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Coincidence? I don't think so, not anymore.


Orange County health officials said a baby died from whooping cough last week.

This is the first whooping cough death the county has seen in decades. Officials said it's been at least 20 years or more since someone died of the disease.

Whooping cough, also called pertussis, and other diseases are making comebacks, because so many parents are deciding not to vaccinate their kids.

"It's really unfortunate. We're saddened to hear that an infant died of something like this," said Dain Weister with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.

Officials said the family chose not to vaccinate their child. Some parents are choosing not to fully vaccinate their children because they worry there is a link between the vaccinations and autism.

Flashback to the GOP debates:
"I'm a mom of three children," Bachmann said during the debate in Tampa, Florida. "And to have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong."

Bachmann went one step further the following day on the Today Show, saying that a mother came up to her in tears following the debate, and told Bachmann that her daughter became mentally retarded after receiving the HPV vaccine.

"It can have very dangerous side effects," she said on Today. "This is the very real concern, and people have to draw their own conclusions."

Cue the medical community. Experts immediately jumped to debunk these claims.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement to "correct false statements" Bachmann made on the HPV vaccine.

"There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record," the statement read. This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer."

This woman is dangerous. A lot of less sophisticated citizens might assume she's telling the truth. She's a US congress person, the smartest of the smart? Someone to trust, right? It's even conceivable that these citizens wouldn't even know how to learn the truth. Who knows the bubble they live in.

Reason and science vs fear and ignorance. It's us or them, literally.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I prefer saying this (8+ / 0-)
      Anti-vaxxers are SICK

      Sorry conservatives, but Occam's Razor isn't a beard trimmer for jihadists. What it means is I don't have to accept your crazy-assed theories as an alternative to reality.

      by ontheleftcoast on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:40:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that's a fair assesment of a wide (7+ / 0-)

        variety of people.

        Since the 1960's and probably before that people have been questioning the number of vaccines we give our kids and the age at which we give them.

        Jenny McCarthy wasn't even born then. The questions weren't being asked because of autism. They were being asked because it seemed like an unnatural thing to be introducing to such young babies. And because it was an era when we started questioning the status quo.

        We give twice as many vaccines now as we did then. 26 before a child is 1 year old.

        The US childhood immunization schedule specifies 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year—the most in the world—yet 33 nations have lower IMR's (Infant Mortality Rates) Despite the United States spending more per capita on health care than any other country, 33 nations have better IMRs. Some countries have IMRs that are less than half the US rate: Singapore, Sweden, and Japan are below 2.80. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “The relative position of the United States in comparison to countries with the lowest infant mortality rates appears to be worsening.”

        There are many factors that affect the IMR of any given country. For example, premature births in the United States have increased by more than 20% between 1990 and 2006. Preterm babies have a higher risk of complications that could lead to death within the first year of life.6 However, this does not fully explain why the United States has seen little improvement in its IMR since 2000.

        Nations differ in their immunization requirements for infants aged less than 1 year. In 2009, five of the 34 nations with the best IMRs required 12 vaccine doses, the least amount, while the United States required 26 vaccine doses, the most of any nation. To explore the correlation between vaccine doses that nations routinely give to their infants and their infant mortality rates, a linear regression analysis was performed.

        This is from the NIH, I don't think Jenny McCarthy is a member.

        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.

        I find it direspectful to disregard those with differing opinions in such a ...nasty, namecalling tone, when the question of vaccines and overvaccination is indeed backed by science. In that scientists are open to looking at vaccines in the broader view.

        It's been my experience that you don't win friends and influence people by mocking them.

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:05:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anti-vaxxers aren't about science and questioning (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          earicicle, mamamorgaine, ER Doc

          the amount vaccines, read the description of the ones in Utah right below. The ones I know locally are anti-science, they use religious excuses to avoid any and all vaccinations. And their actions put my kids in harms way. Sorry, but I have little patience for them.

          Sorry conservatives, but Occam's Razor isn't a beard trimmer for jihadists. What it means is I don't have to accept your crazy-assed theories as an alternative to reality.

          by ontheleftcoast on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 11:21:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  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.

        •  not only that, but HPV vax and whooping cough vax (0+ / 0-)

          are two different things entirely, but the diarist conflates them and the people objecting to them.

      •  Even worse are people who are anti-vaxxers (0+ / 0-)

        and don't know it because they get all their shots and think that's enough.  Remember, taking aspirin/tylenol/advil within 2 weeks before or after a vaccination will dramatically reduce it's effectiveness!

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 12:29:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We live in Utah, and the anti-vaccine, (8+ / 0-)

      "it's a government conspiracy" sensibility is strong here. It's not just about being anti-vaccine as an opinion, some parents here will literally, upon learning that you have chosen to vaccinate your children:

      - Bring it up every time they see you in an accusatory tone
      - Leave your social circle/stop being willing to associate with you
      - Keep their kids away from your kids
      - Spread the word in the community that you're a "vaccinator"

      The people like this (and yes, we were formally acquainted with several families like this, and no longer are for these reasons) are part of the right-wing problem in this country.

      So far as they're concerned, it's all socialism and tyranny and a conspiracy to do X, Y, or Z (it changes to the flavor of the week depending on the emails circulating in their circles at the moment) to children and "a free people."

      Interestingly, all but one of the families that we've known that were part of the anti-vaccine crowd were also highly consumerist, anti-environmentalist, and deeply involved in MLM businesses. Anecdotal rather than statistical, but interesting nonetheless.

      -9.63, 0.00
      "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

      by nobody at all on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:10:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Insane Hatred That Used To Fuel Racism?.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phonegery, ER Doc

        I think it's still there, and it's still absurdly self righteous.  

        How about the insane right to lifers - you know your local newspapers crazy-cat-lady who will stay on the computer for 72 hours straight complaining about Planned Parenthood?

        Or the people who go into the equivalent of meth fueled rage over raw milk?  Those people are nuts.

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:40:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's one part of the anti-vaxxer crowd... (4+ / 0-)

           The other part is hard-core left-wing crunchy granola pro-environment folks who are definitely part of us on most issues, but are opposed to vaccines because they're not "natural", they're "artificial chemicals", they're a product of the "Big Pharma" conspiracy, and, yes, "because they cause autism". Anti-science notions affect all sides of the political sphere.
             My step-daughter-in-law is into some of this, although she's actually a fundie nut, too. They're immunizing the two grandsons, but they're doing it one antigen at a time, every six weeks or so. Somehow, this is supposed to be "safer", because it doesn't "overwhelm their immune system." I'm appalled that the pediatrician is going along with this, but I guess the idea is that it's better than nothing. I have no idea where the schedule they're using comes from. They refuse to acknowledge that they are conducting their own uncontrolled experiment on their kids, since there is no scientific testing and minimal anecdotal experience to back this plan.

        -7.25, -6.26

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

        by ER Doc on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 06:58:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not Michele Bachmann. It's Jenny McCarthy (22+ / 0-)

    using the platform of Oprah's show to launch this stupid idiocy of not vaccinating kids.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:45:21 PM PDT

  •  It's not limited to America (27+ / 0-)

    Ran across a very well written Mea Culpa at the Guardian 2 days ago.

    Why I wish my daughter had been vaccinated

    "My child couldn't fall victim to any of those Victorian sounding diseases such as diphtheria, polio and tetanus, could she?"

    That was, until she caught pertussis – which turns out to mean whooping cough. Which turns out to mean months of pain. It is a highly contagious disease that comes in stages, but that horrible, hacking cough that kept her up all night went on for so many weeks that she was prescribed an inhaler. She was past her first birthday, so unlikely to die of it, like newborns can, but it's disgusting to watch your child needlessly suffer like that. My parents had to come to help us, and then we grownups all succumbed to the revolting condition too. Of course, having wanted to avoid filling her body with chemicals, I ended up giving her all the medicines I could find.
    This is the key.
    And yet some of us are still coasting on herd immunity provided by other children, which is no longer enough, because of the growing number of people like me.
    I've seen the results when children are not vaccinated, some because the vaccines weren't available yet. I also have issues with some very misguided medical interventions. Vaccines are a risk that over population and concentration requires for as many as possible.

    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

    by Ginny in CO on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:05:31 PM PDT

  •  Reminds me of a "natural health" zealot I knew. (22+ / 0-)

    This one happened to breed cats and didn't vaccinate any of the pooties in her care - mothers, kittens or even anything she petted out, for "natural health" reasons.

    Calici virus (a virulent uri that is easily controllable with vaccination) wiped out her whole breeding program. The problem is, she had already petted out a bunch and in the sales contract, she insisted that the new owners must follow her "natural health" program or they would lose the cats.

    The "natural health" philosophy applies to people as well.

    Back in the bad old days, people who got a virus and survived were the strong. Everyone else died. That's "natural health". Trouble is, those infected can, at least in these days, spread the infection world wide before we even know it is happening.

    Now, when we get vaccinated, we get enough of a virus, in a weakened form, to provide protection against the disease. It's how smallpox and polio were reduced from rampant killers to a very rare (if ever) occurrence.

    People who are against vaccinations don't understand that a small dose of disease protects against much bigger problems. Again, where are the scientific types when we need them, especially against who think science is nothing but hoakum.

    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

    by woolibaar on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:05:52 PM PDT

    •  Funny how people don't understand (15+ / 0-)

      what the history of 'natural health' involved. Like how many women died in pregnancy, labor and delivery.

      We also couldn't get past the big family traditions when vaccines started keeping most children alive to adulthood.

      Even when the vaccines don't prevent a disease completely, the case is very mild compared to one that involves a virulent strain or large innoculation  - the number of organisms transferred to the victim.

      The shingles vaccine is less effective the older you are when getting it. My mom was ~ 85 before a doctor finally ordered it. Just in time. The next winter she broke out with some lesions. We got her to the ED quickly and she was on antivirals well within the 72 hour window to start them. It was annoying and the isolated lesions were painful. Much easier to control and much shorter duration than a full blown outbreak.

      Especially compared to the cases we have both seen pre vaccine and antivirals as nurses.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:32:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a maddening situation (13+ / 0-)

    But Ms. Bachmann and her objections to the HPV vaccine are late to the circus, and peripheral to things like whooping cough, measles, etc. There are a goodly number on the left also feeding the anti-vaxxer message. HuffPo is definitely an enabler.  As loopy as Michelle B might be, this isn't at her doorstep.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:10:03 PM PDT

    •  HuffPo! (Snorts in derision.) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, Catte Nappe

      One of several reasons I left there for good was the rampant anti-vaccine nonsense.  That, and the articles written by Michelle Rhee on education (like having a shark write articles about surfing). And the heavy troll infestation.

      Metaphors be with you.

      by koosah on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:46:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is it certain that the people choosing not to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ginny in CO, suesue, Julia Grey

    vaccinate are causing the recurrance of whooping cough? Or is it becoming resistent to the vaccine?

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:12:42 PM PDT

  •  tangentially related: (13+ / 0-)

    we're seriously on the verge of eliminating polio. there are only a few regions where this virus remains emdemic. Guess where-- Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria.

    US intelligence/military policies have engendered significant resistance to immunization in the at risk populations of these very countries.

    What a criminally lost opportunity if this effort fails.

    What laws can the senators make now? Once the barbarians are here, they'll do the legislating. C.P. Cavafy

    by anonymous volanakis on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 07:26:41 PM PDT

    •  Polio elimination (8+ / 0-)

      To go a bit further on this tangent...

      This is such an enormous public health victory.  In the past 25 years, the global incidence of polio is down by more than 99% and the number of countries with endemic polio has gone from 125 to 3. More than 10 million people are walking today who otherwise would have been paralyzed.  Polio has been eradicated in the Western Hemisphere, yet few seem to know this.  

      There are many reasons why Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria still have endemic polio.  Given that the CDC and WHO have organized the worldwide eradication effort, I would not put undue blame on the US.  Many CDC staff have spent years in South America, Asia, and Africa to stop polio, and it is very close.  The problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan primarily result from lack of access to vaccine.  Travel is difficult, and foreign medical staff take great risks there.  In the past year health workers have been targeted for killing in Nigeria and Pakistan.  In northern Nigeria, the area where polio is still a problem, 9 more polio health workers were killed in February by a Muslim extremist group known as Boko Haram, a Hausa term meaning “Western education is forbidden”.  Conspiracy theories, stoked by local politicians and Muslim clerics, claiming the polio campaign is a foreign plot to harm Muslims, has been made progress in northern Nigeria very difficult.  The state government of the Kano province halted vaccinations for 13  months to assure they weren't causing young women to become infertile, an alleged American plot.  In Pakistan 16 health workers – primarily women – were killed by Taliban gunmen in Pakistan in two incidents in December and January.  It certainly didn't help when the CIA used a fake vaccination outreach program to help collect data to locate Osama bin Laden.

      To overcome these substantial barriers, the eradication program is trying to stimulate advocacy among Islamic leaders for the protection of children against polio and the safety of health workers.

  •  I vaccinated my children, (17+ / 0-)

    my dogs, and my horses.  I only wish the HPV vac had come earlier and my daughter would have had that too.  Sadly, it didn't.  She just turned 30.  At 21, she had cervical cancer.  After a very long, difficult battle, she is cancer free, thankfully.  Someday, she hopes to be able to adopt a child.  Yeah, I wish the HPV had come sooner.

    You are my brother, my sister.

    by RoCali on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:17:35 PM PDT

  •  what a horrible way for a baby to die.....eom (7+ / 0-)

    ''A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.'' FDR

    by lostinamerica on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:20:58 PM PDT

  •  How sad (5+ / 0-)

    that some deny hard won knowledge to follow crackpot theories, and risk their children's lives.

    You can put your shoes in the oven, but it won't make them biscuits.

    by quetzalmom on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:29:26 PM PDT

  •  I am old enough to remember marching over with our (18+ / 0-)

    2nd grade elementary school class to the town hospital and standing in a very long line to receive the new Salk (injected) polio vaccine.  

    It was a Public Health requirement during the Eisenhower administration because thousands of kids nationwide were contracting polio every summer from municipal swimming pools and similar.  

    One or two years later, we marched over again to get our Sabin (cherry flavored syrup on a sugar cube) oral polio vaccinations (the latter was much better received).  

    In my elementary school the 3rd grade teacher was a polio victim with a large steel brace on one leg, which scared us all into obedience, as she hulked around the room.  In junior high, my very beautiful and sweet girl classmate had also suffered polio and would have a limp for her whole life.

    As a child, I survived measles, German measles, and chicken pox, also some high fever infection where was I was delirious for 2 days.  My parents and family doctor were very responsible, but the modern vaccines were only just becoming available.  I think DPT was the only standard practice then.

    I have a step-daughter-in-law who is an anti-vaxxer.  She has 2- and 5-year-old boys who are completely vulnerable.  But she "knows" better.

    •  Polio Vaccine Was A Big Event, Like Civil Defense (5+ / 0-)

      We drove up to the state police station and I got a sugar cube.

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:34:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, there was no opt-out option: (7+ / 0-)

        No choice or parental consent forms; this was a public health emergency in the 1950s.  And it worked.  Polio was eradicated as an epi/pan-demic in the US in just a few years.

        •  Also Puts The Live Attenuated Virus Out There (0+ / 0-)

          If most of  the people in the neighborhood get the Sabin vaccine, everyone gets exposed to the live virus.

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:19:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, mostly.... (0+ / 0-)

            There were 3 strains of polio in the original OPV, tagged Sabin-1, Sabin-2 and Sabin-3.

            Sabin-1 is probably one of the safest vaccines ever. When I left the bioscience field there had never been a recorded incident of an issue attributable to that strain.

            Sabin-2 quickly established immunity in the primary recipient but it was remotely possible for it to revert if the recipient was co-infected with wild-type. With herd immunity established, not a problem.

            Sabin-3 is interesting - also quickly establishes immunity but within a few days if you were to go to an infant that had received their first OPV, sample the contents of every diaper and isolate the type 3 you'd discover that the majority of it had reverted to virulent.

            I worked with the team that performed that research and when we sequenced the RNA genome of those viruses we discovered that the Sabin-3 strain in use at the time differed from wild-type by only 13 point mutations in its 7400-base genome. If a particular one of those 13 reverted (position 172 in the 5' non-coding region if I remember correctly) that was enough to restore the virulence of the virus. One of the major efforts in the lab at the time was to take the ultimately safe Sabin-1 strain and engineer it to have the antigenic regions of type 3 thus producing a type 3 vaccine strain that could not revert.

            It is because of this that the US switched to using an injectable inactivated polio vaccine rather than the OPV.

  •  Two letters: TB (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swampyankee, Kimbeaux, RiveroftheWest

    Well, we shouldn't screen for a disease that kills roughly two million a year worldwide, because government tyranny...

    Cue the appropriately outraged health professionals in three...



  •  Washington State Is The Worst (5+ / 0-)
    So-called "antivaxxers" have an unusually firm foothold in the state of Washington. Last year, The Seattle Times reported that "Washington [state] parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kindergartners at a rate higher than anywhere else in the country."

    "When the vaccination rates drop, everyone becomes more vulnerable to infectious diseases," writes Steven Salzberg, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in a recent blog entry. He continues:

    When more than 90% of the population is vaccinated, we have "herd immunity" — this means the disease can't spread because there aren't enough susceptible people in the community. So the high rate of vaccine refusal in Washington makes it easier for whooping cough (and other diseases) to spread.

    "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003

    by kerplunk on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:25:57 PM PDT

  •  I had whooping cough when I was 11. (4+ / 0-)

    The doctor didn't recognize it (this was 1971).  I finally recognized the symptoms when I was reading one of those "Moms - here's the disease your kid has" books - publication date 1954.

    I missed six weeks of school.  I could only attend half days for another two weeks.  It took me almost a year to truly recover.  And my mom HAD gotten me vaccinated. This was just before they realized that boosters were needed - right around the age that I got it.  

    I wouldn't wish pertussis on my worst enemy.  I slept in 30 minute increments for over 3 weeks.  I coughed so hard I vomited.  My mother had to support me over the toilet so I wouldn't fall in and drown because I couldn't support myself from the violence of the coughing.  I lost over 20 pounds.  It was awful.

    I believe in vaccination.  I do think that babies are vaccinated too much, too soon.  Four vaccinations at a time, starting at 3 months of age?  Cripes, I was miserable for a week when I got an MMR at 39 (job requirement).  I hate to think how miserable I would have been if I was vaccinated the way babies are.  So I do think babies should have their vaccinations spaced out a little more and not have multiple simultaneous vaccinations.  (I think it would make mommies happier, too, not having to deal with miserable babies.)

    •  Well it's even worse considering that now they (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      aren't allowed to have any tylenol or advil within 2 weeks before or after any shots no matter how much they scream.  If you want proof, go to he Journal of Immunology and get this study: "Cycloozygenase-1 Orchestrates Germinal Center Formation and Antibody Class-Switch via Regulation of IL-17".  Hint: Cycloozygenase-1 is also called COX-1 and over the counter pain relievers are COX-1 inhibitors.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 12:26:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  According to this link the baby was 6-weeks-old (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Baby dies of whooping cough in Orange County

    Babies don't get their DTaP vaccine for pertussis until they're 2-months-old.

    I'm not sure why officials would say the family chose not to vaccinate their child when the baby was too young to be vaccinated.

    •  Baby contracted whooping cough from his sibling - (7+ / 0-)

      who wasn't vaccinated.  That was the child that the family chose not to vaccinate.

      •  Interesting. Most of the articles I read (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        stated the baby caught pertussis from an adult. How did you find out that the baby caught it from a sibling?

        We had a bad pertussis epidemic here last year and kids who were unvaccinated caught it at a higher rate than vaccinated kids, but because the vast majority of kids here are vaccinated, most cases were in vaccinated 10-year-olds and 13-14-year-olds who had lost their vaccine-induced immunity.

        The vaccine needs to be improved because, as it is currently, it leaves babies at risk for catching pertussis from siblings, whether vaccinated or not. Also, because the protection wanes so quickly, it doesn't do the job of accomplishing herd immunity.

        •  That just says.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wa ma

          ... that the requirements for booster shot frequency needs to be tweaked some, not that the vaccine needs to be improved. Although getting both would be nice :)

          Pertussis is a particularly nasty bacterial infection, we waited a long time to even identify the bug because it wasn't until 1906 that anyone even came up with a medium that it would grow in - Jules Bordet and Octave Gengou came up with one, containing blood, potato extract and an antibiotic that the bug was naturally resistant to and thus isolated it. (and since the discoverer has traditionally been reflected in the name, the bacterium ended up named "Bordetella Pertussis" after the lead researcher)

          We've got antibiotics that zap it pretty efficiently now, but the problem with that, and why it needs to be handled by a vaccine, is that once a kid starts showing symptoms then killing off the bugs with an antibiotic doesn't help much because the dead bugs break down and release MORE of the toxin that causes the disease. The cough, and the tissue damage still persist long after there isn't a living bacterium in your body, that is why it is so dangerous to babies because even a low level infection will end up releasing enough toxin into that small body to be really REALLY bad news, even when you get rid of the suckers with antibiotics.

          •  Okay, but the problem with DTaP and Tdap (0+ / 0-)

            is the pertussis component. Do you think they would change the schedule to recommend DTaP and Tdap vaccines every 2 or 3 years when that means kids (and adults) would be getting frequent vaccines for diptheria and tetanus even though there would be no need for those?

            Think of how already vaccine-hesitant parents would react to that.

            •  I agree... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wa ma

              ...but there's nothing to stop anyone formulating a pertussis-only booster which could be given between combo boosters. Maybe aim it particularly for people who typically work with or around kids or for healthcare workers who are more likely to be exposed. Ensure the adults around them are immune and maintain that immunity and as the effectiveness of the kids boosters fade that still maintains the herd immunity. Give the extra p-only to the kids when there's reason too, the same way folks used to vaccinate all the kids in a school as soon as a single meningitis case cropped up.

              Ideally as you say we would have a vaccine that promoted long-lasting immunity but in the absence of that we can do better at utilizing the one we have.

              •  That sounds totally rational. That's why I have (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                doubts about whether it will ever be recommended.

                I don't think they'll do pertussis-only shots because that could be perceived as a concession to parents who prefer single shots. The Td shot is still available so some parents might want their kids to have a Td shot separate from a pertussis shot instead of letting their kids have DTaP or Tdap. Or parents might choose to just get the pertussis shot for their kids or just the Td shot.

                I really doubt they'll go to something where they give a shot to kids "when there's a reason to." I think the policy makers are just too vested in the one-size-fits-all recommendations of universal vaccinating for kids. I don't think they want to introduce this idea of risk/benefit calculating because that's what the parents who aren't following the schedule are doing and public health officials are working hard to discourage that.

        •  Here is the link (0+ / 0-)

          The article stated that it was believed that the child contracted the disease from siblings or someone unvaccinated in the household.

  •  I know people who can't have the pertussis vac (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wa ma

    because of severe side effects. A friend of mine has temporal lobe seizures from the vac when she was a kid, and she was also paralyzed for a time. Her kids were not given the pertussis vac due to her reaction. They did get their other vacs however. Yes, they've changed the P vac some since we were kids, but she and the pediatrician talked it over and decided that the risk was too high in her children's case. She has long and short term memory issues from her seizures.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 07:17:34 AM PDT

  •  When I was young (0+ / 0-)

    (adjusting my teeth and leaning foreward on my cane).

    You needed proof you'd gotten certain vaccinations before you could be admitted to school. Big Gummint Interference? You bet your ass! It was common sense back then (1950s). Pertusses, smallpox, scarlet fever, etc had killed millions of people regularly for centuries. People had been dreading the summer months, when the polio virus could decimate entire small towns, for decades. So I still have a funny little circular scar on my right arm.

    But then several things happened. #1 the diseases that vaccines were designed to prevent faded into distant memory (I've actually talked to people who asked me what polio is). #2 the whole Vietnam era and military vaccination programs. The barrage of shots were never explained, you had no choice in the matter of what they were shooting you up with, and many had bad side-effects from one or more of them.

    Then came #3. IIRC, it was the spark that really got the the anti-vac crusaders going. Swine Flu, it's accompanying vaccine, and the massive PR campaign to get people in line for it. It became the punchline of a joke - name a cure for which there was no disease.

    So now too many see vaccines as cures for diseases they think have been obliterated, or from which we're in no real danger, or that flat out don't exist. And they see "conditions and syndromes" that they think never existed before and they need something to pin it on.

    I can see both sides to a degree. Maybe we do have some problems with current vaccines. We're talking Big Pharma after all - not altogether the most trustworthy people on the planet.

    But those "old time" diseases are far from gone forever. They still exist in other parts of the world, and recent health news shows they can migrate here with very little trouble.

    I've recently been seeing another ominous side too. I've read where those vaccines I took so long ago may be wearing out. I might be suseptable to polio again. I was vaccinated for whooping cough before entering school just like everybody else. But a few years back I had a very real case of it that lasted five weeks. I thought I was going to hock up my intestines. My ribs were sore for a month after. I didn't even know what it was until several months after I recovered and I read an article about a mini-pandemic. And I wondered - how the hell did I manage to get that? I was vaccinated!

    We need to have a serious public conversation in this country and bring trust and common sense back into the equation.

    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

    by Pariah Dog on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 08:56:51 AM PDT

  •  Vaccination is social (0+ / 0-)

    If you live in a community which is all vaccinated but you, you have less chance of catching the disease than the only vaccinated person in another community.

    (This is truer of some diseases than of others.)

    The point is that wide vaccination keeps people in the society from being exposed to the disease.

  •  just one time (0+ / 0-)

    on the issue of vaccines I like to see a diary dedicated  to  family first hand experiences with vaccines; which would not allow judgmental comments of any kind;

    simple the stories from parents narrating their children's experience;  

    and if the diary requested that the comments not include DRAWING conclusions about the vaccines .....

    but imply relate first hand experiential information  THAT would be an interesting diary;

    I recall other parents I knew with children similar in age to mine so I've heard some first hand stories....

    but a diary without reactions and controversy... a plain diary of experiences would be helpful.... the amount of vaccines went up dramatically over the years since I had a young family and I'd like to know from parents what happened in their families ;

    Boston Bombing: This is really a lot different than 911, our intelligence agencies, our police forces are much sharper. ~ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

    by anyname on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 10:59:15 AM PDT

    •  If it were responded to proportionally (0+ / 0-)

      it would be 95% "my kid got all his vaccines on time, more or less, and there was no drama whatsoever but for the crying".

      Most of the rest would be people who didn't vaccinate.

      •  don't think so (0+ / 0-)

        what I've suggested is a diary for people who did vaccinate - their first hand experience... no judgmental comments.... no conclusions from parents - just experience

        that have been missing from internet discussion of vaccination;

        the forums and diaries are controversy arguments tit for tat.....

        one diary with absolutely no tit for tat and only first hand experiences....

        that is needed IMV

        Boston Bombing: This is really a lot different than 911, our intelligence agencies, our police forces are much sharper. ~ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

        by anyname on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 12:16:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I was trying to imply ... (0+ / 0-)

          is that no such thing is really possible.  People who vaccinated their kids with no ensuing drama whatsoever -- like myself and literally everyone I know -- have nothing to talk about.

          People who did have problems or believe that they did have everything to talk about.  You wind up with a huge circle-jerk where both problems that exist and problems that are only imagined are blown up out of all proportion and the vast majority of "ho hum, got the kid his shots, nothing more to say" never even turn up to speak.  It's an impossible thing you are asking.

          •  not really (0+ / 0-)

            you are calling collected narrative family stories 'knee jerk circle'

            that's why you do seem to understand the usefulness of a diary with no judgement, no put downs, no insults  - - only experiential stories;

            Boston Bombing: This is really a lot different than 911, our intelligence agencies, our police forces are much sharper. ~ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

            by anyname on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 12:07:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  oops (0+ / 0-)

              you do NOT understand the purpose of non judgement diary about vaccines for experiential narratives only

              Boston Bombing: This is really a lot different than 911, our intelligence agencies, our police forces are much sharper. ~ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

              by anyname on Mon Apr 29, 2013 at 01:19:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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