The Familiar Excuses for Smallpox Vaccine Failure
What about the first vaccine?
Recently, I have been reading some of the anti-vaccine literature written in the nineteenth century. There are many things fascinating about it, one of which was that the antivaxxers of the time were much less diplomatic than our antivaxxers. Take this excerpt from John Pickering, for instance:
Vaccination, then, is simply a vile, useless, mischievous, unnatural, and barbaric piece of quackery; a trade for fools, for sorcerers, snake-charmers, rain-makers, fakirs, and fetich worshippers,—not for men of education, not for men who profess acquaintance with the laws of nature.
Another notable point is the fact that the average person is probably not even aware of the fact that there were anti-vaccination activists, leagues, etc, in the nineteenth century that fought against compulsory vaccination laws.
Let’s step back a bit into the topic of this article. Vaccination in the nineteenth century meant vaccination for smallpox, as other vaccinations were not invented until late in that century. Edward Jenner was the original promoter of this practice, as an alternative to the then-practiced inoculation for smallpox. Inoculation essentially meant deliberately infecting people with smallpox, on the theory that everyone would get the disease anyway and after having it be immune, so it was better to deliberately inflict it at a time and place of choice, and with a mild version, rather than risk natural infection. As inoculation led to deaths from smallpox and risked spreading the natural infection, the idea of using vaccinia (cowpox) was an alternative approach that came to be promoted by Jenner. There was a prevalent belief that dairy maids would not get smallpox because of having cowpox, so Jenner ran experiments where he deliberately introduced cowpox to see if it would protect from smallpox.
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Jenner’s conclusion was as follows:
When it has been uniformly found in such abundant instances that the human frame, when once it has felt the influence of the genuine cow-pox in the way that has been described, is never afterwards at any period of its existence assailable by the smallpox, may I not with perfect confidence congratulate my country and society at large on their beholding, in the mild form of the cow-pox, an antidote that is capable of extirpating from the earth a disease which is every hour devouring its victims; a disease that has ever been considered as the severest scourge of the human race!
This theory of ‘perfect security’, alas, fell apart pretty quickly. As early as 1805, William Rowley published many examples of vaccine failure. One could argue that Rowley was somewhat biased as he sought to defend the previous practice of inoculation against vaccination but nevertheless the evidence stacked up. How did the vaccinators deal with case after case of smallpox after vaccination?
What we see is a narrative change. Instead of the claim of ‘perfect security’ we see other claims come to the fore to defend the practice of vaccination. Some of these were that those who got smallpox after cowpox didn’t have the ‘genuine’ cowpox (a claim made by Jenner himself) or that the vaccination did not ‘take’ effectively. However by far the most interesting of these claims is that while vaccination did not always prevent infection, it did reduce the severity of the disease if you happened to contract smallpox.
Rowley refers to this argument:
But another refuge of the learned Cow-pox inoculators, after they seemed beaten out of many of their strong holds by opposing irrefutable facts, that could not be denied, then a new idea strikes the vaccinating mind, namely, that wherever Small Pox made its appearance, it would be wise to try another project — to inoculate the neighbouring children with the Cow Pox, in order to render the Small Pox milder.
Charles Pearce, writing much later, also refers to this argument made by the vaccinators:
It is no longer denied that the vaccinated do succumb small-pox, but it is contended that a certain amount protection is awarded. It is, moreover, assumed that those who recover from small-pox having been vaccinated, would probably have died had they not had some protection.
This kind of argument is now starting to sound eerily familiar. This is of course exactly the same claims made regarding the Covid ‘vaccines’: initially they said that you would not get Covid, and then when it became obvious that ‘breakthrough infections’ were everywhere, the narrative changed to the Covid ‘vaccine’ preventing severe disease.
Thus we can conclude that the same goalpost-moving has been used to prop up the vaccination fraud from the beginning.
Images via openverse.