‘No Jab; No Play’ Liberal Fiasco

(Full bias disclosure: the author of this post is Pro-Vaccination: Due to herd immunity, I believe it’s important to vaccinate as many people as possible. I’m also old enough to remember Polio: I’m grateful that it was wiped out as quick as it was. And (as further proof, purely to prevent the throwing of tomatoes) when I went overseas to Thailand in 2010, even though I am sensitive to a variety of chemicals and had already lived 7 years with immune dysfunction due to mould allergies, solvents and fragrance induced Inhalant Allergies to various chemical-irritants, I chose to get vaccinated. I didn’t get sick from the vaccination or a disease.

Faced with the same choice now, given what is going on with my body, I’d choose to give the vaccination and the overseas holiday a miss, for now. However, if my children or someone else close to me asked me to get vaccinated for Whooping Cough to protect their child, I’d do it in the blink of an eye.

Also, in the 4 years since writing this personal blog about the trials and tribulations of living a life while sensitive to various chemical-irritants, I’ve avoided doing any posts on the topic of vaccination so far for two reasons:

1), Due to Autism in my immediate family: it’s a touchy subject, having a child who is on the Autism Spectrum: the talents, the quirks, the attention to detail and the child herself were gifts to me. I was insulted by the idea of a highly intelligent child being viewed as a scientific mistake, a slight to human and compassionate nature. Yet, curiously, if given $20 for every ‘my-child-has-high-functioning-Autism conversation’ I ever had where I was asked: “Did you vaccinate?”, I’d have enough to replace all my non-vegan shoes! (I really wish life worked like that.)

2), I was once shamed (well, not really, I chose to feel that emotion as well as confusion) because I said in a post: “… in my opinion, all people should get vaccinated.” Due to having the symptoms and illness that would be called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) if I lived in Germany or Japan, but instead, in Australia under my own helpful specialist, an Allergist and Immunologist, is called Inhalant Allergies to chemical-irritants instead. I was told by one dearly respected reader, on no uncertain terms, that well, apparently, I, being a person with chemical sensitivities, really should know better!

I can’t get into a discussion about Vaccination; yet it’s the Elephant in the Room when you have a small percentage of Australian people, like 2.9% in just NSW alone, one study says; and:

Prevalence in Australia: In a New South Wales Adult Health Survey in 2002, 2.9% of respondents reported having been medically diagnosed with chemical sensitivity and 24.6% of respondents reported “sensitivity to chemical odours”. In the studies in South Australia in 2002 and 2004 (Fitzgerald, 2008) 0.9% reported a medical diagnosis of MCS with more females than males reporting diagnosis. This is commonly observed in people with MCS, that they are predominately women – not unlike that observed with ME/CFS and FM. There were no differences in reporting between urban and rural environments.

So that’s why I’m writing this post, I support my friends and readers who chose not to vaccinate for medical reasons. I mean you can still choose to vaccinate even if given medical advice not to, can’t you? Will I lose Part A Tax Benefit for my theoretical child if I chose to vaccinate when advised not to?

After hearing about the Governments, ‘No Jab; No Play‘ Policy, which I think is unfair on my theoretical child because I am at the lower-socioeconomic end of the scale, at this time in my life: I find that just the freedom of choice being taken away by financial penalty abhorrent and classist. The policy makes no sense for a country that has a problem with some of the population having chemical sensitivities, yet the Government wonder why people who are in the Chemical Caution Community–as opposed to people who are a subsection of the Chemical Sensitivity Community–who don’t or can’t vaccinate because of fear. Can’t or won’t. Choice. Being forced to do something to your child knowing via maternal instinct and illness patterns that it’s not right!

There’s no logical discussion.

I call bullshit: kids have to cope with this ‘penalty’ if their parents decide not to vaccinate them. The kids will be discriminated against. No Jab; No Play. Like they have a choice and must be punished for choosing the wrong one?! Come on, now?

I don’t advise for people to research on the internet too much, there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s just wrong, say on Pinterest. Quick, ban it now!

And then I saw this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 3.16.45 AM(attribution.)

And I’m like WTF?

Is it like only the vaccines made by Sanofi Pasteur Inc, and they apparently contain Thimerosal (a Mercury based preservative). Australian vaccines do not have Thimerosal in any vaccines for patients under 5 years (http://www.nps.org.au/medicines/immune-system/vaccines-and-immunisation/for-individuals/questions-and-answers-about-vaccines/mercury-thiomersal-in-vaccines-for-children)

I also know that, with medical advice you can get the vaccine over a period of months while having each vaccine in singular form; so no triple antigen? I’m not sure. This is not advice. But I was sure this solved the issue for my theoretical child, but apparently not.

Sick children do not have to get vaccinated. I know this? Don’t I?

Thankfully, as a chemically sensitive woman I don’t have to make the decision to vaccinate my theoretical child.

Here’s more from

Under the ‘No Jab, No Play‘ legislation, before enrolling a child, early childhood services must first obtain evidence that the child is:

  • fully immunised for their age OR 
  • on a vaccination catch-up program OR
  • unable to be fully immunised for medical reasons.

‘Conscientious objection’ is not an exemption under the ‘No Jab No Play’ legislation.

Too bad if you have the MTHFR genes. A 23andMe Test submitted to Genetic Genie will show if you have this. It doesn’t show if the gene is mutated:

MTHFR stands for methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase.

It is an enzyme that converts folate you eat into the active form (5-Methyltetrahydrofolate).

You can see from the pathway below that the folate you eat (DHF – dihyrofolate) has to be converted via many steps to the active folate 5-MTHFR.

The MTHFR enzyme affects this at the last step. So if you have a mutation in the gene then its going to be affecting how much active folate you have available.

There are currently a total of 34 mutations in the MTHFR gene. The MTHFR gene sits on Chromosome 1. The two variants tested (or if for cheapskates like me, (and for only $100 AU)) are found within the 23andMe test, are:



Heterozygous  = 1 copy of the gene from either parent
Homozygous  = 1 copy of the gene from each parent

MTHFR C677T Heterozygous = 40% loss of function *
MTHFR C677T Homozygous =  70% loss of function *

MTHFR A1298C Heterozygous = 20% loss of function (research not known)
MTHFR A1298C Homozygous  = between 50-70%

MTHFR C677T & MTHFR A1298C heterozygous = compound heterozygous = 50% loss of function

*Sources here & here 

The Methylation Cycle

The Methylation Cycle

However, the link between Autism and Vaccines was disproved because the results were fudged, as I remember it. As a parent, I was off the hook in that regards. However, evidence now suggests the MTHFR deficiency has been found to be related to the development of autism because, in summary from MTHFR Support.com.au:

… scientific study and evidence show that smallpox vaccination is strongly related to adverse events in healthy adults carrying MTHFR SNP rs1801133. In addition, folic acid as a maternal supplement increases autism onset rate possibly due to its effect of increasing survival rate of newborns with MTHFR deficiency. Furthermore, there is not enough evidence supporting the reports of MMR vaccination causing autism, but it is hypothesised that a vaccine component of thimerosal or ethyl mercury may be related to autism in early childhood vaccinations. Finally, there is no currently scientific evidence showing the triple relationship between MTHFR, autism and vaccination; but there are ongoing online discussions guided by known medical doctors and healthcare experts to help parents to better understand current research and information about these topics.

But there is no evidence so far that vaccines cause autism; nor is there a link between having 2 sets of the genes (one from each of both parents) Homozygous MTHFR mutations, autism and vaccinations.

A few months ago, after spitting my saliva into a lab tube for a complete DNA test, submitting it to the 23andMe test: I had my very own personal DNA assessed for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency gene: I have one Heterozygous MTHFR gene from one parent (I am adopted so I will never know from which parent, nor do I need to know, however, 23andMe, in regards to family history can only test a female for the maternal side of her genes) (for the father’s, they need to be submitted and linked to the female, just so you know.) All this means to me is that I’m only 20%? at risk of not being able to methylate chemicals, including heavy metals. (Note: just because a person has both sets of of the genes from both parents, making them Homozygous, it doesn’t mean they will get sick unless there is an illness, virus, poisoning or some event within the body that activates it; hence the latest Autism theory.)

It’s not a good enough reason to vaccinate in my opinion, but still, you need to be able to have the choice in regards to medical illness. The rest is a grey area, I don’t know.

23andMe is a surprisingly cheap way of testing your genes for cancer, every disease that’s been mapped. However,  you can pay $75 for a test for each MTHFR gene to your local Pathology clinic and this test is not covered under Medicare, as yet. Or you can do it with a Naturapath and claim on Private Health Insurance if you have it.

This is an area that needs more research. Australia has one of the highest incidences of allergies; this includes inhalant allergies to chemical-irritants such as fragrance and mould. Only two of the irritants known to disrupt the immune system. Add the MTHFR mutation into the equation, it’s of my opinion that this needs to be looked into further. And don’t start with the peanut allergies. Less green spaces; more allergies. Simple immunology.

But how could anyone not miss the debate in the media over the last few years? That Dori woman annoyed the crap out of me speaking about children getting Autism like it was some fatal disease. Once again, the analysis of the vaccination debate stopped right there. However, right now, I have have friends who have children with the same immune disorders as me, and they are being forced to vaccinate their kids purely because of their income bracket. Yet, I have doctors and other medical practitioners whom I’ve seen in the past who have personally told me they would never vaccinate their kids. I mean, how irresponsible of them; right? Yet, people in South Yarra and Brighton (the upper socioeconomic areas in Victoria, Australia) and the parents in Mosman and Potts Point (the upper socioeconomic areas in NSW, Australia), don’t have to vaccinate their children and they won’t be penalised; so I guess doctors and politicians can afford to not vaccinate their kids!

I really hope someone in a University somewhere in Australia is able to access records and assimilate the data relating to vaccination rates and socioeconomic status; for that, purely on a social justice level, I will find interesting.

On a funny note, and in regards to vaccinations and the alleged hypocrisy of politicians, more from the John Rapport’s Blog:

‘We’re talking about Tony Abbott, who just ruled from on high that there are no more exemptions from vaccines in Australia.

No more conscientious objections, no more religious exemptions. Only the rare medical exemption, permitted by a doctor. And suddenly, every family who refuses vaccinations for their children will lose up to $15,000 per year, per child, in federal support money. Every family in Australia is eligible for federal money.

Tony has officially ripped away citizens’ right to choose. Australia is now officially a medical police state.


Back in 2006, Tony was singing a very different tune concerning his own daughters.

On November 9, 2006, news.com.au had the story: “Abbott rules out cancer vaccine for his daughters” (see also theaustralian.com.au “I could be seen as ‘cruel’ on Gardasil: Abbott”)… ‘

… ‘”Tony was saying he wouldn’t have his daughters vaccinated with the HPV shot because there was no national program for it.

That’s like saying, “If the supermarket doesn’t sell cherries, I won’t let my daughters eat them.”’

General Practitioner (GP), Dr Mark Donohoe from Mosmon, an upper socioeconomic area in Sydney, NSW, Australia, speaks at a peaceful rally against the vaccinations situation in Australia, No Jab: No Play.

Oh, so that’s why the Liberals ditched Tony Abbot: 9 years ago, he publicly announced that he would not be getting his two girls vaccinated with the Guardisil Vaccine. The ‘No Jab; No Play’ was not mandated or some such woo ha.

More on Dr Donhoe and this rally in 2015:

Dr Mark Donohue is well regarded expert in integrative medicine and spoke at our peaceful No Jab No Pay ? No Way ! Protest which assembled at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday 21st June 2015.
We are a group of individuals and parents who believe in freedom of choice and the right of all parents to make their families medical choices free from coercion, manipulation and blackmail!Information regarding the Australian Government’s proposals to remove informed consent from vaccines. Support #freedomofchoice in all medical procedures

However, having an immune disorder, chemical sensitivities or another illness deemed too dangerous to allow a child to be vaccinated is one thing, but belonging to an anti-vaccination movement (but only for the rich at this time in Australia) based purely on principle and the conviction that all vaccines are dangerous all the time is another thing entirely according to some of  the parents, now ex-members at Voices for Vaccines:

“The fallout from changing my views was pretty extreme. Within two weeks of “coming out” on Facebook about my new stance, I lost over 50 friends. People who had cheered me on and supported me through my home birth, who had told me countless times that I was an awesome mother and an inspiration, just dropped me like we’d never been friends at all. I was removed from groups and blocked by people I didn’t even know. I was accused of being brainwashed and told that my girls were going to get autism and have terrible reactions. It hurt.
I now view the anti-vaccine movement as a sort of cult, where any sort of questioning gets you kicked out, your crunchy card revoked. I was even told I couldn’t call myself a natural mother anymore, because vaccines are too unnatural. That’s fine. I just want to be the best parent I know how to be, and that means always being open to new information and admitting when I’m wrong.”
You can read more posts from Voices for Vaccines, ‘Anti-Vax to Pro-Vax’ here
The only protection for those children and adults who can’t be vaccinated is herd immunity. This only works if the majority of us are vaccinated. Yes, the Liberal Government are going about this all wrong. Conversations need to be had, humans need vaccinations, but not all children. And no child should be punished for being vaccinated or not.


Do children’s vaccines contain mercury (thiomersal)?

Test your Own Personal DNA: 23andMe

Find your Mutations: Genetic Genie Will Read Your DNA Results

About the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register:
See each vaccine to see what the contraindications (reasons for medical exemption) are: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook10-home~handbook10part4
(This post has been updated)

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. Thank you for writing about this complex issue. The new immunization laws have a number of issues. First and foremost is the fact that immunizations are a medical procedure with both risks and benefits. It is not the place of any government to force or coerce people into any medical procedure.

    Another issue is that the medical exemption is extremely difficult to obtain and some children who have suffered life threatening and other severe side effects from some of their immunizations have still not been able to obtain a medical exemption. Siblings of children who have suffered severe side effects are certainly not covered by medical exemptions even if they are likely to be at higher risk of adverse effects than the general population.

    On the other side of the picture, I suspect that when governments use heavy handed tactics such as these, the middle class worried well only become more worried and it is not unlikely that overall immunization rates could go down as a result. I don’t see much improvement to ‘herd immunity’ to come out of the recent changes to the system.

    I can understand why people are worried. It is wonderful that there have been a major decrease in deaths from infectious diseases over the last century or so, due to a combination of factors such as immunization, antibiotics, clean drinking water and the slow ongoing improvements to sanitation (while flush toilets have been popular in many places for a long time, it seems that relatively efficient sewerage treatment plants only became common since the 1980’s and even they still fail sometimes). On the other hand non infectious degenerative diseases including cancer and a wide variety of immune dysfunction disorders are on the rise. There have been so many changes over the past century that could contribute. Possibilities such as pesticides, the burning of fossil fuels, man made electromagnetic influences, immunizations, fragrances, formaldehyde and many others have been raised. The bottom line is that science has not yet caught up with the rapid changes in society and until it does, it is not altogether unreasonable to be worried.

  2. Michellina, thanks for standing up for a minority group of people with medical conditions related to chemical sensitivity–and forpeople like us who understand about the importance of vaccinating our children.”

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Yes, thank you for noticing that standing up “for a minority group of people with medical conditions related to chemical sensitivity–and for people like us who understand about the importance of vaccinating our children,” is important. So many spend so much time arguing that they miss the point: safety for all. :)

  3. At couple of important points that are missing.
    Firstly, removal of product liability for vaccines in many countries, including Australia. This status is not just for the Pharmaceutical companies, but for the immunisation clinics.
    What does this mean? No one can be sued if the vaccinated individual suffers any sort of adverse event [even death]. Some countries, most notably, the USA have instigated a “vaccine court” but the system is fraught with difficulties as you can imagine. It is also costly & stressful to undertake a claim.
    Australia has NO equivalent, so no legal redress if something goes wrong.
    Secondly, the NJNPay/Play laws are fundamentally illegal [all no play state laws breach the Disability Discrimination Act & people are taking out actions].
    Interesting that you do bring up MTHFR as something I have not yet been able to verify is that persons who are positive for MTHFR “defects” are ineligible to participate in human trials for vaccines but are effectively coerced into being vaccinated.
    Another point to ponder – the Adult registry starts in September and it is believed that this is a precursor “soon” for compulsory adult vaccination.
    Another point is the MMR – it is not available in single/individual vaccines. The efficacy of the MMR is lower than for each individual component. Plus the legal case against the manufacturer.

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      When I have an operation or drugs in hospital I sign and wave liability, I think. If you were to compare the two, there is the (minute) negligence factor of getting sick. If the label image I presented states that, then obviously, there are a small amount of cases: the minority. The majority protect the minority with herd immunisation (lol, like we are cows right–but it’s the theory anyway. Can I ask, are you vegan?). The minority needs to be small for it to work so I understand the policy but I can’t agree with it because: The Impingement of Freedom for my theoretical child–even though if I don’t vaccinate her, she might get sick; if I do vaccinate her and she gets sick… I’m not sure what happens after that but I do know there is less chance of her getting sick if vaccinated, given that, if I were 20 years younger, I’d be a healthy robust woman so theoretical child would be okay, i believe wholeheartedly.

      I don’t believe this is a government conspiracy but I do find it funny that certain medical professionals joke about it so much on the net and spend there evenings screen capturing peeps in open FB groups. It’s like they want to make it look like there is one? People who argue over vaccinations on the internet are playing some type of sport. Is this where we persuade the media and government with our blog posts? (I checked yours out, Mimb, and you have a story to tell I can see. We should all be brave and tell our stories of life when sensitive to chemicals.) Unless some media outlet like Mamamia publishes it we have no sway, though. Sorry to tell you, lol.

      Adult vaccination? I’m up for it. Hoping peeps in my family are going to have little ones soon. Legal Case sounds heavy, would make for a good story, contact me later if up for it. I present both sides, state my bias and remain objective. It’s big news: a forced vacation law on only lower and middle socioeconomic classes via withholding of Family Tax payments is classist. It’s a human rights issue.

      I like how no one comments on the other elephant in the room: Dr Mark Donhoe? Lol, he’s brave speaking up for immune compromised like that.

      It will get worked out. Real Science will save us all, Mimb.

  4. Danielle says:

    A few years ago, there was a small outbreak of whooping cough in our province. Health authorities immediately set up vaccination clinics in all grade schools, as the percentage of unvaccinated children was significantly high.
    Parents whose children were not vaccinated for whooping cough got a consent form to sign. I got one for my then 11 year-old. I signed it. I am pro-vaccination. So why wasn’t my daughter already vaccinated? That’s because my daughter, always had an intense fear of pain and needles, to the point that she would physically fight not to get the vaccine. And she was very strong. Getting her vaccinated would have put her at risk of injury.
    I figured with time, she would get over it. Now that she was 11, I tried to talk her into getting the vaccine. She lost several nights of sleep over this. No support was offered by health authorities for this or from the school nurse.
    I told to my daughter that I thought she should get the vaccine, explained to her the risks of not being vaccinated and that I had signed the consent form.
    There was no possibility of being there for reassurance. I had hoped that seeing other children get the vaccine would encourage her to do it too. But she refused.
    I got a call at work from an angry, frustrated and rude nurse that day. I asked what she expected me to do, threaten or hit my child? In the end, the gov’t got what they wanted, i.e. nearly all children in that age group are now vaccinated. The illness did not spread further.
    My daughter was in no imminent danger, so I just don’t understand why that nurse felt she needed to call me and give me a hard time. How old do you need to be to own your own body? Would this really be worth using force? Does the end justify the means?

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      No the ends only justify the means for the majority. And Wellness inc are partly to blame because so much who has has been made of the issue, the facts are now blurred. Science-based Medicine.com mock us and our doctors. People with chemical sensitivity related disorders are often blocked from appropriate health care because of fragrances and the Governments refusal to acknowledge the chemically injured and sick, educating the public on ways in which to accomodate people with a real disability while the people who are the healthiest and intend on staying that way, refuse to vaccinate. There are suburbs with low rates of vaccination. I have a feeling the people living in those areas are not housebound and living a life of chemical avoidance as told by their doctors who are on the Medicare system, and if they were to be vaccinated they would be fine.

      Of course, families are scared: each time they meet a chemically sensitive person who is well enough to wear a 3M filter mask and go out to school, work or to the shops, conversation is started. People become scared of chemicals. While the ones who are living a life of avoidance practice are penalised because of a system that has failed to acknowledge people with conditions related to sensitivity to chemical-irritants while simultaneously freaking out those health nuts who witness our struggles.

      I know of another person who chose not to have the Gardisal vaccine at age 17, I wanted her to also. I would have to say that the movie: I am Legend was to blame.

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      You just bought back memories of being five-years-old and hiding under the doctors table. He became angry with me and, I think I had to go back another day or even to a different doctor. My Mum was the Director or a childcare centre so it wasn’t like i was going to get out of getting a jab.

      I’m sorry you had a hard time with the nurse: I think the that so much has been made or the pro-jab anti-jab circus that the real issues have been clouded. Children, parents and safety.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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