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wollongong thesis has this to say on smallpox

This is the human face of smallpox:

Child with Smallpox Bangladesh.jpg

Photo Credit: Content Providers(s): CDC/James Hicks This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #3265.

Smallpox is now extinct in the wild: the last known case was in 1977.

And this is what Judy Wilyman has to say about the vaccine that eradicated smallpox virus, in her strongly anti-vaccine PhD thesis - you'll find the quote on page 15 of the main document

Vaccination as a preventative public health strategy was first used by Edward Jenner in the late 18th century (Hays 2000). It was used in the fight against smallpox for ~150 years but its efficacy was never tested in controlled clinical trials that exposed a large number of participants to the smallpox virus and compared the outcome to a control group (Wallace 1898).

This is simply unbelieveable. Does Wilyman genuinely think that this would be an ethical approach to addressing the development of a smallpox vaccine? Really? And equally unbelieveable is that this was not regarded as a signficant issue by either her supervisor or those who examined the thesis.
 
Smallpox is now extinct in the wild, so many people will never have seen a case of it. (This was possible partly because humans are the only known reservoir for the virus.) It's hard to imagine, given the rigorous literature reviews normally expected of a PhD candidate that Wilyman might be ignorant of the disease and its effects1: the most common, severe form of the disease killed a large proportion of those infected with it. Wikipedia tells us this:
The disease killed an estimated 400,000 Europeans annually during the closing years of the 18th century (including five reigning monarchs), and was responsible for a third of all blindness. Of those infected, 20-60 percent - and over 80 percent of infected children - died from the disease. 
Survivors were scarred for life.
 
It is frankly appalling to see that a PhD candidate thinks it would be in any way ethical to carry out a controlled trial of a vaccine against a virus where the known outcome would have been death for up to 60% of those involved. And yet the supervisor and examiners let this pass?

FOR SHAME!!!
 
1 Mind you, she also has this to say (also on page 15):

The fact that developing countries are still rife with infectious diseases today suggests that depending on vaccines to prevent disease in countries with poor environmental and nutritional conditions is questionable
 
It's almost as if she doesn't know why smallpox is extinct, and polio nearly so.
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2 Comments

"It was used in the fight against smallpox for ~150 years but its efficacy was never tested in controlled clinical trials that exposed a large number of participants to the smallpox virus and compared the outcome to a control group (Wallace 1898)."

And using a citation from 1898?

There are a large number of natural trials where vaccinated and unvaccinated populations can be studied for what happens during an epidemic - beginning with variolation in Boston, MA in the 1700s, the Franco-Prussian War, and WWI.

@ Tsu Dho Nimh - yes, the mind boggles. I wasn't aware that in doing a critical lit review it was OK to leave out the bits that don't fit one's story.

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