MB Comment: Natasha Bita, a journalist for The Australian has just won a Walkley Award (the Australian equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize) for an in-depth article series on the CSL Afluria flu vaccine, a shot that caused convulsions in one percent of Australian infants who received it.
To put this vaccine scandal in perspective, the CDC states that ‘seizures can occur after vaccination,’ 33% of infants who have a first seizure will have more seizures and 10% of infants who have one seizure can develop epilepsy. According to the Merck Manual (the largest-selling medical textbook), seizures are a symptom of encephalitis, which the Merck Manual defines as a vaccine adverse reaction. Vaccine-induced encephalitis can leave a spectrum of permanent brain damage in its wake – post-encephalitic syndrome (aka epilepsy and autism). In other words, kids that have convulsions from Afluria can have lifelong neurological disabilities.
Incredibly, the defective CSL flu vaccine Afluria is still on the market in the US: FDA-approved and CDC-recommended. The only concession US vaccine authorities have made to this Afluria scandal is to raise the recommended age for this vaccine, but even that feeble response is colored by a direction to give Afluria to young kids anyway if no other flu vaccine is available.
This vaccinate-at-any-cost mentality displays the utter depravity of US vaccine authorities. They really don’t care about vaccine adverse reactions or the victims of defective vaccines. When vaccine regulators are so transparently irresponsible, it is up to individuals and families to defend their own health by rejecting the gung-ho vaccine recommendations of the CDC, FDA and medical profession.
This award is a smack in the face to asleep-at-the-wheel US journalists, who are being instructed by the National Press Foundation (at the behest of Seth Mnookin, Gates’ GAVI vaccine alliance and minions of Paul Offit) to censor all negative reports on vaccine issues and stick to big pharma’s and the CDC’s party line.
‘These articles were published in the face of hostility and stonewalling from the federal health department and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) …
Natasha Bita chipped away methodically and professionally at Australia’s questionable vaccine policy. Beginning with a story about an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine, she realised she was onto a bigger story. Her series was not only newsworthy, but of significant public benefit, and revealed the personal traumas behind the statistics.’
Natasha Bita, The Australian, “Virus in the system”
The Walkley Foundation and its custodian, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, congratulate all the winners of the 56th Annual Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
Last year, the federal government suspended the seasonal flu vaccine for young children after it triggered febrile convulsions in one per cent, resulting in dozens of hospitalisations and a possible death.
This suspension may not have taken place if not for Natasha Bita’s reporting of the health scandal and the flaws in the country’s system of approving and monitoring new medicines.
Government inquiries have since recommended major reform.
In a series of 23 articles for The Australian, including a 4600-word cover story in The Weekend Australian Magazine, Bita exposed manufacturing flaws at Australia’s biggest pharmaceutical company, CSL, as well as potential conflicts of interest between the government’s key immunisation advisers, and wastage at a cost to taxpayers of $65 million.
These articles were published in the face of hostility and stonewalling from the federal health department and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
After Bita’s front-page interview with a boy who contracted polio from a vaccine, the federal health minister said she was open to the idea of a compensation scheme for people suffering the side-effects of immunisation.
Bita is the consumer editor of The Australian, where she has worked since 1990. In 2007 she transferred to Europe, working as the London-based Olympics correspondent for the News Limited group of newspapers, and then as Italy correspondent for The Australian until her return to Brisbane in 2008.
Natasha Bita chipped away methodically and professionally at Australia’s questionable vaccine policy. Beginning with a story about an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine, she realised she was onto a bigger story. Her series was not only newsworthy, but of significant public benefit, and revealed the personal traumas behind the statistics.