Vaccination Information Service

Media Release - for immediate release - Tuesday August 8th, 2000

Whooping cough outbreak in highly vaccinated Hunter Valley raises questions.

Questions are being asked about vaccination as a result of the most highly vaccinated areas in the country experiencing intense whooping cough outbreaks while areas with very low coverage are not experiencing any outbreaks at all.

The Hunter Valley boasted in June that its vaccination coverage was the second highest in the country, at 92% for the under 18 month group, and 89.5% for the over 18 month group. The same month it had a 124% increase in reported cases of whooping cough. Yet in the far North Coast of NSW, parts of which have only a third of the national average coverage, there have not been any reported cases of the disease.

Bronwyn Hancock, co-ordinator of Vaccination Information Service, which provides independent information from medical research on vaccination, says that this type of situation is commonly reported in published medical literature and illustrates the documented effect of vaccines. She says that the term used in medical research in describing their effect is "sensitisation", which means that susceptibility to the infection (and any other infection) is actually increased, rather than decreased. "In fact we have had reports from parents that their babies contracted it directly from the vaccine", she says.

Ms Hancock reports that CDC MMWR reports show that whooping cough was on the decline in the U.S. only until the DPT vaccine was made compulsory for school entry in 1978. Ever since then it has been rising, and researchers determined that even by 1992 the true number of cases had already reached pre-vaccine levels (JAMA 1992).

Ms Hancock challenges the Health Department to explain these trends and to explain why it continues to misinform parents that this product produced by the pharmaceutical industry will protect their children when it has been well-documented for many years that the effect is quite the reverse.

"The claim by the authorities that the vaccine at least reduces the severity of the disease also conflicts with published findings, including a study done in an Australian hospital (MJA 1973)", she says.

"Parents have a right to be given information that is sourced from medical literature, not drug-company advertising pamphlets", she says. "It is their decision, and it is only they that have to live with the result. With the frequency and seriousness of the damage that vaccines have been shown to cause, including death, it is criminal that parents are not only being grossly underwarned of the risks, in severe violation of a 1992 High Court ruling, but also being grossly misled about the so-called benefits."