John Stone

Ecuador Court Rules State of Emergency Unconstitutional

EcuadorFrom John Stone

On January 2, 2021, Ecuador's highest court ruled the new state of emergency decree of December 21 2020 unconstitutional. HERE The Constitutional Court held that the reasons for the invocation of emergency powers - the allegation of increased "contagion" of Covid 19 and the future possibility of a new UK virus strain - were not sufficiently compelling to justify a one month state of emergency applying to the entire country. 

The court ruled that narrower measures tailored toward protecting public health are available using non-emergency governmental procedures, and furthermore that a new state of emergency cannot be declared based upon future not current conditions nor can it be based on the same set of facts used to justifiy the earlier states of Covid-related emergency last year, the last of which expired in August.  Although called a state of "exception," that is Ecuador's particular language for a state of national disaster which gives the President extraordinary powers to curtail citizens' constitutional rights including freedom of assembly and freedom of movement both of which had been restricted until yesterday's ruling. The Court's decision which was reported to have been signed six days ago, was not released until the evening of January 2.The front page article and the text of the full decision is in the Ecuadorian newspaper of record El Comercio today, January 3, 2021. The following link may or may not work anymore but the newspaper's website (below) should bring up this morning's article or at least a follow up. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1A_VDK9aHV1cS1XTepwsXFw-fmuvZkOGP/vie General link: www.elcomercio.com


UK Faces Food Shortages As A Result Of Conflicted Government Science

 image from www.gavi.orgBy John Stone

European countries have been shutting down their borders with the United Kingdom following advice that it harbours a 70% more contagious version of the Covid virus, which has already led to the new Tier 4 lockdown arrangements in Southern England and the effective cancellation of Christmas. Whether the mutation is actually more contagious is a matter for dispute between two Oxford professors. The case that the “strain” is more contagious has been hypothesised by the Nervtag advisory committee led by Prof Peter Horby. According to the Daily Mail Prof Horby, who is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, said the figure of 70 per cent was based on 'converging data'.

“He said: 'This is including, but not limited to, the rate of change in the frequency of detection of the variant (the growth rate) and the correlation between R values and the frequency of detection of the new variant.'”

This, however, is disputed by Prof Carl Heneghan of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine. He told the Mail:

'I've been doing this job for 25 years and I can tell you can't establish a quantifiable number in such a short time frame.' 

He added 'every expert is saying it's too early to draw such an inference'.

Professor Heneghan said there was no doubt this time of the year, the 'height of the viral season', was a difficult time for the NHS. But he said failure to put out the basis of the figures was undermining public trust.

But while the mutation is already circulating in other European countries it has led to them shutting down food supplies to the UK coincidentally or not on the very verge of Brexit. Prof Horby had previously been embroiled in controversy earlier this year over the Hydroxychloroquine trial in which inappropriately high quantities of HCQ  were given to Covid patients already in a serious condition (the trial was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Also on the Nervtag Committee is Prof Ferguson of Imperial College whose controversial modelling led to the UK’s first lockdown in the spring. Ferguson was forced to resign from the more prominent SAGE committee after breaking lockdown rules pursuing a romantic liaison, but not apparently from Nervtag. Ferguson’s Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium at Imperial College is also funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the global vaccine alliance, GAVI. Ferguson's group was said to have received $185 million from the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation between 2006 and 2018.

Converging data or converging interest?


Covid and Shakespeare: The Dark Heart Of The National Epic

King_Henry_V_at_the_Battle_of_Agincourt,_1415By John Stone

Today AoA revives my article from 2016. Monday’s epic launch of the Pfizer vaccine in the UK featured the fact that the second person to be vaccinated was someone called William Shakespeare. The release of this culturally resonant information cannot have been accidental since it would otherwise have breached confidentiality. I was also put in mind of Prime Minister Johnson’s talk the other week of the “scientific cavalry” arriving: nothing could point more to the danger of politicising either science or sickness for the benefit of an elite.

The theme of my 2016 article was that Shakespeare’s play Henry V represented the opposite of a national triumph. The invasion (perhaps “the rape”) of France by England (with representatives of our other three nations in tow) is based on political expedience and vanity, rather than any convincing claim: a false narrative is created. If the war is superficially successful it is not based on the rightfulness of the claim, the will of God, or even superior tactics. The battle of Agincourt is pure chaos and when the French surrender King Henry actually thinks he’s losing, and is engaged in cutting the throats of his prisoners. Meanwhile, the disgusted figure of the infantryman Williams rages across the battlefield, posing the questions which undermine the entire moral basis of the enterprise, or so many other political enterprises, including how they distort and destroy the lives of ordinary people. Even today the play is usually cut to hide its fundamental ironies. I am sure I have not done the play justice  - it needs a much longer and more careful essay - but it tells the inner truth of the bad politics of every age, including our own... 

Incognito at Agincourt: Shakespeare Accuses the King

‘…the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place’...

This article is intended as a piece of literary criticism, however it also poses questions about the legitimacy of the political order which resonate today. It is an interesting question how - in what is now called the early modern period - an ordinary subject could challenge a monarch (and by implication the order for which the monarch stood).  But supposing two men were in disguise, they might briefly exchange ideas on a level playing field. The confrontation between Henry V before Agincourt and the common soldier, Williams, in the play Henry V has occasionally been recognised as a crux, notably by leading Shakespeare scholar Frank Kermode in his brief discussion of the play in his late book The Age of Shakespeare (2004 p.81): Shakespeare

Here is one of the moments when Shakespeare can make us feel out of our depth: the part of surly the Williams is so strongly written, his arguments so persuasive compared with Henry’s, that we are left querying our assent to the royal cause, however warmly solicited.

It was unusual feature of Shakespeare’s career as a playwright of the Elizabethan and Jacobean age that he was also an actor within the company he was writing for. Scholars generally believed he took smaller roles, and it is against this background that the following suggestion is made.

The night before the battle of Agincourt, in the play, King Henry borrows the cloak of company commander Sir Thomas Erpingham indicating that he seeks anonymity and solitude, but perhaps with the real intention (as it follows in the action) of eavesdropping unrecognised on his men. He first runs into his former low-life acquaintance Pistol who fails to recognise the king even when Henry all but identifies himself as “Harry Le Roy”, and is presumably gratified that Pistol speaks well of him:

I love the lovely bully.*

They also exchange banter about the garrulous and absurd Welsh captain, Fluellen. Fluellen has been first encountered in the play at the siege of Harfleur driving the soldiers “into the breach” and trying to engage the infuriated and irascible  Irish captain MacMorris - who is busy digging tunnels to lay explosive – in a conversation on “the disciplines of war”. MacMorris gives him a piece of his mind:

Continue reading "Covid and Shakespeare: The Dark Heart Of The National Epic" »


Adjuvants: The BBC's Fairy Dust Future

image from external-content.duckduckgo.comby John Stone

Two days ago I received at breakfast a magazine article from an outfit called BBC Future entitled Immune Respose: The Strange Ingredients Found in Vaccines by Zaria Gorvett (pictured left).That the BBC should supply such a bland and poorly informed article for the popular market is no surprise, but nevertheless my annoyance did rise at her account of the DPT affair, and I wrote to her:

Dear Ms Gorvett,

Re: Your article “Immune Response” this morning

Despite the opprobrium heaped on John Wilson the government discreetly paid out on 600 DPT cases within three years of the vaccine damage payment act of 1979. In a letter last year to BMJ (which I append)  I also pointed out the paper by Mogensen which found that mortality in DPT vaccinated infants in Guinea-Bissau (1981) was 5 times vaccinated. This is not a small matter.

I also point out that size comparison makes no sense when talking (about)  an active ingredient of a product and I forward the link to the recent article by Prof Exley “An aluminium adjuvant in a vaccine is an acute exposure to aluminium”.

It is not correct to say that there is no evidence when there is evidence and I think you ought to reconsider.

Yours sincerely,

 John Stone, UK Editor, Age of Autism

The Benefits of DPT

(BMJ Rapid Response)

Mara Kardas-Nelson [1] 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 [4]:

"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))."

[1] 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)

[2] 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

[3] 'Annex A - Vaccine Damage Payments claims received and award statistics', https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/242813/response/599844/attach/3/A...

[4] 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

I forgot to mention that the old DPT contained 50 micrograms of life-enhancing ethyl mercury but not receiving  an answer I decided to forward it to her editor Amanda Ruggeri (below), who describes herself on her website as  “Journalist, Photographer, Traveler,  Historian,  Adventurer”, and obviously a very exciting person. She also has not replied. image from external-content.duckduckgo.com

What I did not know at the time that I wrote to Zaria was that before writing her amusing vaccine fairy story she had interviewed Prof Exley at length on the phone. Yesterday, he wrote to her furiously:

Dear Zaria,

This not about whether one 'likes' something or not. It is about your integrity as a journalist.

You contacted me by email to ask my advice. I was happy to help and even gave you my home telephone number since you wished to talk to me personally and not simply correspond by email.

We talked for about forty minutes. I shared with you a great deal of scientific, published, information on our expertise in aluminium adjuvants used in vaccines. I made sure that you had access to all the primary published research that we talked about. I also gave you some background on adjuvants generally. You gave the impression of both being very interested in the information I gave you and also of being grateful for my time and expertise. Afterall we are, arguably, the world's leading group researching the efficacy and safety of aluminium adjuvants used in vaccines.

When we finished our conversation, you promised to send me a link to your article. You did not do this and reading your article, I can understand why.

Not only did you not mention my contribution to your article once but when opportunities arose you chose to write what can only be described as blatant lies.

For example, even though you knew that what you had written was untrue you still wrote;

There is as little as 0.2mg of aluminium in a typical vaccine dose, which is equivalent to less than the weight of a single poppy seed. There is no evidence that any of the adjuvants currently in use lead to side-effects.

Apart from being factually incorrect the comparison with a poppy seed is absurd at best.

What happened to your editor's mantra concerning BBC Future;

We believe in truth, facts, and science. We take the time to think. And we don't accept — we ask why.

I told you everything you needed to know about how much aluminium is used in vaccines. I even shared with you some of our new research in this field about to be published in the BMJ. I pointed out to you that there are serious adverse events caused by aluminium adjuvants and I also informed you as to where you could find this information, no lesser document than the patient information leaflet provided with every vaccine.

Your writing about DPT is completely false and while we did not discuss this you could have checked this information with me at any time. You clearly chose not to check your information.

I told you the story of Glenny and the 'discovery' of aluminium adjuvants.

I also made sure that you understood which aluminium salts were used as aluminium adjuvants. Instead you wrote lies again about this;

To this day, the aluminium in vaccines is always in the form of salts. These include aluminium hydroxide (commonly used as an antacid to relieve indigestion and heartburn), aluminium phosphate (often used in dental cement) and potassium aluminium sulphate, which is sometimes found in baking powder.

You decided instead to write complete scientific nonsense in your descriptions of aluminium salts used in vaccines, why is beyond me when you had access to the correct information. What were you trying to do, make the aluminium salts sound benign by comparing them wrongly to household products?

I told you that the main reason why aluminium adjuvants are effective is because they are toxic at the vaccine injection site. I spoke to you at length about this and I pointed you towards the relevant peer reviewed published scientific literature. Your reference to uric acid at this point did not come from me and has no relevance.

This article is very shoddy journalism. It seems to have been primarily informed by a Chinese scientist working on vaccines in China. As the world's leading researcher on aluminium, I have no knowledge of this scientist only that they have no expertise in aluminium adjuvants. Why you chose to only follow their advice is insulting.

If you and your editors do truly 'believe in truth, facts, and science', then I would expect a right of reply to this inaccurate and scientifically inept article. To not do so would suggest that the written lies therein have an alternative agenda.

Yours sincerely

image from i.ytimg.com

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Christopher Exley PhD FRSB

So far, at the time of writing, Prof Exley assures me he has heard neither from Zaria Gorvett or her editor Amanda Ruggeri (which is I suppose what you would expect from the modern BBC). Perhaps as their next assignment these two geniuses can set themselves to working out why Autism Spectrum Disorders have reached 7% in Belfast schools (I have had an identical figure just quoted me by personal communication for the first year in-take of a Welsh comprehensive school). All brought to you by the BBC’s responsible journalism.

Post Script

Prof Exley has now received a succession of letters from the BBC which does not make their position any more satisfactory:

Dear Professor Exley,

Thank you very much for speaking with me the other day. I am sorry that you do not like the article. I have cc'd my editors.

Best regards,

Zaria  

*

Dear Prof. Exley,

Thank you for raising your concerns with BBC Future. We’re sorry that you feel your time in the interview was wasted; we seek information from a wide range of sources, and there is no guarantee when we do interviews that any given interviewee will be quoted or mentioned in a piece.

We’ve gone through the claims you make below and remain confident in the accuracy of our reporting. Thank you again for your time.

Best,

Amanda Ruggeri

*

Dear Professor Exley,

I’m the Editorial Director for the BBC’s international news and features output.    Amanda has passed your complaint onto me.

Let me echo Amanda’s apology for the fact that you feel your time was wasted.    We speak to a lot of people in the course of our research and are grateful to anyone who gives up their time. 

The article was amended on Thursday to clarify two points:

The weight of evidence is that adjuvants do not lead to serious side-effects.

And we added detail about the link between the pertussis vaccine and encephalopathy and corrected the statement that the vaccine had been administered for decades without incident.

Best wishes,

Mary

Mary Wilkinson, Head of Editorial Content,  BBC Global News  Ltd

Of course, no one actually says sorry for their actions, and all three are guilty of deliberately misleading the public by failing to report that they had consulted him and received  information of substance (existing in the form of peer reviewed studies in respected journals)  which stood in contradiction to the claims of the published article. If they were professionally fearful of the consequences of publishing this information then it might have been better not to publish at all. Plainly none of them have the expertise to discard Prof Exley's evidence and there is no explanation of why they chose to do this except expedience.


"Triumph" and "Ambush" vaccines to be rolled out in the UK next month?

image from news.images.itv.comby John Stone

A news story in the Sun newspaper suggests that coronavirus vaccines will be rolled out in the UK as early as next month: VACCINE BOOST:NHS ready to roll out covid jab from next month with tens of thousands of people being vaccinated before Christmas”. While this runs against so many apparently informed reports that vaccines may not be available until way into next year it coincides with the consultation last month to suspend licensing regulations to allow roll out this year.The report states:

“The first mass vaccination centres are planned for sites in major cities including Leeds, Hull and London...They will be supported by hundreds of mobile vaccination units dotted nationwide, while roving teams will visit care homes and vulnerable Brits.”

This corroborates an earlier BBC report:

“Mass vaccination sites and mobile facilities are being commissioned as part of as a "fairly massive exercise"...According to the document, the two vaccines are called Ambush and Triumph...Ambush needs to be stored at -70C (-94F) and kept in hospitals due to regulations set down by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority.”

”Triumph” is thought to be the Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine which requires two vaccinations within 28 days and the one requiring extreme refrigeration is likely the Moderna vaccine which has novel RNA engineering which has been closely backed by Bill Gates. Neither of the products is likely to prevent the disease at a useful level as even articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post highlight.

According to the Daily Mail:

Under the proposed ranking by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the vaccines will be rolled out in the following order:

  • older adults' resident in a care home and care home workers
  • all those 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
  • all those 75 years of age and over
  • all those 70 years of age and over
  • all those 65 years of age and over
  • high-risk adults under 65 years of age with underlying health woes
  • moderate-risk adults under 65 years of age with underlying health woes
  • all those 60 years of age and over
  • all those 55 years of age and over
  • all those 50 years of age and over
  • rest of the population (priority to be determined)

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is chaired by Andrew Pollard who is also lead developer of the Oxford vaccine. Both vaccines are already known to have unpleasant side-effects. The Oxford Astra Zeneca Vaccine is still under  investigation by the FDA.

 

 


British Conservative MP Calls For Experts To Be Sacked

image from images.ctfassets.netBy John Stone

Following the TV broadcast of two civil servants, Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty, a Conservative member of Parliament, Desmond Swayne, has called from the chamber of the House of Commons for them to be sacked for spreading fear. He particularly refers to the use of a graph showing the infection rate doubling exponentially every seven days. Swayne is appalled by the authoritarian route the Johnson government has taken. View the 1 min 42 second video.

It was also disturbing to watch them broadcasting from the Prime Minister’s residence as I noted in a letter to British Medical Journal Rapid Responses:

“Not least was it dismaying to see two civil servants - Patrick Vallance and Christopher Whitty - on Monday address the public from Downing Street as if they were the government. We have got used to No 10 briefings, and even the absence of the Prime Minister at such briefings when he became ill in the spring, but this time we had Civil Servants unmediated by elected government politicians. The sheer oddity of it rings alarm bells - we seem to be entering some parallel and perhaps menacing universe. Where is the country we once knew?”

Now the government politicians and their advisors take it in turns to hide behind one another. 

John Stone is UK Editor of Age of Autism


British Readers Write to your MP Today not to Renew UK’s Coronavirus Act

image from upload.wikimedia.orgBy John Stone

British readers should write to their MP’s today to express their doubts about the Coronavirus Act first passed in March which has expedited the Conservative government in the exercise of arbitrary measures against citizens, while Parliament turned a blind eye.

Now a Conservative rebellion by in the region of 40 members threatens the act when it comes up for renewal on Wednesday - this could lead to the act not bei British penng renewed or being modified if opposition MPs decide to vote against the act in its present form. Opposition parties should not sit by week after week, month after month allowing the government to make a mess of things, while rubbing their hands. It may have suited them till now but it simply does not look very responsible: if they do renew the act without conditions it will certainly look opportunist and highly unprincipled. Two excellent articles have appeared in the Mail on Sunday this weekend by Peter Hitchens and retired Supreme Court judge Jonathan Sumption

If the act is renewed unmodified there will, for instance, be no mechanism to rein the government in over Boris Johnson’s lunatic scheme to test 10 million citizens for the SARS-CoV-2 virus a day, using technology which has not yet been invented at the estimated cost of £100billion (about 130billion USD). A suppressed government report predicts there will have been 75,000 non-COVID deaths over the next 5 years as a result of the government strategy including 16,000 who have already died in the hospital chaos of the spring, and 26,000 expected to die in the first years through not seeking medical treatment. These matters need closest political scrutiny.

John Stone is UK Editor, Age of Autism


UK Bolted Down for the Next Six Months

image from images.ctfassets.netBritain is facing six months of lockdown following a morning broadcast from No 10 Downing Street by Chief Government Scientist Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty. The lockdown will be imposed on the much disputed theory that there are still only low levels of immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the community, which can only be rectified by vaccination campaigns now deferred to next year.

In recent weeks the government have been ramping up fear of the virus by mass testing (~250 thousand tests a day) leading to what are most likely largely false positive results, while hospitalisation and death statistics remained static. Though it is true that hospitalisations and deaths have begun to increase (perhaps seasonally) there is little basis that COVID-19 deaths will reach near the same levels as in the spring (as Whitty is claiming), even supposing that data is reliable. More likely many will die because normal medical services are vastly reduced (they never recovered after the spring lockdown), and because many thousands people will be made jobless, homeless and destitute this winter, while the nation is plunged into ever greater everlasting debt with the complicity of all the main political parties.

Futhermore, even with contemptible acquiescence of most elected members of Parliament the government is acting illegally in imposing these measures on society as has been stated by retired senior judges Lord Sumption and Baroness Hale. The case against the government is now likely to reach the Court of Appeal towards the end of next month.

John Stone is UK Editor of Age of Autism


Response to the British Government Proposal to Roll Out A COVD-19 Vaccine Before Christmas

image from upload.wikimedia.orgby John Stone

The British government (Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured) are running a public consultation with a view to cutting every corner and safe-guard in order to roll out a COVID vaccine campaign before Christmas (the British “warp-speed”). presumably with the Oxford/Astra-Zeneca product in mind. For anyone who wants to respond it ends this Friday (18 September). This is how I have responded to the on-line form.

Temporary authorisation of the supply of unlicensed products

The urgency of the situation in which such a decision needs to be taken is heavily in doubt. While the government has taken it upon itself to place restrictions on the public from which it would gladly be alleviated the hospitalisation and fatality rates for the virus have been in continuous decline since the spring - if indeed there is a continuing infection rate this presumably confers more certain immunity than any putative vaccine. None of the initial candidate products purports to offer strong immunity so it is hard to see even if there were any good reasons for the present restrictions that the introduction of these products would offer sufficient grounds for their removal. It is more likely that they would simply contribute to public confusion.

As I understand it the decision to distribute unlicensed vaccines (or licensed ones) will be taken by the JCVI. The JCVI is described as an “independent” body, but of what? The chair of the JCVI, Andrew Pollard, is lead developer of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which has been backed by the government to the tune of at least £100 million. In February 2014 Pollard chaired a meeting of the JCVI which recommended the Bexsero Men B vaccine to the schedule of which he was also lead developer, which became part of Conservative window-dressing at the 2015 election. Even if Pollard recuses himself the “independence” of any decision will be in doubt - apart from anything else at its February 2016 meeting the JCVI enjoyed the hospitality of Pollard’s research institution, the Martin School, and his Oxford College, St Cross. It is not reported that any members protested. Dissent at JCVI meetings had never been reported, indeed no votes ever seem to be recorded.

Should a decision be delayed beyond the end of the year it will come under the remit of the licensing authority, the MHRA. The MHRA is entirely funded by the industry for the licensing of medicines and biologicals, and also advised by Prof Pollard. In 2009 the MHRA - at the time of the swine flu scare - failed to detect an association between the GSK vaccine Pandemrix and the condition of narcolepsy, and remained uncontrite in BMJ correspondence as late as 2018. It is illusory at the present time to suppose the licensure in itself provides grounds for confidence. The government in fact has no existing processes to ensure confidence. The government also assumes that anything “authorised” will subsequently be “licensed” which further calls the independence of the process into question. What if it turned out to be not just “temporary”

Civil liability and immunity

The document maintains that it would be unfair to manufacturers to have to sustain liability, but it is not clear why it would be fair to the public who have already had incredible costs loaded on to them, whether any suit was against the manufacturer (to be reimbursed by the government) or against the government itself, the cost of which would then be passed to the public, if successful. Admittedly, in almost any circumstances the Legal Aid Agency will fail to support such litigation (a dramatic instance would be Vioxx), so it is somewhat theoretical: whatever happens the manufacturer makes a killing and there is little sanction on them to ensure safety, let alone that you will not catch the disease.

Ultimately, the government shelters legally behind the principle of informed consent which leaves the onus on the patient or their guardian, but needs to entail that it is genuinely informed (including all the risks and shortcomings of the product as is provided in the Montgomery ruling). It is further prejudicial if scorn and loathing are heaped on anyone who is not sure whether to comply (for instance the several derogatory comments made the Prime Minister about “anti-vaxxers”, or pronouncements by the WHO about the “vaccine hesitant” being a threat to global health) which is devoid of intellectual merit, quite outside the spirit of freedom of choice or the recommendations of the recent Cumberlege review, which considered instances where injured patients were subjected to bullying tactics. This fails to recognise the rights of the patient. It also undermines the rights of the patient if they are expected to be vaccinated to protect someone other than themselves. It is not only a dubious principle it may well be that it is in the interests of children, for example, to acquire natural immunity, particularly if the virulence of the disease retreats to the level of the common cold (which seems entirely likely).

Continue reading "Response to the British Government Proposal to Roll Out A COVD-19 Vaccine Before Christmas" »


Is the UK government suffering from Munchausen Syndome by Proxy?

FactitiousDisorderAnotherNote: Below is a BMJ rapid response by John Stone.  Thank you, John!

###

Is the government suffering from Munchausen Syndome by Proxy?
Re: Covid-19: Less haste, more safety Fiona Godlee. 370:doi 10.1136/bmj.m3258

Dear Editor

Eight days ago I wrote here [1]:

“To limp along like this in the hope that we will all be rescued by a vaccine (supposing we any longer need rescuing) is not realistic, and not the basis on which policy should be directed - quite apart from the harm that it is doing to every other aspect of civil life and of health policy itself.”

I now note the publication of an article by Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson in The Spectator questioning whether the present rise in cases is an artefact of PCR testing, as hospitalisations and deaths continue to decline [2]. Bearing this in mind perhaps it is time the British Medical Journal itself began to move the narrative on.

[1] John Stone, ‘ Less haste, more safety, certainly, but we could do with an end to the vaccine rescue narrative as well’, 25 August 2020, https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3258/rr-0

[2] Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson, ‘ Coronavirus cases are mounting but deaths remain stable. Why?’, The Spectator, 1 September 2020, https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/coronavirus-cases-are-mounting-but-d...

Competing interests: AgeofAutism.com, an on-line daily journal, concerns itself with the potential environmental sources for the proliferation of autism, neurological impairment, immune dysfunction and chronic disease. I receive no payment as UK Editor


Forget Cecil Rhodes we’ve got Bill Gates: Oxford University is Exploiting Africans and Africa Now!

Rhodes
Source: BBC

By John Stone co-published at Children's Health Defense

The Black Lives Matter protests which followed the killing of George Floyd in the United States spilt over the Atlantic and sent shock waves through British society as well. One of the most prominent targets of discontent has been the statue of the late 19th century diamond mining magnate, Cecil Rhodes, which stands above the entrance to Oriel College in Oxford, which the college has voted to remove. But, manifestly, what the university is actively doing now in Africa poses more serious questions than Rhodes’s largesse to the university in a much earlier time.  

In the past days reports have been appearing about protests across Africa over vaccine trials. Seth Berkley, the director of the vaccine industry cartel organization GAVI is quoted as saying that anti-vaccine sentiment is “the worst” he has “ever seen”. If so, discontent has been boiling up for a long time and may be now finding a focus round the trials of the Oxford Vaccine Group/Jenner Institute/Astra Zeneca coronavirus vaccine. The Oxford based Jenner Institute also receives funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The organizer of a demonstration at the University of Witwatersrand, Phapano Phasha, told Associated Press:

“The people chosen as volunteers for the vaccination, they look as if they’re from poor backgrounds, not qualified enough to understand…We believe they are manipulating the vulnerable.”

Oxford University are said to have recruited 2000 volunteers for trials in South Africa which have gone ahead despite a complaint by the African Centre for Biodiversity (further trial to be held in Kenya, Brazil and the united States). ACB categorize five areas of inadequacy in the Oxford application to conduct trials:

-Non-disclosure of vital safety data and information, which have been redacted as ‘confidential business information’

-Lack of literature references throughout to substantiate health and ecosystem safety claims, making it difficult to evaluate some of the claims being made as to safety

-Lack of evidence of efficacy of the trials

-Lack of information on the test procedures being used

-Concerns regarding the safety claims made

The authors Dr  Eva Sirinathsinghji and Dr Maryam Mayet (executive director of the centre) note that key information has been redacted in the application as “confidential business information” making it impossible for the public to assess risk, although important information has been disclosed in other places, for instance in the BioRxiv pre-print: van Doremalen et al ‘ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccination prevents SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in rhesus macaques’ which was not disclosed in the application i.e. in animal testing the Oxford vaccine may have helped prevent pneumonia but did not stop the monkeys from catching the virus or reduce transmission.

Continue reading "Forget Cecil Rhodes we’ve got Bill Gates: Oxford University is Exploiting Africans and Africa Now!" »


No Data for Neurological Impairment

John Stone Twitter Exchange
Our John Stone asked a simple, but critical question of Danish Professor Dr. Christine Stabell Benn on Twitter. "Do you have data for neurological impairment" from pediatric vaccines. In other words,  "At what cost?" And the answer was, “No, the focus is on the overall effect of vaccines on mortality and morbidity."  Or, " We don't know and we haven't bothered to look." I looked up the definition of the two terms:  Mortality is death. Morbidity is sickness or illness, but apparently only from the virus IN the syringe, not caused by it. 


WHO's lead scientist Soumya Swaminathan places chief hope in Oxford and Moderna vaccines

image from www.fic.nih.govHaving systematically screwed up the hydoxychloroquine (HCQ) trials for the treatment of the Covid virus and otherwise prevented its general use, all of which likely ended up in countless unnecessary deaths (see Dr Meryl Nass's despairing assessment) the WHO are now turning their attention to the first crop of vaccines, created at reckless speed with new technologies. The WHO's chief scientist told Reuters on Friday:

GENEVA (Reuters) - AstraZeneca's <AZN.L> experimental COVID-19 vaccine is probably the world's leading candidate and most advanced in terms of development, the World Health Organization's (WHO) chief scientist said on Friday.

The British drugmaker has already begun large-scale, mid-stage human trials of the vaccine, which was developed by researchers at University of Oxford.

This week, AstraZeneca signed its tenth supply-and-manufacturing deal.

"Certainly in terms of how advanced they are, the stage at which they are, they are I think probably the leading candidate," WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan told a news conference.

The Oxford vaccine has a shaky history, funded to the tune of £90m million by the British government and taxpayer, and already in manufacture in billions of doses, the human trials began in April amid false reports that the animal trials had been successful: the product is arguably commercially too big to be allowed to fail. It also has the advantage that its lead developer Andrew Pollard heads the committee that will advise the British government on its use. Admittedly, last week he was in an apparently non-committal mood in conversation with Prince William:

Prof Pollard highlighted HIV, a virus for which no vaccine has been found because it mutates, saying scientists' great fear was that coronavirus could be the same. In that case, he said 'there is nothing we could do apart from social distancing forever' - a prospect William described as 'frightening'.

Continue reading "WHO's lead scientist Soumya Swaminathan places chief hope in Oxford and Moderna vaccines" »


John Stone: Intimidation and Suppression of Inconvenient Knowledge

CHD logoWe are pleased to excerpt this article by John Stone as published on Children's Health Defense in a collaborative effort.

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By John Stone

These comments follow on the disappointing failure of Prof Kaye ‘UN Special Rapporteur for the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Opinion and Freedom of Expression’  to respond to two respectful letters complaining about the arbitrary use of terms like “misinformation” and “disinformation” for information which is likely just inconvenient for corporate global interests, global agencies and the policies of governments. I also protested at the use the of term “anti-vaccinationist” as catch-all hate speech for anyone who criticises vaccine products, programs or the lobby.

I was moved to write to Prof Kaye because he seemed to be displaying signs of intellectual fastidiousness last year when he asked Mark Zuckerberg to be more precise about how he defined “vaccine misinformation”. In my second letter I expanded this to include public and expert concern about 5G radiation – also coming to be classified expediently as “misinformation”, as with a recent communique by the Council of Europe (which I understand to be the committee of the 27 heads of government of the European Union). I wrote, it will be recalled:

“It seems now that at “warp-speed” global citizens are having their rights to discuss their future stripped away from them by politicians using Orwellian strategies. Now, every time that global corporate interests are called into question, governments only have to wheel out terms like “misinformation” or “disinformation” and they are safe from public scrutiny or accountability. This bodes ill both for democracy and the safety of citizens.“

It may be said that I was genuinely surprised when he did not reply to me the first time, and that a United Nations office did not even have the courtesy to provide an acknowledgment, even when repeatedly requested. It should also be obvious that this is just the sort of sensitive issue which his office should be attending to:  even if Kaye thinks I am absolutely wrong it ought to be within his grasp to explain why. The idea that there are increasing areas where governments should never have to be called to account is both absurd and menacing.

In the absence of a reply I went to Kaye’s 2019 book ‘Secret Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet’ for illumination. The critical passage is found on page 91 where he writes favourably of the work of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII):

“OII has shown how all sorts of actors try to manipulate public opinion, from whether to vaccinate your children to whom to vote for in contested elections”

It is interesting to note here how once legitimate subjects of free speech have now fall under the heading of “manipulation”. In particular, he mentions OII’s Samantha Bradshaw, with whom I took issue at the House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media & Sports Committee Inquiry into FAKE News in 2017-18. I wrote to the Committee following her evidence:

Read more here.


John Stone: For the Attention of David Kaye, on Freedom of Opinion and Expression

CHD logoNote: Growing up, my parents were big fans of BritComs - British sitcoms that ran on our Boston PBS station from the BBC. Are You Being Served? Fawlty Towers. And our very favorite, "Keeping Up Appearances."  To borrow from their dialog, I'm so pleased to announce that "our John" John Stone, is now also featured on the Children's Health Defense site.    It is alliances like this that will educate a broader swath of readers. Please join me in congratulating him.

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For the Attention of David Kaye, on Freedom of Opinion and Expression

By John Stone

On May 1, 2019, David Kaye Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression for the United Nations wrote a letter to Facebook’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He wrote to provide preliminary reactions to Facebook’s initiative to create an Oversight Board for Content Decisions (“the Board”).

In his letter he used as examples “anti-vaccination disinformation campaigns” and “vaccine misinformation:

Measures Facebook has adopted, for instance in the face of anti-vaccination disinformation campaigns, are often understandable responses to unfolding crises, but their ad-hoc development may be susceptible to criticisms of bias and arbitrariness. Aligning these measures with human rights standards, however, can place them on a more principled footing. Under Article 19(3), restrictions on expression may be validly imposed if they are “provided by law” and “necessary” to serve a legitimate objective, such as the protection of public health. The Human Rights Committee has found that “law” must be “formulated with sufficient precision to enable an individual to regulate his or her conduct accordingly.” Even though Facebook does not make laws, the general principles of legality should nevertheless guide Facebook’s development of its rules and policies. In the context of its response to vaccine misinformation, for example, these principles would at least require Facebook to provide more information about how it defines “vaccine misinformation,” the processes it has developed for flagging such content, and the types of consultations it conducted in developing these measures and with whom it consulted. These are also the kinds of considerations that the Board, to provide genuine oversight, should be equipped to assess in reviewing appeals of content decisions.

Article 19(3) also provides concrete metrics for assessing the impact of particular forms of expression on its platform, and calibrating a proportionate response to address such impacts. Under the requirement of legitimacy of objectives, it is incumbent on those advocating for restrictions to explain the “precise nature of the threat” and assess whether there is a “direct and immediate connection between the expression and the threat.” (CCPR/C/GC/34) In this example, these principles should lead Facebook to assess and explain how the spread of vaccine misinformation on its platforms raises public health concerns. Under the requirement of necessity, restrictions on expression must be “appropriate to achieve their protective function,” the “least intrusive instrument amongst those which might achieve their protective function” and “proportionate to the interest to be protected.” (Id.) Considerations of proportionality provide Facebook with a principled and internationally recognized framework for evaluating its decision to demote and de-emphasize anti-vaccination content rather than categorically ban such content on its platforms. Again, these are also the kinds of questions that the Board could be authorized to address in its review of content decisions.

On May 29, 2020 I wrote the a letter to David Kaye

To: David Kaye, ‘UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right freedom of opinion and expression

RE: Your letter to Mark Zuckerberg

Dear Mr. Kaye,

Read the full letter at Children's Health Defense For the Attention of David Kaye, on Freedom of Opinion and Expression


British Prime Minister Channels Churchill As He Surrenders To Gates And The Vaccine Cartel

03A4D969-766E-433A-B026-D40874CD1DCEby John Stone

This is the moment of national humiliation that we somehow did not see on our television sets last night: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson surrendering to Bill Gates and the vaccine cartel, GAVI, hailed by him as the new NATO - while he speaks from a nation on its knees like Vichy France. While British news after months of wall to wall Coronavirus suddenly, mysteriously became obsessed with the 13 year old saga of Madeleine McCann almost no one saw Johnson's insipid, but rhetorically overblown speech at the end of the global summit he hosted in London yesterday and chaired with Gates. No one knew when they were electing Johnson that they were electing Gates and putting the vaccine industry at the heart of the British nation's future. It was particularly galling to see him extol the already failed Oxford COVID vaccine as an example of British innovation. This is presumably where we were headed from the moment lockdown was announced. The meeting elicited a short mention at the end of the BBC 10 o'clock news and was not mentioned on the front pages of any of the national newspapers this morning. If GAVI is the new NATO, and the focus of British national destiny perhaps the moment should not have been news managed out of existence. Now everything that our lives were worth has to be surrendered in an endless war against disease long ago devised by Mr Gates. In Gates's brave new world everyone will have to have vaccines like computer patches every five minutes, and when they don't work - if we are still standing - we will have to have another.

 

John Stone is UK Editor of Age of Autism


UK Government Hosts GAVI Vaccine Pledging Conference. Prevent. Protect. Prosper. And Profit.

image from pbs.twimg.comThe UK government will host Gavi’s third donor pledging conference to mobilise at least US$ 7.4 billion in additional resources to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world. https://www.gavi.org/investing-gavihttps://www.gavi.org/investing-gavi

Below is a post from May, 2019 by John Stone. Remember, Prevent. Protect. Prosper. And they forgot one - Profit.

By John Stone

Seth Berkley, the director of Gavi, who led the call for a clamp down on vaccine criticism in social media two years ago in the British mainstream journal the Spectator had a few months before been named in the Mail on Sunday as the worst charity fat cat. Ian Birrell had written  an article entitled 'The fattest charity fat cat of them all: Foreign aid boss made Millions out £1.5  billion handed to his charity by British taxpayers' (actually nearly £2.5 million, heading for $4million). He reports:


"Seth Berkley has taken home more than £2 million over the past four years as chief executive officer of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), which has been given £1.5 billion by Britain...Another official at the Geneva-based group collects a pay package of more than £500,000 a year...Incredibly, Dr Berkley was given a housing allowance on top of his £623,370 pay package... Like others at Gavi, he is also offered help with school fees and is exempt from paying Swiss income taxes under a deal struck by the organisation."

In November 2017 I wrote in evidence to the UK House of Commons media committee (DCMS) inquiry into Fake News

"In this regard it is disquieting to look at the global campaign by vaccine lobbyists which reached these shores this summer advocating compulsory vaccination, having scored recent successes in Australia, Italy, France and parts of the United States. The British Medical Association jettisoned its traditional opposition to compulsory vaccination... – dismissed only a few years ago by a former chairman, Hamish Meldrum, as “Stalinist” ... -   and called for the matter to be discussed. Just a few days before an article appeared in the on-line Spectator by the CEO of GAVI, a global agency promoting vaccination, calling for “anti-vaxxers” to be excluded from “social media”... It must be emphasised that anyone remotely critical or informed about the vaccine lobby and its products, is placed under the general pejorative label “anti-vaxxer”: it is the vaccine/pharmaceutical lobby that polarises the debate – anyone who is not in favour of their entire open-ended agenda is subject to opprobrium and ad hominem attack. Complex health issues are being reduced in the mainstream arena to “Four legs good, two legs bad” type arguments."

Gavi's partners include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the WHO, the World Bank and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (notably Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Novartis, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi-Aventis and Pfizer), a network which surely leads back to the Global Health Security Agenda launched in the White House by Barack Obama in September 2014 in the wake of the William Thompson affair.

We have to ask whether it was ever the welfare of humanity which was at stake, or just the welfare of a certain class?

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Further Anomalies of the Oxford Coronavirus Vaccine

image from upload.wikimedia.orgby John Stone

On 27 April a New York Times article reported excitedly the result animal trials of the Oxford Coronavirus vaccine:

"Scientists at the National Institutes of Health’s Rocky Mountain Laboratory in Montana last month inoculated six rhesus macaque monkeys with single doses of the Oxford vaccine. The animals were then exposed to heavy quantities of the virus that is causing the pandemic... But more than 28 days later all six were healthy, said Vincent Munster, the researcher who conducted the test.."

This would have been just as well because just four days earlier on 23 April Oxford Vaccine Group under the leadership of Andrew Pollard amid immense publicity had begun experimenting on human subjects. On 30 April a contract was announced with AstraZeneca to manufacutre the vaccine, promising to deliver an entirely new vaccine to the market at unprecedented speed by September. The only trouble was that when the results of the animal trial came to light in mid-May it was disclosed that on the contrary all the monkeys had  become ill. The Daily Mail reported:

"In the latest animal trials of the vaccine carried out on rhesus macaques, all six of the participating monkeys went on to catch the coronavirus.

"Dr William Haseltine, a former Harvard Medical School professor, revealed the monkeys who received the vaccine had the same amount of virus in their noses as the three non-vaccinated monkeys in the trial.

This suggests the treatment, which has already received in the region of £90 million in government investment, may not halt the spread of the deadly disease."

Haseltine also commented in Forbes:

"There is a second troubling result of the Oxford paper. The titer of neutralizing antibody, as judged by inhibition of virus replication by successive serum dilutions as reported is extremely low. Typically, neutralizing antibodies in effective vaccines can be diluted by more than a thousand fold and retain activity. In these experiments the serum could be diluted only by 4 to 40 fold before neutralizing activity was lost."

Manifestly, human testing proceeded both against an entirely misleading background, and prematurely - which poses the most serious ethical questions. And now that we know that though the product was defective everything ploughs on regardless - Oxford/AstraZeneca now have contracts for hundreds of millions of rounds of the vaccine from both the British and the United States government.The British government has both a huge financial investment in the product and a reputational one, but it may help that Prof Pollard is both an adviser to the British regulator and chair of the committee recommends vaccine for public use.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.

 

 

 


Unanswered Questions: Welcome to the World of Oxford Ethics

EthicsNote: We're pleased to share our own John Stone's work as it appeared on the Children's Health Defense site this week. We need to cross-pollinate  at every opportunity, share each other's work and support the greater community outside direct autism. Now is the time to expand our thinking, not retreat into a shell of narrow thought. The Age of Autism, and I mean the age, not just this site, the actual era and age of autism has produced and influenced thinkers far outside the autism community because of the bravery of those of us who have been sounding alarms for now close to 20 years. I think Dan Olmsted would be quite proud of this legacy.

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By John Stone, UK Editor, Age of Autism

Recently, the somewhat notorious Oxford bio-ethicist, Alberto Giubilini, posted a blog on the Oxford University web-journal Practical Ethics. Giubilini, was advocating in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, both for the compulsory tracking of global citizens and their compulsory vaccination (which was already a favourite theme of his before the advent of COVID-19). To the credit of the journal and Dr. Giubilini, I was able to post comments on the blog. Perhaps, less to their credit I have yet to receive an answer. This was my first comment:

Alberto

I have never understood with you bio-ethicists what it is you are doing except privileging your own opinions, often as not licensing the powerful to do what they want to the less powerful. And while there may be some conceivable benefit to licensing – as it were – this or that medical intervention you always seem over-optimistic about how it is monitored. Frankly, a scientist engaged in developing a product is going to be naturally dismissive of harms. As far as I can see you are playing a game in which the scientists are heroes and anyone who protests they have been hurt (or someone close to them) is trash almost by virtue of opening their mouths. But in fact there are myriads of ways that a product can go wrong, often quite frequently and admitted by the manufacturer (if not always disclosed by those administering). For instance, I have recently been referring to the Bexsero PIL which according to the U.K. schedule could give 3 in 1000 children Kawasaki Disease.

Let’s say with this present project that by the autumn, or even the end of next year, we will have little idea how to balance the danger of COVID-19 against the manifold products and simply professions of good intent will scarcely be enough. These products may well have the potential even to do immutable harm to human stock. Meanwhile, you are demanding that the population surrender rights over their bodies in perpetuity to inherently fallible bureaucracies and powerful industrial interests. I don’t see how you have knowledge to do that (or the reasoned acumen) and I don’t see where traditional checks and balances are engaged which could offer reasonable reassurance – frankly the agencies have been captured.
… in the event of a bad reaction the parents will probably just receive advice from the GP to give acetaminophen and go away and stop making a fuss – but they may have to deal with the consequences for the rest of their lives.

The second addresses Giubilini’s response to the challenge of another commenter. Giubilini had written as follows:

Thanks for the link. For the UK, that amounts to about 900 claims in over 40 years. Some of those vaccines are no longer in use and 40 years ago we knew less about risk groups. Today vaccines are not administered to groups at risk. Safety is basically 100%. If you look at the same document, you will see that the risks of non-vaccination are vastly larger. 20 million of cases of measles and thousands of deaths have been prevented in the UK alone thanks to the vaccine for instance.

Read more at Children's Health Defense.


A Letter to My Member of Parliament: THE CRITICAL NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY AROUND COVID-19 VACCINES

image from pbs.twimg.comby John Stone

This is  the letter I sent to my Member of of Parliament yesterday forwarding the excellent  letter to the UK's Secretary of Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock (pictured with Bill Gates),  by Robert Verkerk and Damien Downing:

Dear ------,

 
RE: THE CRITICAL NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY AROUND COVID-19 VACCINES    
 
I am forwarding the excellent letter (attached) to Matt Hancock by Robert Verkerk of the Alliance for Nautal Health International and Damien Downing of the British Society for Ecological Medicine requesting transparency over the introduction of any COVID-19 vaccines in response to the current crisis, and I would suggest that it is necessary for the Secretary of State to make clear undertakings rather than vague professions of good faith. The letter can be found here on-line [1]. 
 
It was well understood even in the 19th century how statistics could be distorted for political purposes, since when the methods have only become more sophisticated and ultimately potentially more obfuscating. The safety, usefulness and effectiveness of universal vaccines should have to be meticulously and transparently established, yet we advance at reckless pace. It is certain that none of the candidates will have long term testing and it is questionable who on the face of it they could sensibly be given to [2].
 
There are other matters of transparency which go beyond the Verkerk/Downing letter. For example, the unusual arrangement by which the Secretary of State is also the main shareholder in the Porton Down Lab (as is now well-known). It was distressing to see how the Secretary of State began pumping public money into the speculative Porton Down vaccine project in the early stages of the epidemic, while failing to ensure that the puplic were immediately protected [3] (we are now heading for the worst fatality rate of any country). On the 19 March Public Health England put out a statement that they no longer considered COVID-19 to be a high risk disease [4] and within a day we were facing lockdown. Not much more convincing, now, are tub thumping references to British innovation by the Business Secretary or the Prime Minister.

Continue reading "A Letter to My Member of Parliament: THE CRITICAL NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY AROUND COVID-19 VACCINES" »


British Government Plays With Fire Over COVID-19: Enter Prof Pollard

image from en.wikipedia.orgby John Stone

Next week Over Vaccine Group begin human testing for a COVID-19 vaccine with a with a view to marketing by the autumn. The speed of the process may be accelerated by the fact that Professor Pollard who heads the OVG is also advisor to the the UK's licensing body, the MHRA, and chair of the JCVI, the body which recommends vaccines to the British schedule. He very likely also sits on the British government’s mysterious Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.  Age of Autism has been higlighting the manifold and apparently contradictory roles of Prof Pollard for more than four years. In 2014 as recently appointed chair of the JCVI he recommended Bexsero meningitis B vaccine of which he was lead developer to the UK infant schedule, leading to a sudden leap in its commercial prospects. Even the package insert discloses serious dangers for Bexsero including a 3 in 1000 risk of Kawasaki Disease for an infant having three doses. 

While Pollard and likely the British government's plans rush forward many scientists have questioned either the wisdom of the COVID-19 vaccine or how fast one could be brought to the market. On the present time scale we will know nothing of the long term effects. Tests will be carried on healthy people 18-55 but rolled out for children, the sick and the elderly. It will be trialled against "a control injection" not genuine placebo, (in fact a Men ACWY vaccine). At present we do not even know if the disease itself results in long term immunity or any immunity against all the other mutations which are beginning to proliferate. Meanwhile, the OVG promotes discussion about whether vaccination should be made compulsory. Indeed, if it were it would be Prof Pollard's committee which would decide what every man, woman and child in the United Kingdom would receive, and would not be able to refuse.

This is Pollard’s most recent disclosure in the JCVI minutes:

Professor Pollard receives no personal payments from the manufacturers of vaccinesHe is Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and has current research funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institute for Health Research, the European Commission, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, InnovateUK, Meningitis Research Foundation, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. Hechairs the scientific advisory group on vaccines for the European Medicines Agency and is a memberof WHO’s SAGE.Other investigators in the Department conduct research funded by vaccine manufacturers and theDepartment has received unrestricted educational grant funding for a three-day course on paediatricinfectious disease from Gilead, and GSK in June 2019.

While it is inevitable that any scientist is going to be an enthusiast for is or her own research the long term indifference of the British government to traditional checks and balances is deeply concerning, and no less so at this difficult time. 


Recruitment begins for a clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine led by Andy Pollard

andrew pollard

Professor Andrew Pollard, Vice Master of St Cross College, is the Chief Investigator on a new study developing a possible vaccine for COVID-19. The 'ChAdOx1 nCoV-19' vaccine, as it is called, was developed by a team of University of Oxford researchers based on an adenovirus vaccine vector. A collaborative team from the Jenner Group and the Oxford Vaccine Group is now recruiting over 500 healthy volunteers for clinical trials of the vaccine. While applications for volunteers have closed, those interested in volunteering for future COVID-19 studies can register interest here.

Pollard is one of a team of academics, which includes himself, Professor Sarah Gilbert, Professor Teresa Lambe, Dr Sandy Douglas and Professor Adrian Hill, who began the project on Friday 10 January 2020. Pollard said, ‘Starting the clinical trials is the first step in the efforts to find out whether the new vaccine being developed at Oxford University works and could safely play a central role in controlling the pandemic coronavirus that is sweeping the globe.’

You can read more about the study here.

Riley Lewis

7 April 2020


Why We Cannot Believe Brian Deer About Andrew Wakefield

House of Commonsby John Stone

This is part of evidence I presented to  the United Kingdom House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Research Integrity in 2017. It was never published by the Committee but after much argument they were forced to amend their discussion document, known as POSTnote 544, so that it did not directly allege that Andrew Wakefield committed fraud by only attributing the claim to British Medical Journal. It is dismaying that we are still having to rebut so many false claims so many years after the events. The publication of Brian Deer's book is now only a couple of months away, but it has also been sad to see distinguished Danish scientist, Peter Gøtzsche, recycling these allegations in a book of his own. Prof Gøtzsche is in many respects a hero because of his stand against SSRI antidepressants (which are also implicated in autism) and on the safety HPV vaccines, but when he sides with Deer on the subject of Andrew Wakefield we wonder whether he has on this occasion done due diligence.

Brian deer updated
Brian Deer

An Extract From Evidence to House of Commons Science and Technology Inquiry into Research Integrity 2017 by John Stone on Behalf of Age of Autism

I am grateful to the committee for the invitation to submit evidence on behalf of Age of Autism. This evidence has been shaped by statements made in the Committee’s prior publication POSTnote 544 singling out the Wakefield “Lancet paper” as an example of fraud, and particularly in relation to the defence of a public health programme and policy [1]. If these statements had not been made I might have presented somewhat different evidence, but in the circumstances it is necessary to address these claims and their underlying assumptions.  It becomes particularly relevant in the light the latest campaign, led by Times Newspapers, to further discredit Andrew Wakefield.

This submission is not motivated by indifference to the control of infectious disease. What I am saying is that even though the control of disease is important it is not a good enough reason to stand the rules of research integrity or public discussion on their head. For this reason I have things to say not only about the Wakefield paper but the problematic nature of vaccine science, and also the general exclusion of the subject from contemporary mainstream public debate. Even the reasons for going to war at times of national peril are debated, but here it is as if everything has been conceded in advance to an industry and its public advocates. In these circumstances reasonable comment is driven to the margins with unreasonable, even to the extent of being buried by search engines such as google.

It is also problematic that virtually every public defence of the vaccine programme begins with an attack on the integrity of Dr Andrew Wakefield, as if the public humiliation of one man could provide scientific justification in perpetuity for an entire class of products. Wakefield has been globally transformed into the Emmanuel Goldstein of public health (to reference Orwell’s 1984) but we should not mistake that this is actually occurring at the level of propaganda and not of scientific (or historic) fact: indeed when people cite Wakefield as an example few have the remotest idea what body of facts they are citing, and this has reduced to zero the quality of informed public discussion. Meanwhile Wakefield’s fate serves as a warning to anyone else who might professionally step out of line. In this context I pose the question in what other field of human activity would this means of controlling public discussion and opinion be considered politically tolerable? I also pose the question how we can possibly know the vaccine programme is safe if we control opinion in this way?

Continue reading "Why We Cannot Believe Brian Deer About Andrew Wakefield" »


The Latest Autism Gene Study: NIH Director Collins Hails Deliberate Waste of Time, Money and Lives...

image from encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comBy John Stone

In a short article in Southern Maryland Chronicle a few days ago the Head of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, hailed the latest autism gene study under the title 'Largest-Ever Genetic Study of Autism Yields New Insights'. Perhaps the message here is that in order to fight crime the government has decided to investigate the victims not the perpetrators (actually it has been doing this for three decades). In 2006 as Head of the Human Genome Project Collins told Congress:

"But genes alone do not tell the whole story. Recent increases in chronic diseases like diabetes, childhood asthma, obesity or autism cannot be due to major shifts in the human gene pool as those changes take much more time to occur. They must be due to changes in the environment, including diet and physical activity, which may produce disease in genetically predisposed persons. Therefore, GEI (the Genes and Environment Initiative) will also invest in innovative new technologies/sensors to measure environmental toxins, dietary intake and physical activity, and using new tools of genomics, proteomics, and understanding metabolism rates to determine an individual's biological response to those influences."

References on-line to GEI seem to peter out round about 2008 (perhaps they were in danger of finding something). So, 14 years ago Collins warned that there would be no material result from this kind of research and it is what the government have been doing ever since, more or less as an employment scheme (typically, the new study boasts nearly two hundred authors). As Eisenhower said to no avail in his farewell speech six decades ago:

"Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity....

"The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

"Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific/ technological elite."

Now - with whatever insights their may be into gene risk association or even patterns of damage - is that all the NIH have really succeeded in doing is  generating  a lot more data: the new study is not only "the largest ever" it is "the largest-ever" in NIH speak (and with a huge cast), but in terms of government approved science we are not an inch nearer discovering what is driving the autism epidemic, just as Collins told Congress it would not all those years ago: it is all one giant step for mankind to nowhere. Meanwhile, the autism rate in schools is perhaps 4 or 5 times higher than it was then: it is rather hard to tell because NIH and CDC have failed to monitor it in any systematic way.

When I started out on this trail I recall a meeting at a freezing local church hall in early 1997 addressed by Paul Shattock, now of the ESPA Autism Research Unit, Sunderland. One of the many and terrible things Paul told us was that 90% off the funding into the causes of autism was being swallowed by useless gene research, meanwhile the problem was ten times as bad as ten years before. He foretold exactly was going to play out. How appalling and cynical this charade has been.

If you want to turn a disaster into a catastrophe and catastrophe into a cataclysm send for Collins!!!

John Stone is UK and European Editor, Age of Autism

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor of Age of Autism

 

 


UK Law Commissioner Threatens Criminal Action Against Vaccine Critics

Penney Lewisby John Stone

According to  a Sunday Telegraph report a newly appointed UK law commissioner, Prof Penney Lewis,  is considering whether the government should criminalize  posting vaccine critical information on Social Media. Lewis, who is of US origin, was appointed last August soon after the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, spoke of clamping down on vaccine criticism on social media. The report states:

"In her first interview since taking up the role, Prof Penney Lewis revealed she is considering whether laws should be amended to “lower the threshold” for posting false information online that endangers lives."

The issue is fraught with ambiguity because well-researched opinion can often conflict with government dogma. As I wrote in  a letter 'An appeal to authority is not the same  as an appeal to knowledge' to BMJ on-line last year:

"I read the article by Martin McKee and John Middleton... with dismay, and ask what sense there can be in the fundamental attitude that all opinion favorable to vaccine products is correct (apparently by virtue of being favorable) and all opinion unfavorable to vaccine products malicious. The world they describe is very far from one I am familiar with. In the world I see people share bona fide information on-line, obtained from official sources, scientific articles, Patient Information Leaflets etc. And by ordinary standards they have a right: these are materials which belong in the public domain. I have never encountered anything on the web which plausibly could be identified as state misinformation or espionage about vaccine (it may occur in some territory of cyberspace which I have never visited): what we are talking about by and large is material which is well sourced, but not necessarily favorable to the industry and its apologists. Most troubling is that it is impossible to verify McKee and Middleton's claims that people are spreading false information, let alone deliberately. As with anything there must be some level of error but I am very far from sure that this is the main problem: what I see is people pasting and linking to materials of genuine concern, and which is not being addressed by our governments or officials. However much they may want to marginalise such data under the rubric "the benefits greatly outweigh the risks" or even the grandiose "vaccines are safe" a lot of it is not trivial..."

I added in a subsequent letter: "One thing I would point out here is how slippery are such terms as “disinformation” and “misinformation”, shifting the issue of whether something is true or not (which is complex) to whether it is politically convenient". We are always being told that information is "misinformation", which is no better than Orwellian doublespeak. As Heidi Larson  of the vaccine Confidence Project argued at the WHO vaccine safety conference in December 2019 (last session around 1.35)

"There's nothing illegal about these questions but they see doubt...but the challenge for some of these tech companies and even for others who are trying to clean up the misinformation our problem is as we have heard in the last 48 hours that there's not anything a 100% and what actually legally without creating a censorship thing can we absolutely say this is misinformation because we have a lot of ambiguity in the safety field and we have to come to terms with that..."

Also relevant is the letter of a United Nations official David Kaye on the subject of censorship in his letter to David Zuckerberg (1 May 2019):

Continue reading "UK Law Commissioner Threatens Criminal Action Against Vaccine Critics" »


Responding to Helen Petousis Harris

image from sciblogs.co.nz By John Stone

It was admittedly not surprising Sciblogs, New Zealand chose not to post my  irreverent comment on the post 'The WHO Vaccine  Safety Summit - from someone who was actually there' of Helen Petousis Harris, chair of the WHO's Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety:

Helen

Unfortunately you cannot do medical safety while putting your fingers in your ears and going “La-la-la”. You have to listen to people, whether they are ordinary citizens or other doctors and scientists who are critical. Vaccines can fail and vaccines can harm: it is not all clean and tidy, while both pre-market safety trialing and post market monitoring are largely inadequate.  I have been very critical of Heidi Larson but to do her justice I believe  she ventured rather more at the conference than you are acknowledging here. It is not good enough to say in effect “I’m an expert so go away and shut-up”. I am sorry, but if you are not listening you are not an expert, and you certainly should not be in medicine.

John Stone, UK and European Editor, Age of Autism

Petousis Harris's blog is essentially circular and self-referential: science is only science if she says it is and evidence is only evidence if she say says it is, or if it has been agreed by a relevant committee: this is represented in her remarkable flow diagram which is not so much about science as people who disagree with her. One of her criteria for being an "expert" is belonging to certain societies or sitting on certain committees (which let us face it may be compromised by having responsibility for the policy). According to her to be an expert you have to "adhere to the scientific method" but we do not exactly know what that is. I perhaps adhere to the statement that "vaccines are unavoidably unsafe": a statement that "vaccines are safe" seems eminently falsifiable and whatever she says many people at the summit, which is entirely viewable on-line (whether you were there or not), had serious doubts: "relatively safe" is not the same as "safe" and is too vague a hypothesis to be testable. If you are actually hostile to reports of harm or discussion of mechanisms of harm there is a problem. Committees are no guarantee of science, and often an institutional method of blocking discussion of sensitive issues.

I doubt whether the tone of her intervention is helpful. It sounds like the nursery game of "I'm the king of the castle/And you're the dirty rascal!" 

Are-you-an-expert-1-1024x757
Source: The High Wire Del Bigtree

 

 

 


The Echo-Chambers of Public Health

Heads in the sandBy John Stone

Some readers may recall back in August following the pronouncements of British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, about clamping down on vaccine misinformation. I tried to help by reviewing our National Health Service webpage 'Vaccines are safe and important'. It may be said the web-managers were perfectly courteous but referred my comments to "Public Health England Immunology Team" who took no less than 106 days to reply. I was expecting something really good, considered expert replies to all my criticisms. What actually arrived was nothing but links to other web-pages committing similar solecisms and evasions. Reproducing the letter could apparently open me to draconian penalties but fundamentally the taunt about the "echo-chambers of social media" turns out to be nothing but projection: all they can do when challenged is repeat the propaganda. MISINFORMATION IS INFORMATION THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT LIKE

Review of the United Kingdom National Health Service webpage ‘Why vaccination is safe and important’ (media reviewed 30 July 2019).

I am responding to claims or statements in this web-document ' Why vaccination is safe and important' [1] (not following the original order of presentation). 

I begin with the statement:

“(Vaccines) do not overload or weaken the immune system - it's safe to give children several vaccines at a time and this reduces the amount of injections they need”

It is not clear what the evidential basis is for this statement. Formerly, at least, British health officials were keen to cite a paper by Offit et al (2002) which suggested absurdly an infant could withstand 10,000 vaccines at a time. However far-fetched, this was based on a theoretical claim about routine exposure to environmental antigens. Evidently some environmental exposures are more dangerous than others, otherwise people would not be at risk from infectious diseases at all, but the basis of exposure through vaccination is different (injected), and involves adjuvants so it is perhaps not relevant at all to talk about the number of antigens (as in Offit). In August 2004 Dr Salisbury distinguished in an e-letter to me between the increased risk of adverse reactions in an extended schedule and “overload”, which begs the question what is meant by “overload” and what people are supposed to understand by such a statement. A paper by Aaby et al (2012) was entitled “Vaccine programmes must consider their effect on general resistance”, which is evidently a warning that there is no such blank cheque for expanding the schedule. I covered this ground in my published submission to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee inquiry into anti-microbial resistance last year [2]. The NHS need to clarify what they mean, but also state what the evidential basis is for this claim.

Another statement apparently contradicts the proposition that there is anything inherently safe about vaccinating:

“(Vaccines) get safety tested for years before being introduced - they're also monitored for any side effects”

Continue reading "The Echo-Chambers of Public Health" »


The Ubiquitous Prof Pollard: How Serious is British Medical Journal About Commercial Influence?

Pollardandrew2.previewby John Stone

Recently, British Medical Journal has been signalling an ambitious  intent to rid public health of commericial influence 'COMMERCIAL INFLUENCE IN HEALTH: FROM TRANSPARENCY TO INDEPENDENCE', but how serious is it? In this regard I wrote first to its on-line correspondence column, Rapid Responses, and then when my letter was not published to the lead author of the pilot paper Roy Moynihan and journal's editor in chief, Fiona Godlee, which in turn was not replied to. I was drawing their attention to the story familiar in the pages of Age of Autism of Prof Andrew Pollard.

Prof Pollard is the lead developer among other things with Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG)  of the Meningitis B vaccine, Bexsero. OVG, which is also part of Oxford University, develops vaccines in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry. Back in 2013 Oxford Vaccine Group became affiliated to the newly created agency Public Health England (PHE), a mysterious agglomerate body working within the United Kingdom National Health Service which seems to have been created with the intention of escaping normal governmental accountability.

Shortly after its creation the then Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, wrote to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the committee which recommends vaccines to the NHS schedule (and is also affiliated to PHE),  to urgently consider the case for Bexsero. The JCVI passed over this unusual request in June 2013 but Prof Pollard was himself appointed to head the JCVI for the very next meeting in October 2013, and under his chairship the vaccine was recommended to the infant schedule at his second meeting in February 2014. Soon after this event negotiations began for GSK to take over the vaccine division of Novartis which manufactured Bexsero, and these were completed early in 2015. This was by chance just in time for Hunt to come to an agreement with GSK over the provision of Bexsero and for him to announce the deal before the May 2015 general election. The commercial prospects of the product took off.

This is just part of the picture. Prof Pollard is adviser to the British and European licensing agencies, he sits on the board of the Jenner Vaccine Foundation until earlier this year with Dr Norman Begg Vice-President and Chief Medical Officer of  GSK Biologicals: he has connections with many products which are recommended by the JCVI. If BMJ did not think the instance was relevant Moynihan could have written to explain their position. Instead there is silence, while they back off discussing facts which are well inside the public domain, if largely hidden.

BMJ need to show they mean business.

The correspondence to -  but not with BMJ - is below.

Dear Prof. Moynihan,

I do not know whether there could be legal reasons why...has not posted on-line my letter of 5 December (see below) but there could not be a network of influence more germane or central to the issues you and BMJ are raising. This is certainly not a personal issue about Prof Pollard, but the ubiquitousness of his name poses extremely serious questions. The director of Oxford Vaccine Group (an agency of Public Health England) which develops vaccines with the industry is also the Chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (another agency of PHE) which recommend products to the UK schedule. He also acts as an advisor  to the MHRA  and  EMA, which was extensively discussed in the Nordic Cochrane complaints  about HPV vaccines. OVG took part as well in trials of the controversial Pandemrix vaccine in 2009 prior to marketing. I am just sketching in a few issues which could extend over many products.

It is not my view that Prof Pollard is individually to blame for this opaque situation since all these institutions are presumably aware of the potential conflicts and allow them to continue. I personally raised the problem of the OVG/JCVI conflict with the DH, PHE and in the Scottish Parliament to no effect. But I do believe there is an obligation for those who know about these problems to bring them into the light of day, and this could not be an area of greater legitimate public concern. I hope BMJ will see fit to act.

I also attach for information the GSK document 'Evening of Evidence' 30 September 2015.

With all good wishes,

John Stone (UK Editor, Age of Autism)

34 Outram Road, London N22 7AF

44 20 8888 7109 

cc Fiona Godlee, ...

Re: Pathways to independence: towards producing and using trustworthy evidence - the case of vaccines

Dear Editor

I express concern about the prestige and doctrine of quasi-infallibility accorded to vaccines, which even put them in a different category from other medical products [1]. The assumption that all medicines are double blind placebo safety tested  was called into question in these columns in relation to vaccines earlier this year and unfortunately not satisfactorily answered [2]. It often seems that the imperative to ward against infectious disease has itself become reckless.

Continue reading "The Ubiquitous Prof Pollard: How Serious is British Medical Journal About Commercial Influence?" »


The ID2020 Alliance: The Global Totalitarian Project Hiding Behind The Vaccine Drive

GHSA
By John Stone

These days history happens by stealth: the big shifts in power are often only incidentally reported in our mainstream news-media and can be hard to detect even by experienced watchers. Until a year ago almost no one had heard of the Global Health Security Agenda, although the project started in 2014 under the Obama administration and has already destabilised nations: something which is neither conjecture or “conspiracy theory” but easily established from public documents [1, 2] . Late last year I highlighted a column in electronic BMJ by J Stephen Morrison “senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and director of its Global Health Policy Center" [3]:

“The term "smart power" was new to me when I encountered it recently in a British Medical Journal blog as part of the new-speak vocabulary of J Stephen Morrison 'senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and director of its Global Health Policy Center".  Morrison's article is interesting both because it discloses explicitly how 9/11 was made an opportunity  to draw health into the global security agenda of the United States while failing to understand how such a move might result in the shattering of "consensus" and the post war "Western post-war liberal order": "smart power" even if it is smart is not "liberal" and will not lead to consensus. But it also spells out that the global vaccine program has become a covert instrument of US power. If Morrison by any chance laments the passing of the centre-left government in Italy, then perhaps the White House putting Italy and its health minister, Beatrice Lorenzin, in charge of global vaccine strategy was an error. 

“Morrison thinks it is a paradox but it is scarcely so if a government is seen to pursue coercive health measures over its citizens at the behest of a foreign power - even those who favor vaccination could be concerned at the state's new found powers over their bodies (which might also be indefinitely extended). If that was not so smart a political move perhaps the technology is not so smart either - as I remarked  to Steven Salzberg a few years ago: "The unwelcome news is that the “cruise missiles and drone helicopters” of the war on disease often hit the wrong target, and the more cruise missiles and drone helicopters you unleash the greater the risk".

“Frankly, no one knows what they are going to be injected with next. Smart bombs become too easily the agents of international chaos and mistrust: just so the smart bombs of the war on disease, both for what they can do to your body and what they can do to the political landscape, including destabilizing friendly governments. “Smart power” is also duplicitous: Italy is just the surrogate of the US. Why could the citizens of the world not have it directly from the mouth of Obama saying in effect ‘your bodies are not your own and we inject into them what we like?’.”

But the heat was turned up again at the beginning of 2019 when the World Health Organization declared “the vaccine hesitant” to be a threat to world health [2], and the Global health terror over measles was launched despite inadequate evidence either for the spread, or the casualties[1,4-6]. Also, of course, pinned to the tails of the largely artificial measles scare, was the demand for compliance with a host of other products to combat other diseases. Implausibly, health officials continue to stick to the baseless proposition that a two-month old infant can benefit from unlimited barrage of biological products without risk of harm, and never seem to have heard of the concept of “over-medication” [7].

Continue reading "The ID2020 Alliance: The Global Totalitarian Project Hiding Behind The Vaccine Drive" »


HPV Vaccine For All: The Obscene Public Farce In Our Midst

Cevarixzby John Stone
 
Having just succeeded in foisting Gardasil 9 on to boys in the UK the operation is on the move again - the idea now, as spotted by Christina England in Health Impact News, is that everyone including the elderly should have it.
 
This is how it goes: 12 September an article is published on-line  in International Journal of Infectious Diseases but not yet in hard copy 'HPV vaccination: are we overlooking opportunities to control HPV infection and transmission?' (Vorsters, Van Damme & Bosch). it states in conclusion:
 
Based on the discussion above, we would like to call for further investigation and documentation of the potential public health benefits of vaccination of HPV-positive women. For modellers, these data would provide an additional effect that should be considered when designing HPV vaccination impact models exploring and quantifying the herd protection observed in population programmes. Finally, these additional modes of protection may also reduce the existing reluctance to vaccinate Ben lansing gardasil(young) women post-sexual debut or known high-risk groups such as sex workers.
 
The article is couched in speculative terms, yet two weeks later Xavier Bosch is in the Mail on Sunday with cheer-leader Margaret Stanley of the University of Cambridge demanding that the vaccine be given to everybody: 'Now give every Adult the cancer-fighting HPV vaccination and 'save thousands of lives', experts demand as evidence shows the jab can slash cancer risk for grown ups too'.
 
If this seems like jumping the gun it is actually how it has always been: the benefits were always entirely speculative, the vastly documented harms relentlessly denied. Once again, we are seeing a piece of theater: the evidence of benefit is conjectural, the experts in the study conflicted up to their eye-balls:

Continue reading "HPV Vaccine For All: The Obscene Public Farce In Our Midst" »


The BBC Files: Overwhelming Conflicts

image from www.rescuepost.comThis 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:

Pre-publicity suggest the program makers will try to make out that commercial conflict is not an issue. Given such preposterous stance it is very hard to know where to begin or end.  Nevertheless, it might be instructive to post three submissions to UK Parliamentary bodies published by them.

PB 1584 John Stone’s response to letters from the Scottish Government and the JCVI

I hope it is in order for me individually to respond to the letters from the Scottish government and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation as supporting witness in Angus File’s petition.

The JCVI Secretariat (1) have now responded with a defence of Prof Pollard’s appointment which I would like briefly to answer from public documents.

The code of practice of 2013 (cited by Mr Earnshaw as current in his letter) states in section 42 (2):

If a member has in the last 12 months received, or plans to receive a financial payment or other benefit from a business or representative body relating to vaccines or any other product or service that could be under consideration by JCVI...including... holding a directorship or other paid position...the member must declare this interest... If this interest is specific to an agenda item and the payment or other benefit is connected specifically with the product under consideration, the member will be required to absent him/herself from the discussion and any subsequent vote.

Continue reading "The BBC Files: Overwhelming Conflicts" »


The BBC Files: Gullible Journalists Led By The Nose Over DTP (600 Payments In 3 Years)

image from www.rescuepost.comTomorrow 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 [1] 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 [4]:

Continue reading "The BBC Files: Gullible Journalists Led By The Nose Over DTP (600 Payments In 3 Years)" »


The BBC Files: Incompetent British Government Science

BBC vax wars 2Later this week 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:

Last month I wrote to the National Health Service website about inaccuracies in their webpage 'Vaccines are safe and important'. The dispiriting truth is that their reassurance about the toughness of the infant immune system - if so why vaccinate at all? - and the minimal toxicity of vaccine ingredients dated back nearly two decades to articles by Paul Offit (pictured). This information was both naive and without foundation. Meanwhile, autism incidence in schools continues to spiral out of control. The National Health Service website tell me that they have forwarded my concern to the Immunology department of Public Health England and I have yet to receive their reply. I have also forwarded Christopher Exley's new article An aluminium adjuvant in a vaccine is an acute exposure to aluminium. This for reference was my review:-

I am responding to claims or statements in this web-document ' Why vaccination is safe and important' [1] (not following the original order of presentation). 

I begin with the statement:

“(Vaccines) do not overload or weaken the immune system - it's safe to give children several vaccines at a time and this reduces the amount of injections they need”

It is not clear what the evidential basis is for this statement. Formerly, at least, British health officials were keen to cite a paper by Offit et al (2002) which suggested absurdly an infant could withstand 10,000 vaccines at a time. However far-fetched, this was based on a theoretical claim about routine exposure to environmental antigens. Evidently some environmental exposures are more dangerous than others, otherwise people would not be at risk from infectious diseases at all, but the basis of exposure through vaccination is different (injected), and involves adjuvants so it is perhaps not relevant at all to talk about the number of antigens (as in Offit). In August 2004 Dr Salisbury distinguished in an e-letter to me between the increased risk of adverse reactions in an extended schedule and “overload”, which begs the question what is meant by “overload” and what people are supposed to understand by such a statement. A paper by Aaby et al (2012) was entitled “Vaccine programmes must consider their effect on general resistance”, which is evidently a warning that there is no such blank cheque for expanding the schedule. I covered this ground in my published submission to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee inquiry into anti-microbial resistance last year [2]. The NHS need to clarify what they mean, but also state what the evidential basis is for this claim.

image from www.rescuepost.comAnother statement apparently contradicts the proposition that there is anything inherently safe about vaccinating:

“(Vaccines) get safety tested for years before being introduced - they're also monitored for any side effects”

This touches on the reality that vaccines are industrial products which might cause harm. Recently, the issue of how well or thoroughly vaccines are tested for safety before marketing has come under scrutiny. People are told (for example in GCSE biology) that the gold standard for the scientific testing of products is a double blind placebo trial but a lesser standard seems to routinely obtain with vaccines. A letter from a US charity Informed Consent Action Network to the US Department of Human Health Services noted that not only were there no vaccines on the US schedule which had been safety tested against placebo but also none which had been tested against earlier products which had been safety tested against placebo [3]. A correspondence in on-line British Medical Journal which involved Heidi Larson of the Vaccine Confidence Project, Paul Offit and Stanley Plotkin failed to establish the existence of thorough safety testing before marketing on the UK schedule, or the existence of any double-blind placebo safety trials - even when challenged by two leading medical scientists, Christopher Exley and David Healy [4-6]. The NHS needs to be clearer on what level of safety testing has actually taken place. The statement that vaccines “get safety tested for years before being introduced” while disarmingly vague does not offer real reassurance.

The statement “they’re also monitored for any side-effects” is also problematic and potentially misleading. In the first place the MHRA (the United Kingdom licensing agency) does not actively monitor side-effects at all but does receive yellow card reports: this is only a passive reporting system. Historically speaking the MHRA is not known to act on these reports and this came under particular scrutiny last year in the British Medical Journal over the swine flu episode of 2009 when the MHRA failed to pick up signals regarding GSK’s vaccine Pandemrix and narcolepsy which had been identified in two Scandinavian countries [7-12]. In order to detect long-term harm the MHRA would also have to follow up on yellow card reports with patients after a time gap which is not their policy. As reported by the House of Commons Health Committee in 2005 the MHRA is hopelessly conflicted [13].

The statement:

“(vaccines) do not cause allergies or any other conditions…”

is not compatible even with the information in package inserts. The NHS is obliged to make clear the risks of medical interventions to the patient or their representatives under the Montgomery ruling of 2015 which would include drawing their attention to complications in vaccine package inserts [14]. Such a blanket statement is incompatible with this ruling, nor should it be up to health officials to decide what people should be told or not told.

Continue reading "The BBC Files: Incompetent British Government Science" »


Review of the United Kingdom National Health Service webpage ‘Why vaccination is safe and important’ (media reviewed 30 July 2019).

image from upload.wikimedia.orgby John Stone 

As Britain's new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, calls for reassuring messaging about vaccination on the web, AoA's British editor looks at an NHS web-page on vaccination safety and finds it full of holes. Unfortunately, the problems with the vaccine program do not lie with its critics. A copy of this review will be sent to the NHS web editors.

I am responding to claims or statements in this web-document ' Why vaccination is safe and important' [1] (not following the original order of presentation). 

I begin with the statement:

“(Vaccines) do not overload or weaken the immune system - it's safe to give children several vaccines at a time and this reduces the amount of injections they need”

It is not clear what the evidential basis is for this statement. Formerly, at least, British health officials were keen to cite a paper by Offit et al (2002) which suggested absurdly an infant could withstand 10,000 vaccines at a time. However far-fetched, this was based on a theoretical claim about routine exposure to environmental antigens. Evidently some environmental exposures are more dangerous than others, otherwise people would not be at risk from infectious diseases at all, but the basis of exposure through vaccination is different (injected), and involves adjuvants so it is perhaps not relevant at all to talk about the number of antigens (as in Offit). In August 2004 Dr Salisbury distinguished in an e-letter to me between the increased risk of adverse reactions in an extended schedule and “overload”, which begs the question what is meant by “overload” and what people are supposed to understand by such a statement. A paper by Aaby et al (2012) was entitled “Vaccine programmes must consider their effect on general resistance”, which is evidently a warning that there is no such blank cheque for expanding the schedule. I covered this ground in my published submission to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee inquiry into anti-microbial resistance last year [2]. The NHS need to clarify what they mean, but also state what the evidential basis is for this claim.

Another statement apparently contradicts the proposition that there is anything inherently safe about vaccinating:

“(Vaccines) get safety tested for years before being introduced - they're also monitored for any side effects”

Continue reading "Review of the United Kingdom National Health Service webpage ‘Why vaccination is safe and important’ (media reviewed 30 July 2019)." »


If You Write to this "Parliamentary Group" Please be Careful

image from www.rescuepost.comBy John Stone

This is a follow up to my brief article at the end of February British MPs are Front for Gates and the Pharmaceutical Industry

The deadly charade continues. British television viewers were told on ITV NEWS on Thursday night that an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) was to investigate "the  resurgence of the anti-vaccination movement".  They should not be deceived into thinking however that the APPG  "Vaccinations For All is the equivalent of a parliamentary committee. The secretariat for the group - which itself  consists of five little known members of the House of Commons and two of the House of Lords - is listed as an organisation  called Results UK, which is in turn a satellite of GAVI, which we all know is a partnership of  the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO,  Unicef, the World Bank and the Pharmaceutical Industry etc. Every single vaccine manufacturer is represented within GAVI.

The strategy has been apparent since the summer of 2017 when the director of GAVI, Seth Berkley, had an article published in the on-line Spectator - a British news journal - calling for "anti-vaxxers" to be banned from the web, when what he was really setting out to do was ban all criticism of vaccines from the web while simultaneously indulging in hate rhetoric. In the British context it might perhaps be a modestly hopeful sign that the present move comes from an undistinguished ad hoc group of parliamentarians rather than a standing committee: less helpful is the continuing treachery of the mainstream media which cannot any longer report anything without a having devious agenda behind it.

The deadline for submissions to this inquiry is 30 August. Many people from the vaccine injury/vaccine critical community are apparently writing but if they do they should be aware that the group is an industry lobby organization and not one of the standing parliamentary committees which regularly hold inquiries as part of their remit - there may be some point in trying to embarrass them but their standpoint is essentially hostile, and their avowed concern is to silence families of the injured not listen to them.

Continue reading "If You Write to this "Parliamentary Group" Please be Careful" »


Social Care: Are the Autistic Dependent Becoming More Numerous than the Aged?

FutureAge of Autism's John Stone submitted a rapid response to an article on BMJ: Social care: are the autistic dependent becoming more numerous than the aged?   Read the full RR as British Medical Journal here.

###

06 July 2019
John Stone
UK Editor
AgeofAutism.com
London N22

Have we sounded the true depth of the problem [1]? Recent reports suggest not. This is from an article about parents suing the government over Special Educational Needs Funding (SEND) [2]:

"Jenni Richards QC, for the families, told the court during a hearing on Wednesday that there was “clear and incontrovertible evidence” of a “substantial national shortfall” in funding...She said the figures showed there were 25,540 young people aged 16-25 in January 2015 with a statement or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, which had increased to 84,260 by January 2018...Government lawyers said the increase in demand was recognised by the ministers and that Mr Hinds had “made it clear” that High Needs would be one of his priorities ahead of the 2019 Spending Review."

Another report in the Independent states [3]:

"Analysis from the National Education Union this week revealed that more than 8,000 young people with SEND are awaiting provision for a school place."


Seth Berkley "the fattest charity fat cat of them all" and the money sloshing behind the Global Health Security Agenda

image from pbs.twimg.comby John Stone

Seth Berkley, the director Gavi, who led the call for a clamp down on vaccine criticism in social media two years ago in the British mainstream journal the Spectator had a few months before been named in the Mail on Sunday as the worst charity fat cat. Ian Birrell had written  an article entitled 'The fattest charity fat cat of them all: Foreign aid boss made Millions out £1.5  billion handed to his charity by British taxpayers' (actually nearly £2.5 million, heading for $4million). He reports:


"Seth Berkley has taken home more than £2 million over the past four years as chief executive officer of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), which has been given £1.5 billion by Britain...Another official at the Geneva-based group collects a pay package of more than £500,000 a year...Incredibly, Dr Berkley was given a housing allowance on top of his £623,370 pay package... Like others at Gavi, he is also offered help with school fees and is exempt from paying Swiss income taxes under a deal struck by the organisation."

In November 2017 I wrote in evidence to the UK House of Commons media committee (DCMS) inquiry into Fake News

"In this regard it is disquieting to look at the global campaign by vaccine lobbyists which reached these shores this summer advocating compulsory vaccination, having scored recent successes in Australia, Italy, France and parts of the United States. The British Medical Association jettisoned its traditional opposition to compulsory vaccination... – dismissed only a few years ago by a former chairman, Hamish Meldrum, as “Stalinist” ... -   and called for the matter to be discussed. Just a few days before an article appeared in the on-line Spectator by the CEO of GAVI, a global agency promoting vaccination, calling for “anti-vaxxers” to be excluded from “social media”... It must be emphasised that anyone remotely critical or informed about the vaccine lobby and its products, is placed under the general pejorative label “anti-vaxxer”: it is the vaccine/pharmaceutical lobby that polarises the debate – anyone who is not in favour of their entire open-ended agenda is subject to opprobrium and ad hominem attack. Complex health issues are being reduced in the mainstream arena to “Four legs good, two legs bad” type arguments."

Gavi's partners include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the WHO, the World Bank and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (notably Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Novartis, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi-Aventis and Pfizer), a network which surely leads back to the Global Health Security Agenda launched in the White House by Barack Obama in September 2014 in the wake of the William Thompson affair.

We have to ask whether it was ever the welfare of humanity which was at stake, or just the welfare of a certain class?

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


WHO Is Misinforming?: British Politician Makes A Fool Of Himself Attacking Social Media

Jon ashworth uk
Jon Ashworth

By John Stone

"Jonathan Ashworth in his one specific example of social media misinformation has almost certainly misunderstood what he is reading. The cases he was reading about were almost certainly in the US where the Hep B vaccine is administered on the day of birth. Given that he himself seems horrified by the idea should not people be allowed to talk about it?"

(My comment in The Times, London)

Jonathan Ashworth, British Labour Party Spokesman on Health and Social Care, finds the idea of vaccinating an infant on the day of birth repugnant. He wrote in a Times of London editorial yesterday:

"The anti-vaccination content I’ve been able to find on Facebook in just a matter of minutes has been eye-opening. There appears to be a deep distrust in these closed groups of both the medical community and governments.

"I’ve found posts from terrified parents asking for advice on how to make sure their newborn babies aren’t taken away from them shortly after birth to be vaccinated.

"Other posts completely misinform the public about the science behind vaccinations. It’s why Tom Watson has called for a legally enforceable duty of care to be placed on these firms backed by hefty fines."

It is of course impossible know whether the other posts he read and felt challenged by were genuinely misinforming or whether he was just briefed to find them so, but in this instance what is almost certainly being referred to is the US practice of administering the Hepatis B vaccine to infants at birth, and it is quite interesting that he finds the idea - this does not happen in British hospitals - repugnant.

On a similar note I wrote to André Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour, Cass Business School (University of London)

Andre-Spicer-200px
Prof Andre Spicer

about his article last Friday in the Guardian(so far no reply):

Dear Prof Spicer,
 
I checked out this paper by Chiou and Tucker you linked to in your Guardian article yesterday
 
The nearest that they ever get to providing evidence of “fake news” p.8-9 fig 2, is saying a website misrepresented an article by exaggerating an associated risk of vaccines with neurological-psychological disorders. It doesn’t reproduce the “fake news” article and doesn’t link to the study they say has been misrepresented (which is also not in the bibliography) and has not as far as I can see been misrepresented at all (if I have identified it correctly). It contains very troubling information.

Continue reading "WHO Is Misinforming?: British Politician Makes A Fool Of Himself Attacking Social Media" »


Scurrilous, Misleading Attack On Prof Christopher Exley By The Sunday Times

image from www.keele.ac.ukby John Stone

An attack on leading aluminium toxicity expert Christopher Exley in the Sunday Times yesterday begins with the false claim in the title that his funding has been halted. This seems like a blatant attempt to mislead: what was halted the week before last after political pressure was a Go Fund Me page for supporting his research, while the Keele University website has remained open for donations. Another false claim is that there were no controls for his autism brain study. While there were no "normal" brains in the study there were comparisons:

"The aluminium content of brain tissues from donors with a diagnosis of ASD was extremely high (Table 1). While there was significant inter-tissue, inter-lobe and inter-subject variability the mean aluminium content for each lobe across all 5 individuals was towards the higher end of all previous (historical) measurements of brain aluminium content, including iatrogenic disorders such as dialysis encephalopathy [13][15][16][17][18][19]. All 4 male donors had significantly higher concentrations of brain aluminium than the single female donor. We recorded some of the highest values for brain aluminium content ever measured in healthy or diseased tissues in these male ASD donors including values of 17.10, 18.57 and 22.11 μg/g dry wt. (Table 1). What discriminates these data from other analyses of brain aluminium in other diseases is the age of the ASD donors. Why, for example would a 15 year old boy have such a high content of aluminium in their brain tissues? There are no comparative data in the scientific literature, the closest being similarly high data for a 42 year old male with familial Alzheimer’s disease (fAD) [19]."

Professional concerns about the use of aluminium adjuvants in vaccine products are by no means unique to Prof Exley and colleagues.

The professional attack in the report is led by Andrew Pollard who is said to be a professor of "paediatric infection": it does not mention Pollard's manifold roles as leader of Oxford Vaccine Group, which develops vaccines with the industry (mostly containing aluminium), as chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation which recommends vaccines to the British schedule, as leading adviser to the British and European licensing agencies, and board member of the Jenner Vaccine Foundation. In July 2017 he also called in the Guardian newspaper for compulsory vaccination without disclosing any of these roles. Real investigative journalists might be asking what research Pollard has ever undertaken into the safety of aluminium adjuvants in vaccine products which he helps develop, recommend and license?

John Stone is British editor of Age of Autism


Professor Christopher Exley in January 2018 on the "Deafening Response" to his Aluminium in Brain Tissue in Autism Paper

Not listeningApril 8, 2019: Professor Exley has been attacked and his work disparaged in the British media.  See our post today by John Stone titled, Scurrilous, Misleading Attack On Prof Christopher Exley By The Sunday Times He is being "Wakefielded" because he research on aluminum brain toxicity crosses the vaccine profit barrier. Here is an article he wrote in 2018, just 15 months ago. I shouldn't help but wonder if he would prefer the din of silence today.  We are so sorry to see the media boot on his neck. Here is the paper being discussed: Aluminium in brain tissue in autism

"I was aware of the emotive nature of our research and especially as I knew that it would bring into focus a possible link between aluminium adjuvants in vaccines and autism, though this link was not discussed in the paper. However, I am not sure that I was prepared for the nature of the response to our research. Perhaps the most deafening response has been the tsunami of silence perpetuated by all mainstream media, almost globally!" Professor Exley

January 16, 2018


Note: Chris Exley Professor in Bioinorganic Chemistry Keele University Honorary Professor, UHI Millennium Institute Group Leader - Bioinorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Keelepublished expresses what so many brave scientists before him have encountered when their results challenge the status quo.  He calls the refusal to cover his science "the din of silence." We know it's a playbook straight out of the age of Big Tobacco. Cover up. Shut up. Shut down.  Thank you, Professor Exley.

###

By Professor Chris Exley

Sometimes silence can speak volumes. In December 2017, we published in a highly reputable journal our research suggesting a link between human exposure to aluminium and the aetiology of autism.

The research showed that individuals who died with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) had very high levels of aluminium in their brain tissue. However, the standout observation was not necessarily the amount of aluminium but its predominant location in non-neuronal cells and especially microglia.

In an interview immediately following presentation of this research, I expressed my opinion that these new data had forced me to change my mind about a putative role for aluminium in autism.

I was aware of the emotive nature of our research and especially as I knew that it would bring into focus a possible link between aluminium adjuvants in vaccines and autism, though this link was not discussed in the paper. However, I am not sure that I was prepared for the nature of the response to our research. Perhaps the most deafening response has been the tsunami of silence perpetuated by all mainstream media, almost globally! Compliant with this has been my own University that did not even deem the research ‘worthy’ of a mention in its own weekly news outlet. When one considers the nature of much of the science that makes headline news one is left wondering what it is about a link between aluminium and autism that is not deemed newsworthy. Perhaps mainstream media were unaware of the research.

Continue reading "Professor Christopher Exley in January 2018 on the "Deafening Response" to his Aluminium in Brain Tissue in Autism Paper" »


Rockland County New York Quarantine Makes British Medical Journal

Davey MeaslesOur John Stone works tirelessly to keep a voice of reason in the BMJ rapid responses.  This week, he was able to comment on the Rockland County Quarantine of healthy children during a measles outbreak. The Monty Python troupe could not have created a more bizarre skit than the Rockland County Inquisition currently underway. Thank you, John.

Re: US county bars unvaccinated children from public spaces amid measles emergency

Measles is not identified by the US government as a disease which requires quarantining [1], yet now Rockland County are quarantining children and young people who do not have measles to protect other children who are supposed to be protected anyway [2]. No evidence is presented about the vaccination status of either those who have caught or passed on the disease. There was a time when almost everyone had natural immunity because they had caught the diseases as a child, but now many will have waning or failed immunity because of the inefficacy of the vaccine [3], and all we can do is vaccinate more with the inevitability that measles will still keep popping up. This is at least very good news for the manufacturers.

[1] https://www.hhs.gov/answers/public-health-and-safety/what-diseases-are-s...

[2] Janice Hopkins Tanne, ' US county bars unvaccinated children from public spaces amid measles emergency'
BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l1481 (Published 28 March 2019)

[3] Rosen JB, Rota JS, Hickman CJ, Sowers SB, Mercader S, Rota PA, Bellini WJ, Huang AJ, Doll MK, Zucker JR, Zimmerman CM., 'Outbreak of measles among persons with prior evidence of immunity, New York City, 2011', Clin Infect Dis. 2014 May;58(9):1205-10. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu105. Epub 2014 Feb 27.

Competing interests: No competing interests


British Health Secretary Hancock Wants Legislation To Tackle Anti-Vaccination Websites

image from pbs.twimg.comBy John Stone

The intervention of  the British Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock (pictured) to censor social media sites follows on similar calls by the Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, and the Head of UK National Health Service, Simon Stevens. According to the BBC report:

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock wants new legislation to force social media companies to remove content promoting false information about vaccines.

He said the government is working with internet companies to identify misleading material on jabs, including Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR).

Artificial intelligence programmes could root out bad science.

It seems very unlikely that Hancock understands anything about vaccine data at all, or that he can have been very well advised. As we have seen Dame Sally did poorly when challenged in recent months to make good her claim that we know the MMR vaccine "is safe". The MMR arrived in the UK in 1988, without any significant safety data - no double-blind placebo controlled trials, or anything so exotic - and two brands had to be removed from the market four years after introduction, precipitately by the manufacturers and not by the British government (whose advisers looked blankly on).

When these people talk about misinformation or fake news what they are perhaps really worried about is data sharing: information about what goes on on government committees, what is in the published studies, even what is in the Package Information Leaflets  (PILs), which they will not show you. Anything might be more informative than the director of the Vaccine Confidence Project whose BBC television interview we recently excerpted:

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..

Continue reading "British Health Secretary Hancock Wants Legislation To Tackle Anti-Vaccination Websites" »


Chief Medical Officer to the British Government Defends MMR Safety: Autism Up by 15 Times And Still No Explanation

image from upload.wikimedia.orgby John Stone

Since November I have been writing, on and and off about my correspondence with Dame Sally Davies, the out going Chief Medical Officer of England, and to the British Government. This correspondence is now published under Freedom of Information (barring my address and telephone number). It began when I asked Dame Sally to support her comment on the BBC about MMR "It's a a safe vaccine - we know that". 

Recently, I made this list of points which I believe emerged from the exchange:

-          ASD in schools is at least 15 times the level of 25 years ago

-          1.74% of all schoolchildren in the recent Northern Ireland census (the most complete data we have at the present time) had a severe/complex level of ASD disablement (education Stage 5)

-          The overall rate is 2.9% for the province but 4.7% for Belfast

-          Epidemiologists trying to explain the rise in ASD at the beginning of the millennium were still only talking about a rate of 0.2%

-          1999 National Statistics for schools’ mental health showed a rate of 0.2% for ASD/PDD for those born between 1984 and 88 but by the 2004 survey the overall rate was 1%

-          The rate appears to have risen 5 times during the years following the introduction of MMR and 3 times since, and the majority of cases are not fringe diagnoses

-          There is still no robust or adequate evidence of a large ASD population over the age of 35 and Dame Sally was unable to cite any

-          Our schools, and their finances, are breaking down under the burden of disablement, with ASD being frequently mentioned as the major cause

-          The social cost of ASD, once almost invisible, is set to outstrip old-age in the near future and is only likely to keep rising

-          There is no robust or adequate evidence base for MMR safety: the six studies in the single review cited by Dame Sally were flawed and inadequate

-          The first of these studies was only published 14 years after the products were introduced in the UK, and Dame Sally failed to cite any pre-marketing data, so the question also arises what the evidence base was for safety before they were introduced?

-          The MHRA yellow card scheme would be incapable picking up long term neurological effects of vaccination

-          The government has no coherent or convincing explanation of these events which are set to engulf everybody

A pdf of the correspondence can be read and downloaded here.

John Stone is UK editor of Age of Autism.


Hey there Julia, do you know anything about anything?

image from i.guim.co.ukby John Stone

The Guardian has been attacking charitable donations made to Age of Autism through the Amazon. Julia Carrie Wong, the journalist, seems to think she knows something about it.

"Age of Autism, for example, styles itself as the “daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic”. The site publishes a steady stream of content emphasizing the dangers of vaccination and promoting the discredited idea that autism is caused by “excessive vaccinations”. "

Well, Julia, perhaps you ought to take note that it was not Andrew Wakefield that said vaccines cause autism, it was the US government. Following the Hannah Poling award in 2008 Julie Gerberding, at the time Director for the centers for Disease Control, told Sanjay Gupta on CNN:

"Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism."

On separate occasions the Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration told journalists Sharyl Atkisson and David Kirby:

"The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures."

But while autism spins out of control and is now approaching unsustainable 3% of children in the UK, and the cost of autism to the community is beginning to outstrip that of old age it becomes ever more difficult to get any serious or sensible answers out of our health officials. I recently had an  exchange with the outgoing government Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davis, asking her what the evidence base for MMR safety was and she could not cite anything more convincing than the new paper from the Danish State Serum Institute: a review of six weak and flawed papers the first of which was published 14 years after the MMR was added the schedule in the UK. She was unable to mention any pre-marketing studies, or studies against placebo - it was a very poor answer. The full correspondence has now been published under freedom of information.The new paper like three of the six papers in the review, shows a protective effect against autism,indicative of bias. It sets the autism rate at 1% when in the UK is near three times higher. It is hopelessly conflicted with vaccine industry and CDC attachments, just as the Guardian is.

So, Julia, what do you think your opinion is really worth?

John Stone is UK editor of Age of Autism.

 


British MPs are Front for Gates and the Pharmaceutical Industry

image from www.gavi.orgby John Stone

The deadly charade continues. British television viewers were told on ITV NEWS on Thursday night that an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) was to investigate "the  resurgence of the anti-vaccination movement".  They should not be deceived into thinking however that the APPG on Vaccination is the equivalent of a parliamentary committee. The secretariat for the group - which itself  consists of five little known members of the House of Commons and two of the House of Lords - is listed as an organisation  called Results UK, which is in turn a satellite of GAVI, which we all know is a partnership of  the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO,  Unicef, the World Bank and the Pharmaceutical Industry etc. Every single vaccine manufacturer is represented within GAVI.

The strategy has been apparent since the summer of 2017 when the director of GAVI, Seth Berkley,  had an article published in the on-line Spectator - a British news journal - calling for "anti-vaxxers" to be banned from the web, when what he was really setting out to do was ban all criticism of vaccines from the web while simultaneously indulging in hate rhetoric. In the British context it might perhaps be a modestly hopeful sign that the present move comes from an undistinguished ad hoc group of parliamentarians rather than a standing committee: less helpful is the continuing treachery of the mainstream media which cannot any longer report anything without a having devious agenda behind it.

John Stone is UK editor of Age of Autism

 

 


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:

Continue reading "Is Heidi Larson Out of Her Depth?" »


Heidi Larson Calls For Vaccine Criticism To Be Prosecuted As Hate Crime

 

ReallyBy John Stone

Heidi Larson, the director of Vaccine Confidence Project, was seen and heard on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show on Friday morning. Here is an extract:

HL: 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 accountaH larsenble 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. 

 VD: Should Facebook  take these private groups down?
 
HL: I think the issue with Facebook is a difficult one because on the one hand they are asked not to dig into  people's personal areas and on the other hand being asked to go and take things down so I think from a Facebook perspective its difficult to do that. From a public health perspective as we saw in the letter from Andrew Schifft (sic) to Mark Zuckerberg that this is something in the league of like hate crime....

Of course, it is hard to know where to begin. Heidi may pronounce herself satisfied with vaccine technology but frankly she is just emoting - and she has no right to take the matter out of the public's hands. To the best of my knowledge since I have been involved in these matters, the only attempts I have seen to reassure the public have been socially repressive. Obviously, we are in a situation of accelerating unpleasantness with every last measles case being hyped as if it was Ebola. But as readers will be aware when I quizzed the UK's outgoing Chief Medical Officer about the evidence basis for MMR safety she came out only with generalities and only named the very weak Luke Taylor "meta-analysis" for the safety of the products. Dame Sally could not cite pre-marketing trials against placebo (or any pre-marketing trials at all), she could only cite a paper published 26 years after the products were introduced in the U.K. 1988, while the earliest of the papers reviewed in it was published no earlier than 2002. It may be that this is what Larson had in mind: that before the public concern there had been no proper studies, and then there were the studies our governments did produce when they were in a corner - and these studies were anything but "more and more and more  robust".  As I wrote to Dame Sally:

Continue reading "Heidi Larson Calls For Vaccine Criticism To Be Prosecuted As Hate Crime" »


Britain's Chief Doctor Exits Having Made Poor Case For MMR Safety

image from upload.wikimedia.orgby John Stone

In November we published an extract from a letter to myself from the British Government's chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, and the full text of her letter has now been published by the British Government under Freedom of Information. However, the timing is somewhat interesting. While the text was apparently released by her department on 21 Dec last year it was not actually published to the web till two days before she announced her retirement on 8 February. Clearly you would expect someone in her position to present the best evidence available.Here is the full text of her letter below with my original article underneath (with thank to Angus Files for pursuing this matter). I had asked Dame Sally to support her statement "It's a safe vaccine -we know that". This was her reply:

Vaccine safety is extremely important and taken seriously, and the safety of MMR vaccines has remained under continual review. As with any vaccine, MMR vaccines can have side effects in some people, and these are listed in the product literature. The potential for side effects has to be balanced against the benefits of protection against what can be very serious and potentially life threatening infections. When safety issues have been confirmed in the past these have been acted upon. Your e-mail refers to the action taken with Urabe mumps-containing vaccines, and another example includes the identification and precautions around the risk of immune thrombocytopenic purpura with MMR vaccines. Should emerging evidence confirm any new risks, I can assure you that appropriate action would be taken.

Specifically in relation to whether MMR vaccines may be a cause of autism, a substantial body of population-based research has found no evidence to suggest a causal association. This ev-idence (not just for MMR, but other types of vaccine) is available for review in the published medical literature, and was summarised in a meta-analysis in 2014 which is free to download (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X14006367?via%3Dihub).

In relation to vaccine safety monitoring more generally, I can assure you that systems are in place to keep safety under review. This includes continual review of suspected adverse reac-tion reports (such as those submitted through the Yellow Card Scheme), evaluation of GP and hospital-based health records linked to immunisations, review of worldwide data and close collaboration with international health authorities. 

We know that confidence in the UK vaccine programme is at very high levels and the vast ma-jority of parents choose to have their children protected by vaccination. Vaccines are one of the best public health interventions we have - saving lives and preventing millions of people from getting life-threatening diseases.

 

image from religion.ua.edu

 

The Junk Safety Science Which Underpins UK Government MMR Vaccine Policy

By John Stone

I recently wrote to Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer of England and to the British government, asking her for the basis of her statement to the BBC regarding MMR: "It's a safe vaccination - we know that", and was a lucky enough to receive a reply (letter of 12 November, from which I extract):

Continue reading "Britain's Chief Doctor Exits Having Made Poor Case For MMR Safety" »


Measles in Europe: The WHO and the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf

Measles-feature-296x300Our John Stone puts measles hysteria in perspective in his response in BMJ:

The WHO and the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf
Re: Measles cases in Europe tripled from 2017 to 2018 Jacqui Thornton. 364:doi 10.1136/bmj.l634

Let us get a handle on this. I just looked up the population of Europe for 2018 on Google and discovered a figure of 738 million, so the chances of dying of measles last year in Europe was less than 1 in 10 million. While it seems unlikely that vaccination can ever eliminate measles - notably because the vaccine sheds - could this just possibly be a distortion of policy?

A couple of other observation regarding Jacqui Thornton's article [1]: (a) the number of cases is likely be an artefact of the drive to identify them; (b) 61% hospitalisation does not sound credible.

[1] Jacqui Thornton, 'Measles cases in Europe tripled from 2017 to 2018', BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l634 (Published 07 February 2019)

Measles cases in Europe tripled from 2017 to 2018
BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l634 (Published 07 February 2019)

Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l634

More than 80 000 people in 47 of 53 European countries contracted measles in 2018, with 61% hospitalised and 72 deaths, the World Health Organization has said.

The total number of people infected with the virus in 2018 was the highest this decade—three times the total reported in 2017 (23 927 cases) and 15 times the record low recorded in 2016 (5273 cases).1

Despite more children in the WHO European region being vaccinated against the disease than ever before, progress on vaccination is uneven between and within countries. This leaves clusters of susceptible people unprotected, particularly in middle income countries, WHO said.


No US Childhood Vaccines Were Placebo Tested: Why the Pharma/Government Complex Is Getting Desperate To Shut Down The Web

  1. image from i.ytimg.comBy John Stone

A special tribute to Del Bigtree (pictured) and his team at ICAN for his stunning 88 page letter to the HHS regarding vaccine safety. As Del reported - in the latest edition of Highwire - the letter, in response to an earlier reply from the then acting Director National Vaccine Program Office, Melinda Wharton, took virtually a year to compile, and is a meticulous piece of research. Most sensationally they researched the HHS claim through US government archives that at least some pediatric vaccines had been trialed against genuine placebo, and came to a negative conclusion. Not only that, they established that none of the vaccines those vaccines had been trialed against had ever been trialed against genuine placebo either. At the end of the line the toxic products were only being compared with other toxic products, rather than against saline.

Leave aside the sceptics, for any believer in the vaccine program as a necessary intervention in public health, this should be a devastating finding. Fundamentally, the research into the safety of any of the products before marketing was simply not there. The manufacturers apparently had no faith that their proto-products could withstand this scrutiny, and for the rest they just did not care: under the alleged imperative of protecting the population it seems anything went. So even before all the sham monitoring procedures and reviews which Del and his team dismantle in forensic detail we are left with the proposition that none of the present products being given to US children – and frequently  other children across most of the developed world – have any meaningful pre-marketing safety data all. If you are believer in the program you have been let down: if you wanted a program with any pretensions to safety - supposing such a thing to be possible - it looks like you would have to start from scratch. The manufacturers did this: the governments, the politicians and the regulators (internationally) let it happen.

This damning document is published simultaneously with a demand in the UK  from the Royal Society for Public Health (which I had never heard of) to shut down comment about vaccines on the web. It echoes calls from Seth Berkley of GAVI, Heidi Larson of the Vaccine Confidence Project and the European Parliament. The pamphlet airily dismisses concerns that vaccines have side effects or that you could possibly have too many. It is pure public relations, and if the RSPH claims to be "independent" it also admits that the publication was paid for by Merck, a detail which was reported by British Medical Journal and the Guardian, but not true to form by the BBC. We have, in truth, been building to this moment for two decades: as the evidence piles up that every single aspect of the program lacks integrity or is simply rotten to the core all the perpetrators can do is call for the silencing of their critics, and maintain the products are safe because they say so. 

Watch Del introduce the letter on Highwire January 24, 2019:

 

Please help give the ICAN letter the widest possible distribution, particularly to politicians.

The full correspondence can be found here.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.


Institutional Confirmation Bias and the United Kingdom Department of Health: Letter to Dame Sally Davies

image from pbs.twimg.comBy John Stone

Below is the text of my recent letter to Dame Sally Davies (pictured), Chief Medical Officer since 2010 to the British government. Davies has now replied twice to my original challenge to substantiate her comment on the BBC regarding the MMR: ""It's a safe vaccination - we know that". My original reply was published last November. It is evident that if she had a strong reply to make she ought to have made it the first time around, and the second reply was only an amplification of the first, to which I have in turn responded in more comprehensive detail. I believe it demonstrates how a government department had come to justify its choices made originally on weak evidence, and how as the decades went by the resulting decisions got worse and more desperate: and as the problems got more drastic the denial - even if believed - got more implausible.

It is interesting and likely significant that when I asked about MMR safety it was Davies who brought up the issue of autism (which I had not mentioned). This mirrors the situation two decades ago when I tried to raise the subject with the department of the rising autism numbers and they brought up Andrew Wakefield (though I had mentioned neither Wakefield or vaccines). The message is that they make the connection as a reflex, the safety of MMR and the claimed stability of the autism figures are inextricably entwined and in both instances the department are making a “leap of faith”.

My title refers to “the Department of Health", but to clarify at the beginning of this period when the original decisions were being made it was part of the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS), and since January last year it has been called the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), but for the three decades during which most of this happened it was the DoH or DH.

Dear Dame Sally,

Re: MMR Safety and Autism Numbers

Thank you for your further courteous reply (20 December), however I must point to a host of anomalies (apologies for the length and detail of my reply). The MMR programme was introduced to the UK in 1988 but the earliest of the autism safety studies included in the Cochrane review 2005 [1] was published only 11 years after this (and apparently based on illegally obtained children’s records, which cannot be cross checked [2]), while the first listed in the review by Luke Taylor (2014), which you cited, comes from 14 years after the introduction of the products [3]. Indeed, in 1988 the DH recklessly favoured SKB’s Pluserix MMR vaccine although it was already withdrawn in Canada [4] and contrary to your first letter it never made an attempt to withdraw the product until the decision was made to do so unilaterally by the manufacturers in 1992 [5].

The safety of the products had not been established at the time of introduction (quite the reverse as the main one in use was known to be hazardous), and the featured studies only began when, following the intervention of Andrew Wakefield, health officials came under pressure to justify the policy. The picture became further complicated in 1999 when the problem of mercury in other vaccine products, previously unacknowledged, came to light in the US. The problem of the Cochrane paper of 2005 is that the bland reassurance it gave regarding MMR and autism is in stark contrast to the cool to scathing comments about the six autism related studies it reviewed (three of which overlap with the Luke Taylor review of 2014 which you previously gave as your evidence for MMR safety and MMR not causing autism) [6]. The manifest contradiction in the review should in itself raise red flags.

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