Bradfield Resident

Information. Issues. Insight. Investigation.

Swine flu vaccine trial on kids story disappears from SMH website

Posted by bradfieldresident on 11 August 2009

A search with terms “swine flu vaccine trial Sydney” resulted in a hit on an article published Monday 10 August on the Sydney Morning Herald News website, news.smh.com.au, about a Sydney vaccine trial on children:

Swine flu vaccine trial on kids begins

10 Aug 2009 … An Australian-first trial of a swine flu vaccine on children has begun in Sydney. About 400 healthy children will be recruited across five …

news.smh.com.au/…/swine-flu-vaccine-trial-on-kids-begins-20090810-eevb.html

The URL it links to (http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/swine-flu-vaccine-trial-on-kids-begins-20090810-eevb.html), however, results in a different page with a story about two swine flu fatalities and no mention of vaccine trials (Two swine flu sufferers die in NSW, http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/two-swine-flu-sufferers-die-in-nsw-20090810-eevb.html).

I used an online contact form to ask what had happened to the story:

Where has 10 August the article titled “Swine flu vaccine trial on kids begins” gone?

Why was it removed? What are you trying to hide?

The response I received did not appear to answer my question, only suggesting the story was found at another link (for a different story):

A simple google search using the headline yielded the following result :
http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/two-swine-flu-sufferers-die-in-nsw-20090810-eevb.html

So I asked again:

my question is about the disappearance of the article titled “Swine flu vaccine trial on kids begins”, published on Monday 10 August, which talks about a vaccine trial on around 400 children.

Why does the URL

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/swine-flu-vaccine-trial-on-kids-begins-20090810-eevb.html

result in a redirection to

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/two-swine-flu-sufferers-die-in-nsw-20090810-eevb.html

which is quite obviously a different story? The search facility for “vaccine trial” on smh.com.au webpages does not appear to reveal a new location, so I can only suppose it has been removed. Why has this story been removed? Will the story reappear on the website?

My best guess is that the title sounds bad: “testing on kids” probably isn’t good PR for the pro-vaccine camp.

The story seems to be from the Australian Associated Press (AAP), and appears on several other news sites. A few are listed below for reference. Note the different headlines.

At any rate, since a couple of these existant articles refer to the two men who died with swine flu recently, it appears that the article redirected from the “missing” article’s URL is related to the same story.

Meanwhile, I return to the issue of this “trial” not seeming to include a control group that does not receive the vaccine under trial. To me this seems like bad science, since there will not be strong evidence to indicate whether the vaccines had any effect or not, and what the associated side effects are. I’m not sure if the girl mentioned in these articles (”Ebony”) is the same as the one I heard about on the television last night; I was in the next room, not actually watching the television, when I heard the story, and wasn’t paying close attention to some of the details.

I’m still waiting for the government’s answers to my questions about the contents of the vaccines, and about whether testing protocol and so on are affected by the “pandemic” status of the country (and/or the world).

Other sites carrying the story about the flu vaccine trial on children :-

Children’s flu vaccine trial begins
http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/swine-flu/2738344/Childrens-flu-vaccine-trial-begins

A world-first trial of a swine flu vaccine on children has begun in Australia, with the results expected to be known within the next few weeks.

About 400 healthy children across the country will take part in the trial, with hopes the vaccine will be ready for distribution by October.

The testing began in Sydney on the same day two men suffering swine flu, both in their mid-50s, died, bringing the NSW toll from the disease to 32.

A trial in adults has already begun, but the trial in children will test the appropriate dosage and safety of the vaccine for those aged between six months and eight years.

Professor Robert Booy, from the National Centre for Immunisation, Research and Surveillance, said the vaccine being trialled was similar to the one used to prevent seasonal flu.

“This is the first time in the world there has been a trial of this particular vaccine,” he told reporters at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

“But I hasten to add it is based on proven technology, we’re just substituting the virus for different ones that we have used before.”

Mother-of-three Natalie Shearer decided to have all her children take part in the trial because her eldest daughter, Ebony, six, was born premature and is prone to illness.

She said Ebony had been off school this term because of concerns that she might contract swine flu.

“My main focus is Ebony getting really sick, we don’t know how she would deal with it,” Mrs Shearer said.

“This alternative is better than the other, her getting sick, so if it works, I’m a happy mum.”

NSW Health said the two men with swine flu, whose deaths were announced on Monday, had underlying medical conditions.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said although the majority of people who have died with the illness have had underlying conditions, everyone should remain vigilant in preventing the further spread of the virus in the community.

-AAP

Trial of kids’ swine flu vaccine begins
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/848277/trial-of-kids-swine-flu-vaccine-begins

A world-first trial of a swine flu vaccine in children has begun in Australia, with the results expected to be known within weeks.

About 400 healthy children across the country will take part in the trial, with hopes the vaccine will be ready for distribution by October.

The testing began in Sydney on the same day two men suffering swine flu, both in their mid-50s, died, bringing the state’s toll from the disease to 32.

A trial in adults has already begun, but the trial in children will test the appropriate dosage and safety of the vaccine for those aged between six months and eight years.

Professor Robert Booy, from the National Centre for Immunisation, Research and Surveillance, said the vaccine being trialled was similar to the one used to prevent seasonal flu.

“This is the first time in the world there has been a trial of this particular vaccine,” he told reporters at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

“But I hasten to add it is based on proven technology, we’re just substituting the virus for different ones that we have used before.”

Mother-of-three Natalie Shearer decided to have all her children take part in the trial because her eldest daughter, Ebony, six, was born premature and is prone to illness.

She said Ebony had been off school this term because of concerns that she might contract swine flu.

“My main focus is Ebony getting really sick, we don’t know how she would deal with it,” Mrs Shearer said.

“This alternative is better than the other, her getting sick, so if it works, I’m a happy mum.”

NSW Health said the two men with swine flu, whose deaths were announced on Monday, had underlying medical conditions.

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said although the majority of people who have died with the illness have had underlying conditions, everyone should remain vigilant in preventing the further spread of the virus in the community.

Weastmead trials kids’ swine flu vaccine
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/08/10/2651260.htm

Sydney’s Westmead Hospital has begun a trial of a swine flu vaccine for children.

Four hundred children from across the country will be recruited for the study.

Professor Robert Booy says the trial will test the required dosage of the vaccine for children.

“We know for most children it is a mild infection, but we cannot predict which child will get this severely,” he said.

“So for that reason universal vaccination is the way to go.”

The results are due in September and the vaccine could be ready for distribution the following month.

Swine flu vaccine trail on children starts in Sydney
http://canberra.iprime.com.au/index.php/news/prime-news/swine-flu-vaccine-trail-on-children-starts-in-sydney,138791

An Australian first trial of a swine flu vaccine in children has begun in Sydney.

About 400 healthy children will be recruited across five States for the trial with 100 coming from NSW.

The results from the trial should be known by September with the vaccine ready for distribution by October.

Health Minister John Della Bosca said the vaccine is similar to the one used to prevent seasonal flu.

A trial in adults has already begun.

The news article appears to have been pulled elsewhere:

100 Sydney kids take part in a swine flu vaccine trial
http://livenews.com.au/news/100-sydney-kids-take-part-in-a-swine-flu-vaccine-trial/2009/8/10/215640

The article you are trying to view is no longer available.

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