Show us the evidence

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Where is the evidence that vaccines are either safe, effective, or necessary?

Evidence-based medicine has been the buzz-word of the last 10 years. It makes people feel confident about seeing their doctor and taking the treatments on offer if they are thought to be ‘evidence-based’. After all – medical drugs (and vaccines are a drug) are supposed to be ‘evidence-based’, right? They’ve been through all the standard tests, have been studied for years before being released and have stood the test of time to prove they are both safe and effective.

Only they haven’t. Estimates that pharmaceutical products have any benefit range from a low of 15% to a high of only 50% (Ioannidis JPA (2005) Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. PLoS MED 2 (8)) – a pretty sorry situation – especially when we see industry-sponsored front groups like the Friends of Science in Medicine (FOSIM) trying to destroy 5,000 year old practices like Ayurveda and Chinese Herbal Medicine because they are not ‘evidence based’.

Of course, my focus is and always has been the practice of vaccination, so how can I show that vaccines are not evidence-based?

I have often posted copies of graphs from Greg Beattie’s excellent book, Fooling Ourselves on the Fundamental Value of Vaccines showing the decline in mortality (deaths) well before the introduction of either vaccination or (in most cases) antibiotics. (and these or similar graphs can be found for just about every country that instituted mass vaccination campaigns in the early part of the 20th century)

These graphs demonstrate clearly and scientifically that there is little to no evidence that vaccinations were responsible in any way for the decline in deaths from infectious diseases experienced over the last 2 centuries.

But what about today? 

Australia instituted mass vaccination in 1953. At that time, the only vaccines being used were DPT (diphtheria, pertussis [whooping cough] and tetanus), smallpox, tuberculosis for some individuals, typhoid (mostly for indigenous populations) and a couple of years later, oral polio.

So, we would expect that the introduction of and encouragement to vaccinate all children would have seen an immediate and permanent decline in the rates of infectious diseases we vaccinated against.

But have they?

Pertussis is the most obvious example that all is not right in the state of vaccine effectiveness. We first started using the DPT (whole cell) vaccine in the 1930s, but it was not in widespread use until 1953. In 1991, the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) created a database of all laboratory-confirmed cases of infectious diseases in Australia. This database tracks ALL confirmed cases of these illnesses each year, though it does not track (or even ask) about vaccine status. Now the database itself is suspect because vaccinated people are FAR less likely to be tested for a so-called vaccine-preventable disease than their unvaccinated peers, so we know that this database would underestimate the true rate of infection. But bad data is the only data we have to we’ll go with that for the time being.

For all we know, 100% of those on the NNDSS database who are reported to have had these “vaccine preventable’ diseases were fully vaccinated against them. The fact that this basic information is not requested is an omission so blatant, it would appear to most of us to have been intentional.

But I digress.

Below is the table of reports for pertussis from 1991 (when the NNDSS started collecting data) to 2016. Of course, the 2016 figures are only preliminary and not complete. As you can see, there has been a huge increase in laboratory-confirmed cases of pertussis – an increase that would indicate there must have been a decline in vaccination. After all, if vaccination rates were steady or even increasing and the vaccines provided ANY protection whatsoever, we would expect to see a decline in incidence, not an increase.

Pertussis notifications 1991 to 2016 NNDSS

But over the time period covered by this table, Australia’s childhood vaccination rates went from a low of 68% (in 1991) to a high of 95% in 2008.

Evidence-Based medicine demands that there be at least some proof of a treatment’s or preventative’s effectiveness. Well here, we have proof positive that the whooping cough vaccine is ineffective (and evidence that it might be counter-productive since increases in vaccination rates have been met with concurrent increases in notifications).

To add insult to injury, if we look at the per capita (per head of population) rate of whooping cough, we find that in 1953, when mass vaccination began, the rate of whooping cough was approximately 100 cases per 100,000 Australians. In 2011 when we had nearly 40,000 cases of pertussis reported in Australia (and a 95% vaccination rate), that equated to a rate of over 181 cases per 100,000 head of population – nearly double what it was before the vaccine was used nationally in 1953.

Mumps (see NNDSS table below) has gone from less than 200 cases per year to over 600 in 2015. This year looks like it might be even higher. Again, there is no information about the vaccination status of these children and adults, but if the Australian situation is anything like that in the US, most of them would have been fully vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR. America has now added a third dose of MMR to the vaccination schedule, simply because the number of mumps and measles cases amongst the vaccinated is exploding.

Mumps notifications 1992 to 2016 NNDSS

One has to ask – if 2 doses aren’t working (and when this vaccine was introduced, we were assured that it would be one dose for life), why in the world would 3? Is that really the answer to a vaccine that is not effective – give more ineffective vaccines? I guess if you were a drug company profiting from every shot, it would be the best possible answer. But if we are talking about ‘evidence-based’ medicine, surely we can do better?

In addition, the mumps portion of the MMR vaccine is now the basis of a major whistleblower lawsuit in the US. Two Merck scientists have been granted whistleblower protection for their claims that the protective efficacy of the mumps vaccine has been fraudulently overstated! Merck says it protects 95% of those who receive it – these scientists say it could be less than 60% protective. If Merck loses, they could be subject to a fine totalling in the billions of dollars. Just the cost of doing business for a company like Merck, however.

Reports of influenza are a true shocker! According to the NNDSS, there were over 100,000 cases of laboratory-diagnosed influenza last year – a year in which the stated efficacy of the flu vaccine was 17%. Influenza seems to be exploding in Australia and the more the government and the medicos campaign to get people – from 6 months of age through to the elderly – vaccinated – the higher the number of reports of influenza (much like pertussis).

Influenza Notifications 1992 to 2016 NNDSS

There are many more tables that you can access at the NNDSS – click here or on any of the tables above for a searchable page where you can filter by disease so you can see for yourself how little vaccination has done to reduce reports of infectious diseases.

The last illness I would like to cover – briefly – is Hepatitis B. A birth dose of Hep B vaccine was introduced in Australia in the 1990s. As most of you would know, Hep B is a sexually transmitted disease and a disease of intravenous drug users. It is NOT a disease you can contract from casual contact and it is NOT a disease that newborns or children are prone to contracting unless their mothers are carriers (and women are routinely tested for this during pregnancy).

To target babies with this vaccine would require real evidence that they are at risk of contracting and suffering from Hep B. Evidence that is non-existent.

Hep B itself is not a disease that, in most cases, causes disability or serious health problems. In most people, the virus is cleared from the system without long-term issues. In a tiny percentage, however, the virus is not cleared and with those people, it is thought that the infection can lead to liver cancer decades later.

This is why the vaccine was introduced – to prevent liver cancer in those who are affected.

So, we would expect, when looking over the incidence of liver cancer during the period of time after the introduction of the Hep B vaccine, that we would see a huge decline in diagnoses.

Nothing could be further from the truth, however.

Since the introduction of Hep B vaccination in the 1980s, the incidence of and mortality from liver cancer has skyrocketed! (Graph from Cancer Australia)

Liver Cancer Mortality

In conclusion, there is no statistical evidence to show that vaccines have been responsible in any way for a reduction in either the reported incidence of or mortality from most infectious diseases they are meant to prevent.

At a time when all treatments must prove to be ‘evidence-based’ and when our tax dollars are having trouble keeping up with the growing demands for medical services, one has to ask why we are continuing to throw good money after bad on ever-more vaccination campaigns targeting the entire Australian population.

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.

Wakey, Wakey – You MUST take action now!

16039428_sA couple of weeks ago, I wrote to you about the fact that human rights legislation was being considered in Parliament. This legislation could potentially block our basic rights to speak about and make decisions regarding our health. (I will be providing an update on this situation tomorrow)

Many, many of you wrote letters to Parliamentarians and some have even had responses indicating that the concerns expressed would be seriously considered. People power in action!

Now, on a related matter, an Australian homeopath, Fran Sheffield, is being taken to court by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for having the temerity to upload a page on her business website, Homeopathy Plus, referencing studies which indicate that the whooping cough vaccine could be less effective than we’ve been told. To make matters even worse, this page also states that people might want to investigate the homeopathic option for disease prevention!

Make no mistake – this action by the ACCC could be seen by some as an attempt by a government department to suppress debate on the vaccination issue. It might also the first step in restricting the practice of homeopathy in Australia – especially when considering this action in combination with the current inquiry (or should that be inquisition?) into natural therapies in Australia.

So much hinges on this case!

If this case were to be lost in the Federal Court, the results could be disastrous for all of us

There is the potential for a precedent to be set whereby the federal government could use a negative decision as a bludgeoning tool to prevent the AVN, health professionals or anyone else from openly discussing information critical of current vaccination policies (or any other natural healthcare option such as chiropractic, naturopathy, herbs, etc.). The internet and the media could then be censored further and people could be left with no option but to use mainstream medical doctors and drug-based therapies even if that would not normally be their first choice.

So though it might appear on the surface that this court case is only concerned with one practitioner in one particular modality, in actuality, this is an important battlefront in the wider war we are currently fighting to protect our rights to free speech and informed choice.

It is vital, therefore, that we join with Fran and Homeopathy Plus in opposing these efforts to tell us what we can and cannot discuss. If we don’t and the case is lost, an extremely dangerous precedent will be set.

A bit of history

Early last year, Ms Sheffield was first contacted by the ACCC because she had an article on her website which discussed the failure of the whooping cough vaccine to prevent an outbreak of whooping cough that has been raging through highly-vaccinated populations worldwide. She also provided information on homeopathic treatment and prevention. The ACCC said that she needed to remove the article or face potential prosecution. At that time, Fran told the ACCC she would remove the article to fact check it but if she found it to be correct, it would go back online. Her contact at the ACCC told her they would be watching and if the same or similar ‘claims’ were reinstated, legal proceedings could commence.

The article was checked, found to be factual and returned to the website in a slightly revised version. Because of ongoing complaints about a range of articles by people seemingly intent on suppressing information about homeopathy, Fran decided to start a private members-only area on her website for any information that could be considered contentious. Those who were interested would still be able to access the information they wanted while those upset by homeopathy would no longer be troubled. This section is where the new article was placed.

In contravention to the terms and conditions of the Homeopathy Plus website which they signed and agreed to, the ACCC entered the member’s area and copied and removed the revised articles and laid charges against Fran, her husband and Homeopathy Plus.

A few things are important to note:

  • The information in the article on the Homeopathy Plus website was correct. It was referenced and it is the same information that can be found on literally hundreds if not thousands of other websites across the internet, in newspapers, scholarly journals, magazines and on television sets.
  • This information was not controversial. It is well-known within the scientific community that the whooping cough vaccine is not working well nor does it protect for long if any protection is conveyed at all. There is evidence which indicates that the current vaccine may make people more susceptible to other bacteria which cause clinically indistinguishable illnesses (b. parapertussis) and that the shot may have caused a more severe form of the disease which is more likely to kill infants and children.
  • It is a fact, based on government figures, that we are seeing higher numbers of cases today with our close to 95% vaccination compliance than we did 50 years ago with very low levels of vaccination. These facts cannot be disputed – they are just not supposed to be told to the public, apparently.
  • The ACCC is not saying that Ms Sheffield or Homeopathy Plus have hurt or defrauded anyone – nor has anyone lodged a complaint to say they have. They are saying that they disagree with what she has said on her website and based on that disagreement, she has to stop saying it. They appear to be claiming that those who make statements the government does not like are not allowed to speak. Think about the implications of this abuse of power for a little while…

In their more recent correspondence with Ms Sheffield, the ACCC stated that according to their opinion, the page on her website which discusses whooping cough:

“…contain[s] representations which convey the impression that the current vaccine is ineffective in protecting against whooping cough and that homeopathic remedies are a safe and effective alternative approach for the prevention and/or treatment, of whooping cough.

“The ACCC considers the above pages to contain potentially misleading and deceptive

statements, which potentially create a false or misleading representation that: the whooping cough vaccine is of a particular standard or quality; and that homeopathic remedies for whooping cough are of a particular standard or quality and/or have a use or benefit.

“Consequently, the ACCC intends to institute proceedings against Homeopathy Plus! Australia Pty Ltd for alleged contraventions of sections 18, 29(1 )(a), 29(1)(b) and 29(1)(g) of the Australian Consumer Law.

“The ACCC will be seeking orders for declarations, injunctions (including an interlocutory injunction), pecuniary penalties and costs.”

Rights? What Rights?

Here, just as with the AVN, we see government departments making politically-charged decisions about what a person can and cannot say about the safety or effectiveness of a drug or vaccine. In other words, because the government supports full vaccination and opposes our right to use alternatives, none of us is allowed to discuss those alternatives without being subject to legal action. But are these really the actions of a properly constituted democracy? Should people living in a free land be afraid to speak their mind about issues they feel passionate about? Does the government really think it is appropriate to censor public debate on health issues? And lastly, should the ACCC which is meant to protect consumers against fraudulent businesses really be involved with protecting the government by revoking the rights of consumers to communicate freely on such a vital issue?

Ms Sheffield is not backing down – but she can’t do this alone!

Ms Sheffield attended court in Sydney on March 1st for a directions hearing. Her seriously ill husband, who is also a respondent in this case, was unable to go due to poor health.

The email notifying of them of the charges arrived late in the afternoon on Wednesday, February 20th, leaving them only 8 days to find representation and prepare. All of the court papers which were served on her were stamped “Fast Tracked” – something which is normally only done in emergency cases such as when a person’s life or health is at risk. Ms Sheffield felt that she was being treated like one of Australia’s Most Wanted for simply stating verifiable information which can be freely found in many locations.

Fran is totally unfunded and, had a barrister not come forward at the last minute to help, she intended to represent herself because she simply couldn’t afford to pay for legal help.

Throughout this process, she has tried hard to work with the ACCC and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that she complied with the law without giving in to restrictive and anti-democratic demands from government operatives. Now however, she has now reached the point where she has been pushed as far as she can go and feels it is time to stand up for her rights and the rights of all Australians.

Will you help?

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke

The court date has been set for August 26th, 2013, but Fran must find and retain a solicitor to instruct the barrister by early this week. In addition, due to the importance of this case for anyone concerned with freedom and rights, Fran is actively seeking the assistance of a QC as part of her legal team. Conservative estimates are that she will need at least $50,000 to pay for legal and court costs – an incredible amount of money in one lump – but not so much if you split it up.

There are at least 600 homeopaths in Australia. Fran isn’t fighting for her company, Homeopathy Plus – she is fighting for the rights of all homeopaths and natural therapies as well as for those who choose to use natural therapies as part of their healthcare options. If every homeopath reading this were to deposit $50 into the fighting fund that has been started – and everyone can afford $50 – that would add up to $30,000 right there! Not a big ask – but a very big result.

There have to be at least that many people reading this who regularly use homeopathy (or other natural therapies which are likewise under threat). And remember, this matter goes well beyond what can and can’t be said by natural therapists but whether we have the right to question government information on vaccines. Can you spare $50 to help protect your right to free expression and choice?

Can every chiropractor, naturopath, osteopath, Bowen therapist, Chinese herbalist (the list goes on and on) donate $50 to this very worthwhile and important cause? Can you do it this week? Can you let your patients, friends and families know and ask them to make a donation as well – no matter how small?

You MUST act today!

Make no mistake: by citing Ms Sheffield for making statements that the government disagrees with, the ACCC appears to be openly saying that Australians are not allowed to dissent from accepted opinion.

Not only that, but if the court decrees that a government department can punish Ms Sheffield for information held in a private, member’s-only section of her website, no association, business or group will be safe. This could set a precedent that can and will affect everyone in Australia. Criticise the government (or the medical cartel or any powerful interest group) at your peril.

This situation is outrageous and not what we expect from a democracy such as Australia. It is time to say “Stop!”

Please send your support today and post this information onto your Facebook pages; Tweet about it; put it up on Pinterest or on other social media sites. Send this to any email lists you may be involved with. Help spread the word in any way you can. Whatever you do, please DO get involved as without your immediate action and assistance … the rights we value will be taken away.

Send what you can – $10, $15, $50, $100 or more to the Fran Sheffield Fighting Fund’s to stop this dangerous precedent in its tracks.

You can pay in any of the following ways:

FAX your credit card details and the amount you want to give to 02 4044 0153 (international faxes: +612 4044 0153)

Make a paypal payment to fransheffield@homeopathyplus.com.au.

Direct deposit funds into the following designated account – be sure to email Ms Sheffield at fransheffield@homeopathyplus.com.au to let her know about your payment so she can send you a receipt.

Westpac Account: Fighting Fund

BSB: 032 627

Account: 198475

The legal team representing this important issue is still being put together. If you area solicitor, barrister or Queens Counsel and are as concerned as we are about this case and would like to help, please send an email to Fran at fransheffield@homeopathyplus.com.au

Vaccination does not equal immunisation


Pinnochio womanIn part 3 of the AVN’s series critiquing the new booklet The Science of Immunisation, published by the Australian Academy of Science, Meryl Dorey takes a look at how this booklet incorrectly uses the words vaccination and immunisation as if they both meant the same thing
.

Medical ‘science’ uses the words ‘vaccination’ and ‘immunisation’ as though they described the same phenomenon and were interchangeable. They don’t and they aren’t. In science, an animal or human is immune when they are no longer susceptible to a disease. So, for instance, a child who develops measles naturally, even if exposed to the disease many times over its lifetime, will not develop symptoms again because that child is immune.

A child who receives a measles vaccine does not have the same benefit because vaccination cannot provide true lifetime protection in the same way that natural infection can. So that child can be fully vaccinated yet still get the disease. What’s worse, the vaccinated child may never be capable of developing natural immunity due to having received the vaccine and so, is prone to getting the illness over and over again – a situation which only started to occur after the development of mass vaccination against measles.

Despite the knowledge that vaccines don’t immunise and immunisation cannot be conveyed by the process of injecting vaccines into children, adults and animals, the recent booklet entitled The Science of Immunisation, issued by the Australian Academy of Science with financial backing from both the Australian Government and the Australian Medical Association, continues to peddle the myth that vaccinations and immunisations are equal.

Below is a quote from page 3 of the booklet:

What is immunisation?

The purpose of immunisation is to prevent people from acquiring infectious diseases and to protect them against the associated short- and longer-term complications. Immunisation describes the process whereby people are protected against an infection; vaccine refers to the material used for immunisation, while vaccination refers to the act of giving a vaccine to a person. Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s defence mechanisms (immune system) against an infection, helping the immune system detect and destroy the infection when it is encountered in the future without development of significant symptoms or complications.

Page 3, The Science of Immunisation

When those who present themselves as scientists repeatedly say something that is verifiably untrue – and has been known to be verifiably untrue not just for one or two years but for many decades, it is reasonable to question everything they say.

False in one thing…

There is a saying in the law, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus (false in one thing, false in everything). In other words, once someone is shown to have made intentionally false statements about one thing, everything else they say is considered to be suspect until proven otherwise.

The words ‘immunisation’ and ‘vaccination’ are quite different and cannot and should not be used interchangeably. The fact that they are used that way in this booklet which is supposed to inform parents about how vaccines work, is quite sinister and I believe is meant to intentionally mislead and deceive Australians about the ability of vaccines to prevent diseases.

In fact, it is known that antibodies are not necessary in order to become immune (perhaps resistant might be a better term) to a disease and in fact, the presence of antibodies only means that you have been exposed to a virus or bacteria – not that you have developed immunity or resistance to it. [1],[2],[3][4]

The role of antibodies – peripheral to protection

The various layers of the human and animal defence systems are not well-understood, but there is knowledge that we have garnered over the last few hundred years about how and why diseases occur in some people whilst avoiding others. Apparently, antibodies have little or no role to play when determining whether or not a person will develop an illness. It is interesting to note that the language in this booklet admits as much.

Rather than saying that vaccines will prevent a person from getting a disease they have been vaccinated against, it simply states that vaccination will “… destroy the infection … without development of significant symptoms or complications.”

This is quite different from what most parents are told by their doctors, the majority of whom also use the words ‘immunisation’ and ‘vaccination’ interchangeably.

Parents in Australia and around the world are told that if they get their child vaccinated against a certain disease – whooping cough for example – their child will be protected against the illness.

How differently might parents look at this issue if they were told that the vaccine isn’t actually intended to prevent infection with whooping cough but simply to “… destroy the infection … without development of significant symptoms or complications …”? In other words, vaccinated people can and do still get whooping cough but supposedly, their symptoms will be less than the symptoms in an unvaccinated person.

What does this admission do to the medical community’s long-held belief in ‘herd immunity’? If vaccination is not actually meant to prevent infection but simply to reduce morbidity (the severity of symptoms), then herd immunity is as much a myth as antibody-induced immunity – the only sort that vaccination is meant to produce in the person or animal vaccinated!

I think most parents would be less likely to subject their children to the risk of vaccines – especially once they knew that there are no clinical studies showing that those who are vaccinated are less likely to develop “significant symptoms or complications”. In fact, due to the alternations in immune function which often follow administration of vaccines, (immune-suppression, autoimmunity, etc.) one could argue that those who are vaccinated may be more likely to have severe symptoms than those who are unvaccinated.

The one study that will set parents’ minds at ease…

Without studies comparing the overall health of the fully vaccinated with the fully unvaccinated – studies which the Australian Vaccination Network has been urging the government to undertake for many years and which they consistently refuse to conduct – we will never know the truth.

So when this booklet claims that vaccines will reduce a vaccinated person’s risk of developing “significant symptoms or complications” from the disease despite a lack of robust scientific data backing up those assertions, it is being both deceptive and misleading. Those who published it must be challenged to show us the science.


[1] Antibodies Are Not Required for Immunity Against Some Viruses; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301143426.htm
A new study turns the well established theory that antibodies are required for antiviral immunity upside down and reveals that an unexpected partnership between the specific and non-specific divisions of the immune system is critical for fighting some types of viral infections. The research, published online on March 1st in the journal Immunity by Cell Press, may lead to a new understanding of the best way to help protect those exposed to potentially lethal viruses, such as the rabies virus.

[2] Correlates of Vaccine-Induced Immunity; http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/3/401.full

The immune system is redundant, and B and T cells collaborate. However, almost all current vaccines work through induction of antibodies in serum or on mucosa that block infection or interfere with microbial invasion of the bloodstream. To protect, antibodies must be functional in the sense of neutralization or opsonophagocytosis. Correlates of protection after vaccination are sometimes absolute quantities but often are relative, such that most infections are prevented at a particular level of response but some will occur above that level because of a large challenge dose or deficient host factors. There may be >1 correlate of protection for a disease, which we term “cocorrelates.” Either effector or central memory may correlate with protection. Cell-mediated immunity also may operate as a correlate or cocorrelate of protection against disease, rather than against infection. In situations where the true correlate of protection is unknown or difficult to measure, surrogate tests (usually antibody measurements) must suffice as predictors of protection by vaccines. Examples of each circumstance are given.

[3] Vaccine Immunology; http://www.who.int/immunization/documents/Elsevier_Vaccine_immunology.pdf

To generate vaccine-mediated protection is a complex challenge. Currently available vaccines have largely been developed empirically, with little or no understanding on how they activate the immune system. Their early protective efficacy is primarily conferred by the induction of antigen-specific antibodies (Box 2–1). However, there is more to antibody-mediated protection than the peak of vaccine-induced antibody titers. The quality of such antibody responses, e.g., their avidity, has been identified as a determining factor of efficacy. In addition, long-term protection requires the persistence of vaccine antibodies and/or the generation of immune memory cells capable of rapid and effective reactivation upon subsequent microbial exposure. The determinants of immune memory induction, as well as the relative contribution of persisting antibodies and of immune memory to protection against specific diseases, are thus essential parameters of long-term vaccine efficacy. The predominant role of B cells in the efficacy of current vaccines should not shadow the importance of T cell responses: T cells are essential to the induction of high-affinity antibodies and immune memory, and novel vaccine targets have been identified against which T cells are likely to be the prime effectors. New methods have emerged allowing us to assess a growing number of vaccine-associated immune parameters, including in humans. This development raises new questions relative to the optimal markers to assess and their correlation with vaccine-induced protection. The identification of immune correlates— or at least surrogates—of vaccine efficacy is a major asset for the development of new vaccines or the optimization of immunization strategies using available vaccines. Thus, their determination generates a considerable amount of interest at all levels, from the immunologist working at the bench to the physician wishing to optimize a vaccine schedule for a specific patient. The tailoring of vaccine strategies for specific vulnerable populations, being the very young, the elderly or the immunosuppressed, is also largely relying on a better understanding of what supports or limits vaccine efficacy under special circumstances. Last, the exponential development of new vaccines raises many questions that are not limited to the targeted diseases and the potential impacts of their prevention, but address the specific and non-specific impacts of such vaccines on the immune system, and thus on health in general. These immune-related concerns have largely spread into the population and questions related to the immunological safety of vaccines, i.e., to their capacity of triggering non-antigen specific responses possibly leading to conditions such as allergy, autoimmunity or even premature death are being raised. The objective of this chapter is to extract from the complex and rapidly evolving fi eld of immunology the main concepts that are useful to better address these important questions.

[4] The kind of research which led to this a broader perspective on the body’s immunological mechanisms included a mid-century British investigation on the relationship of the incidence of diphtheria to the presence of antibodies. The study concluded that there was no observable correlation between the antibody count and the incidence of the disease.” “The researchers found people who were highly resistant with extremely low antibody count, and people who developed the disease who had high antibody counts.35 (According to Don de Savingy of IDRC, the significance of the role of multiple immunological factors and mechanisms has gained wide recognition in scientific thinking. [For example, it is now generally held that vaccines operate by stimulating non-humeral mechanisms, with antibody serving only as an indicator that a vaccine was given, or that a person was exposed to a particular infectious agent.])”

http://alternative-doctor.com/vaccination/obomsawin.html – Obomsawin’s reference:

35 James, W., Immunization–The Reality Behind The Myth, Bergin & Garvey Publishers Inc., S. Hadley, Massachussetts, 1988, p. 64, refers to original source reference: Report No. 272, British Medical Council, London, England, May, 1950

[1] Antibodies Are Not Required for Immunity Against Some Viruses; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120301143426.htm
A new study turns the well established theory that antibodies are required for antiviral immunity upside down and reveals that an unexpected partnership between the specific and non-specific divisions of the immune system is critical for fighting some types of viral infections. The research, published online on March 1st in the journal Immunity by Cell Press, may lead to a new understanding of the best way to help protect those exposed to potentially lethal viruses, such as the rabies virus.

[1] Correlates of Vaccine-Induced Immunity; http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/3/401.full

The immune system is redundant, and B and T cells collaborate. However, almost all current vaccines work through induction of antibodies in serum or on mucosa that block infection or interfere with microbial invasion of the bloodstream. To protect, antibodies must be functional in the sense of neutralization or opsonophagocytosis. Correlates of protection after vaccination are sometimes absolute quantities but often are relative, such that most infections are prevented at a particular level of response but some will occur above that level because of a large challenge dose or deficient host factors. There may be >1 correlate of protection for a disease, which we term “cocorrelates.” Either effector or central memory may correlate with protection. Cell-mediated immunity also may operate as a correlate or cocorrelate of protection against disease, rather than against infection. In situations where the true correlate of protection is unknown or difficult to measure, surrogate tests (usually antibody measurements) must suffice as predictors of protection by vaccines. Examples of each circumstance are given.

[1] Vaccine Immunology; http://www.who.int/immunization/documents/Elsevier_Vaccine_immunology.pdf

To generate vaccine-mediated protection is a complex challenge. Currently available vaccines have largely been developed empirically, with little or no understanding on how they activate the immune system. Their early protective efficacy is primarily conferred by the induction of antigen-specific antibodies (Box 2–1). However, there is more to antibody-mediated protection than the peak of vaccine-induced antibody titers. The quality of such antibody responses, e.g., their avidity, has been identified as a determining factor of efficacy. In addition, long-term protection requires the persistence of vaccine antibodies and/or the generation of immune memory cells capable of rapid and effective reactivation upon subsequent microbial exposure. The determinants of immune memory induction, as well as the relative contribution of persisting antibodies and of immune memory to protection against specific diseases, are thus essential parameters of long-term vaccine efficacy. The predominant role of B cells in the efficacy of current vaccines should not shadow the importance of T cell responses: T cells are essential to the induction of high-affinity antibodies and immune memory, and novel vaccine targets have been identified against which T cells are likely to be the prime effectors. New methods have emerged allowing us to assess a growing number of vaccine-associated immune parameters, including in humans. This development raises new questions relative to the optimal markers to assess and their correlation with vaccine-induced protection. The identification of immune correlates— or at least surrogates—of vaccine efficacy is a major asset for the development of new vaccines or the optimization of immunization strategies using available vaccines. Thus, their determination generates a considerable amount of interest at all levels, from the immunologist working at the bench to the physician wishing to optimize a vaccine schedule for a specific patient. The tailoring of vaccine strategies for specific vulnerable populations, being the very young, the elderly or the immunosuppressed, is also largely relying on a better understanding of what supports or limits vaccine efficacy under special circumstances. Last, the exponential development of new vaccines raises many questions that are not limited to the targeted diseases and the potential impacts of their prevention, but address the specific and non-specific impacts of such vaccines on the immune system, and thus on health in general. These immune-related concerns have largely spread into the population and questions related to the immunological safety of vaccines, i.e., to their capacity of triggering non-antigen specific responses possibly leading to conditions such as allergy, autoimmunity or even premature death are being raised. The objective of this chapter is to extract from the complex and rapidly evolving fi eld of immunology the main concepts that are useful to better address these important questions.

[1] The kind of research which led to this a broader perspective on the body’s immunological mechanisms included a mid-century British investigation on the relationship of the incidence of diphtheria to the presence of antibodies. The study concluded that there was no observable correlation between the antibody count and the incidence of the disease.” “The researchers found people who were highly resistant with extremely low antibody count, and people who developed the disease who had high antibody counts.35 (According to Don de Savingy of IDRC, the significance of the role of multiple immunological factors and mechanisms has gained wide recognition in scientific thinking. [For example, it is now generally held that vaccines operate by stimulating non-humeral mechanisms, with antibody serving only as an indicator that a vaccine was given, or that a person was exposed to a particular infectious agent.])”

http://alternative-doctor.com/vaccination/obomsawin.html – Obomsawin’s reference:

35 James, W., Immunization–The Reality Behind The Myth, Bergin & Garvey Publishers Inc., S. Hadley, Massachussetts, 1988, p. 64, refers to original source reference: Report No. 272, British Medical Council, London, England, May, 1950

No thought allowed – We’re the health department!

Every once in a while, I get a call from someone who makes me realise that when it comes to critical thinking, many within the mainstream medical community are missing whatever area of the brain that particular ability resides in.

I just got off the phone with a parent who has 4 children – 2 of whom are close to 30 and the other 2 are 10 years old and in their late teens.

She got a call from the mother of her 10 year old’s best friend who has been home sick for over a week now. Turns out that this child has just had whooping cough confirmed by their doctor. This is the third child in that class to be diagnosed with whooping cough and guess what? All three of them are fully vaccinated. What a surprise – NOT!

The reason for the phone call was because the health department had just called the mother of this 10-year-old with whooping cough to let her know that the doctor had informed them of the diagnosis. When the she said, but my child is vaccinated, why did she get the disease? The response was – this is a new strain of whooping cough that is being spread by the unvaccinated to the vaccinated! Think about that for a minute…go ahead, take your time. Does it make any sense to you? If you said no, then you and I are on the same page. If you said yes…as Pauline Hansen would have said – Please explain!

The reason the mother of the child with whooping cough called the mother of the healthy unvaccinated child was to berate her for allowing her child to spread whooping cough in the class. That was obviously the intention of the health department in spreading that fairy story about the supposedly protected being infected by the healthy unvaccinated. Let’s face it – if you’d been pushing a preventative for over 60 years that so obviously fails to protect, you’d want to blame someone else too, right? But wait, it gets better!

The unvaccinated child had a blood test last week and even though they have never had any symptoms of whooping cough nor were they ever vaccinated against this or anything else, the tests came back positive for antibodies but negative for current infection. So just being exposed to the disease in the normal way allowed this child to develop something the fully vaccinated kids seem to have missed out on – immunity to whooping cough.

Kinda makes you think, eh?

This blog is not intended to be considered medical or legal advice. It does not necessarily represent the opinions of either Meryl Dorey or the Australian Vaccination Network, Inc. (AVN). This information is simply provided in order to encourage you to research and openly discuss the issues surrounding vaccination and health. The decisions you make after reading this information are yours and yours alone and both Meryl Dorey and the AVN always encourage everyone to access a range of information and advice prior to making any decisions regarding their health or the health of their families. We support informed choice on all issues and will work hard to ensure that these rights are never abridged or denied.

“Anti-vaccine movement causes the worst whooping cough epidemic in 70 years”- Oh Really??? | International Medical Council on Vaccination

Despite more than 50 years of mass-vaccination and current record-high levels of vaccine compliance, there is a world-wide epidemic of whooping cough – and it is affecting the fully vaccinated and even the RECENTLY vaccinated. The vaccine isn’t working and it never did. But to admit that would be to bring into question the effectiveness of all vaccine programs – something which governments and medical communities want to avoid like the plague (no pun intended). So instead of placing the blame for this outbreak right where it belongs – with a useless vaccine – the tiny percentage of unvaccinated are being named as the cause.

Suspend all logical thinking, yee who enter here!

“Anti-vaccine movement causes the worst whooping cough epidemic in 70 years”- Oh Really??? | International Medical Council on Vaccination.

Treating Infants With Whooping Cough. ~ Suzanne Humphries, MD | International Medical Council on Vaccination

With our current high level of whooping cough infection despite (or because of) record high levels of vaccination, it is important to know that there ARE ways to treat and help infants if they contract the illness during those vulnerable first few months. Dr Suzanne Humphries discusses one way. Of course, there are many other options from homeopathy, naturopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, etc. It is good to be aware of your options in case you or someone close to you finds themselves in this situation.

Treating Infants With Whooping Cough. ~ Suzanne Humphries, MD | International Medical Council on Vaccination.

Bullies only win when we let them…

We teach our children when they are very young to stand up to bullies; that if they stand up to them, most bullies will back down because they are cowards and prefer easy targets.  We also teach our children that we must always help someone that is being bullied and not just turn the other way.  Just recently, I have come to find out that some bullies never grow up and the internet is the perfect place to bully someone without needing the courage to even face your victims.

I wrote an article called “Anti Vaxxer” the new dirty word?” anonymously because I was worried about the backlash that I, and especially my family, may get from these internet bullies, and they did not disappoint…

“There is a reason you are all ridiculed and condemned – you threaten the lives of the community around you. Your ignorant, uneducated decision to eschew vaccines in favour of insanely stupid alternative therapies only deserves contempt.”

“If you refuse a whooping cough vaccine to an infant, and they then catch pertussis, there is a chance that they can die. Child killer indeed.”

” this is sheer nonsense, and only aids in adding to the froth that boils from the mouths of the anti vaccine crowd”

“Anti vaxers seem to get delight from the deaths of infants from VPDs”

“You are all to blame for this, not the government, not the media and certainly not those that oppose your very existence.”

“…you are a group of misinformed, tin foil hat wearing, slobbering  conspiracy theorists.”

“You are a bunch of fringe dwelling conspiracy theorists that have no social conscience”

There is more but it is not really worth repeating any more of this individual’s ranting of hatred and hostility. I think it is plainly obvious that his ranting only helped prove my point.

But what I now feel compelled to do is what I have taught my children to do: step up and face my bullies.

My name is Tasha David and I am the widowed mother of 8 children, 6 of whom were vaccinated and as a result, have neurodevelopmental and autoimmune disorders.  They have suffered from eczema, asthma, psoriasis, chronic ear infections, gastrointestinal disorders (ie chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation and urinary tract infections), food allergies and intolerances, and chemical sensitivities while my 2 youngest unvaccinated children have NONE of their sibling’s disorders.

My two youngest children are the picture of health. None of them have had antibiotics, and only one of them has needed to go to the doctor and that was just to check out the wax build up in his ears.  Watching them thrive is bittersweet. I look at the joy, excitement and wonder that they have for the world and think this is what my other children would have experienced if I had let them grow and develop naturally.

I am also one of the many members who make up the Australian Vaccination Network who have vaccine injured children and who the bullies out there want to silence.  They feel that we have no right to voice our concerns; that our personal experiences are meaningless, and that we shouldn’t even exist!

Who are they to say who has the right to be heard, let alone exist?

Why do they believe that only the information that they deem pertinent should be allowed in the public arena?

Do they not feel that people are capable of making up their own mind about what is right for their own families?

Just as two people can look at the same picture but have two different interpretations, it does not mean that one is wrong and one is right, it is just that they see things differently.

What may be right for your child may not be right for mine, so it is my job as a parent to make that choice for my child, I do not know your child so I have no right to even try to tell you what to do with yours. We all want healthy children, it’s just that we see different ways of achieving this.

What is so hard to understand about this?

I believe with all my heart that people should have the right to choose to vaccinate or not vaccinate, but the choice should always be theirs to make. When you fight to silence another person’s point of view because it contradicts your own then it shows that you do not have faith in your own convictions.

I write this today not for the bullies, but for the parents like me, who are feeling downtrodden, disheartened and persecuted. We cannot let the bullies win.  If we stop asking questions, sharing our personal experiences and supporting each other for fear of ridicule then they have already won.

We must stand up and support each other and ignore the insults and slights from those who would have us cower in fear, do as we have taught our children to do, stand up to the bullies together and take our power back.

We are not fighting for people to stop vaccinating, we are fighting for people’s right to hear all the information available and make their own choices.

I take heart from this quote from Mahatma Gandhi…

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won.  There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall.  Think of it—always.”

Horrible atrocities have occurred in our history when people are allowed to oppress others, and we lose our humanity when we allow this to happen.

This should be no person’s goal for another.

Tasha David

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Why is Australia in the midst of a whooping cough epidemic

Following is the transcript of an interview on Gary Hardgrave’s Drive programme on 4BC (Brisbane), yesterday afternoon, the 18th of January. This is in regards to the current record levels of whooping cough in Australia (and worldwide) and the vilification by the government and medical community who blame the unvaccinated for the outbreak whilst ignoring the evidence that the vaccine is not working and may itself, be the source of the epidemic.

GH: Doctors are fearing a rise in whooping cough, yet we’ve been immunising people for ages. Just what is going on here? I thought immunising against whooping cough was supposed to prevent it and there’s been a mini epidemic in far north Queensland. I don’t know much more details than that. I’m wondering if it’s within indigenous communities or possibly within newly arrived migrants. I don’t know, but others are saying no, it’s a pretty broad cross section of our community that have been called out of that. We’ll talk about that in some detail in a moment.

We return with this apparent mini epidemic of whooping cough. I had a touch of whooping cough when I was a young tacker and I as far as I know was immunised. It is not a nice thing. Australia’s gone from having only 332 cases of whooping cough per year in 1991 to having something like 38,000 cases in 2011. That’s the claim. 10,000% increase. I thought we were immunising people against this.

The Australian Vaccination Network’s Meryl Dorey joins us, Meryl I know you’re not a big fan of vaccination, but something’s wrong here.

MD: Well something is definitely wrong here. It’s not that I’m a fan or not a fan of vaccinations, but I am a fan of using scientific information to say that what we’re doing works and it’s not a mini epidemic that’s happening for whooping cough. We’re actually starting the fifth year of a record-breaking number of cases of whooping cough. When the vaccine was introduced in 1953 we had about 180 cases of whooping cough per 100,000 population in Australia and right now, with our vaccination rate going from 0 to 95%, we have 180 cases per 100,000 head of population. So we’ve actually seen no improvement in the incidence of whooping cough and what’s occurring in Australia is what is occurring around the world. Any place that the vaccine is being used we’re seeing this huge increase, an absolutely enormous increase in incidence, 10,000% in the last 20 years in Australia and the vaccine may very well be responsible for it. What the medical community is saying is that in the same way that antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria, well over use of the whooping cough vaccine has actually caused a mutation in the bacteria that causes whooping cough and it’s no longer in the vaccine.

GH: Yeah so what you’re saying really is we need a bit more science to check out what we’re actually vaccinating against?

MD: Absolutely. And right now the medical community and the government are using this outbreak of whooping cough to try and get people to vaccinate more but we are vaccinating more than we’ve ever vaccinated before and it’s not having any effect. Like you said – you thought, I thought, everyone thought – that when they vaccinated against whooping cough, it meant that they were protected. But now, even the medical community is saying, “No, you’re not protected. It may just mean that you get the disease milder.” and I have to tell you that from my research, there isn’t any evidence that that’s the case either. We are getting more cases of whooping cough than we’ve had in decades and it’s despite a 24% increase in the vaccination rate against whooping cough in Australia in the last 20 years.

GH: But I was vaccinated when I was a kid because I’ve been born 1953, I was born on January 5th in 1953 if anyone wants to write that down for my 60th birthday, my point being that I had a mild form of whooping cough when I was a kid, it terrified my parents, it was an aweful time they reckon.

MD: Well that’s it. And from the statistics we’ve gotten from the government, it appears that something close to 80% of all cases of whooping cough are occurring in fully vaccinated people so you know, we have a situation where we’re getting a huge incidence of disease and we’re being told that the only answer is to get more vaccinations, more vaccinations, but we already have so many people vaccinated and the disease is not declining – it’s actually increasing. And what the AVN says is that we have about a 95% vaccination rate against whooping cough right now. If the government wants to increase that even higher, and that’s a pretty high vaccination rate, a lot of parents that we speak with are very concerned about whether or not giving their children vaccines is going to keep them healthy. And we have been asking, organisations like the AVN around the world have been asking for decades now, for the governments to do the one study that will actually make parents feel more comfortable about giving their children these vaccines and that is a study comparing the overall health of children who are fully vaccinated with children who are completely unvaccinated but that’s never been done.

GH: All right, SOMETHING is out there, I appreciate your time.

MD: Thank you.

GH: We’ll talk to you again.

M: Thanks a lot.

GH: Meryl Dorey, President of the Australian Vaccination Network. They say parents have the right to choose. And I am a great believer in vaccination but I get the point that she’s making that I’m very, very interested in because whether or not we’re vaccinating against exactly the same thing, or the right thing, that we should be vaccinating against.

Doctor Richard Kidd, President of the Australian Medical Association joins us. Vaccinations do make sense but are we getting the vaccination right?

RK: Hi Gary. Yes, I think we are using the right vaccines. The tricky thing here is that people like you and me who got vaccinated as young children, the vaccines that we used then are different to the ones now.

R: So they keep updating the vaccine, that’s what you’re saying?

K: they do, and improving them. And whooping cough is still not one of the ones where we’ve got a vaccine that gives life-long protection. If you’re vaccinated against, Hepatitis B for example, we now have pretty good evidence that you can, if it’s demonstrated that you become immune through a blood test, that immunity will probably last you the rest of your life. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with whooping cough so people like you and me who got vaccinated as children are losing that immunity now so we need to be revaccinated, especially if we’re going to be in contact with babies. The problem with whooping cough is that children under the age of 6 months who contract whooping cough, one in about 200 die from pneumonia or brain damage and the reason that we have a series of vaccinations given through the time that someone’s a baby and then to early childhood is that we know that while the immune system is immune, a single vaccine isn’t going to be enough to generate proper immunity. Well that’s why these poor kids go through the vaccinations at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and in the case of whooping cough they have them a number of times. So practically no baby will have protective immunity at the age of 6 months or younger against whooping cough so the reason society has to pull together to try to minimise the chance of exposing new born babies to whooping cough.

GH: So, I mean the point made by the Australian Vaccination Network, and I know the Queensland government has feared, that we shouldn’t be taking their side of it, we should be taking other things but we want to have a debate here though. The point they’re making is, I think possibly very timely in that you were sort of making the same point from a different starting position and that is that the vaccine we thought that would work for us may need to be updated. We in fact need, as grown-ups now, to reconsider whether or not we’re properly vaccinated against whooping cough.

RK: That’s right, a number of the, well just about all the vaccines that we have as children, we know now did protect us to some degree and no vaccine will guarantee that someone won’t get a disease but if you’ve been vaccinated and your immune system has actually worked then if you get exposed to it, like for example chicken pox. There’s a lot of evidence that a kid who’s had a chicken pox vaccine, but then might actually catch chicken pox later on and most of them don’t, but the ones who do will only get a few blisters rather than getting covered from head to foot and maybe getting a chicken pox pneumonia or something else so as with your experience, the whooping cough vaccine probably worked for you in that you only got a mild disease.

GH: Well, it was pretty awful though. I do remember it, having the lamps burning in the middle of the night, all sorts of stuff; it was all old technology I suppose.

RK: Yeah, at least you’re alive.

GH: Well all true! And it’s a god awful thing because the kids literally shake their brain loose from coughing and so forth.

RK: Yeah, you know 1 in 200 will die under the age of 6 months.

GH: Okay, so what should we be doing? As grown-ups, and you say those of us who might be seeing babies, we should perhaps be talking to our doctor and saying I want to update my vaccine? Is that what we should be doing?

RK; Absolutely, and the government is supporting young adults, well adults who are expecting to have a baby so people who are expecting to have a baby, mum and dad can go along and get that vaccine for free. The rest of us have to cough up and pay for the vaccine so you know, the grandparents, the uncles, the aunts, the friends who know that they’re going to go and visit someone who’s had a baby, all of us should be getting our whooping cough vaccines.

GH: All right well my family if you’re listening to that because we’ve got one due in the next couple of weeks so I think we’ll be going getting a jab by the sounds of it. Good to talk to you, thanks for your time.

RK: you too

GH: Doctor Richard Kidd, I mean this is some pretty big numbers here, 745 confirmed cases the number of whooping cough cases in far north Queensland, a 400% increase in 2011, I mean this is serious. What you thought you were vaccinated for you may not be now. I think that’s the point, the common point, from both of those contributors.

Does the doctor really know best?

Please note: I have been informed that the name of this show was actually Father Knows Best – not Doctor Knows Best – my apologies for the error.

When I was growing up in the 1960s, I remember a show on television called Doctor Knows Best. Starring a slightly greying but still very handsome Robert Young, it portrayed the life of a doctor who seemed able to cure just about any ill he was confronted with and be kind, caring and generous at the same time. You could not possible show this person a disease he hadn’t already seen or read about and he always knew exactly what to do. Life was so much simpler back then! And doctor shows were and still are good watching. Marcus Welby, MD; Dr Kildare (my first movie star crush!) and when I moved to Australia, I became hooked on the ABC programme, GP.

Good viewing, good entertainment, but not really true to life. Because doctors are not the superhuman individuals they have been portrayed as on television. They aren’t even the jokers that we’ve seen on such shows as Scrubs. They are people – just like you and me. Able to make mistakes, get angry, do things out of spite and just plain be bastards – just like you and me. They are also able to be incredibly intelligent, kind, compassionate and resourceful – just like you and me.

The problem is that they are held up as the paragons of humanity – as people who are so intelligent and knowledgable, mere humans can’t and should not question anything they say. The Pope is considered to be God’s messenger on Earth. Doctors, on the other hand, are considered to be Gods.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I’m about to crash a golden idol that was set on his pedestal by none other than Tracey Spicer from Sydney radio station, 2UE. Tracey has tried several times to get her head around the whole vaccination issue and has failed miserably. She has not allowed a debate to take place on her show but has discussed it several times and even once started to interview me. After about 30 seconds, she hung up the phone and then went off onto a rampage about how dangerous I am and how everything I say is wrong. Not good journalism. Not even good radio.

But I digress.

Below is the transcript of a programme Tracey Spicer presented a few days ago along with her co-host Prue (I’m not sure what her last name is). Please read through it – my comments are interspersed amongst the transcript of the talk. (I apologise if I am not attributing the right statements to the right presenter – I had trouble distinguishing between Tracey and Prue at times)

 

Tracey: Well you would know one of my hobby horses is this dreadful organisation, the so called Australian Vaccination Network which is actually an anti-vaccination network. They keep propagating this myth that the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine brings on autism. It’s a link that has been roundly and convincingly discredited. The British Medical Council found Doctor Andrew Wakefield guilty of dishonesty and fraud and yet Meryl Dorey, this head of this Australian Vaccination Network, keeps getting publicity. As I mentioned before, her latest appearance will be at the famous Woodford Folk Festival next week in an area where there’s an epidemic of whooping cough because people will not vaccinate their children. And her appearance is being funded by both the local council and the state government.
What Tracey obviously doesn’t realise is that Australia’s rate of whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination is at an all time high of over 95%. She is also unaware that this epidemic of pertussis is occurring around the world – wherever mass vaccination against whooping cough exists. The reasons being given for the outbreak are lack of effectiveness of the vaccine (which lasts – at most – for 3 years) and mutations in the pertussis bacteria – possibly induced by the vaccination – leading to a far more virulent strain. In other words – vaccination levels have nothing to do with the outbreak but lack of effective vaccines may.
Prue: Totally illogical, isn’t it? Now, i know a lot of listeners will want to join the argument on this because some people have religious and cultural issues to contend with, but the fact remains we’re now seeing more and more measles even polio I heard about and of course people who are coming from other countries, some of these countries that are not used to vaccinations are bringing in some diseases that we thought Australia wasn’t going to ever face before. So I know that’s slightly separate, you know I absolutely support the idea of vaccinating your children but maybe we need to extend it as well to those newcomers to the country.
Onya Prue! It’s those dirty furreners who are bringing in diseases from their dirty, stinking furren countries. Let’s keep them out! Australia for Australians, right?
Of course, there has only been one case of polio in Australia between 1991 and 2011 and that was a case in someone who was fully vaccinated against polio – but never let the truth get in the way of a good story. And most developing countries vaccinate against polio at least as much as Australia does – maybe even more. For instance, in India, they seem to give the polio vaccine every time a child opens his or her mouth to yawn or take food. Despite that, they still have paralytic disease. And if those in foreign countries can infect us just by coming here and breathing on us even though we are vaccinated – do we blame the foreigners or do we start to ask why those vaccines aren’t protecting us? Hmmmmmm. I wonder…
Tracey: Well the thing is the government is trying programs to get people to vaccinate their children, they’ve just announced a carrot and stick approach, families refusing vaccinations might lose thousands of dollars in benefits for each child and children must be immunised for parents to get the part A end of year supplement of the family tax benefit. But the problem is, even under this regime, parents can turn around and say they are conscientious objectors and therefore they don’t have to be bound by this, it’s just absolute rubbish. Joining us now is the Queensland president of the AMA, Doctor Richard Kid. Richard, what are your thoughts on all this?
Right. So even though it’s legal in Australia to choose not to vaccinate and even though there is no evidence that the healthy unvaccinated are able to infect the fully vaccinated (think about this for a minute – go ahead – I’ll give you time), Tracey and Prue are pissed off because there is a loophole for parents who have done their research and decided that for their own families, the risks of vaccination outweigh any potential benefits. That doesn’t sound too logical to me, to be honest.
Richard: Hi, I think you put it better than I can. Vaccination is a really excellent way to protect children, and adults for that matter, against a range of diseases that kill and maim and generally they’re very, very safe.
Prue: It seems amazing to me that we are seeing diseases that we really, in my lifetime and I’m a hundred years old, you know I thought were eradicated. you must be seeing this and be having it reported to you Doctor.
Richard: Yes, we are. You are quite right. And it’s tragic because the people who at least choose not to vaccinate their children are playing Russian roulette with their children and everybody else’s children.
Again, if you are vaccinated and I am not, how can that possibly affect you unless the vaccines don’t work? And if the vaccines don’t work, why are we having this conversation in the first place?
Tracey: Richard, how bad are the outbreaks at the moment of, say, whooping cough in the hot spot areas around Australia.
Richard: Well it’s very sad, there’s been one or two babies who have died, so that’s just tragic.
The babies who died (and there are more than two of them in the last 2 years) were either partially vaccinated or too young to be vaccinated. Our vaccination rate has gone from about 71% in 1991 to over 95% in 2008 and in fact, in 2005, we introduced an adult vaccine which never even existed before. Despite this huge increase in the vaccination rate, we have had a greater than 10,000% increase in the incidence of the disease. And they are blaming the unvaccinated? Something here does not compute.
In fact, from the last time the Australian government bothered to look (it was actually the state government in SA), 87% of those who got whooping cough for whom vaccination status was available were fully and appropriately vaccinated. Yet most times, when a case of ‘vaccine-preventable’ diseases is reported, there is no inquiry as to whether or not the person was vaccinated – it is just blamed on the unvaccinated. Why? Because they can?
Any child’s death is tragic, but pointing the finger of blame for the deaths of these babies at the unvaccinated when the vaccinated can both get whooping cough and transmit it even if they don’t have symptoms is a bit like medical vilification, don’t you think?
Prue: And what other illnesses or diseases are we now looking at?
Richard: well we’re seeing the measles every now and again. There was one little girl that sort of traipsed through the outback of Queensland delivering measles here, there and everywhere.
Great mental image there, Richard. Picture Shirley Temple, dressed in a postie’s uniform, ringing your doorbell and delivering a package with fine white powder only instead of anthrax, it contains measles. Again, our vaccination rate against measles is very high – well above the level required for what the medical community likes to refer to as ‘herd immunity’. So when the doorbell rang and the little girl showed up, you should have been able to say thanks, but no thanks. But of course, since the vaccinated can get measles just like the unvaccinated can, you were definitely welcoming her inside to ‘traipse’ through your home and possessions.
And we are talking about measles here! Not typhoid. Not cholera. Not tetanus. Measles! The same disease which a medical encyclopaedia in the early 1980s described as an acute infection, the only long-term side effects of which were life-long immunity to further infection. Anyone who is over 45 years of age will know what I’m talking about, right?
We’re also seeing, I’ve just gone blank, there’s measles there’s been a bit of an increase in the hepititis B and certainly, as you’ve said, we have heard of one or two cases of polio.
Now there goes polio raising its ugly head again. As I said, according to the NNDSS, there has been a grand total of 1 case of polio in Australia in the last 20 years. So when Richard says that there have been one or two cases of polio, is he inferring that this was in Australia or somewhere else?
And Heptatis B? Remember, this is the head of the AMA in Queensland – a man with a powerful job and access to all of the latest information on health. So when he says that “there’s been a bit of an increase in the hepatitis B”, you would think he wouldn’t make that statement unless he had the evidence to back it up.
Perhaps he does? Perhaps he knows more than the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System whose latest table on Hep B shows that there has been no increase in reports in Australia. In fact, we currently have the lowest number of cases reported – 167 new cases Australia – wide – since the first year we started keeping recording with the NNDSS. So perhaps that increase in Hep B took place in the same country where that other case of polio was reported? I wish he would have told us the name of that country – some people might have cancelled their travel plans?
Richard: I’ve heard of one case of tetanus in a older person about 8 months ago. The thing is these are all entirely, well, very much preventable by having vaccination.
Indeed. The majority of those in Australia who get tetanus infections are elderly. Most of them are vaccinated. Many of them are diabetics (who lose sensation in their extremities due to the disease and do not care for wounds because they don’t feel them and end up getting tetanus or even gangrene as a result.) Just because someone got tetanus doesn’t mean that this is due to lack of vaccination – especially when many of them, as I said, would have been vaccinated. At least Richard moderated his statement that these were entirely preventable because of course, they are not.
Tracey: This is it. Does it frustrate you that in the case of the Woodford Folk Festival, both the local council of the Morton Shire and the Queensland State Government are funding this festival where they are advertising this anti-vaccination advocate as saying, you know, she lifts the cover on vaccinations and the dangers that they can cause. I mean, that’s incredibly frustrating.
Firstly, the sponsors are sponsoring the Festival – they are not sponsoring the AVN nor are they sponsoring me. Secondly, I have not made that statement that was attributed to me. But this was a good excuse for a diatribe, I guess. And yes, it IS incredibly frustrating Tracey!
Richard: It’s very frustrating. in general practice we have the immunisation schedule handbook that outlines exactly the range of adverse effects that people can experience with vaccinations which generally are very, very mild. You know, a slight fever, maybe a little bit off your food for a day or two.
I don’t want to repeat myself, but this is the head of the QLD AMA for goodness sake! He is saying that the handbook (which is called the Australian Childhood Immunisation Handbook – he couldn’t seem to get that part right) outlines EXACTLY (and he emphasised that word) the range of adverse effects that people can experience. Well, that is not true. And this is why doctors are sometimes so ill-informed about vaccine safety and why sometimes, doctors don’t actually know best.
Below is the list of side effects associated with the Gardasil (HPV) vaccine according to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Handbook:

infection site reaction (pain, swelling, erythema)

Immediately following this comprehensive list of 3 (count ’em, THREE) reactions, it states:

Variations from product information

None.
As you will see in a moment, this is a great big pork pie!
Because when you look at the manufacturer’s information for Gardasil (and remember, neither our government nor our medical community have investigated or studied this vaccine – only the manufacturer has), here is the list of reactions you will see:
  • Abdominal pain, upper
  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis
  • Arthralgia
  • Asthenia
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • GI upset
  • Guillain-barre syndrome
  • Headache
  • Hypersensitivity including anaphylactoid reactions, Bronchospasm and urticaria
  • Injection site reaction (pain, swelling, erythema, pruritus)
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Malaise
  • Myalgia
  • Nausea
  • Pain in extremity
  • Pyrexia
  • Syncope tonic clonic movement
  • Toothache
  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Vomiting


The American package insert for Gardasil – same vaccine, same manufacturer – has even more reactions listed. But obviously – and this is only one shot – when Dr Kidd said that the Immunisation Handbook which doctors rely upon for complete information on vaccination told exactly the range of adverse reactions to vaccines, he was very, very wrong.

 

Richard: in the case of the chickenpox virus you can actually get a few little blisters that are very weak and because that’s the live vaccine but we also have there the effects of the diseases and how many children per thousand die and how many end up with terrible brain damage and terrible lung damage and losing arms and legs.
OK – perhaps he was confusing chicken pox with septicaemia, pneumonia or encephalitis – which you don’t generally get from chicken pox? It’s an easy mistake to make. Any doctor could do it.
Richard: You know, people who are just pushing anti-vaccination are ignoring all of the evidence and the experience of people.
Doctor Kidd, do you mean the experience of people who say that their children have been killed or injured by vaccines? Do you mean the experiences that your brethren refer to as anecdotal? I believe that if there is any ignoring going on, the medical fraternity is the one that’s doing it.
Richard: You know these diseases we know they kill and they maim and they just turn a blind eye to that and do other really insane things. You’ve probably heard about the poxed lollipops where they get some kids with chickenpox to lick these lollipops and then they mail them interstate and to other countries supposedly to give kids chickenpox and somehow they think that’s safer than giving them a vaccination.
Now the AVN is not involved in this activity – not on our Facebook page – not anywhere. We never have been and we never will be. So why does he bring this up? Is it just to try and make people think that our organisation is filled with crazy people who want to make their children sick? Hey! I think that might be it! Got it in one! But of course, that sort of tactic doesn’t work and in fact, it demonstrates only how desperate the medical community can be to regain their ascendancy and infallibility in the eyes of the public. Sorry doc – it’s not working.
Tracey: What?
Richard: it’s crazy!
Prue: Who is doing this, Doctor?
Richard: it’s in America. So these kids with chickenpox supposedly lick these lollipops and through facebook you can order these poxed pops and give them to your kids. but of course those poxed pops are probably got other things on them like hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Norovirus, a whole lot of other really horrible diseases. Where the vaccine is purified, is safe, you know exactly what you’re giving to a person. There are some crazy things happening out in the community.
Where do I begin? Hepatitis B is found in very low levels in human saliva. In fact, despite French kissing, CPR, sharing toothbrushes (except where there is gum disease which involves blood) and other methods of sharing spit, there has never been ONE verified case of transmission of Hepatitis B via the oral route.
Next, notice the mention of norovirus? Ever heard of it before? Don’t be ashamed to admit you hadn’t because most people have never heard of it. It used to be called Norwalk virus but that name wasn’t sexy enough so it consulted with its publicists and decided that a change in profile was required. Viruses can’t have nose jobs, so this must be the next best thing.
Norovirus is the next vaccine to come out of the puppy mill. Norovirus kills nobody – not in Australia anyway (though it is stated that it may kill the frail elderly…a bad cold can also kill the frail elderly). It has been associated with gastro symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea but it is not deadly (neither is Rotavirus which we currently vaccinate against – though the government claims that ‘up to’ one child a year will die from it. Up to one. What is less than up to one?). But it’s pretty slick the way that word got slipped in there, you have to admit.
As for the vaccine being “purified and safe” and you knowing exactly what you’re giving to a person, uh-uh, I’m afraid that’s not true either.
Vaccines are filled with carcinogens, toxins, bacterial and viral contaminants, heavy metals, substances which can affect fertility and your ability to fight off disease. They are far from “purified and safe” unless you think that mercury, aluminium, animal and human viral contaminants and formaldehyde (to name just a few) are safe? Please click here to read a bit more about vaccine ingredients and remember that there are loopholes which allow drug companies to leave certain ingredients off of the package inserts so even this information may not be complete.
Tracey: Now Doctor, you mentioned some of the side effects when you are immunised. Now there are some people who are no doubt listening to us who are going to say “well look, you know my experience is that my child got very, very ill” or in fact in some cases and I’ve actually seen this on you know, A Current Affair or Today Tonight, you know instances where children who have been vaccinated suddenly have a terrible intolerance to it and in fact have been paralysed or had some really radical health issue as a result. What do you say to those people?
Richard: Most children who get a reaction, it’s very, very mild. The serious reactions are very rare and are much, much, much more rare than the terrible things that the diseases do so, you know, these diseases kill and maim as I said. The serious reactions do happen very rarely and when they do happen very, very, very rarely they can be disastrous just like someone who’s got a peanut allergy, that can be disastrous or someone who’s got a strawberry allergy, that can be disastrous. Unfortunately, some people do develop these really bad allergic reactions and there isn’t often a way of picking who that’s going to be. But, you know, unfortunately everything we do in life has risks. Every time you cross the road there’s a risk, so you know if you follow the traffic lights you minimise the risk but some crazy person might still come through and break your legs or kill you and the vaccinations are greatly outweighed by the benefits. So many children are protected from these terrible diseases.
At least he is admitting that there is a risk. But what about the information that only about 1% of adverse reactions to drugs and vaccines are ever reported? If we had full reporting – or even only 50% reporting – would that change the benefits:risks ratio? We may never know. But it seems strange to be so confident about vaccine safety when our information is so incomplete.
Tracey: Doctor Richard Kidd, thank you so much for your wise words.
Richard: Thank you
Tracey: The AMA Queensland President there looked at the disparity it’s absurd, Prue. I’m just looking at some advertisements for the Woodford Folk Festival. It says this woman, Meryl Dorey, is Australia’s leading expert in vaccination and offers her unbiased views and yet the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission has said “The vaccination network’s failure to include a notice on its website of the nature recommended by the commission may result in members of the public making improperly informed decisions about whether or not to vaccinate and poses a risk to public health and safety. So I ask the question, why the government supporting this?
Sorry Tracey, you are reading this directly off of the Skeptics or Stop the AVN’s website or one of their blogs and what you are reading is not true. The advertisement for the Woodford Folk Festival says:
Investigate before you vaccinate is the motto of the AVN. Having collected reports of thousands of Australian families whose children have been killed or injured by these shots, Meryl knows that the benefits of vaccines don’t always outweigh the risks. Her information is sourced from medical data and is necessary for anyone who has a family or is thinking about being vaccinated.
There you go – nothing about being an expert. And remember I already told you, Tracey (well, I would have if you would speak with me and not hang up when I said hello….) – the government is not supporting me or the AVN – they are supporting the Woodford Folk Festival which consists of more than 400 performers and over 130,000 visitors. But thanks for the free publicity for my talk. Much appreciated!
Prue: Well it’s craziness. But we’d like to ask you, do you believe in vaccinations? Have you vaccinated your children? Or are you worried about this slight issue of Russian roulette with their health? But of course, the implications are that if you don’t vaccinate then there’s a very, very strong chance of that they could contract something that could be very damaging to their long term health.
I’m continually told that, not being a doctor myself, I am not fit to comment on or discuss the issue of vaccination. In fact, Tracey was one of the people who has said that. Often. And she has also called me a fear monger because I want people to know both sides of this issue.
Yet here she is, virtually saying that if you make a decision not to vaccinate, your child is going to be very sick, implying that they may even die. What is she basing this upon? And how did the human race ever survive before vaccines were introduced?
Of course, much of what I’ve written here is very much tongue in cheek. I felt that there needed to be a little bit of humour when it is really so sad that someone in such an exalted position as the Head of the AMA QLD can make so many incorrect statements and when someone who claims to be a journalist can be so blind to the bias that she displays every time she opens her mouth on this subject.
Oh, and speaking of bias, here is a transcript for a short update to her interview which followed the next day:
Tracey: I just want to follow up on a story we did yesterday about a prominent anti-vaccination campaigner spreading her lies at a folk festival. A folk festival which is being sponsored and supported by the Queensland government and the Morton Bay regional council.
Now, the council yesterday said they were very upset about our story. They wouldn’t go on air but they complained on the phone and they’ve just issued a press release saying “The council is a committed supporter of the Immunise Australia program. We’ve immunised 13,000 people against a host of preventable diseases, free of charge.”, and the press release explicitly says, “The council is not a sponsor of Meryl Dorey, as claimed on Sydney radio, and is not associated in any way with this festival”. But I got onto the festival’s website and I’m looking at a list of sponsors in front of me and there it is, the Morton Bay regional council, so all I can say is “liar, liar pants on fire”.
Did she really say liar, liar pants on fire? That would be cute if she were 12, but at her age…
Prue: Yeah, I mean we just don’t cop it. they’re all running for cover, they’ve made a big mistake and they need to really, I think, front up and accept that they have.
Tracey: That’s right but what’s even worse is that Queensland Health which we called for a comment, do you know what they said? They said put the questions in writing, we’ll get back to you in three or four days time. I thought we lived in a democracy – obviously not.
The irony here is just too sweet, too rich. I just want to sit back and enjoy it for a few minutes. You keep on reading, OK?
Tracey: Well, we know how competent the Queensland Health Department is when they couldn’t even trace how many 16 million dollars that went missing. So, you know, we take them with a grain of salt.
And there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s comic interlude. And the next time someone says that Australia is a democracy, you can answer them in two words:

PROVE IT!