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Hilary's Desk

MeNZB vaccine a "Huge let-down for parents"

Hilary Butler - Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This morning the editor of the Herald came out of his myopic little hole, and whined about the fact that the New Zealand Ministry of Health had got away with blue murder, and not told parents everything they needed to know.

Which planet has this person been living on for the last four years?  As I go back through my complaints to the press council; my letters to the editor (which I’m sure go straight into the little round bin) as well as ALL THE POINTS Ron Law and Barbara Sumner Burstyn were making at the time, the FACTS were put under the nose of Herald reporters, up their trousers, in the in-boxes, pounded in their ears, but… did they listen?

The editor says:  “Had the limits of the immunity been plainly stated at the time…”  Well, they were.  Ah… but I hear you say.  The limits of immunity weren’t plainly stated by the people that matter.  You know, the ones with letters after their names.

The editor says, “no-where was it mentioned that immunity dropped below protective levels within months…”  Sorry mate, it was.  But again, it was people without the right letters after their names that said those things.  Instead of the Herald going and getting the documents itself, and doing some really incisive “investigative” journalism at the time, they were only too keen to quote those people with letters after their names, telling everyone that the people telling the truth were “anti-vaccine menaces” and questioning their training and right to have a say.

The editor says, “there is no coherent reason for this information vacuum…”  Well, I have news for him.  There is a coherent reason, and it lies right at his doorstep.  The Herald and its reporters have a historic record of total blindness when it comes to the medical “experts”. Because of their great need to promote win/win journalism, they only ever get onto an issue when there is nothing they can lose by doing so.

What the editor seems to miss, is that they STILL haven’t told the whole story about the MeNZB, and probably never will.  To do that, would be to admit their culpability, and refusal to sink serious resources into doing some thorough research for themselves.  Why?  Because these days, news is “reportage”.  Time is money.  Got to get the “words” on the page, to fill the gaps between the advertisements.  Information is a commercial commodity and it’s as simple as that.

The editor of the Herald says, with regard to future immunisation campaigns, parents must get the full story.  Perhaps he should consider that his opportunity to do just that, is knocking on his door, right now!

There are two new immunisation campaigns that the Herald, once again,  does not appear to be doing any INVESTIGATIVE journalism on.  Those two vaccines are PREVENAR and GARDASIL. Yet again, the Herald reads IMAC and thinks that is all there is to know.

Both these vaccines are potential future disasters in the making, for completely different reasons.  The Prevenar story is  already unfolding in America, as can be seen here on a website called www.insidevaccines.com is a series called Sisyphus Part One,  Part Two, and Part Three.  

The inability of the Herald to get to the bottom of vaccine issues isn’t unusual.  You have to ask yourselves why it is that American newspapers aren’t covering the Prevenar issues raised by a group of concerned American citizens.  Simple.  Like the Herald, American newspapers don’t bite powerful hands that feed them either.

No doubt in years to come, for the simple reason that no newspaper in this country has the intestinal fortitude to do the hard slog, ask the hard questions, and print the truth, we will again hear similar chest beating by the Herald, about lack of information for parents. 

It's little wonder that the Health Department appears to live in the autocratic land of smugdom today, when the press seems as dangerous as a sleeping toothless chihuahua.

 

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