George Bernard Shaw on Vaccines

George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) was a famous Irish playwright who was known as the leading dramatist of his generation, winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925.

He was also against vaccination, calling it “a peculiarly filthy piece of witchcraft.”

In 1944, in a letter to the Irish Times, he wrote that:

Within my long lifetime, its ruthless enforcement throughout Europe ended in two of the worst epidemics of smallpox in record, our former more dreaded typhus and cholera epidemics having meanwhile been ended by sanitation. After that failure, the credit of vaccination was saved for a while by the introduction of isolation, which at once produced improved figures. At present, intelligent people do not have their children vaccinated, nor does the law now compel them to. The result is not, as the Jennerians prophesied, the extermination of the human race by smallpox; on the contrary more people are now killed by vaccination than by smallpox.

He also said that “vaccination is nothing short of attempted murder” and wrote several letters that were printed in the British Medical Journal, which he called “bigotedly vaccinist.”

George Bernard Shaw was also against organized religion and believed in eugenics.

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