Swine flu madness fuels bogus vaccination claims
A group that has suggested Swine Flu is a man-made conspiracy has now furthered its campaign against vaccination by jumping on concerns about Swine Flu vaccine.
In a press release issued on August 28, titled “Swine flu indemnity - why there are concerns about this vaccine”, the Australian Vaccination Network links an issue over medical practitioners’ indemnity with concerns about ingredients and past practices, as well as drawing in claims about past issues with vaccines.
In response, Eran Segev, president of Australian Skeptics, has warned that “The AVN is taking advantage of the current situation over insurance indemnity for the Swine Flu vaccine in order to spread fear and alarm about vaccinations in general.”
The Australian Vaccination Network says it is in favour of informed choice on the use of vaccines, though its motto “Never inject them” and a position statement on its website that it is “dedicated to the idea that health can be achieved and maintained without the use of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines” would indicate otherwise.
“The AVN, despite its title, is actually rabidly anti-vaccination and anti-choice”, says Segev.
Australian Skeptics is a group that investigates pseudoscientific and paranormal claims from a scientific perspective.
The AVN bases its demand on the uncertainty raised by some insurance companies refusing to indemnify doctors who give the vaccine to their patients. “True to form, the AVN is using the opportunity to spread fear and alarm by asking that the government disclose ‘the ingredients, study results and side effects of this new vaccine well before it is used on the Australian people’,” says Segev. “They do this in order to insinuate that there is something about the ingredients in vaccines that is problematic, and that study results are hidden from the public.”
In fact, study results relating to vaccines are readily available online to the public, as are reports of adverse reactions and information on side effects and risks*. “That has always been the case,” Segev says. “But the AVN, in its suggestion of cover-ups and misdirection, prefers to ignore this fact. The reference to ingredients follows a long-standing claim by the AVN and its ilk that vaccines contain toxic levels of such ingredients as formaldehyde and antifreeze, which is not true.”
Segev points to a recent newsletter by the AVN (August 2009) which referred to “the global influenza pandemic the CDC [Centers for Disease Control & Prevention] and WHO have been predicting (planning) for at least a decade”.
The same newsletter links to another article – “Startling new evidence that the ‘swine flu’ pandemic is man-made” – which claims that “Novartis Pharmaceuticals of Basel, Switzerland has conspired with corrupt ‘scientists’ at the US Army Institute of Pathology – Ft Detrick Maryland, to create a ‘novel’ strain of weaponized ‘influenza’ virus by means of ‘reverse engineering’ the deadly 1918 killer strain – which strain was maliciously and surreptitiously released upon the world in March and April of 2009.”
This article also draws in “the global elite’s Club of Rome; which edicts clearly call for a massive and sudden depopulation of certain segments of the earth’s human population”.
“We’re supposed to believe that the AVN’s concerns about vaccination are serious and scientifically-based when they ally themselves to this sort of rubbish”, says Segev.
“In the past, they’ve linked to similar conspiracy theories, which clearly puts them on the outer fringe of serious discussion. But this whole debate about Swine Flu indemnity is just typical of the double standards that the AVN applies. It ignores the fact that this is an open debate rather than the back-room conspiracy which it claims vaccine production and distribution to be. The AVN is happy to quote scientists claiming this vaccine is not safe enough, while it usually claims that scientists are silent on the risks of vaccines. It provides publically-available statistics and information on side-effects while at the same time claiming that such information is not available.
“The AVN is also being disingenuous in its reliance on the claims by insurance companies - at the same time that it is happy to rely on the reluctance of those companies to accept the new vaccine as evidence that it is unsafe, it does not accept the view of those same companies that other vaccines are safe and pose no problem.”
In its recent release, the AVN is demanding “that the government not dismiss known and valid concerns about safety and efficacy but rather that it take its role seriously as the protector of the Australian people and ensure that any vaccines which are used are shown to be fully safe and effective prior to a license being issued for their distribution”.
Segev says the “Australian Skeptics also demands ‘that the government … take its role seriously as the protector of the Australian people’ by putting a stop to the spread of misinformation, fear, uncertainty and doubt by this organisation, which gives seminars, courses and printed material on a purely medical topic yet insists that it is not subject to the restrictions of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993.”
The latter comment is reference to a recent complaint lodged with the NSW Health Care Complaint Commission which says “the Australian Vaccination Network engages in misleading and deceptive conduct to dissuade people from vaccinating themselves and their children, and that consequently the AVN is a danger to public health and safety”.
The complaint issued from Ken McLeod, who has described himself as a concerned individual. Segev says Mr McLeod has no relation with Australian Skeptics outside of being a subscriber to its magazine and sharing similar concerns about the AVN, though the president of the AVN, Meryl Dorey, has consistently claimed that the complaint issues from the Skeptics, or that they are part of a conspiracy against the AVN.
Segev says “Australian Skeptics does not have a view on the efficacy or safety of the new vaccine. That is properly an issue for those most capable of making informed judgements. But we do have a view on the use of alarmist techniques, allied to misinformation and innuendo, to scare people away from vaccines, a form of propaganda which the AVN has perfected over many years.
“We trust the scientific medicine community to do it has always done – make the best effort to find out the scientific facts and do what’s best for the public”, says Segev.
* The Australian Government, as a matter of course, issues information on any adverse reactions to vaccinations.
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