Jenny McCarthy counts for something

By Phil Plait | April 2, 2009 12:46 pm
Jenny Mccarthy and syringe, small

Regular readers know I am no fan of Jenny McCarthy. I have called her a public health risk here before, and I stand by that: her claim that vaccines cause (or contribute to) autism is nothing short of breathtakingly ridiculous.

And I’m not the only one who knows this to be true. Medical doctors Orac and Steve Novella have words about her, as does Skeptic Dad, and the Stop Jenny McCarthy site was created to expose her as the danger she is.

And now the gauntlet is well and truly thrown down: a website has been created called Jenny McCarthy Body Count. Stark and grim, it has one purpose: to show how many preventable illnesses and preventable deaths have occurred due to unvaccinated people since Jenny McCarthy became the de facto face of the antivaccination movement.

The website, created by skeptic Derek Bartholomaus, stops short of saying she is directly responsible for these illnesses and deaths, but her indirect responsibility is arguably relevant. We know that some outbreaks of measles have occurred due to the antivax movement, for example. And there have been deaths — children have died — because they were unvaccinated. McCarthy may have started out as a comedian, but I’m not laughing at her anymore.

Jenny McCarthy Body Count

The statistics for the site are from the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality reports, which Bartholomaus has linked for reference. The diseases specifically include measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, Hib, the flu, and diphtheria. In fact, his numbers underestimate the problem, since other vaccine-preventable diseases are not listed in the CDC reports. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of fatalities are from the pediatric flu, a tragedy I have a difficult time grasping.

The Jenny McCarthy Body Count site itself only launched on March 29, but it’s already had thousands of views. Bartholomaus, a self-described "statistics geek", updates it by hand once a week, when the new CDC reports are issued. He also has some basic info on McCarthy’s claims there, but for more background info on McCarthy and her pro-disease stance, go to Stop Jenny McCarthy.

It’s too bad we need something like this site, but McCarthy gets a free pass from the media, even from those that claim to "spar" with her (but really only give her a platform in which she can spew more dangerous nonsense). The Jenny McCarthy Body Count site is a very stark — and sadly, very necessary — reminder that just because people’s beliefs aren’t real, they can still have a very real and very tragic impact.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience

Comments (170)

  1. Oprah Winfrey is a huge part of the problem, too. Of course, my family (consisting of my mother and two sisters) love her and Jenny. They’ve been snowballed, and they refuse to listen to me. So much for being immune to cult personality.

    Let’s face it: we’ve lost. Nobody trusts science anymore, and they don’t care to learn how it really works. All we can do is get by in some kind of “science underground” where we continue our experiments and learning of the real world.

  2. Wow, that IS a powerful message. I hope people start sitting up and taking notice. McCarthy is responsible – even if indirectly. She is using her popularity (was she ever “popular”?) as a celebrity to mislead parents and ultimately kill children. Surely there is some law that holds her accountable for this fraud, even if she doesn’t realise she’s being fraudulent, she should be stopped from causing any more damage.

    Anyhow, my trust is in medical science, not in this idiot. My vaccinations are all up to date, because at this rate, we may have a lot of diseases rampaging around the country over the coming years…

    Cheers, Ian

  3. nice site, but as statistic note, it would be nice if he included the increase of those numbers pre-2007, or at least the average number of case in countries were such vaccines are obligatory.

    I am sure that measles had more than zero cases in the united states before 2007

  4. She’ll be on Larry King tomorrow. I’m not holding my breath for Larry to hold her feet to the fire.

  5. Winter Solstice Man

    Who do you think the sheeple will listen to? A bunch of nerds with science and medical degrees, or a former Playmate who is still hot looking who is also married to Jim Carrey?

    Don’t need a science degree for that one.

  6. TomInAK

    Can flu deaths be honestly included in these totals? Isn’t it kind of a crapshoot as to whether the influenza vaccine administered in any one year will do any good? I seem to recall reading that each years dose is formulated to combat the strain, or strains, that are expected to be widespread during the coming flu season. Sometimes the guess is correct and the vaccine helps, and sometimes it’s not and does no good. If this is actually the case, then McCarthy’s potential indirect responsibility for “the vast majority of fatalities” would be uncertain.

    In any case, I agree with your disdain for the anti-vaxxers. (possibly one of the only areas we agree).

  7. Hot? Really?

    Bleah.

    Horseface.

  8. BJN

    I don’t think this is a fair or effective way to highlight the antivax issues. By making this a personal attack, the message loses credibility. First, the graphic suggests that McCarthy is personally responsible for infections and deaths. No matter what your disclaimer says about indirect responsibility, the direct link of McCarthy to the body count is the take away message – not the fine print nuance.

    The only fair association with death and illness would be for the graphic so show those infections and deaths that are directly attributable to parents who shunned vaccination because of the autism scare. You can’t get that data. Some significant portion of the numbers shown are based on bad or missing parenting, poverty, religious precepts, and just plain ignorance. Lots of kids are home schooled and fall through any school requirement for vaccination.

    Inaccurate and misleading communication shouldn’t be used to battle inaccurate and misleading foes, no matter how deserving.

  9. Kevin

    There’s a bunch of stories on CNN.com, because today is apparently “World Autism Day.” I know if I like to them all, Phil’s anti-spam settings will reject my post.

    So just go to CNN’s site and check them out. They don’t seem to advocate the McCarthyism that Jenny does. In fact, they mention no link with vaccines.

  10. RL

    I agree with BJN. Personal attacks and unsupportable claims won’t influence the debate. This website and others demonize her, but I think that’s attacking a symptom and not a cause of the antivaccination movement. I think hysterical attacks and name calling hurt the cause and turns people off.

  11. I know I haven’t been following this issue as I should, but for starters, could somebody please tell me, who the hell is Jenny McCarthy?!!

    Celebrity Deficiency Syndrome is a terrible thing…

  12. Fauxreigner

    Of all places, Perez Hilton is endorsing her nonsense today: http://perezhilton.com/2009-04-02-a-worthwhile-cause-317

    Via my friend Whaler who has been dropping logic bombs in the comments section despite the same tired arguments.

  13. Joe L

    @kuhnigget – she was in Playboy back in the 90’s, and she was on some MTV show where she was famous for eating her own boogers.

    seriously

  14. Todd W.

    @kuhnigget

    Visit imdb.com for a list of her acting credits. She was also a Playboy bunny, and is currently dating (married to?) Jim Carrey.

  15. Davidlpf

    Todd W I have a link awaiting moderation ro the imbd bio on her.

  16. click my name to get the link.

  17. Alan French

    @kuhnigget,

    Nothing wrong with CDS (Celebrity Deficiency Syndrome). I’ve had it for years with no ill effects. For many actresses and actors I generally relate the their roles, and when someone asks who starred in a movie I often can’t tell them. Of course, many have been around so long I do recognize them.

    I also suffer from SFDS (Sports Figure Deficiency Syndrome).

    I’m expecting ads for pills to target both in the near future.

    Clear skies, Alan

  18. People have been vaccinated for hundreds of years and have been safed from the vaccine. All I know is that ALL my 4 kids have been vaccinated and am happy for what deseases they are safe from. Thanx for that.

  19. alfaniner

    (stated before, but worth repeating here)
    Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey are on Larry King Live on Friday, Apr 3. The show blurb says we will hear “both sides” of the controversy. I can bet who will get more air time…

    I hope some sensible people can get through on the calls.

    I would be rather satisfied if, in all the autism reporting on CNN right now, the vaccine issue didn’t even come up.

  20. Jeremy

    This is tough. On the one hand, I understand wanting to tie McCarthy to the body count she’s helping to create, and viscerally any attack on such a genuinely horrible person seems warranted. Thinking about it logically, though, I don’t think this is an effective means of attack. As others have suggested, it reads as a sensationalistic ad hom and little else. Someone coming into the debate with no knowledge of either side would likely view something this overtly vitriolic (and dishonest-by-implication) as points for the other side.

  21. Todd W.

    I would add David Kirby and RFK Jr. to the body count web site.

  22. Luke T.

    The data on the Body Count site in no way supports the claims made.

    If you look at the CDC data from prior to Jenny McCarthy’s activism up to the present, the data actually shows a DECREASE in disease.

    I’m very much in favor of immunization, but disinformation does not help!

    For a more detailed analysis, go here: http://www.skepticalcommunity.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=23409

  23. @ kuhnigget:

    I know I haven’t been following this issue as I should, but for starters, could somebody please tell me, who the hell is Jenny McCarthy?!!

    Click on my name for her Wikipedia entry.

  24. Luke T.

    Phil said: Bartholomaus, a self-described “statistics geek”, updates it by hand once a week, when the new CDC reports are issued.

    So we are just taking the guy’s word for it, Phil? What is his actual area of expertise?

    It should be very suspicious that he does not link to any data whatsoever that is prior to 2007. Don’t you think that would be necessary to support his extraordinary claim that Jenny McCarthy’s activism has “led to a dramatic increase in the number of vaccine preventable illnesses as well as an increase in the number of vaccine preventable deaths”?

    Does not pass the sniff test.

  25. What I hate the most about Jenny McCarthy is that she claims to speak for all mothers. She does NOT speak for me. I’d rather my son have autism than measles, but I also understand that it’s a false choice. Why? Because I have a @#$@#$#@ brain and can use it. Gah.

    Somebody needs to pay me to write a book where I talk about all the yeast creams I didn’t feed my son and all the gluten I did feed him and how he’s progressing in spite of all of it. I’ll even actually write the book myself. No takers? Drat.

  26. theflatwhite

    142 deaths, suspiciously padded with childhood flu fatalities, and no perspective numbers from pre-2007? This is evidence?

    Look, I’m not promoting anti-vax, but this is pure emotionalism dressed up as statistical proof.

  27. Octavio

    The McCarthy affair is something very sad… As far as I know, there are no such fallacies concerning vaccines and autism being spread in Mexico :-D I would add that my country is a good example of the success of this scientific accomplisment.

    BTW, have you commented about the inactivity of the Sun?

  28. MadScientist

    McCarthy was a comedian? I didn’t know taking off your clothes was a comic routine.

  29. @ Luke T. Did you look at the site?

    http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Links.html <—- links to the CDC data and other resources for more info. Data prior to 2007: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/summary.html

    Enjoy!

  30. beagledad

    @MadScientist,
    For some of us it would be a comedy routine . . . .

  31. David M.

    What a classy group – starting with the author of this blog. On World Autism Awareness Day you all decide to trash Jenny McCarthy, a mother of a child who went into cardiac arrest and suffered seizures and then autism after getting his MMR shot. Stay Classy Bad Astronomy.
    I always get a big laugh from Phil’s blog…I never learn anything, but I always get a big laugh. You obviously should stick to writing about telescopes and supernovas and Milky Way bars and avoid stuff you know nothing about like autism.
    Anyone can throw out links from other blogs or cite studies that other people have done. But I am still waiting to hear the actual number of how many families you have talked to who have a child with autism or any research YOU have done on this issue. Do you do any thinking on your own.
    One last thing before I put my vaccine-injured son to bed, I am still waiting for the CDC to do a big study comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children. That study has never been done. This is despite many people calling for this. And please don’t say the CDC needs to use their resources in a more productive way. Last week the CDC released a study that showed…wait for it…pets can cause people to trip and fall.
    Wow, that is our government and medical community in action.
    Keep up the great work, guys. See you on Pluto.

  32. Jeremy

    “On World Autism Awareness Day you all decide to trash Jenny McCarthy”

    You bet we do. I can’t think of a greater enemy to autistic children that someone who is hellbent on ensuring that research into the causes of autism will never move beyond reconfirming (over, and over, and over) that vaccines aren’t the problem.

  33. astronut

    This is kind of lame. Whether you think vaccines are the best thing since sliced bread or not, the simple fact is we are over vaccinated. Vaccines have indeed helped in numerous ways but I’m skeptical of government orgs like the CDC and the propaganda that gets spewed out by them at times. One of my children was adversely affected by a vaccine cocktail she received when she was around 12 months old. Our current pediatrician said it was unnecessary for the mass amounts of vaccines to be administered to her. We were uninformed parents 15 years ago. Now, with a kick-ass pediatrician who seems to have his head screwed on straight (and no he is not an anti-vaccine doc) we are much more informed.

  34. tom

    and what if you’re wrong? What if indeed an overload of toxins does cause autism? can someone show me the evidence that this is not the case? And how did she cure her son’s symptoms if she’s such a quack?

  35. JRThro

    My son broke his arm after getting many of his shots.

    Who’s willing to make the leap in logic and say that the shots caused the broken arm?

  36. Retrogarde

    Redirects to google here

  37. Alan French

    @David M,

    There is absolutely no credible scientific evidence linking autism to vaccines. None. Zip. Zero.

    If you bothered to do any research, you would find studies showing there is no link, as well as evidence that the researchers who originally claimed the link faked their data.

    Please get a grip so folks can spend time really helping children with autism.

    Clear skies, Alan

  38. John

    @David M.

    I’m really sorry about your child. I truly am. However, laying blame where it doesn’t belong is not helping anyone.

  39. Even without Jenny McCarthy, there would have been illnesses and deaths caused by vaccine-preventable diseases. JMcCBC doesn’t show a comparison between pre-Jenny and post-Jenny figures, so no comparison or conclusions can even begin to be made.

    Evidence, evidence, evidence. Without it, skeptics are no better than anti-vaxxers.

  40. Jo

    @David M:

    “I never learn anything”

    Glad we’ve set the stage.

    “Anyone can throw out links from other blogs or cite studies that other people have done.”

    Citing studies is a very good way to support your argument. People with autistic children know a lot about living with autistic children. This in no way qualifies them to determine a causal relationship between vaccinations and autism, which is the issue being discussed.

    That Andrew Wakefield’s research can be exposed as fraudulent, and people will continue to champion his conclusions simply because a celebrity appears on on their favourite daytime talk show to tell them otherwise boggles my mind. The studies have been done. The evidence is in. Vaccines do not cause autism.

  41. JT

    David M, sorry if we come across as rude, but you see, there is one little mitigating factor you might want to consider when judging our actions.

    THE ANTIVAX MOVEMENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF CHILDREN.

    Maybe that doesn’t excuse us from committing the high crime slight rudeness when talking about it, but I hope it at least helps explain our actions a little.

  42. John

    David M.

    “Anyone can throw out links from other blogs or cite studies that other people have done. But I am still waiting to hear the actual number of how many families you have talked to who have a child with autism or any research YOU have done on this issue”

    I’d like to see a study that YOU have conducted that proves a link between vaccines and autism. Actually, I’ll settle for a study that anyone has done even suggesting such a link, and hasn’t been proven to have relied on falsified data.

  43. Shawn

    Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey get serious about autism. Questions and answers about vaccines from experts on both sides.
    Friday, 9 p.m. ET

    I’m gona tune in.

  44. One of the things that irritates me somewhat is the fact that it’s not just deaths we’re looking at. Mortality is terrible, yes, but a lot of people don’t realize what else can happen when a kid gets a vaccine-preventable disease. My father was a physician back before vaccines existed, and we heard all kinds of horror stories about kids getting measles and ending up blind, pregnant women getting rubella and having issues with the pregnancy, etc. Not to mention the anguish parents went through with their children hospitalized with whooping cough, gasping for every breath. My mother’s sister was a polio victim. She was struck by polio at age 2, and from that point on she was unable to walk without crutches. She suffered post-polio syndrome later in life. And Hib infections continue, which can cause, among other things, meningitis that can leave the child with mental retardation. The CDC keeps statistics on this, too. That’s why it’s called the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

  45. physicsqt

    If people don’t want to immunize their children, I say make them liable for the consequences. If an outbreak starts because some family has decided not to immunize their child, then those people should be legally bound to compensate everyone affected. This is a free country, but not one without consequences …

  46. Alph

    I feel bad for Jenny McCarthy, I really do.

    As a mother of an autistic child, she needs to resolve and blame SOMETHING for her child’s disability. If she believes it’s vaccination that contributes to autism, then those who believe the science have to look past her grief/anger/sorrow and work harder than she does to get the truth out there.

  47. Shawn

    I was curious if there are any statistics out there regarding autism and race?
    Just curious.

  48. People in this country almost elected a talkative redneck from Alaska for vice-freakin-president – then why are you shocked when they listen to a Playmate for health advice?

  49. m

    Once can consider that those opposed to vaccination are modern day exemplars of Darwin’s survival of the fittest theories.

    I am old enough to remember being kept away from other children during the summers when polio was rampant. There were enormous amounts of fear.

    SkepticalBunny is unlikely to have a father that was a physician before vaccines existed, as vaccines have been around a very long time. Jenner’s smallpox vaccine was first used in 1796. But SkepticalBunny is more than correct when she states that it is not only deaths that are a concern, but sequels like brain damage, retardation, deafness, chronic pulmonary disease, sterility and a host of other ills that plauge us.

    Just one of these multiple vaccines DPT (Diptheria, pertussis and tetanus) protects against the following:

    “In the 1920s there were an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 cases of diphtheria per year in the United States, causing 13,000 to 15,000 deaths per year.” Almost none today.

    “Worldwide, there are 10–90 million pertussis cases and about 600,000 deaths per year.” Whooping cough primarily kills the very young, even though adults are also quite succeptable.

    Neonatal tetanus is common in many developing countries and is responsible for about 14% (215,000) of all neonatal deaths, but is very rare in developed countries. There are some 1 million total cases of tetanus a year that kill 300,000 to 500,000 people.

    The data for the above is readily available in Wikipedia, death rates for other vaccine preventable illnesses are also available there with little effort.

  50. Really, drksky? That’s where you want to take this? Can we stick to the topic please?

    As for attacking a woman who has an autistic son, that claim is without merit at all. In many places on this blog I said I have sympathy for her and any parent with an autistic child. However, that does not give her the right to say the things she does about vaccines. Wrong is wrong.

    As far as making this personal, this is not a personal attack on her. It’s an attack on what she is doing. If this is a personal attack, then any time you disagree with someone else you are attacking them, and that’s clearly incorrect. Neither that site, nor I, am saying she is stupid. I am saying what she is saying is dangerous. It puts kids at risk. We have seen children die because of this antivax movement, and one kid getting sick from nonsense is one kid too many.

    And DavidM, your argument is equivalent to Homer Simpson: “Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!”

  51. Realist

    You people have got to be KIDDING me. When did this country’s people decide that a person wasn’t responsible for their own actions? Where did the backbone of America go.

    To go to the extreme, why did we accuse, try and convict Nazi commanders after WWII? In many cases they WERE indeed just following orders. But we put them on trial because THEY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. They should have used their own judgement and not committed their attrocities.

    Jenny McCarthy says that vaccinations are causing autism in children. BUT, when my child is born, the decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate is up to me. I AM RESPONSIBLE. If I believe what Jenny says and dont research to see if what she says is true, and my child dies because I didn’t have him vaccinated, it isn’t Jenny’s fault. IT IS MINE!

    If you want to be angry with some one be angry with the people who don’t have sense enough to know what’s good and what’s not good for their own children. Be angry with the people who take everything at face value and don’t bother to listen to the facts. Be angry with the doctors who don’t tell new parents about the lies and misconceptions about the vaccines. You know what…because these people didn’t have enough sense to know that this antivax thing is ridiculous they shouldn’t have been allowed to have children in the first place and deserve exactly what they got.

    BTW, Those current stats are useless unless we can compare them with historical data. I haven’t looked it and I’m not going to but anyone who is making this argument should check to see if these preventable sickness and death counts are higher than the counts from previous decades…taking population increase into account.

  52. Lizzyshoe

    I got TWO vaccines today to add to the 20 or so I’ve had in my lifetime and I feel great about it! Take THAT antivaccers!

  53. GOOD JOB PPL

    I am in the middle on vaccines. All i can say is you do not actually know what is in them. medical doctors the scientific community and government can tell you what they are but do you actually know for sure?? I mean look at this site and tell me that your always told the truth by those with power

    LINK TO THIS SITE

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-medical-madoff-anesthestesiologist-faked-data

    PS: we were also told that iraq had weapons of mass destruction so we had to preemptively strike them….and that was true??? not so much…

  54. For what it’s worth, autism isn’t the only “risk” the anti-vaccine crowd claims is associated with childhood vaccinations. I’m inclined to believe the real risks are greater than what’s claimed by the medical establishment, but drastically less than what is claimed by the anti-vaccine crowd.

    Consider the following peer-reviewed article that appeared in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, which found a statistically significant link between the HepB vaccine (and to a lesser degree HiB) and childhood asthma:

    http://cme.medscape.com/viewarticle/439840_3

  55. GOOD JOB PPL

    and in all truthfullness who is to say we even need vaccines in the first place. If you look at it our genetics and dna are so incredible that we could and should have psychic abilities, super healing, and then some. But for some strange reason part of our dna is turned off….all this potential power and it is locked away from us, almost like we had these powers before and somebody locked em up and threw away the key…..makes you wonder huh….

  56. David M.

    To all the haters:
    I believed in vaccines that’s why I had my two children fully vaccinated. But my son totally changed after his MMR. Lethargic, loss of speech, constant diarrhea. Our pediatrician, who also teaches at one of them fancy Ivy League schools, wondered if we were giving him too much fruit juice. (I think he probably is a fan of Phil’s.)
    Anyway thousands of dollars and many medical experts later, an endoscopy and tests showed that my son has the measles virus in his small intestine. Which is causing inflammation in his brain, digestive system and his immune system. We also found out he has high levels of mercury, aluminum and lead. Now we are working to fix this and have been at it for two full years.
    I have heard similar tales from more than 50 families personally who have experienced similar problems with their children after vaccines. I would stack my personal experience involving vaccines and autism up against any clown in the above chain, the author of this lame blog and any of the other blogging clowns he cites as experts. I would safely estimate that 99 percent of these people have never talked to even one parent about autism and vaccines.
    How many have you talked to JT. Be honest. And how about the rest of you. How can anyone claim to know anything about any topic without doing any personal research and investigation. That is not very scientific or logical.
    Here’s some homework for this group which I think is the greatest collection of minds since the Manhattan Project – go out and talk to 10 families with an autistic child. Ask them what their kids were like when they were babies and ask them what happened after they had their vaccines. This will be a good experience for you all. You can get out from your basement and out from in front of your computers and you can actually talk to some people.
    Until then, keep hating and throwing mud at Jenny and others and keep telling everyone that this issue is closed and that the CDC should look into more important things like pets causing people to trip.
    Seacrest out.

  57. badTRAFFIC

    Follow the money … where are all the unvaxed children/people with autism?

  58. Casebolt

    Not that I’ve ever been a fan of celebrities trying to influence any kind of intellectual debate… but I wouldn’t be so quick to praise vaccines as so much of a godsend.

    Don’t get me wrong, anyone going around saying ALL vaccinations are bad is really doing a disservice (at least) to society. I have yet to see a single shred of credible evidence that points to vaccines being a contributing factor for a child to develop autism.

    However, that fact of the matter is that most people don’t really need all the vaccines that they receive throughout their lives.

    By all means, certain vaccines can and should be administered to young children to prevent them from contracting horrible diseases such as smallpox (cowpox) or certain strains of hepatitis and herpes (of which a new vaccination has been highly advertised).

    Don’t get me wrong, preventing serious disease is great. But, disease prevention and treatment can very quickly become a slippery slope. Three words: Red Queen Theory.

    Because of our blind reliance on medical technology, we seem to have two groups of people who either go one way, and refuse some or all credible medical science (scientologists, Mcarthy/Oprah) and then there’s those that take anything and everything they can get their grubby little hands on with the hope that it will somehow defy the very laws a nature and make them live longer than ever before. We cal these last types hypochondriacs.

    Any well-meaning debate about these issues should deal with both sides, not just blindly condemning one or the other. There is a place in our society for Medical technology and science, and it is a very large place, but let us not forget, we survived for quite some time without medical technology of any sort. Do we really all need flu vaccines every year? Do even half of us?

    Just my 2 cents worth. But then again, I usually get trolled when I try to bring up the flip side of any given argument on the ‘nets. We’ll see how this one turns out.

  59. Casebolt

    Oh, and as far as the blame game goes, you guys are treading in sticky territory yourselves by trying to say that anyone should have the right to control someone else’s language. This is still America the last time I checked, and we still have a Bill of Rights (although, admittedly, it has seen it’s better days).

    Not that I’m saying Mcarthy and the like are right or wrong, but whether you agree or disagree for whatever reason, the fact is, she has the right to say anything she wants. If you want to debunk her, why not take out an ad-campaign and counter-publicize for your views?

    Unfortunately, there is no law against misinformation (generally speaking of course).

  60. physicsqt

    Right, well, an anecdotal sample of one out of two kids proves it.

    Correlation does not equal causation … is there an actual scientific study that was not retracted that you can point to as legitimate scientific evidence?

  61. What truly astounds me is that Ms.McCarthy actually says that diseases coming back would be a good thing..measles, polio etc. This should not be a debate about whether or not vaccines caused autism…The woman is promoting the spread of diseases-in order to fight for her cause-she is promoting death..Whatever side of the vaccine debate you are on..DOESN’T ANTONE SEE HOW CRAZY THIS IS??????? I am sorry, but I can not believe people are actually saying things like “stop picking on Jenny” “Don’t fling mud on Jenny” She is the ultimate in narcissism! By the way, I have four kids…two have autism. All of my kids are great-All are immunized..

  62. John Roper

    To all: It is traditional when citing studies to include the name of the journal publishing the study, the authors, and date of publication. Otherwise, you sound like standard internet jack-asses.

  63. Witt Sullivan

    You would have to be an idiot not to vaccinate your kids. One of my buddies who’s about 6 years younger than I am was adopted and for some reason, his parents didn’t have him vaccinated for mumps. He got the mumps when he was in the first grade or so, he’s now sterile and his genitals are underdeveloped. Your life’s one thing, but when it involves your junk, that’s getting serious.

    But seriously, if a parent doesn’t get their kids vaccinated and they get sick and die or have problems later on, they should be held accountable.

  64. mike yadon

    I CAN NOT BELIEVE YOU ARE AT IT AGAIN, PHIL? And since you keep attacking those of us who care to make our own choices about our health and the health of others.

    I’m going to once again call you out for being responsible for promoting GENOCIDE.

    Aluminum and Mercury and Formaldehyde were never meant to be injected beneath the skin. A baby who is only moments old receives a shot that contains all of these items for protection against a sexually transmitted disease. WHAT NEWBORN INFANT needs a vaccination to protect against a sexually transmitted disease?

    You are so blinded by your love for “science” that you can’t even reasonably question the insanity of the whole thing.

    A company was just caught putting LIVE AVIAN FLU VIRUS in a flu vax. SV40, HIV, POLIO, have all been spread by the vaccinations themselves.

    Look at the research. THE CDC’s own studies show that increases in Polio skyrocketed after mass vaccination for Polio began.

    I’m so tired of you provaxx folks. You have no ability to think for yourselves. All you do is regurgitate CDC garbage.

    Jenny McCarthy is a mother of a child who regressed into the autism spectrum after receiving shots. Why is it not her right to question it? I mean seriously, if your child regressed after shots, you wouldn’t question it. You wouldn’t fight with every ounce of your being to find some answers.

    Phil, you are a troll. A Big Pharma troll. And someday you will pay for your inability to question those that you serve. I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but karma is always watching. You can’t avoid it. Promoting GENOCIDE is not a smart thing to do. Especially when the facts are out there. Plenty of independent researchers doing fabulous research that says vaccinations are nothing but snake oil.

  65. Good point John. That medscape link I posted apparently refuses to serve up its content if you’re not clicking through Google. Here’s the NIH link to the abstract:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12182372

    The researchers were specifically looking at a purported link between DPT and asthma, but they looked at other vaccines as well. They found no association between DPT or MMR and asthma, but did find weak links between HepB and HiB.

    The researchers were:

    DeStefano F, Gu D, Kramarz P, Truman BI, Iademarco MF, Mullooly JP, Jackson LA, Davis RL, Black SB, Shinefield HR, Marcy SM, Ward JI, Chen RT; Vaccine Safety Datalink Research Group.

  66. do more research

    I guess this board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in toxicity and the brain is just a conspiracy theorist, too, huh.

    http://web.mac.com/rblaylock/Russell_Blaylock_M.D./Published_Papers_files/Truth%20behind%20vaccine%20cover-up.pdf

  67. @David M
    My anecdotal evidence must be as good as yours then so I asked my sister if she thought vaccinating her kids caused autism in two of her boys. She said nope.

    We also found out he has high levels of mercury, aluminum and lead
    Do you live in a landfill area or something? Have you had the whole family tested?

  68. Keith

    Phil, you may not be calling Jenny McCarthy stupid, but I am. She is stupid and anyone who listens to her garbage is stupid.

  69. @mike yadon
    Poe?

  70. TB

    http://vaers.hhs.gov/

    Just like Guardasil, providing profit for Drug companies, and killing girls…..

  71. Oh, and yesterday I call for a jennysbodycount.com or something and today I find out it has been around for almost a week. I think I deserve the JREF million buckeroonies. :-)

  72. mike yadon

    Dr. Andrew Moulden has proven that vaccines cause blood sludging. This has been confirmed by the FDA’s own studies on Aluminum. This blood sludging causes ischemic strokes. Where tiny blood vessels become clogged and oxygen does not pass through. This causes death to cells surrounding the clogged area. This results in all sorts of disorders such as learning disabilities and physical disabilities.

    When you combine that with the fact that chelation therapy can reverse these disabilites.

    The only conclusion that one can come to is that the metals in the vaccines are doing serious, but reversible damage.

    It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense once you know the facts. Don’t inject toxins into the body….

    duh

    don’t be a dumb dumb. please don’t vaccinate yourselves or your children.

  73. Jeremy

    “Dr. Andrew Moulden has proven that vaccines cause blood sludging. This has been confirmed by the FDA’s own studies on Aluminum.”

    Citation needed.

    “When you combine that with the fact that chelation therapy can reverse these disabilites. ”

    Citation needed.

    I’d be fascinated to see any peer reviewed study of chelation that doesn’t end with the conclusion that it’s ineffective and profoundly dangerous.

  74. please don’t vaccinate yourselves or your children

    Okay, I take the Poe comment back. You’re just your average garden variety dangerous pro-disease kook.

    What do the kooks think of vaccinations like the yellow fever vaccination where it is compulsory for entering certain countries?

  75. mike yadon

    dumb dumb – type in w w w. f d a. g o v and then search for aluminum toxicity. i’m not going to do everything for you.

    there is one study in particular where patient deaths were associated with aluminum toxicity. The fda has found that as little as 4ppm can cause blood sludging. This is easily attainable at a 2 month well baby visit where the child receives on average 6 or more shots.

  76. mike yadon

    easy shane, don’t go to those backwards ignorant countries.. it’s that simple. any place that forces vaccination is not a place i’ll ever visit.

  77. mike yadon

    Here are the current levels of aluminum per shot of the following vaccines, as listed on each vaccine’s packaging:

    * DTaP (for Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis): 170-625 mcg, depending on manufacturer
    * Hepatitis A: 250 mcg
    * Hepatitis B: 250 mcg
    * HIB (for meningitis; PedVaxHib brand only): 225 mcg
    * HPV: 225 mcg
    * Pediarix (DTaP-Hepatitis B-Polio combination): 850 mcg
    * Pentacel (DTaP-HIB-Polio combination): 330 mcg
    * Pneumococcus: 125 mcg

    In other words, a newborn who gets a Hepatitis B injection on day one of life would receive 250 mcg of aluminum. This would be repeated at one month with the next Hep B shot. When, at two months, a baby gets its first big round of shots, the total dose of aluminum could vary from 295 mcg (if a non-aluminum HIB and the lowest-aluminum brand of DTaP are used) to a whopping 1225 mcg (if the Hep B vaccine is given along with the brands with the highest aluminum contents). These doses are repeated at four and six months. With most subsequent rounds of shots, a child would continue to get some aluminum throughout the first two years. But the FDA recommends that premature babies, and anyone with impaired kidney function, receive no more than 10 to 25 mcg of injected aluminum at any one time.

  78. mike yadon

    the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), who in 1996 published a policy statement, “Aluminum Toxicity in Infants and Children,” that made the following points:

    * Aluminum can cause neurologic harm.
    * A study from 30 years ago showed that human adults increase their urine excretion of aluminum when exposed to higher levels of the metal, which suggests that adults can clear out excess aluminum.
    * Adults taking aluminum-containing antacids don’t build up high levels of aluminum in their bodies.
    * Reports of infants with healthy kidneys show elevated blood levels of aluminum from taking antacids.
    * People with kidney disease who build up bloodstream levels of aluminum greater than 100 mcg per liter are at risk of toxicity.
    * The toxic threshold of aluminum in the bloodstream may be lower than 100 mcg per liter.
    * The buildup of aluminum in tissues has been seen even in patients with healthy kidneys who receive IV solutions containing aluminum over extended periods.5

  79. jm

    Vaccines are safe. That is why our government has paid out $1,878,549,807.40 to those
    who have been injured by vacciens over the last 20 years. http://www.hrsa.gov/Vaccinecompensation/statistics_report.htm#claims_filed
    Hey guess what autism isn’t included so you are out of luck but if your kid gets encephalopathy after
    the mmr or DTP shot you can get paid. Should autism be included in this? Who knows since the IACC
    just voted to defund autism/vaccine resarch.

  80. Jeremy

    “dumb dumb – type in w w w. f d a. g o v and then search for aluminum toxicity. i’m not going to do everything for you.”

    Clearly, you’re not even going to do anything for yourself. You’ve pretty clearly never run that search, as it doesn’t return the results you think it does.

  81. mike yadon

    did you catch that dumb dumbs?

    the toxic threshold may be lower than 100mcg per liter. Every single vaccine listed above has amounts exceeding 100mcg. Add all those up and you’ve got a major problem.

    This is my point exactly. No one knows just how deadly these shots are. It’s a crapshoot. Every immune system is different. Some children can excrete the aluminum. Others cannot. It’s the others I’m worried about and you should be too..

    And since when is an astronomer an authority on vaccinations anyway…

    this guy is a tool and his blog is full of useless rants.

    I’m out of here. I just schooled the F out of you, PHIL. How you like me now?

  82. Julian

    Good Job ppl said

    “PS: we were also told that iraq had weapons of mass destruction so we had to preemptively strike them….and that was true??? not so much…”

    Everyone who read the actual reports from intelligence agencies knew the case was weak from the get-go. The same way that everyone who’s read the actual studies conducted on vaccines knows they do not cause autism. If you weren’t so busy trying to fight ‘The Man’ and being a rebel you stand to learn a lot.

    “and in all truthfullness who is to say we even need vaccines in the first place. If you look at it our genetics and dna are so incredible that we could and should have psychic abilities, super healing, and then some.”

    You’re a whackjob, too.

    Do you have any idea what DNA is or how it works? If the answer is no, shut up.

    “easy shane, don’t go to those backwards ignorant countries.. it’s that simple. any place that forces vaccination is not a place i’ll ever visit.”

    Lucky them.

  83. badTRAFFIC

    (and so I say/ask again) Follow the money … where, oh where are the un-vaxed children/people with autism?

  84. @Yadon

    Backwards? Ignorant? For having mandatory Yellow Fever vaccinations?

    from wikipedia: “Yellow fever begins suddenly after an incubation period of three to five days in the human body. In mild cases only fever and headache may be present. Within 24 hours about 15% develop a more severe form, in which they enter the “toxic phase” characterized by fever, chills, bleeding into the skin, paradoxically slow heartbeat, headache, back pains, and extreme prostration. Nausea, vomiting, and constipation are common. Jaundice usually appears on the second or third day. After the third day the symptoms recede, only to return with increased severity in the final stage, during which there is a marked tendency to hemorrhage internally; the characteristic “coffee ground” vomitus contains blood. The patient then lapses into delirium and coma, followed by death in about 50% of those who enter the toxic phase.”

    You sir are a fool. You represent a dangerous trend toward anti-intellectualism in America.

  85. mike yadon

    you guys are all the same.. spout fear about boogeyman disease. ignore facts about ingredients in vaccinations and their affect on the immune system.

    go re-read my posts and do your own research on aluminum. I’ll take my one in a million chance of getting yellow fever vs. the guaranteed chance of poisoning myself via vaccination any day..

  86. @Yadon

    Assuming, that is, that you are in America.

    Schooled him? HA!

    I think we all know who the tool is here and it’s not the BA.

  87. A website like jennymccarthybodycount.com is very important. It clearly states on the site that Ms.McCarthy is not directly responsible for every illness and death listed there, but that her promotion of the pro-disease movement could certainly have led to some of them. It highlights the danger of the movement.

    We are so used to not having to worry about disease that we no longer fear it. Ignorance of history and science will be our downfall.

  88. JJA

    Thanks to Typhoid McCarthy and her ilk, we can look forward to peace in our time… The peace of empty cities, the silence of no children playing… No grief, and no sorrow. With a large enough epidemic, no one remains to grieve.

  89. Jim

    Ok – I am compelled to comment on this nonsense.

    Regardless of whether or not vaccines cause autism, there is NO trustworthy data to prove it one way or another. All so-called “reputable” studies have been done apparently by parties who have a vested interest in the results, as have the so-called “disreputable” ones.

    Regardless, read any vaccine insert. There is a section that describes admitted possible reactions to vaccines – including a possibility of death. If there was no chance of harm then this section would not be there. I’m not impressed by the numbers above because that many (I believe even more) have been harmed by vaccines world-wide in the same time frame. Of course this is out of many many millions of vaccinated children I’m sure.

    I have personally witnessed a doctor refuse to report a vaccine reaction (one my child suffered) – so I know that reactions are under-reported. I personally know an individual that DIED from a flu shot – admittedly quite a while ago, but I will never forget it.

    While my child receives every vaccine that is required by state law here, because there is no way for me to prevent it, I know personally that harm can come from vaccines. When regardless of which action you take you may see harm as a result, possibly even fatal, then it should be a choice period.

    And calling names and deriding people for wanting to avoid taking an action that may cause harm is wrong. Perhaps vaccines are not responsible for autism – perhaps they are (can someone reliably tell me, for example, how many children worldwide have autism that have not been vaccinated ever versus how many of these children have received at least one vaccine?). Statistics say what you want them to say – ask any statistics professor.

    I say you people should grow up – and you should all be more skeptical of things you don’t personally know to be true.

  90. David M.

    We have a winner – MIKE YADON – by TKO.

    Checking back on this chain and he dope-slapped everyone including Phil.

    (And Phil, if the best you can do is cite Homer Simpson when it comes to my posts, that is beyond lame. From looking at your mug, you look more like Shaggy from Scooby Doo. Or Jughead. Yeah I like Jughead for you. It fits in many ways.)

    Any of your vaccine happy talk clowns have any daughters. Are you looking forward to the Gardasil vaccine. But wait a year or two and they will have it available for boys too. Check out some of the press on that vaccine. Wow. That vaccine is going over like Jughead’s post on Jenny McCarthy. Can’t wait to forward this Jenny post of your to TIME Magazine’s editors. I don’t think you should plan on winning a blog award in 2010.

    Totally healthy girls are dying from Gardasil. Where is the outrage from this Manhattan Project of brainiacs and vaccine happy talkers.

    And by the way there has NEVER been a study comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. Even St. Paul Offit will back this up. Here is a quote from the multi-millionaire tool of the CDC:

    “No studies have compared the incidence of autism in vaccinated, unvaccinated, or alternatively vaccinated children (i.e., schedules that spread out vaccines, avoid combination vaccines, or include only select vaccines).”

    How about that study from the CDC instead of one on people getting tripped by their pets.

    Good night, Jughead and all the vaccine happy talkers. Keep hating and slinging mud. Makes you look good.

  91. Mark Hansen

    badTRAFFIC, autism existed before vaccines. Thimerosal was developed in the 1930’s; Autism (the term) was coined in the 1900’s. So, yep, that money trail is real strong. So strong it can travel back in time.

  92. From 2007 from the Journal of the American Medical Association, on the death rates prior to vaccines and after. Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States.

    The horrible problems that these anti-vaccine terrorists make up just do not exist.

    Where are the dead babies from the vaccines?

    There is no valid research supporting the claims of the anti-vaccine scaremongers, because vaccines save lives.

    Science is about testing ideas that do not make sense. Even testing ideas that do make sense. Vaccines are frequently tested by scientists. The results do not show that vaccines are dangerous.

    Is this because scientists do not like children? No. Many have children and would never risk harming their children. The harm is from not vaccinating. The harm is from listening to the illogical claims from the anti-vaccine people.

    There is no valid research to support the anti-vaccine claims.

    The decrease in deaths from vaccine preventable diseases is in the millions of children every year. If we were to stop vaccinating, these deaths would return.

    If anybody feels there should be a debate, have doctors present their evidence to an independent panel of physicians. Any other debate is just a bunch of catch phrases.

    It is irresponsible to discourage parents from vaccinating their children. It is even more irresponsible for parents to listen to anti-vaccinationists.

    The anti-vaccinationists make their fortunes selling books and treatments. They are well paid for their lectures to the gullible. Follow the money. The anti-vaccinationists are raking in the money.

    Vaccines save lives.

    Millions of lives.

  93. Mark Hansen

    badTRAFFIC, you may also like to look at the case of the Wild Boy of Aveyron. Way before vaccination.

  94. Shawn

    Hmm I wonder if there is a link to Fluoride in drinking water and autism.

  95. MJKelleher

    The guest lineup for Friday’s Larry King Show about autism:

    Jenny McCarthy
    Actress/author/activist
    New book, “Healing & Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide”

    Jim Carrey
    Actor & Comedian; Jenny McCarthy’s boyfriend
    He will star in “A Christmas Carol” this November.

    Dr. Jerry Kartzinel
    New book, “Healing & Preventing Autism: A Complete Guide”

    JB Handley
    Founder of Generation Rescue.

    Dr. Margaret Fisher
    Chair, Department of Pediatrics
    Medical Director, The Children’s Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center

    Dr. Max Wiznitzer
    Pediatric Neurologist, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland
    Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurology, Case Western Reserve University

    Dr. Bernadine Healy
    Columnist; US News

    Comments to larrykinglive@cnn.com or errorsoncnn@cnn.com (or a summary thereof) do get sent to the show’s producers, including complaints about the show’s “balance” of discussion on a topic.

  96. Autumn

    Yes, why can’t all us pro-vaccination people see that the entire medical community is conspiring to con us out of a few fifty dollar office visits for vaccines due to their ties to Big-Pharma?
    How would doctors and pharmaceutical companies possibly stand to profit from the return of ubiquitous childhood diseases, often resulting in chronic conditions requiring a lifetime of treatment?

    I said it on another thread, but the pro-disease crowd is scared to go outside on New Year’s Eve because a bullet fired in celebration might come out of the sky and hit them. They would rather stay inside, where it’s safe, and play Russian Roulette.

  97. Vaccinations don’t cause autism.
    The anti-vacc people promote ignorance and allow children become sick and possibly die.
    Shame on Jenny McCarthy. She a dangerous idiot.
    She places your local community at risk.

  98. James

    Almost every child in the United States receives vaccinations. And yet, most of those kids grow up to be healthy. The oft-quoted incidence for autism-spectrum disorders is 1 in 150 children. The incidence of vaccination is somewhere near 148 in 150 children. Anti-vaccine folks have no answer for this huge discrepancy and talk around it consistently. They want to talk about every statistic but this one.

    I have not talked to families with autistic kids. But I’ve talked to literally hundreds of families whose kids received vaccinations, but did not become autistic. I’ve done my personal research and those parents do not believe that vaccines cause autism. But again, somehow anecdotal evidence only counts one way and not the other.

  99. @David M
    Totally healthy girls are dying from Gardasil

    Where’s your evidence? This what the Therapeutic Goods Admin in Oz had to say on Gardasil…
    http://www.tga.gov.au/alerts/medicines/gardasil.htm

    We’ve had almost four million doses distributed in Oz with no deaths. I repeat. No deaths.

    We’re actually quite proud of this vaccine in Australia. It was developed by Professor Ian Frazer in Queensland and he is probably a contender for a Nobel at some stage.

    Here’s another article about the slander campaign coming out of the US against Gardasil…
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/fear-campaign-over-cancer-vaccine/2008/07/01/1214678038236.html

  100. Jon

    It is really a sad state of affairs when you see so many people attacking someone that actually knows the truth.

    The simple fact of the matter is that vaccines contain Thiomersal (50% mercury), including but not limited to the FLU vaccine. WE ALL KNOW THAT MERCURY IS POISON RIGHT????? MY FAMILY WOULD NOT LET ME TOUCH IT, EVEN THOUGH I HAD BROKEN A THERMOMETER AND TRIED TO BECAUSE IT FASCINATED ME AS A CHILD.

    Do a little research before you start belittling people that know the truth please.

    In a minute I will link relevant information about Thiomersal, but let me say this first: It was NEVER removed from vaccines after the big uprising about it. You CAN get some vaccines that are Thiomersal free, however you have to especially request them, and it can take a month or two to receive them.

    By the way, the government wants 80% of the population dead, and the rest to be SLAVES. Thiomersal kills Neurons and prohibits critical thinking. They want your children to all be on prozac, ritilin, etc etc. Look up any recent story about mass school shooters and other mass murderers……they were all on Prozac or some other drug that is similiar.

    And now: Thiomersal:

    Thiomersal
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    Thiomersal
    Thiomersal
    IUPAC name
    [show]
    Ethyl(2-mercaptobenzoato-(2-)-O,S)
    mercurate(1-) sodium
    Other names Mercury((o-carboxyphenyl)thio)ethyl sodium salt
    Identifiers
    CAS number 54-64-8
    EC number 200-210-4
    RTECS number OV8400000
    Properties
    Molecular formula C9H9HgNaO2S
    Molar mass 404.81 g/mol
    Appearance White or slightly yellow powder
    Density 500 kg/m³
    Melting point

    232–233°C (decomposition)
    Solubility in water 1000 g/l (20°C)
    Hazards
    MSDS External MSDS
    NFPA 704
    1
    3
    1

    R-phrases R26/27/28 R33 R50/53
    S-phrases S13 S28 S36 S45 S60 S61
    Flash point 250°C
    Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
    materials in their standard state
    (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
    Infobox references

    Thiomersal (INN) (C9H9HgNaO2S), or sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate, commonly known in the United States as thimerosal, is an organomercury compound (approximately 49% mercury by weight) used as an antiseptic and antifungal agent.

    It was developed and registered under the trade name Merthiolate in 1928 by the pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly and Company and has been used as a preservative in vaccines, immunoglobulin preparations, skin test antigens, antivenins, ophthalmic and nasal products, and tattoo inks.

    In the U.S., the European Union, and a few other affluent countries, the compound is being phased out from vaccines routinely given to children.[1] Packaging the vaccines in single-dose vials eliminates the need for bacteriostatics such as thiomersal.[2]
    Contents
    [hide]

    * 1 Use
    * 2 Toxicology
    o 2.1 Allergies
    o 2.2 Autism
    * 3 History
    * 4 References

    [edit] Use

    Thiomersal’s main use is as an antiseptic and antifungal agent. In multidose injectable drug delivery systems, it prevents serious adverse effects such as the Staphylococcus infection that, in one 1928 incident, killed 12 of 21 children inoculated with a diphtheria vaccine that lacked a preservative.[3] Unlike other vaccine preservatives used at the time, thiomersal does not reduce the potency of the vaccines that it protects.[4] Thiomersal is not needed in more-expensive single-dose injectables.

    In the U.S., the European Union, and a few other affluent countries, thiomersal is no longer used as a preservative in routine childhood vaccination schedules.[1] In the U.S., the only exceptions among vaccines routinely recommended for children are some formulations of the inactivated influenza vaccine for children older than two years.[5] Several vaccines that are not routinely recommended for young children do contain thiomersal, including DT (diphtheria and tetanus), Td (tetanus and diphtheria), and TT (tetanus toxoid); other vaccines may contain a trace of thiomersal from steps in manufacture.[3] Also, four rarely used treatments for pit viper, coral snake, and black widow venom still contain thiomersal.[6] Outside North America and Europe, many vaccines contain thiomersal; the World Health Organization has concluded that there is no evidence of toxicity from thiomersal in vaccines and no reason on safety grounds to change to more-expensive single-dose administration.[7]

    [edit] Toxicology

    Thiomersal is very toxic by inhalation, ingestion, and in contact with skin (EC hazard symbol T+), with a danger of cumulative effects. It is also very toxic to aquatic organisms and may cause long-term adverse effects in aquatic environments (EC hazard symbol N).[8] In the body, it is metabolized or degraded to ethylmercury (C2H5Hg+) and thiosalicylate.[3]

    Few studies of the toxicity of thiomersal in humans have been performed. Animal experiments suggest that thiomersal rapidly dissociates to release ethylmercury after injection; that the disposition patterns of mercury are similar to those after exposure to equivalent doses of ethylmercury chloride; and that the central nervous system and the kidneys are targets, with lack of motor coordination being a common sign. Similar signs and symptoms have been observed in accidental human poisonings. The mechanisms of toxic action are unknown. Fecal excretion accounts for most of the elimination from the body. Ethylmercury clears from blood with a half-time of about 18 days, and from the brain in about 14 days. Inorganic mercury metabolized from ethylmercury has a much longer clearance, at least 120 days; it appears to be much less toxic than the inorganic mercury produced from mercury vapor, for reasons not yet understood.[9]

    Risk assessment for effects on the nervous system have been made by extrapolating from dose-response relationships for methylmercury.[9] Methylmercury and ethylmercury distributes to all body tissues, crossing the blood-brain barrier and the placental barrier, and ethylmercury also moves freely throughout the body.[10] Concerns based on extrapolations from methylmercury caused thiomersal to be removed from U.S. childhood vaccines, starting in 1999. Since then, it has been found that ethylmercury is cleared from the body and the brain significantly faster than methylmercury, so the late-1990s risk assessments turned out to be overly conservative.[9] A 2008 study found that the half-life of blood mercury after vaccination averages 3.7 days for newborns and infants, much shorter than the 44 days for methylmercury.[11]

    [edit] Allergies

    Thiomersal is used in patch testing for people who have dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and other potentially allergic reactions. A 2007 study in Norway found that 1.9% of adults had a positive patch test reaction to thiomersal;[12] a higher prevalence of contact allergy (up to 6.6%) was observed in German populations.[13] Thiomersal-sensitive individuals can receive intramuscular rather than subcutaneous immunization,[14] so contact allergy is usually clinically irrelevant.[13] Thiomersal allergy has decreased in Denmark, probably because of its exclusion from vaccines there.[15]

    [edit] Autism
    Main article: Thiomersal controversy

    Although there is no convincing evidence that thiomersal is a factor in the onset of autism, many parents, and some scientists and doctors, believe there is a connection.[16] Parents may first become aware of autistic symptoms in their child around the time of a routine vaccination, and parental concern about vaccines has led to a decreasing uptake of childhood immunizations and an increasing likelihood of measles outbreaks.[3][17] More than 5,000 U.S. families have filed claims in a federal vaccine court alleging autism was caused by vaccines, most implicating thiomersal; the majority of these claims are still being adjudicated.[16] The U.S. federal government agreed to award damages in one case, to a girl with a mitochondrial enzyme deficiency who developed autistic-like symptoms after receiving a series of vaccines,[18] some of which contained thiomersal. Many parents view this ruling as confirming that vaccines cause regressive autism;[19] however, most children with autism do not seem to have mitochondrial disorders, and the case was conceded without proof of causation.[20]

    [edit] History

    Morris S. Kharasch, a chemist at the University of Maryland, filed a patent application for thiomersal in 1927;[21] Eli Lilly was granted the patent for the compound under the trade name Merthiolate in 1928.[4] In vitro tests conducted by Lilly investigators H.M. Powell and W.A. Jamieson found that it was forty to fifty times as effective as phenol against Staphylococcus aureus.[4] It was used to kill bacteria and prevent contamination in antiseptic ointments, creams, jellies, and sprays used by consumers and in hospitals, including nasal sprays, eye drops, contact lens solutions, immunoglobulins, and vaccines. Thiomersal was used as a preservative (bactericide) so that multidose vials of vaccines could be used instead of single-dose vials, which are more expensive. By 1938, Lilly’s assistant director of research listed thiomersal as one of the five most important drugs ever developed by the company.[4]

    Thiomersal’s safety for its intended uses first came under question in the 1970s, when case reports demonstrated potential for neurotoxicity when given in large volumes as a topical antiseptic. At the time, the DPT vaccine was the only childhood vaccine that contained it; a 1976 FDA review concluded that this use of thiomersal was not dangerous.[4] Concerns about mercury arising from Minamata disease and other cases of methylmercury poisoning led U.S. authorities to lower reference doses for methylmercury in the 1990s, about the same time that autism diagnoses began rising sharply. In 1999, a new FDA analysis concluded that infants could receive as much as 187.5 micrograms of ethylmercury during the first six months;[22] lacking any standard for ethylmercury, it used methylmercury-based standards to recommend that thiomersal be removed from routine infant vaccines in the U.S., which was largely complete by summer 2001.[4] Some parents of autistic children adopted thiomersal as an explanation for the increase in reported autism cases and sued vaccine makers; the mercury-autism hypothesis is accepted widely among parents of autistic children, despite scientific studies rejecting it.[4]

  101. Zetetic

    @badTRAFFIC
    “Follow the money”… good idea! Now lets see, hmmm…..

    “Big Pharma” makes much more profit from people getting sick and needing treatment (possibly life time care for some diseases) than what they make off of a typical vaccine.

    So by your argument, the pharmaceutical companies have a vested financial interest in undermining confidence in vaccines, not supporting them. So maybe you’re just part of a “big pharma” conspiracy to undermine vaccines, eh? j/k ;)

    Now lets look at the money behind those attacking vaccines (something I bet you didn’t do). Lets see…who besides the medical companies will benefit from increasing rates of disease in the general public? Well what do you know! The same people that are behind much of the financing and promotion of the anti-vaccine groups…. so-called “alternative medicine” sellers/promoters and certain extreme religious groups. My, what a coincidence!

    @ David M.
    “We also found out he has high levels of mercury, aluminum and lead. ”
    I don’t doubt that that you were told that…they were lying to you for money in exchange for false answers. Please read the following, sound familiar?
    http://www.slate.com/id/2215076/
    Follow the money….

    “Totally healthy girls are dying from Gardasil”
    Got something to credible back that up with, or just more regurgitating of fear mongering lies? Yes, women *not* dying from cervical cancer must be terrifying to some people. Well what do you know! Again we have religious extremists lying to the public to support their agenda, due to their fear that Gardasil will promote premarital sex. They’d rather have women die from cancer than have sex in any way that they don’t expressly approve. Another coincidence?

    Next up from David M…
    “And by the way there has NEVER been a study comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated. Even St. Paul Offit will back this up. Here is a quote from the multi-millionaire tool of the CDC”
    It’s already been covered why that’s a naive argument, and unnecessary….
    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=154

    @mike yadon
    “Look at the research. THE CDC’s own studies show that increases in Polio skyrocketed after mass vaccination for Polio began”
    You’re either a liar (which would make you evil), or you’re very gullible (which while not evil makes you rather like a chimp with a loaded gun taped to it’s hand, a public hazard).
    That’s a common claim for the pro-disease camp, but it’s a bald faced lie. The stats for the time period involved do not back up that claim…

    http://www.post-polio.org/ir-usa.html

    Let’s take a little look at what people like you would like to see brought back to this world…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iron_Lung_ward-Rancho_Los_Amigos_Hospital.gif
    (from 1953, before mass polio vaccination began)

    Look at all those children Mike…. at least they don’t have autism, right?
    Never mind that there is still no credible evidence that vaccinations cause autism, even study after study from counties all around the world. Also, never mind that only study to back up your side (Wakefield) was a fraud perpetrated by someone with a financial interest to lie to the public.
    Follow the money, indeed…

    Lastly, lets have a look at the reality of the “Autism Epidemic” for some perspective…
    http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=158

  102. Hello.

    As the creator of the Jenny McCarthy Body Count I feel that I should make a couple of comments.

    The first is that I had never heard of “Autism Awareness Day/Month” when I started my research for the site. It is just a coincidence that I finished my first round of research this past weekend and that it is coinciding with this Awareness time. The website has only been officially live since 6PM on Sunday, March 29th. There was a sneak peek of the site starting on Saturday at 8PM on the 28th.

    Next, I will be making rather significant changes to the site this coming weekend in order to address some of the questions about the rates of vaccine preventable diseases and vaccine preventable deaths before Jenny McCarthy’s activism.

    Also, the CDC website is amazingly hard to navigate and this has led to what may be a significant undercount of the total number of cases and deaths that have occurred. Someone on another board pointed me towards the location of the specific death rate data for several diseases that I couldn’t originally find.

    I will also be setting up a FAQ page that explains how I derive the numbers that I do from the CDC reports.

    As my website states, Jenny McCarthy is not directly responsible for all of the illnesses and deaths calculated on the site, but as a very public anti-vaccination spokesperson she may be contributing to the increase in vaccine preventable illnesses and vaccine preventable deaths. For example, on Wednesday she said in Time Magazine that she thought it would be necessary for Polio to come back: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1888718,00.html

    This is dangerous. Not just to her family, but to the families around her. There are some people in the world who are unable to be vaccinated due to various medical conditions. For them to survive they require those people around them who are able to be vaccinated to be vaccinated. This is what is called “herd immunity”. If it falls below 90-95% then outbreaks can occur, and outbreaks are occurring. In all of the cases that I have examined so far the “patient zero” was a child who had not been vaccinated by their parents who then went on to infect other children, and elderly relatives, they had contact with.

    This is the danger in not being vaccinated.

    Thank you.

    -Derek

  103. Na

    @Shane
    Thank you for those links; I should be getting myself a shot sometime soo (in Oz, nice to see something related to my location for once).

    @David M
    My sister has had the Gardasil shot. The only thing she has had because of it was a slightly sore arm thanks to the ‘jab’. She is still alive, and healthy. There, my anecdote takes your anecdote. Your move.

  104. On. Its you.

    “By the way, the government wants 80% of the population dead, and the rest to be SLAVES.”

    Two possible responses:

    1. Congratulations on making sure everyone skips the rest of your post.

    or

    2. Citation needed.

  105. Peter Eldergill

    “By the way, the government wants 80% of the population dead, and the rest to be SLAVES”

    HA!

  106. Julian

    “Do a little research before you start belittling people that know the truth please.”

    I think someone owes me a new irony meter.

    Check out the cut and paste job this twit did. Hatred for authority never leads to anything good. It makes people irrational, unwilling to look facts in the face and make poor decisions. For you sake, I hope you get over it. In the mean time I’m going to mock you for wearing tinfoil hats.

  107. Dawn

    @David M: both of my daughters have had the Gardasil series. Their choice. We simply told them it was available, and if they wanted it THEY could make the arrangements to get it. Both elected to do so. Both are alive and healthy (fully vaccinated, too).

    Anecdote: my distant cousin (found her doing family tree research) has 3 girls. The first, fully vaccinated, has autism. So do the second (vaccinated on a “spread out” schedule) and the third (totally unvaccinated). And guess what? In doing the research I have found several other family members, even back to the 1930’s and earlier, who were “odd”, “shy and withdrawn” and even “mentally retarded” (although he could read anything, perform complex mathmatics in his head, but he was violent, unpredictable and non-verbal) who today would probably be given diagnoses of autism or at least PDD-NOS. Hooray for a doctor grandfather who kept detailed records on his patients, even when they were family. And many of them weren’t vaccinated, except for smallpox. Most of them also lived the “ideal, rural life” with little or no exposure to “toxins” except what was around thanks to Mother Nature.

    So there. 2 anecdotes that take yours. Oh, and BTW…NO deaths have been linked to Gardasil. VAERS has records submitted where deaths have occurred after the shot but no link has been found. Since one death was a girl driving home after the vaccine (her father, who sent in the report, claims she would not have passed out and died in the accident that killed her except for the vaccine), take the deaths with a grain of salt and do some research.

  108. mandingo

    Surely these parents must realize that one of the main reasons why they are alive today is because of vaccinations, right? Why are they gambling with their children’s lives?

    It seems fairly clear to me that antivax people are looking for a villain (or villains) to point their finger at.

  109. People who slam science over the internet are funny – and they don’t even know why! It’s great.

  110. Todd W.

    Good FSM, Mike Yadon infected this thread, too? So, Mike “infectious diseases are made up” Yadon, how’s that study going where you go out and get yourself infected, like you said you would do?

    On Polio, I already posted this in one of the other anti-vax threads. The OPV (oral drops) vaccine for polio had a rate of about 6-8 cases of paralytic polio per year. The live virus in the vaccine was passed in the stool, contributing to the spread of immunity. This vaccine was close to 100% effective, while the IPV (shot) was not as effective at providing immunity. That 6-8 cases per year compares to 13,000-20,000 per year without the vaccine (i.e., from natural infection).

    Mike, you are a troll. You provide no citations. The numbers that you spout off are out of context and presented in such a way as to instill fear. You also insult and behave like a jerk. Quite frankly, I’m surprised Phil hasn’t banned you, yet, for gross violations of his commenting policy.

  111. Bob R.

    I see no reason to slam the antivaxxers. Let them believe what they will. Eventually, their ilk will be removed from the gene-pool and it will be a non-issue.

    It is true that there will be innocent casualties, but if we look at this over a longer timespan it may be better for humanity in the long term (like 2 or 3 centuries).

  112. @Phil: I apologize for the horseface comment. I was just snarkily responding to the previous comment.

  113. @Bob R: The problem with ignoring them is that they are endangering not only themselves, but those who WOULD choose to be vaccinated, but can’t because of some counterindication, or to those for whom the vaccines are not effective. Efficacy is not 100%. That’s where the whole herd immunity thing comes into play.

    The anti-vaxxers are sending their disease bomb kids out into the general populace.

  114. Todd W.

    @Mike Yadon

    SV40, HIV, POLIO, have all been spread by the vaccinations themselves.

    SV40 – when the simian virus was discovered, all parties involved worked to ensure that future vaccines were not contaminated with it. Vaccines that did contain it were also removed from market.

    HIV – citation that HIV was spread by vaccines (but wait, I thought in the other thread you said HIV was made up? So how could it have been spread by vaccinations?)

    Polio – I already addressed this above. The live, inactivated virus in OPV was, indeed, spread through stool. When vaccination rates were low, this helped to spread immunity through the community. Now that vaccination rates are higher, that is no longer necessary, and the safer IPV can be used.

    Look at the research. THE CDC’s own studies show that increases in Polio skyrocketed after mass vaccination for Polio began.

    I’m so tired of you provaxx folks. You have no ability to think for yourselves. All you do is regurgitate CDC garbage.

    Emphasis mine, above. If the CDC’s stuff is garbage, why are you citing the CDC?

    Regarding the 4ppm of aluminum causing sludging. Even if that is true, this will put the amount of aluminum in vaccines into perspective. The average infant has about 251 mL of blood, the average 80lb child has about 4000 mL of blood, for purposes of the calculations below. Using the formula to derive ppm as weight/volume:

    ppm (w/v) = (weight in grams of sample/volume of sample in mL) * 106

    Vaccine____________ppm in infant_____ppm in child
    DTaP (170mcg)________.677____________.043
    DTaP(625mcg)________2.490___________.156
    Hep A_______________.996____________.063
    Hep B_______________.996____________.063
    HiB________________.896____________.056
    HPV________________.896____________.056
    Pediatrix____________3.386___________.213
    Pentacel_____________1.315___________.083
    Pneumococcus_________.498____________.031

    If these vaccines were all given at once, there would be a problem. But, they aren’t. One must also take into account the rate of elimination from the human body. From what I was able to find, approximately 71% of the aluminum is excreted from the body after about 5 days or so.

    Again, Mike Yadon, you are distorting facts in order to instill fear.

  115. JJA

    Jon,

    Ingesting mercury can indeed hurt you. I never ate any, but as a child I played with mercury from broken thermometers and thermostats all the time. I found it fascinating to roll it around in my hands or on a piece of paper. I never suffered any ill effects at all.

    My anecdote cancels out your anecdote. %?)

    By the way, there exists a dangerous substance which can burn or even explode on contact with water. Eating it would certainly be very harmful or even fatal. There also exists a deadly gas that was used on troops in the first World War. It ruins your lungs if you inhale it. The first is sodium, the second is chlorine.

    And sodium chloride is table salt.

    Now, if I were to start a campaign against eating salt, and tried to buttress my argument by saying “Salt contains both sodium and chlorine, which are known to be deadly poisons! Look at all this scary information from the material safety data sheets! How could you possibly put even a tiny amount of this stuff in your body?” most people would laugh it off, even though I was saying something that was technically correct. Salt does not possess the dangerous properties of either of its parent elements, but you can certainly scare a lot of people by pretending that it might.

    Now, you are talking about thimoseral (sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate) and yelling in all caps that it has poisonous mercury in it, so it must be dangerous! Do you see the connection here?

    Even water sounds scary if you call it dihydrogen monoxide. And yes, water ingested in large quantities will kill you. Should you stop drinking water, then?

    Nothing in life is free from risk, and the earth cannot be made completely child safe. But reacting with fear to everything that sounds potentially dangerous is itself a dangerous path.

  116. Aran

    Let point out something that everyone seems to have missed.

    How do you get sick? In other words what is the primary vector of disease?

    This is simple in most cases the disease does not suddenly arrive in the blood or muscle where they are injecting the vaccine. When you do that you are bypassing the usual vector for disease.

    Diseases usually arrive through the membranes in the nose, mouth, eyes, ears, digestive system and lungs etc. These membranes are the primary barriers against disease.

    It IS true that some diseases like tetanus enter through cuts or piercings in the skin but if you allow the blood to flow through, clean it properly, and keep it clean the odds of diseases through the path are very minor.

    The whole point of the vaccine is to teach the immune system how to deal with infections but if you bypass how infections typically occur you have not eached your goal.

    The is shown by what T-Cells are activated by vaccines.

    Natural immunity is through activation of the T-1 cells giving life long immunity.
    Vaccines activate the t-2 cells giving only temporary immunity.

    Do some research and you will see that vaccines do not work the way they are intended. They have no proven efficacy.

    The only way to prove vaccines work is to infect all the people who got vaccine equally.
    Sorta goes again the whole “first do not harm” eh?

    It is very interesting the number of people who got the vaccine who come down with the disease. The rate is 10 times the rate of getting the disease naturally.

    So the questions becomes not “Do vaccines cause autism?” but “Do vaccines work?”

    The obvious answer is no.
    And since it is no, “Why are we vaccinating our kids?”

  117. Hello.

    Thanks to someone from the CDC who has just contacted me I have discovered that I have a *massive undercount* in my vaccine preventable illness numbers. This will entail a lot more math work and I’m not sure if I will be able to finish the update this weekend. It took a couple of months to get the research done initially and now I have to re-calculate all of the previous data.

    Just to be clear, the numbers will be going up. By a lot.

    -Derek

  118. I am just back from visiting the autism parents forum -a U.K. based website. The time magazine article is being discussed there-esp. Ms.McCarthys statement of how “parents of autistic children would choose measles over autism..” There is a parent on that site-=who had to choose both. Her son has autism-he has never, (because of an immune deficiancy )been vaccinated-he just had the measles…

  119. Todd W.

    @Aran

    It IS true that some diseases like tetanus enter through cuts or piercings in the skin but if you allow the blood to flow through, clean it properly, and keep it clean the odds of diseases through the path are very minor.

    Citation please.

    Natural immunity is through activation of the T-1 cells giving life long immunity. Vaccines activate the t-2 cells giving only temporary immunity.

    Citations please.

    It is very interesting the number of people who got the vaccine who come down with the disease. The rate is 10 times the rate of getting the disease naturally.

    Citations please.

    So the questions becomes not “Do vaccines cause autism?” but “Do vaccines work?”

    The obvious answer is no.

    Actually, the answer is not obvious. You have provided zero evidence to support this conclusion.

  120. b

    does anyone have the data on how many people die due to vaccinations, if there are such numbers? I’m mostly just curious.

  121. Mogrammy

    The problem with this Discover piece on jenny mcCarthy is that it is full of misinformation. In 1999 it was only recommended that thimerosal be removed from vaccines-not a law. The removal was very slow and some vials sitting on doctors’ shelves and still being used into 2006. Thimerosal, recommended for pregnant women and children over 6 months of age, was put into flu shots in 2004-25 micrograms. Right now, there is still thimerosal in big doses-in 11 childhood and young adult vaccines, including one of the DPT shots. The MMR, with 3 live vaccines together, is another dangerous vaccine.
    People write crap about Jenny that’s not pertinent to her autism cause because they are unable to refute intellectually what she has said. The autism community that believes vaccines are to blame, are making such headway these days that those opposed to us are running scared. I truly believe this ……….
    MaurineM

  122. Todd W.

    @Mogrammy

    The removal was very slow and some vials sitting on doctors’ shelves and still being used into 2006.

    Citation please. Manufacturers had to stop using thimerosal in the finished product around 2001 or 2002, if memory serves. Any remaining stock on physicians’ shelves would have been past the expiration date for use by the end of 2002 or so.

    Right now, there is still thimerosal in big doses-in 11 childhood and young adult vaccines, including one of the DPT shots.

    Citation please. Also, what is a “big” dose? Please define.

    The MMR, with 3 live vaccines together, is another dangerous vaccine.

    Evidence, please.

    The autism community that believes vaccines are to blame

    False. Some people in the autism community believe vaccines are to blame, despite a lack of scientific evidence. There is also a significant portion of the autism community who do not blame vaccines.

    I truly believe this

    Okay, you’re welcome to believe whatever you want. However, if you want your opinion to be taken seriously, you need to back it up with scientific evidence.

  123. Todd W.

    @Mogrammy

    Oh, one more thing, from the FDA web site discussing thimerosal in vaccines:

    At present, all routinely recommended vaccines for U.S. infants are available only as thimerosal-free formulations or contain only trace amounts of thimerosal (≤1 than micrograms mercury per dose), with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine. Inactivated influenza vaccine for pediatric use is available in a thimerosal-preservative containing formulation and in formulations that contain either no thimerosal or only a trace of thimerosal1

    1fda.gov/cber/vaccine/thimerosal.htm#act (add www to the beginning)

  124. Mogrammy- I refute just about everything Ms. McCarthy has said about autism. I’ll even leave the vaccine debate aside. The way she discusses autism, her experience with autism, her advice for parents with autism..They are NOT my experience. I have four children-two of whom have autism. Do I negate her experience-(with the exception of vaccines )Absolutely not. I don’t speak for Jenny McCarthy. I just wish that she would stop speaking for me. I value my children, in my opinion Ms. McCarthy tries to diminish them.

  125. Adam

    Jenny and Jim are going to appear on Larry King tonight (sorry if this was already noted).

    Email your questions in: http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/larry.king.live/
    Maybe we as a community of skeptics and scientifically minded people can get some real questions in and get her to answer the facts.

  126. Some of these anti-vaccination quotes are great:

    By the way, the government wants 80% of the population dead, and the rest to be SLAVES.

    If those not dead are slaves, even upper case slaves, there would not be anyone to rule the slaves. Maybe the government is not people. I could do a Charlton Heston/Soylent Green rant of, “The government is not people!”

    Please give us the Wikipedia entry for this, with all of the irrelevant links, for our reading pleasure. :-)

    Anyone can throw out links from other blogs or cite studies that other people have done.

    Should the only people commenting be the researchers themselves?

    The research provides information for us to learn about what works and what does not.

    The safety of vaccines is clearly demonstrated by the research. An intelligent person should be able to see that from reading the research. Some of the research is done by drug companies. Some of the research is done by governments, not just the US government. Very little of the research is done independent of both. Regardless of the organizations performing the research, the scientific method allows us to see the way the study was designed. This also allows the studies to be replicated to confirm/disprove the results.

    In the absence of fraud, so far the only vaccine research fraud has been Dr. Wakefield, the paper itself should provide enough information to evaluate the results. Eventually, even fraud is detected and rejected by the medical community. See what happened to Dr. Reuben when his fraud was discovered. Only in the anti-science community is there any defense of researchers who engage in fraud.

    The number of deaths prevented every year by vaccines is in the millions. Where are the babies killed by vaccines?

    Where is the research that connects autism to vaccines? There is no scientific evidence of any connection between autism and vaccines. Although some autistic children will not live long enough to develop symptoms of autism without the protection from fatal diseases.

    Look at the research. THE CDC’s own studies show that increases in Polio skyrocketed after mass vaccination for Polio began.

    Here is a link to a chart of the incidence of polio from 1951 to 1993 from the CDC web site. There are arrows to show when the Salk vaccine was licensed in 1954 and when the Sabin vaccine was licensed in 1961. The chart is logarithmic and shows the rate per 100,000 population. The numbers of new cases of polio dropped from about 35,000 per year before the Salk vaccine, to less than 1,000 per year before the Sabin vaccine. The current number of polio cases in the US is zero per year. Worldwide the number is around 2,000. The cases that do occur are almost entirely in unvaccinated populations.

    While the vaccines are not perfect, they are much safer than the alternative.

    Do some research and you will see that vaccines do not work the way they are intended. They have no proven efficacy.

    Right. The government is covering up all of the cases of polio, small pox, measles, mumps, . . . that are not being prevented by the vaccines. Now look into my MIB memory disruptor so that you won’t remember this. Wait for the flash.

    Totally healthy girls are dying from Gardasil.

    They are dead, but they are totally healthy? Interesting world you live in.

    People write crap about Jenny that’s not pertinent to her autism cause because they are unable to refute intellectually what she has said. The autism community that believes vaccines are to blame, are making such headway these days that those opposed to us are running scared. I truly believe this ……….

    There is no science to support her claims. All of science refutes her uninformed ranting. Why would that give you any confidence in your belief?

    Jenny McCarthy does not speak for the autism community. She speaks for a fringe group of anti-vaccinationists.

    There is no choice between autism and disease. Vaccines do not cause autism. Avoiding vaccines does not decrease the chance of acquiring autism. Not getting vaccinated does increase the chances of becoming infected with a fatal disease. The more children not vaccinated, the greater the risk. Illnesses need unvaccinated populations to spread.

    Jenny is trying to provide a population that is safe for fatal illnesses.

  127. Brenda

    I was once a believer that vaccines caused my oldest child’s autism.
    We had 3 more children. The last 3 were not vaccinated.
    Our youngest, and unvaccinated child, is the most severely
    affected by autism.
    Before you ask, yes, they have all been vaccinated now.
    Before you ask, no, I did not have any vaccinations prior to their births.

    When Mr. Handley conveniently spewed that autism equals mercury
    poisoning, he opened the floodgates for propaganda.
    Now, Jenny McCarthy is doing the same thing.

    Ask Jenny these questions:
    Why does your son walk on his toes?
    Why does your son have limited eye contact?
    Why does your son not attend regular education classes?
    Why does your son flap and buzz?

    Why? Autism, that is why !!!!

  128. Todd W.

    @Brenda

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  129. On the subject specifically of Polio, Scientific American has an article about Nigeria (not dealing with smuggling millions of dollars out through your bank account)

    J/P=?

  130. Lynn Adams

    Hey all you “concerned” people…..SOME KIDS ARE IMPACTED BY VACCINES, HENCE THE VACCINE INJURY FUND! Not all kids with autism have adverse reactions, but some do. Some are born with autism,others regress and develop it later. The genetic “science” is weak at best. The genes in question were found in less than 5% of those with autism. The studies touted to vindicate vaccines are retrospective. There have been ZERO double blind randomized clinical trials on the impact of 35 injections, many containing more than one virus. Stop villifying those who believe their child was harmed.

  131. My family has a history of being deathly allergic to elements within vaccines, including my grandmother. I don’t have them thankfully, and I had access to Mercury-free vaccines as well.

    But what if my kids have that allergy? Wouldn’t getting the vaccine guarantee death? Seems to me that unless my progeny wins the same genetic lottery I did, I’m screwed either way.

    Why do I say that? Look at the pure venom that comes from both sides here! Jenny McCarthy is a mis-informed celebrity, not Dr. Mengele! To read these comments everyone is an idiot and/or a killer, regardless of what side they come down on.

  132. I made a couple of mistakes. The Salk vaccine was licensed in 1955, not 1954. The number of polio cases permanently dropped below 1,000 in the US in 1962, the year after the Sabin vaccine was licensed in the US. I had written the year before. I apologize for my errors.

    The number of cases per year from 1944 to 1961 was:

    1944 19,029

    1945 13,624

    1946 25,698

    1947 10,827

    1948 27,726

    1949 42,033

    1950 33,300

    1951 28,386

    1952 57,879

    1953 35,592

    1954 38,476

    1955 28,985 Salk vaccine licensed.

    1956 15,140

    1957 5,485

    1958 5,787

    1959 8,425

    1960 3,190

    1961 1,312 Sabin vaccine licensed.

    1962 910

    1963 449

    1964 122

    1965 72

    1966 113

    1967 41

    1968 53

    1969 20

    1970 33

    1971 21

    1972 31

    1973 8

    From the CDC:

    table of notifiable diseases 1964-1973
    .

    table of notifiable diseases 1954-1963
    .

    table of notifiable diseases 1944-1953
    .

  133. Make that 1944 to 1973. Why stop at 1961. After 1973 the number was never over 34.

  134. Arkle,

    My family has a history of being deathly allergic to elements within vaccines, including my grandmother. I don’t have them thankfully, and I had access to Mercury-free vaccines as well.

    But what if my kids have that allergy? Wouldn’t getting the vaccine guarantee death? Seems to me that unless my progeny wins the same genetic lottery I did, I’m screwed either way.

    Anaphylaxis, the fancy medical term for life threatening allergy, is generally treatable in medical facilities. The treatment is epinephrine, which many allergic people carry around in an EpiPen. Nobody should be giving people medication with the potential for allergic reaction without the ability to treat that reaction.

  135. Lynn Adams,

    Hey all you “concerned” people…..SOME KIDS ARE IMPACTED BY VACCINES, HENCE THE VACCINE INJURY FUND!

    The vaccine injury fund is a political/legal creation based on the possibility that vaccines could cause harm. It does not mean that vaccines cause autism. The presence of a vaccine injury fund is not proof of anything. All medications have risks. The risks from the vaccines are tiny compared to the risk from the illnesses.

    Jenny McCarthy does not understand this and thinks that it would be better to have children infected with these fatal illnesses, rather than receive vaccines. That is dangerous and irresponsible. That deserves criticism.

    Not all kids with autism have adverse reactions, but some do. Some are born with autism,others regress and develop it later.

    Show some research to support any connection between autism and vaccines.

    There have been ZERO double blind randomized clinical trials on the impact of 35 injections, many containing more than one virus.

    The research clearly shows that there is no increase in autism among vaccinated children compared to non-vaccinated children. Until there is some scientific basis for believing otherwise, it makes no sense to believe that the vaccine had any more to do with the onset of autism, than parents scolding the child does. Autism has nothing to do with vaccines.

    Stop villifying those who believe their child was harmed.

    As long as these parents are encouraging other parents to endanger their children, they are villains.

    Vaccines are overwhelmingly beneficial to children.

    Encouraging parents to avoid vaccinating their children is dangerous to those children.

    Child endangerment deserves to be criticized.

    Child endangerment demands to be criticized.

  136. Zetetic

    @Lynn Adams: no one here is discounting the rare (but not rare enough) problem of things like an allergic reaction to vaccinations. That is one of the reasons why the Vaccine Court was set up. That is the same court BTW that declared that even with their best cases, that the pro-disease crowd still couldn’t show a connection to autism from vaccines. Yes, there a few people that do have real verifiable reactions to vaccines. Regardless, vaccines still save far more lives than there are risks for.

    Please read again the list of polio cases and how they fell over time. While you’re at it please take a good look at the picture of the polio Iron Lung ward I posted earlier, from before mass polio vaccination started.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iron_Lung_ward-Rancho_Los_Amigos_Hospital.gif

    That Iron Lung ward is what Jenny McCarthy and others want to bring back to this country. She has as much as admitted in with her comment in the recent article in Time
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1888718,00.html

    I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f___ing fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s s___. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

    It doesn’t matter to her that the vaccines today don’t cause autism, as has been show in study after study around the world. She would rather have children die due to her imagined fears of vaccinations. She still seems to think that they contain antifreeze, it doesn’t. But she’s just that ignorant of the subject, for which she’s more than willing to let other peoples children die for.

    The ironic thing is that the medical companies are trying to develop new and better vaccines. They’re developing vaccines that need fewer doses & that don’t cause an allergic reaction in some people. Unfortunately, people like Jenny McCarthy may be pushing research away from such avenues, since no matter what the medical companies do, no vaccine will be safe enough in Jenny and the anti-vaxer’s imaginations. In other words people with real risks from vaccines are being put in danger by Jenny’s imaginary risks.

    Why should medical companies put time and money into safer (reducing the risk of allergic reaction) and better vaccines, when they are being attacked and sued for things that the current ones don’t even cause? They’ll just be exposing themselves to further risk.
    Even if Jenny and her minions don’t stop such research, they certainly aren’t helping it to progress.

  137. It is sad to see how science has lost it’s power to all sorts of ‘religious’ sects. Just about anybody can claim to know the facts these days, without having sustainable proof. It is really, really sad.

  138. Gary Ansorge

    For the last fraking time: See the Danish study of over a half million children, vaccinated vs unvaccinated and their respective autism rates. Note : THERE IS NO FRAKING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN VACCINES AND AUTISM!!!

    I’m tired of all these trolls. I’m going to bed,,,

    http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/325/7373/1134/a

    GAry 7

  139. Dana

    I can’t believe we aren’t attacking Jenny McCarthy/the anti-vax movement even more. Don’t forget herd immunity. If too many parents refuse to get their children vaccinated, we all suffer…not just their kids.

    I have a question for the anti-vaxxers. If vaccines do cause autism, then why don’t *all* children who get vaccinated become autistic? My son is fully vaccinated and has no symptoms of autism.

    Also, why is being autistic worse than being dead? I mean, hypothetically speaking, even if there was a risk of vaccines causing children to be autistic, I’d still get my son vaccinated. And, yes, I know children who are autistic. I know it’s extremely difficult to raise an autistic child, but really, you think parents should take the chance of killing their children over the chance of their being autistic?

    I’ll take autistic over dead any day.

  140. Todd W.

    @Arkle

    For those vaccines containing allergens for which your family has a known history, I would suggest discussing things with your children’s pediatrician before they are scheduled to get those vaccinations. They could be tested for allergic reactions, and, if they have them, avoid those vaccines. If the allergy test reveals that it is not a severe allergy, they might still be able to get the vaccination. And, as Rogue Medic said, if your kids do have an allergic reaction, the physician should have the appropriate medicines on hand to treat it.

    In the end, the best thing to do is to talk to your doctor. Bring up the fact that your family has a history of the allergies, and state your concern for whether the vaccine will cause a reaction in your kids. Also, be sure to read the labeling for the vaccines so you can find out which ones are contraindicated. Also, pay a visit to the FDA and CDC web sites for more information on vaccines.

  141. Todd W.

    @Lynn Adams

    SOME KIDS ARE IMPACTED BY VACCINES, HENCE THE VACCINE INJURY FUND!

    Okay, it looks like there is need for some education here, a little history lesson as it were.

    Back in the ’80s, vaccine manufacturers were threatened by law suits due to a lot of media reporting of injuries and deaths thought (though not proven) to be related to vaccines. The costs of such suits were too high for many companies and some just stopped making vaccines altogether. This had the potential of allowing preventable diseases to make a resurgence in the U.S.

    So, representatives of manufacturers, physicians, public health organizations, government and citizens got together and came up with the idea for the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, a no-fault alternative to the tort system. The goals would be to reduce the number of law suits against companies for injuries, and the fault would instead be borne by the government, which would pay out awards for duly demonstrated links between injuries and vaccines. The result would be that manufacturers would not need to worry as much about costly, lengthy law suits, allowing them to focus on producing vaccines to meet public need. It would also give individuals a fair way to seek redress for any injury received. The system also allows individuals the right to reject the ruling of the Vaccine Court and file a suit in the tort system.

    To sum up, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was a way to head off a public health threat (decreased supply of vaccines/increased risk of preventable communicable diseases) while still allowing a fair system for compensation in the event that injury were to occur. It was more of a political thing, rather than an acknowledgment that vaccines are dangerous. They do carry risks, but not to the degree you, Lynn (and Jenny McCarthy, David Kirby, RFK Jr., Andrew Wakefield and others in the pro-disease movement), make it out to be.

  142. Peter B

    There was a poignant story on the news tonight here in Canberra (Australia). A woman in her 80s today marked the 60th anniversary of her placement in an iron lung. She caught polio back in 1949 and was left paralysed – if it hadn’t been for the iron lung, she’d be dead. She now spends 21 hours a day in the iron lung.

  143. BenL

    Phil, I just saw this linked on reddit and thought you may want to see it.

    http://narrolibertas.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/the-dangers-of-vaccines/

  144. Andy Cooke

    Jeez, there are some dangerously ignorant people out there.

    Surely if there was no link, we’d expect that in Japan, when the MMR vaccine was discontinued back in 1992, there wouldn’t have been a drop in ASD? Whereas when we check, we find that … um … okay, there wasn’t a drop. And it kept going up like in the rest of the world. So that kind of indicates no link at all, really. Let’s forget that one.

    -quickly shuffles papers-

    Hah – Denmark did a study based around EVERY child vaccinated/not-vaccinated with MMR between January 1991 and December 1998 (when they used exactly the same vaccine as in the US). If there was no link, then there wouldn’t have been a difference between the rates of autism development in Denmark between MMR-vaccinated children and unvaccinated children, right? There was – but they say that the slight difference was only due to statistical error, even though over half a million kids were in the sample. So we can conclude that there’s a “relative risk of 0.86 for vaccinated children”, which means that – um – vaccinated children would be LESS likely to develop an ASD. Ah. Umm, okay, we’ll accept that it’s a statistical variation.

    -shuffles papers again-

    What about Wakefield – peer reviewed proof. Alright, so he had to lie through his teeth in order to find the link that the lawyers paid him nearly half a million pounds to come up with, but hey – let’s gloss over that, shall we?
    Nah, you’re right – that one sucks as well.

    -shuffles papers again-

    Hah – anecdotes, that always works. My son developed regressive autism after getting an MMR shot! I won’t mention that it was several months afterwards because not even an idiot could link those – oh, hell, I’ve just said it.

    Sorry, antivaxxers. I tried, but I just couldn’t come up with anything remotely credible. Your stance is daft at best, dangerous at worst. I understand the urge to blame someone, ANYONE, for your misfortune (I share in it), but this doesn’t work. Being a tool for the “where there’s blame, there’s a claim” lawyers and snake-oil salesmen isn’t going to help your kid. Neither is encouraging measles deaths. Or mumps. Or any other vaccine-preventable deaths that we really should, as a species, find utterly unacceptable in this day and age.

    Vaccines don’t cause ASD. It’s been investigated to ridiculous lengths. But where the lawyers smell money, they won’t give up, so they’ll keep trying their luck, despite distracting all this attention and funding down a known blind alley when a real solution might have been just around the corner. As the parent of a child with ASD, I’m not exacty grateful for that … as the parent of three children, I’m not grateful for the fact that herd immunity (Why not call it “community immunity”? – It rhymes and sums it up well – those who don’t get their children vaccinated are letting down the community) is being clobbered so that babies can now die from a disease all but stamped out in my country a few years ago.

  145. Todd W.

    @Andy Cooke

    Why not call it “community immunity”? – It rhymes and sums it up well – those who don’t get their children vaccinated are letting down the community

    Brings to mind the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.”

    Nice satire, by the way.

  146. James

    So for UK readers how did King’s show turn out on Friday; a fair and balanced debate or a marketing campaign for the antivaxxers?

  147. Marco

    I only huestion for those who say vaccines do not trigger autism in children:
    Why has the vaccine court (HHS) awarded BILLIONS in vaccine injury damages?

    It’s obvious. We deffer to the CDC to tell us what we need to vaccinate against, and then we grab and stab. Those we injur, we pay for in the vaccine court.

    So far nobody can reconcile this. Bottom line those in the CDC make a fortune off their patents, while being given conflict of interest waivers.

    To all who doubt. Please be sure to give your children all the vaccines EXACTLY as the CDC says to do. And PLEASE use the ones with mercury. Remmeber make sure you vaccinate your kids at 2 months regardles. And dont separate the MMR. Because after all, the presence of a virus doesnt really send mercury to the brain.

    I’ll see your kids on the short bus!

  148. Todd W.

    @Marco

    I only huestion for those who say vaccines do not trigger autism in children:
    Why has the vaccine court (HHS) awarded BILLIONS in vaccine injury damages?

    First off, please read my post above regarding the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Second, the vaccine court awards injury damages because the people who win their claims have shown that vaccines more likely than not caused their injuries. If you will note, not a single case has been won in the vaccine court by someone claiming that vaccines caused autism.

    So far nobody can reconcile this.

    Actually, we have. Again, see my post about the VICP. To prevent a dearth of vaccines while still allowing those suffering injury, the VICP was set up. Claimants can still go to the tort system after the vaccine court if they want to hold the manufacturer specifically accountable and prove fault. Without the vaccine court, manufacturers would be sued directly, and a good number of them would probably just stop making vaccines, leading to a public health crisis and quite likely epidemics of preventable diseases.

    Please be sure to give your children all the vaccines EXACTLY as the CDC says to do. And PLEASE use the ones with mercury. Remmeber make sure you vaccinate your kids at 2 months regardles.

    Quite a large number of people do follow the CDC suggested schedule of vaccinations and never have any problems. What makes it to the vaccine court represents a very small percentage of the total population receiving vaccines.

    And dont separate the MMR. Because after all, the presence of a virus doesnt really send mercury to the brain.

    Are you suggesting the MMR has mercury in it? Perhaps you could provide some citation for this? Last I checked, MMR never had mercury in it.

    Also, do you claim that a virus somehow transports mercury to the brain? Can you cite a source to back up that claim? What is the mechanism by which a virus transports the mercury?

    Might I suggest you do a little more research and educate yourself about the subject before you try debating it again? You clearly do not understand how the VICP works, how vaccines work, nor how the CDC works.

  149. Marco,

    The vaccine court has not awarded billions of dollars for claims of vaccines causing autism.

    Everything you wrote is a lie.

    Stop trying to get parents to endanger their children.

  150. Zetetic

    @Marco

    Please stop telling lies that kill children. If you had even bothered to do ANY real research, or tried to read the prior posts… you would have seen that your points were already refuted.

    The awards from the vaccine court are for things like severe allergic reactions, and other types of damage caused by rare immune reactions to vaccines. All of which, while tragic, represent a very small portion of the population, and are far outweighed by the benefits of mass vaccination. There have been zero awards for autism, although the pro-disease crowd continues to lie about it.

    Just recently the court heard arguments from the best cases the anti-vaxers could come up with, to try and show a link between autism and vaccines…. and they lost.

    http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=478

    You also very ignorantly seem to assume that just the CDC is involved in vaccine research. I’m going to predict that in addition to being ignorant on the subject, that you are also in the USA since you seem to have no clue about the other governments around the world that also have done large studies, and yet continue to find no link to autism for vaccines .

    Please tell us Marco…why is that the only study that backs up your side (Wakefield) had to be faked if your position is true?

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/02/why_am_i_not_surprised_it_looks_as_thoug.php

  151. Andy Cooke

    @ Marco,
    Marco, You are stupid, wilfully ignorant, and dangerous to boot.
    Of your 4 key assumptions and statements (“Why has the vaccine court (HHS) awarded BILLIONS in vaccine injury damages?”, “Bottom line those in the CDC make a fortune off their patents, while being given conflict of interest waivers.”, “And PLEASE use the ones with mercury”) precisely zero are well-founded.
    As the information is not only out there but presented in easy to digest chunks on the blog, I can only conclude that you are wilfully ignorant and happy to be a shill for lawyers and snake-oil salesmen whilst ensuring that those of us who want help for our children don’t get it.

    You don’t even have my pity, merely my disgust.

  152. Timber

    A sad problem of vaccines is that with many, a small but statistically significant number of children will get harmed under the best of circumstances. OTOH, for the vast majority, not contracting Polio, etc. and being crippled for life is a huge benefit.

    But then again, a certain number of people are going to be needlessly killed every year by medical mistakes. Does that mean we should refuse urgent medical care?

    Boosting immune response to a pathogen is not a risk-free venture. But as my mother said about nerve damage in her legs from the chemotherapy which knocked down the cancer that had almost killed her before it was properly diagnosed, “consider the alternative”.

  153. Randall Johnston

    Last night (5thAUG2009) Coast to Coast A.M. with George Noory spent 4 HOURS spreading anti-vaccination propaganda. A “panel of experts” was telling the listeners to avoid all inoculations at any cost. It was appalling. Here in Canada that broadcast could probably get the program banned as posing a threat to public health. I’m glad that the Bad Astronomer no longer appears on Coast to Coast. That show has become consistently alarmist, reactionary and hostile towards science.

  154. Peaquod

    I have never visited this site before, and only stumbled across this article by chance. After reading most of the comments, from both parties, it is immediately apparent that there is a huge gulf in the intelligence levels between the two ‘camps’ in this debate.
    On the one side, there are some articulate, well-argued points, backed up with clear reference and meaningful citations, and on the other, there are those who are against vaccinations.
    Whether you are for or against vaccinations should not be of any concern; the fact that many of you are unable to form a cogent argument, or even correctly structure a sentence is a far more important issue, and one which needs addressing far more urgently.

  155. Michele

    I normally would agree with the posters who object to personal demonization of McCarthy as an ineffective tool in the debate, but think this is actually the ONLY thing, given our ridiculous cultural fascination with celebrity, that might truly rouse the public out of their fugue.

    There is a parent’s advocacy site that is pro-vaccine and publishes a newsletter called the Vaccine Times with all sorts of firsthand horrific stories from the parents themselves about what happened when their unvaccinated children got a preventable communicable disease or their community was harmed by lack of herd immunity because of widespread anti-vaxxer idiocy. These folks never have a platform on Oprah or Larry King–never.

    Sadly, we live in the age of manufactured drama and ‘reality tv.’ The way our media and our society work now, the only way to even get the message out is through something as shocking and ‘in your face’ as this is. If the media refuses to cover the real story of the dangers of the anti-vaxxer movement, they might at least cover the controversy as anti-vaxxer’s rally around their demi-god and her reputation.

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