THE MeNZB CAMPAIGN OF FEAR – A $200m SCANDAL

By Jason Sanders
Excerpted from UNCENSORED Magazine: Issue 1 Number 1 Spring 2005

New Zealand is currently involved in the largest mass medical intervention in its history – an enormous vaccination drive to have virtually everyone under 20 (1.15 million young people) injected with three doses of a new meningococcal vaccine – the MeNZB™. This is ostensibly being done to combat the fearsome menace of a meningococcal epidemic claimed to be ravaging this age-group.

Dr. Jane O’Hallahan, the director of the meningococcal vaccine strategy group of the Ministry of Health (MoH), said in a letter to the Herald (10 Nov. 2004):

“The almost certain outcome if we don’t control the epidemic of meningococcal B is more deaths and more children and young people suffering pain, amputations, deafness and intellectual disabilities.”

But is this all true? Or is it an example of a remarkably effective fear-inducing propaganda campaign that has less to do with children’s health than it does with the bottom line of a multinational pharmaceutical corporation and the spin-offs to its New Zealand partners in the MoH and the “health professions”?

By manipulating people’s fear you can make them do anything, as any expert in propaganda will tell you. And so with a steady stream of statements like O’Hallahan’s and constant emotive reminders of cases like Charlotte Cleverly-Bisman’s in the media spotlight, much of the public has been like putty in their hands, and readily has given consent for their children to be vaccinated with a largely untested, unproven – and quite possibly dangerous – vaccine.*

This campaign has a budget of around $200 million, according to some government sources. This large expenditure was justified to cabinet by the Ministry of Health because “we were in the midst of a public health emergency which would very likely last another 10 years with an average loss of about 20 lives a year, without the vaccine”.

Some History and Facts

The vaccine MeNZB™ is manufactured in Italy by the transnational biotechnology corporation “Chiron” (pronounced Ky-ron). It has provisional licensure in this country under section 23 of the Medicines Act. Section 23 is for experimental medicines/vaccines only. This means it hasn’t met all safety requirements.

Despite the experimental nature of the vaccine, however, key policy makers were persuaded to jump-start the vaccination campaign because of the purported seriousness of the epidemic. They had at the time just a rudimentary supposition of MeNZB’s
safety.

Full licensure is only granted for mass medication under Section 21. In other words, the mass campaign IS the test.

As the campaign has been progressing, the MoH has been issuing reassuring notices that yes, indeed, just as they thought, the “adverse reactions” are few and not very serious.

Unfortunately NZ has a seriously flawed adverse reaction reporting system, and thanks to that, the vaccine will no doubt be “found to be safe”. In fact, this “finding” is virtually a foregone conclusion, according to health officials in charge of the campaign. In fact, the NZ public is being massaged on a regular basis by the vaccine lobby, typified by statements like this from Dr Jane O’Hallahan:

“Vaccines are one of the most researched and best understood fields of modern medicine. There is no contention among scientists or doctors about the safety and effectiveness of the MeNZB meningococcal vaccine.”

Or is there?

Jane O’Hallahan’s statement is completely at variance with the hard facts: namely that the vaccine’s safety and efficacy are in serious doubt among members of the NZ scientific and medical communities.

In fact, as already noted, Medsafe, the regulatory body charged with looking at safety of medicines in New Zealand refused to grant the MeNZB™ vaccine full licensure. Why?

Perhaps it was because of the fact that the clinical trials neglected to use a real placebo (usually an inert substance like a saline solution) for the “control” group. Instead, astonishingly, they used other vaccines. In some cases, the Norwegian “parent” vaccine was used and in others an unlicensed meningococcal C vaccine manufactured by Chiron.

Or perhaps it was because the rudimentary safety trials conducted in New Zealand involved only about 1600 children and active follow-up to monitor any “adverse events” was only 7 days.

Honest international experts on safety of medicines would view 7 days as being a worryingly short amount of time to ascertain whether or not a child is going to suffer serious long-term consequences. For example, the pre-licensing trials of the Measles – Mumps – Rubella (MMR) triple live virus vaccine conducted in the UK in the late 1980s involved observation periods of up to a month. Even so, in The Journal of Adverse Reactions (Jan. 2001) a number of senior UK clinicians were critical of those safety tests. Dr. A. Peter Fletcher of the Medicines Division of the Dept. of Health (UK) who served as medical assessor to the Committee on Safety of Medicines, said,

“Being extremely generous, evidence on safety was very thin. Being realistic there were too few patients followed up for insufficient time. Three weeks is not enough…neither is four weeks.”

But according to O’Hallahan et al, 7 days is enough for New Zealand children.

Safety and Efficacy

I will come back to the safety question later in this article. Let’s look now at whether the vaccine can actually do what it is supposed to do – prevent invasive meningococcal disease. According to O’Hallahan and the MoH there is no question of its effectiveness. About 75% of the people in the trial had a “four-fold increase in antibody levels” to the epidemic strain. This fact is cited as proof the vaccine will protect against meningococcal B disease.

According to Professor Diana Lennon, author of the NZ Immunisation Handbook (2002), an authorative text on vaccination in New Zealand and principal researcher on the MeNZB vaccine, the acknowledged scientific method to evaluate efficacy (of a meningococcal or other vaccine) is to follow up a very large group of vaccine recipients for several years, measuring their rate of succumbing to (for example) meningococcal invasive disease, and then comparing them to a control group who didn’t get the vaccine. This is called a “Phase 3” trial. Only then can it be found if the experimental vaccine actually prevents any of its recipients from developing the strain of meningococcal invasive disease at which it is targeted. This is precisely what the Norwegians did with their meningococcal vaccine, the so called “parent vaccine” of the MeNZB™ vaccine, on which the MeNZB vaccine manufactured by Chiron is modelled.

Do antibodies confer immunity?

“FROM REPEATED medical investigations, it would seem that antibodies are about as useful as a black eye in protecting the victim from further attacks. The word “antibody” covers a number of even less intelligible words, quaint relics of Erlich’s side-chain theory, which the greatest of experts, McDonagh, tells us is “essentially unintelligible”. Now that the old history, mythology and statistics of vaccination have been exploded by experience, the business has to depend more upon verbal dust thrown in the face of the lay public. The mere layman, assailed by antibodies, receptors, haptophores, etc., is only too pleased to give up the fight and leave everything to the experts. This is just what they want, especially when he is so pleased that he also leaves them lots and lots of real money.

The whole subject of immunity and antibodies is, however, so extremely complex and difficult, especially to the real experts, that it is a relief to be told that the gaps in their knowledge of such things are still enormous.

We can obtain some idea of the complexity of the subject from The Integrity of the Human Body, by Sir Macfarlane Burnet. He calls attention to the fact – the mystery – that some children can never develop any antibodies at all, but can nevertheless go through a typical attack of, say, measles, make a normal recovery and show the normal continuing resistance to reinfection. Furthermore, we have heard for years past of attempts made to relate the amount of antibody in patients to their degree of immunity to infection. The, results have often been so farcically chaotic, so entirely unlike what was expected, that the scandal has had to be hushed up—or put into a report, which is much the same thing (vide M.R.C. Report, No. 272, May 1950, A Study of Diphtheria in Two Areas of Great Britain, now out of print). The worse scandal, however, is that the radio is still telling the schools that the purpose of vaccinating is to produce antibodies. The purpose of vaccinating is to make money!”
– Lionel Dole

What happened in Norway?

In Norway the Norwegian Institute of Public Health trialled the vaccine on 171,000 adolescents, 80,000 of whom received the vaccine. After several years of follow-up they found it too ineffective (the efficacy rate was reported to be 57%) to be used nationally – something the New Zealand MoH has been very quiet about. When the NZ MoH does allude to the fact that the Norwegians didn’t “roll out” their vaccine, the say it was because the epidemic had declined naturally, and that the vaccine was no longer needed.

They don’t acknowledge the facts presented to them by ex-MoH Risk assessor Ron Law, that the epidemic (such that it was) has been on a steep deline (75%) here for the last three years – well before the vaccine was introduced.

Nikki Turner of the Immunisation Advisory Centre at the University of Auckland attributes the poor efficacy of the Norwegian vaccine (reported by The Lancet to be 57%) to the fact that recipients received only two doses. In a public meeting she stated that the MeNZB™ vaccine was expected to be more effective because Kiwi kids will be receiving 3 doses of the vaccine.

But the truth is no-one knows whether MeNZB™ will be any more effective because no similar phase 3 trials on it have been performed. They are just guessing that 3 doses might make it a little more effective. There is absolutely no scientific proof. Moreover, the Norwegian tests were performed on adolescents only, and not the infants and young children being given the MeNZB (TM) vaccine.

This is why the manufacturer of the vaccine, Chiron, says in the data sheet that accompanies each vial of MeNZB™ that, “no prospective efficacy trials have been performed with MeNZB.” It is why O’Hallahan herself said that, “Roll-out of the programme will occur knowing that MeNZB is immunogenic [increases antibody levels] but without efficacy data.”

However, even if the MeNZB™ vaccine does prove to be effective in preventing meningococcal disease caused by the target strain of meningococcal bacteria, the new vaccine is not expected to prevent all cases of meningococcal disease. The reason for this is that there are several other strains of meningococcal bacteria – including A, C, W135 and Y serogroups – against which the MeNZB™ is not expected to have any efficacy.

Moreover, meningococcal bacteria appear to have the biological capacity to “outwit” the vaccines designed to protect against different strains of these organisms. According to Professor Lennon, writing in the NZ Immunisation Handbook: “Meningococci have the capacity to exchange genes and switch serogroups”. (p. 200).

This means the bug is pleomorphic (or form-changing) and that B type meningococcal bacteria has the ability to change itself into a C or Y type, and vice versa.

In practice, this feature of meningococcal bacteria appears to blunt the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns. What often seems to happen is that the health authorities bring in a vaccine against one strain of meningococcal bacteria which successfully reduces cases caused by that strain. However around the same total of annual cases of meningitis in general continues to occur, with the numbers being made up by an increase in frequency of cases caused by another of the plethora of meningococcal strains or other meningitis causing pathogens.

For instance, an Australian government bulletin commented on the UK’s experience with a meningococcal C vaccine campaign in 1999:

“A recent study has shown a 25% increase in serogroup B [meningococcal B] disease across all age groups in the United Kingdom since the [meningoccocal C] vaccination campaign. This observation supports a hypothesis that serogroup replacement (ie. B for C) may be an important factor in the epidemiology of meningococcal disease after the introduction of new vaccines.
It therefore remains to be seen what the value of meningococcal vaccines will be in the future control of meningococcal disease.”

A similar phenomenon has been noted by other medical researchers. A study published in the prestigious UK medical journal The Lancet which looked at pneumococcal infections in Finnish children, noted how invasive pneumococccal infections (meningitis) had sharply increased in the mid 90s. The authors of the study wrote:

“Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B) vaccinations started in Finland in 1986, and the last case of invasive disease in our hospital was seen in 1991. Thus our results suggest that following the disappearance of invasive Hib disease in children, bacteraemic pneumococcal infections have increased. A similar, although less striking, increase has been reported in Philadelphia. It is tempting to speculate that the increase in invasive pneumococcal infections is causally related to the disappearance of Hib disease. It is known that Hib vaccinations have reduced the carriage of H. influenzae, and pneumococci may have found a new niche in colonising children.”(The Lancet, 11 March 1995, Vol.345, p661).

Misuse of Statistics by the Ministry of Health

In all the press releases and handouts from the MoH, and amid all the emotive scare-tactics, there is one hard fact which the Ministry seems unwilling to divulge: the epidemic, if we may even term it as such, has abated.

The epidemic reached it highest levels between 1995 and 2002, and the 75% decrease had occurred well before even 1% of the vaccine’s target population received their third shot.

The numbers speak for themselves: In 1997 (from all strains of meningococcal bacteria) there were 613 cases; 1998 had 440; 1999, 504; 2000, 480; 2001, 650; 2002, 555 ;2003, 549; 2004, 303(prov.). This is the lowest case load since 1994. Mortality (from all strains of meningococcal bacteria) has fallen even more steeply. The average yearly number of deaths has been about 17. However, since 2001 with 26 deaths, the worst on record, the death toll has steadily fallen, reaching 18 deaths in 2002, 13 in 2003 and only 8 for 2004. These are the lowest numbers on record since the epidemic began in 1991 and strongly suggests the virulence of the bacteria is waning, along with the caseload.

Of crucial interest is the fact that often 50% or less of those deaths per annum have been caused by the so-called “epidemic strain”.

In 2002 only 9 out of the 18 deaths were due to the meningococcal B subtype. In 2003 it was 4/13(31%), and in 2004 it was 4/8. (50%).

Ron Law discovered these facts. He is an independent Risk and Policy Analyst, and former advisor to the Ministry of Health. He scoured through the records, and did hundred of hours of research sifting through ESR (Environmental Science and Research Institute) records and statistics on the so-called meningococcal “epidemic”. The ESR is the official body in charge of collating mortality records.

The Ministry of Health has not been exactly forthcoming on these highly pertinent details and perhaps this is why: Law discovered the shocking news that in both 2003 and 2004, there were only 2 deaths in each year of under 20 year olds from meningococcal B!

In my opinion 2 deaths a year (and an estimated 3-10 cases of survivors with disabilities; however this is pure guesswork as the MoH refuses to release the figures) in under 20 year olds from a strain of bacteria does not constitute a virulent epidemic that warrants the declaration of a public health emergency and a hugely expensive national vaccination intervention. In fact it constitutes a bogus epidemic, a trumped up epidemic with strong overtones of incompetence and ulterior motives.

In fact, there has been a gross misuse of statistics by our civil servants in the Ministry of Health. Like I did, you probably thought that the vast majority – if not nearly all – of that figure of 220 deaths (since 1991), were due to the “epidemic strain”. However, the 220 deaths were from infections from all strains of meningococcal disease; the meningococcal B subtype targeted by the MeNZB™ vaccine has been confirmed as causing around half of those 220 deaths; about 120 in all.

Official handouts and MoH websites declared the meningococcal B strain targeted by the vaccine to be causing over 80% of meningococcal disease cases. It simply isn’t so, but no doubt it suited their purposes of selling this vaccine to the government – and to the public. Actually, the MoH’s own figures reveal only 49.9% of the 4,128 cases since the beginning of 1997 have been confirmed as being due to the MeNZB™ strain.

Ron Law, who has tried to publicise these figures, has said: “Using meningococcal type C and type W cases to justify a type B vaccine is much worse than pseudo-science. It would appear to be falsification of the evidence worthy of a full enquiry; some could argue that it is scientific fraud.”

What’s more, Law’s findings completely undermine the Ministry’s justification for the campaign which was that vaccinating under 20 year olds against the meningococcal B strain would save 200 lives over the next 10 years. This estimate was falsely based on deaths from all strains of meningococci (about 17 a year on average since 1991) although the MoH seemed to prefer a nice round figure and predicted 20 per annum.

The fact is that according to “The Top Ten Report” even during the years 1997-1999 – the middle of this 13 year old “epidemic” – meningococcal disease (from all strains) did not even make it into the top ten causes of death for the 0 to 24 year old age group!

“The Top Ten Report” (published by the Waikato District Health Board in 2001) was put together by a large group of doctors and paediatricians using data collected from hospitals, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR), Statistics New Zealand etc. This report gathered together extensive hard data on causes of death and sickness in the late 1990s, in order to enable a prioritising of health spending.

In his forward to the report Professor Frank Oberklaid of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne welcomed the report as a compendium of factual evidence which would lay to rest many assumptions.

He stated that:

“The expenditure of large amounts of money in areas that have a direct bearing on people’s lives are determined often by political considerations rather than documented health status or the needs of the population”.

According to this comprehensive report meningococcal disease doesn’t rate highly as a cause of death or disease. In fact for the population as a whole, that is, for all ethnic groups in the 0 to 24 age range, it doesn’t even break into the top ten! And that’s from all strains of meningococci. The top ten causes of “potentially avoidable mortality” are listed as:
Motor vehicle crashes 26%
Suicide 18%
SIDS 11%
Low birthweight babies 8%
Congenital anomalies 7%
Birth trauma & asphyxia 4%
Other perinatal conditions 3%
Drowning 3%
Neural tube defects 3%
Leukaemia 3%

What’s more, “The Top Ten Report” authors found that meningococcal disease (from all strains) did not even make it into the top ten causes of hospitalisation for the 0-24 age group.

Parents who have been made to feel anxious by this unprecedented government run scare campaign need to ask themselves a few questions:

• Am I being duped?

• Why am I not more scared of my child getting leukaemia? (There would be more justification.)

• Why am I more scared of my child developing meningococcal disease now than in 2001 when mortality rates from this illness were 4 times higher? (All strains.)

Is it that leukaemia, neural tube defects and other congenital defects and SIDS keep a much lower profile because there is no vaccine on the market for these conditions? Why has all the emphasis been on the vaccine instead of the well documented factors associated with increased risk for children developing meningococcal disease – such as passive smoking, low levels of vitamin C, iron deficiency, use of anti-pyretics, and poor diet? Cui Bono?

Side-effects

The official view is that there are no serious side-effects, that the vaccine is completely safe. Dr Nikki Turner, director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre wrote in the Herald recently (Nov. 10 ’04), “Sore arms, fever, nausea and vomiting are unpleasant and occasional allergic reactions. However, no child has died or had any long-term effects from the meningococcal vaccine.” Dr O’Hallahan in the Herald on the same day called any assertions that the vaccine was unsafe the “fallacies and misinformation promulgated by a small group of activists with an anti-immunisation agenda”. She said all reported side-effects were temporary.

Unfortunately, the vaccine has been causing serious side effects, but these are simply not being given official recognition. To be quite blunt, the whole system of monitoring of side-effects in this country is defective from the top to bottom, being founded on the assumption that vaccination is safe and effective. People who adhere to this belief consider vaccination to be a vital public health tool. Vaccine side effects are dismissed as being mostly short term, nuisance value symptoms (and easily justified by the protection conferred by the vaccine against more serious disease.) Serious side effects are considered rare. Even devastating side effects such as death or serious disability can be defended on the basis of the belief that vaccination as a medical practice does more good than harm for the majority of the population.

At the top you have bureaucrats and the medical profession via official bodies saying vaccines are safe and well researched even when they’re not. The case of the MeNZB™ vaccine which is being used in a mass vaccination campaign even though it couldn’t even gain full registration is a perfect illustration of this.

The opinion that vaccines are safe and effective cascades down the ranks to the people performing vaccination. Most doctors and nurses do not question the safety or effectiveness of vaccines, having been trained to believe that vaccination is an important public health tool. Moreover, information supplied to health professionals on an ongoing basis by the MoH is biased in favour of vaccination. It often omits, downplays or attempts to discredit data that shows that vaccines are associated with long term adverse effects.

Those health professionals who have seen the damaging effects of vaccinations on the health of their patients or who have read the medical literature on vaccines know they would be going out on a very shaky limb if they were to break ranks and go public about their concerns. The general public are often not cognisant of the enormous pressures on doctors to conform. It takes quite a remarkably honest and brave person to speak out from within the medical profession about the dangers of vaccines. Campbell Murdoch, a Professor of General Practice at Otago Medical School wrote in a 1995 article in “New Zealand Family Physician” (22:4, p136),

“It is a brave or foolish medical person who dares to question the wisdom of this wonderful scientific advance, for to do so is to challenge one of the sacred cows of modern medicine….espoused uncritically by the medical profession.”

There are doctors we know of who won’t let their own children get this vaccine. However, rather than sharing their concerns with the general public they prefer to remain relatively quiet, expressing their reservations privately. Considering the threat to their careers that would result from their speaking out, this is understandable, but given how many children are being damaged by the vaccine in the name of their profession, it is ultimately reprehensible. However, it is not as reprehensible as the numerous doctors and nurses who are quietly ignoring and even actively suppressing the evidence of side-effects, such is their attachment to an ideology.

I’ll give you just a couple of examples we have heard about. Two young, pre-school children, brother and sister, living in Manukau, were given their first two doses of MeNZB™ vaccine. After the second dose both exhibited behavioural changes that included becoming very insecure, constantly grizzly, and in the boy’s case, becoming very aggressive which was completely out of character. This went on for many weeks and has been highly distressing for the family.

The boy vomited on and off for a couple of weeks, and lost his appetite completely for the first week. Some of these events happened after their first shots, but most of the adverse events were worse the second time around. Both children developed a bizarre rash that covered much of their torsos. The rash was flat and red, and not itchy.
Motor vehicle crashes 26%
Suicide 18%
SIDS 11%
Low birthweight babies 8%
Congenital anomalies 7%
Birth trauma & asphyxia 4%
Other perinatal conditions 3%
Drowning 3%
Neural tube defects 3%
Leukaemia 3%

What’s more, “The Top Ten Report” authors found that meningococcal disease (from all strains) did not even make it into the top ten causes of hospitalisation for the 0-24 age group.

Parents who have been made to feel anxious by this unprecedented government run scare campaign need to ask themselves a few questions:

• Am I being duped?

• Why am I not more scared of my child getting leukaemia? (There would be more justification.)

• Why am I more scared of my child developing meningococcal disease now than in 2001 when mortality rates from this illness were 4 times higher? (All strains.)

Is it that leukaemia, neural tube defects and other congenital defects and SIDS keep a much lower profile because there is no vaccine on the market for these conditions? Why has all the emphasis been on the vaccine instead of the well documented factors associated with increased risk for children developing meningococcal disease – such as passive smoking, low levels of vitamin C, iron deficiency, use of anti-pyretics, and poor diet? Cui Bono?

Side-effects

The official view is that there are no serious side-effects, that the vaccine is completely safe. Dr Nikki Turner, director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre wrote in the Herald recently (Nov. 10 ’04), “Sore arms, fever, nausea and vomiting are unpleasant and occasional allergic reactions. However, no child has died or had any long-term effects from the meningococcal vaccine.” Dr O’Hallahan in the Herald on the same day called any assertions that the vaccine was unsafe the “fallacies and misinformation promulgated by a small group of activists with an anti-immunisation agenda”. She said all reported side-effects were temporary.

Unfortunately, the vaccine has been causing serious side effects, but these are simply not being given official recognition. To be quite blunt, the whole system of monitoring of side-effects in this country is defective from the top to bottom, being founded on the assumption that vaccination is safe and effective. People who adhere to this belief consider vaccination to be a vital public health tool. Vaccine side effects are dismissed as being mostly short term, nuisance value symptoms (and easily justified by the protection conferred by the vaccine against more serious disease.) Serious side effects are considered rare. Even devastating side effects such as death or serious disability can be defended on the basis of the belief that vaccination as a medical practice does more good than harm for the majority of the population.

At the top you have bureaucrats and the medical profession via official bodies saying vaccines are safe and well researched even when they’re not. The case of the MeNZB™ vaccine which is being used in a mass vaccination campaign even though it couldn’t even gain full registration is a perfect illustration of this.

The opinion that vaccines are safe and effective cascades down the ranks to the people performing vaccination. Most doctors and nurses do not question the safety or effectiveness of vaccines, having been trained to believe that vaccination is an important public health tool. Moreover, information supplied to health professionals on an ongoing basis by the MoH is biased in favour of vaccination. It often omits, downplays or attempts to discredit data that shows that vaccines are associated with long term adverse effects.

Those health professionals who have seen the damaging effects of vaccinations on the health of their patients or who have read the medical literature on vaccines know they would be going out on a very shaky limb if they were to break ranks and go public about their concerns. The general public are often not cognisant of the enormous pressures on doctors to conform. It takes quite a remarkably honest and brave person to speak out from within the medical profession about the dangers of vaccines. Campbell Murdoch, a Professor of General Practice at Otago Medical School wrote in a 1995 article in “New Zealand Family Physician” (22:4, p136),

“It is a brave or foolish medical person who dares to question the wisdom of this wonderful scientific advance, for to do so is to challenge one of the sacred cows of modern medicine….espoused uncritically by the medical profession.”

There are doctors we know of who won’t let their own children get this vaccine. However, rather than sharing their concerns with the general public they prefer to remain relatively quiet, expressing their reservations privately. Considering the threat to their careers that would result from their speaking out, this is understandable, but given how many children are being damaged by the vaccine in the name of their profession, it is ultimately reprehensible. However, it is not as reprehensible as the numerous doctors and nurses who are quietly ignoring and even actively suppressing the evidence of side-effects, such is their attachment to an ideology.

I’ll give you just a couple of examples we have heard about. Two young, pre-school children, brother and sister, living in Manukau, were given their first two doses of MeNZB™ vaccine. After the second dose both exhibited behavioural changes that included becoming very insecure, constantly grizzly, and in the boy’s case, becoming very aggressive which was completely out of character. This went on for many weeks and has been highly distressing for the family.

The boy vomited on and off for a couple of weeks, and lost his appetite completely for the first week. Some of these events happened after their first shots, but most of the adverse events were worse the second time around. Both children developed a bizarre rash that covered much of their torsos. The rash was flat and red, and not itchy.
Motor vehicle crashes 26%
Suicide 18%
SIDS 11%
Low birthweight babies 8%
Congenital anomalies 7%
Birth trauma & asphyxia 4%
Other perinatal conditions 3%
Drowning 3%
Neural tube defects 3%
Leukaemia 3%

What’s more, “The Top Ten Report” authors found that meningococcal disease (from all strains) did not even make it into the top ten causes of hospitalisation for the 0-24 age group.

Parents who have been made to feel anxious by this unprecedented government run scare campaign need to ask themselves a few questions:

• Am I being duped?

• Why am I not more scared of my child getting leukaemia? (There would be more justification.)

• Why am I more scared of my child developing meningococcal disease now than in 2001 when mortality rates from this illness were 4 times higher? (All strains.)

Is it that leukaemia, neural tube defects and other congenital defects and SIDS keep a much lower profile because there is no vaccine on the market for these conditions? Why has all the emphasis been on the vaccine instead of the well documented factors associated with increased risk for children developing meningococcal disease – such as passive smoking, low levels of vitamin C, iron deficiency, use of anti-pyretics, and poor diet? Cui Bono?

Side-effects

The official view is that there are no serious side-effects, that the vaccine is completely safe. Dr Nikki Turner, director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre wrote in the Herald recently (Nov. 10 ’04), “Sore arms, fever, nausea and vomiting are unpleasant and occasional allergic reactions. However, no child has died or had any long-term effects from the meningococcal vaccine.” Dr O’Hallahan in the Herald on the same day called any assertions that the vaccine was unsafe the “fallacies and misinformation promulgated by a small group of activists with an anti-immunisation agenda”. She said all reported side-effects were temporary.

Unfortunately, the vaccine has been causing serious side effects, but these are simply not being given official recognition. To be quite blunt, the whole system of monitoring of side-effects in this country is defective from the top to bottom, being founded on the assumption that vaccination is safe and effective. People who adhere to this belief consider vaccination to be a vital public health tool. Vaccine side effects are dismissed as being mostly short term, nuisance value symptoms (and easily justified by the protection conferred by the vaccine against more serious disease.) Serious side effects are considered rare. Even devastating side effects such as death or serious disability can be defended on the basis of the belief that vaccination as a medical practice does more good than harm for the majority of the population.

At the top you have bureaucrats and the medical profession via official bodies saying vaccines are safe and well researched even when they’re not. The case of the MeNZB™ vaccine which is being used in a mass vaccination campaign even though it couldn’t even gain full registration is a perfect illustration of this.

The opinion that vaccines are safe and effective cascades down the ranks to the people performing vaccination. Most doctors and nurses do not question the safety or effectiveness of vaccines, having been trained to believe that vaccination is an important public health tool. Moreover, information supplied to health professionals on an ongoing basis by the MoH is biased in favour of vaccination. It often omits, downplays or attempts to discredit data that shows that vaccines are associated with long term adverse effects.

Those health professionals who have seen the damaging effects of vaccinations on the health of their patients or who have read the medical literature on vaccines know they would be going out on a very shaky limb if they were to break ranks and go public about their concerns. The general public are often not cognisant of the enormous pressures on doctors to conform. It takes quite a remarkably honest and brave person to speak out from within the medical profession about the dangers of vaccines. Campbell Murdoch, a Professor of General Practice at Otago Medical School wrote in a 1995 article in “New Zealand Family Physician” (22:4, p136),

“It is a brave or foolish medical person who dares to question the wisdom of this wonderful scientific advance, for to do so is to challenge one of the sacred cows of modern medicine….espoused uncritically by the medical profession.”

There are doctors we know of who won’t let their own children get this vaccine. However, rather than sharing their concerns with the general public they prefer to remain relatively quiet, expressing their reservations privately. Considering the threat to their careers that would result from their speaking out, this is understandable, but given how many children are being damaged by the vaccine in the name of their profession, it is ultimately reprehensible. However, it is not as reprehensible as the numerous doctors and nurses who are quietly ignoring and even actively suppressing the evidence of side-effects, such is their attachment to an ideology.

I’ll give you just a couple of examples we have heard about. Two young, pre-school children, brother and sister, living in Manukau, were given their first two doses of MeNZB™ vaccine. After the second dose both exhibited behavioural changes that included becoming very insecure, constantly grizzly, and in the boy’s case, becoming very aggressive which was completely out of character. This went on for many weeks and has been highly distressing for the family.

The boy vomited on and off for a couple of weeks, and lost his appetite completely for the first week. Some of these events happened after their first shots, but most of the adverse events were worse the second time around. Both children developed a bizarre rash that covered much of their torsos. The rash was flat and red, and not itchy.
Motor vehicle crashes 26%
Suicide 18%
SIDS 11%
Low birthweight babies 8%
Congenital anomalies 7%
Birth trauma & asphyxia 4%
Other perinatal conditions 3%
Drowning 3%
Neural tube defects 3%
Leukaemia 3%

What’s more, “The Top Ten Report” authors found that meningococcal disease (from all strains) did not even make it into the top ten causes of hospitalisation for the 0-24 age group.

Parents who have been made to feel anxious by this unprecedented government run scare campaign need to ask themselves a few questions:

• Am I being duped?

• Why am I not more scared of my child getting leukaemia? (There would be more justification.)

• Why am I more scared of my child developing meningococcal disease now than in 2001 when mortality rates from this illness were 4 times higher? (All strains.)

Is it that leukaemia, neural tube defects and other congenital defects and SIDS keep a much lower profile because there is no vaccine on the market for these conditions? Why has all the emphasis been on the vaccine instead of the well documented factors associated with increased risk for children developing meningococcal disease – such as passive smoking, low levels of vitamin C, iron deficiency, use of anti-pyretics, and poor diet? Cui Bono?

Side-effects

The official view is that there are no serious side-effects, that the vaccine is completely safe. Dr Nikki Turner, director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre wrote in the Herald recently (Nov. 10 ’04), “Sore arms, fever, nausea and vomiting are unpleasant and occasional allergic reactions. However, no child has died or had any long-term effects from the meningococcal vaccine.” Dr O’Hallahan in the Herald on the same day called any assertions that the vaccine was unsafe the “fallacies and misinformation promulgated by a small group of activists with an anti-immunisation agenda”. She said all reported side-effects were temporary.

Unfortunately, the vaccine has been causing serious side effects, but these are simply not being given official recognition. To be quite blunt, the whole system of monitoring of side-effects in this country is defective from the top to bottom, being founded on the assumption that vaccination is safe and effective. People who adhere to this belief consider vaccination to be a vital public health tool. Vaccine side effects are dismissed as being mostly short term, nuisance value symptoms (and easily justified by the protection conferred by the vaccine against more serious disease.) Serious side effects are considered rare. Even devastating side effects such as death or serious disability can be defended on the basis of the belief that vaccination as a medical practice does more good than harm for the majority of the population.

At the top you have bureaucrats and the medical profession via official bodies saying vaccines are safe and well researched even when they’re not. The case of the MeNZB™ vaccine which is being used in a mass vaccination campaign even though it couldn’t even gain full registration is a perfect illustration of this.

The opinion that vaccines are safe and effective cascades down the ranks to the people performing vaccination. Most doctors and nurses do not question the safety or effectiveness of vaccines, having been trained to believe that vaccination is an important public health tool. Moreover, information supplied to health professionals on an ongoing basis by the MoH is biased in favour of vaccination. It often omits, downplays or attempts to discredit data that shows that vaccines are associated with long term adverse effects.

Those health professionals who have seen the damaging effects of vaccinations on the health of their patients or who have read the medical literature on vaccines know they would be going out on a very shaky limb if they were to break ranks and go public about their concerns. The general public are often not cognisant of the enormous pressures on doctors to conform. It takes quite a remarkably honest and brave person to speak out from within the medical profession about the dangers of vaccines. Campbell Murdoch, a Professor of General Practice at Otago Medical School wrote in a 1995 article in “New Zealand Family Physician” (22:4, p136),

“It is a brave or foolish medical person who dares to question the wisdom of this wonderful scientific advance, for to do so is to challenge one of the sacred cows of modern medicine….espoused uncritically by the medical profession.”

There are doctors we know of who won’t let their own children get this vaccine. However, rather than sharing their concerns with the general public they prefer to remain relatively quiet, expressing their reservations privately. Considering the threat to their careers that would result from their speaking out, this is understandable, but given how many children are being damaged by the vaccine in the name of their profession, it is ultimately reprehensible. However, it is not as reprehensible as the numerous doctors and nurses who are quietly ignoring and even actively suppressing the evidence of side-effects, such is their attachment to an ideology.

I’ll give you just a couple of examples we have heard about. Two young, pre-school children, brother and sister, living in Manukau, were given their first two doses of MeNZB™ vaccine. After the second dose both exhibited behavioural changes that included becoming very insecure, constantly grizzly, and in the boy’s case, becoming very aggressive which was completely out of character. This went on for many weeks and has been highly distressing for the family.

The boy vomited on and off for a couple of weeks, and lost his appetite completely for the first week. Some of these events happened after their first shots, but most of the adverse events were worse the second time around. Both children developed a bizarre rash that covered much of their torsos. The rash was flat and red, and not itchy.

Both children also developed sleeping problems, waking up many times during the night, and having nightmares. According to their mother, both had been very good sleepers before their MeNZB™ shots.

In the little girl’s case, in the second week after her second dose, she started waking up at 10pm and was not able to fall asleep again. At around 2 to 3am she often would start back-arching and emitting a high pitched wailing scream, which was so loud it brought the neighbours over. This went on for about 4 weeks or more. The mother, Rachel M. reported that she went to two different doctors, an emergency doctor and eventually her own GP.

“I told them what had gone on, and at neither time did they mention that it could be a vaccine reaction.”

She reported that one of the doctors said on being told of the screaming and back arching, “Maybe it’s tummy cramps.”

They didn’t even bother to investigate. In fact the doctors ended up telling her that both children’s problems were probably due to a recurrence of ear infections, perhaps in combination with “teething”. Her GP gave her antibiotics for the ear infection.

Rachel is too scared to ask her doctor to report the reactions to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring, and was unaware that she could do it herself.

The little girl’s strange screaming and back arching are classic signs of encephalitis – severe inflammation of the central nervous system – which can sometimes lead to brain damage with permanent effects such as epilepsy, autistic spectrum disorders, personality changes, learning difficulties etc. This should have been investigated thoroughly, and almost certainly would have been, if instead of having been vaccine related, it was associated with an illness like meningococcal disease or measles. (Encephalitis is well known in the literature as a potential outcome of vaccination.) Luckily, the girl seems to have come right. However, the mother is now very doubtful about getting the third dose for either of her children.

Other side-effects have been reported to us as well – including vomiting, diarrhoea, and indurations (swelling of the injection site). These are very common reactions, and acknowledged by the MoH, though dismissed as of no real consequence. In addition, we have heard of a number of toddlers who have been unable to walk for two to three days after their shots, and some who also developed bizarre rashes covering much of their bodies. Bedwetting and asthma are also being reported.

There have been reports of a number of deaths associated with the vaccine. I have endeavoured to follow up on them, requesting that my contact details be passed along the bereaved parents; however, to date I have not heard from them. I spoke to one woman who said she’d recently attended the funeral of a toddler who had apparently been healthy prior to receiving the vaccine. Two days after the MeNZB™ shot, the child was dead. The official cause of death was “pneumonia”.

Most people don’t realise that up to 45% of the population carry a strain or strains of meningococcal bacteria in their tonsillar tissue, harmlessly. This indicates that the pathogens aren’t so much the problem as the possible inability of the host’s immune-system to keep them under control. The strength of the immune system rests on many factors, such as diet, intake of vitamin C, etc. Prolonged stress can burn up vitamin C reserves, as can having to deal with toxins.

There can be little doubt that the pain of the injection of the vaccine, along with the stress produced by the various toxins in the vaccine, such as aluminium (a known neurotoxin), will deplete the reserves of vitamins and minerals in some children, leading to weakening of immunity. In some cases, this weakening of immunity may lead to the development of serious illness.

Personally I hate to think what long term side-effects await many of the children affected by this vaccine. Will a higher rate of insulin dependent diabetes, autism, learning disorders or asthma, occur because of this massive campaign?

It is very possible, considering that all these problems are associated with vaccines in peer-reviewed medical literature.

But inasmuch as the NZ health authorities are probably never going to do proper long-term follow up studies we’ll be lucky if there will ever be any official recognition of such long term side-effects. As it is, the MoH can’t even acknowledge medium-term adverse events such as I have just related.

Institutional Mechanisms of Denial

This form of institutional denial is not surprising. To admit the truth of potential and real serious side-effects would probably lead to a public outcry, and great loss of face for both the Ministry of Health and the medical profession. Contracts have been signed, money has changed hands, and individual and institutional reputations are at stake, including that of the Clark government. Regardless of the facts, they are not going to willingly back down.

Ironically, as Ron Law points out, if this vaccine campaign had been launched one year earlier, the MoH doubtless would be crowing how this year’s low case-load was the result of it.

The Real Aim of this Campaign

So why is it that this massive campaign got under way here when mortality and morbidity from meningococcal B disease can’t even break into the top ten preventable causes index for either deaths or hospitalisations? Why has a problematic vaccine been foisted on us with no expense spared, rather than fixing more serious health problems such as diet-related birth defects or leukaemia?

Perhaps it is because the giant pharmaceutical companies which manufacture vaccines care far more about their profits than they do about vaccine side-effects. And those 100’s of millions of dollars of profits they make from vaccines helps give them a lot of leverage over health policies of governments. As the saying goes, “Money Talks”.

It is difficult for the general public to understand the interface between government departments and these wealthy private transnationals. The bureaucrats, a lot of the top medical professionals and corporate people often move in the same social circles, and many doctors are in the employ of Big Pharma. Conflicts of interest are seldom disclosed.

For example, the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC), based in Auckland Medical School is vociferously pro-vaccine, and employs several doctors and nurses as full-time and part-time staff. Their director, Dr. Nikki Turner, is often consulted by the media for her opinion. She is often on the TV news, warning about the childhood illnesses, and tries to allay any doubts about vaccines.

Nearly everyone assumes that IMAC is part of the Ministry of Health. Turner will sometimes point out that IMAC is actually part of Auckland University, and nothing to do with the government. Turner makes much of the fact that IMAC draws upon “academic” research when she speaks at public meetings.

What she neglects to mention, however, is that IMAC is indirectly funded by the vaccine manufacturers. The Immunisation Advisory Centre is part of the Goodfellow Unit in the Auckland Medical School, which gets substantial grants from quite a few of the big vaccine manufacturing corporations.

There are many good people involved in allopathic medicine and many of them do not financially benefit from vaccines in any major way. Institutions are not monolithic forces. Some of the best people I have met have been doctors. The trouble is they aren’t the ones in power and they’re outnumbered, even if they’re aware of the vaccine controversy, which they usually are not.

It is not as though the rest of society as a whole can claim moral superiority. Many of us are morally grey in various areas of our lives. How many of us, for instance, think about the political ramifications of shopping, how sweatshop labour was used to make that trendy sports jacket that sells for such a low price? As Albert Einstein once said, “The world is a dangerous place, not so much because of evil people and what they do, but because of good people looking on, and doing nothing.”

Regarding vaccination, we only have to look at the USA to know what the future could hold for New Zealand. To date, the MoH and commercial interests have been largely successful in manufacturing public consent for increasing numbers of unnecessary vaccines by using tools such as coercive publicity campaigns and fraudulent statistics. However, I have little doubt they would like to introduce mandatory vaccination here.

Mandatory vaccination means that unless a child is fully vaccinated they can’t attend a state-funded school. You could say it is compulsory vaccination by proxy. In America doctors and nurses grill patients and their families who come into hospitals for whatever reason, about the vaccination status of children, and it is common for social workers to coerce parents who haven’t got their children “up to date” with shots.

Many parents have had their children removed from their care, and have been accused of neglect for this reason. Parents have also been taken to court. For example a recent Washington Post article (30 Oct. 2004) outlined how 41 parents in Washington DC were recently ordered to face a judge under the 1990 Compulsory School Attendance Act because their children weren’t fully vaccinated. This Act gives a judge the power to fine a parent up to $100 or imprison them for 5 days for each offence. Only 34 parents fronted. Arrest warrants were sent out for the others. It would appear that mandatory vaccination has created the legal framework for these kinds of deplorable bullying tactics that ride roughshod over the right to refuse medical drugs for healthy children.

What paved the way for such a law change? Some would say it was apathy, and too much respect for “authority”.

In fact, there is reason to believe that preparations are being made for mandatory vaccination to become the law in New Zealand. The first step was the Health (Immunisation) Regulations of 1995 which require every child to have an “Immunisation Certificate”, and require all kindergartens and schools to maintain an “Immunisation Register”. This law allows for serious invasion of privacy, prodding and probing by health and education professionals as regards vaccination status of children. Hence, the principle of the right to refuse a medical treatment, the right to liberty of thought, and the freedom to choose medical therapies other than allopathy without harassment or guilt are being eroded. Many people in New Zealand reject the idea that a centralised bureaucracy has a “need to know” the personal medical records of every citizen. Therefore we advocate that all parents refuse to sign the consent forms no matter if they are letting their children be vaccinated or not.

Having everyone under 20 vaccinated within a short time frame is an excellent way to kick-start the computerisation of the National Immunisation Register. Those children whose parents refused consent will be more efficiently marked out, because as these children grow up each time they use a health service their vaccination records will come up on the computer screen when their medical records are accessed.

The computer register allows for many more opportunities to harass “neglectful” parents, to co-ordinate future vaccine strategies and campaigns etc. It would allow school authorities to co-ordinate more fully with the family courts, social services, and health system if and when legal pressure is brought to bear on families who choose to “opt out”. In effect, freedom to choose would become severely compromised with so many penalties and coercive practices available to authorities to discourage non-compliance that it would be almost as draconian as compulsory vaccination. Many American parents can vouch for that.

In summary, I see the MeNZB™ campaign, with its use of pseudo-science, slick sloganeering, and emotive advertising as a taste of what the future holds for New Zealand. We have a health bureaucracy that is far more heedful of the demands of commerce than the needs of the population it purports to serve. Working for the benefit of the pharmaceutical giants, it has sought to ignore, discredit, and even harass those who argue that the MeNZB™ vaccine is still experimental, may not prevent meningococal disease caused by the target strain, and may be seriously damaging some children and babies.

The refusal to properly investigate the many allegations of serious side-effects and even of deaths, speaks volumes. The dishonest science of having no true placebos in the pre-licensing safety trials, instead using other similar vaccines like the Norwegian meningococcal B vaccine and a meningococcal C vaccine, and having a paltry follow-up of (“up to”) only 7 days, likewise shows the lack of regard for public health.

The hypocrisy of bankrolling scare-mongering propaganda about an infection that during 2004 only caused 2 deaths in under 20 year olds, while failing to properly tackle immensely more substantive, but less profitable, causes of death and sickness (including of meningitis), such as low breastfeeding rates, poor diets, chemical and electromagnetic pollution, iatrogenic illnesses and deaths (including vaccination itself) is quite breathtaking.

That our population has not reacted with anger to the present charade, and is not calling for a major enquiry is a sad testament to widespread apathy, scientific ignorance, and fear of rocking the boat.

Editor’s note: Readers who are interested in reading further about this issue may like to go to the Vaccination Alternatives Society web site:

http://beyondvaccines.vibrantplanet.com

Parents (and grandparents) may find the case of Baby P, who was a participant in one of the clinical trials of the MeNZB™ vaccine particularly interesting reading.Another site, that of the Immunisation Awareness Society also has useful information on the MeNZB™ vaccine
– as well as other vaccines: its address is:
ias.org.nz

The Ministry of Health/corporate line can be found on the following web site:
immunise.moh.govt.nz

Jason Sanders is the Spokesperson for Vaccination Alternatives Society NZ.

MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ANTIBODY THEORY

“The fallacy of this (antibody theory) was exposed nearly 50 years ago, which is hardly recent. A report published by the Medical Research Council entitled ‘A study of diphtheria in two areas of Gt. Britain, Special report series 272, HMSO’, 1950, demonstrated that many of the diphtheria patients had high levels of circulating antibodies, whereas many of the contacts who remained perfectly well had low antibody.”–Magda Taylor, Informed Parent

“Just because you give somebody a vaccine, and perhaps get an antibody reaction, doesn’t mean a thing. The only true antibodies, of course, are those you get naturally. What we’re doing [when we inject vaccines] is interfering with a very delicate mechanism that does its own thing. If nutrition is correct, it does it in the right way. Now if you insult a person in this way and try to trigger off something that nature looks after, you’re asking for all sorts of trouble, and we don’t believe it works.”—Glen Dettman Ph.D, interviewed by Jay Patrick, and quoted in “The Great American Deception,” Let’s Live, December 1976, p. 57.

“Many measles vaccine efficacy studies relate to their ability to stimulate an antibody response, (sero-conversion or sero-response). An antibody response does not necessarily equate to immunity… the level of antibody needed for effective immunity is different in each individual…immunity can be demonstrated in individuals with a low or no detectable levels of antibody. Similarly in other individuals with higher levels of antibody there may be no immunity.

“We therefore need to stay clear on the issue: How do we know if the vaccine is effective for a particular individual when we do not know what level of antibody production equals immunity?”– Trevor Gunn BSc

Article Excerpted from UNCENSORED Magazine: Issue 1 Number 1 Spring 2005

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