Category Archives: climate change

Another blow for teen health as Gardasil is approved for Irish boys

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Slowly but surely boys are being included in HPV vaccination programs throughout the world. At present there are 84 government-funded HPV vaccination programmes where 18 countries which include Canada, Slovenia, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Italy are now vaccinating boys along with girls.

Early this month the Irish government joined these countries and voted to include the HPV vaccine for teenage boys. In Ireland the uptake of the vaccine has dropped to only 50% of girls and efforts are in place to address the fall with much emphasis placed on the need for so-called ‘herd immunity‘. During the parliamentary debate on HPV vaccines there were references to the ‘success’ of our Australian campaign and it was claimed that

there has been a 90% reduction in the number of cases of genital warts in men and women reported

It may well be the case that there has been a reduction in genital warts but this does not mean there is a reduction in cervical cancer. There is no proof that HPV vaccines Gardasil or Cervarix have prevented a single case of cervical cancer and wasn’t that the point of the vaccine.

As these HPV vaccines are promoted for more and more conditions such as anal and penile cancers and now for the prevention of head and neck cancers I wonder if cervical cancer was really the main game or rather the fear of this woman’s cancer was used to argue for research and capital and the development of this dirty vaccine.

The media hype was extraordinary with the public made fearful about a cancer which in Australia is responsible for around 220 deaths a year with the deaths occurring in older women most of whom had not had Pap smears.

In 2013 Australia began vaccinating teenage boys with Gardasil and many now suffer from its devastating side effects. There are reports of serious problems such as syncope and seizures. Reading through the 70 plus pages of events on the TGA website dating from the middle of 2013 until December 2017 it is clear that they are suffering in a similar way to the girls with neurological, cardiac, allergic, and gastrointestinal disorders to name just a few of the life altering conditions that are associated with this vaccination program.

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To extend this vaccine to Irish boys is the wrong decision.

One of the reasons cited for the extension of the vaccine to boys is that the vaccine may prevent anal cancer but such cancers are rare and more commonly diagnosed in people aged 50 to 60 years. Then there is the purported risk of penile cancer which is also relatively rare globally with an annual incidence of less than 1 case per 100,000 person in western countries. The other reason cited is to stop transfer of HPV to girls and therefore act against cervical cancer but once again there is no scientific proof that HPV causes cervical cancer.

The side effects are likely to manifest in fertility problems for boys. We are already seeing many girls post vaccination experiencing early menopause. This is all very tragic and totally unnecessary.

Studies for male fertility and the male reproductive effects post-Gardasil, were limited at best. Internationally, there are already reports of boys and young men reporting erectile dysfunction and other new medical conditions post-Gardasil.

The carnage in the wake of this HPV vaccination program is very real with over 400 reported deaths occurring in previously healthy young girls. Sadly there are now reports of fatalities in boys and in January 2018 Colton Berrett from Utah took his own life after struggling for years with massive health issues that occurred directly after receiving Gardasil.

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Just before going on a Scouting trip, he went in for a medical exam. His doctor advised him, and his parents, to take the HPV vaccine because, according to his doctor: “It can help prevent cancer”. He was told that even if he was not promiscuous, he could in the future potentially pass HPV on to his wife.

Two weeks after his third course of Gardasil , Colton was experiencing a sore neck. Then serious lethargy came. Then paralysis in his right arm and hand. The scans showed that Colton had serious inflammation from the C1 to T12 vertebrae. He was given an initial diagnosis of transverse myelitis.

Those who knew Colton said that he didn’t complain but his life was tough. He was permanently connected to a ventilator, dependent on constant therapy and at such a young age and all for a disease he was never going to get.

In Colton’s case the doctors recognised that he was experiencing a serious adverse reaction to the Gardasil vaccine and reported it to Vaers, the vaccine adverse event reporting register. Another life gone and untold grief for his family.

It is a tragedy and one that was completely avoidable.

In July 2017 UK boys and their parents were able to breathe a sigh of relief after the decision was made not to vaccinate boys against the human papilloma virus (HPV).  The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation(JCVI) had been considering whether to include boys along with girls in the current vaccination program since 2014. There have been ongoing campaigns aimed at a ‘gender-neutral‘ approach to the vaccination, that would make sure that 400,000 school-age boys are able to access HPV vaccines. The committee made its recent decision based on their findings that it wouldn’t be cost-effective to vaccinate boys along with girls. Unlike the situation in the UK, in Australia there was no such deliberation and in 2013 we became the first country to extend our HPV vaccination program to boys. Ireland now joins the group of countries that have rushed to vaccinate teenage boys along with its girls. None of us can afford to relax while this disastrous vaccine is out there.

See: Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed

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Filed under climate change, gardasil, health, history, human rights, media, Media and health, pharmaceuticals, politics, vaccination, vaccines

Deformed fish, sick kids, but for some it’s a ‘risk that’s worth it’

Four hundred and thirty-seven million hectares of Australia is covered by coal seam gas licences or applications, and 20 billion litres are needed every year for the coal seam gas industry, stated Sydney right-wing radio broadcaster Alan Jones when he appeared in Frackman, an Australian feature-length documentary film which follows the exploits of former construction worker turned anti-fracking activist, Dayne Pratzky responding to the expansion of the coal seam gas industry near Tara, Queensland. Continue reading

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Our world in transition

Petra White wrote this evocative poem, published in The Age on Saturday October 11

A History of the Siege

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Dark days are here.

Nothing can stop them,

they crowd like hair around the temples,

everyone knows

and now we can say, at last, it is dark.

On Manus, they are walking along fine edges of themselves,

under a borrowed moon, a borrowed sun.

Nobody follows them, they would lead

only to an end of the world.

When was it darker than this?

Oh it was darker.

And the darkness is genuine,

our fingers have been dipped in it, it is felt

by all who would feel.

Where does it come from?

Us, in our masses, the massing cloud?

Our politicians, they who balance us

in their thready hands, and then plunge portions

of us and them into the pit?

Up there, a human form lies over the land.

 

I really appreciate this poem; it speaks of our world today.

Our dark times was the subject of a recent article by Joseph Camilleri, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at La Trobe University, in which he wrote: 

We appear to have reached one of those extraordinary moments in history when people everywhere, communities and even entire nations, feel increasingly stressed and vulnerable. The same may be said of the planet as a whole.

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Last night I attended the second of Joseph Camilleri’s  public lectures called Rethinking the Future. His topic:  Coping with Risk and Uncertainty: Volatile Markets, Anxious States and Tentative Social Movements. He described our world as one in transition where people, goods & services, capital, technology, arms, information, images, carbon emissions, and viruses move across borders at ever increasing scale, speed & intensity. Such rapid transition, he claimed creates certain risks and stresses experienced by people, communities and the planet. We’re familiar with the stresses and we also understand that these will only get worse.

But what was really disconcerting was his assessment of our governments’ abilities to handle the many crises facing us – describing this as very limited. You can give up any hope that those in power will come to their senses and govern ethically with concern for the wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants. For they are accustomed to finding themselves trapped between competing pressures and maintain the tendency to overstate certain dangers and understate others. For example: The Australian government’s overreaction to refugees and on the other hand its understating of the need to act on climate change. We witness this happening of course but it is good to have it explained, and more debate and discussion on this state of affairs can only be a good thing.

So where is any change or agitation to come from? During the lecture we were reminded of the wonderful social movements that graced our lives in the 1960s and 70s: feminism, student activism, gay liberation, civil rights, peace activism, and environmentalism.  Such movements:

  • politicised technological change
  • called into question the legitimacy of the state, its decision making processes, and in particular its inability to manage risks to life, health, security and identity
  • insisted on bringing ethical considerations into bureaucratic and technical discourse
  • Expressed a new conception of space & time

These social movements are still in existence but are less visible and less active. They are unlikely to gather sufficient numbers to force change.

Joseph Camilleri concluded rather optimistically that though the future will be difficult, all is not lost; dynamic knowledge remains, our technical skills enable greater transparency and accountability, and there is increasing disenchantment with politics and business as usual.

This is a good sign although disconcerting as unrest is sure to ensue as the public sector shrinks and with it diminished access to public health, housing, and a healthy, happy environment.

Bring on the revolution!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coal seam gas mining is a social and environmental nightmare

While scientists and environmentalists blame cattle for the rising levels of methane, there’s another culprit and that’s coal seam gas mining. Continue reading

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Is it the end of shopping?

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As the Federal Government prepares to announce the details of the long – deliberated carbon tax, the Climate Change Minister Greg Combet  remains addicted to strong economic growth.

But is business as usual really possible in our post-carbon world? Continue reading

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