by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
Nancy Campbell decided to crib a bunch of anti-vaxx excrement from the internet to show why we shouldn’t vaccinate children.
She’s an idiot.
Let’s look at some current statistics from the USA involving diseases that children are vaccinated against:
- 1 in 4 people who contract measles will be hospitalized.
- 1 in 1,000 will die.
- 13 in 100 sufferers will die.
- Cannot be eradicated since the bacterium lives in the environment
- Half of all cases do not involve either a deep wound or puncture wound
- For people between 5-40 years of age, the death rate is 10% or 10 out of 100 people who get sick.
- For kids under 5 and adults over 40, the death rate is 20% or 20 out of 100 people.
- Fairly harmless in men and children, but women who get rubella are at a much higher risk for arthritis.
- If contracted during pregnancy, the virus can cross the placenta and do severe harm to the developing fetus.
- There is a large population of deaf people in the USA who were born between 1968-1970 during a massive rubella outbreak; they were the lucky one since rubella can also cause fetal death.
These are not minor illnesses; they cause real suffering, disabilities and death.
So how did Nancy Campbell get so confused? Well, a heaping dose of scientific illiteracy always helps.
Let’s look JUST at the first paragraph. She links to an article on healthfreedoms.org. I decided to humor her since I wanted to read the actual study. When I clicked on the link, I’m re-routed through Facebook – which is a tad annoying. I do get to healthfreedoms.org eventually.
On the actual website, the article she cited is categorized under “Big Government” which is an odd category for a health site. On the other hand, it sells organic goods in the header, too! The article is titled “Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Children: First Study of It’s Kind Shows Alarming Health Differences”. I generally don’t trust writers who don’t know that “it’s” is a contraction for “it is” while “its” is the pronoun that should be used in this case.
The article links to a real published study from American Pediatrics. The purpose of the study is to compare the health problems in publicly insured vs. privately insured kids in the US. The first problem with using data from this set for all kids in the US is that including publicly insured kids will skew the number of severely ill kids in the set. This is because any child who spends more than 30 consecutive days in the hospital automatically qualifies for Medicare – which brings all of the micro-preemies and children with severe congenital abnormalities.
Next problem: The study looks at 20 chronic health conditions plus two potential risk factors. Nancy never bothers to separate the two – but the two potential risk factors are overweight/obesity and risk of developmental delay.
Let’s take a look at the “chronic health conditions” that Nancy is freaking out about:
Over 20% of parents responded that their kids have:
1 ) Overweight/Obesity (environmental risk factor)
2) Risk of Developmental Delay (environmental risk factor)
3) Environmental Allergies (excluding food)
Over 10% of parents responded that their kids have:
4) Learning disability
Over 5% of parents responded that their kids have:
7) Chronic Ear Infections (3+ in last year)
8) Conduct or Behavior Disorders
10) Speech problems
11) Developmental Delays that affect learning rate
Over 2% of parents responded that their kids had:
12) Food/Digestive Allergies
15) Bone, Muscle or Joint Problems
16) Hearing Problems
Over 1% of parents responded that their kids had:
17) Vision Problems
18) Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Less than 1% of parents reported that their kids had:
21) Brain Injury or Concussion
22) Tourette’s Syndrome
Of the 22 conditions listed, only four are presumed to be caused by problems with the immune system: environmental allergies, asthma, food/digestive allergies, and type 1 diabetes.
To make any claims about the effects of vaccinations on those four conditions, Nancy would need to produce data that shows that the number/percentage of children affected by these conditions has changed after routine childhood vaccinations have started OR that the severity of the conditions has increased after routine childhood vaccinations started. The study she cited doesn’t include that type of information since the study was looking at a completely different area of interest.
Additionally, Nancy – or the researchers if I wanted to be accurate – would need to exclude the effects of changes in our environment and medical treatment before claiming that vaccines alone caused any increase. To start, diabetes treatment was in its infancy in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Reasonably purified insulin was available, but there were no methods for testing blood sugar at home except urine tests that showed a rough range of possible sugar amounts. With nearly instant blood testing available at home, a variety of insulin types available, and medical equipment like insulin pumps that were non-existent then, the survival rates of childhood diabetics has improved noticeably over time. This wonderful change in survival rates has also increased the percentage of kids who have diabetes since fewer kids with diabetes die.
On a personal note, I’m watching my son kick his chubby little legs with two bandaids on them from his 6 month immunizations. When he was born at 26 weeks gestation and was the size of a single-serve pop bottle, he had a 1 in 10 chance of dying. Within a month, he was down to a 1 in 100 chance of dying – or less. I was willing to risk permanent liver and kidney damage to give my son a better shot at survival – and I feel angry that I couldn’t trade damage to my body in return for less pain and suffering for him. (I know that medicine doesn’t work like that; Jack and I weren’t two separate systems yet so damage to my organs would poison him. I get it; I don’t have to like it.)What kind of mother would risk giving their child a 13 in 100 chance of dying from skipping a tetanus vaccine? What kind of mother would risk a 20% chance of their child dying and 100% chance of a miserable hospital stay from diphtheria?
I want my son to live. That’s why I vaccinate. That’s why Nancy Campbell is an idiot.
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide She is also an very valuable source of scientific information for us here at NLQ. Mel is also blessed with the ability to look at the issues of Quiverfull with a rational mind and break them down to their most basic of elements.
Editor’s note: I want Mel’s son to live too, and the children of everyone else to have the best chance at life. And you, and myself. Here’s the deal. When I quoted Nancy’s anti-vaxx post here at NLQ we had a group of new posters – anti-vaxxers – that repeated a number of things that have very little info to back them. The conversation started to get testy, so the thread was closed.
The same day I posted Nancy’s words I had to go down to urgent care and get a tetanus booster after stupidly and clumsily cutting my hand with a rusty pair of hedge clipper blades. No reaction. But they kept me in the clinic for an hour because I have had one bad reaction to a vaccination this last year.
Last fall because of my history of shingles and immunio suppression drugs it was suggested that I get a Shingles vaccination. I had an extreme reaction, ended up in the hospital with very low blood pressure and rapid pulse. Every time I stood up I started to black out and fall down. The outcome of a bad reaction that the anti-vaxx people were talking about in the comments tells me they know very little about how vaccines and reactions are monitored. After my hospitalization and treatment this was reported to the CDC, the vaccine manufacturer and I had to deal with their agency that studies and reports advise effects of vaccinations. The anti-vaxx people like to tell of life time damage with no way to pay for needed medical care, ignoring the vaccine injury fund, the careful monitoring of those who have experienced bad reactions and the ongoing research by the CDC and the drug industry.
None of that is going to stop me from getting protective vaccinations if recommended in the future.
So, for any anti-vaxxers that may respond to Mel’s careful analysis on the risks of vaccination please read our comment policy before posting. There may be legitimate reasons that vaccination may not be for everyone, but please consider what we’re saying here. Quiverfull loves to push the one right way only, and unfortunately it is usually not grounded in legitimate scientific review.
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