The Roast of a Science Based Vaccine Skeptic

—–Original Message—–
From: Jennifer Craig
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 11:58 AM
To: Harriet Hall
Subject: smallpox

Would you please provide the mortality stats for smallpox in the UK in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explain how smallpox vaccination affected those.

The smallpox vaccine, made from the secretions from a diseased cow and containing orthopox vaccinia is supposed to create immunity to orthopox variola. Please explain why this is the case when great care is taken to ensure that flu vaccines contain the current pathogenic virus.

Jennifer Craig



At 12:35 PM 12/03/2010, you wrote:
(Response from Harriet Hall)

There are lies, damned lies and statistics. You are referring to statistics
commonly cited by anti-vaccine activists purporting to discredit smallpox vaccination.

In the first place, accurate statistics were hard to come by in those days,
and the primitive techniques of variolation were nowhere near as safe or
effective as more modern smallpox vaccines, so those numbers don’t mean much. In the second place, there are many, many more and better statistics showing a clear benefit of vaccines, even prior to the 19th century.

Nettleton 1724 “nineteen out of every hundred, or near one fifth of those,
who have had the natural Small Pox, have died; whereas out of sixty one
which have been inoculated hereabouts, not one has died …”

Shortly thereafter Jurin found that the probability of death from
variolation was roughly 1 in 50, while the probability of death from
naturally contracted smallpox was 1 in 7 or 8.

In the American colonies, “The practice was, at first, widely
criticized.[10] However a limited trial showed that 6 deaths occurred out of 244 who were vaccinated (2.5%) while 844 out of 5980 died of natural
disease, and the process was widely adopted throughout the colonies.”

Anti-vaccination activists keep citing the same 19th century numbers from the UK because those are the ONLY data they can find to contradict the overwhelming mass of evidence for the efficacy and safety of smallpox

Cowpox and smallpox shared antigens so that antibodies to one disease
protected against the other. The flu virus is constantly mutating and
changing its antigens. Even so, vaccination against one strain of flu
provides a small degree of protection against other strains. Adding
adjuvants to vaccines increases this cross-reactivity. For a brief
explanation of the principle of cross-reactivity see

Harriet Hall, MD
The SkepDoc

From: Jennifer Craig
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 3:29 PM
To: Harriet Hall
Subject: RE: smallpox

Thank you for your response.

I think you are confusing inoculation with vaccination. Inoculation was the insertion of smallpox pus under the skin with the intent of introducing a case of smallpox. Vaccination was the introduction of cowpox pus under the skin with the intent of preventing smallpox. As Jenner’s so called experiment with vaccination on one boy was on May 14, 1796, clearly Nettleton is inaccurate.

I am referring to statistics from several sources. At least two sources indicate that as vaccination campaigns took place, the incidence of smallpox rose. For example: Tebb wrote in 1884, “Vaccination was made compulsory by an Act of Parliament in the year 1853; again in 1867; and still more stringent in 1871. Since 1853, we have had three epidemics of small-pox, each being more severe than the one preceding.” Between the first and second epidemic there was a 50% increase in smallpox cases; between the second and third, a 120% increase.

In answer to a parliamentary question by the British Minister of Health on July 16th, 1923, a written list of figures of vaccinations and deaths from 1872 – 1921 was presented.   These figures demonstrate that as compliance with vaccination went down so did the smallpox death rate. For example, between 1872 and 1881 vaccinations as per cent of births was 85% and deaths from smallpox per 100,000 persons was 15.2. Between 1912 and 1921 the figures were 43.5% and 0.1 deaths.

Please cite at least three studies from “the overwhelming mass of evidence for the efficacy and safety of smallpox vaccines.”

I don’t consider Wikipedia to be a scientific source.

Please cite the studies that demonstrate that the antigens for smallpox and cowpox are the same.

Jennifer Craig



(Response from Harriet Hall)
You are not looking for information. You are looking for validation of your beliefs.  I won’t play your game.

Harriet Hall, MD
The SkepDoc

I was looking for an informed person to debate with. Debate with facts, not beliefs. Clearly you are not it. Yet, without data, you feel free to promote inaccurate ideas.
Some sceptic!

Jennifer Craig

  1. Jennifer Craig is the author of the book, Jabs, Jenner, and Juggernauts.
  2. From the Editor of One suggestion is for Dr. Hall and others to investigate if Edward Jenner was the ‘true inventor’ of vaccines. What other assumptions could be incorrect?

Who discovered smallpox vaccination? Edward Jenner or Benjamin Jesty?

About the author


Jeffry John Aufderheide is the father of a child injured as a result of vaccination. As editor of the website he promotes well-educated pediatricians, informed consent, and full disclosure and accountability of adverse reactions to vaccines.