May
01

Vaccination – The Right to Choose

One vs manyHere in Australia we have a current affairs program on Sunday evening on the Seven network called “Sunday Night” – a little like 60 Minutes.

This past Sunday their was an article on Vaccinations, sparked by the death of 4 week old baby Dana, who reportedly died of whooping cough.

Channel 7 was inundated with calls and emails regarding this story and going by the results of their poll “Do you think immunisation should be compulsory?”, as of this evening, out of 4414 respondants, 27% voted yes and 73% voted no.

Because of the enormous response, there will be a follow up story aired this Sunday – it will be interesting to watch.

My husband was one of the people who sent an email to channel 7 to perhaps enlighten and be included on the forum for this coming show – here is the email to Stephen Tucker at Channel 7:

Stephen

I have been forwarded the message you sent out about opening up the debate on vaccinations and would like to contribute my opinions.

Whilst I fully understand the agony of losing a child (I myself have lived through this unfortunate experience), I feel that your story last Sunday was nothing more than emotional blackmail designed to get the masses to toe the party line. A line, I might add, that is based more on smoke and mirrors than hard evidence, and heavily promoted by big pharma (who stand to gain the most from higher vaccination rates and more frequent boosters).

I’ll be honest, my personal belief is that vaccinations are both unnecessary and dangerous. I think most intelligent people would share this view if they were presented with all of the facts in a balanced way. However, I would not consider myself an anti-vaccination crusader – I believe everyone has the right to make their own decisions.

My beef with your article is three-fold: that the audience was not given balanced information on which to make an informed decision, that you should even consider anyone has the right to force someone else to do anything against their will (eg, your suggestion of compulsory vaccination), and that you insinuated that those of us that do make an informed decision are either uneducated, irresponsible or even outlaws (your claim that we could be potential killers).

Some of the points in your article that I believe particularly need addressing are:

  • You just blindly accepted that vaccines are responsible for the decline in deaths from the major diseases. However, if you track the death rate for any of these diseases over time you will find that in just about every case the majority of the decline was before the vaccine was introduced. In some cases the death rate even went up for a period after the introduction of the vaccine. I can supply you with the graphs that prove this if you want, but the information can easily be found on the internet.
  • Realistically, the majority of the decline in death rate can be attributed to better sanitation (stopping the spread of the diseases), with support in advances in the treatments for some diseases.
  • Even assuming that vaccines were actually responsible for “eradicating” these diseases, how can people simultaneously believe that vaccinations work and still believe that unvaccinated people put them at risk? If the vaccines really work, it wouldn’t matter if you were exposed to someone that was infected (isn’t that the whole point of vaccinations?), yet this seems to be the underlying presupposition behind the push for wider vaccination and was not questioned in your article.
  • As for those that are “too sick” to be vaccinated, generally they are too sick to be around the general public and are in tightly controlled environments anyway.
  • Further, if you recognised that vaccines should not be given to people who already have weak/compromised immune systems (eg the heart transplant child mentioned), why did you not question the sense of giving these vaccinations to babies (who have a very underdeveloped immune system)? Worse still, how can you suggest that it is a good thing to support vaccinations at birth, when the child is at its most vulnerable?
  • How can you accept that vaccines should not be given to the sick (presumably because that would be dangerous), and at the same time believe they are safe to give to the rest of us, especially our precious children?
  • It is also interesting that the article seemed to accept the statement that there is no link between vaccinations and autism without any proof (and no, just because a doctor said it does not necessarily make it true). Again, if you do the research, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of the link, but the medical community and the big pharma go to great lengths to ensure that any scientific study that even suggests a link is quickly discredited, if only because it does not meet the “double blind” standards.
  • Also, there is a lot of evidence to show that even vaccinated people will catch the diseases if exposed, yet no-one seems to question this. Even your article included some comments on vaccinated children who got the diseases (eg, Meryl’s children), but did not stop to consider how this can happen if vaccines are actually effective.
  • I know that any “preventable” death is a tragedy, but to make the leap from one baby dying to suggesting compulsory vaccination is a bit extreme. Should we similarly call for the removal of all cars from the roads because a child dies crossing the road? Imagine being told you no longer have the choice to drive, just to protect the population as a whole (BTW – more people die on our roads each year than from “preventable” diseases).

It’s time to stop playing on people’s emotions to fuel a witch hunt and start providing balanced (and properly researched) information to empower people to make their own decisions. After all, Australia is still a free country.

Please note that although I live in Melbourne, I would love to come to Sydney to be in the audience if this could be arranged.

Cheers

Warren Denley

I think that pretty much sums it up.

What are your thoughts? (And if you haven’t already, cast your vote in the poll to the right).

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About Helena

Helena is a stay at home Mum to one funny, intelligent and very curious little boy. Helena & her husband are working towards creating a location independent lifestyle that will enable their family to homeschool, travel and experience the world together.

Comments

  1. Well written response – well done to your hubby!

  2. Lets hope you get a response – and hope you get an invite to any other debates! Bravo!

  3. Rachael says:

    What a great e-mail.

    I really feel that parents vaccinate their children without knowing all the facts, if doctors encouraged parents to read about their choices in regards to vaccinations during pregnancy people would have a much better understanding of what it is their children are receiving. They would also be able to fully appreciate the impact of the choice they are making in vaccinating their children, which I feel is extremely important, as a parent, you need to be able to make choices you feel comfortable with due to being well informed.

    As a Naturopath who has worked with one of the leading Paediatricians who deals with kids with autism I have experienced the turmoil parents go through when their children do suffer the downside of vaccination. I just wonder why parents do not question vaccinations to begin with? Why as a parent you would be willing to have your newborn injected with Hep B on the same day of their birth, when they have no immunity at all. I think people listen too strongly to their doctors advice and not their own instincts. Even if I hadn’t researched vaccine before giving birth there is no way I would have let someone stick a needle in to my newborn.

    Parents should be encouraged to research their options, do many parents know that some of the vaccinations can be administered as a single vaccine rather than a triple vaccine, thereby reducing the amount of toxins being introduced to their infant – no, because doctors don’t offer this without being asked. If you feel strongly about vaccinating your child then parents need to research all their choices in this as well.

    When Japan rose the minimum vaccination age to 2 years (in 1975), it jumped from 17th place to the country with the lowest infant mortality in the world. The mortality increased again 13 years later when the minimum age was lowered to 3 months. The US, where vaccination is mandatory for school entry, has an increasing infant mortality rate, which has been said to rival those of Third World Countries. It is now down to 41st or 46th place depending on which graph you read.

    There are some good websites to look at and some good literature to read, parents just need to take advantage of it. I am also not an anti-vaccination advocate because I also feel people have the right to choose, but I absolutely feel that as parents we need to be able to make an imformed choice especially when it comes to our children, and I think we should be encouraged to do this.

  4. Thomas Roberts says:

    Fantastic, do you have links to the data and evidence talked about in this? (not the anecdotal stuff as that isn’t “evidence”)

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