Age Editorial

22 December, 2015

We seem to be riding a wave of mainstream support for a Skeptical / rational view of health policy. The following is an editorial from The Age Newspaper of 22/12/15. The highlights are entirely down to us!

Well done, THE AGE !



You cannot argue against the science

The science is clear. It is beyond argument. It is accepted. For hepatitis C sufferers, there is no dispute, only relief. The federal government announced yesterday that drugs to combat the disease will be placed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The drugs can cost a patient $100,000 but, for Australia’s 230,000 sufferers, they will now be accessible for the PBS co-payment cost of $37.70, or $6.10 for concession.

According to Health Minister Sussan Ley, 10,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. She hopes that the drugs will not only halt the spread of Hep C, an infectious virus that attacks the liver, but in the long term eradicate it.

It is a welcome, and enlightened, move to alleviate suffering.

And then we move, in a historical paradox, from the enlightenment to the dark ages. The science is still clear. It is still beyond argument. It cannot be repudiated. And yet it is. The subject, of course, is the vaccination of children.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Vaccination Chronicles – If Only

14 November, 2014

DVD_Cover frontThis 27 minute video shares stories of people who saw firsthand the effects of vaccine preventable diseases.


Produced by Richard Saunders

– You are welcome to download and/or screen this video in public.

Video – Professor Peter Doherty

18 May, 2014

The Vic Skeptics were honoured to have Professor Peter Doherty, scientist, author and Nobel prize winner deliver a talk at one of our regular ‘Third Monday’ events. Peter Doherty spoke on Skepticism, Denial and Ignorance: There is a Difference in March 2013. I should, of course, extend a kind thanks to Adam Ford for producing the video and allowing it to be posted here. Read the rest of this entry »

The “Stop The AVN” Campaign

12 September, 2011

by Ken McLeod

The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN)

The Australian Vaccination Network is based on the New South Wales north coast wedged between Australian’s largest population of aging hippies and younger new-age alternative lifestylers. The first thing that is necessary to understand about the AVN is that the title is totally misleading. It claims to be a discussion forum about the pros and cons of vaccination. In fact the focussed message emanating from the group is simply and unequivocally that Vaccination is Evil. It is led by American citizen Meryl Dorey. Her claims of membership numbers range from 300 to 2,500 depending on what day it is and the phase of the moon. For many years the AVN had a free ticket to disseminate their propaganda. For this we must thank a scientifically illiterate and lazy Australian media, who in the mindless pursuit of “balance” always turned to Dorey for a quote whenever vaccination or disease was mentioned.

Stop The AVN (SAVN)

Strangely enough, SAVN began life as an immunisation awareness campaign. In 2009, baby Dana McCaffery died from Pertussis (Whooping Cough). Pertussis had become very rare in Australia, due to a long-term efficient vaccination program against the disease. Dana McCaffery was too young to have been immunised against Pertussis; however, the local community’s vulnerability to the disease had been seriously compromised by recent low immunisation rates. The NSW Health Dept asked the parents if they could use Dana’s story to promote immunisation. The parents agreed, the story went public, and they were pelted with vile abuse from AVN supporters. That led to a Channel 7 TV debate led by Mike Munro, a leading Australian journalist. Read the rest of this entry »