An Open Letter to Oprah

By Phil Plait | May 18, 2009 12:00 pm

This has been spreading through the ‘net and through Twitter, and I’m throwing my weight behind it too. This letter, written by Shirley Wu, is perfect, and I hope beyond hope that Ms. Winfrey will see it. Here’s an excerpt:

To me, it is clear that a significant number of people look up to you, and trust your advice and judgment. That is why it is such a huge mistake for you to endorse Jenny McCarthy with her own show on your network.

Surely you must realize that McCarthy is neither a medical professional nor a scientist. And yet she acts as a spokesperson for the anti-vaccination movement, a movement that directly impacts people’s health. Claims that vaccines are unsafe and cause autism have been refuted time after time, but their allure persists in part because of high-profile champions for ignorance like McCarthy.

This letter is clear, factual, calm, and hits the right notes perfectly. Spread the word. Send the link to your friends and family, talk about, post it on Twitter, Facebook, wherever. Get the word out.

Like it or not, Oprah has a huge influence. I suspect the letter above is not even enough; she needs to actively denounce what McCarthy is saying. Still, we take what we can. Oprah now has a chance to lay down a path to either promote thousands of children getting sick and even dying, or to perhaps save those same lives.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Piece of mind

Comments (51)

  1. Dan Harlow

    Oprah’s show directly influences not just a random sampling of millions of average people, but directly speaks towards parents – specifically the millions of moms who are most likely to be the parent taking care of things like vaccinations. If Oprah can get people to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez (or anything for that matter really) then she can also influence opinions on scientific matters with those same people.

  2. Bad Albert

    What’s the use? Doprah already knows all the stuff in that letter. The truth doesn’t matter to her. She is a businesswoman and woo sells.

  3. Lawyer

    Why does anyone listen to Oprah? Its sensational and appeals to our rapidly growing stupidity because we have slacked on math and science education.

    Really, the cure for most of this stuff is going to be long-term increases in math and science education. (I think?)

    While emotion (and its crippling effect on reason) may have served its evolutionary purpose when we shot spears at mammoths, for the future, we need to look overcome responsiveness to sensationalistic babble that appears on TV (and CNN headlines!) and look to educating the masses in math and science.

  4. Joe Meils

    It is my supreme hope, that if this anti-vax crap continues, that some parent(s) who felt they were deliberately misled by these bozos will turn around and SUE THEM OUT OF EXISTENCE. They are causing real harm to people, and they should be held responsible.

    Too bad if Oprah (worth almost a full billion on her own) turns out to be included on that action. If people can sue Michael Jackson over an overnight stay at Neverland Ranch, I don’t see why McCarthy and Oprah and the rest of the anti-vax nutjobs can’t be held responsible for the BS they are spouting.

  5. Derek

    Joe, I definitely agree with you about getting litigious where we can – the best place to hit these people is definitely their wallets!

    Also, apologies for going off topic, but Phil…if you haven’t seen this, it probably merits a blog post from you. I warn you, this is not for the faint of heart:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090518/pl_afp/usiraqpoliticsreligionrumsfeld_20090518141801

  6. Chip

    I want to ask Oprah if she allows the girls in her well toughted school in S. Africa to be vaccinate? I suspect that they do recieve vaccinations although I dont know for sure thats why I want to ask. And if so, then why does she stand for Jennys rantings here in the USA. Phil youre famous ( and friends with Mythbuster Adam Savage so that proves it)…cant you talk with Oprah and ask her for me?

  7. Well written. I wrote a similar letter to Larry King last month, But it was not nearly as well done.
    http://freephilosophicaldiscussions.blogspot.com/2009/04/open-letter-to-larry-king.html

  8. Cracked also has a good little piece up about Jenny and Oprah.

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/dont-listen-to-jenny-mccarthy

  9. To anyone who is against vaccines, please read the info linked by clicking on my name. I’m posting it below as well, but the linked version is much easier to read.

    —————————————————————————————————————————-
    Before making any comments on how evil vaccines are and how they cause autism, please read the following. I apologize for the length, but the mouthpieces of the pro-disease anti-vax movement spout so much nonsense and misinformation.

    A brief explanation of terms: After receiving some feedback on this post, I want to clear up my use of the terms “anti-vax” and “pro-disease”. By anti-vax, I am referring to those individuals who actively argue that vaccines are bad and should be abandoned, as well as those whose arguments against vaccines have the effect of reducing vaccinations. I am not using the term to refer to the average person who may have questions or doubts about vaccines. I use “pro-disease”, as well, because these people’s actions are effectively working to bring diseases back into common circulation. In other words, by arguing against vaccines, they are effectively arguing for vaccine-preventable diseases. See the section on Vaccines in General, below, for more on how reduced vaccination rates lead to higher rates of vaccine-preventable diseases. While some may find these terms offensive, I am going to keep them in until I find a better term to describe the people involved. If you would like to give me feedback, click on my name at the bottom of this page.
    MMR

    (info available from FDA, CDC, investigative reports by Brian Deer)

    * Some in the pro-disease anti-vax movement claim that the MMR has/had mercury in it. However, the MMR vaccine does not and never has had any mercury in it.
    * The basis of the “MMR vaccine causes autism” argument is a flawed study by Andrew Wakefield, who had several ethics breaches, including failure to disclose financial compensation from a lawyer representing families claiming MMR cause their children’s autism, failure to disclose financial interests in patents for MMR alternatives, failure to include data which contradicted his conclusions, use of contaminated samples to support his conclusions.
    * Independent studies trying to replicate Wakefield’s results have come up negative. To date, no properly controlled study has shown a causal link between vaccines and autism.

    Thimerosal

    (info available from both FDA and CDC)

    * Thimerosal is a preservative that is used in the manufacturing process of some vaccines and other medicines to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, which could otherwise cause illness or injury.
    * It metabolizes into ethylmercury, not methylmercury, a mistake commonly made by pro-disease anti-vaxers who claim that the amount of mercury that used to be in vaccine exceeded EPA exposure guidelines. Those guidelines were for methylmercury, a compound that has a half-life in the body of several weeks to months and is often found in fish or other environmental exposures. Ethylmercury, on the other hand, has a half-life of a few days to about a week, meaning that it is not in the body long enough for it to build up to toxic levels from vaccination to vaccination.
    * It was removed from the final product of nearly all vaccines around 2001/2002. This was a political move, due in large part to public pressure, rather than based on sound science. This was a recommendation rather than a regulatory requirement. A handful of studies that suggested problems with thimerosal, but which were inconclusive, prompted a “better safe than sorry” approach from the FDA while the issue was investigated by FDA, CDC and others. No follow-up studies have found any health risks beyond local hypersensitivity.
    * Some vaccines still use it during the manufacturing process, but remove it from the final product, leaving, at most, trace amounts. The influenza vaccine still uses thimerosal, though thimerosal-free versions are available.
    * Despite the removal of thimerosal from vaccines, resulting in exposure levels lower than anytime in the past, autism rates have not declined, suggesting that there is no connection between thimerosal and autism.
    * To date, no properly controlled study has shown a causal link between thimerosal and autism.

    Other Vaccine Additives

    * Some pro-disease anti-vaxers claim there is antifreeze in vaccines. This is false. Antifreeze is ethylene glycol. Vaccines use polyethylenes glycol. These are different substances, the latter of which is not toxic. More info can be found at Inside Vaccines.
    * Vaccines contain formaldehyde. However, the chemical structure of the formaldehyde in vaccines is the same as that produced by our own bodies. It is used during the manufacturing process, but is diluted to remove it from the finished product, leaving only small or trace amounts. The total amount of formaldehyde in a finished product is far less than what is naturally found in the human body.
    * Vaccines contain aluminum in a salt form. Pro-disease anti-vaxers claim this is toxic, and some will cite that 4ppm will cause blood to coagulate. However, individuals are not exposed to such amounts of aluminum in a single vaccination visit. Below are the vaccines containing aluminum, with the corresponding parts per million (ppm) for an infant (~251 mL of blood in the body) and an 80lb. child (~4000 mL of blood); note the two numbers for DTaP represent extreme ranges of aluminum content.:

    ppm (w/v) = (weight in grams of sample/volume of sample in mL) * 106
    Vaccine ppm in infant ppm in child age received (in months)
    DTaP (170mcg) .677 .043 2, 4, 6, w/ final ~4-6 yrs
    DTaP(625mcg) 2.490 .156
    Hep A .996 .063 12 w/ final ~6 mo. later
    Hep B .996 .063 birth, 1 or 2, final at 6+
    HiB .896 .056 2, 4
    HPV .896 .056 11 or 12 yrs., then 2, 6 mo.
    Pediatrix 3.386 .213 2, 4, 6 (in lieu of DTaP, IPV and Hep B)
    Pentacel 1.315 .083 2, 4, 6, 15-18 (in lieu of DTaP, IPV and HiB)
    Pneumococcus .498 .031 2, 4, 6, 12-15

    * Further, about 71% of the aluminum is excreted from the body after about 5 days or so.

    Polio

    * Pro-disease anti-vaxers claim that polio rates increased after the introduction of the polio vaccine, that OPV spread the disease, and that polio was on a decline before introduction of the vaccine. This is wrong.
    * Before the approval of the vaccine, paralytic polio struck 13,000-20,000 individuals every year in the U.S. The number of cases peaked at 21,000 in 1952, only three years before approval of the vaccine. By 1960, there were only 2,525 cases, and only 61 cases in 1965.
    * The oral polio vaccine (OPV) was nearly 100% effective in preventing polio, though it did have a very small risk of causing paralytic polio in the recipient. OPV-caused paralytic polio resulted in about 6-8 cases per year. However, when vaccination rates were low, OPV had the added benefit of contact immunity. In other words, the virus from the vaccine was present in the stool, resulting in about 25% of people who came in contact with the immunized person would also become immune.
    * With the eradication of wild type polio in the U.S., the OPV vaccine is no longer used, and the less effective inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is used. This version does not cause paralytic polio. OPV has not been used in the U.S. since 2000.

    Vaccine Court and National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)

    (info available from the Autism Omnibus Proceedings)

    * Pro-disease anti-vaxers claim that Hannah Poling and Bailey Banks are examples of successful Vaccine Court cases where vaccines caused autism. This is wrong.
    * Hannah Poling was found to have a mitochondrial disorder, and that the vaccine worsened her condition. The court did not rule that a vaccine caused autism. Note, mitochondrial disorder is not autism, though some in the anti-vax camp claim it is.
    * Bailey Banks was found to have suffered acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). This disease occurs in approximately 1 or 2 per million vaccine recipients, compared with 1 per 1,000 individuals infected with measles and 1 per 500 rubella infections. The court ruled that this is a type of pervasive developmental disorder, but made clear that it is not autism. Like the Poling case, anti-vaxers try to distort the truth to make their case. In the case of ADEM, vaccination helps reduce the risk of contracting the disease by reducing the likelihood of natural infection.
    * Despite the low standards of proof in the vaccine court (more likely than not, or 50% + a hair), no one has been able to establish a causal relationship between vaccines and autism.
    * In three of the best cases put forth by the anti-vax movement, the court ruled in all three that vaccines did not cause the individuals’ autism.
    * Before VICP, the media fueled fears about vaccines, leading to increases in law suits and many manufacturers halting production of vaccines altogether. The VICP was proposed by a coalition of government, health organization, and industry representatives, as well as physicians and ordinary citizens as a means to ensure a suitable supply of vaccines while allowing legal recourse to those injured by vaccines.
    * Individuals may still seek damages through the tort system, if they choose, though they must then prove not only that the vaccine caused the injury, but also that the manufacturer was at fault.

    Vaccines in General

    * Pro-disease anti-vaxers want vaccines that are 100% safe. This is never going to happen, as all medicines carry some risk. However, the relative risk of injury from vaccines is significantly lower than the risk of injury from getting the disease naturally. For more information, see the CDC website.
    * Reduced vaccination rates lead to higher incidents of infection. This has been illustrated in the U.K. following Wakefield’s bogus study, in Germany in 2006 (including two deaths in unvaccinated children), in California, in MN (where an unvaccinated child died from hemophilus influenza type b).
    * Pro-disease anti-vaxers claim that “Big Pharma” makes lots of money from vaccines. If vaccination rates dropped, however, there would be an increase in preventable illnesses, many of which have high rates of complications resulting in hospitalization and expensive treatment. See the link about Germany above for information on costs associated with the measles outbreak there. The money to be made from the diseases far outweighs any money to be made from vaccines.
    * Pro-disease anti-vaxers claim that better hygiene has led to a decrease in disease, rather than vaccines. However, many of the diseases prevented by vaccines are airborne, and are not greatly impacted by improved sanitation or hygiene.
    * Pro-disease anti-vaxers claim that too many antigens (the parts that make the vaccines work) are given at once, ignoring that infants and children are exposed to thousands of antigens every day by touching things and putting their hands or the object in their mouth, through absorption or by inhaling.
    * They claim that combination shots should be avoided, and that parents should break up the vaccinations into individual vaccines and spread them out. However, this increases the total number of shots received, as well as exposure to those various “toxins” they hate so much.
    * There have been no properly controlled studies establishing a causal link between vaccines and autism.
    * There have been numerous properly controlled studies sponsored and run by various people and organizations around the world that have shown no link between vaccines and autism.

    Population X and Vaccines/Autism

    * Pro-disease anti-vaxers claim the Amish do not vaccinate and do not have autism. This stems from a lie by Dan Olmsted from Age of Autism. The Amish do, in fact, vaccinate, and it appears that their rates of autism may be lower than in the general population.
    * Some claim that the Chinese do not have a word for autism (they do, it’s 自闭症 [zì bì zhèng]). And simply not having a word for the disease does not mean that it does not exist, merely that it is not recognized as a specific disorder. Did autism only afflict people after someone created the diagnosis? No, but it may have been called something else.
    * The same claim about the Chinese has been made about Somalis due to a recent article about Somalis in Minnesota. Again, lack of recognition does not mean that the disease never occurred in the population. Further, the cases in Minnesota do not have a consistent connection to vaccines. Some of those with autism have been vaccinated, some have not. Despite a lack of evidence, Generation Rescue (which runs Age of Autism) has told the Somali parents that vaccines were the cause.

    Additional Resources

    Sites for info on vaccine safety, efficacy and general information:

    * U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    * U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
    * American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
    * Health Canada
    * U.K. Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency
    * Immunization Advisory Centre (IMAC) at the University of Aukland, New Zealand
    * Australian Immunization Handbook – large pdf file
    * World Health Organization (WHO)
    * World Health Organization – “Global Immunization Data October 2008″
    * Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)
    * Every Child By Two
    * Vaccinate Your Baby

    Sites for info on clinical trials and other research:

    * ClinicalTrials.gov
    * PubMed

    Other sites:

    * Respectful Insolence
    * BlogHer – “My Child Has Autism and I Vaccinate”
    * WiseGeek – “What is Herd Immunity?”

  10. Bicky

    Oprah lives in her own world of make believe. She has enough money and friends to support it.

  11. Consider this Facebook, Twitter, and Blog Spammed!

  12. Old Geezer

    I’m trying to recall. Isn’t this the same Oprah who castigated an author on her show because his book turned out to be fiction instead of fact? Maybe there should be a whole Jenny episode for Oprah to tee off on vaccination lies. I mean, she would want to defend the truth wouldn’t she?

  13. Michigan Gardener

    Old Geezer,

    Yes, you recall correctly. Oprah had promoted James Frey’s book, A Million Little Pieces, which supposedly was a memoir of Frey’s life. Then, when it came out that the book was fiction, she castigated him on her show. However, she has since decided that she was too harsh on Frey The Liar, and, according to Vanity Fair, she called Frey. From the article:

    She’d had an epiphany of sorts while meditating that morning. It was time to apologize for what she put him through on that fateful day. She explained that her uncharacteristically harsh evisceration of him was coming, unfairly, from her own ego and sense of having been personally betrayed—a redemptive moment fitting, you might say, of The Oprah Winfrey Show. “It was a nice surprise to hear from her, and I really appreciated the call and the sentiment,” says Frey. “When I heard her say, ‘I felt I owe you an apology,’ I was very grateful. As far as I’m concerned, that part of my career is over and behind me and I’m looking forward to writing more books.”

    Frey has some more books coming out, and I’m sure Oprah apologized to get on his good side, so he will appear on her show to promote his new books. She is not interested in truth, she is only interested in $$.

  14. A Nonny Moose

    Facebook’d :)

    What Oprah needs to do is put Jenny McCarthy up against Bill and Melinda Gates on her show. If “Celebrity Is Authority” is the only thing that will reach the dumb masses, let’s find out who has the bigger push – one of the men who revolutionized the computer industry, or a B-list ex-Playboy bunny.

  15. Today’s dose of irony:
    Came across this Autism/vaccination “news” website while following links from your blog post – http://tinyurl.com/2zs2nz (ageofautism dot com)

    While it appears to strive for sincerity I almost choked from the irony of articles criticizing celebrities for their gall in encouraging people to get vaccinated, and criticizing medical researchers for faking their results, and finally blaming the self-interest of the vaccine industry for putting profit above people’s health.. on a website funded by a pharmaceutical manufacturer for drugs to treat autism.

    This dragon will not go down easily with so many heads sprouting from the money-storm erupting from the media. Good luck Phil and Shirley Wu and everyone trying to reach Oprah’s ear. She’s much smarter than this. It’s a good effort.

  16. Starting out the letter with “I don’t watch your show” is silly and negates the whole effort; nobody who needs to listen to it will pay attention after that.

    It might as well begin “I’m too intelligent to watch daytime talk shows, but I’ll stoop to commenting because you need my insight …”

  17. Colin

    If Hydrogen is 92 percent and Helium 8 percent and Oxygen 1percent, that adds up to 101 percent? There is an error in the numbers but not the thinking! Hydrogen dioxide is abundant in the Universe

  18. Colin

    Dihydrogen monoxide is even more abundant

  19. Sorry, but Oprah’s history leads me to believe that this effort to influence Oprah is a waste of time. She promotes Dr. Northrup’s “bioidentical hormone” crap and her urgings to “feel the qi” in the vagina. She gives a voice to woo-meisters near and far. She even promotes the frikkin’ Secret!

    She is beyond redemption.

  20. Ryan

    She promotes Dr. Northrup’s “bioidentical hormone” crap and her urgings to “feel the qi” in the vagina.

    Wow… The impetus for that one South Park episode with mingee now makes a lot more sense… LoL.

  21. Jeff Fite

    I just submitted this letter to Oprah herself:

    Dear Ms. Winfrey,

    No doubt, by now, you have been made aware of an open letter to you written by Shirley Wu. (URL provided below.) Ms. Wu implores you not to endorse or support Jenny McCarthy in a national television show, because Ms. Wu believes Ms. McCarthy’s position on vaccination is uninformed and a danger to public health, and a national forum for her beliefs would promulgate a public health disaster.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    I am a medical professional and the father of an autistic child. I have followed the science behind Andrew Wakefield’s claims and the subsequent implication of the measles vaccine–and then thimerosal–as primary causes of autistic spectrum disorders. The evidence is clear that they are not to blame.

    And yet Ms. McCarthy has positioned herself at the front of an anti-vaccination movement that has existed since Edward Jenner discovered the first vaccine in 1792, by continuing to claim that vacccines caused her son’s autism. As one who has shared that experiance, I am deeply sympathetic to the pain she and her son and loved ones have experienced as a result of her son’s autism, the simple fact is that she is incorrect.

    While scientific criticism is healthy and essential to the growth of knowledge, it is telling that anti-vaccination sentiment persists long after the scientific evidence is clear. The conclusion must be that, when a vaccine has been proven over and again to be safe and effective, resistance to it is based in emotion, not reason. To persist in one’s argument despite compelling evidence to the contrary is unhealthy and unhelpful.

    Please give serious consideration to withdrawing your support for Ms. McCarthy’s ambition until her views align with the best evidence available.

    Regards,
    –Jeff Fite, PA-C, MPAS

    Shirley Wu’s open letter to you:
    http://shirleywho.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/an-open-letter-to-oprah/

  22. Michael Gray

    Oprah seems to be a very special kind of “ignorance-junkie”.

    I have no idea why otherwise sane folk obsequiously pander to her unearned fame, (in the same manner as special deference is afforded the variety of outrageously infantile superstition called ‘religion’).

    In a perfect world, I would have her prosecuted for aiding and abetting the negligent homicide of infants as soon as she contracted that criminally dangerous anti-vaxxer delinquent, instead of being sychophanticly ‘gently asked’ to reconsider her quite obscene genocidal position.

    And that is putting my feelings mildly…

  23. Jim Ernst

    From the comments on the other blog…

    Tell Oprah what you want McCarthy to cover on her show!
    https://www.oprah.com/plugform.jsp?plugId=1985511&referer=http://www.oprah.com/ord/

    See the McCarthy body count–
    http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Jenny_McCarthy_Body_Count/Home.html

  24. Winter Solstice Man

    Ages ago she had a program on people who said they had life after death experiences. All of their stories were accepted with no one questioning or critiquing them. And they were all from Western Christian backgrounds, so not one example of someone from a different religion who came back after being clinically dead was examined for comparison.

    Don’t expect science from this woman. But do expect her to make sure her name and face are prominently displayed everywhere. Like she needs it.

    By the way, anyone who remembers her early shows will recall they were more along the lines of Jerry Springer than her attempts to look so noble and distinguished now. Males strippers, trailer trash, and everything else one might expect from the likes of Springer. Phil Donohue on the other hand was always intelligent and always had dignified programs, but of course the networks took him off the air.

  25. Daffy

    It’s true: Oprah has a HUGE influence. And I DON’T like it. How sad that effort has to be made to influence such person. But I agree it’s necessary.

  26. Ann

    Bought frigging time. For smart people, you sure can act dumb.

  27. Gary Ansorge

    Winter Solstice Man:
    “Western Christian backgrounds, so not one example of someone from a different religion who came back,,,”

    So, you want someone w/o such a background?
    How about me?
    I’m a rational/materialist who experienced the “mystics high”.
    It really is a “high” and as the rastafarians say, “de higher you are Mon, de closer you are to God”.
    That particular experience encouraged/incited poetry and a passionate desire to accept other folks differences,ie tolerance to human faults.
    Was it a direct experience of God? Beats the hell out of me but I expect it WAS what other mystics have THOUGHT/believed was the God experience.

    However,,,(for those who have paid attention, I usually have a caveat,,,), my research into this experience leads me to believe it was an accidental trigger of a particular neural system(perhaps the god module so beloved in popular fiction,,,er, I mean news media).

    ,,,and I expect Oprah would be extremely unlikely to interview me, since I have absolutely no love for organized religions. They seem to exist for no other reason than to extract resources from the gullible, using the babblings of a mystic as justification for their dogma.

    Gary 7

  28. Winter Solstice Man

    If God were a smokin’ Rastafarian, I would so go back to church.

    That may explain why he is pretty cool, though he was a pretty cranky badass in the Old Testament. But someone told me after he became Jesus he personally knew how lousy we talking monkeys have it on a daily basis, so he mellowed out some.

  29. Gary Ansorge

    I once imagined a modification of the painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel of God and Adam, wherein God is handing a joint to Adam.
    That made a whole lot more sense to me than all the do NOTS we constantly hear,,,

    GAry 7

  30. Anyone who get their medical advice and counsel from Jenny McCarthy is a fool. Are you kidding me? Do we really have to beg Oprah to stop supporting Jenny so that people won’t be idiots? This is insane. Are people really stupid enough to listen to a dumb-ass celebrity? Of course they are.

  31. I love how people like to post things that have done zero research. Might be best to research both sides next time. Vaccines are far from full proof or safe and the CDC will even tell you that. I am pro choice, if you wanna shot your child up for of toxins go for it. If you really believe they work than you shouldn’t mind the people who choice not to. If you worried about “herd immunity” then might want to check the CDC for the adult vaccine records. Adult are far from caught up on booters. Are we not part of the “herd?” I don’t see us all running around with polio…
    A Response to an open letter to Oprah.
    http://tsuasai.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/responce-to-an-open-letter-to-oprah/

  32. John Fryer

    Nobel Prize winner Professor Charles Richet found repeat vaccines could lead to anaphylaxis and death.

    We give three lots of Hep B vaccines to babies.

    We give three lots of DTP vaccines to babies.

    Since 1969 the USA has had more than 1 million dead babies for which there is no known explanation for the death and the experts say it is “SIDS”.

    SIDS and vaccine death share the same clinical signs.

    Vaccines do save lives and it is false to say people like Jenny et al are anti vaccine.

    Countries that do not repeat vaccines, give vaccines at more mature ages and give less vaccines have much less death and more important much less numbers of neurological type illness often more than ten times less.

    I am not aware of ant safety checks on vaccines for infants or for giving several vaccines at the same time.

    Safety checks are done on adults and adults should be able to withstand vaccines better than infants but in fact many vaccines that are given to babies are prohibited from adults as they cause too many adverse reactions in adults – often higher than 50 per cent. It is not clear how these unsafe vaccines for adults came to be proscribed for babies – eg the pertussis vaccine.

    Pressure and common sense will mean single measles vaccine will be brought back for use and common sense dictates this is safer than exposing babies to three pathogenic organisms at the same time.

  33. John Fryer

    Hi Jeff

    You say vaccines have been proven safe over and over again

    In fact they are used over and over again with no “apparent” adverse effects to the vast majority.

    A serial killer in a big city might kill 6 people and leave ten million unaffected. Does this make serial killers SAFE to be loose in a city?

    In fact by law a baby must be completely healthy before getting vaccines. If only a very few got ill or died from these vaccines we have the serial killer syndrome for the use of vaccines.

    In fact more than a million babies may have died from vaccines. Its called SIDS.

    Evidence from science tells us that any vaccine has a risk and some research shows anaphylaxis as the unwanted natural effect of vaccines. This can be lethal for the child.

    I would rather see fewer vaccines chased up by contact and other medical progress to eliminate illness in the way we did for smallpox.

    To leave small pools of measles around means we protect children when they may get over a bout of illness only to allow them to get ill when they are older and suffer serious illness, possible brain damage and death.

    Bizarrely just such happenings are blamed on anti vaccine people who are in reality pro safe vaccine and often with neurologically damaged children from vaccines and later unvaccinated healthy children.

    Vaccines are emotive and if they work its great but many vaccines have been given up for lack of doing what they are supposed to. Includes several types of MMR vaccines, TB, polio etc.

    One child in three in USA has long term illness and needs medical drugs to help them.

    If this illness is caused from too many vaccines and science that tells us of the risks – eg read vaccine inserts for example – then we have the very organisation that made children ill and profiting from the illness they themselves initiated.

    Time to break up the monopolies and support those companies that keep children healthy and not keep them as lucrative customers.

    I would be interested in research that shows vaccines are safe not epidemiological evidence that somehow manages to overlook a catastrophic child health situation.

    How can you survey children where everyone gets vaccines and one in three is ill and say vaccines are proven safe?

    Note: After his death we know that Professor Sir Richard Doll epidemiologist got 1 500 pounds (3 000 dollars a day) from one chemical company. What exactly did he do for this money?

  34. ND

    John Fryer: “A serial killer in a big city might kill 6 people and leave ten million unaffected. Does this make serial killers SAFE to be loose in a city?”

    But a serial killer does not go around saving tens of thousands of lives at the same time. Seriously, what kind of analogy is this? You’re completely ignoring the lives that vaccines save here.

  35. John Fryer,

    Since 1969 the USA has had more than 1 million dead babies for which there is no known explanation for the death and the experts say it is “SIDS”.

    SIDS and vaccine death share the same clinical signs.

    In fact more than a million babies may have died from vaccines. Its called SIDS.

    You have an amazing way of drawing conclusions. no known explanation for the death and the experts say it is “SIDS”. Then you claim that SIDS and vaccine death are the same thing.

    You do not define vaccine death. That should not be surprising, since we are looking at medicine and you do not seem to have any understanding of medicine. What is this thing you call vaccine death?

    Where do you get this information?

    Why haven’t doctors noticed this?

    How do you conclude that this is the same as SIDS?

    Vaccines do save lives and it is false to say people like Jenny et al are anti vaccine.

    You have told this lie before. You have been corrected on it. You continue with this lie.

    Jenny Killer McCarthy has repeatedly stated that she wants people to stop getting vaccinated. Jenny Killer McCarthy has stated that she wants the diseases, that are preventable by vaccination, to return.

    Pressure and common sense will mean single measles vaccine will be brought back for use and common sense dictates this is safer than exposing babies to three pathogenic organisms at the same time.

    If there were some basis for your claim, this would be true, but there is not. You state that the pertussis vaccine is not as safe in adults as in children. Then you state that we need to avoid vaccinating children. Why shouldn’t children be protected from pertussis? Why do you claim that the vaccine is not safe in children?

    I have seen too many children with pertussis recently. I should not see any. This is the fault of Jenny Killer McCarthy and the prodisease movement.

    Vaccines are emotive and if they work its great but many vaccines have been given up for lack of doing what they are supposed to. Includes several types of MMR vaccines, TB, polio etc.

    Emotive? Vaccines are replaced by safer vaccines, not because they are given up. There is continual progress in vaccines, while the prodisease movement is opposed to progress.

    Time to break up the monopolies and support those companies that keep children healthy and not keep them as lucrative customers.

    The vaccine companies keep children healthy. The prodisease movement opposes healthy children.

    I would be interested in research that shows vaccines are safe not epidemiological evidence that somehow manages to overlook a catastrophic child health situation.

    In other words, you do not understand what you are writing about.

    How can you survey children where everyone gets vaccines and one in three is ill and say vaccines are proven safe?

    One in three are not ill. That is another of your lies.

  36. Forgot to close a tag, again. The last few paragraphs should read:

    Time to break up the monopolies and support those companies that keep children healthy and not keep them as lucrative customers.

    The vaccine companies keep children healthy. The prodisease movement opposes healthy children.

    I would be interested in research that shows vaccines are safe not epidemiological evidence that somehow manages to overlook a catastrophic child health situation.

    In other words, you do not understand what you are writing about.

    How can you survey children where everyone gets vaccines and one in three is ill and say vaccines are proven safe?

    One in three are not ill. That is another of your lies.

  37. Colin

    The BBC reported yesterday on an outbrake of measles in Wales
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8057661.stm
    Over 100 children infected.
    Well done anitvaxers! Pat yourselves on the back, especially John Fryer

  38. WeirdFish

    To explain the “why people listen to Jenny and Oprah:”

    “Science is hard, Barbie!”

    Critical thinking, analysis, and exploration require effort. Hearing information spoken with conviction (regardless of accuracy or even truth) requires minimal to no effort. Hence, the rise of reality shows and competition programming.

  39. WeirdFish

    As a follow-up, to argue the point requires being succinct and most importantly, brief. It’s easy to cite scientific facts, mathematics, statistics, and so on, but remember that the people who need convincing are those who care little to nothing about the scientific method.

    They want the drive-through combo meal so they can get on with their day and not think more than 20 seconds on the issue.

    Use everyday analogies. Whenever I troubleshoot or repair someone’s computer, I liken it to automotive maintenance, because people are more readily able to relate to the relationship between the battery, motor, and ignition than power supply, motherboard, and CPU.

    Brevity is key because if writing gets too long (like I’m in danger of doing), readers will skim or skip. The point will be lost in what they assume to be jargon.

    Ironic that Jenny McCarthy seems to be using tactics similar to another McCarthy of history: emotional appeal that subverts reason. Herein lies science’s weakness, because science inherently can’t compete with emotional response among the layperson when forming an opinion.

    And so long as TMZ, American Idol, and Rock of Love reaches households across America, we’re doomed.

  40. Sharron

    I have a Master’s in Science and I do not pretend to know everything about this issue. I can say though, after my eldest daughter got her DPT vaccination, she stopped breathing that night. I thank God that I knew how to revive her. She has seizures for about three months after. I didn’t have her vaccinated with the DPT again.

    We all noticed a change in behaviour in my grandaughter after her DPT. Her behaviour was so different that she was taken for tests and she was diagnosed as being autistic. A friend of mine had her son vaccinated and he seizured as well. I told her to reconsider re-vaccinating him and she told me that her doctor knew better than I did. Her son is now severely autisic.

    All I ask is for people to consider the notion that some of these brand new baby brains may not be developed enough to handle a virus being put into their bodies. Perhaps more research into the timing of the vaccinations could be done (?)

    That would mean that everyone including me would have to be willing to keep our minds open to any and all findings.

    Sharron

  41. Susan,

    after my eldest daughter got her DPT vaccination, she stopped breathing that night.

    what if you had not vaccinated your child that day? Then what would you blame the autism on?

    The research has already been done. There is no link to autism. You do not appear to understand what keeping your mind open means.

    brand new baby brains may not be developed enough to handle a virus being put into their bodies.

    The vaccine does not go into the brain. If they injected your baby’s brain maybe there is a connection to seizures, but that is not the way vaccines are given. The chemical contents of the vaccines are tiny. The baby needs the vaccine before exposure to the illness. All of the illnesses vaccinated against with DPT are potentially fatal and they seem to be returning, due to the refusal of parents to vaccinate their children.

  42. Thank you for adding the ability to edit after posting comments. Yay!

  43. Colin

    Gaze through a microscope and you think of how huge you are. Gaze through a telescope and you think of how tiny you are. Science and evolution gave you the ability to see it all!

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