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Some of us science bloggers are big fans of a hit TV show called The Big Bang Theory. One of our favorite characters is the socially awkward and totally lovable Dr. Amy Farah Fowler, microbiologist, brilliantly played by Mayim Bialik. To be precise, it's now Dr. Bialik; this former child star turned sitcom icon is a real scientist and a bit of a polymath, having earned a very real doctorate in neurobiology, lending even more depth to her delightful TV persona. That may be why, last week, Bialik attracted no small amount of notice by implying, at least according to some accounts, that she was an anti-vaxxar.

Alas, we can't say for sure because Bialik chose not to clarify. She wrote in part:

I almost always listen to my editor. But I rebelled last week. You see, she asked me to write in response to someone on the internet who was speaking disparagingly about me regarding my personal (and rarely publicly discussed) decisions about vaccines. She wanted me to respond. I said no.
Since Bialik has a real doctorate in biology, perhaps she deserves the benefit of the doubt. What we do know is the comment section following her post quickly degenerated into a jamboree of discredited anti-science spiels and claims of vast conspiracies. Follow below and we'll talk more about the itty-bitty microbes and great big lies that play a part in this bustling corner of the anti-science racket.

Anti-vaxxar refers to anti-vaccination, a group of people who believe, despite all recent studies and evidence, that vaccines don't work and/or are a lethal threat. In the modern form it started about 20 years, borne of the concern that childhood vaccines were responsible for the onset of autism. It was worth looking into as the two were correlated: the first signs of autism often appear right around the same time children are first innoculated.

That link has since been well investigated. From time to time some suggestive evidence would appear, but it could never be independently verified, while studies showing no link were confirmed over and over. The evidence quickly mounted that vaccines were safe. The final nail in the coffin came about 10 years ago, when it was discovered that one of the few credible researchers purporting a link had cooked the data. But pseudoscience can gain a life of its own, divorced from facts or evidence. An entire anti-vax profession had developed, it now depended on hyping the danger to sell books and generate page views. This professional class of anti-vaxxars spun ever more elaborate conspiracies and ominous consequences to explain away the growing body of evidence against them and short circuit skepticism in the minds of frightened parents, and they haven't stopped since.

One of the most pernicious and more recent lies is that not only are vaccines useless or dangerous for the recipient, it is the vaccine that's causing the disease! The government is in cahoots with the drug companies, intentionally tailoring vaccines to keep the disease active, because it's good for business! The evidence for this whopper usually consists of claims that an outbreak of one disease or another disproportionately includes patients who were vaccinated—even though simple arithmetic shows the attack rate in unvaccinated populations is much higher—therefore it must be caused by the vaccine.

To put that gem of ignorance in terms even the average wingnut can grasp, it's like saying gun owners get shot by bad guys all the time, so having a gun offers zero protection. For the rest of us, it's like arguing you might as well leave your car keys in the ignition and the doors wide open, because locked cars get stolen every day.

We don't have to argue about whether or not vaccines are safe or effective. Simply expose a vaccinated and unvaccinated population, chimps, rats, people, to the pathogen and compare infection rates. Or compare the two populations for signs of side effects. That's exactly what researchers do when developing and testing any drug, vaccines included. And boy howdy, they do a lot of testing and comparing.

Records of reported infection rates, ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated during or in the absence of an epidemic, and related morbidity and mortality rates rank among the most robust data sets in all of science. We're talking about hundreds of millions of people in virtually every nation on Earth, stretching back for decades, to the dawn of modern medical science in some cases, right into present day. Look at the graph at the top of this post: what happened to polio about 60 years ago?

In the early 1950s the first prototype polio vaccines were developed. By 1954 one was considered safe enough to be tested on a million children. On April 12, 1955, millions of Americans were listening in when Dr. Thomas Francis took the podium in a room packed by media to bursting to announce the results. Author Paul Offit describes what happened next:

By the time Thomas Francis stepped down from the podium, church bells were ringing across the country, factories were observing moments of silence, synagogues and churches were holding prayer meetings, and parents and teachers were weeping. One shopkeeper painted a sign on his window: Thank you, Dr. Salk. 'It was as if a war had ended'.
Polio is just one disease among many that has been methodically studied and, eventually, rendered preventable. That collective research points to one crystal clear conclusion: vaccination ranks with antibiotics and modern sanitation, arguably the all-time top three lifesaving inventions, as measured by the number of lives spared. The reason? In the past, time and time again, now preventable infectious disease reigned as the number one killer, a voracious Grim Reaper with an especially insatiable appetite for the lives of children.

Perhaps it's finally time for the intellectually honest to accept the current state of the science, helping to isolate the unscrupulous who refuse to do so in the process. Those who have been taken in deserve our compassion, not our contempt and not humilation, those who still insist on putting their children and their neighbors in peril might well benefit from an intervention of sorts. But make no mistake, the people in hot pursuit of a quick buck and a fleeting moment of fame who are pushing this lethal, anti-science nonsense deserve neither.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:40 PM PDT.

Also republished by Science Matters.


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Comment Preferences

  •  It's (137+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EJP in Maine, badscience, Susan from 29, Cali Scribe, ER Doc, ThirtyFiveUp, asterkitty, Powered Grace, mamamedusa, El Mito, rmx2630, zootwoman, dopper0189, JeffSCinNY, xaxnar, huntergeo, nzanne, gizmo59, jck, vzfk3s, paradise50, ninkasi23, sydneyluv, dksbook, Observerinvancouver, Spirit of Life, raptavio, DSC on the Plateau, p gorden lippy, Pat K California, Milly Watt, newinfluence, marykk, Elizabeth 44, carolanne, political mutt, RepresentUsPlease, onceasgt, anodnhajo, Ana Thema, GoldnI, The Pollster, checkerspot, Keone Michaels, wasatch, susans, noweasels, unclebucky, Most Awesome Nana, on the cusp, jessical, Wolf10, bythesea, sturunner, skohayes, itzik shpitzik, hnichols, allergywoman, RandomNonviolence, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, MaikeH, David Michigan, CA Nana, tb mare, dandy lion, palantir, Tunk, Naniboujou, belinda ridgewood, radarlady, ratcityreprobate, Progressive Witness, Laurel in CA, a2nite, mollyd, leonard145b, rhutcheson, wildweasels, GreatLakeSailor, mapamp, smileycreek, jefecuatro, Aquarius40, elfling, sandblaster, LinSea, badger, EricS, Sir Roderick, OceanDiver, rbird, codairem, chimene, TPain, dsb, GDbot, BannedAtSlate, jlms qkw, Mike Kahlow, Nisi Prius, cocinero, schnecke21, commonmass, 417els, Elwood Dowd, nanoboy, llywrch, denise b, rodentrancher, AaronInSanDiego, sngmama, MT Spaces, Thutmose V, lurkyloo, eyesoars, IndieGuy, sajiocity, Andrew Lazarus, RiveroftheWest, nice marmot, Tinfoil Hat, DianeNYS, splashy, avsp, moviemeister76, Cassandra Waites, ArchTeryx, bartcopfan, BlueMississippi, greycat, Calamity Jean, Oh Mary Oh, MadEye, Plox, Caittus, PeterHug, river0

    interesting to note that the anti-vaccine caucus does not lay on one side or the other of the usual left-right political axis. I've observed anecdotally that left leaning adherents might be more inclined to buy into Big Pharma conspiracies whereas more conservative victims might suspect Big Government plots. But it's an equal opportunity racket, as you may soon see in comments below.

    •  And I don't think it lays neatly on the (23+ / 0-)

      intelligence axis either. Mayim Bialik is obviously brilliant, as are many other persons who buy in to the anti-vaxxer movement. Why would that be?  I think that there intelligence paradoxically may make them more vulnerable to fringe science and fringe beliefs. They may think that there intellect would be protective of them falling into error, but then they fail to understand the power of social pressure  and in-group thinking.

      Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

      by JeffSCinNY on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:56:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why did Linus Pauling (29+ / 0-)

        believe that vitamin C cured everything, even cancer and AIDS, even in light of evidence that it didn't?  Intelligent people are as vulnerable to self-delusion as anyone else.  We all have our blind sides.

        -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

        by gizmo59 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:10:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Isaac Newton spent much of his later years (15+ / 0-)

          when he wasn't tracking down counterfeiters (great story there) or defending his primacy of the calculus, doing alchemy, and writing crackpot theories about the Bible.

          Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

          by JeffSCinNY on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:15:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I believe alchemy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hawkseye, bartcopfan

            is gaining a little more credibility these days as we learn more about what its practitioners actually did.  IIRC it was illegal with severe punishments, so what we have long known about it is thought not to very well represent the body of work.

            And even if there were some screwy ideas involved, generating hypotheses is a creative endeavor that benefits from including, not excluding, far-out ideas.  Think of all of the scientific advances that have depended on someone's coming along and seeing the problem differently from everyone else.  That doesn't happen if you criticize every idea according to current belief before even trying it out.

            •  From what I know about alchemy, (5+ / 0-)

              which is admittedly not much, it was not really practiced as a science, but more like a religion.  Those learning the discipline received the wisdom of their teachers and from ancient texts without question.

              This began to change around the time of Paracelsus, who insisted on science based on observation rather than simply following directions from ancient texts.  That would correspond to the early Renaissance.

              -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

              by gizmo59 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:01:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Alchemy is not gaining any credibility! (6+ / 0-)

              Alchemy is the idea that you can turn one element into another.  For example, lead into gold.  Other than radioactive decay, this does not happen.

            •  Rec'd for this.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              And even if there were some screwy ideas involved, generating hypotheses is a creative endeavor that benefits from including, not excluding, far-out ideas.  Think of all of the scientific advances that have depended on someone's coming along and seeing the problem differently from everyone else.  That doesn't happen if you criticize every idea according to current belief before even trying it out.

              "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

              by bartcopfan on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:56:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I seem to recall reading somewhere (9+ / 0-)

            that 90 % of Newton's writings were on the Bible, which is stunning when you realize that his most important contributions to the world had nothing to do with what he spent most of his time doing.  It makes one wonder what more he might have done had he devoted all his energy toward physics and mathematics.

            -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

            by gizmo59 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:42:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Probably got bored (9+ / 0-)

              Newton was unbelievably brilliant;  there was no one living who was really on his level, and arrogant bastard that he was, he knew it, too.  I'd guess that his feud with Leibnitz needs to be seen in this light; he probably couldn't believe that some piker from the Germanies might have bested him on this, and he damn well wasn't going to use that piker's notation to do math he thought up himself.

              It took a long time before people understood his work well enough to get the basics.  So, from his point of view, since he solved the whole celestial motion problem, he went on to other endeavors.

              Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

              by mbayrob on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:15:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  except that Leibniz was no piker (6+ / 0-)

                He was one of the few people in Europe, ( maybe the Bernoullis' too) who could think on his level. He spoke 5 languages, including Latin and Greek, and was a diplomat also. He also wrote a book of philosophy and metaphysics, that was the basis for Voltaire writing "Candide"

                Necessity is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.-- Wm.Pitt the Younger

                by JeffSCinNY on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:55:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So Leibnitz was Pangloss! (0+ / 0-)

                  I didn't know that!  Voltaire was pretty merciless on Leibnitz' philosophy, though.  Perhaps he should have stuck to math?

                  -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

                  by gizmo59 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:49:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  For Newton, even a genius like Leibnitz (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bartcopfan, RiveroftheWest

                  There's a lot of suspicion among historians of science that no -- not even Leibnitz, nor the Bernoullis ("I recognize the lion by his paw.", as brother John once said) -- were full really competition for that guy.  Lacking it, they suspect that as astonishing as Newton's output in physics turned out to be, that he underachieved what he was capable of.  

                  Lebnitz and the Bernoullis certainly were all great mathematicians, and certainly peers of Newton in that area, even if Newton likely didn't consider them competition, Newton being Newton.  But Newton's output in physics goes beyond the math behind it.  Like a number of great physicists,  he could often see the solutions of problems before he did the math, something a friend of mine once called "physical intuition".  It was simply unreal, what he was able to accomplish in optics, in putting the laws of motion on a firm basis,  and his work on gravitation and celestial mechanics.  And many areas in math, as well.

                  Not a nice guy.  A very strange guy.  But very likely the most brilliant scientist who ever lived, excepting perhaps only Archimedes, who appears to have figured out most of calculus, almost 2000 years before either Newton or Leibnitz.  

                  Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

                  by mbayrob on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:57:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not sure he would agree with you (0+ / 0-)

              about the relative importance of his various work.

              Personally, I am quite happy that he chose to spend as much time on science as he did.

              BTW, if you ever have a bit of time to kill, read Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle.  Incredibly good fiction, as you would expect.

          •  mercury poisoning. (5+ / 0-)

            A great deal of his alchemical experiments would have led to an inevitable mental decline. There's only so much lead and mercury your kidneys can clear. It wasn't like they actually knew about chemical safety in those days ('sugar of lead' i.e. lead acetate was an acceptable ingredient in candy through the late 1800's).

        •  Pauling, vitamin C, and cancer. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Evidence requires proper interpretation. It turns out Pauling was most likely on the right side.

          It has only recently been realized that the "controversy" over the inability to replicate a beneficial effect of vitamin C in reducing cancer growth was due almost entirely to a difference in the mode of administration employed in the initial and follow up studies.

          Positive effects were seen when ascorbate was administered intravenously (first study), no effects were seen after oral administration (the so called attempts at replication).

          Why this difference was ignored at the time is unclear.  We know now that it is very difficult to raise serum levels of ascorbate beyond a certain point by ingesting vitamin C.  In order to achieve very high levels it is necessary to  bypass the gut and go straight to the blood stream.  Those very high levels are required to "kill cancer".

          There is current active investigation of IV ascorbate in cancer and other diseases, all of which seems quite promising.

          For more information search Pub med for parenteral ascorbate and cancer, or read the following.

          Losing and finding a way at C: New promise for pharmacologic
          ascorbate in cancer treatment

          Everyone born after Star Wars came out is basically a Democrat. -- Save The Clock Tower

          by jotter on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:38:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  People aren't necessarily brilliant about (14+ / 0-)


        I remember when I was in grad school being floored by a couple of conversations with my advisor, an undeniably brilliant man.  Our field was physical chemistry, kind of on the borders of chemistry and physics.

        Once I was working on zone-refining a chemical.  Repeated attempts at concise description repeatedly deleted!  Bubbles were produced, and my advisor was convinced they were "bubbles of vacuum."

        There's no such thing as bubbles of vacuum (not in a liquid, anyway).  Bubbles in a liquid exist because of the internal pressure.  If not for internal pressure, they would collapse.

        The other conversation regarded aircraft flying faster in a tailwind than in a headwind.  I think this is easily understood as a problem of moving reference frames.  Say the wind is 50 mph, and the jet flies 500 mph relative to the air that surrounds it.  Going with the wind, it makes 550 mph, into a headwind a net of 450.  This is a standard way of considering a problem in physics, but my advisor had a real mental block about it.

        Neurobiology doesn't seem like it's as closely related to immunology as these problems are to physical chemistry.

      •  It's because of our educational system (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish, sajiocity

        School districts are afraid to do more than "teach to the test", which means kids don't learn the science they need to understand the world.

        Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

        by Phoenix Woman on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:41:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure that's the only reason (8+ / 0-)

          It may be that the path to a PhD and afterward leaves little  room for exploring beyond one's narrow niche. (That's one reason I stayed at a community college- no pressure to publish so there's much more variety, if not depth.)  I recall doing a laser safety seminar with some PhD students in physics- they were pretty clueless about the basic workings of the eye. In their own fields they could blow me away with their knowledge and skills, but they didn't have the time or inclination to find out what might lie beyond.

          beam me up Scotty- there's no intelligent life down here

          by ladybug4you on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:03:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The big problem is that when a very smart (3+ / 0-)

            person develops expertise in a field, something that requires lots and lots of work as well as intelligence, he/she can easily come to believe that either that expertise transfers to unrelated fields or (more insidiously) that he/she will be able to develop that same level of expertise in an unrelated field with much less work than it took him/her to develop it in his/her current field.

            However, this simply isn't the case; the amount of work needed to develop expertise (according to most psychologists, a minimum of 10,000 hours which is about 5 years of full-time work) depends only on the field itself, not on what other fields one may have already mastered.

            One can see the fallacy in action when creationists talk about all the people with "STEM" degrees who reject evolution. The problem is that the majority of STEM degrees are in engineering, and expertise at engineering simply doesn't magically translate into expertise at biology.

            Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

            by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:47:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Obviously brilliant (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sajiocity, bartcopfan

        And yet a moron.

      •  Lies, not lays. Why does no one understand this? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Lay is transitive, and must have an object.  You lay (down) something or someone.  Lie is intransitive--no object.  You lie down.  Lie somehow dropped off the grammar radar for people born after 1950, and a few older who should know better.

        Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

        by Mimikatz on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:14:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's unclear what Bialik actually thinks (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bartcopfan, ebohlman, RiveroftheWest

        It may just be that she doesn't want to talk about her kids.

        However, being highly intelligent isn't a protection against delusion. It helps prevent it in many cases, but can also provide more elaborate rationalizations of beliefs held for unperceived or denied irrational reasons.

      •  Humans are still human (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        belinda ridgewood

        People of all kinds are generally able to be swayed by non-statistical arguments. It seems to be just how our brains work, unfortunately.

        Things like anecdotes, oft-repeated myths, and political bias tend to have a massive effect on our discernment capabilities, so that disjointed factoids can come together to make a convincing argument.

        Big industries, including Pharma, tend to cut corners, and mislead where they think profit is at stake. This is NOT a controversial fact. It's also the truth that the vast majority of chemicals currently in common use in America are almost entirely untested, with regard to health impacts.

        Pile up a few things like that, and you can get an argument that might make an intelligent person wonder whether there's something more to it.

        And if that person hasn't actually taken the time to look at the research, and wrap their identity around a willingness to accept peer-reviewed evidence even if it proves them wrong, then you'll get someone who thinks that maybe vaccines ARE problematic.

        Or you'll get someone who thinks that they MIGHT be, and they want to look into the matter more, but they just don't have time, so doubt remains indefinitely.

        And to a large degree that would be fine, if we didn't spend so much time demanding the opinions of famous people because they're famous.

        •  Thanks for your first comment, Alteredstory. (0+ / 0-)

          I agree; it's very difficult for people, even well-educated and intelligent people, to avoid being influenced at times by arguments that appeal to the emotions. (When I was in high school in a small town, I assumed people had right-wing political views because they weren't smart enough to know any better. I was quite surprised to go away to college and find that wasn't necessarily the case.)

          Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

          Shop Kos Katalogue ❧ Help Okiciyap at Cheyenne River reservation.

          by belinda ridgewood on Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:21:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I wish that was true. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sajiocity, RiveroftheWest

      There may be a left wing and right wing version of this nonsense, but we are beginning to see evidence that it takes more widely on the left.

      Four of the 5 states with the highest percentages of non-medical vaccination waivers are Blue, mostly deep blue:
      Oregon, (Idaho), Vermont, Michigan and Illinois.

      And the ten of the 16 states that make it hardest for parents to opt out of science are red. Five of the other six are purple, (carried at least once by the Bush, McCain or Romney).  (Yay Minnesota.)

      "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

      by Spider Stumbled on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:41:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actual surveys about beliefs regarding (3+ / 0-)

        vaccination have shown that vaccine opposition is for all purposes flat across the political spectrum (it's actually highest among those who identify as moderate conservative, but the difference there is so slight that you can't really call it a "peak"). The same surveys also looked at opposition to GMOs (skewed left as expected) and rejection of climate change (skewed right as expected).

        I think Mother Jones had an article about this a few weeks ago.

        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

        by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:54:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I tend to subscribe to the theory (38+ / 0-)

    that it's better diagnostic methods, rather than vaccines, that contribute to the rise in autism -- especially as the autistic spectrum continues to widen. How many kids who were dismissed as "slow" or "nerdy" or "socially awkward" in the past might have actually been somewhere on the spectrum?

    I put anti-vaxxers in the same category as global climate change deniers; their beliefs might have a severe bad impact on folks I know and love. Maybe we need another scare to wake up the folks who have become complacent -- nothing fatal, but just a wide enough outbreak, maybe closing a few schools, to remind people of where we came from and where we'll end up if we continue to listen to the anti-science contingent.

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:49:37 PM PDT

    •  Sadly, these outbreaks are already happening (15+ / 0-)

      and it doesn't change the anti-vaxxer's minds. It sounds like some of them fix blame on the vaccine as causing the outbreak!

    •  My brother, who died recently at 75, was clearly (4+ / 0-)

      autistic/Aspergers long before those terms were used. One of those people who could tell you what day of the week an event fell on, decades or centuries earlier in an instant, no calendar or calculation needed.

      He was clearly very "different" by the time he was two; he didn't have vaccinations until he started school and his condition clearly existed long before then. He was brilliant in several ways, but lived in his own world and didn't relate to his fellow humans in the way most of us do.

      My daughter has been a pre-school teacher for over 30 years during which she has seen the rise of autism awareness; she deals daily with various related conditions for which medicine and science are still groping for answers.

      I was told by my doc last week to get a whooping cough vaccination though I had whooping cough as a child 70 years ago... "people aren't vaccinating their kids now so you need to protect yourself."

      •  Immunity from actually having whooping (3+ / 0-)

        cough (pertussis) isn't remotely lifelong; it wears off in 15-20 years.

        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

        by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:00:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the immunity from having had most (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ebohlman, Oh Mary Oh

          diseases wears off eventually. I actually came down with whooping cough after the school vaccinated all students. We all got the same dose; my brother was 8" taller and 25 lbs heavier than I (I was the smallest kid in school) but we got identical shots and I got sick. Not as sick, I guess, as if I'd caught it in an epidemic though it sure made my mother angry that they'd done such a thing.

          Now the herd immunity we depended on is going away; old-timers need to protect themselves since some parents won't protect their own children.

  •  Thank you! This stuff is absolutely maddening! (39+ / 0-)

        There's a controversy in the medical community about whether pediatricians should dismiss patients from their practices if the parents refuse to vaccinate them. The fundamental issue is, if the parents don't trust my judgment when I tell them they need to have the kids vaccinated, how can they trust me about anything? Especially if they believe that I'm actually intentionally harming the kids I vaccinate! Some people wonder if it's ethical to leave these kids without primary care, while other wonder if it's ethical to expose the rest of their patients to these unvaccinated kids when they're ill.

    -7.25, -6.26

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

    by ER Doc on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:51:01 PM PDT

  •  I am old enough to remember (44+ / 0-)

    the little boy down the street who died.  My friend's older sister with a mangled leg who was doomed to wear a brace for the rest of her life.  My parent's quiet and helpless concern.  After all, what could they do?

    A friend I met years later who was in a wheelchair.  

    Shame on them for even thinking of exposing a single child to this.  Much less an epidemic.


  •  As an MD (29+ / 0-)

    and a clinical Informaticist I just can't understand the anti-science trends of anti-Valera and others.... This is just another effect if the demise of critical thinking and the lack of intellectual curiosity of many..

  •  Anti-Vaxers need to visite developing world slums (23+ / 0-)

    and then come back with their silly anti-vaxer spiel on how these diseases are much more of a threat than vaccines.  

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 12:59:46 PM PDT

  •  This much will of course be true (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA Nana, Laconic Lib
    The government is in cahoots with the drug companies
    That essentially goes with9out saying.  It would not require stratagems as complex and convoluted as those presented by the anti-vaxxers.  It will go much more directly to the dollar sign.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:00:26 PM PDT

  •  We were on the verge of erradicating Polio (15+ / 0-)

    just as we did Smallpox.

    Then the US Government authorized the CIA to pose as NGO workers in order to collect DNA from children in an effort to track down Bin Laden.  

    Fifty years of efforts by health workers to build trust were destroyed.  There is almost no chance that we will see Polio ended in our lifetimes.

    I'd take the repeated front page vaccine articles more seriously if they addressed the real reason that a half billion people -nearly all impoverished - are going to have to keep worrying about this disease.

    Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

    by JesseCW on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:02:27 PM PDT

  •  i fall somewhere in the middle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SGA, Grannyflats

    yes i believe in vaccines. I think Pasteur is THE underrated genius of the modern world.

    But really how many recommended vaccines are we giving some twenty-thirty by the time they are 18 yrs.

    that is where i run into problems.  so many i just find it hard to believe that our system is meant to  be raised in a "clean" environment.
    'i am no biologist but isnt there something about building up immunities?

    •  ...vaccines build up immune systems... (33+ / 0-) deal with specific things. Your immune system will still deal with everything else out there in the world. Having an overly uber clean and disinfected household is actually the biggest problem in weak immune systems.

      Wanna get a strong immune system? Play in dirt (gardening  is just fine) and get a pet dog. Really, these two things will do wonders for you in building up your immune system by being exposed to lost of shit that's out there in the world...

      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

      by paradise50 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:11:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Adjuvants (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        clifmichael, maregug
        ...vaccines build up immune systems...
        Really, the adjuvants build up your immune system? Could you explain how placing mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, and dead animal cells will help build up your immune system?
        •  Adjuvants stimulate the immune response (15+ / 0-)

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:03:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  mercury and formaldehyde are preservatives (6+ / 0-)

          not adjuvants.

          And "dead animal cells" in theory could be an adjuvant, but in practice aren't.

          Although unless you're a vegan, I'm not sure what the fear of dead animal cells is, really.

        •  Can you believe that most people consume (11+ / 0-)

          compounds of hydrogen every day, and recommend it to others?

          Hydrogen is extremely flammable! It's a wonder they don't explode!

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:55:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The "adjuvant" antivax trope was debunked long ago (3+ / 0-)

          By Orac in 2011:

          The “evidence” in the paper consists mainly of Tomlijenovic and Shaw comparing increasing ASD prevalence to the increasing number of vaccines in vaccine schedules in various countries, their argument being that increasing doses of aluminum through vaccines correlates with increasing prevalence of ASD. Basically, they  collected data on ASD diagnoses for children from ages 6-21, from 1991-2008 from the US Department of Education Annual Reports for ASD prevalence. Next, they tried to correlate the autism prevalence in this group with the cumulative aluminum dosage they received before age 6 through the pediatric vaccination schedule. They then basically did the most simplistic analysis imaginable, plotting the minimum, mean, and maximum aluminum exposures against ASD prevalence. Can you say “ecological fallacy”? Sure, I knew you could.

          To recap, because I haven’t had to discuss it in a while, the ecological fallacy can occur when an epidemiological analysis is carried out on group level data rather than individual-level data. In other words, when the group is the unit of analysis, the chances of finding a false positive correlation go way, way up, as happened with a bad study trying to correlate vaccines with infant mortality. As Epiwonk once described it:

          To make this jump from group-level to individual-level data is The Ecological Fallacy, which can be defined simply as thinking that relationships observed for groups necessarily hold for individuals.

          The ecological fallacy was first described by the psychologist Edward Thorndike in 1938 in a paper entitled, “On the fallacy of imputing the correlations found for groups to the individuals or smaller groups composing them.” (Kind of says it all, doesn’t it.) The concept was introduced into sociology in 1950 by W.S. Robinson in 1950 in a paper entitled, “Ecological correlations and the behavior of individuals,” and the term Ecological Fallacy was coined by the sociologist H.C. Selvin in 1958. The concept of the ecological fallacy was formally introduced into epidemiology by Mervyn Susser in his 1973 text, Causal Thinking in the Health Sciences, although group-level analyses had been published in public health and epidemiology for decades.

          Add to this the fact that, for all the authors’ claims that they controlled for confounding factors, by falling for the ecological fallacy they allowed huge confounders into their analysis. Even worse, they appeared to make no attempt to control for birth cohort other than to remove vaccines from their calculations that hadn’t been introduced into the schedule at the time the children were vaccinated. (How nice of them.) In any case, although the diagnostic criteria used for autism and ASDs were set in 1994 in the DSM-IV, screening in schools, increased availability of services, and decreasing stigma to a diagnosis of autism led to an explosion in autism diagnoses. The way to control for this would have been to examine much more narrowly defined birth cohorts. They didn’t. They used a single 15-year period. They also did nothing more than look for a linear correlation between aluminum dose and autism prevalence, citing r = 0.92, instead of calculating r2. The authors are incredibly impressed by this (and apparently so were the reviewers), even though it’s not so hard to produce high Pearson coefficients for a lot of seeming correlations that in fact don’t have anything to do with each other. The most heinous example I can recall is a ham-handed attempt to correlate abortion rates with breast cancer incidence.

          Tomlijenovic and Shaw’s article does exactly the same thing, only slightly slicker.

          Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

          by Phoenix Woman on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:35:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dead animal cells? (3+ / 0-)

          Any vaccine with 'dead animal cells' in it is probably one I don't want.

          A mercury compound, thimerosal, was and is sometimes used as a preservative. It was historically introduced into vaccines after a medical disaster involving a contaminated that killed 30 children with strep, prior to the availability of sulfa or antibiotics.

          Formaldehyde and alum (an aluminum salt) are adjuvants. When introduced with a vaccine, they augment the immune response. There are a wide variety of such compounds; these were chosen for efficacy and safety. They allow the amount of the primary 'active' ingredient in the vaccine to be substantially reduced, yet still provide a sufficiently robust immune response.

          They also make the vaccine safer, by reducing the severity of allergic reactions in those who are allergic to the primary active ingredient or such components as egg albumin or proteins that may come with it.

          •  Ooh, didn't learn about adjuvants until now. (2+ / 0-)

            Reading up on it, I suddenly had this mental image of adjuvants whispering to the immune system, "Hey, I heard that tetanus guy is saying something about your mom."

          •  Formaldehyde isn't an adjuvant (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eyesoars, RiveroftheWest

            it's used in the manufacture of vaccines to "kill" viruses (quotes because viruses aren't truly alive). Only tiny traces of it remain in the vaccines themselves, and the amounts are way, way smaller than the amounts the body produces on its own through normal metabolic processes.

            Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

            by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 03:52:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Or (3+ / 0-)

        in my case get raised on a working cattle ranch. I literally grew up in (ankle deep) shit...

    •  Most important part of your statement: (21+ / 0-)

      "i am no biologist"

      Obviously. You also apparently haven't passed Biology 101.

      Do you know what vaccines do? Help you build up immunities without actually contracting the disease in question.

      For the full suite of vaccinations, you're immunized from the diseases in question. If you don't get the vaccinations and contract all the diseases, assuming those diseases do no permanent harm, you're immunized from the exact same diseases.

      Get it yet?

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:18:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i dont think our immunity system (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        stops and starts at vaccinations or at the diseases they are preventing.  last i heard the vaccine contained the "disease" you wanted to prevent and THEN your body builds up immunities to it.

        slightly different than your description. but nonetheless
         my point stands

        and yes i passed biology 101

        •  What you think (10+ / 0-)

          and what science teaches us don't have much to do with one another.

          The vaccine usually but not always  contains a dead or weakened form of the contagion which your body can react to without contracting the disease (and its associated symptoms). Its function is, and always has been, to allow the person receiving the vaccine to create the antibodies without suffering from the illness.

          Meaning, oddly, you're right about how the vaccine works, yet this completely is the opposite of your original point. The mechanisms for creating immunities are usually identical for creating them through contracting the disease and through vaccination. Meaning that whether our immune system stops and starts at the diseases they're preventing is immaterial -- the net result is the same.

          Meaning your point is nonsense, according to the same statement of fact you claim supports it.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:06:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That true. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ebohlman, RiveroftheWest, Oh Mary Oh

          Except some of those disease are generally fatal and/or catastrophic once you catch them.
          That's the point of vaccine, to train your immune system without risking harm.

      •  and one more note- (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dfarrah, TakeSake, norbalish

        perhaps you should read my other post about health communication

        if you feel so strongly about vaccines and their benefits you should learn not to talk down to people.
        that passes biology part- wont get you very far with many people you want to sway.

        i didnt need communication classes to teach me that either

        •  I don't care about you. (5+ / 0-)

          You have subscribed to unscientific nonsense. That is usually impenetrable by fact.

          My audience is the viewer who might consider what you say to be remotely plausible.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:01:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  really close to hiding this. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            •  I wouldn't recommend it. (8+ / 0-)

              It would be against the rules since you're engaged with me in this argument.

              Also, it's not hideable. You are, in fact, spouting unscientific nonsense. It is, in fact, not remotely plausible. And I do, in fact, not care about your feefees.

              The stuff you are promoting is promoted by a number of people, and it's not only wrong, it's dangerous, because it discourages parents from vaccinating their children and that. leads. to. children. dying. I have nothing but contempt for the arguments promoting this toxic, dangerous FUD.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:36:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  personal insults are a good reason (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TakeSake, norbalish

                and if you really care about all those sick kids w/o vaccinations you ought to care about the image of vaccines. they do good. you do not
                 your writings make your points fall on deaf ears. as does your language.
                as does your science.
                 i think you didnt like my correcting you on vaccinations.

                •  Please quote the personal insult. (6+ / 0-)

                  Please. I'm all ears.

                  And you didn't correct me on anything -- you tried to, but you only wound up contradicting yourself.

                  Like I said, I don't care about your ears, live1 -- I don't care about your feefees. I only care that third parties understand your arguments are contemptible and if heeded can lead to the deaths of human beings to preventable illness.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:50:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I will simply repeat that the anti-vaxers should (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  raptavio, RocketJSquirrel

                  all be bojo'd for idiotic CT looniness, which is a bannable offense here.

                  It's the same level of crockery as the 9-11 Truthers and the Birthers. And it should not be tolerated.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:58:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Actually live1 has a point (5+ / 0-)

                  First on the number of vaccinations given now - closer to 65
                  When i was a child we had 4 or 5.  Polio was one of them. No one should be without it.  Same with smallpox and a few others.  However there seems to be a need to restore balance.  
                  Points about how they work as triggering immune response are given, however there are many "real" scientists working on the problems of autism, autoimmune problem, factors involving the hygiene hypothesis and what we are doing to our micro-biome by our ever greater interventions.
                  While I certainly would not agree with anyone who says never to vaccinate I also believe science is an ever evolving goal.  
                  And by the way - NO there is not simply a better system to diagnose autism. It is an epidemic and anyone visiting schools, parents and doctors coping with the problem would never doubt that fact.
                  The current cutting edge studies of autism are in gut dysbiosis and what effect the mothers health, antibiotics at birth, and other problems with the internal environment are having.  Lack of B12 may play a part as well and all of these factors may play into the possibility of the added stress of vaccinations coinciding with an autistic crash.  
                  It is not a simple a-b connection to vaccines, but rather what is the total gut health environment of the child.   Early warnings are evident to parents, and at times dismissed by doctors such as a baby who refuses eye contact while nursing.  
                  Science is working its way toward these realizations and adjustments to food, probiotics, timing of immunizations and other tactics will begin to turn this trend around.
                  But the arguments that parents are all wrong or science is all wrong or arguing over who is foolish are extremely counterproductive.
                  And yes I do know a little about this.  Have a family member in PhD immunology research program studying autism and autoimmune problems.
                  Many excellent studies have come out in the past 18 months though they require access to medical journals to read them.  I hope this helps forward the discussion.  Arguing who is right gets nowhere.  Remember Thalidimide?  May have spelled it wrong but I went to school with a girl with no arms. Science evolves.  
                  All that given, the researcher I mention had one of those at risk babies, no eye contact, lost his speech at 13 months as well as other ominous signs.  He was placed on a probiotics, digestive enzyme program with B12 supplements.  His eye contact restored in about 3 months and his speech came back at two.  She chose to segregate his vaccinations and spread them out so the side effects would be minimized.  
                  He is seven now and neuro typical.
                  So the real question on the table, should this parent be ignored,or do we work together to understand all the issues and help parents, doctors and science work through this?  At what cost do we insist on being right?

                  •  Gut and Psychology Syndrome? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    That is also the worst kind of pseudoscience that has been roundly rejected. No.

                    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                    by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:05:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Raptavio, if you don't know about the powerful (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      mind-gut connection you have limited credibility.
                      For starters, I suggest the wikipedia article on the Gut-Brain Axis. First sentence:

                      The gut–brain axis refers to the biochemical signaling taking place between the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system, often involving intestinal microbiota,[1] which have been shown to play an important role in healthy brain function.[2][3]
                      •  The nexus (0+ / 0-)

                        of gut, psychology, and autism (also vaccines) is not an allusion to the gut-brain axis, but to the pseudoscience of Gut and Psychology Syndrome which springboards from the gut-brain axis and into the realm of nonsense:


                        So you can impugn my credibility all you want or you can take a moment to look into the nonsense peddled by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and see what the above commenter is hanging her hat on.

                        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                        by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:30:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  yeah, that's nice, but (0+ / 0-)

                          that's not what the commenter above was talking about

                          •  Yes it was. (0+ / 0-)

                            Connecting autism to gut health and vaccines is not a subject where science follows. There is no scientific basis for the claims, and to my knowledge the only source for this claim is Dr. Campbell-McBride's non-scientific, non-peer-reviewed "research".

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:02:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Wrong side of history on that one good buddy. n/t (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Until such time (0+ / 0-)

                            as Dr. Campbell-McBride's hypotheses are actually scientifically tested, I don't think so.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:04:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  articles on the scientific studies (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            The scientific community has had a shift in thinking in the past couple of years.  What they used to disparage as nonsense, is now the cutting edge of research with the best and brightest jumping on board the research train.
                            You might want to look up Patterson's research published in Cell this year for one such study, though there are many.  
                            UK studies are ahead of ours but we are catching up.
                            Science is slow to move on new information, understandably as the basis of agreement is proof, but failure to keep up with the latest publishing results is a problem to be corrected.
                            Well proof is rolling in.  Dozens of new Links
                            Scientific evidence is mounting that the trillions of microbes that call the human body home can influence our gut-linked health, affecting our risk of obesity, diabetes and colon cancer, for example.
                            But more recently, researchers are discovering that gut microbes also may affect neurology—possibly impacting a person’s cognition, emotions and mental health.

                            The study is the largest and most ethnically diverse research to compare digestive problems in autistic children with developmental delay and typical development. It is also the first to investigate the link between stomach upsets and behavior problems.

                            Attention to eyes is present but in decline in 2–6-month-old infants later diagnosed with autism

                            Largest-ever study of autism and celiac disease helps clarify earlier findings; supports parent reports of gluten sensitivities

                            "Scientists at U.C. Davis, supported by a $770,000 grant from Autism Speaks, are concentrating on bacterial overgrowth in the gut and potential antibiotic treatments that would help the gut function more normally. At the University of Toronto, neuroscientist Derrick MacFabe is researching the relationship between gut bacteria and brain development."

                            Research has shown that the intestinal microbiome plays a large role in the development of Type 1 diabetes. Now, researchers at Mayo Clinic have demonstrated that gluten in the diet may modify the intestinal microbiome, increasing incidences of Type 1 diabetes. The research was published Nov. 13, in the journal PLOS ONE.



                          •  I appreciate (0+ / 0-)

                            your diligence in putting together citations of actual scientific studies.

                            But again -- none of that says a word about vaccines, which  you have suggested is a factor in triggering autism. (In fact, the studies don't show causation in the correlation between autism and GI issues (which is a whole other issue).) Your central vaccine-related claim, therefore, remains unsupported -- and that's the same claim made by GAPS' true believers.

                            Since, of course, vaccines create immunity by the same mechanism as suffering from the illness in question does, it would require something more than your word or even Dr. Campbell-McBride's word to support it.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:06:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are absolutely right (0+ / 0-)

                            And that is the main topic of the thread.  The comments above however refer to the gut psychology syndrome as bunk.  That is what i was addressing.  Here is another important study thar was published in Cell.

                            The issue is really where we are in understanding the human gut biome and what affects it, plus what is damaging it.  The very valid point of the parent who asks the medical community to determine what child is at risk before bombarding their systems with foreign substances.  
                            Any reasonable parent would protect their child from devastating illness. That is why we vaccinate.  Those same reasonable parents know that infants can't easily assimilate a wide variety of foods until their guts have matured a little.  So if egg makes a baby sick, or they have ongoing severe reflux, do we ignore these signs and place further trauma on them with multiple simultaneous doses of immunizations.   No.  Wise doctors spread them out in at risk infants, sometimes individually over four or five years.  
                            This is well reasoned care, not stomping on caution but rather understanding the reason for it.  
                            If the study I cited above continues to play out, the scientific community will have a paradigm shift away from only warring on the bad microbes to also nurturing the good ones.   There are at least a half dozen investigations I am aware of that are beginning to prove this out.  We are dependent on the living microbes in our bodies and we have killed them to our own detriment.
                            Here is one theory.  A baby who was born to a mother given antibiotics at childbirth has little transference of probiotics to help them digest and process their world.  Some of these microbes manufacture B12. Around age two that little store they do have is depleted and they crash.  Sometimes they crash from a trauma to the system.  Sometimes that coincides with multiple immunizations.   Do we simply ignore that event and insist on the status quo?  Or do we learn and study the problem, meanwhile moving forward with caution. The complex metabolic process involved is too long to discuss here and I do not personally have the expertise to do so, though I can possibly locate a paper with a more thorough explanation.
                              It would be good of you though to actually read some of the information that has been out there for nearly a decade now. Yes that even includes the early work by Natasha Beddingfield among others. Researchers around the world are beginning to catch on now and more formal peer reviewed studies are coming out with great regularity. I look forward to it and to any comments you may have.

                          •  Just to take a step back, Grannyflats, (0+ / 0-)

                            do you understand that the phrase "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" refers specifically to the pseudoscience of Dr. Campbell-McBride, which is distinct from the several studies you've presented?

                            As to Natasha Bedingfield, the only person I know what that name is a pop singer.

                            The relation of gut microbes to neurological conditions is a very young field, true -- but this is a diary about anti-vaxery and I'm specifically focused on the claims you made about vaccines -- which have no scientific support. I'm not interested in deflections to other topics (which have scientific merit in their own right, but are not the topic here).

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:52:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Hilarious (0+ / 0-)

                            Yes, that other Natasha.  Brain fart.
                            So be it.  There is a connection here that I am unable to express to you.  We will leave it to the future then to sort out.  

                          •  You cannot explain (0+ / 0-)

                            what has not been established, Grannyflats.

                            Dr. Campbell-McBride has made a great many claims, but offered no peer-reviewed nor scientifically valid research, and she seems to be profiting mightily from her claims.

                            These are not the actions of a trustworthy source.

                            GAPS, until such time as her claims are backed up by solid, scientific, peer-reviewed research, are by definition pseudoscience. That's just the way it is.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:31:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Found six similar in the search for this (0+ / 0-)

                            There are an abundance of abstracts to help you with the big picture.
                            Sorry I don' have any more time. Have to pick up grandchildren.  Have a nice day.

                          •  I appreciate (0+ / 0-)

                            the links showing more manifestations of the gut-brain axis, and that's not in dispute. It's the vaccine angle that's unsupported.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:15:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Here's a recent journal article. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Microbial genes, brain & behaviour – epigenetic regulation of the gut–brain axis

                      To date, there is rapidly increasing evidence for host–microbe interaction at virtually all levels of complexity, ranging from direct cell-to-cell communication to extensive systemic signalling, and involving various organs and organ systems, including the central nervous system. As such, the discovery that differential microbial composition is associated with alterations in behaviour and cognition has significantly contributed to establishing the microbiota–gut–brain axis as an extension of the well-accepted gut–brain axis concept. Many efforts have been focused on delineating a role for this axis in health and disease, ranging from stress-related disorders such as depression, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. There is also a growing appreciation of the role of epigenetic mechanisms in shaping brain and behaviour. However, the role of epigenetics in informing host–microbe interactions has received little attention to date. This is despite the fact that there are many plausible routes of interaction between epigenetic mechanisms and the host-microbiota dialogue. From this new perspective we put forward novel, yet testable, hypotheses. Firstly, we suggest that gut-microbial products can affect chromatin plasticity within their host's brain that in turn leads to changes in neuronal transcription and eventually alters host behaviour. Secondly, we argue that the microbiota is an important mediator of gene-environment interactions. Finally, we reason that the microbiota itself may be viewed as an epigenetic entity. In conclusion, the fields of (neuro)epigenetics and microbiology are converging at many levels and more interdisciplinary studies are necessary to unravel the full range of this interaction.
                      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

                        did you see that the only mention of autism was in the terms of unnamed efforts focused on delineating a role, and not one established?

                        Also, did you see that vaccines are not mentioned?

                        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                        by raptavio on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:08:19 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I thought you had commented that (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          a relationship between the gut and psychological syndromes was pseudoscience.

                          •  No. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm referring specifically to Gut And Psychology Syndrome, which is a specific thing, and a specifically rejected pseudoscience.

                            The gut-brain axis is a different and larger category.

                            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                            by raptavio on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:21:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Here's what the article said about autism. (0+ / 0-)

                          What I blockquoted above was just the abstract.

                          Autism and neurodevelopmental disorders
                          It is increasingly acknowledged that the development of autism-spectrum disorders (ASDs) is multifactorial with genetic as well as environmental factors contributing to their aetiology. The term ASD is used to collectively describe a group of disorders that are characterized by classical autistic symptoms, such as reduced sociability and social recognition. Recent evidence suggests, albeit in relatively small cohorts, that ASDs may be associated with alterations in microbiota composition and metabolism (Critchfield et al. 2011; de Theije et al. 2011; Douglas-Escobar et al. 2013; Gondalia et al. 2012; Louis 2012; Macfabe 2012; Ming et al. 2012; Mulle et al. 2013). In addition to these correlative findings in humans, GF mice have recently been shown to have core social deficits and increased repetitive behaviours similar to that observed in ASD (Desbonnet et al. 2013). Together, these data suggest that the microbiota is a critical determinant for the development of social behaviour and the aetiology of ASD. Interestingly, also epigenetic mechanisms have been implicated in the aetiology of ASD, as comprehensively reviewed recently (Grafodatskaya et al. 2010) and it is currently unclear if these are related to microbiota changes. Moreover, whether other neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia are associated with microbiota changes are not yet investigated neither in animal models nor human populations.
                          I haven't had time to read the whole article but it is linked in my other comment about it if you want to check it out. It looks very interesting.
                  •  Additionally... (4+ / 0-)

                    - Rise in peanut allergy
                    - Rise in wheat and dairy intolerance

                    A lot of things are going that don't have a solid explanation yet. The lack of answers for those makes it worthwhile to investigate correlations for the purpose of determining if there is a common causality.

                    Where is the "anti-anti-vaxxer" community in being just as vocal about those other conditions?

                    Where is the "anti-anti-vaxxer" community in being just as vocal about anti-biotic overuse in agriculture?

                    Where is the "ant-anti-vaxxer" community in being just as vocal about all the odd things that Monsanto is doing?

                    The United States for All Americans

                    by TakeSake on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:26:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  those are different discussions (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      eyesoars, ebohlman

                      Plenty of people who oppose the "anti-vaxxers" are vocal about other issues. They don't have anything to do with vaccination, so that's irrelevant to this discussion.

                      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:36:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It is relevant... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Because it's all part of the totality of exposure to chemicals by whatever means. The exact same dynamics displayed in this thread show up in:
                        - Climate change discussions
                        - Antibiotic use discussions
                        - GMO / Monsanto discussions
                        - Pesticide use discussions
                        - Autism spectrum discussions
                        - etc.

                        The United States for All Americans

                        by TakeSake on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:42:39 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  I would say that even though I agree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wa ma, p gorden lippy, RiveroftheWest

            with your point and your explanation, that this is where you lost the argument with anyone who didn't already agree with you.

            Patiently explain with facts, or walk away and let someone else take a shot. Don't insult the commenter.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:57:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ... (0+ / 0-)


              If the DKos staff doesn't regard promotion of junk science that can and has demonstrably killed children in the United States of America as unworthy of inclusion on these pages, then if I choose to push back against it I'll find a way to do so while concealing my snarling rage about what this junk science has wrought and will wreak.

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:42:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Easy there. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wa ma, p gorden lippy, RiveroftheWest

                It's friendly advice, from someone who agrees with you and your argument and your cause.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:09:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Regard my tone (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  eyesoars, RiveroftheWest

                  as an expression of general irritation not intended to be directed at you as a person, elfling.

                  If you've ever seen footage of an infant suffering from whooping cough, or a child crippled by polio, or blinded or deafened by rubella, you might understand why I don't feel particularly inclined to courtesy toward those who advocate for courses of action that will cause more of those horrors. But I'll do my best.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:38:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A dear family member had polio as a child (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    He was lucky to survive and has some post-polio issues.

                    I am with you 100%. But in-your-face anger doesn't seem to win the day on this, and I want to win the day.

                    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                    by elfling on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:19:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I understand. (0+ / 0-)

                      But it leads me back to the question of why the day needs winning. Anti-science anti-vax nonsense usually qualifies as CT and I thought such things weren't welcome on the GOS to begin with.

                      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                      by raptavio on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:56:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Spoken like a Blue Dog (0+ / 0-)

                      Aren't we all about how Obama should be kicking some Republican ass instead of being "the adult in the room?"

                      Well, the anti-vaxx problem has gotten to the stage where in-your-face anger is the only appropriate or effective response. None of these people are going to respond to facts, for dog's sake.

                      •  can we not drag this into it? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        There seems to be a trend at DKos to label anyone who disagrees with anyone about anything as a shill or a troll or a FBI spy or a stooge for Big Pharma or Monsanto or TEPCO or whatever, and now a "Blue Dog".

                        It's silly, stupid, and doesn't help anyone.

                        And I'm fucking tired of seeing it.

                        Ity's no different than the Goppers yelling "socialist!" at anyone they don't like. It's just a way to shut down discussion by delegitimizing someone without the need to answer (or even listen to) what they say. It should not be tolerated by anyone on any side of any issue.

                        There's a big difference between people with legit viewpoints who honestly disagree about things, and CT kookers who live in their own fantasy-based world where reality doesn't penetrate.

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:10:49 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  I guess I'm not sure what stage you think the (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        anti-vaxx problem has gotten to. Childhood vaccination rates are at or near all-time highs in the U.S. It's a very small minority of parents of babies and young children who aren't vaccinating.

                      •  You need to demonstrate that it's effective (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Flame Warriors hardly ever change anybody's opinion. Venting is not remotely the same thing as persuasion.

                        No, this is not an issue where we can afford to walk on eggshells. We need to make our point very strongly. One side effect of our efforts will be that we'll piss some people off. But that has to be a side effect, not the deliberate goal.

                        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                        by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:06:08 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Steer people to Orac's and Novella's sites (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AaronInSanDiego, eyesoars, ebohlman

                  Both Orac and Steve Novella are dedicated to using facts, data, and logic in the cause of debunking antivaxist claims.

                  You can take virtually any antivax claim or buzzword, couple it with "orac", and put the combination into a search engine, and chances are good you'll find that Orac or somebody else has dealt with it to a fare-thee-well.

                  Orac's site:

                  Recent vaccine-related posts:




                  All vaccine-related posts:

                  Steven Novella's posts:

                  Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

                  by Phoenix Woman on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:10:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Anti-vaxxers are insulting us (0+ / 0-)

              simply by asserting that dangerous nonsense should be taken seriously, and thereby endanger children's lives.

              When you get it through your head that the anti-vaxxers are literally killing innocent babies, then you will understand why the appropriate reaction begins with insults.

              •  But does the insult help in any way? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wa ma, RiveroftheWest

                Does it bring more people around to your point of view? Does it impress people reading but not participating in the discussion? Or does it harden them to the point of view that we don't care about their kids?

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 08:31:25 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  over 18 years (22+ / 0-)

      twenty or thirty shots is maybe two a year. That's hardly an overload. Most of them are in the first few years, because that's when they're needed most.

      Speaking as someone who has had mumps, measles, chickenpox, and shingles - get your kids the vaccines.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:19:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Math might not be your strong suit (5+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        live1, clifmichael, DarkSyde, maregug, protectspice
        Hidden by:
        Andrew Lazarus

        49 vaccines in the first six years. That is closer to 8 per year. So, could you show me the data that says that type of load on a developing immune system is not an "overload."

        Or, is this something that people just need to have a "feel" for and we don't need to use any analysis?

        •  you keep asking all these questions (9+ / 0-)

          in a rather confrontational way. I wonder, have you put in effort yourself to see what research has been done on these questions?

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:31:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, mbayrob, RiveroftheWest

          realize you have a bunch of people responding and that can be intimidating. If necessary, take a deep breath, pick a few people to respond to, and try sticking with them. You've become popular :)

          If you try to respond to everyone it may leave you feeling frustrated or unwelcome or worse. And regardless if some of us disagree with you, you are welcome here.

          •  DarkSyde (0+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Hidden by:
            Lenny Flank

            Good points. I should ignore most of the comments, though in most of my responses, I have stuck to the science and the facts. I believe I am the only one posting links to peer-reviewed studies.

            I feel that you and other authors are stirring up the vaccination fear more than it needs. The name-calling (though I don't mind being called an anti-vaxxer) is simply tolerated too much by the staff, and I think that is a simple intimidation tactic.

            Frankly, I think you are making a miscalculation. I know a lot of people that fit the demographics as liberal-leaning in every aspect, but are frightened by the vaccination regimentation from the left. In Texas, I will (for the first time in many decades) be voting as a Republican, simply over this single issue.

            •  no you haven't (0+ / 0-)
              I have stuck to the science and the facts.
              You have none.  (shrug)
              I know a lot of people that fit the demographics as liberal-leaning in every aspect, but are frightened by the vaccination regimentation from the left. In Texas, I will (for the first time in many decades) be voting as a Republican, simply over this single issue.
              If you are voting gopper because you're scared of vaccinations, then you are even nuttier than I thought--and I already thought you were pretty nutty.

              But this statement of yours alone should be enough to get you bojo'd, quite apart from all the idiotic CT nuttery you have posted.

              If you want to vote gopper, then you are in the wrong place.  Please go to Red State, where your CT kookery will be more welcome.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:15:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  HR'd for advocating voting Republican (0+ / 0-)
              I will (for the first time in many decades) be voting as a Republican, simply over this single issue.
              and for CT nuttiness.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:31:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  When you compare to the amount of antigens (8+ / 0-)

          people are exposed to on a daily basis, the amount in vaccines is pretty small.

          And if you're worried about immune system overload... for example contracting real Hep B virus would expose you to 30 times as many antigens as the vaccine.

          Humans can generate about 10 billion distinct antibody types (that's not a literary number, that's an actual fact) and any individual is likely to generate about 100 million distinct antibody types out of that vast library during his lifetime.

          So an extra 49 versus 100 million naturally occurring is not so much a big number, if you're worried about overload.

          Even if you were to assume that 100 million is generated evenly over a 100 year lifetime, that's still only an extra 49 on 1 million.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:09:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not "pretty small", it's miniscule. (0+ / 0-)

            It's almost not countable!  

          •  I think the distinction some concerned parents (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            make is that the vaccines are injected along with adjuvants and other vaccine ingredients with the specific intent of provoking an immune response. They contrast that with other antigens that are inhaled or ingested or absorbed through the skin. I don't know if that's a valid distinction but it's one I've heard people make.

          •  Not worried about the viruses or bacteria... (0+ / 0-)

   much as the adjuvants, especially mercury (still exists in some vaccines, but mostly have been removed) and aluminum.

            Plus, I am not as worried about vaccinations for adults as much as for infants and children. I did receive three Hep B shots for a trip overseas while I worked over in Southeast Asia.

        •  Can you show me the data that says it's not? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rlk, T100R, ebohlman

          Show me the data that proves that death rays from Mars are not the leading cause of cancer and show me the data that proves that UN black helicopters aren't ferrying Russian troops to set up FEMA concentration camps. You can't because, can you PROVE that those FEMA camps aren't being cloaked by invisible forcefields?

          Do you believe in climate change? Because one could make the same argument you're making against climate change. I'm assuming you're not a huge proponent of Keystone XL? Why not?

          When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

          by PhillyJeff on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:19:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To answer a few of your questions... (0+ / 0-)

            You are providing an unfair analogies. In each of your cases, YOU are not electing to do an action. Injecting aluminum and other adjuvants into a healthy child requires that you prove no harm is being done. I have documented where the FDA has limited toxic amounts of aluminum on IVs, so we do know they have looked at the danger.

            I do believe in climate change. And, I would hope they do not build the pipeline. I am a staunch environmentalist.

            •  You're incorrect (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ebohlman, RiveroftheWest
              Injecting aluminum and other adjuvants into a healthy child requires that you prove no harm is being done.
              If you were simply injecting pure aluminum then yes.

              Most drugs damage the body. It's called side effects. Drugmakers have to show that the side effects are generally mild and as a whole the drug leads to better health.

              If you have a drug for the common cold that makes peoples' fingers fall off, you're not going to get approved. If you have a drug that cures AIDS or cancer and it causes some harm as well as long as the harm isn't very bad you're going to get approved.

              Vaccines do enormous good. Just because you decided with no scientific basis that suddenly trace quantities of aluminum are terrible doesn't mean they should be stopped unless you can show me that that aluminum is hurting people.

              You already told me you think the smallpox vaccine was good. If it had aluminum in it, would you prefer smallpox exist rather than take a vaccine?

              When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

              by PhillyJeff on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:29:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  How about (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          T100R, p gorden lippy

          you show us the data that this actually is an overload of some kind?  You're the one who's making the claim.

          Once you've defined what an overload is and what its effects are.  And why children don't suffer an "overload" from constant exposure to colds and other such?

        •  please (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman

          it is not 49 vaccines. they are doses, and it's 31 doses.

          •  Typing too quick, but 49 is right (0+ / 0-)

            Hep B: 3 doses
            Rotavirus: 2 or 3 doses
            DTaP: 5 shots, but 15 doses (three diseases)
            HiB: Up to 4 doses
            PCV: Up to 4 doses
            Polio: 4 doses
            Flu: say 4 or 5
            MMR: 2 shots or 6 doses
            VAR: 2 doses
            Hep A: 2 doses

            I count 48. Doses. Close enough.


            •  there is (0+ / 0-)

              a reason to use the right language -
              saying 'vaccines' makes parents believe the number of diseases they are getting shots against have increased massively, which is not the case. Additionally, the smaller, more numerous 'doses' was in some ways an outgrowth of parents worries of too high of doses all at once. Parents worries are also the reason the pertussis vaccine formulation changed and is not as lasting as before.
              I also differentiate between those required and those that are elective. But you choose to emphasize the 'vast' quantity of 'vaccines' - pure scare tactics, in my mind and generally unhelpful.

          •  I don't know if it's proper to call them vaccines (0+ / 0-)

            or doses and I doubt most parents care what they're called, they just know this is what is recommended for babies and the youngest toddlers.

            Before birth: Flu, Pertussis, Diphtheria and Tetanus
            At birth: Hepatitis B.
            At 2 months: Polio, Rotavirus, Hib, Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Hep B, Streptococcus pneumoniae
            At 4 months: Rotavirus, Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Hib, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Polio
            At 6 months: Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Streptococcus pneumoniae and may get third dose of HepB (some babies get Rotavirus and Hib also depending on the brand of vaccine.) Babies will also get a flu shot if it is available.
            At 12 months: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chicken Pox, HepA, Strep pneumoniae
            At 15 months: Pertussis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Hib
            At 18 months: HepA and flu shot.

            I'm not sure I got this exactly right but it's close. There is a range of several months for some vaccines as to when they should be given so some of these might be given a little later than listed here.

            The vast majority of parents comply with this schedule but I don't think it's terribly surprising that some parents have some concerns and question the necessity of so many (36 or more) so soon. I think a lot of parents just want to know for sure that all of these are truly necessary for their children. I think for these types of parents, making a distinction between doses and vaccines might just feel like word games to them and it won't really get at addressing the heart of their concerns.

            •  it is my (0+ / 0-)

              belief that if you wish to talk down to patients/parents, then you do not cultivate a healthy relationship. Assuming that parents don't know the difference is absurd. And if they don't - then explain the difference.
              The language is intentionally confused to emphasize the massive numbers.

        •  The 'overload' myth was utterly debunked in 2013 (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          p gorden lippy, eyesoars, rlk

          Here is the debunking:

          ... just last Friday, as I was driving to work, I heard a news story on NPR about a study that had just been released in the Journal of Pediatrics. The story, as it was reported, noted that the study being discussed looked specifically at a certain antivaccine trope and found for yet the umpteenth time that vaccines are not correlated with an increased risk of autism. Normally the news that a study had once again failed to find a link between vaccines and autism would be as surprising as a study finding that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west or finding that water boils at 100° C at sea level. At this point, the evidence is so utterly overwhelming that there is not a whiff of a hint of a whisper of a correlation between vaccines and autism that it has become irritating that antivaccine activists keep pressuring scientists to do the same study over and over again, coming up with the same results over and over again, and then seeing antivaccinationists fail to believe those same results over and over again. Apparently, antivaccine activists think that if the same sorts of studies are done enough times, there will be a positive result implicating vaccines as a risk factor for or contributing cause to autism. By sheer random chance alone, this might happen someday, given the definition of statistical significance, but so far there has not been a single large, well-designed epidemiological study by reputable researchers that has found a link.

          Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

          by Phoenix Woman on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:16:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A good scrape outside (0+ / 0-)

          will challenge your immune system a great deal more than most vaccines. Dirt is has an enormous variety of bacteria and other immune challenges. Plus generous amounts of aluminum, silicon, iron, ...

          There's absolutely no reason to think that the 'quantity' of vaccinations has anything to do with anything (other than improved resistance to additional diseases). And there have been studies looking.

          There's a huge amount of data on vaccinations, and they're analyzed by statistically savvy public health people, who are looking for pretty much anything and everything.

        •  Researchers who have spent their entire (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          working lives studying the human immune system have concluded, among other things, that the antigens a child is exposed to through vaccines are a tiny, tiny, proportion of the total antigens that a developing child is exposed to. They have also concluded that "antigenic overload" simply can't happen given them way the immune system works.

          This is simply an area where reflexive emotion ("gut feel") simply doesn't agree with actual knowledge.

          Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

          by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:14:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  22 vaccines is next to nothing, in biological (26+ / 0-)

      terms. It may "seem" like a lot, but it's barely a blip on the radar.

      You are exposed to thousands and thousands of strains of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other creepies that want to eat you for lunch, or at least take up residence in your skin, mucous membranes, or inner organs every day.

      Consider how long any dead animal goes before it starts to roat and fester and stink. And that after a lifetime of NOT being consumed by microorganisms. As soon as immune surveillance stops, it's feast day for bugs.

      The real disease bugs are often less common than some common ones which we are exposed to over and over, ad infinitum.

      Cranking out an immune response to another couple dozen over a two-year span is literally child's play for a newly minted human being learning to cope immunologically with its environs. There's still plenty of variations of the common cold, intestinal bugs, sore throats, and ear aches to adapt to.

      Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

      by p gorden lippy on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:29:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Blip on the radar (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        live1, clifmichael, maregug

        Here is a question:

        How much aluminum can be injected into your body without causing short term or long term reactions? There is one DTaP vaccine that contains close to 1.6 milligrams (that is 1600 micrograms)  of aluminum.

        Next question, how much aluminum in your bloodstream would cause coagulation? Then determine the factor based on a child's body with less blood and higher doses of aluminum.

        I mean, these questions, should be child's play.

        •  There's more aluminum found in (16+ / 0-)

          breast milk and baby formulas.

          About half of the aluminum in vaccines or in food is eliminated in less than 24 hours; more than three-quarters is eliminated in two weeks and virtually all of it is eliminated in three years. The ability of the body to rapidly eliminate aluminum accounts for its excellent
          record of safety

          Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

          by skohayes on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:09:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have suffered with heavy metal poisoning for (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            live1, RiveroftheWest

            many years, and I cannot understand why anyone would think it a good idea to put any kind of metal into vaccines.
            I am not opposed to vaccines that do not contain heavy metals.

            Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

            by hawkseye on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:15:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  aluminum is not a heavy metal. n/t (9+ / 0-)

              Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

              by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:27:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Okay, but in large quantities it is still toxic. (0+ / 0-)

                Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

                by hawkseye on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:46:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes, but large quantities (4+ / 0-)

                  are much larger than the amounts being used in vaccines.

                  Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:48:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  EVRERYTHING is toxic in overload, for crying (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  skohayes, Cassandra Waites, ebohlman

                  out loud.

                  A poor mentally ill woman drowned herself by drinking too much water too many times. Died of pulmonary edema, fluid in the lungs.

                  Aluminum is the most common metal in the earth's crust. It's in almost everything. Don't worry about it. Relax, you breathe it, drink it, not to mention the bazillions of people who cook their food in it, etc., etc., etc., etc.

                  The milligram amounts in vaccines? No worries, unless you insist on worrying even when you needn't.

                  Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

                  by p gorden lippy on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:34:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Condescension isn't a positive contribution to the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Since you don't know what is the 'tipping point' for when a metal in any amount can cause an individual a serious problem, you might want to reconsider your position.
                    Many people, not necessarily those who oppose vaccines, have decided to replace aluminum cookware with other products.

                    Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

                    by hawkseye on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:14:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Those who decided to replace their (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RiveroftheWest, Oh Mary Oh

                      aluminum cookware did so in response to a study from the 1980s that showed elevated levels of aluminum in samples of brain tissue taken from people who died of Alzheimer's. Other researchers tried to replicate their results and couldn't. Finally the original researchers went back to the samples and discovered that the aluminum came from the stains used to prepare the sections.

                      In other words, there never was a connection. Yet the emotional impact of the supposed connection remains with many people taking a "better safe than sorry" attitude. It's sort of the way that if something momentarily stuck in your throat while you were swallowing it, it still feels like it's there after it's gone. Or the way that very few companies would be willing to hire someone released from prison through the work of the Innocence Project.

                      (Well, there's also the fact that a lot of those people replaced their aluminum cookware with very expensive "non-toxic" cookware that was being scaresold.)

                      Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                      by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:52:57 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Sodium is a metal; how much did you consume today? (6+ / 0-)

              Aluminum (atomic number 13) is not a heavy metal. Because it is so prevalent in the earth's crust, you consume or inhale quite a lot over time via dust. Fortunately, it appears to be relatively non-toxic.

              This is not to say that every application and every use shouldn't be scrutinized. But it is to say that having passed the hurdle of doctors and veterinarians and biologists and the FDA and the like finding it beneficial, you're going to need some specific and fairly expert reason as to why you think it is harmful in vaccines, more than just it sounds bad.

              For example, why aren't you worried about the physical act of sliding a metal needle into the body? It sound icky and scary and yet it's something we do millions of times every day without any obvious ill effect.

              Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

              by elfling on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:22:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  As to this comment: (0+ / 0-)

                "For example, why aren't you worried about the physical act of sliding a metal needle into the body? It sound icky and scary and yet it's something we do millions of times every day without any obvious ill effect."

                Aluminum, heavy metal or not, is still toxic in large quantities which can be acquired in utero and elsewhere.  I've gotten rid of it along with lead, mercury, arsenic, nickel and cadmium.  
                I respect a discussion based on logic and the results of completely thought out studies.  Not knowing how much metal was in a body before an injection and then testing and comparing results to other unknown conditions is not what I consider a sound approach.  Another consideration is individual differences when it comes to sensitivity to various metals.  I believe that has been largely ignored.
                Making light of another's supposed feelings "icky. . . scary" is not usually a part of intelligent discussions.

                Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

                by hawkseye on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:44:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  (sniff) (sniff) (3+ / 0-)
                  Aluminum, heavy metal or not, is still toxic in large quantities which can be acquired in utero and elsewhere.  I've gotten rid of it along with lead, mercury, arsenic, nickel and cadmium.  
                  I think I smell "detoxification therapy" horse shit.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:05:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Stay classy. (0+ / 0-)

                    Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

                    by hawkseye on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:27:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So you are (or were) under the care of a (0+ / 0-)

                      board-certified toxicologist? And your metal levels were determined by standard (which means, inter alia unprovoked) testing?

                      Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                      by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:57:05 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I have been under the care of an MD who is an (0+ / 0-)

                        expert on the subject.  My metal levels are regularly tested via urinalysis.  These levels have steadily decreased over time, and I have experienced increasingly improved health as the metal levels dropped.  
                        You and a few others here probably think that heavy metal poisoning is a scam promoted by practitioners who want to make lots of money.  Referring to it as 'horse shit' may help you feel superior, but it won't enlighten you and is an easy way out of dealing with a serious and widespread problem. For instance, there will be thousands of new cases in West Virginia and North Carolina due to recent events, and I wonder who will take care of them.  
                        You, and I am sure many board certified toxicologists, can learn more about the problem by reading about the recent class action suits against mining companies and others in the Silver Valley of Idaho.  That is where I acquired metal poisoning when I was 3 and 4 years old.  My health problems over a life time were unaddressed because the board certified physicians I saw said they didn't know the cause of my problems even as they prescribed ineffective drugs and surgery.  So, it is possible, from my point of view, for many highly educated, board certified physicians to make big mistakes and cause serious damage.
                        However, you may not be able to appreciate the pain and suffering of such poisoning unless you have experienced it.
                        So, I won't hold any of your ideas against you.

                        Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

                        by hawkseye on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 02:37:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Heck, I'm the poster child for feeling icky about (3+ / 0-)

                  needles. But I can separate my personal feelings from the evidence about the actual harm.

                  As far as testing fully the composition of every body before we undertake any medical intervention, that would perhaps be useful. It's also beyond our current practical use. For now we muddle along with many processes without doing so, and overall that seems to be better than doing nothing.

                  Perhaps as we develop more techniques, all kinds of tests can be done with fast turnaround and low cost. We see already that we are able to use genetic testing to predict which cancer drugs may be most effective.

                  Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                  by elfling on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:14:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Hell, (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  frostieb, p gorden lippy, ebohlman

                  Water is toxic in large quantities. As is Oxygen.

                  I expect you've gotten rid of them too.

                •  Also sprach Paracelsus: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  "Alle Dinge sind Gift, und nichts ist ohne Gift; allein die Dosis macht, daß ein Ding kein Gift ist."

                  Bello ne credite, Americani; quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.

                  by Sura 109 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:00:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Aluminum (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The issue is that aluminum that we eat or drink is not absorbed, nor is it released from the GI Tract when we are given IVs or vaccines.

            We do know from a study on IV feeding with babies that small amounts of aluminum will spread into our brains, and that the effects are not good on brain development.

            There simply has been very little research done on effectively seeing what the safe levels of aluminum are in vaccines.

            I always loop back to what is a safe amount and where are the short and long term studies proving that we are doing no harm with this amount of aluminum in a single shot.

        •  googling brought up this (0+ / 0-)

          which I haven't read

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:33:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It would take a lot (11+ / 0-)

          Aluminum, as a metal or as part of its most common compounds, is remarkably non-toxic. Good thing, as it is one of the most common elements on earth. It is also all over most homes, in the form of cookware, foil, beverage containers, deodorants, jewelry (sapphires and rubies), and dirt.

        •  If a baby has been born with some heavy metal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          poisoning, how much more can it handle without difficulty?
          Most babies are probably born metal-free.  But some probably are not.

          Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

          by hawkseye on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:20:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  a question for you--- (7+ / 0-)

          How many people have died in the past 100 years from coagulated blood caused by aluminum in their vaccinations.

          This is on a par with the "whales are fleeing to California because of Fukushima" kookery.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:31:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Playing "Gambit Shell Game", I see (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          p gorden lippy, eyesoars, ebohlman

          Switching from gambit to gambit and pretending you haven't.

          Too bad the aluminum gambit's been debunked, too.

          Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

          by Phoenix Woman on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:22:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is silly. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          p gorden lippy, Cassandra Waites

          Aluminum is ubiquitous; it is positively everywhere in the earth's crust, and entirely unavoidable.

          The kidneys of every mammal are amazingly effective at removing any and all aluminum compounds from the blood. Your intestines are also good at not absorbing aluminum from your food.

          Aluminum would be toxic to people if the kidneys were not so good at removing it. The only time it is ever a problem is in those whose kidneys don't work -- dialysis patients.

    •  Were you vaccinated? (11+ / 0-)

      When I was a child, the polio vaccine was brand new and I was lucky. I was also lucky that shortly before I was born, the DPT shot was developed. I was also immunized against smallpox. Other vaccines were not available.

      I had chicken pox, measles, German measles and mumps. I still have scars from chicken pox.

      Did you have any of these diseases?

      •  yep-think in a sugar cube (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and i have a great aunt who had polio and literally dozens of operations on her leg and feet because of polio.

         and yes i had all those childhood diseases. i was a child in the 60's.

        i am pro vaccines i just have misgivings in the sheer amount and the philosophy  (magic drugs)of them.

        •  Really, that's a canard. (8+ / 0-)

          Our immune systems can handle, and do handle, hundreds of bugs for which we create immunities.

          I understand your concern, but there is nothing to it. Junior playing in the sandbox is exposed to more germs.

          I wonder what Markos thought when he started this blog? Sure, come for the politics, but stay for the friendship and cat pics!

          by The Pollster on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:07:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only if... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            clifmichael, maregug

            It's a sandbox full of needles that inject those germs directly into the bloodstream.

            The United States for All Americans

            by TakeSake on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:13:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kids put dirty hands into their mouths (9+ / 0-)

              And the dirt is full of germs. It is also full of aluminum, which isn't harmful!

              •  Ah! (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                maregug, protectspice

                So eating or rubbing dirt that might contain a trace element of aluminum is equal to injecting over 1.6 milligrams into your body, which will enter your blood stream and migrate into your brain.

                I just love this neat science talk!

                •  Can I just snarkily (6+ / 0-)

                  say YES. Your child will not suffer if she plays in a sandbox and eats sand. Likewise, she will not suffer if she gets a handful of shots once or twice a year.

                  But she will be healthier than her cohorts who don't get the shots.

                  I wonder what Markos thought when he started this blog? Sure, come for the politics, but stay for the friendship and cat pics!

                  by The Pollster on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:59:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  If your child eats 1 gram of dirt (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sir Roderick, elfling, T100R, TakeSake, susans

                  he or she will on average get 71mg of Aluminum, according to this:

                  Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:46:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is a very different... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    delivery system. Would you inject dirt by comparison?

                    The United States for All Americans

                    by TakeSake on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:36:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That's true, but aluminum compounds (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      ingested into the mouth will mostly leave the body in feces, while aluminum compounds injected into the bloodstream will leave the body in the urine. You aren't putting those levels into your blood on a continuing, daily basis, so it won't accumulate in the body.

                      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:50:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Heard of the blood brain barrier? (0+ / 0-)

                        And its permiability in newborns?

                        Yeah, thought not.

                        •  yes, I have. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          Is there evidence that at the levels used in vaccines that toxic levels are found in the brain?

                          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:34:45 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The theory is that there is a (0+ / 0-)

                            vulnerable subset of individuals who have trouble processing and excreting metals.

                            Not sure if my links will be 'acceptable' but there was a recent Canadian study -
                             (I might add as a disclaimer, there are many many studies like this, but most of them not Amercian/NIH approved - if you want to really learn about this you need to look beyond US sources)


                            Professor Shaw and Dr. Tomljenovic continued their paper by adding that:

                            “There are other links between aluminum exposure/toxicity and ASD. These include the following: A pilot study showed higher than normal aluminum levels in the hair, blood and/or urine of autistic children; children are regularly exposed to higher levels of aluminum in vaccines per body weight than adults; practically, nothing is known about the pharmacokinetics and toxicodynamics of aluminum in vaccines in children; and aluminum in vaccines has been linked to serious neurological impairments, chronic fatigue and autoimmunity.”
                          •  It's interesting what comes up (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            when I google the authors. I don't expect you'll be impressed by the criticisms of them.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:13:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm sorry to say I could probably (0+ / 0-)

                            list the 'critics' and their motivations verbatim at this point, so don't bother. It's always the same 3 or 4 'unaffiliated' people doing the warrioring. Purely innocent motives. Even the lawyer whose previous papers expound on the myriad benefits of agency capture, who is now fielding the idea that parents who resist or postpone vaccinations should be held legally responsible. A real forefront of hegemony there with that one. (Dorit Reiss, if you're willing to go down that rabbit hole) There is literally an online cavalry of self-professed 'experts' wrt vaccine safety. A small, very vocal group, who do nothing but expound the official CDC et al line - no nuance allowed.

                            In fact, the usual suspect 'critics' are professional bloggers, some with medical/research backgrounds but conveniently, none  with real history in the topic at hand.

                          •  Even if that's true. (0+ / 0-)

                            Compared to the horror vaccines are trying to prevent.
                            Penn and Teller's skit on vaccination and autism comes to mind. Even IF vaccine do cause harm in a very small subset of the population, it's still better than having a large part of your population suffering from the disease.

                •  ok, this is getting idiotic. Enough with this (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  susans, Cassandra Waites, ebohlman


                  kids don't just EAT sand. They get it rubbed into the cuts and scrapes they have all over their bodies. They get dog poo in the cuts on their bare feet. They get insect bites that have nasty germs in them, some of which cause diseases. They get drool form dogs, cats, and other kids with colds dripped in their mucous membrane-lined eyes and mouths.

                  We are always being exposed to the elements and to infectious agents.

                  Every time you catch a nasty disease, you are being immunized to it. The vaccination lets you get immunized without having the inconvenience, danger, and risk to others of actually having it. Get it?

                  Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

                  by p gorden lippy on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:44:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This may be true for kids but it isn't kids who (0+ / 0-)

                    are getting most of the vaccines. It's babies less than a year old. I would be surprised to find out that there are a lot of babies who are too young to walk who are getting dog poo in cuts on their bare feet.

                    •  just stop (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      this was about exposure to scary aluminum because the subject got changed when the vaccine concerns got skewered.

                      Babies get exposed to millions of fungi, bacteria, and viruses every. damned. day. They catch diseases, they become immune, they live. They get exposed to aluminum if they breathe - which they do - and if they drink water, which they do if they eat formula, or if they drink mother's milk, which they do, and they live. And they get immunized, they make antibodies to disease germ without getting sick, they live.

                      Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

                      by p gorden lippy on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:25:55 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Bzzzt! (0+ / 0-)

              Vaccines are not directly injected into the bloodstream. That's a common trope in anti-vax literature; using it is a pretty good indicator that one is a True Believer.

              Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

              by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:07:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok... (0+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Hidden by:

                So it goes in sub-subcutaneously or into a muscle. Then it goes into the bloodstream.

                That's a distinction without a difference.

                You're good at throwing conjectures around. Perhaps you are a corporate shill?

                The United States for All Americans

                by TakeSake on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 08:52:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A distinction without a difference to those (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  who don't know much about human physiology.

                  The doughnut is for insinuation of shilling.

                  Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                  by ebohlman on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:06:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I had mumps and chicken pox (12+ / 0-)

        Thought I was going to die when I had the mumps. Any parent who lets a child go through what I had to go through is guilty of criminal neglect.

        •  Thought you were going to die? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maregug, norbalish

          I'm pretty sure that your odds of dying from the mumps as a child were greater than dying in outer space over the last 25 years. Look at it this way, you now have lifetime immunity. The mumps vaccine wears off quickly and if you catch it as a teenager then it won't be fun. The efficacy is also questionable, since there is a high likelihood those nice people at Merck "fudged" the numbers.

          In 2012, new information questioning the efficacy of the mumps portion of MMR vaccine emerged when two former Merck employees filed a lawsuit alleging the company altered testing results and studies to make the mumps vaccine in MMR appear to be more effective than it really is in preventing mumps infection.
          You are a buffoon if you think that not vaccinating for mumps, (because YOU had a bad experience) means we are guilty of criminal neglect. Most children get the mumps and are over it in a day or so.
          •  Surviving smallpox usually gives lifelong (6+ / 0-)


            Do you think we were better off when smallpox was a fact of life?

            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

            by PhillyJeff on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:23:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Smallpox (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              We were talking about the childhood disease of mumps, but I'll answer your question:

              I believe we were better off with the smallpox vaccine to answer your question.

              The issues I have with vaccines are:

              1) The testing of the safety of the adjuvants.
              2) The quantity given at one time to young children.
              3) Some of the diseases we are addressing with them.
              4) The fact that we do little independent testing on most of the vaccines (long term)
              5) The lack of ability to sue Pharmaceutical companies in an open court when a child (or adult) is harmed.

              •  If polio suddenly isn't a big deal (0+ / 0-)

                why is smallpox a problem?

                If there was a study which was proven to be a complete fraud that fraudulently linked a smallpox vaccine to autism concerns, would you still oppose it? Even after the study was thoroughly debunked?

                When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

                by PhillyJeff on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:11:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I got a mild case of encephalitis from the case (4+ / 0-)

            of mumps I had has a child (over 6, but under 10).  I was one of the one in five thousand and the ineptitude of the military doctors probably gave me life long consequences.

          •  Except for the ones who have complications (3+ / 0-)

            Such as deafness. Or encephalitis. Or sterility. Or pancreatitis--I've suffered from acute pancreatitis, it's one of the most painful things that can happen to your body. Worse than my experience of childbirth, and mine was a labor that didn't go well. Pancreatitis was worse.

            But hey, it makes kids look funny, so it can't be too serious, right? My older brother and sister had it, but I didn't, because I had gotten the vaccine. (They were due for the new vaccine on their next annual doctor visits, except they caught mumps before they got there.) I laughed and laughed at them, until I realized how sick they were and then I felt bad. Anyway, I'm a living example that the vaccine works, I shared a small bedroom with a mumps patient, and never got sick, and I caught every cold or stomach virus or whatever was in the neighborhood.

            •  Serious? (0+ / 0-)

              My understanding is most cases are not serious. And, in no way would I ever suggest you not have the ability to vaccinate your child.

              However, there are many side effects from the MMR and they can be as severe.

              You are taking a chance either way. Issues with the disease or issues with the vaccine. The fact that they lump all three doses (Measles, Rubella and Mumps) into a single shot is what I would prefer to see changed.

              In any case, I would not have my child take any of those individual shots, but I would think it is safer with that approach.

              •  Yes you're taking a chance either way (0+ / 0-)

                But the chance you're taking by not vaccinating is a much greater chance than the one you're taking by vaccinating.

                A lot of people seem to have trouble with the concept that when there are two or more possibilities, those possibilities are not equally likely (the fact that there are two possibilities, namely that 1) I personally ordered the 9/11 attacks and 2) I didn't personally order the 9/11 attacks doesn't mean that there's a 50% chance that I ordered them).

                Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:25:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  "Most", but some died or had lasting damage (3+ / 0-)

            My guess is that like most antivax bozos, you are younger than I am. I know people who limp from polio, and one deaf from complications of measles. Typical of a middle-aged American.

            Most people who drive drunk don't kill anyone. BFD.

            •  57 (0+ / 0-)

              I assume we are close to the same age based on your bio. If so, we were both likely injected with the SV-40 virus. Not real happy with that. I also received my PhD in Statistics at Oklahoma State University, so we have similar backgrounds of study.

              My issue with the polio vaccine is that I don't believe there have been any wild cases in over 45 years in the US.

              I would think it would be more effective to quarantine visitors arriving from Asia or Africa, then to vaccinate the entire US population against a disease we have not seen in four and a half decades.

              But, in general, I don't have an issue with the inactivated virus they are using in that vaccine. Other than the monkey kidney cells, the rest I am not overly worried about the ingredients.  

              The problem I have with the disease is this (from 2012):

              But surveillance data show that last year, seven children in India developed polio from vaccine-derived poliovirus (VDPV), the medical term for a virus from the oral polio vaccine (OPV) that has regained the ability to cause disease.

              Such infections occur when virus from the OPV, after being excreted by vaccinated children, regains neuro-virulence and the ability to circulate in the environment and strikes other vulnerable children.

              Public health experts also estimate that between 100 and 180 children in India develop vaccine-associated polio paralysis (VAPP) each year, a rare but serious side effect of the OPV they had received to protect them from the wild poliovirus. As opposed to VDPV infection, VAPP affects the vaccinated children themselves.

              •  Polio may be approaching the crossover point (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ebohlman, RiveroftheWest

                where, as with smallpox, mass USA vaccination does more harm than good. The relatively small number of Americans who visit countries where polio is endemic can be required to be exceptions.

                That's a long way from opposing vaccination programs in general. We can see (especially if we peer over at England) that measles, a nasty disease with something like a 1% to 2% rate of severe complications in Western countries (much, much higher in more primitive conditions) makes its comeback quickly. Every single patient in a recent measles outbreak in New York Haredi Jews was unvaccinated, and some of them were babies too young to have received it.

                I do not understand what stops antivaxers from understanding that in the pre-vaccine era, many people who lived clean lifestyles did not have sufficiently strong immune systems, or simply good enough luck, to fight off these diseases, and they died. I get very tired of seeing antivaxers champion their Magic Lifestyles as the key to health, when really it’s the risks the rest of us run to avoid vaccines, that keep you from having many people to catch anything from.

                •  We've reached the crossover point for using (3+ / 0-)

                  the inactive polio vaccine rather than the live one in the US (in fact we reached it some time ago and that's why we're now using only the inactive one). The inactive one is somewhat less effective, but it has a lower risk of causing an unintended infection. The decision of which to use depends on the prevalence of polio in a particular region; if it's high, the more effective live vaccine will prevent far more cases than it causes; if it's low, the number of wild cases resulting from using the less effective inactive vaccine won't outnumber the vaccine-strain cases from using the live vaccine.

                  Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                  by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:31:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I had measles at age 6. Sickest I have ever been (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          until I got West Nile Virus. They were about the same except that the Measles wore off faster. And I was a healthy 6 year old. Worst headache of my life, photophobia, fever, delirious, personality change. And if you have ever seen an adult with measles, you would think the person is dying. Sometimes they do.

          Mumps and chickenpox and rubella were not so bad, but the effects on a fetus and on male fertility make them bad.

          "A dog starved at his master's gate/Predicts the ruin of the state" Blake

          by McCamy Taylor on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:13:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I was vaccination for just about everything that's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        susans, AaronInSanDiego, Oh Mary Oh

        available, excluding Hep B and Chicken Pox.
        Hep B because at the time I was born there wasn't a recommendation to get Hep B vaccine, and thinking about it, I probably should get that.
        Same issue with Chicken Pox, and then I actually got Chicken Pox. So I guess its Shingle vaccine for me.
        I also got annual flu vaccine, while anecdotal, I can attest that flu vaccine works, why? I forgot it twice before, and here's the comparison.
        I caught flu both time I forgot about it, was bed-ridden for 3 days, in mild pain for a week, and persistent cough for up to a month.
        I caught flue several times despite vaccinated, but each time, I'm only bed-ridden for a day, and pretty much functional after day 2.

    •  "Building up Immunity" (6+ / 0-)

      Vaccines build up immunity and they do it safely. One of the downsides to building up immunity "naturally" is that a certain percentage of the naturally infected people die or are crippled or give German measles to a pregnant woman or get cervical cancer etc. etc. etc. And immunity to one disease doesn't inhibit immunity to all the naturally occurring diseases for which we have no vaccines. The number of antigens in the vaccines pales in comparison to our daily exposure to "foreign antigens."

      There is no relationship between vaccines and "building up (or not) immunity" which is at least partially related to nutritional state and age.

    •  This is the problem - we dont' do science on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      that is where i run into problems.  so many i just find it hard to believe that our system is meant to  be raised in a "clean" environment.
      'i am no biologist but isnt there something about building up immunities?

      I don't base my scientific and medical decisions based on feel. I go by what doctors and scientists tell me.

      Maybe it doesn't really "feel" like chicken pox vaccines are really necessary. I mean it's not that bad right?

      I have a family member who recently got shingles and it was extremely painful and flared up again before it finally went away.

      Kids are dying and suffering permanent damage from measles and other diseases because of this anti-vax stuff.

      Think about it - it's not ok for people to die because of drone strikes, but it's ok for celebrities to spew anti-vax conspiracy theories that are killing kids worldwide?

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:16:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you meaning to say kids are dying in the U.S. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        from measles? There haven't been any deaths from measles in the U.S. for many years.

        •  And why do you think that is? n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

          by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 05:34:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't know? (0+ / 0-)

            Almost all parents in the U.S. choose to vaccinate their children for measles. Also, almost all adults are vaccinated. Even though there is a lot of attention given to parents who choose to not vaccinate or to skip some vaccines, there is a relatively tiny number of kids who aren't vaccinated for measles. Childhood vaccination rates in the U.S. are at or near all-time highs.

            There are very few cases of measles each year in the U.S. relative to the size of the population. It's almost impossible to catch measles in the U.S. Many of the measles cases in the U.S. were contracted by people while they were in another country.

            Also, it seems like based on recent measles outbreaks in Europe that the death rate from measles in developed countries might be decreasing.

          •  You don't know? (0+ / 0-)

            Almost all parents in the U.S. choose to get their kids the measles vaccine. Most adults in the U.S. have either had measles or are vaccinated for measles. Even though the parents who choose to not vaccinate or choose to skip some vaccinations get a lot of attention, there are a relatively tiny number of kids who aren't vaccinated for measles. Childhood vaccination rates in the U.S. are at or near all-time highs.

            Relative to the population, there are very few cases of measles in the U.S. each year. It's almost impossible to catch measles in the U.S. Many of the cases in the U.S. are in people who contracted measles in another country.

            Also, it seems like the mortality rate for measles in the developed world may be decreasing. I think in the big recent European outbreaks the death rate was about 1 per 3000 cases. I think until recently the death rate was reported to be about 1 per 1000 cases. Not sure about that though. There are so few cases of measles in the U.S. that it's not surprising that no children have died from measles here in more than 10 years.

            About 11 years ago there was a measles-related death in a 13 year old girl who had an underlying health condition and had recently had a bone marrow transplant. That same year a 75 year old man who had traveled here while infected died while in the U.S. Prior to that there had been only one death since 1993 and I'm not sure if that was a child or an adult.

    •  um, no. (0+ / 0-)

      it's actually about 12-13 vaccines given in small doses and boosters. There are a few others included in the schedules that are not required, but suggested.
      included -
      Hep A and B, Mumps, measles, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, varicella (chicken pox), rotavirus, Hib, pneumococcal.

    •  That's what vaccines do - build your immune system (0+ / 0-)
  •  NPR looked at why evidence only makes them worse (32+ / 0-)

    There was a report on NPR earlier this week looking at a study that examined what happened when vaccine skeptical parents were identified and then given the correct facts about vaccines.

    It made them LESS likely to get their child vaccinated - even if they agreed with the facts.

    VEDANTAM: Well, I think, David, what Nyhan seems to be finding is that when you're confronted by information that you don't like, at a certain level you accept that the information might be true, but it damages your sense of self-esteem. It damages something about your identity. And so what you do is you fight back against the new information. You try and martial other kinds of information that would counter the new information coming in. In the political realm, Nyhan is exploring the possibility that if you boost people's self-esteem before you give them this disconfirming information, it might help them take in the new information because they don't feel as threatened as they might have been otherwise.

    GREENE: This is a matter of people not wanting to acknowledge that they may have been wrong about something for many years.

    VEDANTAM: That's right. And also that if they were to acknowledge that they have been wrong, it might mean large changes in, not just their behavior, but their sense of who they are and their sense of identity.

    Forget the rest of the universe; is there intelligent life on earth?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:05:04 PM PDT

    •  i took some health communication classes in (4+ / 0-)

      college. it wouldnt have occurred to me to give facts- about anything.
      you give alternatives to behavior you want stopped and forget anything with lots of words.

      maybe they would have had more success in dealing with one vaccine at a time. yes this is how WE prevent polio.

      one vaccine at a time
      i have problems with all the sheer number. so just make them choose one vaccine.
      one day at a time
      andf then another
      and then another
      but not the whole ball of wax thing. you are asking for trouble

      that goes with almost any behavior you want to change
      not just health

    •  I saw this. I shared it with my friends. (11+ / 0-)

      We pro-vaccine folks need to be very aware of this.

      To get parents to change their minds, we need to don kid gloves.  We often are kind of arrogant. How can we not be? These parents are endangering their children and the rest of those who HAVE to rely on herd immunity for legitimate reasons.

      I've been as dismissive as anyone else.

      But we have to change our approach to allow parents to change their minds with their self esteems intact.

      And it may mean pursuading  them to accept 10 vaccines out of 20 to start. Then once they've seen those 10 did no harm, start talking to them about the next two, then the next two...

      Lives depend on it.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:35:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It could be... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that you don't realize that vaccines wear off or are ineffective, so herd immunity does not occur with vaccinations.

        These parents are endangering their children and the rest of those who HAVE to rely on herd immunity for legitimate reasons.
        I love the "legitimate" reasons. Like the children that were damaged due to getting vaccines in the first place?

        At least you tried to less dismissive. I guess it is a start.

        •  Seatbelts (5+ / 0-)

          are also ineffective at saving all accident victims. If 100% of motorists wore seatbelts, 100% of those who died in motor vehicle accidence would be seatbelt wearers. Would we then conclude seatbelts are dangerous? Would we conclude that seatbelts never caused an injury? Would we imply stats showing seatbelts save lives means someone who cannot comfortably wear a standard seatbelt because of an injury or birth defect should be forced to even if it hurts them badly or risks further injury? Or that those who cite studies show seatbelt wearers have better odds in an accident are pro-car or pro fossil fuels, or anti-public transport? I don't think it takes a stats expert to see lots of fallacies there.

        •  Herd immunity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denise b

          Vaccines may not be 100% effective for life, but they do reduce the ability of something to propagate.  If few enough people are susceptible, then herd immunity protects those people.  If the vaccine has to be repeated, it has to be repeated.

          And just what children were damaged due to getting vaccines in the first place?

        •  Lolwut? That's a new one. (5+ / 0-)

          Sounds like your crowd got tired of hearing the words “herd immunity” and just had to think of a reason to ignore it, and just kinda grabbed at something.

          The whole point of herd immunity is that vaccines aren't 100% effective. All you've told me is that there's another thing making them not 100% effective. “They wear off.” Gee, no shit? Here I thought my second MMR shot was for shits and giggles.

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:56:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I might be wrong but I'm pretty sure the second (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Code Monkey

            MMR currently given to kids is not a booster to counteract waning immunity. I think it's given because, although most people do, there is a percentage of people who don't develop sufficiently high protective antibodies from the first MMR vaccine but do after a second MMR.

        •  I'm sorry, are you the person upthread who says (0+ / 0-)

          Vaccines aren't necessary because almost no children get tetanus?

          So you give a perfect example  that vaccines work?

          Yeah, ok. Just checking...

          And, boosters work too.

          And legitimate reasons like cancer, upcoming sugeries, rare illness, etc...

          © grover

          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 12:48:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tetanus (0+ / 0-)

            I believe on average only 1 case of tetanus occurs in kids under 5 across the whole country. We only have about 50 to 100 cases of tetanus each year, and the number was about 1,000 before the vaccine when we had a lot more people living on farms and spending a lot of time in the same clothes cleaning out their wounds with dirty water.

            This bacteria will die when it washed out and cannot live in an oxygen environment.

            I don't have a big concern for this vaccine, other than it should not be given to children (no purpose), and that it should be an individual shot. If I was working outside on a farm with animals, then I would probably get a tetanus booster shot every ten years or so.

      •  Yes this is the correct way to help people (0+ / 0-)

        Parents need assistance and assurance but not head patting and dismissal.  I wrote a lengthy comment upstream somewhere in this thread.  Goes to your point at the end.

    •  Parents will change their minds about vaccines (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when the risks of their kids contracting vaccine-preventable diseases increases to where they see their cost benefit calculation shift. I'm pretty sure most parents who choose to skip vaccines do so believing that odds are low that their kids will ever encounter the disease.

    •  I saw this (long) comment by someone named (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      Karen Winter on an article about that study. This is her comment and I'm just posting it here because I thought it was pretty insightful.

      The divide of "pro-vaccine" and "anti-vaccine" is false. Continuing to address problems that way simply doesn't work. The question is not what parents ultimately choose. The question is how they decide. There are three main groups.

      Questioners collect lots of information and decide on their own.

      Delegators seek out a trustworthy expert and follow their advice. Please note that most delegators use a doctor as their expert, but some use other people as their "experts". The point is that the delegator is primarily trusting someone else's recommendation.

      Simplifiers have already decided that vaccines are either all good or all bad and act accordingly. A pro-vaccine simplifier will insist on a vaccine even when there are blatant medical contraindications, because they believe that all vaccines are 100% safe and effective. An anti-vaccine simplifier will refuse all vaccines under all circumstances, because they believe that vaccines always do more harm than good. These beliefs are fervently held (on both sides) and will never be changed by reason or argument because the core driving reason is fear. Pro-vaccine simplifiers are terrified of disease, often because they have personal experience with a tragedy. Anti-vaccine simplifiers are terrified of vaccines, often because they have personal experience with a tragedy. Trying to address fear and grief with facts and statistics doesn't work. Never has, never will.

      Fortunately, there aren't a lot of simplifiers, even when you combine both types. They're noisy and tend to be grossly overrepresented in both politics and journalism, but they aren't actually that common. There is not this huge wave of anti-vaxxers. That is a myth.

      What is real is that you have a huge shift in all of health care from delegators to questioners. Most parents these days do not want to passively follow a doctor's orders. Most parents want to be involved in the decision-making.

      And that's important because the same strategies that are reassuring to a delegator are alarming to a questioner (and vice-versa). When a doctor says "just trust me", a delegator is likely to be reassured. A questioner is likely to be offended and suspicious. On the flip side, a doctor who provides lots of information and asks the patient about their values will delight a questioner. However, it will scare a delegator, who will begin to question the doctor's expertise if they don't even have the confidence to give clear instructions.

      Oh and trying to scare a questioner into compliance is a really, really bad tactic. Nothing will turn a questioner away faster that scare tactics.

      Which perfectly matches the results of this study. The "worst case scenarios" of measles are scare tactics. Very bad strategy with questioners.

      The "disease risks" was factual information, but unlikely to be new to any of the study participants.

      The "autism link" was likely to be new and interesting information, which questioners crave. Thus the positive results.

      Why does nothing show a positive change for vaccination? Well that's pretty simple:

      The simplifiers aren't going to do anything but get more certain in their beliefs. Changing a simplifier's mind is akin to a religious conversion. It's not going to happen because of a public-health message.

      The delegators are following directions from a trusted expert, and not going to do much except bring this information to their expert. Who has probably already seen it and already has an opinion.

      The questioners are looking for how to evaluate risk vs. benefit for their child. "Vaccines are safe and effective" is an overall average. If you want to get a questioner to choose a vaccine for their child, you need to discuss individual risk vs. benefit. And there was not a single message about that.

      Incidentally, pertussis outbreaks are not related to vaccine exemptions. The unfortunate reality is that the current pertussis vaccine does not and cannot provide herd immunity. The news on that front, unfortunately, just keeps getting worse. See this FDA study on pertussis vaccine efficacy

      Summary: the pertussis vaccine is very effective at preventing severe pertussis symptoms in the vaccine recipient. However, asymptomatic vaccinated individuals still catch, carry, and spread pertussis. Which is why we keep having outbreaks even when vaccination levels are high.

      The measles vaccine, on the other hand, provides excellent herd immunity. But that's another story.

  •  So how do the anti-vaxxars make money? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raptavio, Naniboujou

    Writing books?

    Shall we go? Yes, let's go.

    by whenwego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:06:22 PM PDT

    •  It must be billions of dollars for those books! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maregug, protectspice

      I mean the medical industry and big pharma certainly are not doing this because the revenue is closing in at $80 billion per year. I am sure the are both caring and compassionate institutions.

      •  Vaccines are a low profit item for Pharma (10+ / 0-)

        compared to almost everything else they make.

        •  Google can be your friend, too! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maregug, protectspice, clifmichael

          Unless you are Warren Buffett, $25 billion is not chump change. And, that does not include the fact that it is NEVER ENDING and GROWING.

          The renaissance in the vaccine market continues with strong growth and new prospects to continue to grow this part of the market, which now stands at about $25 billion. Once a commodity market with low margins, the vaccines on the market now include blockbusters and megablockbusters. New candidates for vaccinating against cancers and HIV are also projected to hit the magic milestone. The market is expected to return a compound annual growth rate of more than 8% through 2018, EvaluatePharma projects, with some segments like adult vaccines showing even better.
          •  You forgot the denominator (10+ / 0-)

            Worldwide revenues for the pharmaceutical industry are about $1 trillion. Vaccines would therefore be about 2.5% of that. Most pharmaceutical companies do not produce any vaccines at all.

            But in any case if they are making more money I'm happy, as it will get them to put some money into researching more and better vaccines. A lot of pharmaceutical companies' pipelines have been going dry and there are a lot of areas for which they have had no recent successes.

          •  I tend to agree that the pharmaceutical companies (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            see their vaccine divisions as an important part of their business and they depend on them to be profitable growth areas.

            Here is an example.

            GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced that it has acquired Okairos AG (Okairos), a specialist developer of vaccine platform technologies for €250 million (approximately £215 million/$325 million) in cash.

            Swiss-based Okairos, a private company, has developed a novel vaccine platform technology which is expected to play an important role in GSK’s development of new prophylactic vaccines (designed to prevent infection) as well as new classes of therapeutic vaccines (designed to treat infection or disease). Okairos’ technology complements GSK’s existing vaccine technology and expertise and will enable GSK to continue its work developing the next generation of vaccines. The deal also includes a small number of early stage assets.

            The acquisition reinforces GSK’s commitment to investment in innovative science. GSK’s vaccines business sits alongside pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare as part of a balanced business and product portfolio capable of delivering sustainable sales growth.

            GSK strengthens vaccines business with acquisition of Okairos
          •  Plenty of vaccines are off patent and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            well tested.

            If you want to skip some of the more novel and expensive vaccines, that concern has more foundation. But the older tried-and-true ones don't have much profit motivation involved, and they have millions and millions of administrations for you to examine.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:30:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think a lot of people would like the older (0+ / 0-)

              vaccines like the measles vaccine instead of the MMR but they aren't able to get them.

              Now I think even MMR is getting phased-out somewhat in favor of MMRV. I don't know if there was any profit motivation involved in that switch.

    •  how do faith healers make money? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wildweasels, nchristine

      I don't think there's really a "profit motive" behind much of the anti-vaccination movement. It's just scared, misinformed parents and people who enable scared and misinformed parents.

      But some of those enablers are likely cynical actors taking advantage of an eco-system that rejects science and embraces fantastical paranoia.

      •  There's a lot of money (0+ / 0-)

        to be had in selling assorted treatments that vary from mostly harmless, like magnet bracelets and probiotics, to horrible things like chelators and bleach enemas (really).

        Look at some of the biggest names in vaccine hysteria, and you'll fine that a lot of them are hawking products from their own books to entire online stores of supposed cures. Even Andrew Wakefield had a profit motive for trying to prove that the MMR vaccine caused autism.

        They've got parents who can virally market their product for them for free, but there's gold in them thar links.

        Yes, a lot of the people who are anti-vaxxers aren't making money from their position, but  I honestly don't think the anti-vax movement would be as loud or as sustained without those people willing to profit from all those parents' FUD.

    •  Worthless health "supplements" (0+ / 0-)

      Sugar pills endorsed by alternative medicine quacks who live in mansions.

  •  ...unless anti-vaxxers have some... (13+ / 0-)

    ...religious reason to avoid vaccinations, they are talking out there rear. Science and statistics clearly show vaccinations prevent disease, esp. terrible ones such as polio and small pox.

    Vaccines use attenuated viruses or bacteria which can't cause disease. They cause your body to make antibodies for the specific virus or bacterium that does cause the disease.

    If a person is an anti-vaxxer due to Scientologist's scare tactics (this is where the whole vaccines cause autism crap comes from), then they are very easily duped by CT crap...

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

    by paradise50 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:07:28 PM PDT

  •  no benifit of doubt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A non practicing/teaching scientist pretty much only has a degree, and the limited work done for that degree.  It is unlikely that they are interacting regularly with other scientists, going to conventions, reading the journals.

    In this case we have someone who knows some stuff, but are pretty much surrounded by people who have little or no scientific knowledge.  Such a person is probably likely to say whatever she wants with no critical analysis from those around her.

    It reminds with a guy with advanced degree in physics who mostly hung around evangelicals.  He did not really believe in quantum mechanics, and did not believe that computers needed quantum mechanics to run.  While arguments can be made on other side of this argument, one side is the accepted norm.

  •  Nice job of building straw men in this diary (10+ / 0-)

    Here is a simple question. Why are we giving infants Hep B and Tetanus vaccinations? The cases of children getting Tetanus are virtually non-existent in this country, plus the vaccine likely wears off in 5 to 10 years. Why so early? Same with Hep B, assuming the child's mom is not a Hep B carrier, then why offer that vaccine so early?

    You pro-vaxxers assume all vaccines are safe, and the recommended 49 vaccines before a child turns 7 is a safe number, too. And, you make that assumption with no long term data to back these claims up. We let the pharmas test out their drugs, but they compare the safety to other vaccines. They don't measure it against children NOT getting any vaccines. Plus, they don't test whether a whole bunch of vaccines in a short period of time will affect a child either short term or long term.

    If 49 vaccines in a six year period to children is safe, then what is not safe. Can we give 100 vaccines to an infant? 200? Did you know that some of those DTaP combo vaccines contain over  1600 micrograms of aluminum? What does that do to a child? You would have less people fear vaccines, if we made the analysis clearer. We need to provide test cases of vaccine vs. non-vaccine measurements for each shot and look at long term analysis to check what these adjuvants are doing after 49 vaccines. (This is often referred to as the scientific method.)

    The last question I would pose to everyone that wants to force vaccinations on children:  

    What about YOU? Assuming you have not had measles, diphtheria, mumps, Hep B, HiB, RV, chicken pox, whooping cough, and HPV. Are YOU getting your booster shots? Oh, no? Well, in most of these cases, you certain could be a carrier. You should be getting the same shots that you are railing on for infants to get.

    Vaccinations only provide temporary immunity as we seen in the latest outbreaks of mumps and pertussis.  

    •  I hope that booster shots (7+ / 0-)

      are part of the ACA's preventive care.

    •  Also don't forget the data for the infants and the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clifmichael, maregug

      oldsters.  Not so conclusive as to the efficacy of the some of the vacines.

      Scholarly articles for vaccine effectiveness studies

    •  Yes (7+ / 0-)

      I do get my booster shots.  I also take the flu shot every year.  I didn't get the chicken pox vaccine because I had the disease before it was available -- and was very nearly hospitalized because of it (high fever and dehydration). I've also had shingles, and post-herpetic neuralgia, thanks to varicella.  I didn't get the HPV shot because, as my doctor said, "that ship has sailed."  

      I get my shots because I work in healthcare, interact with a lot of frail elderly, and because I live in a major urban area and ride public transportation and God alone knows what the gross people sitting next to me are carrying.  Makes me glad I have to have a TB titer done every year, too.

      "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

      by northbronx on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:38:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The answer (11+ / 0-)

      "Why are we giving infants Hep B and Tetanus vaccinations?"

      Both are potentially deadly. The treatments aren't very effective. The vaccines are quite safe for most people. There is no real reason not to give them.

      And some vaccines do provide lifelong immunity. Depends on the disease.

    •  Polio is NOT a straw man! (9+ / 0-)

      I am not sure I should reply - maybe it will just make you more determined to be "right".  But here goes.

      Let us consider an epidemic.  To cause an epidemic, a pathogen must have a transmission rate greater than 1 - this is also the requirement for nuclear fission reactors etc.  In other words, an infected person must pass on the infection to at least on other person on average.  Thus, if the transmission rate is 10 and we have one infection, 3 days later we get ten more, six days later one hundred more etc.  This continues until most of the population gets infected, which we call an epidemic.  This is a very simplified view - these are averages, and also transmission slows when the infection encounters previously infected cases.

      Now, to continue this example, suppose 95% of the population is immunised.  Then the transmission rate falls to 1/2, and the outbreak slowly dies out.  Thus, the 5% who are not vaccinated are protected by the 95% who are.  They are free riders.  Maybe we should limit insurance to those who have been vaccinated, so that non-vaxers take a financial hit if they contract the disease.  Bet that would raise the take-up rate!

      The point is that vaccination is not, in the case of many diseases, primarily to protect the individual via immunisation, but to protect the individual via elimination of the disease in the population, and by containing any outbreak should it occur.  By this yardstick, non-vaxers are pariahs and a danger to us all.  Of course there are some diseases (e.g. polio) that are so severe that the individual protection is paramount.

      Now to your other points.  Yes there is a very small risk to the injection, but this is the straw man in here.  The risk of the disease is enormously greater.  This is not to say that the vaccine should not be manufactured and administered to the safest possible standards, and pediatricians of my acquaintance are aware of and working toward minimising risks.  Do not hold your breath for the ideal vaccine - zero risk and 100% protection.  You will be dead of some disease or other long before that happens.  Can I assume that you do not drive a car because it is not perfectly safe and does not get 100 mpg?

      Booster shots are another straw man in this context.  Yes, in some cases we should have booster shots, but in the case of most "childhood" diseases protection lasts for a long time and even then the severity and transmissivity of the disease is greatly reduced.  By having the vaccine in early childhood you have paid your dues to the population.

    •  yep I get my boosters... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      geekmom, Code Monkey, RiveroftheWest

      And what the crap does aluminum have to do with anything? Let me guess, the debunked Alzheimer's link? Sorry, anti-vax folks come in two flavors, cons and marks. It might be impolite to say it that plain, but there you go.

    •  So many fallacies, so little time... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Why do you think so few children get tetanus in this country?  Perhaps the fact that they're vaccinated has a little something to do with it, natch?  Yes, it wears off, but the good thing about it is that you can give a booster and you're safe for another 10 years.

      How long-term do you want?  Do you really want to administer a vaccine to a group of children and wait 50 or however many years (2 generations) to see whether some side effects show up?  If we did that with, say, polio, we'd only just now be starting to administer the vaccine on a universal basis.

      And how do you propose to ethically do a null comparison?  You'd have to deliberately withhold vaccines from a large group of children to do that kind of comparison, exposing them to known risks of getting a whole host of diseases.

      And yes, I do get my recommended boosters.  My wife and I actually did have whooping cough about 10 years ago (it wasn't diagnosed, but the symptoms are hard to miss -- coughing like crazy for 2 or 3 months, with the characteristic staccato cough followed by a whooping sound as I regained my breath, and I passed out a few times -- fortunately not when I was driving!).  It was not a pleasant experience.

  •  When I taught in elementary, I ran across so (18+ / 0-)

    many parents of this mind frame that it was frightening. Most were not uneducated or just stupid but rather middle class, most likely progressive in most other beliefs, type people.  Accountants, nurses (indeed), other teachers, lawyers, a librarian....these are the folks that think they are really and truly benefitting their child by not vaccinating and they are extremeing headstrong and passionate about it.  Most were health conscious (extreme), wouldn't allow snacks or sugar or dyes, meat...that kind of thing, but were risking everything for choosing to deny health care.  It infuriated me.

  •  My father contracted polio as an infant (29+ / 0-)

    in 1921, in the same epidemic that afflicted FDR.

    Once a lovely, bouncing baby boy, he became a slight, sickly child who had a serious limp and other major consequences of the disease. His birth family treated him badly after the illness, though I don't know many of the details.

    He did manage to grow up and raise a family, and he had a responsible, demanding job for 43 years, until he had to retire at 65 due to severe post-polio syndrome. (A condition for which, I must also say, there are no real treatments, only adaptations.)

    Now 93, he is beset with dementia and has been wheel-chair bound for over a dozen years. His only sister is 91 and still in relatively good health; his older brother died last year at the age of 96--only a few months after he had to stop driving. Their enduring good health could have been my father's too, had he not had polio.

    Without the polio, my father would have had a much fuller, freer life. And so would us kids, I think. The sequelae from his childhood illness were serious and permanent.  

    I cannot imagine anyone willing to expose their children to such a hideous disease. I am beyond thankful for the polio vaccine and others that protect children and adults from death or a compromised life.

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:36:03 PM PDT

  •  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, raptavio

    what vaccinations can do against a bad bug and what poorly administered drugs do against us.

    If she or anyone who is influential can't make the difference, then we are doomed.


    Ugh. --UB.

    Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

    by unclebucky on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:37:57 PM PDT

  •  I believe in vaccines, but NOT in giving multiple (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TakeSake, clifmichael, chimene, 42, 417els

    vaccines at one time.  

    My understanding is that there are two reasons that vaccines are loaded into a single shot, or that multiple vaccines are given at a single doctor's visit:

    1) It's cheaper for the health insurance companies;
    2) It ensures that a child doesn't miss a vaccine because a parent forgets.  

    (And, it might be cheaper for the patient, too, but who's ever cared about that).  

    Those reasons just don't cut it for me.  Yes, it's cheaper and quicker, but I've never seen any convincing evidence that it's equally safe. There's NO evidence that it's more effective to do it that way.  Yes, I'd have to make (and pay for) another office visit or two, but that's small money.  These are big deal diseases, and we're exposing our children to them, all at once, just for convenience??

    When I was a child and getting vaccinated, you got ONE vaccination at a time, perhaps two. If you had a bad reaction to that vaccine, the doctor knew which one it was.  I pushed for a reduced number of vaccines per visit when I became a parent, and our pediatrician agreed.

    I suggest that that option be offered to parents, whether or not they're skeptical of the autism link.  

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That is my main concern about the vaccination schedule.

      The United States for All Americans

      by TakeSake on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:16:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it might be safer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, elfling

      if there are fewer total injections. and less total exposure to the accompanying ingredients some people are worried about.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:22:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  sticking needles in babies isn't fun (5+ / 0-)

      Not for the nurse, not for the parents, and not for the kid. Being able to give them one shot instead of four or five is a big deal.

      If there were a medical reason not to give those shots all at once, then I would expect they would have the option. Since there is not a medical reason, parents need to ask.

      •  There is no medical reason at all (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SGA, protectspice, maregug, TakeSake

        it is time and financially based. Parents want to get it all done in one day. Docs are worried that they will be overloaded with visits. If they were individual, parents could also make better decisions on which vaccines. Again, if you are not a Hep B carrier, then there should be no reason you should be giving three shots of that vaccine to an infant, especially at BIRTH!

        •  Are you saying those aren't real concerns? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Ooh, look at those silly doctors with their goofy ideas about providing as much care as possible! Lookame, I'm a dumbass doctor who believes in cost-effectiveness! Derp!

          There is no medical reason not to combine them. There are lots of practical reasons to combine them. Therefore we combine them, letting the occasional fretter spread them out instead.

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:08:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Aluminum (0+ / 0-)

            I would think limiting your exposure in a single visit to the exposure of aluminum would be one reason to space out these shots (and break up the doses.)

            An example would be DTaP. You could certainly just provide a DP shot for an infant and then offer the Tetanus later in life when it is likely to be a statistically higher event.

            Plus, why give a child five doses of the Tetanus vaccine when you upping the total due to Pertussis waning?

        •  Actually (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denise b, T100R

          There's a medical reason. Babies are as distressed by one injection as they are by multiple. So you cause your baby less total pain by giving them several vaccines at once, and you don't raise the likelihood of serious complications or make the vaccines less effective. It's win-win.

          And making sure parents are get all the recommended vaccines is another medical reason. The better choice really is to get them all.

          The reason they give Hep B vaccines at birth is because it saves lives. Not all pregnant women were aware that they were infected, and many were not in high risk groups. It's also possible to have a false-negative test for hep B. The younger you are when you contract it, the more likely you are to have a chronic infection.

          •  Hep B (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Yes, less shots, but the theory would be to space out the shots over the months (and in some cases decide to opt out for certain shots.)

            Separating the shots out also could determine when a bad reaction can be attributed to the certain dose when you have three combined into one - or are giving multiple shots on the same day.

            Hep B vaccines have also killed newborns and infants based on VAERS data, so there is reward risk for getting the vaccination.

            The issue is to keep people from making their own decisions on which vaccines are best for their children. Forcing a strict schedule accomplishes that goal.

            What are the statistics behind getting a false-negative test for Hep B? I would assume that is extremely low.

            •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Spacing out the shots = more total pain over time plus giving your children vaccines according to a schedule that has NOT been studied for efficacy. You also increase the window of time in which your children are vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases. On top of that, opting out of shots makes both your kids and everyone else less safe.

              This isn't a matter of personal choice. This is a matter of public safety. You don't get to freeload on the herd immunity I'm providing unless you have a very real health reason. That herd immunity is for kids with cancer and babies, not for anyone who wants to make a "personal choice" to exploit it.

            •  And "VAERS data" isn't evidence. (0+ / 0-)

              It's telling that you bring it up. The VAERS passive reporting system can take reports from anyone. It's like an Amazon review. They don't have to be accurate. They're not vetted. Someone once reported that a vaccine turned him into the Incredible Hulk. Someone else said it was Wonder Woman. Because ANYONE can report something into VAERS.

              If this is the big evidence that you have on vaccines? hoo boy.

          •  Though that is not necessairly true, it (0+ / 0-)

            depends on whether they use a fresh needle for each shot.  Some places, as long as they are using single dose vials, will use the same syringe/needle for all the shots and after even 2 uses (note that drawing the drug from the vial counts as a "use" because it has to pierce the top of the vial) it gets fairly dull.

            At least it is better than it used to be, imagine having to get all your shots with a fairly dull 16 gauge needle that if you were lucky was washed in soap and water and then wiped down with alcohol.

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

            by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:42:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmm (0+ / 0-)

              I'm pretty sure most pediatric places these days either have multiple people give all the shots at the same time or line up the pre-loaded syringes and do them really quickly. I haven't seen the old clean off then reuse the needle maneuver since I was a child.

              •  That's good, you don't want to know how dull (0+ / 0-)

                and jagged that needle gets after three shots (6 uses).  Though even that is not as bad as the huge (equivalent to a 14 gauge piercing needle) and dull (as many doctors didn't sharpen them that often as it was labor intensive) needles they used in the olden days before they had the fancy disposable stuff we have now.

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

                by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 11:43:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  again - not correct (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          one shot at birth, the other two in later months.

      •  I HATED shots when I was a kid, and sure under- (0+ / 0-)

        stand that issue.  But even if there's just a one percent chance that the massive load of shots is a problem in any way (and I'm not just talking about autism, but about the effectiveness of each vaccine and the danger of a child getting really sick), it isn't worth the risk.  

        •  It's been studied. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          denise b, T100R, chopper, frostieb

          It's not a risk. Really, they don't pull the schedule out of their bum.

          •  I wish I could believe that. The CDC (0+ / 0-)

            doesn't say a word about simultaneous vaccination being on a planned schedule, it says:  

            "Giving a child several vaccinations during the same visit offers two practical advantages. First, we want to immunize children as quickly as possible to give them protection during the vulnerable early months of their lives. Second, giving several vaccinations at the same time means fewer office visits. This saves parents both time and money, and may be less traumatic for the child."

            The primary research was on whether simultaneous vaccination led to allergic reactions or injection-site infections.  Nice to know they don't, but that wasn't my big concern.

            The CDC also characterizes the 2004 IOM Study that everyone references on the vaccination/autism link as a "consensus study."  That's akin to, but less exacting than, a meta-analysis of prior studies.  It isn't a study of new data.

        •  Again, what evidence is there (0+ / 0-)

          thatt there's even a one percent chance that "the massive load of shots is a problem in any way"? What if there's even a 1% chance that it's better to do them all at once (less chance of an injection-site infection, let's say)?

          To the best of my knowledge, there's no evidence to support any of the three hypotheses, and no theoretical reason that stands up to real analysis.

    •  Patches are being developed for vaccines (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and they are testing whether it would work for people to just use them at home to give themselves the vaccine. I can see this working with kids especially if you combined it with maybe a phone app to help parents follow a schedule of administering the patches.

      A schedule could be developed where kids have their vaccines spaced out so they're not receiving vaccines for more than a few diseases at a time. Kids would still go in for well checks but would only get vaccines at their appointments that couldn't be given through a patch.

    •  That wouldn't work on a large scale (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Code Monkey

      because of a shortage of primary care physicians.

      •  I'm not sure if it works this way at most (3+ / 0-)

        pediatricians but at ours, if you need a vaccine and you're not due for a well check, you make an appointment with the vaccine nurse. Flu shots, for instance, are given by the vaccine nurse and the child doesn't see the physician.

        My understanding is that if a kid misses a scheduled shot for some reason, such as having been sick, they just see the vaccine nurse for their catch-up shot.

        •  That's how the flu shot clinics work (0+ / 0-)

          with the medical clinic we use -- they schedule dates where patients can come in and get their flu shot, in and out in about 15 minutes to half an hour depending how many people show up. Some clinics even have physician's assistants or nurse practitioners who can administer the vaccine, with admonition to contact the doctor for an appointment if certain side effects result.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:20:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, definitely much better than in some (0+ / 0-)

            countries like Spain where parents are expected to give both themselves and their kids the flu shot themselves with no more information than "uh, you inject it.  in the arm, in the thigh, wherever". Unless of course you want to wait two or three months with the vaccine in your home fridge to get an appointment.

            Just wondering, what would happen if the flu shot were to be given subcutaneously or even intravenously?

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

            by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:47:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  There's no evidence that it's not safe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Those reasons just don't cut it for me.  Yes, it's cheaper and quicker, but I've never seen any convincing evidence that it's equally safe. There's NO evidence that it's more effective to do it that way.  Yes, I'd have to make (and pay for) another office visit or two, but that's small money.  These are big deal diseases, and we're exposing our children to them, all at once, just for convenience??
      I've heard all this climate change stuff, but it doesn't cut it for me. I'm not a scientist, but it was very cold this winter and snowed a lot. How could the globe be warming if this happened?

      Plus I read some (discredited) scientific articles by 1% of climate scientists that said man made climate change is a myth anyway.

      Therefore we should allow corporations to pollute as much as they want. Opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline is silly.

      See that how that works?

      Btw the autism link was based on one study which was a complete fraud.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:30:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a person who reacts just to the needle (5+ / 0-)

      not to anything inside the syringe.

      I don't know if you've ever had to hold an infant for a vaccination, but it is not a fun thing to do. To do it over and over - say 30 times - would be a lot less wonderful, even if it was once a month. And the older they get, the less possible it is to hold them at all.

      I would add that IMHO that simply walking in to a doctor's office, where there are more sick people than is typical, is probably not without risk for a young child.

      That you find an office visit to be small money suggest you are relatively well off. For many people, the cost for the visit isn't just the cost (or co-pay) but also time off from work, transportation, parking, etc. It's maybe a larger factor than you think, in a nation where 25% of all children live below the poverty line and more than half of those attending school qualify for free or reduced lunch.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:59:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What evidence is there (0+ / 0-)

      that it's any less safe to do them in a bunch?

      What scientifically grounded reason is there, for that matter?

  •  Thank you! (12+ / 0-)

    One of my mother's first jobs after nursing school was a year a year at the Kenny Institute in Minneapolis some time in the late 1950s, after the polio vaccine had just entered widespread use. Though they were still quite busy, especially with all the new patients who had been admitted in the early 1950s breakout, she recalls that the year she was there they admitted exactly one new patient.

    She just laughs when I tell her about the people who insist that the vaccine had nothing to do with what you show in the graph.

    "No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." --MLK

    by Progressive Witness on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:45:49 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this post. (6+ / 0-)

    The subject is a particular interest of mine. I did a project on vaccines several years ago and just found it astonishing, as I did research, that people could deny the life-saving ability of vaccines - and could willingly put their families, friends, neighbors and even towns in danger.

    An older family member had polio when he was a child. It was, I believe, a type called bulbar (sp?). Fortunately, his was a somewhat mild case. I remember him telling me about being in the hospital, how his parents couldn't visit him in person, but talked to him through a window and brought him a toy truck. He said he cried when he wasn't able to take the truck home with him. It had to be destroyed.

    Thanks again.

  •  The term "anti-vaxxer" I find is annoying. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    live1, TakeSake, AaronInSanDiego

    You're using this term as an insider term in a manner to ridicule your experts spreading disinformation about the important public health matter of vaccination.

    If you are a steward of public health, engaging in conduct that is ridicule of your opponent is not exercising proper public health and medical leadership.

    Effective public health information and advocacy is the most appropriate response to a movement that denies the benefits to public and personal health of vaccination.

    •  I also don't use the term "anti-vaxxer" (17+ / 0-)

      ... I much prefer the term "child-endangering menace to society."

    •  I find the label "anti-vaxxer" problematic because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      norbalish, DarkSyde

      it is incapable of capturing the spectrum of opinions and practices regarding vaccines. People who don't believe in any vaccines ever are assigned this label but so are parents who choose to space out, delay or skip some vaccines  for their children.

      •  I think the latter category should be excluded, (0+ / 0-)

        but the term, as a naming-and-shaming device, is too useful.

        If you space out the injections, you're being silly, but not being dangerous. That's an important distinction.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:11:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess I don't understand the appeal of (0+ / 0-)

          naming-and-shaming. What is it useful for? I guess I have my doubts about whether those named-and-shamed would be inclined to feel any shame.

          •  It's not so much to convince *them* (0+ / 0-)

            as to convince others not to join them.

            Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
            Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
            Code Monkey like you!

            Formerly known as Jyrinx.

            by Code Monkey on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:55:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But do you think that really works? I suspect it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:


              •  We need to make it socially unacceptable somehow. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Mockery and ridicule are good for this. I'm open to other suggestions. What I know won't work are facts. Facts don't win debates. The research showing that anti-vaxers (and climate denialists, etc.) only dig in when presented the facts is one thing. For another, we know that facts don't do much to persuade the undecided, either. Emotional reasoning convinces people. Peer pressure convinces people. Stories convince people. Hell, the power of the anecdote over statistics is the entire reason there's an anti-vax movement to begin with.

                Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
                Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
                Code Monkey like you!

                Formerly known as Jyrinx.

                by Code Monkey on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:38:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It took me a little time to nail down what is (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  considered the consensus on what the definition of anti-vaxer is, but it seems like it's people who don't vaccinate at all because they believe vaccines are ineffective and/or extremely dangerous.

                  Considering only 1% of kids haven't had any vaccinations, it seems like it's already viewed by most people as socially unacceptable to be anti-vaccine. It's a much higher percentage of the population who don't believe in man-made climate change. The vast majority of people get vaccines for themselves and their children. Seems like it might work to just ignore the small number of people who don't. Childhood vaccination rates in the U.S. are at or near historical highs.

                  I just don't feel good about myself when I mock and ridicule people. I guess maybe the ends would justify the means but only if you could be fairly certain of what the ends would be and I'm just not as certain as you are that mockery and ridicule works.

                  Also, I think there have been studies that indicate that many people make their decisions about vaccines by talking to the people in their lives like their friends and family members. I just would never feel comfortable using mockery and ridicule to try to convince my friends and family members to change their opinion about something. I can't imagine that would be effective either but maybe it works for the people you know.

                  •  Again (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Code Monkey

                    I didn't coin the term and terminology is not the point of the original post. That it may lend a sense that some people are emotionally dug in is a feature imo, not a bug. In the sense that I'm not emotionally invested in vaccines being safe or effective, the folks I know who research disease are not, but those who deny the science act as if they are and occasionally some have said as much.

                    That's one of the biggest differences between science and pseudoscience. There is value in being able to refer to all that with a single term.

                    •  I guess I just feel like to have a discussion (0+ / 0-)

                      about a group of people labeled anti-vaxxers, it's very useful or even necessary to have a consensus on what the term anti-vaxxer means so we're not talking past each other or having unnecessary misunderstandings about who we're talking about.

                  •  I'm not mocking my friends and neighbors. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wa ma

                    For them I'd certainly use a different approach.

                    Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
                    Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
                    Code Monkey like you!

                    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

                    by Code Monkey on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 02:41:22 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  To me, the term refers to people (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    who actively attempt to persuade other people not to vaccinate, to limit their vaccinations, or who attempt to spread fears that are scientficially unfounded. I don't use it to refer to their marks.

                    Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                    by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:14:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So I guess maybe it's fair to say that there isn't (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      a consensus definition among the people who use the term.

                      I'm not familiar with what Bialik has said or written in the past but it seems like she has acknowledged that she doesn't vaccinate her kids but I don't know whether she has actively attempted to persuade other people to not vaccinate or to limit their vaccinations or has attempted to spread fears. She may have, I just don't know.

    •  No (13+ / 0-)

      I'm using it because that is the term that has been coined and is thus the one which will most likely encountered by readers who research further.

      •  I'm sorry if I'm being dense but I guess I'm not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        live1, DarkSyde

        clear on who coined the term and where it is used. Is it used by the CDC or in medical literature?

        •  I (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          don't know who thought it up first or if it was one person. Today it is widely used by skeptics, research virologists, infectious disease specialists, and other scientists and science writers, including some who work for or are on CDC or WHO grants. Hence its inclusion here.

          •  Is there a standard definition they apply to the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            term? I'm interested because I've seen it used in a lot of different ways. I've seen it used to label people who have some questions and concerns about the safety and efficacy of some vaccines even though they get vaccines for themselves and their children.

            I'm assuming professionals don't use it that way, but it would be helpful to me to have a clearer understanding of how it can be used appropriately.

            •  I (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              defined it as used here and widely used elsehwere in the first graf after the jump.

              •  Thanks. I think that helps me understand a little (0+ / 0-)


                I think the way you have narrowly defined it is good. Thankfully there are very few people who believe vaccines don't work and/or that they are a lethal threat. By that definition, Jenny McCarthy would not be an anti-vaxxar but I can see how maybe that definition could fit Bialik since she doesn't vaccinate at all. Sounds like she believes the benefits of vaccines aren't that high for her family and the risks are unacceptably high, although I'm guessing she doesn't see most vaccines as a lethal threat, but maybe she does.

                I thought from her statement that maybe Bialik was a selective vaccinator but now I realize she doesn't vaccinate at all. That is really rare. There are only about 1% of kids in the U.S. who are wholly unvaccinated and many of those are probably unvaccinated for religious reasons.

          •  "Anti-vaxxer" is not used on the CDC web site. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wa ma
    •  I ridicule flat-earthers too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      T100R, Andrew Lazarus

      For exactly the same reasons.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:09:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      am not a steward of public health, at least not in any professional capacity. I am a science blogger on a progressive website. The term flat-earther is pejorative and connotes willful or simple ignorance because it implies a well documented, false belief. Same for 911-truther. As a science blogger my goal is educate readers about science and popular forms of pseudoscience.

      Imo this particular false belief is even more deserving of analysis and association with ignorance as it can and has led directly to needless suffering and death and has the potential to unleash some of the top killers of humankind.

      Lastly, to address other concerns voiced above and below although not by this poster I'm responding to, claiming martyr status or complaining about intolerance rings hollow, unless you have actually been threatened with a ban by someone who can do it. Intolerance does not mean disagreeing with someone, especially when using facts or reasonable inference from facts to back it up.

  •  I got vaccinated when my grandparents came... (9+ / 0-)

    ...for dinner.

    My father was a family doc and he'd line up the whole family and get it done. Very efficient.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:00:09 PM PDT

  •  Medicalization Literacy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raptavio, elfling, nchristine

    Make no mistake -- the comfy anti-science "it just feels wrong" crowd gets my goat and the truck it came in.  They may deserve compassion, but that style of thinking just reminds me why we're all going to hell in a handbasket, and a raised and quivering middle finger is my general response.

    BUT...but...they are not all stupid and evil.  Not even all the ones on teevee.  Medicine is applied technology, and it is applied in a context which requires expedient summation of the human person to a set of problems and appropriate plan of action.  We are never taught -- it is nowhere in our culture -- to educate ourselves and choose, never taught how to balance or understand risk.  People do not learn the difference between anecdote and sample and population, they do not learn to weigh or choose recommendations, they do not learn how to read research or do their own reading, and we have very little vocabulary, shared culture, for  discussing these things.  Nor do we do an especially good job of teaching people to handle ambiguity.  The shared space we do have to discuss medical risk is carved out of emotion and suspicion, and looks always toward certainty or generalized fear.

    When we get sick, we are medicalized, and our choices shrink down to the course of action given by our doctors.  We die medicalized, for the most part, locked into technology we don't choose and don't understand.  And so people push away from that, out of a desire for autonomy and agency -- but we've never given folks the tools to do that in a sane or balanced way.  So they pick stupid targets, like vaccination, or the chemo they need to have a chance, and suffer accordingly.  

    I think this is really a case of ignorance.  Not ignorance about vaccines per se, but ignorance of how to think about risk and probability, technology and individual agency.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:01:55 PM PDT

  •  This kind of post encourages skepticism. (8+ / 0-)

    About twenty years ago, my daughter had an instance of febrile seizures.  This incident was severe.  In the ER (literally the same cubicle where the old man dies over and over again in "Ground Hog Day"), the doctors were frantic as they tried to first get them under control with an IV of Valium, then with phenobarbitol.  The nurses were crying as they put her on a helicopter to a child critical care center, convinced that she was dying of encephalytis.

    This all took place a  couple of days after her scheduled D-P-T vax.

    The phenobarbitol did the trick and she survived.

    The neurologist suggested that we not include any further P vaccinations since she had this tendency.

    We did not, and today she is a fine, healthy young adult.

    It's more complicated than you suggest.  There are risks with every vaccination.  Everyone knows this.  The trade-off is that there are social benefits to vaccination.

    To cover up these trade-offs is to encourage irrational responses.

    Some people should not be vaccinated.

    •  I don't think (7+ / 0-)

      anyone has ever said that there aren't patients who legitimately should not receive vaccines.  Your daughter happens to be one of them.  But she needs everyone else around her to be the "immune herd" so that she doesn't get sick!  The herd immunity threshold for measles and pertussis is approximately 93%.  We're dipping below that number for no good reason, and we're starting to have outbreaks.

      "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

      by northbronx on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 02:50:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe that's my point. (5+ / 0-)

        The diary claimed that harm from vaccinations was CT.

        That's not true for everyone.

        If "science" wants to reclaim some credibility, then it might concentrate on developing ways to determine who's at risk from vaccinations rather than playing the "acceptable losses" game with the masses.

        •  And if it can't? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego, ebohlman

          If science cannot in fact predict who will be harmed by the vaccines... then what? Should we just stop giving vaccines?

          This is a classic example of the perfect being the enemy of the good.

          No one is dismissing your very real concerns and pain. But in an imperfect world, it is the best we can do. Given the choice between "acceptable losses" and "mass deaths," we have to choose acceptable losses. And we don't deserve your sneering for having done so. In sheer point of fact I find your indifference to the suffering of others severely encourages me to be indifferent to yours.

          Which would be wrong. So I will not give in to it. But you need to reconsider your pain in light of the pain that others were spared.

          •  Science might not be able to predict everyone (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            who is at high risk to be harmed by vaccines but it's very likely that it can do a better job than it currently does. This is an important goal to strive for even if we can't find a perfect solution because it could possibly mean that fewer people will be harmed by vaccines and confidence in vaccines will improve.

        •  It certainly is CT, though, to claim either that (0+ / 0-)

          vaccinations provide no benefit at all or that the harm they cause significantly outweighs the benefit. I know you're not asserting that, but there are people who, quite loudly, and they need to be opposed.

          Some posters here, for example, have incessantly asserted that herd immunity doesn't actually exist. That is a far-fringe position in the sense that the claim that climate change isn't taking place is a far-fringe claim or that the claim that cigarette smoking is harmless is a far-fringe claim.

          Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

          by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:26:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Incorrect: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Laconic Lib, Code Monkey
      It's more complicated than you suggest.  There are risks with every vaccination.  Everyone knows this.  The trade-off is that there are social benefits to vaccination.
      The trade-off is that the individual risks of not being vaccinated are far greater than the individual risks of being vaccinated.

      The social benefits are frosting.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:09:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not true for everyone. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        live1, wa ma, Grannyflats, RiveroftheWest

        Until the medical establishment devotes some time to assessing risks for individuals, then vaccination will be subject to skepticism.

        •  It's not true for everyone. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Code Monkey, Yahzi

          This is fact.

          But the chances of being one of the few people who have a life-threatening allergy to one or another ingredient in the vaccines or have an immune problem is two orders of magnitude less likely than the chances of contracting one of the diseases in question and having a life-threatening illness as a result. (The chances of receiving a vaccine and suffering a life-threatening complication from it are one in a million -- you're more likely to get into a serious accident on the drive from your home to the clinic to get the shot).

          So while it may be subject to skepticism, that skepticism is not grounded in logic.

          "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

          by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:48:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If it's your child, you're not anxious to play... (4+ / 0-)

            the lottery, even if the odds are in your favor.

            So is our great medical science unable to determine who's at risk ahead of time?

            Or would it just cost too much?  LOL.

            There's the rub, huh?

            And people complain about Stalin.

            "Take your medicine.  It's good for the Fatherland."

            •  So you're ok with risking the death of other kids? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              If it's your child, you're not anxious to play
              the lottery, even if the odds are in your favor.
              This is akin to saying that drone strikes are awesome because no one I know is going to die in Paksitan, but maybe there is a 1 in a million chance that the drone target (or a random bystander) is a terrorist who ends up hurting someone I know.

              We take certain calculated risks to be part of a civil society.

              I fail to see how "I'm looking after my family and everyone else can fend for themselves" is any different than the Republican philosophy.

              When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

              by PhillyJeff on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:34:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Do you have children? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                If so, how is this argument going to work with you?

                "How will this vaccination affect my child?"

                "She'll be fine, probably.  It's a bit of a crap shoot, but it's for the best societally speaking."

                I tell the doctor to find a better way of protecting society and let me know.

                •  you have to weigh the risks of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  denise b

                  being harmed by the vaccine against the risks of not getting the vaccine. Unless you know specifically that your child is at a higher risk from the vaccine, the risk of not getting the vaccine is higher, in most cases. Unfortunately, much of life is a crapshoot.

                  Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:51:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Did you read any of this subthread? (4+ / 0-)

                    You seem completely unaware of what has transpired in this discussion.

                    My child was at higher risk and suffered for it--almost died.

                    The point is that if you want people to trust vaccinations, there needs to be a focus on identifying those at risk.  That's especially true for the pertussis vaccination.

                    And a little game theory makes it quite clear that the risk is not higher when considered on an individual basis.  If there is some significant risk, as there is with pertussis, then each individual is better off opting out and depending on others to take the risk.  That's especially true for poor children for whom medical care options are restricted.

                    If this is really about the social good, then every child matters.  There is no "acceptable risk" that allows a significant number of children to die or become very ill.  Things might be different when vaccination was first discovered, but now, it's horrible that we still vaccinate everyone without any testing.

                    •  I did, and I have no disagreement with (0+ / 0-)

                      trying to identify those at the greatest risk. I'm not talking about your particular case when I say "you".

                      I'm not sure about the pertussis vaccine, since I don't know the statistics involved. But the more people who are vaccinated, that lowers each individual's risk as well. If more parents opt out, the risk of contracting the disease goes up. There's probably some optimum level, but I don't think we usually have enough information to play that game.

                      Everyone is at some finite risk of potentially becoming ill or dying, regardless of the actions they take. That may not be acceptable, but it is reality. So choices have to be made to minimize the risk, since it's impossible to eliminate.

                      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:20:16 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'll try again. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Currently, the risk of catching pertussis in this society are low.  They sure aren't nil now.  There's an outbreak in an affluent, white suburb in my area now.    But they're still low.

                        A hypothetical:

                        There is a significant risk of serious side effects from a pertussis vaccination.  The risk may be greater than the risk of getting pertussis given the current levels of vaccination in your community.  On top of that, if your child gets pertussis, the difficulty of curing it is no greater than overcoming the side effects of the vaccine.

                        It could be that your child is among those in the great majority who will have no ill effects from the vaccine.  It could be that your child in among the minority who will have serious side effects from the vaccine.

                        Remember that the child we're talking about is a tiny infant totally dependent on you for care.

                        Choose and explain.  

                        •  can you quantify (0+ / 0-)

                          "significant risk of serious side effects?" I'd have to know what is known about that, and what is known about the efficacy of the vaccine, before I were to make an informed choice. At some point, I would probably have to trust the agencies that have more expertise than I do.

                          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:39:27 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You're arguing facts. I gave you a hypothetical. (0+ / 0-)

                            To make a point.

                            Can you make a choice in the hypothetical I provided?

                          •  Not enough information. (0+ / 0-)

                            If that's all the information I had, I would ask my doctor.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:45:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Our doctor, a neurologist, said don't give it. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            And here's why:


                            It comes from a journal of some fly-by-night medical school in Baltimore.

                            As for government agencies, here's how the Supreme Court ruled, siding with the Obama Administration in an opinion written by that champion of justice, Antonin Scalia:


                            So, not only will they kill or maim your child with defective, for-profit vaccines but the feds will make sure you can't even sue them for their negligence or worse.

                          •  Not a fair response. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            You are responding to my response to your hypothetical with a discussion on the facts, while objecting to my response to your hypothetical with the same. You are being manipulative.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:04:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Those facts are painful, huh? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            protectspice, TakeSake

                            Big Pharma is another bunch of vicious Capitalists.  The FDA is their pet.

                            And someone wants to claim that people are anti-science because they are skeptical about vaccine safety?

                            My daughter was one of the victims of that crappy pertussis vaccine.  She spent a year stumbling around on phenobarbitol as a result, but the side effects otherwise were minimal.  We were very, very lucky.  I just remember her gasping for breath with a blank stare in her eyes for more than 30 minutes.  And I remember those nurses crying as we all put her on the helicopter.  And I remember having to drive like hell for 45 minutes not knowing if she'd be dead or alive when we arrived.

                            Before then, I had been naively trusting about vaccinations.  After that and some research, no more.

                          •  Your daughter was unfortunate. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'l just leave it at that.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:31:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ah (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Big Pharma is another bunch of vicious Capitalists.  The FDA is their pet.
                            I wish I had seen this earlier.

                            I retract anything nice I may have said.

                            Also, isn't CT a bannable offense? Could somebody take care of this?

                          •  Have you stopped to think of what would have (0+ / 0-)

                            happened to your daughter if she actually caught the disease she was being vaccinated for?

                            Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                            by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:43:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers (0+ / 0-)

                            for negligence are allowed. The only lawsuits precluded are ones for "design defects", i.e. claims that some hypothetical different formulation of the vaccine wouldn't have caused the injury that the actual vaccine did.

                            Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                            by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:42:09 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you were to change this (0+ / 0-)

                            "The risk may be greater than the risk of getting pertussis given the current levels of vaccination in your community"


                            "The risk is greater than the risk of getting pertussis given the current levels of vaccination in your community"

                            then I would not get the vaccine.

                            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:51:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  They're still low before millions of other parents (0+ / 0-)

                          took the same risk you took vaccinating their child, all so everyone can avoid the bigger risk of pertussis.

            •  You're playing the lottery (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Code Monkey, Yahzi

              no matter what you do with your kids, Ezekiel.

              But it's flat-out stupid to, knowing your chances of the bad are 1 in a million with vaccines and 1 or more in 100,000 without, to chose the riskier lottery.

              And actually yes, our great medical science can determine many of those at risk ahead of time. Not everyone, but many. But medicine, as you sarcastically imply, is imperfect and can't predict all possible outcomes. What's your point? Does that logically have anything to do with the price of tea in China, or the risk of an infant dying a horrible death from whooping cough that could have been prevented?

              "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

              by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:39:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What lunatic said, "Do no harm?" (0+ / 0-)

                I can't seem to remember.

                Seems like a fairly good principle, though, for a parent.  Or a doctor.

                •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Code Monkey

                  It is.

                  And if you have a known risk of serious malady or death, and an opportunity to reduce that risk between 90 and 99 percent, is choosing to take that opportunity, or choosing to not take that opportunity, in line with the principle of doing no harm?

                  This isn't advanced statistics, Ezekiel. The obvious answer is the correct one.

                  "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                  by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:58:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What you are saying is not true for each... (0+ / 0-)


                    The risk of getting pertussis was almost nil because of the level of vaccinations in the Boomer and Gen X generations.  But the risk of side effects, some of them very serious, from receiving the vaccination, were far from nil.

                    Since this posed a risk to the vaccination level, the decision was made at the public health level to dissemble and hide these facts.  Eventually, enough families had the very unfortunate experience of dealing with those side effects--sometimes losing a child--that it became a matter of public discussion.  The vaccination level dropped percipitously.

                    There were other ways to approach this problem.  Improve the vaccine.  Develop a way to identify those at risk and give that test to every child before vaccination.  There are probably others.

                    Instead, the government made the choice that there were acceptable risks and to accept those rather than pursue other alternatives.

                    When a government acts like that, then people are entitled to make choices on their own because no parent considers their child to be an "acceptable risk."

                    •  You're cycling back (0+ / 0-)

                      to an earlier argument, and coupling that with a bare assertion that the facts do not bear out.

                      There have been so few cases of severe illness other than allergic reactiong to the DTaP vaccine that it can't even be demonstrated that there's a causation to the correlation. Ever. Your entire story about "losing a child" and public health "dissembling" is completely unsupported and in fact is contradicted by the available facts. A claim like that needs to be supported by evidence, Ezekiel.

                      And even if every word is true, none of that is a reason to voluntarily subject your children to a level of risk far greater than that from the vaccines themselves. It is entirely illogical.

                      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                      by raptavio on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:27:09 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  This claim (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Since this posed a risk to the vaccination level, the decision was made at the public health level to dissemble and hide these facts.
                      is over the line into CT territory. Federal law has long required every parent of a child to whom a vaccine will be administered, and every adult to whom a vaccine will be adminstered, be presented with a Vaccine Information Statement which, among other things, details all the risks with that vaccine that have been identified and all the adverse effects that have been reported whether or not any connection has actually been established

                      The fact that you, or some other parent, wasn't aware of those risks does not mean that someone tried to "hide" them. It is a hallmark of conspiracy theorists that they see gaps in their own knowledge as a result of "suppression" rather than their own failure to seek out, or in many cases just pay attention to, widely available information that would fill in those gaps.

                      Once again, if you or anyone else believe that "the medical establishment" or "big pharma" are claiming, or have ever claimed, that vaccines are totally free of risk, it's your perception that's faulty. Nobody, to the best of my knowledge, has ever claimed that, and if anyone who was in a position to benefit financially from such a claim were to make it there are laws in place to punish them.

                      Ann Coulter used to claim that the views she expressed in her best-selling books, national TV appearances, and five-figures-a-pop lectures were being "censored". Your claims regarding vaccines are about as credible.

                      Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

                      by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:04:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Lottery for the vaccine, but not the illness? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Yahzi, ebohlman

              You're looking only at the risks from the vaccine and ignoring the risks from contracting the illness.  That's not a valid comparison.  You have to look at both risks and benefits from both choices.

              And yes, if it were my child, I'd damned well not want to play the lottery with the risk of their getting measles.  If they were allergic to the measles vaccine, that would be one thing, but otherwise?  No thank you.  And yes, not nearly as many people get measles now as they used to -- but that's only because people are vaccinated.

    •  I (8+ / 0-)

      agree and in fact I am one of those people who is not supposed to be vaccinated without checking with my doc. As a kid I had the usual vax panels, but as an adult I'm on an auto-immune drug called Humira, which is probably not as big of a deal as someone who is undergoing chemo or HIV positive. But in retrospect I probably should have included something in the post about how people like me and your daughter depend on herd immunity and why it is therefore dangerous for us and millions of other people lke her when those without such contraindications choose to go without vaccines. Word count and info overload vs comprehensive and multi-faceted is always a balancing act.

      •  Fair enough. (4+ / 0-)

        And I do maintain that a medical industry whose attitude is that there are "acceptable losses" from vaccination rather than concentrating on identifying those at risk contributes to the public's skepticism.

        Let's face it.  Part of the issue is trogdolyte rejection of science.  But another very important part is skepticism borne of the reality that a lot of the medical and drug industries are about profit rather than safety.  We are constantly sold a lot of bullshit from "scientists" who tell us that fracking, GMOs and factory farming are all safe.  Pardon us if we don't believe something just because it's labeled as "science."

        •  There's the rub (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wa ma

          "Agency Capture"

          And they've all been captured, believe me. The 'facts' all come from the very agency that should be under independent regulation eg NIH, CDC etc. They are regulating THEMSELVES. Same as it ever was.

          But no this is different, this is vaccines, PBUH. No heresy allowed. Take your thousands upon thousands of anecdotes and stuff them. That's the message.

          What kills me is the number of people w no skin in the game and no direct knowledge of adverse reactions that are so willing to argue with their copypasta industry talking points. Again same as it ever was. Now with Internets!

          I'm sure there would be a crew of people talking up thalidomide on Daily Kos if this were the early '60s.

          And what could we do. Banned for CT!

          •  Implying that the CDC is a servant of Big Pharma (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ebohlman, Oh Mary Oh

            is in fact CT.

            One of the hallmarks of CT is the inability to distinguish incompetence from malice. That some people suffer adverse reactions to vaccines is because medicine is not perfect. It is not proof that the CDC is ignoring those risks. The fact that the CDC recommends vaccines despite knowing those risks only proves they can do math. A fact you concede when you acknowledge that the anti-vaxxers have only anecdotes.

            The plural of anecdote is not data. For a reason.

          •  How do you explain how regulators, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Oh Mary Oh, AaronInSanDiego

            medical authorities, and researchers all over the world have all come up with pretty much the same conclusions about vaccine safety? You can argue all you want about "agency capture" in the US, but how does that apply to other countries where regulators are far more independent of corporate interests?

            And how do you explain how the pharmaceutical industry can "buy" the scientific consensus on vaccines when the energy and automobile industries, with far more financial interests at stake and far more money to spend,  haven't been able to "buy" the scientific consensus on climate change?

            Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

            by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:14:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Whole cell (4+ / 0-)

      The previous pertussis vaccine actually was a whole cell vaccine, which is the most primitive type of vaccine and more likely to cause reactions. They've changed it since then, and the new vaccine is less likely to cause that sort of reaction. That's why kids now get DTaP and not DTP.  

      •  And it's also worthless (0+ / 0-)

        as evidenced by the fully vaccinated population which is always the victim of the latest pertussis outbreak. No really, the pertussis outbreaks of the past few years have been in vaxxed people.

        My own anecdote; my best friend's twin toddlers who had been vaxxed only months before came down with it(and spread it to all of their unvaxxed caregivers). Rubbish, is the word for it.

        •  what I read is that it is very effective against (0+ / 0-)

          the common strain that has existed for a long time, but that there are newer strains that the vaccine is less effective against. This seems similar to what happens more regularly with the flu viruses. Also, as has been said, the immunity doesn't last as long as previously thought, but that doesn't mean it's ineffective.

          Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:41:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The point is it's ineffective at halting the sprea (0+ / 0-)

            d unless, PERHAPS, every adult gets the shot at least once a year.

            Like I said, I caught it from a toddler who had been vaxxed earlier that year.

            This is what's happening...anecdotes are worthless until... there are too many to ignore. I think at least part of the pushback we see with the 'anti-vax' movement can be explained this way. There are so many people telling the same story. Science has yet to catch up. Really, when in history has the scientific infrastructure protected us from an immediate threat? It takes years of research, based on and precipitated by anecdotes, as painful as that may be to 'rationality'.

        •  "less effective" and "worthless" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Oh Mary Oh, AaronInSanDiego

          are two different concepts. Yes, the evidence is pointing to the acellular vaccine wearing off more quickly than the whole-cell vaccine. It's also suggesting that the whole-cell vaccine wasn't as connected to febrile seizures than had been originally thought.

          But there's nothing in life that's 100%. Black-and-white thinking is a logical fallacy stemming from a cognitive distortion, not a virtue.

          Conservatives frequently argue that since anti-poverty programs haven't completely eliminated poverty in the US, they don't work and therefore should be abandoned. That's the exact same form of argument that you seem to be making.

          Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

          by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:22:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  And thank you, Henrietta Lacks (8+ / 0-)

    Anyone who has not already read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot really should do so.

    In 1951, Henrietta Lacks died of cancer in Johns Hopkins hospital, in the wing set aside for African-American patients. Without her knowledge or consent, the pathologist who tested her cells in the treatment of her illness also tested them to see if they could survive in a petri dish, and thus be usable for scientific research. They could--the first batch of cells that were successful.

    Jonas Salk was one of the first researchers to use Henrietta Lacks' immortal cells. He was able to finish his work more quickly, because in those days he would normally had needed a long testing period using rhesus monkeys before the vaccine could be released.

    Anyone who has used any kind of modern medicine--vaccines, medication--owes a debt of gratitude to her, starting with all those who survived the polio epidemic, and who might otherwise have had polio.

    This is a great book, a compelling read, that looks at the role that this woman's remarkable cells played in medical research, but also at ethical issues. The most interesting part, in my opinion, was the biography of Henrietta Lacks herself.

    Buy the book, if you can: Rebecca Skloot has set aside part of the proceeds for a scholarship fund for the descendants of Henrietta Lacks. Although her cells have been sold for millions of dollars over the years, the family received nothing.

    •  That truly was a wonderful book. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peregrine kate

      Ever since paradise50 was treated for HPV+ throat cancer two years ago we have been talking to everyone we know about getting their kids the HPV vaccine. It isn't often you can prevent cancer with a shot.

      HPV caused throat cancer is highly treatable, but the treatment is brutal. He needed a feeding tube for months, lost 35 pounds (and was trim and fit to begin with) and had other difficult side effects of treatment he's still coping with. BUT the cancer was eradicated.

      Not long ago I spent over an hour on the phone with a woman whose husband had just been diagnosed. He was a lab technician and she a nurse's aide. She fully understood the role of the HPV virus in her husband's cancer. It is also responsible for cervical, anal, and penile cancers. Her husband was just hitting the really rough part of treatment, which is excruciating beyond description. You really wouldn't wish this on your worst enemy.

      But at the point in the conversation where I said, just as an aside, "and this is why I so support the HPV vaccines," she completely lost it and started yelling at me that she would NEVER have her teenaged girls vaccinated, never, and didn't I know how many people had DIED as a result of that vaccine? All the goodwill and shared experience I had built up with her over an hour had vanished.

      It was a truly unsettling experience.

      Rick Perry doesn't think there should be a minimum wage
      and Ted Nugent doesn't think there should be a minimum age. Merica
      ---> @LOLGOP

      by smileycreek on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:54:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That was a pretty weak article from her (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde, raptavio, mapamp

    So she's not "biting?"

    Then why is she writing?

  •  We are hypocrites (8+ / 0-)

    we whine about the junk science from the right when they deny evolution and climate change. But we tolerate anti-vaxxers here.

    •  I (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mapamp, RiveroftheWest

      understand your frustration. Keep in mind there are people on the left who believe in creationism. I wouldn't vote to throw them out simply because they're wrong. I'd argue with them, I'd oppose them if they wanted to teach it in science class as a fact. But if they're going to vote anyway, I want people voting who vote with me 95% of the time over those who vote against me almost all of the time.

    •  tolerate? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maregug, DarkSyde, clifmichael

      i have been ridiculed here here because i questioned the many, many, vaccines.
      that isnt toleration. since when does the scientific community not question things?

      my problem with the right wingers is they never see the big picture and never question.
      id get less heat at red state talking up obama

      •  If (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        you would like to talk to me about writing a diary of your own expressing concerns or initiating a productive discussion, I've made just about every mistake a person can make here writing diaries on a bunch of stuff and I'm happy to help you avoid making the same errors. You can email me at darksydothemoon using the AOL domain.

        One of the issues with people here and elsewhere who object to vaccines is they don't always clearly convey what their objections are or why they have them. For example, if someone wrote they understand there are individual and collective benefits from vaccines, but also a small but non zero risk associated with them statistically, my guess is most people would not only be open to discussion, they would agree.

        I can understand why a parent might desire foregoing vaccination for their kid, even if there is no indication of higher risk for their kid, if they can reap the benefits from herd immunity. But I can also understand why other parents would see that as riding their kids' coat tails, and if everyone did that we'd be back to square one.

        I can understand why someone would be concerned with the safety or lack thereof. For example there have been bad batches before and there probably will be again. Etc.

      •  So you must think climate change is a myth right? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sir Roderick
        that isnt toleration. since when does the scientific community not question things?
        I read an online blog saying the world is 6000 years old and climate change is a myth.

        Since when does the scientific community not question things?

        Maybe we should "teach the controversy" in public schools or teach creationism straight out just in case we're wrong.

        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

        by PhillyJeff on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:36:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've got some reading suggestions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sir Roderick

        If you're open to it. Your concern has been addressed by science. They did question it.

      •  Because going to Red State and talking up O (0+ / 0-)

        wouldn't kill babies.

        So ya, you would get less heat there, and rightly so.

  •  I came accross this organization awhile ago.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maregug, clifmichael, wa ma

    the Bandim Health Project, and organization that has been researching vaccinations in a very poor west African country for 30 years.  They have found many interesting things, including perhaps there should be different vaccinations or scheduling based upon the sex, also the unexpected affects, both good and not so good.  

    It is utterly fascinating and what it tells me is that vaccinations have and can be life saving, but that it isn't as cut and dried as many people would like to believe.  

    One of their papers on vaccination timing and giving with other vaccinations etc..
    the overall site with a ton of research etc.. is
    •  “Not as cut and dried” (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The people in this debate that talk in absolutes tend to be on the anti-vax side (except in ultimate matters of policy). What we're arguing for is a net benefit; implicit there is that vaccination carries risks.

      And it's not like we need to go to Africa to see whether vaccination has been a good thing for society. What exactly did they find? If there's an economic angle, that could be interesting and worthwhile. But any general conclusion about vaccines that runs counter to the experience of the developed world indicates something economic, not biological, in origin. (Or possibly geographical, I suppose.)

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:23:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From a 2010 Medscape article (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wa ma, Code Monkey

        titled:  Neonatal Vitamin A Supplementation May Negatively Affect Response to Pediatric Vaccination:

        Separate randomized controlled neonatal trials, conducted in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, of normal- and low-birth-weight infants found "there was no overall effect of vitamin A" supplementation and early childhood vaccination in terms of mortality, she said.

        "But when we stratified the data by sex, vitamin A was associated with a slightly nonsignificant beneficial effect in boys, and the opposite in girls, compared with placebo." Combined mortality rate ratio for boys was 0.80 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.58 - 1.10), and for girls was 1.41 (95% CI, 1.04 - 1.90).

        Dr. Benn said that "the excess female mortality after vitamin A was particularly pronounced when DTP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis) vaccine was the most recent vaccine."

        Six previous studies had reached conflicting conclusions about whether or not vitamin A supplementation was beneficial.

        The 3 that found it beneficial exhibited initially high infant mortality rates and had lower rates of early vaccination. Infant mortality dropped after the first few months.

        The trials that found no benefit with vitamin A supplementation exhibited high infant mortality throughout the first year of life, and had higher rates of infant vaccination during this period.

        "Our interpretation of the data is that vitamin A may be beneficial during the first month of life, but the effect may shift when the children receive DTP," Dr. Benn said.

        Throwing vaccination for measles into the mix produced even more complex vitamin A and mortality outcomes. If girls received DTP at 3 to 4 months as their last vaccination, they had higher mortality than boys, until vaccination for measles at 8 to 9 months, which seemed to rescue them but did not correct for the earlier surplus mortality.

        Dr. Benn explained that "from 4 to 36 months, girls receiving measles vaccination was associated with 2.5 times higher mortality than placebo." She speculated that "the multitude of vaccines and vitamin A overloaded the immune system in some way."

        "The data suggest that we may optimize the use of vitamin A supplementation if we take the sex differential, immunomodulatory effect, and interactions with vaccines into account."

        Of course this is in a poor, third world country so one cannot simply take these results and attach them to other countries, but the issues stated are biological in nature.  Vaccinations have proven to be beneficial certainly, and a more recent Bandim study shows how measle vaccinations have had an additional unpredicted benefit that they haven't figured out yet, but if you read the extensive research provided in my other post, you will see that timing, and how vaccinations are bundled do have different effects on the immune system, and we shouldn't get complacent about just pouring on the vaccinations without all the proper research-that's where I stand.
  •  i never much like Amy Bialik (0+ / 0-)

    always thought there was something off with her.  Now I know what it is ;-)

  •  I'm afraid that this "controversy" will be (0+ / 0-)

    with us always, even unto the end of the world. There have been some rather discouraging studies recently that indicate that no matter what kind of presentation is used, challenging the beliefs of anti-vaxxers simply causes them to dig in.

    •  Probably (0+ / 0-)

      true. In this case I have encountered folks who are impervious to evidence. They'll advance a link or two, have it addressed and debunked, and be right back saying the same things as if they were never addressed or debunked. When you asked them what kind of evidence would be good enough, they'll either avoid answering or pretend any legit evidence would be fine, then go on attacking the science as tainted, claim those who address their concerns are close minded, etc. Similar to creationists or climate change skeptics. But at least there's not a huge amount of industry money fueling it and we are much better than the right about not humoring them or passing ledge to butter them up.

    •  Which is why mockery and ridicule is called for (0+ / 0-)

      Facts certainly won't change anyone's mind at this point.

      But if they have made an emotional decision, then perhaps an emotional argument is necessary.

      I could be wrong. On the other hand, does it matter? Nothing's working now; screaming at them can't do any worse.

    •  Researchers in the 1950s found that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the most effective campaigns to reduce anti-semitism were those that simply portrayed it as un-American.

      Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

      by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:39:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not all vaccines are the polio vaccine. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, clifmichael

    For instance the Flu vaccine is very discrediting. The system pushes the flu vaccine on precisely the people it doesnt work for. THis then raises the question of whether the side effects are worse than the benefit.

    Wikipedia says that metanalyses indicate that the flu vaccine is
    (1) ineffective for children (
    (2) inconclusive for the elderly (
    (3) unclear in adults since no real meta-analysis data cited, only a redirect to the CDC study that indicates IF there is match in strain THEN there is 75% immunity.

  •  Somewhat vapid, I know, but Jim Parsons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is a personal friend of mine.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:33:01 PM PDT

  •  It saddens me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew Lazarus

    to realize how many "progressives" on dKos are scientifically illiterate conspiracy theorists.  

    The stoopid it burns.

  •  Will one of you with solid knowledge please bear (0+ / 0-)

    with me in this long post?

    My great-niece nearly died from Whooping Cough when she was 2 months old...too young for the vaccine.  

    This was about five years ago in a southern Indiana town of 18,000.  She spent several days in the local hospital only getting worse from her "mysterious" illness.  A physician from out of town was visiting a friend in the hospital...he just happened to hear a sound he recognized and ran toward it, yelling out "Where in the hell is that coming from? !!!"  This Dr. immediately recognized the sound of Whooping Cough and things then moved at lightning speed. Lilly was rushed by ambulance to a larger hospital an hour away...three times during the trip, medics thought they were going to lose her.  Lilly spent two weeks in intensive care and two weeks more in hospital.

    Thing was, no one at the local hospital...doctors, nurses, patients, parents... had ever heard the sound of Whooping Cough.  How it's diagnosed/tested I've no idea (I'm sure some of you here do know) but the disease advanced undiagnosed (apparently it's a very distinctive sound) in the local hospital.  Her 4 older siblings had been vaccinated as infants, but they and both parents contracted it from Lilly.  Their cases were disruptive but not serious. This attests to the fact that pertussis vaccine is/can be non-permanent protection.

    It has never been determined where Lilly caught it.  No known cases had been identified in a wide ranging area (she was seldom out and about in public at that age) and no cases were reported afterward.  Miraculously, no one contracted it from her outside of her immediate family.  No infants or children at the local hospital.  However, the hospital and their doctors acknowledged they had made a nearly lethal error and waived all costs.  Likely they were in fear of a huge lawsuit and terrible publicity, but they did what was ethical regardless of the motives.

    She has a raspy squeaky little voice which is actually very endearing, but I'm sure it's the result of her illness and treatment (tubes, etc).

    Now to measles.

    My niece and her husband are very committed Presbyterian Christians.  They are both well educated and not at all repressive.  While I don't share their religious beliefs, I accept them as they are (I was reared a Presbyterian but fell away from organized religion in my early twenties which was understood and accepted by my parents - no problem).  They are a delightful, loving, creative, generous family with 6 extremely bright children ages 1  to 14 years old...full of energy and curiosity and a wonderful sense of humor.  

    I avoid any discussion of my religious views with them (which can set me off into loud and obnoxious rants) and they don't question me even though they are aware I'm not one of them.  What really bothers me is they will not have their children vaccinated against measles...that one single vaccine...because its manufacture - the only one available in the US - uses embryonic stem cells. They told me there is a vaccine that doesn't involve embryonic stem cells, but it is manufactured in France and the US does not allow its importation.

    Can someone here, who has actual scientific knowledge regarding the measles vaccine, please speak to this?  Is what they understand to be true accurate?

    "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

    by 417els on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:29:13 PM PDT

    •  Its actually rubella (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, 417els, ebohlman

      The virus used for measles and mumps is propagated in chickens, while the virus for rubella is propagated in embryonic fibroblasts.  

      These aren't actually stem cells, but were originally derived from an aborted fetus.  

      •  Thanks. I meant rubella. (0+ / 0-)

        Another question:  Are all embryonic fibroblasts derived from aborted fetuses? No umbilical cord source, no miscarriages...exclusively intentionally aborted fetuses?

        As I recall, in the Bush era wasn't fetal stem cell research allowed to continue, but ONLY using those stem cell lines already in use?  No more acquisition of new ones?

        Do you know anything about the rubella vaccine manufactured in France?  Or why its importation is banned in the US?

        "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

        by 417els on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 04:55:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A single fetus that was aborted in (3+ / 0-)

        the late 1960s.

        BTW, in medicine "abortion" can refer to either the termination of a pregnancy and the removal of the fetus/embryo, or to the removal of a fetus/embryo that died in utero. I've seen some suggestions that in this case it was the latter; the fetus was unsaveable.

        Note that the Roman Catholic Church does not object to rubella vaccination on these grounds, officially stating the fetal deaths that would result from not vaccinating are a greater evil.

        Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

        by ebohlman on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 07:48:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry Blossom, no benefit of the doubt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If she's a PhD, with a very public profile, and isn't vaccinating her kid, that's doubly responsible.  I read that quote to imply that she isn't.  Moreover, she has an obligation to stand up and tell other parents to vaccinate their kids.  

    That degree is not a license to practice ignorance.  It's a responsibility to do the opposite.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:51:47 PM PDT

  •  Vaccines (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Andrew Lazarus

    Mmmm interesting Daily Kos.   So big multinational corps can say "aw you dummies the food is safe, oil is an economical energy source, these cigarettes won't hurt you, this hip replacement joint is safe, our planes never crash, monopoly is a more cost effective way to deliver media, we won't misuse your data, your money is safe with us"  and we scream QUESTION EVERYTHING these corps have no sense of responsibility.  But when they deliver mandated medical care, fund all the studies, write all the laws and provide all the product, Daily Kos says "only science deniers and fringe nutcases can believe that vaccines can do serious harm! ".   Do you really think you can have it both ways?    Follow Patti Finn on Facebook  she's a lawyer fighting for a vast public source of info on the damage vaccines can do, so that it's out in the open and transparent.  But I guess accountability for big pharma is tantamount to being a science denier.   Whose the fool now!   Demand transparency! Demand the data!  Demand the truth.    Well I guess not in this case.

    •  We have the data (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      It was, in fact, presented up-thread. Go look at the chart of polio cases again.

      We have transparency. Wakefield was revealed as a fraud. We have the truth. Vaccines are a small risk for a great reward.

      At this point we're pretty sure that no amount of data will change an anti-vaxxer's mind, since they'll just assert that any data which contradicts their views is tainted data put out by the authorities to cover their tracks.

      So why don't you tell us what data we can give you that will convince you that you're wrong? Can you even describe what this data would look like?

    •  But (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman, RiveroftheWest, Oh Mary Oh

      we are not saying all food is safe or that cigarettes are safe, etc. We are saying vaccines are safe and effective for the vast majority of people, and those who can't take must depend on the rest of us being vaccinated. We're saying there's no link found yet between autism and vaccines. We're saying all this because that's what decades of data show.

  •  wow, looks like all the kookers are out tonight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moviemeister76, ebohlman

    Maybe Kos will have to write another front-page diary about how your paranoia is crazy, too.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:54:00 PM PDT

  •  Aluminum (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The FDA requires that aluminum content in feeding solutions (TPN) to contain less than 25 micrograms of aluminum per liter for an adult. A larger amount could create a toxic exposure.

    For prem babies, the level is less than 10 micrograms in which research has indicated that toxic levels of aluminum may occur in areas of the child's body, such as bones and the brain.

    Now, a single HEP B vaccine will contain over 250 micrograms. And, we are giving that to a newborn who does not weigh anywhere close to a full grown adult. Nor are the kidney functions anywhere close to handle that much aluminum all at once.

    It also does not help that aluminum toxicity is extremely difficult to detect.

    Plus, that is only the beginning, most of the vaccines contain at least 250 micrograms of aluminum.

    Let's say we inject an infant with Pentacel (Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, HiB, Polio) along with their scheduled Pc and Hep B shots. Anyone want to guess how much aluminum we just put into their system in only a few minutes?

    1,875 micrograms.

    Why is the FDA warning us not to place 25 micrograms into a fully grown adult per IV drip, but we seem to have no concern of 1,875 micrograms into a small infant?

    •  I was just reading something that (0+ / 0-)

      I hadn't realized before, that none of these vaccinations are injected directly into the bloodstream, but are intramuscular or subcutaneous, for example. A small amount might get directly into the blood, but not most of it.

      Also you are talking about regular, continuous, repeated exposures directly into the bloodstream.. Over time this represents more aluminum exposure than vaccine injections.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 11:51:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correct, it is not injected into the bloodstream (0+ / 0-)

        Plus, the argument over aluminum is that we can take an antacid which contains a lot of aluminum. However, aluminum is not absorbed into the body by eating or drinking, so there is likely no harm or aluminum residing in your system.

        Finding studies on how much aluminum can be safely handled in our bodies (and infants) is extremely limited. We do know that aluminum will accumulate in bones, the brain, and urine (through the kidneys).

        It is also stated that aluminum bypasses the GI tract, so when you get a shot how long does it take for a small child's system to be processed out through the kidneys, and where is it accumulating?

        Most of the studies are related to IV solutions, but it is an area of concern based on the fact that babies with only a few micrograms of aluminum in their IV solutions had impaired neurologic and mental development issues. If 10 micrograms were producing problems in an IV solution, then what would be the effect of 1600 micrograms in a single shot?

        It is a question worth asking and getting measured comparable data.

  •  I can't sleep (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and started reading this diary and its comments (and then sleep became even more impossible). Very interesting, though.  I chose not to vaccinate my daughter, who is now 18. The main reason was the one mentioned by the person whose daughter became ill from a pertussis vaccine.  There was no way to know whether my daughter was going to become ill from the vaccines, and we come from a very allergic family.  She and I are talking about getting her vaccinated for tetanus now, because she does a lot of hiking.

    I believe that vaccines do work, and I agree that they have been a boon to society overall.  And I don't want to return to the days when children were crippled with polio.

    Does anyone know if there is testing of any kind to determine an individual's sensitivity to a vaccine? (If I missed a post with that information, forgive me, and please re-post a link or two.)  As someone pointed out, that would go a long way to make vaccines more acceptable to people with doubts.

    I also agree with others here that telling people like me that we're "kookers," or whatever, is counterproductive.  People want to make the best decisions for their kids that they can, and there's a lot that's been written about the issue, and a lot of scary anecdotes (as another poster pointed out), such as the mother I know who is convinced that vaccines caused her son's autism.  

    I'm not crazy, I'm skeptical.  Comparing me to a climate-denier who listens to Fox News instead of facts is just not accurate.  I want facts, and this is not a simple issue.  I also think there's nothing wrong with being skeptical of pharmaceutical companies and their profit motive, etc., as well as wanting to distinguish between necessary vaccines and those that might not be necessary or indicated for particular individuals or families.

    Any helpful feedback would be appreciated.

    •  perhaps these are questions for your doctor . .? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebohlman, RiveroftheWest

      Is there some reason you didn't ask them then?

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:29:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're not being skeptical (0+ / 0-)

      You have swallowed a lot of "information" without applying skeptical filters to it.

      For example, here are some facts you should have considered while absorbing all of that "information."

      Vaccines are about 2.5% of the pharmaceutical industry, and traditionally their profit margin has been low. Big Pharma would much rather make Viagra than vaccines.

      The plural of anecdote is not data. That you know one person who had a bad reaction to the vaccine ignores the fact that a thousand other people were in and out of that same doctor's office getting that same vaccine and none of them had a bad reaction.

      The best decision you can make for your kid is to take your doctor's advice. You wouldn't second-guess your heart surgeon (or probably even your car mechanic) but your pediatrician is fair game?

      Yes it would be nice if we could test for who would and wouldn't have bad reactions, but medicine is not a perfect science, and anytime you find yourself assuming that medical professionals are overlooking a simple solution you need to stop and reconsider your assumptions.

      If you re-filter everything you think you know about vaccines through an actual skeptical filter, you will find yourself solidly on one side of this debate.

      •  good answer! eom (0+ / 0-)

        Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

        by Mark B on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 10:06:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I do question my mechanic and doctor sometimes. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wa ma, RiveroftheWest

        It's called getting a second opinion.  I think I understand where you're coming from, though, and thanks for your reply.  You're saying that this is just, plain obvious and questioning it is absurd.  I guess I didn't make it clear that I'm skeptical of claims from the anti-vaccine side as well, which is why I'm thinking about this in the first place.

        For example,  I can entertain the idea that pharma might not be trying to push vaccines to make more money.  That's not my main concern about vaccines, but as a general rule I don't really trust big corporations and the push for profit.  That's in line with general progressive skepticism about corporations, I think you'll agree - there have been endless shenanigans perpetrated by corporations for the sake of profit, as I'm sure I don't have to tell you.  But, as I said, that's not my main concern.

        The issue for me is safety, and the fact that what could go wrong, could go very wrong, very fast.  I appreciate the doctor earlier up in the thread pointing out that there have been factual problems with vaccines.  How about we agree that there's room for improvement?  

        Seems that the vaccine discussion, somewhere along the line, got so intensely polarized that the "pro" side is unwilling to admit that human beings created vaccines, not some kind of God of medicine.  But as you say, medicine is not perfect, so I hope that the humans who create and research vaccines are willing to hear these concerns from parents and use them to advance the science.

        •  I'm guessing that I'm probably talking to myself (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          right now, but I had a further thought.

          This whole thing reminds me of the difficulty a lot of people in medicine seem to have with accepting that what they know isn't written in stone.

          Years ago I had one of those pesky illnesses that doctors have no cure and no explanation for: chronic fatigue syndrome.  When I had it, most doctors still diagnosed it as go-to-a-psychiatrist-because-you're-nuts.  Now, thankfully, after intense lobbying and consciousness-raising by CFS sufferers, it is accepted as a "real" disease, which I suppose makes it similar to others that can't be cured or explained, like many degenerative diseases, etc.

          I couldn't convince some people that it was "real," though, no matter how much I knew I wasn't just imagining this thing.  Empathy was way lacking.  Any alternative practices were denigrated as snake oil.  I'm happy to report that I got better with time (about four years) and rest, and slowly and incrementally increasing my activity level until I was almost 100% back to normal.

          I say "almost" because a few years ago I got sick again, this time from another illness that got bad reviews from doctors (just my luck).  I developed a severe case of multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome after being exposed to toxic mold for over a year in my apartment (it took that long to find out what was making me so sick).

          No one in the medical profession had anything to say to me about what I was experiencing.  The best I could do was go to a doctor who understood the problem, but was a problem for me in another way (he felt a little snake-oilish to me but at least he understood me, and I didn't go to him for very long).  I finally found a naturopath who helped me for a while, but didn't cure me.

          What finally cured me was research in neuroplasiticity.  (I predict that this will be one of the next big areas in medicine - maybe it already is.)  Brain research, I mean.  There are a few medical people who used this research to devise a treatment for CFS and multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome - turns out they're related - based on the theory that the cause of these illnesses is a mix-up in brain wiring.  If your central nervous system isn't working right, then nothing works right.

          I did the recommended treatment and I'm so much better now that I can live an essentially normal life.  If I had relied on current standard medical science, I'd be living in a bubble still, respirator mask at the ready, and no chance at a full life.

        •  For what it's worth, my 2c on how to think about (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego, RiveroftheWest

          1) As noted above, Pharma makes little if any actual profit on vaccines. Far better to question taking a drug for your cholesterol count, than to question getting vaccinated.
          2) Every time a Doctor is dismissive or comes across as superior to me, I take offense, and this colors my response to their medical advice. It can really help to find a physician who is really sympathetic and will listen and talk like a person, not a god.

          PS. I consider myself lucky the Salk vaccine came along when it did. A cousin who was just a few years older caught polio just before it came out. He largely recovered his leg strength, but it did him no good, that's for sure.

          That's my 2c!

  •  Hepatitis (B) a Responsible Health Care Consumer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wa ma, RiveroftheWest

    Bottom line is just because the FDA approves it (and by "It" I mean anything) and just because a medical society recommends it or an insurance plan pays for it, that does not relieve you of your responsibility as a health care consumer. Case in point, Hep B vaccines for newborns.

    Now, a word of introduction. For some reason this topic bothers a lot of people. Not sure why. What I am suggesting is very sensible. Women who have had prenatal care, who know that they are immune to Hep B from their own childhood series of vaccines, should probably delay getting their babies vaccinated until about 2 months.  They can probably safely wait even longer. Other vaccines are more important in the newborn period.

    Hep B for all newborns was an idea developed an in inner city hospital back in the days when there was a high level of chronic Hep B in drug users. The inner cities delivered a lot of babies from IV drug users who did not have prenatal care. The inner city hospitals discovered that it was easier and more effective to immunize all newborns as if their mother's were infected with Hep B than it was to test the mothers and then give the immunization (which is also used to prevent infection) to those babies born to infected to women.

    Based upon these findings, the FDA and the nation's physicians decided to recommend that ALL women vaccinate their newborns and then re-vaccinate their babies at one month against Hep B. This was unprecedented. Almost every other vaccine is given after two months. In the first weeks of life, the baby's brain is still growing and changing at a rapid rate. The newborn's immune system is also underdeveloped--meaning that a vaccine given then may not have the same effect as a vaccine giving later. As proof, study the effects of infections on newborns. Their signs of illness are very different from that of a 2 or 3 month old baby, meaning that their immune systems are different.

    When this recommendation about newborn Hep B vaccines came out, I told my patients "Wait. If you know that you are not infected with Hep B, wait." When I had my own son and I knew that I was immune  to Hep B from vaccine, I waited, too. Why did I wait? Three reasons. One, Hep B is blood and body fluid carried, meaning that your infant is most likely to encounter it as as std decades later-- if you know that you are immune and therefore have not passed it to the baby. Two, the immunity from vaccines wanes with time, meaning if you vaccinate your baby, you will end up having to vaccinate him again when he is a teenager (this has come to pass, just as I predicted). Three we are taught as doctors to limit everything we do to newborns---medications, exposure to foods, exposure tp illnesses--because that developing brain is a tricky thing. The idea of giving a vaccine that in most cases was unnecessary to all babies made warning bells go off. Had there been long term studies (like  decades) of the effects?  Were we--my patients, my baby--the long term study?

    There is only one reputable study that has shown any association between a vaccine and autism. It is between male infants and Hep B vaccine. I don't think there is anything wrong with Hep B vaccine---but I think the timing of the first two doses is worrisome. And, now that most of our reproductive age women are Hep B immune from their own vaccines, I think that the timing of this one should be changed. I would not get rid of the vaccine. I would delay it until a minimum of two months, and give parents the ability to delay it even later---say give it along with the HPV vaccine on the eve of puberty. That way you will not risk immunity waning when kids need it the most.

    This seems like a sensible suggestion, however, I am always amazed at the angry response which I get. Usually it is something along the lines of "You shouldn't talk about such things. You only add fuel to the fire and make parents afraid to get the necessary vaccines." That is not my intention. In my experience as a family physician, informed patients are more likely to make appropriate health choices.

     And I always feel very uncomfortable with any recommendation which seems to suggest that doctors must be paternalistic--i.e. we must keep our patients in the dark about issues that might embarrass the medical profession--so that our patients will blindly do as they are told. Indeed, I think it is this "We must all present a united front and never appear to question one another" attitude that makes patients wary about following sensible advice. It smacks of Tuskegee---"Why not use the patients as guinea pigs without their informed consent? They will never know."

    "A dog starved at his master's gate/Predicts the ruin of the state" Blake

    by McCamy Taylor on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 01:01:32 PM PDT

  •  The problem is that the anecdotes (0+ / 0-)

    are simply too many, and people are demanding answers. It's not some 'kooker' conspiracy a la whatever Infowars drivel o the day is circulating in the internet backwaters. The buzz is not organized  -  "but Jenny McCarthy" -
    Sorry. No. But she's a great foil, for sure. Anyway, there are a few specialist sites which you could say are based on some sort of reevaluation or overhaul of the vaccine schedule, but most traffic wrt regressive autism(and perhaps it should be stated, regressive autism is the blazing red flag in all of this) imo, as plain as can be, consists of candid individual claims from parents. Candid, and if a large mainstream site, immediately whacked down by whatever expert is on the task with their truthy bullet points.

    To assume this is some sort of mass delusion akin to the belief in alchemy or mermaids or unicorns or a geocentric universe seems to be much more CT oriented than the idea that regressive autism is likely iatrogenic.  Thousands upon thousands of parents have witnessed dramatic physical reactions in their recently vaccinated child. And then said child loses skills/language.

    People are talking about it because the rates have gone up - it's not just quirky, nerdy kids of yesteryear filling up the therapist's offices and necessitating entire educational overhauls in special needs classes. It's kids who can't learn to talk or who quit talking, who bolt, can't sleep, it's those who have sensory issues so severe they can't even go out to dinner with their families. There are even large regional autism schools now!

    The explanation "It's just a coincidence" no longer placates, especially when friends and neighbors start sharing the same or similar stories. And that is happening irl as well as online.

    Sure there are plenty of narrow industry studies, many crafted especially, to 'disprove' all of this, but the fact is that the thousands of stories we're seeing on social media and in online comments sections can't be simply brushed away 'kooker' spam, no matter how satisfying hippie-punching seems to be for so many here. If this were some sort of mass-spam campaign I'd call it the scam of the century. But then, Cui Bono?  Nobody, unless one takes pride in being ridiculed and banned from a site such as this one.

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