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Bodily Matters: The Anti-Vaccination Movement in England, 1853–1907. Nadja Durbach. Duke University Press
What surprised me most was how energetic and literate the anti-vaccinators were. There were many societies and journals devoted to the cause, rallies and objectors being sent to jail for non-compliance. By comparison, we today appear to lack the indignation and popular debate that occurred for over 70 years in Victorian and Edwardian Britain – unless there’s an associated pop concert to grab our attention.
The antis won that battle – compulsory vaccination in United Kingdom was dropped.
But they lost the war against vaccination. The State has emerged as the guardian of the child, not the parent. The State determines what we can eat, drink, smoke, and do (and how we do it) in ways from which Victorians would have recoiled, and in Public Health circles that seems altogether as it should be. The State has created a generation of semi-literates that is largely compliant, and when they do misbehave there can always be a fresh law to ban something else. Hooded T-shirts maybe? Sharp kitchen knives? Walking out of your house without an ID card?
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Despite increasing evidence that vaccination with cowpox pus did not prevent smallpox, the practice continued. Physicians, for the first time, attended the healthy: 100 % of their catchment areas could now be treated instead of the 10% who had contracted smallpox. As Dr. Hadwen,, so aptly remarked In 1896,
"What Jenner discovered, though hardly original In its general principle, was that It pays far better to scare 100% of the fools in the world -the vast majority- into buying vaccine than it does to treat the small minority who really get smallpox and who cannot afford to pay anything.
It was indeed a very great day - worth $ thousands of millions. That's why this kind of blackmail Is still kept going"
Over a century later his words still ring true.
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Japan, in 1885
13 years after compulsory vaccination law was passed requiring re-vaccination every seven years.
From 1886 - 1892, a total of 25,474,370 revaccinations were recorded.
156,175 cases of smallpox 38,979 deaths mortality of nearly 25%.
The government passed another act requiring every resident to be vaccinated and re-vaccinated every 5 years.
Between 1889 - 1908, the case mortality was 30%.
Prior to vaccination the case mortality was about 10%
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During a ruthless campaign by the US in the Philippines in 1905, the native population were forcibly vaccinated several times.
In 1918 - 1919, with over 95% of the population vaccinated, the worst epidemic the Philippines had ever known occurred.
In the Congressional Record of December 21, 1937, William Howard Hay, MD, said:
"The Philippines suffered the worst attack of smallpox, the worst epidemic three times over, that had ever occurred in the history of the islands and it was almost three times as fatal. The death rate ran as high as 60% in certain areas where formerly it had been 10-15%."
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The same Dr. Hay addressed the Medical Freedom Society regarding the Lemke Bill to abolish compulsory vaccination. June 25, 1937, He stated,
"I have thought many times of all the insane things we have advocated in medicine, that one of the most insane was to insist on the vaccination of children, or anybody else, for the prevention of smallpox when, as a matter of fact, we are never able to prove that vaccination saved one man from smallpox."
"It is nonsense to think that you can inject pus - and it is usually from the pustule end of the dead smallpox victim - it is unthinkable that you can inject that into a little child and in any way improve its health. What is true of vaccination is exactly as true of all forms of serum immunization, so called, if we could by any means build up a natural resistance to disease through these artificial means, I would applaud it to the echo, but we can't do it."
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"Vaccination is utterly useless as a preventive against smallpox, that millions of vaccinated persons have died of smallpox." - Dr. J. W. Hodge, MD, New York
"I know of one epidemic of smallpox comprising nine hundred and some cases in which 95% of the infected had been vaccinated, and most of them recently. I have had in my own experience on very small epidemic comprising 33 cases, of which 29 had vaccination histories a 'good' scar, and some of them vaccinated within the last year. There was no protection there."- Dr. William Howard Hay, 1937
"Vaccination has not protected us; it could not do it, because the smallpox had already left us and the non-vaccinated world, before its introduction... Vaccination proves itself, in the history of humanity, to be the greatest crime committed in this last century!" - Dr. C. Charles Schicferdecker, MD, "The Evils of Vaccination", 1856
"Smallpox attained 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." Dr. William Fan (1807-1883), Compiler of Statistics of the Registrar General of London
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