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Many illnesses were on the decline prior to widespread vaccination

Most of us have heard that vaccines are one of the greatest medical advancements of modern history.  It has been touted that vaccines have prevented more deaths in the last 50 years than any other advancement.  Where does this information come from? More importantly, is it true? 


The eradication of Polio is often the first example people use when discussing how essential vaccines are.  Although, in the package insert for the Inactivated Polio Vaccine it states, "Prior to the introduction of inactivated poliovirus vaccines in 1955, large outbreaks of 5 poliomyelitis occurred each year in the United States (US). The annual incidence of paralytic 6 disease of 11.4 cases/100,000 population declined to 0.5 cases by the time oral poliovirus vaccine 7 (OPV) was introduced in 1961"


Polio peaked in 1952 with 57,879 cases and 3,145 deaths. In 1954 the number of polio cases dropped to 38,476 with 1,368 deaths.  In two years polio cases dropped by 40% and deaths were down 78%.  The following year a vaccine became available.


One question that comes to mind for me is the question of correlation vs causation.  We hear it all of the time when someone is injured after vaccination, "Correlation doesn't equal causation".  So why is it that when its an adverse event we cannot determine causation, but when it is eradication of a disease we can?  Is it possible that there could have been other factors contributing to the eradication of wild type poliovirus?  What about other diseases that have seen dramatic declines?

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April 1955 IPV vaccine was adopted throughout the United States

  • Polio types 2 and 3 have been eraticated.  Type one is extremely rare.

  • We now have more cases of vaccine derived poliovirus around the world than wild strain poliovirus.

  • Most industrialized countries use the inactivated polio virus vaccines.  Since they are not "live" vaccines they do not have the risk of Vaccine-associated Paralytic Polio.



Vaccine was introduced in 1963

  • Approximately 400-500 people died from measles complications annually when the vaccine was introduced.  That same year,

    • 5,058 people died from asthma​

    • 32,465 died from diabetes mellitus

    • 6,330 died from ulcer of the stomach

    • 1,533 died from falling or projected objects

  • There was a 98% reduction of Measles deaths PRIOR to the vaccine introduction 

Numbers from the United States Office of Vital Statistics

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Mortality Rates Drop Prior to Vaccinations

A study published in 2000 in Pediatrics researchers from the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, Johns

Hopkins School of Public Health, The National Center for Health Statistics, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, concluded:“Thus vaccinations does not account for the impressive declines in mortality from infectious diseases seen in the first half of the twentieth century.”

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To see the listed side effects and the prelicensure safety studies check out- The Vaccine Inserts and Inadequate Safety Testing

Abstract Background

How do we explain the decline in diseases we never vaccinated against during the same time period?

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