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Chinese scientists started exposing healthy people to smallpox scabs around the 10th century A.D. in one of the earliest known examples of inoculation – a form of vaccination. And for nearly as long, there have been detractors who dislike the idea of purposely exposing people to disease. The bottom line is that regular vaccinations have saved civilisation from a true murderers’ row of horrific viruses: smallpox, polio, measles and the flu to name a few. There would be zero controversy over these life-saving shots except for the efforts of a misguided doctor who, in 1998, managed to publish a fraudulent study in The Lancet that falsely claimed there was a link between autism and the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. The journal retracted the study and the doctor, Andrew Wakefield, was discredited and had his medical license revoked – but the damage was done and persists to this day. Just last flu season, 80 percent of flu-related deaths in US children occurred in unvaccinated kids.



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