1979: 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace Discusses the 1976 Swine Flu

60 Minutes aired on November 4, 1979.

The year was 1976 and the U.S. government was in the throes of a campaign to “inoculate every man, woman and child in the United States” against swine flu in an effort to avert a repeat of the flu pandemic of 1918, which killed millions.

46 million Americans obediently took the shot. 4,000 of those individuals suffered side effects, leading to claims of $3.5 billion dollars in damages against the U.S. government.

The swine flu never developed into the global pandemic that health experts predicted, and vaccinations were halted two months after they began following reports that 500 people who received the shot developed a paralyzing nerve disease. 30 of those victims later died from damages allegedly caused by the shot.

“60 Minutes” correspondent Mike Wallace produced a segment on the fallout from the swine flu vaccine in 1976.

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The Bakersfield Californian
Tuesday, November 22, 1949

Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Broach, of Tulsa, prayed for days their son Davie would catch the measles.
He did and his life was saved.
Last December 16 the 18-month-old boy was stricken with nephritis, which infects the kidneys, taking the protein from the blood. About 50 per cent of the children who contract the disease die.
Mrs. Broach wrote to a noted Boston child specialist and he told them not to try the measles cure, an experiment with nephritis at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. He said he felt David was way too young.
After David had undergone 10 blood transfusions the couple had decided to try the experiment. David was put in the same bed with a youngster who had the measles.
He finally caught the measles, lost much of his puffiness in 10 days and recovered almost magically.
“Measles are wonderful,” Mrs. Broach said.


History of Nephrotic Syndrome and Evolution of its Treatment:

“A study from Boston noted the various treatments that were attempted from 1926 to 1948 for nephrotic syndrome. Dietary modification and low salt diet were probably the most effective treatments at that time. There were some weak mercurial diuretics with little if any action. Other drastic measures, such as the induction of measles and vaccinia, were instituted.”


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