In 1994, five years after my son was injured by his DPT and MMR vaccines, I joined together with a group of parents and health professionals to form a community organisation that eventually became the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network Inc (AVN).
We worked with Parliament to introduce the Conscientious Objector Clause, a law that protected the rights of a generation of Australians. This legislation was in place until January 2016 when No Jab No Pay was enacted.
Australia is supposed to be a tolerant society that has room for all opinions and nobody should ever be silenced. I was therefore saddened to read last week that Mandy Nolan has been afraid to publicly discuss her decision to vaccinate her children, herself (and her cat). This sort of fear should be unacceptable in a country such as ours. I know this all too well as I’ve had threats to my life, because I am an advocate for informed health choice for all Australians.
The AVN has collected reports of many thousands of serious reactions and deaths following vaccination; reports that in most cases are neither acknowledged nor accepted by government and medical authorities. We feel that where there is a risk, there must always be a choice.
As parents we need realistic and strong informed consent based on facts provided by medical practitioners including side-effects and contra-indications of any pharmaceutical interventions – risks versus benefits.
Parents have been parenting for a long while now, and with the support and guidance of independent and unbiased data, our decisions about birthing, schooling, healthcare and vaccination, are and should always be our own.
Opinion pieces, studies sponsored by manufacturers and policy fuelled by financial interest should never be the go-to on a possible life-altering decision.
Where will it end?
Would a person who’d discovered they were allergic to penicillin be treated with contempt? In today’s Australia, educated people who have researched this subject or whose personal or family experience has led them to decide that vaccines are not right for them are being treated as second-class citizens. No Jab No Pay and No Jab No Play are now in ‘play’ and the government is openly discussing No Jab No Job/No School/No Pension.
These laws are based on ‘herd immunity’ – to date unproven in relation to vaccines. The theory claims that the unvaccinated are more likely to contract and transmit diseases than their vaccinated peers.
Travel to a largely unvaccinated country, get shots and you’re apparently in a protected bubble. Back home and they’d have us believe we need a 95 per cent plus vaccination rate to be protected and that a lone unvaccinated individual can be responsible for an epidemic.
When it comes to vaccines containing live viruses, however, (measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, rotavirus, oral polio and some flu vaccines), the opposite seems to be the case. People who receive these vaccines can be infectious for up to 90 days afterwards.
Whooping cough, with more than 95 per cent of our children vaccinated, has been epidemic for over a decade. Recent studies show that the vaccinated may be more likely to be infectious owing to vaccination.
Mandy’s statement that the link between vaccination and autism has been ‘shown to be utter bullshit’ is the common belief of those trying to prove that vaccines are essential to Australia’s health.
In 2014, a head CDC scientist, Dr William Thompson, co-author of a seminal study purporting to prove that vaccines and autism were not linked, became a whistleblower. He said essential data had been intentionally omitted and the study actually showed that the risk of developing autism following vaccination was as much as 700 per cent higher in the vaccinated. His statement can be viewed a www.bit.ly/1V0DpwV.
Mandy brought up the tobacco industry in her article; I’m glad she did because the scientific consensus for many decades was that smoking was not harmful.
Today’s global paediatric vaccine market is estimated to be worth USD $22.4 billion, and is thought to double to USD $54.1 billion in only eight years’ time. The truth is that many studies supporting vaccine safety and effectiveness, much like the studies supporting cigarettes, were written, paid for and designed by the companies who profit from these products.
Malcolm Turnbull, our PM, has vaccine companies in his recorded portfolio. His wife, Lucy, was until recently the chair of just such a company. Neither acknowledges the blatant financial conflicts of interest; oh that’s right, they’re covered by the slogan ‘for the greater good’ while their companies become even more profitable because of his government’s policies.
To vex or vax?
To paraphrase Otis Redding: ‘All we’re asking is for a little respect’. Respect to do our own research in consultation with the healthcare practitioners of our choice; respect and understanding that nobody will ever care more passionately about the health and wellbeing of our children than their own parents; and respect to be treated as full citizens of this democracy.
Let’s urge the government to finally do the study they promised years ago – using data that are already available in the ACIR database – comparing the health of the fully vaccinated with the partially and fully unvaccinated. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate – there really is a question.