Over 2,000 care-home kids were secretly vaccinated against diphtheria in the 1930s in medical trials undertaken by international drugs giant Burroughs Wellcome, Irish media reveal. Among the testing sites was a recently discovered mass grave.
The medical records cited by the Irish Daily Mail show that some 2,051 children and babies across several Irish care homes may have been subjected to the practice.
Michael Dwyer, of Cork University’s School of History, found the data after foraging through tens of thousands of archive files and old medical journals. What he did not find is whether any consent was gained for these alleged illegal drug trials or any records of the effects on the infants involved.
Dwyer discovered that the tests were carried out shortly before the drugs were made readily available in the UK. The homes involved included Bessborough, County Cork, and Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, County Tipperary.