The AVN has created a timeline of events surrounding the ill-fated flu vaccination campaign, from its launch in WA on the 19th of March, 2010 up to the 18th of May, 2010. It paints a disturbing picture of government incompetence; bureaucrats whose only aim seems to be avoiding having their policies questioned; lies from those responsible for protecting the health of the community; and a group of caring parents kept in the dark about the real risks of a medical procedure that caused hundreds of hospitalisations and an unknown number of deaths.
We have merged 3 sets of data to bring you this information:
1- The timeline included in the Stokes Report, commissioned by the WA government to examine what went wrong with the flu vaccination campaign and make suggestions as to how to prevent the same happening again.
2- The Right to Information (RTI) request revealing how Ashley Epapara’s death was covered up to prevent criticism of the vaccine. The correspondence in this RTI also proves that both the Chief Health Officer (Jeannette Young) and the Minister for Health were alerted within hours of Ashley dying, despite their claims to the contrary.
3- Phone calls and emails from parents and health practitioners received by the AVN during the worst of the reactions in WA and elsewhere. Most concerning is the fact that the AVN’s information includes two reports of deaths following flu vaccine – one an infant in Perth and another a 19-year old young man near Newcastle. Neither of these has ever been reported in the media nor, to the best of our knowledge, have they been included on Australia’s national database of vaccine reactions.
The recommendations of the Stokes report have, for the most part, been ignored. What happened four years ago, can happen again. Protecting vaccination policy still appears to take precedence over alerting consumers to warning signs of an unfolding tragedy.
Our health officials are claiming there is no vaccination debate; minimising the known risks and exaggerating the unproven benefits to declare vaccines beyond question. They follow this up with an agenda of vilification against those who have the greatest stake in the issue – the parents of Australia’s children.
Timeline of WA Flu Vaccine Disaster
(Please note – all emphasis has been added by the AVN and this blog will be uploaded in 3 sections due to the large amount of information included.)
Flu vaccination campaign launches in WA with letters being sent to all families whose children are in the target age group, urging them to be vaccinated against influenza. No information is provided to alert them to the fact that this is an experimental, untested vaccine.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
A local health service in WA contacted public health to report reactions in six out of nine children who had received the flu vaccine the day before. One child was hospitalised.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
A public health nurse contacted the Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD, WA), telling them of flu vaccine reactions and one child who was hospitalised. Authorities reassured this nurse that “reactions are common” and asked her to report to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
An immunologist working at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) contacted the Telethon Institute (the organisation being paid by pharmaceutical manufacturers to conduct a trial on flu vaccination in children) with concerns that their own child was experiencing a reaction to the Fluvax vaccine.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
A senior nurse emailed CDCD to inform them of a number of calls from parents reporting vomiting and fever after receipt of flu vaccines.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Reports received from the nursing staff at PMH that children were presenting to the emergency department “unwell” after receiving the flu vaccine.
Bunbury hospital called the CDCD to report that an adult had presented to their emergency department suffering a suspected reaction to the flu vaccine.
CDCD emailed the Central Immunisation Clinic (CIC) at the WA Department of Health to confirm that they had heard of some children who were experiencing high fevers, pain and vomiting leading to hospitalisation after flu vaccinations.
Ashley Jade Epapara was found dead in her bed at 6.30 on the morning after receiving the vaccine. Her twin sister and older brother who also received the shot are ill.
Channel 10 News runs the following report at 5:00 PM:
Possible swine flu vaccination death – toddler dies in Brisbane
The Brisbane 5pm Channel 10 TV News – Friday 9th April 2010 reported Mt Gravatt police are investigating the sudden death of a 2 year old toddler .
The death occurred a day after the girl and most of her family had been immunised with the Swine Flu vaccination.
The Queensland Health Minister (Paul Lucas) said that no-one should avoid Swine Flu vaccinations.
Samantha Keegan, A/Manager (Corporate) QLD Health, sent the following email to other QLD Health Officials:
Channel 10 have rung saying they have been informed by a very reliable source a 2-year old has died following some kind of flu vaccination.
Sounds a bit suspect as they said QPS is ‘aware’ – Police media know nothing.
Kerry White, Senior Public Affairs Advisor to QLD Health sent the following email to the Commonwealth Health Media Unit as well as to various officials with QLD Health:
Gday all, just to let you know (UNOFFICIAL) a two year old had died at Mt Gravatt, a Brisbane suburb, with “no suspicious circumstances”, we have had a TV inquiry already who says police suggested the only thing different in their lives recently was swine flu vaccination. Police seem to have left this as a possibility for post mortem investigation.
That is all we have at the moment, nothing official yet. Awaiting more detail.
Please advise total number of vaccinations in Australia, adverse events, any deaths attributed? And global?
Samantha Keegan, A/Manager (Corporate) with QLD Health wrote the following email:
Had a call from Channel 10 about a story they wanted to do on a two-year-old girl who died at Mt Gravatt this morning.
The QAS was called and police attended. There were no suspicious circumstances.
However, someone involved (think it was a police officer) told the journalise the death may have been linked with a flu vaccination given to the child 24 hours before its death, and an autopsy will be performed Monday to rule it out.
I have spoken to police media who followed up with the area to make sure no further statements of the nature were made and spoke to CH 10 News Editor about the unlikeliness of a link and the possible panic such a story could cause.
He has agreed to drop the story at this stage. No other media have called.
Email from Kerry White to Neil, Media Unit, Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing
Gday Neil, a police office apparently made some comment to a Channel 10 reporter abt a possible vacc connection. Samantha has spoken to police media and got them to put a stopper on that talk, and to Channel 10 who have agreed to go no further, not run anything.
Email from Neil to Kerry White:
Thanks Kerry, and thanks Samantha for setting the coppers straight.
The irony is that I provided a one-hour briefing to reps of all State and Territory Premiers and Police media units about pandemic flu in Adelaide only last week. Part of that presentation included my thoughts on how people in authority (ie. Doctors in my case) can totally undermine health programs by making silly comments about perceived safety issues.
Email from Neil to Kerry White:
Much appreciate the heads up. Please keep me posted on this one.
I’m keen to hear if this blows up. Certainly has the potential to seriously undermine the confidence in the program and I’d like to jump on it before it does blow up (if possible).
Email from Kerry White to Dr Russ Schedlich, State Health Incident Controller, Pandemic H1N1 2009:
…In QLD it seems on the latest info I can find that we have had 199 adverse events (33 hospitalised) reported from 717,167 immunisations administered. (AVN note: 717,167 vaccines may have been distributed but there is no information on how many of those were actually administered.).
To be continued tomorrow, May 23, 2014…