Monday 26 of January 1998 Sally Clarke’s son Harry has his DTaP vaccination, (Stolen Innocence:
the Sally Clark story
) Four hours later Harry was dead. Unfortunately for Sally Clarke she had no explanation for her sons sudden death. Clark was convicted of murdering Harry and his brother Christopher who was believed to have been a victim of Cot death a year earlier. Sally Clarke spent three years in prison and was finally acquitted by the court of Appeal in 2003, dying in 2005 of a “broken heart”.
It is unbelievable to think that in 2000, Medical experts in the UK and Ireland would not accept that vaccines could cause serious neurological damage or death, with their checkered history. I guess this explains why they were not looking for it then and were convinced a mother would murder her two children, rather than consider the possibility, a vaccine being responsible. In America the risk is recognised, the data is collected and billions have been paid out in compensation. In the UK now the have a reporting system, which plays down the possible reactions to vaccines unlike in the US there is no mention of the possibility of brain damage and death. They also use the term, which the Irish Chief Medical Officer Brendan O Donnel used to Vera Duffy in 1973 before he realised he was talking to the “One”; its “one in a million”, they love to say, to people who have not had an adverse event.
In April 2000 the Clark family found an expert in the US and commission Professor John Menkes, a paediatric neurologist to write a report on adverse reactions to the DTaP vaccine. The Clarks are encouraged by Menkes report which suggested that the vaccine was a possible cause of Harry’s death ((page 228). This would surely be been enough to create reasonable doubt in the minds of any jury.
In August 2001 epidemiologist professor Tom Meade tells the Clarkes that he is prepared to make a full investigation of the DTaP vaccination. August 2002 Tom Meade’s report says “vaccination could have killed Harry” (page 297). “he has no doubt that that the pertussis part of the vaccine could have killed the baby. I have seen Meades report and in the three years Sally Clarke was in prison there were 35 unexplained infants deaths days after receiving the DTaP vaccine. In his report Meade explains that a “cause of death” is not an exact science; it can only ever be a matter of opinion. He concluded “If the vaccine did not kill Harry, it would have exacerbated the effect of the bacteria Staaphylococcus aureus which was found in microbiological samples taken from Harry during the post-mortem”. The fact bacteria was present in Harry’s blood at the time of his death and could have contributed to the cause of death, was not revealed to the jury during Sally Clarkes original trial. Apparently the pathology report was “mislaid”, this was the reason the second appeal in January 2003 was successful, rather than the effect the vaccine may have had and how the DTaP vaccine alone should have been enough for “reasonable doubt” in the minds of any jury. On top of the MMR controversy created by Andrew Wakefield at the end of the 90s, it would have been a disaster for vaccination uptake if DTaP had been suggested as a cause of death of two children in this high profile case. Nevertheless the DTaP vaccine was withdrawn from use eighteen months after Sally Clarkes release and replaced with the current five in one vaccine which does not contain the controversial preservative thimerosal (mercury)??
Sally Clarke, Verra Duffy and Rosemary Fox are not isolated stories, in fact 6 respondents to my survey had taken their child to A&E after the DTaP vaccine, that does not necessarily mean the vaccine was the reason these 6 children got sick, however one case stood out. A parent whose son had an immediate reaction to their first DTaP vaccine, she described on the response form how her “three month old son had extremely high temperature, went white, and then floppy and was rushed to Kingston hospital by ambulance and later diagnosed with sepsus and recovered. One month later he had his second DTaP jab and experienced the same reaction”. The mother put two and two together, but doctors disagreed; “ The evidence states the vaccine is safe, the reactions are coincidental” she was told? Despite these reassurances the parents declined any more vaccines, this parent was one of the few who actually knew what DTP, stood for. If you get punched in the eye and the following day the you have a black ring around the eye, you dont need “peer reviewed” evidence to conclude the punch caused the eye to go black.
Vaccine believers would say we are irresponsible parents, putting our children at “risk” by not following the “herd”. I can only say I am doing what I believe is best for my children based on the information thats out there. I have no doubt the risk from the disease has been exaggerated and the risk from the vaccines minimised to promote a policy that is cost effective. The NHS is underfunded and does not have the capacity for GP’s to go out and visit all the children that would be sick and contagious, if these diseases were common again. There is also a cost to the economy of parents who have to stay at home from work to look after sick children. There is no doubt vaccination has played a role in reducing morbidity of what were once called normal childhood illness, but there is no evidence children are now healthier or less likely to die from other illness because they have been vaccinated.