Respectful Insolence

Last night was a late night at work, and I didn’t have time to apply my usual annoyingly long-winded analysis to a study that I found interesting and had intended to look at today. It’ll keep. In the meantime, there are always the brief “link-and-comment” (or in my case “link-and-snark”) posts. Also, there was an article a couple of days ago that I have been meaning to bring up since I saw it but somehow allowed myself to get distracted. With the impending resurgence of measles and other previously controlled or even vanquished infectious diseases, courtesy of Jenny McCarthy, Generation Rescue, and their supporters and enablers, the issue described in this story is going to become more and more contentious:

Karey Williams never thought a parenting decision would come between her and a good friend. The two had known one another for a decade, supported each other through infertility treatment and had their first babies around the same time. But when she told the friend that she had stopped vaccinating her daughter at age 1, the relationship abruptly ended.

“She said, ‘Well then, your child can’t come into my house,’” recalls Williams, 47, who lives in the Chicago area.

That’s not the only time Williams has encountered conflict because of the decision she made for her daughter, now 7. “I’ve had people voice their opposition to me, that I’m ruining the herd immunity … that my child would put their child at risk,” she says.

The people voicing those sentiments are exactly right. Parents like Karey Williams are contributing to exactly that, and it is good to see that many parents actually understand this:

Jennifer Collado, 37, of Glen Rock, N.J., says members of her son’s toddler play group were “stunned” when one mother mentioned that her child wasn’t vaccinated. The group didn’t kick them out though, and shortly after they moved out of state. But the group felt that information should have been mentioned upfront. “Someone pointed out to her that it was her choice to do that but that she was putting everyone’s kids in jeopardy by not having her kids vaccinated,” Collado says.

Indeed.

Many parents who choose not to vaccinate will argue that it is no one else’s business but their own, that they’re not hurting anyone. Poppycock. (I had intended to use another word, but I’m trying to clean up my language after a few recent lapses.) By their decision not to vaccinate, antivaccinationists make their child a potential nidus of infection for their community, something they either cannot understand or refuse to understand:

This is the part I’ll never understand…if the parents who vaccinate their children have such confidence in the vaccines themselves, then an unvaccinated child could never harm their protected child. Which one is it? Do they believe that vaccines work with all kids 100% of the time or don’t they?

Here’s the simple answer: Vaccines are not 100% effective. Nothing in medicine is. They may be 99% effective, 95% effective, 90% effective, or even less. By medical standards, any intervention that’s over 90% effective is a pretty darned good intervention, and most vaccines are at least pretty darned good, especially given how rare serious reactions are. But they are not 100% effective, and it is almost as foolish for parents who vaccinate their children to believe that vaccines will be 100% effective in protecting their children as it is for antivaccinationists to believe that vaccines do more harm than good. At the very least, it’s naive. Also, there are children who for health reasons cannot be vaccinated and who thus rely on herd immunity. The larger the population of unvaccinated children, the weaker the herd immunity, and if the percentage of vaccinated children falls below a certain point herd immunity basically collapses. Indeed, one of the parents in the article doesn’t seem to understand that:

Angela Corry, 33, of Shirley, N.Y., has faith that vaccinations are going to protect both of her girls, no matter who they encounter.

“I have no problem welcoming unvaccinated children into a play group, and I have no problem with them attending school,” she says. “Simply put, my children are vaccinated, the risk is minimal. I may not agree with [other] parents’ choices, but there’s no reason to hold that against the child.”

Actually, I would argue that it is the parent of the unvaccinated child who is responsible for any ostracism that child suffers due to their decision not to vaccinate. It is not incumbent on parents of vaccinated children to bend over backwards to accommodate non-vaccinators. Also, if herd immunity collapses, the risk will no longer be minimal, and, make no mistake about it, the antivaccine movement is a dagger aimed at the heart of herd immunity.

One thing that I find heartening this article is that the social norm is still to vaccinate and that most parents still support vaccination even in light of the contininuous antivaccine propaganda pumped out by Jenny McCarthy and her fellow travellers. Antivaccinationists may be tolerated in the abstract, but when the rubber hits the road and it’s one’s own children potentially at risk due to them suddenly that tolerance is severely strained:

But parents who don’t know who’s vaccinated and who isn’t have their own concerns, highlighted by the measles outbreak in San Diego earlier this year that resulted when an unvaccinated 7-year-old boy traveling to Switzerland contracted measles. The virus spread to 11 other unvaccinated children at both his school and his pediatrician’s office — including a few babies who were too young to receive the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

When news of the outbreak hit, Dr. Ari Brown says her office in Austin, Texas, received a spate of questions from worried mothers wondering if there were any nonvaccinating families in her practice, which there aren’t. “Parents were outraged,” she says.

“From the vaccinating parent perspective, it’s a little infuriating because you don’t know who these kids are,” says Brown, a vaccine proponent and co-author of the book “Baby 411.”

Yes, it is, hence the question being asked of parents whose children are going to play with other children. Naturally, antivaccinationists are outraged:

“Do I think it’s inappropriate to put a mark on people and kick them out from being able to participate in society, yeah I think it’s inappropriate — it’s inappropriate and it’s dangerous,” says Barbara Loe Fisher, cofounder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a group in Vienna, Va., that describes itself as “America’s Vaccine Safety Watchdog” and opposes forced vaccinations.

Fisher, “Libertarian” that she is who so forcefully opposes “forced” vaccination or anything that “tells her what to do about her child’s health” seems to think that she should be able to make her decision not to vaccinate and face zero consequences, that she shouldn’t face societal displeasure at her decision. In other words, for all her piously hypocritical appeals to “freedom,” she clearly thinks her rights trump everyone else’s. But what about parents who do the right thing by having their children vaccinated and do not want to put their children at risk from children whose parents are less responsible? This has nothing to do with government telling Fisher what to do and everything with shared values of society, where a parent wants to know if she’s putting her child at risk by letting that child play with another child. As part of assessing that risk it’s perfectly reasonable to want to know the vaccination status of the playmate. True, that doesn’t eliminate the risk of being exposed to disease thanks to the unvaccinated in various public areas, but children playing together often involve close contact with the typical spitty and snotty hands that children in their lack of concern for hygeine often have, a far more effective means of transmitting the various infectious diseases that we vaccinate against than any random encounter with a stranger in a public place.

Now don’t get me wrong. I understand that health information is private and that no parent is required to reveal her child’s vaccination status to another parent. However, the flip side of that is that it is not wrong for a parent to ask about the vaccination status of potential playmates for her child. With that in mind, I’ll make three points.

First, society is always a balance between competing interests of personal freedom and the good of society as a whole. In the U.S. we tend to value individual freedom over society, which has for many issues (freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc.) served us very well indeed, although arguably not as well in others. Unfortunately, all too often advocates for “personal freedom” forget or don’t care that the corollary of this balance is that one person’s rights do not allow him or her to infringe on the rights of another. It’s that whole “balance” thing, admittedly a cause of contention since the republic was founded. Given that schools and day care centers, with their large concentration of children in relatively small spaces, represent perfect incubators for children to pass viruses and bacteria between each other, it makes scientific, medical, public health, and legal sense to require full vaccination according to the currently recommended schedule before a child is permitted to enter school or day care, with the only exceptions being children who for medical reasons cannot be safely vaccinated. Indeed, the push for “religious” and “philosophical” exemptions undermines that protection and is intentionally being exploited by antivaccinationists to get their children into school to endanger the other children there.

Second, a parent has every right to ask about the vaccination status of potential playmates for her child. Parents of said potential playmate, whether they vaccinate or not, have every right to refuse to answer. However, the parent asking also has the right to judge for themselves whether they will accept that answer. Personally, I would not accept a refusal to answer and recommend to pro-vaccination parents out there that they refuse to accept a nonanswer as well.

Finally, and most importantly, what this conflict shows is that antivaccinationists seem to think they have some God-given right to inflict their pseudoscience on society as a whole. They don’t want to vaccinate their child because of fears of autism or various other “complications” of vaccines based on fearmongering, pseudoscience, or religion? Fine, but there will be consequences, and I don’t care if they don’t like those consequences. Their choice based on fear is endangering the rest of society by making the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases more likely. If a parent makes the choice not to vaccinate, that parent should not whine when parents of vaccinated children decide that they do not want to risk their children’s health by letting them play with unvaccinated children.

After all, if antivaccinationists claim have the right not to vaccinate, they should not be disturbed if the parents of vaccinated children also claim the right to take action to protect their child from the risks introduced into society by antivaccinationists “exercising their rights.”

ADDENDUM: Apparently there is a poll at MSNBC on this issue.

Comments

  1. #1 I am so wise
    August 27, 2008

    One of the components of freedom is the right to accept the consequences of one’s actions. If your idiocy makes your child a potential Typhoid Mary, well expect people to avoid you like the plague.

    On a side note, when I was in the military, we got vaccinated against a lot of stuff. I remember one poor guy lost proof of vaccination (they gave us a booklet) a couple of times and was vaccinated all over again. He never suffered any ill effects. Might be something worth pointing out.

  2. #2 Elizabeth Reid
    August 27, 2008

    The only thing that would make this complicated for me would be considering those children who can’t be vaccinated because of medical conditions. Would it make more sense to be consistent (exclude all unvaccinated children, whatever the reasons, which seems somewhat hard on the unvaccinated kids who can’t be vaccinated for legitimate reasons) or to be selective (exclude only unvaccinated kids who could have been vaccinated, which seems more ‘fair’ but also punitive rather than simply risk-avoidant). Not sure what I think.

  3. #3 D. C. Sessions
    August 27, 2008

    Put another way, Fisher et al don’t want anyone else to even have an opinion on their (Fisher etc) health practices, but are perfectly fine with making decisions for those very people who aren’t allowed any opinions.

    Well, here’s a hint that I’ve mentioned before: one group that very well may have an opinion — and the legal power to enforce it — is a jury in a civil liability trial twenty years from now.

    Those babies who were harmed by the willful negligence of nonvaccinating parents who brought their measles shedder to the pediatricians office have about twenty more years before the statute of limitations runs out for the kids to sue for damages.

    Those juries twenty years from now may not be as forgiving as those today. Many of today’s parents don’t think of measles etc. as serious diseases. If Fisher, McCarthy, and company have their way that will change — and the juries twenty years from now will be judging their actions with that hindsight.

  4. #4 D. C. Sessions
    August 27, 2008

    The only thing that would make this complicated for me would be considering those children who can’t be vaccinated because of medical conditions.

    There is one fundamental difference that I can see, and that is that your neighbor who has an immunocompromised (or whatever) child isn’t likely to come to playgroup fresh from a measles party.

  5. #5 TheProbe
    August 27, 2008

    There are essentially two types of unvaccinated children attending school, i.e., those who cannot be vaccinated and those whose parents will not vaccinate them. The former has no choice, the latter does.

    The choice not to vaccinate should include not allowing those unvaccinated children into school, period. They are wilfully putting those who have no choice, and those who chose, but the vaccination did not confer immunity at risk.

    If I had a school age child, I would want to know if there are any unvaccinated children in my child’s school, and, allow the responsible parents an option of having them either segregated into one class, but NOT IN MY KIDS class.

    As for DCS’ suggestion, I would think that the day is coming where some parent will listen to Jenny, or Generation Rescue, and not vaccinate, and wind up with a dead or disabled child as a result. I recall several years ago that a radio talk show financial advisor, or paid spokesperson, was sued when someone listened to them to their detriment. Sounds like a similar scenario.

  6. #6 E.P. Who?
    August 27, 2008

    Education is key in all of this. Hold the pseudoscience folks accountable for fearmongering, and for using their children as a platform for their own anti-societal issues. We also need to provide new parents with accurate, non-biased information about vaccines prior to those first confusing moments in the pediatrician’s office when the needle goes in before you have the chance to comprehend what’s happening. Talk about feeling like livestock!

  7. #7 D. C. Sessions
    August 27, 2008

    If I had a school age child, I would want to know if there are any unvaccinated children in my child’s school, and, allow the responsible parents an option of having them either segregated into one class, but NOT IN MY KIDS class.

    I wonder what the vaccination denialists will use for an excuse when that one class ends up having a massive measles outbreak while the others cruise on largely unaffected.

    As for DCS’ suggestion, I would think that the day is coming where some parent will listen to Jenny, or Generation Rescue, and not vaccinate, and wind up with a dead or disabled child as a result. I recall several years ago that a radio talk show financial advisor, or paid spokesperson, was sued when someone listened to them to their detriment. Sounds like a similar scenario.

    As I understand it, it’s a lot harder to sue for advice than it is for “assault with a deadly virus.” Not least because in the latter case, there was nothing that the parent of the victim could have done to prevent it — the critical decisions were all made by the nonvaccinating parent.

  8. #8 Catherina
    August 27, 2008

    Micha http://www.wdr.de/tv/quarks/sendungsbeitraege/2007/1030/001_impfung.jsp?pbild=3 and Natalie http://www.kinderaerzte-im-netz.de/video/krankheiten/masern/Natalie-SSPE.wmv are dying because one family decided not to vaccinate their child, but took him to a evidence based doctor’s practise when he developed a fever in 2000. He turned out to have measles. The boy infected a number of babies in the waiting room (media reports vary between 6 and 9), Micha (then 5 months) and Natalie (then 11 months) among them. Micha came down with SSPE in late 2005, Natalie in Summer of 2007.

    Measles are spread to babies in doctors’ waiting rooms in almost every outbreak now. If non-vaccinators at least had the decency to get a primary care physician who does home visits, I would have a much easier time accepting their non-vaccine decision.

  9. #9 Indiana
    August 27, 2008

    It is an entirely circular argument with the anti vaxxers.

    Vaxer: Not vaxing your child is a danger to society.

    Anti-vaxer: If vaxes are so great your child should be protected!

    Vaxer: No vax is 100% effective, “herd immunity” is affected and some people depend on that due to immune deficiencies.

    Anti-vaxer: Why should I sacrifice my child for “herd immunity”?

    Vaxer: Because these diseases are nasty and kill people.

    Anti-vaxer: Vaxes have nasty side effects and hurt people too!

    Vaxer: Side effects are far more rare and not as bad as the disease itself.

    Anti-vaxer: But it should be 100% safe or not be used at all!

    Vaxer: That is unreasonable. True side effects are very uncommon.

    Anti-vaxer: But VAERs has TONS of reports.

    Vaxer: A reporting system is not a valid method of statistics, particularly when anyone can enter a report.

    Anti-vaxer: But Big Pharma are paying people like Offit off to not report things and keep it quiet!

    Vaxer: To the contrary, the only medical studies that indicate a link between vaccines and autism/etc. are ones by people with significant conflicts of interest and a major financial stake in the connection. Like Andrew Wakefield and Mark Geier.

    Anti-vaxer: But autism rates are through the roof at 1 in 150 children!

    Vaxer: The diagnosis for autism has changed in the no so distant past. Many people went un-diagnosed in the past that are now being recognized. The standard changed so you cannot compare the numbers.

    Anti-vaxer: But I know a child that was perfectly normal then got a vax and then BOOM, autistic!

    Vaxer: Autism is typically noticed around the time several vaccines are first given. That does not mean causation. Most parents also typically miss signs of autism at earlier ages.

    Anti-vaxer: But my “Mommy Intuition” is telling me it will hurt my kid.

    Vaxer: Then your “Mommy Intuition” can keep your child away from my child.

    Anti-vaxer: If vaxes are so great your child should be protected!

    Vaxer: ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    No matter how logical and valid the answers, they always find their way around to the same questions. How many times does the same question have to be answered before we reach comprehension? Sadly the only thing that will make some people understand is an object lesson. It is really sad that a child (likely many) will have to pay the ultimate price before the anti-vaxers finally start listening. And it is the parents that are just trying to do the right thing that are being misled and will pay it.

    I was reading a forum the other day where parents where complaining about how “143 cases of measles isn’t an epidemic!”. No, but it is 4 times more than ALL of last year. Assuming that it grows no further this year (unlikely). At that rate of growth (4 times the cases means it is 4 times as likely to be transmitted), next year we will have over 400 cases next year. Within FIVE years we have almost 150,000. By current death rates that will be over 70 dead people that year alone. Brilliant!

    I hope that the people running these websites and posting information trying to convince parents to not vax have had a good lawyer look over what they are saying. And, I hope the parents that choose to not vaccinate realize the liability they may be opening themselves to, especially as they fill out their bogus “religious exemption” so they can get their child into public school. Because if they think for one minute a personal injury lawyer won’t jump on a wrongful death case like that they are sorely mistaken.

    And one final note of humor, I have actually seen parents posting for advice on falsifying a “Religious Exemption” so their child can attend a Jewish or Catholic private school. Can you see someone explaining to their priest that their religion does not allow for vaccination? The stupid really does burn.

  10. #10 Interrobang
    August 27, 2008

    I think my response to “If vaxes are so great your child should be protected!” would be, “Ever heard of a condom breaking? Nothing’s perfect, but a reduced risk is better than nothing.” Exposing yourself or your kids to someone who won’t vaccinate would be as stupid as sandpapering your condom before you use it…

  11. #11 Julie Stahlhut
    August 27, 2008

    A lot of us who got chickenpox in the days before chickenpox vaccine (and are thus susceptible to shingles after re-exposure) are going to come into contact with increasing numbers of unvaccinated kids as we get older. At the same time, the efficacy of the new shingles vaccine is still under discussion, and those of us who are under 60 can have a difficult time obtaining it anyway.

    That means that unvaccinated kids can be dangerous to their own parents and, especially, to their grandparents. I’m sure that folks with grandchildren adore them sufficiently to not mind picking up the occasional sniffle or tummy bug that’s been making the rounds of pre-school — but post-herpetic neuralgia is a different beast entirely. Two of my relatives have had it, and it’s one of those things I wouldn’t even wish on a Republican spin doctor.

    The stupid may burn figuratively, but it also hurts literally.

  12. #12 SLC
    August 27, 2008

    The response to whackjobs like Ms. Fisher is very simple. It is, “your rights end where my nose begins.”

  13. #13 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    You guys all make me laugh. Actually, if you feel that way, then all adults should be providing proof of their “vax status” – to include doctors. Wait a minute, I just read something a few months ago that stated a poll was conducted among the AAP members – surprisingly enough, 5% of pediatricians do not even vaccinate their own children. While that may not “seem like a lot”, it is rougly 3,000 across the country. Imagine that. Now, I’ll have to try to find that link.

    Furthermore, if a person “may” be contagious for up to 6 weeks according to the vaccine literature, we must hang a sign around their neck too. After all, we don’t want to have them come in contact with people either if they are freshly vaccinated.

    Lastly, I for one, am not willing to sacrifice the life of my child for the sake of this phony “herd”. Vaccines have the potential to kill – the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program will attest to that too. Whether it be 1 in 100, 1 in 1,000, or 1 in a million – my child will not be sacrificed in the name of “science”. Don’t like it? Then move to China where you may all live in harmony under a dictatorship. If the government commands you to “kill” your own children for the sake of others, then you “must”. Again, pack your bags and get the heck out of the U.S.

  14. #14 Catherina
    August 27, 2008

    Julie,

    shingles have nothing to do with “re-exposure”. Once you have chicken pox or the varicella vaccine, the virus resides in your nervous system and will resurface at times of stress, illness, etc. Think herpes virus – same family, same behaviour. If anything, contact to a chicken pox infected/shedding child will boost your immune response and decrease the likelihood of shingles.

  15. #15 HCN
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn said “Furthermore, if a person “may” be contagious for up to 6 weeks according to the vaccine literature, we must hang a sign around their neck too. After all, we don’t want to have them come in contact with people either if they are freshly vaccinated.Furthermore, if a person “may” be contagious for up to 6 weeks according to the vaccine literature, we must hang a sign around their neck too. After all, we don’t want to have them come in contact with people either if they are freshly vaccinated.”

    You’ve been challenged on this, and had it explained to you already.

    Now show us which literature and exactly what it said.

  16. #16 Stacy
    August 27, 2008

    That’s such an excellent summary of the debate, Indiana. I’ve debated this issue online many times and it went on exactly like that.

    The only thing we can do is keep posting good material. Most people are not irrational. Give them the facts and they will vaccinate.

  17. #17 ozzy
    August 27, 2008

    “Then move to China where you may all live in harmony under a dictatorship. If the government commands you to “kill” your own children for the sake of others, then you “must”.

    Fine, then you stay here and prepare for the possibility of paying large amounts of money in the civil courts. Every action or inaction has consequences.

  18. #18 Catherina
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn,

    my other post is held because of two links. I had written about Micha and Natalie, who were unfortunate enough to share a waiting room with an unvaccinated preteen coming down with measles in 2000, when Micha and Natalie were still babies. The preteen infected a handful of babies in the practise. Micha came down with SSPE in late 2005, Natalie in Summer 2007. It is one family’s non-vaccine decision that is effectively killing two other children.

    Transmission of measles in a medical setting due to unvaccinated children (or worse even: unvaccinated medical personnel) happens in many outbreaks these days and underscores the importance of community immunity.

  19. #19 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    HCN stated: “You’ve been challenged on this, and had it explained to you already.

    Now show us which literature and exactly what it said”.

    Just take a look at any live-virus vaccine package insert HCN. I refuse to do the work for you.

    Ozzy stated: “Fine, then you stay here and prepare for the possibility of paying large amounts of money in the civil courts. Every action or inaction has consequences”.

    Fine, but before that happens the doctors, nurses, scientists, and courts must acknowledge all the vaccine injured AND reward them for their injuries. Then you must further acknowledge the people who were harmed by coming in contact with a freshly vaccinated person too. Smallpox is just one vaccination example.

    http://www.hrsa.gov/smallpoxinjury/default.htm

    Deal?

  20. #20 ozzy
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn,

    You already have the opportunity to receive compensation via the NVICP where the standard of evidence is weaker than a civil court. Eventhough the standard is weaker there must be some evidence other than a parent/relative saying so. So, I believe that ALL “vaccine-injured” people are already being paid.

  21. #21 Josh from Canada
    August 27, 2008

    If you’re worried about a vaccination *directly* killing you, your child, etc. then you should also worry about cars, food and water. See, these things can also kill you (fatal car accidents, food poisoning or choking, and drowning), but typically, they don’t. In fact, they have such a low rate of “deaths” that people eat and drive all the time, every day. Vaccines are the same way. The vast, vast majority of the time, there is essentially no complications with them, even if a small fraction of the time they “kill”. Of course, why “take the risk”, right?

  22. #22 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    Catherina stated: “my other post is held because of two links. I had written about Micha and Natalie, who were unfortunate enough to share a waiting room with an unvaccinated preteen coming down with measles in 2000, when Micha and Natalie were still babies. The preteen infected a handful of babies in the practise. Micha came down with SSPE in late 2005, Natalie in Summer 2007. It is one family’s non-vaccine decision that is effectively killing two other children.

    Transmission of measles in a medical setting due to unvaccinated children (or worse even: unvaccinated medical personnel) happens in many outbreaks these days and underscores the importance of community immunity”.

    Catherina, unfortunately, vaccines are solely responsible for shifting the vulnerable age groups – to the elderly and young infants AND pregnant persons. What would your solution be then? Vaccinate every 5-10 years despite the numerous injuries and deaths associated with vaccinating? My family of 5 injured (one death) were never acknowledged or rewarded for their injuries. So, what do we do?

    I think that we all must come up with a reasonable solution to the problem. I compare this crises with that of technology. Yes, we have achieved many great things in this new age, but we are destroying this planet in the meantime. How do we fix it? Ignore it and hope that it goes away? Or do we let it keep boiling until the lid blows off? How do we undo this nightmare that the medical establishment has started?

    You are willing to sacrifice your life and the life of your child by vaccinating with the “hope” that it will work for them. I am not willing to take such a risk ever again. Again, what do we do?

  23. #23 ozzy
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn,

    You deliberately mislead by stating “live-virus” but it is actually a live attenuated-virus. A big difference. Attenuated means it is not infectious. So you “may” be shedding non-infectious measles particles. Kinda like comparing the buzz you get off of near-beer compared to real beer. (I’d thought I’d put it into a context that you were familiar with.)

  24. #24 Catherina
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn,

    vaccines are solely responsible for shifting the vulnerable age groups

    that is the usual anti-vaccine lie. In pre-vaccine USA, an average of 57 infants (as in children under 1 year) died of measles every year. Contemporary sources speak of underreporting. If you assume a conservative 0.1% death rate, this translates into 57’000 annual cases in under 1 year olds – there were scores (as in over 50) additional cases of SSPE per year, too. Do the maths: in which time pre- or post-vaccine were infants better protected?

    It is the stubborn, (psuedo)religious refusal of a minority that keeps measles circulating and this kills children, every year. Most of the children of anti-vaccinationists are protected by the good vaccination morale of their community. But catastrophes like the slow and painful deaths of Micha and Natalie (watch the movie when it posts) cannot be avoided as long as the intentionally unprotected mingle with the vulnerable.

  25. #25 DT
    August 27, 2008

    @Dawn:

    Furthermore, if a person “may” be contagious for up to 6 weeks according to the vaccine literature, we must hang a sign around their neck too. After all, we don’t want to have them come in contact with people either if they are freshly vaccinated.

    I assume you are being deliberately stupid (if, as HCN says, you have had this explained to you before).

    Currently used vaccines consist of either killed organisms (which have no infection risk to anyone else) or clinically attenuated stains of organisms (which may pose a possible onward risk of transmission, but if so this is brief and actually advantageous, helping promote wider “vaccination”, and it is of far, far less clinical risk to a child catches as opposed to catching the natural infection)

    As HCN says, let’s see the literature you keep quoting and how this applies to all the standard childhood immunisations please. Or else just STFU.

  26. #26 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    Ozzy stated:

    “Dawn,

    You already have the opportunity to receive compensation via the NVICP where the standard of evidence is weaker than a civil court. Eventhough the standard is weaker there must be some evidence other than a parent/relative saying so. So, I believe that ALL “vaccine-injured” people are already being paid”.

    Incorrect Ozzy. Apparently, because I never had a comprehensive hearing exam prior to the rubella vaccine, I do not have a case. However, if it resulted in total deafness, a would have “a chance” of winning. If my hearing was perfect prior to this vaccine, why would I have a comprehensive hearing exam? So, I am just “out of luck” now with my partial hearing loss. Even though it is listed as an adverse reaction to this vaccine??!! There isn’t a thing I can do about it. Believe me, I’ve already consulted with numerous attorneys.

    As far as my infant is concerned, the reactions were never even documented by the nurse after hours. She never logged the calls properly or even informed his doctor. I may have a chance still with him because Easter Seals evaluated him before any vaccines (standard with premature babies now) and evaluated him after (when he lost acquired skills for up to a year and I called them back into the picture). Only time will tell with him whether or not justice is served.

    So, it is only my opinion, but the program is a joke.

  27. #27 Todd
    August 27, 2008

    You are willing to sacrifice your life and the life of your child by vaccinating with the “hope” that it will work for them. I am not willing to take such a risk ever again. Again, what do we do?

    The assumption here is that those of us who vaccinate our children are bad parents. Frankly, Dawn, I could care less about your children. As long as they are quarantined and safely away from my children, then are free to practice your superior parenting skills as you wish. So there’s your solution.

  28. #28 trrll
    August 27, 2008

    Whether it be 1 in 100, 1 in 1,000, or 1 in a million – my child will not be sacrificed in the name of “science”.

    So do you allow your child to ride a bicycle (leading cause of ER visits for children and adolescents, with hundreds of thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths every year)? How about organized sports (3.5 million injuries per year)? Do you drive your kids to the movies? I’ve asked these questions before and you have avoided answering them. Is it fair to say that you are willing to “sacrifice” your own children in the name of play and entertainment, but not to save the lives of other children?

  29. #29 trrll
    August 27, 2008

    Catherina, unfortunately, vaccines are solely responsible for shifting the vulnerable age groups – to the elderly and young infants AND pregnant persons.

    Try to think about this rationally for a moment. Do you imagine that somehow, the fact that most people are vaccinated somehow makes infants more vulnerable to infection than they were prior to near-universal vaccination? Do you seriously believe that the elderly, infants, and pregnant persons are at greater risk from vaccine-preventable illnesses now vaccination has greatly reduced the risk of an encounter with an infected individual?

  30. #30 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    Todd stated: “The assumption here is that those of us who vaccinate our children are bad parents. Frankly, Dawn, I could care less about your children. As long as they are quarantined and safely away from my children, then are free to practice your superior parenting skills as you wish. So there’s your solution”.

    That is your assumption. I have never stated that. Do not speak for me Todd. You sincerely hold a belief that vaccines carry more risks then benefits because that is what you’ve been taught. I sincerely hold a belief in just the opposite based on experience. Yes, people that use “herd immunity” do not care about others. Thank you for pointing that out.

  31. #31 D. C. Sessions
    August 27, 2008

    Do not speak for me Todd.

    Kind of hard to avoid when you refuse to answer requests to clarify your position.

  32. #32 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    Sorry, rephrase.

    Todd stated: “Todd stated: “The assumption here is that those of us who vaccinate our children are bad parents. Frankly, Dawn, I could care less about your children. As long as they are quarantined and safely away from my children, then are free to practice your superior parenting skills as you wish. So there’s your solution”.

    That is your assumption. I have never stated that. Do not speak for me Todd. You sincerely hold a belief that vaccines carry more “benefits then risks” because that is what you’ve been taught. I sincerely hold a belief in just the opposite based on experience. Yes, people that use “herd immunity” do not care about others. Thank you for pointing that out.

    trrll stated: “Try to think about this rationally for a moment. Do you imagine that somehow, the fact that most people are vaccinated somehow makes infants more vulnerable to infection than they were prior to near-universal vaccination? Do you seriously believe that the elderly, infants, and pregnant persons are at greater risk from vaccine-preventable illnesses now vaccination has greatly reduced the risk of an encounter with an infected individual”?

    Yes, I do believe that trrll. In fact, the majority of people contracted these diseases prior to adulthood. With the majority of mothers already experiencing the disease in childhood, then bear children later, they were able to offer immunity to their newborn. That is no longer the case – which is exactly why there is a campaign to vaccinate every child by two because they are now more vulnerable than ever before, thanks to vaccines. The same goes for the elderly and pregnant persons. People who are immune compromised are no more important than the vaccine-injured. They are not recognized unfortunately.

  33. #33 Ian
    August 27, 2008

    “Poppycock. (I had intended to use another word, but I’m trying to clean up my language…”

    Well then you can’t say poppycock. Poppy is a source of drugs and cock is, well, a fallacy. You should try saying “mommyhen” instead….

  34. #34 TheProbe
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn of Sedna flatulated: “With the majority of mothers already experiencing the disease in childhood, then bear children later, they were able to offer immunity to their newborn.”

    Perhaps you are “thinking” about the antiboidies passed in mother’s milk. That protection runs out when breastfeeding stops, and is non existent if the mother does not breastfeed.

    Seriously, did you ever take biology in high school?

  35. #35 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    TheProbe stated: “Perhaps you are “thinking” about the antiboidies passed in mother’s milk. That protection runs out when breastfeeding stops, and is non existent if the mother does not breastfeed.

    Seriously, did you ever take biology in high school”?

    Actually, that would explain why our healthcare professionals are now promoting “breastfeeding” once again, huh? They did fall away from the notion for a short period, but common sense kicked in recent years. However, breastfeeding is no longer the same if the mother

    1. Never acquired the disease naturally
    2. Has been vaccinated

    Those antibodies are no longer offered thanks to vaccines. Breastfeeding is still better than formula feeding, but nowhere near what it “used to be”.

  36. #36 Matt Penfold
    August 27, 2008

    One thing you could have mentioned is that siblings under 12 months will also likely not have been vaccinated.

    I suspect it is pretty common for younger offspring to accompany a parent picking an older child up from school or daycare.

  37. #37 D. C. Sessions
    August 27, 2008

    With the majority of mothers already experiencing the disease in childhood, then bear children later, they were able to offer immunity to their newborn.

    As I’ve pointed out before, this mainly works because the mothers were exposed recently, thanks to the disease being endemic. You could get the same result, without the thousands of deaths, blindness, etc. simply by giving women a booster when they decide to have children.

  38. #38 Catherina
    August 27, 2008

    That is nonsense. There is no measles or rubella immunity in breastmilk. The bulk of maternal immunity is transplacental and the placenta has no mechanism to distinguish between disease and vaccine acquired immunity. The level of immunity of the baby is determined by the maternal titer and whether the child was full term (as the placenta does not let IgGs pass until some weeks before delivery). The transplacental antibodies are degraded in the baby’s blood with a half life of 3 to 4 weeks, so that a 4 months old baby usually is not protected from measles infection anymore, although some may have a subclinical infection under maternal immunity (this does not save them from SSPE, though, hence the cases in developing countries where babies get measles very early) and measles antibodies can be detected much longer than they are protective. I have contemporary pre-vaccine (pre WW1) sources that speak of maternal immunity in the first quarter year of life. That matches the time course of IgG degradation. No measles IgA in breastmilk past 2 weeks post delivery, so strike that.

  39. #39 ozzy
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn,

    “However, breastfeeding is no longer the same if the mother

    1. Never acquired the disease naturally
    2. Has been vaccinated”

    Says who? Let’s see the study or is this another “data-free opinion.” Show me the cohort of breastfed infants with mothers who contracted the disease who have lower measles incidence rates than breastfed infants from mothers who were vaccinated.

    By the way, while your at it show me the evidence that “natural immunity” is quantitatively better than “vaccine immunity.”

  40. #40 trrll
    August 27, 2008

    Yes, I do believe that trrll. In fact, the majority of people contracted these diseases prior to adulthood. With the majority of mothers already experiencing the disease in childhood, then bear children later, they were able to offer immunity to their newborn.

    This is really nuts. Do you really think that vaccinated people don’t have antibodies? It doesn’t matter if the mother has antibodies because she had the disease as a child or because she was vaccinated as a child. Either provides the same (limited) protection to the infant. The same goes for adults. Prior to vaccination, there was a greater risk that a person might somehow escape acquiring immunity in childhood, and then contract the disease in later on in life when it is even more dangerous. Currently, this hazard mainly applies to people whose parents denied them vaccination as children.

  41. #41 themadlolscientist, FCD
    August 27, 2008

    However, breastfeeding is no longer the same if the mother

    1. Never acquired the disease naturally
    2. Has been vaccinated

    =rude bodily noises= Yeah. Right. When is an antibody not an antibody? =more rude bodily noises=

    When I was a kid, the schools had a blanket policy of not enrolling children without proof of vaccination. But that was back in the days of polio. I knew a few kids who actually got quarantined for measles and other preventable stuff.

    In my grandparents’ time, the “Spanish” flu was the big deal, but the “childhood” diseases did their share of the damage – my grandmother went completely deaf from the German measles around the same time.

    I hate to sound like an old kermudge bitch, but the kids who are having their own kids now haven’t a clue. Wake up, smell the history of infectuous diseases, and don’t put my future grandchildren in danger with your stupidity. Either get your brats vaccinated or don’t let them out in public, especially to school, which is already the germiest place on the planet. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

  42. #42 DuWayne
    August 27, 2008

    This isn’t even a question for me. I am happy to make exceptions for kids who were not vaccinated (or received an incomplete schedule) for medical reasons. When we are talking about the difference between not vaccinating or posing a significant and legitimate health risk, it is unreasonable to expect them to be vaccinated. Indeed, such individuals need the herd immunity more than most anyone else. If I have ninety-percent expected coverage, while they have zero, I would argue that they are the ones in need of most protection.

    But people who choose to break down that herd immunity are not welcome in our home and I do my best to minimize our exposure. Sorry for the kids who lose out because of that, but their parents made a decision that makes their child a danger to themselves and others.

  43. #43 vlad
    August 27, 2008

    Personally I solve the problem very simply. Simple scenarios.
    1)
    Me: Do you vaccinate you children?
    Parent: UM, why?
    Me: Out!

    2) Me: Do you vaccinate you children?
    Parent: No
    Me: Why?
    Parent: AutoImmune.
    Me: Ok everyone else is so you should be safe, any peanut allergies or some such? Have fun just no : list know allergies of group. Oh here are the Anti-bac wipes.

    3) Me: Do you vaccinate you children?
    Parent: Yup.
    Me: Have fun just no : list know allergies of group.

    4)Me: Do you vaccinate you children?
    Parent: No.
    Me: Why?
    Parent: Well I’m afraid of (insert crazy delusions here)
    Me: Out! I don’t want my child to pick up a case of the crazy.

    These 4 simple options cover all possible scenarios.

    The price of freedom is the risk of stupidity.

  44. #44 Rogue Epidemiologist
    August 27, 2008

    I clicked the MSNBC poll. Seems that on both sides of the debate, people aren’t worried about the possibility of herd immunity failures. meh.

  45. #45 Todd
    August 27, 2008

    That is your assumption. I have never stated that. Do not speak for me Todd. You sincerely hold a belief that vaccines carry more “benefits then risks” because that is what you’ve been taught. I sincerely hold a belief in just the opposite based on experience. Yes, people that use “herd immunity” do not care about others. Thank you for pointing that out.

    You are scientifically illiterate, so your experience and your opinion count for squat. You and your children are threat to public health, and more specifically, my children. Antivaxxers, such as yourself, have a right to withhold vaccines from their children, but by doing so, they waive the right to participate in an open society because they are a threat to public health. Public health always outweighs the rights of the ignorant. The solution is simple. Quarantine antivaxxers.

    So, unless you can show a scientifically backed medical reason why your children cannot receive vaccinations, its banishment for you and your pitiful children.

  46. #46 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    trrll stated: “This is really nuts. Do you really think that vaccinated people don’t have antibodies? It doesn’t matter if the mother has antibodies because she had the disease as a child or because she was vaccinated as a child. Either provides the same (limited) protection to the infant. The same goes for adults. Prior to vaccination, there was a greater risk that a person might somehow escape acquiring immunity in childhood, and then contract the disease in later on in life when it is even more dangerous. Currently, this hazard mainly applies to people whose parents denied them vaccination as children”.

    Well, trrll if that were true, why would we need boosters? In fact, the CDC is now calling for boosters for teens and adults. I guess they finally realized that the “protection” from childhood vaccines wore off long ago. So, no these babies are not offered any antibodies via breastmilk if the mom was vaccinated in childhood and did not receive further “boosters”.

  47. #47 Natalie
    August 27, 2008

    Well, trrll if that were true, why would we need boosters?

    Naturally acquired immunity doesn’t last forever, either.

  48. #48 Todd
    August 27, 2008

    why would we need boosters?

    It’s good question, with a reasonable, scientifically based answer. An answer that is even relatively easy to find out from a variety of basic medical and biology sources. An answer that took me all of 2 seconds to find on Google.

    It’s also an answer that would be wasted on you.

  49. #49 ozzy
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn,

    And you can demonstrate that one of these girls in the present outbreak who catch and clear measles will pass on anti-measles antibodies. Please do.

    Here’s an educated explanation as to the reason for a measles booster based on basic viral immunology concepts. Ever think that increased levels of measles virus spreading around the public due to endemic disease, in effect, boosts people who have prior immunity. In essence, every exposure is like a booster shot. They are exposed but don’t develop disease, just like a booster shot. So in the beginning of the program when measles was more common, a booster following vaccination was not needed. Now with the greatly decreased level of measles virus spreading through the population due to vaccination, this natural boosting is lost. Therefore, booster shots are needed. It would be my guess that individuals who cleared spontaneously in this era (most likely 1980s and later) would need booster shots also.

  50. #50 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    Todd stated: “So, unless you can show a scientifically backed medical reason why your children cannot receive vaccinations, its banishment for you and your pitiful children”.

    Well, Todd, my infant suffered from high-pitched screaming off/on for three days, congestion, CONVULSIONS complete with his eyes rolling back into his head AND he severely regressed (lost acquired skills for up to a year). According to the dimwits in the healthcare profession, a medical exemption does not apply unless you state which vaccine and for how long you are withholding it. If a child received 3 different vaccines against 5 different diseases at one time, which ingredient caused this in my baby? Was it the peanut oil, phenoxyethanol, pertussis, lactose, eggs, aluminum, formaldehyde, etc, etc. etc. OR was it the fact that his premature body couldn’t handle that many neurotoxins and viruses at one time? Who knows? He will not be experimented on to find out either.

    What makes you think that your children are more important than mine? Who ever gave you that idea? Is it part of the “New Age Movement” that kids are learning in school these days?

  51. #51 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    Natalie stated: “Naturally acquired immunity doesn’t last forever, either”.

    Says who Natalie? The CDC? HA HA HA HA. I think I just peed myself.

  52. #52 Todd
    August 27, 2008

    I’ve read your sob story before. It’s melodramatic and hyperbolic, but ultimately meaningless to me as you’ve got nothing but your worthless opinion to back it up. What’s sad is that your kid probably does suffer from some allergic reaction, but you’re too stupid to figure out what it is. Your loss, not mine.

    What makes you think that your children are more important than mine?

    Funny, I was going to ask you the same question. I do hope they aren’t too hopelessly damaged when they reach adulthood, so I guess I can try to muster up some amused pity for them.

  53. #53 StuV
    August 27, 2008

    Yikes. It only took, what, 4 threads for Dawn to go from “I have numbers you don’t know about” to “there is a magical hard-copy somewhere that proves the CDC is lying, and, oh… I just pissed myself”?

    What little scratching was needed to remove the thin, thin layer of rationality and reveal the gibbering, delusional wench beneath!

  54. #54 HCN
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn whined “Well, Todd, my infant suffered from high-pitched screaming off/on for three days, congestion, CONVULSIONS complete with his eyes rolling back into his head AND he severely regressed (lost acquired skills for up to a year).”

    And my kid did the same thing, transported to the hospital by ambulance, EEGs, etc … only it was due to a real illness. I guess that doesn’t count as a potent enough sob story.

    Because in Dawn-world the diseases are harmless, and all bad things come from vaccines.

    By the way, on this subject, because my son had neonatal seizures he did not get a pertussis vaccine. At this time our county was having a pertussis epidemic. I did seriously ask other moms with babies if their children had been vaccinated.

    I only came across one who said no. She was one of those self righteous “I’m a better mommy than you” types, that it was no great loss to never go near her and her kids again.

    In later years I met other mothers who had vaccinated kids who got pertussis in preschool and elementary school (one got it from his grandmother, who was very sick). Since they had been vaccinated their symptoms were not as bad as it could have been. Usually only sick for a couple of weeks, not the way it is described in China, the 100 day cough.

  55. #55 PalMD
    August 27, 2008

    One of the behaviors we see consistently from religious nuts and faux-libertarians is the desire to be a “dissenter” without consequences. This isn’t “freedom of conscience” but a very un-libertarian attempt to infringe on the rights of others (in some cases to get proper medical care, in this case to not be exposed to the potentially unhealthy children of cultists).

    If you want to make a stand, part of owning your beliefs is owning the consequences.

  56. #56 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    PalMD stated: “One of the behaviors we see consistently from religious nuts and faux-libertarians is the desire to be a “dissenter” without consequences. This isn’t “freedom of conscience” but a very un-libertarian attempt to infringe on the rights of others (in some cases to get proper medical care, in this case to not be exposed to the potentially unhealthy children of cultists).

    If you want to make a stand, part of owning your beliefs is owning the consequences”.

    You couldn’t have said it any better PalMD. With doctors seeing nothing but dollar signs for every prescription they write, who needs them? My cousin just complained that she was at her OB/GYN for her annual, casually mentioned a lingering headache and the doc wrote her a prescription for an anti-depressant!!!?? What, do you guys have classes on how to sell as many prescriptions to your patients in under 10 min or what?? It is no longer about care for most doctors, but money. Lavish trips, rewards, incentives paid out by the drug companies…pretty sick.

    The majority of us “anti-vax” parents have all come to pretty much the same conclusion – we are far better off without allopathic care. After all, don’t you docs accidentally kill far more patients than guns these days? That is not even including the vaccine-related deaths either!!

  57. #57 MaryM
    August 27, 2008

    My husband has had a bone marrow transplant. He can’t be re-vaccinated for a year.

    I am considerably more concerned about his getting measles, mumps, polio than I am about harm from vaccinations.

    We will be asking people if their children are vaccinated. To die from a preventable disease after making it through a bone marrow transplant is not worth any friends who may be offended.

  58. #58 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    Pardon me, MaryM, but what caused it? You would think that in this day and age….by now we would have come up with a “cure”…..unless

    1. it is not wanted because the business of cancer is far too profitable

    2. vaccines/drugs cause cancer

    3. all of the above

    Sadly, with your mentality your husband will probably not lead a promising long life.

  59. #59 Mom of Many
    August 27, 2008

    As a homeschooler and mother of 8, I am quite concerned over the number of homeschooling families that don’t vaccinate. My infant child was exposed to another homeschooling family that didn’t vaccinate and had contracted pertussis. They were sick, especially their youngest for months and I was quite upset that we had been exposed since my baby had not completed all the immunizations – he wasn’t old enough for the MMR.

    I vaccinate all of my children. And FWIW, I have filled 2 Rx for antibiotics in almost 15 years – they don’t get sick. And while I have a BIL and nephew w/ Aspergers, none of my children exhibit any signs.

    And, for homeschooling families that use Apologia and Dr. Wile (not a text I use but popular in the homeschooling community), I offer this link from the author supporting vaccinations:

    http://www.apologia.com/vaccines.htm

    One other comment, while many / most children had measles as a child prior to vaccinations, there is no guarantee that being exposed will result in becoming infected during childhood. I was repeatedly exposed to chicken pox throughout my school years, but didn’t get sick with it until I was 16.

    So, what happens to young women, who somehow didn’t contract German Measles until they in their childbearing years? I have a sister in law that contracted German Measles when she was 16 … and newly pregnant. Their little girl died 10 years later, profound heart defects, blind and deaf – very much loved, but suffered greatly.

  60. #60 Lisa
    August 27, 2008

    The idea of herd immunity is rediculous. I don’t know any adults who get booster shots. I don’t know any adults who went and got a HIB shot when it was added to the pediatric schedule, or a round of prevnar as it became recommended. Have all of you gotten all your boosters every year to make sure you’re keeping up the “herd immunity”? Doubtful. Does anyone have any statistics on adult vaccine coverage? People actually get vaccines with the believe that they will only work if the “herd immunity” levels are high? And all of the children who haven’t received vaccines are now carriers of these diseases? That’s just incredibly silly.

  61. #61 Johnny
    August 27, 2008


    So the herd protects you, but only if you are actually part of the herd. Huh… who would have thought that would be the case?

  62. #62 Lisa
    August 27, 2008

    So who here is part of the herd with an up-to-date shot record or titer test to prove immunity for all the diseases on the ped schedule?

  63. #63 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    Mom of Many stated: “As a homeschooler and mother of 8, I am quite concerned over the number of homeschooling families that don’t vaccinate. My infant child was exposed to another homeschooling family that didn’t vaccinate and had contracted pertussis. They were sick, especially their youngest for months and I was quite upset that we had been exposed since my baby had not completed all the immunizations – he wasn’t old enough for the MMR.

    I vaccinate all of my children. And FWIW, I have filled 2 Rx for antibiotics in almost 15 years – they don’t get sick. And while I have a BIL and nephew w/ Aspergers, none of my children exhibit any signs”.

    Well Mom of Many, I do hope that you enjoy your homeschooling while it lasts. Big Pharma is pushing for ALL children to go to school. It has already happened in CA. What makes you think it won’t happen in your state? In CA, you need a certified teacher to teach your homeschooled children. This is actually not for teaching purposes, but for vaccine “tracking purposes”. They want to “tag” your children and “track them” with their vaccines. Very profitable business in the long run.

    Well, if you homeschool your children, I guess you may/may not even be aware of any mental deficits either. No learning disabilities, ADHD, Bi-Polar, or whatever? Hmmm.. I find that very hard to believe. But, if they are homeschooled then maybe you really don’t know because they are not in a learning environment with other children.

  64. #64 Indiana
    August 27, 2008

    Lisa thought she had a zinger and said: “So who here is part of the herd with an up-to-date shot record or titer test to prove immunity for all the diseases on the ped schedule?”

    Right here. And BTW, no one is saying adults should not be up to date. Your point is that since some adults aren’t up to date we shouldn’t require kids to be? I guess since some adults smoke we should let our kids to light up as well? Try another analogy next time, one that isn’t dumb.

    Dawn, have you ever considered a job or hobby to distract you from the voices of the bad people? Homeschooling is being limited to trained teachers as a plot to force vaxes on children? Why don’t they just, you know, require vaccination for everyone if that is their purpose? Naaah.

    Keep it up and even your anti-vax forum buddies will ostracize you too.

  65. #65 E
    August 27, 2008

    Indiana – she has every intent of keeping it up.
    Previous comment
    Sigh. Apparently she’s like Batman – wherever the hypodermic needle-shaped light appears in the sky, she’ll come to spread her nonsense.

  66. #66 Orac
    August 27, 2008

    Pardon me, MaryM, but what caused it? You would think that in this day and age….by now we would have come up with a “cure”…..unless

    1. it is not wanted because the business of cancer is far too profitable

    2. vaccines/drugs cause cancer

    3. all of the above

    Sadly, with your mentality your husband will probably not lead a promising long life.

    Sadly, with your mentality, you are utterly despicable.

    As for the whole “big pharma’s preventing us from finding a cure from cancer,” that’s such a load of garbage that it’s hard to overemphasize how dumb it is.

  67. #67 Orac
    August 27, 2008

    Sigh. Apparently she’s like Batman – wherever the hypodermic needle-shaped light appears in the sky, she’ll come to spread her nonsense.

    Indeed. However, I do have my limits, and Dawn is approaching them.

  68. #68 Lisa
    August 27, 2008

    I had a zinger? Thought I asked a question on stats of adult vaccine coverage. The point isn’t who “should” be up to date, it’s who actually is. Thanks for clearing that up Indiana, we have 1 adult who’s up to date and part of the herd. And the stats for the rest of US would be???

  69. #69 Tsu Dho Nimh
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn, please update your worldview.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/08/BAE5127NLJ.DTL&tsp=1

    (08-08) 10:49 PDT LOS ANGELES – — A state appeals court lifted the cloud it had cast on the homeschooling of 166,000 California children and ruled Friday that parents have a right to educate their children at home even if they lack a teaching credential.

  70. #70 Rational Jen
    August 27, 2008

    I don’t know any adults who get booster shots. I don’t know any adults who went and got a HIB shot when it was added to the pediatric schedule, or a round of prevnar as it became recommended. Have all of you gotten all your boosters every year to make sure you’re keeping up the “herd immunity”?

    Lisa, you’re a moron. The HIB vaccine isn’t recommended for anyone over 5, unless you have certain conditions (I think sickle cell anemia is one of them). So no, I didn’t rush right out and get that one, because it isn’t necessary.

    Boosters aren’t required every year – thank you for further illustrating your ignorance about vaccines. I get boosters at the recommended intervals, and I’m vaccinated for lots more than what’s on the pediatric schedule. Most of the adults I know get boosters when recommended. What rock do you live under?

  71. #71 Dawn
    August 27, 2008

    That is incredible news Tsu Dho Nimh. Thank you for sharing that.

  72. #72 ChrisC
    August 27, 2008

    Small pox, at one time, was endemic in most populations. With this in mind, one would think that if “natural immunity” were as superior as it is claimed by anti-vaxers, then after several generations small pox would have been stopped in its tracks, as survivors of the disease passed on their “natural immunity” to their children.

    This is obviously not the case, and underscores why herd immunity in vaccinations is so important. There is really, very little functional difference between vaccine aquired immunity and “natural immunity”. The major difference is that in a vacination program, large numbers of people (or animals or whatever” can be immunised within a short space of time, reaching levels that prevent the disease from being transmitted.

    This is what people like Dawn don’t get. Vaccine based immunity is not only just as good for the individual, but it’s better for society. If one contracts chicken pox as a child, the threat of shingles remains throughout adulthood. Yet if herd immunity levels are reached, then the chance of shingles is reduced almost to zero.

    So Dawn (and others), your idiotic “choices” are not helping your own children, or the children of others. Being a resevoir for disease is not something to be proud of.

  73. #73 Stephanie
    August 27, 2008

    Dawn, as I read this thread I’m becoming more and more appalled at your comments. You’re either willfully ignorant or you’re stupid. Either way, you’re smug and obnoxious, and you demonstrate perfectly that there are some people who simply will not or can not participate in rational discussion with other adults.

    But this:

    Pardon me, MaryM, but what caused it? You would think that in this day and age….by now we would have come up with a “cure”…..unless

    1. it is not wanted because the business of cancer is far too profitable

    2. vaccines/drugs cause cancer

    3. all of the above

    Sadly, with your mentality your husband will probably not lead a promising long life.

    is a personal best for you. Go read what you wrote again. Do you even know what you’re saying? What you’re accusing doctors of doing? The cruelty you display in that last comment to MaryM? Those are the words of a moral idiot.

  74. #74 ChrisC
    August 27, 2008

    Oh… and by the way… bipolar is not a learning disability… it is a serious mental illness. Dawn, your idiocy is glaring.

  75. #75 DLC
    August 28, 2008

    “Tis better to light a single candle than sit and curse the darkness.”
    I am amused to see Dawn blow out the candle every time somebody tries to enlighten her.

    What next, Dawn putting her fingers in her ears and yelling “La la la la la! I can’t Hear you! ” ?

  76. #76 HCN
    August 28, 2008

    DLC said “What next, Dawn putting her fingers in her ears and yelling “La la la la la! I can’t Hear you! ” ?”

    What do you mean by “What next”? She has been doing that all along.

  77. #77 Bob
    August 28, 2008

    Perhaps Dawn and Lisa have been quarantined by their local health department and have nothing better to do than inflict their willful ignorance on the internet.

    Seriously. I’m 45 and have had vaccinations updated in the past few years, though I’d have to talk to my GP for details, so yes Lisa, some adults actually do try to stay current. Of course, I worked in a nuclear plant for 3-1/2 years so I’m a bit more accustomed to issues of risk and public health, low probability/high consequence events, etc., than your average bear. If you don’t want to believe in herd immunity, that’s your decision, but don’t expect the bulk of your neighbors who do to want much to do with you.

    And dear, dear masochistic Dawn, there’s such a thing as relative risk – the National Safety Council has a nice chart enumerating all the ways one can die and the relative likelihood thereof. But since people prefer stories to statistics (and you in particular seem to have been immunized against Clue), I expect this to roll off your braincase like water off a duck’s back. You’re perfectly willing to risk harming your kids and others because of your poor grasp of risk, medicine, and immunology. If you were simply ignorant or displayed the slightest ability to ask “what if I’m wrong?” if only as a thought experiment, it might be a different story.

    But no, you’ve lashed yourself to the mast of a sinking ship, fingers firmly jammed in your ears chanting “LALALALALAICAN’THEARYOU”. That may have worked for Jason and the Argonauts but we’ve moved beyond the Bronze Age. Nobody is trying to poison you or your children; on the contrary, we’d love to eradicate every disease that cripples and kills children, yours and everyone else’s. And it can happen, but not as long as parents such as you selfishly put every child (including their own) at risk by not vaccinating until the diseases are gone.

    And don’t claim diseases can’t be eradicated – see the example of smallpox. It can be done; you’re not helping. Spreading mendacious antivax bullshit only makes matters worse.

  78. #78 DT
    August 28, 2008

    Dawn is obviously a bigpharma plant who is employed to pass herself off on the interweb as a complete nutter to show the antivaxers in bad light.
    The strategy is obviously remarkably successful.

  79. #79 ednamode
    August 28, 2008

    I am so tired of this nonsense.

    @Dawn: Here’s my solution: Don’t vaccinate your kids. But if they contract a preventable disease, they don’t get treatment. They die and you get to watch.

    Harsh? Sure but I have had enough of this anti-vax lunacy.

  80. #80 Carlie
    August 28, 2008

    Dawn, if you’re as belligerent and clueless in real life as you are online, I don’t think you have to worry that it’s your kids’ anti-vax status that will keep everyone else away from you.

  81. #81 Anonymous
    August 28, 2008

    How many states require proof of vaccinations to enter daycare or school? Florida does, and they all should. Parents who don’t vaccinate their kids can homeschool them (and preferably keep their kids out of public parks, doctors’ offices, etc.).

    That said, I’ve heard of parents shopping around until they find a daycare that will “bend” the rules. I guess the herd is great if it is for the sake of education and/or babysitting your kid.

  82. #82 Jason W
    August 28, 2008

    Indiana, loved your summary of the vaccine debate. I’ve been passing it around to folks I know.

  83. #83 Ruth
    August 28, 2008

    MaryM

    I used to work at a Cancer Center and part of my duties was an annual call to BMT patients. Many had survived for so many years they were really tired of hearing from me. My best to your husband.

    I really feel for the parents of kids battling cancer-they are so vulnerable to colds, chicken pox or mumps could be fatal. How sad if our modern medicine can cure leukemia but the patient died from some Luddite refusing MMR for their kids.

    At my next check-up, I will ask my doctor about getting the pertussus booster along with my tetanus.

    Every medical treatment carries some risk. The kidney transplant my sister had 4 years ago means she has a higher risk for certain cancers and has to keep taking drugs to suppress her immune system. She prefers that to leaving her kids moterless 3 years ago.

    Dawn may be one of the Evangelicals who want death and destruction, as that is necessary for the Rapture.

  84. #84 Natalie
    August 28, 2008

    Ruth, if you are getting the Tdap shot, you’re already getting a pertussis booster. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s the standard tetanus booster for adults.

  85. #85 Ruth
    August 28, 2008

    I thought that was the case, but I want to double check. There was a lot of whooping cough going around last winter, with adults and kids spreading it. I want to be sure I’m not spreading anything to babies not yet fully protected.

  86. #86 Calli Arcale
    August 28, 2008

    I believe you are correct that DTaP (or Tdap; same thing) is what you get when you get a tetanus shot. It’s much simpler for the supply chain to just give you the same shot they’re giving your kids, and as a bonus, you get boosters for those other things too. I mean, diptheria and pertussis aren’t any more fun than tetanus, really, although you’re more likely to encounter tetanus than you are to encounter diptheria or pertussis. (Diptheria and pertussis require exposure to an infected person. Tetanus, on the other hand, lives in the dirt. It’s hard to *avoid* exposure to tetanus. We had a nasty tornado in this area last May, and anybody wanting to help with the cleanup effort was required to get a tetanus shot or show proof of current vaccination status. Too easy to get cut and innoculated with dirt, rooting around in all of that wreckage.)

  87. #87 gwangung
    August 28, 2008

    Just take a look at any live-virus vaccine package insert HCN. I refuse to do the work for you.

    Then you lose.

    You made the claim. YOU back it up.

    Moron.

  88. #88 Natalie
    August 28, 2008

    I believe you are correct that DTaP (or Tdap; same thing) is what you get when you get a tetanus shot. It’s much simpler for the supply chain to just give you the same shot they’re giving your kids, and as a bonus, you get boosters for those other things too.

    Ah, for some reason I thought they had different ones for kids and adults. Not sure where I heard that, though.

  89. #89 Rational Jen
    August 28, 2008

    Hey Natalie, you heard right. The DTaP and Tdap have a slightly different formulation, but I can’t remember exactly what the difference is. Maybe the adult version has teh thimerosol?

    Calli provided an excellent summary of how easy it is to come in contact with tetanus, so now might be a good time to point out to the resident anti-vaxxers that there is no herd immunity for tetanus. Oh, and good luck to Dawn & Lisa if they think their kids can acquire natural immunity to that particular disease.

  90. #90 jypsy
    August 28, 2008

    I’d just like to echo what Stephanie said

    I’ve seen a lot of stuff but….. well, what Stephanie said.

  91. #91 barbie123
    August 28, 2008

    Dawn: “No learning disabilities, ADHD, Bi-Polar, or whatever? Hmmm.. I find that very hard to believe. But, if they are homeschooled then maybe you really don’t know because they are not in a learning environment with other children”

    Okay, I thought this was some type of misguided satire; then I realized she is serious: Dawn’s argument boils down to this: Because “Mom of Many” had all her kids vaccinated, some of them MUST be learning-disabled and “Mom of Many” just doesn’t see it–YET–because (and, apparently, only because) they are home-schooled?

    What a compelling argument! Not!

  92. #92 TheProbe
    August 28, 2008

    Orac, I see that you are thinking about Dawn’s continuing participation in the comments because of her callous remark to Mary M. PLEASE DO NOT BAN HER!

    If she is banned, we would have to create a bot that could post such wonderful anti-vax drivel as she does. She is NOT useless; she serves well as a bad example.

  93. #93 Natalie
    August 28, 2008

    Hey Natalie, you heard right. The DTaP and Tdap have a slightly different formulation, but I can’t remember exactly what the difference is. Maybe the adult version has teh thimerosol?

    Oh no! I better not get my tetanus booster or I might suddenly regress into autism… at the age of 25. That’d be a bummer, huh?

  94. #94 Bob
    August 28, 2008

    Stephanie referred to this thread as a “rational discussion with adults” and all I see is a lot of name calling and opinions with no factual backup. The bottom line is that people have the right to decide to vaccinate or not. Exemptions are available. How are you going to know anyone’s medical status just by being in their company? Are you going to screen everyone that comes within a few feet of you or your family to find out if they have been vaccinated or not? Will you grab your children’s hands and run from the store if someone were to give you an answer you didn’t like? Why do you get vaccines if you don’t believe they protect unless everyone else has them? This thread seems to have no point. Educate yourself on vaccines and then make the decision that is right for your family. That’s your right, take advantage of it. It’s a medical procedure that carries the risk of serious side effects and/or death. That’s a fact, it’s in the package inserts. Informed consent is an American right.

  95. #95 HCN
    August 28, 2008

    Bob said “It’s a medical procedure that carries the risk of serious side effects and/or death. That’s a fact, it’s in the package inserts. Informed consent is an American right.”

    And what is that risk compared to the actual disease?

    I had a baby not vaccinated for pertussis for a medical reason, when our county was in the midst of a pertussis epidemic. I explained what I did above (perhaps you didn’t see it amongst my frequent “name calling”… whatever).

    Tell me clearly, what is the risk of the DTaP to a baby versus that baby getting pertussis? Tell us how the vaccine would have been worse than the pertussis statistics in the following table:

    Year____Cases___Deaths
    2004____25827__ 27
    2005____25616__ 39
    2006____15632__ 16

    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.

    Was I silly for trying to protect my baby from pertussis?

  96. #96 Bob
    August 28, 2008

    I didn’t say anyone was silly for making either decision, where do you see this in my post? All I said was it’s every parents right to do what’s best for their own children. If you believe vaccines are the right decision for your family, get them. There are risks associated with vaccines. There are risks associated with disease. Everyone has the right to decide which risk they are more comfortable with. No one can predict the outcome.

  97. #97 DuWayne
    August 28, 2008

    Bob -

    All of the questions you ask, have been answered several times on this thread. Pretending that you’re asking something insightful or new is actually pretty immature and irrational.

    Personally, I am all for letting people put their kids at risk by choosing not to vaccinate. I just don’t believe they have a right to put everyone else at risk. Don’t want to vaccinate your kids, don’t send them to public schools. And if you could be so kind, keep them out of public parks and other public spaces. The reasons for this have been detailed by a great number of people in this thread and by the author of the post it’s attached to. If you’re too obtuse to understand it or even read it, don’t blame us.

  98. #98 Bob
    August 28, 2008

    DuWayne,

    You live in fantasy land. There’s never going to be 100% vaccination levels. People aren’t going to keep their unvaccinated children locked in the house. If your so paranoid and actually believe that the vaccines are worthless unless the vaccination rates are 100%, then keep your own kids home so they don’t get exposed to the disease ridden unvaccinated. Crazy.

  99. #99 DuWayne
    August 28, 2008

    Bob -

    I am well aware that there will never be 100% vaccination. Indeed one of our neighbor’s children is missing many of her vaccines because of legitimate health concerns. She is also over to my home on a nearly daily basis. One of my nephews has been vaccinated, but is one of the unlucky who was unable to develop anti-bodies. Kids like them are the reason I am so damned adamant about vaccinations.

    They don’t have any choice in the matter, nor do their parents. They are entirely dependent on herd immunity. Herd immunity that has been threatened by assholes who think they should be exempt.

    So again, if you choose to put your own kids at risk, fine. Just keep them away from the rest of us.

  100. #100 Natalie
    August 28, 2008

    If your so paranoid and actually believe that the vaccines are worthless unless the vaccination rates are 100%, then keep your own kids home so they don’t get exposed to the disease ridden unvaccinated.

    No one has said anything like this. Vaccinations are generally effective, even at levels below the herd immunity threshold. However, as DuWayne has mentioned, some people cannot be vaccinated, either because they are too young or because they have a medical condition that precludes being vaccinated, and vaccines are not effective in every single person. These people need herd immunity.

  101. #101 Bob
    August 28, 2008

    When there is a failure in the “herd immunity” theory, they just add more shots:

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/113/3/455

    Chicken Pox Outbreak in Highly Vaccinated Population

  102. #102 Bob
    August 28, 2008

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/129/1/173

    Measles Outbreak in Highly Vaccinated

    Herd Immunity is and Illusion

  103. #103 Gray Falcon
    August 28, 2008

    Bob, the point you’re trying to make was already discussed in previous posts. Two comments, including one I’ve written, discuss the math error that you’re making: Most of the people were already vaccinated anyway, and the vaccine’s not 100% effective.

    And before you say anything, I’ve learned some things about computer security. There’s no such thing as 100% security, or complete elimination of risk. What we’re trying to do is manage and minimize risks as best we can. There’s a huge difference between an activity 5% likely to kill you or one with a 0.00005% probability of killing you.

  104. #104 Rational Jen
    August 28, 2008

    Bob, do you and the other anti-vaxxers actually read the stuff you post? If you do, then you have a reading comprehension problem, ’cause the studies you list don’t support your claim.

    Let’s take a look at some numbers for the chickenpox outbreak. It’s interesting to note that the 3 index cases all occurred in unvaccinated kids. They were the vector that introduced the virus into the school population. The next thing that’s interesting is the attack rates for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated kids – 12% for vaccinated vs. 43% for unvaccinated. Oh, and the vaccinated kids experienced a lower rate of fever and had a shorter average duration of illness than the unvaccinated kids.

    A few other items that the vaccine-literate will appreciate – of the 18 cases in vaccinated kids, only 3 occurred in children who had been vaccinated within 5 years. That’s why a booster is recommended. Also, there were a total of 7 unvaccinated kids at this school. Three got chickenpox (the index cases), but the other 4 didn’t. They were very likely protected by the herd immunity that the anti-vaxxers deny exists.

  105. #105 Mom of Many
    August 28, 2008

    Dear Dawn

    “Well Mom of Many, I do hope that you enjoy your homeschooling while it lasts. Big Pharma is pushing for ALL children to go to school. It has already happened in CA. What makes you think it won’t happen in your state? In CA, you need a certified teacher to teach your homeschooled children. This is actually not for teaching purposes, but for vaccine “tracking purposes”. They want to “tag” your children and “track them” with their vaccines. Very profitable business in the long run.

    Well, if you homeschool your children, I guess you may/may not even be aware of any mental deficits either. No learning disabilities, ADHD, Bi-Polar, or whatever? Hmmm.. I find that very hard to believe. But, if they are homeschooled then maybe you really don’t know because they are not in a learning environment with other children.”

    In response, I have a MSed in counseling psychology – I have administer many educational tests – I don’t have any kids w/ mental deficits. And, I’m quite up to date about the issues in California regarding homeschooling and how it affects other states. And, that’s not what is being discussed – I simply want to give another face to homeschoolers, since by and large, we’re viewed as anti-vaccination, young earthers.

    And, it still doesn’t address the basic fact that my very young infant might have contracted whooping cough from another family who chose not to vaccinate. I saw what they went through – no deaths, but their baby was seriously ill for month.

  106. #106 Bob
    August 28, 2008

    Where does it say the 3 unvaccinated children introduced the disease to the vaccinated children? Just re-read it 5 times and see this nowhere. Even if it does say this, how on earth can anyone decide which child was the first to be infected with the illness. I guess if it supports the vaccine program, it must be so.

    I did look for a vaccination failure amoung a 100% vaxxed group, but since one doesn’t exist nor will it ever, I thought this was a good enough case of vaccine failure in a group with a high rate of vaccination. The bottom line. Vaccinated children got the disease. The vaccine failed, regardless of why, when who what or where.

  107. #107 Gray Falcon
    August 28, 2008

    Bob, for everyone’s sake, never take a job in security. Your inability to comprehend the concepts probability and relative risk do not help your case.

  108. #108 tikaysha
    August 28, 2008

    Let me see if I get this: the higher the vaccination rate, the less likely it is the disease will be traveling amongst the population. Fewer cases means that people who are unable to vaccinate for medical reasons don’t have to worry as much about exposure to the disease.

    And then someone gets the disease. Say, measles they picked up in Europe because they were never vaccinated. And they get sick, because measles is no picnic even without extreme complications. Fever spikes over 101 degrees F, and parents rush off to the doctor. The same pediatric doctor they refused to let vaccinate their kid who now has the nasty high fever.

    Now, in the waiting room are the following: two infants who aren’t old enough the the MMR, three bored and immunized children, one immuno-compromised child who can’t have the vaccine, and the attendant parents. Am I the only one who thinks the parents have a legal case against the family who knowingly exposed those high-risk children (the infants and the child with the compromised immune system) to an easily preventable disease that up until that point they had no reason to worry about?

    Sure vaccinations aren’t perfect, but they’re comparably safer. And as Bob points out with this article: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/113/3/455
    even if they aren’t perfect, I’ll take a 12% chance of getting sick over a 43% chance. Especially if that 12% drops to 3% if the vaccination took place within the last five years.

    And just for anecdotal fun: considering it took three cases of chickenpox before my brother was sufficiently immune (or at least outgrew the age where it was going around), I kinda wish we’d been vaccinating for it back then. Not sure of any of you remember having chickenpox, but it itches and hurts. You deal with a six-year-old in constant tears over the itchy pain and tell me you’d rather that to a shot. And that’s just the average case.

  109. #109 D. C. Sessions
    August 28, 2008

    Am I the only one who thinks the parents have a legal case against the family who knowingly exposed those high-risk children (the infants and the child with the compromised immune system) to an easily preventable disease that up until that point they had no reason to worry about?

    A question I have been asking (IANAL). Let us also observe that, according to my sources, even if the parents don’t do anything about it the children can reopen the question when they turn 18.

    I’m taking a wild guess that people who take a kid along for a Swiss holiday might be worth suing.

  110. #110 Bob
    August 28, 2008

    You guys are right, it’s not because I disagree with you on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, it’s simply that I’m not capable of understanding this issue as all you geniuses are. Of course you must be right and everyone who has a different opinion is just an idiot. Great debate though, you guys are my heros. Keep those toxins flowing!!!!

  111. #111 Aj
    August 28, 2008

    Bob,

    If you read past the abstract you will find that the first identified cases were three, unvaccinated, children.

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/113/3/455

  112. #112 TheProbe
    August 28, 2008

    Bob said: “…I’m not capable of understanding this issue…”.

    It is a wise man who knows his limitations. Do something about yours.

  113. #113 alyric
    August 28, 2008

    The Probe thinks that Orac shouldn’t ban Dawn because she’s such a treasure trove of stupidity wrapped in one package, a veritable gold mine. I wish I could agree with you. However, this person who quotes the Bible obviously knows zero about Christianity. In fact, given her tenuous relation with truth, I think it reasonable that her closest spiritual relationship is with the Father of all liars. That would certainly explain the callousness, the obliviousness to other’s suffering she’s displayed here. Micha, Natalie don’t matter at all. The sheer horror of what happened to them has no effect. Her remarks on the bone marrow transpant guy were equally appalling.

    This is not a good person, why give her a pulpit?

  114. #114 Basiorana
    August 28, 2008

    “Am I the only one who thinks the parents have a legal case against the family who knowingly exposed those high-risk children (the infants and the child with the compromised immune system) to an easily preventable disease that up until that point they had no reason to worry about?”

    If my child (immunocompromised, infant or other) ever contracted a vaccine preventable disease that could be traced to someone who chose not to vaccinate for any reason other than a medical one, you can bet your ass I’d press charges. And if the police didn’t let me, I’d sue them for everything they owned and completely bankrupt them.

  115. #115 Djinna
    August 28, 2008

    tikaysha – Like your brother, it also took me a couple tries to develop the vaunted natural resistance to chicken pox (presuming it finally took as opposed to my outgrowing being around people who have outbreaks of it) – had it once as a toddler and then again when I was 9.5. The funny (to me, at least) thing is that the second episode happened right around the time that my baby brother was born. As it had been bouncing around the children in my family, my mom was obviously concerned that new baby might catch it, but the midwives and pediatrician all assured her that it was unlikely immediately post-partum, since she’d be nursing and she had had it as a child, she would pass along her own antibodies. Completely ignoring the fact that I had also already had it, and my own personal antibodies weren’t enough to keep me from catching it from our cousin.

    So, since that’s two anecdotes about chickenpox reinfection after having had the disease the old fashioned way, that means it’s plural and we now have data, right?

    Also, as another bit about the faith doctors put in “natural” vs vaccinated immunity, I remember it taking FOREVER for the pediatrician to finally diagnose me with chicken pox, even though everyone around me had chicken pox, and I clearly had all the symptoms, because I had already had it. He thought it was much more likely that my measles vaccination hadn’t provided enough coverage. So, in my own experience, too much trust was placed in natural immunity and the vaccine was assumed to have failed, even though evidence clearly pointed to chicken pox, not measles.

    I’ve always thanked my mom for ignoring the pressure not to vaccinate that came from our fundie church – she didn’t buck much, but she got her kids covered. I think a lot of it is that she grew up on a farm. Of course, we grew up eating not just organic whole foods, but stuff that she grew herself, sandwiches made of bread from flour she had ground herself, etc., so she should have known that we weren’t really at risk of catching any diseases whatsoever. Like all those people before processed foods who all lived to ripe old ages in perfect health.

  116. #116 Dawn
    August 28, 2008

    Basiorana stated: “If my child (immunocompromised, infant or other) ever contracted a vaccine preventable disease that could be traced to someone who chose not to vaccinate for any reason other than a medical one, you can bet your ass I’d press charges. And if the police didn’t let me, I’d sue them for everything they owned and completely bankrupt them”.

    So, Basiorana what would you do if your child contracted it from a completely vaccinated person and there weren’t any unvaccinated around to blame? Who would you sue then?

  117. #117 Dawn
    August 28, 2008

    Djinna stated: “So, in my own experience, too much trust was placed in natural immunity and the vaccine was assumed to have failed, even though evidence clearly pointed to chicken pox, not measles”.

    Aren’t many young children now coming down with shingles though as a direct result of having the chicken pox vaccine? I thought that shingles only affected adults??

  118. #118 Rational Jen
    August 28, 2008

    Aren’t many young children now coming down with shingles though as a direct result of having the chicken pox vaccine? I thought that shingles only affected adults??

    Wrong again. There are actually 80% fewer cases of shingles in vaccinated children vs. those who had chickenpox. (Reference:www.dukehealth.org/HealthLibrary/AdviceFromDoctors/YourChildsHealth/chicken_pox)

    And where did you get the idea that only adults could get shingles? Again I ask, what rock do you live under?

  119. #119 ozzy
    August 28, 2008

    Oh the chicken pox. Had it the first time at 10 mos old, while breastfeeding by the way, followed by a second bout at 16 when my brothers and sisters came down with it. So much for “natural immunity.” I’m really looking forward to that increased risk of shingles as I age. However, I was lucky. My brother and sister were not. I’ll take a vaccine over ten days of pox down my brother’s throat and his urethra with 5 days of fever hovering around 104. Next was my sister with pox all over her face, body and vagina followed by serious scarring on her face. Yeah, just some innocuous childhood disease. Vaccination of my daughter was never in question.

  120. #120 tincture
    August 28, 2008

    So, Basiorana what would you do if your child contracted it from a completely vaccinated person and there weren’t any unvaccinated around to blame? Who would you sue then?

    In that case, everything that could of been done would have been done. It’s not the same thing.

  121. #121 Gray Falcon
    August 28, 2008

    So, Basiorana what would you do if your child contracted it from a completely vaccinated person and there weren’t any unvaccinated around to blame? Who would you sue then?

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again if I need to: Risk cannot be completely eliminated, but it can be reduced and managed. Only a fool assumes an unlikely risk is as bad is a probable risk.

    That said, Dawn’s somehow convinced herself that vaccines cause disease, rather than prevent it. Something that, if true, would be obvious to anyone capable of mentally distinguishing their surroundings from themselves.

  122. #122 Inquisitive Raven
    August 29, 2008

    Dawn sweetie: My dad was a cancer researcher. Do you really think that he had profit on his mind when my sister (his daughter) developed an adrenal carcinoma. Seriously?

    For the Big Pharma shill types, AFAIK she was still on his insurance at the time of diagnosis. At any rate, he played a big part in all of the treatment decisions and never once suggested that she try an alternative therapy. The tumor was surgically removed, she underwent chemo, and when we found out it had metastasized to her liver, he helped with palliation. Do NOT try to convince me that the current state of cancer treatment is due a desire for profits. This incident is why.

  123. #123 Miles
    August 29, 2008

    To me, the question is not about vaccination per se, which seems like a good idea. Anyone old enough to remember how terrified parents were of “infantile paralysis” (polio) can see that, on balance, vaccination has been a blessing.

    The issue comes, instead, to how much one trusts pharma companies. Just as nuclear power is a great idea if one leaves out faked safety reports and bribed inspectors, vaccination is a great idea is one leaves out faked safety data about vaccine additives and look-the-other-way (or overburdened) regulators.

    The bottom line is: How much do you trust Big Pharma to put your child’s safety ahead of its profits?

    Having worked for one of the pharma companies (which I won’t name because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in court), I confess that the answer gives me pause.

  124. #124 DT
    August 29, 2008

    Bob, you seem to think that because infections like measles can occur in vaccinated people that this somehow implies vaccination is useless? Presumably you do.

    Let’s look at the paper you referred us to:

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/129/1/173
    Measles Outbreak in Highly Vaccinated
    Herd Immunity is and (sic) Illusion

    Firstly this has nothing to do with herd immunity, but discusses cases in children who were vaccinated.

    Secondly, you misunderstand the implications of the paper. It says this: “In 1985, 69 secondary cases, all in one generation, occurred in an Illinois high school after exposure to a vigorously coughing Index case. The school’s 1,873 students had a pre-outbreak vaccination level of 99.7% by school records.” (Cue stupid comments like “vaccination does not prevent measlses!” from the ignorant)

    The point is that if the school population had not been vaccinated and had never had measles, then all 1,873 kids might well have got measles…..yes, it can really be that infectious…

    Measles infection rate in the “highly vaccinated” population was 3.7%. To me, this speaks of pretty good protective efficacy, and a vaccine “failure rate” of only 3% (99.7% – 3.7%). Add to that the fact that the records of who had actually been vaccinated were also innacurate, and I’d say this paper is a pretty good advert for the great effectiveness of measles vaccine.

  125. #125 Natalie
    August 29, 2008

    vaccination is a great idea is one leaves out faked safety data about vaccine additives and look-the-other-way (or overburdened) regulators.

    Miles, do you have a specific example of faked safety data you can cite?

    The bottom line is: How much do you trust Big Pharma to put your child’s safety ahead of its profits?

    Vaccines are actually very unprofitable to the medical community. The vaccines themselves are sold essentially at cost. Additionally, less people getting sick means less people needing medical treatment and medication.

  126. #126 anonymous
    August 29, 2008

    “The point is that if the school population had not been vaccinated and had never had measles, then all 1,873 kids might well have got measles…..yes, it can really be that infectious…” says DT

    Speculation

  127. #127 Rational Jen
    August 29, 2008

    From anonymous:

    Speculation

    Not so much. According to the CDC, “If one person has it, 90% of their susceptible close contacts will also become infected with the measles virus.”

    Let me help you understand the implications of that number. It means that we could expect that without significant measures to contain the outbreak (like vaccination, quarantine) 90% of the individuals in contact with the virus will get measles. Just because we expect 90% doesn’t mean there’s a magical barrier that prevents the last 10% from getting measles. With a virus that contagious in a school setting, you could easily get to a 100% unless public health officials step in to contain the spread.

  128. #128 anonymous
    August 29, 2008

    “If one person has it, 90% of their susceptible close contacts will also become infected with the measles virus.”…Let me help you understand the implications of that number. It means that we could expect that without significant measures to contain the outbreak ” Jen says

    I understand fine. Please show me evidence (no serological please, because that doesn’t demonstrate actual protection against disease) that 90% of the individuals that come into contact with measles will get it. Lack of symptom expression does not equate to lack of infection.

  129. #129 Miss
    August 29, 2008

    I always wonder how the eeeevil cancer doctors, who are only in it for the money and suppress the natural cancer treatments, decide which of them or their families gets cancer and dies so that people don’t get suspicious? Do they draw lots or what?

  130. #130 Matlatzinca
    September 1, 2008

    Wow, I don’t read the comments for a while and look what happens! Orac, you sure attracted a bunch of antivax loonies!

    I was saddened to see that in the MSNBC poll you link to, the vaccinated responses are only 3 times as numerous as the unvaccinated responses (16K to 6.5K). And yes, it is an internet poll and all, but still… [sigh]

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