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Old 01-27-2014, 09:25 AM   #16
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Well, here's a terrible story from Australia last year. Shows just how fanatical anti-vaccine supporters can be:

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ON March 9, 2009, four-week-old Dana McCaffery's heart stopped after whooping cough left her tiny lungs unable to breathe.
Her mother Toni could not watch as medical staff unhooked her daughter from the hopelessly inadequate life support system, but her husband Dave did, and crumpled with grief.
"Dave was screaming," says Toni.
"I told him to be quiet. I just wanted to soothe my child."
As Toni held her tiny baby, she couldn't comprehend the loss, or how they would survive the sorrow.
Little did they know then that Dana's death from whooping cough, and the media coverage that followed, came to represent a very inconvenient truth to the anti-vaccination lobby - and thus began an extraordinary campaign against this grieving family.

The McCafferys are today breaking their silence on the cyber bullying,the anonymous letters and the cruelty of some members of the anti-vaccination movement.
The couple has been accused of being on the payroll of drug companies; they have had their daughter's death questioned and mocked; they have even been told to "harden the f . . . up" by an opponent of vaccination.
"The venom directed at us has just been torture and it's been frightening, abhorrent and insensitive in the extreme," says Toni, who has not had the strength to talk about this until now.
The invasion of the McCafferys' grief started the day before they buried their baby girl. Meryl Dorey, who heads up the Bangalow-based Australian Vaccination Network, rang the head of the North Coast Area Health Service, Paul Corben, to demand Dana McCaffery's medical reports.
She wanted proof that Dana actually died of whooping cough. Dorey has no medical training, but she wrote this on a blog defending her actions.
"When this little girl's death was announced, the media were reporting several things that made me question that this baby had actually died of whooping cough. I contacted the head of the public health unit and asked if this case of pertussis (whooping cough) had been laboratory diagnosed."
She was told it had been a quick test but pushed further, wanting to know if there was a bacterial culture.
She was denied the information.
"To my mind, while an entire community of conscientious objectors were being victimised by the government and the media and being blamed for the death of a child who was too young to be vaccinated, I had every right to ask for this information," Dorey wrote.
Toni disagreed: "They were just tearing apart everything we had just witnessed and lived through..
"It just made me feel sick to the stomach, but it was just the beginning."
On May 3, 2009, Dorey wrote that Dana caught whooping cough in the hospital as a newborn: "The only thing that is fairly certain, according to Dana's doctor, is that she probably did come into contact with pertussis in the hospital - not after she went home."
The McCafferys began to receive anonymous letters to their home address, including AVN pamphlets, telling them they should have just stayed at home and breastfed the baby.
It was antibiotics that killed her child, they were told, and if she'd simply had some intravenous vitamin C, Dana would still be alive.
"We were getting so many letters of support and then you get one like that and my reaction was to rip them to shreds," David says. "I don't understand how people can be so cruel, but I believe the intent was to shut us up."
On September 2, 2009, the McCafferys appeared on the ABC's 7.30 Report, talking about the whooping cough epidemic and vaccination.
Dorey also appeared in the same program but, after the episode aired, Dorey, unhappy with the editing, sent an e-letter to her subscribers asking them to complain to the ABC.
She even told them the website to visit and what to say. The 7.30 program has confirmed it was inundated.
The McCafferys set up a website and Facebook account, both in honour of Dana and as an educational tool on the subject of vaccination.
On December 8, 2009, Dorey posted her own writings on Dana's site, questioning vaccines.
In another email to Dana's website, an Andrew McDonald wrote: "Dear Dana's family, I am so sorry to read of your daughter's passing. It must be tragic to lose a daughter and I wish you all sympathy and trust that God delivers unto you. I find it amazing that some people firmly believe that God was not perfect. Apparently, according to these people, God forgot to add the heavy toxic metals, pig cells, chicken cells, etc that are found in vaccines.
"I choose this subject because your whole website seems to be pointing the finger at vaccines, or lack thereof, for your daughter's tragic death. How can you be so sure ? Do you have so much faith in the financially pressured drug companies to outstrip God that you do not doubt them at all? Have you done any research into vaccines and seen the reason why so many people will not tolerate injecting their families with toxic muck? Do you have justifiable logic to discredit all their fears?
"I am sorry, but I believe Dana passed away because of different reasons than you claim.
"All the same, please accept my sympathy for your tragic loss."
There is also an Andrew McDonald who is a regular on AVN forums.
On another blog belonging to The Skeptics, another anti-vaccinator wrote:
"Did Dana receive the vitamin K injection? Did Dana have any reactions to these injections? Was Dana on any medication, etc? These questions need to be asked, because these may be the reasons why her immune system was depleted enough for her to contract pertusis (sic) in the first place."
Toni McCaffery responded to this post on June 17, 2009, because she felt again her daughter's truth was being trampled. A person known as Bernice London responded with vitriolic gusto.
"Toni, you seem quite indignant that anyone is daring to question your beliefs in the religion of vaccinology," she wrote. "I would have thought that it is incumbent on you or anyone else who is seeking a very costly heightened 'awareness campaign' about the dangers of pertussis to provide evidence of vaccination efficacy and safety. In other words put up or shut up!"
A Bernice London is also a regular on the AVN blogs.
"I just felt hatred," says Toni. "These people were completely disrespectful to Dana, they said we were lying and making it up (that she died of whooping cough). On top of grappling with the loss of a child we thought we were doing the right thing to warn people, isn't that a good community service? But I couldn't understand why people would hate me."
One blogger breathtakingly accused the McCafferys of picking on Dorey: "Grieving parents. Yes grieving parents involved in an extremely nasty and hateful campaign against Meryl Dorey and the AVN."
Dana's death did indeed raise awareness of the importance of whooping cough boosters, and Dana's story is on the back of pamphlets given to new mothers. This has led to accusations they are on the payroll of "big pharma" and part of a conspiracy to scare people into vaccinating.
Judith Wilyman, an anti-vaccination campaigner and PhD student at Wollongong University, sent a letter to the Human Rights Commission and Dorey published it on her site.
Again it tore at the McCafferys' hearts.
"These programs have been promoting the whooping cough vaccine on anecdotal evidence (in particular, Dana McCaffery's death) and the mantra of 'seeing sick babies gasping for air'," Wilyman wrote.
Wilyman also suggested the McCafferys cashed in on their daughter's death because they were awarded a $1000 prize from The Skeptics, a group that continually questions the AVN. They donated the money to Westmead Hospital.
Agenda approached Wilyman for comment but the University of Wollongong media unit relayed the message that she "did not wish to speak to the media at this time".
David McCaffery even pleaded with Dorey to ask AVN supporters to stop, saying their campaign was distressing the family.
Eventually, the McCafferys made a formal complaint to the Health Care Complaints Commission about the AVN spreading misinformation.
The HCCC found against the AVN and issued a public warning about the group in July 2010. The AVN lost their charitable status as a result, but won it back after a Supreme Court challenge ruled the HCCC did not have the jurisdiction. This loophole has now been closed, giving the HCCC the power to re-examine the complaints.
The Sunday Telegraph sought comment from Dorey on the issues and allegations raised in this article.
She declined to respond, but said she would comment once the story had been published.
In 2009, Terrigal father of four Chris Kokegei turned off his seven-year-old son Michael's life support system three days after the little boy caught chicken pox. "It's just pain, the pain, it is so awful," he says.
Like the McCafferys, he went public to raise awareness about vaccination. In 2010 he did three television interviews and he left his phone number with each network for other parents to get in touch.
Soon after, he received a call from a woman who claimed she was from the AVN. He does not recall her name.
She accused him of doing the community a disservice, saying he should not be promoting immunisation.
"Then she went on saying my son was obviously weak and the weakest of the herd are not meant to survive, I should just get over it," he says.
Kokegei was gobsmacked.
"I didn't think someone could be that cold, to belittle what happened to my son in such a heartless way," he says. "I just hung up. Two days later she rang again. She just kicked me in the guts."
Cecily Johnson's daughter Laine died a slow and agonising death. She contracted measles as a 10-month-old, just weeks before her scheduled immunisation, but survived.
But when she was seven years old, the deadly measles sidekick that had been lying in wait, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), began its fatal attack. Within two weeks she was blind, and then lost ability to walk and talk.
She died at age 12 in 1995.
Like the McCafferys and the Kokegeis, Cecily wanted to warn other families about the horrors of vaccine-preventable diseases. She spoke to Ray Martin and within weeks an anti-vaccination book, Behavioural Problems in Children: the Link to Vaccination, was delivered to her in-laws' address in Western Australia.
It was signed by the author, anti-vaccination campaigner Vera Schribner. "I sent it back to her. I was furious," Cecily says.
When she moved to the NSW Far North Coast she attended information evenings on vaccination run by the AVN. She again showed photos of her daughter with the hope of convincing them of the truth.
Dorey threatened her with an AVO.
Then pamphlets from the AVN ended up in her letterbox.
"I don't know how they got my home address but I rang them and swore at them and abused them. They were trying to convince me my child didn't die of SSPE. It was so painful and insulting and it diminishes the agony Laine went through," Cecily says.
The AVN's belief is that the scientific community, the world's western doctors, successive governments, journalists and the media are colluding in a joint plot to vaccinate children to make money.
Anyone who criticises or questions the AVN invites a rash of abuse. Opposition health spokesman Andrew McDonald (not the same man who commented on blogs) copped this spray after he criticised the AVN in parliament last year: "May you and yours rot in hell along with the big pharma pricks you support. Don't even cross my path. May you choke on your own bulls... and die."
McDonald ignored that email but called in police for this one: "What I wish for you is to have every flu injection along with every other toxic immunisation available and enjoy the results. Give your kids the same shots, just in case it runs in the family. Good riddance to bad rubbish."
The author, who called himself 'pygmy', was tracked down by police and warned.
The AVN faces a hearing in June in front of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal. Fair Trading has directed the association to change its name because it regards it to be misleading, a decision that is being challenged by the AVN.
The McCafferys will make a statement to the tribunal which includes the litany of harassment.
At one point, Toni says someone wrote that Dana was "just one baby" who died. That one baby, Toni says, is the reason they will continue to raise awareness about immunisation.
"The greatest heartbreak for us is we were never warned and never given the chance to protect Dana, we want to fix this and that shows Dana and others how much we loved and wanted her here," she says.
Grieving parents speak out against anti-vaccination extremists | News.com.au

Wow, these people are really screwed up. It's not easy to have your beliefs and convictions shaken, but that is insanity.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:34 AM   #17
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Yes, we have annual pap smears. My co-worker, despite having had them annually was diagnosed with Stage IIB, which has something like a 55% 5-year survival rate. Getting annual smears is good but it requires that people be diligent about actually going every year. And even so, if you get a particularly aggressive growing cancer, 12 months is a long time to have it grow unchecked.

I have also read a lot of things about Gardasil and the deaths/adverse reactions. I still strongly feel that you are way better getting it than not.
one thing i was led to believe was that safe sex can help prevent transmission, like for HIV and other transmissible diseases, no? (here in France, they are also big on the hepatitis B vaccine)

the vaccine uptake rate seems to be pretty low here too among my daughters' peers (none of her close friends have had it)... i will talk to her about it again though...
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:37 AM   #18
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i think some people are distrustful of the pharmaceutical industry, and there have been some pretty major pharma fuck-ups - diethylstilbestrol, thalidomide to name a couple...
True, not everything can be trusted. But vaccinations have been around for decades, and there haven't been any epidemics of anything. Now the rise of autism may be an epidemic, but I don't see how vaccinations are the cause. I think distrusting the pharma industry is a little out of hand for some.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:42 AM   #19
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Well, here's a terrible story from Australia last year. Shows just how fanatical anti-vaccine supporters can be:



Grieving parents speak out against anti-vaccination extremists | News.com.au

Wow, these people are really screwed up. It's not easy to have your beliefs and convictions shaken, but that is insanity.
i hate the internet sometimes - there are some scary zealots out there...
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:44 AM   #20
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True, not everything can be trusted. But vaccinations have been around for decades, and there haven't been any epidemics of anything. Now the rise of autism may be an epidemic, but I don't see how vaccinations are the cause. I think distrusting the pharma industry is a little out of hand for some.
oh the autism link has been debunked...

TB is a major worry these days, and is on the increase - i read recently that there have been some worrying outbreaks in London...
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:47 AM   #21
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Yes, we have annual pap smears. My co-worker, despite having had them annually was diagnosed with Stage IIB, which has something like a 55% 5-year survival rate. Getting annual smears is good but it requires that people be diligent about actually going every year. And even so, if you get a particularly aggressive growing cancer, 12 months is a long time to have it grow unchecked.

I have also read a lot of things about Gardasil and the deaths/adverse reactions. I still strongly feel that you are way better getting it than not.
this is what i was thinking re. safe sex (from the SmPC for Gardasil):

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Gardasil will only protect against diseases that are caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 and to a limited extent against diseases caused by certain related HPV types (See section 5.1). Therefore, appropriate precautions against sexually transmitted diseases should continue to be used.
really do not like the possible side effects, plus there are reports on some really serious immune ones such as ITP (and encephalomyelitis which hasn't yet been included in the product information but is being monitored)... i don't know, if you still have to protect yourself from other STDs and use condoms anyway which would offer protection from HPV, i'm just not convinced it is entirely necessary with the proper education... it's not like an airborne or water-borne disease...
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:09 AM   #22
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I'm still a little skeptical about the HPV vaccine. I've just head so many varying stories about whether or not it's safe. That's the only vaccine, though, that I've avoided.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:56 AM   #23
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i hate the internet sometimes - there are some scary zealots out there...
Yeah, it once again just proves that the anonymity of the internet shows people's true colours, and it ain't pretty!

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oh the autism link has been debunked...

TB is a major worry these days, and is on the increase - i read recently that there have been some worrying outbreaks in London...
Was there even a serious autism link in the beginning? I mean, how the heck can you go from a vaccination to a completely different brain and genes?



I do have to admit, with things like the HPV I'd be a little sceptical at first, and you're right in waiting it out a bit. But with things like the measles or polio, the effectiveness of the vaccine has been proven 100%, which makes this a no brainer.
The pharmaceutical industry is very tightly regulated these days, making the chance to have another Softenon disaster very, very small.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:30 PM   #24
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one thing i was led to believe was that safe sex can help prevent transmission, like for HIV and other transmissible diseases, no? (here in France, they are also big on the hepatitis B vaccine)
Yes, if you always have sex with condoms, that will prevent the spread. This is why although the vaccine is aimed at young girls, you don't actually need to be a virgin to get it, you just either need to have always had protected sex (condom) or maybe have had unprotected sex with only one partner, in which case maybe he didn't expose you or if he did you hope that the exposure was to one or two strains at most.

I guess the question is how much do you trust teenagers to use condoms each time? My level of trust is essentially zero which is why I would immunize my daughters, no question.

Also, even if you accept as a fact that the serious side effects exist (debatable), they are so rare while cervical cancer is not. Moreover, the survival rates for cancers of the female reproductive system are actually quite poor...so I'd rather take my chances with a very rare side effect (if one exists at all) than with a pretty good shot at a death sentence.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:37 PM   #25
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I think for me, part of it is also the very parroted "big pharma is making money" stuff that gets repeated, often without so much as a critical thought.

In my past life, before I went to law school, I had planned on doing a PhD in medical science (immunology). And people slave for decades, earning very little money and absolutely no recognition in determining which strains of HPV are linked to cancer and then helping develop the vaccine. Big pharma ONLY gets involved at the very end when they think that they have a viable process. I don't think that most people have any understanding of how medical research works. The real down and dirty work is done in labs in hospitals and universities and believe me these people are not seeing a dime of profit. They are the real heroes of our society.

Does big pharma make money off these vaccines? Yes, undoubtedly. But does that necessarily mean that the vaccines are unnecessary, dangerous and without merit? No.
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:50 PM   #26
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Does big pharma make money off these vaccines? Yes, undoubtedly.
Actually no, not really. Maybe on some of the newer vaccines like Gardasil, but the patents have long since expired on vaccines like measles, polio, pertussis, etc.

In Washington State the Washington Vaccine Association purchases vaccines and gives them out to practices to administer because pediatricians would lose money on vaccination programs if they had to purchase them themselves.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:28 PM   #27
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Chance of pharmaceutical fuck-up is so much less than the risk of polio or measles.

There are many problems with the industry but vaccinations aren't one.

To be honest I would find most anti-vaccine folk hilarious if it wasn't for the consequences of their views. Fact is when you meet them you find anti-vaccination is often the least of the conspiracy theories they believe.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:35 PM   #28
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Yes, most of them have lapsed patents, but not all of those are profit losers.

And there are new ones like Gardasil, Twinrix, Dukoral, etc which are still under patent. Gardasil itself is very expensive.
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:03 PM   #29
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The anti-vaccine movement should be a punching bag that all of FYM can agree to hit.
Agreed that this idiocy is bipartisan.

But let me add:

1) Most vaccine companies have left the country due to medical lawsuits. This falls directly on the Democratic Party which resists all attempts at tort reform.

2) Illegal immigration greatly exacerbates this problem. Am I allowed to say that?
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Old 01-27-2014, 08:21 PM   #30
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My doctor(s) said that I need to get Gardasil "just in case" I become sexually active, as if that's something beyond my control that just happens. That's insulting. I'm not a stray cat. I don't have a problem with vaccines, but Gardasil is dangerous and not worth the risk. And I had to wonder why various doctors over the past few years have been pushing me to get it when I'm obviously not someone who needs to worry about STDs. $$$?
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