In a previous blog, mention was made of North and South’s rabidly nose-in-the-air provaccine article called “The case for vaccination”. The editor, Virginia Larson stuck her personal stake in the ground, with a scathing editorial, saying, “We did not seek out the extreme anti-immunisation campaigners for “balance” because their arguments aren’t balanced.” and ..... “they’ve already done enough damage by spreading hysteria over the MMR triple jab and are now set on painting the HPV vaccine Gardasil as part of some greater plot to poison or sterilise us.” The article’s author, North and South’s deputy editor Joanna Wane, didn’t mention the questions raised over the efficacy or value of the MeNZB. You would have thought that was deserving enough to be added to the mix of bile? Or perhaps those concerns were well founded? Not according to Perry Bisman.
If you don’t seek out an argument, how can you know what is balanced, and what is not?
North and South didn’t talk to me. Not that I care. I have better things to do than talk to people with their heads apparently concreted into a blind rut. On the basis of Virginia Larson making no apologies for running interference for the “vaccine stakeholders”, I make no apologies for this blog.
Please read the attachments as you go.
The tone of Virginia Larson’s editorial illustrates that to her, anyone who uses alternative medicine, or choses not to vaccinate their children are less than barely tolerable.
Wane’s article, “The Case for Vaccination” committed just about every sin in the “how-not-to-do-it” journalism hand book. Unless you simply describe it as an unashamed advertorial, shoring up the dogma of vaccine “stakeholders”, twisting and pouring scorn on any other view…, in which case you can just about get away with saying anything.
Larson and Wane both believe, and write, from the presumption that the system/science can never be wrong: that doctors with lots of letters after their names, earning big money by a Government endorsed system, have to be right. (It’s called the Faggot Fallacy and Fallacy of Authority) So, unshakeable belief in the system, is the axis of their world.
But it’s very hard to justify a one-sided CASE FOR VACCINATION unless you present a description of the opposing view, to take to, with a hatchet. This was done by printing pro vaccine people’s views about the anti-vaccine message, not surprisingly mangling the issues out of recognition, in the manner of sneering Chinese whispers.
Here's just ONE example. Wane wrote extensively about the Ministry of Health’s opinions relating to Jasmine Renata’s death after the Gardasil vaccine, but not once did she speak to any of Jasmine’s family. Exploitation number one of the Renata family.
Wane then wrote that Jasmine’s case would not be reviewed by the Coroner before the end of the year, but then stated that this delay had been interpreted as a cover up by anti vaccine people. Exploitation number two, and libel of the anti-vaccine. Why? Everyone read this first in North and South, …. including Jasmine’s family, (exploitation number three) who were understandably furious to find this out from a magazine, and not from the coroner’s office.
While I could see the humorous irony in the provaccine shoving lies and motives into the unconsulted mouths of the anti-vaccine people, for any parent of a vaccine injured child, or a dead family member, being slapped in the face by a thoughtless North & South provaccine advertorial, in more ways than one, though par for the course in this intolerant world, is not very funny.
Wane then must have had a slight dose of the guilts as she wrote on, so she manufactured pseudo-balance by finding lesser pro vaccine people who were maybe consenting to some vaccines, and not others, or dithering as to what to do …., which can ultimately be described as shades of manipulating a “choice TO vaccinate”.
It also allowed the article to present yet more sweeping statements, and opinions about those who don’t vaccinate, from parents who do, while ignoring both facts ... AND the views of those who DON’T vaccinate their children.
The bottom line intent of this provaccine advertorial was to project this message: “We pro vaccine people know best, and the rest of you are stupid idiots.”
I would have thought no more about this, beyond my blog inspired by Michael Tatley’s ridiculous comments about reactions, until a family I knew emailed me. They had spent days putting together a very good article in reply to the comments of Perry Bisman and Michael Tatley, and had sent it to North and South. North and South. who neither acknowledged receipt or replied, ... but on being prompting to do so, sent a brief rejection letter teetering on the edge of incivility. Not that I was surprised at that either.
The family then offered their article to INVESTIGATE who published it, almost as written.
North and South was then inundated with letters, from which they cherry-picked lots of pro and one anti vaccine letter. But in a predictably hypocritical turn around, whereas in the June article, "The Case for Vaccination", the focus was that there is no debate regarding vaccinations, suddenly in August, the views of the pro vaccine had to be marshalled to reply to the anti vaccine letter.... in person… BECAUSE …. “both deserved space in this important debate.” !!!
Here for the record, is my Letter to the Editor, sent before this blog was put up.
Nikki Turner’s response to Tony Reid (August 2010), contains approximately ten factual and/or logical fallacies, a few of which, I would like to address.
Tony Reid stated that an early MMR was withdrawn because it caused meningitis. Dr Turner replied that, “This vaccine was never used in New Zealand.” Contrary to Dr Turner’s somewhat blundering amnesia, New Zealand did indeed use the MMR vaccine with the Urabe Am 9 strain in it. It was called Pluserix. Perhaps SmithKline and the Department of Health could provide Turner with copies of the information sent out to GP’s explaining it’s withdrawal from the New Zealand vaccination schedule.
Tony Reid quoted the medical journal “Vaccine”, which said, “It is known that, in many instances, antigen-specific antibody titres do not correlate with protection.” Nikki Turner replied that , “There is a range of methods used to measure vaccine effectiveness. Antibodies are not one of these. Vaccine effectiveness is assessed by comparing disease in vaccinated and unvaccinated people.”
New Zealand doctors were sent a letter on 19 July 2004, in which they were told that that MeNZB vaccine was likely to be effective because “75% of MeNZB recipients exhibited at least a fourfold rise in SBAb (antibodies) four weeks after receipt of the third dose.”
In all the New Zealand MeNZB trials, the development of antibodies were stated to be “surrogates for protection”. These antibodies to the vaccine were the justification for giving MeNZB vaccine to children. Furthermore, every single vaccine trial found at www.clinicaltrials.gov uses proof of development of antibodies, to assume that the vaccine recipients won’t get the disease. Otherwise, licensing of the vaccine would be impossible.
Tony Reid mentioned avian leukosis viruses contaminating the injectable MMR vaccine, and porcine circovirus contaminating the oral Rotavirus vaccines, and that “it is not yet known what effects these viruses will have in the human body.” Nikki Turner replied that since these viruses are in the environment anyway, and we eat them, there are no safety concerns relating to vaccines.
In the case of an oral vaccine, that may, or may not, be true. 80% of our immune system is located from our mouth at one end, down to our anus. A highly complicated protection system including stomach hydrochloric acid, various digestive enzymes and degradation processes as well as a vast array of different types of immune cells, patrol the mouth, stomach, small and large intestines and the bowel and nearby tissue, to destroy bacteria and viruses which we eat, and prevent their entry, further into the body. In most people, this system works admirably well. In some, particularly those regularly napalmed with antibiotics or drugs which suppress the immune system, this system might not work very well at all.
But, in the case of an injectable vaccine, there is no front line defence against vaccine contaminants, or any other potential immuno-toxin. No-one in their right mind would suggest that just because we might be able to “eat” something with impunity, it’s therefore safe to inject it anywhere in the body. Such an attitude flies in the face of vaccine manufacturers’ efforts to go to great lengths to exclude all KNOWN contaminating viruses from vaccines injected into the body.
Rather than insulting the knowledge and intelligence of Tony Reid, and North and South readers, or suggesting that the “anti vaccine” unscientifically cherry pick to suit their own needs, IMAC would be better placed sticking to science, and making sure that the sort of “own goals” committed in IMAC’s letter to North and South, are avoided.
The question that any discerning reader would ask is, “If the sorts of errors and illogic in IMAC’s response to Tony Reid, are representative of the standard of the rest of their work, why should any other “reassurances” be trusted?”