Vaccines: Think Again

Sweden and France quit vaccines with no regrets

What percent of the world's population was vaccinated during the smallpox eradictioncampaign?

AIr Pollution Fatalities Now Exceed Traffic Fatalities

Arrest of Journalists Threatens Press Freedom

Bush and the 'Pathology of Normalcy'

California Creates Family Leave Program

Cotton: World's Most Toxic Crop

Polls Build Public Support for War

Hormone Replacement Therapy in question

Iraq for Dummies

The Struggle Against Neo-Colonialism

No New War Against Iraq

Peru: Bayer Responsible in Pesticide Deaths

Schools Implement Pesticide 'Right to Know' Act

September 11 Families Call for Peace

Starbucks vs Sambucks

Supreme Court limits death penalty

Sweatshop Fashion Statements Not Attractive

Tough Winter for Montana Buffalo

Universal Health Care Pursued by Initiative


Reader Mail

Northwest & Beyond


Good Ideas from Different Countries

Global Warming Update

Workplace Issues

Bob's Random Legal Advice

Question: What percent of the world's population was vaccinated duringthe smallpox eradiction campaign?

Answer: Most people believe that the smallpox vaccine was solelyresponsible for the worldwide eradication of that disease in the1960s. But only about ten percent of the world's population was everimmunized against smallpox. The eradication was successful largelybecause of the introduction of low-tech quarantine procedures inundeveloped countries, where vaccination was limited to only those whowere closest to any outbreaks. (In fact, some experts believe that thedisease could have been eradicated by quarantine alone, given thefinite and predictable period of contagion of the disease.) After theeradication of smallpox, the smallpox vaccine was discontinued due toacknowledged high risks of side-effects and death from the vaccineitself. (For a history of the eradication, read P. Razzell's TheConquest of Smallpox).

Current talk in the US federal government about mandated smallpoxmass-vaccination in response to a vague threat of terrorism isespecially disturbing. More people might die from such amass-vaccination than would ever die from an outbreak. And with littleevidence to assess how real or imagined such a terrorist threat is, such talk seems grossly ill-informed.

A good source of information on smallpox and the effects of thevaccine is the article "Don't Fear a Smallpox Outbreak" by Dr. SherriTenpenny, readable at chetday.com/smallpoxepidemic.htm
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