Respectful Insolence

Sadly, it’s almost here.

I’m referring, of course, to the “Green Our Vaccines” rally led by that useful idiot for the antivaccinationist movement Jenny McCarthy and sponsored by Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), Generation Rescue, and a variety of other , which will take place a mere day from now. I’ll give the organizers credit for one thing. They have come up with a slogan that’s truly brilliant in an Orwellian sort of way, namely “Green our Vaccines,” with an accompanying press release:

McCarthy, author of the best-selling book “Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism,” and Carrey have joined forces with national advocacy organizations in the battle to eliminate toxins from children’s vaccines and to encourage national health agencies to reassess mandatory vaccine schedules. While they do support immunization, like many parents and experts in the medical community, McCarthy, Carrey and their many allies feel that children are receiving too many vaccines, too soon, many of which are toxic. Their goal is to demand a safer vaccine supply and schedule for children.

The marchers also have a logo to match:

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The logo may be–how shall I put this?–either charmingly minimalist or done on the cheap by Jenny herself, but the slogan is potentially quite effective. After all, who wouldn’t want “greener” vaccines, whatever that means? In the meantime Jen and Jim’s merry band of antivaccinationists is going out of its way to assure the press and anyone who will listen to their spokespeople and members that they are really, truly, and honestly “not anti-vaccine” but rather “pro-safe vaccine.” Indeed, the Grand Poobah of propagandists for the antivaccine movement, David Kirby, even went way, way out of his way yesterday to try to answer charges that he is antivaccine, albeit not particularly convincingly to those of us who have followed his writings. Again, I doff my hat to the organizers at this march for how they’ve–if you’ll excuse the term–framed the issue. It’s brilliant and very difficult to counter. After all, who doesn’t want “safer” vaccines as well? No one, not even the the man who is to antivaccinationists the Devil incarnate, Paul Offit, would say that he doesn’t want safer vaccines. Certainly I would be in favor of making vaccines as safe as possible. They’re incredibly safe now, but there’s always room for improvement. What the press and others at whom this crunchy eco-friendly message of reassurance and seeming reason that fits right in with the current mood of the country is aimed don’t realize is just one thing.

It’s a load of fetid dingo’s kidneys

Nowhere is the utter disingenuousness of this strategy more apparent than from the “toxin” gambit, which is the new bogey man that has replaced the previous bogey man of thimerosal in vaccines. Take a look at this companion emblem that is contains the other major slogan that antivaccinationists are using for this rally (more on that later):

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Check out the bottom bit:

Vaccine ingredients: Mercury, aluminum, antifreeze, formaldehyde, aborted human fetus cells, chick embryos, monkey kidney cells, fetal bovine serum, etc.

Here’s another sign for the rally:

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Yes, it’s the dreaded “toxin” gambit, a variation of which Jenny McCarthy has been mindlessly parroting and that I presciently deconstructed a while back when Kent Heckenlively produced such an over-the-top and idiotic invocation of this particular canard that I had a hard time believing anyone could be so utterly scientifically clueless that he could spout such misinformation without his head exploding. Not only was Heckenlively’s version of this gambit wrong, but it was so extravagantly and outrageously wrong that it threatened to tear a rent in the fabric of the space-time continuum that would suck all remaining intelligence out of any intelligent organism anywhere in the universe. Heckenlively’s stupidity was just that potent. Indeed, when I deconstructed the full idiocy of this gambit, I feared that even my mind, which has been hardened through long exposure to just this sort of pseudoscientific babble, might be hard pressed not to have many of my neurons undergo a dramatic wave of apoptosis in protest against my subjecting them to this sort of toxic level of dumb.

Given that I’ve already dealt with this in detail before, I don’t see the need to do it again, other than to point out a couple of things. I think that I can best illustrate why the “toxin” gambit is in fact an antivaccine gambit by going back to a time three years ago when I lurked on the discussion boards of Mothering.com, where the prevailing opinion is pro-woo and anti-vaccine. This was perhaps best encapsulated by a comment by a woman using the ‘nym Jen123:

Mercury seems to be getting tons of coverage. When that deal is settled and we win, we need to go after another ingredient. We’ll dismantle the vaccine industry ingredient by stupid ingredient if we have to.

Who is with me?

Suffice it to say, no one, apparently, wasn’t with her. I will give Jen123 kudos, though. She perfectly and succinctly stated the true aim of the “toxin” gambit. The “Green Our Vaccines” (GOV) movement is nothing more than the same sentiment wrapped up in a nice, friendly slogan that on the surface sounds so very reasonable, particularly when antivaccinationists mention all those really scary-sounding ingredients and either fail to understand or fail to mention that there is a reason why every one of those ingredients is in there and that the dose makes the poison. Many of those “ingredients” are not ingredients at all but rather cells used to grow up the viruses used to make the vaccine and then later removed, and others are used in the manufacturing process to do things like lyse cells, inactivate virus, and other necessary steps. In the end vaccine, they are present in no more than trace amounts.

Antivaccinationists are also not too concerned with getting the actual niceties of the chemistry right, confusing ethylene glycol (antifreeze, which is not in vaccines) with polyethylene glycol (PEG, which is in some vaccines and is also in a number of skin creams, toothpaste, and medications, including laxatives) or ethyl ether (the flammable anaesthetic) with polyethylene glycol pisooctylphenyl ether (Triton X-100, a kind of soap/detergent). Nor are they concerned with getting the niceties of the biology right, either. They like to mention “aborted fetuses,” as though vaccines were somehow made from aborted fetal tissue, when in reality some viruses are grown in cells derived from an aborted fetus nearly 45 years ago. Antivaccinationists know that, but they like to try to feed in to religious objections to abortion by playing this gambit, which is in reality no more than a variant of the “toxin” gambit (although they do appear to have gotten a bit smarter about it and don’t say “tissues” anymore). The whole bit about “monkey cells” is pretty dumb as well. Some viruses are indeed grown in monkey kidney cells, but it’s not as though these cells are retained in the vaccine. There’s a little step called “purification” that antivaccinationists seem to think that manufacturers forget The viral particles are isolated and the cells are eliminated, just as the human fetal cells are. Maybe they believe in a homeopathic theory of vaccination, in which the vaccines somehow retain a memory of the monkey cells with which they have been in contact but that have been removed from the final product. Finally, antivaccinationists aren’t too concerned about the niceties of pharmacology. They’ll rant on and on about formaldehyde, neglecting the fact that most people are exposed in a single day to more formaldehyde from plastics, plywood, furniture and furniture finishes, and a variety of other household products and objects in every house than babies are exposed to from their entire vaccine schedule.

The “toxin” gambit is also nothing more than moving the goalposts, a tried-and-true crank technique. Now that thimerosal is increasingly being vindicated by clinical and epidemiological studies that have failed to find a link between its presence in vaccines and autism, antivaccinationists have moved on to other ingredients. They will continue to do so as long as there are vaccines, and the GOV slogan is just a far more media-savvy manifestation of this goalpost-shifting that has always been part and parcel of the anti-vaccine movement. It’s also a clever co-optation of the environmental movement, although the attempt to be green has brought out some questions of such jaw-dropping ignorance that it’s hard for me to believe that they came from the mind of a human:

But Mason, who has two autistic children, warns that autism is on the rise, and that something has to change. “ideally the legislators would enact legislation that would force companies to use natural ingredients”, she argues. “Not what they’re using now.”

That’s right. Mrs. Mason wants manufacturers to use “all natural” ingredients in vaccines, as though she were getting her vaccines from Whole Foods. I have news for Mrs. Mason: Polio, the measles, mumps, influenza, smallpox, and every other vaccine-preventable disease are nothing but all natural ingredients.

With this background in mind, let’s look at some more signs being sold for the rally:

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i-b674dbad97f490b857bd3657bb7f59f9-GOV shirt.jpg
i-341d9638e6eedbefd72e311ba4bbe6dc-vaccinespoison.jpg
i-2b568c1be87acc3e3affac34666cef81-vuckfaccines.jpg

Of course, the organizers of this rally, even though they sympathize with the anti-vaccine movement, have been trying very hard to keep them quiet and out of sight, mainly because such sentiments undermine the “we’re not anti-vaccine” message that the organizers are trying to promote. Unfortunately, the antivaccinationists are among the most vocal and rabid supporters of this rally, which will make keeping them in line difficult. Indeed, about a month ago, on a mailing list for people planning to go to the rally, a woman wanted assurances that the rally was not going to be “taken over by anti-vaccine groups.” People were urged to discuss this “PRIVATELY.” It was also mentioned that this was a very contentious topic, hence the reason for urging the discussion to be private.

The other major slogan being used is “Too many, too soon.” This, too, is a conveniently vague but oh-so-reasonable-sounding slogan. Of course, no scientific evidence is presented that rises above the level of Dr. Laura Hewitson’s badly designed monkey study to support their contention that the current vaccine schedule is harmful. Moreover, when the GOV movement claims that current vaccines haven’t been tested in combinations, it’s just plain wrong. Vaccines being tested in clinical trials are administered in conjunction with vaccines already on the market according to the recommended vaccination schedule. Not to do so would be highly unethical, as it would involve withholding existing protective vaccines from a group participating in a clinical trial and leave that group of children exposed to serious infectious diseases. Moreover, contrary to the claims that the current vaccine schedule “overloads the immune system,” there are actually fewer antigens now in more vaccines, thanks to better vaccine design. Like the “Green Our Vaccines” slogan, the “Too many, too soon” slogan is also nothing more than a fairly clever strategy of preemptively moving the goalposts. Conveniently, the GOV folks never quite tell us which vaccines should be delayed and why or what the tradeoff would be in terms of exposing children to vaccine-preventable disease for a longer period of time before they are vaccinated.

So what will this demonstration look like? I can’t say how large it will be, but I’m guessing it will look very similar to the Power of Truth rally three years ago, at least in terms of the signs. Mercury will not be the predominant theme this time around, though. Even the thickest-headed antivaccinationists are starting to realize that the vast preponderance of evidence is failing to support a connection between thimerosal and autism. That’s the entire reason for the goal post moving strategy of emphasizing “toxins” and the “Green Our Vaccines” slogan, after all. Still, it’s instructive to look at photos of the original demonstration (more here). I predict that, mixed in with the “Green Our Vaccines” signs, we’ll see signs like these:

Vaccines = Russian Roulette
My son was poisoned by booster shots
Weapons of mass destruction

Kathleen Seidel predicted the following about the 2005 rally:

We can expect to see photomontages of autistic children, with ‘before’ pictures of smiling babies, and ‘after’ pictures of toddlers in distress, or their attention focused in some other direction than towards the photographer.

We can expect well-meaning parent-advocates, and the celebrities, public relations professionals, journalists, lawyers and politicians they have enlisted in support of their mission, to implicitly broadcast to the autistic children and adults of the world,

‘You are autistic, therefore you are all poisoned.’
‘You are autistic, therefore you are all broken.’
‘You are autistic, and someone has to take the blame.’

We can also expect to see autistic children themselves–children carrying brightly colored signs reading, “Poisoned By Immunizations!!!” Children in t-shirts bedecked with skull-and-crossbones, bearing the legend, “Warning: Contains Mercury.”

I see no reason to update her prediction, other than that mercury will not be the overarching villain, antivaccinationists having expanded their repertoire in the intervening three years, and that the rally is likely to be considerably larger than it was three years ago. Even so, everything old is new again, and Kathleen’s predictions will be just as valid today. The only other difference is that these days antivaccinationists are better at moving the goalposts and they’ve learned from their experience with thimerosal never–ever–to make a hypothesis about what in vaccines is causing autism that makes a prediction that allows that hypothesis to be falsified. But more importantly, they’ve gotten considerably better at hiding their antivaccination agenda from the public and lawmakers behind media- and eco-friendly slogans like “Green Our Vaccines,” and that’s why they’ve become so much more effective than in the past. That’s why it’s so important to emphasize that “Green Our Vaccines” is nothing more than another way of moving the goalposts yet again. No matter how much vaccines are “greened” (whatever that means) it will never be enough for them until the very ingredients that make vaccines work (bacterial and viral antigens) are removed, and even then I’m not so sure that would be enough for them. That’s because it’s always been all about the vaccines, not about any single ingredient or combination of ingredients.

THE “GREEN OUR VACCINES” COLLECTION:

  1. The Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey rally to “Green Our Vaccines”: Anti-vaccine, not “pro-safe vaccine”!
  2. An Open Letter to Congress on Immunization
  3. “Green Our Vaccines”: Further skeptical reading
  4. “Green Our Vaccines”: Serendipity and schadenfreude as antivaccinationists go to war
  5. “Green Our Vaccines”: Best comment EVAH! Or: How to preserve biological diversity through not vaccinating
  6. “Green Our Vaccines”: Celebrity antivaccinationist ignoramuses on parade. Or: I didn’t know that Dumb & Dumber was a documentary
  7. “Green Our Vaccines”: “Pro-safe vaccine” or anti-vaccine? You be the judge!
  8. “Green Our Vaccines”: “Pro-safe vaccine” or anti-vaccine? You be the judge! (Part 2)
  9. “Green Our Vaccines”: The fallacy of the perfect solution

Comments

  1. #1 Mad Mom
    June 3, 2008

    Orac, you are truly a world class idiot.

    I suppose you would think that the inventors of seatbelts were “anti-car”.

    What a joke.

  2. #2 BB
    June 3, 2008

    @MadMom
    No, the idiot here is yourself.
    But then you call yourself mad. Look it up.

  3. #3 Mark
    June 3, 2008

    I remember reading an old issue (mid-80s) of National Geographic as a kid. A chemical company (Dupont or Dow, I’m not sure…) had an advertisement that showed an orange with an ingredient label. It contained a huge list of scary-sounding chemical names that you would find if you isolated every “natural” compound in the fruit.

    The point was that “chemical” was not a bad word, and that big science words did not imply evil-scientist polts to poison children.

    I still think of that ad everytime I run across people using fear-mongering to oppose genetic engineering, chemical research, or medical products.

  4. #4 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    Orac, would you be in favor of infants being tested for contraindications before vaccinating?

    I would hope you are, as we need vaccines, yet we also need to ensure that the number of children adversely affected by vaccines remains minimal.

    In today’s fast food style healthcare system, these children are often overlooked, and suffer the consequences.

    Why do you think this is ok?

  5. #5 LJ
    June 3, 2008

    This is much more fun when you address content rather than making personal attacks.

  6. #6 Mark
    June 3, 2008

    Oops. “Polt” should be “plot”.

  7. #7 Orac
    June 3, 2008

    suppose you would think that the inventors of seatbelts were “anti-car”.

    What a joke.

    Nice talking point. Did you get it from David Kirby off the AoA site? Why, yes, I bet you did.

    Now if the inventors of seatbelts claimed, as many of the GOV movement do, that cars should not be used until they are absolutely, positively safe you might have a point. I’ve written about this sort of issue before in terms of relative risks. Do you you let your child play baseball? It’s an incredibly dangerous activity compared to getting vaccinated, and it doesn’t even protect against disease. Should we ban baseball until every kid wears a helmet and mask? (There was a story in the Chicago Tribune on just the issue of baseball and safety, which is why I remember this.)

    No, you’re just unhappy that I have shown pretty clearly that, while perhaps you may tell yourself you’re not “antivaccine” the rally itself is indeed anti-vaccine. It’s just better hidden than in the past. Ask yourself this: What “toxins” (be specific) would have to be removed from vaccines before you would vaccinate your child. If they were all removed would you vaccinate. Ask yourself honestly.

  8. #8 Orac
    June 3, 2008

    Orac, would you be in favor of infants being tested for contraindications before vaccinating?

    I would hope you are, as we need vaccines, yet we also need to ensure that the number of children adversely affected by vaccines remains minimal.

    It depends. I’m assuming you’re talking about the Poling case, which is a bad one to use for this sort of question. You see, even if mitochondrial disorders do predispose to vaccine injury (and there’s no good evidence that they do yet or that the risk of vaccinating in such children is higher than the risk of what disease can do to them), it’s not the sort of test that can be applied on a mass screening basis. Testing for mitochondrial disorders requires a major workup; there is no single blood or urine test that’s cheap and accurate. Lots of tests are needed, and sometimes even muscle biopsies, a surgical procedure. Would you really want to subject 999 children to such invasive tests to find one with a mitochondrial disorder? Or even 99 to find one? Besides being unnecessarily cruel to the vast majority of children, it’s not an efficient use of our resources that will benefit many children. Remember, none of those tests now being advertised by the autism biomedical industry are reliable; they’re generally just as dubious as provoked mercury testing.

    All mass screening programs represent a balance between how many benefit, invasiveness and accuracy of tests, and cost. In the case of mitochondrial diseases, there is no evidence that undertaking such a massive program would help. If there is a condition that predisposes to vaccine injury that is much more common and can be cheaply and easily screened for, then it would be reasonable to consider doing so.

  9. #9 Mad Mom
    June 3, 2008

    The seatbelt thing, I coined that 3 yrs ago after my daughter suffered an adverse reaction.

    Should we discontinue vaccinating until vaccines can be safer? Oh hell no!

    Should we sit around and do nothing? HELL NO!

    Why aren’t children who suffer adverse reactions being studied? If they are, PLEASE point me in the direction of those studies.

    As for the “chemicals” in the vaccines, I find that only mildly disconcerting, compared to what the bacterias and viruses can do to infants who cannot create an adequate response. The amount of chemicals in vaccines is actually quite minimal compared to our food and environment.

    This is not simply about vaccine ingredients.

    Why doesn’t anyone care to find out why kids are suffering adverse reactions? Why are they simply written off, and not reported and studied?

  10. #10 ozzy
    June 3, 2008

    “would you be in favor of infants being tested for contraindications before vaccinating?”

    Would you mind telling us what these contraindications are?

  11. #11 Orac
    June 3, 2008

    This is not simply about vaccine ingredients.

    You got that right. It’s a “manufactroversy,” in other words a manufactured controversy. There really isn’t much in the way of a scientific controversy, but there is an ideological one between antivaccinationists and science. Your comment about the “viruses” and “bacteria” tell me that I’m right on in my post; that’s exactly what I’ve said about how it is the ingredients that make a vaccine a vaccine that antivaccinationists don’t like?

    As for your question: Do you think scientists aren’t studying adverse events? Really? Do a pubmed search on vaccines sometime.

  12. #12 Uncle Dave
    June 3, 2008

    Taken from referenced press release;

    “While they do support immunization, like many parents and experts in the medical community, McCarthy, Carrey and their many allies feel that children are receiving too many vaccines, too soon, many of which are toxic.”

    Like many experts in the medical community?

    Talk about taking a some creative license with a statement.
    Granted it is an un quantifiable reference using the word “many”, however it is a safe bet that if you take all the doctors and researchers there are in the field divided by the amount within the same catagory the beleive there is a problem with “toxic” vaccines, it is likely that the word very few would be far more accurate.

  13. #13 KC
    June 3, 2008

    Why are they simply written off, and not reported and studied?

    Speaking as a scientist, we have limited time, money, and labour. Given these three constraints, we tend not to let the insane and the inane set our research priorities.

    Chemicals in the enviroment. Feh. I’m quite sure the word `chemicals` doesn’t mean what you think it does. And even accepting your definition and usage, you’re quite welcome to, if you’re so concerned beyond the normal ken, live in a manufactured-good free environment.

  14. #14 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    Contraindications such as Primary Immunodeficiency.

    Many of these CAN be tested for, yet we don’t. This would have spared my daughter the encephalitis she suffered from live virus vaccines.

    If her doctor paid closer attention to her family history of idiopathic leukocytosis, she may have been spared. But we live in a fast food healthcare society, and doctors really can’t grasp every little detail about their patients. Kudos to those that do, as it is becoming increasingly difficult the more we understand the human body.

    As for your other comment, Orac, about would I vaccinate my child even if the “chemicals” were removed. Truth is, she can’t be further vaccinated, as she has a permanent medical exemption. SAhe also doesn’t have antibodies to VPDs, so it is quite a double edgeed sword.

    It was the insolent egostistical attitude of her doctor (which I find strikingly similar to yours) that took 5 specialists, and 2 yrs to convince him that she in fact had a reaction. It was too much for his pretty head to bear that he actually caused more harm than good in a child.

    Guess some of you doctors have a hard time eating crow. (as is very evident in your posts)

    And even still, his office filled the VAERS out wrong. Stating that she received the MMR at 5 months, and stopped communicating at 6.

    It is a sickening f-ing battle I have had to endure to get to the bottom of my daughter’s condition. Thankfully we found a world class pediatric immunologist, and geneticist who have helped to uncover the truth. It’s even led to my dx of immunodeficiency. Too bad I have no health insurance for myself to treat it, as I had to quit my job to care for my daughter.

    Now we must languish for yrs awaiting compensation in the NVICP.

  15. #15 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    Mad Mom:

    Why aren’t children who suffer adverse reactions being studied? If they are, PLEASE point me in the direction of those studies.

    Two minutes on PubMed returned 1685 articles for “adverse vaccine reactions” alone, many of them recent.

    You don’t seem stupid enough to not know that or be able to find out for yourself, which leaves only one option: you are a deluded lying antivax troll.

    Which I’ve already fed too much. Feh.

  16. #16 SnowMama
    June 3, 2008

    Interesting article.
    I am wondering if you have written about or have any opinion on the notion that the safety systems in manufacture/ distribution of vaccinations havent kept up with the volume of vaccinations being created and distributed. I.E. the whole Chiron Flu Vaccine thing in 2003-2005.
    I ask because I am interested in supply chain safety issues.
    THANKS

  17. #17 ozzy
    June 3, 2008

    ” I find that only mildly disconcerting, compared to what the bacterias and viruses can do to infants who cannot create an adequate response.”

    Show me the data that demonstrate that infants cannot mount an adequate response to bacteria and viruses. Babies are born into a world full of bacteria and viruses and usually do pretty well. There are however, some bacteria and viruses that are particularly nasty and we need to give our immune systems a little help to get ahead of the game via vaccination. In fact, it is the natural body’s response to infection, ie fever, that has been linked to the Poling case. It doesn’t matter if the fever was due to the flu caught from a neighbor or a fever following vaccination. In that case, the immune system responds normally but the body can’t handle the response. So it is just as likely that the Poling child would have had an adverse neurological outcome following a fever due to infection with a bug caught from a friend than following a vaccination.

  18. #18 Joe Fredette
    June 3, 2008

    You know, it’s this kind of thing that annoys the crap out of me.

    Why can’t we just own up and accept the fact that, for some reason, unknown or otherwise, our nieces (in my case), nephews, daughters and sons have a, likely genetic from what I understand, issue; and learn to just love them and quit blaming everyone for the unfortunate effects of a currently unforsee-able problem? I mean, my niece is severely autistic, she’s 16 years old and has the mind of a 5 year old, it’s a miracle that she’s even at that level. She and I are best friends, I don’t blame her “disease” on the doctors, or vaccinations, or water supply, or anything else. I think the real issue here, is that antivaccinationists need to stop playing the blame game and spend that considerable amount of time and energy with their child(ren). I know that they love their kids, but it seems to me that you’re wasting your time tilting at windmills.

  19. #19 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    StuV, I am interested in those studies as well. Do you know which ones look at the genetics, or underlying conditions of those who suffer the most reactions?

    I would be very interested in seeing those, because I have not been able to find them.

  20. #20 Bob O'H
    June 3, 2008

    OMG, vaccines contain SUCROSE!!!oneone!!

    I bet this means they’re responsible for the rise in diabetes too.

  21. #21 D. C. Sessions
    June 3, 2008

    They’ll rant on and on about formaldehyde, neglecting the fact that most people are exposed in a single day to more formaldehyde from plastics, plywood, furniture and furniture finishes, and a variety of other household products and objects in every house that babies are exposed to from their entire vaccine schedule.

    Never mind building materials. Beetroot and pears (to name only two) both have enough formaldehyde that, as one grocer put it, “if they were building materials they’d be illegal.”

    I’m sure, however, that the formaldehyde in foods is harmless because it’s “all natural.”

  22. #22 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    Ozzy, kids with Primary Immunodeficiency can’t mount an adequate response to bacteria and viruses, yet are vaccinated anyway.

  23. #23 wintermute
    June 3, 2008

    “ideally the legislators would enact legislation that would force companies to use natural ingredients”, she argues. “Not what they’re using now.”

    Maybe they could use natural ingredients like… mercury?

  24. #24 KC
    June 3, 2008

    Interesting article.
    I am wondering if you have written about or have any opinion on the notion that the safety systems in manufacture/ distribution of vaccinations havent kept up with the volume of vaccinations being created and distributed. I.E. the whole Chiron Flu Vaccine thing in 2003-2005.
    I ask because I am interested in supply chain safety issues.
    THANKS

    Oh, two can do this! Let me play! Ahem:

    I’m interested in your interest in supply chain safety issues. You seem to have an unnatural interest in them (c.f. the illegal Zyprexa tampering that occurred in the early 2002s).

    There. I’ve gone and created unreasonable suspicion too.

  25. #26 Joe Fredette
    June 3, 2008

    Monica:

    Just curious, obviously Primary Immunodeficiency (let’s call it PID), implies that they can’t respond to full-strength bacteria/viruses. But does that necessarily mean that they can’t fight off a weakened or dead virus, such as is present in vaccines?

    I certainly think that a dead virus, at worst, would sit in there system till it got flushed out, and I should think — based on what I read in wikipedia that while some of the immune system is broken, since not _all_ of the system is broken, it would be able to stave off a sufficiently weakened exception.

    Then again, I’m not a doctor- but it just seems logical to me.

  26. #27 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    SnowMama,

    The FDA.Gov site is searchable, and will give you any info regarding supply-chain issues. Merck recently had issues at it’s west point facility. Here is some more info-

    http://www.fda.gov/cber/faq/merckqa.htm

  27. #28 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    Ehm, Monica:

    Contraindications such as Primary Immunodeficiency.

    http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/Primary_Immunodeficiency.cfm
    “The World Health Organization has identified more than 80 kinds of primary immunodeficiency diseases. But, the general category includes more than 100 diseases caused by an immune system that doesn’t function properly.”

    Thankfully we found a world class pediatric immunologist, and geneticist who have helped to uncover the truth.

    In a perfect world, there’d be enough “world class” pediatric immunologists and geneticists to go around. In a perfect world, your doctor wouldn’t be a jerk. In a perfect world, your child wouldn’t have been afflicted with immunodeficiency.

    yet we also need to ensure that the number of children adversely affected by vaccines remains minimal.

    It already is. Could it be less, theoretically? Yes. Could it be less, practically? Hardly.

  28. #29 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    StuV,

    yes, children with PID should be contraindicated, but they are not.

    We now give rotateq (a live virus) at 3 mos. How the hell can we know if an infant has PID (unless they present with the most severe form) at 3 months?

    We can’t!

    Most PIDS are undiagnosed until after age 9!

    Yet we vaccinate all children according to schedule. We test at birth for PKU, we need to start screening for PID, as well!

  29. #30 Joseph
    June 3, 2008

    Kev wrote about this some time back as well. There’s plenty of evidence that, privately, these people are truly anti-vaccine, and are using the “green our vaccines” slogan as a sort of Trojan horse.

  30. #31 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    Monica:

    Go to PubMed and tinker with search phrases like “genetic vaccine adverse reactions”. Spending two more minutes, I’ve already found a few (e.g. PMID 16816003).

  31. #32 KC
    June 3, 2008

    StuV,

    yes, children with PID should be contraindicated, but they are not.

    We now give rotateq (a live virus) at 3 mos. How the hell can we know if an infant has PID (unless they present with the most severe form) at 3 months?

    We can’t!

    Most PIDS are undiagnosed until after age 9!

    Yet we vaccinate all children according to schedule. We test at birth for PKU, we need to start screening for PID, as well!

    Okay, so, then we shouldn’t immunize the others for the 1/10000.2 (says google, who is as trustworthy as a rat in a rice bag) who have PID and the fraction of that fraction that’ll have a problem? Isn’t that rather grossly unfair to the percent who don’t have the condition, or those who do and will have few problems, to be denied immunization on those basis?

  32. #33 Confused
    June 3, 2008

    Vaccine ingredients: Mercury, aluminum, antifreeze, formaldehyde, aborted human fetus cells, chick embryos, monkey kidney cells, fetal bovine serum, etc.

    Whole chick embryos? How do they fit down the needle?

  33. #34 ozzy
    June 3, 2008

    What is the prevalence of primary immunodeficiency in children? I’m assuming it’s pretty small. “Primary immunodeficiency” includes a number of different diseases all with different complex genetic causes thereby, making it highly difficult to screen.

    “Now we must languish for yrs awaiting compensation in the NVICP.”

    Isn’t it just as likely that your daughter could have had a similar reaction to a bacteria/virus caught from a neighbor’s child?

  34. #35 KC
    June 3, 2008

    Vaccine ingredients: Mercury, aluminum, antifreeze, formaldehyde, aborted human fetus cells, chick embryos, monkey kidney cells, fetal bovine serum, etc.

    Whole chick embryos? How do they fit down the needle?

    Obviously, the mercury, aluminum and the aborted human fetii lubricate the needle so the whole, multiple chick embryos fit down it.

  35. #36 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    Joe,

    I am not a doctor, either, but the WHO, CDC and NIH all state kids with PID shouldn’t receive live virus vaccines, as the viruses can replicate, and infect the host, even kill them.

    We are lucky that our daughter is still alive!

    As for people accepting “autism”. First, you have to understand that there are many subtypes of “autism”. It is a dx made by observation only, observation of a set of behaviors.

    With that said, autism is much like CP, there can be many causes. Some we know about, some we don’t.

    With some autism, it is completely clear that there is a genetic base. With others, and especially many “regressive” types, there is no genetic base.

    And perhaps it can be a combination. Perhaps a genetic condition that is worsened, or aggrevated by such conditions as viral encephalitis.

    I think it is wonderful that your family has accepted your neice, and loves her for who she is. That is important.

    I love my daughter for who she is, and have accepted every little bit about her. I think it’s amazing that she read before she talked. She is my inspiration. She truly is the center of our family.

    But I also know that something happenned to her brain when she had encephalitis. She changed drastically after that episode. Her eyes did not focus for months, and she just sat, staring at her hands. I try to never think “what if”, because that is too painful. I love her for who she is now.

    I also know that she has Primary Immunodeficiency, as I do. This condition would have likely gone undiagnosed for years, perhaps a lifetime, had we not discovered why she had an adverse reaction.

    I don’t want to see any other children with Primary Immunodeficiency suffer and adverse reaction that could potentially kill them.

  36. #37 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    KC, I never once stated we should discontinue vaccinating. We just need better resources to identify children with the condition, and ensure they not be injured.

  37. #38 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    Monica. Read back what you write.

    yes, children with PID should be contraindicated, but they are not.

    So, you want us to test for 80 distinct and hard-to-detect genetic defects? That is what you are saying?

    [...] How the hell can we know if an infant has PID (unless they present with the most severe form) at 3 months?

    We can’t!

    Most PIDS are undiagnosed until after age 9!

    So we should, but we can’t?

    Yet we vaccinate all children according to schedule.

    Yes, because for every sad, regrettable adverse reaction due to PID, we save hundreds if not thousands of children from awful, damaging, preventable diseases.

    We test at birth for PKU, we need to start screening for PID, as well!

    At birth. Uh-huh. So we do the bone marrow biopsies right away, or should those wait a few weeks?

    As others have tried to explain, there is no simple one-stop PID test. PKU is a simple test for a single enzyme in blood or urine. Full PID testing would require biopsies and a few weeks of DNA workups. It would be traumatic, painful, prohibitively expensive and oh, where the heck are you going to find that many geneticists?

    Don’t you think that if these tests were viable, they’d be standard procedure by now?

  38. #39 Warren
    June 3, 2008

    Why doesn’t anyone care to find out why kids are suffering adverse reactions? Why are they simply written off, and not reported and studied?

    Posted by: Mad Mom

    Perhaps if there were more questions such as this one, instead of immediate ad hominem attacks, you’d see better results.

    More bluntly: When you start out by accusing others of idiocy, you have no right to complain later on that your concerns aren’t being paid attention to.

  39. #40 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    Ozzy,

    If I knew a neighbor’s child had Measles, mumps, ruebella, AND varicella, I would never allow my child around them!

    The incidence of PID is higher than we think. I wish I could find the doc I created about it (I summarized info from the second nationa survey) from the Immune Deficiency foundation
    http://primaryimmune.org/pubs/second_national_survey_of_patients.pdf

    Page 6-
    “Only 36% of patients were initially diagnosed with a primary immune deficiency disease before age six. And, a majority (50%) was diagnosed before they were eighteen. Nonetheless, 40% of persons with primary immune deficiency diseases were not diagnosed until they were aged 30 or older”

    Page 7
    “About one in four patients (25%) either had no symptoms prior to diagnosis or were diagnosed within a year of onset of repeated, serious or unusual infections. Another 20% were diagnosed within one to two years of symptom onset. Nonetheless, the time between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis was 3-5 years for 16% of patients; 6-9 years for 10% of patients; 10-14 years for 8% of patients; and 15-19 years for 5% of patients. One in seven patients with primary immune deficiency diseases (17%) in this sample report 20 years or more between the onset of repeated, serious or unusual infections and their initial diagnosis as immune deficient. The average time between symptom onset and initial diagnosis was 9.2 years”

    I am trying to find the actual numbers on occurence, but if I remember correcly, about 1:400 donations of blood must be rejected due to the most common form of PID, and I think I remember one in every 1,200 Americans are dx’d with PID.

  40. #41 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    Perhaps if there were more questions such as this one, instead of immediate ad hominem attacks, you’d see better results.

    It’d work even better when it wasn’t such a blatantly dishonest “when did you stop beating your wife” gambit, don’t you think?

    People do care. These cases are being reported. They are being studied. This blatant presupposition is just so weak, tired and trollish it takes me minutes to stop my eyes from rolling.

  41. #42 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    StuV, what is ridiculous is giving live virus vaccines, such as rotateq in the US to 3 month old children.

    Rotavirus kills hundreds in developing countries, not here. Same with Varicella. We vaccinate against these, as it is good for the economy. Less mommies missing work.

    Please do some reading from the FDA if you do not believe me.

    I am not saying to stop vaccinating. I would hate to see a return of VPDs. But do we REALLY and TRULY NEED rotateq, to keep mommies working? WE NEED vaccines against Polio, we NEED vaccines against Diptheria, and Pertussis.

    But do we truly NEED varicella, so mommy doesn’t miss a week?

    I would have rather stayed home a week, than a lifetime…

  42. #43 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    StuV,

    What I would like to see, is a large scale study of children who regressed into autism shortly after suffering an adverse reaction to vaccination.

    I know of many who had ER visits within 3 wks of vaccination, and then regressed.

    Why don’t we study these kids?

  43. #44 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    Rotavirus kills hundreds in developing countries, not here.

    Liar. From WikiPedia:

    “In developing countries, around 611,000 children under five years of age die from rotavirus infection each year,[8] and almost two million more become severely ill.[6] In the United States, rotavirus causes about 2.7 million cases of severe gastroenteritis in children, almost 60,000 hospitalisations, and around 37 deaths each year.[9]”

    But do we truly NEED varicella, so mommy doesn’t miss a week?

    Liar. From WikiPedia:

    “Varicella infection in pregnant women can lead to viral transmission via the placenta and infection of the foetus. If infection occurs during the first 28 weeks of gestation, this can lead to foetal varicella syndrome (also known as congenital varicella syndrome). Effects on the foetus can range in severity from underdeveloped toes and fingers to severe anal and bladder malformation. Possible problems include:

    Damage to brain: encephalitis, microcephaly, hydrocephaly, aplasia of brain
    Damage to the eye (optic stalk, optic cap, and lens vesicles), microphthalmia, cataracts, chorioretinitis, optic atrophy
    Other neurological disorder: damage to cervical and lumbosacral spinal cord, motor/sensory deficits, absent deep tendon reflexes, anisocoria/Horner’s syndrome
    Damage to body: hypoplasia of upper/lower extremities, anal and bladder sphincter dysfunction
    Skin disorders: (cicatricial) skin lesions, hypopigmentation”

    Mommies missing work my foot.

  44. #45 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    I know of many who had ER visits within 3 wks of vaccination, and then regressed.

    Sure you do.
    - How do you know of them? I can guess, but please, humor me.
    - The plural of anecdotes is not data.

    Why don’t we study these kids?

    Okay, let’s. Let’s study them. What, exactly, pray tell, would we be studying in these kids? How many are there to begin with? You do realize that you’d have to prove that the reaction is caused by the vaccination first, right?

  45. #46 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    wow, are we this childish around here? next I will hear “Liar Liar pants on fire!” and have someone quoting from whaletovaccines. humph

    Luckily, This is my daughter’s 2nd to last day of school, and I haven’t any clients needing research today.

    I suppose I shall search for the documents supporting my statements. Because I know I didn’t find them on wikipedia. I think it was fda.gov, or something like that

    Wikipedia? Really? I would have thought better of you StuV…

  46. #47 Catherina
    June 3, 2008

    StuV,

    no need for name calling

    Monica,

    varicella may cause less complications than measles, but I know several mothers who missed 4 weeks of work, because of how sick their children were with varicella, plus one girl who had osteomyelitis (bone marrow inflammation) due to varicella (4 weeks of IV antibiotics in the hospital saved her leg) and another girl who had a stroke due to varicella. These moms feel just as bad as you do when you hear MMR reactions trivialized when they hear varicella infection belittled.

  47. #48 Rev. BigDumbCHimp
    June 3, 2008

    If I knew a neighbor’s child had Measles, mumps, ruebella, AND varicella, I would never allow my child around them!

    That’s right. If you KNEW.

  48. #49 Mark
    June 3, 2008

    Petter,

    Thanks! It is almost exactly as I remembered it. That made my day.

  49. #50 KC
    June 3, 2008

    StuV,

    What I would like to see, is a large scale study of children who regressed into autism shortly after suffering an adverse reaction to vaccination.

    I know of many who had ER visits within 3 wks of vaccination, and then regressed.

    Why don’t we study these kids?

    vaccine regression autism
    I typed that, on hunch, into pubmed. Whaddya know, people looked at that. Whatddya know, results are generally (prepare to gasp) negative *gasp!*.

    StuV already covered the anecdote->data thing, so I won’t rehash

    But I’ll humour you for a moment. Yes, if we whittle down our data set to only datapoints that match your hypothesis, yes, it’ll be well supported right up to the point where you have to suggest a mechanism. Which is precisely why a) scientists don’t do it and b) scientists who do get in trouble.

  50. #51 flittingbug
    June 3, 2008

    “But do we truly NEED varicella, so mommy doesn’t miss a week?”

    No, we need varicella vaccine to prevent shingles in later life. The public health benefit from vaccinating against chicken pox is primarily in preventing shingles. Shingles is caused by the same virus as chicken pox and is a reocurrence of the virus later in life. The CDC says that shingles affects around 1 in 3 Americans, and from family experience, it can lay even a healthy, relatively young person flat on their back in exquisite pain for over a week, to say nothing of the neuralgic pain that often remains close to unbearable for 6 months or more. In the unlucky, it can cause pneumonia, encephalitis, blindness, deafness, or death.

    http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Shingles/

  51. #52 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    StuV, here is one for you

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/271/5/375

    while I feel terrible for children who suffer complications of chickenpox, I don’t think vaccinating ALL children during infancy is the answer.

    I also don’t feel one bit of remorse for mommies having to miss work to take care of sick children. Call me crazy, but I have had to do it for 3 yrs now.

    They already know the immunity to the varicella vaccine is waning, and are considering a 3rd dose to be given during teenage years.

    (also, immunity to measles is waning, due to a weaker immune response to the vaccine than the actual virus- but still should be enough immunity for herd protection)
    http://www.fda.gov/cber/minutes/ig042607t.pdf

    Are we going to keep vaccinating every 10 yrs, then re-vaccinating with a shingles vaccine into adulthood?

    (the varicella vaccine can and WILL cause shingles, fwiw)

    I feel we are becoming over-zealous with vaccination. When will we draw the line? At the advent of a vaccine to protect us from restless leg syndrome?

  52. #53 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    flittingbug, the varicella vaccine acts in the same way as the virus. It is a live virus vaccine. It will target the CNS and lay dormant, just as a natural infection will, and cause shingles later in life, or earlier for those who are immune deficienct, or immune supressed.

    Hence the new shingles vaccine.

    Pretty nifty idea Merck had, huh?

  53. #54 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    KC:

    vaccine regression autism
    I typed that, on hunch, into pubmed. Whaddya know, people looked at that. Whatddya know, results are generally (prepare to gasp) negative *gasp!*.

    It’s like… magic…

  54. #55 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    From the FDA-

    “Death from rotavirus is rare in the United States. However, in developing countries, rotavirus gastroenteritis has been estimated to cause up to several hundred thousand deaths annually in infants and young children.”

    http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2006/NEW01307.html

    Yet 70-80% (I think, will have to find source to verify) of this vaccine is being distributed in the US, not in developing countries. I do know we consume the lion’s share of this vaccine.

  55. #56 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    KC, and StuV,

    Show me the studies that looked at the children who regressed after vaccination. Not studies trying to LINK TO vaccination.

    Big difference.

    I would like to see immune and metabolic profiles of the kids who regressed. Is that so hard to do?

  56. #57 ozzy
    June 3, 2008

    Monica,

    11,000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths/year due to varicella infections.

    Galil K, Lin F, Seward J. Hospitalizations for varicella
    in the United States, 1988-1995. Presented at:
    Joint meeting between the Pediatric Academic Societies
    and the American Academy of Pediatrics; May
    2000; Boston, Mass. Abstract 1542.
    5. Meyer PA, Seward JF, Jumaan AO, Wharton M.
    Varicella mortality: trends before vaccine licensure in
    the United States, 1970-1994. J Infect Dis. 2000;182:
    383-390.

  57. #58 Dianne
    June 3, 2008

    Sucrose? They’re worried about sucrose in the vaccines? Has anyone warned them that the potentially toxic chemical dihydromonoxide is also contained in all vaccines?

  58. #59 Rev. BigDumbCHimp
    June 3, 2008

    I feel we are becoming over-zealous with vaccination. When will we draw the line? At the advent of a vaccine to protect us from restless leg syndrome?

    Nice appeal to consequences.

  59. #60 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    Wikipedia? Really? I would have thought better of you StuV

    Call me Stu — the V is just for differentiation.

    WikiPedia has this new-fangled “References” section, from whence the article “Quotes”. But fine, I’ll do your leg-work again:

    Fischer TK, Viboud C, Parashar U, et al (2007). “Hospitalizations and deaths from diarrhea and rotavirus among children <5 years of age in the United States, 1993-2003". J. Infect. Dis. 195 (8): 1117-25. doi:10.1086/512863. PMID 17357047.

    Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (September 2007). Chickenpox in Pregnancy.
    http://www.rcog.org.uk/resources/Public/pdf/greentop13_chickenpox0907.pdf

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2005). “Varicella-related deaths–United States, January 2003-June 2004.” (PDF). MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 54 (11): 272-4. PMID 15788992.

    (the varicella vaccine can and WILL cause shingles, fwiw)

    Whoa there.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/faqs-nipinfo-varicella.htm

    “Consequently, zoster in vaccinated persons has been reported. Not all of these cases have been confirmed as having been caused by vaccine virus. The risk of zoster following vaccination appears to be less than that following infection with wild-type virus. However, longer follow-up is needed to assess this risk over time.”

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/271/5/375

    People not being sick saves companies money… film at 11.

    Please read the above references.

    while I feel terrible for children who suffer complications of chickenpox, I don’t think vaccinating ALL children during infancy is the answer.

    ALL is kind of the entire point. It’s kind of the only way it works. But you knew that.

    Pretty nifty idea Merck had, huh?

    I am shocked, shocked that you are a Big Pharma conspiracy theorist. I never would have guessed.

    wow, are we this childish around here? next I will hear “Liar Liar pants on fire!”
    no need for name calling

    Main Entry: li·ar
    Pronunciation: \ˈlī(-ə)r\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lēogere, from lēogan to lie — more at lie
    Date: before 12th century
    : a person who tells lies

    Main Entry: 4lie
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English lige, lie, from Old English lyge; akin to Old High German lugī, Old English lēogan to lie
    Date: before 12th century
    1 a: an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive b: an untrue or inaccurate statement that may or may not be believed true by the speaker
    2: something that misleads or deceives
    3: a charge of lying

    You told lies, I called you a liar. If you don’t want to be called a liar, stop lying.

    I also don’t feel one bit of remorse for mommies having to miss work to take care of sick children. Call me crazy, but I have had to do it for 3 yrs now.

    This is creepy. Others have to suffer because you have suffered?

  60. OMG, vaccines contain SUCROSE!!!oneone!!

    I bet this means they’re responsible for the rise in diabetes too.

    I fully expected to see “dihydrogen monoxode” somewhere on that sign. Because we all know how much death and destructions that stuff causes…

  61. #62 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    I would like to see immune and metabolic profiles of the kids who regressed. Is that so hard to do?

    Yes, but that’s not the point. You get profiles. Then what?

    (More substantive reply to earlier comments held in moderation, likely due to 2+ links)

  62. “dihydrogen monoxide”, that is. I’ve been grading a desk full of tests on chemical nomenclature, and I must be letting my students’ spelling get to me. :)

    The funny thing about those “look at all the scary CHEMICALS” signs is that we routinely use stuff like that in chemistry class as a joke – common things like sugar and salt have scary chemical names like sucrose and sodium chloride.

  63. #64 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    StuV,

    If you start getting similar profiles, you may see a pattern. You see a pattern, you may find a new set of contraindicated children. You contraindicate these children, you save them from severe adverse reactions.

    btw, how do you know when an ER visit/ adverse reaction is NOT associated with the vaccine?

  64. #65 Kim
    June 3, 2008

    I was another child who went to the hospital thanks to varicella. The idea that the vaccine exists only to save mommy’s sick days is repugnant to me.

  65. #66 wfjag
    June 3, 2008

    Orac:

    Why are you beating up on Jenny again? Much too easy a target. Can you really expect her to understand even basic chemistry (other than food dyes and cosmetics) or biology (other than reproductive (some aspects thereof)) when MD’s are suing when nothing bad happens? See LI woman sues over in-flight peanuts, June 2, 2008, http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-linuts0603,0,5904194.story At least Jenny can claim fear of scary sounding big Latin-derived words (“Lexiolatinoderivnodrivelphobia” anyone?).

  66. #67 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    If you start getting similar profiles, you may see a pattern. You see a pattern, you may find a new set of contraindicated children. You contraindicate these children, you save them from severe adverse reactions.

    We already know about metabolic conditions and immunodeficiencies that make vaccinations dangerous. That’s not the everlovin’ point. Again, the tests for these contraindicated conditions are lengthy, costly, invasive, painful and inconclusive. But you already knew that.

    btw, how do you know when an ER visit/ adverse reaction is NOT associated with the vaccine?

    How do you know it’s NOT Martian booger infection?

  67. #68 Calli Arcale
    June 3, 2008

    I like the idea of a varicella booster shot. I read about a study suggesting that it may be protective *even in people who’ve had chickenpox*. They gave it to elderly folk at a nursing home. Basically, it allowed their immune systems to reacquire the virus so that when it came out again, they were able to cope with it.

    On a related note, I’ve read that a disturbingly high percentage of elderly suicides are people with shingles. The pain is seriously that bad.

    I’m sorry for everyone who’s had an adverse reaction to a vaccine. But the good far outweighs the bad so vastly that it would be preposterous to stop vaccinating entirely. Should vaccines be improved? Absolutely! That’s why so many manufacturers and scientists are striving to do precisely that. There’s some exciting research on influenza, for instance, which could yield a far more effective vaccine by isolating precisely which part of the virus is common to many strains and thus most effectively targeted by antibodies (reducing influenza’s ability to evolve around the vaccine by targeting a more fundamental part of it). To suggest that no one studies adverse events or tries to improve vaccines is ridiculous.

    The calculus of vaccination is very simple. As long as the risk to the individual is negligible (it will never be zero; that is theoretically impossible) and the benefit substantial, it will continue to be done. And as long as the benefit to *society* outweighs the risk to the individual by a large enough margin, it will continue to be part of the recommended slate of vaccinations. It’s a “good of the many” situation. Same reason why the kennel won’t accept your dog if he/she isn’t current on rabies, distemper, and in many cases, kennel cough (the canine equivalent of whooping cough). It’s not to protect your dog. It’s to protect your dog *and every other dog there*.

    Some folks won’t accept any risk on behalf of the many; they won’t vaccinate their child just because it could save another child’s life. But they’re forgetting that their child is *one of the many*. So vaccinate, unless there’s a clear contraindication.

    As far as testing for contraindications, I think a lot of folks seriously underestimate the risks of testing. Like all medical procedures, tests carry risks. Okay, a urine test is pretty harmless, but genetic screening? If you’re lucky, all it will require is blood. And that means a needle stick, and pain. If a lot of blood is required, it may mean a lot of pain. If a biopsy is required…. No, I would not put all children through that just because a tiny number of them might have a problem. It’s bad enough having to stick them with needles for the vaccination (though blessedly, more vaccines are combined into single shots now, which many people seem not to realize actually *reduces* the risks of most adverse reactions while also being much kinder on the poor kids).

    It all comes down to relative risk.

  68. #69 Calli Arcale
    June 3, 2008

    Talking of relative risk, sciencebasedmedicine.org has a good article up right now about the relative risk of testing. The decision to test a person for a particular condition should not be undertaken lightly, because there are consequences, and tests can have false positives. Some tests have a LOT of false positives, like mammography. That’s why they biopsies instead of going straight to chemo and/or lumpectomy/mastectomy. But biopsies are highly unpleasant and carry significant surgical risks. The risk of a false positive is therefore considerable. The same would be true of testing a child for a rare genetic disorder. What if there is a false positive? What will that mean? How serious is that risk? What complications may come from the test itself? How expensive is it? How painful? Unfortunately, the answer to adverse reactions is not simply more testing.

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=123

  69. #70 I'M A CON MONICA
    June 3, 2008

    My word, the antivax loonies have come out to play. I try to imagine a pre-internet world where these quacklovers were relegated to their basements listening to the Art Bell show and gnawing their fingernails down to the quick.

  70. #71 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    I’M A CON MONICA, very mature of you.

    I think you summed it up with your choice of wording here, it does show your maturity level, and I do hope is not a harbinger of your intelligence. Why don’t you grow up, and realize this is not about anyone being anti-vaccine, lunatics, or quacklovers.

    This is about finding ethical ways to reduce the occurences of adverse reactions to childhood vaccines.

    Perhaps you can contribute to the conversation in a more meaningful, positive way?

  71. #72 Landru
    June 3, 2008

    But do we REALLY and TRULY NEED rotateq, to keep mommies working?

    The idea that the vaccine exists only to save mommy’s sick days is repugnant to me.

    That is some ignorant, elitist, misogynistic, sexist shit, there. What an appalling point of view, apparently coming from people who don’t understand the mathematics of vaccinations (which have prevented literally millions of needless deaths and caused a remarkably small proportion of adversity), the economics of public health, the well-established linkage between good health and economic prosperity, the notion that many people don’t have sick leave, or the notion that a lot a people have leave, but not the liberty to use it in the quantities required to care for a kid stricken with rotavirus.

    And this sexist tripe coming from two commenters who nick with womens’ names. I’m not doubting your gender, but y’all really might want to crawl back to your caves and get a firmer grip on reality.

  72. #73 D. C. Sessions
    June 3, 2008

    Once again we demonstrate just how rapidly any discussion of woo degenerates into argumentum ad hominem.

    I suspect that there could be a metric for thread degeneration and once measured, factors that can be used to predict the rate at which discussions rot. If I weren’t eating lunch right now, I might even come up with something that might be named after me.

    Good thing I have an excuse not to.

  73. #74 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    This is about finding ethical ways to reduce the occurences of adverse reactions to childhood vaccines.

    And so far, you’ve provided none, nor any way to do so, nor any way to do research to do so. You’ve ignored arguments and refutations of yours.

    For the record, I don’t think you’re an antivax-loon, your Big Pharma delusions notwithstanding. You do seem to have trouble facing reality though.

  74. #75 Prometheus
    June 3, 2008

    From Monica:

    flittingbug, the varicella vaccine acts in the same way as the virus. It is a live virus vaccine. It will target the CNS and lay dormant, just as a natural infection will, and cause shingles later in life, or earlier for those who are immune deficienct, or immune supressed.

    Hence the new shingles vaccine.

    Pretty nifty idea Merck had, huh?”

    Maybe I missed the article, but I don’t recall a case of “shingles” (secondary herpes zoster) that has been shown to be the Oka/Merck vaccine strain. If Monica knows of one, I’d love to hear about it. This isn’t to say that it’s impossible, I just don’t recall that it’s been demonstrated.

    At any rate, the earliest vaccinations with the Oka/Merck vaccine strain happened about 25 years ago, so it’s about a decade too soon to be looking for Oka/Merck strain “shingles”.

    I hate to pop a conspiratorial bubble, but the “shingles vaccine is just the same Oka/Merck strain of herpes zoster used in the “chicken pox”. It’s just been released after being tested for safety and efficacy in older adults.

    Since one of the primary contributors to “shingles” outbreak is thought to be declining immunity, it makes sense to “boost” immunity in older adults. It not only makes sense, the studies indicate that it actually works.

    This information is not being kept in some locked vault deep under the Merck corporate headquarters – it is easily available on PubMed.

    Finally, while it is true that children with primary immune deficiencies should not receive live virus vaccines, there are a couple of considerations that come into play:

    [1] The viruses in the vaccines are attenuated – this means that they will have less impact on even the immunodeficient than the “wild type” virus.

    [2] Given the vulnerability children (and adults) with primary immune dediciencies have to viral infections, it is in their best interest that the community as a whole be fully vaccinated. In many (most?) viral illnesses, the victim is contagious (shedding lots of live, infectious viruses) before they have significant symptoms, so quarantine is not as effective as vaccination.

    [3] Primary immune deficiencies are relatively rare and are difficult to diagnose. The initial “screening” test is a history of frequent infections – something that is not generally apparent in a young infant.

    Screening newborns with some sort of bone marrow or genetic testing – even if it is limited to children with a family history of primary immune deficiency – will not only cost a lot of money for every case detected, but will also injure and possibly kill children without primary immune deficiency (the testing is not without risks).

    In addition, given the low prevalence of primary immune deficiency, the false-positive rate of a screening test will result in a large number of unaffected children – and their families – being put through confirmatory tests for each case of primary immune deficiency that is detected.

    I don’t mean to downplay the trauma and struggles that children with primary immune deficiency – and their families – go through. I have some idea of what that is.

    However, public health decisions have to look not only at the benefits of early detection of primary immune deficiencies, but also at the consequences and risks of the screening process to those who are screened, but don’t have the illness.

    The NICHD estimates that 400 children with primary immune deficiency are born each year in the US. The US Census Bureau estimates that over 4 million children were born in the US in the past 12 months. That means that we would have to screen 10,000 children without primary immune deficiency to find one child with it.

    Now, if screening from primary immune deficiency were as easy as screening for PKU (which affects about 1 child in 25,000), that would be a “no brainer”. However, it isn’t that easy – as Monica no doubt is painfully aware.

    Some of the most common primary immune deficiencies don’t even have a known genetic locus, which would rule out the use of genetic screening. Some children with the more common primary immune deficiencies aren’t diagnosed until age 9 – some even later. Are we to “hold off” on vaccinating until then?

    As “common sense” as “screening for primary immune deficiency before vaccinating” sounds in the abstract, it doesn’t sound so good in the reality. This goes for a number of other disorders, including mitochondrial disorders.

    This doesn’t mean that we can ignore the fact that some children will react poorly to vaccines, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to find better vaccines and better screening tests for primary immune deficiency. I happen to know that research is ongoing in both of these fields.

    What we have to decide is what we do now with the tools we currently have available.

    Is it better for us to vaccinate all children who don’t currently have a contraindication to vaccination – accepting that some children who have undiscovered disorders will be harmed – in order to preserve the “herd immunity” that protects people with all kinds of immune deficiencies?

    Or is it better to not vaccinate anyone until we have confirmed that they will not be harmed (or, at least, that they don’t have any of the known contraindications to vaccination, such as primary immune deficiency) and thus place a much larger group of children at risk of harm (from complications of testing) and/or lose the “herd immunity” that protects those with cancer, secondary immune deficiencies and primary immune deficiencies?

    These are the public health decisions that we will have to make.

    Prometheus

  75. #76 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    “The same would be true of testing a child for a rare genetic disorder. What if there is a false positive? What will that mean? How serious is that risk? What complications may come from the test itself? How expensive is it? How painful?”

    Calli, you have stated very good points here.

    How serious is the risk of NOT identifying a contraindicated condition before vaccination?

    Considering what an adverse reaction can lead to, and the fact that vaccines are federally mandated, I honestly feel the benefits of testing outweigh the risks involved.

    Live virus vaccines can kill children who cannot create an adequate immune response.

    I can tell you the pain my daughter has gone through due to all the testing (not to mention the cost) is more than any child’s fair share. Not to mention the pain she faces of having a lifelong disability which has left her unable to communicate.

  76. #77 David Lee
    June 3, 2008

    You’re in the right, here, Orac. If these vaccine moms would put aside emotions and look at the data–as well as learn a little about chemistry, they might well realize they’re inappropriately displacing their grief and anger. Therapy would be better than banding together in mass ignorance.

    Keep up the opinions based on data and not on feelins. All opinions are not equally valid.

  77. #78 Landru
    June 3, 2008

    How serious is the risk of NOT identifying a contraindicated condition before vaccination?

    At the population level? Not remotely serious. Really.

    At the individual level? Also not very serious, relatively. No sane person would wish that pain on any individual, your daughter included. That doesn’t mean that mandating vaccinations is only ethical if the impossible can be achieved–i.e., the absolute elimination of risk. That’s not even in the same universe as a reasonable standard, especially given the factors Calli cited, which you tried to cavalierly dismiss with an emotional gut-punch.

    I doubt that anyone here wishes pain on your daughter, and if they do, I certainly don’t agree with them. That notwithstanding, your efforts to reframe the argument don’t change the fact that the essence of your case is that public health policy should be made based on your daughter’s pain.

  78. #79 MBA
    June 3, 2008

    Go ahead and test your children! Who is stopping you? If you really believe that your child may be one of the 1 in 10000 or so children who has PID or an allergic reaction to space debris or whatever, talk to your doctor and ask to have ALL available tests done. When they tell you it would be prohibitively expensive, most likely totally unnecessary and traumatic, don’t listen to them. Insist on the tests. No doctor will refuse a request for a workup (within reason) to give you piece of mind, even if they think it is unnecessary. If they think it is dangerous for the child, they will (and should) probably refuse. But you are free to do all the testing you wish, otherwise. If you think you have a one in a million contraindication, by all means, get whatever available tests there are. NO ONE IS STOPPING YOU! You don’t need to impose your neurosis on the entire American public by insisting that ALL children be tested. And before you protest that it would cost too much, this is a good time to point out why it is a GOOD thing that medicine costs money, because if it were totally free to indulge such neurosis in all the antivivisectionists in the country, the taxpayers would soon discover that they couldn’t support it. It is a GOOD thing that these tests would be prohibitively expensive. That way, only the wealthy neurotic will subject their children to such nonsense.

  79. #80 dreikin
    June 3, 2008

    Now, I wonder how these “green our vaccines” people would react to vaccines from lettuce? Somehow, I don’t think it will suffice for them..

  80. #81 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    June 3, 2008

    Landru,

    The idea that the vaccine exists only to save mommy’s sick days is repugnant to me.

    That is some ignorant, elitist, misogynistic, sexist shit, there.

    I think you misinterpreted that comment from Kim. My take was that she was saying she was in the hospital because of varicella and the suggestion that the vaccination was only to help out mommy with reducing sick days was repugnant. Not that it is the only reason it exists.

    I could be wrong.

  81. #82 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    StuV, I have given ways that we could predict who may regress (or suffer and adverse reaction) after vaccination.

    Start looking at the profiles of children who have! That is not so difficult.

    And thank you, for once, someone realizes that I am not antivaccine. I just think we need to research them a bit more. Questioning something does not make one against it…

    As for having trouble facing reality, that remains to be seen. It’s pretty fuct up knowing that your child was injured for “the good of society”.

    Sorry, but I can’t just sit back and not want to do something to prevent it from re-occuring…

  82. #83 Dianne
    June 3, 2008

    “dihydrogen monoxide”, that is. I’ve been grading a desk full of tests on chemical nomenclature, and I must be letting my students’ spelling get to me. :)

    Duh. Quite right you are, rick. Besides which, the “hydro” kind of gives the game away, doesn’t it?

  83. #84 Landru
    June 3, 2008

    Rev., you may be right–the comment could be read both ways, I think, and if I’m wrong, I apologize. For that part.

  84. #85 Monica
    June 3, 2008

    Prometheus, as for the shingles, if you search VAERS, you will find documented cases of shingles in children with zero history of varicella infection. This is the adverse reaction. Shingles usually only happens in the elderly, as the immune system deteriorates, or the immune deficient at younger ages. So chances are, these children have underlying immune issues.

    As for your numbers on Primary Immunodeficiency, I think those are a bit low, but I don’t have the time to link more accurate data. Unfortunately, I have laundry to do, dinner to make and a house to clean before my daughter’s bus and speech therapist arrive. Orac has stole another day from me again!

    Most info can be found at http://www.primaryimmune.org

    As for your closing about public health decisions, very true. Had my child not been the one that was sacrificed for the greater good, I may feel differently, and be in favor of the current approach.

    But each child is exactly that, no matter how miniscule the number, they are our children.

    She is my child, and we can never undo what has been done.

  85. #86 Joseph
    June 3, 2008

    Has anyone warned them that the potentially toxic chemical dihydromonoxide is also contained in all vaccines?

    If you’re given too many vaccines (say, thousands) dihydromonoxide is the vaccine ingredient that probably has the greatest chance of killing you first.

  86. #87 Dianne
    June 3, 2008

    I have given ways that we could predict who may regress (or suffer and adverse reaction) after vaccination.

    Start looking at the profiles of children who have! That is not so difficult.

    Actually, it is.

    Problem #1: Correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Autism usually presents around 2 years of age, whether a child has been vaccinated or not. The behaviors associated with autism simply aren’t obvious before then. Some children with autism do appear to regress developmentally at about that age, whether they have been vaccinated or not. Descriptions of autism going back to the early 20th century when the only vaccine even potentially available was mercury free cowpox all describe autism developing at about 2 years of age. So the fact that the child has received a vaccine within a few weeks or months of symptoms starting may be meaningless.

    2. Where is the money going to come from? Which diseases should pediatricians abandon in order to study this correlation? Should work on ALL stop? It’s 95% curable in young kids, who cares about the other 5%, right? Should we not worry about diabetes any more since we have the stop-gap of insulin? Or are you willing to pay more taxes in order to increase funding of the NIH so that no funding has to be cut?

    3. It’s already being done. There are numerous systems for reporting adverse reactions. Some are better than others (remember the “incredible hulk” side effect reported and accepted into the VAERS system?) But every hospital and public health organization has systems in place for reporting adverse reactions. The FDA watches for patterns in post-marketing adverse events as well. As far as I know, no one has done a study looking at whether ER visits within, say, 2 weeks of vaccination has any correlation with…anything at all. It might be an interesting paper. Not really my field, though. You have interest in the question. Why don’t you do it? (Not a sarcastic suggestion: the beauty of science is that it can be done by anyone willing to take the time and effort. I don’t know your background: you may need further training in epidemiology and statistics, but there’s no absolute barriers in your way as far as I know.)

  87. #88 Landru
    June 3, 2008

    Isn’t VAERS is crap as a data source, by which I mean that entries to the system are essentially uncontrolled? Someone knowledgeable please correct me if I’m wrong about that one.

  88. #89 D. C. Sessions
    June 3, 2008

    StuV, I have given ways that we could predict who may regress (or suffer and adverse reaction) after vaccination.

    Start looking at the profiles of children who have! That is not so difficult.

    We already have that. Have the babies examined by a developmental specialist: they have a very good record of spotting the ones who have the early signs of that form of autism.

    There’s nothing whatever to prevent parents who are concerned about such things from having their children tested in advance.

    The parents who want all children to be tested prior to vaccination are arguing against their own children’s interests, since that will raise the costs of health care, reduce its availability (at least to those who aren’t as wealthy as Ms. McCarthy) and reduce the herd effect which protects their children.

  89. #90 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    I can tell you the pain my daughter has gone through due to all the testing (not to mention the cost) is more than any child’s fair share.

    And you advocate ALL children be put through this.

    What the hell?

    I have given ways that we could predict who may regress (or suffer and adverse reaction) after vaccination.

    Yes, by torturing and potentially harming tens of thousands of children to potentially save one. Exactly the opposite of what vaccines do: potentially harming a few children to save tens of thousands. Nobody likes harming even those few, and if there was an ethical, practical way to prevent it, we would.

    Start looking at the profiles of children who have! That is not so difficult.

    I will make this point one more time. I will do it loudly. If you choose to ignore it AGAIN, please go trolling elsewhere.

    WE ALREADY KNOW CHILDREN WITH PID ARE LIKELY TO SUFFER SEVERE ADVERSE EFFECTS FROM GETTING VACCINATED. THE PROBLEM IS TESTING FOR PID.

    You even make that point for me:

    I can tell you the pain my daughter has gone through due to all the testing (not to mention the cost) is more than any child’s fair share.

    Delusion? Maybe not. But severe cognitive difference? Starting to seem like it.

  90. #91 David Lee
    June 3, 2008

    You’re in the right, here, Orac. If these vaccine moms would put aside emotions and look at the data–as well as learn a little about chemistry, they might well realize they’re inappropriately displacing their grief and anger. Therapy would be better than banding together in mass ignorance.

    Keep up the opinions based on data and not on feelings. All opinions are not equally valid.

  91. #92 Prometheus
    June 3, 2008

    Again, from Monica:

    Considering what an adverse reaction can lead to, and the fact that vaccines are federally mandated, I honestly feel the benefits of testing outweigh the risks involved.

    [1] Except from a few, very specific situations (e.g. members of the armed forces), vaccines are not “federally mandated”. State governments have mandated that – for instance – children attending public schools either be vaccinated or have on file a religious or medical exemption form. The federal government, through the CDC, compiles and publishes a recommended schedule of vaccination, but does not mandate it at all.

    [2] Rather than relying on how somebody “feels” about the risk/benefit ratio of pre-vaccination testing, how about some data? What tests are available to detect – for example – primary immune deficiency? What is the false positive rate? What is the false negative rate? What potential complications can occur for the test and how frequently do they occur?

    If you don’t have any data about the risk of testing, you can’t make an informed choice. If you’re assuming that testing is completely benign, you are being rather naive.

    If anyone can point me to that information, I’d love to hear it.

    Oh, and saying “I don’t have time to find the information” after saying “…the benefits of testing outweight the risks…” is the same as saying “I haven’t got a clue – I’m just making stuff up as I go along.”

    Prometheus

  92. #93 StuV
    June 3, 2008

    cognitive dissonance of course. The irony, it burns.

  93. #94 Dianne
    June 3, 2008

    Orac has stole another day from me again!

    It’s very, very simple. Just turn off the browser. Don’t read any more comments (or you’ll want to respond), don’t look at just one last thing, just turn it off. It’s the only thing that works, in my experience with thread addiction :-)

  94. #95 Calli Arcale
    June 3, 2008

    To Dianne: well, not exactly — speaking as a former chemistry major (switched to comp sci), “hydro” refers to “hydrogen”, and though the etymology of hydrogen points back to water (it literally means “made from water”), the “hydro” prefix in the chemical name merely indicates the presense of hydrogen. Dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) is of course one of a great many hydrogen-containing compounds. ;-)

    To Monica:
    Calli, you have stated very good points here.

    How serious is the risk of NOT identifying a contraindicated condition before vaccination?

    Yes, that is precisely the flip side — and it’s an essential part of the calculus of vaccination. (Actually, any medical procedure. It’s all about risk versus benefit.) This is why there are many vaccines which are *not* routinely given. Influenza is widely given, but not universally nor is it mandated precisely because the benefit does not sufficiently outweigh the risks (except in highly vulnerable populations — small children, the elderly, the immunocompromised, and in those who could be vectors of influenza to the vulnerable, such as healthcare workers) to justify mandating it. Not as things stand currently, anyway. Public health is a dynamic thing. A better example would probably be rabies. A great many nations mandate vaccination of all pets against rabies, but no one mandates vaccinating humans — despite the fact that rabies can be transmitted by any mammal and has a terrifying prognosis. (Nearly all victims die, painfully.) But the rabies vaccine itself is hazardous, and it is relatively rare to actually contract the disease. Most people are unlikely to be bitten by wild animals, and person-to-person transmission is extremely rare. Thus, in most parts of the world, domestic animals are the main vector. Vaccinating them is actually much more effective than vaccinating humans, and much less concerning from an ethical standpoint. Some pets and livestock will encounter adverse events, but that is not as bad as humans encountering adverse events — especially since it’s one of those vaccines that needs regular booster shots, increasing the risk to patients.

    So those at extra risk of exposure (veterinarians, pest control experts, wildlife officials, etc.) get vaccinated routinely, but the general public does not.

    Or consider anthrax. There’s a vaccine to that. But it’s not recommended for the general public. It’s given to military personnel, since anthrax does exist in weaponized forms, but would not be given to the public except in some really horrible extreme wartime situation. The risk seriously outweighs the benefit.

    The risk of any one child being found (the hard way) to have a rare contraindication is generally considerably outweighed by the risk of that same child contracting the disease in question. Your child, as it turns out, had a contraindication. However, it is worth noting that from what you’ve said, what happened to your child could have happened another way — from an infectious disease. And avoiding vaccination would not do anything to protect her from that. I’ve heard arguments both ways on whether or not to vaccinate the immunocompromised. It usually depends on exactly what’s wrong with their immune systems. For some, vaccination, while it has a small risk of provoking a dangerous fever, is better than the much larger risk of getting an infectious disease, since they are at greater risk of significant damage or even death from such a disease. There is a sort of irony in that — the procedure to protect a person from damaging infections can, in rare cases, cause some of the same damage that infections can. But there is no medical procedure that is without risk, and really, even doing nothing has risks. The best we as parents and patients can do is try to understand the risks as best as we can so that we can play the odds more effectively, while researchers work to reduce and better quantify the risks for us.

  95. #96 Catherina
    June 3, 2008

    oh dear, went away for dinner and what do I return to – 94 comments.

    Monica, if you are still reading – my comment about the moms staying home for 4 weeks (you conveniently ignored the osteomyelitis and the stroke case), was to illustrate how seriously sick these children were. When you write

    I also don’t feel one bit of remorse for mommies having to miss work to take care of sick children. Call me crazy, but I have had to do it for 3 yrs now.

    you very nicely prove that you don’t give a toss about children’s health in this discussion. That is sad, but pretty typical of anti-vaccinationists. I remember the head of the parent association of a Steiner school at which a girl had just died of measles who declared on national TV that she didn’t think about other children for a second when she made the non-vaccination decision for her own children.

  96. #97 Sloan
    June 3, 2008

    I’ve done a little virus culture in my time. That list of ingredients is one of the most dishonest things I’ve ever seen.

    Yes, monkey kidney cells (VERO cells) are used quite often…to GROW THE VIRUS, not make the vaccine. The cells and virus are in a liquid nutrient medium, so you first have to freeze/thaw the flasks a few times to fracture those cells that aren’t already lysed by virus. Break ‘em open, spin down the mixture in a centrifuge to pellet the large bits, and pour off the supernatant. What’s left in the supernatant (if you’ve done it right) is mostly virus and intracellular proteins. The rest is a succession of further purification/concentration steps, in which a good number of other scary-sounding reagents are added and then extracted, but the end product is pure virus in a buffered saline solution and nothing more.

    But all of this takes time to explain, and people don’t want the long, logical answer.

    Ingredients like Tween 80 and fetal bovine serum are sometimes present in the cell culture medium used to grow the cells, but they’re not going to be present in the final vaccine. Same for most of the other stuff on the list.

    It’s a bit like saying that the purified water you buy in the store has polysulfone in it because it was passed through a 0.22-micron polysulfone membrane to remove any residual bacterial contamination. Nothing leaches out during this process, but people only hear the word “polysulfone” and all of a sudden it’s “ZOMG what’s that!? It sounds all chemical-ish and scientific so it must be dangerous!”

  97. #98 mona
    June 3, 2008

    Wait–when did sucrose become a toxin?

    You know, maybe “toxin” is just a synonym for “substance,” or “molecule,” just to be ironic. Poe’s law might not only apply to creationism, it seems. I mean, what’s the alternative? That they’ve all forgotten everything they should have learned in high school chemistry?

  98. #99 Joseph
    June 3, 2008

    Isn’t VAERS is crap as a data source, by which I mean that entries to the system are essentially uncontrolled?

    It is when lawyers and activists encourage people to file VAERS reports. In other words, anti-vaxers have rendered it pretty useless as of late.

  99. #100 Shiritai
    June 3, 2008

    Monica said:
    “It’s pretty fuct up knowing that your child was injured for “the good of society”.”

    Ok, I think I see where you’re coming from now. It would certainly be nice if we had complete, accurate medical information on everyone, but that’s impossible. So, we have to play the odds. Say, for simplicity’s sake, that Option A has a 1% complication rate, and Option B has a 0.1% complication rate, and all complications are of equal severity. You’d go with Option B, right? But if Option B turns out bad, it makes no sense to say “Dangit, I should have chosen Option A.” All actions we make have associated risk. It’s all we can do to choose the lowest risk.

    That’s what “the good of society” was referring to. We can’t test everybody for everything. So, we have to follow the statistics, which is the best for everyone as a whole.

  100. #101 wfjag
    June 3, 2008

    “Sucrose? They’re worried about sucrose in the vaccines? Has anyone warned them that the potentially toxic chemical dihydromonoxide is also contained in all vaccines?”

    Yes, Dianne, there have been many warnings about “dihydromonoxide”. Search the NY Times website for articles using the term “waterboarding”.

    Sucrose (or frutose) dissolved in Dihromonoxide, particularly in solution with carbon dioxide also makes the news frequently, usually in the advertising section.

    Since DSM is undergoing a revision, I propose a new diagnosis: Lexiolatinoderivnodrivel phobia, from:

    Lexio — related to words;
    Latino — related to Latin;
    Derivno — derived from;
    Drivel — self-explanatory
    Phobia – irrational fear

    Or, the irrational fear of scary sounding, big, Latin-derived words.

    That’s much nicer sounding than “ignoramus” and, Dianne, won’t leave you open to being accused of sarcasm.

  101. #102 Andrew
    June 3, 2008

    One good, practical way to reduce adverse reactions is to better track each and every vaccine that is being adminstered (lot #, site of injection, date, manufacturer, adverse event history, allerigc reactions, etc.) as well as provide a portable immunization record (which can not be lossed as many paper iz records are) that follow children and adults around as they change health care providers. These systems already exist and they are called immunization registries but they are underdeveloped. If the people who are honestly concerned about adverse reaction were ingenuous they would be protesting that immunization registry systems in every U.S. State are grossly underfunded. http://www.immregistries.org/

  102. #103 Andrew
    June 3, 2008

    One good, practical way to reduce adverse reactions is to better track each and every vaccine that is being administered (lot #, site of injection, date, manufacturer, adverse event history, allergic reactions, etc.) as well as provide a portable immunization record (which can not be lost as many paper iz records are) that follow children and adults around as they change health care providers. These systems already exist and they are called immunization registries but they are underdeveloped. If the people who are honestly concerned about adverse reaction were ingenuous they would be protesting that immunization registry systems in every U.S. State are grossly under funded. http://www.immregistries.org/

  103. #104 Andrew
    June 3, 2008

    One good, practical way to reduce adverse reactions in addition to making vaccines better is to better track each and every vaccine that is being administered (lot #, site of injection, date, manufacturer, adverse event history, allergic reactions, etc.) as well as provide a portable immunization record (which can not be lost as many paper iz records are) that follow children and adults around as they change health care providers. These systems already exist and they are called immunization registries but they are underdeveloped. If the people who are honestly concerned about adverse reaction were ingenuous they would be protesting that immunization registry systems in every U.S. State are grossly under funded. http://www.ecbt.org/registries/

  104. #105 jf
    June 3, 2008

    I’d be interested in knowing what percentage of anti-vaccine folk are believers in other conspiracy theories, are pro CAM, use herbal and homeopathic remedies and/or feel a need to take society back to some fantasy land non existent natural state where everyone is happy and healthy eating their organic swill and chasing butterflies and unicorns. Because surely before all the evils of industrial life no one had these kinds of developmental and medical problems.

  105. #106 ebohlman
    June 3, 2008

    Wait–when did sucrose become a toxin?

    A while back, Orac wrote a post describing how some anti-vaxers made up a list of all the “toxins” and their possible adverse effects. For sucrose, it was something like “there are concerns that consumption of large amounts of sucrose may lead to reduced consumption of more nutritious foods.” IOW, “too much sugar might spoil your appetite.”

    Of course, sugar already has a bad reputation in crunchy circles, with some believing that it actually is immunosuppressant, etc. I think it’s just the good old Puritan ethic; anything that’s enjoyable to eat must be bad for you.

  106. #107 Andrew
    June 3, 2008

    ooopps sorry about multiple posting.

  107. #108 Matt
    June 3, 2008

    Kev has discussed the green our vaccines thing today:
    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=854

    Mostly, it concentrates on how a real toxicologist who treats people with real mercury poisoning looks at the DAN! methodology for diagnosis and treatment. I don’t think I am giving too much away to say, real toxicologists think the DAN! methodology has no validity.

    Mike Stanton is discussing the rally as well, and is a bit more on topic
    http://actionforautism.co.uk/2008/06/03/green-our-vaccines/

  108. #109 CanadianChick
    June 3, 2008

    Monica, MadMom and the rest of the anti-vaxers…

    just do me a favour. I won’t force you to vaccinate your kids if you can promise me that they will be kept in an environmentally contained bubble for the rest of their lives, ‘kay?

    Some of us have compromised immune systems due to illness or medication and rely heavily on herd immunity to stay safe…

    And it is very possible to have shingles appear without ever being symptomatic of varicella…for example, I discovered several years ago that I have the antibodies for varicella, even though I NEVER had any signs or symptoms of chicken pox as a child, nor did I have a vaccine.

    So, given my doctor’s conclusion that I must have had a mild case that appeared atypical, that my mom wrote off as a generic fever or something, I could quite possibly end up with shingles.

    And it’s NOT just a disease of the elderly or those with failing immune systems. It is more likely to strike them, but my relatively healthy 50 year old husband has had shingles, as have a couple of my coworkers.

    Monica, I’m sorry your kid had to go through all of what she has…but surely your own research has shown you that the same thing would have happened to her had she been exposed to a bad viral or bacterial infection, or some other anti-vaxer’s varicella-ridden child??

    side note – I had to spend the night at the ER at Dartmouth General last night. There was actually a big sign warning patients who think they might have symptoms of MUMPS to don a mask and use antiseptic gel immediately. I NEVER thought I’d see the day where something like that would be posted…and it’s all due to anti-vaxers.

  109. #110 DLC
    June 3, 2008

    The dose makes the poison. you can kill yourself drinking too much water over too short a time. Should we then place warning labels on every bottle of water, and mandate warning signs at every water fountain and tap ?

  110. #111 Soy = autism
    June 3, 2008

    When is JB Handley’s Generation Rescue going to demand that Genisoy “Green our Genisoy Bars”? Genisoy bars contain mercury. Shouldn’t there be a label on the Genisoy bars stating that they contain a toxic substance? When will JB Handley’s hypocrisy end?

  111. #112 Elaine
    June 3, 2008

    Just read an interesting article about the dose making the poison, water is bad for babies!
    http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/newsDetail.aspx?id=4844

  112. #113 John Best
    June 3, 2008

    Canadian Chick,
    If you want us to vaccinate our kids and risk autism, the doctors should agree to pay us damages and repair the damage the vaccines did to our kids. I think that’s a better choice than putting our kids in a bubble.

  113. #114 bastion
    June 3, 2008

    Wait–when did sucrose become a toxin?

    When the alties and anti-vacs realized that anything that was a “chemical” wasn’t “natural”; that anything that wasn’t “natural” was a poison–a toxin.

    You know, “This product is all natural! It contains no chemicals.”

    Or there’s the claim, “I don’t want any chemicals in my body, and I don’t want any chemicals in anything I put in my body.”
    [Boggle]

    Hence, the need to “green” our vaccines–rid them of chemicals. Dontcha see?

  114. #115 YLJ
    June 4, 2008

    Why are vaccines one size fits all? Shouldn’t vaccines be administered according to size and body weight and not just by age group?

  115. #116 Curtis E. Flush
    June 4, 2008

    “Why are vaccines one size fits all? Shouldn’t vaccines be administered according to size and body weight and not just by age group?”

    No, because infectious childhood diseases are one size fits all, they do not necessarily discriminate by size and body weight.

  116. #117 mike stanton
    June 4, 2008

    Orac mentioned “a load of fetid dingo’s kidneys.”

    Don’t tell me that’s another vaccine ingredient!

  117. #118 YLJ
    June 4, 2008

    No, because infectious childhood diseases are one size fits all, they do not necessarily discriminate by size and body weight.

    Can you cite a peer reviewed study on Pubmed to back up that statement?

  118. #119 Nick Sullivan
    June 4, 2008

    “Why are vaccines one size fits all? Shouldn’t vaccines be administered according to size and body weight and not just by age group?”

    /sigh

    Because neither of those variables are probably going to impact on immune response, which is what vaccines are meant to trigger… Which means vaccine dosages are worked out to trigger an adequate immune response across the whole population, hence the whole “one size fits all”.

  119. #120 SC
    June 4, 2008

    “Death from rotavirus is rare in the United States. However, in developing countries, rotavirus gastroenteritis has been estimated to cause up to several hundred thousand deaths annually in infants and young children.”

    Yet 70-80% (I think, will have to find source to verify) of this vaccine is being distributed in the US, not in developing countries. I do know we consume the lion’s share of this vaccine.

    You cite these statistics, and yet you don’t bother advocating for access to prevention or treatment for poor children in other countries who are dying by the hundreds of thousands. How utterly perverse.

  120. #121 StuV
    June 4, 2008

    John Best:

    If you want us to vaccinate our kids and risk autism, the doctors should agree to pay us damages and repair the damage the vaccines did to our kids.

    If you want to not vaccinate kids and harm them by forcing them to go through awful and preventable diseases just because of your vaccines-cause-autism fantasy, you should agree to pay us damages and repair the damage these diseases did to our kids.

    Idiot.

  121. #122 Interrobang
    June 4, 2008

    this is a good time to point out why it is a GOOD thing that medicine costs money, because if it were totally free to indulge such neurosis in all the antivivisectionists in the country, the taxpayers would soon discover that they couldn’t support it

    That’s why hereabouts where we pay for our medicine using tax dollars, we have this little stipulation about procedures being “medically necessary.” You’re free to seek a second opinion, of course, or a twenty-second opinion, and you’re also free to go across the border to the US where someone will be more than happy to relieve you of copious quantities of cash for (what we call up here) “yuppie scans” and whatnot. However, this being a free country and all, if you do that I’m also perfectly free to mention that old adage about fools and their money being soon parted. (This is also what perplexes me about the local alties — why in hell would you go to the woomeister where they do a cash-up-front business when you already have, you know, actual medical care paid for ahead of time?)

    I think I’ll be looking into that shingles vaccine. I’m a little old to have gotten shots for varicella the first time around, and practically everyone in my family has gotten shingles, so even though I’m not in their gene pool, I’ve seen it up close and personal, and I don’t want it.

    Also, since someone brought it up upthread, I’d like to remind people that at least in some areas, people have been attempting to vaccinate wild animals for rabies by putting down vaccine-laced baits.

  122. #123 John Best
    June 4, 2008

    StuV,
    Most of the diseases we vaccinate against are harmless or no threat whatsoever. Polio and diptheria are worthwhile. Don’t need tetanus unless an injury makes it necessary. Don’t know what the HiB even stands for.
    I disagree with those who think vaccines cause autism. I think it’s simply the mercury. To be opposed to removing all mercury makes you the idiot.

  123. #124 StuV
    June 4, 2008

    Most of the diseases we vaccinate against are harmless or no threat whatsoever.

    Liar. Name one.

    Don’t need tetanus unless an injury makes it necessary.

    “Tetanus – particularly the neonatal form – remains a significant public health problem in non-industrialized countries. There are about one million cases of tetanus reported worldwide annually, causing an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 deaths each year”

    Obviously, you want those good old days back here, too.

    Don’t know what the HiB even stands for.

    That is simply pathetic. Here, I looked it up for you in less time than it took you to write that sentence:

    “Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib vaccine or PRP vaccine[1]) is a conjugate vaccine developed for the prevention of invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made recommendations for the use of the Hib vaccine[2]. Due to routine use of the Hib vaccine in the U.S. from 1980 to 1990, the incidence of invasive Hib disease has decreased from 40-100 per 100,000 children down to 1.3 per 100,000[3]. Vaccinations against Haemophilus influenzae (Hib) have decreased early childhood meningitis significantly in developed countries and recently in developing countries [4].”

    I think it’s simply the mercury.

    Pssst, John, that’s been thoroughly debunked now. Everyone has moved on except you.

    To be opposed to removing all mercury makes you the idiot.

    Holy pathetic strawman, Batman! Where did I say that? Can’t keep your trolling straight?

    Come on, John… you’re not even trying anymore.

  124. #125 Jesse
    June 4, 2008

    Most of the diseases we vaccinate against are harmless or no threat whatsoever.

    Yeah, it’s not like people die from the Flu….. oh wait, they do. Roughly 35,000 people a year die from Influenza

  125. #126 CanadianChick
    June 4, 2008

    John Best – as tired as I am of repeating myself – you are an idiot.

    Go ahead, don’t vaccinate your kids. I don’t care. But I do care if you release the little germ-carriers into the public.

    So, please, if you choose not to vaccinate, keep them in that bubble. Away from the rest of us.

    And for crying out loud – before ranting about the evils of vaccines, and mercury in vaccines, do some bloody homework…if you’re going to say they’re useless, at least have some basic knowledge of what the diseases are!

    (the stupid, it burns)

  126. #127 passionlessDrone
    June 4, 2008

    Hello friends –

    I’m not here to argue that vaccines cause all autism, but it wouldn’t surprize me if they caused a few cases. I personally know one set parents whose children spoke in sentences until the day they were vaccinated, and did not speak again for a full year. Call it annectode, observation, or whatever, but calling it coincidence is as ridiculous as complaining about sucrose in a vaccine. There are thousands of parents with exactly the same story.

    I am bothered by how flippantly these observations are written off based on epidemiology from Denmark or the fact that a single ingredient has been removed from vaccines. It seems this debate frequently suffers from either an overload of emotion on one side, or a dearth of imagination on the other.

    It occurs to me to wonder if what has been observed in cases of severe and drastic regression is not so much a result of the artificial ingredients in a vaccine, but instead, a result of the hyper immune response generated; possibly in conjunction with other substances. Perhaps something similar to Reyes syndrome.

    Anyways, take care all!

    - pD

  127. #128 grenouille
    June 4, 2008

    My child babbled for the first time a few hours after he got some scheduled shots. He pointed for the first time the day he received some catch-up vaccines at around 10 months. I actually had the ped put both of these things in his chart because he had some developmental issues and I wanted some anecdotes of my own.

    Was this coincidence or something more? Could vaccines have caused such a huge jump in social development? I guess I just don’t understand why some anecdotes are worth more than others.

  128. #129 passionlessDrone
    June 4, 2008

    Hi grenouille –

    Could vaccines have caused such a huge jump in social development?

    Maybe. (?)

    I guess I just don’t understand why some anecdotes are worth more than others.

    But it is simple to understand; some observations are more interesting, unexpected, or troubling, than others; especially when observed repeatedly. Yours were interesting, it seems to you anyways, but do not appear particularly worrisome, nor unexpected (at least to me). Are there thousands of other parents who have reported what you have observed? If so, this would make your observations more interesting, but even still, unlikely to be a cause of concern. Finally, starting to point, or starting to babble is not unexpected; but stopping doing these things is completely unexpected.

    Does this help?

    - pD

  129. #130 ozzy
    June 4, 2008

    Drone,

    On the other hand, I think, from your viewpoint, grenouille’s observation is completely unexpected. Since you assume that vaccines cause neurodevelopmental regression, it would be highly unexpected to see a child progress immediately after getting vaccinated. Therefore, vaccines must be neurostimulatory.
    Just because an observation is unexpected doesn’t make it one bit more valid than one that is expected. Your expectation is based on your bias.

  130. #131 passionlessDrone
    June 4, 2008

    Hi ozzy –

    Since you assume that vaccines cause neurodevelopmental regression, it would be highly unexpected to see a child progress immediately after getting vaccinated. Therefore, vaccines must be neurostimulatory.

    I believe vaccines (or the immune response they elict), can cause developmental regression in a few cases. [I think I was clear on this in my initial post] This, by no means mandates that I believe it would be impossible for a child to progress ‘immediately after getting vaccinated’. I happen to believe that children react to agents and immune responses differently, so holding these two beliefs is not difficult.

    Children start pointing, and start talking all the time; in fact, if you take one thousand children, very close to one thousand of them will start talking or pointing at one point in time; only a very, very small subset of them will stop doing those things once they have started. This is what makes starting talking expected, and stopping talking unexpected; not just to me, but to anyone. I suppose, if you do not believe that regression is an unexpected development, such a change in course might be considered normal. (?)

    As for neurostimulatory, I’m a bit lost on your meaning. Sorry.

    Just because an observation is unexpected doesn’t make it one bit more valid than one that is expected.

    If validity is a mechanism by which to determine if something should be investigated further or not, your argument is wrong, wrong, wrong. Seeing things that don’t conform to what is expected drives asking more questions, as opposed to asking fewer.

    Perhaps, the problem is that we have different ideas of what ‘valid’ is in this discussion. (?)

    - pD

  131. #132 Monica
    June 4, 2008

    CanadianChick-
    “just do me a favour. I won’t force you to vaccinate your kids if you can promise me that they will be kept in an environmentally contained bubble for the rest of their lives, ‘kay?

    Some of us have compromised immune systems due to illness or medication and rely heavily on herd immunity to stay safe”

    My daughter was fully vaccinated until 17 months of age, when she suffered a severe adverse reaction. Now, not only does she have a permanent medical exemption to vaccination, but she has Primary Immunodeficiency, and also must rely heavily on herd immunity, as she has zero- no antibodies agaianst VPDs.

    You have misinterpreted my statements.

    I don’t have a choice to further vaccinate, the immunologist made that decision for my daughter’s safety.

  132. #133 ozzy
    June 4, 2008

    “but instead, a result of the hyper immune response generated; possibly in conjunction with other substances. Perhaps something similar to Reyes syndrome.”

    There is no evidence that Reyes syndrome, a diagnosis of exlusion, is due to a hyper immune response. The classic Reye’s syndrome death present with a “non-inflammatory cerebral edema with cell degeneration and non-inflammatory hepatoencephalopathy” upon autopsy. It is believed to be due to mitochondrial dysfunction during a NORMAL inflammatory response that possibly leads to metabolic dysregulation or increased sensitivity to some pharmaceutical drugs or environmental xenobiotics, in some undefined susceptible population. Alot of the cytokines released during an inflammatory response have effects on metabolism. The evidence backing the Reye’s-aspirin linkage is pretty weak. In fact, it is now believed that most “Reye’s syndrome” cases are just cases of genetic mitochondrial dysfunction.

    Review: Pediatric Drugs; 2007, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p195-204

  133. #134 ozzy
    June 4, 2008

    “only a very, very small subset of them will stop doing those things once they have started.”

    That’s assuming that they have actually started doing these things. The evidence for a total regression is fairly weak and almost totally anectdotal. It is more likely that these children were developing atypically to start with. Every parent thinks their child is developing normally.

  134. #135 ebohlman
    June 4, 2008

    Every parent thinks their child is developing normally.

    Correction: every parent thinks their first child is developing normally. From what I’ve read, most parents who have more than one autism-spectrum kid usually notice the signs in their second one quite early, simply because they know what to look for.

  135. #136 John Best
    June 4, 2008

    Canadian Chick,
    I never heard of one case of a kid being killed by measles, mumps or rubella or chicken pox when i was a kid. I also never heard of one case of autism. You pro vaccine dweebs need to take responsibility for poisoning our kids by compensating them and their parents for lost wages, medical treatments that insurance won’t pay for and pain and suffering.

    Where do you dig up these stat’s about mundane diseases killing kids anyhow, by averaging in stat’s from third world places? Bunch of nitwits.

  136. #137 Laurie Rodriguez
    June 4, 2008

    Explain to me why you feel the need to call Jenny a “useful idiot” or question her intelligence? Do you have a child with autism? Probably not or you might actually have a heart. I am sure she has plenty of other things she would rather do but she has the ability to be a voice for all of the children. Have you ever even met her? I met her at a conference last October and she is NOT stupid, not anti-vaccine, and is doing the right thing. By the way why is it anyway that you feel it necessary to bad mouth a mother of a child with autism? It is possible to have your difference of opinion with some class. Signed, a mother of a beautiful little girl with autism.

  137. #138 Danio
    June 4, 2008

    Laurie,
    Orac has addressed this challenge in a previous post. You might find it enlightening:
    link

    99% of the pro-vaccine (and pro-science-based-medicine) posters on this blog are deeply sympathetic to the challenges of parenting a child with autism or any special needs. A great many here do in fact have children with such special needs, but this is certainly not a prerequisite for a valid opinion on the subject. A valid opinion such as: Jenny McCarthy gives every indication of being a credulous shill for the anti-vax movement, and she is making a negative impact of a crucial public health issue that affects the global community. It is rationally insupportable that her actions are in any way ‘the right thing’.

  138. #140 HCN
    June 4, 2008

    For some strange reason the link wasn’t working… let’s try again:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/05/accusations_against_skeptical_physicians.php

  139. #141 Danio
    June 4, 2008

    Thanks HCN, that’s the ticket. I seem to have offended the ether gods in some way–every attempt I’ve made at a link on ScienceBlogs today has gone down in flames. Perhaps I need to offer up a sacrificial appeasement of some sort. Would that the lords of the intertubes would find the aroma of smoldering iBook pleasing, and forgive the virtual transgressions of this humble user.

  140. #142 HCN
    June 4, 2008

    It is just weird, I can’t see any difference between the links. You must have some “don’t let this person post links” cookie!

  141. #143 khan
    June 4, 2008

    “dihydrogen monoxide”, that is. I’ve been grading a desk full of tests on chemical nomenclature, and I must be letting my students’ spelling get to me. :)

    The funny thing about those “look at all the scary CHEMICALS” signs is that we routinely use stuff like that in chemistry class as a joke – common things like sugar and salt have scary chemical names like sucrose and sodium chloride.

    Johnny was a Chemist’s son,
    But Johnny is no more.
    What he thought was H2O
    Was H2SO4.

  142. #144 ebohlman
    June 5, 2008

    Danio and HCN: if you look real closely you’ll see that Danio’s link has a trailing space in it, and servers consider trailing spaces part of the resource’s name.

  143. #145 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    John, John, John… you are truly losing it now.

    It is sad to see. But fine, I’ll play Whack-A-Woo with you.

    I never heard of one case of a kid being killed by measles, mumps or rubella or chicken pox when i was a kid.

    Which means what, exactly? Are you truly saying that if you don’t hear about it, it did not happen? Hey, here’s one for you. Nobody I know of has ever died of colon cancer.

    So, colon cancer does not exist.

    QED.

    Hey, this game is fun. Let’s continue!

    I also never heard of one case of autism.

    I also never heard of one case of breast cancer.

    Whoooo! Where’s my prize, John?

    You pro vaccine dweebs need to take responsibility for poisoning our kids by compensating them and their parents for lost wages, medical treatments that insurance won’t pay for and pain and suffering.

    Ad hominem, projection, conspiracy lunacy, passive aggressive behavior, begging the question, all in one sentence?

    My hat is off to you. And you know what? If you existed on the same plane of reality as the rest of us, that sentence might actually mean something.

    Where do you dig up these stat’s about mundane diseases killing kids anyhow, by averaging in stat’s from third world places?

    Yes, that’s exactly what we did. You know, by quoting scientific papers about the incidence of these diseases in the United States. But keep going John, your efforts will have the USA back to a “third world place” in no time.

    Bunch of nitwits.

    John, I’m sorry, am I getting to you?

  144. #146 Curtis E. Flush
    June 5, 2008

    “No, because infectious childhood diseases are one size fits all, they do not necessarily discriminate by size and body weight.”

    “Can you cite a peer reviewed study on Pubmed to back up that statement?”

    I apologize, my statement was perhaps sloppy. It’s probably the case that low birth weight lends itself to infectious disease, and vaccination is even more important. There are plenty more than the citation below. Simply search pubmed with [low birth weight (insert disease of your choice here)].

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11469946

  145. #147 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    Explain to me why you feel the need to call Jenny a “useful idiot”

    Because she is. Personally, I’d call her a willful idiot and Jim Carey the useful idiot, but that is neither here nor there.

    She is deluded and buys into insane claptrap about vaccine dangers. That makes her useful to the anti-vaccine movement. What part of this are you having trouble with, exactly?

    or question her intelligence?

    Adherence to lunacy leaves that question wide open. It is frustrating that quite a few intelligent people go off the deep end *cough* Bobby Fisher *cough*, but when they do, whatever intelligence they have or had is in question from there on out. To put it another way, I’d bet against any soul in a chess match against Bobby, but that does not mean that I will take his advice on how to fold tin-foil hats.

    Just because your car’s engine worked like a charm for over a decade does not mean you owe it respect when pistons start launching through your hood.

    Do you have a child with autism?

    Personally? A niece. She is wonderful, beautiful, she drives me nuts at times, scares me witless with her abandon and most of all, it frustrates the living crap out of me that this disorder can not, as of yet, be alleviated. Let me guess, here comes the false authority argument. 3, 2, 1…

    Probably not or you might actually have a heart.

    Bite me. Most of the people here, objectively, care more than the anti-vaccination crowd does, since we — listen very carefully — support research into the origins, workings, prevention and treatment of the entire spectrum of disorders labeled autism. Railing against things that have been clinically and conclusively proven to not have an everloving thing to do with autism, such as mercury in vaccines — yes, John, I’m looking at you –, or advocating for more research into such dead ends, hurts autism research. And it hurts my kin.

    So yes, bite me.

    I am sure she has plenty of other things she would rather do

    Hmm. Let’s see about that. Here, have a look:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000189/

    It seems like Jenny really likes being famous, and that she jumped her acting shark sometime in the mid-90s. My educated guess is that she’d rather be acting in major movies, but hey…

    but she has the ability to be a voice for all of the children.

    Saying what? “Research this already debunked avenue for the cause of my child’s autism”? When doing so would ensure that funds would get diverted from actually useful research?

    Really, by now the anti-vax movement agenda has gotten to be the equivalent of spinning the blind-folded designated pinata-hitter away from the pinata towards the closest SUV and telling the kid to never mind the really loud alarm and keep hitting, because if they just keep hitting hard enough and long enough candy WILL fall out. Counter-productive, expensive, distracting and several notches beyond insane.

    Have you ever even met her?

    No. And until she went off the deep end, I would have loved to.

    In other news, I have also never met Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh or Jim Jones. Pray tell, when did meeting someone become a prerequisite for being able to judge their proclamations as being wrong, insane or hurtful?

    I met her at a conference last October and she is NOT stupid

    I’m glad. What specific IQ test did you administer to determine this?

    not anti-vaccine

    So her railing against vaccinations is her super-duper secret reverse-psychology ploy to… what?

    Huh?

    I’m sorry. Her superior intellect (as validated by you) works in mysterious ways, I guess.

    and is doing the right thing.

    This presumes:
    1. There is a right thing
    2. A has-been Playmate knows what that thing is
    3. You have the judgement to reckognize it
    4. You know better than every respected scientist

    By the way why is it anyway that you feel it necessary to bad mouth a mother of a child with autism?

    If said mother promulgates inane and dangerous lies, yes, I feel that necessity indeed. Why? Because by her actions, she endangers children with autism, destroys the families of these children and hinders true research in the cause of, the mechanisms of and the solution to a devastating developmental disorder.

    I will call her dangerous, and I will call her stupid. And if it did not hurt so many children, one of which is close and dear to me, I would do it with a big smile on my face. But she does hurt that child, and I ain’t smiling.

    It is possible to have your difference of opinion with some class.

    No. This “difference of opinion” has become the equivalent of debating people that insist the earth is flat and rests on turtles and elephants. To hold that the earth is flat, or that mercury in vaccines cause autism, is not a valid position. A difference of opinion is whether Jessica Biehl or Jessica Alba is the hottest woman alive. Whether gravity makes things fall up or down is not.

    Not all opinions are equal. Opinions which are provably wrong are also known as delusions. The matter of health danger from vaccines is not, I repeat, not, a matter of opinion anymore. To pretend otherwise, well… THAT is truly classless.

    Your pathetic attempt at the moral high ground is duly noted, rejected and recycled for firelighters.

    Signed, a mother of a beautiful little girl with autism.

    I, and I am sure all others here, congratulate you with having a beautiful child, commiserate with that child having autism, and would like to point out that these things do not make you an authority — in fact, because of the near impossibility of objectivity, make you far less so.

  146. #148 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    Curtis:

    It’s probably the case that low birth weight lends itself to infectious disease,

    Correlation is not causation. It drives me absolutely nuts how many “studies” lately focus on correlation. It seems like a conclusion looking for support, having no hypothesis going in. It advances NOTHING.

  147. #149 CanadianChick
    June 5, 2008

    StuV, you’re taking away all my fun, responding to John Best’s stupidity before I get a chance…and then you say the exact same things I was going to say.

    *pouts*

  148. #150 StuV
    June 5, 2008

    Sorry CC — should we set up a tag-team schedule?

  149. #151 Tsu Dho Nimh
    June 5, 2008

    Monica – you saud, “while I feel terrible for children who suffer complications of chickenpox, I don’t think vaccinating ALL children during infancy is the answer.”

    OK, let’s just vaccinate the ones who would otherwise suffer complications. My question to you is this – how can we identify them before they get chickenpox and the complications? It’s like saying “wear your seatbelt only when you are going to have an accident”.

    You also say, “I have given ways that we could predict who may regress (or suffer and adverse reaction) after vaccination. Start looking at the profiles of children who have! That is not so difficult.”

    Please define “profiles”. If you are talking about a full genetic, imuunological, and blood chemistry workup, with maybe some mitochondrial studies, liver biopsies for cell culture, bone marrow withdrawal … what are the risks to the child from such an aggressive medical intervention.

    ************************
    When did sucrose become a toxin? When someone realized thsat it can also be called α-D-glucopyranosyl- (1↔2)-β-D-fructofuranoside

  150. #152 gfcfmom
    June 7, 2008

    Parents are all saying the same thing-their kids spiraled downwards after receiving routine vaccinations. The parents are all saying the same thing and nothing it’s not being looked at. If you don’t believe me, watch Dr. Bernadine Healy’s interview on CBS. She is the former DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH-surely she is high up enough for you to listen to.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

  151. #153 hopefulhealing
    June 10, 2008

    StuV,

    Why are you so angry? As a mom who went to the rally with her 11 yr old son, we are not anti-vaccine. Society has to recognize that there are things in our environment and with in our control to keep our children safe. I did vaccinate my children up to school age, but have requested a blood test to make sure the child has sufficient antibodies before they get a 2nd injection, that contains stuff you wouldn’t knowingly put into your body if you were sick or even healthy.

    How many people do you know with children on the autisitic spectrum, PDD-NOS and ADD/ADHD? What about the number of people who have allergies, asthma and Alzheimer’s? Do you know about the number of people being diagnosed with Celiac disease? Why are all of these on the rise? Please do not judge if you do not have all of the facts.

    Have you ever had the experience of trusting doctors over your own instincts with why your child is sick and that something just wasn’t quite right? I’m not just talking about autism but even having a simple ear infection, just because they don’t exhibit all of the signs or symptoms doesn’t mean they don’t have one as I have had the experience of finding this out due to my persistence. The doctor is amazed at, wow, you were right.

    The anger, frustration and negative stances only do more harm than address the issue. We shouldn’t be calling people names. It would be best to keep an open mind and read the reports versus listen to angry people.

    The responsibility of taking care of a child with autism is going to effect all of society, financially and socially. If 1 and 150 children are being diagnosed on the spectrum, how do you explain it? Is it really someone’s genes that make that determination? It can’t be.

    I love my son and believe he’s was a gift. Life has been challenging but it has made me a better mom and taught me to not take things at face value. I’ve learned that just because someone has a Dr. in front of their name, it doesn’t mean they know more than me when it comes to making the best decision for my child. I do believe that we as a society have made choices that sacrifice our overall quality of life.

    Instead of feeding into the negative, find a solution or make a recommendation for improvement.

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