by Jennifer Craig,
April 17, 2012
The old English proverb,
“history repeats itself” is never better illustrated than in the
practice of vaccination, a practice that became widespread in the
nineteenth century and is still carried on today.
A number of nineteenth
century books on vaccination raise issues that are remarkably
similar to those of today. However, because we have failed to learn
the lessons presented by earlier writers, mostly physicians, we are
now repeating the same mistakes, with dire consequences for the
health of the population.
The purpose of this article is to consider what some of the notable
physicians of the time had to say about vaccination; it is not to
provide data for their opinions, although that data is available but
beyond the scope of an article.
Four issues raised in the nineteenth century will be described and
compared with today.
First, the article will
look at the refusal to accept data about vaccination
will discuss the scientific debate about vaccination
Third, it will
consider mass vaccination and its consequences
Fourth, it will
criticize compulsory vaccination
1. Refusal to
Edward Jenner, an English apothecary, believing a rumor
amongst dairymaids that succumbing to cowpox, a mild disease,
prevented smallpox, decided to test out this rumor by inserting
cowpox pus under a human’s skin to induce a case of cowpox.
If the subject got
cowpox, he would then try and induce smallpox.
Despite Jenner’s reputation as being the first to try out cowpox
accredited with original discovery in the matter of cowpox
inoculation, since all the chroniclers name Benjamin Jesty - a
Dorsetshire farmer - Plett, a teacher, and Jensen, a Holstein
farmer, as 'successful experimenters' in the field of cowpox
vaccination several years before Jenner’s first inoculation.”
Perhaps their names are
not recorded in history because the procedure did not prevent
The truth of the rumor that having had cowpox protected you from
smallpox could have been tested by a simple survey; that is,
recording how many people with smallpox had had cowpox.
Anyhow, many people knew
it was false.
JP, MD, LRCP, MRCS, LSA, said in an address to the public on January
“When he (Jenner)
first heard the story of the cowpox legend he began to mention
it at the meetings of the medico-convivial society, where the
old doctors of the day met to smoke their pipes, drink their
glasses of grog, and talk over their cases.
But he no sooner
mentioned it than they laughed at it. The cow doctors could have
told him of hundreds of cases where smallpox had followed
cowpox.” 2 (A cow doctor was a vet.)
Even Jenner’s supporters
acknowledged the falseness of the rumor.
The second report of the
Royal Jennerian Society, 1806, states,
“The Committee admit
to having seen a few cases of smallpox by persons who had passed
through the cow-pox in the usual way.” 3
the underlying false premise, experimentation went ahead.
Jenner’s first experiment on 8-year old James Phipps took place on
May 14, 1796. He then repeated the procedure on several other
Convinced of the success
of his experiments he promised the credulous George III that his
vaccine would have,
beneficial effect of rendering through life the person so
inoculated perfectly secure from the infection of the smallpox.”
The king conveyed to
parliament his desire that Jenner be awarded a benefaction out of
the public purse and the equivalent of half a million dollars was
awarded. From then on vaccination spawned an army of paid
vaccinators who enforced the practice with zeal.
Cases of smallpox following vaccination began to occur with alarming
Winterburn cites numerous instances. For example,
Hospital, London, is believed to be a fair representative of
English experience: the number of cases of smallpox after
vaccination has steadily risen from about 5% at the beginning of
this century to,
44% in 1845
64% in 1855
78% in 1865
now (1885) about 96%.”
Not only were there more
cases of smallpox, there were more deaths from it.
The report of Dr.
William Farr, Compiler of Statistics of the Registrar General of
its maximum mortality after vaccination was introduced. The mean
annual mortality for 10,000 population from 1850 to 1869 was at
the rate of 2.04, whereas after compulsory vaccination in 1871
the death rate was 10.24.
In 1872 the death rate was 8.33 and
this after the most laudable efforts to extend vaccination by
legislative enactments.” 6
Despite these figures
and numerous others reported, pro-vaccinists continued to pronounce
that vaccination prevented smallpox. They still do.
After a disastrous smallpox epidemic in 1872, a Royal Commission on
Vaccination was appointed in 1889 to look into the whole matter.
Seven years and 136
meetings later the Commission issued,
reports, consisting of closely printed matter, together with the
eight bulky appendices, weigh altogether more than 14 lb.
Despite this weighty contrary evidence, it failed
“to make a dent in their triple-plate conviction that in spite
of everything vaccination does prevent smallpox!” 7
Dr. Maclean, a
well-known medical authority of the time, offered an explanation for
the “triple-plate conviction” when he said, in 1810,
“It will be thought
incumbent on the vaccinators to come forward and disprove the
numerous facts decisive against vaccination stated on
unimpeachable authority, or make the amende honorable by a manly
forbids us to expect any such fair and magnanimous proceeding,
and we may be assured that, under no circumstances, will they
abandon so lucrative a practice, until the practice abandons
Maclean’s words are
The same conviction that vaccines prevent disease
persists today, a conviction accompanied by the same downplaying of
any evidence to the contrary.
In 2012 research reported by Reuters reveals that whooping cough
outbreaks are higher among vaccinated children compared with
unvaccinated children. This conclusion is based on a study led by
Dr. David Witt, an infectious disease specialist at the
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Rafael, California.
Witt reported that in early 2010, a spike in cases appeared at
Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael, and it was soon determined to be an
outbreak of whooping cough - the largest seen in
California in more than 50 years.
Witt had expected to see
the illness target unvaccinated kids, thinking they are more
vulnerable to the disease.
dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority
of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That’s what started
catching our attention.” 9
Witt should be
congratulated for admitting this fact.
We have figures from the 1800s showing that large percentages of
smallpox cases had been vaccinated and we have figures from 2010
showing that the majority of pertussis cases had been vaccinated,
yet people continue to believe that vaccination prevents disease.
How many more lessons do we need?
Not only did cowpox pus not prevent smallpox, it fostered its spread
and produced numerous adverse effects.
In 1807, Mr. Birch, of
St. Thomas Hospital and Surgeon Extraordinary to the then Prince of
“It is no infrequent
thing, however, to hear a public vaccinator say that he has
vaccinated a certain number of thousands and has never seen the
slightest evil resulting. Well, one need not see the sun, if he
will only resolutely shut his eyes. Again, I am sorry to say,
that many medical men who recognize evil results, imagine that
they may be covered up by prevarication. As if any good was ever
done by a lie.”10
Today, only a fraction
of adverse events following vaccination are reported.
In the US, Congress
passed its National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986. The Act
required all doctors who administer vaccines to report reactions to
federal health officials. However, the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) estimates that only 10% of doctors report such incidents.11
Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler estimated in a 1993
article in the Journal of the American Medical Association that
although the FDA receives many reports of adverse events, these
probably represent only a fraction of those encountered by
Only adverse events that present within a few days of vaccination
are considered to be the result of the vaccine; more chronic
effects, such as asthma, are not associated with vaccination by the
Authorities. A comparative study of vaccinated and non-vaccinated
children would answer many questions but for some reason Health
Authorities refuse to do it.
Two small comparative studies have been done by parent groups: one
in New Zealand  and one in California .
Both studies showed that chronic conditions, such as autism, asthma
and eczema, were more prevalent in vaccinated children.
Whatever the results,
why should parent groups have to conduct research that should be
done by Health Authorities?
Back in the 1800s the injection of cowpox pus under the skin caused
many diseases: syphilis, tuberculosis, and leprosy in particular.
Records of this secondary infection include, for example: in 1867,
M. Depaul, the chief of the Vaccination Service of the French
Academy of Medicine, published an essay on the danger of syphilitic
infection through vaccination. He enumerated half a dozen outbreaks
of vaccinal-syphilis, in the course of which 160 children had been
Dr. A. Wilder, Professor of Pathology and former editor of
The New York Medical Times, went so far as to say in 1901,
“Vaccination is the
infusion of a contaminating element into the system, and after
such contamination you can never be sure of regaining the former
purity of the body. Consumption (TB) follows in the wake of
vaccination as certainly as effect follows cause.”16
Today’s children will
certainly never regain their former “purity of the body” after being
assaulted with vaccines from Day One.
Not only do they suffer
from chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes and eczema but in
2012 the autism rate was 1:88 children and, as boys are more
affected than girls, their rate is 1:54.
Instead of a massive research effort to explore the reason for this
epidemic governments and the corporate press go to extraordinary
lengths to deny any link between autism and vaccination despite the
proven fact that metals such as aluminum and mercury, used in
vaccines, cause neurological damage.
But a $17 billion a year industry is threatened.
Debate About Vaccination
That people can discuss issues, basing their arguments on verifiable
data, is crucial in all fields of endeavor but more so in issues
affecting health and well-being.
One has only to look at
the discussion forums around vaccination, whether for or against, to
quickly realize that ignorance, prejudice and ad hominem attacks
For example, from Rational (sic) Wiki,
is a nephrologist (kidney doctor) who has recently become a
vocal proponent of pseudoscience and quack medicine. Humphries
has been involved with the International Medical Council on
Vaccination, a front group for vaccine hysteria…” 17
The author is anonymous
and has repeatedly reversed sections of the webpage after Dr
Humphries attempted to correct her credentials and other overtly
false information about her publications.
That Dr. Humphries is an internist and board-certified nephrologist,
who enjoyed a successful career until she spoke her truth about
vaccination, and that the IMCV is composed of highly credentialed
people may, of course, be discounted when it comes to vaccination.
Furthermore, any zealot
with computer access feels free to hurl abuse at our most educated
citizens because they, presumably, are in possession of irrefutable
knowledge relayed by Fox news and can follow the democratic
principle that my ignorance is equal to your expertise.
This low level of discourse is not new.
Winterburn writes in
“It seems ludicrous
that a question of so much import, and of so purely a scientific
nature, should be a matter of partisan clamor, but it ceases to
be comic, and becomes painfully embarrassing, when men cannot
discuss a question of vital importance to themselves and the
race without being accused of sinister motives or of mental
unsoundness. And yet this is just what has happened ever since
the earliest years of Vaccination.”18
Being accused of mental
unsoundness if you question vaccination goes on today.
For example, a January
issue of Canada’s Maclean’s magazine  proclaims on
its cover, “How Vaccine Cranks Put Your Kids at Risk P.50.” The
article inside is a wonderful example of Public Health propaganda
parroted by an ignorant journalist and without a shred of evidence
to be seen.
Winterburn, an American MD, Ph.D, is quite clear about the cause of
this decline in the standards of scientific discourse.
“Jenner began it in
his efforts to suppress every fact which told against his
theory, and his mantle has passed with the passing years to men
of like aptitude for the suppression of disagreeable truths.”20
Vaccinating people was the first time that physicians treated, and
billed, healthy people.
Dr. Hadwen said in his
address in 1896,
“I declare that when
a person is ill, the doctor, is justified in doing all he
possibly can for his patient; but when a person is well he has
no right whatever to interfere with the normal functions of the
human body as he does when he introduces disease, especially the
disease of an inferior animal.” 21
Hadwen’s warning is just
as applicable today but is it incorporated in the current medical
In 1850, Sir James Paget warned,
“I think it may be
laid down as an invariable rule of practice, that no one should
be vaccinated except after the most rigid scrutiny. The
carelessness of the Health Authorities in this particular is
performed, with the easy nonchalance of the impossibility of
doing harm, upon multitudes without the slightest inquiry as to
their physical condition or antecedents; and this among the very
class, where the greatest danger always lurks - the tenement
Vaccination to be
effective, pervades and alters the entire constitution.” 22
Today’s equivalent of
the “tenement house population” is the poor of Africa who not only
suffer from chronic malnutrition, diarrhea, tuberculosis and
parasites but gifts of vaccines from the West, which have added to
their burden by increased chronic disease.
The WHO admits its mass
vaccination programs are causing epidemics of diseases that are no
less serious than the ones third world populations are being
It admits that worldwide, the 16 billion
injections administered either for vaccines or drugs in the
developing world each year cause an estimated 21,000,000 cases of
Hepatitis B, 2,000,000 cases of Hepatitis C, and 260,000 cases of
Health Authorities are just as cavalier today.
Once a vaccine schedule
has been written it is observed like an edict from on high,
particularly by nurses who are trained to follow orders. In many
cases the notion that vaccines are harmful is simply absent. Not
only that, the accepted ethical principle of informed consent does
not apply to vaccination. Instead, coercion and guilt trips are laid
on people, parents in particular, who refuse vaccination.
A recent example of administration of vaccines with “easy
nonchalance” happened in Belgium in January, 2012.
Nine-week old twins,
born one month premature, were each given nine vaccines in one day.
One of the twins had a cold on that day but apart from that,
premature babies, with their immature organs, are extremely
One week later, that
twin died. Medical personnel denied a link to the vaccines.24
As the British government failed to recognize that smallpox
vaccination did not prevent the disease, it passed a compulsory
vaccination act in 1856. Between 1870 and 1872 one of the worst
smallpox epidemics took place.
Dr. Hadwen, that wise physician, quoted earlier, said,
“The very moment you
take a medical prescription and you incorporate it in an Act of
Parliament, and you enforce it against the wills and conscience
of intelligent people by fines, distraints and imprisonments, it
passes beyond the confines of a purely medical question - and
becomes essentially a social and political one.”25
Ironically, today, the
most mandates for vaccination are passed in the Land of the Free.
For example, Rick
Perry, Governor of Texas, tried to mandate that
given to all girls and boys in the state. Gardasil is a questionable
vaccine that is given to adolescents purportedly to prevent cervical
cancer in 30 years. Naturally, no one knows if that’s the case.
In September, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published
figures of the side-effects of Gardasil, introduced in 2006. In
those five years, there had been reports of 71 deaths. Other serious
events, like paralysis, were not attributed to the vaccine by the
CDC although they have been reported elsewhere.26
Cancer is not a communicable disease.
Yet a politician signed an
order compelling the vaccine to be given to Texas youngsters.
Could it be that
days after Perry signed the order, the drug maker gave him a
hefty campaign donation? 27
Why does the
medical profession allow politicians to order medical
politicians not practicing medicine without a licence?
George Santayana, in his Reason in Common Sense - The Life
of Reason, Vol.1, wrote,
“Those who cannot
remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
We are, indeed,
repeating past errors in the practice of vaccination.
There are many lessons from the past to be learned but the ones
addressed in this article are:
The belief that
vaccination prevented smallpox is now in the realm of myth.
Until Medicine, (a term that includes all health professions),
opens its eyes, examines the data of the past and, recognizes
the facts, it will continue to believe the legend that cowpox
The data clearly show that vaccinated people
contracted smallpox and that increasing numbers died from it.
In 1807, Mr. Birch
warned medical men to open their eyes and recognize the “evil
results” of vaccination.
In 1810, Dr. Maclean told us that it is
incumbent on vaccinators to come forward to disprove the evidence
against vaccination. Today adverse events are rarely reported.
In 1901, Dr. Wilder said that after vaccine contamination, the
former purity of the body can never be regained. Today we have a
generation of children whose health has been ruined by vaccines.
In 1885, Winterburn said that it ceases to be comic when a
scientific matter cannot be rationally discussed without an educated
questioner being accused of mental unsoundness. He attributed the
decline in rational discourse to Jenner who ignored or suppressed
the fact that cowpox did not prevent smallpox.
The “partisan clamor” of
today is noisy and nasty and adds nothing to the debate.
We have accepted that Medicine has the right to interfere with the
normal functioning of the human body despite the warning of Dr.
Hadwen in 1896.
Sir James Paget expressed dismay in 1850 that
individuals were vaccinated without undergoing a thorough medical
examination. Today we see children being lined up for jabs with no
In 1896, Dr. Hadwen noted that mandated vaccination is a political
issue, not a medical one. Today, we have politicians not only
denying parents the right to decide for themselves but they make
vaccination compulsory. No questions are asked by Medicine when
politicians mandate a medical prescription.
In other circumstances
they would be accused of practicing medicine without a licence.
The idea that putting noxious substances under the skin will prevent
disease is based on a false premise, the premise that cowpox
Despite the huge volume of contrary evidence,
this myth is still believed.
Dr. Maclean told us in 1810,
“experience forbids us to expect fair
and magnanimous proceedings and we may be assured that, under no
circumstances, will vaccinators abandon so lucrative a practice,
until the practice abandons them.”
The growing numbers of parents
with vaccine-damaged children are the only ones likely to alter the
current state of affairs.
As consumers they can
exert their power and refuse the product and thus allow the practice
to abandon the vaccine makers.
1. Hale, A.R. The
Medical Voodoo, Gotham House, Inc. 1935, p.30
3. Winterburn, GW. The Value of Vaccination, Boericke, 1885.
Republished by General Books, 2009. p.33
4. Jenner, E. Further Observations on the Variolae Vaccina,
5. Winterburn, GW. The Value of Vaccination, Boericke, 1885.
Republished by General Books, 2009. p.32
6. McBean, The Poisoned Needle, Health Research, Pomeroy,
7. Hale, A.R. The Medical Voodoo, Gotham House, Inc. 1935,
8. Winterburn, GW. The Value of Vaccination, Boericke, 1885.
Republished by General Books, 2009. p.33
10. Winterburn, GW. The Value of Vaccination, Boericke,
1885. Republished by General Books, 2009. p.56
11. Miller, N. Immunization: Theory vs. Reality. New
Atlantean Press, 1995
12. Journal of the American Medical Association, June 2,
1993,vol.269, No.21, p.2785
13. Butler H & P, Just a Little Prick. Robert Reisinger
Memorial Trust, New Zealand, 2006
14. IAS. Unvaccinated children are healthier. Waves,
15. Winterburn, GW. The Value of Vaccination, Boericke,
1885. Republished by General Books, 2009. p.58
16. Wilder, A. History of Medicine, New England Eclectic
Publishing Company, 1901
18. Winterburn, GW. The Value of Vaccination, Boericke,
1885. Republished by General Books, 2009. p.3
19. Maclean’s, January 16, 2012
20. Winterburn, GW. The Value of Vaccination, Boericke,
1885. Republished by General Books, 2009. p.3
22. Paget, Sir James. Lectures on Inflammation, Wilson &
23. VRAN Newsletter, Winter 2005
27. Gillman, T. http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/08/perry-says-he-regrets-gardasil.html
28. Winterburn, GW. The Value of Vaccination, Boericke,
1885. Republished by General Books, 2009. p.33