The Cutter Incident: How America’s First Polio Vaccine Led to a Growing Vaccine Crisis
In April 1955 more than 200 000 children in five Western and mid-Western USA states received a polio vaccine in which the process of inactivating the live virus proved to be defective. Within days there were reports of paralysis and within a month the first mass vaccination programme against polio had to be abandoned. Subsequent investigations revealed that the vaccine, manufactured by the California-based family firm of Cutter Laboratories, had caused 40 000 cases of polio, leaving 200 children with varying degrees of paralysis and killing 10.
The sordid history of Poliomyelitis vaccination
By Dr Viera Scheibner (PhD)
International Medical Council on Vaccination
certain facts in the history of polio vaccination:
1. There has been more than one type of polio vaccine through its history, due to the fact that earlier versions were found to be ineffective and harmful.
2. The occurrence of polio was trending downward prior to the introduction of polio vaccines.
3. The reported effectiveness accredited to polio vaccines can actually be easily accounted for by data manipulation and not actual decreases of occurrence. (See also Dr. Suzanne Humphries’ excellent treatment of this subject here: Did Vaccines Really Eradicate Polio?)
4. The history of the polio vaccine is a history of contamination of the vaccines responsible for the injury and deaths of countless people.
Update: The New York Times just published a story recently about new strains of the polio vaccine being developed. Here is what they wrote concerning the current strain of the polio vaccine:
The Sabin vaccine has drawbacks, however: it contains a still-live virus that was mutated long ago so that it is usually too weak to produce disease. In rare cases, it can mutate back into a dangerous form that paralyzes or kills. And the vaccine is risky in children with immune-system problems. For those reasons, the World Health Organization plans to eventually phase it out.
Did Vaccines Really Eradicate Polio?
by Suzanne Humphries, MD
“The tendency of a mass vaccination program is to herd people. People are not cattle or sheep. They should not be herded. A mass vaccination program carries a built-in temptation to oversimplify the problem; to exaggerate the benefits; to minimize or completely ignore the hazards; to discourage or silence scholarly, thoughtful and cautious opposition; to create an urgency where none exists; to whip up an enthusiasm among citizens that can carry with it the seeds of impatience, if not intolerance; to extend the concept of the police power of the state in quarantine far beyond its proper limitation; to assume simplicity when there is actually great complexity; to continue to support a vaccine long after it has been discredited;… to ridicule honest and informed consent.”
Now it is admitted in the medical literature that other viruses can cause polio, yet few people on the street have any idea.
Prior to 1954, the following undoubtedly hid behind the name “poliomyelitis”: Transverse Myelitis, viral or “aseptic” meningitis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)- (what Franklin Delano Roosevelt had), Chinese Paralytic syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, epidemic cholera, cholera morbus, spinal meningitis, spinal apoplexy, inhibitory palsy, intermittent fever, famine fever, worm fever, bilious remittent fever, ergotism, post-polio syndrome, acute flaccid paralysis(AFP).
Included under the umbrella term “Acute Flaccid Paralysis” are Poliomyelitis, Transverse Myelitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, enteroviral encephalopathy, traumatic neuritis, Reye’s syndrome etc.
Before you believe that polio has been eradicated, have a look at this graph of AFP and Polio.
Does the public have any idea that there are hundreds of cases of something that would once have been called polio, and some of those children will be dependent on a modern version of the iron lung? No. Parents today think that the Salk vaccine eliminated any need for ventilators, because the pictures of all these children on iron lungs are no longer paraded in front of people in order to create fear. Besides which, today’s “iron lungs” don’t look like a prototype submarine. They are barely recognizable as today’s “ventilators.”
The polio vaccine had the fastest licensing in FDA history. It was approved for commercial production after only a two-hour deliberation amongst the Licensing Committee, in a pressured environment. These scientists witnessed a vaccine that was escorted to market, before academic and community doctors had a chance to read any published reports on the safety studies, and before the results of the big polio vaccine trial made it into any medical journal. If these scientists had had more say, it is likely that the “Cutter” disaster and the “Wyeth problem,” both events that led to crippling or death of vaccine recipients just weeks following the hurried vaccine licensing – could have been averted.
“Previously it [the vaccine] had been distributed as an experimental product, not a licensed product…the committee was asked to come to a decision very quickly…there was discussion of the report that Dr Francis had given, but we were not in a position to discuss it very intensively because we had not seen the report prior to this morning and the report was distributed to us after the presentation…we were pressured in the sense that we were told that speed was essential, and when we came up toward the 5:00 time, some of us felt we would like to discuss this matter more. We were told that to discuss the matter further it would have to go into the following week, and we would have to go to Washington or Bethesda and most of the members were unwilling to do so. We were in effect pressured into an earlier decision than we ordinarily would have made. …It was part of the pressure of events, put it that way.”
And that is only the beginning of the polio story, the likes of which currently serve as the foundation of modern belief in vaccination, even by those who may have doubts regarding current vaccine policy.