The new push for mandatory vaccination laws in America has supporters of medical freedom standing up to make themselves heard. And those who support pharmaceutical companies (and their agenda) are claiming that concern about vaccination is just a “new celebrity fad” supported by one or two discredited doctors. But public knowledge about potential harm from vaccines is nothing new. This rallying poster from 1919 is a reminder that citizens have long united against any type of forced medical treatment, especially when it has the potential for harm:
The live smallpox vaccine caused many serious and fatal cases of the disease as well as multiple vaccine reactions in the 1800s and 1900s. There were organized protests against mandated use of the vaccine because the chance of catching the disease was small, but the chance of becoming seriously infected with the live vaccine germs was not. In fact, that’s why widespread use of the vaccine was eventually stopped. According to Encyclopedia Americana 1986:
“The [smallpox] vaccine may cause harmful side effects. The U.S. Public Health Service, for example, stopped routine smallpox vaccination in 1972 because it was found that the vaccine’s side effects were more harmful than the disease.”
Sadly, it took multiple decades of united public outcry for policymakers to finally take action.
Similar fates brought an end to the oral polio vaccine and the old DTP vaccine. After decades of vaccine-induced paralytic polio striking American children every year, the vaccine was finally discontinued in 2000 – two decades after the last case of wild-type polio disease was even contracted in the U.S. The old DTP vaccine caused tens of thousands of brain-damaging reactions for decades before it was finally discontinued in the 1990s. But these changes only came about because of public outcry from victims of vaccine reactions and those who stood by their side.
And now we have 70 doses on the recommended CDC childhood vaccine schedule, and it is a medical fact that every single dose carries some risk. We are no longer talking about just a few shots, and legislators (paid by pharmaceutical lobbyists) are trying to make this expanded schedule mandatory in almost every state by convincing the public that vaccine fears are just something made up by “celebrities and uneducated parents.”
The truth is that vaccination is complicated and it has risk; it has always been complicated and always carried risk. The CDC-recommended schedule should not be forced on any child. And concern for medical freedom and the concept of informed consent are nothing new — they are as old as modern medicine itself.