Antivaxxer movement leader found to have acted unethically

By Phil Plait | January 28, 2010 12:40 pm

Continuing a month of skeptical victories, the UK’s General Medical Council has found that Andrew Wakefield — the founder of the modern antivaccination movement — acted "dishonestly and irresponsibly" when doing the research that led him to conclude that vaccinations were linked with autism. This is being reported everywhere, including the BBC, Sky News, the Yorkshire Evening Post, and more.

Syringe, from http://www.flickr.com/photos/8499561@N02/2756332192/The GMC (the independent body of medical regulators in the UK, rather like the AMA in the US) didn’t investigate whether his claims were correct or not — and let’s be very clear, his claims have been shown beyond any doubt to be totally wrong — only whether he acted ethically in his research. What they found is that his research (involving spinal taps of children) was against the children’s clinical interest, that Wakefield was unqualified to perform the test, and that he had no ethical approval to do them.

Wow. Again, let’s be clear: that’s a whole lot of ethical damnation from the UK’s leading medical board.

Not to pile on here, but I was rather surprised that they didn’t mention the claims — supported by a lot of evidence — that on top of all that unethical behavior, he may have faked his results, too. There’s also no mention of his grave conflict of interest– at the time he published his paper slamming vaccines and which started the antivax craze, he was developing an alternative to vaccinations, so he had a very large monetary incentive to make the public distrust vaccines.

The GMC has not announced whether he (and two of his cohorts) will be sanctioned or not. I’ll be very curious to see what they do.

Will this deter Wakefield and the antivax movement? Ha! Of course not. Note that supporters of Wakefield heckled the GMC members as they read their announcements.

Also, the evidence was already overwhelming that Wakefield was wrong, just as it’s overwhelming that vaccines are totally and completely unrelated to autism. But the antivaxxers’ world is not based on evidence. It’s more like a dogmatic religion, since many of its believers will twist and distort the truth to fit their views, even, tragically, if it means babies will die.

The antivax movement is resulting in the deaths of children from preventable diseases, many of which were all but gone in the United States. We’re seeing the return of measles, mumps, pertussis, even polio — polio, which was eradicated entirely in the US by 1994. Because vaccines are so effective, people don’t remember these diseases and how they would kill, and now the antivaxxers are paving the way for their return.

This ruling against Wakefield is a step in the right direction, but the path is long and the antivaxxers will be there at every one of these steps, trying desperately to trip up reality. It’s up to us to make sure that we keep walking.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Alt-Med, Antiscience

Comments (166)

  1. An added point, Wakefield’s supporters wasted no time filing an amended complaint alleging false testimony by several of the witnesses in the GMC case. Age of Autism has a lot of posts today about this.

  2. Lars

    Cue antivaxxer scolding you for writing about something other than astronomy in 3… 2… 1…

  3. Peptron

    There is something I still cannot grasp about it all:
    What is the actual point of the anti-vaccination movement? What is its actual purpose? Is there somebody making money out of it somewhere?

  4. In a world based on “Just making $h!* up with nothing to back it up.” I’m sure that his defenders will make up outlandish claims about this to their heart’s content.

    It was the Myan Lizard Illuminanti from Nibiru!

    @ Peptron, yes there are. As well as people being attention whores getting their names on Oprah or wherever else they can go.

  5. @Peptron homeopathic doctors might be making money off the antivax movement, but it’s more about paranoia trumping medical science.

  6. Sandra (MedTek)

    Peptron- The lawsuits. By parents hiring lawyers which allegedly paid for Wakefield’s testimony.

  7. I can see how this might appear wrong or immoral to a skeptic, but that’s because you aren’t using the correct logic.

    We all know that Big Pharma is unethical and wrong, and according to the old adage, we must ‘fight fire with fire.” So in order to fight Big Pharma, a brave man must be both more wrong and more unethical than Big Pharma in order to win. Since Big Pharma is also evil, those fighting Big Phrama must therefor be righteous. Which in turn means, that the more one acts unethically and the more one lies, the more righteous one becomes. It’s all really simple.

    So Andrew Wakefield isn’t an unethical schmuck who lies and is wrong about everything so that he can enrich himself, he is an unethical knight in shining armor who lies and is wrong about everything in order to slay the Big Pharma dragon.
    Trilobite

  8. Will. M

    I think that a stronger reaction is necessary: perhaps a criminal statute is in order to prosecute these liars for endangering the public welfare, or ignoring/lying about established science with the intent to do harm. Surely some crafty Constitutional lawyer could draft a bill which would both stop the public harm and not upset the free speech amendment.

  9. Peptron

    @4. Larian LeQuella
    Wasn’t it Nibiru that destroyed the Earth in 2003? Or was it planet X? How can there be anti-vaccinations conspiracies theories around if the Earth has already been destroyed? Or are they conspiracists from Mars? They got to be… conspiracists either come from Mars or Earth, but Earth has been destroyed by Planet X years ago, ergo they come from Mars. Even with this much clarity of thought I still cannot get the point of anti-vaxxers.

  10. April

    I suspect that the biggest profiteers of the pro-disease movement are the proponents themselves. It helps them sell books.

    Just a few months ago, I came across a elimination diet book for autistic kids that had a new edition to include some good old fear mongering for parents of kids with ADHD as well. (I hadn’t thought I could be more offended by a McCarthy endorsed book, but trying to frighten parents like mine is just extra scuzzy.)

    In addition to selling books on the evils of vaccines and the “empowerment” of parents, you have the profit by Big Placebo, who stand to make lots of money off unproven or disproven alternative “treatments.”

  11. John

    I grew up at the end of the polio time. My Mother was a nurse in a county hospital polio ward, it was a terrible place to see, the patients, the parents and Iron lungs. I had three friends get polio and its effects are still there, we are in our late 60s. These fools have to be stopped

  12. flibbertigibbet

    @ Holytape- What? You’re telling other people they aren’t using ‘correct logic’, but did you even bother to read what you typed? Because from my standpoint, logic has nothing to do with your argument. It’s all conjecture.
    FYI ‘Big Pharma’, for all the unethical ways that they act, is not, by definition, EVIL. They are unethical. And by your calculation ‘that the more one acts unethically and the more one lies, the more righteous one becomes’- but you mean here to only talk about Andrew Wakefield, except you managed to be so vague that this statement also applies to ‘Big Pharma’.
    Here’s the thing you’re failing to grasp: when big Pharmaceutical companies act unethically and get caught for it, there are hearings, and they get sued. Yes, they aren’t always made accountable, but we keep trying.
    Andrew Wakefield has to also be accountable for his actions. If he’s such the shining knight you think he is, then he will stand trial and not be an unethical schmuck.

  13. Beth

    My mother had polio as a child, and luckily, no lasting harm after physical therapy. You better believe I received every vaccination and then some. In fact, since she also never developed an immunity to measles, I not only got the required shots, but every time there was a local outbreak, I got a booster… “just to be safe”. I never had any problems, and I have also made sure my child is fully vaccinated. I just do not understand this entire “vaccinations cause polio” movement when it’s clearly wrong. And bordering on fanatical. I have had mothers on various lists get very aggressive about defending their right to forego vaccinations. I now stay away from lists that cater to that group. You cannot fight with people who back arguments based on emotion.

  14. BFire

    Threw up in my mouth a little watching the video of Wakefield at the BBC link.

  15. Charlie Young

    #7 Holytape- I hope you meant that in a sarcastic way, at least that’s how I took it by the end.

  16. Grey Wolf

    @ flibbertigibbet: Congratulations! You have just been Poe’d!

  17. Steve in Dublin

    flibbertigibbet @ 12

    Try re-reading what Holytape said with your sarcasm meter turned on this time.

  18. ScottW

    (Meh, also forgot sarcasm filter :P)

  19. Peptron

    Sarcasms? In MY Internet? It’s more likely than you think.

  20. Paul

    It’s funny how Phil finds this so unethical (which it is) but not falsifying data that could set policy around the world (which also is unethical).

  21. Holytape: I took your post as sarcasm, I hope you wrote it as such.

    Peptron: You better belive there is money to be made, how many more books as Jenny McCarthy sold because someone saw her antivax nonsense on Oprah?

    This is a big win for the good guys, I just don’t see it changing anyones mind on that side. It might convince the fence sitters though.

  22. Peptron

    @21. STrimmer
    Yeah, but still… There has to be something other than them being there only for the money. They cannot be that oblivious can they?

    I think that I will have to settle that with the usual “Their hair cought fire when they were babies and people put out the flames with shovel strikes.”

  23. @Peptron

    Is there somebody making money out of it somewhere?

    In addition to the homeopaths, lawyers and book promoters already mentioned, there is a cottage industry of “brave mavericks” selling a variety of questionable treatments, none approved by FDA. For example, there’s Mark and David Geier’s Lupron chemical castration treatment, hyberbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), and a variety of chelators, including a new one on the scene being marketed as a dietary supplement, OSR#1.

    I actually engaged some of the folks at AoA regarding that last one, asking where the studies were that showed it was safe (let alone effective), since the manufacturer, CTI Science (headed by Boyd Haley), didn’t have any links or citations on their web site. AoA actually let most, but not all, of my comments through moderation, but the best I got was Kim Stagliano telling me to write to CTI. Only one other commenter really agreed that there was insufficient evidence that OSR#1 was safe. No one else was willing to take CTI or Boyd Haley to task in the same way they excoriate vaccine manufacturers.

    So, yes, there are people making money from the anti-vax/autism movement. As to the parents, most of them are just scared and desperate for answers. A few reason their way into a “vaccines are evil” mindset (take a look at Phil’s recent post linking to Skeparent). They tell their friends or set up blogs, so the fearful conviction spreads. When that kind of fear gets into someone, it is a real struggle to get science and evidence through, largely because there’s always a “but what if?” argument. So, for the parents, the goal is to keep children safe from harm…any harm at all. Since vaccines are considered bad, then vaccines need to go, and anyone who supports vaccines is either misguided or part of the problem.

    Edited to add: For what it’s worth, I sent an e-mail today to CTI inquiring about the studies that support their product. We’ll see if any response comes.

  24. jasonB

    At first I thought this post was about the IPCC.

  25. @Todd W,

    Gotta love the disconnect. If pharmaceutical companies make any money off of vaccines, it’s “Big Pharma’s injecting us with chemicals to make money!!!”

    Now if a homeopath or an “alternative therapy” company makes money off of their “treatment” it’s “They’re such wonderful people helping to treat these awful conditions!”

    If a single batch of a single vaccine is recalled for a tiny problem they shout “See!!??? Big Pharma’s trying to pump us full of unsafe toxins!!!!”

    If a company comes out with an outrageous sounding “alternative therapy” for some disease, they say “They say it works right here. It’s alternative and alternative is always good.”

    If a homeopath says Treatment X doesn’t work they say “It must not work because he’s a homeopath and thus is fighting against the Medical Establishment.”

    If a physician says Treatment Y doesn’t work they say “It must work and the Medical Establishment is suppressing it.”

    In other words, they’re right, science is wrong and all evidence will be cherry picked and skewed until their view is supported.

  26. @TechyDad

    Yeah. A lot of the reaction I got was “Why are you trying to stop someone who’s trying to help our kids?”

    Before vaccines even entered the discussion, I had people arguing against me (and not even answering my simple questions) simply because I dared question what they viewed as a great product. It reminded me a lot of the Facilitated Communication nonsense, the difference being that in addition to wasted time, money and playing on parents’ emotions, there’s the potential for physical harm.

    I even had one individual, Craig Willoughby, show up, who totally ignored what I was saying and suggesting that a) I was saying that OSR was not safe (I never made that claim) and that b) I had to produce evidence that it was unsafe. His reasoning was that since pro-vax folks demand evidence that vaccines cause harm, therefore anyone questioning OSR needed to prove that OSR caused harm, totally ignoring the fact that vaccines have a lot of research behind them showing both their benefits and their risks, while OSR has none. He asked for “just one report”. Another commenter provided a quote about someone relating harm possibly associated with OSR, but he wrote that off as anecdote, and therefore not valid, even though he asked for “just one report” and did not specify that it had to be a scientific study. He also took the attitude that if I couldn’t find any evidence that it was harmful, that it was therefore safe.

    If anyone is interested in the exchange, it’s on AoA’s article titled “75 Year Olds with Cancer Get Treatment. Autistic Toddlers Doomed To Diagnosis For Life?” Kim Stagliano shut down the conversation (and did not publish my final comment) because we were, admittedly, way off topic from the original post.

  27. Chris

    Have any antivaxxers ever acted ethically?

  28. @ Paul (#20) and jasonB (#24), Dr. Plait has addressed your accusations quite thuroughly, and you are clarly showing your missunderstanding of what was said and hacked, and what it all meant. Please search his blog for the “non event” in that…

  29. Harman Smith

    @20, “It’s funny how Phil finds this so unethical (which it is) but not falsifying data that could set policy around the world (which also is unethical).”

    Oh, you! You think you have a point, but you don’t. There are no scientists actively falsifying data. That is, there’s no evidence to support anything of the sort. The only thing you have is that embarrassing mistake by the IPCC; which was a mistake, not a conspiratorial maneuver.

    Somehow, I don’t think you will find this post convincing…

  30. Ron

    I wonder if those who see a “Big Pharmm” monster under every bed realize that there is something called “Big Alternative.” Thats right folks alternative medicine is big business (and one that should be brought under FDA regulation) they are in it for the money evey bit as much a Big Pharmm. Big Alternative is no more ethical than any other industry.

  31. It goes without saying, but Brian Deer was clearly right all along, and the Wakefield apologists – who expected the decision to be favorable to Wakefield – were smoking crack or something.

  32. @Joseph #31:

    They weren’t smoking crack. They were chugging the Alt liquor.

  33. John Paradox

    7. Holytape Says:
    Since Big Pharma is also evil, those fighting Big Phrama must therefor be righteous. Which in turn means, that the more one acts unethically and the more one lies, the more righteous one becomes. It’s all really simple.

    Wonderful Poe… in fact, this almost sounds like it’s also riffing on homeopathy….

    J/P=?

  34. The Guardian has a very long article about the ‘scandal’. There is info about his (many) conflicts of interest, hypothesis based on very weak base (research on 8 children ). And it’s not the end of the case, the verdict will be in April, at least the case will be continue then.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jan/28/andrew-wakefield-mmr-vaccine

  35. Firemancarl

    @TechyDad# 25. You my friend, just hit a walk off grand slam with that post!

  36. Gil

    Excellent dig on religion there, Phil. Even though it didn’t really fit and it had nothing to do with vaccines, you nonetheless managed to shoehorn a backhand slap in there. Well done.

  37. Floridafish

    Follow the money and you’ll understand why the anti-vax movement is against vaccines. Somebody, somewhere, is profiting from it.

  38. beaded bunny

    Your forgetting guilt. if the parents can blame vaccines for their childs difficulties then they dont have to admit that something in themselves caused it.

  39. I love these cute nicknames people give those who buck the (rigged) system.
    “Truthers”
    “Birthers”
    “Tin Foil Hat wearers”
    now “Antivaxxers”

    OK my take is this. Nobody has mentioned that the WHO has been forced to investigate itself and even with that lukewarm “investigation” been forced to admit that they pimped the whole H1N1 “Global Pandemic” ALL out of proportion. In fact the H1N1 has been a big global flop, so why all the hype?

    Regarding the tiny little mistake that one of the pharmaceutical industry made on one batch of vaccine. Are you referring to the batch of vaccine that Baxter sent to 19 countries in Europe that were found to be contaminated with LIVE BIRD FLU virus? That’s kind of a big “Mistake” but don’t believe me, look it up yourself. But, if your mind’s made up, you won’t, so call me crazy.

    As for those people who did die from the H1N1 virus… how many actually took the vaccines beforehand? They don’t say. Ask a kid who’s classmates received vaccinations at school how many of the vaccinated came down with flu symptoms vs those who didn’t. Hint. More that took the vaccines got sick than those who didn’t.

    Anecdotal… as a child, I received all the (Supposedly) but NOT MANDATORY vaccines. AFTER receiving the MMR shots, I got the German Hard Measles and a BAD case of mumps. The Measles almost killed me and we were quarantined, it wrecked my vision. I remember the notice on the door. So, what is the point?

    There is no law, therefore, people shouldn’t be coerced, bullied, lied to or demonized if they choose not to take the vaccines. For those of you who choose vaccinations, that’s your business, I think you’re making a mistake but I’m not screaming about how stupid, reckless or dangerous you are. I’m not calling you all “Vacciners”. So, how about a little common ground here. If you’re feeling safe because you’re vaccinated, more power to you. If the vaccines actually do work, you have nothing to fear from those of us who choose NOT to take them.

    peace on earth
    d

  40. Misinformation and fear campaigns spread disease, and they take on a life of their own. The “antivax” meme in the US mirrors the South African “Virgin Cure” for AIDS meme. ( http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2002/april/virgin.htm ) It seems to me that when a country becomes anti-intellectual and anti-science (as the US has been drifting towards since GWB was elected), preventable diseases start to prevail.

    I guess the “antivax” meme and the “virgin cure and infant rape” meme are both memetic viruses that kill, and education and science are the memetic immune system.

  41. Hey look everyone! #39, “344th Brother”, links to NVIC. I ask you, 344th, is this the same NVIC whose leader is suing Amy Wallace – a writer who interviewed Paul Offit in Wired magazine – to silence her, while at the same time pleading for an open dialogue? The same NVIC Orac has had to attack many times for their rabid antivax stance?

    Just curious. Because the way that place operates, you’d think that they will say or do anything to make sure more kids get sick from preventable diseases.

  42. ZC

    @Floridafish

    Well, we know one person who’s profiting from it. Jenny McCarthy has got a few books on the shelves now, and she’s selling them to these people.

    The sad thing is that I’m pretty certain she has convinced herself the antivax cause is entirely noble, and doesn’t believe she’s doing it for profit. Like anyone possessed with zealotry, she’s certain that she’s the hero in this story, and couldn’t be convinced even if someone sat her down and explained it all to her in as simple a manner as possible.

    As for the common folks– the ones who buy her book and buy into this movement– they’re just doing the herd mentality thing. Follow the celebrity, mimic the alpha, blah blah blah.

    It’s all very annoying and sad.

  43. I linked to http://www.nvic.org because the woman who runs it merely asks the pharma companies and the state to follow some simple safety guidelines. I’m not aware of any of these references you made. I find her arguments to be balanced and reasonable.

    When was the last time you read an insert from any of the vaccines that you support?

    So how about addressing the questions I asked?
    peace on earth
    d

  44. Jim Cruff

    I just visited the link from “344th Brother”. Interesting that they have a “Memorial to
    Vaccine Victims.” Perhaps someone should start a memorial to those that died or lived their lives in an Iron Lung as a result of polio.

  45. Thank you for visiting the link Jim. Did you look through any of the other stuff there? I thought this was interesting.

    “Why are so many of our highly vaccinated children so sick? ”

    “Vaccination rates with multiple vaccines in America are at an all-time high8 and, with 1 in 6 vaccinated child in America now learning disabled 9; 1 in 9 suffering with asthma10 11 12; 1 in 150 developing autism13 14, and 1 in 450 becoming diabetic15, this is a legitimate question. America spends more than 75 percent of the $2 trillion price tag for health care to treat the chronically ill and disabled16 and it is estimated that, by 2025, 1 in 2 Americans will be chronically ill or disabled.17 ”

    # 8Centers for Disease Control. Press Release: Nation’s Childhood Immunization Rates Remain At or Above Record Levels. August 30, 2007. http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/2007/r070830.htm
    # 9Centers for Disease Control. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report:Percentage of Children Aged 5-17 Years Ever Having Diagnoses of ADHD or Learning Disability by Sex and Diagnosis – U.S., 2003. November 4, 2005.http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5443a8.htm
    # 10Centers for Disease Control. Press Release: State of Childhood Asthma, U.S. 1980-2005. December 12, 2006. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/06facts/asthma1980-2005.htm Full Report: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad381.pdf
    # 11Bloom B, Dey AN et al. Vital Health Statistics: Summary health statistics for U.S. children: National Health Interview Survey, 2005.December 2006.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&uid=17201200&cmd=showdetailview&indexed=google
    # 12Centers for Disease Control. Press Release: Nine Million US Children Diagnosed with Asthma, New Report Finds. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2002. March 31, 2004.http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/04news/childasthma.htm
    # 15 Centers for Disease Control. National Diabetes Fact Sheet, U.S. 2003.http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2003.pdf# 16 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. National Health Expenditure Data. Also, Chronic Disease Overview.
    http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalHealthExpendData/02_NationalHealthAccountsHistorical.asp#TopOfPage and http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/overview.htm
    # 17Johns Hopkins University. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Chronic Conditions:Making the Case for Ongoing Care. December 2002. http://www.rwjf.org/files/research/chronicbook2002.pdf

    Is a little honest debate, investigation and thorough reportage of BOTH sides of the issue too much to ask?

    peace
    d

  46. OK, 344th Brother:

    H1N1 was not a flop. Thousands have died from it, on top of the normal flu season, and more will die. I doubt the people who lost loved ones to it would call it a flop.

    It wasn’t a vaccine that had live flu virus in it, it was a sample. It was an accident, and accidents happen. I am not forgiving them, but this incident has been blown way out of proportion by antivaxxers. Also, what is your point then? Because an accident happened where no one was hurt, we should stop immunizing kids and let them die of preventable diseases by the millions?

    As for name-calling, well, if the show fits. Antivaxxer is a descriptive term. And you talk about people being lied to to get them vaccinated; you’ve got that exactly backwards. We don’t need to lie. The evidence is with us. It’s the antivaxxers who spread falsehoods in their hysteria against something which has saved the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

  47. Astrofiend

    39. 344thBrother Says:
    January 28th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    See, the thing is 344thbrother, we all do feel safe, because we all have had our vaccines, and we are all fine, and better than that, we are all not dead from preventable diseases. Happy days!

    “I love these cute nicknames people give those who buck the (rigged) system.
    “Truthers”
    “Birthers”
    “Tin Foil Hat wearers”
    now “Antivaxxers” ”

    My preferred insult these days is “rabid home-birthing anti-vaxxer hippies”. I’m sure many out there would gladly accept it as a compliment though, so they should be happy with the label.

  48. Compared to the regular flu season, it was a flop. So far in the USA, around 1000 people have died from H1N1. Regular flu season deaths number approximately 36,000. And there are no published numbers from people who died after taking the vaccine.

    I resent you trying to make it about my not caring for people who died. I was a paramedic for 20 years and a volunteer fireman for 30. I care plenty. That’s why I go out of my way to ask questions that get abuse heaped on myself.

    The “Sample” was 17 Kilograms. It went to 19 countries.

    As for the term. Whatever, you like labels, fine.

    Hysteria? How about the H1N1 Hysteria? How about the “GLOBAL PANDEMIC” hysteria? How about all the 24/7 overhyping of the whole thing, the reports of armed guards surrounding warehouses of the vaccine? How about the non-reportage of the FACT that the warehouses are full of vaccines because so many people don’t want them? How about the fact that there are warehouses full of “Tamiflu” (Owned in large part by none other than Donald Rumsfeld) out dating soon? What about the profit motive?

    How about Factor 8? How about all the deaths from bizarre actions taken by people on SSRI’s? http://www.ssristories.com . I actually did a fairly extensive analysis of that data. guess what I found? Nearly all School shootings, a lot of “Gone postal”, “Road Rages”, “Roid Rages”, women and men murdering their children and families and just plain bizarre/dangerous behavior is linked back to the use of SSRI’s. There are over 3000 incidents documented on that page and counting.

    Why do you suppose this doesn’t get the same treatment as “Why did they do it?” “He was such a normal kid” “He was weird” “He had guns” He said she said pap foisted on the public by TV.

    Same big pharma, same secrecy, side effects, skewed or absent reportage, and of course name calling. Again, I challenge you to look at the inserts for the SSRI’s that are so widely prescribed and again, do the same with vaccines, then you can make an informed decision based on accurate information, not opinion, innuendo and TV.

    What’s the big deal? Just look for yourself and get back to me. I’m just trying to help. You have to make up your own mind.

    peace
    d

  49. they_say_i_am_smart

    I thought the kids today liked Spinal Tap?

  50. Ricochet

    For all you people who think you aren’t hurting anyone by choosing NOT to vaccinate your children, fine. Just keep them the hell away from my kids. Be home schooled. And continue to support an unregulated, untested, unproven homeopathic lifestyle. Remember the old cures are rarely the best. Just a little over a hundred years ago they treated the clap with mercury. Ten years ago colloidal silver was all the rage until they found out about its toxic effect. And finally, let’s just admit what a chiropractic is….a glorified physical trainer who knows how to stretch those muscles you just can’t seem to get to. And grossly overcharges you and your insurance.

    Fact.

  51. PJE

    My uncle had polio as a child (circa 1940) and still walks with a limp today. Just thought I’d share. I’m glad he’s not dead. Obviously he wasn’t vaccinated.

    Pete

  52. 344th Brother, where did I imply you didn’t care? I said people who lost loved ones wouldn’t call it a flop. And comparing it to the regular flu isn’t fair. There are a number of reasons it didn’t get as widespread as was expected. Maybe you should look into that before weaving conspiracy theories.

    And I find it ironic that you want “a little honest debate” when you still try to equate vaccines and autism. The studies have shown repeatedly that vaccines do not cause autism. You are confusing correlation and causation, and that fallacious claim is one of the main reasons so many people are refusing to vaccinate their kids.

  53. JoeSmithCA

    @344thBrother
    So how is exactly a flu virus a flop? H1N1 turned out less dangerous than it could have been and the next iteration of it some years down the road it might pick up far more lethal factors.

    How much of a flop is the H1N1 that it left half of my work sick with resperatory infections that without the aid of all those terrible big pharma anti-biotics would be far more sick or dead?

    How much of a flop is the H1N1 that small children are not permitted in my local hospital because the hospital is under quarantine?

    Oh wait, H1N1 isn’t much of a threat. My bad.

  54. Did you ever ask him?

    Lots of people who take vaccines of different types contract the disease they were vaccinated against afterward. For example, the smallpox test we all got as kids that shed live smallpox virus for days afterward. This is a legitimate problem. Add this to the other injuries that appear to be associated with vaccines such as autism, endocrine disorders, Fibromyalgia, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Asthma, severe allergic reactions, decreased IQ and the like.

    The informed patient should make an informed decision on what is best for them, not be pressured into taking something into their body based on public or governmental or corporate pressure. I really don’t see why this is even an issue with people who take vaccines. If you’re vaccinated, you have nothing to fear from the non-vaccinated, right? Live and let live.

    I hope your uncle is doing well.

    peace
    d

  55. One of my blogging habits is to collate pro and con posts on a particular issue.

    One reason to do is that each blog has its own set of commenters and often the comments reveal aspects of the issue previously not considered elsewhere.

    Today’s issue is the UK’s General Medical Council’s ruling on Andrew Wakefield.

    I’ve included this post in the list.

    The list can be found at

    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2010/01/andrew-wakefield-dishonesty-misleading-conduct-and-serious-professional-misconduct.html

    Relative to this community, read the intellectual quality of comments in each section and make up your own mind.

  56. Useful compilation Liz. :D Thank you.
    peace
    d

  57. TheKolmir

    “If the vaccines actually do work, you have nothing to fear from those of us who choose NOT to take them.”
    “If you’re vaccinated, you have nothing to fear from the non-vaccinated, right? Live and let live.”

    Statements like these are flawed logic.
    Yes I am safe from what I am vaccinated against. However you are not. You are now an open target for something which will cause your immune system to be drastically weakened. You are then in a state which allows you to become a host for other diseases.

    A scenario.
    So you contract smallpox. Your immune system is busy with it. You catch H1N1. If you were healthy it would have been fought off easily but not in your body. You are now an extended host to the virus. During this extended stay it gets time to make several additional mutations which would have never happened in a healthy body. You’ve just become host to a new strain of flu.
    Now instead of being home nursing a flu you could have normally fought off, you are being hospitalized. You are taking up a bed that should have been used for someone injured or fighting a disease for which cure is not yet available. And in the process you’ve exposed countless people along the way.
    Congratulations. You’ve spread a virus with no cure or vaccine which kills hundreds of thousands of people.

    Play it out with any of the diseases for which we have a vaccine and with a few hundred thousand people. Gets to be an issue then.

    And you can show off all the CDC studies you want. Just because you place them in the same paragraph with vaccines doesn’t mean there is a correlation. I searched a lot of those documents. They don’t mention anything about vaccines or immunizations. You want to debate then lets debate the proper materials. Show us studies focused on the correlations between vaccines and those diseases.

    Science will prove who is right. Or we can wait for option B. Wait it out and see who is right after time takes its toll. The antivaxxers will be gone due to disease or hanging around taking all the autistic vaccinated.

  58. Toholio

    @Liz Ditz

    That list is about as useful as this theory: http://xkcd.com/690/

    The truth quite often doesn’t lie halfway between two extremes.

    Edit: This sounds crankier than I wanted it to. Anyway, I mean that listing pro and con posts will not necessarily give you an informed point of view. It’s a problem with journalists who interview experts then feel the need to get a non-expert for “balance”. It only legitimises the cranks.

  59. Chris

    Her compilations are what make Liz great. Thanks to Liz!

    (I am less than half way through them, by the way)

  60. justasitsounds

    Lots of people who take vaccines of different types contract the disease they were vaccinated against afterward.

    Vaccination doesn’t make you 100% immune to the disease. It primes your immune system to fight the pathogen and therefore reduces your risk of contracting the disease. If your immune system is compromised, or you are exposed to a variant of the pathogen that is not recognised by your primed immune system you may still contract the disease. This is exactly why Herd Immunity is important and high vaccination rates are required to eradicate diseases. If all vaccines were 100% effective then the only people at risk would be the un-immunised, whether that be through choice or being too young to receive the vaccine.

    For example, the smallpox test we all got as kids that shed live smallpox virus for days afterward.

    I’m note sure if this is correct or not, or whether the ‘virus particles [being] shed’ were attenuated or virulent but boy did you pick the wrong example here. Smallpox was the first disease to be vaccinated against (using the cowpox or ‘vaccinia’ virus, hence the name) in Europe by Edward Jenner and has now been eradicated solely through a sustained, global, vaccination campaign.

    This is a legitimate problem. Add this to the other injuries that appear to be associated with vaccines such as autism, endocrine disorders, Fibromyalgia, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, Asthma, severe allergic reactions, decreased IQ and the like.

    Emphasis mine. There is no PROOF of these ‘injuries’ being caused by vaccination outside of a few edge cases, the rates of occurrence of which in the general population are STILL less harmful than the diseases the vaccines protect against.

  61. Pi-needles

    What a surprise. :roll:

    Anti-vaxxers, unethical = Pope, Catholic. ;-)

    Good that its been exposed so clearly and punished for once but really – there are people who don’t already know this?

    @ 22. Peptron Says:

    I think that I will have to settle that with the usual “Their hair cought fire when they were babies and people put out the flames with shovel strikes.”

    ROTFLMAO! Great one-liner there. I may have to steal that ‘un myself. :-D

  62. Gaiainc

    Little confused on how the UK body who can sanction Wakefield is like the AMA. The AMA is a professional organization that likes to think it speaks for physicians. It likes to pit out ethical guidelines and other stuff. However it has no power over an individual physician and really can’t do bupkiss. Individual states have their megical boards. There is no national medical board. Just my understanding as a physician.

    As for 334thBrother, I have read the inserts. Like my EMR was not written by medical people, neither were the inserts. It’s a lot of legal crap and like my EMR, it’s relevance to medicine is debaeable. I’ve gotten all my vaccines and so will my son. As for H1N1 being such a wash, first year in the past seven where I wrote for Tamiflu, saw flu patients daily, and had my hospital quarantined. Flop my ass.

  63. justasitsounds:
    Thank you for engaging in a real dialogue. Reasonable people can agree to disagree.

    Vaccines do more than “Prime” your immune system to fight a particular disease. The use of Adjuvants such as Thimerisol (Mercury), and Squalene actually crank your immune system up to the point that it can begin attacking itself, thus we see the huge increase in auto-immune diseases and allergies which I believe are due in large part to over-amped immune systems from our overuse of untested and unproven vaccines. Yes all 4 of the different Flu Vaccines were untested and unproven. Yes there are 4 different versions.

    When I was a kid, we got 13 different vaccines and boosters for some of them, last I heard, children now get a total of 75 vaccine shots before the age of 16. What is this doing to our biology?

    Guardasil, which is given to girls younger than 11 in some instances, is purportedly used to prevent 6 types of Cervical Cancer caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. That virus is spread primarily by sexual contact. None of these 6 Cancers is known to be fatal if caught in early stages and most are easy to identify. Girls younger than 11 are not really at risk. And now, for some unknown reason they’re trying to market it to boys. Boys don’t get Cervical Cancer. So there’s an aspect of insanity to the “Logic” behind vaccine marketing. In addition, a significant number of girls who have received the Guardasil shot have died or been horribly injured. Some have exhibited Ebola like symptoms (Hemorrhage from every orifice and liquefaction of internal organs). Is that not as much of a concern as a Cancer? As a parent, it sure is to me.

    On the Smallpox tests, yes it’s true that Smallpox has been “Eradicated” however the Soviet Union and USA then immediately sequestered samples of Smallpox to use in their bioweapons labs, and many different strains have been weaponized now, just as West Nile Virus, Yersina Pestis (Plague), Anthrax, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and many others have been weaponized, so, we’re really no better off than we were. The corporatization of the military and medical industry has made us less, not more safe, unfortunately.

    As for your use of the term “A few edge cases”, how much proof do you want? Above i cited the CDC, NIH and HHS and other governmental agencies related to the epidemics of autoimmune diseases exploding throughout the country. Something is causing these diseases. What has changed in our environment? One thing that has surely changed is our exposure to toxic materials of all types. Vaccines are one such chemical, and we receive them directly into our bloodstreams, bypassing the bodies usual better protected entry points.

    Is that the reason? Nobody can PROVE it no. But, vaccines are complex biological substances being injected into the human genome almost at random. Some of the Fluvax supplies contained Reverse Transcriptase RNA particles which are capable of modifying Human DNA. Does this sound like a good idea?

    Something is happening to our children. Autism, Graves Disease, Fibromyalgia, Herpes Simplex in all its forms, HIV which was ADMITTEDLY spread through Factor 8 and then spread again when Bayer and Merc decided to use up their warehouses of contaminated Factor 8 AFTER they’d spent 250,000,000 in a LOSING LAWSUIT brought by 100,000 hemophiliacs who’d contracted HIV from their products. Did you look that one up? After Bayer and Merc LOST their case they went ahead and exported the remainder of their stock overseas… doesn’t this concern you? Then there’s Baxter and the little oopsie with 17 Kilograms of LIVE H5N1 contaminated “Samples” they shipped overseas.

    The point I’m trying so hard to make here is that our medical/pharmaceutical industry has gone askew. It’s become about profit and not health or prevention or disease curing. It would be bad enough if we just received sterile placebo shots to “Immunize” us, but instead what we get is an experimental composite of all kinds of nasty stuff (Much of it grown on Green Monkey Kidney tissue agar) yes it’s crazy, but look it up yourself, (SV40). Thes are marketed to us as protective substances and may actually be deadly toxic.

    We need to be more careful who we trust with our personal health and well being. We cannot continue to allow pharmaceutical corporations to make substances and force them upon us while they are under the protection of provisions in the Patriot Act against any law suit for negligence or harm. That’s not conspiracy theory, that’s history.

    We MUST start to read the inserts for the medications we take and decide whether the risks outweigh the potential benefits.

    Or we can just believe what we’re told by “Experts” on TV who never seem to get anything right. Or didn’t you funny guys above ever notice that?

    My kids are grown, but if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t have given them ANY vaccines, and I wouldn’t have taken any myself either. I personally know a few parents who have children who have never been vaccinated and they’re never sick, bright, happy children. Our bodies are provided with immune systems for a reason, they’re well designed and adapted. Nothing that is made by man is likely to improve on that system, especially not spread throughout the vastly individual DNA cohort of humanity.

    I’m done debating this, anyone who’s read this all can just start their own research and read the inserts to the drugs they take. The industry is required by law to provide them, (So far). There is NO LAW that you or your children must be vaccinated, not even to attend school. Every state MUST provide a waiver but you MUST ASK for it, they don’t offer it unless you do.

    Those of you who can’t be bothered to look into what I’m saying won’t be convinced no matter what I say. “My mind’s made up, don’t confuse me with the facts”. “I crack myself up”.

    peace freedom truth justice
    Dave Short

  64. Muzz

    Unbelievable. It takes moments to see that they market human papilloma vaccine to boys because they can spread it. That tells me 344 (404?) here hasn’t the basic grasp of what vaccines are actually for. No expert necessary. And yeah, much better to get non fatal cancers than take vaccines to prevent them. The mind boggles.

    Tell me, are you quote bombing from the Anti-vaccination version of Answers in Genesis?

  65. Earthen

    Holy moly, Brother, you need to take a step back and reevaluate what you are saying.

    Weaponized virus strains make vaccines unsafe?

    Also what are the 75 vaccines being given to children? I’m not very old (25) and I didn’t receive even a third of that.

    I think that it would be very beneficial to repeat this mantra five to ten times a day, “Correlation does not equal causation.” Don’t worry, it’s an alternative to vaccinating yourself against crazy!

  66. Truckle

    @62

    “6 types of Cervical Cancer caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. That virus is spread primarily by sexual contact. None of these 6 Cancers is known to be fatal if caught in early stages and most are easy to identify. Girls younger than 11 are not really at risk. And now, for some unknown reason they’re trying to market it to boys. Boys don’t get Cervical Cancer.”

    The logic you muppet is right there in your own reply… How about if boys dont have HPV they cant pass it on by… you know sexual contact to girls, and it wouldnt increase their risk of cancer? And you seem to be belittling the risks of cancer, you know, cancer is actually really dangerous?

    “Or we can just believe what we’re told by “Experts” on TV who never seem to get anything right. Or didn’t you funny guys above ever notice that?”

    Umm what? citation? evidence? Wait, not much point asking that. Yes you have shown figures showing certain types of disease rates increasing, but have shown no evidence that links this to vaccines except vaguely circumstantial.

    All in all you are asking whether we should trust an industry that has its roots based in science and evidence in which people are making fat stacks of cash out of it, or people in their back yards pumping people full of untested chemicals and making a fat stack of cash out of it?

    I’ll take the one based on science thanks.

  67. Travis D

    I find the idea that because H1N1(2009) didn’t kill millions that the actions taken against it were unwarranted as odd and dangerous. I’m sorry but you don’t wait for a virus to kill millions and prove it’s ferocity to act on it. Doing that is just stupid. You take precautions based on what it might do and, in case anyone has forgotten, it was a variant of a virus that once killed 100 million people. I think, based one what the implications were, that the actions of the WHO and CDC were warranted and, troublesomely, relatively ineffective in any case in containing the outbreak.

  68. Len

    I am most angry at the way this was reported in some places. Caught a news headline roundup on BBC last night and it said something like “The doctor who linked the MMR vaccination with Autism has been found to have acted unethically”

    They didnt go into too much more detail, and as such, to my mind, the message this sent to the casual viewer was “the doctor who correctly linked MMR with autism….” with the unethical part being a separate blemish on an otherwise stellar career.

    BE MORE THOROUGH BBC.

  69. Kristine

    I know someone who refuses to get her children immunised. She doesn’t even have to pay, Aussie healthcare foots the bill, and yet she and her children are the victims of this horrible hoax. She thinks she’s doing the best by her children. She has only their welfare at heart. She thinks she’s giving them the best possible start in life.

    I know someone in his seventies who can’t walk because he had polio as a child. He spends his life in various chairs. I’m sure that if he’d been able to have a vaccine when he was a child, he would have had much more quality of life.

    I can’t reconcile in my head the stark contrast between the two. All my children are vaccinated, even though I’ve been told repeatedly by my friend the anti-vac that I’ve put my children at horrendous risk. Because I want my children to have the best possible start to life. Because I don’t want my children crippled by polio, or brain damaged by measles.

  70. Earthen

    @65 Travis D: I totally agree with you there. Like the Boy Scout motto says, “Be prepared.” The whole notion that the H1N1 virus was more of a scare than anything A) don’t know what pandemic means and B) well, I mean, they don’t know what a pandemic is. And it was more than overstocking tamiflu, it was releasing leaflets to community centers and schools and the like detailing anti-contagion hygiene which is really one of the best lines of defense against infectious disease!

    Also, as an aside, for the Brother and any other anti-vaccine-ers, a pandemic simply means:

    “Main Entry: 1pan·dem·ic
    Pronunciation: pan-ˈde-mik
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Late Latin pandemus, from Greek pandēmos of all the people, from pan- + dēmos people — more at demagogue
    Date: 1666
    : occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population ”

    Source, you ask? Merriam Webster.

  71. Lawrence

    I would love for people to see (in chart form) the differences between deaths & injuries from disease today vs. that before regular vacccinations (for measles, mumps, rubella, the flu, smallpox & polio).

    I think you’ll find a stark difference between the two – definitively showing that we have 100x healthier today than we were just 100 years ago. Smallpox used to kill millions of people every year – yet no one gets it today, why? Vaccinations!

    You can talk about the fact that the scientists didn’t destroy the last samples when they had the chance (and most regret it now), but at least today, smallpox (bane of humanity) doesn’t exist in the wild anymore.

    As for H1N1 – the metrics still show that over 40% of the world population will be exposed to the disease. Sounds like a pandemic to me. And if it had turned into another “Spanish Flu” situation – where deaths were through the roof, would you have asked for the vaccine then?

    And finally, people complain about money – well, it seems that the leaders of the Anti-Vaccine movement are making money hand over fist selling books & “alternative” treatments – so how is that any different than profits from drug companies?

    It is very sad that we will have to see a major resurgence of childhood diseases – including polio, before people understand how bad these diseases actually are, and watch their children suffer needlessly when a simple vaccine could have prevented it.

  72. MadScientist

    Wakefield has been in the USA for a number of years now; depending on circumstances the UK authorities may not be able to impose any sanction or penalties. Unless his spinal tap victims (or their guardians, or the state) decide to file criminal suits (and no statutes of limitations are elapsed) and extradition proceedings can be initiated, Wakefield is free to continue to spread his lies in the USA.

  73. dipeo

    Lets see.. if the result wasnt popular to the ruling body then they will everything in the power to discriminate the author/scientist. Thats what they did here and btw stop being so naive about H1n1, its just the flu no big deal, a pandemic? go read some more psuedo science

  74. Chris Bowen

    Dave,
    Post 62. I have read a lot of what you are talking about, however there is one thing that always sticks out, and that is the term, I believe, we think.

    What you are using so far is pseudoscience. You have no evidence to back up what you are saying, in fact independent studies have shown you to be incorrect on a number of the issues still claimed.

    As for not being able to force you to give your kids vaccines, that is one bad part in the law, you should be required to vaccinate or move to a quarantined area, because I do not want my kids to die because you care for your kids so little not to have them vaccinated.

  75. So there I was, overwhelmed by the Poe-level flaws in the “344thBrother” comments. Then I read the news item below, which was just announced (link in my name):

    “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $10 billion over the next decade to research new vaccines and bring them to the world’s poorest countries.” … “We must make this the decade of vaccines,” Bill Gates said in a statement. “Vaccines already save and improve millions of lives in developing countries. Innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before.” … “Vaccines are a miracle,” said Melinda Gates. “With just a few doses, they can prevent deadly diseases for a lifetime.”

    “Vaccines are a miracle” – what a great quote. Science FTW.

  76. MI Dawn

    @344th Brother: You said: “Something is happening to our children. Autism, Graves Disease, Fibromyalgia, Herpes Simplex in all its forms,”…

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? VACCINES CAUSE GRAVES DISEASE????

    OK. I’ll stop shouting now. You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. Either you are trying to use scare tactics or you are nuts.
    Graves disease has been known for almost 200 years (It was described by Dr Graves back in the 1830’s for heaven’s sakes!!!) If your research is that shoddy, then I’ll happily ignore the rest of it. HSV has also been around for thousands of years (ever had a cold sore? Those are HSV…I had them long before I ever has sex). Or don’t you believe that diseases existed before they got official or new names?

    I could readily name kids from my 1960’s school who were probably autistic but weren’t diagnosed as such because they weren’t “Classic Kanner’s Autism”. Heck, I could name family members, including those born WELL before 1930’s who, reading family letters talking about them, were probably autistic.

    Squalene is not used as an adjuvent in the USA. Get over it (or tell your liver to stop making it).

    Read some medical history…read “The Medical Detectives”, Vol. I and II, by Berton Roueché and learn about disease back before most modern antibiotics (yes, he covers other things too, and the time frames vary).

    I’m proud to say that I, and my family, is entirely vaccinated. My grandfather, a GP from the 1930’s, loved vaccines. They meant fewer of his patients died of now preventable diseases. Seeing him cry because one of his patients, the baby of one of his “babies” (he helped her mother deliver her, and also delivered the baby) die from HIB is one of the worst memories of my childhood.

    I also learned recently (doing family trees) that my grandmother had 2 children die from diptheria in the early 1930s. I’m sure she would have loved to have a DTaP to prevent the loss of her children.

  77. Monkey Deathcar

    holastefan,

    For the last 5 to 10 years I’ve been a big fan of Mr. Bill Gates. Though I’ve found Microsoft, as a corporation, to be sub par in in many ways. It’s founder has been on the right side of most other issues. I would say all issues, but I’m sure there’s a couple out there that I’m ignorant of his position and disagree with it.

  78. DanMingo

    For all you people who think you aren’t hurting anyone by choosing NOT to vaccinate your children, fine. Just keep them the hell away from my kids #51.
    If your kids are already vaccinated what are you worried about?

  79. Andrew

    344th:

    H1N1 was a particularly deadly strain of flu. The reason it didn’t kill more people is because global health officials knew what they were doing and got vaccine out.

    The number of deaths worldwide is around 14,286 or > or = 8,768.

    You are ridiculous, and your aruments are full of circular loigic and easily preventable childhood diseases.

  80. MartinM

    On the Smallpox tests, yes it’s true that Smallpox has been “Eradicated” however the Soviet Union and USA then immediately sequestered samples of Smallpox to use in their bioweapons labs, and many different strains have been weaponized now, just as West Nile Virus, Yersina Pestis (Plague), Anthrax, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and many others have been weaponized, so, we’re really no better off than we were. The corporatization of the military and medical industry has made us less, not more safe, unfortunately.


    During the 20th century, it is estimated that smallpox was responsible for 300–500 million deaths.

    “We’re really no better off than we were.” Right.

  81. MartinM

    If your kids are already vaccinated what are you worried about?

    1) No vaccine is 100% effective.
    2) Some children are not vaccinated for medical reasons, such as allergies.
    3) Some children are too young to have been vaccinated.
    4) The immunocompromised are still at risk, even if they’ve been vaccinated.

  82. @344thBrother

    Wow. Lots of misinformation in your posts. (Apologies for the length, all, but there’s a bunch of fail in his post.) Let’s see, WHO hyping 2009 H1N1 Influenza A by calling it a pandemic. Well, it actually did reach pandemic levels before the WHO made their announcement. IIRC, they actually delayed making that announcement, because calling it a pandemic virus would require member nations to produce vaccines for it. The hype was more the part of the media, which I think could have done better. There was cause for concern, as well as reason to make preparations, but not something to instill paranoia about. The virus did have a huge impact. Thanks to modern medicine, like the vaccine and ECMO (a machine that breathes for you), we haven’t seen as many deaths as there could have been.

    The use of Adjuvants such as Thimerisol (Mercury), and Squalene actually crank your immune system up to the point that it can begin attacking itself, thus we see the huge increase in auto-immune diseases and allergies which I believe are due in large part to over-amped immune systems from our overuse of untested and unproven vaccines.

    As I understand the literature, there are no real strong links between vaccines and autoimmune diseases. At best, there are some smaller, preliminary studies that make tenuous associations, but nothing confident. Also, squalene is not used in the U.S., but has been used for at least 10 years in Europe. Feel free to provide links to the studies showing that adjuvants (of which thimerosal is not one…it’s a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the vaccine, which would cause major health problems) cause auto-immune diseases.

    Yes all 4 of the different Flu Vaccines were untested and unproven.

    Bzzt! Wrong. All vaccines are tested. Flu vaccines are tested every year before allowed to be distributed for use. The H1N1 vaccine was based on existing seasonal flu technology, which has been around for decades and has been heavily tested. The only difference was the strain of virus used. Oh, and a quick note on the Baxter thing: the contaminated material was intended for laboratory use only and was never going to be used in humans. Big screw up and they need to tighten up their QC, but it wasn’t something that was a threat to people.

    last I heard, children now get a total of 75 vaccine shots before the age of 16.

    Wrong. Your number is way too high. By age 18, if an individual gets all of the flu shots and HPV shots in addition to the rest of the recommended schedule, they will have been stuck with a needle 50 times. Why so many more since you were a kid? Because we’ve made a lot of discoveries and developed new vaccines since then to prevent illnesses which pose a real health risk.

    Guardasil, which is given to girls younger than 11 in some instances, is purportedly used to prevent 6 types of Cervical Cancer caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. That virus is spread primarily by sexual contact. None of these 6 Cancers is known to be fatal if caught in early stages and most are easy to identify. Girls younger than 11 are not really at risk. And now, for some unknown reason they’re trying to market it to boys. Boys don’t get Cervical Cancer.

    Guardasil prevents 4 types of human papillomavirus (HPV) which are known to cause the majority of cervical cancer cases. Regular screening can catch most of these cancers early, though one must also consider costs of treating the cancers (in time and money) and the psychological impact. Once infected, there is no way to get rid of the virus, so the individual can still spread it. In addition to cervical cancer, HPV can cause cancer of the penis, anus, head and neck, as well as genital warts and warts in the throat. And, while we hope that our kids are not going to be sexually active, there’s also the risk of infection from sexual assault. So far, Gardasil has a pretty good safety profile (and before talking about “deaths” from it, do some research – no deaths were causally linked to the vaccine), but the long-term efficacy is still in question, since it just hasn’t been used long enough to determine that.

    On the Smallpox tests, yes it’s true that Smallpox has been “Eradicated” however the Soviet Union and USA then immediately sequestered samples of Smallpox to use in their bioweapons labs

    Well, with the possibility of other countries deciding to use the virus as a weapon, it would be a bit foolish to not have samples available to create a vaccine to prevent or lessen the impact of such a weapon, no? Also, as far as we know, humans are the only reservoir for smallpox, but there’s always a chance that there may be some non-human animal reservoir out there where the virus can live. Again, foolish to not have access in case the need for a vaccine arises.

    Above i cited the CDC, NIH and HHS and other governmental agencies related to the epidemics of autoimmune diseases exploding throughout the country. Something is causing these diseases. What has changed in our environment? One thing that has surely changed is our exposure to toxic materials of all types.

    Another thing that has changed is the sterilization of our living environments. Kids are not exposed to as many germs as they used to. We spray Lysol, we don’t let kids play in (or eat) dirt, etc. That seems to be a big factor for development of autoimmune disorders later on, including allergies, asthma, and so on.

    Vaccines are one such chemical, and we receive them directly into our bloodstreams

    Wrong. No vaccine is injected into the bloodstream. The majority are either injected into the muscle or under the skin. Some are inhaled or swallowed, but none are delivered directly into the blood.

    vaccines are complex biological substances being injected into the human genome

    Wrong. See above. Oh, and look up the meaning of “genome”.

    Re: your HIV point. While the companies did engage in dangerous blood collection practices, and were rightly held accountable, screening for HIV was unreliable at that period in time, not to mention treating to blood to kill off the virus. A bad event, but not something to condemn vaccines.

    SV40

    A contaminant that was unknown at the time. Once it was discovered and screening processes were developed, guess what? No more SV40 contamination!

    We MUST start to read the inserts for the medications we take and decide whether the risks outweigh the potential benefits.

    Agreed. We’re rather complacent in our medical care.

    I personally know a few parents who have children who have never been vaccinated and they’re never sick, bright, happy children. Our bodies are provided with immune systems for a reason, they’re well designed and adapted.

    They’ve benefited from herd immunity, then. Lucky them. Our immune systems are quite remarkable, and introducing minute amounts of antigen so they can “learn” how to fight a viral or bacterial infection is a lot better than being infected with the wild-type virus and developing full-blown disease and its associated complications. Then again, for some diseases, like influenza, a robust immune system can actually be a bad thing, as happened in 1918, where those hardest hit were healthy individuals. Their immune systems went into overdrive and started attacking organs and such.

    I suggest a quick read of antiantivax.flurf.net and the links found there. You’ll find a lot more factual information than you’ll get from Barbara “vaccine conspiracy” Loe Fisher.

    In parting, a question: what evidence would lead you to change your mind? For myself, it would be well-designed, large studies published in reputable peer-reviewed literature.

  83. Lawrence

    The US Bioweapons program was shut down by executive order under President Richard Nixon in 1972 (any remaining research was done for strictly defensive purposes – i.e. developing vaccines against potential Soviet Bioweapons).

    The irony is that the Russians didn’t believe Nixon & went ahead with a massive program to weaponize just about every infectious disease known to man – including Smallpox. Evidence points to certain types of Soviet ICBMs that were prepared to carry Smallpox & other dieases to US targets, in place of nuclear warheads.

    Not much is known about what happened to most of the Soviet Bioweapons program after the Cold War ended – but it is possible that at least some of that technology, if not actual disease samples, made their way to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and even China/Pakistan.

    So, in the end – I’m happy that we continue to research a wide variety of drugs, vaccines, etc and rely on modern medicine – because I seriously doubt homeopathic & “alternative” remedies are the answer if something ever gets loose.

  84. ND

    344thBrother said,

    “On the Smallpox tests, yes it’s true that Smallpox has been “Eradicated” however the Soviet Union and USA then immediately sequestered samples of Smallpox to use in their bioweapons labs, and many different strains have been weaponized now, just as West Nile Virus, Yersina Pestis (Plague), Anthrax, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and many others have been weaponized, so, we’re really no better off than we were. The corporatization of the military and medical industry has made us less, not more safe, unfortunately.”

    Note how 344thBrother tried to minimize the effectiveness and success of the smallpox vaccine by going off and presenting the military industrial complex as a red herring. Vaccination works. Lab generated strains for which vaccines do not yet exist would be a danger if released but that’s got nothing to do with the efficacy of vaccinations.

    Edit: just noticed MartinM replied to this as well with info and a snarky comment :)

  85. @Lawrence,

    In many ways the “H1N1 was a flop” argument seems to me to be the same as the “Y2K was a flop” argument. In the latter, there was a *LOT* of work going on behind the scenes to fix the problem before the clock ran out. No, we likely weren’t ever under a civilization ending threat like some panicked folks envisioned, but it would have had serious repercussions had systems gone unpatched.

    When the year 2000 arrived and computers didn’t malfunction en masse, people didn’t say “all that hard work paid off.” Instead they said “Y2K was just a flop/hoax. Nothing happened.” Similarly, had we not released a vaccine for H1N1 we might not have seen 30% of the human race dead of H1N1, but we certainly would have seen a much higher death count. But people ignore the effects of preventative measures and just assume that things were much less serious than they were warned that they would be.

    @holastefan,

    I heard about Bill Gate’s pledge also and one of the first things I thought of was that nobody ever seems to say “I’m pledging $1 billion to get better homeopathic remedies, massage therapy and acupuncture in Africa to help combat their diseases.”

    I was going to follow this up with a joke about being paid $1 billion for a huge supply of homeopathic solutions and just providing plain tap water, but a thought occurred to me: How would a consumer know that the homeopathic “remedy” they are buying isn’t actually just tap water? We can run tests on drugs to make sure they contain exactly what the drug companies say they do, but we can’t do this for homeopathic solutions. After all, there’s no chance to testing it to detect the items originally placed in the water (been diluted too much). Do people who hold by homeopathy ever worry about fraud of this kind?

  86. @344thBrother,

    It is true that adjuvants do increase immune response, but these are used so that less viral agents (be they killed virus or viral proteins) need to be in the solution. Can you point to any study that has linked adjuvants to auto-immune disorder?

    When it comes to the number of shots, kids get exposed to many more diseases in a day then we could ever hope of vaccinating them against in their entire lifetimes. The normal human immune system is strong enough to handle the current vaccine schedule.

    As others have mentioned, Guardasil is being given to boys so that they don’t transmit HPV to unvaccinated girls. And it’s given to girls earlier than they might contract it so that their bodies are protected in advance. You don’t vaccinate after someone’s been exposed. Also, I don’t know of any definitive link that has been made between Guardasil and those reactions. A lot of claims, but nothing proven.

    A few Smallpox samples tucked away in secure vaults is “no better off” than millions dying from it every year? You and I have different definitions of “better off.”

    I haven’t heard of any explosion of autoimmune disorders, beyond Autism which some claim is an autoimmune disorder but hasn’t to my knowledge been proven as such. As far as Autism is concerned, I think the spike is due to better detection, a better recognition of the Autism spectrum, and conditions being recognized as Autism when before they’d be written off as something else.

    If you can’t prove the vaccines do harm, then we can’t really take your claims seriously. After all, vaccines have shown themselves able to prevent a lot of diseases that killed/maimed. The risk of vaccines doesn’t seem anywhere close to equal that of their benefits.

    Nobody’s arguing that the medical establishment/pharmaceutical companies are perfect. I think we’d all agree that they have some serious issues. That said, they do produce medicines that work and that save millions of lives. And if you’re going to hold up “alternative medicine” as some altruistic source of healing, take another look. “Alternative medicine” is a big business. Why does nobody (in the alt med world) rail against Big Alt Med?

    I don’t recall how the Patriot Act protected pharmaceutical companies. Can you remind me? Yes, they are protected somewhat by the “vaccine court” but that predated the Patriot Act.

    I will agree that people should read medicine inserts and be informed. Do your research and definitely don’t take a drug simply because “that guy/gal on TV said I need it.” Especially if said guy/gal is an actor/actress.

    With many actions, I would say you are free to do what you like with how you raise your kids, but when you don’t vaccinate you not only put your own kids in harm’s way, but you put other people. Other children too young for vaccines. Older people with compromised immune systems. People who (due to allergies or other medical conditions) couldn’t be vaccinated. To use a Vegas analogy: All of these people are betting their lives on herd immunity and people who don’t vaccinate their kids are skewing the odds towards the house.

    One last point, you can’t simply say “Here is my claim if you want any supporting evidence look it up yourself.” That’s not a way to win an argument. You must bring your evidence to the table with you, not demand that the other side do your work for you.

  87. Well, I am surely outnumbered on this site. So, have it your way, I can’t talk to you all at once.

    I’ll just say this. If vaccine companies want to make a product and connive with the government so that they don’t have to prove efficacy or safety (they have done so under the Patriot Act), alright. They admitted that the vaccines for H1N1 were unproven and the safety was unknown. It’s been admitted that H1N1 was man made. (part Swine, part Bird, part 1918 Spanish Flu) and released accidentally or on purpose, who can say? Another one of those little mistakes? This does not make me feel safer.

    We do know that George Herbert Walker (Poppy) Bush personally signed for the transshipment of over 750 different batches of biological, chemical and nuclear agents to Iraq prior to the first Gulf War, including West Nile, Plague, Spotted Fever, 3 different variants of Gangrene and Anthrax. That war was all about Hussein’s “Weapons of mass destruction”. There’s a disconnect here. What became of all that stuff? Why did the first cases of West Nile Virus appear around Fort Detrick Maryland and Plum Island bio-weapons facilities? What is “Gulf War Syndrome”, is it weapon or vaccine related? Why are over 30 new bio-weapons labs being built in urban areas around the USA? Is this a good idea given all the supposed terrorism we face from that bogeyman Al Quaida?

    If the government feels that a robust vaccine program is a good thing, I guess that’s their business. i don’t agree. I don’t feel that it’s a good thing for ME or my family, so, under the law I am fully permitted to refuse any and all vaccines and I will do so. I pose no threat to you or your family as I havn’t been seriously ill since the last vaccine I took in the early 90’s when I took a flu shot to “protect my patients” and came down with high fever, fainting and laryngospasm attacks that lasted over a week. I actually got used to not being able to take a breath until my larynx relaxed.

    I took the 3 series Hepatitis B vaccinations after that due to pressure from my job and suffered no ill effects as of yet that I’m aware of, but in retrospect I would have refused.

    It is my right to refuse coercive activity by the government and the citizenry. I will exercise that right. If I’m wrong, at least it’s my mistake and not some government/corporation experiment gone wrong like the Monsanto corn that’s killing the bees, or the air that was “Safe to breath” around 911’s Ground Zero. The list of these issues is endless and we probably don’t even know the half of it because of the secrecy that surrounds such things. If it’s all such a good thing, why all the secrecy?

    If however the government or you well meaning people feel that youhave the right or the power to FORCE me to take vaccines, I DO have a very serious problem with that and I won’t comply, nor will I be herded into any “Protective” facility. I would agree to a home quarantiine, but no more than that.

    Name calling doesn’t work on me. Some people have presented some well thought out replies and I appreciate that, some have not and I despise that level of intellectual laziness.

    You folks on the other side of the issue, I wish you well, even the name callers. You could do the same to me and leave me alone and we’ll get along just fine.

    peace freedom truth justice
    Dave Short

  88. MartinM

    It’s been admitted that H1N1 was man made. (part Swine, part Bird, part 1918 Spanish Flu) and released accidentally or on purpose, who can say?

    Rubbish. What evidence do you have that this is the case?

  89. Cheli Winkler-Groschen

    There’s so much fail in this antivaccination movement, I might need to get a special vaccination against it…

  90. ND

    344thBrother,

    You seem to write long posts but can’t respond to everyone? Some of us actually gave the same responses so there is duplication. You have rattled off a bunch of conspiracy theories, can you please provide some sources and evidence? Otherwise you’re spreading misinformation.

    Most of the people responding to you are about getting the information right. Getting the best data available to make an informed decision.

    H1N1 man made? How do you know this? What are your sources on this?

  91. they don’t have to prove efficacy or safety (they have done so under the Patriot Act)

    Citation please. FDA requires vaccines to be tested for safety and efficacy before they can be marketed and used in the U.S. There’s a little document called the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, which, combined with several titles in the Code of Federal Regulations, governs drugs, biologics and medical devices.

    Please stop making unfounded claims you read on some conspiracy site like NVIC. Provide citations to reliable information that backs up your claims (e.g., studies, original sources, etc.). Do not offer up your speculation. Do not quote out of context.

    Oh, and I’ve got a lengthy response to you around #73 that is in moderation, so keep an eye out for it.

  92. holastefan

    nor will I be herded into any “Protective” facility. I would agree to a home quarantiine [sic], but no more than that.

    And with that classic Evil Overlords hyperbole, I hereby call EPIC POE.
    No way anybody’s actually this bad.

    I’m a bit disappointed he couldn’t somehow get religion, global warming, more CAPS, or some other bonus crazy into his one-sided debate, but still an impressive batch of ranting nonetheless.

  93. Correction. It’s been approved and is at #84.

  94. Truckle

    Im calling Poe on Brother… Please, for the sake of my faith in humanity.

    I can’t see how someone can make an unsubstantiated/false claim in every single sentance without trying to.

  95. @Truckle

    Go read Barbara Loe Fisher’s blog, Vaccine Awakening. Or read some of the stuff spouted by the folks at Age of Autism. Sadly, there are people who really believe this kind of unmitigated crap.

  96. DF

    I was vaccinated and still ended up getting things I had been vaccinated for, and managed to not get other things. I think to vaccinate or not to vaccinate should be left up to the individual parents, not to a group of people slinging mud from either side. Given the fact things that were supposedly bad for people are now good, and things that were good are not being found to have negative side-effects I’m not sure there’s anyway for anybody to state one way or the other that a drug can’t have a negative effect in every person who receives it, and vice versa.

  97. ND

    Truckle,

    Such people exist, you can’t prove me wrong. They’re created by the military industrial complex to confuse and dumbify us.

  98. MI Dawn

    @344th: you said …”havn’t been seriously ill since the last vaccine I took in the early 90’s when I took a flu shot to “protect my patients”…”

    I hope you don’t take care of patients still, or at least, don’t have contact with any patients who might be sick, have depressed immune systems, undergoing cancer treatments, or anything else that might make them catch diseases more readily. I’d be really angry at you and your employer if one of MY family members (like my mother-in-law, who just had cardiac surgery) caught something from someone like you. And yes, I could prove that she had no contact with anyone else ill prior to you.

    Well, depending on your disease, no, we won’t herd you into any “protective” facility. At least here in the US, there are few of those any more. I don’t believe that there are any large sanitariums left in the US. There may be small ones here and there.

    We can just put you under house arrest. Ankle bracelet with monitoring and an alarm if you ever leave your house until you aren’t infectious any more. And, just in case your spouse and children might be carriers of the disease, we’ll lock them up with you. Don’t worry. We’ll let your employers know that you will be released when you are healthy…no matter HOW long it takes. I’m sure you have outside family members who can do your grocery shopping for you, or pay for having them delivered. And so many other things can be done via internet these days! You can pay your bills on line, so don’t have to worry about them. And I’m sure you have a good health care provider who makes home visits and can bring you any medications, etc that you need to regain your health. Most towns still have a visiting nurse, too, so you can be checked on by him/her, too.

    No Problem!

  99. “Antivaxxer movement leader found to have acted unethically”

    I just want to say that the title of this blog post could have easily been replaced with “Can of peanuts found to contain peanuts.”

    Antivaxxers, by their very nature, are unethical. They’re either lying, or they honestly believe what they’re saying, in which case they’re lying about having researched it fully. Either way, they’re liars.

  100. @DF

    I’m not sure there’s anyway for anybody to state one way or the other that a drug can’t have a negative effect in every person who receives it, and vice versa.

    First off, no one here is saying that a drug or vaccine can’t have a negative effect. Anything that has a chemical interaction with the body will have effects, some of them negative. What we can do, however, is figure out what those effects are and how frequently they occur. Thus far, the weight of evidence is overwhelmingly that vaccines are generally safe and that the benefits outweigh the risks.

    On the other side, we have a lot of speculation, argument from ignorance and other logical fallacies, conspiracy theories and so on, but no evidence. We keep asking them to support their claims, but they never do.

  101. Rift

    Wow 344 you are all over the place…

    Genetically modified corn is making the bees disappear? Ummm, No.

    Corn is pollinated by the wind, bees don’t have a thing to do with corn pollination, how do I know? Well, besides it being common knowledge, I grow the stuff. With bees not going around corn to pollinate it, why would modified corn pollen just effect bees and not other insects, since corn pollen is carried by the wind and not bees… Also I live in corn country and the bees have made a comeback…

    And this concerns Wakefield and vaccines how?

    (I would make a joke/reference to Doctor Who about why the bees were disappearing but 344 is spewing such harmful garbage it’s not the place to make jokes. He is engaging in what I call “shotgun” tactics in crank arguments, throw so much crap out there the skeptics have a hard time debunking it all. At least I can debunk one small bit, the bee/corn connection.)

    Oh, BTW Todd W I love you. I would never have the patience to do the posts you do. Thank you.

  102. CriticalThinker

    I find it interesting how people persist in thinking only in black and white. And I’m not intending that to mean anyone in particular more than anyone else, because it seems like every time I see an argument on this issue (and nearly any other), both sides are guilty of the same thing. People get emotional and therefore confrontational. When that happens you can’t take a step back and look at the entire issue objectively, you simply accuse and insult. This kind of thing is totally unproductive because who is going to listen to that kind of argument and take it seriously? Just look at inflammatory political commentors for whichever side you’re against and see how you feel about what they’re saying. Not particularly open to their rhetoric are you? So try taking a step back and letting the emotion out of your sails and actually consider what the other side is saying. As is usually the case, there’s more common ground than you probably realize.

    Now on to my actual point. ;)

    Let me just get this out in the open: My children aren’t vaccinated. *gasp*! I know, I know, I’m endangering the world with my flippant disregard for medical science, etc etc. But let me clarify. My oldest was vaccinated when she was an infant, just as doctors insist you do. I won’t bother going into details, but I will say that her reaction to the vaccination was extreme, yet was dismissed by the doctor as nothing serious. “It will go away in a couple days”. It took a little longer than that, but it did eventually go away. In case you’re wondering, no, she didn’t die. She’s 13 now and very healthy. But there is one tiny problem; she’s highly allergic to eggs. Now I’m sure many of you are thinking, what the heck does that have to do with anything. And I’m sure many others are getting their hackles up expecting me to go on and on about the evils of vaccinations. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I don’t intend to do that.

    The fact is that most, if not all, vaccinations are grown by incubation in the perfect ready-made petrie dish supplied by nature: eggs. This method works so well that as far as I know there isn’t any effort underway to find any alternative method. And it is a pretty cool procedure, if you’ve ever researched it. However, when this is administered, they don’t tell you about it. They don’t say “oh, by the by, if there’s any history of egg allergy in your family, you should know that this shot could be highly dangerous to your child”. There is no allergy test done prior to the shots being given. It almost feels like doctors are so afraid of scaring parents off that they avoid saying anything at all that may be taken as a negative aspect of vaccinations. This amounts to a kind of dishonesty, and dishonest people tend to foster distrust. Is it any wonder that people become suspicious?

    Now, I’ve examined the evidence for many other claims regarding vaccines, and I have never personally bought into the idea that they’re linked to autism. Aside from tearful and forcefully presented anecdotal evidence, there just isn’t any empirical evidence to support the claim. There is some evidence that the vaccinations cause reactions in some people, which can vary widely. Sometimes it even seems to trigger the illness being vaccinated against. The rates at which this happens differ depending upon which vaccination is being given, and it’s difficult to isolate a pattern due partially to the hesitancy by mainstream researchers to do real large-scale studies.

    It’s clearly the case that vaccinations have resulted in the near-eradication of most of the illnesses they target, at least in this country. It’s also clearly the case that the great majority of people that receive vaccinations have very little, if any, adverse reaction to it. However, the majority does not equal 100%. It never will. And I don’t care if you’re injecting people with sterile saline, you’re still not going to get 0% problems associated with the injection. It’s just not reasonable to assume it can be done. And I would never argue that the small percentage of people that experience a bad reaction means that nobody should be vaccinated. But I don’t think that means we can’t push to improve the numbers. Just because it works for most people shouldn’t mean we can sit on our laurels and not try to make it even better. We should always be pushing to improve, we should always be trying to make every batch better and safer than the last. And for me, personally, I would like to see work being done to move away from using eggs for incubation.

    Back to my own kids. We made a decision to avoid vaccinations on the other kids because of what happened with our daughter. We felt safe doing this because 90-95% of everyone else around them (including myself and my wife), are fully vaccinated. It’s always a risk deciding not to vaccinate, but living in a modern society has advantages such as being able to reliably predict that the great majority of people they will come in contact with will have been vaccinated, thus the spread of any of those diseases will be strongly hindered by the general population’s collective immunity, and they have a relatively good chance of staying just as healthy as anyone else.

    My daughter is not just allergic to eggs, but also dust, cats, and probably ragweed. She’s also beginning to show signs of asthma, which wouldn’t be unexpected for a child with respiratory allergies. Not one of my other 3 children have any allergies at all. I know that this is not scientific evidence, and I wouldn’t use this as an argument that people shouldn’t be vaccinated. However, I absolutely would use this as an argument that doctors need to be straight with their patients. They need to allow parents to make informed decisions about the health of their child. The choice is with the parents, and keeping information from them is taking that choice out of their hands, and it is not ethical. Beyond that, it’s not moral.

    I’m happy that most people vaccinate, and I’m just as happy that I am allowed the choice to not vaccinate my own children due to a specific risk factor they possess. However, I am still angry to this day that we were pushed into an uninformed decision with our daughter that caused such pain and misery in such a small baby, and that seems to have led to a life of hardship. And if you think I’m overstating the case, you should start reading labels and learn how many things you eat and take for granted contain eggs. I believe if you do you’ll be as surprised as I was. I’ve learned to make egg-free birthday cakes and cookies, but she’s going to have to watch carefully what she eats for the rest of her life. I don’t believe it’s fair for doctors to have put one of nature’s best protein sources out of her reach forever, just because they were afraid to tell me there could be a risk involved. And I don’t think it was just our doctor either. I’ve never spoken to someone who could remember their doctor informing them of a possible risk of reaction to egg proteins in a vaccination.

    There is no reason I can think of that doctors couldn’t inform parents of this risk, and any others that may exist, and allow them to make an informed decision. If given the choice, I could have opted to wait until she was older and I could have seen if she was allergic to eggs or not. Or I could have had an allergy test run prior to the vaccination to make sure, knowing about the history of egg allergies with some of her distant cousins.

    I would not argue against vaccinations. I also wouldn’t argue for dismissing all claims of problems related to vaccinations as newage reactionary pseudo-science. There is information out there, and one of the best things we can do is to educate parents who are making the decision whether or not to vaccinate…. and that means telling them not only the benefits, but the risks.

    If you read this far, thanks for your time. :)

  103. @Rift

    I don’t really entertain hopes of changing 344thBrother’s mind, but rather write for other readers who may not know the issues or might otherwise give his ideas serious consideration, as far afield as they tend to be. He seems to be a conspiracy-minded sort, believing in the incredible power and precision of authority figures (big corporations, government, etc.) while at the same time believing in their incredible ineptitude (look at all the mistakes!).

    Thanks for the bit on the bee/corn thing. Not something I would have thought about, myself, but thinking to what occurs in my garden, it makes sense.

  104. @CriticalThinker

    Thank you for sharing. A few thoughts on your post. First, as someone mentioned in Phil’s previous post on vaccines, research is going on for alternatives to eggs, including the use of virus-like particles and plants. It’s still very early in research and development, but it would be fabulous if they could discover better ways to grow the cultures.

    I agree that physicians should do a better job talking with their patients beforehand. When I went to get my flu shot this year, I was asked by the nurse if I’d had it before (I hadn’t), whether I was allergic to eggs and whether I’ve ever had an adverse reaction to a vaccine. She told me to wait in the area for about 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t have a bad reaction to it. Just this week, I went in for my physical and my doctor told me that my last blood test revealed I did not have hepA or hepB antibodies, recommending that I get those shots. I agreed. I was told about the diseases prevented, but not about the vaccines. Luckily, I’ve done a lot of research on my own already, so my doctor’s silence on that didn’t affect me, but definitely something that should be improved.

    As far as your daughter’s egg allergy goes, remember that in order to develop an allergy, one needs to be exposed to the allergen at least once. The first exposure generally doesn’t cause any symptoms. So, if the vaccine hadn’t caused a reaction, any other egg product most likely would have. I’m glad that you were able to catch it and that she’s doing well. For your other kids, have you discussed the allergy concern with their pediatrician to see if there are some vaccines they could receive, as not all are made with eggs? Have they been tested at all for allergies?

    At least for your daughter, you have a very legitimate reason not to have her vaccinated any further, and I don’t think anyone here would label you an anti-vaxer or berate you for your kids’ vaccination status.

  105. Lawrence

    104. Critical Thinker –

    While I understand your decision regarding your own children, you also should realize that as soon as the “herd immunity” vaccination rate drops below a certain percentage, your children will be at risk.

    This has already happened in towns in California, Oregon & Washington State – where one family travels overseas, gets sick, returns & manages to spread measles & mumps into the general population. Since vaccinations aren’t 100% effective, people do rely on “herd immunity” to prevent these diseases from getting a foothold & exposing those vulnerable people.

    In general, you are taking advantage of the correct thinking of the rest of us in not getting your kids vaccinated (but you were vaccinated by your parents, right?), but when the number of people who think like that grows, you will quickly run into a lose-lose situation.

  106. Earthen

    Guys…I think the 344 Brother thinks that we are actually living out The Stand. A superflu, accidentally and then deliberately released, what’s next? Is he going to claim that Captain Tripps is the man behind the evil vaccinators?!

  107. Mike Adams Fan

    The great swine flu hoax of 2009 is now falling apart at the seams as one country after another unloads hundreds of millions of doses of unused swine flu vaccines. No informed person wants the injection anymore, and the entire fear-based campaign to promote the vaccines has now been exposed as outright quackery and propaganda.

    Even doctors are now calling the pandemic a complete hoax. As reported on FoxNews, Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, a leading health authority in Europe, says that drug companies “organized a ‘campaign of panic’ to put pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic (http://www.naturalnews.com/pandemic.html). He believes it is ‘one of the greatest medicine (http://www.naturalnews.com/medicine.html)scandals of the century,’ and he has called for an inquiry.” (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,582749,00.html)

    H1N1 swine flu (http://www.naturalnews.com/swine_flu.html) was never dangerous, and it never should have been escalated to a level-six pandemic in the first place. It was all a big marketing scam (http://www.naturalnews.com/scam.html) whose purpose was to simply sell vaccines http://www.naturalnews.com/vaccines.html). (And the CDC and WHO were in on it…)

    And it worked! Big Pharma (http://www.naturalnews.com/Big_Pharma.html) made out with billions of dollars in profits for a useless vaccine that’s now being dumped by the truck load. These vaccines were, of course, paid for with taxpayer dollars, making the Great Swine Flu Hoax of 2009 nothing more than an elaborate financial scam whose goal was to transfer wealth from the People to the shareholders of Big Pharma.

    In just the fourth quarter of 2009, GlaxoSmithKline shipped $1.4 billion worth of vaccines. (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE60E1SU20100115?type=marketsNews)

    That’s $1.4 billion worth of taxpayer dollars, by the way. Dollars that could have been spent on nutrition or real health education. $1.4 billion worth of free vitamin D supplements would have done far more to protect public health (http://www.naturalnews.com/health.html) than vaccines could ever hope to accomplish.

    A bailout for Big Pharma
    Wall Street hucksters have nothing on Big Pharma, the CDC (http://www.naturalnews.com/CDC.html) and the WHO, all of which conspired to mislead the public and generate irrational fear in order to make money selling people vaccine shots they never needed in the first place.

    The drug companies raked in billions of dollars in revenues while providing a product that offered absolutely no net reduction in mortality. In fact, as the long-term side effects of the vaccines remain unknown, it could turn out that the vaccines actually result in a net increase in mortality.

    Meanwhile, countless people were harmed by the swine flu vaccine (http://www.naturalnews.com/flu_vaccine.html) frenzy (it’s “countless” because nobody’s counting). In addition to those who were nearly paralyzed after receiving the vaccine shots, grade school students in Massachusetts who lined up to receive swine flu vaccine shots were instead injected with insulin. (Insulin injections can put you into a coma.) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/19/AR2010011903366.html)

    The school sent a letter home to students blaming the mishap on the school nurse. But if they weren’t injecting these kids with a useless vaccine for a non-pandemic, none of this would have happened in the first place.

    Total swine flu deaths for 2009 were far lower than the number of deaths from regular seasonal flu. And yet it turns out that thousands of Americans who died from the swine flu had been previously injected with the vaccines (http://www.naturalnews.com/027956_H…). In fact, according to calculations derived from official CDC estimates, thousands of vaccinated Americans died from swine flu anyway. The vaccines, it seems, don’t really work after all. You’re just as safe doing nothing.

    Actually, getting the vaccine may harm your health. Outspoken Dr. Wodarg even says that the full extent of the damage from the insufficiently-tested vaccines may not be known for years. “The vaccine developed by Novartis was produced in a bioreactor from cancerous cells, a technique that had never been used until now,” he says.

    Just what we need, huh? Cancer cells being injected into the population as part of a vaccine campaign.

    Cancelling vaccine orders
    The Swine Flu hoax has fizzled out, and countries like Greece, France and the UK have cancelled orders for vaccines that they now realize won’t be needed ( http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE60I0RI20100119 ) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8448080.stm) .But even the fizzling of this hoax doesn’t mean it was a failure from the point of view of Big Pharma.

    The swine flu hoax was a huge success not only for drug company profits, but also for certain influential individuals including Dr Julie Gerberding, former head of the CDC who has now accepted a high-paying job
    as the president of Merck’s global vaccine operations. http://www.naturalnews.com/027789_Dr_Julie_Gerberding_Merck.html

    One minute you’re running the CDC, warning the country about a pandemic while urging everybody to get vaccinated, and the next minute you’re running the for-profit vaccine division of the world’s largest drug company. Amazing how that works, huh?

    Sources for this story include:
    Fox News
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,582749,00.html

    Washington Post
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/19/AR2010011903366.html

    Reuters
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE60E1SU20100115?type=marketsNewshttp://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE60I0RI20100119

  108. Franklin

    I think 344 brother must frequent Infowars and AboveTopSecret, among other sites.

    To Critical Thinker:
    I think I can explain the level of emotion on this issue.
    One, people like 344 brother are just throwing out claims, and are providing very few if any sources to back them up. And then he asks us to look it up, like it’s not his job to back up his own claims.
    Two, we’re worried, like others have said, that herd immunity will fail if enough people refuse vaccinations, resulting in more deaths. The evidence is there and has already been posted that vaccines work and have, for the most part, worked in preventing and all but eradicating many illnesses. So the evidence that it causes what 344 Brother thinks it causes had better be extraordinary in order for the risks to outweigh the benefits. That said, I don’t anyone will be slinging mud at you.

  109. Hey, Mike Adams Fan (#11): Did you bother reading any of my comments before you posted yours? The idea that H1N1 is not dangerous is not true at all — thousands have died from it — so what you are saying is perilously close to being an outright lie. Mike Adams has been shown many times to have said things that are not true at all, both on my blog and on Steve Novella’s various outlets too.

    But then, being a Mike Adams fan, you are almost certainly impenetrable to facts. So folks, there you go. This is what we’re fighting. Willful ignorance, professed religiously, and expounded at the cost of human health.

  110. @Dr. Plait

    I’d wager that there is a decent chance that Mike Adams Fan is Mike Adams himself. I might be wrong, but I wouldn’t put it past him to do something like that.

  111. MI Dawn

    @Critical Thinker: No, most of us won’t scorn you for not continuing to vaccinate your daughter since allergic reactions ARE a good reason not to continue. And, having lived through one child’s allergic reactions, we can understand why you didn’t do the others especially given the family history of egg allergies you mention.

    But some vaccines are not grown in eggs/albumin, and your children should have had those. Take advantage of herd immunity for those that you can’t vaccinate against, join us in protecting others for those that you can.

    Do your research, talk to your doctor/allergist and do what you can to protect your children and other children by giving your children the vaccines they can have, given the egg allergy history.

  112. I am not impenetrable to the facts. In fact the opposite is true. After a careful review, regardless if I am a Mike Adams fan or not, is that it was far less deadly then the regular seasonal flu.

    I do not appreciate being lied to. I am sure you do not enjoy it either. My child was one of the ones that were injected with insulin by accident, which caused me to start looking up more of the facts.

    As a previously firm believer in vaccines, I totally agreed with the status quo. Now, the accident has gotten me to look into more of what has really been going on, and I am honestly disgusted with what I have researched. The WHO is unethical in their practices and most of the research done to push these vaccines forward is sheer chicanery.

  113. CriticalThinker

    Todd W,

    Thanks for your thoughts, and I agree with you on most points. I should also have mentioned that she had not just 1 vaccination shot but 2. I didn’t mention it because this is usually how it’s done, so that was no different than any other baby being vaccinated. The interesting bit here is that when she reacted badly the first time, the doctor dismissed it as being a coincidence and unrelated. We trusted the doctor and, reluctantly, we brought her back for the second round. She reacted even more strongly that time, and in fact we were seriously worried whether she might survive for a couple days.

    While it’s true that generally speaking allergies don’t develop on first exposure to whatever triggers them, typically you’re talking about much lower levels of exposure. With a vaccine you’re injecting proteins directly into the body, which bypasses many protections the body has built in. There is no chance for the epidermis (skin) to protect the body or gastric coatings and digestive enzymes to break down ingested proteins before it enters the blood stream. This is the same reason immunizations are injected in the first place, in fact, but in situations such as this one it can lead to potentially severe consequences.

    In the case of my family, I am convinced that my daughter is allergic to eggs because of the injections she received, and likely would not be otherwise. I also feel there’s a good likelihood that if she had received the exact same injections at a later date she would have had a much better chance of processing it more effectively and not becoming allergic. My youngest is still a baby, and has not had any vaccinations, but you may be interested to know that I am considering selective immunizations once he is a bit older and his immune system more developed. As you can imagine, I am approaching this idea with a certain amount of apprehension. I could never forgive myself if he ended up with the same kind of problems as his big sister.

    All of this said, I’m not at all certain we would have made different decisions had we been informed of the risks. We may very well have done the same things. The difference is that we would have been making those decisions knowing the risks. Even if the same thing would have happened, at least we might have been able to recognize what was going on at the time and acted appropriately. But we didn’t know anything, and didn’t really figure it out for years afterwards. If we’d known, we could at least have given her benedryl. No parent should have to go through that, and they wouldn’t have to if they were simply better informed.

    Lawrence,

    I appreciate your concern, but I think you’re either misinformed or forgetting that most of the diseases being vaccinated against have a very limited timeline in which they’re a concern. Several other vaccinations are only effective for a few years. Therefore, once the kids are past 5 years old (which all of my children except the youngest are), they have already left the “danger zone”.

    While your scenario isn’t an invalid one, it doesn’t take these factors into account for my particular family. It might be more valid for my childrens’ children, and I will make sure that my children are as informed as possible by the time they are in the position to make this decision for themselves.

    For myself, I tend to dismiss alarmist scenarios from both sides. I don’t believe there’s going to be a pandemic of killer diseases caused by people not vaccinating. At least not in the foreseeable future. I also don’t believe there’s going to be a pandemic caused by conspiracies between policy makers and pharma companies forcing unsafe products upon the unsuspecting masses. Again, the only way you can arrive at a useful conclusion is to take the speculation and emotion out of it and look at it objectively. That’s often easier said than done, especially when something like this hits so close to home as it has for me. But an emotional reaction is less often to be an intelligent one, and these issues are too important to just react. Instead we need to act intelligently on real data, and look at the actual results.

  114. CriticalThinker

    MI Dawn,

    While I know I just said we need to take the emotion out of the discussion, the fact of the matter is that we are emotional beings. And that being the case, I’m sure you understand it’s not as easy as simply trusting that as long as a vaccination is not cultivated in an egg it is safe. Intellectually I’m thrilled that this option is available at some level. Emotionally, we remember having a tiny helpless baby that almost died due to having a shot.

    All that aside, I’m sure you’re also aware that many of these immunizations are no longer available individually. They are mixed by the manufacturer and shipped to the medical service providers that way. It was an option when some of my children were born, and I opted against them all for the reasons stated above. However, in most cases it no longer is. Though I understand the logistical and financial reasons behind this, in my eyes it’s another case of the choice being taken away from the parents.

  115. Lawrence

    Okay Critical – maybe your children aren’t as much at risk as they used to be, but there is always the question of children & babies that either aren’t old enough to be vaccinated yet or cannot be for the very same reasons or like reasons as your daughter.

    If enough parents make the same decision, it does have the potential to cause larger problems for the rest of us. The example of the 9 month old child who died of Pertussis in Australia is a sign of what can happen when unvaccinated babies are exposed to diseases by unvaccinated children.

    I do find the disconnect between the feelings of our parents & grandparents – to whom vaccinations were a godsend that ended quite a bit of suffering that they saw first-hand (measles & mumps quarantines, polio-summers, etc) and the current generation that has no first hand experience with these diseases.

    Somehow, we’ve got the idea that things weren’t so bad & if those diseases became a fact of life again, we’d learn to live with it. No one is saying that vaccines are 100% effective or should be given to every single person without consideration of allergies or other issues – there is a reasonable middle ground.

    But, it behooves the rest of us to take advantage of what medical science has created to make it possible for those who can’t be vaccinated to not be exposed to those diseases in the first place (hence the “herd immunity” that your children currently enjoy).

    As a parent of a young child, it would be criminal of me not to give my son the same immunities that I enjoyed when my parents had me vaccinated. And I remember getting the Chicken Pox when I was a kid (before the vaccine) – and it wasn’t a fun time at all – and there is always the chance that I could also get Shingles when I get older – and I’ve seen how painful that can be. It would be my responsibility to make sure my son doesn’t face the same prospect as I do.

    Parents always have a choice – but unless there is some underlying health reason not to be vaccinated, getting the vaccination is the right choice.

    Now, with H1N1 – yes, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. In part, because of general awareness of the disease, increased hygiene of the general population, the presence of the vaccine, and the disease itself didn’t mutate to a more virulent variety (for the moment), the overall impact was muted. Thousands of people did die, however, and a significant portion of the world population will ultimately be exposed to the disease (40% or above) – which rates as a Pandemic in modern parlance.

    I often wonder what these same people would have said if WHO didn’t declare an Pandemic & H1N1 turned into another “Spanish Flu” situation. They would have been blamed for not raising the alarm early enough & having the vaccine ready to go.

    They are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Raise the alarm or not, either way, they would have taken the heat. I’m happy to overreact & perhaps save more lives, than underreact and watch people die.

  116. Peter

    As a heavy lurker on this site it is easy to see who backs there claim with evidence and those who outright lie and spread misinformation.
    Never stop the fight BA, your doing a great jobb !

  117. @Chris at #61 Thanks

    @Toholio at #60-

    I am strongly pro-science and pro-vaccination.

    The point of the compilation isn’t a sort of vote where more posts = more right, or to provide some sort of “balance”. The point is to be thorough.

    Many rational science types are unaware of the anti-vaccine blogs (lucky for them), so listing the anti-vaccine, pro-Wakefield posts is a service to those who haven’t been involved in the autism = vaccine injury / all-vaccinations-are-bad niche.

    Many of anti-vaccine blogs moderate their comments with extreme prejudice. In other words, you have to toe the party line or your comment isn’t approved. Perhaps if an anti-vaccinationist stops by that particular compilation they might dip a toe into the waters of evidence-based thinking.

  118. @CriticalThinker

    I don’t believe there’s going to be a pandemic of killer diseases caused by people not vaccinating. At least not in the foreseeable future.

    I would not necessarily say a pandemic would result, but dangerous diseases will make a comeback if immunization levels drop. As a particularly sound example, take a look at the U.K. MMR uptake was pretty good and measles was declared not to be endemic to the population any more. Then came Andrew Wakefield. After his erroneous claim that MMR causes a gut disease which then causes autism, immunization rates fell precipitously. Consequent to that, measles rates increased and the disease is now endemic to the U.K. again. MMR uptake has started to go back up, but not enough, and it will take a number of years more until it no longer has a foothold.

    We also get outbreaks in small pockets where vaccination rates are low, for example in California a few years ago and recently in Brooklyn.

    So, we know that when vaccination rates drop, these diseases do come back. If rates drop low enough and stay low, then the diseases will gain a foothold. The potential is certainly there, and the plausibility has been established, for it to be a big problem.

  119. mike burkhart

    Phill religon has nothing to do with this this is just old quackery that has been around centurys and I think these
    people are in it for money they are makeing millons on books and interviews

  120. holastefan

    @CriticalThinker #116:

    “I don’t believe there’s going to be a pandemic of killer diseases caused by people not vaccinating.”

    You do realize, of course, that you get to say that while living in the safety & comfort of a modern society that has defeated numerous pandemics through vaccines. Sigh.

    That’s one of the disturbing things about antivaxxers — they have the luxury of pontificating their beliefs from within a vaccinated society that already has modern medicine available. Developing countries, the Middle Ages, and people from 1918 would all be *very confused* by this debate.

    @mike burkhart #122

    Phil didn’t mean “religion,” he meant they state their beliefs strongly (“religiously”). I had to read it twice too.

  121. I’ve noticed that the article that @Mike Adams Fan posted has been posted many places on the web. Google for “The great swine flu hoax of 2009 is now falling apart at the seams”. You’ll find blog post after blog post and web page after web page with the same content. It’s one thing to post links to an original story, or even excerpts, but to post the exact same content in many, many different places just seems spammy to me.

  122. “I do not appreciate being lied to. I am sure you do not enjoy it either. My child was one of the ones that were injected with insulin by accident”

    Que? Non sequitur?

  123. Kevin Ryan

    It is websites like this one and comments like (most) of yours that give me hope that one day things will improve. A big pat on the back to everyone here. I love a good, logical debate.

  124. Jeff

    I personally am not aware of anyone saying children should not be vaccinated, only that 1) the vaccines should be spaced out to minimize possible autoimmune problems, 2) children should be given immune system reinforcing vitamins before intentionally having their immune systems insulted, and 3) there shouldn’t be unnecessary harmful compounds like mercury in the vaccines. Where’s the harm in that? To characterize the opposition as “antivaxxers” or whatever misses the point about the true risks associated with vaccines.

  125. Kibby

    CriticalThinker, I think you nailed it. We are creatures of logic, but we are more creatures of emotion and experience. This trait has kept us alive for most of our evolutionary history and it’s not going away anytime soon.

    As some poignant posts have said, fewer people today have direct experience with epidemics of the scale and severity that were common before the age of vaccines. The memories of having a cousin trapped in an Iron Lung, or of losing a brother to the flu or your parents to smallpox, are fading.

    These days, Pfizer admits to pressuring docs to prescribe its drugs for non-approved uses, reporters uncover ‘epidemics’ of medical mistakes and reporting omissions in hospitals, and people are victims of screwups like the one in MA. Sadly, CriticalThinker’s experience with a medical professional after his daughter’s vaccination reaction appears to be the new norm. To his example I could add at least eight other firsthand accounts in which doctors ignored obvious symptoms of a serious medical problem – including one that almost killed my father.

    It’s hard to untangle the scientifically grounded benefits of vaccines from the equally tangible failings of the medical/pharmaceutical industries. Big Pharma, a broken health care system and dismissive ‘maximum patients = maximum profit’ doctors are major players in the anti-vaccine campaigns, whether they intend to be or not.

  126. About H1N1, it’s nonsense to think the WHO and the CDC could precisely predict the behavior of the virus, and purposefully misled.

    To see what transpired, you need to look at the data. For example, in FluView it’s clear that around October, the number of hospitalizations for the Flu were considerably higher than normal for that time of year. It was reasonable to suppose it could only get worse when December/January came around.

    You can see the same thing in Google Trends if you search for a keyword like “cough.”

    In the end, when Jan/December came around, the season was apparently like any normal season. It’s possible the H1N1 vaccine was helpful in this regard. To support this idea, I put forth the Google Trends results for “cough” narrowed for Australia (which has its flu season mid-year.)

  127. Josh

    If you honestly think the H1N1 panic was anything more than media-driven hysteria, you are dumber than the anti-vaccination movement.

  128. What I said at the beginning was just as valid now as it was when I typed it. You all have plenty info if you want to look around and make up your own mind. Good on you. Go forth and be well.
    …..
    39. 344thBrother Says:
    January 28th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    I love these cute nicknames people give those who buck the (rigged) system.
    “Truthers”
    “Birthers”
    “Tin Foil Hat wearers”
    now “Antivaxxers”

    OK my take is this. Nobody has mentioned that the WHO has been forced to investigate itself and even with that lukewarm “investigation” been forced to admit that they pimped the whole H1N1 “Global Pandemic” ALL out of proportion. In fact the H1N1 has been a big global flop, so why all the hype?

    Regarding the tiny little mistake that one of the pharmaceutical industry made on one batch of vaccine. Are you referring to the batch of vaccine that Baxter sent to 19 countries in Europe that were found to be contaminated with LIVE BIRD FLU virus? That’s kind of a big “Mistake” but don’t believe me, look it up yourself. But, if your mind’s made up, you won’t, so call me crazy.

    As for those people who did die from the H1N1 virus… how many actually took the vaccines beforehand? They don’t say. Ask a kid who’s classmates received vaccinations at school how many of the vaccinated came down with flu symptoms vs those who didn’t. Hint. More that took the vaccines got sick than those who didn’t.

    Anecdotal… as a child, I received all the (Supposedly) but NOT MANDATORY vaccines. AFTER receiving the MMR shots, I got the German Hard Measles and a BAD case of mumps. The Measles almost killed me and we were quarantined, it wrecked my vision. I remember the notice on the door. So, what is the point?

    There is no law, therefore, people shouldn’t be coerced, bullied, lied to or demonized if they choose not to take the vaccines. For those of you who choose vaccinations, that’s your business, I think you’re making a mistake but I’m not screaming about how stupid, reckless or dangerous you are. I’m not calling you all “Vacciners”. So, how about a little common ground here. If you’re feeling safe because you’re vaccinated, more power to you. If the vaccines actually do work, you have nothing to fear from those of us who choose NOT to take them.

    peace on earth
    d

  129. quasidog

    Great post Phil … very informative ( I will point this post to my family memebers also for a read)

    … and you didn’t have to mention Jenny McCarthy once! ;p (jks mate)

  130. holastefan

    @344thBrother #131

    Thanks for re-posting your whole original comment again, ostensibly to add the new “Antidepressant Nightmares” website link in your name. As predicted earlier, I knew you could find a way to get another trollin’ topic in here somehow, and you didn’t disappoint.

    You stay classy, 344thBrother.

  131. Lonny Eachus

    28. Larian LeQuella:

    “@ Paul (#20) and jasonB (#24), Dr. Plait has addressed your accusations quite thuroughly, and you are clarly showing your missunderstanding of what was said and hacked, and what it all meant. Please search his blog for the ‘non event’ in that…”

    Actually, there were two very long series of comments following Phil’s two posts about that, and some of them had some very interesting things to say, including some real evidence that not just Hadley Centre and CRU data, but also NASA data had been manipulated improperly. (Note that this does not necessarily imply a “conspiracy”.)

    Also there were a few links to more recent evidence (peer-reviewed papers) that suggest that greenhouse warming is not in fact happening in a way that is accounted for by the models being used.

    Phil actually addressed very little of that. Almost none, actually.

    Research continues.

  132. 344th Liar, spamming your ignorant first post will do nothing but invite a ban. Nobody will listen to you because you have proven yourself a fool again and again. For your sake and ours, shut the hell up.

    Lonny, I was going to address your crap, but instead I’ll just tell you to either stick to the topic and stop trying to drag it off, or leave.

  133. Kevin Ryan if you liked this debate/site, check out Sibel Edmond’s blog
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/ .

    Are you THE Kevin Ryan?
    peace freedom truth justice
    d

  134. CriticalThinker

    Holastefan,

    If you think I don’t know and understand the history of vaccinations and disease, you’re sadly mistaken. In fact, though I did not live through the era of polio myself, I did used to work in a place that, 50 years ago, was an authority in polio treatment; the Sister Kenny Institute. If you google that term or Elizabeth Kenny you’ll see why it was world renowned and why her name lives on. I am well acquainted with the ravages of that disease, and most of the others normally vaccinated against.

    And if you think I’m an “antivaxxer”, then you simply haven’t read my posts.

    Lawrence,

    Does the idea of someone advocating informed decisions scare you so much that you would call someone “criminal” for not doing something you take for granted? As Kibby said, that’s the kind of thing that fosters mistrust and adds fuel to the fire. If you want to convince people, you have to listen to them, not preach. You may find they have valid concerns, and dismissing them won’t help you or anyone else. That they have a problem should be recognized, and then we can all work towards finding a solution.

    Kibby,

    You put that more succinctly than I think I could have, thank you.

  135. holastefan
    I’m not trollin, I play poker for that.

    But I’m telling you http://www.ssristories.com is an amazing collection of really bizarre behavior under SSRI medications. There’s even a bunch of in air plane incidents.

    Did you know that Prozac and related drugs actually increase your craving for alcohol, (Which tends to react badly with them)? I know you didn’t. It’s not exactly reported much is it?

    Want to read a bunch of bizarre incidents? Go there, knock yourself out, it took me a solid week to wade through them and work out a system to make the language definitions as useful and accurate as possible before I ran a fairly extensive analysis of them. Lots of juicy data in that freely available database. I wound up with 2500 unique cases in my analysis. It’s pretty shocking.

    peace
    d

  136. Lonny Eachus

    135. Victor Prime, the Ghost-Who-Waddles

    I was responding to posts made by two other people. That’s on-topic enough for me. And what I wrote above was not “crap”, it was verifiable fact. You are the one who is dragging things on… I would not have bothered to post again if you hadn’t butted in to something that does not concern you. I know you, Victor, from past posts, and you seem to think that only one side of a subject requires skeptical examination. That is not a failing on my part.

    Unless I do something that gets me kicked off, I am here, regardless of whether you like my posts. You might as well relax and enjoy the ride.

  137. I guess that would make me an anti-antidepressanter trips right off the ol tongue.
    peace
    d

  138. holastefan

    @CriticalThinker #136:

    “And if you think I’m an “antivaxxer”, then you simply haven’t read my posts.”

    I did read your posts, and they were well thought out, and logically stated that vaccines don’t cause autism, etc. My specific comment you are referring to was intended to be a general statement about “antivaxxers,” not you in particular. If you read it again, I say “one of the disturbing things about antivaxxers” in a very generic way. I put it in a separate paragraph, but since I was referencing your post, I can understand your response. Sorry if it was misunderstood, you’re obvious not a fervent antivaxxer and I never thought that.

    However, I do stand by my response to your statement: “I don’t believe there’s going to be a pandemic of killer diseases caused by people not vaccinating” is at best somewhat of a non-sequitur, at worst a health risk for the general population (as other people besides me also mentioned in response to you.)

    “If you want to convince people, you have to listen to them, not preach.”

    Actually, I didn’t “preach” any particular topic whatsoever in my few comments. My only substantive observation was that modern medicine provides benefits even for those who don’t believe in it, and we should feel fortunate to have vaccines available, as 99% of history did not. You also said “you would call someone “criminal” for not doing something,” however I never said anything like that — perhaps you were referring to someone else’s post?

  139. holastefan

    @CriticalThinker #136:

    Oops, I now see you were responding to 3 different people in your comment above, so you weren’t attributing those quotes to me. (And I had such a good defense ready!) Please disregard, of course. Move along all, nothing to see here… proceed on down to comment #141.

  140. Lawrence

    If you understood my post, I said you are taking advantage of the relative immunity granted to your children by the rest of us vaccinating ours. There are valid reasons for some not to get the vaccines, but you have to rely on the majority of the rest of the population to do there part.

  141. squirrelelite

    344th brother,

    I am a little late to this discussion, so someone may have beaten me to the point, but the CDC’s latest estimate of people in the U.S. who have died from the H1N1 virus is 11,140.

    http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/estimates_2009_h1n1.htm

    So, you are off by an order of magnitude. Like most of your other claims.

  142. Travis D

    344thBrother, so SSRI’s cause some people to act weirdly. So what? Drinking too much….of well anything can cause some people to act weirdly. Some people acting weirdly does not mean that they are A) ineffective for what they are intended and B) pose a risk that outweighs their overall benefit. Hgih-blood pressure medication can be bad for you if you do not have high blood pressure, that doesn’t mean we should just ban high blood pressure medication.

  143. elix

    I think my favourite thing about 344th is that he doesn’t actually respond to anyone’s evidence, questions, or statements, most of the time, and instead fires off more nonsensical unfounded crap in every direction like so much grape shot. Even if I was on the fence on the medical questions, that’s a logic and continuity fail right there.

    Two words: [Citation needed.]

  144. Naomi

    @ Mike Adams Fan,

    “In addition to those who were nearly paralyzed after receiving the vaccine shots, grade school students in Massachusetts who lined up to receive swine flu vaccine shots were instead injected with insulin. (Insulin injections can put you into a coma.)
    The school sent a letter home to students blaming the mishap on the school nurse. But if they weren’t injecting these kids with a useless vaccine for a non-pandemic, none of this would have happened in the first place.”

    Oh dear. Perhaps you should check the article you’re posting, dear – it quite clearly says that a handful staff members were injected, not lines of school kids. And one single injection of insulin won’t put you in a coma. It’ll give you hypoglycemia, something that’s easily remedied by… eating something sugary. What a hardship! What a tragedy!

    @ 344thBrother:

    … Sigh. You know what?

    I like the fact that I was the only member of my household to get the seasonal flu shot last winter, and was the only member of my household who didn’t get the flu.

    I like the fact that my brother and I didn’t get the measles when we were kids after an unvaccinated family went overseas, contracted it, and spread it throughout the school.

    I like the fact that Hib vaccines means that kids don’t have to suffer like my little brother did – he got sick in 1991 when he was two years old, two years before the vaccine was introduced in my country. I don’t know if you like hearing your little brother screaming and crying in pain from all the way down a hospital corridor, but I’m not a big fan of it, thanks.

    I like the fact that SSRIs mean that my mother isn’t suicidally depressed, and that it’ll prevent her killing herself like her father and his sister did.

    Oh, and also, regarding the MMR vaccination and autistic spectrum disorders: both my brother and I were vaccinated. He had a bad reaction, including a high fever and a rash. And yet… I am the one with Asperger’s.

    You know who else had Asperger’s? My grandfather, who was born in the 1920s, showed textbook signs of it throughout his life (we have family letters), and who wasn’t vaccinated for anything other than smallpox (and that was a fair bit later in life). Gasp! Maybe that means that ASDs… aren’t connected to vaccines!

  145. fred edison

    Some person on some antivax blog said they hadn’t had a vaccine for 40 years and would never have one. As if that’s something to be proud of! Why can’t these people find a nice desert island, far away from civilization, where they can happily share their irrational hatred of vaccines and bizarre love of disease to rest in peace.

    And for those of you who tout the H1N1 number of deaths as not worthy of mention or concern because the seasonal flu killed more people worldwide, here’s a little question. What if one of those H1N1 deaths had been a friend, wife, husband, or child of yours. Maybe then it would make you realize (remote chance, I’d bet) that what this is about is bigger and more selfless than being just about you.

  146. chaboyax

    i have been coming to this blog and baut forums since i started researching vaccines for my little boy esp the mmr. needless to say i had a very hard time with all the antivax nonsense out there before i came to the truth (i was very close to not having him vaxined). he now has all vacines and is a very happy, healthy and clever four year old. phil really helped me see through the fog of nonsence out there thanks phil. ohhh and you helped me realise how much i love sceince and astronomy another thing my little guy loves

    please pay no heed to the spelling im not as thick as it looks i hope

  147. anti-vaxxers make moon hoaxers look like reasonable, incisive thinkers.

  148. AnthonyK

    Whew – what a great post, complete with crazy anti-vaxxer arguments, and reasoned, informative responses.
    Normally I would regard this sort of nonsense as harmless (along the lines of that awful movie “zeitgeist”, or the “Moon Hoax” blather) but in this case, as Dr Phil and others have pointed out, children die from preventable illnesses because of the “Vaccines are dangerous” lie.
    The one thing the two conspiracy-mongers above have in common is that they know nothing whatsoever about the subject of vaccines, or indeed medicine in general. “injected into the genome” indeed!
    In this case, ignorance, your utter, wilful ignorance “344” and “Mike Adams fan” costs lives. In view of this I feel quite justified in calling both of you deluded onanists.
    Well done everyone else!

  149. Tan Coul

    As usual, the UK tabloids are playing the Big Pharma / Gov conspiracy line – only surprise, this time it’s the (usually slightly more sane than the rest of the rags) Mirror – under the headline “MMR doc’s just guilty of caring”
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/01/30/mmr-doc-s-just-guilty-of-caring-115875-22005783/
    The mind fair boggles…

  150. Andrew

    Naomi,

    So when 344 wrote that it was his child who was injected with insulin, he was *gasp* lying? I guess when he said he didn’t appreciate being lied to, he meant “because I have too much fun lying myself”

  151. Bob

    Hi Phil,

    are you planning to report on unethical and illegal behavior of climate scientists from CRU (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/International/2010/01/28/Agency-Climategate-scientists-hid-data/UPI-16001264695241/) ?

  152. Jen

    From experience, vaccines lead to systemic candida… which (if you look) has the same symptoms as Autism… candida is the underlying factor here… an upset in the PH balance which allows yeast to grow and thrive in any system/organ in the body!!!!!

  153. Quick note: over at Age of Autism, Mark Blaxill wrote a screed about how the GMC hearings are basically an attempt to censor researchers questioning the status quo, titled “Naked Intimidation: The Wakefield Inquisition Is Only the Tip of the Autism Censorship Iceberg”. Earlier today, I posted the following:

    @Mr. Blaxill

    “all three men guilty on all counts”

    False. There are a number of counts for which the GMC ruled “Found not proved”. Please refrain from distortions like this.

    “the procedures involved were routine”

    False. Wakefield, et al., conducted clinically irrelevant colonoscopies, MRIs and lumbar punctures, despite documentary evidence that such procedures were not indicated (see, e.g., 23(d)(ii)).

    Ultimately, the GMC looked solely at Wakefield’s, Walker-Smith and Murch’s ethical conduct in their research. They did not look at the science they were attempting. They did not evaluate the claims they made with regard to MMR and autism. They only looked at whether they behaved according to proper ethical principles, such as those spelled out in the Declaration of Helsinki, Nuremburg Code, Belmont Report, and ICH human protections guidelines, among others. They found that the physicians conducted their research unethically.

    Wakefield, et al., should be punished accordingly, as should any physician-researcher who conducts themselves contrary to accepted ethical guidelines. This is not censorship.

    Now, I hope you will allow this comment through, rather than censor it. It will be cross-posted elsewhere on the web.

    Let’s see if they allow my comment through or censor it.

  154. @Jen

    Do you have some evidence to support your claim?

  155. I’ve updated antiantivax.flurf.net with links to both the original Lancet announcement retracting Wakefield’s paper (announced today) and the original PDF of the GMC ruling against Wakefield, Walker-Smith and Murch.

  156. Calli Arcale

    Jen@156:

    From experience, vaccines lead to systemic candida… which (if you look) has the same symptoms as Autism… candida is the underlying factor here… an upset in the PH balance which allows yeast to grow and thrive in any system/organ in the body!!!!!

    It does? Do tell! I’d love to know what this experience is that could demonstrate such a thing.

    You are correct that a pH imbalance can cause problems, though I’m not aware of candida being among them. The most common is “death”. (That is, if you’ve been told you have a pH imbalance, you are probably being taken for a ride.)

  157. ND

    Off the top of my head I think the candida issue arrises from antibiotics and not vaccines. Antibiotics may reduce the population of benevolent acid producing bacteria, reducing the acidity levels and allowing the existing candida to proliferate more. I may be wrong about this but I think that may be correct.

  158. MassiveLee

    Bet you any money 344th whatsisnose is a Scientologist. The anti-traditional-medicine, the open, constant, zealot-like misinformation-fostering, the anti-psychiatric-meds screed out of goddamn nowhere? I smell L. Ron!

    Hey chuckles, if you’re trying to pretend you’re ex-military/industrial and thus totally privy to the inner workings of the reptilian shadow cluster Xenu Illuminati NWO complex of death – pull the other one. They screen for bloviating rumour jockeys because your cute little antics can get people maimed or worse.

    @Calli – well, a legit pH imbalance (in blood anyway) means you’ve got ketoacidosis (almost had that happen to me once – thanks, diabetes) but that hasn’t got a whole hell of a lot to do with candida :)

  159. Awakeandalert

    There is no scientific or medical proof that shows vaccines are effective against diseases. Wake up, people! Diseases become extinct on their own, naturally. What about all the brain injuries and deaths caused by vaccinating children? I would much rather deal with a bout of whooping cough than lose my son to an allergic reaction to vaccines. News flash people, vaccines = big money for doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Remember, this is a free country and antivaxxers are allowed their opinion. So, raise your kids and I will raise mine and don’t blame non vaccinated children for the emergence of diseases, there is no proof of the link. And if your kids are vaccinated and you think they’re protected from these diseases then you have nothing to worry about right? They’re vaccinated so they should be hunky dory. God help the ignorant.

  160. i just cant okay a ladie who loves putting on pantyhose on a regular basis its my most important turnon , wheres my pantyhose lady.

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