Compulsory vaccination

Written By: - Date published: 2:48 pm, May 12th, 2012 - 341 comments
Categories: benefits, health - Tags:

It is the Nats’ belief that those on a benefit have fewer human rights than the rest of us. They can simply be told what to do. Here’s the latest example:

Benefits may be linked to kids’ jabs

The Government is considering requiring beneficiaries to immunise their children.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett told the Herald: “We see immunisations as important so when you’re looking at those kinds of things, you question at what point should a social obligation be part of a requirement to get a benefit.

“Ministers have not made a decision on it, but it is certainly something we are discussing.”

Reluctant as I am start the dreaded vaccination debate here on The Standard, there doesn’t seem to be any way of avoiding it in this post, so I’ll state my view up front. In my opinion vaccination should not be compulsory for anyone. The issue of vaccination is much more complicated than the medical industry would have us believe. Historically the benefits of vaccination have been far, far less than the benefits of improved sanitation and nutrition. There have been cases of notable vaccination success, but also of failure. There are real risks, unfortunately these have been both downplayed and exaggerated by the respective sides of the debate, making it difficult to accurately assess them. A case can certainly be made that vaccination is not necessary for a healthy child in a healthy environment, and that a stronger immune system emerges if it develops naturally (without intervention). In short it’s a very complex issue, and not one where I think any parent should be compelled.

Furthermore, while I accept that the proponents of compulsory vaccination mean well, they aren’t addressing the real issue for children’s health, which is poverty:

Report reveals NZ’s child poverty

More than 100 New Zealand children who died last year would probably have survived had they lived in Japan, Sweden or the Czech Republic, a new documentary shows.

In Inside Child Poverty: A Special Report, set to air this week, Wellington documentary maker Bryan Bruce shows a Swedish doctor footage of sick, scab-ridden schoolchildren suffering from preventable diseases in Porirua and asks if he saw similar situations in his country.

The doctor shakes his head: “In the 70s, maybe.”

Last year, more than 25,000 children were admitted to hospital for respiratory infections. Doctors routinely treat cases of rheumatic fever and scabies – diseases now rare in Europe.

The reason behind these preventable diseases were appalling rates of child poverty that New Zealand could not afford to ignore, Mr Bruce said.

So called “third world” disease are reappearing in NZ not because of a lack of vaccination, but because of poverty. If you want to fix the symptom, fix the cause. Never mind compulsion for beneficiaries. Raise the benefits. The last Labour government should have done it. The next one must.

341 comments on “Compulsory vaccination”

  1. Again, compulsory vaccination is probably a good policy if they apply it to everyone. Why is it that it’s okay to do this just to beneficiaries? I don’t get their reasoning that somehow beneficiaries are the only people that government regulation is okay for.

    • Nick 1.1

      Exactly, everyone should be vaccinated, its only ignorance that prevents people from getting their children immunised. There is however no reason that this debate needs to be tied to benefits in anyway whatsoever.

      • muzza 1.1.1

        The word hypocrite comes to mind when using the word ignorant to describe peoples choices!

        “There is however no reason that this debate needs to be tied to benefits in anyway whatsoever”

        — Actually there is, but its not one that people seem to get their heads around, this is a test to see howt he public, the media etc react. If this comes to pass for beneficiaries, then expect it to then be widened to the next target group, then another, and another. Its called incrementalism Nick. and its rather blatant.
        Once any sector can be force medicated, then we are all in real trouble, because the rot will be in. But hey another lab manufactured outbreak should scare the sheep into demanding that shots are compulsory…Just like the manufactured wars on terror and drugs, and desired outcome can be met, simply by creating the problem, and voila, providing a solution!

        Of course the added bonus for the government is a nice little diversion leading up to the budget, away from the messes they have in front of them…Its a nice little bonus when added to the public reaction test, this exercise also serves as!

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.1.1

          Muzza, this comment is not addressed to you – it is addressed to other readers.

          These remarks remind me of Rachel Maddow’s “Right Wing Lying Echo Chamber”.

          The entire narrative relies on an entirely different version of “reality” – confirmed by other believers. No information from outside the circle is allowed in – all other sources are dismissed as biased or corrupt.

          In the right wing echo chamber, government is feared and hated as a socialist conspiracy. In the narrative promoted by Muzza et al, government is feared and hated as a fascist conspiracy.

          Are there effective strategies to counter these delusional narratives, beyond simple repetition of facts?

      • Craig Glen Eden 1.1.2

        Total bullshit Nick you have no idea what you are talking about, no one, rich poor black white should be subject to invasive medical procedure that they are not full informed about or compelled to do pure and simple. Its a breach of human rights the end.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.2.1

          What a load of cobblers, Craig. Most vaccinations are performed on infants and/or minors who by definition cannot give informed consent. Of course everyone who can be vaccinated, should be.

          I do not support compulsory vaccination (except for one special case mentioned below), but if you choose not to vaccinate (and not everyone can), and someone else is harmed or killed by your selfishness, I can see no reason why you should not be prosecuted, just as you would be for refusing life-saving surgery to a child on religious grounds.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            Prosecuted? And what would the charge be? And how would you demonstrate that the accused actually and definitively caused the harm you suggested? And how would you show that the harm would certainly have been avoided if the accused had acted a different way? And how would you overcome the defence that one refusal of the treatment overwhelmingly causes no likely, clear or predictable negative consequences for others?

            I can see no reason why you should not be prosecuted, just as you would be for refusing life-saving surgery to a child on religious grounds.

            See all the questions I just raised can be answered for the case where refusing life-saving surgery to a child on religious grounds.

            Let’s see you answer them for the case of harm caused to another by one person refusing to vaccinate themselves.

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.2.1.1.1

              There is already plenty of anecdotal evidence of the harm caused, and yes, I agree, it isn’t strong enough for cases to succeed at present, but as medical technology advances, there may be easier ways to identify the source of a particular infection etc.

              I have a friend whose kids are unable to receive vaccinations. They are put at greater risk by those who choose not to.

              .

              • burt

                I have a friend whose kids are unable to receive vaccinations. They are put at greater risk by those who choose not to.

                They also put those who choose not to at greater risk. If we had a pandemic outbreak which was able to be vaccinated against I think you would find that the ‘cannot be vaccinated’ and the ‘will not be vaccinated’ would be equally identified risk wise.

                I do however fully appreciate the emotive difference in how we perceive the two ‘groups’.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  It’s not just an emotive difference – although the difference is certainly justified on those grounds – it’s a practical difference. One group cannot be protected – the other group has a harmful choice foisted on them by their parents.

          • Craig Glen Eden 1.1.2.1.2

            Fact is its a breach of human rights to have any many procedure forced on you, children are covered by parental consent you fucktard

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.2.1.2.1

              Craig, “parental consent” is a legal nicety for saying children have no choice, or to put it another way, reduced human rights.

              It is a breach of human rights to have any procedure forced upon you, which is why I support prosecution of those who put others lives at risk by exposure to avoidable diseases.

              Parents who choose to assault their children on the basis of everyday religious doctrine are still committing an offence no matter how much the Bible tells them that sparing the rod spoils the child. These forms of abuse have been outlawed, and rightly so.

              Just to reiterate, though, I do not support compulsory vaccination – just the rights of people and or the state to sue or prosecute when the failure to vaccinate causes harm. I would also extend the prosecution to people who spread false anti-vaccine propaganda; who shout fire in a crowded theatre, as it were.

              • burt

                just the rights of people and or the state to sue or prosecute when the failure to vaccinate causes harm

                So this right to sue thing; Is this to be the only exception with everything else still coved by ACC or is there a few things we might change in your view?

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  lol you got me there Burt.

                  It will have to be criminal prosecution.

          • BillODrees 1.1.2.1.3

            Nick, My daughter is phobic about needles: she tried but failed to overcome it for the menangitis jab a few years ago. The Glen Eden geezer is right: no humane society should contemplate enforcing it. Notwithstanding that, I agree that it should be strongly encouraged through education and that compliance rates should be up in the high 90s%.
            I agree with you, Nick, that it should not be linked to benefits. That is pure Key/Bennett: playing to the lowest common denominator in the cheap seats. They are a collectively an embarrassment of predjucises.

  2. No doubt a virus or bacteria can tell the socio-economic position of a potential human host prior to deciding whether to infect or not…

    Damn clever these virii and single-celled organisms.

    Human beings, on the other hand, like right wing politicians and low-information voters with more prejudice than common sense – are thick as bricks.

    I wonder if this is how it began for the Jews and gypsies in Germany, in the 1930s…?

  3. McFlock 3

    Look at where the policy has come from – MSD, not Health.
           
    I strongly suspect it’s simply an effort to treat a symptom for long enough that they get through the next election, rather than treating the cause (poverty/overcrowding/deprivation).

  4. AnnetteH 4

    For an excellent, well-researched account of how modern vaccines are made and what is actually in them, read Janine Roberts’ Fear of the Invisible carefully, then decide if you would want to vaccinate anyone you know. (See http://www.fearoftheinvisible.com/the-introduction-to-book for the introduction.)

    Like so many things in this world that we take on trust, once we start investigating for ourselves, the official story is not what really happened.

    • McFlock 4.1

      And who watches the watchers?
      “investigating for ourselves” my arse – that’s just reading another book by someone who claims to have done the work, and claims to have done it competently.
          
      At least mainstream science has “peer review”. The same can’t be said for the anti-vaccine industry.
       

    • NickS 4.2

      /facepalm

      Please just fuck off, as it seems all you’re going to bring to the table are PRATT’s about vaccines. When there’s far more important issues at stake here about poverty and human rights you ignorant douche.

      • AnnetteH 4.2.1

        OK I’m out of here – it’s a shame the commenters are not held to a higher standard of courtesy. 
        Medical understanding of how the body works is much more lacking than generally acknowledged – despite the mountains of published papers, many of which are garbage or fraudulent.
        Now, carry on talking among yourselves.

        • McFlock 4.2.1.1

          “courtesy” includes not assuming that I’m just a moron who says “ew! It’s gross so it must be bad!”

        • NickS 4.2.1.2

          Good fucking riddance, though I suspect you’re flouncing and you’ll soon grace us with your complete ignorance.

          Case in point:

          many of which are garbage or fraudulent.

          Show us teh science thenzors! Oh wait, it’s all a conspiracy by big-pharma + teh governmentz to corrupt your precious bodily fluids /rolleyes

          Here’s an idea, go raid a university library for anything to do with vaccines and go read the science-based medicine site and sanity check your arguments for internal consistency. It may make your brain hurt, but ignorance is it not bliss.

          And ask nicely enough here and I’ll fetch papers for you :3

          • muzza 4.2.1.2.1

            “And ask nicely enough here and I’ll fetch papers for you :3”

            — After you have just insulted someone the way you have, you got the gaull to say ask nicely!

            Fresh out of uni, and you do not know as much as you think I can assure you of that, and you certainly have not taken Gleandras comment on board from last week have you NickS!

            Seems you are about as lucid as Frida!

            • NickS 4.2.1.2.1.1

              I’ll be nice blunt, fuck off.

              If someone’s embraced utter stupidity that is rather straightforward to go back and sanity check, plus likes citing known bullshit, I see no reason to be nice to them at all, especially when that stupidity causes harm to others.

              And I’ve been that way long, long before I even went to uni.

              As for teh gaull bit – being nice after chewing someone out is a very effective means of fucking with their heads and potentially making them actually think. Not you’d understand that cupcake.

              And quit it with the tone trolling.

            • NickS 4.2.1.2.1.2

              Seems you are about as lucid as Frida!
              Use net slang in one post and I get accused of not being lucid despite all the other posts in here /rolleyes

              Nice fail there.

              • muzza

                “please just fuck off, as it seems all you’re going to bring to the table are PRATT’s about vaccines. When there’s far more important issues at stake here about poverty and human rights you ignorant douche.”

                and

                “Good fucking riddance, though I suspect you’re flouncing and you’ll soon grace us with your complete ignorance”

                Is that what they call use of “one net slang” these days is it…

                Nice fail indeed Nicky!

                • NickS

                  Yes, because there’s no posts what so ever below this thread /smugface

                  I <3 quoting mining, especially when idiots try and use it to look smart.

                  And again, fuck off.

                  • muzza

                    “And again fuck off”

                    — Unless you are referring to a a different conversation Nicky, thats the first time you have said that to me in this conversation, which means you could be having comprehension or memory issues, perhaps even both!

                    Are you having trouble sleeping again. or is it that uni has now become so dumbed down, net slang and insults are your stock n trade!

                    • NickS

                      Posts in moderation due to having the word “tr*lling” in there. In reference to the tone tr*lling you’re doing.

                      And calling me Nicky? Well, fairs, fair then, you’re now “fuckhead”, in honour of your pathetic TTing.

                      Huggles

                      NickS

                    • muzza

                      Tone T’ing, is that more net slang?… do you take a course at uni for that, or do the lecturers now write in net slang, and use net slang while speaking, so that they can get the subject matter through to the kids….

                    • NickS

                      Since you seem incapable of using google:
                      http://bit.ly/M60DCA

                    • NickS

                      Since you seem incapable of using google:
                      http://bit.ly/M60DCA

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.2.1.3

          Annette, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for sparing us any more of your inane drivel.

      • Frida 4.2.2

        Yeah totally just fuck off. Thanks to people like you not vaccinating their kids I have been exposed to three viruses with the potential to harm my unborn baby in 17 weeks of pregnancy so far. Now, back to the REAL issue, namely the Nats treating beneficiaries as lesser humans than the rest of us…

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.1

          I have been exposed to three viruses with the potential to harm my unborn baby in 17 weeks of pregnancy so far.

          How would you even know this information is what I am wondering?

          BTW I bet you’ve been exposed to dozens of microbe types with potential to harm yourself or your unborn baby over this time.

          • McFlock 4.2.2.1.1

            FFS, that’s just dumb. And pretty screwed up.
             

          • NickS 4.2.2.1.2

            /sigh

            You’re a bit stupid today…

            The virus bit is easy, as highly infectious diseases are notifiable and when vectors are ID’d, those in contact with them are warned. You can also do blood work looking for antibodies, particularly concentrations above basal levels (secreted @low levels till a positive binding triggers increases in AB prod. with +feedback loop). Which is now really easy due to grid array assay chips (different bits of protein stick up, binding of AB causes change in electrical signal = detection), which are also used to test vaccine response during trials (i.e. what exactly are the AB’s evolved targeting?)

            So yeah, she was probably advised by her GP or some other medical staff about it.

            As for the rest, risks from the general fauna are generally low, except for specific circumstances, oft to do with lowered immune response (low white blood cell count typ. indicator), gestational diabetes (hello yeast infections), or heavily infected wounds (leading to live bacteria in the blood). There’s also STD’s, but only a few causes issues during pregnancy. Of course nothing is 100% safe, but in terms of relative risk, the local fauna are generally not the issue, and during pregnancy, the main risks are as always due to the foetus* and the mother’s body’s reaction to it. And even then, those risks can be dealt with via medical treatments and interventions. Generally, but I’m not going to start grumping at midwives and homebirthing just yet (short – greatly increased risk of neo and maternal death).
            ___________________________________________
            * Don’t like me using? Complain to the pro-life crowd.

            • Treetop 4.2.2.1.2.1

              I have found clinicians to be most ignorant when it comes to detecting mycoplasmas and when you show a positive mantoux forty years after having a BCG. I think PCR testing needs to be done with these.

              • NickS

                Should be able to be picked up via assay chips though, as like any bacteria they’ll have cell surface proteins and sugar polymers, but yeah, PCR is pretty much a nice solid indicator of that something is definitely there (as long as no one stuffs it up). Although it’s non-quantitative, so it can’t give you an idea of infection levels. Well, without doing population genetics, but that requires a whole lot of info that may be lacking :/

            • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.1.2.2

              The virus bit is easy, as highly infectious diseases are notifiable and when vectors are ID’d, those in contact with them are warned.

              OK thanks, that was very informative, but I wonder about the relevancy here as I’m not sure how highly infectious disease notifications could have occurred THREE TIMES to Frida in the last 17 weeks. Which is what she said.

              And how she could have been notified each time that an unvaccinated person was at fault as that information would have to come from a medical record which would be confidential.

              • McFlock

                Depends on the circumstance. Don’t most ECE/schools require vaccination records? If three seperate kids come down with one or more conditions seperately, and Frida was an educator, wouldn’t she be in a position to know?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Its quite possible. Although she’d need to be in a role at the school where that information was relevant, otherwise she’d be accessing confidential records inappropriately and for personal reasons.

                  • McFlock

                    Hmmm. Suggest that even if the complainant is correct, they possibly broke the law to be correct. Even though you have no basis for believing this.
                      
                    What, now you’re using the CT playbook?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      😛

                      I pointed out that Frida could indeed have got the information in the way you suggested (which by the way you also have no way of knowing), but also that it is sensitive and confidential information.

                    • McFlock

                      Which she could well have known beforehand, rather than running to the vaccination records at each notification.

              • NickS

                And how she could have been notified each time that an unvaccinated person was at fault as that information would have to come from a medical record which would be confidential.

                lolwut?

                If you haven’t noticed already, every time there’s a measles outbreak, people at risk are immediately informed and will usual know who it was, however this information is not given to the media. And in the case of schools, everyone at the school knows who it was. Why? Because without that information it is very difficult to track down who and when they came into contact with a carrier, leading to potential further outbreaks as people unknowingly spread what ever they have until they come down with significant symptoms.

                So in this case, privacy is regularly over-ridden, albeit it kept out of the media.

                • Frida

                  Jesus. Talk about being maligned in one’s absence!! Explanation is very simple and no, I am not the sort of character who accesses confidential information!! My step children have friends from two different families who, within days of them being at our house, were diagnosed with German measles and chickenpox respectfully. I then found out their respective parents were anti-vac types (the selfishness of which enraged me, hence my strong reaction). My midwife rushed me off for blood tests, I have rubella immunity but low chicken pox immunity. And someone at work had mumps and stayed away because of my condition. Satisfied? Sheesh.

                  And I’m not being inconsistent. In terms of the original post question, I believe that if vaccination is to be compulsory it should be for everyone, not just targeted against beneficiaries as if they are lesser beings or something. I feel the same way re the contraception debate.

                  • rosy

                    I know how you feel, Frida. We had an immune-compromised 2-year-old in our family and while in hospital some idiots brought their measles-infected child into the ward. Also at the kindergarten her brother went to a child was brought in with measles. Our 2 year-old’s mother was absolutely furious. The first time some people actually realised that this disease was dangerous.

                    Lucky there were no adverse outcomes on these occasions, although our girl had to be quarantined in hospital for a week due to the measles ward visitor.

                    As for the post, I think there are some good examples of immunisation programmes that build the required level of immunity in the general population. I mentioned the Wairarapa DHB in a comment below.

                  • NickS

                    It wasn’t me 😛

                    It was Colonial Viper whining about it…

                    😛

          • prism 4.2.2.1.3

            CV – Very possibly people she works with, mixes with, attends child care centre with, have probably had the sickness so there is a chance she could pick it up too. Child care centres for little ones who are still vulnerable to some unpleasant and even nasty infections seem to teem with bugs. My family had one after another once they put their child into child care to resume work for part days. How beneficiaries would cope on their own I do not know.

        • NickS 4.2.2.2

          Hope the birth goes smoothly then 😀

          And no more run ins with teh stupidly unvaccinated.

        • muzza 4.2.2.3

          Not at all confused are you Frida.

          Frankly the insults are unnecessary, and you seem to indicate by your anger, compulsory vaccination, but yet dont want beneficiaries singled out?

          So is it just vaccinate without prejudice then?

          • McFlock 4.2.2.3.1

            Yes, because pointing out the consequences your stupidity has for other people is totes a demand for compulsory vaccination. /sarc

          • NickS 4.2.2.3.2

            What.

            The.

            Fuck?

            Oh wait, it’s muzza, of course I should suspect stupid comments, particularly in this case where being angry at stupid idiots for stupid beliefs somehow equals being for compulsory vaccination. You know, despite the complete lack of any mention in Frida’s post that they want compulsory vaccination.

            Brains, get some.

            • muzza 4.2.2.3.2.1

              Of course you can’t comprehend what I wrote Nick, there was not any net slang or abuse in it..

              The word “indicate” was beyond your comprehension levels I see!

              • NickS

                Except I did, as can be clearly seen above with my critique of your post, but you know, if you keep wanting to put words in my mouth go right ahead fuckhead. It’s just give me more information to file away and burn you with later.

                • muzza

                  No Nick, no you have not understood it at all!

                  You can’t seriously tell me that you don’t comprehend my query to Frida about her potential confusion, suggesting her anger “indicates” she sounds to be in favour of forced vaccinations, after she told another commentator to , “Yeah totally just fuck off. Thanks to people like you not vaccinating their kids I have been exposed to three viruses with the potential to harm my unborn baby in 17 weeks of pregnancy so far”,

                  Followed up with Frida saying “Now, back to the REAL issue, namely the Nats treating beneficiaries as lesser humans than the rest of us” – Not confused at all is our Frida! Is she for forced vaccination or beneficiaries being treated like “the rest of us”? (who are not currently forced to vaccinate)

                  —Good luck with the “cluebatting” boy!

        • rosy 4.2.2.4

          +1 Frida, all the best with the baby…

          The middle classes can have their personal beliefs about the safety of vaccines but the poor can’t, they’re just can’t be bothered to care for their children so must be forced.

          That’s what these nasty, nasty people are saying really.

          • NickS 4.2.2.4.1

            Yeap, though issues about vaccine safety are usually bullshit sadly, and oft lead to lower vaccination rates.

            • rosy 4.2.2.4.1.1

              True. The thing that really gets me is there is some really good work being done in the community to increase immunisation rates.

              The the Wairarapa DHB for example:

              In Wairarapa 86% of two year olds have been fully immunised compared with 76% of children nationally. 87% of the Wairarapa Maori population and 92% of Pacifi c
              two year olds have been fully vaccinated which also surpasses expectations.

              Using services to improve access funding and sharing information, enlisting community providers and networks makes a real difference. The government has a model that it can use, but prefers to use force on an already victimised group of people.

              Force does nothing to improve understanding of the immunisation issues and gives haters an opportunity to lord it over vulnerable people.

              • NickS

                Sweet, that’s bloody good news as that level of coverage pretty much gives enough herd immunity and reduce any outbreaks to fairly isolated cases rather than clusters.

                • McFlock

                  Ironically enough, the methodology for improving community vaccination rates was developed for the meningitis(? think that was it) vaccination programme in the early/mid2000s when they thought they were on the brink of a massive and lethal outbreak.
                       
                  As the nutbars are want to point out, that particular outbreak peaked just before the vaccination programme really kicked off, thus we was all needlessly corrupting out kids’ precious bodily fluids. But the threat was real, and we learned a lot about how to get kids immunised. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Mothers of the youngest infants who got that shot found out after the fact that the protection only lasted a few months. An immature short lived immune reaction was seen as a contributing factor.

                    Protection certainly would not last into the school ages where most meningitis B fatalities were occurring.

                    What is worse is that researchers understood earlier on that might have been the case but kept that information from parents and practitioners alike in case it blunted acceptance of the vaccination.

                    I’m certainly not OK with that decision myself.

                    Anyways, it was a programme cost of almost NZ$40M per life saved. Perhaps you are OK with that, I am not. You can build a kitted out medium sized hospital for that kind of money.

                    • higherstandard

                      “You can build a kitted out medium sized hospital for that kind of money.”

                      Not even in the third world buddy.

                      And in relation to your comments on the MeNZb vaccination programme, it was a pragmatic and prudent decision by the Ministry and Minister (Annette King) compared to the alternative – do nothing and hope that the infection rate declines due to the natural progression of the infections in the community.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “You can build a kitted out medium sized hospital for that kind of money.”

                      Not even in the third world buddy.

                      The new hospital in Blenheim had a budget of $36.6M. Some delays meant that the cost increased to $45.7M.

                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/5166913/New-hospital-sets-the-standard

                      Now I know that Blenheim is out of the way, but you shouldn’t be calling it third world.

                      And I stand by my statement: you could build a new Blenheim or Wairarapa sized hospital for what it cost to save each life in that vaccination programme. If you’re Ok with that, just say so. I personally have doubts, but that’s just me.

                    • McFlock

                      91 beds. Half the size of Nelson Hospital. 
                             
                      So after subtlely implying that Frida had violated patient confidentiality (any apology for that by the way?), we’re now entering into a semantic debate about how many beds and what level of care a “medium sized” hospital is? 

    • NickS 4.3

      And here’s some essential reading on tactics and tropes of teh anti-vaccine crowd:
      http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/01/tactics_and_tropes_of_the_antivaccine_mo.php

      • rosy 4.3.1

        And a case study on the media’s inability to report research (especially really dodgy research)
        http://www.badscience.net/2010/01/the-wakefield-mmr-verdict/

        • NickS 4.3.1.1

          I so want to bomb Wakefield with cow shit.

          And amusingly enough, he now works for one of the anti-vaccination/vaccines cause autism groups as a “researcher”. Despite the massive scientific fraud he committed that would result in any other researcher being banhammered completely.

          • rosy 4.3.1.1.1

            +1 I saw a doco about his research a long time age. It was based on the testimony of his PhD student. Appalling man who has caused so much damage. Apparently had single vaccines patented at the time of mis-informing about the triple vaccine.

        • NickS 4.3.1.2

          Also, the media is generally pretty hopeless at reporting science, as they typically don’t have in house experts and sensationalism like “zomg vaccines cause autism” always sells well.

    • Sorry, no, Annette. This is not an issue surrounding the efficacy of immunisation. I’ve read the anti-immunisation conspiracy theories on many websites. Especially the rantings of Jane Burgeimeister.

      No thanks.

      This issue is about the state a vulnerable sector of society tas “dirty”, “lazy”, and sub-human.

      What does that remind us of? Germany: circa 1930s.

      This is about National trying to deflect public attention away from their mishandling of the ecopnomy; failed policies; rising poverty and unemployment; and scandal after scandal within their own ranks.

      Seems to be working to…

  5. Treetop 5

    Just last week a health worker on a maternity ward at Middlemore Hospital was diagnosed with whooping cough. I have a day old grandson and it would upset me were he exposed to the worker.

    • NickS 5.1

      Ekkk, yeah the hospitals really need to make vaccination compulsory for all staff to prevent shit like that, especially with the high prevalence of whooping cough in NZ 🙁

      • Fran 5.1.1

        Perhaps before you carry on supporting compulsory medical interventions for parts of the population you need to stop and think about it. No medical procedure is without risk and with all public health interventions like vaccination there is an official trade off which is that it is for the greater good of society it is acceptable for some people to die or suffer long term/permanent health impairments/disabilities. Vaccination is not as simple a public health measure as clean water supplies and should never be treated as such. There are much bigger moral issues here.

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          Indeed. But look at all the moral issues. Like whether any nurse who could well be carrying a range of diseases should be let in the same ward as any patient, let alone kids or chemo.
                 
          It’s all very well for folk like muzza to complain about the forced corruption of their precious bodily fluids, but what about your kid’s right to go into hospital with a broken leg and come out without contracting a life-threatening ilness from the nurse?

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            McFlock. Context please. How many people suffered serious hospital acquired infections in NZ last year? Hundreds I suppose (at a guess).

            And how many of those potentially lethal hospital acquired infections were ones preventable by vaccinations?

            MRSA is a major killer in hospitals. As is klebsiella. Tell me which of these can be prevented by vaccination?

            • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1.1

              No idea.
              But does that mean that patients should have an increased risk of acquiring measles, as well?

              • Colonial Viper

                I thought you were talking about “life threatening” hospital acquired infections which do kill a lot of people each year every year. You were using these infections to justify vaccination, right?

                • Huginn

                  @ CV, 13 May 2012 at 2:51 pm

                  not directly, but a wider uptake of the annual flu vaccine would definitely reduce the pressure on hospitals over winter.

                  Incidentally, I’m all for vaccinating but I don’t think that it’s sensible to vaccinate a child who is unwell, for whatever reason, at the time.

                  One of the problems that I see with this plan is that the children of the poor are more often unwell because they are undernourished and living in cold, damp, squalid, substandard housing. They are sick because they are poor.Child poverty is the problem here.

                  These initiatives are poisonous and divisive because they are coming out of Social Development and Youth Affairs and not Health. So, while it might be a good idea to encourage greater uptake of immunisation or to make it easier for women to take control over their sexual health by making contraception more freely available to them, we are right to be concerned about what means of delivery is telling us about how this government sees us.

                  p.s. on a tangentially related topic, I also think that the anti-mass-compulsory-medication-through-fluoridisation lobby are a pack of arseholes who should be held to account for the shameful state of kids’ teeth in Northland.

                  see:
                  Pre- and Post-Water Fluoridation Oral Health Survey in Northland
                  Dr. Sunitha Gowda BDS MPH

                  • Colonial Viper

                    not directly, but a wider uptake of the annual flu vaccine would definitely reduce the pressure on hospitals over winter.

                    Yes I admit this could possibly be beneficial, however from what I read the effect of flu jabs in reducing hospitalisations due to the flu, and even in reducing flu deaths in elderly people and the young, is relatively small.

                    Others conclude that there is wholly unsatisfactory evidence for stating that the flu vaccine works to prevent harm from flu.

                    For instance:

                    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004876/vaccines-for-preventing-seasonal-influenza-and-its-complications-in-people-aged-65-or-older

                    The available evidence is of poor quality and provides no guidance regarding the safety, efficacy or effectiveness of influenza vaccines for people aged 65 years or older. To resolve the uncertainty, an adequately powered publicly-funded randomised, placebo-controlled trial run over several seasons should be undertaken.

                  • prism

                    @Huginn This comment is one I can being explained in layman’s language. (Unlike Jackal’s).

                    The point about not vaccinating a child, or adult, when unwell is one I have read about on a precautionary basis. It may not be commonly known though I hope the explanatory information for parents mentions this.

                • McFlock

                  Vaccine-preventable ones, yeah.
                  Saves on the number of times wards have to be isolated or closed, with subsequent pressure on the health sevice.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Which common and severe hospital acquired infections are vaccine preventable again?

                    • McFlock

                      So if it’s “uncommon” for a kid to die, it’s okay?
                      Although I seem to recall that pertussis (whooping cough) is a vpd.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So if it’s “uncommon” for a kid to die, it’s okay?

                      No, not at all.

                      You talked about serious, potentially life threatening hospital acquired infections. These are certainly a big problem. A lot of people die from them.

                      I just don’t think that many cases of severe hospital acquired infections come from bugs that you can ever vaccinate against. Examples include MRSA, klebsiella pneumoniae, etc.

                    • McFlock

                      But if some of them could be prevented with a vaccine, what would you suggest? Deciding that although it would save lives, healthcare professionals shouldn’t have a vaccine where possible if they’re dumb enough to believe Jenny McArthy?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So when you used the example of the kid with a broken leg who gets a life threatening infection from an unvaccinated nurse in a hospital…I’m saying I can’t think which of the common hospital acquired infection that might possibly be. Can you (as it was your example)?

                      But if some of them could be prevented with a vaccine, what would you suggest?

                      The best, most proven ways to prevent hospital acquired infections are cleaning and checklists. They’re also way cheaper.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, treetop mentioned a maternity ward nurse with whooping cough. Could have as easily been measles, or mumps or influenza.
                           
                      But of course they’re not so common now. Why might that be?
                          
                      And yes, hygiene etc are the primary prevention of disease transmission (in hospitals or not). But the strategy is a defense in depth, because no prevention or treatment is 100% effective.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well, treetop mentioned a maternity ward nurse with whooping cough. Could have as easily been measles, or mumps or influenza.

                      OK I see. None of these are the cause of the hospital acquired infections which actually kill people for real on a daily basis, after surgeries etc.

                      But the strategy is a defense in depth, because no prevention or treatment is 100% effective.

                      Sure; but let’s make sure that they are defences against the actual infections which are killing patients in our hospitals every week, not defences against ones which are not.

                    • McFlock

                      OK I see. None of these are the cause of the hospital acquired infections which actually kill people for real on a daily basis, after surgeries etc.

                      But they used to. Hmmmm. Vaccines, anyone?

                       

                      But the strategy is a defense in depth, because no prevention or treatment is 100% effective.

                      Sure; but let’s make sure that they are defences against the actual infections which are killing patients in our hospitals every week, not defences against ones which are not.

                      I agree. We should have as many vaccines as possible.
                       

  6. Brian 6

    Perhaps Banks has forgotten all about this by now…. ????

  7. Peter Martin 7

    ‘A case can certainly be made that vaccination is not necessary for a healthy child in a healthy environment, and that a stronger immune system emerges if it develops naturally (without intervention).’

    Stronger than the first thing it succumbs to. And if a remedy were available for those things that we succumb to…?
    What is a ‘healthy environment’?

    It’s just kinda weird to think that polio somehow respects ‘healthy environments’ and strong immune systems. That Hep B wouldn’t be in the same part of town as yer kids.That the rubella the kids get would have no effect on their kindy friend’s pregnant mum…

    Knowledge aside…where does a Government get the ethical mandate to be usurping this sort of parental decision making? It’s already free…both the doctor’s visit and the vaccination. Frankly, if it’s such a problem I think a bonus top up of the accommodation allowance for each vaccinated child would at least look like a bit of a carrot…

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      It’s just kinda weird to think that polio somehow respects ‘healthy environments’ and strong immune systems.

      Nope. Its not weird at all. Fewer than 1/250 people who were infected with polio in NZ suffered significant long lasting effects. Of course over a large population this still worked out to quite a few people.

      For the other 249/250 people however polio had very limited and temporary ill effects. For a large majority polio was either an asymptomatic infection or similar to a moderate but passing flu.

      In poor countries with poor hygiene and pervasive malnutrition these numbers were much much worse.

      • NickS 7.1.1

        But 1 in 250 is still a hell of a lot of people in the context of the whole population, and it took kids out of school and various others things for quite some time, along with the life long impacts like paralysis (mum’s dad had that, caught polio in Kenya during WWII) and breathing difficulties.

    • higherstandard 7.2

      “Frankly, if it’s such a problem I think a bonus top up of the accommodation allowance for each vaccinated child would at least look like a bit of a carrot…”

      Interesting that you mention this as in Australia the approach is along these lines

      “Eligibilty for the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement will require that children are assessed as fully immunised, replacing the Maternity Immunisation Allowance from 1 July 2012.”

      http://www.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/home

  8. Uturn 8

    Anthony is right in saying no one should be compelled to vaccinate. He is right in saying the Nats think people with limited economic use deserve to be abused. He is also reluctant to start a debate that Bennett suggests should begin – and I think this is the most important point. Of late there has been too much reactive discussion.

    Do not engage with negative right wing non-debates. Ignore their prompts. They are fishing expeditions.

    The right want you to spend your energy talking about things when they want you to.

    Refuse.

    If you debate this now, under the effects of outrage, you will only do the work of examining the details that a lazy destructive government should do for moral reasons, but chose not to, for financial reasons; and they will pick the positive points you raise, highlight the morally good principle and legislate to enforce it for their gain, not yours, not the people’s gain.

    Manipulators use the good that sympathetic soulful people express against them. They will tell you:

    “You argue yourself that at risk children need care, we are merely enforcing that care. How can you argue against it? You are hypocrites, can you not see the children dying? Do you yourselves not say the poor need help? We are merely enforcing that help.”

    And all the while they are banking on your good overruling your ability to see the lie. They are banking on your self awareness to kick in and clouding the reality of the trick. While you hesitate and reflect, they will act. They are banking on you choosing compromise, small gains, “the bigger picture”, rationality. They have you in their control.

    Children must be cared for, but what is the basis for enforcing laws for the poor? Can you not see the Trojan horse of self interest in the charity of helping the poor? There is always one more bite. Vaccination… but enforced. Free contraception… but enforced. Open processes in Unions… your own good fair freely applied processes… now enforced to remove flexiblity and discretion.

    They want you to accept legislative enforcement of a moral good as normal so that, perhaps when there is money to be made in partially developed and tested vaccines, you accept the evil of live legal guinea pigs. You won’t even notice. Quite an extra bite they take, huh? Why pay for testing when you can get it for free, legally, in NZ?

    It’s always that one little piece you don’t notice that sneaks in with their plans. Normalising greed and corporate self interest under the guise of the children. And once you accept the Trojan game with children, they’ll do it with something else, and something else and again and again until your kids will grow up believing it was never any different.

    Reject their “charity”. Do not risk using vulnerable people as medical guinea pigs. It is not care. It is experimentation within a competitive system. The child may be immunised, they may have side effects, they may not, they had as good a chance as the next, but at least we “tried”.

    But we did not try with clear conscience, respect or love – not even responsibly.

    We decided that since altruism is impossible, we should prostitute it even further, there was no harm. We redefined it as a monetary concern to make it “practical”. We couldn’t take the pain and discomfort of imperfection and chose the vanity and pleasure of pragmatism. Slowly the people would come to measure ideals that cannot be realised as useless; to realise that the self-referenced nature of the status quo is all that can be done. Sacrifice? Why? Altruism? Why reach for it? Is not all humanity flawed? What harm is a little good, a little profit, a little overall gain from the limitations of our natures?

    To fuck with your relativism!

    Reach because the ideal cannot be attained, but in the reaching we become fully human. Do not settle to cut off parts of your heart, mind and personality because the alternative is “too hard”. Strive, not for food, not for money, not to get ahead, but so the person beside you may find his own good. Uphold the people, the nation will take care of itself.

    Reach because satisfaction will not be won by sacrificing our souls on the altar of capitalism and relativism.

    Reach because the truth that lives in us all, the part that cries enough, the part that knows wrong when it sees, the part that aches for redemption and demands action, the part that knows frustration and anger in injustice, is the only thing that will save us from ourselves.

    Accept that in reaching it will sometimes look like hypocrisy; accept that in reaching it will sometimes look like you have shifting principles; and forgive yourself for what you will have to do to win a place for people, above all else.
    Ask yourself: When the dust settles, this thing I do, will I be served first or last? Will I be the first to eat, the first to be healed, the first to be paid?

    Forget accusations of nasty, it will be nasty. It’s social war. The enemy coats his nastiness in your sympathy and serves it up cold, every day. He eats first, heals first, gets paid first and he is never satisfied. You give him what he needs and more. Act truly and your enemy cannot follow you.

    Say no brutality and ignorance.

    Refuse bigotry and hate.

    End greed and avarice.

    Be ready to fight compromise at all costs.

    Do not come to the table to talk when you are called. Set your own times, your own agendas.

    Know the traps of your ego. Speak your truth, then stand down. Do not play the games that has one man master of another.

    Want to vaccinate children and free them from diseases of poverty? Then do it. Right now. Go next door, down the road, to the next suburb and do it. Ask yourself what you are doing to perpetuate the problem and make a change. You know what to do. Do it.

  9. NickS 9

    This is rather pants on head retarded frankly, as the main issue for a lot of parents with jack all money is the cost and time it takes to get them done, and that anti-vaccinations morons haven’t penetrated far outside of the upper classes in NZ anyhow, so thus making them free, or even via home, preschool or primary school visits and providing education will likely achieve sufficient population coverage. Making it compulsory though will likely carry a backlash that has the potential to lower vaccination coverage in the lower socio-economic groups and due to the effects of poverty on health, lead to worse outcomes. There’s also social networking tools that can be used to make people realise the risks with avoiding vaccinations and counter the anti-vaccine bullshit, but all of this, plus dealing with poverty, of course costs more money than just making it compulsory.

    Hell, if anything the only groups that should be re-vaccinated* (or compulsory vaccinated) are those in healthcare across the board (cleaners included) and those working around children, since these two groups are key vectors and work oft with people who are potential vulnerable to diseases, you can end up quickly with epidemics.

    _______________________________
    *Vaccines, like anything biological are never 100%, so booster shots or re-vaccination are sometimes needed to try and maintain complete immunity (so they don’t potentially become asymptomatic carriers.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      so they don’t potentially become asymptomatic carriers.

      Yeah I don’t get this paradigm. You ARE an asymptomatic carrier. EVERY person is, of MULTIPLE different infections.

      Depending on their age, 10% to 20% of New Zealanders carry the Meningoccocal B bacteria persistently. Bottom line: human bodies have up to 20x more microbe cells (bacteria, viruses and fungi) than their your own body cells. Shocking but true.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080603085914.htm

      • McFlock 9.1.1

        Um – what’s your point? Because everyone has viruses, we shouldn’t try to prevent the transmission of the worst ones?
         

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1

          My point is not just that everyone carries microbes. It is that a natural healthy well functioning body is a microbe hotel, one with very very few body cells staffing it.

          • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1

            Indeed.
            But the microbes that I have might kill you.
            The microbes I subsequently catch might kill me.
            I’d rather a bit of help to take the latter out before they can. And I’d also like a lower chance that the local teacher will unknowingly spread disease to their pupils.

          • NickS 9.1.1.1.2

            Well d’uh, I am a biology student and thus know that /rolleyes

            Reading comprehension, work at it 😀

      • NickS 9.1.2

        Uh, lolwut? I’m referring to cases where the persons been vaccinated, but it hasn’t resulted in a level of immunity that prevents the vaccine target from reproducing just enough to spread, but not enough to cause significantly diagnostic symptoms. It’s admittedly rare, but biology is a bitch 😛

  10. Old Tony 10

    Excellent idea. Good to see the state using all the levers at its disposal to encourage public health. Just as it does by raising the cost of cigarettes and alcohol. And of course immunisation is free so its apparent that along with other initiatives such as free contraception for beneficiaries the state is wisely and generously discharging its obligation to look after the most needy.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Apart from making sure that NZers aren’t needy and that children aren’t living in poverty, of course.

      You missed that bit. But enjoying making beneficiaries jump over more and more hoops for less and less in benefits

      • Old Tony 10.1.1

        Not much logic to that. Beneficiary status is being used to encourage immunisation because that is a touch point between the state and the population. It’s incidental to the main point of improving health. And raising standards of living will not eliminate contagious diseases. Personally I would support the state not giving me my tax refund unless my children were immunised. That would touch other groups in society and to that extent (the selectivity of the present proposal) I no doubt agree with many contributors to this site.

        • McFlock 10.1.1.1

          Raising standards of living certainly can drastically reduce contagious diseases, what with overcrowding and restricted hot water.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2

          So it’s a coincidence that the coercive power of the state is being focussed on beneficiaries, and not say, yourself? And certainly not on the top 5% of wealthy in this country?

          Not much logic to that.

          I’m not trying to say that National’s actions are logical. They aren’t.

          “Touch points”? Get fucking real. Helping lift families and children out of poverty is where the real touch is, and of course National does nothing about that, except make beneficiaries jump through more hoops for less money.

        • Frank Macskasy 10.1.1.3

          “Beneficiary status is being used to encourage immunisation because that is a touch point between the state and the population.”

          What???

          Explain “touchpoint” please?

          And how do beneficiaries differ from police, teachers, state sector workers, and other State employees? Why not enforce immunisation upon them as a condition of employment?

          Why? Because we’d have a general strike on our hands within a week.

          “Personally I would support the state not giving me my tax refund unless my children were immunised. ”

          Oh, yes, of course you would. You can say that because it’ll never happen, Tony. Won’t even be SUGGESTED by this rotten government.

          Sorry, your apologetics do nothing to convince me that what National is proposing is a local form of quasi-fascism. This is state power coercing a vulnerable group, and demonising them in the process.

      • Indeed, CV.

        That is precisely what this is about: deflection. Right wingers are past-masters at it.

        Some time ago, I posted that when a failure of neo-liberal policy is pointed out to a right winger, they will always default to one of three positions;

        1. Blame the previous government
        2. Blame the welfare state and/or beneficiaries
        3. Blame the global recession (but not for an increase in welfare beneficiaries – that’s a “lifestyle” choice”)

  11. Bill 11

    There’s more than a hint of a sinister undercurrent to the swathe of ‘policies’ aimed at those on welfare entitlements.

    Putting aside the fact that the fundamental cause (Hmm…Which is? See, I guess some would say that the fundamental cause is poverty while others would say the fundamental cause is the economic system that produces poverty…), but anyway, putting aside the fact the fundamental problem isn’t being addressed, there is an attitude being developed or encouraged that would have those receiving welfare entitlements being regarded as the root cause of social and individual stagnation.

    I mean, are the following short, imaginary internal dialogue Q&As so unbelievable? Do they sound as outrageous and fringe loony as they might have done 20 years ago? And will they sound even more acceptable in another 10 or 15 years time?

    Q. Why do I, a working person feel as though everything’s going backwards?
    A. Those fucking bennies are sucking up all my tax dollars.

    Q.What’s all this talk of children getting serious illnesses?
    A. Those fucking dirty bennies and their kids are vectors for disease and illness.

    Q.Why should my tax dollars go to support a dirty pregnant bennie who was offered free long term contraception off my tax dollar in the first place?
    A. No reason.

    And so on and so on.

    Hate to invoke this, but it’s fascism 101. Find a target group. Vilify them in the public eye. Identify them as the reason everyone and everything else is ‘being held back/ down’ or whatever. Pass oppressive/invasive pieces of legislation that are targetted only at the identifiable group in question. And as things get worse for everyone because the fundamental issue was side stepped, appeal or ‘submit’ to the public sentiment you’ve encouraged to draw up and pass further necessary oppressive/invasive pieces of legislation to ‘fix the problem’ (cause you obviously didn’t go far enough last time around). And so it goes on in a re-inforcing spiral that shifts the focus away from the actual problem and onto scapegoats who just happen to be the ones most affected by the real (ignored) problem. And you’re free to go on your merry way, justifiably and with popular support, creating mayhem and misery for ever widening circles of people in society – which just happens to be a necessary pre-condition or ongoing condition for you to enjoy ever increasing levels of privilege, power and wealth.

    Of course, it all comes crashing down if and when the boat’s pushed out too far…I think. But what if the boat isn’t pushed out too far and just enough people (say something like 20% of a population) are kept comfortable, on-side and willing to perpetuate and/or manage a particularly nasty little status quo?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      +1000
      Divide and conquer
      Undermine solidarity
      Steal the wealth of the country from under the citizens’ noses.

    • Bill understands it perfectly.

      Never forget the three default positions from the Right Wing, when their policies fail.

      • burt 11.2.1

        Hate to invoke this, but it’s fascism 101. Find a target group. Vilify them in the public eye. Identify them as the reason everyone and everything else is ‘being held back/ down’ or whatever.

        Keep pointing at “the right” Frank and blaming them for everything – you are proving Bill right as you agree with him.

        • Frank Macskasy 11.2.1.1

          The right have been in government for over three years now, Burt.

          When do they start taking responsibility for their policies?

          • muzza 11.2.1.1.1

            Probably about the time that people who support the current political systems, regarldess of which “side” they claim to be on, realise that they are a massive part of the problem we all face!

            Politics in its current state, can’t self fix Frank!

            Playing into the party game makes people part of the problem, not part of any solution!

        • felix 11.2.1.2

          As long as you ignore the words and just concentrate on whatever you were thinking when you woke up this morning, yep.

    • Puddleglum 11.3

      Exactly Bill. 

      Also, it pays to remember that all of these measures are being introduced  – or run up the flagpole – as welfare reforms and not as policies on health, reproductive rights, etc.. That presumably means that their main policy aims are not health, reproductive rights, etc. but are to ‘discourage’ people from calling on welfare benefits or staying on them.

      That is, the logic of announcing them as part of welfare ‘reforms’ whose overall aim is – quite explicitly – to reduce beneficiary numbers is that they are seen by the government as punitive/aversive measures that beneficiaries will wish to avoid. They are policies of deterrence.

      If they weren’t and were actually thought by government to be appealing options for beneficiaries, then the government would deliberately be making being on a benefit more attractive, which would work against the overall aim of the reforms.

      Of course, as you highlight, Bill, it’s not about the logic of any policy position (I was just following through the logic of pretending it was) – it’s to show the solid, self-styled ‘ordinary’ New Zealander that the government is making life harder for those on benefits.

  12. Treetop 12

    I suspect that some vaccinations for certain viruses are less likely to cause an extreme reaction than other vaccinations. Where there is a choice for a particular virus it sometimes comes down to the cost and those giving authorisation need to know about options. I would be interested in seeing a table where those vaccinated against those not vaccinated, what the results are for a virus? A developed country would have different results to an undeveloped country.

    Just last week a study in an Auckland hospital concluded that more careful hand washing would prevent four deaths a year and a reduction in infections was apparent.

    http://www.hqsc.govt.nz/news-and-events/media/437/

    • McFlock 12.1

      Nice to know Semmelweiss gets revisited every so often.

    • Treetop 12.2

      The four preventable deaths were mentioned on Morning Report 11 May 2012.

      Semmelweiss was one clever chap.

  13. belladonna 13

    Since when did vaccination prevent disease. It doesnt. Plenty of research out there for those who are open minded. Far better would be to increase the standard of living for low income people so they can purchase healthy food to boost the immune systems of their children.

    • McFlock 13.1

      Vaccination prevents the diseases for which you are vaccinated.
       
      But yeah, coming from paula benefits I’m pretty sure this is simply an attempt to hide the level of poverty in the country, rather than any genuine concern for  people.

      • weka 13.1.1

        “Vaccination prevents the diseases for which you are vaccinated.”
         
        Vaccination prevents some of the diseases for which you are vaccinated. Not all vaccines are 100% effective.
         
        Vaccination programmes are aimed at the safety of populations, not individuals. That’s the essential stand off between the pro- and anti- debate.

        • NickS 13.1.1.1

          Nothing is 100% effective, so using that fact about vaccines to introduce an individualist centric framing is bit fucking pointless. You could argue teh same about seatbelts, condoms, helmets, work safety regs…

          In this case from a relative risk assessment you’re better off taking the chance with vaccination than not, as teh failure rate is low and the costs of infection can be quite high, along with the fact that you can’t entirely trust others to have their shots. And if you do end up coming down with a vaccine preventable disease, you usually end up acting as a vector and spreading it to others.

          As for safety of the population, it’s an effect of protecting individuals 😛

          • weka 13.1.1.1.1

            ” is bit fucking pointless”
             
            Not as fucking pointless as discussing vaccines or diseases as if they’re all one (as is happening in this thread), or making a statement about how vaccines prevent the diseases for which you are vaccinated without knowing that there are failure rates (ie sometimes vaccines don’t prevent the disease for which you are vaccinated).
             

            A 2011 metastudy published in the journal The Lancet, “Efficacy and Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccines,” analyzed 31 prior studies on the effectiveness of influenza vaccination trials conducted between 1967 and 2011. The analysis found that flu shots were effective 67 percent of the time; the populations that benefited the most were HIV-positive adults ages 18 to 55 (76 percent), healthy adults ages 18 to 46 (approximately 70 percent) and healthy children ages 6 to 24 months (66 percent).[102][103]
             
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza_vaccine#Effectiveness_of_vaccine

            • NickS 13.1.1.1.1.1

              1) Brushing everyone as discussing vaccines/diseases as one is fairly foolish of you, and while I could have made it clearer I doubt all but the anti-vaccer’s here lump everything together.

              2)Flu vaccines have always been shit, and that’s due to the high mutability of proteins forming the surface coat of influenza viral particles (and their attendant sugar-polymer coatings), but that’s my mistake for not mentioning it, and my focus here is on the very preventable pathogens. But on a relative risk basis, it’s still makes more sense to have the flu jab and at least have some protection 😛

    • NickS 13.2

      Ahahahaha…

      Yes, that’s why there was no decline in cases of measles, mumps, rubella or whooping cough at all when vaccines for them were introduced or that smallpox didn’t go extinct outside of labs and that polio is now only present one in Africa, and only entrenched due to islamic clerics in northern Nigeria being idiots.

      And no, unless your immune system has been primed to deal with the major infectious diseases, even good health wont save you from significant negative outcomes.

      Also, I get the feeling you one those “interesting” individuals who deny the Germ Theory of Disease…

      • belladonna 13.2.1

        Those diseases had started to decline before vaccination if you check the graphs.

        • McFlock 13.2.1.1

          present them.

          • rosy 13.2.1.1.1

            How about these graphs?

            • NickS 13.2.1.1.1.1

              <3

              That site rocks.

              • rosy

                Yeah, my fingers have itched to link to it every time this debate comes up. This time it fits.

            • muzza 13.2.1.1.1.2

              Rosy are you using this guy….http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0058662/

              “My name is Derek Bartholomaus and I work professionally in the Entertainment Industry as a Post Production Supervisor/Producer on various television programs. I am a critical/skeptical investigator into the Billy Meier UFO Case”

              —In some sort of credible capacity, due to his background in the media world?

              Surely the original source sites would have been the way to go….

              • rosy

                The reason for that site is that it’s mostly CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control) data which as far as I know is not collected in such an accessible form elsewhere. Believe me, if I could find it collated like that elsewhere, I’d use it.

                Everything on there is fully referenced at the bottom of the page and you can see that it would take an enormous amount of time to link to. He did it because he was incensed with the misinformation about the Wakefield ‘study’ and autism.

                • muzza

                  Reckon you should go with the original data source sites next time eh, or don’t link the site!

                  I’m sure you can see the irony of “tv series producer” , trying to debunk an actress, and linking the site as credible!

                  How about those GOP primaries eh!

                • NickS

                  I’m sure you can see the irony of “tv series producer” , trying to debunk an actress, and linking the site as credible!

                  Oh right, stupid does as stupid is, especially when they’re trying to look smart.

                  The legitimacy of info source usually rests on two things, who’s writing it, the empirical accuracy of the material. The first can act as a nice rough filter, and allows for rapid stereotyping, however the net makes things interesting with pseudonyms, leading to the second thing if that person doesn’t have a trail behind them. And frankly, it’s a lot better than merely going off names and positions to, as the nature of the material can be easily sanity checked thanks to the internet, and allows for more flexibility. In that people with high level degrees can be complete fucking idiots too.

                  In this case, all his done is collate information from the CDC on vaccine preventable diseases and looks at temporal linkages to McCarthy’s emergence as the face of the American anti-vaccine industry*. And that information takes time to collate, time that people oft don’t have, nor have the experience with stats packages to put in a presentable form. And since it’s all straight from the CDC, it’s legitimacy is really easy to check, and on checking it’s not dodgy at all, Thus complaining about it, seem, well, a rather pathetic attempt at poisoning the well, instead of dealing with the facts.

                  Then again, you are an idiot fuckhead.

                  ______________________
                  *Funny thing, you’d think people would give away this shit for free, especially detox and autism “cures”, however they don’t, and writing books that exploits peoples fears and ignorance does make quite a bit of money. And those cures? Very expensive. Then there’s teh lawyers.

              • rosy

                btw Muzza, you know he’s a UFO skeptic don’t you?

                He belongs to this group –
                http://www.iigwest.org/challenge.html – it’s interested in ‘scientific and critical thinking’ in the entertainment industry.

                Edit: Here you go – original sources are:

                SOURCES:
                Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, Six Sites, United States, 2000
                Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2002
                Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2006
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 1944-1953
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 1954-1963
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 1964-1973
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 1974-1983
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 1984-1993
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 1990-1997
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 1998
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 1999
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2000
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2001
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2002
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2003
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2004
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2005
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2006
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2007
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2008
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2009
                CDC Summary of Notifiable Diseases, United States, 2010
                IAC Historic Dates and Events Related to Vaccines and Immunization

                Go find if you’re interested, have fun.

                • muzza

                  “He belongs to this group –
                  http://www.iigwest.org/challenge.html – it’s interested in ‘scientific and critical thinking’ in the entertainment industry.”

                  “btw Muzza, you know he’s a UFO skeptic don’t you? ”

                  — Is “UFO sceptic” meant to indicate the level of critical thinking the “entertainment industry” get up to? Edit: I just looked at the site above, what an absolute joke Rosy, is this what you consider “critical thinking”, and you post a link to the site of a guy who is a member..

                  —Hey is Madonna still into Kabalah, and Tom Cruise into Scientology?

                  You linked the site, you should cross reference the source data Rosy!

                  • rosy

                    References above, Muzza.

                    But here, let me google that for you:
                    http://www.cdc.gov/osels/ph_surveillance/nndss/annsum/index.htm

                    • muzza

                      Rosy – The blokes site you originally linked to is garbage, and the “critical thinking” skeptics group you say he belongs to , is garbage also, yet you link his site, having seemingly not read the reports on the back end source site, or cross check the re-postings for due dilligence , is that right?

                      Once you have confirmed that the information in http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Home.html , by reading all the pdf’s, graphs etc, and making sure they cross check as kosha on “critical thinking guys” site, let me know, as I aint doing your work for you!

                    • rosy

                      Muzza, it’s your prerogative to not like the source to leave it alone. I happen to think it is a very good summary of CDC information that I’ve not found elsewhere – despite the author being an enthusiastic amateur (as are many people who actually have quite useful – as some not so useful – things to say).

                      You know, when I look for information I sometimes check out magazines, films and other sources in the entertainment industry, and trust it, but hey maybe I’m shallow. Tonight I’ll be watching the film of the Enron collapse, for example.

                      I think I’ve provided enough information for you to check them out if you really want to verify the data. If you don’t like it, just ignore it. Just like vaccinations – it’s not compulsory… yet.

                      Oh and those graphs

                      Quite a clear correlations* don’t you think?

                      * and no I didn’t say causation. I’ll leave that up to your critical thinking faculties to work that out.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Interesting. 879 preventable deaths over 5 years in the US. IF vaccinations were 100% effective. 176 preventable deaths per year.

                      Put in context against 12,000 firearms homicides per year in the US and 33,000 road deaths per year.

                    • NickS

                      Interesting. 879 preventable deaths over 5 years in the US. IF vaccinations were 100% effective. 176 preventable deaths per year.

                      Put in context against 12,000 firearms homicides per year in the US and 33,000 road deaths per year.

                      DERP

                      Actually the death toll likely already models for vaccine failure rates which are already established during clinical trials. And high coverage anyhow leads to herd immunity which greatly reduces the capability of a pathogen to spread.

                      As for the “context”, so fucking what?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      As for the “context”, so fucking what?

                      3,500 drownings p.a.

                    • McFlock

                      By that logic, if arms control reduced firearms deaths to 100/yr, you’d not bother with firearms control anymore because more people drown?
                          
                      Of course, as soon as you remove the arms controls, that number might start creeping up again. And if there’s a panic, it would “shoot up”, as it were.
                       

                    • rosy

                      C’mon CV you did miss the 93,159 cases of vaccine preventable illnesses? And the intensive medical care and permanent disability that may have resulted from some of those 93,159 cases e.g:

                      Measles:
                      severe diarrhoea, inflammation of the middle ear and severe respiratory tract infections. Pneumonia, causing death.

                      Rubella:
                      Adults – arthritis [I’m guessing the inflammatory, reactive sort, which may become a life-long chronic illness], encephalitis.
                      Unborn children – Congenital Rubella Syndrome leading to deafness, cataracts, heart defects, and mental retardation. Death.

                      Diphtheria:
                      abnormal heartbeats, which can result in heart failure, inflammation of the heart muscle and valves, leading after many years to chronic heart disease and heart failure, respiratory obstruction followed by death.

                      The above are from WHO Target diseases .pdf there are, or course, more.

                • Thanks rosy.

                  It’s a fascinating database when you start to poke around with the original files on the CDC site.

                  I would have liked to have seen data prior to about 1966 but could not find any in a first trawl, despite the site you linked to having some information back to the 1940s. Then I could have seen whether or not the rates of decrease of rates (if you get what I mean) increased after vaccines were licensed (or, more to the point, when widespread programmes of vaccination were begun).

                  Interestingly, in the 1996 ‘Summary’ pdf, the figures for polio are remarkably low for the US as a whole (fewer than 10 cases a year). And it appears that one of the possible ‘side-effects’ of widespread polio immunisation is that remaining cases come to be caused largely by immunisation itself and, thus, those current cases that people hear about will indeed be a result of the vaccine – and so people could quite rationally be wary of it. As the footnote to the graph put it:
                  Since 1980, a total of 143 of 145 confirmed cases of indigenously acquired paralytic poliomyelitis in the United States have been associated with oral polio vaccine. The remaining two cases were classified as indeterminate.

                  Further, on the point about the deleterious health effects that might arise from ‘anti-immunisation’ campaigners and their campaigns, the case of mumps is interesting, as mentioned in the 2008 ‘Summary’:

                  Mumps vaccine was licensed in 1967. The widespread use of a second dose of mumps vaccine in 1990 was followed by historically low morbidity until 2006, when the United States experienced the largest mumps outbreak in two decades.The 2006 outbreak of more than 6,000 cases affected primarily college students aged18-24 years in the Midwest. As a result, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices updated its vaccination recommendations, and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists updated its case definition.

                  There is little suggestion that this outbreak was the result of anti-immunisation campaigns, so the site you link to may, at least in this case (I haven’t looked in detail at other diseases), have rather uncritically correlated supposed anti-immunisation activity with epidemiological data.

                  It almost seems that the inference is being invited by the commentary that behind the outbreak was the widespread use of ‘double-dosing’ (e.g., the ‘updating’ of vaccination recommendations after having mentioned the double-dosing practice).

                  I hope I don’t need to add that I’m not ‘anti-immunisation’. (My daughter is completely immunised and suffered no ill effects.)

                  I just think it’s always wise – and can lead to interesting insights – also to be sceptical of the evidence that is in favour of what we might be predisposed to want to believe (e.g., that anti-immunisation campaigns cause outbreaks of disease). 

                  • rosy

                    I agree with your last paragraph. I don’t think that a causation between anti-immunisation campaigns and an increase in vaccine-preventable diseases is supported by the graphs. (One of the reasons I’ve not given into the itch to link before ;-))

                    (However, I do expect that vaccination rates have decreased because of anti-immunisation campaigns).

                    The reason for linking this site now, is because of the claim that graphs show that the decline in infectious diseases were a result of things other than vaccines, i.e:
                    From Belladonna…
                    “Those diseases had started to decline before vaccination if you check the graphs.”

                    The measles graphs in this case is reasonably interesting. The rate of disease did decrease before widespread vaccine use, suggesting sanitation, better health etc. might have had a decent impact on transmission rates before the licensing of the vaccine before 1963. The incidence of disease then appeared to plateau – maybe the limits of improvements before widespread vaccination? Who knows… the graph shows though that after the introduction of widespread vaccination that plateau ended and there was another steep decline.

                    Would it have declined anyway? I suspect not, but it’s possible. The point is though that the decline before the introduction of vaccines ended, and restarted after the licensing of vaccines.

                    I didn’t expect to be sidetracked into lots of other stuff. Silly me for rising to it. The links was simply in response to an assertion about what the graphs would show.

                    • Carol

                      I have mixed feelings about vacines. I think some of the diseases mentioned above are more damaging than others. i also think there’s something to be said for developing immunity through exposure and prevention through improved hygiene practices.

                      I’m of the generation that grew up when measles, mumps and chicken pox were regarded as fairly harmless childhood rites of passage. This was especially so for measles, which about every child I knew got at some point. I was amazed to later learn how it had been especially damaging to non-European populations (such as Maori) when Europeans first arrived on their soil.

                      Chicken pox always seemed to me to be a little more serious, mumps even more so. But I remember being particularly freaked at primary school when I heard of people suffering the effects of polio, which also wasn’t as common as the measles, mumps & chicken pox trio. I was more than happy to line up at secondary school to get my polio vaccine. Ditto I was happy to get vaccinated against small pox and cholera when I first started traveling.

                      I do sometimes wonder if getting large numbers of vaccines undermines the more natural operations of the immune system.

                      I will not be considering a flu vaccine til I am older and more susceptible to such illnesses. In recent years I rarely get colds or flu, and especially haven’t had severe bouts of them.

                    • Definitely well done for posting the link.

                      It was really interesting – I love actual data, graphs, etc. because they start you thinking about why they are like they are.

                      To turn the tables a bit on the idea that religious belief gets in the way of health improvements, here’s an article about evolution, parasite (and other pathogen) spread and religiosity.

                      Some people, at least, think religious beliefs may have partly ‘evolved’ in order to counter – and reduce – exposure to pathogenic stress.

                      Isn’t life weird? 🙂

                  • locus

                    one of the possible ‘side-effects’ of widespread polio immunisation is that remaining cases come to be caused largely by immunisation itself

                    This was the case in the US with orally administered attenuated polio vaccine up until 2000. Since then a new injected vaccine has been used, which is made from the inactivated virus. Since the introduction of this new vaccine in the US, there have been no attributable cases of polio and no documented serious adverse reactions http://www.vaccineinformation.org/polio/qandavax.asp

                    The oral vaccination administered in the US prior to 2000 reduced the numbers suffering from polio from thousands annually to an average of about 8 a year from 1980-1996. This was not considered acceptable by the US – hence the change to the inactive polio vaccine. However, many other nations still use the oral vaccine as it’s cheap and easy to administer and provides a high degree of immunity.

                    My brother in law was one of the last people in the UK to not get the polio vaccine. He had a mild dose as a child, suffered permanent wasting of one leg and arm but was a survivor. Thousands in the 40s and 50s were not so lucky. For the ‘lucky’ ones who recovered from polio, around 40% can look forward to the likelihood of developing additional symptoms 15–40 years after the original illness. http://www.polioeradication.org/Polioandprevention.aspx

                    Polio vaccine has virtually eradicated a disease which threatened millions of children, which permanently disables 1 in a 1000 sufferers and causes paralysis in 1 in 200.

                    No one should be forced to take the polio vaccine, but every nation has an obligation to provide the vaccine free to everyone and to advise their citizens of the dangers and consequences for unvaccinated children.

                    Those individuals who argue against polio vaccination, and misrepresent the risks of vaccination, or who argue against vaccination, are in effect denying or trying to remove the rights of others.

                    For those who still think that it’s their right to try to convince others to ‘exercise their choice’ and not be immunised, consider what is now happening in northern Nigeria since community leaders there opposed vaccinations, claiming they could cause infertility.

                    From 2010 to 2011 – A four-fold increase in polio in northern Nigeria, with the disease spreading to neighbouring countries. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15819797

                    • Absolutely, locus and thanks for that additional information.

                      I was very impressed/surprised at how low the polio rate was in the US (even pre-2000) and that is obviously a result of vaccinations (even with the ‘iatrogenic’ – I think that’s the right word – causes of most of the remaining cases at that time).

                      I have absolutely no problems with the evidence about immunisation/vaccination programmes producing some of the most dramatic results in terms of improvement – or even eradication – in the rates of infectious diseases. They have undoubtedly produced a decrease in human suffering on a massive scale.

                      I’m in agreement with rosy in a comment above that there are some very good ways of improving immunisation rates in vulnerable communities and social groups. That’s because I don’t think that low immunisation rates are principally from people being ‘anti-immunisation’ – though, to be honest, I don’t have evidence for that belief beyond the improvements that seem to happen with well-targetted and run programmes (as rosy linked to).

                      I don’t think anti-immunisation campaigns (or beliefs) are a major problem at the population level in New Zealand – though I can understand the personal upset caused by having a particularly vulnerable loved-one exposed unnecessarily to infectious diseases by people who are ideologically opposed to immunisation.

                      In most cases, though, I suspect that such exposure just comes from contact with unimmunised people who didn’t get around to it for a whole set of reasons – not necessarily because they were committed to being ‘anti-immunisation’.

                      Thanks again. 

          • felix 13.2.1.1.2

            Mc F “present them”

            lolz

        • NickS 13.2.1.2

          Those diseases had started to decline before vaccination if you check the graphs.

          Derp.

          Some had been, due to sanitation, but what we have now is far lower levels than what you’d get without vaccines via epidemiological modelling, in that vaccines slow down transmission and limit the number of vectors in a population, keeping infection rates very low and effectively restricting the virus to areas where vaccination rates are too low or non-existent. Though I can model this stuff on the fly, so your ability to grasp what I’m getting at my be somewhat problematic.

          And +1 to what McFlock said.

          • NickS 13.2.1.2.1

            Wait, eh I’ll explain more tomorrow, should have used a habitat and corridor explanation instead, as it’s a bit more straight forward.

    • “Since when did vaccination prevent disease. It doesnt. Plenty of research out there for those who are open minded”

      Since the polio vaccine eliminated polio in NZ?

      Since the smallpox vaccine eliminated smallpox from the planet?

      Since we no longer have hundreds of children dying from whooping cough?

      Just to name a few.

      As for “Plenty of research out there for those who are open minded” – I think I know what you’re referring to. No thanks. I’ve seen that “research”, and it was usually in association with the sale of
      “alternative medicines”…

      • Craig Glen Eden 13.3.1

        Frank mumps has not been eliminated neither has measles and neither has whooping cough yet vaccines have existed for these for years and having had those vaccines they do not stop you being a carrier either. Personally I have been vaccinated for mumps yet got mumps aged 15 years. I have been vaccinated twice inside of 4 years for Hep B, blood results show now immunity to Hep B nothing. I would point out both Hep B vaccines were administered in NZ hospitals as a staff member, so if you think because you have been given a vaccine you have immunity that is not the case.

        The problem with people like Nick S is they are ideologically blind, as others have suggested risks need to be weighed up before either an informed decision for or against can be made. Classic case would be if for example I was traveling to a country with a high risk of an infectious disease I may decide a vaccine is appropriate however if you stayed in NZ I might never consider having that vaccination. This is why Individuals or their guardians need to be fully informed about those risks. Unfortunately one of the weaknesses of vaccine administration is poor reporting of side effects (Anaphylaxis) by both Nurses and Doctors in fact many health professionals struggle to understand what anaphylaxis is and are unable to distinguish between Anaphylaxis and Anaphylactic shock. I have personally witnessed this twice now in my 22 years as a registered health professional. The same goes for reactions to drugs such as Morphine which can be incredibly dangerous. People like Nick S hide behind the bullshit drug company science but have no experience in the practicalities of mass immunization and their negative effects.

        • NickS 13.3.1.1

          The problem with people like Nick S is they are ideologically blind, as others have suggested risks need to be weighed up before either an informed decision for or against can be made

          /FACEPALM

          I <3 being tarred.

          Look, I'll make this easy for you, thanks to History and Philosophy of Science I'm nothing if not flexible, adjusting beliefs to fit empirical information as it comes to light and is thoroughly cluebatted via science. Thus calling me ideological blind come across to me as so ironic, my military grade, FSTDT cert. Irony Meter(TM) is now broken.

          Thus, I now require you, on pain of me bring this up on every post you make from here on in, to provide a reasoned, two or so paragraphs, or even a small essay, presenting evidence as to my ideological blindness.

          People like Nick S hide behind the bullshit drug company science but have no experience in the practicalities of mass immunization and their negative effects.

          Hey, here’s an idea, how about checking out some of the place I link to first before sounding off and making bullshit about me? Namely, Respectful Insolence and Science-Based Medicine are beloved of me, (as is Ben Goldacre), in part because they do sceptically look at and point out the bullshit some of the pharmaceutical companies attempt to and occasionally pull off. From failing to report negative results in drug trails, to the Vioxx fiasco (failure to statisitically test if incidence of cardiac issues increased), buying off doctors with free stuff. And then there’s the fucking advertising of various drugs without mentioning or let alone linking to teh clinical studies and post release monitoring work on side effects and efficacy.

          As to immunisation, I’m more than well aware of the side effects, which are mentioned when you for vaccination in the first place, and while yes, constant monitoring is needed to watch out any issues, which the more rare side effects, it’s a royal difficulty not only correlating them, but also working out causation. Which means I take many of the claims about side effects not covered in the literature with a grain of salt until they’ve been verified.

          On anaphylaxis – it’s a potential risk with every medication (more so with stuff impacting on the immune system) , and yes, medical stuff need to be able to deal with it, and I know full well how much a potential problem it is. So yeah, thanks for bringing it up and please continue to wack the muppets in the health sector who think it’s not an issue, as with prompt treatment it’s very treatable.

          On Hep-B vaccine – that’s always been the case, the vaccine’s ability to generate a long term immune response has always been not particularly brilliant. However current versions work in 85-90% of recipients, and some don’t respond no matter what…

          On relative risk and informed consent – lolwut? Where exactly have I run roughshod over that? Oh right, I like teh science, and not the anti-vacers and their legions of google educated marching morons, so therefore I must totes be against informing people of the actual risks.

          Excuse me while I roll my eyes…

  14. prism 14

    I say again that those completely against vaccination are following the individualistic line that is basically regressive. Instead of thinking of the benefits to the individual and society of medical advances you are concentrating on ideological theory. The rights and responsibilities of citizens have to be balanced here and beneficiaries should have the right to vaccines and the government responsibility to protect their health, and everybody else’s.

    As for contraceptives which is a different subject it is quite reasonable that someone who considers themselves an adult individual needs to face up to the adult responsibility of making good parenting choices, one of which is to avoid getting pregnant again.

    • muzza 14.1

      “and the government responsibility to protect their health, and everybody else’s.”

      —No, No and NO

      Nobody has the right to force any foreign entity into another human beings body, and those who follow that line are on for a dose of facism that their limited understandings, simply can not fathom!

      Just line up and take your shots, good little citizen, who has fallen for some of the greatest lies of all time…If you want to vaccinate, go right ahead, that is your choice!

      This issue is going to be used to turn people on eachother in the most vile of ways!

      • McFlock 14.1.1

        Nobody has the right to force any foreign entity into another human beings body, and those who follow that line are on for a dose of facism that their limited understandings, simply can not fathom!

        And what right do you have to incubate a disease that will enter someone else’s body, possibly killing them?

        • muzza 14.1.1.1

          Yes its quite the conumdrum isnt it McFlock! Take your vaccines and you will be healthy and cant get sick right….oh no we are all carriers, and vaccines dont work like that , blah blah….herd mentality!

          Cry on mate!

          • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1

            ooo damn – my smallpox is acting up something awful today…

          • Old Tony 14.1.1.1.2

            Not immunising is one of the greatest forms of selfishness there is. Once immunisation crosses certain thresholds “herd immunity” results which means that even those who can’t tolerate vaccines (the old and diseased) are also protected. Two things follow from that:
            1. Those who don’t immunise are parasites on those who do if the herd immunity threshold is crossed because they avoid individual risk while benefiting from the risks others take; and
            2. Those who don’t immunise are exposing the very sick to early disease and death if the threshold is not crossed.

            That is why I favour the current proposal and also why I have no respect at all for the flat-earthers who put their own health ahead of the collective. Surely not an approach acceptable to those on the left!!

            • KJT 14.1.1.1.2.1

              I would be perfectly happy if compulsory vaccination, with the current recommended vaccines, was extended to everyone.

              Not vaccinating your children and subjecting them to measles, whooping cough and/or TB is child abuse. As is non vaccinated adults among children too young or with too compromised an immune system to be vaccinated.

              What I object to is targeting it at just one sector of the population.

              • Fran

                All you self righteous and highly opinionated pro vaccinaters would scream if the govt decided that we lose X number of people to appendicitis each year so at age 11 everyone has to have their appendix out as a public health measure. Vaccination is no different.
                It is an invasive medical procedure which has risks and maybe benefits although I have yet to find 1 longitudinal study totally proving the efficacy of any vaccine. Lots which infer efficacy from anecdotal evidence but none where a population of vaccine recipients have been tested at intervals over time for antibodies. In other words no absolute proof that any vaccines actually work as they purport to.
                Some people are contra-indicated to particular vaccines and can’t have them. To not vaccinate is not child abuse, it is not the decision of morons and nutters but often of parents acting in the best interests of their individual children just as those parents who do vaccinate are doing. By the way we don’t vaccinate against TB anymore – the old BCG vaccine was withdrawn years ago.

                • KJT

                  If tonsillectomies only caused serious adverse affects to one in a million patients, like vaccines, instead of the current rate of complications it could be a good idea.

                  Like smallpox, we stopped vaccinating against TB because it was no longer necessary. Vaccination had been successful in almost entirely eradicating TB in NZ.

                  It is only coming back because of immigrants from countries that still have it.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Fran, reality check (you don’t mind if I perform this most basic procedure do you?)
                  “The government” is not providing the arguments in favour of universal voluntary vaccinations (nota bene: voluntary ≠ compulsory) – the medical profession is.

                  I might well “scream” if your hysterical exaggerated scenario ever came to pass, but not before I point out that you are full of shit.

                  Those who cannot vaccinate are put at greater risk by those who can but choose not to. I hope that hospitals soon start refusing employment to the willingly unvaccinated – before there are more deaths.

            • muzza 14.1.1.1.2.2

              “That is why I favour the current proposal and also why I have no respect at all for the flat-earthers who put their own health ahead of the collective”

              —- Of course you favour it Tony, you use the term flat earthers to bolster your point, hardly a surprise is it!

              Let me be very clear on my position then – I disagree with every word you have said, because you favour forced vaccination, which makes you a potential fascist, I put KJT in the same boat on this topic, and anyone else who favours forcing anything on anybody!

              People with such views are so convinced of their righteousness on this topic, that talk of having no respect for people who do not share your fascist position, is quintessential hypocrisy. of the highest order!

              The fact they can’t see the hypocrisy, is why the “herd” will be lead to their demise….in fact they will beg for it!

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                Nope, he uses the term “flat Earthers” because it’s an entirely apt analogy.

              • KJT

                OK Maybe it should be your choice not to vaccinate yourself or your kids, but then it should be societies right to prosecute you for child abuse when your kid dies from polio or gets seriously maimed by measles.
                Or you infect a child who cannot be immunized for other health reasons.

                Serious complications from vaccines are so rare as to be almost non existent.

                And that was from research which predates big Pharma.
                (I understand why people would be dubious about some of their more recent efforts).

                By your same argument we should not force people to wear seatbelts, avoid beating their kids, flouridate water, go to school, and other things we “force on people”.

                What is the difference between forcing a child to endure whopping cough, because of your silly beliefs, and beating them with a 4 x 2.

                Getting back to the subject. Demonising one group is wrong.

                Vaccination should be available, and compulsory, to all except those who cannot take it for health reasons..

                • burt

                  KJT

                  The consequences of compulsory vaccination will be a death sentence to a very small number of people. Sadly that’s the reality of it – this real issue is somewhat lost when we get bogged down in the numbers produced by parties with highly conflicted interests.

                  • KJT

                    The consequences of eating peanuts, or almost any other food, is a death sentence to a small number of people also.

                    Actually a lot more people die from peanut allergies than vaccination reactions.

                    Doesn’t stop most people eating peanuts.
                    Which don’t even have the advantage of protecting you against deadly disease.

                    Not vaccinating is a death sentence for a large number of people.

            • Frank Macskasy 14.1.1.1.2.3

              “Surely not an approach acceptable to those on the left!!”

              This is not about pro or anti immunisation.

              This is about the State demonising a vulnerable group, with the subtle subtext that they are some-how “dirty” and “diseased”.

              If it was such a critical issue, Tony, I DARE this rotten government to be bold enough to enforce complusory immunisation on every person in this country.

              But it won’t happen. There would be riotting and mayhem in the streets and Key and his cronies would be forced out of office by next week.

              This isn’t about immunisation at all. This is about deflecting attention from National’s apalling track record whilst they have been in power;

              * Youth unemployment up from 58,000 last year to 87,000 this year
              * Total unemployment up to 160,000 – 6.7% of the workforce
              * The government tax-take is down leaving a massive budget blow-out of $2.7 billion
              * Migration to Australia is increasing, with a net loss of 39,100 to the year ending February 2012
              * Wages continue to lag behind Australia
              * and other negative indicators

              http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/the-dark-art-of-spin-how-its-done-part-rua/

              • It doesn’t even have to be compulsory vaccination, just a financial incentive for everyone who gets vaccinated might be enough to convince people who are reticent about vaccines because they don’t think they’re safe.

                • Colonial Viper

                  That’s how they get students to participate in drug trials/experiments!

  15. It is the Nats’ belief that those on a benefit have fewer human rights than the rest of us.

    To some extent, that belief is correct. For example, if you’re independently wealthy and have settled in for a life of indolence, the govt can’t require you to get off your fat, lazy arse and look for a job – but if you’re an unemployment beneficiary they can and will, no matter how svelte and active your behind.

    • KJT 15.1

      As Greens we should have forced contraception for those with over three million dollars in wealth.
      Their children grow up to use ten times more resources than the poor, they remove wealth from our economy and waste it and they contribute to society by following productive and socially useful careers much less than less wealthy people.

      From a Eugenics point of view the the wealthy are often lacking in intelligence and general knowledge (Colin Craig), empathy (Key) or sense (Brash). They are often poor physical specimens as well.

      We can solve this problem by forceable contraception or we can, say, only allow their first child to go to a private school (Otherwise known as a taxpayer funded integrated school) . After being harassed and treated like dirt by a WINZ staffer.

      Hang on. NACT voters have proven to be less intelligent than the general average. Lets sterilise all of them!

    • Actually, I think an investor who no longer works because they’ve played their investments right is far more contemptible for not working than someone on the benefit, because at least the person on the benefit probably has good reasons they’re not finding work. And we could absolutely just tax people into working if they’re not earning a salary or self-employed.

      People should do what they can to contribute to society in some way that engages them, even if they don’t need to.

  16. RedBaron 16

    I’m not against vaccination as such but if it’s compulsory for one group it should be compulsory for all.
    I’d be more impressed if the stuff actually worked. Exactly what is the point of vaccinating against mumps (which isn’t usually that severe these days) only to have male children catching the disease at the age of 19-20 when the consequences for their fertility do matter.
    Likewise there have been rubella outbreaks among older teens, supposedly vaccinated. How long before we get an outbreak among an older group again with the resulting pregnancy complications. Less rubbish from the health department please.
    If the vaccines are delaying, not suppressing the disease for good, then we have the worst of all worlds.

  17. locus 17

    I had mumps as an adult after having mumps vaccination as a child. I was on my back with my legs apart for a week which provided a rich source of humour for my friends and family. Not so funny if I’d had to have an orchiectomy.

    Just because the MMR vaccine failed with me I would never advocate not vaccinating against mumps!! Possible reasons that it didn’t work for me are that the immunity had worn off, or maybe the strain of mumps I got wasn’t the same strain as the one I’d been vaccinated for.

    New and improved vaccines are constantly being researched and developed, but frankly any vaccination which has been through the necessary safety trials and which improves immunity against harmful diseases is a no-brainer.

    “A major reemergence of mumps in the Netherlands occurred during August 2007–May 2009, when a large genotype D mumps outbreak affected mainly unvaccinated persons with a religious objection to vaccination”

    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/18/1/11-1178_article.htm

    • locus 17.1

      oops – I meant mumps vaccine. Apparently the first mumps vaccinations had short duration effect.

  18. muzza 18

    Polio and Cancer SV40

    More on the SV40 Cancer debate

    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contaminated_haemophilia_blood_products’&quot; rel="nofollow">How drug companies can and do behave

    Those who put their faith into the statistics of "government" which are provided from a profit orientated industry which predominantly "self certifies"? . Then be comfortable with the concept, and possible application of forced vaccinations need to accept, that in life sometimes you have to live with the choices of others, and respect it, you don't have to like it, or agree, but you have to accept it!

    Putting foreign entities into another human beings body, by legislative force or otherwise, is one of those sitautions, its a door that should never be opened!

    • NickS 18.1

      Deeeeerp:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polio_vaccine#Contamination_concerns
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SV40

      And if I feel like it I’ll cluebat you over the rest later, especially since the SV40 stuff is easy to check via teh literature and I have the background to read it properly. And find everything + critique it.

      • muzza 18.1.1

        “And if I feel like it I’ll cluebat you over the rest later, especially since the SV40 stuff is easy to check via teh literature and I have the background to read it properly. And find everything + critique it”

        — Wow you just did me with wiki Nicky because while I used it in one link(purely because it is easily cross checked), it is not a reliable source is it, except to juvinille, abusive , know it all , net slang, digital kiddies!

        — Have fun reading through those legal cases boy!

        — Repeat: Good luck with the cluebatting!

        • NickS 18.1.1.1

          Yes, because court cases are teh gold standard for evidence /sarcasm-gasm

          That’s right, I’ll be going straight to the literature, the scientific literature, where all the warts and bumps of methodology are nice and clear and not subject to the whims of lawyers trying to win a case.

          • muzza 18.1.1.1.1

            Yes Nicky, you are the authority, you get to tell us who is exactly who is credible and who is not, and why!

            —- Good luck with the clue batting boy, I await your source of thruth findings!

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 18.1.2

        From the Wikipedia article:

        the United States National Cancer Institute announced in 2004 that although SV40 does cause cancer in some animal models, “substantial epidemiological evidence has accumulated to indicate that SV40 likely does not cause cancer in humans”.

        Of course, the USNCI is in on the whole conspiracy.

        • muzza 18.1.2.1

          Yeah quote the wiki article because they’re rock solid right!

          Once you have read through the other links maybe then pass comment !

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 18.1.2.1.1

            Idiot fuckhead – I already did: they demonstrate your idiocy.

  19. locus 19

    r0b’s post gives reasons for opposing compulsory immunisation, as well as highlighting that he thinks the real issue for children’s health is poverty. While Paula Bennett raises the question “at what point should a social obligation be part of a requirement to get a benefit.”

    So there are several separate questions to consider:
    1. Should immunisation be compulsory?
    2. Should immunisation be regarded as a social obligation?
    3. Is lack of immunisation a ‘real’ issue affecting children’s health?
    4. Is poverty the ‘real’ (i.e. most important) issue affecting children’s health?
    5. Should State benefits be dependent on social obligations?

    1. Immunisation is not compulsory in NZ because most agree that what you do about your personal health should be your own choice. The only justifiable role for government in this is to provide easy access to free vaccinations to all, and the best possible information and advice to everyone on the personal and societal risks of not being vaccinated.

    2. Immunisation may be considered by many people to be a social obligation, but compulsory immunisation removes the meaning of social obligation. The idea of a social obligation is that it’s something that individuals feel obliged (but not forced) to do for the benefit of society. Agreeing that something should be ‘regarded’ as a social obligation does not infer agreement with making that thing compulsory.

    3. imo it’s a sad fact that many people in NZ aren’t immunised and don’t ensure their children are immunised. This means many, particularly children, are unprotected against preventable diseases; that the incidence of preventable diseases is higher than it could be; that those who are particularly vulnerable (pregnant mothers, babies, children on chemotherapy etc) are at greater risk of contracting a disease.

    4. I agree that poverty is an incredibly important factor in creating living conditions where health can be compromised. All the more reason to sort out poverty first and at the same time ensure free accessible vaccination and advice is available to all – especially the poor.

    5. Any suggestion that access to State benefits should be based on anything other than need for those benefits is pure ideological claptrap. And if you happen to believe in that kind of ideology, then who would be qualified to determine what constitutes a social obligation? If it’s a right wing government that decides now, then it would logically have to be a left wing government some time in the future. Not a very comforting thought I imagine for jk and his mates.

  20. Hami Shearlie 20

    In the past I couldn’t have a rubella vacc because it was in horse serum which my doctor said could be dangerous for me as an asthmatic child. The teacher villified me in class and said I was spoiling it for everyone. I don’t know about the serums these days but there may be children who would have a severe reaction to them. Compulsory vaccination would have to be overseen by the child’s doctor. Targetting beneficiaries is the old National Party ploy to divert attention from their disastrous running of our economy. Shipley did the same in the 90’s! Same old, same old. Remember when she wanted people to pay to go to hospital? These people never change.

    • seeker 20.1

      Good for your doctor Hami S. It is really important that individual physiological needs are taken into account when vaccinating our children. Our family had a history of mild epilepsy which apparently is a worry for a whooping cough vaccination, hence I declined the jab for my son on the doctor’s advice. I was also somewhat relieved as a friend of mine ended up with a severely damaged son after a whooping cough jab. Although they received 14,000 pounds in damages (1985) their beautiful son was never the same.I was very nervous of this happening for my child, although I went along with all other vaccinations for my precious son. (Big probs with MMR in 1989 though, but that is another story.)

      If anyone had tried to force me to have a vaccination that I felt was not safe for my child I would have fought them tooth and nail.( and I did when it came to the second MMR when my child was five.)

      Similarly, certain types of contraception are not safe for all women and individual bio chemical/physiological needs again have to be catered for. Neither contraception or vaccination are “one size fits all” . Paula Bennett has no right to say it is a “social obligation” to be vaccinated to receive a benefit if there is a chance that we are possibly putting the life of even one of our children on the line so she can look good to the neo liberal ideologists. Or, indeed the lives of ‘solo’ mothers and daughters on the line via possibly enforced contraception.

      In my experience, both vaccination and contraception can be damaging, if not life threatening, if not dealt with carefully and responsibly by trustworthy medical practitioners.

  21. outofbed 21

    How common is whooping cough in a nonvaccinating country?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8483621

    • locus 21.1

      To assess the impact of anti-vaccine movements that targeted pertussis whole-cell vaccines, we compared pertussis incidence in countries where high coverage with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccines (DTP) was maintained (Hungary, the former East Germany, Poland, and the USA) with countries where immunisation was disrupted by antivaccine movements (Sweden, Japan, UK, The Russian Federation, Ireland, Italy, the former West Germany, and Australia).

      Pertussis incidence was 10 to 100 times lower in countries where high vaccine coverage was maintained than in countries where immunisation programs were compromised by anti-vaccine movements.

      http://www.fcs.uga.edu/cfd/cdl/docs/vaccines_exemptions.pdf

  22. Peter in Papua New Guinea 22

    Bring it on as these children are more likely to be at risk from the third world diseases in places like South Auckland. With freedom comes responsibility but the left hate taking responsibility for their actions. They prefer the state to do this. Cool calculated carrot stick approach. Time people getting free money from me are put into line a bit more.
    And no, I am not racist, this will also include white people as well.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 22.1

      “Time people getting free money from me are put into line a bit more.”

      No, I think it’s time gutter dwellers like you were prevented from ever being able to enact your sick authoritarian fantasies ever again.

      • muzza 22.1.1

        “No, I think it’s time gutter dwellers like you were prevented from ever being able to enact your sick authoritarian fantasies ever again”

        —What, like those who support forced vaccinations, political point of views or leanings aside eh! Authoritarian hypocracy one could call that!

        Yeah good response otherwise Bloke!

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 22.1.1.1

          I only support forced vaccination in cases where an idiot fuckhead has kids.

          • muzza 22.1.1.1.1

            “I only support forced vaccination in cases where an idiot fuckhead has kids.”

            — Are you copying Nick S’s abusive terminology, or he is copying you…Either way its a little cheesy Bloke…

            Come on I would credit you with better than that!

            Oh, and of course you would support that, because you dont accept that the parent is the SOLE decision maker for a child, no matter what you would rather it to be. One Fascist Bloke!

            • Kotahi Tane Huna 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Reality check, the parent is not the sole decision maker for the child. There are bounds within which they must stay or the state becomes involved – the provision of basic needs, freedom from assault, etc.

              Once again the real world diverges from your notions. Once again you merit Nick S’ apt moniker.

              • muzza

                “Reality check, the parent is not the sole decision maker for the child. There are bounds within which they must stay or the state becomes involved – the provision of basic needs, freedom from assault, etc.”

                —Yes thanks for pointing that laws are made for the lowest common denominator, and that we do not own our lives, and that that state can decide to force vaccinate should they choose to.

                State has your best interests at heart bloke, just keep cuddling up to it, all will be swell…

                You read like a scared little man, who runs for the comfort of the state to make sure his views are forced upon everyone else.

                Real world, you would not know the real world if they made you a vaccine for it….vaccines, real world, um no not really is it!

                Sad!

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Point out Muzza can’t argue using real world examples, and the idiot fuckhead has a temper tanty. So predictable.

                  PS:Scared? Coming from someone who believes the world is run by a giant secret conspiracy , you really are an idiot fuckhead.

                  • muzza

                    LOL – scared is not a word which gets a look in. in my life bloke, I fly planes, so not alot of room for being scared! And if you think that was a tantrum, you are a bigger sniveller than I could possibly imagine. Just keep using those foul terms bloke, you might even start to see yourself in them eventually!

                    You have no idea what I believe, this is online, not real, do try to remember that. I don’t let my real self come through, I just post stuff, and gauge the herd mentality as research!

                    Wait hold on, they probably have a vaccine you can take for self esteem issues…best you run along and take the shot!

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Somewhere along the line, Muzza, you have developed the idea that I set some store upon your opinion of me, or that the tiresome details of your life are of interest.

                      Can you please get it into the pickled walnut between your ears that I don’t, and they aren’t?

                      I had hoped that my adoption of NickS’ excellent descriptive nickname for you would put you off further replies, but I guess it’s back to the drawing board.

                    • NickS

                      I had hoped that my adoption of NickS’ excellent descriptive nickname for you would put you off further replies, but I guess it’s back to the drawing board.

                      Well, he is a stupid fuckhead, so it does take him a while to learn…

                    • locus

                      gee i hope it’s only top-dressing planes. the thought of being a passenger on a plane flown by muzza aaaaaagh

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      lol

                      Oh the Humanity.

              • locus

                KTH – it’s very frustrating to have to engage with people who believe that that they have convince others to ‘exercise their choice’ and not be immunised, but given the consequences of their attitudes there’s really no option.

                • Kotahi Tane Huna

                  Locus, yeah I know, but what works? Recent research shows that there is a large group of people who lack the cognitive ability to recognise their own incompetence – which explains political conservatism, but also renders them impervious to better information.

                  There is an increasing body of opinion that appeals to data are pointless in such circumstances, and that emotional arguments may yield better results.

                  Hence my question at 1.1.1.1

                  • locus

                    Thanks for the link. Rachel Maddow is right.

                    How can you converse with those in an alternate reality?

                    She’s on the right track: keep on presenting verifiable data and talking intelligently – those who want to be talked to intelligently will listen, the others will wade in and make fools of themselves.

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Also of interest:

                      “Much of the present research literature suggests that our prejudices are primarily emotional in origin rather than cognitive…it might be particularly fruitful for researchers to consider strategies to change feelings…” rather than thoughts.

                      The article deals with strategies to combat racism and associated right wing traits, but I think it is relevant to any false belief system.

                    • muzza

                      Quoting Rachel Maddow, oh dear!

                      Locus/Bloke – Just keep on thinking you have the right to force your opinions on people, they are your opinions and you are entitled to them.

                      Just accept that other people do not share them, and in some cases it will be nothing to do with emotion, and simply a choice based on what any individual decides. You can argue until youre blue in the face , but currently you cant force your vaccination beliefs on other people, and that gets under both of your skirts clearly.
                      But hey, cry on and lobby the state , and maybe they will bring in forced vaccinations, where you can all then live in a lovely medicated world to your hearts content, after having opened the floodgates to having your beloved state, then do as they like to yours and everyone elses body and mind! No thanks, that is not what I would like to be part of. Perhaps you think that it would end at forced vaccinations, perhaps you think the GFC was a naturally occuring event too!

                      Currently people have the right to choose to take shots, or the right not to, deal with that!

                      PS – OAB, youre on medication is my guess, either for body or mind , possibly both, go on deny it!

                    • Kotahi Tane Huna

                      Please stop embarrasing yourself, you tiresome cretin.

                    • muzza

                      “Please stop embarrasing yourself, you tiresome cretin”

                      — Embarrassment, interesting choice of word, because its a transferred state of feeling , based on what one person (you in this case), thinks they might experience in any given situation, and then attemps to transfer their emotional frailties onto another!

                      A bit like how you thought that using abusive terms, might put me off responding, again giving an insight your mind!

                      So about those pills you live on then….

          • McFlock 22.1.1.1.2

            lol

        • seeker 22.1.1.2

          @Peter who I hope is not in Papua New Guinea

          “Time people getting free money from me are put into line a bit more.”

          Exactly, it’s all about the money Peter isn’t it?

    • burt 22.2

      Peter in Papua New Guinea

      You need to understand that you must pay your taxes but you are not allowed an opinion on how they should be used.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 22.2.1

        Sure he is – as I am allowed an opinion that people who support human rights violations are criminals.

        • Peter in Papua New Guinea 22.2.1.2

          At least I am not paying for your opinion native name. I am sick of paying for fuckwits you support breeding, but I end up supporting them. Time for politicians to stop paying wasters to breed, pay it yourself. Talking about human rights violations, these deadbeat parents should be charged for the households some of these poor kids live in.
          Time to make a whole lot of foster institutions like orfanages I reckon, at teast these babies will have a better start in life. And the deadbeats don’t get a cent to breed, watch the breeding rate drop.

          • Colonial Viper 22.2.1.2.1

            Time to make a whole lot of foster institutions like orfanages I reckon, at teast these babies will have a better start in life. And the deadbeats don’t get a cent to breed, watch the breeding rate drop.

            I wish we could stop paying for hateful people who can’t even spell.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 22.2.1.2.2

            ^^^^^^^^^
            The hatred that lies at the heart of Tory, exhibit a.

      • @ Burt, “You need to understand that you must pay your taxes but you are not allowed an opinion on how they should be used.”

        Would you like a list of folk who’ve fallen foul of Key’s regime, Burt? I can provide one for you, if you like.

        • burt 22.2.2.1

          Frank Macshasy

          I wasn’t being specific to colour of logo actually Frank, but sure if you want to identify the enemy as a big blue “N” logo then go right ahead.

          Lists of names in some kind of “your team is worse” games still seems a hiding to nothing for a Labour supporter to be playing – but sure, bring it on if you must.

          • felix 22.2.2.1.1

            What I like about burt is he’s a totally non-partisan, unbiased, balanced observer.

            He doesn’t like Labour because they’re too left-wing, and doesn’t like National because they’re not right-wing enough.

            • burt 22.2.2.1.1.1

              You can cast it that way if you want to felix. I think it’s more that what’s odorous about Labour is also odorous about National – major party dinosaur that wants to govern alone with accountability to some agenda that’s not necessarily mandated by the people. We can bitch back and forward about relative debits and credits if you want to though.

              Which side you want to play cause as you correctly pointed out I have no overall “favourite”. I hiss at either of them when they have policies and/or behaviours that I disagree with.

              Your game seems easier though, just look at the flag colour!

          • Frank Macskasy 22.2.2.1.2

            I mention it because National happens to be in government, not because “your team is worse”. Being in government, Burt, I assumre meanbs taking responsibility for their policies and actions. As for the list of people who’ve fallen foul of Dear Leader’s regime, whether directly or indirectly, I present for your edification, http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/one-law-for-all-except-mps/

  23. The Chairman 23

    There is also concern over the proposal of children having to meet ‘minimum health standards’

    How will this proposal be defined and enforced?

    Are overweight children meeting ‘minimum health standards’?

    Will a child’s meals be monitored? How will they be monitored? Cameras in the home?

    And what happens if they’re not being fed the right foods?

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      Notice zero focus from National on making sure families can afford good food for their children. Its more hoops and barriers, no help.

    • Funny how government removed the law making it mandatory for school tuck shops to sell only healthy foods…

      They recknoned it was “Nanny Statism”.

  24. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 24

    It is the Nats’ belief that those on a benefit have fewer human rights than the rest of us. They can simply be told what to do.

    Whereas, it is r0b’s belief that everyone should be entitled to a living from the state without any obligations on their part whatsoever.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 24.1

      No, it isn’t.

      But since the Nats are constantly singling out poor people for nanny state interference, R0b has a point. Perhaps you have a very sophisticated argument that shows how their blind adherence to fact-free bullshit is motivated by stupidity or ignorance or something, but we have to at least consider the possibility that R0b is 100% correct.

    • @ The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell; “Whereas, it is r0b’s belief that everyone should be entitled to a living from the state without any obligations on their part whatsoever.”

      Though four years ago, at least half of unemployed had jobs, and unemployment was at 3.4%. Now it’s DOUBLE that, thanks to the global financial crisis and resulting recession. I wonder, Ole – how many welfare beneficiaries were on the Boardrooms of Wall St? Lehmann Bros? Goldman Sachs? General Motors? Bank of Scotland? And over FORTY finance companies here in Godzone?

      We went from 3.4% unemployment to 6.9%, and you have the cheek to to blame beneficiaries for “lack of obligations”?

      You’re finger-pointing the wrong crowd, mate.

    • felix 24.3

      “without any obligations on their part whatsoever.”

      lolwut? Opposing compulsory medical procedures = “without any obligations”?

      That doesn’t even deserve a response, Ole, except to note that you’ve been doing quite a bit of this lately.

    • burt 24.4

      The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

      The unintended consequence of this unquestioning benevolent state approach is however that we can’t afford to give the required amount of assistance to the needy while we are carrying the opportunistic.

      When you get right down to it, a society that tolerates any welfare abuse has only itself to blame for poor outcomes with regard to the ‘hand up’ intentions of welfare. It’s not the amount of fraud that should dictate the penalties, it’s the deliberate ‘taking from the genuine needy’ that should be punished.

      That might be best achieved by putting them in the stocks outside a WINZ office with an “I stole from people least able to fend for themselves” sign above them!

      • felix 24.4.1

        When wealthy people gather large amounts of resources for their own use while others go hungry and suffer, is that ‘taking from the genuinely needy’ too?

        Or is it only when poor people try it on that it’s offensive to you?

        • burt 24.4.1.1

          felix

          OK, sure but you are ignoring the issue to push your own barrow.

          There is a finite amount of money available for distribution to genuine needy people. The government can’t simply keep endlessly spending more. Now sure we can get short sighted and say the rich need to be taxed more so right now the government can spend more than last year… That sadly though gets us nowhere in the right direction of tackling the social attitude that it’s OK to be carried if you want to be carried rather than because you need to be.

          Arguably felix, ignoring the repugnance of welfare abuse while focusing on the supply of money to make it less of a problem provides the fertile environment for welfare fraud to flourish.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 24.4.1.1.1

            Ignoring the repugnance of policies that create poverty in favour of hating bennies makes your opinions look callous and delusional.

          • felix 24.4.1.1.2

            No burt, it’s you who is trying to narrow the issue. Look at the wider implications of your statement:

            “There is a finite amount of money available for distribution to genuine needy people.”

            There is a finite amount of resources available for everything. A few very rich people have ownership and control over an enormously disproportionate amount of these finite resources, which leaves a much smaller finite amount for distribution to everybody else.

            For some reason you’re fine with the overall inequitable distribution but you want to quibble about the margins.

            You’re trying to arbitrate over the fight for the scraps at the kitchen door while ignoring the enormous overfed elephant at the table.

            • burt 24.4.1.1.2.1

              felix

              I think you are getting confused between what the law says and what you think it should say. That’s an understandable position for a Labour supporter.

              But sure, we could change the law to tighten up who is eligible for welfare and we could change the tax laws so that tax cannot be minimilised via trusts etc.

              These scraps at the kitchen door – are you talking about people who pay more tax than the average household income paying even more so that other people who haven’t ever paid tax can have more to spend ? Is that what you are really talking about or is there some other point you are trying to make ?

  25. Treetop 25

    Not sure if it was BBC Radio around 6.30 am or World Watch around 7.40 am this morning as I kept nodding off. There was a discussion on how important good nutrition was during pregnancy for a strong immune system to ward off lifetime illness.

    Perhaps the way to go is to give a food allowance for all low income pregnant women. There was talk of free dental care for pregnant women prior to the November 2011 election. Being complacent with food nutrition and dental care during pregnancy; an oppertunity is being lost to save the health system dollars and for the population to be healthier.

  26. Colonial Viper 26

    USA: Only 46% of doctors get flu vaccinations, and just 37% of nurses. (2000 data)

    http://journals.lww.com/smajournalonline/Fulltext/2010/10000/Influenza_Vaccination_Acceptance_and_Refusal_Rates.7.aspx

    • McFlock 26.1

      Reasons used by non-vaccinated HCP for refusing vaccination were related to fears of getting sick and getting influenza, misconceptions about vaccine effectiveness, and beliefs that they are healthy and therefore do not need the vaccine.

      News flash: when a healthcare board with 400-odd staff notices that its healthcare providers have a low vaccine uptake and asks why, it turns out that they tend to hire idiots.
       

      • Vicky32 26.1.1

        News flash: when a healthcare board with 400-odd staff notices that its healthcare providers have a low vaccine uptake and asks why, it turns out that they tend to hire idiots.

        My son is a nurse in Welly, and he has always avoided the ‘flu vaccination, with some effort on his part! This is simply because he is intensely needle-phobic, * and that’s all. If there was an oral or nasal version he’d be well in.
         
         
         
        * He’s needle-phobic to an extent that’s beyond my ability to understand.

  27. FAKE CONSPIRACY THEORY ALERT
    hhhhmmmm…..birth control……vaccination….birth control….vaccination
    As part of the eugenics programme to deal with inter-generational welfare dependence, you first prevent the current generation from breeding again.
    Then for those that do breed, or have bred, you prevent those children from breeding. 
    National have been playing a long game. In 1991, under a National government, a team of senior government officials secretly met to discuss a nation wide system, born out of the so called “Serious Incident Computer Application” (SICA – known to insiders as the Serialization Injection Covert Application)
    The new project would be know as INCIS (Initiative for National Covert Injectable Sterilization). The use of the word National was an intentional insider joke.
    This programme was operated under the guise of a national police information technology initiative. However, the development was “scaled back” in 1999, the very year National lost the election to Labour.
    For the following nine years, this most important of the National party programmes, was intrusted to the most fanatical and hardest working National Party kingpin, Bill Birch. For nine years Bill worked, out of a forgotten state service owned basement in darkest Wellington, to perfect the scheme.
    With the advent of the Fifth National Government this programme is now the responsibility of MSD (Medical Sterilization of Dependents).

    • burt 27.1

      National have been playing a long game. In 1991, under a National government, a team of senior government officials secretly met to discuss a nation wide system, born out of the so called “Serious Incident Computer Application” (SICA – known to insiders as the Serialization Injection Covert Application)

      National have been playing a long game. In 1991, under a National government, a team of senior government officials secretly met to discuss a nation wide system, born out of the so called “National Injections Service” NIS and “Welfare Correction Covertly” ( WCC ).

      Sorry, minor correction of your facts there.

  28. Max 28

    This post is crap. It’s a joke to say you don’t want to start a vaccine debate, and then state your uninformed personal opinion that vaccination is not necessary for healthy children.
    Someone, anyone please point me towards some scientific evidence that vaccination is not safe. There is none. The UK researcher who claimed MMR vaccination caused autism has recently had his paper withdrawn from the Lancet journal and has been struck off the medical register for unethical practice.
    This is not a complex issue. Vaccines are proven safe and efficacious. Not vaccinating leads to:

    Measles. Hmm highly contagious and yes most children will survive without ill effect, but the risks include pneumonia, blindness secondary to corneal scarring, acute encephalitis (possibly leading to seizures, death), and a highly fatal form of brain infection, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.

    Diptheria. A throat infection. There is a risk of death from a swollen and obstructed airway, not nice. Roughly a fifth of people with the infection will get a secondary inflammation of the heart, which may greatly reduce your life expectancy if it doesn’t kill you. Also very commonly caused by this infection is permanent nerve damage in the hands and feet.

    Tetanus. Muscle contractions cause severe pain and make eating, drinking and breathing impossible. Fatal in up to two thirds of cases.

    Whooping cough. Fatal in 1% of children under 2 months of age, but the risk of death is there for everyone. Also pneumonia, brain infection, seizures.

    I could also comment on Haemophilus influenza type B, pneumococcal disease, polio, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, rotavirus, but I think my point has been made. If you would expose your child’s life to all these risks in the hope of obtaining naturally acquired immunity, I’m confident a reasonable person would call you a moron.
    “Vaccination is not necessary for a healthy child in a healthy environment”. The only way I can see this to be true is a healthy environment where everyone is immunised except your child, whereby you still expose the child to the risks of severe illness and death, but you also selfishly rely on the immunity of the population in general to afford some protection. Otherwise there is no healthy environment that would protect a child from these vaccine-preventable diseases.

    I agree that compulsory vaccination is assault and against human rights. I don’t see how a government can bypass the parents and force medical treatments on children. This appears to be draconian. I also agree that reducing child poverty and overcrowding could save many lives and also reduce the impact on the economy from incredible rates of hospital admissions for skin infections, gastroenteritis, rheumatic fever, pneumonia etc (but most of these are NOT vaccine preventable, this is a separate issue).
    I’m a doctor working in paediatrics and vaccination is part of my day to day work. It doesn’t take a medical degree to acknowledge the association between our appallingly low childhood vaccination rate of 80% just a few years ago and the fact we now have a measles epidemic and a whooping cough epidemic. This is a national embarrassment.
    I’d like to blame the NZ media, for stirring the pot and turning well meaning parents into misinformed/uninformed risk takers.

    • higherstandard 28.1

      Thanks for saving me the time.

    • insider 28.2

      Max it’s not the media. It’s the fact that vaccinations and sanitation improvements have been so tremendous that we have lost all perspective of risk. Pleasant middle class families don’t have much to worry about health wise these days – they are not losing mothers and children regularly to common diseases and in childbirth. As a result they can put all their effort into magnifying their suppressed angst and anxiety over the near non existent risk from the things that are proven to save millions upon millions of lives.

    • r0b 28.3

      Ahh Max, so certain of yourself.

      Someone, anyone please point me towards some scientific evidence that vaccination is not safe. There is none.

      OK, here’s one example.

      Aragón TJ. Risks of serious complications and death from smallpox vaccination: a systematic review of the United States experience, 1963–1968. BMC public health. 2003;3:26.

      Post-vaccinial encephalitis

      The risk of post-vaccinial encephalitis (complication risk, CR), the risk of a post-vaccinial encephalitis death (mortality risk, MR), and the individual risk of dying of post-vaccinial encephalitis (case fatality risk, CFR) by age group are displayed in Table 2. The highest risk for developing post-vaccinial encephalitis was among infants aged 1 year was much lower and did not change with age.

      Table 2. Risk of post-vaccinial encephalitis (P.V.E.) and death from primary smallpox vaccinations, Stratified by age and study, 1963–1968
      The summary case fatality risk for post-vaccinial encephalitis was highest in infants aged <1 year (CFR, 44.4 deaths per 100 cases; 95% CI, 13.7–78.8), however, it was not statistically different from the other age groups (P value = 0.21). For all ages groups, combined there were 11 deaths among 38 cases of post-vaccinial encephalitis (CFR, 28.9 deaths per 100 cases; 95% CI, 15.4–45.9).

      Discussion

      To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review of the severe complications of smallpox vaccination in the USA. In addition to the age-specific complication and mortality risks, the case fatality risks were summarized. Using pooled summary measures, for every million primary vaccinations there were 60 cases of accidental infection, 40 cases generalized vaccinia, 13 cases of eczema vaccinatum, 3 cases of post-vaccinial encephalitis, and 1 case of vaccinia necrosum.

      This systematic review summarizes the major smallpox vaccine complication and case fatality risks for predicting the age-specific burden of vaccine complications in the event of widespread ring and mass vaccinations. … Both potential primary and re-vaccinees are at risk for myopericarditis. Similar to post-vaccinial encephalitis, there is no screening criteria to reduce complications rates. For these reasons, and because the long term effects of myopericarditis are not known, the ACIP has recommended a "pause" in the USA smallpox vaccination program until the risks and benefits can be studied more carefully [50]. Unless there is a smallpox outbreak, at the current time, the individual risks of pre-event smallpox vaccination outweigh the potential benefits.

      Why don’t you do some actual research on the topic Max?

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 28.3.1

        And yet here is Professor Aragon in another paper which supports vaccination against smallpox.

        http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/4/34/

        • r0b 28.3.1.1

          That paper supports “ring vaccination” – local intervention around the site of an outbreak.

        • NickS 28.3.1.2

          Ah yeah, r0b’s not actually anti-vaccination, what he’s pointing out is that the small pox vaccine does have serious potential side effects, and it has been raised in recent years that it’s somewhat unnecessary to vaccinate against it except in the case of outbreaks or if you work with it. Although it’s not worked with outside of level 4 hot labs so even then, vaccination isn’t a complete necessity.

      • higherstandard 28.3.2

        rOb

        As I’m sure you are aware mass smallpox vaccination has not been undertaken for many decades now. I’m sure you are also aware smallpox was one of the most hideous afflictions to blight humanity.

        Yes it was a vaccine that had a high incidence of side effects but compared to the horror of smallpox health authorities made the correct decision to proceed with an smallpox eradication plan.

        The eradication of smallpox via mass vaccination is one of the greatest achievements in medicine let alone public health.

        http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/smallpox/en/

        • r0b 28.3.2.1

          Yes it was a vaccine that had a high incidence of side effects

          OK good – so we’re past Max’s “all vaccination is safe” rhetoric, we acknowledge that risks exist, and we’re on to looking at risk / benefit analysis – yes?

          The eradication of smallpox via mass vaccination is one of the greatest achievements in medicine let alone public health.

          Probably, though there are counter arguments (a popular account here, I don’t have time to research this properly now but note the reference to: Dick G. Smallpox: A Reconsideration of Public Health Policies. Progress in Medical Virology 1966: 8: 1-29).

          In the interests of my sanity, and the amount of work I have to get done today, I’m not going to return to this thread until tonight…

          • NickS 28.3.2.1.1

            /sigh

            Find a better source please, Halvorsen’s twigging my woo sensors hard, particularly given the acupuncture page, saying it works, when every major study and meta analysis says otherwise.

            And he doesn’t understand mercury toxicology either, as the toxicity of mercury containing compounds is approximate to the number of co-ordination bonds. Basically the less co-ordination bonds the more surface electrons the mercury has to form co-ordination bonds to other biological molecules and gum up the works. In thimerisol’s case it breaks down into ethylmercury, which definitely isn’t non-toxic, due to low co-ord number , but is less toxic than methylmercury* you ingest from seafood. And in terms or relative dosage, the amounts in vaccines, in total, is about the same you’d get, in terms of overall bio-toxicity, is less than that from a small can of tuna. Also, metallic mercury is actually less toxic than methyl, it just that exposures are typically quite higher with metallic mercury.

            As for saying mercury poisoning causes symptoms like autism, he needs a swift kick in the balls and a good look at the diagnostic criteria and the fucking literature, to which I once again link to Orac’s blog for the relevant stuff. But basically, the symptoms are superficially like autism, and only if you ignore a whole range of diagnostic criteria…

            ______________________________
            *wracking my brains, it’s due down to electrical environment of the molecule – larger it is, the less labile the surface electrons of mercury are, and the energy required to form a co-ord bond is increased slightly. But don’t quote me on that.

            • McFlock 28.3.2.1.1.1

              But don’t quote me on that.

              No fear – the sum of my comprehension was “your wordiness make funny sounds in my head”.
              And “labile” sounds rude. 🙂

              • NickS

                It’s only organic chemistry, nothing to fear 😛

                As for the wordiness, well, science is information dense 😛

            • NickS 28.3.2.1.1.2

              Find a better source please, Halvorsen’s twigging my woo sensors hard, particularly given the acupuncture page, saying it works, when every major study and meta analysis says otherwise.

              Whoops, fucked up the tag :/

          • NickS 28.3.2.1.2

            Now that’s out of the way, onto his historiography of smallpox.

            First issue – no source for the smallpox graph, so we can’t easily check out his claims, a definitely stupid thing to do, which independently of anything else on there raises alarms with me. Why? With no sources, you can bullshit freely with with graphs. But there are some things I can say about this conclusions.

            Though this graph only shows those children vaccinated at birth, when the large majority were vaccinated, it is not a good advertisement for the effectiveness of smallpox vaccination. The number of deaths from smallpox fell sharply during the late nineteenth century and remained low despite falling vaccination figures. As the disease became increasingly rare, and hence the relative risks of vaccination greater, an increasing number of doctors called for the end of vaccination against smallpox. Compulsory vaccination ended in 1948.

            By the Elder Things, basically large scale mass vaccination didn’t really happen until the social welfare systems were in place. It was a bit piecemeal as the social situation of the time would have made vaccination in the poorer classes and rural areas problematic, along with immigration. So of course there wasn’t an immediate reduction in mortality. Especially as the age group used for infant mort. includes those before the start of the graph (i.e it starts too late, and now I notice it, it looks like cherry picking), where vaccination levels may have been lower. Same for adult population.

            What he ignores though is the very, very rapid drop off within the 1881-1890 and subsequent levelling out, focusing only the 1871-1880 time slice, while not addressing any alt.hypothesises. It’s actually somewhat difficult to work out here what he’s actually trying to say, as he omits the sort of details I’d expect to see in a description concerning epidemiological phenomena. Particularly as if one uses population modelling, the apparent continued decline in smallpox incidences vs falling vaccination levels is very straightforward. As smallpox vaccine conferred long term resistance, it removed potential vectors from the population, as as smallpox doesn’t last long in the environment it needs to infect a host successfully very quickly. Thus transmission chances are decreased, which when combined with better healthcare and isolation lowers transmission rates greatly.

            Also, by not including adult vaccination levels, he really makes a mess of things, as it’s total percentage of the population vaccinated which really matters in epidemiological models. As it tells you how much habitat the virus potential has, and further stratification allows us to make predictive models about how it can spread in a population.

            Thus I feel that trying to draw anything of real substance from that graph concerning the efficacy of mass vaccination is actually fucking pointless, if not a downright attempt at cherry picking the data to meet an a priori conclusion.

            __________________________________

            And I’ll chew through the rest later, though of interest is him citing this to effectively claim

            Leading players involved in smallpox eradication have admitted that eradication was a close shave, and only just achieved

            as if there was some issue with the vaccine, given the prior framing.

            But the quote from the WHO and the context reveals otherwise:

            Duration of global eradication programs. The advantages mentioned above might give the impression that smallpox eradication was easy. It was not so. There were numerous difficulties; such as lack of transport, concealment of smallpox outbreaks by the government, guerrilla wars, chronic shortage of funds, and bureaucratic mismanagement. In 1980, D. A. Henderson, ex-WHO leader of the program, indicated, “… I realize that smallpox eradication was achieved, but just barely achieved. Had the biological and epidemiologic characteristics of the disease, or the world political situation, been even slightly more negative, the effort might have failed” (10).

            Why, then, did smallpox eradication succeed? One reason was the short length of the program, at 10 years (11). In 1997, at the Dahlem Workshop on the Eradication of Infectious Diseases, Arita stated, “The duration of an eradication program should not be too long, perhaps in the range of 10–15 years…it is difficult to sustain a high level of enthusiasm throughout the period” (11).

            It took 5 years to move from 31 nations with endemic smallpox in 1967 to 8 nations in 1973, and another 5 years to reach zero cases globally in 1977. In the polio program, 18 years have already elapsed. The eradication program succeeded in reducing the number of nations reporting polio from 150 in 1988 to the 23 in 2000 but then slowed to 16 in 2005, despite extensive synchronized campaigns in Africa (see table). By 21 March 2006, 91 total cases were reported to WHO for the year, as compared with 52 from January to March in 2005.

            Hmmn, that does not bode well for the legitimacy Halverson’s piece on it’s own…

            Oh well, I’m off now, got some library books to pick up :3

            Also, post me links from google scholar to the version listing in the results for a paper you want and I can probably grab it if it’s available online and post it here via a online filelocker.

            edit – missed a blockquote close tag :3

            • NickS 28.3.2.1.2.1

              Note, I’ve got work for the next week or so, so any major replies may take awhile.

            • NickS 28.3.2.1.2.2

              On the graph thing I have few more things to add that have only occurred to me since yesterday, don’t have the time to do more than sketch them out though.

              -compulsory vacc. caused reaction with people not getting babies vaccinated (resistance – saw article about), but needed to also take into account later vaccinations
              -line graph of infections/cases per million by itself without detailed info on outbreaks makes it difficult to interpret given various features of smallpox, needs to be also grounded in historical context on societal reactions to suffers in England/Wales.
              -immigration of non-vaccinated individuals could also account for the plateau?
              -basically, outside of historical context, problematic to draw sound conclusions from graph on top of previous issues mentioned.

          • Max 28.3.2.1.3

            No I don’t accept that, I’m talking about the current decade, and the things people might take into account when deciding whether to vaccinate their children in 2012. I wasn’t saying anything about how safe vaccination was 50-100 years ago, when the technology was different. As a side note 50 deaths for every 1 million people vaccinated with the live smallpox vaccine I actually think is fine, when you have a 30% chance of death from the disease. That vaccine from the 1960s may not be safe in absolute terms but it’s still reducing an individual’s risk of death. The current smallpox vaccines that the US and others are stockpiling in the event of biological attack are safer with a mortality rate of 1 in a million.
            http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/smallpox/vaccination/facts.asp

            So yeah, vaccination is safe. The rotavirus vaccine that was recently developed in Australia at first appeared amazing, reducing total hospital admission rates for children under 5 in the US by up to 50% and saving 10s of millions of lives in the developing world. Studies subsequently showed the vaccine may cause intussusception in up to 1 in every 5,000 children and several medical bodies have since withdrawn their support for the vaccine. The medical and scientific communities do care about vaccine safety, as do governments and all the state and multi-state bodies that are set up specifically to monitor and assess the safety of drugs and vaccines.

            • Colonial Viper 28.3.2.1.3.1

              The current smallpox vaccines that the US and others are stockpiling in the event of biological attack are safer with a mortality rate of 1 in a million.

              Hey in the event of a massive biological attack with weaponised smallpox pathogen, I’d line up with my whole family to go get the vaccination.

              But you try and make me vaccinate my children with this as a matter of course so that they are allowed to attend school, or you try and make me have this vaccination as a pre-condition of keeping my job, and I will have some strong words with you.

              • McFlock

                Yeah whatever.
                      
                And if you decide that the attack isn’t “massive” enough to warrant vaccination and want to go wandering around your workplace, cinemas and pubs, then I’d quite happily be one of the folk in the funny overalls who enforce your quarantine if medical professionals think they know better than you. And we can discuss it all you want, although the mask I wear might muffle my end of the chat.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Hey McFlock. President Bush couldn’t convince his healthcare, hospital and emergency response workers to get the small pox vaccine after 9/11.

                  What fucking chance do you think you have.

                  • McFlock

                    The smallpox vaccine prepared in case Saddam had WMD?
                    I’m talking about evidence-based medicine, not fear-based politics.

                    Besides – you’re refusing the vaccine, remember? But as a carrier, like with TB or other contagious illnesses, you’d be in quarantine.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Specialists, doctors, nurses and paramedics refused the small pox vaccine even when pressured by President Bush.

                      In fact, the US Govt had to put together a sizeable vaccine adverse effects compensation fund to get any traction.

                      But perhaps you think that you are in some way intellectually or morally superior to those professionals, many of whom worked in world class university hospitals.

                      I’m talking about evidence-based medicine, not fear-based politics.

                      Evidence based medicine? Don’t fool yourself. Choose your faith within the cathedral of peer reviewed journals?

                      Go on then.

                      Show me your RCTs on that small pox vaccine. Anything covering 15,000 or more people should be high powered enough to identify efficacy and to pick up any small but serious negative effects from the vaccination.

                      But, I reckon you’ve got fucking zippo evidence around the small pox vaccine I mentioned above. AND THOSE US HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS YOU WROTE OFF KNEW IT. But of course your faith means that you tried to dismiss them, while you are a superior acolyte of ‘science’ and ‘evidence’.

                      Besides – you’re refusing the vaccine, remember? But as a carrier, like with TB or other contagious illnesses, you’d be in quarantine.

                      I think I stated quite clearly here

                      Compulsory vaccination

                      Hey in the event of a massive biological attack with weaponised smallpox pathogen, I’d line up with my whole family to go get the vaccination.

                    • McFlock

                      oooo bushy pressured them, did he? Like I say, maybe they based their judgement on medical evidence, rather than propoganda. They sure took it decades before.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Did the US Gov push a small pox vaccination for which there was poor evidence of efficacy and safety?

                      Maybe that’s why those healthcare professionals refused the vaccination.

                      You say that you are evidence based. Where are the RCTs for this small pox vaccination.

                    • McFlock

                      The executive pushed them. Medical professionals said “yeah whatever”.

                      The same medical professionals encourage vaccination against real threats. I have not even bothered to google what RCT testing (if any) the millennial smallpox vaccine went through, because the (minutely infinitesimal) risk of vaccination should be balanced against that risks of contracting the disease. Given that many people, not just in the medical profession, were vindicated in their belief that the “smoking gun” would turn out to be a smoking bong, the perceived and actual threats of smallpox attacks were themselves minutely infinitesimal. No threat means not risk means no need for vaccination.

                      But influenza, meningitis, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, HPV, are all real threats with well-documented morbidity and mortality levels. I think you will find that most medical professionals don’t view vaccines against those conditions in the same way they view the millennial smallpox vaccine.

            • r0b 28.3.2.1.3.2

              I’m talking about the current decade, and the things people might take into account when deciding whether to vaccinate their children in 2012. I wasn’t saying anything about how safe vaccination was 50-100 years ago, when the technology was different.

              OK – so we’ve established that vaccination can be dangerous in principle and has been dangerous in the past. But now you argue that they aren’t dangerous now (we’ve solved all the problems somehow?). Nah it’s not that simple. Never mind 50-100 years ago, America was still giving a vaccination that did more harm than good up until 2000 – the oral polio vaccine. A popular press account here:

              But public health authorities say the time has come to move away from the Sabin vaccine in the United States, capping a debate that’s simmered within public health circles for years. The move says as much about the vaccine’s success in subduing polio as it does about its little-known danger.

              Since the late 1970s, fewer than 12 cases of paralytic polio have occurred each year in this country, a testament to the oral vaccine’s ability to control a disease that crippled a president and put thousands of victims in leg braces and iron lungs. But in a cruel twist, the few cases that still occur are caused by the vaccine itself.

              Still – that practice stopped in 2000, so it’s all OK, right? No, not at all. It’s still going on right now in other countries:

              India: Paralysis cases soar after oral polio vaccine introduced

              A new report by two Delhi pediatricians suggests that the sharp rise in childhood paralysis in India is due to the increased usage of the oral polio vaccine, a drug that was banned in the U.S. over a decade ago.

              Dr. Neetu Vashisht and Dr. Jacob Puliyel of St. Stephens Hospital created the report after analyzing data from India’s 10-year-old National Polio Surveillance Project, which is available online. Their findings, which were published in the Indian Journal of medical Ethics, revealed that rates of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) have increased 1200% since the oral polio vaccine was introduced to India a decade ago.

              So dangerous vaccinations are still happening in 2012. What a surprise. Here’s another account from India:

              128 kids died after vaccine in 2010, govt can’t say why

              CHENNAI: More children in India are dying every year soon after being vaccinated, and the government has no clue why. Union health ministry statistics obtained under the Right to Information Act show that 128 children died in 2010 due to adverse effects after immunization (AEFI). That count has risen in the past three years, with 111 such deaths in 2008 and 116 in 2009. …

              Of the 218 deaths last year, reasons for 72 have been categorized under ‘unknown’, 48 as ‘coincidental’, four as due to ‘vaccine reaction’ and two due to ‘injection reaction’ and ‘programme error’. … “The number of deaths went up from 32 in 2007, the last year when the government procured vaccines from PSUs, to 111 in 2008. Out of the 140 crore doses of vaccine used in the post-PSU closure period, only 4.25 crore were procured from the Central Research Institute,” says Dr K V Babu, a physician from Kerala who filed the RTI.

              Experts feel the actual number could be even more than what government statistics show. “Many vaccine deaths reported in the media do not find a mention in the government statistics,” says Dr Jacob M Puliyel, head of paediatrics at St Stephen’s Hospital, Delhi.

              The fact is that any vaccination carries a risk. That’s why America has a government agency, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is devoted to monitoring the adverse effects. That’s why on the VAERS page summarising the risks for over 20 different vaccinations, each one starts with a statement similar to this:

              However, a vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of DTaP vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

              An “extremely small” risk of serious harm or death is not “no risk” of serious harm or death, and vaccination related deaths do occur. That’s why we see occasional studies such as this one (Weibel RE, Caserta V, Benor DE, Evans G. Acute encephalopathy followed by permanent brain injury or death associated with further attenuated measles vaccines: a review of claims submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Pediatrics.1998;101 :383– 387):

              Acute Encephalopathy Followed by Permanent Brain Injury or Death Associated With Further Attenuated Measles Vaccines: A Review of Claims Submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program

              Objective. To determine if there is evidence for a causal relationship between acute encephalopathy followed by permanent brain injury or death associated with the administration of further attenuated measles vaccines (Attenuvax or Lirugen, Hoechst Marion Roussel, Kansas City, MO), mumps vaccine (Mumpsvax, Merck and Co, Inc, West Point, PA), or rubella vaccines (Meruvax or Meruvax II, Merck and Co, Inc, West Point, PA), combined measles and rubella vaccine (M-R-Vax or M-R-Vax II, Merck and Co, Inc, West Point, PA), or combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (M-M-R or M-M-R II, Merck and Co, Inc, West Point, PA), the lead author reviewed claims submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

              Methods. The medical records of children who met the inclusion criteria of receiving the first dose of these vaccines between 1970 and 1993 and who developed such an encephalopathy with no determined cause within 15 days were identified and analyzed.

              Results. A total of 48 children, ages 10 to 49 months, met the inclusion criteria after receiving measles vaccine, alone or in combination. Eight children died, and the remainder had mental regression and retardation, chronic seizures, motor and sensory deficits, and movement disorders. The onset of neurologic signs or symptoms occurred with a nonrandom, statistically significant distribution of cases on days 8 and 9. No cases were identified after the administration of monovalent mumps or rubella vaccine.

              Conclusions. This clustering suggests that a causal relationship between measles vaccine and encephalopathy may exist as a rare complication of measles immunization.

              Furthermore, vaccines can be dangerous for incidental reasons (such as contamination), resulting in occasional recalls of batches, such as this example:

              Merck announced that it is voluntarily recalling 1 million doses of two common childhood vaccines, routinely given to children under 5. Here’s everything you need to know about the recall.

              Which vaccines are affected?

              Merck is pulling 11 lots of PedvaxHIB and two lots of COMVAX. PedvaxHIB is a vaccine that protects against infection with haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), the bacteria that causes meningitis, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections. The COMVAX vaccine protects against haemophilius B and hepatitis B, a virus that can cause liver disease.

              Why are the vaccines being recalled?

              During a routine inspection of their manufacturing process, Merck officials found that some equipment was contaminated with a bacteria called Bacillus cereus.

              So here’s the thing Max, please don’t go about pretending that vaccination is completely safe, that there’s no scientific evidence of risk, because that’s just bollocks. Such an obviously blinkered position does neither you, nor the medical profession, any favours in the vaccination debate. Here, let’s finish with an example (JAMA editorial) of what a balanced discussion of benefits and risks looks like:

              The Risks and Benefits of HPV Vaccination

              The theory behind the vaccine is sound: If HPV infection can be prevented, cancer will not occur. But in practice the issue is more complex. First, there are more than 100 different types of HPV and at least 15 of them are oncogenic. The current vaccines target only 2 oncogenic strains: HPV-16 and HPV-18. Second, the relationship between infection at a young age and development of cancer 20 to 40 years later is not known. HPV is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection, with an estimated 79% infection rate over a lifetime5 – 6 The virus does not appear to be very harmful because almost all HPV infections are cleared by the immune system.7 – 8 In a few women, infection persists and some women may develop precancerous cervical lesions and eventually cervical cancer. It is currently impossible to predict in which women this will occur and why. Likewise, it is impossible to predict exactly what effect vaccination of young girls and women will have on the incidence of cervical cancer 20 to 40 years from now. The true effect of the vaccine can be determined only through clinical trials and long-term follow-up.

              The first HPV vaccine was licensed for use in the United States in June 2006,9 and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended routine vaccination of girls aged 11 to 12 years later that same month.10 However, the first phase 3 trials of the HPV vaccine with clinically relevant end points—cervical intraepithelial neoplasias grades 2 and 3 (CIN 2/3)—were not reported until May 2007.11 Previously only reduction in the prevalence of persistent infection and CIN from the 2 virus strains included in the vaccine had been reported. The results were promising, but serious questions regarding the overall effectiveness of the vaccine for protection against cervical cancer remained to be answered, and more long-term studies were called for.12 However, no longer-term results from such studies have been published since then.

              So how should a parent, physician, politician, or anyone else decide whether it is a good thing to give young girls a vaccine that partly prevents infection caused by a sexually transmitted disease (HPV infection), an infection that in a few cases will cause cancer 20 to 40 years from now? …

              I heartily recommend reading the whole editorial, there’s some great stuff in there.

              • higherstandard

                rOb

                You seem overly determined to present a negative view of vaccination and to overstate the risks as opposed to the benefits.

                This began with the comment that “A case can certainly be made that vaccination is not necessary for a healthy child in a healthy environment, and that a stronger immune system emerges if it develops naturally (without intervention).”

                Frankly this is a case made by anti-vaccination advocates on a frequent basis and is not backed up by the bulk of clinical evidence. It is a view that has primarily formed since the major decline in the incidence of those diseases against which we vaccinate. I think it would be wise for you to consider why the vast majority of health professionals in NZ recommend vaccination to their patients and the public in general unless there is specific clinical reason not to vaccinate.

                I would also suggest that before posting such views in the public domain in future you wander out of the computer science department at Otago and have a chat to the staff at the departments of public health, microbiology and immunology and CARM who keep a register of the adverse reactions to medicines and vaccinations.

                • r0b

                  You seem overly determined to present a negative view of vaccination and to overstate the risks as opposed to the benefits.

                  HS – I am responding to Max’s stupid and arrogant claim (which you chipped in supporting) that:

                  Someone, anyone please point me towards some scientific evidence that vaccination is not safe. There is none.

                  So yeah, Im presenting such evidence. Doh.

                  I would also suggest that before posting such views in the public domain in future you wander out of the computer science department at Otago and have a chat to the staff at the departments of public health, microbiology and immunology and CARM

                  22 years ago, when the issue was relevant to us, I did (and read their publications and public statements). Where do you think I learned to treat both sides of the vaccination debate with healthy skepticism? By listening to experts who had open minds.

                  • higherstandard

                    “Where do you think I learned to treat both sides of the vaccination debate with healthy skepticism? By listening to experts who had open minds.”

                    Rob there are untold more experts and peer reviewed information supporting the utility and safety of vaccination who are relevantly qualified than on the other side of the debate.

                    Max should have stated that vaccines are not 100% safe nor are they 100% effective and certainly parents have a right to objective information prior to deciding to vaccinate their children.

                    As immunisation rates increase and the disease immunised against becomes scarcer the risk from the vaccine will become the same or similar as the risk from the immunisation, this has driven the effort of safer and more effective vaccines and is why we now use a different polio vaccine from the one you and I were given as children.

                    Importantly one should consider what occurs when immunisation is reduced due to erosions of public confidence, unacceptable side effects of vaccines or perceived side effects, such as when the DTP immunisation rate fell in Japan and in Sweden in the 70s and also the polio outbreak in Holland in the early 90s.

                    Frankly I find your protestations of impartiality superficial and your comment that you treat both sides of the debate with skepticism absurd.

                    • r0b

                      Max should have stated that vaccines are not 100% safe nor are they 100% effective and certainly parents have a right to objective information prior to deciding to vaccinate their children.

                      Yes he should. THe debate would be much better served by both sides being honest about the facts in that way.

                      But the fact is he didn’t, he attacked my presumed ignorance and claimed that vaccination was completely safe, and you chimed in in agreement. Far too many of the “establishment” react in exactly this way. I’m so glad that you advised me to go talk to the Otago experts in this field, because it reminded me of Campbell Murdoch, Professor of General Practice at the Otago Medical School 1983 – 1992. Here’s one of the things he wrote (New Zealand Family Physician, 1995, 22: 4, pg 136 and 138):

                      “It is a brave or foolish medical person who dares to question the wisdom of this wonderful scientific advance, for to do so is to challenge one of the sacred cows of modern medicine… …espoused uncritically by the medical profession. Any other artificially produced therapeutic agent would be assumed to have some side-effects but immunisation has been elevated to a position in therapeutics which cannot be challenged. Any doctor who dares to suggest that there might be a dark side to this wonderful miracle is pilloried by the medical establishment and subjected to threat and ridicule.”

                      “For most [public health specialists], belief in the beneficence of immunisation is absolute and to question this has become the professional equivalent of mortal sin. Thus any opposition is dismissed as myth … In the same way adverse reactions are denied and opponents are classified as cranks. The worry about this is that science implies refuting the status quo and that, if there were to be any future problem with immunisation, it would never be detected, at least by these groups.”

                      You and Max are part of that problem HS.

                      Frankly I find your protestations of impartiality superficial and your comment that you treat both sides of the debate with skepticism absurd.

                      And my frank opinion of you I shall keep to myself. Goodnight!

                    • higherstandard

                      rOb

                      Can you link to where I said vaccination was completely safe ?

                      Certainly I have stated that it is statistically speaking a very safe medical intervention.

                      I was wondering how long it wold take you to drag Campbell out of the closet, he was a lovely old chap and the greens anti vaccination MPs like to quote him every now and then.

                      http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/vaccination-speech-public-meeting-auckland

                      Heres another one of his gems

                      “Immunisation barely figures as a protection against death… At the end of the day, whether you immunise or not isn’t going to make a hell of a lot of difference to the death rates.”

                      I believe Campbell is probably horrified that his comments have been used by others including the likes of Andrew Wakefield to overplay side effects and the risk of vaccination, but don’t take my word for it potter out to Tapanui or catch up with him next time he’s in town.

                      http://www.archetypeltd.co.nz/Silencing_dissenters.htm

                      I guess only question left to ask you is whether you and your children (if you have any) have been vaccinated ? If so why, if not why not ?

                      My kids have been vaccinated and if any of them go into medicine I will advise them to have further vaccinations, why did my wife and I decide to vaccinate them ? Because the vast body of evidence attests to the vaccines safety and efficacy.

                    • r0b []

                      Can you link to where I said vaccination was completely safe ?

                      That’s not what I said, I said that you chimed in in support of Max, who made the claim. 28 and 28.1 above.

                      I guess only question left to ask you is whether you and your children (if you have any) have been vaccinated ? If so why, if not why not ?

                      Not that it’s any of your business, but I assume I was vaccinated as I child. Not knowing any better I got all recommended vaccinations before my first trip to India at age 22, I haven’t had any since. Prompted by a friend we looked into vaccination as our kids were born. They had none of the regular vaccinations, though they did get some (I forget which exactly) before their first trip to India, they haven’t had any since. Case by case basis HS, based on an evaluation of risks, costs and benefits. No one fixed ideological position universally for or against. Quite a concept eh?

                    • higherstandard

                      Thanks for the clarification r0b.

                      It is interesting to note that you claim ..

                      “22 years ago, when the issue was relevant to us, I did (and read their publications and public statements). Where do you think I learned to treat both sides of the vaccination debate with healthy skepticism? By listening to experts who had open minds.”

                      and

                      “Prompted by a friend we looked into vaccination as our kids were born. They had none of the regular vaccinations, though they did get some (I forget which exactly) before their first trip to India, they haven’t had any since. Case by case basis HS, based on an evaluation of risks, costs and benefits. No one fixed ideological position universally for or against. Quite a concept eh?”

                      This in fact suggests a fairly fixed and myopic position on vaccination in that you believe the risk of vaccination to your children outweighs the benefits to both them and society in general despite the not inconsiderable evidence to the contrary, excepting of course for some inoculations prior to traveling. It is sad that view is shared by a growing number of persons in NZ as it will continue to lead to more outbreaks of preventable illnesses.

                      It is a sad inditement on health professionals that they have not communicated the benefits of vaccination more clearly along with the very low risks of vaccinating and it is also an inditement on those who spread unscientific and sometimes bogus commentary in relation to the utility and dangers of immunization. Personally I think vaccination is the victim of its own success in that so many of the viruses and bacteria we have immunized against are now so very rare that the public have forgotten what it was like when these diseases were more prevalent in societies around the world. Despite your decision not to immunize your children in NZ you are in the fortunate position that our immunization schedule has markedly decreased their risks of catching and suffering from a number of infections.

                    • r0b []

                      This in fact suggests a fairly fixed and myopic position on vaccination

                      With respect to who has a “fixed and myopic position on vaccination” I refer you to 28 and 28.1 above.

                      It is a sad inditement on health professionals that they have not communicated the benefits of vaccination more clearly

                      The benefits of vaccination have been communicated very clearly. It is a sad inditement on (some) health professionals that they often refuse to acknowledge the risks of vaccination, and thus damage their credibility and their cause (I refer you again to 28 and 28.1, and the comments of Campbell Murdoch quoted above). The only way to be more effective is to be more honest HS.

                      Despite your decision not to immunize your children in NZ you are in the fortunate position that our immunization schedule has markedly decreased their risks

                      My children weren’t brought up in a box of cotton wool HS. They have spent significant periods of time in India and Asia, they have lived with us in Europe and North America. They have been exposed to all sorts of risks, and as parents we have (as every parent does) often agonised over the decisions that we made for them.

                      Since you seem determined to continue this discussion HS, perhaps you can help me out here. I’d love to more completely accept the benefits of vaccination, I really would, it is so much easier to go with the flow. So I’ll explain my understanding of the situation in a series of numbered points. If you can please tell me which ones are wrong, and why, then perhaps you can help me to see the light.

                      0) Infectious agents have a life cycle, they naturally wax and wane in virulence.

                      1) In the centuries before vaccination, for any given infectious agent, only a minority of the population got sick, and only a small minority died. (With occasional exceptions such as the black death / bubonic plague.)

                      2) In the centuries before vaccination, for any given infectious agent, the individuals who were most likely to get sick or die were those with a compromised immune system (e.g. as a result of poor health / nutrition / sanitation). Those who were healthy were less likely to get sick.

                      3) From 1 & 2 we can conclude that in the centuries before vaccination, the majority of the population, and particularly those with a healthy immune system, managed just fine. They developed natural immunity to the infectious agents to which they were exposed.

                      4) Over the last century or so, significant improvements in health / nutrition / sanitation led to a significant decline in infection rates and deaths for most infectious agents (prior to vaccination occurring). This is consistent with the points above, in that improved health / nutrition / sanitation decreases the susceptibility to disease.

                      5) Over the last several decades, in the case of several major diseases, vaccinations were introduced at a time when the incidence of the disease was already in decline (due to 4 and possibly 0 above). The incidence of these vaccinated diseases has subsequently declined to near zero.

                      6) In the case of some diseases (e.g. bubonic plague, scarlet fever), no vaccination was ever in widespread use, but the incidence of these un-vaccinated diseases has declined to near zero.

                      7) From 4, 5 and 6 we can conclude that it is difficult in the general case to separate the impact of vaccination from the impact of improved health / nutrition / sanitation. It is probable in specific cases that vaccination did have a significant impact. It is possible in specific cases that vaccination had little impact. In assessing the efficacy of vaccination in a historical context there is always the risk of a classic post hoc ergo propter hoc error.

                      8 ) From 3 and 7 we can conclude that, as has always historically been the case, the majority of those with good health / nutrition / sanitation are likely to cope with most infectious agents they meet just fine. They develop natural immunity. For this group it is difficult to assess how much extra protection is provided by vaccination.

                      9) Those with natural immunity are no more or less a risk to the community than those with vaccinated immunity.

                    • higherstandard

                      Hi r0b

                      In quick answer to your questions.

                      0) Infectious agents have a life cycle, they naturally wax and wane in virulence.

                      Some do, although there is a wide variation depending on the vectors and nature of the infectious agent and of course vaccination programmes

                      1) In the centuries before vaccination, for any given infectious agent, only a minority of the population got sick, and only a small minority died. (With occasional exceptions such as the black death / bubonic plague.)

                      While there is no reliable data and almost no data on morbidity it is very likely that this is the case, nevertheless there was very, very significant morbidity and mortality from many infectious agents

                      2) In the centuries before vaccination, for any given infectious agent, the individuals who were most likely to get sick or die were those with a compromised immune system (e.g. as a result of poor health / nutrition / sanitation). Those who were healthy were less likely to get sick.

                      There is no evidence to suggest this is the case. There is in fact more putative evidence to the contrary in that during the years of ‘discovery and conquest’ diseases introduced into the countries in north/south america wreaked havoc on the native inhabitants.

                      3) From 1 & 2 we can conclude that in the centuries before vaccination, the majority of the population, and particularly those with a healthy immune system, managed just fine. They developed natural immunity to the infectious agents to which they were exposed.

                      Those who didn’t die or experience any effects from infectious agents would have developed a natural immunity to certain of infectious agents. There is no evidence to suggest a ‘healthy immune system’ was beneficial or not.

                      4) Over the last century or so, significant improvements in health / nutrition / sanitation led to a significant decline in infection rates and deaths for most infectious agents (prior to vaccination occurring). This is consistent with the points above, in that improved health / nutrition / sanitation decreases the susceptibility to disease.

                      Improvements in health, nutrition and sanitation are all very important from a public health perspective and all contribute to the health of the population. However these improvements do little or nothing to protect any individuals exposed to highly infectious agents , this is one of the fundamental reasons we continue to vaccinate.

                      5) Over the last several decades, in the case of several major diseases, vaccinations were introduced at a time when the incidence of the disease was already in decline (due to 4 and possibly 0 above). The incidence of these vaccinated diseases has subsequently declined to near zero.

                      This is a commonly repeated fallacy used to discredit the utility of vaccination and one only has to look at those countries where vaccination use declined or where there have been pockets of ‘objectors’ and measure the increased incidence in those infections related to the lowered use of vaccines.

                      6) In the case of some diseases (e.g. bubonic plague, scarlet fever), no vaccination was ever in widespread use, but the incidence of these un-vaccinated diseases has declined to near zero.

                      We are still not 100% sure what the infectious agent was in the case of historical bubonic plague although it seems likely that it was a bacterium with the flea as the major vector and it hasn’t been a major concern for some time.
                      Scarlet fever and rheumatic fever are potential outcomes of untreated Grp A Streptococcus throat the incidence of the more severe forms of the disease has declined drastically for a number of reasons the most prominent being the advent and use of antibiotics. Researchers are still trying to develop an effective vaccine for GrpA Strep.

                      7) From 4, 5 and 6 we can conclude that it is difficult in the general case to separate the impact of vaccination from the impact of improved health / nutrition / sanitation. It is probable in specific cases that vaccination did have a significant impact. It is possible in specific cases that vaccination had little impact. In assessing the efficacy of vaccination in a historical context there is always the risk of a classic post hoc ergo propter hoc error.

                      While no one working in health will discount the benefits of improved nutrition and sanitation, there is a vast amount of clinical, statistical and public health evidence to absolutely separate the effect of vaccination the evidence is irrefutable that immunization is an useful tool.

                      8 ) From 3 and 7 we can conclude that, as has always historically been the case, the majority of those with good health / nutrition / sanitation are likely to cope with most infectious agents they meet just fine. They develop natural immunity. For this group it is difficult to assess how much extra protection is provided by vaccination.

                      This is absolutely incorrect there is a vast amount of clinical, statistical and public health evidence to absolutely separate the positive effect of vaccination to suggest that natural immunity just develops without exposure and all the potential hazards associated with exposure is outrageous.

                      9) Those with natural immunity are no more or less a risk to the community than those with vaccinated immunity.

                      This is very likely correct but an odd statement in support of not undertaking immunization. It is important to note that those with no natural immunity and no vaccinated immunity are a far higher risk to the community and in particular their immediate family and children.

                      Whilst it’s true that natural infection almost always causes better immunity than vaccines. Whereas immunity from disease often follows a single natural infection, immunity from vaccines usually occurs only after several doses. However, the difference between vaccination and natural infection is the price paid for immunity.

                      The price paid for immunity after natural infection might be pneumonia from chickenpox, mental retardation from Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pneumonia from pneumococcus, birth defects from rubella, liver cancer from hepatitis B virus, or death from measles.
                      Immunization with vaccines, like natural infections, induces long-lived immunity, but unlike natural infection, does not extract such a high price for immunity.
                      Interestingly, a few vaccines induce a better immune response than natural infection:

                      -Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine – The high purity of the specific protein in the vaccine leads to a better immune reponse than natural infection.
                      -Tetanus vaccine – The toxin made by tetanus is so potent that the amount that causes disease is actually lower than the amount that induces a long-lasting immune response. This is why people with tetanus disease are still recommended to get the vaccine.
                      -Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine – children less than 2 years old do not typically make a good response to the complex sugar coating (polysaccharide) on the surface of Hib that causes disease; however, the vaccine links this polysaccharide to a helper protein that creates a better immune response than would occur naturally.
                      -Pneumococcal vaccine – This vaccine works the same way as the Hib vaccine to create a better immune response than natural infection.

                      You might also find this datasheet used in the US of interest
                      http://www.medicalcodingcareerguide.com/vaccination-debate/

                      PS I actually got one of my staff to write most of the reply but removed the perjoratives and the query as to whether the questioner had similar views on the treatment of cancer.

                    • lprent []

                      Nice. Pretty much my views on the subject as well. It is one of those areas of science that you wind up dealing with probabilities both in terms of populations, immediate individual outcomes, and individual outcomes over a lifetime.

                      For instance, there is a high probability that, in healthy people, that immunisation provides longer term health benefits because they don’t have to expend resources in fighting off so many diseases (especially in childhood). That leaves more resources in growing to be healthier and with a stronger and more resilient immune systems for coping with the unexpected diseases.

                      Along with diet, that also means that kids keep getting taller, something that I notice more and more these days as my once average height 5’10” for kiwi european male keeps looking smaller by comparison to those 30 years younger. Since the diets of kids has probably gotten worse since I was growing up, I attribute much of that to most of the childhood diseases that I got in the 60’s with monotonous regularity are simply unknown to most kids.

                      Of course there are those studies done on the effect of the diet and immune systems of grandmothers at the conception of mothers expressing itself in the children…

                    • r0b []

                      An interesting and constructive reply HS (for a change). I’ll return to it in the weekend – unlike you I don’t have staff to write my comments!

                    • r0b []

                      HS, in the interests of getting back to a wider screen format, I’ll post my reply to your most recent to me (comments on my claims) in a new comment at the bottom of the page.

                    • higherstandard

                      Yeah the size of kids at secondary schools shocks me these days seems to be way bigger than when I went there….. pity the size of their intellects hasn’t similarly increased……. bit like parliament I s’pose.

      • NickS 28.3.3

        And that is the problem with using vaccines derived from live viruses, inactivation isn’t always 100% it using heat, and using a live vaccine oft carries with it far more risks than using dead viruses 🙁

        It surprises me though that they haven’t come up with vaccine based solely off surface coat proteins, mass produced in GMO yeast reactors, as from the descriptions on wikipedia the vaccinia virus used for the vaccine has surface proteins unique to it, that are not cloaked fully via sugar polymers. In fact the main infectious form (it has four, main divider is number of membranes covering the viral particle) is merely a lipoprotein membrane, studded with proteins required to break into cells. The cell membrane coated versions are a bit more stealthy due to being coated in the hosts own cell membranes however, and I’d need to dig into the literature to see if they’ve got any specific surface antigens, though I’d assume they probably do. Due to how cellular export system work for vesicles work, in that the vesicles need specific surface proteins (and attached sugars) which bind to proteins studding the inside of the cell membrane, (and the outside) for export or import…

        Anyhow, targeting the main infectious form would probably be sufficient to confer general immunity, as the enveloped version is only good for spreading the virus within the body, although that form could be weaponised for inhalation. So a more broader vaccine would require using probably liposomes with the inter-membrane and surface proteins. But it’s not like it’s that hard to do these days, especially when you can rope in WoT funding and military biological defence budgets.

        • NickS 28.3.3.1

          frok, could someone please close the italics tag I left open?

          • r0b 28.3.3.1.1

            Done.

            • NickS 28.3.3.1.1.1

              cheers 😀

            • NickS 28.3.3.1.1.2

              btw, how’s the roccoto chilli plant I chucked you going?

              • r0b

                The chilli plant is in fine fettle, growing well. There’s about 10 – 15 fruit (not sure what is normal for a first year plant of this kind). We’ve cooked with a couple – very tasty and bloody hot!

                • NickS

                  That’s about right 😛

                  Mine where a little uncared for so I didn’t get a huge haul, but they’re great when added to a chilli sauce and you’re right about the flavour 😀

                  Watch out though, the inside of the fruit is prone to being attacked by a grey mold that eventual rots the fruit. Best way for long term preservation is to half them a freeze them. Or make chilli sauce 😛

  29. McFlock 29

    The executive pushed them. Medical professionals said “yeah whatever”.

    The same medical professionals encourage vaccination against real threats. I have not even bothered to google what RCT testing (if any) the millennial smallpox vaccine went through, because the (minutely infinitesimal) risk of vaccination should be balanced against that risks of contracting the disease. Given that many people, not just in the medical profession, were vindicated in their belief that the “smoking gun” would turn out to be a smoking bong, the perceived and actual threats of smallpox attacks were themselves minutely infinitesimal. No threat means not risk means no need for vaccination.

    But influenza, meningitis, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, HPV, are all real threats with well-documented morbidity and mortality levels. I think you will find that most medical professionals don’t view vaccines against those conditions in the same way they view the millennial smallpox vaccine.

  30. r0b 30

    This very long comment is a reply to HS from a discussion going on under comment 28 above. It probably isn’t of interest to anyone but us. You have been warned!

    Hi r0b In quick answer to your questions.

    So we are agreed on several points. Of the others – you have misunderstood me on one, and contradicted yourself in your answers. But never mind that for now, we can get back to it if the discussion carries on. Because we should sort out the major point of disagreement first. I wrote:

    (5) Over the last several decades, in the case of several major diseases, vaccinations were introduced at a time when the incidence of the disease was already in decline … The incidence of these vaccinated diseases has subsequently declined to near zero.

    You replied:

    This is a commonly repeated fallacy used to discredit the utility of vaccination

    This is our fundamental disagreement, and the essence of the vaccination debate, so let’s see if we can make any progress with it. On the history of the decline of disease my source is The Cambridge World History of Human Disease (Cambridge University Press, 1993) (reviewed by the New England Journal of Medicine here). From the large sample of parts of the world / chapters here’s a look at extracts from just three, starting with recent Europe.

    V.5 Diseases and the European Mortality Decline, 1700-1900

    By the early 1700s the great pandemics of plague, as well as subsistence crises, had receded from western Europe. As Carr-Saunders (1936) had suggested, this was largely the result of the growing stability of governments. More recently M. W. Flinn (1981) has elaborated this point, suggesting that a number of factors were responsible for the diminution of mortality from wars, famines, and plague. There was, he suggests, a change in warfare: a shift to naval and colonial wars, the development of a science of military hygiene, greater discipline of armies, and increasing isolation of armies from civilian populations (all of which would have contributed to a decline in typhus, among other causes of death). There was also a diminution of subsistence crises, attributable to the spread of new crops, the opening (in eastern Europe especially) of new lands, improved transportation, and more sophisticated “social administration” and famine relief. There was, finally, a diminution of plague in western Europe, which a number of observers have attributed to increasingly effective quarantine procedures, for example, the Hapsburgs’ cordon sanitaire along the boundary of their empire with the Ottoman Empire. All of these measures were a reflection of growing efficiency in the administration of increasingly large states (Flinn 1981).

    Thus, by 1700, the start of the period under consideration, a major transformation in mortality was well underway. The great waves of mortality were ebbing and, by the mid-eighteenth century, death rates were stabilizing – albeit at high levels. Not until about the turn of the nineteenth century, however, did they begin a definite decline. …

    In both England and France, urban mortality seems to have begun to decline in the second half of the nineteenth century. The diseases that declined were spread in different ways: through the air (e.g., respiratory tuberculosis), food, or water (e.g., typhoid and gastroenteritis of all sorts). Many of them seem to be more lethal if the host is malnourished. Indeed, McKeown (1976) has argued that the decline in deaths from tuberculosis in England was the result of improved host resistance resulting from better nutrition, whereas the decline of foodborne and particularly waterborne diseases was the result of improvements in public health measures, such as protected water supplies and sewage disposal, which seem to have been introduced with increasing frequency in the second half of the nineteenth century. Some diseases such as scarlet fever may have decreased in virulence as a result of genetic shifts in the microorganism itself. Others, such as diphtheria, may have increased in virulence for the same reason. There seems little doubt that, in both urban and rural places, the incidence of smallpox declined dramatically throughout the century as a result of vaccination. And unquestionably the pneumonia- diarrhea complex of childhood declined significantly as well.

    It will never be possible to apportion credit with total accuracy to the many preventive measures that contributed to the decline in urban mortality. Public health interventions, changing standards of individual behavior, and improved housing and diets presumably played more or less important roles. Efforts to sort through all of these factors will doubtless raise more questions. …

    There are several points on which most observers seem to agree. First, the initial recession of pandemics seems to have been a result of the growth of nation-states. Second, specific curative measures applied by individual physicians to individual patients had little if any impact on mortality, regardless of the comfort or distress they may have caused patients and their families. Third, the recession of a variety of endemic diseases had a mix of causes: environmental cleansing and active public health interventions; changes in personal behavior (more frequent bathing, handwashing, the cessation of spitting in public, the covering of one’s mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing); and improvements in living conditions. Fourth, urban mortality in western Europe increased for a generation or two in the early nineteenth century.

    From this we see that the primary reasons for the decline in disease were systemic factors such as civil order, improved nutrition, clean water, sewage systems and improved housing. Health care measures (some of them more recent) were also significant, these include quarantine, personal sanitation, antibiotics, vector control (rats, fleas, mosquitos), and vaccination. The sections on Americas and S.E.Asia tell us similar story (or skip them if you’re in a hurry).

    V .10 Diseases and Mortality in the Americas since 1700

    Latin America

    The differences in mortality among nations, as well as in the rate at which it declined in the latter half of the nineteenth, century and the first several decades of the present century, were primarily reflections of their economic development. These in turn were a reflection of the degree to which countries were dependent on a servile labor force or had, like Argentina and Uruguay, attracted a large European population. Starting in the 1930s, however, the rapidity with which mortality declined increased substantially, particularly in the high-mortality countries, and the rate at which improvement occurred became essentially the same among all of them. Eduardo Arriaga and Kingsley Davis (1969) attribute this to the widespread availability of public health programs that were imported from the industrial nations beginning at about this time or somewhat earlier. …

    Thus, crisis mortality seems to have been reduced by the development of relatively stable societies with a slowly improving standard of living. But because living conditions did not improve dramatically due to the neocolonial structure of most of these nations, mortality rates remained high. Dramatic improvements began to occur in the twentieth century when public health measures were introduced. These measures were aimed primarily at controlling the vectors of the most lethal and most prevalent infectious diseases, most notably perhaps malaria and yellow fever (Mandle 1970; Soper 1970; Giglioli 1972), and were not especially concerned with changing either the living conditions or the socioeconomic status of the bulk of the population. …

    This is so, it is argued by some, because neither therapy (including oral rehydration) nor public health measures are likely to have a profound impact on infant and child mortality caused by the interaction of malnutrition, pneumonia, and diarrhea in the absence of significant economic development. Others disagree, claiming that, rather than economic development, relatively simple interventions such as equitable distribution of food, in- creased literacy, and a few simple primary health care measures are all that are required (Halstead, Walsh, and “Warren 1985).

    North America

    Though mortality crises seem not to have been frequent in New England during the colonial period, regular epidemics of measles and smallpox did sweep the population. They seem to have diminished by the end of the period as both diseases increasingly afflicted children, a sign that the population was becoming sufficiently large to convert the diseases into endemic diseases (Kunitz 1984). In general, however, the curve of mortality from year to year retained the jagged, saw-toothed shape characteristic of the presence of epidemics (Omran 1975), although these were never of sufficient magnitude or frequency to keep populations from growing.

    Mortality began to decline after the Civil War … What, then, explains the decline in mortality after the Civil War, when an even larger influx of immigrants every bit as poor as those who had preceded them flooded the cities? It seems likely that the sources of the change were the remarkable productivity of the industrializing U.S. economy and the reform movements that resulted in sanitary improvements in many cities, as well as in small towns and villages (Levison, Hastings and Harrison 1981).

    There were, of course, differences in the mortality rates of different cities. By the end of the nineteenth century, these were attributable largely to differences in deaths of infants and young children caused by endemic conditions such as the pneumonia- diarrhea complex. Variations in death rates among cities were explainable by differences in socioeconomic measures, except among southern cities, in which the proportion of blacks living in extreme poverty was an important variable (Crimmins and Condran 1983).

    In the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, then, there was a shift from epidemics afflicting people of all ages to endemic infectious diseases afflicting primarily infants and children. The change occurred earlier in the North than the South, although by the 1920s and 1930s, malaria was in decline south of the Mason—Dixon line. In the course of the twentieth century, the pneumonia-diarrhea complex continued to decline as economic conditions continued to improve, literacy increased, and public health measures were strengthened. …

    Conclusions

    It is generally agreed that in the developed countries development itself has been responsible for most of the change. In contrast, much of the improvement in mortality in less developed countries is said to have been caused by imported public health measures, especially those that could be widely and inexpensively applied in the absence of fundamental changes in the socioeconomic characteristics of the population itself.

    Once again the systemic factors are seen as primary. Once again systemic improvements (where they occured) were responsible for significant declines before vaccination. Where systemic improvements did not occur, health measures including vaccination have a significant impact, but are ultimately limited in what they can achieve.

    VI.12 Diseases of the Modern Period in South Asia

    The history of disease in modern South Asia has been dominated by epidemic diseases. Smallpox, cholera, and malaria, along with plague and influenza, figured prominently among the leading causes of sickness and mortality in the region for much of the period from the eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. The recent decline or disappearance of several of these diseases has correspondingly resulted in a marked fall in overall levels of mortality. …

    The reasons underlying this fall in mortality (and the earlier high levels of mortality) have been much debated. Kingsley Davis (1951) argued that India be- came “the home of great epidemics” only during the period of British rule (1757-1947), when it was “exposed to foreign contact for the first time on such a great scale.” India’s “medieval stagnation” was broken down later than that of Europe and so the region fell prey to pathogenic invasions, such as plague, at a later date. But, as in Europe earlier, India’s population gradually developed an immunity to these diseases. Thus, Davis argued, even without medical and sanitary intervention, India’s epidemic diseases began to lose much of their initial virulence. …

    A second explanation for the twentieth-century decline in epidemic mortality focuses on the role of medical and sanitary intervention. Measures to pro- tect South Asia from epidemic disease began early in the colonial period with the introduction of smallpox vaccination in 1802, and it has been claimed that this dramatically reduced the incidence of what had formerly been one of the region’s greatest afflictions. Later measures against cholera, plague, and malaria – from mass immunization to chemical spraying – have likewise been identified as decisive factors in the eradication or control of these diseases. Davis (1956) claimed that by the mid-twen- tieth century, medical technology had the capacity to reduce mortality without waiting for supporting advances in socioeconomic conditions. But the limits of therapeutic intervention have since become apparent (especially with the resurgence of malaria since the 1960s), and recent writers are more skeptical about its effectiveness as an explanation for earlier falls in mortality. The low level of colonial (and postcolonial) expenditure on medicine and public health; the paucity of doctors, hospitals, and medical supplies relative to the size of the population; and the enormous technical, social, and cultural obstacles in the way of effective medical action — all have been cited as evidence of the limited human capacity to master epidemic disease in South Asia.

    A third hypothesis draws close parallels with the European experience. It has been argued that the fall in mortality in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England owed little to medical advances (apart, latterly, from vaccination) and derived instead from improved living conditions and diet. A comparable development has been suggested for South Asia, albeit at a somewhat later date.

    Conclusions

    Several major epidemic diseases of the recent past have been brought under control (or have largely disappeared through reasons that may have little to do with human intervention). But, so long as poverty remains endemic in the region and levels of public health expenditure and provisioning remain low even by Third World standards, there seems little likelihood that the high levels of morbidity and mortality that continue to afflict the region will effectively disappear.

    Similar conclusions to Americas above. I’d say my claim (5) is solidly supported by the historical evidence. The most significant factors in disease incidence are systemic. Over the last several decades, in the case of several major diseases, vaccinations were introduced at a time when the incidence of the disease was already in decline. (We can add the proviso that this is not the case where systemic improvements were not occurring of course, but it is certainly true of Europe since 1700). So can you please explain your reply that this is “a commonly repeated fallacy used to discredit the utility of vaccination”?

    Now, “incidence rate” is not “death rate”, but incidence and death are certainly related, and death is the headline statistic in this debate. As it relates to death rates we have more accurate data. Over the last several decades, in the case of several major diseases, vaccinations were introduced at a time when the rate of deaths caused by the disease was already in decline.

    Here’s an example covering US data from 1900 for measles, scalret fever, typhoid, whooping cough and diptheria (the source of the data is given on the graph).

    This example covers England/Wales data from 1938 for whooping cough (the source of the data is given on the graph).

    This example covers England/Wales data from 1901 for mumps (the source of the data is given on the graph). The date of the introduction of vaccination is not marked, but my understanding is that mumps vaccine was not available prior to 1949.

    This series is Australian data from 1880 (the data is from Australian Year Books) – see whooping cough, measels, typhoid fever, and scarlet fever.

    You can find the above graphs in various places, for extra details on sources etc I found them (and many others like them) here. Don’t blow a mental fuse here – I’m not interested in your opinions of these people, I’m interested in their data.

    Finally, New Zealand data from 1900 for diptheria, whooping cough, measels and tuberculosis (source from NZ Yearbooks). Same comment as above – I’m only interested in the data.

    So summing up. The historical data seem to strongly support the claim (5). In the case of the most significant risk, death, the claim appears to be strongly supported by several data sets. Once again I’ve got to ask how you substantiate your reply that this is “a commonly repeated fallacy used to discredit the utility of vaccination”?

    • McFlock 30.1
       
       

      The fallacy is the assumption that the presence of alternative contributors to lower mortality necessarily means that vaccination is ineffective at saving lives.
         
      Although even in some of those graphs there seems to be suspicious dips in mortality after vaccinations were introduced – just because they are small compared to the effects of a decent diet and heathcare system (and the advent of antibiotics, which was probably the biggest improvement in healthcare bar none) does not mean that they don’t save lives. And now they are the main avenue of preventing the remaining levels of morbidity and mortaity in NZ, especially given our penchant for fucking over the poor.
        

      • higherstandard 30.1.1

        Check the front page of the sites that the data r0b has provided come from.

        • r0b 30.1.1.1

          Check the front page of the sites that the data r0b has provided come from.

          In my comment above I said: “I’m not interested in your opinions of these people, I’m interested in their data.”. So naturally your first response is to attack the people.

          Data is data HS. Most of that data, as far as I can tell, was first published by medical professionals and public health organisations, before being adopted by the anti-vaccination crowd.

          Data is data. If the data is wrong then say so. Attacking the people does your argument much more harm than good.

          And McFlock:

          Although even in some of those graphs there seems to be suspicious dips in mortality after vaccinations were introduced

          There isn’t an honest statistician in the world who wouldn’t laugh that out of court. There is plenty of evidence of the efficacy of vaccination in saving lives, but none of it is in those mortality graphs.

          • Colonial Viper 30.1.1.1.1

            Perhaps we can have a new post up on the massive health benefits of getting clean water and hygenic toilets to the 3B people across the globe who do not have daily access to them.

            Or maybe we’re just totally biased towards high tech, high cost, approaches to healthcare. Approaches which will become less and less affordable over the next 10 years, just as they have over the last 10 years.

            • McFlock 30.1.1.1.1.1

              why is it one or the other? Why not both?

            • higherstandard 30.1.1.1.1.2

              Not discounting the absolutely undeniable benefit of clean water and sanitation but you should know that vaccination is pretty low tech, low cost intervention actually CV.

          • McFlock 30.1.1.1.2

            You will note I was very careful to discuss the graphs only. I made no pretense to claim a correlation with p<0.05, but nor did I doubt the veracity of the graphs or added notes showing when vaccination was introduced, nor did I call the distributors of some of those graphs "nutbars" or "parents of petrie dishes" even after reading their little pamphlet, nor did I bother pointing out that a better measure would be condition incidence against vaccination levels (given that many dhbs have not even yet managed 95% vaccination), or any of that crap.

            Your point was supported by simple graphs that showed mortality from vpd was declining prior to widespread vaccination, with no attached math to hurt my brainpan with the letters and the squiggly lines (it's all Greek to me…).

            I simply used that level of analysis to point out that at the simplest level there does seem to be a possibly beyond-trend step down in some conditions after vaccination becomes widespread. Not up to the standard of the Lancet, sure, but enough for a curious analyst to start checking the math and looking for confounding factors (e.g. a new antibiotic cocktail, or maybe something as simple as a diagnosis practise change).

          • higherstandard 30.1.1.1.3

            rOb there isn’t a reputable statistician in the world that couldn’t see the obvious impact of vaccination as well as the obvious impact of non vaccination.

            As for the sites you linked to well I find it telling that you are prepared to accept these as gospel yet dismiss peer reviewed data such as that I linked to at the CDC.

    • Carol 30.2

      Thanks, r0b. I have mixed feelings about vaccinations – mainly I’m for them in moderation: ie when the disease is extremely virulent and dangerous.

      I also wonder about the over-use of any medication or medical intervention. e.g. look what has happened with antibiotics? Once it was seen as the wonder cure, now….? When humans intervene with nature in drastic ways, the wider impacts are often not known until much later.

      Of course, improved sanitation, health etc is a kind of human intervention. But I’d rather go with that in the first instance.

    • higherstandard 30.3

      Hi rOb

      I don’t think there’s really much use continuing the discussion as it’s about as useful as trying to get Eve to see any possible change her position on 911 and I remember you clearly telling her it was very rare for anyone to change an entrenched position on such matters.

      I see you linked data from a number of anti vaccination sites including

      http://www.vaclib.org/

      http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/

      A colleague suggested anyone who wanted to mount similar anti-vaccination arguments to yours should utilise the site as below.

      http://www.whale.to/

      I would tend counter this type of information with that from the CDC’s pinkbook

      http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/index.html

      The data clearly shows the risks and uility of vaccination in a number of infectious diseases as examples in the USA…

      For measles before 1963, approximately 500,000 cases and 500 deaths were reported annually, with epidemic cycles every 2–3 years.However, the actual number of cases was estimated at 3–4 million annually. More than 50% of persons had measles by age 6, and more than 90% had measles by age 15. The highest incidence was among 5–9-year-olds, who generally accounted for more than 50% of reported cases. Following licensure of vaccine in 1963, the incidence of measles decreased by more than 98%, and 2–3-year epidemic cycles no longer occurred.

      From 1989 through 1991, a dramatic increase in cases occurred. During these 3 years a total of 55,622 cases were reported (18,193 in 1989; 27,786 in 1990; 9,643 in 1991). In addition to the increased number of cases, a change occurred in their age distribution. Prior to the resurgence, school-aged children had accounted for the largest proportion of reported cases. During the resurgence, 45% of all reported cases were in children younger than 5 years of age. In 1990, 48% of patients were in this age group, the first time that the proportion of cases in children younger than 5 years of age exceeded the proportion of cases in 5–19-year-olds (35%).

      The most important cause of the measles resurgence of 1989–1991 was low vaccination coverage. Measles vaccine coverage was low in many cities, including some that experienced large outbreaks among preschool-aged children throughout the early to mid-1980s. Surveys in areas experiencing outbreaks among preschool-aged children indicated that as few as 50% of children had been vaccinated against measles by their second birthday, and that black and Hispanic children were less likely to be age-appropriately vaccinated than were white children.

      http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/meas.html

      There are similar cautionary tales regarding other infectious diseases amongst the pinkbook data.

      Other useful websites on the utility of vaccination are found here

      http://www.path.org/vaccineresources/index.php

      Through our discussion we have, however lost track of what the original post was about which was attempting to increase the immunization rate amongst beneficiaries which I don’t see as a bad thing , rereading your second paragraph in light of our discussion it is evident that you do see it as a bad thing. I would strongly suggest that most of the lack of vaccination amongst this group would not be from an informed, yet incorrect, decision as you have made but from apathy or forgetfulness on the part of the parent or primary healthcare provider.

      From a personal perspective I can only go back to infections I used to see frequently when I was younger such as H influenza which was very common and in terms of meningitis was by far the most common bacteria we used to isolate in NZ – now almost gone. Similar was the incidence of HepB which although still a problem in NZ and remaining the leading and leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (75%), liver-related mortality (63%) and liver transplantation (32%) in this country it is now something we have got on top of with infant vaccination. Others will have similar examples.

      Also on a personal note I find it disappointing that people continue to view vaccination as ineffective and in some cases dangerous in that by extrapolation they tar health professionals and oragnistations such as WHO and the CDC as at best duped well meaning interventionists and at worst complicit in medical fraud. I find that persons such as yourself would demand that all vaccines should be proven 100% effective and 100% safe before they should be allowed to used and even then would suggest that they are a poor substitute for a health lifestyle should you come into contact with measles, pertussis, Hep B or the like. For those that have to mop up the mess of vaccine preventable infectious disease outbreaks i hope you can understand why sometime we become a little vexed.

      • r0b 30.3.1

        I don’t think there’s really much use continuing the discussion

        I agree. I asked you to discuss the data, not attack the people, and you attacked the people.

        I asked you (twice) to substantiate your claim of “a commonly repeated fallacy used to discredit the utility of vaccination”, and you did not. So I’ll repeat the point here. Over the last several decades, in the case of several major diseases, vaccinations were introduced at a time when the rate of deaths caused by the disease was already in decline. This makes interpreting the impact of vaccination (in systematically healthy / “Western” countries) difficult to assess.

        very rare for anyone to change an entrenched position on such matters.

        It is very rare. But my position is not entrenched. My kids had some vaccinations. I would love to be convinced of the overwhelming benefits of vaccination. That’s partly why I’m here discussing it with you HS.

        Also on a personal note I find it disappointing that people continue to view vaccination as ineffective and in some cases dangerous in that by extrapolation they tar health professionals and oragnistations

        I have done no such taring HS, and I imply none. Most doctors are incredibly well meaning of course (though too many are sadly inclined to the arrogance displayed in 28 and 28.1 above).

        For those that have to mop up the mess of vaccine preventable infectious disease outbreaks i hope you can understand why sometime we become a little vexed.

        If you don’t mind a suggestion HS, one that returns to the politics that this forum is about in fact, I believe that addressing poverty would do just as much to mop up the mess of vaccine preventable diseases as vaccination would. Why not support governments that try to reduce poverty, instead of those that seem hell bent on increasing it?

        • higherstandard 30.3.1.1

          rob

          “I asked you (twice) to substantiate your claim of “a commonly repeated fallacy used to discredit the utility of vaccination”

          Which I have repeatedly in relation to examples with measles and other infectious agents, as well as the examples of outbreaks during decline in vaccination levels.

          “I have done no such taring HS, and I imply none.”

          Um you have systematically presented a case that vaccination is pretty much unwarranted and in some cases detrimental if that’s not ‘tarring’ the medical profession, the CDC and organisations such as WHO I don’t know what is.

          • r0b 30.3.1.1.1

            Which I have repeatedly in relation to examples with measles and other infectious agents, as well as the examples of outbreaks during decline in vaccination levels.

            I have presented the evidence for my claim. You have not addressed that evidence at all, your examples (while relevant to the vaccination debate in general) have no relevance to your accusations of fallacy.

            Um you have systematically presented a case that vaccination is pretty much unwarranted

            … in some circumstances …

            and in some cases detrimental

            … in some cases …

            if that’s not ‘tarring’ the medical profession, the CDC and organisations such as WHO I don’t know what is.

            I’m trying to establish the truth HS. If we can’t do that without you complaining that we’re “tarring the medical profession” then something is very seriously wrong here, and I invite you to ponder the implications of that.

            I’ve spent enough time on this today. I’m off for a swim. See you later, maybe, if you want to talk about facts.

            • higherstandard 30.3.1.1.1.1

              “I’m trying to establish the truth HS.”

              Nah, you’re trying to defend your position and justify your anti vaccination rhetoric with dubious data while ignoring the expansive datasets I’ve provided to you, that’s fine but don’t expect people to call you on it.

  31. prism 31

    While we are so exercised on the proven value of vaccination, provided it is of quality, why not discuss other protective policies from mass medication and medical advancement such as not having blood tranfusions! Some people have contracted Hep and probably AIDS from them, especially where there is money to be made by politicians, allowing substandard supplies, and donors who get paid per ml and have to feed their children, their drug habit etc. There are definitely dangers if we don’t watch for standards to be maintained. But the spread of disease can be arrested by prevention on a number of fronts.

    There are methods of treating plague victims from the past which may have to be resorted to if virulent diseases get going. People had to remain in their houses with their ill and dying ones, food was placed for them at a distance regarded as safe from contagion, and they lived or died in a ‘natural’ manner.

    • higherstandard 31.1

      WTF are you on about? All blood and blood products in NZ are screened for a number of infectious agents including Hep strains and HIV amongst other markers.

    • higherstandard 31.2

      Actually I can’t tell if your post is a piss take or not ?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • GM Strikers Are Waging a Battle on Two Fronts
    Reprinted from Jacobinmag by Jane Slaughter and Chris Brooks Almost 50,000 UAW workers are on strike against GM and a two-tier labor system that undermines worker solidarity. But members may need to wage a battle on two fronts — against the company, but also against their own union leadership. Forty-nine ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    12 hours ago
  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    21 hours ago
  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    7 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    7 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.