Miri AF

Massive missives and more


Subject: False information in Sasha Walton vaccine article

Dear Sirs,

I read an article in your online newspaper today entitled 'Research scientist, 28, reveals her horror at discovering she had NO childhood jabs because her mother was an anti-vaxxer', link below:

I note that the author, Sasha Walton, claims to have been offered the HPV vaccine aged 13. She states that she was born in 1991, so would have been 13 in 2004. But the HPV vaccine was not introduced to the UK market until 2008.

Walton goes on to state that she wanted to receive the HPV vaccine, but her mother withheld consent, so she did not receive it. However, consent for vaccines for 13-year-olds does not reside with the parent, but with the child, due to the Gillick Competency ruling. Had Walton indicated she wished to receive this vaccine, then she would have received it, regardless of the wishes of her mother. In rare cases, a child may not be considered Gillick Competent (there would have to be a very compelling reason for this), but given Walton was actually 17 when the vaccine came out, and not 13, then she would have been in charge of her own medical decisions anyway.

Given these facts, it is clear Walton has included false information in her article for your newspaper, and intentionally misinformed and misled readers. It is your responsibility as a national publication to confirm the credibility of your journalists, and to fact-check the information they give you. As Ms. Walton has wilfully deceived her audience regarding the HPV vaccine, I am forced to doubt the veracity of her entire account, and I would also like to question the motivations behind it. Clearly there is a purpose in her promulgating false information about vaccines, and I - and no doubt many of your other readers - would like to know what it is.

Yours sincerely,

Miri Finch
Director, STRIVE


To Whom It May Concern,

It may be of interest to you to know that I sent the [enclosed] letter to the Daily Mail yesterday, regarding your employee Sasha Walton's article for them on vaccines.

It is of interest to me to learn that she is not in fact a 'research scientist' as billed in the Daily Mail, but actually a writer for a pharmaceutical PR company. I am sure many readers of the Daily Mail would have found it most useful indeed to have been furnished with this information before reading her piece. 

Yours sincerely,

Miri Finch