Respectful Insolence

Regarding the recent antivaccinationist-fueled outbreak of measles reported yesterday, quoth J. B. Handley, founder of Generation Rescue, now arguably the most prominent antivaccine activist group in the U.S., given that its coffers are filled with money from celebrity and pro wrestling fundraisers:

Autism and antivaccines advocates are unapologetic about the return of measles.

“Most parents I know will take measles over autism,” said J. B. Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, a parent-led organization that contends that autism is a treatable condition caused by vaccines.

Except that vaccines don’t cause autism.

There is no credible scientific evidence that they do, and the evidence failing to find even a wisp of a link is quite strong. So our old “friend” J.B. is spouting a false dichotomy here. It’s not “measles versus autism.”Rather, it’s measles versus no measles, and J.B. Handley, his new celebrity representative Jenny McCarthy, her enabler Dr. Jay Gordon, and all the other “I’m not antivaccine” antivaccinationists have come down on the side of measles. But if you really want to see a hunk o’ hunk o’ burnin’ stupid, check out this comment by Kim Stagliano on that loony antiscientific conspiracy-mongering blog repository of all things antivaccine, Age of Autism:

The Yahoo story points out that 15 American children were hospitalized with Measles. None died. How many children with autism drowned least year? Deadly indeed. The story is different in the third world and even developling nations – where children die in droves from vaccine preventable diseases. But they also deserve to remain FREE OF AUTISM if there is a link. A parent should not have to choose the threat of disease versus the threat of autism.

Talk about a non sequitur! One could ask how many children without autism drowned last year? I don’t know the number for last year, but I do know that in recent years generally 5,000 children a year have been the victims of drowning or near drowning. 15% die, and 20% suffer permanent neurological damage. According to the CDC, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years, and of all children between the ages of one and four who die, 26% die from drowning. Drowning accounts for a huge percentage of total deaths of young children, nonautistic or autistic. One wonders if Kim has figures to suggest that the death rate due to drowning is so much higher among autistic children, and it is irrelevant to the vaccine argument even if it is. It’s nothing more than obfuscation.

Of course, besides the non sequitur the main reason that Kim’s statement is a hunk o’ hunk o’ burnin’ stupid is, once again, because of its false dichotomy of parents being faced with “choosing” between the threat of disease versus the threat of autism. Once again, there is no credible evidence that the MMR is linked to autism. None. The only such “evidence” is Andrew Wakefield’s incompetent, litigation-driven, fraudulent, and unethical research, whose results no one has been able to replicate.

But leave it to Kelli Ann Davis to tell us the true calculus in antivaccinationists’ minds:

How about when the re-emergence of those deadly/disabling infectious diseases effect 1.) 1 out of 150 children and 2.) the *disability* is a life-long event vs a two week hospital stay.

When will *you* realize that having a case of the chickenpox or measles doesn’t even come CLOSE to the struggles that my son will endure for THE REST OF HIS LIFE!!??

The *ONLY* individuals responsible for allowing us to get to the point where a parent must weigh *autism rates* to *infectious disease rates* (benefit/risk costs) are the government and public health officials who’ve turned a blind-eye towards the tens of thousands of parents who’ve been pressing for answers to legitimate vaccine safety questions for years.

Bottom Line: Until decent studies are done and vaccines are cleaned up and rigorously tested for safety, you can expect to see the same trend as you see now — educated parents refusing to play Russian Roulette with their children’s lives.

Once again, this false dichotomy: measles and other vaccine-preventable vaccines versus autism rears its ugly head. Once again, let me emphasize that there is no credible evidence that the MMR, other vaccines, or thimerosal in vaccines causes autism. The stupid also burns in Kelli Ann’s claim that vaccines aren’t rigorously tested for safety. They are. The whole “toxins” thing (or, as Kelli Ann refers to it, the need to “clean up” vaccines) is a fiction in the mind of antivaccine activists. To emphasize once again, the choice is not between measles and autism or other vaccine-preventable diseases and autism. No, the true choice is between controlling potentially deadly infectious diseases and not controlling them. It’s between low to nonexistent levels of these diseases and allowing them to return to pre-vaccine era levels of morbidity and mortality, where measles caused hundreds of deaths a year and thousands of cases of encephalitis. (And that’s just measles.) The best scientific evidence predicts that autism rates will not change regardless of which choice is made, but many, many more children will sicken and die if vaccination rates fall below the level needed for herd immunity. It’s just that simple, and every case of measles that occurs due to children whose parents refuse to vaccinate should be viewed in a large part as the fault of those parents and of Jenny McCarthy and her newfound band of antivaccinationists. As Steve Novella put it:

…if Jenny McCarthy is going to put her own “mommy instinct” before the consensus of scientific opinion, and exploit her dubious celebrity to champion anti-science, then she is going to have to take responsibility for her actions. The way I figure it, so far there are at least 68 measles cases on her tally sheet, and the number is growing.

Personally, I’d add J.B. Handley, Kim Stagliano, David Kirby, Dan Olmsted, Barbara Loe Fisher, and all the other prominent antivaccine activists, plus their enablers, such as Dr. Jay Gordon, to that same role of shame along with Jenny McCarthy who, let’s face it, is simply their most recent and famous mouthpiece.

If you want to see a statement that takes the cake for burning stupidity, though, check this one out by someone named Lisa. It’s so unhinged, so out of touch with reality, so full of paranoia and conspiracy mongering that I reproduce it in its entirety:

Okay, I am getting SO tired of seeing this same stupid discussion played out over and over again. It’s always measles vs. autism. Other dreaded diseases vs. autism. Vaccination vs. dreaded diseases.

How about this for a choice? No vaccination, no autism, and no dreaded diseases.

But wait. How can this be possible? Isn’t it always a lose-lose choice between vaccinating and preventing disease and not vaccinating and causing disease to spread?

No, there is always more than one solution to a problem. Anybody who tries to tell you different is selling something.

Measles does not materialize from thin air. It is not transmitted via birds, chickens or mosquitoes. It is spread from human to human. Where does it come from? For quite some time (maybe 20 years now), it has been coming primarily from two places: Asia and Africa. Not all of Asia and all of Africa, mind you, but specifically from countries in Asia and Africa where it is still prevalent. And the reason it is prevalent in those countries is not because of a lack of vaccination, but because there is poor sanitation and many malnourished children in those countries with few natural defenses, and they spread the measles like wildfire.

Now, how does measles get from Asia and Africa to Europe and the U.S.? It is spread in only one way: through travelers, primarily by people who go to a country where measles is still prevalent and bring it back with them. So how can this be stopped without requiring that every human being west of the Nile be pumped full of chemicals? The answer is outrageously simple. Just develop an infectious disease screening program for travelers who come from countries where measles (and other infectious diseases) are still prevalent. Yes, it would be inconvenient for those travelers, but it would be far more efficient and cost-effective than having to vaccinate every living person on the planet, year in and year out.

In fact, if you think about it, it’s hard to believe there is not such a screening program in place already. After all, measles is not the only thing spread by travelers. So is TB, which has no vaccine.

If we took this idea a step further, and the West actually sent health workers to Africa and Asia not to try to vaccinate every newborn baby, year after year, but rather to quarantine and provide nursing services to communities where there is an outbreak, we could eradicate not just measles but many other infectious diseases in fewer than 10 years.

Revolutionary? Yes. Cost-effective? Yes. Safe? Yes. Profitable for the pharmaceutical industry? No. Therein lies the problem.

It’s the classic “sanitation versus vaccines” argument, which in the case of measles is so easy to refute that it’s laughable. Yes, better sanitation and nutrition are important for helping to slow the spread of disease, but for measles, the drop to only a handful of cases a year coincided only with the introduction of the measles vaccine. Similarly, screening all entrants to this country for many vaccine-preventable diseases is incredibly expensive and impractical, particularly since there are no easy screening tests for many of the diseases against which we vaccinate. The reason we do screen for TB is because, as has been pointed out, TB is not only highly contagious and potentially debilitating and deadly, but there is no vaccine for it. Lisa’s also wrong that all these diseases come only from outside the country. Thanks to pockets where vaccine uptake is low, there are populations where viruses and bacteria causing disease can persist at a low level. Indeed, the recent MMWR Report points out that homeschooled children who were not vaccinated were the nidus for some recent outbreaks of measles. I also can’t help but point out the xenophobia behind her comments. Just as the French proclaimed syphilis to be the “Italian disease” and Italians proclaimed it to be the “French” disease, Lisa in essence proclaims measles to be the “Asian” or “African” disease. To her, apparently, the source of these vaccine-preventable disease can’t possibly be America. It must come from those others in Africa and Asia, and we have to screen them or keep them out.

Or if all else fails, go to their countries and quarantine them.

Lisa’s also living in a fantasy world if she thinks that it’s possible to quarantine every outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases. Does she have any clue just how many resources such a program would require, how many personnel? How does she propose to mobilize such an army of health care workers to go into impoverished areas in Africa and Asia to quarantine and treat every patient in every outbreak in every village? Does she honestly think that governments will permit foreigners to enter their countries in huge numbers for such a purpose? Does she think that people will cooperate with massive quarantines? Even if Lisa were emperor of the world and could instantly make her will absolute law, it wouldn’t work. At best, such tactics only slow the spread of disease; they don’t eliminate the natural reservoirs where the microbes causing the disease reside.

The bottom line is that vaccination is a far more cost-effective and just plain effective means of eradicating disease. It is far more so than what Lisa proposes, so much more so that no rational, scientific cost-benefit analysis could conclude that massive quarantines, which, when you come right down to it, would be very difficult to implement even in dictatorships.

I do have to say one thing, though. As dismayed as I am about this latest news regarding the incipient resurgence of measles in the U.S., it does have one up side. It brings the crazies out of the woodwork, and allows us to expose to the light of day the paranoia, pseudoscience, and logical fallacies that are really at the core of the antivaccine movement–if only we can publicize them.

Comments

  1. #1 wolfwalker
    August 22, 2008

    Glenn Reynolds has a column about the antivaxers in the August issue of Popular Mechanics. Reading the comments is … bizarre. It’s almost exactly like reading an argument between science-defenders and creationists, or between science-defenders and animal-rightists. Over and over, one side cites properly-gathered scientific data while the other cites only a few anecdotes and leaps to universal conclusions as a result. There’s a claim in there that I don’t recall seeing before, even here: some vaccines contain other forms of mercury that are ‘more active’ than thimerosol, which is why getting rid of the thimerosol didn’t get rid of the problem of vaccine-caused autism. Other stupid claims like “unvaccinated kids are healthier than vaccinated ones – fewer colds, coughs, and other minor infections.” And always, always the demonization of drug companies and the researchers who do studies for them.

  2. #2 Orac
    August 22, 2008

    It’s almost exactly like reading an argument between science-defenders and creationists, or between science-defenders and animal-rightists.

    It isn’t “almost” exactly like. It is exactly like. Antivaccine activists are no different in their denialist tactics than creationists, HIV/AIDS denialists, animal rights activists, or 9/11 Truthers.

  3. #3 Scott
    August 22, 2008

    Believe it or not, I’m actually pleasantly surprised by the comments quoted. Why, you may ask? Because I expected the idiots to come up with some convoluted nonsense that would allow them to blame vaccines for *causing* the outbreaks.

    Admitting that vaccines aren’t the cause of every illness ever is actually a step in the right direction for a lot of the fools.

  4. #4 SC
    August 22, 2008

    So it appears their next targets are Big Water and Big Freedom.

  5. #5 Dunc
    August 22, 2008

    When will *you* realize that having a case of the chickenpox or measles doesn’t even come CLOSE to the struggles that my son will endure for THE REST OF HIS LIFE!!??

    Translation: I don’t care if your kids get sick or die.

  6. #6 Ranson
    August 22, 2008

    Don’t worry, Scott — those people are out there. There’s at least one in the comment thread of Orac’s post immediately before this one. Something about “shedding” live virus for six weeks after vaccination.

  7. #7 wolfwalker
    August 22, 2008

    Orac, I said “almost” only because the specifics of the arguments change for the different specific topics. As you say, the tactics and the underlying state of mind never do. In all three cases, the anti-science side are True Believers, who believe what they believe because they want to believe it. The evidence doesn’t actually matter to them.

  8. #8 Blaidd Drwg
    August 22, 2008

    But, you know, it’s just soooo much easier to blame “the other” for your troubles, than it is to take any kind of personal responsibility (or even accept that blind probability may be a factor in your kid’s autism – - – “Shit happens”). Especially when “the other” happens to be countries populated with swarthy people who are probably not even Christian.

  9. #9 N.C.
    August 22, 2008

    Most of the comments on that article are pure gold, but my favorite is:

    To all those who believe our un-vaccinated children are a threat to society…read a book. Do you ever wonder where the medical community gets their statistics? From studies funded by the drug-companies. The people who are generating billions of dollars…from you vaccinating your children. I’ll not be a part of it. It’s bias and my childs welfare is NOT their main concern. Both of my kids have never been vaccinated. My alternative to taking them to the doctor is to nurish them correctly and to not comprimise their immune systems with things like sugar, hydrogenated oils and medicine. I take them to the chiropractor once a month since birth, which everyone should know that preserving your spinal cord, which protects your whole nerve system, is leading in preventative care. Don’t you learn that in the 7th grade?

    Don’t worry, mom, we can just subluxate those measles right out of your kids!

  10. #10 wintermute
    August 22, 2008

    When will *you* realize that having a case of the chickenpox or measles doesn’t even come CLOSE to the struggles that my son will endure for THE REST OF HIS LIFE!!??

    Isn’t measles pretty likely to cause a fever so high that it can lead to severe brain damage? Assuming you survive, of course. And even chickenpox kills, occasionally.

    Is that really so much better than autism?

  11. #11 Matty Smith
    August 22, 2008

    I’m not arguing that animal testing and research is not necessarily for one second whatsoever, but whenever I see ‘Animal Rights Activists’ listed among crazies like Creationists I get worried. You mean Animal Rights Extremists or something, surely? I grew up on a farm, I would gladly be an ‘activist’ against dry sow stalls, although not to the extent where I endangered life or property. Or do you mean to deny that animals have rights at all? No, you do not.

  12. #12 SC
    August 22, 2008

    All of these references to outbreaks in Europe got me curious. I googled and found this

    http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=18835

    which answered some of my questions. Anthroposophy was a new one to me (though a quick search shows that it’s been mentioned here before).

  13. #13 I am so wise
    August 22, 2008

    A thing I have found helpful is to mock them for not being skeptical of the motivation of their leading figures. Pointing out that nobody would care what a cooter flashing college dropout like Jenny McCarthy would think if she wasn’t this grand crusade is a personal favorite.

  14. #14 BB
    August 22, 2008

    @wintermute: yes. I ran 107 deg F when I had the measles (pre-vaccine era). I was 7 years old. I was lucky; I survived and without noticeable sequelae.
    Let me at those !@#$%$%^&* miscreants! What illiterate jerks. Absolute imbeciles.

  15. #15 thordora
    August 22, 2008

    Even if the measles vs autism argument was valid, I think I’d rather my child have a disorder I could work with and around than possibly be dead. But that’s just me.

  16. #16 wolfwalker
    August 22, 2008

    Is that really so much better than autism?

    To her, it probably is. Most victims of childhood diseases like measles and chickenpox either die or recover completely. Those that die … well, their pain is over, and (in most cases) those left behind will eventually adjust to their loss. Even the diseases that can cripple or disfigure don’t affect the person’s ability to lead a more-or-less normal life. Hell, a polio victim once became President of the United States!

    But the more severe forms of autism (or any other brain-damage condition) destroy the victim’s life without – quite – taking it away completely. It’s said that the worst experience a parent can endure is having to bury their child. I’m not so sure of that. It’s entirely possible that having a mentally-disabled child is worse, because it never ends and there’s never a chance to adjust to it or recover from it. The wound is reopened every single time the parent looks at what is and thinks about what might have been. I’ll tell such people that they’re mistaken, but I try to never belittle the anguish they must feel.

  17. #17 Orac
    August 22, 2008

    Nor do I.

    However, I also point out that parents’ struggles and anguish do not and should not immunize them from harsh criticism when they strongly advocate an antiscientific agenda that endangers the public health gains of the last 50 years. I’ll be sympathetic to their situation, appreciating how difficult it must be to raise a severely autistic child, but I will not allow sympathy to prevent me from countering their dangerous pseudoscience.

    Also, many of them so thoroughly buy into the “vaccines cause autism” claims that they really do believe the false dichotomy of either infectious diseases or autism. That false dichotomy must be attacked every time it appears. The real choice is between controlling vaccine-preventable diseases and a return to the bad old days when such diseases caused widespread suffering and even death.

  18. #18 wolfwalker
    August 22, 2008

    Matty asked: I’m not arguing that animal testing and research is not necessarily for one second whatsoever, but whenever I see ‘Animal Rights Activists’ listed among crazies like Creationists I get worried. You mean Animal Rights Extremists or something, surely?

    No, I meant animal rights _activists_. Though I suspect you mean the same thing by “animal rights extremists” as I mean by “animal rights activists.” See, animal rights activists ARE extremists. To be exact, they’re the extremist wing of the animal _welfare_ movement. AW advocates are generally sensible people who want to find sensible answers to genuine abuse. AR advocates are nuts. I interacted with some of them a long time ago in a forum far, far away. They use exactly the same tactics as creationists and antivaxers: manipulated statistics, flawed “science,” appeals to emotion, strawman arguments, outright lies, censorship of opposing viewpoints, and when all else fails, personal abuse.

  19. #19 tamarkot
    August 22, 2008

    “Is that really so much better than autism?”

    At least autism isn’t contagious.

  20. #20 Niobe
    August 22, 2008

    Big pharma’s only goal is making money, from vaccines that prevent diseases that could make more money for big pharma in emergency and permanent care. That’s some sound logic!

  21. #21 JThompson
    August 22, 2008

    I won’t belittle the anguish the parents feel, but I’d love to call them out on quite a lot of what they do.
    Yeah, I’m sure it helps their kid try to live as normal a life as possible when their parents drag them around shouting what an abomination they are in front of large crowds.
    Ok, I was wrong, I’m going to belittle the anguish they feel.
    What the hell kind of parents would treat their child like a ‘circus freak’ from the 1800s?
    It pisses me off every time I see one of them at a protest dragging their kid around to make a ‘point’.
    I don’t give a rat’s ass if you think evil satanic sorcerers from the DMV gave your child the evil eye and made his or her grades drop. (Which is pretty much the level of intellectual curiousity these people have.) You don’t put their picture on a sign and wave it around while you yell about what a monster the evil science people made them.
    For that reason and that reason alone I think these people below PETA, creationists, and the other whackjob conspiracy theorists. At least they only indoctrinate their children into their crazy, which is bad enough. They don’t humiliate them.

  22. #22 Carpworld
    August 22, 2008

    Just a quick question here: if there’s no TB vaccine, what was the BCG injection i had when i was at school? I’m probably being dumb here, but i thought it was a TB immunisation?

  23. #23 Ruth
    August 22, 2008

    My autistic child started middle school last week. She has a para to help with note-taking, but is otherwise intergrated into the regular classes. Her conversation, gait and posture still stand out as ‘odd’.

    At age 7, she avoided eye contact, could not stay seated to do school work and had no interest in peers. There was no ‘cure’-time, good teachers and acceptance of her differences was all the treatment she received. She will always be different from normal, but I am blessed to have her alive and well. Keep fighting for reason and compassion-GR has neither.

  24. #24 Michael Suttkus, II
    August 22, 2008

    Given Lisa’s assertion that lack of hygine causes measels outbreaks, does that mean that the unvaccinated kids in the US who caught measles are dirtier than vaccinated kids?

  25. #25 wolfwalker
    August 22, 2008

    Carpworld, you’re right: the BCG vaccine is supposed to immunize against TB. However, the efficacy of the BCG vaccine is apparently under dispute.

  26. #26 Ruth
    August 22, 2008

    We need T-shirts:

    My mom went to “green Our Vaccines” and all I got was these lousy measles

  27. #27 SteveM
    August 22, 2008

    “Most parents I know will take measles over autism,” said J. B. Handley, co-founder of Generation Rescue, a parent-led organization that contends that autism is a treatable condition caused by vaccines.

    Doesn’t this seem self-contradictory on its own, regardless? If he thinks autism is treatble then why would you risk measles that could be fatal or permanantly brain damaging? The stupid really does burn brightly.

  28. #28 Carpworld
    August 22, 2008

    Thanks for that, wolfwalker. I’m in the UK and when i was at school everyone got the BCG vaccine, it was a bit of a right of passage.

  29. #29 Lancelot Gobbo
    August 22, 2008

    If Kelli Ann Davis wants to talk about “Russian roulette” she would do well to consider what happened after routine immunisation went all to hell after the breakup of the USSR – Russia and other ex-Soviet states reported 140,000 cases since 1990 and over 4,000 deaths. These diseases don’t go away; they wait.

  30. #30 Grimalkin
    August 22, 2008

    I’m confused. What do you mean that there is no TB vaccine? I had a BCG when I was about 13. That’s for TB, isn’t it?

  31. #31 Orac
    August 22, 2008

    Alright already! I meant to say there is no highly effective vaccine for TB, especially for pulmonary tuberculosis in adults, for which BCG doesn’t work that well. It works OK in young children for preventing miliary TB, though.

    It’s known as letting rapid typing shorthand get away.

  32. #32 Phoenix Woman
    August 22, 2008

    These parents live with a weird mixture of fear and hope.

    On the one hand, they blame themselves for “poisoning” their child. On the other hand, they dose themselves with false hope, because they believe that was “done” can be “undone” with enough “purification”.

    This is why they cannot ever allow themselves to accept the fact that autism is a condition that was programmed into their children before they were born: Because to admit that means admitting that there is no “cure”, only therapy.

  33. #33 Dawn
    August 22, 2008

    Orac – dear Kelli Ann says “the *disability* is a life-long event vs a two week hospital stay. ”

    My mother would have liked Kelli to meet one of her childhood friends who suffered from measles encephalitis. He went from being a very bright, verbal child at age 7 to being severely retarded. It was a heck of a lot longer than a 2 week hospital stay. Out of her elementary school first grade class, when measles made its rounds, only 2 (out of 30) did not catch them. Nearly 10 kids were hospitalized. 3 had sequelae of varying severity. When the MMR was available, she dragged all 3 of her children (my brother and I were in out teens) to get it. She was terrified of the measles.

  34. #34 BB
    August 22, 2008

    @wolfwalker, the worse thing is to bury a child. Ask someone who’s lost a child before you run your mouth.

  35. #35 khan
    August 22, 2008

    The people who are generating billions of dollars…from you vaccinating your children.

    I take them to the chiropractor once a month since birth, which everyone should know that preserving your spinal cord, which protects your whole nerve system, is leading in preventative care.

    I’m sure that those visits are free…

  36. #36 Natalie
    August 22, 2008

    This is why they cannot ever allow themselves to accept the fact that autism is a condition that was programmed into their children before they were born: Because to admit that means admitting that there is no “cure”, only therapy.

    I wonder if there is also an element of self-blame. That is, a parent who accepts that autism is genetic may feel guilty for having the genes that caused it.

  37. #37 Carlie
    August 22, 2008

    Actually, all problems arising in childhood are actually caused by haircuts.

    That is, a parent who accepts that autism is genetic may feel guilty for having the genes that caused it.

    My son was finally diagnosed with Asperger’s last year, and I definitely now notice and occasionally fixate on behaviors in my husband and in myself that are Aspie-ish and wonder about the genetics. I don’t think it’s at all definite that it’s entirely genetic, though; I wouldn’t doubt that there could be a lot of epigenetic factors as well, and that different types and grades along the spectrum may have different causes. HOWEVER, I think there’s quite enough evidence to show that vaccines don’t have anything to do with it.

  38. #38 Cain
    August 22, 2008

    OT but OMG, this is pure snark gold, directed right at the McCarthy/Kirby axis of stupidity. A classic, to be sure.

  39. #39 Natalie
    August 22, 2008

    I don’t think it’s at all definite that it’s entirely genetic, though; I wouldn’t doubt that there could be a lot of epigenetic factors as well

    That’s fair. I would have done better to say “autism has a significant genetic component”. The laziness got teh better of me.

  40. #40 Noadi
    August 22, 2008

    The way these anti-vaccine autism activists talk abotu these kids just makes me cringe. You have a live, healthy child, they have a disability but it can be dealt with.

    I’m in a slightly different situation than living with someone with autism but not by much. My mom grew up in foster care with a foster-brother with fetal alcohol syndrome (that truly is a preventable disorder which angers me and is part of why I don’t drink). When my absolutely wonderful foster-grandmother passed away a couple years ago my mother because the guardian for my uncle. He has a lot of problems and his mental age is about that of an 8 year old (his actual age is 37). However we love him, support him, help him in every way we can. While I might be angry at his mother for causing his disability, I NEVER say anything about it around him. He is the way he is and nothing can change it, the best thing we can do for him is to help him achieve those things he wants to do in life. Right now he’s off on a whale watching trip, which he’s been excited about for months. Acceptance is so important for happiness.

  41. #41 synapse
    August 22, 2008

    My brother and I were born in a country where they vaccinate children much later than in the US, and we both caught measles. I think my brother was around 2. He caught a very high fever and stopped talking until he was 5. He needed a lot of care throughout his early years, and my mom spent nearly all the time when he wasn’t sleeping or in school working one-on-one with him on school and social skills (like smiling). (She stayed in a really awful marriage so she could be a stay-at-home mom, and when my father moved out of the country to work she didn’t follow him because the school services were a lot better where we were living. Also, I guess I spent a lot of time by myself, although I didn’t think it was odd at the time.) My brother is OK now- he has a college degree, thanks to my mom who did all his homework- but in his speech, his reasoning abilities, and his social skills, you can tell he’s not normal. He didn’t have autism, but he needed similar amounts of care as someone with a moderate form of autism. Plus, because his difficulties didn’t fit into some standard syndrome, my mother had to make up therapies and interventions and was always fighting with the school system to get him appropriate help. Even if the choice were between measles and very occasional cases of autism, I would still pick the autism.

  42. #43 anonimouse
    August 22, 2008

    As we’ve been saying for years (and I’ve been saying for as long as I can remember):

    It never was about making vaccines safer.

    It’s about opposition to vaccines dressed up for public consumption. Period. Full stop. A bunch of well-to-do sycophants refusing vaccines because they can, and because they don’t really care that their refusal of vaccines will likely seriously injure or kill someone else.

  43. #44 IBY
    August 22, 2008

    I am impressed at their ability to make up excuses, and move the goalposts. I can’t just make up stuffs like the way they do. I can, but I am just not as good as them. Sometimes, I wonder at their level of reading comprehension. They read something, and spout something else the authors never said. Oh well.

  44. #45 Chrissl
    August 22, 2008

    Orac, I’ve wondered for a while whether the fact that a lot of current parents or grandparents had measles, mumps and/or chicken pox as children (I had all three) and survived without lasting ill effects (as I did) has caused society (or parts of society) to seriously underestimate just how severe these diseases actually are.

    I seem to recall that, to some extent, smallpox had the same status at one point in European history: lots of people got it, quite a few people survived without lasting obvious disability (other than scars) and only when immunization became routine did society as a whole belatedly lose that mental “blind spot” and realize just how high the death and disability rates from it actually were. (Not a directly comparable case, of course, because smallpox really IS a lot worse than measles, but perhaps analagous.)

    I think a lot of people still have measles tagged with the “annoying but routine childhood illness” tag. If we are granted (as I hope we are) another couple of generations with very low measles rates, I wonder if that attitude might change. What do you think?

  45. #46 Dawn2
    August 23, 2008

    Unless you have a child to “sacrifice” for the “Vaccine Program” you have NO ROOM to talk. Please be quiet already people! I sacrificed two of my sons unknowingly, and I paid dearly. Are you willing to do that with your own child? Do you have that much faith in Big Pharma? You might want to read the book of Revelation in the Bible because “pharma” is mentioned 3x as being “evil”. I don’t doubt that medicine started as good, but eventually people with a different agenda took over and accomplished their mission!

  46. #47 snerd
    August 23, 2008

    Are you willing to do that with your own child?

    Yep, because I’m not a sad and psychotic drunk. Please seek professional help, Dawn.

  47. #48 disgusted
    August 23, 2008

    And what proudly ignorant slutty Jenny McCarthy, Kelli-Ann and Kim Stankliano aren’t telling you is that if vaccine measles, a weakened form of measles, can cause autism (it can not) then disease causing measles can do even more.

    And if that other ignorant attention-whore from Generation Rescue, David Kirby, is right that so many children have mitochondrial disorders then an outbreak of vaccine preventable disease would raise the number of children with autism in any community.

    Then there are the children who would become mentally retarded, blind, deaf, deformed or autistic from a prenatal rubella infection. If parents aren’t vaccinating with the MMR then they are leaving the door open to rubella outbreaks, too.

    Maybe they can name some cemeteries for babies after the heros of antivaccine activism. “JB Handly Memorial Cemetery”. “Ginger Taylor Memorial Cemetery”. The “Dan Olmsted Wing of UCLA Medical Center” for treating victims of vaccine preventable meningitis.

  48. #49 Sharon
    August 23, 2008

    wolfwalker said, “To her, it probably is. Most victims of childhood diseases like measles and chickenpox either die or recover completely. Those that die … well, their pain is over, and (in most cases) those left behind will eventually adjust to their loss. Even the diseases that can cripple or disfigure don’t affect the person’s ability to lead a more-or-less normal life. Hell, a polio victim once became President of the United States!

    But the more severe forms of autism (or any other brain-damage condition) destroy the victim’s life without – quite – taking it away completely. It’s said that the worst experience a parent can endure is having to bury their child. I’m not so sure of that. It’s entirely possible that having a mentally-disabled child is worse, because it never ends and there’s never a chance to adjust to it or recover from it. The wound is reopened every single time the parent looks at what is and thinks about what might have been. I’ll tell such people that they’re mistaken, but I try to never belittle the anguish they must feel.”

    Dawn2 made a comment that makes no sense and makes her sound rather unhinged, but wolfwalker’s comment might be the most callous, disablist and bigoted one I’ve ever read here.

    Do you really think that parents dealing with the death of their child, suffer less than those dealing with a disabled child?! And who gets to define what constitutes a “more or less normal life”? My autistic son may not have the same ambitions or abilities as his non-disabled peers and siblings, but I can guarantee you, that I am happy to have him alive and will support him as well as I can. He would not be better dead than disabled. Oh dear, I’m shocked, you actually wrote that having a son like mine might be worse than having a dead child! Think again wolfwalker. Parents who think like that have sometimes gone on to kill their children.

    People who think like that are just plain wrong, always.

    Good post Orac.

  49. #50 sophia8
    August 23, 2008

    Please seek professional help, Dawn
    I second that. Also, stop treating World Net Daily as an iffallible guide to theology, the Bible, medicine – or indeed anything at all.

  50. #51 The Christian Cynic
    August 23, 2008

    You might want to read the book of Revelation in the Bible because “pharma” is mentioned 3x as being “evil”.

    Dawn, this is both stupid and a lie. First, it’s untrue that “pharma” appears in the book of Revelation except as a root of two Greek words: pharmakeus (φαρμακεύς), “sorcery,” and pharmakeia (φαρμακεία), “sorcerer.” (Apologies if the Greek letters don’t display correctly.) Second, there is no translation I’m aware of – not even the 1611 KJV – that links this magic or sorcery to medicine (and certainly not to some hypothetical “Big Pharma” conspiracy). Oh, and pharmakeus also appears in Galatians in a list of things Paul is condemning, but it’s not as sexy to cite that reference because it’s not Revelation, the handy-dandy book that any wacko with a conspiracy theory to sell will attempt to refer to if possible (and there’s almost always a way to twist the text, unfortunately).

    What’s even stupider is that if you really wanted to take these references as referring to “pharma,” you’re going to have to basically forego drugs altogether since that’s a connotation of pharmakon.

    (Of course, there are plenty of non-occult and even positive uses of pharmakon in Greek writing, especially in Plato, so one need not think that the word had solely a negative connotation. Someone obviously found a Greek NT text, saw that it has a word with a similar root to “pharma,” and widely extrapolated from there without nary a logical thought in the process.)

  51. #52 Joseph
    August 23, 2008

    But the more severe forms of autism (or any other brain-damage condition) destroy the victim’s life without – quite – taking it away completely.

    I’d have to disagree with that, which appears to be mostly a value judgement, rather than a factual assertion. I’m saying this as someone who has studied the literature on adult outcomes in autism. I don’t think there’s evidence that autism destroys a “victim’s” life, outside of what is done to the autistic person by others. There’s evidence that institutionalization destroys autistic people, especially early institutionalization. But there’s no evidence that without institutionalization, autistic people are still “destroyed,” generally speaking. Of Kanner (1943)’s original 11 patients, all of the ones who had a dismal outcome had been institutionalized from an early age. These kids were really no different to the others initially. The reason Kanner characterized their outcome as dismal was because of how they ended up being treated in the institutions where they lived. Of all 96 patients Kanner saw, 13 had a particularly good outcome, and none of them had been put in an institution at any point in time. There’s also some evidence that while non-verbal IQ is associated with outcome, the severity of autism is not, independently of IQ.

    It’s true that autistic people will never lead what is called a “normal life.” Heck, many people don’t have so-called “normal lives.” I wonder if homosexuals are often told they don’t have “normal lives” too. Because, you see, their lives differ from the norm. In that case, though, I guess most people recognize that it would be wrong to make value judgements like that outloud.

  52. #53 payman
    August 23, 2008

    There is no doubt autism and vaccination are greatly related like stepbrothers and stepsisters. The CDC and APA are trying hard to reassure citizens that their vaccination policy is correct. Which is not and is wrong.

    They will continue with their fake genetic studies and will come up with nonconclusive conclusions like there are too many genes involved. DO not vaccinate your children at any cost. I rather lose my child to measles rather lose him for life to autism.

  53. #54 LOL! LOL! LOL!
    August 23, 2008

    I love it when the vaccination Nazi’s get all fired up.

    All the name-calling, all the threats… And Orac is worried about Dr. (Pr)Offit’s safety? Blahhhhhhhh.

    How many of you geniuses have had all these vaccinations?

    MMR
    Hep B
    Hep A
    Chicken Pox
    DTaP
    Rotavirus
    Prevnar
    HiB
    Flu (every year)

    If you are not completely up to date on *ALL* of these vaccinations. Yes… each and every one… then you have no right to tell others what to do with their own children …. Go do the right thing and get yourselves vaccinated with each of these vaccines — then we can talk. Otherwise, I suggest you STFU because clearly you are hypocrites. :)

    How did you all survive your childhoods without the Rotavirus vaccine? Enquiring minds want to know… LOL!

    ps. Please provide doctors’ notes that all your vaccinations (see above) are up-to-date.

  54. #55 The Christian Cynic
    August 23, 2008

    LOLer, isn’t it redundant to list Prevnar and flu vaccine, as the former is merely an example of the latter?

    As for me, I have all of the above vaccinations except varicella and influenza (although I’m unsure about rotavirus), the former because I acquired it naturally in late childhood right around the time the vaccine was being licensed (1995) and the latter because I am not really a member of any at-risk population for the flu and can’t justify purchasing a shot as a result. Consequently, both of my children are up to date on their vaccinations (although for my newborn son, that’s basically just Hep B).

    Not that any of this matters, anyway – it would only be hypocrisy if you could prove we weren’t up to date on our vaccinations because we had the same concerns about the ones we haven’t gotten as those of the anti-vax crowd being criticized. As far as I can tell, that’s not the case.

  55. #56 The Christian Cynic
    August 23, 2008

    Nevermind re: Prevnar and flu – a momentary confusion on my part.

  56. #57 wolfwalker
    August 23, 2008

    Sharon, I intended no offense and I apologize if any was taken. I certainly don’t wish death on any innocent, whether they’re autistic or not. Being single and childless (both by choice), I literally do not know which would be worse, having a severely autistic child or losing a child entirely. All I know for sure is, I never want to experience either one and I have a great deal of respect for those who have been through either experience and survived it with their sanity intact.

    Please note that in the comment that got you so angry, I said a severely autistic child. I read your linked post, and I will tell you flatly that your son’s condition is not what I had in mind when I wrote that.

  57. #58 Tsu Dho Nimh
    August 23, 2008

    LOL LOL …

    How many of you geniuses have had all these vaccinations?

    MMR (nope …had all three of those diseases. My older sister was seriously ill for weeks with the measles)
    Hep B (yes)
    Hep A (yes)
    Chicken Pox (no, had the disease)
    DTaP (no, had the DTP)
    Rotavirus (no, I’m not in the suceptible age group)
    Prevnar (no, it was developed long after I was an infant)
    HiB (no, but I’m approaching the age when it’s a good idea)
    Flu (every year) (most years)

    IN ADDITION:

    Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever shots … every year between the ages of 3 and 13 (till we moved out of the area that had the disease)
    Smallpox … and small pox booster :)
    Typhoid (series of two, the most miserable experience I have ever had in my life!)
    Paratyphoid
    Tetanus boosters

    And the biggie … Salk (multiple shots- 6 or 8 of them), Sabin (multiple sugar cubes), until I have an antibody titer so high you have to diulute it to bring it in range of the test.

    How did you all survive your childhoods without the Rotavirus vaccine?

    Not all of us did, and some of us were hospitalized because of it.

  58. #59 Dawn
    August 23, 2008

    I would actually recommend reading Revelation 9:13-21 because it talks about plagues also (pandemic illness?). 1/3 of mankind will be killed and from the sounds of it by 200 million troops. Forced vaccination?? Be sure to read Homeland Security’s Plan for pandemic threats too.

  59. #60 HCN
    August 23, 2008

    LOL-cubed said “I love it when the vaccination Nazi’s get all fired up.”

    Godwin, you lose, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

  60. #61 Dawn
    August 23, 2008

    Tsu Dho Nimh stated: “How did you all survive your childhoods without the Rotavirus vaccine?
    Not all of us did, and some of us were hospitalized because of it”.

    So, what ever did happen to all of those poor babies that had a portion of their intestines removed because of this vaccine?

  61. #62 Dawn
    August 23, 2008

    Vitamin A Reduces the Measles Death Rate.
    Source: British Medical Journal January 31, 1987:294-296

    Fever Reducers Increase the Measles Death Rate.
    Source: Abstract of a 1967-68 measles epidemic study conducted in Ghana.

    The Measles Vaccine and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. People who receive the vaccine were 2 1/2 times more likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease.
    Source: Lancet April 29, 1995

    Outbreak of Measles in Vaccinated Populations

    1984 58% were vaccinated (national statistics of school aged children)
    1985 99% were vaccinated (Corpus Christi, TX)
    1986 96% were vaccinated (Dane County, WI)
    1988 69% were vaccinated (national statistics of school aged children)
    1989 89% were vaccinated (national statistics of school aged children)
    1995 56% were vaccinated (national statistics of all ages)

    Sources: New England Journal of Medicine 1987;316:771-74
    Journal of the American Medical Association 1990;263:2467-71
    Several CDC MMWRs

    Mothers offer maternal antibodies when contracting measles naturally. Protection is offered for up to 15 months. Vaccinated mothers offer no protection to the newborn.
    Source: Pediatrics 1996;97:53-58

  62. #63 HCN
    August 23, 2008

    Dawn said “So, what ever did happen to all of those poor babies that had a portion of their intestines removed because of this vaccine?”

    Did not happen with RotaTeq. From:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/rota.pdf … “In 1998, a rhesus-based tetravalent rotavirus vaccine (RRVTV, Rotashield) was licensed and recommended for routine immunization of U.S. infants. However, RRV-TV was withdrawn from the U.S. market within one year of its introduction because of its association with intussusception.”

    Rotashield is not the same as RotaTeq.

    I only present this as a correction for those who are not the Dawn who does not understand what an index is (she apparently hates PubMed, which is an index).

    This is also a person who claimes that the Bible is predicting a big plague. Though this has already happened a few times in history. The bubonic plague wiped out over a third of the people in Europe during the Middle Ages (and bubonic plague still exists in the Western USA), and it is estimated that over 90% of the Native peoples of the Americas died from European diseases between 1492 and 1800.

    By the way, I have had a child sent to the hospital because the dehydration due to what may have been a rotavirus infection screwed up his electrolytes that he had a major seizure.

  63. #64 Dawn
    August 23, 2008

    Actually HCN, VAERS had numerous reports of intussusception and/or hematochezia with regard to RotaTeq.

    Also, maybe you are not aware of the fact that a safety substudy was conducted and a medical committee either confirmed or denied an intussusception diagnosis. After all of the denied cases were added up, it was determined that the babies who received RotaTeq had a greater than threefold risk of hematochezia when compared to babies who received the placebo.

  64. #65 snerd
    August 23, 2008

    Dawn, VAERS has also had reports of vaccine injury turning people into the Incredible Hulk that were entered into the registry without comment.

  65. #66 Dawn
    August 23, 2008

    Yes snerd, but many VAERS reports are credible especially when filed by the physician.

  66. #67 ozzy
    August 23, 2008

    “I rather lose my child to measles rather lose him for life to autism.”

    Better dead than autistic..The slogan of the anti-vax or “there’s no way my genes could have resulted in that” movement. I’m sure my neighbor, a father of an autistic child who is making great strides with therapy, is thinking right now.

  67. #68 Dawn
    August 23, 2008

    Bottom line ozzy is that nobody has the right to ask another to sacrifice their own child for the good of the “program”. For the people who have harmed their children by way of vaccines and still truly believe that “it was for the best”, I feel sorry for you.

  68. #69 Dawn
    August 24, 2008

    I forgot to add Ozzy, your child’s chance of recovering from the measles without any complications is much greater than the odds of recovering from Autism. Thankfully, many of us still have grandparents that will confirm that fact.

  69. #70 Aoi Cobalt
    August 24, 2008

    Dawn said:
    “Thankfully, many of us still have grandparents that will confirm that fact.”

    I call Non-Sequitur on you , Dawn.
    If your grandparents died from a childhood disease, they would not have become your grandparents.
    So every set of grandparents had to make it past childhood. This, of course, says nothing about the children who died from childhood diseases, and who never became grandparents (or parents, for that matter.)

    And let’s not just pick on one disease, you want to do away with all vaccinations. Instead of measles, what about the choice between a lifetime of autism or a lifetime of polio?

  70. #71 Militant Agnostic
    August 24, 2008

    Since nearly 100% of race car drivers who are killed in crashes in recent times were wearing 4,5 or 6 point harnesses and helmets, by Dawn’s logic seat belts and helmets are not effective.

    This is probably futile, but I will try to explain the math.
    If a vaccine is 90% effective and 95% of the population is vaccinated, then 10% of 95% which is 9.5% of the population will be vaccinated, but vulnerable. If none of the unnvaccinated population have acquired immunity then only 5% of the population are unvaccinated and vulnerable.

    The total percentage the population is 9.5% + 5% = 14.5%
    In this case the portion of the vulnerable population that are vaccinated is 9.5/14.5 = 66% and the portion of the unvaccinated portion of the population that is vulnarable is 34%. If 99% of the population was vaccinated then 83% of the vulnerable population will be vaccinated.

  71. #72 Dawn
    August 24, 2008

    I’ll say it again. I think we can all agree on one point…that every vaccine is capable of killing someone. Whether it be one or whether it be many, that does not give anyone the right to ask another to sacrifice themselves or child for the sake of the “herd” (if there is such a thing anyways). That is called Socialism. If you have that kind of mentality – then, please by all means pack your bags and move out of the U.S. There are far too many countries to pick and choose from that have that same type of mentality. Please go live there! I will even pay for your airfare!

  72. #73 Aoi Cobalt
    August 24, 2008

    Dawn said:
    “I’ll say it again. I think we can all agree on one point…that every vaccine is capable of killing someone.”

    What we don’t agree on, Dawn, is realative risk. You do not seem to have any conception of risk at all!

    Sure, vaccine have a very small possibility of injuring you.
    But the disease that they prevent has a much higher risk of injuring you.
    Can you understand that fact at all? That by not vaccinating your child you are putting your child at a far larger risk of injury? And, by allowing your child to catch these diseases, you are putting other poeple’s children at risk too?

    Did you?

  73. #74 Dawn
    August 24, 2008

    That is exactly my point Aoi. Perception of risk. Your “side” claims that there is very little risk in vaccinating while my “side” claims there is very little risk associated with disease. Your “side” does not having a problem under a ruling of dictatorship whatsoever….if it calls for sacrificing yourself or young for the sake of the “vaccine program” because our powers that be “say it works by way of herd immunity” you will oblige and you expect others to do the same. Am I wrong? It is called Socialism/aka “New Age Movement”. If you are truly that afraid, then please move to China were people do not have any rights at all. I don’t know about you, but my ancestors died for a reason – it is called “Freedom”. So, if you don’t like it, please pack your bags and leave!

    But, if vaccines work (your presumption), why am I even putting your child at risk at all? I would think it would be my child that would be at risk of catching the disease? Don’t you get it?

  74. #75 Gray Falcon
    August 24, 2008

    I’m not answering Dawn directly, she never reads what anyone says. But there is a critical point that she simply refuses to understand: Vaccines do work, but they are not 100% effective. The reason why most cases of measles are in people who are already vaccinated is simple: Most people were vaccinated to begin with. Here’s some basic math and a hypothetical situation. Out of 10000 people, 9500 were vaccinated. The vaccine is 95% effective. After an outbreak, all 500 non-vaccinated are infected, while 5%, or 495, of the vaccinated population are infected. This means nearly half the infected were in fact vaccinated. This is a common paradox in probability, knowing this is critical.

    I’ll let somebody else explain “herd immunity”, if you don’t mind.

  75. #76 Aoi Cobalt
    August 24, 2008

    Dawn,
    Go back in history and check out what child mortality rates were before these vaccines.
    Compare it to child mortality rates after vaccines were in use.

    Is this what you want to go back to? Because it sure soulds like you do.

    Why are you putting your child at risk of these diseases? As far as I can tell, it’s because you fear a made up boggieman call “vax=aultism” and not the true problem of deadly childhood diseases. Beacuse you aren’t old enough to remember what it was like to fear these diseases, and the misery they brought. Care to have polio back?

    It’s not just your child either. It’s all the children who don’t get vaccinated by parents that believe all the B.S. that the anti-vaxers put out. B.S. that you obviously believe in.
    I’m now sure that there is nothing I can say that would ever change your mind, because I don’t think you even listen to what I’m saying at all.
    I wish your children the best, because they will need it in your brave new/old world.

  76. #77 Dawn
    August 24, 2008

    Gray Falcon stated: “I’m not answering Dawn directly, she never reads what anyone says. But there is a critical point that she simply refuses to understand: Vaccines do work, but they are not 100% effective. The reason why most cases of measles are in people who are already vaccinated is simple: Most people were vaccinated to begin with. Here’s some basic math and a hypothetical situation. Out of 10000 people, 9500 were vaccinated. The vaccine is 95% effective. After an outbreak, all 500 non-vaccinated are infected, while 5%, or 495, of the vaccinated population are infected. This means nearly half the infected were in fact vaccinated. This is a common paradox in probability, knowing this is critical”.

    Oh really? That is not what history or the CDC shows. Vaccines actually have a much higher failure rate than you believe.

  77. #78 Dawn
    August 24, 2008

    Aoi stated: “Dawn, Go back in history and check out what child mortality rates were before these vaccines.
    Compare it to child mortality rates after vaccines were in use”.

    I did. The death rates did not change unfortunately (5-10 years before each vaccine came out). Also, Aoi, you may not be aware of the fact that I have 5 vaccine-injured people in my family – myself included – and my niece did die from her 2 mo. vaccines. The rest of us are living with our injuries.

  78. #79 HCN
    August 24, 2008

    Dawn is either a liar or an illiterate, reposting…
    Numbers from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/appdx-full-g.pdf

    This is for pertussis:
    Year____Cases____Deaths__Year____Cases____Deaths
    2000_____7867______ 12___1950___120718____1118
    2001_____7580______ 17___1951____68687_____951
    2002_____9771______ 18___1952____45030_____402
    2003____11647______ 11___1953____37129_____270
    2004____25827______ 27___1954____60886_____373
    2005____25616______ 39___1955____62786_____467
    2006____15632______ 16___1956____31732_____266
    Total__103940______140__________426968____3847

    The death figures for 2004 through 2006 are from this slide set:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/Slides/Pertussis10.ppt#9 … Slide 9. Of the 82 deaths from pertussis during 2004 through 2006, 69 were of infants under the age of three months, while the remaining 13 were older than three months.

    Now for tetanus:
    Year____Cases____Deaths__Year____Cases____Deaths
    2000_______35______ 5____1950_____486_____336
    2001_______37______ 5____1951_____506_____394
    2002_______25______ 5____1952_____484_____360
    2003_______20______ 4____1953_____506_____337
    2004_______34______ NA___1954_____524_____332
    2005_______27______ NA___1955_____462_____265
    2006_______41______ NA___1956_____468_____246
    Total_____219______19 or more____3436____2270

    Now for measles:
    Year____Cases____Deaths__Year____Cases____Deaths
    2000_______86______ 1____1950___319124____468
    2001______116______ 1____1951___530118____683
    2002_______44______ 0____1952___683077____618
    2003_______56______ 1____1953___449146____462
    2004_______37______ NA___1954___682720____518
    2005_______66______ NA___1955___555156____345
    2006_______55______ NA___1956___611936____530
    Total_____460______3 or more___3831277___3624

    Now for mumps (no data before 1960):
    Year____Cases____Deaths
    2000______338______ 2
    2001______266______ 0
    2002______270______ 1
    2003______231______ 0
    2004______258______ NA
    2005______314______ NA
    2006_____6584______ NA
    Total____8261______3 or more

    Total of cases of those four disease over the seven year period of 2000 though 2006 is 112880, with at least 165 deaths. This does not include the 16 cases of Congenital Rubella Syndrome listed in the table for the years 2000 through 2006.

    Now if we went your way and eliminated the DTaP and the MMR then we will go back to the numbers that are listed for the 1950s (the return of pertussis is already happening, and measles and mumps have returned to Japan and the UK, the USA is not far behind). And in twice the numbers because the population in the USA has doubled. The number of measles cases were in the millions for the seven year period fifty years ago, with deaths of over 3500. During the years 1950 to 1956 for the three diseases that there is data, the total cases were 4261681 with at least 9741 deaths. And I left out polio.

    So do we really want to go back to the “good ol’ days” of no DTaP or MMR vaccines?

  79. #80 Dawn
    August 24, 2008

    HCN stated: “The number of measles cases were in the millions for the seven year period fifty years ago, with deaths of over 3500″.

    Really? Not bad considering all of the risks to include death associated with the vaccine TRUMP those figures. Thanks HCN for showing once again that the risks of vaccinating outweigh the benefits. Just what were those ages affected? Hmmm…more evidence to ponder that vaccines do more harm than good.

    HCN also stated: “And I left out polio”.

    With good reason too. Don’t forget to tell the readers that Jonas Saulk infected tens of thousands with polio from his VACCINE (roughly 70,000). Didn’t he and his son die because of his vaccine too? Hmmm….thanks for reminding me about that one too.

    HCN, did you actually work those figures before so happily posting them? I think NOT.

  80. #81 HCN
    August 24, 2008

    Dawn spewed “Thanks HCN for showing once again that the risks of vaccinating outweigh the benefits.”

    Where? What are the risks of vaccinating? Where does it show that hundreds of people are killed by vaccines versus the hundreds that died from measles. Show us the numbers of injuries of vaccinating versus the real diseases using actual factual evidence. Not books, not anecdotes, not news reports, and not random websites. Something with real science. Put up or shut up.

    More data closer to the license of the vaccine, same source of data plus the CDC Pink Book Chapter on measles:
    Disease: Measles in the USA
    Year__Cases___Deaths
    1961__423,919_434
    1962__481,530_408
    1963__385,156_364
    (^^ first vaccine licensed)
    1964__458,083_421
    1965__261,905_276
    1966__204,136_261
    1967___62,705__81
    1968___22,231__24
    1969___25,826__41
    1970___47,351__89
    1971___75,290__90
    (^^^ MMR licensed)
    1972___32,275__24
    1973___26,690__23
    1974___22,690__20
    1975___24,374__20
    1976___41,126__12
    1977___57,245__15
    1978___26,871__11
    (^^^ Measles Elimination Program started)
    1979___13,597___6
    1980___13,506__11
    1981____2,124___2

  81. #82 Dawn
    August 24, 2008

    HCN stated: “Show us the numbers of injuries of vaccinating versus the real diseases using actual factual evidence. Not books, not anecdotes, not news reports, and not random websites. Something with real science. Put up or shut up”.

    Oh really? As far as your “medical realm” is concerned, the injured and dead do NOT count. Despite the fact that these injuries sustained are listed as SIDE EFFECTS – they are NOT counted. I could put you in touch with thousands of families WHO DON’T COUNT and DON’T MATTER in the medical field. So, who is kidding who? My family of 5 DO NOT COUNT, NOR MATTER. Do you ever read Medical Veritas? They will be publishing my story soon.

  82. #83 Clay
    August 24, 2008

    Dawn: “Oh really? That is not what history or the CDC shows. Vaccines actually have a much higher failure rate than you believe.”

    This is yet another example of your willful ignorance. Gray Falcon set up a hypothetical situation to demonstrate some math, and you tell him that his hypothetical values are wrong? Do you even see how crazy that is? Do you not know what “hypothetical” means?

  83. #84 Dawn
    August 24, 2008

    The injured and dead do not count when it comes to vaccines. Why? I guess that is the real question. I compare the vaccine program to the devastation of Hilter. Eliminate the “weak and unwanted”.

    Dawn – sustained permanent partial hearing loss and almost died due to a rubella vaccine administered while suffering from preeclampsia in 2007

    Dawn’s son, Austin – injuries undetermined at this time. Suffered from high-pitched screaming off/on for 3 days, congestion, developmental delays, regression in milestones, and CONVULSIONS from his HIB, IPV, and DTaP vaccines in 2007. In the process of having him evaluated a third time for developmental delays. Developmental delays are usually an indicator of future problems – learning disabilities, ADHD, etc.

    Dawn’s son, Cody – suffered from congestion after 4 mo. vaccines which occurred daily for months on end (clear by noon each day like his brother), conjunctitivis after each round of vaccines, and nerve damage to right eye after Hep B (first dose) administered at 6 mo. Now suffers from ADHD (inattentive type), a Visual Processing Disorder, and Math Disability.

    Dawn’s brother, Shane – received all vaccines as a child and countless more in the Coast Guard. Developed mysterious “undetermined virus” while at Mass General in 2004. Family was told it was viral meningitis with secondary encephalitis. Family was lied to. It does not take 5 spinal taps for a viral meningitis diagnosis. Father of said brother also cornered one doctor and was told “they didn’t know what it was and that there are over 1,000 strange viruses out there without names”. It was a stealth virus that had recombined after numerous live-virus vaccines administered that attacked his brain and central nervous system. He is lucky to be alive.

    Dawn’s niece, Deanna, born in 1975 and died after round of 2 mo. vaccines. Although born completely normal and healthy, after vaccines developed “muscle” problems. Shortly after vaccines she could no longer move arms and legs. Did not live until 3 mo. of age because all organs become affected. Family was told that she was born with a genetic muscle disorder. Another lie. She was born healthy.

    The dead and injured due to vaccines do not count. My family is proof of that.

  84. #85 HCN
    August 24, 2008

    Dawn spewed “Don’t forget to tell the readers that Jonas Saulk infected tens of thousands with polio from his VACCINE (roughly 70,000). Didn’t he and his son die because of his vaccine too?”

    Um, no. And it is spelled “Salk”, . He died in 1995 when he was 81 years old, and he had three sons. Dr. Jonathan Salk was alive and well on the 50th anniversary of the vaccine:
    http://www.educationupdate.com/archives/2005/May/html/ColFeat-Salk.html

    Dr. Peter Salk is still alive:
    http://www.salk.edu/news/news_press_details_20060419.php

    And the third, Dr. Darrell Salk is also still alive. I am at my two URL limit, but you’ll be able to find them now that you know how to spell their names.

  85. #86 HCN
    August 24, 2008

    Dawn, again, the plural of anecdote is not data.

    You are only giving anecdotes, and considering how bad you are at even remembering names of famous people, mixing up information and your lack of reading comprehension, I am afraid that your recollection of those incidents may not be accurate.

  86. #87 Dawn
    August 24, 2008

    How DARE you dismiss my family’s injuries HCN you narcissitic creep! Don’t you dare even try to sidestep this issue. I will never forget what has happened to my family because of vaccines. If you choose the road of denial that is your choice. I however, am very in tune with my children. Sadly, you missed the bulletins.

  87. #88 HCN
    August 24, 2008

    I don’t, I am just going on your previous behavior. And I would not go about casting aspersions if I were you. You are the one that dismisses those of us with health impaired children, and the over a dozen babies who die from pertussis each years.

    Anyway, someone replied even better than me:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/08/the_dark_lord_of_vaccination_speaks.php#comment-1067351

  88. #89 Dawn
    August 25, 2008

    Actually, HCN it was one of your peers that AGREED that the pertussis vaccine did not help many – a joke I might add. Health impaired children are more likely attributed to the neurotoxins and viruses that we shot them up to begin with. Did you ever think of the implications or did you always believe what you were vehmently told?

  89. #90 HCN
    August 25, 2008

    So in your “learned” opinion hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is caused by vaccines?

    And who are my “peers”?

    Really, Dawn, you are not helping your cause. Please, get some real help.

  90. #91 Dawn
    August 25, 2008

    Actually it is you HCN that needs help. After all if vaccines are capable of what the vaccine literature states, it is YOU who caused your child’s demise. Seek therapy. I know that you need it. It is a lot to handle knowing that you caused your child’s harm.

  91. #92 HCN
    August 25, 2008

    I actually admit that is was on my side of the family that the genetics of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy originate (more specifically from my dad’s mother, but that is where the trail stops because she was adopted). That is what killed my father’s oldest sister as an infant. I accept that, and make sure my son gets the proper medical treatment, including an annual flu shot.

    What you need to do is realize that the most obvious reason for your more recent health issues was the preeclampsia. It is a very dangerous condition, and it can lead to bleeding in the brain. You really need to have your head examined, literally.

    Also babies born to women with preeclampsia have a higher chance of having neurological problems:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17304417? “At our institution, in the last two decades the decrement in the rates of PV-IVH and severe brain damage among preterm infants was significantly higher in preeclamptic than normotensive pregnancies.”

    Also, after my son’s first seizures when he was two days old his head was examined literally. The CatScan showed some bleeding, but not much. The phenobarbitol stopped the seizures, and he was weaned off after a year. And then he got a nasty gastrointestinal bug (most likely rotavirus) and had a another seizure that sent him to the hospital. We also got to get to know that hospital very well since each and every time he got croup he ended up there (one time with his oxygen level down to around 60%, that is pretty bad). The first three years of this kid’s life was spent going to and from the hospital and lots of doctor’s appointments.

    So stop moaning and groaning about how horrible things are for your family. Other families have had bad things happen, and they have nothing to do with vaccines. Actually lots of times they have to do with the actual disease (I’ve known women who have had a child permanently disabled or die from Hib).

  92. #93 Luna_the_cat
    August 25, 2008

    Just wanted to note, pregnancy is a well-known contraindication to rubella vaccination. I have to wonder about Dawn’s claim to have been given this vaccination “during preeclampsia”; if this actually happened, it would be clear medical malpractice, because every (legitimate medical) source I have ever seen has required “not pregnant” in the vaccine literature.

    Could it be that she is misremembering events?

    Also, Dawn…look, I’m sorry for your pain, but seriously, there are not a thousand, but many thousands, of uncharacterised viral illnesses out there; there is absolutely no evidence that your brother’s illness was anything at all to do with vaccinations, you just assume that it was because you have found a good scapegoat. And similarly, a few months is an extremely common time for “healthy” babies to start manifesting symptoms of genetic disorders. Your “evidence” that it had anything at all to do with vaccines is timing, and timing only; but that is not evidence. So while I understand that nothing any of us can possibly say will ever convince you that it wasn’t all vaccination at fault, you have to understand that you hardly present compelling evidence for your own view.

    Dawn, I think maybe you should look into finding a good grief therapist. Where you are now, as evidenced by how you write here, is not a good place, and you seem to be working yourself into fullblown psychosis rather than finding a way to cope well with an unfair world.

  93. #94 Tsu Dho Nimh
    August 25, 2008

    Dawn said:

    Don’t forget to tell the readers that Jonas Saulk infected tens of thousands with polio from his VACCINE (roughly 70,000). Didn’t he and his son die because of his vaccine too?

    Please do some basic fact checking: No one has disputed the “Cutter Incident”. Dr.Paul Offit even wrote a book about it. Cutter Laboratories failed to completely inactivate the virus in their vaccine. As a result,120,000 children were inadvertently injected with live poliovirus; 40,000 developed mild polio, 200 were permanently paralyzed, and 10 were killed. After furious debate and the adoption of standards that would prevent such a reoccurrence, the inoculation resumed.

    Jonas Salk died of heart failure in 1995, at age 80 … if it was his vaccine that killed him, it sure took a long time doing it. His sons are still living.

  94. #95 HCN
    August 25, 2008

    Tsu Dho Nimh said “Please do some basic fact checking:”

    What kind of fact checking can you expect with someone who cannot even get the name spelled correctly (she spelled it “Saulk” a couple times before). I suspect she is doing her research on anti-reality Yahoo groups like “NoGreenVaccine”.

  95. #96 HCN
    August 25, 2008

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.