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    Trevor Kerr

    An outsider reading Bishop refer in an offhand manner to “.. the local virologist connected to a drug company” may wonder how many of Australia’s virologists benefit from relationships with drug companies. Would Bishop have any idea? Would he want to know? He does say “that there are strict arrangements covering the conflicts of its advisors”. Fine. But what would be the next question from a barrister, or an independent auditor?
    So, how many of our local virologists are or have been connected to a drug company? Read on, to the Influenza Specialist Group. Are there any group photos of the occasion? Has Tony Abbott been snapped shaking hands with Christopher Monckton?
    Bishop has placed himself in an awkward position by saying “But to say it was mild is an underestimate.” Yet he wants parents to voluntarily present their children (and their aged seniors) to a GP for the vaccination, as they do for the usual, non-urgent diseases. An alert outsider may be thinking ‘so, if it’s not mild, it could be severe’ and wondering why the national government, faced with this evident emergency, does not marshal its powers to vaccinate kids at schools?
    From the article –
    “[] an Australian trial of an H1N1 vaccine tested in two doses in 360 infants and children, published in the 6 January edition of JAMA. Among those who had the lower dose, after the first vaccination 31.9 per cent had mild systemic adverse events (such as fever or malaise), 18.9 per cent had moderate ones, and 1.1 per cent had severe ones.”
    Does that mean post-marketing surveillance is picking up adverse effects from similar proportions after vaccinations? If not, why not?
    (Peter Sandman has written extensively about communications of the risks of the new H1N1. http://www.psandman.com/col/swinecomm.htm )
    Has Jim Bishop published his own pecuniary interests?

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