A seminar not to be missed

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.

This entry was posted in Accountability, Medical ethics, Vaccination and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A seminar not to be missed

  1. Lisa (@faeriemidwife) says:

    I wanted to go to your last seminar, so I’ll make sure I can go to the next! I’ll be letting everyone know about it 🙂

  2. Steve says:

    Meryl, you keep repeating the claim that parents of WA children were given the flu vaccine in a trial, being run through the Telethon Institute and funded by CSL and Sanofi Pasteur, weren’t told that their children were part of a study. I think you might be confused (deliberately or otherwise). The Western Australian Government in recent years have been providing, with the assistance of some drug companies, influenza vaccine free of charge for children less than 5 years of age. This is fully licensed, TGA approved, seasonal influenza vaccine. It is being delivered as part of a government program, and the provision of the vaccine is in no way a study. There may be research being done on the impact of the program, but that doesn’t mean the delivery program is a “study”.

    If you have any evidence that supports your claim that parents are being deceived about study participation, it should be provided immediately to the ethics committee who approved the study. You might even like to provide it to the Australian Health Ethics Committee at NHMRC (http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about/committees/ahec/index.htm) I am sure they would be fascinated to hear your evidence of population-wide ethical deception.

    • shotinfo says:

      Hi Steve,
      I claim this because it’s the truth. The WA Government in cooperation with the Telethon Institute, Sanofi pasteur and CSL Pty ltd started a study of WA children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years of age (pretty sure it was 8 – I will check) in 2008. The government wrote to families to urge them to get their children this vaccine but they never told them that they were part of a study. You are right that this is unethical – but it is the way things were done.

      Also, the study was not even to see if the vaccine would prevent flu in these kids – instead, it was to see if vaccinating children would protect the elderly from influenza because the flu vaccine doesn’t work in the elderly and they are the ones who are the most at risk when it comes to flu. Of course, the flu vaccine doesn’t work in ANY age group. The Cochrane Collaboration was quite clear on that – the highest effectiveness rate was 46% and that was against pneumonia which is strange since the vast majority of pneumonias is not linked to influenza in any way.

  3. Lisa (@faeriemidwife) says:

    I’m a midwife I wouldn’t get the shot! I had it one year and had a nasty reaction, I’d never give it to my child!

    I’m in Perth, I would love to go, but it’s not feasable to get into Subi (it’s an hour away) tomorrow evening. I hope someone asks those questions, they certainly should be addressed!

    • shotinfo says:

      Hi Lisa,
      I’m sure there will be people there and hopefully, these questions will be addressed. Please watch this space for the information on our up-coming seminar. I would love to see you there and perhaps you can let your clients know about this as well?

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