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1854: Hawaiian Kingdom Legislature Orders Mandatory Vaccines for Everybody
By Selected News Articles @ 2:08 AM :: 2043 Views :: Hawaii History, Health Care, COVID-19

Would the Hawaiian Kingdom Compel Everyone to Take the COVID-19 Vaccine? The Answer is “YES”

From Hawaiian Kingdom Blog, August 27, 2021 (excerpts)

…A question has been circulating throughout the Islands asking whether the Hawaiian Kingdom would require vaccinations for all people within its territory. The answer is “YES.” Smallpox and COVID-19 are viruses and both cause death on a massive scale. In 1853, the Hawaiian Kingdom had its first experience with the smallpox virus in the city of Honolulu. A total of 16,500 infections with 5,000 deaths.

Hawaiian historian, Samuel Kamakau, who witnessed the ravage, wrote, “From the last week in June until September the disease raged in Honolulu. The dead fell like dried kukui twigs tossed down by the wind. Day by day from morning till night horse-drawn carts went about from street to street of the town, and the dead were stacked up like a load of wood, some in coffins, but most of them just piled in, wrapped in cloth with heads and legs sticking out.”

The government reported, “No new cases of smallpox has been reported. Those already existing are doing well. The health of the city is otherwise generally good.” After two-months the epidemic passed and Honolulu was virus free. After the outbreak, the Hawaiian Legislature enacted the following statute making vaccinations compulsory:

An Act to Make Compulsory the Practice of Vaccination Throughout the Hawaiian Islands

Whereas, the late mortality caused by the Small Pox has shown the necessity of compelling a general and effective vaccination of the subjects of this Kingdom; Therefore,

Be it Enacted by the King, the Nobles and Representatives of the Hawaiian Islands, in Legislative Council assembled:…

Section 1. As soon as may be convenient after the passage of this act, the Minister of the Interior shall appoint four suitable persons as Vaccinating Officers, viz:
One for the Island of Hawaii.
” ” ” Islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.
” ” ” Island of Oahu.
” ” ” Islands of Kauai and Niihau,

who shall receive such salaries as may be provided in the annual appropriation bills.

Section 2. Each vaccinating officer shall elect, within his respective district, a number of convenient places, not less than three in each school district, for the performance of vaccination; and from time to time give public notice of the day and hour at which he will attend at such places, to vaccinate all persons not already successfully vaccinated, who may then and there appear; and also of the time at which he will attend at such place, to inspect the progress of such vaccination in the persons so vaccinated.

Section 3. The father or mother of every child born on the Hawaiian Islands, after the first day of June, 1854, shall, within six calendar months after the birth of such child, or in the event of the death, illness, or absence of the father or mother, then the guardian, nurse or person having charge of the said child, shall, within six months after the birth of said child, or at the earliest opportunity after, take the said child to the vaccinating officer of the district in which the said child is resident, for the purpose of being vaccinated.

Section 4. Upon the eight day following the day on which any child has been vaccinated, as aforesaid, the father, mother, or the person having charge or custody of the said child shall again take the said child to the vaccinating officer, by whom the operation was performed in order that he may ascertain by inspection, the result of such operation.

Section 5. Upon the ascertained successful vaccination of any child the vaccinating officer shall deliver to the father, mother, or person having charge of the said child, a certificate under his hand, that the child has been successfully vaccinated; and shall not the same in a book to be kept by such vaccinating officer for that purpose; for which services the said officer shall not be entitled to demand and receive from the father, mother or person having charge or custody of such child, any pay whatsoever….

This was a test for the newly created Smallpox Commission that was established by statute on May 16, 1853. The statute’s preamble stated, “Whereas, the Small-Pox is believed to exist in this Kingdom, and humanity and a just regard to life require that all who are affected with that disease should receive strict care and attention, and whereas it is desirable that the disease shall not extend through the Islands.” The Board of Health eventually assumed complete control in response to future smallpox outbreaks.

After the King, in Privy Council, in 1869 concluded that smallpox was endemic to the west coast of the United States and posed a direct threat to the health and well-being of Hawai‘i’s people, Mokuakulikuli—known today as Sand Island, was designated as the Quarantine Ground. The Hawaiian Gazette reported, “Altogether, about ninety persons can be comfortably accommodated at the quarantine buildings.”

Vaccinations in the nineteenth century were not full proof and another outbreak of smallpox hit Honolulu in 1881 that lasted just over five months. 282 people lost their lives.

There were hard lessons learned from the second outbreak that eventually culminated in the Board of Health’s adoption of a more comprehensive and authoritative quarantine regulations in 1891. The regulations focused on incoming passenger and merchant ships arriving from foreign ports….

read … Entire Article

Related:  Princess Regent Lili‘uokalani Urged Mass Vaccinations in 1881 to Combat Smallpox Virus 

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