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  • Love and Liberty

Do Vaccines Prevent Epidemics?

"Vaccination may not be truly effective in keeping illness at bay. In some instances, the opposite may be true. Researchers implicate vaccines as a cause in some epidemics. For example, in the 1870 to 1871 smallpox epidemic in Germany, as many as ninety-six percent of those who had the disease had been vaccinated at least once before they became ill. The same happened in an 1881 smallpox epidemic in Great Britain. Diphtheria increased by thirty to fifty percent in Europe after the introduction of mass, compulsory vaccinations. Measles also went up. For example, before a vaccination program was established, there were 4,056 cases of measles recorded in the Los Angeles County Health Index; after a vaccination program was established, there were 13,912 cases. There were at lest eighteen reports of measles outbreaks during the 1980s, all among school populations where 71 percent to 99.8 percent of the children had been fully immunized. In 1994, there was a measles outbreak in Cincinnati, even though eighty percent of the children had had at least three doses of the vaccine. In 2009, the department of health confirmed over two dozen cases of pertussis in Hunterdon County, New Jersey; all the infected children had been vaccinated prior to contracting the disease. In 2010, there was a mumps outbreak in New York City, primarily among Orthodox Jews. According to the CDC, most of those who contracted mumps had been vaccinated against the disease. The CDC conceded that the "mumps portion of the vaccine is less effective than the other parts" of the MMR.

Do vaccines really prevent epidemics? European authorities at the end of the nineteenth century decided they did not, so they began to rely more on isolation and improved hygiene to combat disease. These methods met with surprising success and led to the decline in the incidence of smallpox. Smallpox incidence declined everywhere, among vaccinated and unvaccinated populations. After the WHO's final smallpox vaccination effort in 1978, mandates ended in the 1980s. People credit vaccines with the eradication of this once-feared disease. On the other hand, smallpox became epidemic after, not before, vaccination began. Did the illness lead to the vaccine, which, in turn, increased the illness that increased vaccination? Did the illness decrease because vaccination decreased? The smallpox virus supposedly does not exist anymore; however, there are new viruses associated with pox diseases, such as monkeypox and white pox, which are indistinguishable from the variola (smallpox) virus."

Annemarie Colbin, PHD (Vaccine Epidemic pg. 279-280)

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