Big Picture Science: Antivaxxers (and updates)

By Phil Plait | May 15, 2012 11:15 am

I do a roughly monthly segment with astronomer Seth Shostak on Big Picture Science, a radio show/podcast done by The SETI Institute. This month, Seth and I talked about the American Airlines dustup when they were planning to run an interview with reality-impaired antivaxxer Meryl Dorey. This story is a great victory for reality, and I’ve already written about the back story.

Never forget: this antivax issue is more than important: it is literally life and death. Because of lowering vaccine rates, pertussis outbreaks are so prevalent health officials in the state of Washington have declared it to be an epidemic. The governor has had to dip into emergency funds to the tune of $90,000 to finance an information campaign to get the word out.

But the money is secondary to the idea that babies and people with immune deficiencies are at risk of dying from a disease that is essentially totally preventable if everyone got their vaccinations and boosters.

I cannot state that any more simply. The antivax crowd says vaccines cause autism, vaccines cause neurological problems, vaccines hurt your immune system. None of that is true. The real danger is when people believe the antivax propaganda. Infants too young to be vaccinated themselves rely on herd immunity — if enough people are vaccinated the disease has no place to live. And when we as a community don’t vaccinate, people get sick, and some people — including those infants, usually just a few weeks old — die.

Talk to your board-certified doctor, and if they say it’s OK, get vaccinated. You may save more than one life doing so.


Related Posts:

- Followup: Antivaxxers, airlines, and ailments
- UPDATE: partial Complete success with American Airlines!
- Whooping cough outbreak in Boulder
- Stop antivaxxers. Now.

Comments (59)

  1. MNP

    I thought the WA epidemic was due to a lack of funding. Not people refusing care, but that people couldn’t afford it because of state health services budget cuts.

  2. @ ^ MNP : Could, of course, be a combination of both.

    Oh & see my favorite Utube musical on this topic linked to my name. So much truth to that – and catchy too.

  3. MNP

    @ Messier Tidy Upper:

    I read in the article: “Patti [CDC spokeswoman] emphasized that pertussis isn’t spreading because of an anti-vaccine movement. Among possible reasons for the recent spike are that diagnoses in teens and adults are getting better and doctors are doing a better job with reporting, she added…”

    Is it right to say point blank that’s why when the story linked to has the authority figure say something contrary?

    Interesting tanget: I just got a TDAP last time I was at the doctor for a physical. The doctor and I bashed anti-vaxxers for a little bit. Just to head off any charge that I am an anti-vaxxer.

  4. AbsoluteZero

    If vaccines are totally 100% safe, maybe you can tell me how my father contracted Guillain–Barré syndrome, a neurolgical disease, from a flu vaccination last year? You talk about denying reality all the time, and yet every time you come around saying vaccines are 100% bullet proof safe, you are doing the same yourself. It really bugs me, Phil.

  5. Jennifer

    (sigh) They aren’t 100% safe, and no one says they are. You’re tilting at a strawman.

  6. When did Phil ever say that vaccines are “100% safe”?

    He’s said that they’re safe plenty of times, and indeed they are–much moreso than leaving oneself vulnerable to the horrible diseases they prevent. But just because something is relatively safe doesn’t mean it’s 100% free from any side effects whatsoever, nor has anyone (least of all Phil) actually made that claim about vaccines.

  7. Ron Scott

    @AbsoluteZero Please tell me where in Phil’s post, or in any past post, he’s stated that vaccines are “totally 100% safe?”

    No medical procedure, including vaccination, is “totally 100% safe.” I assume that Phil knows that. I assume that you are aware of it too.

    It’s highly unlikely, but possible, that your father’s Guillain-Barré came from a vaccination. The best information we have puts the risk at lower than 1 in 1,000,000 incidents (ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20797646).

    In any case, I invite you again to cite where Phil states what you claim he states about vaccination.

  8. Blargh

    That’s actually one of the things that bug me the most about the autism antivax crowd: even if MMR vaccinination had caused 100% of all autism, the correct course of action would still be to vaccinate – because the risk of a child being brain damaged from the diseases it protects against would still be massively higher.

    (And since this can’t be stated enough: that was an “if vaccination had”. Vaccines do not cause autism.)

  9. Carol

    It seems to me that the issue in WA was that these vaccines have a rather short half-life, and that teenagers are no longer immune. This being the case, it isn’t really right to rail at anti-vaxxers, but probably more correct to rail about the fact that we need to keep re-vaccinating, although the mantra when we were children was that these were life-long vaccinations. I suppose we will be seeing polio outbreaks soon too.

  10. Ben

    Interesting study on the psychology of antivax propaganda and how to effectively combat it. I’m a bit worried that the researchers intentionally exposed people to antivax messages. We don’t do that to study pathogen treatments.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=when-pro-vaccine-messaging-backfire-12-05-13

  11. frankenstein monster

    If vaccines are totally 100% safe, maybe you can tell me how my father contracted Guillain–Barré syndrome, a neurolgical disease, from a flu vaccination last year?

    1. Literally nothing is 100 % safe. not even writing crap on the internet

    2. quote :

    Some cases may be triggered by the influenza virus, or by an immune reaction to the influenza virus.[9] There was increased incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome following influenza immunization during the 1976-1977 swine flu pandemic; [10] however, epidemiological studies since then have demonstrated either an extremely small increased risk following immunization (under 1 additional case per million vaccinations) or no increased risk.

    If someone’s body is prone to mistaking its own myelin for a flu virus then he can potentially get this disease from the weakened virus in a flu vaccine. But the chance is, that the real, not weakened, flu virus could cause far more damage.

  12. Jens

    “4: “If vaccines are totally 100% safe, maybe you can tell me how my father contracted Guillain–Barré syndrome, a neurolgical disease, from a flu vaccination last year?”

    Kindly provide proof that the Guillain–Barré syndrome was caused by the vaccine.

    Just for your information I myself contracted that syndrome about 15 years ago and after a spate in the hospital and some very expensive drugs, I came out none the worse. I hadn’t had any vaccinations within the previous year and no one knows (or at least didn’t know at the time) how it is contracted.

  13. Calli Arcale

    Carol,

    Vaccinations are not all the same and neither is immunity. I understand the polio vaccine does produce strong long-term immunity. Pertussis is a nasty little bugger, and immunity to it tends to be mild and short-lived — regardless of how you get immunity. Vaccine immunity seems to last about as long as natural immunity to it.

    There are several reasons we vaccinate children more than adults. 1) They are more likely to suffer severe consequences of the illnesses. 2) They are less likely to have good hygiene. 3) They are more likely to be exposed to it. 4) For many vaccine-preventable diseases, children are actually the primary reservoir (mostly because of 2 and 3), so eliminating it from them may eliminate it, period.

  14. Gary Ansorge

    DPT vaccines are recommended to be taken every 8 to 10 years, to maintain immunity at or above 90%.

    Gary 7

  15. Mitch J

    I just recently got my tetanus vaccination, and I did check and it also had the pertussis vaccine included. I’ve done my part! Suck it, antivaxxers!

  16. Jonathan Ray

    People should be forcibly vaccinated for the exact same reason that we don’t allow people to drive drunk. Their behavior is a net harm to both others and themselves.

  17. amphiox

    The other thing, AbsoluteZero, that you have overlooked, besides your silly and false 100% strawmen, is one of the other main risk factors for Guilliane-Barre syndrome is viral illnesses SUCH AS THE FLU. And the risk from the flu is HIGHER than the risk from the flu vaccine.

  18. @1 MNP – I’m an ER nurse here in Washington. Vaccinations are easy to get for free, but there are an astounding number of people who don’t get their kids immunized. Seems to be mostly the hippie natural medicine thing. Most shifts I see an unimmunized kid, and it’s a complete waste of time to argue with the parents. So far this year I’ve seen two pertussis cases, in the preceding twenty I can also count only two.

    No bad outcomes, though one this year was a baby and was quite sick. Still, putting a child in danger like that seems a horrible thing to do.

  19. Nigel Depledge

    Absolute Zero (4) said:

    every time you come around saying vaccines are 100% bullet proof safe

    This is an out-and-out lie.

    No-one has ever claimed that vaccines are 100.000% safe.

    But then, nothing is 100% safe. Look at how many people injure themsleves each year on their bedclothes, for example.

  20. Nigel Depledge

    Carol (9) said:

    It seems to me that the issue in WA was that these vaccines have a rather short half-life, and that teenagers are no longer immune. This being the case, it isn’t really right to rail at anti-vaxxers, but probably more correct to rail about the fact that we need to keep re-vaccinating, although the mantra when we were children was that these were life-long vaccinations. I suppose we will be seeing polio outbreaks soon too.

    It all depends on the aetiologic agent in question. How long acquired immunity will last depends on the mutation rate and prevalence of the pathogen.

    Polio, BTW, is once again on the verge of being eradicated. IIUC, it only has wild populations in about 3 or 4 countries worldwide now. The last time we were this close to eradicating polio, the eradication effort was foiled by antivaccination liars in Nigeria, who put too many people off getting the vaccine so the virus remained at large.

  21. db26

    Vaccines = injecting yourself with a virus.

    Doesn’t make sense to me. If you haven’t evolved enough to fight diseases naturally, you deserve to die.

  22. JB of Brisbane

    @db26 #21 – No, vaccines = giving your immune system a small taste of something nasty, so that when a big dose of it comes by, it’s ready to fight it.
    In fact, vaccination is ALL ABOUT “evolving enough to fight diseases naturally”, as opposed to treating them with drugs or antibiotics.

  23. Pertussis is a nasty, tricky bacterium. It doesn’t give you lifelong immunity, like measles virus does. It starts out seeming to be nothing but a common cold for about a week or so, before the typical cough starts. It’s milder in older teens and adults, making them more likely to spread it without realizing they have it.

    Fortunately, the only known reservoir is humans, so we could, potentially eradicate it if enough people are immunized. Granted, the current vaccine does have plenty of room for improvement, such as improving its efficacy and trying to make it last longer to reduce the need for frequent boosters.

  24. Nigel Depledge

    Db26 (21) said:

    Vaccines = injecting yourself with a virus.

    This is just wrong.

    Many vaccines are based on recombinant viral or bacterial proteins.

    Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Your lack of understanding does not change the fact that vaccination prevents a huge amount of human suffering.

    If you haven’t evolved enough to fight diseases naturally, you deserve to die.

    You don’t understand evolution either, do you?

    Individuals don’t evolve. Populations evolve.

  25. Nigel Depledge

    Todd W (23) said:

    Granted, the current vaccine does have plenty of room for improvement, such as improving its efficacy and trying to make it last longer to reduce the need for frequent boosters.

    I don’t know if it is the case for pertussis, but for some viruses, the short-lived nature of our immunity is more to do with the rate of evolution of the virus population than with our own immune response. Once a virus evolves enough to evade our immunity to it, we are vulnerable to it once again.

    I guess one approach would be to increase the number of epitopes in the vaccine to force the virus to evolve more changes before it can evade our immune response, but this would be a substantial piece of work, for a relatively minor gain.

  26. @Nigel Depledge

    Pertussis is a bit unstable, genetically. But that’s mainly what I had in mind. Because it changes pretty quickly and doesn’t have a lot of stable targets, our immune system’s germ ID registry (for lack of a better pithy description) gets out of date pretty quickly, though not as fast as with a virus like influenza. So, to make the vaccine last longer, researchers would need to identify some aspect of pertussis that is relatively stable and that can be acted upon by the immune system.

    Of course, the other approach would be to get everyone in the world immunized within just a few years, thus rendering the bacteria extinct, since they’ll have no place to grow. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, so I think our best bet is to go for the research.

  27. Reuben

    “And when we as a community don’t vaccinate, people get sick, and some people — including those infants, usually just a few weeks old — die.”

    The collectivist word ‘we’ is the most dangerous word in the entire world. Also, if a vaccine is so great and someone has had one, then why are you so afraid of the unvaccinated?

  28. Trebuchet

    After reading this yesterday I checked with my doctor. It appears the “tetanus shot” I had last year was just that, not the TDAP. We live in Washington and will be going in for a TDAP within a day or two. We’re in our 60′s and not usually around small children, but you never know.

  29. Archwright

    @AbsoluteZero Given what ye olde wiki site said, there is no conclusive link between the flu and this disorder. I’m not saying that it didn’t happen. I’m not saying that it cannot happen. I’m just saying that this is an area of immunology that isn’t well documented yet.

    What we do know about immunology indicates that vaccines are the best tools we have to prevent infection from a given pathogen. We also know that there is a provable disconnect between vaccines and most neuro issues, your Grandfather’s case being an exception.

    Lastly, the flu vaccine does not provide protection against all flu strains. It is possible (not knowing the timing) that he picked up some other strain of that year’s flu virus, and that triggered the neuro issues.

  30. Reben (27): Did you read the part where I say, right there in the article and in bold letters, that people with immune deficiencies and infants rely on everyone else to get vaccinated?

  31. April Brown

    There were some threads on this on The Slog (The Stranger’s blog site), and I found it interesting that even when the original post didn’t call out antivaxxers, the response threads immediately started calling out the anti-vaccine crowd in a very hostile manner.

    This is interesting because readers of The Stranger are probably more likely to be sympathetic to the anti-vax ideas – leftish, cynical, and in the economic bracket that accompanies counter culture (lots of students and other sorts that might not have the money to go to the doctor.)

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/04/24/washington-at-record-pace-as-whooping-cough-cases-pass-1000

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/04/03/washington-declares-whooping-cough-epidemic

    The Anti-anti-vax message has definitely permeated a lot of people’s minds, which is good. I think the Washington epidemic will publicize the issue even more.

  32. Siobhan P

    “If vaccines are totally 100% safe, maybe you can tell me how my father contracted Guillain–Barré syndrome, a neurolgical disease, from a flu vaccination last year?”

    The vaccination doesn’t cause it. People who don’t get vaccinated but who contract the flu ALSO get this syndrome, and at about the same rate (which is actually a pretty low percentage). The most current thinking is that it’s got something to do with inflammation, but they’re not entirely sure what the mechanism for this particular syndrome is. The point here is that everyone has the same risk of getting this syndrome, more often from actually getting the flu.

    Also, your grandfather is at no more risk of contracting it again if he gets another vaccination than he would be if he just let himself get the flu instead. The risk of recurrence is the same whether he gets vaccinated or not, let me say that again, the risk of recurrence is EXACTLY THE SAME whether he gets vaccinated or lets himself get the flu. Since the flu is so miserable and carries larger health risks, getting vaccinated again is STILL the most reasonable course of action.

  33. @Trebuchet

    Very good point. The adult schedule generally just recommends the Td booster, rather than Tdap. A couple years ago, I went in and asked my doc specifically for a pertussis booster.

  34. Phil, I know this might come off sounding terminally lazy, but have you considered adding a separate link list or post catagory or blog tag for “media where Dr. Plait is involved that isn’t on his Youtube channel”? I’m sure you can come up with a catchier name, but you get the point ;) The thing is, I often see posts like this on my phone when I’m browsing BA during work breaks, and I mean to watch them later, but then I misplace the links. Speaking as a fan, I think I would absolutely love some sort of brief list of the podcasts, videos, interviews etc that you mention on your blog :)

  35. @ 27 Reuben: The collectivist word ‘we’ is the most dangerous word in the entire world.
    [citation needed]

    Also, if a vaccine is so great and someone has had one, then why are you so afraid of the unvaccinated?
    It’s not about being afraid of the unvaccinated, dingus, it’s being afraid FOR the unvaccinated (very young babies, the few who are allergic to the vaccine in question) and those who are “effectively” unvaccinated, such as the immunocompromised or the small population that isn’t made immune by the vaccine. Perhaps it’s a difficult concept for some people to grasp; being motivated by something other than pure self-interest, but I assure you it’s not an uncommon trait among most humans.

  36. Holden Wilder

    I got a tetanus booster and then lost my job, so don’t tell me vaccinations aren’t responsible for alien abductions!

    There — that sentence has about as much logic and validity as any anti-vax propaganda.

  37. Tribeca Mike

    Re #27: “The collectivist word ‘we’ is the most dangerous word in the entire world.”

    In other words, Mr. Plait, are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?

    Keep up the very important work.

  38. amphiox

    Also, if a vaccine is so great and someone has had one, then why are you so afraid of the unvaccinated?

    Right, because everything in the world is just about you. The only things that matter are the things that just happen to you. Because caring about the welfare of someone else, like say, a newborn infant too young to get vaccinated, or a immunologically impaired who cannot, is just so UNFATHOMABLE that you cannot even imagine it.

    The collectivist word ‘we’ is the most dangerous word in the entire world.

    No, the objectivist word ‘I’ is significantly more dangerous. As you have just proven, right here.

  39. alfaniner

    I might add a couple words to this:

    “babies and people with immune deficiencies are at risk of dying from a disease that is essentially totally preventable if everyone [who could] got their vaccinations and boosters.”

  40. Keith Bowden

    @MTU
    I posted the Vaccine song on my Facebook page and a friend commented “T’was a pleasure my friend be well.” and unfriended me. O_o I’m not positive the two are connected…

    Oh well! (I frequently post vaccine-friendly articles.)

  41. @ #4 AbsoluteZero – Why would you say he got GBS from a flu vaccine? I believe you that he got it after getting a flu vaccine, but the fact that on event proceeds another does mean it is the cause. There is no evidence at all that vaccination causes GBS, there is not even a suggestion of this.

    The closest thing to even a suggestion of it I’d that in 1976 there was a slight increase in GBS cases following a massive effort at swine flu vaccination. No study has shown that the 1976 vaccination was the cause if the GBS increase though.

    We don’t use the 1976 vaccinationthese days. There is no statistical correlation between flu shots and GBS that I can find in any scientific or medical sources.

    The cause of GBS is not known. Often a minor illness precedes GBS, but not always. Since the cause is not clearly understood I doubt that any physician told you that getting a flu shot was the cause in you father’s case.

    I hope he came though it OK. GBS is a horrible disease. But it is not caused by vaccination.

  42. Nigel Depledge

    Reuben (27) said:

    Also, if a vaccine is so great and someone has had one, then why are you so afraid of the unvaccinated?

    Where does anyone claim that vaccines are 100.000% effective? There will always be a small proportion of any population who do not become immune to a disease agent after exposure to it. This (obviously) applies to vaccines just as much as to the actual disease organisms.

    So, while Phil notes that some poeple cannot be vaccinated, there are also some people who have been vaccinated but who won’t have immunity. This is a second reason why herd immunity is so important.

    Herd immunity is (in effect) the elimination of a reservoir of a disease organism within a population. When vaccination rates fall below a certain threshold (which is, I believe, different for different disease organisms), the pathogen can establish a reservoir within that population and therefore expose a substantially greater proportion of that population to risk of infection.

  43. db26

    Nigel said:

    “Individuals don’t evolve. Populations evolve.”

    …thats what every individual who hasn’t evolved says.

  44. @Nigel Depledge

    When vaccination rates fall below a certain threshold (which is, I believe, different for different disease organisms)

    You are correct. The level required for herd immunity varies depending on the effectiveness of the vaccine as well as the virulence of the bug. For the sake of example, assume that two vaccines are equally effective, but one organism prevented has an attack rate of 60% while the other has an attack rate of 90%. You’re going to need a higher amount of vaccine coverage for the latter disease in order to establish herd immunity and protection for those who cannot be vaccinated or for whom the vaccine failed. Likewise, assume two organisms have the same attack rate, but one vaccine is 95% effective and the other is only 70% effective. The latter vaccine will require a higher amount of coverage to establish protection at a community level.

    A simplified illustration, but then, I’m not an epidemiologist or ID doc who could instill all the necessary nuances.

  45. puppygod

    Tribeca @

    Re #27: “The collectivist word ‘we’ is the most dangerous word in the entire world.”

    In other words, Mr. Plait, are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?

    After all, the first words of The Communist Manifesto are “We, the People”… Oh, wait… Nevermind.

    Keep up the very important work.

    +1

  46. A thought just occurred to me: Whenever an anti-vaxxer says that we shouldn’t use vaccines until they are proven 100% safe, we should ask if they drive a car. After all, cars aren’t 100% safe. Why should I allow myself to hurtle across a stretch of pavement at speeds approaching 70 mph in a ton of metal if I don’t have assurances that it is 100% safe?

    For that matter, walking across the street isn’t 100% safe either, so I guess I’m confined to my block. Now that I think of it, walking isn’t 100% safe. I could trip and fall and break something. So I guess I’ll just live my life out confined to my nice, safe bed.

    *preemptively puts fingers in ears and sings loudly in case someone mentions that lying in a bed all day isn’t 100% safe.*

  47. Nigel Depledge

    Db26 (44) said:

    Nigel said:

    “Individuals don’t evolve. Populations evolve.”

    …thats what every individual who hasn’t evolved says.

    How very snide.

    Did you have a point?

  48. Wzrd1

    Re #27: “The collectivist word ‘we’ is the most dangerous word in the entire world.”

    All too true! Why, the Constitution of the United States of America starts with that dangerous word.

  49. JJ

    Evolution has very little to do with it and, frankly, viruses and bacteria will always win the ‘evolution war’ faster than humans. Shorter lives = more generations = faster response to evolutionary pressures & more opportunity for favorable mutations to pan out. Not to mention things like horizontal gene transfer in bacteria.

    To pin it on a ‘weak’ or ‘inferior’ immune system is generally false as well, and for a lot of reasons. A strong immune response can actually kill you, the symptoms from some diseases are actually caused by the immune system more-so than the infection. Being in shape, having a good diet, these things can help you when you get sick but they don’t keep you from getting sick. And once you’re sick with something like the measles it’s pretty much chance, not your immune system, that determines if you will get encephalitis. Even today, in the first world with good nutrition and medicine, if you get measles encephalitis you are in a world of trouble.

    I see the lines of reasoning where ‘evolution’ or ‘weak immune systems’ are brought up are more examples of blaming the victim than anything else. And it’s an empowering thing to do for the person doing the blaming, so long as they’ve convinced themselves that they are ‘evolved’ or that they have a ‘strong’ immune system. It lets them believe the risks of infection, which we have almost no control over, are controllable and not another one of nature’s unfeeling dice rolls.

  50. ND

    44. db26 Says:
    May 17th, 2012 at 6:07 am
    Nigel said:
    “Individuals don’t evolve. Populations evolve.”
    …thats what every individual who hasn’t evolved says.

    You must be 12 years old. Wait, maybe 13. Yeah 13 sounds about right. Or a creationist. Hard to tell.

  51. JJ @ 50 wrote:

    Evolution has very little to do with it and, frankly, viruses and bacteria will always win the ‘evolution war’ faster than humans. Shorter lives = more generations = faster response to evolutionary pressures & more opportunity for favorable mutations to pan out. Not to mention things like horizontal gene transfer in bacteria.

    Huh? If that were true, wouldn’t the Earth be populated by prokaryotes(and lesser virus), only?

  52. puppygod

    Huh? If that were true, wouldn’t the Earth be populated by prokaryotes(and lesser virus), only?

    Well, either by mass, by number or by number of species they are most common lifeforms on this planet.

    Fortunately for us, more complex lifeforms evolved in coexistence with bacteria – so there is place in ecosystem for all kinds. There are more survival strategies than just straight-on competing.

  53. Nigel Depledge

    JJ (50) said:

    I see the lines of reasoning where ‘evolution’ or ‘weak immune systems’ are brought up are more examples of blaming the victim than anything else. And it’s an empowering thing to do for the person doing the blaming, so long as they’ve convinced themselves that they are ‘evolved’ or that they have a ‘strong’ immune system. It lets them believe the risks of infection, which we have almost no control over, are controllable and not another one of nature’s unfeeling dice rolls.

    What the . . . ?

    Did you read anything I wrote about evolution as it pertains to immunity?

    My point was that, because the aetiologic agents are typically fast-evolving species, our immunity is rarely life-long because of the evolution of the pathogen. You seem to be railing at me (I think I was the first one to mention evolution in this discussion) for making an argument I did not make, and then using more or less the argument I did make to rebut the argument I didn’t make.

    It’s almost as if you didn’t read my posts at all, and only read those posted by db26 in response to my posts . . .

  54. Joseph G

    @ Nigel Depledge: I believe JJ was responding not to you, but to the antivaxxers/alt-medders and trolls (I HOPE they were trolls) who earlier made comments about letting people get sick, presumably because the worthy, healthy, morally upright Ubermenschen will have strong enough immune systems to fight off the infection. Post#21, for instance. He was attacking people who knowingly or not were advocating forced eugenics by medical neglect.

  55. Nigel Depledge

    @ Joseph G (55) -
    Oh.

  56. Wzrd1

    @puppygod, I rather LOVE many bacteria and fungi. Some of our foods require certain species to make them, others live in our intestine and process foods into nutrients that we require to survive (think vitamin K for one necessary bacteria processed nutrient).
    Those who aren’t involved in processing our food, either externally or internally, are MOSTLY harmless and really only a small minority are capable of being pathogenic to a person with a healthy immune system.
    As for being adaptable, bacteria DO will the prize, even thriving inside of the reactor vessel of Chernobyl!
    As the old saying goes, “Life finds a way”.

  57. Sarah

    Vaccines are such a hot button issue these days and there are some good points on both sides of the spectrum. Honestly as a mother it was a very difficult decision I had to make, but using my voice of reason and some critical thinking I made the decision to stagger my sons vaccinations so that he wasn’t being inundated all at once.

    With a partner who has an auto immune disease and grandparents who both have cancer I find myself getting the flu vaccination, when I used to choose not to. So far so good. It is easy to say that something is bad when there isn’t enough studies and it is easy to link something like autism to vaccines because the correlation between them; however a correlation does not label something as the cause.

    We have to remember we live in a more informed and advanced medical society these days (hence more vaccinations) and while we may be more informed it doesn’t mean we know all. In my opinion it is up to the personal judgement of the individual to do what they think is best, whether any of us agree with them or not. People are going to make the choices we make. If they don’t want to be more informed so be it, we can only keep up the good fight :)

  58. truthplater

    “He was attacking people who knowingly or not were advocating forced eugenics by medical neglect.”

    So eugenics by forced vaccination is ok then?

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