Tag Archives: GlaxoSmithKline

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Toys and flowers at the Little Angels memorial plot at Bessborough House in
Blackrock, Cork

Yesterday afternoon, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs published its Report of the Inter-Departmental Group on Mother and Baby Homes.

On page 17 of the report it begins to deal with the matter of the 1961, 1971 and 1975 vaccine trials carried out by Burroughs Wellcome – since taken over by GlaxoSmithKline – as seen in the following screengrab:

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However, it’s missing something.

Specifically, the final sentence in that paragraph is missing the total number of children which received the vaccines.

The sentence reads:

These vaccines were administered to a total of children in Ireland, one hundred and twenty three of whom were resident in children’s homes in various parts of Ireland.


Furthermore, the report states 123 children who received the vaccines were residents of children’s homes across Ireland.

However, the report then includes a table which summarises the findings of a report into the vaccines carried out by the then Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health, Dr Jim Kiely, in 2000 and the figures in the table don’t add up to 123.

From the report:

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According to the figures compiled in the table 180 (58 + 69 + 53) – and not 123 – of the children who received these vaccines, in 1961, 1971 and 1973, were residents in children’s homes.

In addition, the report didn’t include the 1930-1935 trials of a Burroughs Wellcome vaccine for diphtheria carried out on 2000 children in residential institutions. Nor did it mention the 1965 trial of a ‘five-in-one’ vaccine carried out on Philip Delaney at Bessborough Mother and Baby Home, Cork.

Meanwhile,  the report also found:

“The Therapeutic Substances Act, 1932 was the statute governing the importation and use of vaccines in these trials. The Chief Medical Officer was unable to locate or identify documentation which would confirm whether or not the legal requirements of this Act were complied with in respect of these three trials.”

And in relation to the matter of consent, it found:

“As the subjects of these trials were children, effective consent to their participation in the trials could only have been given by their parents or guardians. The requirement for such consent to be obtained was clearly understood by researchers and articulated in a number of documents available to the research community at the time.” 

Read the full inter-departmental report here

Previously: Medical Trials And Children Of Lesser Gods

Why So Kind GlaxoSmithKline?

Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland


RTE R1’s Morning Ireland today reported on pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline’s links with Sligo Institute of Technology and its plans to expand its Stiefel plant in Co Sligo (above).

GlaxoSmithKline, in its previous incarnation Burroughs Wellcome, was the company which carried out vaccine trials on children in care homes throughout Ireland in 1930, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1961, 1965, 1971 and 1973.

Its 2009 decision to close the Stiefel Laboratory was reversed in 2012 following the return of records relating to the trials by the Child Abuse Commission.

In 2010 the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children requested these records from Glaxo Smith Kline, which indicated that although prepared to hold the records for the foreseeable future, it would not hand them over without a court order.

The government has yet to state whether or not the proposed inquiry into mother and baby homes will include vaccine trials carried out in these homes.

Previously: Medical Trials And Children Of Lesser Gods