This reaction happened almost immediately after vaccination yet QLD health
in its incredible ignorance (arrogance, stupidity, you name it) says that
they symptoms may not be related! Thank you to Maria for alerting me to this
article and for her incredible letter in response which follows the article.
The website for this article is http://www.qt.com.au/ and the email for
letters to the editor is firstname.lastname@example.org so please send a letter to say how
you feel about this issue.
Vaccinations turn into parents' nightmare
By Tony Moore
FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Brenton Waters sees life through dark welding glasses.
He has to. The daylight is dreadfully painful to his eyes.
His Rosewood home is blackened to keep out the light. To take some of the
photographs in the QT he bravely swapped his welding glasses for dark
sunglasses for a few minutes. It hurt a lot.
Yet Brenton's extreme light sensitivity is just the latest hardship he faces
since he had a meningococcal vaccination in one arm and a tetanus injection
in the other on May 7 at Rosewood High.
Almost immediately he felt nauseous, could not lift his left arm and began
to shiver and shake.
Today his left side, head, and arm are locked and his leg shakes
Queensland Health said the symptoms may not be related to the vaccination
and doctors are undecided. Still, Brenton keeps smiling.
Brenton's Dark Battle With Immunisation
Almost overnight, Rosewood State High School student Brenton Waters
developed crippling injuries after he had meningococcal and tetanus
vaccinations. five months later, he is bravely optimistic.
May 7 should have been like any other day at Rosewood High for Brenton
Waters. Bit it did not turn out that way. The keen maths and science student
who still finds time to be the treasurer of his Rosewood Leo Club, received
vaccinations for meningococcal C and tetanus on that day.
Linked to the vaccinations or not, his world is no longer the same. His left
side is now locked up. His left arm curls tightly up against his face, his
left leg shakes as if electrified and his head is curled down towards his
He is tremendously sensitive to light and his arched, hunched back is
terribly painful. Brenton, who has a fabulous sense of humour, starts each
day with the Seven Network's Sunrise program and concedes he has become a
big fan of host, David Koch's sly irony at the world.
It doesn't take much to produce a smile that is wide enough to push its way
past the huge welding goggles he now has to use to stop the light hurting
The second of three neurologists he has seen diagnosed as suffering
spasmodic torticollis, while a third believes it is a psychological matter,
perhaps of some trauma.
"Which is rubbish, if you don't mind me saying," Brenton adds
Mum Dona Waters has told the story many times since May 7, but perseveres.
He had meningococcal and tetanus innoculations on the same day," Mrs. Waters
said. "One in each arm. He said, right from when it got it, he felt nauseous
He started shivering and shaking. He felt like he had hurt his arm. The
next day, he started a very, very heavy cold. Three days later, a very heavy
cough set in. Six days later, he developed such a bad cough they put him in
St. Andrew's Hospital."
This is fellow patients in St. Andrew's Hospital, he became known as the
Wilson Ward cougher" because the cough was heard through the corridors.
Later came the leg spasms and tremors and the changes to his shoulder and
arms. Only when Brenton is in deep sleep does his cramped, twisted
appearance change. And still, only one biological test has proven positive.
Mycoplasma pneumonia. (my note here - I know I have heard that mycoplasma
are a contaminant of many vaccines - if someone has more information on this
I would really appreciate it).
As Brenton says, "It is the only one thing that has been positive."
This week, he has returned to school to catch up with the rest of his maths
class. And in fact, he's ahead again.
Brenton Walters' mum Dona is now undecided about immunisation. And
thoughtful about the situation she faces with her younger child, Brenton's
"As a parent, I feel you are damned if you do and damned if you don't in
terms of immunisation," Mrs. Waters said. As a carer at Rosewood's Cabandah
nursing centre, she is used to the ramifications of medical decisions. But
Brenton's situation gives her ground for thought.
"When it comes to Shenae - maybe not," she said.
The Rosewood and surrounding community has developed an amazing network of
support around the Waters family. As well as friends and helpers, people
with medical skills have offered assistance, Dona said. "The local Chinese
community offered a Chinese Herbalist and Acupuncturist," she said. "They
came here and said he was the best. And he gave Brenton Acupunture and he
had an ointment." For a while, Brenton's twitching leg stopped moving. Later
the food began to move again, then more vigorously. Mrs. Waters said the
gentleman talked about Brenton's legs. "He said they are so cold. He has no
energy. Now he is trying to warm up from the inside," she said. A naturopath
is also trying to help, this week taking blood samples to try to find a
treatment and the Waters family keeps smiling.
Queensland Health's Darling Downs Health Unit believes Brenton's condition
is not likely to be related to his vaccinations.
Public health physician, Dr. Brad McCall, yesterday said the situation was
investigated in August.
"Queensland Health's Darling Downs Publid Health Unit was contacted by
father of the young man regarding concerns about vaccines for meningococcal
C and tetanus which his son received at his high school in May 2003," Dr.
"In response, staff from the Darling Downs Public Health Unit carried
public health investigation in conjunction with reporting doctors and family
During this investigation, every effort was made to determine if there was
any connection between a vaccine and a suspected adverse event. As a result
of this investigation, Queensland Health staff determined the current
condition of the young man is not likely related to the vaccinations
received in May 2003."
The family has not received advice of their report, Mrs. Waters said on
Twin Injections safe: health experts
It was accepted medical practise to issue meningococcal C and tetanus
injections at the same time, Queensland Health said yesterday.
Public Health physician, Dr. Brad McCall said while there was an extremely
rare possibility of an allergic reaction, Queensland Health had complete
confidence in the safety of the vaccines.
"It's standard practise to administer both tetanus and meningococcal C
vaccines to all eligible children in year 10 at all Queensland secondary
schools in one sitting," Dr. McCall said.
He said the vaccines were provided by highly-trained nurse practitioners and
were effective ways of protecting adolescents against tetanus and
"There are very clear protocols and procedures in place to deal with any
adverse reactions," he said (my note - exactly - the protocol is to ignore
Federal Health authorities on Friday said the Australian Standard
Vaccination Schedule (ASVS) approved injections of tetanus and meningococcal
C on the same day. This is backed by the National Health and Medical
Research Council (NHMRC). On page 12 of the Australian Immunisation Handbook
(8th Edition), a section dealing with multiple vaccinations for children on
the same day contains this recommendation:
"All the scheduled vaccines can be given at the same time on the same day
(eg. at two months of age) as indicated in the australian Standard
Vaccination Schedule. Where possible, they should be given in different
limbs and always administered using separate syringes and needles. The NHMRC
recommed that in those cases where three or more injections are required on
the ASVS, they should be given at one visit without unnecessary delay.:
Drug Report Finding
Only one Australian death was definitely connected to an adverse reaction to
a vaccine in almost three years of the latest study (my note again - is that
any surprise when someone who reacted almost immediately is being told that
their condition is not related to the vaccine?)
That case involved an adult vaccinated against yellow fever, a report from
the federal government's adverse drug reactions advisory committee said.
The report said overall there were 2409 adverse reactions among children and
adults between January 2 2000 and September 30 2002.
Only 10% of these were serious and 10 people died but none of these were
among the almost 1400 cases the report listed as not certainly or probably
linked to the vaccination.
I want to congratulate you on giving such prominence to the vaccination
reaction story you printed on Saturday 18 October. I too have a child who
had an adverse reaction to vaccination, it occurred when she was one year
old and I know first hand how harmful vaccination can be. The Measles,
Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccination robbed my perfectly healthy well developing
one year old of good health and quality of life. We now care for a child
with such significant and complex needs that it impacts on our quality of
life every day. We face financial and emotional pressures that could have
been avoided and are continually battling bureaucracies for access to
services and an appropriate educational setting. We vaccinated our first
baby believing it was the right thing to do but now know better that to
subject any child to vaccination. A severe reaction to vaccination is
tragic for the child who suffers it and their family. I can't undo the
damage that occurred to my daughter but I would urge parents to research the
topic and not trust or rely on information from Medical Practitioners and
pharmaceutical companies. Instead ask complimentary health professionals
and track down independent information from parents and vaccination
information groups such as the Australian Vaccination Network. I wish
someone had told me the truth about how risky vaccination really is I would
never have vaccinated my precious baby.