Today, the Mail have done some digging and found someone who suffered brain damage from an epileptic seizure which happened after she had the HVP jab. Did the HPV jab cause it? Well, we don't know. If it did, it's a serious health concern, of course. But did it? And if it didn't, why focus on the jab?
Well, we know why. To scare people. To create a climate of fear and panic. To imply that people are under threat and that only the diligent newspapers are the source of truth. Calling the HPV jab 'controversial' isn't accurate when it's only you who thinks it is controversial; when the vast majority of people, even on a poll on a website next to a story claiming the HPV jab is dangerous, decide it isn't.
I first encountered Dr Richard Halvorsen yesterday, when he was quoted in the Sunday Express's disgraceful story as saying:
One minute Natalie is an apparently healthy girl, she has the vaccine and within two hours she is dead.
We are told she had a terrible cancer inside her that killed her but this is implausible.
But he'd already written a vaccination story for the Mail (thanks to Ben Mortimer for the tipoff). Looking into his background it appears this is a doctor who offers the individual vaccines to those worried about MMR - I should add that I don't know if this is a service provided on the NHS or whether he charges for it - so he's not against vaccinations per se. He's also written a book, The Truth About Vaccines.
One look at this website should tell you everything you need to know about his scientific credentials:
I am trained in acupuncture and homeopathy and incorporate complementary therapies into my clinical practice alongside orthodox medical treatment.
Have the bells started ringing for you yet? Here is a GP who is 'trained in homoeopathy and acupuncture'. How much credibility should we attach to what he has to say on scientific matters, do you think?
But Halvorsen seems to be carving out a career as the go-to guy on vaccinations. Well, let me clarify that: the go-to guy if you want to write a negative story about vaccinations. Which is fine, but... is he right? What if he's wrong?
Despite all the evidence which shows that Natalie Morton didn't die from the HPV jab, Halvorsen says in the Mail:
Yet the sudden death of Coventry schoolgirl Natalie Morton after a jab against cervical cancer highlights the reality that vaccination programmes are not without their risks.
The tragic irony for Natalie was that the injection may have triggered a reaction far more lethal than any future, distant threat of a comparatively rare disease.
But there's no evidence for that. None at all. He's just guessing at best. Which is fine, we can all make guesses, but... we don't all present ourselves as being experts on vaccinations, do we? And - what if he's wrong? What harm will it do if he's wrong?