How Meryl Dorey plagiarised, cropped, edited then published a WHO graph on pertussis vaccination

Not that far back, we left Meryl Dorey and her dishonest inner circle $11,000 richer after scamming members to donate toward a non existent Generation Rescue advertisement on the non existent scam of “vaccine induced autism”. A favourite still of the Australian Vaccination Network.

This type of almost febrile exploitation and abuse of gullible parents was abruptly halted when Ken McLeod and others lodged two complaints with the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission. Presently Ms. Dorey is mid testimony in her Supreme Court case against the HCCC over their recommendation that she publish a warning on her web site.

We’ve also previously consulted Meryl Dorey’s reply to the HCCC specific to Mr. McLeod’s complaint, exposing demonstrable plagiarism and untruths about pertussis vaccination. Basically her line is that pertussis vaccination doesn’t work because increasing notifications (in all 18 age groups) have occurred with a rise in vaccination (in the youngest 2 of the 18 age groups).

This failure supposedly occurs across the globe where effective pertussis vaccination regimes exist, Dorey claims. On July 11th I published an article on another rambling attack on the pertussis vaccine in which Dorey claimed, “So not only is the pertussis shot not preventing vaccinated people from getting pertussis – it could also be responsible for the increased death rate.”

Returning to the HCCC reply we find one of my all time favourites. Meryl Dorey’s blatant editing of a WHO graph on pertussis vaccination, cutting out explanatory text favourable to the programme and popping in her own text to make it seem like the vaccine was leading to morbidity and mortality in babies under 12 months, “as indicated by the following graph”. The article in question is Global Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases – Chapter 2, Pertussis: by Arthur M Galazka and Susan E Robertson. Part of a lengthy 1995 submission on vaccine preventable disease by these authors to the European Journal of Epidemiology.

On page 7 of her reply to the HCCC Dorey submits;

The data spans 1951, 1975, 1991 and 1993. It looks compelling. The grey bars show pertussis cases before widespread use of pertussis vaccines, the black show cases after. In both Poland and The USA babies less than one year old show markedly greater infection than children from one year and above post vaccine introduction.

Yet, what do we know of vaccine induced immunity against pertussis? Newborns cannot begin vaccination until about 6 – 8 weeks of age and this varies across nations. It can take a full 12 months to complete the regime and to gain vaccine induced immunity. Indeed babies under 12 months are considered to be partially protected or not protected against pertussis. Children one year and up are considered fully protected.

In this light we can now see that the graph reflects the morbidity pattern changes we would expect after wide spread immunisation (black bars). A marked reduction in the age groups that are protected by vaccine and a comparatively higher infection rate in the under 12 month, unprotected age group. We also know that vaccine induced immunity begins to wane at about ten years. This is exactly what we see in the USA.

Fortunately, Meryl was kind enough to not crop out the names of authors the data was sourced from. Let’s seek out the original source, shall we? I say! What’s this on pages 34-35;

Now we can read the text that Dorey expunged prior to submission to the HCCC claiming, “In fact, many studies have indicated that rather than protecting young infants… routine mass vaccination can lead to an increase in pertussis”, in under 12 month old babies, “as indicated by the following graph”.

It actually reads;

The introduction of widespread immunization against pertussis has changed the pattern of the disease (Figure 2.1). Apart from a considerable reduction in the number of cases and abolishing the endemic pattern of the disease, there has been a clear change in the age distribution of pertussis morbidity.

Perhaps the sources of data confused Ms. Dorey. Perhaps she just completely missed any explanatory text. It’s not like a pertussis vaccine critic should read research on pertussis vaccination is it? Let’s check up on Gordon and Hood (1951), Adonaijlo (1975, 1993) and Farizo et al. (1991). Perhaps it’s all their fault. Ah, on the same page Galazka and Robertson continue in the very next paragraph.

The scope of these changes differs depending on the schedule of vaccine delivery and the coverage rates achieved. In Poland, for example, the most noticeable reduction of pertussis morbidity has been among children 1–4 years of age and the peak incidence has shifted to infants. Infants represented only 12 per cent of all pertussis cases in Poland 1973, compared with 49 per cent in 1993 (Adonajlo 1975, 1993).

In the United States of America during 1980–1989, children under one year of age accounted for nearly 50 per cent of all cases; the incidence rate among infants was nearly 10 times higher than that among children of 1–4 years of age, and more than one hundred times higher than that among adolescents or adults (Farizo et al. 1992).

On page 33 under Epidemiological Aspects – communicability we read [bold mine];

Pertussis is a highly communicable disease. It is likely that no one escapes pertussis in the absence of immunization. By the age of 16 years, almost 100 per cent of children have suffered an episode of pertussis but about 25 per cent of episodes are unrecognized (Thomas 1989). This has been demonstrated by data from epidemic investigations, studies of secondary spread within families, and serological surveys.

In pertussis epidemics, attack rates in unimmunized children are high, ranging between 11 per cent and 81 per cent depending on age (Table 2.1). The high degree of communicability has been repeatedly demonstrated by secondary attack rates of 70 to 100 per cent among susceptibles within families (Gordon & Hood 1951).

Try as you might, you will not find these authors attributing increased infection in under one year old babies to the vaccine itself. Their data on the graph is unambiguous. The jury is in. Meryl Dorey lied. On page 20 Galazka and Robertson write, under Impact of immunisation against pertussis [bold mine];

Immunization is the key to preventing pertussis. Whole cell pertussis vaccines, widely used in industrialized countries since the late 1950s and 1960s, and introduced in developing countries within the WHO Expanded Programme on Immunization in the 1970s and 1980s, are of proven efficacy.

Well, Meryl Dorey can angle this one any way she likes. The graph she sourced was literally surrounded with material reinforcing both the efficacy of pertussis vaccination and the dangers of not vaccinating. Pleading innocence is not an option. It is a clear and intentional breach of copyright, submission of fraudulent material to a government health body and rank plagiarism.

Business as usual one might argue.

Just for the record it might be worth noting the pertussis complications table Ms. Dorey also had access to in consulting this document. Pneumonia, seizures, encephalopathy. It beggars belief that she can refer to this disease as “just a bad cough”.

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About @advodiaboli
I'm not really a cast iron flying pig.

8 Responses to How Meryl Dorey plagiarised, cropped, edited then published a WHO graph on pertussis vaccination

  1. Deb says:

    This is a failure of Year 4 maths, which is when percentages are taught. She is either unable to tell the difference between percentages and absolute numbers, or she knows and ignores it because it would conflict with the fear she is trying to push.

    If there were 100 000 cases of pertussis in the US before vaccination (quite a conservative estimate), roughly 11% of them would be in infants, or 11 000.
    Now if there were only 1 000 cases after vaccination, 50% of them is still only 500.

    500 is a hell of a lot better odds than 11 000, even if the percentage is scary. In fact, to have anywhere near the same incidence there would have to be 22 000 cases across the country – anything below that means babies are better off.

  2. andy says:

    I remember when seat belts were made compulsory in new cars. After that, statistics showed that the percentage of deaths and injuries was higher in cars without seat belts. Conclusion: seat belts in new cars made old cars even more dangerous, therefore seat belts should be banned in all cars… to stop the carnage.

    Dorey just can’t grasp percentages. I recall the following from her blog comments…

    Ann: “AN AVERAGE 88 PERCENT OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE MUMPS HAVE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED …”

    shotinfo (Dorey):…With any other form of treatment, failure of the therapy in 88% of those who received it would lead to its withdrawal… here is no logic or science in this”

    No one said 88% of recipients were infected, Dorey just got it spectacularly, syllogistically wrong yet the comments are still there. Whether it’s incompetence or deliberate misrepresentation, it’s dangerous nonsense.

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