By: Patricia McDonagh
13 December 2010
Over the next two months, he was given the combined jab on three separate occasions in an apparently secret trial.
Now, more than 40 years later, he is determined to know why he was given the jab in 1965 at the Bessborough mother and baby home in Co Cork.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s three separate vaccine trials were conducted on Irish children on behalf of the multinational drugs company The Wellcome Foundation, which is now known as GlaxoSmithKline.
A report drawn up by the Department of Health in 2000, by its then chief medical officer Dr James Kiely, confirmed the existence of these trials.
It found 211 children were administered vaccines — 123 of whom were resident in children’s homes in Dublin, Cork and the midlands.
But unlike these victims, Philip has never been able to find out why he was given a vaccine that was never provided to the rest of the public. And, crucially, if it was part of a larger vaccine trial involving children in Bessborough.