Respectful Insolence

While I’m back on the topic of vaccines….

…be sure to check out Dr. John Snyder’s article on vaccines on the official blog of the NYC Skeptics. As a pediatrician practicing in areas with high levels of resistance to vaccines, he’s on the front lines.

Comments

  1. #1 Pablo
    October 20, 2009

    Oh, Snyder’s just a pharma shill, what does he know? Just ask Jay Gordon, most pediatricians don’t support the CDC/AAP approach to vaccination.

  2. #2 Pablo
    October 20, 2009

    (Whoops, I should note the sarcasm in the previous post lest anyone come along and think I actually care what Jay Gordon thinks)

  3. #3 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 20, 2009

    Great article.
    Someone in the comments challenged the author to a “debate” with Dr. Russell Blaylock.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Blaylock

    Yeah, that would convince me.

  4. #4 Pablo
    October 20, 2009

    Is Blaylock like the posterchild for “Woo magnetism”?

    Is there a conspiracy that he doesn’t embrace?

  5. #5 John Wallach
    October 20, 2009

    Surprised to see that you didn’t pass on TDS on Glenn Beck’s anti-vaccine lunacy from last week:
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-15-2009/doubt-break–09

  6. #6 Militant Agnostic
    October 20, 2009

    Does Blaylock’s fear of aluminum (a dangerous heavy metal doncha know) prevent him from wearing his tinfoil hat?

  7. #7 Phoenix Woman
    October 20, 2009

    Does Blaylock’s fear of aluminum (a dangerous heavy metal doncha know) prevent him from wearing his tinfoil hat?

    No more than fear of toxins keeps Jenny McCarthy away from the botox or silicone.

  8. #8 Denice Walter
    October 20, 2009

    While the anti-vaxers (and other woo-boosters) cry,”Pharma shill!”,we often just go on citing facts and studies and being reasonable.I offer an additional action: we can cite how money is made by the aforementioned woo-providers and/or enablers.Some glaring examples: Wakefield had an alternative vaccine to sell; Jenny sells books,products,herself;Mike Adams sells books, products,”courses”,land in Ecuador;Somers sells books, cruises,”performances”, products on QVC;see other woo-ful websites.In some cases, it is possible to research companies’ sales and profits.(Full disclosure: my work doesn’t involve pharmaceuticals;like most people with mutual funds,I’ve probably benefitted from pharma profits in this way only).

  9. #9 Pablo
    October 20, 2009

    Denice – do not forget to add Uncle Bob Sears.

    Moreover, I described recently how Cousin Jay benefits indirectly from his “maverick” reputation. Read Snyder’s article about who is prone to avoid vaccination, and you can see that it fits in pretty well with Jay’s clientelle out their in Beverly Hills. Being known as the “anti-vax sympathetic doc” feeds right into that.

  10. #10 frank
    October 20, 2009

    suzanna somers on msnbc’s dr nancy today talking cancer and altmed

    lets hear some comments, she mentioned ny times.

  11. #11 Denice Walter
    October 20, 2009

    @ Pablo: Exactly! It seems that many of those with an “axe to grind” often also have a “purse to fill” and an “ego to feed”.

  12. #12 Chris
    October 20, 2009

    frank, try to be pateint.

  13. #13 Todd W.
    October 20, 2009

    On the financial interests front, I’ve pondered the idea of adding to my site a section on the subject, citing figures for how much the vaccines cost, how much they cost to make, how much is reimbursed by insurance, etc., as well as a section on the types of money to be made by the anti-vax treatments (chelation, anyone?), as well as how much money pharma companies and hospitals/doctors would make treating the diseases (antivirals/antibiotics, IV fluids, equipment charges, in-patient care charges, etc.).

    Unfortunately, I don’t have nearly the time or resources to put something like that together, let alone where to start looking for the numbers. If anyone has any ideas, I’m all for helping where I can and posting the results (including original source citations, where possible).

  14. #14 Chris
    October 20, 2009

    Argh, spell fail: frank, try to be patient.

  15. #15 Todd W.
    October 20, 2009

    Another idea for a web site would be one with photos and videos of children and adults who have suffered from vaccine-preventable diseases. It would provide a much needed emotional aspect to the “Why vaccinate” question, that all the studies and facts we cite just can’t get across.

    The page would definitely need a warning on the front page that the images contained within may be disturbing to some viewers.

  16. #16 Chris
    October 20, 2009

    Todd W.:

    Another idea for a web site would be one with photos and videos of children and adults who have suffered from vaccine-preventable diseases.

    That website does exist. It has stories, photos and videos that are linked to from http://www.vaccineinformation.org/.

  17. #17 Todd W.
    October 20, 2009

    @Chris

    Thanks for the link. I’ve added it to the resources section of my site.

  18. #18 Jen
    October 20, 2009

    “I offer an additional action: we can cite how money is made by the aforementioned woo-providers and/or enablers.”

    Denice – great minds think alike. I do this whenever I can. Particularly good targets are Andrew Weil and others on HuffPo. Curiously, though, my comments always get deleted…

    My favorite was a HuffPo “health” post whose author had been fined by the Federal Trade Commission for false medical claims. I simply posted a link to the FTC page (after all, a reader should know all the facts, right?) Dana Ullman rushed in to object to my post, I objected right back, and the next thing you know, the whole exchange was deleted HEE HEE. I learned a couple of things that day – HuffPo doesn’t mind if you’ve made false medical claims for profit, and the woo guys spend all day manically defending each other in blog comments. The only group I know more slavishly dedicated to blog commenting is the Scientologists.

  19. #19 MI Dawn
    October 20, 2009

    @Jen: Nice job. I’ve never posted a comment on HuffPo. I tried, but the whole ordeal and moderation gave me fits so I quit before I sent the comment. Keep on linking the facts! :)

  20. #21 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 20, 2009

    @Denice Walter:

    I offer an additional action: we can cite how money is made by the aforementioned woo-providers and/or enablers.

    I think we would want to be very careful in our use of this tactic; it could easily be twisted to make it look like we’re generally endorsing the ad hominem circumstantial fallacy.

    On the other hand, though, there are a lot of people out there who haven’t quite grasped the true landscape, and it could open their eyes if they realized just how much Wakefield, Haley, the Geiers, etc. have made and are making from Big Altie.

  21. #22 Uncle Dave
    October 20, 2009

    Ahhh yes, Dr. Snyder points out the interesting observation of socio-economic status and vaccination rates that has been addressed here in the past.

    “A healthy questioning of authority (doctors), an underlying mistrust in the competence of the government (the CDC), overt mistrust and a general level of cynicism of big business (the pharmaceutical industry), and a sense of empowerment that comes with one’s social status, all contribute to this tendency to mistrust vaccines and those who recommend them. The difference between these concerned parents and myself (also a parent), is an understanding of the scientific method and the role it plays in this issue.”

    Or as Jon Stwart would say “I think the H1N1 virus is more interested in killing you then your government is.”

  22. #23 Denice Walter
    October 20, 2009

    @ Antaeus Feldspar: Of course, we must be careful and realise how they can twist info(and how good they can be at that!).Remember,many woo-meisters present themselves as “whistle blowers”,”uncovering corrupt Big Pharma”,in short, as some sort of *protector* of public health(as strange as that may sound *to us*).They are emphatically *not* not-for-profit: they are simply businesses who advertise.Large woo-based websites often portray themselves as “educational” and “informational”,while they are there to *sell* anything and everything by saying whatever they can to make the sale.(see NaturalNews,see Gary Null, see Mercola). I rest my case.

  23. #24 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    October 20, 2009

    ORAC,

    I don’t know if you are aware of this or not but I stumbled on it today and was a little stunned at the cluelessness of The Atlantic, which by experience is usually a respectable publication, for running it.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200911/brownlee-h1n1

    It is full of bald assertions, attributions to “authorities” without references etc. and I just wondered if someone with your expertise might have some comments on some of the claims being made.

    This is not my field at all, but my initial impression is that it is BS and would appreciate your insights.

    I enjoy reading here very much.

    Cheers,

  24. #25 Krubozumo Nyankoye
    October 20, 2009

    ORAC,

    I don’t know if you are aware of this or not but I stumbled on it today and was a little stunned at the cluelessness of The Atlantic, which by experience is usually a respectable publication, for running it.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200911/brownlee-h1n1

    It is full of bald assertions, attributions to “authorities” without references etc. and I just wondered if someone with your expertise might have some comments on some of the claims being made.

    This is not my field at all, but my initial impression is that it is BS and would appreciate your insights.

    I enjoy reading here very much.

    Cheers,

  25. #26 Anon
    October 20, 2009

    Don’t know if you have seen, but on the NPR site is this:
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2009/10/mercury_in_blood_of_autistic_k.html

    No mercury found in blood of autistic kids. Anyone care to guess what the comment thread looks like?

    *sigh*

  26. #27 bcpmoon
    October 21, 2009

    Todd W.

    I found this page very interesting:

    http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/010978.html

  27. #28 Todd W.
    October 21, 2009

    Thanks, all, for the links. Looks like I’ve got a fair bit of reading to do, now. :)

  28. #29 Thomas Kluyver
    October 21, 2009

    The ‘don’t trust vaccines’ attitude seems to be all too common on this side of the Atlantic, too:
    http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?forumID=7141&sortBy=2&edition=1&ttl=20091021140332#paginator

    (N.B. While the BBC is a generally reputable source of news, their ‘Have Your Say’ comment boards are famed as a forum for idiots and bigots. I *hope* these comments are not representative of what the rest of the country thinks.)

  29. #30 wfjag
    October 21, 2009

    If Minister Louis Farrakhan believes that vaccines are developed to kill people, how can you doubt that?
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2009/10/19/Farrakhan-suspicious-of-H1N1-vaccine/UPI-63931256011008/

  30. #31 davidp
    October 21, 2009

    Ouch! I got attached by a fake anti-virus “scan” and installer when I opened the John Snyder NYSceptics.org page you referenced.

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