Unreliable Anti-Vaccination Websites:
Vaccination Information Service (site of Bronwyn Hancock with Viera Scheibner)

This site does not differ much from other anti-vaccination websites that use a form of scientific terrorism when misinterpreting the scientific literature. An article written by Viera Scheibner on Hancock's website attempts to use "Medical Studies" to support the contention that shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is actually a vaccine reaction. Here are a few examples of misuse of the scientific literature:

Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is real. But let’s not leave out how EAE is induced in these experiments. I don’t have the referenced article, but a simple literature search brings up this abstract: (Same authors Levine and Sowinski) J Immunol 1975 Feb;114(2 Pt 1):597-601 which states: “...Brown Norway (BN) rats are much less susceptible to experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) than Lewis rats. Nevertheless, BN rats developed severe EAE, even paralysis, when immunized with rat spinal cord and carbonyl iron adjuvant. Complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) was much less effective. The use of both CFA and pertussis vaccine with rat cord was moderately, but not consistently, effective. Guinea pig spinal cord was weakly encephalitogenic to BN rats with all adjuvant combinations....”

These researchers are trying to determine the genetic predisposition to developing EAE in experimental models. This particular study does NOT conclude that pertussis vaccine results in encephalomyelitis but that certain adjuvants and foreign material (ie carbonyl iron, rat and guinea pig spinal cord) can induce EAE in rats.

Here’s the article referenced: Jpn J Med Sci Biol 1985 Apr;38(2):53-65 "Swelling of the brain in mice caused by pertussis vaccine--its quantitative determination and the responsible factors in the vaccine." by Iwasa S, Ishida S, Akama K. The study states: “Intracerebral injection of vaccine into the mouse induced swelling of the brain....”
I’ll just stop right there. The pertussis vaccine was injected directly into the brain of a mouse. This article is quoted quite frequently in the anti-vaccine literature to support the notion that pertussis vaccine results in swelling of the brain. It surely does - when it is injected directly into the brain...

  • "Munoz et al. (1981)7 studied biological activities of crystalline pertussigen-a toxin produced by Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent in pertussis and an active ingredient in all types of pertussis vaccines whether whole-cell or acellular-in a number of laboratory experiments with mice."

The first part is correct - pertussigen = pertussis toxin which is found in the pertussis vaccine - but pertussis toxin has not been crystallized for use in the vaccine that I’m aware of. Crystallization is a separate process often used in lab studies to try and determine a specific event using parts of a toxin. This study sounds horrible but has nothing to do with pertussis vaccination of children.

  • "Goetting and Sowa (1990)10 described retinal haemorrhage which occurred after cardiopulmonary resuscitation in children.”
This study was performed in children receiving CPR with no evidence of previous trauma and known causes resulting in CPR (sepsis - 5 patients, SIDS - 5 patients, near-drowning - 3 patients, asthma - 3 patients, poisoning - 2 patients, asphyxia - 1 patient, aspiration - 1 patient). 2 out of the 20 children in the study had retinal hemorrhages following CPR for over 40-75 minutes. What’s interesting regarding Baby Alan is that I couldn’t find any mention of CPR having been performed on this baby.

  • "Bruising and easy bleeding is one of the characteristic signs of the blood clotting disorder, thrombocytopenia-a recognised side-effect of many vaccines. Its first signs are easy bruising and bleeding and petechial (spotlike) rash. Thrombo-cytopenia may result in brain and other haemorrhages (Woerner et al., 198112)."
Baby Alan had a platelet count of 571,000 (normal 150,000-400,000). Thrombocytopenia is a low platelet count. Baby Alan did not have thrombocytopenia supposedly related to a vaccine reacion.

  • "Duhaime et al. (1992)4 wrote that "patients with intradural haemorrhage and no history of trauma must also have clinical and radiographic findings of blunt impact to the head, unexplained long-bone fractures or other soft tissue inflicted injury, in order to completely eliminate the possibility of spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage such as might rarely occur from a vascular malformation or a bleeding disorder".”

Interesting as Baby Alan did have fractures, soft tissue injuries, and radiographic evidence of blunt impact to the head. The conclusion: “Retinal hemorrhages were not seen in trivial accidental head injuries in this study".

On another page , Hancock and Scheibner again use the scientific literature deceptively by stating:

  • "In contrast to this, after the US mandated the DPT vaccine in 1978 there was a documented 300% sustained increase in the reported cases of whooping cough, and it is still rising, to the point that, with mandatory vaccination in most states and 5 doses of the vaccine, it now occurs at a far higher rate than before the introduction of the vaccine (see Sutter, R.W., and Cochi, S.L., 1992. Pertussis hospitalisations and mortality in the United States, 1985-1988. J Amer Med Ass;267(3):386-390)."

Some time ago, I emailed Dr. Cochi regarding this statement inquiring if the conclusion from the study was that the pertussis vaccine has been INADEQUATE in the control of pertussis disease resulting in rates higher than before vaccine introduction. Dr. Cochi wrote back to me: "You are correct that that was NOT the conclusion of the article. Quite the contrary - - our study focused on the system for reporting pertussis cases and deaths. We were trying to document that, like most disease surveillance systems, the pertussis surveillance we have in the US was substantially underestimating the magnitude of pertussis disease still occurring in the US. This was not through the fault of the vaccine (no vaccine is 100% effective), but to a large extent because we were not achieving high coverage in infants and preschool-aged children, and reaching these children with vaccination in an age-appropriate fashion before they were exposed to pertussis."

This information was pointed out to Bronwyn but, to date, there has been no attempt to correct this misinterpretation despite the fact that the author himself has stated that Brownwyn's conclusion was inaccurate.

Lastly, for more information about misrepresentations by Scheibner - see "Anti-immunisation scare: The inconvenient facts" here .

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