Category Archives: Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

Court orders girls must have MMR vaccination against their and their mother’s wishes

dreamstime_xs_17754200Recently a UK court ruled that two sisters must have the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine against their and their mother’s wishes.

A report in Family Law Week, “Children ordered to receive MMR vaccination” (13/10/13) notes that one of the girls was vaccinated soon after her birth.  Given the first dose of live MMR vaccine was effective and administered at the right age (i.e. after maternally derived antibodies had waned), it is highly likely the girl would have been immune after the first vaccine dose.  This can be verified by a blood test (i.e. antibody titre testing).  (See my webpage about the MMR ‘booster’ for further background.)

Have these girls and their mother been advised there is a blood test available to determine if they are already immune to measles/mumps/rubella?  

How can these girls give their ‘informed consent’ before the medical intervention of vaccination if the court rules they must have this medical intervention?  

This case has set a dangerous precedent.  

Are we all on course for compulsory vaccination, as dictated by the state?  Consider for example the prospect of mandated annual influenza vaccination.  This looks like the start of a slippery slope.  We need to be alert to the implications, and mindful of vested interests in the vaccine industry, governments, and the scientific/medical establishment.

See below my email forwarded to one of the solicitors involved in this matter of court ordered MMR vaccination, Philippa Dolan of Ashfords Solicitors.

______________________________________

From: Elizabeth Hart <eliz.hart25@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 14, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Subject: MMR Case
To: p.dolan@ashfords

Ms Dolan

Re the case about the two girls and the MMR vaccine in which I understand you are involved, i.e. High Court rules sisters must have MMR jab against their and their mother’s wisheshttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/high-court-rules-sisters-must-have-mmr-jab-against-their-and-their-mothers-wishes-8876035.html?origin=internalSearch

Note this comment in the article: “The elder daughter received the MMR jab but not a second dose, and the younger daughter did not receive either.”  (My emphasis.)

The measles/mumps/rubella vaccine is a ‘live’ vaccine.  When vaccinated at the right age with an effective vaccine, i.e. after maternally derived antibodies have waned, most children are likely to be immune for life.  The reason given for the second dose is that a small proportion of children might not respond to the first vaccine (usually because of interference of maternally derived antibodies, or possibly because of a fault in the vaccine).

My argument is, it is not ethical to force people to have a second dose of the vaccine if they’re likely to be immune after the first dose.  At the very least they should be offered the opportunity of a blood test (antibody titre test) to verify a response to the first vaccine, even if they have to pay for it themselves.  I suggest there is a very important principle at stake here, particularly when the state dictates that healthy people have to have medical interventions, it’s a slippery slope….

I suggest both those girls should be offered the opportunity of a blood test to measure antibodies (although it would have been better to have had the check soon after initial vaccination).  Even the second unvaccinated girl should be offered the opportunity in case she has had natural exposure to the disease.

For further background see my webpage: https://over-vaccination.net/questionable-vaccines/mmr-jab/

Also see my letter to Professor Paul Offit on this subject: http://users.on.net/~peter.hart/Letter_to_Paul_Offit_re_MMR_booster.pdf

Given the controversy about the MMR vaccine in the UK, and elsewhere, I think there could be a lot of fallout about this, there are some parents out there who I suspect would be very angry they weren’t given the opportunity of a blood test for their child, rather than an arbitrary second shot.

I request that you bring this information to the attention of the parents and children in this case, plus the presiding judge, Mrs Justice Theis.

I would appreciate your response on this matter.

Yours sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

The Conversation – a marketing arm for the university and research sector?

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The university and CSIRO-funded The Conversation website(1) publishes articles promoting vaccination, but appears reluctant to provide critical analysis on the worth of individual vaccine products. Indeed critical analysis of vaccines seems to be limited to comments on articles, often by members of the general public.

The dearth of critical analysis of individual vaccines is a major failing on The Conversation website(2), particularly as the university and research sector has a vested interest in promoting lucrative vaccine products, e.g. the controversial HPV vaccine(3).  This lack of objectivity undermines trust in The Conversation(4).

The Conversation claims to be “an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community” introducing “new protocols and controls to help rebuild trust in journalism”, and believing in “open access and the free-flow of information.(4) The Conversation states: “We only allow authors to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise, which they must disclose alongside their article. Authors’ funding and potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed. Failure to do so carries a risk of being banned from contributing to the site.”(4)

Given its promise to be “an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community”(4)The Conversation’s support of the Stop the Australian (Anti) Vaccination Network (SAVN)(5) bears investigation.   The SAVN is a stalwart defender of mandated vaccination and will brook no dissent.  While the SAVN’s raison d’etre is ostensibly to oppose the controversial Australian Vaccination Network(6) and its spokesperson Meryl Dorey, in practice SAVN supporters have taken it upon themselves to stifle and patronise anybody who dares to question vaccination practice in any way, as can be seen in The Conversation discussion threads listed below.(7)

Rachael Dunlop is an administrator of the SAVN Facebook page(8), and Vice President of Australian Skeptics Inc(9).  Her articles on vaccination are published on The Conversation.  Contrary to The Conversation’s assurance that “we only allow authors to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise”(4), Rachael Dunlop’s profile on The Conversation website(10) provides no indication that she has “proven expertise” in the wide range of vaccine products on the Australian National Immunisation Program Schedule(11).  While Rachael Dunlop is given carte blanche to publish her opinions on vaccination on The Conversation(12), others of us relegated to the comments section are intimidated by the threat of censorship.  For instance two of my comments were censored on Rachael Dunlop’s article A view on: vaccination myths(13).

In his support for The Conversation, Professor Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate, says: “The whole motivation behind this was to open communication between people in our universities and institutes of higher education and the general public…None of us want to live in an ivory tower, we all want to be part of society.  So how do we do that?  It has been difficult to do that in conventional newspaper and media formats because they have their own priorities.  So we started The Conversation…”(14)

Given The Conversation’s general reluctance to critically analyse individual vaccine products, cynics might wonder if The Conversation has its own priorities’, principally to do with selling the products of the university and research sector?   Is The Conversation merely a marketing arm for the university and research sector?

Vaccines of questionable value are being added to national vaccination schedules.  Mass populations of children are being vaccinated against diseases which may never pose a serious threat for them, e.g. human papillomavirus(15).  It is questionable whether ‘informed consent’ is being properly obtained before these medical interventions.

Vaccine products are being developed for more and more diseases e.g. novovirus(16), chlamydia(17), skin cancer(18), herpes(19), HIV(20), malaria(21) etc, etc, yet nobody has any idea of the long term cumulative effect of all these medical interventions, or ‘unintended consequences’ for disease development, consider for example the possible implications of genotype replacement with HPV vaccination(22); vaccine-related reassortment of rotavirus(23); HBV S protein mutations after vaccination(24); and increasing selection among the B. pertussis population in Australia in favor of strains carrying prn2 andptxP3 under the pressure of acellular vaccine–induced immunity(25).

Aggressive marketing by the pharmaceutical industry and industry-affiliated ‘experts’, including lobbying for compulsory vaccination with vaccines of dubious value, is threatening citizens’ autonomy.  It seems we are now expected to meekly accept every vaccine product manufactured by the vaccine industry.  

The increasingly lucrative vaccine industry benefits from the oppressive climate that has developed on the subject of vaccination.

The potential conflicts of interests of academics working in the areas of vaccine development and promotion, and the influence of these academics on government policy, needs to be examined.  It’s time there was an investigation into the relationships between governments, the vaccine industry, and the industry’s handmaidens in the scientific/medical establishment, but who can we trust to do that?  The mainstream media has generally been completely useless on this matter, and incapable of providing critical analysis, merely supporting the status quo(26), likewise The Conversation.

Citizens must be allowed to have a rational debate on this important subject to ensure public confidence in vaccination practice.  All vaccination recommendations must be transparently evidence-based.

It’s time for The Conversation to lift its game on this subject and provide some objective critical analysis of individual vaccine products, and the lucrative international vaccine market.

For discussion on controversial vaccine products see:  

I have provided critical comment(27*) on a number of The Conversation’s articles pertinent to vaccination, see list below:  

References: (Links current as at 12 November 2013.)

1. Partners and funders of The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/au/partners

2. Our charter – The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/au/our_charter

3. Also refer to Ian Frazer. Catch cancer? No thanks, I’d rather have a shot! The Conversation 10 July 2012: http://theconversation.com/catch-cancer-no-thanks-id-rather-have-a-shot-7568

4. Who we are – The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/au/who_we_are

5. Stop the Australian (Anti) Vaccination Network Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stopavn

6. Australian Vaccination Network: http://avn.org.au/

7. This has been my personal experience – see responses to Elizabeth Hart on The Conversation discussion threads listed above.  As far as I am aware, editors at The Conversation have done little to address concerns about vaccines of questionable value such as the controversial HPV vaccinethe arbitrary second dose of the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) live vaccineannual flu vaccination and controversial ‘gain of function research’; or pertussis ‘boosters’ of the existing vaccine against the new strain.

8. The disclosure statement on Rachael Dunlop’s article “A view on: vaccination myths” on The Conversation, 28 May 2013, notes that she is “an administrator of the Stop the AVN Facebook page”: https://theconversation.com/a-view-on-vaccination-myths-14699

9. Australian Skeptics: http://www.skeptics.com.au/contact/nsw/

10. Rachael Dunlop’s profile on The Conversation website http://theconversation.com/profiles/rachael-dunlop-4133/profile_bio

11. Australian National Immunisation Program Schedule: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/nips-ctn

12. Rachael Dunlop. Six myths about vaccination – and why they’re wrong. The Conversation, 26 April 2013: http://theconversation.com/six-myths-about-vaccination-and-why-theyre-wrong-13556

13. Rachael Dunlop. A view on: vaccination myths. The Conversation, 28 May 2013: https://theconversation.com/a-view-on-vaccination-myths-14699

14. Peter Doherty: Why I support The Conversation. Video on Who we are – The Conversation, quote starting at 0.30: https://theconversation.com/au/who_we_are

15. In an article on the university and CSIRO-funded The Conversation website, titled “Catch cancer? No thanks, I’d rather have a shot!”, Professor Ian Frazer states: “Through sexual activity, most of us will get infected with the genital papillomaviruses that can cause cancer. Fortunately, most of us get rid of them between 12 months to five years later without even knowing we’ve had the infection. Even if the infection persists, only a few individuals accumulate enough genetic mistakes in the virus-infected cell for these to acquire the properties of cancer cells”.  If only a few individuals accumulate enough genetic mistakes in the virus-infected cell for these to acquire the properties of cancer cells”, is it really justifiable to coerce mass populations of children to have HPV vaccination, particularly as the long-term consequences of the HPV vaccine are unknown?  Refer to this link for further background: https://over-vaccination.net/questionable-vaccines/hpv-vax/

16. Takeda’s norovirus vaccine misses endpoint in early-phase trial. FierceVaccines, 7 October 2013: http://www.fiercevaccines.com/story/takedas-norovirus-vaccine-misses-endpoint-early-phase-trial/2013-10-07

17. Igietseme JU, Eko FO, Black CM. Chlamydia vaccines: recent developments and the role of adjuvants in future formulations. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2011 Nov;10(11):1585-96: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22043957

18. Professor Ian Frazer close to creating skin cancer vaccine. News.com.au, 31 July 2011: http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/skin-cancer-vaccine-hope/story-fn5fsgyc-1226105179167

19. Allied Healthcare’s herpes simplex vaccine trial under way. 17 October 2013: http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/49190/allied-healthcares-herpes-simplex-vaccine-trial-under-way-49190.html

20. Breakthrough in hunt for HIV vaccine as scientists capture ENV protein. News.com.au, 2 November 2013: http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/breakthrough-in-hunt-for-hiv-vaccine/story-fn5fsgyc-1226751689734

21. New malaria vaccine has its flaws, but it’s better than nothing. The Conversation, 9 October 2013: https://theconversation.com/new-malaria-vaccine-has-its-flaws-but-its-better-than-nothing-19020

22. Pons-Salort M et al. Exploring individual HPV coinfections is essential to predict HPV-vaccination impact on genotype distribution: a model-based approach. Vaccine. 2013 Feb 6;31(8):1238-45: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23246257

23. Tatiana Lundgren Rose et al. Evidence of vaccine-related reassortment of rotavirus, Brazil, 2008-2010. Emerging Infectious Diseases. Volume 19, Number 11 – November 2013: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/19/11/12-1407_article.htm

24. Bian T et al. Change in hepatitis B virus large surface antigen variant prevalence 13 years after implementation of a universal vaccination program in China. J. Virol. 2013 Nov;87(22):12196-206: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24006443

25. Sophie Octavia et al. Newly emerging clones of Bordetella pertussis carrying prn2 and ptx3 alleles implicated in Australian pertussis epidemic in 2008-2010. J Infect Dis. (2012) 205 (8): 1220-1224: http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/205/8/1220

26. For example, the Murdoch media’s aggressive “No Jab, No Play” campaign contributes to the oppressive climate surrounding vaccination – “Big win for No Jab, No Play as NSW state cabinet approves tough new vaccination laws”. The Telegraph, 29 May 2013. In this climate it is difficult to raise legitimate questions about vaccination practice, e.g. questioning arbitrary revaccination of all children with the live measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, as most children are likely to be immune after age appropriate vaccination with an effective first dose of this vaccine.

27. Elizabeth Hart, Independent Vaccine Investigator.  Comments on The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/profiles/elizabeth-hart-6978/activities  (*Edited to include additional articles 24 June 2014.)

Paul Offit and the MMR ‘booster’

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I recently forwarded a letter to vaccination expert Paul Offit questioning the ethics of mandated revaccination of likely already immune children with a second dose of the live Measles/Mumps/Rubella vaccine (often misleadingly termed a ‘booster’), and general lack of advice re the availability of a blood test (i.e. an antibody titre test) to verify a response to vaccination with the first dose of live MMR vaccine.

The email below summarises my argument.  My detailed letter can be accessed via this hyperlink:  Letter to Paul Offit re the MMR second dose ‘booster’ vaccine

(Also refer to my webpage on the MMR ‘booster’ for more information, including correspondence to Professor Terry Nolan, Chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), and Tanya Plibersek, the Australian Federal Government Health Minister.)

___________________________

From: Elizabeth Hart <eliz.hart25@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM
Subject: Letter to Paul Offit re the MMR second dose ‘booster’ vaccine

Professor Offit

Please see attached a detailed letter addressed to you questioning the ethics of mandated revaccination of likely already immune children with a second dose of the live Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine (misleadingly termed a ‘booster’), and general lack of advice re the availability of a blood test (i.e. an antibody titre test) to verify a response to vaccination with the live MMR vaccine.

I suggest that parents of small children are not being properly informed of the option for antibody titre testing rather than an arbitrary second dose of live MMR vaccine.  Two doses of MMR vaccine are mandated in many US states, and also in other countries such as Australia.  These mandates conflict with the obligation for ‘informed consent’ before vaccination.

Parents of small children might be surprised to discover that vaccination ‘best practice’ for companion animals is now more advanced than that for children, with vaccination guidelines for dogs re live vaccines recommending titre testing rather than an arbitrary ‘booster’, i.e.:

“…the principles of ‘evidence-based veterinary medicine’ would dictate that testing for antibody status (for either pups or adult dogs) is a better practice than simply administering a vaccine booster on the basis that this should be ‘safe and cost less'”.[1]

We are on a slippery slope when the state dictates questionable medical interventions for citizens (including ‘pre-citizens’, i.e. children).  I suggest the arbitrary second dose of the MMR vaccine, often inappropriately described as a ‘booster’, is a questionable medical intervention.

Professor Offit, you are on the record acknowledging that antibody titre testing is an option rather than an arbitrary second dose of live MMR vaccine.[2]  I request your assistance in bringing attention to this matter, which I discuss further in my letter attached.

I would appreciate your response.

Sincerely

Elizabeth Hart

*This email and letter is also being circulated to the following:

  • Professor Alan Cohen, Physician-in-Chief and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Professor Simon Wain-Hobson, Board Chair, The Foundation for Vaccine Research
  • Professor Brian Martin, Social Sciences, University of Wollongong
  • Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne
  • Sir Gus Nossal, Chair of the Oversight Committee for the Australian Academy of Science publication “The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers”
  • Dr Vittorio Demicheli, Cochrane Vaccines Field
  • Dr James Wood, School of Public Health & Community Medicine, University of New South Wales
  • Professor Ronald Schultz, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Michael Day, Chairperson, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Marian Horzinek, previous member of the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Jolle Kirpensteijn, EB Liaison, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Committee
  • Professor Hajime Tsujimoto, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Richard Squires, WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group
  • Professor Emeritus Richard Ford, member of the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines Task Force
  • Bea Mies, independent advocate for judicial vaccine use

and will also be circulated to other parties.


[1]Day, M.J., Horzinek, M.C., Schultz, R.D. World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice. Vol. 51. June 2010: http://www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/VaccinationGuidelines2010.pdf

[2] UPDATE:  Previously on Babycenter.com Paul Offit said: “Not having a booster is an option (although an expensive one) for the MMR booster…The first dose of the MMR vaccine, which your child should receive at 12 to 15 months successfully immunizes 95 percent of children against measles, mumps, and rubella…To find out whether your child has responded to the first MMR shot, you can have the doctor do a blood test called an “antibody titer”…If your child’s test shows that he has the MMR antibodies, he doesn’t need a booster shot…”.   Offit has now reneged on this advice in a contradictory manner and without evidence.  I am pursuing this matter further.

“Tot given MMR jab without mum’s permission”

This recent report in the UK publication the Liverpool Echo describes how a nurse gave a four year old boy a measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) live vaccine, against his mother’s explicit wishes: “Liverpool NHS trust probe launched after tot given MMR jab without mum’s permission“.

It is unclear from the article if the boy had previously been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. Children are likely to be immune after the first shot of this ‘live’ vaccine. For instance the ‘live’ measles vaccine appears to be one of the few vaccines likely to provide lifelong immunity, much like natural infection. I question arbitrary revaccination with this vaccine product, particularly as serological testing can indicate if a person is already immune.  Currently, parents are unlikely to be informed of this option.

Cautious parents may prefer the option of serological testing for their children, rather than arbitrary revaccination, and may be willing to pay to verify a response to vaccination, i.e. evidence-based medicine.  It appears unlikely from the Liverpool Echo article that the boy’s mother was given this option. 

In Australia, new vaccination guidelines state that children who were vaccinated with the MMR vaccine at 12 months will have to undergo revaccination with the MMR + V (varicella/chickenpox) at 18 months, despite the fact  they are likely to be already immune to measles, mumps and rubella.  I am following up on this matter, see my recent email to Professor Terry Nolan, Chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

On the subject of ‘advisory groups on immunisation’, there is inadequate transparency regarding members of vaccination committees who dictate government vaccination schedules. These people are not subject to the scrutiny of the electorate, and yet they wield enormous power. Who exactly are the people on these committees? Do they have any relationships with vaccine manufacturers? Potential ‘conflict of interest’ information is not currently publicly declared in Australia.

It’s time to question the multitude of vaccine products being pressed upon children and adults. Vaccine industry-funded studies published in ‘peer-reviewed’ journals are used to push vaccine products, but just how reliable is this information? The term ‘peer-review’ has lost currency in this highly conflicted area.

We are being coerced into having repeated vaccinations with vaccines of questionable value, which provide so-called ‘immunity’ that ‘wanes’, e.g. whooping cough ‘boosters’ and annual flu vaccines. Is this what passes for the ‘science’ of immunisation? Children are also being lined up for the 3 shot experimental HPV vaccine, the long-term effects of which are unknown.

Doctors and nurses are over-stepping the mark in forcing people and children to have questionable vaccinations. What expertise do these people have in the areas of immunology and vaccinology beyond reading vaccine manufacturers’ vaccination instructions, and questionable government vaccination schedules?

We are now in the invidious situation where healthy people/children have to justify not having government ‘recommended’/mandated medical interventions of questionable value, in the shape of the ever-growing vaccination schedule. We are on a slippery slope and it’s about time people woke up to the ‘big picture’ on this and the potential dangerous infringement on our human rights.

When is somebody going to blow the whistle on the lucrative exploitation and over-vaccination of people that is currently being allowed to run unchecked?

In whose interests is this vast global vaccine market being developed? Where are the ethicists on this issue?

It’s about time the lawyers stepped up to protect people’s human rights and challenged government ‘recommended’/mandated vaccinations of questionable value.

For further background re the MMR ‘booster’ refer to “Is the MMR ‘booster’ necessary?“.

MMR + Varicella – required in Australia July 2013

An article published recently in the Australian online publication AdelaideNow: “Chief medical officer Paddy Phillips says it’s time to end debate on jabs” refers to “the release of two major studies…” on chickenpox and the 2009 outbreak of H1N1, and appears to be an advertorial for chickenpox and flu vaccination.

On the subject of chickenpox vaccination, the MMR + V (i.e. MMR plus varicella/chickenpox vaccines) is being rolled out in Australia and, according to the Australian Government’s “Definition of ‘fully immunised’ for the Family Tax Benefit Part A Supplement“, from July 2013 will be required at 18 months of age (after the first MMR vaccine at 12 months).

The paper re chickenpox/varicella referred to in the AdelaideNow article is “Changes in Patterns of Hospitalized Children with Varicella and of Associated Varicella“.  The paper has been published online by The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal (POST ACCEPTANCE, 17 December 2012)

The paper is not currently freely accessible on the journal website.  (UPDATE 23 March 2014: The final version of this paper is now freely accessible online: “Changes in Patterns of Hospitalized Children with Varicella and of Associated Varicella Genotypes After Introduction of Varicella Vaccine in Australia“)

The corresponding author is Helen Marshall, Vaccinology and Immunology Research Trials Unit, Discipline of Paediatrics, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, North Adelaide, South Australia.  The Disclosures statement on the paper notes:

“Helen Marshall has been a member of vaccine advisory boards for Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKine Biologicals and her institution has received funding for investigator led research from Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Pasteur, and has received travel support from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and CSL to present scientific data at international meetings.” 

Marshall’s paper refers to two varicella vaccines, Varilrix (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals) and VARIVAX (Merck & Co).

There was no reference to the disclosure information in the AdelaideNow article…  (AdelaideNow is a News Limited publication.)

For more background on the MMR vaccine, in particular arbritrary revaccination with the second dose see Measles / Mumps / Rubella (MMR) ‘booster’.