Sidenote: Hope you're finding this useful? I have always been curious about this matter. And when I found very little quality information about it, I decided to share a part of what I've learned about it - which is why this article came to be written. Read on. At the two day Medical conference entitled "Should vaccinations be compulsory or free choice?" Doctors from various areas of the world were invited to present the situation in their country and also to highlight problems surrounding some of the vaccines. A pediatrician presents a copy of the points made in Dr. Yamamoto's presentation entitled "Why Japanese Government had to cease compulsory vaccinations." (The English translation is reasonably clear.)
Influenza in Japan
Mass influenza vaccination programs for school aged children had been started in 1960, and about 3 million children were vaccinated. In 1976, the compulsory vaccination system had been introduced and 17 million children from primary to high school had to be vaccinated twice annually. This was a unique vaccination program in the world, which the government believed would avoid the social influenza epidemics. This was a wrong hypothesis which was not verified for a long time.
Since the 80s the vaccination uptake was constant at about 60% every year but the incidence rate per 100,000 changed from 5 to 60 without concern to the vaccination rate. Since 1989 the vaccination uptake decreased rapidly to 20%, but the incidence rate did not increase.
Influenza incidence rate between non-vaccinated city and neighboring vaccinated cities
City A had 25,000 school children, City B had 21,000 school children. Statistically, they were the same.
The results in 1984:
City A ceased compulsory Influenza vaccination in 1980 and less than 1% of the city took the Influenza vaccine.
The Influenza incidence was 43%.
Cities B,C and D continued compulsory vaccinations.
-City B- 90% of the city took the Influenza vaccine.
The Influenza incidence was 40%.
-City C- 77% of the city took the Influenza vaccine.
The Influenza incidence was 43%.
-City D - 76% of the city took the Influenza Vaccine.
The Influenza incidence was 52%.
A similar study was documented in 1985 with similar results. It was an important epidemiologic study that led to the end of the compulsory influenza vaccination program.
Adverse Reactions to the Influenza Vaccine
A mass study of adverse reactions against the influenza vaccine was conducted in 1987 involving about 400,000 children. The total adverse reaction rate was 254.3 per million. (10 per million children had complained of neurological symptoms.) This study was revealing, since from 1971 the government of Japan had changed the flu vaccine from a whole body type to a split particle type announcing that adverse reactions were almost nothing with the new one. The previous type , used in the 1960s had resulted in between 5-9 deaths occurring every year.
In 1987 the government changed the vaccine from compulsory to free choice. From 1972 to 1979 , a total number of 142 children and families sued the government for damages. The total number of deaths were 50, severe developmental retardation were 65, and intractable epilepsy were 35. In 1992, the government lost the case in the court after about 20 years of legal proceedings.
About the Author
Dr. Yamamoto, Compulsory Vaccination Conference in Naples | October 21 2004