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By Don Harkins

January 11, 2002

In 1973 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) amassed 150 million vaccines to prevent the spread of swine flu. According to the CDC, the mass vaccination campaign was discontinued after 45 million Americans had been inoculated in 77 days. Why? Because the vaccines, which had not been adequately tested for short term much less long term effects, caused a large percentage of people to develop Guillean Barre—a chronic, virally- transmitted encephalopathic disease (The Idaho Observer, July, 1999). What did the CDC learn from the swine flu debacle? That vaccines must be tested for short and long-term effects? That vaccines must be subjected to rigorous quality control policies? That some people have medical histories or current physical conditions that contraindicate the administration of a vaccine? No. The fact that the federally administered experimental vaccine that ruined thousands of lives taught the CDC to recognize the importance of, “an on-going vaccine program,” and that “having a pandemic preparedness plan is important (Preparing for the Next Influenza Pandemic, satellite broadcast, February 26, 1999).”

Understanding this “one-size-fits-all approach to herd immunity from infectious disease is handy when one must contemplate federal concerns for the individual when the day comes when we are forced, at gunpoint, to take the smallpox vaccine that is described in the following article.

U.S. Department of Human and Health Services Secretary Tommy Thompson announced last October that the U.S. government had made arrangements to acquire 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine—enough for every man woman and child in America. This is the Bush administration’s plan to protect the American people from the threat of biological terrorism in the event that terrorists would use smallpox against us.

The government’s plans to mass vaccinate the nation will cause the death of as many as 300 people and will cause mild to severe reactions in up to 70 percent of the vaccinated population. Those figures are based upon previous experience with the old smallpox vaccine used up until 1980 when the World Health Organization certified the world free of smallpox. The repercussions could be worse as we have no way of knowing how safe new generations of smallpox vaccine will be, nor do we know how safe it will be to dilute old smallpox vaccine that could be up to 40 years old.

According to the Associated Press, even the American Medical Association, a staunch advocate of vaccination, refused to endorse the mass smallpox vaccination plan at its annual winter meeting last Dec. 4 in San Francisco. “The 538 delegates attending the meeting voted overwhelmingly to continue studying the possible repercussions of such a mass inoculation,” the AP story said.


Routine vaccine against smallpox was discontinued in the U.S. as of 1971.

The last reported case of smallpox was in Somalia, 1977.

WHO certified the world as being “smallpox free” in 1980. The WHO asks all labs to either destroy their variola (lab-created smallpox vaccine) stocks, send them to the CDC in Atlanta or to reference labs in Moscow (this is before the fall of the Iron Curtain). According to the CDC, “All countries reported compliance.” (1980)

The U.S. armed forces stopped vaccinating military personnel against smallpox in 1990.

Smallpox virulence

Though smallpox differs clinically from chicken pox, it is clinically indistinguishable from monkeypox and cowpox—diseases that continue to ravage communities of people throughout the third world even though WHO had certified the world smallpox free. The New England Journal of Medicine reported August 20, 1998, that, “There are reports of cases of smallpox in various parts of the world ‘masquerading’ as monkeypox. In Central Africa, the clinical picture of monkeypox [is identical to] that of smallpox.”

Published medical science shows that, while the WHO may have credited smallpox vaccine for having rid the world of smallpox, electron microscopy cannot distinguish between cow, buffalo, monkey, turkey, canary, pigeon, ortho, rabbit, white, or sheep poxes.

“Vaccinia (wild, natural smallpox) can last up to 24 hours as an aerosol if not exposed to UV light. “Vaccinia is almost completely destroyed within six hours in high temperatures (90F) and 80 percent humidity. In cool temperatures it can last up to 24 hours.” ~Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), June 9, 1999, Vol. 281, No. 22, pg. 2135.

It is believed that the variola virus, the one used in smallpox vaccine, would behave similarly. Given the pathogenic limitations of both the vaccinia and variola viruses, ordinary quarantine protocols would arrest an outbreak of smallpox.

The pathogenesis of smallpox alone makes it an unlikely choice as a biological weapon for terrorists. The fact that there are at least 65 other biological agents that are more virulent than smallpox decreases the likelihood that it would be the disease of choice among terrorists.

The vaccine

According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (June 20, 2001), the “level of [vaccinia] antibody protection needed to protect against smallpox [variola] infections is unknown.”

In other words, nobody knows if the injection of man-made smallpox will cause the creation of enough antibodies to protect against the disease.

There are currently about 15 million doses of smallpox vaccine in stock. They are old vaccines produced prior to 1981. The plan is to increase the existing supply to 75 million doses by simply diluting the old stock. The National Institutes for health is currently recruiting volunteers to test and compare 5-to-1 and 10-to-1 dilution doses made from old stock. Long-term complications of this vaccine will not be available by the time mass vaccination is underway.

The U.S. government, apparently without congressional oversight, contracted the British pharmaceutical company Acamibis to produce an additional 50 million doses by the end of 2002. It is not certain where the balance of the 300 million doses needed to vaccinate all Americans will come from. We do know, however, that the Department of Defense (DoD) is planning to acquire vaccine production capabilities as soon as possible. The DoD intends to run government owned, contractor operated vaccine production facilities to insure adequate supplies of eight vaccines in case of bioterror attack. Not surprisingly, smallpox and two types of anthrax are three of them.

The plan is modular and the DoD plans to expand its vaccine production capabilities to eventually include all types of vaccines (DoD, Report on Biological Warfare Defense Vaccine Research & Development Programs, July, 2001).

The new vaccinia virus vaccine to be produced by Acamibis will be cultured in human connective tissues harvested from cadavers and aborted fetuses. The new vaccine has yet to be tested in people.

Vaccine side effects

The old vaccine produced mild reactions such as a low grade fever in 70 percent of people vaccinated. Twenty percent would experience a fever in excess of 102F. Other mild reactions include generalized rash within 10-14 days or an infection at the point of inoculation.

Moderate to severe reactions include more serious rashing over entire body—a condition that could become serious to those with an already compromised immune system. The condition may worsen to general skin exfoliation and can be communicated to others. There are cases where this form of generalized vaccinia, particularly in those who contract the condition from a vaccinated individual, have been fatal.

Progressive vaccinia, another possible side effect of the smallpox vaccine, is a progression of necrotic (dead) tissue from the vaccination site—a condition that can be fatal.

Postvaccinal encephalitis (swelling of the brain tissue) is the most serious complication and is fatal in 25 percent of cases that develop and cause permanent neurological complications in 25 percent of those who survive. Postvaccinal encephalopathies are most common in persons who are immunologically compromised before being subjected to the smallpox vaccine.

According to JAMA (June 9, 1999, Vol. 281, No. 22, pg. 2132), “It has been estimated that if 1 million people were vaccinated [against smallpox], as many as 250 would experience a severe reaction.”

In other words, the vaccine would cause severe reactions in one in every 4,000 people vaccinated.


“Contraindication” is the term used to disqualify people from being subjected to various medical interventions based upon such criteria as existing medical conditions and prior histories. For the U.S. government to order a smallpox vaccine for every man, woman and child in the U.S., regardless of contraindications, is the pinnacle of medical illogic and contrary to established medical science, previous experience and international law.

*People who have a history of eczema or live with others who have a history of the skin condition should not be vaccinated with smallpox vaccine.

*People who have a history of acute/chronic exfoliative skin diseases or live with others who have a history of such diseases should not be vaccinated with smallpox vaccine.

*Persons with immunosuppressive illnesses or persons who live with others who have immunosuppressive illnesses should not be vaccinated with smallpox vaccine.

*Pregnant women, those who have cancer or have had a solid organ transplant are also contraindicated for the smallpox vaccine.

These contraindications alone would significantly reduce the numbers of people who qualify for smallpox vaccination to a level that would make mass-vaccination against smallpox ineffective even if the vaccine worked better than simple hygiene and established quarantine procedures.

Smallpox prevention:

The rational approach

Smallpox is a disease of filth. Straw-filled mattresses and carpets, which are largely a thing of the past in the U.S., were the happy home of cimex lectularius (the common bedbug). Filth, malnutrition and ignorance are the conditions that allow smallpox to thrive.

The most definitive work on smallpox to date was conducted by Dr. Charles Campbell of San Antonio, Texas, in the ‘40s. After years of observation and experimentation, Dr. Campbell concluded that smallpox is transmitted only by the bite of an infected bug and the severity of the illness is proportional to the degree of malnutrition evident in the infected person.

Dr. Campbell’s work was overlooked by the scientific community because smallpox vaccines were more profitable and had already arrived on the scene. It appears that even if one suffers mild to severe reactions to the smallpox vaccine, or contracts the disease as a result of biological terrorism, the severity of the illness will still be proportional to the health of the infected party. According to Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, an osteopath from Cleveland who conducted most of the research for this article, infectious disease prevention is accomplished with:

Diet    Sleep    Water    Vitamin C   Vitamin A    B complex vitamins

Eat a well balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and avoid excess meats, fried foods, dairy products, white sugar, white flour, alcohol and coffee. Also get plenty of rest, drink as much as half your body weight in ounces of purified water each day and make sure that your body gets enough A, B and C vitamins. To “immunize” yourself from the potential ravages of infectious diseases such as smallpox, keep a clean house and a keep your mind and body in good shape by making lifestyle choices that are conducive to good health.

Why then mass vaccinate?

One has to wonder why the U.S. government would scare people into believing that the best way to prevent terrorists from killing everyone with smallpox is by vaccinating every man, woman and child in America with vaccines that are either old, diluted or experimental and may cause mild to severe reactions in at least 70 percent of the vaccinated population. We have to expect that the U.S. government has access to the same information we do. Published science and field experience prove that inoculating the entire American public against smallpox is inappropriate. As a preventative against an imagined threat that terrorists will use this easily managed disease is medically absurd at best because mass vaccinating us with smallpox would likely cause an epidemic worse than a biological attack.

I suspect that the purpose of such a program is intended to be contrary to the  interests of public health. A mass vaccinated public would either be killed by the vaccine, severely damaged by the vaccine or moderately damaged by the vaccine. In all cases, vaccinated people would be less able to oppose the police state that has arrived in the land of the free. I also have a suspicion that each dose will contain a microchip so that those who are not medically subdued by the smallpox vaccine could be controlled electronically. The former sentence may seem paranoid, but the technology exists and this would be a marvelous opportunity to slip Americans a microchip..

This entire scenario, however absurd, dovetails perfectly into the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act that we discussed in the Nov. edition of The IO.

Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center put it all into perfect context when she said, “If the state can tag, track down and force individuals, against their will, to be injected with biologicals of unknown toxicity today, will there be any limit on what individual freedoms that state can take away—in the name of the greater good—tomorrow?

© 2002 Don Harkins - All Rights Reserved

Don Harkins is the editor of The Idaho Observer , a monthly, 24-page tabloid-sized newspaper from northern Idaho. Email your comments to: