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  •  And yet here I am an atheist anti-vaxxer who bases (0+ / 0-)

    my opinion in science.

    One persons description of "some folks" isn't going to change my mind about vaccination anymore than one persons description of a certain group of any kind of people is going to change my mind about anything.

    To be clear, I am saying that if you have no patience for people of some race because someone of that race put your "kids in harms way", I would say, among other things, that you are too impatient.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:47:59 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  To be blunt, no, you aren't basing your opinion in (3+ / 0-)


      This is an interesting paper and there are more from well respected sources. One of the things I like about most of these sources is that they stress the importance of clean water and nutition as well as vaccines to promote good health.
          Those are "well-respected sources" only among people who are already anti-vaccine. The article you cite is not published or promoted by the NIH, it is only sourced through them. It was published at Human and Experimental Toxicology, (Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011 September; 30(9): 1420–1428.) The journal also added an addendum noting that, at the time the article appeared on-line, the authors had failed to disclose their associations with anti-vaccine organizations and the attending conflicts of interest. One author is a "medical journalist" who writes anti-vacc and other anti-science books and articles, and the other is a retired computer scientist who founded an anti-science site that, among other things, denies that HIV is the cause of AIDS.
           On top of that, it's a bad article. Here is one good analysis. Note that this was written shortly after the article appeared on-line, before the journal added its addendum, so he spends time addressing the author's undisclosed conflicts.
           There is not good science backing the anti-vac position. There is only unscientific speculation.

      -7.25, -6.26

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 10:11:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems pretty well respected to me. (0+ / 0-)

        8 years as a researcher at the CDC, a reviewer at JAMA yada, yada, yada.

        Your source of analysis seems to be a blog that focus's on " anti-vacciner's".

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 12:05:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Since you referenced his work... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, Hopeful Skeptic

          I took the trouble to read some of it. I'm not impressed. His primary hobby-horse is claiming that the chickenpox vaccine increases the likelihood of shingles later in life and since CDC debunked that paper he's been purely in the camp of anti-vax CT, albeit shrouding his CT of "CDC censorship" in impressive-sounding language and claiming to be some kind of "whistleblower" when he is simply another scientist whose conclusions were shown to be incorrect by subsequent studies.

          This guy is another Wakefield, deciding on the results of his "research" before he performs it.

          Oh, and on the subject of being a "reviewer" for any reputable scientific journal, the editorial board will select more than one scientist who may be considered "peers" of a papers author(s) to review it, and they try to include at least one who has published contrary  findings or findings that do not truly align with the conclusions of the paper they review.

          That "medical veritas" outlet of his is crammed with dangerous errors and CT and frankly, were I still active in the field I would quit any research team that submitted a paper to them and disavow my authorship if I had any hand in preparing it.

        •  Gary S Goldman is not trained in any medical field (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LimeyExpatDave, Hopeful Skeptic
          He served eight years as Research Analyst on a population-based vaccine study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
              That is not "8 years as a researcher at the CDC." That means he worked on a long-term study funded in part by the CDC. He is an AIDS denier and a long-term vaccination opponent with a special fixation on the chicken pox/shingles vaccine. He is a trained computer software engineer. He is possibly qualified to do statistical analyses; he has no medical or science training at all. Medical Veritas is a journal devoted to medical conspiracy theories. Irrespective of his software design prowess, in the medical field, he is respected only by the anti-vaxxers.
               And, for what it's worth, his PhD was awarded by Pacific Western University. PWU was formerly a "diploma mill" which awarded unaccredited doctoral degrees on a distance-learning basis. It was acquired by a new owner in 2005, moved from LA to San Diego, and changed it's name to California Miramar University. It is now a reasonably respectible for-profit distance-learning institution which offers degrees in business and no longer offers a PhD degree.

          -7.25, -6.26

          We are men of action; lies do not become us.

          by ER Doc on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 04:10:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You confirm my suspicions. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, Hopeful Skeptic

            I was thinking "rentadoc" when I read his work and extrapolated his conclusions to get an idea of his analytical path to reach them. Peel back only a few layers and it truly stank, man. I went the other way, from hard bioscience into IT and anyone with that little ability in true analytical though on any of MY IT teams would be looking at a pink slip if they were employed as an "analyst".

            It's perfectly ok to stand by your results in the face of other scientists claiming you are incorrect. What one should do in that situation is perform new and different experiments to resolve the apparent conflict, while being perfectly prepared to put your hand up and say "Yeah, I goofed" if the results bear out the opposing opinion rather than the one you put forward. That enhances a scientific reputation rather than diminishing it. As soon as I see anyone, from however a lofty initial standpoint, retreating into "You're suppressing my work because the establishment doesnt like it!" conspiracy theories I start to get a little suspicious, because the scientific establishment is set up the way it is explicitly to make that kinda stuff almost impossible and as soon as anyone claims to be a victim of that I start to see that as the last stand of a faker trying to preserve his rep so he can still peddle his crackpot theories.

    •  I respectully disagree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyK, ER Doc, Hopeful Skeptic

      with your self-assessment that you base your opinion in science. I am trained as a scientist, and worked for years on molecular biology of viruses, including attempts to derive or improve vaccines for some of them. (my work was publicly funded, I do not now and never did have any financial interest in promoting the use of the products of my work)

      One of the reasons that the number of vaccinations recommended for children has gone up so much since the 60s is that many of those vaccines didnt exist back then or were sufficiently new that they were not yet sufficiently proven to become a required pediatric immunization.

      In every case, the required list of pediatric immunizations is made up of vaccines against diseases that fit one or more of the following categories:

      • A disease that children are particularly likely to be exposed to.
      • A disease that is particularly harmful for children.
      • A disease that cannot be cured, only treated with supportive care or prevented.
      • A disease that even though it can be treated, is one that by the time a kid starts showing symptoms they are already at severe risk of lasting damage

      The other category they all fit is that every single one of them has been proven to be a lower risk to your child (in the absence of other factors*) than the risk of not receiving it.

      The immune system of an infant is stronger than that of an adult, being faster to establish a response and stronger in that response when challenged with an antigen. This is another reason that immunization is recommended to occur as early as practical in a childs life

      There are still more diseases that fit these categories than we have reliable and safe vaccines for, but as new ones are developed or existing ones proven to be safe for pediatric use you can expect the list to grow longer still.

      My father spent his entire career as a primary care doc in the UK and I vividly remember a poster that was always in the waiting room of his office. Simple black text on a white background, it carried a short message that still holds true today.

      "Childhood diseases haven't died. Children have."

      * By "other factors" I mean those that specifically contra-indicate an individual vaccine - for example my wife cant take flu shots because the virus to produce the vaccine is grown in eggs and she has a severe egg-white allergy.

      •  That doesn't answer my comment or the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wa ma

        question of why industrialized nations who give only half as many vaccines as we do have up to half the rate of infant mortality.

        But I will give you this - it was pretty respectful. ;-)

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 12:09:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  ok, I'll try and answer that one specifically... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hopeful Skeptic

          The first thing to consider is that "infant mortality" is something that a lot of factors play into, among which are the quality and availability of prenatal, obstetric and post-natal care. Considering that among the industrialized nations the US is almost unique in not having universal health coverage, if we posit that in a generic industrialized nation that care is sufficient in quality, without attempting to rank the nations in order of that quality (a reasonable assumption as I am not aware of a western industrialized nation where that quality is sufficiently lacking to be a major consideration) the big distinguishing factor is availability. A mom with inadequate healthcare coverage in the USA will not receive the preventive care for herself or her child that she would in other industrialized nations. That distinction on its own, I submit, is sufficient to account for the shamefully high infant mortality rates in the USA.

          Where vaccines enter the picture is the question of "childhood morbidity and mortality" due to disease. It's a factor over much longer periods of a child's life than would be reflected in "infant mortality" statistics, and impacts more that simply fatal outcomes. The long term impacts of childhood diseases where the patient survives but nonetheless suffers lasting damage from the disease are not reflected there.

          To properly compare the effectiveness or evaluate any risks of vaccination programs in the USA or elsewhere you have to look at the real risk/benefit analysis for a vaccination program and comparing infant mortality rates does not provide an insight into that calculation as there are too many other factors with significant influence to control for.

          If you wish to compare infant mortality rates and correlate it to the # of childhood vaccinations given, you will need to do one of two things:

          • Find another industrialized nation with an equivalent percentage of the population with inadequate medical coverage as in the USA. (there isn't one)
          • Determine by how much the infant mortality figures in the USA are inflated by these other factors and correct them to remove that influence.

          Only then will be able to analyze the data from these two nations and look for any correlation between the # of childhood vaccinations and infant mortality. As the raw data stands, there are too many other more significant factors influencing infant mortality in the US for any meaningful conclusion to be drawn over whether or not that correlation exists.

          Now you might be able to separate out regional data within the US where the poverty levels were similar and the % of folks without health coverage is similar but the # of required vaccinations differs, and then look only at families that got all required vaccinations, but I suspect that since the vaccinations required and recommended are mostly set at the federal level by the CDC, you would have a pretty hard time even following that route.

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