Respectful Insolence

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Unfortunately, Brent Spiner is not living up to Commander Data’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.

Say it ain’t so, Data! Say it ain’t so!

Last night, I decided for the heck of it to check my Twitter account, something I only tend to do sporadically, although I do keep a constant stream of links to the latest Insolence flowing, to the gratitude and awe of my followers, when I saw this Tweet directed at me from someone with the ‘nym Zombie President:

@BrentSpiner I prefer @oracknows over Dr jay gordon any day.

Huh? I wondered what was going on. One thing you should know before I continue is that Brent Spiner is an active Twitterer (although after this incident I may have to refer to him as an active twit if his response to criticism shows that he is not educable). In fact, he’s pretty darned funny at times. I recall a few months ago that he did a rather extended story in Twitter, complete with an attack on his house, his forced retreat to a safe room, and all sorts of other twists and turns, all over the course of several days. Given that I’ve been a long time Trek fan ever since I was a little kid and that I used to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation almost religiously over the course of its seven year run, with Data being one of my favorite characters, I had more than ample reason to follow Spiner’s Tweets.

Seeing the Tweet above, I looked some more. I didn’t have far to look to find this Tweet directed at me from Bandon Decker, who Tweeted:

@BrentSpiner Have you considered following @oracknows ? I find he makes much more sense than @JayGordonMDFAAP.

Uh-oh. What was this about? I had to investigate. So I went to Spiner’s Twitter feed and found this Tweet:

Check out my new follow. Dr. Jay Gordon. He makes a lot of sense.

Oh, no, this didn’t look good at all, especially when it was followed by this Tweet:

RT @MaggieL : That’d be easier if we knew his Twitter name. You mean this guy: http://www.drjaygordon.com?…

Bummer. There was no mistake. Brent Spiner appeared on the surface to have drunk deeply of the anti-vaccine Kool Aid. But was it just on the surface, or is Spiner really an anti-vaccinationist? Let’s see if we can figure it out. I waded into the Twitter exchange that followed–and was appalled.

What I next noticed was a Tweet by SusietheGeek:

@BrentSpiner Are you an antivaxxer, or just against the flu vaccine? It’s a big deal to folks, so I would like to know where you stand.

An excellent question, exactly the one I was wondering. What was Brent Spiner’s answer? This:

RT @SusietheGeek @BrentSpiner Are you an antivaxxer–Not completely. But it’s worth investigating before letting drug cos. bamboozle us.

Oh, no! “Not completely”? That implies that Brent Spiner is at least partially anti-vaccine! Worse, he’s spewing the usual conspiracy mongering paranoia about drug companies, all the while thinking that Dr. Jay Gordon is a reliable source of information about vaccines. He’s anything but, and, in case Mr. Spiner ever actually reads this, I think it’s worth showing why with a “greatest hits,” so to speak, of my previous encounters with Dr. Jay, in more or less chronologic order since 2005:

And, in case that isn’t enough, here’s a bit more from others:

I realize that I’m killing the proverbial ant with a Howitzer, but, should Mr. Spiner ever actually read this post, I want him to know that Dr. Jay Gordon, although he fervently denies that he is anti-vaccine, routinely repeats many tropes and canards spread by the anti-vaccine movement, even going so far as to speak at Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine “Green Our Vaccines” march on Washington in 2008. Not that I have a lot of hope. A little later on, Spiner Tweeted:

Have not advised anyone what to do other than to investigate all available info. If you’d rather just go with the status quo, be my guest.

Ah, yes, the famous old anti-vaccine “I’m just asking questions” or “I’m just telling you to investigate.” But where did Spiner just suggest that his 1,186,804 followers go to “investigate”? To Dr. Jay Gordon’s website! in other words, Brent Spiner apparently considers Dr. Jay Gordon to be a reliable source of information about vaccines in general and the H1N1 vaccine in particular. Yet, as has been shown time and time again on this blog and in numerous other places, Dr. Jay Gordon, whether he considers himself “anti-vaccine” or not, routinely spews the most embarrassing bits of nonsense, for instance, his most recent dropping on that repository of quackery and anti-vaccine madness, The Huffington Post, A “National Emergency?” No, a National Anxiety Attack. Similarly, he was Tweeting his usual nonsense about Gardasil, swine flu, and vaccines right before Spiner discovered him. Such, apparently, are the ideas that “make sense.” At the very least, Spiner fell for this doozy:

@unifex Anti-vaccination is an uneducated point of view. Similar to unequivocally recommending ALL vaccines.

How massive a straw man is that? Who “unequivocally recommends ALL vaccines”? I, for instance, have expressed reservations about Gardasil, not because I think the vaccine is unsafe but because I question whether its benefits are worth the high price of the vaccine and worry that it might detract from other childhood vaccines, particularly if it is mandated. I do like the typical fallacy of moderation that Dr. Jay is using. Basically, he’s trying to paint himself as being “moderate” and between what he claims to be two “extreme” positions, but that is a false impression. The only “extreme’ position is the anti-vaccine position he so frequently defends, all the while whining when he is called anti-vaccine. But here’s the problem. Science is far more on the side of the current vaccine schedule than it is on Dr. Jay’s. That’s because Dr. Jay has no evidence that vaccines cause autism or are anywhere as close to risky as going without is, and he has admitted as such. Indeed, he keeps telling us that his personal clinical experience trumps epidemiology and science. Well, he doesn’t quite tell us that, but he sure appears to believe it, because he keeps saying that vaccines cause autism but, when pressed, admits that there is no good scientific evidence to support that view and that he bases the view on his own anecdotal experience.

Such is the physician that Spiner considers to be “making sense.” He then Tweeted this:

RT @unifex Considering unfollowing @BrentSpiner due to #antivax position. –Over my position to educate yourself? Better unfollow.

And this:

They have a vaccination for Swine flu. Is there one for pig-headedness?

Good question. It sounds as though Mr. Spiner could use one.

I realize Data is a fictional character, but, even so, I wish that the spirit of Data would infuse the actor who played him and drive out the Malibu-inspired woo that has apparently lodged itself into his brain. I also encourage anyone with a Twitter account to gently try to educate Spiner regarding the error of his ways. In the meantime, I can’t help but think that Data weeps (after his emotion chip was turned on, of course) at the nonsense that Spiner has been laying down. In fact, I suggest a new hash tag for Twitter discussions of Spiner: #dataweeps.

That and #antivax.

Comments

  1. #1 Katharine
    October 29, 2009

    The dude’s an actor. You honestly expected he was going to be intelligent?

  2. #2 Noadi
    October 29, 2009

    There are plenty of intelligent actors and actresses. I was very impressed by Felicia Day’s video about galaxy collisions. Amanda Peet is pro-vaccination, Patrick Swayze condemned alternative cancer treatments while knowing he was dying of cancer. Unfortunately there are plenty of gullible actors as well

  3. #3 SciencePundit
    October 29, 2009

    He’s not Data! He’s Bob Wheeler! (That would be Fire Marshal Bill’s stupider cousin, in case you didn’t know.)

  4. #4 titmouse
    October 29, 2009

    DATA NOES MOAR DEN CDC!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5 SusietheGeek
    October 29, 2009

    Thanks for pointing all of this out. I was very disappointed in both Mr. Spiner’s antivax perspective, and his arrogant, insulting manner when I encouraged investigating scientifically accurate sites and not just any site on the Internet espousing vaccine info. While I tried to push him back to reasonable education and investigation, he continued to push the “big pharma is ripping us off” angle.Sadly, I decided to unfollow rather than to continue the debate to a point where it would have gotten ugly. If he isn’t interested in truly informing himself, I can’t force him to do it. I just don’t have to listen to his disinformation.

  6. #6 Gold (@Unifex)
    October 29, 2009

    I’ll be interested to see what @BrentSpiner settles on. He was more pushing the education angle, it was just that his initial source seems rather a let-down. Hopefully his self education will show him that that way be dragons.

  7. #7 DaveC
    October 29, 2009

    Holy smokes, guys, you’re killing the ant with a Howitzer and then nuking it from orbit. He’s never been serious on Twitter, why would he start now?

  8. #8 Gold (@Unifex)
    October 29, 2009

    DaveC: Good point. The posts don’t carry his usual “less than serious” tone though. And the defensive responses just add weight to the idea that he’s now being serious.

  9. #9 Jules
    October 29, 2009

    I have typed out this response a few times now because I feel as if I am 5 again and caught my parents putting the presents under the Christmas tree with all the tags marked from Santa.

    @7 Normally I would not take Brent seriously. However as he has decided to follow the Dr in question, this tells me he is serious as he is very picky about whom he chooses to follow.

    Given the amount of followers he has, I am very disappointed with Brent and am conflicted on whether I will continue to follow him or not. I wrote a blog about it without mentioning his name because of the respect I have for him hoping this would help resolve my conflict and bring clarity. It did not help.

  10. #10 loggi
    October 29, 2009

    god. find your self a life! whats with freedom of opinion? he just said educate yourself, i´m shure spiner thinks that people maybe are smart enough to educate themselfs not just in one way! I just don´t want a swine flue vaccine, too. like the other 88 % in germany.

  11. #11 Kim Sodano
    October 29, 2009

    I don’t even know where to start! Who is the Twit here? Perhaps its an M.D. who gives a rat’s ass about what Brent Spiner says about vaccines, and talks like Data is a real person?!? My guess is that you only posted the blog to point out that there was some mild connection between a tweet to him with your name in it and his Tweets. Those of you describing people as “antivax” sound like you are brainwashed by some cult. I think Brent was merely advocating educating ourselves before we go out and have foreign bodies and “dead viruses” injected into our bloodstreams along with who knows what else. Sounds reasonable to me. I for one have NEVER gotten flu shots and have NEVER gotten the flu. My body’s natural immune system is a strong defense and fights illness and virus without running the risk of actually coming down with flu-like symptoms after receiving the inoculation. It is my belief that we in many ways have weakened our natural immune systems with the overuse and misuse of antibiotics and other such things. I am not at all saying that no vaccines are or ever have been beneficial, there are many beneficial vaccines such as polio, measles, etc. I am just VERY wary of any flu vaccinations or anything I’m expected to unquestioningly put into my system.

  12. #12 Madove
    October 29, 2009

    I can’t see what can be wrong if somebody encourages people to think of their own, compare opinions and consider also statements out of the mass media mainstream.
    And I find it especially fine if it is done by a person who has some impact, as we see in your panicked reaction. Even if Brent seems to be serious, indeed, he never claimed tho know the final truth (and even if: stupid who believed) and didn’t even take position for one side. What’s the matter??

    And then: Indeed, he is an ACTOR. And entitled to have any opinion he wants, and entitled to say it. He never claimed to be an expert.

  13. #13 sandy
    October 29, 2009

    “Those of you describing people as “antivax” sound like you are brainwashed by some cult.” Thank you for saying that! because of this block it seems like a religious war.
    Some people maybe are a little afraid of this vaccine? And deservedly so!the qualifying period for this vaccine was not so long. Then Brent Spiner only said that: “Not completely. But it’s worth investigating before letting drug cos. bamboozle us.” Is that realy so wrong??? I don´t think so. He just said that the people should educate themselfes in all way´s not to follow him as a headman…you overact a liiitttlleee bit, don´t you think? you´ve got an other opinion but you defend it much more massiv. so, what gives you the right to say that other opinions are wrong?

  14. #14 Bruce McNeely
    October 29, 2009

    loggi, Sodano and Madove:

    Did you even read this article before you commented?
    Did you actually take in what Orac was saying?
    Are you actually 3 separate people?

  15. #15 Julian
    October 29, 2009

    “I for one have NEVER gotten flu shots and have NEVER gotten the flu.”

    Really? A few of my buddies have managed to get from point A to point B while driving under the influence and not kill anybody. Do you think it would be safe for me to do the same?

    “It is my belief that we in many ways have weakened our natural immune systems with the overuse and misuse of antibiotics and other such things.”

    My knees buckle under the weight of your body of data.

    “I just don´t want a swine flue vaccine, too. like the other 88 % in germany.”

    Fine. Can we have yours?

  16. #16 Gold (@Unifex)
    October 29, 2009

    loggi: “I just don´t want a swine flue vaccine, too. like the other 88 % in germany.”

    Hmm… I thought Germany was one country that was a little more rational on things like this.

    Can you link to the source that lists this 88% figure? Or is it just like the 65% of all statistics out there that are made up on the spot?

  17. #17 sandy
    October 29, 2009

    You got an other opinion than Mr. Spiner. I´m thrilled. And so what? Isn´t he able to have his own cause he is an actor? poor humanity.
    This is a discussion about swine flue… can´t believe it! Everyone got the right to decide on there own. Nothing else does Spiner said!
    And just before you ask me, too: yes I read the article. But if you think three people with the same opinion are the same because it´s not yours.. that´s poor…

  18. #18 seiya kino
    October 29, 2009

    Sandy, Madove, everyone who’s rsponding with insults rather than logic:

    People are reacting because Jay Gordon is part of a movement that KILLS PEOPLE. Unvaccinated children can give diseases that wold otherwise have been wiped out to other children, especially when some ‘luminaries’ in the anti-vaccine silliness recommend sending these unvaxed hazards out in public with innocent bystanders. Some of these people even recommend that parents not disclose their children’s unvaccinated status to the individuals being so exposed.

    Google pictures of people in iron lungs from polio. Read up on how people used to die of measles. Then compare that to the unproven claims, claims that even Jay Gordon admits there’s no evidence for, that childhood vaccines cause more harm than those epidemics of pain and death.

    THERE IS NO PROOF THAT VACCINES CAUSE AUTISM. THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF PROOF (genetic patterns, studies on brain structure) THAT VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.

    I do not work for drug companies. I don’t have a degree or a medical practice, I don’t even have a college education. But I do have an interest in seeing children safe and healthy, and the anti-vax movement seems directly opposed to that interest. Jenny McCarthy wants your kids to get sick so that she can get sell her books and further her personal agenda, she has said that ‘some of these diseases may have to come back’ to improve her idea of public health. That’s not logical. That’s not even humane!

    People keep saying that doctors and pharmacists are mindless, parroting monsters. From this everday person’s point of view, though, I think the anti-vax movement is projecting its own flaws on people acually trying to save lives. Thank you, Orac. And no thank you, Jenny McCarthy and Jay Gordon.

  19. #19 Dan the Man
    October 29, 2009

    Orac said:

    “Who “unequivocally recommends ALL vaccines”? I, for instance, have expressed reservations about Gardasil, not because I think the vaccine is unsafe but because I question whether its benefits are worth the high price of the vaccine and worry that it might detract from other childhood vaccines, particularly if it is mandated.”

    WTF are you talking about Orac? I for one think that everyone should get all the vaxes they are scheduled to have, including Gardasil. That vax saves lives, and to say its too expensive and not worth it? *shakes head* That sounds like the sort of thing some anti-vax freak would say.

    Gardasil should be mandated for all girls, and boys too. How the hell could it possibly detract from other childhood vaccines??? Trust me, cervical cancer is a terrible way to die. I know, because I saw my Aunt suffer from it, then die. Gardasil will save so many lives…it is worth every cent. Our Goverments can afford it, so why the hell shouldn’t they fork out the $$$$$$ for it? This is not about money anyway, its about preventing people from DYING. What price could you possibly put on that?

    Oh, and by the way, I am not a Pharma shill…just in case you want to throw that one at me.

  20. #20 Andrea R
    October 29, 2009

    I have to say, for some reason it feels very disheartening to hear about Brent Spiner’s anti-vax tendencies. I get that he’s just an actor, not his character, but you can count me among his disappointed fans.

  21. #21 Damien
    October 29, 2009

    I find it very, very funny that the three clones seem to think that educating oneself means reading the unverified and unscientific ramblings outside the medical mainstream. There is plenty of debate that rages during every pandemic, but it’s within the battlefield of science-based medicine, which is far, far harsher to stupid ideas than the internet. And guess what? Your ideas are stupid.

    There are hundreds, possibly thousands of people qualified to discuss the safety and efficacy of vaccines, but you are not among them and more importantly you are not smarter than them.

    And, BTW, @Kid Sodano – You are clearly not educating yourself correctly if you think that antibiotics have an effect on viruses. Honestly, some people are just too goddamn dumb even for the internet.

    P.S. Yes, I know my insolence was not respectful, but when someone brings some evidence to the table, then they get respect.

  22. #22 Damien
    October 29, 2009

    I find it very, very funny that the three clones seem to think that educating oneself means reading the unverified and unscientific ramblings outside the medical mainstream. There is plenty of debate that rages during every pandemic, but it’s within the battlefield of science-based medicine, which is far, far harsher to stupid ideas than the internet. And guess what? Your ideas are stupid.

    There are hundreds, possibly thousands of people qualified to discuss the safety and efficacy of vaccines, but you are not among them and more importantly you are not smarter than them.

    And, BTW, @Kid Sodano – You are clearly not educating yourself correctly if you think that antibiotics have an effect on viruses. Honestly, some people are just too goddamn dumb even for the internet.

    P.S. Yes, I know my insolence was not respectful, but when someone brings some evidence to the table, then they get respect.

  23. #23 Catherina
    October 29, 2009

    Well, Data gives the “green our vaccines” a new meaning :)

  24. #24 loggi
    October 29, 2009

    @bruce: yes of cause.. we are the same.. oh my god…
    @julian: “Fine. Can we have yours?” thats a dump comment, don´t you think?

    I work for a drug company and I know that ther are adverse effects that not be known yet! Also it is not be known what it can be exacly ! And I only talk of the swine flue vaccine, not of all vaccine. But also I remember why the Poli-Vaccine is not be used anymore! But was many years!
    some people are afraid of that flue-vaccine and they got they´re right to educate and decide for themselfes. The panic is caused on the fact that it is flue time now, but we do not know enough about that special flue to outlook exactly how the behavior of it will be.

    @Gold: I´ve got Links if you have someone to translate.
    but I don´t know if I understand you right. Of course its a statistic thing… they do not ask hole germany^^ but it is the standard.

  25. #25 ESPness
    October 29, 2009

    I for one have NEVER gotten flu shots and have NEVER gotten the flu.

    anecdote ≠ evidence

  26. #26 Shaun
    October 29, 2009

    Who gives a rat’s ass about what Brent Spiner thinks?

  27. #27 Bob O'H
    October 29, 2009

    I work for a drug company and I know that ther are adverse effects that not be known yet! Also it is not be known what it can be exacly !

    You’re not making any sense at all. How can you know things that are not known?

    @Gold: I´ve got Links if you have someone to translate.

    Put up the links, then. If Google translate isn’t up to the job, I can find plenty of people here is Frankfurt who can translate. Oh, and don’t worry about the statistics side: that’s what I do for a living.

  28. #28 Mike Barnes
    October 29, 2009

    Am I being too prosaic if I simply make the point that, so far, 108 people have died from swine flu in the UK?

    That’s why the government here is is rolling out the vaccine as a matter of urgency – it will save lives.

  29. #29 Catherina
    October 29, 2009

    loggi is probably right about the German reluctance to vaccinate. German tabloids have been peddling horror stories for months now AND they have not seen much of H1N1 activity in the whole year (1 death in a multi-morbid patient). The flu curve (influenza.rki.de – no http needed) was as flat this Summer as the previous years. Now the wave is coming I predict we’ll see a headline change very soon.

  30. #30 seiya kino
    October 29, 2009

    It’s something to mention that Brent Spiner could react poorly to his role of ‘Data’ being brought up so much. Wil Wheaton, for instance, is trying very hard to construct a career around something other than being ‘Wesley Crusher’. Brent Spiner might be more willing to embrace the woo partly because it breaks the way he’s been typecast as a scientific, cold machine from his time on ‘Star Trek’.

  31. #31 Blue Genes
    October 29, 2009

    Remember:

    bortaS bIr jablu’DI’ reH QaQqu’ nay’

  32. #32 attack_laurel
    October 29, 2009

    Wow. Do people Google for Spiner’s name and go trolling, or something?

    All you sudden Spiner trolls: It’s *extremely* relevant to talk about what celebrities are saying about vaccines, because the US (and the UK, too, I guess, though I haven’t lived there for a while) is absolutely *gaga* about the opinions of celebrities, valuing them far more than the opinions and information they get from scientists. When celebrities take foolish positions, people follow because they admire the celebrity, and erroneously assume that famous=smart. When people can die as a result, it becomes a very serious issue (Damn your black heart Jenny McCarthy!).

    Look at the damage Oprah and Suzanne Sommers have done and tell me that it’s stupid to worry about what celebrities say.

  33. #33 winnipoo
    October 29, 2009

    Can´t believe this discussion.
    All that Spiner said was that there are more opinions than one. Do you realy read what HE twittert? EDUCATE!But you only reproached him for what he hasn´t say. Better educating yourself instead of writing here.
    So, I do will have a vaccination but this is an idiotic discussion and it ridicule the right of free opinion. As somebody here said already.
    bye!

  34. #34 IanW
    October 29, 2009

    The “Commander Data” character was one of the dumbest characters ever to appear in Star Trek.
    I know Star Trek feels an overwhelming need to include a cast member who plays the ‘dumb human’ surrogate to ask questions on our behalf: Spock was “it” in TOS, Data in TNG, Seven of Nine became “it” in STV, they again went with a Vulcan in “Enterprise” in the form of T’Pol, but really, do these surrogates need to be so pedantic, blind and dumb that they really don’t honestly represent the Star Trek viewership at all? Seriously? Or are Star Trek viewers very nearly as dumb as their surrogates imply?

  35. #35 Orac
    October 29, 2009

    Ah, Winnipoo and the various fanboys (and girls) of Brent Spiner obviously haven’t actually, you know, read what I wrote and, you know, actually read some of the links. Let’s put it this way. Spiner only follows seven Twitter feeds. He is very selective. One of those, he just announced, is Dr. Jay Gordon, who to him “makes sense.” Dr. Gordon has a long history of association with the anti-vaccine movement (no matter how much he denies he is anti-vaccine), including being Jenny McCarthy’s son’s pediatrician. He routinely says the most ignorant things about vaccines and passionately believes in spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary that vaccines cause autism.

    No, Winnipoo, Spiner’s call to “education” is to read antivax sites. Also remember that, when asked point blank whether he is anti-vaccine, he said “not entirely,” which implies that he is mostly anti-vaccine.

  36. #36 loggi
    October 29, 2009

    I´m sorry I mean that there are adverse effects but we don´t know witch exactly . It was not enough time to test it in a long run.
    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/medizin/0,1518,656151,00.html
    http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,655762,00.html
    first one got tree parts.
    and I have to say that I´m not agree with all of it, but in most scientific aspects.

    http://www.heute.de/ZDFheute/inhalt/12/0,3672,7912076,00.html
    http://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/70037/umfrage/impfung-gegen-schweinegrippe/
    at home I´ve got more. I´m at work, so I don´t have the time to google the links. but maybe thats enough to understand that the people are not shure about that over here.
    The links are from the media over here, I´ve got “official” too, if you want so.

    till last month died ca. 3000 people worldwide on A/H1N1 thats official. and only in germnany died ca. 15.000 / Year on the normal Influenza…

    “1 death in a multi-morbid patient” yeah.. we have tree, but 2 of them “count”. one have got previous diseases.

    “”not entirely,” which implies that he is mostly anti-vaccine.” And there we go again with YOUR opinion!

  37. #37 SusietheGeek
    October 29, 2009

    I was concerned with Mr. Spiner’s opinons because he has a lot of loyal followers who may give his opinion scientific credence, and because he was specifically endorsing Dr. Jay Gordon, who is definitely a bad source of vaccine information. I have no trouble with educating yourself about vaccines; however, you do have to use your critical thinking skills when choosing which sites to depend on for your information. And there are several points to consider here – childhood vaccines and the annual flu vaccines. I have done the research and get my kids all the vaccines that our pediatrician recommends, but I haven’t always gotten them the flu vaccines annually. This year, with H1N1 going around in our community and the severity of the condition, I am trying to get it for them. Supply is spotty, however, so I am having trouble. Lumping all these vaccines into one category is not helpful – flu vaccines are always rushed, and in most cases they are the experts’ best guesses what viruses will go around in a given year. I consider that when deciding if and when to get them for my kids. The H1N1 vaccine was created in a hurry, but it is a known virus going around right now, so the vaccine for it is much more likely to be helpful than a typical flu vaccine. So I do call for people to educate themselves, talk to their pediatricians and make the best decision for themselves and their kids. And if you don’t have a pediatrician you can talk to and trust, then you need to find a new one.

  38. #38 Markus Hirsch
    October 29, 2009

    loggi’s numbers seem, sadly, not to be that far off the point. Several German articles report that two thirds plan not to vaccinate. Interestingly, this insurance company found that about one quarter of their customers with “Abitur” or “Realschulabschluss” (two forms of school diploma; the first a prerequisite for attending university) plan to get vaccinated, as opposed to 55% of those “ohne Schulabschluss” (drop-outs).

  39. #39 Ramel
    October 29, 2009

    “Educate yourself” has become the new “teach the controversy”, wonderful…

  40. #40 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 29, 2009

    Dear Mr. Spiner –

    If you are truly interested in “educating yourself”, then you should educate yourself about one simple fact and its meaning:

    The simple fact: Jay Gordon repeatedly claims that his own personal clinical experience is more significant and revealing of scientific truth than actual scientific studies which may well involve the rigorously studied clinical experiences of practitioners in the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions.

    The meaning: Jay Gordon has no clue about science. If you wanted to find out how many people in the greater Los Angeles area had heard yet about the new TNG movie, would you conduct a survey and ask hundreds of randomly selected Los Angelenos whether they were aware such a movie was about to open? Or would you base all your decisions on the word of one film executive who said “Well, I heard about it right away and my personal experience is more important than any old survey”?

    Part of “educating yourself,” Mr. Spiner, is learning that some of the people who claim they can give you greater knowledge only think they have greater knowledge. I will be the first to admit, Jay Gordon really sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. He really knows how to look like he has a consistent, well-thought-out position based on the facts.

    But it’s not consistent. It’s not well-thought-out. And it’s not based on the facts.

  41. #41 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    I thought Germany was one country that was a little more rational on things like this.

    Leider nein. There is a very active naturopathy movement in Germany. They are, however, more rational than the US in that they at least require manufacturers of “supplements” and other such scams to prove that what’s inside the box is what’s listed on the label. So if you buy, say, echinacea made in Germany or for the German market it is at least likely to contain echinacea instead of random plants or ephedrine or other random potentially dangerous substances.

  42. #42 JohnV
    October 29, 2009

    I think I got an anti-vax bingo just from post 11.

  43. #43 Esther
    October 29, 2009

    I happened upon Brent Spiner’s Twitter feed several months ago – someone who follows me is also his follower. Having rather liked him in his role as Data and thinking him a brilliant actor, I was sorely disappointed to find his tweets shallow, inane and incredibly self-centered. Sorry to say that his infatuation with Jay Gordon isn’t all that surprising.

  44. #44 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    Re Data as Sherlock Holmes: Remember, AC Doyle believed seances were real and other such nonsense. Few people actually live up to their reputations.

  45. #45 kwombles
    October 29, 2009

    Disappointing as Spiner’s appreciation for Gordon is, telling him Data weeps sure doesn’t seem like it’s going to convince him he’s wrong. And tweeting him to tell him he’s wrong is more likely to make him more polarized in his beliefs.

  46. #46 Deb
    October 29, 2009

    ‘Educate yourself’ is being used by anti-vaxxers in the same way as ‘balance.’ It sounds reasonable, who could object to finding out the facts for themselves? Except when people don’t know enough to evaluate either the sources or the information for themselves, then a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing.
    Unfortunately people DO associate Spiner with Data – that’s how our brains work. So when he suggests something that sounds reasonable people will listen, and that’s why it needs to be pointed out how wrong he is in this case.

  47. #47 Dangerous Bacon
    October 29, 2009

    In my community we have people waiting patiently on long lines and in bad weather to take advantage of the limited supplies of H1N1 vaccine. They’ve educated themselves about the risks this influenza strain poses, especially to children, younger adults and pregnant women. They’re taking wise precautions, noting that for one thing the pediatric death toll in the U.S. from late August to October already exceeded the usual number of child flu deaths in an entire average flu season.

    The public response here has been heartening. It’s too bad that others, who haven’t taken the trouble to learn about medical history and how vaccines work will need to learn the hard way – when severe preventable illness strikes them or their families and friends.

  48. #48 ignatx topolino
    October 29, 2009

    That’s an awfully nice picture of Brent Spiner acting the role of Data acting the role of Sherlock Holmes. Surely I can’t be the only one who remembers that Arthur Conan Doyle believed in fairies, while Holmes once said, “No ghosts need apply.” Writers and actors are not the characters they create, however noble we fans may find those characters. This is a bit like being disappointed to learn that Picasso’s eyes weren’t both on one side of his face.

  49. #49 Todd W.
    October 29, 2009

    Dear Mr. Spiner (and his supportive fans in this thread),

    I couldn’t agree more, that people should educate themselves about vaccines. They should read the labels and packaging, asking their doctor questions if there is anything they do not understand. They should also pay a visit to the CDC and FDA web sites to read their information on vaccines, which is presented in a very easy-to-read format. If they are going to visit sites that talk about vaccines outside of CDC and FDA, then I recommend Science-Based Medicine, which has had quite a number of posts on influenza in general, H1N1 in particular and vaccines. Another site I’d recommend is a layperson’s attempt to dispel some of the common myths and misconceptions around vaccines: antiantivax.flurf.net (can be accessed by clicking my name).

    Dr. Gordon does, indeed, sound like he’s making sense. His web site and posts give the impression that he actually has facts to back up the ideas he spews forth. Yet, when pressured for evidence, he quickly admits that he has no science or reliable facts to back up his claims, only his personal experience. Unfortunately, personal experience just doesn’t cut it when we’re discussing matters of science and health policy.

    So, yes, educate yourself, but go to the science. If medical journals like JAMA, NEJM or Lancet are too difficult to understand, go to organizations whose primary purpose is to ensure the protection, safety and health of the people, like the CDC. Check the sources of the information you read. Ask for citations. Take an intro course or read a good immunology textbook. Talk to your doctor, particularly if you might be at risk for adverse reactions (e.g., allergic to eggs). Don’t take some celebrity’s word for it. Hell, don’t even take my word for it. Above all, use critical thought, even if what you find goes against your preconceptions.

  50. #50 Pablo
    October 29, 2009

    Dr. Jay has no evidence that vaccines cause autism or are anywhere as close to risky as going without is, and he has admitted as such. Indeed, he keeps telling us that his personal clinical experience trumps epidemiology and science. Well, he doesn’t quite tell us that

    Oh but he DOES. He has said it straight out that his experience trumps any scientific studies. Although it’s kind of confusing, because he has also decreed that his approach of using his experience is actually a better way of doing science than using systematically controlled studies, so it’s not clear what he meant when he said that his experience is more important than science.

  51. #51 Squiddhartha
    October 29, 2009

    Esther, having spent some time assisting Mr. Spiner at a science fiction convention, I can attest that the “shallow, inane, and self-centered” aspect of many of his tweets is something of a put-on; he has a very dry sense of humor, and is quite intelligent. He is not, however, a scientist, and I can only hope that Orac’s (and others’) attempts at steering him in the right direction are fruitful…

  52. #52 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    This is a bit like being disappointed to learn that Picasso’s eyes weren’t both on one side of his face.

    THEY WEREN’T?!!

    From what I’ve heard, Picasso was a jerk too. Doesn’t change his talent though. And Spiner’s gullibity on vaccination doesn’t change his acting.

  53. #53 Brent Spiner
    October 29, 2009

    Hello. I’m not actually a hyper-logical genius; I merely play one on TV.

    You may have heard “there’s no such thing as ghosts.” I don’t entirely disagree. But you should check out my psychic friend John Edwards. He makes a lot of sense.

    I’m not telling you what to believe. I’m just saying, educate yourself.

  54. #54 loggi
    October 29, 2009

    You block the people who got a other opinion? YEAH! that shows how shure you are on this block! The links that I send you are out of two named papers over here! Just to show why the public in Germany is afraid of this vaccination, because some people was interessted. Thats not a Pro or Contra, that the people don´t know what to do is a fact over here and only a information! But you seemed not interested neither in other opinions nor in the fears of people in other nation. That shows a lot!
    And of course you get your own links wrong! ONLY 25% with abi are WILLING to get a vaccination!! that´s the “high ones” if you want so. And as lower the college education goes the people are more WILLING to get a vatioccinn. Thant´s against your Opinion not in favour of it!!
    Sorry. This Block is a shame cuz it only reflected the opinion that YOU like. Thats a waste of time for all smart beeings!

  55. #55 Diane
    October 29, 2009

    But “educating yourself” is really really hard to do right. Immunology is hard. Relative risk is also hard. Really hard. You can read the inserts all you want, but for most of us, they sort of read like a fortune cookie or an ink blot. You find what you want to find. Most of us are not equipped to properly translate those inserts.
    So when people are “educating themselves” they are looking for people who are saying things they want to hear.
    I think trusting the scientific consensus is a good way to go.

  56. #56 Todd W.
    October 29, 2009

    @loggi

    Umm…if you included more than one link in your post, it went into moderation automatically. Part of an automatic spam filter. Your post should appear once Orac has a moment to review it. Patience.

  57. #57 Ramel
    October 29, 2009

    Er loggi, would you mean the post @36?

  58. #58 Militant Agnostic
    October 29, 2009

    Don’t Green Our Vaccines, Maroon Our Whackaloons instead.

  59. #59 Pablo
    October 29, 2009

    I’m not telling you what to believe. I’m just saying, educate yourself.

    You don’t “educate yourself” in chemistry by reading up on the wisdom of the alchemists. Oh sure, it’s great for a laugh, but it isn’t teaching you chemistry.

  60. #60 Vindaloo
    October 29, 2009

    It’s the march of the Brent Break Lemmings! Is the Commander in on this save-Spiner-at-all-cost comment fest?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120370/

    Someone please post a link to the Evil Kirk SNL skit.

  61. #61 Berner
    October 29, 2009

    @#59 Pablo

    The only thing that alchemy was useful for was it’s glassware. However, I do plan to get the alchemist phrase “Solve et Coagula” tattooed on me somewhere even though I’m a chemist. It’s just too bad-ass not to.

  62. #62 Dan Weber
    October 29, 2009

    If you put Lt Cmd Data in a, y’know, bomb, and threw the bomb at your neighbor for letting his dog poop in your yard literally, the bomb would explode.

  63. #63 Electric Landlady
    October 29, 2009

    Regarding the 88% of people in Germany who say they will not get the vaccine, I think this is what loggi was referring to: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/339/oct21_2/b4335

    At best, this situation seems to have been really badly handled.

  64. #64 Katharine
    October 29, 2009

    Brent Spiner’s reference to John Edwards makes me wonder if he’s attempting to pull the non-fundie equivalent of a Poe on us.

    Because if he also thinks psychics are legitimate, I think we can safely call him a whackaloon.

  65. #65 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    Recent polls show that only 12% of Germans definitely plan to be vaccinated against H1N1, with 19% saying that they will probably have the vaccine.

    The above quote is from the BMJ article. It says something different from what loggi said: According to the poll cited, at least 31% of Germans surveyed are very likely to get vaccinated. The numbers for “maybe” or “unsure” are not listed. That is not at all the same as 88% saying that they definitely won’t get it.

  66. #66 Pablo
    October 29, 2009

    The only thing that alchemy was useful for was it’s glassware.

    I enjoy reading stuff about the old guys, though. Pericelsus is probably my favorite. I’ve related this story before. Doctors are actually very familiar with Pericelsus because he is the one credited with the concept, “The dose makes the poison,” talking about how everything will kill you if you take too much.

    If you look up Pericelsus on Wikipedia, you read that he died of “natural causes” at age 49. I have an old source (1880s) that suggests otherwise. See, Pericelsus was among those alchemists who thought they had found the elixer of life in alcohol, and it appears that the guy who is famous for the “dose makes the poison” concept actually drank himself to an early death!

    Oh that crazy Bombastus!

  67. #67 Todd W.
    October 29, 2009

    @Katharine

    Mouse over Brent Spiner’s name in that post, and you might get a hint about who actually posted it.

  68. #68 BA
    October 29, 2009

    Katharine,

    Hover over the name. You’ll see that titmice are funny.

  69. #69 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    October 29, 2009

    This is the funniest set of posts ever aggregated in Orac’s house.

    You HAVE to watch “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s a wonderful TV show and it’s just plain . . . you!!!!!

    I look forward to the next post focused on an actor’s fictional character. I vote for Bambi or Ross from “Friends.”

    Best,

    Jay

  70. #70 Katharine
    October 29, 2009

    I see.

    Must ingest more caffeine. :D

  71. #71 Ivy McAllister
    October 29, 2009

    To the people who have the “he’s just an actor, who cares what he says” attitude: It’s not a case of expecting him to be more intelligent than the average person–it’s more an issue of his popularity giving him (an average person, if not a bit above) the ability to influence other average people when he is, in fact, no real authority on vaccination. (Just as Jim Carrey, Jenny McCarthy, and Bill Maher have no special credentials that lend them any credence when they talk about such things.)

    Mr. Spiner’s opinions have weight simply because of his immense popularity, and popularity translates into power. And as most sci-fi geeks already know… With great power comes great responsibility. :)

    In this case, I’m torn. Mr. Spiner has every right to his opinions and, like everyone else, he has every right to voice them via his social media outlets of choice. His celebrity status, however, makes me wish he’d stay out of the fray where issues of public health are concerned.

  72. #72 Orac
    October 29, 2009

    But, Dr. Jay, my post is actually at least as much about you as it is about Brent Spiner. You’re also being disingenuous, as it was quite clear that my invocation of Data was a literary device (if you can call anything on this blog “literary”) to make my point.

    I do love “The Big Bang Theory,” though.

  73. #73 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 29, 2009

    But you should check out my psychic friend John Edwards.

    If he’s so psychic, how come he didn’t foresee that he would get caught cheating on his wife?

  74. #74 Pablo
    October 29, 2009

    I do love “The Big Bang Theory,” though.

    I like it as a show fine. As a friend of mine has said, it reminds me of how we were in college.

    But that is also my problem with it. They act like college _students_, not working adults. In particular, for young faculty, who are supposedly brilliant go-getters, they don’t work very much, and spend way too much time doing stuff like hanging out at comic book stores.

  75. #75 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    October 29, 2009

    Dr. Jay, It’s wonderful how you glossed over the links to the information about you and your anti-vax anti-science campaign and focusing on the vehicle instead of the cargo.

  76. #76 MC
    October 29, 2009

    Brent Spiner’s comment that Data is a fictional character is rather odd.

    Consider the CD he put out:
    http://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Eyes-Back-Brent-Spiner/dp/B00000DPEY

    Ol’ Yellow Eyes is Back.

    I guess referring to his former character is OK when he does it to promote his CD, but not OK when you do it.

  77. #77 Dangerous Bacon
    October 29, 2009

    If the science doesn’t impress Brent Spiner, maybe it’d help if we point out that following Jay Gordon for the lowdown on vaccines is like consulting the Klingon Empire for help in achieving galactic peace.

  78. #78 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    I always love the “vaccines are just to make money for Big Pharma” argument.

    The H1N1 influenza seems to put lots of kids, young adults and pregnant women on respiratory support (the weekly plots here are scary because the slope is still positive!). Having had a kid requiring a milder form of respiratory support (mostly a blow-by tube with extra oxygen, and some meds to help breathe during serious bouts of croup) I know that stuff costs a whole lot more than a vaccine.

    It is also my understanding that the anti-virals that are given early in cases of influenza infections also cost quite a bit.

    So please, someone explain to me how preventing disease through vaccination makes more money for pharma companies. Because that really baffles me.

  79. #79 FF
    October 29, 2009

    Brent Spiner just said: “I never said I was antivaxx in any statement yesterday. But I received so many responses condemning me for that. And many unfollowed. Well that’s America folks. Freedom of speech, freedom of choice.”
    thank you brent, that shows backbones.. more than this blog do. don´t ever chance, you rock!

  80. #80 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    FF:

    thank you brent, that shows backbones.. more than this blog do. don´t ever chance, you rock!

    Gotta love the celebrity worship! Actually, that does not show “backbone”, it is a weasel comment. Freedom of speech is fine, but one should not use it to spread misinformation.

    A word of advice to the celebrity fankids: the job of someone who has acted on a TV show is to entertain you for just the period you are watching them… outside of that, they are best ignored. Just as you would not go to a lawyer for medical advice, do not go to an actor for medical advice.

  81. #81 Marcus Ranum
    October 29, 2009

    I find it interesting that people care more about what “Data” thinks (because he plays a smart guy on TV) than what “The Mask” – Jim Carrey – thinks. Presumably that’s because Carrey plays an idiot in movies. Both Carrey and Spiner have high school educations plus a bit of college and school of hard knocks; what do you expect? You can play a rocket scientist on TV but that doesn’t make you one in real life.

  82. #82 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    So please, someone explain to me how preventing disease through vaccination makes more money for pharma companies. Because that really baffles me.

    They don’t. Vaccines are money losers for the most part. Even the “expensive” ones like HPV and hep B aren’t big money makers. Compare $300 x 1 or even x 3 to $200/pill for a chemotherapeutic agent that someone who contracts cancer has to take for the rest of their life…if the conspiracy theorists had any sense they’d be complaining about how Big Pharma suppresses vaccine research so that they can make money on less effective and less elegant cures.

  83. #83 buche
    October 29, 2009

    Read this while sipping my hot cocoa this morning:

    “It should be easy but it never is, not with the uber democracy ushered in by the Web, where it is written that a) there are no baseline facts, only opinions; b) everyone is entitled to an opinion and to express it loudly; c) all opinions are equal and d) the informed opinion, i.e. Mr. Frist’s, is given no more weight than the uninformed one, i.e. Mr. Maher’s or even the lunatic one, i.e. Ghis’s.”

    If anyone feels like recommending the good comments on the Globe website, please do. In the past few days, the antivaxxers have been going at it with glee.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/flu-shot-skeptics-weave-a-web-of-lies/article1343060/

  84. #84 Joreth
    October 29, 2009

    @Pablo

    This is a bit off-topic, but with regards to how the characters in Big Bang Theory act … well, it seems to be a social phenomenon that “adolescence” is lasting much later into adulthood than in previous generations. I wish I had the link to support this, but there was a sociological review done on the trend of “hip” being set by the “middle age” crowd, as opposed to the teen/twenty-something crowd of earlier eras.

    Movies and video games are being heavily marketed towards adults as much as to kids. The tween YA novels are HUGE favorites of adults well into their 40s.

    And for completely unscientific anecdotal data, the characters act pretty much like exaggerated versions of my own friends, who are in their 30s and 40s. Of course, it’s a sitcom, so, by definition, they are caricatures and not accurate portrayals.

    But, also being a sitcom, the show would be incredibly boring if we focused any time on their daily lives while at work. The humor comes from the interaction between the characters, which happens off the clock. And certainly all of my geek friends spend an inordinate amount of time while not at work at comic book shops, movie theatres, restaurants, playing video games, and generally just geeking out.

    Sorry to hijack the thread. The original topic was interesting, but everyone was already saying what I wanted to say, which is that it’s Spiner’s popularity that makes the expression of his woo a topic of concern. Of course he’s allowed to believe whatever he wants to believe, but his beliefs happen to be wrong and his celebrity status spreads his incorrect beliefs much faster than all the correction made by respectable and knowledgeable scientists can provide.

    “Educate yourself” does not mean what it seems to mean when the only source you provide to educate someone with is a known quack and you publicly declare your support for him. Just like “teach the controversy” is BS when there IS no actual controversy in scientific circles. Not all ideas and opinions deserve equal time. Some are just wrong and people with celebrity status have some responsibility to bear when they publicly declare support for ideas that affect the public health.

  85. #85 DFS
    October 29, 2009

    The White House announced that first daughters Sasha and Malia received the vaccine last week.

  86. #86 Bronze Dog
    October 29, 2009

    Get a life!” responses really sicken me. It’s like a descent into cartoon villainy: “Your compassion makes you weak!”

  87. #87 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    The “Get a life!” comments are particularly silly from celebrity fankids.

  88. #88 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    I was a pediatric RN for many years and alarmed at the age and amount of vaccines given to kids.

    I have given NEWBORNS vaccinations in their FIRST HOURS OF LIFE. You people think this is acceptable? That this should not be questioned?

    Medical science has proven that infants do not have an immune response, hence the need for breastmilk. Why are we giving these vaccines then? Answer that one.

    Brent Spiner said to “be informed.” He did not advise anyone to not get vaccinated.

    Jenny McCarthy may be wrong about the link between vaccines/autism but she’s raising the issue and that’s the point, that we question the use of vaccines.

  89. #89 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    October 29, 2009

    David!

    “TBBT” is my favorite show. It’s finally getting the recognition it deserves and I really do think that presentations by Prometheus, Pablo and others would fit right into the scripts.

    Mr. Spiner merely noted that my point of view is worth looking at. I have linked many people to your site because I think your point of view is worth looking at.

    I always appreciate being called a “known quack” because I think that being an unknown quack would be even more sad.

    Sometimes, during my check ups with two, three, or four-year-olds, I’ll announce that “it’s time to look at your ears” and they’ll loudly say ‘no!” I’ll loudly joke back, “yes” and they’ll yell “no” and we do 3 or 4 cycles before I finally loudly say, “NO!!” They smile or laugh and yell yes.

    This group reminds of that toddler scenario: I offer a reasonable approach to the H1N1 vaccine supported by many scientists, reasonable theoretical thought, and a tack being recommended by our government and used by many doctors. Rather than looking at the possibility that there’s validity to using our limited supply of H1N1 vaccines selectively for higher risk children and adults, the chorus here shouts back “NO!!”

    Pretty funny, actually. And a little sad.

    Best,

    Jay

  90. #90 Dangerous Bacon
    October 29, 2009

    Chris: “So please, someone explain to me how preventing disease through vaccination makes more money for pharma companies. Because that really baffles me.”

    Chris, you just don’t understand how Big Pharma operates. Aside from their making tons of money on vaccines (which explains why so many companies have gone out of the vaccine business in recent decades), the vaccines don’t work and besides are jammed full of aluminum, antifreeze, aborted fetus parts, monkey pus* and (as an alert poster in this thread pointed out) DEAD VIRUSES, which depress our immune function and make us sicker, and ever more dependent on all those Big Pharma drugs, which will kill us unless (like Suzanne Somers) we quickly detox them from our systems. Those who avoid the vaccines are in danger of being disappeared into FEMA detention camps (Health Ranger Mike Adams’ warnings along these lines are worth sober consideration) and treated with concentrated electromagnetic pulse radiation and chemtrails until they are “re-educated” into Obama worshipers.

    It’s still not to late to educate yourself on the diabolical schemes currently underfoot.
    And do follow Dr. Jay – for he is truly the Pied Piper of the Antivax movement.

    *As Peter Bowditch says, we must never fail to mention the monkey pus.

  91. #91 Siamang
    October 29, 2009

    I used to work at Paramount when they were making Star Trek.

    I wept when I saw Brent in full Data makeup and costume, smoking a cigarette.

    Yeah, he’s a great one to give health advice.

    Also, also: his singing sucks.

  92. #92 mariane
    October 29, 2009

    I’ll go out on a limb here and say that not only was Tawny never a pediatric RN, but she hasn’t even opened a book on pediatrics.

  93. #93 Igor
    October 29, 2009

    Telling people to be informed about the vaccines and sending them to Dr. Gordon’s site is like telling people to be informed about Judaism and sending people to Stormfront. Ok, that’s a bit unfair, cause AoA is the Stormfront of anti-vax movement, but you get my drift.

  94. #94 Joseph
    October 29, 2009

    You do see what Dr. Jay is doing, right? He’s basically saying Orac and his regular readers (namely Prometheus, Pablo, etc.) are a bunch of geeks, and therefore wrong.

    It’s an ad hominem abusive type, perhaps circumstantial.

  95. #95 Siamang
    October 29, 2009

    Monkey pus?!?!?

    Crap!!! I just got a shot of MONKEY PUS!!?!

    Anyway, I got the flu shot last week, like I do every year.

    My wife said “why do you always get that? Like you have to worry. You NEVER get sick.”

    Gee… funny how that works, huh?

  96. #96 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    Excuse me, Mariane? Over the years I’ve saved many people’s lives, in and out of the hospital. How about you?

    But one doesn’t have to be a nurse to question the use of vaccines.

    I want someone who thinks we shouldn’t question giving all these vaccines to answer this: What is the exact effect of all the various vaccines and their adjuvants on the human body?

  97. #97 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny:

    What is the exact effect of all the various vaccines and their adjuvants on the human body?

    Good, you go research that and come back to us later with your conclusions. Remember that random websites, anecdotes, news reports, and comments that we should research it ourselves is not sufficient. Remember to include the journal, title, authors and date of the papers you reference so that we can find them through PubMed (and then get the papers through a good university and/or medical school library).

    Remember the only adjuvant approved in the USA is the same stuff used in making pickles.

    By the way, we are wary of people making claims when they cannot be backed up. One person claimed to have reported a vaccine injury on VAERS, forgetting that information is publicly available. No report matching the story was found, and this person quietly went away.

    You are entitled to your opinion, but not to making up your own facts.

  98. #98 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    Chris, the point of my asking it is that the question cannot be answered.

    No one knows exactly what these vaccines and their adjuvants are doing to the body. That’s not an opinion.

  99. #99 DaveL
    October 29, 2009

    I for one think that everyone should get all the vaxes they are scheduled to have, including Gardasil.

    Even then, you aren’t recommending all vaccines, just the ones that are on the CDC recommended vaccine schedules. Those don’t include many approved vaccines like Japanese encephalitis, Yellow Fever, Anthrax, Rabies, or Smallpox. Even if you recommended all approved vaccines you’d be leaving out a host of unapproved or experimental vaccines.

    Recommending all vaccines would indeed be an extreme position. I, however, have never heard anyone advocate such a position. Trying to equate that with recommending the full CDC schedule, which is a subset of vaccines that have undergone safety, effectiveness, and cost/benefit analysis by experts in the field, is staggeringly dishonest.

  100. #100 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    DEAD VIRUSES, which depress our immune function

    First thought on reading that…is our immune system depressed because it sees the poor, innocent virus lying there dead or is it just disappointed because the virus is dead and therefore not invading cells and reproducing and so the immune system doesn’t have as many targets as it would like? Second thought involved the use of prozac as an adjuvant and it went even further downhill from there.

  101. #101 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny (skipping out of homework):

    No one knows exactly what these vaccines and their adjuvants are doing to the body. That’s not an opinion.

    So you have never heard of PubMed. Color me not surprised.

  102. #102 DaveL
    October 29, 2009

    No one knows exactly what these vaccines and their adjuvants are doing to the body. That’s not an opinion.

    I hate to burst your bubble but no one knows exactly what effects yodeling has on the body.

  103. #103 Noadi
    October 29, 2009

    I’m also calling BS on “Tawny” being a nurse. I have known many many nurses and none would ever claim that they’ve saved many lives as justification for a position. It’s an abuse of their profession and they would be incredibly offended by it.

    What is the effect of all those vaccines? How about children living to adulthood? We no longer have a child mortality rate so high that every couple could expect to lose a child to an infectious disease. That’s made possible by vaccines, antibiotics, and clean water.

    In my entire life I’ve never seen anyone with measles or mumps, I was born AFTER small pox was wiped off the planet. I shouldn’t have the fear my grandparents did of these diseases but instead because of antivaccinationists I’m terrified that my newborn nephew is going to contract pertussis due to other people not vaccinating.

  104. #104 T. Bruce McNeely
    October 29, 2009

    What is the exact effect of all the various vaccines and their adjuvants on the human body?

    They stimulate the production of antibodies against various diseases, preventing the contracting of those diseases upon exposure. Doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.

  105. #105 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    But there are decades of research on vaccines, their various formulations, their effectiveness and safety.

  106. #106 tl
    October 29, 2009

    Medical science has proven that infants do not have an immune response, hence the need for breastmilk.

    Wow! Two completely incorrect statements of fact in one sentence!

    1) Unless premature, Human babies are born with a functioning immune system that has been bolstered with antibodies passed through the placenta. The data from vaccination shows that babies do indeed produce an active immune response when exposed to antigens. While they don’t have the complete immune response at birth, vaccines are designed to work with the type of response the baby’s do have.

    2) Although breast milk contains antibodies, the ones absorbed by the baby’s intestine are the ones used by the mucus system and help ward off infections of the eye, nose, lung, and digestive system. They do not absorb the antibodies to fight off things like measles mumps and rubella from breast milk.

  107. #107 cervantes
    October 29, 2009

    Jay Gordon may be all you say he is, but I took the time to read the HuffPost essay “A national emergency?” and actually, I have to say, it’s perfectly respectable. The dangers and importance of the novel H1N1 virus have indeed been greatly overhyped, it’s just ordinary flu, and the risk of serious disease in otherwise healthy people is indeed extremely small. That’s all he says there, and it’s true. He goes out of his way to say it’s a real drag when somebody does get seriously ill, that people with risk factors should be vaccinated, and his only objection to mass vaccination is that it might mean people who should be first in line get shunted aside. He’s not against the vaccine, he just says safety should be carefully monitored.

    I don’t know what you’re objecting to in all that.

  108. #108 Todd W.
    October 29, 2009

    @Tawny

    Vaccines with and without adjuvants produce immune responses so that the individual does not suffer from infection of the disease being prevented. They also can have some uncommon side effects, such as redness, pain or itching at the injection site, as well as some rare effects like fever or diarrhea. Extremely rarely, more serious effects can occur.

    In short, they save lives with a small to remote chance of a mild adverse reaction and an even smaller chance of something more serious (a risk still less than the risk of serious complications from the prevented disease).

    Who knows this? The vaccine manufacturers, the FDA, doctors and anyone that bothers to read the package inserts for the vaccines.

  109. #109 Katharine
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny:

    The newborn immune system, when faced with a dead virus (that’s the operating term here: dead) is not under attack from the virus. Even prior to breastfeeding, when the mother’s antibodies provide passive resistance against a bunch of other diseases, the newborn immune system is capable of producing antibodies (the passive resistance doesn’t mean the child can’t produce antibodies; it just means the antibodies from the mother are an extra shield). So this is somewhat similar to the action of breastfeeding, except the antibodies are generated right there. They do have an immature immune system and cannot mount an effective response to full-blown disease, but vaccines with a certain class of chemical called a TLR8 agonist triggers a robust immune response similar to that of adults that facilitates antibody production. Someone with a better knowledge of immunology than I, please, correct me if necessary.

    Regarding adjuvants, most of them are compounds that are already heavily ingested by people and are not going to screw up your immune system; caffeine is the most widely abused drug in the world, and squalene is produced by the body and it is in olive oil. I don’t know enough about the other adjuvants to make any more detailed a judgement other than all the vaccines I’ve had haven’t hurt me a bit, and that pretty much every vaccine I’m aware of seems to have far more benefits and acceptable risks.

  110. #110 bob
    October 29, 2009

    Jay sez, or at least insinuates: “You’re a nerd, so you’re wrong.”

    This putz can’t even do logical fallacies well. Nerds are stereotypically plenty of things, but “wrong” usually isn’t high on the list.

  111. #111 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    cervantes:

    The dangers and importance of the novel H1N1 virus have indeed been greatly overhyped, it’s just ordinary flu, and the risk of serious disease in otherwise healthy people is indeed extremely small.

    Unless you are under age 18 or a pregnant woman. From this week’s CDC H1N1 update:

    Since August 30, 2009, CDC has received 53 reports of influenza-associated pediatric deaths that occurred during the current influenza season (three deaths in children less than 2 years, seven deaths in children 2-4 years, 21 deaths in children 5-11 years, and 22 deaths in individuals 12-17 years). Forty-seven of the 53 deaths were due to 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infections, and the remaining six were associated with influenza A virus for which the subtype is undetermined. A total of 95 deaths in children associated with 2009 H1N1 virus have been reported to CDC.

    and hospitalization rates:

    Rates [EIP (new sites)] for children aged 0-4 years and 5-17 years were 1.9 (3.0) and 0.9 (1.6) per 10,000, respectively. Rates [EIP (new sites)] for adults aged 18-49 years, 50-64 years, and ≥ 65 years were 0.6 (0.6), 0.6 (0.6) and 0.5 (0.4) per 10,000, respectively.

  112. #112 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    We’re getting off topic here. I’m not saying to never get vaccinated, we should QUESTION all the vaccines given.

    We should QUESTION whether or not the vaccines cause problems which are worse than what is being vaccinated against.

    Nurses are first and foremost advocates for our patients.

    We are supposed to question giving medications and vaccines and not blindly give them because “the doctor ordered” it.

    That is our job.

  113. #113 Militant Agnostic
    October 29, 2009

    Dr. J

    I always appreciate being called a “known quack” because I think that being an unknown quack would be even more sad.

    Kind of says it all, doesn’t it. The hard core contrarian would rather be famous and wrong than unknown and right.

    What is the effect of eating all the oddball grains, strange vegetables and exotic meats that are available in the local organic food store?

  114. #114 hellkitty
    October 29, 2009

    *I don’t know what you’re objecting to in all that.*

    thanks. I don´t know as well. Thats the opinion of so many medical scientist.
    If you got the good things and the bad you can build your desicion for your own needs. Nobody told something else.
    there is ne plus ultra. that is what Spiner said yesterday and what do you blame him for? For giving the advice to read both sides of the book?

  115. #115 Hypocee
    October 29, 2009

    What is the exact effect of all the various vaccines and their adjuvants on the human body?

    To induce immunity to specific diseases.

    Next?

  116. #116 rob
    October 29, 2009

    i hear the that BOTH Big Pharma AND Big Fooda (the food industry) put sodium chloride into food!!!! talk about TOXINS!!!!!!!

    here is what the MSDS says about sodium:
    “Very hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant). Hazardous in case of skin contact
    (permeator), of ingestion, of inhalation.”

    here is what the MSDS says about chlorine:
    “Corrosive and irritating to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Inhalation may result in chemical
    pneumonitis and pulmonary edema. Nonflammable. Oxidizer, may explode or accelerate combustion
    if contacting reducing agents.”

    are these chemicals you want Big Pharma AND Big Fooda putting into your bodies!!!!! they cause burns and explosions and pulmonary edema!!!!!! OH MY!!!

    don’t even get me started on dihydrogen monoxide!!! that stuff is EVERYWHERE!!!!!!

    ahhhh!!!! ahhhhhh!!!!!! AHHHHAHHHHHHHAHHAHAHHHA!!!!!

    i gotta go back to googling to uncover these INSIDIOUS plots!!!!!

  117. #117 JohnV
    October 29, 2009

    @cervantes

    “and the risk of serious disease in otherwise healthy people is indeed extremely small.”

    A) The H1N1 swine flu is not following the same pattern of who gets severe illness as the typical seasonal flu
    http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/10/why_cdc_says_this_years_flu_se.php
    (follow the link to the pdf, look to pages 7 and 8 of the pdf i believe)

    B) a small percentage of an extremely large number is still a large number. The 1918 flu didn’t kill a high percentage of people, but since a vast number of people were infected, a large number (but small percentage) still died.

    I realize B) is a slightly nuanced point and the traditional media (and the pro-disease crowd) has issues with nuance, but its been beaten to death in this and other blogs.

  118. #118 Katharine
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny, you didn’t even address our statements.

  119. #119 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    Hypocee, I said “exact effect” not one of the effects.

    Adjuvants include Formaldehyde, aluminum. thimerosol (mercury)and squalene.

    A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Pathology demonstrated a single injection of the adjuvant squalene into rats triggered “chronic, immune-mediated joint-specific inflammation,” also known as rheumatoid arthritis.

  120. #120 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    I can’t possibly address all the statements.

  121. #121 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    October 29, 2009

    I can’t possibly address all the statements.

    obviously

  122. #122 Sid Offit
    October 29, 2009

    @ESPness

    anecdote ≠ evidence

    A rather cranky and arrogant computer once told me:

    …anecdotal evidence is the weakest form of EVIDENCE.
    ————————-

    @Dangerous Bacon
    In my community we have people waiting patiently on long lines and in bad weather to take advantage of the limited supplies of H1N1 vaccine. They’ve educated themselves about the risks this influenza strain poses, especially to children, younger adults and pregnant women.

    To which H.L. Mencken responds:

    No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

    ——————————————-

    @Dianne
    Vaccines are money losers for the most part. Even the “expensive” ones like HPV and hep B aren’t big money makers.

    Yes that’s true but not really:

    http://www.prlog.org/10232681-the-worldwide-market-for-vaccines-to-reach-us507-billion-in-2013-forecasts-new-report.html
    The Worldwide Market for Vaccines to reach US$50.7 billion in 2013, forecasts New Report

    Prevnar (Wyeth): 2008 sales of US$2.7 billion (€1.9 billion);

    Gardasil (Merck): 2008 sales of US$1.4 billion (€959 million), sales estimated at US$2.3 billion (€1.6 billion) when counting Gardasil sales by Merck, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, and CSL;

    ProQuad/M-M-R II/Varivax (Merck): 2008 sales of US$1.3 billion (€867 million);

    Infanrix/Pediarix (GlaxoSmithKline): 2008 sales of US$1.3 billion (€859 million);

    WIKI says:

    A blockbuster drug is a drug generating more than $1 billion of revenue for its owner each year.

  123. #123 Dangerous Bacon
    October 29, 2009

    Fabulous Internet Vaccination Poll Voting Opportunity!

    While checking to see if the Monkey Pus In Our Vaccines meme is still floating around Internet Antivax-land (it is), I ran across this wonderful article by a Militant Mom which includes a poll asking us to choose between mindlessly following government-mandated H1N1 vaccination and standing up for our Rights as Americuns. Right now the better-dead-than-vaccinated crowd is in the lead, but perhaps some might be tempted to level the playing field, PZ Myers-style.

    The wonderfully lamebrained screed that precedes the poll among other things claims that “trimerisol” is in all mandated child vaccines and that it’s used as an adjuvant – the truth being that the preservative thimerosol is long gone from any routine childhood vaccines except for some flu shots). Have fun counting all the inaccuracies and enjoy the scary graphics.

    http://hubpages.com/hub/VACCINE-INGREDIENTS-Pus-And-Sores-Of-Diseased-Animals

  124. #124 Evil Pharma Shill
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny, “QUESTION” as much as you like. The ANSWER is that there has been an enormous amount of research done which has enabled us to determine that the benefit of vaccination far outweighs any of the risks. So unless your magical nurse powers invalidate that work, why don’t you go change a bedpan and let the grownups talk?

  125. #125 JohnV
    October 29, 2009

    Thimersal and formaldehyde are preservatives not adjuvents. You’re getting your pro-disease/anti-vax complaints confused.

  126. #126 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny (showing where she is getting her information, and it certainly is not from real medical literature):

    Adjuvants include Formaldehyde, aluminum. thimerosol (mercury)and squalene.

    BZzzzzzzzzt! Wrong. I’m sorry my sentence “Remember the only adjuvant approved in the USA is the same stuff used in making pickles.” was unclear. The only adjuvant approved in the USA is alum.

    You are clearly showing that you little understanding of biology and physiology when you fail to remember that both formaldehyde and squalene are made in your body (and you may not live for very long if your liver stops making squalene).

    You shouted earlier:

    We should QUESTION whether or not the vaccines cause problems which are worse than what is being vaccinated against.

    Except you fail to understand that those questions have been posed, and there are decades of real research answering those questions. All you have to do is look at reliable sources, and actually listen to all these people responding to you with actual answers.

    I just went to PubMed (which is now very slow with its new web design, sigh), plugged vaccines into the search window and got: Results: 1 to 20 of 150836

  127. #127 phantomreader42
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny @ #120:

    I can’t possibly address all the statements.

    Wow, the very first honest thing you’ve said!

    But even there, you don’t go far enough. You can’t possibly address ANYTHING anyone here has said. You know you’ve got nothing, so you’re too much of a coward to even try.

    Decades of evidence and experience shows that vaccines prevent life-threatening diseases. Decades of evidence and experience shows that the side effects of vaccines are rare and nowhere near as dangerous as the diseases they prevent. Decades of evidence and experience shows that vaccines do not cause autism and that antivax loons have a history of lying through their teeth when they claim they do.

    Do you, little Tawny the phony nurse, with all your misleading questions and dishonest implications, with all your willful ignorance and your babbling about all these imaginary lives you claim you’ve saved, do YOU have the slightest speck of evidence that somehow invalidates all these decades of work?

    No, you don’t. We know it. And deep down, even you know it. That’s why you haven’t even tried to offer a speck of evidence. You know you’re full of shit.

  128. #128 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    Thimerisol may not be used any more but it was used in the vaccines I received.

    Squalene is considered to be harmful:

    A study conducted at Tulane Medical School and published in the February 2000 issue of Experimental Molecular Pathology included these statistics:

    “The substantial majority (95%) of overtly ill deployed Gulf War Syndrome patients had antibodies to squalene. All (100%) GWS patients immunized for service in Desert Shield/Desert Storm who did not deploy, but had the same signs and symptoms as those who did deploy, had antibodies to squalene.

    In contrast, none of the deployed Persian Gulf veterans not showing signs and symptoms of GWS have antibodies to squalene. Neither patients with idiopathic autoimmune disease nor healthy controls had detectable serum antibodies to squalene. The majority of symptomatic GWS patients had serum antibodies to squalene.”

    It means: the soldiers who had Gulf War Syndrome also had antibodies to squalene, which was used as the adjuvant in the Anthrax vaccine. (A vaccine the Persion Gulf vets didn’t get.)

  129. #129 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny, Tawny, Tawny… The anthrax vaccine did not have squalene as an adjuvant. Again, the only adjuvant approved for use in the USA is alum.

  130. #130 DaveL
    October 29, 2009

    Hypocee, I said “exact effect” not one of the effects.

    As I said, we don’t know the “exact effect” of yodeling.

    The question is a red herring, unnecessary to the assessment of safety and efficacy.

  131. #131 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Pathology demonstrated a single injection of the adjuvant squalene into rats triggered “chronic, immune-mediated joint-specific inflammation,” also known as rheumatoid arthritis.

    That’s interesting, but if it’s relevant to vaccination, then you would expect an increase in RA over time as more vaccinations are routinely given. In fact, the incidence of RA is decreasing as we add more vaccines to the routine vaccination schedule.

  132. #132 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    A hero of mine is a surgeon who not only saved my father’s life, but amazingly has made house calls to follow his progress. He once laughed mockingly at my request for probiotics when my father was having massive doses of antibiotics. His own elderly parents drink kefir and he’s certain it’s woo. (He did order the probiotics, though…)
    Woo, my hiney.

    Get with the program. This 2x Nobel Prizewinning man said something important nearly a century ago that you are still pooing on:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilya_Ilyich_Mechnikov

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VPN-4TF2J81-2&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1070073134&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=bc48824f6212250571c8c13cf480c50a

    http://www.curingdeath.com/research/Unusual_bacteria_help_balance_the_immune_system_in_mice.asp

  133. #133 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    “FDA finds squalene in anthrax vaccine.”

    http://www.chiroweb.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=31995

    Chris, maybe you should GOOGLE before you post.

  134. #134 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    Adjuvants include Formaldehyde, aluminum. thimerosol (mercury)and squalene.

    Thimerosol is not an adjuvant and never has been. It is a preservative. As is formaldehyde. I think tawny may be repeating anti-vax talking points from somewhere without understanding what they’re supposed to mean.

  135. #135 Sid Offit
    October 29, 2009

    @Diane

    In fact, the incidence of RA is decreasing as we add more vaccines to the routine vaccination schedule.

    ————————

    If I were a Pima Indian. I’d care

  136. #136 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    I used the word adjuvant, technically incorrect.

    Regardless, the mercuy was/is still in the vaccines.

    Once again, I’M NOT ANTI-VAX.

    I’m PRO QUESTIONING. What about that can’t you understand?

  137. #137 DaveL
    October 29, 2009

    In September 2000, DoD became aware of FDA test results finding trace amounts of squalene in diphtheria, tetanus, and anthrax vaccines. The level of squalene identified by the FDA test is so minute that it was likely introduced by lab workers performing the tests for squalene (e.g., from human fingerprints not fully washed off the lab equipment). The FDA’s test is more sensitive than the original SRI test. The FDA test, which was developed later, can detect as little as 10 parts per billion. The FDA found squalene at 10 to 83 parts per billion in various lots of anthrax vaccine. The trace level of squalene found by the FDA in anthrax vaccine is less than the concentration naturally present in human blood (250 parts per billion).

    http://www.anthrax.osd.mil/resource/lots/squalene.asp

    Emphasis mine.

    Strangely enough, I couldn’t find a link to the DoD page from the above Chiroweb article.

  138. #138 DaveL
    October 29, 2009

    I’m PRO QUESTIONING. What about that can’t you understand?

    Why someone who’s supposedly “pro questioning” would accept the claims of anti-vaxxers so uncritically.

  139. #139 cervantes
    October 29, 2009

    The number of deaths attributed to influenza this season is not unusually high so far. It is completely normal.

    A commenter writes that the number of pediatric deaths in August and September exceeds the normal number for an entire flu season. That is also false. That number goes back to February, which is an unfair comparison. Pediatric deaths are barely above average so far this fall, within normal annual variation.

  140. #140 phantomreader42
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny, terrified of teh ebil chemikuls:

    Squalene is considered to be harmful

    Hey, Tawny, your own liver is producing squalene RIGHT NOW! Oh, the HORROR! Quick, save yourself, cut it out!

  141. #141 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    If I were a Pima Indian. I’d care

    Huh?

  142. #142 phantomreader42
    October 29, 2009

    Sid Offit, go die in a fucking fire. You don’t even give a damn about a decrease in RA? What kind of sick bastard openly celebrates disease like you do? You want people to suffer and die because you’re a nutcase who hates science and medicine. You are a disgrace to the human race. Fuck off.

  143. #143 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    Hey, Little Phantom, why don’t you tell Tulane Medical that their research about GWS and squalene is all wrong. I’m sure they would love to have you correct them.

    My stomach is also producing HCL but that doesn’t mean I want it splashed in my face.

    I know nothing about anti-vaxxers. I don’t read their websites or blogs. I’m not interested in that movement.

  144. #144 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny, you should not google for medical information , and do not get your medical information from chiropractors. It is obvious you have never had any real medical training, and you have no clue what constitutes research (like the existence of PubMed).

    Try this:
    Development and application of an analytical method for the determination of squalene in formulations of anthrax vaccine adsorbed.:

    We have applied this method to 17 lots of Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed administered to members of the US Armed Forces. No squalene has been detected in any lot. The results of these analyses provide direct evidence for the absence of squalene as an ingredient or a manufacturing contaminant in Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed.

    and
    Enhancement of an analytical method for the determination of squalene in anthrax vaccine adsorbed formulations.:

    In 43 bottles of 37 lots, no squalene was detected within a detection limit of 1ng/0.5ml dose (2 parts-per-billion). One lot, FAV008, was found to contain trace amounts of squalene at 7, 9, and 1microgl(-1), levels considerably below normal human plasma levels (290microgl(-1)). The overall results of this investigation provide direct evidence for the absence of squalene in nearly all of anthrax vaccine preparations tested.

    The studies were used in a ScienceBasedMedicine blog post by pediatrician Dr. Joseph Albietz, titled A Defense of Childhood Influenza Vaccination and Squalene-Containing Adjuvants; Joseph Mercola’s “Dirty Little Secret” (I’d give the link, but I am out of URLs).

  145. #145 daedalus2u
    October 29, 2009

    Some actors do try and maintain some aspects of their acting persona in public as a public service, to use their notoriety as a force for good. When George Reeves played Superman, he deliberately didn’t smoke in public where children could see him because he knew he was an iconic role model. A large part of the entertainment value of movies is the depiction of iconic role models.

    Yes, actors have the right to be ignorant assholes in their private lives, and even in their public lives. If you are going to be one, don’t expect your “brand” as typified by the acting persona you have generated to maintain its value.

  146. #146 Bronze Dog
    October 29, 2009

    A suggestion for the people complaining about trace amounts of squalene: Either rip out your liver for producing it or shut up.

  147. #147 Jules
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny by your reasoning we should just stop treating disease period. There is no such thing as a 100% safe and effective treatment. Everything has potentially dangerous side effects, even vitamins.

    Tawny you are one of the people I want to look into my children’s eyes when something as simple as the flu leaves them an orphan. Tell them that their mother was a casualty of war against the big bad Pharma. Tell that to the parents of the 2 normally healthy children (aged 10 and 13) who died this past week in Ontario days after getting H1N1. Tell that to all the parents who are losing their babies to whooping cough in Australia. Tell that to the 22 sets of parents that still lose their children every hour to measles. Yes 95% of the measles deaths are in underdeveloped countries but with this kind of nonsense, the work the WHO has done to raise vaccination levels will be for nothing.

    Next time my child comes to me and asks me “are you going to live… and don’t die” I am going to send him to you. You get to explain to him why people are not getting a simple jab that has been proven safer than the disease itself.

    Nobody is advocating get all vaccines. There are some that cannot be vaccinated for very valid reasons (allergies, pre-existing medical conditions to name a couple examples). As one poster commented, there are many vaccines out there that we do not get because those diseases do not affect the global population.

    People are dying. And not just people with underlying conditions but normally health individuals.

  148. #148 JohnV
    October 29, 2009

    @cervantes

    did you even bother to go to and read either the page chris (#111) linked or the page I linked (#117)?

    If you did, and you are unable to see the difference between the previous 3 years and this year, then I don’t know what to tell you. It’s not even nuanced. The graph on page 7 of the PDF I linked is even color coded to make it painfully obvious.

    I’ll also note that you completely ignored the other half of what was said about fatality rates and number of infections. I’m sure this was totally an innocent oversight.

  149. #149 Kristin
    October 29, 2009

    Almost as good as monkey-pus is this claim that

    “The H1N1 vaccination program, when put into the same frame as the engineered virus to go with it, appears to be a clear effort to divide humanity into two groups; those who have lost their intellect, health and sexuality via a tainted vaccination, and those who have not and are therefore superior.”

    “Because the squalene will be injected in the presence of a pathogen during the H1N1 vaccination, it will cause an immune response against not only the pathogen, but to the squalene itself. Squalene is a precursor molecule which is essential for the production of many hormones including all of the male and female sexual hormones. Squalene is also a precursor to many of the neurochemical receptors prevalent in the nervous system and when the immune system is programmed to attack squalene, it causes irreversible neuronal and neuromuscular damage which can range from loss of intellect and autism to more serious disorders such as Lou Gehrig’s disease and systemic autoimmune diseases and possibly brain tumors.”

    You may, if you wish to sacrifice brain cells, read this article in full. Tainted Nightmare – Secrets of the World Health Organization at http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/squalene.html

    This article was sent to me by someone I have always regarded as being perfectly normal and having a healthy portion of common sense. It was disturbing to find out that she would find this ‘reasonable’. To make it even more odd she is sending this around, with the note that neither she nor her DOCTOR husband will be getting the H1N1 vaccine.

    The crazy contained in that single article is staggering. I am sending a reply to the sender with a link to this site, and hopefully she will, at the very least, quit sending out painfully stupid links to her mailing list.

  150. #150 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    Orac, why moderate? WHo is spamming this thread? TAwny?

    Diane, PLEASE, PLEASE produce evidence that the incidence of RA is going down in children and young adults where squalene-based adjuvants are being utilized in vaccines. Since the population studies cited for all of this was done in people OVER 65, I think there si just a wee bit of confounding going on, no? Even an idiot like me knows that the incidence of people newly diagnosed, for the first time, with Rhematoid Arthritis in the 65 and over crew, is a little dubious. But perhaps you are correct- please direct me to the info.

  151. #151 phantomreader42
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny the phony nurse @ #135:

    I used the word adjuvant, technically incorrect.

    An inaccuracy you persisted in repeating even after you’d been corrected. The kind of people who persist in repeating lies even after they’ve been told otherwise are usually either stupid or dishonest. In your case, I’m guessing both.

    Regardless, the mercuy was/is still in the vaccines.

    No, actually, it ISN’T. It was taken out of virtually all of them, only the flu shot still has any, and that’s optional. MMR never had any mercury in it in the first place. If mercury was actually the cause of autism or some other horrible scary side effects, as you’re trying to imply, then there would have been a noticable decrease in those effects. There hasn’t been.

    Once again, I’M NOT ANTI-VAX.

    Well you sure walk like a duck and quack like a duck. Sir Bedevere, fetch your largest scales!

    I’m PRO QUESTIONING. What about that can’t you understand?

    I don’t understand why you expect us to believe that tripe, since if you were really “PRO QUESTIONING” you’d wouldn’t blindly accept all the bullshit spewed by antivax cultists.

  152. #152 tl
    October 29, 2009

    I’m PRO QUESTIONING. What about that can’t you understand?

    The part where you seem to be ANTI ANSWERS. Those questions have been and are being asked and have, for the most part, been answered! Why do you reject those answers without cause? Why do you ignore the vast majority of the data and focus on the ravings of a few quacks?

  153. #153 Bronze Dog
    October 29, 2009

    I’m sick of people calling thimerosal (or however you prefer to spell it) “mercury.” Should we call table salt “chlorine gas” now? Were all the chemists from the 1800s lying to us about compounds being distinct from the raw elements that make them up?

    According to many conversations I’ve had with anti-vaxxers, apparently so.

  154. #154 Joseph
    October 29, 2009

    Regardless, the mercuy was/is still in the vaccines.

    Explain why removal of 98% of thimerosal from the pediatric schedule produced no results whatsoever.

  155. #155 Tawny
    October 29, 2009

    Jules, show me where I said we should stop treating diseases. I simply said we should QUESTION. I didn’t even advocate not giving vaccines. Just further investigation.

    Little Phantom, I never said implied mercury caused autism or some other problem. We don’t know what it might/might not cause. We don’t know. That’s the point.

    I don’t know what anti-vax people spout to blindly accept it.

    Some of you are putting words into my writing I didn’t say.

    I also will not continue if I’m going to be insulted. That’s the hallmark of ignorance, Phantom.

  156. #156 Jules
    October 29, 2009

    Gah “and don’t die” should be “and don’t lie”

  157. #157 tl
    October 29, 2009

    after posting information about total market values, sid opinedWIKI says:

    A blockbuster drug is a drug generating more than $1 billion of revenue for its owner each year.

    revenue does not equal total market value! Especially for a low profit margin business.

  158. #158 phantomreader42
    October 29, 2009

    DoctrinalFairness @ #148:

    Orac, why moderate? WHo is spamming this thread? TAwny?

    I think some amount of moderation is automatic, such as the two-link rule (which has resulted in such amusing screams of censorship and conspiracy from the trolls).

    I don’t know exactly what gets sent to moderation, I’ve got a post waiting because I got sick of sid’s bullshit lies, wanting people to die and treating the idea of a reduction in a debilitating disease some of my loved ones suffer from as a snooze-fest, so I told the fucker off. Obviously I didn’t use the kindest of language.

  159. #159 DaveL
    October 29, 2009

    According to many conversations I’ve had with anti-vaxxers, apparently so.

    You must undestand anti-vaxxers are talking sympathetic magic, not chemistry. It’s the same thinking that sells hair products infused with bamboo (it’ll make your hair springy and resilient!) and 9/11 conspiracy theories (mix concrete and C-4, and you get a substance that sets as strong as concrete yet detonates like high explosive!).

  160. #160 rob
    October 29, 2009

    @bronze dog:

    i hear they put sodium AND chlorine into table salt!!!!!!

    TEH TOXINS!!!!

  161. #161 JohnV
    October 29, 2009

    @DoctrinalFairness

    Scienceblogs auto quarantines comments with 3 or more hyperlinks. Orac isn’t sitting at his computer, squelching all the super well documented anti-vax comments, micromanaging his way to pharma-shill riches.

    @Bronze Dog

    I gave up on that argument because the anti-vaxers are typically either too dense or to dishonest to get it. Hell, try explaining the difference between ethyl-mercury and methyl-mercury to them. You can even show how there are different clearance rates from the body (guess which one is cleared faster :P) and the response is still a zombie-like “MERCCURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRY MERCURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRY”.

  162. #162 Mike Barnes
    October 29, 2009

    At a less combustible stage of the discussion I threw in the current number of deaths in the UK from swine flu.

    I was, however, out of date.

    The number of people in UK who’ve died from swine flu is in fact 149. There’s also something like six hundred people in intensive care beds suffering from the disease.

    Just thought some real-life grounding might help your weird anti-vaxers.

  163. #163 DaveL
    October 29, 2009

    I don’t know what anti-vax people spout to blindly accept it.

    Pretty much every. single. thing. you’ve been saying.

    Including the “I’m not anti-vaccination” line.

  164. #164 Calli Arcale
    October 29, 2009

    No, actually, it ISN’T. It was taken out of virtually all of them, only the flu shot still has any, and that’s optional.

    To elaborate, thimerosal is used as a preservative in multi-dose vials of influenza vaccine in the US, because medical staff don’t want to give you a staph infection the next time you get a vaccine. (Basically, although they don’t reuse needles, there’s no way to keep the membrane on the top of the vial totally sterile, so each needle entering it will inevitably push some bacteria in. The thimerosal kills them.)

    So if you have a personal objection to thimerosal, you do have options. There is a preservative-free version, packaged in single-dose shots so that preservatives are not needed (because they can be kept sterile). There’s also FluMist, the nasal flu vaccine, which, because it is a live attenuated virus vaccine, cannot contain preservatives. Unfortuantely, since it contains live virus, you have to be healthy* and between the ages of 2 and 50. (Manufacturer says 2 and 65, but it has not been approved by the FDA for anyone over 50.)

    *”Healthy” meaning “not in an influenza risk category or having a depressed immune system”; I have asthma, so I cannot use FluMist. Pregnant women are also barred from FluMist.

  165. #165 rob
    October 29, 2009

    “Explain why removal of 98% of thimerosal from the pediatric schedule produced no results whatsoever.”

    you big silly!! that’s because leaving such a small amount of thimerosal (2%) has the homeopathic effect of causing the rising autism rates.

    geesh. *somebody* doesn’t know any respectable
    psuedoscience!!!

  166. #166 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    Fair enough, DF. Have a review article with quite a lot of references. One thing I would point out is that the incidence of juvenile RA is cyclic in most studies with peaks at various times that correspond almost not at all to changes in the vaccination schedule. In several studies, the overall JRA incidence is decreasing.

    It is, I suppose, possible that vaccination is increasing the rate of JRA and RA at the same time as some other, unknown factor is decreasing it, but there’s really no evidence for that.

  167. #167 phantomreader42
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny the phony @ #155:

    Little Phantom, I never said implied mercury caused autism or some other problem. We don’t know what it might/might not cause. We don’t know. That’s the point.

    Actually, we know very well that it does not cause autism. We also have decades of evidence showing that the amount used in vaccines didn’t cause anything at all dangerous. And now that it’s been removed from those vaccines, there’s been no noticable change in any side effects, which is just further evidence that there never was any danger. On the other hand, you have not even come close to providing the slightest speck of evidence to support your irrational fears. You haven’t even tried. Because you know you’ve got nothing.

    Tawny whining again:

    I also will not continue if I’m going to be insulted. That’s the hallmark of ignorance, Phantom.

    No, actually, the hallmark of ignorance is not knowing what the hell you’re talking about. That’s kinda the definition of the word. And you are taking every opportunity you get to show off your ignorance. It’s not pretty.

    If you don’t want people to call you a stupid liar, there’s an easy solution: stop saying stupid things, stop lying, and stop repeating the lies of others.

  168. #168 Jules
    October 29, 2009

    Tawny, what do you think SCIENTIFIC study of these things is? It is questioning. It does not serve anybody any good injecting a large population with something where the risks outweigh the benefits. Do you honestly believe if there were any indication that these things were not safer than the disease, they would be produced?

    Let me try and illustrate this way. If these vaccines are dangerous well that totally screws all of these corps that are apparently trying to make money off of us by injecting us with poison. How is it beneficial for them to make money if we are a society of vaccine injured people? They want us healthy not injured or suffering from poisonous side effects so that we can be productive members of society and you know live and make money and sustain the economy and buy their other things. It is not in their best interest to produce something like if it will do more harm than good. It is in their best interest to keep us alive and healthy in order to make money off of us in other ways.

    I think one of the most ridiculous comments I have read in the past 24 hours is this “I would rather get the swine flu and die then allow “them” to inject me with something they claim is a vaccine.” Seriously? This is the type of crap being told to investigate and question produces. There is no conspiracy. They are not poisoning us. We are useless to them and cannot be productive members of society if are a vaccine injured society.

    These companies have asked the same questions. That is why they are constantly trying to find better and safer ways of producing these vaccines. That is why there are handy dandy inserts in the vaccine boxes that list possible side-effects etc. Because they have asked the questions and they disclose what is already known. And yes, mistakes have been made in the past. Nobody is denying that either. That is how science advances in order to produce better and safer medications.

  169. #169 Sid Offit
    October 29, 2009

    @Diane
    In several studies, the overall JRA incidence is decreasing

    ————-

    What studies??????

  170. #170 Dianne
    October 29, 2009

    Sid, there’s a blue bit in the post for a reason. Follow it. Then go to the full text (I linked to the abstract because full text links can be dodgy.) Read it, read the references and you’ll get an answer to your question.

  171. #171 phantomreader42
    October 29, 2009

    DaveL @ #159:

    You must undestand anti-vaxxers are talking sympathetic magic, not chemistry.

    WIN!

    Now, does Tawny’s refusal to cut out her own liver for producing teh ebil toxin squalene indicate that she might have enough functioning brain cells to someday be able to comprehend the concept of “dose response”? Or is this standard compartmentalization among the voodoo healthcare crowd?

  172. #172 chukwumaonyeije
    October 29, 2009

    Wow. Awesome post. You had me at data… Thanks.

  173. #173 Pablo
    October 29, 2009

    Just to remind everyone again that the “OH ITS TOXIC” cry about squalene is really funny considering that it is the posterchild for a “natural supplement” and in fact has been marketed as one.

    I mean, anything extracted from shark livers must be useful in some way, right?

  174. #174 phantomreader42
    October 29, 2009

    Dianne @ #170:

    Sid, there’s a blue bit in the post for a reason. Follow it. Then go to the full text (I linked to the abstract because full text links can be dodgy.) Read it, read the references and you’ll get an answer to your question.

    Actually, your link in post # 131 appears to be broken. The one in #166 works fine though.

    And we both know Sid would never dare actually READ anything that might interfere with his desire to watch more people suffer and die.

  175. #175 Commander Data
    October 29, 2009

    Could you please continue the petty bickering? I find it most intriguing.

  176. #176 Berner
    October 29, 2009

    @#173 Pablo

    I just say fuck it and eat the entire shark liver…while it’s still alive. Keeps me young and my skin smooth.

  177. #177 Berner
    October 29, 2009

    @#173 Pablo

    I just say screw it and eat the entire shark liver…in the water…while it’s still alive. It keeps me cancer free and makes my skin smooth too!

  178. #178 DaveL
    October 29, 2009

    Now, does Tawny’s refusal to cut out her own liver for producing teh ebil toxin squalene indicate that she might have enough functioning brain cells to someday be able to comprehend the concept of “dose response”? Or is this standard compartmentalization among the voodoo healthcare crowd?

    Probably more of the same magical thinking. There is no concept of “dose response” in sympathetic magic that I know of. There certainly isn’t any concept of “chemically identical”, so I don’t see why that would phase her either.

  179. #179 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 29, 2009

    We’re getting off topic here. I’m not saying to never get vaccinated, we should QUESTION all the vaccines given.

    We should QUESTION whether or not the vaccines cause problems which are worse than what is being vaccinated against.

    Well, we’ve already done our part (we being the science-based community) – we’ve questioned each and every vaccine approved for use by testing it thoroughly to see if they cause problems.

    But merely asking the questions isn’t enough. There is also a responsibility to accept the answers and act accordingly. And that is where the non-science-based community fails, miserably, over and over. When they get answers that they don’t want to hear, they pretend they didn’t hear it. Or they accuse the people who did the hard work to find the answers of being “shills” for “Big Pharma” or evil “Western medicine”. Or they try to rewrite history, pretending they asked some question different from the one that didn’t go their way. Or they simply flat-out lie. Sometimes they have even admitted that no matter how often the questions are asked and answered, they will never accept any other answer except the one they want to receive. Not everyone who is “asking questions” is in pursuit of the truth.

    So, yes, it is very important that the process of asking the questions and accepting and acting wisely upon the answers continues. We’re doing our part; when are you going to get around to yours?

  180. #180 Commander Data
    October 29, 2009

    @ Antaeus Feldspar:

    But merely asking the questions isn’t enough. There is also a responsibility to accept the answers and act accordingly. And that is where the non-science-based community fails, miserably, over and over. When they get answers that they don’t want to hear, they pretend they didn’t hear it.

    Most humanoids have the potential to be irrational. Perhaps you should attempt to access that part of your phyche.

  181. #181 Doctrinalfairness
    October 29, 2009

    John V, thanks for clearing up the mystery of occasional moderation. Sorry, Orac.

    The whole “squalene is produced in the liver” argument is another strawman. So are cytokines like IL6. Cytokines happen to be storming in the bodies of 600 people in the UK right now who are in intensive care. (Somehow we never hear whether any of them got the seasonal or H1N1 flu shot, though, or WHICH underlying condition they had.)
    Once again, squalene-based adjuvants raised the level of IL6 (just one of numerous cytokines) in a 1994 Chiron study. Squalene based adjuvants have significantly higher AE’s and I have repeatedly asked why would we want to increase the number of inflammatory cytokines (Novartis studies are in direct conflict, how can we vbase safety on that?)when unadjuvanted vaccines are preferable? If it is a just a distribution problem, why are so many more squalene-based vaccines in the pipeline waiting for the USA floodgate to open?
    No one has demonstrated that squalene based adjuvants have limited, local effects like markedly higher AE’s like fever swelling headache, and no one has proven they have not caused the distal inflammation from tawny’s mice paper cited above. WHY DEFEND THEM??? On WHAT basis?
    http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/4045/adjuvants-and-cytokines-the-curious-case-of-il6

    And instead of getting RID of them in favor of some other adjuvants, we have to “wait and see” and torture an unknown percentage of millions of kids before we take it OUT of vaccines. None of the Hallelujah chorus here will answer why it is OK to extrapolate safety in studies done on over 65 yr olds to infants and children. My understanding is that children have more robust immune systems and are MORE at risk to mount a cytokine storm, hence ARDS. Please correct me, because it sickens me to think that millions of children and pregnant woman who are “safely being vaccinated” (not dropping dead on site) are the control group for an experiment on the safety of adjuvanated vaccines.
    Mike, Jules, soo the answer is “All Vaccines are Good”? No matter who is harmed? My daughter needs vaccines, too. Just not ones with squalene. And I shudder to think that there is no list of who should NOT be getting them.

  182. #182 Commander Data
    October 29, 2009

    @ Doctrinalfairness:

    Mike, Jules, soo the answer is “All Vaccines are Good”? No matter who is harmed? My daughter needs vaccines, too. Just not ones with squalene.

    Would you choose one life over one thousand, sir?

  183. #183 phantomreader42
    October 29, 2009

    Doctrinalfairness @ #180:

    My daughter needs vaccines, too. Just not ones with squalene.

    Again, if you’re so scared of squalene, cut out your own liver and never eat olive oil again. That’ll solve the problem. No more squalene for you, no more voodoo-babbling idiot annoying us.

    And I shudder to think that there is no list of who should NOT be getting them.

    Actually, there IS such a list, you just don’t have any interest in learning about any of this. Surprise, surprise, willful ignorance! People with known allergies to eggs, for example, are advised not to get vaccines made with eggs. As are those who have had previous reactions to vaccines. As hard as it is for you to believe, doctors actually have some vague idea what the fuck they’re doing. I know, I know, stop the presses.

  184. #184 k
    October 29, 2009

    phantomreader42 @ #151:

    I think you unintentially omitted
    “If it ducks like a quack”….

  185. #185 Siamang
    October 29, 2009

    Commander Data wins the thread by his very existence.

  186. #186 Jules
    October 29, 2009

    Dotrinal

    There actually is a list of who should not be getting them. And I believe I actually already spoke to that. Please do not pick and choose what parts of my responses you choose to reply to. It has already been spoken to that not every one needs an anthrax vaccine as an example. Another example is Rabies vaccine, that is only given if exposed. There are many other examples. But there is a damn good reason why we have the recommended list of vaccines that we do.

    Not getting vaccinated does more harm than vaccination does. And there has even been a study done on the serious damage the antivaxx movement has done to public health. And this study was not done by a drug company, government, CDC, WHO, whomever you want to lump into the group of “them.” Antivaxx is killing people, plain and simple.

    Let me ask all of you people who are telling us to question this. Do you question, as an example, when somebody tells you to drink cranberry juice for a bladder infection? Do you question when somebody tells you to drink cranberry juice regularly if you are prone to UTIs? Do you ever pass on such advice instead of telling the person to talk to their doctor? Do you know how many people you have possibly put into a severe medical situation because of such advice? You say to question but you are only questioning what is convenient to you because you have a specific agenda.

    I question everything not just the things I am told to question. And thankfully I questioned all of these so called safe treatments because they are natural or I would have suffered from a stroke long before I did when I was 30.

    Did you know that things such as garlic, cranberries, green leafy veggie are high in vitamin K. Did you know those with certain medical conditions and those who are even on aspirin therapy should avoid vitamin K as it is a blod clotter and ingesting it is potentially dangerous?

    Some how I really doubt it because you only question what the wingnuts tell you to and not everything as science does.

    You know what, I am also a parent. So are many other of us “science” people. I have children that live with some pretty disorders that from time to time can be very disabling (ADHD and ASD). And I can tell you vaccines sure as shit did not screw up my children. I can also tell you vaccines are not responsible for my autoimmune disorders. Now my anecdotes are not evidence and I would never in a million years be misguided enough to tell people what to do based on my personal experiences. But I will tell people to vaccinate based on my own studying on this subject very very intensively and to talk to a real health care professional and to not listen to the friend of a friend because their advice, even if it appears to be safe because it is natural, may harm them.

  187. #187 Commander Data
    October 29, 2009

    @ Siamang:

    Commander Data wins the thread by his very existence

    It is a matter of perspective, Doctor. In the strictest sense, I did not win — I busted him up.

  188. #188 Ritchie Annand
    October 29, 2009

    I thought it was young adults, not children, that were most at risk from a cytokine storm. Older adults were more at risk than children as well, though not so much as young adults.

    Wasn’t that the finding of some of the H5N1 and SARS research?

  189. #189 Joseph C.
    October 29, 2009

    The whole “squalene is produced in the liver” argument is another strawman.

    You don’t really know what a straw man argument is, do you? You could have said, “The whole ‘squalene is produced in the liver’ argument is another canard.” That would have made sense, sort of.

    Anyway, and now we continue with our regularly scheduled babbling.

  190. #190 Commander Data
    October 29, 2009

    @ Joseph C.:

    Anyway, and now we continue with our regularly scheduled babbling.

    You are right, sir. I do tend to babble.

  191. #191 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    Ritchie, you tell me- are all of these secondary bacterial infections in ANY age group the cause or the result of a cytokine storm- I’m not a doctor and I haven’t a clue.
    I just know that I am perfectly willing to “take one for the team ” (herd immunity) for my daughter with the risk that the unadjuvanted vaccine may pose with the introduction of the H1N1 antigen (which ALSO stimulates the immune response). But why am I required (this time or in the future) to possibly put her at risk with a proprietary substance that we have had 10 years to prove safe, knowing that a pandemic was looming, and there is still no data and no explanation for the conflicting info on IL6 and cytokine storm and the relationship/possibility that a local Adverse Reaction has potential to initiate autoimmunity and DOUBTFUL possibility to prove it. Please advise.

    Jules, at numerous faily gatherings, I have battled a cousin of mine for nearly 10 years for her decision to not vaccinate her 5 children. BAttled. Airplane travel, herd immunity, tuberculosis returning. This vicious defensiveness toward even people who supported every one of your arguments is goiing to harm us all in the long run. You are converting the believers and you just don’t get it.

  192. #192 Jules
    October 29, 2009

    Babble sir? I am not aware that I ever babble sir. It may be that from time to time I have considerable information to communicate, and you may question the way in which I organize it…

    Sorry couldn’t resist

  193. #193 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    You are exactly right, Joe. I should have said it’s and Appeal to Ridicule! But where exactly would most of the commenters here be, including you and I, if we excluded that?

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

    Perhaps then we would actually be addressing science.

  194. #194 Jules
    October 29, 2009

    @DoctrinalFairness

    What? Sorry but you totally lost and confused me with your last post. And I wish I could ask something specific in order for you to clarify but the point of you last post has me completely confused.

    Are you saying you use to be pro-vaccine but now aren’t because of us ‘believers’?

    And if I am coming off as defensive or vicious, I do apologize. But the antivaxx movement has been vicious for years and using words such as Iran and Iraq to illicit fear responses in people and cause panic. Science has been trying to be nice about it by providing stats and numbers and still people do not accept these answers. This is a subject that affects my family first hand and many other people I know. It is something I am very passionate about and will engage in full debate over. I try my best to be even and fair however, I am human and very passionate and when I see lives being threatened because of misinformation and antiscience, from time to time my momma bear hackles come out.

    I am not attacking you. I asked very honest question. We are told to question. We have questioned and provided answers. I have asked those on the “green” side to question as well because Fact: just because it is “green” does not make it safe and I want to know if they are aware of those negative things or not. I want to know if they are perhaps putting them self and others at risk by not asking these questions of even “green” things that can and cannot be safe at the same time. I do not see that as being defensive. It is an honest and fair question. It is part of being a critical thinker.

    And maybe I just typed all of that out for nothing because well I really do not understand what your point was in your last direction to me.

  195. #195 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    You are exactly right, Joe. I should have said that “squalene is manufactured in the liver” is an “Appeal to Ridicule”, but strawman was close enough. And where exactly would most of the commenters here be, including you and I, if we were to exclude ridicule from the debate?

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

    Perhaps then facts would prevail during a pandemic.

    BTW, “dialogue”, try looking up that definition while you are on the task of microscopic nit-picking.

  196. #196 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    Yes, it is ridiculous to worry about an ingredient that is not even in the influenza vaccine. Squalene is not approved for use in the United States.

  197. #197 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    Jules,
    My cousin (in law) doesn’t vaccinate her kids, home schools, prays the rosary every day with her entire family and does all sorts of things that are the exact polar opposite of what I do and have done with mine. She is a Weston Price Foundation Groupie and gives her family raw milk and cheese, uses something called kombucha, (which i think is horribly dangerous and MAJOR woo)- but her kids are big and strong and healthy and beautiful and brilliant and arguably the nicest and most well behaved in our very large extended family, including my own. I think of her sometimes when I am reading this blog- you have all demonized her- and although I never, ever agreed in the past with her vaccination beliefs, I wonder if she isn’t onto something. This stonewalling here on squalene- the actual safety record that Jesse Goodman and the FDA have thus far kept out of the USA waiting to see- but the fact that millions of kids are having it injected as if its utterly harmless, but the truth is- no one really knows. It’s harmless in 65 yrs and older- seasonal flu in Europe. Have you been to the UK lately? People 65 and older can’t even get cancer treatment from the NHS- you are going to tell me that they are closely monitoring vaccine adverse effects?
    I’m not that much of an idiot. Take the squalene OUT. Figure out something else.

  198. #198 Dangerous Bacon
    October 29, 2009

    I wish some of you would stop implying that Tawny the antivax nurse is not a real nurse. We’ve previously seen how people with M.D.s after their name can be completely deluded about immunization, so why is it so hard to imagine a clueless nurse? As an example of the latter, my mother-in-law (an LPN) used to send her own daughter at a young age to a chiropractor to treat her asthma with painful neck manipulation. Luckily while there were no positive effects there were no permanent bad ones either.

    Besides, I have an enjoyable image of Tawny present in the examining room while the physician conducts a child’s physical exam and reminds the parent to bring him/her back in for scheduled immunizations. Then as soon as the doc is out of the room Tawny leans over with an ominous expression on her face to warn, “We don’t really know what the effects are of all these here vaccines – I have questions about them. You don’t want your infant to get Gulf War Syndrome.”

    Maybe Tawny could apply for the next vacancy in Dr. Jay Gordon’s practice. That way any antivax babbling she does will only reinforce the good doctor’s proclivities. He would however have to have faith that she wouldn’t start questioning other aspects of his practice and encourage patients to conduct “research” to overturn his other theories of medicine.

    Come to think of it, that would probably have a positive effect. Jay, are you hiring?

  199. #199 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    You’ve been shown the safety studies on another thread, yet you come back with: “I’m not that much of an idiot. Take the squalene OUT. Figure out something else.”

    Again, it is up to you to show us the evidence it is causing the damage you claim it is… and it has to be more than one case report.

    And if there are millions of children getting the vaccine with squalene (though not in the USA, which I believe has been mentioned a few times), you should have some actual data.

  200. #200 mariane
    October 29, 2009

    I apologize to Tawny for doubting she was a nurse. I had no real evidence for that. When someone makes a claim (e.g. I’m an RN) and then in the next few sentences contradict almost every medical expert in the world, then some doubt about the original claim does spring to one’s mind.

    Allow me to make a point with this example (see bold below).
    Tawny said (after I wondered if she really was a nurse)

    Excuse me, Mariane? Over the years I’ve saved many people’s lives, in and out of the hospital. How about you?

    Irrelevant. But since you mention it, I’ve saved hundreds. Every year. I sew trauma victims back together. Therefore, since I save more lives than you, and since I’m so much more highly trained and educated than you, I must be right when I guess you’re not a nurse.

    See how bad that logic is? And see how easy it is to claim something that no-one can verify? Your argument about vaccines has to stand on its own merits and not on any claim that you are an RN.

    btw, I don’t sew trauma victims back together. Or is that the lie? ;-)

    As Chris (144) points out, the fact that you google for medical information and then link to a chiropractic website to bolster your argument reveals an astounding lack of knowledge about science, real research and medicine. You are victim of the Dunning-Kruger effect (I know, I reversed author names but this way it rolls off the tongue a bit easier).

    To counter the D-K effect learn from the others here. You now know about PubMed so you can start using that instead of Google. Learn how science operates so you can understand why peer-reviewed journals and professional organizations like the CDC and WHO are your best sources for reliable information. It doesn’t mean they are right all the time, but they’ll be right far more often than anything else out there.

    You can also learn how to do proper research, learn the fallacies people commit, learn the biases to which we are all subjected and understand how science seeks to minimize these biases. When you understand how knowledge is accumulated you will understand how to evaluate the sources that disseminate this knowledge.

  201. #201 Moderately Unbalanced Squid
    October 29, 2009

    Commander Data @ 179: Perhaps you should attempt to access that part of your phyche. (emphasis added)

    Sorry, the algal overmind is not accepting access requests at this time. Try later, puny anthropomorph!

  202. #202 Katharine
    October 29, 2009

    …DoctrinalUnfairness, you do know that human bodies actually produce squalene.

    And it’s in olive oil.

    Right?

  203. #203 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 29, 2009

    …DoctrinalUnfairness, you do know that human bodies actually produce squalene.

    And it’s in olive oil.

    Right?

    Don’t give us that “human bodies actually produce squalene and it’s in olive oil”! That’s a strawman, by which we mean data contrary to our vague hypothesis!

  204. #204 jj
    October 29, 2009

    @DoctrinalFairness

    kombucha, (which i think is horribly dangerous and MAJOR woo)

    I normally stray as far from woo as possible, but I’m going to have to argue for kombucha here. Granted I see absolutely no reason to give it to children. I don’t buy into the whole wonder tonic idea, but the stuff is great. Perfect for a hangover. Just the right amount of hair-of-the-dog (it does contain alcohol, BTW). Probiotics – I’m iffy on, although it is supposed to help with digestion, not too sure if there is ANY evidence behind that. Other than that, the main substances are – water, caffeine (it’s made from tea) and vinegar. It settles the stomach, and I’ve come to love the taste (it’s acquired, for sure).
    There is nothing dangerous about it. The only complication that has arose (this was in the mid 90′s) was from homemade stuff (I’ve done,it’s gross) that grows mold on it. You have to be careful in production Any commercial product will be thrown out if there is even a spec of black mold.

  205. #205 Chris
    October 29, 2009

    mariane:

    I apologize to Tawny for doubting she was a nurse. I had no real evidence for that.

    Perhaps she is a chiropractic nurse. Do chiropractors have nurses?

  206. #206 Sid Offit
    October 29, 2009

    @Chris
    You’ve been shown the safety studies on another thread,
    ——————————–
    We’re not all as hopelessly credulous as Todd W.

    Two drug company studies one of which looked at:

    Overall, 89 children were enrolled, vaccinated and analyzed for safety

    and another looking at AEs in 145 toddlers

  207. #207 Luna_the_cat
    October 29, 2009

    DactrinalFairness said People 65 and older can’t even get cancer treatment from the NHS- you are going to tell me that they are closely monitoring vaccine adverse effects?

    And I say, doctrinal, I LIVE in the UK, and you are once again repeating complete bullshit.

    First — I’ve had two older relatives (in their late 70s) receiving cancer treatments within the last 2 years. They were hardly unique in the older population. There is no age limit to who gets cancer treatment here!!!

    Second — the vaccine monitoring system here is the MHRA Yellow Card Scheme, and this has a sister site dedicated solely to tracking and monitoring flu vaccine reactions.

    Squalene safety in toddlers, infants and neonates was also included in the testing of several vaccines in Europe. The studies were not large, but they DO exist. And honestly, in a decade of using squalene as an adjuvant in 11 European countries (and yes, they do vaccine monitoring in Europe, too) we have had absolutely NO indication that it increases autoimmune anything.

    Seriously, you have your “facts” wrong. Just…wrong.

  208. #208 DLC
    October 29, 2009

    Wow, a whole 201 comments and nary a brain consumed by the undead fuhrer. A couple of trolls and a couple fakes, but no sign of the hitler zombie.

  209. #209 Ender
    October 29, 2009

    You know who loved to comment on long threads that have avoided the hitler zombie? Nazis.

  210. #210 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    Katherine, I’m fully aware of the composition of squalene. It appears that when you inject said “olive oil” directly into the veins, there is a significantly higher profile of adverse events indicating inflammation- fever, malaise,pain, swelling, etc, than happens without it. The injection of the unadjuvanted antigen alone will do this, too, but it will eventually confer some protection from the virus. That’s the adverse event sacrifice and unknown risk that parents and children can be asked to make to the “tribe”. But don’t then add add something that IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE THERE, something with higher retrogenicity, then talk about doubling the dose of both to then REALLY cascade this effect and ask me to then take it for the team and put my child in harms way in a way that could have been avoided.
    At that point, I will take my chances and you will lose one more former team player, which will weaken the herd immunity.
    And I promise you, that is what is playing out right now, 1x1x1. People no longer believ you because of things like this- no one really knows what is going to happen in the long term with children- it’s a guess.

    Regarding the studies. These studies examined very small groups of children- 300, 99 with numbers that would NEVER fly here on this blog if I wanted to justify something that you would all scream woo-esque and alternative,like acupuncture for millions of people for pain.
    We are rolling out many new vaccines with squalene adjuvants as soon as US FDA Goodman opens the pipeline and it will take YEARS for an infants intestine to have rotted enough to have several inches removed and NO ONE will count this as an effect. Hit and run. And you cannot prove at the moment it does NOT happen. I should just take your word for it.
    I am not looking to blame vax manufacturers for what I know is a genetic illness. But don’t ask me to harm my child further because you did shoddy testing and are having an experiment.

    These studies examined seasonal flu adjuvanted vaccine (Fluad) using the control of the aduvanted H5N1 vaccine (how do we even have that yet? has that yet even mutated and appeared somewhere?), making it impossible to demonstrate that unadjuvanted vaccine does not have anywhere NEAR the adverse effects as adjuvanted and is the safer alternative.
    No. If you can justify this kind of thing, when someone on the FDA committee proceedings said that this InfluenzaA has been circulating for DECADES, then we really, really stink at making certain that vaccines are safe and all of your whackos have a point.

    It would also really be wonderful to see just one or two of you from time to time admit to real analysis of the Kool-Aid drinking that is going on about the safety for children of adjuvanted vaccines, especially in lieu of what just happened in Germany.
    Adults didn’t even want it- and it has been given in Europe “safely” to millions of adults over 65.
    And how would you ever truly find long term adverse autoimmune reactions in that population anyway? In Europe?
    Are the German government ministers anti-vax whackos or not?
    Or are you all playing the newest version of “Poke and Hope”?

  211. #211 DLC
    October 29, 2009

    Or people who’ve seen the typical pro/anti vaccine discussion digress into name calling and eventually into Argumentum Ad Hitlerum too many times, and who are surprised to see no one break out the too easy and too frequently used comparison to Hitler or the nazis.

  212. #212 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    There is no age limit to who gets cancer treatment here!!!

    And THAT is complete bullshit! I’m in the UK as we speak and spent the morning with a friend whose 62 yr old brother is too old to be enrolled in ANY clinical trial for his cancer. He doesn’t have private insurance, which anyone who is affluent in the UK seems to require. On my way over here, my seatmate was a nurse from the USA who was going to see her dying mother in Essex and SHE WAS THE ONE who told me that.
    Luna, if a senior citizen gets Rhumatoid Arthritis, will that be reported as a vaccine side effect?

  213. #213 LC
    October 29, 2009

    Wow – if trek fanbois freak out this much over Orac’s comments concerning Mr Spinner and mentioning his character Data, it’s probably a good thing that DeForest Kelly is dead.

    Imagine the sh*t storm if Orac dared criticise the actor of Dr McCoy.

  214. #214 DLC
    October 29, 2009

    Uh, Doc ? a clinical trial is not accepted medicine.
    it’s called a trial because they’re trying it out to see how it works in real patients. The conditions for acceptance for a clinical trial are set by the scientists and doctors doing the study, not by the NHS.

  215. #215 Phoenix Woman
    October 29, 2009

    For folks wondering who this weird “PubMed” character is, it’s not a Ferengi, it’s a database:

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

  216. #216 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    There is nothing they can do for him at 62 with Stage Cancer. He is too old for any clinical trials. You all screamed about Dr. Simmoncini, I was online looking up Alternative Treatment this morning.

  217. #217 DoctrinalFairness
    October 29, 2009

    There is nothing they can do for him at 62 with some kind of late stage blood cancer, which is all my friend knew. He was told was too old for any clinical trials. You all screamed about Dr. Simmoncini, I was online looking up Alternative Treatment this morning, because thats whats left. Woo.

  218. #218 Joseph C.
    October 29, 2009

    Are the German government ministers anti-vax whackos or not?

    Let’s take another stab at this. The answers to scientific problems are decided by scientists, not politicians. I don’t really see how this such a difficult concept for you. We hope that politicians make decisions based on the best available science as delivered by their advisers, but this process breaks down frequently. And yes there are PLENTY of woo politicians. Ever heard of Tom Harkin, Dan Burton, or Prince Charles?

  219. #219 Dedj
    October 29, 2009

    My dad is 70 this year (might even be 71) yet he has had no problem getting a biopsy as part of a cancer investigation.

    Other people I’ve worked with (in an older persons unit in the east england area) had been recieving cancer care.

    Admission criteria for clinical trials are not transferable to oncology services, as clinical trials tend to prefer people who are likely to experience only the target illness during the trial phase. This tends to be ‘younger’ people.

    I would be interested in who the offending Trust is, assuming the story is true, which it (very) occasionally is. The NSF for Older Persons clearly lays out in its opening standard that cancer care (and others) should be based on clinical need.

  220. #220 JohnV
    October 29, 2009

    @DoctrinalFairness

    “Ritchie, you tell me- are all of these secondary bacterial infections in ANY age group the cause or the result of a cytokine storm- I’m not a doctor and I haven’t a clue.”

    Interferon gamma increases from viral infections can lead to increased susceptibility to bacterial infection (S. pneumo for example). In mice at least.

    http://www.jci.org/articles/view/35412

  221. #221 Sean Case
    October 29, 2009

    Brent Spiner telling me to “educate myself” about vaccines is about as helpful as Tom Cruise telling me to “educate myself” about psychiatry, or Mel Gibson telling me to “educate myself” about world politics.

  222. #222 SurgeryRN
    October 29, 2009

    I hope Tawny isn’t an RN. She gives the rest of us a bad name. The profession doesn’t need people like that.

  223. #223 Chris
    October 30, 2009

    You all screamed about Dr. Simmoncini, I was online looking up Alternative Treatment this morning, because thats whats left. Woo….Posted by: DoctrinalFairness | October 29, 2009 9:51 PM

    You keep weird hours for someone claiming to be in the UK. Almost 10:00 PM in USA Eastern Daylight Time is the wee hours of the morning in the UK. You are not Canadian, and I have not seen the more interesting spelling… why in bloody hell are you worried about squalene, which is not used in the USA?

  224. #224 Chris
    October 30, 2009

    In case you forgot, squalene is not approved for use in vaccines in the USA.

  225. #225 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    October 30, 2009

    @Bob,: “putz?” Naah, misguided occasionally. Those “TBBT” guys are not nerds! They’re smart, quirky people who perseverate and rarely see others’ points of view. That’s what I meant!

    @Militant: Oh! And they lack a sense of humor, too.

    @Tawny: Nurses should always tell docs when they’re wrong. Lives get saved. Thanks!

    @JohnV: Well said, but the percentage of fatalities will be small and probably unavoidable with or without a vaccine.

    @Sid: Again, thanks. Pharmaceutical manufacturers make billions of dollars selling vaccines and the old canard about they’re being “money losers” will never be chased out of this blog. It’s a canard and a straw man and a fallacy all at once! You guys . . .

    @Chris: Wanna’ bet that the declaration of “emergency” will lead to other adjuvants being allowed?

    Gulf War Syndrome: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10640454
    “The majority of symptomatic GWS patients had serum antibodies to squalene.”

    @Tawny: Difficult to argue with people who talk and don’t listen, isn’t it? I also am not “anti-vaccine.” The first thing I did in my office this morning was give two DPaT shots. The people in here are absolutely impervious to reason. If you question, you must be anti-vaccine!

    @phantomreader42: Try to be s little more moderate when you don’t understand an answer.

    Omigod, this is hard. There’s almost no substance to these posts. Just nastiness and anger. And so much hyperbole that there’s no honest exchange of information.

    Here’s the heart of the issue: This new H1N1 virus is here to stay and doctors should discuss vaccination with their higher risk patients. Low risk people will eventually be exposed to the disease and this might be the best year to get the “weakest” iteration of Swine Flu.

    I am aiming to get Orac to five-and-a-half-million views by sundown.

    Best To You All!

    Jay

  226. #226 OurSally
    October 30, 2009

    I want to defend the poor Germans. We don’t all obtain our information from tabloids.

    I checked the statistics website and it says 78% are not planning to be inoculated. This does not mean they are against it. The government says there is not enough for us all, and first health personnel, police, the armed forces, and so on should get it, followed by people who are at risk. It is also generally thought that a person in normal health does not need to worry much about flu.

    If we really do get an epidemic they will be queuing up at the doctor, don’t worry. The press is always promising us epidemics which don’t turn up, so most of us will wait and see.

    P.S. An educated German speaks and writes English very well, as a rule. If someone cannot spell, and cannot even use a spell checker, this is a sign of some missed opportunities in school.

  227. #227 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    @ Moderately Unbalanced Squid (#201):

    Sorry, the algal overmind is not accepting access requests at this time. Try later, puny anthropomorph

    I am superior, sir, in many ways. But I would gladly give it up to be human.

  228. #228 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    @ Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP (#225):

    Here’s the heart of the issue: This new H1N1 virus is here to stay and doctors should discuss vaccination with their higher risk patients. Low risk people will eventually be exposed to the disease and this might be the best year to get the “weakest” iteration of Swine Flu.

    I would gladly risk feeling bad at times if it also meant that I could taste my dessert.

  229. #229 Mike Barnes
    October 30, 2009

    Doctrinalfairness –

    Cytokines happen to be storming in the bodies of 600 people in the UK right now who are in intensive care. (Somehow we never hear whether any of them got the seasonal or H1N1 flu shot, though, or WHICH underlying condition they had.)

    It’s not only the lack of plausible fact in the above quotation, but the tone that rankles.

    Fact: the H1N1 vaccine is only just now – literally just now – being rolled out to highest priority at-risk groups. It’s therefore pretty unlikely that many, or perhaps any, of the six hundred in intensive care had either the H1N1 or flu shot (they have different at-risk groups anyway).

    Somehow we never hear whether any of them got the seasonal or H1N1 flu shot, though, or WHICH underlying condition they had.

    The use of this language is itself toxic. It implies – without being so crass as to say so in words – that there’s some kind of conspiracy at work. This is clearly someone who would, on another blog, would be ‘asking legitimate questions’ about 9/11 or climate change.

    P.S. As for underlying conditions, extreme asthma or pregnancy will probably feature prominently. The truth, as usual, is banal.

  230. #230 Luna_the_cat
    October 30, 2009

    Jay:
    ““The majority of symptomatic GWS patients had serum antibodies to squalene.”” — What you forgot to mention there is, so did the ones who didn’t have symptoms, and those who had never received any suspect vaccines. So you are trying to imply that a set of antibodies common between those who received the vaccines and those who didn’t, those who had symptoms and those who didn’t, was somehow the thing which came from the vaccine and was responsible for the symptoms. Complete Logic Fail. And you’re supposed to be a doctor???

    Doctrinal: I repeat, I live in the UK. I have a lot of older relatives here, including two with cancer. Elderly neighbor had lung cancer. Previous elderly neighbor had breast cancer. None of these people ever went begging for treatment on the NHS (oh, and no, you do NOT need private insurance. I had it for a while and gave it up as a complete waste of money here). There are clinical guidelines in every part of the UK for treating elderly with cancer. And the only “evidence” for a lack of treatment are occasional newspaper complaints that elderly cancer patients might be denied the newest of the drugs on the market at times. And despite all this — you call me a liar. Plus, you obviously don’t understand the difference between “trial” and “treatment.” I don’t exactly have a lot of respect for you at the moment — see if you can figure out why.

    Speaking of which: I had a look at all the papers about squalene causing RA in rodents, and I think maybe you missed something — the lowest amount of squalene injected into the rodents is about double, in mg per kg of body weight (or in the rodents, mcg/gram of body weight really) than the highest dosage of squalene in a vaccine is for even a small child. I get that you don’t understand dose response, but please try to understand: amount makes a difference.

    And has been pointed out to you before, though, you need to apply basic logic: squalene has been in use in Europe for over a decade now. If it increased the incidence of RA, surely we would be able to see the increase of RA since the advent of this adjuvant. WE DON’T. WE HAVE NOT. Therefore, there is no real world evidence whatsoever that squalene as an adjuvant causes this effect.

    Please spare us the histrionics about “it will take YEARS for an infants intestine to have rotted enough to have several inches removed” and how we can’t prove it DOESN’T happen. We can’t prove that the entire world wasn’t created by a capricious deity last Tuesday with the appearance of age and false memories for everyone. We can’t prove that UFOs DON’T come down and anally probe people, ever, either. We have absolutely no evidence, anywhere, ever, that it happens, though. It’s not even biologically plausible! But still, you consider this more important than risking peoples lives from an entirely tangible, real, measurable contagious disease???

    Seriously: you weight this nebulous, unproven, unevidenced, only vaguely potential and extremely unlikely danger over the entirely provable, tangible, measurable danger of pediatric fatality from flu — where we can actually point to the numbers of seriously ill and dead. What the HELL kind of “logic” leads you to do this?

  231. #231 Jud
    October 30, 2009

    dcotrinalfairness writes:

    There is nothing they can do for him at 62 with some kind of late stage blood cancer, which is all my friend knew. He was told was too old for any clinical trials. You all screamed about Dr. Simmoncini, I was online looking up Alternative Treatment this morning, because thats whats left. Woo.

    As you’ve already been told, clinical trials are not some sort of NHS-sponsored treatment modality, they are quite literally human medical experimentation, and are very tightly controlled for sound medical and ethical reasons.

    I’m sorry your friend is terminally ill, but how is spending his money on worthless pseudo-medical crap supposed to improve the time he has left? Hopefully better ways of being a friend during this difficult time will open to you when and if he’s ready.

  232. #232 Jud
    October 30, 2009

    Luna_the_cat writes: What the HELL kind of “logic” leads you to do this?

    Yes, one wonders whether folks using this sort of “reasoning” would hesitate to deliver their children from a burning home because it’s never been conclusively proved that the flame retardant fumes you might breathe as you rushed from the house have absolutely no chance of causing cancer decades hence.

  233. #233 DaveL
    October 30, 2009

    Gulf War Syndrome: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10640454
    “The majority of symptomatic GWS patients had serum antibodies to squalene.”

    And? How does this relate to vaccines? Squalene is not used as an adjuvant in U.S. vaccines, and the trace amounts found in the anthrax vaccine are far lower than the natural background level.

    @Tawny: Difficult to argue with people who talk and don’t listen, isn’t it?

    I also am not “anti-vaccine.” The first thing I did in my office this morning was give two DPaT shots. The people in here are absolutely impervious to reason. If you question, you must be anti-vaccine!

    It’s not that you question, it’s that you ignore answers that aren’t the one you want. See the example with squalene above. Clearly you aren’t interested in finding out, for example, whether the use of squalene in vaccines contributed to GWS because if you were you wouldn’t ignore the facts that were brought up in this thread.

  234. #234 DoctrinaFairness
    October 30, 2009

    BTW, I am an American staying temporarily in the UK and found it humorous that Luna was also awake at nearly three in the morning, but no one questioned her odd hours. I will ask my friend about her brother, who we were discussing in the context of my own 54 year old brother in law in the USA who is also terminal- and what danger is there in trying out alternatives after being told there is nothing else for you and to get your affairs in order?
    Please also show me that squalene based adjuvants have been used safely in Europe for years, Luna. Seriously, are you comfortable enough with the evidence to warrant the hysterical and united defense by nearly every scientist on this blog for a substance that until very recently (April, 2009?) been approved only for people aged 65 and over?
    I will search for and later find the exhaustive list of pre-existing conditions in this age group that would confound or disqualify any evidence of a newly diagnosed auto-immune disorder or most reactions, but you would already know that.
    In the meantime, do continue to defend the results of studies on roughly 1300 children who were studied in such interesting contexts, eg the comparison of adjuvanted H5N1 vaccine to adjuvanted Fluad as in the study Todd furnished on the other thread, for just starters?
    >>>About Fluad®
    Fluad®, the only MF59TM-adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine, is licensed for active immunization against influenza in elderly subjects (65 years of age and over)…
    http://www.novartisvaccines.com/downloads/newsroom/media-releases/20071019_FluadVACCINEpublication.pdf< <<

    And yes, I used unproven hyperpole and equally hysterical assertions in my illustration about the diseased bowel and the 600 people in the ICU. But thus far you engage in exactly the same hyperbole in defense of vaccination with an unproven substance vs risk of the flu, while having absolutely no proof what will happens to a small child's immune system in the long term. What is the risk of increasing a circulating cytokine (IL6) in a young body that is exposed but has not yet broken out with symptoms and receives the flu shot during this period?

    Once again, I contend parents need to know the actual risks of both- and you HAVE NO REAL IDEA. The majority of studies (and absymally small numbers) compared oranges to oranges- check them yourselves.
    These are children and babies and the Adverse Events in the very few studies that compared adjuvanted to unadjuvanted show notably higher AE's in adjuvanted- with zero understanding of how this contributes to the dysregulation of systemic inflammation down the road. And I am expected to furnish the proof of this? WHere are YOUR genuine questions about this??? I'm not a doctor and never claimed to be a scientist. YOU read the studies http://www.emea.europa.eu/ and explain how they are justification to inject millions of children with adjuvanted vaccine. Yes, it is HIDEOUS that people are dying from this flu and millions can probably be vaccinated without question with a minimum of worry- but Dr. JAy- WHO is our risk group? Every one of the risk groups that I have seen are also diseases with dyregulated IL6- in which case until more is known EVRY one of them should get unadjuvanted Vaccine with much lower inflammatory AE profile.

  235. #235 tl
    October 30, 2009

    Jay:

    @Sid: Again, thanks. Pharmaceutical manufacturers make billions of dollars selling vaccines and the old canard about they’re being “money losers” will never be chased out of this blog. It’s a canard and a straw man and a fallacy all at once! You guys . . .

    Well, since Sid failed to back up that claim (instead dishonestly posting total market value and speaking as if that were the same as profit), perhaps you could back up the claim that manufacturers make billions of dollars selling vaccines.

  236. #236 Dangerous Bacon
    October 30, 2009

    I see Dr. Jay is back – to cheer on antivaxers, jeer at his critics, and complain about “canards”. Speaking of which…

    Dr. Jay says in his latest post: “Here’s the heart of the issue: This new H1N1 virus is here to stay and doctors should discuss vaccination with their higher risk patients. Low risk people will eventually be exposed to the disease and this might be the best year to get the “weakest” iteration of Swine Flu.”

    This statement implies that Dr. Jay will be “discussing” H1N1 vaccination with his “higher risk” patients, and one would think this means that some would wind up getting immunized. But on his website, Dr. Jay says the following:

    “I also won’t be giving the flu shot to the kids and parents in my practice unless there are extraordinary risk factors. I anticipate giving none at all this year.” (bolding added)

    So, Dr. Jay has 1) apparently made up a category of “extraordinary risk” patients for whom H1N1 vaccination is theoretically possible, but somehow he anticipates giving none of them protection. Then he comes in here and talks about “discussing” vaccination with a similarly nebulous “higher risk” group (“higher risk” sounds more encompassing than “extraordinary” risk, but we still have no idea what Dr. Jay is talking about).

    The CDC‘s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended initial emphasis on vaccinating patients in five groups it considers at high risk from H1N1 flu, including pregnant women, people who live with or care for infants under 6 months of age, and children and young adults aged 6 months to 24 years. Tell us, Dr. Jay, do you see any patients/parents who fall into these groups, and what are you “discussing” with them? Do you consider anyone coming under these guidelines to be at high enough risk to recommend vaccine protection? Do you treat any patients with cystic fibrosis, asthma, immune system disorders or other chronically ill children who are even more at risk from H1N1, and are they “extraordinary” enough to deserve being immunized?

    Have you taken these children and parents into account in anticipating that you will give the H1N1 vaccine to no one this year?

    If you still plan on immunizing no one in your practice, how do you reconcile that with your claim of not being an antivaxer?

    Here’s yet another chance for you to elevate the level of discussion here (which you so deplore) and provide actual content. Or will you duck direct questions yet again?

  237. #237 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    @ Luna_the_cat (#230),

    Jay:
    “The majority of symptomatic GWS patients had serum antibodies to squalene.” — What you forgot to mention there is, so did the ones who didn’t have symptoms, and those who had never received any suspect vaccines. So you are trying to imply that a set of antibodies common between those who received the vaccines and those who didn’t, those who had symptoms and those who didn’t, was somehow the thing which came from the vaccine and was responsible for the symptoms. Complete Logic Fail. And you’re supposed to be a doctor???

    It is interesting that people try to find meaningful patterns in things that are essentially random. I have noticed that the images they perceive sometimes suggest what they are thinking about at that particular moment.

  238. #238 Luna_the_cat
    October 30, 2009

    Doctrinal: Time Zone Fail or Reading Comprehension Fail? Luna was most certainly NOT up at 3am — not last night, anyway.

    Fluad is the most common vaccine which contains a squalene-based adjuvant — it is most certainly not the only vaccine. One of the trials where the effect of a squalene-based adjuvant was monitored in neonates was a trial of vaccines to prevent HIV transmission from an infected mother.

    But MF59, the squalene-based adjuvant, has been in use in flu vaccines since at least 1996 — it is mentioned in The 3rd European Conference on Vaccinology: Building lifelong immunity, for example. And I honestly cannot understand why you think it is ONLY for over-65s– I haven’t got a flu jab this year yet, but I went with my grandfather to get one in 2007, and we got exactly the same thing (I am an occasional carer for kids with health issues, so I go for every vaccination). I have not heard of separate stocks for jabs for over-65s and under-65s; this is just daft.

    I think the fact that you cannot tell the difference between hysterical hyperbole, and people getting completely fed up with your logic and fact failures, is part of the problem. Tell me, have you spent any time at all evaluating the content of the responses to you, and thinking through what people are telling you about why they do not share your concerns?

    I leave you with one more thing:
    http://cdli.highwire.org/cgi/content/abstract/13/9/1010

    A clear finding of our study is that the vast majority of healthy adults have antibodies to squalene circulating in their sera. It is of note that these antibodies were found in individuals from various geographical areas, such as the United States, western Europe, and eastern Europe, which to our knowledge had never received vaccines or other pharmacological treatments containing squalene. The statistically significant difference found among the three cohorts studied here cannot be ascribed to vaccinations, since these people were never vaccinated previously with vaccines containing MF59. In some cohorts, the frequency of individuals with detectable levels of antisqualene antibodies was as high as 100%.

    It is not enough to say “I don’t have to believe this because it comes from Novartis”; you need to be able to point to actual data which would throw doubt on this finding in humans, for a start, and perhaps point out where this study was flawed.

  239. #239 Aj
    October 30, 2009

    “Have you been to the UK lately? People 65 and older can’t even get cancer treatment from the NHS- you are going to tell me that they are closely monitoring vaccine adverse effects?”

    You are a liar.

    I thought that fact should be repeated, just in case anyone slightly interested in what you spout is reading this and is unaware.

  240. #240 aratina cage
    October 30, 2009

    WTF? Whatever Brent Spiner says or does from now on has no impact on the greatness of the character he played in ST:TNG.

    Please. We must stop the insanity. Practically every person who affects our culture has quirks, you have to separate the art from the artist, and that goes for Jim Carey, Jenny McCarthy, and Bill Maher, too. You also have to realize that people do change their minds about things — not always in a good way.

    Anyway, I support you in your attack the falsehoods espoused, and encourage you to go after Brent Spiner in the off-chance that he becomes better educated on the subject, but leave Data and Brent Spiner’s artistic genius well enough alone! Besides, how do you know he isn’t just being a sarcastic ass and egging you on?

  241. #241 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    @aratina cage:

    WTF? Whatever Brent Spiner says or does from now on has no impact on the greatness of the character he played in ST:TNG.

    I am designed to exceed human capacity, both mentally and physically.

  242. #242 DoctrinalFairness
    October 30, 2009

    I apologize for engaging in unclear accusations, after hours before having sat with afriend whose 62 year old brother was told that there is no treatment other than palliative care nor any trial available to him (the trial due to his age) here in the UK. But the lies and minimizations of the unknown long term use of squalene here are astounding. Please direct me to any studies with data showing that squalene-based adjuvants have been safely used in children with little or no risk to increased autoimmune or inflammatory disease.
    Argue this woman’s science. http://www.newfluwiki2.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=1560

  243. #243 titmouse
    October 30, 2009

    doctrinalfairness:

    And how would you ever truly find long term adverse autoimmune reactions in that population anyway? In Europe?

    The vaccine surveillance system was quite good in the pre-Internet 1970s and is even better now.

    In 1976 about 500 out of 40,000,000 people given the swine flu vaccine developed Guillan Barre syndrome (GBS), resulting in an immediate halt to the 10-week old vaccination effort. That’s about 1 person affected for every 100,000 vaccinated –i.e., extremely rare and not far off from the background incidence of 1-2 people per 1,000,000 per year. The fact that the CDC could recognize and respond to such a rare problem should reassure us that the surveillance system is quite good.

    But GBS is a relatively short-term effect. You asked about long-term effects, and by “long-term” I’m guessing you mean years later.

    Do we see long-term adverse effects from specific medical interventions without some evidence of short-term effects? I’m scratching my head here.

    Vaccines are merely a select few foreign antigens given to a body that encounters many thousands each day. I see no reason to believe that humans are in any greater danger of long-term injury from vaccines than they are from tooth brushing.

  244. #244 Frank Oswalt
    October 30, 2009

    @DoctrinalFairness (#242):

    I apologize for engaging in unclear accusations, after hours before having sat with afriend whose 62 year old brother was told that there is no treatment other than palliative care nor any trial available to him (the trial due to his age) here in the UK

    Sorry to be so blunt, but are you some kind of idiot? Clinical trials are NOT part of the health care system of ANY country. Whether you take part in a trial is determined by whether you fit the criteria set up for that trial, NOT by whether alternative treatments are available to you.

  245. #245 Todd W.
    October 30, 2009

    @doctrinalfairness

    I provided links to a couple studies of MF59 in children in the other thread where our discussion occurred.

  246. #246 Jane
    October 30, 2009

    What is the prevalence of Gulf War Syndrome in European civilian populations that have received squalene-adjuvanted vaccines?

    Why argue from such a narrow group (Gulf War veterans) of squalene-adjuvanted vaccine recipients (assuming arguendo) instead of showing the similar number of Gulf War Syndrome pts in non-military populations of squalene-adjuvanted vaccine recipients?

  247. #247 titmouse
    October 30, 2009

    Typo in my comment above. GBS incidence is about 1-2 people per 100,000 per year.

  248. #248 Mike Barnes
    October 30, 2009

    Some breaking news, which may be relevant:

    Only one dose of vaccine is needed for protection against pandemic H1N1 flu and the jabs have so far proved to be safe, the World Health Organisation said on Friday. The WHO has repeatedly sought to reassure people around the world that the H1N1 vaccines being made by 25 different companies, with various formulations, are safe.

    “All the reports received to date following vaccination — either in clinical trials or in mass vaccination campaigns — have shown that the safety profile of these pandemic vaccines is good and is very similar to the one which is known for seasonal influenza vaccine,” said WHO expert Marie-Paule Kieny.

    “Nothing special in terms of adverse events has been noted,” Kieny, who heads the U.N. health agency’s vaccine research, told journalists on a telephone conference.

  249. #249 DoctrinalFairness
    October 30, 2009

    I must be an idiot, because all of our very best science after 30 years of cancer research has just released two under-65 year old men to palliative care and hospice. And I already apologized for my not being clear at repeating the word of two Brits on what they have conveyed as a dearth of options for cancer treatment for people in the UK in their age group, both people involved were late stage at diagnosis.

    People with autoimmune conditions are willing to risk worsening them with the heightened immune response from the antigen alone to insure herd immunity, but I have repeatedly questioned why are they being potentially put at higher risk from the enhanced immune response to the H1N1 antigen in addition to the circulating antibodies from Squalene which create a higher AE profile, and elevated IL6 which is indicated in numerous inflammatory diseases.
    Why not insure, until further research is done, that the scores of people with autoimmune conditions be given unadjuvanted vaccines?

    Todd, I read the studies, did you? Were you satisfied with the number of subjects, the substances under review (oranges and oranges) and how this data is extrapolated to the present situation? Especially since those studies were the basis of approval for this vaccine’s use in children and adults? If so, don’t be so hard on poor old Andrew, or even Hulda Clark, for that matter.
    You ain’t a whole lot better.

  250. #250 Michael Ralston
    October 30, 2009

    DF: You are at this point lying when you express concerns about squalene, which you have been told over and over is not approved for use in the US, which you have admitted is the country you live in.

    Even aside from that, you have demonstrated a complete lack of awareness as to what an adjuvant is or does.

    Since I haven’t seen anyone explain this for you, I guess I’ll take a stab at it.

    You see, the entire purpose of an adjuvant is to provoke an inflammatory response, so that a stronger immune response is provoked with less antigen. That is why the adjuvanted vaccines are available faster – because the limiting factor is the production of vaccine. There is no grand conspiracy to give people arthritis, and there is no real reason to believe that the amount of adjuvant found in adjuvanted vaccines causes any health problems – the USA limits adjuvants to only alum, while other countries don’t, yet we don’t see significantly different rates of any relevant diseases.

  251. #251 DoctrinalFairness
    October 30, 2009

    >>Vaccines are merely a select few foreign antigens given to a body that encounters many thousands each day. I see no reason to believe that humans are in any greater danger of long-term injury from vaccines than they are from tooth brushing.<<

    Yeah, tell that to the poster in the last thread who very quietly reported the death of their child with eczema, which last I checked was an autoimmune response involving dysregulated sebum (so much for the harmless squalene antibodies theory- disprove the relationship). The cavalier dismissal of the real CONCERNS is going to have profound effect on your CONCERN, once again, regarding the herd immunity needed to protect everyone. You disriss and ridicule it at your peril, also.

  252. #252 DoctrinalFairness
    October 30, 2009

    michael- what crap. we both know that it is just a matter of time until squalene based adjuvants are the “gold standard” of vaccines in the USA. Sweeping the many questions about them under the rug helps no one.
    The questions are now obviously shared by an entire body of government officials who are either, by your very own reasoning, all very ill-advised by the psuedoscientists in Germany and to be included as antivax fringe lunatics or YOU are lying, which is the tired accusation hurled at me. And I live in the USA, visit the UK and will refuse squalene adjuvants when the inevitably DO arrive in the USA until you prove to me why I should not.

  253. #253 Todd W.
    October 30, 2009

    @doctrinalfairness

    I did read the studies. They were some of the few that I could find that did not have someone from Novartis or Chiron as the lead author, since I figured objections would probably be raised otherwise. Also, on was a proof-of-concept study and one was a Phase II trial, which means they necessarily had limited numbers of enrollees, though certainly they were significantly better than, say, Andrew Wakefield’s 12 subjects that were fed to him by the lawyer representing their families and paying Wakefield. 89 subjects in the first link and over 400 in the second one are not all that bad. Also, they compared MF59 adjuvanted vaccine against a similar vaccine without MF59, so I’m satisfied with what they compared.

    If I had the time, I could do a bit more digging to find out what other studies have been done, looking at squalene, though from what I’ve seen so far, there has been no evidence of increased risk beyond slightly elevated chance of local reaction (itchiness, pain at the injection site, etc.).

    Do you have any studies that show significant risk beyond that? If so, please provide a link.

  254. #254 titmouse
    October 30, 2009

    Dr. Jay Gordon:

    Rather than looking at the possibility that there’s validity to using our limited supply of H1N1 vaccines selectively for higher risk children and adults, the chorus here shouts back “NO!!”

    I wish you would use specific language.

    The CDC recommends the swine flu vaccination for:
    - pregnant women
    - children 6 months to 4 years
    - children aged 5 to 18 years with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications
    - people who live with or care for infants less than 6 months old
    - health care workers

    Once those people have been vaccinated and if supplies allow, the CDC recommends expansion of the list above to include:
    - persons 5 years to 24 years
    - persons 25 to 64 with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications

    Dr. Gordon, please explain how your recommendations differ from the CDC guidelines.

  255. #255 Chris
    October 30, 2009

    DF:

    I must be an idiot,

    Yes, you are.

    I suggest that we either ignore this persistent troll… or just remind her each and every time she uses the word “squalene” that it is not used in the USA, and that she needs to post the studies that it poses a risk.

    (by the way folks upthread, it turns out the anthrax vaccine never had squalene — the Tulane study was small, and there are better more recent studies that I linked to when responding to Tawny)

  256. #256 DoctrinalFairness
    October 30, 2009

    As the parent of a child with Crohns disease, I was very authoritatively and unequivocally informed by several of her physicians and surgeons that there was no credible relationship between Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) and the ongoing disease in her bowel. There WAS no room for debate and the implication was that by not heeding their advice, I was putting my child at death’s door.
    Imagine my surprise….
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%

    I don’t need to send you studies, Todd. You sound like such a reasonable person, how do you defend the excrutiatingly small bit of evidence (tiny, tiny numbers of controls for unadjuvanted of the safety in children of these adjuvants?) that squalene based adjuvants will not appear as conincidental autoimmune disease in a child of 2? Crohn’s disease in a 2 year old is an agonizing illness and I am not exagerrating. You don’t have a clue what causes it and at the moment, there is a giant question mark about these adjuvants and you want to add them willy-nilly to the bunches of new vaccines awaiting families and children.
    Expect some major resistance and much of it to come from your former supporters.

  257. #257 titmouse
    October 30, 2009
    Vaccines are merely a select few foreign antigens given to a body that encounters many thousands each day. I see no reason to believe that humans are in any greater danger of long-term injury from vaccines than they are from tooth brushing.

    Yeah, tell that to the poster in the last thread who very quietly reported the death of their child with eczema, which last I checked was an autoimmune response involving dysregulated sebum (so much for the harmless squalene antibodies theory- disprove the relationship). The cavalier dismissal of the real CONCERNS is going to have profound effect on your CONCERN, once again, regarding the herd immunity needed to protect everyone. You disriss and ridicule it at your peril, also.

    Eczema is a relatively common condition. If vaccination makes eczema worse, we should be able to see that easily.

    I’ve not felt moved to ridicule you thus far in this thread. At the moment, I actually feel some concern for you as you seem to be sliding around a bit in focus –for example, you responded to my post as if I’d ridiculed certain concerns when I hadn’t. Maybe a break from the webs for a day is in order.

  258. #258 DoctrinalFairness
    October 30, 2009

    As the parent of a child with Crohns disease, I was very authoritatively and unequivocally informed by several of her physicians and surgeons that there was no credible relationship between Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) and the ongoing disease in her bowel. There WAS no room for debate and the implication was that by not heeding their advice, I was putting my child at death’s door.
    Imagine my surprise….
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%

    I don’t need to send you studies, Todd. You sound like such a reasonable person, how are you ever in your right mind defending the excrutiatingly small bit of evidence from the studies that you provided (tiny, tiny numbers of controls for unadjuvanted vs aduvanted )that the safety of children is insured? There is a reasonable giant question mark about these adjuvants and their activity in under 65′s (please show me data, Luna) but you all glowingly support the addition of them, willy-nilly, to the numerous new vaccines awaiting families and children.
    Expect some major resistance and much of it will come from your supporters. Your response is an appeal to ridicule. Jefferson might have found ridicule an appropriate response to attacks on reason, but other famous people had entirely different opinions about it. Maybe you have held the authoritative stage for too long and its time to give way to a more integrated idea of scientific knowledge.

  259. #259 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    @titmouse:

    Maybe a break from the webs for a day is in order.

    I plan to shut down my cognitive functions for a brief period each day. I hope to generate new internal visions.

  260. #260 Todd W.
    October 30, 2009

    @doctrinalfairness

    I don’t need to send you studies, Todd.

    Then you can’t make claims or intimate that squalene is harmful and still hope to be taken seriously. If you don’t have anything to support your concerns, then they are irrational, sorry to say. As far as I understand, squalene has been used in Europe, including in children’s vaccines, for roughly 10 years, with no major reports of serious AEs. Currently, then, it appears that squalene is a safe adjuvant. It’s going to take research showing that there is, indeed, increased risk of serious injury for me to change my mind.

    you want to add them willy-nilly to the bunches of new vaccines awaiting families and children.

    You seem to have me confused with someone else. Where have I said such? I expect that any substance for use in the U.S. should go through the proper trials. The studies I linked to were for Europe and I would not use them alone to support inclusion of MF59 in U.S. vaccines. However, they (among other studies) support the idea that in the general population, MF59 is safe for use in children. Your child’s case is not common, and, barring studies that included such populations in their studies, I probably would not recommend its use in that specific subgroup.

    As to your child, are you arguing that a vaccine adjuvant caused Crohn’s disease, or are you just concerned about the effect adjuvants might have in children with Crohn’s disease?

  261. #261 doctrinalfairness
    October 30, 2009

    Thanks for your concern about my sanity ,titmouse, but nowhere was my implication that you in particular had ridiculed. yes, i’m tired and sliding in focus because you seem to be ignoring something that an entire Governmental body found to be important. Are you certain that an increase in AE’s does not lead to systemic inflammation?

    And yes, eczema is yet another very common condition for which the medical community seems to have a very high tolerance for “unknown etiology”,(along with an astounding number of inflammatory conditions)and for which there is expensive treatment, but no cure.
    I, for one, am going to spend far more time and give far more credence to Chinese and Indian doctors who treat these illnesses with woo-woo herbs that are readily available to families who may be left with the collateral damage of your rigid certainties, but no medical care or financial resources to deal with them.

  262. #262 Frank Oswalt
    October 30, 2009

    @DoctrinalFairness (#256/258):

    Imagine my surprise….

    I can imagine you must have been extremely surprised at this study that says nothing about a relationship between Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis and Crohn’s disease.

    Here is a working link, which you were unable to provide:

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0001308

  263. #263 aratina cage
    October 30, 2009

    Re: Commander Data #241

    I am designed to exceed human capacity, both mentally and physically.

    I just added Brent Spiner’s Twitter log to my bookmarks under the tagname “twit”. First entry. Congratulations, twit. Don’t ruin your fucking name.

  264. #264 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    @doctrinalfairness,

    I, for one, am going to spend far more time and give far more credence to Chinese and Indian doctors who treat these illnesses with woo-woo herbs that are readily available to families who may be left with the collateral damage of your rigid certainties, but no medical care or financial resources to deal with them.

    The environmental anomalies may have stimulated certain rebellious insticts which could affect everyone’s judgment. Except mine, of course.

  265. #265 maya
    October 30, 2009

    —Recent polls show that only 12% of Germans definitely plan to be vaccinated against H1N1, with 19% saying that they will probably have the vaccine. —

    I´m from germany, as well. Saw a new statistik from the … i think it was the Max Planck Institute. The Numbers of People who will get an vaccination are sinking even more. We got different Problems in Germany not at least by the fact that we got two different vaccinations. One that was made to be given to the military and the politicans and one for us..they got different ingredients. So expecially parents are very confused, I understand them even if now politicans take ours to show us that its okay……
    So, I don´t know what you call the anti-vaccine, but I read a lot and I don´t think that some people you call so are anti-vaccine, also I see that Brent isn´t ( as he said a different times ) , I realy think he is your hook for this curious discussion. Because there are no facts that everybody knows already but you try to assure eachother in a way I dont like. Only if you be anti-flue-vaccation you have not to be anti at all.
    Everybody got his own rights to decide! So do! and do not try to assure others. thats what you blame spiner for, bot everybody with eyes see that you all try to more or less, not he does.
    Me for my share don´t want a vaccination. And NO I´m not completly anti-vaccination. I only think, that there was not enough time for a long run and I´m healthy and if I get it, I will looking for a doctor.Like all the other People, that already got over it in Germany. I never got a flue vaccination, only the important vaccinations.
    What if it is like the last swine flue 1976. there was such a panik and at the end more people died on the vaccination than on the impact of the flue, only because it was market to fast. No thanks.
    So decide for yourself and then do or let it. Whats is the problem?

  266. #266 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    @maya

    So decide for yourself and then do or let it.

    Sir, I believe I speak for everyone here when I say, to hell with our orders.

  267. #267 Todd W.
    October 30, 2009

    @maya

    What if it is like the last swine flue 1976. there was such a panik and at the end more people died on the vaccination than on the impact of the flue, only because it was market to fast. No thanks.

    Take a look at the link from my name and read the section on Influenza. I address the 1976 issue there.

  268. #268 maya
    October 30, 2009

    @data: I´m a madam ;)

    that was not an order that was a well-meant advice^^, becaus this discussion got no poin aside from …. I can´t see the point. I´m sorry. But I wonder about the word ani-vaxx, only because people don´t want that speciall vaccination.

  269. #269 DoctrinalFairness
    October 30, 2009

    Frank, once again I apologize, as I copied a bookmark without checking.
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0001229
    http://freeola.com/crohns.php

    Todd, I can’t take any of you seriously either until you produce the studies showing that these adjuvants have been safely used on European children. They don’t exist.
    I have been satisfied with the explanation that many autoimmune diseases are genetic- but how does the MAP connection now fir in if there aren’t environmental triggers. Aren’t confounders convernient? Autoimmune disease kills young women,too.

    And I don’t want your unknown and untested adjuvant until you prove to me that the higher incidence of AE’s and raised levels of IL6,(which my brother in law was just given as an immune booster to treat his cancer), is warranted in children with already overcharged immune sytems that are attacking their own cells.
    Where are the studies that followed these European children that received vaccines with squalene-based adjuvants?

    Luna, from a PArlimentary debate about another vaccine I am wondering about, regarding the Yellow CArd system
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090513/debtext/90513-0024.htm

    >I would like to finish by highlighting the inadequacies of our system for reporting adverse reactions to vaccines. The yellow card system operated by the MHRA is not mandatory so there is no obligation on medical staff to report reactions. Furthermore, the scheme has such a low public profile that many who suffer from a reaction after a vaccination are not aware that there is a system for reporting their experience. Indeed, I spoke to a school nurse today at random and she was unaware of the scheme. The yellow card scheme was described to me by a managing director of a pharmaceutical research company yesterday as

    “one of the weakest in Europe”.<
    Excuse my difficulties with your insolence.

  270. #270 Prometheus
    October 30, 2009

    “Dr. Jay” states:

    “Here’s the heart of the issue: This new H1N1 virus is here to stay and doctors should discuss vaccination with their higher risk patients. Low risk people will eventually be exposed to the disease and this might be the best year to get the “weakest” iteration of Swine Flu.”

    It appears that the previous statements by “Dr. Jay” about how getting vaccinated for the H1N1 (“swine”) influenza is stupid are being……modified. How Orwellian of you, “Dr. Jay”. Now he encourages doctors to “discuss” it with their “higher risk patients”.

    He also shows a sadly dated understanding of how the H1N1 (“swine”) influenza is doing so far. In my city, a total of 18 young adults and older children without pre-existing chronic illnesses (“low risk people”) have been placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenators (“artificial lungs”) because of this “weakest iteration” of the H1N1 influenza. The number of people who have spent time “hooked to ventilators” is far larger.

    This is unprecendented – at least in my city. And the number of H1N1 (“swine”) influenza infections is climbing at an astounding rate. I seriously doubt that people will look back on this as the “weakest iteration” of the H1N1 influenza. Of course, I might be wrong about that – only time will tell (although it has already exceeded the 2007-2008 seasonal influenza – a “bad” one – in cases and hospitalizations).

    Another thing that “Dr. Jay” doesn’t seem to get is that the H1N1 influenza has been around since 1918 (and probably before that) – there have been numerous seasonal influenzas where the H1N1 type was prevalent. There is nothing especially dangerous about “H1N1″ per se – each virus is unique in its abilities. If “Dr. Jay” had even the slightest understanding of how the influenza virus works, he would know that.

    I suspect that the ensuing months will see “Dr. Jay” continuing to “modify” his statements in a vain effort to erase the past. I have no problem with people who – looking at the data (something “Dr. Jay” is not good at) – change their minds and say, “I was wrong about that.”

    Being “Dr. Jay” means never having to say “I was wrong.” He is simply mis-understood (and we, of course, are being mean and uncivil).

    Prometheus

  271. #271 Joseph
    October 30, 2009

    If you go to http://trends.google.com and search for “cough,” for example, it’s clear that something is going on right now in October/November that is unusual for this time of year. I wonder what January will be like, and I wonder what Dr. Jay will say then.

    Try searching for “pneumonia” narrowed for specific states like Minnesota and Wisconsin. The trend is unbelievable.

    I think the Google data is analyzable if you want to come up with projections.

  272. #272 Jud
    October 30, 2009

    doctrinalfairness writes:

    I must be an idiot, because all of our very best science after 30 years of cancer research has just released two under-65 year old men to palliative care and hospice.

    “All of our very best science” lacks worth in your eyes because two individuals’ cancer wasn’t cured and your child had/has Crohn’s disease?

    Your standards of judgment are, errm, interesting. Forgive me for thinking as a consequence that the prospects for any reasonable interchange with you are unlikely.

  273. #273 T.M.
    October 30, 2009

    257- vaccination did not make the eczema worse because my child died from anaphylaxis. However, in retrospect, the pediatrician noticed a set back with the worsening of excema symptoms after every vaccination. The records show us coming in for an appt 1-4 days after every vaccination with a flare up of excema which would require more medication. That may be anecdotal to you, but if I had noticed the connection myself, I would not have made the terrible choice which killed my child.

    DF, if your child has an inflammatory condition and cannot get the vaccine without adjuvant, I would not even consider getting it. The studies have not been done to this date to show long term safety in children. It doesnt exist so no one can show you. The others that point out it has been used for 10 years in some countries does not mean the problems wont show up later. There are so many inflammatory conditions that dont show until well into our 20′s-50′s. Equally ridiculous is the ‘squalene is produced in the body’ comment. Alot of ‘shit’ is produced in the body, but it should not be injected back into the body. Some of the posters here can make you go crazy with their ‘pig-headed one-sided, wrongness’, and it is best to just Ignore sometimes. The questions can not be answered, and that doesnt make someone anti vax. You are right on this one, and you dont need the stress from this.

  274. #274 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    Re: doctrinalfairness, T.M.

    The clown can stay, but the Ferengi in the gorilla suit has to go!

  275. #275 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    @Luna

    Speaking of which: I had a look at all the papers about squalene causing RA in rodents, and I think maybe you missed something — the lowest amount of squalene injected into the rodents is about double, in mg per kg of body weight (or in the rodents, mcg/gram of body weight really) than the highest dosage of squalene in a vaccine is for even a small child. I get that you don’t understand dose response, but please try to understand: amount makes a difference.
    —————————-
    You realize of course that due to a principal known as the ‘species scaling’ effect rats need much higher doses than do humans

    ——————————-
    Fluad is the most common vaccine which contains a squalene-based adjuvant —

    Fluad is for seniors
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091021/national/flu_vaccine
    Until now there had been no licensed flu vaccine containing adjuvant in Canada, although adjuvants have been used for years in Europe in flu vaccines targeted at seniors.
    ——————————–
    it is most certainly not the only vaccine

    I’m aware of Fendrix, a hepatitis B shot, or as you would say jab. What are all the others? And which are being given to children?
    ———————

  276. #276 Jud
    October 30, 2009

    T.M. writes:

    I would not have made the terrible choice which killed my child.

    How sure are you of this?

    The reason I ask is the following – My wife lost her 17-year-old daughter in a car accident soon after we began dating, so I have perhaps a little bit of an idea of what you’ve gone through. Even though her daughter was living with her ex-husband at the time and she had no involvement whatever in the accident or the events leading to it, my wife still engaged in self-blame, which I suppose is unavoidable. It seemed, paradoxically, to comfort her to think she had some control over the situation even in that extremely negative way, rather than opening herself up to the terrifying prospect that there is the chance any of us could be subject to horrors in a random universe.

  277. #277 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 30, 2009

    @ Dangerous Bacon, 236

    So, Dr. Jay has 1) apparently made up a category of “extraordinary risk” patients for whom H1N1 vaccination is theoretically possible, but somehow he anticipates giving none of them protection. Then he comes in here and talks about “discussing” vaccination with a similarly nebulous “higher risk” group (“higher risk” sounds more encompassing than “extraordinary” risk, but we still have no idea what Dr. Jay is talking about).

    Oooooh, good catch! Sure sounds like Dr. Jay changes his tune depending on the audience he thinks he’s talking to. How are you suppose to “educate” yourself from an “educator” when you can’t tell whether he’s saying what he actually believes or simply spinning?

  278. #278 Luna_the_cat
    October 30, 2009

    DF:
    You appear to be completely unable to accept that you might be wrong about anything. You really, really don’t seem to be much of one for logical thought in evaluation of whether things are linked or indicate risk. You are completely impervious to all the studies which have been produced which demonstrate no increased risk in humans; they slide right off you like you were teflon-coated! You believe in this risk, however little you have reason to do so — I’d even go so far to say you are fixated on it to the exclusion of all else. And yet:

    I, for one, am going to spend far more time and give far more credence to Chinese and Indian doctors who treat these illnesses with woo-woo herbs that are readily available to families who may be left with the collateral damage of your rigid certainties, but no medical care or financial resources to deal with them.

    …you want to treat your child with medicine which HAS frequently been shown to be contaminated with heavy metals and REAL toxic substances.
    http://www.nelm.nhs.uk/en/NeLM-Area/News/2008—August/27/Heavy-metal-contamination-common-in-Ayurvedic-medicines/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_patent_medicine#Heavy_metal_contamination

    I actually started out reading these conversations with a certain sympathy for you, even though your original approach (of insulting everyone here and repeating anti-vaxx canards) kind of sucked. I’m still a bit sympathetic, because I understand the kind of desperation which having a sick child engenders. But you are still an idiot.

    maya:
    The real issue is that Spiner pointed people to Jay Gordon as a source of information about vaccinations; you probably don’t realise, Gordon has a long history here, and he gives out a lot of false information. People should absolutely have a right to choose, but it imperative that they have complete, truthful and accurate information with which to inform that choice — and what they consistently get from people like Gordon and the anti-vaccination crowd is misinformation, distortion, and fallacy. Making up your mind based on lies only hurts people. Spiner could have picked much better sources for people to educate themselves from, and the fact that he found Gordon credible says two things about him:
    His own understanding is incomplete, flawed and/or based on misinformation
    and
    He was too lazy to check on his facts.

    People here are not averse to people “thinking for themselves” — they ARE averse to seeing people swallow falsehoods and repeat them, to the detriment of public health and understanding.

    Science isn’t simply a “matter of opinion”, like literature criticism. The data point in a certain direction, or they don’t. Something works or it doesn’t. It is based on phenomena of the physical world, objective reality. And the fears which are spread even about the flu vaccine are all too often based on simple lies about the physical world. People who know the data, and are familiar with the biology, get deeply irritated about it. Why do you think we shouldn’t be? I don’t know what your field is or what you do, but if you saw people being lied to about a subject you knew, and potentially getting hurt by believing the lies, wouldn’t you be irritated?

  279. #279 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    @Jane

    What is the prevalence of Gulf War Syndrome in European civilian populations that have received squalene-adjuvanted vaccines?

    Why argue from such a narrow group (Gulf War veterans) of squalene-adjuvanted vaccine recipients (assuming arguendo) instead of showing the similar number of Gulf War Syndrome pts in non-military populations of squalene-adjuvanted vaccine recipients?

    Good question. To put it simply adjuvants such as squalene stimulate the immune system. When given to the elderly – whose weaker immune system may need stimulation – the effect may be different than when given to military-aged persons whose immune systems are stronger in the 1st place. Think of the difference as giving Viagra to a 70 year old and an 18 year old

  280. #280 BCOHN
    October 30, 2009

    Prometheus- would you happen to have any basic H1N1 tracking info of the patients on respirators?…how many of them tested positive for H1N1? were any of them vaccinated? I have been very concerned with our cases here in GA. We also have several hospitalized cases, but only one of the ones tested was positive for swine flu. Our director is now asking for all patients to be tested again.

  281. #281 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    @Todd

    As far as I understand, squalene has been used in Europe, including in children’s vaccines, for roughly 10 years
    ————————-

    I’m not saying your wrong but your listing these adjuvanted childrens vaccines in use for ten plus years would be helpful

  282. #282 Scott
    October 30, 2009

    Why should he bother? You’d simply ignore it.

  283. #283 Luna_the_cat
    October 30, 2009

    Sid Offitt: “Species scaling” is substance specific. Tell me, do you have evidence that rodents process squalene, specifically, differently from primates? Would you be aable to share the scaling factor? Because I cannot find this at all.

    Rodents have a higher tolerance for some amino acids. Last I checked, squalene was not an amino acid. It’s a hydrocarbon cholesterol precursor. If you have actual information to share that rodents have some higher level or higher tolerance to this substance, then share it.

  284. #284 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    Jane

    What is the prevalence of Gulf War Syndrome in European civilian populations that have received squalene-adjuvanted vaccines? Why argue from such a narrow group (Gulf War veterans) of squalene-adjuvanted vaccine recipients (assuming arguendo) instead of showing the similar number of Gulf War Syndrome pts in non-military populations of squalene-adjuvanted vaccine recipients?

    Good question. To put it simply adjuvants such as squalene stimulate the immune system. When given to the elderly – whose weaker immune system may need stimulation – the effect may be different than when given to military-aged persons whose immune systems are stronger in the 1st place. Think of the difference as giving Viagra to a 70 year old and an 18 year old

  285. #285 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 30, 2009

    michael- what crap. we both know that it is just a matter of time until squalene based adjuvants are the “gold standard” of vaccines in the USA.

    See? How could anyone possibly think Docness is a crank?? Why, all she’s doing is “asking questions”! … well, and also jumping in with answers that are based, apparently, on psychic revelations.

  286. #286 titmouse
    October 30, 2009

    doctrinalfairness:

    I, for one, am going to spend far more time and give far more credence to Chinese and Indian doctors who treat these illnesses with woo-woo herbs that are readily available to families who may be left with the collateral damage of your rigid certainties, but no medical care or financial resources to deal with them.

    You’re angry that doctors don’t have good treatments for certain illnesses suffered by your loved ones. That’s understandable. But remember that doctors also have loved ones who get sick and die prematurely due to a lack of effective therapies. We’re all in the same boat, really.

    Most doctors would like to see at least two studies with appropriate controls showing that some novel treatment is safe and effective before they feel comfortable offering that therapy to their patients. I doubt you’re recommending that we accept therapies from China or India without such evidence, simply by virtue of their place of origin.

  287. #287 T.M.
    October 30, 2009

    @Jud, random in the universe?? no, I drove him there because I thought he needed the shot. It wasnt required. He didnt choose or drive himself. He got it, he reacted, he never left the hospital alive. Not exactly random. I wish I had your denial skills.

    @Luna, DF has Not been shown that adjuvants are safe in her instance with the evidence that has been given. I read it all because that is something I would like to know too. There has been no other major ‘fight’ in the posts so I dont know what wrong needs to be admitted to. Enough evidence for long term safety in children with many inflamm dz is Not there. Are you impervious to that?

  288. #288 DoctrinalFairness
    October 30, 2009

    Luna, the strength of your argument and your insults and all of the insults here hinge on data that you have failed to produce, because there isn’t any. Children in the slums of India aren’t going to have much of a choice beyond plant medicine, so your whole screed about heavy metals is mute. Hopefully there will be a body of work in herbal medicine that provides treatments for the pain of RA and Crohns, because rest assured no one here on this blog will devote 5 minutes to wondering or tracking autoimmune AE’s in the long term for children there for this or any other squalene based adjuvanted vaccine which the generous humanitarians will now distribute to eradicate disease.
    Accusing me of lies is pathetic in the face of the abysmal state of the research that expert scientists like you use to justify beyond a shadow of a doubt your certainties and the destruction of those who dare challenge them.
    T.M., thank you and I’m sorry that I called attention to your post, esp in lieu of the more unconscionable replies.
    Lovely to have all the answers to those of us with unfounded “concerns”. The attitude that you should accept the inconsistencies and “take it for the team” in the absence of data will only backfire for all of us and is as evil as any anti-vax argument.

  289. #289 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    Luna

    I don’t have squalene-specific data but, since rats need generally higher doses of most drugs, I think the burden of proof is on you to show rodents process squalene in the same way as do humans. That is if you want to argue rats and humans should receive equivalent doses
    —————-
    Jane

    What is the prevalence of Gulf War Syndrome in European civilian populations that have received squalene-adjuvanted vaccines?

    18 year old soldiers and frail 75 year olds respond differently to adjuvants such as squalene

  290. #290 Spot the cat
    October 30, 2009

    ….meow.

  291. #291 Jud
    October 30, 2009

    Jud, random in the universe?? no, I drove him there because I thought he needed the shot. It wasnt required. He didnt choose or drive himself. He got it, he reacted, he never left the hospital alive. Not exactly random. I wish I had your denial skills.

    It would be hard to mistake my intentions more thoroughly than you apparently have.

    First, my “random” reference was to the extreme discomfort my wife had with the thought that bad things could happen at any moment that were beyond her control.

    Second, I’m not aware that I was trying to deny anything. I asked a question.

    Were you informed what component of the vaccine caused the allergic reaction? Anaphylaxis in reaction to vaccines is an exceedingly rare event, usually measured in fewer than 10 occurrences per million doses, unless there is a specific allergen present, such as the egg proteins we are warned about in flu shots.

    I must say that because of the extreme rarity of anaphylactic shock in response to vaccination, it is impossible for me to ascribe any blame at all to you for what occurred. It would be like blaming someone for failing to save a child from a meteorite strike.

  292. #292 Kausik Datta
    October 30, 2009

    TM @273:

    Equally ridiculous is the ‘squalene is produced in the body’ comment. Alot of ‘shit’ is produced in the body, but it should not be injected back into the body.

    You, sir, are engaging in false equivalences. The question of squalene being produced by the liver is relevant because it is released in the bloodstream. (Same bloodstream, you realize, where vaccine-associated products – antigens and adjuvants – end up, right?)

    Shit is produced in the body, yes, but it hardly reaches the bloodstream – and therefore, there is no question of injecting it in the bloodstream without serious consequences. Stool transplantation in the GI tract, on the other hand, is a known therapy for C. difficile associated diarrhea.

    Do try to find better arguments next time!

  293. #293 Kausik Datta
    October 30, 2009

    DF @287:

    Children in the slums of India aren’t going to have much of a choice beyond plant medicine, so your whole screed about heavy metals is mute.

    Your understanding of India, slums of India and medicinal system of India, seems to be quite at par with your understanding of the NHS and British medical system, as well as with your understanding of vaccines and adjuvants. Good job! Keep it up.

    Hopefully there will be a body of work in herbal medicine that provides treatments for the pain of RA and Crohns.

    Good that you have hope. But you also seem to have a very sketchy idea of what ‘herbal medicine’ is.

    You are, of course, still angry and hurting from injury to and/or loss of your loved one. Perhaps one day, with time, your anger may subside, and logic shall return to her throne.

  294. #294 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    Spot (#289), I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations.

  295. #295 titmouse
    October 30, 2009

    We may not have prospective studies regarding vaccines in children with autoimmune disorders. But we have a post-vaccine surveillance system that’s quite sensitive, as illustrated by pick-up of the very slight increase in Guillan-Barre syndrome post swine flu vaccination in the 1970s.

    Severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis can happen in response to vaccines, medications, foods –many things. People die from eating peanuts. But that doesn’t mean peanuts are bad for everyone.

  296. #296 Luna_the_cat
    October 30, 2009

    T.M. — I haven’t time or inclination to go back and point out all the explicit links to studies which failed to find any correlation between antibodies to squalene and exposure to vaccines containing MF59; or the links to all the studies involving vaccines containing MF59; or the links to the studies failing to find that exposure to MF59 even provokes antibodies to squalene. They are there. You obviously aren’t paying attention to the fact that:
    if squalene-based adjuvants caused a higher rate of autoimmune disease like arthritis and lupus
    then
    in countries where these adjuvants have been in use
    we ought to see a rise in the rates of autoimmune diseases like arthritis and lupus
    regardless of whether or not it was being tracked as a possible side effect of flu vaccines
    .

    This. is. not. rocket. science.

    Second, since Sid as well as DF seem a bit logic-impaired, could I further point out that:
    The mf59-adjuvanted flu vaccines are targeted towards over-65s, because all flu vaccines are targetted at over-65s except for this rather unusual H1N1;
    this does not mean ONLY over-65s get these vaccines:
    the SAME vaccine is in use for EVERYONE WHO GETS FLU VACCINES here.
    Including infants.

    YES, infants who are vaccinated against flu in the UK, Italy and a number of other European countries get EXACTLY the same vaccine as over-65s.

    As do nurses, carers and other at-risk populations.

    Sheesh.

    Further, TM — things where DF was flat wrong: claiming that there is no vaccine adverse event tracking in the UK or Europe. Claiming that over-65s can’t get cancer treatment here, only palliative care. Those are not only wrong, they are idiotically, blatantly wrong. Has there been ANY indication that DF has backed down on this? Any sort of “ok, I was mistaken” even? No.

    Further vaccines used in infants which have MF59 as an adjuvant:
    ♦ Hep B –in use in the UK
    ♦ herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2)
    ♦ several types of HIV-1 gp120 virus subunit vaccines to protect infants of infected mothers
    ♦ a combination Meningitidis B/C

    Beyond that I’m not going to bother spending the time, as I am entirely confident that it will be ignored anyway and I got other things to do.

  297. #297 JohnV
    October 30, 2009

    @titmouse

    And how much does Big Legume pay you to shill for peanuts?

  298. #298 Todd W.
    October 30, 2009

    @Luna

    Thanks for the list of vaccines using MF59.

  299. #299 Spot the cat
    October 30, 2009

    Oh hai Dayteh! I thot u wuz ded. Srsly.

    U brings mah cheezburger nao?

    Den I forgives u sain Iz not senteeyent an
    no haz comprehenshuns.

  300. #300 Sid Offit
    October 30, 2009

    Luna
    the SAME vaccine is in use for EVERYONE WHO GETS FLU VACCINES here.
    Including infants

    Fluad – Indications

    Active immunisation against influenza in elderly ≥65 yr, esp for those w/ increased risk of associated complications (ie patients affected by underlying chronic diseases including diabetes, CVS & resp diseases).
    ==========
    If they wanted everyone to have it they wouldn’t say ≥65 yr

    Fluad®, the only MF59TM-adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine, is LICENSED for active immunization against influenza in ELDERLY subjects
    =======================
    Further vaccines used in infants which have MF59 as an adjuvant:
    ♦ Hep B –in use in the UK

    Does it have a name?
    —————————–
    if squalene-based adjuvants caused a higher rate of autoimmune disease like arthritis and lupus
    then in countries where these adjuvants have been in use
    we ought to see a rise in the rates of autoimmune diseases like arthritis and lupus regardless of whether or not it was being tracked as a possible side effect of flu vaccines.

    Adjuvanted vaccines aren’t being used in children a group that reacts differently to adjuvants

    ======================
    Beyond that I’m not going to bother spending the time, as I am entirely confident that it will be ignored anyway and I got other things to do.

    Me too!

  301. #301 Luna_the_cat
    October 30, 2009

    …Drat.

    In all honesty, I need to self-correct, here.

    The MF59-adjuvanted Fluad vaccine is still in Phase III trials for the 3-36 month infant age range.

    The AS03-adjuvanted (also squalene-based) GSK flu vaccine Pandemrix has been approved for use in infants in Europe.

  302. #302 Luna_the_cat
    October 30, 2009

    Sid, one difference between us is that I actually show up with data in hand. All you do is sit around going “nyah, nyah, you have to try harder! I don’t believe you! That isn’t good enough! Go look this up for me!” and ignoring all the questions put to you…thus presenting us with noise and nothing at all of substance. When you get ignored it’s because there is really nothing else to do with you, short of mocking you savagely.

  303. #303 DoctrinalFairness
    October 30, 2009

    Luna,
    How perfect for you to claim as your single proof the hypothetical existence of accurate epidemiological studies of diseases which have reportedly wildly differing estimates of incidence and have enormous difficulties with confounding variables to start with, let alone in subjects who are OVER 65. I breathlessly await the studies. Novartis’ own literature states that squalene based aduvants were exclusively liscensed for use only in ages 65 and over. If they were used elsewhere, where is the data?
    And do tell how would you detect a rise in autoimmune
    disease with the Yellow Card system that a member of your own Parliment, Hon. Member for Reigate (Mr.Crispin Blunt) had to say this about in May, 2009.
    “I would like to finish by highlighting the inadequacies of our system for reporting adverse reactions to vaccines. The yellow card system operated by the MHRA is not mandatory so there is no obligation on medical staff to report reactions. Furthermore, the scheme has such a low public profile that many who suffer from a reaction after a vaccination are not aware that there is a system for reporting their experience. Indeed, I spoke to a school nurse today at random and she was unaware of the scheme. The yellow card scheme was described to me by a managing director of a pharmaceutical research company yesterday as

    “one of the weakest in Europe”.

    I’ll send Hon Member Blunt an email informing him that Luna has singlehandedly repaired the system in six months and I’ll remind him of his anti-vax lunacy.

    Kausik, I love India and her people and have a deeper understanding of the issues there than you might suspect. The throne of Logic does not reign in the slightest in either the scientific or the political or the economic community when it comes to the distribution of health resources, why pretend that it does here among the bastion f science defender either? Many of you are as guilty as logical fallacies as those your accuse.
    TM, my thoughts are with you and I hope that you find peace and solace. Thank you too, titmouse, jules, todd, credentialed, prometheus, many kind and patient people here-maybe someday there could actually be a dialogue that wasn’t all inflammatory horseshit- which I admittedly succumb to as well.

  304. #304 Commander Data
    October 30, 2009

    @DoctrinalFairness,

    Thank you too, titmouse, jules, todd, credentialed, prometheus, many kind and patient people here-maybe someday there could actually be a dialogue that wasn’t all inflammatory horseshit- which I admittedly succumb to as well.

    It is the struggle itself that is most important. We must strive to be more than we are. It does not matter that we will never reach our ultimate goal. The effort yields its own rewards.

  305. #305 Stu Pidasso
    October 30, 2009

    “I always appreciate being called a “known quack” because I think that being an unknown quack would be even more sad.”

    Yeah, that’s it. It’s better to be a big fresh steamin’ pile in the middle of a threshold, rather than an obscure little turd in a dark corner.

  306. #306 Moderately Unbalanced Squid
    October 30, 2009

    @ Commander Data (#227):

    I am superior, sir, in many ways.

    But not, apparently, in spelling. ;o)

  307. #307 Leah
    October 31, 2009

    @97 Chris, you are a lying b_t_h! I did not go away! I told you that your guess was wrong (wrong case, wrong date, wrong damn country). I told you the doctor and lawyer took care of all the reporting. I said dont forget the humans behind the data- that’s it! That is all you needed to know, but I know you are a sick, guilty person who needs to hurt other people to feel better. I said I was done with that particular thread.
    I am always here, and I am still disgusted by all of your comments. I have refrained from commenting about you until now because I have seen several other complaints about how ‘stupid’ you are from other people. Now, you seem to think that everything is fine for all children because the US doesnt have adjuvants. You have already admonished doctrinalfairness twice on this thread alone for worrying about adjuvants when (according to you) it doesnt matter because the US doesnt have it. I guess the millions of children in the rest of the world dont matter to you? Actually, I wont put words in your mouth like you do to every other poster who doesnt agree with you. Your comments, “why in bloody hell are you worried about squalene, which is not used in the USA?” and “or just remind her each and every time she uses the word “squalene” that it is not used in the USA”. It appears some people would like to make sure all the children in the world are safe and not just yours. Is it really such a crime to not want an immune stimulating adjuvant injected into a child when the prevention can be achieved without it? just stupid.
    The more acceptance, the more vaccinated, so you need to disappear! You make me truly sick.

  308. #308 Chris
    October 31, 2009

    Aw, poor baby. I was not the one who caught you in the lie.

    How about you give us the evidence that squalene is dangerous?

  309. #309 Interrobang
    October 31, 2009

    I currently have the H1N1 influenza — I didn’t get vaccinated because the vaccine only became available here at the start of this week, and my doctor advised me not to get the shot until I’d finished taking the antibiotics for the sinusitis I just had. I had been planning on getting vaccinated, because it seems like every time I get a bad influenza, it drops into sinusitis, pneumonia, or bronchitis. Igh.

    I seem to have a mild case, because I’m not having too much trouble breathing as long as I’m sitting upright or propped up in bed (which makes sleeping kind of interesting). So far, I’ve had a 2+ degree C fever, body aches of the sort that I refer to as the “total-body migraine,” cough, sore throat, muscle cramps, swollen nodes all over my body, headache, dizziness, fatigue/weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. No guarantee I won’t wind up with sinusitis, pneumonia, or bronchitis, though…

    Folks, you really don’t want this, if for no other reason than puking your guts out isn’t anybody’s idea of a good time. If you can get vaccinated in time to have a good immune response before you get infected, do it.

    Anyone urging people off the vaccine is, frankly, objectively pro-misery, and I cough in your general direction. >:(

  310. #310 Calli Arcale
    November 1, 2009

    “Is it really such a crime to not want an immune stimulating adjuvant injected into a child when the prevention can be achieved without it? just stupid.”

    Leah, the alternative is to do what is done with the American flu vaccines — include more antigen. In either case, the goal is to achieve a certain amount of immune response. Whether this is done using adjuvants or not is immaterial, at least as far as how stimulated the immune system is by a vaccine.

    The only drawbacks to using more antigen are: greater risk of side-effects from the antigen (which is, by nature, less well understood than the adjuvant), lower production rate of vaccines (which means greater risk of shortages), and higher price (which means some folks won’t be able to get it even if they want it).

    If you’re okay with that, and it seems that certain policy makers in the US are okay with it, then, well, I guess this is where we part company. Because I, for one, am not okay with it. Adjuvants make the vaccines safer, cheaper, more abundant, and more effective. It saddens me greatly that we can’t get adjuvanted flu vaccines in the US; it’s the main reason why I still have not been able to get an H1N1 vaccine, despite being asthmatic. It’s also why we have no real chance of getting herd immunity, which means the immunocompromised are caught between a rock and a hard place with this one.

  311. #311 Marion Delgado
    November 3, 2009

    It saddens me greatly that we can’t get adjuvanted flu vaccines in the US; it’s the main reason why I still have not been able to get an H1N1 vaccine, despite being asthmatic.

    Same here. Asthma and bronchitis and a healthy fear of pneumonia, got the seasonal vaccine early and can’t get H1N1.

    Thanks for nothing, Witch-Hunters of Phlogiston.

  312. #312 katy
    November 14, 2009

    I’m surprised that no one mentions the bigger issue that anti-vaccination is just a part of. Its the issue of reliable sources of information. It used to be that one went to the library, got a research journal, looked up something that was (usually) reliably peer-reviewed, and got some answers. It used to be the scientists refrained from making opinions in non-peer review journals.

    The internet has ruined all of this. People with not science training are now required to determine a good scientific argument, if they have even that much training. I can tell you, its almost impossible to look at peer review journals these days (they all require steep fees), and the past 9 years have trashed the peer review system, with people lying about study results.

    I’m seriously beginning to hate the internet, but its the way were disseminating information these days. And its a shallow, shallow pool of information!

  313. #313 navi
    December 1, 2009

    so totally did not read all the comments. and i’m kind of wondering if mr. spiner is laughing his butt off at all of this. I used to follow him (stopped after purging my twitter followers, because there was just too much). He tends to tweet jokes quite frequently.

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