Category Archives: Press releases

“Powerful” film Vaxxed raises important questions about vaccine safety

New Zealand health advocate Allison Roe, who is an elected member of the Waitemata District Health Board, was one of the four hundred people who attended the premiere of the film Vaxxed:  From Cover-up to Catastrophe on Sunday, April 2.

 

“I am here to be informed and have no idea if other health board members are in attendance Roe said, “However, I would encourage all other DHB members to take advantage of the ongoing screenings and see Vaxxed themselves, or watch it online”.

 

The film, Roe, says is “not anti-vaccination”,  as has been widely reported.

 

However the film “does make a powerful case that MMR vaccination prior to the age of three years is a risk factor for previously normally developing children regressing into autism.”

 

According to Roe, the film suggests that making single measles, mumps and rubella shots available could provide parents who want to vaccinate with a safer alternative to the combined MMR shot.

 

The film was co-produced by British couple Polly and Jon Tommey (whose previously healthy son Billy suffered a seizure and regressed into autism following an MMR shot at the age of 12 months) and Del Bigtree who produced the popular medical talk show “The Doctors”.

 

The film is based on data provided by a whistle-blower scientist (Dr. William Thompson) from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) who in 2014, confessed that he and his colleagues had committed scientific fraud in a study of the MMR vaccine and autism.

 

Vaxxed is a powerful film,” Roe concludes, “and given the importance of the health of our children to the future of our country, I hope that parents, health professionals and people involved in healthcare management will take the opportunity to see the film for themselves and to think carefully about its implications”.

 

ENDS

 

Website editor’s note:  Journalists who would like to contact Allison Roe are welcome to email NO Forced Vaccines via the contact form at this link http://www.noforcedvaccines.org/contact/ and messages will then be forwarded to her.

Proposal to Ban Unvaccinated Children from Childcare “Assault on Parents’ and Children’s Rights”

Proposal to Ban Unvaccinated Children from Childcare “Assault on Parents’ and Children’s Rights”

No Forced Vaccines, Press release March 14, 2017

 

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s support for banning unvaccinated children from childcare centres and preschools “shows a worrying lack of knowledge about the risks of vaccines and a lack of respects for the parents’ and children’s rights”, according to Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, a New Zealand based organisation that opposes forced or coerced vaccination.

“Parents have the right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children,” Smith says, adding that Australia’s current childhood vaccination rate (95%) shows that most parents support vaccination.

Those parents who choose not to vaccinate, she says, are usually well educated middle class parents who have made this decision after carefully weighing up the risks and benefits of the procedure.

“Parents make vaccination decisions based on the best interests of their children,” Smith says, adding that vaccines were “well documented to cause a variety of side effects ranging from mild adverse effects to fatal adverse reactions” and while these risks were acceptable to some parents, others parents’ perception was that their children’s health was better served by avoiding the risks of vaccination.

“For a government to use any sort of coercive tactics to try to increase vaccination rates is not acceptable in a democracy where people have the right to make a free and informed decision about medical treatment.”

Australian parents who had made an informed decision not to vaccinate their children would no doubt be “extremely concerned about their Prime Minister’s proposal that their healthy children should be banned from childcare or preschool and the potential impact on their children’s education and family finances if such a discriminatory ban were to become a reality,” Smith added.

Smith said that she was “relieved” that the current NZ government, while a strong supporter of vaccination, did not consider denying unvaccinated children the opportunity to attend a childcare centre or preschool to be an appropriate way to increase vaccination rates.

She was concerned that a quote from Andrew Little suggested that he thought that the idea of banning unvaccinated children from childcare centres or preschools was worth considering.

“I hope that Mr. Little will reconsider this position once he gives the matter some thought. New Zealand parents deserve respect for the job that they are doing raising the next generation of New Zealanders and it is not the government’s place to interfere with the healthcare decisions that parents make in the best interests of their healthy babies and children by using coercive tactics to increase vaccination rates.

“I hope that Mr. Little will educate himself about New Zealand’s already very high vaccination rates, and how these have been achieved, as well as the reasons why some parents choose not to vaccinate their children” she added.

“I hope Mr. Little will attend the New Zealand premiere of the film Vaxxed:  From Cover-up to Catastrophe that details how evidence of a vaccine-autism link was covered up by scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control.  This will help him to understand why some parents prefer not to vaccinate their children – or to avoid the use of some vaccines that they consider to pose unacceptable risks to their children’s health”, Smith concluded.

 

ENDS

 

NB:  Information about the premiere of Vaxxed:  From Cover-up to Catastrophe (in English, Tongan, Samoan and Chinese) may be found by clicking HERE.

A NZ media report with comments by Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman and Andrew Little (leader of the Labour party) may be accessed by clicking HERE.

Bullying of hospital staff to accept influenza vaccinations “not acceptable”

No Forced Vaccines Press Release

August 3, 2015

 

Bullying of hospital staff to accept influenza vaccinations “absolutely unacceptable”

 

That staff at Waikato Hospital have been bullied into accepting influenza vaccinations, according to the NZ Herald is “absolutely unacceptable in a democracy” and is an “assault on workers’ human rights”.

Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines says that she is “appalled” to learn that one staff member has been sacked because he or she did not comply with the new hospital policy regarding influenza vaccination. [1]

“Influenza vaccination carries serious risks, including the risk of developing Guillain Barre syndrome, a disorder of the nervous system which can involve varying degrees of paralysis and can be fatal in some cases,” Mrs Smith continues.

“It’s not surprising that many health professionals refuse influenza vaccinations, presumably because they do not want to put their health at risk.” [2]

She rejects the hospital’s claim that unvaccinated staff pose a risk to patients.

“People who are not vaccinated do not necessarily contract the flu if they are exposed to it”, she adds.

Nor, she adds, do influenza vaccinations necessarily protect staff and patients from the flu or flu-like illnesses, citing a Cochrane collaboration study which found that “at best [influenza] vaccines may only be effective against influenza A and B which represent only 10% of circulating viruses [that can cause flu-like symptoms]”. She also notes that the study’s authors stated that that the effectiveness of influenza vaccination in preventing illness was “small” – meaning that at last 40 people needed to be vaccinated against the flu to prevent just one case of “influenza like illness” and seventy-one people needed to be vaccinated to prevent just one case of influenza.

The researchers found that for healthy adults influenza vaccination “shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalisation”, Smith says. [3]

Under the circumstances, any policy that attempts to coerce hospital staff into accepting influenza vaccinations is not only an “assault on their human rights to make a free and informed choice about their own medical care” but the policy was also “not supported by solid science”, Smith concludes.

 

 

[1] http://m.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11490970

[2] http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10750740

[3] http://www.cochrane.org/CD001269/ARI_vaccines-to-prevent-influenza-in-healthy-adults

 

“Science, not bureaucracy, should be at the heart of NZ vaccination policy”

Press release

April 27, 2015

“Science, not bureaucracy, should be at the heart of NZ vaccination policy”

 

 

If NZ wants to continue to improve public confidence in vaccination and increase vaccination rates, “The Ministry of Health needs to focus on using science to make vaccination safer.” That’s the message from Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, an organisation that opposes coerced or forced vaccinations.

 

“The government has done a good job of promoting vaccination to parents and vaccination rates are consequently at an all-time high,” Mrs Smith said.

 

However, in order to sustain high vaccination rates, public confidence in vaccination needs to be maintained, she warned.

 

“A key reason why many adults, especially health professionals, decide against vaccination for themselves or their children is the risk that a vaccine could cause serious side effects,” Katherine Smith said. Noting the recent disclosure by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) scientist Dr. William Thompson, that the CDC had suppressed data that showed an increased risk of autism for African-American boys who received the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine prior to the age of three, she said that, “This revelation has understandably reduced public confidence in agencies that promote vaccination – even those that nothing to do with the MMR-autism cover-up detailed by Dr. Thompson.” [1]

 

Here in NZ, Mrs Smith continued, “One way to improve public confidence in vaccination would be to screen people prior to vaccination – so that those who are at a higher risk of suffering an adverse reaction from a particular vaccine can be identified prior to vaccination.”

 

For example, Mrs Smith said, “Merck, the manufacturers of the MMR vaccine used in NZ (MMRII) disclose a risk of arthritis, especially for women, who receive this vaccine.” According to Merck about 12-26 % of women who are vaccinated experience joint symptoms. For most, this is temporary but some vaccine recipients develop chronic arthritis. [2]

 

The risk of arthritis after rubella-containing vaccines is not entirely random, Smith continues, explaining that “genetic differences in human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system mean that some women who receive rubella-containing vaccines have a higher risk of developing arthritis than others.” [3]

 

Screening of adolescent girls or women who were not already immune to rubella to make sure that they did not have one of the types of HLA system associated with increased risk of arthritis “would be one way to make vaccination safer,” Smith stated.

 

Another measure that the Ministry of Health could take “would be to make it compulsory for doctors to report adverse effects from vaccination to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring [CARM]”, Smith added. She also said that another useful initiative would be for “new fields to be established in the National Immunisation Register (NIR) where doctors could record side effects and new health problems following vaccination.” Mrs Smith continued. “Such information would be valuable to doctors and nurses as this would make it quick and easy to review “any adverse reaction a child may previously have experienced”.

 

Making it mandatory for adverse reactions and any vaccine-linked health diagnoses (such as autism) to be recorded in the National Immunisation Register would also mean that “if NZ has an equivalent group to the young African-American boys who are at higher risk of developing MMR vaccine-induced autism (or any other significant adverse health or developmental outcome following any vaccination) this group could be identified by using this strategy.”

 

Smith added that identification of any groups at risk of an adverse outcome after vaccination “would allow research into factors that may increase the risk for adverse reactions and thereafter develop strategies to reduce these risks.”

 

There was a danger that if NZ’s vaccination policy continued to focus on meeting bureaucratic targets rather than ensuring that the best available science is utilised in order to reduce the risk of adverse reactions, “that people will suffer needlessly from preventable vaccine-induced illness or disability,” Smith said.

 

“Any country that promotes vaccination has an obligation to institute policies that make vaccination as safe as possible for people who want to be vaccinated, while respecting the rights of people who do not want to be vaccinated,” Smith concluded.
 

[1] http://www.rescuepost.com/files/william-thompson-statement-27-august-2014-3.pdf

(Some background details and subsequent developments are at this link http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/obama-grants-immunity-to-cdc-whistleblower-on-measles-vaccine-link-to-autism/)

 

[2] https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/m/mmr_ii/mmr_ii_pi.pdf

 

[3] http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/177/1/5.full.pdf

Simple, Effective Treatments for Common Childhood Illnesses: What Parents and Health Professionals Need to Know

April 27, 2015

Press Release:

Simple, Effective Treatments for Common Childhood Illnesses: What Parents and Health Professionals Need to Know

 

The NZ government needs to do more to make sure that parents and health professionals “are better informed about treatment options for common childhood illnesses.”

That’s the advice from Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, a group that opposes coerced or forced vaccinations.

“The government has been very successful in promoting vaccination to parents,” Mrs Smith stated, “And the fact that most vaccines for childhood illnesses are free is also a factor in NZ’s record high vaccination rates.” Mrs Smith added.

“However, as no vaccine is 100% effective, parents still need information about treatments for the common childhood infections.” Mrs Smith said.

For example, chickenpox,measles, mumps and rubella and other acute viral infections have a long, successful history of being treated with supplementary vitamin C, Mrs Smith stated.

“Unfortunately, many parents and even some health professionals don’t realise this.” This simple treatment, she said, “Supports the immune system in fighting the virus and is safe for the vast majority of patients.”

Noting that some of the diseases for which there are vaccines, such as diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough) “are dangerous because of the toxins produced by bacteria”, Mrs Smith added, “and there is more than ample evidence that vitamin C could be a helpful treatment in these conditions, either as sole treatment or in combination with other treatments, depending on the individual situation.” [1][2][3]

It was important that parents who are considering using vitamin C to treat a child who is suffering from any type of infection “ensure that they get professional advice about a suitable dose for their child and make sure that there is no contraindication for using this treatment.”

It was also troubling, Mrs Smith continued, “that parents could be influenced by articles online or elsewhere that encourage the use of paracetamol to treat the fever associated with common viral infections.”

While there are some situations (such as in patients with serious heart or lung disorders) where paracetamol would be indicated, a blanket recommendation for using paracetamol to reduce an elevated temperature, Mrs Smith stated “has risks, because a fever plays a valuable role in improving the efficacy of the immune system. Unnecessarily suppressing a fever may prolong an infection, or even increase the risk of death for patients who have a severe infection,” Smith warned. [4]

“A public education programme about how to use vitamin C and other nutrients to treat infections could greatly reduce morbidity and even mortality from infections,” Mrs Smith concluded.

 

[1] http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/69/1/70.extract

[2] The book Curing the Incurable by Thomas Levy, MD, JD, presents the research and case histories indicating how vitamin C may be used to treat diphtheria.

[3] http://w.ww.vaccinationcouncil.org/2012/09/07/vitamin-c-for-whooping-cough-updated-edition-suzanne-humphries-md/

[4] http://www.australianprescriber.com/magazine/18/2/33/5/

Act Party leader’s endorsement of Welfare Working group proposal “puts vulnerable children at risk”

No Forced Vaccines

Press Release

April 22, 2015

 

Act Party leader’s endorsement of Welfare Working group proposal “puts vulnerable children at risk”

 

Act Party leader David Seymour’s support for the Welfare Working Group’s proposal to link children’s vaccination to parental benefits is misguided because it risks harming vulnerable children.

 

That’s the warning from Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, a group that opposes coerced or forced vaccination.

 

In 2012, the Welfare Working Group recommended “that beneficiaries be required to ensure that their children complete the 12 Well Child/Tamariki Ora health checks including completion of the immunisation schedule, (unless they make an informed choice not to.)”

 

“At the time of the Welfare Working Group’s pronouncement, No Forced Vaccines pointed out that any policy that infringed on parents’ rights to make healthcare decisions for their minor children was ‘an insult’ to parents who were receiving a benefit,” Mrs Smith continued.

 

“Moreover, any policy that forces parents to ‘choose’ between their child having all vaccines or none, puts children’s health at risk,” she added.

 

The greatest risk, of an “all or nothing” stance regarding vaccinations, Mrs Smith explained, would be for children who had begun to have progressively more serious adverse reactions to each vaccine that they received.

 

“Under normal circumstances, if a child were having increasingly severe side effects after each injection, many parents would decide against further vaccinations for that child,” Mrs Smith said, noting that in many case histories of vaccine-injured children, “a pattern of worsening reactions to each vaccine is evident prior to a child suffering a severe reaction from which they may never fully recover.”

 

The danger of using any sort of financial penalty to try to increase vaccination rates “is that financially stressed parents whose child has already had adverse reactions might feel they have no choice but to agree to that child having another vaccine – one that might lead to tragic consequences such as disability or even death,” she continued.

 

Mrs Smith added that it was “fortunate for vulnerable families” that in 2012 the NZ government decided against linking children’s vaccinations to parental benefits.

 

Prime Minister John Key recently acknowledged that vaccination could cause death in some cases, Mrs Smith stated.

 

Smith concluded: “It’s a shame that David Seymour doesn’t seem to realise that vaccination entails real risks and seems to think the using financial blackmail is an acceptable way of increasing vaccination rates.”

 

ENDS

 

Note to media: Katherine Smith may be contacted for interviews via www.noforcedvaccines.org/contact/

Call for compulsory vaccination by prominent GP “alarming”

Call for compulsory vaccination by prominent GP “alarming”

PRESS RELEASE

No Forced Vaccines,

April 19, 2015

 

The statement by GP Dr. Lance O’Sullivan who won the “New Zealander of the Year Award” in 2014 that parents should be “compelled” to have their children vaccinated is “frankly alarming”, according to Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines.

 

“I have no doubts that Dr. O’Sullivan is a dedicated doctor who cares about his patients and the community, and his recognition is well deserved given the initiatives he has taken to improve the health of people in Kaitaia, such as the Kainga Ora healthy housing initiative,” Mrs Smith says.

 

“However, his misguided advocacy of compulsion with regard to vaccination is frankly alarming, given that he is a doctor, and should therefore understand that medical ethics demand that except in extreme circumstances (such as an unconscious patient who needs emergency treatment to save his or her life), patients must be able to make a free and informed decision about their medical care.”

 

In practice, Mrs Smith explains, given that vaccination is a medical procedure that has serious risks, as well as potential benefits, health professionals who offer vaccination to their patients need to provide information about the benefits and risks of the vaccine. This allows people to make an informed decision about whether to be vaccinated.

 

In the case of vaccinations for children, their parents need to have this information to make a decision on behalf of their child, she says.

 

“For a doctor to advocate for vaccination to be compulsory, or to favour the use of financial penalties to try to coerce parents into vaccination their children shows a worrying disregard for basic medical ethics.” Mrs Smith continues.  “Dr O’Sullivan’s statement that parents should be ‘compelled’ to have their children vaccinated suggests he has very little regard for the basic human right of people to make their own decisions about medical treatment for themselves and their minor children.

Noting that Prime Minister John Key had ruled out linking children’s vaccinations to benefits, Mrs Smith adds that it is reassuring that the government recognises that trying to coerce parents into vaccinating their children would be an infringement of the rights of both parents and children.

 

“Most Kiwi parents support vaccination, as evidenced by the fact that 94% of children here are now vaccinated – a record for NZ,” she adds. “Any type of compulsion with regard to vaccination is not only unethical but unnecessary.”

ENDS

 

Prime Minister John Key to be congratulated for support for parental and human rights

Prime Minister John Key deserves the gratitude of every thinking New Zealander for his sensible decision not to follow the example of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott regarding linking children’s vaccinations to childcare subsidies or welfare payments.

“It’s refreshing when a public figure who supports vaccination is also honest about the fact that for some people, vaccination can have unintended adverse consequences,” comments Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines. “While most children and adults who are vaccinated experience only minor or temporary side effects, in a few cases adverse reactions to vaccines can be life-threatening, such as the severe reaction that left Australian child Saba Button profoundly disabled and in need of 24 hour care for the rest of her life, or even fatal, such as the case of Ashley Jade Epapara who died after a routine influenza vaccination.”

Explaining that vaccination is unusual among medical interventions in that it is a procedure designed for healthy people with the aim of preventing illness rather than treating someone who is already sick, Katherine Smith continues:

“It is a basic human right to be able to make a free and informed choice about medical treatments – and in the case of children, parents need to be able to make this decision on their children’s behalf, since if anything does go wrong it is parents and children who have to live with the consequences.”

Noting that New Zealand’s current vaccination rate is at a “record high 94%”, Mrs Smith adds, that “It’s clear that most New Zealand parents support vaccination without any compulsion and the current initiatives that are being taken by the government to increase vaccination rates and make it easier for parents who want their children to be vaccinated to be able to access this service have obviously been very successful.”

 

Immunisation decision “Important victory for human rights”

Press release from No Forced Vaccines

October 26, 2012

The announcement that parents who are on benefits will not be required to vaccinate their children is an “important victory for human rights” says Katherine Smith, spokeswoman for No Forced Vaccines, a group that opposes coerced or forced vaccination.

In the recently released “Welfare Reform Paper 3:  Social Obligations for Parents” the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennet stated that that she had “considered whether to establish an obligation in relation to child immunisation, but decided against this”. The minister wrote that decisions about vaccination “should remain with parents because immunisation is a medical procedure” and that “removing the right to refuse medical treatment would be an unjustifiable breach of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act”.

The NZ Bill of Rights states that “everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment”.

Responding to Paula Bennet on this issue, Katherine Smith added:

“Making a free and informed decision about any medical treatment, including vaccination is a basic human right.” Smith said.  “No Forced Vaccines is very pleased that the government has recognised that any move to make vaccination compulsory for children in benefit-dependent families would be incompatible with the NZ Bill of Rights.”

The challenge now for No Forced Vaccines will be to ensure that “the vaccination industry does not manipulate the NZ government into introducing any other coercive vaccination policies.” Smith added.

NZ’s vaccination rate for two years olds currently stands at a record high 93%.