by Brett Smith
A memo did the rounds a few weeks back at News Ltd. Ease up on the ‘antivaxxers’. News Ltd. was getting nervous about the pro Bad Pharma, pro vaccine campaign they had been running in tandem with the US Government since the bogus Disneyland measles scare campaign back in 2013. Mission accomplished guys (sorry I mean girls, only poor old Claire Harvey and Jane Hansen had signed on for the mission, no real journalists required), let’s focus our attacks now on the Food Babe or Paleo Pete, acupuncturists and homeopaths, then we’ll move on to the herbalists and naturopaths.
At first I didn’t take much notice, you hear plenty of rumours in these increasingly paranoid days, but then along came The Age. Surely must be Fairfax’s turn to shoulder this urgent & heavy load. Talk about making up for lost time.
Eighty children get chickenpox at Brunswick North West Primary, a school that calls for ‘tolerance’ of vaccine dodgers
Headline almost says it all in regards to attitude and bias. It’s the meaty story however that catches the attention.
“One in four of the children who attend a Brunswick school that calls for tolerance for vaccine dodgers has contracted chickenpox.”
Jesus Wept!! One in four! Horrifying! But wait, hang on, a few sentences later,
“The Department of Health was first notified about the chickenpox cases on November 26.
“There are no firm figures on the number of students who have contracted the illness since then, but we’ve been advised that over the period there has been an absentee rate of about 25 per cent on any given day,” a department spokesman said.”
Oh, so you have no idea how many have chicken pox? Some parents may even be keeping their children home so as not to have any chance of contracting chicken pox maybe? Early holidays? A cold? No idea?
“Given the time of year, there are a number of other reasons which would lead to a higher than usual absentee rate.”
Oh, maybe the only piece of real journalism in the ‘story’? So there could be other reasons? So maybe 1 in 4 don’t have chickenpox?
Then it’s the poor old Principal’s time for a bit of name and shame with the vague hint that the “school” had previously asked for tolerance of those with “differing opinions on immunisation.” Guess this is how we came up with the “vaccine dodgers” headline?
What unbalanced pro vaccine story could you publish without a quote from the inept Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy.
“We’re significantly concerned about the myth makers who go out encouraging people not to immunise their children,” Ms Hennessy said.
“Get your advice from a doctor, not from some quack who’s opposed to vaccination based on dodgy science.”
Word of advice Jill, vaccination and dodgy science should never be used in the same sentence. I’ve sadly reached the point where I need to see how much Bad Pharma has donated to an MP’s electoral coffers before I can look at their motives as untainted. Well Jill? Any Bad Pharma donations? What about the Victorian ALP? Maybe we should have asked the senators on the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee whether any of them had any reasons they should excuse themselves?
Strangely, a largely uncovered part to this story was the fact that many vaccinated children seem to have come down with the dreaded chicken pox. An intriguing little line in the middle of nowhere states,
“Children who are immunised can still contract chickenpox.”
Later we hear a little more from Monash Children’s Hospital head of infection and immunity Jim Buttery,
“For “herd immunity” to kick in, he said, about 90 per cent of children need to be immunised.”
Any data to support that Buttery Fact? It used to be approximately 70% when Bad Pharma first started pushing the story. Pro Merck pushers don’t really like to get bogged down in herd immunity details, they like talking about it but only in general terms. As soon as you ask for some hard science they start waffling about iron lungs and the mercury levels of canned tuna.
And finally, a clarification,
“An earlier version of this report described the school as actively welcoming unvaccinated students. However, we understand the school’s newsletter from which this was inferred was a call for tolerance as opposed to an ‘active welcome’.”
Of course you did. Wonder how you got that so wrong?
DEC 11, 2015
Anti-vaxxer’s baby hospitalised with whooping cough
by Bianca Hall
Bianca devotes a whole ‘story’ to some posts lifted from Facebook. Facebook is bad enough all on its but to be rummaging for stories in there comes across as desperate to me.
“But hours after being discharged from hospital on Friday, the Melbourne woman struck a defiant note, hinting to other members of the Facebook group Unvaccinated Australia that she had lied to hospital doctors in order to leave the hospital.”
Bianca never tells us how she came across these Facebook posts on what I’m led to believe is a closed group. Had she hacked into a closed group all on her own? Has Murdoch’s old UK hacker got a new job at Fairfax? How on Earth did Bianca ever come across these posts? She never lets on.