[SaneVax: Vaccine safety advocates are constantly being accused of using ‘anecdotal evidence’ to support their questions and concerns. The problem is – that same practice seems to be acceptable for those who promote universal vaccination programs. In doing so, the basic right of a patient to informed consent is being violated every single day. If indeed, vaccinations are such a medical miracle, why do those who promote a one-size-fits-all philosophy fear disclosing the possible risks? What exactly is wrong with patients reading the package insert? When vaccine clinical trials are conducted, many people with various potential risk factors are eliminating from participation. What is wrong with exempting the same subgroups from vaccination?
Please read the letter below, reprinted in its entirety with permission from the author. A huge thanks to Judy Wilyman, PhD Candidate, for so eloquently expressing the concerns of safety advocates around the world. Read more from Judy here.]
Sent: Wednesday, 30 May 2012 1:10 PM
Subject: Conflicts of Interest in Vaccination Science
To the Federal Human Rights Commissioner
Vaccination and chemicals injected into the human body are a human rights issue. I would therefore like to bring to your attention the selective presentation of the vaccination debate that is being presented to the public. Recently there have been many media reports about whooping cough vaccine that have been presented by two government officials, Professor’s Peter McIntyre and Robert Booy (NCIRS). These programs have been promoting the whooping cough vaccine on anecdotal evidence (in particular the death of one baby to whooping cough in 2009) and the mantra of ‘seeing sick babies gasping for air’. Whilst these cases are tragic, the promotion of vaccines on anecdotal evidence is inappropriate. Just as we would not use one child’s experience of a vaccine to suggest not using the vaccine. A medical procedure should be promoted to the community on the risks and benefit of the procedure to the community. This is particularly the case as the government is recommending 12 vaccines before babies are one year of age – a schedule that has not been studied in controlled animal or human studies. Today Australian society is seeing an explosion of children with autism, allergies, anaphylaxis, autoimmune diseases and cancer and it needs to be emphasised that a scientific consensus on the cause of these diseases is not obtained by ‘selecting out’ scientific arguments.
Government Conflicts of Interest:
Professor Robert Booy, the co-director of the government National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) was an investigator involved in the trial for Panvax influenza vaccine. He receives support from CSL limited and other pharmaceutical companies to attend conferences and is on the vaccine advisory board for these companies (1). He receives funding from Roche, Sanofi,GlaxoSmithKline and Wyeth for attending and presenting at scientific meetings (1).
Professor Peter McIntyre’s National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) project for the study of pertussis vaccines for newborns was granted $1.5 million of which more than $750,000 in kind will be provided by GSK for monovalent vaccine and laboratory testing (2).
It is noted that many government officials now have conflicts of interest with industry (see attachment) and in addition vaccine trials and advisory boards are largely funded and influenced by pharmaceutical companies. Whilst this situation is not necessarily a problem it is important that the public is informed openly (and transparently) about funding from pharmaceutical companies and any financial ties officials have with industry.
It is also noted that health professionals and consumers are being investigated for discussing the risks and benefits of this procedure. The NSW HCCC recently retracted a false charge (after 2 years) that was made against a consumer group (the Australian Vaccination Network) for asking valid questions about the use of multiple vaccines in infants. This is compounded by media programs that do not present complete information about immunisation policies. The media is also not accountable to the Health Department for the information it provides on vaccination (3) (4).
It is everybody’s choice to use a vaccine if they believe it is beneficial but if we a living in a society that does not ensure the information the public receives on health issues is complete and accurate, then incentives such as tax benefits for parents and payments for doctors are unethical. These measures are being increased by the government on 1 July 2012.
At present the government has not proved that the increase in autism is not being caused by adding multiple vaccines to a developing infant before one year of age. Therefore there is no scientific consensus that the government‘s immunisation policy is safe and it is certainly not based upon scientific -evidence.
Judy Wilyman PhD Candidate www.vaccinationdecisions.net
1. Nolan T, McVernon J, Skeljo M, Richmond P, Wadia U, Lambert S, et al. Immunogenicity of a Monovalent 2009 Influenza Vaccine in Infants and Children: A Randomised Trial. Jama. 2010 jan 6:303 (1): 37-46: Supplementary online content.
2. Professor Peter McIntyre, School of Public Health, University of Sydney,http://www.health.usyd.edu.au/people/profiles/P.Mcintyre.php 06.09.09
3. Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, Office of Health Protection, 2009
4. NSW HealthCare Complaints Commission (HCCC), 2012