I’ve changed my mind

They say it’s a woman’s prerogative. Making one decision and then, down the track, changing your mind. But everyone does it and it’s not necessarily a bad thing either.

Think about those words – changing your mind.

Brain CarvingTaken literally, they may sound a bit strange. They conjure up a scene of someone – an artist, perhaps, carving out a brain from hard wood and then, deciding at the last minute that something’s gone wrong and it might need a little bit of work here or there. A few hits with the hammer and chisel, being careful not to break it and have to start again.

That’s how my strange mind works and what I’ve visualised 🙂 But changing your mind is one of the many, many idioms that make the English language so difficult for non-native speakers to learn.

When it comes to vaccination, I started to change my mind 26 years ago.

Like many parents, I didn’t just decide blithely one day to stop vaccinating my son or my subsequent children. It wasn’t like taking my clothes out of the closet and deciding that the red top looked better with those pants than the blue one. I changed my mind because I saw that vaccines had hurt my child and, like most people who were trying to be the best parent they could, seeing that harm and having it confirmed by my doctor (who told me that he would leave out the whooping cough portion of my son’s next shot – something that isn’t even possible today!) made me start to search for more information about these shots I was giving my son.

And I didn’t change my mind that day or that month – or even that year.

Trying to be a responsible parent, I couldn’t decide until I had enough information about what I was doing.

In retrospect, I should have put off any further vaccines until I was fully informed, but the default position back in the late 1980s/early 1990s was to vaccinate so, I did.

It wasn’t until my son was hospitalised 10 days after his MMR vaccine (the most common time for certain reactions following that particular shot, as I found out later on through my research) that I decided enough was enough. And even then, I didn’t have enough information to stop vaccinating my children completely. My daughter received 3 DT (diphtheria and tetanus) and OPV (oral polio) vaccines and my next son got 3 OPVs. My youngest child is the only one who is completely unvaccinated.

By the time she came along, I had gathered together enough information and done enough research to completely ‘change my mind’ about vaccination. By then, my husband and I had both knowledge and confidence about our decision – it was a good place to be!

Many parents have stories that echo ours. Nearly everyone I know who started out totally committed to vaccinating (or just going along with it because it was the default position) but who stopped at some point, changed their mind because of either personal experience with vaccine reactions, reactions in a friend or family member or exposure to information that made them question and want to know more.

I am very proud of the fact that some of these people were able to find the information they needed because of the existence of the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), the organisation I started way back in 1994. The AVN had and has many sister organisations:

VINE (Vaccination Information Network);

VISA (Vaccines Information Serving Australia);

VAIS (Vaccination Answers Informed Sources);

IAS (Immunisation Awareness Society);

VAG (Vaccination Awareness Group);

VIS (the Vaccination Information Service);

and the group started by Kerry Hamblin in the Blue Mountains in the 1980s that pre-dated all of the others and whose name escapes me (if anyone remembers, please let me know and if I’ve left any organisations off, I apologise – let me know and I will amend this).

When I originally had my change of mind, the internet was not as easily accessible as it is today. I got my information the old fashioned way – I visited medical libraries, copied medical journal articles, took them home and sat with my highlighter pen and read them through. I went to the medical library in Princeton, New Jersey. I visited the Library of Congress for one amazing day of obsessive reading, photocopying and research. I remember being afraid that those articles would weigh so much, I wouldn’t be able to take them home with me to Australia!

Parents that Don't Vaccinate

How times have changed. What used to take me hours and a lot of money at 10 cents a page to photocopy, is now nearly instant and free.

The AVN’s library contains hundreds of books and tens of thousands of journal articles dating back to the early part of the twentieth century – and even further back when it comes to the smallpox vaccine.

I – like most parents who have changed their minds about vaccination, nutrition and medical treatments – made my decision after a lot of thought and a lot of discussions with health professionals and natural therapists about these issues. I took my responsibility seriously.

And yes, like the artist in my earlier thoughts who changed the direction of his carving in hard wood with great difficulty, it was not easy for me to change my path or for my husband to do the same. We were your classic ‘true believers’ like most of our generation.

A belief and trust in doctors was hard-wired into our consciousness through years of medical shows, government pronouncements and social conditioning. But once we were empowered through our own research to understand that we could change our minds, the veil was torn away and we were able to see this situation clearly for what it was – a mass delusion that was built on quicksand and that needed bullying and lies to shore it up and keep it from sinking away forever.

understanding-understanding

If you are like I was – a true believer in vaccine safety, effectiveness and necessity – challenge yourself to read a bit about the other side of this issue. You may never change your mind or your beliefs, but at least you will come to understand that those of us who stopped vaccinating made that choice with valid information and out of love for our children. Understanding can overcome fear and hatred and right now, there is way too much fear and hatred going around regarding the issue of vaccination.

By Meryl Dorey

Please note: Blog posts are opinion pieces which represent the views of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the nocompulsoryvaccination blog. This blog is a forum, support and information site and outlet for discussion about the relative benefits and risks of vaccinations in particular – and medical procedures in general. We do not provide medical advice but believe that everyone has the opportunity and the obligation to do their own research before making decisions for their families. The information we provide (including your personal review of the references we cite) should be taken in conjunction with a range of other data, including that obtained from government, your health care provider and/or other medical source material to assist you in developing the knowledge required to make informed health choices.

 

Is Segregation acceptable in Australia?

by Tasha David

21532137_sThe Australian just published an article stating that Dr Paul Willis from the Royal Institute of Australia (RiAus) believes that unvaccinated children should be isolated (segregated) in not only schools, but other public facilities as well. 

Yes, that is right. In 2015, Dr Willis is calling for the segregation of children!

You can be forgiven for thinking that we are actually talking about the 1950’s when segregation of children in schools and public was commonplace, even though that policy was based on the colour of one’s skin. This time however, the focus is on one’s vaccination status.

How would this be enforced? Will there be signs stating ‘No unvaccinated allowed’ or ‘Vaccinated only’? Or will our children wear a symbol of some kind to indicate whether they are indeed now untouchables?

It is absolutely inconceivable to me that any educated person would try to bring us back to a time when segregation and discrimination plagued our society. Has nothing been learned from the end of Apartheid in South Africa or the civil rights movement in the US?

What reason would any person have for calling for such draconian measures in Australia or any other developed country?

Dr Paul Willis, who is he?

Dr Paul WillisIs he an immunologist, infectious disease expert, a GP or a medically-trained expert? According to his bio on the RiAus website, he is a vertebrate palaeontologist whose specialty is in reptile fossils, rocks and dinosaurs. Yet his view about vaccination is being held up as something to take notice of.

Meanwhile, Dr Viera Scheibner, an Australian retired senior scientist and critic of vaccination who has an extensive and well-respected scientific background in a similar speciality, micropalaeontology, and has studied well over 100,000 pages of medical research data about vaccination, has been criticised for not being properly qualified to speak about vaccination. Go figure!

So what has changed?

Fast forward to 2015 and we are greeted with headlines in major newspapers like

No jab, no play: children face lockout from childcare

RiAus director Dr Paul Willis says children whose parents refuse to vaccinate them should be isolated from others

Jail ‘anti-vax’ parents: Column

You could not be blamed for thinking that they are talking about terrorists rather than healthy children and their loving parents. The fear and hatred that these media outlets are carelessly creating is having a horrific effect on parents. There is a line being drawn and families are being divided, friendships lost and politicians looking for ways to punish parents for not complying with supposedly ‘optional’ medical interventions.

Discrimination and segregation ideals that used to be abhorred in the post-apartheid era are now being called for vehemently by everyday Australian parents and scientists against other everyday Australian parents.

Why the hate and fear towards the non-vaccinated?

The Australian vaccination rates in 1995 were around 53% for fully vaccinated children under 6 and yet there were no epidemics of Whooping Cough and certainly no parents terrified of non-vaccinated children spreading deadly diseases. Nowadays the vaccination rate in Australia is around 92-93% so they are higher than they have ever been.

 

Routine childhood diseases are not worse than they were in the past, with the exception of Whooping Cough which has become more prevalent. The growth in Whooping Cough cases may actually have been caused by the pertussis vaccination itself. A recent study by the University of New South Wales has shown that the Pertussis bacteria has actually evolved, not only in Australia but simultaneously in other highly vaccinated countries, to avoid being affected by the vaccine. There are also animal studies showing the acellular pertussis vaccine actually inhibits the ability of the immune system to fight a similar bacteria, parapertussis, also inflating the number of pertussis cases. And as for vaccinating ‘for the herd’, animal studies have shown that vaccinated individuals pass on the disease to others. Even the FDA, an American health authority, has warned that vaccinated individuals pose an infection risk to infants.

In the 90’s when I was raising my eldest children, no one knew or cared whether I vaccinated them (even though I did) and I didn’t know or care if other parents at school or childcare did either. There was no media-fuelled hysteria instilling fear in us about these so called deadly diseases, we knew them as childhood diseases that we all went through and that afterwards, we would have lifetime immunity.

Fear…unsubstantiated fear…

34438386_sSo the only real difference I see between the 90’s and now is that we have a media, government and a medical machine that is whipping up fear, hysteria and persecution of innocent children and their parents.

I originally wrote a blog called Anti vaxxer: the new dirty word. In it, I said that the vilification and discrimination against unvaccinated children would lead to segregation and persecution. As the headlines here in Australia and over in the United States show, my warnings are coming to fruition.

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

― Malcolm X

This quote rings especially loud right now….

Please note: Blog posts are opinion pieces which represent the views of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the AVN National Committee. The AVN is a forum, support and information organisation and outlet for discussion about the relative benefits and risks of vaccinations in particular – and medical procedures in general. We do not provide medical advice but believe that everyone has the opportunity and the obligation to do their own research before making decisions for their families. The information we provide (including your personal review of the references we cite) should be taken in conjunction with a range of other data, including that obtained from government, your health care provider and/or other medical source material to assist you in developing the knowledge required to make informed health choices.

Federal Health Minister placed on notice-stop the corruption in medicine!

The following letter was sent by Judy Wilyman, a PhD researcher in WA, to Tanya Plibersek, the Federal Minister for Health. Ms Wilyman has placed the Minister on notice that she review the current coercive vaccination policy in Australia and start making decisions based on the best evidence available – not on the best profits for drug companies and the medical community. Please feel free to share this as widely as possible.

To the Federal Health Minister,

I am forwarding this letter of complaint that has been sent to the CHF because we would like the Health Department to acknowledge and address consumer concerns. The community has lost confidence in the ability of the Health Department to make decisions in the best interests of the public due to the lack of integrity in the science being used and the conflicts of interest in individuals on government advisory boards. There is overwhelming evidence for this and I will list this below. As a result of this corruption of the scientific process the community has lost confidence in the Government’s Childhood Immunisation Schedule as it is clearly driven by profit and not safety.

The community for whom this policy is designed, is saying no to coercive mandatory immunization policies. Choice in vaccination in Australia exists  more in theory than practice and this is not acceptable to the public. It is unethical for a Government to link considerable financial bribes to a Public Health policy involving a medical procedure which has not been proven safe or effective.

I am requesting that the Health Minister herself, replies to this letter with evidence that an immunization policy that pays doctor’s and parents to vaccinate is in the best interests of children. The government requires “the consent of the governed who have the right to full participation in the decision-making process “ before it implements public health policy (NRC- National Research Council, 1996). Therefore, until the issues below are addressed and consumers have equal representation on decision-making boards, the community is rejecting vaccination policy that is linked to financial benefits for parents.

Here is a list of the way in which the science for government policy has been corrupted. Please could you assure the community that these conflicts of interest are addressed and ensure that there are no financial or mandatory vaccination policies introduced into Australia.

Conflicts of interest that exist in the science that is used in policy-development:

  • doctors being paid to give presentations on vaccines using pharmaceutical company slides and pharmaceutical funded research and statistics
  • doctors given free international trips and paid to give presentations for drugs
  • Pharmaceutical sales representatives given large bonuses to sell a drug even after concerns were raised about the side-effects of the drugs
  • The hidden industry ties of academics in universities and similarly in government advisory boards.
  • The conflicts of interest in the media presentation of drugs and their side-effects (sponsorship of the media)
  • The conflicts of interest in Australia’s National Immunisation Conference presented by the Public Health of Australia (PHAA) and fully funded by the pharmaceutical companies
  • The hidden ties between industry and the chief-editors on peer-reviewed journals, who are selecting against articles with negative findings on drugs/vaccines.
  • Little research funding being provided for research in the public interest. In particular, the possibility that the chemicals in the 12 vaccines now recommended to infants under 12 months of age, are causing the steep increase in chronic illness in our children.
  • There has been no controlled clinical study comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated animals or children with the combined schedule of vaccines.

Until these issues are addressed the public is rejecting coercive or mandatory immunization policies that result in the discrimination of healthy individuals. I hope the Health Minister will reply to these community concerns personally.

Kind regards,

Judy Wilyman

PhD researcher