1 Dec 2008

Stop compulsory vaccinations

You have until tomorrow to sign this petition - You may be aware that the government is considering making vaccination compulsory in order to attend UK schools and to claim child benefit. This is quite extraordinary. This is not about whether you're for or against vaccination, this is about the right to decide about your own health issues. We have no idea about the long term effects of vaccination and its efficaciousness is often doubtful. For example, Sweden no longer administers the whooping cough vaccine, deeming it to be ineffectual. The link below should take you to the correct petition:


Anonymous said...

On the contrary vaccination has brought about fantastic benefits to the health and well being of literally millions - if not billions - of people across the world. The long term effects appear to be longer life, fewer debilitating after effects of so-called childhood diseases, fewer painful illnesses that people have to bear unwillingly. if only there was an effective vaccincation for HIV.

Anonymous said...

We have knowledge of the long term effects of some vaccines e.g. Smallpox vaccine was introduced in England 1798 Diptheria Vaccine has been in use since 1920 in the US...

From this we know that there are problems with vaccines. Ever since their introduction there have been reactions, some fatal, to vaccines resulting in billions of compensation being paid out in the US alone.

We won't prove that vaccines work because we can't intentionally expose humans to a dangerous disease. The causality certainly isn't clear, e.g. look at this graph:


and this one:


Vaccines clearly weren't responsible for the majority of reductions in deaths. Most likely improving hygiene, nutrition and basic healthcare were responsible. I don't have the graphs to hand but for Polio the rate of decline in cases was the same for countries in Europe with and WITHOUT vaccination programmes!

The Mercury, Formaldehyde and Aluminium in vaccines all carry with them serious health risks and can cause permanent damage if not fatal reactions in some people. We are also vaccinating more than ever before:


I'm afraid that some vaccines may work for a period of time but they certainly don't give lifetime immunity in those people where they do work. All we know is that some people with some vaccines get increased antibody activity which is not the same thing as immunity. The last child case of Tetanus in the UK reported by the NHS was a child who had already been vaccinated for Tetanus!

This isn't a clear case at all and so compulsory vaccination is something I am utterly opposed to.

Anonymous said...

The evidence around TB vaccination is even more stark in showing that it
was publich health / hygiene that caused the massive decline in cases.

Even if there was a clear case that vaccinations were perfect it should
be opposed. This is a civil liberty issue, not a medical one.
Medicalisation of life is wrong.

punkscience said...

Of course Philip, the X-factor rejects of this country know far more about the efficacy of vaccines than a bunch of health professionals. You wanker.

Philip said...

Thanks for comments - as one of the comments above noted - This is a civil liberty issue, not a medical one - but not everyone considers our Western medicine approach to be right all the time - I remember a review of Stuart Sim's book, Empires of Belief, that said we need to be far more sceptical towards all belief systems, science included.

I am not convinced by all that I read about the wonders of all vaccines....

See The Ecologist on polio:
Or the Flu vaccine:

Anonymous said...

This is rubbish - of course we must have choice - I can understand if some life threatening plague was hitting us but this is measles and the like - yes can be nasty - very nasty but let me make that choice

weggis said...

Neither of my children were vaccinated against Whooping cough. That decision was not an easy one and was made in full knowledge of the risks either way.
But the decision was mine and Mrs Weggis, NOT the State.
Long may it remain that way.

punkscience said...

Philip, you just referred to science as "a belief system". Why is this?

Might I just pre-empt your answer by observing that just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it isn't true.

Philip said...

I do understand that things I don't understand can still be true! As for science as a belief system....try seeing Stuart Sims who I was quoting - he and others argue, science and technology have taken on the dimensions of a belief system in recent times - see his book mentioned above or try:

Anonymous said...

One thing that always erks the atheist-skeptic people is when you point out that science is based on unproven, and unprovable axioms, such as "energy can neither be created or destroyed".
And that to believe in science as having absolute answers requires one to have a belief system, regarding science.

Science is a beautiful tool, but the answers it provides as to how the Universe works should(IMO) always be seen in the context of uncertainty.

punkscience said...

Philip: I am a few months away from my doctorate in aquatic ecotoxicology so, considering my own biological background, I will conclude that you don't know what the fuck you are talking about. A recent article in the journal Science- one of the most prestigious and rigorously skeptical journals (to which I can testify, having had a paper of mine rejected by its reviewers [it has now been amended and published elsewhere])- has published an article laying out how a measles epidemic has become likely due to the number of morons such as yourself ignoring the overwhelming weight of evidence that shows the MMR jab is unrelated to autism. I quote:

"Although all of the claims of serious side effects have been refuted, there has been a decline in the uptake of the MMR vaccine in the United Kingdom leading to a growing pool of susceptible individuals. The drop in vaccine uptake has coincided with a number of large measles outbreaks"

The gist of the paper is given in this NewScientist article:

So, in light of this demonstrable hazard to the health of millions of children, will you publicaly retract your support of the petition and voice your support for compulsory vaccination?

punkscience said...

Might I just note that your previous post, entitled "Welsh Assembly to kill badgers", opens with the sentence: "This plan is despite science showing that culling of badgers plays no part in the control of Bovine TB in cattle."

So, on the one hand, epidemiological studies concerning badgers earn your effusive endorsement but those concerning human children are to be condemned, yes?

I am rendered speechless by the appalling inhumanity of your hypocrisy. And that rarely happens to me. To think that a fellow Green Party Councillor publicaly advocates a policy that demonstrably threatens the health of millions of children. You fucking monster. I was going to give you an opportunity to retract your position but you don't deserve it. I am now drafting a letter to Caroline.

punkscience said...

Correction: I am not a "fellow Green Party Councillor", I am a bog-standard party member.

Philip said...

'punkscience' - Your colourful use of language and personal attacks would be unacceptable in any Green party meeting that I have attended - or indeed most meetings.

You clearly feel strongly about the subject and I am more than happy to exchange views but insults don't help any debate and certainly will do little to change views - indeed if we are to change the world dialogue is one of the key tools we need to use - talking but also listening....

As far as I am concerned as I stated in the beginning this is not about whether you're for or against vaccination, this is about the right to decide about your own health issues. This is a point you appear to have avoided....

As others have commented above there is not the confidence around all vaccinations that you appear to have - and as an aside I've never suggested autism is linked to MMR - the evidence regarding any possible link is nothing like as strong as some press reporting would have us believe.

As for Badgers - I've said before the research is v poor on this - perhaps in that line I could have gone into more details again but the Government has claimed science will be at the base of their decision re badgers - their own science says a cull wont help - sadly while I agree with that outcome their science ignores lots of other evidence...but sadly no time to debate this again here...

Anonymous said...

A new research paper on the effectiveness of Smallpox vaccine:

Anonymous said...

I was just going to respond to an earlier comment when I saw the last comment - the above report says "We found that vaccinated subjects maintain what appear to be protective levels of neutralizing antibodies"

But hey having the antibodies is not the same as immunity to the disease. This is a very key point when examining individual vaccine studies.

Mass immunisation is one of the best businesses to be in when by default everyone is given the product when a child. I think it is interesting that our very own NHS makes the following comments


What that page doesn't show is that there is a new form of Polio that has emerged from the vaccine: Vaccine-derived Poliovirus. Risks and benefits...

I haven't said categorically that vaccine's don't work. What I am saying is that some vaccines work better than others and certainly at different levels for different people. There are also risks in receiving vaccines and the rapid increase in numbers of vaccines given is a medical problem in its own right.

Note that GPs are financially rewarded for maintaining high vaccination rates. It is very difficult to have an open discussion about this with them.

See graph re measles:

weggis said...

i note that punk science does not actually have his doctorate yet!

Perhaps he's counting chickens?

punkscience said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
punkscience said...

Measles is a significant infectious disease because, while the rate of complications is not high, the disease itself is so infectious that the sheer number of people who would suffer complications in an outbreak amongst non-immune people would quickly overwhelm available hospital resources. If vaccination rates fall, the number of non-immune persons in the community rises, and the risk of an outbreak of measles consequently rises.

Unvaccinated populations are at risk for the disease. After vaccination rates dropped in northern Nigeria in the early 2000s due to religious and political objections, the number of cases rose significantly, and HUNDREDS OF CHILDREN DIED.


punkscience said...

Some anti-vaccine activists protest against the administration of a vaccine against mumps, claiming that the attenuated vaccine strain is harmful, and/or that the wild disease is beneficial. Disagreeing, the WHO, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the British Medical Association and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain currently recommend routine vaccination of children against mumps. The British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain had previously recommended against general mumps vaccination, changing that recommendation in 1987. In 1988 it became United Kingdom government policy to introduce mass child mumps vaccination programmes with the MMR vaccine, and MMR vaccine is now routinely administered in the UK.

Before the introduction of the mumps vaccine, the mumps virus was the leading cause of viral meningoencephalitis in the United States. However, encephalitis occurs rarely (less than 2 per 100,000).[15] In one of the largest studies in the literature, the most common symptoms of mumps meningoencephalitis were found to be fever (97%), vomiting (94%) and headache (88.8%).[16] The mumps vaccine was introduced into the United States in December 1967: since its introduction there has been a steady decrease in the incidence of mumps and mumps virus infection. There were 151,209 cases of mumps reported in 1968. Since 2001, the case average was only 265 per year, excluding an outbreak of >6000 cases in 2006 attributed largely to university contagion in young adults.


punkscience said...

Pertussis vaccines are highly effective, strongly recommended, and save many infant lives every year. Though the protection they offer lasts only a few years, they are given so that immunity lasts through childhood, the time of greatest exposure and greatest risk.

Before vaccines, an average of 157 cases per 100,000 persons were reported in the U.S., with peaks reported every two to five years; more than 93% of reported cases occurred in children under 10 years of age. The actual incidence was likely much higher. After vaccinations were introduced in the 1940s, incidence fell dramatically to less than 1 per 100,000 by 1970.


punkscience said...

During the 20th century, it is estimated that smallpox was responsible for 300–500 million deaths.[7][8][9] In the early 1950s an estimated 50 million cases of smallpox occurred in the world each year.[10] As recently as 1967, the World Health Organization estimated that 15 million people contracted the disease and that two million died in that year.[10] After successful vaccination campaigns throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the WHO certified the eradication of smallpox in December 1979.[10] To this day, smallpox is the only human infectious disease to have been completely eradicated.

punkscience said...

You are culpable in the deaths reported here:


Not that you care.

Philip said...

Even the Government have now seen sense - this is the statement No10 have issued:

In the UK, immunisation, along with most healthcare, is voluntary and is a system built on informed consent and patient autonomy. A parent cannot be forced to have their child immunised. There are currently no plans to introduce compulsory immunisation in the UK or to sanction parents who choose not to immunise their child.

The Department of Health encourages parents to immunise their children, as immunisation protects children against diseases which, even today in developed countries, can cause serious long-term ill-health, including mental and/or physical disability, and can even kill.