More Meningo Mumbo Jumbo from Ministry
Ron Law - Independent Risk Analyst
"Why does the Ministry of Health continue to ply the media and the public with meningococcal disease pseudoscience?" asks independent risk & policy analyst Ron Law.
In responding to news that two fully vaccinated children have developed meningococcal disease symptoms, Meningococcal B Immunisation Programme director Dr Jane O'Hallahan says that, "To date this year there have been 308 cases of meningococcal disease of which about 76 percent have been the epidemic strain. The others have been caused by other strains of the disease."
IMAC's Nikki Turner has repeated this pseudoscience on radio interviews.
These comments do, however, note a shift in the Ministry's thinking. Cabinet papers released under the Official Information Act reveal that Cabinet was conned into thinking that all cases of meningococcal disease were caused by the 'epidemic strain.'
Researchers and the Ministry of Health have on numerous occasions made the grossly false statement that New Zealand is in the grip of a 'monoclonal epidemic' of meningococcal disease and that all 5,000+ cases of meningococcal disease since 1990 have been caused by the strain targeted by the MeNZB(tm) of meningococcal bacteria.
As the Ministry's 250 million dollar con begins to unravel, the Ministry is now at least stating publicly that not all cases are caused by the MeNZB(tm) strain.
76% of 308 is 234, and yet according to the Minister of Health, Annette King's answer to Parliamentary Question 16088 (2004), only 161 of cases relating to the strain targeted by the MeNZB(tm) vaccine were confirmed as such.
"The statement that 76% (234) cases of meningococcal disease disease have been caused by the epidemic strain is a fabrication of the facts," says Ron Law. "At best it is a wild guess and ignores the fact that 10% to 25% of cases are falsely diagnosed as noted by the ESR. It also assumes that all cases where there is no bacteria isolated are equally distributed between all types."
"Again, this is fantasy masquerading as science," says Ron Law, "Especially if we are talking about the Auckland context where, according to Ministry of Health data received under the official information act, less than 40% of cases are confirmed as being due to the epidemic strain."
"If the Ministry of Health is to retain any semblance of credibility as it engages the public, then it has to use honest science in its communications," says Ron Law.
The simple fact is that the MeNZB(tm) vaccine is unproven. There is no efficacy data available. Data available from similar vaccines developed and tested overseas suggest that efficacy is likely to be no more than 40-70%.
Recent data showing the ESR gets BSA results twice those of other research centres on the same samples is likely to predicate a lower level of efficacy than the 80% guess by the Ministry of Health.
Based on the figures provided by the Minister of Health and the ESR, it is not possible for the MeNZB(tm) vaccine experiment to reduce meningococcal cases by any more than about 37%. No more than 1 or 2 deaths will be prevented; if the vaccine works.
The Ministry of Health will be regretting the delays in rolling out the MeNZB(tm) vaccine. Had they begun the campaign 18 months ago, they'd be crowing about the 50% decline in case numbers and 80% decline in deaths that have occurred naturally.
Even Treasury advised against the mass experiment as a waste of money and forlorn hope when the epidemic was at it's peak in 2001.
An independent Treasury cost benefit analysis said that the vaccine experiment was a waste of money -- and that was even based on the false assumption that all cases and deaths were due to the 'unique monoclonal strain.'
Now that case numbers have dropped nearly 50% and deaths due to the vaccine strain have dropped 80%, the pre vaccination target of a 70% decline in cases has nearly been reached for cases and the 80% target for deaths has already been reached.
The MeNZB(tm) mass vaccination experiment should be halted immediately and a formal inquiry begun into the continued use of false and falsified "science" to underpin an ideologically driven experiment on 1.15 million children using an experimental drug approved by an expert committee who had less than a day's notice and had mostly not seen the clinical data, to consider a recommendation made some three months earlier by an unknown 2-person sub-committee.
New Zealand media has reported the Ministry of Health Pseudo-Science without question. It's time that balance was put into stories. Something is terribly wrong with the 'free press' when the NZPA decides that a 75% decline in meningococcal deaths is not newsworthy... but Ministry of Health Mumbo Jumbo is.
"The Ministry of Health shows all the symptoms of a classic bureaucratic disease; Truth Deficiency Syndrome. Whilst there is no known vaccine against this disease, there is, fortunately, a natural therapy available that has proven efficacy approaching 100%... Honesty," says Ron Law, "The Ministry should simply start being honest in its communications."