Watch it Sunday May 3rd, Channel 7 at 18:30 EST. Moderated by Mike Munro.

Summary:

It wasn’t a good start for the anti-vaxers whose representative, Dr Giselle Cook, spent her introduction explaining to Mike Munro why he should refer to her as “pro-choice” not “anti-vaccine”. Her time would have been better spent establishing her point of view; instead she came across as flustered. For the pro, was Professor Peter McIntyre, who by contrast, was informed, concise and clearly stated that the small
risks associated with vaccinating far outweigh the consequences of disease.

We were told to interject anytime we liked, and of course it didn’t take long for Meryl Dorey to voice her opinion. But I’m pleased to report, she was smacked down several times by host Mike Munro and even by other mothers in the audience. But when she mispronounced Dana’s name and mumbled, “oh I’m sorry, I don’t really know how to pronounce it. I hope that’s right”, that was when I really began to question her sincerity for the parents of Dana McCaffery who sat only a few chairs away.

I will include a few tid-bits from proceedings today. There is too much to put in one post. However, much of it you will see on tomorrow night’s show and I don’t want to steal their thunder. Nevertheless, this gives you a taste.

——

My opinion is the anti-vaxers did not come across very well. Particularly when Mike Munro asked the McCafferys about the hate mail they had received since appearing on the show last week.  There was a clearly audible gasp from the anti-vaxer side of the room and mumblings of that’s terrible etc, until Mike Munro looked straight at Meryl Dorey and said, “Didn’t many of those emails come from your organisation Meryl?”. Many of the anti-vaxers were heard to exclaim, we wouldn’t do that etc, but the damage was done.

Meryl was unable to contain herself from accusing Prof. Peter McIntyre of being on the take from the government. She asked him how much money he received from the government for vaccinating kids. (Of course she was referring to the Maternity Immunisation Allowance scheme introduced in 1997, which they also get access to by the way). Professor McIntyre looked at her blankly and replied – none.

Mike Munro inquired of Meryl Dorey’s medical qualifications, to which she replied; only that I have been researching this for 20 years. Munro interjected – so you don’t have any formal medical qualifications? Well then perhaps we should let the doctors answer the questions.

Toni McCaffery asked Meryl Dorey if she had ever been in a neo-natal unit with kids experiencing whooping cough or measles, or seen a child go into cardiac arrest like she had Dana. Meryl, in a defying act of insensitivity said; “of course it is awful to see a child die, any child, but Dana?, Daanna?, I’m sorry, I don’t really know how to pronounce it…”

I could hardly believe my ears when Meryl Dorey dragged out the Wakefield case as evidence that vaccines cause autism. Prof McIntyre commented that this had been repeatedly debunked to which she responded that there had since been seven publications “from reputable scientific journals” showing Wakefield’s data to be correct. Prof McIntyre looked quite bemused at this comment and calmly stated that not only had some of the data been faked but amongst other flaws, the study only involved 12 children and had since been retracted by the the Lancet.

When Munro asked her to produce said papers, Dorey claimed she had sent them to one of the researchers for the show. She claimed she had sent over 30 studies to the studio in support of her arguments including evidence of vaccine damage. Munro looked decidedly unimpressed and asked her to provide evidence instead of just making all these claims. For this, she cited a child in NSW and QLD (from memory) to which Munro responded, your evidence is one or two kids? You keep saying you have evidence for these things but you are unable to produce it in the studio today? Meryl replied, ”I gave you the details of the 2 kids I just mentioned, you didn’t contact them!!??” To which Munro replied, yes we did Ms Dorey and they did not want to talk to the programme. End of discussion.

Munro inquired of a young mother with 5 month old twins about her sons’ vaccination status. The mother stated that she didn’t really know very much, so was unable to really comment, but she had chosen not to have her kids vaccinated. Munro repeated, “So you don’t really have all the information, you haven’t done the research, but you decided to not have your kids vaccinated anyway”; to which she replied yes.

This sparked the ire of a mother with child a few seats behind, who’s child was recovering from whooping cough after contracting it before he was eligible for vaccination. This mother stated that she was not entirely happy sitting in a room with 2 babies in such close proximity to her son since he had not yet completed his full schedule of immunisations and further, her son could also infect the twins, since he was still recovering. But it also made the first mother look pretty naive and irresponsible.

—-

The thing about the anti-vax lobby is that they are always screeching that parents need more information, but when you offer them scientific data they always have a reason why it is wrong or not acceptable. Often it’s the Big Pharma conspiracy (pharmaceutical companies sponsored that study therefore it’s biased), or they counter offer you something written in a book that they once read. I presented the recent Nature research which links ~15% of autism cases to genes and it was dismissed it out of hand precisely because it only accounts for ~15%, therefore, what about the other ~85%? It must be the mercury and heavy metals in vaccines. It is very difficult to argue with people when their counter arguments have no basis in science and all science you do show them is wrong. Just like the creationists, they continually move the goal posts. And whilst they say they want more information, only as long as that information aligns with their beliefs.

Toni and David McCaffery were in the audience today. I sat next to David and we chatted throughout. They both thanked myself and Richard for our support. What they did today was unimaginably tough and brave. Dana only passed away 6 weeks ago. Yet the anti-vaxers bumble along seemingly oblivious. At one stage when discussion got around to Dana’s death I heard from behind me, someone say it was only one baby. David McCaffery leaned over to me and said, “It was my baby”.


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  • Cecily Johnson

    I watched the show – Prof McIntyre got the bit about kids getting SSPE at 20 years of age wrong…..can be any age. I know lots 7, 8, 14, 16, 17,. My daughter got measles at 10 and a half months of age – SSPE diagnosed at 7 years & DIED at 12. Died from a preventable disease!! She DIED for 5 years – blind, unable to walk, talk, eat.As for the hate mail that the McCaffery family received – I feel for them – I’ve had this for years & even death threats. I have been thrown out of so many AVN meetings & had security called – why?? because I told the truth about measles – real stats, real photos of the children that have died. Meryl Dorey couldn’t or wouldn’t answer my questions at a meeting at Byron Bay – and told me to leave!! I say IMMUNISE….

  • @Tim,

    Sadly I was advised today that Oprah has agreed to support a Jenny McCarthy talk show

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/05/04/oprah-drinks-the-antivax-kool-aid/

    On my other post from David McCaffery, Dr Heather sensibly advised parents to “Get your questions answered, feel comfortable with the decisions you are making, but make sure you are basing it on real information, not ‘gut feelings’ or emotions”. With Jenny McCarthy’s “Mommy instinct” as the only evidence she has, I fear we are about to have misinformation foisted on the world, on a super huge scale.

    Does anyone direct me to a website established in direct response to Generation Rescue? There are already some great ones out there

    http://antiantivax.jottit.com/

    but the post left by Ana last night made me realise parents want info. about adverse reactions etc up front since it seems some doctors are not conveying this effectively. Whilst this is likely not deliberate, it instils suspicion in parents who have already had their heads filled with the scaremongering from the AVN. One that amalgamates the stats, (eg., morbidity and mortality from vax and not vax – I know these figures are available on the CDC website, but perhaps if they were presented in a more palatable, less CDC scary fashion, they might be easier to digest for parents. (now that I have just typed this stream on consciousness, I wonder, isn’t this a job for the government?).

  • Tim Lamb

    “It was only one baby”?

    Jaw drops.

    Any child is one child too many. I applaud the McCaffreys for their courage and strength. I can’t imagine what it would cost, personally and emotionally, to lose your baby six weeks ago, and then to have to tolerate the nonsensical blatherings of the anti-vaxxers who are directly to blame. I would still be curled up at home hating the world. Amazing, and inspiring.

    Let’s smack this nonsense down – viciously, and with prejudice – before it gets too much of a foothold.

  • anna

    I am pro-vaccination, and have had my 3 children vaccinated, including for HepB. I regard vaccination as one of the blessings of living in a modern age – like antibiotics, which have saved lives of loved ones.
    My second child was hospitalised and made very ill by the triple antigen in 1993. He recovered with no long term problems AT ALL, but the pediatrician who treated him at the hospital recommended that my child did not have the whooping cough component in further vaccinations, as their reaction was so extreme. ( uncontrollable temperatures and fitting for four days)
    My comment is that while vaccination is very valuable,in my experience there is a reluctance on the part of GPs to be explicit about the risks, which exist even if they are not on the same scale as the risks of the disease . I have been told since then by GP’s who were not present or even acquainted with my child at the time of his vaccination that ‘something else must have caused it’ when I have tried to discuss any possible genetic vulnerability, and how to best prepare for any problems that may have occurred when vaccinating my third child. (as it happened, there were none.) My experience has been that there is a real reluctance to admit that any side effects exist at all. Even trivial observations (my comment that a slight rash appeared to have been caused by the vaccination) were treated with contempt, which I found unnecessary.
    I wonder how many parents are made to feel stupid in this way, and have done research that ‘proves’ that doctors don’t know what they are talking about?
    Surely Dr’s should want to know these reactions as part of an ongoing record of how vaccination CAN effect children?

  • Hello Grendel,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I am sorry to hear about your son’s condition. You are correct about the Wakefield research. It has been debunked many times over and been retracted http://scepticsbook.com/2009/02/09/what-more-do-the-mmranti-vaccers-want/ by 10 of the 12 scientists on the paper (not including Wakefield who has gone on the set up Thoughtful House in the States).

    As you are now doubt aware, Wakefield is currently being investigated by the General Medical Council of the UK for serious professional misconduct relating to the Lancet publication. In addition, he has been accused of fraud surrounding allegations that he was paid over 400,000 pounds by lawyers wanting to demonstrate that MMR caused autism and he had a stake in patents for an alternative to the MMR for measles.

    Pharmaceutical companies are not beyond reproach, just as any other company dedicated to making money.

    Best wishes

  • Grendel,

    Sorry to hear that you son has autism. I concur with your observation regarding financial stake/ vested interests.

    In talking with a co-worker who is a fan of homeopathy, who raised the “Big Pharma” conspiracy I suggested that a better way to look at the situation was to view the companies that produce pharmaceuticals and homeopathic remedies as just that, companies with a vested interest in making money – then examine their actions, ethics, evidence and marketing and judge them on that.

  • Grendel

    I have a child with autism – a condition he was born with. At the time he was vaccinated I had already read the Wakefield study, and the research that followed immediately attempting to replicate his work.

    We vaccinated our son and this protected him against some dreadful diseases to which he was exposed. The vaccinations did not change his behaviour, not did they alter the fact that he has autism.

    It is a lie that vaccinations cause autism and it has been clearly demonstrated that it is a lie. Those who spread the lie have as much financial stake in their side of the argument as any doctor or pharmaceutical company – in many case more so since both doctors and pharmaceutical companies have diversified businesses that do not rely on vaccination for their sole income.

    Frequently anti-vax quacks rely on their anti-vax position for the entirety of their income.

    Vaccinate you children – save their lives and the lives of other children with whom they will play.

  • Katherine

    Hi,
    I am a student at Curtin University in Perth, and was watching the show on Sunday for my general interest, but found that the story was very relevent towards an undergraduate health science research project I am proposing. The audience overwelmingly agreed that there should be more information and access to education about child vaccination, which is a response that is I have been researching (despite the fact that so far it has been commented to me that researching child immunisation rates does not fit into the remit of Health Promotion…). I am wondering if people could send me comments for what they would like to be included/ what they think would work best to help set up a proposal for an child vaccination education scheme. Of particular interest would be who you think should be recieving the educational information; ie, health professionals being taught how to disseminate information; seminars aimed at high risk areas; pamphlets and schemes for day cares etc…
    I dont know how blogs are meant to work, but if ideas and comments could be posted to me at katndmouse@hotmail.com, that would be appreciated.

  • ryan

    louise you have provided us with a good debate if nothing else. I don’t really understand your point of view though. Now you are saying that your kids are vaccinated and you are not anti vac. I agree with you that parents do need to speak with their doctors however the danger of “getting informed” means that they can be informed by sites like AVN which push an agenda not based on science. I do hope you stick around and expand on your argument.

  • The problem generally Katie, is that one person has a bad experience with a vaccine and feel hard done by. They then go out and search for other people in similar situations who may be able to offer a support group.

    Within this support group are JUST people who have had the negative affects, all they seen and hear are people who have had negative affects because face it, if everything went swimmingly for you when having loved ones vaccinated you wouldn’t exactly jump online and discuss it now would you?

    Due to the group all being the minority who have had the negative emotions boil and it makes the situation look MUCH worse than it really is. They look around and all they see are the negative affects when if they look at the whole picture, if they look outside of their group, they would realise just how much of a minority they are, nowhere remotely close to the numbers affected by the diseases and viruses that vaccines are designed to stop.

    In addition to all this, many support groups for vaccine reactions have also been infested with Supplementary, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine loons, people that push “remedies” which have no side affect purely because they don’t have any affect at all. Such things may have been good 500+ years ago when medicine was in its infancy and quite dangerous, but not today.

    Every loss is a horrible thing, but the losses without vaccines would be a hundred times if not a thousand times greater. These anti-vaxxers do need to look at the real numbers and it will be clear that although they mean well, all they’re doing is pushing a situation which would be much MUCH worse and pandering to the S.C.A.M. loons is just adding to the damage they do. This is why we’re trying to stop them, to regain some sanity in this society.

  • Pingback: Dan’s Demented Ramblings » Blog Archive » Education, Logic and Reason. The Vaccination for Ignorance…()

  • Katie B

    I live in NZ, so have been following this online. I wish the media here would do something similar, as the anti-vaxers here seem just as irresponsible as the Aussie ones.
    My father and father-in-law both got polio when they were young, and were not only crippled for their entire lives, they also suffered the complications and pain of post-polio syndrome later in life.
    A friend of my grandmother’s had 3 siblings who died from whooping cough.
    I think if anti-vaxxers grew up with someone who was crippled by polio, or deaf from rubella during pregnancy, or who had lost limbs due to meningitis, they would realise how foolish they are to use their children’s health as a statement of their own ignorance.
    And I’ve often wondered – what happens to these kids if they want to travel overseas?

  • Louise,

    Why did we think you were anti-vac?

    1. You really din’t state you were otherwise until much later on
    2. Linking to Jenny McCarthy’s website first up
    3. Talking about payouts, but linking to a page that does not seem to support your point about law suits
    4. Having a crack at the educated, broadly tarring all inexperienced doctors with the same brush
    5. Promoting the Polio Vaccine-Aids link, which is highly unlikely from what I have read
    6. Calling us collectively a joke.

    That was your first post, and while admittedly I wasn’t kind in my reply, can you blame us?

    I invite you to stick around. If you can put forward a good argument, are interested in being skeptical you can present us with information, we can learn and extend our knowledge and everyone wins 🙂

  • I’m not going to dignify the trolling above – but I will say that it was an excellent debate and many thanks to R for getting it up on YouTube for everyone to see. I’ve collated a short list of links to here on my site – http://podblack.com/?p=1386

    and hope that it helps bring more traffic to this account. Thank you to the (other wonder-twin) R, for posting David’s story. 🙂

  • Louise, please don’t imply that anyone here has dismissed your child’s reaction as “just one baby”. I have done nothing of the sort, and the others have not either. We have all expressed our sincere sympathy. I think you may be overlooking the main point. Dana McCaffery’s death was preventable, whereas your child’s reaction to the vaccine was not. You were doing the right thing by having her vaccinated because the costs of not doing so… well I don’t need to repeat that by now. It is unfortunate that vaccination can never be 100% harmless, but we can’t overlook the horrible alternative.

  • Louise

    I have nothing to do with the AVN and would never, have never, written to anyone who has lost a child and commented either way on it. I think it’s sick. I am equally offended that my child is being dismissed tonight as “just one baby”.
    How many times do i have to repeat that i am not anti-vac? It’s frustrating.
    I almost wish i hadn’t seen the show tonight and curse my mother (not literally) for telling me to switch on the telly because i might be interested in what was on 7. Guess i could blame myself for thinking they would have any viewing that wasn’t an insult to my intelligence. Go the ABC/SBS……. 🙂

  • Louise, on that government site you linked to, did you check the citation at the end of the line you quoted? I believe that information came from Professor Peter McIntyre himself. I’m not sure why his statement on the show seemed to conflict with that, but I think it would be rash to jump to a conclusion of conspiracy when there are other, far more plausible explanations. Human error, editing, misunderstanding, etc. I’m as interested as you about the answer, but I won’t arrive at a conclusion based on the lack of one.

  • Louise,

    My apologies if you interpret what I wrote to be minimizing her experience. It was not my intention. The risks for immunization are evident – the result of having low herd immunity is death for Dana. I was merely pointing out that you still have your daughter, unfortunate though her experience was.

    Kindly refrain from trying to insert words in my mouth again and from accusing us of effectively using you as a toy for our amusement if you want to be taken seriously.

    You have been inept in stating your case, which has resulted in misunderstanding.

    Please take some time and write a long post articulating your case. I am pro choice as well. You have done nothing to convince me that the best choice in most cases is not to vaccinate.

    Your reference to deaths from measles is an interesting point and bears further investigation.

  • @Louise, both parents and doctors get paid incentives to vaccinate. It is part of the scheme introduced in 1997 by Dr Michael Wooldridge, in response to extremely low rates of immunisation – when only 53% of children were fully vaccinated for their age. I referred to it as the Maternity Immunisation Allowance “scheme” since the maternity allowance was merged with several other incentives as a part of Immunise Australia: A Seven Point Plan.
    http://www.foodsecretariat.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-archive-mediarel-1997-mw1697.htm

    My point about the immunisation allowance was that the anti-vax lobby perpetually screech about doctors getting kick backs, but they are also entitled to money as part of the scheme. This never seems to get mentioned when they are throwing around accusations of bribery.

    The exemption clause is here:
    http://www.familyassist.gov.au/internet/fao/fao1.nsf/content/payments-mia-exemptions.htm

    But briefly,

    a recognised immunisation provider (e.g. your doctor) signs a letter or form saying that:

    • they have told you about the benefits and risks of immunising your child and you have a conscientious objection to immunising your child (your provider should complete a Health Insurance Commission Immu-12 form)

    Since you have done your research, then I assume you know why the GPII scheme was introduced:

    When the GPII scheme was implemented, it was considered that the number of children in Australia who were fully immunised was too low to prevent transmission of some vaccine-preventable diseases. For many children this resulted in sickness, hospitalisation, and sometimes death. Those who are not immunised, or not fully immunised, have a much higher chance of infection which can lead to disease outbreaks and epidemics.

    I am truly sorry to hear about your child. However, it is a little difficult to sympathise with your cause, when for the past few days all I have been hearing from the anti-vaxers is that the death of Dana was “just one baby”. I had it today at the MB$ festival, I heard it in the audience at the debate when I was sitting next to David McCaffery. He heard it too. He leaned over to me and said “it was my baby”.

    I also fail to see how sending hate mail and AVN material to the home on David and Toni McCaffery does any good for the cause of the anti-vax lobby. It’s not the right way to endear people to your cause. And neither is being rude on my blog.

    As a mother of four, you more than ever understand how heart breaking it is to see your child sick. So why is the life of Dana McCaffery dispensible? You may be interested to read David McCaffery’s blog here http://scepticsbook.com/2009/05/03/a-guest-post-from-david-mccaffery/

    Do you think it is acceptable that the anti-vaxers haved harrassed the McCafferys and dismissed the death of their daughter as “just one baby”?

    I do not.

  • Louise

    Even Maggie brags about the producer of the show being pro-science. The ‘professor’ was lying about there being no deaths from measles in the last 20 years but you people take his word as gospel. I just now copied this info from the government’s vaccination handbook:

    In the 30 years (1976–2005) since measles vaccination was recommended in Australia, there have been 95 deaths recorded from measles, 1 death in 2004 being the only one recorded since 1995.

    http://www.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook-measles

  • Louse, if the debate was one-sided it was because all the evidence was on one side, and the other merely repeated debunked claims and fallacy. In an honest debate, nonsense can be exposed as being what it is and the other side comes out the victor.

  • Louise

    Oh, and every year i read the government’s ‘Australian Immunisation Handbook’, which is available to all (not just GP’s) so i am up to date on all the stats and new vaccines. I’m not some ignoramus. How many of you, who seem so concerned about this issue, do that??? I’m quite saddened because i realise i’m just being used by some of you as a change from the monotony.

  • Louise

    Ryan,
    Like i said, 3 of my children are fully vaccinated. I’m not anti-vac. I’m pro-choice and believe most parents don’t research at all. I AM open-minded which is why i’m still here reading other people’s points of view (even though i feel i’m being bullied). I DO read and understand both sides, which is why i chose to vaccinate my youngest, even after what happened to her older sister. You don’t get my point at all. The debate was one-sided.

  • Louise

    Sean,
    Yes, my child is still alive but you make it sound like her ordeal (and mine) was trivial. Why is it that she would have to be dead to attract sympathy? Perhaps i should have filmed her as a baby at the Randwick Children’s Hospital (with an MMR vaccine-induced brain injury) while she was writhing and screaming in agony for THREE MONTHS!!!!! If vaccination ever becomes compulsory there’s nothing i won’t do to prevent that happening to her again.

  • ryan

    Louise you missed my point entirely, I was pointing out the fallacy of your argument. You were saying that doctors are paid and I was saying that whether they are paid or not is no relevance to vaccinations effectiveness. Personally I wish I could build a time machine and send you and all of the other anti vac believers back to a time when measles, whooping cough and polio were like waves that rolled through communities and killed effortlessly and without restraint. They have all but vanished thanks to vaccinations. There are some very intelligent people here that have spoken to you, once you have cooled down perhaps read what some of them have said. In the interests of being open minded perhaps you need to spend some time reading some material about the effectiveness of vaccines and how the peer review process works. Even if you don’t agree just do some research on the other side of the fence, i.e don’t just look for research on anti vac sites, challenge your thinking a little and look for the truth without prejudice, in other words be scientific about it.

  • Louise,

    I have read the link to the medicare page and all I can see is the outline for an incentive program for businesses. Like it or not practices are businesses.

    Can you link me to the money trail? Or explain what you find wrong with this scheme? Why do you think it compromises doctors?

    Outline your argument clearly and concisely and we might take you a bit more seriously.

  • I’m not sure the televised “debate” reflects the true nature of the controversy. But, credit where credit is due: To the McCaffreys for having the fortitude to sit through that and to take their despair to the general public in the first instance. They have done more in a matter of weeks for vaccination than many pro-vax campaigners have managed after years of tireless effort. What a dreadful way to have to do it though. And credit also to Mike Munro who definitely held good ground as moderator.
    _
    I cannot believe some people insist on “100% safe”. Will these people ever feed or clothe their own children – with choking, strangulation and suffocation very real risks, neither is 100% safe.
    _
    Why do none of the anti-medicine crowd (it’s apparent it goes well beyond anti-vaccination) ever demand to know how much homeopaths and homeopathic manufacturers get for promoting their pseudo-scientific nonsense? How much does AVN make from the ads they run and the products they promote – or ask others to promote?
    _
    From the AVN website – “Affiliate Program”:
    “If you have a website or send emails to friends, family or business associates, you can link to the Affiliates Program and earn money by promoting our products, subscriptions or membership as easily as just displaying a banner on your website or in your email signature. Every time you direct a customer to us, you will earn a commission – simple as that!”
    _
    It’s a conspiracy!!!

  • Macca,

    Interesting point. Louise’s child is still with us isn’t she. I asked my mother about the vaccinations that were provided to my sister and I and whether she knew the risk. She said she was well aware, that there were adverse reactions. Now this is anecdotal and we can dismiss it as such, but she is not a highly educated woman but she is intelligent. She weighed up the risks and took the less risky option.

  • Louise, simply being a mother does not excuses your childish behaviour on this blog. I sympathise with your plight, and empathise with your feelings of guilt. I believe doctors are supposed to give you information on vaccines, and I know it is available (see this post). However, if you have received less than adequate care in the past, it does not mean that all manner of conspiracies must then be true.

  • EVERYTHING has risks. You are naive if you think otherwise. Every single medicine a doctor pescribes comes with its own risk, but warning people every time could scare them in to not taking something that they are better off taking. Do you expect your supermarket to warn you if you about reaction risks pick up a pack of peanuts? Do you expect your waiter/chef to warn you of reaction risks if you order something with mushrooms in them? Do you expect your pilot to warn you every time you take a flight? EVERYTHING comes with risks. Some people react, the VAST majority don’t.

    I don’t deny it was a horrifying experience, but your reaction here has been too extreme and has been strung along by these people who do more harm than good with their misinformation and lies about vaccines. It pains me every time I see someone who has been fooled and mislead as you have been.

  • Macca

    Louise, how badly was your child damaged? I, unfortunately have experienced the result of others around me not vaccinating. My little girl died….and I miss her like crazy

  • Louise

    To Ryan; like i said, check out the Medicare website for the proof of this ‘conspiracy theorist nonsense’. The money paid to GP’s comes from sales of the vaccine – so who’s paying who then???
    http://www.medicare.gov.au/provider/incentives/gpii/index.jsp

    To Joel; the ONLY reason i came here was because i was looking for somewhere to discuss tonight’s so-called debate and this website came up at the top of the search list. As a mother of 4, i will not ‘crawl back into’ any hole. 3 of my children have been fully vaccinated, so i am not just some crazed anti. However, one of my children was instantly damaged by the MMR vaccine and i know first-hand the horror, disbelief, hurt and mistrust, etc., etc., that comes from this. I feel sick with guilt for not researching the risks beforehand and can only pray that my daughter forgives my previous ignorance. I’ve been to many GP’s (for 56 vaccination shots between my kids!) and not one of them has ever informed me of the risks which, according to law, they are obliged to do. You really can’t seriously comment on something you have no personal experience with.

  • Louise, please take off the tin foil hat for a few moments. By the sounds of things you were actually there, you already know how Professor MacIntyre responded and his response was very accurate. The money comes from the government to GP’s not as a bribe but as an encouragement, the proverbial carrot. The government would not encourage vaccines unless it saw them as the proper thing to do. The claims of AVN are nothing more than conspiracy theorist claptrap.

    If you’re going to talk about reasearch and evidence, then please actually use the research and evidence, not the misinformation and out right lies put forth by anti-vaccination campaigners.

  • Macca

    Oy, Louise, Sorry, first time blogging and didn’t see link at top. My mistake. However, I was at the debate. Sitting next to Maggie and what she mentioned was raised, but cut by the producers for the show. There was plenty of information not used..and that was a shame!
    Join me for a beer! Don’t smoke.

  • @Louise

    You are clearly trolling, but ah well, I’ll bite. How would you prefer the government go about protecting the population from diseases? Using the incentives of which you speak, or by making vaccines compulsory? Do you have a better solution?

    I don’t really expect a sensible answer from you of course. I saw you referencing misinformation from Jenny McCarthy’s site on the other post. You know, filling your head with lies and misinformation might make you *feel* educated, but when you then go around accusing others of being ignorant and uneducated, and disparage those with actual training and a grasp of the scientific method, you are just embarrassing yourself.

    If all you have come here to do is to throw ad homs at people, please crawl back into your hole. Otherwise, if you want to act like an adult, there are people here who are more than happy to help you rid yourself of those silly conspiracy theories you tout.

  • ryan

    The reference to Doctor kickbacks was pure conspiracy theorist nonsense. It was not an argument but a logical fallacy that has nothing to do with the effectiveness of vaccines and is typical of the level of debate relating to this topic. Meryl proved herself to be ill informed and un prepared, her body language during the doctors responses spoke volumes as to how open her mind is. The fact that the McCaffery family received hate male from AVN members is disgusting. It was an interesting exercise and hopefully the outcome will be to expose the AVN as a conspiracy theorist group with no rational argument. Mike Munroe did an excellent job of putting Meryl in her place. Hopefully an education campaign will come out of this. Sadly I don’t think the AVN ( a deceptive name if I ever heard one ) will probably not vanish.

  • Louise

    Nah, i woz torkin to Maggie (?). Get Shazza ta cook ya up sumtin speshil, Macca, sit back with a tinny and some fags and relax 🙂

  • Macca

    Louise. Are you having a conversation with yourself? How embarrassing!

  • Louise

    How embarrassing for you to be so misinformed/uneducated! NO, nobody was referring to the Maternity Immunisation Allowance (the payment that is given to parents). They were referring to the handout that individual GP’s receive for vaccinating people (the GP’s practice also receives money separately). There’s no excuse for your ignorance when all you have to do is go to the MEDICARE website and read about it!!! If you have trouble finding it, let me know and i’ll guide you through it step-by-step, ha ha.
    P.S. Mike Munro is a half-wit and a dreadful ‘mediator’. So obviously one-sided.

  • Good show: they kept the gist of what you wrote in this blog post in the final broadcast edit. And Munro was a great moderator, particularly when he questioned Dorey’s medical qualifications! My thoughts go out to the McCaffery family; it was awesome of them to be there for this.

  • @Traumapony, we will have it on YouTube very very soon.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/riedsa

  • TraumaPony

    Damn. I was going to watch it, but thought it started at 7pm. I only caught the last five minutes. Those antivaxxers just don’t listen, do they?

  • B-Sheep makes a very good point. Adverse reactions (real ones, not perceived ones) are immediate. Inject, get a rash or a temperature – something must be wrong with the vaccine – so, therefore, why not autism too? It’s easy to see how a parent could make this leap, especially when a vocal minority insists vaccines are toxic.

    It’s likely the reason this report has had such an impact is precisely because it involved the horrific death of a very real baby, right there in everyone’s lounge rooms, not pages of clinical data.

    What a sh*t of a way to have to make an impact though.

  • Thanks for the update Maggie. It sounds very positive from the studio, let’s hope they don’t use the same editors they used on The One or it will look like the scientists are just grumpy closed-minded dimwits.

    One small point, I’ve read it multiple times but did you really mean to write in the first paragraph “…clearly stated that the risks of not vaccinating far outweigh the consequences of disease.”

    I’ve set the timer for tonight’s show.

  • The greatest problem I received from attending was kids reactions to vaccines. Just like peanutes and other natural products, kids do react in horrifically bad ways and there’s no way to test for such things prior to administration. This and this alone to me appears to be the greatest cause behind this debate. The anti-vaxxers of course respond to what they see and mistake correlation for causation.

    Due to their emotional state of mind for obvious emotional reasons they see anecdotal evidence as scientific, where as reality scientific study reasons are anecdotal (which are usually only recorded for) multiplied by a hundred times if not more and recorded both for and against, but in such a way it doesn’t have such an emotional response/affect.

    Basically people feel and are affected more by anecdotes where as studies are too cold, we need to translate the studies in too such things to have a worthwhile affect.

    I don’t have family, but I have a nephew en-route, THIS is why I was interested and came to this event. I’m sure my brother will be pro-vaccination, but I don’t know the rest of the family enough to know if they share my heart felt concerns, simply from an uncles point of view.

  • It sounds like it went really well, so I hope it comes across that way in the final presentation.
    Well done to you and Richard for going along, representing the scientific case and supporting the McCafferys.
    You’re an inspiration to the rest of us!

  • Dianne

    I was there today and seeing people spout such nonsense made my heart pound. The McCaffery family was amazing in their restraint, they were composed and well spoken. I am not sure many people would have been able to display this under these circumstances.

    Having seen Dr. Dunlop prepare for today, and seeing her dedication and passion about vaccinations from up close, I can only say ‘wow’. If only more people had the same heartfelt dedication and ability to seek fact from fiction the world would be a much better place today. So, thank you Dr. Dunlop.

  • What a harrowing day for the McCafferys… their pain i cannot imagine. Thank you for your dedication and for posting this Maggie

  • My heartfelt thanks and condolences go to the McCaffery family. Their bravery and resolve in the face of such belligerent wrong-headedness will not be forgotten.

    I do hope this program ends up delivering a solid blow against this dangerous pro-disease group. It sounds promising so far, pre-editing.

  • David exercised superhuman restraint in not getting up and beating that idiot to a pulp