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It is courage based on confidence, not daring, and it is confidence based on experience. ~ Jonas Salk
Vaccination as a deliberate attempt to protect humans against disease has a short history when measured against the thousands of years that humans have sought to rid themselves of plagues and pestilence. Only in the 20th century did the practice flower into the routine vaccination of large populations. Yet, despite its relative youth, the impact of vaccination on the health of the world's peoples is hard to exaggerate. ~ Plotkin's Vaccines
Modern air travel has made prophylactic vaccination more important than ever, because this mode of transportation has greatly facilitated the spread of contagious pathogens. ~ Primer to the Immune Response
Vaccinations are a cornerstone of pediatric care. Traveling children need special attention to their vaccine status. Updating all routine vaccinations and accelerating those in the primary series should be done if possible. ~ Travel Medicine
The human body can take care of itself in many circumstances—cuts, colds, and minor infections disappear without major upheaval. In other cases, the body has little or no naturally occurring immunity, so if you are exposed to diseases such as polio, influenza, smallpox, hepatitis, diphtheria, measles, or whooping cough, you will probably get sick with it, unless you have been immunized. ~ Smithsonian Institute

Vaccines are biological preparations that provides active acquired immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as a threat, destroy it, and to further recognize and destroy any of the microorganisms associated with that agent that it may encounter in the future.


  • The science of inoculation is purely physical in origin, and concerns only the animal body. This latter science will shortly be superseded by a higher technique, but the time is not yet.
    • Alice Bailey in Esoteric Healing (A Treatise on the Seven Rays) p.322/4 (1953).
  • Edward R. Murrow: Who owns the patent on this vaccine?
    Jonas Salk: Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?
    • CBS Television interview, on See It Now (12 April 1955); quoted in Shots in the Dark : The Wayward Search for an AIDS Vaccine (2001) by Jon Cohen.
  • Although the time periods have changed, the emotions and deep-rooted beliefs—whether philosophical, political, or spiritual—that underlie vaccine opposition have remained relatively consistent since Edward Jenner introduced vaccination.
  • For scientific research and for the production of vaccines or other products, cell lines are at times used which are the result of an illicit intervention against the life or physical integrity of a human being. The connection to the unjust act may be either mediate or immediate, since it is generally a question of cells which reproduce easily and abundantly. This "material" is sometimes made available commercially or distributed freely to research centers by governmental agencies having this function under the law. All of this gives rise to various ethical problems with regard to cooperation in evil and with regard to scandal. It is fitting therefore to formulate general principles on the basis of which people of good conscience can evaluate and resolve situations in which they may possibly be involved on account of their professional activity.
    It needs to be remembered above all that the category of abortion "is to be applied also to the recent forms of intervention on human embryos which, although carried out for purposes legitimate in themselves, inevitably involve the killing of those embryos. This is the case with experimentation on embryos, which is becoming increasingly widespread in the field of biomedical research and is legally permitted in some countries... [T]he use of human embryos or fetuses as an object of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings who have a right to the same respect owed to a child once born, just as to every person". These forms of experimentation always constitute a grave moral disorder.
  • Grave reasons may be morally proportionate to justify the use of such "biological material". Thus, for example, danger to the health of children could permit parents to use a vaccine which was developed using cell lines of illicit origin, while keeping in mind that everyone has the duty to make known their disagreement and to ask that their healthcare system make other types of vaccines available. Moreover, in organizations where cell lines of illicit origin are being utilized, the responsibility of those who make the decision to use them is not the same as that of those who have no voice in such a decision.
    In the context of the urgent need to mobilize consciences in favour of life, people in the field of healthcare need to be reminded that "their responsibility today is greatly increased. Its deepest inspiration and strongest support lie in the intrinsic and undeniable ethical dimension of the health-care profession, something already recognized by the ancient and still relevant Hippocratic Oath, which requires every doctor to commit himself to absolute respect for human life and its sacredness".
  • Vaccines, even in their present rather coarse form, have been of immense benefit to humanity and have all but eradicated many formerly killer diseases. Especially in (homeopathically) refined form they will have a long-term value in dealing with disease.
  • While vaccines (excepting those homoeopathically produced) may not be the best and final solution to conquering diseases, on a mass scale they have brought much benefit and freedom from crippling diseases in Africa, India and many other countries.
  • I have expressed my opinion publicly as to the precautions against the spread of so-called infectious and contagious diseases in the following words: Rather than quarrel over vaccination, I recommend, if the law demand, that an individual submit to this process, that he obey the law, and then appeal to the gospel to save him from bad physical results. Whatever changes come to this century or to any epoch, we may safely submit to the providence of God, to common justice, to the maintenance of individual rights, and to governmental usages. This statement should be so interpreted as to apply, on the basis of Christian Science, to the reporting of a contagious case to the proper authorities when the law so requires. When Jesus was questioned concerning obedience to human law, he replied: 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's,' even while you render 'to God the things that are God's.
    • Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany (1917 ed.), p. 219-220.
  • I say, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.' We cannot force perfection on the world. Were vaccination of any avail, I should tremble for mankind; but, knowing it is not, and that the fear of catching smallpox is more dangerous than any material infection, I say: Where vaccination is compulsory, let your children be vaccinated, and see that your mind is in such a state that by your prayers vaccination will do the children no harm. So long as Christian Scientists obey the laws, I do not suppose their mental reservations will be thought to matter much. But every thought tells, and Christian Science will overthrow false knowledge in the end.
    • Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany (1917 ed.), p. 344-45.
  • The MMR vaccine has been linked to autism, Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease and other serious chronic stomach problems, epilepsy, brain damage including meningitis, cerebral palsy, pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus, encephalopathy, encephalitis, hearing and vision problems, arthritis, behavioural and learning problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, Guillain-Barre syndrome, idiopathic thrombocytopaenic purpura, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), leukaemia, multiple sclerosis, and death.
    • Graham E. Ewing, "What is regressive autism and why does it occur? Is it the consequence of multi-systemic dysfunction affecting the elimination of heavy metals and the ability to regulate neural temperature?" North American Journal of Medical Sciences July 2009, pp. 28-47
  • If you are vaccine-hesitant, information that asserts that there is an association between vaccination and autism may stand out to you more readily than information about vaccines saving lives.
  • Several accounts from the 1500s describe smallpox inoculation as practices in China and India (one is referred to in volume 6 of Joseph Needham’s Science and civilization in China). Glynn and Glynn, in the The Life and Death of Smallpox, note that in the late 1600s Emperor K’ang His, who had survived smallpox as a child, had his children inoculated. That method involved grinding up smallpox scabs and blowing the matter into nostril, inoculation may also have been practiced by scratching matter from a smallpox sore into the skin. It is difficult to point when the practice began, as some sources claim dates as early as 300 BCE.
  • There is no longer any reason why American children should suffer from polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, or tetanus—diseases which can cause death or serious consequences throughout a lifetime, which can be prevented, but which still prevail in too many cases.
    I am asking the American people to join in a nationwide vaccination program to stamp out these four diseases, encouraging all communities to immunize both children and adults, keep them immunized, and plan for the routine immunization of children yet to be born. ...[O]ver the next 3 years, I am proposing legislation authorizing a program of federal assistance. This program would cover the full cost of vaccines for all children under five... It would also assist in meeting the cost of organizing the vaccination drives... and the cost of extra personnel... [T]he legislation provides continuing authority to permit a similar attack on other infectious diseases... susceptible of practical eradication as a result of new vaccines or other preventive agents. Success in this effort will require the whole-hearted assistance of the medical and public health professions, and a sustained nationwide health education effort.
    • John F. Kennedy, "Special Message to the Congress on National Health Needs" (February 27, 1962) To the Congress of the United States.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. part of this campaign to attack the institutions committed to reducing the tragedy of preventable infectious diseases. He has helped to spread dangerous misinformation... and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines. ...[H]is and others’ work against vaccines is having heartbreaking consequences. ...[M]any people are more afraid of the vaccines than the diseases, because they've been lucky enough to have never seen the diseases and their devastating impact. But that’s not luck; it’s the result of concerted vaccination efforts over many years. ...Those who delay or refuse vaccinations, or encourage others to do so, put themselves and others, especially children, at risk. It is in all our interests to make sure that immunizations reach every child on the globe through safe, effective and affordable vaccines. Everyone must communicate the benefits and safety of vaccines, and advocate for the respect and confidence of the institutions which make them possible. To do otherwise risks even further erosion of one of public health’s greatest achievements.
  • Vaccines, for Bill Gates, are a strategic philanthropy that feed his many vaccine-related businesses (including Microsoft’s ambition to control a global vaccination ID enterprise) and give him dictatorial control of global health policy... Promising his share of $450 million of $1.2 billion to eradicate Polio, Gates took control of India’s National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) which mandated up to 50 doses (Table 1) of polio vaccines through overlapping immunization programs to children before the age of five. Indian doctors blame the Gates campaign for a devastating non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) epidemic that paralyzed 490,000 children beyond expected rates between 2000 and 2017. In 2017, the Indian government dialed back Gates’ vaccine regimen and asked Gates and his vaccine policies to leave India. NPAFP rates dropped precipitously.
  • During Gates’ 2002 MenAfriVac campaign in Sub-Saharan Africa, Gates’ operatives forcibly vaccinated thousands of African children against meningitis. Approximately 50 of the 500 children vaccinated developed paralysis. South African newspapers complained, “We are guinea pigs for the drug makers.” Nelson Mandela’s former Senior Economist, Professor Patrick Bond, describes Gates’ philanthropic practices as “ruthless and immoral.”
  • In 2010, Gates committed $10 billion to the WHO saying, “We must make this the decade of vaccines.” A month later, Gates said in a Ted Talk that new vaccines “could reduce population”. In 2014, Kenya’s Catholic Doctors Association accused the WHO of chemically sterilizing millions of unwilling Kenyan women with a “tetanus” vaccine campaign. Independent labs found a sterility formula in every vaccine tested. After denying the charges, WHO finally admitted it had been developing the sterility vaccines for over a decade. Similar accusations came from Tanzania, Nicaragua, Mexico, and the Philippines.
  • The history of medical research and human experimentation reveals both great successes and horrible abuses. Plagues like smallpox were rampant and capable of wiping out entire cities. People were desperate for relief and would try anything that could help ward off the horrible plagues, even experimenting. English aristocrat Lady Mary Wortley Montague introduced the idea of variolation to the gentry in 1715. In variolation, ooze from the sores of smallpox victims with mild cases was scratched into the skin. During the French and Indian War, General George Washington was convinced that his most formidable for was smallpox and he subjected his men to forced variolation to stop its spread. Many of the soldiers had only mild reactions, but some became seriously ill and died. The European press, especially among the antivaccine society, bitterly criticized Washington for forcing his men into possible harm without their consent, Hessian soldiers, who fought alongside the British, were captured and imprisoned in Frederick, Maryland, where they may have been subjected to variolation experimentation-a safety precaution before Washington would order to the procedure for his own army. When British physician Edward Jenner (1749-1823) introduced the use of cowpox sores to make a vaccine against smallpox, he was subjected to the same criticism.
    In the 1700s principles of individualism, self-determination, and consent of the governed formed the establishment of the United States. Ethicists all this idea the principle of “respect for persons.” Therefore, informed consent is a human right and an outgrowth of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Vaccines made from mRNA can be made much faster than older vaccines could, explains Margaret Liu, a vaccine researcher who chairs the board of the International Society for Vaccines and specializes in genetic vaccines. The problem, says Liu, is that mRNA is "really easily destroyed, and that's because there are many, many enzymes that will just break it apart."
  • Vaccinations are a cornerstone of pediatric care. Traveling children need special attention to their vaccine status. Updating all routine vaccinations and accelerating those in the primary series should be done if possible. The immune system of infants and children responds differently to different types of vaccines. Safety and efficacy considerations guide vaccine recommendations for all pediatric vaccinations. Age limitations on vaccinations may be due to safety concerns (e.g., yellow fever vaccine), immune system response capability (polysaccharide vaccines), maternal antibody interference (e.g., measles, hepatitis A), or lack of data. Travel-specific recommendations may differ for vaccinating children compared with adults based on these details.
    • Sheila M. Mackell, Mike Starr, “Pediatric Travel Vaccinations”, in Travel Medicine (Fourth Edition), (2019)
  • Vaccination is a clinical application of immunization designed to artificially help the body to defend itself. A vaccine against infection is a modified form of a natural immunogen, which may be either the whole pathogen, one of its components, or a toxin. A vaccine does not cause disease when administered but induces the healthy host (the vaccinee) to mount a primary response against epitopes of the modified immunogen and to generate large numbers of memory B and T cells. In an unvaccinated individual (Fig. 14-1, left panel), naïve B and T cells capable of combatting an infecting pathogen are present in relatively low numbers when the pathogen is first encountered. A primary immune response is all that can be mounted so that, in many cases, the individual becomes sick until antibodies and/or effector T cells can act to clear the attacker. In a vaccinated individual (Fig. 14-1, right panel), a collection of circulating antibodies and an expanded army of pathogen-specific memory B and T cells have already been generated prior to a first exposure to the natural pathogen. When the natural pathogen attacks, the circulating antibodies provide a degree of immediate protection from the invader. In addition, the memory B and T cells are quickly activated, and a secondary response is mounted that rapidly clears the infection before it can cause serious illness. This type of vaccination is called prophylactic vaccination because it is intended to prevent disease.
  • NOTE: Modern air travel has made prophylactic vaccination more important than ever, because this mode of transportation has greatly facilitated the spread of contagious pathogens. For example, in 2010, an unvaccinated child who contracted measles in Europe transmitted the virus to a fellow passenger during a flight to the U.S. This passenger then attended a conference and unwittingly exposed 270 other individuals to the disease.
    Vaccination can be thought of as a form of active immunization, because the individual is administered a pathogen antigen and his/her body is responsible for activating the lymphocytes and making the antibodies necessary to provide defense against future assaults. In contrast, passive immunization is the term used to describe the transfer of protective anti-bodies from an immune individual to an unimmunized individual.
  • Today’s best known vaccination success story is the global campaign of the World Health Organization (WHO) to eradicate smallpox. In 1967, the WHO began its coordination of 200,000 health workers who took 10 years to vaccinate the world’s population in its remotest corners. Between 1976 and 1979, only one case of smallpox was recorded, leading to the declaration in 1980 that smallpox had been officially eradicated (Plate 14-1). A similar global immunization program against rinderpest is currently pushing this pathogen toward extinction (Box 14-2).
  • Vaccination as a deliberate attempt to protect humans against disease has a short history when measured against the thousands of years that humans have sought to rid themselves of plagues and pestilence. Only in the 20th century did the practice flower into the routine vaccination of large populations. Yet, despite its relative youth, the impact of vaccination on the health of the world's peoples is hard to exaggerate. With the exception of safe water, no other intervention, not even antibiotics, has had such a major effect on mortality reduction and population growth.
    Since the first vaccine was introduced by Edward Jenner (Fig. 1.1) in 1798, vaccination has controlled 14 major diseases, at least in parts of the world: smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, yellow fever, pertussis, aemophilus influenzae type b disease, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps], rubella, typhoid, rabies, rotavirus, and hepatitis B. For smallpox, the dream of eradication has been fulfilled; naturally occurring smallpox has disappeared from the world. Cases of poliomyelitis have been reduced by 99% and this disease also is targeted for eradication. Rubella and congenital rubella syndrome have been officially declared eliminated from the Americas as of 2015. Vaccinations against many other diseases have made major headway. The path to these successes is worth examining.
    • Susan L. Plotkin, Stanley A. Plotkin, in Plotkin's Vaccines (Seventh Edition), ch.1, A Short History of Vaccination, (2018)
  • In the 7th century, some Indian Buddhists drank snake venom in an attempt to become immune to its effect. They may have been inducing antitoxin-like immunity. In the 16th century, Brahmin Hindus in India practiced a form of variolation by introducing dried pus from smallpox pustules into the skin of a patient. Writings that cite the use of inoculation and variolation in 10th-century China–make interesting reading but apparently cannot be verified. There is, however, 18th-century documentation of Chinese variolation. The Golden Mirror of Medicine, a medical text dated 1742, listed four forms of inoculation against Smallpox practiced in China since 1695: The nose plugged with powdered scabs laid on cotton wool. Powdered scabs blown into the nose. The undergarments of an infected child put on a healthy child for several days. A piece of cotton smeared with the contents of a vesicle and stuffed into the nose. This text, endorsed by the Imperial Court, raised the status of variolation in China, which previously had been considered just a folk remedy. Another Chinese text, published a century before Jenner’s work, stated that white cow fleas were used for smallpox prevention. The fleas were ground into powder and made into pills.
    • Susan L. Plotkin, Stanley A. Plotkin, in Plotkin's Vaccines (Seventh Edition), ch.1, A Short History of Vaccination, (2018)
  • A hundred and twenty million cases of the most deadly, most contagious…and least excusable…disease in medicine. For smallpox can infallibly be prevented, and only a world which had forgotten Jenner could have been taken by it unaware…or a world in which the memory of Jenner’s centuries-old prophylaxis had been systematically removed.
    • Frederik Pohl, Drunkard’s Walk (1960), Chapter 15 (ellipses as in the book)
  • In the 1970's and 1980's vaccines became, one might say, victims of their own success. They had been so effective in preventing infectious diseases that the public became much less alarmed at the threat of those diseases, and much more concerned with the risk of injury from the vaccines themselves.
  • Vaccination against destination-specific diseases plays an important role in preparing a traveler, although vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) are rare in returning persons. While mandatory vaccinations in international travel are restricted to yellow fever, meningococcal meningitis (hajj), and rarely other vaccinations in special outbreak situations, recommendation for individual precaution by vaccination is based on data from returning travelers and from the epidemiologic situation in the visiting country. Weighing risk of vaccination against the benefit for the traveler is a prerequisite for pro/con decisions and implies de-tailed evaluation of personal risk of contracting a VPD. However, the currently licensed vaccines indicated for an international traveler are considered safe, well tolerated, and efficacious.
    • Joseph Torresi, Herwig Kollaritsch, “Recommended/Required Travel Vaccines”, in Travel Medicine (Fourth Edition), (2019)
  • I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time. Same exact amount, but you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump--I mean, it looks just like it's meant for a horse, not for a child, and we've had so many instances, people that work for me. ... [in which] a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back and a week later had a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic."
  • Back in the 2000s, we performed a series of studies in mice and people to understand how individual bouts of exercise and exercise training affect influenza infection and vaccination, respectively. In our animal studies, we found that moderate endurance exercise (30 min/day) could protect mice from death due to influenza. Mice that exercised for longer durations (∼2.5 h/day) exhibited an increase in some illness symptoms, but there was no statistically significant difference in mortality when compared to sedentary mice. We concluded that moderate exercise could be beneficial and that prolonged exercise could be detrimental to influenza-infected mice. For obvious reasons, we have not performed this experiment in people.
    We also did a large study to determine whether 10 months of regular endurance exercise could improve influenza vaccination responses in older adults, a group that is at risk for infectious disease due to immunosenescence. We found that regular, moderate cardiovascular exercise could extend the protective effect of the annual influenza vaccination so that it maintained protective levels of antibodies throughout the entire influenza season (i.e., into March and April in the northern hemisphere). We concluded that regular moderate endurance exercise might be one way to boost the protective effect of annual influenza vaccination. It is very important for all people to receive the annual influenza vaccine.

Donald G. McNeil Jr., “Religious Objections to the Measles Vaccine? Get the Shots, Faith Leaders Say”, The New York Times, (April 26, 2019)[edit]

“All these complex laws apply to food ingested by mouth and are not in any way relevant to injected material.” ~ Naor Bar-Zeev

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