You know, when Age of Autism starts announcing its yearly “people of the year” awards, there’s always a lot of blog fodder there to be had. Given that this is the time of year when I ramp the blog down a bit and, trying to relax a little, don’t spend as much time doing detailed deconstructions or analyzing peer-reviewed papers, it’s perfect for some quick observations about the anti-vaccine movement, of which Generation Rescue promotes through its propaganda blog, Age of Autism. This time around, I’m noting how these year end awards reinforce the point that “autism advocacy” of the type that GR promotes is not anything of the sort; rather, it’s anti-vaccine advocacy. GR demonstrated this once again by naming as its “Person of the Year” for 2009 Louise Kuo Habakus, a New Jersey woman who campaigned for more “philosophical” exemptions from vaccines and whose website is chock full of anti-vaccine pseudoscience, particularly in its approved links, which link to any number of anti-vaccine websites, such as Generation Rescue, NVIC, etc. That GR and AoA would choose such a woman as their “Person of the Year” should tell you all you need to know about the relative importance of actual autism activism versus anti-vaccine activism. Between the two, anti-vaccine activism almost always wins, because, first and foremost, it’s all about the vaccines.

The next piece of evidence that this is true comes in AoA’s award to Jenny McCarthy’s boyfriend Jim Carrey for his “Quote of the Year.” What is this quote of the year? Well, it came in early April (which, given that April is Autism Awareness month, is always a time every year when the anti-vaccine stupidity flows freely in the media, in large part thanks to Generation Rescue and its spokes-celebrities Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey). This time, it came on Larry King Live, a frequent source of pseudoscience, where this exchange occurred:

KING: Isn’t the problem here, Jenny, that people sometimes listen with one ear are going to panic. And not vaccine at all?

MCCARTHY: Probably. But guess what? It’s not my fault. The reason why they’re not vaccinating is because the vaccines are not safe. Make a better product and then parents will vaccinate.

CARREY: We’re not the problem. The problem is the problem.

Wow. How Zen. It sounds like Neo in The Matrix, doesn’t it?

Personally, if the choice had been up to me, I’d have chosen Carrey’s girlfriend’s version of this same sentiment for the “quote of the year,” because it perfectly encapsulates how the anti-vaccine movement blames everyone but itself and its members for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease. This quote, too, came in early April in a TIME Magazine interview:

TIME: Your collaborator recommends that parents accept only the haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB) and tetanus vaccine for newborns and then think about the rest. Not polio? What about the polio clusters in unvaccinated communities like the Amish in the U.S.? What about the 2004 outbreak that swept across Africa and Southeast Asia after a single province in northern Nigeria banned vaccines?

JM: I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their fucking fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s shit. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.

I think that sums up the attitude of the anti-vaccine movement in that (1) it’s all about the vaccines and (2) Jenny and Jim are now starting to realize that their actions have consequences, namely the resurgence of vaccine-preventable disease with the attendant morbidity and mortality that result from it but they are so wedded to the idea that vaccines cause autism that they really don’t care. In Jenny and Jim’s world, your children are acceptable collateral damage in the cause of promoting her unscientific belief that vaccines cause autism. It’s not their fault that vaccination rates are falling to the point that in some areas the are falling below the levels necessary to maintain herd immunity; it’s the evil pharmaceutical companies’ fault! Yeah, that’s the ticket! In any case, my guess is that Jenny’s way of saying exactly the same thing as Jim didn’t win the AoA award because it too baldly states the shifting of blame that anti-vaccine activists do when it’s pointed out that their activities can (and are beginning to) result in the resurgence of diseases once conquered.

Worse, contrary to Jenny and Jim’s assertions, we already do have vaccines that are safe, but no amount of science or evidence will convince anti-vaccine activists to use them on their children. Moreover, the government and pharmaceutical companies are listening to anti-vaccine loons like Jenny and Jim far more than their ignorant pseudoscientific nonsense would deserve based only on science and even though many of them are scientific illiterates. Scientists waste millions of dollars studying over and over again the question of whether vaccines are associated with autism and keep finding the same answer: They aren’t.

The message never sinks in. I fear it never will, at least not until we really return to the bad old days of polio scares, hundreds of thousands of cases of measles per year, and children dying of Haemophilus influenzae type B again.

ADDENDUM:

The comments are, of course, abuzz in the AoA post linked to above, and they’re more evidence than ever that it’s all about the vaccines, rather than actual autism advocacy. If you want the best example of scientific ignorance on display in the service of an anti-vaccine agenda, you can’t go wrong with this comment from Kathy Blanco:

To put it in Jim’s vanacular…There Psychos! (The Grinch). I think the problem is more than a problem, it is an ever reaching ideal to think that you can control the immune system by injecting foregin proteins in children’s bodies, who’s immune systems are not developed, and or not able to detox. I would have rather dealt with the real disease with homeopathy, vitamins and nutrients, than a lifetime of chronic debilitating, life changing unwellness.

Sorry, Kathy. Just because you can’t imagine how immune responses can be primed with vaccines doesn’t mean that scientists and physicians don’t. Moreover, “detox” as The One True Cause of All Disease is a myth; its advocates can’t even define the “toxins” that they’re supposedly “detoxing.” Oh, and homeopathy is the purest form of quackery that I’m aware of, with the possible exception of reiki.

Comments

  1. #1 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    @MI Dawn:there has never been a single vaccine in this country that has ever been submitted to a controlled scientific study. they never took a group of 100 people who were candidates for a vaccine, gave 50 of them a vaccine and left the other 50 alone to measure the outcome. and since that has not been done, that means if you want to be kind you will call vaccines an unproven remedy. if you want to be accurate, youll call people who give vaccines quacks lol

  2. #2 Bill
    January 1, 2010

    Jen,

    I only wish we had used adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine here in the U.S.

    We likely would have had more vaccine available earlier, and fewer deaths, especially among children.

    A sore arm would have been worth preventing the several hundred excess child deaths (over a “normal” flu year) we’ve already experienced.

  3. #3 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    long live the rebublic!!!

  4. #4 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    long live the republic!!!

  5. #5 Anonymous Coward
    January 1, 2010

    Jen @ 149: As politely as I can state it, I think you’re either severely lacking in imagination / creativity or purposely being obtuse in relation to Chris’ theoretical *inconsistency*.

    Did you ever, possibly, consider that the genetic predisposition of which he speaks (say, perhaps an allergy to egg proteins) meant that the baby would react to a particular vaccine’s method of manufacture?

    Hunh…imagine that. Two statements, likely reconcilable by examining a broader range than a mere wish to attack a spurious ‘inconsistency’.

    Oh, and since I’m a grammar snob, for Dog’s Sake learn to write and spell correctly! The stupid you’re espousing hurts bad enough without the added insult of an obvious, uncaring attitude toward grammar & spelling being important, because others just have to understand YOU, no matter how poorly you express yourself.

    While you’re learning that, you might want to also study statistics so you can understand the difference between possibility and probability (thumbnail version, less than 50% likely vs more than 50% likely), and then look at the PROBABILITIES involved in vaccination vs. non-vaccination.

    Go ahead…I’ll wait.

    Until then, stop spouting your subjectivist claptrap as if it was the law of the universe.

  6. #6 Anonymous Coward
    January 1, 2010

    Jen @ 192: Okay, gloves off…now you’re just acting like an a**hat.

    You mention that vaccines are not 100% safe, and that they come with inserts mentioning possible deleterious side effects. Hmmm, sounds to me like they’re being HONEST and letting people know there’s a chance of an adverse reaction, no matter how small.

    In contrast, I have yet to see ANY evidence of a CAM practitioner / booster describing ANY POSSIBLE deleterious side effects of their ‘bio-medical’ (uh, is there ANY OTHER kind of medical, you howling idiot?) so-called ‘treatments’. This in spite of the damn-near FACT that chelation therapy for autism has killed at least one child, no VAERS self-selected nonsense necessary…they’re prosecuting the practitioner who did it.

    Oh, and your spelling and grammar haven’t improved.

  7. #7 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 1, 2010

    they never took a group of 100 people who were candidates for a vaccine, gave 50 of them a vaccine and left the other 50 alone to measure the outcome.

    They did a study like that with syphilis. It was called the Tuskegee study. It was one of the worst scandals of medical research ever. Look it up.

    Oh yeah, fuck you and your rebublic.

  8. #8 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 1, 2010

    nwo rebel soldier:

    Do you know the difference between “there”, “their” and they’re”?

    Didn’t think so.

  9. #9 storkdok
    January 1, 2010

    Pablo and PalMD,

    I sure wish you lived near me! :0) Now you’ve both made my eyes well up!

  10. #10 storkdok
    January 1, 2010

    @jen

    I really don’t think you have any insight into how you come across to us (parents). It might be instructive to copy off this blog and comments and consult with some colleagues on this. You are projecting way too much, and come across as condescending and very uncaring for our feelings. If you really care for our kids, please, try a little introspection.

    P.S. We don’t want pity, either. Maybe a cookie now and then. That would be nice! :0)

  11. #11 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    i guess we are all screwed codex alimentarius has just kicked in on 31/12/09 and i dont think even posh words & good grammer will save us lol

  12. #12 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    so what if i cannot be bothered 2 spell corectly its the message that counts not how its written

  13. #13 Yojimbo
    January 1, 2010

    @211 nwo

    The message is that facts are probably as unimportant to you as spelling.

  14. #14 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    you know its really bizarre you think your better than me because you know posh words and you have good grammar and you have a masters degree blah blah blah. i pity you u have been so brain washed by the system and indoctranted your values disgust me, you put people in catgories and judge them black, white, clever, dum, asian, gay, radical, race, rich, poor i will not suffer you know why? because i see past the lies and the fake exterior you helplessly defend because you think your life has meaning because you have a big bank account and a nice car. i am a human being i am part of the ocean of collective conciousness i am not indivual droplet like you. just a choice right now between fear and love the eyes of fear diconnect you the eyes of love see all of us as one.

  15. #15 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    nwo rebel soldier:

    i am a human being i am part of the ocean of collective conciousness i am not indivual droplet like you.

    Oh noes! It is the

  16. #16 nwo rebel solider
    January 1, 2010

    i am simply expressing myself but you attack me?
    the worlds a real mess is it any wonder why?

  17. #17 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    ooops, HTML fail…

    It is the Borg!

  18. #18 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    I am not attacking you. I’m just not sure I want to join your collective of conspiracy!

  19. #19 nwo rebel soilder
    January 1, 2010

    you dont have to join anything leave the cult your already in and wake to the lies you are being fed stop being a sheep and be human just a choice between fear and love

  20. #20 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    So having enough of an education to understand the basics of science, having a multi-syllabic vocabulary and nerdy enough to reference Star Trek is considered being in a cult?

    What color is the sky on your world? Do you live in a big cube where you get instructions from the leader of your collective?

  21. #21 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    @chris: most of academia is a another religion another belief system repelling all borders academia often condemns riducules religion when it is 1 and operates in the same way what unites all religions? concrete minds tell me chris is it really me thats in the cult?i dont hate you chris its not your fault your just another in a long line of system worshipors

    is your “no conspiracy software propgram” running right now chris lol

  22. #22 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    you know i like writing on gregs blogs being amongst the indroctinated academics with there top notch educations and there scientific knowledge of the world, posh grammer but no commonsense type view. they understand stuff sure they can work out complex equations they could work out the far end of a fart and where it came from. but they still dont understand why the worlds going down the pan they take authority as the truth when truth should be the authority

  23. #23 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    science is a good thing chris its there to benifit us not enslave and kill us i am not trying to insult you just got a bit carried away some earlier folks were bitching about my spelling

  24. #24 Anonymous Coward
    January 1, 2010

    nwo rebel soldier @ 213

    No, what is bizarre is that you feel so entitled that it’s up to US to interpret your ungrammatical, stream-of-consciousness ranting.

    Unclear communication can and often does obscure a valid point, and ‘fine’ language/grammar/etc may be used to cloak falsehood. However, grammatical communication is symbolic of a dedication to an ideal, and can allow a person to describe nuanced, subtle ideas.

    In the world of the written word, subtlety and solid logic win because they can be checked, and it’s not a question of talking faster or louder than your opponent, nor intimidating them.

    As for your canard regarding categories, everybody does this every day, and not just in regard to people they meet. Or is there some qualitative different between liking one food and disliking another and having preferences in people? Now, I’ll say *racial/sexual/lifestyle prejudice* is bad, but why do you even bring that in? It’s unclear language that’s being addressed, and the unclear, self-pitying thinking and ‘entitled’ emoting that underlies it. Of course you’re a human being, and passionate in your advocacy of your point, but it’s like trying to fight math. two plus two will always equal four in typical math, and fighting it will just make your life difficult without providing any offsetting benefit (like memorizing the addition and multiplication tables, which are difficult but provide a useful tool once memorized.)

    As for ‘brainwashing’, if being willing to work with others toward a common goal, put off instant gratification in the pursuit of a greater future good, willingness to examine and evaluate all evidence and accept a conclusion even when it conflicts with one’s prejudices (there’s that word again!) is brainwashing, then we need MORE of it, not less.

    As for your contention that ‘i will not suffer you know why?’, I would make a bet that if you were born in the US, you probably have been provided with most of the vaccinations already, so your chances of getting sick (and causing harm to others by getting a vaccine-preventable disease) are extremely limited. The limit of the health harm you may do is limited to any vaccinations that were missed in childhood & vaccinations for the yearly ‘flu and H1N1 ‘flu.

    And (sarcasm ON!) you *are* an ‘individual droplet like me’….you’re unique, just like everybody else, twins/triplets/etc. included. *Together* we metaphorically make up the ocean of which you speak, but unless you’re part of a hive mind (one mind, many bodies, kinda like ants), you’re just flat out deluded on this one.

    Besides, this isn’t a private club, but it is a place where people have chosen to come together to discuss a subject. What you’re doing here is like coming in, vomiting / crapping on others’ tables/food/clothes, roaring nonsense thru a megaphone so others can’t converse, and then being offended because you’re not welcomed with open arms after proving you don’t care about anybody but yourself.

    Is that clear enough?

  25. #25 jen
    January 1, 2010

    storkdoc: I really don’t care how I “come across” here because I am not counselling any parents in this context,working with children, nor am I espousing a view that is popular -here. (that vaccines and autism may be related, causally). I AM stating my opinions and interpretation of facts.
    Sorry, DB, but the laster treatments were not as “spectacular” as you made them out to be.
    Anonymous Coward: Your name sums you up very well. WOW! “glove’s off…” I’m shaking! And you, the grammar snob! Pray tell, what is a “damn-near fact?” Is that one that you wish to be true or you think it to be true? My poor grammar and spelling seems to be eclipsed only by your stupid rambling.

  26. #26 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    @why is it when anyone replies 2 my messages they use scientific complex gargon crap talk normally. you talk of interpreting my writing yet look at the way you writed yours if your going to describe something dont use a million words i know your trying to sound clever but it doesnt wash with me.
    “However, grammatical communication is symbolic of a dedication to an ideal” nonsense just because i used text language doesnt mean i am not dedicated or dum if anything from a scientific point view it takes less energy to use text language do u think i am going to mess around with a hundred posh words to describe something like u said 2+2=4.
    whats that saying simplify clarify mind you will probably ignore what i have said because of the grammer.

  27. #27 jen
    January 1, 2010

    nwo rebel soldier:
    “do u think I am going to mess around with a hundred posh words to describe something like u said 2+2=4..”
    Brilliantly worded! Nobody could have said it better than that.

  28. #28 Jane
    January 1, 2010

    Finally…A post that makes sense to me. I don’t believe Jenny’s son was ever on the aut spectrum. I think he was misdiagnosed. You don’t ‘cure’ autism. She’s a farce and it’s so funny that anyone takes her seriously. She’s doing so much damage. BTW…has she ever mentioned the Dr. that ‘cured’ her son? I’d like his name so I can take my son to see him for the ‘cure.’ It’s just wrong that she’s been given such a voice in the vaccine circles. But then again, there were always those that didn’t believe some vaccines are good and now they have a leader. sigh. What a world we live in.

  29. #29 jen
    January 2, 2010

    yeah, Jane, you should start up a “hate Jenny” chapter in your area. That will really help some kids out (and your own). Sounds like a plan. I don’t think Jenny really cares if you don’t believe her kid had autism. Her doctors and family would know that and I don’t think people go around making that kind of thing up.

  30. #30 nwo soldier
    January 2, 2010

    @Anonymous Coward:(“but unless you’re part of a hive mind (one mind, many bodies, kinda like ants), you’re just flat out deluded on this one”).Those who manipulate the organized habits and opinions of the masses constitute an invisble goverment which is the true ruling power of our world.
    (“being willing to work with others toward a common goal, put off instant gratification in the pursuit of a greater future good, willingness to examine and evaluate all evidence and accept a conclusion”)if only that where true our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power we have guided missles and misguided men, so go ahead continue pluging yourself into the hive mind and let yourself be brainwashed, continue making cancer shots for people to take as long as your family is ok and make lots of money like what you said (“in the pursuit of a greater future good”) 4 you maybe screw the peasants my life has meaning im a some 1!!!

  31. #31 Anonymous Coward
    January 2, 2010

    Jen @ 224

    Hey, idiot! Learn to use apostrophes! If it was written as YOU wrote it (I checked above) then it wouldn’t be the plural gloves, but the *possessive* glove’s, referring to a property of a singular glove.

    It’s a ‘damn-near’ fact only because the jury isn’t in yet, literally. It’s called being careful until ALL the facts are in. Try it…it’s empowering!

    Oh, and where is the requested evidence that any CAM practitioner provides enough detail about their procedures to be able to ethically claim that their patients / patients’ guardians gave Informed Consent?

    BTW, ad hominem arguments are weak. Besides, if I was worried about the opinion of someone who disliked what I said, I wouldn’t have posted, now would I?

    I eagerly await the evidence you’ll post, so I can evaluate it and know as much truth as we humans are likely to get. Not saying I’ll agree with you, but reproduceable data can’t be thrown away just because it’s inconvenient. I will subject it to a thorough ‘fecal screen’, though.

  32. #32 Ian
    January 2, 2010

    Just watched the Larry King/McCarthy/Carey interview. Sad to see how nuts they are – the kind of people you’d fake diarrhea to avoid conversation with at a dinner party.

    They did, however, bring up an interesting point (le gasp! le shock!) Why IS the number of vaccinations so much higher in the U.S. than in other countries with comparable GDP? I can’t imagine that the demographics of, say, Canada are that much different than those of the U.S. Wherefore, then, the difference in vaccination scheduling?

    I swear to Jebus that I’m not anti-vax, or “safe vax” or whateverthecrap they’re calling it now. I don’t ask this question because I think vaccines cause autism. That being said, surely, knowing what we know about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry in both medical practice and politics, there is at least SOME truth to the accusation that there are vaccines being given that aren’t medically necessary, given that other countries who are privy to the same science that the U.S. is choose not to include them.

    I’d really honestly like an explanation of why there is that large a difference in schedules.

  33. #33 a-non
    January 2, 2010

    You know your arguments are intellectually bankrupt when the only person who comes to your aid is someone called “nwo rebel solider”.

  34. #34 Philip
    January 2, 2010

    At least you didn’t call her a “refrigerator mother” which was of course the scientific consensus cause for autism until recently. Why the hell should vaccines contain a mercury based preservative, much of the world has already banned this practice over health concerns, it is not needed for safe distribution of vaccines, what possible reason could there be for defending it. It reminds me of a century ago when obstetricians refused to wash their hands before delivering babies and condemned 100,000s of mothers to a painful death from childbed fever. No the medical community can never be wrong, even if it is something as obvious as washing their hands or not injecting children with mercury. But keep on insulting the mothers and parents that will help your position.

    http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com

  35. #35 Anonymous Coward
    January 2, 2010

    nwo rebel soldier @ 225

    Oh, okay, I understand now….

    YOU may use whatever communication method you want, and it’s my duty to allow it and be polite

    However, *I* must communicate in a fashion you like or else I’m at fault.

    Okay, now that that’s clear (what a relief!)…

    what exactly is ‘scientific complex gargon’? First two, I get. Gargon? (Listerine?…I dunno)

    OH, you mean JARGON….of course, my bad. I must understand you…forgot the first rule.

    I didn’t use a single word you wouldn’t see in a newspaper article. And if you can use your ‘revealed truth’ (without any evidence), why can’t I use my words? I know them, like them, and have been using them for a long time.

    (begin sarcasm)
    as for ‘two plus two equals four’…well, with your grasp of words, it seemed unfair to put the extra stress of numbers in when communicating with you
    (end sarcasm, for now. Not so much fun when someone dumps on you, is it?)

    Make a point you can back up, or just say flat out that you’re ranting and you don’t give a damn for anything that doesn’t agree with your prejudices. (y’know, like jumping all over someone for trying to give you an idea of how to get people to agree with you and GET RESULTS. Nope, not your style…)

    This isn’t a lovefest, and you can disagree, but you better be able to back it up, or suck it up when somebody catches you spouting crap.

    Oh, yeah, you had a point. What was it? I got a lot of anti-this and anti-that, but nothing pro-this or pro-that.

  36. #36 nwo rebel soldier
    January 2, 2010

    Ten things you’re not supposed to know about the swine flu vaccine
    (At least, not by anyone in authority…)

    #1 – The vaccine production was “rushed” and the vaccine has never been tested on humans. Do you like to play guinea pig for Big Pharma? If so, line up for your swine flu vaccine this fall…

    #2 – Swine flu vaccines contain dangerous adjuvants that cause an inflammatory response in the body. This is why they are suspected of causing autism and other neurological disorders.

    #3 – The swine flu vaccine could actually increase your risk of death from swine flu by altering (or suppressing) your immune system response. There is zero evidence that even seasonal flu shots offer any meaningful protection for people who take the jabs. Vaccines are the snake oil of modern medicine.

    #4 – Doctors still don’t know why the 1976 swine flu vaccines paralysed so many people. And that means they really have no clue whether the upcoming vaccine might cause the same devastating side effects. (And they’re not testing it, either…)

    #5 – Even if the swine flu vaccine kills you, the drug companies aren’t responsible. The U.S. government has granted drug companies complete immunity against vaccine product liability. Thanks to that blanket immunity, drug companies have no incentive to make safe vaccines, because they only get paid based on quantity, not safety (zero liability).

    #6 – No swine flu vaccine works as well as vitamin D to protect you from influenza. That’s an inconvenient scientific fact that the U.S. government, the FDA and Big Pharma hope the people never realize.

    #7 – Even if the swine flu vaccine actually works, mathematically speaking if everyone else around you gets the vaccine, you don’t need one! (Because it can’t spread through the population you hang with.) So even if you believe in the vaccine, all you need to do is encourage your friends to go get vaccinated…

    #8 – Drug companies are making billions of dollars from the production of swine flu vaccines. That money comes out of your pocket — even if you don’t get the jab — because it’s all paid by the taxpayers.

    #9 – When people start dying in larger numbers from the swine flu, rest assured that many of them will be the very people who got the swine flu vaccine. Doctors will explain this away with their typical Big Pharma logic: “The number saved is far greater than the number lost.” Of course, the number “saved” is entirely fictional… imaginary… and exists only in their own warped heads.

    #10 – The swine flu vaccine centres that will crop up all over the world in the coming months aren’t completely useless: They will provide an easy way to identify large groups of really stupid people. (Too bad there isn’t some sort of blue dye that we could tag ’em with for future reference…)

    The lottery, they say, is a tax on people who can’t do math. Similarly, flu vaccines are a tax on people who don’t understand health.

  37. #37 a-non
    January 2, 2010

    Ian,

    The U.S. and Canadian schedules really aren’t that different. The biggest differences are that some provinces don’t require infant immnunization for Hep B and the rotavirus vaccine isn’t on the Canadian schedule. But Canada also has the Men C vaccine on their schedule in most locations, which is only recommended in the U.S. for certain high risk groups.

  38. #38 Anonymous Coward
    January 2, 2010

    Philip @ 233

    Uh, dunno where you’re from, but thimerosol has been eliminated from just about every vaccine in the US. They’ve been out for a while (since sometime in the 1990’s, not from proof of danger, though…no reproducible study ever has proven thimerosol is a danger in vaccines)

    As to washing hands (which I prefer to antibacterial gels, discussion for another day), that was proven in just the way that ‘vaccines cause autism’ HASN’T been proved.

    As for insulting ‘mothers and parents’ (whoops! Sarcasm again…shouldn’t that be mothers and fathers, or parents?) I don’t feel a pressing need to be polite when somebody wanders in and starts spouting feelgood, content-free nonsense in an offensive, attacking style of prose.

  39. #39 Ian
    January 2, 2010

    Ah, thanks.

    The interview made it seem as though the number of vaccinations was 2x higher in the U.S.A. than in other countries (particularly Finland). Is that outright falsehood, or just distortion of the facts?

    I’d be happy to look this stuff up on my own if someone would be so kind as to point me in the right direction. It’s really just idle curiosity.

  40. #40 Chris
    January 2, 2010

    Ian:

    I’d really honestly like an explanation of why there is that large a difference in schedules.

    Well, it is due to the fact that each country gets to make their own schedule. The ones who figure it out are individuals who look at the risks and circumstances that are unique to their location. They also look at the costs, and sometimes whether it was “invented here.”

    In Japan you will see a requirement for Japanese Encephalitis. That is not required in the USA, because it is not found in the USA.

    Now once upon a time Japan had an MMR for a couple of years, but their strain of mumps vaccine caused some issues (Urabe versus Jeryl Lynn mumps strain, for some reason they do insist on using only vaccines developed in Japan, while the USA is quite willing to use Japanese developed vaccines like the DTaP and varicella — remember if anyone complains about “Western” medicine, two vaccines commonly used in the USA were developed in the “East”). Mumps is now endemic in Japan, and some recent PubMed articles have seriously questioned their policy on mumps vaccine (one of them implies that deafness due to mumps is higher than previously assumed).

    The UK Vaccine Schedule is very similar to the American schedule. Once upon a time they did require the BCG for tuberculosis, but not any more. About the only difference is no requirement for varicella (the arguments are mostly over cost), and Hepatitis B (which, I am sorry to say, is actually concentrated in groups that immigrate from certain countries, which happen to occur mostly in American coastal cities). The HPV vaccine in the UK is different from the USA.

    Once upon a time a long long time ago I was an Army dependent. That meant living in places outside of the USA. Some of those places had different disease threats, which is why my shot record records that I have been vaccinated for yellow fever, typhus and typhoid. Also, while living overseas many of my friends were Canadians who had had the BCG… they had to skip the TB tine tests the school conducted because the vaccine they had would always show they were positive. They did, however, subject themselves to the school wide X-ray screening for TB. I did not do that since I had just returned to school after a six-week bout of pneumonia that required several X-rays, there was no need to get more radiation.

  41. #41 nwo rebel soldier
    January 2, 2010

    @Ian don’t listen to these idiots they will tell the cancer shots are good, they are intelligent but lack in wisdom, go do some research man on your own.

  42. #42 Orac
    January 2, 2010

    Oh, goody. I’m away from the blog for 15 or 16 hours, and the anti-vax trolls go nuts. I see that we have a new and particularly dim one who can’t even string together a coherent sentence, and, not surprisingly, he’s getting his tuchas handed to him by my science-based readers. My advice to him is to leave before he ends up looking any more foolish. Not that I expect he’ll take that advice, but at least I tried.

  43. #43 Chris
    January 2, 2010

    Ian:

    I’d be happy to look this stuff up on my own if someone would be so kind as to point me in the right direction. It’s really just idle curiosity.

    I found both the Japanese and UK vaccine schedules with a simple google search. I plugged in “country vaccine schedule” into the search box. The word “country” was the country I was looking up.

  44. #44 Ian
    January 2, 2010

    @Chris – thanks I’ll give that a try.

    @nwo rebel soldier – where would I go to get one of these “cancer shots”? They don’t have aluminum in them, do they? I heard that aluminum causes brain damage in forum trolls…

  45. #45 Chris
    January 2, 2010

    Orac:

    I see that we have a new and particularly dim one who can’t even string together a coherent sentence, and, not surprisingly, he’s getting his tuchas handed to him by my science-based readers.

    One?! Did you check out “holistickid” on an old Suzanne Somers thread?

    You have taught us well, master.

  46. #46 Anonymous Coward
    January 2, 2010

    nwo rebel soldier @ 235

    Oh, damn, not another Top 10 list! I was just about to go to bed, too….

    Anywhooooo…

    1. ‘Vaccine production was rushed’. Yup, they usually have a year to make it, and H1N1 apparently grows a LOT slower in eggs than seasonal flu. They didn’t know this at the start, so they didn’t run it as a sprint project. So, now we know you’ve never made a faulty assumption, or you might have had a little more understanding for this. Oh, and it was tested, as of July 22, 2009 ( http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/news/QA/vteuH1N1qa.htm )

    2. Close, but not quite there. You have to strike the word ‘dangerous’ out of the sentence, then it’s spot on. Remember, the poison is in the dose. Hell, water or oxygen will kill you if you get too much of them. As for causing autism: proof, please, from a reproducible study with a large sample size?

    3. H1N1 flu vaccine could only suppress your immune response if homeopathy were true. Since the body reacts to the vaccine by attacking it, all but a tiny fraction (that is identifiable, and will need to count on herd immunity) of people will have stronger immune systems. Oh, and BTW, this conflicts directly with your last point (#2)

    4. True. But while we’re on the topic, how long did the paralysis last? http://www.haverford.edu/biology/edwards/disease/viral_essays/warnervirus.htm states that of those who got GBS, (8.3 per million), 5% died & 10% had some lasting paralysis. The 1976 H1N1 had a 10% mortality rate, so half the people who could (I’d love to say would, but I’m not sure) have died were saved by rapid immunization. Actually, both the percentage and the raw number would have been higher, given how infectious 1976 H1N1 was supposed to be (44 million were vaccinated)

    5. Wrong. The U.S. government has set up a special court ( http://www.hrsa.gov/Vaccinecompensation/ ) specifically to try vaccine cases, with rules of evidence for petitioners (those who were hurt & believe the vaccine was the cause) that are far easier than ordinary courts of law. AND the gov’t automatically covers petitioners’ legal fees, too. So, nope!

    6. ‘No swine flu vaccine works as well as vitamin D to protect you from influenza.’ Sorry, no proof, no backup, can’t accept this one. I could just as easily say I was taking the entire ‘Swedish Olympic Bikini Team’ to bed tonight, with as much proof. (Dreams, now….but that’s a different story)

    7. ‘Even if the swine flu vaccine actually works, mathematically speaking if everyone else around you gets the vaccine, you don’t need one!’. So, by this standard, you can steal food from babies, beat up anybody weaker than you, etc. just because it’s good for you and to Hell with everybody else. Mmmm, your mother must be so proud that you learned ethics and empathy so well! (more sarcasm….)

    8. So, we can tax you on the amount of money you GROSS, rather than the amount left over after you’ve paid your rent / food / etc bills…every penny? No deductions? The relevant question here is “How much profit are the drug companies making PER DOSE? And how does that compare the profit on drugs used to treat the actual H1N1 flu? Or better still, how does that compare to the profit on Viagra or Rogaine, which are lifestyle drugs if there ever were any?

    9. ‘When people start dying in larger numbers from the swine flu, rest assured that many of them will be the very people who got the swine flu vaccine.’ Okay….evidence? Every fact & number out there says that vaccines prevent the disease or reduce the severity. The only way you could be right is if the H1N1 flu that gets loose is radically different from the vaccine version. In that case, it would be as if nobody was vaccinated. But vaccination won’t make it worse under any high-probability scenario you can dream up (‘high’ probability…say, 51% or more likely to happen)

    10. ‘The swine flu vaccine centres that will crop up all over the world in the coming months aren’t completely useless: They will provide an easy way to identify large groups of really stupid people.’

    Whoa! I’m shocked….we agree entirely. Actually, no. You’d want to tag those getting the vaccine, and I’d want to tag those who didn’t. But, hey, we’re agreeing there are two groups, so I guess that’s something.

    Time for some beauty sleep (lost cause…I’m as ugly as I am snarky….but Hell, it works as well as CAM!)

    TTFN

  47. #47 nwo rebel soilder
    January 2, 2010

    @interlectual sheep:Ian

    Sorry aluminum causes cancer not brain damage, i think the one your looking for is called Formaldehyde. “They don’t have aluminum” its not called aluminum it’s called aluminium you missed out the i.

  48. #48 nwo rebel soldier
    January 2, 2010

    @interlectual sheep:Ian

    Why don’t you and master Orac go together when you get your cancer shots, couples always provide moral support for each other.

  49. #49 Ian
    January 2, 2010

    If Orac and I somehow were an item (notwithstanding the fact that my cable doesn’t fit into any of his ports…), how on EARTH would that make either of us less right? As a follow-up to that, how would our bizarre human/computer homoerotic coupling make you any less insanely wrong?

    Also… seriously dude WTF is a cancer shot? Is this a new thing? Is it just a really highly-concentrated dose of pure formaldehyde (which the body produces as a part of normal metabolism anyway, but don’t let facts get in the way of a great story)? Inquiring minds want to know!

    One more little thing and then I’ll stop. If you’re going to correct someone’s spelling of ‘aluminum’ – which by the way has two accepted spellings – can you at LEAST spell “intellectual” correctly? I think the one your looking for is called Dictionary.

  50. #50 Chris
    January 2, 2010

    The Borg called nwo rebel soldier:

    Sorry aluminum causes cancer not brain damage, i think the one your looking for is called Formaldehyde

    Wait, first you say aluminum causes brain damage, but now it causes cancer!? Why can’t you make up your collective minds!?

    Formaldehyde is created in most human cells, and it is part of the cells of vegies and fruits. Are you going to tell us to stop eating bananas, pears, carrots, beets and other fruits and vegies? Are you my evil carnivorous cousin who refused to eat anything that experienced photosynthesis? Really, tell us why you want us to only eat things without formaldehyde.

  51. #51 nwo rebel troll
    January 2, 2010

    @interlectual sheep:Orac the Quack

    You should be ashamed of yourself for promoting the vaccines, do you not feel guilty?. You know they harm but like so many payrolled idiots in your proffesion you have sold your soul to big pharma. By promoting the vaccines you have blood on your hands and no amount of insulting me will ever cover that fact up and when the mecury madness has ended the trolls will be waiting for you, so go ahead scoff while you still can but remember this the herd mentality which protects you won’t last forever.

  52. #52 Chris
    January 2, 2010

    “nwo rebel soldier” does not equal “nwo rebel troll”

    Please do not confuse the sheep. They get very annoyed.

  53. #53 nwo rebel Borg
    January 2, 2010

    @interlectual sheep:Ian

    The process of making a vaccine includes using monkeys, chick embryos and surgically aborted foetuses, along with disinfectants and stabilizers that include streptomycin, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, aluminium, hydrochloride, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, formaldehyde and a mercury derivative called thimerosal. So if you want to put that poisonous trash in yourself go head but don’t encourge others to do so, it’s not about me and you exchanging blows it’s about providing people with the information about whats in them.

  54. #54 Philip
    January 2, 2010

    @ Coward @238

    You are demonstrably impacted.

    Thimerosal has not been removed from the majority of influenza vaccines neither from virtually all of the swine flu vaccines. As of 2008 influenza vaccine has now been recommended yearly for children starting at six months.

    Actually Semmelweis who proved antiseptic hand washing would nearly eliminate child bed fever was rejected by the medical establishment and died before his ideas took hold, though the evidence was all the time before peoples eyes.

  55. #55 Scottynuke
    January 2, 2010

    Poe trolls are Poe-ing.

  56. #56 Scott
    January 2, 2010

    Wow, this is better than a movie. Where’s my popcorn? Usually I have to PAY to see such comedy.

    The sad thing, of course, is that nwo rebel moron might actually be serious.

  57. #57 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    I’m wondering how nwo rebel soldier can reconcile his worry about aluminium causing cancer, with the tinfoil hat on his head.

    If nwo = new world order, I will invoke the Unified Theory of the Crank.

  58. #58 Kristen
    January 2, 2010

    @225 nwo
    @226 Jen

    It is not a fancy degree which makes one a scientist, or “posh” language. It is a curiosity about the world and life and a NEED to see evidence for any conclusion.

    Naturally one gains understanding and nuanced speech in their quest for the truth of how things work (thank you A.C.).

    Neither of you are interested in how things really are, you have convinced yourselves you are right and any evidence to the contrary is just background noise.

    Humility is necessary when learning about the way things work, because you need to be prepared to change your understanding when given evidence to the contrary (and if you are like me, feel like an “ant among giants” on Orac’s threads).

  59. #59 DebinOz
    January 2, 2010

    Kristen,

    I really appreciate what you have written. Those of us who do scientific research, set ourselves up to fail in our hypothesis testing. We are testing (statistically) the null hypothesis, and try to adjust our research for every confounding factor that we can think of. If we get a significant result, we go out of our way to look for errors in our own work. Then, and this is terrifying, we present our work in-house, and everyone has a go at trying to nit-pick it to death. Then it gets sent of for publication to get nit-picked again. As you say, we are humbled by our experiences, in more way than one.

  60. #60 justme
    January 2, 2010

    nwo rebel (whatever): “along with disinfectants and stabilizers that include streptomycin, sodium chloride,”

    Oh no! Not the evil sodium chloride! That horrible poisonous toxin! Why, it’s almost as bad as dihydrogen monoxide!

    Oh yeah, streptomycin is an antibiotic (as in anti-bacterial). I’ll continue to snicker until you figure out sodium chloride and dihydrogen monoxide …

  61. #61 storkdok
    January 2, 2010

    @jen
    “storkdoc: I really don’t care how I “come across” here because I am not counselling any parents in this context,working with children, nor am I espousing a view that is popular -here. (that vaccines and autism may be related, causally). I AM stating my opinions and interpretation of facts.”

    It’s pretty obvious you really don’t care about parents, or our children. I’ve met heaps of “teachers” like you in the last 7 years. You are unteachable, rigid, think you are right about everything. It’s why I fired one preschool and found another that had kind, caring and teachable/flexible teachers, the real kind. My son flourished after we changed schools.

    You think it doesn’t matter what you post here? Your attitude is pervasive, you don’t leave it at the computer. We parents and our kids can tell when someone thinks they are right all the time and is not willing to say they are wrong. I’ve been lectured by types like you, you really know nothing about autism, you are a sham. We and our kids can tell the difference. We know when people really care about us. I am very grateful to have a wonderful, teachable, open minded team right now. I hope we never have to deal with you.

    If you really don’t think you need to do some introspective work on yourself, you are more narcissistic than I thought. Get over yourself and get some professional help.

  62. #62 jen
    January 2, 2010

    People like Ian are right to question why the U.S. schedule is higher than other countries (any other country, in fact). Having a male child now means that you face a 1 in 58 chance of him having autism yet you want them to fear measles or chicken pox more. And yes, the flu shots (widely recommended to pregnant women and infants) still contain thim- as mentioned by Philip.

  63. #63 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 2, 2010

    Why the hell should vaccines contain a mercury based preservative, much of the world has already banned this practice over health concerns, it is not needed for safe distribution of vaccines

    [citation needed]

    Or do you mean “preservatives are not needed for safe distribution of vaccines” in the same way we might say “internal combustion engines are not needed for transport”? Technically true and yet if you were the one being loaded into the ambulance I suspect you’d pick the automotive ambulance rather than the horse-drawn.

  64. #64 Adam_Y
    January 2, 2010

    Look at nikola tesla that man was a hero in my eyes free unlimted energy 4 every 1 but because the corrupt system could not tax that energy his funding was cut.

    Thats really nice but you are nuts. Tesla never had the ability to provide unlimited energy four everyone. The sad fact is that the man eventually just cracked for some reason.

  65. #65 Mr. B
    January 2, 2010

    jen@261:

    People like Ian are right to question why the U.S. schedule is higher than other countries (any other country, in fact). Having a male child now means that you face a 1 in 58 chance of him having autism

    Let me follow the logic in having these two sentences together: the U.S. schedule has more vaccines than any other country; there is a 1 in 58 chance of any given boy having autism (in the U.S.?). If these two claims are supposed to be related, then surely you have facts that the prevalence of autism in boys in other countries (which of course have fewer vaccines in their schedules) is less, correct?

    I’ll be waiting for that evidence of correlation, but I won’t be holding my breath.

  66. #66 Ian
    January 2, 2010

    “The process of making a vaccine includes using monkeys, chick embryos and surgically aborted foetuses, along with disinfectants and stabilizers that include streptomycin, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, aluminium, hydrochloride, sorbitol, hydrolyzed gelatin, formaldehyde and a mercury derivative called thimerosal.”

    So what you’re saying is

    – 2 eggs
    – pinch of salt
    – baking soda
    – sugar
    – gelatin

    – Combine in large mixing bowl. Add monkey as needed. Garnish with thimerosal.
    – Serves millions.

    Sounds delicious!

  67. #67 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 2, 2010

    Having a male child now means that you face a 1 in 58 chance of him having autism

    Oh? Does it really?

    yet you want them to fear measles or chicken pox more.

    See, you keep jumping to inaccurate conclusions about what other people think, because you keep attributing to them beliefs that only exist in your mind. Such as, in this case, the belief that we need to make a choice between trying to prevent measles and chicken pox, and trying to prevent autism. In the real world, there’s no need to choose between the two; we can have both! We have effective vaccines against measles and against chicken pox, and while there is still a lot that we don’t know about what causes autism, one of the things that we do know constitutes a huge risk factor for autism is rubella infection in the mother, so using the effective vaccines we have against rubella and especially encouraging women who are pregnant or may become pregnant to stay current on their vaccinations will help reduce cases of autism.

    It’s not a matter of choosing whether we guard against chicken pox and measles or against autism. It’s not a matter of deciding which we “fear more”, or trying to get other people to fear one choice more than the other. That idea that we have to choose one and sacrifice the other only comes from the belief that autism is somehow caused by vaccination — in a way that no epidemiological study has ever been able to detect. That claim, as we have discussed before, is an extraordinary claim, and it would be unreasonable to believe it without extraordinary evidence; those who wish us to believe this extraordinary claim, however, have never supplied us with the extraordinary evidence, preferring instead to simply barrage us with extraordinary rhetoric.

  68. #68 jen
    January 2, 2010

    AF and Mr. B: yes the 1 in 58 chance of having a boy with autism is a U.S. based calculation (recent). YOu are right that it would be important to compare this number to other countries (and all countries have a less bloated schedule than the U.S.). I would wager that the number of boys affected would be less but I don’t know if there is a comparable survey recently done in other countries as to autism prevalence. Of course, if certain vaccines, such as MMR (for example) were in the end more likely to cause autism, then it wouldn’t be a matter of the total number of shots in the schedule (most countries now recommend 2 MMR vaccinations)but that is another matter.
    Also, if rubella infection in the mother can trigger autism then one must also allow for the possibility that the live virus vaccine could also do the same.

  69. #69 jen
    January 2, 2010

    AF and Mr. B: yes the 1 in 58 chance of having a boy with autism is a U.S. based calculation (recent). YOu are right that it would be important to compare this number to other countries (and all countries have a less bloated schedule than the U.S.). I would wager that the number of boys affected would be less but I don’t know if there is a comparable survey recently done in other countries as to autism prevalence. Of course, if certain vaccines, such as MMR (for example) were in the end more likely to cause autism, then it wouldn’t be a matter of the total number of shots in the schedule (most countries now recommend 2 MMR vaccinations)but that is another matter.
    Also, if rubella infection in the mother can trigger autism then one must also allow for the possibility that the live virus vaccine could also do the same.

  70. #70 jen
    January 2, 2010

    also, how many other countries push the damned flu shots (with thim) on their PREGNANT mothers and INFANTS as much as the U.S. does? Never mind all the “catch-up shots” they recommend to pregnant females. Also, it would be interesting to know what percentage of medical practitioners are pediatricians VS family doctors in other countries since it’s the peds that seem to base their existence (medically) on the vaccinating of infants.

  71. #71 Dangerous Bacon
    January 2, 2010

    jen: “Also, if rubella infection in the mother can trigger autism then one must also allow for the possibility that the live virus vaccine could also do the same.”

    There’s got to be an anecdote jen can tell us about how children in her family were born with birth defects due to rubella but it wasn’t really all that bad, and how she made sure none of her kids got rubella vaccine.

    Message to nwo rebel soldier: the Scientific Gorgon is on the prowl. Run away!!!

    By the way, there are a couple of stories today in the New York Times about the H1N1 flu epidemic and health workers’ response to it that are worth reading – including the front page story that details the successful effort to immediately respond to bogus stories and rumors about vaccination.

  72. #72 Maryn
    January 2, 2010

    @Jen –

    You seem to have a lot of questions for someone who claims to know for sure that vaccines are dangerous.

    I think if you were honest about where your beliefs originated, there would be no science, reason or statistics behind it. Someone presented an antecdote or story that you chose to believe. Then you went looking for “evidence” to support it.

    I’m sorry that you don’t respect how science works. But the people who post here typically do. You aren’t going to change anyone’s mind with your nonsense.

  73. #73 jen
    January 2, 2010

    “epidemiological studies still in early existence for autism prevalence in Canada” (Fombonne) but most recent figure is 1 in 165 (not broken down for sex).
    DB- that was kinda funny about the rubella; I do like your sense of humour. I actually don’t have any funny anecdotes but I’m pretty sure we all had rubella. I did give my daughter the 2 MMR’s and my son got only 1.I wish my daughter had only had 1 as well. Interestingly, the IOM, in the mid 90’s, did acknowledge that MMR causing autism was “biologically plausible.”

  74. #74 jen
    January 2, 2010

    Maryn: so I have questions. Isn’t that healthy? If I didn’t you’d be bitching about that. Yeah, if I were a pregant female right now all those “anecdotes” would be part of the new reality that 1 in 58 boys will have autism. It would scare the hell out of me.
    A few scientific studies showing more cause for concern (and they’re even on Pubmed) are:
    “Aluminum hydroxide injection lead to motor deficits and motor neuron degeneration.” /09
    “Neurotoxic effects of postnatal thimerosal are mouse strain dependent.”
    “The rise in autism and the role of age at diagnosis.” Epidemiology.

  75. #75 jen
    January 2, 2010

    oh yeah, and if the aluminum hydroxide is not so safe then it seems a little disingenuous for the Gardasil researchers to have used it for their “control” (placebo) group.

  76. #76 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 2, 2010

    Interestingly, the IOM, in the mid 90’s, did acknowledge that MMR causing autism was “biologically plausible.”

    Yes. In the 90’s.

    You know what time it is now?

    It’s not even the end of the 90’s; it’s the end of the decade after that.

    Certain speculations which are plausible before evidence has been collected cease to be plausible when the evidence comes in solidly against the speculation. Making a big deal of the fact that, in the 90’s, the IOM considered the MMR-causes-autism hypothesis “biologically plausible”, and neglecting to mention all the evidence that came in over a period of more than a decade which debunked the hypothesis, is intellectually dishonest on a level equal to pointing out that at the very end of July 1996 the FBI considered it ‘quite plausible’ that Richard Jewell was the Centennial Olympic Park bomber, and neglecting everything that came after that period of initial suspicion.

  77. #77 Anonymous Coward
    January 2, 2010

    Jen @ 273

    – Did you bother to read the link above concerning the ‘1 in 58’ probability (from AF @ 266)? Short version from the researchers:
    – “We were looking for ANY possible link, no matter how weak, so don’t compare us to other, more conservative studies”
    – “The numbers we got are affected by the broadening of the ASD definition and better diagnosis.”

    So, bogus number derived from misinterpreting preliminary results of a study for a fearmongering, later retracted headline story.

    As for the articles you cited, what was the dose? How does it compare to the dose in vaccines?

    Remember, the dose makes the poison. There is NOTHING out there that isn’t lethal in high enough concentrations.

    BTW, still waiting for evidence of a CAM practitioner who provides enough information about their ‘treatments’ for informed consent.

  78. #78 Maryn
    January 2, 2010

    Jen: I guess my bigger question is – Why are you here? You ask questions, but you don’t listen to the answers. You are not going to convince anyone here with the comments you are posting. You have stated nothing new that has not been addresses before.

    What are you hoping to get out of this site?

  79. #79 Chris
    January 2, 2010

    jen, I thought you left because you didn’t like us.

    (oh, a hi to the other Chris who posted after I lent my laptop to son, we do think alike)

  80. #80 jen
    January 2, 2010

    Maryn: you said I had no “science, reason or statistics” behind my view but I did point to three RECENT studies,per Antonaeus Feldspar’s point, that show some problems with vaccines. They weren’t comments. They were studies that no one has responded to.
    AC: What in God’s name is a CAM practitioner?? xxx alternative medicine? You never responded to Philip (253).
    How can I be “unteachable/rigid”(storkdok) yet “ask alot of questions?” (Maryn). Doesn’t add up. It’s such a drag when you can’t fit someone into a neat little box, isn’t it?
    THis post has taken about 15 hits of trying to make it go through so will be my last. Either someone doesn’t want this continuing or there is a computer problem. Hmmmmmnnnn…
    Finally, what am I hoping to get out of this site? Satisfaction;)

  81. #81 jen
    January 2, 2010

    that’s kinda scary that your shutting down posts on this now, Orac.

  82. #82 Orac
    January 2, 2010

    I’ve shut nothing down.

  83. #83 jen
    January 2, 2010

    hmmmn, my last post mentioned the fact that I have referred to 3 recent scientific, peer reviewed studies, Maryn, that show cause for with regard to vaccines but no one has commented on them (except AC wants to know about doses) And, AF, they are RECENT.
    AC: You never responded to Phillip (253). None of you like to aknowledge that thimerosal is alive and well in the current vaccination schedule. What is God’s name is a CAM pratitioner? My best guess is “something alternative medicine?”
    What am I hoping to get out of this site? Satisfaction;)
    Seriously, I’m not afraid to see what evidence you guys have but I’m not too impressed with your scientific studies(yadayada, some studies show vaccines are safe, some do not) or your logic (or lack thereof).

  84. #84 Kristen
    January 2, 2010

    @281

    If you are wondering what CAM stands for may I suggest going to Google.com. Good resource that.

  85. #85 justme
    January 2, 2010

    jen, re: thimerasol, do you understand the differences of properties of elemental mercury, methyl-mercury, and ethyl-mercury, and the body’s different reactions to those?

  86. #86 Kristen
    January 2, 2010

    @283

    If you told her she wouldn’t believe you anyway. To her mercury is mercury it is bad and in vaccines. When something doesn’t match what she already “knows” it gets brain-dumped.

  87. #87 MI Dawn
    January 2, 2010

    @Jen: OK. I’ll bite. Tell me which vaccines have more than very tiny traces of thimerasol…AND are being given to pregnant women and children. As far as I am able to find, most recommendations for pregnancy and children involve the single-dose vials, which have no thimerasol in them (except for the very tiny traces mentioned above, part of the manufacturing process to prevent bacterial growth. We are talking nanograms, here).

    @Kristen: don’t know why I’m even bothering, but maybe she will have an answer. However, being that she’s in Canada and all her data seems to come from Generation Rescue and that ilk, I don’t know…

  88. #88 han
    January 2, 2010

    “What am I hoping to get out of this site? Satisfaction;)”

    If being an aggressively ignorant pain in the ass is satisfying, jen must be grinning like the Cheshire cat. Clearly she gets off on arguing, regardless of whether she’s right or wrong (and I’m sure in her mind she’s never been wrong). She feels she has nothing to learn and she refuses to rationally discuss the issue of anti-vaccine activism. By continuing to argue with her, we’re just feeding into her sick little conflict fetish. Maybe if we ignore her, she’ll go bother somebody else.

  89. #89 justme
    January 2, 2010

    Kristen (284) perhaps, but I’m just a tad bored since that nwo rebel whatever must have discovered the sodium chloride he is so deathly afraid of is actually just common table salt … although that’s another fun one to point out the fallacy about “dangerous toxins” as both sodium and chloride are quite poisonous in their elemental forms, but we would die without the ions. 🙂 As for met- versus et- … alcohol is my favorite one to point out. Methanol = bad like antifreeze, ethanol = wine, meade, beer, etc.

  90. #90 storkdok
    January 2, 2010

    jen says “What am I hoping to get out of this site? Satisfaction;)”

    Does jen meet criteria for:
    Narcissistic personality D/O: check yes
    Antisocial personality D/O: check yes
    Borderline personality D/O: check yes

    Explains a lot.

  91. #91 OttawaAlison
    January 2, 2010

    jen – please keep an open mind. You are here to reek havoc and you seem to have made up your mind. I don’t know what your chip is against vaccination, but really!? My grandfather in Poland showed signs of Aspergers. My dad has signs of Aspergers and my brother has aspergers. Hmmm, could there be a genetic link? Very likely.

  92. #92 jen
    January 2, 2010

    MI Dawn: “more than very tiny traces of thimerasol.” If the dose makes the poison then maybe even doses that tiny could be harmful (especially cumulatively).You can google up flu vaccines and see that many versions have thim. Flu shots are widely recommended in the U.S. and even here now(especially by the peds) for infants 6 months and above. You can go to Walmart or Walgreens and get thim-laced shots very easily. You think they’re giving out all single vial doses? Walmart doesn.t give a shit that you’re pregnant. The recommendations just say flu shots. They don’t say single-dose-thim-free flu shots. But, I will double check that. Storkdok, honestly I don’t meet the phsychiatric manual definition for those things. I have made some “overly confident”-type remarks at times but things can get heated and it happens. What about the aluminum hydroxide? Isn’t anybody concerned about that.

  93. #93 Travis
    January 2, 2010

    I really cannot add anything, everyone else has responded so well. I just wanted to say I am glad there are other people in Ottawa here…assuming the Ottawa in OttawaAlison refers to Ottawa, ON.

    I have introduced some people to this blog but I have never come across anyone else who actually read it before I came along.

  94. #94 jen
    January 2, 2010

    MI Dawn: I just looked up the CDC schedule and it says simply to get the influenza vaccine (in chart form). There is zero reference to the thim-free versions or single-dose recommendations for infants or pregnant women. It is simply recommended. Period.

  95. #95 Jennifer B. Phillips
    January 2, 2010

    Jen, there is no evidence that thimerosal is a problem for anyone. They took it out of the childhood vaccines, and they make it available for kids and pregnant woman, because of the degree of scientifically unjustified public outcry about this particular ingredient. Thimerosal free vaccines aren’t, as far as I know, ‘recommended’ for any medical reason, barring a specific allergy.

    Your comment at 290 indicates that you don’t understand the meaning of ‘the dose makes the poison’. And thus far you haven’t demonstrated that you know the difference between ethyl and methyl mercury, especially with respect to how each is processed by the human body (even a tiny baby one).

    But surely this is just an inconsequential distraction. What has thimerosal got to do with the connection you claim exists between vaccines and autism?

  96. #96 Jennifer B. Phillips
    January 2, 2010

    Jen, there is no evidence that thimerosal is a problem for anyone. They took it out of the childhood vaccines, and they make it available for kids and pregnant woman, because of the degree of scientifically unjustified public outcry about this particular ingredient. Thimerosal free vaccines aren’t, as far as I know, ‘recommended’ for any medical reason, barring a specific allergy.

    Your comment at 290 indicates that you don’t understand the meaning of ‘the dose makes the poison’. And thus far you haven’t demonstrated that you know the difference between ethyl and methyl mercury, especially with respect to how each is processed by the human body (even a tiny baby one).

    But surely this is just an inconsequential distraction. What has thimerosal got to do with the connection you claim exists between vaccines and autism?

  97. #97 jen
    January 2, 2010

    I’m not sure how old all the posters are here (probably there’s a wide range in age- say 15 to 75?)Anyways, I am 49 and even though I am finished having my children and my children are o.k. that I know of (admittedly I have selectively vaccinated-for example no chicken pox vaccine AND perhaps they would have been fine had I given them every vaccine known to man. I will not know that). I see how much the vaccine schedule has expanded now for infants And since autism HAS increased (I can hear the protesting!) I can only imagine how scary it is for parents to trust that they are all harmless. It might be easy to be a 55 year old researcher and think that the risk/probability of a vaccine injury is low but for alot of prospective parents out there it may not seem that way. I think it would be incredibly arrogant not to feel alot of empathy for parents currently having children and having to make these decisions. We live in an increasingly toxic world and I think vaccines have become an aspect of that.

  98. #98 gpmtrixie
    January 2, 2010

    @jen:
    “I think it would be incredibly arrogant not to feel alot of empathy for parents currently having children and having to make these decisions.”

    It is people like you who are creating the issue for parents nowadays. My 3 kids were born in 1995, 1996 and 2007. With the older 2 no one wondered whether I was going to get them their shots. I was shocked when I found out there was a “controversy” around childhood immunizations when I had my third. Lo and behold, something happened between 1996 and 2007. A quack in the UK and the spread of the internet to the masses, where people like you gain some selective “knowledge” without understanding, created the “controversy” where none truly exists.

  99. #99 Scientizzle
    January 2, 2010

    I’m certainly late to the party here…I won’t go through all of the above to make sure this isn’t duplicating other responses, but here is a response for jen:

    The common claim of a recent increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, such as in your commont #295, doesn’t appear to be supported by the epidemiological data which indicates that the measured rise is (mostly, at least) an artifact of increased surveillance and a broadening of the definitions of autism.

    These posts explain better than I can: The Increase in Autism Diagnoses: Two Hypotheses & Autism Prevalence

    The most telling results, in my opinion, are that autism prevalence is actually remarkably similar in all age groups…

    I do feel empathy for young parents making health decisions for their children these days. There is a well-publicized and highly-motivated movement of antivaccinationism that trades in fear-mongering, quote-mining, and plain ol’ lying.

    As an intelligent man has succinctly stated, “It’s much easier to scare people than to un-scare them.”

  100. #100 DebinOz
    January 3, 2010

    Thanks for those links, Scientizzle. Jen will not read them though.

    As an epidemiologist, I am reluctant to post anecdotes. But as the parent of a son with ASD, here I go. Our extended family has three children in one generation (the most current) with diagnosed ASD. However, we also have a number of undiagnosed ASD older relatives (sheesh, one of my cousins collects wrapping-paper!), along with a contingent of just odd folks and engineers. The genetics is strong in my family! Many of us know we are border-line, and family gatherings often consist of us comparing odd behaviour for a laugh.

  101. #101 kae
    January 3, 2010

    There should be a vaccination against “stupid”.

  102. #102 Maryn
    January 3, 2010

    Jen: I’m sorry if people aren’t responding to you in as timely a fashion as you’d like. Some of us have other things to do of a Saturday evening.

    I looked at the links you posted. Did you actually find those on PubMed or Generation Rescue? Because if you searched “vaccine autism” on PubMed you’d find about 400 results stating that there is no link.

  103. #103 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 3, 2010

    To me, jen’s post at 297 is really emblematic of her whole approach. Not only is it almost completely free of facts, she doesn’t even seem to realize that facts are what we need to be dealing with. She seems obsessed with people’s ages, and thinks that we should downplay what a “55 year old researcher” determines about the probability of vaccine injury, in favor of paying great attention to what “prospective parents” “fear”.

    Sure, let’s recognize what parents fear. Let’s have “empathy” for it (after all, jen says we would be “incredibly arrogant” not to!) But it would be absolute foolishness to let it set our priorities, because what people fear is not an accurate indicator of what’s actually dangerous. People will avoid the ocean because they fear a shark attack but they’ll drive home from the bar buzzed because they think that’s not really that risky. People will change their travel plans out of fear of getting caught in a terrorist attack, but they won’t stop smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. People see a cheerleader flailing and stuttering on YouTube and blaming the flu shot; they forget that thousands of people each and every year are killed by the flu and instead attempt to protect themselves from an event that has either happened once in the entire history of flu vaccination, or has never happened at all.

    I guess Jen has announced her choice: she would rather be ruled by her fear. Me, I’d rather pay attention to what that 55-year-old researcher is saying, because he’s the one that’s actually in touch with the research.

  104. #104 gpmtrixie
    January 3, 2010

    It’s natural for parents to seek and listen to the advice of BTDT fellow parents, but when it comes to health issues, it’s not just the “55-year-old researcher” that will get my attention. On the issue of vaccines, all government health agencies in my state, in the US (CDC), and in the world (WHO); all (legit) professional bodies such as the AAP; all health insurance companies and the major organization that rates health insurance companies (NCQA) say “get your vaccines”! (unless contraindicated, that is)

    Jim Carrey is wrong. Jenny and Jen and Jim and their crazy buddies are the problem.

  105. #105 OttawaAlison
    January 3, 2010

    DebinOz – That’s my family too 🙂 Lots of undiagnosed Aspies. Though I am not an Aspie (though may be considered borderline), I do have some of the quirky behaviour. Lots of engineers and doctors in my family too (though I work in HR).

    Travis: Yup I am an Ottawan, been coming on here ever since Jenny McCarthy has been spouting her unscientific views. Have introduced quite a few people to here as well.

  106. #106 jen
    January 3, 2010

    Maryn: I know what you mean; I’ve been working on a “bobsled run” with my son. Yes, you will see studies to show both no concern and ones to show cause for concern. All on Pubmed. Again, though, what about Gardasil doing “safety” studies by giving the “control/placebo” group aluminum hydroxide?
    I know that they have found (so far) that there are some genetics involved in some small percentage of autism cases. I also know that Tom Insel’s comments on the latest CDC autism surveillance report was that “there is no question that there has got to be an environmental component here.”
    (gmtrixie)something DID happen between /94 and 2009 and they saw that 8 year olds (kids during hep b uptake increase) were more likely to have autism.

  107. #107 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    Aluminum hydroxide is alum. It is used in making pickles, and can be used in home made play dough to keep if from going bad too quickly.

    Aluminum is the most common metal on the earth’s crust. Aluminum compounds are common in plain old dirt (so it ends up in plants, this link), and even sapphires and rubies are an aluminum compound (aluminum oxide, which is commonly used to coat sandpaper… though not the gem quality stuff). Everyday you breathe and consume several times more aluminum than is in any vaccine.

    Again, the dose makes the poison.

  108. #108 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    Also something else happened in 1994.

  109. #109 jen
    January 3, 2010

    thanks for the link, Chris. I don’t have time to do a thorough comparison for now but I have noted it. I have worked in schools for quite a few years now and, honestly, it’s getting just crazy out there. I love all the kids (whether they have autism, aspergers, ADHD or whatever) but it is worrying. ESL kids are showing alot of the above problems, too. I lived through the “de-institutionalization” movement in the 80’s and I do realize there could have been some people formerly labelled ” mentally retarded” etc. who really had autism but I still think there are just plain more autism/aspergers, ADHD and learning disabilities out there now. I think they really are getting silly with the vaccine agenda. I mean chicken pox? Come on.

  110. #110 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    Chicken pox is not harmless. Before the vaccine over a hundred people died from it every year, and then it leaves the person vulnerable to shingles when they are older.

    From CDC Pink Book:

    In the prevaccine era, approximately 11,000 persons with varicella required hospitalization each year. Hospitalization rates were approximately 2–3 per 1,000 cases among healthy children and 8 per 1,000 cases among adults. Death occurred in approximately 1 in 60,000 cases. From 1990 through 1996, an average of 103 deaths from varicella were reported each year. Most deaths occur in immunocompetent children and adults. Since 1996, the number of hospitalizations and deaths from varicella has declined more than 90%

    I live not terribly far from the local Ronald McDonald house, where families live while their child is receiving treatment. The other children will attend the local schools, including the one my kids went through. The year before there was a vaccine chicken pox swept through the school. The school nurse was not happy with the parents who sent their children to school with fevers at that time (one sent her kid in with a bottle of Tylenol!), as it was possible to spread chicken pox to the siblings of children who were already in the hospital.

    You really should show more empathy to parents of children with health issues.

  111. #111 jen
    January 3, 2010

    I honestly don’t understand where your charge that I should show more empathy to parents with health issues is coming from. It could be equally said that you should show more empathy to parents who have vaccine-injured children. Trust me, they exist in the thousands. (even babies -died only hours/days after needless hep b vaccines (only mothers testing positive should be giving that to their babies-and maybe people in a high risk group- IV drug users).
    I am printing out the dsm autism criteria changes to see how much that may have affected numbers in schools BUT are we to just ramp up the vaccination schedule that much from the early /80’s and say well the criteria of autism has changed slightly and sorry folks but having a boy means a 1 in 58 chance he’ll have autism? That all seems so convenient for the vaccine manufacturers. I don’t think we should just leave it there. I think (despite ethical objections) that a true comparison needs to be done on the health of vaccinated VS un-vaccinated children. Somehow it just has to be done. And, if the dose makes the poison, then maybe some kids really can’t handle as much “poison” and they get really bad side effects from it. Maybe those kids have a different tipping point. Vaccines have never been studied in combination yet are given that way routinely. I will compare the criteria, though.

  112. #112 Todd W.
    January 3, 2010

    @jen

    You clearly did not bother to take my advice. Instead of taking time to educated yourself (e.g., by reading Science-Based Medicine’s articles, antiantivax and the links there, information about vaccines available from places like the CDC, FDA, AAP, Mayo Clinic, WHO, Health Canada and numerous other places), you continue to spew nonsense and personal conjecture with nothing to back your ideas up. For example, when it was pointed out that thimerosal exists only in trace amounts, at most, in a few vaccines, you suggest that even trace amounts might be dangerous. Unless you have some evidence to support such a supposition, you had best keep your mouth shut. It is just as irresponsible as if I were to suggest, without presenting any evidence, that the guy two houses down from you was a repeat child molester. Not to mention the one across the street and the fellow around the corner. I mean, you never know. And I’m only asking questions.

    You claim that you are a caring individual and that your friends and colleagues would laugh at the accusations that have been tossed your way. Yet you also state that you don’t care what image you present here. That’s all we have to go on, and so far, you have presented yourself as someone who assumes to know what everyone else thinks or believes; someone who asks questions yet ignores the answers because they don’t jive with your preconceived notions and beliefs; someone who is, quite plainly, being an ignorant jerk. Ignorant, because instead of educating yourself, you keep spewing the same stupid comments that are addressed on many of the sites I listed above, not to mention in various of Orac’s posts, as well as an failure to even begin to acknowledge to yourself what you do and do not know. Jerk because you maintain an insulting, arrogant, childish attitude, not caring for how your comments will affect others. You maintain a “Well so-and-so did it first” attempt to rationalize your own reprehensible behavior.

    Once again, start to educate yourself. Pay a visit to antiantivax as a starting point. Read about thimerosal there. Read about VAERS. Read about aluminum. Read the whole page. Once you’ve done that, follow the links on that page and read their information. That should give you a decent basis from which you might gain better insight from Orac’s other articles and those at SBM. I would also recommend learning about how to evaluate a study. SBM actually has a really good couple of articles on what to watch for…things that mark a study as either of likely good quality or that raise red flags that the study may be of dubious quality.

    Educate yourself. Educate yourself. Educate yourself.

  113. #113 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    jen:

    It could be equally said that you should show more empathy to parents who have vaccine-injured children. Trust me, they exist in the thousands. (even babies -died only hours/days after needless hep b vaccines (only mothers testing positive should be giving that to their babies-and maybe people in a high risk group- IV drug users).

    Evidence?

    Something along the lines of this: Neonatal Deaths After Hepatitis B Vaccine, and I suggest you look at the table very carefully.

    And as far as being empathic to parents with health impaired children, I am going on your previous behavior.

  114. #114 Todd W.
    January 3, 2010

    @jen

    Vaccines have never been studied in combination yet are given that way routinely.

    Citation needed.

  115. #115 jen
    January 3, 2010

    the dsm autism criteria did expand to include Aspergers. That confuses things. It seems kind of fishy that they didn’t do a more detailed,specific analysis of the data when in fact they have done that before. In Brick Township they surveyed kids born from /88 to /95 and did very detailed diagnosing.And did see a rise. Again, it just seems like they have fudged the data to start comparing rates in the /90’s when vaccination was at an all -time high (and will only get worse). It has definitely increased since the 70’s or 80’s. Parents today aren’t stupid. Chris, I’m sorry that your kid has health problems. You did appear to change your story, though.

  116. #116 jen
    January 3, 2010

    the dsm autism criteria did expand to include Aspergers. That confuses things. It seems kind of fishy that they didn’t do a more detailed,specific analysis of the data when in fact they have done that before. In Brick Township they surveyed kids born from /88 to /95 and did very detailed diagnosing.And did see a rise. Again, it just seems like they have fudged the data to start comparing rates in the /90’s when vaccination was at an all -time high (and will only get worse). It has definitely increased since the 70’s or 80’s. Parents today aren’t stupid. Chris, I’m sorry that your kid has health problems. You did appear to change your story, though.
    Todd: I sure as hell don’t need a citation to show that peds/nurses routinely shoot kids up with many vaccines all at one time, to “catch-up” etc. You have to be kidding!!!!!

  117. #117 jen
    January 3, 2010

    Todd, you are kidding, right? I believe hep b and gardasil may have been studied together but that would be about it. Those nurses/peds will give a kid as many shots as they can in one sitting (to catch-up or whatver). Even give them to sick kids.

  118. #118 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    Lack of coherency and actual data duly noted.

  119. #119 Calli Arcale
    January 3, 2010

    Jen: what they mean is that all vaccines have been tested in children already receiving the (at the time) current recommended pediatric vaccination schedule. They don’t go out and find completely unvaccinated children for vaccine clinical trials, because not only would that take too long, but it wouldn’t accurately reflect the patients they expect to get the vaccines.

    As far as only giving Hep B to newborns with Hep B positive mothers, this is analogous to only giving rabies vaccines post-exposure. That’s reasonable for rabies, to which most people are unlikely to be exposed. But Hep B exposure is more likely than you might think. It’s not just sexually transmitted; it can also be transmitted through blood, and kids are kids — they fall, they get scrapes, they even bite one another (especially the toddlers, who haven’t yet learned that they’re not supposed to do that). It’s up to you, ultimately, but as far as I’m concerned, the risk-benefit analysis points strongly towards vaccination as early as will be effective.

    Nurses are not supposed to give vaccines to sick kids, though (re your comment at 317), or even sick adults. They are far less likely to be effective if the patient is already fighting a real infection and consequently has a compromised immune system. They also should not be simply sticking the kids repeatedly to bring them up to schedule — for instance, if your kid is two doses behind on IPT, two jabs the same day will be ineffective. The doses need to be separated by a certain amount of time. So if you see a nurse doing that, file a complaint with the state licensing board or at least whatever clinic he/she is working for. That behavior is unethical and definitely beneath the standard of care.

  120. #120 Todd W.
    January 3, 2010

    @jen

    Your claim was not that peds/nurses “routinely shoot kids up with many vaccines all at one time”. You claimed that vaccines “have never been studied in combination”. You need to provide a citation for that.

    As it happens, FDA has guidance documents for industry about how clinical trials are designed for new products, such as vaccines. Those guidance documents suggest including concomitant vaccines in the study design. They also have guidance on testing new combo vaccines against the vaccines given as individual shots (e.g., a DTaP-Hib vs. DTaP and Hib individually). While guidance documents are not legally binding, a company is very unlikely to get a product approved if they go against a guidance without some really good explanations of why the guidance should not apply.

    I also picked a vaccine at random (Merck’s MMR-II vaccine) and looked at the package insert (available on the FDA site), where I found:

    M-M-R II has been administered concurrently with VARIVAX* [Varicella Virus Vaccine Live (Oka/Merck)], and PedvaxHIB* [Haemophilus b Conjugate Vaccine (Meningococcal Protein Conjugate)] using separate injection sites and syringes. No impairment of immune response to individually tested vaccine antigens was demonstrated. The type, frequency, and severity of adverse experiences observed with M-M-R II were similar to those seen when each vaccine was given alone.
    Routine administration of DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) and/or OPV (oral poliovirus vaccine) concurrently with measles, mumps and rubella vaccines is not recommended because there are limited data relating to the simultaneous administration of these antigens.
    However, other schedules have been used. The ACIP has stated “Although data are limited concerning the simultaneous administration of the entire recommended vaccine series (i.e., DTaP [or DTwP], IPV [or OPV], Hib with or without Hepatitis B vaccine, and varicella vaccine), data from numerous studies have indicated no interference between routinely recommended childhood vaccines (either live, attenuated, or killed). These findings support the simultaneous use of all vaccines as recommended.”32

    So, it looks like studies have been done on use of multiple vaccines together.

    Again, jen, stop swallowing the garbage put out by antivaxers and learn facts.

  121. #121 Todd W.
    January 3, 2010

    @Callie Arcale

    Exactly the point I was trying to make. I’ve got a post awaiting moderation due to multiple links that adds a bit more information.

  122. #122 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    More information Hep B.

    You obviously did not understand that children who have health issues are more vulnerable to a bad outcome with chicken pox. Considering the quality of your use of English, I guess I shall chalk up your treatment of me, the other parents here, and the excerpt from the CDC Pink Book as a case of lack of reading comprehension. So be it.

    What you need to do now is to post some actual data and evidence. You claim that there are vaccine injured children, provide the evidence. Make sure it is high quality evidence, not a random website.

  123. #123 Todd W.
    January 3, 2010

    @jen

    In addition to the info in my post that’s awaiting moderation, here’s some more, from the International Conference on Hamonization’s (of which FDA is a part) E8: GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR CLINICAL TRIALS:

    If a potential for drug-drug interaction is suggested by metabolic profile, by the results of non-clinical studies or by information on similar drugs, studies on drug interaction during clinical development are highly recommended. For drugs that are frequently co-administered it is usually important that drug-drug interaction studies be performed in non-clinical and, if appropriate in human studies. This is particularly true for drugs that are known to alter the absorption or metabolism of other drugs (see ICH E7), or whose metabolism or excretion can be altered by effects by other drugs.

  124. #124 MI Dawn
    January 3, 2010

    @Chris (#313): Very interesting article. When I worked in the newborn nursery, I actually had 1 baby die of SIDS at 3 days old. This was pre-routine Hep B injections, so the only injection the baby got was the Vitamin K. He was a healthy baby who was alive at 5 am when the lab tech drew his blood for a bilirubin test, and he was dead and cold when I went to feed him at 5:30 am. We coded the baby for 45 minutes (fortunately, we actually had a pediatrician in-house that night; we usually didn’t) but it was useless. If it had happened 3 years later it could have been blamed on Hep B, I guess. (SIDS is rare at that young age, but it does happen.)

  125. #125 Pablo
    January 3, 2010

    I was looking at the table of VAERS reports that Todd linked in 313. It got me wondering, how many of the anti-vaxxers are co-sleepers?

  126. #126 jen
    January 3, 2010

    Chris, insults and obvious points (children with health problems are more vulnerable to a bad outcome from chicken pox)duly noted. Fine, then let those kids get the chicken pox vaccines. It’s a paren’ts call as to what their particular child needs in terms of vaccination. Also, sick children (as at least addressed by Calli) should not be getting vaccines and sadly, they often do. (sorry no citation available or needed). A teacher at the school I work at had moved recently from Sask to Alberta and at his recent health clinic visit they “caught him up” with chicken pox, dpt and another one all in one visit. Sorry, again no citation. It happened in this instance and it happens all the time.
    Yeah, and if I wanted to muddy the waters about autism prevalence I think I would conduct the ADDM suryvey the way they did. Not break down the data. Shrewd move. There’s still a rise in autism.
    Your snarkiness really comes through at times and I am tempted to comment as to why there is a need for that “qualified” psychologist.

  127. #127 jen
    January 3, 2010

    Todd: I “didn’t bother to take your advice” and I am an ignorant jerk. You sound kinda abusive and obsessive. And wordy. Really fucking wordy.

  128. #128 Todd W.
    January 3, 2010

    @jen

    You claim that autism rates have risen, and that there is an epidemic. When did this rise begin? Provide a citation.

    For your reading pleasure, here’s some information on a recent study in the U.K. which found that the rate of autism in adults was about 1%, the same as the rate in children. Guess what else? The rate in men was about 1.8% (~1 in 58).

    Granted, this is in the U.K., so its results might not translate to the U.S., but I doubt it. I’ll try to find whether a similar study has been done in the U.S. recently. Most studies only focus on children.

  129. #129 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    Again, lots of claims and no evidence.

  130. #130 Muzz
    January 3, 2010

    This has been an enlightening thread, for a spectator like me anyway.
    It’s turned out the way most arguments with tenacious anti-vaxxers goes (and jen actually seems more reasonable than a lot of them. Room for improvement perhaps, but there’s worse, you have to admit).
    They’ll soften their positions and move around a bit but they will never ever, in the face of everything to the contrary, drop the “yeah but there’s something with vaccines…” as the last word. Doesn’t matter if evidence shows it’s not connected autism, not what’s in ’em, not how many, not mixtures of things in ’em, or the fact that they’re all quite different. There still has to be something with vaccines, and we can’t stop looking for it in general. It’s like vaccination, the concept, is some dark magic where humankind ought not dabble, or something. It’s very strange.

  131. #131 Todd W.
    January 4, 2010

    @jen

    You sound kinda abusive and obsessive. And wordy. Really fucking wordy.

    Apologies if you’ve been offended. I can be a bit blunt, even when I’ve been holding myself back. Sorry if it sounds like I’m “obsessive” and nagging, but I’m trying to get through to you that unless you educate yourself and alter your tone, you’re going to continue to get crap from people here. Believe it or not, but it is possible to have a civil discourse on these threads. And apologies for being “fucking wordy” (there’s that insulting tone again). My posts generally are not for lazy readers. I’ll try to be briefer in the future.

  132. #132 Kristen
    January 4, 2010

    Todd

    Just had to say, I love your “f***ing wordy” comments. One can learn much from them, if they are interested in learning.

  133. #133 han
    January 4, 2010

    Ditto Kristen’s comment, Todd. What jen calls “wordy”, I call clear, concise, and engaging writing. And your patience with her steady stream of bullshit is admirable.

  134. #134 Chris
    January 4, 2010

    She also seems to conveniently forget that she has made lots of claims, yet forgets to provide evidence.

  135. #135 Todd W.
    January 4, 2010

    @Kristen and han

    Thanks for the support. Moving forward, I’m going to try to avoid calling jen “ignorant” or a “jerk”, even if she continues in the same vein she has been, since I’ve already made that point several times. Instead, I’ll try to focus on education. I encourage others to do the same, even if you take offense; we might more effectively get our message across, that way.

  136. #136 Kristen
    January 4, 2010

    Todd

    Good advice! Getting angry and emotional is not very scientific. I will try to concentrate on adding to the conversation and ignore the irrationality of some.

  137. #137 Calli Arcale
    January 4, 2010

    Also, sick children (as at least addressed by Calli) should not be getting vaccines and sadly, they often do. (sorry no citation available or needed). A teacher at the school I work at had moved recently from Sask to Alberta and at his recent health clinic visit they “caught him up” with chicken pox, dpt and another one all in one visit. Sorry, again no citation. It happened in this instance and it happens all the time.

    I believe you.

    Again, if you see a nurse vaccinating a kid who’s running a fever, complain. Tell the nurse that what they’re doing is stupid, or better yet, talk to their supervisor to get them to stop. There isn’t data on how much more dangerous it is to vaccinate a sick kid, but there is data on how much less effective it is. As with any drug, it’s risk versus benefit, and if the kid is already sick, the benefit side goes down considerably. It is better to wait a few days. (Most clinics have a script of questions to ask patients, which includes “are you feeling well?” and “have you had a fever in the last few days?”) Nurses can get lazy, same as anybody, and it’s our job as patients and parents to call them on it when we see it. I know you know that, and that you’re the type to speak your mind (which is good). But it bears repeating for the benefit of all.

    I know you don’t have a citation for how often that happens; I don’t think anyone does, because (and here’s the part that bugs me the most) there is no data routinely collected on this or many other everyday practices. Maybe that will change as electronic recordkeeping becomes more commonplace, allowing for easy crunchability of information like patient vitals. How many patients who received vaccines had signs of an active viral infection at the time? If these records are kept consistently, we can answer that question, find the nurses and doctors who are being sloppy, and correct the problem.

    But about catching up, that’s not actually what I meant. It’s reasonable to give, say, chickenpox and DtaP at the same time, and I agree — it does happen frequently. It’s the standard of care. I meant that if a person is behind two doses of a particular vaccine, giving both doses at the same time is pointless. But I could see a nurse doing that so he/she could rubberstamp the form and send them along. It would definitely deserve a complaint, because the kid got nothing but pain out of that extra jab.

  138. #138 jen
    January 4, 2010

    Calli, I am so glad you posted again because I think your message is really important. I was going to re-post what you said in #319 but now I don’t have to. Todd, apologies accepted. I understand that things can get heated. I really do appreciate that Orac has set something up where people can debate (although I do understand that I quote from studies less which isn’t the standard here) the issue. I just really think that there is a real increase in all these problems and I think that vaccines aren’t off the table in terms of causing harm. Hopefully we all have the kids’ best interests at heart. Uh oh… looks like there’s a new article up!

  139. #139 Todd W.
    January 4, 2010

    @jen

    What amount of evidence would be enough for you to accept that vaccines are likely not implicated in autism?

  140. #140 Chrisc
    January 4, 2010

    jen:

    I think that vaccines aren’t off the table in terms of causing harm.

    Then please present your evidence. Something on the order of this.

  141. #141 Calli Arcale
    January 4, 2010

    Thank you for the kind words, jen! I do appreciate it, and I agree that we all do seem to have the kids’ best interests at heart. We definitely have different opinions about where the evidence lies, but our goals are the same.

    As far as increase in all these problems — I assume you mean the rising rate of autism? I’m sure that a significant part of it is due to diagnostic substitution. I could go into more detail if you want as to why I’m so sure of that. But I recently read another idea as to what might be responsible, and it’s something which I find far more plausible than vaccines: parental age. I’d like to see a chart plotting the two together, especially if some way could be found to account for diagnostic substitution over time (challenging, I know) to see if there is a good correlation. We know advanced parental age (either parent) is associated with some neurological deficits, so it seems plausible to me that it might also be implicated in autism. I also tend to think that there is a biological tendency towards autism, but whether the person actually develops it or not depends on other factors. Might parental age be one of those? Could be, and it would be worth researching. I hope someone does, since delaying childbearing is becoming increasingly common.

    Not that I think anybody should rush into having kids; that has its own set of problems. Hell, that decision is vastly more personal than the vaccine one. 😉

  142. #142 Scott
    January 4, 2010

    I don’t think diagnostic substitution would be that big a confounder to investigating a link with parental age. If you were looking at it as “parental age vs. time” and “autism incidence vs. time”, then it would be a problem. But you can more simply look at parental age vs. autism incidence directly, within a single birth cohort.

    I’m sure there would be other confounders in such a study. For example, if parents who have one autistic child are less likely to have another child, that will tend to skew autistic children to younger parents (since a disproportionate number of autistic children would then be firstborns). But I don’t see diagnostic substitution being a major issue.

    After writing the above, I decided to act on my suspicion that this idea was a bit too obvious for nobody to have looked at before. So I did a bit of a PubMed search (“parental age” autism). And, in fact, came up with a fair bit. For example:

    This study shows an association

    So does this meta-analysis

  143. #144 Chris
    January 4, 2010

    Here is a helpful hint, Scott: The PubMed links still work if you remove everything from the first question mark on. For example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19567888

  144. #145 Scott
    January 4, 2010

    Didn’t know that (obviously) – thanks for the info!

  145. #146 Chris
    January 4, 2010

    No problem. Over a decade ago on Usenet (no HTML allowed!) someone gave me similar advice for Amazon links so they would only be on one line. Just copy from before the /ref, like:
    http://www.amazon.com/Autisms-False-Prophets-Science-Medicine/dp/0231146361

  146. #147 Calli Arcale
    January 4, 2010

    That’s a very good point, Scott. And thank you muchly for the links to actual studies! Yay!

    Interesting that there is indeed an association. Given that parental age is increasing, that seems even more likely to me now as the primary reason for any increase in actual incidence.

    When I got pregnant with my first kid, I was 27. 28 when I gave birth. Hubby was 28 when we conceived. I remember the doctor telling me how good it was that I was so young, and it surprised me because my own (college-educated) mother was four years younger when she had me. If 27 is considered “young” for a new mother now, what’s “old”?

  147. #148 Chris
    January 4, 2010

    I was almost 31 when I gave birth to my first, and then some of the mothers of kids the same age as mine were between 37 and 42 before the birth of their fist child.

  148. #149 D. C. Sessions
    January 4, 2010

    there has never been a single vaccine in this country that has ever been submitted to a controlled scientific study. they never took a group of 100 people who were candidates for a vaccine, gave 50 of them a vaccine and left the other 50 alone to measure the outcome.

    Sure thing, Chief.

  149. #150 Jen in TX
    January 4, 2010

    A bit off topic, but related…

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/125/Supplement_1/S1

    Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the end of using antipsychotics as a first line treatment for behavior problems in children with autism.

  150. #151 DebinOz
    January 4, 2010

    Here is another study linking maternal and paternal age with ASD, done by the Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente.

    I used to be an epidemiologist there, and I can testify that this study would have been picked over by the staff of epidemiologists and biostatisticans before it was sent off for publication.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17404129

    I am looking forward to more studies from this group. They have a large population, money and expertise.

  151. #152 D. C. Sessions
    January 4, 2010

    I heard that aluminum causes brain damage in forum trolls…

    How can you tell?

  152. #153 Jason
    January 5, 2010

    What’s odd to me is that there is still a persistance in trying to deflect “jen” from her ignorant ways. She said it herself, she’s not interested in science or logic:

    “Seriously, I’m not afraid to see what evidence you guys have but I’m not too impressed with your scientific studies(yadayada, some studies show vaccines are safe, some do not) or your logic (or lack thereof).”

    What’sthe point of arguing with an indivudal so ensconced in a point of view?

  153. #154 BKsea
    January 5, 2010

    Jason: “What’sthe point of arguing with an indivudal so ensconced in a point of view?”

    Because there may be people out there who are prone to believe Jen, but can be convinced otherwise by rational evidence

  154. #155 Gordon
    March 7, 2010

    This forum seems strong on opinion and short on science.

    Is this just another “anti-vax” conspiracy?

    Scientific Link To Autism Identified
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/171457.php

  155. #156 Chris
    March 7, 2010

    It is conjecture at best. Trying to give a simple answer to a complex question. Nothing to see there, especially since no real data was presented.

  156. #157 Travis
    March 7, 2010

    Gordon,
    That article does not seem to contain much more than opinion. The article shows a guess, and a guess that is not well justified. If they think they have something they should publish, and present some actual data, describe their methods properly etc.

  157. #158 Militant Agnostic
    March 7, 2010

    According to The Center’s founder, William McFaul, a retired business person and not a member of the scientific community “Because of its universal applicability, our Life Sciences group has already used the model as a tool to identify highly probable causal paths for several illnesses and disease entities.

    “retired business person and universal applicability” redlined my bullshit detector right there. Essentially it is “tooth fairy science” – providing an explanation for a correlation that doesn’t exist. The epidemiological data does not support a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

  158. #159 Gordon
    March 7, 2010

    I’d be surprised to see a full research paper on a NEWS site…

    I chose another article at random – this one is “Poniard Pharmaceuticals Presents Positive Survival Data From A Phase 2 Clinical Study Of Picoplatin In Metastatic Prostate Cancer” and has been released by the manufacturer.

    Is that also “tooth fairy science”? Guess it must be….

    It seems to me that the field of biology has more in common with religion than science. It’s been a great many years since Semmelweis, but the underlying attitude of his detractors remains.

    If you have already mapped and proven the pathophysiology of this disease process, then publish.
    I for one will await validation or refutation of this model in a lab, rather than by message board opinion.

    Until then, I think I’ll maintain something that many appear to be lacking – an open mind.

  159. #160 Chris
    March 7, 2010

    Biology is complicated. Please don’t hold your breath for “one answer.”

    As for this blog, I do not believe anything has been presented as “fact” unless there is supporting evidence. We do have an open mind, you just have to show the actual evidence.

  160. #161 Chris
    March 7, 2010

    Also, this is a blog. That is short for “web log.” It is not a scientific committee by any stretch of the imagination.

    If you want real science, please go and look at http://www.pubmed.gov.

  161. #162 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 7, 2010

    I for one will await validation or refutation of this model in a lab, rather than by message board opinion.

    Well, Gordon, that’s actually very intelligent of you. Because it’s very close to what they should have done; they should have awaited scientific validation or refutation of this model before announcing in a press release that their completely untested hypothesis was the answer to the puzzle of autism.

    Right now, they have done nothing that entitles them to be taken seriously. Have they come up with a hypothesis about what causes autism? Yeah, but so what? There’s nothing special or admirable about coming up with a hypothesis. What’s special is coming up with a hypothesis that survives testing, and that’s the step that this “think tank” shows no signs of taking.

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