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At 3:30 PM on January 30, the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) will be presenting more than 200 reports of serious reactions and deaths following vaccination to Dr. Michael Wooldridge, the Federal Minister for Health and insisting that he thoroughly investigate each one. Since none of these reactions have ever been reported by the doctors involved, it is obvious that the risk/benefits ratio that we are always told about is not based on factual data. Only when the government shows that it is committed to giving us real information rather than propaganda will we be able to make a free and informed choice about vaccinating our own children which is our right as Australian citizens.

There has been a lot of publicity about the four alleged whooping cough deaths which the government has been using to whip up mass hysteria. The health authorities refuse to release the names of the so-called pertussis victims. Until they do, one must be sceptical, particularly in light of the authority’s dubious past in disseminating incorrect information about such matters.

For instance, Dr. Margaret Burgess, a spokesperson for the New Children's Hospital, had claimed several weeks ago on the ABC radio’s show "The World Today", that there had been several deaths from whooping cough in the last few weeks in Sydney. The AVN had contacted every hospital in Sydney and was unable to find one in which a child had died from whooping cough. The journalist who had presented the show checked back with Dr. Burgess only to be told that there had been two deaths - one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Did even these deaths take place? It's hard to say.

Parents of unvaccinated children are being labelled as irresponsible and even criminal by the government and one-sided reporting in the press. Some health authorities are calling for vaccination to be made compulsory with either bribes paid to those who vaccinate or fines for those who choose not to. Like any subject, there are two sides to this issue, but only one is being heard.

Deaths from vaccination do occur, many of them labelled as SIDS. Where is the outrage when a child dies or is seriously injured by a vaccine? Last week, a child died in Adelaide. This baby had screamed in pain all night and was found dead in the morning. It had received a DPT vaccine two days before its death - a reportable event in NSW, but South Australia, like all other Australian States and Territories, has no requirement to report vaccine reactions or deaths. Why is a child who is killed by a vaccine considered to be worth so much less than a child killed by illness?

Medical doctors around the country have been warning about the risks of vaccinations. Dr. Archie Kalokerinos has experienced first-hand the tragedy of vaccine-induced deaths which he described in his book "Every Second Child". He found that vaccinations were a strong contributing factor to an unacceptable number of deaths among Aboriginal and Caucasian children in an outback community where his practice was based. Despite the constant threat of retaliation from the medical fraternity, there are other medical doctors willing to make public their warnings. The Australian Vaccination Network can arrange media interviews with these doctors; Giselle Cooke, Archie Kalokerinos, Peter Baratosy, Mark Donahue, David Ritchie, Ian Brighthope, etc. if this is desired.

The AVN, with its very limited resources, has collected details on 200 instances of vaccine related deaths and serious injuries and is willing, with the permission of the families involved, to make this information public. Meryl Dorey, President of the AVN would like to invite members of the media to examine the cases that are contained on their register and to see for themselves the other side of the vaccination issue and why it is that vaccination rates are falling in Australia.

"Seven of the families who have contacted us have reported that their child died following a vaccine reaction," she states. "Many more have children who are epileptic or permanently brain-damaged as a result of vaccines. None of these cases were ever reported by the doctors involved. The vast majority of vaccine reactions go unreported and so when we are told that vaccines are safe, that assurance is not being based upon factual information."

One parent whose report we have taken, Mrs. Genene Howell, had a son who became ill and cried continuously after vaccination, dying 24 hours later. Another mother, Mrs. Beth Vaughan, has twin daughters who both became permanently brain damaged after their DPT injections. They will need to be in care for the rest of their lives. These two mothers are willing to speak with the media about their children's reactions. These are just a few of the many families whose lives have been ruined or ended by vaccines and who are invisible as far as the medical community and the media are concerned.

The AVN wishes to make it clear that the vaccination controversy is not the simple issue that the public has been led to believe. The Government's explanation for the falling vaccination rate, attributing it to complacency and apathy, is patently false! The drop is essentially due to concerned and educated parents having, upon their own experiences and/or independent research, arrived at the realisation that vaccinations are not safe and effective as the authorities have been telling us for years.

THE AUSTRALIAN VACCINATION NETWORK, INC. - PO Box 177, Bangalow NSW 2479, phone 02 6687 1699, fax 02 6687 2032, info@avn.org.au, www.avn.org.au