Respectful Insolence

ResearchBlogging.orgWhen it comes to science, I’ve always detested The Huffington Post.

Nearly four years ago, when Arianna Huffington’s vanity group political blog went live, I was the first one to notice a most disturbing trend about it. As far as I knew at the time (or know now), I was the only one to have noticed that The Huffington Post had become a hotbed of antivaccine propaganda a mere three weeks after its launch. It was home to David Kirby, author of that paean to the mercury militia Evidence of Harm: Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic, A Medical Controversy and now antivaccine blogger on both The Huffington Post and Age of Autism; Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., antivaccine über-crank supreme; and Dr. Jay Gordon, antivaccine pediatrician to the stars known to show up on television and who is ever so offended whenever it is pointed out to him that he is an apologist for the antivaccine fringe and so deluded that he thinks himself to be “not antivaccine but pro-safe vaccine.” Since then, with only occasional exceptions, HuffPo has remained staunchly antivaccine, adding Deirdre Imus and even Kim Stagliano, also of Age of Autism. Even Rachel Sklar, Media & Special Projects Editor of The Huffington Post, is a total antivaccine crank. Indeed, HuffPo is so bad that I ruthlessly mocked the very idea of its starting a science section, given that it has done so well with its pseudoscience section, including not just antivaccinationists but woo-philes like Deepak Chopra.

That’s why, on those rare occasions when HuffPo allows a voice of science and reason a chance to write, it’s an amazing event. It’s even more amazing when that voice of science and reason is Dr. Paul Offit, the man whom the antivaccine fringe considers the Darth Vader of vaccines, the Mouth of Sauron, and the pharma shill to destroy all pharma shills. Even more amazing is when actual peer-reviewed science is cited by said Darth Vader, peer reviewed science like this study in the December issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology entitled Geographic Clustering of Nonmedical Exemptions to School Immunization Requirements and Associations With Geographic Clustering of Pertussis.

I wonder if Rachel Sklar’s head will explode.

Dr. Offit’s article, entitled Don’t Risk Going Unvaccinated, gets right to the point:

This past year the United States witnessed a measles epidemic that was the largest in more than a decade. About 135 people, mostly children, were infected with measles; some of those children were hospitalized with severe dehydration and others with pneumonia caused by the virus.

Why did this happen? The answer can be found in a study published in December 2008 in the American Journal of Epidemiology that received little attention from the media. The authors, epidemiologists from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, examined school children in Michigan whose parents had chosen not to vaccinate them. They compared clusters of unvaccinated children with clusters of documented whooping cough (pertussis) outbreaks. Not surprisingly, the clusters overlapped. The authors concluded: “Geographic pockets of vaccine exemptors pose a risk to the whole community.”

This is exactly what had happened during the measles epidemic in 2008. Almost all of the children who caught and transmitted measles were unvaccinated. The authors of this study had provided an insight into the obvious. If parents choose not to vaccinate their children, not only do they put their own children at risk, they put others at risk. Because no vaccine is 100 percent effective, some vaccinated children can still get pertussis. Others at even greater risk include children who haven’t completed the entire series of pertussis vaccines or those who can’t get vaccines because they are receiving steroids for asthma or chemotherapy for cancer.

The study itself is worth looking at in more detail. Here’s its hypothesis:

…pockets of high exemption rates occur within states (5, 6). These pockets could produce the critical mass of susceptible persons required to maintain transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases, even when overall state-level vaccination coverage is high (5, 6). In a Colorado study (7), the incidence of measles and pertussis among vaccinated children in a county was associated with the frequency of exemptions in that county. In addition, at least 11% of nonexempt children who acquired measles were infected through contact with an exempt child with measles. School-based outbreaks have been associated with high exemption rates, and in a recent survey of schools, substantial intrastate variability in implementation of exemptions was reported (7, 8).

We evaluated the spatial clustering of nonmedical exemptions in Michigan and tested the hypothesis that there is a higher likelihood of pertussis cases’ occurring in areas with high rates of nonmedical exemptions, as measured by geographic overlap between exemptions clusters and clusters of reported pertussis cases.

This study tested just that. Depressingly, the investigators tested my home state for these reasons:

We chose Michigan because it has had relatively high overall exemption rates and has easy administrative requirements for obtaining exemptions in comparison with other states (9). According to the Michigan Department of Education, there were 4,500 schools in the state in the fall of 2005. The Michigan Department of Education has not retained records for previous years. In recent years, the number of schools reporting exemption information has been very close to the number of schools on record with the Michigan Department of Education, giving us confidence that the school-level exemption data used for this analysis were reasonably complete.

Bummer that my home state has high overall exemption rates and easy administrative requirements for exemptions. I hate to think that Michigan is so easy that vaccine investigators from Baltimore found it to be a perfect subject for studying the relationship between clusters of unvaccinated children and clusters of pertussis outbreaks. So what did the investigators find?

Surprise, surprise! There was evidence of increased exemption rates and strong evidence of spacial and temporal clustering of pertussis outbreaks related to areas with the highest levels of of unvaccinated children. In other words, areas of pertussis outbreaks correlated both in location and in time with areas of increased percentages of children who remained unvaccinated. No doubt antivaccine advocates will point out that correlation does not necessarily equal causation. True enough. I’ve said as much many times myself when arguing against the “science” that antivaccinationists routinely cite in support of their cause.. However, correlation can be strongly suggestive of causation when appropriate studies are done.

Another frequent refrain from the antivaccine fringe is the question: If vaccines are so effective, why do the vaccinated worry about catching pertussis from the unvaccinated? That one’s easy. Although very effective, accines are not 100% effective. No medical intervention or preventative measure is. That is why herd immunity is so important. Herd immunity is the observation that epidemics or outbreaks cannot get a foothold in a population if more than a certain percentage of that population is vaccinated. For most diseases and vaccines, a good rule of thumb is that greater than 90% of the population needs to be vaccinated. When the percentage of vaccinated people falls below that threshold, outbreaks become much more likely, often fed by a reservoir of the infectious agent among the unvaccinated population. Indeed, this very thing has happened in the U.K., thanks to the activities of one Andrew Wakefield in promoting pseudoscience claiming that the MMR vaccine causes autism. In a few short years, the U.K. went from having the measles under control to having declared it now endemic again.

Basically, this study is pretty strong support for an obvious hypothesis, namely, that ease of getting nonmedical exemptions to vaccination leads to higher numbers of unvaccinated children, which leads to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. Vaccines have prevented more disease and suffering than any medical advance in history, but their effectiveness is compromised if resistance to vaccination leads to large pockets where vaccination rates fall below the level required for herd immunity. That’s exactly what we’re seeing now, thanks to the likes of antivaccine advocates like Andrew Wakefield, Jenny McCarthy, J. B. Handley, Barbara Loe Fisher, and all the other antivaccine activists, aided and abetted by useful idiots like Dr. Jay “don’t call me antivaccine” Gordon. On its own, this study might not be that worrisome. However, taken in context with other studies and evidence, this study represents simply one more piece of confirmatory evidence of how easy it is for even mildly decreased vaccination levels to lead to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. That’s not so hard to understand, nor is it surprising. High levels of vaccination provide the herd immunity that makes it much less unlikely that infectious diseases can take hold well enough to spread. It protects the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike.

One thing that was depressing to read was the comments after Dr. Offit’s post. They included the usual collection of antivaccine talking points, but they also revealed another recent addition to the lineup of HuffPo Antivax All-Stars, Anne Dunev, a naturopath:

Shooting a newborn or infant full of bacteria straight into their blood, 23 different kinds on a “recommended” vaccination program is nothing short of insane. It is most certainly NOT good medicine. Developing immune systems should not be subjected to this kind of assault and there are no studies that prove this is safe. But there is plenty of Autism and other disorders that indicate this is a very bad idea.

The stupid, it burns. My neurons cry out in pain from the stupidity waves emanating from Anne Dunev, clueless wonder. Really, she’s that dumb. Fortunately, there is a vaccine against such stupidity, and it’s called science and critical thinking, neither of which Dunev seems to have taken advantage of. She stands in marked contrast to the cleverer antivaccinationists, who can at least come up with reasons to fear vaccines that aren’t so clearly based on idiocy, reasons that at least to people without a sound understanding of the scientific method, sound somewhat plausible. The part about “shooting a newborn or infant full of bacteria straight into their blood” betrays such a profound ignorance of how vaccines are made and is so brain-meltingly dumb that it could only come from a naturopath. Point one: Vaccines against bacterial pathogens are made of either the killed bacteria, carefully cleaned up, or of bacterial proteins made using recombinant DNA technology. Vaccination is not, as is clearly implied by Dunev’s rant, the equivalent of injecting live bacteria into children. Point two: These killed bacteria or recombinant bacterial proteins are not injected “straight into the blood.” They are injected intramuscularly, where the components of the vaccine remain, some of which are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream to provoke an immune response. Injecting them “straight into the blood” would be useless and unlikely to provoke a significant immune response.

Using such emotionally loaded language designed to provoke fear is the mark of a true antivaccine nut. Even J.B. Handley doesn’t use such idiotic terminology, and that’s saying a lot. Heck, I’m not even sure that Jenny McCarthy sinks to such levels of the hell of burning stupid. Here’s a hint, Anne: When Jenny McCarthy seems reasonable in comparison to you, you have a serious, serious problem. Get help. Learn something other than on the University of Google, NaturalNews.com, and Whale.to.

Seeing Paul Offit in the pages of HuffPo is a start of HuffPo wants to shed its image as a bastion of vaccine and autism pseudoscience and quackery. It’s heartening to see him there. However, given the readership of that scientifically misbegotten excuse for a weblog and the pseudoscience fervently believed by its commenters, I seriously doubt that even the stalwart Paul Offit will ultimately have the patience or stomach to stick around very long. Like Arthur Allen before him, he’ll probably tire of the nonsense there and move on to less irrational pastures. More’s the pity.

REFERENCE:

S. B. Omer, K. S. Enger, L. H. Moulton, N. A. Halsey, S. Stokley, D. A. Salmon (2008). Geographic Clustering of Nonmedical Exemptions to School Immunization Requirements and Associations With Geographic Clustering of Pertussis American Journal of Epidemiology, 168 (12), 1389-1396 DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwn263

Comments

  1. #1 FreeSpeaker
    January 23, 2009

    I had given up reading HuffPoop because of the intense lack of anything approaching science, and the entire lack of humor possibilities therein. As you know, that other suppository of anti-vax poop is far more humourous.

    When I read Dr. Offit’s article, I was hopeful that HuffPoop was undergoing “Change” in the new era of a pro-science President. Then, it struck me. I followed the money.

    I suspect that HuffPoop’s revenue is down, and they figured that they could score higher and get more visits by posting something that would be controversial. IOW, they are using Dr. Offit to make a profit.

    Disgusting.

  2. #2 DebinOz
    January 23, 2009

    Have you read the comments on the HuffPo’s article? I need to go to bed because my head is hurting.

  3. #3 Mu
    January 23, 2009

    It’s especially telling about the moderation style at HufPo that people are ripping pro-vaccine comments that obviously have been deleted after slipping through moderation in the first place.
    The gem of all gems was the “you’re pro-vaccine, so you must have a financial or other bias” comment.

  4. #4 PalMD
    January 23, 2009

    Offitt’s article was a breath of fresh air—the surrounding pieces are wasted bytes of inanity….

  5. #5 catgirl
    January 23, 2009

    Newborns are constantly exposed to many types of bacteria and viruses through many different methods. This is actually GOOD for them. Also, many vaccines are viruses, not bacteria and all vaccines contain dead or weakened versions anyway.

  6. #6 Mu
    January 23, 2009

    OT – Orac, you need to do a squid article, PZ is poaching in your woo pool.

  7. #7 John
    January 23, 2009

    I used to post on their pro-disease blogs (and on a lot of other stuff there), usually attempting to link to actual published studies demonstrating a lack of linkage between vaccination and autism. Almost always my posts would be blocked by the moderators or show up and be deleted by the blogger (presumably) afterwords. When my overall rate of comment censorship reached about 15% (and I’d made over 2000 posts) I gave up. Since they apparently have an unpublished rule of “its against the rules to disagree with a blogger” I was pretty much out of luck.

    One day I saw a pro-vaccine post by Arthur Allen and I was so happy to see a rational post that I actually emailed him to thank him. He responded and seemed just as happy that someone appreciate what he said.

  8. #8 Shay
    January 23, 2009

    Speaking of Michigan (which is also my home state) has a study ever been conducted to see if there’s a link between states with an active “citizen’s” militia, and states with large numbers of unvaccinated children?

    One would assume so, since both feed off self-righteousness, conspiracy theory run amok and hysteria.

  9. #9 RJ
    January 23, 2009

    I’ve read through some of the comments on the site as well. There seems to be reoccurring themes: 1) there is an autism epidemic and the numbers are rising (population increase is not addressed) 2) 1 in 150 have ASD, which means 1 in 150 kids are completely incapable of doing anything “normal” (when in fact the vast majority of that 1 in 150 have aspects identified as ASD characteristics and are fully capable of growing up and living an otherwise normal life) 3) lots of ‘my’ and ‘I’, and me, me, me…feel sorry for me because I have to deal with my damaged child. There was even one comment that dealing with childhood cancer should be put on hold to address those with autism because that is more important 4) there is low incidences of measles (and other infectious diseases) so we don’t need vaccinations.

    I think the IQ of America has dropped and the ego/narcissism has skyrocketed. These people claim to understand the issues better than those trained in medicine or working in a relevant scientific field.

    I am glad Offit provided a voice on the Huffington Post. It’s shaking up their little delusional sanctuary. Kirby must be crapping himself.

  10. #10 Denice Walter
    January 23, 2009

    Please don’t wake me up,I must be dreaming!Sanity and reason at HuffPo…intelligence and diplomacy in the White House….and the week’s not over yet.

  11. #11 Paul
    January 23, 2009

    Wow. I used to read Huffington Post occasionally for non-science articles. Now they’re losing any ad revenue I might have generated.

    It really does look like they just allowed this “controversial” article to drive up their traffic and give their regular anti-science folks a punching bag thread. It’s sick.

  12. #12 MikeMa
    January 23, 2009

    Shay posted an idea to correlate citizen’s militia membership to anti-vax and disease outbreaks. I’d add church affiliation, doctor’s offices (of patients), natural food coop membership, and tv ratings for shows on which Jenny McCarthy appears or gets positive press. Could be some interesting ammunition in this.

  13. #13 Joshua Zelinsky
    January 23, 2009

    John, my impression is that there’s no rule on HP for disagreeing with bloggers. There is a rule against disagreeing with bloggers who post woo.

  14. #14 John
    January 23, 2009

    Well Joshua, there is no written rule that says that. However, I have probably ~200 posts that were “moderated” and the only conceivable thing wrong with them was disagreeing with the blogger (in the non-woo blogs). I also have several which probably actually did violate their stated rules but they comprise a sliver of a fraction of the total “moderated” posts :P

    I mean its also definitely blogger specific as there are some who encourage discourse and actually, gasp, respond to comments. Maybe things have changed in the last 6 months or so but that’s how it was going when I gave up.

  15. #15 AnthonyK
    January 23, 2009

    I wonder if you or any of your readers can help me with this. Partly as a result of getting thrown out of a friend’s house for arguing with some anti-vax fuckwits, I’ve become even more pro-vax, and even more outraged that middle-class parents who don’t even understand the risk that infectious diseases, now preventable, pose to us, I’ve been investigating the issue.
    The question is this: I’ve read somewhere that a very recent on (I think) MMR came up with the following conclusions.
    1) That vaccines were safe
    2) that vaccines marginally improved the general health of vaccinated children, possibly because only generally healthy children were vaccinated in the first place (is this always true?)
    and 3) That rates of asthma in vaccinated children were lower, both in terms of frequency and intenstiy of attacks.
    What study was this, and do I have my (remembered) conclusions generally correnct?
    Over to you…
    PS if any pharmaceutical company would like to pay me a lot of money to promote vaccination I am certainly up for it ;)

  16. #16 Constance Reader
    January 23, 2009

    There is another anti-vaccine article on HuffPost today, this time about Gov. Paterson’s selection of Kirsten Gillibrand to take over Hillary Clinton’s senate seat, at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/senator-gillibrand-suppor_b_160231.html. Apparently Ms. Gillibrand is a strong supporter of autism-vaccine research and the posted article praises Gov. Paterson’s choice for this reason. I posted the following comment:

    “May I ask why the mountain of research already completed on the subject is so inadequate? The most obvious possible answer is because the large body of existing research has not found any link between vaccines and autism. Autism typically presents during the same years vaccinations take place but correlation does not equal causation. And causation has never been proven.”

    I know it won’t make anyone think or change their mind, I freely admit that I was just throwing meat to mad dogs. But I believe that a day without subversion is a day wasted.

  17. #17 ababa
    January 23, 2009

    Anthony, the heart of the anti-vax movement is that it sounds plausible and sympathetic to people that don’t understand science. Science appeals to logic, anti-vaxers appeal to the emotions. They use very sympathetic terms that make it seem like they only want the best for children and the justifications sound plausible on the surface.

    To disagree on an appeal to emotions makes you appear cold and heartless. Don’t you CARE about THE CHILDREN!?!?! Logic and science are easier to dismiss when you are debating on those grounds. By disagreeing with your friends you made yourself into someone that doesn’t care about the children! At least in their minds. Therefore, anything else you had to say was soiled by that.

    Science is scary and complex. Most people don’t understand it. Even less can describe it effectively. Caring for children? That’s easy to explain. You don’t have to have proof to debate emotions.

    There is a local anti-vaxer that stalks around the young mommy forums. She has her own little “organization” that does “education seminars”. The thing is she sounds very sympathetic, she sounds like the valiant mistreated hero that is putting up the good fight to protect the welfare of the children. When anyone disagrees with her she shouts them down and people defend her because she has an autistic child “damaged by vaccines”. Any dissenters are branded as uncaring of her efforts and struggles in dealing with an autistic child for over a decade!

    The reality of the situation is much different, but no one dares question a “dedicated mother”.

    Her “education” is nothing but the latest tripe and brochures procured from whale, AoA, GR and anything else she finds on the University of Google, translated with comments that show how little she understands it. She talks about the horrors of autism, but her child was cured(!!!) through prayer and homeopathic medicine (if you can fix autism with water and a bible, why avoid vaccinations?). No one questions why this mother of teenage children spends most of her time with mothers of very young children (the young frazzled mother is a much easier target for woo, and easier target for appeals to emotion). Above all she is quite frankly a bully that preys on the sympathy of other parents, the same as most other anti-vaxers (when your logic is flawed, you have to be a bully to get your point across). All of this time and effort to prove to the world that it couldn’t possibly be her own genes that caused her child’s autism.

    Arguing with her is pointless, and anyone who does so comes off looking like the bad guy. Many times I wanted to argue, but I know deep inside it won’t do any good so haven’t. Anti-vaxers don’t have to be right, they just have to be appealing and make you look uncaring. It reinforces their point to the onlookers. And that is what they are after.

  18. #18 AnthonyK
    January 23, 2009

    Actually, it was worse for me than I mentioned. I started agrguing with them about homeopathy. When I said that it was pseudo-scientific nonsense, which only “works” by means of the placebo effect, and that it was mostly harmless except in its denial of the efficacy of vaccines, she said that her son had got cerebral palsy as a direct result of his vaccines. That is a conversation stopper, and impossible to argue with. I still think it’s important for us rationalists and those who support evidence-based medicine to loudly argue with these people, but, as you say, this can be difficult.

  19. #19 MikeMa
    January 23, 2009

    AnthonyK
    she said that her son had got cerebral palsy as a direct result of his vaccines
    I’d have asked her to prove it but I do get your point. Argument against ‘the group’ is generally pointless. You need to get people one on one and try to make them think for themselves.

  20. #20 ababa
    January 23, 2009

    Well their nonsense does need to be countered, it’s the arguing that doesn’t work. They thrive on that. It gives their view credibility that you would take the time to acknowledge their point and argue over it. They justify the “controversy” by people arguing with them.

    If I say that the sky is red with green spots and you tell me I’m wrong, it isn’t a controversy – but an anti-vaxer would argue that it is. The debate is over. They want more research in the same way Death kept wanting more tries at beating Bill & Ted in Bogus Journey. Best 2 of 3? Best 3 of 5? Best of 7? They want to keep trying in hopes that eventually a study will tell them what they want to hear.

  21. #21 Rogue Epidemiologist
    January 23, 2009

    @Shay and Mike Ma

    Actually, if you correlate the pockets of un-vaxed kids with median household income, you find that these children come from fairly well-to-do families, mostly nuclear households, at that. The measles outbreak in San Diego hit in a very affluent district.

    This is not just any kind of stupidity we’re dealing with, it’s LUXURY stupidity.

  22. #22 Dunbar
    January 23, 2009

    Nice post, but the induction of the immune response from intramuscular injection of antigen occurs in lymph nodes as antigen is transported by draining lymph and by dendritic cells. The induction of the immune response from intramuscular injection does not, however, occur in the bloodstream at all.

  23. #23 RJ
    January 23, 2009

    “The induction of the immune response from intramuscular injection does not, however, occur in the bloodstream at all.”

    No, but statements like “…injected DIRECTLY into the infant bloodstream” are much more dramatic! Imagine an evil doctor stabbing a 10mm-wide needle into the baby’s arm, giving the child autism. It just makes for a better read.

  24. #24 MikeMa
    January 23, 2009

    Rogue
    Interesting. I think that having too much time on one’s hands might be the operative feature of this. If all adults are busy working, they don’t have time to listen to bullshit and much less money to spend on crap the insurance companies wont cover. A confluence of money (ladies who lunch), time (to google, watch oprah, etc) and enough self-assurance to trust your feelings (over logical proof) are required in that order to make it happen. Cool.

  25. #25 Pareidolius
    January 23, 2009

    Ms. Huffington is a major league magical-thinker. She was once (and probably still is) in thrall to a charlatan guru called John-Roger in California. The far right has Jeebus and the Rapture, the far left has Deepak and Peak-Oil. The middle looks better and better every day.

  26. #26 Rogue Epidemiologist
    January 23, 2009

    @ababa
    There’s a name for curing a sick person using water and a Bible: exorcism

  27. #27 Mariah
    January 23, 2009

    I had to come back and look because I couldn’t remember whether this study was Michigan or Minnesota. Just saw this in Minnesota:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090123/ap_on_he_me/med_hib_infections

    Minn. illnesses worry CDC officials

    Three of the five children — including the dead child — had not received any vaccine, due to a decision by their parents. But a shortage of Hib vaccine may also have contributed, CDC officials said.

    Sigh. Same S***, Different state.

  28. #28 Enkidu
    January 23, 2009

    RJ: “No, but statements like “…injected DIRECTLY into the infant bloodstream” are much more dramatic!”

    I know, it’s all about the fear factor with them. I’ve just about given up trying to correct it every time I read someone posting on parenting sites that vaccine viruses are “grown in human fetuses.” It conjures up images of tiny babies in jars, with viruses bubbling out of them. *sigh*

    Also, I’ve seen this claim thrown around a lot, can someone please explain it to me? That the fever one might get post-vaccination is due to “the chemicals being processed through the brain.” What the…?

  29. #29 nancy
    January 23, 2009

    CP from a vaccine??????
    CP does not just “come on”, it is the result of a fetal or neonatal complication *up to age 14 days*. The specific motor or developmental deficits the child has depends on the stage in gestation (or post birth problem) the damage to the brain was incurred. Some factors include heredity, older mothers, fetal anoxia, rupture of blood vessels,fetal stroke, smoking while pregnant, compression of the brain during labor, asphyxia by the umbilical cord, premature separation of the placenta, prematurity, vascular accidents, intracranial hemorrhage, head trauma, brain infections, toxoplasmosis, etc. Injuries sustained at different weeks of fetal development can specify certain expected deficits, with a direct correlation with any embryological development table.

    The kid’s problems/deficits may not be detected until later, especially if the parent isn’t observant or knowledgeable of the typical infant behaviour/development timeline.

    Your “friend” obviously is in denial, as any physical therapist or pediatrician she has seen because of the kid’s condition will have explained all this to her, and there are a 50 decent CP information sites on line.

  30. #30 AnthonyK
    January 23, 2009

    I know! But at that point, for me, argument over. Shortly afterwards my host told me to leave.

  31. #31 Chris
    January 23, 2009

    AnthonyK, I have also heard the claim that vaccine can cause cerebral palsy from a strident anti-vax mom. This was years ago, she claimed it was a study from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, but she never gave any specifics.

    But it was also from a person who claimed that aluminum was a heavy metal, and was upset when she was told that the MMR vaccine never contained thimerosal.

    I suspect there was something on that idiotic whale.to website that had an old moldy paper that was misinterpreted.

  32. #32 Chris
    January 23, 2009

    I wow, I guessed right! I just googled “vaccine cerebral palsy” and whale was the third hit.

    Here it is, and the year 2000 sounds about the time the loon was telling me this:
    http://www.whale.to/vaccines/cerebral.html

  33. #33 AnthonyK
    January 23, 2009

    Yes, seeing your reference to that wonderful site, I now see how wrong I was. Still, easily cured using chiropractic though.

  34. #34 dreikin
    January 23, 2009

    Funnily enough, IIRC I found this blog through HuffPo (a long time ago). Even then I could sense the woo, before I’d even been made aware it was this bad.

    Shooting a newborn or infant full of bacteria straight into their blood, 23 different kinds on a “recommended” vaccination program is nothing short of insane

    And here I was, all thinking that vaccines were primarily for viruses. And weren’t given until quite a bit after birth. Over several years.

  35. #35 mayhempix
    January 23, 2009

    Rare sickness kills child; officials urge vaccination
    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/23/hib.vaccine.cdc/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

    A childhood illness that has mostly been curbed through vaccinations has killed one child and sickened four others in Minnesota, health officials said Friday. Authorities recommend that those younger than 2 years be vaccinated against 14 diseases, including Hib. The five children were infected with a bacterial infection known as Hib: Haemophilus influenzae type b. Three of the affected children had not received any vaccinations, including the 7-month-old who died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  36. #36 Chris
    January 23, 2009

    dreiken said “And here I was, all thinking that vaccines were primarily for viruses. And weren’t given until quite a bit after birth. Over several years.”

    Well, actually the DTaP, pneumococcal and Hib vaccines are for bacterial infections. The pertussis and Hib are particularly nasty to infants. But they are give at the 2mo, 4mo and 6mo old.

    The viral vaccines given to infants are the rotavirus, polio, and HepB. The other vaccine for viral diseases like mumps, measles, rubella, chicken pox and others are give after the child’s first birthday.

    See schedule:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/2009/09_0-6yrs_schedule_pr.pdf

  37. #37 Chris
    January 23, 2009

    This post was quoted on the Bad Astronomy blog:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-a-offit-md/dont-risk-going-unvaccina_b_160018.html?page=3&show_comment_id=20003133#comment_20003133

    Proof some of these people do not really understand some of the basics:
    “Our son is currently undergoing chelation and is excreting 2-6x the amount an adult is expected to in a lab test that is done. Heavy metals such as lead, aluminum, mercury and uranium to name some.”

    I’d really like to know which lab found the uranium!

    (and not to mention where he lives that aluminum is a heavy metal)

  38. #38 jk5554
    January 23, 2009

    I don’t follow the vaccination issue carefully, but I am really heartened that science and openness are already being promoted with the new Administration.

    It’s been 10 years since my shoulder met up with a porcupine regarding the issue of Td so I guess it’s time…

    I patronize natural foods markets mostly for food free of HFCS and trans-fats. I don’t really care about micro-traces of pesticides, but I try to eat low-glycemic index, and some of the hippie-food store products are good for that.

    RE: the above post – analytical chemistry technology is good enough that it can probably detect, in most anybody, find ppt (parts per trillion) amounts of just about any naturally-occurring element, as well as a number of manmade compounds from environmental exposures. Doesn’t necessarily mean the exposure is at physiological threshold levels.

  39. #39 Brad
    January 23, 2009

    I’m not from the USA so this doesn’t directly affect me, but what is the typical policy of health insurance providers regarding unvaccinated children? Seems to me that hospitalization costs could be refused on the basis of a ‘pre-existing condition’ namely being unvaccinated. Or a substantial premium increase could be justified on an actuarial basis which shouldn’t be covered by an employer.

    Not that I want to see sick kids untreated when they need treatment, but the prospect of higher insurance premiums or possibility of ruinous uninsured medical expenses might bring woo-followers back to reality.

    And this shouldn’t apply to those who can’t be vaccinated for valid medical reasons, or those whose vaccination fails to protect.

  40. #40 DLC
    January 24, 2009

    Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again.
    I guess this is Huff-Puffs acorn.

  41. #41 Stacy
    January 24, 2009

    I just read half the comments on the article. The stupidity there is knee deep.

    They keep repeating the autism is on the rise hypothesis. The problem with that is that yes autism on the rise. However diagnosises of learning disabilities and mental retardation have fallen at the same time.

    So that’s why the number of cases of autism have increased.

    http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/news/20050307/study-childhood-rise-in-autism-cases-real

    I also wish they’d shut up about the 135 cases of measles. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases on the planet. Stop vaccinating in the United States and you damned well bet you’ll see a lot more than 135 cases of measles. You’ll also see a lot more ugly side effects than any vaccine ever created.

  42. #42 Militant Agnostics
    January 24, 2009

    The NWO is putting uranium in the vaccines now??

    Is there no limit to what those evil bastards will do?

    Are the anit-vaccers aware that their tinfoil hats are made of the dreaded “heavy metal” aluminum?

    Credulous minds want to know.

  43. #43 sehirler
    January 24, 2009

    hi. I must say congratulations! Wonderful changes and new opportunities. All these people are glad for you.. me too …

  44. #44 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    I would love to contact these parents for clarification on vaccination status. After all, common sense tells us all not to believe anything the media tells us.

    If anyone can provide their names, I would love to research it further. Please let me know.

  45. #45 Chris
    January 24, 2009

    Dawn said “If anyone can provide their names, I would love to research it further. Please let me know.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIPAA#The_Privacy_Rule

  46. #46 dedicated lurker
    January 24, 2009

    After all, common sense tells us all not to believe anything the media tells us.

    You can’t believe what Common Sue tells you either, Dawn.

  47. #47 HCN
    January 24, 2009

    Dawn said “After all, common sense tells us all not to believe anything the media tells us.”

    Especially when that media is the “journalism” at Age of Autism.

  48. #48 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    I thought so…that is why these “facts” are bogus. Plain and simple. I am not a moron. Vaccines are not scientifically proven safe and effective – my family is living proof of that along with no scientific data.

  49. #49 AnthonyK
    January 24, 2009

    Ah, here’s Dawn to tell us that evidence based medicine has got it all wrong. You see, the real truth is that miasmas cause disease, affecting as they do the four humours of the body – and they’re never prevented by vaccines. Anyone who disagrees is wickedly conspiring with the pharmaceutical companies and doctors like Orac and Paul Offit, making vast sums of money while unleashing a tidal wave of easily preventable mental impairment on helpless children. That’s it in nutshell, yes? Or have I left anything out?
    Where is this pharma shill money, goddamit? I’ll happily spread disinformation if it’ll make me rich!

  50. #50 Homework Assignment
    January 24, 2009

    I have a homework assignment that everyone might find entertaining.

    First, find a homework “buddy” in a different county.

    Next, set up a journal online with your “buddy”.

    Lastly, have them “read” your online journal to “evaluate” you on a daily/monthly/yearly level. By far, Americans are exposed to the most amount of toxins around the globe. It would be interesting to see how your “buddy” assesses you on a monthly level – at least.

  51. #51 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    Actually, Anthonyk, I don’t blame you guys for going on the defense. If I spent thousands of dollars on my eduation in medicine – I too, would probably be “tempted” to lie and say that vaccines are good – not – I would never lie and hurt someone. Some people don’t have a conscience though. I speak to nurses every day that are questioning everything that they have ever been taught though – thank God – we have “some” with a conscience.

  52. #52 Julian
    January 24, 2009

    Dawn – do ever support your position with evidence or do you just insult the character of others?

    You wooist are fond of the old days, right? Remember when people would kill you for accusing them of something you can’t prove?

  53. #53 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    Actually, Julian, my family’s vaccine nightmare begins in Sept 2008 of this blog.

    http://vaccinesexposed.blogspot.com/

    I do have everything saved on a hard drive with a friend in the event that everything just “magically just disappears” though.

    You just never know what Big Pharma’s move is though. I have had friends physically threatened so many years ago!

  54. #54 AnthonyK
    January 24, 2009

    No, really it’s no trouble for them to lie. I mean, most doctors don’t spend all that time and effort learning medicine because they want to make people better – it’s really about power (and money obviously). Thank goodness that there are people like you who know so much about real science and will stand up for what’s right and true. Just think how many more children would die if we just relied on these so-called experts and their corrupt ways, rather than trusting to anecdote, paranoia, and magical thinking?

  55. #55 Joseph C.
    January 24, 2009

    Actually, Anthonyk, I don’t blame you guys for going on the defense. If I spent thousands of dollars on my eduation in medicine – I too, would probably be “tempted” to lie and say that vaccines are good

    Thousands? What is this? The 1980s? An average private medical school charges more than 40k per year now. Throw in living expenses and interest and you’re talking more than 200 grand in debt. And the interest is piling up on all but 34k of those loans for the entire time the student is in residency.

    I speak to nurses every day that are questioning everything that they have ever been taught though – thank God – we have “some” with a conscience.

    Should this inquiry include anatomy? Are the names of the cranial nerve pairs also an evil lie manufactured by Big Pharma?

  56. #56 Julian
    January 24, 2009

    “You just never know what Big Pharma’s move is though. I have had friends physically threatened so many years ago!”

    I call bullshit.

  57. #57 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    Bullshit that people are harassed and bullied? Are you guys for real? I think that you had better get to know your patients better – that’s all. Find out who they are and where they came from.

    Anthony – people don’t trust doctors anymore and with good reason. They sold their souls to the devil.

  58. #58 Julian
    January 24, 2009

    “Bullshit that people are harassed and bullied? Are you guys for real?”

    You accused the Pharamceutical Industry (acting as one body) of physically threatening someone you know. Like a shakedown. That’s a damn big charge so don’t start balking now.

  59. #59 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    Shut up Julian is all I have to say….Your “medicine” is eventually what kills people. That and their stupid vaccines and junk medicine!

  60. #60 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    Yes, God gave us medicine, but not like this…”some” people die during clinical trials??? Are you guys nuts? Have you lost your minds? Medicine was meant to save people not hurt them! I don’t care if just one life was lost – that is too many in my book.

  61. #61 Orac
    January 24, 2009

    In other words, Dawn cannot back up her ridiculous charges.

    No surprise there.

  62. #62 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    I honestly do not want you to act ignorant to the fact that the majority of our “kids” feel “stupid”. We need to act together as “parents” PLEASE!!! Forget about the vaccine issue, we have enough to deal with!

  63. #63 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    Orac,

    My husband and I would love to meet you. Seriously, as geekish as it is… we would.

    If you ever have the balls enough to meet, let me know.

    Dawn

  64. #64 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    What? You need to run this by your bosses first? Long time before a response guy!

  65. #65 HCN
    January 24, 2009

    Dawn said “I honestly do not want you to act ignorant to the fact that the majority of our “kids” feel “stupid”.”

    Evidence please?

    It may depend on the parents since intelligence is frequently inherited. Though the observed Flynn effect seems to counter your unreferenced statement.

    Dawn, medicine really did fail you. After your son was born very prematurely due to your preeclampsia, your tubes should have been tied to prevent any further pregnancies. That way you would not be at risk for the high blood pressure and would have not needed a rubella vaccine.

  66. #66 HCN
    January 24, 2009

    Dawn impatiently said “What? You need to run this by your bosses first? Long time before a response guy!”

    Look at the clock, it is presently almost midnight on the East Coast. He may have turned off the computer before your request, which is almost a threat (I’m not a lawyer, but that is not a good thing to do these days).

    I would suggest that you switch whatever you are drinking with just plain water, turn off the computer and go to bed.

  67. #67 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    Wow..HCN you are a true insensitive jackass!

    I would like to meet JERK too! Give me this address please?

  68. #68 Dawn
    January 24, 2009

    Does this mean that Orac is chickenshit for next weekend?

  69. #69 Dawm
    January 24, 2009

    Hey HCN,

    I definitely want to meet you too you weirdo

  70. #70 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    Orac and HCN are full of shit and afraid to meet me? Stay tuned…

  71. #71 HCN
    January 25, 2009

    Word of advice: Never drink and post on the Internet.

  72. #72 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    What is up with these guys? Afraid? Kindof like Orac?

  73. #73 The Perky Skeptic
    January 25, 2009

    Christ, Dawn, I’d be afraid to meet you, too! You come off here like a rabid dog, snapping at anyone who gets too close! Perhaps you’re very nice in person, but anyone who has ever read your comments on this blog is more likely to run for their lives if they know you’re in the room with them!

  74. #74 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    Hey jerk, where do you want to meet?

  75. #75 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    You name it – I will be there no mater what…

  76. #76 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    Fuck you

  77. #77 dawn
    January 25, 2009

    This is just the beginning..U r dumb

  78. #78 TheEngima32
    January 25, 2009

    Question time! What do the Anti-Vax movement, the Creationism/YEC/Intelligent Design movement, the 9/11 Truthers, and the Anti-Abortion/Birth Control Crowds all have in common?

    (besides stark raving stupidity and pride in being some of the biggest idiots on the planet)

    *Ding* Time’s up!

    A uniform dislike for facts, a belief that they are right and when they are proven wrong by facts they are being “oppressed,” a mentality that does not change (the nouns change, but the “arguments” stay the same; but a YEC argument next to a 9/11 Truther or Anti-Vax argument sometime; they’re identical in every way but the subject matter)and strong streak of paranoia. Of course, I doubt this is something we all didn’t know already.

    Enigma

  79. #79 MissFifi
    January 25, 2009

    I am at a loss to the constant bickering of how autism was brought on by vaccines and big pharam, yes Dawn,I mean you.
    Jesus Christ, ENOUGH ALREADY! If the medical community brought on this wickedness to torment all parents, then go out, do the research and find the cure and then you can stick it to all of us who work in health care. The disrespect, the nastiness to people whom you most likely have never even met and your self righteousness is appalling and revealing of your hurt and anger.
    I can empathize/sympathize with anyone who deals with disease and disability, it is never any easy road, but to assume that EVERYONE in health care is in it for the money and not for their patients or to help create better medicines or lobby for better policy is absolutely offensive.
    And before you get in a fit,thinking I am a pharma sales rep or something, I am an oncology massage therapist who has had the honor of working on patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, in ICU/CCU, etc.

  80. #80 Jennyj0
    January 25, 2009

    Said on the Huffington blog, as an argument against vaccination (since sometimes people still get a disease that they have been vaccinated against):

    “People die in car crashes with their seat belts on. Why should we wear our seat belts then?”

    At first I thought this was satire. But it wasn’t.

    When people apply this kind of “logic,” there’s nothing that will ever convince them I fear.

  81. #81 AnthonyK
    January 25, 2009

    The true incomprehension of the anti-vax nuts, like Dawn, show up immediately in their accusations that vaccination is a conspiracy, as detailed above. Parents, understandably distressed by having children with learning difficulties, seek someone, or something, to blame for their child’s condition, and evidence-based medicine has to be the fall guy. When confronted with the solidity of doctors and other health professionals in the face of their accusations (and of course the evidence behind the science) their only recourse is to accuse everyone of bad faith, inspired by – what else? – money. Doctors believe passionately that vaccination programmes drastically improve our health and that they do not cause autism. This is why they vaccinate themselves and their own children – isn’t this so, Orac? So the paranoid accusations of bad faith are simply a delusion. Misinterpretion of the motivations of others is the surest way to tell that the person opposing you is a crank, at best. And Dawn, your request for a personal debate with you and your husband is absurd. Like the nurses you have “educated”, health professionals will show polite interest, but behind your back, shake their heads, raise their eyes to the celing, and get on with educating people on the best way forward for public and personal well-being.

  82. #82 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    Miss Fifi said: ” am at a loss to the constant bickering of how autism was brought on by vaccines and big pharam, yes Dawn,I mean you.
    Jesus Christ, ENOUGH ALREADY! If the medical community brought on this wickedness to torment all parents”,

    No, they just want to make money Miss Fifi. I honestly would love to meet people that spend their days and nights writing about how “good” vaccines are. These people are the nastiest people of all.

  83. #83 AnthonyK
    January 25, 2009

    Point proved. Now, where’s that goddamn pharma money?

  84. #84 Orac
    January 25, 2009

    Indeed.

    I frequently hear the charge from rabid antivaccine advocates that I am somehow “in the pocket” or “on the payroll” of big pharma. Given that, I have one question: Where the hell’s all that big pharma filthy lucre? I haven’t seen any of it! I mean, come on! I write one of the top ten highest trafficked medical blogs, and I’m relentless in shooting down the misinformation spouted by the antivaccine contingent, not to mention applying science and skepticism to the claims of alt-med. Big pharma ought to be truly grateful, and I want my cut. Maybe if it’s enough I could even quit my job and spend my days in my sweatpants in front of my computer churning out this peerless prose.

    But, alas, no, there’s no big pharma gravy train for me. I have to go back to work tomorrow morning and back to my usual heavy schedule. I still have to work like a dog to get my papers published and my grants funded (which I may not even be able to do in this climate). I still have to do my best to take care of my patients (the best thing of all).

  85. #85 Joseph C.
    January 25, 2009

    No, they just want to make money Miss Fifi. I honestly would love to meet people that spend their days and nights writing about how “good” vaccines are. These people are the nastiest people of all.

    Nastiest people of all? As in worse than mass murderers, serial rapists, terrorists, and the like? You might find that people will laugh at you less if you wouldn’t always resort to such hyperbole.

  86. #86 PJ
    January 25, 2009

    If you are pro-vax or anti-vax it doesn’t mean you are an extreme big pharma tool or a crazed anti-science nut.

    There are many questions to be asked of vaccines. How effective? Can contamination in the production process cause neuro injuries? Why are so many given in such a short time? Why do doctors (saw statistics on this) pass on themselves getting for instance Rubella and other vaccines when it is suggested in their field of specialty etc? Why did non-vax populations fail to show the same level and degree of neuro problems that vax populations show? Compare the Amish to the general population??? Anyone???

    No safety studies for children have ever been done on any vaccine. Legislation has made it impossible to sue vaccine makers. CDC officials nearly all have ties to big pharma. The list of conflicts of interest, money, and lack of objective studies for both sides of the debate is what fuels the fears of people.

    Science is not always right; it is in a process of evolving. Anti-nausea medication for pregnant women led to birth deformities–the flipper kids. So if anyone questioned that drug and the medical community back then, they would be condemned as nut jobs?

    It is our duty as free people to question authority, etc. and have choices. When authority whitewashes the ‘facts’ with ‘studies’ by people connected to or paid by big pharma, anyone in their right, rational mind should be skeptical.

    Finally, I have to point out that if your kid is vaccinated then you should not worry if someone else’s kid is not. If you are, you betray your own feeling (irrational thought) that maybe your ‘protected’ kid might get sick from the non-vaxed child; which is ludicrous if the vaccine really works. If that is the case, well…

    And I AM NOT ANTI-VAX–I am for research, study, and reasonable application of vaccines for the real ‘killer’ diseases. It used to be reasonable but now the multi-million dollar revenues are pushing into the driver’s seat.

  87. #87 Jennyj0
    January 25, 2009

    @ PJ,

    You say:

    “Finally, I have to point out that if your kid is vaccinated then you should not worry if someone else’s kid is not. If you are, you betray your own feeling (irrational thought) that maybe your ‘protected’ kid might get sick from the non-vaxed child; which is ludicrous if the vaccine really works. If that is the case, well…”

    You are right, that would be ludicrous – if that were the reason we worry. But it isn’t.

    The reason we worry is that we do not want children – any children, or own or somebody else’s – to have polio, or measles followed by meningitis, or being born handicapped because the mother had rubella during pregnancy, or be ill and miserable for weeks on end with pertussis, with the risk of dying of exhaustion.

    We do not want this to happen to our own children and we do not want it to happen to other children.

    That is why we worry.

  88. #88 Orac
    January 25, 2009

    Finally, I have to point out that if your kid is vaccinated then you should not worry if someone else’s kid is not. If you are, you betray your own feeling (irrational thought) that maybe your ‘protected’ kid might get sick from the non-vaxed child; which is ludicrous if the vaccine really works. If that is the case, well..

    Read about herd immunity and what it means when a vaccine “works.” No vaccine is 100% effective. It would be great if vaccines were 100% effective, but they aren’t. Even so, vaccination still slows the person-to-person transmission of infectious diseases.

    When greater than a certain percentage of the population is vaccinated (usually somewhere around 90%, depending upon the disease and vaccine), outbreaks become much less likely. For one thing, the chance of an unvaccinated person coming into contact with another unvaccinated person drops way down. For another thing, there is much less of a reservoir of unvaccinated in which the pathogenic organism can be maintained. Either way, the people who cannot be vaccinated for various medical reasons are protected by herd immunity (which is why antivaxers manage to claim that their children don’t get sick; they’re riding on herd immunity), but so are the vaccinated, a certain percentage of whom might have developed inadequate immunity from their vaccination.

    Antivaxers endanger herd immunity, because the lower the percentage of vaccinated falls, the greater the chance of outbreaks and even epidemics. Indeed, we saw this very phenomenon in the U.K. after the MMR scare produced by Andrew Wakefield’s horrible science. Vaccination rates fell, in some areas below 80%, and the measles came roaring back. After having been declared vanquished in the late 1990s in the U.K., just last year U.K. health officials announced that the measles is endemic again.

    Really, you have a lot to learn. Also, if you’re not “antivax,” then why do you parrot so many antivax talking points so ignorantly?

  89. #89 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    Come on Orac, which is worse? Cancer caused by a vaccine or the measles? Give me a break. Most of these so-called scary diseases are still around – they’ve just been renamed over the years. As far as the medical community not getting their cut from Big Pharma – that is a lie. They are in the form of “research grants”…..let us not forget too that your beloved medicine and vaccines are what is truly ailing us all. You mean to tell me that you don’t profit from the sick?

    Let us also not forget that the side effects caused by vaccines have also been renamed too. ADHD or right-hemisphere brain damage? Right hemisphere brain damage may be caused by toxic chemicals. Alzheimers or an infectious disease of the brain? Again, one in the same and also caused by toxic chemicals weakening the blood brain barrier.

    Our country is the most vaccinated – also the most chronically ill and mentally deficient. Coincidence? I think not.

  90. #90 AnthonyK
    January 25, 2009

    The “flipper kids” you mention, otherwise known as victims of Thalidomide, were a result of inadequate testing by the pharmaceutical companies, for which compensation was later paid. The side effects of what was at the time thought to be an entirely safe drug were first – of course – noticed by doctors and useage rapidly halted, though not soon enough for the thousands of unfortunate victims. The same would be true of vaccines if they were harmful, but mountains of (“non-existent”) research has consistently shown that they are not.

  91. #91 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    AnthonyK stated “The same would be true of vaccines if they were harmful, but mountains of (“non-existent”) research has consistently shown that they are not”.

    Really? Where is the research that has been done? The latest CDC study that involved 30 something children? I hardly call that a study.

    By the way – the research will NEVER be appropriately done by our government officials because if it is – that would mean our country would go “under” from all of the lawsuits. There would also be a lot of people in jail.

    Vaccines are nothing more than a huge scientific experiment. It is a legal scientific experiment providing that informed consent is practiced. That is not practiced in this country – every doctor that I’ve encountered cannot even be bothered reading the package inserts. Therefore they don’t know the side effects reported with each particular vaccine.

  92. #92 AnthonyK
    January 25, 2009

    Hallelulyah – Dawn says something right! The US does suffer in part from an epidemic of the “mentally deficient” – they’re the ones who spread anti-vaccination nonsense.

  93. #93 Joseph C.
    January 25, 2009

    You mean to tell me that you don’t profit from the sick?

    If Orac was a real greed head, he certainly wouldn’t be in academic medicine. And, last time I checked, treating the ill is a legitimate occupation.

    also the most chronically ill and mentally deficient.

    You’re pretty good evidence towards the latter.

  94. #94 Jen
    January 25, 2009

    Sorry, but autism IS linked to vaccination, just in a way that many haven’t considered.

    Acetaminophen (which depletes glutathione) is often administered in conjunction with vaccines. Depleting glutathione isn’t something you want to be doing when you are launching a powerful immune response via vaccination.

    Studies are already linking prenatal and early childhood acetaminophen use with higher rates of asthma, which makes sense, since glutathione is critical for lung function.

    This also explains why so many autistic kids have food allergies and GI issues.

    Autism and asthma rates have been skyrocketing in the past 20 years…right after aspirin was linked to Reye’s Syndrome and everyone switched to Tylenol.

    More disturbing…there isn’t a shred of scientific evidence that administering Tylenol before vaccinations is safe or effective.

    CAN YOU SAY QUACKERY???

  95. #95 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    Hey Jen. Thank you for responding on the issue. You really must watch these guys….going through some posts above I soon realized that someone else is posting things with my name attached to it.

  96. #96 Joseph C.
    January 25, 2009

    More disturbing…there isn’t a shred of scientific evidence that administering Tylenol before vaccinations is safe or effective.

    And this is why the scientific community should flat shun you crazies. There will be no end to your crank theories and no amount of data that will ever sway you from your religious conviction about vaccines.

  97. #97 notmercury
    January 25, 2009

    That’s, um, a really well constructed hypothesis you have there, Jen. [/sarcasm] How would you test it?

    Maybe we could cure autism using NAC the way they treat Tylenol overdose. Oh, that’s right, JJ Bradstreet and DAN! have already tried that. So hard to invent new quack treatments…

  98. #98 Robster, FCD
    January 25, 2009

    Wow, Dawn. You really went off the deep end there.

    You know, if you had some evidence to back up your claims of, well, anything you say, a discussion might be possible.

    So… Have any evidence?

  99. #99 AnthonyK
    January 25, 2009

    Unfortunately, it’s really easy to invent quack treatments – all you do is find a group of desperate people (say anti-vax parents of autistic children) and invent away. They’ll try any old untested, unscientifid nonsense on their unfortunate children….except simple acceptance, of course.

  100. #100 Dangerous Bacon
    January 25, 2009

    Dawn: “You really must watch these guys….going through some posts above I soon realized that someone else is posting things with my name attached to it.”

    Which posts with your name on them are you disavowing? The comments that are contentless except for insults? The semistalkerish wish to “meet” those whom you’re maligning? The profanity? Or just the posts that repeat antivax nonsense?

    If it’s all of the above, there’s nothing of yours left.

  101. #101 HCN
    January 25, 2009

    Posted by: Dawn at: 12:10 AM – “Hey jerk, where do you want to meet?”

    Posted by: Dawn at 12:25 AM – “You name it – I will be there no mater what…”

    Posted by: dawn at 12:51 AM – “This is just the beginning..U r dumb”

    I turned off this computer at about 9pm in my time zone, about the time you started to post these threats (I did homework, gave a ride to one kid and his friend, and watched some video with my daughter).

    Sure, I’ll meet you. The location will be the Library at the School of Medicine, on Friday about 1pm my local time. I will introduce to these things called “journals”, and then I will take you to see our local Ronald McDonald House (it is full of kids who need herd immunity to protect them from infections). There is also a couple of historical cemeteries with headstones marking several dead children, including one from almost exactly 100 years ago that list six kids from one family who all died in a span of two months.

    You will need to pay your own transportation and hotel costs. Even the local bus fare, because I do not pay for those parking garages, even if you do rent a car. Also you have to figure which School of Medicine.

  102. #102 D. C. Sessions
    January 25, 2009

    This is not just any kind of stupidity we’re dealing with, it’s LUXURY stupidity.

    Generally speaking, stupidity is a luxury. It’s one that the rich can afford better than the poor, too — which is why you get the correlation you see.

  103. #103 MissFifi
    January 25, 2009

    Well Dawn, I wish you the best with your family and your situation. I was hoping you would not be remarkably stubborn and willing to listen and have a serious discussion. There are folks on this blog that could possibly help you and instead your hostility only insults and alienates them. They could help you understand why in many ways, vaccines are an easy thing to blame even though in some cases WITH OTHER FACTORS involved, it could trigger autism in a child. My mom died of cancer, but hell, it was not from vaccines. It was more likely genetic, the fact she smoked, hormones she took. Many different factors played into her disease I am certain.
    Understand that Genetics/Epigenetics play a big role in a lot of diseases and if you want answers you need to work WITH the medical community not against it. I know you do not believe it because you constantly state it, but the majority of health care workers are NOT in this for the money. We do it because we give a damn about people and saving lives and all the while we box with God while doing it.

  104. #104 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    MissFifi, I agree with you 100% that these things are genetic to an extent. The cellular damage is inherited and caused by exposure to toxic chemicals – which we unfortunately pass to our offspring. This is exactly why things are “inherited”.

    I tend to be hostile toward others who are all for forced vaccination. Vaccines are nothing more than an invasive medical procedure.

  105. #105 Chris
    January 25, 2009

    Dawn said “The cellular damage is inherited and caused by exposure to toxic chemicals – which we unfortunately pass to our offspring. This is exactly why things are “inherited”.”

    What are those that are from contracting and surviving diseases like measles, mumps, pertussis and other actual diseases? Do you have a link to a study on that?

  106. #106 Jen
    January 25, 2009

    More disturbing…there isn’t a shred of scientific evidence that administering Tylenol before vaccinations is safe or effective.
    And this is why the scientific community should flat shun you crazies. There will be no end to your crank theories and no amount of data that will ever sway you from your religious conviction about vaccines.>>>

    Religious conviction? LOL…that’s a funny thing to say to an atheist, but OKAY…@@

    Sure is odd that there’s such a paucity of scientific data regarding the safety of acetaminophen use with vaccinations, considering how widely used it is.

  107. #107 Jen
    January 25, 2009

    That’s, um, a really well constructed hypothesis you have there, Jen. [/sarcasm] How would you test it?

    How about we start by stopping the entire practice of administering unnecessary antipyretics to babies before vaccination? Unless you have a better idea.

  108. #108 Mike the Mad Biologist
    January 25, 2009

    Orac,

    I’m glad to see Offit at HuPo, but did you see the comments? Bleech.

  109. #109 Chris
    January 25, 2009

    Jen said “How about we start by stopping the entire practice of administering unnecessary antipyretics to babies before vaccination? Unless you have a better idea.”

    Where is this done? I was always told to give the kid tylonol or ibuprofen after the vaccine IF there was a fever or pain. I usually did not have to.

  110. #110 Jen
    January 25, 2009

    Where is this done? I was always told to give the kid tylonol or ibuprofen after the vaccine IF there was a fever or pain. I usually did not have to.>>>

    Unfortunately, this practice is all too common, especially in military hospitals. I am also a nurse, so I have witnessed it firsthand in other facilities. Some doctors even tell parents to dose with Tylenol before coming to the office, which is ridiculous, because Tylenol really needs to be dosed by weight, not age.

    I do my best to try to discourage this practice when I see or hear of it, but I can only reach so many…

  111. #111 Orac
    January 25, 2009

    I’m glad to see Offit at HuPo, but did you see the comments? Bleech.

    Oh yeah. I saw them. Unfortunately. There’s enough burnin’ stupid there to melt titanium. You may have noticed that I actually tried to insert myself in the comments. Or maybe you didn’t because the “moderators” (censors) deleted them. I don’t know. I haven’t been back since yesterday morning.

  112. #112 Dangerous Bacon
    January 25, 2009

    Jen: “More disturbing…there isn’t a shred of scientific evidence that administering Tylenol before vaccinations is safe or effective.”

    Can you direct us to any evidence that administration of Tylenol around the time of vaccination is any more risky than giving Tylenol at any other time? Or that your glutathione-lung function-vaccination-autism theory has any credibility other than “I’m-a-nurse-and-that’s-my-appeal-to-authority”?

    “CAN YOU SAY QUACKERY???”

    Speak softly and carry a big reference, I always say. :)

  113. #113 Julian
    January 25, 2009

    “I do my best to try to discourage this practice when I see or hear of it, but I can only reach so many…”

    Good.

    The fewer people you half-wits hurt the better.

  114. #114 Chris
    January 25, 2009

    jen said “Unfortunately, this practice is all too common, especially in military hospitals…so I have witnessed it firsthand in other facilities.”

    Old saying: The plural of anecdote is not data.

    Documentation please? Something to show that it is a common policy or recommended. Some data, some evidence, something other than that you say so.

  115. #115 Stacey
    January 25, 2009

    I am not going to say either way where I stand on this issue, the only question I have is this-why is everyone so mean and vicious to each other? Everyone is entitled to their opinions and should be respected for such no matter if you agree with them or not. Maybe there wouldn’t be such a controversy if people that are pro vaccine would not be judged and people that are anti vaccine would not be judged either. It is your child and your beliefs so who is anyone to judge someone else? It doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong.

  116. #116 Jen
    January 25, 2009

    Documentation please? Something to show that it is a common policy or recommended. Some data, some evidence, something other than that you say so. >>>

    Tell you what…why don’t you google “tylenol before vaccinations” and see how many hits you get.

    I’ve visited some really nasty boards over the years, but this one…from a supposed group of physicians and scientists no less…really takes the cake. No wonder parents are so mistrustful of physicians anymore. You have no one but yourselves to blame for the decline in vaccination rates.

    Hopefully, your arrogance won’t come back to bite ya in the butt someday.

    I’m done here.

  117. #117 Julian
    January 25, 2009

    “Everyone is entitled to their opinions and should be respected for such no matter if you agree with them or not.”

    Respect is earned and maintained. Not everyone deserves and not everyone gets it.

    “Maybe there wouldn’t be such a controversy if people that are pro vaccine would not be judged and people that are anti vaccine would not be judged either.”

    there is no controversy. Vaccines don’t cause autism. There’s as much evidence linking them to autism as there is evidence linking autism and rainfall.

    “It is your child and your beliefs so who is anyone to judge someone else?”

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    It is not just their child. It’s my sister catching influenza. It’s my tax dollars lost when a disease breaks out and a whole school has to be shut down. It’s some poor kid who actually has medical reasons why he can’t be vaccinated having to stay home all day because his parents don’t know if his classmates are up to date with their vaccines.

    “It doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong. ”

    yes. yes it does. and if you’re really this goddamn thick you’ve got no right stepping into any discussions..

  118. #118 Julian
    January 25, 2009

    “You have no one but yourselves to blame for the decline in vaccination rates.”

    Oh yes it’s their fault for making the information available to you and talking you throw the whole damn process. It has nothing to do with you spreading misinformation and being entirely unwilling to admit when your position isn’t supported by any evidence whatsoever.

  119. #119 Stacey
    January 25, 2009

    Julian, you forgot to address why are people so mean and vicious to each other? Any comment for that? Also, why do you think you are right? Pro vaccine people think they are right and anti vaccine think they are right-are you God? How do you know who is right?

  120. #120 The Perky Skeptic
    January 25, 2009

    Is that a concern troll, Stacey? ‘Cause it lives are on the line, and it most certainly does matter who is right and who is wrong! We aren’t judging people, we are judging the good and bad decisions people make, all due to love of our children. The love is what we all have in common. But it is our moral obligation to analyze the data and to judge which actions are harmful to children.

    I can jolly well respect other humans as people while having utter contempt for the decisions they make and the stances they take.

  121. #121 Joseph C.
    January 25, 2009

    Pro vaccine people think they are right and anti vaccine think they are right-are you God? How do you know who is right?

    There’s this whole thing called “the scientific method”. Ever heard of it?

  122. #122 Stacey
    January 25, 2009

    Wow, I am so disgusted right now. I actually am pro vaccine but honestly I am ashamed to admit it because of all the nastiness being written by pro vaccine people here. Like I said, whether I agree with it or not, screaming out nastiness because people don’t agree with me is going to do nothing but make anti vaccine people be more unwilling to listen.

  123. #123 Julian
    January 25, 2009

    “Pro vaccine people think they are right and anti vaccine think they are right-are you God?”

    There’s no God, love. Like Sandy Claws, he’s made up.

    And I already alluded to how I know. There’s as much evidence linking vaccines to autism as there is evidence linking rainfall to autism.

    “Julian, you forgot to address why are people so mean and vicious to each other?”

    I can’t speak for anti-vax nuts, but the rest of us (the one’s with the data backing their position) are more then a little tired of having to repeat the same answers, linking to the same studies and being confronted with a complete unwillingless to admit that their position has no merits.

    Others, like my mother, are all to familiar with places where access to proper medical care is very limited and are angered by people trying to take her back there.

    And a final group just likes to call idiots idiots. After all, if they can call a brave man courageous why can’t they call a dumb man stupid?

  124. #124 The Perky Skeptic
    January 25, 2009

    Stacey asked, How do we know who is right? It’s true, we’re none of us gods– but we don’t need to be. Humankind has this AWESOME tool for learning true things about the natural world, and it’s called science.

    We may sound venomous, Stacey, because we have all been over and over and over and OVER this issue with antivaxxers until we are blue in the face. Just do a search on this one blog for vaccines. Read the Scienceblogs book club entries for Autism’s False Prophets. Look at the Epiwonk blog. Look at A Photon In The Darkness. Or Neurodiversity blog. Or Science-Based Medicine. Or Neurologica. They ALL. GO. OVER. THE. EVIDENCE. So this is why we might sound snippy.

    Let me put it this way– if convincing evidence, using good experimental design and statistical analysis, were presented to me that vaccines were harmful, I’d change my stance. In a heartbeat. Ask any antivaxxer what it would take to change their stance… go ahead, I’ll wait… the answer is nothing. Nothing will change their minds. We have been OVER and over the evidence, very strong, which indicates vaccines have NO connection with autism, and which indicates that vaccines have been responsible for doubling our species’ lifespan in the last century. None of this changes their mind. They are religiously stuck in their faith-based rut.

    This, to me, is indefensible. Where one’s child is on the line, one has to be able to weigh new information logically, so one can make the best decision possible with the evidence we have.

  125. #125 Stacey
    January 25, 2009

    Thank you perky skeptic for trying to be civil. Like I said, I didn’t want to give my stand on which side of the issue I am on, I just wanted to know why we are treating some people so meanly for not agreeing.

  126. #126 MikeMa
    January 25, 2009

    @ The Perky Skeptic,
    Just to add: The one study that started this madness by Dr Andrew Wakefield was completely discredited. I am not a wiki fan but this seems reasonably complete: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield

  127. #127 Militan Agnostic
    January 25, 2009

    How do you know who is right?

    One word “Evidence” that plus the scientific method.

    For example – when thimersol was removed for all or nearly all childhood vaccines atuism rates did not decrease.

    As to why people are angry – wouldn’t you be angry if someone wanted to reintruduce diseases that used to cripple and kill thousands of children because of their ignorance.

    If you had studied medicine, statiscs, chemistry or epidemiology would yuo not be angry when someone with not education, who does not even understand basic logic such as difference between causation and correlation claims their ill informed opinions trum yours because they shout louder.

    All ideas are not equal in the real world.

  128. #128 Orac
    January 25, 2009

    Wow, I am so disgusted right now. I actually am pro vaccine but honestly I am ashamed to admit it because of all the nastiness being written by pro vaccine people here. Like I said, whether I agree with it or not, screaming out nastiness because people don’t agree with me is going to do nothing but make anti vaccine people be more unwilling to listen.

    Sniff, sniff.

    I smell concern troll. It does not smell good.

  129. #129 The Perky Skeptic
    January 25, 2009

    Wow, I am so disgusted right now. I actually am pro vaccine but honestly I am ashamed to admit it because of all the nastiness being written by pro vaccine people here.

    REALLY, Stacey? :) Are you really ashamed of the things the pro-science-based-medicine folks are writing here, though we face the likes of Dawn, who wrote “Fuck you” to us (the lot of us, at large, one assumes?) with what I think is considerable tolerance? :) You might want to re-read the posts in question.

    Teh internets is a rough place. The people here are extremely civil!

  130. #130 Stacey
    January 25, 2009

    I never said I wasn’t angry but who does it help by getting ugly? It isn’t going to change anyone’s minds unfortunately.

  131. #131 AnthonyK
    January 25, 2009

    We’re rude and mean here because many of us care deeply about evidence-based medicine and won’t be told by a bunch of conspiracist trolls that we’re paid by big pharmeceutical companies to lie about our motives and evidence.
    There is a conspiracy out there, and it’s a conspiracy of stupidity to which Jen and Dawn and, yes, you Stacey subscribe.
    This is Orac’s blog. He does real medicine in the real world, and campaigns at length (often at great length) against all such fuckwittery. If you don’t like it go to one of the politer blogs out there where you can find less muscular comments, or to “Age of Autism” where ignorance and pseudo-science are the order of the day, every day.

  132. #132 Chris
    January 25, 2009

    Stacey said with deep concern “I never said I wasn’t angry but who does it help by getting ugly? It isn’t going to change anyone’s minds unfortunately.”

    Please tell me where I have been “ugly”.

    I am just asking for evidence. I am sorry that I cannot take someone’s word at face value. If I am shown real evidence of their claims, I will change my mind.

    In the mean time I am not happy with all the effort wasted to blame vaccines when more money and effort needs to be put where it is more needed: support for the educational, medical and transition to employment for our disabled children.

    (I’d also like to know why you have not addressed the profane person who wanted to “meet” some people in person)

  133. #133 HCN
    January 25, 2009

    Stacey, have you gone over to the Age of Autism blog to ask them to be nicer? I can understand if you did and your post never got posted since they moderate with a cast iron clown glove.

    By the way, I tried to be nice to Dawn, even after she some very nasty things. She wanted to meet me, so I offered to meet her at the library of my local School of Medicine. She just has to pay for her own transportation and lodging.

  134. #134 Stacey
    January 25, 2009

    Chris, I have not read all of the posts here, this is my first time posting to any blog. I just read some of the posts and the overwhelming majority seemed very ugly and mean. I guess I live in a place where people can discuss things without being mean and vicious to one another. That place isn’t the same as this one I have stumbled upon on this blog. I think with that being said, I prefer my “little world” and will nicely try to sway people to vaccinate without getting mean about it. So, I now say goodbye and good luck to some of you trying to persuade people to vaccinate by using meanness, I prefer kindness.

  135. #135 Dawn
    January 25, 2009

    Perky Skeptic stated: “We have been OVER and over the evidence, very strong, which indicates vaccines have NO connection with autism,”

    No, there have never been any studies conducted on the group of children who regressed after vaccines. None. Nada. Zilch. Why is that so hard to comprehend?

    Let us also not forget about Health and Human Services agreeing that Hannah Poling’s autism was indeed caused by her vaccines. Then, they realized the big boo-boo and changed it to “autism-like features or rather a mitrochondrial defect aggravated by vaccines”. Duh?

  136. #136 HCN
    January 25, 2009

    Dawn said “Let us also not forget about Health and Human Services agreeing that Hannah Poling’s autism was indeed caused by her vaccines.”

    Wrong. She has a fairly rare and serious genetic condition that made vaccines an issue. If she had any other “natural” infection the result would have been the same.

    Oh, Stacey… look up thread here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/01/left_is_right_and_up_is_down_an_actual.php#comment-1350077

    And please, please, pretty please go tell the folks at Age of Autism to be nicer too! That would be so nice. Thank you.

  137. #137 Dangerous Bacon
    January 25, 2009

    Stacey: “So, I now say goodbye and good luck to some of you trying to persuade people to vaccinate by using meanness, I prefer kindness.”

    I prefer up-front antivaccinationists to concern trolls.

    When the antivax beliefs of you and others like you can somehow magically be confined to you alone, and not hurt your children, other kids and society as a whole, then it will just be a matter of “who is anyone to judge someone else?”

  138. #138 Michael Ralston
    January 26, 2009

    I’m surprised nobody commented on Dawn’s freaking out at the concept that people die during clinical trials.

    Newsflash, Dawn: Clinical trials take time. They don’t lock people in a room for the entire duration of the process, they just give them medication regularly – so some people are going to die, because the world is dangerous. And even besides that, a lot of clinical trials are conducted on treatments for diseases that can kill people.

    I’m quite certain that the death rate of people in clinical trials for new cancer treatments are higher than that for the public at large.

    Can you work out why?

    (Here’s a hint: the death rate will be higher in the control group, too.)

  139. #139 Michael Ralston
    January 26, 2009

    Oh, and in response to the concern troll: The antivax movement has directly and willfully caused deaths, and will continue to do so.

    I feel perfectly justified in hating it, and growing quite irate at anyone who defends it.

  140. #140 Dawn
    January 26, 2009

    HCN stated: “Oh, Stacey… look up thread here:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/01/left_is_right_and_up_is_down_an_actual.php#comment-1350077

    Actually, HCN I wouldn’t be surprised if it was you posting those comments and posing as me. Yes, I would like to come face to face with people like you. After all, I hope people like you responsible for poisoning many innocent victims with your toxic vaccines….particularly my family.

  141. #141 Dawn
    January 26, 2009

    After all, I hope – sorry, HOLD people like you responsible for poisoning many innocent victims with your toxic vaccines….particularly my family. To say that I am upset about your attempts at forced vaccination is an understatement.

  142. #142 MikeMa
    January 26, 2009

    Dawn:
    We hold you responsible for causing unnecessary disease and death. Children and people around them will die due to NOT vaccinating.

    You have blasted everything and everyone here without a shred of evidence (beyond your magical intuition) so bugger off and try not to poison too many people with lies today.

  143. #143 Dawn
    January 26, 2009

    Mikema stated: “Dawn:
    We hold you responsible for causing unnecessary disease and death. Children and people around them will die due to NOT vaccinating.

    You have blasted everything and everyone here without a shred of evidence (beyond your magical intuition) so bugger off and try not to poison too many people with lies today”.

    Mikema, please refer to page 7 on the following link titled “Transmission”

    http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/v/varivax/varivax_pi.pdf

    I don’t recall any doctor or nurse advising patients of this transmission warning set forth by the manufacturer. This is an example of lack of informed consent. How many pregant persons and immune compromised individuals were put in risky situations coming in contact with vaccinated persons over the years thanks to the medical community?

  144. #144 MikeMa
    January 26, 2009

    @Dawn: Read it. Not impressed.
    I don’t recall any doctor or nurse advising patients of this transmission warning set forth by the manufacturer.

    The statement that you ‘don’t recall’ is not evidence that it was not given or that it would have made the slightest difference.

    The section you take issue with:
    Transmission
    Post-marketing experience suggests that transmission of vaccine virus may occur rarely between healthy vaccinees who develop a varicella-like rash and healthy susceptible contacts. Transmission of vaccine virus from vaccinees without a varicella-like rash has been reported but has not been confirmed.
    Therefore, vaccine recipients should attempt to avoid, whenever possible, close association with susceptible high-risk individuals for up to six weeks. In circumstances where contact with high-risk individuals is unavoidable, the potential risk of transmission of vaccine virus should be weighed against the risk of acquiring and transmitting natural varicella virus. Susceptible high-risk individuals include:
    • immunocompromised individuals
    • pregnant women without documented history of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of prior infection
    • newborn infants of mothers without documented history of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of
    prior infection.

    They are telling you to not rub your rash (if you happen to get one) on anyone. (No common sense required there.) They are reporting anecdotal evidence of transmission without the rash. Big deal. They mention high risk groups to avoid. Good idea, got it.

    Merck also provides this:
    Information for Patients
    The health care provider should inform the patient, parent, or guardian of the benefits and risks of VARIVAX.
    Patients, parents, or guardians should be instructed to report any adverse reactions to their health care provider.

    Clear instruction to medical personnel to provide information. If you were not provided information, and can prove that, sue someone. If you can prove damage, please do so. Otherwise, no harm, no foul. All you are doing with this is making undocumented connections and accusations were no proof exists to connect them. Correlation and causation again.

    Most adults can accept that life isn’t always perfect and that shit happens. Sorry you are having a tough time and that you cannot accept that quite possibly NO ONE is at fault. What you are doing with your campaign against vaccination is undoubtedly causing harm to others. Shame on you.

  145. #145 HCN
    January 26, 2009

    Dawn spewed “Actually, HCN I wouldn’t be surprised if it was you posting those comments and posing as me. ”

    Then ask Orac to verify whether or not it is your ISP in New Hampshire. It fits your personality when you post late at night.

  146. #146 Joe T.
    January 26, 2009

    MSNBC has an interesting article on vaccine safety here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28854955/

    The article discusses a long term Italian study that addresses the thimererasol to autism (non)link.

  147. #147 Robster, FCD
    January 26, 2009

    Dawn, we have previously established that you are completely ignorant as to the definition of chemical and the concept of toxicity. Why should we accept your evidence free claims that vaccines are poisonous? What in them is poisonous at the exposure levels involved? So far, you have offered no evidence, but lots of emotion and anecdote.

    As I have said in the past, your right to not vaccinate ends where it affects public safety. Go ahead and put your kids in a non vaccinating school and we will see a vaccine preventable outbreak all too soon.

    When it endangers the lives of others, you no longer get to hide behind the false claims and lies of the antivax movement, whether you understand that they are false or not. The US has enacted quarantine for non vaccinated children in the recent past during outbreaks, and it will again.

    This isn’t to be mean or cruel, though doubtless you will interpret as so. It is in the interest of preventing a disease from killing or harming any more people, including your very own mewling brats.

    Do you get that?

    The quarantine that would result if you got your way, through spreading ignorance, would be in place to not only protect the population from the effects of a critical mass of non vaccinated individuals, but also to protect your children. The children that you, in a misguided attempt to protect from fewer potentially toxic chemicals than they would be exposed to in a glass of orange juice, chose to not protect through vaccination.

    ———–

    And if you think that was mean, Stacey (I’m not a nurse, but I play one on the internet) or any other concern troll, when there are actual lives that have been lost to antivax bullshittery, goatse. That is all.

  148. #148 D. C. Sessions
    January 26, 2009

    When it endangers the lives of others, you no longer get to hide behind the false claims and lies of the antivax movement, whether you understand that they are false or not. The US has enacted quarantine for non vaccinated children in the recent past during outbreaks, and it will again.

    $HERSELF had a really nasty nightmare a few days ago:

    It was a busy holiday weekend (schools and universities out, largish international visitor list) at our ski area, and she’s called over to the day-care center to check out a sick child. On arrival she finds the kid with fever and a flat abdominal rash. She looks in the child’s mouth and sees Koplik’s spots. Wake up sweating.

    If anyone wants to turn that into a screenplay, all we want is to be technical consultants on the ski patrol part. Locating it on the White Mountain Apache reservation would be optional.

  149. #149 JS
    January 27, 2009

    I vaguely recall from Huffington’s appearances on the old Politically Incorrect that she was anti-vax herself. The issue comes from the top down.

  150. #150 Prometheus
    January 27, 2009

    Dawn stated:


    “Actually, HCN I wouldn’t be surprised if it was you posting those comments and posing as me.”

    “Blackouts” – where people drink so much that they cannot later remember what they were doing – are a sign of late stage alcohol abuse. Get help, Dawn.

    Prometheus

  151. #151 Pablo
    January 27, 2009

    “When the antivax beliefs of you and others like you can somehow magically be confined to you alone, and not hurt your children, other kids and society as a whole, then it will just be a matter of “who is anyone to judge someone else?”

    Yep. As I said in the more recent thread, your decision to not vaccinate is putting MY child at risk. Don’t expect me to take to that all too kindly.

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