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by Alan Phillips
Proper health care will not protect children against all vaccine preventable diseases. Despite excellent care, significant illness and death still occur from disease such as pertussis and measles, which can be prevented by immunisation. If enough children are immunised, outbreaks of these illnesses will be prevented.
Though I am sure your intentions are honourable, the information forming the basis of your claims and implications about vaccinations is incomplete.
First of all, in the US and England, deaths from infectious diseases were in a steady decline for decades prior to vaccination programs, and had declined by an average of about 75 - 80% by the time vaccines were introduced (in the case of measles, 95%). So to begin with, it is not at all clear that vaccination is responsible for current low levels of disease. Further, many disease outbreaks have occurred in fully vaccinated populations, (1) so it is not at all clear that vaccines are reliable. Additionally, since with pertussis, at least, the deaths and disabilities from the vaccines far outnumber those from the disease, it is clear that the vaccine's questionable advantages are significantly outweighed by the vaccine's adverse reactions.
The allusion to herd-immunity theory is simply false. The two most outstanding examples are the Philippines: after 24.5 million smallpox doses to 8-10 million inhabitants (some 95% of so) in a 6 year period, they had there worst epidemic resulting in a quadrupling of the death rate. The country of Oman saw widespread polio outbreaks 6 months after achieving complete vaccination. (2)
In the U.S., there have been many instances in which fully vaccinated populations contracted the disease, including a 100% vaccinated population (measles). A U.S. study examining the many instances in which fully vaccinated populations contracted measles concluded, "The apparent paradox is that as measles immunisation rates rise to high levels in a population, measles becomes a disease of immunised persons." (3) When we look at smallpox vaccination and disease incidence in the late 1800's and early 1900's in England and Wales, we see a direct correlation between dropping vaccination and dropping disease incidence, exactly the opposite of what we would expect if the vaccine was truly the cause of the disease reduction.
These documented historical and recent examples strongly suggest that vaccination, and the goal of complete vaccination are counterproductive, and could in fact have catastrophic consequences if actually achieved in large nations or on a worldwide level.
*For example, in the United Kingdom, the measles-rubella campaign has interrupted measles transmission in school children, and may have stopped the circulation of the virus throughout the population. In March and April 1995, only 4 cases of measles were confirmed; 3 had recently arrived from overseas. The fourth case involved an unvaccinated boy of 15 months.
First of all, "...may have" is not a scientific basis for action. For another, we know that recording of disease is necessarily skewed in favour of the vaccine, as many doctors, upon finding a disease in a vaccinated person, will choose another diagnosis, either to protect themselves, or in complete denial of the existence of disease in a vaccinated person. There is both anecdotal and documented evidence to prove this behaviour, and plenty of documented evidence to substantiate disease occurring in fully vaccinated populations.
Again in the U.S., there was an instance in which the Centers for Disease Control cited fewer than a dozen cases of measles one year in the state of Georgia (post-vaccine era), while a state agency found over 600. Clearly, comparing pre- and post-vaccine disease numbers is not the simple "count and compare" phenomena that vaccine advocates would have us believe.
Unfortunately, this effect is much worse than a simple skewing of disease incidence. The CDC (US) claims that the incidence of death following vaccines is about that which would be expected by chance. In spite of studies clearly connecting SIDS with vaccines (which must be completely discounted and ignored - not exactly a scientific procedure - in order for the CDC comparison to be made in the first place), this is disturbingly invalid, as it does not take into account adverse reporting. When reviewing CDC statistics, FDA adverse event reports (VAERS), and a recent NVIC study (which only confirmed a previous admission by the FDA that adverse event reporting is about 10-15%), it becomes evident that deaths following vaccines is 6-10 times greater than what the CDC claims is statistically expected. (4) When you add to that the studies connecting SIDS and vaccines, and yet a further study which found "confounding" in those studies which found no connection between SIDS and vaccines, (5) it is clear that vaccines have a substantial negative effect which has been ignored and denied by vaccine advocates. Why?!
Given the above, it also becomes clear that, regardless of sincere intent of most vaccine advocates, they are not presenting the complete story (and probably do not realise this). The unfortunate but necessary implication of the realisation of the widespread misinformation is that we - parents and society in general - must be suspicious of all claims made by the government concerning medical policies, as there is no obvious way to discern which are thoroughly researched and presented with the genuine best interest of society's health, and which are based on mis- or incomplete information with motives that we can only speculate must include ones other than the best health and wellbeing of our children.
An intelligent conversation cannot be had on the subject until all facts are presented and openly acknowledged. It would appear, this not having happened up to this point, that those currently involved in the discussion cannot be relied on to do this. It makes sense, then, to assume that such a genuinely open-minded and honest discussion is not likely to occur until the conversation is restricted to those who have no interest beyond the health of those involved. Vaccine manufacturers who profit from their distribution, healthcare providers whose income, status and reputation are directly linked to vaccine administration cannot be considered impartial, as the above presentations of information disputing their position reveals. Only those whose SOLE interest lies in the health and well-being of our children can be truly considered impartial, and they must be the ultimate decision makers regarding policy which is to impact the larger society. Until the public ongoing occurrence of such a conversation, there can be no civilised policy other than giving all the right to choose, based on equal access to all points of view. Your policy is clearly a step in the opposite direction.
*In several other countries including Cuba, the English-speaking Caribbean and Chile sustained interruption of measles transmission has resulted in no cases of measles being reported for more than six, three and two years respectively.
Given the proven adverse event reporting, documented misdiagnosis (with smallpox, some doctor were actually instructed to find alternate diagnoses whenever they found the disease in a vaccinated patient; in spite of this, there are documented instances in which outbreaks consisted of diseased persons were all fully vaccinated), such claims are highly suspect. We cannot mistake "no cases being reported" to mean "no cases occurred." In fact, we have no idea how many cases actually occurred, given the instance above of conflicting reports of disease incidence.
*This does not compare favourably with the current situation in Australia. There have been 993 cases of measles reported for the year to date; 4253 cases were reported during 1994 and 3776 cases in 1993. Between 1983 and 1993 there were 41 deaths caused by measles.
With measles more so than any other disease, documentation exists in which fully vaccinated populations contracted the disease. This contradiction in logic which exists in the current policy shows, as the above evidence, how misguided the current policy is. Such evidence demands that politicians respect parental healthcare decisions, rather than intrude further.
The second issue raised related to compulsory immunisation. The Commonwealth Government does not advocate compulsory immunisation, but supports the National Health and Medical Research Council's recommendation that parents provide evidence of the immunisation status of children enrolling at childcare facilities, preschools and schools. In the event of an outbreak of vaccine preventable disease, un-immunised children can be readily identified and rapidly excluded from the school or childcare facility for their own safety. This measure is also beneficial in helping reduce the outbreak of a particular disease.
Given the overwhelming disease decline pre-vaccine era, and the numerous instances of fully vaccinated populations contracting disease, instances in which disease incidence increased after vaccination (polio and smallpox, in particular), it is not at all clear that any disease is "vaccine preventable." Given a political system which wishes to force upon its citizens a policy which at best is controversial and unclear, and at worst may have serious, widespread, long term consequences (indeed, it may already have had; research indicates *MANY* neurological and immunological conditions have correlations to vaccines); given the conspicuous lack of disinterested persons/organisations behind the creation/implementation of such further steps to track and control parents' choices; any such move is a clear move AWAY from genuine healthcare concerns, AWAY from true democracy, and TOWARD control and coercion of parents.
The New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory governments have enacted legislation for immunisation status to be examined at the time of childcare and school enrolment. I understand that similar requirements are in place in Victoria for children enrolling in preparatory school, and that other States and Territories are currently considering these measures. Presentation of documentary evidence of immunisation status when children enrol in childcare facilities also raises the profile of immunisation and encourages parents to carefully consider immunisation of their children. However, parents still retain the choice for their children.
Parents cannot be considered to have free choice if they are ridiculed or coerced in any way, and unless they are given complete information. Such a tracking policy as you propose is clearly an effort to force parents into compliance with a procedure whose medical and scientific basis is at best questionable, and without providing complete information. Coercion is probable in the new policy, while the presentation of complete information in a neutral setting within which parents would be free to make their own decisions is clearly not.
The last issue related to the establishment of the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. The Immunisation Investigation Group's submission was one of 145 submission received on the implementation of the Register. These submissions, the recommendations of a series of 20 workshops about the Register for immunisation providers, with at least 2 in each State capital and one in the ACT, Darwin, Alice Springs and Townsville and a survey of parental attitudes has been used to determine the scope and operation of the Register.
The results of the parental survey indicated that the vast majority (97%) of parents strongly support immunisation. There was a high level of support for the Register and the majority (84%) indicated that they would like to receive reminder notices about when their child's immunisations are due. I have also enclosed the executive summary of the parental survey for your information.
The results of any poll reflect the manner in which the information was gathered. Just as disease incidence and mortality statistics have been presented in a biased manner based on incomplete information, so are poll results equally suspect. Even if accurate, however, they more likely reflect the current education level of parents on the issue rather than their opinions based on complete information. Thus, these results cannot reasonably be the basis for any action other than a public debate on the issue. If the pro-choice advocates had million dollar budgets and government backing, it is likely that the pro-choice position would be the dominant one in polls as well. The only way to truly determine public opinion on the subject is to provide an ongoing public forum within which both pro-vaccine and pro-choice advocates can present their views.
I would like to assure you that the information from the Register will not be linked with other databases such as those from the Department of Social Security, nor will there be penalties, financial or other, for parents who choose not to immunise their children.
Even if this is guaranteed for the immediate future, there cannot be a guarantee that this policy will never change, or that there will be no incident in which the availability of such information will not be abused or taken advantage of without parental consent.
As there is no scientific or medical basis for such a policy, its very existence constitutes an invasion of privacy.
In summary, the establishment of the Register is just one of a number of initiatives which comprise the National Childhood Immunisation Program being implemented to improve immunisation coverage in Australia. It is anticipated that the Register will provide an effective management tool for monitoring immunisation coverage and improving service delivery. Further information about the National Childhood Immunisation Program can be obtained by contacting Dr Gavin Frost, Senior Medical Adviser on 06 289 8345
In reality, this will provide an effective method of legal coercion, guaranteed increasing profits (both short term for vaccine manufacturers, and long term for doctors treating chronic diseases), and a perpetuation of the incomplete information in support of vaccination which, when seen in view of complete information, is clearly not a basis for either a mandated vaccine policy or the widespread tracking/monitoring of parents' choices in the matter, a step clearly intended to enforce an unsubstantiated and potentially detrimental policy.
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Published in the Summer-Autumn 1996 issue of the CAFMR Newsletter.
Copyright 1996 by the Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research, www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr
This article may be copied or distributed, provided the copyright and disclaimer messages are clearly attached.
Disclaimer: This article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional or medical advice. CAFMR disclaims all liability to any person arising directly or indirectly from the use of the information provided.
(1) Measles vaccine failures: lack of sustained measles-specific immunoglobulin G responses in revaccinated adolescents and young adults. Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC 20007. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 13(1):34-8, 1994 Jan.
Measles outbreak in 31 schools: risk factors for vaccine failure and evaluation of a selective revaccination strategy. Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, University of Toronto, Ont. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 150(7):1093-8, 1994 Apr 1.
Haemophilus b disease after vaccination with Haemophilus b polysaccharide or conjugate vaccine. Frasch CE. Hiner EE. Gross TP.1991 to November 1995. Institution Division of Bacterial Products, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Md 20892. American Journal of Diseases of Children. 145(12):1379-82, 1991 Dec.
Sustained transmissionrof mumps in a highly vaccinated population: assessment of primary vaccine failure and waning vaccine-induced immunity. Briss PA. Fehrs LJ. Parker RA. Wright PF. Sannella EC. Hutcheson RH. Schaffner W. Division of Field Epidemiology, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 169(1):77-82, 1994 Jan. 1.
Secondary measles vaccine failure in healthcare workers exposed to infected patients. Ammari LK. Bell LM. Hodinka RL. Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA 19104. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 14(2):81-6, 1993 Feb.
(2) Outbreak of paralytic poliomyelitis in Oman; evidence for widespread transmission among fully vaccinated children. Lancet vol 338: Sept 21, 1991; 715-720.
Physician William Howard Hay's address of June 25, 1937; printed in the Congressional Record.
(3) Failure to reach the goal of measles elimination. Apparent paradox of measles infections in immunized persons. Poland GA. Jacobson RM. Institution Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, MN. [Review] Archives of Internal Medicine. 154(16):1815-20, 1994 Aug 22.
(4) National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161, 703-487-4650, 703-487-4600.
National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), 512 Maple Ave, W. #206, Vienna, VA 22180, 703-938-0342; "Investigative Report on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System." April/May 1995.
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), Health Resources and Services Administration, Parklawn Building, Room 7-90, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 800-338-2382.
(5) Confounding in studies of adverse reactions to vaccines. Fine PE, Chen RT, REVIEW ARTICLE: 38 REFS. Commentin: Am J Epidemiol 1994 Jan 15;139(2):229-30. Division of Immunization, Centers for Disease Control.
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