Daft complaint to the BBC by anti-vax activists

A man in a white coat, smiles, offers an injection to an infant who is alone. “Innoculation is the perfect Medication” he tells the child after dancing and singing with a syringe. The nurse tells the children elsewhere that if they are vaccinated with the MMR they won’t get the Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Will it hurt asks the boy, well it might says DR Ranj, but you can cry if you want to. Without waiting for an OK, the doc injects the boy who says “I am not ready for my ‘jection”, but the doc marvels“I have already done it”. (sic)

Even if you didn’t see the TV show described above – and I didn’t – you probably sense the writer of that description didn’t approve of it and you probably won’t be surprised that the doctor and infant in question looked something like this:


In case you missed it, only one of the characters in the above pic is real and he is a real-life medical doctor, Dr Ranj. The CBeebies Get Well Soon series is aimed at pre-school children. According to comments from parents about the series on the Dr Ranj fb page,  toddlers love the show, which is intended to “help children understand their bodies and to see the medical world as an environment in which they feel safe”. (Source)

The series has covered a range of uncontroversial conditions like verruccae, constipation and conjunctivitis. I was unaware of it until I got wind of some 60 or so complaints to the BBC about the content of an episode called, Inject to Project. Cue much bristling and hissing from those who say,

“Vaccination is the longest running hoax perpetrated by Allopathy, the most pernicious, and the most dangerous thing that your children will ever face.”

That quote appears on many websites, including the one called ‘Arnica UK Parents Support Network’, which is run by Anna Watson, who authored the above passage and who is apparently spearheading the campaign to complain about the show.

Anna challenges whether it is legal “to promote medicines to children suggesting that they are 100% safe” and whether it is ethical “to promote medicines to children suggesting that they are 100% effective”.

This presumably refers to the bit where the show’s ‘Nurse Morag’ is telling a group of infants that the MMR jabs will stop them getting the measles, mumps and rubella, not the bit where the pharmaceutical sales rep goes to a nursery school and gives a presentation to the children about the benefits of second generation anti-depressants because, as far as I know, that bit didn’t happen.

Sorry to state the obvious but young children don’t choose whether to be vaccinated or not. Even if Nurse Morag made vaccines sound so enticing that three-year-olds en masse had started demanding them from Santa, the decision is not theirs to make – it’s for their parents. And every parent who makes this choice tells their child that getting a jab will stop them getting a nasty disease, just as Nurse Morag did. The complainants seem to think that an age-appropriate explanation of why a child should have a jab is the same as ‘promoting medicines to children suggesting they are 100% effective’. I wonder if those responsible at the BBC have stopped laughing yet?

The other main plank to Anna’s complaint seems to be that (1) while with the doctor, the puppet-child is unaccompanied by a puppet-parent and (2) that the puppet-child says he’s not ready for the injection but is given it anyway.

In a fuller version of the article, which appears, for some unfathomable reason, on a website called The Economic Voice, Anna writes:

Will Dr Ranj, who is a paediatrician from Kent, be struck off?

Yes, she really did ask that! What wouldn’t I give to attend the GMC hearing that considers the case of Dr Ranj and his alleged unsolicited assault on a TV puppet?

Anna continues:

A medical intervention, a vaccine in this case, was administered in a non life threatening situation without consent at all. The minor does not give informed consent and neither do his guardians or parents as they are not there. No risks or contra indications were discussed or considered…(snip)…How many children saw this show alone and will have been left with the idea that medicines and syringes are totally safe and work without fail? How will the BBC find these hundreds of thousands of children and their families and apologise for promoting the dangerous image that it is OK for a single male to coerce a lone child into an injection that carries a potential risk?

I have to wonder what nightmare scenario does Anna envisage might result from the show? Perhaps that a toddler might find his way to a GP’s surgery, demand the MMR jab to the delight of the doctor who does a song and dance but gives no explanation of “risks or contra indications” and doesn’t wait until the kid’s ready before sticking in the needle? Worse, that a child will happen on a discarded syringe and, having been convinced by a puppet show that syringes are totally safe and effective at something or other, will promptly plunge the syringe into herself? Bonkers. But I love the bit asking how the BBC will find all those families and apologise, as if she expects the BBC to commit to doing so.

I’ll let Dr Ranj answer the criticisms. From his response to a critic making a similar noise on the fb page.

1) The programme is make-believe and involves puppets, not real patients, in fictional situations used to illustrate real life – therefore please take it in that context. 2) In the episode, Deep came in for a pre-booked vaccination appointment – the aim of the episode was to explain to him why he was having it and to allay his fears not to ‘persuade’ him to have it. 3) In any case a child would not be able to give informed consent – hence the decision was already made. 4) Yes, I am a real doctor and I deal with children and with issues around such treatments everyday – each episode was checked, considered and discussed at many levels and is consistent with current NHS practice and recommendations. 5) The majority of people who watch the show appreciate its intentions and have found it valuable, informative and entertaining. So let’s just leave it at that.

Of course, they won’t leave it at that. Anna is urging everyone who has complained already to complain again. In an email to supporters she writes,

OFCOM are unsure if they are going to investigate and the BBC may investigate if we take our complaints to Stage 2. If you complained please write again to the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit, if you are not happy with their (lame in my opinion) reply. Please do this within 20 working days of your complaint, and they will carry out an independent investigation.

We are not told the contents of the BBC’s ‘lame’ reply, apart from the first line. Here we go:

The reply was returned as quick as you could say “No conflicts of Interests” with the opening line “Firstly, we’d like to reassure everyone that no programme on CBeebies receives commercial sponsorship of any kind.” Obvious what other types of complaints they had received that morning, but nothing in response to my concerns.

That might be because her concerns are risible.

In fairness, I owe a debt of gratitude to Anna Watson. Having seen my two strong, healthy and fully vaccinated kids grow into adolescence, I confess that when the MMR controversy started by the disgraced Andrew Wakefield erupted in the late 1990s, I didn’t take much interest, until Anna and a couple of other anti-vaxers joined in a discussion at the Think Humanism forum, some years ago.

Their arguments and the refs they provided in support were very persuasive, in that I was persuaded to take a far stronger pro-vaccine position than I held already. I was also persuaded to read up on Andrew Wakefield and that was one of the things that inspired me to start this blog.

So, thanks, Anna and friends. Speaking as one who has benefitted from your activity, I’ll leave you with some advice on how to continue your campaigning work and ensure further publicity from the likes of me.

1. DO suggest or imply that anyone who promotes vaccines only does so for financial gain because this is the equivalent of saying, “Hello, I’m a conspiracy theorist and incapable of understanding any argument except my own.” The key point here is that it is an ad hominem. Whatever is said about vaccines stands or falls according to the available evidence and not according to who says it and why they are saying it. More importantly, there is an ethical reason for promoting vaccines and that why it is WHO and Dept of Health policy to do so; you may not agree with that reason but insulting people who do agree with it by implying some vested interest, is unlikely to make them well-disposed towards you or to take you seriously, so please carry on doing it at every opportunity!

2. DO downplay the risks of infectious diseases. I’m sure we all appreciate such crystal-clear reasoning as this:

If you are frightened of the disease called Measles have the vaccine of course, as it seems that you are less likely to contract it, but if you are not frightened of the disease then is fear of death from measles really an option? (sic)

The year I got measles – together with every other child in my class and some 763,500 other people in England and Wales, there were 152 measles related-deaths. I remember the boy who sat next me at school had to wear a hearing aid forever afterwards. The American CDC states that about 30% of measles cases develop one or more complications. In the past few years we’ve seen reports of measles-related deaths in the UK and in other developed countries. Claiming that mortality from certain diseases stands at zero and complications are small isn’t going to endear you to the thousands of people who know different but I won’t suggest you should find them all and apologise. Au contraire! Just keep up the good work!

3. DO continue to promote homeopathy and other quackery on your website, as this should ensure that you will be perceived as a grolie and not worth giving the time of day to.

4. DO go that extra mile to make yourself sound as daft as possible when complaining. Asking whether a doctor who perforated a puppet on a TV show will be struck off the medical register and calling an explanation to young children about why they are getting vaccines the same as ‘promoting all medicines as 100% safe’, are excellent examples, as is calling your article,‘BBC misses another child protection issue’, as if it’s comparable to the Jimmy Savile scandal. Keep them coming!

By the way, you might like this graphic, courtesy of the Skeptical Libertarian.



For those to whom correlation equals causation, it’s worth noting that since the Arnica Network started in 2007, there has been an increased uptake of the MMR vaccine and it’s now the highest it’s been since Wakefield published his crappy paper. This, as Dr Ranj declares, is great news for everyone.

Onwards and upwards.


Update 31.12.12 I’m amazed to see this article has had nearly 5,000 visitors in 24 hours and that Dr Ranj has been inundated with tweets from outraged supporters. He’s responded with the suggestion that all those who wish to show their support for the Get Well Soon series to please message CBeebies on their facebook page.

Update 09.04.13 The clip of Dr Ranj singing and dancing about the benefits of the vaccine is now on on youtube. Enjoy!


116 thoughts on “Daft complaint to the BBC by anti-vax activists”

  1. A very good rebuttal…especially love the graph of the rise in organic food with the rise of Autism. These assumptions are far too often made on both sides of the vaccine debate. For example. The vaccine status of those with meningitis is NOT noted (confirmed by The Meningitis Foundation) but the assumption that the meningitis vaccine works is because the cases have reduced. As we know, many factors can affect disease incidence.

    Of course the title and questions to the BBC are not to be taken literally… if you read my other blog entries you will see that they are quite unemotional. After 6 years I guess I added too much colour this time in line with the clowning in the show I had just watched.

    I am totally aware that this complaint will probably be thrown out but we are hoping that it will make a few folk think before summarising the efficacy and risks of vaccines.

    The BBC has taken the complaint to Stage 2 and is focusing on bias and accuracy in their code. Of course the GMC can’t strike off Dr Ranji as their area is actual practice. The TV is unreal and uses puppets. But as a primary teacher I challenge the claim of the BBC that young children can separate the messages given in cartoons from real life and make informed or value judgements from them, and CBeebies is a show that many pre-schoolers watch alone.

    It is tragic that mums like Jackie Fletcher are so disrespected by the vaccine policy makers and medical profession. Her son was injured by the MMR, recognised by a vaccine damage payment fund for his epilepsy, incontinence, lack of speech and mobility. She is such a gracious lady but was treated like dirt at the Govnet Imm Conference. She quite rightly asks “If someone campaigns for rail safety does that make them anti rail”.

    All these blogs, forums and emails do make any topic impersonal. It is just one way of communicating but due to geography is the main one. Anyone up for a meeting I would very be happy to attend. I am in Surrey. Anna

    1. Thanks for all the comments.


      If I’m not mistaken, you and your fellow complainants are the only ones who come anywhere close to claiming that children could make “informed or value judgements” from watching this episode. Everyone else sees the show for what it is: a means of reassuring children about a decision their parents may make for them for the good of their health. I’m still wondering what exactly you see as the possible undesirable consequences for children from this episode?

      Jenson, (Hello, old friend!)

      Actually the only stats I have about efficacy of the MMR are from the HPA.

      I don’t see any admission on the HPA website that the pertussis vaccine “isn’t working”. What it says is that, “protection following vaccination wanes over time“.

      As I understand it, immunisation is almost never 100% effective for those who receive it and most of the population needs to be immunised to protect those who are most at risk.

      But thank you for your comment which, coming at the end of a year in which we’ve seen 13 babies in England and Wales die of whooping cough, is typical of the sensitivity and reason I have come to expect from anti-vaxers.

  2. Hi Anna,

    Do you think it a reasonable suggestion that if you, as a child, had been presented with more advice reflecting the overwhelming concensus among doctors – such as that offered by Dr Ranj in the CBeebies programme last month – you wouldn’t now have so many difficulties understanding the science?

  3. You teach primary school children? Good god, woman. I am considering a complaint to the GTC. I wonder if they will strike you off? There’s a strong case!

  4. “…the assumption that the meningitis vaccine works is because the cases have reduced. As we know, many factors can affect disease incidence.”

    Are you seriously suggesting that the meningitis vaccine HASN’T reduced the number of cases. And what about Smallpox, I suppose that particular, horrific, disease just got bored and wandered off? Mass vaccination campaigns work. We have eliminated Smallpox because of them, and are on the way to eliminating several other horrific diseases. And, despite what anti-vaxxers like yourself, Anna, chose to believe, doctors know they aren’t 100% safe or effective. Nobody of a true honest and scientific bent claims they are. But they almost are. The risks from them are vey small and the benefit (not getting the disease) very large. Nothing is 100% safe, including alternative medicine, and nothing is 100% effective (especially alternative medicine), but doctors and scientists understand this and do their best to manage the risk versus the potential reward. I scuba dive, which is quite a risky activity, far more dangerous than my annual flu jab, but the reward to me is great enough to take the risk. And I know and understand the risk and so manage it as best I can.
    And going back to the Cbeebsies program, surely it is a good thing if children discuss vaccination with their parents. If the parents are anti, then they should be perfectly capable of discussing why with their offspring, and that is equally true if you’re pro. And if you are going to get your child vaccinated (and bear in mind that the vast majority of parents do) then reducing any fear associated with it is surely a good thing? I spent far too much time as a child in doctors surgeries and in hospital, and I know that anything like this, and books and leaflets too, are a great help in facing these things when you are small.

  5. Being in Australia, I haven’t seen the show but will assume it is largely typical of the genre.

    Have they ever spoken about healthy food on the show? Do they, for example, promote fruit and vegetables to their kiddie audience? If so, do they outline the possibilities of dying from following their advice? Do they even mention that severe allergic reactions or choking can occur as a result of eating? Is their a puppet guardian in the “room” when these foodstuffs are being promoted? Is the BBC considerate of parents who have lost children who were “just eating”? If not, has Ms Watson lodged an appropriate complaint? If not, why not?

  6. “Worse, that a child will happen on a discarded syringe and, having been convinced by a puppet show that syringes are totally safe and effective at something or other, will promptly plunge the syringe into herself? ” – That’s the only bad outcome I can see from allaying children’s fears of needles/injections. Measles is a horrible illness, which can cause deafness, blindness, permanent lung damage and death. Rubella is teratogenic if caught by pregnant women. Mumps is long-drawn-out, painful & can cause sterility in males. Have the jab, kids!

  7. Anna, you say, ” as a primary teacher I challenge the claim of the BBC that young children can separate the messages given in cartoons from real life.” I would suggest primary school aged children can do this more easily than you as your hysterical (in every sense) blog piece demonstrated. Yes, Anna, where *were* the puppet’s parents? Why did they let it visit evil Dr Ranj all alone? You absolutely crack me up.

  8. Well the only stats you have about efficacy of the MMR are published by the people who make it. Merck is in court over allegations that the Mumps component was fraudulently hyped up and that’s only what we know about. Presently we are in the middle of the biggest whooping cough epidemic but the HPA tell us there is the highest level of vaccine uptake. They admit the vaccine isn’t working and point out it is not due to those not vaccinating.

    That means the claims for efficacy are bullshit.

  9. Anna, vaccines have saved more lives than probably any other medical intervention except possibly antibiotics. Smallpox has been eradicated. Polio is on the way to being eradicated, held back only by stubborn antivaccination cranks. The fraudulent work by Wakefield (for which he /was/ struck off) and the propaganda storm surrounding it has led to the deaths of children from pertussis, measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

    As a responsible person, I hope you always recommend vaccination, since the documented risks of vaccine preventable diseases vastly outweigh the documented risks of vaccination, at least until these diseases are eliminated.

  10. Andy: Your fallacy is: False dichotomy. There is nothing wrong with allaying a child’s fears about a vitally important but potentially scary medical procedure. Most toddlers do not get to choose their diet, and the BBC has a good record of publishing sound advice to parents.

  11. Anna Watson is a well known anti-vaccination campaigner. Anti-vaccinationists rely on misinformation to support their stand (reference: NSW Government). Accordingly, they cannot be taken seriously in this issue.

  12. @Guy, I can’t remember what fallacy it is that I committed above but I don’t think it’s false dichotomy since I wasn’t making an either/or statement. From your further comment, I think you may have misunderstood me.

    My point was simply that the risk from vaccinations is tiny but kids, in general, don’t like them. Shows like this attempt to ease the fears and encourage kids to “do the right thing”. Naturally they don’t present every last piece of available information so as to enable the preschoolers watching to make an informed decision about the issue since that would be dopey.

    I drew a comparison with the issue of healthy eating. Kids often need encouragement to eat fruit and vegetables and shows like this provide such encouragement. They do not, however, discuss anaphylaxis or choking risks with regards to these foods so as to enable the preschoolers watching to make an informed decision about the issue since that too would be dopey.

    In short, I find Ms Watson’s complaint nonsensical and extremist though, after looking at her technicolor website (I couldn’t read it because my eyes bled), I’m not surprised by it.

  13. Anna, seriously, you need to get a life. You clearly have far too much time on your hands and getting yourself so wound up over a show aimed at toddlers isn’t good for your blood pressure. Perhaps you should be more concerned about the fact that the child in the show has an adult’s hand shoved up his back side!

  14. I see Anna Watson is full of faux outrage, particularly asking “whether it is legal “to promote medicines [ie vaccines] to children suggesting that they are 100% safe” and whether it is ethical “to promote medicines to children suggesting that they are 100% effective”.

    Firstly, I didn’t see anything to indicate that vaccines were claimed to be “100%” safe or effective in the programme.

    Secondly, I looked at Anna’s own website, which I find contains advertising for quack nostrums.

    Anna, I am extremely concerned about this. I wonder if it “is legal “to promote medicines to children suggesting that they are 100% safe” and whether it is ethical “to promote medicines to children suggesting that they are 100% effective”.

    You actively promote homeopathy, for example. I take it you have clear scientific evidence this is 100% effective?

    A further example is the ad promoting acupuncture for children, with the adjacent label that it is “safe, gentle and effective”. I assume you are aware of the complications of acupuncture (people have even died from it), and are aware that its efficacy is far from proven? And you do realise that it involves numerous needles stuck into children, don’t you? (I understood that this was a no-no since every breach of the naturally protective skin can overwhelm a child’s immune system)

    Please can you immediately correct the gross errors in your website, before I alert Advertising Standards and seek further legal advice.

  15. What I find interesting is that the false idea that diseases like measles are minor is only so widespread precisely *because* vaccination has been so effective.

    Gone are the times when hundreds of children would die or suffer brain damage from measles epidemics, because, despite the frothing of anti-vax lunatics, vaccination is still quite widespread.

    It’s important to remember that there are some children who, for various reasons, cannot be vaccinated, and of course there is an immunity gap between being born and getting the vaccine. Those children rely on herd immunity to protect them. If you don’t vaccinate you are being spectacularly selfish, and dangerously so.

  16. “The TV is unreal and uses puppets. But as a primary teacher I challenge the claim of the BBC that young children can separate the messages given in cartoons from real life and make informed or value judgements from them, and CBeebies is a show that many pre-schoolers watch alone.”

    Which is why so many children try to drop anvils on the heads of road runners.

  17. Oh, by the way, Anna. It is certainly true that campaigning for rail safety doesn’t make one anti-rail.

    Then again, I don’t suppose too many rail safety campaigners state that rail travel is the ‘longest running hoax perpetrated by government’ or any such thing, do you?

  18. In fact the HPA make it clear that the epidemic has nothing to do with those not vaccinating it is, in their opinion due to vaccine failure.

    Their suggestion that pregnant women should have the vaccine has no evidence to support it either, the whooping cough vaccine has not only never been tested on pregnant women it also has no safety data to support its use.

    Advertising whooping cough vaccine for women is a dangerous experiment, I see no evidence that pregnant women are being told it is an untested vaccine.

    How come it’s ok for doctors to breech rules regarding recommending any old woo but others can’t?

  19. @Jenson “The kids that died from whooping cough had all been vaccinated”

    Err.. No. Some were totally unvaccinated, others incompletely vaccinated.

    “In fact the HPA make it clear that the epidemic has nothing to do with those not vaccinating it is, in their opinion due to vaccine failure.”

    You won’t have any trouble citing the exact wording where the HPA say “the epidemic is due to vaccine failure” then, will you? Please link to the precise press release or document, will you?

    “Their suggestion that pregnant women should have the vaccine has no evidence to support it either, the whooping cough vaccine has not only never been tested on pregnant women it also has no safety data to support its use.”

    There is evidence. Just because you are unaware of it or dismiss it, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. CDC have recommended TDaP in pregnancy for several years, and references to the rationale for its use and the experience with it including safety can be found here:

    “I see no evidence that pregnant women are being told it is an untested vaccine.”

    Well I see no reason for anyone to lie and mislead women by saying it is untested when the opposite is true. Perhaps, since you are liberal with untruths you think others automatically will do as you do?

    “How come it’s ok for doctors to breech [sic] rules regarding recommending any old woo but others can’t?”

    I understand now, you are upset because we don’t like people recommending “any old woo” …like what.. homeopathy maybe? Well, since clearly pertussis vaccination is scientifically evidence based, and so doesn’t fall into your categorization of “any old woo”, all you have left to display to us is your spluttering indignation.

  20. Just musing further on the lies told by Jenson that the HPA say the pertussis epidemic is caused by “vaccine failure”, and that all the infants who died from pertussis have been vaccinated.

    This presentation from the HPA in September confirms that all the deaths in 2012 were in unvaccinated infants below 3 months of age (9 cases to that point), and also discusses the reasons for the epidemic (vaccine “failure” not being one of them)

  21. Anna, move to Afghanistan. You’d like it there. They don’t believe in evidence based medicine, and choose to ask a sky pixie to prevent Polio. They’re really committed too as we have just seen in the news!

    Good luck with that.

  22. Anna I assume your concerns stem from Andrew Wakefields paper on the dangers of the MMR vaccine. Well his results have been completely discredited by researchers worldwide as they cannot replicate the results, and the first rule of any scientific discipline is that if the results cannot be replicated then it isn’t true. Furthermore Andrew Wakefield was struck off by the GMC for 36 charges related to that paper included having a financial conflict of interest. So before making such ridiculous complaints I would suggest you do further research. Also do you know why we give the MMR vaccine? It is because it is very difficult to treat these diseases once it enters its later stages so its prevention rather than curing. Your point about the cartoons was pathetic. You cannot expect a child to be presented with every single fact on on the MMR vaccine especially on a TV show.

  23. What a joke. Reading her responses and website has taken up ten minutes of my life that I will never get back.

    Anna, please read and think about the comments on this page (and the many others), and for the sake of the children… please just focus on being a primary teacher!

  24. Have not seen any of this series yet, but by the description it sounds an excellent show. As for the puppet being unaccompanied, presumably the camera operator could be considered the responsible adult? Just because a person is not in shot doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

  25. Hi Skepticat,

    I think it is important to acknowledge that some people do have adverse reactions to vaccines. Putting your fingers in your ears and pretending these cases will go away is not good science either, and too many doctors and government agencies seem to want to cover these things up to stop people from making bad decisions. This is having a counter-rpdocutive effect at this point.

    It also serves to engender a less adversarial discussion about the topic, because you cannot be accused of hiding anything. At the end of the day, many, many more people’s lives are saved and improved by vaccines than are damaged.

    Otherwise, keep up the good work.


  26. I watched and strongly disagreed with this episode as it was factually incorrect. I complained to the BBC and they replied with a wishy washy response. I am glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who thought this episode was out of line. I will be teaching my toddler the truth about vaccinations – that they aren’t 100% effective and that if you already have the disease – like mumps or german measles the vaccine won’t “make you better” and “get rid of the virus” that the vaccine is ACTUALLY injecting a virus into a your body.

    All parties should get off your high horses and think about the fact that whether you are pro or anti vaccination the show was factually incorrect and inappropriate and that is not acceptable! BBC should have to be held accountable and be responsible fior tha accuracy of it’s content especially when it comes to children’s programmes. “Dr Ranj” is not all knowing just because he is a paedeatrician. A lot of doctors are very uneducated when it comes to the true nature of vaccines!

  27. CeeJ,
    I think the point is that this is a programme intended for kids and designed to give information that is factual but in a format that is understandable, digestible and non-threatening.

    Having an injection is something that many kids irrationally fear, and they can get quite distressed about it. Using puppets to show that vaccination is a simple process and minimally uncomfortable, while still being a “good thing” is a quite acceptable means of providing this information.

    Your over-reaction is frankly absurd. I suspect it is an extreme manifestation of antivaccine paranoia in your case (as it is with Anna).

    I take it you have also complained to the BBC about every other childrens programme where there have been perceived factual innacuracies? Could you please tell us which other programmes you have objected to? (If you haven’t complained, then we will know your reaction is specifically the result of antivaccine paranoia).

    I hope you do teach your toddler the truth about vaccines. Please explain that although they may not always protect him 100% of the time, they will give him protection against some serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. Please explain that the benefits that result from them will greatly exceed any possible harm, and how the act of injecting a harmless or inactivated form of the virus can prime his immune system for future action, so when he encounters the real live, wild-type infection, it is highly unlikely to do him any harm.

  28. The wabaloo’s can fly, the cloud babies paint rainbows and surely upsy daisy is too big to actually fit in the Ninky Nonk, all defying the laws of physics ergo factually incorrect. Come on has no one got better things to so with their time than pick apart a childs TV programme on facts?

  29. My 7 week old daughter was hospitalised by whooping cough (pertussis) it’s one of the 1st vaccines children get at 8weeks old. Because my other two boys had been vaccinated they didn’t catch it. I can’t describe how scary it was seeing my daughter so ill, then hearing babies older than her had died I freaked out and suddenly realised actually how lucky we were. I would recommend the vaccine to everyone especially has her health visitor said that lots of parents aren’t vaccinating there children because they think these illnesses are wiped out and they read scare stories about the vaccine and believe that there is no need to vaccinate due to the risks being higher than the actual risk of infection. Yes they aren’t 100% safe we know that but nothing out there is 100% safe, I thought baby formula was safe but my daughter is allergic to it and that made her ill. Nobody in the health profession I have ever spoke to has ever claimed they are 100% safe or 100% effective but weigh up the risks people.
    As for get well soon it’s absolutely fantastic programme that stops children worrying when they visit the gp or hospital

  30. Deetee,
    What is absurd is that it sounds to me that you are saying a show should be factual unless puppets are used. Then it is acceptable to be less than factual and that children don’t require the facts but rather should be told something to alleviate their fears even if it is false.
    I would also like to point out you are making wild assumptions about my state of mind. You neglected to even inquire whether my children are vaccinated or not. Perhaps you aren’t really interested in the facts after all.
    I certainly don’t need to justify myself to you and nor will I. Any other programmes I may or may not have complained about are irrelevant to my post as the topic of discussion here is the particular episode of Get Well Soon.
    I am interested in how many people who have posted comments have actually watched said episode (note the blogger didn’t even bother to as he openly writes) and how many people are just here to slate Anna (who I am only familiar with from this post)

    1. Ceej

      It’s not that I “didn’t even bother to”. The reason I didn’t watch the episode is that I was unable to find it online. I would very much like to see it, if you have a link?

      I made it clear that I was basing my understanding of what happened in the programme entirely on what Anna herself said about it and what she said about it is what I have engaged with. Likewise, the commenters here are simply responding to what she is saying publicly on the web. Your suggestion that if people haven’t watched the programme then they are “just here to slate Anna” is a bit thick, frankly.

      Btw, I’m a ‘she’.

  31. This is probably the funniest thing I have ever read. Its made even more funny by the fact its actually happened. My daughter loves the show and it really helps her understand her body and some of the things that happen. Long may it continue.

  32. Maybe people who are so easily offended by such stuff (not that they have any justifiable reason to be) should maybe filter what their children watch a little more so the rest of us normal adults / children can continue enjoying Cbeebies and its great programming safe from their interference.

    Luckily it seems the BBC have an idiot filter within their complaints department and this will hopefully go nowhere, lol.

  33. Thank you Anna, I think really you have just helped promote “Get Well Soon” as a children’s programme aimed at yes children to make them feel more comfortable about attending the Dr.
    Your scare mongering on the other hand does not. I’m so glad your not my children’s teacher!

  34. “This is probably the funniest thing I have ever read. Its made even more funny by the fact its actually happened. My daughter loves the show and it really helps her understand her body and some of the things that happen. Long may it continue.”

    What a bizarre sense of humour you have Michael! Helping your daughter to understand unsolicited assault may be useful in the modern world but it’s a bit extreme.

  35. Given the harm done to professionals by complaints to their professional bodies and/or employers, and the cost to society* involved in investigating each complaint, there should be penalties for those who make malicious or vexatious complaints like this one.

    *The cost is, in the first place, on the professional bodies and employers; but this is inevitably passed on to the professionals in the first place, and then on to society as the professionals pay less tax and/or have their pay increased to cover the higher professional body subscriptions.

  36. I note Anna states that Cbeebies is a channel that many pre-schoolers watch alone. Does that not sound like a more pressing issue than giving a puppet an injection?

    As a teacher, I do feel she should be more concerned with the health of her pupils as a while. Surely it’s preferable that all her children are protected?

  37. It seriously worries me that you are allowed to teach children, perhaps you should be struck off for promoting dangerous nonsense. Your arguments clearly haven’t been properly researched and you cannot argue with the fact that vaccinations against smallpox’s has eradicated the disease, saving thousands of people.
    You have run out of things to argue about and so decided that you will now stick up for puppets, who weren’t given informed consent. It actually makes me really sick that people still think what doctors, nurses and scientists do is going to harm people.
    If you became seriously ill would you still use homeopathy to cure yourself?
    I think not.

  38. This is entirely madness. It’s very reassuring to see that Anna, as a primary teacer is as knowledgeable about vaccines as a physician. Excellent. I think I’ll go have a chat with my grocer about how to best build a nuclear reactor.

  39. Jessica, do you really think that GPs know everything about the vaccines that they administer? They know what they get told and most of them very little more, generally by the companies manufacturing the drugs (funny that). Often a few simple questions by the likes of Anna and others who have actually taken the time to do the research and have real information about the vaccines will in fact be unanswerable by the GP who will invariably fall back to “if you don’t you are putting your Childs life at risk”.

    I find it quite amazing that you WOULD allow someone to inject viruses, live and dead mixed with known poisons (aluminium and others) into your child simply because that’s what the GP tells you to do without doing any research yourself. What’s worse is they combine so many of these into one injection for no reason other than to cut costs that the poor Childs body gets hit from all sides at once.

    If you take the time to do the research you will at the very least be in a position to make an educated decision rather than blindly listening to the drug companies…

    Did you even know that some vaccines are only effective against strands of the illnesses that are no longer in existence but of course why would the drug companies want to kill the cash cow…

  40. @the Oracle:

    You clearly misunderstand the science and practice of vaccination. That aside I will answer one question you posed to Jessica:
    No, GPs are NOT all knowing, but they DO have the requisite training, knowledge and medical expertise to make balanced judgements about the best interests for children in their care.

    People like Anna however, who is in a position of considerable influence as a primary school teacher, also has an obligation to act in the best interests of her pupils, and clearly she has abrogated this responsibility.

    Perhaps she might “get” it if her own kids came back from a visit to her GP with their heads filled with stories of how they should not be learning to read and write in the manner Anna employs (the GP having done extensive “research” on Google about the topic). Perhaps the GP could even pen letters of complaint to the Secretary for State for Education and the Teaching Unions about how awful it was that people like Anna teach the things they do every day in school, and suggest that they have their teaching qualifications stripped from them.

    I doubt it though. Looking at Anna’s website, she clearly lacks insight and the ability to make rational decisions regarding evidence.

  41. @CeeJ
    All I wondered was whether you got as similarly hystrionic about the many factual “errors” that abound on children’s telly, and have written letters of complaint to the BBC about them.

    Go on, please tell us which other programmes met with your disapproval and provoked complaints. Was it the one where Shaun the Sheep played volleyball? After all, this gross factual error might convince children that sheep are highly sentient and athletic creatures, and give them nightmares about the farming industry. It might even persuade them that sheep are cleverer than humans…. maybe even cleverer than primary school teachers. Heaven forbid!

    How did the BBC respond to all these other complaints you submitted? Can you post the text of their responses, to see if they adequately addressed your concerns?

    Oh no, wait… please don’t tell us that this episode of Dr Raj has been the only one you have ever complained about… that might make us think you are an antivaxer. How foolish of us.

  42. GPs are certainly not all knowing and anyone who thinks they are is foolish. That said, they have a higher level of education and specialized training making them significantly mor knowledgeable than others when it comes to health. That’s why the general public goes to see a Dr for ailments. A GP has a better understanding of health than, say, a teacher. Just as a dentist has a better understanding of teeth than an engineer. That’s why there are education programs to train people. I will sooner take medication advice from a physician than a teacher. It’s a physicians JOB to stay on top of these things, not their wingnut hobby. As for injecting viruses, dead or living, yes, I certainly will continue to do so as I have a social responsibility to contribute to herd immunity .

  43. “they have a higher level of education and specialized training making them significantly mor knowledgeable than others when it comes to health. ” Jessica

    You must be joking, most doctors don’t even know what a healthy diet is. They still push the flu vaccine even when the Cochraine review showed the evidence for efficacy was ‘implausible at best’. When the DOH was challenged with this evidence their reply was ‘well it makes old people feel more secure!’

  44. “(the GP having done extensive “research” on Google about the topic)”

    You are having a laugh. Since when was google a reputable source of science! I suppose if you are a vaccine believer anything goes!

  45. ” My daughter loves the show and it really helps her understand her body and some of the things that happen. Long may it continue.”

    Blimey Michael, what kind of parenting do you subscribe to?

  46. Honestly, jenson.

    “You are having a laugh. Since when was google a reputable source of science! I suppose if you are a vaccine believer anything goes.”

    Read deetee’s comment again and see if you can grasp the point he was making. Hint: He is not suggesting google is a reputable source of science.

    “Blimey Michael, what kind of parenting do you subscribe to?”

    The kind that allows a child to watch an age-appropriate show that she loves, obviously. I hate to think about what kind of parenting you subscribe to, after a comment like that.

    “From what exactly”

    From infectious diseases, obviously.

    You appear to have a serious comprehension problem, jenson. You should maybe try reading a bit slower and really concentrating.

  47. “Jenson”, as Skepticat indicates, your reading comprehension skills need a retune.

    Re influenza vaccine, the report you cite is a Cochrane review (not Cochraine) and it dates from some time ago.

    [Interestingly, I note that more or less identical comments with the same incorrect spelling of Cochrane crop up in comments about flu vaccines recently on two other blogs (JDC’s Stuff and Nonsense, and Josephine Jones) where you use the sockpuppets of “Ernsty” and “Obvious”. If you mean “obvious” as in obvious troll, you have got it in one.]

    Perhaps you need to update your flu “research” – try this review/metanalysis which I found referenced on the JDC blog:

    It explains how current seasonal flu vaccine efficacy is around 50-60%, and the comment is that “The evidence from trials and observational studies suggests that presently available influenza vaccines can provide moderate overall protection against infection and illness”.

    The conclusion is that: “…current influenza vaccines will continue to have a role in reduction of influenza morbidity until more effective interventions are available. However, evidence for consistent high-level protection is elusive for the present generation of vaccines, especially in individuals at risk of medical complications or those aged 65 years or older”

    In other words, there is quite reasonable evidence of reduction in morbidity, but evidence for consistently “high level” protection is elusive. The authors explain how RCTs are not feasible, so establishing this elusive evidence is problematic. They also explain that the previous impressions that flu vaccine reduced mortality in the over 65s was flawed, because of significant confounding.

    There are nuances here that obviously escape your simplistic view that flu vaccine is useless, “Obvious”. It is clearly effective and its ongoing use continues to be recommended [“pushed” if you really prefer that emotive term] by doctors and those with necessary proven expertise in public health and infectious diseases. I somehow doubt your own weak study comprehension skills and level of medical expertise outweighs the views of the relevant experts in the field.

  48. Get over it Anna, you clearly need a new hobby. Have a kit kat and chill – waste your efforts on something that you actually have a clue about.

  49. “It explains how current seasonal flu vaccine efficacy is around 50-60%, and the comment is that “The evidence from trials and observational studies suggests that presently available influenza vaccines can provide moderate overall protection against infection and illness”. teeedeeous

    Here we go again, more cut and paste from vaxxy sites using ‘observational studies’ which we all know are open to publication bias and not actually an EBM cornerstone either extrapolated to suggestions which then lead to septic evidence!

    “The conclusion is that: “…current influenza vaccines will continue to have a role in reduction of influenza morbidity until more effective interventions are available. However, evidence for consistent high-level protection is elusive for the present generation of vaccines, especially in individuals at risk of medical complications or those aged 65 years or older” deleerious

    This is even funnier, it’s just like the whooping cough vaccine that has been now ‘recommended for use on pregnant women’ with no trial data or efficacy/safety studies either just because doctors have decided that it is better than nothing! Why is medical anecdotal evidence any better than a witch doctor, answer because share prices depend on them. Even when the HPA tell us the vaccine is failing they still hang on to the Titanic because it is the only thing floating in their world.

    “In other words, there is quite reasonable evidence of reduction in morbidity, but evidence for consistently “high level” protection is elusive. The authors explain how RCTs are not feasible, so establishing this elusive evidence is problematic. ” DT’s

    So more weasel words for the vaccine is useless, this is identikit vaxxy nonsense, it is the only way it continues. You still haven’t told us where you 500000 mortality figure came from. If it was the UK does it need pointing out that the ‘swine flu hotline’ was manned by 16 year olds with a check list of symptoms ie, hot, feverish, not feeling well, tick. That’s the low level of science that vaccine promoters love, using kids at every level.

    Cochraine makes it clear that the 10% of winter deaths are only attributed to flu like illnesses, NHS flu jab claims for halving winter deaths are based on that old chestnut the ‘medical anecdote’ and fairy stories with milkmaids and cows. Incidentally the latter fairy story is often told to children at school so I suppose it brings us back to Anna’s correct obs on the sinister use of children’s programmes to promote flawed/dodgy medical procedures.

    Nice try but fail.

  50. Jenson, it would help if you took the time to read posts and their links before shooting your mouth off. You might then realise that I concur the previous mortality estimates for deaths in NHS were greatly exaggerated because of confounding. Please pay attention.

    The quotes I give are not from some “vaxxy site”, or compiled by spotty kids manning flu alert phone lines, but taken from the most recent systematic review and metanalysis in the Lancet. It analysed 31 studies; not just observational studies (14) but also 17 RCTs. I suggest you go read the paper, slowly, and if you have trouble interpreting what it says, get back to us, and spare us the drivel you spout which is taken from antivax propaganda websites.

    And again, it is “Cochrane”, not Cochraine. Perhaps you could learn how to spell it in the future, so that your sockpuppetry across various websites is not so glaringly obvious.

  51. Surely its simple? Dont like it? Dont watch it!!! Therr are enough channels out there now that if you dont agree with something, switch over!!! I just don’t get why people are so caught up in this world of “complaining” its annoying! We should be teaching our children to enjoy life, not waste it being angry!!

  52. And jenson…you seem very taken with this research thingy….but how do you know that this certain “writing” isn’t a falsity in itself? Or are you too believing things you read? I am confused as to how you can belittle those for believing something that they have read/been given information about, when that is exactly what you are doing! Unless you have done the extensive research yourself, I’m afraid your ramblings have no weight whatsoever! And the same goes for Anna.

  53. So Oracle we know your scientific inquiry is non existent when all you can focus on to nit pick is a typo.

    What’s your opinion on the flu/whooping cough vaccine scam currently costing the taxpayer millions and fraudulently claiming an efficacy that doesn’t exist, except in the mind of vaccine believers?

  54. “I am confused as to how you can belittle those for believing something that they have read/been given information about, when that is exactly what you are doing!” Lei

    Yes sometimes it can be confusing, even distressing to realize that the information handed out by those we are supposed to trust is bull. But just looking at track record should be enough. The CDC, NIH to name two have been consistently wrong about flu death predictions, treatment options and data loss to make it abundantly clear to anyone with a brain that they have had a good go at the flu scam, but that is all it is.

    My research has lead me to see that those who dismissed these bastions of bull are in fact correct. You can’t catch flu, you can’t vaccinate against it and it is truly amazing that there is still a small group of bizarre people who keep thinking it’s their mission to prop up this cock and bull story.

    How many vaccines have you had?

  55. Ahh, so everything is now “a scam”, just because Jenson says so?
    Gotcha. Whooping cough, influenza….Don’t tell us, next up he will be saying HIV doesn’t exist and smallpox was never eradicated….Watch this space….

    My point about Jenson’s misspelling of Cochrane was that:
    a) This is not some simple typo. If Jenson persistently cannot even spell the name of a primary source of scientific information correctly then it reflects badly on his reading/comprehension abilities.
    b) Jenson has posted several very similar comments on other blogs under various sockpuppets/nyms which, because of his persistent error in spelling of Cochrane, mark out the posts as coming from him. My advice was that if he spelled it correctly, people would be less likely to spot the sockpuppetry, that’s all. It was a helpful hint for him!

    Finally, you will note that I did not base my argument around a spelling error, as you imply. I gave some detailed specifics of the RCTs and observational studies used in the Lancet metanalysis paper. The spelling error comment was a post script to this comment.

    The fact that you wish to tackle the spelling issue, while ignoring the substance of my posts, speaks volumes about your inability to argue about the science here.

  56. Metabanana analysis is exactly that, validated cherry picking or banana in this case. On whooping cough the HPA tell us that we have the highest vaccine coverage for decade and the highest number of cases. Perhaps telling people to keep vaccinating isn’t a scam it’s bloody stupid.

    So thanks for clearing that up.

    So are you one of these septicy types who think they can ‘catch flu’. Next you will be telling us that disease is caused by little furry critters. I note that they are starting up that ridiculous RCT bull on flu again, have you seen the deckchair adverts for coming to London for the flu?

    I suppose that is more stupidity, 40 years of this RCT woo on flu produced not even a validation of the contagion theory of flu so I suppose it’s all flu believers in together on that one.

    What was the substance of your post anyway, I am keen to learn.

  57. Why exactly should anyone take the CDC or NIH seriously about anything at all when they have been catastrophically wrong about every flu pandemic in modern times and precipitated disastrous advice and public spending on a massive scale.

    I am fascinated to know why you insist on protecting these cockroaches when the evidence for believing them is puff.

  58. “The fact that you wish to tackle the spelling issue, while ignoring the substance of my posts, speaks volumes about your inability to argue about the science here.”

    Where is the science, dingdong, where is the science?

  59. May I add, that as a practice nurse who gives imms, I have yet given any to a lone child who happens to be wandering the corridors, They are usually with their parent. Slightly hysterical response maybe?

  60. Wow… I’m slightly stunned that anybody would have found the programme offensive. Explaining tricky issues in a way which children can understand is great skill to have – however I am biased. I was an ill child, and the form of explanation I received was a colourful book called “Anita’s New Liver” – it’s a guide to liver transplantation for very young children (not the easiest of things to explain to a kid). But this sort of literature/tv coverage not only makes it easier for a child to understand what’s happening to them, it makes it easier for an adult to answer questions that the child may have. For what it’s worth, I never felt like I’d been “mislead” as a child by nobody telling me the potential side-effects of having a transplant; the simplified response was completely necessary. Would’ve liked a puppet to have been involved though.

  61. “May I add, that as a practice nurse who gives imms, I have yet given any to a lone child who happens to be wandering the corridors, They are usually with their parent.” KCding

    So out of interest do you go through all the contraindications for vaccination, with the parent, before you inject the child making sure that all the side effects are discussed so that the parent can make an informed consent decision?

  62. “Wow… I’m slightly stunned that anybody would have found the programme offensive.” Liz

    Well that’s no surprise, as a vaccine believer how could anyone disagree?

    Let’s pretend that the doctor is offering voodoo, making the child swallow a talisman because he believes it wards off evil spirits. It’s basically the same but how would you feel?

  63. Well, people aren’t “vaccine believers” just like that, they believe vaccines work because evidence suggests they do work.

    Let’s pretend voodoo had a similarly good evidence base – would people feel OK with a doctor using an evidence based approach? Yes they would.

  64. Hi Vicky

    Wondered when you might pipe up. Flu vaccine is a disaster, every weasel word in the book ‘need more boosters, mutation,that batch was contaminated……” All the RCT’s on even catching the damn thing failed. You gotta be a believer to keep that boat afloat.

    Whooping cough vaccine is the latest one, highest vaccine uptake at the same time as the highest number of deaths and cases for decades. That is a good evidence base for stopping doing it! Unless you are a vaccine believer and then we must give more doses and soldier on.

  65. No, the RCTs show that while flu vaccination isn’t as effective as we’d like it to be, it’s effective.

    Since you seem to know me/my comments, you’ll probably remember that I’ve said it before:
    Even if the flu vaccine wouldn’t work at all (it does), that wouldn’t mean MMR was ineffective. The programme was about MMR, not flu.
    For whooping cough you might want to actually read the link deetee provided – the deaths were mostly in those too young to be vaccinated. It’s also no secret that whooping cough vaccination isn’t 100% effective. As long as the uptake is high enough, the number of cases stays down. When uptake drops, you get epidemics.

    Results of anti-vaccination activism – how proud you must be.

  66. Hey, Vicky, don’t get your hopes up that jenson will read any of the science anytime soon. He seems to rely solely on “evidence” gleaned from Heat magazine and the Daily Express.

  67. @ Jenson, I don’t believe I ever said I was a “vaccine believer” (as you put it); you seem to be lumping all vaccines together as a homogeneous entity, when it is not the case and probably should not be considered as such. Effectiveness and side-effects vary between different types of vaccines, so considering them to be one entity seems to be a silly basis for any analysis of whether they work/are safe or not. What I meant to imply was that, should a parent choose to vaccinate their child, this kind of media provides an incredibly helpful explanation to the child.

  68. Uh, that’s a believe system, where do you get your stats on effectiveness Vicky? Some pro vaxx site no doubt.

    Nope, it’s science, which is pretty much the opposite of a belief system.


    this paper is well out of date

    Did you really read it? You didn’t even get the year right.

    Do you just pick any old crap and run with it! Oh I forgot you are a vaccine believer so even papers over 10 years old are ok.

    You’re getting some of your information from anh (“alliance for natural health”) who promote nonsense like ayurveda and homeopathy – much older than 10 years and still “unproven” (disproven would be more accurate).

    Washington, for example, one of the states worst affected by the current outbreak, recorded that 92.9% of children aged 18–36 months received 3 or more doses of the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine in 2010–11.

    You still didn’t read what deetee linked to, did you? I’ll quote it then: “The majority of pertussis cases, hospitalizations, and deaths occur in infants aged ≤2 months, who are too young to be vaccinated.”

    ” A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reveals that an astounding 97 percent of children affected by a mumps outbreak that swept the Northeast back in 2009 had already been vaccinated for the condition in accordance with recommended government guidelines.”

    So we’re discussing mumps now? Okay, but you really shouldn’t get your scientific information from “NaturalNews”. The study finds that complication rates were higher in the unvaccinated group and the vaccinated had milder cases of mumps.

    Medical peer review is full of articles pointing out that whooping cough vaccine is crap Vicky, you gotta stop cherry-picking and come up to speed with the data.

    Yes, reviews are cherry-picked evidence, while single studies that don’t even say what you think they say are the way to go.

    Well which ones work Liz, flu vaccine, whooping cough discussed here are useless,

    Funny how every vaccine that is less than 100% effective is “useless” – is that only for vaccines, or do you use the same logic for your every day life, too?

  69. @jenson I’m intrigued as to whether you received all your childhood vaccines? Do you have the little bump from the BCG and would you have tetanus should it be suggested to you as an appropriate course of action? When or if you go travelling will you be vaccinated or just hope for the best?

    Have your children ever been so sick that you would do anything for them or would you turn against medical advice because of your (rightly or wrongly) strong held beliefs?

  70. Jenson, you’re very good at saying words, not so good at making valid and referenced statements, nor reading any of what other people have stated. No wonder your sources are being questioned by others, come on, provide some LINKS to back up your from-what-I-can-see unsubstantiated claims.

  71. Do you even understand HOW vaccinations work? Are you able to explain with any degree of scientific knowledge what effect injecting live, inactive or altered pathogens/antigens has (or supposedly has, as you may say) on the body???

  72. Always nice to see the Internet’s quota of raving, imbecilic conspiracy theorists at work.

    Jenson, the others have proved their point. Stop trolling, make a cohesive argument, or get lost. They aren’t the ones with something to prove in this argument, you are.

  73. Jenson, the lies pour out thick and fast, don’t they?

    You say you read my “science” (the recent systematic review and metanalysis of influenza vaccine in the Lancet), but mysteriously you described the study as an observational study from teenagers manning influenza help lines, and failed to pick up that it looked at 31 scientific studies, 14 of them being randomised controlled trials.

    You keep saying the HPA state that pertussis vaccine “is failing”, but mysteriously you cannot provide a link to the relevant publication where they claim this.

    You claim influenza is not “catching”, yet mysteriously say that you are the one with the “science” on your side. If so, you must be looking at science that is a century or so out of date. If not, please enlighten us with links to the peer-reviewed publications from science journals that say flu is not a communicable infection. I look forward to reading them, I could do with a laugh.

    You also refer to a mumps outbreak study. Since you read “science” so thoroughly, you must have accessed it and read the paper in its entirety. I have.

    Can you tell us what was the Mumps viral Genotype in these outbreaks? And could you quote the last paragraph of the discussion, so we can all enjoy reading your “science”?

  74. 500k death estimates – H1N1 pandemic flu:
    “An estimated 105,700-395,600 respiratory deaths occurred, while an additional 46,000-179,900 deaths were attributed to cardiovascular complications.”

    But hey, that isn’t “science”. You don’t even need to read it to see that. Just visit Nachural News, the gotta-go-to source of Jenson’s science.
    See folks – it was just a scam. Nobody died, nothing to see here, move along now. Flu isn’t even catching.

  75. Jenson, the 500,000 figure wasn’t from me so I don’t know why I should give you a source for it. I never even discussed swine flu.

    Given that none of the sources cited so far have had any impact on you, it’s pretty much pearls before swine to give you scientific evidence for vaccination, you won’t believe it anyway.

  76. Wow! Jenson, you do not know much about immunizations, but you are brave to continue commenting.

    As far as pertussis goes, the a-cellular pertussis vaccine is not as as effective as the whole cell vaccine, but seems to always prevent the actual whooping cough part, as seen from the recent outbreaks, of pertussis infection because 2 of the six proteins are from the toxins that are responsible for those symptoms. Not one vaccinated person, even with a single dose, got the actual whooping cough symptom.

    The whole cell pertussis vaccine was highly effective and provided long lasting immunity, but was taken off the market over unfounded fears. It should not be brought back because we do not make vaccines by throwing in everything but the kitchen sink anymore and even though the fear that took it off the market was unfounded, it did have higher rates of mild-moderate side effects than any of the vaccines on the market today. Not to mention, in itself it had more antigens than all the vaccines on the CDC recommended schedule combined. What we need is to figure out if all of the six antigens we use in the a-cellular pertussis vaccine now are necessary and find out which other ones we need to improve the efficacy and longevity of immunity. Right now as it stands, 96% of the population need to be vaccinated with all appropriate boosters for effective heard immunity.

    The flu vaccine is not great as far as vaccines go. Influenza mutates so rapidly that if you start out a season with a single strain it could be as many as seven different strains before the end. Influenza is also a highly contagious disease which requires very high vaccination rates for heard immunity. Luckily, we are understanding more and more about this virus. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic taught us a lot about how the antigens shift and how well our immune system can protect us with only one or two antibodies against those antigens.

    The thing about Pakistan is that there is not a new disease that causes flaccid paralysis. It is the exact same as it was in the US or the UK when we started large vaccination programs against polio. We wanted to know how effective they were against the most damaging aspect of polio infection so we asked that every case of flaccid paralysis be reported. Every time you are looking for something and ask for it to be reported, it is in large numbers that make it seem like there is some increase. From living in a country where polio is no longer endemic thanks to the vaccine, I can tell you that there was no shocking increase in flaccid paralysis cases. There was just more reporting. Flaccid paralysis has other known causes and usually the underlying condition and not the paralysis is reported.

    I guess I will address pregnant women and immunization. Rarely are studies ever done on pregnant women. Just like most drug trials are not done on children. The information is not just pulled out of thin air though. If vaccines have low reports of side effects, the disease they are preventing is not known for causing birth defects,the other ingredients are not known for causing pregnancy complications or crossing the placenta after many years of use, and the benefit of the vaccine is great then they will be recommended for pregnant women. No woo there.

    I know this is long, but just two more things. Vaccine manufacturers are not the ones who follow the long term safety and efficacy of vaccines. These things are followed by the health and science authorities in all developed countries. Herd immunity is important even for the vaccinated when it comes to highly contagious diseases, like measles and pertussis. You can still get sick if you are surrounded by sick people. The illness will not be as bad, but still.

    Oh, shoot one more thing, tetanus. Tetanus is a serious disease that cannot be easily treated with antibiotics. For successful treatment both tetanus IgG and toxoid as well as IV antibiotics are used. Most people have to be put into a coma because the pain is excruciating as well as paralyzed so that they do not injure themselves while seizing. If you are just late on your booster the disease is nothing the same as if you have never been vaccinated.

  77. Jenson: wait, I’m terribly confused: antibiotics are ok, but vaccines are not? How odd, i just assumed you were living in the dark ages of blood letting and expelling various rumours. This brings the question of Health are vs Sick Care iinto the picture. Do you have any information from studies on antibiotic overuse/misuse and the development of superbugs? Or is that more foolishness in your mind? More lies made up to clontnud the gullible ublic? Well, it’s fun to know you have a point at which you believe in modern medicine…even though when antibiotics were first introduced, they too met with skepticism, and certainly was further developed to be more effective.

  78. Pardon me, my phone’s keyboard seems to have been misbehaving. Those comments should say “cloud the minds of the gullible public”, not the general jabber that showed up.

  79. Jenson,

    You are not making any sense. You are incorrect about NPFP being only in the vaccinated. You do not read links because you cannot stand to read anything that disagrees with you. Saying that influenza mutates rapidly has nothing to do with vaccines, it is just the case, as with all RNA viruses. That is nonsense about the Danish study made up by antivaccinationists that never seem to be able to tell the truth. As far as the childishness in your comments, thank you for showing the mindset of most antivaccinationists. It really helps to steer normal people away from your philosophy.

  80. I’m late to the party, I just wandered over the thread about a “killer” book (“Marvelous Measles) where I see Jenson was banned. But this caught my eye as one of the more stupid anti-vaccine comment I have seen in a long time, it is up there with “the thimerosal in the MMR” and “vaccines injected directly into the bloodstream”:

    “Tetanus is treatable with a simple antibiotic, it is probably the most redundant of vaccines, ie there is no ‘need for it’.”

    All antibiotics does is slow down the bacteria, it does nothing for the tetanospasmin. Tetanospasmin is the neurotoxin causing the real issues, and it is the second most deadly toxin in the world. Right after the botulism toxin.

  81. Thank you Skepticat, but thank you MORE @jensen and Anna for providing me with the ammunition to construct a blinder of a Year 8 lesson promoting the virtues of vaccination this afternoon( and to allow me to discuss the dangers of letting any nutter with a keyboard access to the internet…). Thirty more brave souls will enter adult life with no illusions about the efficacy of the MMR vaccination. I have done my little bit to enhance herd immunity in this country…thanks again chaps!

  82. For those who believe that vaccines caused a reduction in diseases, think again. The statistics you’re shown (if any) by those pushing vaccines are based on a careful selection of dates – usually the date that vaccines commenced, so look very impressive. What’s even MORE impressive is that the rapid decline in disease began well before vaccines were introduced, due to improved hygiene amongst other things. Graphs for various diseases here: http://www.whale.to/vaccines/decline1.html

    Do your research before subjecting yourself, your children and your pets to the concoctions of the pharmaceutical industry. I was like most of you, blindly accepting of the lies told to me about the efficacy of vaccines until I decided to use my brain and devote some time and effort to getting data. I just wish I’d done it decades ago! Much more recent, damning article here, published yesterday, on the evidence of lies and deception in the UK vaccine industry: http://www.naturalnews.com/038598_vaccines_medical_hoax_government_documents.html

    If you are still determined to subject yourself and children to vaccines after reading these articles, at least you should insist that your doctor or nurse signs a form taking personal responsibility for your/your child’s safety, rather than you signing a release form absolving them and the pharmaceutical company from taking that responsibility. If they won’t sign, why not?

    1. Anne

      I just love the irony of you telling me to do the research, when you obviously have not studied the link to the HPA website I provide in the above article. When you’ve considered the stats provided by Chris, please look at this graph showing the incidence of measles in England and Wales. I can assure you we didn’t suddenly all become more hygienic in 1968 so what are these “other things” you claim caused the rapid decline after the vaccine was introduced?

      By the way, I know from experience the two sites you linked to are not credible sources and they are full of dangerously misleading information. For that reason I have removed the links. People can google them if they want (and google Scopie’s Law while you’re about it). If using your brain leads you to swallow that stuff hook, line and sinker, this would indicate you have very poor critical thinking skills.

      Elsewhere on this blog I have mentioned how difficult had been the decision to get my first child in 1984 the pertussis jab after the publicity given to hysterical anti-vax campaigners who claimed it caused brain damage – a claim that was subsequently proven to be completely false, much like the claims about MMR and autism. I’m glad both my children were fully vaccinated and never had a day’s illness, let alone weeks off school feeling ill and miserable as I’d done, so don’t bother pimping your callous anti-vax propaganda around here.


  83. Oh, Anne. First you have used John Scudamore’s whale.to website, which subject you to Scopie’s Law. I’ll let you look that up for yourself.

    In the mean time I have a question for you to answer. The following is a table of measles incidence from the USA census between 1912 and the late 1990s. What you need to tell me is why the rate of measles incidence dropped 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970. Please not mention mortality, another decade or another country (there are some who are geographically confused who think England and Wales are American states):
    From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
    Year…. Rate per 100000 of measles
    1912 . . . 310.0
    1920 . . . 480.5
    1925 . . . 194.3
    1930 . . . 340.8
    1935 . . . 584.6
    1940 . . . 220.7
    1945 . . . 110.2
    1950 . . . 210.1
    1955 . . . 337.9
    1960 . . . 245.4
    1965 . . . 135.1
    1970 . . . . 23.2
    1975 . . . . 11.3
    1980 . . . . . 5.9
    1985 . . . . . 1.2
    1990 . . . . .11.2
    1991 . . . . . .3.8
    1992 . . . . . .0.9
    1993 . . . . . .0.1
    1994 . . . . . .0.4
    1995 . . . . . .0.1
    1996 . . . . . .0.2
    1997 . . . . . . 0.1

  84. I should also tell Anne to look up the difference between “decline in disease” and “decline in death from disease.” It is a common problem with folks like them to mistake mortality with morbidity. Which is why I explicitly ask that they do not mention “deaths” or “mortality” when they answer my question.

    They do not understand that while deaths declined (as in the badly photocopied plots from Mr. Scudamore, the rates of people getting the diseases did not. Very expensive medical care got better at keeping people alive. For instance, there are fewer cases of scarlet fever because strep throat (same bacteria) is treated with antibiotics before it gets bad enough for the rash to appear.

  85. I simply have this to say, in 1962 I came down with red measles which led to encephalitis. I now have epilepsy as a direct result.
    My children have been vaccinated. Do I have an autistic child? Yes. Did he get autism from the vaccine? I can’t see how, considering I knew when I brought him home from the hospital as a newborn there was something wrong with him, and he exhibited the sensory integration problems that are a hallmark of autistic spectrum disorder.

    I am not a genius. My husband also has Asperger’s Syndrome, and he never had an MMR vaccine. He had measles, mumps and rubella. Go figure.

    How people can believe and follow the ravings of a “doctor” who bases his work on a survey of kids at a birthday party is beyond me.
    This is how research is done, people. A scientist has a theory. They think, “I will test that theory, and see whether or not it is true. I will learn something.”
    NOT: “I will set about to prove my theory.” Once you cross over into that territory your work is no longer objective and cannot be considered rational.
    Let’s not even get into peer review.
    And, the old saw about doctors wanting to keep people sick? To quote my husband’s oncologist, “If my patients don’t get well, they DIE. Not only do I stop ‘making money’ from them, but they aren’t alive to recommend me to anyone else.”
    A doctor with dead patients is no doctor at all.

  86. Good on you Anna. I completely agree with you. And might add the likes of Zoe Baker should be ignored without prejudice.

    Children of young ages are these days finger-printed at school without parental permission or even knowledge (and yes I know this firsthand). 12 year olds are offered vaccines without parental knowledge, and I’ve got a leaflet from the school saying this is perfectly legal (even though it breaks other laws) – again, I know this firsthand. A little girl of 12 is utterly confused about whether to accept the injection from a school nurse, when she is told ‘she should have it’ but her parent is saying no. That is NOT right!

    Vaccines are not 100% safe or 100% effective and it should not be intimated as such. Anyone who thinks this brainwashing of young children (because ‘they don’t make the decision for themselves’) is ok need their heads examined. It is much more accurate to say that it is the BBC that are not safe, and yet probably quite effective… sadly!

    My children will not be watching disgusting ‘BBC’ anything.

    And for all those out there who will label a parent selfish or stupid for not vaccinating a child; if you want to vaccinate your children that is your choice, but don’t think for a second you have the right to tell another what to do and how to think.
    And for the record, I was injured by a vaccine myself as a small child, which was admitted and I suffered the affects until pubety. I have never had another, and am naturally immune to rubella and others alike. I also have two cousins on different sides of my families (so not blood related) both seriously affected by vaccines, one of which is in a wheelchair for life, with the mental capability of a six month old. She is compensated by the NHS for the rest of her life, which is predicted to be less than half the average span of any normal healthy woman.

    Nothing is black and white. Except the BBC, which is just plain propaganda.

  87. @ Nicola: Got any um, proof, that the very minimum risk for a severe adverse reaction to any vaccine…exceeds the risk of actually acquiring a vaccine-preventable disease?


    Wow, just wow…what is the statistical probability of 3 cousins who have suffered serious disability due to a vaccination? Care to provide those statistics Nicola?

    Good on you Nicola, for having natural immunity against rubella, but some pregnant women and their babies were not as fortunate. Poor babies were born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome…because they were exposed in utero…before vaccines were developed to protect fetuses from that devastating syndrome:


    You’re just a “free rider” anti-vaccine mommy who depends on other people to immunize their children fully and on time, to protect your children through herd immunity.

  88. Nicola is a drive-by poster…of that I am convinced.

    My childhood chum died from polio and my older cousin was left with lifelong neurological sequelae due to measles encephalitis…before vaccines were developed to prevent these childhood diseases.

    A few years ago, I contracted pertussis, before the Tdap vaccine booster was developed. I was grateful that I had no exposures to young infants before during the period of time when I was highly infectious. I had 8 weeks of rib-cracking coughing spells, even though I was put on an antibiotic early in the course of my illness. A prescribed bronchodilator and two huge bottles of codeine cough syrup for the sleep-disruptive coughing spells, got me through that awful disease.

    1. I remember my father impressing on me how horrific the experience of whooping cough was and how I as so lucky there was a vaccine to stop me getting it. So I never cease to be amazed at parents who are prepared to risk their children getting it and, having seen their children suffer for months, still think they did the right thing. One of the comments that has stuck in my mind from Anna’s fellow anti-vaxer, Joanna Karpasea-Jones of the misnamed Vaccine Awareness Network (UK) was this one:

      As far as the comments about whooping cough, my now 11 year old daughter had it for 3 months so I know it isn’t pleasant.

      I think this was the point at which any kind of empathy and respect I might have had for this woman as a parent flew out of the window.

  89. Vaccines are very questionable and a dangerous experiment imposed on populations to make a few people enormously rich. If you do not conclude this you probable have you head in the sand or you just haven’t bothered to do basic research before you go forming opinion. In addition after reading some of comments I presume there are a few big pharma trolls coming out with the usual unqualified dogma and rhetoric. You people do not seem to know what you are waffling on about. For all you smarty pants out there, can anyone point me in the direction of a medium to long term safety study about MMR. No, thought not because there are none. WHY? And why do the big pharmas keep getting massive fines for fraudulent drug trials, various other fraud and other illegal activities. Its not imagination and does not inspire confidence in these human unpredictable experiments.

    You have to look no further than Aluminum to realise something is very wrong with vaccines.

    Aluminium has been use in vaccines for over 80 years with much complacency and controversy about its use.
    The most common argument to defend it is that it has been used for a long time so it must be safe.
    However Science can map human genetic code and other amazing things but cannot tell us what happens to the aluminium when injected into muscle or what it does while its there.
    Studies show that vaccines with aluminium cause more side effects that the same vaccines without aluminium.
    Its is often cited that there is no evidence of adverse aluminium side effects, which is inevitable as very little research has been done.
    Yet billions of children have and will receive injections containing aluminium.
    It would be expected that further research would be recommended but this is not the case even though aluminium has never passed any safety trials that a standard drug would.
    Many in the medical profession have suggested rather than more vaccination with aluminium they should be put on hold until research has demonstrated there safety.
    There has been no further progress of researching the safety of aluminium in vaccines.
    So all that can be looked at is health implications of aluminium in general.
    Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust but it is of no use to the human body and is very toxic to the brain and bones.
    The central nervous system is particularly susceptible to its effects.
    Aluminium is particularly to certain groups of vulnerable people, for example for those with kidney problem it causes ‘dialysis dementia’.
    Aluminium is believed to play a major role in causing Alzheimer’s disease.
    Once in the brain Aluminium it is only excreted very slowly so is liable to accumulate.
    Here knowledge stops as there has been no funded research of any sort for over 20 years in the UK on effects of aluminium.
    Even less is know how aluminium affects children’s health although it is know that it affects the developing nervous system
    High levels are found in children with hyperactivity, autism and other behavioural problems although again very little follow up research.
    Aluminium is found in many foods and drinks including water. It’s also found in many products; kitchenware, deodorants, sunscreens etc.
    There are safety guidelines for ingestion of aluminium in water, foods and medicines but the UK has no guidelines referring to the WHO.
    The max amount safe depends on body weight so a baby can only tolerate a fraction of an adult.
    In 2006 the WHO adjusted its weekly safety limit from 7mg per kg to 1mg per kg.
    Aluminium is used in vaccines as an ‘adjuvant’ as over 80years ago it was discovered aluminium produces a stronger immune response.
    It is not fully understood why aluminium works in this way, probable because the immune system sees it as a strong poison.
    Most vaccines contain aluminium although there are no safety levels because no one has investigated how much is too much.
    The different between ingested and injected is the proportion that gets into the body.
    The gut acts as a barrier to the absorption of aluminium. Only 0.01 – 1% ingested is absorbed, the rest is excreted.
    Therefore the amount believe to be safe by ingestion is much larger than by injection.
    All the aluminium contained in vaccinations is absorbed by the body.
    Shockingly no one appears to have calculated if the amount received by babies exceeds the maximum recommended safety levels.
    However based on absorption studies and assuming only one thousandth of ingested aluminium is absorbed we can calculate daily safety level for injected aluminium. So injected aluminium is only safe at levels of a thousandth of what can be ingested.
    The max amount that can be safely ingested is 0.14mg per kg / day therefore the corresponding amount injected should be 0.00014mg.
    Pediacel 5in1 has .33mg Men C 0.125 – 0.5 Prevenar 0.125mg
    Babies are given 2 injection per visit equal to between 0.45mg and 0.955mg of aluminium per visit injected into muscle.
    This result is babies are given a least 500 to possibly over 1,000 times the maximum recommended amount of aluminium per visit.
    These calculations are done for the average baby weight, if the baby is small of premature the situation is much worse.
    To compound the problem aluminium is believed to interact with the mercury in vaccines to increase toxicity.
    This does not mean all babies will suffer with this massive overload but obviously susceptible babies will.
    One study that was undertaken with premature babies feed standard aluminium containing intravenous solution discovered that the babies suffered impaired brain development. Babies are given much more aluminium in vaccines.
    Since 1957 aluminium caused problems, when temporary removed from vaccines as it was believed to contribute to Polio paralysis.
    Aluminium in vaccines sometimes causes problems at the site of injection with 75% still suffering 4 years later and some 7 years later.
    This problem is increased with more vaccinations and further research in France has discovered a new disease acrophagic Myofasciitis (MMF) caused by the vaccinations. Symptoms are; aching weak muscles, painful joints and severe fatigue. It was discovered that large amounts of aluminium were found at the injection sites and a high proportion of patients developed autoimmune diseases such as MS.
    Most did not start to become ill until several months after vaccination with many developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and ME.
    Some people cannot eliminate aluminium which it is believe goes on to cause allergic or auto immune reaction resulting in illnesses.
    These theories are controversial but there is very little research in this important area.
    There is absolutely no incentive or willingness for drug companies to investigate these type of problems.
    Basic studies have discovered that high qualities aluminium are found in the urine of MS and other illnesses suggesting it plays a role..
    Some consider up to 1% of people may be hypersensitive to aluminium. This equates to millions of children that may suffer later in life.
    The WHO one of the staunchest supporters of vaccines, yet acknowledges aluminium could cause more serious disease that the vaccines are designed to prevent. The WHO recommends further research but no change of use of aluminium in vaccines.
    The main reason stated is that there is no replacement for aluminium, even though MMR and a few others do not contain aluminium.
    The WHO consider the world vaccination program more important than the unknown potential side effects.
    Research is supposedly taking place to find an alternative to aluminium.
    It is know that aluminium is highly toxic and babies are receiving thousands of times over the upper safe limit however there appears a conspiracy of silence from governments, drug companies and other agencies with very little research undertaken.
    There appears to be many obstacles to actually do the research that the WHO has public asked for.
    A group of Swedish doctors after investigation were concerned enough to call for manufactures to look for alternative to Aluminium but the same doctors were then unable to obtain funding to continue investigations.
    The conspiracy of silence on this important subject continues.

    For those skeptics who do not believe Aluminium is dangerous this is a link to the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database where all adverse damage to individual Genes causing diseases are recorded. Aluminium affects thousands of genes in over 1,200 diseases.

    1. Rob obviously read my blog and decided to test out the advice I give on how not to be taken seriously when campaigning against vaccines. I’m particularly impressed at his decision to start his mammoth post by insulting almost everyone here. I suspect this ensured that most readers read no further or, at best, skimmed through the rest of his comment and, noting that it is replete with fallacies, speculation, unsupported assertions, mentions of unreferenced studies and research, all underpinned by a large dose of conspiracy theory, decided it wasn’t worth the candle to engage with whatever his argument is.

      Having stoically waded through all 1300 words, I would sum up his main “argument” thus:

      P1: Aluminium in high doses is toxic to humans
      P2: Vaccines contain high doses of aluminium
      C: Therefore ‘vaccines are very questionable and a dangerous experiment imposed on populations to make a few people enormously rich’.

      Hmm….P2 looks a bit dodgy, doesn’t it? As a young baby will, if breast fed, receive more aluminium from breast milk than from vaccines, I wonder what Rob concludes about breasts? There’s even more aluminium in infant formula and more still in soya-based formula. (Source)

      A few links to other truthful sources about aluminium in vaccines:


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