needed on vaccine trials
Friday August 27 2010
Government must disclose all that is known about controversial vaccine
trials carried out on children in the care of the State in past decades.
Irish Independent's initial revelations last week about vaccine tests
carried out on very young children without their mothers' consent were
alarming enough but at least the nature of those tests was known. It is
now known that other tests were also conducted at that time, the nature
of which is a mystery.
initial reports centred on Mari Steed, now aged 50, and three others who
are to take legal action in the US courts against a multinational
pharmaceutical company, on whose behalf the trials were conducted.
Steed was subjected to the trial in the Sacred Heart Convent in
Bessborough, Co Cork, when she was between nine and 18 months old,
without her mother's consent.
were a number of such trials. The first involved 58 children in five
children's homes and the object was to discover what might happen if
four vaccines, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio, were
combined in one overall 4-in-1 shot.
known trial involved 35 children who were administered the intra-nasal
third involved 53 children in five institutions. It compared
commercially available batches of the 3-in-1 vaccine with a modified
vaccine prepared for the trial.
subjects of these trials are understandably upset to discover that they
were effectively used as guinea pigs when they were little more than
babies, but at least they know the nature of the vaccines administered
to them and the clear scientific purpose of what were, effectively,
we report that records of previously unknown vaccine trials were
discovered years ago by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and
that there have been confidential "discussions" about them for
several years now, but mystery surrounds the nature of those trials.
number of questions need to be answered by the relevant government
agencies, not least of which are what was the nature of all the trials,
how many children in state care were subjected to them and what consent
the level of official reticence to date, an independent public inquiry
may be needed to get to the truth.
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