Reds Under the Bed: the New McCarthyism

January, 30, 2018 | 53 Comments


  1. David

    If anything can ever be salvaged for the practice of vaccination it will be necessary to separate propaganda from fact – anyone can buy into the idea that the prevention of disease is a good thing. It may not be entirely straightforward – it may be for instance that there are long term benefits to certain infant diseases and even in the UK today we do not have an infant chickenpox vaccine. But when we read the rubric “the benefits far outweigh the risks” which is an idea that seems to flatter people’s intellect it is something which has yet to be demonstrated, it is indeed just a concept in public health. Beneath it is the warning “Don’t enquire too hard”.

    In the case of whooping cough vaccine it was always a dangerous vaccine – some of its vile history was reported in Bill Inman’s ‘Don’t tell the patient’ 1999 (Inman was the British civil servant who founded the yellow card reporting scheme). It also maybe mentioned in the first three years of the UK vaccine damage payment scheme (1978-81) there were approximately 600 settlements which would mostly have related to whooping cough and the DPT, before the bureaucrats became more inventive about denying claims. (Also since 2010 they have become so good at denying claims that not a single one has been met despite the hundreds of millions of products dispensed.)

    But even the old DPT was comparatively ineffective – in 2006 Harnden et al reported in BMJ that whooping cough was simply not being diagnosed because GPs were operating under the misapprehension that the disease had been eradicated by the vaccine. The following year the Secretary of State for Health was being pilloried in the House of Commons for allowing whooping cough to proliferate simply because a few GPs had taken to diagnosing it in the wake of Harnden. Equally we were presented with the need to vaccinate against whooping cough more and more just because the vaccine did not work – a wonderful coup for the manufacturers. Also, of course, the vaccine sheds. DPT might have been a wonderful story of eliminating disease, or alternatively just a slight variation on the Emperor has no clothes.

    About the broader picture there is much to fear. We have a vast over-loaded schedule with hundred of products being developed simply on the basis that they will be added to it in due course and in many countries mandated – some for disease which are mostly not very dangerous, some for diseases which are not very common, each product with a different safety profile and each loaded into our children and grandchildren with dozens or even hundreds of others. Very often the same people who are developing the vaccines sit on the committees licensing them and recommending them. Meanwhile, even now the school population is coincidentally collapsing with developmental disorders, chronic diseases and mental ill-health.

    One thing I suggest is that if there is to be a vaccine programme at all it not only has to be much more securely and transparently researched (after all who could object to that?) but it should be much more modest and conservative in scope.


  2. David,

    I think it should have been ‘whooping cough vaccine can help prevent disease’ not ‘spread disease’, in itself quite a guarded statement (they don’t even say which disease, and it is only a possibility).

    Some links for my previous comment (sent from my iPad).

    I should also like to give a link to the recent talk by Suzanne Humphries returning to public platform after death threats:

    Unfortunately, we know from the serial uninvestigated deaths of holistic doctors in the US (about 70 in the last two and a half years) that these are not necessarily idle.

    • John

      Thanks for this. Little Red Riding Hood seems to bring out the inner Freud – see earlier posts – in this case Freudian slips. Given that a certain kind of dis-ease is being spread, I think I am inclined to let my slip stand


  3. The Little Girl and the Wolf
    by James Thurber (1939)
    One afternoon a big wolf waited in a dark forest for a little girl to come along carrying a basket of food to her grandmother. Finally a little girl did come along and she was carrying a basket of food. “Are you carrying that basket to your grandmother?” asked the wolf. The little girl said yes, she was. So the wolf asked her where her grandmother lived and the little girl told him and he disappeared into the wood.

    When the little girl opened the door of her grandmother’s house she saw that there was somebody in bed with a nightcap and nightgown on. She had approached no nearer than twenty-five feet from the bed when she saw that it was not her grandmother but the wolf, for even in a nightcap a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the Metro-Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.

    (Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be.)

    • I think Thurber might have wondered these days with so many little girls getting HPV vaccines and ending up on antidepressants.


      • Evidently US citizens were a little too smart in those days – if already keen on their automatic weapons – and government had to do something about it. ‘How about some toxic soup, little girl – it’s good for you!”

      • David,

        I questioned Salutary Tale’s comment as not politically correct because it invoked the image of the little girl shooting the wolf dead . . . a dangerous thing to do with an American audience armed to the teeth and increasingly paranoid about the drug companies, the FDA, NIH, CDC and physicians under the influence of these sources.

        Since you invoked the Little Red Riding Hood analogy, questioning the Salutary Tale’s comment as possibly dangerous in today’s world seemed appropriate

        This is one of the few times one of my comments has been rejected.

        I accept your authority to do this but I’m curious about your reasoning.

    • Salutary Tale,

      Oh, your post is Sooo not politically correct. Your post was fine until the part about the little girl shooting the wolf dead. Had you thought about its possible effect on folks who have been victimized on more than one occasion by the pharmaceutical companies, FDA, CDC and physicians under the influence of their ever-willing-to-be-of-service pharmaceutical company sales force?

      This may be a less likely threat than to US readers, who are more likely to be armed and dangerous than in the UK and most other developed countries in the world.

      In a world lacking transparency and ability to check and verify the authenticity of scientific claims of drug and vaccine effectiveness and safety, it is increasingly easy for people who believe they have been harmed to act out.

      This is the world we live in and should, I believe, be considering in terms of the benefits and harms that might be triggered when communicating about the dark side of biomedical research and the provision of health care.

      • John H Noble Jr

        I think Thurber was showing his respect for the intelligence of little girls using a folk tale (even poking fun at it), but I doubt that he really thought they should go round with automatic weapons.

        I also think one should be able to read something from 80 years ago in its own context, while perhaps it was dragging the conversation off course (mere association with Little Red Riding Hood). For that, at least, I apologize.

  4. Another one For the Road .. at Hay

    How The Light Gets In 2018

    25/28 May


    Minds, Madness and Medicine

    Can biology ever have the final say in defining mental illness? 

    Featuring: Lucy Johnstone, David Healy 

    Your Life in the Balance

    Does the death toll produced by clinical error suggest we are wrong to trust in medical authority? 

    Featuring: David Healy

    $1Billion Blockbuster for GSK

    Working to launch its shingles vaccine in the U.S., GlaxoSmithKline nabs Shingrix recommendation in Europe

    Note the Header Webinar ..

    Measles and mumps: Forgotten Diseases of Recurring Relevance

  5. After checking into the Whooping Cough vaccine scene a bit, I feel like we’re REALLY being played … Here’s how GSK described its “public health initiative” aimed at grandparents:

    “In research, we found that grandparents generally have very low awareness of the danger that whooping cough poses to infants. The good news is that, once they are made aware of the risks, they want to help protect their grandchild and are very likely to talk to their doctor or pharmacist about whooping cough and vaccination.”

    Of course you want to protect your darling grandbaby from WC (pertussis)! Hopefully you want to protect all the babies. But will getting GSK’s vaccine help? Probably not.

    There’s been an upsurge in WC cases in recent years, which is worrisome as it really can be fatal to babies and small children. Is it actually possible to have WC —and be a carrier—without knowing it, I wondered? Well yeah, it is. But it’s NOT because your childhood vaccination wore off, or because there’s a new strain around which GSK can vaccinate you for. Nope. The carriers can be vaccinated – including freshly vaccinated children, and freshly vaccinated grandparents.

    Turns out the “acellular” WC vaccines do a good job of protecting the vaccinated person. You may get infected, but you will either stay healthy, or develop a mild cough that you’re unlikely to spot as WC. However, you can pass it on to others. As David explains, the acellular vaccine has been used since the 1980’s in an effort to cut down on the higher rate of side effects from the older “whole-cell” vaccine. A tradeoff of benefits and risks that grownups should be allowed to know about, and discuss rationally.

    The GSK vaccine is an acellular version, and it’s not a new strain. Feel free to get it if you need a tetanus shot anyway (GSK’s Boostrix for adults, like its Infanrix for tots, is a tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis combo). Or to protect yourself from WC (although severe cases in adults are extremely rare). But if you want to protect young babies, just keep your distance when you’ve got a cough or cold. GSK cannot help you.

  6. David, you say: “I believe in vaccines. I’ve had most of the ones I should have had, as have my children…”

    Here’s the current vaccination schedule in Australia – how many of these vaccine product combinations and revaccinations have you and your children had?

    Hepatitis B (hepB)a

    2 months:
    Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b, inactivated poliomyelitis (polio) (hepB-DTPa-Hib-IPV)
    Pneumococcal conjugate (13vPCV)

    4 months:
    Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b, inactivated poliomyelitis (polio) (hepB-DTPa-Hib-IPV)
    Pneumococcal conjugate (13vPCV)

    6 months:
    Hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough), Haemophilus influenzae type b, inactivated poliomyelitis (polio) (hepB-DTPa-Hib-IPV)
    Pneumococcal conjugate (13vPCV)
    Rotavirus b

    12 months:
    Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningococcal C (Hib-MenC)
    Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

    18 months:
    Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough)
    Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox) (MMRV)

    4 years:
    Diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis (whooping cough) and inactivated poliomyelitis (polio) (DTPa-IPV)

    10-15 years:
    Varicella (chickenpox) c
    Human papillomavirus (HPV) d
    Diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis (whooping cough) (dTpa)

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have even more vaccinations, you can access the entire list and notes here:

    David, what are your thoughts on this quantity of vaccine products and revaccinations?

    Would you be prepared to roll up your sleeve and have all of these vaccine products and revaccinations?

    • Elizabeth

      My point was I believe in vaccinations in principle but not in the cover-up going on. So to turn things around, is your problem vaccination in principle or is your main beef with a cover-up or is it some combination of the two.

      Thirty years ago when my children were being vaccinated, while Tony Blair was possibly refusing to let his son be vaccinated, I had little reason to believe there was a serious cover-up. The MMR vaccine gave me the first evidence of a cover-up – this has nothing to do with Andrew Wakefield – it was conceded the original mumps component of this was a problem. Since then the evidence for cover-ups has become overwhelming so that it must be very difficult for a lot of people to work out what to do.

      The point behind a cover-up is not that the injuries wouldn’t happen if there were no cover-up but there would be decent compensation and parents later discussing issues with their doctors wouldn’t be treated as pariahs or cranks but would get appropriate medical “care”. In the current situation, an increasing number of people are just having to wing it and my worry is that some people when they realise what has happened will take the law into their own hands.

      As for the schedule you outline, its intimidating. But there is almost no point asking me this question. This is a question for people in their 20s and 30s who had just had children or who are contemplating having children. Vaccinations here start even before birth with women being intimidated into taking flu shots if they’re pregnant. Its an increasingly nasty situation.

      So do you believe in vaccines or not?


      • David, you ask me “So do you believe in vaccines or not?”

        My current feeling is that the world is in the midst of an over-vaccination epidemic, this is a global state of emergency.

        The vaccine industry has hijacked international vaccination policy and we are being flooded with questionable vaccine products and revaccinations. The long-term cumulative effects of the burgeoning vaccination schedules are unknown, this is a massive experiment.

        A commentary article by a GlaxoSmithKline employee, published in 2002, says “Longer term collaborations between manufacturers and public health, academic and clinical partners are crucial to productive vaccine research and development.”[1] And indeed it has come to pass that manufacturers, public health bureaucracies, academic and clinical partners are all enjoying the spoils of the vaccine product gravy train.

        Meanwhile, I suggest we are heading towards disaster with the gross over-use of vaccine products, this lucrative juggernaut is out of control.

        Citizens such as myself, ‘Cassandras’ who are trying to raise the alarm about the proliferation of vaccine products, are being stifled and censored, this is an appalling situation in our liberal democracies.

        1. T.A. Ruff. Vaccine research and development. Internal Medicine Journal 2002; 32: 127-128.

        • Elizabeth

          You’re evading the question. Can vaccines in principle work or is your beef with a cover-up? The answer will shape what the appropriate strategy should be. If the cover up is the issue you have common cause with those injured by drugs. If vaccination in principle is the issue, then its different.


          • David, I’m thinking about your question…

            In the meantime, for your information, the Australian vaccination schedule is being expanded yet again…

            Today Australian Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the Pfizer Nimenrix vaccine is being added to the taxpayer-funded schedule “to cover children aged from 12 months for the A, C, W and Y strains of meningococcal”.[1]

            Advertising and promotion for this vaccine product was provided courtesy of the taxpayer-funded ABC and SBS broadcasters[1,3], along with other mainstream media.

            According to the TGA Product Information “A single 0.5 ml dose of the reconstituted vaccine is used for immunisation…The need for a booster dose in subjects primed with NIMENRIX has not been established.”[2]

            Looks like the vaccine experiment, for this “rare infection”[3], will soon be underway… We await with interest moves to add a ‘booster’ dose…or two…or three…etc…

            1. ‘Free meningococcal vaccine sparks war of words between Federal and WA governments’:
            2. NIMENRIX Product Information:
            3. ‘A new vaccine to cover more strains of meningococcal will be added to the National Immunisation Program’:

          • Re my previous comment about the recent announcement that the Pfizer Nimenrix meningococcal A, C, W and Y strain vaccine will be added to the Australian vaccination schedule.

            Here’s another example of citizens having to do their own investigation of the burgeoning vaccination schedule being foisted upon the community…

            See below my recent email to Professor Andrew Wilson, Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, the committee which is supposed to independently evaluate vaccine products for the taxpayer-funded vaccination schedule.

            3 February 2018

            Professor Wilson, yesterday the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the Pfizer Nimenrix vaccine is being added to the National Immunisation Program Schedule “to cover children aged from 12 months for the A, C, W and Y strains of meningococcal”.[1]

            The Pfizer Nimenrix vaccine product is on the agenda for the PBAC meeting scheduled in March 2018 – how can Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announce the addition of this product to the taxpayer-funded vaccination schedule before the product has been discussed by the PBAC at the scheduled meeting in March?

            Where is the PBAC Recommendations/Outcomes document on this matter?

            If this vaccine product is being added to the National Immunisation Program Schedule, does this mean this vaccine product for a rare infection will be compulsory to access financial benefits, and childcare and pre-school in some jurisdictions? If so, does the PBAC support this mandatory vaccination?

            Also, according to the TGA Product Information “A single 0.5 ml dose of the reconstituted vaccine is used for immunisation…The need for a booster dose in subjects primed with NIMENRIX has not been established.” Does this mean the duration of immunity provided by this vaccine product is unknown? Are lucrative ‘booster’ doses likely in future?

            Professor Wilson, I cannot find a Public Summary Document for Nimenrix on the PBS website, where can I access this document?

            I request your urgent response to my questions in this email.

            Elizabeth Hart

            1. ‘Free meningococcal vaccine sparks war of words between Federal and WA governments’:
            2. NIMENRIX Product Information:

  7. Of course, Elizabeth likes putting people on the spot.

    One problem here is that parents have long been taught to take adverse vaccine reactions in their stride – they are probably told to give paracetamol which may well be the worst thing – and parents in their 20s and 30s perhaps have different social norms from those 30 years ago, including growing up with ever increasing amounts of neurological impairment and chronic ill-health, not seen a couple of generations ago, about them – but no connection is necessarily made. This is not to say that vaccines are the only things that might be implicated – other issues might be radiation, glyphosate, SSRIs etc. But the fact is that the UK Department of Health counted ASD (one category of neurological impairment) for schools at about 1 in 100 c.2004 (about 5 times what it was a decade earlier) and then conveniently they stopped counting. Today we are probably talking x3 but likely even higher for young children, based on education figures. I guess they know what they are not counting.

    As I have already noted, in compensation terms injuries were quite out of hand forty years ago, so where would be if the government started acknowledging any of them now with a vastly extended schedule? The answer is you just have a culture in which everything is denied and anyone who questions is blackguarded (a thoroughly scientific method). Of course, there is plausible causation – quite apart from any other chemical/organic damage all vaccines can cause encephalopathies. And as this goes on we have an increasingly unviable and dependent population. It is an issue almost no one dare face.

    The mumps urabe strain scandal was indeed about 30 years ago – the British government favoured the SmithKline product which had already proved hazardous in Canada possibly as sweetener for a merger deal with Beecham – and the manufacturer withdrew it (not the British government or its advisory committees) in 1992. Since then we have had the Merck product, MMR2, with which it had previously run concurrently. But of course the biggest problem with Wakefield was that he listened to the parents – took medical histories and made tests, or at least his colleagues did – and where would it end if you did that?

  8. Thanks for posting this. Television in the US is flooded with this kind of propaganda. Minds are conditioned not only by ads but also by the way the news features medical content. What seems educational or informational are really commercials that form our collective beliefs about what to fear, what to do, and WHAT OTHERS MUST DO if we are to be safe.

    Safe safe safe safe safe! That’s all you need to know. Exercising choice? That’s selfish.

    Pharmaceuticals are safe like joining the military is safe. Except in the military, if you end up with an arm blown off instead of a desk job, they pretend to care and provide a little compensation.

  9. Another question is what steps are appropriate the containment of infectious diseases (which by and large may be held to be a good thing – though there may be exceptions). Clearly the first thing is hygienic controlled living conditions, fresh water, sanitation, nutrition etc. When Tom Jefferson was asked what he would do by Der Spiegel with the menace of swine flu in 2009 he suggested that washing hands frequently was a good idea.
    I should imagine that was an awful lot more effective than the rushed to the market vaccines.

    The fact is that a century ago we still had high infant mortality in Europe and N.America and we did not vaccinate ourselves out of it. When Bill Gates stated recently that he was trying to figure out why 5 million children were dying every year he was essentially being thick. You are not going to solve the problem of children growing up in awful conditions, and who are probably already immune-compromised by subjecting them to a barrage of vaccines, although Aaby et al may try and calculate marginal net benefits/deficits the answer is still a lot of children who won’t survive. But at least the point about the Aaby studies is that they recognise the limits of such interventions (and they even report the downside).

    What I at least am trying to suggest is that we live in a prevailing ideology which actually negates any kind of scientific objectivity. To “believe” in vaccines is already a category error – that is not saying that there can never be products which have a legitimate application but it is signing up for far too much.

  10. Medical science and practice are largely based on the assumptions that scientific knowledge grows by the accumulated knowledge .On this traditional model of professionalism ,authority is the ideal and precisely understood to be free form error.This approach to learning encourage intellectual dishonesty in authorities who do not admit error who hide medical ignorance rather than regard it as basis for learning.(to call this science is misleading)Medical Robot Harold Shipman he killed over 200 people with. Shipman’s case illustrates that situations where trust is important can provide conditions for extraordinary abuses .Since 1951 ,pharmaceutical companies have growth to be the most profitable on the planet.
    The western world’s healthier establishment has historically always focused on illness and curing illness .To this day medical doctors ,psychologist and other health professionals are primarily taught categories of disease and how to fix those diseases.
    Local Senator Dr James Reilly is calling on health minister Simon Harris to provide Hospital in Swords to vastly reduce waiting list.
    Doctor Reilly want to deliver a Hospital for swords If he had a separate day in Swords which is accessible to over 150,000 people many procedures could take place there ,like hernias .gall balder ,cataracts,minor injury,X ray,scans and other test.
    The healthcare insurance system geared completely towards paying for intervention designed to fix disease .It is easy to get an insurance carrier to pay for coronary bypass surgery.Nature has a way!The hope of humanity lies in the prevention of degenerative and mental disease ,not in the care of their symptoms.Why the best physicians the best medicine the best technology ,our bodied still have to face reality if health care is just fixing us up it’s doomed to failure.
    It is much harder to get them to pay for gym memberships and nutritional counselling that might have helped avoid surgery in the first place.Evidence is emphatic about health benefits of keeping a regular exercise regime.It is good for the mind and body .Exercise regularly lowers your risk of developing many serious illness ,including stoke and heart disease .Science also confirms that regular exercise reduces high blood pressure ,some cancers,type two diabetes ,osteoporosis and obesity.The main preoccupation is keep society sick!

    • Some of your writers should edit their replies.I had polio in the fifties.It was nonparalytic.I had the vaccine afterwords.There was a huge epidemic at the time,and many victims spent rest of their lives in the Iron Lung!Since the Salk vaccine,polio is almost unheard of,and this not propaganda By the way I now have post polio syndrome.I saw a couple of neurologist who did not know of it,and had to seek my old preceptor in neurology!The other thing that worries me is that our young people have no idea of the devastation that measles,polio and mumps caused.Vaccines are not perfect.They are simply chemicals,and like all chemicals we prescribe,have adverse effects.But they are absolutely essential!

      • Noel

        Yes, the have adverse effects and until governments and doctors stop squashing the people who report them – until they actively start monitoring them and their long term sequelae, so long as we go on adding more and more products willy-nilly (not to mention allowing developers to take over licensing, recommendation and mandating of products) we will have zero direct idea of the affects on the population. It is so easy to walk away and deny everything, and trash the people who speak up about problems. How can we even have safe products if anyone who criticises them gets vilified?

        I am sorry you lived the polio nightmare. I think we ought to listen to the people who have had other nightmares. Without that we cannot have the best medical answers.

        Are you not exaggerating somewhat the terror of mumps? The single vaccine was contra-indicated until the introduction of MMR, and the problem is that it now delays a normally innocuous infant disease till puberty when for boys it is more of a hazard.

        I was very struck by this commentary I came across yesterday by Leonard F Vernon on Gardasil. This is the abstract:

        “The issues of safety and efficacy of certain vaccines remains extremely contentious. The venues for this debate have included periodicals, documentary films, and an ever-increasing number of on-line sites. While debate in science is not only a common occurrence but a fundamental tenet of the scientific community, it only works when divergent opinions can be heard. When those who hold an opposing opinion are denigrated and/or marginalized by those holding the majority opinion such as in the issue of vaccination, where cultural authority for the issue is owned by the profession of medicine, both science and the public lose. What is often forgotten are the benefits derived from the questioning of drug safety that not only extends to the public but to physicians who rely on the truthfulness and accuracy of the information that is being supplied to them by manufactures and government agencies. While most physicians believe they are functioning in their patient’s best interest when making vaccine recommendations, these recommendations by in large have become a matter of rote and are made because most physicians have bought into the “vaccines are safe” mantra. What most physicians don’t realize is they have unknowingly been recruited by big pharma to assist in shutting down the vaccination debate. This suppression of vaccine opposition even among academics, is becoming more commonplace and will lead down a slippery slope that will silence opposition science, and the dangers that come with this. Those who question vaccine safety have been ostracized, misquoted and even made to appear mentally ill by those who hold the majority opinion on the issue. Physicians who question vaccine safety have had their licenses threatened or have been fired from positions. Tactics such as name calling and the use of terms such as pseudo-science, (even when the evidence being presented is from widely accepted peer-reviewed journals) or “conspiracy theorists” which has the effect of placing those holding the minority opinion in the category of such groups as 9/11 truthers, are not uncommon. Other methods of curtailing the presentation of opposing vaccine views have included pressuring venues not to allow anti-vaccination proponents to appear, or using the media to “expose” anti-vaccination groups as “crack-pots” while simultaneously presenting the majority opinion and the presenters as the sole arbiters on the issue. The more extreme elements of the pro-vaccine group will even make the statement that the issue is settled and there is no need for discussion. ”

        To which he himself appends the quotation:

        ““Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.” Jacob Bronowski in Science and Human Values”

        Leonard F Vernon, ‘How Silencing of Dissent in Science Impacts Woman. The Gardasil® Story’, Advances in Sexual Medicine, 31 October 2017,

        • Indian J Med Ethics. 2012 Apr-Jun;9(2):114-7.
          Polio programme: let us declare victory and move on.
          Vashisht N1, Puliyel J.
          Author information
          It was hoped that following polio eradication, immunisation could be stopped. However the synthesis of polio virus in 2002, made eradication impossible. It is argued that getting poor countries to expend their scarce resources on an impossible dream over the last 10 years was unethical. Furthermore, while India has been polio-free for a year, there has been a huge increase in non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP). In 2011, there were an extra 47,500 new cases of NPAFP. Clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly, the incidence of NPAFP was directly proportional to doses of oral polio received. Though this data was collected within the polio surveillance system, it was not investigated. The principle of primum-non-nocere was violated. The authors suggest that the huge bill of US$ 8 billion spent on the programme, is a small sum to pay if the world learns to be wary of such vertical programmes in the future.

          PMID: 22591873 DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2012.035

  11. Since the inception of the Vaccine Damage Payment Act in 1979 a worthy band of individuals have sought to have the plight of vaccine damaged people acknowledged and addressed. However, the appalling statistics for the number of awards issued annually to claimants by the VDPU evidences the fact that the scheme is entirely flawed.

    That vaccines can, and do, cause injury in some cases, is accepted by the WHO with their vaccine safety expert Dr John Clements advising the UK Parliament on 28th June 2000 that……

    “There is no perfectly safe or completely effective vaccine, but we all benefit from them. Countries should have a responsibility to make sure if people take part in a programme they are supported if things go wrong”.

    The general consensus of opinion appears to have always been that where injury has occurred as a result of vaccination (which benefits society at large), then there is a clear, moral duty for that same society to compensate the affected individual.

    Jack Ashley was very vocal on this point when in 1977 he stated that ………………

    “On the question of compensation, the Government have a clear and over-riding moral responsibility to pay the children who are severely damaged, because they are vaccinated primarily for the benefit of others who are too young to be vaccinated themselves. The main benefit is to the community at large, yet all the risk is to the individual.”

    Lord Campbell of Alloway swiftly followed in 1982 with his call for “absolute liability and fair compensation” for those adversely affected by vaccines.

    Baroness Faithfull noted how families of vaccine damaged children were lead to believe by the “Government then in power that they would be assisted, supported and helped. They were also given to understand by members of the then Opposition, the conservative party that they too sympathised with the parents’ plight”. In closing she added………….. “and yet they still wait”

    Lord Pearson (The Pearson Report) advocated that, ….”There is a special case for paying compensation for vaccine damage where vaccination is recommended by a public authority and is undertaken to protect the community “.

    There has been no shortage of very vocal individuals agreeing that those who have suffered vaccine damage be compensated for their injuries, but there is, and always has been, a very noticeable shortage of individuals pursuing and petitioning for a fairer, more responsive and accommodating award scheme to address the plight of those who have suffered. Irrespective of how the scheme is publicly portrayed it needs to be remembered that it is possible and it does happen, that applicants are frequently acknowledged to have been injured by a vaccine but are still refused an award because they are not deemed to have been so sufficiently damaged, as to merit it.

    As things stand, only those who are deemed to be severely damaged are eligible for an award. Those who are damaged (by the very same group of qualifying vaccines) but not deemed by VDPU assessors to be severely affected, are dismissed.

    Decisive action is required to overhaul the 1979 Act to ensure that all proven vaccine damaged individuals irrespective of the severity of the injury, will be acknowledged and compensated. Raising confidence in the VDPU can only serve to advance the argument for vaccination. Reassuring the public that help is realistically at hand in the event that something goes wrong may encourage people to think more favourably towards vaccination. The current trend appears to be to deny vaccine damage by ensuring very low figures for awards thereby creating the impression that it doesn’t happen. Sadly, I can personally vouch for the fact that, vaccine damage does happen, and that it can be acknowledged by the VDPU and yet not result in an award. The low number of awards is not indicative of the number of occasions damage has occurred but only an indication of the very small number who have been compensated.

    Good intentions and a suggested moral duty to address vaccine damage spanning nearly forty years, has not resulted in a satisfactory system of compensation for the vaccine damaged ……….all these years later, it is still very much a case of “and yet they still wait”.

    • Wendy

      I believe what we also remember here, and this might quickly become true of any scheme that replaced it, is that they cheat. In the early days the idea was that those who injured by the programme we’re almost vanishingly rare, but then they found at the beginning that they had awarded something like 600 cases in three years, when the programme was only a fraction of the scale it is now. But now as far as we know there have been no awards at all since Robert Fletcher in 2010. Early last year the Appeal Court dismissed the Catch 22 method which the DWP was using to deny any payments at all – essentially they were claiming that it was impossible to assess future needs and therefore the terms of the legislation could not be met. But despite the ruling of the court it looks as if no claims have been met since.

      It may also be mentioned that in the Fletcher tribunal evidence had to be delivered by satellite because no British expert would have dared to appear for the appellant.

      In March 2015 there was a very creepy debate about about vaccine damage in Westminster Hall – lots of pietistic schmoozing about “the very rare and genuine cases”. On that occasion the head of the all party group on vaccine damage was proposing that we adopt the US model which would presumably entail mandates, and it was a small relief that he immediately afterwards lost his seat in SNP landslide. Presumably, there is still an all party group and it is just as toxic – I don’t think anyone follows them.

      But the basic message is that where there are vaccines there is bad faith, and this can only change if people begin to realise finally what is going on.

  12. Autism Spectrum
    According to James Reilly his Autism Spectrum Disorder Bill 2017…received cross party in Seanad including from the Minister for Health Simon Harris.
    He published the new Bill in the Seanad to make it mandatory for the Government to produce a National Plan for Autism .His is delighted that the bill was supported by all parties and independent in the Senad.
    The main of this Bill is to set out an agreed detaled plan service s persons affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders( ASD)Aand a funding plan to be agreed to implement the plan over 66.000 have supported his online petition at change .org for this bill.
    Next steps -get the bill passed by the Dail and the National Plan for Autism put in place with realistic funding .The Department of Health are currently surveying existing autism services nationwide
    The government have a clear and over riding moral responsibility to pay children who are severely damaged.

  13. I agree with Johanna’s take of the article she cited. People thinking about getting the adult whooping cough booster need to be told (but aren’t) that they are putting the baby at greater risk of getting whooping cough by being around them if they get the shot shortly before seeing the baby. Ie the baboons in the study had some protection from the whooping cough themselves but the bacteria was present in their airways for at least 6 weeks. The baby is then being surrounded by relatives who are carriers but don’t appear sick!

    • Actually … I’m not totally sure I understand, but I do not believe people who take the Boostrix vaccine are *more* dangerous to Baby than they were before. That can be true, of course, with very powerful vaccines especially those containing whole virus. Like the polio vaccine — some of the people who actually got polio “from the vaccine” caught it while caring for a freshly vaccinated child who was shedding virus, rather than from being vaccinated themselves.

      But the acellular WC vaccine is not strong enough to *make* you a carrier. The real problem: It is weak enough to *allow* you to become infected, even if it is strong enough to keep you from getting sick. So, you can be a carrier whether your last DTAP vaccine was last week, or ten years ago. You are not endangering others by getting this vaccine, but you are not protecting them either. And protecting others was likely your motive for getting it.

      I’m reminded once again of the tragic tale of “Typhoid Mary” Mallon, the Irish immigrant who was kept in solitary confinement on an island in New York Harbor. She was a totally asymptomatic carrier who spread the disease in several wealthy homes where she worked as a cook. This was well before vaccines. But spacious homes with indoor plumbing had already made typhoid fever fairly rare among the well-to-do, while it periodically ravaged the slums. They could still catch it though–and die of it too, sometimes.

      If Mary Mallon hadn’t been demonized as a filthy immoral immigrant, and locked up like an animal, the city could have made an ally of her. For starters, they could have compensated her for being banned for life from her trade. Instead she was set “free” and needlessly marked as a pariah … then locked up again when the authorities found, to their horror, that she was working as a cook again under an assumed name. But how else was she to live? Mary was a genuine hazard, by no fault of her own. But hers is still a story of how hysterical fear and scapegoating make us all less safe.

  14. The major reason why there is such a high failure rate for claims brought under the Vaccine Damage Payment Act before a VDPU tribunal in Scotland, would surely be the lack of Legal Aid allowing claimants to secure both legal representation and expert medical testimony to support their claims.

    It follows that on each and every occasion there exists a David & Goliath type situation where the defendant in these cases is always the Department of Work and Pensions with infinite resources at their disposal to retain the required legal representation and medical expert reports to support their decision to refuse an award.

    In this way there is always inequality of arms and a potential violation of article 6 when applicants lacking the financial resources to engage professionals, have to resort to representation by either the claimant themselves (which is not appropriate when the claimant is a minor) or a family member. However well intended and knowledgeable, parental testimony does not carry the same weight and is not viewed in the same way as that provided by specialist qualified professional experts. Additionally, parents and family members cannot be expected to attend with the same level of skill and legal expertise as fully qualified members of the legal profession.

    Newspaper reports from 2010 advised that Robert Fletcher’s mother was the first person in the UK to be awarded a form of legal aid (Exceptional Case Funding) to bring what was a successful claim on his behalf at a VDPU tribunal.

    Eight years on, and in Scotland at least, despite the Act applying to claimants all over the UK, funding is being refused to those who face the daunting task of submitting an appeal before a tribunal with the resultant figures for the last few years showing that there have been no successful claims.

    Perhaps the most concerning aspect of all is the fact that the Judiciary and the Scottish Government are perfectly content to allow this blatant inequality of arms to persist.

  15. Let’s go with the Baboons ..

    Note: The campaign is already raising a different kind of awareness. A campaign now running asks GSK to pull the commercial because it “needlessly demonizes wolves.”

    How whooping cough shots can do the opposite of what that commercial depicts

    They’re telling your grandkids you’re a monster.

    You can’t keep politics out of ‘healthcare’ as this ‘take’ goes to show … coughing and spluttering comes with the territory – and detecting ‘whoops’ ..

  16. I find myself thinking more and more in terms of ‘me’ and ‘others’.

    My stomach turns inside out when I think I see our society being completely overrun by Big Pharmas ideas of ‘health’, what is it the others aren’t seeing? What is it that allows ‘others’ to think it is all fine, when I’m thinking the end is near?

    OK, I’m probably the one who is wrong, or atleast my Seroxat-history will convince ‘the others’ so. And I always been a bit naive, science should be immaculate, or it just isn’t science.

    But ‘the others’ simply must have agreed upon that science is what suits for the moment being, and right now they seem to be swallowing anything and calling it science. (Off topic, I saw some interesting debate on how to merge “evolution” with the complexity of “DNA”, I need to prepare my tinfoil hat by the looks of it)

    I just can’t get my head around how there is even a debate, when one side is just hiding the data they say is so immaculate. Even in the most random of random internet discussions, people asks for: “picture/source/evidence or proof, or it didn’t happen..”

    In the back of my head, I think, or wish, that I’m still able to see the ‘wolf in grandmoms outfit’, or else I’m blaming Seroxat!!

  17. On the subject of vaccines: including the “flu shot”. Most contain egg protein. Is the patient asked about allergy to eggs? Others contain porcine products. Is the patient asked about religious restrictions? The only flu vaccines without additives are those given to pregnant women, How often are the fevers, swelling, myalgias etc. post vaccination caused by these allergies? According to the CDC:
    Common substances found in vaccines include: Aluminum gels or salts of aluminum ; Antibiotics ; Egg protein ; Formaldehyde; Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and 2-phenoxy-ethanol ; Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative that is added to vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose . “For children with a prior history of allergic reactions to any of these substances in vaccines, parents should consult their child’s healthcare provider before vaccination”

  18. The British way of attempting to influence drug prescribing seems mainly to be by persuasion and reason by giving more and more evidence – which is contested even ridiculed. But Peter Breggin has published a whole list of successful prosecutions in USA on his web site particularly related to tardive Dyskinesia, Suicide and murder induced by drugs. Some parts of his message are just annoying – kind of love conquers all – pharmaceutical companies don’t want the love they are heartless. But many practitioners do want to be at least respected and liked for what they do. So why have they got cloth ears when it comes to listening to those who report harm? Even psychoanalytic groups seem unable to undo the knot of resistance to what is being reported and translate it into another diagnosis -psychosomatic. Maybe it is a failure of optimism to think legal cases would be the biggest nudge – It’s the wrong time to start up another request for donations but if the funds were available would a test case be possible or likely to make a difference?

  19. Keep Talking Greece..and Sweden
    35 mins ·

    BBC News:

    Antidepressiva gör mer skada än nytta!
    Vad med och hjälp till att sprida informationen som i Sverige tystas ned av de forskare som samarbetar med läkemedelsindustrin men som uttalar sig såsom representanter för Universiteten. Barn och föräldrar blir lurade varje dag av riktlinjer från Socialstyrelsen som är grundade på information från dessa ”experter”.…/www.b…/news/amp/uk-scotland-42917452
    BBC News:

    Antidepressants do more harm than good!

    What with and help to spread the information that in Sweden is being silenced by scientists who cooperate with the pharmaceutical industry but who speak as representatives of universities. Children and parents are being deceived every day by guidelines from the social board based on information from these “experts”.

    David Carmichael
    1 hr ·

    On Monday, a Greek news blog published this post about how Novartis influenced politicians and doctors in Greece between 2006 and 2015. “The scandal is estimated to be worth 85 billions euros.”

    Keep Talking Blog, Wit and Drama ..

    Drugs like Seroxat can ‘pull apart’ love so what better than to bring in ‘love’ as part of a psychological/psychosocial/legal expertise ..

    Akathisia was not coded.

    RxISK‏ @RxISK Feb 6

    Do you know the symptoms of akathisia? See our guide.

    The ultimate ‘Guinea-pig’ trial .. ?

  20. PRESS: GlaxoSmithKline Faces Fresh UK SFO Probe On Use Of Advisers

    GlaxoSmithKline faces fresh probe over allegations it bribed doctors to prescribe its drugs

    But that took a bizarre turn in 2013 when bosses at the Glaxo’s London headquarters were sent an email with a video of Mark Reilly, the head of the China arm, engaged in a sex act with a young Chinese woman.

    In the email, the sender claimed Reilly was involved in a bribery scheme that funnelled money to doctors through a travel company, which supplied him with women to secure the business.

    It was handed a fine of £297million – the biggest in China’s history – and five staff, including Reilly, were given suspended jail sentences. 

    The DOJ never brought any formal enforcement action against Glaxo, which agreed to pay to settle civil charges in 2016 without admitting or denying them


  21. Masterly harming kids for profit

    Re.      How Forest Misled the FDA, DOJ, USAO, and the Public about the Results of Celexa Study MD-18

    Baum Hedlund Urges DOJ to Investigate Celexa/Lexapro Clinical Trials

    Forest Laboratories, Inc. – Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Forest Laboratories, Inc.

    While Tiazac was certainly a success, it and all of Forest Labs’ other products were soon far overshadowed by a drug called Celexa. This latest turn in the company’s fortunes began in 1994 when CEO Solomon’s son Andrew fell into a deep depression. Solomon began researching treatments for his son and discovered a European antidepressant named Cipramil, which had been developed by the Danish company H. Lundbeck A/S.

    Cipramil had achieved market share in Europe of more than 40 percent mainly because it was considered to have fewer side effects than the U.S. blockbusters Prozac (Eli Lilly and Company) and Zoloft (Pfizer Inc.) The head of Lundbeck had tried to license the drug to several large U.S. drug companies, but each deal fell through–the companies apparently having concluded that Cipramil’s sales potential was not large enough for them. For Forest, however, Cipramil was a perfect fit, and so Solomon signed a deal with Lundbeck in early 1996 to license the drug for sale in the United States under the name Celexa.

    Overall sales and profits for Forest Labs ballooned thanks to the great success of Celexa.

    Initial indications were that the level of cannibalizing of Celexa prescriptions were minimal, with most of the Lexapro prescriptions coming either from patients taking an antidepressant drug for the first time or from patients switching from other antidepressants.

    To further expand the market potential of the drug, Forest was also working to gain FDA approval for the use of Lexapro in treating other disorders: generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and panic disorders. Some industry analysts believed that Lexapro could grow into a $2 billion-per-year drug by the mid-to-late 2000s.

  22. A global girl gang

    Heidi J Larson

    Simon Wessely‏ @WesselyS Feb 11

    Social media in various forms has played a substantial role in tackling issues such as stigma and mental health, but this well written essay by anthropologist Dr Heidi Larson on the problems around HPV vaccination tells a more ambiguous story @TheLancet

    If there is one time of life when emotional ups and downs are particularly steep—with roller-coaster highs and lows, risky behaviour, and attention seeking at an all-time high—it’s adolescence. It is an exciting, scary, and vulnerable time. Many cultures around the world recognise this liminal and transformative time with initiation rites to mark the passage from childhood to adulthood. Heads are shaved, genitals cut, tests of courage and strength performed, and ceremonies held to mark sexual maturity, reproduction, and changing roles in family and society. With this transition, is the loss of innocence, of virginity, of purity. Throughout history, myths have been written and artists have portrayed virgins—as a most precious gift— being sacrificed to the gods, for redemption and protection of whole populations. The notion of sacrificing a virgin for the greater good is the theme of a three-part YouTube series, intended to be woven into a documentary film, called Sacrificial Virgins. In this case, though, filmmaker Joan Shenton challenges the notion that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is for the greater good, titling part 1 of the series, “Not for the Greater Good”.

    The film opens with 16-year-old Ruby—long brown hair, glasses, and wearing a salmon-coloured T-shirt with “Girl Gang” written across the front—capturing well the sentiments of her age. In her gentle voice, she talks about her pain and fatigue; as her mother moves her in a swing, her legs and arms are limp and she’s unable to stand without support. Ruby is convinced that the HPV vaccine caused her situation, and the video series goes on to tell other stories as the filmmaker interviews young girls, their mothers, and scientists who present alternative views and questions around the safety and need for the HPV vaccine. There are no positive voices about the HPV vaccine in this video series.

    There are no interviews with the Nobel Laureate Harald zur Hausen, who discovered the link between HPV infection and cervical cancer, or with Lasker Award-winning scientists Douglas Lowy and John Schiller for their research on the HPV vaccine, or even with girls or parents who think differently about the positive value of the HPV vaccine and the prevention of cervical cancer.

    Documentary films and social media, now enabling the viral spread of photos and videos worldwide, are becoming the media of choice among those most critical of vaccines. Films and social media can channel emotions and provide a platform to share personal testimony as compelling “evidence” that cannot be conveyed in scientific articles and randomised controlled trials.

    The HPV vaccine brings out particularly strong emotions. It provokes cultural, religious, and political reactions from the public more than most other vaccines, not in small part because it touches on sensitivities around sexuality and reproduction, as well as the vulnerable emotions and individuation of adolescent girls. Some of these emotions and anxieties have been pointed to by the medical community as contributing to the range of symptoms reported by young girls—dizziness, fainting, eating disorders, and walking difficulties—while those who experience them are convinced they are caused by the HPV vaccine.

    Sacrificial Virgins is not a series on its own. It is another film produced on a growing theme of The Vaccinated Girls (De Vaccinerede Piger), as a Danish TV documentary was titled. The documentary was broadcast in Denmark in March, 2015, is still circulating on YouTube, and has prompted other films—in the Netherlands, Ireland, and Colombia—where girls share their personal testimonies, and their symptoms, suspected to be caused by HPV vaccination. Danish HPV vaccine anxieties posted on YouTube or Facebook have influences well beyond Denmark, travelling afar with English or other subtitles. Video clips of Colombian girls telling their stories in Spanish are subtitled in English with voiceover in Japanese. Japanese anti-HPV vaccine sentiments and YouTube images have meaning beyond Japan, shared globally with multilanguage subtitles and images that often speak for themselves. The stories from Japan have travelled particularly widely, and featured in many online discussions, Facebook pages, and YouTube testimonies, including in part 3 of Sacrificial Virgins.

    The Japanese Government suspended their proactive recommendation of the HPV vaccine in June, 2013, in reaction to reported vaccine reactions and public pressure. Although the independent committee that investigated the cases found no evidence of a link between the vaccine and the reported symptoms, more than 4 years later, the recommendation is yet to be reinstated and HPV acceptance rates have plummeted from over 75% to under 1%. Meanwhile, those around the world who are increasingly anxious, concerned, or convinced they have been injured by the HPV vaccine point to the Japanese Government’s decision as an endorsement of their concerns.

    Teenage social networks are increasingly created online with intimacies, sensitivities, and experiences shared across the globe in search of like-minded friends. Sometimes these new media offer a space for friendship and sharing, but they have also opened the gates for the viral spread of panic, such as around HPV vaccine risks. These stories are a growing narrative co-created and posted by the girls and circulating globally that fuel a social amplification of risk and anxiety. As with street gangs that create their own brands and loyalty, these girls are creating their own evidence.

    The impact of this growing trend of globally shared personal testimonies, risk perceptions, and vaccine critiques is no longer fringe. The impacts are evident in the high level of reported adverse events after HPV vaccination and the less than optimal levels of vaccine acceptance in countries where the vaccine is available and recommended. As poorer countries, with some of the highest cervical cancer burdens, start to introduce the HPV vaccine into their national programmes, anyone with internet and social media access will be exposed to the Babelian mix of trust-building as well as trust-breaking posts about the vaccine. Although most reported adverse events have not been confirmed as being caused by the vaccine, they reflect the heightened perceptions of risk, suspicion, and distrust around HPV vaccination. The trust levels are low.

    Building trust among young girls is critical. They are future mothers, and their personal experiences with vaccines will be remembered. Symptoms suspected to be caused by HPV vaccination, such as those portrayed in Sacrificial Virgins, need empathy, counselling, and support. The questions, symptoms, and concerns are real for those who experience them and dismissing them as being unrelated to vaccination will only provoke more distrust and alienation. Disseminating better messages is not the point. These stories are about a broken relationship and need repair. They need listening, not instructing. They need dialogue, not dismissal.

    I thought it was Tonic Water that had the Quin in

  23. I have written a certain amount about Larson, including just the other day:

    A basic observation here is that the film which Larson is complaining about may emote but that is all Larson does as she pleads for official censorship of the media (there is an EU consultation which closes in a few days time). Comically enough Larson, who is professionally associated with both HPV vaccine manufacturers,

    remarked in an interview for Johnson and Johnson vaccine division last August:

    “Yes, there are potential risks—there will always be potential risks with any medical treatment. And we don’t talk enough about that.”

    but, plainly posturing aside that is not what she thinks – she will do anything to suppress such talk.

    Having said that I doubt whether the big problem of HPV vaccines is all that anthropological stuff about puberty which she can invoke, but because it is less easy to dismiss articulate young women – girl gang members or not – who suddenly conk out than the infants who fail to develop, and can’t tell you anything about it.

    Meanwhile, one can only remark on the inadequacy of the rubric that “the benefits greatly outweigh the risks” which is “a belief” rather than a “scientific fact”. Unless people can report harms and be taken seriously this is merely suppressing the data.

    We ought to be able to talk about the harms of products and we should not need Larson’s permission.

  24. Paradoxes for Heidi Larson: The Vaccine Confidence Lady

    The Vaccine Confidence Company ..

    Tops its peers ..

    GSK’s president of global pharmaceuticals Luke Miels said the recommendation gives the company “target universe of over 100 million patients in the U.S. alone.” 

    “We see a three-phase launch: first, counter-detailing Merck because these guys are still out there, then targeting Zostavax patients for re-vax, and then in the third phase driving market expansion,” he added.

    Target universe – launch – are still out there

    Who does he think he is, Elon Musk with ‘Falcon Heavy’ ..

  25. In the Wake of Wakefield ..

    Archive on 4

    Sandwiched between Loose Ends, Saturday Review, Drama and The Moral Maze ..

    BBC ‘Pick ****’

    ‘In the Wake of Wakefield

    In 1998, Andrew Wakefield published a paper in The Lancet suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The paper was discredited, but the anti-vaccine campaign goes on.

    Adam Rutherford presents this archive programme on a medical scandal.’

  26. Speaking as a big, bad, grandmother I’d like to point out that for me, the point about the Great Vaccine War is that it has become a political, not a medical matter. I get tired of the anti vaccine rhetoric. I think vaccines that reduced polio, diphtheria , small pox and measles can only be good (read a description of children dying of diphtheria and argue otherwise, or kids of my generation who spent a chunk of their childhood stuck inside an iron lung. Listen, as I have, to the noise of a tiny baby battling whooping cough ). I had my kids vaccinated, not without a degree of anxiety but I, like everyone else I know, took a calculated risk. So too have my kids in turn with their children. None have made that decision lightly. Give people credit for intelligent decision making. To do otherwise is simply patronising. Being a parent isn’t easy but the vast majority act in the best interests of their child – and think about it very hard.

    What bothers me is when the state gets involved and coercion creeps back in. I chose not to have the flu vaccine after a deal of research and eventually had to block the surgery from sending me texts about having it. The surgery in turn was under extreme pressure from Public Health England to increase the ‘uptake’ – partly because a lot of money had been spent on buying in the vaccine, and partly because the fear of the NHS collapsing under the pressure of flu-related illness.

    It’s a huge shame that on these vaccine threads, people can’t stick to the point: that vaccines like all meds can cause harm, the harms should be openly recognised and those harmed should be compensated. Battle for access to information. I think vaccines are a good thing. I think being forced to have them is a Very Bad Thing. I think people are goddamn boring when they go on and on and on and on….

    • Sally

      I think it is very unfortunate the way by sleight of hand that people trying to raise the real issues which you find so boring are the people supposedly engaging in the rhetoric. The rhetoric actually comes from people like you that put all the criticism under the umbrella of “anti-vaccine”. It is a cop out. It is a cop out to try and shut up and out people who have experienced the collateral damage of the war on disease.

      You make the decision to vaccinate your children sound so selfless and wise, but if you thought there was a calculated risk how do you account for the fact that British government have only made three vaccine damage awards (not compensation) since 2010 – and those under the direction of the Appeal Court. It is not cool to recognise vaccine damage. Meanwhile the number products added to the schedule just goes on rising. In 1980, with just a few products on the schedule we had hundreds of pay outs. Now the VDPU using Catch-22 tactics recognise none voluntarily. No cases ever get to civil court because of political intervention. From your position it would be hard to come to any scientific estimate of the cases disregarded. What position are you in to make any reassurance? What we have is not very safe vaccines but very effective rhetoric. Meanwhile, without any further explanation the NDDs pile up in our schools (not to mention the psychiatric disorders).

      Well, I will settle for being boring – I have been boring on since the beginning of the millennium trying to stick to specifics – but please note once again you are simply indulging in personal abuse.

  27. Fears were raised by a disgraced former doctor that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine caused autism

    More than 20,000 catch measles as parents shun vaccination

    Measles cases rose by 300 per cent in Europe last year as parents across the Continent shunned vaccines.

    More than 20,000 people were infected as the disease rebounded from a record low to cause 35 deaths, according to World Health Organisation figures that reveal the damaging after-effects of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine scare.

    Young people in Britain who are part of the unprotected “Wakefield cohort” — named after the disgraced former doctor Andrew Wakefield, who raised fears that the triple vaccine caused autism — have been urged to get vaccinated before trips to countries such as Italy.

    Parents who refuse to give the jab to their children have been blamed for the deaths. Britain reported 282 cases in outbreaks across Yorkshire, the northwest, the West Midlands and Surrey last year, all caused by people arriving from affected countries. Most are now thought to be under control but an outbreak in the West Midlands continues, with 51 confirmed cases.

    Confidence in the MMR jab given to children collapsed in the late 1990s after the fraudulent claims by Wakefield, who practised in London. Vaccination rates in Britain have largely recovered, with 92 per cent receiving the jab by the age of two, but scepticism lingers in many states such as Italy, where the populist Five Star Movement has stoked fears about it.

    In France growing distrust fuelled by parties such as the far-right National Front has been blamed for an epidemic. In the US President Trump expressed concern last year about a “tremendous increase” in autism rates, having tweeted three years earlier about “many cases” of healthy children having jabs before developing autism.

    Seth Berkley, chief executive of the global vaccine alliance Gavi, said: “A dangerous combination of complacency and false claims by anti-vaccination campaigners is causing too many parents to leave their children unvac- cinated. Measles cases around the world are plummeting, largely thanks to vaccination efforts in Africa and Asia: it is shocking that Europe, where a measles vaccine is easily available, is now seeing a resurgence.”

    Vanessa Saliba, a measles epidemiologist at Public Health England, said: “Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known to Man . . . These outbreaks are really important in showing that measles is not going away and we need to keep vaccinating.”

    The NHS has been told to increase vaccine catch-up efforts against a disease with complications that include death, brain damage and blindness. Thousands of teenagers and young adults who missed vaccination as children remain unprotected. Dr Saliba said: “Travel is a useful reminder for adults . . . You don’t think about vaccination for Italy for a skiing holiday at this time of year but actually it’s essential.”

    She played down concerns that middle-class parents attracted by an organic lifestyle were susceptible to anti-science claims, saying that the problem was mainly a practical one in communities such as Travellers. “Vaccine hesitancy is not a key issue in the UK. Acceptance is at the highest level in more than a decade, with 94 per cent of parents feeling very confident,” she said.

    The WHO data released yesterday showed that after a record low of 5,273 cases in 2016, there were 21,315 cases of measles last year. Fifteen countries had outbreaks of more than 100 cases. The worst were in Romania, with 5,562 cases, Italy with 5,006 and Ukraine with 4,767. These states have some of the lowest measles vaccination rates, at 86 per cent, 85 per cent and 42 per cent respectively. More than 80 per cent of cases in Romania and Italy involved people who had not been vaccinated. Greece and Germany both had more than 900 cases and France had 520.

    Julian Savulescu, director of the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, said: “People who refuse measles vaccination are partly responsible for these 35 deaths by keeping the measles pool alive.”

    In Britain vaccination rates are below the 95 per cent two-dose coverage needed to stop the disease spreading. Peter Openshaw, president of the British Society for Immunology, said: “We should be doing better. The UK is a world leader in vaccine research and we need to ensure that this is reflected in the provision of vaccines to our children.”

    Measles across Europe

    Britain Measles was eliminated last September after three years in which the only cases were linked to overseas outbreaks.

    Germany Childhood immunisation is not compulsory and MMR coverage is below the 95 per cent level necessary to prevent outbreaks of measles. Only 92.8 per cent of children received the jab in 2015 but rates are rising.

    Romania Last year the country suffered its deadliest measles outbreak since the introduction of the MMR jab in 2005 with 36 deaths. Some accused anti-vaccine campaigners; others blamed Romania’s struggling healthcare system.

    France Officials are struggling to contain an epidemic they blame on a distrust of vaccinations whipped up by populist parties such as the National Front. There were 387 cases between November and this month and 20 people have died of measles in France since 2008.

    Russia and Ukraine An outbreak took place in Yekaterinburg in 2016, infecting two dozen people. “We have 2,090 children under 18 who are not vaccinated, creating the danger of an epidemic,” the mayor said. The situation is worse in Ukraine. Last year 4,767 cases of measles were recorded, topped only by Italy and Romania.

    Italy Two populist parties in next month’s general election, the Five Star Movement and the Northern League, have been criticised for fighting against mandatory measles jabs despite the number of cases surging to 5,000 in Italy last year.

    Science Media Centre

    expert reaction to WHO figures on measles cases in Europe in 2017

    Currently 276 comments on this ‘hot’ topic ..

    • Whipping up a storm. Anyone who wants to understand the Wakefield affair needs to consider:

      The mysterious Uehiro Foundation have been promoting compulsory vaccination for some years. I do not really understand its relationship with ethics (something like “ethics are what we say they are”). There was a very interesting discussion on their website back in 2013:

      They did not not seem to see even then that ethical decisions have to be made on careful consideration of all the facts – recognition of the fallibility of human technology and institutions etc. Like a lot of bad philosophers they predicate conclusions (argued logically) from premises that anyone can see are false or inadequate.

      Regarding Savulescu he wrote a remarkable article in BMJ some years ago against conscientious objection quoting Shakespeare as an authority, having failed to note that the words are spoken by his most villainous character, Richard III. It took BMJ nearly three years to post my my comment:-

      A bit more context

      I returned to this extraordinary article today. These are the words
      of Richard III in Shakespeare’s play as he goes out to fight his last

      “Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls,
      For conscience is a word that cowards use,
      Devised at first to keep the strong in awe.”

      Richard has just been visited in his sleep by the ghosts of those he
      has murdered on the route to power and in remaining there: Henry VI, the
      Duke of Clarence (his brother), Lord Rivers, Lord Grey, Lord Hastings, the
      Princes in the tower, his wife Anne, and the Duke of Buckingham.
      Juxtaposed with conscience is naked power.

      I have a few questions.

      How could an Oxford philosopher claim authority from a line ripped
      out of context in this way, as no undergraduate literature student would

      How can we justify any authority except through continuing open moral

      Do we really live in an age in which we can confidently defer to the
      state and its servants?

      And how is the Uehiro Foundation funded – a subject upon which I can
      find no information?

  28. I suppose the sudden interventions of Sally Macgregor and Noel Hershfield in this column offer the possiblity of some kind of debate, but it is still along the lines pretty much of “Why don’t you go away and die”. I am not sure why people alert to the harms of one kind of medicine against the professional tide would be so oblivious and blasé about another. I avoid talking about my own experiences but it really will not do for Sally to come and talk about a baby battling whooping cough without talking about the relatively common nightmare of a baby battling whooping cough vaccine when the UK government were forced to make awards to 600 cases of catastrophically damaged children in the first three years of the VDPU: they got better at denying claims but the product was not changed for a further quarter of a century. The public may have thought that something had been done to make whooping cough vaccine safer but all that had happened was that government had got better at denying harm.

    And what we are facing at the moment is not only blackout of discussion of the harms of these products in the mainstream media (as has been more or less operative for many years) but the blackout of any discussion at all and a drive for compulsion. We actually need to be able to discuss every aspect of this problem. Sally does not want coercion but unless we can be frank about the products we certainly do not have informed consent.

  29. The Vaccine Damage Payment Act of 1979 was never intended to be a long term robust scheme to provide payments to ease the suffering of those afflicted by vaccine damage. It was recognised from the outset to be a seriously flawed and inadequate interim measure to quell the growing cry for compensation to the many families of babies neurologically affected by the pertussis vaccine and to restore public confidence in the vaccination schedule.

    In 1982, only three years after being introduced it was described by Lord Allen of Abbeydale as an “immediate measure to meet an urgent need until a long term solution could be worked out”.

    Lord Elwyn –Jones referred to it as giving “immediate first-aid” .

    “It was certainly not intended as a permanent piece of legislation—the reading of it makes that painfully clear—but it was intended to give immediate first-aid, and the 750 families who have benefited from the £10,000 will, no doubt, think it was something good to have done.”

    Lord Mishcon described it as the “best” parliament could pass at that time in order to “deal with some kind of public outcry and anxiety”

    Jack Ashley spoke of the Government “delaying” compensation and offering up “excuses” for prevaricating.

    “The Secretary of State’s intention to await the Pearson Commission report on civil liability is merely a delaying tactic,…..”

    “My right hon. Friend has already gone on record with reasons for delaying compensation.”

    “The other two excuses for prevarication are that we are waiting for Pearson’s Royal Commission on Civil Liability,…”

    “Behind the call for compensation for vaccine-damaged children lies a story of Government incompetence, neglect and even deceit.”

    In 1982 Lord Elwyn –Jones voiced a need for the Act to be reviewed stating that it needed to be reconstituted “from top to bottom”!

    “We are now more than four years later, and I agree with the general view that the whole of the handling of this matter, and the operation of the Act, needs to be reviewed. I should have thought that the Act itself needs to be reconstituted from top to bottom as to definition of answerability and liability, as to the areas of damages which ought reasonably to flow and as to the machinery for determining whether it should be the courts or a tribunal which should be used to deal with the situation”

    Also in 1982, Baroness Faithfull made a point which is still the case today, thirty six years further on, with families still waiting for recognition and compensation for vaccine damage.

    “I wish to make three points. One is to consider first the parents of the children who have suffered as a result of vaccination or immunisation. They have been disappointed for too long. They were given hope that their cases would be dealt with and understood. The noble Lord, Lord Allen of Abbeydale, referred to this. Their cases were accepted, but temporarily, under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 They were given to understand by the Government then in power that they would be assisted, supported and helped. They were also given to understand by Members of the then Opposition, the Conservative Party, that they, too, sympathised with the parents’ plight; and yet they still wait.”

    There is little doubt that the Act was intended to be an interim measure and that it was accepted as deeply flawed from the outset but, it is still in existence today. Cabinet Papers from a meeting held on 5th May 1977 provide insight into the driving force to introduce a Vaccine Damage Payment Act to divert attention away from the neurological damage sustained by babies following administration of the pertussis vaccine and to restore public confidence in the vaccination programme.

    “ He was convinced that it would be impossible to get the vaccination programme off the ground until the principles of compensation had been conceded and the political campaign abated. If the Government failed to do this, they would bare a heavy responsibility for the greater incidence of crippling diseases. There were already an increasing number of poliomyelitis cases because children had not been vaccinated. He had seen the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation since HS committee’s last discussion. They expected to have a paper by the end of May pointing out the very small risks and major benefits attaching to the vaccination programmes, but they had no confidence that their findings would succeed in restoring the take-up of vaccination if the campaign for compensation continued to concentrate public attention on the risk of damage” (Secretary Of State for Social Services)

    • Wendy

      That is dismally insightful – c. 1980 they knew the bodies were piling up but did not know how to retreat. Probably admitting they had got anything wrong was politically too hazardous but by c.1985 they had massaged the awards down (presumably the numbers were never published) and were mostly keeping the stories out of the newspapers. People were assured that the DPT was perfectly safe although it continued to maim hundreds of babies – it was the same DPT. The protests of Gordon Stewart and Bill Inman were ruthlessly ignored but now we can see the data.

      They also probably looked at this time (c.1985) at the legislation being prepared in the USA but may not have gone there for various reasons. The Tories were not easily going to take on board a mandated or compulsory programme, nor would they have been ready to take on the business of full compensation (notably, also, at this time David Salisbury arrived as Department of Health vaccine supremo where he remained until the end of 2013). By the late 80s VDPU awards had been massaged to a trickle and stayed at the level until they managed to eradicate them after 2010. Of course, the final solution was threatened by the Wakefield affair. Vaccine safety has been government’s grand illusion and as the decades roll by they dig theselves in ever further. Once you have the means to deny everything bureaucratically, intimidate the media through SMC and SAS, the machine can just plough on regardless.

      it is obviously very useful for them to use Wakefield as a scapegoat.

  30. I am wondering if you are aware of the Green monkey cancer causing virus which found it’s way into both the Sabin and Salk vaccines, thereby jabbing millions with a vile vaccine which is the vector in soft tumor cancers. A book about circumstances linked with this occurrence is titled: Doctor Mary’s Monkey, if you have not read it, you may wish to do so.
    Also I have never been vaccinated, have no medicine cabinet, have never suffered more than the sniffles and a few benign childhood diseases. I do not believe in vaccines, I believe the pharmaceutical industry is evil in every sense of the word. The current CDC, (Center for Disease Control) director resigned recently when it became public knowledge that she had, after being put in her position, purchased stock in tobacco, and also in drug companies. This is the type of sleaze who is at the helm of these kinds of blood sucking organizations in the U.S.A. I am a great grandma, and encourage my grandchildren to never get their kids jabbed and follow other means to insure optimal health. Thank you for taking my comment.

  31. Shaun Lintern‏ @ShaunLintern Feb 23

    Shaun Lintern Retweeted Shaun Lintern

    Read my in-depth investigation for @BuzzFeedNews on how the swine flu vaccine destroyed NHS workers’ lives. Eight years on NHS staff have lost their careers and received no support. Across Europe more than 980 people including children have been affected.

    These NHS Staff Were Told The Swine Flu Vaccine Was Safe, And Now They’re Suffering The Consequences

    Dozens of NHS workers are fighting for compensation after developing narcolepsy from a swine flu vaccine that was rushed into service without the usual testing when the disease spread across the globe in 2009. They say it has destroyed their careers and their health.

    Doctor’s Orders ..

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