Fiona Stanley’s Telethon Institute is hosting a seminar on the flu vaccination on July 1st (that’s tomorrow night!) in Perth, WA. Interesting in that I have never heard of them putting on a seminar for the public before. But according to what has been reported, this seminar is in response to our recent sell-out evening on the flu shot. It’s a shame they didn’t accept Judy Wilyman’s request to present the other side so that those who attend will have a better idea of the questions parents need to ask before agreeing to vaccinate their children or to accept vaccination for themselves.

Whatever the case may be, if you are in the Perth area and would like to attend, please do so and you may want to consider asking some of the following questions:

  1. Why are you urging parents to get their children vaccinated against influenza when only 22% of Australian health care workers take the shots? (Seale et al. (2010) Attitudes amongst Australian hospital healthcare workers towards seasonal influenza and vaccination. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 4(1), 41-46). Do doctors know something we don’t about the safety, effectiveness and necessity of this vaccine?
  2. Why was the Telethon Institute involved in a study of the flu vaccine for children as young as 6 months of age when the Cochrane Collaboration’s 40-year retrospective review of flu vaccines showed that for children under the age of 2, the vaccine was no more effective than a placebo? Do you think this is ethical?
  3. What percentage of the Telethon Institute’s funding comes from the pharmaceutical industry? Do you think that a reliance on pharmaceutical funding might influence the outcomes of the Telethon’s research?
  4. Why weren’t the parents of WA whose children were given the flu vaccine in the recent trials, being run through the Telethon Institute and funded by CSL and Sanofi Pasteur, told that their children were part of a study of this vaccine?
  5. Do you think that thiomersal is safe for use in humans? What studies have been done to prove the safety of thiomersal?
  6. Are you aware of a 1 year old girl who is still seriously ill after receiving the recent flu vaccine? How many other children have been similarly affected? What do you say to their parents?

I’m sure there are many other excellent questions that should be asked. I am aware of many AVN members who will be attending this seminar and I wish I could go as well but I will be back in Perth on the 20th of July for another vaccination seminar and it’s just not financially feasible to go twice in one month.

If anyone is planning to attend and can tape the talk, that would be fantastic.

Below are the venue details – please do go if you can and represent the pro-choice side by your presence and your questions.