Followup: Antivaxxers, airlines, and ailments

By Phil Plait | May 1, 2012 6:15 am

Reality recently scored a major win when American Airlines agreed not to run an interview with notorious antivaxxer Meryl Dorey. An American living in Australia, Dorey runs the Orwellian-named Australian Vaccine Network, where she dispenses horrifically bad and outright false information about vaccines. Read the link above to see details about her shenanigans.

After AA decided not to run the interview, Dorey pulled a lot of tired and clearly silly claims out of her playbook, saying it’s denying her free speech — which it obviously isn’t, since this isn’t a free speech issue! — and that we’re all part of a global cabal funded by Big Pharma blah blah blah. I’ve yet to see a check from Big Pharma, so her making this claim is at best paranoid and at worst a lie. You can read more about her nonsensical claims in an ABC article about this.

As usual, I have a very, very hard time feeling any sympathy for Dorey, especially when measles is roaring back into the population. Measles is easy to prevent with a simple vaccination, but due in large part to the antivax effort (and I include religious exemptions in that group) it’s still out there and infecting more and more people.

Some folks are fighting back, though. While I was in Utah last weekend I saw some great billboards promoting vaccines. Shane Larson, an astronomer at Utah State University where I spoke, grabbed a great photo of one:

That shot shows the billboard in context and might be hard to see with everything else in the picture. Here’s a zoom on the billboard itself:

It says, “Vaccine preventable diseases are just a plane ride away" and shows a child standing next to an open suitcase. The line refers to the fact that Europe and other countries are seeing a resurgence in measles and other diseases due in part to the antivax movement, and if you’re not vaccinated, you can bring those diseases back to the US. Measles was stopped natively in this country in 2000 due to high vaccination rates, but international travel has brought it back. That’s not speculation; we know this has happened.

The billboard links to the wonderful website Vaccinate Your Baby, which has great advice — science-based, reality-based, fact-based, and truthful — about vaccinations.

Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines do not hurt your immune system. Vaccines do not contain poisons that can hurt you. Those are all spin by the antivax movement at best, and again, lies at worst.

Vaccines save lives. Talk to your doctor and see if you or yours need to be vaccinated, including getting the TDaP booster.

You can help save lives.

Tip o’ the needle to Liz Ditz for several of the links in this article.

Comments (51)

  1. J. Steinberg

    Just wanted to say thank you for calling out this nonsense and net letting it get any further. Thanks.

  2. Dan Bacon

    Thanks so much for this, Phil. When my wife and I were first investigating about vaccines, we kept hearing all these nightmares about them, but I had just started checking out your site. I found some of your first articles on the subject and it was your work here that convinced us to have our son vaccinated. Now I automatically forward all of your work on the subject to all of my friends and family. Thanks to you, I’ve managed to finally convince several people to get their kids vaccinated.

  3. Gary Ansorge

    Perhaps Dorey is just trying to help humanity survive by leaving billions open to killer infections to reduce the population. Gosh, isn’t she nice? History may look back on her as ” One of those who helped, along with those bio-terrorists, to eliminate 5 billion rapacious humans from the eco-system. What a wonderful, dedicated person. Unfortunately, she was also one of the first to succumb to a variant of influenza, since she never had that vaccine…”

    Ah, one could HOPE for poetic justice, despite its rarity…

    I am and will remain a space exploitation nut, regardless of who says it ain’t possible(have you ever noticed that those who bet against progress inevitably lose?)

    Gary 7

  4. jupiterisbig

    I think the docs comic on correlation causation nails it down. Some people don’t want to know the truth because then they’d have to change their minds ….

  5. This_Guy

    My eyes are bad, but it looks like the kid is wearing a tin foil coat. :)

  6. Blargh

    Europe and other countries are seeing a resurgence in measles and other diseases due in part to the antivax movement

    Ah, the country of Europe. ;)

  7. I believe we’re going to be presenting entire segments of the population with Darwin Awards once we’ve cleared them away by disease. The sad part is that once vaccination rates fall below herd thresholds, those who truly cannot be vaccinated will be exposed to disease thanks to the Award-winners. Morons circling the drain, pulling us in with them.

  8. Dave

    If vaccines do not cause harm, they would be the only substances on earth that don’t. Vaccines certainly provide more good than harm. At least that was my conclusion when I decided to have my child vaccinated. My hesitation was caused by the concern that there was no way to know whether or not my child would have some negative reaction to the vaccines. Perhaps some of the resistence to vaccination could be overcome by developing tests that could assure each parent that his specific and unique child will not be harmed by vaccination.

  9. …while diet-preventable diseases are only at the next exit.

  10. Mark

    If your baby is less than a year old, you have little choice but for your baby to rely on herd immunity, since the first dose of MMR typically isn’t given until the one-year well baby exam. In practice, exposure to public crowds, as is necessary in air travel, can be dangerous for infants under one year of age.

  11. @Dave

    Part of the problem with developing such screening tests is that you either make them broad enough to catch all susceptibles (and thus increasing the rate of false positives) or narrow enough to avoid unnecessary scares (and thus potentially missing some who might suffer an adverse reaction). A second problem is cost. With serious AEs occurring on the order of 1 per 100,000 doses of vaccine, you would have to test a lot (perhaps before every vaccine administration) in order to prevent a single serious adverse event. When you consider serious complications from the diseases prevented (generally on the order of 1:1,000 to 1:10,000), the risk of an AE from a vaccine is well worth preventing the risk of a disease complication, especially considering that even the serious vaccine AEs are tend to be less serious than complications from the diseases prevented.

  12. Chris2

    Dave:

    Perhaps some of the resistence to vaccination could be overcome by developing tests that could assure each parent that his specific and unique child will not be harmed by vaccination.

    And how would those tests be conducted? What would they look for? How much would it cost and who would pay for them? Be sure to provide verifiable scientific documentation to support your answers in the form of the titles, journals and dates of the PubMed indexed papers.

    Dave:

    If vaccines do not cause harm, they would be the only substances on earth that don’t.

    Ah, the Nirvana Fallacy. No one I know has every denied that there is some harm from vaccines. I found that it is only the likes of Meryl Dorey who claim that those who advocate vaccination make that false claim. The problem is that there is much greater harm (thousands to times greater) from the diseases than from the vaccines.

    Oh, and if you hear the term “macrophagic myofasciitis”, rest assured it just means “sore arm.” Apparently pain at an injection site is one of the horrible side effects from vaccines that children protection from. Usually from the same folks who want us to draw blood to do check “titers” or do the test you proposed. Personally, I think I end up with a bigger hole and bruise after giving blood than when I get a vaccine.

    Personally I think getting “titers” is silly for bacterial infections like pertussis, tetanus and diphtheria. Surviving the latter two will not provide much if any immunity. Plus even after coughing up a lung for three months with pertussis, the immunity can wane in as little as four years.

  13. Jared

    Just as a heads up, I was in Logan last weekend as well (and had no idea you were speaking! The one time I don’t read BA for two or three days…), and there’s two or three of those billboards around Logan. I’m not sure how widespread they are yet. I live in Idaho but graduated from USU and tend to travel between the two.

    I’m glad to see some of those billboards showing up these days. The anti-vaxxers are driving me nuts.

  14. H.

    I find people like Dorey interesting in an abstract sort of way. What is the goal? Maybe she really believes what she’s saying. If that is the case, why? If it turns out she is just spreading misinformation to promote her own agenda, I have trouble seeing what that agenda might be.

    In any case, the worst part to me is that we even allow religious exceptions for things like this in the USA. If my religion tells me to punch everyone who looks me in the eye, should I be allowed to do that? I do not even find that analogy far-fetched. Putting the entire population at risk because of a particular group’s belief is ridiculous. What about my child’s right to not die from a preventable disease? I just do not understand.

  15. “If your baby is less than a year old, you have little choice but for your baby to rely on herd immunity, since the first dose of MMR typically isn’t given until the one-year well baby exam. In practice, exposure to public crowds, as is necessary in air travel, can be dangerous for infants under one year of age.”

    Since 2 to 5% of children don’t respond to the first dose, you are actually relying on herd immunity until your kids get their second dose, when they are 4 to 6 years old. Over 99% develop protection against measles after two doses.

  16. Jeanine

    When I was 6 I had the measles (there was no vaccine then). I have heard some of these anti-vaccince people acting as if the measles is an annoyance illness. You get little red spots and stay home from school for a few weeks. I will push every day for vaccination to be required, no religious exemptions because everyday I live with the brain damage caused by that “annoyance” illness. The year I was in and out of hospitals. The 104 fevers for long periods. The difficulty I have now reading and remembering.

    I thank you for all of your hard work in stopping this stupidity for every child who won’t have to deal with the near death then and the frustrations I live with now.

  17. gia

    Oh, so us filthy Europeans will give you diseases? As if you Americans don’t have enough of your own.
    As much as I support the pro-vaccination movement, I cannot condone such obvious prejudice and I am disappointed that you do.

  18. Chris2

    gia, so Europe is not having a measles outbreak right now? When did it end?

    The news from WHO said there were over 26000 cases in 2011, with over 7000 needing hospital treatment and nine deaths (six in France). If this is in error, please tell us.

  19. Calli Arcale

    Europe has indeed been a major source of measles infections lately, though the ongoing outbreak in Minnesota appears to have originated in Kenya instead. Europe has endemic measles, but it is not the only place with it. Still, Europe has far less excuse than rural Kenya does, given that European citizens get universal health care and can be vaccinated at no cost to themselves.

    And it has nothing to do with filthiness; measles is not prevented by hygiene or sanitation, as it is an extremely contagious respiratory infection. The reason it has returned to Europe after a long absence is the antivax movement. They have successfully fearmongered enough people into not vaccinating that herd immunity has broken down. Compounding the problem, antivaxxers in Europe (as in the US) tend to cluster, increasing their chances of spreading the disease amongst them.

  20. Zyggy

    Heh, interesting. On the way up to USU last Friday, I saw that billboard and took a picture. Specifically with the intention of showing you (Phil). I got so caught up in meeting you and talking about cool space stuff (and having you sign my favorite books and asteroid drawing) that I completely forgot about the billboard. I’m glad someone else pointed them out to you.

    Honestly, I was initially a little surprised to see them here in Utah. I hear about the anti-vax stuff a lot here, even on the news (sad, but most of the drivel is on FOX, so there ya go.)

    In other news, I had a GREAT time at the talk last Friday and I’m really looking forward to any future visits you may have. It was great to finally meet you after reading this blog for so many years. I hope that rumor about the Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake is true =) .

    Zyg

  21. Solius

    gia wrote:

    Oh, so us filthy Europeans will give you diseases? As if you Americans don’t have enough of your own.

    You are attacking a straw man. Re the former: no one wrote of the hygienic habits of Europeans. Of the latter:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15788995
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16998776
    wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/in-the-news/measles.htm

  22. Eduardo Ferreyra

    The vaccine scare began when thymoserol was part of some vaccines. Many blamed autism on the mercury in thymoserol. Of course it was proved there was no danger at all.

    Of course most vaccines are good and better those vaccines than none. But there are a few vaccines, especially those against the flue (avian, pig, etc) that make more damage than good. And it has been proved beyond doubt that the latest anti-flue vaccines have killed too many people around the world, trying to prevent a disease that showed to be quite harmless, not as lethal as the old common flue.

    And, indeed, the flue vaccines is an infamous business carried by Big Pharma. Two years ago an Austrian journalist was jailed, later released, and sued for providing the proofs of the scam.

  23. gia (17); It’s not prejudice. I never said Europeans were filthy or any such ridiculous strawman. It is a fact that vaccination rates are lower in parts of Europe – I even linked to two separate articles about this in my post – and that it’s causing a resurgence here. You may want to examine your own thoughts and reactions before attacking mine.

  24. Chris2

    Eduardo Ferreyra:

    But there are a few vaccines, especially those against the flue (avian, pig, etc) that make more damage than good.

    Citation needed.

  25. gia

    Phil, the notion that the nasty foreigners WILL bring you diseases IS offensive – especially you already have those same diseases. That is what you should be examining. Yes, there are measles outbreaks in Europe, yes, they are connected to the anti-vaxx movement, but that does not mean you do not have your own outbreaks non-vaccination related diseases in the States, nor does it mean they are any less dangerous or important as those in Europe!

    So instead of pointing fingers at Europe, I suggest that you concern yourself with what is happening in your own backyard, because the notion of “filfthy” foreigners (Being who and what you are I am sure you’re more than intelligent enough to comprehend figurative language) bringing in disease has long been used excuse ethnic prejudice.

  26. Chris2

    gia, it is that most of the measles that happened in the USA were imported. And not just from Europe, but also Asia and Africa.

    The point is that we cannot be lax about vaccination when there are places where the diseases have come back due to too many people not vaccinating.

    It has nothing to do with sanitation, or “filth.” You are the only one that used that word. Again, measles is a respiratory virus and is not dependent on sewer, water or bathing.

    And it is not just “foreigners” (again it is only you using that word), but Americans traveling overseas to places where measles is endemic without being vaccinated. This is how the measles outbreak started in Minnesota and Indiana.

  27. Chris2

    Here is a version of the CDC document that Dr. Plait linked to above: Measles — United States, 2011.

    It is a bit different because it is a PDF that shows a map where the imported cases are blue dots.

    I used this WHO report for my numbers: European countries must take action now to prevent continued measles outbreaks in 2012. It seems that there is lots more measles there than in the USA.

    Gia, if you have a problem with the data, take your concerns to both the CDC and WHO. Be sure to have the data to argue that it is unfair to everyone living in Europe. Especially since in 2011 the European numbers were a hundred times greater than the USA, even though only have the twice the American population.

  28. Peter

    Thanks for another great article on the Australian Vaccination Network which is just another ignorant group harming society.

    The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), formerly known as the Vaccination Awareness Network, is an Australian anti-vaccination lobby group[2] registered in New South Wales.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Vaccination_Network

  29. Terry McAllister

    Who cares about whether something will or will not give offence when it is true? When does offence matter more than truth?

    FACT Other areas of the world (including Europe) have lower vaccination rates
    FACT 90% of the measles cases in the US are imported from other countries

  30. Lawrence

    @gia – because of the robust vaccination programs in the US, we were able to eliminate domestic measles here. Cases here are imported, normally by anti-vax families traveling abroad (ironically, foreign travelers coming to the States are normally vaccinated).

    So, no, “filthy” Europeans aren’t bringing measles here, stupid American anti-vax people are.

  31. gia (25): I’m afraid you’ve missed the mark again. First, as I have now pointed out twice, there are links above that show that many outbreaks in the US are from people visiting low-vaccination-rate areas of Europe and bringing it back. As I pointed out in the post above, measles had essentially been stopped in the US until people started bringing it back.

    Second, your comment that I should be concerned with what’s happening in my own back yard is both unfair and untrue. I do in fact write quite often about the antivax movement in the US and outbreaks here. You clearly didn’t do any searching of my blog before assuming I was an ugly American and got angry. Also, the whole point is that when it comes to diseases, we’re a global community. That’s one reason I write about Australian antivaxxers.

    The decisions people make anywhere in the world can affect anyone, everyone else. Again, that’s an obvious conclusion from everything I wrote in this post.

    And finally, of course it’s unvaccinated people here in the US getting infected and bringing it back. Again, that’s the whole point. That’s why I’m telling people to get vaccinated. European, American, whatever.

    So pretty much everything you’re saying is either wrong or beside the point.

  32. @gia

    I also fail to see “obvious prejudice” in Phil’s post. Hopefully, other people’s comments and Phil’s own should have cleared up any misunderstanding and that you will take them to heart and set aside the chip on your shoulder.

  33. rouna

    I wish there was a big LIKE button (as on Facebook) as well as a DISLIKE button! Thank you Phil and Todd W and everyone else who has been able to add to the PRO vaccination discussion. Its stories like Jeanine’s which really should ring alarm bells to all those misguided parents who listen to the gobble-de-gook of the ANTI vaccinators.

  34. Dave

    What the hell, is that village in Pizza there. Where was this taken and how long does it take to get there from Missoula MT?

  35. Nigel Depledge

    [nitpick mode]
    The BA said:

    It says, “Vaccine preventable diseases are just a plane ride away”

    Strictly speaking, it actually says “Vaccine-preventable diseases are just a plane ride away”.

    [nitpick mode off]

  36. Nigel Depledge

    Dave (8) said:

    My hesitation was caused by the concern that there was no way to know whether or not my child would have some negative reaction to the vaccines. Perhaps some of the resistence to vaccination could be overcome by developing tests that could assure each parent that his specific and unique child will not be harmed by vaccination.

    Define “harm”.

    In almost all cases, adverse vaccine reactions are far milder than the disease against which the vaccine protects. Maybe a few hundred folks out of tens of millions have a significant adverse reaction. I think any cost/benefit analysis will rule out developing a test such as you propose.

  37. Nigel Depledge

    Eduardo Ferreyra (22) said:

    Of course most vaccines are good and better those vaccines than none. But there are a few vaccines, especially those against the flue [sic](avian, pig, etc) that make more damage than good.

    What?

    As a previous commenter noted, you really need to back this up.

    And it has been proved beyond doubt that the latest anti-flue [sic] vaccines have killed too many people around the world, trying to prevent a disease that showed to be quite harmless, not as lethal as the old common flue[sic].

    Erm . . . no. I don’t believe you.

    Do you have any, y’know, evidence to support your contention?

    And, indeed, the flue [sic] vaccines is an infamous business carried by Big Pharma. Two years ago an Austrian journalist was jailed, later released, and sued for providing the proofs of the scam.

    Citations needed. What is the scam? What is the alleged proof? Who was the Austrian journalist?

  38. Nigel Depledge

    Chris 2 (26) said:

    It has nothing to do with sanitation, or “filth.” You are the only one that used that word. Again, measles is a respiratory virus and is not dependent on sewer, water or bathing.

    Am I the only reader in the thread who is au fait with Gia’s figurative use of the word “filthy”? I don’t think she (am I right?) was at any point suggesting that anyone was implying that measles was spread through poor sanitation.

    Gia, I got what you were saying, but I’m not sure that meaning was really intended.

  39. Chris2

    I don’t know, Mr. Depledge. It is very common anti-vaccine trope to tell us that sanitation is why diseases went away, and vaccines are unnecessary. They don’t particularly like it when I point out that measles returned to both Japan and the UK, and then ask them if there was a problem with their sanitation practices. And they really hate it when I ask them why the incidence of measles plummeted 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970 if the vaccine had no effect.

    It seemed that Gia was introducing the inflammatory language (“filthy” and “foreigners”) as a way to deflect away from the actual data.

  40. gia

    @Phil: First of all, Phil, I have been reading your blog in detail at least for the past year, maybe longer. I know exactly what your stances are, and I almost always agree with you completely. However, this isn’t the first time you’ve singled out Europe as a source of diseases due to low vaccination rates. And once again, while THAT IS TRUE, Europe isn’t the only such source. I cannot help but notice that while you speak of a global community – in your comment, not in your article – you only singled out Europe. What about Asia Pacific? What about Africa? Why not mention them AS WELL? If you wish to speak of a global community, do speak of one. Otherwise you come off as someone who has some kind of personal bias against only one region and that’s just counter-productive.

    As for all those who did not understand the figurative use of the word “filthy” – I’m sorry, guys and gals, I thought I speaking to adults, not children who took everything literally.

  41. Chris2

    So what? Previous years it was mostly Japan, but they instigated more rigorous vaccination regulations in regards to measles, and that has slowed down. There was one outbreak that originated from Africa, and some spotty ones from Asia and India. About a third of the outbreaks originated from Europe.

    That is what the data show. Go to the link imbedded in this sentence: “Measles was stopped natively in this country in 2000 due to high vaccination rates,”. Scroll down to the table, and look at the numbers. There were four cases imported from Africa, nineteen from South East Asia, eleven from Western Pacific and thirty three from Europe. Thirteen are just from France.

    And none from Japan, which was where several cases of measles were imported just a few short years ago. What happened? Oh, I believe I mentioned it: they started to vaccinate for measles again (though they still have issues with mumps).

    Get over it, and start making waves in your community to reduce the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases. Especially if you live near Liverpool in North England or in France.

    “I thought I speaking to adults, not children who took everything literally.”

    You used inflammatory rhetoric and got called out on it. Stop making excuses.

  42. Solius

    Gia @ 40 wrote:

    As for all those who did not understand the figurative use of the word “filthy” – I’m sorry, guys and gals, I thought I speaking to adults, not children who took everything literally.

    Wow! Just wow. Now you come back and patronize, almost, everyone that responded to you?
    *rollseyes*

  43. dim

    According to the WHO data that I could find, the percentages of vaccinated population for measles in America and Europe are almost identical (93 and 95 respectively). And since France in particular seems to be a cause for concern, in 2010 (the most recent data available) the same indicator showed that 90% of the population was vaccinated compared to 92% in the US. Blaming other countries for health problems encountered in the US is not going to change anything, let’s act as responsible adults ; increasing vaccination coverage and education about vaccines in our respective countries is the way to go, we don’t need those unjustified accusations implied by this advertisement campaign.

    http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/GS_AMRProfile.pdf?CFID=5998236&CFTOKEN=17905292

    http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/GS_EURProfile.pdf?CFID=5998236&CFTOKEN=17905292

    http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/timeseries/tswucoveragebycountry.cfm?country=USA

    http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/timeseries/tswucoveragebycountry.cfm?country=FRA

  44. Chris2

    There are now more than 200 confirmed cases of measles in Merseyside, UK (it where Liverpool is located). The issue is not the blanket percentage of coverage, but the areas where there are large gaps. Measles is so contagious, that vaccine coverage should be 95% to prevent spread.

    The article by Dr. Plait above is highlighting that you cannot rely on herd immunity, especially if you travel somewhere that has pockets of low vaccination.

  45. @Eduardo (22)- Yea.. what with the heat losses up the chimney and the expense it bring, I think that EVERYONE needs to get Flue vaccine!
    Regards
    dave mundt
    .

  46. Wzrd1

    Gia, you Europeans DO pass the filthy contagion of universal health care being beneficial.
    And you also pass the filthy notion that employment is a right.
    Here, in the perfect US, we know better. Employment is a privilege that can be revoked for anyone using their rights. Health care is only for the wealthy, with a substitute for the populace through expensive insurance. ;)

    Meanwhile, the statistics show MOST cases of imported measles was from Europe. It’s on the the WHO reports and a regular item on the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, of which I am a subscriber (actually, to a number of CDC mailing lists).
    Phil has also written quite often about anti-vax idiots in the US.
    You take slight when none was made. You are condescending to all who attempt to educate you. Frankly, I doubt that my words will influence you further as well and to be frank, you are worth no more of my time.

  47. J.J.E.

    @gia:

    Otherwise you come off as someone who has some kind of personal bias against only one region and that’s just counter-productive.

    Speak for yourself. I certainly didn’t get that impression.

    Also, your complaint: “Europe isn’t the only such source” is perilously close to co-opting the “fair and balanced” or “false equivalence” rhetoric. Phil’s post was appropriate, well-sourced, didn’t suffer any of the problems you cited, didn’t imply (to me at least and probably most of the readers and certainly not to the author) that Europe was exclusively a disease source (or even heap opprobrium on Europe for its higher contribution), etc. Virtually nothing you said withstands scrutiny and seems to reflect more your thin-skinned faux outrage at sensing that someone may possibly be perceived as possibly unfairly criticizing Europe. Only your criticisms even brought this issue to my mind. So, if you were worried about Europe being viewed in an unfair light, to this reader at least, you have only yourself to blame for that, because Phil’s post alone certainly didn’t give me that impression. Yours however did, as a result of your complaining.

  48. paytonrules

    I went and looked at the ABC article, which I tend to avoid cause they just make me angry, and particularly enjoyed this line from Dorey:

    “The fact is we are not misrepresenting science – you always have two sides.”

    It’s true. Maybe I don’t breathe air to stay alive, maybe magical fairies live in my lungs. Maybe gravity doesn’t hold me to earth, perhaps it’s magnets installed in my feet by the all-powerful magnet lobby.

    No, of course you don’t always have two sides.

  49. biti

    I don’t know were people get the idea that health care in Europe is free. There are a lot of countries and each has its own healthcare system. For instance in the Netherlands you have to pay the first 200 euro yourself before the insurance company picks up the tab. Next year I think it will be the first 400 euro. A lot of money if you don’t have money. And than you also have to pay monthly payments for your insurance. Hefty fines if you don’t have insurance. Flu vacinnes are only free to old and very weak people, maybe heart patients. Just like to clear this up. greetings

  50. Tribeca Mike

    Re: #22: “Two years ago an Austrian journalist was jailed, later released, and sued for providing the proofs of the scam.”

    What journalist? Where in Austria? Jailed for what exactly and in what month “two years ago”? How much “later” were they “released”? Released on bail or were charges dropped? Sued by whom? What exactly were these “proofs”? Has this mystery reporter done any follow-up reporting in the last two years?

    I would think reportage of such world-shaking importance would be worthy of at least one link to a source, reputable or otherwise.

  51. flip

    Phil, that link to the “ABC” article isn’t… It’s to News.com.au, owned by Murdoch. Not quite the same as the Australian Government-run news agency, Australian Broadcasting Corp. (The link doesn’t seem to work anymore anyway) Surprised Nigel in his nitpicking mode didn’t pick that one…

    … I was one of the people who signed the petition to have Dorey’s stuff pulled. I’d love to see her figure out how Big Pharma’s paying me, since I live below the poverty line and am an artist. My only ties to ‘pharma’ is the occasional medication from the local pharmacy. Ah, but facts don’t matter to her…

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