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Greens attack ‘voodoo’ vaccination opponents

Chris Dobney

Another attack has been launched on the Australian Vaccination Network, this time from a most unexpected quarter.

NSW Greens MP Dr John Kaye has said that the state government must take aim against the ‘voodoo claims and conspiracy theories’ that he accuses the network, amongst others, of spreading.

He was speaking after new statistics released yesterday showed that together with some of Sydney’s most exclusive suburbs, Byron and Ballina shires have among the lowest vaccination rates in the state.

Less than 85 per cent of children in our region have been vaccinated, leading Dr Kaye to state that ‘educated people’ were ‘falling prey to misinformation’.

Dr Kaye recognised that in taking the stand he would fall foul of some Greens voters but told Echonetdaily this morning, ‘I welcome the diversity of the debate that comes from the north coast but where the health and safety of children is concerned there is an overriding public health responsibility to ensure all children are vaccinated.

‘This goes beyond politics. This goes to the agony of watching a child struggling to breathe with whooping cough and it goes to the risk of an outbreak of a terrible disease like polio.

‘People have done their own research. I don’t blame people who come to the wrong conclusion based on what they see on the internet. The trouble is there are too many sources on the internet that grotesquely mislead parents seeking answers to the complex questions around vaccination.

Dr Kaye said the government must do more to increase the uptake of vaccination on the north coast and throughout the state and recommended a social media campaign to get honest answers out to people who were concerned.

‘I think the O’Farrell government has an obligation to run a campaign in the electronic media certainly, but even more so on the internet, Facebook, Twitter, etcetera, to ensure that every parent knows the risk to their own children, and others’, of not vaccinating,’ he told Echonetdaily.

The founding head of the Australian Vaccination Network (which opposes all forms of vaccination), Meryl Dorey, lives in Bangalow.

Dr Kaye described the organisation as ‘disgraceful’.

‘The Australian Vaccination Network insists it is telling both sides of the story. However the individual and community benefits of vaccination are a matter of fact, not opinion. Spreading misinformation about childhood immunisation could be deadly,’ he said.

He said that ultimately the responsibility must lie with the health department to combat the ‘conspiracy theories’ and urged the premier to boost budgets to stretched regional local health districts.

‘Cuts to the state’s health budget will make matters much worse. The already over-stretched [health] department struggles to service rural and remote NSW and get the message out to all parents that they should ignore the conspiracy theory idiocy of the anti-vaccine campaigners.

‘Together with more resources for rural and remote areas to ensure that every child has access to an immunisation program, health minister Jillian Skinner must put more effort into a counter-offensive that shows parents the consequences of whooping cough, measles and polio.

‘It must be made clear to parents that waiting until a child gets sick is unfair on their own offspring and on others around them.’


31 responses to “Greens attack ‘voodoo’ vaccination opponents”

  1. Oh great. Now who can we vote for?

    • Astrid says:

      Hear, hear, Oliver. And this is all very well and maybe it is true but when are we going to hear about the sheer number of vaccinations and incidental ingredients such as formaldehyde in those vaccinations? PS. I know formaldehyde is present in adult triple antigen for example because I read the box when I had a shot when I had my baby 7 years ago (Over 50% of whooping cough cases are caught from adult carers).

    • Sean Hegarty says:

      Well I reckon John Kaye would still be worth a vote. After all he is only speaking the truth!

  2. What a crock, ‘educated people … falling prey to misinformation’ about vaccinations. The fact is that “the facts” about immunizations can be manipulated by the corporations that make billions out of distribution of this toxic crap. People are responding to a primal instinct to protect their young by doing their own research instead of simply believing mainstream propaganda pushed by big phama corps … and about time too!

  3. Kevin says:

    Parents already know the risk of not vaccinating, their children ‘may’ get sick. What parents want to know is the real risks associated with vaccination in a complete and transparent manner as is possible.
    Perhaps ‘educated people’ are begining to say the current regime is not good enough, ie. there are too many unsatisfactory chemicals currently being used as ingredients in vaccines.

  4. Whatever you think of the AVN, the reality is that immunisation ‘science’ from the Dept of Health is just as dodgy…

    They do not understand that ‘herd immunity’ is an impossible dream unless they vaccinate 85% of the population not just 85% of the children.

    They do not admit that the immunisations given to our tiny babies are confusing their immune systems before they are working on their own and are very likely to have caused the increase in other conditions including asthma.

    They down-play the heavy metals they use in the immunisation…

    They basically lie to each other and pat each other on the back but when the research as all been done… they cannot prove their case either.

    They continue to feed us like mushrooms and expect us to toe the line with financial threats.

    Government… even the greens… do not have the answers either.

  5. Many Greens don’t accord with John Kaye’s position on this. I know that their is a diversity of views within the Party on this matter, as there is in the community.

    I just went on the Greens NSW website and their is no mention about a policy position on vaccinations.

  6. Choosing not to be vaccinated is more about a lifestyle choice. The individuals that I know who have not been vaccinated are by far more aware of what they consume and how they treat their bodies. Open the lunch boxes of pre-scool children and within seconds you can identify who the vaccinated children are. I have yet to meet an obese person that has not been vaccinated. Being vaccinated does not mean you are healthy or immune to disease. People today are informed and educated, let them make up their own minds and decide what is best for them and their children. When last did you hear of an unvaccinated child dying from a disease related disease. How condescending of Dr Kaye to state that ‘educated people’ were ‘falling prey to misinformation’. Can Dr Kaye tell us exactly what goes into the making of a vaccination?

  7. Jon says:

    No surprise to learn that the Northern Rivers region is the home of the anti-vaccination neanderthals. The area is home and habitat to every imagineable loony philosophy. Sadly they’re living on social security payments while promulgating their idiocies. We never hear them complaining about that. Were I a parent again I’d be looking very carefully at vaccination rates amongst kids at local schools before sending my own child along to take health risks.

  8. About Time says:

    It’s about time this stupidity was brought to account.

  9. I agree very strongly with Dr Kaye and admire him for speaking out on this issue. A lot of the parents that are against vaccination are from my generation, and have similar beliefs to myself. I am environmentally aware and live a sustainable, non-toxic lifestyle. I am expecting my first child and planning for a natural, drug free birth … but I am also planning to vaccinate.

    The scientific research that supports vaccination far out weighs any potential negatives. The vaccination debate reminds me of the climate change one …. where a few people with a couple of studies manage to create doubt despite the over whelming scientific evidence that supports the theory of human induced climate change.

    The reality is that the infectious diseases that these vaccinations protect against are serious, potentially fatal and we only have to look as far as our grandparents generation to be reminded what the world would be like if everyone decided not to vaccinate. Most of them would be able to recall a relative or family friend who had died or suffered serious complications from a disease that has since been controlled through vaccination. The only reason the unvaccinated children are protected is because the majority of people DO vaccinate, preventing massive disease outbreaks.

    I encourage all parents out there who have decided not to vaccinate to honestly be open to ‘both sides of the story’. If you choose to read the anti-vaccination literature, take the time to speak to a doctor about the pro-vaccination information too and make a truely informed decision.

  10. Good on him! The idiots in the AVN put all our kids at risk-for example, the northern rivers has an abnormaly high incidence of hooping-cough thanks to these people not vaccinating their children and , if spread to newborns can be fatal. Think about that new mothers next time you are in woolies and one of their non-vaccinated dribblers sneezes all over your bubba or your family member under-going chemotherapy with a weakened immune system. Their voodoo ignorance puts us all at risk by spreading diseases that could otherwise be controlled.

  11. Tom Doyle says:

    It’s okay Oliver, Dr Kaye is expressing his personal opinion, sorry fact. This is not Greens policy.

    His argument calls on us to support “vaccination” as a total system. A bit like saying that modern surgery is great therefore all modern surgery is great, regardless of the type of operation or the skills of the specific surgeon.

    Talk about an emotive, self-serving argument. He mentions whooping cough and polio as relevant examples. If all disease was like polio, immunisation/vaccination would be the greatest invention ever, as we could seriously assume that all disease could one day be eradicated. Vaccinating against polio is like shooting ducks in a barrel compared to whooping cough. British research suggests that a vaccination rate of 97% + would be required to offer herd immunity to the community. They can’t get 97% of children immunised, let alone the whole population. And whooping cough vax wears off and requires topping up every couple of years. We would have little chance of controlling whooping cough, none of eradicating it.

    I am at risk from influenza and pneumonia and, as such, have my flu and pneumonia shots up to date. If I only cared about my own health I’d be emotively ranting that everyone should be immunised (to protect me) and selfish travelers should be held in quarantine when arriving from another country. Sounds expensive and altogether unmanageable.

    I try to be realistic. Like accepting that all vaccinations are not equal; that legitimate reasons exist to remain unvaccinated; that the overwhelming reason for non vaccination is “life got in the way”; that I have some personal responsibility in managing my exposure to disease; that drug companies do this as a business and are motivated by profit; that vaccination does not confer 100% immunity; that poor storage, handling and transport are more likely to cause problems with effective vaccination; that trying to use “facts” to push an emotive argument is not very scientific; and, that we can’t save all the children all the time no matter how precious they are.

    Here’s a good question to finish with: Why haven’t governments (anywhere in the world) and the health industry lobbied to make immunisation compulsory? Perhaps there still exists a fact-free zone.

  12. Kelli Harris says:

    I’m 55 years old. I had whooping cough as a very young child. I still vividly remember my mother’s tears falling on me as she nursed me while I slept every night, holding my rib cage to ease the pain when I coughed. My siblings were sick of nights interrupted by the sigh of relief I would do each time the coughing would subside. It lasted about 6 months. I wouldn’t wish that on any child. My mother would nurse me whilst sitting on the kitchen bench. That way if she dozed off she would be woken as soon as her balance wavered. I was the youngest of seven kids. Later in life my sister said she thought Mum was lazy because we all had to do house work. That’s when I realised they had no idea of Mum’s sacrifice. I was born with pneumonia & unable to have my vaccinations, so most of my childhood was spent bed ridden watching my siblings play healthily around me. My illness had a dramatic effect on my childhood but not anywhere near as bad for my siblings had I not survived. My children are all vaccinated.

  13. I’ll vote for him. At least he right and telling the truth – an unusual thing for a politician.

  14. Vote for wikileaks and no coal seam gas party, Are Greens going right. I didnt vacinate my kids after doing lots of research and suggest Dr Kaye does the same

  15. Andy says:

    He doesn’t blame the parents for being mislead but I have to wonder what makes these “educated” people think they can understand the science of immunology better than immunologists do? Calling what they do “research” lends their efforts an undeserved credibility.

  16. Well, I’m not normally one for advocating the Greens, but this fella sounds eminently sensible. Unless you’re an anti-vax loon, in which case you probably lack the mental capacity to write an X on a ballot paper anyway, and so it doesn’t really matter.

  17. Anyone who backs vaccination gets my vote. Thank you for printing a rational article in an irrational area of Australia. It shows the anti vaxxers to be the liars they are.

  18. Gareth smith says:

    I wonder what those who oppose vaccination for their children against whooping cough and measles do when they want to travel to countries where there is a risk of hepatitis A and B, cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, yellow fever etc. Do they reject vaccination and risk it?

  19. navhal Pols says:

    Whether or not vaccination works I cannot verify. The main objections are the ADDITIONAL substances like murcury to name but one, there are many. Introduced by the manufacturing process. That the objections come from the most intelligent, well educated, informed people speaks for itself.

  20. Menkit says:

    OMG I don’t believe it ….. why doesn’t John Kaye now call for mandatory vaccination or jail terms? How much lower can the Greens go?

    Why is it a ‘conspiracy theory’ to research and collect data that proves vaccines contain harmful ingredients such as aluminium, formaldehyde, MSG, Thimerosal/methyl mercury,leukemia and cancer viruses, human fetal cells, bovine fetal cells, squalene, mycoplasma infections etc and that there is a link to autism (among others)?

    http://www.whale.to/vaccines/ingredients.html
    http://www.naturalnews.com/033584_Dr_Maurice_Hilleman_SV40.html
    http://www.naturalnews.com/037653_vaccine_additives_thimerosal_formaldehyde.html

    And in reply to Oliver above, there is the Wikileaks Party who will promote transparency – how refreshing! Instead of accusing groups of ‘conspiracy theories’ there will be proof of it!

  21. Well educated people falling prey to misinformation? Really? Maybe these educated people would like to see some Gold Standard tests (Double Blinded Placebo’s) done on the vaccines? Even just one of them?
    Ever wondered why other countries that have made vaccination mandatory pay compensation to vaccine injured children & Australia doesn’t? Its not about health at all – its about money.
    I am an early childhood preschool teacher in the Byron Shire and I can say that hands down the lifestyles of the unvaccinated families are much healthier. They also have the least amount of sick days and the last few years when whooping cough has gone around it was the VACCINATED children with the worst symptoms.

  22. Gerry Rys says:

    I’m all for education. But will this whole debate lead to compulsory immunisation nationally. The choice to be medicated was outlined as a basic human right under the Geneva Convention. Ditto on the Fluoride debate.

  23. Rahmey says:

    IF immunization actually worked why are people concerned by parents choosing not to be brainwashed by the fear machine that creates compliant sheeple? My son has never been immunized, he is a healthy strapping 22yr old, once he got whooping cough, i treated him with homeopathic’s and he did not suffer ANY of the symptoms until one day i forgot to give them to him, as soon as i realized he was having the symptoms i gave him his daily dose of homeopathic’s and all symptoms disappeared again… If people were given unbiased life affirming info regarding how to treat these childhood diseases they would not have to suffer, their immune systems would be strengthened instead of being compromised by immunization.. people who do not immunize their children Are truly responsible parents, as they choose not to poison their children’s bodies..

  24. How disappointing that even the Greens now kowtow to the pharmaceutical giants and there scare-mongering! I have three children between 28 & 35 who were never vaccinated and have never been sick, apart from the normal colds etc. Perhaps we could here of the statistics of the high number of children that have negative and sometimes severe adverse reactions to these vacines. There is plenty of information from creditable medicos in print, so it should not be tolerated that people are mislead by bogus info “on the net”! Shame Doctor Kaye !

  25. Bron says:

    Nothing he said should change a persons mind about voting for them.

  26. You are the victim of misinformation Dr Kaye, and “your” comments are “disgraceful”.

    • About Time says:

      Two babies have died recently in this area from hooping cough.

      More will die because you don’t vaccinate.

      If you have any questions, ask a doctor not a charlatan or a Kindy teacher.

  27. @Menkit – you’ve fallen foul of Scopie’s Law, so I am now pointing and laughing you out of the room.
    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Whale.to

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