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Thursday, September 03, 2009


Fear and Loathing in Vaccine Denial

Just to give you a feeling for the degree of misinformation presented on the Australian Vaccine Networks website, consider this entry on the Diphtheria Tetanus Pertussis Vaccine:
The pertussis or whooping cough vaccine has been cited as the cause of a great deal of suffering and death since the report by Madsen et al in 1933. Despite the more than 70 years ofcontroversy since that time, this vaccine continues to be used.
Well, if you consider a serious adverse effect rate (encephalitis not death) of 0-10 incidents per million injections "a great deal of suffering" when compared to an actual death rate from pertussis infection at 1-3%. Of course, what the AVN doesn't mention is this is the old style vaccine, the new vaccines we use have a negligible serious adverse event rate.
All whole cell DTP vaccines contain mercury in the form of thiomersal. Mercury is one of the most toxic (poisonous) substances known to man and has been linked with forms of brain damage including Autism.
Actually, while mercury is quite toxic, it is nowhere near as toxic as the pertussis toxin, which is 50% lethal at 429 or 546 ng per mouse, while Thiomersal is 50% lethal at 9 mg per mouse (the pertussis toxin is a million fold more lethal than mercury). As well, we have known that since medieval times that it is the dose that makes the poison, and the amount of Thiomersal in Thiomersal containing vaccines is negligible from a toxicity point of view. Thiomersal is NOT associated with autism. This has been shown again and again.

And most importantly, there is no Thiomersal in the modern vaccines. The Australian Vaccination Network uses fear inducing language (suffering and death, toxic) to scare people about vaccines which have prevented thousands of deaths and much suffering in Australia alone, without out indicating that these scare phrases don't even apply to the vaccines actually in use.

More mindbogglingly, from the 7:30 report transcript:

Meryl Dorey [of the Australian Vaccine network] says while Dana McCaffery's death was a tragedy, she rejects low vaccination rates played any part.
This astounding statement shows complete ignorance of the way immunity works, if you drop the immunization rate, the degree of immune coverage falls below levels that can prevent transmission, and epidemics can explode, as they have done every time vaccination rates fell (eg the epidemic of pertussis in 1978-79 that produced 1000,000 cases and 36 deaths when vaccination rates fell).

The mother of four [Meryl Dorey] has written about her own family's experience with whooping cough, describing it as a storm in a teacup, which was treated with homeopathy.
Great, just because they were lucky enough to have a mild case, they think the rest of the cases aren't a big deal. The major failure of logic here is unbelievable. And treating infectious disease with homeopathy, ineffective woo at its very best, makes me lost for words.

Pseudoscience peddlers who use scare tactics to frighten vulnerable people, families with young children, away from the simplest, most effective ways of controlling lethal infectious diseases are at the moment controlling our health. Be very, very afraid.

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Just altering you to a typo

"...degree of immune coberage falls below levels..."

Nice post
Thanks Jim, fixed!
What can be done? I am afraid stupidity is winning. I've written to my member and as yet received no reply.
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