Debate about vaccination is more than 200 years old

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“Debate About Vaccination Is More Than 200 Years Old

Before the current public debate about COVID vaccine, there have been public debates about the wisdom of giving children many other vaccines that were very reactive. I joined with parents of DPT vaccine injured children to launch the modern vaccine safety and informed consent movement in 1982 because we wanted the toxic, highly inflammatory whole cell pertussis vaccine that had harmed our children taken off the market.290,291

We followed mothers and fathers in the 19th century, who protested the reactivity of the smallpox vaccine.292,293

Our activism in the late 20th century was followed by parents speaking out in the early 1990s about what happened to their children after being given the first genetically engineered vaccine for hepatitis B,294,295,296 followed by young mothers and fathers in the early 21st century once again asking government, industry and the medical establishment to expand knowledge about vaccine side effects and who is at highest risk.297,298,299

The charged debates about flawed vaccine science and the violation of the human rights inherent in mandatory vaccination laws have not changed in two hundred years. The fact that the debate about vaccination will not go away — no matter how much money and political power is thrown at it to make it go away — only confirms the universal need for it.”


290 Silberner J. DPT Vaccine: Weighing the Risks Washington Post Mar. 27, 1985.

291 Institute of Medicine Committee to Review the Adverse Consequences of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines. Pertussis & Rubella Vaccines: A Brief Chronology (1982-1985). Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines. Washington, DC: National Academies Press 1991.

292 Green M. Feverish Roots of Today’s Anti-Vaccine Movement, KQED May 14, 2015.

293 Weber TP. Alfred Russel Wallace and the Antivaccination Movement in Victorian England. Emerg Infect Dis 2010; 16(4): 664-668.

294 National Vaccine Information Center. Hepatitis B Vaccine Reaction Reports Outnumber Reported Disease Cases in Children According to Vaccine Safety Group. NVIC Press Release Jan. 27, 1999.

295 Fisher BL. Congressional Testimony on Hepatitis B Vaccine. Public Hearing in Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, House Government Reform Committee. May 18, 1999.

296 Kaplan S. Critics Question Safety of Hepatitis B Vaccine. Pew Charitable Trust June 1, 1999.

297 National Vaccine Information Center. Advocacy Groups Call for Research to Investigate Lin Between Autism Increase and Vaccination. NVIC Press Release April 16, 1999.

298 National Vaccine Information Center. Merck’s Gardasil Vaccine Not Proven Safe for Little Girls. NVIC Press Release June 27, 2006.

299 Fisher BL. Preventing Gardasil Vaccine Injuries and Deaths. NVIC Newsletter July 14, 2009.

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