Posts Tagged vaccination

Dogs And Autism: Human Sanity Concerns Over ‘Canine Health Concern’

As friends, stalkers, regular readers or simply plain-old psychics might know, I’ve been out of the country for a week, throwing myself off the side of mountains in the name of adrenaline, enjoyment and over-priced middle-class adventure-holiday fun. Hence my shocking goggle-tan, slight working-class-guilt-pangs and radio silence here on the blog. Fortunately, I had a great time away… but I’ve got to say I’m a bit disappointed by how things were when I got back. People are still pretending to talk to the dead, homeopathy’s still on the NHS, and the Daily Mail is still pumping out batshit lunacy. Really, did you all do nothing while I was gone? Shocking.

Speaking of the Daily Mail and my own relative silence of late, here’s something uber-old-hat by now (news these days moves so fast) but I felt I had to write it up partly because a) it’s batshit insane, b) it’s a good example of how fallacious arguments are entirely interchangeably applicable to a whole range of topics and c) it gives me a chance to make some cheap gags:

Vaccines ‘are making our dogs sick as vets cash in’ Source: Daily Mail (obviously).

See what I mean? Replace ‘dogs’ for ‘babies’ and ‘vets’ for ‘doctors’, and you’ve got a textbook anti-vaccination statement, a la Miss McCarthy. And it doesn’t stop there:

“Vaccines given to dogs are making them ill, a pet charity claimed yesterday. Profit-hungry drug companies and vets are ‘frightening’ dog owners into inoculating their pets more often than necessary, according to Canine Health Concern.”

If this isn’t PR for the Canine Health Concern charity, I don’t know what is. And it doesn’t stop there, either Read the rest of this entry »

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Public Opinion On Science: Who To Trust And When?

MSS-member and recent émigré to Canada Chris Hassall takes a look at how public perception of science is distorted, and the role of skepticism in  combating the distortion.

People go about their daily lives making decisions on the basis of beliefs about the way the world works. Their epistemological framework is a complex architecture of foundations and interconnecting supports on which rest concepts held to be “true”. While some beliefs may have little consequence for the person holding that belief, others have the potential to seriously impact the lives of both the believer and, through the actions that those beliefs precipitate, the rest of mankind. When we come to examine issues of such magnitude, we see a difference between the beliefs held by the general public and those which are held by the majority of experts in the respective fields. To understand why this is the case, it is informative to consider two claims that have been made in recent years and the variation in the reception that each has received from the public.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Compulsory Ignorance: More Anti-Vax Propaganda From The AVN

Anti-Vax Propaganda from the AVN

Anti-Vax Propaganda from the AVN

A couple of weeks ago, I reported on the Australian Skeptics and their battle with the Australian Vaccination Network.  The AVN are a ‘pro-choice’ organisation which promotes the spread of information and debate on vaccines. No, wait, sorry, I’ve got that completely wrong – they’re a deceitful, weaselly organisation spreading misinformation, rumour and lies when it comes to vaccination. Led by Meryl Dorey, the AVN have made dangerous and deceitful claims that nobody dies of whooping cough, that the swine flu pandemic was planned and deliberate and that  the MMR vaccine causes autism.

The latest ignorant and dangerous pseudomedical crap from AVN’s website is this presentation, a 46-page PDF of hateful anti-vax propaganda. It’s so blood-boilingly, insultingly and pathetically manipulative it really has to be taken piece-by-piece, so permit me to do so.

Page 1 declares, in gaudy, sensationalist, fear-mongeringly red block capitals:

Compulsory Vaccination: IT’S HERE!

Erm, yes, true enough. It is here, admittedly in some very specific circumstances, but I’m with you so far. What next, Meryl?

February 2007, NSW became the first state to mandate full vaccination (10 required vaccines) for all medical staff and allied health students. Failure to comply will result in expulsion from school or loss of employment/transfer to another area of the facility if that area exists.

July 2007 – jump on the bandwagon
All other Australian states and territories have now introduced similar policies for their health students. Hospital policies will follow shortly

OK, so far so innocuous – although a successful scheme to raise vaccination rates and therefore lower rates of infection, injury and death from some very nasty diseases is somewhat flippantly dismissed as a ‘bandwagon’. And if it is a bandwagon – fuck it, it’s precisely the kind of bandwagon there should be more of. If there were a pro-condom bandwagon in South Africa, I’d welcome that too.

What does this mean?
– 5 out of the 10 required vaccines contain live viruses which will put vulnerable hospital patients at risk.- Staff and students who can think for themselves and who question authority will no longer be in the health system.
– The list of required vaccines is sure to increase – just as the childhood vaccination schedule is increasing. How many vaccines will be enough?

Ah, here we go, now begins the weasel-wording and the utter utter bullshit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Son of God says the flu vaccine will kill your kids

Last week, the British government announced that it would concentrate on immunising vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women and health care professionals, against the H1N1 “swine” flu strain, before considering whether to extend the vaccination program across the wider population.  Westminster is reported to have contracts in place for 132 million doses of the vaccine, enough to immunise the entire UK population. Whether they use it or not remains to be seen.

Unfortunately, the vaccination program has attracted the attention of Internet crackpot and former son-of-god David Icke, who contends that the swine flu vaccine is a conspiracy by the Illuminati to cull vast portions of the human population.

Oh dear.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Australian Skeptics vs AVN Propaganda

Immunization: Get the Facts

Immunization: Get the Facts (click to enlarge)

Businessman, aviator, and explorer, Dick Smith, has funded an Australian Skeptics’ advertisement to urge parents to access factual information on vaccination, in the wake of the country’s largest Whooping Cough epidemic.

The advertisement, placed in the Thursday, August 6 edition of The Australian newspaper, directly addresses the Australian Vaccination Networks’ stated position of being ‘pro-choice’ on vaccines – when realistically they’re actually very much anti-vaccine.

The AVN is headed up by Meryl Dorey – who says vaccinations are dangerous, who says no one dies of pertussis, who says that it’s better not to vaccinate and who insinuates that doctors only vaccinate children because it’s profitable for them. This, of course, is total bullshit – in fact this year alone three children in Australia have died of pertussis, some too young to vaccinate – such as Dana McCaffrey, the four-week old infant who caught pertussis and died due to vaccination rates in her home town of Lennox Head, New South Wales dropping too low and compromising herd immunity.

The advert from the Australian Skeptics is a great, emotive piece showing how to reach the public with real information – at a time when here in the UK herd immunity has been severely damaged due to the MMR hoaxes, with the most serious outbreak of measles in Wales since the time the MMR vaccine was introduced, there’s a lesson here for us in the UK too.

Well done to the Australian Skeptics and to Dick Smith for speaking out against this dangerous propaganda.

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Express yourself: MMR, autism and mitochondrial dysfunction

Yesterday, the Daily Express ran another scaremongering story on the manufactroversy that won’t quit – MMR and autism.

The basis of this story appears to be the upcoming publication of a new edition of Richard Halvorsen’s 2007 book, “The Truth About Vaccines”. Halvorsen, a London-based GP, uses this new edition to reject unscientific claims about the purported link between vaccines and autism.  He takes the time to explain to worried parents that claims of a link are unfounded and that the scientific evidence does not support the vaccine-autism hypothesis.

Nah, I’m only fooling.  He probably just wheels out the same old canards.

Read the rest of this entry »

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