"Back in 1721, outraged anti-vaxxers threw a grenade through the window of Cotton Mather’s Boston home in angry opposition to that minister’s campaign to inoculate citizens from smallpox during an epidemic. Visiting Barbados at age 19, George Washington survived a case of smallpox, although his older brother, Lawrence, died of it. In 1776, with the Revolutionary War raging, Boston and Philadelphia suffered another epidemic. In 1777, General Washington, leader of the Continental Army, wrote they “had more to dread from smallpox than from the sword of the enemy.” America’s future first president mandated inoculation for all his troops..In 1980, the World Heath Organization declared smallpox eradicated due to worldwide immunization.
Having spent nearly two years in hospitals with polio as a child, I am incredibly grateful that by the time my own children came along, pediatricians automatically provided the polio vaccine.I can still remember the fear infantile paralysis brought to American parents each summer. Everyone avoided crowds and public places for swimming and movie theaters were forbidden. We all knew President Roosevelt was a polio survivor and filled small boxes for the March of Dimes.
Civilizations rise and fall on such issues as health and politics that result in positive or negative changes in human behavior."https://www.pressherald.com/2021/08/31/forum-anti-vaxxers-are-nothing-new/