by 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.
John Stone, UK Editor, Age of Autism
The Benefits of DPT
(BMJ Rapid Response)
Mara Kardas-Nelson  should also note that as result of DPT controversy and the UK Vaccine Damage Payment Act of 1979 there were 600 payments in the period 1978-81 (1978/9: 36, 1979/80: 317, 1980/1: 256) [2,3]. The rhetoric behind the legislation was that injuries were rare but this was not borne out by the record [2,3]. The act enabled the government to retrieve the reputation of the programme amid adverse publicity by acknowledging the principle of harm but no one knew how many awards there had actually been - and initially there were a lot. This would also not take account of any deaths.
According to Mogensen et al, the introduction of DPT to Guinea-Bissau in 1981 was associated with a 5 fold increase in the rate of death :
"Among 3–5-month-old children, having received DTP (±OPV) was associated with a mortality hazard ratio (HR) of 5.00 (95% CI 1.53–16.3) compared with not-yet-DTP-vaccinated children. Differences in background factors did not explain the effect. The negative effect was particularly strong for children who had received DTP-only and no OPV (HR = 10.0 (2.61–38.6)). All-cause infant mortality after 3 months of age increased after the introduction of these vaccines (HR = 2.12 (1.07–4.19))."
 Kardas- Nelson, 'Despite high rates of vaccination, pertussis cases are on the rise. Is a new vaccination strategy needed?', BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4460 (Published 09 July 2019)
 Gareth Millward, 'A Disability Act? The Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 and the British Government’s Response to the Pertussis Vaccine Scare', Social History of Medicine, Volume 30, Issue 2, May 2017, Pages 429–447, https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hkv140
 'Annex A - Vaccine Damage Payments claims received and award statistics', https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/242813/response/599844/attach/3/A...
 Mogensen et al, 'The Introduction of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis and Oral Polio Vaccine Among Young Infants in an Urban African Community: A Natural Experiment', Ebiomedicine March 2017, https://www.ebiomedicine.com/article/S2352-3964(17)30046-4/abstract
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.