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The live vaccine's victims

About the author: 

Bernard Reis, an English professor at Vassar College and former graduate of Cornell University and Harvard, described as an "energetic, athletic "achiever", was happily married with a baby boy, who dutifully received the law mandated vaccines

Bernard Reis, an English professor at Vassar College and former graduate of Cornell University and Harvard, described as an "energetic, athletic "achiever", was happily married with a baby boy, who dutifully received the law mandated vaccines. A month after his little boy's vaccine, Reisbecame tired attempting to climb a flight of stairs and came down with what he thought was flu. Two days later, he collapsed on his bathroom floor, and after being rushed to hospital was completely paralyzed, placed on an iron lung and fed intravenously.

Eleven months later, he returned home in a wheelchair. "The strain of all this was too much for my marriage, which fell apart," he wrote in The Washington Star.Since then, he said, his life has been "hell in slow motion," he says. Although able to walk haltingly, he is still extremely weak. He lives on social security of $300 per month in a New York public housing. By a legal quirk, he has not been able to receive compensation from Pfizer, the drug manufacturer.

On February 19, 1984, the first day Bill and Debbie Miller were to move into their new home, Bill collapsed on the sofa. The following morning, he complained that he couldn't move his left arm. A few days later he was completely paralyzed.

Months and a battery of tests later, they finally diagnosed Bill as having paralytic polio. His daughter Kristin had received her live polio vaccine less than two months before. No doctor had warned Bill, who has Netherton's syndrome, a skin condition, for which he was taking cortisone, that he was immunocompromised and at high risk of contracting polio from a vaccinee. This is despite the warning to physicians in packages from Lederle, the drug manufacturer. Six months went by and his condition did not substantially improve. By October, he began going into a coma and bleeding internally. On January 15, Debbie got called that Bill had a heart attack. Four days later, on the 19th, she buried him.

On a bus ride heading to Minnesota for Christmas, 31 year old Kay McNeary, travelling with her two small children, began to feel pains her her legs. Once she got to her parents, she took a hot bath and lay down. That was the last time she ever got up; a few days later she became crippled by polio. In 1982, a Seattle jury determined that her disease was given to her when she'd changed her daughter's nappies, right after the baby had received her OPV, and awarded her $1.1 million.


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