UPDATE: Vaccinate Your Goddamned Kids

Last week I wrote about a five-year-old boy in hospital dying from chicken pox. He passed away a few days ago. This tragic event should have been avoided. Instead, the public health system and broader society let him down and we must all feel responsible for the deplorable death of an innocent child.

He spent close to a fortnight in the intensive care unit, his tiny body being hooked up to more and more machines as his fragile immune system failed. His parents were by him night and day. The ICU medical staff fought around the clock to stave off the viral infection that was killing him. Due to the financial cuts made in April by the Department of Health, there weren’t enough beds at the Children’s Hospital, and so he was transferred elsewhere. These cuts included $10M taken from the Children’s Hospital budget, and were mandated by Federal Health Minister Peter Dutton. The staff were not emotionally prepared for this situation, because to work in a Paediatric ICU requires specialist training. However, the real problem began years before this poor boy was even born.
It began with Meryl Dorey and her founding of the Vaccination Awareness Network (later Australian Vaccination Network, currently Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network (AVsN)).

In 1994 Meryl Dorey and a small group got together ostensibly to promote the rights of Australians to make informed health choices. Yet the reality of what they do is far from what they claim. The AVsN claims that there are two sides to every issue but provides wholly biased misinformation on vaccination, going to far as to claim that SIDS and shaken-baby syndrome are actually a result of vaccination. They have made claims of being bullied and complain of “Big Pharma” trying to silence them. Asserting that the group Stop the Australian (anti)Vaccination Network (SAVN, founded in 2009) are buying into the “religion” of vaccines is the nicest thing the AVsN have said about their opponents. They harass the families of children who have died from vaccine-preventable diseases; they attack, abuse and block people who dare to question their posts or mission; Meryl Dorey has taken out AVOs to silence her most vocal critics. However, much of this has only happened recently.
For years, they were allowed to operate unchecked, making their way into schools, being referenced by the Australian College of Midwives in the textbook Midwifery: Preparation for Practice, and convincing countless thousands of parents to not vaccinate their children. They were registered as a charitable organisation and had homeopaths and chiropractors spreading their lies.
Their misinformed propaganda even managed to convince some doctors and nurses, due to the fact that no one was challenging what they were putting out. There is a Toxicology Specialist at RPA who doesn’t believe in vaccination, due to AVsN influence. While working as an Emergency Department registrar, she openly advocated against her patients getting the free flu vaccine.

The fact that Meryl Dorey and the AVsN managed to operate without opposition for almost 15 years is concerning, and it is largely the fault of the general public. Our apathy is what gave them their power; the freedom to peddle their corrupting influence on an unsuspecting public. Ignoring them or dismissing them as a fringe group was not working and it was only after the formation of the SAVN that the broader criticism started.
The media no longer pays credence to the AVsN, instead, they are attacking the lies being spread. There have been numerous investigations by NSW government departments into the AVsN, especially their financial structure. Their influence on the broader community is waning, yet as seen in the suffering of this innocent child, it’s not happening soon enough.
Despite public opinion turning on them, Meryl Dorey and the AVsN are still free to endanger lives. The NSW Northern Rivers region (where they are based) has a childhood vaccination rate of 70%, compared to a national average of 90%. This region has seen a resurgence of measles and cases of whooping cough spreading community-wide. The local councils are lousy with the conspiracy theories spread by the AVsN; recently banning fluoride from their water supply.

We all need to take a stand against the moral failings of those attempting to denounce vaccination. There needs to be more than the SAVN group fighting them. More people need to take the fight to parents who don’t believe in vaccination. This is not an instance of differing opinions, this is a case of fact versus fiction and all the facts show that vaccines save lives, and can eliminate deadly diseases such as smallpox and polio. It’s not a case of healthy lifestyles or cleanliness saving us from these diseases, as the AVsN would claim, it’s the vaccines. The proof lies in the high incidence of vaccine-preventable disease amongst anti-vaxxers.

If you hear of parents holding parties to expose their children to diseases such as measles or chicken pox, talk to them, stop them. If they won’t listen, report them to DOCS or the police. The parents of the boy who died this last week were misinformed, but we don’t know how many facts they were exposed to. Anti-vaccination groups tend to be cult-like in the information that they share amongst themselves. They are a varied collective; some are educated and misinformed; some are conspiracy theorists; and some just don’t know better, believing the propaganda spread by Dorey and the AVsN because no one has shown them the reality of the situation.
The AVsN point to 68 medical journal “studies” that they allege support their claim that vaccination is causally linked to autism. Yet, none of these studies actually show any positive correlation between vaccines and autism. There have been a number of studies that debunk the autism claim first made by disgraced former doctor, Andrew Wakefield, in 1998. The most recent study, by the University of Sydney this year, conclusively found that there was zero connection between vaccination and autism.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but now is the time to get angry. There needs to be unmitigated rage flowing towards the AVsN. There is a causal link between the AVsN and the death of a child last week. Right now, there needs to be greater pressure being put on government departments, from the ATO to the Department of Health, and it needs to come from the public. The AVsN have worn out their welcome as a lobby group. They must be stopped from spreading further lies; from endangering public safety; from ever causing the death of another child.
There is blood on Meryl Dorey’s hands and in the interest of the children of Australia, both the NSW and Federal government must stand openly against the AVsN. Peter Dutton and NSW Minister for Health Jillian Skinner have to increase funding for vaccination in children.

There are no jokes to finish this with. A child died because his parents believed the lies of the AVsN. He was five. He should have been enjoying his school holidays. His parents lives are shattered.
The science is there. The evidence is there. We need to do more. Lives are in danger.

Here are some links to learn more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Vaccination-Skeptics_Network

https://www.facebook.com/avn.living.wisdom/info

https://www.facebook.com/stopavn/info

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/06/26/the-ethical-negligence-of-parents-who-refuse-to-vaccinate-their-children

http://www.upworthy.com/it-took-studying-25782500-kids-to-begin-to-undo-the-damage-caused-by-1-doctor

Further links can be found in my original post:

https://shutupandreadthis.com/2014/06/30/vaccinate-your-goddamned-kids

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8 thoughts on “UPDATE: Vaccinate Your Goddamned Kids

  1. Vaccines are an abomination, delivered totally outside the natural route of disease introduction, thereby bypassing essential immune responses that take place in the nose, mouth, throat, gut and respiratory tract. Tremendous insult to injury, they inject not only disease antigens, but known poisons – neurotoxins. The introduction of all those chemicals into the bloodstream, indirectly trough the muscles, is anywhere from slightly debilitating to catastrophic, in every case. There’s an underlying industry deception: that injection elicits the same immune reaction as natural exposure to a disease, and not only is it not true, it’s a major reason we see the epidemic of autoimmune diseases in our kids – asthma, allergies, arthritis and diabetes, to name a few.

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    • Oh dear. Do you have a PhD in Immunology? Do you actually have any real knowledge of the claims you are making in your comment, or is it just recycled anti-vaxxer garbage? The evidence is stacked against your claim.

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  2. It says “He spent close to a fortnight in the intensive care unit, his tiny body being hooked up to more and more machines as his already fragile immune system failed”. Why did he have a fragile immune system? How does the writer know that he would have survived even if he had been vaccinated? Why aren’t they pointing the finger at the Government for the cuts in funding more? Every conceivable accusation the writer could use was pointed at AVN and anyone that believes in the dangers e.g. There is a Toxicology Specialist at RPA who doesn’t believe in vaccination, due to AVsN influence. Who is this rabid nutter?

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    • The finger is pointed at the AVsN because they are the stronghold of the anti-vaccination movement in Australia. The government doesn’t spread lies about the vaccination. This post was based on information received from many people working within the Department of Health. The statements made are based on what they have said. People weren’t named because I haven’t verified it. Those named, such as Dorey, are easily verifiable, due to the nature of the public interest in seeing the AVsN shut down.

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  3. In the Netherlands (and I believe in many parts of Europe), no vaccine is given for chickenpox.
    Is this because AVN also operates in Europe?
    From what you are saying, there must be many deaths from chickenpox and a lot of angry people in Europe.
    Or is there another reason for no chickenpox vaccine there?
    Would be great to hear your views.
    Thanks
    Tim

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    • Hi Tim,
      That’s a pretty ridiculous comparison to make. That’s the only view I have. If you’d like to know more, I’m sure you could click on any of the links provided, or speak with a health professional. Preferably someone medically qualified to discuss vaccination.
      Regards,
      Dean

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      • I have spent time in the Netherlands and Europe which is why I had made the comparison… very interesting seeing different approaches and views on vaccination around the world… from health professionals and parents.
        And it’s what led me to look for a link to AVN in Europe… no link on this post and couldn’t find it on Google.
        Also I couldn’t find any links or news items re the five-year-old boy in hospital dying from chicken pox.
        Fascinating story, and I was interested in knowing more.
        Would appreciate if you could provide me with any links you may have.
        Thanks so much
        Tim

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      • The AVsN is the Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network. I can’t comment on links to European or Dutch anti-vaccination groups. Furthermore, I can’t comment on the use of the varicella vaccine in Europe. The studies I found in the U.S. and in Australia both showed that it cut the death rate from chicken pox dramatically.
        If you do a Google search for “varicella vaccine”, you should find a few links regarding the rate of deaths and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
        I’m not entirely sure what you mean with regard to health professionals and parents, however I will state that in spite of the views held by the AVsN, parents are NOT experts on what is best for their child. They can have opinions, however, unless they have actually studied (at university, etc) then they cannot claim to be fully informed on the subject, and must defer to real professionals.
        The reason why there are no news stories or links, as yet, is because I got the scoop on this. Dept. of Health haven’t released any press, and I have a number of sources within the Department of Health who informed me of this situation, as well as the situation with the doctor at RPA.
        Regards,
        Dean

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