A news article has just appeared on the online site of The Sydney Morning Herald about the HCCC complaint against the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), submitted by Ken McLeod.

Entitled “Vaccine fear campaign to be investigated” health reporter Louise Hall details allegations about the AVN which she describes as “a group that claims vaccines cause autism, brain damage and cancer..” who are “…allegedly spreading misinformation and endangering children’s health”.

Meryl Dorey, the president of the AVN claims that she fills the gap left by the mainstream medical profession and government bodies and

“We never have and never will tell anyone that they should not vaccinate. We simply fill the information void left by government and the mainstream medical community.”

Of course you do Meryl, you fill the gap with stories of vaccines being the biggest hoaxes of the 20th century, a plot to commit mass genocide and a method for the “illuminati” to implant all recipients with microchips. And you and your followers tell parents that vaccines contain toxic levels of mercury and aluminium, plus cells from aborted fetuses (amongst other things), cause shaken baby syndrome (or shaken “maybe” syndrome), vaccines have never been tested, there is no science to back up the benefits of vaccination, homeopathy, a healthy lifestyle and a loving family are suitable alternatives to vaccination, kids are meant to get childhood illnesses, whooping cough is not that serious, swine flu is a manufactured epidemic, vaccination efforts in the third world “put Hitler and Stalin in the shade”, and that doctors are a danger to children.

Oh, and Meryl is also an HIV/AIDS denier as well as being a member of the Facebook group Australians against vaccination* (odd, since she claims to be “pro-choice”).

If you need confirmation of the depths these people will sink to, then please read this comment, which was left on my blog in response to a post by Toni McCaffery, the mother of Dana who died from whooping cough at 4 weeks of age, some 6 months ago.

Then convince me that these people are well meaning and care about the health of children.

—–

*if you are directed to your home page on Facebook with this link, it means you have been banned from accessing this page by the administrator. This is most likely due to the following; “First and foremost, THIS IS NOT A DEBATE if you are pro vax don’t even bother”.

SMH article


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  • Chris

    Depends on the population that is studied. If you want the details go to http://www.PubMed.gov and look up the vaccine studies yourself.

  • scep dick

    How did they come up with the ’80% effective’ figure? Is it effective in only 80% of the people or 80% effective in everyone?

  • scep dick

    Thanks for posting those stats – a very good point

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    @ scep dick, the vaccine is only about 80% effective, so even the vaccinated get it. The difference is those who are vaccinated, get shorter duration and less serious symptoms.
    .
    As I posted to you last night, kids who get it when they are not vaccinated are much more likely to get pneumonia, and die. Please check this blog

    In brief;
    .
    Severe complications which occur almost exclusively in unvaccinated people include seizures and pneumonia. In babies under 6 months of age the symptoms can be severe or life threatening and include;

    • Haemorrhage (bleeding)
    • Apnoea (stopping breathing for long periods of time)
    • Pneumonia
    • Inflammation of the brain
    • Convulsions and coma
    • Permanent brain damage
    • Death.

    Note: this occurs almost exclusively in unvaccinated people.

    Also the vax only lasts about 10 years so you need booster shots as an adult.

  • scep dick

    @Chris

    “This is how more vaccinated persons get the disease than unvaccinated. Even if the infection rate was at 100%, there would still be more of the vaccinated getting the diseases because there are more of them!”

    But isnt that point of having the vaccine is you dont get whooping cough??

  • Chris

    No problems, as long as I remember to use the dots. I thought it would help with the herd immunity numbers.
    .
    I just came over from Bad Astronomy where he notes that today would have been Dana McCaffery’s first birthday.
    .
    Sigh.
    .
    (It is actually a version of the Nirvana Fallacy that implies that since the DTaP vaccine (or any vaccine) is not 100% effective that it should not be used. Which is ironic when someone, like Dorey, in their next breath praises homeopathy, a form of pseudoscience that is based on magic, not science!)

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    @chris and others, I am working on fixing the default ‘no paragraphs’ (even when you use a hard return) in the comments box.
    .
    It is something inbuilt into this wordpress template which I need to work around. In the meantime, add separating dots or I will do it for you in edit.
    .

    Sorry about this. Hope to have it fixed soon.

  • Chris

    Rats, I forgot the separating dots… try again:
    Some herd immunity arithmetic:
    .
    Take 1000 people (ignoring the infants under 2 months who cannot be vaccinated, or babies under a year who can only be partially vaccinated), if 5% refuse vaccines then the numbers are:
    .
    950 vaccinated persons (assuming full schedule)
    50 unvaccinated persons
    .
    The pertussis vaccine is actually only 80% effective at worse, so the numbers are:
    .
    760 protected persons
    190 vaccinated but vulnerable persons
    50 unvaccinated persons
    .
    There is an outbreak and it gets spread to 20% of the population, then:
    .
    760 protected persons without pertussis
    .
    38 vaccinated persons get pertussis
    152 vaccinated person who may still get pertussis
    .
    10 unvaccinated persons get pertussis
    40 unvaccinated persons who may still get pertussis.
    .
    This is how more vaccinated persons get the disease than unvaccinated. Even if the infection rate was at 100%, there would still be more of the vaccinated getting the diseases because there are more of them!

  • Chris

    The Nirvana Fallacy. The vaccine wears off, and is actually about 80% effective. Go to PubMed and plug in the terms “vaccine efficacy pertussis” into the search box, and then plow through the over 500 hits.
    .

    Use PubMed to find the actual factual evidence that the DTaP vaccine is more dangerous than pertussis, and then come back to us with that. Though you should do that after you have gone to the library and learned a bit about biology, and some basic immunology from someone who does not believe conspiracies like the Illuminati (not the Steve Jackson game!) and 9/11 stuff, and other silliness as noted above.

    .

    I can guarantee that the 100% of the infants less than two months old (like Dana) who died from pertussis were not vaccinated. Also, babies who are under a year old have only been partially vaccinated because they have not completed the full series.
    .

    I have a background in mathematics, so you can take my word on some basics on herd immunity arithmetic:
    .

    Take 1000 people (ignoring the infants under 2 months who cannot be vaccinated, or babies under a year who can only be partially vaccinated), if 5% refuse vaccines then the numbers are:
    .

    950 vaccinated persons (assuming full schedule)
    50 unvaccinated persons

    .

    The pertussis vaccine is actually only 80% effective at worse, so the numbers are:
    .

    760 protected persons
    190 vaccinated but vulnerable persons
    50 unvaccinated persons
    .

    There is an outbreak and it gets spread to 20% of the population, then:
    .

    760 protected persons without pertussis
    .

    38 vaccinated persons get pertussis
    152 vaccinated person who may still get pertussis
    .

    10 unvaccinated persons get pertussis
    40 unvaccinated persons who may still get pertussis.
    .

    This is how more vaccinated persons get the disease than unvaccinated. Even if the infection rate was at 100%, there would still be more of the vaccinated getting the diseases because there are more of them!

  • Skep dick

    Hey does anyone have some stats on what percentage of children that contract whooping cough are vaccinated?

  • Chris

    Also, in case you want to send her back here, you must take Ken Ham in return.

    That is only fair. Please?

  • Chris

    :-) … I just came from the Bad Astronomy blog. Bye bye Meryl!

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    Hey James! perhaps you should do some research on how vaccines are made and monitored and how statistics works. Then you will know that they are extensively tested before they are released. It is the post market monitoring where any problems not previously detectable with smaller sample sizes are revealed. Small statistical bumps in adverse events will not be seen unless you are using the drug on 100,000s of people as opposed to 10,000 in clinical trials. Thanks for your vote for PM but I’m rather busy with other stuff right now. Good idea about making vaccines compulsory though, seems to working pretty well in the US.

  • James

    Hey Maggie,
    “The rotavirus was withdrawn as soon as it was found to be unsafe” Oh..so we dont insist that they are tested before used…we just blindly use these vaccines…until they are “found to be unsafe.” Good one Maggie, lets vote you for Prime Minister because you have confidence in the vaccines, no lets just make vaccines mandatory, until “they are found to be unsafe”!

  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    There is no debate, study after study shows that there is no link between autism and vaccines. Where is your evidence that the original CDC study was buried? And is Robert F. Kennedy Jr a Dr either? The rotavirus was withdrawn as soon as it was found to be unsafe.

  • Paolo the just

    Is Dick Smith a medical researcher?
    If a debate on whether vaccines as a whole cause Autism, with scientific researchers without a vested interest on the outcome would yield a definitive, yes!
    CDC’s original study done by Thomas (his surname escapes me) proved the link. The CDC conveniently lost the original data and sold off the the data base to a private company away from the freedom of information act. so it could not be replicated.
    People like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are coming out and stating clearly the links between vaccines and Autism.
    I would like to see a research done by independant bodies who have absolutly no vested interests in the manufacture and sales of vaccines.
    Currently out of the 800,000 physicians that could be called on to make decisions on whether a vaccine is safe or not have shares in big Pharma and 1 has been there 16 years….what does that tell you?
    You just need to do research on the rotavirus to see how decisions which damaged many Americans can be made in bias.

  • Michael Kingsford Gray

    Bernice: Is there not some homeopathetic total cure for a ‘punch in the mouth’?
    Punch a swimming pool and dilute it in 10^100 universes of H2O, and that should correct the problem Junky-Dorey, eh?

  • bernice l.

    Frode, I’ll take it as a compliment that you have threatened criminal assault against me. I must have made some good points. Now, who’s the nutter?

  • Frode

    I.. I don’t know what to say, I have no rational response to the level of stupidity and malice in that letter. I just want to punch Bernice L. In the mouth, hard, repeatedly. I wish a pox on her, and her family. Take them out of the gene-pool.

  • Michael Kingsford Gray

    Perhaps it is time to establish a “Meryl Dorey Body Count” totalizer?

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  • http://thinkingisreal.blogspot.com AndyD

    Pity the SMH article doesn’t accept online comment. That would have been interesting.