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Bullshit Health Hell in a handcart

Ban this evil vaccine!

Guess which newspaper?

More than 1,300 schoolgirls have experienced adverse reactions to the controversial cervical cancer jab.

Doctors have reported that girls aged just 12 and 13 have suffered paralysis, convulsions and sight problems after being given the vaccine.

Everybody panic! Why, out of nearly 3/4 of a million vaccinations:

Their latest analysis found there had been 1,340 reports in total, with 2,891 different adverse effects noted. Most were minor complaints such as rashes, swelling on the injection site, pain or allergic reactions.

Swelling on the injection site? That’s not going to scare the readers. How about more serious things?

Four girls had convulsions, one had a seizure and one had an epileptic fit.

Any history of such things? Was the one who had the epileptic fit suffering from, say, epilepsy? Who cares! We have a scare story to write!

There were several cases of paralysis. One had Bell’s palsy, which paralyses the face; one had hemiparesis, which paralyses or severely weakens half the body; two experienced hypoaesthesia, in which the sufferer loses much of her sense of touch, and one had Guillain-Barré syndrome, which paralyses the legs.

Let’s Google, shall we? Guillain-Barré syndrome is a kind of autoimmune disease that usually turns up after a viral or gastric infection. Hemiparesis is usually caused by lesions in the corticospinal tract, which runs from the brain to the spinal cord. Hypoaesthesia is reduced sensitivity to touch, or a feeling of numbness, and causes can include trauma, nerve injury, tumours, MS and, er, leprosy.

Back to the article:

There were almost 20 cases of blurred vision and one girl was reported as developing anorexia.

The implication there is that it’s Anorexia Nervosa, the psychiatric illness, which would be bizarre enough. But plain old anorexia just means loss of appetite.

No wonder it isn’t bylined.