The First Vaccine Wars

December, 19, 2016 | 98 Comments


  1. David

    A few initial thoughts but some others will no doubt tumble out before long.

    The first is that irrespective of whether you attribute the departure of smallpox from the planet to vaccination it was incredibly widespread and deadly disease, so the imperative – certainly in the developed world – where the diseases mostly being vaccinated against today are either not so dangerous or relatively rare is not necessarily comparable. In the third world you may be comparing survival rates of vaccinated vs unvaccinated it which the risks of vaccination may still be considerable.

    In most cases any decline in the disease with the modern target diseases has not even approximated to elimination – may lead to mutation, reduction in effectiveness over time, reduction in natural immunity, requirement for ever more repeat doses etc. etc. The concept of eliminating diseases (having a war on them) with what it implies about the ignoring of collateral damage is deeply troubling. And how can you measure the benefit if you have elaborate systems for asserting effectiveness and denying harm?

    What is being delivered to us and particular our children is not being delivered with Olympian scientific detachment but by an unchecked, for-profit, bureaucracy (coutesy of GSK, Merck, Pfizer etc.) and it grows every year. This is the vaccine schedule 3 years and 4 months in the UK in a population which remains unmonitored for adverse effects, and where adverse effects are systematically denied (likely a GP won’t even note it down if a parent contacts them):

    8 weeks

    5-in-1 vaccine – this single jab contains vaccines to protect against five separate diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (known as Hib – a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children)

    Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine

    Rotavirus vaccine

    Men B vaccine
    12 weeks

    5-in-1 vaccine, second dose

    Men C vaccine (DISCONTINUED from July 1 2016)

    Rotavirus vaccine, second dose
    16 weeks

    5-in-1 vaccine, third dose

    Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine, second dose

    Men B vaccine second dose
    One year

    Hib/Men C vaccine, given as a single jab containing vaccines against meningitis C (first dose) and Hib (fourth dose)

    Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, given as a single jab

    Pneumococcal (PCV) vaccine, third dose

    Men B vaccine, third dose
    2-7 years (including children in school years 1, 2 and 3)

    Children’s flu vaccine (annual)
    3 years and 4 months

    Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, second dose

    4-in-1 pre-school booster, given as a single jab containing vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) and polio

    It will be much harder to monitor the fall out in a system where children fail to develop than with something like HPV vaccine, where you have an articlate community of young women.

    • John

      Thanks for these thoughts. I hope I haven’t once again been a touch too obscure. Maybe I’m asking people to join too many dots. The point is that long before we knew anything about germs, and about why vaccines might work, we had put compulsion in place and the language being used by those who would compel was identical a century ago to what it is now.

      The other point was that smallpox disappeared and its not clear the vaccine did this. The argument that the rich were less likely to get it anyway because they were better fed and healthier in general and of course weren’t lived in cramped and squalid tenements might have had something to it.


      • David

        I thought even if you were being paradoxical I would just say it. The story is the victory of rhetoric, but what really happened? Could injecting cowpox prevent smallpox? What would happen in terms of public health with all that needlework under 19th century conditions? One just shudders thinking about it. Was smallpox hunted to its grave or did it just die out?

        Obviously a vaccine programme requires huge public deference. What we have seen in the last decade and a half is a draconian clamp down on any loose talk, run in the UK by PR agencies such as Sense About Science and Science Media Centre with close affiliations to the Department of Health and the Department of Business, and very similar things happening in other countries.

        I well understand the desire to control infectious disease but the ultimate problem with sacrificing the truth is that no one can possibly know what they are doing, and it becomes impossible to have any rational discussion about it. We would scarcely except these limitations in any other area of public life. Even at times of national threat, when we end up going to war, there is public debate.


      • David,
        thanks for this thoughtful article.
        The figures I have seen show that smallpox vaccine was made compulsory in England in 1854, but the death rate really did not decline until 1882. The 1872 pandemic occurred despite a vaccination rate of about 77%.
        The other figure of great interest is the experiment in Leicester where compulsory vaccination was dropped. BY 1887 vaccination coverage rates had dropped to 10%, but instead a strict protocol for case finding, quarantine (patient taken to hospital, family disinfected and taken to clean and comfortable quarters) and disinfection was established.Following the introduction of this protocol the death rate from Smallpox dropped to nearly zero- despite ongoing deaths elsewhere in the UK (about 20/100,000 in 1886, then a data gap, then about10/100,000 in 1902).

        Now that, to me, is a clear demonstration that the established scientific thinking was faulty, and that the idea of herd immunity was not relevant to the control of the disease. Part of the decline in fatalities likely represents mutation in the virus (killing ones host is not a good plan), and part was undoubtedly due to ongoing improvements in hygeine, sanitation and nutrition— but the collapse of the death rate in Leicester preceded all of these.

        Now we have many other cases where our science is wrong, and we have many examples of corruption of the decision making process (Merck, who make Gardasil and Pneumovax made a massive payout of 4.85 billion dollars following the deaths caused by Vioxx, and the approval process for that drug was proven to be corrupt. Currently the largest lobby group in the US Congress is the Pharmaceutical Industry– 50% bigger than the next biggest (oil, I think).

        So- given all of this: who can make any case for compulsion? I have children myself and they were fully vaccinated then, but I cannot see any case for compelling any parent to vaccinate against their will, not in a democracy.

  2. The other point which I have often made is that by and large the objectors have not been people in principle against vaccination, but people who have been good citizens and then find themselves abandoned. For instance, we read in the founder of Sense About Science, Lord Taverne’s BMJ diatribe against MMR litigants:

    “The first was a claim against manufacturers of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. As long ago as 1994 legal aid was granted to a group of parents who were opposed to immunisation (and who were strong believers in homoeopathy)…”

    Of course, there is no reason why he should have known who they were but if they were ideologically committed against vaccination they would surely not have vaccinated. He is saying something which could not possibly be true.

  3. You pose the question as to ‘who chooses’ as regards the issue of vaccination. My feeling is that there are obvious pros and cons here – but, to me, the most radical change needed is in the ‘listening department’. The reason for parents choosing not to have their children vaccinated is invariably due to reports of adverse reactions being totally denied by doctors and pharmaceuticals. If these reactions were accepted and researched, I feel that many more families would then sit down and discuss the issues regarding their own families. The thought that – if your child reacted badly to a vaccine, there would be no-one to turn to, no real state support – your credibility would be called into question at every level is enough to frighten many parents.
    From the aspect of ‘mass vaccination’, I strongly dislike the notion of this taking place when there is no real, immediate risk – ‘just in case’ medicating seems to me to be falling into the hands of a money-making racket. I am afraid that I would go as far as suggesting that we may well have no real understanding of what it is we are being injected with in some cases!
    We all know the theory that the modern child’s immunity is often challenged due to the fact that their environment is kept too clean. All the disinfectant cleaning products used to this end can, and do, create havoc for many who develop an allergic reaction to them. Seems that a little dirt does no-one any harm – maybe it’s time to test that theory with regards to some illnesses too? After all, not all children who are not vaccinated will catch the illness even when mixing with ‘sufferers’ – maybe we need to look much deeper into the reasons why some do/ some don’t seem susceptible to certain illnesses and then vaccinate accordingly.
    Having said all that, I have to admit to turning up regularly for my annual flu jab -why? Simply because I know the havoc that a dose of flu can play with the asthma. Am I sure that each jab will completely rule out the chance of that season’s flu affecting me? – no, but I’m hoping that it helps, at least psychologically if not physically!

  4. As for vaccinations in the later years, failure to “comply” (shingles, flu, the two pneumonia shots) results in what feels like shaming from one’s primary care physician. One is reminded, cajoled, scolded or warned each time a visit to the physician is necessary. And, when asked what the risk-benefit ratio is – that’s when things get vague on the doctor’s part.

  5. It seems the pharma companies exploit the social forces that come into play where vaccines are concerned.

    The last time I got shots was when my grandson was born, because of the social obligation to protect him. I became sick more times and missed more work in the following year than I had in my entire life. I reported this to my (then) doctor, the one who later offered me benzodiazepines despite receiving a book about how I’d been harmed by them.

    She said, “Oh my, I guess you really are sensitive, aren’t you?” Had I been any more sensitive I would have punched her in the face.

  6. the latter day consequences of……………………………………………..SMALLPOX IS DEAD!

    After September 11, 2001

    2002: US government orders 200 million doses of smallpox vaccine, costing $428 million. The UK government orders 20 million doses, costing government £32 million

    2003: UK government sets up Health Protection Agency to help prevent terrorist attacks and limit their impact

    As more of the population is vaccinated, the disease can sometimes disappear completely and the vaccination programme can be stopped, as has happened with smallpox.

    Your best shot at good health

    The smallpox virus retention controversy is a debate that has been ongoing among international scientists and other officials since smallpox was declared eradicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1979. It centers on whether to finally and irreversibly destroy the two last remnants of the virus that causes smallpox, which reside in government laboratories in the United States and Russia. Advocates of final destruction maintain that there is no longer any valid rationale for retaining the samples, which represent a hazard, while opponents of it maintain that the samples are needed for further research as smallpox virus may still exist in the world outside of the two labs, and thus may re-emerge, particularly as a bio-weapon.

    Biological agent

  7. The international over-use of vaccine products is going through the roof and we have to challenge this. It is my fear that the long-term consequences of over-vaccination are going to put the over-use of antibiotics disaster in the shade.

    The pharmaceutical industry is driving the growth of the vaccine market, with the apparent enthusiastic support of the scientific/medical establishment and governments.

    The situation is dire in that vaccination policy appears to be dominated by pharmaceutical companies and academics with conflicts of interest, i.e. associations with the vaccine industry. There is no truly independent and objective formulation of vaccination policy, certainly not in Australia.

    The mainstream media is also a major part of this shambles, providing little or nothing in the way of critical analysis of vaccination policy. Indeed the media is a major player in vaccine promotion as we have seen in Australia with the Murdoch media’s campaign for compulsory vaccination, i.e. the ‘No Jab, No Play’ campaign, which was obligingly adopted by the major political parties and enacted as the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ law. This law coerces parents to have their children vaccinated to access benefits. This means parents will have to have their children vaccinated with ALL the vaccine products and revaccinations on the schedule for children up to the age of five years, i.e. they are hindered from evaluating the risks and benefits of each of these medical interventions – this directly conflicts with the obligation to obtain ‘informed consent’ before the medical intervention of vaccination.

    This is extremely problematic as there are questionable vaccines on the schedule, e.g. the arbitrary second shot of live measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (when many are likely to be immune after the first dose), and multiple shots of the aluminium-adjuvanted diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine, which is failing, hence the call for more and more so-called ‘boosters’. And older children are being pressed to have three doses of the very controversial turbo-charged aluminium-adjuvanted HPV vaccine(s), along with yet another diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis shot.

    There is also currently persistent lobbying for the aluminium-adjuvanted Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine to be added to the taxpayer-funded vaccination schedule in Australia, despite the fact this product has been rejected three times by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee due to the “multiple uncertainties in relation to the clinical effectiveness of the vaccine”.[1]

    The trashing of the right to ‘informed consent’ before a medical intervention, i.e. vaccination, is a most serious development, one which has implications for adults as well as children, with the implementation of an adult ‘immunisation’ register in Australia. And yet this major political and ethical issue, which is important internationally, is going under the radar.

    The general community is being seduced by the idea of ‘magic bullets’ to prevent disease, i.e. vaccines, but there are problems emerging with failing vaccines and adverse effects of vaccination. The possibilities for ‘unintended consequences’ abound. The long-term cumulative consequences of these excessive medical interventions, including annual flu vaccination, are unknown.

    As seen recently in the UK, with the uproar about Melinda Messenger’s concerns about the safety of HPV vaccination, the medical establishment quickly rises to stifle any questioning of vaccination safety. The vicious pillorying of Melinda Messenger was disgraceful, including Dr Chris Steele’s arrogant and patronising attitude towards Ms Messenger.[2]

    Vaccine industry gatekeepers, such as science writer David Robert Grimes, are given platforms in the media to aggressively promote vaccine products and deride those who have concerns about these burgeoning interventions.[3] Grimes is not an ‘expert in vaccination’, he speaks with no authority in this area. Let’s have those who are accountable for vaccination policy in the frame, make them answer our questions.

    Parents are entitled to ask questions about vaccination. This episode with Melinda Messenger is an illustrative example of the way parents are being bullied into having numerous vaccinations and denied being properly allowed to consider the risks and benefits of these ever-increasing interventions.

    The medical establishment’s apparent reluctance to consider the possibility of adverse events after vaccination also destroys any confidence in the post-marketing surveillance system. The voluntary reporting system is completely inadequate.

    In my opinion there should be an immediate moratorium on new vaccine products and an urgent review of vaccine schedules around the world. Children are being forced to have too many of these lucrative vaccine products and there may be serious long-term repercussions.

    1. November 2014 PBAC Outcomes – Subsequent Decisions Not to Recommend.
    2. See for example: HPV Debate: Melinda Messenger sparks row on This Morning as she’s accused of scare-mongering for not giving her daughter the HPV vaccine. The Sun, 14 December 2016 and Melinda Messenger hits back at ‘hostile’ Holly, Phil and This Morning for ‘gagging’ her during HPV vaccine debate. Mirror, 16 December 2016.
    3. See David Robert Grimes’ contribution, as enabled by the Daily Mail, i.e. inset box in this article: Why I stopped my little girl from having the cervical cancer jab: TV presenter Melinda Messenger is one of a number of mothers worried about the possible side effects of the HPV vaccination. Daily Mail, published 30 November 2016, updated 2 December 2016. Also see: Grimes’ article: We know it’s effective. So why is there opposition to the HPV vaccine? The Guardian, 12 January 2016.

    • There is increasing pressure for all healthcare providers to be given flu shots, with no exceptions. I would suggest that, among other things, this is a violation of human rights for the following reasons.
      The vaccine FluMist Quadrivalent, manufactured by MedImmune, contains one A/H1N1 and one A/H3N2 virus strain. In addition, the vaccine contains one strain from the B/Yamagata/16/88 influenza lineage and one from the B/Victoria/2/87 lineage. Other ingredients include porcine gelatin – oops, what if I’m an observant Jew or Muslim? Am I told this treif is being put into my body? There are claims, very flawed, that porcine gelatin is halal because of protein change – nonsense. The fact is that porcine gelatin is much cheaper than the kosher/halal version.
      The Fluzone High-Dose vaccine contains three virus strains: one type A H1N1, one type A H3N2 and one type B strain. Other ingredients include an isotonic sodium chloride solution buffered by sodium phosphate, 100 micrograms or less of formaldehyde, and octylphenol ethoxylate. Fluzone High-Dose does not contain gelatin or preservatives, notes the FDA. But formaldehyde?
      Some flu vaccines contain thimerosal, an additive that prevents bacteria and fungi from growing in the solution while it is in storage..They claim that Thimerosal contains a safe type of mercury that flushes out of the body. What is a “safe type of mercury” that can be flushed out by kidneys in all states of health?
      Most flu shots and the nasal spray flu vaccine are manufactured using egg-based technology.  Because of this, they contain a small amount of egg proteins, such as ovalbumin. However, studies that have examined the use of both the nasal spray vaccine and flu shots in egg-allergic and non-egg-allergic patients indicate that severe allergic reactions in people with egg allergies are unlikely. A recent CDC study found the rate of anaphylaxis after all vaccines is 1.31 per one million vaccine doses given. Since when does anaphylaxis have to occur before allergy causes problems?
      My major concern is that I have yet to find a person who has been asked about either religious issues or egg allergy before being given a flu shot by either a physician or a pharmacist as is allowed in Canada.

      • Irene

        I am not sure how critical the religious issue is as against say the Nuremburg code (informed consent). Certainly, in the Jewish tradition medical well-being would over-ride dietary prohibition, and in the Muslim tradition Majid Katme (who write about these issues) combines a scientific critque of the products with the fact that in some cases the ingredients are anyway abhorrent (and while vaccine out-reach workers may get shot at in Pakistan this is perhaps because they are regarded as spies). There are certainly reason why people in many religions might object about the use of human cell lines, although the clerics tend to remain silent.

        The more basic problem is if there are sanctions against people refusing a treatment which happens in many countries (perhaps not Canada yet) or if information about the product has been restricted or denied (which happens virtually everywhere).

  8. Shooting Melinda Messenger

    It is interesting that Dr Chris Steele’s tack is that Messenger may voice her opinions privately but if she states them in the mainstream media it is unforgiveable, and that is actually how it works now – if you dare say anything the bullies will descend full of magnificent self-righteousness (and very crude behaviour). They did this to Juliet Stevenson in 2003-4. The public good of vaccines is so great that they must never be criticised. You could not invent a more certain situation for the increased danger of a class of products than smashing dissent and criticism in this way.

    It is not even as if, in the case of HPV vaccines, that dangers are particularly well hidden anymore. More a question of saying “Don’t say it here or we will wreck your career”.

  9. Off at a tangent this time, but of interest as regards vaccines.
    About 18 months ago a niece of mine went for a chickenpox vaccination as she didn’t fancy a dose of shingles nor chickenpox.(Daughter’s friends were going down with chickenpox at the time).
    Within a few days she became seriously ill – could hardly move, certainly couldn’t DO anything, has balance problems, tinnitus…the list goes on. She had severe tenderness at the top of her spine and had shooting pains up into her head if she turned her head at all.
    You can imagine how my comments went – just as all of you would have also joined in! – “it’s a reaction to the vaccine”.
    My brother (her father) would have none of it – he believed the doctor’s diagnosis of a ‘trapped nerve’. I urged him to tell his daughter to read online, but I doubt if she even had the energy to do that!
    They have paid a lot of money for all sorts of private therapy to help with the ‘trapped nerve’ but nothing seemed to help. Eventually, TIME alone seemed to do the healing.
    Fast forward to this week – which is where it gets interesting! I visited her sister and was asking if she had fully recovered. It seems that she has, but a week ago she visited the doctor with a bad chest. Her usual doctor was not there – she was seen by a locum. As he scrolled through her notes, he paused and re-read; he then turned to her and said “I see you had a bad reaction to a faulty batch of vaccine”. She couldn’t believe her ears – that was the first mention linking her suffering to the vaccine. I wouldn’t mind betting it’s the last too! I wouldn’t like to be in the locum’s boots if it comes to the surgery’s notice that he’s shared those details with her – I bet his bags will be packed in next to no time!

    • It is remarkable to note that so far the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation in the UK have held off recommending chicken-pox vaccine as a move which would increase the risk of shingles. I wrote that eight years ago and happily it still looks as if they haven’t made the move.

      In the US the ACIP introduced it knowing very well it would cause harm.

      Merry Christmas everybody!

    • Mary, any adverse event that occurs after vaccination should be reported to the authorities, i.e. your niece could make her own report. (Although I suspect she wouldn’t get much encouragement to do this, and quite likely would be hindered…)

      Even the so-called regulators of medicines and vaccine products admit there is gross under-reporting of adverse events. For example, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website notes: “It is generally acknowledged that adverse events are under-reported around the world, with estimates that 90-95% of adverse events are not reported to regulators.”[1]

      The TGA website also notes: “In recent years evidence has emerged that adverse event reports from consumers contain information that is useful for monitoring the safety of therapeutic products, but there is low awareness of available reporting systems.”[1]

      The TGA is making a show of encouraging consumers to report ‘side effects’ now, but I’m not confident of their practical commitment to this ideal, they are funded by industry after all…

      But let’s test the system and spread the word that consumers should make their own adverse event reports if their doctor won’t help them in this regard. It’s a matter of making consumers aware of the reporting systems, particularly when there appears to be little genuine effort to publicise this facility.

      Also, I suggest doctors who fail to report adverse events after vaccination (or other medical procedures) are failing their professional duty. Although it also becomes a question of who pays for a doctor’s time for undertaking this paperwork?

      There’s also the major problem of a hostile climate that stifles any concerns about vaccine products, (e.g. as we’ve seen lately with the attacks on Melinda Messenger and her concerns re HPV vaccine safety), which I suspect also impacts on doctors’ willingness to acknowledge and report adverse events.

      1. TGA website: New web service helps consumer reporting of ‘side effects’:

      • I totally agree with your comment, Elizabeth, that my niece should report the side-effects that she suffered. I fully support the notion that WITHOUT such reporting, all medications will seem to work absolutely fine. The problem that I have here is that I’m not sure of the best way to tackle this to ensure a positive outcome. I know that my brother’s reaction would be one of two extremes, if I mentioned it to him -1.” she’s ok now so don’t lets rock the boat re:- her relationship with her GP”; 2. “I’m making an appointment now to go with her and sort this out”, neither option making much sense in the long run!
        My other concern is that, if her GP got an inkling of the fact given to her by the locum, then those words could disappear from her records and that would be the end of that. However, I do feel a sense of responsibility to do something further therefore I’m going to look at your suggested link and, if I feel it is something she’s likely to feel comfortable to do, I shall then send her the link along with an explanation of its importance. I feel that the ball will then be in her court – she knows the extent of our involvement with ‘adverse reactions’, therefore shall hope she too will fight for the rights of others to know what she (and many others) went through, so that future users may be able to make a slightly more informed ‘choice’.

        • Mary, as I indicated in my previous response to you, I’m not confident that ‘the authorities’ want to hear about adverse experiences after vaccination, (but I still urge you to encourage your niece to make an adverse event report.)

          We’ve seen the recent response to Melinda Messenger’s concerns about HPV vaccination, where she was howled down by ‘doctors’ and others.[1]

          Around the world reports of girls and young women experiencing adverse events after HPV vaccination have emerged, e.g. in Japan, Denmark, Ireland, England, Scotland, the United States, Canada, Colombia, India, New Zealand etc. International victim support group SaneVax provides a record of girls and young women, and boys, who have suffered after HPV vaccination, and this group campaigns to draw attention to this problem.

          When negative stories about HPV vaccination appear the medical/scientific establishment often intervenes to shut down debate on the matter, as can be seen by the backlash against the Toronto Star’s report “A wonder drug’s dark side” (February 2015), which was subsequently censored[2], and attacks on US journalist and TV host Katie Couric, who presented personal stories from mothers who claim their daughters suffered serious harm, including death, after HPV vaccination (December 2015)[3].

          When stories of young women suffering adverse experiences after HPV vaccination were reported in the UK media in June 2015, epidemiologist Dr Tom Jefferson said: “It is extremely difficult to publish anything against HPV vaccination. Vaccines have become like a religion. They are not something you question. If you do, you are seen as being an anti-vaccine extremist. The authorities do not want to hear “side-effect”. Some in the Department of Health believe any mention of unexpected harm from a vaccine must be stamped out in case it lowers uptake”.[4]

          It’s also extremely difficult to prove an adverse experience was caused by a vaccine, particularly when ‘the authorities’ don’t want to hear about it. ‘Correlation is not causation’ is likely to be spat in the faces of those who complain about adverse experiences after vaccination.

          This is why it is so important to carefully consider vaccination before the intervention, and weigh up the risks and benefits. Again this is hard to do when you’re on the receiving end of biased information and coercion from the medical establishment.

          1. See for example: HPV Debate: Melinda Messenger sparks row on This Morning as she’s accused of scare-mongering for not giving her daughter the HPV vaccine. The Sun, 14 December 2016 and Melinda Messenger hits back at ‘hostile’ Holly, Phil and This Morning for ‘gagging’ her during HPV vaccine debate. Mirror, 16 December 2016.
          2. A story titled “A wonder drug’s dark side” reported on adverse events after HPV vaccination in Canada. The article was taken down from the Toronto Star website after pressure from the medical establishment, as detailed in this note from the publisher:
          3. Katie Couric show on HPV vaccine sparks backlash. CBS News, 5 December 2015 and Katie Couric under fire for allegedly slanted report on HPV vaccine. Los Angeles Times, 5 December 2013.
          4. Just how safe is the cervical cancer jab? More and more families say their daughters suffered devastating side-effects from the HPV vaccine and experts are worried too. UK Daily Mail, 3 June 2015.

  10. Thanks David for this post. Completely fascinating background to the vaccination wars, all new to me and very helpful in negotiating my way through very mixed feelings. I’m old enough to remember the polio epidemics of the 1950s and the fear of diphtheria – but survived mumps, measles and chickenpox unscathed – like all my childhood friends. However I had my kids vaccinated against MMR and whooping cough with some qualms but completely convinced by the ‘herd’ theory.

    However I have watched my small grandkids receive the (to me) most astonishing array of ‘inoculations’ and had bad worry pangs about adverse reactions. It just seemed way too much for childhood illnesses which were likely to pass without serious danger.

    I feel armed with much more info now so thanks

  11. Totally agree with Sally’s comment.

    There is also some interesting reported research in December’s edition of the ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ magazine, which has enlightened me too about vaccines of various kinds.

    Having read John Stone’s comments on this string, I watched the Juliet Stevenson film on YouTube, first shown on I think Channel 5 in 2003. It tells the story of parents of autistic children who were sure the MMR vaccine had made them so. Now we begin to learn more about all these things, about gut symbiosis affecting the brain, it is even more incredibly relevant today, and poignant. It also shows what ‘we’, the ones who cannot run with the herd, are up against. As if we didn’t know, but this film spells it out carefully and fairly, the full horror of what we are struggling with. Thank you John Stone for reminding us about this TV film, which has moved me to tears this Christmas Eve.

    • Hi Heather

      Thank you for your appreciative comments. I have not actually looked at the film since it was originally televised but there is at least one important respect in which I believe it diverged from history in that Wakefield was employed as a research scientist at the Royal Free Hospital and did not have a clinical role in the treatment of the children. And this is why when the GMC launched its destroy mission against Wakefield they had to rope into the disciplinary proceedings the two lead clinicians Profs John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch. One of the nasty tricks that the GMC played was to get it widely broadcast on the first day of Wakefield’s cross examination (help of the BBC) Wakefield’s “admission” that he was not qualified to treat children – it was the national news at one o’clock. This sounded incredibly bad but of course was completely and deliberately (criminally?) misleading. It is certainly something that one should bear in mind now when viewing the film.

      On the issue of the gut and the brain I recall a National Autistic Soc/Imperial College conference c.2000 which under a brief period of political openness Wakefield was invited to address, in which he was ranged against a psychiatrist from the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. There were two points that Wakefield made (in fact the same point): that you only had to drink a glass of beer to establish a connection between the gut and the brain, and that when taking a psychotropic drug it first of all had to enter the body through the digestive system. This was to the GOSH man who was denying any connection between the gut and the brain, and who just sat there smiling in an embarrasssed way.


  12. I should have added the name of the film starring Juliet Stevenson, telling the story of Andrew Wakefield’s discovery and how he was sidelined finally by the authorities, and maligned. It’s called ‘Hear the Silence’ and can be found on YouTube, the 2003 edition. Also, I spelt ‘gut dysbiosis’ incorrectly. Also interesting on YouTube is a film made in Austin, Texas, where Andrew Wakefield explains what the charge of fraud against him really entailed, and how utterly ridiculous it is.

    One thing he is setting up in Austin is a place where autistic youngsters can get training to do whatever work they can manage and enjoy, where they will be appreciated and encouraged and cared for. That’s something we’d love to do at the Centre we hope to create at our home, having become involved with a local group of parents and a fantastic teacher who loves working with teenage autistic children. She says the saddest thing is that, having gone through education, the world doesn’t seem to have much to offer them in the way of meaningful work, they do not feel they contribute to society, and tend to just sit at home all day.

    I guess there is a lot of talk (rightfully) on these Blogs about the horrors of what Big Pharma have caused, but my interest is personally on what we are going to do to help and sustain those who are damaged and are here now. Of course it’s vital to hold all the Pharma crew’s feet to the fire, and those like DH are doing it well, but I feel a sense of enormous frustration about what is happening to the damaged thousands and thousands, who have to find a way to get through each hellish day. I only personally experienced akathisia myself in 1994, when I had a terrible reaction to steroids. I will never ever forget it. It took a year to get my mind back, I lost 3 stone, became intollerant to many foods like wheat, gluten etc, smells like chlorine, floor polish, and for a whole year suffered a mental sense of fear and panic. I couldn’t watch TV, the films seem to go too slowly for my racing mind, I could only watch football, which I normally avoid. To know that my son suffered on and off like this, and like me was totally misunderstood by doctors who had NO idea what akathisia felt like, absolutely breaks me, if I allow my thoughts to go down that route.

    Thanks again John Stone for reminding us about Dr Andrew Wakefield and his enormous bravery, standing up for humanity and doing the right thing, whatever it takes.

    • Heather, I note your sentence about follow-on opportunities for autistic youngsters once they leave school. It is a concern of mine too. Whilst these, and many other vulnerable youngsters, are fairly well catered for in further education, everything then seems to grind to a halt. If you are autistic coupled with low intelligence then social services do, to some degree, cover your needs. If you are autistic but are fairly high functioning your needs (in our area anyway) are farmed out to a large charitable organisation.
      Of interest to this group – high or low functioning – is the latest route being taken by the Dept. of Work and Pensions. These youngsters are no longer automatically placed in the ‘support’ group of ESA, their cases are now treated according to their individual needs and potential. Many are placed in the ‘work related activity ‘group which entails preparation of a CV etc. showing their strengths but also indicating their additional needs. This scheme has seen much criticism from many – worried that benefits will no longer be available for this group etc. That is just not true. I see the scheme as one that takes into account the ‘human needs’ of these youngsters – to feel part of a work force; to feel capable of handling suitable, supported work; to feel appreciated by society. Society can also be astounded by the amount that this group has to offer under the appropriate conditions.
      We all know that the main aim from the DWP perspective is to save money – that is a serious need indeed. Provided these youngsters are supported according to their needs, I see no reason to discount it or to fear it. It must be up to all of us who care for these young people to ensure that they are fairly treated and respected at all times during the assessment process – and, if fortunate enough to be placed in employment, to ensure they are adequately supported there too.

  13. Just returned to the discussion after Christmas (whew) and realised I forgot to ask if anyone has researched/disentangled the impact of improvements in housing, nutrition and clean water/sanitation on infectious diseases that vaccines are supposed to have vanquished? Would they have declined anyway? I believe TB has re-emerged in the past 20 years amongst the homeless and those sleeping rough?

    A bit late but hope everyone has had a reasonably good Christmas!

  14. Well, I can’t represent myself as an expert on vaccines, or autism — but I have searched in vain for a solid reason to believe Andrew Wakefield is correct to blame autism on the MMR vaccine. And I found Brian Deer’s series of articles for the BMJ to be extremely convincing. Particularly the interviews with some of the parents of the twelve (yep, just twelve) kids in Wakefield’s study, who indignantly denied the medical history of their children given in Wakefield’s paper. And the evidence that five of the 12 kids said to have been developing normally until their fateful vaccination day had in fact shown clear signs of developmental problems beforehand. And the compelling evidence of patents taken out by Wakefield on a “safer” alternative to MMR.

    I blame the “highly prestigious” Lancet at least as much as I blame Wakefield for the whole mess. Without their backing, his paper would never have gotten very far. And I think his paper has been an obstacle, frankly … especially to the search for other possible environmental sources of autism.

    Especially prenatal exposure to SSRI’s and other medications foisted on mothers. The True Believers in Wakefield, who blame vaccines and only vaccines, refuse to listen. And the True Believers in our medical-industrial complex use Wakefield as the irrefutable proof why no one who doubts the wisdom of Pharma should ever be taken seriously. Right now the most efficient way to shut down any discussion of the possible downsides of mass psychiatric drugging, for instance, is to invoke Wakefield and his Hollywood backers. It’s even more effective than invoking Scientology and their Hollywood backers.

    Here in the States, the anti-vaccine activists I know all seem to have shifted their focus to the mercury-containing vaccine additive thimerosal … but they all continue to revere Wakefield nonetheless. One offered to pay for my $25 ticket to hear him speak in Chicago if I would just go.

    Thoughtful House, the autism treatment center founded by Wakefield, no longer exists, by the way. Wakefield left in 2010, and in 2011 it changed its name to the Johnson Center for Child Health and Development. You can search its website in vain for any mention of Wakefield or the MMR vaccine. Wakefield now directs another group called the Strategic Autism Initiative.

    However, I wouldn’t weep for Wakefield; he seems to have plenty of well-heeled backers in Texas. Not to mention Robert DeNiro, Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey … and Donald Trump, who met with Wakefield in August and has endorsed the MMR-autism theory.

    Trump or no Trump, I recognize that there are some here who are convinced — and others who just find it hard NOT to believe any charge laid against the drug companies, after all they have been through. I do think that vaccines, like any other treatment, should be judged one-by-one in terms of their benefits and risks, and I don’t think Gardasil or any other drug should be above criticism just because it’s a “vaccine.” And I hope we can all agree to work together on the many convictions we do share.

    • Hi Johanna

      You have put these issues up here so I fear I have to respond in detail (though I certainly do not think the entire critique of vaccine culture should hinge on the reputation of Andrew Wakefield, courageous and learned though he is). In the first place there is nothing inherently safe about vaccines: they can all cause encephalopathies and neurological damage. Nor is there any inherent reason why they should not cause intestinal damage: measles RNA was detected in the gut of many such children even if some samples may have been contaminated. As the weasel worded Hornig paper later admitted:

      “Our results differ with reports noting MV RNA in ileal biopsies of 75% of ASD vs. 6% of control children … Discrepancies are unlikely to represent differences in experimental technique because similar primer and probe sequences, cycling conditions and instruments were employed in this and earlier reports; furthermore, one of the three laboratories participating in this study performed the assays described in earlier reports. Other factors to consider include differences in patient age, sex, origin (Europe vs. North America), GI disease, recency of MMR vaccine administration at time of biopsy, and methods for confirming neuropsychiatric status in cases and controls.”

      But as a matter of fact the Wakefield Lancet paper never claimed to have made such a connection. The issue of 12 children is irrelevant since the paper was not supposed to be an epidemiological study, but simply a review of 12 cases seen on the basis of clinical need. Probably more significant is the fact that considering the issue of whether there may be vaccine damage in individual cases is enough to bring the heavens down in the UK.

      Any professional who argues for vaccine damage in the UK (not in the US) will with virtual certainty expect a disciplinary hearing at the GMC. For instance, whan a Vaccine Damage Payment Unit award was made after judicial review in 2010 (I believe the last occasion) the evidence was received by video link from the US) because no one in the UK would dare testify.

      As to Deer, it should be said, that the BMJ were completely obstructive when serious criticisms were made of his reporting and methodology, notably by Wakefield himself, by whistleblowing scientist Dr David Lewis,

      and parent Martin Hewitt.

      To the best of my knowledge Deer only ever interviewed two of the 24 parents (one using a false identity prior to his first report in 2004 but never quoted), while his report of his interview with parent 11 was flawed (as he was forced to admit):

      Deer’s investigation was wholly unethical and could only happen with the protection of powerful people who hide behind him:

      BMJ protected Deer from having to respond to critics but he responded at different times on the web with extreme personal abuse. I have personally been at the end of a lot of this but have been inclined to view this as evidence of his failure.

      It is unfortunate that you yourself retreat behind ad hominem when it comes to Wakefield’s reputation. The BMJ got off the hook in Texas not by defending its claims against Wakefield but by making the absurd claim that it did not trade in the state.

      We should also not ignore the fact that a CDC employee, William Thompson, wants now to testify before Congress about how he was party to the fixing of data relating to MMR and autism. Would it not help to clear the air if he was allowed to give his evidence?

      Vaccines are pharmaceutical products like all the others and it is completely unwise to place discussion of them under taboo, and to pillory anyone who has temerity to speak up. Once you cannot speak about things anything can happen (and does). This not to say that I do not think SSRIs are implicated as well.

      • John and Johanna

        It seems there is agreement that vaccines should not be assumed to be risk free just because they are called vaccines. The HPV story brings this out.

        What I find interesting is 150 years worth of efforts to force vaccines that began before we knew about germs and a century before the concept of herd immunity. And the almost rabid attacks on anyone who wishes to talk about the issues. This is worrying.

        That said, I find myself siding with Johanna re AW. A very convincing case can be put up for a witch-hunt and there may have been elements of that. And its unquestionably the case that the first MMR vaccine did cause problems. But AW has been God’s gift to the vaccine industry and to pharma in general and its difficult to avoid the impression he bears some responsibility for that


        • David

          It has never been my purpose to turn AW into a saint, but (1) a huge part of the issue of what he supposed to be like is how he has been portrayed in the media (2) I have provided lots of information about this history which ought to be addressed in detail before being dismissed. Everybody else in this game has been behaving very badly. We have plethora of bogus official epidemiological studies, which as I have pointed elsewhere even Ben Goldacre could not defend when challenged. I might mention studies by Taylor, DeStefano, Madsen, Fombonne off the top of my head. OK, it is all very well trying to make AW look like an idiot, but to my mind it is rather beside the point: it does not change the substantive issue and it does not make the patients well. It certainly does not make Brian Deer an expert, or anyone that should be heeded.

          Deer is a delusional recourse: because there was so very little wrong with the way AW acted they had to hire a social media specialist. In 2004 his original report was supported within hours by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson:

          In the end it turned out the only external peer reviewer for Deer’s articles at BMJ was Harvey Marcovitch who was not an external reviewer at all – he was a BMJ associate editor who signed the editorial saying Wakefield’s paper was fraudulent – AND he was also head of GMC panels.

          One might think that these were rather obscene conflicts and misrepresentations to go widely unremarked.

          As to AW he was no shrinking violet and I often felt critical in the early days of how he acted, but then I had no idea of the many unseen things he was having to deal with – I know more about some of them now and I am less inclined to judge.

          Regarding the patent. What AW was trying to do was develop a treatment for Ileal-Lymphoid-Nodular-Hyperplasia which might just have had an application as a measles vaccine. At the time, under the pressure of press questioning, he suggested the option of single vaccines split up which was at the time an NHS option (then swiftly removed) in which he had no financial interest at all – and which might have avoided a wider need for a new product.

          But there was no fraud in the Lancet ‘Early Report’ and the judge that exonerated John Walker-Smith found none. Some of the parents had been in touch with Wakefield who advised them on referral to Walker-Smith’s clinic (he was the leading paediatric gastroenterologist in the world with Alan Walker at Harvard), but presumably it is what anyone might have done.

          What is not tenable is Deer’s allegation that there was nothing wrong with the children: I scarcely think that Walker-Smith or several other signatories to the paper would have treated them.

          In the end, one has to be even handed and I do not believe that any misjudgments that Wakefield may have made compare with the tactics used to bring him down, and I think you have to spend a lot of time on the actual detail before forming a conclusion.


        • Hi David,
          I am prone to think that the AW affair has been both a witch hunt and an object lesson to all doctors who may dare to dissent.
          The effectiveness of the object lesson is that most doctors will not speak on the issues of vaccines, or AW at all. That’s not healthy. I have actually read the original paper, and note that there are no findings standing against any of the authors now except against AW.

          A case could be made after the findings of the court re Walker Smith that the GMC should have to show cause as to why AW’s registration should not be restored (other than the issue of reency of practice- which is addressable).

          However I am interested to know where you think he has not helped his own cause, because I am still perplexed by this whole fiasco, and I cannot see any way to explain it that does not raise serious questions as to the ethics of those involved in pursuing him.

          Myself I think that he may have been led by the journalists at the first press conference in to saying too much. However, once the witchhunt was on, it seems to me his hands were pretty much tied.

    • Johanna, re your statement: “I do think that vaccines, like any other treatment, should be judged one-by-one in terms of their benefits and risks, and I don’t think Gardasil or any other drug should be above criticism just because it’s a “vaccine””.

      This is the problem, the community isn’t allowed to judge vaccines on a one-by-one basis. We’re expected to be compliant to any and every vaccine produced by the vaccine industry, and we’re not consulted about the imposition of new vaccine products. And there are many more in the pipeline.

      This situation is now extremely serious and I fear that enormous damage is being done to generations of children with the over-use of vaccine products.

      But who can we turn to? Vaccine manufacturers, academics and universities, vaccine committees, governments, the journal industry, doctors’ associations, and organisations such as the WHO, CDC, NIH, GAVI and the Gates Foundation and others are all on this lucrative bandwagon.

      We have to challenge the divisive ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ vax dichotomy, and examine over-vaccination in a critical light. We have to have an independent and objective review of the burgeoning vaccination schedules and multi-combo vaccines. But again, who do we turn to?

    • Hi Johanna,
      Wakefield did not blame autism on MMR.
      His paper was very measured.
      It was a small trial of about 10 consecutive patients.
      All he said was that “we have identified a chronic enterocolitis which may be associated with neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of this syndrome was after MMR vaccination and further investigations are needed to investigate this syndrome and its possible relationship to the vaccine.

      That is a very cautious statement.
      Afterwards he was interviewed in the media and asked what he thought parents should do. He came up with the perfectly reasonable suggestion that splitting the vaccine in to 3 separate ones would be a bgoo plan.

      The response of the authorities was to remove the separate vaccines from sale and to pillory Wakefield. Now at this point it does not look like there is a direct relationship between autism and MMR, but events have actually vindicated Wakefield.
      His coauthor JA Walker Smith was also accused of scientifc fraud and de-registered- but the English courts overturned that finding and de-registration- so they have effectively quashed any hint of scientific fraud.
      No action was taken against any of the other coauthors.

      However– in reacting so aggressively the authorities have created a huge problem for themselves- as it now looks like they either have something to hide, or are determined to assert their authority, no matter what. Either way- their credibility goes out the window- and they are left controlling the debate largely because it is too big an argument for most workers to get into (especially given the disinformation barrier) or if you are a health worker you are at risk of being de-registered unless you are very careful.

      Now I have qualifications in this area but it has taken me months to get to the bottom of just the issue of the blackguarding of Wakefield and the true history of smallpox and the vaccine.

  15. Holy Innocents Day today, and an in-depth programme on Radio 4 BBC at 11 am. They were talking about all the children even today being harmed by whatever. My brother was born on this day in 1940 but sadly died nearly three years later from infantile paralysis or maybe osteomyelitis. Vaccines hadn’t become available for this then, nor was penicillin offered to him. He got ill one November day and was dead two days later in hospital. Like Sally said earlier, the polio vaccine must have saved many deaths like his.

    But surely things have got totally out of hand now, we find ourselves not allowed to tell the truth, or if we do, we can be pilloried. Andrew Wakefield said we are not in a democracy – and he’s so right. If the BBC are complicit in maligning him, what chance has he? The most interesting part of his ‘defence’ in his own YouTube film, is about liability, and lies. He thought that by researching and maybe, maybe not, finding what the parents expected to be gut evidence of MMR damage causing autism, if he was right, they would be suing the pharmaceutical company who made the vaccine. Not so. The Dean at the Royal Free knew that they would have to be suing the Government, thanks to an earlier undertaking the Dept of Health had given that they would stand liable if there were problems. This was kept mighty quiet. Also, the Dean went to the BMA for advice as to whether to let AW proceed with his research and told or implied to AW that they wanted it stopped. This was a blatant lie, which was not known till the disclosure of documents when he was hauled up before the GMC.

    I’m afraid it seems clear that the Government’s Dept of Health (close to their Big Pharma influences) were behind all the subterfuge to stop AW in his tracks. And so, with autism figures now reputedly standing at 1 child in 58, whereas back in the 1940s autism was very rare indeed, it seems that the innocents are still being sacrificed, and with our Big Pharma police state controlling these health issues, what can we do? If even the BBC are now biased and controlled, ‘for the greater good’. Whose actual good IS that, one wonders….

    • I would just like to add to the notion that ‘back in the ’40s’ autism was very rare whereas today it stands at roughly 1 in 58 children. There may well be an increase in the number of cases but I must say that the autistic spectrum is, nowadays, far more accepted than it was in previous generations. Many children are, today, diagnosed on the spectrum who would have been described as ‘remedial pupils’ in times gone by. Thankfully, we now find that teachers wish to understand the reasons behind different behaviours and that has led to more specialist involvement in diagnosis. Diagnosis, of itself, is neither here or there but when confronted with a class of 30 pupils where you aim to deal with the ‘able and talented’ group, the average groups and the ‘additional needs’ group, it is of great importance to understand what it is that makes each child react in their individual way. What is extremely annoying is that LEAs will try to silence the ‘specialists’ if they are coming forward with too many diagnoses, due to educational financial restraints.
      I don’t know enough about Andrew Wakefield to make any comment really – all I do know is that I’ve worked with many children whose parents are certain that MMR caused autistic traits in their children. I fully believe every single one of those parents – therefore I must believe that AW was on to the reality of the problem but was silenced.

      • Hi Mary

        The figure of 1 in 58 based on Scottish government data which I have drawn attention to has become 1 in 51 in the space of a year, and unfortunately they cannot diagnose cases fast enough.

        I think you are right that whether or not we are more receptive diagnosis government are beyond the politically correct rhetoric are pretty resistant to it because it cost lots of money, but they have still not been able to put a lid on the rise. In a fifteen year rolling cohort – the older children leave the cohort and the younger children arrive – the numbers are up 14% in a year. In my opinion the Department of Health should be made to confront some very awkward questions. The bureaucratic cover-up over the rise in autism began in 1998: you can blame it on Wakefield or you can blame it on the people doing the covering up and ask what there motives were/are (which is perhaps more reasonable). Looking at it from the ground (local observation) c.1999 there were perhaps x10 as many children with ASD diagnosis under 12 as above, although monitored by the same services and with the older children having had longer to receive a diagnosis. The position is likely the same now only more than 10 times worse.


        • CORRECTION

          I think you are right that whether or not we are more receptive to diagnosis governments are – beyond the politically correct rhetoric – pretty resistant to it because it cost lots of money, but they have still not been able to put a lid on the rise.

        • Thanks John. Would you agree that the increase is just as likely to be from other reasons as from MMR products? My feeling is that medications given to pregnant (or even pre-pregnancy) women are partly to blame; also alcohol use resulting in the fact that Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is being mis-diagnosed as ASD. Added to this is the fact that – here in Wales at least – money was found to fund the testing for autism, resulting in cases which had previously baffled the education system and beyond being found to be ASD. Many of these were, in fact, adult cases which had previously been wrongly diagnosed.
          However many cases there are, at present or in the future, to me, the most important issue is not where it’s come from but how we treat these individuals. A diagnosis, or a label, MUST serve a purpose – and that purpose must be to ensure that each individual is able (and positively encouraged) to reach his/her full potential. The problem is here, the individuals are among us – their rights to a fully productive life is equal to ours.
          I also feel that Community nursing services could be more supportive of families where a child is showing ASD tendencies. At present it tends to be left entirely to the education services to fathom out these problems. Only this week I have listened to two separate reports – one from a young teacher, the other from a teaching assistant – of two 5 year old boys suspended from school for poor behaviour during last term. Listening to the comments, both showed clear signs of ASD but there they were, part of a class of 30, neither having any sort of additional support to help them deal with ‘school life’ which they were obviously finding overwhelming. One school is transferring an assistant from another class from the beginning of this new term; the other is struggling to pay for additional support. This is grossly unfair to the schools – but is catastrophic for each child and their families. Family guidelines should have been introduced pre-school surely, to ensure that introduction to school could be fairly stress free.
          It is of obvious importance that research is done to sort out the increase in numbers of cases of ASD but surely obvious too that individual responsibilities have a part to play in dealing with the increased numbers. The children are so obviously innocent in all of this – irrespective of where we adults wish to point the finger of blame.

    • The example of what was done to Wakefield stands as a stark warning to any medical practitioner (or other health practitioner) who gets out of line.

      This creates the wonderful situation were any non medically qualified commentator can be dismissed as not qualified to comment, but any appropriately qualified practitioner comments at the risk of being de-registered.

  16. In regards to the very questionable HPV vaccines, I recently attempted to leave a comment challenging HPV vaccination on Richard Lehman’s BMJ Blog in regards to his item “Two is as good as three for HPV” (included in his journal review published on 5 December 2016: )

    Despite subsequent correspondence with Fiona Godlee, the Editor-in-Chief of the BMJ and BMJ blogs editor Juliet Dobson, my modified comment remains unpublished. I’m submitting it here for the public record as I suggest the public is being grossly misinformed about HPV vaccination and needs to be made aware of pertinent information.

    Comment submitted by me to Richard Lehman’s BMJ Blog (as yet unpublished) as follows:

    Richard Lehman, re your commentary on “Two is as good as three for HPV”, and your apparent support for this “human experiment on a large scale”.

    Children around the world are being given three doses of the novel VLP HPV vaccine products Cervarix and Gardasil.

    In regards to the three dose HPV vaccine regimen, I recently contacted Professor Diane Harper, an author of the study re the bivalent HPV vaccine (i.e. Cervarix), published in The Lancet in 2004[1], to ask her if titres were measured after individual doses or after all three doses in that study.

    I was surprised when Professor Harper responded that “The titers were measured one month after the third dose.” (Email from Diane Harper dated 11 December 2016.)

    Professor Harper’s response indicates that titres were not measured after each individual dose.

    So it appears it was not proven that three doses of Cervarix HPV vaccine were required.

    It is shocking to discover there was no evidence to support the three dose HPV vaccine regimen.

    In her email response to me, Professor Harper said: “The need for long-term protection drove the fear that three doses would be needed. As we learned one dose of cervarix provides high titers as well and has proven efficacy. It is unfortunate that the WHO would not recommend one dose of cervarix worldwide.”

    In regards to Professor Harper’s statement “As we learned one dose of cervarix provides high titers as well and has proven efficacy”, another study re Cervarix, published in 2013[2] states: “Antibody levels following one-dose remained stable from month 6 through month 48. Results raise the possibility that even a single dose of HPV VLPs will induce long-term protection.” This study was followed up with further analysis in 2015[3] which also indicates there is no evidence to support the three dose Cervarix HPV vaccine regimen.

    On 12 December 2016 I forwarded an email including Professor Harper’s responses to me about HPV vaccination to Dr Tom Jefferson and Professor Peter Gøtzsche in relation to their complaint over maladministration at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) related to the safety of the HPV vaccines. (Correspondence re their complaint is currently published on the Nordic Cochrane website: )

    I also forwarded a copy of this email to Professor Harper, and on 13 December 2016 she responded: “Elizabeth – my comment Cervarix has proven efficacy in a single dose against incident HPV infection and incident CIN3 – not against cancer – just be clear about what my intents in my statement referred to. I agree that there is no evidence of cancers prevented – especially the head and neck cancers gardasil9 is being touted to prevent in boys.”

    As Professor Harper acknowledges “there is no evidence of cancers prevented”. Commentary published in The Lancet in 2011 also notes “A demonstrable reduction of the burden of cervical cancer – the main goal of HPV vaccines – will take several decades”.[4]

    HPV vaccination has been fast-tracked around the world. Children are being given three doses of novel, turbo-charged aluminium-adjuvanted VLP HPV vaccines which produce unnaturally high titres, i.e. HPV vaccination induces antibody titres that are 80- to 100-fold higher than those observed following natural infection, which seems to be a very unnatural response.[5,6]

    Scientists such as Professor Harper admit “the mechanism of immunogenicity from a scientific perspective is poorly understood”.[7] Children are being used as guinea pigs in a massive international experiment – is this ethical? What are the implications here in regards to informed consent?

    While the studies I have referred to are about the Cervarix HPV vaccine, this leads to questions about the Gardasil HPV vaccine – what is the evidence supporting vaccination with three doses of the Gardasil HPV vaccine product?

    Were three doses of HPV vaccines suggested to justify the cost of these vaccine products?

    As far as I am aware, there is as yet no independent and objective systematic review of the efficacy of HPV vaccination in preventing cervical cancer, i.e. untainted by pharma influence or bias. I suggest the public is being misled about the promoted ‘efficacy’ of globally fast-tracked HPV vaccination. At this time we have no idea of the long-term effects of this very questionable medical intervention, particularly if the risks will outweigh the touted benefits.

    In my opinion the benefits of HPV vaccination are being over-hyped, and children and their parents are being grossly misinformed about HPV vaccination. At this time there is no independent and objective analysis validating HPV vaccination, and no scientific basis for the three dose regimen.

    This is a massive international scandal.

    1. Diane M Harper et al. Efficacy of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine in prevention of infection with human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 in young women: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. Vol. 364. November 13 2004.
    2. Mahboobeh Safaeian et al. Durable Antibody Responses Following One Dose of the Bivalent Human Papillomavirus L1 Virus-Like Particle Vaccine in the Costa Rica Vaccine Trial. Cancer Prev Res; 6(11) November 2013.
    3. Aimee R Kriemer et al. Efficacy of fewer than three doses of an HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine: combined analysis of data from the Costa Rica Vaccine and PATRICIA trials. The Lancet Oncology Vol 16, July 2015.
    4. Mona Saraiya, Susan Hariri (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). HPV vaccine effect: is the glass half full or half empty? The Lancet. Vol. 377. June 18, 2011.
    5. Ian H Frazer. Measuring serum antibody to human papillomavirus following infection or vaccination. Gynecologic Oncology 118 (2010) S8-S11.
    6. Diane M Harper et al. Efficacy of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine in prevention of infection with human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 in young women: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 2004; 364: 1757-65.
    7. Diane M Harper. Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines to prevent cervical cancer: review of the Phase II and III trials. Therapy (2008) 5(3), 313-324.

    • Hi Mary

      While appreciating Jake’s tenacious efforts I am not sure whether they have conceded anything more. The Lancet btw did not retract the paper until 2010 and the GMC findings relating to it – the central matter of the hearing – were later found to be wholly erroneous by Judge Mitting in the High Court in 2012, since when the Lancet have prevaricated about reinstating it. They do no say what the reasons are but I take them to be political: there really is nothing wrong with the paper. It does not overstate its claims, it does not misreport, it certainly does not claim that MMR causes autism, and it has important findings which should stand and be further investigated. It is certainly an anomalous and unjust situation.


      • John, the statement concedes enough to say that Wakefield has been cleared.
        I note you are commenting on “The Age of Autism” site on issues in the UK. In that case you might not have been aware of the local fuss when a “renegade politician” suggested that parents do their own research.
        The reaction in our media has been swift and hostile. There have been firm statements that parents are “just not qualified” to do that.

        This article comes from an influential academic discussion site, and its author is a part of a network called “Friends of Science in Medicine”
        Now the author repeats the lie about Wakefield and that repetition of the idea that he has been disgraced is one of the key tools that the pro-mandatory vaccine lobby uses to further their propaganda.

        Here’s another taste of the authoritarian style of this discussion group.

  17. My own interest in vaccination stemmed from companion animal vaccination, i.e. in 2008 one of my dogs became very ill and was put down after what I subsequently discovered was unnecessary annual revaccination with a combination of ‘live’ and inactivated vaccine products. (Unnecessary) annual revaccination of pets appears to be a useful profit centre for veterinarians and the vaccine industry.

    I was stunned to discover that over-vaccination of pets was a very controversial subject, and that experts in the area had been urging a reduction of vaccination of pets to minimise the risk of adverse reactions to vaccine products.

    This also set me thinking about human vaccination, in particular that we were being warned against over-vaccination of pets, while vaccination of humans was going through the roof!

    As I’ve arrived at this topic from an alternative route, I’m not immersed in the whole Wakefield saga. However, it’s interesting to consider this from a historical perspective, consider the following links:

    – Summary re Andrew Wakefield as presented on the Alliance for Human Research Protection website:

    – Melanie Phillips. The case against me boils down to smear and evasion. The Guardian, 8 November 2005:

    – Dangerous assumptions over MMR vaccine. The Guardian, 7 November 2005:

  18. Hi Elizabeth

    Noting the letter of London GP Richard Halvorsen a BBC report authored by geneticist Steve Jones in 2011 recommended that he banned from talking about MMR – about which he knew a great more than Jones, having written a very detailed book (which he updates).

    Melanie Phillips’ account of Deer can be found here:

    A passage from this article also shows that Richard Horton, the Lancet editor, who gave erroneous evidence against Wakefield at the hearing, according to his own testimony met with a GMC official the day Deer’s original allegations were published to discuss how Wakefield might be prosecuted.

    The reason I have been saying these things is not out of devotion to AW but because I could not escape what was going on.


  19. The Moral Maze is a terrific programme on R4 and Melanie Phillips is one of the panellists.

    This is a wonderful programme which forces persons in their box, to think outside of their box.

    Melanie Phillips has great tenacity in propelling folks, to re think their thoughts

    Goldacre’s case boils down to evasiveness, ignorance, misrepresentation and smear. Are these really the attributes of a scientific vocabulary? Is this really “evidence-based medicine”? Of course, it is important to vaccinate children against dangerous diseases. But if even a small subsection of children is badly affected – which is all that is being claimed over MMR – the balance of risk dramatically changes.

    01 Jan
    DES Daughter @DES_Journal

    Dr @BenGoldacre – from his #AllTrials campaign to his latest book – 2014 year in review  @CosmicGenome Science video

    Cosmic genome

    Pass the suckbag,,

  20. Annie, you say “Of course, it is important to vaccinate children against dangerous diseases”.

    I suggest the community is being misled about the ‘magic bullet’ of vaccination, and it is way past time for a review of the burgeoning vaccination schedules, particularly vaccines for rare diseases and vaccines which are failing.

    Vaccination has become a religion, and we have no idea how this is going to turn out. On my last count, children in Australia are having 46 doses of vaccines, including many repeat doses, i.e. so-called ‘boosters’. As yet we don’t know the cumulative long-term consequences of the ever-increasing vaccine load, including the impact of adjuvants and excipients.

    My investigation of HPV vaccination, including discovering the lack of evidence for the multiple doses of HPV vaccines being imposed on children, the lack of consideration about possible downsides of the unnaturally high titres produced by HPV vaccination, and Professor Diane Harper’s admission that “the mechanism of immunogenicity from a scientific perspective is poorly understood”[1], and “…that there is no evidence of cancers prevented…”[2], is leading me to question the scientific evidence behind other vaccine products, including revaccinations/’boosters’.

    Much of the so-called ‘evidence’ is tainted by industry bias and conflicted academics. Much of it is also behind the paywalls of medical and science journals. It is wrong that material which is influential on international vaccination policy is not open access.

    The journals have turned this into a lucrative industry and are up to their necks in conflicts of interest. And much of the public is blithely unaware of how this tainted ‘peer-reviewed literature’ is impacting on their lives, including the implementation of mandatory vaccination policies in countries such as Australia and the United States.

    There are problems with vaccines, e.g. the pertussis vaccine may actually be causing new strains of the disease to develop, and spreading the disease via vaccinated individuals.[3] And what is ‘the experts’ solution to this problem? Have another ‘booster’… And the vaccine manufacturers are getting away with this ruse, and gleefully rubbing their hands at the growing ‘booster’ market for this and other vaccines.

    And on the topic of aluminium-adjuvanted vaccines, what about my challenge to Tom Jefferson, Cochrane, and The Lancet Infectious Diseases about Jefferson et al’s scientifically unsound review of aluminium and vaccine safety, as detailed on my website: ? Nobody will do anything about it.

    And this highly questionable review is influential on vaccine policy, as I outline in my email to Australia’s (then) Chief Medical Officer, Chris Baggoley:

    I’ve now been promised a response on this matter by the incoming Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy…I’m still waiting… Apparently it will come from the Immunisation Branch, i.e. the foxes in charge of the chicken coop. So much for that.

    Then there’s the live measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. In the United States there have been mumps outbreaks among vaccinated individuals, and what’s the proposed solution? Have another ‘booster’ is on the cards. If implemented, that will make three shots with this live vaccine product.[4] Meanwhile, what’s happening with the lawsuits claiming Merck lied about mumps vaccine efficacy?[5,6,7]

    And also in regards to the MMR, I’ve made the perfectly reasonable argument that parents should be able to opt for an antibody titre test to check if their children are immune after the first dose of live MMR vaccine, rather than be compelled to have a second arbitrary dose of MMR vaccine. I have met with closed doors everywhere on this one, despite the precedent of the US state of New Jersey’s Antibody Titer Law, which “allows parents to seek testing to determine a child’s immunity to measles, mumps and rubella, before receiving the second dose of the vaccine”:

    Why the resistance? What are they trying to hide?

    And we have the GSK Bexsero meningococcal B vaccine fiasco, which the indefatigable John Stone has exposed on Age of Autism, see for example:

    – Bexsero: More Questions for the British and Scottish Governments Over Vaccine Committee Chair:


    – Professor Pollard again: Oxford University Hosts British Government Vaccine Committee:

    Andrew Pollard, chair of the JCVI, has acknowledged: “The amount and severity of a disease are the most important factors that drive vaccination decisions. Invasive meningococcal due to capsular group B meningococcus (MenB) infection is rare and has decreased significantly over the last decade for reasons we don’t fully understand…”[8]

    So the conflicted Andrew Pollard, who was involved with the development of the MenB vaccine[9], admits the infection is rare and has decreased significantly over the last decade, and yet in his role as chair of the JCVI is behind the implementation of mass vaccination with this vaccine in the UK. It’s unbelievable…

    And so it goes on, there are more questions to ask about chickenpox and shingles vaccination, Hepatitis B vaccination for babies, rotavirus, pneumococcal, flu etc.

    Good luck with getting answers though, as ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’ are alien concepts to the disgusting morass that is the vaccine industry, which operates with our governments’ blessing.

    Meanwhile the community is exploited via gross over-vaccination, and who knows what long-term repercussions, I predict the over-use of antibiotics has nothing on this lot.

    We plough on though, just keep writing those letters and putting things ‘on the record’…

    1. Diane M Harper. Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines to prevent cervical cancer: review of the Phase II and III trials. Therapy (2008) 5(3), 313-324.
    2. Email response from Professor Diane Harper to Elizabeth Hart, 13 December 2016.
    3. See a summary about pertussis vaccination on my webpage: Pertussis/Whooping cough ‘booster’:
    4. What’s behind the 2016 Mumps Spike in the U.S.? Scientific American, 16 December 2016.
    5. Lawsuits claiming Merck lied about mumps vaccine efficacy headed to trial. FiercePharma, 9 September 2014.
    6. Judge: Merck must fight claims that it lied about mumps vaccine benefits. FiercePharma, 9 September 2014.
    7. Whistleblowers accuse Merck of withholding info on mumps vaccine. FiercePharma, 11 June 2015.
    8. Five minutes with…Andrew Pollard, chair of JCVI. BMJ, published 23 February 2016.
    9. Expert reaction to approval of meningitis B vaccine. Oxford Vaccine Group, 16 November 2012:

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      I looked at your page about the Cochrane reivew with interest.

      It seems to me that the issues with Aluminium will be incremental and dose dependent.
      The most recent paper in that list that I could find was 2003 and the oldest one was 1969.
      In addition many of the papers were only ever likely to show up acute effects- and would not show incremental and dose dependent effects.
      I was astounded at the authors conclusions:
      “Despite a lack of good-quality evidence we do not recommend that any further research on this topic is undertaken”.

      What on earth was the justification for a statement like that?

      Try this search list for size:

      There are only 417 papers found by my first search.
      This is the area we should be looking at because the fundamental issue is whether aluminium is dangerous, and the old theory linking aluminium with alzheimer’s is back alive and kicking.
      The very first paper in that list is exploring non linear neurotoxicity of aluminium- ie that lower doses 9such as in vaccines) may well be worse.

      In addition this link is valuable:

      Of those 50 studies about 27 are dated after the 10th Edition of The Australian Immunizations Handbook ( The handbook was 2013 but the search period for new papers was 2006-2011) A good number of them refer to aluminium.

      I am still trying to get my head around the approval processes for vaccines and the vaccine schedule in Australia. Between the NH&MRC and the TGA and the various other authorities involved- this process is far from transparent.

  21. Just coming at this from another, non medical and possibly stuffy old fashioned old woman’s approach – I think it was well known in the past that for a nun to get cervical cancer was extremely rare, for obvious reasons. If we immunise all young girls, telling them they are thus protected against cervical cancer, isn’t it going to encourage them not to worry about having lots of sexual partners, as there is now no risk of this form of cancer? So aren’t we then going to get an unprecedented rise in other sexually transmitted diseases, never mind a lack of stability emotionally in long term relationships. So will we then need vaccines for the other problems? And what about infertility being caused by those? In the end, maybe this will lead to more IVF, at significant cost. I feel really sorry for those young folk not having the magic of long term committed relationships so much these days, and even more sorry for their children, having to adapt to so much change. In the old days, just pre-Pill, if you didn’t want to get too intimate with someone, but didn’t want them to feel rejected or enfuriated (!) you could just cite the fear of getting pregnant, and the responsibilities that a child would bring. Now thanks to the Pill, you don’t have that deterrent but there is (was) always the slight worry of too many partners possibly causing cervical cancer maybe. Now that will presumably have gone too.

    I know that today’s young woman can stand up for herself and just say ‘no’ so maybe my argument is totally fussy and out of date, but when you consider how much alcohol is consumed, it isn’t always so easy to keep a cool head. But then maybe, if society is going this way anyway, this is why governments are so keen on this vaccination. But it strikes me as really sad, as there is nothing like the magic of a committed long term loving relationship. It must be very depressing to keep changing partners until you find one who ticks all your boxes. And pretty exhausting too….:)

  22. Hi Elizabeth

    Just to clarify, this was a direct quote from Melanie Phillips and not I.

    Otherwise; you certainly know your subject…:)

  23. ‘High risk of bias’: Doctor raises doubts over study into morning-sickness drug
    Unpublished clinical trial looked at medication used in half of all pregnancies

    CBC News
    January 4, 2017

    The publication is part of an initiative to restore invisible and abandoned trials (RIAT) containing unpublished or misreported studies.

    13. Doshi P, Dickersin K, Healy D, Vedula SS, Jefferson T. Restoring invisible and abandoned trials: a call for people to publish the findings. BMJ (Clinical research ed). 2013;346:f2865.

  24. This is an interesting Drug Development..

    GSK trialled orvepitant in major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, but NeRRe repositioned the drug once it acquired the program.

    Description: Orvepitant is a potent and selective NK1 antagonist, which may be potentially useful for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety and insomnia.

    Orvepitant is not in stock, but may be available through custom synthesis

    ‘Seroxat Two’ available at custom synthesis…

  25. Just to emphasise that I agree with David that I do not think this ought to be “about Wakefield” although I do think that Wakefield’s rehabilitation is overdue. As someone who followed this awful saga for nearly two decades I saw people behave in corrupt and what would normally be professionally astonishing ways in order to put Wakefield in the wrong (I have documented endless examples), and why they would do that is a very interesting question. It was the people who did these things who made Wakefield the issue – not me or Wakefield. I also think the MMR families should have the benefit of the doubt, just as much as the HPV families. Their burden has been terrible.

    • John, re your statement: “As someone who followed this awful saga for nearly two decades I saw people behave in corrupt and what would normally be professionally astonishing ways in order to put Wakefield in the wrong…and why they would do that is a very interesting question.”

      As to why they would do that, not only did Wakefield threaten the MMR vaccine market, but with his suggestion for the use of monovalent vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella he threatened the emerging polyvalent vaccine market.

      In your first comment on this article you list the UK vaccination schedule, which currently has 51 doses of vaccine for children aged from 8 weeks to 14 years, including 2-in-1, 3-in-1, 4-in-1 and 5-in-1 shots. (This total includes annual flu vaccination recommend for children 2-7 years. The Men C vaccine at 12 weeks is discontinued from 1 July 2016).[1]

      So we can see if Wakefield’s suggestion for monovalent vaccines had been allowed to take hold, it could have seriously impacted on the polyvalent market, imagine all those multi-combo shots as individual vaccinations.

      [1] NHS When to have vaccinations (page last reviewed 14/03/2016):

      • Elizabeth

        Exactly so. Wakefield did two things which were institutionally intolerable: he considered a vaccine damage hypothesis for a group of patients and he questioned the very basis on which the programme was being expanded. I can’t remember where I was saying this in the last couple of weeks – it may even be immediately above – but it strikes me now that when in the UK in 1990 they brought in the accelerated DPT schedule (bringing vaccination forward from 3, 5 &10 months to 2, 3 & 4 months) they were beating the path that has become the present highway for vaccines. It has recently (under Prof Pollard?) got even faster – now 8, 12 & 16 weeks, not to mention the vaccination of pregnant women – and people start to talk about being able to diagnose autism from 6 months.

    • John,
      I think that when the dust has settled it will be found that the doctors who have denigrated Wakefield’s reputation will be found guilty of professional misconduct. Looking at the Australian Medical Association’s guidelines “Good Medical Practice” regarded as binding examples of ethics by the Australian Medical Board, I am 100% sure that any doctor alleging that Wakefield is a fraud, or is discredited should have to face a formal complaint of professional misconduct, and that they would lose it if there was any neutrality in the way that our laws are applied in Australia. ( Yes- that is a “big if”)

  26. I quite agree John, but I think others in the medical profession who dared to openly discuss with interest his findings, have been castigated in a witch hunt too. Dr Sarah Myhill, who now practises privately and I think offers single inoculations, did express some degree of support for his ideas and has been hauled up before the GMC several times on various pettifogging trivial complaints (or so they seem to me) like small inaccuracies on her website etc. she is a very determined and fairminded lady and gives her patients all the support she can. She listens. Her own research is amazing, and it says something that many of her patients went down to London and protested outside the GMC when she was having to defend herself. You can read her defence written on line. She has always taken a balanced approach and has had wonderful results in the field of CFS.

    So no, this isn’t just about AW, it’s about freedom of speech, a lack of Big Brother intimidation, and at the end of the line, what’s best for patients, not what’s best for Big Pharma being spinelessly supported by toadying Government and NHS bureaucrats, and those doctors who feel terrified to step out of line in their own profession if they dare to admit to having concerns about some treatments. Lawyers always seem to stand together if a client criticises one of them, doctors do it, but surveyors don’t. If your house has a problem and a second opinion is asked from another RICS surveyor, they do not automatically normally close ranks and hush down the problem. Their driving motive is to understand what’s gone wrong and sort out a solution. So why can they manage this, and doctors can’t?
    Are buildings perceived to be more important than people? Or are surveyors more practical, and less well paid.

    Just thinking about the cervical cancer vaccination again, I’m reminded of the words of a friend’s 13 year old daughter who very much did not want to have to have it at her school. She said, ‘I have no intention of being promiscuous, and having to have this inflicted on me makes me feel that the world assumes I will be.’

    • Heather

      Oddly enough my last but one article had a photograph of a collapsed building.

      There are lots of worrying things about the vaccine progrmme and one is instant deniability. Everyone – doctors and citizens – are trained to disregard reactions, and then the assumption is made that there are no long term consequences – this is particualry easy to achieve with infants and toddlers. The picture is further confused by the sheer barrage of products they receive at any one time. The HPV scam made it a bit more obvious since young women could say what was happening to them. It was a big test of the machines nerve – how far could they test everyone’s credulity. They had to be geared up for disposing of the reports and trashing everyone who spoke up.

      Another problem is the discipline of the profession, particuarly in the UK. Doctors have to learn high discipline in the first place, so maybe they have been softened up at another level. In the UK we have the totalitarian body the General Medical Council who will bring to discipline anyone who even considers a vaccine damage hypothesis (not to mention the wicked Myhill business, or Waney Squier). Surveyors of course are a different breed from achitects, and I am sure there is a lesson there.

  27. An entire ‘family’ of vaccines..

    The Best Thing About Glaxo’s Next Vaccine (Hint: It’s Not the Billion-Dollar Sales Estimate)

    AS01, a platform for vaccines for the elderly

    Eventually the innovation could lead to an entire family of vaccines developed specifically for the growing population of older people across the world.

    Shin kicks..

  28. Protocol ‘007’..

    Judge: Lawsuit Against Merck’s MMR Vaccine Fraud to Continue

    Why Did the Wall Street Journal Bury the Merck Fraud Story?

    Gardasil Victim

    “Hi, my name is…Devastating. Be warned..

  29. President-elect has tapped a Kennedy… the media react..

    Donald Trump asks Robert F Kennedy Jr to chair vaccine safety commission in sign he still believes vaccines cause autism

    Daily Telegraph · 9 hours ago
    Robert F Kennedy Jr, who once called mandatory vaccination “a holocaust”, says Donald Trump has selected him to chair a panel on …

    Trump puts RFK Jr – who has railed against a vaccine ‘holocaust’ – in charge of new commission on vaccine safety

    Daily Mail · 9 hours ago
    President-elect Donald Trump has tapped a Kennedy – and a vaccine skeptic – to run a new commission on the safety of vaccines. Robert …

    Five Facts Donald Trump Needs to Know About Vaccines

    Forbes · 9 hours ago
    After meeting with anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Donald Trump has appointed Kennedy to chair a presidential commission on …

    “It gives it a quasi-legitimacy that I frankly find frightening,” said William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University. He said Mr. Trump and Mr. Kennedy were being fooled by “long-discredited” theories about vaccines.

    “I said I would”

    • “It gives it a quasi-legitimacy that I frankly find frightening,” said William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University. He said Mr. Trump and Mr. Kennedy were being fooled by “long-discredited” theories about vaccines.

      So, I trust that William Schaffner quoted the references that supported his assertions about “long discredited theories”.

      Sorry- that was sarcasm– I bet he did not.


    The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, Westminster, London SW1A 0AA; Tel: 020 7219 2840; email:

    Number 544 January 2017

    Integrity in Research

    “Risking public health, for example by asserting evidence that may cause people to decide to either undergo or refuse trials or treatment or to use products that have not been shown to be safe or effective. For example, despite Wakefield being struck off the medical register, and the retraction of his paper in 2010, the take up of the MMR vaccine has only recovered to the pre-1998 level in the last two years.”

  31. I could not immediately find the source of the quote though I found another one:

    “While deliberate fraud does occur (such as that involving Andrew Wakefield, whose1998 paper suggested a potential link between the measles,mumps and rubella vaccine and autism),4 it is thought to beextremely rare (Box 1).”

    And yet the entire basis of these claims (even with Judge Mitting’s quibbles about Wakefield) were thrown out in the High Court in March 2012 when John Walker-Smith the senior author was completely exonerated, and they are reviving them as if nothing has happened. Nor do they have any evidence to say that MMR is safe: Cochrane passed on that one repeatedly stating:

    “The design and reporting in MMR safety studies, both pre and post-marketing is largely inadequate”

    Meanwhile, we have flood of neurologically impaired young children for which government bodies have no explanation whatsoever, with autism at a rate of well over 1 in 30 in Scotland.

    Godlee and Deer also had to backtrack on their claims after the intervention of David Lewis. From an earlier article by myself:

    “But this is a flawed account. The findings were confirmed by both histopathologists in the paper subsequent to the hearing.

    “When the Deer/BMJ findings came under the scrutiny of Dr David Lewis in November 2011 they were forced to re-trench (reported in Nature):

    ““But he (Bjarnason) says that the forms don’t clearly support charges that Wakefield deliberately misinterpreted the records.

    “The data are subjective. It’s different to say it’s deliberate falsification,” he says.

    ““Deer notes that he never accused Wakefield of fraud over his interpretation of pathology records…

    ““Fiona Godlee, the editor of the BMJ, says that the journal’s conclusion of fraud was not based on the pathology but on a number of discrepancies between the children’s records and the claims in the Lancet paper…”

    “Although Godlee had previously stated in February 2011:

    ““The case we presented against Andrew Wakefield that the1998 Lancet paper was intended to mislead was not critically reliant on GP records”. It is primarily based on Royal Free hospital records, including histories taken by clinicians, and letters and other documents received at the Royal Free from GPs and consultants.”

    “But it is clear that the judge who presided over Walker-Smith’s exoneration and reviewed the Lancet paper in detail could not find any evidence of this. His one major quibble was over the statement about ethical approval in the paper which Walker-Smith says he did not see – however this is accurate too.

    “”Ethical approval and consent

    “”Investigations were approved by the Ethical Practices Committee of the Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, and parents gave informed consent.”

    “The paper did not have ethical approval and consent, and did not need it because it was simply a review of patient data (which was what was on the tin). The procedures needed ethical approval and consent and had them.”

  32. “No-one wants to be the next Wakefield,” said Mignot..

    Insight: Evidence grows for narcolepsy link to GSK swine flu shot

    The group of Europeans, including nearly 100 Britons, are calling for a public inquiry after suffering the debilitating disease which was triggered by use of the Pandemrix vaccine to treat the 2009/10 swine flu outbreak.

    ..for justice at the European Union.

    Ms Crisp has written a book on her family’s trauma called Waking Mathilda – A Memoir of Childhood Narcolepsy, to be released this spring.

    Wake up..narcolepsy:

    • Yep.
      Wakefield was an exemplary “crucifiction”- a gross, excessive and unjust punishment designed solely to keep the rest of the medical profession in line.

  33. The Grimes…………cont’d..

    David GorskiVerified account

    A surgeon & skeptic promoting science-based medicine. His opinions are his alone. Blocked by The Food Babe, David Wolfe & Andrew Wakefield, among other quacks.

    David Robert Grimes ‏@drg1985 Jan 10

    David Robert Grimes Retweeted David Gorski

    This thread – the clown car of @realDonaldTrump and @RobertKennedyJr imbecilic scaremongering will kill people.

    Robert Grimes Retweeted

    David Gorski ‏@gorskon Jan 10
    David Gorski Retweeted Business Insider

    No, @businessinsider! @RobertKennedyJr is not a “vaccine skeptic.” He is an antivaccine crank!

    David Robert Grimes Retweeted

    David Gorski ‏@gorskon Jan 10

    @drjengunter Far too many news stories about @RobertKennedyJr are calling him a “vaccine skeptic.” He is not. He is an antivaccine crank.

    • Please define what you mean when you say RFK is not a “vaccine skeptic” he is an “antivaccine crank”.

      I have no idea what you are talking about.
      Re David Gorski- there are so many people discussing his obsessive, abusive and probably scientifically unsupportable activities on the blogosphere that I have lost count.

      I was going to post a few- but a simpler post seemed more likely to have an impact.However, he is aggressive and abusive to anyone who disagrees with him, He is involved in a group that is dedicated to subverting Wikipedia (the Guerila Skeptics- with Susan Gerbic) and he has serious financial conflicts of interest. To top it all off- his total output in any one period related to significant activity is quite inconsistent with the efforts of one man with a serious professional position- even if we do not consider the often repeated concern that he is posting under multiple false identities.

      I dont know if this will get past the moderator- but it should as there are serous doubts as to the appropriateness of what he is doing.

  34. I took the opportunity to make carefully considered and fully referenced comments on vaccination generally, and specifically HPV vaccination, on the Science Q&A Robert Kennedy Jr. article:

    My comments on HPV vaccination also included quotes from my recent correspondence with Professor Diane Harper re her paper on HPV vaccination published in The Lancet in 2004.

    It appears there has been a co-ordinated attack to ‘flag’ my comments on HPV vaccination and have them removed. At the current time, my comments on HPV vaccination appear to have been hidden from public view. The message I am receiving via my Disqus account now is “Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by Science”, while previously they were visible.

    I’ve been accused of ‘spamming’ by people who are intent on disrupting legitimate discussion on vaccination. This is the means they use to censor discussion.

    My comments on controversial HPV vaccination included:

    – the lack of evidence supporting multiple HPV vaccine doses;
    – the unnaturally high titres induced by HPV vaccines;
    – fear-mongering about the risks of papillomavirus;
    – the lack of independent and objective evaluation of HPV vaccination, which has been fast-tracked around the world; and
    – the lack of ‘informed consent’ before HPV vaccination.

    I’ve also left my comments on The Intercept article by Robert Mackey “Trump Asks Anti-Vaccine Activist Robert Kennedy Jr. to Lead Panel on Vaccine Safety”:

    At this time my comments are still up on The Intercept website.

  35. I watched the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC2 Friday 13 th December from 9.15 onwards. One tragic story she featured was that of a young woman who had died of cervical cancer in her very early twenties. Her parents were interviewed at some length. They wanted PAP smears to be offered to anyone under the age of 25 who was presenting with symptoms which were unusual and causing them concern. Their daughter had trailed back to her GP over 3 years of these but had been told that she could not be offered a smear as it was only available to those over 25. By the time she reached 25 she was dead.

    Besides the appalling tragedy of this, the thing we noticed, indeed, no one could have missed it, was the super imposed little box of information for us all about the available HPV vaccination, implying, maybe, that had this girl been able to have this, maybe she’d be alive now. It was not stated in spoken words, it was just silently displayed across the screen for some time, whilst the interviews were taking place. The parents were campaigning for PAP smears to be offered with discretion to anyone in their daughter’s situation. They did not mention HPV at all. The reason given to them by the powers that be, after their daughter’s death, for not doing more PAP smears was that they tended to throw up some false positive results. And yet, HPV is only 70% effective against cervical cancers as even the BBC have admitted. Surely it’s better to get a false positive and be investigated further, to clarify the diagnosis, than to die?

    The reason a lot of older women do not go for regular PAP screening is usually because it can be extremely painful. A school friend of mine is a pathologist, working in this field of expertise, and a few years ago she told me that a simple blood test was being developed, to replace the current method of screening. I think most women would be much more enthusiastic about this. I will try to find out more about how her work is progressing. Might one surmise that the HPV injection for young girls is aimed at cutting down time taken by GPs to do these PAP smears, as well, of course, of enabling the drug companies to produce lucrative and unregulated products.

    • Heather

      This is well written – as I recall it the HPV vaccines were supposed to be only effective against 70% of the viruses, there being no actual data of how effective they are against cancer, if at all.

    • You know Heather, I seriously doubt that the vaccine companies would be concerned about the time we GPs take to do a Pap smear. Neither am I– though I would be concerned if my technique caused discomfort for any patient.

      There is a small subgroup of cervical cancer that comes on very fast and nobody has ever demonstrated that it is related to HPV. ( Just like lung cancer – 10% are adenocarcinoma that has nothing to do with smoking. I’ve only ever seen one case and to my best recollection the unfortunate young woman did not have a history of sexual activity.

      In the West, where we have adequate Pap smear programs there is little reason to believe that HPV vaccine will reduce the death rate from cervical cancer. If vaccinated women give up Pap smears it will probably increase it.

      In the end though it will take probably 40 years to see if the HPV vaccine experiment has worked. That is long after the current shareholders of the relevant company will have passed on- as a result of old age— which is not vaccine preventable.

  36. Washington Post/Rolling Stone

    The United States already has a vaccine safety commission. And it works really well, experts say.

    The United States already has a commission on vaccines. A top U.S. public health official said Friday that it relies on an array of medical, scientific and community experts to set policy on vaccines, and does so in an open and deliberative process.

    Trump’s meeting with Kennedy has alarmed scientists, public health officials and professional medical organizations that say putting a conspiracy theorist in a position of authority on the issue would be dangerous.

    Undermining confidence in immunization could damage “herd immunity.”

    Rolling Stone

    Posted Jun 20, 2005 12:00 AM

    Deadly Immunity

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. investigates the government cover-up of a mercury/autism scandal

    • With regard to the nasal flu vaccine, given to children, I understand that MSG – mono sodium glutamate is one of its ingredients. Russell Blaylock states in his book ‘Excitotoxins – the Taste that Kills (Health Press 1996) that scientists have known for decades that MSG can literally excite brain cells to death as well as causing sustained brain inflammation, of the kind seen in neurological diseases like autism, MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He also shows how MSG is especially damaging to developing brains, which is why it is banned in baby food.

      Going in through the nasal tract, this can go straight to the most vulnerable parts of the brain, the parts which control memory and behaviour. Blaylock also feels that the nasal spray may cause other effects seen as behavioural problems like anger, irritability, poor concentration and focus, difficulty learning, poor attention, language difficulties, and loss of behavioural control, especially for fear and anger. He feels that as the area of the brain involved is so critical to learning, behaviour and language, to endanger these parts of the brain would constitute malpractice.

      I have summarised this information, taken from an excellent and in depth article called ‘Led by the Nose’ by Celeste McGovern in the December edition of the WDDTY magazine. She covers other issues like the use of the antibiotic gentamicin, stating ‘ the nasal flu vaccine may foster the disproportionate emergence of potentially pathogenic bacteria such as S.aureus.

  37. Unrolling Stone

    Kennedy made his name in the anti-vaccine movement in 2005, when he published a story alleging a massive conspiracy regarding thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that had been removed from all childhood vaccines except for some variations of the flu vaccine in 2001. In his piece, Kennedy completely ignored an Institute of Medicine immunization safety review4 on thimerosal published the previous year; he’s also ignored the nine studies5 funded or conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that have taken place since 2003.

    The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear Hardcover – 11 Jan 2011
    by Mnookin. Seth (Author)

    • The IOM safety review was a bureaucratic farce. The CDC hired the IOM instructing it not to find anything, and the IOM duly hired the CDC including several papers which remain controversial, such as the DeStefano/Thomson paper, papers coordinated by on the run finanancial fraudster Poul Thorsen.

      “1. The CDC was the client and paying for the study. Here’s a copy of the study parameters.
      “2. The committee members made the CDC’s expectations clear from the beginning. Here’s a discussion between Dr. Marie McCormick, Chairman of the Committee, and Dr. Kathleen Stratton, Study Director of the Committee, BEFORE they had reviewed any of the evidence on either side of the debate:
      Dr. McCormick: …[CDC] wants us to declare, well, these things are pretty safe on a population basis (p. 33).
      Dr. Stratton: …The point of no return, the line we will not cross in public policy is pull the vaccine, change the schedule. We could say it is time to revisit this, but we would never recommend that level. Even recommending research is recommendations for policy. We wouldn’t say compensate, we wouldn’t say pull the vaccine, we wouldn’t say stop the program. (p. 74)
      Dr. McCormick: …we are not ever going to come down that [autism] is a true side effect…(p. 97)…”

      This is my review of the British paper presented at the IOM.

  38. The Hindu Business

    The ban on fixed dosage combination drugs also impacted the company, though to a lesser degree.

    The recent revocation of the ban on fixed dosage combination drugs by the Delhi High Court is also a positive. Meanwhile, the company has been launching new products with considerable success. For instance, Synflorix (for pneumococcal conjugate disease) has become the biggest brand in the company’s vaccine portfolio in the second year of launch.

    In the latter part of 2016, the company launched Priorix tetra, a combination vaccine against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella. The acquisition of the vaccine business of Novartis has also added to GSK Pharma’s strengths in the segment.


  39. Concerning mercury. I have a close relative who was given teething powders, as were many in the 1950s, which contained mercury. He developed Pinks Disease and nearly died. To this day he suffers ‘mystery’ and worrying symptoms which seem to have no explanation, some like fibromyalgia, some like an intermittent form of anxiety, and which he feels must be a form of depression, because no other explanation seems available. I don’t think he or his GP have explored the Pinks Disease connexion, or would probably give it much credence. All the same, he jokingly refers to himself as a medical mystery.

    Mary states in a comment on this string that possibly there always were children earlier in the 20th Century with autism but maybe one of the reasons we see more today is because diagnosis is better, and children are not hidden away in institutions.

    In the English speaking world the commonest source of mercury was teething powders which were widely available and advertised with increasing sophistication. Efforts
    control them (such as the BMJ’s campaign on ‘Secret Remedies’) were as yet unsuccessful.

    ‘NoMercury’ – the website of Dr Alan and Lujene Clarke is a website dedicated to proving that mercury causes autism. They use the example of Pinks Disease to try to show why thimerosal causes autism in such a low set of children. Also of interest is the work on this by Professor Don Cheek, MD, DSc,.

    Several pathologies have found changes in the brain, spinal cord,, ganglions and peripheral nerves. But these legions appear to be non specific, but nervousness was reported in 41%. Many children died from Pinks Disease. If it was obtained from teething powders, exposure would presumably be in the mouth, not injected as today’s mercury thimerosal is. But it was given to tiny babies, like my relative. One wonders how much follow up was done? Could there have been a lot of autism caused back then which would tally up with what Mary said about earlier cases. He certainly is not autistic but maybe his mystery illness, which fluctuates round different parts of his body, has some neurological or adrenal connection. He was diagnosed with life threatening Pinks Disease in the 1950’s.

    A long time back, children played with lead soldiers and probably put them in their mouths sometimes. Lead was eventually banned in children’s toys as the damage to their developing brains was eventually measured and accepted. My GP grandfather used to warn his young patients by telling them this little rhyme;
    ‘Willie had a purple monkey, climbing on a yellow stick, when he licked the paint off, it made him deathly sick’. Lead was in the paint. Now banned on toys.
    Maybe the mercury link will eventually be accepted and banned too but unfortunately market forces and vested interests hold more sway today.

  40. “………………………. they shouldn’t bother giving him an audience…

    ben goldacre ‏@bengoldacre Jan 10

    President Trump has apparently asked an antivaxxer to lead a commission on ‘vaccine safety’. America you’re broken.

    Trump’s Comments Are Big Pharma’s Nightmare

    Robert Kennedy’s Dangerous Anti-Vaccine Activism

  41. #outsmart academics…

    GSK ‏@GSK 3h3 hours ago

    Our CEO Andrew Witty is live now talking to @dominicoc @BBCR4Today on #CEPI:  (UK only) #WEF17 #outsmartepidemics

    The segment is available on ‘i player’..

    Public Release: 18-Jan-2017

    Global partnership launched to prevent epidemics with new vaccines
    Wellcome Trust

    Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK said: “Finding better ways to anticipate and prepare for future health threats is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We strongly support the creation of CEPI and its focus on vaccines development as a solution to protecting against infectious disease outbreaks. GSK has developed a proposal for a Biopreparedness Organisation, a dedicated and permanent facility that would use our scientific expertise and technologies to develop vaccines that could be deployed to protect citizens in the world’s poorest countries against future epidemics and pandemics. This facility would operate on a cost coverage basis to help maximise sustainable access. We stand ready to partner with CEPI to advance epidemic preparedness.”

  42. “Succession processes..

    “So, Abbas Hussain, elder brother of Nasser, trudges off the field to the Glaxo clubhouse.

    Glaxo’s pharmaceuticals boss walks away as new chief prepares to take the helm

    Witty himself commented: “Succession processes are challenging for everyone involved and, unfortunately, it is rare that all of those involved stay with the company.”

    As he himself ‘departs’ the company in March…’displaced’ by the Lady from L’Oréal..

    “I suspect not all investors will mourn his parting.”

  43. On the Day D J Trump was inaugurated, STAT wrote to readers:

    A letter from the Executive Director Rick Berke

    Dear Readers,

    On the day STAT launched 15 months ago, we published a months-long investigation into a failed vitamin business, based on bad science, promoted by Donald Trump.
    All along Trump’s march toward the White House, we’ve delivered authoritative, original, and fair-minded coverage of him and his political rivals, both in text and multimedia. Among our many Trump scoops: An exclusive interview with his doctor; the first story that raised questions about his HHS nominee’s conflicts of interest; and a piece exploring the influence of tech billionaire Peter Thiel on the transition team as it vets candidates to run the FDA and NIH.

    This morning, we’ve got short bulletins from 13 of our beat reporters explaining what they’ll be watching as Trump’s administration begins. We’re expecting fundamental changes in health and science policy. And we’ll be there at every turn, with insights, analysis, and probing reporting from D.C., Boston, and our reporters around the country.

    Two important stories last week underscored our commitment. When Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced that he’d been asked by Trump to lead a commission on “vaccine safety,” we jumped in with authoritative stories on the science of vaccines, the president’s power to set vaccine policy — and a deeply reported opinion piece detailing Kennedy’s history of distorting the research in this field.

    When Trump slammed drug companies for “getting away with murder,” we delivered not just the news, but the stories behind the story, including a piece from Singapore explaining how Trump has rattled an industry increasingly dependent on manufacturing ingredients overseas.

    Our Trump in 30 Seconds weekday newsletter, which we introduced the Monday after the election, has quickly become one of the most popular of our 15 newsletters, with readers eager for our curated take on the latest news. You can sign up for it here.
    If you find our journalism valuable, please support us by sampling our variety of newsletters and sharing our work on social media. Please also consider joining the many readers who have signed up for STAT Plus, our new subscription service that goes deep with exclusive, in-depth pharma and biotech coverage.

    One final way you can help us: Reach out. We’re eager to speak to patients, doctors, nurses, and scientists about how you are affected by changes in the Trump administration. We protect the identity of our sources and treat submissions confidentially. Information on contacting individual reporters is here; use this page to send general correspondence.

    Thank you for your support.
    Rick Berke

  44. The Gold.Acre.Age…


    ben goldacre ‏@bengoldacre Jan 20


    Charles Ornstein ‏@charlesornstein Jan 20

    Charles Ornstein Retweeted David Gorski

    Yes, that’s right, it appears the anti-vax @DrWakefield is at the inaugural ball. Let that sink in! …

    ben goldacre ‏@bengoldacre Jan 21

    Well, here’s Andrew Wakefield using periscope to broadcast from President Trump’s inaugural ball. History is amazing

    ben goldacre Retweeted
    ben goldacre ‏@bengoldacre Jan 21

    ben goldacre Retweeted ben goldacre

    Just to reiterate: Andrew Wakefield, struck-off fraudulent anti-vaccine godfather, is at Trump’s inaugural ball …

      • Goldacre could never keep a straight story about Wakefield. While engaging in vindictive ad hominem against him he knew “the paper” was clean – he even persuaded people like Godlee, Michael Fitzpatrick and Jeremy Laurance that the GMC should be held off – and could not decide where to jump after the GMC brought in its verdict.

        I do not know whether it was an accident but his retirement from weekly journalism was synchronous with intervention of David Lewis over “the paper” and three months ahead of the High Court hearing where the judge cleared the lead author of “the paper”, John Walker-Smith. By that stage it was not exactly convenient for him to have his original opinion vindicated or have to write about it.

        Goldacre’s own defence of MMR was highly defective. It depended on poorly conducted epidemiology – like the disputed papers by De Stefano and Madsen which pose the issue, what might they have shown if they had been done properly? Moreover, epidemiology could not show that it was not happening in individual cases, or as former NIH director Bernardine Healy put it, in “sub-groups”. Goldacre has alway ducked these questions. What, of course, was intolerable to the government and the medical establishment was that at the Royal Free they were actually listening to parents. If that happened, where would it end? What would happen – what might you find out – if you started to monitor the subsequent development of those who had had adverse reactions? It could show up decades of policy, and upset industry plans.

        I think now we need more answers from Goldacre than Wakefield, and he certainly ought not to be jeering.

  45. Re my previous comments re HPV vaccination, including my challenge to Richard Lehman’s careless endorsement of HPV vaccination on his BMJ Blog.

    See below the text of my latest email to Fiona Godlee, Editor-in-Chief of the BMJ, on this matter:

    Dr Godlee, further to our previous correspondence, I again request you publish my original, unedited, comment on Richard Lehman’s BMJ Blog article re HPV vaccination (Blog published 5 December 2016: )

    I have subsequently posted five more comments on Richard Lehman’s BMJ Blog on this matter, and none of them have been acknowledged or published, see copy of all my unpublished comments attached. (One of these comments includes reference to Professor Diane Harper’s email to me of 13 December 2016 re HPV vaccination in which she wants to make clear “…that there is no evidence of cancers prevented…”

    In the interests of transparency and accountability, I request that all my comments be published on Richard Lehman’s BMJ Blog.

    Dr Godlee, the BMJ has provided endorsement of global HPV vaccination via Richard Lehman’s BMJ Blog. It is important that citizens be allowed to respond to the BMJ’s public endorsement of HPV vaccination. The journal industry must be accountable for its influence on international vaccination policy. Medical interventions such as HPV vaccination are being pressed upon the community – citizens’ are entitled to question the legitimacy of these interventions, and to criticise the often biased literature that supports these lucrative medical interventions. Citizens such as myself, laypeople, are finding anomalies in the ‘peer-reviewed’ literature, and these matters must be acknowledged and addressed.

    The journal industry is publishing material behind paywalls which is impacting on international vaccination policy (e.g. the paper[1] and editorial[2] in JAMA referred to by Richard Lehman). Much of this material is conflicted by industry-funding and academic vaccine ideologues, resulting in biased material which should not be relied upon for vaccination policy. As of yet we have no independent and objective review of HPV vaccination, and yet the implementation of novel VLP HPV vaccine products has been fast-tracked around the world.

    An article published in the UK Daily Mail in June 2015[3] about girls suffering adverse experiences after HPV vaccination includes illuminating comments from epidemiologist Dr Tom Jefferson, who is one of the signatories on the complaint to the European Medicines Authority (EMA) over maladministration at the EMA related to safety of the HPV vaccines.

    The article reports Dr Jefferson “is highly critical of the drug company funded clinical trial data that is used to justify the use of mass vaccination” and he adds “that pharmaceutical companies may hide negative results deep in their trials data and hugely inflate the benefits”.

    Dr Jefferson says: “The HPV vaccine’s benefits have been hyped and the harms hardly investigated…The reason for introducing vaccination against HPV was to prevent cancer…but there is no clinical evidence to prove it will do that. We have to tread a very careful line, weighing the potential benefits and harms that a vaccine may cause. With HPV, the harms have not been properly studied…It is extremely difficult to publish anything against HPV vaccination. Vaccines have become like a religion. They are not something you question. If you do, you are seen as being an anti-vaccine extremist. The authorities do not want to hear ‘side-effect'”. (I suggest Dr Jefferson’s comments are relevant to both the Gardasil and Cervarix HPV vaccines.)

    Dr Godlee, a fundamental problem with HPV vaccination is the lack of informed consent before this medical intervention, i.e. children and parents are not being informed about the many uncertainties about the novel VLP HPV vaccine products – children are being used as unknowing guinea pigs in this massive international vaccine trial.

    For example children and parents are not being informed about the lack of evidence for multiple HPV vaccine doses, or that HPV ‘immunisation’ induces antibody titres that are many fold higher than natural infection, as outlined in my (unpublished) comments on Richard Lehman’s BMJ Blog and in my previous correspondence to you.

    It is remarkable to discover that there was no evidence to support the three doses of HPV vaccines being imposed upon children. What sort of ethics approval did Harper et al’s study undergo?[4] Did nobody ask for any justification for the three doses?

    Did a ‘peer reviewer’ of the subsequent paper not question the justification for the three doses? There are ethical concerns here re the over-use of vaccine products and informed consent.

    Similarly, HPV ‘immunisation’ is reported to induce antibody titres that are many fold higher than natural infection, is this very unnatural response ‘a good thing’?

    Again, it is remarkable if a ‘peer reviewer’ did not query this.

    And now these vaccine products have been fast-tracked around the world, and even scientists such as Professor Diane Harper admit “the mechanism of immunogenicity from a scientific perspective is poorly understood”[4] and that “there is no evidence of cancers prevented”[5].

    Dr Godlee, I again request the BMJ take urgent action to raise the alarm about questionable international HPV vaccination policy, and that, for the public record, you publish my comments in response to Richard Lehman’s BMJ Blog, i.e. my comments which currently remain held up in moderation, see copy attached.

    Elizabeth Hart

    1. Behind the paywall of JAMA – cost 19 pounds for 24 hour access. Ole-Erik Iversen et al. Immunogenicity of the 9-Valent HPV Vaccine Using 2-Dose Regimens in Girls and Boys vs a 3-Dose Regimen in Women. JAMA. 2016;316(22):2411-2421.
    2. Behind the paywall of JAMA – cost 19 pounds for 24 hours access. Editorial. Lauri E. Markowitz et al. Two vs Three Doses of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine. New Policy for the Second Decade of the Vaccination Program. JAMA. 2016;316(22):2370-2372.
    3. Just how safe is the cervical cancer jab? More and more families say their daughters suffered devastating side-effects from the HPV vaccine and experts are worried too. Daily Mail, 3 June 2015.
    4. Diane M Harper et al. Efficacy of a bivalent L1 virus-like particle vaccine in prevention of infection with human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 in young women: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. Vol. 364. November 13 2004.
    5. Diane M Harper. Prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccines to prevent cervical cancer: review of the Phase II and III trials. Therapy (2008) 5(3), 313-324.
    6. Email response from Professor Diane Harper to Elizabeth Hart, 13 December 2016.

  46. Re Trump’s proposed commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, two more perspectives to consider…

    Mercola: Trump sets off media firestorm with creation of vaccine safety review panel:

    QUOTE: Why are vaccine proponents so terrified of an honest vaccine safety review? This in and of itself raises serious questions. Another fact that should give everyone pause is the witch hunt unleashed on anyone who dares to question the never-proven-hypothesis that vaccines are so unequivocally safe and beneficial for everyone that everyone should be forced, by law, to get vaccinated with every government-recommended vaccine. END OF QUOTE.

    Nature journal: Trump’s vaccine-commission idea is biased and dangerous:

    QUOTE: Scientists, medics and commentators who have fought vaccine disinformation in the past must take a deep breath and return to the fray. There is no need to wait for this commission to be announced officially. There is no need to wait until it issues its findings. There is no cause to be surprised if it shows little regard for science — or even if it targets scientists who speak out in favour of vaccination. Those who claim a link between vaccines and autism can do so only by discrediting the scientific evidence and, often, the scientists who gathered it. Kennedy’s reference to investigating vaccine safety “and scientific integrity” provides ample warning of what is to come. Scientists should get their retaliation in first. Lives are at stake. END OF QUOTE.

  47. Going back to the smallpox vaccine…..

    In January 1962, a man from Pakistan arrived in Cardiff and brought smallpox to South Wales. Nineteen people died and 900,000 people were vaccinated, including very young children and pregnant women.

    Have there been any follow-up studies on this huge cohort that received the smallpox vaccine to see if, or how, being vaccinated against smallpox affected their subsequent health? If not, then surely from a scientific point of view this would be a very valuable study to do, whichever way the results turned out.

    I was born (at term) in 1962 in Cardiff, several months after the smallpox outbreak, weighing just 5 lbs; my mother thought that my low birth weight was due to her being very sick during pregnancy but didn’t specify the reason for the sickness although she did mention an infection, perhaps scarlet fever. I don’t know if my mother was vaccinated against smallpox in mid to late pregnancy but she was pro-vaccination and never mentioned being unable to receive a vaccination on account of being pregnant. I have several relatively benign congenital abnormalities and, over the years, my doctors have suggested diagnoses of various ‘medically unexplained symptoms’ or ‘MUS’ conditions.

    My sister has been ill since she was quite young and has got progressively worse with time……she is now extremely limited in what she can do and is in continual pain. She has been diagnosed with ME, meeting the CCC and ICC definitions of this disease. However, the aetiology of ME is still unknown and the UK government and NHS unfortunately regard it as yet another ‘MUS’ condition which THEY maintain is caused by mental illness and/or ‘false illness beliefs’, even though good research being conducted abroad is revealing clear biomedical abnormalities in patients with ME. She was definitely vaccinated against smallpox at the age of 15/16 months, this was documented in her medical record. Could an early assault on the immune system by the smallpox vaccine have caused or contributed to my sister’s ill-health? Could it be at all relevant to her health problems and possibly also to mine?

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