Even though the sound of it
Is something quite atrocious
If you say it loud enough
You’ll always sound precocious
Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay
Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay
Meryl Dorey of the Australian Vaccination Network hasn’t been her usual fun loving self since returning from her W.A. 2011 Tour.
Things, it would appear, did not go to plan. It was supposed to have been all so simple. Meryl Poppins was going to float in with her carpet bag of all singing all dancing vaccine myths and in just 15 days tear up the stage in an extravaganza of adoration over a very special seven performance tour.
All of W.A. would turn out to hear one of Australia’s most loved fairy tales. Toils and struggles of the real world would be left behind for two weeks as fantasy and magic came to town. Scarred, battered and exhausted from the toxins in vaccines, this is just what this entire state of sickly people needed.
Supercalifragilistichomeoprophylaxis, would have the kiddies tongue tied and flushed.
The delightful song and dance duo with Big Pharma Myth Conspira Conspira Conspira-see would have the adults on their feet. And everyone of course would sing along to Just A Spoonful of Oscillococcinum.
Step Back In Time with backing vocals from the very talented myths, Diseases Are Harmless and Vaccines Cause Disease were billed as “mind blowing”. For the totally unvaccinated, Meryl planned to team up with Diseases Provide Immunity and finish each show with the moving favourite that any parent can sing to kids, Stay Alive. She would be loved, adored by the media and interviewed at length on air.
But things seemed to go wrong almost immediately. Channel 10 withdrew sponsorship of The Conscious Living (or Lying) Expo after seeing Meryl Dorey’s name on the list. She summoned the Flying Monkeys. She published a piece on Dr. Peter Dingle who was there presenting his Great Cholesterol Myth. This conspiracy theory is a favourite of David Icke, so Meryl was certainly in good company. Dorey – self appointed defender of free speech – then spent two lengthy pieces on her blog whining about Liberal MP Barry Haase for having his say in defence of vaccines – below. Dorey twice more summoned the Flying Monkeys.
In a rushed round up, Meryl Dorey herself reported on the “smallish groups” to turn out to the Meryl Poppins shows. Despite billing herself as a “vaccine expert” Dorey was completely lost when it came to the rubella vaccine in Australia. In a piece that sounds half made up Dorey recounts testimonials from nameless people. At one of her shows Dorey spoke with a midwife who told her of a 22 week pregnant woman who was found to have low rubella antibodies “so her doctor just gave her a rubella vaccine on the spot”.
Here’s why you should never listen to Meryl Dorey and why her misplaced confidence and immediate conclusions are potentially dangerous.
First of all, rubells (sic) is only a risk for women in their first trimester of pregnancy (the first 12 weeks) so there was no need to panic about rubella levels for someone who was already 22 weeks pregnant.
According to The Australian Immunisation Handbook, regarding rubella:
The risk of damage declines to 10 to 20% by 16 weeks’ gestation. After this stage of pregnancy, fetal damage is rare but has been reported up to 20 weeks’ gestation.
Second, this vaccine has never been tested for safety during pregnancy and except in the case of an emergency, it should not be used at that time.
According to The Australian Immunisation Handbook, under Groups with special vaccination requirements:
The need for… rubella vaccination should be assessed as part of any pre-conception health check. Although the use of most vaccines during pregnancy is not usually recommended on precautionary grounds, there is no convincing evidence that pregnancy should be an absolute contraindication to the use of any vaccine, particularly inactivated vaccines.
Last, there IS no rubella vaccine in Australia – there hasn’t been for ten years or more since the monovalent rublla(sic) vaccine, Meruvax, was withdrawn and rubella is now only available as part of the combined MMR shot. This woman was vaccinated without being given any of this information and was told outright that she was getting a monovalent vaccine when in fact, she received a three-in-one shot!
Australian Immunisation Handbook, on rubella vaccination:
Rubella vaccine is available as either MMR vaccine or as a monovalent rubella vaccine. Monovalent rubella vaccine: Meruvax II – CSL Biotherapies/Merck & Co Inc (rubella virus vaccine).
I’ll wage good money you can keep returning to Meryl’s post to read, “This woman was vaccinated without being given any of this information and was told outright that she was getting a monovalent vaccine when in fact, she received a three-in-one shot!” for a long, long time. Wrong, wrong, wrong and making up stories. That’s our Meryl.
Then there’s an assumption another person was “misinformed”. Needing a tetanus shot the woman was offered the ADT Booster which has diptheria and tetanus toxoid, or dTap which is diptheria, tetanus and pertussis. You can read the Immunisation Handbook on tetanus here. The woman seems to remember being offered “tetanus and pertussis” which doesn’t exist. Even Dorey realises the potential for patient confusion, but we get:
Whether she misunderstood what she had been offered or the staff member had no idea what was in the vaccine, I’m not sure. But if she had been misinformed, it would not have been the first (or hundredth) time someone had told me a similar story.
Yes, yes indeed. Just like the rubella story above.
Hepatitis B vaccine is to be administered within 72 hours of birth, but Meryl heard from a nurse it is being given as early as 10 minutes. There is no issue here but Dorey seems to think it should be given “three days later”. To make this more absurd, information on the HBV vaccine being given within 72 hours of birth is available on the AVN website. Oh, Meryl!
She also spoke to someone representing someone else who Dorey claims has Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Apparently the person was vaccinated for H1N1 and “within days” was hospitalised. Dorey writes:
She tried to ask the staff if this could be related to the flu vaccine and they all insisted that there was no link…. This link has been known since 1976 when the flu vaccine was first brought into disrepute…. For staff today to be either so ignorant of this link or, even worse, to lie about it and cover it up, is unforgivable.
She finishes off by reminding readers that this is why the AVN exists. So, why you may ask. To publish without checking facts? To spread fear? To make up fallacies and draw impossible conclusions? To insinuate wrongdoing? So it would seem. To be sure however, there’s more to her ranting.
After the 2010 Fluvax debacle in which 3.3 per 1000 children suffered seizures, the appalling conduct of manufacturer CSL coupled with the TGA’s poor response to both, Dorey assumed she’d be welcomed with open arms. Only a year earlier she let Judy Wilyman loose to tell an audience that, “We’re being educated by the media who have pharmaceutical interests”. Time and again Wilyman claimed the media, as part of the Government, Pharma, Media triad, “run fear campaigns” such as “reporting the deaths of three babies from ‘flu”. In this way the community are “coerced into vaccinating”.
The Fluvax issue was why “hundreds of families” as Dorey claimed this year had children in hospital. Comparing all media reports it appears 23 were hospitalised, 47 taken to hospital and over 60 children effected. This is a serious matter deserving it’s own post to sort the concerns from the hysteria. Meryl made – and still makes – incorrect claims about the suspension in 2010 of paediatric flu vaccines by Australia’s chief medical officer.
She claims that parents were unaware their children were being used in a secret trial. As serious as the W.A. event was, this in no way gives Dorey an excuse to be libellous, falsely suggesting that:
[No] parent who gave permission for their precious child to be vaccinated in this campaign was informed that their babies were being used as guinea pigs in a trial that was paid for by the drug companies involved.
Being welcomed as some anti-vaccine Messiah with a magical carpet bag was not exactly how things flowed. Cathy O’Leary, medical editor for The West Australian reminded readers of how much trouble the AVN was in and brought up the “rape with full penetration” analogy to vaccination that Meryl strongly stood by at the time. The article included:
Australian Medical Association WA president Dave Mountain said the group was trying to whip up anti-vaccine hysteria again.
“They are zealots who pick and choose bits of information to make it look like they’re presenting real evidence,” he said. This led to parents refusing to get children and themselves vaccinated, which affected everyone, particularly the most vulnerable who benefited from herd immunity and, in that respect, they were a danger.
Liberal party member and Federal Member for Kalgoorlie, Barry Haase wrote a piece in The Kimberly Page on immunisation and the impact of the AVN. He noted:
Recent reports state the Australian Vaccination Network, an anti-vaccine lobby group; have been holding meetings in Western Australia. I find it illogical that sane parents would pay $15 to hear why they should not save the lives of their children.
For some, obscure to me, reason, this group has a snout on about saving lives. Vaccination has all but wiped out a number of childhood illnesses.
This radical group, based at Bangalow, near, of course, Byron Bay, was stripped of its charity status by the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, after health authorities found its information to be biased.
This led to an opinion piece in The Kimberly Page from Ken McLeod, who has had his complaint against the AVN upheld resulting in a NSW HCCC order for the group to publish web site warnings. The HCCC have further published their own public health warning about the Australian Vaccination Network. Ken has also been instrumental in urging the OLGR to pursue the AVN over what became 23 legislative breaches.
As already noted here another W.A. article quoted Dorey as admitting to pro bono legal help in her appeals against the HCCC and OLGR. This raises more questions of what may have happened to pledges or donations secured for legal funds.
Then just recently Cathy O’Leary reported on the fact Consumer Protection is investigating the AVN’s grab for donations in W.A., in light of the OLGR NSW revocation of their charitable fundraising licence.
All in all the Supercalifragilistichomeoprophylaxis W.A. Tour 2011 was a big flop for Meryl Dorey.