Who do you think you’re Kidd-ing?

by Meryl Dorey

Dr Richard Kidd
Dr Richard Kidd, Council and Board Member of the Australian Medical Association, QLD

On Thursday, September 10th, I attended an inquiry that was held in the QLD Parliament regarding the possibility of excluding unvaccinated children from childcare. I was there as an observer and to support the AVN contingent who, I must say, did a masterful job under very difficult conditions. You can read more about that by clicking here.

I am starting this blog series with the speaker who I felt should have been the best-informed of the lot, but who unfortunately showed himself to be terribly ignorant of some basic vaccination facts.

If he were a neurosurgeon or a kidney specialist for example, one might almost understand his errors. But Dr Richard Kidd is a Council and Board Member of the Australian Medical Association, QLD and he is also a general practitioner – the sort of person who both administers vaccines and is meant to advise parents with up-to-date and accurate information.

During his testimony before the Committee, Dr Kidd was asked by the Committee Chair about boosters for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). She said that she had boosters when she gave birth to her young children but not the MMR. She asked the doctor if that was necessary.

His answer blew me away. And it should leave you with grave concerns about the competence of Australian doctors if such basic and egregious errors can be made by someone so high up in the medical fraternity.

Dr Kidd answered that, “…we do like to give people MMR preferably before they become pregnant but you can do it during pregnancy.”

Now, if Dr Kidd is giving his pregnant patients the MMR vaccine, he is not only putting their unborn children at risk, but he is also acting in direct contravention to the Australian Government’s guidelines on vaccination!

According to the Australian Immunisation Handbook which is published on the Australian Government Department of Health website:

“MMR-containing vaccines are contraindicated in pregnant women. Pregnancy should be avoided for 28 days after vaccination.”

Pregnancy VaccinesThere is no doubt about this; no controversy. The rubella portion of the MMR vaccine has been contraindicated in pregnancy since it was first manufactured in the 1960s. Rubella vaccines are meant to prevent congenital rubella syndrome, which it is thought can cause congenital malformations and death in a percentage of infants whose mothers contract it during pregnancy. Because the vaccine contains the live attenuated rubella virus, it is possible for it to cause the very same condition it’s meant to prevent if administered during pregnancy – especially during the first trimester. So Dr Kidd’s advice is deceptive, misleading and dangerous.

It is not the only error he made during his testimony. During the same answer to the Committee Chair, Dr Kidd stated that:

“We are routinely giving people boosters for tetanus in particular and attached to that is diphtheria. Maybe we should have the pertussis attached to that as well.” 

The mind boggles.

Dr Kidd was speaking about vaccination for adults (because that is what the question was about). There is only ONE vaccine that is recommended for adults who are seeking to have booster shots against diphtheria and tetanus. It is called Boostrix and it is a trivalent vaccine containing antigens for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Did the good doctor really not know that?

There is a vaccine that is only for diphtheria and tetanus – called ADT (Adult diphtheria and tetanus) but it is not recommended for boosters and is only used in rare instances. Most doctors’ offices would not even have this shot in the fridge.

There were several other instances where Dr Kidd made statements that were either verifiably incorrect or were riding the thin edge of what is provable. I don’t have time to deal with all of those here. But I will end with one of the more bold-faced incorrect statements he made, towards the end of his testimony.

One of the other committee members, a doctor himself, asked Dr Kidd about information that had been provided earlier in the day regarding the possibility of vaccines causing immune dysfunction. The AMA representative was asked if this was true.

His response was:

“There have been a couple of studies but they have been flawed.”

Oh, really?

The link between vaccinations and immune dysfunction/autoimmunity is so strong, it has been given a name in the medical literature – Autoimmune/inflammatory syndrome induced by adjuvants (ASIA). Adjuvants are extremely toxic ingredients intentionally added to vaccines to induce an immune response. ASIA is autoimmunity caused by these ingredients. Again, there is no controversy about this – it is an accepted phenomenon within medical circles. So why is Dr Kidd, a GP who deals with vaccinations in his own practice (a practice he claims has a 96% vaccination rate) ignorant of this?

For one thing, there is a textbook by THE world authority on autoimmunity, Dr Yehuda Shoenfeld (you can read his CV at this link – it is very impressive indeed!), called Vaccines and Autoimmunity. This book was co-authored by Nancy Agmon-Levin, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and Dr Lucija Tomljenovic, a PhD researcher at the Neural Dynamics Research Group at the University of British Columbia.

This text is used to teach advanced immunology to students at universities around the world. And it has not been found to be ‘flawed’. It was presented by one of the speakers representing the AVN but the AMA representative was not present in the room at the time so he would not have seen that. The Committee members should have, however.

Below is a small selection of other articles from peer-reviewed journals discussing the link between vaccines and immune system dysfunction – there are many more respected (not flawed) studies. If you are interested in seeing some of them, just click this link to go to a Google Scholar search for studies discussing whether or not vaccines cause autoimmunity. Interesting note – there are 33,000 results – so much for Dr Kidd’s “couple”:

Vaccination and autoimmunity-‘vaccinosis’: a dangerous liaison?; J Autoimmun. 2000 Feb;14(1):1-10.

Vaccination and autoimmune disease: what is the evidence?; THE LANCET; June 3, 2003

Vaccine-related Risk of Autoimmune Reactions; Rheumatology. 2011;50(8):1358-1365

Self-Organized Criticality Theory of Autoimmunity; 10.1371/journal.pone.0008382

I will be sending a copy of this blog to all sitting members of the QLD Parliament – including those who sat on the Committee that heard Dr Kidd’s testimony. They need to be aware that the information they consider to be sacrosanct because it comes from doctors isn’t necessarily so. I hope to receive appropriate responses in the near future and I will share any and all responses on this blog.

In conclusion, while it is not necessarily surprising (since I have spoken with many doctors over the years who were not well-informed about vaccination ingredients, safety or efficacy), it is disappointing that someone in such an esteemed and responsible position would not be better informed. Doesn’t Dr Kidd realise that as a doctor, he holds a sacred trust? Parents come to him anticipating that he is an expert because the government says he is. The government says all doctors are experts.

But if Dr Kidd has been giving MMR vaccines to pregnant women, he has seriously breached that trust and needs to be held accountable.

Once again, it is clear that when making a vaccination decision, though you should be speaking with your doctor, you should also be seeking independent information from other sources including doing your own research. Taking this responsibility and doing your own research is the only way to keep yourself and your children safe.

 

Testimony of Greg Beattie before QLD Parliamentary Inquiry

Meryl Dorey, Brett Smith, Tasha David and Greg Beattie at QLD Parliament

Below is the testimony that Greg Beattie, past President of the AVN, would have given had he not had his time unexpectedly shortened. If you would like to read the details of how the AVN was treated at this public inquiry at QLD Parliament, please click here to read the summary.

An interesting thing to note is that in the transcript of the hearing – and please remember that a transcript is supposed to be an exact record of what someone has said – someone either on the committee or employed by them changed the way in which Greg introduced himself. He said that he was a past President of the Australian Vaccination Network and the Transcript was changed to read, “I am a past president of what was then known as the Australian Vaccination Network…”

Someone there did not like Greg saying Australian Vaccination Network, though that WAS the name of the organisation previously, so they took it upon themselves to alter an official transcript!

Without further ado, here is Greg Beattie’s testimony:

I am a past president of the Australian Vaccination Network. I am also an author of two books on the issue. But I speak today as someone who, 20 years ago, challenged a government-run childcare centre that refused to accept my unvaccinated children. The very thing that this Bill promises to protect childcare centres from.

It can’t. This is the first point I’d like to make, and it’s a very important one so I’ll take a couple of minutes to explain. It would be extremely unfortunate if this Bill were to achieve the opposite of its intention, and invite childcare centres to do something which exposed them to, rather than protected them from, liability. But in my estimation, and that of the NSW government, that’s precisely what it will do.

NSW parliament debated an amendment identical to the Bill proposed here in 2013. It didn’t pass because the government recognised that it would expose childcare centres to challenge, and that that challenge would come via the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act – the same Act I used 20 years ago.

Advice from the attorney general confirmed that such a move would place childcare centres in breach of the Act, and that their state legislation was powerless to protect them from that. I’ll quote selectively from the Hansard record of that debate:

“The Government does not support the amendment…. Allowing childcare facilities to adopt their own policies …. is not supported by the childcare industry peak bodies. Public health experts, including the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, have strong objections to such an ad hoc approach.”

“…the proposed amendment would open childcare facilities …. to claims that the facility is in breach of the Commonwealth anti-discrimination law.”

And on the capacity of the NSW public health Act to protect childcare centres from this challenge:

“Exemptions under a Commonwealth or State law apply only to actions taken in direct compliance with a prescribed law. The New South Wales Public Health Act is not a prescribed law under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act.”

And in case you’re wondering, I’ve checked and the Queensland public health Act is also not a prescribed law.

So, in a nutshell, this Bill promises something it can’t provide. It invites childcare centres to make a decision, and promises to support them in that decision, but it cannot deliver on that promise.

Childcare centres WILL get challenges. They won’t come from me. My children have flown the coop. But there are 1000’s of others out there, ready and waiting. And if you want to meet some, come downtown on Sunday week. A rally against the proposed federal laws has been organised. The last one, a couple of months ago, was attended by several thousand. These are parents who are sick and tired of being pushed around, and are prepared to act.

The second point I’d like to make is that there is no imperative to legislate in this area.

Vaccination has not produced the tremendous benefits that its marketing machine would have us believe. It didn’t save us from the high death rates of the past. Measles deaths peaked in Australia at 175 per 100,000. A century later, when we were about to introduce a vaccine for it, that figure was down to 0.1. The deaths had declined by more than 99% before we started vaccinating for it.

Whooping cough similarly declined around 90%, and diphtheria about 80%, before we started vaccinating for them. But the marketing machine has given all the credit to vaccination. And most people have swallowed that.

Also, experts frequently claim that vaccination saves 3 million lives each year. But ask for the evidence of that and you’ll find they don’t have it. Just that so-and-so said so. And if you ask so-and-so they’ll tell you the same thing. If you’re persistent, and drill down to the source, you WILL find the answer:

“We modelled it on a spreadsheet. We started with the assumption that vaccination prevents 90-odd% of deaths. So we just added up all the vaccines given out and – there’s our figure.”

That figure is of course paraded as evidence of how well vaccination works. Which in turn appears to validate the assumption in the model. It’s called a feedback loop. There IS no empirical evidence. That’s vaccine science. And they wonder why people question it! But there are many more reasons people question it, as can be seen in our submission.

With my third and final point I’d like to make a recommendation to the committee. Given that this Bill will be counter productive, why don’t we try something new? Something daring. Discussion.

Last year a Healthy Lifestyles Expo was run on the Sunshine Coast. The organisers decided to include a short forum on vaccination, since the issue was topical at the time. They approached the state’s chief health officer, Dr Jeanette Young, who you heard from earlier today, as well as our organisation, to supply speakers for a debate. We accepted. Dr Young refused. Her reason – “there’s nothing to debate”. The organisers tried elsewhere, even publicising their request, but no one could be found to speak in support of vaccination.

Unfortunately this happens all the time. Ordinary citizens organise a forum so that the competing viewpoints can be aired publicly, but the pro side refuses to participate. They’ll only turn up if the so-called anti side isn’t allowed to speak. These are classic playground antics.

And who misses out? The public. Those who are trying to make sense of the opposing stories.

Dr Young should relish the opportunity to defend and promote vaccination. In fact, she should facilitate such forums.

This government can do something in this area. It could direct the health hierarchy to promote ongoing and open discussion. Have them encourage questions, concerns, and dissenting voices. Have them provide forums where the so-called anti side is actively INVITED to debate. Have them facilitate similar on-line discussions, as well. Show the community they’re not frightened of dissent. That they’re capable of having their claims publicly scrutinised.

And organisations such as ours should be welcomed, embraced, not demonised. We represent the concerns of the community. Engage us, and address the concerns publicly and cooperatively. Don’t ignore us, or bring a big stick out. That won’t chase us away. It will only galvanise us.

In this way the public will feel secure that the emerging information is robust.

For years our organisation has been subjected to almost every form of inquiry and government sanctioned intimidation you can think of. Why? Because we question vaccination. And we demand attention to our concerns. But we’ve prevailed. And we always will prevail because the reason for our existence is still there. Dissenting voices on vaccination are still being handled with playground antics.

This government, if it were to implement this sort of approach, could be a nation leader – in fact, a world leader – in resolving the divisiveness that this issue brings to our community.

No Jab, No Pay, Health Rights, Childcare

QLD Parliamentary Inquiry into allowing Unvaccinated Children to be excluded from Childcare

QLD ParlimentOn the 19th of August, 2013, then AVN President, Greg Beattie, gave a presentation before a QLD Parliamentary Inquiry looking into changes to the way in which unvaccinated children are admitted to childcare facilities. The intent was to exclude the unvaccinated or make it more difficult for them to attend.

The Committee Chair was Trevor Ruthenberg and he was both fair and competent in the way he managed the day.

The AVN put together a scientifically-based, well-referenced submission and was treated with great respect by most on this committee whose ultimate decision was, thankfully, not to go ahead with the intended legislative changes.

This last week, On September 10th, due to very similar changes being proposed in QLD, the AVN once again took the time to put together a submission and was called upon to testify.

We assumed that the procedure would be the same and that the Committee would, once again, treat all those who took the time to testify with respect.

Unfortunately, that was not the case.

I was there as an observer so I was able to closely watch both the previous speakers and the AVN representatives.

Altogether, were 12 speakers who were in support of government policies regarding the exclusion of unvaccinated children (actually, Professor Julie Leask, though an avid supporter of vaccination, was not happy with the bill in its present state and said – amongst other things – that it was unethical) and 4 speakers who believed in free and informed health choice. The AVN’s group consisted of Greg Beattie, Tasha David (current AVN President) and Brett Smith, a member of the AVN.

In addition, there was to be a presentation from Ms Rebecca Hansen-Smith, a QLD mother who has been researching this issue extensively and who gave an excellent presentation at the last Committee Meeting.

The AVN was told that they would have 20 minutes in total and they were to present after Prof Julie Leask testified by telephone hookup. They therefore prepared a 3-minute opening statement each (9 minutes in total) and allowed 11 minutes for questions.

Ms Hansen-Smith was also given 20 minutes and she was supposed to be the last speaker of the day, immediately following the AMA (there will be a very long blog about the presentation of Dr Kidd from the AMA within the next day or two).

The Committee members listened to the pro-medical speakers with great attentiveness and asked many, many questions – the majority of them, Dorothy Dixers.

When it came time for the AVN to speak, however, the Committee called Rebecca Hansen-Smith at the same time.

The AVN just assumed that their time had been extended to 40 minutes (which would have been fair) and the Committee just wanted them all to speak together since they were covering the topic from the same point of view.

Less than 2 minutes into Ms Hansen-Smith’s opening statement however (the Committee asked her to go first), the Chair interrupted, asking if she could please wrap it up! Of course, none of us expected this and Rebecca said that she still had important information she had prepared and wanted to get to.

The Chair said that the Committee was running overtime after the previous speakers so the AVN was going to have to cut its time short and also merge its time with another, unrelated person!

Of course, everyone was most upset about this. Tasha had flown in from Melbourne, Brett from Sydney and Greg had travelled from the Sunshine Coast. In their voluntary capacity, they had spent hours putting together submissions and opening statements and now, they were not going to be allowed to put them on the public record!

Greg’s opening statement (in the next blog following this one) was cut in half and neither Brett nor Tasha got to use their statements at all.

To add insult to injury, whilst the Committee had listened very intently to the pro-vaccine speakers, they chatted amongst themselves nearly the entire time the AVN and Ms Hansen-Young were presenting.

You can read the Transcript of the day’s testimony at this link – and as I said previously, I am going to be writing an in-depth analyses of several of these presentations, but I would just like to close by saying that the Committee showed extreme rudeness and disdain for those who were in opposition to the passage of this law.

This was a public hearing and they were the only ones representing the general public. Instead of listening to them and allowing them the requisite time they had been promised, they were ignored and their talks were cut short.

Lastly, when the final presenter of the day, Dr Richard Kidd from the AMA QLD rose to speak, he assured the Chair that he would be as brief as possible. The Chair replied, “We have made up time. Thank you.”

Of course they had made up time! They had cut the two health consumer talks in half in order to give that time to a medical lobby group.

I am hoping that they will at least be fair when determining the outcome of this legislation (and please do take the time to read Greg’s opening statement because it explains why this legislation cannot go ahead in its present state).

Only time will tell.