The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Smallpox vaccine:
Kill a few, scare 'em all

May 12, 2003

Part of the government's so-called "war on terror" has been to convince us that we are at risk from terrorists having biological weapons like smallpox.

Since smallpox was wiped out worldwide, 20 years ago, the only known smallpox is in samples kept in 2 secure research labs. The Bush administration has insisted that health workers should get smallpox vaccinations "just in case" some terrorist may have been holding onto some other samples somewhere for those 20 years.

Health care workers, however, are good at calculating health risks. The vast majority won't accept the vaccinations. The government itself says that 1 in 25,000 vaccinated people will have serious or fatal reactions from the vaccine. This is a high risk all by itself. But so far, out of about 35,000 health-care workers who have taken the vaccinations, 13 cases of serious reaction are already on file. This is much more risky! And four deaths are "under investigation."

From the beginning, the government's campaign has been a propaganda campaign, not a health campaign. It was a campaign to influence the U.S. population not only to accept the invasion of Iraq, but to accept whatever the government does to anyone in the name of the "war on terror."

Any one of us is much more likely to win a multimillion-dollar lottery than to fall victim to a terrorist's smallpox. Why should we trade those odds for one in 25,000, let alone one in 2,692?

This government had no problem accepting a certain number of sure deaths from its vaccinations, not when the campaign could be so useful for manipulating the population at large.

All those workers who refused smallpox vaccinations understood that believing the government was the riskiest thing they could do. They were right.