and distribution of arsenic in the aberjona watershed, eastern Massachusetts. Water Air Soil Pollut, 1995,81, 265–282.
 Durant, John L., et al. Elevated Incidence of Childhood Leukemia in Woburn, Massachusetts: NIEHS Superfund Basic Research Program Searches for Causes. Environmental Health Perspectives, 1995, 103:93–98.
For years, many in the vaccine awareness community have pondered whether the rise and rise of widespread vaccination could be related to the rise and rise of chronic conditions afflicting our society (in the West, at least). We have even pondered seemingly unrelated issues, like mental illness, depression, suicide and violence, wondering if vaccines might somehow be involved.
Despite our wondering, we haven’t had
definitive proof. Just a vague suspicion that we cannot prove. We’ve been
accused, by some, of trying to implicate vaccines in *every* malady known to
It has been my suspicion that severe reactions following vaccination usually require other co-factors to be present – whether that’s existing toxicity or health conditions, genetic mutations causing a reduced ability to detoxify, low Vitamin C status, recent antibiotic use (leading to gut dysbiosis, etc), systemic yeast infection, chronic stress, to name a few.
However, recently I just happened to
be up at 3am in the morning – couldn’t sleep – and decided to do plug some
random search terms into Pubmed.
I stumbled across a study that, honestly, shocked me so much, all hope of sleep was gone for the night.
In this small (double-blind, placebo-controlled) study, researchers set out to study the effect of inflammation on emotional awareness. In particular, the ability to ‘read’ another person’s mental state (an important social-cognitive skill that allows us to have meaningful social interactions with other humans).
In order to induce inflammation, they
vaccinated participants in the treatment group with Typhim Vi (a typhoid
vaccine), while participants in the control group received a saline injection.
Levels of Interleukin-6 (an important marker of inflammation) increased by more
than 400% in the vaccination group. Those in the vaccination group subsequently
performed worse in testing that assessed their ability to ‘read’ the mental
state of others .
Note that this is not the first study
to show that vaccination can significantly increase IL-6 levels. Two decades
ago, another study, conducted on premature infants, clearly demonstrated that
vaccination with the whole-cell DTP vaccine elevated IL-6 levels. .
Now, this may not seem like a big
deal, until you begin to understand what science has already discovered about
Interleukin-6, since it’s discovery in 1986…
What this study clearly demonstrates
is that inflammatory reactions, with potentially long-term consequences, take
place after vaccination, even without any OUTWARD or IMMEDIATE signs of harm.
Interleukin-6 is a pro-inflammatory
cytokine, normal and necessary to facilitate inflammatory processes during the
acute phase of infection. It is when interleukin-6 is elevated excessively,
especially for long periods of time, that problems – big problems – start to
There is an overwhelming, and growing,
wealth of evidence that links inflammatory levels caused by excessive
Interleukin-6, with neurological disorders, chronic diseases and autoimmune
Recent studies show that interleukin-6
is significantly up-regulated in autistic patients, compared with healthy controls
Studies on mice also reveal that if
IL-6 levels are increased in a pregnant female, brain development is altered in
the unborn fetus, and offspring grow up to suffer from behavioural changes and
social deficits commonly seen in autism [4-5].
New research (published October, 2019)
shows that symptomatic offspring of parents diagnosed with bipolar disorder,
have significantly higher levels of IL-6, compared with offspring who display
no symptoms of the disorder .
In other research, bipolar patients
who were experiencing manic episodes also showed increased IL-6 levels, while
bipolar patients who were in remission showed similar levels to healthy
Over-expression of Interleukin-6 has
been reported in almost all types of tumours. According to research published
“The strong association between
inflammation and cancer is reflected by the high IL-6 levels in the tumour microenvironment,
where it promotes tumorigenesis by regulating all hallmarks of cancer and
multiple signalling pathways, including apoptosis, survival, proliferation,
angiogenesis, invasiveness and metastasis, and most importantly, the metabolism”
Therapies that block or inhibit IL-6 are
being explored as a treatment, not only for cancer, but other chronic inflammatory
diseases, such as autoimmune conditions .
Research from 1995 showed that babies
who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) had higher levels of IL-6 in
cerebrospinal fluid. Researchers surmised that the presence of these
inflammatory cytokines in the central nervous system may cause respiratory
depression, especially in vulnerable infants .
Importantly, elevated levels of IL-6
were not necessarily accompanied by outward symptoms of infection or
inflammation (fever, etc), even though IL-6 is known to cross the brain barrier
and affect the body’s temperature ‘set-point’ in the hypothalamus .
Research shows that IL-6 levels are
increased in people who attempt suicide, when compared with those who suffer
from depression (but are not suicidal) . Furthermore, those who performed violent
suicide attempts displayed the highest IL-6 levels .
Research published in 2014 showed that
IL-6 levels were significantly higher in patients with intermittent explosive
disorder, compared to normal controls. In addition, both C-Reactive Protein
(another inflammatory marker) and IL-6 were “directly correlated with a composite measure of aggression
and, more specifically, with measures reflecting history of actual aggressive
behavior in all participants”. Plasma levels of IL-6 significantly correlated
with impulsivity and monotony avoidance (a factor in thrill-seeking or
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
IL-6 levels are increased in patients
suffering from anxiety disorders, compared with control subjects .
study of older women found that those who reported the most depression, anger,
fatigue or mood disturbance, had significantly increased levels of IL-6.
Although it is known that IL-6 increases psychological disorders, the feelings
of anxiety or stress also increase IL-6, so the process can become a ‘vicious
two meta-analyses have shown that IL-6 is the most consistently elevated
cytokine in the blood of patients with major depressive disorder, and that
peripheral levels of IL-6 positively correlate to symptom severity [17-18].
It has also been shown
that children with higher circulating IL-6 levels at age 9, had a 10% higher
risk of developing depression by age 18 .
Elevated levels of IL-6
have also been reported in women suffering from post-partum depression .
against IL-6 receptors are currently being used as treatment for rheumatoid arthritis,
and are being tested as potential treatment for mood disorders.
TYPE 2 DIABETES
Research shows that elevated
levels of both IL-6 and C-Reactive Protein can predict the development of type
2 diabetes .
Clearly, there are
consequences to up-regulating IL-6 in the body. The question is, if vaccination
can increase IL-6 levels by more than 400%, how long do the levels stay
elevated for? I feel this is the critical issue at stake here, given that
chronic up-regulation seems to be a major factor in many of the disorders
mentioned above. Unfortunately, the studies mentioned don’t address this issue,
however, we do know that aluminium adjuvants selectively up-regulate IL-6, possibly
via oxidative stress processes .
According to Professor Gherardi in France, aluminium deposits may persist for up to 12 years at injection site, in some individuals . In mice studies, the aluminium slowly moves from injection site to distant organs, such as brain and spleen, where it can still be detected 1 year following vaccination .
PS: If you’d like to support my work, please consider purchasing my book, or telling others about it! I would really appreciate that.
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Regardless of your own personal beliefs regarding vaccination, the
idea that a government can mandate a medical procedure without your consent,
should be cause for concern to everyone (in addition, it contravenes basic
human rights principles, in regards to informed consent, which must be freely
given, “without coercion, undue influence or misrepresentation”) .
As we see governments around the world moving ever closer to
forced vaccination, it behoves us to take a leaf from history, and remember
what happens when the State assumes ownership of a person’s physical body.
The truth is that compulsory vaccination is not a new concept.
It’s been tried before! In Part 1, we will take a closer look at how it worked
out for England, with compulsory smallpox vaccination.
It began innocently enough, with the British Vaccination Act (1840).
Under this law, free vaccination was provided to the poor, to be
administered by the Poor Law Guardians (while the original practice of
‘inoculation’ was outlawed). Many ‘poor and uneducated’, though, shunned the
offer of free vaccination .
Thirteen years later, compulsory vaccination was introduced –
despite evidence that smallpox mortality had been declining for many decades .
Compulsory Vaccination Act (1853)
This law required all babies up to the 3mths old (or, 4mths in the
case of orphans) to be vaccinated. Parents who refused to comply faced fines of
£1 (the equivalent of approximately one week’s wages for a skilled tradesman,
and todays equivalent of approximately £80), or imprisonment.
Vaccination during those years was not the procedure that we know
today. It was painful and inconvenient – for both parents and children, alike.
The vaccinator used a sharp surgical knife (known as a lancet), to make
incisions into the flesh, in a scored pattern. This was usually done in several
different places on the arm. Vaccine lymph was then smeared into the cuts.
Infants were to be brought back to vaccination stations, eight days later, in
order to have the pus harvested from their blisters, to be used on other
waiting infants .
In an era where doctors were incensed at the idea that postnatal
infections were caused by their failure to wash their hands after handling dead
bodies, and drinking and bathing water was often contaminated with raw sewage,
it is hardly surprising that deaths caused by infections of the skin, such as
erysipelas, increased as vaccinations were increasingly enforced .
The routine treatment of smallpox involved mercury or phenol
(otherwise known as carbolic acid, which is highly corrosive, and causes
blistering of the skin, on its own) applied topically to sores. Mercury gargles
in the throat were also employed. If the patient became delirious (which would
hardly be surprising, given the frequent use of mercury), they were given
morphine or bromides – which also causes pustular eruptions of the skin .
Vaccination Act amendment (1867)
The law was extended to include all children up to 14yrs of age (in
order to capture all the children who had ‘snuck through the cracks’, during
the previous 14 years of compulsory vaccination). This law introduced
continuous fines and cumulative penalties.
In other words, parents could be fined continuously with increasing
prison sentences for non-compliance. The UK Court Hansard notes the case of a
Mr. Pearce of Andover who, up until 1877, had been convicted some 40 times .
Also noted, was the case of Mr. Joseph Abel, who was convicted 11
times over a 14mth period, for refusing to have his child vaccinated .
Further amendment (1871)
Ironically, the law was further tightened in 1871, the same year a
deadly smallpox epidemic raged through Europe and Britain – regarded by many as
the most destructive epidemic during that entire century . The UK suffered
approximately 42,000 deaths, over the course of two years.
The new law made it compulsory for all local authorities to hire
Vaccination Officers, and introduced fines of 20 shillings (the equivalent of 4
days wages for a skilled tradesman) for parents who refused to allow pus to be
collected from their children’s blisters, for public vaccination.
The Leicester Mercury reported the case on a Mr. George Banford, who “had a child born in 1868. It was vaccinated, and after the operation the child was covered with sores, and It was some considerable time before it was able to leave the house. Again Mr Banford complied the the law in 1870. This child was vaccinated by Dr. Sloane in the belief that by going to him they would get pure matter. IN that case erysipelas set in, and the child was on a bed of sickness for some times. IN the third case the child was born in 1872, and soon after vaccination, erysipelas set in, and it took such a bad course that the expiration of 14 days the child died.”
It will come as no surprise, that Mr. Banford refused to have his
next child vaccinated…and was fined 10 shillings, with the option of seven days
Meanwhile, resistance raged on, especially in the town of Leicester,
where rallies attracted crowds up to 100,000 .
The resistance was such, that some local magistrates and politicians declared
their support for a parent’s right to choose, and a Parliamentary Inquiry was
eventually held, which sat for 7 years, and finally agreed to amend the laws.
It should be noted here that compulsory vaccination
proved to be the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ for governmental incursion of bodily
autonomy and personal liberty.
The Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864, 1866, and 1869, were passed very quietly and suddenly, with little fanfare (it was considered unseemly to discuss such matters). The laws were aimed at preventing sexually-transmitted diseases in the Armed Forces where 1 in 3 sick cases were caused by venereal diseases. Instead of targeting members of the Armed Forces, though, the law targeted women who were suspected of prostitution .
These women were apprehended by police, and forced
to have their genitals inspected by a doctor (no doubt, male), and if found to
be infected, confined in a lock hospital for treatment, for up to 3 months.
Refusal to co-operate resulted in imprisonment, with possibility of hard labour
Once registered under the Act, she was expected to
show up at a designated inspection station, to be inspected, every two weeks .
During the 1860’s, there were approximately 26,000
prostitutes known to police, while other estimates say there may have been up
to 368,000 prostitutes. The vast majority of these women were poor and
uneducated, and resorted to prostitution to survive .
After the 1866 amendment, she could be confined to
hospital for treatment, for up to 12 months.
The typical treatment for syphilis during that era
would most likely have been mercury rubs. Later, the severe side effects of
mercury became too obvious to ignore, and it was replaced by injections of
Ironically, there were numerous instances reported,
whereby syphilis was transmitted via smallpox vaccination [14-15].
The burgeoning feminist movement fiercely opposed
the Contagious Diseases Acts, on the basis that they unfairly discriminated
against women, and were undertaken in a most humiliating fashion. There was a
lot of common ground between the early feminist movement fighting against the
Contagious Diseases Acts, and the anti-vaccinationists. Indeed, feminist
leader, Josephine Butler, who spearheaded the campaign to repeal the Contagious
Diseases Acts, also served in the Mother’s Anti-Compulsory Vaccination League .
In addition to the Contagious Diseases Act, the Notification of Infectious Diseases Acts in 1889, and 1899 required that all contagious diseases, except tuberculosis (which is curious, since it was a major killer at the time) be reported to the local medical officer, who could then forcibly remove the patient to hospital, whether they consented or not. Household contacts and doctors who failed to notify the local medical officer were liable for fines of up to 40 shillings .
Again, the accepted medical treatment of the time
most likely involved mercury or arsenic.
Finally, after forty-five years of protests, fines and imprisonments, the Vaccination Act (1898) promised some respite to parents – it removed cumulative penalties, and allowed for a conscientious clause to be added. This Act introduced the concept of ‘Conscientious Objection’ into English law. However, parents were still required to satisfy, not one, but two magistrates of their legitimate concerns and objections, in order to gain an exemption. For a number of years (until further amendments were made in 1908), many magistrates simply refused to issue the exemption to parents, resulting in continuing fines.
The UK Court Hansard reveals the case of one applicant, who was told by his local magistrate that “such people as the applicant ought to be set on an island by themselves and die of smallpox” .
The 1898 law had also outlawed arm-to-arm vaccination,
which was replaced by vaccination of calf lymph, which was deemed to be safer.
With little government oversight, however, many entrepreneurial types saw it as
a way to make easy money, supplying cheap vaccines which, occasionally included
dust, hair, and even animal dung . Cases of tetanus, and other infections
following vaccination, continued to be reported.
In 1908, when government realized that magistrates
were failing to carry out the 1898 law, it was amended further, to allow
parents to make a statutory declaration of their objections to vaccination,
within four months of birth.
By 1921, only 40% of English infants were being vaccinated .
 Lankester E. The Smallpox Epidemic, Nature, 1871, 3:341-342.
 Leicester Mercury, 10th March, 1884.
 Porter D, Porter R. The politics
of prevention: anti-vaccinationism and public health in nineteenth-century
England. Med Hist. 1988;32(3):231–252.
 Walkowitz JR. Prostitution and Victorian
Society: Women, Class and the State, Cambridge University Press, 1982.
 Hamilton M. Opposition to the Contagious
Disease Acts, 1964 – 1886, Albion: A Quarterly Journal Concerned With British
Studies, 1978, 10(1):14-27.
 Ibid. See #11.
 Syphilis conveyed by the vaccine lymph to 46
children, The Lancet, Nov 16. 1861.
 Lee H. Lectures on syphilitic inoculation in
1865,1866, The Lancet, 87(2224):391-394.
 Johnston RD. The Radical Middle Class: Populist
Democracy And The Question of Capitalism, Princeton University Press, 2013,
 Mooney G. Public Health versus
Private Practice: The Contested Development of Compulsory Infectious Disease
Notification in Late-Nineteenth Century Britain, Bulletin of the History of
Medicine, 1999, 73(2):238-267.
Are people in developing countries really desperate for vaccines? Do they really walk for hours to get their children vaccinated. Maybe they do. But clearly, not everyone in the developing world is a believer. In fact, as you’re about to read, some are vaccinated at gunpoint…
In 2015, more than 80% of
people in the Philippines strongly agreed with the statement that vaccines are
safe. A more recent poll in 2018, found that only 20% of people in the
Philippines agreed with the statement. In 2015, 82% of people were confident in
the effectiveness of vaccines, but in 2018, only 22% felt that vaccines are
What happened in the Philippines
between 2015 and 2018, that so badly shook people’s faith in vaccines?
It seems the main driver was a
disastrous dengue vaccine trial for Dengvaxia, which was given to more than
800,000 school-children (although numbers from different media outlets vary –
from 720,000 up to 830,000), from early 2016 through to early 2018 .
The program was then suspended, but
not before more than 3000 children were hospitalized  – some for dengue
fever. As of September 2018, at least 150 deaths had been reported among
children who received the vaccine, but authorities declared that many of those
were due to pneumonia, leukemia, asthma, central nervous system infections, and
therefore ‘occurred naturally’ .
More than 190,000 of those
vaccinations were given without parental consent .
The public confidence in vaccines was
so severely shaken by the disaster, that routine vaccination rates in children
fell to 50%-60% in 2018. Seventy-seven percent of schoolgirls had received the
first shot of HPV vaccine, but only 8% of schoolgirls got the second shot.
A supplemental vaccine drive, to raise
measles vaccination rates, saw health workers going from door
to door, and many mothers hid their babies. As little as 36% of babies in metro
Manila region received the vaccine. The Department of Health Undersecretary
remarked that “health workers would spend up to 30 minutes trying to convince
parents to have their children vaccinated” .
secretary Francisco Duque III declared “If needed, they (health workers) must
woo the parents to allow the DOH to administer vaccines on their kids” .
In some provinces in Southern
Thailand, vaccination rates are below 50%, as Muslim believers refuse
vaccinations. Islamic leaders addressed the issue, by saying that “though
some vaccines contain ingredients derived from pigs, which are forbidden for
Muslims, it was more important for a good Muslim to remain in good physical
health at all times”.
until alternative vaccines that do not contain haram ingredients are invented,
Muslims may use vaccines without having to worry that they are violating the
Islamic doctrine” .
The messages of support from
religious leaders are displayed on health authority websites, in an effort to
quell concerns, and promote vaccination. Despite vaccination teams visiting
schools and homes, some parents signed letters declaring they would not receive
vaccines – now, or in the future .
In an effort to persuade reluctant villagers to have their children vaccinated for polio, the Indian government and UNICEF also use religious leaders to increase vaccine uptake. Islamic leaders give speeches before Friday prayer services, using quotes from the Koran, to encourage their people to accept vaccines. Newspaper columns are prepared and signed off by religious leaders. They also conduct radio question-and-answer sessions to reassure hesitant parents .
Vaccine hesitancy in remote areas is hardly surprising. As one religious leader put it: “For decades, the
government machinery has not reached out to them; there are no proper roads, no
drainage systems, no employment opportunities, no basic facilities – and
suddenly a team of health officials arrive there to say we care for your
children and therefore we want to vaccinate them .
In 2016, the Ugandan government announced a new law that would punish non-compliant parents with six months jail time. Anybody found making “public misleading statements about vaccinations could face two years in prison or a fine, under the same law”. A Ugandan baby must have an ‘immunization card’ in order to have their birth registered, and obtain a birth certificate. That immunization card must be shown in order to enrol at school .
One religious group in Uganda, known as Njiri Nkalu, are vehemently opposed to vaccines, believing in divine protection, rather than man-made vaccines. In 2016, health workers, along with armed police, forcefully entered their homes and vaccinated some 200 children. Many of the parents and children tried to flee into nearby sugarcane fields, but were rounded up and vaccinated for polio. One member was heard to say: “We don’t see why you bring all these guns to harass us. Our children are protected by God and we don’t need polio vaccines” .
At least ten members
of the group were detained by police, but later released without charge .
The officers also
forcefully entered the homes of Tabliq Muslims who had refused vaccines for
their children. The District Commissioner, who accompanied the officers, said
“Although the operation was a success, there are those who were tipped off and
disappeared into the bushes with their children. We shall come back to get
In 2003, three states in Northern Nigeria boycotted the
oral polio vaccine, due to the alleged discovery of contaminants, including
trace amounts of estrogen. The boycott lasted for 15 months .
Today, many in the African nation still remain deeply suspicious about the true motive of aggressive vaccination programs. One group is the infamous Boko Haram (which translates to ‘Western education is forbidden’), who came to the world’s attention in 2014, when it was reported they had kidnapped 276 school-girls.
It is too dangerous for vaccinators to go into Boko Haram-held territory during national immunization days, but they do manage to get those who are leaving, or fleeing the area…” At the bus stations, and the state and national border crossings, the lunchbox-toting teams (the polio vaccines are packed into lunchboxes) are there. Peering into cars, lifting the cloaks of women perched on motorbikes to find the babies strapped to their fronts and backs. Squeezing in the little vials of vaccine.
“If they say no, then we tell them they can go back,” said
superintendent of immigration, Charles Tashllani, imposing order on Nigeria’s
border with Niger in Katsina. Here, late in the evening, the Polio Emergency
Operations committee reviews the campaign’s first day, which has seen 3,661
teams immunise 28,882 underfives. The detail is such that eight missing marker
pens are on the agenda, as is the sacking of two town announcers who did not
inform people about the programme” .
But it’s not just extremists
who have their doubts. Media reports over the years, reveal that hundreds of
parents have been threatened with jail time and prosecution .
In 2015, more than
500 parents were arrested by police in Pakistan, for not allowing their
children to have the polio vaccine. They could be released on bail, only if
they signed an affidavit that they would allow their children to get the
A UNICEF team leader
in Pakistan explained that “First the
workers (try to) convince them, then their supervisors, then senior members of
the community”. If all that coercion and intimidation fails, and the parents
still resist, then the police are called to arrest them” .
Earlier this year, a health worker was murdered, trying to persuade a man to let his children have the oral polio vaccine . This comes amidst reports of an angry mob of parents setting fire to a hospital, after school-children were vaccinated, and 75 students later fell sick. Doctors denied the illness was due to vaccines, and suggested they probably felt sick due to their parent’s anxiety about vaccines .
In January, 2019, hundreds of parents in Jinhu, China, marched in the streets, demanding an explanation for the expired vaccines given to their children. More than 100 children had suffered fevers, skin rashes, and vomiting – some for months on end – since receiving the vaccines.
“Local authorities eventually found that an entire batch of vaccines was used instead of being destroyed”. Parents claimed the same kinds of reactions had been occurring for at least 10 years, and believe expired and faulty vaccines had been used for years.
Riot police from neighbouring counties were brought in to quench the protests, and authorities banned both regular and social media from reporting on ‘inflammatory’ news about vaccines .
It is just one, on a
growing list, of vaccine scandals and controversies in China, with many parents
declaring they have lost faith in China-made vaccines .
PS. All this info, and a whole lot more, can be found in my newly released book, which is available on Amazon.
 Larson HJ,
Hartigan-Go K, de Figueiredo A, Vaccine confidence plummets in the Philippines following dengue
vaccine scare: why it matters to pandemic preparedness, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, 2018.
 Uganda 2016 International Religious Freedom Report, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/268952.pdf Accessed March, 2019. (Note: This document has since been moved or removed from the State Department website, despite both the 2015 and 2017 reports still being available…)
It is often assumed that the
‘anti-vax’ movement began with Andrew Wakefield, and ‘that autism study’, or
former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy’s claims that her son’s autism was caused
But did these two events really cause tens of thousands of parents to begin questioning vaccines and getting embroiled in bitter skirmishes on social media? Personally, I had never heard of Andrew Wakefield, or Jenny McCarthy, when I first began to delve into the vaccine subject, in early 2010.
Opposition to vaccination is not a new phenomenon – for as long as there have been vaccines, there has been fierce opposition. Originally focused in England, that opposition really gained momentum when the Compulsory Vaccination Act was passed in Victorian England, in 1853.
The main pockets of opposition to compulsory vaccination were among the working class, and the clergy, who believed it was ‘un-Christian’ to inject people with animal products .
The original Vaccination Act in 1840 had provided free vaccination
for the poor, to be administered by the Poor Law guardians. This law, however,
was a failure, as the “lower and uneducated classes” did not take up the offer
of free vaccination .
The Compulsory Vaccination Act of 1853 went a lot further – it ordered all babies up to 3 months old be vaccinated ( to be administered by Poor Law Guardians), and in 1867, this was extended up to 14 years of age, and penalties for non-compliance were introduced.
Doctors were encouraged to report non-vaccinators to the authorities, by “financial inducements for compliance and penalties for failure”. While the 1853 Act had introduced one-off fines or imprisonment, the 1867 Act increased this, to continuous and cumulative penalties, so that parent’s found guilty of default could be fined continuously, with increasing prison sentences, until their child reached 14 years of age .
(As an interesting side-note here, the vaccination laws were not the only incursions of the state during this time, at the expense of personal liberty, and private bodily autonomy. The Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864, 1866, and 1869, required that any woman suspected of prostitution was to be medically inspected for venereal disease. If deemed to be infectious, she was confined in hospital for treatment, with or without her consent. The Notification of Infectious Diseases Acts in 1889 and 1899 required that all contagious diseases – except tuberculosis, which is rather odd, since it was a major killer at the time – be reported to the local medical officer, who could then forcibly remove the patient to hospital, whether they consented or not .
Meanwhile, the vaccination laws were tightened yet again in 1871 (ironically, the same year that a large smallpox epidemic raged across Europe and England – a testament to how ‘effective’ the compulsory laws had been?), making it compulsory for all local authorities to hire Vaccination Officers .
In response to these increasingly draconian measures, the Anti-Vaccination League was formed in England, and a number of anti-vaccine journals sprang up, which “included the Anti-Vaccinator (founded 1869), the National Anti-Compulsory Vaccination Reporter (1874), and the Vaccination Inquirer (1879)”.
A number of other writings and pamphlets were distributed widely – for example, 200,000 copies of an open letter titled ‘Current Fallacies About Vaccination’, written by Leicester Member of Parliament, P Taylor, were distributed in 1883 .
The vaccination process was painful and inconvenient, for both parents and children alike. The vaccinator used a lancet (a surgical knife with sharp, double-edged blade) to cut lines into the flesh in a scored pattern. This was usually done in several different places on the arm. Vaccine lymph was then smeared into the cuts. Infants then had to be brought back eight days later, to have the lymph (pus!) harvested from their blisters, which was then used on waiting infants .
Following the strict 1871 amendments to the law, parents could even be fined 20 shillings for refusing to allow the pus to be collected from their children’s blisters, to be used for public vaccination .
By this point, severe and sometimes fatal reactions to the vaccine were being reported, and doubts began to grow about how effective the vaccine really was .
The town of Leicester was a particular hot-bed of anti-vaccine activity, with many marches and rallies, demanding repeal of the law, and advocating other measures of containment, such as isolation of the infected. Up to 100,000 people attended these rallies .
The unrest and opposition continued for
two decades, and an estimated 6000 prosecutions were carried out, in the town
of Leicester alone .
The following excerpts from the Leicester Mercury bears witness to the deep convictions held by
those who refused to submit to the mandatory measures:
Banford had a child born in 1868. It was vaccinated and after the operation the
child was covered with sores, and it was some considerable time before it was
able to leave the house. Again Mr. Banford complied with the law in 1870. This
child was vaccinated by Dr. Sloane in the belief that by going to him they
would get pure matter. In that case erysipelas set in, and the child was on a
bed of sickness for some time. In the third case the child was born in 1872,
and soon after vaccination erysipelas set in and it took such a bad course that
at the expiration of 14 days the child died“.
Mr Banford was fined 10 shillings, with the option of seven days imprisonment, for refusing to subject his fourth child to the vaccine .
And again…‘By about 7.30 a goodly number of anti-vaccinators were present, and an
escort was formed, preceded by a banner, to accompany a young mother and two
men, all of whom had resolved to give themselves up to the police and undergo
imprisonment in preference to having their children vaccinated. The utmost
sympathy was expressed for the poor woman, who bore up bravely, and although
seeming to feel her position expressed her determination to go to prison again
and again rather than give her child over to the “tender mercies” of
a public vaccinator. The three were attended by a numerous crowd and in
Gallowtreegate three hearty cheers were given for them, which were renewed with
increased vigour as they entered the doors of the police cells ”.
Eventually, there were so many refusers in the town of Leicester, that some local magistrates and politicians declared their support for parental rights, and encouraged their peers to do the same .
The law was finally relaxed in 1898. New laws were passed, allowing for conscientious objection of vaccination . By the end of that same year, more than 200,000 certificates of conscientious objection had been issued, most among the working class, and many were women. 
Meanwhile in the United States,
smallpox outbreaks in the late 1800’s led to vaccine campaigns, and subsequent
opposition in the formation of The Anti-Vaccination Society of America in 1879,
followed by the New England Anti Compulsory Vaccination League in 1882,
and the Anti Vaccination League of New York City in 1885 .
The homeless and the itinerate were blamed for spreading smallpox, and in 1901, the Boston Board of Health ordered ‘virus squads’ to force-vaccinate men staying in cheap boarding rooms .
a smallpox outbreak in 1902, the Cambridge Board of Health in Massachusetts
mandated vaccination for all city residents. This led to possibly the most
important, and controversial, judicial decision regarding public health.
One man, Henning Jacobson refused to comply with the mandate, on the grounds that it violated his right to care for his own body as he saw fit. The city filed criminal charges against him, which he fought, and lost, in court. He appealed to the US Supreme Court, who ruled in the State’s favour in 1905, prioritising public health over individual liberty .
The ‘anti-vaxxers’ have never gone away in the intervening years, though sometimes they have been more vocal than others, such as in the 1970’s, when there was controversy throughout Europe, North America and Britain, about the safety and potential side effects of the diptheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine .
In 1998, the vaccination argument came to the public attention again, with Andrew Wakefield’s case series published in the Lancet. Although the report was looking at a link between autistic disorders and bowel dysfunction, it mentioned in its conclusion that a number of parents believed their child’s symptoms began after MMR vaccination . The authors felt this potential link deserved more investigation…
The furore and
the fall-out are still ongoing. Wakefield was found guilty of failing to get proper
ethics approval for the study, and he and a fellow investigator were
subsequently ‘struck off’. Wakefield’s fellow investigator later challenged the
decision, and won . And while a number of researchers later confirmed the
original findings, of bowel dysfunction in autistic children [13-16], Wakefield’s
reputation and career have been left in tatters – the subject of mockery and
Anybody who confesses to have doubts about the safety of efficacy of vaccines, as a general rule, get a taste of the same scorn and derision that Andrew Wakefield has received.
Even in the era of smallpox vaccination, the media tended to portray anti-vaxxers in a less-than-flattering light. At that time, the media referred to the debate as a “conflict between intelligence and ignorance, civilization and barbarism .
anti-vaxxers really anti-science?
Not according to science.
In 2007, Kim et al analysed vaccination records of 11,680 children from 19 to 35 months of age, to evaluate maternal characteristics that might influence whether the child was fully vaccinated, or not.
They discovered that mothers with tertiary degrees and high incomes were the least likely to fully vaccinate their children, while mothers in poor minority families without high school diplomas were the most likely to fully vaccinate their children .
Similarly, a study in 2008 that investigated the attitudes and beliefs of parents who decided to opt out of childhood vaccine mandates, found that they valued scientific knowledge, were adept at collecting and processing information on vaccines…and had little trust in the medical community .
In 2017, the
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released their latest figures on
vaccination rates. The national average was 93% of children fully vaccinated,
yet in Sydney’s upmarket (ie. Highly educated, high income-earning
professionals) inner suburbs and northern beaches, as few as 70% of children
under 5 were fully vaccinated .
The same story
was repeated in Melbourne, with the wealthiest – and by association, better
educated – suburbs having the lowest vaccination rates. There was an ironic,
and rather telling, opening paragraph in The Age, when reporting these figures:
the wealthiest, healthiest suburbs of
Melbourne have the worst child vaccination rates in the state 
Statistics gathered from Canada tell a similar story – a higher percentage of anti-vaxxers hold university degrees, compared to the national average .
It appears that doctors and paediatric specialists are not always in agreement with current vaccine practice either – at least, not when it comes to their own children: “Ten percent of paediatricians and 21% of paediatric specialists claim they would not follow [CDC] recommendations for future progeny. Despite their education, physicians in this study expressed concern over the safety of vaccines ”.
With the vaccine schedule becoming increasingly crowded, and governments moving towards compulsory vaccination, the anti-vaccination movement is again gathering momentum. Increasing numbers of parents are delaying, declining, or opting for alternative vaccine schedules [23-24].
Around the world, as vaccine scepticism is on the rise, history looks set to repeat, as governments are becoming increasingly more forceful in trying to curb the sentiment. Time will tell how this round will play out…
 Durbach, N. They might as well
brand us: Working class resistance to compulsory vaccination in Victorian
England. The Society for the Social History of Medicine, 2000, 13:45-62.
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leagues: One hundred years ago, Arch Dis Child, 1984, 59: 1195-1196.
 Wolfe, R.M., Sharpe, L.K.
Anti-vaccinationists past and present. BMJ. 2002d;325:430-432.
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A. Endangered Lives: Public Health in Victorian Britain, 1984, Methuen, London,
 ] Albert, M., Ostheimer, K.G., Breman, J.G. The last smallpox epidemic in Boston and the vaccination controversy. N Engl J Med. 2001;344: 375-379.
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A, et al. High prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms in children with
autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2000, 31:S174.
 Horvath K and Perman JA. Autistic
disorder and gastrointestinal disease, Current Opinion in Pediatrics 2002,
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Wakefield AJ. Spontaneous mucosal lymphocyte cytokine profiles in children with
regressive autism and gastrointestinal symptoms: Mucosal immune activation and
reduced counter regulatory interleukin-10. Journal of Clinical Immunology.
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RB, et al. Focal-enhanced gastritis in regressive autism with features distinct
from Crohn’s and helicobacter pylori gastritis. Am. J Gastroenterol.
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Effects of maternal and provider characteristics on up-to-date immunization
status of children aged 19-35 months. Am J Public Health, 2007, 97(2): 259-266.
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Deciding to opt out of childhood vaccination mandates. Public Health Nurs,
2008, 25(5): 401-408.
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postcode has Australia’s worst vaccination rate for five year old children, Sydney
Morning Herald, 8th June, 2017.
 Butt C, Spooner R, Melbourne
vaccination data: immunisation rates not improving in wealthy inner-city
suburbs, The Age, 7th June, 2017.
 Chai C, Who are the anti-vaxxers
in Canada? New poll profiles resistant group, Global News, 9th
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practices among physicians and their children. Open Journal of Pediatrics,
MM, Kennedy A, Basket M, Sheedy K. Exploring the choice to refuse or delay
vaccines: a national survey of parents of 6- through 23-month olds, Acad Pediatr,
2012, 125): 375-383.
 Robison SG, Groom H, Young C. Frequency of alternative immunization schedule use in a metropolitan area, Pediatrics, 2012, 1301): 31-38.
There’s no doubt whatsoever that the polio epidemics of the
early 20th century left a traumatic and lasting impression on the
American psyche (and perhaps to a lesser extent, the Western psyche). Everybody
seems to know somebody who was ‘crippled by polio’. The fear and devastation
were very real indeed.
Others have written excellent, in-depth analyses on what caused sporadic cases to become widespread and disabling epidemics, but few have delved into the reality of medical care exacerbating the severity of poliomyelitis.
Below are some of the treatments you could expect, if stricken by paralysis in the early 1900’s:
Intramuscular injections of strychnine (which can cause paralysis and nerve damage – if it doesn’t kill you outright) .
Lumbar punctures, which can cause or exacerbate paralysis, and may also precede respiratory problems (which would have been blamed on ‘bulbar’ polio at the time) .
Intraspinal injections of
adrenaline (almost half of the recipients died), human serum, or quinine and urea hydrochloride (3 of 6 children given
this mixture orally and intramuscularly died). Even intraspinal injections of
horse serum were tried .
Injections of tetanus antitoxin – the rationale being that “tetanus, rabies and poliomyelitis all attacked nerve cells, so perhaps giving the antitoxin would block access to absorption sites on the cells”. Even injections of diptheria antitoxin were tried, with 3 out of 5 patients dying .
Tendon cutting and transplantation .
Painful electrical treatments
Radium water (After radium was discovered in 1898, it quickly gained popularity, proclaimed as a ‘cure-all’ elixir that could make one young again, and cure all kinds of ills and ails) .
Surgical Straightening: Dr. John Pohl, in an interview circa 1940, said “We’d take the children to the operating room in those days, straighten them out under anaesthetic, and put them in plaster casts. When they woke up, they screamed. The next day they still cried from the pain. That was the accepted and universal treatment virtually all over the world. I saw it in Boston and New York City and London” .
Even laypeople had their ‘cures’ and remedies, and some couldn’t resist the opportunity to ‘make a quick buck’. During the deadly 1916 epidemic, the New York Times reported that one Joseph Frooks had been charged with selling ‘Infantile Disease Protector’, which, upon investigation, was found to contain “a mixture of wood shavings” that were saturated in a mixture smelling remarkably like naphthalene .
It behoves us to ask…how many people were disabled or killed by polio – and how many by the so-called ‘treatments’ for polio?
 Wyatt HV, Before the Vaccines: Medical Treatments of Acute Paralysis in the 1916 New York Epidemic of Poliomyelitis, The Open Microbiology Journal. 2014, 8:144-147.
 Paul JR. A History of poliomyelitis, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, 1971.
 Gould T, A Summer Plague: Polio and its
Survivors, Yale University Press, 1997.
 Cohn V. Sister Kenny: The Woman Who Challenged the Doctors, University of Minnesota Press, 1975.
In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a new vaccine that will likely be marketed toward pregnant women within the next couple of years. It’s for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in the newborn – a common cold-like illness that is usually mild in healthy people. Nearly all children will have had an infection by their second birthday – according to the CDC. Of those who have an infection before 6mths of age, approximately 1-2% will be hospitalised, due to complications such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia .
The quest for an RSV vaccine actually began decades ago…and it had disastrous beginnings.
In the early 1960’s, an RSV vaccine, propagated on human embryonic kidney cells, then passaged through monkey cells, before being inactivated with formalin, and adjuvanted with aluminium, was trialled on infants, with disastrous results. Up to 80% of vaccinated infants were hospitalized with severe lower-respiratory infections, and two babies died .
It took nearly four decades to figure out why the vaccine had such tragic results – which just goes to show how little is understood about the very system they seek to tamper with. It was due to “Lack of antibody affinity maturation followed poor Toll-like receptor stimulation”, according to the paper, published in Nature journal, in 2009 .
The quest for an RSV vaccine resumed with gusto.
At the forefront of the charge for an RSV vaccine, is Novavax, a biotechnology company with several products currently in the clinical testing stages. Following the announcement of positive results of Phase 2 clinical trials in older adults, in 2015, CEO of Novavax, Stanley Erck declared their RSV vaccine could be “the largest selling vaccine in the history of vaccines in terms of revenue” .
Unfortunately, the Phase 3 trial in older adults failed to show efficacy, and the company lost more than $1.5 billion in market value within hours of the announcement, as disappointed investors pulled their money .
This gives us some idea of the immense pressure faced by companies to come up with the next new ‘blockbuster’ vaccine. For a company like Novavax, with no products on the market yet, (just the potential of new products), investor confidence is necessary to finance the lengthy clinical trial and regulatory approval process.
Novavax then turned their attention to pregnant women, and in February 2019, announced favourable results (actually, not as favourable as they were hoping for, but nevertheless, they found a way to put a positive spin on them) from a Phase 3 clinical trial on pregnant women. The vaccine, called ‘Resvax’, is not only aluminium adjuvanted, it is also genetically-engineered with nano-particles. The press release stated “Our next steps include meeting with U.S. and European regulators to review these data and to discuss the path forward for licensure” .
The trials on pregnant women were funded, in part, by an $89 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with the stated purpose “to advance to WHO Pre-Qualification the development of a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for maternal immunization to reduce the burden of RSV disease in infants less than six months of age in developing countries” [7-8].
Obviously, the burden of RSV disease falls mainly on developing nations, however, it’s likely that a new RSV vaccine will also be targeted at pregnant women in western countries.
One of the important ways to prevent respiratory disease in infants is via breastfeeding. A study published in British Medical Journal found that among 115 babies who had been hospitalized for RSV infection, only 8 were breastfed .
Given that breastfeeding rates are vastly lower in developing countries, I can’t help but wonder why $89 million (and more) wasn’t spent to increase maternal nutrition and breastfeeding rates? For example, in West/Central Africa, only a mere 20% of infants are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their life .
One of the main groups promoting the need for an RSV vaccine during pregnancy, is the Oxford Vaccine Group, who note that almost all infant deaths due to RSV are in developing countries .
The director of Oxford Vaccine Group is Andrew Pollard, who holds several vaccine-related patents [12-13], and is Chair of the UK Department of Health’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and the European Medicine Agency’s scientific advisory group.
Another member of the group, Matthew Snape, has been Principal Investigator in clinical trials of numerous RSV vaccine candidates. He is also the Director of the National Immunization Schedule Evaluation Consortium (NISEC) .
It is also interesting to note that the CDC has held a patent for an RSV vaccine, since 2010 . How might that affect any future decisions regarding RSV vaccinations being promoted to pregnant women?
 Novavax, Press Release: Novavax announces topline results from Phase 3 PrepareTM Trial of Resvax TM for prevention of RSV disease in infants via maternal immunization, http://ir.novavax.com/news-releases/news-release- details/novavax-announces-topline-results-phase-3-preparetm-trial. Accessed March 2019.
 Novavax, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, https://novavax.com/page/19/bill-and- melinda-gates-foundation. Accessed March 2019.