My Day at an Anti-Vaccination Rally

This is a guest post by Jamie Bernstein. Jamie is a graduate student in public policy at the University of Chicago.

I am generally not the activist type. It’s not that I don’t have strong opinions or don’t care deeply about a variety of issues, but I just generally don’t like to go to rallies or protests. However, when I received an email two nights ago from Bruce Critelli saying that the anti-vaxers were going to have a rally right here in Chicago and that the keynote speaker would be Andrew Wakefield, the man who recently lost the right to practice medicine in the UK and wrote the thoroughly discredited study touting a link between vaccines and autism, I knew I had to go. I wasn’t planning on protesting and didn’t want to cause a scene — I just wanted to genuinely try to hear what they had to say… and document the event. The Women Thinking Free Foundation mobilized quickly to make this happen.

After my last class I ran out the door to catch the bus to downtown Chicago. I showed up 45 min late, but it seems I didn’t miss much. There were about 100 people there, though probably about half were wearing staff shirts and most had identical anti-vax signs that had been handed out by the rally organizers. There were a handful of people staying out of the way in the back handing out “fact cards” with information discrediting Wakefield and providing true facts on the safety of vaccines. I didn’t join them because I didn’t want to be “outed” but I felt more comfortable knowing they were nearby.

When I first walked in, my heart was pounding. I felt like any second someone there would see me and shout “She’s not one of us! Get her!” and a hundred mothers and their children would suddenly sprout fangs and attack me in a feeding frenzy. Instead I saw Bruce in the crowd and ran over to him so I’d have someone to talk to throughout the rally.

Generally the crowd consisted of mothers with their young children. It looked sweet until I started listening to what the speakers were actually saying. Words like “Nazis,” “eugenics,” “world order,” and other bogeymen brought up to terrify parents were tossed about with what seemed like utter disregard toward their true meaning.

Most of the speakers focused on painting a picture of the people who tout vaccines as evil. And, I’m not talking “Glenn Beck evil” here, I mean Hitler/Al Queda evil. In their view, pharmaceutical companies commit blatant fraud, creating horrible, toxic, poisonous substances like vaccines and acetaminophen (yep, Tylenol is EVIL!) and then making up lists of benefits and selling it to the public under the lie that its good for you. And don’t forget the government. Clearly the government is in the pocket of BIG PHARMA (capitalized because every time anyone mentioned BIG PHARMA, it really sounded capitalized). They get money from BIG PHARMA in order to turn their heads even when they know people are taking fraudulent products, and some even get enough money to convince them to legislate mandates and subsidize vaccines.

Oh, but while we’re at it, don’t forget your family doctor. S/he’s in on it too. See, they just really love to stick needles in your child’s arm. When you try to tell your doctor that you did that googling thing and read some stuff from a YouTube commenter on the internets and are sure that your son got autism from vaccines, your doctor will just laugh and you. Why? Because doctors think they are so smart from going to school and hate mothers and children. That’s why they became pediatricians in the first place, just so they can poison children then laugh about it afterward while rolling in their BIG PHARMA money.

I know this sounds like I’m exaggerating, but I’m completely serious. This is right along the lines of things said by speakers at the rally. Don’t believe me? Listen to the song “Vaccine Gestapo” by The Refusers — really just one guy (Michael Belkin) who sings along to a recording (serious!). The lyrics are here. Not only is it a terrible song but at the rally he played this song while mothers danced with their children. It was highly disturbing.

Finally, near the end of the rally the infamous Andrew Wakefield took the stage to cheers from a worshiping crowd. It was Andrew Wakefield, a victim of BIG PHARMA and a martyr to mother’s everywhere. There are few people in the world that I can truly say I hate, but he is one of them. The damage that he has done by scaring parents into not vaccinating their children and thereby leaving them free to contract deadly-yet-preventable diseases is beyond words. In order to keep myself from running up onto the stage and punching him in his smug little face, I contented myself by reading snarky comments on Twitter from all the people watching on the live internet feed.

(Hemant adds: You can see Andrew Wakefield’s speech here, courtesy of Zeno’s Arrow.)

After the rally I went and spoke with some of the other pro-science people who had showed up. At some point Bruce and I saw that Andrew Wakefield was particularly accessible and decided that we wanted to get a picture of him. I went up to him and asked and next thing I knew Andrew Wakefield had his arm around me setting up for a happy, smiling picture. Up until this point I had been wearing my “Hug Me I’m Vaccinated” Surly-Ramic necklace from Skepchick Amy hidden under my shirt. Right before the picture was taken I pulled it out and flashed a smile to the camera. Andrew Wakefield had no idea what just happened.

(From left to right, that’s me, Andrew Wakefield, and Bruce Critelli.)

As I left, I shook his hand and handed him a folded note I had handwritten the night before. I asked him if he would read it later when he got a chance. He told me he would, thanked me, and put the note in his pocket.

The note said the following:

Dear Andrew Wakefield,

I know that you truly believe that what you are doing is helping people and that the ends justify the means, but I just want you to know that the things you are doing –- the actions you have taken in the past have hurt people –- killed people. Your work has scared and manipulated parents into not vaccinating their children, putting them and their entire community at risk, all in the name of safety. Children have died because of you. I just want to make sure that you fully understand that.

Sincerely,
Jamie


  • http://www.bolingbrookbabbler.com William Brinkman

    Great Report Jamie. I wish I could have made it out there to counter protest.

  • PrimeNumbers

    Well said on the note, Jamie! I think you’re absolutely right that children have needlessly died.

  • http://pinkydead.blogspot.com David McNerney

    “I know that you truly believe that what you are doing is helping people…”

    Does he? The GMC didn’t seem to think so.

  • http://arkonbey.blogspot.com arkonbey

    I think what bugs me is that the anti-vax movement is not skepticism; it’s paranoia.

    Personally, I’m distrustful of the pharmaceutical industry and how they market and push drugs, but vaccines have been around for decades. It is a proven fact that vaccines have done far more good than harm.

    To be certain, even with great quality control, a bad batch of vaccines could have some ill effects. These people, however, are against the entire concept!

    (also, these morons makes us who are distrustful of the ‘big pharma’ for more intelligent reasons look like cranks.)

  • Karen

    I’m interested in Jamie’s stats on all the children who have died because of Andrew Wakefield. I’m no fan of his, but I think the letter she left for him was a cop-out. What kind of bravery does it take to pretend to be a friend and have a photo taken with him and then sneak in to leave him a snarky note? Hm.

    We’re atheist and no-vacs. Of course we realize that we have the luxury in this day and age to have a choice and we’re grateful. No polio or smallpox to take our babies to heaven to sing with the angels. We know this and we also realize that innoculations through different organizations are saving children all over the planet

    BUT, with my first child, the baby I took in to have his 15 month MMR was not the same child 1 week afterward. Only a mother could recognize this, and he just wasn’t. He was never dx’d, but had ensuing problems with cognitive ability, concentration and inappropriate emotional responses.
    And so, when the next two came along we decided to rethink vaccination. They are healthy and happy children.

    When the kids are older they can choose how they want to vaccinate their own bodies, or if they want to.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Karen… that’s exactly what is meant by the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. You have no way of knowing whether your baby would’ve turned out that way without the vaccination, so why blame the vaccination? Just because the changes happened afterward doesn’t mean that the vaccine caused them. I know that when you see these kind of changes in your child, you get frustrated and angry and want to find something or someone to blame. But sometimes, all there is to blame is genetics.

    Regarding the Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated cards: When you’re fighting misinformation, you need to be sure you’re not sowing some of your own. Vaccines aren’t “completely safe.” Nothing in medicine is. I know the opposition says they’re “completely dangerous” and it’s a war of rhetoric rather than facts, but saying they’re completely safe is a good way to get someone to call you a liar.

  • Tony

    I like the report but sadly I think your note is mistaken: Wakefield has shown very little evidence that he is acting out of charity to protect children from evil vaccines, and indeed shows every sign of attempting to line his own pockets. His study was not just error riddled, it seems to have been fraudulent. He was funded in his “research” by a lawyer trying to bring a class action suit against vaccine manufacturers and where his results did not match the conclusions he wished to present he changed them. Furthermore his final recommendation was to stop using the three-in-one jab and use a single measles vaccine which coincidentally was something he had just applied for a patent for.

    On top of this Wakefield breached protocols for testing on children without the permission or knowledge of the hospital ethics committee by performing more than just blood tests and he even paid children five pounds for a blood test at his own child’s birthday party. And I thought clowns were scary.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy#Wakefield_et_al._report

  • http://sundialsaga.blogspot.com Modern Girl

    I’m actually surprised to see this post on this blog. The one really hardcore anti-vax person I know is also a hardcore atheist, and says many things similar to Karen.

    However, I respectfully disagree with both. As a developmental psychologist, I am pro-vaccine. Yes, children do change around the time they receive their MMR vaccine, but there are so many developmental milestones happening at that point in time, it’s impossible to point causation at the vaccine. And what’s more important, there’s far more children out there that have had the MMR vaccine that DON’T go through what Karen has described above.

  • Tony

    This is just it: Rates of autism are NO DIFFERENT between children that have had the vaccine and children who haven’t. This basically eliminates the vaccine as a causative factor.

  • Bob

    The vaccine-doubters must simply come to terms with the alternative: the return to prominence of childhood diseases such as mumps, measles, and rubella.

    Wakefield’s premise is questionable. If vaccines cause autism, then it follows that the majority of autistic children must also have received vaccines. Yet, they doubtless all wore diapers, too – is there an insidious link between diaper use and autism?

  • Amy

    Slightly off topic, but as someone with an autism spectrum disorder (either Asperger’s or high functioning autism, depending on who you ask), the anti-vaccine movement really distresses me. I can understand calling autism (and being on the autism spectrum) an illness, even though that’s arguable (it’s a difference of brain wiring- the problem is that there’s many more neurotypical people in the world than autistic people, so the world is set up to accommodate people whose brains are wired like yours). I can even understand being upset that your child has autism/ Asperger’s/ another ASD. What really sickens, saddens, and angers me is the idea implicit in the anti-vaccine movement that not only would it be better for me and everyone like me to be dead, maimed or suffering from completely preventable diseases rather than being the people we are, but that it’d also be better for lots of other “normal” people to be dead, maimed or suffering so that people so that people like me don’t have to exist. I know it’s an emotional argument, and there’s more to my disdain than that (like the fact it’s dismissing science for instinct and there’s absolutely nothing to it), but that’s my gut reaction to this. I’m so awful that they’d rather unleash needless pandemics on society. Gee, thanks guys.

  • Bob

    @Amy:

    It wasn’t that long ago that Catholic schools forced children to be right-handed, because of a perception that left-handedness was ‘wrong’ or ‘strange.’

    What we really need to do is invest in sound science and research on autism and other variances in brain function – whether it’s autism or Alzheimer’s Disease – rather than ostracizing them. Superstitious claptrap like ‘it’s the vaccines!’ isn’t helping anyone.

  • Sue

    @Modern Girl: I think the reason this subject would appear on Heman’s blog is that most atheists favor science over anecdote and supposition. As you explain, vaccines have been proven through scientific measures to be effective, despite the rumors. Your atheist anti-vaccine friend must have an interesting take on things in order to disregard the evidence.

    As for Karen’s comment that there are “No polio or smallpox to take our babies to heaven to sing with the angels” (A funny statement on an atheist blog, certainly), I’d point out that the very reason for this is the widespread use of vaccines, which have served to nearly eradicate these illnesses. However, the more people who make the choice you have made–not to vaccinate their children–means the greater the risk of these diseases returning, as these diseases still exist in our world. Indeed, by not vaccinating their children, parents make decisions that affect the health of other children as well. Visits to and visitors from other countries–where vaccination is less common due to poverty and poor health care–can cause disease to spread (as an outbreak of mumps in a NY summer camp 5 years back).

    Ultimately, it comes down to a lack of evidence on the anti-vacc side. If it were only their children they put at risk, I’d say there was no harm done by parents making such decisions. Alas, all of us are at risk when such choices are made, and these folks are acting against the interest of our society.

  • plutosdad

    I think part of the problem is many people often think of harm via an action as worse than harm via inaction. This is the famous “should I divert the train” scenario: where a train is coming and going to kill 5 people, but you can flip the switch and divert it onto a track where it will kill one person. People are evenly divided on what is the right choice. similarly, these anti vaccine folks I assume would all vote “do nothing and let 5 die”.

    However, in the case of vaccination, the ratio is not 5 to 1, but thousands and thousands to 1. For that is the ratio. We have to admit vaccines are not completely safe (for nothing is) but look at the real ratios of harm. The truth is if we don’t have at least 95% of children vaccinated, more and more will children will die or become disfigured. Even if they did cause autism (which they don’t) the ratio of death and disfigurement from vaccinating vs not vaccinating would still justify giving the vaccines.

    Also, we seem to have forgotten already the horrible destruction wrought by measles, polio, mumps and other “childhood diseases” on children as recently as 50 years ago. Maybe we need to remind people. My (adoptive) grandfather became sterile from the mumps, when he was a teacher one mother actually sent her kids to school with the mumps – she had no idea that it could make her or other children sterile (he sent the kids home). Measles can kill children and even adults, but nowadays people think the measles are like chicken pox (which ironcially can also kill).

    Besides showing the true ratio (the more likely harm to children from not vaccinating) and reminding parents how awful these diseases are, other arguments may be to convince them that not vaccinating as an active choice rather than passive inaction, to overcome the phenomenon above. So they don’t think of not vaccinating as letting nature take its course, but rather a choice by the parent that will have repurcussions. Though logically that may not be true (I’m not great at philosophy), you might be able to convince them, as Rush sang, “you still have made a choice.”

    Also maybe use guilt: you may kill your neighbor’s child, not your own, due to the lack of herd immunity, and show how since this is already happening in the UK where deaths from measles are on the rise over the past few years (about 10 kids died I think over the past few years?) and cases of measles are skyrocketing, because the vaccination rate went down from the 95 to 87%. Both cases and deaths from measles are now falling in poor countries, and rising in the developed world!

  • TE

    I think it’s sad that everybody assumes that if you don’t vaccinate, you are just believing rumors and not looking at science. I am a hard core atheist, and I am very much in to science. I’m so much in to science that I read the ingredients in the vaccines and they scare me.

    My son had reactions to vaccines as a baby. I am not so concerned with the vaccines causing autism as I am with other health issues that can arise from vaccines that are hardly tested and are pushed for illnesses that are hardly serious – like chicken pox.

    Not vaccinating does not automatically make you a moron who listens to paranoia and runs with it. Sometimes it makes you a person who does enough research to find that the risks might actually outweigh the benefits.

    I don’t need evidence. My child stopped breathing several times over the course of 3 days, from a few hours after he got his vaccines. When I stopped vaccinating him, he stopped having the reactions. I don’t need evidence from a drug company – and I will not risk my children’s lives “in the interest of society”. I am not stupid, I am a mother who loves her children with every ounce of her being and knows that if they die, she will never EVER see them again. There is no heaven to re-unite us one day. There is no rewind button. When they are gone, they are gone.

    And for the record, I did a ton of research on both sides of the issue before making a decision not to vaccinate my next child. She is not vaccinated either, and she won’t be. EVER. (unless she decides as an adult)

  • Bob

    @plutosdad:

    It’s not just that unvaccinated children put others at risk, but the modern business enviroment w/ limited paid sick days is overriding common sense … and parents/adults, too, come to work when ill.

    How often have you encountered a co-worker who has a bronchial cough, only to hear, “It’s okay, I’m on antibiotics”?

    (This last time, that same co-worker turned out to have been lugging around a case of chicken pox she caught from her kid.)

  • Narvi

    I’m autistic (well, aspergers, more like Autistic Light), and from conversations with more heavily struck autists, I’ve reached one conclusion:

    Even if vaccines caused autism (EVEN IF, and there is no evidence whatsoever that it does), I’d rather have autism than smallpox.

    Would it be an idea to carry pictures of smallpox-infested children to usch rallies? Emotional appeal, to be sure, but if that’s all they listen to, let’s give them what they want.

  • http://www.takedeadaimontherichkids.blogspot.com Alice

    Coincidentally, I just watched the Frontline documentary on this issue yesterday. I thought they were morons beforehand, but listening to a whiny woman complain about giving polio vaccinations in a country that doesn’t have polio anymore made me want to scream.

  • Bob

    @Alice:

    My (late) mother-in-law was a microbiologist who worked on the Salk Vaccine for Polio.

    I’m old enough to remember that Polio was still an occasional incidence when I was a kid the 1960′s – it hadn’t truly been ‘eliminated.’

  • DGKnipfer

    Narvi,

    A very good point. Autism, even sever Autism is far superior to going to your child’s funeral. I so wish these people could understand that without having to go through the funeral process, but I fear that is what it will take.

  • http://www.twitter.com/UAJamie Jamie

    Thanks everyone, I appreciate the comments. Again, thank you Hemant for letting me write a guest post.

    @Karen: As to some stats, try taking a look at http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com It could just as well be the “Andrew Wakefield Body Count Since 2007.” To put some faces on who some of these people who have died, check out http://www.whatstheharm.net/vaccinedenial.html
    For more info on vaccine safety check out the list of links at http://www.hugmeimvaccinated.org/

    @MiketheInfidel: We are already on top of changing the wording of “completely safe” on the hug me cards. It’s misleading as there are risks to vaccines, the risks are merely slight compared to let’s say smallpox.

    @Tony: I know. I think that most of the people at the rally really are trying to help people. They wouldn’t be there if they didn’t believe in it so strongly. Andrew Wakefield on the other hand is merely an opportunist, leaving death and destruction in his wake and not batting an eye. He even used the words “Callous Disregard” that ‘the Lancet’ used to describe Wakefield’s attitude toward the children as the title for his new book. It is my opinion that he knows he is lying and just doesn’t care. However, for the purposes of my letter I wanted him to actually read it all the way to the end and starting out in a way that seems understanding will prevent him from trashing it immediately. Do I expect him to change? No, of course not. I just feel really strongly about this and wanted to confront him without getting arrested by his 6 bodyguards.

    @plutosdad: Regarding the diverting the train scenario, at the rally one of the speakers actually said that the people who tout vaccinations are throwing their children in front of the train to prevent against diseases. Or something like that. It didn’t really make sense but did involve said children under trains.

  • http://thesciencepundit.blogspot.com/ The Science Pundit

    Ouch!! My ears are bleeding! I wish I hadn’t clicked that link to listen to Vaccine Gestapo. I need to go listen to Roy Zimmerman now to help me recover. ;-)

    Great report, Jamie!

  • Lynne

    @Alice: I also watched that documentary! And I also almost totally lost it at that same part!!

    I especially appreciate those with ASDs who have spoken up here. I have always wondered how I might think about this debate if I actually had autism. Thanks for sharing your point of view.

  • The Pint

    @ TE – “I am not so concerned with the vaccines causing autism as I am with other health issues that can arise from vaccines that are hardly tested and are pushed for illnesses that are hardly serious – like chicken pox.”

    Pardon me, but chicken pox can be a very serious health issue. It almost killed my mother – when she was an ADULT.

    Back in the early 80s when I was in second grade, there was a chicken pox outbreak at school. Those of us who weren’t immediately infected were encouraged to be around the kids who were so we would get sick & thereby gain immunity to the disease, the common wisdom at the time being that chicken pox wasn’t that deadly to kids and a lifelong immunity was worth the inconvenience of a few weeks of itchy puss-filled bumps, fever and fatigue. It was a miserable itchy few weeks for us kids, but since we got to miss school, it seemed like a good trade off. However, this plan assumed that the adults in the household had already gone through the same thing as kids.

    This was the case with my father, but not my mother. Not only did she get terribly sick, her immune system was already compromised by MS – she had the aggressive/progressive type – so the effects of the disease were far worse on her. She was already weakened, using a walker before she got chicken pox, and after being bedridden for weeks and dealing with complications like fluid-filled lungs, infected sores from the bumps that had broken open and a compromised digestive system, never fully recovered. Her walker had to be traded in for a wheelchair and she had to start wearing adult diapers. She was 37 when this happened. She died 4 years later and I’d hate to think that life-threatening bout of chicken pox weakened her so badly that it took years off her life (she eventually died from pneumonia).

    If there had been a vaccine available for chicken pox when I was a child, you can be damn sure I would have gotten it if we’d known it would have spare my mother those weeks of hell and possibly kept her strong enough to live a few years longer. As it is, I’m eternally thankful that I and the other kids I was around were fully vaccinated with everything available at the time, because any number of illness that might have killed or disabled us would most definitely have killed my mother.

  • Neon Genesis

    “I don’t need evidence. ”

    TE, if you don’t believe in evidence, then you are believing in rumors and you’re not looking at all sides of an issue. You’re no different than the creationists who say they’re unbiased because they read Dawkins but they don’t need to actually think about what he says because they have faith.

  • http://onestdv.blogspot.com OneSTDV

    what’s wrong with voluntary eugenics?

  • Sarah

    I guess I don’t understand what this issue has to do with atheism? Our family is 100% atheist and has been for ages…and we also don’t vax. It’s a HUGE generalization to say that people don’t vax out of some misguided fear of autism. In fact the majority of the people I know who don’t vax are atheists and make no correlation between vax and autism. We’ve come to our decisions based on science not on irrational fear mongering thankyouverymuch.

  • Katie

    It’s easy to jump on the “people who don’t vaccinate are evil” bandwagon when you aren’t taking the time to actually listen to the anti-vax side. It’s obvious from the article here that the author didn’t actually go in with an open mind enough to research some of the claims being made. She mentions how the anti-vax side calls vaccines and tylenol “evil” and implies that they are crazy for believing that the pharmaceutical companies do harm. A recent published study shows that tylenol, when administered with vaccines, hinders the vaccines ability to create a typical immune response. This has been standard practice for many years, why is it just now coming out that it might be a bad idea to combine the two? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33331643/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

    So if they are just now discovering that pain medication following vaccination can be lowering the assumed immunity, that also affects the theory of herd immunity. Speaking of herd immunity, in order for it to work a percentage of the entire community must be immune, not just babies and children. Adults who are not getting boosters on time and who are not actually gaining immunity, are putting a damper on herd immunity. Where is the push for adults to stay current? Furthermore, how many of you spouting herd immunity have actually had your immunity levels checked? It’s a false notion that vaccines create immunity 100% of the time so if you wanted to be good citizens you would be having titers done and getting boosters as many times as it takes for you to be immune. If you want to prove vaccines are safe and effective then maybe you should prove by example.
    If you actually believe that pharmaceutical companies aren’t providing incentive for doctors to sell their product, I’d like to know what fantasy you are living in. Walking into a doctor’s office, you are immediately surrounded by advertisements for pharmaceutical companies. Do you think doctors just allow them to advertise for free? At my doctor’s office, most of the equipment like the scales and blood pressure machines are gifted by pharma. They are clearly labeled with the companies name and slogans. This is advertisement 101 people, you give someone something for “free” and they are a lot more likely to return the gratitude by recommending your product. That is legal and standard practice among medical professionals and pharma. The fact that a lot of the ACIP members also work for pharma companies or have in the past, shows their bias. I mean you did hear about Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC resigned and is now president of Merck vaccines right? Unbiased, right.

    Ok, lastly, since this is already really long, the non vaccination movement has little to do with autism. Parents who don’t vaccinate, do so because of a ton of other reasons. Autism is very low on the list. It has more to do with the unknown side effects of all of the stuff in vaccines. Mercury is washed out now, leaving trace amounts, great. What about all of the other stuff? Animal cells, human diploid cells, antibiotics, aluminum, etc. It is a FACT that vaccinates are not tested for their ability to cause cancer, affect fertility or cause mutations of your DNA. It’s also contradicted to give a child certain vaccines if they are allergic to any of the ingredients. How would you know a newborn is allergic when he is only hours old? All of this can be seen if you read the package inserts to any vaccine. This info is supposed to be available for any person receiving a vaccine but when was the last time the doctor gave you that information? It’s like the pharmacy handing you pills without all of the precautionary information attached. Dangerous.
    It’s nice how you all think people who don’t vaccinate are doing so out of blind faith and hysterics when in reality, we do so because of logical thought and using science to prove science. The whole point of science is to continually make changes based on other scientific evidence. You base your entire faith of herd immunity on lowered rates of diseases without taking into account the change in hygiene and public health and the change in diagnosis for these diseases post vaccination. Forgive us who dare to question to mainstream. I would have expected more out of atheists and free thinkers.

  • http://limadean.wordpress.com Nadine

    Jamie, thanks for this report. Very interesting!

  • Hitch

    Jamie, really great and commendable work!

  • Narvi

    @OneSTDV: What’s wrong? Two things.

    1. It’s the kids that die, not their parents. Killing your kids is not a right.

    2. Herd immunity. I don’t want to die because some other asshole is afraid of needles.

  • Narvi

    @TE: Maybe your kid got an allergic reaction to the vaccines. Have you had that tested?

    If he does, you should be out there supporting vaccines with all your might. Our vaccinations are providing your kid with the protection his body won’t allow him to have.

  • Pingback: What she said « My Point Exactly

  • http://thenaturalbuddhist.blogspot.com JohnFrost

    @TE – “I don’t need evidence.”

    And that tells us pretty much all we need to know about you, right there.

    And for the record, I’m highly skeptical of your claim to have done “tons of research,” when you can’t seem to be bothered to notice that, on this site, no one is claiming vaccines are 100% safe. I believe several people have actually gone out of there way to point that out.
    So, like Narvi said, just because your child had an allergic reaction to a vaccine does not mean you should campaign against vaccines. It means your child was one of the very, very rare cases where a child is allergic to the vaccine, and needs that herd immunity even more!

  • Tony

    I don’t need evidence. My child stopped breathing several times over the course of 3 days, from a few hours after he got his vaccines. When I stopped vaccinating him, he stopped having the reactions.

    It’s entirely possible that your child is one of the tiny minority of individuals that is unable to receive vaccines due to allergy or hypersensitivity. This means that he is reliant on a vaccination rate of 95% in the population which maintains herd immunity and prevents infections from reaching a critical mass.

    For this reason you should be more in favour of large scale vaccination to protect your child from the ravages of epidemics.

  • Tara

    I was interested to read amy and Narvi’s comments from the ASD perspective. I have often felt uncomfortable with how some anti-vaxxers speak about children with Autism. Like they are broken toys or something like that.

    And I agree with everyone’s comments directed at TE. If your child can’t be vaccinated, you should be shouting from the rooftops to ensure other children are, so he can be protected.

  • http://babytoolkit.blogspot.com adrienne

    Very cool, Jamie!

    I think it’s important to remind people when their actions may have very serious consequences for people outside their scope.

    Non-vaccination causes much greater risks for people in the community like young infants (before they can be fully immunized) and people with compromised immune systems.

    If someone is going to put babies, people undergoing chemotherapy, and kids with chronic health problems at risk, I hope they would do it only after thorough scrutiny of the scientific issue. Jenny McCarthy or Jim Carrey’s experience as the parent of an autistic child just doesn’t meet my research standards.

  • saddenedbystupidity

    Until now I was a fan of this blog. I’m sorry…I dont care how you feel about any particular subject, but the ability to look at it from both angles as an educated person is key. You have obviously not done this, and I have lost all respect. If you are going to blog on a subject be sure to take all factors into consideraton.

  • Dad Fourkids

    A couple of points to be made…

    To start with, Andrew’s study has not be discredited in the least, and in fact his findings of GI distress in autistic children has indeed been replicated several times now. What was retracted were the implications that the problem he identified was a direct result of the MMR, which even he said (if you would read the actual published study) would require more in depth study to determine.

    Furthermore, the GMC hearings against Wakefield found a single instance of “unethical behavior”, namely the drawing of blood for control purposes in a non-clinical setting. Having the Lancet toss the study based upon this is the same as a mugger getting off because a cop failed to read Miranda to him when he was arrested. I have to question why his drawing blood from will persons with their willing parents present would be unethical simply because it wasn’t at Royal Free, when vaccines are routinely dispensed in non-clinical settings all the time. Sort of a goose and gander thing.

    Secondly, children haven’t died because of Dr. Wakefield. MMR compliance rates were actually lower prior to his study’s publication than they were following, and more parents are declining vaccination now as a direct result of the behavior of regulators like the CDC and MOH than they are because of a single research paper. When it is blatantly obvious that the people who are promoting vaccines are not telling the truth about certain aspects of it, public confidence erodes and will continue to do so.

    Speaking specifically about the measles, the mortality in the Western world from this particular disease had declined by more than 90% nearly two decades before the first vaccine for measles had ever been developed. Those who promote compulsory vaccination the loudest will frequently spout unsubstantiated figures that measles kills X number of children worldwide, when in fact the majority of those deaths are estimated in areas where no census is possible, there are no health officials keeping anything remotely resembling a body count, and in fact it wasn’t the measles per se that killed the children that are seen, it was malnutrition, lack of potable water and the collateral societal damage that comes from war and famine. Even if we were to somehow completely erradicate measles these children would still be dying from the root underlying causes.

    Finally, though people like Offit want us to loathe and fear those persons who choose to opt out of vaccinating do so using language that makes it appear to be an all or nothing scenario. Many of the people who question vaccine safety do not believe it is all or nothing, they wish to make better decisions based upon the information they are able to get, often from medical professionals and from peer-reviewed publications. They do not want to acknowledge that the US has paid out nearly $2 Billion for vaccine damages, including hundreds of deaths since the inception of the NVICP, despite having a compliance rate with reporting vaccine adverse events of less than 10% by the CDC’s own admission before Burton’s Committee. They do not want to let parents read the package inserts from the manufacturers who list contraindicators that the AAP encourages pediatricians to ignore. They do not allow discussion as to why we apply the same risk/benefit ratio for a truly dangerous disease to one that is at best a nuisance, and in fact may actually help the body immune system get stronger. They do not want people to think about how the US has dropped down the list for infant mortality all the while aggressively adding more vaccines until our children have a lower chance at life than any of the European nations despite having more than twice as many shots as their children. And they certainly do no admit that we have destroyed the natural immunity to many diseases that people had from catching them years ago, opting instead for the temporary protection of vaccines (none of which lasts more than a decade and some less than that), meaning nursing mothers no longer share their immunity with their infants, effectively causing them to be MORE at risk for disease complications than if we had left well enough alone.

    Of course, those who profit like nothing better. By creating this last scenario, they set the stage to have women of child bearing age primed to need multiple boosters, which has just created a whole new market where one never was before. Dr. Healy said it best when she left the NIH. The question of vaccines’ link with autism has far from been answered, from a scientific POV.

  • Hitch

    Which factors were not considered?

  • beckster

    I have always been a supporter of vaccinations, but even more so after having visited a country where vaccines are not routinely avaliable and coming face to face with some of the horrible diseases that we have eradicated here. We do not want these diseases coming back. They are horrible. If you have ever seen a child disfigured by polio, you would be at the front of the line to make sure your child was vaccinated. I think one of the reasons so many are willing to not vaccinate their children is because they have never seen the end results of these diseases firsthand. Even the mumps or measles can damage a person for life. I know of women in other countries who have carried their children for days across rugged land to get them to a free vaccination clinic because they are familiar with the horrors of these diseases and are desperate to protect their children.

    I also agree with a previous poster that American adults should be getting their titers done to double check their immunity. Unfortunately, it is not covered by most insurance plans and is expensive to have done. I stay up to date on my immunizations and have had titers done because I don’t want to pass along something unknowingly to someone whose immune system cannot handle it.

  • http://daisymayfattypants.blogspot.com Emily Willingham

    I love this. Great stuff.

    As for the poster above…I’d say that with 10 of 13 original authors having run away screaming and a retraction with nothing in the way of a single study replicating his results all add up to “discredited,” and that’s not adding in the GMC ruling and his having been stripped of his medical license. What else does it take for someone to be discredited? I’d say that it would be nice if he’d just go ahead and admit it and show some contrition, but that’s not in his playbook, clearly.

    Those package inserts are available online for anyone to read. You’d think that graduates of Google U would know that.

    I say this everywhere I go: For millennia, the human species breastfed exclusively, spent a lot of time living in fresh air, ate pesticide-free foods, etc., and lo…infant and child mortality rates from the very diseases against which we vaccinate were exceptionally high. Your immune system doesn’t get “stronger” by working out against more of the same antigen. It encounters the antigen–via vaccination or infection–deals with it (or not, and you die)–and moves on. Adding viral load doesn’t somehow increase the immune system’s musculature.

  • Sylvia

    Unbelieveble. That was a Freedom of Choice Rally. You would think someone who wants the choice whether or not to have religion pushed on them would understand those who want to have the freedoms to choose which biologicals they have injected into them or their children. The term “anti-vaccine” is a propaganda word to diminish a persons rights.
    I fully support your right to give yourself and your children as many vaccines as you wish. I really wish you would respect my rights as well.
    And by the way, my belief in God has greatly dimished since my second son also was severely injured right after a round of vaccines. But I try to remember that it was MAN who has done this to them, not God.

  • Hitch

    http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/upload/autismMMR.pdf

    I think NIH has a pretty balanced evaluation of all factors here.

    Ultimately there is no credible link established yet. So is it reponsible to put kids, and their future children (through pregnancy dangers) at risk because of an unestablished link? NIH goes through the whole motion and gives a clear answer.

    As for the whole story, with conflict of interest stuff, retractions and all, here is how wikipedia documents it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield#MMR_controversy

    That is very much the question.

    Unfortunately we have these kinds of “oh it might be dangerous so lets not do it” fear campaigns. In Europe the “cellphone masts cause health problems”-theory runs strong with very verbal advocate and virtually no scientific evidence. But lots of charlatans who run with faked “measuring” dimensions around rural areas and make money “releaving the problem”. Snake oil salesmanship ala 2010.

    These fears run so deep that people only fear electromagnetic waves that they can imagine existing and not those that actually exist. But yes I have to talk to my mom on the phone because yet another loon acted as if people are in massive danger and managed to scare her too.

    To bring this on a more crass level. Anybody remember the deranged and senile Sudanese Muslim cleric who declared that the polio vaccination was a ploy by “jews and freemasons”. The subsequent refusal to vaccinate stalled the polio eradication program and had polio resurface in countries where it had already been extinct. Yes, that’s people severely crippled because of someone saying one shouldn’t vaccine out of fear.

    Measles pregnancies can and will harm or kill. It’s no laughing matter.

    Autism is serious business and the rates are rising. Yet there is no solid evidence that vaccines are a factor. Let’s have some solid research not some half-baked fears. The moment there is credible science you’ll have the whole skeptic community on your side.

  • Sylvia

    Dr. Wakefield suggested it may be worth looking at spliting the MMR up, and giving the individual shots for mumps, measles and rubella. Yeah, that is pretty crazy talk. He never said not to vaccinate for measles. He suggested it may be best to give the measles vaccine alone, away from any other live virus vaccines. In response, besides the complete and utter smear campaign against him, the pharmaceutical companies stopped producing the single vaccines, so parents were only given the choice of MMR or nothing. Nothing like a little strong arming of the consumer, eh? That doesn’t go over well with a lot of parents.
    If anyone REALLY wants to understand the controversy surrounding this issue, read Wakefields book: Callous Disregard. I got mine on Amazon.com.

  • Andrea

    I think everyone should be INFORMED in their decision whether or not to vaccinate their children. I understand the fear many people have in NOT vaccinating their children, but please take a step back and realize that you have been manipulated by these drug companies to think this way.

    When I was a child (some 33 years ago), I received 15 shots before I started school. Now they are “prescribing” my children receive 45…yes, that is right, 45 shots. Don’t think they are wanting to make money?? Did you know that 93% of children gain immunity on the FIRST vaccination, but these pharmaceutical companies have convinced the public that each shot needs at least 3 ‘boosters’. That is to catch that 7% of children who didn’t gain immunity. Now, when I take my dog into the vet, we check his titers instead of giving him shots and we have been doing that for years. Did you know he has had only one set of shots yet has stayed immuned for SEVEN years? So why don’t we do this with our children? You don’t think it would be more logical to check their titers (involves just drawing a little blood) instead of pumping them full of formaldehyde?? Really??

    This is an issue with our overall healthcare system and not the parents who choose not to vaccinate. These parents love their children enough to do the REAL research and not just believe what a doctor tells them. Surely, as an atheist, you could relate…it’s not like you believe something just because a priest tells you. Right?

  • Gwenny

    Nothing at all to do with this article, but I read your blog through Google Reader and there’s always an ad appended at the end. I’m fine with that, you gotta save up your dowry somehow ( j/k). Amusingly, however, this article was accompanied by an ad to vote for Carly Fiorina, and “send Barbara Boxer home”.

  • Trace

    oh my!

    so much self-righteousness and callousness….

    ….and yes, my 10 year old son is diagnosed with Asperger’s and has received every vaccine there is.

    …and no, he is neither a “broken toy” nor a “blessing”, he is just a kid trying to do the best he can every day.

    He is my little hero.

    Peace.

  • http://thegayestwebsiteever.com Ben

    Good article. You’re kind of a babe – did anybody mention that yet? I didn’t read all of the comments, so I’m not sure. Well if it hasn’t been mentioned, I’m probably just saying what everybody else is thinking.

  • inmyhead9

    I am proud to say that I vaccinate my young twins and always have. I feel very very strongly about this topic because my family and I went through a very terrible time this past winter. One of my sons became very very very ill when he came down with pneumonia and then later MRSA. That is one nasty infection and is resist an to almost all medications at this point. The doctors and surgeons all told me that if had not gotten the MRSA vaccine that they would have expected the worst outcome. sigh. This is hard. The boy’s lung collapsed and had surgery. It is a long story and there was negligence of his pediatrician. The story is long, but we have taken action in this case with the board. He was in the hospital for 2 week because of MRSA and pneumonia. I am sooo thankful for vaccines and if there are in rallys in the south, I will gladly come and be an advocate for the Pro side.

  • Hitch

    Trace & inmyhead9, all the best to both of you and your kids.

  • Sylvia

    If one vaccine saves a life, and the next one takes a life, are all vaccines still “good”? A parent should have the right to weigh the pros and cons, the benefits and the RISKS of all medical procedures FREE of coercion and blackmail.
    But that is not the current state of affairs. Parents are strong armed into compliance with threats and bullying. They have to sign a form stating that they know the risks, of the vaccine, and do not hold the doctor or drug company liable if anything bad happens. That type of thing sounds like what the mob would have you sign, not your pediatrician. Full blown autism is at 1 in 100 now, up from about 1 in 10,000. Speech delays, ADHD, asthma, food allergies, the list goes on. Our kids are not healthy anymore. Parents deserve the right to deicde for themselves.

  • http://www.rationalmoms.com Julie

    Wow, this kinda made me cry. I will post a link on http://www.rationalmoms.com.

    Great work.

  • inmyhead9

    Awe. Thanks Hitch. I forgot to mention that my son is almost completely back to normal. No one can tell that he was that sick, but he doesn’t run as hard and he needs more sleep. That is it. The doctors at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham ROCK!!!

  • Aj

    plutosdad,

    That is false, people are not evenly divided on the trolley problems. They come down on the side of the one on the second trolley problem (stab and push a fat man) for the reason you stated, but it has more to do with “using” someone instead of just being placed in situation. This is confirmed by a third scenario where there’s still a switch for two tracks but there’s a fat man on the track and the track loops round from him toward the five people on the other track.

    -

    I think that crazies scan blogs for talk on vaccination and descend with inane and ignorant comments. I haven’t seen the stupid levels so high here before.

  • isles

    Three cheers for Women Thinking Freely! I know how scary it is to go into an event where you expect to be reviled. Thank you!

    Some of the comments on this post prove that atheism and rational thinking don’t necessarily go together.

  • inmyhead9

    Julie, that is a great site. I have been looking for a good blog for rational thinking moms. YAY. My husband has read atheistdad.com ever since he found out we were pregnant. Now I have one. I love blogs.

  • 123

    Nice job crashing the party! Thanks for the link to the video (but who was filming that, the dystonia cheerleader? Shaky cam much?).

  • http://liberalfaith.blogspot.com/ Steve Caldwell

    One of the bloggers at ScienceBlogs (Janet D. Stemwedel – dual PhD’s in philosophy and chemistry) has suggested that parents who opt-out of vaccination for reasons other than medical necessity are “free-riders” from an ethics perspective:

    “Vaccine refuseniks are free-riders”
    http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2009/06/vaccine_refuseniks_are_free-ri.php

    Here are two quotes from Janet’s column:

    I thought, therefore, that it would be worthwhile to examine at more length my claim that vaccination refuseniks are free-riders.

    First, what’s a free-rider?

    In the simplest terms, a free-rider is someone who accepts a benefit without paying for it. The free-rider is able to partake of this benefit because others have assumed the costs necessary to bring it about. But if no one was willing to assume those costs (or indeed, in some cases, if there is not a critical mass of people assuming those costs), then that benefit would not be available, either.

    Thus, when I claim that people who opt out of vaccination are free-riders on society, what I’m saying is that they are receiving benefits for which they haven’t paid their fair share — and that they receive these benefits only because other members of society have assumed the costs by being vaccinated.

    ***

    The people who vaccinate are assuming the costs that bring us a largely epidemic-free way of life. Those who opt out of vaccinating are taking that benefit for free.

    I understand that the decision not to vaccinate is often driven by concerns about what costs those who receive the vaccines might bear, and whether those costs might be worse than the benefits secured by vaccination. Set aside for the moment the issue of whether these concerns are well grounded in fact. Instead, let’s look at the parallel me might draw:

    If I vaccinate my kids, no matter what your views about the etiology of autism and asthma, you are not going to claim that my kids getting their shots raise your kids’ odds of getting autism or asthma. But if you don’t vaccinate your kids, even if I vaccinate mine, your decision does raise my kids’ chance of catching preventable infectious diseases. My decision to vaccinate doesn’t hurt you (and probably helps you in the ways discussed above). Your decision not to vaccinate could well hurt me.

    The asymmetry of these choices is pretty unavoidable.

    I know a lot of folks view the decision to vaccinate as a personal libertarian decision that only affect their families.

    The problem with that view is the microbes don’t always respect that political philosophy … apparently they haven’t read enough Ayn Rand.

    :^)

  • Michelle

    Choosing not to vaccinate does not put a vaccinated child at risk, it only puts those not vaccinated at risk. Even a vaccinated person can be a carrier of disease (without actually being ill from the virus) and spread it to those not vaccinated.

    Choosing to vaccinate or not is a personal choice, and one that I made with research and support of our family physician. There is science on both sides of the fence.

    For my family, I considered the issues of the number of vaccines given at one time, and within such a short time-frame in an infant’s life, mass-immunization for diseases that aren’t that threatening (eg varicella), the benefits of developing the immune system naturally and the benefits of exposure to disease (again, varicella) to help boost one’s natural immunity over a lifetime. For example, exposure to varicella as an naturally immune adult will help boost my immunity and aid in the prevention of developing shingles. Because children are routinely given the vaccine now (at only 70% effectiveness) the natural disease is much rarer, limiting my exposure.

  • Aj

    Michelle,

    Choosing not to vaccinate does not put a vaccinated child at risk, it only puts those not vaccinated at risk. Even a vaccinated person can be a carrier of disease (without actually being ill from the virus) and spread it to those not vaccinated.

    The immune system is not perfect, therefore not everyone who gets a vaccine gets immunity, therefore you are incorrect.

    Choosing to vaccinate or not is a personal choice, and one that I made with research and support of our family physician. There is science on both sides of the fence.

    For some it is not, they are unable to get vaccinated, they rely on others to get vaccinated so it’s unlikely they’ll meet someone who will infect them.

    For my family, I considered the issues of the number of vaccines given at one time, and within such a short time-frame in an infant’s life, mass-immunization for diseases that aren’t that threatening (eg varicella), the benefits of developing the immune system naturally and the benefits of exposure to disease (again, varicella) to help boost one’s natural immunity over a lifetime. For example, exposure to varicella as an naturally immune adult will help boost my immunity and aid in the prevention of developing shingles. Because children are routinely given the vaccine now (at only 70% effectiveness) the natural disease is much rarer, limiting my exposure.

    What are the issues with the number of vaccines? What are the issues with such a short time-frame of an infant’s life? What are the benefits of developing the immune system naturally? Why can’t you just get boosters instead of being repeatedly exposed to a virus? Are you using the naturalistic fallacy?

    Some of the other comments here are just tangled webs of random vague claims (or accusations). If there’s science on both sides of the fence then why have you not backed up any of your claims?

  • ProtectChildren

    “…the mortality in the Western world from this particular disease had declined by more than 90% nearly two decades before the first vaccine for measles had ever been developed.”

    Dad4kids doesn’t know the difference between mortality and incidence.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Sylvia:

    Parents deserve the right to decide for themselves.

    You are not deciding for yourself. You are deciding for your child, and for everyone they come in contact with.

  • http://www.bolingbrookbabbler.com William Brinkman

    If autism is curable, as Jenny McCarthy claims it is, then shouldn’t parents give their children the vaccines, and then start Jenny’s treatment? Then they will be safe from disease, and cured of autism.

    I have a friend who has an autistic child. While its been hard, I’m sure she would rather have an autistic child, than a dead or suffering child.

  • Trace

    Thanks Hitch.

  • Gustavus Adolphus, Millipedeus Maximus

    “Choosing not to vaccinate does not put a vaccinated child at risk, it only puts those not vaccinated at risk.” — Michelle

    It puts everybody at risk. The unvaccinated people serve as a reservoir and incubator for pathogens, which then have a nice place to reproduce. Which makes unvaccinated hosts the main source of new mutations of pathogens, and sometimes those new mutations are able to get around the vaccines and infect vaccinated people.

    Think of influenza as an example. We’re often able to come up with effective vaccines against strains of the virus. But we can’t vaccinate every host, be they human or pig or chicken or whatever. And so the influenza viruses incubate and mutate in those hosts, and every year we get new strains of the viruses that aren’t blocked by the vaccines. That’s why all of our medical knowledge and ability hasn’t been able to really let us make headway against influenza. And it will probably be a long time before we ever are able to come close to stopping influenza, even if we were to make vaccinations mandatory all across the planet. It is just too contagious, and there are too many hosts (including non-humans).

    With diseases that are more limited, however (especially ones that can only infect humans), we do have a chance of stopping them. Smallpox is the big shining example of that. We vaccinated everybody whom we could, and eventually there were no more hosts available for the virus to incubate in. And the virus went away. . .aside from a few samples kept locked away.

    Polio shows what happens when we only vaccinate some people, though. The disease was almost entirely eliminated, with something like only two countries left with cases of it. Then came a big and totally unwarranted panic about the vaccine, people stopped vaccinating. . .and now polio is showing up all over the world again, even in “first world” nations such as England. And with more people catching it, there is a larger population of the viruses. Which makes it much, much more likely that it will mutate into something new. We almost had polio completely extinct and could have done so within another decade, but thanks to the anti-vaccine scaremongers it will be many more decades at the very least. . .assuming that we’re able to at all.

  • Judith Bandsma

    My sister is deaf because of measles. When I was in school we never knew which of our classmates would be back after summer break because polio would be rampant in the summer. We never saw whooping cough or diphtheria, those had vaccines already but we heard the stories from our parents and grandparents.

    Now whooping cough is back big time. We have measles epidemics here about every 3 years that close the schools. I expect any day to hear about cases of diphtheria and the incidence of polio, while still very, very low is rising. (Not that long ago the average was -8- cases per year, now it’s about 20)

    My first great-grandchild was born yesterday. People who refuse to vaccinate, who reduce the herd immunity ON PURPOSE, scare the shit out of me for his prospects.

  • TE

    @TE – “I don’t need evidence.” (and let me rephrase that, ” I don’t need any MORE evidence than what I saw in front of me when my child was not breathing. – thankyouverymuch”)

    And that tells us pretty much all we need to know about you, right there.

    And for the record, I’m highly skeptical of your claim to have done “tons of research,” when you can’t seem to be bothered to notice that, on this site, no one is claiming vaccines are 100% safe. I believe several people have actually gone out of there way to point that out.
    So, like Narvi said, just because your child had an allergic reaction to a vaccine does not mean you should campaign against vaccines. It means your child was one of the very, very rare cases where a child is allergic to the vaccine, and needs that herd immunity even more!

    It’s easy to take a part of something that somebody wrote and turn it around to fit your agenda. Here is the rest of what I wrote: My child stopped breathing several times over the course of 3 days, from a few hours after he got his vaccines. When I stopped vaccinating him, he stopped having the reactions.

    So, a few notes here: I never stated that anybody was claiming that vaccines were 100% safe.

    The fact that you say: “And that tells us pretty much all we need to know about you, right there.” as a response to me saying that my son stopped breathing several times as a reaction to vaccinations is pretty low. Are you suggesting that I should have continued to vaccinate my infant, while he had these reactions?

    I had a few responses that said that I should not be crusading against vaccines. Where did I ever say that I’m crusading against them? I’m saying that not everybody who chooses not to vaccinate does so out of some blind following and paranoia. Some of us do so because the vaccines caused harm, not good. Maybe that’s rare, maybe it’s not. I don’t know, but I do know that my children will not be vaccinated because it is not safe for them. I also know that this decision was based on evidence sitting right in front of me… a baby who was almost dead.

    Vaccines are not 100% good, and they are not 100% bad. Furthermore, the horrible assumptions made here that people choose not to vaccinate out of false information and paranoia is offensive and not based in truth.

    While I will not crusade against vaccinations, nor will I crusade for vaccinations, I will crusade for a parents right to choose. My child’s life has depended on that right to choose.

    And when they clean up those vaccines and make them safer, we can talk.

    In the meantime, I am just very disturbed by what I have read in this blog today and am unsubbing. I am fine with healthy debate, but not with name calling and mud slinging. There is very little open-mindedness here. — I’m wasting my time reading and even trying to respond, as I know that it will not help a person understand another point of view, because they don’t want to. They want to continue on their slam-fest.

  • TE

    ps, I didn’t know how to put things in the gray squares as quotes, so I apologize if what I said looks very cryptic.

  • Aaron

    @TE: No one is trying to claim that vaccines are 100% foolproof, or that 100% of people should get vaccinated. Some people will have bad reactions to vaccines, and there are already appropriate exceptions for them to opt out of the vaccination programs. Those people rely on the rest of us to form a shield of immunity around them to protect them from the diseases that we can vaccinate for.
    The problem you are encountering with people here is that you claim to understand science and reason, but are making arguments based on anecdote and not evidence, and you don’t seem to understand the difference. Did you ever work with a pediatrician to find out WHY your child stopped breathing or did you just jump to the conclusion that it was the vaccine? Did you have your other children tested to see if they have the same problems? That is what you have not told us. You don’t give us any indication that you understand that if only one of your children has problems with the vaccines then you have put that child at 3 times the risk on no (presented) evidence.
    The choice argument is strong, especially for this crowd, but in the end the choice to vaccinate is not like the choice contained in most other medical procedures, it is much more like arguing that you should have the choice to drink and drive because you are not forcing anyone else to be on the same road as you.
    When you choose not to vaccinate you are intentionally, and knowingly, making a choice that can harm others.

  • Pingback: The Skeptical PWNage of Darth Wakefield & His Anti-Vax Woosters Continues « The Skeptical Teacher

  • Wish I Dared Vaccinate Again

    People want safe vaccines. Why persecute parents like Michael Belkin whose child died from an adverse reaction? Have you read his testimonies?

    To fully understand the complications of this issue, read Dr. Wakefield’s book “Callous Disregard.” Also read “Silenced Witnesses” and “Silenced Witnesses II” by the UK parents whose children’s biopsies show vaccine-strain measles in their gastrointestinal lesions.

    It’s so easy to play armchair quarterback when one is genetically blessed. This is not a made-up phenomenon; vaccine injuries are documented in NVICP cases, in VAERS reports, and in minutes of meetings of ACCV and NVAC.

    What are you people doing to help prevent vaccine injury? By failing to acknowledge and support vaccine injury victims, you give tacit approval to lower vaccine quality standards.

  • Concerned Parent

    http://guggiedaly.blogspot.com/2010/05/way-to-ease-into-vaccine-topic.html

    Not my blog, but a good compilation of places to start researching.

    My thoughts: Bring on measles. Bring on chicken pox. Bring on rubella. I don’t mind isolation/quarantine and I’m not afraid of catching disease. I come from a long line of those who are not vaccinated, and our intact immune systems have fared well for those of us who are not immunocompromised. Rubella, Chicken Pox, Measles, Mumps, and even polio (coincidentally, the family member diagnosed with polio was also a farm worker who was exposed to DDT on a daily basis – and note that no other member of the family who was in close contact with him was infected). We’ve all survived and we are rarely sick. We all caught measles – none of us are infertile/sterile. It’s so rare there isn’t even a statistic for that with the CDC. These diseases rarely kill healthy individuals who live in developed countries and have access to medical care, unless they have compromised immune systems or underlying conditions, receive treatment that further weakens their immune systems, or die from a secondary illness/infection due to hospitalization.

    Smallpox, you say? So when was the last time we vaccinated for smallpox in the USA? What’s that….over 30 years ago? Wow. And only 20% of the population was vaccinated, is that right? Herd immunity you say? Amazing that we’re not all dying of smallpox now. I guess you all are seeing outbreaks daily since no one is vaccinated anymore. It’s definitely making a comeback since we no longer vaccinate! Please feel free to take note of my sarcasm.

    Speaking of herd immunity, more than 60% of adults in some areas are not up to date on their boosters, so that makes herd immunity a moot point. Yet I don’t see such a drastic increase of disease to reflect that lack of herd immunity. Hmmmm and why do the statistics keep changing? Is it 95%, 97%, or 99% these days? What’s the magic number? What about those populations that experience 100% vaccine failure? Surely we can’t blame the vaccine-free individuals in such cases, because obviously the disease is spreading via vaccinated individuals.

    And what PP commented – vaccinated individuals are just as likely (if not moreso) to spread disease as the unvaccinated. For one, when they receive a live virus vaccine, those vaccines do have the ability to shed and spread to others. For this reason, my mother who has MS, cannot be around any children/adults who have recently been vaccinated with a live virus, per doctor’s orders.

    Disease comes and goes in cycles, just like everything else in life. Either you’re immune or you’re not. Vaccines do not guarantee immunity. Vaccines are not tested for true efficacy (it would be unethical) – just antibody production, which does not always correlate with immunity.

    I’m interested in seeing the results of the upcoming study comparing the health of unvaccinated individuals to that of vaccinated individuals.

  • Et tu Brute

    You who think you know so much, know so very little. You have well memorized what you learned in school and failed to investigate any further. You think of yourselves as questioners and skeptics, but you are merely reciters of the vaccine “gospel”–a rather ironic position for atheists.

    Science is about asking questions and there are plenty of valid reasons to question vaccine safety, efficacy, and most especially the much touted “herd immunity” hypothesis–which as far as I can tell remains hypothetical only.

    “Friendly” is hardly the adjective I would use to describe the person who wrote this blog. Thoughtful does not come to mind either. Brain-washed? Maybe.

    Consider reading “The Virus and the Vaccine,” or perhaps “Vaccine A”. Maybe “The Fluoride Deception.” How about “Doubt Is Their Product.” You might find that much of what you “learned” and think you know, isn’t quite the full story–or even half of it.

    I for one am awaiting the results of a transparent, long-term (eg several years) study, conducted by blinded researchers without conflicts of interest, comparing the health and development of vaccinated versus never vaccinated children. A study of fully vaccinated versus never vaccinated monkeys might be informative as well.

    Those are the only studies that can truly put to rest this debate about the safety and value of vaccines. I truly will be very relieved if such studies show vaccines are as safe and effective as their promoters insist. But at this point, I really, really need to see the data–and all of it!

    I am sorry, but I no longer believe what I was taught–nor what many voices here repeat ad nauseum. Repeating the same thing over and over may propagate an idea or an opinion, but it doesn’t make it right or true. Science is about discovering truth.

    So, if vaccines are as safe and effective as many of you think, then the results of such studies will prove you right. Vaccine supporters have everything to gain and nothing to lose by seeing to it that vaccinated versus never vaccinated studies of monkeys and people get done carefully, honestly, openly, and soon. Really, why haven’t such studies been done already?

    PS Tylenol, per FDA, is currently the number one cause of liver failure and the need for liver transplants in the US.

  • Kitty

    Um if vaccines are so great, then why do you care if we don’t vax? If you are vaxed then you should be protected right?
    To the moron with autism, we don’t even vax for smallpox anymore so you clearly don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. The autism thing was the least of my worries when deciding not to vax. I’m more concerned that my child could die from the toxins they want to inject into her. That is not a risk I am willing to take. The diseases that are in this country are not very serious to a normal healthy person even though you want us to believe otherwise.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    I’m both amazed and disappointed at the utterly un-skeptical positions of some of the most recent commenters on this blog. You act as though you’ve become enlightened to some hidden reality because you’ve read books that disagree with some authority figure. Guess what? The science is against you. Sorry.

    You talk about people seeking truth or being open-minded, when in fact all you’re really saying is that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong and must not have looked at the right evidence. You seize onto anecdotes and counterculture as if they have anything whatsoever to do with empirical investigation. Sorry, again – the science is against you.

    The overall result of studies into vaccinations is that people who have adverse reactions to vaccines are in the vast minority and that their reactions are the result of genetic predispositions, contamination, or allergy. Maybe you want to think that there’s some big, magical conspiracy out there. Go ahead. Meanwhile, those of us who live in the real world where facts actually matter more than a desire for adventure will continue to vaccinate our kids and do our best to build immunity levels up to the point where you may not have to vaccinate yours. You can thank us later!

  • Bridget

    That has got to be the poorest most hypocritical report I have ever read on the subject.

    Jamie writes:
    “I just wanted to genuinely try to hear what they had to say”

    “As I left, I shook his hand and handed him a folded note I had handwritten the night before.”

    Totally preconceived what you would think of this event. All the information you present holds little fact and no references.

    If you were presenting this paper to a university, it would fail. It is no better than the propaganda produced by either side.

  • Joe

    I dare you to debate me,I am the dad of a very severely vaccine damaged child. If you would agree not to lie to you own self
    in 30 min. to 1 hr you would be anti vaccine,this I can guarantee you. I can prove that the CDC has absolutly no science at all.

  • Hitch

    Et tu Brute: Here is the FDA on acetaminophen (Tylenol). http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AdvisoryCommittees/CommitteesMeetingMaterials/Drugs/DrugSafetyandRiskManagementAdvisoryCommittee/UCM164897.pdf

    Basically acetaminophen overdose is the main problem, not the drug in normal use.

    If you read the main multi-center study by Larson et al you will find that the main cause is accidental overdose with suicide attempts being a following significant factor. Further mixing with alcohol is a bad idea. In the UK access control has reduced the number of cases to virtually only suicide cases, per Larson et al., i.e. it is sensible to assume that the primary cause is frivolous ingestion due to irresponsible use promoted by too open access.

    http://acsresearch.swmed.edu/ALF/Articles/ALFLarson.pdf

    Absolutely people have to read and follow the labels. And I am all for making more drugs prescription-based. Sudaphed and NyQuil should not be over the counter for example. And I’m not against making current over the counter pain reliever prescription, especially given the success reported in the UK. But this is a far cry from fear mongering.

    But rather than say: Read the label and follow it or you are in trouble, we get “OMG Tylenol”! It’s the irrational fear of drugs.

    In short you should not try to BS people who can read.

  • http://www.twitter.com/UAJamie Jamie

    @Bridget Touche.

  • Hitch

    A word on critic gullibility and medicine.

    We have to evaluate credible evidence. That is key. Nothing else.

    Let me recount a cautionary tale:

    In Europe in the 90s a doctor called Hamer invented a new alternative medicine (later named “Germanic new medicine”) and told people he could cure cancer without surgery or chemo. He also jointly spread the idea that chemo is really bad for you.

    Lots of people liked the idea of alternative medicine. Homeopathy was riding high as were other esoteric ideas in reaction to the sterile hospital environment.

    The most striking case was that of Olivia Pilhar in Austria, I think around 1993, who at age 6 had a sever inner organ tumor. Hamer claimed that she first needed her psychological balance and then it would self-heal. The tumor grew but the parents believed Hamer’s theories and his fear mongering against chemo. As the tumor was growing to life threatening sizes the Austrian government removed guardianship from the parents, who then fled to Spain. After long negotations and lots of legal wrangling the girl finally was operated and had chemo. She is alive and well today. Without the intervention she would have doubtlessly died.

    Her parents incidentally still believe in Hamer and promote his ideas that have become more and more anti-semitic. He also promotes paranoid chip-injection ideas as excuses for the deaths of people he “treats” and claims that AIDS is an alergy. Numerous people have died due to misinformation and neglect.

    During the Pilhar case prominent politicians sided with Hamer and his charges against school medicine as cold and unsympathetic, yet noone evaluated the truthfulness of his claims. He has been multiple convicted now.

    Prominent doctors were attacked as un-skeptical of their own work and not seeing other ways. What was really going on is that the doctors were desperately trying to save the girls life against the grip of some deranged folks, which included their parents. Those doctors got torpedoed by misinformed but well-meaning people who wanted to give the new medicine a chance or thought that the doubt Hamer produced was credible enough for consideration. The outcome was dangerous.

    One has to very weary about jumping on a band wagon without knowing it. Quite a few politicians would very likely like to remove their endorsement of Hamer from their resume.

    But what is worse, because of this charlatan, people neglected treatment for perfectly curable diseases and died.

    So yes, be an informed consumer of medicine by all means, but that means don’t trust just any one person or a small group. And don’t trust random shallow doubt or stories that induce fear. If the NIH or the FDA issues a recommendation it has gone through detailed review and is more trustworthy than some unreviewed book.

  • Aj

    Concerned Parent,

    Smallpox, you say? So when was the last time we vaccinated for smallpox in the USA? What’s that….over 30 years ago? Wow. And only 20% of the population was vaccinated, is that right? Herd immunity you say? Amazing that we’re not all dying of smallpox now. I guess you all are seeing outbreaks daily since no one is vaccinated anymore. It’s definitely making a comeback since we no longer vaccinate! Please feel free to take note of my sarcasm.

    I feel as though I shouldn’t have to explain this to you, but given the staggering displays of idiocy going on in the comments, perhaps I have to. Smallpox was almost eliminated before the 20th century in the US due to a long vaccination program that had started 100 years before then, in the 1800s. Smallpox was eradicated from the whole world in the 20th century due to vaccination, the only way someone can catch it is in a lab, and people who work with it are required to have vaccinations. When the incidence of a virus is very low and its spread is slow (like for instance smallpox) you don’t need a large amount of vaccination.

    Speaking of herd immunity, more than 60% of adults in some areas are not up to date on their boosters, so that makes herd immunity a moot point. Yet I don’t see such a drastic increase of disease to reflect that lack of herd immunity. Hmmmm and why do the statistics keep changing? Is it 95%, 97%, or 99% these days? What’s the magic number? What about those populations that experience 100% vaccine failure? Surely we can’t blame the vaccine-free individuals in such cases, because obviously the disease is spreading via vaccinated individuals.

    Without having researched this, I assume to model herd immunity and find a threshold you would have to take into account human behaviour (i.e. travel), means of infection (i.e. water), speed of spread (i.e. how long it takes for a person to become infected), and how contagious the virus is (i.e. how many people are infected after exposure).

    Although I’m not an expert, at least I understand what “herd immunity” means, also that those different viruses have different thresholds (hence the different “magic” numbers), and that you spout a load of nonsense about things you clearly don’t understand. There’s so much blatant bullshit in these comments that fail even the most trivial logic, that I wonder whether you’re going to understand my replies, or whether we will witness the Dunning–Kruger effect.

    Herd immunity is basically about calculating the likely exposure to an infection, and using that knowledge to find a percent of immune people needed for the remaining people to be very unlikely to encounter the infection. This is just my logical deduction from what the definition of “herd immunity” is, it seems so blatantly obvious that I did not need to look it up.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Joe:

    I can prove that the CDC has absolutly no science at all.

    And I’m sure that you have plenty of rigorously-controlled, peer-reviewed studies on your side, too. Right? Or is it just an emotional argument that is devoid of fact?

    P.S.: Beginning by asserting that your child is “very severely vaccine damaged” is not a good way to start…

  • Demonhype

    @Aj:

    “I think that crazies scan blogs for talk on vaccination and descend with inane and ignorant comments. I haven’t seen the stupid levels so high here before.”

    My thoughts exactly. So many emotional arguments and assertions, so little logic and evidence. *sigh*

    Great piece, Jamie–very creepy stuff you witnessed. Almost reminds me of my mom (what else is new?), who will always side with the most pseudo-scientific view for that very reason–that working-class hero attitude that all the official edumacated sciencey types are just arrogant and evil and credibility is to be immediately afforded to any challenger, no matter how dubious. Also, I suspect that the idea of being some kind of cutting-edge pioneer rebel is the more exciting position, which is another reason my mom often seems to side with dubious pseudoscience. I wouldn’t accuse anti-vaxxers of thinking that way overtly, but sometimes it really sounds like there is some subconscious element of this when I listen to them talk.

    She’s not an anti-vaxxer and never was, however. She got started late though and is old enough to remember polio (I remember her telling me why this guy on Sesame Street had leg braces/crutches when I was little and then explaining that the polio vaccine was why that doesn’t happen anymore), and when I told her about the blood tests at the birthday party and the lumbar punctures and colonoscopies performed on children–while sidestepping any involvement from the Ethical Board–pretty much filled her with so much disgust that I’m fairly sure she’s “immune” from the wackaloonery in this case! ;)

    Well, she takes lumbar punctures very seriously, and as a much more serious risk than any vaccine at any damn age, so the fact that he’d just take it upon himself to risk children in that way with no immediate health-problem need to do so pissed her off big-time.

  • kimmers

    I find it interesting how most of the people commenting like to use the umbrella of “vaccines” as if they are all the same.

    Should an infant who’s not yet mobile be vaccinated against tetanus? Why not wait until they’re out and about? Why not just administer tetanus immunoglobulin after an injury has actually occured instead of vaccinating against something you may or may not be exposed to?

    Do newborns need a Hep B vaccine if the mother is not infected? I don’t know any newborns who engage in risky sex or share needles. By the time they’re old enough to engage in risky behavior, their immunity will be gone. Oh, wait! They can get boosters. Yay! Lucky for us, those drug companies have our best interests’ as their motive.

    Every parent should carefully weigh the risks of each child in terms of each disease, and the risks associated with any given vaccine.
    I am not anti-vaccine. I am pro-INFORMED consent. Since so many place blind faith in doctors, doctors should have to clearly counsel parents about the true risks of each vaccine. Handing a parent (who is probably focused on their infant or toddler) a form with tiny print full of medical jargon isn’t helpful.

    Funny how no one mentioned that rotavirus vaccine (RotaShield) that was recalled in 1999 because it was killing babies. Oh, no – that’s okay because the rotavirus vaccine is saving millions from death by diarrhea.

    I cannot believe that anyone is so convinced of the efficacy and safety of vaccines that they would think that they should be mandatory. And I thought it was a free country!

    Please visit iansvoice.org

  • Demonhype

    @MikeTheInfidel:

    That’s the problem with people armed with emotional arguments: They don’t think they need much more than that. If anything. They genuinely believe that even a single emotional anecdote transcends the value of any and all hard evidence.

  • plutosdad

    This is an interesting experiment showing vaccinating children for the flu is just as good as vaccinating everyone. This was always a theory but hard to test. They found some religious people in Canada willing to go along with the experiment. I thought it was pretty exciting when I first saw it.

    http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2010/03/flu_vaccines_herd_immunity_and.php

  • Ali

    When making a point backed up with simple stats, for example “vaccine rates are 60% in some areas”, can you please link to where you got this information from?

    I know it’s pretty time consuming to do this, especially if you want to dig out original sources, but unless you link your information then your views cannot be considered.

  • Nat

    While I am totally on board with vaccinating, I got my kids single jab vaccines (certain UK doctors offered it free, mine was one of them). What swayed me wasn’t Wakefield or any of the arguments surrounding autism.

    It was Tony Blair.

    When the argument was raging in the UK, he came out and said “It’s totally safe.” So a reporter asked if he was going to give his infant son the triple jab or single jab vaccinations to which he replied “That is a personal matter.” I’m sorry, but if, as the leader of a country, you come out with a statement like that then you make your personal business a public matter. And if you are not prepared to release the information, I will assume you are a massive hypocrite; telling the public one thing (because most people can’t afford to get single jabs and you want them to get vaccinated) but doing something different yourself (to ensure *your* child has no problems). If the PM isn’t prepared to risk his son, I don’t see why I should risk my daughter.

    My..ahaha..godson (I know, but my best friend asked so..) is high functioning autistic and she still had her younger son vaccinated with triple jab. He is fine.

    What really bugs me is the attitudes towards autism. It is not a disease, its a differently functioning brain, one which has less filters and therefore takes in more information than ‘normal’ brains, which leaves the ‘sufferer’ overwhelmed and sometimes unable to express their feelings. There are other issues such as digestive problems, and severe autism is very difficult for parents to deal with, but attitudes towards the condition really upset me.

    I think the worst thing of all about this debate is that it shifts focus from the care and support of autists (particularly adults) to blaming something for it occuring. Given that I think that there *may be* a specific cause, it may be worth researching, but far more important is supporting people who are autistic already.

  • kim

    Dear Jamie,

    I know that you truly believe that your writing is helping people and that the ends justify the means, but I just want you to know that the things you are doing –- the actions you have taken have hurt people. Your work has scared and manipulated parents into vaccinating their children, putting them and their health at risk, all in the name of safety and without fully informed consent. Children will die or become permanently disabled because of your blog post. I just want to make sure that you fully understand that.

    Sincerely,
    Mother to Vaccine-Injured child and advocate for hundreds of others

  • Azzere

    Sylvia says:

    “If anyone REALLY wants to understand the controversy surrounding this issue, read Wakefields book: Callous Disregard. I got mine on Amazon.com”
    As ridiculous as telling someone if they REALLY want to know how man came to be, read the bible.

    “If one vaccine saves a life, and the next one takes a life, are all vaccines still “good”?”
    You don’t have a 50/50 chance of dying after being immunised, so what was the point of this comment?

    “Full blown autism is at 1 in 100 now, up from about 1 in 10,000.”
    This stat seems very exaggerated, where did you get this figure?

    I appreciate the comments of Judith Bandsma as someone who has seen the devistating effects of these diseases first hand. How soon we forget.

  • Rob

    @kim:

    Prove it. There is no evidence at all to support the claims of the antivaxxers. You are just making stuff up because you read some crank on the internet. I know it’s embarrassing to admit you got taken for a ride, but you’re an adult. Adults should be able to admit when they’re wrong.

  • bensmyson

    Are you really 100% immune once you have been vaccinated? http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000359.htm Seems to me that in some cases you can actually spread a virus after you have been vaccinated for the flu. Didnt they warn people against that during the deadly swine flu outbreak?

    And I take offense at ” Children have died because of you.” Is that something you can prove? If so he should be tried for murder, if not you are just one more crazy assed fanatic along the lines of Glen Beck.

  • Hitch

    Nat: So for you reasoning on “evidence and science” is based on a politician wanting to keep his family out of politics? Sad. You do know that one can establish safety of vaccines completely independently of what any politician says, do yo? Distrust in politicians is no evidence for or against the safety of a vaccine.

    kim: I’m sorry for your child being sick, but we have to judge on evidence not fear or hearsay.

  • Sylvia

    Dear Judith, congratulations on the birth of your great-grandson. What an amazing gift you have been given – to be able to wintess your great grandchild enter the world. But please think about what is in store for him. On the day of birth, U.S. infants are given a vaccine for Hepatitis B. This is a virus that spread through sex or needles. The vaccine’s immunity lasts on average of 7 years. So your great grandson has no risk factors for this disease, but will get the vaccine at birth. This vaccine has a very high rate of adverse reactions. How do you feel about him undertaking a risk for which there are no rewards?

  • Sylvia

    I should also add that the Hepatitis B vaccine was the one that tipped my son into encephalopathy resulting in autism. He is now 12 years old, and non-verbal. And he no longer has immunity from his infant series of Hep B shots. But the brain injury remains. He was born healthy in every way, with a future every bit as bright as your great grandsons future. But that all changed because of a vaccine.

  • Et tu Brute

    FYI “Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and its generic equivalents, is also found in many other painkillers and cold remedies. Researchers have linked overdoses of the drug to more than 56,000 emergency room visits a year and 26,000 hospitalizations, including some requiring liver transplants. The FDA estimates that 200 people a year die from acetaminophen overdoses, although others have put the figure at more
    than 450.”
    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-pain20dec20,1,7770310.st\
    ory

    Yeah. No big deal. 200 deaths. A drop in the big bucket. They were all stupid people anyway, right?

    Folks here are willing to admit that some people are injured by vaccine reactions–but then turn around and call all those who want research to determine who is injured and why, so that future injuries (and deaths) might be prevented–”anti-vaccine.”

    If vaccines are safe and effective for all, then prove it. Do the vaccinated versus never vaccinated study and settle the argument. Calling names and citing existing “science” really doesn’t cut it. At present the “science” proving that vaccines are not implicated in the onset of autism (and a multitude of other health issues including asthma, diabetes, and even cancer) is essentially little more than a bunch of official pronouncements.

    Epidemiological studies that are unable to detect an effect on less than 1% of the population sampled really aren’t worth much when the number of folks harmed is less than 1%. Are you all really contending that if 1% are harmed, it doesn’t matter because that is such a small percent?

    “Never attribute to malice, that which can be explained by stupidity.” (or blind faith and a failure to critically examine all available information).

  • Sylvia

    Alice and Bob, with your interest in the polio vaccine, a great book to read is:
    The Virus and the Vaccine:
    http://www.amazon.com/Virus-Vaccine-Contaminated-Cancers-Government/dp/0312342721/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275056395&sr=1-1
    It gives a great history of the race for the polio vaccine, how it is made, all the key players, etc.
    Caution: it might make Alice scream.

  • Hitch

    Et tu Brute, you distort. So you cite LA times, I cite the FDA and the main study in the field.

    Anybody can read the sources I cite and will find hard numbers but not only hard numbers but also causation. A death due to suicide attempt by overdosing on over the counter drugs is not the same as an unsafe drug. It’s like saying we cannot sell razor blades because people use them for suicide.

    Incidentally the study showed that restricting over counter access solved the non-suicide cases in the UK. You want to blame drugs for people being suicidal? Well it’s dishonest, that’s what it is.

    No, you lie to people with the “ooh you don’t care about 200 deaths” spiel. It’s deceptive and prays on people’s fears.

    You hide that the cause and effect is understood and ways to handle the problem have been identified and show to work. But why do that when one can scare others that people die.

    “Epidemiological studies that are unable to detect an effect on less than 1% of the population sampled really aren’t worth much when the number of folks harmed is less than 1%. Are you all really contending that if 1% are harmed, it doesn’t matter because that is such a small percent?”

    Gerber and Offit did a meta review of all studies.

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/596476

    Let me just quote their conclusions:

    “Twenty epidemiologic studies have shown that neither thimerosal nor MMR vaccine causes autism. These studies have been performed in several countries by many different investigators who have employed a multitude of epidemiologic and statistical methods. The large size of the studied populations has afforded a level of statistical power sufficient to detect even rare associations. These studies, in concert with the biological implausibility that vaccines overwhelm a child’s immune system, have effectively dismissed the notion that vaccines cause autism. Further studies on the cause or causes of autism should focus on more-promising leads.”

    But you pray on the uninformed. For the lay person the argument that cannot detect 1% effects is basically a lie. I routinely do studied that show smaller effects. But because people do not know about experimental design and statistical evaluation you can make these deceptive claims.

    So we waste time and money following a lead that has proven to be false, when we could have used that money to find the real causes and curses for autism. Well done. You should be thoroughly ashamed of praying on the uninformed.

    For example the Japan case is a ABA study, which gives strong evidence on causation. And that evidence is counter-indicative. So why tell that people when we can scare the holy crap out of them.

    Here’s how the UK GMC came down on Mr. Wakefield:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7134893.ece

    “After nearly three years of formal investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC), Dr Wakefield has been found guilty of serious professional misconduct over “unethical” research that sparked unfounded fears that the vaccine was linked to bowel disease and autism. The decision marks the culmination of the longest medical misconduct hearing in the GMC’s 150-year history, which has been going on since July 2007.”

    “Dr Kumar, who led a panel of three doctors and two lay members which sat and deliberated on the case for a total of 217 days, said that Dr Wakefield showed a continued lack of insight as to his misconduct.

    Dr Wakefield, who moved to America in 2001, did not attend today’s hearing. He has previously said that the GMC’s case against him is “unjust and unfounded”.”

    Sound like that Hamer kook who still believes in his dangerous germanic alternative medicine.

    I would encourage parents to consider more than one opinion, or you can fall pray to some really deranged people who claim to mean well.

  • Pingback: Collection of Anti-Vax Rally Articles « Le Café Witteveen

  • Pointing Promptly

    I think the pro-vaxxers have it right.
    After all, they are right on so many other subjects and they follow the teachings and honesty of their government propaganda.
    Make sure you trust the statements of your government, and especially those in whose interest it is to lie. The pediatricians who received bonuses for injecting hazardous waste substances into neonates, the propagandists who have undergraduate degrees in psychology and a history of placing infective pig virus polynucleotide sequences in their own mandated vaccines.
    The people are waking up and the polls clearly indicate that they no longer believe the lies.
    You are on the same side as the criminals and liars. You are in good company.
    We all now know that cigarettes are good for you, asbestos is as well and vaccines, despite high levels of numerous toxins do not cause any side effects whatsoever, that these agents are simply as pure as water.
    And medical error, which Dr. Gary Null has posited accounts for more than a million deaths a year (that’s right, more than any other disease and more than the total number of innocents murdered by acting on another series of lies in Iraq), is also untrue. And they fact that a number of ethical drugs have been associated with countless deaths should also be waived off as conspiracy. For you are the shills who know all and see and hear no evil, but speak volumes of bilge.
    Just ask the government/corporate statisticians- and listen to them about the economy, and other information they provide. And by all means, do not look at why the unvaccinated children do not evidence autism and the fact that Japanese, who care about their children, refuse to even given vaccines to children before the age of two, because they must be wrong. The fact that they have the lowest infant mortality rate and yet they don’t vaccinate at all, should speak volumes to your global stupidity.
    All that one can say is that your position is consistent with other criminals, liars and thieves and history will bear you out as the delusional medieval blood letters of a sinister cult that you truly are.
    Good grief.

  • Sylvia

    There has been a few posters here going on about science vs. emotion. But the problem is who’s science are we talking about? Science that supports the party line of the government/Pharma alliance is held up as good science, while anything that contradicts that is vilified as junk science. Wakefield et al were told to retract their findings or they would be ruined. Most could not give up their medical careers on principal, so they caved to the pressure. Those who did not are true heros.

    I will be saving that picture of Jamie and Dr. Wakefield, because it is a great visual example of a coward (Jamie “here’s-a-note-for-you-to-read-later-when-I-am-gone” Bernstein), and a hero (Dr. Wakefield). Talk about ying and yang!

  • http://mommamaegan.blogspot.com Maegan

    I didn’t read all the responses, just a few. If someone IS looking for a medical link in autism, outside of vaccines…Look to Pitocin! 80% of (US) mothers are given pit to augment their labors. That is a number that was relatively low a few decades ago, and now it’s almost part of every “procedural policy” a hospital or doc has in place. Docs have standing orders to start their patients on pit when they walk into L&D.

    My personal feelings on autism are that there are SO MANY new things in our world (chemically, biologically, and otherwise) that we can’t blame ONE thing for the spike in Autism spectrum diagnoses.

    The FDA has not approved Pitocin (which is a synthetic form of the body’s natural oxytocin) in use to augment labor since the 70s. Natural Oxytocin happens in ‘waves’ during labor & delivery. Pit is a constant slow drip. It can overstimulate the uterus and interrupt the oxytocin in the infant (which is believed to be where the autism link comes in). There is a study out there on it somewhere…but I do not remember who did it, or when it was exactly.

    P.S. My kids are vaccinated…I did think about it a lot before they were born, but in the end I decided it was best if they were. Turns out I was right…my husband recently joined the Army. If we ever have to move overseas, my kids and I would have had to stay behind b/c they weren’t vaccinated, or give them all the vaccines at once! We just moved to a rural, Amish community. Guess who doesn’t vaccinate? My kids could actually be at risk now, had they not been vaccinated!

  • http://www.twitter.com/UAJamie Jamie

    Wait, did I hear someone wanting proof that people have died because of Wakefield? What about these four infants who died yesterday from whooping cough in California.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/scimedemail/la-me-0527-whooping-cough-20100527,0,4139013.story

  • Hitch

    Whether or not someone is cheered on as hero does not make them right or not. Well designed Studies do.

    In general, if you have any scientist actually doing carefully controlled study and you have one person engaging in unethical behavior like this:

    “Dr Wakefield, 53, also “showed a callous disregard” for the suffering of children by taking blood samples from them at his son’s birthday party, and failed to declare a conflict of interest — that he had received £50,000 to carry out research on behalf of parents who suspected that MMR could lead to autism.”

    Any conscientious parent should side with the multiplicity of scientists and not with one person who has shown to use unethical methods and be unapologetic about it.

    Seriously? Drawing blood from kids at a birthday party for science? And that is your hero? But really it does not matter. The science matters.

    It is not only relevant whether Wakefield’s work is junk, but what the whole body of evidence says. And with respect to establishing junk, the method very much counts. It’s not junk because people get vilified, it’s junk because of evaluation of the conduct and the methodology.

    As for your son, I’m very sorry. I think we should push science towards helping autism and explore sensibly sound research on its causes, not scares and inferences of some politician’s actions and so forth.

    As for the hero thing. There are many cases of people sticking to wrong convictions throughout their lives and blaming government and industry or other amorphous groups for all wrongs (let’s call this paranoia). Strength of conviction does not make one right.

  • kim

    Hitch, thanks for being concerned for my sick child. But when in the world has it been ok to administer medical procedures on a baby that haven’t been tested for safety? Like the 4 needles my son got at 2 months old? Find me a proper study that says all of those were safe to administer at once.

    Some of you mention that if a child can’t have vaccines for whatever reason, then they have the protection from the others and that’s why most children should get vaccinated. Well, who is looking to see if a child should be vaccinated or not? Does the pediatrician look at the family history of a newborn and see that both grandmothers have lupus and one also with epilepsy (the case of my child) or a dad with Chron’s and a bipolar mom, and determine that the child would be best left alone until further health status is determined? NO! And that is what is going on with a lot of families that are not vaccinating siblings, they figured out too late that their kids are ones that shouldn’t be vaccinating. You guys forget that those that are vaccine-injured WERE on your side, we did what we were told. But something went wrong and now we are left to take care of very sick children without any support and a big fat war accusing us of being crazy in the meantime.
    I would surely be on your side if it had never happened to me or anyone I loved or cared about. But it did. Now I see. And there are WAY too many people with the same story to ignore, growing DAILY.
    Something is going wrong. What you DON’T know from your science is the problem here. Both sides do not agree that the science has spoken. There’s not enough. Until then, the debate rages.
    Oh, and PS- there are plenty of kids who have been found to have measles in their guts. They call the illness “autism”. The measles came from…..????? your guess.

  • momof3

    I would NEVER put my kids this poison! http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/additives.htm let others do it if they want.

  • Sylvia

    Dear Hitch, I do agree with your last sentence:
    “Strength of conviction does not make one right.”

    Unfortunetly, your convictions want to take away my most basic human rights. And I will never “agree to disagree” on that.

    If you want to throw your support behind the government/corporate fiasco of a vaccine program, then off you go. I support you in that. But I am not following.

  • Pointing Promptly

    The point about the pro-vaxxers is that they wish to unethically impose medical procedures known to cause damage in some children- by force. Thus, they want to impose largely untested vaccines on neonates who cannot give consent. It is unethical. It is criminal. It is a violation of the Nuremberg code. And, in some measure, because any number of children die from vaccination each year, it is mass murder by Russian Roulette. It is indefensible. It is also the reason why they must lie about the safety of the vaccines, because to tell the truth about the vaccines which cause death, autism, disabilities and related disorders is to admit that they injure children by force and are mass murderers. That is also why their research is so corrupt. For to be honest about this issue is to essentially lock themselves away in prison with no key with which to open the jail cell door.

    The battle lines have been drawn between those who wish to impose unconstitutional, unethical, criminal, even murderous mandates and those who wish to give those who choose not to vaccinate the right not to have medical procedures forced/tested on them. The position of the pro-choicers is constitutional, ethical and lawful. It is the only acceptable position in this free society.

    Under the non-fascist, pro-choice approach to vaccination, those who vaccinate (by choice)will presumably be protected against whatever illness they have (putatively) been vaccinated against and those who have not been vaccinated will not.

    The arguments about herd immunity are really a canard for cows, who can’t pass judgement on the foolishness of the two-leggeds in control of them. It is nothing but a marketing scam and control device to try to gull the uninitiated into believing they should be forced to have poisons injected into them. Herd immunity is a control device, nothing more.

    Notwithstanding those arguments and canards, if pediatricians made available those vaccines which parents legitimately felt addressed real concerns and threats (measles in a single dose, no MMR), certain others, rather than what is now tantamount to drug pushing an injurious protocol for profit, this issue would be far less contentious.

    Good pharmaceutical science- show efficacy and safety and give people choice and this issue simply melts away.

    Those who have no common sense or sense of decency may simply be trying to foster a marketing scam (for much of the protocol) rather than an appropriate wellness program. It’s certainly in their interest to do so.

    Given the hysteria on the side of the anti-choice, unconstitutional, profascist, “vaccinate at all costs brigade”, it suggests that what they really fear is the loss of control and the discovery that maybe all of this is really just one giant fraud. Given that virtually all vaccines in the 20th century have been introduced after there was a substantial reduction in disease after the introduction of favorable public health practices (see Veira Scheibner studies), one wonders whether the vaccines, rather than the public health initiatives, had anything to do with a reduction in disease. Almost all modern day cases of polio come from the live atttenuated polio virus vaccine combined with an immunocompromised patient (think HIV+ in Africa). Of course, those in control of administering the vaccines believe that the vaccines work wonders, perhaps explaining the level of delusion and cultthink pervasively found in the population of pediatricians.

    If it works- prove it works. If it’s safe- prove it’s safe. And always and forever, give people the right to choose.

    It is the only sensible approach that can work in a free people.

  • hitch

    I think we get closer to the narrative now. Clearly none of you talks about scientific evidence, you talk about people taking your rights away, about fascism, about government. That’s all conspiracy theory talk.

    Sadly, none of these points matter. What you should be doing is look at actual scientific evidence.

  • Joe

    MikeTheInfidel the IOM in 2001 02 found the vaccine Autism connection was biologically plausible. Surly you do believe
    the IOM had sufficient evidence to make that ruling,the IOM was
    told to pay little to no attention to the biological evidence and put all their confidence in the large population studies in the VSD.
    The house appropriations committee,asked the NIH to look at the evidence the CDC had on
    the Vaccine Autism issue. The
    NIEHS was charged with the investigation of evaluating the
    CDC’s evidence the NIEHS found the large populace studies were
    en-effect useless and the others worse than useless in particular
    the two Denmark studies (where
    they took the Thimerosal mercury
    out of their vaccines and the rates of Autism continued to rise) and it is coming very clear why, the lead researcher
    that was in charge of the Denmark studies is known as a financial fraud in his own country of Denmark by people
    who know him. He has allegedly absconded with almost 2 million dollars of CDC research money,
    this is the headlines from Denmark he allegedly forged documents to obtain the money.
    This all makes sense considering the email weeks before the IOM
    meeting, the person from the CDC was saying we have searched frantically and cannot find anything here and the IOM meeting is within weeks. We will have to go else where to get us a study,and they did to Denmark
    they chose Poul Thorsen he is on the lam from the authority’s in Denmark. He was found in the US the CDC has put him in charge of the new DSM5 you know the way
    they have decided to come to the conclusion the epidemic is only
    a statistical fluke,and the lead author an alleged fraud.
    Back to the Dir. of the CDC, she was asked for a reply of the allegations from the congressional report her reply was CDC concurs. She then said but if you do give use more time we will do good quality studies,
    so I guess she the CDC Dir. was admitting the studies she had maintained were of the best quality of well design and robust that were done over the past 6 years she was in charge were of bad quality? Remember the IOM used the large population studies and the Denmark studies to come to the conclusion that vaccines don’t cause Autism that and this little threat before the meetng
    from Marie McCormick of the vaccine commission saying at the IOM meeting this; Walt wants you
    to declare these are safe on a population basis, and by the way what Walt wants walt generally gets. MikeTheInfidel this is the Science that you are defending
    ordering the IOM to comply.
    In case you are wondering who Walt is;

    Walter A. Orenstein, M.D., Director of the National Immunization Program (NIP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    The Dir also said any further use of the VSD looking at vaccines (Thimerosal)environmental causing Autism would be MISLEADING.
    You know that thing she the Dir. did for 6 long years while our children suffered in pain!

  • Hitch

    Bunch of bollocks.

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/03/thorsen_wakefield_fine_art_of_distraction.php

    Thorsen’s case is one of money fraud, not of scientific fraud. He is not the sole author and in fact he had no influence of the outcome of the papers. But it doesn’t even matter. One could strike the Danish study and still have plenty of evidence.

    Because the Danish study by far isn’t the only one. See the meta review I already cited, which contains plenty more. I would also encourage people to actually read the IOM report and check which sources relied upon.

    Clearly you have never sat on any review panel, and certainly not on one with this many members.

    Furthermore, the process is OPEN. Everybody can read and critique the IOM reports. It documents its own procedures:

    http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10997

    Let me repeat. There is no way that arms can be twisted because everybody can evaluate the evidence and the conclusions independently.

    But rather than show where the IOM report is flawed (and the document is accessible to all), we hear yet another conspiracy theory.

  • Joe

    hitch They have no science, the panel head of the congressional report made it very clear “That leaves the CDC with very little to say, that vaccines and autism are not associated in any way.

    Also the MSDS states that Thimerosal is accumulative in the body, and it targets the organs of the body in particular the brain and the lining around the brain. And the NIH CDC researcher Thomas Burbacher says that Thimerosal crosses the BBB easier than doe’s the fish mercury and once in the brain the Thimerosal turns into the inorganic form of mercury by 2.5 times that of the fish mercury.
    Time for a quiz Do you know the
    most damaging toxin to the mitochondria and the best and most efficient at depleting the glutathione needed to detox the body of heavy metals? Answer is
    INORGANIC MERCURY one other thing to consider it is on the MSDS of Thimerosal under reactivity data do not mix thimerosal with Aluminum.

    You see the two react violently together, with the production of heat. It is a well known fact there is a synergy effect of the two salts mixed that causes the toxic effect of the Mercury to multiple times ten. Time for another quiz do you know what is in children’s vaccines as a catalyst? Answer Aluminum
    Now that is real science!

  • kim

    Hitch says, “What you should be doing is look at actual scientific evidence.”

    Ok, Hitch. Show it to me. Show me science that proves it is safe to vaccinate a 2 month old with 4 shots with 8 diseases. Show me science that thimerosal is safe even in trace amounts. Show me that injected aluminum is safe. Show me the studies that say 25+ vaccines in the first 2 years of life is safe. Show me!!!!

    Shouldn’t we prove that this is safe BEFORE we do it to every child born!? Why are our kids guinea pigs? OH, yeah…billions of dollars.

  • Pointing Promptly

    Hitch, you are useful idiot.
    We are speaking specifically about vaccine choice. That is what the discussion in the first instance in all about. The manifestations of that choice, reflect on a political philosophical discussion about ethics, legality, criminality and political philosophy as that relates to the provision of medical care.
    Just as you can’t argue with a liar (because there is no foundation upon which to base a factual analysis), you can’t argue facts with people who have gone to great lengths to corrupt research given their inherent biases and the need to point the finger away from those institutions which are both complicit of the offense and paying for the research.

    If you are a student of history (your discourse bespeaks shill, decidedly not renaissance), you will immediately recognize that the allusion to tobacco science and asbestos science shows the same basic playbook as in the present vaccine case, the two differences being that the pharmaceutical/medical industry has learned from the experiences of the tobacco and asbestos industries and the pharmaceutical/medical industry is much more firmly embedded with government research institutions and grant money than were the tobacco and asbestos industries. So in tobacco and asbestos, eventually one could hope to see truth percolate out, if you could get government researchers to honestly deal with the issues.

    I review a huge amount of medical research and frankly, I find the more recent medical research is rife with bias and is much less reliable than was the research in the 1980′s and 1990′s precisely because there was much less industry influence over the results of that research than there is today.

    Let’s talk facts. You cannot cite one study which addresses both the safety and efficacy of vaccines that is consistent with good pharmaceutical practice. The studies are flawed because the way they test the vaccines is flawed. Oftentimes they seek to elicit a humoral response when a natural response to a disease vector may be cell mediated. Moreoever, they never do long term safety studies. The safety studies that are done are inadequate. That is unfortunate, but not dispositive, unless you are unethical and ignorant enough, unlike the Japanese, to force inject largely untested concoctions into neonates and then deny the common sense consequences of those criminally negligent actions.
    People are walking away from the vaccines and creating a stink because the approach is unconstitutional and criminal, results in a large number of damaged children, the consequence of which is met by the standard government stonewalling and corruption with little basis in experimental detail to corroborate the circumstances in an unbiased, honest approach. People just don’t trust the vaccine manufacturers or the government agencies which are supposed to regulate them.
    Given that lack of trust, the only politically viable approach to ending this issue is for those who caused the damage to back off, stop lying, fix the vaccines and try to restore some trust to the vaccine program. Instead, you just make the situation worse.
    If you are a US citizen with more than two firing neurons you will recognize the economic and political crisis in which this country finds itself immersed. The reason for that is the corruption, ineptitude, criminality and failure to address issues forthrightly.
    The way those of the criminal class have handled this issue is symptomatic of the greater concern.
    Hopefully, you can manage to see through your foolishness and recognize that those who do not trust, do not do and do not follow.
    Dictating the adage
    “Who are you going to believe, me, or your own lying eyes” is not a competent public relations approach.
    You should give it careful thought.

  • Aaron

    For the people that are claiming that giving the hepatitis B vaccine is pointless in infants, here are some facts you should consider.

    1 in 3 people that have chronic HBV infection acquired their infection as infants or young children

    About 16,000 children under 10 years of age were reported infected with HBV every year in the United States before routine infant hepatitis B vaccination was recommended. HBV infection in infants and young children usually produces no symptoms. Thus, the small number of reported cases of hepatitis B among children represents the tip of the iceberg of all HBV infections in children. For every child with symptoms of hepatitis B, there are at least 100 HBV-infected children with no symptoms and the vast majority of those go unreported.

    The most probable ways children become infected with HBV are from skin puncture (e.g., biting) or from having their mucous membranes or cuts and scratches come in contact with infectious body fluids from an HBV-infected person. HBV remains infectious for at least seven days outside the body and can be found on and spread through sharing of inanimate objects such as washcloths or toothbrushes.

    Long-term protection following infant vaccination is expected to last for decades and will ultimately protect against acquiring infection at any age. On average protection from infection lasts at least 12 years, and immunity to HBV is expected to last for up to 25 years in most cases, and current research has indicated that resistance to HBV actually lasts throughout life and currently boosters are not recommended. (How do you like that, BIG PHARM is actually saying you don’t need more of their medicine!)

    Clearly, infections occur among unvaccinated infants born to mothers who are not HBV-infected. In fact here is a pdf giving many examples with citation:
    http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2100nrs.pdf

  • Joe

    We do not have the freedom of information act rights in the IOM non governmental but someone there was very alarmed by what they were hearing and leaked out the minutes of the meeting this is what they were interested in
    protecting the vaccine program at all cost in other words collateral was the cost of doing
    business. Their press release was we find no causation and do not look at vaccines again, put your money where you will get more bang for you buck. To bad some one had a conscience there
    the minutes released did not reflect that release in fact it was pretty much the opposite.
    From the IOM meeting minutes;

    “We’ve got a dragon by the tail here,” states a committee member in the
    transcript. “At the end of the line, what we know is – and I agree –
    that
    the more negative that presentation [the report] is, the less likely
    people
    are to use vaccination, immunization, and we know what the results of
    that
    will be. We are kind of caught in a trap. How we work our way out of
    the
    trap, I think, is the charge.”

    Are you caught in a trap if you found no causation?

    Some scientist with a conscience
    said the committee was ordered to find no causation it was in their contract between the IOM and the CDC.When byronchild asked CDC spokesperson Curtis Allen for a copy of the
    contract that would detail the agreement between the IOM and the CDC,
    Allen
    stated that the contract would be available only in a heavily
    “redacted” or
    blacked-out format.

    The IOM stated “no comment” to byronchild about the leaked transcript
    or its
    use in the pending civil court case.

    You normally don’t redact something unless you are hiding something. The CDC has no rights redacting anything, in fact they are only supposed to conduct business that is above board that is in the public eye with complete transparency.

    From the IOM minutes

    Dr. Stratton: “We said this before you got here, and I think we said
    this
    yesterday, the point of no return, the line we will not cross in public
    policy is to pull the vaccine, change the schedule. We could say it is
    time
    to revisit this but we will never recommend that level. Even
    recommending
    research is recommendations for policy. We wouldn’t say compensate, we
    wouldn’t say pull the vaccine, we wouldn’t say stop the program.”

    Notice they said we would not say compensate, you see the NVICP is totally corrupt agency and the vaccine commission is also AAP worse than USELESS
    CDC an embarrassment to the American people. Why do you people think our children are so sick in the US, lets see the most vaccinated Nation and one of the sickest. The people who done this to the American children are sicker than the children with GREED and ARROGANCE they have no conscience or integrity
    more dangerous than terroristNext we find Dr. McCormic saying they will never admit their mistake

    Similarly, Dr. McCormick, at page 97 in discussing whether autism could
    be
    associated with vaccines, stated that “we are not ever going to come
    down
    that it is a true side effect,”

    To you who defend this vermin
    How can the CDC tell a woman to get a Thimerosal containing Flu vaccine, when it is on the MSDS of Thimerosal to never expose pregnant women to their product for it can cross the placenta
    and go into the baby and cause mild to severe mental retardation? let see don’t eat the fish but do go down and get you a flu vaccine of something that will cross the BBB and the placenta easier than doe’s fish mercury. There is no common sense in that behavior, anyone
    who defends this is being paid by pharma or the CDC to do so.

    How do you sleep at night?

    May the cries of these little children bore into your head, and do know that you will be held just as responsible as the ones that committed the crime against American children.

    One dad was so distraught about where his 22 yr old was going
    spend the rest of his life, since they were not able to take care of him anymore. He chose a horrible way out of this CDC Vaccine educed hell called Autism, he shot the child and then turned the gun on his self.
    I don’t expect any of you to give a damn, you see you would have to have a conscience to
    do that. And as the bible says yours is seared as with a hot iron.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    And Joe, having successfully rambled incoherently, congratulated himself for so accurately nailing everybody in the medical establishment as baby-hating child-killers.

    Seek psychiatric help, please – for your own sake!

  • Hitch

    kim, read the following paper cover to cover. Then if you doubt any of the cited sources read those.

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/596476

    This is a science paper but it is quite readable when you get used to the big words.

    Let me just explain two words. Causal and coincidental.

    Causal means that something happens because of something before it in time and that prior event was needed to make it happen. This is a link and relation.

    Coincidental means that something happened temporally after another event but was not caused by it.

    For example I may be watching TV and have a heart attack. The show that played just before I had my heart attack is likely coincidental. It happened before but did not cause my heart attack.

    Scientific studies have methods to show causal vs coincidental and you will read about that in the paper.

    To understand how one can get very robust effects, if whole countries switch from Thimerosal to Thimerosal-free that is actually affecting a large pool. In science we call this an AB, where condition A is followed by condition B. If there is a causation one expects things to follow that step. I.e. if Thimerosal had an influence on autism rates, removal of it in a large group of people should help, right? Studies of exactly these steps in Denmark and the US showed that no such step in an AB condition is observed, hence we cannot see the causation that we should.

    The main thing is that it is quite easy to study the effect of Thimerosal. In some countries vaccinations were suspended. In some countries a mix of Thimerosal-free vaccines were used.

    If Thimerosal is responsible the population who got it should show higher incidences of autism. Studies show no such effect.

    In fact mercury dosage in vaccines used to be much higher than before, but autism only started to rise after the mercury dosage had already been dropped.

    Also let me give you this source:

    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/ucm096228.htm

    Specifically check out the table and note, how contemporary children’s vaccines simply do neither have mercury nor Thimerosal in it. This changes goes back to 2001 after a recommendation in 1999.

    More importantly note how the FDA monitors and adjusts for safety and note how many sources are considered to make sure things are safe.

  • Joe

    Hitch where is the response to the truth about the IOM? What I gave as evidence clearly shows
    the IOM was ordered by the CDC,
    to not find causation and that they complied with the demand. And southed their consciences by saying if they are forced to release a negative report the diseases would be rampant so they chock it up as for the greater good. The truth it was for the greater GREED

  • Hitch

    Joe, you are a loon. The IOM report is open, noone can influence it because everybody can follow the line of argument. It’s written down, all open and public. It’s not like a closed door decision or anything. You show no clue how a panel even works, it’s not like 2-3 people can just decide over the head of the rest of them. Basically you spew a rather ill-formed conspiracy theory.

  • Joe

    Are you denying, that this is in the IOM meeting minutes?

    “We’ve got a dragon by the tail here,” states a committee member in the
    transcript. “At the end of the line, what we know is – and I agree –
    that
    the more negative that presentation [the report] is, the less likely
    people
    are to use vaccination, immunization, and we know what the results of
    that
    will be. We are kind of caught in a trap. How we work our way out of
    the
    trap, I think, is the charge.”

    Are you caught in a trap if you found no causation?

    Are you also saying that this did not happen,the refusal of the CDC to disclose the contract
    between the CDC and the IOM?

    The bible says; there is none so blind as those who will not See.

    In your case there’s none so blind as those who are paid
    to not see.

    Again you are not caught in a trap, and you do not have to work your way out of something you are not in. If you find with a good conscience that there is not a correlation. Do you even have, two neurons.

  • Joe

    FOIA emails from the so caring FDA and the CDC.

    Were afraid the public will perceive us asleep at the switch for decades, for allowing this dangerous compound to remain in the vaccines.

    And it’s no longer going to wash that there is no evidence of a risk.

    This was not rocket science this was 9th grade math.

    He was referring to the facts, the accumulative doses were adding up to neurological damage
    and according to the MSDS sheet mercury poisoning. And that the
    FDA could not do the simple math
    to calculate the emanate damage.
    That was being done to the American children.

    How could the FDA approve a preservative with out knowing
    how much mercury it contains,
    what else is lurking that we don’t know about.

    The best for last,
    Maybe we should come clean with the people. It appears that she had a conscience.

    The AAP, when they first found
    the mistake had happened.

    This is accumulative in the body we must find the best chelating agent and get with it.

    You see that was before the AAP went to the Simpson wood meeting
    and the main Dr. there said with the current research, were all in a bad position from the stand point of defending any lawsuits
    and he said he was concerned.

    He also said you would not be able to find a scientist with any integrity who would say with the current studies,that this is not happening to the children. It seems he under estimated the deep seeded corruption in the research academia.

  • Aaron

    The Trap is that people like you are trying hard to convince others that there is a conspiracy, and if allowed to continue to yell their incoherent rants unopposed a certain number of people will believe them simply because people seem to listen to who ever yells the loudest, no matter if what they are saying makes any sense. If that happens people might stop immunizing, and that will lead to epidemics that will kill millions. That sounds like a dragon we would want to slay to me.

    The final answer to all this is that small pox killed 50 million people in 1950 alone, and almost 500 million in the 20th century, but in 1978 Janet Parker became the last person to die of small pox. She caught it in a labratory accident. The yearly number of people dieing of small pox is currently zero. You can thank vaccinations for that.

    What type of monster are you to want to kill hundreds of millions of people with your reckless ideology?

    If saving those lives means a few thousand extra children are harmed, well, I’ll trade a little harm to a few thousand children to save tens of millions of lives.

    There is no evidence that vaccines cause harm in any significant portion of the population, but even if you are right about the harm being done, it is worth it to save tens if not hundreds of millions of lives.

  • Hitch

    Joe, as said you are a loon.

    Yes the quote is in there but you quote out of context.

    Like any good conspiracy theorist you pick a few lines out of context and construct a conspiracy, ignoring evidence to the contrary.

    I encourage people to read the whole minutes and you will learn about review process, concern for parents, how to deal with hyper-vigilant media and how to communicate complex medical topics to lay people without scaring them.

    Joe, how about you quote to us the opening statement of the IOM minutes for context?

  • Joe

    Did the IOM make a mistake on the ruling of the biological plausibility of the Vaccine Autism connection? surely they had good sound science proving their ruling was in deed correct.
    Just what happened to all them good sound research studies.

    This is what happened, the CDC told the IOM to pay little attention to the biological
    evidence ( probably because that was all ready established ) and to put all their confidence in the large population based studies that the NIEHS debunked
    and the Denmark studies, and for you to say he was a financial fraud and that doe’s not make his studies invalid is laughable
    and shows you may only have one neuron.

    But back to the pesky FOIA emails, an email was fired off
    from Denmark to the CDC saying as of 2001 the incidence rates of Autism continued to decline.

    You cannot be going up and down at the same time, it seems someone was not in the corrupted loop and told the truth. Or some one had some integrity, and tried to blow the whistle by this email telling us that the rates were in deed going down not up.

  • Hitch

    Oh geez…

  • Joe

    aaron stop your lying and fear mongering, nobody is listening anymore to the lies.

    How about this in context from
    the head of the IACC that has been saying that we don’t know if the increase is real or not.

    He admitted the increase is real and said how do we prepare the nation for 1 million disabled
    children that may need services.

    Now that is where the alarm should be,in a statement like that. You think the bank bail out was big these children will cost 3.2 to 5 million each at a grand total of $$200 to $$$400 billion dollars every year for the life time care cost of these children that’s when the heads will start rolling and then the finger pointing begins.

  • Aaron

    My way is still better then 50 million dead, Joe. I’m not the one lying or fear mongering, you can look up the stats on any website you like. Small pox is very real, and very well documented.

    You are trying to justify the deaths of tens of millions because you are afraid of possible side effects from drugs that work. You don’t even have any solid evidence of these side effects, just the possibility that they might exist. All the while ignoring the evidence that billions of doses of these vaccinations have been administered with out any huge epidemic of disabled.

    As I said before, and you apparently have no way to refute, even if you are right, and a small percentage of the children given these vaccinations do have some serious side effects beyond those that we know, then it is still a small price to pay for saving tens of millions of lives, not to mention the hundreds of millions more that would be crippled by these diseases.

    Joe, the more you write the less coherent you become. I don’t care what you believe that IACC, CDC, MPAA, or the Count on Sesame Street said in some secrete emails that the voices in your head leaked to you. Vaccinations have substantially improved the quality of life for billions of people, and you would have us turn our backs on that. I think that sane and intelligent people are going to simply ignore your blithering stupidty, and I can take comfort in that.

  • kim

    I call BS Hitch! As soon as “childhood vaccines” lowered their amount of thimerosal, the ACIP started recommending Flu shots to pregnant women and infants. Replacing the amount of thimerosal exposure supposedly taken out. I KNOW this for a fact as the Chief of Staff of my local hospital is also my OB and he couldn’t get his hands on any thimerosal free flu shots for his pregnant patients. Kids couldn’t get one in this area either. So there was just as much thimerosal as before. Then came H1N1…50 mcg for a 6 month old in 2 doses + 2 doses of seasonal flu. Get over your pharma dribble. No one educated listens to your crap. You are part of the problem, along with Jamie.

  • Donna Carver

    I am a parent and a nurse. My son suffered terrible bowel issues post MMR. I continued to vaccinate and he suffered even more damage. What you did Jamie was not brave it was cowardly. Brave would have been to sit down and speak to him face to face and ask questions not pretend to be a supporter and slip him a note. Buy the Book Callous Disregard. You may change your opnion of this amazing man.

  • Joe

    aaron or hitch
    I think this qualify s as proof of the damage was done.

    Thomas Insel the head of the IACC.

    How do we prepare the nation for 1 million disabled children that may need services.
    like I said You think the bank bail out was big these children will cost 3.2 to 5 million each at a grand total of $$200 to $$$400 billion dollars every year for the life time care cost of these children that’s when the heads will start rolling and then the finger pointing begins.

  • Aj

    Donna Carver,

    I am a parent and a nurse. My son suffered terrible bowel issues post MMR. I continued to vaccinate and he suffered even more damage.

    More anecdotes! I’m convinced. Being a nurse definitely makes you qualified to assess the cause of your child’s illness. Since it happened after a vaccine it must have been the vaccine, because correlation equals causation. You’re so clever. Parents know best, they’re never stupid or ignorant, they never foolishly believe things.

  • Joe

    you stand for poisoning children and I am considered the loon.

    1953 Bertrand Russell the book was the impact of science on
    society;A quote from the book;
    we will put mercury and other compounds in vaccines and cause a partial chemical lobotomy.

    2010 we are debating if the mercury in vaccines caused the
    brain damage we see in our children.

    Bertrand Russell; we could say at the least this man knew what putting mercury in children’s vaccines will do. At the worse
    I will let you fill in that blank.

    Oh! the reason for the partial lobotomy, was so they could
    control the populations better.

    Bertrand Russell was good friends with the Rockefeller’s.

    He went on to say if you challenged this, it would
    become psychologically impossible.

    Welcome to the NWO (New World Order)

  • The Panic Man

    Joe, in all that incoherent street-corner rambling, was there any point?

    Let me answer for you: No. Go back to YouTube and your paranoia videos. Leave the discussion to the people whose brains aren’t addled with booze, hard drugs, and household cleaners.

  • Hitch

    Donna, all the best for your kid. If you truly want to be informed read:

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/596476

    And ask questions if any of this is unclear.

    As for Joe, is down the deep end. Russell has exactly nothing to do with evidence on vaccine/autism links.

    Furthermore we are supposed to believe that the reason no study shows a link is because the effect is too small to detect yet, yet vaccination is mass murder. Yet there is no outrage when Wakefield says it’s OK for their parents to kill their autistic children. That apparently is no murder. This is so obviously insane and blind to the facts that one can only help folks who have enough of a sanity left to see it.

    But to make this even more plain, we debate the danger of mercury in child-vaccinations in 2010, when it has been removed from vacciations for children below 6 in 2001!

    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/ucm096228.htm

    Let alone that none of the studies had shown evidence that the mercury had autism-effects.

    And Donna, if you really are a nurse, you can read this and you understand perfectly that I am correct in my claims and if you think I’m incorrect, let’s debate on the merits of the science.

    Finally instead of supporting one doctor, how about supporting science into helping autism and finding the true causes.

    Unfortunately there are a lot of kook web pages around that look professional but spread misinformation about vaccinations.

    Good sources are:

    http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/pink/def_pink_full.htm
    http://immunizationinfo.org/ and this: http://www.immunize.org/

    As a final story. A friend of mine did not have measles. He got it from his 6 year old sister when he was 18. He almost died to complications of the resulting heart disease.

    I would be happy to consider that risk against other risks. But truth is there simply is no evidence that his sever illness needs to be risk because of other risks of the MMR vaccination. We have to argue these things based on fact and not our personal stories or emotions. I am happy to change my mind, but only on good evidence, not on hearsay or paranoia.

  • Hitch

    There is a really useful documentary here, with I think fair presentation of all sides.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/vaccines/view/

  • Azzere

    Pointing Promtly states:
    “The pediatricians who received bonuses for injecting hazardous waste substances into neonates, the propagandists who have undergraduate degrees in psychology and a history of placing infective pig virus polynucleotide sequences in their own mandated vaccines”
    Let me get this straight, *you* are calling *them* propagandists??? Are you f.ing kidding me?? To be honest, I couldn’t read the entirity of your HUGE posts but skimming through, I saw frequent reference to facism and schemming governments and other things which in general had the feeling of conspiracy theories. Do you want an example of propaganda? Read the above quoted comment of your own.

    Also Kims comment toward Hitch smacks of stupidity: ‘No one educated listens to your crap.’
    ah correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Hitch the one on here who has been providing links to ACCREDITED PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH?? Perhaps it was a typo, did you mean to say ‘No one [un]educated listens to you crap.’? It would certainly make more sense in the context of the debate I’ve read here.

  • Joe

    You quote all this science, but we know that recently it’s been proven that academia most is in the pockets of big pharma and the CDC. Peer review means nothing anymore. Elsevier created 5 fake journals for merck. Merck had a hit list for Dr.’s who spoke against their product vioxx in Australia. In their words (we may have to seek them out and destroy them where they live). I really hope they are talking about destroying creditability,but who knows what these sick bastarxs are capable
    of. They talked about punishing
    academia for not doing what they want,no conspiracy though just bad behavior. Dig your head out of the sand, or where ever it is
    and wake up to reality. Schill

  • Hitch

    Joe really needs the last word for his conspiracy theories.

    That’s the danger of the internet, some deranged kook can present misinformation and spam a discussion and derail it. We have learned nothing from him about the evidence on vaccine/autism links, but lots of conspiracies and out of context citations. Poor uninformed people run into web pages that do the same but in a more professional format.

    Anyone surprised that parents are scared and confused? I am not. I literally had to tell a friend of my mom that the wireless router in my mom’s home will not kill him because he read and believed a conspiracy theory web page on electromagnetically induced deaths.

    Pretty harsh and a waste of our time. Anyone noticed that not one conspiracy theorist asks for discovery of the mechanisms behind autism or ways to help those who already have it? Not one! That’s how much they care. No in reality the nurture a deranged fantasy and deny any evidence to the contrary.

    Again, read the papers, watch the PBS special, inform yourself. And make up your on mind based on all evidence out there, not based on what one web page or one person tells you, or I tell you.

    We should be spending this time seeking help and cures for autism and studying the real and root causes of it.

  • Anna Hayward

    Hi There,
    my son is autistic and he’s vaccinated, but his autism wasn’t caused by MMR, even though he started showing disturbing behaviours around 16-18 months, almost overnight, having been a normal baby. How do I know it wasn’t the MMR? Because Wakefield’s lies scared me out of giving it to my son MMR until he was 4 years old. By then, he was clearly autistic and had been diagnosed since 20 months old.

    All of my friend’s autistic children showed the same pattern, regardless of when they had the MMR: their autism suddenly became apparent around 15-20 months, around the time typical children start developing social behaviour. It’s not MMR, it’s atypical autistic development!

    Incidentally, I said my son was autistic. He is not a tragedy, he is not sick, he is not “trapped within his autistic world”, he’s just different and I wouldn’t want him any other way, even if he is hard work.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    I wonder if Kim even realizes that there is a thimerosal-free flu vaccine? No, no; that would upset her insane conspiracies.

  • Shanghai Sidio

    Jamie thank you for your effort and tremendous spirit.

    I have been trying in vain for a long time to start a viral campaign which tries to get Oprah to see the light and then perform an act of contrition before she goes off the air. She is much worse then Andrew Wakefeild or Jenny McCarthy because I believe in my heart she knows the truth and sadly chooses to ignore it in an effort to continue her megalomaniacal quest to rule the world. LOL!

    Actually one of her key staffers is a neighbor of mine and the impression I get is that most of her “people” are to terrified to confront her about anything. How sad is that?

  • Hitch

    Anna, first off I appreciate your positive outlook. All the best to your son and yourself.

    The problem with MMR is that the vaccine does happen just about around when typical autism starts. So parents are tempted into thinking there is a causation when it’s a coincidence.

  • Gabbi

    Great post Jamie,
    you give a very good account of your day at the rally. Thanks for efforts and representation for rational thinking and promotion of science-based research. I believe it is especially brave as it seems that no matter how many of the anti-vax claims get dis-proven the followers of the campaign just try to find another. Sometimes it can feel like it doesn’t matter how much evidence, research or testimonials go against the belief that vaccines are dangerous they will never give up their stance. It is almost religious for some I have met. Those individuals I have listened to have me under the impression that their children will be going to school claiming not that “the dog ate my homework” but that “BIG PHARMA did it!” Sad times when parents trust google or Jenny McCarthy more than their doctor or trained healthcare providers.

  • Karyn

    Jamie,
    Which children have died as a result of Andrew Wakefield? I was at the rally. Somehow, missed the dancing mothers and children you mention in your article. Guess it’s all a matter of perception, yes?

  • http://www.twitter.com/UAJamie Jamie

    Just last week http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/scimedemail/la-me-0527-whooping-cough-20100527,0,4139013.story

    Also, you didn’t see all the people dancing? There was even a mother who was standing up holding and dancing with her infant.

    And Karyn, you aren’t Karyn from Karyn’s Raw Cafe in Chicago, are you?

  • Sylvia

    Less than 10% of the injectable flu vaccines in 2009 were thimerosal free. Good luck getting one this year. Many parents who ask are assured that the shot their child is getting is thimerosal free, but when the parent insists on seeing the package insert, there it is. The nurse always seemed shocked. She assumed her information was correct, so she never read the package insert herself. That’s not conspiracy theories, that’s just business as usual.

  • Aj

    Sylvia,

    Many parents who ask are assured that the shot their child is getting is thimerosal free, but when the parent insists on seeing the package insert, there it is.

    True fact, I heard it at a bar. Why are these non-existent nurses lying to us? In a recent survey 88% of nurses said that they were misled about the ingredients of vaccines. In response a health official said “muahahahaahahaha”, Many doctors insist on seeing the package insert, most claimed that one ingredient, called soylent green, was definitely people.

  • curt

    Vaccines are “completely safe” and thoroughly tested…right? But wait!…then why did I just watch an FDA meeting on the PCV 1 that was just recently found in the Glaxxo rotavirus vaccine? And wasn’t it Dr. Julie Gerberding that claimed that the Merck rotavirus vaccine was fine to use in it’s stead, yet then found that (oops…silly us)the Merck vaccine not only had the PCV1 virus but the PCV2 virus as well!
    Now PCV is a porcine (pig for you “scientific” types on this page) that causes chronic diarrhea and wasting disease in young pigs. Now …I know…just because it kills little piglets doesn’t mean it will kill our infants (since you obviously believe that mercury is perfectly safe for children as long as it’s ethyl and not methyl) and you can trust gerberding because she’s the director of the CDC….oh, but… wait….that’s right…she’s now president of Merck’s vaccine division…silly me.
    And the doctors on at the meeting were telling the FDA and other government officials that ‘while they didn’t know what the ramifications of this virus will be in our children, they recommend that we continue to inject this vaccine into our children! cause…you know…we’ve already vaccinated millions with it right? why stop now?
    Even if I didn’t believe in my heart that my child was hurt by his vaccines, your arguments and those of most of the morons on these comments would certainly sway me in that direction.

  • Hitch

    And more sensationalist presentations of things, not to discuss one case but to scare people about vaccines in general.

    To Sylvia: It is irrelevant that flu shots contain thimerosal, because there is absolutely no evidence, after many studies that thimerosal is dangerous. Again read the papers linked above.

    Government agencies unfortunately have fed the paranoia in 2001 by mostly removing thimerosal, to avoid a possible link that already at that point was highly dubious. But now this has entered into the conspiracy theory. “Oh, why is it no longer used in children vaccines if it is harmless?” Well, sad news is that as best we know it is harmless. But this is exactly how conspiracy theories work.

    Not all facts are considered. Only those facts that reinforce a set belief. The fact that many studies showed absolutely no link of thimerosal or other mercury traces in vaccinations to health concerns is hidden, while the hence irrelevant but true fact that one can not get 100% guarantee to a thimerosal-free flu shot is elevated to something deeply relevant, when it is not relevant at all. Those flu shots, as far as thimerosal go, are fine. Irregardless of whether 0% 10% or 90% of them have it.

  • Aj

    curt,

    Vaccines are “completely safe” and thoroughly tested…right?

    Are you trying to construct the epitome of a straw man argument?

    since you obviously believe that mercury is perfectly safe for children as long as it’s ethyl and not methyl

    Oh wait, this is definitely the epitome of a straw man argument. Fuck the dose, it doesn’t matter. No one was ever poisoned by water. “Toxins” baaaad, bullshit goooood.

    Even if I didn’t believe in my heart that my child was hurt by his vaccines…

    Irrational beliefs not supported by evidence or reason, but acquired by hyper active pattern seeking latching onto coincidental correlations, followed by delusional beliefs involving conspiracy theories. But you believe it, in your heart, perhaps if you thought about it, in your head, you would do better.

  • http://johnbestjr.blogspot.com John Best

    Jamie, You’re an excellent example of a brainwashed imbecile. Morons like you should keep writing so we can understand the depth of stupidity amongst the brain dead public.

  • http://www.autismmedia.org/media8.html Erik

    I’m a huge fan of Dr. Wakefield’s because I actually pay attention to the details of this debate.

    Here is the good doctor in his private interview with FAIR Autism Media:
    http://www.autismmedia.org/media8.html

    and some other vaccine-related interviews:
    http://www.autismmedia.org/media2.html

  • http://autismnewsbeat.com AutismNewsBeat

    Karyn, I was at the rally, and the mothers and children were dancing in front on me during Vaccine Gestapo.

  • Hitch

    Erik: On your web page. Politicans and interviews are no proof.

    For example Prof. Hornig, interviewed on the site actually ran the land-mark study, trying to replicate and basically disproving Wakefield’s original Lancet study:

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140

    “This study provides strong evidence against association of autism with persistent MV RNA in the GI tract or MMR exposure.”

    But anybody who read the review article I linked above already knows this.

    Again, read scientific sources not second or third hand accounts, and read the most recent findings and its context. Do not trust shiney web pages as evidence. There are very shiney web pages promoting tendentious, old, or false information.

  • Karyn

    Jamie,
    Thanks for posting the link. But Wakefield is not even mentioned, nor is it clear in this article whether or not these babies received any of their other vaccinations. I fail to see what this very sad story has to do with Andrew Wakefield. I’m sure you will dig something up, though! And BTW, I do not own a business in Chicago.

  • Broken Link

    You may be interested to know that Curt Linderman Sr. has this on his Facebook page. But, I’m not sure it is worthwhile to give him any attention ;)

    Today on Linderman LIVE! We’re going to continue the discussion from yesterday about the “infiltrator” to the Rally. I am encouraging call-ins to either reenforce what I have been saying or tell me I’m being too mean to these people. The show will be devoted to these morons today! We’re live at 11am EST 309 343 LIVE (5483) They are listening so lets show them how we feel about their tactics!

  • Saintrox

    I was at the rally Jamie Bernstien described. How many of you, other than Jamie, were?

    Forget Autism for a second…(hard for us parents of vaccine injured children but..)

    I watched and listened to a mother talk about how her perfectly normal 14 yr old daughter now eats and breathes through tubes after an adverse Gardasil vaccine reaction. How the hospital staff accused her (the daughter) of taking drugs and lying about having seizures and not being able to eat/breathe. Really…lying about having a seizure?? That’s a good trick.

    I watched and listened to a member of the military as he told about watching his best friend die after an adverse vaccine reaction. If you’re in the military, you don’t get a right to choose…it’s part of the job.

    Stop accusing the victims here! You can’t deny that some people have adverse reactions. It’s undeniable…period. The vaccine manufacturers will admit it…why can’t you people? Why do you think they have those LONNNGGG inserts listing side effects? I have to laugh now when watching drug adds on TV when the speed talkers list the many side effects, many of which are worse than the symptoms your taking the drug for.

    All we want is the choice of what we inject into our bodies and our children’s bodies. Seems like more of a fundamental right than freedom of speech which I wish some of you didn’t have after reading your dribble. You don’t know until you’ve walked in our shoes. I’d give you 1 week before you start thinking the same way we do. I hope it doesn’t happen to you…but chances are it will effect you or your child or your children’s children within your lifetime.

    If Jamie really wanted to do something…she should have stood up for what she truely believes in and asked Dr. Wakefield her questions face to face vs. lying to him about being a fan, getting a pic w/him and then slipping him a little note (cute…NOT) and then running away.

    Great job Jamie…you should be very proud. Again…NOT!!

  • Louise

    The rally was amazing. Professional, mainstream… it was not remotely a fringe event. And it wasn’t about autism either. There was a USAF captain who recorded post-vaccination illnesses on three different AFBs. There was a Gardasil mom whose 14 yo daughter now breathes and eats through tubes after receiving her Gardasil vaccine. There were three college professors, including a history professor from Univ of IL at Chicago.. and a scientist who ran the chemistry dept at the Univ of KY for decades. There were several attorneys including those with deep experience in human rights, industry corruption, and how the vaccine court works. It was a tough event for those who hang their hat on the belief that this movement is powered by hysterical, angry Luddites.

    People find this work threatening. America has been vaccinating at ever increasing levels for decades and most people have no idea what’s in them and how they work. Everyone wants to feel good about the decisions they make. Most people who self-proclaim they are “pro science” and defend vaccines actually know precious little about them. What does the “a” in DTaP stand for, how is DTaP different than DPT and what happened to DTP anyway? How do vaccines cause brain damage? What happens to people injured by vaccines that are subsequently pulled from the market when they are deemed unsafe? What’s a “hot lot” and why do they occur?

    So get off your high horse for a moment and just use your brain.

    This rally was not about existing science. We want to see more science. You should want to see more science. Ask Dr. Lou Cooper, former head of the AAP and rubella vaccine developer, and he’ll tell you that vaccine safety science is “seriously deficient and done on the cheap.” Ask Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the NIH and she will tell you, “The question has not been answered.”

    This rally was about the human right to have choice. Who has the right to make you do something that is known to harm and kill a subset of the population? The problem is that it is not known, prior to administration, who is susceptible. That science has not been done. And sometimes government makes mistakes. Do you need me to tell you this?

    Some of you say: everyone has a moral obligation to put themselves at risk to protect others. Sounds good when others are doing something that you feel protects you.

    But how about when the time comes that you are asked to do something that harms or kills you or someone you love?

    Does society have the right to sacrifice some people to protect others? Maybe you think you’re on the receiving end of this equation and so you feel you can claim the moral high ground. What if you find out in 25 years that the 69 doses of vaccines you received caused the cancer that ended up prematurely killing you? Does your government have the right to make that tradeoff for you? Because that science hasn’t been done either. Check every single vaccine package insert and see what it says: http://www.immunize.org/fda/. Never been tested for carcinogenic, mutagenic potential or impairment of fertility.

    Think very carefully about the society you want to live in. Because this isn’t remotely about “just” vaccines. There is a business model that reigns supreme. It’s all about conflicts of interest, undue influence, and the glory of the paid lobbyist. It supports high prices, low quality, public-private partnerships, and dangerous side effects. It’s happening all around us… look at our food, our environment, our drugs.

    And just a word about chicken pox… adults almost never used to get chicken pox. Or measles. Because they were widespread childhood infectious diseases. Virtually everyone got the wild form of the disease and then had lifelong immunity. The thing most people don’t realize is that vaccine immunity is temporary. You need to keep getting the booster shots, and taking the risk of adverse effects, over and over, to be protected. Shouldn’t people have a choice whether they’d prefer to get chicken pox as young children and have lifelong immunity… or have to be exposed to the risks associated with the need to be vaccinated for the rest of their lives?

    This isn’t just about kids either. There are many more vaccines in our future and adults are next. Rest assured that they will increasingly be mandated as a condition of employment and maybe even to give birth, board a plane or get health insurance. Maybe you love all the vaccines currently licensed. But there are hundreds more in the pipeline. Are you sure you want those too? How about vaccines for cavities or obesity or diabetes or bad breath? When do you get to decide that the risks don’t balance the benefits? Let’s hope that you will have free and informed consent when you need it. Make fun of “Vaccine Gestapo” all you want but Nazi Germany wasn’t so long ago. And bad things happened under the watch of well-intentioned people. Just like you.

  • http://www.twitter.com/UAJamie Jamie

    @Broken Link: Thanks! His facebook page is immensely entertaining! I love that my little picture is apparently enough two warrant talking about through two entire shows. Not to mention all the lovely names he calls me. I’ll be watching this guy closely from now on, if only for the humour.

  • hitch

    Saintrox, noone is blaming the victims. My heart goes out to anybody who has health problems.

    But anecodotes don’t make things true.

    Take Curt Linderman, mentioned above. Like many parents whose child got autism it happened between 12 and 24 months. Vaccinations happen in that time span too. As said studies show that there is no correlation, hence we ought to assume that it’s coincidental not causal.

    But for a caring and worrying parent, if you got your child vaccinated a few weeks earlier, then go to the web to check what might be the cause and find web pages that claim it’s vaccines, you are bound to believe it, after all it’s evidence!

    Unfortunately it is not. No credible study that was designed to establish evidence for causation did so. Hence we are left with assuming that the stories are not causative but coincidental.

    In fact what we are saying is that we should find the true causes and the best treatments for autism. We need to understand the biological mechanisms and hence get a real handle on prevention. And we need to spend energy on treatment. That is not blaming the victims, it’s actually helping them.

  • hugh

    We are living organisms and to put a virus in your body not knowing the outcome is very dangerous. This organism is soooooo complicated that nobody has figured it out yet. Every immune system is different and sometimes it welcomes the virus and then adapts. The most I put in my body is aspirin and that is rare. The science is inconclusive. Maybe the vaccines your parents got messed up their DNA and the when they had Children It caused their childrens autism

  • Hitch

    The science is not inconclusive. And vaccines do not mess up genes. Even a kook like Wakefield wouldn’t make claims like this. So stop spreading your ignorance as if it is a legitimate concern please. Thanks you.

  • hugh

    There isn’t a person on this planet that knows what goes on in The human body. GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT. Is that simple enough for you? Why eat healthy then?

  • Hitch

    Hugh, we know so “little” about the body that we understand quite a lot about its mechanisms. We understand bacteria and why antibacterial drugs work. We can also manufactor some anti-viral drugs because we have learned enough about them. We understand many things about the body, due to experimentation and verified model formation.

    There is lots we do not know but we can learn. And there is lots that we can reject as false, because we did the studies to test for it.

    You have an ignorant view of medicine and its science. Polio is not almost extinct because we don’t know how to combat it.

    In fact small pox is extinct, so we no longer vaccinate for it! That’s how little we know about the body.

    We know a lot more than you claim we know, or show any sign of understanding.

    Read the papers linked above. They describe in detail the studies performed to test risk of vaccinations in relation to autism. If you actually understand what has been done to further our understanding we can have an informed discussion.

  • Aj

    Louise,

    There was a USAF captain who recorded post-vaccination illnesses on three different AFBs. There was a Gardasil mom whose 14 yo daughter now breathes and eats through tubes after receiving her Gardasil vaccine.

    Anecdotes… theyll do as evidence when you’re stupid and ignorant.

    …a history professor from Univ of IL at Chicago…

    History professors… when you’re out of doctors of medicine.

    Check every single vaccine package insert and see what it says: http://www.immunize.org/fda/. Never been tested for carcinogenic, mutagenic potential or impairment of fertility.

    What about food, building materials, other drugs, and almost everything else? I see… it’s only a problem when you’re irrationally afraid of something.

    This rally was not about existing science. We want to see more science. You should want to see more science.

    Read the comments from the crazies here… read Natural News or Age of Autism. What do you and these people need research for? You’ve got anecdotes and conspiracy theories!

  • hugh

    Hitch,

    Why are they giving billions to people who have been injured by vaccination? Polio and small pox have been eradicated? Well thats only 2. Your success rate is not very good. The fact is you are assuming that the immune system will react the same every time it recieves a vaccination and it looks like that is not true. I think you are jealous because Dr wakefield may be on to something. he will keep doing his research and find out either way about autism. As for me I have an IQ of 143 and I love being a kook in fact You have no clue how smart this community is. you all think we are a bunch of pathetic whinners who only want society to feel sorry for us. OH poor us IT IS OUR JOB TO TAKE CARE OF IT AND WE WILL.

  • Hitch

    I think that’s 2 more than would be extinct if we followed your advice. Polio isn’t actually extinct, thanks to deranged people torpedoing it.

    This is and never should be about one person. Wakefield’s work is one of a whole set of works. But it just takes people without perspective to throw their trust behind one person rather than behind the actual evidence, that is quite independent of the persons involved.

    If you are intelligent you would actually read all the sources I linked and argue on matters of actual merit, not on bizzare emotional appeals.

  • hugh

    Wakefield was the first to notice that there might be something there. Deal with it! There is a starting point and he is it. I know how to google. It just proves they don’t have the right test yet. theres nothing to argue. Their work is done and wakefields continues.

  • Hitch

    You are spreading bull.

    Vaccine safety is a long-standing topic:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccine_Monitoring/history.html

    and not invented by Wakefield. Many people are concerned, and actually honest in their methods, about vaccine safety.

    There are plenty of credible studies, with proper controls and clear outcomes.

    And there is proper documentation just exactly why Wakefield’s article got retracted by Lancet and why he got stripped from his licence in the UK.

    Care to actually be honest and cite this?

    Here is how Deer reported the findings before the GMC came to its conclusions:

    “However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.”

    The details of the GMC findings discussing the case of discrepancies with respect to the children in the Lancet study can to be found here:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/25983372/FACTS-WWSM-280110-Final-Complete-Corrected

    The Lancet fully retracted the paper hence.

    Care to say that Wakefield did sue Deer over his reporting, but dropped it after all documents were disclosed and paid Deer’s legal fees?

    Deer incidentally continuing to be harassed by deranged group of vaccination opponents?

    But leave all this aside. Wakefield is not the only person in the field. Read all the studies and talk about them. But you guys just put blinders on, ignore evidence you dislike and elevate discredited claims into truisms and its promoters into hero status.

    But let’s bring this back to what matters:

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/596476

    Review article going through all relevant work since the 98 Lancet study on the vaccine/autism link. No link if confirmed, instead all evidence shows an absence of such link.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0003140

    Horning et al detailed study trying to reproduce the Lancet 98 study. They conclude “This study provides strong evidence against association of autism with persistent MV RNA in the GI tract or MMR exposure.” hence finding strong evidence against a link.

    Sensible people look at all evidence and report truthfully. As an example take Professor Hasley of John Hopkins University University Institute for Vaccine Safety. After the Lancet study by Wakefield came out, he pressured the CDC for more studies. However he came around when evidence showed that indeed there was no link. Hasley has since promoted MMR vaccinations, as can be seen in this issue of the Parents magazine:

    http://www.parents.com/baby/health/vaccinations/parents-report-vaccine-update-2007/?page=3

    That’s the difference between honestly concerned and looking for evidence, and causing paranoia against evidence.

    Further sources on vaccine safety:

    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/ucm096228.htm\
    http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/pink/def_pink_full.htm
    http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/

  • hugh

    well in 1964 my sister got her shots befor 1st grade and 2 weeks later she had brain damage. mmr started in 1963 I don’t care about your bullshit end of story. We move ahead and don’t

  • Aj

    hugh,

    well in 1964 my sister got her shots befor 1st grade and 2 weeks later she had brain damage.

    Anecdotes, behind almost all irrational fear of vaccines. In related news, correlation may indeed not equal causation. Researchers have found that when something happens two weeks after another event, the two events may be unrelated.

  • Hitch

    Hugh, I am very sorry and all the best to your sister. I’m afraid to say, however, that coincidence and causation are not the same thing. All the research so far failed to establish that there is a causation.

    In any case we do well to keep researching causes and treatments of all illnesses, and we will. But we do better if we actually pay attention to doing good research and understanding mechanisms, rather than uphold things that just didn’t work out when scrutinized.

    We are not at all on different side of this at all. We all want prevention, and cure for autism and other debilitating illnesses.

  • hugh

    Don’t worry we will figure it out. Dr wakefield will continue doing research. 1 in 90 has autism. look at the number of shots they give. that doesn’t bother you? would you overwhelm your system with drugs or alchohol and not get a reaction. These are living virus that are being injected and you expect the body to handle that? your freakin brain doesn’t stop physically growing till your 25 and these doctors expect the immune system to be fully developed at 6 months. You think I’m a Kook? LOLOLOLOLOL,

  • Hitch

    Yes, you are a kook. I understand that autism is rising. Unfortunately it rose even in regions where vaccinations are suspended or have hugely diverging volumes.

    If we make progress it won’t be because we trust one person, but it will be because we trust solid research.

    I have quoted this many times, I’ll try once more. The immune system overwhelm-theory is addressed here too:

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/596476

    Incidentally we may need to find a cure for superficial arguments, or the inability to differentiate between anecdotes and actual shown links.

  • hugh

    Your research techniques are wrong. Your GOD is the almighty dollar just like Offit.

  • Hitch

    As any kook, you cannot say how things are wrong. You just proclaim them wrong.

    As for the rest of it, I’ll leave it for the stupidity that it is. If you were honest, you’d tell us all how Wakefield made his cash. But it’s irrelevant. It’s not about Wakefield of Offit or anybody. It’s about how to actually help.

  • hugh

    If you do a test and you don’t find the cause whose fault is that? The patients? You don’t sound like a friendly atheist. You sound like an angry atheist.

  • Hitch

    Do you know how to design studies, evaluate significance with respect to a hypothesis etc?

    We can figure out if something is not depending on something else by exactly the same method that we can establish that it does depend. Either the variables correlate or they do not. And the confidence of the observation too can be established.

    I explained earlier how the AB test establishes causation, which is yet another step. Correlation may be coincidental.

    For example if children get traditionally vaccinated between 12-24 months and autism has a peak onset in the same time span, one will find a correlation in studies (they are temporally correlated) but this does not prove a link. Only if significantly more autism cases happen after vaccines are administered than before, and if autism cases rise with administered vaccines compared to the absence thereof, can we establish causation.

    Studies having gone through a range of these possible ways of providing a link have failed to do so. Again, refer to the papers I linked. In fact autism rates rise independent of vaccinations being administered given the evidence we have.

    If a test doesn’t find a link it’s not the patients fault. It may also not be the doctors fault. There may just be no link.

    And whether I am friendly or angry is wholly irrelevant as to whether there is a link between vaccination and autism. Again, the papers I linked discuss in detail how people studied that link. That is what is worth discussing.

  • hugh

    The tests don’t matter to me anymore. the fact is mmr can cause brain damage and it caused my sisters. she was sitting in class when the teacher noticed something was wrong.vaccines are not 100% safe and I would like to see vaccines that are. google side effects of the mmr vaccine. Something is happening in these childrens brains and I think its man made. We will get the right researchers to solve it.I don’t think we will know until you can positively trace the vaccine and watch the immune system destroy it.

  • Hitch

    Yes, googling will show side-effects. Here is an authoritative source:

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002026.htm

    Note that they list rarity of side effects, which can be studied.

    But ultimately we agree. It’s about finding the causes of autism/brain damage. And also ways to help symptoms, and find cures.

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  • Darrell

    Ugh! The flagrant need to be right in the post and comments is annoying. Too many people credit science as last word. Clearly something is wrong, if it’s not vaccines then its the cocktail. If its not the cocktail then its the mother diet while pregnant. If it’s not the mother diet while pregnant then … well you get it. Quit finding fault in those trying to identify the cause and start being part of the cure!

  • Marilyn

    Wow, you really got him, didn’t you? What an idiot he must be to not realize you were pro-vaccine, and to pose with you for a photo! That’s freaking hilarious!

    And that must have taken a lot of guts to give him a note to read later, rather than speaking with him face to face, and letting him respond!

    I’m totally impressed.

  • r

    Ugh, I hope you showered after he touched you.

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  • canary387

    If anyone made their decision on whether or not to vaccinate based solely on Andrew Wakefield’s work, that would be a pretty ignorant person.  I know many people on both sides of the fence and people who don’t vaccinate tend to take a lot more time researching their decision than the people who do.  And I agree with Marilyn.  You sound so mature.  People like you are actually a lot more likely to make someone think twice about vaccinating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lowell-Hubbs/1285214003 Lowell Hubbs

    You were lied to, and lied to right here on this page as well. Vaccines in the history of the planet, have never done as much harm as they are doing right now. More harm than good.

    The Vaccine Damage-Science
    http://www.vacfacts.info/the-vaccine-damage—science.html