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trials across 13 years tested drugs on young boys and girls
Independent, Friday August 20 2010
one (December 1960 and November 1961):
58 children in five children's homes.
of these children were from the St Patrick's Mother and Baby Home in
Dublin; 25 from the Sacred Heart Mother and Baby Home, Bessborough,
in Cork; and six children from St Peter's Mother and Baby Home,
Castlepollard, Co Westmeath.
of the children came from Clare's Baby Home, Co Meath, and nine
children from the Good Shepherd Mother and Baby Home, Dunboyne, Co
trial attempted to discover what would happen if four vaccines --
diphtheria, pertussis (also known as whooping cough), tetanus and
polio -- were combined in one four-in-one shot.
the time, the standard approach was to administer one combined
injection carrying diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio --
and then separately a polio vaccine.
35 children who were administered the intra-nasal rubella vaccine.
the trial, 69 children in St Anne's Industrial School Booterstown
had blood taken. Twelve were then given the intranasal rubella
further 23 children living at home in the Killucan area of Westmeath
were also administered the Wistar RA 27/3 rubella vaccine.
purpose of the trial was to find out if a German measles vaccine,
administered intranasally, could spread to susceptible contacts.
it did, serious consequences could ensue, particularly for pregnant
women. This is why children were administered the intra-nasal
trial was the subject of an article published in the 'Cambridge
Journal of Hygiene' in 1971 entitled, 'Trials of Intranasally
administered Rubella Vaccine'.
trial one and trial two were carried out by Dr Irene Hillery and
Professor Patrick Meenan, from the department of Medical
Microbiology in University College Dublin, and other doctors.
trial involved 53 children living in five institutional settings.
homes were: St Patrick's Home, Madonna House, Cottage Home, Bird's
Nest and Boheennaburna.
further 65 children who were living at home in Dublin also
participated in the trial.
purpose of the trial was to compare commercially available batches
of the three-in-one vaccine, Trivax and Trivax AD, with that of a
modified vaccine prepared for the trial.
modified vaccine was of equivalent efficacy, but the pertussis (also
known as whooping cough) component was not as potent.
results of the trial were never published.
2002 Department of Health report noted that in July 1997, Glaxo
Wellcome, the successor of The Wellcome Foundation, said the
catalyst for the trial was a request from the Eastern Health Board
the report noted that the trial appeared to have been under way
earlier in 1973. The chronology of events surrounding the trial was
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is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are
and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there
is a hollow yearning . . . and the most disquieting
Alex Haley, Author of Roots