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I’m a bit surprised at the vitriol and ad hominems coming from the Kos community for people who have questions and concerns about the swine flu vaccine and vaccination in general.  Calling them cranks or attributing their views to pseudo-science only points out one’s own limited and overly rigid view of a very complicated topic.

In general, I think several different arguments are being improperly merged together:
Is the H1N1 vaccine safe?
Is the H1N1 vaccination strategy necessary and effective?
Is the seasonal flu vaccine necessary and safe?
Is childhood vaccination necessary and safe, especially at a very young age?
Is vaccination at all necessary?

I have to question how many people really want to eliminate vaccination entirely.  People understand the benefit and effectiveness of vaccines for diseases like polio.  So framing one’s argument against this view is intellectually dishonest.

More below...

But I think many people have valid questions about the safety and effectiveness of many aspects of the vaccination.  These people are not driven by pseudo-science or medical mythology.  They are driven by facts, figures, science and the questionable quality of clinical trials.  They are raising valid questions and asking for increased evaluation and testing for legitimate reasons.  

Questioning and verifying what we assume to be true is intrinsic to the scientific method.  So why the anger and disdain aimed at people who are asking for a closer inspection of medical assumptions?

So what are these issues?

Possible Link Between Autism and Early Vaccination

The immediate knee jerk reaction when one raises the issue of autism is to point out how there have been studies that have completely ruled out any link between autism and vaccinations.

But concerned parents can’t be faulted for questioning the results of certain studies that disprove a link, especially when such a link could have a multi-billion dollar effect to many corporations’ bottom line.  The tobacco industry and oil industry have rolled out study after study over the years disproving the link between smoking and cancer/oil combustion and global.  So now we’re supposed to fully acquiesce to the studies regarding vaccines and autism but to ignore the studies between smoking/cancer and oil/global warming?

Is there a holy book attached to vaccines that requires our faith, something that smoking and oil do not have?

Just pointing to a study is not enough to disprove a link because not all studies are created equally. Not all studies are funded sincerely.  And in general, a single study is never enough to hang your hat on. Studies can be flawed or poorly designed.  More studies are needed, many more.  Better studies are needed.  Not only does the severity of the autism epidemic demand it, but scientific rigor itself demands it.

When we’re talking about a disease that is affecting 1 in 100 newly born children (!!!!!!) where environmental factors are strongly implicated and for which the medical community has ZERO explanation, I don’t see why one would claim that the concerns of parents are anything but intelligent, informed and justified.

Arguing against the parent who will not allow her child to EVER be vaccinated for anything is a straw man.  That is not the argument.  The questions being raised are:
Do we vaccinate too early?  (At birth for Hep B)
Do we vaccinate too much? (> 20 shots before age 2)
Are the ingredients in the vaccine safe?  (Aluminum, mercury)

They want answers to these questions.  I, as a soon-to-be-father, want answers to these questions.  We’re questioning what’s safe and best for our families.  That’s all.  Science exists because of questions.  Why are people afraid of questions?

Questionable Effectiveness of the Seasonal Flu Vaccine

First off, the seasonal flu vaccine is a best guess for the current year based on last year’s viruses.  Given how rapidly the flu virus mutates, you don’t need to be a crank to question how effective this guess might actually be.  It’s better than nothing, but how much better is it?

The Atlantic Monthly had a phenomenal article recently that exploreshow we’ve come to our understanding of the seasonal flu vaccine’s effectiveness.  Take the time to read the article.  There’s so much good information in there and it’s not really pro or anti vaccination.  It just poses the question of, “Why can’t we fully test away the questions that exist on the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine?”

The one point that stood out for me was how the flu vaccine’s effectiveness is determined:

[S]tudy after study has found that people who get a flu shot in the fall are about half as likely to die that winter—from any cause—as people who do not.

The estimate of 50 percent mortality reduction is based on “cohort studies,” which compare death rates in large groups, or cohorts, of people who choose to be vaccinated, against death rates in groups who don’t. But people who choose to be vaccinated may differ in many important respects from people who go unvaccinated—and those differences can influence the chance of death during flu season. Education, lifestyle, income, and many other “confounding” factors can come into play, and as a result, cohort studies are notoriously prone to bias. When researchers crunch the numbers, they typically try to factor out variables that could bias the results, but, as Jefferson remarks, “you can adjust for the confounders you know about, not for the ones you don’t,” and researchers can’t always anticipate what factors are likely to be important to whether a patient dies from flu. There is always the chance that they might miss some critical confounder that renders their results entirely wrong.

I’m a believer in science and this is obviously a bad study.  So why don’t we run a better study?  The ideal would be a blind, placebo based study where some people get the flu shot and others don’t.  Then see whether it makes a difference in influenza rates and adverse effect/death rates.  Easy peasy, no?

When Lisa Jackson, a physician and senior investigator with the Group Health Research Center, in Seattle, began wondering aloud to colleagues if maybe something was amiss with the estimate of 50 percent mortality reduction for people who get flu vaccine, the response she got sounded more like doctrine than science. “People told me, ‘No good can come of [asking] this,’” she says. “‘Potentially a lot of bad could happen’ for me professionally by raising any criticism that might dissuade people from getting vaccinated, because of course, ‘We know that vaccine works.’ This was the prevailing wisdom.”

In the end, such a study would be considered unethical.

This is the curious state of debate about the government’s two main weapons in the fight against pandemic flu. At first, government officials declare that both vaccines and drugs are effective. When faced with contrary evidence, the adherents acknowledge that the science is not as crisp as they might wish. Then, in response to calls for placebo-controlled trials, which would provide clear results one way or the other, the proponents say such studies would deprive patients of vaccines and drugs that have already been deemed effective. “We can’t just let people die,” says Cox.

Who’s afraid of science now?

Open Question On How A Given Vaccine Or Drug Affects Our Bodies Long Term

I’m sure that this is where Bill Maher is coming from with his recent rant against vaccines.  There’s a long list of drugs that had unexpected side effects that were not realized for years and often times, the manufacturer would hide any evidence of these side effects because it would affect their bottom line.

So there is nothing wrong with being skeptical of putting stuff into our bodies to make us well.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to forego pharmaceutical treatments in favor of natural remedies when possible.  (Or just letting one get sick and heal naturally, my preferred view on the flu.)

This isn’t crankery or mystical living.  It’s a healthy dose of skepticism.

I read an interesting article on a Canadian study that shows that people who got the seasonal flu in the past two years were MORE likely to succumb to the H1N1 virus.  Now, it’s just one study and it hasn’t even passed through peer review yet.  But it raises an really interesting question about a possible unexpected effect caused by the seasonal flu.

Just a question.  It’s what moves science and medicine forward.

Valid questions.  Valid concerns.  Not cranks.  Not pseudo scientists or quacks.  Rational people pushing forward our understanding of medicine.  It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.  From the same Atlantic Monthly Article:

The annals of medicine are littered with treatments and tests that became medical doctrine on the slimmest of evidence, and were then declared sacrosanct and beyond scientific investigation. In the 1980s and ’90s, for example, cancer specialists were convinced that high-dose chemotherapy followed by a bone-marrow transplant was the best hope for women with advanced breast cancer, and many refused to enroll their patients in randomized clinical trials that were designed to test transplants against the standard—and far less toxic—therapy. The trials, they said, were unethical, because they knew transplants worked. When the studies were concluded, in 1999 and 2000, it turned out that bone-marrow transplants were killing patients.

Another recent example involves drugs related to the analgesic lidocaine. In the 1970s, doctors noticed that the drugs seemed to make the heart beat rhythmically, and they began prescribing them to patients suffering from irregular heartbeats, assuming that restoring a proper rhythm would reduce the patient’s risk of dying. Prominent cardiologists for years opposed clinical trials of the drugs, saying it would be medical malpractice to withhold them from patients in a control group. The drugs were widely used for two decades, until a government-sponsored study showed in 1989 that patients who were prescribed the medicine were three and a half times as likely to die as those given a placebo.

Originally posted to TrentNY on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 01:45 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  "better studies are needed" you've got to be (37+ / 0-)

      kidding!  waste of money to keep trying to find a non-existent link between autism and vaccines.  And it hurts the people affected by autism because it siphons money and energy off from finding the real causes and good treatments.  
      As for the research and $ issues, the first "link" was proposed by an English doctor who said the measles vaccine caused autism in his "sample" (I think it was 12 children).  Turned out he was being paid by the lawyers for some of those children who hoped to collect lots of money from the vaccine manufacturers.
       
      When that didn't pan out, the anti-vaccine people shifted to the problem being the measles/mumps/rubella combined vaccine; then they switched to blaming  
      multiple simultaneous vaccines; and finally, they grabbed onto mercury as the culprit.  Mercury is nasty stuff, but the mercury from immunizations was tiny compared to mercury exposure from environmental causes.  And now the mercury in childhood immunizations is gone.    
      Every study looking at rates of autism and immunization have found exactly nothing.  Autism increases whether vaccine rates go up, stay the same or decline.  Numerous studies in at least 3 different countries (U.S., England, Sweden) have demonstrated this.  
       Autism is an increasing problem and is devastating to families -- it's time to move on to the real issues so that we can help the people who need it.

      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

      by Tamar on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:08:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to mention the samples... (14+ / 0-)

        were collected at his home from children attending his child's birthday party. Hardly scientific.

        The diarist's ignorance of the mountains of research being done on this and the studies coming out every year on the genetic connection to autism certainly does not mean "better studies are needed."

        The studies being done are at top level institutions all over the world, involving tens of thousands of people with autism. The diarist clearly doesn't even read the data from studies that are already out there. He says "better studies are needed" not because he has the expertise to judge what makes a good study but because the results don't match with his preconceived notions.

        http://debunkerhill.com holding the line against the siege

        by CatM on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:15:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the hereditary nature of autism is pretty (8+ / 0-)

          well on its way to being established - the open question is are there environmental triggers that can bring spectrum issues to the fore.

          If folks would stop chasing dead ends like the debunked vaccine "link" it would help folks move on to support exploration into these other areas - imo.

          "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

          by grannyhelen on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:30:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Though I am not a big believer (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Radlein, grannyhelen, Gravedugger

            in an environmental "trigger" in genetically susceptible people, I tipped you anyway because I believe the science is still undecided in that area.

            http://debunkerhill.com holding the line against the siege

            by CatM on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:40:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah - I tend toward not giving that too much (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Radlein, Tamar, Onomastic, CMYK

              credence - however, the spectrum is so huge that I wouldn't want to rule it out across the board, either.

              I think an honest discussion on autism really needs to start with an acknowledgement that there may actually be several distinct and unrelated conditions that currently are listed as being on the spectrum. That the diarist missed this nuance sorta says how much s/he knows (or cares) about this issue separate and apart from whatever the anti-vax stuff is he's going on about.

              "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

              by grannyhelen on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:45:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I definitely think that's possible. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ray Radlein, grannyhelen, Onomastic

                It is interesting that autism spectrum disorders, for example, are also associated with so many comorbid conditions like Tourette's syndrome and schizophrenia and sensory processing disorder, all of which I believe arise in the same area of the brain.

                I think the recent genetic discovery is interesting because it found that overexpression of a certain protein was involved but that the people with autism had different mutations of the same gene.

                Maybe that could help explain the wide variation in behavior in people with autism.

                While all my kids are on the spectrum (two with confirmed asperger's), they are nothing alike. At the same time, you do find basic consistencies in their behaviors.

                I did think the Vitamin D research was interesting.

                http://debunkerhill.com holding the line against the siege

                by CatM on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:56:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not familiar w the vitimin D research... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Onomastic

                  ...anecdotally, the connection between spectrum disorder and something like schizophrenia makes a lot of sense given my family's history. I'm also curious as to whether there is a link between this and children labeled as "gifted" - I have no idea if there's even been a line of scientific inquiry into that.

                  I think we may just discover that there's a lot more neural diversity in our species than our social constructs would lead one to believe :-)

                  "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

                  by grannyhelen on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 03:08:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I just said that to my kids today! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Onomastic

                    I was talking to them about the genetic research and how they had recently determined that the rate of autism spectrum disorders was 1 in 90 rather than the previously thought 1 in 135.

                    And I wondered how common something has to be before they decide to label it as a different subset of the population versus a disorder.

                    Though I guess something that affects less than 1.5% of the population is still not that vast.

                    http://debunkerhill.com holding the line against the siege

                    by CatM on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 03:33:53 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I've heard about a link between (0+ / 0-)

                    artistic talent/creativity and schizophrenia.  Googled and found this:
                    http://www.newscientist.com/...
                    Sort of similar to what you were talking about with autism.

                    If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

                    by Tamar on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 05:45:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Just saw this the other day (0+ / 0-)

                    Genetic overlap between autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

                    It's a review on the topic.  And at the American Society for Human Genetics meeting last month I attended several talks on this.  The research is really looking promising for finally getting some answers--but it won't be all the answers.  

                    Earns no money here for blogging, commenting, or driving traffic to any web site.

                    by mem from somerville on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 05:48:58 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My beautiful daughter has a fairly common (0+ / 0-)

                      chromosomal abnormality 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.  It typically isn't inherited.  Most kids get it as a de novo deletion.

                      What's interesting is that two of the main features of the syndrome are immune dysfunction, often autoimmunity and neurocognitive and developmental disorders.  About a third of the kids end up on the autism spectrum and 25-30% end up with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

                      They are starting to recognize that the behavioral and cognitive differences are not just due to abnormal brain structure present since birth but also due to different developmental trajectories in the brain that may have an environmentally influenced component.

                      Now that there is greater awareness that the brain is not as immune-privileged as it once was thought to be, hopefully it won't be long before they start looking at the abnormal immune profiles of these kids and see whether that is affecting their brains over their lifetimes as their immune systems and brains mature (or degenerate as tragically is what seems to happen to many of these kids).  Immune Proteins in Brain Development and Synaptic Plasticity

                      When they learn more about the interplay between these kids' immune systems and brains (not to mention what they might find out about the effects of the various kinds of endocrine dysfunction many of them experience) and the environment's influence on their immune function, I hope it will provide a lot of insight into what is happening with other kids who have behavioral and cognitive differences but don't have as common or easily identifiable genetic and systemic medical differences.

          •  There's some evidence to suggest advanced (7+ / 0-)

            parental age at the time of conception and heredity is positively correlated with autism incidence rates. Unfortunately, I can't give you a link because this is from LIRN.net a subscription service, but I can give you the bonifides.

            This is their primary assertion:

            Advanced father’s age at birth has been associated with increased risk of schizophrenia1–7 and autism

            Here are the authors:
            Mark Weiser1–4, Abraham Reichenberg5, Nomi Werbeloff2, Karine Kleinhaus6, Gad Lubin3, Moti Shmushkevitch3, Asaf Caspi2,4, Dolores Malaspina7,
            and Michael Davidson2,4 2Department of Psychiatry, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Ramat Gan 52621, Israel; 3IDF, Division of Mental Health, Israel; 4Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel; 5Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK; Department of Psychiatry, Colombia University, NY; 7Department of Psychiatry, New York University, NY

            Here are some references:
            Reichenberg A, Gross R, Weiser M, et al. Advancing paternal age and autism. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63:1026–1032.

            Ekeus C, Olausson PO, Hjern A. Psychiatric morbidity is related to parental age: a national cohort study. Psychol Med. 2006;36:269–276.

            Perrin MC, Brown AS, Malaspina D. Aberrant epigenetic regulation could explain the relationship of paternal age to schizophrenia. Schizophr Bull. 2007;33:1270–1273.

            Here's some references on the heredity suggestion:

            Constantino JN, Lajonchere C, Lutz M, et al. Autistic social impairment in the siblings of children with pervasive developmental disorders. Am J Psychiatry. 2006;163:294–296.

            Bailey A, Le Couteur A, Gottesman I, et al. Autism
            as a strongly genetic disorder: evidence from a British twin study. Psychol Med. 1995;25:63–77.

            Here's one that suggests advanced paternal age correlates with greater incidence rates of schizoprenia (which is often studied by the same people who study autism).

            Wohl M, Gorwood P. Paternal ages below or above 35 years old are associated with a different risk of schizophrenia in the offspring. Eur Psychiatry. 2007;22:22–26.

            I cannot print all the relevant data, but about 45 minutes in a decent research library would show that there's quite a bit of evidence pointing away from vaccines and more toward delayed parenthood and heredity when it comes to autism.

            If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

            by JDWolverton on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 03:17:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Interesting... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Radlein, JDWolverton, Onomastic, CMYK

              ...and considering other conditions like Downs increase with the age of the parents, it isn't completely off the wall to investigate that route.

              As more folks from my generation made the decision to have children later in life, if the above does pan out to be a contributing factor that could explain some of the higher incidence rates...

              "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

              by grannyhelen on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 03:28:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  tipped for good info: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CMYK

              impressed you listed the references.  It's good to bring real sources (instead of internet "experts" from questionable websites).

              If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

              by Tamar on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 06:44:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  The studies have been done, again and again (6+ / 0-)

        We know more about vaccine than about what we eat every day. I really don't know what further proof people need in order to accept the relative safety and efficacy of vaccines.

        That's why we're testy.

        An eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind.

        by rini6 on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 03:06:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you hear about the Consumer Reports article (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rini6, CMYK

          on canned food and BPA -- much higher levels than thought and high levels even in cans labeled "BPA-free." Chemicals and pesticides worry me; in contrast, vaccines which trigger your body to produce specific antibodies seem pretty close to a "natural" method of preventing illness.

          If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

          by Tamar on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 05:50:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I am sorry, but I do not gladly suffer fools... (18+ / 0-)

      and last time I checked, Atlantic Monthly was not a peer-reviewed journal of record.

      Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

      •  Speaking of peer-reviewed journals (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Radlein, eyesoars, Onomastic, CMYK

        Here's a study I had not heard of until recently which was published back in '02 in an obscure journal called The New England Journal of Medicine:

        ABSTRACT

        Background It has been suggested that vaccination against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) is a cause of autism.

        Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all children born in Denmark from January 1991 through December 1998. The cohort was selected on the basis of data from the Danish Civil Registration System, which assigns a unique identification number to every live-born infant and new resident in Denmark. MMR-vaccination status was obtained from the Danish National Board of Health. Information on the children's autism status was obtained from the Danish Psychiatric Central Register, which contains information on all diagnoses received by patients in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics in Denmark. We obtained information on potential confounders from the Danish Medical Birth Registry, the National Hospital Registry, and Statistics Denmark.

        Results Of the 537,303 children in the cohort (representing 2,129,864 person-years), 440,655 (82.0 percent) had received the MMR vaccine. We identified 316 children with a diagnosis of autistic disorder and 422 with a diagnosis of other autistic-spectrum disorders. After adjustment for potential confounders, the relative risk of autistic disorder in the group of vaccinated children, as compared with the unvaccinated group, was 0.92 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.68 to 1.24), and the relative risk of another autistic-spectrum disorder was 0.83 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.65 to 1.07). There was no association between the age at the time of vaccination, the time since vaccination, or the date of vaccination and the development of autistic disorder.

        Conclusions This study provides strong evidence against the hypothesis that MMR vaccination causes autism.

        Full citation:

        (KM Madsen, et al.: A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism, NEMJ Vol. 347:1477-1482, No. 19).

        Even though we STILL get folks saying "WE NEED MORE STUDIES!!", the fact is, we really don't.

        I found this here.

        •  I've posted that and other studies multiple times (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Radlein, madmsf, Skipbidder, ebohlman, CMYK

          along with the statement that there are legitimate concenrs that people have, which ought to be patiently addressed...

          But then there are people who cite Mercola.com as if it's equal to science and peer review from CDC, NIH and the science journals.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 04:24:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think yopu may have (16+ / 0-)

      produced the second most perfect example of using the leading questions.  For the most perfect example, see Fox News.

      Here are some lovely quotes from your diary.

      In general, I think several different arguments are being improperly merged together:
      Is the H1N1 vaccine safe?
      Is the H1N1 vaccination strategy necessary and effective?
      Is the seasonal flu vaccine necessary and safe?
      Is childhood vaccination necessary and safe, especially at a very young age?
      Is vaccination at all necessary?

      Questioning and verifying what we assume to be true is intrinsic to the scientific method.  So why the anger and disdain aimed at people who are asking for a closer inspection of medical assumptions?

      Is there a holy book attached to vaccines that requires our faith, something that smoking and oil do not have?

      Who’s afraid of science now?

      Why are people afraid of questions?

      This is a standard to trick to place stupid, leading bullshit into a diary and preserve deniability.  Now, when people say you are full of it, you will say "but I was only asking a question.  Why are you all so scared of questions?"

      So, in the end, I will conclude with a question of my own.

      Did the diarist skip all statistics and science classes in high school, preferring instead to spend the time giving goats blow jobs? (Hey, I'm just asking)

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:14:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gah. mercury? (20+ / 0-)

      Sorry, you might have a right to be a concerned parent, but you also have a responsibility to keep your child healthy.

      The issues here involve some very complex science.

      Breath chlorine: you die. Eat sodium, your mouth literally catches of fire.

      Combine the two and eat sodium chloride? Why you do that every day! It's called salt.

      Please take a look at the bio-accumulative issues in ethyl mercury and methyl mercury. The difference is huge. Thiomersal (which can metabolize into ethyl mercury) has been demonstrated to have virtually no bioaccumulative properties, even in extremely large quantites. It also is no longer used in the vast majority of vaccines...Influenza being the exception.

      Unless you are a trained epidemiologist and organic chemist, I would doubt your qualification to question the 8 major studies that have been done that show NO LINK between thiomersal and autism.

      Perhaps you should be questioning the changing diagnostic methodologies developed in the 1990s, which have probably been the cause of the majority of increases in measured Autism cases.

      It is curious to see the periodical disuse and perishing of means and machinery, which were introduced with loud laudation a few years or centuries before. -RWE

      by Gravedugger on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:18:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to mention (14+ / 0-)

        that once thimerosal was removed from vaccines, you'd have expected a massive drop in autism cases.  That didn't happen.  You'd also expect, given the wide use of thimerosal and other mercury compounds in the past, for there have been a high incidence of autism in the past, which would get get better as those were removed from the market.  That didn't happen either.    

        I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

        by Norbrook on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:24:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  who says it was actually removed? (0+ / 0-)

          Trust no one!

          •  That's not too far fetched.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic

            a patient of mine administers Hep B vaccines to newborns at Princeton Hospital.  She was told to let all the parents know that the vaccine is thimerosol free.  Being a curious mind, she read the nice little paper that Merck included in the vaccine vial box.  Guess what it contains?  Yes, thimerosol.  

            •  And unfortunately, this sort of thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Onomastic

              leads to non-immunized medical professionals. Many RNs refuse to receive annual flu vaccines because they don't really trust the vaccine (or pharma) makers.

              It's not always a matter of poor education--sometimes it's a matter of a little too much education on the subject.

              However-and I can not stress this enough--this is no reason to withold childhood immunizations. Thimerosol has not been proven to be linked with autism, and until it is, diseases like polio or whooping cough--or tetanus are far more common.

              Tarheel born, tarheel bred! And when I die, I'll be tarheel dead.

              by NCYellowDog on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 03:24:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  what bothers me about the use of thimerosol (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic

        is not that it might trigger autism (there's quite a bit of evidence to disprove that linkage), but the fact that it was being used so widely in products (not only multiple vaccines given to infants, even premature ones), but also in other consumer products such as contac lens solution without there being much if any study of its toxicity in humans.

        The fact that it was not noticed by anyone that the routine schedule of infant immunizations exceeded the then current safety limit for thimerosol exposure until after people started complaining is pretty frightening. That's the sort of thing you want doctors to notice and consider before they start administering shots, not after.

        •  That doesn't really reflect the story (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CMYK

          If you are going to inject fluid into people, you don't want it growing bacteria or molds in the vials.  Thimerosal is a legitimate preservative to prevent contaminants from growing--which was an issue at one time.

          Saying that no one noticed isn't really the same thing.

          Earns no money here for blogging, commenting, or driving traffic to any web site.

          by mem from somerville on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 05:51:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no one noticed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wa ma

            that the thimerosol in all these shots given to infants actually added up to a total that exceeded their own maximum (which was extrapolated from something else, they hadn't even studied its toxicity directly). That is worrisome to me.

            Thimerosol was removed from most contac lens solutions because of the problems it caused; again, they used it first and asked questions later.

    •  If the Stupak / abortion debate has any meaning (0+ / 0-)

      then you would conclude that pro-choice people would also believe that vaccination should be a matter of personal choice, like abortion.

      Do they?

      a hard rain's gonna fall

      by Paul Goodman on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 04:23:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You've got the wrong analogy. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ebohlman, CMYK

        If you have an abortion, it does not affect the health of the community: of seniors with weakened immune systems, of chemo patients, of children too young to be immunized.  

        It's a public health issue.  It's more like whether you think your neighbors should be allowed to dump their raw sewage into your street.  Is that something you support? Not me--I'm all for community health.

        Earns no money here for blogging, commenting, or driving traffic to any web site.

        by mem from somerville on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 06:29:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Are you an immunologist? (16+ / 0-)

    or just trying to validate lay people's ignorance of the subject due to being exposed to anti-vaccination propagandists?

    "If all else fails... immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."

    by mydailydrunk on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 01:56:03 PM PST

  •  ANYONE pushing the autism link (27+ / 0-)

    is a crank, pure and simple.

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

    by Jyrinx on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 01:59:20 PM PST

  •  I think Greg Easterbrook made more sense (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eyesoars, dotalbon, Norbrook

    He asked if harshly-animated children's TV programming might be to blame for the spike in autism among US children, and people said he was a crank. But his theory makes sense to me, correlation- and intuition-wise.  The vaccine thing seems crazily grasping-at-straws in comparison.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:03:27 PM PST

  •  (Also, there are in fact people who disbelieve (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stitchmd, Tamar, palantir, dotalbon, Norbrook

    the germ theory and thus all vaccines.)

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” — Emma Goldman

    by Jyrinx on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:03:33 PM PST

  •  Connecting autism and vaccines... (33+ / 0-)

    is pseudoscience. People who make money promoting this connection are indeed cranks and scaremongers.

    You make a generous assumption in thinking "everyone" understands the need for vaccinations for things like Polio.

    In more than 20 states, parents can simply fill out a form objecting to their child being required to meet the vaccination schedule to enter school.

    Because of this kind of fear-mongering about a link between vaccines and autism, which you manage slyly to promote in your post, is responsbile for a significant drop in the number of kids who are compliant with the recommended vaccination schedule.

    They are NOT valid concerns. They are paranoid, uneducated concerns contradicted by the science produced by people who have studied this for years and even decades.

    Most of this was precipitated by ONE non-reproducible study in which the primary researchers is under investigation for falsifying data and using extremely unscientific techniques (like getting samples from kids at his daughter's birthday party).

    The idea that the medical community has ZERO information on what causes autism is WRONG.

    From OCTOBER 2009:

    Now, leading an international team, Johns Hopkins researchers have identified several genetic links to autism, chief among them a variant of semaphorin 5A, whose protein product controls nerve connections in the brain.

    Of course, things like genes and overexpression of proteins and receptors is very complicated, so to many people it seems like science fiction. It is much easier to believe someone who says "There's poison in the error and it's getting into our bodies and that's what is causing it!"

    When people stop promoting quack theories, as your diary does, I will stop calling them quacks.

    http://debunkerhill.com holding the line against the siege

    by CatM on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:03:53 PM PST

  •  Best of luck.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catleigh, Mayfly, prgsvmama26, siduri

    For whatever reason, many Kos readers are 100% indoctrinated into the "vaccine theory".  Questions not allowed.  However, I'm with you.  Questions should be mandatory.  I'm especially sickened by so many of my neighbors rushing in for this untested H1N1 vaccine.  But I'm keeping my mouth shut....and wishing them only the best health possible.  Having been a health care practitioner for over 34 years, I've seen many of our other theories arrive and leave.  Sometimes damage is done, and sometimes not.  Fortunately, human beings are very resilient!

  •  That "phenomenal" Atlantic Monthly article (12+ / 0-)

    Was phenominally misguided. It conflated known studies that older people do not receive as much protection from vaccines with the idea that the H1N1 vaccine may not be useful - except H1N1 is targeting younger people, not older people.

    Through discussion at Effect Measure

    http://scienceblogs.com/...

    "The required presence of health professionals did not make interrogation methods safer, but sanitized their use" Physicians for Human Rights

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:06:38 PM PST

    •  one of the most important comments (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, CMYK

      I've seen in this thread.

      The questions about the efficacy of the seasonal flu vaccine may be legitimate (some of them, at least) but those questions are not at all applicable to the issues about the H1N1 vaccine.

      Thank you.

      Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

      by stitchmd on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 03:45:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please think about if you want this (17+ / 0-)

    Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Sounds

    Imagine that's your kid.  For weeks.  

    And please read the assessments of the Atlantic article here, here, and here by MDs and epidemiologists.

    PalMD is right.  The community that enabled this fear--instead of the actual fear that parents should have of infectious diseases--is immoral. Period.

    Earns no money here for blogging, commenting, or driving traffic to any web site.

    by mem from somerville on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:07:38 PM PST

  •  I am right with you, but at Dkos there is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catleigh, Anna M, siduri

    no possibility of questioning any vaccine, ever.  You will be called a quack, crackpot and danger to the motherland.  The fact that the first Rotavirus vaccine was withdrawn after my ped tried to strongarm me to give it to my child, during its trial phase, who already had a bowel condition (it was withdrawn a couple months later for causing severe bowel complications/obstructions) made me forever cautious of the new and fast tracked vaccines.  

    Guardisil has problems too, but you can only read about them in the foreign press.  I am not anti-vaccine, but I am anti profit motive vaccine development of vaccines that can potentially have complications worse than the disease usually is.  

    Like chicken pox.  A usually minor illness, now vax'd for.  Cept, oops the vax doesn't work very long so now we have young teens who got vax'd and it stopped working at a time they no longer go to the pediatrician regularly.  So they get CP at a time when it is MUCH more dangerous than if they had gotten it in the normal younger elementary time frame.  I was blessed with a ped who said "wait, if you child hasn't gotten the pox by age 12, then vax because its dangerous in teens and adults.  Two oldest got CP young, other kids young enough I am still waiting to see if they get it before 12.

    •  So what are those Gardasil problems (6+ / 0-)

      (1) What is the rate of occurrence of these so-called "problems"?
      (2) How does the rate of occurrence compare to the occurrence of cervical cancer, penile cancer, anal cancer, and head and neck cancers from those 2 HPV strains?
      (3) Which is more severe? The adverse effects of Gardasil or the advantages of Gardasil?

      I doubt you even know the answers to these questions.

      http://debunkerhill.com holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:24:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And (4) ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ebohlman, CMYK

        How many of these problems are demonstrably caused by the vaccine? The CDC/FDA adverse events database contains every bad thing ever reported as happening after a person received the vaccine. Post hoc fallacy.

        Also contains a lot of events that sometimes happen whenever you jab somebody with a needle for any reason. Some people faint or get a bruise at the injection site, e.g.

        _Karl Rove is an outside agitator._

        by susanala on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 03:33:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  here's the thing, though (0+ / 0-)

        we don't know if Gardasil will actually reduce the number of cancers. Seriously. It is effective serologically, and appears to be safe (much to your point) but at this point we don't know anything about primary endpoints, i.e., reducing the numbers of cancers.

        And we won't know until many years down the road, given the lag time of the disease.

        Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

        by stitchmd on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 03:47:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Medicine diaries vs food diaries (0+ / 0-)

      I find it odd - if you try to question anything to do with conventional medicine you are anti-science or almost a wing-nut troll.

      On the other hand, if you question GMOs and rBGH in food (also science), you get recommended.  Sometimes by the same people.  WTF?    

    •  Nonsense. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skipbidder, ebohlman, Kylopod, CMYK

      at Dkos there is no possibility of questioning any vaccine, ever.  You will be called a quack, crackpot and danger to the motherland.  The fact that the first Rotavirus vaccine was withdrawn after my ped tried to strongarm me to give it to my child, during its trial phase, who already had a bowel condition (it was withdrawn a couple months later for causing severe bowel complications/obstructions) made me forever cautious of the new and fast tracked vaccines.

      Pure nonsense.  We accept the possibility of questioning any vaccine, at any time.  We (or at least I) do not, however, accept questions as legitimate from persons who:
      (a) have not done their homework; or
      (b) have done their homework, but whose homework has clearly come from quacks (of which there are a number of familiar examples); or
      (c) "ask" leading "questions" while clearly lacking any background to understand the nature of the leading questions they're asking.  (I.e., they've done their homework badly.).

      There are many legitimate questions that need to be asked about vaccines.  And there are people asking -- and answering -- those questions.

      Their ability to answer those questions is sometimes badly limited:  it's not ethical to run many of the studies we might like to run, and which could provide concrete answers to some simple questions.  (For some reason, it's not ethical to run studies whose outcomes will result in excess deaths or other debilitating outcomes.  Many studies are necessarily terminated/modified early when a treatment is determined to improve on non-treatment.)

      So many studies have to ask some questions indirectly.  But these studies do get results, and provide strong evidence for the efficacy of treatments (vaccines or otherwise).

      I'm sorry your ped. tried to strong arm you with the rotavirus vaccine.  The first versions of it were not terribly good, and many health professionals stayed away from it.  I don't know your pediatrician's reasons for wanting to inoculate your child, but if you're not comfortable with your pediatrician -- if you feel you're being railroaded -- about anything, you should seriously consider changing pediatricians (or doctors, for that matter).

      Guardisil has problems too, but you can only read about them in the foreign press.  I am not anti-vaccine, but I am anti profit motive vaccine development of vaccines that can potentially have complications worse than the disease usually is.

      Gardasil is a U.S. based vaccine; a different vaccine was released in the U.K., where Gardasil has more recently been approved.  I'm not sure what you're talking about with regard to 'reading about them in the foreign press', but there was a truly horrible bunch of misinformation in some of the UK tabloids recently, "Jab Worse than the Disease", which was a truly irresponsible bit of "journalism".

      The evidence at the moment shows that Gardasil not only protects against cervical cancer (in women) but also protects against oral cancers in men.  The efficacy of Gardasil against HPV is somewhat compromised by the number of varieties (~20), not all of which it is terribly effective against.  However, the versions that it does protect against are the strains that are most likely to result in cancers.  (HPV is a retrovirus; its own little special nastiness involves inserting itself into the genome of infected cells.)

      Chicken pox is also more complicated.  There are good reasons to inoculate against it, and benefits to avoiding the disease altogether.  Once in the body, it can evade the immune system indefinitely, to surface in older persons as shingles.

      Similarly, german measles is not usually a terribly serious disease.  But in pregnant women, the consequences are often horrific birth defects.

      Every disease has its own consequences, and the goals of vaccination are not necessarily the simple elimination of the basic sickness in those vaccinated.

      It takes a lot of work to keep up with the science on all of these.  The data are out there, though, and fairly accessible on the net.  Unfortunately, the good stuff is fairly dry and hard to interpret because it's all about what the data support and not overstating that.  The bogus info, however, suffers from no such limitations.

  •  Read the whole article (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, SomeStones, palantir, Norbrook

    at the cnews link.

    The correlation has not been seen by researchers in the US, Britain, or Australia.
    and

    "I cannot think of a good reason why this is biologically likely, especially since we have sufficient evidence now that ... there is priming in the population by the way the vaccine is working," said Dr. Arnold Monto, of the University of Michigan.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:12:46 PM PST

  •  I really wish people would stop (5+ / 0-)

    arguing about the vax/autism crap here.

    I think some people really need to examine their motives.  Whether you are right or wrong, you are not helping children by alienating their parents. If your goal is to help then be helpful, not cruel.

    Our lives pivot on real things that are non-material...To believe only in what you can see seems a peculiar form of blindness- Rabbi David J Wolpe

    by siduri on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:12:59 PM PST

  •  Good grief ... (29+ / 0-)

    Now, it’s just one study and it hasn’t even passed through peer review yet.

    You're willing to link this unreviewed study while decrying the so-called "pseudoscience" of numerous peer-reviewed studies on vaccination and autism?

    I am a 99 44/100% civil guy in my discourse. But this kind of idiocy makes me want scream.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:13:00 PM PST

  •  Google is your friend... (8+ / 0-)

    666 citations and every one bought and paid for by big pharma (not).

    autism and vaccinations

    Right near the top, for example,

    No Evidence Supports Previously Held Link Between Vaccines and Autism

  •  I think it's very uncivil of you (19+ / 0-)

    to expose children to deadly diseases based on rumor and innuendo.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:21:33 PM PST

  •  Anti-vac views kill, period (12+ / 0-)

    The time for being "open-minded" on this issue existed years ago and is now known garbage.  No more time for tolerance of this absolute bullshit.

    Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

    by bythesea on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:22:49 PM PST

  •  This diary was about civility (3+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    tomhodukavich, catleigh, siduri
    Hidden by:
    nsfbr

    And the Kos community has come out like a bunch of Freepers.  It's disappointing.

  •  I really don't understand why these diaries (10+ / 0-)

    are tolerated. They are ct. You could give these people all the studies and proof in the world and they would never believe it. I think this community should consider treating these diaries the same way they treat truther diaries.

  •  I heard (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, Skipbidder, grannyhelen, Deathtongue

    That they put some thought control stuff in the H1NI vaccine and that is why its taking so long to get to the public.

  •  So science isn't a democracy (10+ / 0-)

    you don't get to vote for your favorite theory. You don't get to ask uninformed questions and 10 minutes of listening to Jenny McCarthy doesn't inform you.

    When you've finished you PhD and post doctoral studies, come back and ask your questions.

  •  Kenya (11+ / 0-)

    I don't see why I experience so much vitriol just for asking questions about Obama's birthplace. I'm just asking questions. How can asking questions be wrong? You are so closed-minded.

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    by Skipbidder on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 02:55:25 PM PST

  •  A little civility to the debate? (5+ / 0-)

    What debate?

  •  I admit, I am a skeptic of conventional medicine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomhodukavich, eyesoars

    Having been misdiagnosed by conventional medicine with bursitis (I went to the clinic 6 times over 4 weeks) when in fact I had a hip stress fracture was my first bad experience.  Then, knowing someone who almost died from meningitis, after being  diagnosed with the flu (well I guess mistake do happen). Maybe if doctors would stop treating people like products on an assembly line.  I also knew a DES daughter. DES was one of those "wonder drugs" approved by the medical establishment back in the 70's. Another one was Thalidomide.

    Then there is the long list of drug recalls by the the FDA. I count 32 drugs on that list.  Most of the KILLED people.  Then there is the rather large number of patients who die from iatrogenic causes (deaths caused by doctor errors, hospital infections, medication errors etc).  That is 225,000 deaths per year.

    Not that I wouldn't go to the hospital in an emergency or take a necessary immunization, but I certainly understand the apprehension.  The reason a lot of people turn to "alternatives" is because many of them have also had bad experiences with modern assembly-line medicine.  

    Trusting the latest drug because it's a product of "science" is like trusting GMOs because they are also a product of science.  It's odd to me that so many people here accept the anti-GMO diaries without question, but you bring up bad medicine and it practically gets troll-rated.

    •  Yes, but... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemFromCT, tomhodukavich, Anna M, Kylopod, CMYK

      Conventional medicine has also corrected false facts.

      The FDA did not approve thalidomide in this country until long after countries in Europe did.  We had very many fewer deformed babies as a result.

      Drug recalls almost always involve fatalities.  (Why else would they be recalled?)  Even so, the recalls generally occur as soon as there is evidence of hazard.  (That's not to say that there are not political considerations from time to time.  Sadly, FDA/NIH are not immune from politics.)

      Iatrogenic diseases are a major issue in medicine, and something that a better national health system could address.  Individual hospitals and doctors have widely (wildly?) varying rates and issues, and there is need for more direction in this country.  Other countries do a much better job in this area.  Political pressure would be good...

      And yes, many of us should be skeptical of the latest treatments.  Science takes time, and can only work with data.  In public health, "data" usually involves human suffering and death.  Science is far from perfect, but it's the best we have.

    •  Not everyone gets it yet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CMYK

      But inroads are being made with science on both fronts.

      The Fear Factor

      Is our fear of biotechnology impeding the scientific progress we once revered? Michael Specter thinks so. In his new book Denialism, Specter says irrational thinking has led the opposition of vaccines and genetically modified food. The internet and the news media aren’t helping either.

      Earns no money here for blogging, commenting, or driving traffic to any web site.

      by mem from somerville on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 05:59:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I have no problem with asking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, Anna M

    appropriate questions, and I agree that it's not necessarily wise to accept dogma at face value, even dogma clothed in science.  All the same, I'd really, really hope that when you've looked at enough of the reported science, you'll come to the conclusion that most or all of the vaccinations currently promoted by the public health system are safe and generally effective, and that your child, and you, should receive them.  My autistic son received his swine flu shot this week, and I enthusisatically signed the authorizations for my other kids as well - apparently their schools didn't get the supply yet.  Much of the commentary I see above reminds me of the reaction my late dad, a devout Catholic, would have if someone in the family questioned some aspect of his religion.  It's a shame, IMO - one can certainly honor science and the knowledge and benefits it brings us without voluntarily assuming the role of Grand Inquisitor toward every skeptic.

    •  thank you for that comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skipbidder, tomhodukavich

      not everyone is asking in good faith, to mix metaphors

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 04:43:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anyone who has ever served on a board (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemFromCT, CMYK

        governing anything from a high-school club to a large city will remember a little ritual called "approving the minutes of the last meeting" and that it's normally a perfunctory affair lasting at most a minute or two. Anyone who has served on enough boards will have run across a certain type of obsessive paranoid who occasionally gets named or elected to their position. That kind of person will inevitably treat the approval of the previous minutes as an opportunity to re-open questions that were settled at the last meeting; one trustee serving on my town's Village Board was like that, and it typically took 45 minutes to an hour to get through that normally perfunctory step (meetings were held twice a month and normally lasted from 8PM to 10PM; until she got term-limited, they typically ran until 2AM).

        Needless to say, such members are extremely unpopular with their colleagues. And that's pretty much the way anyone with a science background feels when someone tries to re-open well-settled scientific questions without presenting any genuinely new evidence. Science is always open to re-evaluating its conclusions, but only when someone can present new evidence that wasn't originally considered. Not evidence that was considered, but that the challenger wasn't aware of. Not extraordinary claims (claims whose acceptance would require discarding large amounts of knowledge that has good explanatory power) unless they're accompanied by extraordinary evidence. Not meaningless word-salad claims that are to science what "flux capacitors" are to engineering; "this herb steals electromagnetic energy from cancer cells" may sound impressive to someone who doesn't know much about science, but then my claim that as a senior in high school I batted fifty touchdowns in a single basketball game would sound impressive to someone who doesn't know much about sports.

        There is nothing so practical as a good theory—Kurt Lewin

        by ebohlman on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 10:47:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  There's no evidence. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, eyesoars, Deathtongue

    Period.  The anti-vaccine people are cranks, conspiracy theorists on the order of global warming deniers.  There was ONE study that asserted a link between vaccines and autism that was subsequently discredited, and there have been many more studies that found NO link.  You don't get to "speculate" and whine that we should be allowed to have "questions" and "doubts" about issues that are (currently) settled science unless you want to carpool with Glenn Beck.  We don't get to choose which science to believe and which science to ignore; you either believe that science is our best way of understanding of the world, or you don't.  If you believe vaccines cause autism based on the ZERO scientific evidence for it at the moment, then you're a fucking crank and you should be out teabagging with the Republicans against global warming and evolution.  

  •  The problem with vaccines (4+ / 0-)

    is that they work.

    a hard rain's gonna fall

    by Paul Goodman on Sun Nov 08, 2009 at 04:25:13 PM PST

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