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Media fear campaign – ABC Catalyst, 17 May, 2012 20

This program is rated 4 plungers. If I could have rated it lower, I would have. 

Back in December of 2011, I was contacted by a producer at Catalyst, an ABC ‘science’ show, about being involved in a program they were planning on vaccination to air early in 2012 (I was told at the time that it would be about March). They wanted to speak with the parent of a child who had passed away as a result of a vaccine and I spoke with several but none of them were willing to deal with the ABC after watching some of their coverage of this issue. Neither was I. Time has shown that we all made the right choice!
The scientific definition of a catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of change (like an enzyme) by causing a chemical reaction without actually being changed itself.

Last night, ABC TV’s science program, Catalyst, featured an 11-minute segment on the vaccination issue called Danger Zones which demonstrates why calling this show ‘Catalyst’ was extremely appropriate. It shows that the media, the government and the medical community have not been changed in any way despite the large quantity of readily-available scientific information on the known dangers and ineffectiveness of vaccines.

Despite this lack of change on their part, they will hopefully be a ‘Catalyst’ for change through their complete and utter disregard for science, the truth and the tens of thousands of Australian families whose children have been permanently injured by a procedure they insist on calling safe for everyone.

Those dirty unvaccinated hippies

The premise of the program was that vaccination needs to be maintained at levels of 95% in order for diseases to die out, and the doctor / journalist who presented the show focussed on Byron Bay as an example of what can happen when people stop vaccinating. The implication is that because Byron Bay has a lower rate of vaccination then the rest of the country (a ‘fact’ that is thrown around quite often, depending upon what point is being made at the time. Sometimes it is Byron Bay; sometimes North Sydney; sometimes Perth), the rest of Australia is now in the 5th year of a record-breaking whooping cough epidemic.

These figures on the incidence of disease by local government area seem to be a closely-held secret. I have had many discussions with the Department of Health where I asked to be shown this data but they won’t provide it unless I tell them what I want to use it for. What are they afraid of? They seem to provide this data easily enough to media pundits but hold it back when speaking with anyone who they think might use it for purposes they don’t approve of – like being critical of policies which these same figures show are not working.

We do know, thanks to a year’s worth of correspondence back and forth between Greg Beattie and the Department of Health and Aging, that there is no evidence available to show the whooping cough vaccine  has done anything to reduce the rate of infection in Australia during the current epidemic. When looking at the age groups which would have been most recently vaccinated – those aged between 0 and 4 years old – fully vaccinated children were far more likely to get the disease then the unvaccinated. Seventy-five percent of those who were diagnosed with pertussis (whooping cough) were fully vaccinated; a further 14% were partially vaccinated and only 11% were unvaccinated (including an unknown percentage who were too young to be vaccinated).

Whooping cough is rife in every country where vaccines are administered and vaccination rates have never been higher. So the medical community – which has long had a reputation for spinning a failure into a success – has decided that instead of blaming an obviously ineffective vaccine, they will blame those who haven’t been vaccinated for the occurrence of disease in the supposedly protected population. Only those who are not thinking would believe that sort of garbage and yet, the majority of the medical community and their pals in the media seem to fit that bill perfectly.

What will it take to convince them?

The vaccine is failing. Don’t take my word for it. We currently have more cases of whooping cough per capita then at any time since 1953 when the vaccine was introduced for mass use in Australia. Let me say that again another way. In 1952 when we had no mass vaccination for whooping cough, the incidence was lower than it is today with close to 95% of children vaccinated.

The same situation is being seen in the US where a large study of  the 2010 pertussis outbreak in North America showed that those most likely to get whooping cough were fully vaccinated children between the ages of 8 and 12 years old.

We have a real belief that the durability (of the vaccine) is not what was imagined,” said Dr. David Witt, an infectious disease specialist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Rafael, California, and senior author of the study. Witt had expected to see the illnesses center around unvaccinated kids, knowing they are more vulnerable to the disease.

“We started dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That’s what started catching our attention,” said Witt. (http://blog.imva.info/medicine/whooping-cough-vaccine-failing)

The most recent estimates for ‘protection’ from whooping cough if you are vaccinated is three years. But immunity from infection lasts for between 30 and 80 years!

The vaccine is failing our children and the government and the media in conjunction with mainstream medical organisations are doing their best to point the finger of blame at the unvaccinated rather than accepting that it is the vaccination that is the cause of this outbreak and the fully vaccinated who are its victims.

Those dirty hippies!

There was no mention of the fact that the AVN is based on the Far North Coast of Australia during this show (though we are not in Byron Bay), but several montage scenes showing the AVN’s website, images of a seminar I had conducted in SA several years ago and the backs of people’s T-Shirts saying Investigate Before You Vaccinate (what a concept!) were prominent throughout this program.

The idea that a small group of unvaccinated people on the North Coast of NSW can infect the rest of the country even though they are fully vaccinated is one that would require a complete suspension of both thought and logic. Apparently, the ABC is able to do both those things – but is their audience?

Every single person who was interviewed on the streets of Byron Bay was dressed like a hippie (OK, I have nothing against hippies having been one myself throughout high school and University) and it is obvious that the intention was to show that hippies are the ones who are not vaccinating and we all have to hate hippies while the ‘average’ Australian – personified by the many babies we see during this show screaming in their mother’s arms while needles were stuck into their body – were doing the right thing and keeping the community safe.

Vaccines not only protect you, they protect your community. And that’s why immunisation can be called altruistic.

The REAL intention of trying to differentiate between hippies (who supposedly haven’t been vaccinated) and middle-class Australians (who have) is to foment hatred and fear towards those who have made a decision that goes against the mainstream. They are the ones to blame for your child’s illness – not the vaccines you gave to your children, thinking they would stay safe though they then got the disease anyway. It isn’t your fault. It isn’t your doctor’s fault. It isn’t the government’s fault. It’s all the fault of those dirty hippies!

Of course, the Australian government’s own studies have shown time and time again that the average person who chooses not to vaccinate their children is older, from a higher socio-economic status and highly educated. We certainly find that to be the case amongst the membership of the AVN from our own surveys. Not hippies after all – just very well-informed and concerned parents. Go figure.

One thing that would be interesting to know is the rate of autism, asthma and juvenile diabetes in areas with low levels of vaccination as opposed to those with high vaccination complaince. I wonder if we will ever see Catalyst cover this story?

Anti-choice propaganda and nothing more

The fact is that shows such as this do nothing to advance the vaccination debate or to help parents make a decision that is right for their families. In fact, they do the exact opposite by relying on fear and propaganda and not using any information whatsoever. There was not one real statistic; not one medical journal study; not one truly informative piece of information given out in the entire program. Pretty surprising when you think that this is supposed to be a science program.

I take that back. There WAS one study shown and that was the 1998 case series by Andrew Wakefield et al that was retracted from the Lancet. The doctor / journalist sat on a rock by the sea holding up the paper with a big red “RETRACTED” stamped across the page. Due to the recent High Court (UK) victory by one of Wakefield’s co-authors, Dr John Walker-Smith, it is very possible that this retracted article may be reinstated at some point in the future. In addition, what is known is that there have been many published articles since 1998 which have verified and expanded upon Wakefield’s original hypothesis that vaccination may have some bearing on the development of autism and gut issues in children. But this unscientific and unbalanced report never looked at any of that.

The real victims

Almost immediately after the show ended, I was contacted by one of our members. This woman who I have known for many, many years and who has been kind enough to allow me to stay with her and her family in Sydney several time when I was down there on AVN business, has a grown son who was permanently brain damaged by his shots. I have never seen her get angry or impatient with anyone. Not until last night, that is. Here is her message to me:

Hi Meryl,

Did you see Catalyst tonight? It was on vaccination and was nothing more than an advertisement for vaccines. It was disgusting and so one sided. I have just written to the ABC in disgust.

You see, it’s all fine and good for Robert Booy to say that vaccine reactions are rare:

But they’re minor and they go away quickly. Rare side effects are something in the order of one hundreds of thousands. An allergic reaction, for example.

but this mother knows better. Her son’s reaction hasn’t gone away in close to 25 years. Her family is one of the ‘rare’ unlucky ones. Or is it?

How many of you reading this now have a family member who was seriously affected by vaccines? In my own family, I can count over 10 people who have had serious and, in some cases, ongoing issues because of vaccination. And when I give a seminar and ask the audience to raise their hands if they know of someone who has been badly affected by vaccines, it is rare to see less than 80% of those in the room not raise their hands.

Is it really rare for people to react to vaccination or is it simply rare for that reaction to be acknowledged?

For those families who have gone through vaccine hell, last night’s program was more than propaganda – it was a sign of the lack of respect and recognition given to them in their day-to-day struggle with a situation that only happened because they were ‘altruistic’ and did what they were told was for the good of society. Now, society wants nothing to do with them. In fact, society wants to pretend they don’t exist.

It is supposed to be our ABC but apparently, the ABC belongs to the highest bidder. The real losers are the children of Australia, their families and the truth.

If you would like to write to Catalyst, you may do so using the information and form found here - http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/contact/default.htm

by Meryl Dorey