Infectious diseases in Australia were controlled by 1950 (1). Only diphtheria vaccine was in use at this time and this was in voluntary vaccination campaigns. It also resulted in the Bundaberg tragedy that killed 12 children in 1928.
Measles, whooping cough and influenza were removed from the national notifiable disease list in 1950 because the deaths and serious illness to these diseases had been significantly reduced for the majority of children. In other words, the diseases were still present in Australia but in the majority of cases they produced mild or asymptomatic infections that resulted in long-term immunity and good community protection – “natural herd immunity”.
No vaccines were used for these diseases in 1950 and the measles vaccine wasn’t introduced into voluntary vaccination campaigns in Australia until 1969 – twenty years after measles was removed from the national notifiable disease list because if was no longer considered a disease of serious concern (1). This means that the incidence of measles was not monitored from 1950 – 1970 because the majority of cases were non-serious cases that resulted in good community protection.
The deaths and illnesses from infectious diseases were reduced for the majority of children by the 1950’s/60’s and outbreaks were less virulent because of the changes to environmental and lifestyle conditions that had occurred by this time. That is, public health reforms had been implemented that reduced the risks from these infections.
Each disease needs to be assessed separately in the context of the environmental conditions at the time to determine the risk from these infectious agents. This is also the case for the polio outbreaks in the 1950’s. The risks and benefits of using a vaccine for each disease must be considered separately because of the specific nature of the infectious agents, the environment and the host characteristics. Changes to the criteria used to diagnose polio in the 1960’s also needs to be considered in the decline of this disease.
Today we have an over-crowded vaccination schedule and the combined schedule has never been tested for safety in infants/children by comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated children using a true inert placebo. The placebo used in the unvaccinated group in the pharmaceutically funded clinical trials is either the vaccine adjuvant (aluminium phosphate) or another a competitor vaccine. These compounds are ‘active’ ingredients and not true (inert) placebos and they are known to cause adverse events in the participants.
Inert placebos have never been used to test the safety of vaccines. Therefore an accurate estimate of the harm caused by vaccines is unknown. Here is a link to my poster illustrating the science that has not been done to prove the safety of the government’s vaccination schedule. This poster was presented to health professionals at the Australian Health Promotion Association Conference in Perth in 2009 and it is titled ‘Coercive and Mandatory Immunisation: how ethical is this policy?’
In 1966 public health officials stated that “until social and economic changes are made no amount of medical and scientific knowledge can be of much help” (Dubos R, Health and Disease,1966 p.14). In other words the most significant factor in the control of infectious diseases is sanitation, hygiene, nutrition and other environmental and lifestyle changes.
In 2001 Professor Fiona Stanley, Director of the Telethon Institute for Children’s Health Research until 2012, stated:
“Infectious deaths fell before widespread vaccination was implemented” (ABS 2001, Child Health Since Federation, p.11). This comment and many others by prominent public health officials about the decline of infectious diseases in Australia are listed here Comments by prominent public health authorities.
Comments by Australia’s Commonwealth director of Health, JHL Cumpston (1914 – 1945), and Australia’s Nobel Laureate for Immunology (1960), MacFarlane Burnett, clearly stated that public health reforms such as sanitation, hygiene, nutrition and smaller family sizes from 1850 -1950 were the most important factors in reducing the deaths and illness due to infectious diseases. Therefore the government is incorrect to suggest that high participation rates in all vaccination programs are necessary to prevent deaths and illnesses from returning as a public health problem.
Natural herd immunity is achieved by communities through natural exposure to the infectious agents over time and in many cases through sub-clinical (infections without symptoms) or mild infections in developed countries. This is why infectious diseases are less virulent in developed countries once environmental and nutritional factors have been improved. There are many reasons why herd immunity created by vaccination may not be possible and is unproven.
Proof that herd immunity has been created by a vaccine could be provided by governments by publishing the vaccination status of each case of disease that is hospitalised. Yet this information is never clearly presented to the public as evidence for the efficacy of vaccines. Whooping cough vaccine was not introduced into mass vaccination programs in Australia until after 1953 and these programs were voluntary. Yet the disease was not considered a significant risk to children after 1950 and it was removed from the National Notifiable Disease List in 1950. Here are the comments from prominent public health officials that support this statement:
‘As causes of infant mortality in Australia all the infective disease have been overcome’ (Lancaster 1956a p.104). Lancaster also noted from 1946 -1954: ‘Whooping cough (pertussis) was an uncommon cause of death for children and there is a significant decline in mortality if the age of infection increases’ (1956a p.104) and ‘Mortality rates due to whooping cough (pertussis) are used as an index of hygiene or social well-being’ (Lancaster 1956b p.893).
The same decline was observed in the UK and the USA [2, 3]. The graphs demonstrating the decline of disease can be found here.
For further reading on this and to see the graphs showing the decline of infectious diseases in Australia please visit the website ‘A Parent’s Dilemma‘. You can download the book ‘Fooling Ourselves on the Fundamental Value of Vaccines’ by Greg Beattie.[/pane]