Meningitis B Vaccine – cost conundrum

Bacterial meningitis is one of the most feared of all childhood infections in Britain. It is capable of killing or disable within hours of symptoms emerging. And yet with proper information it can be identified with a simple test, which too few parents are aware of.

Vaccine campaigners are up in arms over the fact that that the bodyset up to advise the government on immunisation has not recommend the introduction of a vaccine against the most common cause of the disease.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has decided that a vaccine against meningitis B (MenB) is simply not cost-effective. One wonders if the vaccineate against everything brigade are more concerned about childrens’ health or drug companies profits. The cost of vaccinating every child, set against the low effectiveness rating of the vaccine and the cost per dose simply do not justify the introduction of this vaccine.

The vaccine has taken 20 years to develop and was licensed throughout Europe in January 2014. Health committees in France and Spain are considering the vaccine but no country has yet recommended its introduction.

The JCVI is the vaccine equivalent of NICE, the body that advises the NHS on new medicines. Given that NHS resources are finite, each committee has to decide whether a new product is cost-effective. This is done by using an internationally recognised system known as quality-adjusted life years (QALY).

A QALY is an assessment of how many extra months or years of life of a reasonable quality a person might gain as a result of a treatment.

One of the biggest supporters of vaccines in the academic community is on record as having said if a medicine or therapy cost one million pound per person but saves one life it should be used without question. From that it is easy to see why the pro – vaccine lobbys ravings should be treated with scepticism.

To be cost-effective, any new vaccine, cancer medicine or heart treatment should cost no more than £20-30,000 for every QALY it saves.

The JCVI has concluded that the MenB vaccine did not meet the economic criteria at any level. In other words, introducing the vaccine would not be a good use of limited NHS resources, which could be better spent elsewhere.

In January a European Commission-funded study concluded that the QALY system of assessing new treatments was flawed.

The announcement from the JCVI will provoke anger and dismay from charities and families affected by the disease. They will argue that the committee has not adequately assessed the appalling lifelong burden of meningitis.

Really we should not be influenced by sentimentality, the issue is about resources. If an individual disease like this is looked at by people directly affected, decisions can easily appear unjust. Were we to try to save the life of every person afflicted by every disease however, we would quickly drive the standard of living of healthy people back to the medieval era.

RELATED POSTS:
TIME Magazine runs vile hit piece against Robert Kennedy Jr. for daring to tell the truth about Mercury in vaccines

Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] … [ Daily Stirrer.shtml ]…[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [ It’s Bollocks My Dears, All Bollocks ] [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … [ Latest Posts ] [Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [Latest Posts] … [ Tumblr ] … [Ian at Minds ] … [ Authorsden blog ] … [Daily Stirrer Headlines]
[ Ian at Facebook ]

Antibiotic resistant diseases pose existential threat to humanity say health experts.

Antibiotic-resistant diseases pose existential threat to humanity threat, top expert says

Once again detractors of Little Nicky Machiavelli are eating humble pie. They sneered when we criticized efforts to make a vaccine for everything, they mocked when we said that compulsory medication of the whole population was not only a violation of our human rights under the Geneva Convention and also counter productive because bacteria have as strong a survival instinct as higher mammals and are better equipped to adapt rapidly to environmental threats.

And now we are sitting in the pub, eating tasty snacks, drinking excellent beer and wallowing in schadenfreude as our critics run around wearing sackcloth and ashes and crying “WOE WOE WOE.”

Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, has given MPs a stark warning that the rise in drug-resistant diseases could trigger a national emergency comparable to a catastrophic terrorist attack, pandemic flu or major coastal flooding.

Dame Sally said the threat from well known infections that through casual exposure have become resistant to commonly used antibiotics was so serious the issue should be put on the government’s national risk register of civil emergencies.

She described what she called an “apocalyptic scenario” where people going for simple operations in 20 years’ time die of routine infections “because we have run out of antibiotics”. The problem is that on top of overprescription of antibiotics by doctors, often for minor illnesses against which antibiotics are not effective (i.e. those caused by viruses) and the presence of penicillin in the food chain due to the practice of adding it to animal feeds to accelerate weight gain) have enabled bacteria to exploit the evolutionary principle of “what does not kill me makes me stronger.”

Meanwhile over medication has weakened the human immine system. Changes in modern medicine have exacerbated the problem by making patients more susceptible to infections. For example, many cancer treatments are known to weaken the immune system, and the use of catheters increases the chances of bacteria entering the bloodstream.

Davies declined to elaborate on the report, but said its publication would coincide with a government strategy to promote more responsible use of antibiotics among doctors and the clinical professions. “We need to get our act together in this country,” she told the committee.

She told the news media: “There are few public health issues of potentially greater importance for society than antibiotic resistance. It means we are at increasing risk of developing infections that cannot be treated.” indeed, only a few weeks ago news reports were informing us that a new strain of gonorrhea that was resistant to all but one type of antibiotic had emerged

The issue of drug resistance is as old as antibiotics themselves, and arises when drugs knock out susceptible infections, leaving hardier, resilient strains behind. The survivors then multiply, and over time can become unstoppable with frontline medicines. Some of the best known are superbugs such as MRSA.

“In the past, most people haven’t worried because we’ve always had new antibiotics to turn to,” said Alan Johnson, consultant clinical scientist at the Health Protection Agency. “What has changed is that the development pipeline is running dry. We don’t have new antibiotics that we can rely on in the immediate future or in the longer term.”

RELATED POSTS:

Is the World Health Organization involved in biological warfare research?
Dr. Francis Boyle, a professor of international law, talked in a recent interview with about the Wuhan coronavirus now sweeping through the far east, laboratory in Wuhan, China, where the genetically modified virus appears to have originated, and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) clandestine involvement in biological warfare research …Continue reading

Cheaper drugs now
Child Fever
Whos Afraid Of The Big Bad C

Drop The Penicillin, We Need A New Plan Against Bacteria
Microwave Cure For high Blood Pressure
The secret to why the French live longer – Roquefort cheese

Whos Afraid Of The Big Bad C

We Told You So, Mobile Phones Do Cause Brain Tumours
No Cure For Cancer

Food Fascists Spread Fear and Panic About The Obesity Pandemic
Banning Words Like “Fatty” Is Not Being Caring And Nice,
Diabetes Blogger Censored By Web – For Beating Diabetes.
Health Authorities Now Admit Severe Side Effects Of Vaccines
The Daily Stirrer

Fear and Painc! Mild Illness Suddenly Becomes A Killer Now Vaccine Is Available.

The mysteriously named Rotovirus (do you get it from having sex with gardeners tilling machines?) has suddenly become a potential killer that might wipe us all out if we don’t get vaccinated NOW!

Or alternatively the virus will make quite a lot of people quite poorly for a few days as it has every years since men first stood erect.

What has happened you see is the mad scientists and greedy money grubbing bastards of big pharma have developed a vaccine for this non serious illness. Now knowing that most punters are smart enough to remember the swine flu scam which was going to kill us all unless we got vaccinated but didn’t though few of us had the jab, and having already signed contracts for £25million worth of this latest bucket of Pharmaceutical shit, the government has to justify it. It is ironic that in Germany where 70% of people had the swine flu jab, the number dying of swine flu per 100,000 population was four times higher than in Britain, France and Holland where less than 10% were vaccinated. Hee Hee.

Time for a fear and panic campaign. Headlines in the Daily Wail, The Daily Excess and other news sheets read by the terminally fearful are proclaiming that the Rotovirus has struck early this year (it’s November, there isn’t much of the year left) and is laying thousands of people low. You will DIE or even worse things will happen to you if you don’t rush off to your doctor and get the vaccine now!

Reports say there are 1200 known cases of Rotovirus but may be many more that have not been reported. What? People have been struck down by this potential killer and not bothered to call their doctor? Because perhaps they have had the problem many times and know all the doctor can say is “Rest and drink plenty of fluids.”

Just as an aside, another report on medical research today reveals that the recreational drug Crystal Meth can fight the flu? Really? Bring it on.

RELATED POSTS:
TIME Magazine runs vile hit piece against Robert Kennedy Jr. for daring to tell the truth about Mercury in vaccines
The Vaccine Paradox – When The Only Way To Sell Vaccines Is To Make A Crime Of Being Unvaccinated

RELATED POSTS:

Is the World Health Organization involved in biological warfare research?
Dr. Francis Boyle, a professor of international law, talked in a recent interview with about the Wuhan coronavirus now sweeping through the far east, laboratory in Wuhan, China, where the genetically modified virus appears to have originated, and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) clandestine involvement in biological warfare research …Continue reading

Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] … [ Daily Stirrer.shtml ]…[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [ It’s Bollocks My Dears, All Bollocks ] [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … [ Latest Posts ] [Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [Latest Posts] … [ Tumblr ] … [Ian at Minds ] … [ Authorsden blog ] … [Daily Stirrer Headlines]
[ Ian at Facebook ]

Health Authorities Now Admit Severe Side Effects Of Vaccines

Many times in the past I have taken a lot of stick for questioning the safety of vaccines and the obession of politiians and medical authorities for throwing huge amounts of taxpayers money at manufacturers for these often ineffective and occasionally highly dangerous providers of alleged immunity. As always, the time eventually comes to say I told you so. Here, released into the public domain is an report from a medical journal revealing the risks of the so – called swine flu vaccine that a few years ago our government and GPs on behalf of Big Pharma were trying to bully is into accepting. You will never see this information published in mainstream media of course. As already mentioned, the occasions on which serious harm results from a vaccine are rare. But if you are permantently harmed (and there is no way to predict who is susceptible) it’s too late. Here’s the essay.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service,
March 20, 2012

Health Authorities Now Admit Severe Side Effects of Vaccination Swine Flu, Pandemrix and Narcolepsy by Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription link http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html”>http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html”>http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html and also the OMNS archive link
http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml”>http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml”>http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml are included

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service,
March 20, 2012

Health Authorities Now Admit Severe Side Effects of Vaccination Swine Flu, Pandemrix and Narcolepsy by Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (OMNS, March 20, 2012) The swine flu pandemic of 2009 was caused by a type A influenza (H1N1) virus. This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because many of the genes of this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs in North America. The H1N1 virus is genetically similar to the 1918 pandemic virus, as determined from victimes of the latter who were buried, and later disinterred, in Svalbard.

It was responsible for most of the outbreaks up until 1956 and then disappeared. However, this new virus was actually quite different from the typical swine flu viruses. This virus first caused illness in Mexico and the United States in March and April, 2009. This novel H1N1 flu spread from person to person, unlike typical swine flu. In 2009 vaccines were being developed for the prevention of swine flu in humans. http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=99584

On 11 June 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the swine flu had developed into a full scale world epidemic – a pandemic alert to Phase 6. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of WHO, commented on the situation in a somewhat ambiguous way. While stressing that the swine flu had reached a serious pandemic level, she declared later in the same statement that the illness seemed to be mild and that most of the patients would recover without medical intervention. (my emphasis) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2009/h1n1_pandemic_phase6_20090611/en/index.html

The world chose to listen to the first part of her message. Two pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis had, under considerable time pressure, developed a vaccine against the swine flu. Since the cultivation of an adequate amount of virus to generate the vaccine requires time, GSK and Novartis decided to formulate a weaker vaccine but strenghten it with an adjuvant that contains squalene. Immunologic adjuvants are substances, administered in conjunction with a vaccine, that stimulate the immune system and increase the response to the vaccine http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/topics/adjuvants/squalene/questions_and_answers/en/. Although squalene is a natural substance found in methabolic pathways of the body, its inclusion in a vaccine is controversial and it is not in use in the USA. On 25 September 2009, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) approved Pandemrix, the swine flu vaccine produced by GSK and Focetria produced by Novartis. http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2009/09/eu-approves-gsk-pandemrix-and-novartis.html

The vaccine would be ready for use that October. In Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland, the authorities explicitly set the goal of vaccinating the entire population http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/massvaccinering-raddade-sex-liv_6851143.svd.

In this respect, it is of interest that the governments of these countries, already before the outbreak of the swine flu, had concluded an agreement with GSK, according to which they were assured the delivery of pandemic vaccines, if needed. In addition, the contract stipulated that, in a situation characterized as a pandemic by the WHO, the same Nordic countries would have ten days to decide whether or not to accept delivery of the vaccine in question. Hence, the purpose of the agreement was to assure that the entire populations of these countries would receive vaccinations.

Finally, the contract protected GSK from any claim for financial compensation in case the delivered vaccine would have any side effects. When WHO declared the swine flu to be a Phase 6 pandemic, the agreement referred to above was automatically activated. Mass vaccination started in Finland and Sweden in October 2009. In order to cover the largest possible percentage of the population, the authorities initiated an enormous public relations campaign, which could be described in terms of a “moral persuasion.” Solidarity became the slogan: “Be vaccinated to protect your fellow citizens.”

Those who questioned the vaccination program (small groups of vaccine opponents or just people who were hesitant) were looked upon with disapproval. In contrast to these vaccine – enthusiastic countries, the politics of vaccination within the rest of the European Union varied immensely among its member states. Poland, for example, decided not to buy vaccines at all due to the strict agreement conditions required by the pharmaceutical companies. Denmark’s order covered only “risk groups”. http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/svd-granskar-sveriges-vaccinering-mot-svininfluensan_6843475.svd

The expected second wave of the influenza never appeared. The epidemic gradually declined during the first half of 2010. The same year, on 10 August, WHO officially declared the end of the epidemic. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) stated that the swine flu was less dangerous and had a lower mortality rate than the seasonal influenza. Thus, apparently the swine flu would not have been a dangerous epidemic even without the mass vaccination. Interestingly, also that same year, vitamin D was shown to prevent influenza in children. (1)

In Sweden, 60% of the population had been vaccinated, while in Finland 50% was covered. In contrast, the figures in Germany and Poland were only 8 and 0% respectively. In the history of Swedish health care this pandemic campaign amounted to one of the most expensive ever. Enormous amounts of taxpayer money were at stake. http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/svd-granskar-sveriges-vaccinering-mot-svininfluensan_6843475.svd

Meanwhile, the media had become silent on this issue ; there was no further discussion about the swine flu anymore. Then the blow came: “The absolutely worst thing that could happen,” commented Richard Bergström, the Director – General of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, EFPIA. “The worst nightmare of both the industry and the health authorities is an illness that turns out to be mild, while the vaccine that was supposed to prevent a dangerous epidemic causes a severe side effect that was previously unknown.” http://www.kostdemokrati.se/nyheter/files/2012/02/SvD-sid-14-19.pdf

In August 2010, Finland reported an increased occurrence of narcolepsy in children and youngsters vaccinated with Pandemrix. On 1 September 2010, Finland stopped all Pandemrix vaccinations. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/10/swine-flu-vaccine-may-have-caused-narcolepsy.aspx

Narcolepsy is a severe chronic neurologic disease that not only results in a disabling fatigue, which typically results in the patient falling asleep anywhere and at any time. It might also lead to panic attacks and a state of exhaustion. For many, the worst consequences are the symptoms of cataplexy. This condition causes the narcolepsy patient, when expressing strong feelings such as laughter or crying, to suddenly lose muscular control. The legs give way, speech gets slurred, the gaze goes unfocused and the person gives the impression of being drunk.

In some patients, frightening hallucinations appear when falling asleep or waking up. On 1 September 2011, the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) admitted, that for Finnish children and youngsters age 4-19, there was a new and obvious connection between Pandemrix and narcolepsy. As stated in THL’s press release, “The increased risk associated with vaccination amounted to six cases of narcolepsy per 100,000 persons vaccinated in the 4-19 age group during the eight months following vaccination. This was 12.7 times the risk of a person in the same age group who had not been vaccinated. http://www.thl.fi/en_US/web/en/pressrelease?id=26352

This statement was made almost exactly two years after the THL’s earlier statement made in the midst of the swine flu hysteria that everyone should be vaccinated with Pandemrix and that it would be safe. In that original statement, the director of the THL emphasized that the squalene adjuvant could increase the side effects of the vaccine to some extent. However, he stated, these side effects would not be dangerous. http://www.tohtori.fi/?page=5833192&id=0169960

In Sweden, at least 150 children are now suffering from narcolepsy caused by Pandemrix vaccine. In Finland, the number is approximately 100. In both countries the number is probably growing. Narcolepsy is a disease with lifetime consequences, and the risk that Pandremix may have caused other neurological illnesses has not yet been excluded. Many have already began to compare this tragedy with the thalidomide catastrophe. http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/medicinsk-tragedi-med-ett-absurt-slut_6861775.svd

No European countries had a particularly high rate of deaths due to the swine flue. Germany had the same death rate as Sweden, which was 0.31/100 000, although Sweden vaccinated 60% and Germany only 8%. This implies that the vaccine did little to prevent deaths. The responsible authorities have not yet commented on this matter of fact. “>http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/massvaccinering-raddade-sex-liv_6851143.svd

Last year the Finnish government promised full compensation for those who have developed narcolepsy as a consequence of the vaccination. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-05/finnish-government-to-compensate-pandemrix-narcolepsy-victims.html.

While Sweden did, indeed, follow the Finnish THL in admitting the connection between the vaccine and the disease, the Swedish authorities have not yet decided whether and how to provide appropriate compensation. In February 2012, Svenska Dagbladet, a widely read newspaper in Sweden, presented an informative and accurate series of articles on this theme. They describe some of the affected children narrating how difficult it is to live with narcolepsy
http://www.svd.se/nyheter/multimedia/artikel_6840743.svd”>http://www.svd.se/nyheter/multimedia/artikel_6840743.svd

According to the authorities, much research is still underway concerning the details of the vaccine injury. Taking the pressure from the public and the affected families into account, it will be difficult for them to avoid carrying out a thorough investigation. Let’s hope so.

References: 1. Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91
(5):1255-60. Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

Find a Doctor To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml
The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:
Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Dean Elledge, D.D.S., M.S. (USA)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
James A. Jackson, Ph.D. (USA)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA),
Editor and contact person. Email: omns@orthomolecular.org

Readers may write in with their comments and questions for consideration for publication and as topic suggestions. However, OMNS is unable to respond to individual emails. To Subscribe at no charge: http://www.orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html

RELATED POSTS:
TIME Magazine runs vile hit piece against Robert Kennedy Jr. for daring to tell the truth about Mercury in vaccines

Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] … [ Daily Stirrer.shtml ]…[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [ It’s Bollocks My Dears, All Bollocks ] [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … [ Latest Posts ] [Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [Latest Posts] … [ Tumblr ] … [Ian at Minds ] … [ Authorsden blog ] … [Daily Stirrer Headlines]
[ Ian at Facebook ]
Useless drugs and vaccines, lying science whores

Swine Flu Vaccine – Just Say No

It is not often we agree with The Daily Mail or The Mail On Sunday but they are right on the Swine Flu vaccine story. Technically we are not agreeing with them (phew !!!!) as we had the vaccine danger story over at The Daily Stirrer yesterday and have been running regular updates on it for several months. Follow the link at our Daily Stirrer Just-Say-No article and you will find a page run by medical professionals featuring articles on why not just Swine Flu but many vaccines should not be trusted.

The problem, which relates to how the vaccines stimulate the auto-immune system to go hyper in response to a very weak dose of vaccine, is explained thoroughly in a level headed and professional way. How different to the attitude of the boy-scientists who have visited Little Nicky Machiavelli in the past when we have questioned the integrity of the healthcare industry and whose defence of suspect medical products consists of telling us we cannot possibly understand a scientific issue because we are not scientists.

In all these cases however, the science is not the point at issue. IT’S THE MONEY. And we can all understand that.

So when the government is telling you that your family must be vaccinated with a potentially lethal vaccine against a disease that will in most cases be very mild, when the Government is muttering darkly about making it a criminal offence to refuse a vaccine which in a Swine Flue epidemic in the USA in 1975 actually killed more people than he Swine Flu infection, just THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH MONEY those New Labour donors in the Pharmaceutical Industry stand to make out of vaccinating us all. And the tell Mr. Brown and his cronies to fuck off.

RELATED POSTS:
How seriously should we take scientists? Recent posts at Boggart Blog, including Crocodile Snack Science offer a big clue.

THEY CAN’T PUT US ALL IN PRISON.

The World’s Greatest Conspiracy Theory.

It must be the world’s greatest conspiracy theory. Is there any substance in it? Take a look and decide for yourselves.

US Flu vaccine contaminated with a deadly virus.

The great thing about conspiracy theories, blogging and tabloid journalism of course is that if the world domination scheme does not come to fruition the theorist / blogger / journo can say “by breaking the story we frigtened them off,” And if it does happen we can say “told you so,” just before the men in black uniforms and jackboots march us off to be shot.

Autism & MMR – The Evidence You Were Not Supposed To See

Plenty of links below – first a little taunting of my critics which you may like to skip.
When I posted an item on this topic titled “The Scandal That Will Not Go Away,” I expected a heated debate but not the angry and hysterical responses I had from many people. Even more puzzling was that many of these responses seemed to my expert eye (I’ve been a published writer for almost forty years) to bear a similar verbal style and use certain phrases. “Ad hominem,” a phrase we do not come across often outside the academic community occurred four of five times. “Association fallacy,” also came up and many people accused me of raking up the controversy about Andrew Wakefield’s discredited research into the possible link.

Well all I said about Wakefield was that his case had been used by the medical establishment to divert attention from discussion of the real issues that was going on in other countries. Hardly wholehearted and enthusiastic support is it?

I was also told repeatedly I am not a scientist and do not understand scientific enquiry. The people who made this assertion then went on to describe dialectic, which of course is very much pert of philosophical, sociological and theological debate but not much to do with science. Having worked in computers as an analyst and later a consultant for over twenty years I came to appreciate the descriptiveness of the French name for my occupation, a logician. Logic is a pure science of course whereas medical “science” is mostly about hocus pocus. I would be surprised if anybody reading this had not at some time been prescribed a placebo, a course of medicine in one form or another which has no active ingredient but works simply because the patient believes it is doing them good.

So having ploughed through twenty or thirty long winded replies all similar in content and of increasingly hysterical tone I have grounds to suspect some faceless person or persons have orchestrated this in an attempt to shut me up.

Which is quite amusing really.

(Thanks to all those people who posted intelligent and considered replies, it proves we can have an intelligent debate even though the licking dogs of the British Medical Association will try to silence me.)

The first item promised to bring links to the websites of American Organisations that hold very different views to our medical establishment and justify my claim that Wakefield was a scapegoat, there were many other studies conducted, those that support MMR are as inconclusive as those that suggest more research is needed. These links follow. You will find copies, reviews and extracts of documents on both sides of the argument and information about things that parents can do to help improve the quality of life of autistic children. Can anything possibly work? I am not the person to answer that so here is a paragraph from my American friend Natasha who happens to be the mother of an autistic adolescent. (letters in brackets are mine, for clarification)

Ian, as you know Cam(eron) showed signs of autism from a very early age so there is no question of vaccine damage in my case. I am from a privileged background and was able to get the best help and advice from the start. At age five the outlook was poor but therapies developed at U(niversity of) C(alifornia) Davis M.I.N.D. Center. They seemed to help a lot.
Many parents in both our group around Sacramento and in the San Francisco group have told of autism symptoms appearing in formerly happy children a few weeks after they had the MMR vaccine. Even though these tend to be mainly disorders at the higher functioning end of the spectrum it is still another human life whose potential will never be fulfilled.
love Tash

The self styled “scientists” among my critics will dismiss this as anecdotal and irrelevant of course, but who would you rather trust, a gang of narrow minded egotistical bigots or a concerned mother who spends a lot of her time and money on campaigning for autism related charities?

At the links below you will find both sides of the case presented (in Britain we have only ever heard one as the British Medical Association seem to have decided from the outset that the MMR vaccine was above criticism. An admirably unbiased attitude from these “high minded academics”, if you know what I mean.

(United States) National Vaccine Information Centre
Autism and Vaccines: A New Look At An Old Problem
The cases for and against laid out in accessible language.

Next is Special Children a page from about.com that presents both arguments for and against MMR. The bigots who have attacked me in the earlier post may try to suggest the fact that arguments against appear first is somehow significant (for people who claim high minded academic detachment they are an emotional lot and are rarely troubled by logic or fair mindedness.

Autism Research Institute
An extensive site devoted to autism issues. Parents with autistic children will find this a valuable resource as it is rich in information you simply will not get in the U.K.

UCLA Davis Mind Centre university of California

An academic site and not easy to find your way round. Again both sides of the argument are presented online here.

The Legal Position
As well as promising links to information sites, I promised to bring info on cases going through the US legal process now (latest available updates from June 2007) Now if you fancy some really good bedtime reading, check out the US Federal Courts transcripts of test cases to prove “general causation” against the MMR vaccine in the first hearing of a three trial process to establish grounds for thousands of families to launch civil proceedings against the MMR vaccine manufacturers. You can always go to the final day (day 12) of the first case in three table and read the final submissions and the summing up.

For quicker summaries of proceedings click here to go to a summary site run by the mother of one of the claimants. Check out the picture of her son Chandler and you will understand this issue is not about science at all, its about humanity.

Funny you know but the more I hang in, the more hysterical the attacks become. Keep coming suckers, you’re all helping me.

Despite all this screaming that there is no issue, the case is actually progressing through the U.S. Courts. No doubt at least one of my critics will remind me that Americans are idiots. Well I’ve no problem about making fun of America’s religious right and other oddball aspects of American society but lets not allow the histrionics of Holocaxxxx sorry, Autism/MMR deniers trick us into forgetting America is a civilised country. And thanks to the Wakefield case and other bizarre cover ups American medical professionals, along with those in Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, and even India think British medicine is in The Dark Ages. But even in America the Medical Establishment is in the pockets of the Pharmaceuticals Industry. Read here how a non – committal report from the Institute of Medicine was misrepresented.

Finally though, I have said I will not comment on Wakefield because I am not qualified to do so (again despite my repeating this several times my critics keep referring to my assertion that the Wakefield case has been used to stifle debate as if I have made a detailed defence of his findings. Machiavelli (the clue is in the name) is a political website and all my posts are about the politics of this issue. You want a rebuttal of Wakefield’s critics, here’s one from :

Bernard Rimland, Ph.D.
Autism Research Institute
4182 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116

Dr. Wakefield and his courageous collaborators have endured a torrent of criticism and abuse from those dedicated to silencing anyone challenging the sacred-cow status of vaccines. The fact is, vaccines are not nearly as safe, nor anywhere near as effective, as vaccination proponents claim.
Dr. Wakefield’s opponents argue, quite speciously, that he is confusing association with causation, and that the autism link may be merely “coincidental.”

I find it doubly ironic that the vaccine advocates accuse Wakefield of this elementary error in logic. That very argument was used just as wrongly–against vaccinations–by the opponents of Edward Jenner when he introduced vaccination to Europe. (It was used earlier in Asia.) Jenner’s observation that milkmaids exposed to pox-infected cows developed a resistance to smallpox was attributed to coincidence. Fortunately for today’s vaccine proponents, Jenner’s critics did not succeed in dismissing his observations as merely “coincidence.”

The second irony is that the critics who accuse Dr. Wakefield of confusing association with causation are guilty of doing that very thing–deliberately, not mistakenly–while trying to influence public policy, by claiming that vaccines cause steep declines in the incidence of disease when there is good evidence that the decline was often due to other factors — that is, to coincidence.
CLICK To read the full article and see Dr. Rimland clarify the point confusing so many of my critics, i.e. the difference between coincidence and a significant pattern of events visit this page. Same case as used against Edward Jenner eh? He died in 1823. Nobody could accuse these guys of being original.

Again no comment from me. I confine myself to political, social and economic issues. Except of course when medical people stray into my field and show complete ignorance of data analysis methodology.

Remember, all you egomaniacal junior doctors, autism is about real lives, real suffering, real pain in the real world. Your egos do not belong in the equation.

The Scandal That Will Not Go Away

Do your remember the controversy over the MMR vaccine, how the sceptics who pointed to the number of cases in which children seemed to have developed symptoms of autism or autism related problems shortly after receiving the combined measles, mumps, rubella vaccination? And do you remember how the Government and Big Pharma dissed the doubters, ruining a few careers and producing a lot of very dodgy statistics to convince us that nice Mr. Blair was right when he told parents there was nothing to worry about and the reason he and Cherie were not up for having baby Leo treated with the jab were nothing to do with doubts over its safety.
The MMR scandal resurfaced this week as newly revealed figures showed that since the introduction of MMR the proportion of children affected by autism has risen to one in sixty.
Well the case that MMR vaccine did not contribute to autism was never convincingly made, we were fobbed off with “well you can’t actually PROVE beyond doubt that it is harmful” rather than the more ethical but less cost effective “we can’t prove beyond doubts it isn’t harmful so we will stop using it until we are certain.” Imagine the furore from the anti – smoking lobby if that kind of logic had been used to block the smoking ban. The fact is nobody can prove for certain smoking does cause lung cancer because many people particularly in France and the Mediterranean countries smoke all their lives and live beyond average age. There are very serious grounds to think smoking is harmful though and there are equal grounds for suspecting the MMR vaccine is not as safe as something being used on young children who cannot make their own choices ought to be.
Even those subversive lefties at The Guardian were taken in by the pro MMR spin, their correspondent Ben (Bung-boy) Goldacre using a weekly column to browbeat poor Gillian McKieth for her whacky but harmless theories. Ben must have become very rich on the backhanders he received from Big Pharma for using Bad Science of his own to discredit the Bad Science of the alternative health industry but his strongest venom has been reseved for those who question the efficacy of the MMR vaccine.
Now I cannot say the MMR vaccine causes autism, though its promoters will claim that is exactly what I am suggesting, but there is enough evidence to warrant an independent judicial enquiry. The statistics can be manipulated to support the government and Big Pharma case, but as long as children keep developing symptoms soon after the treatment we must keep asking the difficult questions.