Measles, Vaccination and Failure
Food & Drug Administration Threatens to Step in to Federalize Vaccine Uptake

Is Heidi Larson Out of Her Depth?

H larsen Deep waterBy John Stone

Having raised the issue of Heidi Larson's intervention in the vaccine debate on the BBC last week, it is worth considering - given her global status as vaccine confidence chief - how much she actually knows, but also her lack of professional accountability. Indeed, the first time she came to the attention of Age of Autism was when she wrote an article in New Scientist helping to lobby the United Nations (successfully as it turned out)  not to place a ban on mercury in vaccines under the title: "Poison pill: Not all mercury is toxic". Troubling perhaps in retrospect apart from the very poor argument is that the case was not being made by a medical doctor or toxicologist, but someone who was not professionally accountable for such an opinion. We met the same problem with her recent broadcast:

Well, I think the main thing is there most incredibly extensive safety around vaccines - the processes that go around vaccines,  the reasons there is quite a while between when vaccines are developed and when children actually get them is because the system has become more and more and more robust around safety. Frankly, partly because of the public cry  for this,  but it has always been that way from a safety perspective because the government frankly is accountable and if it is recommending and requiring in some senses these vaccines in some senses it is not in the interest of the governments or the producer to be recommending something which is going to cause any damage. 

You could say this sounds like a satirical parody of someone defending vaccine safety. It is not merely that we find ourselves in disagreement over facts, it is actually that the language is vague and she does not seem to remotely know what she is talking about. Of course, it would be much easier to advocate that vaccine are safe, carefully trialed and monitored, if you really did not know anything much about it beyond your own propaganda.

Previously, Larson has pronounced herself concerned about vaccine safety. She told Johnson & Johnson website in 2017:

Yes, there are potential risks—there will always be potential risks with any medical treatment. And we don’t talk enough about that.

Which is all very well perhaps until you accuse the people who are talking about it of the equivalent of "hate crime". Adriana Gamondes reported in these columns last month:

The corporation was so uninterested in Brabant’s adverse reaction [to a yellow fever vaccine] that even Dr. Heidi Larson—lead researcher for the Gates Foundation’s Vaccine Confidence Project—called the company’s response “inadequate” and suggested that the vaccine formulation—which has not changed since the 1960’s—is not only outdated but being given in too large a dose. Interestingly, Larson holds up Sanofi-Pasteur’s conduct in this case as an example of the damage corporations do to public confidence in vaccination.

But is it going too far to suggest that Brabant's injuries seem real to Larson because she and he had both worked for UNICEF: they are part of the same class - the rest of us can apparently go hang. And you become credible because you move in the right circles:

Dr. Heidi J. Larson is an anthropologist and Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP); Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, LSHTM; Associate Professor, Department of Global Health, University of Washington; and Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security Fellow. Dr. Larson previously headed Global Immunisation Communication at UNICEF, chaired GAVI’s Advocacy Task Force, and served on the WHO SAGE Working Group on vaccine hesitancy. The VCP is a WHO Centre of Excellence on addressing Vaccine Hesitancy.

Dr. Larson’s research focuses on the analysis of social and political factors that can affect uptake of health interventions and influence policies. Her particular interest is on risk and rumour management from clinical trials to delivery – and building public trust.  She served on the FDA Medical Countermeasure (MCM) Emergency Communication Expert Working Group, and is Principle Investigator of the EU-funded (EBODAC) project on the deployment, acceptance and compliance of an Ebola vaccine trial in Sierra Leone.

In  her job as an anthropologist Larson dreams up all sorts of reasons why people do not trust vaccines, avoiding the real reasons: the failure to trial: the failure to monitor; the failure to listen; the failure to heed; the denigration of almost anyone who speaks up. In a recent paper she and colleagues were trying to come to an academic definition of "trust". But if tens of thousands of people have simply come to the view that they or their children have been cheated of their lives they have as much right to say so as Malcolm Brabant, even if it makes her job impossible.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.

 

Comments

cia parker

I made a mistake in the comment I just wrote, when I mentioned diseases that were infectious but not contagious, I said tetanus and polio, I meant tetanus and pneumonia. I had just watched a video on Youtube about Paul Alexander, who got polio at six in 1952, and who has lived in an iron lung ever since. He had a hard time finding anyone who could keep his iron lung working, and I looked to see if a modern respirator would work as well. It turns out that there are several reasons why an iron lung is better in many cases, the negative air pressure keeps the circulatory system going better, for one thing. Alexander, who had just written a memoir using a pointer in his mouth, and got a law degree while in the lung, said that Americans don't want to remember what polio was.

https://www.quora.com/A-man-who-suffered-from-polio-in-the-50s-still-uses-the-iron-lung-machine-Why-does-he-Wouldnt-modern-respirators-do-the-job-much-better

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gplA6pq9cOs&t=324s


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gplA6pq9cOs

cia parker

Benedetta,

You missed my point. I was not saying that it was GOOD that all of these diseases were almost eliminated by vaccines, just that the vaccines were effective in doing so. I've said many times, and here as well just the other day, that it's BAD to have eliminated measles, chickenpox, etc., and that the diseases were nearly always relatively mild and beneficial. Yes, the chickenpox vaccine has greatly reduced the varicella virus in the environment, which used to provide a natural booster to all those (nearly everyone) who had had chickenpox growing up. So now we get a lot more shingles. My point was only that vaccines (except for flu and pertussis) are nearly always very effective in preventing the diseases for an unknown length of time.

I think it's troubling that the trend is to deny that the VPDs were ever a problem to start with and that they would never become a serious problem again if large numbers stopped vaxxing for them. I understand the desire to find a simple, universal solution to a problem and the temptation to believe that there is no down side to the solution, but that's simply not true. If a child gets no vaccines, in most cases he will have better overall health as a result. But he may get a VPD if there are any around, and in some cases he will have a severe or even fatal case. And it would usually be because he had not gotten the vaccine for it. Every parent has the right to make the vaccine decision for his or her children, no question, but it is dangerous to believe that there are no dangerous contagious (or infectious but not contagious diseases like tetanus and polio) diseases which would pose a threat to anyone.

In Pandemic I've reached the chapter on a mutated cholera pathogen which killed hundreds of thousands in the early '90s. And I had known nothing about it. I had read from time to time about cholera outbreaks in the Third World, but didn't know any of the details I'm reading now. It even reached Europe and the US. There is a vaccine for it, but since rehydration therapy is so effective there seems little need for it in places with access to modern medical treatment.

I think it's a mistake to have so great a need to believe that refusal of all vaccines is hands-down the best practice that one doesn't recognize the suffering and death caused in inconceivably large numbers by both VPDs and diseases for which there is no vaccine now. And I'm certainly not saying that anyone should just take all recommended vaccines. I'm saying that it is not always an easy decision to make and that there are many factors which must be considered on all sides (vaccine, nosode, vaccine/nosode-free). It is not black and white, and to try to make it so does a disservice to all those who died in agony from what are now vaccine-preventable diseases. Do you have no qualms about people in Brazil dying of yellow fever now or Russians dying of diphtheria thirty years ago? Does it matter that diphtheria (and pertussis, etc.) is still transmissible even after you get the vaccine if the vaccine keeps the vaccinated person from getting and often dying of diphtheria?

I read last night about expeditions from Scotland over three hundred years ago to settle in and build a road through Panama. A private fund-raising campaign gathered a third of all available capital in the entire country of Scotland for this project. Several thousand people eventually made the voyage to Panama, where they immediately ran into the problems of malaria and yellow fever. They had no strength to even start building the road, and just lay in their malarial huts and died. So many died, and so few escaped to go to New England or back to Europe, that the dream was completely destroyed. Scotland had run up such debts by so many thousands putting their lives' savings into the project, that England finally offered to pay their debts if Scotland would give up its independence and become part of the UK, which it did. (In Sonia Shah's Fever, about malaria.) Shah described an island off the coast of Africa with oil reserves and hundreds of little ranch houses built to house the families of oil workers. They're all empty, because the company didn't have money enough to persuade anyone to go live on such a malarial island. She gives the example of several books written on the history of malaria in the US (which would include my father getting malaria at twelve in Louisiana, forty miles upriver from New Orleans, in 1936), being unavailable now, because no one is interested now in recalling the ravages made by malaria in the US. She said she found an old library copy of one on Ebay, and I found it and ordered it last night on Amazon.

It's important to learn as much as possible about both the vaccines and the diseases: all are very potent sources of untold suffering, and it's disrespectful to sweep a single victim of any of them under the carpet as being inconvenient to one's paradigm.

Barry

And, as we've discussed before, the radical and sudden plunge after widespread vaccination in cases of pertussis (with the whole-cell vaccine), diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps (until recently), rubella, polio, congenital rubella syndrome, chickenpox, Hib disease, pneumococcal disease shows that the vaccines both produce antibodies and they prevent disease.

********

Maybe.

Or maybe is just shows that people reporting the incidence of such diseases, are just as dishonest as the people who contend that it's a good idea to inject poisons into your blood stream.

rtp

"And, as we've discussed before, the radical and sudden plunge after widespread vaccination in cases of pertussis (with the whole-cell vaccine), diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps (until recently), rubella, polio, congenital rubella syndrome, chickenpox, Hib disease, pneumococcal disease shows that the vaccines both produce antibodies and they prevent disease"

And as I've told you a gazillion times but you refuse to countenance, the only reason those diseases "fell" is because of a self-fulfilling prophecy - doctors refuse to diagnose diseases in vaccinated people (plus we require more hoops jumped through today (ie lab tests) to make a diagnosis).

Benedetta

Parker;

Chicken pox vaccine was introduced, and we are getting a huge spike in shingles; and not just in the old, but the young teenagers.


A pox virus - like herpes simplex (chicken pox) has a vaccine, but we are seeing a sudden rise in Coxsackievirus which leads to the hand, foot, mouth disease. Is there some relationship there?
Hand, foot and mouth disease is usually mild they say, except my best friend in school had it and became paralyzed in her arms, and very stiff neck, and in the hospital. She recovered, that was back in the 60s. Never heard of it except for her now it is everywhere.


I will tell you something else I never heard of before when I was young and that was .Roseola Infantum sixth disease. Both of kids had it. Not only did they have that but they had Kawaskis's disease. Never heard of that one, me neither, but it made all of the childhood disease I had as a child look like child's play, like nothing.

Angus Files

"But that they work, yes, they usually work as billed (except for the acellular new pertussis vaccine and the flu vaccines)."

Troubling thing for you,is, none of them(vaccines) work, not one bit,not even as billed,not today tomorrow or the next day.Your mind needs to sort that out rather than trying to sort me out to confer with pharma junk science that you see as a bright guiding light.All you need is health.

Pharma For Prison

MMR RIP

cia parker

Angus,

I recognize that vaccines do not work the same way as natural immunity, and I would like the authorities to just let measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and hep-A. Immunity after having had these diseases is usually life-long, which is often not the case for vaccine immunity, which is not as good to start with and often wears off.

But even though the presence of antibodies is not a 100% guarantee that the person is protected from the disease, that is what it usually means. And, as we've discussed before, the radical and sudden plunge after widespread vaccination in cases of pertussis (with the whole-cell vaccine), diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps (until recently), rubella, polio, congenital rubella syndrome, chickenpox, Hib disease, pneumococcal disease shows that the vaccines both produce antibodies and they prevent disease. All the issues revolve around the many serious dangers of vaccines and the fact that it is very beneficial to go through many of these diseases (the usually milder ones) naturally. But that they work, yes, they usually work as billed (except for the acellular new pertussis vaccine and the flu vaccines).

annie

As the realities of antibody presentation is being hashed out, I can’t help but be amused by the juxtaposition of Larson’s “life in theory” bit. Some day, a brilliant anthropologist is going to study why it was so many people in the twenty-first century had no idea what an immune activation event was;or cytokines storm; or an MTHFR gene presentation is; or the difference b/w the humoral system of immunity and the cell mediated system of immunity. Yes they will be studying this anthropological phenomena widely, and Hedi Larson will be their key culprit.

Angus Files

Cia

If they measure the efficacy of vaccines solely by antibodies (as you stated they do) they are wrong as Chase discovered serendipitously in the 1940`s.

http://www.nasonline.org/publications/biographical-memoirs/memoir-pdfs/chase-merrill.pdf

Antibodies nurtured by vaccines do NOT work in the same way as natural immunity.For one thing they are vaccine lab made strains. So the antibodies via vaccine would not respond to a wild strain so they are only good for vaccine strain Frankenstein viruses .Then again if Merck et-al would just allow there vaccines to be examined independently we could see what they do protect you from-not us,we dont vaccinate ever all we need is health.


Pharma For Prison

MMR RIP

cia parker

Angus,

Antibodies show that the immune system has been exposed to the pathogen involved. In most cases once it makes antibodies to the substance, it is immune for an uncertain length of time. In some cases, it just means that exposure has taken place, the immune system has reacted, but has failed to triumph in the battle. So not immune.

I learned in Wendy Lydall's Raising a Vaccine-Free Child that some people are incapable of making antibodies, but they are often able to become immune through other mechanisms of the immune system.

So antibodies aren't a 100% proof of anything, but they usually indicate both exposure and immunity. HIV was a new pathogen forty years ago, like Ebola, so the immune system is taking a while to figure out how to respond appropriately and what it means.

Angus Files

Cia

Antibodies is junk science you must know that from being on here for so long.Antibodies have never been tested to prove immunity never.Take HIV even if you have antibodies for HIV you must still go on drugs?

I remember Rappoport going on about it 2005 below and before..HIV..

http://www.whale.to/vaccines/antibody_ruse.html

OCTOBER 12, 2005. Because testing for antibodies has now become so widespread as a method of asserting that disease is present, I want to make a few quick points.

Traditionally, the presence of antibodies was considered a sign that the immune system was functioning WELL. Antibodies, after all, are part of the immune system. They scout out "intruders."

But with the advent of the various conditions lumped under the label of AIDS, all this changed. Without justification, scientists began saying that, if a person tested positive for ANTIBODIES TO THE HIV GERM, he was destined to develop full-blown AIDS and die.

At that point, a number of tracking studies were done: follow people who tested positive for HIV and see what happened to them.

These studies showed that a surprising number of positive people did, in fact, get very sick and died.

These results have been used to argue that HIV is the very deadly cause of AIDS.

However, several vital matters were ignored.

After 1987, many of the people who tested positive for HIV were then given AZT and other similar highly toxic drugs. These drugs attacked THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. These drugs actually attack every single cell in the body. Therefore, the correlations between a positive HIV antibody test and death were useless, because of the drug factor.

Furthermore, the HIV test for antibodies was unreliable, in the sense that OTHER THINGS HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH HIV could make the test read positive.

Pharma For Prison

MMR RIP

John Stone

Cia

It is very much the Emperor’s new clothes Syndrome I suspect. Above all, people do not want to look foolish, so it is much better to be part of the communal delusion than acknowledge the painful reality: what a brilliant fable that is.

cia parker

And what an odd job. Vaccine confidence. And how does she propose to inspire us to feel confidence in vaccines? Hitting us over the head until we submit is not going to do it. Nor will honest vaccine trials, even less. Is she able to report any success with a single person in making them feel more confident in vaccines?

I read, though, that due to massive vaccine shortages in the current epidemics, in some places they were using one-fifth doses of the yellow fever vaccine and people still seemed to be making antibodies. Even though it's still a dangerous vaccine, it's good they're reporting that it still seems to be effective at a fraction of the normal dose.

Gary Ogden

John: That is why they're in a panic mode now, as they realize the human population is not a bunch of idiots, and have no interest in being ruled by them. Apparently Davos was not backslaps all around this year. I cannot help but see strife ahead. Here, the deep state has been working feverishly to undermine Trump from the moment he won sufficient primaries to guarantee the nomination. While I disagree with some of what he says and does, his opposition is truly scary. Our children are collateral damage of this cabal. The political parties are complicit in this, and Congress, like the regulators, is wholly owned by industry. A bunch of worms and cowards.

Bill

Yes, of course I realize that your question, "Is Heidi Larson out of her depth", is intended as a rhetorical question, and not a literal one. But let's take it literally, and answer it as such: NO!, she is NOT "out of her depth" at all! She is exactly where "they" want her, and have put her. She's in the deep end of the pool, doing the doggie-paddle, with a large life preserver of CA$h!. She's a PAID SHILL.
But she begs other questions, which I see too rarely:
"If vaxxes are really such "public goods", then why are they PRIVATE, FOR-PROFIT products?"
"Why are they NOT PUBLIC, NON-PROFIT products?"....
I'd like to see Heidi Larson answer THOSE questions.
Let's see how well the PhRMA CA$H life preserver works for Heidi then....
Thanks to AoA, I feel very comfortable swimming freely in the deep end of the vax debate!
KEEP UP the GOOD WORK!

cia parker

John,

But the underlying reason is the power of the paradigm such that those in its grasp cannot even CONCEIVE that it is in many important ways fundamentally wrong. It's interesting reading about the strenuous efforts of the medical and political authorities struggling to keep the miasm theory afloat, finally saying, well, OK, contaminated water DOES seem to play a large role in the spread of cholera (people who drank Thames water WITH sewage got cholera, but those who got drinking water from upriver, didn't), but it's STILL true that noxious air plays the MORE important role, because OBVIOUSLY the miasm theory, proven accurate over the millennia, is the RIGHT paradigm through which to view the world. (And these descriptions by a woman who denies that vaccines could POSSIBLY cause autism. Even she, as intelligent and well-meaning as she is, cannot see the obvious, in thrall to the hallowed paradigm of only partially-correct vaccine theory.) A lens is necessary to sort, organize, and interpret reality, but as long as most people believe that it gives a largely or wholly accurate view, no dissent is taken seriously. I mentioned the attacks on the early practice of treating cholera with slightly salty water. Cartoonists and humorists had a field day, saying that salting and curing cholera victims produced poor fare. Even though it immediately resulted in a one-third reduction in deaths in those treated.

No one I know in real life believes that vaccines can cause autism. And it doesn't matter what I say, how many times I say it, the examples and concepts I use, how many years I go on saying it, the fact that my theory is getting results, no. My friends and neighbors just can't even conceive that the lens they are using is seriously flawed. They're not evil, just smug and regard themselves as superior to me in their scientific orientation. Well, maybe that's .... in itself.

I think homeopathy is the answer. I think if people read the books by Cilla Whatcott and Kate Birch (The Solution) and the books by Dr. Isaac Golden on homeoprophylaxis, with charts and reports, some by national health care agencies, on studies done showing how extremely effective it is in preventing and treating disease, they would change the lens through which they saw the world. But most people have not yet done so, and I don't understand why not.

It may well be that Heidi Larson is unaware that she is using a ridiculously flawed lens, one that people in the future will mock as I now do those who dissed John Snow and the early practitioners of the saline water treatment. Salted and cured! As though the patient were a PIG! And maybe I will be mocked myself for misconceptions which I don't even see now.

I think it's like the paradigm of religion for interpreting the world. Of course money and power will always play a large part in the activities of those in authority, but even more important than that is the security and meaning people derive from their belief in their universal lens for seeing the world. And the lens of Science is just as powerful as a religious ideology as the more spiritual ones.

John Stone

Gary

I think the smart are often happy leaving it to the not so smart to do the dirty work. Remember how we saw Sen Pan conferring with lobbyists during a senate session. Of course, that would all be below decks in the U.K. parliament. I think Larson is quite smart, until you start analysing what she says,

Cia

Very interesting observations. I read on Wiki incidentally that Larson is married to Peter Piot who had a leading role in isolating the Ebola virus. Yes, it is quite possible that an anthropologist could shed light on people’s reactions to global health projects, but it is rather missing the point when they behave with such a heavy hand (top-down), pretend that collateral damage doesn’t exist, and then expect everyone to love them.

Another way of looking at this is that vaccines are a tool of power

https://www.ageofautism.com/2018/12/smart-power-reasons-for-disaffection-in-italy-and-the-destruction-of-the-post-war-liberal-order.html

and it is just about the power group justifying its own oppression.

cia parker

A lot of the problem is that there ARE no experts whose field of expertise is taking account of ALL the factors interacting to cause major problems in a country or in the world. I'm still reading Pandemic, by Sonia Shah, and she's discussing that in the part I'm reading now. She says that in west Africa in 2014, Ebola broke out in gorillas and chimps first: why were veterinarians not working with physicians to sound an early alarm? But ARE there any veterinarians working to diagnose and treat Ebola in apes in Africa? What difference would it have made? The essential problem is overpopulation, increasing urbanization and crowding, and insufficient protein in the diet if bush meat is excluded. She discusses West Nile in the north-east of the US, how it broke out first in birds. But, again, what difference would it have made? A lot of the problem was the reduction in the number of species of birds, leaving mostly those that transmitted West Nile easily. She discusses both her son's and her getting MRSA, the flesh-eating staph infection, and her battle with it went on for years. She says her doctors didn't make any inquiry into the environment, her home environment, her diet, her pets, or anything else not immediately related to the immediate new kind of staph infection: antibiotics, diluted bleach treatments, etc. But who would do that kind of global investigation, and who would pay for it? She discusses Hippocratic medicine, which was very holistic, but fundamentally wrong. Individually-oriented, it focused on the balance of humors in the individual, of blood and bile, and bleeding was a main preventive and treatment. It believed that noxious smells (miasms) in the air were what caused disease, and that was the cause of the never-before-seen cholera in the western world from 1820 on (transported from brackish water at the edge of the Indian Ocean by new steam-powered ships). Smells, not germs in the diarrhea massively produced by cholera victims. So as long as the new sewer systems dumped waste in rivers, from which they got drinking water, as long as bad smells from bathrooms were eliminated, everything was fine. Massive resistance to John Snow and his theory about cholera germs in drinking water, also to early saline solution treatments which helped many recover from cholera by replacing lost fluid and electrolytes. The Hippocratic physician would not have dreamed of comparing outcomes in different groups of patients, because it was all about the individual.

Germ theory replaced Hippocratic theory, and has led to as many fallacies and tragedies. Is there any profession which could look at the big picture and come up with solutions to our present crisis, like the medical profession's having overlooked phenomena like the response of the individual immune system to vaccines? Look at the environment and the reaction of other species, both plant and animal, to human activity? Would it do any good? They've been talking about safe sex practices to prevent AIDS for almost forty years, so why are new cases still occurring? About the dangers of overpopulation and outstripping the ability of the local environment to support more than a certain number of people. So why is overpopulation still such a huge problem in the world?

I don't think it's a bad thing that Heidi Larson is an anthropologist. Theoretically an anthropologist would look at the human dimension of the causes of our crises. A physician, focused only on destroying germs wherever they are found, would certainly not be any better. It is a bad thing that this particular anthropologist is caught in the old paradigm that diseases are bad and must be extinguished, and vaccines are the best way to do this. If she doubted that axiom, what would she put in its place? I'd say homeopathy would be a good start. The governments of Brazil, Colombia, and Cuba have put millions of dollars in the last few decades into large-scale HP campaigns to homeopathically immunize millions of people to prevent dengue, leptospirosis, meningitis, and polio, with wonderful results.

Gary Ogden

John: You've hit the nail squarely on the head. Her very own words clearly show her as utterly clueless. I can't recall a more gruesome mangling of the Mother Tongue as using the modifier "robust," with "safety," which doesn't exist at all. She simply has nothing of any value to say on this question, though the media unquestioningly and dutifully report that she has said something. It seems that many of those put forward to defend this mass poisoning, and this includes Caplan, PrOffit, and Pan, as well, are a few plates short of a picnic. Surely the pharma thugs are smarter than that?

John Stone

Jill

The critical the thing I think in many instances is that so often the people who go out and make the bogus claims are not professionally accountable. This is not exclusively so but I still feel it is significant in cases like Larson, Reiss, Grimes (the mouth from Sense About Science). How is this different from you and me - well I am not trying to tell anybody what to and I do not claim authority, I am just pointing things out about the scientific and historic record.

James Grundvig

Ah, yes, both Heide Larson and Sen. Dick Pan are both pro-toxin, pro-CDC/WHO corruption and the like. We then have ass-clowns like Offit and criminal Frank DeStefano banding together to counter 7 points of reality on Vaccine Dangers... with their despicable lies.

We are living in interesting times, as the Pro-Vaccine, Thin-the-Herd Agenda is getting more desperate by the day.

Keep up the pressure, John and AOA.

John Stone

Elizabeth

Yes, the BBC seem to believe they have a special duty to distort and deceive. It no doubt has its roots in the indefinable past, going back to 2004 when they allowed Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, to pretend he had only just discovered that Andrew Wakefield was an expert witness in the MMR litigation - when the Lancet had published a letter from AW acknowledging it 2 May 1998 (and as it later emerged he knew from April 1997). I myself pleaded with them to report the truth and I was ignored - frankly the head of news was scared of the surrogate government/pharma agency, Sense About Science. They then rubber stamped their own bias with the Jones report of 2011 entrenching the concept of “false balance”. But of course the big problem with going with the scientific status quo is that it is just often exists in contradiction to straightforward documentary facts.

Jill

I don't get why anthropologist Heidi Larsen is given any credibility. Definition of anthropology -
1 : the science of human beings especially : the study of human beings and their ancestors through time and space and in relation to physical character, environmental and social relations, and culture
2 : theology dealing with the origin, nature, and destiny of human beings.
How is this person "qualified" to speak to the "most incredibly extensive safety around vaccines - the processes that go around vaccines, the reasons there is quite a while between when vaccines are developed and when children actually get them is because the system has become more and more and more robust around safety." The article states that she is an anthropologist - does she have other science credentials that they missed mentioning? Also, how does she get away with making statements like this without any references, just her own talking points - while being paid by pharma? What?? And how is she a lead researcher of anything? Wow, really? Am I missing something? Are GSK and Merck running out of "real" researchers to issue vague remarks?

Elizabeth Hart

John, in your previous article about Heidi Larson you quoted my rapid response on The BMJ, noting the biased BBC Newsnight program 'Why the anti-vaccination movement is wrong' did not disclose the conflicts of interest of Dr Pauline Paterson of the Vaccine Confidence Project, i.e. that the Vaccine Confidence project research team has received funding from a range of organisations including vaccine manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

In regards to Heidi Larson's participation in the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire show re vaccines, you have confirmed to me that you did not hear any disclosure of Heidi Larson's conflicts of interest.

The BBC has a serious problem in not disclosing the conflicts of interest of its 'talking heads' promoting vaccine products, which I argue contravenes the BBC's Editorial Values.

Yet another recent BBC article promoting vaccination fails to disclose conflicts of interest. In this regard please see my email below, also copied to BBC Director General Tony Hall, and The BMJ Letters Editor Sharon Davies.

For the attention of:
Mr David Jordan
BBC Director Editorial Policy and Standards; and
Mr Ric Bailey
BBC Chief Adviser Politics

Mr Jordan and Mr Bailey, conflicts of interest were not properly disclosed in the recent BBC News Health article: Parents' vaccine side effects fear 'fuelled by social media', 24 January 2019: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-46972429

I suggest the lack of disclosure of conflicts of interest contravenes the BBC's Editorial Values, e.g. 1.2.1 Trust, 1.2.3. Impartiality, 1.2.6 Serving the Public Interest, 1.2.7 Fairness and 1.2.11 Accountability: https://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines/bbc-editorial-values/editorial-values

This BBC News Health article failed to disclose that the Moving the Needle report published by the Royal Society for Public Health was sponsored by a vaccine manufacturer, 'MSD', also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme, manufacturers of such vaccine products as the measles, mumps and rubella MMR VaxPRO and the Gardasil HPV vaccine products.

The Moving the Needle report is about "promoting vaccination uptake across the life course", i.e. about promoting vaccine products throughout life. The BBC News Health article reports the Royal Society for Public Health "wants to see vaccinations being offered in different locations, such as high street pop-ups, gyms and community centres, to encourage uptake".

Similar to my previous complaint about lack of disclosure of conflicts of interest of Dr Pauline Paterson of the Vaccine Confidence Project on the Newsnight segment Why the anti-vaccination movement is wrong (17 December 2018), the BBC has been caught again promoting vaccine products in its News section, without disclosing conflicts of interest.

The BMJ also promoted the Moving the Needle report, an industry-funded propaganda report, presented behind the facade of the official-sounding 'Royal Society for Public Health', apparently a front for Pharma.

My rapid response on this matter published on The BMJ is pertinent to share with you:

Vaccination and 'misinformation'- who decides?

According to Gareth Iacobucci, the Royal Society for Public Health warns "The spread of misinformation and "fake news" on social media may be fuelling public concern about potential side effects of vaccination and could restrict uptake".

Who defines what is 'misinformation' about vaccination?

Apparently we're supposed to trust the Moving the Needle report[1], a report which is all about "promoting vaccination uptake across the life course", sponsored by MSD, aka Merck Sharp & Dohme, a vaccine manufacturer.

This report has been produced by the very official sounding 'Royal Society for Public Health'. Who funds this organisation which claims to be "an independent health education charity"?[2]

The Moving the Needle report notes: "This activity has been sponsored by MSD. MSD did not have editorial input and is not responsible for the content or opinions expressed as part of this activity."

MSD/Merck Sharp & Dohme is a corporate member of the Royal Society for Public Health[3], and pays for this organisation to produce a report which aims to stifle critical analysis of vaccination...but apparently we're expected to take its contents at face value, as though there was no conflict of interest.

The Moving the Needle report includes calls to action to tackle "negative misconceptions of vaccines", stating "efforts to limit health misinformation online and via social media should be increased, especially by social media platforms themselves".

Again, who gets to define what is 'misinformation' about vaccination in our society?

Are citizens to be forbidden to question the burgeoning number of taxpayer-funded vaccine products and revaccinations?

References:

1. Royal Society for Public Health. Moving the needle: promoting vaccination uptake across the life course. Dec 2018: https://www.rsph.org.uk/uploads/assets/uploaded/f8cf580a-57b5-41f4-8e21de333af20f32.pdf
2. RSPH About us: https://www.rsph.org.uk/about-us.html
3. RSPH Corporate Members: https://www.rsph.org.uk/membership/corporate-membership/corporate-members.html
Competing interests: No competing interests

Mr Jordan and Mr Bailey, the BBC News Health article should have disclosed that the Royal Society for Public Health report Moving the Needle was sponsored by vaccine manufacturer MSD/Merck Sharp & Dohme, and failing to do so contravenes the BBC's Editorial Values.

What steps will be taken to redress this matter?

What steps will be taken to ensure in future that any conflicts of interest will be disclosed on BBC articles and programs promoting vaccine products?

When will the BBC do its duty to licence-payers and its global audience, and provide critical analysis of vaccination policy and burgeoning international vaccination schedules, in line with BBC Editorial Values, e.g. "1.2.1 Trust: Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest. We are committed to achieving the highest standards of due accuracy and impartiality and strive to avoid knowingly and materially misleading our audiences."

I look forward to your response.

Elizabeth Hart

John Stone

Mark, Angus

I just don't know - I think people just get sucked into their own group speak. We are accused on our side of being an echo-chamber, but on the whole it is they who are not listening, and terrified of the gaps in their knowledge. Of course, there is patronage for it. This is not to absolve it: many tyrannous groups in history no doubt felt they represented the good, absolute good, despite their human limitations.

Angus Files


My name is Bond ....Heidi Bond...A multi national lynch pin ,a go to super pharma agent poisoning by covert means-and when used dumped with less respect for a used syringe.Peter Wright head of MI5/MI6 lived a tame life really chasing Russsians.These Pharma swamp monsters are worse than any threat ever to mankind.


Pharma For Prison

MRR RIP

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