Tomorrow evening the BBC screens its documentary The Conspiracy Files: Vaccination Wars. While vaccine program critics on both sides of the Atlantic have cooperated with this production do not expect any fair reporting: in fact the BBC long ago committed itself to the doctrine of false equivalence i.e. it does not matter how strong or rational the evidence is they will defer to the government-industry consensus. Even the use of the term "conspiracy" has slid into innuendo. Meanwhile, the documentary has been shared with the media but not the participants. Betrayal is their watchword.
Age of Autism's British editor, John Stone, writes:
According to a preview in the Dundee Courier by Paul Whitelaw:
"This depressing report canvases the opinions of people who believe that the authorities are hiding the truth about vaccines. We also meet scientists who know for a fact that immunisation saves lives. Harmful side-effects are extremely rare. The conspiracy theorists refuse to accept this. Why? Widespread online misinformation and alarmist media coverage, all of which dates back to a thoroughly discredited study of whooping cough vaccines in the 1970s."
This is a story, of course, about gullible journalists. The "thoroughly discredited study" is no doubt the one by that good and honorable man Prof Gordon Stewart - later, Bill Inman, one of the founders of the UK yellow card reporting scheme reported in his memoirs 'Don't tell the patient' the he had never seen anyone worse treated than Stewart was by the UK Department of Health. Inman himself commented how very few of the severe injuries from the old DPT vaccine ever got recorded. He states that from his data analysis it was at least ten times higher than the 1 in 300,000 that the Department of Health “was clinging to”. He noted:
Children who had developed a temperature or had screamed repeatedly or had muscular spasms or convulsions after the first injection, had sometimes been given further doses of the vaccine with catastrophic results.
In a recent letter to BMJ Rapid Responses 'The Benefits of DPT' I wrote recently:
Mara Kardas-Nelson  should also note that as result of DPT controversy and the UK Vaccine Damage Payment Act of 1979 there were 600 payments in the period 1978-81 (1978/9: 36, 1979/80: 317, 1980/1: 256) [2,3]. The rhetoric behind the legislation was that injuries were rare but this was not borne out by the record [2,3]. The act enabled the government to retrieve the reputation of the programme amid adverse publicity by acknowledging the principle of harm but no one knew how many awards there had actually been - and initially there were a lot. This would also not take account of any deaths.
According to Mogensen et al, the introduction of DPT to Guinea-Bissau in 1981 was associated with a 5 fold increase in the rate of death :
"Among 3–5-month-old children, having received DTP (±OPV) was associated with a mortality hazard ratio (HR) of 5.00 (95% CI 1.53–16.3) compared with not-yet-DTP-vaccinated children. Differences in background factors did not explain the effect. The negative effect was particularly strong for children who had received DTP-only and no OPV (HR = 10.0 (2.61–38.6)). All-cause infant mortality after 3 months of age increased after the introduction of these vaccines (HR = 2.12 (1.07–4.19))."
 Kardas- Nelson, 'Despite high rates of vaccination, pertussis cases are on the rise. Is a new vaccination strategy needed?'
BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4460 (Published 09 July 2019)
 Gareth Millward, 'A Disability Act? The Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 and the British Government’s Response to the Pertussis Vaccine Scare', Social History of Medicine, Volume 30, Issue 2, May 2017, Pages 429–447, https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkv140
 'Annex A - Vaccine Damage Payments claims received and award statistics', https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/242813/response/599844/attach/3/A...
 Mogensen et al, 'The Introduction of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis and Oral Polio Vaccine Among Young Infants in an Urban African Community: A Natural Experiment', Ebiomedicine March 2017, https://www.ebiomedicine.com/article/S2352-3964(17)30046-4/abstract
The bar for level of injury was high (90%) and there was a limitation of three years for applying. Six hundred awards in population terms would be the equivalent of three thousand in the United States. However, the British government made no attempt to change the product for a further 25 years and accelerated its use in 1990. There is no theory about this "conspiracy", it is all documented. Sycophantic post-journalists may prefer some other explanation, but they are making fools of themselves.