There was a forced vaccination campaign in 1970-1 in the Northern Territory where forced vaccinations had a 50% fatality rate. This was reported by Dr Archie Kalokerinos, who was there during that time. He later wrote a book on it, called ‘Every Second Child’.
Originally posted on TreatyRepublic.net
Seasonal flu vaccinations have recently been offered free for Aboriginal children aged 5 years and under (the most vulnerable age range for complications). The possibility of a future TB vaccination campaign has been raised. Check out the links. Below the links is what happened to Aboriginal children in the 1970’s as a result of a previous campaign, as told by a highly experienced doctor practising during that time in the region of NSW with the highest infant death-rate.
In 1974 Dr Archie Kaolkerinos wrote a book entitled Every Second Child, published by Thomas Nelson (Australia) Limited. The forward to that book was written by Dr Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize Winner and Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, California. The author initially described how prior to white settlement, the Aboriginal population survived only on a fairly wide range of traditional food sources. The newcomers brought foreign diseases e. g. influenza, German measles, tuberculosis, measles, small pox etc to which the Aboriginal inhabitants had no immunity.
Many in the First Nations population died. When white man succeeded in Anglicising the population to a large extent and settling them near to townships, they were provided with a diet of white flour, white sugar, white bread, jam, tea and sausages; a far cry from their natural diet. They were no longer permitted to hunt and gather. This created subsequent generations of malnourished nursing mothers.
Dr Kalokerinos, as a 6 year trained medical graduate (Sydney) and 6 year trained surgeon (London), accepted a position at Collarenebri Hospital in 1957.
The region’s then incidence of infant mortality was the highest in the State, which hadn’t been brought to his attention, though council officials were aware of it. A search of the Registry of Deaths revealed that 20 white children in every 1,000 died in infancy.
In the Aboriginal population that number was 100+ per 1,000. Initially he saw many Aboriginal children suffering first from ear infection, upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), gastroenteritis, malnutrition and pneumonia. Most suffered continually from the first and second mentioned illnesses, and in those days anti-biotic treatment was always prescribed. Frequent infant deaths continued into the 1960’s.
At autopsy changes in the liver, visible to the naked eye, were detected. Further observations = more patterns, which led him to eventually conclude that URTI opened the door for secondary bacterial infections, and also caused inflammation in the mucous membranes in gastrointestinal tracts, irritated by oral anti-biotics, and malnutrition could be explained by malabsorption of nutrients. Pneumonia tended to be the end of the line.
One patient survived long enough to be referred to a Tamworth Specialist who diagnosed scurvy and administered Vitamin C by injection. The child recovered.
When infants were then admitted in a poor state (with subclinical scurvy) Kalokerinos would administer vitamin C by injection and their survival rate greatly increased. According to him, there are major variations in an infant’s utilisation of vitamin C, depending on general health. Vitamin C is rapidly depleted at times of infection, or when the immune system is assaulted in other ways including during teething and post vaccination. The next common factor to emerge was liver tenderness. This was more severe in those who were already ill, but mild tenderness was also indicator of an incubating infection.
At that time, the author also noted, “Aboriginal infants… have a faulty immunological response in the gastrointestinal mucous membranes that permits parasites to thrive…. At a certain age, perhaps 5-10 years, immunological responses become normal and the parasites are thrown out”. He also found that other more complex biological factors could come into play causing anti-biotic resistance. Dr Kalokerinos was vilified, insulted, isolated and ridiculed by some of his peers, who were not willing to admit the validity of his findings. Despite this, with the assistance of a team of bio-medical scientists from Victoria he developed simple field tests for Vitamin C and mineral deficiencies, produced by a US laboratory.
In 1971 he was approached by a former patient, the then Minister for the Interior. The Minister advised that in 1970 in NT the Aboriginal infant death rate had doubled, gone higher in the first half of 1971 in some areas reaching 500 of every 1,000 infants – Every Second Child. NT government authorities were unco-operative toward the Minister’s recommendations to have Dr Kalokerinos visit, despite his successes in Collarenebri.
The problem was circumvented by going to the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Faith Bandler arranged for him to go to Alice Springs as a Council representative. Like a bolt from the blue a statement the Minister for the Interior had hit Kalokerinos between the eyes, “we have stepped up the immunisation campaigns”, he said. The author realised, “A health team would sweep into an area, line up all the Aboriginal babies and infants and immunise them.
There would be no examination, no taking of case histories, no checking on dietary deficiencies. Most infants would have colds. No wonder they died.