My response to the anti-vax twit storm

Posted on April 11th, 2013

Each week I get asked to join Seven’s Sunrise panel to discuss various topical issues of the morning. This morning I was asked to comment on a news item that reported parents in Sydney’s wealthy suburbs were putting their kids’ lives at risk by choosing not to get them vaccinated. I went on air shortly after 8:30…

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In the notes handed to me a little before I went on air, I was told Kochie would be asking me about the basis of the anti-vax movement’s argument. What was their premise? On air Kochie referred to the news item, mentioning that one of the reasons for the phenomenon was that wealthy parents miss the vaccination schedule due to being on holidays, and he asked for my thoughts. And so it was I waded into quite the storm.

Sarah Wilson creates controversy after she appears to back anti-vaccine movement

I felt I should respond to some of the claims being made and answer the questions being asked on Twitter.

I’m going to be frank, however. I’m pushed for time today. And I’m not very well. Plus, it’s a topic that I’m not an expert in, nor does it touch me directly. And so I haven’t researched it as far as I might another topic that I would normally elect to speak out on.

But I don’t like leaving issues hanging, and I’d like to stamp out any confusion that could certainly be causing some parents upset. Below I share whether I would vaccinate my kids. But first…

* I was called on to share the reasons why some parent’s don’t vax their kids.

I managed to do some quick Googling before going on set to see if there had been any studies on this in Australia. It strikes me as really odd that parents would skip something as important as vaccinations simply because they were on holidays that day. And, surely, given it’s such an important topic, with so much parental engagement, I’d have thought schools would have contingency plans in place for parents who miss the schedule (if they aren’t actively anti-vax). Ergo, I displayed skepticism and shared some thoughts I’d come across online that suggested there were a number of other reasons for the phenomenon. An Australian study (albeit an old one) found that: “Older, highly educated parents form the basis of the [sic] anti-immunisation lobby”. More here, here and here. I shared this on air, in answer to the question.

* Do I have kids? No.

I say this upfront before discussing any topic like this, and did so this morning, too. I don’t want anyone to think I fully understand the challenges parents face with these kind of decisions. I’ll be frank.

I have an immune disease that means I can’t have kids. Very sadly.

* Am I personally anti-vax? No.

As I said this morning, “I’m not going to take a stance on this myself because I don’t know fully”.  It’s a topic I’m not wholly abreast of. It’s a complex one.

 I don’t like professing to “know” if I simply do not. I won’t speak out on it. Instead I engage in the debate and absorb, absorb, absorb.

If I could have kids, I’d probably look into the topic further.

And I’ll stress what I clarified this morning on air: “I’m just putting it from the perspective of the anti-vaccination movement’s perspective.” As asked.

* Full disclosure: the anti-vax argument does has some relevance to me.

One of the arguments put forward by anti-vax parents is that there is no conclusive proof that vaccinations don’t cause their own set of ills – both short and longterm. Indeed, in the US there is a vaccine injury compensation fund that has paid out millions of dollars to the vaccine-damaged. There have been links made between vaccinations and immune dysfunction, particularly autism.

I’m alive to these factors in the debate due to my own immune disorder. I live every day with a debilitating condition which, I’ve been told, could be linked to exposure to a range of modern toxins and stressors. Nobody knows for sure and adequate testing of various suspected factors is not possible due to funding and control factors. I live with the doubt hanging over my head.

I personally choose to focus on managing my health as best as I can, rather than looking for conclusive answers and reasons.

I share this, possibly to explain why I have an interest in looking into the other side of the debate. Engaging, questioning.

I also have a friend whose child had an extreme immune reaction to one lot of vaccinations.

Interestingly, in New York a family made news today for not vaccinating their daughter because doing so would risk killing her baby sister. Another layer to the debate.

My friend – a doctor – and I have discussed the issue a few times. Some of the stuff raised in these chats:

Are there particularly vulnerable groups (i.e. those with atopic genes, compromised immune systems etc) who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of vaccines, that should not be vaccinated?

Is the current spacing of vaccines (i.e. a lot at once) the right approach?

Do we need to know more about how to get the widespread benefits of vaccines without putting ourselves and our children at risk?

All good questions and points that are worthy of a full discussion given it’s such an important topic to us all.

* The science stuff

Without a doubt, 100 per cent conclusive (double blind, crossover, placebo etc)  evidence that vaxing is completely safe doesn’t exist. It can’t. I made this point on air. It would be unethical to conduct such a trial. But once again, this is what anti-vax parents question and raise.

Yes, there are countless studies showing that vaccinations control diseases and outbreaks that can kill children. And there are countless studies that point to outbreaks of infections in communities where a high proportion of kids were vaccinated (eg: the whooping cough outbreak in South Australia – 87% of those who contracted it were vaccinated). And there are countless counterpoints to this phenomenon, too.

* Bottomline… should kids be vaccinated?

I’ll cut to it. The factor that really strikes me as key here is that I live in a society where most parents vaccinate their kids. They do so because it’s commonly held that the more kids vaccinated, the safer our community. Vaccinations only really work if everyone does it. One in, all in. I respect that. To this end, I’d vaccinate.

I’m happy for anyone to comment below. I just ask that things be kept respectful, gentle and balanced. And that assumptions are not made. Cool?

 

 

 

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  • Belinda

    Sheesh! You were asked a question, you responded, end of story. Why do you need to justify your answers? Whichever way you argued it would never please everyone. Move on…..

    How come people with an Auto Immune problem can’t have children?

    [Reply]

    Hail To The Nihilist Reply:

    She needs to justify her answer because she is providing an opinion that may be of some consequence, and, it is a scientific and ethical debate that she is engaging in.

    [Reply]

    Rhian Reply:

    Without a for or against then there is no debate? I think you carried yourself very well, and as a health professional & speaking for the anti vax community you shed some ‘reality’ on the allegations that “wealthy people choose not to vaccinate their children”. I too have an autoimmune disease, I don’t currently have children and I am neither for or against. I work in pharmacy as a naturopath/nutritionist can as you mentioned it boils down to education. Yes they have been proven effective, yes they prevent widespread outbreak of disease, but it boils down to safety and efficacy. It’s only natural for a mother to be concerned for her child’s safety, if the clinical evidence cannot be produced then there are certain risk factors one must take into consideration. Do those risk factors outweigh the benefits for not just the individual or the whole community?

    [Reply]

    Kellie Ellis Reply:

    Hi Sarah,

    I am very happy to have come across your reply today. I understand you were put in the firing line on such a delicate topic. I was very taken aback with your response to the question as my daughter and our lives were greatly affected due to other people NOT vaccinating.
    Whatever the reasons for not, it does work and does protect our children. Just walk into the Childrens Hospital at any time and see a family hoping their precious baby who is too young to be vaccinated does not develop wings and will hopefully be the strong one who overcomes and gets through the horrible illness that is Whooping Cough! Have those same people come into the room and listen to a precious baby struggle for breathe and cough so deeply monitors go off every time and 2 nurses run in and sit her up and give her oxygen. At the same time keeping your family together and telling your 3yo it will all be OK and we will all be home soon. It does not end there though, once at home you have to listen to your baby cough like that for another 100 days. In addition they are then more prone to respiratory diseases and infections during this first year and are at a higher risk of developing asthma.

    Thank you for listening and I am more than happy to share my story if ever the debate is raised again. I would also be more than happy to bring along our strong and robust 3yo who survived this preventable disease. I cannot imagine our lives without her or what our lives may have become if she left us.
    Kellie

    [Reply]

    Adult Mumps Sufferer Reply:

    I recently suffered a hideous double bout of mumps at the age of 39. It put me out of work and in isolation for weeks. I was innoculated as a child. Adults beware. It is not forever. You can catch it in later life – from your selfish friends’ MMR-unvaccinated children who are walking around as vectors.

    Mumps is worse in adulthood and can cause infertility. I now try to avoid social gatherings with anti-vaccine parents, and children are banned from our workplace.

    PLEASE vaccinate your children and spare us hard working suffering adults the risk of being infected by them.

    [Reply]

  • Carolyn

    I’m so glad you included your last paragraph – which includes the incredibly salient point that is so often left out of this debate.

    Vaccinations are for the benefit of the whole community.
    When a child isn’t vaccinated for whooping cough, it is rarely that child who dies when they get the illness. It’s the elderly person, the baby, or the baby of the pregnant woman who they spread their germs to.

    We vaccinate as a society, and we all better off for it. It only stops being effective when individuals start opting out, indulging their own fears rather than caring for the wellbeing of the wider community.

    I appreciate your openness and balance on this issue. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Elvira Reply:

    It is, however, short-sighted to assume that only un-vaccinated children spread germs. Vaccinated people also carry the same germs, and can transmit them to a vulnerable person. It’s also important to understand that the whooping cough vaccine is largely irrelevant after the child is about 7-12. It’s worn off and so lots of school age children who have been through the recommended schedule can still transmit the disease.

    Unfortunately, pro-vaccine parents often ‘indulge their own fears’ by blaming unvaccinated children for the spread of disease. The concept of heard immunity is grossly flawed, and if vaccination was the answer to disease, why are vaccinated children still getting sick?

    I am neither pro, nor anti vaccination. I am pro- informed choice and intelligent, critical debate. I am very definitely against the public being given a very biased pro-vaccination information, and very little information on the negative sides of vaccination, of which there are several. It is about making a choice, as a parent, and weighing up the evidence. No other parent can lay down moral judgements on this.

    [Reply]

    mum of one Reply:

    “Vaccinated people also carry the same germs, and can transmit them to a vulnerable person.”

    This is just incorrect. If you don’t *have* whooping cough (because you’ve been protected by the vaccination) then you *don’t* have the germs and can’t pass them onm to anyone else.

    Public information is “biased” towards vaccination because it’s evidence-based and factual. It’s like claiming a “bias” because the media doesn’t give equal time to flat-earth theorists. Also, pro-vaccination information is in the public interest – vaccination protects the most vulnerable in our community.

    Anti-vaccination “information” creates fear, spreads propaganda and misinformation and leads to disease and death. No wonder there are so many people keen to restrict the publication of this rubbish!

    [Reply]

    Mrs K Reply:

    I’m sorry that Sarah had to be personally attacked for even playing devils advocate in this so sensitive topic. At least Sarah has dignity unlike the reporter Caroline Marcus from news.com.au. We talk about numbers of children dying because some of us choose not to vaccinate. How many is that exactly in a country such as ours? While we are at it lets also look at the numbers of children dying from road accidents, or child abuse, or terminal illness – that number blows those who have actually died from childhood diseases out of the water. And that’s not yet counting the numbers mentally or physically disabled by road accidents, abuse or illness. Get it into perspective for goodness sake. We are actually talking about peoples safety are we not? Isn’t that the real issue at the heart of this debate – peoples safety? So, if you feel so strongly that those who choose not to vaccinate are putting all these peoples safety at risk, please truly get to the heart of the whole ‘numbers affected’ by getting angry and emotional at all road users, unfit parents, manufacturers and purchasers of every chemical ever sprayed on your food, or used on your home. What’s that I hear? You still want to drive your car, ignore society’s problems, and use bleach? That’s your CHOICE, just like it is mine to choose not to.

    Cheryl Reply:

    “This is just incorrect. If you don’t *have* whooping cough (because you’ve been protected by the vaccination) then you *don’t* have the germs and can’t pass them onm to anyone else.”

    No, it is a fact that the vaccinated can carry and transmit the disease against which they have been vaccinated. Here are just a few examples of the evidence readily available if you choose to do some actual research:
    - After a 22 year old Queensland woman died of Diptheria which she contracted from a vaccinated friend who had just returned from overseas the Queensland Department of Health issued a Public Health Comminuque which states “Fully vaccinated people who travel through these areas may still acquire nose and throat carriage of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Unvaccinated people in Australia are therefore still at risk of acquiring this serious infection.” (http://newsletters.gpqld.com.au/content/Document/2011%20Public%20Health%20Alerts/IMPORTANT%20PH%20Alert%20diphtheria%20040511.pdf)

    - It is well recognised that those who receive the oral polio vaccine can transmit the disease/ (http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/150/10/1001.short)

    - In relation to Whooping Cough “… vaccinated people … may spread infection to those children who are too young to be vaccinated.” (http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/WhoopingCough/GeneralInformation/)

    I strongly recommend you do some research before parroting the prevailing paradigm. There is plenty of reputable information available for those who care to look.

    “Anti-vaccination “information” creates fear, spreads propaganda and misinformation and leads to disease and death.”

    In reality, it is vaccine promotion is that is based on fear. Fear of children getting sick. I am a child of the 60′s. The only disease my parents were scared of was Polio. At that time, it was common practice to actively try to expose children to Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Chickenpox. In those days, it was recognised that these were largely benign diseases in childhood but were highly likely to cause complications in adults. Babies were mostly formula fed so did not have access to maternal breast milk antibodies. However, it was understood that the best protection for a baby was to ensure its regular contacts had the lifelong natural immunity that only infection can provide.

    The truth is that the figures used to support the dangers of the ‘vaccine-preventable’ diseases are deliberately misleading. It is true that an unvaccinated child is at higher risk of infection. However, well-nourished children in the developed world who have ready access to healthcare are at low risk of either complications or mortality. The statistics used to support vaccination include, and sometimes are exclusively, children in undeveloped and developing nations where access to adequate nutrition, basic sanitation and appropriate healthcare are not the norm. The inclusion of these children in the statistics exaggerates the risks faced by children in developed nations.

    While there are, no doubt, some parents who don’t vaccinate due to fear I posit that they are not the norm amongst the well-educated. Many parents have done a lot of their research before making the decision not to vaccinate their children. These well-informed parents are not motivated by fear but by trust in the body’s innate ability to heal and develop immunity when infected with a contagion. They see no need to medicate a healthy child. Especially, when that medication will have to be repeatedly administered for the rest of the child’s life if there is any hope it will provide the advertised protection for them and their contacts.

    Every parent has the right to make, what they believe, to be the best health choices for their children. Likewise, all medical interventions require the informed consent of the recipient or their caregiver. These rights are enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Right to which our government is a signatory. Those who are scared of the ‘vaccine-preventable’ diseases have no right to insist someone else’s child be medicated in the hope it will protect their own child. Just as the parent of a child with severe food allergies has no right to insist everyone else’s diet be restricted irrespective of whether or not a particular individual will have contact with their child.

    If vaccination is as effective at preventing the contraction and spread of disease as is claimed then the fully vaccinated are not in danger no matter how frequently outbreaks occur nor how many people get infected. If, on the other hand, vaccination does not live up to its hype then vaccination status is irrelevant.

    Sara Reply:

    I have to agree with Trevor on this one Cheryl. I have no doubt your intentions are good but I suspect you too have fallen into the trap of assuming your intelligence allows you to make an informed medical decision without any actual medical training based on materials that has it’s own agenda to push (Big Pharma aren’t the only ones you should question). The science behind this is so much more complex than the surface-dwelling anti-vax campaigners (and I should say there are only a precious few ‘researching’most of the anti-vax info, the rest just repeat it) would have you believe. They prey on your ferocious desire to protect your child and your intelligence to apply common sense to what are seemingly common sense arguments. I don’t think they’re evil, simply simplistic in their view and often tainted by their own tragic circumstances (a mother with an autistic child who has no answers is willing to grasp onto just about anything to explain ‘why’).

    They present graphs that show death by measles, dyptheria, polia, mumps was already almost gone by the time the vaccine was introduced, suggesting it doesn’t even work. It’s pretty compelling until you look at the full picture. They fail to tell you that this graph only represents deaths, not incidences or disability caused by the disease. The decline prior to vaccinations of deaths was largely due to medical breakthroughs like the iron lung. However don’t think this means these diseases didn’t still devastate their victims. Just ask my father’s friend who was crippled by polio one year before the discovery of the vaccine. It’s tragic. My point? Anti-vax propaganda is absolutely rife but for some weird reason it’s ignored by the media at large. I have to say Meryl Dorey, the woman who is the head of the AVN is responsible for much of the antivax movement in Australia and she is possibly the most ill-informed, scientifically illiterate fool I’ve ever come across. Harsh, I know but I’m actually being gentle given my real thoughts on her. If you’ve ever seen her go head to head in a debate with someone who is qualified to question her she is decimated, every time.

    My point being that while I encourage you to scrutinise governments and Big Pharma don’t forget to hold up those anti-vax movements to the same scrutiny, particularly given it’s a hell of a lot easier for someone to peddle a ‘natural’ cure or book than it is to get a drug through our very rigorous testing. I’m also not suggesting that vaccines are always 100% foolproof. Of course they’re not and no reputable doctor would tell you otherwise. But they’re a darn side better than the alternative.

    Unfortunately a huge amount of the anti-vax campaigning is manipulative, deceptive and in some cases just plain wrong. It’s designed to convince the people who know just enough to research but not enough to understand how to dissect it. I liken it to the pro-lifers who show doctored pictures of foetuses. It plays on our most vulnerable side – our kids. I’d highly recommend you also research the flip side – the anti-anti-vaxxers. The scientific community absolutely took on board the concerns about MMR (don’t even get me started on Andrew Wakefield!) and autism, researched the crap out of it and found no links whatsoever. To quote what many of them say there are no ‘two-sides to the debate’. You either believe the science or you don’t.

    A few links that are not research journals but present my beliefs well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=959HmIWSDQ0&list=PLB50F7FD3501BA6DB
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap_0uQDbZl4&list=PLB50F7FD3501BA6DB

    http://www.dangeroustalk.net/a-team/Vaccines

    Jasmine Reply:

    RE: Even so, I’d much rather have autism than die of whooping cough. It’s a slow and agonizing death too, from what my nurse friends have told me.

    I almost died of whooping cough when i was very young and I had been immunised.
    The doctor told my mother I would not have survived had I not been immunised.

    [Reply]

    Katie Reply:

    I have a friend who years ago did not get their last child immunised, and she got whooping cough… boy was the little girl Emily sick, she coughed and coughed, kicker is so did her Mum… Lynne was terribly sick, had to take time off work, it went to her mother, who was also very very sick indeed. Thankfully it went no further, little Emily now has remnants of the whooping cough, and will never be completely well, I don’t know the details except to say something must be left in the system, like with Ross River. I think we need to think of it as a community service, to our family and all those people ( personal and at schools) etc to have children immunised. Idon’t want to get into a fight, I just saw really awful consequence for someone not getting a child immunised… shame it is could have been prevented.

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    The recent increase in outbreaks of Whooping Cough have not been caused by the unvaccinated. In fact, the higher than ever vaccination rates are thought to have caused of recent outbreaks. They have allowed a previously rare variants of Pertussis to “gain selective advantage”. (https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/health/sharp-rise-cases-new-strain-whooping-cough)

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    I think you’re cherry picking a little again Cheryl.

    “The vaccine is still the best way to reduce transmission of the disease and reduce cases, but it appears to be less effective against the new strain and immunity wanes more rapidly. We need to look at changes to the vaccine itself or increase the number of boosters,” said Dr Lan, whose analysis of cultured bacteria from 194 whooping cough patients was published last week in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

    “Whooping cough deaths were higher during the 1990s, when immunisation rates were lower, than during the current epidemic”

    “The vaccine may not be as good as we’d like but it does seem to be preventing the most extreme cases,”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/whooping-cough-beats-vaccine-20120320-1vibp.html#ixzz2QhbNez8O

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/whooping-cough-beats-vaccine-20120320-1vibp.html#ixzz2QhaKF1GJ

    Not ideal, I know but that quote you’ve pulled was one sentence amongst an article that for the most part supports vaccination. Medicine has always had to evolve just as diseases always have (and they evolve regardless of human intervention – how old, or young, is HIV?). It’s why we live as long as we do today. Not suggesting that we don’t give ourselves the best possible fighting chance naturally but why can’t we allow the incredible medical miracles we take for granted today to play a part?

    Joyce Reply:

    I am on holiday in Wales at present where there is an epidemic of measles – almost 700 children so far have contracted the disease. Hundreds are being vaccinated daily. The autism myth was debunked a long time ago. There are still 6000 children that remain unvaccinated while the area keeps up with demand of parents wanting their children to Receive the MMR vaccination. The side effects of measles can include pneumonia and encephalitis(brain inflammation). Do the right thing folk.

    [Reply]

  • http://ramonabarry.com Ramona

    I have had both of my children vaccinated without a thought but i do have friends who were horrified this and took the opportunity to lecture me at the time. At the end of the day the choice is a personal one. Damned if you do damned if you dont

    [Reply]

  • Katherine

    I think you did a fantastic job Sarah, you made some very valid points. What drives me crazy is that people belief that unvaccinated children are somehow putting their vaccinated children at risk which, completely goes against the herd mentality theory. Therefore the ridiculous comment made about educating unvaccinated children elsewhere has no merit. I am also not anti-vaccination, what I would like to see is some clear non-biased research done and possibly the option for parents to do alternative immunisation schedules. I’d love to see accountability from the drug companies.

    A great documentary “The Greater Good” has an excellent unbiased look into vaccination. There appears to be no middle ground on this topic. I commend you for bringing forward comments that you probably knew would cause some debate and we need more people like you in the media. It was not that long ago that flu vaccinations across Australia for children under five were suspended after 23 children in Western Australia were admitted to hospital with convulsions following their injections. You can never say they are 100% safe or 100% effective.

    [Reply]

    Trevor Lowe Reply:

    You write ” What drives me crazy is that people belief that unvaccinated children are somehow putting their vaccinated children at risk which, completely goes against the herd mentality theory.” That is a standard anti-vax cannard (so, your use pretty well says where you stand). The concern people have is that those who can be vaccinated but are not are putting at risk those who are NOT yet vaccinated due to timing or due to inability (other health issues).

    [Reply]

    Bev mcdowell Reply:

    Thank you trevor, yours is intelligent, informed contribution. Bev

    [Reply]

  • Bek

    Sarah, I think its good to acknowledge the other side of the debate that is generally ignored. Cases of Whooping cough may in fact be rising, but so are diagnoses of Autism.

    [Reply]

    Mia Reply:

    No, they aren’t. Not really. The diagnostic criteria for children on the autism spectrum was widened in the early 90s, so more children are being diagnosed and are recieving treatment. This is a good thing. Taking this into account, rates of autism have remained steady.

    Even if this weren’t true, there is no proven link whatsoever between autism and vaccines, it’s an urban legend.

    [Reply]

    Bek Reply:

    Again, this “no proven link” is being again questioned globally.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/italian-court-reignites-mmr-vaccine-debate-after-award-over-child-with-autism-7858596.html

    [Reply]

    Mia Reply:

    Questioned is a long way from proven. Find me a peer reviewed study that conclusively proves a link between autism and vaccines and I will eat my hat.

    Even so, I’d much rather have autism than die of whooping cough. It’s a slow and agonizing death too, from what my nurse friends have told me.

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Sally, I can’t open that link as it requires a password. Can you briefly highlight what it said perhaps?

    Bek Reply:

    All I am suggesting is it would be good if we could accept that one vaccination does not work for everyone 100% of the time, and has absolutely no side effects.

    Wow, what a statement. Id really like to hear my cousin respond to what having Autism is like, if he could speak.

    [Reply]

    Renae Reply:

    I am Autistic.

    I’d rather be autistic than dead. Or in an iron lung.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Autism IS increasing, however the number of antigens (the things in vaccines that trigger an immune response) has dropped significantly – from thousands, to a couple of hundred in today’s entire schedule.

    The other ingredient that Wakefield tried to link to autism – thimerosal (a mercury-containing compound) has been out of all childhood vaccines for a decade, so considering these factors, surely autism rates should be DEcreasing if they were caused by vaccines?

    [Reply]

    Narelle Reply:

    Trixie…methyl mercury is still used in vaccines to this day as a preservative.
    The fact it has been phased out largely in Australia is because it was a known problem speaks volumes. Mercury is a problem and it still is.
    There are many drugs that have come off the market because they were once proven as safe, thalidomide comes to mind. It was test and ‘proved’ as safe, we all now know different

    [Reply]

    Mia Reply:

    Narelle, mercury/ thiomersol has not been used in childhood vaccines in Australia in over a decade.

    trixie melodian Reply:

    As Mia says, thimerosal hasn’t been in any vaccines on the childhood schedule for over a decade. Please check your facts before making claims like this.

    THe mercury in thimerosal is actually in the form of Ethylmercury which is eliminated from the body more quickly than Methylmercury and is generally considered safer. You ingest more Methylmercury (the less safe kind) in a tin of tuna than you do Ethylmercury (the safer kind) in a vaccine.

    But seeing as there is none of either in the current childhood vaccine schedule, vaccinate away in the knowledge that your child is being protected from deadly diseases that our grandparents and their friends died of.

    Cheryl Reply:

    SueC254: You need to take your own advice and check credible sources. Thiomersal is still in some vaccines. Read the product inserts for the Haemophilus b
    Conjugate Vaccine, some Flu vaccines and the Meningococcal vaccine.

    Sara Reply:

    Cheryl it is no longer in child vaccines and because the concern with it is autism related this should alleviate fears. I’m not aware of any adult-onset autism either.

  • Shelley

    I am no longer cross with you. I am now cross with Sunrise for allowing someone who has a large following but clearly no scientific literacy to provide comment. I, too, am scientifically illiterate, so I rely on scientists and doctors for information regarding vaccines. I certainly do not rely on Google, strangers on the Internet or 5-minute chat segments on Sunrise. At least the other panelists had the good sense to defer to qualified experts.

    [Reply]

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Good Point Shelley. Ridiculous how programes like Sunrise etc have a 5 minute segment with celebrities and think that provides information. All it provides is confusion.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Agree completely, Shelley.

    This is a crucial topic for the wellbeing of our community. Just look at the situation in Wales where this week, over 600 kids with measles have been the latest victims of Andrew Wakefield’s fraud and deception.

    It is too important for this issue to be discussed by lay people with no understanding of what they are discussing.

    Science isn’t about opinion, or Googling, or even personal experiences. It’s about decades of thorough research, population studies, lessons learned and improvements made. THIS is why we know that vaccination is overwhelmingly safe and beneficial, and for a TV personality who admits no knowledge on the subject to be given an influential chair in this debate is dangerous and foolish.

    [Reply]

    Narelle Reply:

    Trixie – please furnish us with your qualifications. If you are not qualified then by your own comments you should leave this discussion….

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Fortunately, my views coincide with the evidence provided by virtually the entire medical, scientific and academic world. I don’t have scientific qualifications, but it doesn’t matter, because there are millions of doctors, scientists, academics and other health professionals, each of whom has qualifications, knowledge and understanding in their little fingernail than the entire collective antivax community.

    As long as my views coincide with theirs, I really don’t need to prove my qualifications.

    Lexi74 Reply:

    hahaha

    “It is too important for this issue to be discussed by lay people with no understanding of what they are discussing.”

    ” I don’t have scientific qualifications, but it doesn’t matter,”

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Did you miss the rest of my comment where I pointed out that my views mirror those of the entire scientific community?

    Sara Reply:

    There is science and there is those who don’t believe in science. Trixie is merely stating that she believes in science. She doesn’t require a qualification for that.

    elle Reply:

    Excellent comment. I agree 100%. What is the point of seeking the opinions of someone like Sarah on such an important topic? Why didn’t they have immunologists or at least a medical expert on there? If I was her I would’ve said ‘I do not know enough about this topic to comment but I trust the views of the scientists and medical professionals who dedicate their lives to investigating and developing these vaccines’

    [Reply]

  • http://www.latherrinserepeat.com.au Michaela

    I’m very upset to read this particular sentence from you, Sarah.

    “There have been links made between vaccinations and immune dysfunction, particularly autism.”

    You are completely incorrect. There has never ever been a link found between vaccinations and autism and it’s an incredibly idiotic claim to make, seeing the one research study on to make this claim has been discredited over and over as a blatant lie and an attempt to discredit one vaccine in order to launch another (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield).

    Vaccine is crucial for protecting not only older children but those who are too young to be vaccinated. The selfish people who do not vaccinate their children are benefiting from herd vaccination, but this safety net will not be there if their idiotic propaganda continues through channels like yourself.

    I for one don’t want to see the return of polio killing and paralyzing a generation like it did to my grandparents, but this is exactly what will happen if you in positions of power like yourself continue to spread false autism connection claims. Please get informed, and stop this foolishness.

    [Reply]

    Melanie Reply:

    Andrew Wakefield is not the only professional who has questioned the link between the MMR Vaccination and Autism. There are plenty of professionals and studies on this issue. I am not totally disagreeing with you – his Study was a proven (?) sham, but it annoys me that people continually use this 1 study to drive a point that Vaccinations are indeed safe – when this is not true. As Sarah said, there is no clinical evidence to suggest that Vaccinations are completely safe. This is what unnerves parents as they hold their babies in the waiting room, waiting for that jab!!

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    And there’s nothing to prove there is a link to autism. What peer-reviewed studies show this definite link?

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    NOTHING is completely safe. You could walk out the door and get hit by a bus or suffer an aneurysm, choke on your morning piece of toast or, for that matter, contract polio. Getting vaccinated makes your life much safER however.

    Getting vaccinated is far, FAR safer than risking a vaccine preventable disease. THe risks of vaccination are minuscule. The risks of things like diphtheria, whooping cough and measles are real, and substantial, especially to children and babies.

    Also, Andrew Wakefield is not a professional. He is a corrupt conman, a fraud and a criminal who lied and falsified studies to line his own pockets. He was struck off as a medical practitioner and his study retracted by The Lancet. Anything he “concluded” has no validity whatsoever.

    And please direct us to these “studies” and “professionals” that have found links between MMR and vaccination, because according to virtually every medical professional in the world (REAL medical professionals, not ones who have been discredited and had their license revoked, not Playboy bunnies, not herbalists or homeopaths) there is NO link, and the benefits and safety of vaccines absolutely, overwhelmingly outweigh the risks.

    [Reply]

    Melanie Reply:

    Trixie, after reading some of your comments on this thread I choose to gracefully decline engaging further in this debate with you. Not because I am backing down from my ‘balanced’ and ‘educated’ opinion, but because your mind is already made up. I hope that you have a wonderful day, and that you are able to move on from these conversations with as much grace also?!

    Jenny Reply:

    Sorry Melanie
    It is good to have a discussion
    No point just putting your fingers in your ears
    You might like to read to the end of sarah,s comments.
    bottom line she says she supports vaccination

    Sara Reply:

    There are countless studies that have looked for a link between autism and vaccinations and found none.

    I however am not aware of any studies (not webpages, studies) that show a causal link other than Andrew Wakefields.

    Melanie, I’m politely asking you to please direct me to additional studies? I promise I will be fair and reasonable in assessing them and if you honestly believe the message you should care enough to share the information. I’m honestly interested. To me the science is squarely, without question on the side of vaccinations but I’m open to being proven wrong.

    K Reply:

    Dr Wakefield http://tallguywrites.livejournal.com/148012.html

    chrisw Reply:

    Children s car seat-belts are not completely safe either, but we don’t hesitate to strap them in. Because even though we know there is a small risk of seat belt injury in a car crash, there is a much bigger risk of a more severe injury without it, so we strap them in. Car seat manufacturers are always re designing and finding ways to reduce seat belt injury, while still protecting the child as much as possible, same with vaccines.

    [Reply]

    Gemma Reply:

    Fabulous analogy chrisw!

    elle Reply:

    Great comment. I agree 100%

    [Reply]

  • http://www.sensationentertainment.com.au Rosie

    Good on you Sarah, it’s nice to have somebody on television give an opinion with their eyes open, rather than just repeating what they are TOLD to think.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Sarah admits being handed a set of notes, doing five minutes “research” on Google and winging it. She’s hardly showing great principles and standing her ground against the oppressive orthodoxy here…

    [Reply]

  • Bek

    Actually Michaela, there was recently a link found between vaccinations and Autism in Italy. http://www.naturalnews.com/036255_MMR_autism_court_case.html

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    That court case relied on the thoroughly discredited Andrew Wakefield study and is now under appeal. The courts in Italy have also found geologists to be liable for not predicting earthquakes so you may want to be wary when citing them as reliable evidence.

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    Natural News is not a trustworthy news source. Its founder, Mike Adams, is a discredited quack and makes his money opposing ALL modern medicine.

    [Reply]

    Kimberley Reply:

    I love Natural News. I think its an awesome site and am pro-questionning. I high 5 Mike Adams for having the courage to do it and get it out there. What concerns me is big pharma and the array of awfullness that goes into keeping people sick for financial gain… but then that’s another whoooole kettle of fish.

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    Mike Adams is a conspiracy theorist. He also believes that the Sandy Hook massacre and Colorado shooting were staged by the government, 9/11 was caused by pharmacy groups, Bill Gate is creating a eugenics virus to kill half the population and that contraceptives actually sterilize men.

    Do you also subscribe to those beliefs?

    Tim Reply:

    Show us the evidence in all those assertions – I’d be keen to read them.

    Bek Reply:

    Sorry, there is an article from the Independent too, if that will suffice.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    Articles from newspapers and secondary sources are pointless as they can be interpreted to whatever bias the person writing the story wishes. If you want to actually know what the study really says then go to the original research article. Only interpretation of those results can provide you with an informed opinion. Distorted media coverage of scientific articles is one of science’s biggest issues to overcome.

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    A court of law is not a scientific study. Companies can be ordered to pay for all manner of things due to the way the courts and legal system work. This is a very different kettle of fish to science and in no way whatsover counts as ‘new evidence’. That fact it was based on discredited old evidence makes it outrageous so it’s not surprise this is being appealed.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.earthbirthbeyond.blogspot.com.au/ Melanie

    It is typical for the media to ham up issues like this. I am a University educated Naturopath specialising in Natal Care and Children’s Health – I can tell you Sarah that this is a Topic/Debate/War you can not win! You were put in a position most people would not dare take on. Vaccinations are an emotive issue. It is a personal thing. I support informed choices, not fashionable choices. I am fine about parents vaccinating if it is their choice, and encourage where possible to support the babies wellbeing and recovery thereafter. Good on you for taking it on board in your usual rational and honest way. Kudos!

    [Reply]

    Trevor Lowe Reply:

    Informed choice means getting told the truth, the facts. It doesn’t mean being told to believe emotive unsubstantiated nonsense. It doesn’t mean being told that there are two sides of the story when one of those “sides” (anti-vaxx) is made up of lies, distortions and inconsistencies. Ultimately, when the anti-vax claims are followed down the chain of thought, they are dependent upon conspiracy theories. I am grateful for the doctors that I routinely see that have 7 years of university behind them as well as time under supervision from specialists and further exams before becoming specialists in General Practice.

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    Narelle Reply:

    please provide some evidence for these broad sweeping comments. Many Dr’s now are trained in functional medicine and understand the impact of vaccines and other environmental triggers on DNA replication and immune function.
    A lot of what I see on here is just scare mongering . Truth is truth and lies are lies regardless of the popularity of the truth or lie.
    More time should be spent on dealing with the causes of disease rather than scaring people into having vaccines that have not been proven in the long term(such as in the case of the HPV vax for example) and risking further health issues.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Just read the ingredients of these vaxs and then make up your own mind. Homeopathic vaccines are available as an alternative, and are just as effective. Just my thoughts.

    elle Reply:

    Correct.

    [Reply]

  • http://cherryblossomcupcakes.blogspot.com/ Rianna

    Whenever I hear the anti-vaccine debate I think to myself that this is such a “first world problem”. It is clear that parents choosing not to vaccinate their children against childhood illnesses have never seen the devastation of children becoming desperately ill and dying from these illnesses. If they had it would be a no-brainer to protect their child and others from such illnesses. It saddens me to think of the parents of children in countries less fortunate than ours who would walk over HOT COALS for the privilege of vaccinating their children.

    [Reply]

    Lou Reply:

    I totally agree a Rianna, having seen what TB and Whooping cough can do to a whole community of children in the third world with my own hands there is no possible way I would not immunise my kids. These parents desperatley want to immunise the children they have left but do not have the finance to do so, yet we have wealthy people in Australia choosing not to immunise because they do not understand what these diseases do. None of them are a walk on the park and all of them are exruciating and often lead to death or permanent injury.

    [Reply]

    Annette Reply:

    Riana and Lou you don’t need to go to a 3rd world country, you just need to go to some remote parts of our own country and see what lack of immunisation is doing to Indigenous children. The anti-vaxx people should take a road trip and spend some time with the mothers of these sick children. It is a crime that wealthy people in the suburbs are refusing something that is FREE and for their benefit when the poor members of our society are neglected. But out of sight out of mind I guess.

    [Reply]

    elle Reply:

    Absolutely. I agree wholeheartedly. Some people are so frustrating !!

    [Reply]

    Jenny Reply:

    It is such a weird first world problem
    It is bad enough when people are chaotic and disorganised and can’t look after their kids vacc programme but when they deliberately ignore the facts and put other people at risk
    It is reprehensible
    Perhaps we need what other countries have…no immunisation no school.
    It is ironic that they can make the choice not to vacc because most of us have made it reasonable safe for them to do so by vaccinating our kids. But there is a dangerous tipping point.
    If they have the right not to vaccinate then I have the right to protect myself and my family against them.. Why should 15percent of the dummy mummies as adele horin calls them jeopardise the health of the 85 percent
    Many clearly don’t understand how vaccination works.
    Perhaps more education ..ads on tv etc , public health ads could improve knowledge

    [Reply]

  • Jemima

    You did a wonderful, professional job on air Sarah – you should be proud of yourself! Well done for being honest, cool, calm & collected – as well as bringing some very valid points up.

    It’s so frustrating that when in theory we have the freedom of speech, we then get shot down in flames when we DO speak. Honestly!!

    But well done – big pat on the back!! x

    [Reply]

    Kimberley Reply:

    I agree completely with you Jemima! I thought Sarah’s response was very fair – much more so that the other people on the panel blindly accepting what is fed to them by the media.

    Sarah – anyone who actually watches the clip can see that it your comment was measured and thoughtful. Thank goodness there are people like you who challenge the status quo!!

    [Reply]

    Mikey Reply:

    Sigh.

    First of all, we do not have any constitutional rights to freedom of speech. The are enshrined in law, laws can be changed.

    Secondly, did Sarah get fined or jailed for her views? No? Then she was free to speak. Just as opponents are free to speak back. Freedom of speech does not mean that stupid ideas can’t be challenged.

    The anti vaccine movement is the stupidest thing ever. There. Freedom of speech. Boom.

    [Reply]

    elle Reply:

    YEP!

    [Reply]

  • Kasey

    I am also pro-vaccination – but I agree with your sentiments Sarah. We don’t know all there is to know about vaccination. And in my opinion it is completely normal for parents to be a bit apprehensive about injecting their baby with something they know very little about. I am quite comfortable with the current vaccination schedule, but I do get nervous about vaccinations which are new. I don’t agree with the claims made by the anti-vaccination advocates, but I do understand the strong emotional connection with vaccination.

    There was a good, balanced article by Derek Reilly on WA Today’s website on 28 March 2013 about this issue: http://www.watoday.com.au/opinion/blogs/the-tiger-of-happiness/immunisation-the-ultimate-first-world-problem-20130328-2gw44.html. Reilly recognises that its tough for parents to watch their kids get jabbed, and sometimes suffer side effects. It feels like a massive gamble sometimes. But he also concludes that it is in the community’s interest to vaccinate your child.

    With regard to the people who get frantic about people expressing anything remotely sympathetic to the anti-vaxxers, I say: to be passionate is one thing, to harrass is another. And it does not help the cause. If anything it alienates people.

    I also ask that replies be kept respectful.

    [Reply]

  • Tim

    One thing about science you and probably many others would well understand. Nothing can be totally proved, whether that be safety of vaccines or any other variable that an experiment seeks to test. However, it is the best method we have. Anecdotal evidence, e.g. as you often read in anti-vax propaganda, does not come close to an empirical robust test, which in itself cannot prove anything. Science however is very good at disproving hypotheses, such as the autism links to vaccines and many other diseases and conditions apparently linked to vaccines.

    In regards to the whole double blind cross over debate, it used to occur in the 60s and the evidence of the effectiveness was convincing. As you rightly pointed out, its unethical now. However the range and robustness of research is just as high if not higher as there is a far better understanding of confounding variables that may influence test results, as well as far stricter guidelines for entry to peer reviewed journals – e.g., majority of articles published are independent, not pharma sponsored.

    In terms of population vaccination rates, 85% and lower have seen the outbreaks in northern NSW, SE QLD etc, and in terms of whooping cough there is evidence to suggest boosters are required. I’m not sure what your idea of ‘highly vaccinated areas’ are. However, if you already have had the original vaccine the chances are you won’t get it anywhere near as bad as others that haven’t.

    [Reply]

  • K S

    Knowing the things you know, hearing the things you say and reading the things that you have written – I find it very hard to believe you would vaccinate.

    And there is nothing wrong with that.

    [Reply]

  • Mia

    I usually do the maths when deciding my own vaccination schedule. What are the rates of side effects from the vaccine, vs the rates of harm if I DONT get vaccinated? Vaccination has so far won every single time. I’m getting my flu shot in the next few weeks.

    Nobody said vaccination was 100% safe. As with any medication or medical procedure, there IS a risk of side effects. Which are ridiculously small and survivable compared to actually getting the disease in question. That’s why we have vaccinations in the first place – they are the option much less likely to kill you.

    Sorry you aren’t feeling well also, that sucks. :(

    [Reply]

  • http://oneaprilmorning.net Laura

    Thank you Sarah.

    Like Katherine says before me, there seems to be no “middle ground” on this issue.

    For me, I am pro-vaccination, unequivocally.

    But as a child I experienced a severe allergy to a vaccine, and my younger two siblings subsequently had the same allergic reaction, which posed a risk of permanent brain damage. Doctors refused to acknowledge the link and quite forcefully pressured my parents into vaccinating each child with that vaccine, thus putting my brothers’ lives in danger (particularly my youngest brother). (I must emphasise that my parents never questioned any other vaccine, and that we got all of them, it was just this particular one that they were reluctant about, understandably! – our neurosurgeon eventually admitted on the down low that there was a causal link, and that it was not as rare as we’d think.) I absolutely sympathise with the social policy dictating the medical community’s culture of denial surrounding vaccinations – they don’t want to feed anti-vacc hysteria. BUT for those of us for whom certain vaccinations pose a real danger… that denial is really dangerous.

    When I have kids, I will vaccinate them. But I won’t give them the one that I reacted to – as it happens, my fiance’s siblings had the same reaction to the same vaccine. What are the odds? No really, I’d like to know (but I’m sure, never will).

    I would love to see the medical community addressing parents’ concerns with comprehensiveness and empathy – to provide balanced, personalised advice.

    PS I do implore people with no medical history of vaccine-related issues to please vaccinate your kids – for most people, they are completely safe. I ask you on behalf of my kids, who will be vulnerable.

    [Reply]

  • anita

    Pull your head in Michaela – it’s you that is grossly under informed, I can’t even be bothered to get into any details about my own thoughts and provide the ample of evidence that very much exists. Just wanted to stick up for Sarah who is brave to even be open minded about this topic! Good on you!

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    I can tell you’re well-informed, Anita, simply by the total lack of sources and substance to your comment. So much evidence that you can’t feel bothered providing it? How convincing!

    [Reply]

    Jodie Reply:

    Don’t be so open minded your brain falls out Anita.

    [Reply]

  • Quita

    I didn’t see the interview, so I can’t comment on this, but it seems that you were unfairly put on the spot. I did have my own two sons (now 25 and 21) vaccinated. Until there is conclusive evidence that vaccinations are harmful, I am happy with the decision I made. In my research as a family historian, I have found the heartbreaking evidence of the deaths of many babies and children due to the communicable diseases for which we can now vaccinate against. I would imagine that the parents of those little babies would have given anything to have access to something that could have prevented their deaths.

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  • Diana

    Sarah,
    I have a 30 year old autistic brother. We notice a change in his behaviour when gluten /sugar is removed.
    did my brother become autistic from mmr vaccination. No. I think it was genetic.

    Vaccinations SAVE LIVES And a few react to them. Polio is a horrible way to die. Whooping cough also .

    All for one and one for all. If we stop vacinating the diseases will surface and we will be in big trouble.
    Immunization saves lives why would our governments want to kill our kids!!!!!

    Go to Africa watch women walk for 3 days for immunization.

    I will listen to my pediatrician thanks . Vaccinate please!!!

    He has signed death certificates for whooping cough. It’s back because patents have stopped vaccinating and now its prevalent.

    Sarah please stick to food . This stuff stirs many emotions and will be detrimental to your career.
    I will not buy Andi Lees cookbook because she is anti vac. Yes narrow minded I may be but unless your a specialist in the field I will listen objectively and with an open mind.

    Did I say I LOVE YOUR BOOK!!!!

    Cheers
    D

    [Reply]

  • Casey

    I think you got a really raw deal from Sunrise, Sarah. They shouldn’t have put you in the position of representing someone else’s argument. Really unfair. If they wanted the perspective of an anti-vaxxer, the show should have someone who is committed to that cause appear on the program. Also unfair – the twitter storm which followed. I think this post is way more explanation than you should have had to give and that’s on Sunrise.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.shopnaturally.com.au Jo @ Shop Naturally

    I find the whole concept of asking ‘angels’ to comment on topics like that where they have no expertise bordering on ridiculous. It puts you in a really awkward position, as it obviously has today.

    How could you possibly have enough information to make an informed choice on the topic and what kind of parent in their right mind would take ANY comment you made on the subject as their basis for deciding whether or not to do it.

    Sarah Wilson creates controversy? No, the producers did by bringing up the topic and inviting a holistic guest on who they obviously knew would speak up for the ‘anti’ side. I thought you were quite diplomatic and didnt’ take any side. I don’t see the issue.

    The blonde to your right (whoever that was), completely on the other side with absolutely no data to support her. Her tone was attacking and really not warranted either. Very restrained of you Sarah. Banning people who want a voice to research anti-vax? Yeah, that’s a great way to be in a democracy.

    I don’t know enough about either side to voice an opinion, but declaring that ‘trusted doctors’ know all and to ban anyone who wants another opinion is just wrong, regardless of the topic at hand.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Perfectly said Jo! You took the words out of my mouth.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    How rude, how do you know “the blonde to your right” didn’t have evidence to back up her argument? Do you know her background? She might have researched the topic well.

    [Reply]

    Jo @ Shop Naturally Reply:

    Tim, I honestly don’t know the name of the person sitting to Sarah’s right. If she had research and evidence, I didn’t hear it come from her mouth.

    For the record, I’m not an anti-vax’er. Not even remotely. I’m an anti ‘thowing unsuspecting women in the shit on national TV for the express purpose of stirring up trouble and getting a free spread in the media for the day.

    She presented no findings or research, but instead, used a very abrupt tone in quickly cutting Sarah down. THAT was rude.

    I want to live in a society where someone has the right to have an opposing view and be heard. My objection to her remarks was that the Anti-Vax movements should be banned. Take this topic out of the equation for a moment, let’s slot something else in, like gay marriage, slavery, the right to a fair trial – do we really want to live in a society where you can’t get up and speak your mind, whether you’re right or wrong?

    Doctors / big pharma have a right to speak their mind, anti-vax get to speak theirs too. I may or may not agree with either of them, but I like living in a country where we can discuss it without feeling the need to silence someone we don’t agree with.

    This country is, after all, a democracy, and we have rights. I don’t care whether she’s on the right side or the wrong side of this debate, shutting down an opposing voice because you don’t agree with it is not the way we live in this country.

    [Reply]

    Kasey Reply:

    Well argued Jo. Hit the nail on the head.

    Tim Reply:

    Hang on, Sarah said she “follow these kind of health debates” the started giving reasons about why educated people don’t vaccinate. Then she goes on to say “she doesn’t know fully”???! The other lady cuts in then Sarah cuts her off as well – more a symptom of that time slot than any rudeness on either one of those ladies. But if you listen to Caroline (the other blonde girl) she seems to have done her research.

    Why go on the show if you’re not confident of what you’re talking about or haven’t done your research? They are the ones who make the final decision about appearing and I’m sure no one’s holding a gun to their head to appear on the show.

    This debate is effectively based on the science of a vaccine. Although it also includes individual rights it’s nothing like the debate on gay marriage, slavery etc – most reasonable people aren’t arguing whether these issues are safe or not.

    elle Reply:

    Are the women forced on the show and forced to give opinions? No. They can choose to say ‘I’m sorry I am nowhere near an expert in this field and I choose to trust those that are’.

    [Reply]

  • Diana

    I wish to repeat that I do love your stuff Sarah and that this is a messy area to lead discussions on.

    From experience , as a mother of 3 with an autistic brother.

    D x

    [Reply]

  • De

    Thank you Sarah!

    It was so refreshing to see someone in the mainstream media cover a topic as hot as this and not conform to what you ‘should’ be saying. It is a topic that always sparks heated debates and you covered it professionally and thoroughly (for the time frame). It is a medical decision that all people (not just parents) should investigate thoroughly and independently and then make the best decision for them and their families.

    Again thank you!

    [Reply]

  • Luke Weston

    “Interestingly, in New York a family made news today for not vaccinating their daughter because doing so would risk killing her baby sister. Another layer to the debate.”

    Did you notice that that website you’ve provided a link to is absolutely packed to the rafters with conspiracy theories of every kind? 9/11 conspiracy, JFK conspiracy, New World Order, chemtrails, big pharma, you name it.

    [Reply]

    Kerrie Reply:

    I noticed the same, Luke.
    Do people really believe ‘everything’ they read on the internet is truth?

    [Reply]

  • Rachel

    It seems to me that people in Australia LOVE to HATE their fellow countrymen. It really saddens me. You were invited to share your opinions and you did. Good for you. People are just jealous that you are successful and you have an opinion.
    I don’t have kids either. but what I do know is that a girl who is my age (we are your age!) in my home town got vaccinated on the same day as me. She had a brain reaction and now still has a mental age of 5 years old.
    Chin up. You are an inspiration to many
    Don’t let the B****** get you down. …. Besides by 7.30pm 95% of the population will be watching MKR and forgotten all about it xx

    [Reply]

    elle Reply:

    MKR isn’t on Thursdays! C’mon keep up! ;)

    [Reply]

  • Kerrie

    Well done, Sarah!

    I saw the media reports lobbing you in with the anti-vax brigade, and as a relatively new reader to your blog, I was so disappointed. This blog post is a clear signal that you are a clear thinker.

    I travel a lot in developing countries taking photos. I travel hard and see awful things. The parents in those countries would give anything to be able to protect their children from preventable diseases like we can in Australia. I would like any reader of yours who is anti-vax to come with me on a trip to Papua New Guinea, India, Myanmar, Tonga, Cambodia, or any of the many other countries where I travel and see with their own eyes the damage not vaccinating does.

    [Reply]

    Desire Empire Reply:

    Kerry you nailed it. It easy to question the risks of vaccinating, when you have little experience of the carnage that these preventable disease create in communities who cannot vaccinate.
    Carolyn
    Ps My grandfather caught polio as a kid and it was devastating for him.

    [Reply]

  • Kate

    ‘Older, highly educated parents form the basis of the [sic] anti-immunisation lobby’….maybe, just maybe, these educated parents should come and speak to my family who have had a child pass at the tender age of 5years due to a highly contagious preventable disease! Or maybe just maybe spend a day in a children’s hospital where my family had to switch the ventilator off and say their goodbye’s! Or maybe just maybe be the ‘educated’ health worker (my husband) who would be in charge of telling a family their loved one was not go to make it through the night. Or maybe just maybe be that health worker that then needs ‘extra’ vaccinations because they have just cared for that love one that has passed away!

    I think it is ignorance! I don’t think unless you have lost someone to one of the vaccination schedule diseases do you understand or realise how important vaccinations are!

    Once you have been on the end of stick with loss and grieving for a 5 year old – it is a simple decision.

    For the record I am educated with a Double Major – my husband has two health Degrees – I believe we are in that highly educated bracket…..I am not sure that I agree with you when you say that ‘these people are more educated’ and ‘engage in debates’. But I also don’t agree with Sunrise throwing you this argument 5 mins prior to you going on air….I think you went in with the total right intention – but unfortunately for you – it was expressed in a negative fashion. I think people need to calm their farms and realise that you were put into this situation – you did not choose the argument…and to read your last sentence – you would vaccinate! Thank you Sarah

    [Reply]

    Kerrie Reply:

    I” think it is ignorance!”

    Me, too! I agree with everything in your post – people need to see the consequences with their own eyes (see my post above yours).

    I am also highly educated, and I can’t believe that other higher educated people don’t vaccinate. It makes me so angry.

    [Reply]

    Jo @ Shop Naturally Reply:

    Kate, so sorry for your family’s loss. I personally, like Sarah, don’t have children, and I can’t, due to illness. I think this topic would play havoc with me, and in the end, I’d choose to vaccinate.

    On the flip side though, I have a friend who is a twin, except that twin died as the result of a vaccination as a baby, so she’s spent her whole life not having this other half of her. 2-3 years ago, a vaccination given to high school girls for breast cancer (? can’t remember), made so many of them sick, they had to stop doing it.

    Are vaccinations vital for some diseases. Yes. Are they being created and run with the safety of the public as the top & only priority? Hell no. This is big pharma we’re talking about here. Somehow, I would dearly love for this process ot be taken out of their hands and the research and formulation be done by a body with no financial vested interest in it. I don’t know who, and I don’t know how, but I would think there are safer solutions, but I’m not sure how hard they’re being looked at.

    There’s a reason I don’t watch Sunrise anymore, and dropping Sarah in this is one of them. So many mornings I’ve heard the angels giving their opinion on all manner of topics they’re not qualified to discuss and shuddered. It’s not their fault, the show is produced that way. I just don’t watch tv like that anymore.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    Can you show the evidence where pharma companies are influencing the vaccination schedule and pushing these vaccines onto the market with little regard for the safety of the public? Do you know anything about the research process of new vaccines? Do you understand the process in which this research is published and the strict guidelines journals require before any article is published? I hear these conspiracy theories all the time but I’m yet to see the evidence.

    [Reply]

    Kerrie Reply:

    You beat me to these questions, Tim.

    Jo @ Shop Naturally Reply:

    Tim, no I can’t. I have not the time or the desire to continue with this discussion.

    The only comment I made was that big pharma don’t make these products with safety as their top & only priority. Period. I don’t think that’s a stretch considering the money that flows through them. They’re a business, they have shareholders to answer to.

    I’m sure there are thousands of cases in the USA where big pharma have been found guilty of misconduct and been made to pay damages. I do not have the time to go hunt them down to prove a point to a stranger.

    I’d like to see some kind of foundation where profits aren’t a part of the equation. It is my gut feeling that they could be made safer than they are, like many things government bodies tell us are safe, until they discover that they’re not.

    That’s all. Maybe Bill Gates can take it on :)

    Tim Reply:

    Wow, you’re sure that “there are thousands of cases in the USA where big pharma have been found guilty of misconduct and been made to pay damages”. Interesting.

    FWIW, if pharma’s weren’t responsible for the manufacture of drugs then there would be far less drug output or incentive to find new vaccines as there would be no commercial imperative. The state would never be able to fund all the drugs on the market – as it is they subsidize heavily. Dose of reality is needed here.

    The approval process for vaccines is far stricter than other drugs as the study cohort is far larger. The regulator is responsible for verifying all the data the drug company supplies. It is a thorough process at every stage and the drug doesn’t touch a human until there is extremely high levels of safety and efficacy illustrated.

    Eloise Reply:

    Thank you Tim, voice of reason.

    elle Reply:

    What is the point providing your opinion through commenting when you ‘have not the time or desire’ to provide ANY evidence or facts to support your claims?? You make these generalisations and assumptions about ‘Big Pharma’ without anything to back it up? Makes no sense.

    Kate Reply:

    I agree. I think you pick and choose your battles – same goes for the vaccinations. I take caution where caution is necessary….Jo, I also have a dear friend who does not vaccinate due to a family member developing severe autism post vaccination. But, I can only think – what would happen if you just leave it and a child dies like in our family….I don’t know. The burden of the decision ‘not’ to vaccinate would weigh heavily on me if it was to happen to my own child….because the grief that is still felt in my family is real!

    I stopped watching Sunrise a long time ago. Kochie is ignorant putting Sarah into this situation!

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Wow Jo, your comment about “breast cancer vaccine” is incredibly uninformed and dangerous. PLease don’t talk about something if you have no idea what you’re saying.

    There is a vaccine against the virus that can lead to cervical, throat and a couple of other cancers, it is provided to pre-teen girls (and, as of this year, boys too! yay!).

    It didn’t make people sick, it wasn’t withdrawn and we are already seeing a drop in cases of pre-cancerous diagnoses in young women.

    Vaccines are preventing freakin’ cancer!!! Why aren’t we dancing in the streets for the amazing benefit this is bringing to us? Are you pro-disease? Are you pro-infertility? Do you WANT young women to have to get chunks of their cervix cut out because pre-cancerous cells have to be removed? How can you possibly think it is OK to spread misinformation to scare people out of vaccinating their kids?

    [Reply]

    Jo @ Shop Naturally Reply:

    I have NEVER in any of my comments advocated for or against vaccines. Nothing I’m saying is dangerous here. I don’t understand why this topic cannot be discussed without people feeling the need to attack and silence the other side. THAT’s what’s disgusting here.

    I can’t recall whether it was a breast cancer or cervical cancer vaccine, but it was given to teenage girls and hundreds of them suffered adverse reactions. I don’t remember the numbers. At the time, I had just had a miscarriage and I was sitting in a doctors surgery waiting room at the time and it came on the news. I had other things on my mind at the time.

    How dare you suggest that I’m pro-disease or pro-infertility. What an utterly offensive comment. How dare you suggest I think it’s ok to spread misinformation. I haven’t declared myself the expert on this topic, nor taken sides.

    Yes, vaccines are preventing all kinds of things. They have also killed people, and made people sick, sometimes for a short period of time, sometimes for life. There are people on this thread who have told us of people dying. I personally know one.

    I am NOT, I repeat, I am NOT an anti-vax advocate. I think it’s highly offensive that this discussion cannot happen in a civil manner, so I won’t be participating in it any further.

    I have not taken sides, I will not take sides. I feel that everyone has a right to be heard without being insulted, and it’s obvious that a large number of people in this discussion are incapable of doing so.

    And for the record, anyone who takes a comment on a blog as the basis of their desicion to choose to vaccinate or NOT vaccinate a child shouldn’t be raising one. And I seriously don’t think anyone is THAT stupid. But you obviously do.

    You want to take aim at someone, call up the producers of Sunrise and tell them they’re morons for asking 3 people to have a discussion on a topic that they’re not qualified to discuss. THAT’s your scare mongerer. Not me.

  • Susan

    Last year I suffered from a severe case of adult whooping cough – which went on to create a functional pain reaction in my gall bladder – not fun for a long time. I am a mother of 2 school children. I am glad they are vaccinated and did not contract my illness. It was no fun as an adult (12 weeks of seal barking type coughing, numerous hospital trips and stays, 13 cannulations and about 8 invasive test on the gall bladder/pancreas), it would be heartbreaking to nurse my children through it.

    Please think very hard (and not just about your immediate family but the wider community you participate in) before you opt out of vaccinations.

    [Reply]

  • Clare

    I am all for vaccinations, and had my vaccinations as a child on time. However, my mother did not keep any records.
    I am now a nurse, and have had to prove my immunity to disease to work in Australian hospitals, and am now going through the process of proving my immunity to disease to work in UK hospitals.
    If my mother had kept all my paperwork, this would have made the process a lot easier.
    But I can only imagine the difficulty for people in 5, 10 or 20 years time, who, on trying to get health care jobs have to jump through vaccination hoops because their parents lacked the foresight to protect them as children and as adults.

    [Reply]

  • Alyson

    Well said Sarah. Ultimately, it is a parents choice – and it’s a personal choice and hopefully an educated one. I vacc’ed my first baby, as a very very young mum – living unsupported in an isolated community and even looked forward to it as he would then ‘sleep’ more or less for 2 days after…until a nurse explained he was sleeping from a brain swelling brought about by the needles. Finally I did my research (no doc had ever told me about reactions) and decided not to continue. My kids were always kept home when sick, and kept home when other kids were out and about and sick. However it didn’t stop a play group ‘friend’ teaching me a lesson by asking me to look after her vacc’ed child – who had whooping cough as it turned out. I really don’t understand the hatred and vindictiveness. It deserves a discussion and understanding on both sides, not mud-slinging and generalisations.

    [Reply]

    chrisw Reply:

    Every doctor is required by law to advise the patient of any side effects, and get you to sign a form stating that you understand all the possible implications…If he did not do this he/or she has breached the law, and you may have legal recourse. Are you sure you didn’t sign a form before the vaccination was done?

    [Reply]

  • Lesley

    I just wanted to say upfront before I go on, that I am all for the vaccines.
    Sarah, I saw you this morning on Sunrise and I felt like I have seen one person have their say and now reading above, it is like reading about another person having their say. They sort of seemed like opposite views at times. That sounds strange I realise, but I do the same some times. I agree with some points being made and disagree with others to information that is provided at the time.
    I do however think it is a little strange that parents do not view vaccines as outweighing the negatives if they did not have their children have them. Some kids may have had a bad or even terrible reaction to vaccines and I really feel for them and hope that it is properly investigated by the doctors to help in the future with treating the child. But for another example similar to a treatment….
    Take chemo, radiotherapy and/or major surgery for example. We do not like them or agree with the treatment but it usually outweigh’s the potential risks if you do not do them (although in some unfortunate cases, do not work reagardless). Sure I am a little biased here…I have had recurring pituitary tumours, 3 neurosurgeries and an intensive 6 week (daily appointments) course of radiotherapy, but I always follow the belief that if the benefits outweigh the risks, I will go ahead with it. Does that point make it a little more different in regards to doing vaccines? Maybe it doesn’t or maybe it does.
    But Sarah, I think you did a great job in how you handled the situation. It is great that Kochie can give points on tv that other people may have not thought of but when a person (such as yourself) who is to respond to them can calmy justify their answers, especially with the pressure that was exerted on them at the time, then good on you!

    [Reply]

  • Karen

    I followed the recommended schedule of vaccines for my children when they were younger. Why? Because at the time I went along with the general consensus that it was necessary to keep diseases like polio and whooping cough from returning to our communities. And also, to be quite honest, to receive the Centrelink payment for doing so. I didn’t question or investigate their safety or necessity. But now I have questions. Who exactly sits on the panels to determine whether the miriad of todays vaccines and drugs for that matter are safe? Do these panels have a broad range of professionals from science, health and medical backgrounds or are they filled with scientists paid by drug companies. Is it safe to immunise a child with more than one vaccination at a time and do we have the option of spreading the vaccines out? What are the additional agents that are added to the immunisations? Are the numerous vaccines that we are advised to have today actually necessary or are they overloading our bodies and making our immune systems lazy? I don’t know the answers to these questions and I am not anti vaccinations. However i think overall we believe blindly, the information that the government and the media give us to be true and don’t think twice about following their advice. And why wouldn’t we, we are not scientists. As a community I think we need to hear the various sides of the vaccination debate so we can make informed and individual decisions. And we need to hold drug companies and governments accountable for withholding information that may hinder us from doing so.

    [Reply]

    Kerrie Reply:

    “And why wouldn’t we, we are not scientists”

    Yes, many of us aren’t scientists.

    BUT many of us are educated.

    Many of us DO ask detailed questions when we visit a doctor. Many of us then go home and check out the validity of the doctor’s opinion by actually researching the statistics. Many of us have a diploma, or a bachelors, or a masters (often multiple qualifications), or (increasiingly) a phD , so we know that we have to question everything. Many of us get a second opinion.

    And many, many, many of us decide, after our own extensive inquiries, that you would be an idiot not to immunise.

    [Reply]

    Karen Reply:

    Cudos to you for having the initiative to investigate which allowed you to make your informed decision based on what you discovered.

    [Reply]

    Eloise Reply:

    No, immunisations are not going to make our immune systems “lazy”.

    The whole point of an immunisation is to introduce a small (usually INACTIVE) amount of the antigen from the disease, so your body is able to develop antibodies (the things that fight infections and diseases). THEN if you are exposed to that disease in the future, your immune system “remembers” the last time it saw that antigen and knows how to respond with appropriate antibodies.

    so in effect, vaccinations are making your immune systems STRONGER.

    [Reply]

  • Angela

    This is such an emotional issue and hard to get clear information on. My nephew took four long months to die after having a terrible reaction to a vaccination at 3 months old. After experiencing this first hand it made me very fearful when my own son was born. With assistance from our family doctor we waited until he was a year old before starting and did one vaccination at a time until it was impossible to access singles. We researched, got medical advice and had many people share their personal stories and this helped us. Problem is that single vaccines are impossible to access now and give no choice. Everyone needs to do some research and not just pass judgement on others. I was very pro vaccination until my family became the small percentage of reactions.

    [Reply]

  • Nick

    I did a lot of research on this… the evidence was absolutely overwhelming that for me to vaccinate my son, the risks were way too high. It was an easy decision. Most people who feel very strongly about vaccination simply have not looked at both sides properly. Each to their own, but I never would do it. Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy are leading the charge http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toIFU853TrI

    [Reply]

    Kerrie Reply:

    http://www.salon.com/2011/01/06/jenny_mccarthy_autism_debate/

    So, Nick. what makes your research better than mine? Can you please elaborate on your scientific method? I find your post way too vague, but I’m all ears.

    [Reply]

    K Reply:

    I think it’s good to look at both sides, but please be cautious referring to celebrities for vaccination information.

    Apparently 24% of parents actually trust celebs such as Jenny McCarthy for health info – http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/26/jenny-mccarthy-vaccine-expert-a-quarter-of-parents-trust-celebrities/

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    So hang on, you’re relying on the word of a Playboy bunny and a er “comedian” (I use the term loosely) over decades of scientific research, conducted by the world’s leading medical and scientific professionals?

    You believe what two “celebrities” (again I use the term loosely) have to say about something they have not a SHRED of education in or understanding of, against the consensus of quite literally almost every medical professional, doctor, researcher, scientist, government and health organisation in the Entire. Fucking. World.

    Seriously?

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    THere simply aren’t “two sides” to this issue. There is one side that has facts, evidence, experts, and reality on its side, and there is one side that has a bunch of batshit crazy conspiracy theorists and a couple of C-list celebrities with wacky theories about how HIV doesn’t cause AIDS and how autism can be cured by giving your child a bleach enema (seriously)

    It’s like suggesting that there is a debate over whether the earth is flat. There simply isn’t a debate, because one side has facts and the other side just makes up wacky stuff that gullible fools fall for.

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    Co-signed forever. Seriously, people. Get it together.

    [Reply]

    Eloise Reply:

    100% agreed.

    Ange Reply:

    If you don’t vaccinate then that is your a choice and you should not be judged by other peoples fear, if my 19 year old were a baby today i probably would not, what i would do however is to make sure junk food and sugar were never on the menu, keep his immune system very strong.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    By restricting sugar and junk food, you would be doing a great job reducing his chance of developing diabetes and heart disease, but unfortunately, it would provide no protection against measles and whooping cough.

    Keep in mind that most of the deaths from whooping cough are in infants. Junk food and sugar have no impact on the likelihood of a newborn baby dying from a vaccine preventable disease. Vaccines do.

    [Reply]

    Doreen Reply:

    Ange: When I was at school there was little junk food; sugar and sweets were rationed. I and my sisters had measles and chickenpox, my sister was lucky to survive measles. Neighbouring children had whooping cough and polio. The girl with polio walked in calipers as a child and was left with permanent paralysis in one arm. I saw many children with legs in calipers.

    I think my anecdote trumps yours.

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    Nick, cudos to you for taking the time to investigate but I hate to say it, you’ve been duped. Jenny McCarthy has been discredited a million times over. Not one of her ‘ arguments’ stands up to evidence or even common sense. You need to do further research yourself. You’re ten steps behind. She is old and debunked news.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.bigstepslittlefeet.com.au Kate

    oh you poor thing Sarah. What a day for you.
    I am very much anti vax – my children are 9 & 11 – I know that have done the right thing for my children.

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    I hope your absolute stupidity doesn’t contribute to the major illness or death of maybe an elderly neighbour, a newborn or a friend going through chemo. Fools like you are beyond selfish and self-absorbed.

    I assume you are anti-modern medicine in general?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    You are a terrible person for writing that.

    [Reply]

    erin Reply:

    Agreed. Terrible thing to write. If you think you will change anyone’s mind by being horrible like that you are wrong.

    Michaela Reply:

    For letting her know exactly what the consequences of not vaccinating are? It’s a terrible outcome, but I am not a terrible person for discussing it.

    I truly hope this didn’t happen, but it does and incidents of infections will increase as the selfish stop vaccinating.

    trixie melodian Reply:

    +1 Michaela.

    [Reply]

    elle Reply:

    I love this comment.

    [Reply]

  • Elsie Green

    I was disgusted with how sunrise put you on the spot this morning, when it was obvious that they only wanted one answer. Kochie immediately said “they’re wrong” in regards to anti-vaxxers . And stating that most parent miss vac’s because they’re away on overseas holidays is just a huge fallacy, and a poorly researched one at that.
    I have 6 children, 3 oldest vacc’d , 3 youngest not.
    It’s something I’ve looked heavily in to , and the fact that there really hasn’t been any transparent studies and the studies done are by drug companies with obvious vested interests.
    The rise in autism & immune diseases is to dramatic to ignore.
    Sarah, I thought you handled this morning well, and as usual on Sunrise it was all about the headline, Kochie’s opinion & NO content.
    What happened to unbiased news reporting!?

    [Reply]

    Mr David Driscoll Reply:

    “It’s something I’ve looked heavily in to , and the fact that there really hasn’t been any transparent studies and the studies done are by drug companies with obvious vested interests.”

    So have you read the studies and looked into it personally, or read about the studies from someone else Elsie?

    [Reply]

  • Sharon Johnson

    Hi Sarah, I wonder if you can answer the question, is vaccination for flu in partiuclar recommended or not recommended for people with thyroid disease? This is an ongoing battle I am having with myself – no one else, just wondered what the general consensus is. Thanks heaps for your honesty

    [Reply]

    Eloise Reply:

    Ask your GP.

    [Reply]

  • Catriona

    I have very strong views and have made personal choices regarding this issue but aside from all of that I want to say I respect your response Sarah and appreciate your balanced, honest and very candid thoughts. A highly emotive issue!

    [Reply]

  • http://Www.desireempire.com Desire Empire

    I couldn’t wait to get my kids vaccinated. There are risks to everything and it was a little scarey, but those diseases, which are now so rare (my grandfather got polio and had one leg 30cm shorter than the other) are far more high risk than the reactions to vaccines most kids have.

    When those diseases come back, which they will if herd immunity drops to a certain level, the doubters will quickly change their minds.
    Carolyn

    [Reply]

    janerella Reply:

    With the current measles outbreak in Wales, they are vaccinating up to 1500 people a day at the emergency clinics set up. All well and good with antivaxers until there is actually an outbreak.

    [Reply]

  • http://blessedhealth.com.au Narelle

    I find it astonishing that people who have vaccinated their kids have any concern for their safety due to the ‘unvaccinated’ ones among us. You have had the needle so you are safe right? If you truly believed this then you would respect the opposing parents position to not jab their children with these poisons that have never been proven to prevent any disease.
    There is a genetic disorder that affetcs many, over 95% of ASD kids carry it, it is called MTHFR. It causes a host of health issues because it seriously impairs the bodies ability to detox and excrete toxins, especially heavy metals. If you are ASD, autoimmune, fibro or CFS you can bet your bottom dollar you have this gene. The more toxin you pump in(such as thimerosol and mercury in vaccines) the more problems you have. I know as I have the gene, autoimmune disease, CFS and a host of other related issues and I have an aspergers child who also has the gene.
    I personally see no value in killing your immune system in order to prevent disease, surely this is counter intuitive. Supporting the bodies ability to heal and healthy immune function is far more sensible and actually works much better in the long run.
    Lastly – our childrens’ bodies are their own, we have no right to make decision like this that may impact their entire life…..

    [Reply]

    K Reply:

    Please don’t think that all people who vaccinate feel this way :-) I’m not at all worried about unvaccinated kids around mine, and I respect each parent’s decision, whatever they choose. Most of my friends who vaccinate share this view.

    [Reply]

    Mr David Driscoll Reply:

    “I find it astonishing that people who have vaccinated their kids have any concern for their safety due to the ‘unvaccinated’ ones among us. You have had the needle so you are safe right? ”

    It doesn’t work like that Narelle, and I’m not aware of any pro-vax groups that say that you are 10% protected, just much more likely to not get it or be protected from a similar virus (less effects and quicker recovery). This is a strawman argument used by anti-vax people.

    Part of the vaccination deal is to protect kids who haven’t gotten or can’t get the injections eg newborns – it isn;t just about yourself or your own kids.

    “If you truly believed this then you would respect the opposing parents position to not jab their children with these poisons that have never been proven to prevent any disease.”

    You are massively misinformed!

    [Reply]

    Narelle Reply:

    please don’t insult me by claiming I am the one massively informed…
    A recent study published in the Polish journal Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis raises new and pertinent questions about the intensifying link between mercury toxicity and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Far from being the definitively debunked hoax that the mainstream media and so-called “skeptics” have arrogantly declared it to be, the purported connection between mercury exposure, particularly in vaccines, and autism is becoming nearly undeniable, as evidence continues to emerge showing that the official story on the matter is complete bunk.

    Entitled Evidence of parallels between mercury intoxication and the brain pathology in autism, the 41-page paper identifies a shocking 20 parallels between mercury poisoning and autism. Among these are intracellular degeneration, neuroinflammation, brain immune response activation, oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione levels, mitochondrial dysfunction, pathological changes of blood vessels, decreased cerebral and cerebellar blood flow, and increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain, as well as many others.

    Put more simply, the research team, headed by Janet K. Kern from the Institute of Chronic Illnesses in Maryland, identified nearly two-dozen metabolic and systemic changes that occur inside the body as a result of mercury intoxication. And it just so happens that these same changes also commonly occur in children with ASD, many of whom were injected with mercury in the form of Thimerosal as a result of childhood vaccinations.

    “Although there may be genetic or developmental components to autism, the evidence in this current review of the brain findings in autism clearly indicates the reality of brain injury in ASD … (and) the brain injury symptoms which characterize autism closely correspond to those seen in sub-acute Hg (mercury) intoxication,” wrote the authors in their conclusion.

    “The evidence suggests that mercury may be either causal or contributory in the brain pathology in ASD, and possibly working synergistically with other toxic compounds or pathogens to produce the brain pathology observed in those diagnosed with an ASD,” they added.

    You can read the team’s full review for more details about how they came to these shockingly inconvenient (at least for the vaccine industry) conclusions here:
    http://www.ane.pl/linkout.php?pii=7212

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/039328_autism_mercury_toxicity_brain_pathology.html#ixzz2Q9gSFILr

    You can also listen to this….the guys is pretty well qualified to comment…
    A recent study published in the Polish journal Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis raises new and pertinent questions about the intensifying link between mercury toxicity and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Far from being the definitively debunked hoax that the mainstream media and so-called “skeptics” have arrogantly declared it to be, the purported connection between mercury exposure, particularly in vaccines, and autism is becoming nearly undeniable, as evidence continues to emerge showing that the official story on the matter is complete bunk.

    Entitled Evidence of parallels between mercury intoxication and the brain pathology in autism, the 41-page paper identifies a shocking 20 parallels between mercury poisoning and autism. Among these are intracellular degeneration, neuroinflammation, brain immune response activation, oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione levels, mitochondrial dysfunction, pathological changes of blood vessels, decreased cerebral and cerebellar blood flow, and increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain, as well as many others.

    Put more simply, the research team, headed by Janet K. Kern from the Institute of Chronic Illnesses in Maryland, identified nearly two-dozen metabolic and systemic changes that occur inside the body as a result of mercury intoxication. And it just so happens that these same changes also commonly occur in children with ASD, many of whom were injected with mercury in the form of Thimerosal as a result of childhood vaccinations.

    “Although there may be genetic or developmental components to autism, the evidence in this current review of the brain findings in autism clearly indicates the reality of brain injury in ASD … (and) the brain injury symptoms which characterize autism closely correspond to those seen in sub-acute Hg (mercury) intoxication,” wrote the authors in their conclusion.

    “The evidence suggests that mercury may be either causal or contributory in the brain pathology in ASD, and possibly working synergistically with other toxic compounds or pathogens to produce the brain pathology observed in those diagnosed with an ASD,” they added.

    You can read the team’s full review for more details about how they came to these shockingly inconvenient (at least for the vaccine industry) conclusions here:
    http://www.ane.pl/linkout.php?pii=7212

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/039328_autism_mercury_toxicity_brain_pathology.html#ixzz2Q9gSFILr

    ENJOY! I hope you find this enlightening :)

    [Reply]

  • tessa

    what a completely cringeworthy two minutes to watch. I don’t think it matters what side of the fence you sit on with this one I’m sure majority can agree you were the only level headed one in that segment!

    To dismiss the fact that ‘wealthy’ parents skip vaccinations because they are too busy taking holidays is ridiculous. Same goes for mel suggesting that they don’t have time to take their child to the doctor, but of course they can get their roots done. imagine the uproar if it was ‘poor’ parents in the spotlight. Too busy at the pub, or gambling to get their children vacc’d. It wouldn’t happen. Why? Because its not appropriate to generalise a socioeconomic status, and the activities they choose to partake in, in relation to child vaccination. it makes me so angry to watch these tv show hosts, who I’m sure are in the ‘wealthy’ category, with many friends being there too, trying to act as though they are part of working class Australia. The other girl just came across as rude and not open to discussion. a healthy debate looks at both sides of an argument, via discussion. Not scoffs and rude remarks.

    I applaud you Sarah for being devils advocate with this one.

    [Reply]

  • Bridget

    Man oh man.

    Firstly, everyone is entitled to an opinion on this, whether they have children or not. And I don’t know why people need to be so unkind to others about it!

    (Sarah, it’s very sad to hear that your AI means you can’t have kids. I didn’t realise it was so finite.)

    Secondly, Sunrise is a ridiculous show. They are only interested in ratings and don’t seem to care who they stomp on on the way. If they were truly interested in having a debate about vaccinations, they would allow more air time, have a more diverse panel, and do more than hand the guests notes a short time before going on air.

    Sarah – I’m really interested to know why you choose to be one of ‘Kochie’s angels’. I couldn’t think of anything more repugnant than being called an ‘angel’ and being affiliated with that man. I dont mean to be mean – but aren’t you better than that?

    [Reply]

    elle Reply:

    Yes I would be interested how this fits with Sarah’s ethics too.

    [Reply]

  • Angelique

    Hi Sarah,
    You are a great methodical thinker and I always like to read your views and opinions because they are so well balanced.
    As an aside, is Hashimotos the reason behind your not being able to have children? I too suffer from it and it did present risks during pregnancy and complications lifestyle wise but all were manageable thank goodness. Understand if you’d prefer not to say, I’m just curious.
    Ange.

    [Reply]

  • http://andrew@betterhealthpractice.com.au Andrew

    HI Sarah, well if they want to force us all to vaccinate maybe they can force the rest of them to stop serving coco pops for breakfast too! Most parents spend more time scrutinizing the pros and cons of what school to send their kids to than whether a schedule of 20+ vaccinations is appropriate for their child. The stupidity of this debate is highlighted by the fact that to even question vaccination turns pro-vaccine people into raving lunatics. Vaccination does not = immunization. It is impossible to do any amount of research into this issue and not be left with a whole host of seriously unanswered questions. When are people going to get that the research is being done, on their children today!! Not in some laboratory, your kids are the laboratory. When is it one vaccine too many, after the first, second or 20th? Where have the trials been done on the effect of multiple vaccines on anyone let alone infants? Oh the list goes on and on. Government health policy is for the masses and has nothing to do with individual concerns. I am sorry I don’t trust the Government to spend my money wisely and I definitely will not entrust it with the capacity to make healthcare choices for my family.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Agree with you on so many levels!! It is so much more complex than saying you are wrong and I’m right cos the studies and government say so.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.timeasatraveller.com Kimberley

    Great post. I’ve always been pro-vaccine and being a world traveller have always been vaccinated against everything. That was until I searched the literature myself, now I’m the opposite.
    There’s a great old Australian documentary from the 90′s, free full length on youtube, called Vaccination-The Hidden Truth-Australian Documentary (made me feel proud to be Australian). Not sure if I’m able to add links on a comment, but its super easy to find. Check it out! :)

    [Reply]

    Kimberley Reply:

    Here’s the link! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuHra7ZcAa8

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    That’s a poorly researched documentary with outdated and misleading information. I’m not sure what literature you researched but it sounds like it maybe from Dr Wakefield and his fraudulent cronies.

    [Reply]

  • Kev

    Two big issues for me:

    1. Why are you commenting on an issue that, as you say, you know little about and had next to no time to research? I know it’s meant to be “infotainment” but there does need to be at least a bit of “info” in there, I would suggest.

    2. No doubt the producers wanted someone to mention anti-vaxxers concerns so that the discussion would appear “balanced”. That works for some topics, but not this one. This is not a debate where there are two main points of view, each with some validity. This is a debate where there is a mountain of clear, independent and reputable evidence in support of vaccination versus a wilfully uninformed and frankly ignorant “opinion” that endangers others. Not really balanced, is it?

    Bridget says above that everyone is entitled to an opinion on this. That may be so, but no one is entitled to their own facts. And the facts do speak for themselves.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    There are no facts only interpretations. Science is never fact, scientific theories remain fact only until the point that they are superseded by new theories, based on new information that arises. But they are still only theories. We only know as much as we know at any one time, but never everything.

    [Reply]

    Kev Reply:

    So there are no facts? So we shouldn’t do anything because future scientific discoveries will supersede it? What a bizarre argument! Vaccination may not be perfect but it’s the best thing that we have at the moment to fight severe and sometimes fatal diseases. That is a fact, and those who refuse to face it are endangering both their children and the society in which they live.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    “There are no facts only interpretations. Science is never fact, scientific theories remain fact only until the point that they are superseded by new theories, based on new information that arises. But they are still only theories. We only know as much as we know at any one time, but never everything.”
    A scientific theory contains facts. A scientific theory explains facts.
    My theory is that you are confusing the fact that one word may have two different meanings.
    The Theory of Evolution
    The Theory of Gravity
    Germ Theory
    They are all scientific theories. A scientific theory is the best explanation we have at the moment to explain something. “Theory”, in the normal usage explains a “hunch”.
    Scientific theories can be overturned, but that can only happen when facts support a better theory.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    So is what you stating a fact? Or by your definition it can’t be. See the problem? Most reasonable people these days believe science is the best, most reliable way of providing information on things such as vaccine.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.thekrookedspoon.wordpress.com cheryl

    Wow it really is a storm isn’t it……….

    It’s always going to be emotional and personal, that’s just parenting.

    Personally I have vaccinated my kids, although I have never stuck to the timing schedule, to much pressure and negativity from the health profession (but I’ve never been one for being pushed around). I held back a few vaccines as I felt at the time my kids bodies were not ready for them.

    I am neither pro or against and have friends that are both, but like you mentioned these things only work if the greater mass is involved and therefore I too participate.

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  • Dee

    A former colleague of mine had a daughter who was perfectly normal until the age of three when she was damaged by the MMR vaccination, and left severely mentally retarded. Even knowing this, I had both my children vaccinated after seeking advice from a GP who put so much fear in me, I went ahead despite my better judgement. I would make a different decision today, for sure. Childhood diseases strengthen the immune system. As a child I had chicken pox, mumps and rubella, and survived them all.

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    Michaela Reply:

    I heard that polio really strengthened the children who suffered from it. No, wait…polio killed, paralysed and severely disfigured the children unfortunate enough to catch it.

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, the fear that contagious childhood diseases spread.

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  • Anna

    I actually don’t understand why people that choose to vaccinate get worked up when someone chooses not to, or even just talks or thinks about not doing so. I thought we lived in a democracy, whatever happened to freedom of speech. I also don’t undertand why people who choose to vaccinate are so affraid of those that don’t, after all if you have vaccinated and that vaccine works like it is supposed to, then you should be immune. I just did a quick search on immunity and found this definition: immunity is the state of having sufficient biological defences to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion. If you are vaccinated then unvaccinated kids should not be a problem to you or your kids.
    There is something else I find interesting, I remember from biology class back in high school that in order to acquire immunity you need first be infected with that bacteria, pathogen etc. How then can we have immunity from vaccines which from what I know no longer contain the actual virus or bacteria?
    I am neither pro or anti vax at the moment, these are just some of the questions that so far have not been answered to my satisfaction and I’m not just refering to this forum. I have researched this topic in the past and found enough concerning information to raise many questions in my mind. I will continue researching when I decide to have kids. I want to make the best and most informed choice as do all parents, but the point is that it will be one my husband and I should be able to make withough fear of backlash from other parents, and without any pressure from doctors, government and the community.

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    Michaela Reply:

    Because we don’t want to see babies under vaccination age, the elderly and those undergoing chemo and other procedures that lower immune systems catch diseases from your unvaccinated children. While older children can survive whooping cough etc, these groups cannot.

    Your selfishness in not vaccinating due to quack “science” means you are handing a death sentence to babies and grandparents, our most vulnerable groups. I hope you can live with knowing your decisions may kill an innocent.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Thank you for your reply. As I metioned, I am neither pro or anti but I do reserve the right to make my own mind up when I have kids.

    I would like to know however where the information about ‘herd immunity’ comes from? I am actualy geuinely interested because again I like to make informed choices. Any studies which support that is the case? From what I understand it refers only to naturally gained immunity which lasts a lifetime as opposed to vaccine induced which does not.

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    trixie melodian Reply:

    Immunity is immunity is immunity.

    Vaccination triggers your body’s immune system to provide antibodies to that particular virus or disease.

    Contracting a disease ALSO triggers your body’s immune system to provide antibodies to that particular virus or disease in exactly the same manner, BUT with the added risk of severe illness, paralysis, deafness, brain damage or death.

    Vaccine-acquired immunity is exactly the same as disease-acquired immunity (except you are more likely to be alive to enjoy it) and when immunity levels within a community reach a certain level (usually around 90%) diseases no longer have a pool of viable hosts to spread and gain a foothold in a community, creating herd immunity.

    Michaela Reply:

    You can make up your own mind, but that still doesn’t prevent your decision from being considered at the detriment of the rest of the community, nor free from criticism for being both idiotic and selfish. I don’t consider myself “pro”, I just don’t want our most at risk groups to die due to someone else’s vague thoughts on certain medicines being evil.

    I’m sure you could have googled it yourself, but for everyone’s benefit Wikipedia provides this description of herd immunity. “Herd immunity (or community immunity) describes a form of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a significant portion of a population (or herd) provides a measure of protection for individuals who have not developed immunity”.

    It lists several case studies referencing modern vaccinations as the source of herd immunity.

    Kimberley Reply:

    Hi Michaela, I use to have the same views as you until I researched it a lot myself, which has changed my opinion entirely. Unfortunately, vaccination does not equal immunity. You should really take a look at this Australian documentary, it’s called the Hiddeen Truth and even though it’s old it’s fantastic for the other side of the story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuHra7ZcAa8
    I work in health and know a lot of doctors who refuse to vaccinate their kids, which you’ll see in the above doco. I think its important to research and educate ourselves and make an informed decision either way, and not purely take advice from GP’s and fear from the media.

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    Michaela Reply:

    That film is 16 years old. Hardly relevant, especially with the introduction of new vaccines .

    You also have no idea how much research I’ve done on this subject myself.

    Anna Reply:

    Thanks Kimberley for posting this, will definitely be watching.

    Kimberley Reply:

    It’s actually a very relevant documentary, 16yo or not. I’ve worked in acute hospitals for the past 8 years and completed my masters, the research in this documentary is fantastic. Call it irrelevant if you like, but probably best to watch it first, then specify the aspects you find irrelevant.

    Michaela Reply:

    I have seen that film and would like to point out that the film-maker and financial back, Viera Scheibner also believes polio is good for you, Shaken Baby Syndrome (i.e.. broken bones and muscle tears) and SIDS are caused by vaccines.

    None of her claims in relation to vaccination, SIDS or traumatic infant head injuries have been published in peer-reviewed medical, legal or criminological journals of an accepted international standard. She has been widely criticised and is not considered an authoritative source on anything other than pure quackery.

    If you think this film is anything but propaganda and lies, you are deluded indeed.

    Eloise Reply:

    I’m a nurse and i do not know a single doctor who would recommend against immunisation.

    Kimberley Reply:

    Hi Eloise, I’m an OT. and I have 3 friends who are doctors who refuse to vaccinate their kids, and a paediatrician who also refuses to vaccinate his. It just shows that there are both sides, not all medical agree on vaccinating children, which a lot of people find surprising.

    Kimberley Reply:

    Come on now Michaela, no need to get nasty and call people deluded. Vera’s claims in the doco actually come from literature she’s pulled and peer reviewed, from various medical journals. She also published various books and been publish in numerous medical journals, over 90 papers if you do a simple google search. You can even find her full CV here if you like: http://www.vierascheibner.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50:about-viera&catid=31:general&Itemid=46
    Then there’s the wealth of other opinions and knowledge in the documentary, yes it is old but it is very relevant. There is a lot of info out there and I think that everyone needs to make their own choice. I just think it should be an informed one. So for me, I’d go for her opinion and other independents like her, rather than studies funded by drug companies and fear mongering in the media. But that’s just me.

    [Reply]

    Eloise Reply:

    there is a big difference between legitimate, reliable sources of scholarly information and “information” selectively cherry-picked from google in order to support your argument.

    Kimberley Reply:

    There are also a lot of apparent ‘legitimate, reliable sources’ that are funded by pharmaceutical companies, who massage the data analysis to get the desired results… it just pays to read the fine print.

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Viera Scheibner is a geologist. She has no understanding of biology (clearly) and has no credibility in this debate whatsoever.

    You are an OT. Not a medical doctor, not a medical researcher.

    Give us an immunologist or MD who has produced an article in a peer reviewed journal mirroring Scheibner’s claims and we might give your “opinion” some thought.

    Tim Reply:

    Kimberly, your arguments are based on old data – which I often find with anti-vax arguments. Research into vaccine safety and efficacy is conducted by independent sources – Universities etc. In the last 10-15 years the rates of independently published articles in medical journals has risen significantly (one study showed 70% of articles published are independent of drug company influence or sponsorship). It’s not surprising as the criteria for publishing is more strict than it was 10-15 years ago.

    Kimberley Reply:

    Trixie, I purely pointed out that I was an OT to Eloise who said she was a nurse.
    As for what you’d like me to ‘produce’ in order for you to give my opinion any thought,… seriously?? I dont care if you consider my side or not. Really doesnt bother me. I’m not trying to change anyones mind, just giving my opinion and giving people the respect to voice theirs. Open conversation on the topic is brilliant, from both sides. Question question question, its good for society to question :)

    elle Reply:

    YEP!

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    Mr David Driscoll Reply:

    “after all if you have vaccinated and that vaccine works like it is supposed to, then you should be immune”

    That isn’t how it works – which pro-vaccination group, doctor or drug company makes this claim?

    “How then can we have immunity from vaccines which from what I know no longer contain the actual virus or bacteria?”

    Big different from live virus to ‘dead’ or fractions of virus! Have you looked at the ingredients of a vaccine?

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    Anna Reply:

    If you do not get immunity after a vaccine then what is its purpose? Am I missing some point here?

    And yes I have looked at ingredient lists, they are quite frightening I must say.

    Can I also point out that I am just raising questions that don’t seem to add up for me. I am certainly not pretending to know the answers but I do have a right to question. I’m not an expert but I do intend to be by the time I have to make this decision for my kids. I question pretty much everything and make up my own mind, I respect other peoples opinions and praise those that empower themselves by also questioning.

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    trixie melodian Reply:

    Vaccination is not 100% effective. The measles vaccine is over 90% effective, but the whooping cough vaccine is around 80% effective. Vaccination doesn’t guarantee that you won’t catch a disease. but it mean that you are FAR less likely to contract the disease.

    eg. If you have 100 vaccinated people in a room who are exposed to measles, 5-10 of them will catch the potentially deadly virus.

    If you have 100 unvaccinated people in the same room, almost every single one of them will catch measles (it is highly contagious)

    So even though vaccination isn’t 100% effective, it is still a MUCH better option in keeping you and your family protected.

    Also, there are a cohort of people who can’t be vaccinated – the very young, those with immune conditions. These people are also those who are at greatest risk from these diseases (almost all the deaths from whooping cough are in babies under 1 year of age).

    So in order to ensure that diseases don’t spread within our community, we need to make sure that everyone who CAN be vaccinated IS vaccinated, to ensure that those who can’t be vaccinated are protected.

    Kimberley Reply:

    That’s so great to hear Anna! I’m all for questioning too, good luck with the research :)

    Tim Reply:

    It’s quite simple – vaccinations work on herd immunity. Not everyone can be vaccinated or are at any time fully vaccinated – the very young, the very old, the immuno-compromised, so we need a high percentage of the population vaccinated to safeguard these people against the prevalence of disease. So it depends what your goal is – do you want an effective public health measure that reduces the burden of disease or do you wish to take individual rights (to an extremist level) forsaking the rights of the vulnerable to live in a healthy society free of these diseases? With rights comes responsibilities and no more so than with vaccinations.

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  • Kath B

    Hi Sarah,

    The “wealthy parents not vaccinating their kids” conundrum seems odd, and I can understand why you’d assume that it is because the parents are more educated/have more time to investigate the issues. However, I think the reason is an economic one.

    From 2011 parents have to have their children fully immunised to receive the Family Tax Benefit A. If they didn’t have evidence of this, they won’t receive these tax benefits. The benefit is almost $5,000 a year for your first child, so it’s a substantial motivator to get your immunisations done.

    These tax benefits cut out when the parents income reaches a certain maximum ($100,000-230,000 depending on how many kids you have). That means, for the highest earning 10% of parents, they do not have this financial incentive to immunise their kids. Therefore, if they forget for whatever reason, they’re probably not going to consider it as high a priority as the parents in the low-middle income brackets.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    Actually, you can still get the benefit if you choose not to vaccinate!

    http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/forms/immu12

    I personally think your financial status has nothing to do with the decision. Maybe it is a collective conscientious starting to listen to their intuition about what feels safe and right for their own bodies and lives of their family….

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  • Tracy

    Vaccinations aside, you are way too classy for Sunrise, Sarah! Those other panellists and the host are spoon-fed mainstreamers who pushed you out on a limb, you might be one of “Kotchie’s Angels”(!), but he’s not your friend. Time to move onward and upward from that show, or, if you are going to comment on stuff like that – get an assistant with a science degree and good marks in research and statistics so you can really show them your mettle.

    [Reply]

    Tracy Reply:

    I just watched it again, because I thought ‘Kotchie’ was particularly arrogant and quick to dis’ you, and noticed a couple of ‘knowing looks’ between him and the woman to your right in the green dress (the one you ‘previously had a discussion with on the topic’ – coincidence?) Pretty sure you were set up Sarah, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.

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  • K

    As I said in my other post, not all parents who vaccinate are like that! I’m not afraid at all about unvaccinated kids and respect every parent’s decision, whatever they choose :-) Most of my friends who vaccinate feel the same way too.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.giovannascott.com Giovanna

    Hi Sarah,
    So glad you posted this response. The government (childcare centres, schools, etc) loves to make you feel like the worst parent in the world if you don’t vaccinate your child. The moment your child is vaccine-injured, they do their best to ignore you….yet, you are still the worst parent in the world when you conscientiously object to further vaccinations.
    All the best.

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    But….you are a pretty awful parent if you don’t vaccinate. And a terrible member of society and a horrible friend to anyone very young, very old or with a compromised immune system.

    There’s a frigging good reason for vaccinations, that’s why they are strongly encouraged.

    Stop being awful and vaccinate your children!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Again being incredibly unkind by name calling. You are a stupid fool because if I go to your home and watch you live, I bet I could find 1000 things that you do that put your children at risk and others too. Stop driving your car and walk would be a good first step. Goddam know it all.

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    I rather be unkind than responsible for the death of a member of our most at-risks groups.

    Diving into your personal assumptions (the last defense of those unable to support their argument btw), I’m sure I do many things that could put others at risk. The important thing is I don’t do it knowingly. If you want to use a driving analogy – I put my seatbelt on, although I know it’s not 100% effective. I don’t let babies bounce around on the back seat. I don’t drive, but if I did, I would make sure to follow our government’s rules and guidelines.
    By purposely refusing vaccination, you are purposely choosing to hurt others.

    ps. If you want to come over, by all means. Maybe you could meet my grandfather. He lost both his legs to polio, but I’m sure he would love to know your thoughts on how stupid something is that would have let him walk his entire life. My grandmother could tell you about the last 10 years she’s spent in hospital suffering from chest infections – an ongoing issue ever since she caught whooping cough when she was four.

  • http://blessedhealth.com.au Narelle
  • http://www.facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies Mr David Driscoll

    “A lot of the studies done, are done by the drug companies themselves”

    How many studies have you read (firsthand) and how many were Sarah?

    [Reply]

  • Mez

    Take a deep breath everyone!

    And smile!

    I hope you feel better soon Sarah…

    [Reply]

  • Darren Saunders

    For anyone interested in a clear outline of the science behind vaccination, the Aust. Academy of Science has a very easy to read summary.
    http://www.science.org.au/policy/documents/AAS_Immunisation_FINAL_LR_v3.pdf

    [Reply]

  • Sahara

    Try living in Africa where kids DIE everyday from diseases that could have been prevented from a simple jab!
    Vaccines prevent death. Pure. Simple. Full Stop.
    Not vaccinating your children due to the small possibility of a reaction – not death (!!) – is ridiculous.
    I fully support enhancing a child’s immune system with natural alternatives and continuing scientific research, but anyone who’s seen death and debilitating conditions that could or may have been prevented, would not turn their nose up at vaccination.
    This debate doesn’t deserve the oxygen it’s given.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.sheconfessions.com Taryn

    You’re brave to even venture into such an emotive topic Sarah!

    [Reply]

    Dianne Reply:

    I agree

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    So brave to get paid to comment on national tv about something she knows nothing about and as a result gets tons of website traffic. SO BRAVE $$$$$

    [Reply]

  • http://www.facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies Mr David Driscoll

    Science and False Balance (Funny but Has Language!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnbFgRv8-Kw

    [Reply]

  • Larry

    Watching Sunrise for factual information ? Fail !

    [Reply]

  • Jonathan

    I appreciate that you’re trying to be the level headed voice of balanced perspective in this debate, but unfortunately you misrepresented the nature of scientific inquiry.

    There isn’t 100% proof of gravity. 100% proof is not required for a reasonable person to make a decision, and is in fact not possible for anything.

    Yes, it is extremely difficult to conduct double blind scientific studies on human beings for ethical reasons, but that doesn’t mean research hasn’t been performed. That doesn’t mean that there’s actually any reasonable reason to doubt the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

    It is a sad fact that there is an extremely vocal minority using anecdotes and made up evidence to call the safety of vaccines into question, and your attempt to represent their point of view as reasonable on air undermined the efforts of the scientific and medical communities to make our society a safer (and more knowledgeable place).

    In this particular instance, all reasonable scientists and medical professionals are pro vaccine. The anti-vaccine movement is therefore not a complex issue warranting scientific debate – but rather an education issue where the knowledge discovered by scientists has yet to be fully accepted by 100% of the population.

    So please, next time you do a “quick google” on an issue; apply a more critical eye to the sides of the debate you uncover, because sadly the presence of two sides to an issue does not automatically mean both sides are being reasonable.

    [Reply]

    Kev Reply:

    Well said!

    [Reply]

  • Ken Dally

    Sarah, you are seriously mistaken if you believe that not having children makes the debate irrelevant to you or think you are not affected. As a person with an autoimmune disease you are in the highest risk category. The reasons that as many as possible have to be vaccinated is to provide protection to those who can’t due to medical conditions that elevate the normal minuscule risk of vaccination. Also those who are too young or old and the percentage of people in which vaccines are not effective. No vaccine gives 100% protection and all lose efficacy over time, which is why we have boosters.

    You mentioned the vaccine compensation scheme in the USA. There are almost no cases where vaccine damage has been proved and the scheme itself does not require proof. It’s just cheaper and less traumatic than going through a full blown court trail, which given the science would most likely go against the plaintiff but still cost the government and companies and money despite a legal win.

    If you need further convincing visit an old pre-vaccination graveyard and read the headstones. There you will find countless accounts of at times whole families of children dying within months of each other, from diphtheria. Talk to old people about how kids at school just disappeared, or returned wearing callipers from polio, that’s if it didn’t kill them. The horrors of measles, with permanent scarring or brain damage. The list goes on.

    Finally you are not providing balance to an argument if one side of the argument is fatuous, but instead just spreading misinformation and creating a climate of fear where non is warranted. You are far more likely to die from a bee sting than suffer permanent damage from a vaccination.

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    Ken, well said. Thank you for providing such a reasonable eloquent voice.

    [Reply]

  • Sarah L

    It’s too bad you were put in such an awkward situation when you were only expressing the sentiments of the anti-vax side, not your own personal stance!

    I do not have children myself, and can’t say how I’d go should I ever. I am, now, as a single, childless (and never planning on having any) person, more in line with not vax-ing.

    The whole “herd immunity concept,” or everyone needing to be vax-ed for it to work, seems a bit bunk to me, though. I’ve only read a little on the issue as it hasn’t applied to me, but this made a lot of sense to me, if you’re interested:
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-herd-immunity-myth-and-how-it-pits-parent-against-parent/

    Thanks again, for another interesting post!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.mcintoshandbowman.com Claudia

    well done Sarah.
    Sending you love, light and strength in the reviewing of all these charged comments.
    it can be very draining.

    you handled the moment on tv with grace as you have in the above letter.

    I am 100% on board. we are conscientious objectors. we are intelligent, educated, well researched and passionate about the health of our 3 children as well as those in our local community.
    i look forward to studies emerging in the generations to come when they have more information as to links with autism.
    It’s not the vaccines i am concerned with but the additives in the vaccines-
    especially the 3 in 1 big multi shots.

    peace to you in this time of being under attack. its astounding how many people lack balance in their perspective and who lack discipline in their emotionally charged comments.

    [Reply]

  • Bec

    I don’t have children but, as a child, ended up with whooping cough. As with anything there are sometimes bad batches of vaccines and I was unfortunate enough to get one. In past years, it wouldn’t have mattered if there was a bad batch but, as immunisation rates have fallen, it means that as a society we’re more exposed.

    At that time, about 20 years ago, it took the doctors a while to diagnose and I was coughing until I choked or threw up at times. When they finally started treating it, the narcotic cough mix that they gave me caused seizures. None of my family members caught it (all immunized). My lungs were scarred and I spent most if my teenage years getting numerous chest infections.

    Then, I got it again 5 years ago. My husband stayed home with me some days because he was so worried about the coughing and whether I’d stop breathing. Luckily, he didn’t get it nor did anyone I came into contact with. Since that bout, every time I get a cold, it ends up on my chest, I don’t have great immunity and, when we’re in the city, I can’t risk catching a bus due to the likely spread of a cold or flu bug.

    Natural immunity from a bout of whooping cough only lasts a maximum of 10 years, so the whole argument that getting the disease itself makes you stronger and resilient to it doesn’t seem right. I agree that people have a choice, but to be fully informed, you need to see what these diseases do. It’s not like chicken pox where you’ll be better in a couple of weeks – these are diseases that can have long term consequences on your well being.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.bluecollarworkman.com TB at BlueCollarWorkman

    We vaccinate our girls.

    Sidenote: Don’t worry about people and their backlash. People backlash all the time if you say something that doesn’t match up with their little notions of “correct.” I like your view about looking stuff up and listening, asking questions, and keeping an open mind. Ther’es no better way to do it. If you wre on this show and no one was giving the anti-vax view, well, it’s good you put a voice to it. *shrug * People get on these bandwagons sometimes without thinking, and that’s the problem. People not thinking. Whether or not the anti-vax people are correct or not, everyone should get their voice heard and everyone should keep an open mind.

    [Reply]

  • Shannon

    Trixie melodium is mean spirited and rude. She has been bullying people all up and down here. I ask that she be banned from commenting.

    [Reply]

    M Reply:

    I haven’t actually found her comments to be that bad (no worse than the people who have replied to her)

    I think regular readers would agree that they’ve seen far worse on Sarah’s other controversial posts (The seed oil/saturated fat/paleo posts)

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Then don’t read her other posts. There is a huge difference and a very distinct line between freedom of speech and just plain bullying. Saying this is my opinion on the matter is one thing and saying you are an idiot because this is your opinion is not ok.

    [Reply]

    M Reply:

    Ummm, the comments on her other posts don’t bother me either?

    And I have never called or implied that anyone is an idiot ;-)

    Michaela Reply:

    I think you meant to say –

    “Someone said something that’s logical but out of lines with my beliefs, and I don’t quite understand how to process it. I’ll call them a bully because that’s the new buzz-word.”

    As people have a right to an opinion, we also have the right to debunk incorrect information, and to lay out exactly how your actions will hurt others. I’d rather be blunt than willfully ignorant.

    [Reply]

  • Shannon

    Oh and Michaela.

    [Reply]

  • Jenny

    I am a mother and a grandmother and I am very concerned about the number of people who advocate anti vacc but don’t even understand how the vaccine works,
    Journalists have unkindly dubbed you Dummy Mummies but
    I think you might mean well but you need to do some proper research for your own kids and for the rest of us in society.
    There is no link between autism and vaccination.there was one “study” that is still being quoted if you do a lazy google search but it has been totally discredited and wouldn’t be accepted as evidence in any study. Also vaccination is not 100 percent effective and no doctor has ever claimed that but it does do a great job of safeguarding you.
    If you are chaotic and disorganised and don,t get your children vaccinated that is bad enough but if you are reasonably intelligent and are happy to pass around misinformation that is totally wrong
    I am sure that if you talk to those who know you would feel more secure about vaccination
    I think you would find the blog written by a young scientist to her anti vacc father interesting
    I will try to post it

    [Reply]

  • Jenny

    I hope some people have the time to read this if they are worried about vaccinations

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2013/04/03/an-open-letter-to-my-dad-on-the-occasion-of-his-recent-anti-vax-facebook-postings/
    I think this is a good blog

    Sarah i hope you have time to read it before you is called upon to comment on vaccination again

    [Reply]

  • Paddy

    I want to draw your attention to this article by Adele Horin
    She addresses many of the issues you have all

    raisedhttp://www.smh.com.au/opinion/selfish-dummy-mummies-need-consciences-pricked-20090220-8dko.html

    I hope you make time to read it.
    It is good to have this discussion. People need to get more educated about the benefits of vaccination

    [Reply]

    Claudia Reply:

    and people also need to ‘get better educated’ about the additives and preservatives used in vaccines and how exposing our newborns and young to these toxins can create opportunities for disruption.

    its not about being ‘for or against’ its about respecting that we are yet to fully understand the impacts.

    [Reply]

  • Shannon

    The irony? Oh you are a smart one aren’t you. I was doing it on purpose genius.

    [Reply]

    Peta Reply:

    If you’re going to cry ‘name calling’ every time someone offers criticism about your actions, you’re going to have a life full of avoidable mistakes.

    Where did I call you a name? Nowhere.

    Also, there is nothing ironic about anything here. You may also like to educate yourself about the meaning of the word.

    [Reply]

  • Shannon

    I’m so glad you are both qualified to make that call.

    [Reply]

  • http://blessedhealth.com.au Narelle

    It has been removed from most in Australia, but I would suggest you look up the tetanus vaccine ingredient list. It i still widely used in other countries. Please get your facts straight Chris :)

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    No vaccines on today’s childhood schedule contain thimerosal. They haven’t done for a decade and rates of autoimmune diseases and autism continue to rise.

    Hmmm, how does that affect the “mercury causes autism and autoimmune disease” argument? Oh that’s right, it shatters it to pieces.

    Countries that stil use thimerosal in their vaccines have no impact on our autism levels, so whyis this even part of the discussion? Thimersol (which has been shown over and over again to have no adverse effects) makes it safe to use multi-dose vials for vaccines, making them cheaper and more accessible for people in developing countries with smaller budgets for vaccines. The use of thimerosal in these countries is responsible for quite literally saving millions of lives every year.

    [Reply]

  • http://hailtothenihilist.wordpress.com Hail To The Nihilist

    If you feel that the show poorly represented you, Sarah, perhaps you should think twice about doing such a thing next time. You can say that you were merely there as a conduit as much as you like, but you’re not on the show to be an actor; you’re there to provide an opinion. Next time, say what you think…

    As for this “100 per cent conclusive…evidence” you require; sorry, but science isn’t in the business of providing this. It is in the business of providing evidence that holds beyond reasonable doubt. The evidence for the safety of vaccines holds beyond reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, the anti-vax movement, makes out that there evidence does too; therefore it should be given an equal weighting. This is folly, it is not, and should not be.

    I am glad for your conclusion for the good of your’s–if you have any–and other children.

    [Reply]

  • Pingback: Friday: Newsy Snacks For Busy People | justb.

  • http://blessedhealth.com.au Narelle

    so there a many here who seem to refute links between vaccines and ASDs. I will share with you an excerpt from a book called ‘Austism: Pathways to recovery’ written By Dr Amy Yasko – a leading International expert on the topic of ASD.
    She critically discusses the reasons why vaccines can impact DNA and genetic expression and then create other processes in the body that cause disease including cancer. Please read it if you are interested in the truth. If you are the Trixie type who will not even consider evidence other than what you want to hear then seriously don’t bother.
    It is a very good book for anyone with chronic health problems, autoimmunity of fatigue states to read. She is highly educated in the ‘sciences’ and probably more qualified than anyone on this forum in the area of Autism…
    DNA Silencing
    Methylation is critical to what we call “gene expression.” Although your genes
    never change, they can be active or inactive, as we saw earlier in this chapter.
    The body turns on (expresses) a gene, or turns off (silences) a gene. Whether it’s
    preferable for the body to either express or silence a gene depends on its role.
    How does this work? To regulate our DNA, to help to turn it on and off, the
    body adds methyl groups to the DNA strands. If you think of your DNA as a
    charm bracelet, it’s as if the methyl groups are hanging off the bracelet at different
    points. Wherever there is a methyl group on the bracelet, those genes
    will be silent, and wherever the methyl group is removed, those genes will be
    expressed. A lack of proper methylation means that DNA that should be quiet
    can be expressed, and this may cause specific changes in the body. For example,
    many children change hair color as they grow older. A child with blonde hair
    may change into a brunette. This is because the gene for brown hair, which was
    switched off, becomes switched on. Lactose intolerance is another example. You
    may be able to easily digest milk as a child, but once your gene for lactase, the
    enzyme for digesting milk, is switched off, you no longer can.
    Of course, gene expression or silencing can have far more significant consequences
    than hair color or lactose intolerance. Take the measles, mumps, and
    rubella (MMR) vaccine as an example. When viruses (such as those contained in
    this vaccine) are inserted into your genome, it’s not healthy for those viruses to be
    “turned on” and become active. However, without adequate methylation, that’s
    exactly what can happen. Unless you have adequate methyl groups that attach
    themselves to the viruses to silence them, they can become active.
    What occurs if these genes are activated? Instead of evoking an immune response
    that grants resistance to measles, mumps, and rubella, as they are supposed to,
    these vaccines can produce an entirely different, unwanted effect. The recipient of
    the vaccine can become subject to chronic infection from these activated viruses
    that now, like a Trojan Horse, have taken up residence in the body. In a similar
    way, methylation plays a role in carcinogenesis, the growth of cancer cells. If, due
    to inadequate methylation, DNA isn’t regulated properly, then it doesn’t send the
    right signals, and cell division can become uncontrolled, resulting in cancerous
    growth.
    When there is improper methylation, not only will the DNA bracelet lack the
    methyl groups that can turn your genes on and off, but the bracelet itself, the
    actual DNA links on the bracelet, will not be as stable

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    1 person’s view does not equate to scientific knowledge. Show me the evidence in empirical studies.

    [Reply]

    Alana Reply:

    This is very bad “science”. It’s like reading a bad wikipedia entry.

    [Reply]

    Narelle Reply:

    i suggest you google her and read more of her work. It seems the pro vaxers will criticise anything at all that challenges their position regardless of the truth in what they might read. She is a world leading expert on Autism people so to argue ‘bad science’…seriously based on what? ‘world leading’ and PHD is far more qualified than ‘alana’….

    [Reply]

    Mia Reply:

    Oh how quaint, she studied at the same quack farm as Dr Robert O. Young! Where did you get “world-leading” from? This woman is an idiot.

    She is mentioned on Quackwatch for anybody interested – other than that, she seems to be not just unrespected in the medical community, but completely unknown.

    http://www.quackwatch.org/04ConsumerEducation/Nonrecorg/clayton.html

    [Reply]

    Narelle Reply:

    wow – did you forget to read the bit about 3 academic positions held at Yale??
    Interesting how you pro vaxers only take the information you chose to to support your positions, not the full facts.
    I also find it interesting that the majority of obnoxious comments and personal attacks are also coming from pro vaxers.
    Unless you have got autism or a child with it i suggest comments like ‘i would rather die of autism than whooping cough’ should be kept to yourself. I do have a child with an ASD and that sort of commentary is not only unhelpful to healthy discussion and debate it is downright offensive. If the only way to defend your position is t make personal attacks then clearly you don’t have much of a leg to stand on.
    I think it is time for me to leave this discussion, intelligent discussion for some people on here is clearly not possible

    Meg Reply:

    This was all I could find on her position at Yale. It says she was fired?

    http://maloneynd.tripod.com/simplified_Copy_1/id86.html

  • Les

    Sarah, for the love of all that is holy and good –

    If the Sunrise people ask you to explain why some people deny climate change and global warming,

    DON’T DO IT!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.justdiscountpetsupplies.com/ Az

    Totally agree with Kimberley on this. Studies must be conducted by an independent authority, not an organisation with a conflict of interest. Such a divisive issue, great to hear different opinions, even though I don’t agree with many.

    [Reply]

    Claudia Reply:

    yes indeed. I also support an independent study.
    I wish people would voice their opinion without the emotion and aggression.

    its ugly and utterly unnecessary.

    breath people. this too shall pass.

    thank goodness for debate- its great to be challenged and to consider new points of view.

    [Reply]

    Tim Reply:

    They are – plenty out there to look at. This premise is based on very old data and reasoning from back in the 80s & 90s.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.mcintoshandbowman.com Claudia

    actually Peta ignorant I am not. all the time, energy, research i have put into this topic has left me confident that i do not need to vaccinate right now. when the kids are older- sure. 3-4 fine. it’s not the vaccines but the additives and preservatives in the vaccines for such small child’s system that we are concerned about.

    you would do well to tone down your emotions when commenting on these sites. it cant be good for your mental and physical wellbeing today to be this negative and aggressive in promoting your opinion.

    a few generations time we may all have a different perspective as to how things are done and why.

    [Reply]

  • Alana

    I am a final-year microbiology student at one of Australia’s best uni’s – so that’s my level of background knowledge from which I am making my comments.

    Most of the vaccine fear comes from a study that linked them to autism. This study has been entirely discredited and you will not find one scientist who supports it. The study was made is false data. Nevertheless, even though it has been proven false, the confusion remains in the general public.

    Other vaccine-fear comes from those who believe in homeopathic vaccine. I will not comment on this because it is a field which follows a different path to science.

    Other fear comes from hearing stories of children having bad reactions to vaccines. This does happen in a small number of situations due to variation between people, but it is rare and not a sign that vaccines are ‘dangerous’ or ‘don’t work’. Just as one person can be allergic to eggs but eggs can be healthy for their sibling, it is the same normal variation.

    [Reply]

  • Kali

    Okay folks calm yourselves down. Do you want to know what I find utterly offensive? I am sure none of you have done this…but go on the Sunrise website and find the “Kochie’s Angel” segment and watch it in it’s entirety.

    If you watch the complete “clip” of “Kochie’s Angels” you will find that prior to talking about the anti-vax movement, they were talking about models and the fashion industry. That ridiculous blond on the panel sitting next to Sarah suggested the the government, for Pete’s sake, should “regulate the fashion industry because of skinny models.”

    And yet, in the very next topic about anti-vax, they unfairly attack Sarah for even suggesting that perhaps there needs to be a closer look at vaccinations because the studies are done after all by pharmaceutical companies, who was after all only sharing the views she was given to express. Oh yes…let’s regulate the models…don’t regulate things that have to do with our health…what???

    And then, and the WORST part was that other panelist sitting on the other side of Sarah who made the comment that “she bets that those very same rich woman who don’t vaccinate their kids, don’t forget their hair or nail appointments.” That is so offensive to women and mothers. It has made me believe that Sunrise is anti-woman. How dare they pit women against other women?

    And the very fact that there is a segment in this day and age called “Kochie’s Angels” is utterly offensive and ridiculous. All of you as women should be completely offended and shame on your for turning on one another and being unkind to each other…especially to Sarah who has dedicated her whole blog to helping and informing people. Calm yourselves.

    Peace.

    [Reply]

    miss jodi Reply:

    Thank you. This. Says everything about how I feel about it, and about the treatment of Sarah. I watched the whole thing as well. The modelling industry is hardly a hard hitting topic but the ‘blonde’ should stick to what she knows and is passionate about and stay out of the anti-vax debate. She followed it up with an article on news.com that continued her rant about Sarah’s comments and her own stance on the issue. It was unwarranted, unfair and showed more about her own narrow and limited views. Because of this segment on Sunrise I refuse to watch it anymore. It is very staged and aims to provoke a shallow view of real issues and pit folks against each other. I would even say it’s kind of bullying, the blonde a disgusting and ugly example of this. If I was Sarah I would not be returning to them.
    As for the issue itself I am in a difficult situation as to whether to or not. I am pregnant with my first child kind of late in life and you are basically told by the hospital that these are the vaccinations he baby gets and you need to have the whooping cough vaccination after the birth as baby can’t have that one for the first two months. I haven’t decided but the whole thing terrifies me…..potential allergic reactions, what if you breastfeed, the vaccination the mother has is going to affect it anyway. So I actually don’t know where to go to get information, its all well and good that you go through the mainstream vehicle of info as they will be pushing for it and telling you all the reasons why. But this doesn’t solve anything if you have a terrible reaction to it. This ‘raging’ debate does nothing to help the person who is undecided either way to make and actual decision, folks. Damning the ‘anti-vax’ people and industry does not help. Making the right decision for yourself and your family is the issue. And from what I get from this whole thing if the last few days is anything to go by, there is not much support for this position that I find myself.
    I hope you are feeling a bit better, Sarah. On behalf of the less desirable aspects humanity that have been apparent this week, I am really sorry for what you have been subjected to regarding this issue. It is deplorable.I understand where you are coming from, it is clear to me the kind of person you are and it is a shame that you feel like you have to come out and justify yourself on this issue. Take care.

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    But doesn’t the fact that Sarah willingly partakes in “Kochie’s Angels” segments say something? You pointed out how ridiculous it is (and will second that) but no-one’s forcing her to do it…why partake in the first place?

    [Reply]

  • http://www.latherrinserepeat.com.au Michaela

    True, disease purposefully avoids infecting anyone living in the Eastern Suburbs. There’s no backpackers in Bondi, tourists in Surry Hills or the entire cast of Geordie Shore in Randwick carrying infections. Nope.

    Oh, wait. Remember when Eastern Sydney led in new cases during the 2011 outbreak of whooping cough? http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/doctors-warn-parents-to-keep-newborns-at-home-as-whooping-cough-epidemic-escalates/story-e6freuy9-1226055946293
    There were 522 cases in the first 4 months of the year just in south-east Sydney.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.latherrinserepeat.com.au Michaela

    We are not surrounded by diseases because of vaccines and medicine. Take those away and see how quickly disease spreads and other problems follow.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Do you think better sanitation might have something to do with that?

    When I took my health into my own hands and stopped following doctors advice my health increased drastically. I don’t ever get the flu shot and I don’t take any form of medication, and somehow I never, ever seem to get sick. I’ve never had the flu despite not getting the shot. Somehow I don’t think it is herd immunity keeping me healthy as every year I am surrounded by sick people (that do get the flu shot, and take all sorts of tablets for the tiniest ache and pain), why does it never get me?. Seems to me I have a healthy and strong immune system because I keep these toxins out.

    And another point I’d like to make is that no parent would ever take the health of their child lightly. Making the decision to not vaccinate, especially in the face of the kind of abuse and bullying I have seen on this page, must be one of the hardest desicion they will every have to make. Certainly harder then going with the ‘herd’. So there must be a reason they make this choice, and that more and more people are doing so. No parent would take such a choice without careful research and those people that call them stupid and an idiot, it’s just making you look closed minded and uneducated.

    [Reply]

    Karen Reply:

    I think you have hit the nail on the head Anna. You have taken your health and wellbeing into your own hands. I like your work…. Why do we have to rely on drugs and immunisations for our wellbeing. If more of us took this seriously we would not need this debate. The body has an amazing function to heal itself when it is kept in balance. (from my understanding and with respect to those to whom this does not apply)

    Possibly we should start investigating ways to achieve this.

    [Reply]

  • Anna

    The ‘links’ made between MMR vaccinations and autism have been proven to be fabricated – yes, fabricated! The doctor responsible was struck off for falsifying evidence. Please do not perpetuate this false information.

    [Reply]

  • Kimberley

    I am incredibly suspicious of vaccinations since I suffered a severe anaphylactic reaction to the whooping cough vaccine as a baby so was never fully vaccinated. I stopped breathing completely and it was lucky I survived. I don’t have children at the moment, but when I do I will be very cautious about whether I vaccinate them. I actually did end up getting whooping cough, but it was definitely not as bad as my reaction to the vaccine which was intended to protect against it.

    It can’t be ignored that the studies on the vaccines are done by the drug companies themselves and I’m so glad people like Sarah highlight this.

    [Reply]

  • Annette

    “And don’t forget a lot of studies done are done by the drug companies….. bare than it mind”!

    These same companies that you are trying to discredit with that comment, are the same companies that do the studies in life saving treatments such as chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, drugs to treat pain, anaesthetic drugs, drugs used in the A&E, drugs for chronic diseases!

    Bare that it mind!

    [Reply]

  • Linda

    You are right on the money Sarah (yet again!). I have three kids – they have all had the standard vaccinations, but this was done with much consideration of the pros and cons and risks. There are risks associated with having the vax and with not having the vax! In the end, i had to base my decision on the fact that I’ve been vaccinated and had no known ill effects from it.
    To that end though, I will not be allowing my son or daughters to have the HPV vax because I don’t think it’s been tested enough, and i’m not sure it’s entirely necessary for the lifestyle that i’m raising my children in. If they want to get it later when they are adults, they can.

    [Reply]

  • Anthony

    This is a very complex issue, and you did well Sarah. in the way you handled it. if you live in a small close community and a parent/s decide not to vac it can be for one, be divisive and alienating for the child and the family. The science is overwhelming, that a child being vaced is more likely to be spared, than a child that is not.

    [Reply]

  • DJ

    Thank you Sarah.

    I just watched that segment on Sunrise and as far as I was concerned, you were the only one offering any real balance on the topic of vaccinations. I have been a health researcher for most of my life and I know how easy it is to ‘skew’ the results of a study to make them show what you want them to show. While drug companies have sole responsibility for conducting research on their own products, I think it would be wise for all of us to question their results.

    We should all have the right to decide for ourselves what we put into our body or the bodies of our loved ones. We can only make the right choices when we have all the information.

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    Problem is most of the ‘skewing’ is on the anti-vax side. Plus they don’t have to answer to anyone. Yes, there have been unscrupulous studies done in the past – on both sides (Andrew Wakefield anyone?) – but the VAST majority are in favour of vaccines being (for the majority) safe and effective. If you’re not going to at least consider the drug companies’ studies (even with a grain of salt) then you really shouldn’t be taking ANY modern medicine at all. Do away with the lot.

    [Reply]

  • Jess

    A considered and insightful response, as always, Sarah.

    Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability – it’s what always keeps me coming back to your blog x

    [Reply]

  • Cherie

    Sarah dude,
    Damned if you do, damned if you dont!
    Enough about that.
    Hope you feel better soon. I recommend a cup of tea in the sun. Feel the delight of the suns rays warming your bones. Im all sinusey and in a freezing office and thats all I want to do. :)
    Im planning a bush walk at Mt Cootha on sunday. Always think of you and your many walking pictues whenever I go. Probably weird to hear from a stranger but ah well i’ve embraced my weirdness!
    Hope you have nice things planned for the weekend.
    Be kind to yourself.

    Cherie
    x

    [Reply]

  • Carissa

    I have no children but will one day. I will research both the good and the bad and get informed information from both sides of the fence. I am currently doing a batchelor of health science so hopefully I can fully grasp the science behind the why to and why not to vaccinate.
    At this stage there is no way I would vaccinate as I am simply not educated enough to make such a big decision about someone else’s health and future. I myself have had minimal vaccinations due to the choice of my educated mother, I am now 28 and not dead!
    I find it very interesting that people who are 100% uneducated on the topic (apart from what they are told from doctors or in the media) can have such a strong opinion on the topic. If we were all more open to asking questions we would all have better understandings of the good and the bad. My university human biology teacher who is also a doctor knows more about the human body than anyone else I knows and he can’t definitively agree not disagree with vaccinations as he has done the research on both sides. Don’t jump on the bandwagon without the knowledge.
    Sarah, I think you have made a wonderful point that the education is the key to making such a decision and understanding the for and against before plunging either way.

    [Reply]

  • Heather H

    The only reason the anti-vaccine movement is taking hold is because none of the parents today making these decisions were alive when the diseases these vaccines prevent we’re devastating children and adults in our grand parents or great grand parents time. If you could ask someone paralyzed by polio or the parent of a child lost to measles if they would have choosen to vaccinate and accept an unknown risk or not I can guarantee you they would have chosen to vaccinate if they could have. So when an epidemic comes again, for one surely will, and your children could die or be forever impaired in the thousands, will you still choose not to vaccinate if you are lucky enough to have that choice?

    [Reply]

  • Wes

    This is a really important conversation. I am not an expert however…
    What most concerns me is the polarised nature of the debate. At both ends of the spectrum of pro and anti vax there is unhelpful and overstated positions.
    From my own reading of the research we can’t talk about vaccines generally, its important to talk about specific vaccinations and the relevant evidence. Every parent wants to do the best by their child so I think there is room for more compassion and less judgment of differing viewpoints. Personally when it come time to choose with my children I’ll be doing a lot more research and talking to both GP friends and Natural Health friends.

    One of my favourite comments comes from Leunig’s foray into the debate going back to 1997. Whether you agree with the sentiments or not I think he captures the polarisation and the heart wrenching decision of an open minded parent who has read both the evidence for and against.
    http://otherrants.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/would-age-publish-this-now.html

    [Reply]

  • http://heartmama.net Zanni Louise

    I vaccinate because I feel it is my social responsibility to my children, other people’s children, and future generations. There is a small risk when vaccinating, but there is a risk of infection when eating food too. I do think there is a lot of pseudo science and misleading facts presented in the anti-vax debate.

    [Reply]

    Tarnya Reply:

    oh- Zanni Louise- that’s exactiy why I vaccinate too- social responsibility. I agree about the pseudo science, know individuals who have had a reaction and also think the pharmaceutical industry isn’t as clean and altruistic and we might hope! I think there is massive fear mongering on both sides of the argument.

    [Reply]

  • Compromised for the greater good…

    thanks Sarah, like you I have an auto immune disease, I do have kids and I have had them vaccinated- and it was only for the ‘greater good’ because I know that immunisations work when the majority of people have them. I have had personal experience of a direct negative reaction to vaccinations (my cousin) and it went against every bone in my body as I put, what I percieve to be my childs health at potential (perhaps unlikely) risk for the public health benefit. I feel really annoyed reading the ‘pro vaccinaters’ hassle people- I am not pro vaccination, I am pro public health and disease minimisation and because of that I got my kids immunised- not without personal grief. Anti vacs may criticise me as might pro vac people- but for me, it was a question of values- I value common good, I try not to be too individualistic and that informed my choices

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    Compromised for the greater good – wow! I’m very impressed. I really am. Even as a ‘pro-vaxxer’ (or more accurately an anti-anti-vaxxer) I would not have judged you at all if you chose not to vaccinate given your very real medical concerns. I absolutely think there are valid reasons for some people not to vaccinate (as does the medical community) but they only apply to a small proportion of the population. I actually am not angry at the majority of anti-vaxers but at the organisations who promote anti-vaxing with what appear on the surface as quite compelling arguments. Kudos to you and I agree that getting angry is not the way to get a message across no matter what side you’re on.

    [Reply]

  • Natalie

    This is all healthy debate. Personally I am pro vaccination however discussions like these help to further knowledge, interest and awareness. It all helps to promote continuous improvement in research and application of vaccines. It is quite obviously a contentious issue but Sarah you should not worry about it most people with any sense will do their own research if they want to know more and make their decision accordingly, but I understand why you have released a further statement post sunrise to provide context to your comments.

    [Reply]

    Tarnya Reply:

    Narelle, I thank you for stating your personal standpoint AND saying this is a healthy debate- I love that. No fear, no bullying, no judgement- yes, lets discuss it and ITS OK IF WE HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS! That idea seems increasingly novel!!

    [Reply]

    M Reply:

    Yes, I think the debate is good and it’s great that Sarah is publishing comments from both sides. I’ve been criticised for my comments on other posts, but I’d rather be criticised than the comments be one-sided, people be banned from commenting and the debate be censored.

    I also think comments often say a lot about the person making them, so the most heated ones are often the most interesting!

    On the issue of bullying, if people feel they are truly being cyber-bullied in a blog comment section, I’m wondering if they feel that it’s serious enough to take the usual course of action for cyber-bullying and report it to the police?? I personally feel that it’s all just a normal online debate (even with the swearing and name-calling) so I’m actually quite surprised by the calls to ban people from posting.

    [Reply]

  • Suzi

    I also believe in childhood vaccinations as I do recall knowing a few older people with Polio, which was always in my mind growing up.
    I had 4 children of my own in the 70′s and it wasn’t until 3 of these children were diagnosed, at the same time, with whooping cough, that I asked the question of my doctor, WHY? They had all had all of their needles? My old doctor said this was because back when they developed the immunisation it was substantial for the vaccination of whooping cough, but 30 or so years later the immunisation dose has stayed the same but the bug had grown. Now in 2013, another 30 years have passed. I have often wondered about this doctor comments and if he was correct in his beliefs. Anyone else out there heard of this claim?

    [Reply]

    D Reply:

    Yes Suzi. The strains of diseases keep evolving. This has been said in the media the last 12 months and why they now like to give booster shots.

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    Just like with any disease it’ll evolve but medicine does too. There’ll always be new diseases (avian flu, swine flu and even HIV all now vaccinated or highly treatable) and new strains. Also keep in mind that even if you do succumb to an illness you were vaccinated for the severity of the symptoms will be decreased with vaccination and you’re also less likely to pass it on (vital when you’re talking newborns/ the elderly or otherwise immuno compromised).

    [Reply]

  • Sandra

    Thanks Sarah for creating a forum for this discussion. I am currently pregnant with my first child and am at present a ‘fence sitter’ in terms of whether or not to immunise against certain diseases. At the moment I am highly frustrated with the fact that this is such a ‘controversial’ topic. This seems to limit open and balanced discussions and information given is often very one sided. I’ve found that people (and medical professionals) are either very ‘pro’ or very ‘anti’, which makes it hard to find answers. I found that even my OB basically shut the conversation down when I questioned immunistation, telling me I “should go and do more researh BUT don’t trust everything you read”, as if I hadn’t spent hours studying and researching before going in and asking questions! I found myself playing dumb though as I sensed it was not a topic open for disscussion.
    My hope is that immunisation (and the Vitamin K injection) becomes a topic in which we (and medical professionals) are allowed to ask questions without being villified. This might help us as a society make more informed decisions without high emotions and opinions getting in the way.
    By the way, if anyone does know of any reputable sites, books, information that could help me in my decision I would love to hear of them!

    [Reply]

    Darren Reply:

    Sandra
    This is as reputable as you can get, from the Academy of Science
    http://www.science.org.au/policy/documents/AAS_Immunisation_FINAL_LR_v3.pdf

    [Reply]

    Paddy Reply:

    Please take note of the posts in this discussion. Those who don’t vaccinate have a choice but I also have a choice to defend my children from their selfishness ignorance and recklessness. The anti vaccination posters seem to rely on outdated information discredited studies.
    It is one thing if yor life is chaotic and disorganised….that is bad enough….but if you are educated and lazy relying on dodgy sources such as Wikipedia, that is unforgivable
    By the way most of the posters don’t seem to have read SArah’s introductory comments.
    She concludes by saying she supports vaccination
    Don’t be afraid. Look after your kids …and the rest of us

    [Reply]

  • http://blessedhealth.com.au Narelle

    causal links with vax and autism have been found in the courts. They are usually pretty big on ‘evidence’. here is one example….surely that amount of cash would not have been awarded without then courts finding ’cause’
    http://vactruth.com/2013/01/18/mmr-vaccine-causing-autism/

    [Reply]

    Casey B Reply:

    Okay, a quick hint: notice how the headline simply says “causes boy’s autism”? And then notice how in the article it *suggests* that it might be *possible* that the encephalopathy for which the payout occurred *might* be related to autism? It’s a good way of telling whether you’re reading a reputable news source or an outlet for crankdom: if the headline concludes something that the article declines to provide conclusive evidence *for*, break out the tinfoil hats.

    [Reply]

  • Neesy

    This is what I would write if I were an infectious disease epidemiologist. But I’m not, my father is a doctor of epidemiology. Vaccinate your children so my father can retire!!!

    http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2013/04/03/an-open-letter-to-my-dad-on-the-occasion-of-his-recent-anti-vax-facebook-postings/

    [Reply]

  • Amy

    Thank you Sarah. As a non vaxing parent, I truly appreciate the care you took to truly debate the issue. Not just dismiss it without any thought as all other media personalities and outlets do. So thank very much.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    She admits that she made her comments based on five minutes on Google and some notes she was handed by the producer. It would have been more helpful if she *had* dismissed it.

    [Reply]

    miss jodi Reply:

    You know what would be more helpful? If you maybe stepped down or back a little from the crusade you are waging here on Ms. wislon’s blog. There are about 50 or something comments here from you and the tone of them seems very convoluted, a little sarcastic and righteous in nature. I would be more than a bit embarassed to relentlessly be posting sarcastic and provocative comments on someone else’s blog who has been totally up front with her audience about everything. Not to mention bring kind of aet up on the first place. You have enough material to maybe start up your own page? It seems you have quite a lot to say about everything, maybe that would be a better vehicle for your voice to be heard.

    [Reply]

    miss jodi Reply:

    Correction: set up in the first place.

    Michaela Reply:

    I feel that people who are right are allowed to be “righteous”, not that I’m getting a whiff of that from Trixie’s researched, science-supported and logical posts.

    Inane posts like yours are the embarrassing ones.

    Peta Reply:

    Why should she step down from what she’s saying? Trixie has been posting scientifically based arguments with factual sources to back them up.

    People are getting all uppity about it because they don’t have a similar amount of facts to back up their own arguments.

    It seems that every single time people take the pseudo-scientific stance in a scientific debate and run out of verifiable facts to back up their arguments, they end up trying to distract from their own lack of information by crying ‘bully’ or ‘provocative’ on their opponents. It’s childish, pathetic and a very good indication that the argument has been lost.

    People have indeed become emotional on both sides when posting on this issue. I am very emotionally passionate about it. This issue makes me feel angry, frustrated and extremely saddened because it’s not just about people choosing non-scientific health routes and putting themselves at risk, they’re putting other people at risk.

    The elderly, young babies and those with immune-disorders die unnecessarily every day because of this issue.

    A few years ago, a coworker of mine was 5 months pregnant with her first child. She and her husband had been trying to get pregnant for 6 years and finally did through IVF, because of a severe allergy to a component of the MMR vaccine, she hadn’t been immunised with it.

    Another coworker, who had been very vocal previously about the ‘dangers of big pharma’ and proudly proclaimed and neither she nor her children were immunised – caught measles from one of her brood. She came into work, thinking she just had the flu, spread measles to the pregnant coworker. Despite ending up in hospital, the pregnant woman went into premature labor and lost her baby.

    Stories like this are why vaccination is a highly emotional issue and I commend trixie for commenting on this as much as she has to try to offer people the facts about this issue. Vaccination is not only about protecting yourself, but also highly vulnerable members of our society as well.

    If anti-vaxers paid as much attention to scientific information on the subject as they do conspiracy websites, we wouldn’t have this issue. Unfortunately, people are so sheltered from adversity in this country that they’ll do anything to have something to fight against and make themselves feel important.

    There are many less harmful ways to make yourself feel important. Personally, I make sure I’m completely vaccinated, signed up to the organ donor registry and regularly give blood. Maybe other people should give this a try.

  • Lisa (Yrlocalmarkets)

    Wow. I feel for you, Sarah! I was just saying to my husband yesterday, in ignorance of the media storm, that I’d like to see both sides of the debate from respected health practitioners without the emotion. He got quite emotional himself, giving me all the arguments for vaccination. I agreed with his points but stated that I’d still like more facts because I know that some children have had horrific adverse reactions to them.

    We vaccinated our children and they are thankfully both ok, however if they were toddlers right now and I was staring the options in the face right now, I’m not sure what I’d do. But research is key, and finding the place that you’re happy with is the only thing that anyone should be expected to do and not vilified either way for their personal choice.

    [Reply]

  • AH

    @Trixie – ENOUGH!!! The more you comment the more you insult and bully other people commenting. I stopped reading your comments because I was disgusted with the way you were commenting back to other people. You should be ashamed. Like Sarah said – be respectful. Also you using the F word was sickening. Jenny McCarthy is a human being but as you labelled her a “playboy bunny” you are making her out to be lower class. No one is lower class. Respect people no matter what type of career they had. Asking another person questions like is she pro disease etc is none of your business. Learn some manners.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Where have I bullied anyone? Disagreed? Yes. Pointed out errors, misinformation and ignorance? Certainly. But bullied? Honestly, where did I bully anyone?

    Seriously, if you can’t handle “the F word”, maybe you shouldn’t be on the internet where the grown ups are talking.

    Jenny McCarthy was a naked model in Playboy. Nowhere do I disparage her for that in itself, but it hardly gives her the experience or knowledge to comment on science. To suggest that she has one iota of the understanding or credibility of a real scientist is laughable.

    I said nothing about class, I couldn’t care less about anyone’s “class” – I think that’s your issue by bringing that up, not mine.

    IMO manners are irrelevant when we are talking about people who put the life of newborn babies at risk.

    I spoke to two mothers yesterday who had held their newborn babies as their life support was turned off after they lost their battle with whooping cough.

    I honestly do not give a fuck if someone’s tender feelings are hurt when I tell them that their choice not to vaccinate, and their choice to spread antivaccine lies and propaganda contributed to the deaths of these babies. And if their feelings ARE hurt by this, perhaps they should turn their thought to the mums and dads who have to watch their babies turn blue and die because someone thought that a couple of hours on Google was superior to the evidence of the entire scientific communnity.

    Do you really think that a brief moment of feeling a bit insulted or patronised comes CLOSE to knowing that your baby died of a wholly preventable disease because someone thinks their “right to an opinion” trumps facts?

    [Reply]

    AH Reply:

    Well at least you have made it clear you are trash Trixie. As for saying grown ups is for Internet and swearing well you just proved you are a rude and abhorrent brat! Would be ashamed to be your kid with an attitude and a mouth like that! Go back to the dog pound where you belong! I was wrong about saying there is no lower class as you are lower class with that mouth and attitude! This is Sarah Wilsons blog not yours whoever the hell you are ! Honestly get lost as you are ruining Sarah’s page! I’m not sitting on this blog all day as you are doing. Go out and do something! Go ahead with your insults but realise you come across as feral and a pest! Goodbye not loosing sleep over trash like you love lol

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    AH, it needs a little more with racial slurs, but I think you’ve just graduated to the level of YouTube commenter. Well done!

    trixie melodian Reply:

    And again, I repeat my comment that the “class issue” is clearly something that you have a problem with – you seem to be quite obsessed with it.

    You have the gall to call me a bully, and when I respond to your acusations, you go off on a bizarre rant, attacking and insulting me.

    You still haven’t shown me where I “bully” anyone btw.

    If you want to respond to my points – particularly the one about the comparative importance of the feelings of an online poster vs the feelings of a mum who has just watched her baby die, please go ahead. Or just call me a dog again, and spew some more bile – whatever you think is more constructive.

    trixie melodian Reply:

    LMAO Michaela, I am crying with laughter!

    Thanks Scientist and Paddy. I genuinely don’t think I’ve bullied anyone, but I admit sometimes the frustration of dealing with ignorance and misinformation that puts lives at risk sometimes seeps through… ;)

    trixie melodian Reply:

    @AH “Would be ashamed to be your kid with an attitude and a mouth like that!”

    PS thanks for insulting my kids as well as me – glad to see you really bringing it down to gutter level.

    FYI just to be a bragging mum for a minute, my 8 yo daughter reads 3 years ahead of her grade, is polite, has a great sense of humour and everyone who meets her just adores her. My 2 yo son is an absolute clown, a chubby little pocket rocket with boundless (exhausting!) energy and wicked curiosity. Both are fully vaccinated, healthy and utterly gorgeous, AND, AH, they are far from ashamed of me.

    I’m proud to say that my daughter comes to work with me (at a health promotion charity) during the school holidays and is inspired to become a doctor (or a nurse, or a vet) when she grows up, because of the time she has spent learning about what happens when you don’t vaccinate. She saw me in tears at my desk yesterday after reading an email from one of the mums who lost her baby to whooping cough, and explaining to her that some people endanger the lives of other babies by choosing not to vaccinate was the hardest thing ever. She simply could not believe that anyone would make that choice.

    If an eight year old can understand that, why can’t you?

    Kate Reply:

    Shame on you AH. She hasn’t bullied nor sullied the conversation. Sometimes the f word is warranted – in this case i believe it conveys passion…she didn’t name call others (can you say the same?). Just because you don’t agree whole-heartedly with ‘Sarah and her pages’ doesn’t negate you from having an opinion. So, Trixie – I applaud you for passionately and whole-heartedly taking the stand you have.

    Scientist Reply:

    Trixie- thank you, thank you, thank you for your voice of reason throughout this discussion!

    [Reply]

    Paddy Reply:

    Agreed …trixie has tried to maintain voice of calm and reason
    Not so sure about tone of her detractors. Not so nice
    By the way read to the end of Sarah’s comments
    She supports vaccination

  • Sally

    Oh I did as suggested and searched for the current ingredients. It wasn’t as easy to find as I thought. This is what I found http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/handbook-appendix4
    Is this 9th edition the latest? I’d love to know. Or if anyone has a link to the latest ingredient list.

    [Reply]

  • Cindy

    China had a polio outbreak in 2011, the Congo had a polio outbreak in 2010. Prior to this both countries had been declared polio free. For diseases such as this to be eradicated it takes a worldwide effort and not an “I’m alright so who cares about anyone else” attitude.

    [Reply]

  • trixie melodian

    We already DO have safe, reliable solutions. They are called vaccines. They are thoroughly tested for many years before being released on to the market, they continue to be monitored and checked, and any safety issues are promptly addressed.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Omg, no they are not thoroughly tried and tested. Many, many vaccines have been pulled from production because of the overwhelming side effects people have had with them. The argument is not that they don’t work, we all know they do, obviously. However, they are not entirely safe for a small percentage of people. In fact they cause such adverse reactions that can lead to small children having life long health problems as a result of a vaccine. I know a dozen kids that have problems as a result and these health problems are so bad that they wish their child had died instead because of the pain their child is in constantly (a close family member). Some people do react badly and what you are saying is, is that “I don’t care about you as an individual parent and child because you are protecting the community”. You have no right to make that decision, that you say to them it’s worth the risk, “sorry about your child”.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Read here about the processthat is involved in approving vaccines. And this is after years of theoretical experiments, testing on mouse models, limited testing on humans.

    http://www.tga.gov.au/about/tga-who-we-are.htm

    Trials continue after release, and sometimes very rare adverse effects are found (usually less then one in 10,000). These adverse effects are usually not death btw. If this happens, the vaccine is suspended, and further testing takes place. THat’s what science does.

    Lifelong severe adverse reactions to vaccination are so rare as to be vanishingly small. 1 in millions usually. When you consider that if a baby under 6 months catches whooping cough, they have a 1 in 120 chance of dying, a one in 2 million risk doesn’t seem so bad.

    Considering the incredibly rare incdence of these adverse effects, it is incredibly unlikely that you know a dozen people with actual adverse effects. Has the vaccine link been confirmed by medical professionals? Either your friends have imagined a connection that doesn’t exist to help them accept their child’s condition, or your friends are the unluckiest people in the world.

    Nowhere am I saying that people should sacrifice their kids to the greater good of the community. The primary benefit of vaccination is for the recipient. The secondary benefit is to the community.

    Some people do react badly, which is why vaccines are provided by a doctor. But as I said elsewhere, the fact that people have allergies to peanuts doesn’t mean that peanuts are dangerous to everyone.

    [Reply]

  • Meg

    I’m interested in this. Are you referring to all vaccines or just the mumps vaccine? Where did you find the scientific info (apart from the natural news article) to come to this conclusion?

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    HI Meg, I am referring to all vaccines as they are not 100% effective and people still can get any disease they are vaccinated against. I have seen it personally with whooping cough MANY times and also chicken pox. I have heard personal stories of mumps from people, someones mentions in this blog too. Any doctor will confirm the above medical point.

    [Reply]

    Meg Reply:

    I’ve heard anecdotal evidence to support this too, but wondering where to find the Australian statistics that support this and how many “so many” is? Cheers

    [Reply]

  • Anna

    Well said! :)

    [Reply]

    Bec Reply:

    Agree, thanks for a gentle and well written response… lets all be calm about this and educate ourselves on both sides of the story.

    [Reply]

    Sally Reply:

    Again, well said. I couldn’t agree more. We just want more information.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.18a.com.au Samantha

    Sarah, I personally feel you were thrown to the sharks! You handled yourself so well and should hold your head high. Agree or not with the issue you were treated so poorly by “Koche” – disgustingly so. Good job well done and credit to you x

    [Reply]

  • Ms Jane

    Yep I know that. Just threw that in there to keep you on your toes. Keep smiling :)

    [Reply]

  • trixie melodian

    http://boingboing.net/2013/01/01/correlation-between-autism-dia.html

    This graph shows that sales of organic food parallel the increase in autism. Does it mean that organic food causes autism? Of course not. It’s as much of a coincidence between the increase in vaccines and the rise in autism.

    Think about how much our lives have changed in the last century – mobile phones, television, processed food, cars, bottled vitamins, formalised exercise programs, nutritional supplements, pollution. ALL these things have increased alongside the increase in autism.

    You could argue that in the 1930s, rock music didn’t exist, and nor did autism, and as its popularity has increased, so has the rate of autism, therefore rock music causes autism! Obviously it doesn’t, but you need to realise that a raw correlation has no scientific validity.

    When other factors are removed, vaccinated and nonvaccinated kids have the same rate of autism, the same rate of diabetes, the same number of colds and infections and the same rate of allergies.

    IN fact, (unsurprisingly) the only health difference between vaxxed and nonvaxxed kids is that vaxxed kids are less likely to have suffered from vaccine preventable diseases.

    [Reply]

    Mr David Driscoll Reply:

    Great work on this whole topic!

    [Reply]

  • trixie melodian

    Actually, vaccines don’t make a huge amount of money for pharmaceutical companies. The big profits come from things like viagra, cholesterol medication etc.

    Regarding efficacy, vaccines are roughly 80-95% effective. I’d prefer to be 95% protected against measles than 0% protected.

    [Reply]

    Emmy Reply:

    Trixie, Just want to check with you since you appear to know everything, what is the % death rate if you were to actually contract these diseases in Australia if you were not vaccinated? I don’t think “everyone” has died that has contracted these childhood illnesses, and with our progress in medicines shouldn’t it be easier to recover if you were to get one??

    [Reply]

    Cindy Reply:

    Wow, ignorance just hit a new level. I am sure all those who did not die from polio but who have spent the rest of their lives crippled and those who did not die from whooping cough but have suffered a lifetime of breathing difficulties and infections would love to respond to your question. You don’t need to die from a disease to suffer terribly.

    [Reply]

    Emmy Reply:

    Cindy, I can’t even comprehend why you would have written that! seriously? ignorance? perhaps you did not understand what I was writing to Trixie, she has said that she would rather be 95% protected against measles, I was simply asking that if she did infact contract the measles (as an unvaccinated Australian) then what would be the % of death or – as you have made clear – complications from that.
    Polio “was” an issue and I do have a friend who is crippled from it, but I am not talking about when we didn’t know better, I am talking about now… The age old saying, prevention is better than the cure… or are we still that far behind, medically??

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    The thing is, the rate of disease in Australia is important to us and our kids in the here and now, but we need to think more broadly about the people in the rest of the world who DON’T have access to world class medical treatment who are being harmed by our first-world arrogance.

    Measles is the 5th largest killer of children worldwide. The WHO is working on eradicating measles in the same way it has eradicated smallpox and (almost) polio. By refusing to vaccinate and contribute to worldwide eradication of this disease, we are not only risking our own children’s lives, we are being incredibly callous with the lives of millions of kids who don’t have access to the world class medical treatment our kids can receive if they are unlucky enough to develop measles.

    And Cindy’s comment about morbidity (serious illness) as well as mortality (death) from these diseases is significant. If you’ve ever seen a baby turn blue and struggle for breath with whooping cough, or the agony of someone with tetanus, you would honestly not wish it upon your worst enemy, let alone your own children.

    Why would you risk that, when we are lucky enough to have the means to safely and effectively protect our kids from illness, brain damage, pain or death?

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    Trixie, I have worked in the pharma industry for almost 10years now, I actually know the profits from vaccines are significant! Yes block buster drugs like cholesterol lowering drugs have higher profit but vaccines still produce a large amount of the profits especially for companies that specifically manufacture vaccines!

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Emmy – pls see below:

    All the stats below are from the Australia Immunisation Handbook. The document was compiled by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation http://www.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/advisory-bodies and the National Health and Medical Research Council http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about/council-nhmrc

    Please note that along with mortality (death) rates you meed to consider severe disability rates because although survival rates have increased with modern medicine, we are still talking about outcomes like paralysis, deafness, respiratory problems from lung scarring and severe brain damage – things that make your life pretty damn miserable.

    **Pertussis**
    Whooping cough causes death in just under 1 in 100 babies under 6 months who contract the disease. That’s in a developed country with good medical care. And it’s a horrible, exruciatingly painful death for a tiny baby.
    Brain damage, broken ribs, scarred lungs and lifelong respiratory problems are additional consequences for survivors.

    Adverse effects from the vax include short-term fever, and very rarely, febrile seizures.

    ***Diphtheria***
    The case- fatality rate (number of deaths as a percentage of confirmed cases) for diphtheria in the last three decades has been reported as up to 16%. Thankfully, due to vaccination, we see virtually no diphtheria in Australia any more.

    **Polio**
    The case-fatality rate in various types of polio range from 2% up to 75%. Of course many survivors then faced lifelong paralysis.
    Thanks to the efforts of the WHO, polio has very nearly gone the way of smallpox and been eradicated from all but three countries in the world. We are incredibly close to living in a world that is free from polio.

    **Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HiB)**
    The case-fatality rate for Hib meningitis in developed countries is at least 3% even with treatment, and 15 to 30% of survivors have permanent neurological damage.

    Interestingly, HiB was only added to the vaccine schedule in Australia in 1993 which absolutely crushes the “sanitation saved us, not vaccines” argument. Sanitation has barely changed in Australia since 1993, however since Hib vaccines were included in the vaccination schedule in 1993, there has been a reduction in the disease of more than 95%.

    There are minor adverse effects from the Hib vaccine including swelling and redness at the injection site (5%) fever in up to 2%. These adverse events usually appear within 3 to 4 hours of vaccination and resolve completely within 24 hours.

    **Measles**
    Acute encephalitis occurs in 1 per 1000 measles cases, which has a mortality rate of 10 to 15%, with a high proportion of survivors suffering permanent brain damage. Measles infection during pregnancy can result in miscarriage and premature delivery.

    Adverse events following administration of MMR-containing vaccines are generally mild and include fever and rash, and in approx 1 in 3000 doses, febrile seizures. Anaphylaxis following the administration of MMR vaccine is very rare (less than 1 in 1 million doses).

    **Meningococcal
    The mortality risk for invasive meningococcal disease is between 5 and 10%. Of those who survive, approximately 10 to 20% develop permanent sequelae, including limb deformity, skin scarring and neurologic deficits.

    Meningococcal disease has a rapidly fatal course in otherwise healthy young people. Adverse effects from the vaccine are extremely rare.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Also Emmy, I’ve written an epic reply to your original question but it’s awaiting moderation, sorry.

    [Reply]

  • http://holistichealingandcfs.wordpress.com amy

    Fantastic work Sarah!!! It is so refreshing to see someone thinking outside the square and being honest about it on a mainstream television program.
    I too suffer an immune disease and reacted to the multiple vaccinations I received.
    There are some very legitimate arguments against vaccinations which are wayyy too complex to discuss in the tiny amount of time you are given.

    [Reply]

  • Emmy

    Trixie Melodian, I don’t understand the insults?! You have popped up in every conversation as though you are the leading authority in this. Yes, there is a lot of information out there, it is up to individuals how they interpret that information, pro or con. I am sure those that have not vaccinated have done a bit more research than you may have. give it a rest!!

    [Reply]

  • trixie melodian
  • Anna

    Completely agree MJ, a lot of doctors (pretty much all that I have ever been to, but I’m sure they are not all like that) seem to be compulsive script writers. I am allergic to every antibiotic under the sun (yes definitely every one) after being prescribed them for pretty much every cough and sniffle when I was young. I believe antibiotics have a place and are necessary but they need to be treated with respect. I’ve been prescribed wrong medications and spent 24 hours in an out of consciousness, and when my dad carried me back to the GP she was surprised I was prescribed that drug….she was the one who gave it to me! I’d also been suffering from migraines since I was 16, and following doctors advice (and I saw many different doctors) I put up with approx 3 migraines each and every week as well as being told I would need to take meds for the rest of my life. Since I stopped following that advice I now get about 1 migraine per month, and don’t take any meds. And funnily enough no longer have a need to see doctors :) Also never get the flue shot and have never had the flu. My point is that there is always another side and doctors are not always right. PerhapsI have just had really bad luck with them, but it has taught me to always quesion and to take responsibility for my own health. Everyone has that right

    [Reply]

  • http://www.latherrinserepeat.com.au Michaela

    “I did click on the link that took me to your blog and read your “about me”. It doesn’t seem to mention children, just make-up.”

    That’s because it’s a blog about make-up, not children. If I blogged about children, I most likely would mention children in my About Me page. I’m merely debunking your suggestion that I’m hiding behind a keyboard.

    “You appear to be a passionate person who enjoys drama. I love that this debate has included all manner of people.”

    Well, score 5 passive aggressive points for you! I realise you’re trying to insult me in the style favored by hormone-struck 12 year olds on livejournal, but I do enjoy drama – I attend the theater regularly, with Greek tragedies and Italian opera being my preferences.

    [Reply]

  • Mikey

    @ Claudia

    “all the time, energy, research i have put into this topic has left me confident that i do not need to vaccinate right now.”

    You’re kidding, right? You have researched this and you’ve still come to the conclusion that you shouldn’t vaccinate your children. That makes no sense whatsoever.

    [Reply]

  • Lisa

    My attitude is not an ‘I’m alright so who cares about anyone else’….continuing to vaccinate for pollio in Australia would not help the population in China and the Congo.

    Personally, believe vaccinating against ALL DISEASE to ever be introduced around the world ‘just in-case’ is more dangerous then effective. Where would it stop? It would increase forever and in 20 years time we will be vaccinating for 50+ diseases from birth….

    And on another note, my GP recommending NOT vaccinating against Pollio in Australia.

    [Reply]

  • Bec

    We are trying to conceive and are already dreading this issue. I am a nurse and have a Masters in Public Health so I understand the theories behind vaccination. I also work in international development so manage programs oversease re health and sanitation and HIV and food security etc and that includes vaccination. Yet I think I am leaning towards not vaccinating or at least not doing ALL the vaccinating. Lately the more I read about health the more I realise how wrong the medical and media systems have it. People want studies and facts, well what about the fact that the study that first suggested that saturated fat caused heart disease has since been debunked however we are still encouraged to avoid saturated fats and ignore the real causes of heart disease. Off topic but I hope you can find answers for yourself and your family and I too am frustrated that it is so contriversial. I don’t know how to go about explaining to others my choice not to vaccinate everything or whether I even bring it up??? Here are some articles and sites I’ve bookmarked for when the time comes and we need to make further decisions. Hope these are helpful. These are all anti vax so hopefully someone else can provide good sources for pro vax.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/04/measles-vaccine-kills-infants.aspx?e_cid=20120904_DNL_artNew_1
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/six-reasons-to-say-no-to-vaccination/
    http://worldtruth.tv/50-reasons-not-to-vaccinate-your-children/
    http://www.nvic.org/
    http://www.nvic.org/Ask-Eight-Questions.aspx

    Note most of the above related to the US where they vaccinate with more vaccines than we do.

    Good luck Sandra!

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    As a nurse with a masters in public health it seems very strange that you would be posting only links to anti-vaccination websites rather than a mix of both pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination sites. As a nurse you will have access to such resources, and given you seem to be clamoring for equal footing for “both sides” of the debate it seems somewhat hypocritical for you not to. The fact that you have listed those 5 sites only seems to suggest some bias in your reading.

    You cannot look at population effects of vaccination by looking at individual anecdotes, and if you don’t know that with your masters in public health you should probably think about sending that particular piece of paper back. The only practical way of doing this is to conduct studies. I note that you mention the Framingham heart study (or part of it) to demonstrate that studies can have issues, and indeed some of them can. A particular study by Andrew Wakefield springs to mind. You also fail to mention that the association between saturated fats and heart disease was discounted by other studies, not personal anecdotes. If studies are inherently flawed then which of them are you going to believe? the original one or the ones that came later?

    How science works is that a hypothesis is suggested. A study is then done on that hypothesis to accept or reject it (in your example saturated fats are associated with heart disease), the initial study found some evidence that was consistent with that hypothesis. Later studies on the same topic identified some evidence that wasn’t consistent with that hypothesis, therefore it gets rejected. This is not to say that the first study was wrong, it just didn’t elicit the particular information that discounted the hypothesis.
    Now, when many studies are done on a particular topic and the hypothesis is consistently supported it becomes a theory, that is to say there is a large evidence base validating the original postulation. Vaccination is once such example. Contrary to popular believe, it is not a controversial topic in the medical world.

    It is commonly acknowledged in the medical community that vaccinations can and do have some adverse reactions (incidentally autism is not one of them). As a masters in public health you will know that this is where epidemiology comes in. If the reduction in disease burden is reduced to a greater extent than the burden of adverse reactions from the vaccination then you are doing a net public good for the community. A majority of all vaccination adverse events are extremely minor, slight erythema around the injection site or some myalgia. The more severe adverse reactions like anaphylaxis or encephalitis occur much much more infrequently (1:100,000 and 1:1M respectively). The burden of disease is significantly higher than that. And this is even before we get to herd immunity.

    Because you couldn’t be bothered finding any pro-vaccination links here are some from well respected international organisations:
    http://www.who.int/immunization/en/
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/
    http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/vaccination-schedule-age-checklist.aspx
    http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/

    These are all evidence based and go into depth about the adverse effects of individual vaccines. Also think to yourself, why would the adverse effects (some of which are worse than autism) be listed if all these independent and government organization are on the payroll of pharmaceutical companies. Some vaccinations, like polio, have been donated to the WHO, so the company makes no profit whatsoever. Merck is currently developing a vaccination for malaria, at its own cost, which when finished will be given without charge to whomever needs it.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.latherrinserepeat.com.au Michaela

    Isn’t it sad! I know my grandparents are saddened to know how silly people today are about vaccines. Diseases that are preventable or more easily managed with a vaccine are fatal without.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies Mr David Driscoll

    Seems like the conversation here mirrors that elsewhere – we have pro-vax and people who wanted a ‘balanced’ view.

    For those who thing Sarah gave a balanced view – you have it wrong, her view brought balance (although it isn’t warranted as far as I am concerned) – this fake ‘balance’ issue is ridiculous – as already mentioned, we don’t look for an alternative view every time a story comes on eg archeology vs creationism, 9/11 vs 9/11 conspiracies. It is the same fake claim that the ACCC is belting the Australian Vaccination Network over.

    For people who think kids immune systems can’t deal with a lot of vaccinations (based on ….) here is the latest study jpeds.com/webfiles/images/journals/ympd/JPEDSDeStefano.pdf and a more user friendly explanation and summary sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-for-the-antivaccine-rallying-cry-too-many-too-soon/

    So is the real issue that Sarah went on and made comments without being fully informed (such as most studies done by drug companies – any evidence or quantification for this) or that she made a statement that she was asked to make (and maybe paid for) but didn’t necessarily agree with?

    My small amount of exposure to Sarah has shown numerous times that she doesn’t understand and can’t accurately report the science (and at other times, that she holds little respect for it – after all you can find a study to say anything).

    “I make the point over and over, based on the only comprehensive research I’ve found (by the American Heart Foundation): we are only able to handle 6-9 teaspoons of sugar a day. Which is about the amount contained in 2-3 pieces of low-fructose fruit.”

    Feed your kid low-fat milk? It makes them fat, new study of 11K kids says #IQS t.co/5zBgDAU3MV

    Why is anyone surprised it has happened again – just with a more serious topic this time! Great to see the amount of scientifically literate people here on this topic!

    [Reply]

    Mr David Driscoll Reply:

    Maybe, now some people would like to replace ‘vaccination’ with ‘fructose’ or ‘seed oils’ and NOW do their own research vs relying on second hand reports of what the evidence says or a random 5 minute google search despite claiming “I have looked into this over the years” and “I do follow these kind of health debates, especially these very hairy ones”?

    Maybe correlating disease and something that has increased within the community ISN’T a good source of evidence??

    Food for thought?

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    David, while I think there are other fundamental differences in these arguments I think the very big difference here is going sugar free hurts no one – literally. I think this debate should be left in another area.

    [Reply]

    Mr David Driscoll Reply:

    Symptoms of the same problem – almost minimal at best review of ‘the literature’ (and a second hand one at that I would guess – not actually reading it, just reading about it) and then giving the appearance of an informed opinion!

  • Ange

    Has anyone read the work of Natasha McBride? (the Gaps diet for autism and other disorders) maybe it is as simple as it sounds, you transfer bacteria to your child in the birth canal and the womb (the explanation was a a little more complicated than that though) if you are a very healthy person and have lots of the good guys, you will transfer those to your child if you have a overload of bad bugs you will also transfer those. Children who have a strong immune system and lots of good guys will mostly be fine, but the one’s who have a lot of toxic pathogenic bacteria will react to the vaccines very differently, the immune response is too great for the little body’s. As Louie pastor said before he died ” the germ (vaccine in this case) is nothing, the terrain is everything”.
    I’m sure this is not the case every single time, but certainly food for thought.

    [Reply]

  • Mikey

    I love the logic leap: Vaccines make lots of money (which is false anyway, but why let that stop you), and they are not 100% effective (true).

    Therefore if I pay more for something it will always be more effective.

    Wow.

    [Reply]

    Mia Reply:

    That money comment puzzled me too. If it is just about making money, wouldn’t doctors promote NOT vaccinating? More return visits when you get sick, more moolah for them.

    [Reply]

    Lisa Reply:

    My money point was merely to point out pharma companies have a vested interested in promotion of vaccines which is where a lot of the pro- vaccination PR in media is rooted. Money and profits really has very little to do with the debate in my opinion, it was just part of my statement.

    [Reply]

  • marg

    I have learned over the years to disbelieve everything on tv, both in commentary and advertising.
    Vaccines are a selection of viruses injected into the body. Normally we are exposed to disease by ingestion or inhalation, not through skin. The body is supposed to react to the vaccine by producing antibodies so if the person is exposed to the same substance in the future it will be better prepared to fight it. A vaccine does not give the immunity, your body does. Problem is, bacteria and germs mutate, so your body may not recognise the invader. Hence the constant call to get the latest flu shot.
    My opinion is that the parents are responsible for their children’s welfare and it is no one else’s business if they don’t vaccinate, partly vaccinate or go the whole hog.
    If parents are well educated, and well informed and choose to rely on hygiene and good nutrition – sugar free, wheat free for example, rather than vaccines, then it is their responsibility.
    I reared three children, immunised them against polio, diptheria, whooping cough, ( nine doses) and nursed them through mumps, measles and chicken pox.
    My 6 year old grandson has had more than fifty doses of vaccine in his little life, starting with hep B at one day old. excessive, in my opinion!

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    “Vaccines are a selection of viruses injected into the body.”

    *sigh* No they are not.

    “A vaccine does not give the immunity, your body does.”

    Well yes, your body does, when it is *triggered* by the vaccine.

    “Hence the constant call to get the latest flu shot.”

    Which is why vaccines are constantly improving to match the disease. Most of our vaccinations are highly effective in preventing disease.

    “…sugar free, wheat free for example”

    Sugar and wheat don’t cause whooping cough, a bacteria called bordatella pertussis does. Sugar and wheat don’t cause measles, the measles virus does. People with deitary restrictions catch vaccine preventable diseases at exactly the same rate as people who eat bread and ice cream.

    “excessive, in my opinion!”

    But absolutely essential in the view of thousands of doctors, researchers and scientists who have between them, millions of hours of experience, knowledge and understanding of the human body, disease and vaccines. Lucky for your grandson, he can benefit from this wealth of knowledge

    [Reply]

  • Paddy

    This court case was before the relevant case was totally discredited.
    The above poster cites examples from own experience but who, how many , under what circumstances?
    Do some research vaccination is exactly that a proven method to reduce your risk
    Also read to end of Sarah’s comments. She supports vaccination

    [Reply]

  • MJ

    A statement I often hear is that ‘if you don’t vax your children, then those who are vax are at risk’. So…. if they are still going to contract a virus then
    a)whats the point in the vax & b)why do you want to injeect poison willingly?

    I know a family’s who’s son died of pneumococcal septicaemia at 6 months old. He had all of his shots on time, yet he still died. His older brother who had his shots didn’t contract anything, neither did his parents.
    Either way – I don’t believe they are 100% guaranteed to work. Unfortunatly so many people these days think they will stop any illness your vax against.

    I belive that vax’s are only meant to (maybe) add some more fighting anti bodies in your system.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Your’e right, they AREN’T guaranteed 100% to work. No medication, treatment or medical intervention is guaranteed to work 100%.

    Vaccination reduces the risk of you contracting a disease – in some cases quite signficantly. Measles offers about 95% protection, whooping cough offers about 85% protection, flu vax offers about 65% protection. Either way, your chances are much much better WITH the vaccine rather than without it.

    Would you prefer to be in a motorbike accident with a solid helmet, leathers, boots, gloves and an armoured jacket? Or shorts, singlet and bare feet? That’s the kind of protection that vaccination offers.

    [Reply]

  • Jess

    Sarah, I really wonder if you would vaccinate given how much you know about health. But it’s easier to stay on the good side of the sheeple. I understand that.

    [Reply]

    Cindy Reply:

    Given that she makes the below statement in her article above I would say that she would vaccinate.

    “Vaccinations only really work if everyone does it. One in, all in. I respect that. To this end, I’d vaccinate.”

    Remember she has an auto-immune disease so, like myself, she is at much greater risk if she were to contract one of these diseases.

    [Reply]

  • Sally

    Thank you Trixie, thats helpful. My husband and I have been debating vaccines this week and you’ve saved me time searching.

    Michaela you are right, I apologise for being childish. I took your suggestions clicked on your blog and I was surprised by what I found then I looked for more information on vaccine ingredients. I think what some people want is more information. I wasn’t offered an ingredient list at the GP’s office. I wasn’t given anything from the doctor before my first daughter was vaccinated. I have health conditions and have to be very cautious about pollutants in my house and food, so I do the same when it comes to my body.

    Telling anti-vaccers that they will cause babies to die? Its close to accusing people of murder and its simply not true. Its the illness that causes harm. Are vaccines the best way? Is there another way? Could safer ingredients be used? These are the kind of questions educated people are asking. We aren’t all on the “autism” bandwagon. What about those with weakened immune systems from birth and can’t have the vaccines medically? There is more than one reason not to vaccinate a child.

    [Reply]

  • Jennifer

    As far as I have experienced, vaccination does not work 100% of the time. I was immunised against measles and mumps as a baby (I am now 44) and yet I contracted measles and mumps as a child – neither were life theatening illnesses. When my daughter was born, for a number I reasons I chose not to go down the conventional vaccination path, but chose to homeopatically immunise her. She is a healthy, vital little person. Two years ago she came home from school with a very dodgy cough. I immediately kept her home from school, took her to the GP and consequently discovered she had whooping cough. We used natural medicine to heal her and I can say categorically that she has no long term affects from that illness. The thing that made me very angry at the time was that there were three children within that class who had had dreadful coughs weeks prior to my daughter’s illness but their parents continued to send them to school because they felt that they couldn’t possibly have whooping cough because they had been vaccinated. Wrong. Eventually those kids were diagnosed with whooping cough. They had spread the illness to a number of other kids because their parents were sure that vaccination means you don’t get whooping cough. It is absolutely not true.

    [Reply]

    Cassandra Allen Reply:

    Thankyou Jennifer for your story. I agree totally and was relieved to find an opinion and thoughts which corresponded to mine in this sea of vaccination absurdity.

    [Reply]

    Sally Reply:

    I contracted measles and mumps as a child – neither were life theatening illnesses.”

    You ignorant fool. You recovered quickly AND safely BECAUSE you were immunised. You would have had a much worse case of both of them had you not been immunised. No expert will tell you immunisations are 100% effective. But they work and they work well.
    Look at polio.

    And guess what? While you are gloating in your white bread world, kids who’s parents would KILL for the opportunity to immunise their kids are instead burying them form things LIKE measles etc.

    All you anti-vac fools should be put on your own island. It would be great to see Darwins survival of the fittest in action.
    You can infect each other and you can all die out.

    The EVIDENCE and SCIENCE PROVES vaccinations work and are safe.

    [Reply]

  • Michelle

    I hve both vaccinated and unvaccinated children, decisions I made at the time for each individual child. Not me imposing just my views on each child. I looked at the birth, health and other things relating to each child and made my informed decisions. By the way 27 years ago when I first became pregnant, my GP and gynocologist gave me all the information I needed. I also asked him about his decision. He did not vaccinate his 4 children. I decided to vaccinate the child I was pregnant with. Also on everyone’s comments regarding the herd mentality and vaccinating for the greater good. Personally if any one of my children had a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine, then I would not say – oh well at least the community is safe. At least I took one for the team. How would I be able to look at that child and say well I sacrificed you for the child next door. Has anyone read the book “A Real Boy” it is about a parents life with a severely autistic child – it does not say anywhere in the book that it was related to vaccination, but I would not wish this life on any child, or parent – for the greater good.

    [Reply]

    Cindy Reply:

    I dont think anyone wants to think they are putting their child or their neighbours child at risk. One side argues that they are lowering the risk to their child by vaccinating and thus lowering the chances that their children will suffer these diseases and the other side argues that the side-effects of the vaccine is greater than the risk and effects of the disease. It is a difficult and emotive subject. I think most people on this forum just want to get some decent, well researched scientific information, or at least to know where they can find such information. Knowledge is power. Unfortunately with the advent of the internet there is a lot of information out there that has been discredited but continues to be bandied about and sometimes these forums can get tied up in emotion and personal experiences – guilty of this myself at times!

    I vaccinated my children (21yo & 18yo) after discussions with my doctor & pediatrician and would do so again. So far nothing on this forum has changed my mind that I did not do the right thing, not saying that nothing ever will, just that nothing so far has. In fact, if anything, it has made me more confident that I did the right thing.

    Agree that autism would be incredibly difficult to deal with and heartbreaking as are any diseases that happen to our children but I personally don’t believe that it is caused by vaccinations.

    [Reply]

  • Emmy

    Actually Mikey, I haven’t had Medicine for 20 years, my teenage boys have never had any Medicine whatsoever, they have never been inside a doctors office (well I did take them in to introduce them to him) nor have we been in any medical centres.

    And before you suggest people try to commit suicide by taking homeopathics, you cannot overdose on homeopathics by taking them all in one go, all you have done is wasted the whole $5 you spent on them. At least you have made it clear which Medicine we should have around the house with toddlers then!!

    [Reply]

  • Jeanette Mundy

    All my three children [girls] were vaccinated and two out of three have immune disorders. One of them, at the age of three, had a sudden eye turn which had to be operated on and many other illnesses as a teenager and young adult that I found difficult to explain given their sound diet, exercise and generally healthy life style. I questioned the doctor as to whether he thought it could have stemmed from vaccination. His answer was yes, it was possible. Would I vaccinate my children again knowing this is possible? I’m really not sure because I haven’t done the research, but if I had my kids now [Hindsight is a wonderful thing], I would research and make a more informed decision. If i thought that in vaccinating them they would end up sick like they are now, probably not. Every parent has that right to choose.

    [Reply]

    diogenes Reply:

    Strabismus is caused by vaccination? – now I really have heard everything

    [Reply]

    miss jodi Reply:

    Maybe we can all come to you and seek your counsel so we can all make the right decisions? As you have heard everything and you are clearly an expert in this area, maybe you can help me make a decision on whether to vaccinate or not as I am in the middle of trying to make a decision and at the moment you are not helping or adding constructively to anything. Who on earth are you, what do you stand for, what do you want folks to do and how are you assisting people in making the right choices other than adding astcastic and completely unhelpful comments that just fuel disharmony and discontent??? I honestly would really like to know. If you are a legitimate doctor who is knowledgeable on this matter and people can come see you to talk about making an informed decision, that’s awesome. I would seek out such advice willingly. If your only purpose is to stole tensions and are not helping anyone in your line of work, whatever that is then you are really coming across here as being committed to your own ignorance towards humanity. I am asking you.. What do you do and how are YOU helping people?

    [Reply]

    miss jodi Reply:

    Correction: sarcastic comments.

    diogenes Reply:

    It is a bit much to advise people to not immunise because someone’s child develops a squint. Where is the causal evidence? What is the supposed pathological mechanism?

    Not quite sure of the point of your post but for what it is worth I am a medical specialist, surgeon rather that immunologist. I also earned a PhD which was in part on the history of the eradication of smallpox. This was a major international co-operation and represents a triumph of scientific medicine and vaccination.

    Just think of it, Miss Jodi, 2 million people a year no longer die from a hideous death, 30 million people a year are no longer left with hideous scars and disability. It puts a lot of this debate in perspective.

    miss jodi Reply:

    Honest to goodness, why didn’t you just say that?? State your qualifications from the outset so that when you continue to post comments someone can at least have some idea what you are saying. This is a comment feed and no one knows anyone from a bar of soap. Your statistics are interesting and relevant. If I look at the important points you write and referred to without all the other unnecessary opinions you posted here then you have an argument. Stick to the point. You are a specialist…no one gets to see you unless with a referral. This is not a very ‘accessible’ position for the general population. You have views, you can express them. But we live in a ‘democracy’ so people are going to talk. We live in a country with vastly varied races and classes of people. To refer to or assume people as uneducated or having information passed down or arounds he to experience is ludicrous. We should all feel maybe a little grateful that in this country we can all debate something without the fear of getting shot or killed for our views. It is a luxury a lot of citizens in other countries dont have. No one seems to think about this or appreciate this fact. Instead we just want to get the better of each other, have the last word, hurt someone the most. We totally turn on each other in peace time. On these forums. Then down at gloria jeans or ‘grind’ or wherever the beautiful trendy folks go to talk about whatever they talk about. No one wants to surrender and just be an example in their everyday lives without the mouth to go with it. Everyone had their own journey. Anyway. That’s all I was trying to understand. Just what you do to back up the statements you were making. I will go see my GP and ask them for a list of information about how to go about making a decision to vaccinate once my baby is born in a few months. This comment feed is like a rollercoaster of conflicts of interest and not a very enlightening way to actually make a decision. Thank you for finally a straight answer. That’s all from me. Good luck with the argument all of you, I’m out.

    Diogenes Reply:

    Miss Jodi
    So far you have either called me or implied that I am;
    elitist
    irrelevant with unnecessary comments
    racist
    undemocratic
    ludicrous
    argumentative
    part of the latte set
    bigoted
    old
    sarcastic
    a know it all
    unhelpful
    a creator of disharmony
    and probably some other things I have missed.

    My story.
    I come from a socially disadvantaged rural family and finished high school through a commonwealth scholarship. I did well enough, particularly in maths and science to get into medicine. Fortunately it was in the Whitlam years or I could never have gone to university. The course was then 6 years with a particular emphasis on the methods and interpretation of research and critical thinking. I then did 10 years of post graduate work and research to gain a surgical qualification. While in practice I spent 8 years doing a PhD on the philosophy and history of science – a chapter of my thesis was on the history of the eradication of smallpox.

    Do I think that in a democracy everyone is entitled to their opinion? Of course except that at some stage governments must intervene to protect citizens from the actions of others. In immunisation governments will need to make difficult decisions if polio reappears or immunisation levels fall to 70%

    Do I believe that there is always equivalence in opinions? Definitly not. The interpretation and evaluation of medical research requires a significant and specialised education – it cannot be gained by 10 mins of undirected googling.

    Anti-vaccination arguments are based on faith not reason and Faith is fine but only while it does not endanger others.

    by the way: the avatar is Dr Evatt, the Australian who helped found the UN and indirectly WHO. If I had thought a bit more about it I should have changed it to Dr Frank Fenner for this particular blog.

  • Shannon

    Hmmmmm looks like I’m not the only one who thinks you’ve gone one step too far.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    Why do you keep reading my posts if they upset you so much? But please do keep reading them if you can bear it – you might learn something!

    [Reply]

  • Tim

    Let this be a lesson to you Sarah. Don’t agree to talk on national TV about things that by your own admission know very little about. This is an incredibly serious topic, with massive health consequences for people across the world and needs to be treated as such. Don’t blithely refer to ‘studies’ when you don’t know anything about them. Incidentally a number of those so-called studies have been discredited and I mean proven to be fraudulent rather than just not conclusive. If you’re going to offer an opinion on this matter then get informed more than a quick google search.

    [Reply]

    trixie melodian Reply:

    yep, this.

    [Reply]

    elle Reply:

    YES!

    [Reply]

  • Tim

    So where are these examples of kids having seizures? Please refer me to them as I’d like to read about them more than just an unreferenced assertion. Where is the EVIDENCE that vaccination causes these issues? And even if there is some truth that some children have had adverse reactions to vaccinations, is this a reason to go anti vax? My vaccinated daughter nearly died from whooping cough transmitted to her, most likely, from the increasing pool of children who are unvaccinated. According to doctors – yes scientific opinion – her vaccination was probably what saved her. So give me some evidence of widespread, uncontrolled harm vaccination has done to children, not random, isolated examples of adverse effects.

    [Reply]

  • Shmi

    It’s probably best that an important public health issue such as child vaccinations be discussed and debated by people with true knowledge about the benefits and ramifications of receiving or not receiving them. Sarah Wilson- by her own admission- did not know that much about the issue. And to come out with statements as she did without thoroughly researching the issue is, as a lot of people are claiming, irresponsible. Leave it to real health care experts, doctors and public health researchers to discuss this issue on national television. Perhaps it would have been better to end kochie’s angel segment with the comments from the girls about skinny models.

    [Reply]

    elle Reply:

    I agree.

    [Reply]

  • Shannon

    Lol. Good one.

    [Reply]

  • http://lilapud.com lilapud

    If I may give a very personal opinion, I watched the clip from the show – I basically think that it’s inane to say that people in wealthy suburbs don’t vaccinate their kids because they’re on holidays. Pah! FFS. Very disappointing that Kochie seemed to take an opinion and run with it … Im old-school and like the idea of a) TV presenters in a position such as his, bring up a topic for YOU guys to debate and the audience to think about – he shouldn’t bother sticking his 2cents worth in,
    and b) how ridiculous to bring up such a huge topic and give it like 2 minutes for an opinionated rant from whomever could speak the loudest … (which all in all is why I don’t waste my time looking at TV) … the world needs to stop watching and reading and believing biased, opinionated rubbish and get their heads into what is best for their children by way of studying the research, LISTENING to informed and integrative debate and ASKING QUESTIONS.

    I live in what’s considered a wealthy suburb, and I don’t have children. I don’t have a view for or against vaccinations, but I definitely have a view as to WHY? This is a totally fear based argument and people do it because everybody else is doing it, just like some other ‘traditional’ things people fall for because that’s just what you do … Fuck that.

    Some people with the attitudes similar to those of Sarah”s co-hosts need to realise that a lot of the people who live in wealthy suburbs followed a dream and worked and WORK bloody fricking hard all their lives to make it happen, and in turn create and provide jobs for those who live in less affluent areas. Perhaps they are busy working and trying to keep everything going just as much as those whom they employ, and not actually on holiday. There are plenty of women in ALL suburbs who spend time getting their roots done and suchlike. That has got to be the most puerile argument – not even worth addressing. Personally, I have been saving up for some time to get my greys done!!! It so disappoints me to see this again and again, this them and us situation. Open your minds people, we all have something to learn from each other, not just the “credible doctors” and drug companies who pay for these tests … jesus the brazen naivety … (steam blowing from ears now) …

    Sarah, I hope they are paying you well, because I really feel your intellect and presence is above such petty, naive, irresponsible and brain-numbing television. I don’t mean that as an insult whatsoever – not to you anyway, haha! So if you stay – keep up the questioning. Let’s not all become SHEEP.

    I have to go and do something pleasant now, because it just makes me angry this SHITE!

    See ya! :)

    [Reply]

  • Sally

    OMG how many times do you people need to be told.

    VACCINATION DOES NOT CAUSE AUTISM.

    That was a lie created by a doctor who has now been struck of the medical register for his FAKE research.

    This man has done more harm in the world because of his FAKE research.

    He should have to spend a year in jail for every child that dies because of a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine.

    And every idiot who helps keep spreading this bullshit MYTH should have to be right there next to him in the cell.

    THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO LINK BETWEEN VACINE AND AUTISM

    Stop this criminal act of continuing to perpetuate this LIE.

    [Reply]

  • Virginia

    Challenging views. I Have been vaccinated against many diseases because I like to travel, particularly third world countries, the latest being India. Having said that I have been vaccinated against tuberculosis a few times, but my body cannot build immunity against this disease of which I fully accept. Another loop in the debate.
    I like the healthy debate about vaccination, but fully support it because something like for example, whooping cough, measles and chicken pox are awful diseases for a child to go through.

    [Reply]

  • Mscha

    Hi. I am more interested in asking why sarah says she can’t have children due to having Hashimotos? Other women get pregnant and have healthy children with Hashimotos all the time. Not being disrespectful just really curious re that comment.

    [Reply]

  • D

    For those who think Autism is not caused by vaccines I hope you never have to see your child scream for days, have sudden onset of chronic diarrhea and then regress in front of your eyes shortly after getting their MMR shot. It certainly makes you question what exactly goes in and what damage vaccines can do. The stats are much bigger than you think. I know many people with a story eerily similar to mine and my child is now 17. If they can skew the research data they can most certainly do the same with reaction percentages.

    [Reply]

    diogenes Reply:

    VACCINATION DOES NOT CAUSE AUTISM

    [Reply]

  • trixie melodian

    And I’m still waiting for you to show me where I “bullied” anyone.

    [Reply]

  • http://handmadeemporium.com.au Karina

    It’s such an emotive debate. I was anti vax until my baby ended up in the infectious diseases ward at Ranwick Hospital and nearly died. While there (after being told we wouldn’t be taking him home), 3 babies under the age of 2 months were admitted with whooping cough and 1 died. Horrifying hearing the screams of the devastated mother.

    Our baby survived and I walked out of that hospital – in shock- acknowledging the importance of a national vax program. We no longer have to worry about polio and other vile diseases. We have to give support to protecting our children together.

    But I still haven’t vaccinated my children against diseases that I feel are a part of life and I feel angry when pressured to vax by my doctor. Perhaps we over vax these days?

    [Reply]

    elle Reply:

    Your comment started so well but then I couldn’t believe you said you only vaccinate for SOME things against your doctor’s wishes? Didn’t you learn from your experience?

    [Reply]

  • Elizabeth

    A weighty issue you have been thrown into Sarah! Your post shows you to be a clear and grounded thinker, considering such an important topic was thrown at you moments before air time. It says more about the producers of this show and their lack of respect for their audience. This is partly why I don’t watch it. You need your own show :-) I’d watch that!

    [Reply]

  • Noel

    Before you vaccinate you have to ask an important question? what exactly is in the vaccination. Would you knowingly put this into your body if you actually knew all the ingredients? I doubt it.
    How many doctors actually vaccinate their own children?
    Toxins are toxins, and disease cannot be fort by adding immune damaging toxins to the immune system. I think it should be a matter if choice. If they actually worked, then why after 3 to 4 generations later are they really necessary? the choice is yours! its your body but there’s NO WAY I will let any of this toxic stuff enter my body while I consider myself to be healthy. There’s enough stuff to fight off without having extra stress to the immune system as it is. Just bad science.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Lowe

    Here is something many may like to see. It is a pictorial illustration of the effectiveness of vaccines in reducing and near eradicating diseases. It is US data but efficacy is trans-national. It is also referenced (ie. actual evidence, not mere claims exists to support this)
    http://www.behance.net/gallery/Vaccine-Infographic/2878481

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Lowe

    Some may find this interesting to read; I am sure some will try to find inventive ways to dismiss it.
    Go Big and Go Fast — Vaccine Refusal and Disease Eradication
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1300765

    [Reply]

  • Cheryl

    The recommendation to add drugs to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) come from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PABC). The PBAC only recommends the listing of a medicines in accordance with Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) lisitings. The ARTG is produced by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The TGA is 100% funded by the pharmaceutical industry. That means that, contrary to popular belief, our country’s drug approval system is not independent. That is how the phamaceutical industry can and does wield ‘power’ over the government. Sorry but it is not a conspiracy theory it is a fact.

    [Reply]

  • Asha

    This is not nazi Germany. Why can’t people question things like this with a critical and enquiring mind without being labelled as stupid, irresponsible, crazy etc. Questioning the safety and effectiveness of vaccines can’t be construed to be the same as saying no-one should be vaccinated. It’s a matter of informed consent. Science evolves, it is not infallible. Look back at the prevailing opinions in science and medicine over just the last 100 years and see how many were wrong. In 100 years from now people will no doubt look back on many of our strongly held beliefs with scorn.

    [Reply]

  • Karla

    Sarah,

    I am a huge fan of all your stuff so I say this in the nicest possible way: stop going on trash bag morning programs like Sunrise. They’re cheap, sensationalized and you are million times better than the rubbish they put on there. I am sorry that they set you up for this. You shouldn’t have to justify yourself but good on you for doing it. I’m sorry for the Twitter trolls also. Human beings are cowards. Breathe and remember you are awesome.

    [Reply]

  • Jennifer

    Hello Sally. Thanks for your passionate and inflammatory response. If you read my statement again, you will see that I never said once that people shouldn’t vaccinate their children if they choose to. I have friends who have chosen to vaccinate their children and we still manage to have a happy friendship. Weird, I know. As Vic replied to you, I was pointing out that people who vaccinate their children have a tendency to ignore signs and symptoms of the immunised diseases because they believe that their children can’t be infected and therefore they transmit the diseases onto others. It happens and people aren’t told this when they immunise their kids. They may be more mindful if they did.
    Your aggressive attitude doesn’t change people’s minds. And it doesn’t improve the level of hygeine, basic sanitation and adequate nutrition in developing countries – the main reason why children are suseptible to and die from these common infectious illnesses.
    And I don’t eat white bread!

    [Reply]

  • ash

    People who don’t vaccinate their children are selfish. They are relying on others to get vaccinated in order to maintain ‘herd’ immunity. I don’t think they are really putting their own kids at risk because obviously their children are protected by the majority of people who do chose to vaccinate.

    No doubt these same people who are fearful of any potential side effects associated with vaccination will be more than happy to accept potentially harmful medical treatment (ie drugs with several side effects) when their child contracts an illness.

    This debate will probably just go on until some unvaccinated child contracts a preventable disease such as Haemophilus meningitis and dies. Maybe this is just what we need.

    I feel embarrassed for Sarah just watching that interview!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.facebook.com/CritiqueofDavidGillespiesBigFatLies Mr David Driscoll

    So to be clear, people here think that Sarah was brave to go on TV and represent a point of view that she now says that she doesn’t share?

    Cash for comments?

    What is the going rate for supportive comments on prime time TV for topics that you don’t agree with?

    [Reply]

  • diogenes

    I should add, finished by some non-defined terror about the 21st century.
    Noel, the thought of putting your underpants in the morning must absolutely terrify you

    [Reply]

  • Cheryl

    Based on that logic no-one should ever trust information on pharmaceutical company or pharmacy websites. FYI there is plenty of information on websites ending in .gov and .edu that support the claims made by those who oppose mandatory vaccination.

    [Reply]

  • Neesy

    Agreed!

    [Reply]

  • Jenny

    Did you actually read Sarah’s comments ?
    She said bottom line she would vaccinate
    Please learn how vaccination works

    [Reply]

  • Jenny

    Did you read to the end of Sarah’s comments. Se said she was sick and poorly prepared and bottom line, she supports vaccination.

    [Reply]

  • Dianna Love

    I feel for Sarah having to go on and debate with totally ignorant people.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Lowe

    To Cheryl, this “100% funding” of which you speak, is a “cost recovery process.” Look it up. It means, that when a submission is made to the ARTG/TGA for a listing, the process by which the TGA goes through all of the material (hundreds to thousands of papers from the laboratory data through to the clinical trials) checking it, ensuring it meets standards, the cost for this is borne by the drug manufacturer, not the taxpayer. Simply it is if a drug manufacturer wants the drug to go to market they must pay for the process. Very different to how you choose to portray it or hope to lead people to think. The average person would expect it to be this way; afterall it is the same standard that applies for other products; it is the same standard that applies to alternative medicines (which only have to supply safety data (not efficacy) and have a listing rather than a registration. Do some research; don’t just regurgitate your value driven bigoted bile. You are back at being a conspiracy theory; that is a fact.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Lowe

    So Vanessa, you write that “.gov and .edu are HUGELY funded by the companies that make vaccines.” That is a claim that you should easily verify; please it would be good if you did. Also, here is a hint; capitalisation doesn’t make what you write “more correct.”

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Lowe

    A lot of anti-vaccination belief has deep roots in conspiracy theories; big pharma buying out governments, buying out doctors and nurses (which for many means buying out your friends…think about it) and buying out the universities. One of the other areas of conspiracy claiming is how they aim to rewrite history as many of us would know it: the story of Jenner and smallpox, the story of Pasteur and the boy with rabies. I have put in a few links to cover this for those who waver, think it is a matter of opinion (we are entitled to our own opinion but not our “own facts.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine_controversies
    http://www.csicop.org/si/show/anti-vaccination_movement
    http://jdc325.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/a-history-of-anti-vaccine-campaigns/
    http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/from-jenner-to-wakefield-the-long-shadow-of-the-anti-vaccination-movement (that is a video/audio clip)

    For those that care to look further you will find the huge cross over between anti-vaccination and HIV denialism, the questioning of life saving western medicine.

    [Reply]

  • Bec

    Thanks Tatiana, I also feel the hate on this page is so unhelpful. Would anyone actually talk to someone who thinks differently to them like this in real life. This is nearly as bad as reading any comments by paleo v’s raw vegans!!!!

    This is not the place to come if you want to make an educated decision, if however you want to add to your own stress and that of others in regards to an important yet personal matter then read every comment.

    [Reply]

    Tatiana Reply:

    It has been an interesting read. I feel sad for those who have been deeply touched by comments due to their personal circumstances and the question you raise is so valid in my view: would people treat each other like this should they be debating face to face?? I have to say i imagine the discussion would have ended long time ago, which says a lot to me.

    We seem to be more worried about convincing others of our “right” views than about really caring for the person we are establishing contact with.

    I agree, this is not the place to make up your mind, but it should be a place to get guidance. And yes…the paleo/animal based diet vs raw/vegan debate looks very similar to this. It is some kind of boxing ring to declare a winner rather than an exploration of reasons and observations.

    [Reply]

    Bec Reply:

    Agree, lots of people have lost a child or someone close to them either through or exacerbated by both vaccinating and not vaccinating, but no one seems to be caring about their hearts in their replies. They deserves hugs not hate.

    Anytime there are strong thoughts vastly different and very personal people do seem to want to ‘win’ in some kind of high ground boxing match (good description tatiana). Lets all educate ourselves on the other side to make sure we really are informed (don’t avoid vaccinations just cause they are not natural, don’t vaccinate just cause the govt says you should… remember they only just last month decided to tell us that limiting our intake of sugar might be a good idea for our health!!!).

    I feel sorry for Sarah. She presented the views that those who choose not to vaccinate might have to make for a balanced discussion then stated on her blog that she would choose to vaccinate and now everyone is annoyed with her!!!!

    [Reply]

    miss jodi Reply:

    Agree. It is very sad. People weigh in who seem to do it just for the sake of stirring emotions and not contributing anything helpful. There are a lot of people who have never even been present here before and just seem interested in personal attacks. It is horrendous and I get so despondent with humanity sometimes. Kind of disgraceful. It makes me very upset

    [Reply]

    Trevor Lowe Reply:

    It is because people care about children that they want correct information about vaccines out there; not misinformation. Bec; you have failed consistently to reference your claims regarding “lots” and all of supposed harmful ingredients in vaccines.
    You also fail to reconcile your stance regarding vaccines with your professional and ethical obligations as a nurse and those of the ANMC. There would be a grave discordance between what you have stated here and any expectations in the workplace.
    It is very easy to label as “hate” any challenge to your claims; it shifts the argument away from the issue at hand. It is unfortunate that you are apparently unable to justify your claims and so chose to label as “hate” the reasonable expectation that you justify your claims. They are basics within science; you say you have a Masters degree.

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    Sarah, with all due respect, judging by a lot of the comments here, and your own comments on Sunrise, that it strikes me that you’ve somehow become the unofficial leader of the crackpot brigade! The crackpot army with their conspiracy theories and “breakthrough” research that they read about on the internet written by other crackpots. Seriously, you can’t expect any shred of credibility if you keep going on like this! If you really want to be a defender of the opposing views, then please provide some credible research and studies. If you can’t, then surely that’s a sign that the views held are not trustworthy?? I mean, what’s more important here? Reason or Emotion? For me, they’re both equally important but they need to balance each other out; ie, reason must be guided by emotion that comes from true care for others (to be effective), and emotion has to be guided by reason and intelligence or else our species cannot survive for very long.

    I understand the mistrust some people may feel against people in authority, or even doctors, and so-called “big pharma” companies. It’s ok to not be a sheep, it’s true, but it’s also ok to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Meaning, don’t for heaven’s sake risk your children’s lives and health and other people’s by not going with the methods that have been KNOWN and PROVEN beyond any reasonable doubt to have eradicated many preventable diseases simply because of a few articles that you read that impressed you on the internet. Beware, the internet is open to anyone with an opinion to present themselves as some sort of expert. But it’s each individual’s responsibility not to fall for their fantasies.

    Those wealthy Sydney parents who don’t vaccinate their children – why do i get a vibe that they think their kids are actually too good to be part of the so-called ‘herd immunity’? That by not vaccinating their kids they feel themselves as superior to the others, who are nothing but gullible sheep? As they’re so ‘educated’ they feel that they’re somehow making an informed choice. All I can say is, it’s very sad when people feel that they don’t have to participate in doing what’s the best thing for the common good anymore, because they think they’re not a part of that, or don’t want to be a part of it. It’s incredibly selfish.

    And what’s this fad of following some new idea made by good-looking women or people such as Jenny McCarthy, people think she’s somehow worth listening to because she’s blonde and looks amazing. (I notice the same about Gwyneth Paltrow, although her views are about nutrition rather than vaccination and autism, people lap up every word she says seemingly because she’s blonde and rich and has an amazing body). I can’t attribute it to anything else but the fact that they’re extremely attractive and for some reason, gain a cult following who worship their every word because of it. It’s ok when they stick to making movies, but when they start spouting opinions that affect children’s lives and health, then people need to wake up to the fact they’re not experts in any sense of the word. Just because you’re an expert at dieting and working out and looking beautiful, doesn’t make you an expert about anything else, much less the causes of childhood autism! The fact that a lot of people take their word as gospel truth is truly mind-boggling to me.

    Anyway Sarah, I know that you have good intentions, but please, educate yourself dear, I mean truly educate yourself about the effects of vaccination. Maybe go to a third-world country and see what it’s like not to have first-world problems? Don’t rely on your own counsel, especially when it’s not qualified to make any kind of expert opinion. And I wish to say the same for the members of the ‘crackpot army’ as well. Lol cheers.

    [Reply]

    miss jodi Reply:

    Your comments, opinions and assumptions totally offend me. Judging by the comments on this article, SW is damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t. Your comments do not ‘add’ to anything for a person who is undecided. Your comments are condescending, sarcastic and unhelpful. I hope you are keeping other personalities in the public eye ‘accountable’ for any comments about lesser subjects in check as you are doing here. As there are more out there that are less honest, up front, and authentic as human beings than SW. You and a bunch of other people with similar comments here add to nothing more than this truly UGLY enigma of our time referred to as ‘troll’ behaviour. It is disgusting and unfortunately it is folks like you that are committed to their own ignorance and opinions. That is a more rigid and inflexible attitude towards your fellow human beings than anything SW has said.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Crackpot alert! :-)

    [Reply]

    Tatiana Reply:

    “All I can say is, it’s very sad when people feel that they don’t have to participate in doing what’s the best thing for the common good any more, because they think they’re not a part of that, or don’t want to be a part of it. It’s incredibly selfish.”

    Just to mention some other aspects in the vastly wide spectrum of that sentence: consumerism, air pollution, water pollution, education, energy consumption…I think most people should really not point fingers at others about “not doing the right things for the common good” because in today’s world I can almost assure there is something you do in your life that is of terrible consequences for a mass of people somewhere else. Just let a bunch of people you don’t know assess your lifestyle once and they will tell you a few things you probably don’t want to hear about yourself. In that respect, people who are not experts in some topic can have a less biased perspective on it as they have no vested interest in defending or attacking a particular view. In that regards I actually appreciate people’s opinions as they area different representation of a reality presented by “the experts”.

    I am from a third world country, and a very troubled one. I find it interesting (for lack of a better word) that you seem to know more than us what to be born and live in a third world country is like. In many ways, third world countries have been led to believe that what they have is not enough and that they need to strive to get what 1st world countries have, including the problems that come with their first world “progress”. I remember reading a book called “Nutritional Degeneration” or something like that. The guy went to compare indigenous communities both in isolated conditions and those who had access to ‘the first world” marvels. Pretty much every health problem encountered was only present in those communities that had access to “first world lifestyle”. So I wonder…how many of today’s illness that we are vaccinated for, are a consequence of 1st world lifestyle and, what if for the common good we radically change 1st world expectations of how life should be lived like. It really strikes me that they way you look at “rich people” in that they somehow feel they are superior, according to you as I don’t share that view, looks quite similar to you saying that the rich first world is much better off and superior to the third world….just the use of those words create a vast social categorization and ranking.

    Speaking of education…I am not going to say you need to educate yourself, you have probably studied what you wanted, but the fact that you choose what to study, where to live, who your friends and enemies are, what to read, watch and listen to, creates your world view and makes up your opinions. Your opinions are not more valid than anybody else’s just because they are yours. I am pretty sure that a lot of people here have academic titles as valid as yours. We are all entitled to express what we observe of the world from our angle.

    I would really encourage you to treat people with respect and care. If I have offended you in any way, please accept my apologies as such was not my intention at all.

    Speaking of independent thinking…I find this read absolutely fascinating, hope you take the time and enjoy the challenge: http://charleseisenstein.net/ted-a-choice-point/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CharlesEisenstein+%28Charles+Eisenstein%29

    I am not an anti-vaxer. I think people do it for different reasons…and some other don’t do it for different reasons. I have however observed a common denominator in both groups: fear…and interestingly enough, fear of getting sick, fear of the consequence of doing it, or not doing it. So…given that both sides have the same motive to act, both views and decisions should be respected equally I believe.

    [Reply]

  • Melissa

    Try telling that to children who die from diseases in third world countries that could be avoided by a simple vaccine ! Oh, and how do you think polio was eradicated??? Your kids were just lucky

    [Reply]

    Alysa Reply:

    Yes yes yes! Recently watched Ewan McGregor on ‘Cold Chain Mission’ (SBS I think) to see the lengths people will go to immunise children in remote parts of some developing countries. We are so lucky in this country and should not take medical advances for granted. I have an infant and have heard many mothers complaining that their child got a cold or could not sleep etc after a jab. Unbelievable. I don’t think it is more uncaring to consider society as a whole and not just focus on the temporary discomfort of your own child….

    [Reply]

  • Darren Saunders

    From the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control – Objections frequently raised by people opposed to vaccination and responses from immunisation specialists…

    http://www.vaccinews.net/2011/05/vaccination-20-objections-20-responses/

    [Reply]

  • suzy

    Thankyou.

    [Reply]

  • oldenwise

    Bottomline… should kids be vaccinated?

    I’ll cut to it. The factor that really strikes me as key here is that I live in a society where most parents vaccinate their kids. They do so because it’s commonly held that the more kids vaccinated, the safer our community. Vaccinations only really work if everyone does it. One in, all in. I respect that. To this end, I’d vaccinate.

    te only thing that needs to be researched is Mercury…the most common ingredient in Vaccines.

    Bottom line is that you are doing exactly what the rest of the sheep “one in, all in” in the world are doing..go ahead and vaccinate…if something goes wrong you were warned…and don’t forget to Gardasil your boys against cervix cancer…why a person that cannot have children should be asked to debate this topic I will never know.

    [Reply]

    Annette Bannon Reply:

    There are no mercury in vaccines, ugh!!
    Gardisal for boys is stop the spread of the HPV virus between males and females. The HPV virus is responsible for oesphageal and throat cancers.
    Anti-vaxers do my head in. They say they research, when in reality they could not research their way out of a paper bag!!

    [Reply]

    Marilyn Reply:

    I ‘d just like to know just how time and effort you have done to make statements to say what you say or are just repeating some else, have you seen the pictures of girls perfectly healthy and vibrant health and after taking Gardisal a vegetable the next . Until you have I’d reserve you judgement if I wee you , and as far as I’m aware they have stopped putting mercury in vaccines and now replacing it with aluminium.

    [Reply]

    Andy Reply:

    Hmmm, research… I think you’re doing it wrong.

    Table salt contains a sodium compound. Water is a hydrogen compound. Both sodium and hydrogen are explosive and yet neither table salt not water are explosive. Oxygen aids combustion and yet water, despite containing hydrogen and oxygen, is used to put fires out.

    Chemistry is fascinating like that and it’s the reason people can say, quite legitimately, that vaccines don’t contain mercury. They used to contain a mercury compound, although almost none even have that any more due to scaremongering – like Sarah did last week. But a mercury compound isn’t mercury, just like sodium chloride, salt, isn’t sodium and water isn’t hydrogen.

    And frankly, if you have no understanding of simple chemistry, you aren’t equipped to research vaccines and you’re likely to be mislead by nonsense – like the nonsense that “vaccines contain mercury”. So you have some choices… do a degree in chemistry and then medicine and then immunology, or accept the consensus view of people who do understand science or, lastly, adopt an almost-religious faith in people who don’t understand science.

    [Reply]

  • miss jodi

    Re: ‘Diogenes’
    Your comment is offensive, unrelated to this issue and nothing more than a personal attack. Please keep you bigoted afghanistan related subjects away from this issue.the Taliban has nothing to do with this. You photo indicated you are an older and wiser contributer to society but your actual comment is ridiculous and does not add to this debate. It denigrates it. Please do not comment on something that clearly YOU know nothing about.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.latherrinserepeat.com.au Michaela

    They didn’t die from measles and lived happily ever after in the warm embrace of immunity?

    I’m sure you’re referencing some crackpot propaganda here, but I can hope.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Lowe

    An interesting piece to read: don’t just take it at the headline, read the entire article.
    http://theconversation.com/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978

    Essentially, there are facts and opinions; yes people are allowed to have their own opinions but you can’t have a separate set of facts from reality. You can’t make stuff up and then claim you are “entitled to your own opinion” and you can’t do it whether you are a unqualified person or someone with a PhD or Masters degree. Most certainly, you are not entitled to express an opinion which may affect the health of others unless it is based in fact and you are prepared to justify your opinion.

    [Reply]

  • Simba

    Dear Sarah,

    You are not a doctor, in particular you are not an immunologist or an epidemiologist. If I asked you to explain how the immune system works scientifically, including cell types, pathways and antibody production, I am certain you would not be able to answer. You might fancy yourself as a bit of a celebrity, but you do not have any relevant qualifications or experience to allow you to discuss vaccination.
    Yes, you can use the internet. So can my very young children. No, that doesn’t make you an ‘expert’.
    I am a doctor, but not an immunologist – I defer to my colleagues in this area as the science is complex enough to be beyond the average lay person, and I understand the decades of study and experience that have made me competent in my own specialty.
    It is sheer arrogance to think you can go on national TV and speak to an impressionable audience about something you have no right to be speaking on.
    I don’t think you have the capacity to understand the implications of your baseless and wrong statements. Because of what you said, in your capacity as a ‘familiar face’ on TV, a child may well die. Children may well die. Parents, who in our idiotic celebrity-obsessed society, would rather listen to vacuous drivel than the opinions of scientists – may choose not to vaccinate.
    Doctors understand this, we see death, and we understand the consequences of our advice. God forbid you ever walk onto a paeds ward and see the screams of a grieving mother whose child has died from whooping cough; or a 10 year old slowly dementing from the consequences of measles. Because these may be the results of YOUR words.

    [Reply]

    Emma Reply:

    I don’t understand – when did the death of a child with measles become more important than the death of a vax injured child?

    Oh that’s right > Doctors aren’t trained to recognise vax injuries > therefore they don’t exist > therefore it can be anything but the vax

    I’m sure this can go on and on forever but the main point is that we are all happy with our own decisions. No one can tell you to vax if are against it, if something happens to your child, no one else is going to look after them therefore it’s no one else’s choice

    [Reply]

    Cheryl Reply:

    As you admit you defer to the expertise of immunologists I suggest you read “Vaccine Illusion” by Tetyana Obukhanych PhD or watch her presentation at the Vaccine Summit Vancouver 2013.

    [Reply]

    Trevor Lowe Reply:

    Defer to the majority of immunologists may be a better way of putting it. This also involves deferring to the body of evidence, physiologists, biochemists medical professors, epidemiologists and the list goes on. Yes there is a handful of “qualified people” that stand in isolation to their profession but without substance.
    http://biologyfiles.fieldofscience.com/2012/01/what-makes-expert-dangerous.html

    If you believe it appropriate to defer to an immunologist; how about you defer to the vast majority, not just the one that suits you.

    [Reply]

  • flaktrak

    Sarah you are an idiot!

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    Hi Tatiana. You call me out for saying what you shouldn’t defend, but I was only replying to your comment to me where you had started lecturing me about having ‘respect for other people’s views’. Now that’s a bit of the pot calling the kettle, don’t you think?

    You say you’re not an “anti-vaxxer”, but judging by all your posts here, you seem to insist on trying to silence people who are on the side of proof, the conclusive and irrevocable evidence of the effectiveness of vaccines? Or are we not entitled to receive the same respect for our opinions as well?

    And regarding the lack of respect that you accuse me of, which I don’t agree with at all, did you not read my posts where I said that I understand the fear where it’s all coming from for these anti-vaxxers, but I said that for the common good they should get over that irrational and unsubstantiated fear. Where’s the lack of respect in that? Calling for reason and common sense is a lack of respect now is it? I beg to differ. Maybe that’s just your own (false) perception of things. You should be careful about that.

    Then you accuse me of being sarcastic (second attack on me) when all I did was call you “dear”. I call everyone dear. I prefer it to love or hun or sweetie, which I think is condescending, lol. I’ll choose not to feel offended that you accuse me of sarcasm too, when I thought i was being perfectly cordial with my reply to you.

    Then you say that I was telling you to ‘get over it’. No, I was addressing the anti-vaxxers to get over it. As you already mentioned several times that you’re not an anti-vaxxer, why on earth do you think that the comment is directed at you? And what’s wrong with that comment exactly?

    Which leads me to my next point, you seem to take a lot of these issues on board and rather personally, when you’ve not yourself mentioned if you’ve had to make the decision of whether or not to vaccinate your child, or whether you have your own children at all, or whether any of these issues directly affect you. As for me, I have a child and I had to make the decision of whether or not to vaccinate her, and despite the paranoia drummed up by the crackpots I still chose to have her immunized. Because I knew that I had to get over it. I knew that my limited understanding was nowhere near the level of the health professionals who advocate for vaccination and I couldn’t honestly say no in the face of overwhelming evidence to support its case. Not to mention my experience of having lived in a third world county, I appreciate the benefits of this kind of care for my child. So my comments come about because I have weighed up both points of view and I overcame my own little doubts to give my child the best care that she needs. But what about you? What’s your interest in this that you have to make attacks on someone like myself? Or you just like to jump in and have a go at people when it’s got nothing to do with you? Sorry but that’s what i see that you’re doing here.

    You talk about the problems of literacy in the indigenous communities, again sorry but what’s that got to do with this issue? I would absolutely hope that indigenous peoples get their children immunized as well. Would you tell an indigenous person to refuse free vaccinations for their children? If not, then what is your problem?

    I didn’t ask you why you came to Australia, I said that if you think that the first world is so bad, then why do you live here and not in your former country? And what’s selfish about coming to this country “to get more oppportunities”? How do you know that my parents didn’t come here without great personal sacrifice, leaving close family members behind, to start over in a strange and foreign and rather inhospitable culture to give their children a better life? And again, what’s all this got to do with the issue of anti-vaccination???

    I think too many people these days especially in the first world have far too much time in their hands looking on the internet and thinking that there’s some sort of world conspiracy going on and getting paranoid about everything. Don’t get me wrong, Tatiana. I’m an advocate for healthy skepticism, but not unhealthy skepticism. And going against the wisdom of immunizing children from deadly diseases, is to me, a very unhealthy skepticism based on profound ignorance. Ever heard of the saying, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”? That’s what i see is going on here.

    And lastly, I did NOT say that people who don’t immunize their kids don’t love them. Where did I say that? Are you referring to my comment about my having faith that most people try do the best thing for their children, and wouldn’t knowingly cause harm to them or others? Well, I think that anti-vaxxers, who believe that they’re making an “informed” or as Sarah said an “educated” decision are not doing so at all, and yes, by being so “informed” and taking such actions, that they are actually causing harm to their children and to others. Whether they see that or not. Love is not just to protect your own and damn everyone else. It’s not about being obstinate and arrogant enough to think that you know better than the real experts. I’m standing up here for the common good, what’s proven to be for the common good of society. The moment someone starts to have doubts, and not participate in this common good that requires the participation of most to be effective for all, then we’re all doomed. That’s why we’re seeing outbreaks of whooping cough (in Sydney, surprise surprise) in children all of a sudden. And you accuse me of not being the one who cares? People who don’t get their kids vaccinated against whooping cough for instance are as guilty of giving their kids whooping cough themselves, IMO. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. And I’m someone who’s simply trying to ensure that it doesn’t happen. And I’m the bad guy as far as you’re concerned, right?

    So to conclude Tatiana dear (and I mean that not in a sarcastic way remember), if you really want people to respect others’ opinions, you could possibly start with your good self, and not attack me for instance, and just allowed me to express my view and left it at that, just as I allowed you to express your view and not replied to it and called you sarcastic, offensive, and whatever else. I didn’t do that to you, right? Not even after you replied to me at first. To me, that shows respect for what you said. Having a difference of opinion does NOT mean a lack of respect. I think that’s what you need to be more clear about. (And also to make sure that you read my comments properly next time, I hate getting misquoted for things that I never said).

    [Reply]

  • William

    Some ideas are dangerous. It is OK to question appropriately but not to place other people’s lives at risk. Promoting homeopathy as alternative to proven drugs is a case in point. Is it moral to stand by and watch someone deteriorate because they are taking memory water instead of a real drug? No.

    Not all debate is constructive or healthy. Go get some real facts before you promote such dangerous opinions, please.

    [Reply]

  • Rosie

    My parents are also doctors who choose not to vaccinate my sibling and myself in the 70s. We both got whooping cough at 2 and 4. I still remember the experience and the fear it inspired in our family. As a result I got my children vaccinated. It may not be full proof and I appreciate that but I think it is an attempt at being a responsible community member and a conscientious parent. I think debate is healthy but I also think we shouldn’t take out current health standards for granted, nor undermine the role medicine (and vaccinations) played in making us all safer.

    [Reply]

    Helene Reply:

    It’s weird that you mention whooping cough specifically: I myself (and my sister) were infected with pertussis by a batch of faulty dTap vaccines (the preparation of those particular vaccines had been banned in 1986 in the UK, as she and I much later learned in our university molecular biology class). The banned vaccines were then exported wholesale to the third world, where my sister and I were injected with them. Having experienced pertussis yourself, I am sure you know how gravely ill we were for nearly 3 months, when we were only a few months old. If it were not for the very dedicated nursing efforts of our mother, I do not think either of us would have pulled through. While I agree with vaccines, I think that the offhand manner of many medical distributors in many countries is disgusting and deaths which did occur from that same batch of vaccines (and there were many, apparently) amount to culpable homicide. So I personally take a dim view of vaccines, and an even dimmer view of those who patronizingly believe that vaccines will save the third world.

    [Reply]

  • Tatiana

    I am very sorry. I honestly didnt mean to attack you and i am very sorry i came across that way. I have a child and i vaccinated him. I am spending too much time in this conversation so unfortunately i have to abandon it as i am in the middle of moving houses and approaching a trip as well.

    In all honesty I am not against what you think or against what pro vax or anti vax think. I sttruggle with how opinions are expressed but judging by your response I am doing the same. Unfortunately, I think, this mediums of discussion make words and sentences being very prone to missinterpretations and I think it is not worth to catch a fight, or at least it is not my intention, i wish you could see my face or hear my voice. But anyway…I think most of my comments were also misinterpreted and sometimes, not matter how hard one tries not to, offense is taken. I never mesnt to accuse you, unfortunately I couldnt help but take the “my dear” as a condescendent expression…specially considreing the heat of the debate. I never thought you did not or do not care…anyway…i think we have said what we wanted to say and sorry again.

    I wish you well and hope we can all contribute to a better world in what we can,

    Tatiana.

    P.S. I unsubscribed from this comments thread as i can’t commit to the time required to participate but if you wanted to comment on this and let me know, you can always throw me an email: environline525 (at) gmail (dot) com

    [Reply]

  • bron

    Are we still banging on about this? By her own admission she doesn’t agree with the anti vaccination stand and she believes she holds no responsibility for her irresponsible actions. She hides behind some type of ‘celebrity’ expecting her ‘groupies’ to back her up.

    What she should do is apologise and move on. This issue is far too important to be used for pathetic whoring for ratings. I’m ashamed of her behaviour, pity she isn’t.

    [Reply]

  • jenny

    sally.
    it is a myth that vaccination causes autism.
    if you do some research, you will be able to reassure yourself and more importantly ensure that you are not unwittingly spreading misinformation that can frighten vulnerable people who are unable to find the truth themselves.
    did you read to the end of sarah’s comments when she says she supports vaccination.
    it is worth finding out how vaccination works how much good it has done

    [Reply]

  • Illyria

    Wrong. All she did was become the anti vax pinup girl .. along side the drug addled ex porn star. She just gave the anti vaxers a new forum for their lies, and they are lies.

    Many issues have 2 sides, but with vaccination there is the side that is backed by history, science and reality and there is the anti vaccination side that has no evidence to back up their every increasingly idiotic claims.

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Reply:

    Yeah, I guess we are essentially the same point then……..

    [Reply]

  • Illyria

    By the way, now she has admitted to saying whatever she needed to for the ratings, how do we now take her seriously on any other subject?

    We don’t know if the books are useful or just put out there to get the sales.

    We don’t know if her causes are valid or if she’s supporting them because Koch told her to.

    [Reply]

    Rebecca Reply:

    I guess you could choose not to read her blog or book if you don’t respect or trust her opinions…? Where did she admit to “saying whatever she needed to for the ratings”?

    [Reply]

  • Cheryl

    @ Sam: Your claim “That’s why we’re seeing outbreaks of whooping cough (in Sydney, surprise surprise) in children all of a sudden” is a baseless assumption. You might like to educate yourself on the real reason for the current epidemic by reading this article on the 2012 findings of the genetic microbiolgists at the University of NSW http://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/health/sharp-rise-cases-new-strain-whooping-cough.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Lowe

    Cheryl, the article talks about “may be contributing”…which is very different to “the real reason” (unless you know more than the scientists involved.
    The made the point that “The whole cell vaccine contained hundreds of antigens, which gave broad protection against many strains of B. pertussis,” said Associate Professor Lan. “But the acellular vaccine contains only three to five antigens.
    “If the ACV is less effective against these new strains, we need to ask what other strategies can be used to combat the epidemic, which is ongoing.”
    Essentially, the problem isn’t vaccination per se, but that perhaps the antigen component needs to be broader, reflecting the broader presentation of antigens presented by the bacteria.

    [Reply]

  • miss jodi

    I am not up to speed with ‘avatars’ or their significance in the social networking area. I am not on Facebook, nor do I exist in the twittisphere so forgive me if I expect that folks put a photo of themselves that reflect who they are unless it’s a cartoon of Garfield or something. As for ‘guessing’ that Australians only have sports stars as heroes well that is a problem right there…you ‘guess’. I have no interest in sport so if you are suggesting that my interest lies on that area you are sadly mistaken, whoever you are. I count aboriginal artists such as Namatjira & Daniel Boyd, doctors such as Fiona Wood & Fred Hollows, the ulnknown and un-recognised doctors and medical staff currently deployed in the medical facilities afghanistan, who save the lives of our soldiers, and the wider staff who assist the citizens if that country, the soldiers, their families, and the farmers from our local farmers markets who work hard to being us fresh food so we can choose to be healthy, as my heroes. I really deplore your lofty attitude.

    [Reply]

  • Kay

    Yep, I thought that too Jane, but I’m now living in Northern NSW and my daughter’s public preschool doesn’t require children to be immunised – they are just excluded when there there is an outbreak of a VPD.

    I found this out when I dropped my daughter off after there was a single case of whooping cough and I asked one of the teachers “where are all the kids?!”

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  • http://beaucornerstone.blogspot.com.au/ Beau

    I am a mother of three grown children. My first son had a couple of immunizations. My other two children had none. All three of my young adults are healthy today and have had no major childhood illnesses. Two kids got chicken pox but we never had mumps, measles, whooping cough, asthma etc.

    I’m not out to convince anyone to do what our family did. I am just sharing our experiences. My husband and I made an informed choice not to immunize – without the aid of any internet sites – simply because the internet wasn’t around when we made the decision not to vaccinate our children. These were the factors which influenced our decision.

    1. My husband’s dad was a very fit sailor in the Navy. He was a rowing champion. He and seven mates were involved in a blind vaccination trial – they were out at sea miles when they took part in it. Four men were perfectly unaffected by the vaccination they received. My father-in-law and three of his other mates all contracted polio 4 days after the inject – which resulting in permanent paralysis to his previously strong rowing arms – his right arm in particular.

    2. In spite of the above incident we permitted our first child to be vaccinated. Nothing happened for the first two times. On the third vaccination he received he got a raging fever – not straight away – but about 10 days after the vaccination. He had never really had a temperature – but it was 40 degrees and he was starting to convulse. I was a young mother – inexperienced – and still breastfeeding him. I took him down the hospital and the nurse instantly dunked him in a bath of tepid water. I looked around and was stunned. There were about 6 other mums all with babies my age. I recognized three of them – they were mums who’d been in the same queue for vaccination the same day I’d been. We were all ashen faced as we realized. I told the nurse where I’d met the other women as we tried to get my son’s temperature down. She replied the vaccination must have been a bad batch. (The words bad batch were her words not mine).

    3. Despite both my father in law’s experience and now our own personal experience, I still wanted to believe that vaccination was okay and that it was the right thing to do. Then hubby’s best mate started on me. By this stage we’d moved to a remote mining community without a television (or the internet) so reading was a desirable way to pass the time. Hubby’s mate handed me a bunch of medical journal articles and a couple of books written by doctors. I was stunned by what I read. Information like how impossible it was that cowpox vaccinations could prevent smallpox – because while the sores of both diseases looked similar one disease was cause by a virus and one was caused by a bacteria. Other information – which showed how diseases like measles and cholera dropped dramatically as towns were connected to clean scheme water and deep sewerage – and that these diseases were declining in the population years before the introduction of vaccinations. I also read that only 17% of American doctors vaccinated their own children – and that made me think – why such a low figure?

    4. By this stage hubby was convinced but I still wasn’t. I decided to ask the local nursing sister what she felt – she was nearing retirement and had 40 years more experience with babies than me (and there wasn’t a doctor in town anyway). I honestly expected her to tell me that hubby and his mate were wrong. To my astonishment she agreed with them. She said she had witnessed aboriginal babies dying after being immunized multiple times as a younger nurse – apparently the language barrier made it hard to ask if a baby had been immunized so they just routinely jabbed any baby that came to a clinic if it looked about the right age for a shot. After a few deaths the aboriginal mums cottoned on – and literally ran away from anyone holding a needle near their kids. This particular nurse cottoned on too – because she made more of an effort to learn the language than other nurses. And she said as an old nurse nearing retirement she still felt responsible for contributing to those babies’ deaths.

    5. If as a parent you feel it’s the right thing to do to immunize your child – then you should. And realistically if immunization really works you have nothing to fear – if immunization works then the non-immunized children can’t pass anything nasty onto your immunized child can they?? If immunization really works all immunized children should be hyper-protected, healthier and get the diseases they are immunized against significantly less often than non-immunized children. Right?? And if you’re sure that that is true and immunization really works and you are prepared to accept the risks – then go for it. Just don’t ridicule other parents who’ve made informed decisions that the risks outweigh the benefits.

    I don’t know what the current statistics are for doctors’ children – how many of them are immunized. But I think you’ll find that a lot of doctors around the world still prefer not to immunize their own children. And if 100% of doctors worldwide don’t unanimously support immunization – then surely the rest of the general public have the same right to decide for themselves as the doctors do.

    [Reply]

    diogenes Reply:

    1. Do you really, really think that cowpx and smallpox are not both viral illnesses?
    2. The navy undertook clinical trials on a boat in the middle of the ocean?
    3. A “bad batch” of vaccine caused severe reactions – that certainly happened in Bundaberg in the 1920s and was a major scandal (it was a bacterial contamination) but i am surprised that it did not become a major scandal in more recent history
    4. the opnion of a rural nurse has equivalence of the mass of scientific opinion?
    5. No one says immunised children are hyperprotected but depending on the vaccine they are certainly more protected

    [Reply]

  • Renae

    Trevor,

    References below.

    Just type in Dr Vijendra Singh and MMR for his research, readily available. Actual article is J Biomed Sci 2002 jul-Aug ; 9 (4): 359-64 abnormal measles-mumps-rubella antibodies and CNS autoimmunity in children with autism. Singh VK, Lin Sx, Newell E, Nelson C. Link below to actual research article:

    http://vran.org/wp-content/documents/VRAN-Abnormal%20Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Antibodies-CNS-Autoimmunity-Children-Autism-Singh-Lin-Newell-Nelson.pdf

    Same for Guardisal research, has been published online and is in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs. Death after Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: Causal or Coincidental? Lycia Tomljjenovic and Christopher A Shaw. The entire article is available in PDF online for free. See link below:

    http://sanevax.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Tomljenovic-Shaw-Gardasil-Causal-Coincidental-2167-7689-S12-001.pdf

    As for the other, I work as a Clinical Psychologist with a Masters Degree in the same. I have a professional interest in neurological functioning, acquired brain injury (particularly from viruses and infections) and neural plasticity. I have done a tonne of reading in this area over the years and it continues to interest me. The above articles are very interesting and to the best of my knowledge have not been discredited. In this arena mine is just another opinion and thank goodness we live in a country with free speech and we encourage people to think for themselves.

    Ps I certainly do not think pharmaceutical companies on the whole are particularly ethical. Just an opinion.

    Anyways….. may be of interest to you. You seem quite passionate about this topic too.

    Renae

    [Reply]

    diogenes Reply:

    All studies should be reproducible but as far as I am aware Singh’s work has not been reproduced. In fact since its publication in the early 2000s quite the opposite. for example

    http://www.pediatricsdigest.mobi/content/118/4/1664.short

    [Reply]

    Trevor Lowe Reply:

    Rennae, you might have noticed within Singh’s paper the use of “may”, “might” and “more research is necessary.” These all indicate that even the authors cannot and will not make a conclusion that there is a causal relationship. As someone else as said, the work has not been repeated. Put this up against the several epidemiological studies, some of which have been referenced through this blog. Somehow, others chose to see and read more into the paper than what the authors were prepared to even imply. Reasonable basis from which to look further into an issue however not one to make a claim from which could impact upon public health. As someone holding a Masters Degree and I therefore would assume a good grasp of statistics, coincidence is not an indication of causality; yes it does mean look further but in of itself, is not proof.
    SaneVax; not discredited: only because it has never established credibility in the scientific community
    Pharmaceutical industry: bring the specific examples of lack of ethicity and how they relate specifically to this discussion. Out of the thousands of pharmaceutical products out there, it is a handful that ever get quoted as evidence that the industry is corrupt.

    [Reply]

    diogenes Reply:

    As a scientist you do realise the difference between open access and peer review don’t you? Here is a response from CDC – malicious people could draw some conclusions about why the Tomlajenovic article was published in an open access journal,

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Activities/cisa/technical_report.html

    [Reply]

  • http://www.alldayheels.com.au Sara

    I have to agree with Trevor on this one Cheryl. I have no doubt your intentions are good but I suspect you too have fallen into the trap of assuming your intelligence allows you to make an informed medical decision without any actual medical training based on materials that has it’s own agenda to push (Big Pharma aren’t the only ones you should question). The science behind this is so much more complex than the surface-dwelling anti-vax campaigners (and I should say there are only a precious few ‘researching’most of the anti-vax info, the rest just repeat it) would have you believe. They prey on your ferocious desire to protect your child and your intelligence to apply common sense to what are seemingly common sense arguments. I don’t think they’re evil, simply simplistic in their view and often tainted by their own tragic circumstances (a mother with an autistic child who has no answers is willing to grasp onto just about anything to explain ‘why’).

    They present graphs that show death by measles, dyptheria, polia, mumps was already almost gone by the time the vaccine was introduced, suggesting it doesn’t even work. It’s pretty compelling until you look at the full picture. They fail to tell you that this graph only represents deaths, not incidences or disability caused by the disease. The decline prior to vaccinations of deaths was largely due to medical breakthroughs like the iron lung. However don’t think this means these diseases didn’t still devastate their victims. Just ask my father’s friend who was crippled by polio one year before the discovery of the vaccine. It’s tragic. My point? Anti-vax propaganda is absolutely rife but for some weird reason it’s ignored by the media at large. I have to say Meryl Dorey, the woman who is the head of the AVN is responsible for much of the antivax movement in Australia and she is possibly the most ill-informed, scientifically illiterate fool I’ve ever come across. Harsh, I know but I’m actually being gentle given my real thoughts on her. If you’ve ever seen her go head to head in a debate with someone who is qualified to question her she is decimated, every time.

    My point being that while I encourage you to scrutinise governments and Big Pharma don’t forget to hold up those anti-vax movements to the same scrutiny, particularly given it’s a hell of a lot easier for someone to peddle a ‘natural’ cure or book than it is to get a drug through our very rigorous testing. I’m also not suggesting that vaccines are always 100% foolproof. Of course they’re not and no reputable doctor would tell you otherwise. But they’re a darn side better than the alternative.

    Unfortunately a huge amount of the anti-vax campaigning is manipulative, deceptive and in some cases just plain wrong. It’s designed to convince the people who know just enough to research but not enough to understand how to dissect it. I liken it to the pro-lifers who show doctored pictures of foetuses. It plays on our most vulnerable side – our kids. I’d highly recommend you also research the flip side – the anti-anti-vaxxers. The scientific community absolutely took on board the concerns about MMR (don’t even get me started on Andrew Wakefield!) and autism, researched the crap out of it and found no links whatsoever. To quote what many of them say there are no ‘two-sides to the debate’. You either believe the science or you don’t.

    A few links that are not research journals but present my beliefs well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=959HmIWSDQ0&list=PLB50F7FD3501BA6DB
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap_0uQDbZl4&list=PLB50F7FD3501BA6DB

    http://www.dangeroustalk.net/a-team/Vaccines

    [Reply]

  • http://www.alldayheels.com.au Sara

    Sorry! Double post. I meant to post this under the other comments below.

    [Reply]

  • Jane

    Well said Sam.

    I am wondering also whether all of these people who are anti vax are anti vax only for their children. What do they do when they travel overseas? Do they vaccinate themselves or take the risk?

    I am travelling to Africa next month and have had a number of vaccinations, including for yellow fever, tetanus, diptheria etc. I wouldn’t dream of not doing so. Imagine being responsible for bringing such a disease back to Australia?

    [Reply]

  • http://www.alldayheels.com.au Sara

    Hi Karen,

    Those graphs are incredibly deceptive and omit all the information. They’re almost criminal in they way they are used to convince people. Have a look at this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=959HmIWSDQ0&list=PLB50F7FD3501BA6DB

    [Reply]

    Sara Reply:

    Sorry, I meant omit ‘some’ of the information. Just watch it, you’ll get the picture better than I can explain!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.alldayheels.com.au Sara

    Vic, I think you make very good points. I also think what you are saying ties in with most of the medical and scientific community. I don’t know any reputed pro-vaxxers who would argue that it is is 100% effective or 100% foolproof. Thats the nature of science. I think your stance is a sensible one to take – don’t always believe what you are told. But surely you’d have to agree the science in pretty overwhelming that vaccination is safer than what a lot of anti-vaxxers would have you believe. But the problem I think lies with anti-vaxxers and the EXTREME bs that is often perpetrated. I suspect if it were possible to do a very complex analysis on the risks you face immunising based on what you have stated vs the risks of not immunising over the lifespan of your child and then grandchildren that all but the most vehement anti-vaxxers who will never be convinced would take the lesser risk of vaccinating.

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    Excellent point, Jane. On one hand, I hope that anti-vaxxers are true to their principles when it comes to their own selves for the sake of not being complete hypocrites. On the other hand, if they were true to their principles, then I hate to think what they could possibly bring back to Australia when they come back from overseas!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.alldayheels.com.au Sara

    Lisa, you’ve really missed the point I think.

    People travel to China from Australia and vice versa. How do you think things like Swine flu travel globally? There was a polio diagnosis in Australia is 2007 from a traveller. Should you have come into contact with them you would of course be susceptible. If you then add into the mix a large percentage of unvaccinated people you are even more likely to contract it. We’re a global community now and disease has very few borders. If you’re not vaccinated against Polio I’d strongly recommend you avoid travelling anywhere with potential outbreaks and avoiding anyone else who’s been in contact with someone who has and then again with those who’ve met someone who’ve travelled to such places…see the point? It doesn’t take much to tip the scales. I can ALMOST understand MMR as people think they’re not deadly (they are for newborns and the elderly) but Polio? Do you really want to take your chances with Polio?

    That said your GP probably (stupidly) advised against polio because it was thought to be eradicated in Australia. By vaccines. Lucky you to have been fortunate enough to avoid it thanks to the millions who were vaccinated against it before you. It of course does mean you are susceptible to it should you be exposed to it which, as I illustrate above and given the numbers who haven’t been vaccinated is entirely possible.

    And you draw the line at diseases that don’t kill or disable the weak. That’s who this is designed to protect. The newborns and elderly who can’t be vaccinated and are also not strong enough on their own to survive these diseases. Are you aware that is why vaccinations are important as it seems you don’t quite understand this vital point?

    [Reply]

  • Steve

    Sarah, you raised a fair point. To be blunt – most educated intelligent people *DONT* vaccinate because as you rightly pointed out, vaccine testing fails the scientific gold standard double blind test. period.

    Additionally – if you spend the time looking through the Australian year Books from the abs.gov.au between 1884 and 1970, you will notice the death rates for children from measles dropped by a whopping 95% BY ITSELF – without vaccines. The Measles vaccine was widespread by 1980.

    Now an intelligent question woudl be – *what* caused the massive drop in death rates? Logical would say better standard of living, better housing, sewers, better nutrition etc.

    The pro-vaccines push have all the hallmarks of a cult – shunning if you “disbelieve”, ostracism for going against the crowd, harassment if you try and speak out.

    vaccination is more a Social Engineering blunt instrument that bashes well meaning parents around the head and try to shame them into complying. Its basically bullying. That alone should set of warning bells.

    A GP once took me aside and said privately he wouldnt give his kids the Whooping cough vaccine as he considered it too dangerous. Speaking of pertussis – have a look at the massive jump in Pertussis cases – its been caused by a change in the vaccine 3 years ago.

    People should be able to do what they want – its a parents choice. That State does not own us and needs to butt out.

    Nuff said.

    [Reply]

    Peta Reply:

    Death rates from these illnesses did not at all decrease ‘by themselves’, death rates decreased because of vast improvements to the medical care and treatments available to patients.

    Previously fatal complications of measles such as bacterial pneumonia or encephalitis can now be treated so that they do not cause death in the majority of cases. This is not to say that the brain swelling and seizures from encephalitis won’t cause permanent brain damage and the empyema, sepsis and respiratory failure from pneumonia won’t cause lifelong lung problems.

    However death rates and rates of infection are very different things my friend and to only refer to the former is extremely misleading and does your cause no favours.

    In the US, the first measles vaccine was introduced in 1963 and as you can see had an extremely dramatic effect on the rates of measles cases per year http://vicskeptics.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/measlesus-full-size.jpg

    Here is another graph showing the rates in England and Wales http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/Measles_incidence_England%26Wales_1940-2007.png

    If you want to suggest that living with a chronic health condition for the rest of your life doesn’t count because it hasn’t killed you, I suggest you talk to the people who are still suffering paralysis from their childhood polio.

    If you feel harassed as a result of ‘speaking out’, it’s probably because your ideas are not only based on faulty logic and science, but could also lead to avoidable illness in children.

    If you want to live your life by this bad science, go ahead. Though don’t claim you’re superior for doing so and don’t urge others to also abandon logic.

    If you dedicated as much time to actual peer reviewed and published scientific medical research as you clearly spend on conspiracy websites, unless you’re a nutcase, you’d probably find yourself on the other side of the argument.

    [Reply]

  • Melanie

    Sarah Wilson, I have just watched your performance (for the first time) on the Sunrise show after reading your response. While I understand and sympathise for the position you were put in, that you were asked to represent a member of a group whose reasoning you seemed to be originally ignorant of – however, I feel that since the lash out (and possibly after some minor research), you have agreed with them for the most part.

    Still, I am unsatisfied with your response to the point of being underwhelmed. I can’t say I admire anyone’s non-apologetic mannerisms, however I feel that even though “the topic doesn’t touch you directly”, it is a responsibility of all persons going on air to have a little depth of research, as it is a topic that affects the rest of Australia – are you saying that you are disinterested in their views? Quite an exceptional thing to say!

    For context: I had no prior knowledge to your person or apparent fame before reading your post. I only came across this page because I am currently researching the public’s arguments of vaccination for an assignment. I am in my fourth year of a Bachelor Medicine/Bachelor Surgery (MBBS) postgraduate degree; in my undergraduate degree I studied a double major in mathematics and statistics (the more rigorous sub-class of mathematics, unlike the statistics studied in behavioural sciences such as psychology).

    I’d like to point out a few things:
    1. You claim the safety and efficacy of vaccines as “not conclusive”.
    In my experience, people who don’t understand the mechanisms of statistics will tend to conclude that something which does not perform to the 100% standard is worthy of skepticism. Statistics will tell you that something does not have to perform 100% of the time in order to be satisfactorily accepted – not many things do perform to this standard, apart from mathematics, which is absolute.
    In the scientific community, 95% is sufficient: the other 5% may be accounted for according to their personal circumstances (or in newborn babies, the circumstances of their mother) which prevent them from reaping the full benefits of vaccines. To this end, 95% effectiveness is deemed conclusive – and correctly so.

    2. You claim that the decision of wealthy parents to not vaccinate is because “they tend to be older and [you] guess more educated”.
    Firstly, why do wealthy parents need to be older than other parents? You would think that many wealthy families would ‘pass down’ their wealth – leaving the parents-to-be with the personal decision as to what age they choose to conceive children.
    Secondly, many persons in the scientific community would not be classed as wealthy, although you would think they would be making (some of) the most informed decisions of all!

    3. You claim that the “double-blind placebo cross something or other tests” are the “gold standard” studies and have not been done – hence the earlier claim that vaccination safety is “not conclusive”.
    Some definitions for other viewers of these comments:
    Double-blind experiment: Also called double-masked, an experiment in which both the subject and the conductor are unaware of whether the subject is in the control group (a group used to ‘normalise’ the data) or the test group until the study is over. This procedure is used to eliminate bias from both the subject and the conductor, and is usually followed up by a crossover experiment.
    Crossover experiment: The control and test groups are interchanged at some point in the study.
    Placebo: A ‘dummy’ treatment, usually tested against ‘real’ treatments to distinguish between the effect of one’s bias and the treatment itself. Placebos are used in the above experiments.

    For explanation as to why these experiments haven’t been done:
    Contrary to Sarah Wilson’s claims that these are the “gold standard” studies, there is actually a more rigorous extension – the triple blind. The true gold standard of all studies are called Randomised Control Trials (RCT).
    In any case, there are instances where it is unethical to perform a blind (single, double, or triple) experiment. In the case of vaccines, the conductor would need to ensure the subject has not had very recent vaccinations (for example) since there are particular time differences required in their administration.

    In short, vaccines work. The complete (statistically 100%, to debunk the “not conclusive” argument) eradication of smallpox and rinderpest, as well as the current global eradication of poliomyelitis (commonly known as polio), are testament to this fact. Perhaps not all persons are able to receive it – perhaps yourself or your aforementioned friend’s child – however this doesn’t apply to the general public, hence your argument of anti-vaccination relevance has the capacity to spread misinformation to the next person.

    Finally, please research your answers to more depth when going on air! :)

    [Reply]

    Melanie Reply:

    Also, it is impossible to do a crossover study using vaccinations! You cannot reverse the effects of a vaccination, hence someone in the test group would never be able to enter the control group.

    [Reply]

  • oldenwise

    http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/who-suspends-vaccine-after-26-children-die/

    According to reports, at least 26 children have died and many more have been seriously injured after they were given the 5 in 1 vaccine, Quinvaxem. [1] Newspapers have reported that all of the victims suffered adverse reactions including fevers, vomiting and the appearance of bruises all over their bodies. [2]

    Quinvaxem, being offered at no cost to recipients by UNICEF, is a pre-qualified vaccine on trial in developing countries. Currently being given to babies as young as eight weeks of age, this pentavalent vaccine is said to protect infants and young children against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and Hib (haemophilus influenzae type b).

    According to reports, local authorities have suspended all the controversial batches for testing. However, the Health Ministry said there are no problems with the vaccine’s quality, distribution, preservation or administration. [3]

    Although deaths have been reported from Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bhutan and India, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stood by the safety of Quinvaxem, stating that all their studies of the vaccine, made in South Korea, affirm its safety!

    Children Being Used as Guinea Pigs

    Once again, here is another example of children dying and many others suffering horrific side effects from a vaccine being tested on vulnerable children in developing countries. Isn’t it about time the WHO stopped pretending that they are in the business of protecting children and admitted to the fact they are instead part of a world depopulation program?I urge readers to read a paper written by Dr. Rebecca Carley titled “Inoculations: The True Weapons of Mass Destructions Causing VIDS” (Vaccine-Induced Diseases) (An Epidemic of Genocide) in which she states:
    In fact, the ‘prevention’ of a disease via vaccination is, in reality, an inability to expel organisms due to the suppression of the cell-mediated response. Thus, rather than preventing disease, the disease is actually prevented from ever being resolved. [4]

    She saw all these atrocities coming before many others and has been desperately trying to warn the public, ever since.

    Possible Kawasaki Disease

    It is quite possible that many of these children have suffered an autoimmune response after being vaccinated with this vaccine. I back up this opinion with a variety of articles and papers on Kawasaki disease.

    Kawasaki disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur after a vaccination. In fact, scientists who have studied the illness in depth say that evidence strongly suggests that an infectious agent, such as a virus or a vaccine, causes the illness. [5]

    Children suffering from Kawasaki disease suffer symptoms very similar to those suffered by the children vaccinated with Quinvaxem. I have linked this disorder to the children vaccinated with Quinvaxem because the disease can cause children to suffer from the following:

    red, bloodshot eyes caused by conjunctivitis, but with no pus
    a blotchy, red rash mainly on the trunk of your child’s body or on the genitals
    reddened, dry or cracked lips
    a red, inflamed tongue with circular white patches that look like a strawberry, often with a red sore throat
    large swollen lumps (lymph glands) on either side of your child’s neck
    swollen hands and feet which become red and hard, often resulting in peeling skin on the fingertips and toes two to three weeks after the disease has started
    sore throat
    cough
    sore abdomen (tummy)
    vomiting
    diarrhea
    painful or swollen joints
    Many children can go on to die of heart failure or heart attack. Kawasaki disease is said to be the most common cause of acquired heart disease in children in the UK and the USA. [6]

    In a paper written by P.A. Brogan et al. titled “Kawasaki disease: an evidence based approach to diagnosis, treatment, and proposals for future research,” the authors state:

    In 1967 Tomisaku Kawasaki described 50 Japanese children with an illness characterized by fever, rash, conjunctival injection, erythema and swelling of hands and feet, and cervical lymphadenopathy … KD is commonest in Japan where more than 125 000 cases have been reported. The disease is also commoner in Japanese and other Oriental children living abroad. Children aged 6 months to 5 years are most susceptible, with peak incidence in children aged 9–11 months. Seasonal variation in the disease incidence has been reported, with peak occurrence in the winter and spring months. Direct person to person spread is not observed, although in Japan the disease occurs more commonly in siblings of index cases with an estimated peak incidence of 8–9% in siblings under the age of 2 years.

    Interestingly, the authors do mention vaccination as a possible trigger:

    … Irritability is an important sign, which is virtually universally present, although not included as one of the diagnostic criteria. The exact mechanism of the irritability is unclear, but it may be related to the presence of aseptic meningitis. Another clinical sign not incorporated into the diagnostic criteria, but which is relatively specific to KD, is the development of erythema and induration at sites of BCG immunisations. The mechanism of this clinical sign is cross reactivity of T cells in KD patients between specific epitopes of mycobacterial and human heat shock proteins. With an increasing number of infants receiving the BCG in the UK, it is likely that this sign will become more common, and awareness of it could result in earlier diagnosis and treatment. (emphasis added)

    If you read the above statements carefully, you may recognize that the ages of children at highest risk of contracting the disease are the precise age at which they receive the highest number of vaccines.

    Dr. Michael Innis often refers to the disease in suspected child abuse cases, saying that the marks and bruising seen in cases of Kawasaki disease are often mistaken for child abuse. [7]

    Three researchers who wrote a paper titled “Kawasaki disease in an infant following immunization,” published by the National Institutes of Health, stated in their abstract:

    We here describe a 35 day-old infant who developed Kawasaki disease 1 day after receiving his second dose of hepatitis B vaccine. Although extremely rare, this possible side effect should be noted and further investigated. [8]

    This paper was written in 2003, so, why isn’t the link between vaccination and KD being thoroughly investigated?

    Another paper titled “Kawasaki disease after vaccination: reports to the vaccine adverse event reporting system 1990-2007,” stated:

    Through October 14, 2007, 107 KD reports were received by VAERS: 26 were categorized as classic cases, 19 atypical, 52 possible, and 10 were noncases. Of the 97 cases, 91% were children. [9]

    Although the authors concluded that their review did not suggest an elevated KD risk for RotaTeq or other vaccines, they suggested the continued post-marketing monitoring for KD was ongoing.

    All of these papers suggest that continuous multiple vaccinations may possibly heighten the risk of young children developing this disease. I have only offered a selection of many papers for readers to study.

    One of the most memorable reminders that KD can and does occur after vaccinations was written by Lisa Blakemore-Brown in a response to the Finnish study about the safety of MMR vaccine on the British Medical Journal in 2001. She wrote:

    If a group of people collapse after eating, say, lemon sole,in a particular restaurant, it would be ludicrous for those responsible to wave a hand over the problem saying that millions of people eat Lemon Sole every day and there are no problems. Health and safety officials will get straight to the point of the issue and look at the fish in the restaurant, look at the individuals, test findings in the lab.

    As hundreds of parents have found their children to react to vaccine, in some cases leading to the ‘new variant autism’ of loss of communication skills, motor impairments and bowel problems, is it not these cases the government should be looking at for answers?

    The incidence of this particular tapestry of autism is indisputable. This is not related to increased recognition of autism, The TYPE is unusual and baffling to education and health professionals. In one of my cases of very obvious and indisputable reaction to pertussis vaccine the child in question has been found to have Kawasaki disease, her own immune system attacking itself. She presents as Asperger. There is no autism in the family, but the baby had allergies prior to the vaccine. It is scientific examination of cases like this which will enable us to ultimately put measures in place to reassure the public.

    Blanket refusal to look at the real issues and prevention of individuals exercising choice seems a dangerous policy, especially just before an election. [10]

    I have chosen to include her excellent contribution because it really does have some very strong and firm advice for organizations such as UNICEF who offer vaccinations to vulnerable children like sweets.

    Like Dr. Carley, Ms. Blakemore-Brown’s work has also been discredited. You have to wonder why, don’t you? Both of them are talented, gifted professionals, sharing similar concerns across opposite sides of the world, along with hundreds of others professionals saying exactly the same statements, many of whom in recent years have become targets of vicious hate campaigns, before having their careers sabotaged.

    ConclusionIt has become second nature for the likes of WHO and UNICEF to offer free trial and banned vaccinations to the poor and vulnerable populations in the developing world. These are God’s children, too, and they are very precious. They are not lab rats or guinea pigs to be tested at leisure. They are like any other children; they have brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles and grandparents who love them dearly.
    Their innocent parents believe the propaganda being fed to them by the likes of UNICEF. They believe that these vaccines are safe and will protect their precious babies. Instead, their children are dying the most horrific deaths after being given pre-qualified vaccines.

    Lisa Blakemore-Brown was right when she said, “Blanket refusal to look at the real issues and prevention of individuals exercising choice seems a dangerous policy.” Isn’t it about time to look at the real issues surrounding vaccination and stop testing innocent and vulnerable communities with pre-qualified vaccines which are unfit for any purpose?

    References:

    [Reply]

    ANN Reply:

    if a group of people collapse after eating, say, lemon sole,in a particular restaurant, it would be ludicrous for those responsible to wave a hand over the problem saying that millions of people eat Lemon Sole every day and there are no problems.

    That statement say’s it all.
    Thank you for your very interesting read.

    [Reply]

  • Kat

    Can anyone explain the (seemingly quick) removal of a new posting yesterday? About Roasting chicken which was a disclosed payed plug for a specific brand / line of organic chickens. Just wondering whether the supplier thought better to distance themselves after the “furore” of this anti-vax discussion or did the author consider posting a payed endorsement straight after ill-timed?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    The post is online Kat, no dramas at all.

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    Hey, Sarah, any reason why you have only responded to comments unrelated to the topic at hand?
    Have you now done more research into vaccination, especially given that as someone with an easily compromised immune system, you are in one of the high-risk groups?

    [Reply]

  • Sally

    Sarah, I think you were put in a very difficult position, and while I don’t agree with some of the things you said, I don’t think the response you have gotten is in any way fair. I think people give too much weight to an opinion panel as though your comments, that you clearly stated were not particularly informed, would have bearing on whether or not parents end up vaccinating their children. It is not your responsibility to make that call for them, and you said yourself you’re not abreast of the topic. Nothing you said was an argument to sway anybody one way or another, so everyone should back off. Parents are the ones who ultimately take responsibility for their own choices in regards to their children. If they could find themselves being influenced by your remarks that were very much teetering on the fence, then they shouldn’t be making choices about anything. If anything, Channel 7 shouldn’t have asked you to weigh in on a topic you weren’t comfortable discussing, due to not being informed on it. And why would you be if you don’t have children? It’s just not on a person’s radar that doesn’t have children! I hypothetically put myself in your situation, and I have a child, and I’m pro-vaccination, and I still think in all of 20 seconds it would be very difficult to make any concise point on this topic. Unless you’re that other blonde bird, she went off and made no bones! Ha.

    [Reply]

    Sally Reply:

    By the way, I’m a different Sally to the one who has previously been commenting. We have very different views! Let’s call me Sally 2 ;)

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    Meanwhile, in today’s news over at the UK:

    MMR boycott blamed for soaring measles cases
    Two million children at risk because they have not been vaccinated, DoH says

    Measles is soaring in Britain, putting two million unvaccinated children at risk, public health experts warn.

    Cases are running at almost twice last year’s record levels. Although the illness is mild in most cases, it can cause serious complications including meningitis, brain damage and death.

    The Government is launching a new drive today to increase uptake of the MMR vaccine, which fell following the scare about its supposed link with autism. The link was never proved and the research on which it was based has since been discredited.

    The Department of Health said more than two million children were at risk of measles because they had missed either their first or second MMR vaccination. The first is given between 12 and 15 months and the second around age four, before the child starts school.

    There were 865 cases of measles in the first five months of the year (January to May), almost twice the 451 in the same period last year, which was itself a record. About 80 per cent of cases occurred in unvaccinated children. Last year’s total of 1,370 cases in England, the highest since 1995, looks certain to be exceeded.

    Scientists have warned that the rise in cases puts Britain at greater threat of a measles epidemic, with more than 100,000 people infected, than at any time in a generation.

    Professor David Salisbury, director of immunisation at the Department of Health said: “The number of cases of measles is on the increase and we need to warn all parents about the potential dangers of this infection. They need to be aware that if their child is not immunised and comes into contact with a child infected with measles, there is around a 90 per cent chance they will catch measles.”

    About one in 15 children who catch measles will develop more serious complications like deafness, meningitis or brain damage. One in 5,000 who contracts measles dies. The year before the MMR vaccine was introduced, 86,000 children caught measles and 16 died. Because it spreads so easily, 95 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated to prevent outbreaks.

    There have been two deaths from measles in recent years – in 2006 and 2008 – after more than a decade of none. Fifty years ago the illness killed 500 children a year in the UK, but vaccination almost eliminated the disease.

    From today, a roadshow will visit 12 measles hotspots across the country where vaccination rates are low, to raise awareness. Liverpool, Warrington, Manchester, Brighton and Guildford are already experiencing measles outbreaks, the Department of Health said. Other at-risk areas being targeted include Leeds, Rotherham, Nottingham, Norwich, Ipswich, Reading and Slough.

    Vaccination rates vary widely around the country, but are lowest in London, where in some areas they have dropped below 30 per cent. Last year, ministers launched a “catch-up” campaign aimed at parents who had not vaccinated their children. More than one million doses of vaccine were stockpiled and primary care trusts ordered to identify unvaccinated children and encourage their parents to bring them in for injections.

    The Health Protection Agency said cases had risen every month this year, and the 263 cases recorded in May was the largest monthly figure since the current recording method was introduced in 1995. Cases were reported from all regions except Yorkshire and the Humber, with new outbreaks confirmed in the North-east and Wales.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/mmr-boycott-blamed-for-soaring-measles-cases-1765876.html

    [Reply]

    Gina Reply:

    More people die of the flu you understand….

    [Reply]

    Diogenes Reply:

    Not quite sure of the logic or point of your post but in any case I have the Flu vaccination every year

    [Reply]

  • Sara

    Leanne, those questions are all answered throughout this debate (the ones that aren’t loaded at least-some are not really valid questions at all). I’m sorry for your son and in fact it makes me furious to think you feel at all responsible for whatever afflicts him. Keep reading and hopefully you’ll come to see vaccines were not the problem.

    [Reply]

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  • Gina

    I actually want my kids to be exposed to these illnesses. The only one I would vaccinate against is Polio. I hate that little babies are getting whooping cough but my 10 month old got it. It was a bad 6 weeks but with homeopathics, chinese medicine, breastfeeding throughout the night to calm her we got through it. She is now 5 and her brother 7 they hardly ever get a cold.

    I have another baby now, she is 8 months. Again I am fine for her to be exposed to it all. They get one thing at a time, and let’s not forget they are childhood diseases. We only get problems because vaccinations last 7 years so we are delaying their onset. None of the illnesses actually kill kids. They used to have measles parties 60-70 years ago!

    I can’t see how my children are a risk to others if they are never sick!

    [Reply]

    Michaela Reply:

    You obviously had not even done the basic research on the this subject.
    Even that jumping off point of self-education, Wikipedia, has this description of whooping cough in the first paragraph for you “the disease currently affects 48.5 million people yearly, resulting in nearly 295,000 deaths”.

    I hope your child isn’t one of those quarter of a million deaths from an easily preventable disease, but you’d only have yourself to blame. Let’s just hope you don’t manage to kill anyone else with your idiotic beliefs. I have lost all patience with your type of wilful, self-satisfied ignorance.

    [Reply]

    Trevor Otto Reply:

    Gina, Good to see that someone has some confidence in the natural processes of life. Modern medicine is not all its cracked up to be particularly when it comes to prevention,
    Cheers

    [Reply]

  • Diogenes

    “None of the illnesses actually kill children”
    Unbelievably (wilfully?) misinformed

    [Reply]

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  • Trevor Otto

    Sara,

    We exist within a multitude of dimensions in which we mostly
    only observe and emphasise the physical one. There is Divine science
    behind all existence yet we bludgeon this spiritual technology with
    manmade chemicals amongst other things. Mankind is causing a path of self destruction through its over use of chemicals and GMO practices etc
    Ironically quantum physicists and cosmologists at the forefront of scientific research are starting to discover the existence of these dimensions,

    [Reply]

    Trevor Reply:

    If the existence of these dimensions are only starting to be discovered by quantum physicists and cosmologists (who work at the extreme opposite ends of the physical scale) then how are you aware of them? Also, you should be able to reference some appropriate papers as such amazing research discoveries would surely have been published.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Otto

    Check out the work of physicists Brian Greene and Michio Kaku. Brian
    Greene appeared in the documentaries called ‘The Fabric of the
    Universe’ which explain String Theory and the existence of other
    dimensions.Also check out the work of Edward Witten of Princeton’s
    Institute of Advanced Study and his ‘M theory’ explanation which
    recognises 11 dimensions.

    [Reply]

    Trevor Reply:

    those dimensions are only at a sub atomic level and are hypothetical. Stop making things up as you go along.

    [Reply]

    trevor otto Reply:

    ‘Only at the sub atomic’ so is that where you stop existing is it ?

    [Reply]

    Trevor Otto Reply:

    Obviously you dont get irony and you obviously get upset at a different opinion or different perception of things, accusing me of misappropiating Albert Einstein thoughts when all I did was provide some of his quotes which I hoped may have opened your mind up a little away from its seeming limited perceptance and reliance on material science only as a way of understanding things.

    [Reply]

    Trevor Reply:

    Obviously is a very unusual word for someone, that seems to deny any concept of “absolute” or the validity of perception over actuality. I don’t mind different opinions; however opinions should be based upon facts, not fantasies or myths, the unproven or that which cannot be proven.

    Trevor Reply:

    values perception over reality

  • R

    I agree that Dr Obomsawin has falsified his data. Well spotted.

    However, if you look at the peak infection rates in the US, they occurred between the 1930′s and 1950′s. This of course was the period of The Great Depression and World War II. This was a period of time when nutrition levels were very low, and people were starving to death. Also, it “drove the birthrate below the replacement level for the first time in American history”. If the birthrate had have been normal, the spike in infections would have been much, much higher. If people had have had even fewer children during this period, the infection rates could have been the same as those prior, or even lower, so without taking this into account, the data is actually quite meaningless. In New York City in 1931, there were 20 known cases of starvation; in 1934, there were 110 deaths caused by hunger. There were so many accounts of people starving in New York that the West African nation of Cameroon sent $3.77 in relief. http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/learning_history/children_depression/depression_children_menu.cfm
    The top tax rate in the US was at least 88 percent until 1963, when it is lowered to 70 percent. We can assume that after this time, the majority of Americans could now afford good nutrition for their families. This, combined with much better sanitation at this period in time, conincides with much lower levels of infection. http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/connections_n2/great_depression.html

    “Cholera, typhoid fever — spread by excrement-contaminated drinking water — and plague, which was transmitted by fleas living on rats who thrived in the filthy conditions. Dysentery alone wiped out ten thousand crusading knights and foot soldiers. During the Crusades, Europeans learned basic aspects of science and hygiene from the Muslims whose culture they sought to destroy.” (Religion taught the West about what was clean, and what was dirty, and some science along the way.)

    By 1910, sewage was being dumped into bodies of water on a grand scale, and cholera abated. Then, cities downstream of dumped waste started experiencing epidemics of typhoid when they piped sewage-laced water to the homes of their citizens. http://greywateraction.org/content/history-sewers

    If there are 100 modern Americans in a room, and 1 has influenza and sneezes, so that everyone is exposed to the virus through inhalation and hand-shaking, approximately 90 of them will become sick and experience symptoms. Interestingly, 10 will not experience symptoms. If you take 100 malnourished people from developing nations and conduct the same experiment, 95-99 will experience symptoms. Their bodies are immunocomprimised through lack of sanitation and nutrition. “In developing countries, influenza imposes a heavy disease burden, especially among populations that are malnourished”. http://www.ariatlas.org/understanding_aris/influenza

    With the right nutrition, our bodies have a much better chance of fighting invaders. For example, you need adequate vitamin B6 to make antibodies, which are markers for invaders so your immune system knows what to attack. Having low vitamin B6 means that you are immunocomprimised.

    Effect of dietary vitamin B6 contents on antibody production “Mice placed on diets extreme deficient in vitamin B6, ovalbumin-dependent antibody productions (IgE, IgG1, IgG2a) were significantly suppressed.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10705972

    Vitamin C has been shown to be effective against tetanus in numerous studies.

    Effect of ascorbic acid in the treatment of tetanus (Bangladesh 1984) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6466264
    “none of the patients died who received (ascorbic acid / vitamin C) AA along with the conventional antitetanus therapy. On the other hand, 74.2 per cent of the tetanus patients who received the conventional antitetanus therapy without AA (control group) were succumbed to the infection.” -this is for ages 1-12, who were given 1000mg of vitamin C per day. -older people died – possibly because they were still only given the same amount of vitamin C as the babies and children.

    A tetanus shot was only 25.8% effective for children 1-12, where vitamin C was 100% effective.

    The same study concluded: “This was supported by the fact that AA (vitamin C) was found to mitigate the toxic effects of strychnine producing tetanus like condition in young chicks in the present study.”

    Accidental find shows Vitamin C kills Tuberculosis http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/world/accidental-find-shows-vitamin-c-kills-tb/story-e6frfkui-1226648003516
    There is only 1 vaccine for tuberculosis available, and “its protective effect appears to vary according to geography”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacille_Calmette-Gu%C3%A9rin
    The likely explanation of its ineffectiveness in some areas is that the tuberculosis bacteria infects more people where nutrition is poor. People that live near the coast and are able to eat traditional seafood diet have lower incidence of tuberculosis. (Weston A. Price)

    I acknowledge that vaccines do work, the rotavirus vaccine for example. However, when given to sick, malnourished children, how many of them are harmed or die? There is no reporting. We do not know. The vaccine may be the lesser of two evils. Adequate nutritious food is obviously a better choice, but much more expensive. We know that vaccines can harm and sometimes kill children, (though rarely in the West). That is why the VAERS database in the US exists. The US government also made it illegal for parents to sue a vaccine maker if it harms their child. They are given compensation payments instead. There are many reports by parents on health forums where Doctors have refused to record adverse events saying that “it couldn’t have been the vaccine.”

    If you draw a spline through the recorded average of the points on the measles infections graph, you will get a bell curve that peaks around the 1940′s, which is still around 20 years before the introduction of the vaccine in 1963.

    In conclusion, the measles epidemic from the 1930′s to the 1950′s in the US was most likely cause by malnutrition combined with poor sanitation, and started declining after the war as the economy started improving.

    [Reply]

    Trevor Reply:

    without going through the entirety of what you have written, there are some glaring errors in what you have written regarding vitamin C. The study (of which you have only cited from an abstract) regarding tetanus; the vitamin C was extra therapy on top of the anti tetanus therapy. Your statement “A tetanus shot was only 25.8% effective for children 1-12, where vitamin C was 100% effective.” is grossly in error as it was a tetanus shot with vitamin C where there was 100% effectiveness. Not Vitamin C alone, as you imply. Also, the same applies regarding the recent discovery regarding Vitamin C and tuberculosis; the Vitamin C was adjunctive therapy; not sole therapy as you imply. With such glaring errors, one can only wonder how many other inaccuracies are in what you have written.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor

    If these hypothetical dimensions have influence of any sort, then you should be able to provide evidence. Knowledge derives from evidence. Undoubtedly the Higgs Boson and galaxies existed long before they were discovered. However people also believed once that the earth was flat, some believed it to have been held on the shoulders of a mythical entity. So, beliefs do fall down. Without evidence, what you speak of as “knowledge” is only faith or belief. If it is true that sub atomic dimensions (hypothetical even in the writings of those who derived the theories) then you should be able to indicate how. Without evidence it is a fantasy; Terry Pratchett in writing Discworld at least ensures his readers are aware of the fantasy that it is; you do not-you expect people to make life decisions around something for which you cannot offer a shred of evidence. Evidence = knowledge.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor

    an apple, and what purpose it serves is able to be evidenced. How you extrapolate what the value of the apple in how it aided in understanding gravity (a reality) or hunger (a reality) or someone’s amazement of how evolution has provided fruit (a reality) to your fantasy of depending upon intuition and belief systems is not justified. You just make the leap. Intuition is used to determine facts; not make them up. Scientists that have used intuition have then sought the actual evidence; you seem to pbelieve that intuition and a “belief” are good enough. You claim that Hinduism and Budhism have evidence of how the sub atomic world affects humans: provide it. Don’t expect me to find something that is non-existent. Albert Einstein would be disgusted by your logic and disgusted by your misappropriation of his thoughts. He was a man that lived in this world and sought to understand it through measurement and experiment after having developed hypotheses; not just depending upon the hypotheses. At the end of the day, you can offer up one fantasy, devoid of evidence and someone else can offer up a contradictory fantasy again devoid of evidence. What becomes the arbiter of which is correct? Again, people make their life decisions based upon material evidence and substantiated facts; you provide none.

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Otto

    My dear fellow, your belief system is based on material science as though there were no other ways of learning anything from life or experiences. If I dare say anymore it will only upset you further so I shall refrain,

    [Reply]

  • Trevor Otto

    Emmy , Power to you and your life experiences and attitude….A point of light in a sea of confusion,

    [Reply]

  • Trevor

    Why would I be upset by your inability to provide proof of your claims. Many would argue as you do, to produce disparate claims and you provide no means of discerning between contrary claims. Myths and fantasy, again, are not what people need to use to make life decisions which is what you advocate. I am not your “dear fellow.” In having to stoop to condescension you have reinforced your inability to provide evidence and logic.

    [Reply]

  • Marilyn

    Children are precious and I do believe that parents , who have the responsibility of looking after them should be the ones to do their research. I do not trust doctors who take the word of drug companies as them doing their research . as a person of many years I’ve had the firsthand experience of them failing in giving patients who are allergic to aspirin a drug called celebrex once referred to as super aspirin. Who’s doing the checking on these self regulating organizations. Funny when Japan stopped vaccinating babies too early they got rid of SIDS overnight . Funny where is the body set up to take statistics of vaccinations and create imperical studies of vaccinations that have had bad outcomes . There are none , is that because according to so called doctors who come on TV and say “its a no brainer that vaccines works ” that’s real science I don’t think so . Where is the scientific evidence that has been done , is it because there is non. Why was word immunisation changed to vaccination? was it because they knew it didn’t work. Why are so many people afraid of children who are not vaccinated if their children are vaccinated . Its all about money and the drug companies that are controlling , why are children getting infections at an alarming rate these days , running to doctors who are pumping them with antibiotics till their teeth are so discoloured . do you know how many vaccinations a child has now before they even reach school around 60 . These are not my figures and what about the fact the Autisim a few years back was 1 in 10,000 and now we have 1 in 150 not my figures , why hasn’t that question been answered?

    [Reply]

    Trevor Reply:

    Marilyn; the word immunisation is still used along with vaccination. All of your questions have been answered through the posts. You write somewhere else about people needing to do their own research and not just repeating what they have been told or read yet it is quite apparent that you have done exactly that yourself by repeating so many of the anti-vax cannards. How many of them did you thoroughly investigate? As for research; perhaps people are looking into it; finding reliable material and coming to conclusions different to your own. Perhaps they have gone into it with an open mind and concluded that the benefits of vaccination are overwhelming. Perhaps when people come to a different conclusion to your own it doesn’t mean that they are wrong.

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  • Trevor Otto

    Dear Trevor

    ‘Perhaps when people come to a different conclusion to your own it doesn’t mean that they are wrong.’ Well said by you !
    Perhaps you should follow your own advice and acknowledge peoples real life experiences which may not accord with the latest medical philosophy or statistics.
    The reality is that each child is now like a human guinea pig to see if they can withstand 60 vaccinations by the age of 5. I wonder what long term health problems are caused by this process ?

    [Reply]

    Trevor Reply:

    Trevor Otto, given the number of times you were requested to provide evidence for your claims and failed; there was no opportunity to see how you drew your conclusions or draw another. People who are supportive of vaccination usually resource their information from evidenced based resources. Evidence drawn from a long string of scientific work and consistent with known anatomy and physiology. Typically those that are anti-vaccination (such as yourself apparently) draw their information from sources that rely upon anecdotes (and ignore other possible explanations) and also chose to ignore the explanations given when to the questions asked. You may wonder about things; there is no evidence of long term health problems. There are no guinea pigs (nice choice of emotive language). What there is, is clear, ample, evidence of decreases of mortality and morbidity in diseases such as polio, whooping cough, measles, smallpox, TB and the list can be added to. Yes, hygiene and clean water have made significant benefits but the data clearly shows the impact of vaccines.
    Don’t leap to quickly in future.

    [Reply]

  • trevor otto

    Trevor,
    Sorry for any seeming emotive language but the Health and well being of children is an emotional subject after all. Tell me has there been any research done for any possible damaging consequences in the longer term through administering 60 vaccinations to children by the age of 5 ? Is there any record of possible cumulative effects in this regard similar to iatrogenic disease caused by combinations of medicines and if not ,why not ? One may dismiss anecdotal evidence drawn from peoples own real life experiences but these may be the only references available,

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