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Woman Confirms GSK Link With Non-Consensual Vaccine Trials In Ireland Church Homes

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Mari Steed, a 60-year old Irish woman, has confirmed that she was subjected to multiple vaccine trials at a Church-run home without the consent of her mother. Steed revealed that the vaccines were made by Burroughs Wellcome, which is now a part of GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK).

On Tuesday, Ireland's Commission of Investigation Into Mother and Baby Homes and Certain Related Matters released a long-anticipated report on various abuses that occurred in the homes. The report found some 9,000 children had died in the church-run homes, while unmarried mothers were subjected to verbal and physical abuse. The report also discussed seven vaccine trials that were carried on in the homes between 1934 and 1973.

Logically, as the findings of the report were publicized Church-run homes in Ireland were faced by public contempt, and now the outrage has all but intensified as some women have come out publicly about how they were mistreatment in the homes as children. One such woman is Mari Steed, who was born in the Bessborough mother and baby home in Cork. Steed has confirmed that she was experimentally vaccinated at least 3 times starting at 5 months old in Bessborough. And the vaccines that were administered to her were made by Burroughs Wellcome, a pharmaceutical company that later merged with GlaxoSmithKline.

Sharing her official medical records with NBC News, Steed revealed that during the 18 months that she lived at Bessborough, she was given experimental shots to prevent diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, and polio. And none of these shots were administered upon the consent of her mother. In fact, consent was never sought, and the women at Bessborough were kept in the dark about their children becoming guinea pigs for pharmaceutical giants.

Steed says that she only found out about the vaccines that were given to her via a freedom of information request that she made to GSK in 2011. The company then confirmed that she had indeed received multiple trial shots of a vaccine that was produced what was then called Burroughs Wellcome.

While Steed doesn’t particularly hold GSK or Burroughs accountable for the inhumane treatment, she does anyone still alive who was involved with the vaccine trial, including researchers, pharmaceutical employees, or the nuns who ran Bessborough to be prosecuted. As per Steed, the pharmaceutical companies claim that they had been informed about the mother’s consent. The reality, however, remains unknown.

Their overarching offense, she said, was treating residents of the homes as “less than the rest of society” — which has left many survivors, such as herself, with lasting emotional scars.

“In Ireland at that time, it was just deemed acceptable,” Steed said. “If you were an unmarried woman or the child who was the product of a nonmarital relationship, you were ‘othered,’ because that’s what the church taught people to do.”

The final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has recently concluded that 923 children who were associated with the Bessborough home in Cork died.

Source: NBC News