Like measles, antivaxxers' prevarications on the rise

By Phil Plait | February 27, 2009 11:31 am

These guys never quit, do they? When all the evidence is against them, when their hero — Andrew Wakefield — turns out to have not just feet of clay but claims of mud, when scientific study after scientific study shows no link between vaccines and autism, when kids are getting sick and dying because people believe the antiscience claims of the antivax/pro-disease movement, what do antivaxxers like Jenny McCarthy, David Kirby, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. do?

Why, they just keep boldly spreading nonsense, garbage, and propaganda, of course.

I need not go into details here, as Orac has done it very thoroughly (and has followup info), as has Skeptic Dad.

I guess if you’re putting kids’ lives at risk, bearing false witness is a far less unforgivable sin.

In case you missed it before, at TAM 7 we’re holding a vaccination drive in Las Vegas, to make sure that kids get the protection they need against easily preventable diseases. Even if you aren’t coming to TAM, you can contribute to the cause to get kids their vaccines; it’s only $16 for one shot, and $25 for more than one.

The best defense against McCarthy, Kirby, Kennedy, and their ilk? Get kids their shots.

Comments (90)

  1. Lawrence

    That is some serious “grasping at straws.”

    They’ve gone from “literally millions of cases” down to this single one – which, once you scratch the surface, is a very unique situation that isn’t applicable to the public at large.

    Sad. Very, very sad.

  2. Every conspiracy theory has people that just won’t quit, but it amazes me how much high profile support this one gets. Hopefully Jenny McCarthy will give up on this like she gave up on indigo children and move on to something less harmful.

  3. James Wheaton

    Hi Phil – I watch this antivax thing pretty closely as I do in nearly all anti-science issues. What differs with the antivax issue is that industry (big pharma) is being supported by our conclusions. In almost every other case of anti-science (global warming and tobacco come to mind), it is big business which we have fought. For this reason I am nervous about the antivax issue.

    Kennedy wrote a column in Huffpo just yesterday which countered to recent announcements by CDC and other government organizations where three “test cases” for vaccine damage were reviewed and struck down. His article referenced some recent legal successes to the contrary.

    Here is a link:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr-and-david-kirby/vaccine-court-autism-deba_b_169673.html

    I guess I would like to see a good criti

  4. James Wheaton

    Continuation -

    I would like to see a good critique of the Robert Kennedy piece in Huffpo.

  5. QUASAR

    Like I said in one of my previous comments, the thought of having to fill your children up with a “reservoir” load of pharmaceuticals just to keep them from getting ill these days makes me sick!

    I’m not sure why those weirdos don’t want it though! They think that it causes autism or what?

  6. Todd W.

    @QUASAR

    the thought of having to fill your children up with a “reservoir” load of pharmaceuticals just to keep them from getting ill these days makes me sick!

    What alternative do you propose?

  7. Grump

    QUASAR: I’m still trying to work out what your point is. But you have no idea what a vaccination is!

    It is not a “reservoir of pharmaceuticals” that is somehow “stored till needed” in the child’s body!

    Ever seen a police-dog being given a piece of clothing to smell? So that it can find the person who last wore that bit of clothing? That’s what a vaccination is! The child’s own immune system is given a “sniff” of the disease, so that it can recognise it more quickly and respond more effectively if it ever comes up against the real thing.

    It’s not a bottle-full of “unnatural chemicals” that is stored, it is a “memory” held within the child’s system, naturally.

    And we’re not “to keep them from getting ill these days” as if modern society is so bad that it makes kids more sick than they were before. (If that’s your point: Like I said, I’m really not sure I get it.) Kids have been dieing of these afflictions for millennia – It’s just now that we can prevent it from happening, if only the lunatics would stop spreading lies.

  8. holastefan

    @QUASAR said: “I’m not sure why those weirdos don’t want it though! They think that it causes autism or what?”

    Well, actually, they are against vaccinations because…the thought of having to fill their children up with a “reservoir” load of pharmaceuticals just makes them sick. Weird, huh?

  9. I think Orac is wrong in a number of his assertions:

    @Orac “There’s just one problem. PDD is not an autistic spectrum disorder.”

    PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) is an umbrella of several related diseases – autism, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s syndrome, Rhett’s syndrome, etc. ASD (Autism Spectral Disorder) is an informal term for this same umbrella. Thus, PDD = ASD. So Orac is fudging here, PDD is not a child disease of ASD but it IS ASD.

    “The ruling is about pervasive developmental delay (PDD).”

    There is no such thing as pervasive developmental delay as a diagnosis recognized by the DSM IV. The bottom line is this: In the Bailey Banks case the Special Master awarded money for an autism-like disease (called PDD in the case) caused by the MMR vaccine.

  10. PopsicleMud

    I’m not sure how I wasn’t aware that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is against vaccinations.
    It’s really disconcerting to find out that someone whose opinion you respect on so many issues can be so wrong about something so important and obvious.

  11. Bailey Banks Case

    http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/BANKS_CASE.pdf

    “1. Bailey Banks was born 26 October 1998. Petitioner’s Exhibit (“Pet. Ex.”) 2, 3. Bailey’s development before his vaccination (both before and after birth) was normal and healthy. Pet. Ex. 1, 5, and 11.
    2. At Bailey’s fifteenth month check-up on 14 March 2000, no health concerns were noted, and he received the MMR vaccination at issue, his first. Pet. Ex. 11 at 2, Pet. Ex. 5 at 25.
    3. Bailey then experienced a seizure 16 days later, on 30 March 2000, during which Bailey’s mother witnessed his eyes rolling back and him choking, and he was taken to the Emergency Room. Pet. Ex. 4 at 5, 16, 52-54. At the Emergency Room, Bailey was found to be afebrile and irritable and to have vomited three times. Id. at 52. The treating doctor at the time characterized Bailey’s condition as “new onset seizure” and Bailey was admitted to the hospital for observation, where he remained apparently healthy for the remainder of his stay there. Id. at 4, 14, 53.
    4. The following day, on 31 March 2007, an MRI scan was taken of Bailey’s brain, which was interpreted by the treating radiologist, Bret Sleight, M.D., as “most consistent with a demyelinating process of immune etiology such as may be seen with ADEM or perhaps post-vaccination.” Pet. Ex. 4 at 36-37.
    5. Bailey then underwent, on 10 April 2000, a full neurological examination,
    administered by another neurologist, Bryan Philbrook, M.D. Pet. Ex. 5 at 40–5. The examination revealed “slight left esotropia”5 and “gait and coordination [that was] extremely immature in that his gait was wide based. There was also some hyperextension of both knees noted with poor balance and frequent falling.” Id. Based on these observations, Dr. Philbrook concluded that Bailey suffered from “mild gross motor developmental delay” and strabismus,6 and recommended further lab tests, ophthalmology consultation and physical therapy evaluation of Bailey’s gait. Id. Dr. Philbrook also noted his medical opinion that “[w]e reviewed the
    patient’s MRI and felt that moderate hypomyelination was more likely than a
    demyelinating process like ADEM, but cannot rule out the latter with certainty.”
    6. An EEG performed while Bailey slept on 5 May 2000 was unremarkable. Id. at 3. Also, a brain MRI performed on 5 January 2001 evidenced in the same results as the MRI performed on 31 March 2000, with no significant changes since then. Id. at 16-18, 24.
    7. On 22 January 2001 Bailey was examined by another neurologist, Frank Berenson, M.D., who noted that Bailey was suffering from global developmental delays, which included features associated with pervasive developmental delay. Id. at 46-48. His conclusion was based on his examination of Bailey, in which he observed that Bailey continued to assume a toddling gait, speech delays, and social interactive difficulties
    (e.g., poor eye contact and biting), despite suffering no additional seizures since the one suffered on 30 March 2000. Id. Dr. Berenson noted some cognitive progress since Bailey’s last neurology visit, including speaking up to ten words, better comprehension, following simple directions, and identifying individual body parts. Id. at 46. Additionally, Bailey’s motor skills had improved such that Bailey assisted with dressing and drank from a cup. Id. However, he added that “[s]ocially there
    continues to be difficulty. His eye contact is variable. He has limited to no imaginary pretend play. He continues to bite excessively….” Id. Furthermore, even though Bailey remained alert during the visit, his speech development was found to be delayed. Id. Lastly, Bailey continued to walk with a “somewhat toddling gait” that Dr. Berenson described as “somewhat puppet-like” in appearance.

    .
    .
    .

    The Court found, supra, that Bailey’s ADEM was both caused-in-fact and proximately caused by his vaccination. It is well-understood that the vaccination at issue can cause ADEM, and the Court found, based upon a full reading and hearing of the pertinent facts in this case, that it did actually cause the ADEM. Furthermore, Bailey’s ADEM was severe enough to cause lasting, residual damage, and retarded his developmental progress, which fits under the generalized heading of Pervasive Developmental Delay, or PDD. The Court found that Bailey would not have suffered this delay but for the administration of the MMR vaccine, and that this chain of causation was not too remote, but was rather a proximate sequence of cause and effect leading inexorably from vaccination to Pervasive Developmental Delay.
    Based upon that finding of fact, it follows as a natural conclusion that Petitioner has carried his burden of proving to a preponderance that the MMR vaccine at issue actually caused the condition(s) from which Bailey suffered and continues to suffer. Inasmuch as the other elements of
    § 300aa–11 (b) and (c) have already been satisfied, the Court holds that Petitioner has met his burden on his case in chief.

    .
    .
    .

  12. Tom Marking, did you read the links I provided? They talk the specifics of the Bailey case. no one claims vaccines are %100 safe, but the link to autism is dead wrong.

  13. James Wheaton, I’m tempted. I used to write for HuffPo, but stopped for various reasons, not the least of which was them promoting antiscience hacks like Deepak Chopra, Kennedy, and Kirby.

  14. @BA “Tom Marking, did you read the links I provided? They talk the specifics of the Bailey case. no one claims vaccines are %100 safe, but the link to autism is dead wrong.”

    I read the Orac link. I also don’t believe in this linkage between vaccinations and autism. But the Special Master in the Bailey Banks case disagreed and ordered compensation based on such a “linkage”. I don’t see how Orac can spin this as anything but a defeat for the pro-science side. It clearly was and it will encourage the anti-vaxxers to continue their movement.

  15. John

    @QUASAR

    “the thought of having to fill your children up with a “reservoir” load of pharmaceuticals just to keep them from getting ill these days makes me sick!”

    It’s already been stated, but that’s not how a vaccination works. A vaccine simply exposes the patient to a small amount of the pathogen, usually in a weakened state. It triggers the body’s immune response, without (most of the time) causing major symptoms.

    Vaccination does not involve pumping the patient full of exotic chemicals.

    And, even if it were, so what? If humans have the ability to prevent disease and death through science, why shouldn’t we?

    I suppose there are some people who pine for the stone age (anarcho-primitivists, for example), but if those people had their way, we’d still be howling at the moon.

  16. QUASAR

    I mean how many injections does a child get these days?

    And seriously, what other species on this planet injects their own young with stuff that’s man made and well, not natural?

  17. nicky

    It’s easy to believe that vaccines cause autism (if one doesn’t do any research) because 9 out of 10 times products that make a lot of money for a company ARE dangerous to human health. Also, it isn’t like there are unbias, reliable reports available to the general public on the studies and results of all products and chemcials on the marktet. It’s foolish to simply believe what the corporations and governments tells us, because they are not thinking about how to help the human population, but rather simply how to make the most money the fastest.
    I have watched tv shows that have shown several children that developed problems and the only thing they had done that was different from the daily routine, was have vaccinations. Cause and effect are not that simple, but it was still pretty convincing.

  18. Todd W.

    @QUASAR

    what other species on this planet injects their own young with stuff that’s man made and well, not natural?

    Well, lacking fine manipulators and the financial resources to acquire man-made stuff, none. :P j/k

    Seriously, though, what other animal has the technology to do this? And another question: do you know how vaccines work? Please give a brief description of how you understand they work.

    And another question, what is it about man-made that makes something dangerous, as you seem to imply? What is it about something that is natural that makes it safe?

  19. Cyanide is natural. It’s not safe? ;-)

  20. John

    @QUASAR

    “And seriously, what other species on this planet injects their own young with stuff that’s man made and well, not natural?”

    I honestly don’t see your point. We don’t *NEED* vaccinations, if you don’t mind having a life expectancy of 35, and a slightly better-than-even chance of living past the age of 5.

    And what is wrong with man-made things? I’m pretty sure the computer you’re typing your posts on isn’t made of seaweed. Do you have something against humans? Because, if you do, I hate to be the one to tell you this: you are one.

  21. QUASAR

    Aren’t humans like, the most bizarre things that have ever evolved on this planet?

    Hopefully, with genetic engineering in the future we can modify ourselves to have a stronger immune system so that we won’t have to fill up our children so much just to keep them from getting ill!

  22. Seriously, what other species on this planet travels in vehicles, instead of under their own natural power? What other species creates light using machines, instead of just waiting for the sun or (at most) creating it with their body, naturally? What other species communicates across long distances via a complex system of computers linked together by wires and electromagnetic signals instead of just making really loud noises? And what other species, when dealt a life-threatening illness or injury, could possibly pull through by using well-developed medication or surgery instead of simply dying in the wilderness, as nature intended?

    I mean, seriously.

  23. @QUASAR: “Hopefully, with genetic engineering in the future we can modify ourselves to have a stronger immune system so that we won’t have to fill up our children so much just to keep them from getting ill!”

    But, I… wait, what? Vaccines give people a stronger immune system NOW. That’s how they work, as several other posters have already pointed out. Oh, and also:

    “Aren’t humans like, the most bizarre things that have ever evolved on this planet?”

    You obviously haven’t seen enough pictures of deep-sea creatures.

  24. rob

    i think we should coin a new term:

    jenny mccarthyism

    i will even start out the wikipedia article:

    “Jenny McCarthyism is a term describing the intense anti-vaccine suspicion in the United States in a period that lasted roughly from the late 1990s to the late 2000s. This period is also referred to as the Second Autism Scare, and coincided with increased fears about Big Pharma’s influence on American institutions and espionage by underwear gnomes.”

  25. Lazze

    @QUASAR
    “Hopefully, with genetic engineering in the future we can modify ourselves to have a stronger immune system so that we won’t have to fill up our children so much just to keep them from getting ill!”

    Let me see if I get this right. You fear the “unnatural substances” in vaccines being injected in children, but you think messing with the human genom is safe?!

  26. Brian

    James Wheaton: Orac does go into a fair bit of detail about RFK’s recent Huffington post. See the first Orac link that Phil posted.

  27. John

    If we ever had the technology to genetically engineer humans to be smarter, stronger, healthier, etc., I’d be all for it (as a matter of individual choice, of course). However, we don’t. We’ll just have to live with vaccines for now. Considering the alternative (living in constant fear of diseases like mumps and polio), I’d say we’re still doing pretty well, and the people who are trying to stop the use of vaccines are not simply misguided or ignorant, they’re evil.

  28. Yoeman

    Wow, some people are just plain stupid, it would seem. Some of them show up here occasionally. I hate to be insulting, but in this case stupidity can prove fatal, so it
    cannot be tolerated. Anti-vaxxers need to be shouted down, humiliated, shunned,
    whatever it takes to make them go away. I’m getting very tired of dimwits somehow
    being in positions of authority or influence, it’s got to stop. Government officials being
    creationists, dowsers, or exorcists(?!), that’s just absurd. Intelligent people need to start
    being loud, and less tolerant of this nonsense, otherwise we’re doomed.

  29. Chris

    James Wheaton, did you click on the link to Orac’s deconstruction of the Kennedy/Kirby idiocy?

    Its title is “Stupid cubed: David Kirby, RFK, Jr., and Generation Rescue use the Bailey Banks case to tag team the antivaccine counterattack against the MMR.” That should give you a hint of the results of his analysis. It annoyed Mr. Generation Rescue, JB Handley, enough that he showed up to whinge.

    It also comes out in the comments that the risk of ADEM is about 1 in 1000 for actually getting measles, much much (by a factor over 1000) less than the MMR vaccine.

  30. Ultima Thule

    I find that one of the problems of today is the lack of science guy- common joe discussion. Carl Sagan pointed this problem. There must be people who make bridges to explain the “complex science”. This blog is one of them ofc.

    About the recent Banks case: people must understand first that the vaccines might produce reactions, from mild to severe, most (like 99,9%) are not long term, but in this case it was.
    What happened in this case could have happened in any other child infected by any pathogen, even an allergy could be so serious that would reproduce the same case as the Banks’.
    Now, people must understand that this case like the Banks’ one is very very very rare. But it can happen. In this case it was the vaccine the most probable link to the reaction. So therefore compensation must be given.

    I found many parts in the case badly explained. Mainly the parts of the molecular correlation to the damage. Even the fact that it was given more relevance to a pshychiatrist than a pediatric and neurology expert…

    I doubt many more cases would have the same result as the Banks’. But even then the next generation of vaccines will reduce even more this kind of cases.

    Vaccines will always be effective and needed.

    I personaly Hate anti-vaxxers, i find them ignorant and prone to like medical bogus science like homeopathy or “natural healing arts”.

    Peace.

  31. Karl Withakay

    Phil,
    Check out Prometheus’ latest post “Five Easy Graphs” over at http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=158 regarding the parallel between the increase in ASD diagnoses and the decline in diagnoses of mental retardation. It’s strong support for the theory that the “epidemic” of autism is not real but a factor of diagnostic substitution and increased surveillance.

  32. amphiox

    @QUASAR

    “just to keep them from getting ill these days”

    Not just “these days.” All days, every day. From back before Lucy to now and into the forseeable future.

    The thing is, “these days,” thanks to vaccines, we can do something about it.

    @QUASAR

    “And seriously, what other species on this planet injects their own young with stuff that’s man made and well, not natural?”

    And seriously, what other species on this planet manages to avoid losing upwards of 80% plus of its offspring in each new generation to disease, predators, and starvation, hmm?

  33. AJ

    @ Lazze: he’s obviously not actually listening to what people are saying anyway… why do you think you’ll be the one to make the difference?

  34. Andy Cooke

    Even in the darkness, there can be light.
    The Daily Mail was one of the UK papers most peddling the MMR-autism myth. Recently, however, this article appeared:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1149322/How-middle-class-MMR-refuseniks-putting-child-risk.html

    “How the middle-class MMR refuseniks are putting every child at risk”

    Some quotes from it:

    The parents of Silas, Mimi and Toby are middle class and university educated, but they are behaving like morons and turning their children into pariahs.

    Until recently, measles had been eradicated in this country. But ten years ago, following research – now debunked – which appeared to link the MMR vaccine to autism, parents stopped vaccinating their children.

    At first, this reaction was understandable. The autism theory was genuinely disturbing and the reaction of the medical establishment was so complacently dismissive that many reasonable people suspected a cover-up.

    It didn’t help matters when Prime Minister Tony Blair refused to confirm if his youngest son had been given the MMR jab.

    Now, though, with eminent professors and medical research journals lining up to offer full and detailed evidence rebutting any link to autism, the continued refusal of parents to vaccinate is nothing short of criminal.

    Measles is a serious illness which can lead to pneumonia and encephalitis. Last year, there were 1,348 confirmed cases in England and Wales. In the past couple of years, two children have died of it. ”

    “Middle-class twits like Joanne pottering around the kitchen brewing up potions would be amusing if it weren’t so serious.

    Let’s remind ourselves of how things were when measles was rife. In March 1922, 80 children died in a single week.

    I wonder what their parents would have said to women like Joanne, who are turning their backs on vaccination and relying on quacks peddling magic pills. ”

    “MMR is 90 per cent effective. A booster before children begin school makes it almost 100 per cent effective.

    But as more parents choose not to vaccinate their children, pre-school youngsters who have had MMR are at risk.

    As the number of children who have not been immunised increases, so, too, does the likelihood of measles spreading.

    ‘Recently, I got a letter from my daughter’s nursery advising us all to get the MMR booster immediately,’ says my friend Karen. Her three-year-old daughter had come into contact with not one but two children who hadn’t been immunised and were possibly infected with measles.

    ‘I was furious that other parents had been so selfish that they put other children at risk,’ she says.”

    “Now in Britain there is a growing backlash against women like Maria, who insists that spinach will protect her three-year-old son Marcus against measles.

    ‘Vaccines are full of poisons. I can build up his immune system by ensuring he eats healthily,’ she says.

    In the past, she was indulged by the mums in our toddler group as slightly eccentric.

    Now, though, following reports of children with measles at birthday parties mixing with pregnant women, she is being cold-shouldered by the other mothers who are appalled at the risks she is taking with all our children’s health. ”

    ——
    That this piece should be in the Daily Mail shows that the message is getting through in some places.

  35. QUASAR

    @ amphiox

    Which other species has no natural predators and overpopulates and destroys the environment, it’s own planet and will eventually and most likely destroy itself?

  36. AliCali

    Isn’t there a rule from the BA: Stop Feeding the Trolls (aka Quasar in this case)?

  37. Calli Arcale

    Aren’t humans like, the most bizarre things that have ever evolved on this planet?

    Nope. There are much weirder things. Anglerfish males *literally* parasitize the females. Dragonflies and damselflies reproduce strictly through violent rape. Sea turtles lay hundreds of eggs, and on average, less than one survives to reproductive age. Nearly all Greenland sharks have a crustacean(?) that parasitizes their eyes, rendering them blind. Slime molds are just plain WEIRD. There’s a jellyfish capable of reversing its life cycle, thus achieving individual immortality. And then there’s this thing, a gigantic (grape-sized) single-celled protist that lives on the ocean floor, rolling around and leaving trails:
    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/11/24/2427811.htm

    Hopefully, with genetic engineering in the future we can modify ourselves to have a stronger immune system so that we won’t have to fill up our children so much just to keep them from getting ill!

    We’ll be way ahead of all the other animals. Heck, we’re way ahead of them *now* in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality. Most species cope with disease and accident by reproducing in large enough numbers to sustain losses before reproductive age. Humans have found a different strategy — we rewrite the rules of natural selection so that they don’t apply to us anymore (or at least, not in quite as vicious a way as they used to). We remove pathogens from our water, cook our food to kill other pathogens, perform surgery on one another and nurse one another back to health after accidents, build shelters, build massive food distribution systems, and devise all sorts of clever drugs to combat illnesses. Put all this together, and we get all sorts of new problems, like population growth. Gorillas don’t worry about population growth; they don’t have that luxury. But we do. It’s a real problem for us. And we worry about disease of old age, which were once as rare as old age itself.

    BTW, there are other animals that medicate themselves. Few animals have the intellectual capacity to figure out about medicines, but there are notable exceptions. For instance, some troops of monkeys in Africa have become pests to the local charcoal burners, because they steal the charcoal. They do this so they can eat the charcoal after consuming toxic leaves. This enables them to use otherwise toxic leaves as a food source. Clever, eh? And it’s not instinct; charcoal was not available to them before humans started encroaching on their habitat in the 20th Century and burning wood to make charcoal. They figured it out by trial and error.

    I think if more animals knew about medicines and had the intellectual capacity to realize when they should use them, they certainly would. The only reason we’re different in that respect is our brains.

  38. QUASAR

    @ Lazze

    We can modify ourselves to be more powerfull, resistant, increase our lifespans and more intelligent than ever before, a bit like a whole new and unique race! Or would you rather remain the current lazy, greedy, and generally dumb human, once you get a good look at the bad things that humans are capable of!

    We’re already at the beginning with stem cells!

    And believe me, the human species will inevitably be divided into many subspecies with genetic engineering in the future! That is, if we don’t manage to destroy ourselves before we get there!

  39. QUASAR

    drksky,

    Don’t be a moron!

  40. holastefan

    @QUASAR:

    So, like, how much time do you spend daily trying to get everyone all up n bothered? Just curious.

    @AJ: “he’s obviously not actually listening to what people are saying anyway” — I agree. No one is purposely this bad. He’s just a-trollin’ around.

  41. Greg in Austin

    QUASAR said,

    “Like I said in one of my previous comments, the thought of having to fill your children up with a “reservoir” load of pharmaceuticals just to keep them from getting ill these days makes me sick!”

    From your comments, I conclude that you have no idea how vaccines work, have never taken (or paid attention in) a biology class, do not have children, and have never talked to a doctor.

    Please take some time to educate yourself about this topic. Here are some links that can help:

    cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/default.htm
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine

    Please pay special attention to the details of these diseases, for example:
    Measles:
    Description
    A respiratory disease caused by a virus.
    The virus normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and in the cells that line the lungs.

    Symptoms
    Rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes (lasts about a week).

    Complications
    Diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death

    Transmission
    Spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing (highly contagious)

    8)

  42. Greg in Austin

    QUASAR said,

    “And seriously, what other species on this planet injects their own young with stuff that’s man made and well, not natural?”

    Vaccines are completely natural. Using the link I just provided above, and looking again at Measles:

    Vaccine

    Measles vaccine (contained in MMR, MR and measles vaccines) can prevent this disease.

    The MMR vaccine is a live, attenuated (weakened), combination vaccine that protects against the measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. It was first licensed in the combined form in 1971 and contains the safest and most effective forms of each vaccine.

    It is made by taking the measles virus from the throat of an infected person and adapting it to grow in chick embryo cells in a laboratory. As the virus becomes better able to grow in the chick embryo cells, it becomes less able to grow in a child’s skin or lungs. When this vaccine virus is given to a child it replicates only a little before it is eliminated from the body. This replication causes the body to develop an immunity that, in 95% of children, lasts for a lifetime.

    A second dose of the vaccine is recommended to protect those 5% who did not develop immunity in the first dose and to give “booster” effect to those who did develop an immune response.

    Again, it is made from the natural disease itself.

    8)

  43. QUASAR

    @ Greg in Austin

    Yes, I know very well that vaccines increase your immunity but I just hate the idea of having to inject my children with… what? 10 to 15 injections over the course of their childhood to keep them safe! That’s what I was implying!

  44. Greg in Austin

    QUASAR said,

    “Aren’t humans like, the most bizarre things that have ever evolved on this planet?”

    Have you ever taken a biology class? Seriously. After looking at the things that live around undersea vents, in caves without light, and at the depths of the ocean where no life was expected to exist, there are so many things on this planet that are far more bizarre than humans.

    8)

  45. holastefan

    @QUASAR:

    Can I do your next post for you? Pleez? Okay, here goes… (ahem):

    Stem cell genetic engineering vaccinations immune system!!!11!!one

    (pretty close? And now, back to our regularly scheduled trolling)

  46. QUASAR

    LOL

    You people are so funny!

    Those deep sea lifeforms are very fascinating indeed!

    Bye!

  47. Charles Boyer

    @QUASAR: “And seriously, what other species on this planet injects their own young with stuff that’s man made and well, not natural?”

    Use straw man arguments much?

  48. Greg in Austin

    @QUASAR,

    You don’t have to vaccinate your children if you wish them to die horribly by completely curable diseases, and spread those diseases to others. Personally, I think a few injections that your children will most likely never remember is worth saving their lives.

    And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Only someone with no knowledge or understanding of how serious these diseases are would question the purpose or reasoning for vaccinating children.

    So, by your comments, you are either ignorant or stupid. I would like to believe you are just uneducated, or inexperienced, but that you still have the capacity to learn. Do a Google search for images relating to “measles, “mumps,” or “polio.” Maybe that will help.

    8)

  49. Charles Boyer

    Greg,

    The problem is that children from folks like Quasar can get diseases like the Measles and infect other children too young to be innoculated.

  50. Apparently Quasar is immune to sarcasm, too.

  51. DaveR

    @QUASAR
    “I just hate the idea of having to inject my children with… what? 10 to 15 injections over the course of their childhood to keep them safe! That’s what I was implying!”

    Totally! I mean, what a pain in the ass, right? That’s the same argument I use to not put my children in seat belts. After all, seat belts can sometimes make a car accident more dangerous! They aren’t 100% safe, so why should I buckle them up, right? I just hate the idea of having to buckle my childrer up…what, 5, 6 thousand times over the course of their childhood to keep them safe!

  52. John

    @QUASAR

    “Yes, I know very well that vaccines increase your immunity but I just hate the idea of having to inject my children with… what? 10 to 15 injections over the course of their childhood to keep them safe! That’s what I was implying!”

    So basically I guess you’re saying that you hate human biology. Currently, the best way to prevent diseases is through vaccines, and the only way to deliver them is through an injection.

    Honestly, your posts are just loony. You think getting 10-15 shots throughout childhood is traumatic? Please. They hurt for maybe 20 seconds. And in any case, getting a few injections is far less painful and traumatic than getting any of the diseases that vaccines prevent.

  53. Richard

    Speaking of pumping kids full of reservoirs of man-made chemicals, you all know that some people put stuff in kids to get out the heavy metals. Yeah, it’s true. What other species denounces medicines on one hand, and try to undo the “damage” with medicines on the other.

    How truly bizarre.

    Oh, and if your kid does get the autisms, then put them on the Jenny McCarthy diet and your kid will be all kinds of cured from the autisms. When does she get the No-Bell Prize for this amazing discovery?

    [sarcasm tag, for the sarcasm impaired)

  54. Retrogarde

    All those pseudo scientists and alike should shut up.

  55. Tom Marking: no medicine is 100% safe. Tonight, for example, I am going to take another blast of hycodan – liquid codeine (woot!) prescribed for my cough. It’s a narcotic, and the anti-tussive effects of codeine are debatable. It will let me sleep, though, and take my mind of the pain in my chest.

    Nevertheless, I am risking: lowered blood pressure and the potential dizziness and weakness that goes with that, nausea, vomiting, sweating, constipation, and of course physical addiction… Hell, there’s probably not enough medication in the bottle to injure me (I’m a big guy) but there’s plenty to mess me up for a while if I had some weird accident with it. All of which seems less important to me than going days without sleep and risking turning into an anti-vaxxer due to some kind of sleep deprivation psychosis.

    Even good old aspirin can negatively impact asthma, Reyes syndrome, cause gastrointestinal bleeding, reduce blood clotting, etc. I’ve seen that last one – on aspirin for a while for some back pain, and a minor cut on a finger bled for 3 hours.

    Why should vaccines be considered 100% side-effect free? That’s an insane expectation. Most of the diseases for which there are vaccines can be fatal or seriously injurious.

    Vaccines do not, however, cause autism.

    The funniest, hmm, not the right word… most ironic thing is that when an adult gets measles, mumps or rubella, one of the likely outcomes is sterility. Don’t vaccinate your kids and reduce the chance of getting grandchildren… Don’t vaccinate yourself and you might just get to remove your genes from the breeding pool.

  56. John

    @Evolving Squid

    I propose a more direct approach: if you find yourself thinking that the antivaxxers may be onto something, and who are those pharmacorp fat cats to tell me what I give my children and blah blah blah…castrate yourself.

  57. Primus

    @Tom Marking

    You’d be better served trying to prove your point if you didn’t omit the portions of the ruling that specifically said it was a non-autistic PDD. Like, for example, the very first page.

  58. Peter B

    Quasar said: “Yes, I know very well that vaccines increase your immunity but I just hate the idea of having to inject my children with… what? 10 to 15 injections over the course of their childhood to keep them safe! That’s what I was implying!”

    What’s the alternative? I was recently talking to a woman whose daughter got mumps at the age of 4, and as a result became totally deaf in one ear. You may not understand what’s involved in the habilitation of a deaf person, but I do. Believe me, the vaccines are a much simpler and safer option.

    Remember, death isn’t the only possible complication from preventable childhood diseases.

  59. Peter B

    And just to clarify my previous comments…

    My son is 16 months old. He has already had two lots of surgery to insert cochlear implants, and surgery carries plenty of risks of its own. He currently has four sets of auditory therapy each week (which we’re hoping to reduce in coming months) to help him learn to hear and speak. One of these therapy sessions is usually held in a city 300 kilometres away, meaning an 8 hour round trip by plane (it was a 16 hour round trip when it was by train). It’s been a job of a few months to convince him not to pull his implants off when he’s tired, unhappy, bored or angry. We have to be conscious of not overloading him with background sound, and of the fact that when he goes swimming he’s deaf (because the implants can’t be worn in the pool). There are certain sports and other activities he won’t ever be able to undertake because of the threat they pose to his implants, while other activities we take for granted (like riding a bike) are complicated by the fact of the implants. We’ve even started learning a new language (signing) to help us communicate with him when he isn’t wearing his implants.

    Now we had no control over our son’s deafness – it was a genetic thing we didn’t know about until after he was born. Why would you voluntarily risk all this for fear of a vaccination?

  60. John Fryer

    Hi Peter

    Have you got the proof that your sons deafness is REALLY genetic? If so it will be in the medical literature and I would be happy to check it out with you.

    We have not actual certainty where autism comes from and mainstream medicine says its not vaccines.

    They claim its genetic like the deafness for your son.

    But for me there is less chance of genetic autism than autism say from rubella going awry after a vaccine for example.

    One thing everyone forgets is that EVERY person whose child has autism has had vaccines. EVERY one. You all claim they are anti-vax but if they were genuinely and always anti-vac they would not have autism. Can you show me one person who has autism and thinks vaccines are to blame that hasnt had the full gamut of vaccines?

    It actually gets worse as ten to forty years ago we had SIDS after vaccines with people getting life terms for harm from vaccines for their children.

    Now that vaccines are safer but we have so many the rise in autism for some results in prison for others as the vaccine damage simulates SBS today.

    And for those who dont believe the vaccine autism link then I take it you approve of Verstraeten who changed his data 5 times to prove that vaccines improve your IQ as well as your health.

    Finally many illnesses do cause deafness and some of those are given to every USA child. what happens if this live vaccine gets out of control as people suggest for the measles?

    A pregnant mum must avoid getting rubella but what if her first born has the rubella shot and the virus transfers to mum in labour for the second or later babies?

    Just a thought. Vaccines dont only harm the recipient but can spread to anyone else. Lots of people not injected are getting polio after someone they know has the shot.

  61. Greg in Austin

    John Fryer said,

    “One thing everyone forgets is that EVERY person whose child has autism has had vaccines. EVERY one.”

    Please, PLEASE, provide your source for this claim. I recall people on this very blog stating they have a child with autism who did NOT get vaccinated. So, you are either misinformed, or are spreading false information on purpose.

    So again, please cite a source for your claim.

    8)

  62. HCN

    Ah, and John Fryer has popped in with his word salad of lies, like “One thing everyone forgets is that EVERY person whose child has autism has had vaccines. EVERY one. ”

    Bull… one of Kim Stagliano’s daughters was never vaccinated, yet still has autism. Several people have posted on blogs about having kids with autism without being vaccinated.

    Here is a thought: every kid who has autism breathes a very caustic element called oxygen. Obviously oxygen is the cause of autism and we must prevent children from coming into contact with it!

    SIDS has never been associated with vaccines, and if you claim they went away when Japan delayed the pertussis vaccine until age two, then you would be a bold faced liar. In fact, in the 1970s Japan did delay the pertussis vaccine until age two, and even more babies died. They just could not blame it on the vaccine any more.

    (oh, by the way… John Fryer actually claimed that the Japanese do not vaccinate infants, at least until someone came up with their mandatory vaccine schedule that clearly showed vaccines starting at two months — he has stopped with that particular lie, only to replace them with others).

    John, are you ever going to answer my question by posting real actual factual scientific evidence that the DTaP is worse than pertussis, diphtheria or tetanus? Or that the MMR is worse than measles, mumps and rubella? And when I mean real evidence, it has to be in a paper I can access at my local medical school’s library.

  63. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    @ Quasar:

    And believe me, the human species will inevitably be divided into many subspecies with genetic engineering in the future!

    An anti-vaxx/futurist Poe, or just trolling? Anyhow, it is very unlikely that genetic engineering will cause crossfertility problems among natural or engineered populations, especially with the human desire (and unusual, for a mammal, ability) to breed at any time – so selection will keep the population that live together and have sex together, um, together. Even if you change the number of chromosomes there will be successful crossings!

    Unless you specifically engineer for a population (or sex) barrier. And why would (inevitably) anyone want to do this?

    As regards the chemicals you detest, I’ve already remarked elsewhere that a wide spectrum of antibodies and a motherload of sundry chemicals are provided to egg-layers and lactating mammals. Heh- why do you hate man-made chemicals so much? Do you hate them even if they are fully the same as the nature-made ones? Or are they somehow marked with “Made in a non-biological factory” in your mind – and how does the ill effects from such a marking work?

    But foremost, what have this to do with the plasma currents that keep people from floating into space and Earth from crashing into the sun?

  64. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    You people are so funny! [...] Bye!

    Oh, both trolling and Poeing in the comment pool. That will teach me to update before posting.

  65. Peter B

    John Fryer asked: “Have you got the proof that your sons deafness is REALLY genetic? If so it will be in the medical literature and I would be happy to check it out with you.”

    Yes we do have proof. My wife and I had blood tests which confirmed we have the same faulty gene which has been identified as being responsible for some forms of deafness.

  66. Mark Hansen

    John Fryer, if every child that has autism had previously been vaccinated, then how do you explain cases of autism before there were vaccinations?

  67. Calli Arcale

    “Totally! I mean, what a pain in the ass, right?”

    Well, a pain in the thigh, usually. The kid’s thigh, that is. ;-)

    In QUASAR’s defense, I, too, wish I didn’t have to get my kids innoculated over a dozen times. It hurts them, and that’s not fun. But these diseases are real, are serious threats, and so for nearly all kids, it’s well worth the tears at the doctor’s office.

  68. Peter B

    Incidentally, one other thing about my son’s deafness – it was diagnosed at birth, thanks to the newborn deafness screening program we have in Australia. As only one vaccination is given at birth in Australia, it’s *impossible* for all of the other vaccinations to have caused his deafness. And I’d be interested to see what possible connection could be drawn between this one vaccination and his deafness, seeing as the *vast* majority of newborns who receive this vaccination aren’t deaf.

  69. Reader5000

    Fryer opined: “Can you show me one person who has autism and thinks vaccines are to blame that hasnt had the full gamut of vaccines?”

    I see what you did there.

    You are asking the wrong question. You already asked (in your strange way) if there is anyone with autism who has never been given a vaccination. But with this challenge, you are throwing in the opinion of such a person. I suspect that a person who has autism and has never been vaccinated would not think vaccines are to blame. Such a person would be hard to find, but even harder to find is your point. If the facts are known, of what relevance is this person’s opinion?

    “Vaccines dont only harm the recipient but can spread to anyone else.”

    Source? Or are you misunderstanding the concept of herd immunity?

  70. albert

    For all you pro-science folks, don’t forget about Darwin: what’s wrong with anti-vax? So kids get sick and the weaker ones will tend to die off with greater frequency, meaning the stronger ones are left to reproduce and bear stronger offspring. I’m all for the evolution of the human species.

  71. HCN

    albert said “So kids get sick and the weaker ones will tend to die off with greater frequency, meaning the stronger ones are left to reproduce and bear stronger offspring. I’m all for the evolution of the human species.”

    So you are big on eugenics?

    I have a son with a very severe genetic heart condition, who has had a seizure disorder as an infant. When he was born 20 years ago a history of neo-natal seizures was contraindicated for the pertussis vaccine, so he only got the DT vaccine. At that time there was a pertussis epidemic in our county, about the same time that over 120 Americans died from measles.

    Also, still over a dozen American babies die from pertussis before they are able to get the vaccine, just as in San Diego babies who were too young to get the MMR came down with measles.

    Why do you think children like mine and those who are too young to get vaccinated are deserve to get the diseases? Why do you think they deserve to die?

  72. albert

    why should people in africa, latin america, asia, and most exploited parts of the world die from hunger and lack of access to safe, clean drinking water while we in the US and the like waste water to water our lawns and stuff ourselves with big macs and die of heart disease, diabetes, etc. i don’t know. none of it makes sense, but in the end, biology decides who lives and who dies. i don’t want your children or any of the children in the underprivileged areas of the world to die, but in the end, nature dictates who lives and dies.

  73. Cairnos

    @ albert: “but in the end, nature dictates who lives and dies.” Ummm no actually, the examples you give are almost entirely socio-economic. Nature has very little to do with my ability to stuff myself with Big Macs

  74. Nigel Depledge

    Tom Marking said:

    There is no such thing as pervasive developmental delay as a diagnosis recognized by the DSM IV. The bottom line is this: In the Bailey Banks case the Special Master awarded money for an autism-like disease (called PDD in the case) caused by the MMR vaccine.

    Bear in mind, of course, how low the standards of evidence are for these hearings.

    So, really, your last phrase should be “. . . that may or may not have been caused by the MMR vaccine”.

  75. Nigel Depledge

    Quasar, being quite obviously utterly clueless, said:

    I mean how many injections does a child get these days?

    And seriously, what other species on this planet injects their own young with stuff that’s man made and well, not natural?

    You’re wrong in several ways here.

    First, it is irrelevant to compare humanity with other animals unless you want a return to high childhood mortality. Which other species on the planet can expect such a high proportion of their offspring to survive to sexual maturity? Vaccination is one of the means by which this has been achieved.

    Second, vaccines are natural products. typically, they are a killed virus, or a purified viral surface protein. You don’t get much more natural than that.

  76. Nigel Depledge

    Nicky said:

    It’s easy to believe that vaccines cause autism (if one doesn’t do any research) because 9 out of 10 times products that make a lot of money for a company ARE dangerous to human health.

    Such as what? (Not counting all the snake oil garbage that it’s possible to buy.)

    Also, it isn’t like there are unbias, reliable reports available to the general public on the studies and results of all products and chemcials on the marktet.

    This is wrong. The results of scientific studies (such as properly conducted clinical trials) are available to the public (they are published, after all). The problem is not their availability, it is that the general public does not have the training or experience needed to understand and assess these reports. But, they are unbiased (journals require authors to declare any interests that may be relevant) and usually reliable.

    It’s foolish to simply believe what the corporations and governments tells us, because they are not thinking about how to help the human population, but rather simply how to make the most money the fastest.

    And how is this different from any of the antivaxxers?

    Wakefield himself, in his original Lancet paper that sparked off the whole thing, failed to declare a huge conflict of interest (he had an interest in an alternative to MMR vaccination).

    I have watched tv shows that have shown several children that developed problems and the only thing they had done that was different from the daily routine, was have vaccinations. Cause and effect are not that simple, but it was still pretty convincing.

    No, it was not convincing, because it was uncontrolled. The reasoning you use here is an example of post hoc ergo propter hoc (“after that, therefore because of that”), which is a logical fallacy.

    You are right in stating that cause and effect are not that simple, but what you seem to miss is that no conclusions at all may be drawn from what you have decribed.

    The mass media (mainly newspapers and TV) are largely to blame for the whole anti-vaccination scare. When someone claims to have evidence tying a vaccine to some developmental disorder, the media report it all breathlessly and credulously. When studies actually demonstrate no link, it passes unnoticed because it does not pull in the ratings.

    Personally, I think that news reporting should be held accountable to some standards of truth – i.e. if they want to report something, they should be diligent about verifying it before presenting it. All too often they use the weaselly “he said” / “she said” format, as if all opinions are equally valid. we should all watch out for this format of reportage, because all too often it is used to hide laziness or carelessness with the truth.

  77. Nigel Depledge

    Quasar said:

    Hopefully, with genetic engineering in the future we can modify ourselves to have a stronger immune system so that we won’t have to fill up our children so much just to keep them from getting ill!

    This is the most bizarre concept ever. Why would we ever need to engineer immunity from scratch when we can induce it with a simple injection or two?

    Besides, engineered immunity would rapidly go out of date as the pathogens evolve in response to our improved immunity. At least with a manufactured vaccine, we can repsond to evolutionary changes in a pathogen in less than a human lifetime.

  78. Nigel Depledge

    Quasar, being even more clueless, said:

    Which other species has no natural predators . . .

    So, not only have you utterly missed the points raised in response to your comment, you seem to believe that humans have no natural predators.

    Since humans evolved in Africa, I would invite you to go on safari in Africa and say “howdy” to a pride of lions (without a gun or Land Rover handy, BTW), and then tell me how many natural predators we humans have.

    Alternatively, visit India and try to seek out some tigers, without the benefit of elephants or guns. If that is too far a trip for you, you could visit those parts of Scandinavia or North America where wolves live wild, and see if they are or are not natural predators of humans.

    Seriously, there are good reasons why we humans have done so much damage, once we acquired the capability, to the populations of wolves, lions and tigers, and it isn’t merely to protect our sheep.

  79. Nigel Depledge

    I think my irony meter has exploded, with these two consecutive posts. . .

    Quasar said:

    @ Lazze

    We can modify ourselves to be more powerfull, resistant, increase our lifespans and more intelligent than ever before, a bit like a whole new and unique race! Or would you rather remain the current lazy, greedy, and generally dumb human, once you get a good look at the bad things that humans are capable of!

    We’re already at the beginning with stem cells!

    And believe me, the human species will inevitably be divided into many subspecies with genetic engineering in the future! That is, if we don’t manage to destroy ourselves before we get there!

    And then, in the very next comment:

    drksky,

    Don’t be a moron!

    Quasar, you quite obviously have not the slightest clue about biology or medicine, yet you pontificate as if your opinion had some kind of value.

  80. Nigel Depledge

    Sorry, folks, I seem to be in “point at the loony and laugh” mode this afternoon.

    Quasar said:

    Yes, I know very well that vaccines increase your immunity but I just hate the idea of having to inject my children with… what? 10 to 15 injections over the course of their childhood to keep them safe! That’s what I was implying!

    What, so would you rather your chlidren suffer through and potentially die from such diseases as mumps, polio, smallpox etc.? Are a few injections over the course of 5 years (or whatever) really such a hardship?

    At the same time, of course, you would be endangering the children of other people.

  81. Nigel Depledge

    John said:

    So basically I guess you’re saying that you hate human biology. Currently, the best way to prevent diseases is through vaccines, and the only way to deliver them is through an injection.

    Not quite. There is an oral polio vaccine (at least, I think it’s for polio) that used to be delivered as a drop of vaccine on a cube of sugar.

    But almost all vaccines are delivered by injection.

  82. Nigel Depledge

    Evolving Squid said:

    Nevertheless, I am risking: lowered blood pressure and the potential dizziness and weakness that goes with that, nausea, vomiting, sweating, constipation, and of course physical addiction… . . .

    Not to mention the depressed breathing reflex. Most OD deaths from opioids arise because the victim simply stops breathing.

  83. Nigel Depledge

    John Fryer said:

    We have not actual certainty where autism comes from and mainstream medicine says its not vaccines.

    No. Mainstream medicine has proven that it’s not vaccines.

    They claim its genetic like the deafness for your son.

    No. Genetic links are being investigated, sure, but the medical establishment has a very simple answer to the question “what causes autism”: we don’t know.

    But just because we don’t know the actual causes of autism does not in any way mean that we have not already ruled out several options. Vaccination is one of the options that has been ruled out.

    But for me there is less chance of genetic autism than autism say from rubella going awry after a vaccine for example.

    Why do you believe this? Please explain your reasoning, with reference to the evidence that has so convinced you.

  84. Nigel Depledge

    John Fryer said:

    One thing everyone forgets is that EVERY person whose child has autism has had vaccines. EVERY one. You all claim they are anti-vax but if they were genuinely and always anti-vac they would not have autism. Can you show me one person who has autism and thinks vaccines are to blame that hasnt had the full gamut of vaccines?

    Yes. And I bet they all breathe oxygen, too. And we all know how potentially lethal that is!

    You are overlooking many things in this statement. First, two things happening to the same person is not evidence that those things are linked. Second, nearly everyone who isn’t autistic has also had vaccines as a child, and non-autistic people who have been vaccinated against, say, measles vastly outnumber autistic people who have bene vaccinated against measles. Third, how do you know that everyone with autism was vaccinated as a child? Just because all of the parents of autistic children who now claim a link between vaccinations and autism had their children vaccinated, it does not follow that all autistic people received childhood vaccines. Your claim demands evidence, but you do not present any.

    Can you show me evidence that all autistic people were vaccinated as children? If not, your claim is hollow for this reason alone. If, in the course of your investigation, you did find autistic people who had not been vaccinated when they were children, would you change your mind about a link between vaccinations and autism? Would your mind be open enough to be guided by the actual facts?

  85. Nigel Depledge

    John Fryer said:

    And for those who dont believe the vaccine autism link then I take it you approve of Verstraeten who changed his data 5 times to prove that vaccines improve your IQ as well as your health.

    No. Why would I?

    What has the total absence of a link between vaccines and autism got to do with whether or not vaccines can improve performance in IQ tests (something about which I am pretty sceptical, actually)?

  86. Nigel Depledge

    John Fryer said:

    A pregnant mum must avoid getting rubella but what if her first born has the rubella shot and the virus transfers to mum in labour for the second or later babies?

    Do you have any idea what a vaccine actually is?

    Often it is a weakened or killed form of the virus. Do you know what that means? It has been rendered incapable of replication in its host, or its replication in the host is significantly impaired.

    An almost inevitable consequence of this is that the vaccinated individual will almost never devcelop a high enough titre of virus in their body to be infectious. Your “what if” scenario is completely pointless, unless you can cite examples where mothers have become infected with rubella just after their children were inoculated. And perhaps you should have thought to yourself before typing those words: does this actually happen?

    Just a thought.

    Which is irrelevant without reference to reality.

    Vaccines dont only harm the recipient but can spread to anyone else. Lots of people not injected are getting polio after someone they know has the shot.

    Oh, puh-lease!

    If you are going to make such wild claims, back them up with evidence. Either that, or you should expect everyone to laugh and point and not believe you.

  87. Nigel Depledge

    Albert said:

    For all you pro-science folks, don’t forget about Darwin: what’s wrong with anti-vax? So kids get sick and the weaker ones will tend to die off with greater frequency, meaning the stronger ones are left to reproduce and bear stronger offspring. I’m all for the evolution of the human species.

    Well, leaving aside the callousness of this comment . . .

    Vaccination is not 100% effective. Not all vaccinations lead to immunity (for some vaccines it is over 99%, but there are still going to be individuals who have been vaccinated but are not immune). So this won’t just kill off unvaccinated people, it will also affect those who have been vaccinated but are not immune. Also, the unvaccinated may get lucky and acquire natural immunity by living through the infections. After all, the most effective parasite is one that does not harm its host at all.

  88. Andrew

    2 doses of MMR lead to around 95% protection for measles but only around 60% for Mumps.
    Mumps is still endemic in fully vaccinated childen thanks to primary and secondry vaccine failure. In other words the mumps part of the vaccine is crap and herd immunity can never be achieved with mumps or whooping cough.

    Funny how scientists say you cant prove a negative and then go to prove mmr does not cause autism, forgive me for being sceptical.

  89. Mara

    Wow, it is so hard to listen to all of this because everyone is so closed minded. Think of tobacco people. It took years and years to finally get a ruling that said that tobacco actually can cause cancer and is harmful. Why is this any different. Why is it so hard to believe that things are being hidden to “serve the publics best interest” In both cases there is too much money involved for it to be unbiased (we all know researchers will get the results they want….don’t we…are there really people out there who think there is any unbiased research?)I don’t think any medical treatment should just be “one-size fits all.” Children’s bodies are so different, how can we possibly decide it is okay to pump them all full of exactly the same things. Some kids have immune system problems that we don’t know about. I understand why vaccines are so important and if my child were living in inner city Chicago, no doubt he would be fully vaccinated, but my child doesn’t and I am not okay with the risks of putting thimersol, mercury and a whole lot of other harmful things into my baby at such a young age, just to appease the CDC. Sorry, I take the info and I make the decisions for my family that I think suit our situation…I think you are being irresponsible if you don’t do the same. So, please try to understand where “antivaxers” are coming from, it has nothing to do with be crazy or evil or anything, it has everything to do with what is best for our families and children, so please get out of the box and have a look at the other side. I don’t condemn you for vaccinating your child.

  90. Todd W.

    @Mara

    Think of tobacco people. It took years and years to finally get a ruling that said that tobacco actually can cause cancer and is harmful. Why is this any different.

    Because with the tobacco case, there were already a lot of scientists publishing studies in respected journals showing the cancer dangers of tobacco. The ones claiming that tobacco did not cause cancer were those who were employed by the tobacco industry. With vaccines, there are many independent scientists who are researching vaccines, and, with no money from manufacturers, are finding no correlation between vaccines and autism. Feel free to point to well-controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals that show a definite link between vaccines and autism.

    Children’s bodies are so different, how can we possibly decide it is okay to pump them all full of exactly the same things.

    Because drugs and devices are approved for the general population, based on the results of large studies representative of the general population. There are outliers for whom the drug/device won’t work or for whom the drug/device will cause adverse reactions. That is taken into account in the risk-benefit analysis, as well as in the contraindications for the product. However, there will still be some things that are so incredibly rare that they will never show up in a clinical study or be clearly attributable to the product. Vaccines are not an exception to this.

    Some kids have immune system problems that we don’t know about.

    True. But is the possibility of such an incredibly rare issue reason to not have a robust vaccination program? It’s like saying that because there is a .01% chance of a brick dropping on someone’s head when they step outside, then no one should step outside.

    I understand why vaccines are so important and if my child were living in inner city Chicago, no doubt he would be fully vaccinated

    Anytime you come in contact with any other human being, you are risk of contracting a communicable disease. True, you have more opportunities the more people you come in contact with, but it only takes a single infected individual to transmit the disease.

    I am not okay with the risks of putting thimersol, mercury and a whole lot of other harmful things into my baby at such a young age, just to appease the CDC.

    First off, can you please point to a study that shows that the amount of thimerosal in vaccines is dangerous? Second, nearly every vaccine currently used in the U.S. is thimerosal-free (meaning no or only trace amounts in the finished product). Those that contain thimerosal (e.g., the flu vaccine) are also available in thimerosal-free versions. If you are concerned about it, then request those versions. As to the “whole lot of other harmful things”, please share what you feel those things are and show that the amounts that are in vaccines are actually harmful. Keep in mind the saying that “the dose makes the poison.” Everything we put into our bodies can be toxic, given the right amounts, even vitamins and water.

    Sorry, I take the info and I make the decisions for my family that I think suit our situation

    As well you should, but you must be careful that the info you are taking is based on sound science, rather than misinformation. Read the information on the FDA and CDC web sites. The U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency also has some information, if you don’t trust the U.S. sources. There are also numerous studies available on PubMed that you could read. As a starting point, though, please read through my comments on the “Smackdown of McCarthy on Larry King” thread (blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/04/07/smackdown-of-mccarthy-on-larry-king/#comment-172361).

    The majority of anti-vaxers, I would say, are misinformed by the talking heads of the anti-vax movement. It is those vocal leaders (e.g., Jenny McCarthy, David Kirby, Andrew Wakefield, RFK Jr., Age of Autism, Generation Rescue, etc.) who are not only distorting things, but are outright lying.

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