I have been meaning to write about the New Year message of Heidi Larson of the Vaccine Confidence Project, a “group” funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization. Dr Larson is remarkably calling for an end to vaccine mandates, and is openly critical of recent events across Europe but in California, India and Australia. It is just possible that she was responding to an article by myself addressed to her early in December pointing out the paradoxical nature of her position: the draconian drive against citizen’s rights which we have been seeing across the globe was incompatible with her mission to create confidence: they were indeed contradictory projects.
Somehow the assumption that populations would accept – and continue to accept – more and more vaccines, just because they are good for personal and public health, needs a reality check. The ever-changing political, cultural and emotional lives of people have different notions of what is good for them, and we need to listen.
Well and good. Dr Larson goes on:
This does not mean agreeing with misinformation about vaccines that is circulating on the internet and social media, but listening to the deeper, underlying sentiments – the feelings of alienation, the loss of personal contact and people’s sense of feeling “counted” rather than cared for.
And here, of course, we part company (we were bound to). It is not only “alienation” it is that the primary source of misinformation about vaccines are government and global bodies like the WHO, GAVI and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Members of the public want to discuss the small print. If Dr Larson is herself confident she ought to welcome dialogue: it may be an improvement being nice but of course it is not only uneducated people that are critical of vaccine program (the complaint very often is that they are educated), there are many doctors and scientists who often face a professional persecution for voicing their doubts. And it is also necessary to listen to the people - and their families - who have been hurt. Another problem Larson ought to consider, beside the iron fist of mandates is the hate campaigns against vaccine critics that rage through the mainstream media and in comment columns. The CEO of GAVI, Seth Berkley, has called for vaccine dissent to be removed from the web in the crudest terms. This, also, is the route away from trust. Worse, we are being deprived of the most basic intellectual freedoms.
There is no core body of evidence for the safety of the expanding vaccine schedule. In the last decade Paul Offit floated the idea of 10,000 vaccines being safe: it was taken up particularly by British health officials (Prof David Salisbury, Sir Liam Donaldson, Prof Elizabeth Miller) but now even Offit himself seems to be claiming he never said it via the website of Every Child By Two and it has not been replaced by any other theory. What we have are multiple products with different levels of effectiveness in suppressing disease by sparking inflammation, different safety profiles, and ever more of them which the infant body particularly then has to tolerate at any one time. It is a mighty assumption that “more and more vaccines” are the path to health heaven. The most vaccinated nation in the history of the earth, the USA, is drowning in child neuro-developmental disability, chronic ill-heath, and poor child mortality figures. It is becoming an economically unsustainable society.
So, thank you Dr Larson, let’s get civilized indeed: this not only means pretending to listen in a paternalistic way, but actually listening. It involves beginning to understand the limitations of the technology you advocate. But also thank you really for acknowledging through your WHO and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation backed organization that mandates are a human offence. This is something that can be cited.
John Stone is UK Editor of Age of Autism