From Wiki- Vaccine History

Anti-vaccination activity increased again in the US in the late 19th century. After a visit to New York in 1879 by William Tebb, a prominent British anti-vaccinationist, the Anti-Vaccination Society of America was founded. The New England Anti-Compulsory Vaccination League was formed in 1882, and the Anti-Vaccination League of New York City in 1885.

John Pitcairn, the wealthy founder of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company (now PPG Industries) emerged as a major financier and leader of the American anti-vaccination movement. On March 5, 1907, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he delivered an address to the Committee on Public Health and Sanitation of the Pennsylvania General Assembly criticizing vaccination.[12] He later sponsored the National Anti-Vaccination Conference, which, held in Philadelphia on October, 1908, led to the creation of The Anti-Vaccination League of America. When the League was organized later that month, Pitcairn was chosen to be its first president.[13]

In November 1904, in response to years of inadequate sanitation and disease, followed by a poorly explained public health campaign led by the renowned Brazilian public health official Oswaldo Cruz, citizens and military cadets in Rio de Janeiro arose in a Revolta da Vacina or Vaccine Revolt. Riots broke out on the day a vaccination law took effect; vaccination symbolized the most feared and most tangible aspect of a public health plan that included other features such as urban renewal that many had opposed for years.[14]

In the early 19th century, the anti-vaccination movement drew members from across a wide range of society; more recently, it has been reduced to a predominantly middle-class phenomenon.[15] Arguments against vaccines in the 21st century are often similar to those of 19th-century anti-vaccinationists.[2]

In 1955, in an event known as the Cutter incident, some 120,000 doses of the Salk polio vaccine were created containing a live polio virus instead of an inactive one. The administering of this vaccine caused 40,000 cases of polio that caused 53 cases of paralyis and 5 deaths. The disease spread through the recipients families creating a polio epidemic that lead to a further 113 cases of paralytic polio and another 5 deaths. It has been called "one of the worst pharmaceutical disasters in U.S. history".[16]

20th century events include the 1982 broadcast of "DPT: Vaccine Roulette" sparking debate over the DPT vaccine,[17] and the 1998 publication of an fraudulent academic article [18] which sparked the MMR vaccine controversy.

On December 1, 1911, he was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor John K. Tener to the Pennsylvania State Vaccination Commission, and subsequently authored a detailed report strongly opposing the Commission's conclusions.[13] He continued to be a staunch opponent of vaccination until his death in 1916.

Commonly used vaccines are a cost-effective and preventive way of promoting health, compared to the treatment of acute or chronic disease. In the US during the year 2001, routine childhood immunizations against seven diseases were estimated to save over $40 billion per birth-year cohort in overall social costs including $10 billion in direct health costs, and the societal benefit-cost ratio for these vaccinations was estimated to be 16.5.[26]