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.