Respectful Insolence

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 SAS
    December 30, 2009

    I recently found your blog and want to commend you for fighting against the anti-vaccine crowd. My father just died of post polio syndrome and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. My usually reticent, live and let live mother has been known to back total strangers into a corner with her finger jabbing their chest if they say they are not getting their children vaccinated. Keep up the good work.
    Thanks.

  2. #2 Rachel
    December 30, 2009

    Wow, how stupid would they feel if their own children came down with polio? Would their “cause” still seem heroic to them?
    What about the statistics that say the risks of complications from vaccinations are miniscule compared to the risk of dying from a disease that is preventable by vaccination? They are foolishly placing their children and others in that higher risk group because of some theory that has been disproved over and over.
    Maybe Jenny, Jim, and Tom Cruise should be consulted on all our healthcare issues. They seem to know best.

  3. #3 the problem
    December 30, 2009

    I may be the problem, but I am not the problem! They’re right, though. They aren’t me.

  4. #4 BA
    December 30, 2009

    SAS, keep coming back and tell your father’s story. We need more people that have contact with the time when such childhood diseases were a crisis. My father will likely lose his ability to walk soon thanks to post-polio syndrome. He feels fortunate to have been so mildly affected compared to the many others who died or were severely crippled.

  5. #5 cervantes
    December 30, 2009

    You betcha. My mentor Irving Kenneth Zola had polio as a child and was disabled. My aunt had polio and has sequelae. I had a friend in school who had leg braces. And of course many people wound up institutionalized and dependent on ventilators, and many died.

    These people want this to happen again, in order to make some point which as far as I can tell is the exact opposite of what it would actually prove. They are completely out of their minds and utterly depraved.

  6. #6 jen
    December 30, 2009

    LOL- “un-scientific belief that vaccines cause autism”- the studies are crap, using only healthy children and laugh all you want at the “monkey study” but it’s a small study that shows big cause for concern. That type of study should have been done before giving hep b to newborns. Honestly, do you believe all the shots on the 2009 AAP schedule are necessary? Of course you don’t but just because you wouldn’t give every vaccine to your child/loved one doesn’t mean you don’t go out of your way to give the impression that it’s all great and perfectly harmless. You make me sick.

  7. #7 Orac
    December 30, 2009

    LOL- “un-scientific belief that vaccines cause autism”- the studies are crap, using only healthy children and laugh all you want at the “monkey study” but it’s a small study that shows big cause for concern

    No it isn’t. It’s some of the worst science I’ve ever seen and one of the worst wastes of primates as experimental animals I’ve ever seen:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/10/some_monkey_business_in_autism_research_1.php

  8. #8 Todd W.
    December 30, 2009

    @jen

    Please visit antiantivax.flurf.net and Science-Based Medicine. There’s some info at SBM on the monkey study, as well as, I believe, the hep B vaccine. Antiantivax has some info on the hep B vaccine, as well.

    No one claims or suggests that vaccines are “perfectly harmless.” Please stop attributing impressions to us that we do not make.

    If you take issue with the idea that a belief that vaccines cause autism is unscientific, then argue that point with evidence to back yourself up. Show us that it is not unscientific to hold such a belief.

  9. #9 MikeMa
    December 30, 2009

    Jenny McDeath & Jim Stupid have already exonerated themselves by blaming the vaccine manufacturers. What a croc. Fame and an inability to understand 8th grade science lead to death and disease.

  10. #10 jen
    December 30, 2009

    Orac,anti-vaccers have only a “superficially plausible argument” that hep b is an unnecessary vaccine to day old infants? Are you kidding me? It’s more than superficially plausible that it’s a waste of public spending and potentially dangerous. Especially when they test for hep b in pregnant moms anyways. Your review of the Hewitson study shows the same bias inherant in all the pro-vacc studies (funded by vacc manufacturers). I would have to agree with you that only 3 primates in the control group is small (even for a small study) but the results still impress me as concerning.

  11. #11 firemancarl
    December 30, 2009

    “un-scientific belief that vaccines cause autism”- the studies are crap, using only healthy children and laugh all you want at the “monkey study” but it’s a small study that shows big cause for concern

    And without the least bit of irony, I see you left this out of your post Jen…

    One likely tactic of critics of the study will include attempts to nullify the evidence based on the alleged bias of those involved. For one, the study is privately funded and acknowledges some well known autism advocates as financial contributors. These include the Johnson family (Jane Johnson is co-author of Changing the Course of Autism, a member of the Board of Directors of Thoughtful House and Director of Defeat Autism Now!), SafeMinds, the Autism Research Institute and Elizabeth Birt. Although all of these groups make clear their research interest is vaccine safety, they are frequently attacked for being “anti-vaccine”, an epithet that will almost certainly be hurled again here.

    And this one as well….

    The most aggressive attacks, however, will likely be reserved for the study authors. The basis of these attacks is best anticipated by the following conflict of interest disclosure in the published paper.

    Fer realz? You complain about REAL scientific studies but follow along hook line and sinker as the woo crew uses crap “science” and even offers a defense as they publish their tripe.

    Ya know what they call “safe vaccinations”? Vaccinations!

  12. #12 jen
    December 30, 2009

    yeah, my comments stand. Fer real. Now, you should get on out there and git yerself some o that Gardasil for you or yer boys and girls. Git yerself some Rotacrap. It’s all necercerry ya know?!

  13. #13 jen
    December 30, 2009

    seriously, someone made the comment earlier that all this re-visiting of vaccine safety takes away research monies from other areas. Well too damned bad!! Children deserve real safety studies and you all should be policing your comrads (apparantly including the AAP) when it is warranted. Sometimes it takes hitting people’s finances (even for lab research purposes) for something to get done. This seems to be the case within this issue.
    In a similar vein, Zamboni’s recent research showing surgery promise for at least some forms of MS is showing a lot of resistance by pharma sponsored tentacles. They would stand to lose a lot of revenue in pain medications, steroids and chemotherapy agents currently all part of the MS treatment package.

  14. #14 Scott
    December 30, 2009

    “Necessary” is another straw man. “Benefits greatly outweigh the costs and risks” is the actual position.

  15. #15 Todd
    December 30, 2009

    Jen… Jen… ny…

    Hmm, has Orac been visited by the Indigo girl?

  16. #16 Karl Withakay
    December 30, 2009

    The antivaxers love that we can’t say that any vaccine is 100% safe. Well, Ive got new for them, NOTHING is 100% safe, and that’s why we can’t say vaccines are 100% safe.

    Every time you travel by any means on land, sea, or air, there is a risk. Every bite of food you take and every drop you drink has the potential for a catastrophic outcome. Every breath you take in carries a genuine (if minuscule) risk. Existence has unavoidable risk.

    The questions are, “Are the risks significantly outweighed by the benefits?” and “Is the risk of participation outweighed by the risk of non-participation?”. The answer to both these questions is easily and overwhelmingly in favor of vaccination.

    Vaccines do carry remote risks of complications (like anything else in life); autism is not one of them. Non-vaccination carries serious and significant risks; death and permanent disability from disease are some of them.

  17. #17 Orac
    December 30, 2009

    Orac,anti-vaccers have only a “superficially plausible argument” that hep b is an unnecessary vaccine to day old infants? Are you kidding me? It’s more than superficially plausible that it’s a waste of public spending and potentially dangerous. Especially when they test for hep b in pregnant moms anyways.

    Nope.

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2849

    Your review of the Hewitson study shows the same bias inherant in all the pro-vacc studies (funded by vacc manufacturers). I would have to agree with you that only 3 primates in the control group is small (even for a small study) but the results still impress me as concerning.

    Your being impressed with this study does not impress me. In fact, it tells me that you have no clue about the scientific method. As for bias, funny that you would dismiss “pro-vax” studies because they are funded by the government or vaccine manufacturers but you believe this piece of crap Hewitson study even though it was funded by groups that are very much interested in promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism and Hewitson her husband are complainants in the Autism Omnibus! Not only that, but Hewitson’s husband works for Thoughtful House. Now there are some serious conflicts of interest!

    Of course, to anti-vaccine activists, conflicts of interest only count if they are big pharma conflicts of interest. It’s OK for someone like Hewitson to have massive conflicts of interest because, to antivaxers, she’s on the side of angel; so it doesn’t matter.

  18. #18 jen
    December 30, 2009

    “Benefits greatly outweigh the costs and risks.” If that’s the actual position, bring it on. So your basically saying that parents should weigh the benefits/risks before decding on individual vaccines regimines. Rotacrap is probably a huge waste of money per “benefit”, Gardasil has apparently caused more serious adverese effects than actual instances of cervical cancer(at huge public cost!) and autism (whatever specifically is causing it- hydrolyzed gelatin, thimerosal,aluminum, live viruses,(“holy goal posts changing, Batman!”) costs millions to care for in the individuals life time.

  19. #19 JohnV
    December 30, 2009

    Jen do you have any arguments that can’t be traced back to “a vast conspiracy of scientists, doctors and drug companies all working to give children autism and keep everyone else extremely ill”?

  20. #20 Orac
    December 30, 2009

    @jen

    Do tell. Please provide some scientific evidence to back up your assertions that (1) “Gardasil has apparently caused more serious adverese effects than actual instances of cervical cancer(at huge public cost!)” and that (2) vaccines cause autism. Evidence-free claims of conspiracies do not count.

  21. #21 Todd W.
    December 30, 2009

    @jen

    Again, antiantivax.flurf.net. A lot of your comments are addressed there.

  22. #22 jen
    December 30, 2009

    Orac, you’re glossing over a huge point. Your pro-vacc side would have loved to just ignore the fact that there IS BIAS inherant in all the vaccine studies unlike say, Cochrane Collaborative Reviews. Your side would like for that key point never to have been made an issue of but it has. Yeah, so now the other side is doing the same thing. Big freaking deal. At least they did disclose in the Hewitson study. What about Paul Offit sitting on the vacc committee? Pharma funds medical schools for God’s sake.

  23. #23 Scott
    December 30, 2009

    seriously, someone made the comment earlier that all this re-visiting of vaccine safety takes away research monies from other areas. Well too damned bad!! Children deserve real safety studies and you all should be policing your comrads (apparantly including the AAP) when it is warranted.

    Already done. Vaccines DO have all the real safety studies done before they’re approved, and doctors DO call each other out when they’re in error.

    In a similar vein, Zamboni’s recent research showing surgery promise for at least some forms of MS is showing a lot of resistance by pharma sponsored tentacles. They would stand to lose a lot of revenue in pain medications, steroids and chemotherapy agents currently all part of the MS treatment package.

    Utter BS. Read a bit about it; nobody’s “resisting” it, just pointing out that it’s not been properly substantiated yet. Which it hasn’t.

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3197

    “Benefits greatly outweigh the costs and risks.” If that’s the actual position, bring it on. So your basically saying that parents should weigh the benefits/risks before decding on individual vaccines regimines.

    With the addition of the fact that, absent an understood pre-existing condition (e.g. egg allergy for flu vaccine), it is not possible for any rational weighing of risks and benefits to come down against vaccination, this is pretty much accurate.

    and autism (whatever specifically is causing it- hydrolyzed gelatin, thimerosal,aluminum, live viruses,(“holy goal posts changing, Batman!”) costs millions to care for in the individuals life time.

    A point which is completely, utterly, and in all other ways unrelated to any meaningful discussion of vaccines.

  24. #24 MI Dawn
    December 30, 2009

    Oh, Jen, go away. You come, drop crap science, ignore studies because they don’t meet your needs, and run away. I’m tired of you, your lies, your crap science, and your nonsense. I’d point them out, but logical people here can readily identify them (the lie about Dr Offit for one) and I’m getting ready to go home.

    Yes, life dealt you a rough hand. Deal with it. Ask SAS’s mother about her husband’s life without vaccines.

    And yes, I’ve walked the walk. My girls both elected to have Gardisil. No complications for either of them. They are fully vaccinated, although to give full disclosure, they didn’t get Hep B until late elementary school, since when my girls were born they weren’t giving Hep B to newborns unless the mother tested positive, and it wasn’t required to attend school. As soon as it was required for school, they got it.

    Last comment: go to any hospital pediatric ward and ask some of the older nurses if the Rotavirus vaccine is crap. Ask them about the times they had to stick a baby numerous times to start an IV in a dehydrated baby with diarrhea. Ask them about crying as they stuck a screaming child for the nth time, praying that THIS time the IV will go in and the baby gets fluids before the doctor has to do a cutdown for a deeper vein. Ask them about the babies who came in limp and non-resisting because they are so dehydrated, even though their mothers were breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, anything to get fluid into the baby. Ask them about the babies who died. Watch the tears. THEN come back and tell me the vaccine is crap.

  25. #25 jen
    December 30, 2009

    Scott-just visited your antiantivacc site and the section on vaccines in general talked about the “fallacy” that vaccines are big money makers for pharma co.s. I notice there is no scientific evidence to back up those assertions. No reference to any figures. Treatment for the few severe cases of measles or mumps may or may not be as high for the disease VS the vaccine. Chicken pox required very little medical intervention (I suppose I’ll have to hear of the horrors of flesh eating disease now though).The point about a few physicians not being able to be re-imbursed for giving shots was weak. Even in a recent Pediatrics article, the ped was quoted as saying, “the shots bring the kids in.” That’s a fact with Pediatrics. Maybe not for GP’s but for Peds it’s a fact.

  26. #26 Orac
    December 30, 2009

    Yeah, so now the other side is doing the same thing. Big freaking deal. At least they did disclose in the Hewitson study. What about Paul Offit sitting on the vacc committee? Pharma funds medical schools for God’s sake.

    Ah, I get it now. To you, it’s not about whether bias affects research or a study. It’s about whether there is the kind of bias that you like affects research or a study. If you like the bias, it’s OK. If you don’t, it’s not. It’s as simple as that. Thank you for pointing out that you don’t really care about bias in research, only bias you don’t like. Now I know how you think. You don’t really care what the science shows; you’ve already made up your mind and no amount of evidence will change your mind.

    As for the Hewitson study, actually, Hewitson only disclosed this conflict of interest because I and other bloggers caught her reporting preliminary results from the same study at IMFAR last year without reporting her obvious conflicts of interest:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/05/some_monkey_business_in_autism_research.php

    http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/?p=827

    I once wrote about a scandal over an author of a JAMA paper who didn’t disclose his conflict of interest:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/03/catherine_deangelis_and_jama.php

    I see Hewitson’s attempt to report her results in 2008 as being no different. She hid information about a large conflict of interest. But, hey, to you she had the “right” conflict of interest, so to you it’s all good.

  27. #27 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 30, 2009

    Rotacrap is probably a huge waste of money per “benefit”, Gardasil has apparently caused more serious adverese effects than actual instances of cervical cancer(at huge public cost!) and autism (whatever specifically is causing it- hydrolyzed gelatin, thimerosal,aluminum, live viruses,(“holy goal posts changing, Batman!”) costs millions to care for in the individuals life time.

    Benefits?
    Rotavirus – 500 000 childhood deaths, 2 million hospitalizations a year in the world. Not to mention millions more little kids suffering severe diarrhea. Nope, not worth the cost.
    Gardisil – of course you’re not going to see a reduction in cervicasl cancer, you idiot. It takes years after the infection for invasive HPV cancers to develop. Gardasil has only been around for a couple of years. However, I expect to see a drop in the number of positive pap smears, colposcopies and cone biopsies fairly soon. But of course, that’s not worth the unsubstantiated risk of Gardasil, is it?
    We’re still waiting for evidence that vaccines are related in any way to autism. It’s going to be a bloody long wait.
    Your argument is not enhanced by your demonstration of utter cluelessness.

  28. #28 Mac
    December 30, 2009

    Jen,

    They DIDN’T disclose the C of I; that’s the issue.

    To paraphrase something that has been said on this blog: a disclosed conflict of interest is cause to scrutinize the data further; an undisclosed conflict of interest is a huge red flag as to the validity of the study.

  29. #29 Karl Withakay
    December 30, 2009

    Jen, you obvious years of experience in infectious disease science notwithstanding, if you are someone who is genuinely interested in educating yourself about vaccines, their safety and the utter lack of a link to autism, you can start by availing yourself of the numerous well written posts here and on the Science Based Medicine blog.

    Those posts have done a far better job of providing logical support for their positions and conclusions than your compelling Rotocrap argument or your equally unsupported Gardisil assertion.

    Nice job implying that something in vaccines must be causing autism without actually coming out and saying such, by the way. Holy goal post shifting indeed, and way to go keeping the goal posts on the wrong field of play- vaccines. There is no more evidence to blame vaccines for autism than there is to blame Mickey Mouse or lunar eclipses, which nearly all children with autism have been exposed to. Please come back when you have some actual support for your position and thanks for playing.

    “I notice there is no scientific evidence to back up those assertions. No reference to any figures.”

    Did I miss the part where you provided the financial details to back up the assertion that vaccines were big money makers for pharmaceutical manufacturers?

    “(I suppose I’ll have to hear of the horrors of flesh eating disease now though)”

    Try out shingles, and let me know how you like it.

  30. #30 jen
    December 30, 2009

    MI Dawn: How did life deal me a rough hand? Are you assuming my children have autism. They don’t. I selectively vaccinated, especially with my son. Neither has ever had hep b and you’d have to shoot me first before my daughter would have that stupid Gardasil shot. I’m not ignoring any particular studies. I work with autistic children and it’s not all “rain man” out there. Theses kids have some serious problems to be helped with. Now, you go away if you’re so tired of me! Orac, I will try to find evidence of what I said about Gardasil causing more instances of seious adverse effects than cases of cervical cancer.

  31. #31 Todd W.
    December 30, 2009

    @jen

    I’ll assume you meant to address me, not Scott. Apparently, you did not read any of the articles under the Vaccines in General section. If you had, you would have noticed in the one about the 2006 measles outbreak in Germany the significant costs associated with treating the disease. Here’s a link to the table displaying the various costs incurred.

    My apologies for not including this link in the paragraph on health care costs, though I did direct readers to where a link could be found.

  32. #32 Kaethe
    December 30, 2009

    I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t vaccinate my children (and myself, where appropriate) against. What is it about autism that causes some parents to see it as a fate worse than death?

  33. #33 Karl Withakay
    December 30, 2009

    “you’d have to shoot me first before my daughter would have that stupid Gardasil shot”

    Of course, once she reaches 18, that will be her choice and not yours any more. Should she somehow manage to reach a different conclusion despite having been raised by you, I presume you won’t need to be shot before you allow her to get vaccinated of her own free will.

  34. #34 jen
    December 30, 2009

    Orac, I am glad that you are policing your comrads. What I said was that pharma has been enjoying bias in their studies for years without impunity. Now if both sides are biased it could be said that there is a level playing field. Ideally, neither side would have bias (such as with the Cochrane Collaborative Review).

  35. #35 Rogue Epidemiologist
    December 30, 2009

    Honestly, I hate when people play the “why does a newborn need a Hep B shot?” canard.

    As someone had said in a different thread (please nominate yourself for the appropriate hat tip), is it possible that anti-vaxxers are racist?

    Yes, I think it is possible. At best, I think many of them are so narrow in their upper-middle class white realm of privilege, that they cannot comprehend that a lot of diseases are disproportionately problematic for communities of color in the US, Canada, Australia and parts of Europe.

    Hep B is a great example of this. HBV is endemic in Asian populations at a rate of about 9% (mostly through vertical transmission), and HOUSEHOLD EXPOSURE is a common way of transmitting the virus. So good for mom and baby if they’re negative. But what about dad? What about Oji-san or Ah-ma? Get HBV as an infant, and you will likely become a carrier and eventually develop cirrhosis and hepatic cancer.

    Of course that’s of no consequence to the antivax crowd. Sure they might have some Asian friends from college, but by and large it stays outside their view of how the world is. Collateral damage?

  36. #36 Scott
    December 30, 2009

    What I said was that pharma has been enjoying bias in their studies for years without impunity.

    I presume you meant to say WITH impunity. Which is regrettable, since what you actually said is accurate. Doctors and scientists have ALWAYS been aware and wary of such bias.

  37. #37 Todd W.
    December 30, 2009

    @Rogue Epidemiologist

    Good points about parents and other extended relatives living in the same house being potential sources of infection. Mind if I paraphrase you on my site?

  38. #38 Chris
    December 30, 2009

    Wow, such wit! What a great command of the English language! Such a grand display of critical reasoning! The evidence produced has insurmountable quality! Obviously this is the level of debate that is allowed on the Age of Autism blog.

  39. #39 Chris
    December 30, 2009

    (and yes, my previous comment was sarcasm)

    As a parent whose son suffered seizures from a now vaccine preventable disease, jen, you are despicable.

  40. #40 Sid Offit
    December 30, 2009

    @Jen

    Scott-just visited your antiantivacc site and the section on vaccines in general talked about the “fallacy” that vaccines are big money makers for pharma

    ————–

    In Todd’s upside-down world fallacy means true

  41. I don’t understand why people think vaccines are some big pharma conspiracy to make money off of children, when it’s much more profitable to have a child get one of these diseases – PICU treatment for a case of Epiglottitis from HIB can, worse case, run close to the hundred K mark. You could vaccinate 10,000 kids or so for the same amount of money you get from one severely ill child.

    That arguement just doesn’t make sense.

  42. #42 Todd W.
    December 30, 2009

    @Sid Offit

    Feel free to provide evidence that I am wrong. Also, substantiate your claim that in my “world”, fallacy means true.

  43. #43 Sid Offit
    December 30, 2009

    Benefits? Rotavirus – 500 000 childhood deaths, 2 million hospitalizations a year in the world.
    ————-
    It’s telling that anytime we need to demonstrate the horrors of these infections we have to go employ the Back to Africa gambit

  44. #44 Sid Offit
    December 30, 2009

    @Karl
    Did I miss the part where you provided the financial details to back up the assertion that vaccines were big money makers for pharmaceutical manufacturers?
    ————————-

    http://www.prlog.org/10232681-the-worldwide-market-for-vaccines-to-reach-us507-billion-in-2013-forecasts-new-report.html
    The Worldwide Market for Vaccines to reach US$50.7 billion in 2013, forecasts New Report
    Prevnar (Wyeth): 2008 sales of US$2.7 billion (€1.9 billion);
    Gardasil (Merck): 2008 sales of US$1.4 billion (€959 million), sales estimated at US$2.3 billion (€1.6 billion) when counting Gardasil sales by Merck, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, and CSL;
    ProQuad/M-M-R II/Varivax (Merck): 2008 sales of US$1.3 billion (€867 million);
    Infanrix/Pediarix (GlaxoSmithKline): 2008 sales of US$1.3 billion (€859 million);

  45. #45 Todd W.
    December 30, 2009

    @Sid Offit

    Perhaps you weren’t paying attention, but there have been numerous deaths and serious injury in (gasp!) the U.S., Germany, the U.K., Australia, Japan and other developed nations. The Zimbabwe article is just another in a litany of articles showing the dangers of these diseases.

  46. #46 JohnV
    December 30, 2009

    “It’s telling that anytime we need to demonstrate the horrors of these infections we have to go employ the Back to Africa gambit”

    It’s telling that every time vaccines come up, you anti-vaxers show your true colors by wishing death and disease upon Africans :(

  47. #47 Sid Offit
    December 30, 2009

    John, you have a rich and vivid imagination.

  48. #48 Karl Withakay
    December 30, 2009

    @sid, let me shift the goalposts a little here to more clearly express what I am looking for:

    Please provide financials to show that vaccines are big profit makers for pharmaceutical companies, especially numbers that show that they are more profitable for pharmaceutical companies than other lines of business they can or do engage in. Showing revenue and sales numbers is not any such support. I worked for a materials manufacturer a long time ago, and we used to joke about companies that lost money on every sale, but made up for it in volume. Many companies have gone bankrupt while pointing to their massive gross revenue numbers and quite a few were even able to point out that they were EBIDTA positive when the money ran out. (We’re really in good condition if you just ignore all these negative factors on the balance sheet!)

    Then after you provide those numbers, we can shift the goalpost to talk about the implied assertion that something done for profit must necessarily be evil and only in the interest of the profit maker at the expense of their victims.

  49. #49 Joseph
    December 30, 2009

    @Sid: You do realize that sales/revenue and profit are not the same thing, right? I’m also interested in Karl’s question: How profitable are vaccines compared to major drugs?

  50. #50 MI Dawn
    December 30, 2009

    @Sid Offit: Yes, we have to employ the Back to Africa gambit for diseases like HIB, polio, measles, etc because a good portion of the USA is vaccinated and therefore we have fewer lethal outbreaks of disease.
    Not too long ago, when I was in nursing school and early in my nursing career, epiglottitis was a feared problem. As I am sure Orac remembers from medical school, in a peds rotation it was strictly stressed that you NEVER do an oral check of a child who is sitting leaning forward, drooling because it hurts too much to swallow until the surgeon is next to the pediatrician and you have a tracheostomy kit at bedside ready to open, since epiglottitis could be deadly. You see, in epiglottitis, caused by HIB, opening the child’s mouth wide might lead to the epiglottis snapping down on the trachea so the child can’t breathe and will die. Nice, isn’t it? Sure. Let’s go back to those days, not give vaccines. It wasn’t all that long ago. So some kids die. OK, it’s more kids than die from vaccines, but it’s OK, right? Right? As long as it’s not your kid.

    @Jen: I never assumed your child has autism. However, you have complained and moaned about vaccines and their dangers, so I assumed that you had a child with some kind of health problem that you wish to blame on vaccines. BTW, what WILL you do if your daughter decides at adulthood to get vaccinated with Gardisil?

  51. #51 Calli Arcale
    December 30, 2009

    Jen, just one point about something off-topic that you brought up:

    In a similar vein, Zamboni’s recent research showing surgery promise for at least some forms of MS is showing a lot of resistance by pharma sponsored tentacles. They would stand to lose a lot of revenue in pain medications, steroids and chemotherapy agents currently all part of the MS treatment package.

    From what I’ve read, there is one doctor who is most notably encouraging people to be cautious about the results. His name?

    Zamboni.

    Be careful of going Galileo Gambit on that one.

    BTW, as far as nasty problems from chickenpox, my aunt is permanently disfigured by shingles, which paralyzed some crucial facial nerves. That’s not death, I realize, but if you think autism is such a horrible fate, why do you not feel the same way about facial paralysis and other non-fatal complications of infectious disease?

  52. #52 LK
    December 30, 2009

    Needed to take a break from working on a manuscript earlier today, and got a laugh out of that post at AoA, and in particular Kathy Blanco’s craziness. I have to give you kudos for allowing almost as crazy posts from people like Jen. Over at AoA the rules are quite different, as you know…

  53. #53 Greg Fish
    December 30, 2009

    @Jen, #13

    seriously, someone made the comment earlier that all this re-visiting of vaccine safety takes away research monies from other areas. Well too damned bad!! Children deserve real safety studies and you all should be policing your comrads (apparantly including the AAP) when it is warranted.

    Yeah, but could we stop after thirty years of studies on vaccine safety and efficacy? Really, it’s been three decades, billions of dollars, hundreds of studies and thousands of papers.

    But I already know your answer; No we can’t because until those studies justify your fears and fantasies, they must be wrong.

    And this is what makes anti-vax a religion rather than a manifestation of a legitimate concern. I’ve been vaccinated out the wazoo when I was a kid. With vaccines that used thimerosal. In Eastern Europe. So has my entire family, down to all my distant relatives. Why are we all fine even though vaccines are all so bad and dangerous?

  54. #54 Sid Offit
    December 30, 2009

    You do realize that sales/revenue and profit are not the same thing, right?
    ——————
    Really? I didn’t realize that. Thanks for the heads up. Anyway Merck doesn’t break down earning from specific products or segments, so we’ll have to find another way to determine profitability.

    http://m.industry.bnet.com/pharma/1000308/at-merck-desperation-sets-in-over-gardasil/
    Pharma Analysis
    Industry news and insights by Jim Edwards
    At Merck, Desperation Sets in Over Gardasil
    By Jim Edwards | Oct 19, 2008
    Signs of decline are setting in at Merck’s HIGHLY PROFITABLE vaccine for some strains of HPV and cervical cancer.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN3042872920080630
    NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) – A new form of Wyeth’s LUCRATIVE(producing a sizeable profit; “a remunerative business” ) Prevnar vaccine being developed for adults could be a breakthrough product by helping prevent pneumonia and dangerous bloodstream infections among the elderly, according to top Wyeth vaccine executives.

  55. #55 Elcos
    December 30, 2009

    Greetings,

    I follow this blog on a regular basis and thought to comment on sid offit and jen’s comments. Although I have no clinical expertise and am but 15 years old I can recognize the fallacies from a mile away. Whether the pharma companies profit from vaccines is irrelevant to the underlying scientific validity of the question at hand.Conflicts of interest can not interefere ti the extent that is claimed because the issues of vaccine safety has been studied many times, by different people, at different times and the vast majority of results support their safety, it I’d much more likely for the bias you so dispise to creep into the smaller studies that argue against vaccine safety.

  56. #56 jen
    December 30, 2009

    yes, Scott, I meant with impunity-I had to leave for awhile. Chris is here! Paid blogging and all; welcome! T.Bruce- Yeah, duh it,ll take awhile to see if the cancer rates will go down but right now it’s still kind of alarming that there are so many serious adverse events. I know your not big on the VAERS system meaning much but since vaccine reactions tend to be under-reported you have to keep that in mind. BTW, Chris, I think you mentioned before that your son suffers from some kind of genetic problem and that vaccines had nothing to do with his seizures. Now your story is changing! Good try, though. Kaethe-you ask what is it about autism that makes parents think its a fate worse than death? WOW. You don’t know someone with an autistic child? I work in the schools and there are many. It’s not like “Rain Man” or that goofy guy in The Hangover. It’s kids who don’t and cannot speak. Kids who don’t even understand (minimal receptive language-they don’t even understand simple commands like, “come here”), kids who run away (bolt) at any given moment, kids who have extreme aggression and cannot be safely controlled at times, kids who eat sand and pebble, leaves and need constant supervision, kids who choke on their food and need to be watched all the time. It really is tough for the parents and care givers.

  57. #57 jen
    December 30, 2009

    Sid, so we are racists, now. Crazy racists! Greg-that’s not very “scientifical”-just because you’re fine doesn’t mean everybody whose vaccinated out the wazoo will be fine. And yes, we must keep studying because, funny, the more shots we’re adding the more autism. Stuff that happend in the 60′s like SV-40 did little to inspire confidence.

  58. #58 Cath the Canberra Cook
    December 30, 2009

    Kaethe, if you think about it I’m sure you will realise that there are indeed some vaccines that are not worth getting. The childhood schedule is actually a limited selection of what’s available. I’m sure you don’t want to seem as mindlessly pro- as the opponents are anti-, but you did write it a bit like that.

    Every time I travel outside the first world, I visit the travel clinic to check up on the currently recommended shots for my destination. Yellow fever, cholera, typhus, rabies, HepA, HepB, meningococcal … I don’t want to take the unnecessary ones, it costs money and it hurts. The typhus vacc makes my arm sore for days. Rabies is an especially nasty shot, and only worth it if you’re handling animals. And I never get the smallpox vacc any more, for some reason…

  59. #59 jen
    December 30, 2009

    MI Dawn- I highly doubt my daughter will get the Gardasil shot. It may even be changed/recalled in time. She is 16 now and I’ve let her know that it is her decision to make but that I believe condoms are her best bet. I have had pre-cancerous lesions and needed laser surgery to correct (as have many women and no recurrence). Same with hep b. If my kids want it later then it’s their decision to make. I think the shot is more dangerous than the risk of getting the actual disease. I know alot of seizuring teens after having it in grade 5 (in Canada that’s the time we give it). Admittedly, if they needed a blood transfusion they may be at risk but otherwise I don’t think it’s a concern. If they ever come out with an AIDS vaccine I wouldn’t want them getting that either. I didn’t do H1N1. Our family lived through it and my husband and I both had pneumonia but got through.

  60. #60 gpmtrixie
    December 30, 2009

    Thank you Karl and Joseph! As a finance-type person, it really gets my goat when these anti-vax people quote sales figures and not profits. Karl, you make an especially good point when you say “especially numbers that show that they are more profitable for pharmaceutical companies than other lines of business they can or do engage in”. I did try to do this once and for the one company I was able to do this with (Aventis), the margin on vaccines was way less than non-vaccine pharmaceuticals (8% vs. 20%). So, in the world of for-profit companies, this is “charity” work because of the lost opportunity of spending resources on more profitable product lines.

  61. #61 Sharon Astyk
    December 30, 2009

    Gee, how lucky we parents of autistic children are to have Jen to advocate for our kids ;-P. Seriously, what pisses me off about the banging on the autism/vaccine links is that a lot of time and energy is going to *not* figuring out what causes autism. Frankly, I’d like to know what does cause autism, and we have extremely good reasons to believe it isn’t vaccines.

    I also love my kid exactly the way he is, and I’d like him to stay that way. He’s vaccinated (except for chicken pox to which he’s allergic, and I wish I could give him chicken pox) – and no, he didn’t get autism from vaccines – in retrospect his behavior was autistic from birth. No, these kids aren’t all rain man – but that’s no reason to want them to suffer preventable disease.

    Sharon

  62. #62 jen
    December 30, 2009

    Sharon, of course you love your kid the way he is but how are you so scientifically sure that he isn’t autistic due to vaccines? They give hep b at birth? Didn’t he get it? If not, why not? “I’d like him to stay that way” Who are you kidding! Like any normal mother you would want him to be self sufficient and able to function in society and be the best that he can be. You couldn’t wish anything less for him and you know it.

  63. #63 Dangerous Bacon
    December 30, 2009

    jen: “If they ever come out with an AIDS vaccine I wouldn’t want them getting that either. I didn’t do H1N1. Our family lived through it and my husband and I both had pneumonia but got through.”

    C’mon, people – can’t you tell when jen is pulling your leg?

    No genuine antivaxer could be this flamingly, horrifyingly stupid.

  64. #64 jen
    December 30, 2009

    DB, thanks for the compliment and yes, I could be. My nana had Guillaume-Barre from the flu shot in the 70′s and Canada had the stupidity to go for the adjuvanted H1N1, so I chose not to do it. Proud of it.

  65. #65 MI Dawn
    December 30, 2009

    @Jen: How do you know that Sharon’s son ISN’T self sufficient, and able to function in society and being the best that he can be? Just because he may not fit YOUR definition of best he can be, doesn’t mean he isn’t the best he can be, and maybe he’s even in class with one of your children. You don’t know about him, or Sharon’s expectations for him and his future. AUTISM IS NOT DEVELOPMENTAL STASIS!!! It is a developmental delay. Children with autism DO grow and develop skills. Some who also have mental disablilities may always need care…just like a Down’s syndrome child, just like a Fragile X child. But autism in and of itself does not mean that a child will never live on his/her own.

  66. #66 jen
    December 30, 2009

    MI Dawn, I hope that he is. I hope the very best for Sharon’s son. I know they develop skills because I work with them. I also know that it takes alot of hard work, time and money. I also know that for many people, bio-medical treatments help.

  67. #67 Chris
    December 30, 2009

    Dangerous Bacon:

    No genuine antivaxer could be this flamingly, horrifyingly stupid.

    Have you ever encountered John Scudamore (the whale.to guy!), Jan Drew, and some others on Usenet? Trust me, they are that incredibly stupid.

    Which why I sometimes have trouble with the comments that are supposed to be sarcastic. It is really hard to tell.

  68. #68 sharky
    December 30, 2009

    It’s like watching Chicken Little justify himself. If the evil oak farmers didn’t grow their trees so tall, he wouldn’t have to shout about the sky falling and cause mass hysteria!

    The only thing that keeps it from being funny is that people are dead.

  69. #69 Denice Walter
    December 30, 2009

    -Just as an aside- recently,while searching some well-known anti-vax sites (and from general recall of critiques posted @ science blogs),I got the impression that the same names and studies kept popping up**: this leads me to believe that there is a *very* limited number of doctors,publicists,proselytizers, and activists involved in the anti-vax movement and a great deal of uh.. cross-pollination.It might be interesting and informative if someone could compile a “Who’s Who” of Anti-Vax.**( in contrast to others areas with which I’m familiar)

  70. #70 jen
    December 30, 2009

    “very limited number of doctors,publicists, etc.” Yeah, well that would be because pharmaceutical companies don’t exactly want to fund research that will actually show there are problems with their product. Ya know what I mean? Fortunately there are more people interested in funding research to properly assess vaccine safety (or lack of). Don’t worry though, as there are more and more vaccines being pounded into the kids and coincidentally more autism, there are more activists all the time, Cochrane Collaborative Reviews,etc.

  71. #71 Enkidu
    December 30, 2009

    @ jen, who said, “Orac, I will try to find evidence of what I said about Gardasil causing more instances of seious adverse effects than cases of cervical cancer.”

    Say first, and then TRY to find evidence later? How about presenting your evidence first next time, before you spout off.

    And BTW we are still waiting…

  72. #72 Otto
    December 30, 2009

    “I hope the very best for Sharon’s son. I know they develop skills because I work with them. I also know that it takes alot of hard work, time and money.”

    Excellent dehumanization. Just by the by, does your “hard work” with “them” itself require “alot” of money?

  73. #73 Chris
    December 30, 2009

    Denice Walter:

    It might be interesting and informative if someone could compile a “Who’s Who” of Anti-Vax.

    I’m not sure what your other sources are, but one thing is to check out the archives of this blog (including its earlier incarnation). Here is something I found by putting several of the constant players into Google (blaxill binstock handley yazbak, it is the first hit, the rest seem to be anti-vax): Mercury Nostalgia.

    There is also this website by a very opinionated Australian: http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/vaxliars1.htm

    I would also suggest you read Arthur Allen’s book Vaccine, which has some interesting interviews. Also read Paul Offit’s book Autism’s False Prophets, which has more information on specific persons (there was a Scienceblogs book club on that book a while ago). I just finished Dr. Ben Goldacre’s book Bad Science which mostly goes into the media mania around Dr. Wakefield in its second to last chapter (Krigsman is mentioned, only so much as to say he has claimed to have replicated Wakefield’s study since 2002, but has not published anything).

  74. #74 PalMD
    December 30, 2009

    One of the disturbing threads that runs through the vaccine-autism crowd’s writings is the absolute disdain for people with autism. They are viewed as freaks whose existence is a burden worse than death. Sometimes this sentiment is explicit, but it is nearly always implicit, as when Jenny McCarthy states that if it takes more dead kids to get what she wants, so be it.

    Then there’s Jerry Kartzinel who says:

    Autism, as I see it, steals the soul from a child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life’s marrow out of the family members, one by one.

    Nice.

  75. #75 Orac
    December 30, 2009

    Right you are, PalMD! In an unusual feat of restraint, I actually didn’t mention another of AoA’s awards, specifically how they’ve lionized Trudy Steuernagel, whose autistic son killed her. You see, autism is dangerous and violent to them.

  76. #76 juan valdez
    December 30, 2009

    how much do you get paid to shill the large pharma bs?

  77. #77 PalMD
    December 30, 2009

    I was very proud when I found out that my little kid befriended an autistic kid in her class and was asked if she would attend speech therapy with him because she “gets him”. She genuinely likes him and does not see him as a freak. But if you teach your kids early on that kids who are different are a bad thing, you help perpetuate all kinds of evil.

  78. #78 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 30, 2009

    how much do you get paid to shill the large pharma bs?

    Nothing.

    Are you offering?

  79. #79 Orac
    December 30, 2009

    how much do you get paid to shill the large pharma bs?

    Not a penny.

    Next.

  80. #80 tl
    December 30, 2009

    jaun valdez:

    how much do you get paid to shill the large pharma bs?

    I don’t know what he gets, but can I get some of your Colombian Coffee? I’m running low. How much did you get for shilling for them? How much did AOA,gen rescue, etc. pay to lure you away from Colombian coffee so you could shill for them?

  81. #81 MI Dawn
    December 30, 2009

    @Orac: you mean you don’t get paid in love?

  82. #82 Kristen
    December 30, 2009

    For Jen;
    I know I am coming late to the discussion but as a mother with a wonderful (autistic) son I feel I have to interject.

    First of all I would have given anything to have a rotovirus vaccine when I was sitting with my dehydrated son in the hospital when he lost 20% of his weight from vomiting and diarrhea. That was four years ago and yet is still very vivid in my mind. Unfortunately my daughter was too old for the vaccine when it came out, so once again I was in the hospital. This time was different, however, as she had a severe electrolyte imbalance and the doctor told me he couldn’t rule out brain damage. She went from 29 pounds to barely 21 (27% of her weight)! She is doing well now two years later but no one knows what she may have lost to the disease.

    My point is that you have never seen what these diseases can do to very young children. I’ll bet you have never had to hold you lethargic child for over an hour while a skilled phlebotomist tries desperately to find a vein, knowing if they don’t, your beautiful baby will almost certainly die!

    So yes, rotovirus is not a laughable disease. IT KILLS!

    In addition, shame on you for not considering the children you teach. They are all individuals and just because you think they are damaged does not detract from their value. If you spent time seeing them as people instead of problems perhaps you would not think that autism is a fate worse than death (I say that because wonderful Jim and Jen don’t mind losing children to their insane crusade).

  83. #83 W. Kevin Vicklund
    December 30, 2009

    Oh, those terrible side effects of Gardasil

    While fainting is a serious side effect, it doesn’t seem to warrant jen’s reaction. Blood clots – yes, but mainly in those women with other risk factors for blood clots, so no clear connection can be made (and an estimated incidence of only 2 in every 1 million doses). And the death rate is so low and so lacking of any discernable pattern that it is unlikely that the vaccine was the cause.

  84. #84 Nico
    December 31, 2009

    I wouldn’t wish rotavirus on my worst enemy. I got it a few years ago as an adult ( or something very much in that family) and I can’t imagine what it does to a small child. I lost around 20 pounds in a week.

    I’ve also seen what an outbreak of HiB does and how drastically that rate fell after the introduction of the vaccine.

    Given the frequency of which most of these vaccinated for illnesses cause myriad forms of encephalitis/brain damage, the idea that avoiding it for even the sake of a sore injection site is ridiculous in the least, and the utterly unsupported autism connection, I can’t fathom why people wouldn’t protect the very thing they claim to cherish.

    It’s just telling in this age that we don’t see these illnesses and people forget how brutal they really can be.

    But the AoAers can demand study after study and nothing’s going to satisfy their forgone conclusions, despite all evidence to the contrary. In my world, we call that insanity.

  85. #85 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 31, 2009

    Given the frequency of which most of these vaccinated for illnesses cause myriad forms of encephalitis/brain damage, the idea that avoiding it for even the sake of a sore injection site is ridiculous in the least

    Anti-vaxers worrying about brain damage would be like the rest of us worrying about antler damage.

  86. #86 dt
    December 31, 2009

    @Jen, Re: “Rotacrap”:

    Age of Autism say this about rotavirus: “Rotavirus is just some diarrhea for a day or two. It’s just not a big deal”

    Facts:
    By age 5, nearly every child will have an episode of rotavirus gastroenteritis, 1 in 5 will visit a clinic, 1 in 65 will be hospitalized, and approximately 1 in 293 will die. An estimated 1,205 children die from rotavirus disease each day, and 82% of these deaths occur in children in the poorest countries.
    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol9no5/02-0562.htm

    Overall there are an estimated 1.4 billion episodes of rotavirus diarrhoea every year in infants. That’s an awful lot of diapers. By the time you have finished reading this post, one child somewhere in the world will have died from rotavirus infection. In poor income families, around one in 200 children will die from it before their 5th birthday. Even in upper-middle income countries, one in 1152 infants will die.

    Trials of RotaTeq have been extremely successful. In one study of 70,000 infants it reduced hospitalisations by 94.5% compared to placebo vaccine, and its efficacy against severe gastroenteritis was rated as 98%. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/354/1/23

    So impressive have trials of rotavirus vaccines been in a number of countries that in June 2009, the World Health Organisation recommended that all national immunisation programmes included a vaccine.

    Jen, once again, you have shown that for you and your AoA cronies, it has always been about the vaccines and it always will be.

  87. #87 Pareidolius
    December 31, 2009

    I have to say that I find Jen’s boastfully ignorant, meth-head* writing style a refreshing counterpoint to Offit’s smirking somnolence.

    *And by “meth-head” I mean that I can only imagine her posts being delivered in a hyperactive, braying harangue, like the conversations I have with the meth-heads at the clinic where I volunteer each month.

  88. #88 Anonfornow
    December 31, 2009

    @jen

    I am also in Canada. I am well-educated, have a good job, own a house etc. I like a lot of women got tested for Hep B in my first trimester. Here’s the thing, my risk for catching Hep B increased during my second and third trimesters. My husband cheated on me. Luckily, I had gotten the Hep B vaccine prior and he didn’t get any infections. My daughter like most Canadians youngsters hasn’t been vaccinated for it yet, however had it been available after birth, I would have given it to her. She’ll get it in grade 7.

    As for HPV, it’s a bitch, you can use condoms and still get it. I will strongly encourage my daughter to get that vaccine when she has an opportunity to.

    Basically putting resources towards making vaccines a bogeyman takes away valuable time, research and money to try and help people with autism. I hate the fact my brother, who has severe aspergers, but has a high IQ, has a very hard time finding work, even though he has a good work ethic when he has a job.

  89. #89 Kaethe
    December 31, 2009

    @Cath the Canberra Cook

    I was way too flippant, you’re right. But it’s also true that while some nations have greater problems with certain diseases than others, modern travel enables swift transmission and the threat of outbreaks among unvaccinated populations. So, you’re right, my kids haven’t been vaccinated against everything available. But the relief of knowing I can save them from some things is enormous.

  90. #90 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    It’s kind of amusing that Sid thinks some reporter’s choice of words has any bearing on the actual facts. He is apparently unaware that to make a story interesting or more compelling, certain words are chosen over others because of their emotional value, rather than whether they accurately portray a situation. While it is possible that the “lucrative” and “highly profitable” are accurate, I think it more likely that the reporter just picked words based on total sales without accounting for research and development and production costs, much like Sid.

  91. #91 Jeffry
    December 31, 2009

    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.

    “Many of the most successful vaccines that have been in general use for decades were developed without any or with only a slight knowledge of the way the mammalian immune system operates and how that system can be manipulated to achieve different responses.”

    Plotkin-Orenstein. Vaccines. Chapter 3: The Immunology of Vaccination. Page 31.

    ‘Vaccine technology’ that has been in use for decades is nothing more than an exercise of fitting a square block into a round hole. Read more than your own blog. Kathy is right.

  92. #92 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    @jen

    Kaethe-you ask what is it about autism that makes parents think its a fate worse than death? WOW. You don’t know someone with an autistic child? I work in the schools and there are many. It’s not like “Rain Man” or that goofy guy in The Hangover. It’s kids who don’t and cannot speak. Kids who don’t even understand (minimal receptive language-they don’t even understand simple commands like, “come here”), kids who run away (bolt) at any given moment, kids who have extreme aggression and cannot be safely controlled at times, kids who eat sand and pebble, leaves and need constant supervision, kids who choke on their food and need to be watched all the time. It really is tough for the parents and care givers.

    So, because life is hard and it takes a lot of effort to raise a child who has severe autism, death would have been better. Why, how uplifting and loving you are.

    I’ve seen these kinds of kids. My ex worked with them and I spent time with them. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s tiring. It’s tempting to just view them as “broken”, especially when they fling or smear poop, when they bang their heads against the walls, when they bolt. Some few of her coworkers took that view of the kids. They were there to do a job, wrangling these “things” that were more animalistic than human. They resented the kids when they got smeared with poop, when they had to work overnight to make sure none of the kids bolted or aggressed toward another child, when the boys masturbated in public.

    Then there are the times when they make little improvements, when they learn something new, when they laugh, have fun, play. They have personalities. They are people! They hold promise. I saw kids go from being 1 on 1 staffing to nearly independent. Older kids worked in the mail room or held other jobs around the center.

    Autism, even in the most severe cases, is not a death sentence. While I can understand the frustration that can lead to thinking death is better than autism, it is still cold and heartless. Jen, when you justify that viewpoint, you, too, are despicable, cold and heartless. When you use that viewpoint to engender fear about vaccines, when it has absolutely nothing to do with vaccines safety or efficacy, you make yourself into a monster.

    It is my sincerest hope that you figure out how to use that grey matter between your ears, that you thaw your heart and learn compassion and understanding. I hope that if you can’t learn to understand the truth about vaccines, that you at least learn that proselytizing and sowing fear, doubt and confusion only destroys, and that with that knowledge, you see that it’s best to keep your unscientific views to yourself.

  93. #93 Scott
    December 31, 2009

    @91:

    You might notice that Orac didn’t claim that said understanding was present when the vaccines were developed. Nowadays, however, their mechanism of action is well understood. So your citation really doesn’t have any bearing on anything.

  94. #94 Dianne
    December 31, 2009

    In an unusual feat of restraint, I actually didn’t mention another of AoA’s awards, specifically how they’ve lionized Trudy Steuernagel, whose autistic son killed her. You see, autism is dangerous and violent to them.

    Because, of course, no neurotypical person has ever killed his/her parents or otherwise acted violently. And all autistic people are violent.

  95. #95 Kristen
    December 31, 2009

    @Todd W.

    You have put very eloquently what I have been thinking since I started reading this blog. In fact, your comment to Jen brought tears to my eyes.

    I can tell when my son has a teacher like Jen. He is more despondent and harder to work with. He throws more tantrums and his hard-earned skills regress. On the other hand, when he has a loving teacher who thinks of him as more than an inconvenience and expense to society he thrives.

    Autistic children need their strengths nurtured and their weaknesses addressed lovingly. Teachers with Jens personality and attitude should find a new career. I would rather she not be bothered with my “damaged” son.

  96. #96 Dianne
    December 31, 2009

    I didn’t do H1N1. Our family lived through it and my husband and I both had pneumonia but got through

    Congratulations on surviving. Perhaps you are the one that gave H1N1 influenza to a patient of mine who was willing but unable to get the vaccine. She’s dead now, thanks to someone like you spreading the virus with reckless disregard to the safety of others.

  97. #97 Natalie
    December 31, 2009

    jen says:

    She is 16 now and I’ve let her know that it is her decision to make but that I believe condoms are her best bet.

    I pity your daughter if she’s taking any medical advice from you. HPV cannot be prevented by condoms – it’s not a fluid-borne illness. Any genital skin contact, which includes skin no condom will cover, with an infected person can transmit the virus.

    This little tidbit tells me pretty much everything I need to know about your medical knowledge and your ability to do research.

  98. #98 storkdok
    December 31, 2009

    @PalMD “I was very proud when I found out that my little kid befriended an autistic kid in her class and was asked if she would attend speech therapy with him because she “gets him”. She genuinely likes him and does not see him as a freak. But if you teach your kids early on that kids who are different are a bad thing, you help perpetuate all kinds of evil.”

    Thank you for that, we need more parents like you. I wish my son had a friend like your daughter. He just told me that he is lonely. He wants friends. We work hard on Social Thinking, and I hope one day he can make friends who don’t judge him and pity him, but get him and enjoy him for the unique and smart kid he is.

    @Kristen You said what I wanted to say to jen. Don’t need someone with her views working with my son.

  99. #99 Kaethe
    December 31, 2009

    @jen

    Kaethe-you ask what is it about autism that makes parents think its a fate worse than death? WOW. You don’t know someone with an autistic child?

    You assume too much. I don’t know how I missed this before (Brilliant response @Todd W.)

    That something is “really tough” for the caregivers does not make death preferable. You know what else is really tough on caregivers? Looking after those pained or dying from polio sequlae, other infectious diseases, or (now)preventable cancers. Cleaning up the bodily fluids and wastes of others is always unpleasant, whether it’s a newborn, a child, an adult, or a senior citizen. The solution is not to kill off or sicken more people, it’s to share the shitwork a little better.

  100. #100 Jen
    December 31, 2009

    @jen

    I hope that my kids never have a teacher/worker like you. The good teachers are the ones who teach all 3 of my autistic children that they are valued, loved, NOT damaged, and who give them the encouragement and assistance they need. And until you have lived 24/7/365 for years and years with a child with severe challenges, you have absolutely no right to imply that living with an autistic child is in any way a ‘fate worse than death’. You just don’t have a clue, and the harmful nonsense that you and others like you spout takes time, money, and energy directly away from services and movements that could actually help my kids and millions like them to live better lives. It’s pretty easy to see who the ‘damaged’ people really are in the autism world, and it’s usually not the autistics.

  101. #101 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 31, 2009

    Honestly, do you believe all the shots on the 2009 AAP schedule are necessary? Of course you don’t

    “I’d like him to stay that way” Who are you kidding!

    jen doesn’t impress me very much when her arguments are founded on her own, obviously unverified, guesswork as to what people “really” believe contrary to what they themselves say.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean her arguments do impress me when they don’t depend upon this fallacy, just that these particular arguments emphasize how lacking her posts are in honest thinking.

  102. #102 SAS
    December 31, 2009

    BA, you suggested I tell more of my father’s story. Dad had polio as a young child (obviously pre-vaccine)and wore a brace his entire life on one leg. He, like all the others who “beat” the disease, was stunned to realize that effects beyond that residual that he’d dealt with all his life. I describe post-polio as slowly getting polio in reverse. Dad lost use of both legs and moved to crutches and a wheelchair — but he could still take care of himself. However, his condition progressed step style. There would be an episode of pain and he would lose further use of a limb. After his arm became useless (he was in physical therapy for tendonitis for awhile because the local doctor was not listening when he explained post polio) my mother learned to move him to and from bed and dress him and all of that. Home health care workers, at least in their small hometown, were unreliable and untrained. Eventually, he moved to a nursing home. Mom went in and bullied him into eating twice a day, taking the kind of food he would eat. But his eyes were impacted (everyone pictured Dad with a book in hand all the time but he could no longer read), then his voice (former radio announcer) and then swallowing. It was long, slow and painful to watch. For the most part, he did not feel pain, once a particular portion of his body had gone lifeless. Had he not died this month, we were anticipating that he would be on a respirator before too long.

    The specialist he saw at times told him two things: he was very lucky he had not taken on a physically strenuous career because the symptoms would have shown up much sooner and that there was next to no research being done on post polio and any possible treatments because polio was essentially eradicated and therefore the population would die out. I can only hope that polio does not make a comeback because watching the disease progress was horrible.

    As a result of watching Dad deal with the effects all his life and then go through the post polio, I and my entire family are staunch backers of anything that could prevent anyone else going through all that.

  103. #103 Sharon Astyk
    December 31, 2009

    Jen, how about you tell me only how you feel about people, rather than how *I* feel about my kid. Sure, I’d like my kid to have an easier time communicating and getting along in the world, but all the research we have (and its a lot) suggest that vaccinations had nothing to do with it. Sure, he had Hep B (sans thimerosol, btw) when he was born. He also had ultrasounds before he was born, was exposed to mercury in my body (I grew up on the coast in a fishing family and ate a lot of fish as a kid), and used diaper wipes as well. By your reasoning, he might just as likely have gotten autism from the diaper wipes.

    What I said was that I wanted my kid to stay healthy – for myself, I’d be fine if he remains the way he is, but it is frustrating as hell to have a kid who can’t talk get sick or be in pain. A few weeks ago, he was given a treat by his grandmother than accidentally pulled out a tooth prematurely. He was having what we thought was a tantrum for no reason, and we were being increasingly firm with him, and sending him to his room, only to realize that the poor kid had been in agony for several hours, but was unable to tell us what was going on. Figuring out what’s going on in the body of a 9 year old with a 60 word vocabulary really sucks – so frankly, I’d do just about anything to prevent him getting sick and suffering and me having to guess as best I can what’s wrong with him.

    Your contempt for people with autism is palpable in your writing – you think having a child with a disability is so terrible that it is worth risking their loss to illness and disease. I’d give my right arm to make my son able to talk to me, but I won’t lie to do it – I won’t look at the actual evidence and claim it doesn’t say what it says. And I care enough that I don’t want people who just want to scapegoat get in the way of actually figuring this out so that other parents maybe don’t have to watch their hurt kid trying to communicate with them.

    I’m lucky my kid doesn’t have you in his life – you know how I feel, you know no one would want him to exist, you know it all…

    Kiss my ass.

    Sharon

  104. #104 Erin
    December 31, 2009

    I’d rather have autism (and do) than be dead or attached to a ventilator, thanks. However “annoying” parents find it when we’re younger doesn’t mean they’re aren’t plenty of people with autism who don’t have capable, independent lives. That like saying “I’d rather my child catch polio and be stuck in a hospital all their lives rather than go blind!” While being blind would suck, it’s not the worst thing in the world.

  105. #105 Sid Offit
    December 31, 2009

    @Natalie
    I pity your daughter if she’s taking any medical advice from you. HPV cannot be prevented by condoms
    ————————-
    Wrong.

    http://cervicalcancer.about.com/od/riskfactorsandprevention/a/condoms_HPV.htm
    Researchers found that women whose partner used a condom each time they had intercourse reduced their of contracting HPV by 70%

  106. #106 Pablo
    December 31, 2009

    Thank you for that, we need more parents like you. I wish my son had a friend like your daughter. He just told me that he is lonely. He wants friends. We work hard on Social Thinking, and I hope one day he can make friends who don’t judge him and pity him, but get him and enjoy him for the unique and smart kid he is.

    When my wife and I were looking for daycare for our son, we actively sought out places that were serving kids with special needs. We really want him to be in an environment where he interacts with kids of all types. There was a promising place we found, that was supposed to be focused on integrating special needs kids in, but when we went to visit, we discovered that they actually don’t have all that many special needs kids around. No more, in fact, than the other daycare we looked at which was cleaner and we felt better staffed.

    I grew up in a neighborhood with Downs kids, and spent a LOT of time hanging out with my cousin who has Downs Syndrome, as well, and think I am a better person because of it. So the benefits go both ways in these relationships.

  107. #107 Mike Kelly
    December 31, 2009

    @Sid

    Of course! No problem! It’s not as if people have sex more than once…

  108. #108 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 31, 2009

    Stoney Sid, do you know the difference between “prevent” and “reduce the risk”?

  109. #109 MikeMa
    December 31, 2009

    Sid,
    Gardasil is nearly 100% effective. Beats that 70% condom every time.

  110. #110 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    @MikeMa

    Before Sid spouts off, need to clarify that the HPV vaccine beats the condom for the particular strains it immunizes against.

  111. #111 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    @MikeMa

    Oh, and one more provision…it is close to 100% so far. It still remains to be seen how well its protection lasts in the long run, as it just hasn’t been around long enough to determine that, as yet.

    We need to be careful about making absolute statements, like the anti-vaxers do. Future evidence may alter the situation down the road.

  112. #112 Denice Walter
    December 31, 2009

    @ Chris: Thanks. I am aware of these excellent resources,having read a bit.I was thinking more of a listing or flow-chart of the *elites* and “big guns” of anti-vax that might reveal the influences,redundancies,cross-currents-if you catch my drift.I suspect it involves a very few influencing very many.

  113. #113 anon
    December 31, 2009

    The vaccine debate is not about science, we know that vaccines are extremely effective at eliminating diseases from society, and we know that vaccines have a non-zero risk of adverse reactions.

    The debate is really about society vs the individual, and is about trusting authority.

    The first reason I am anti-vaccine is that I am anti-utilitarian, and pro-kantian, which means I believe people are precious beyond price and that you cannot do arithmetic with people’s lives to determine “the greater good.” This means it is not acceptable to intentionally expose a newborn to risk for anyone’s sake other than the newborn’s. “For the greater good of society…” is a utilitarian argument, and I reject these.

    The second reason I am anti-vaccine is that I am anti-doctor and anti-authority. Every time I have ascended to the high ranks of an academic field, physics, philosophy, mathematics, I am always disappointed with the low quality of the experts. In the case of medical doctors I do not even need an advanced degree to see their logical failings in their often biased and inaccurate studies. It makes sense, having taught university classes for a long time I have a profile of the typical pre-med: charismatic, intellectually mediocre, and motivated in their career by banalities like finance and social status.

  114. #114 MikeMa
    December 31, 2009

    Todd,
    You are correct in that Gardasil is only effective against, I think, 2 strains that make up, again from memory, 70% of all cases. You are also correct that we must shoulder the higher burden of proof but Sid is just so smug that I cannot resist trying to smack around a little.

  115. #115 Mike Kelly
    December 31, 2009

    @anon

    Short response: Arsehole

    Longer…

    Not vaccinating is also a non-zero risk to the newborn, a greater one. Both directly and indirectly in so much as it encourages other arseholes to behave in the same way.

    Your consistent disappointment with academia is distressing to me. But, have you considered that this universal bathetic reaction may be due to an underlying common cause? Can I suggest it’s because you’re an arsehole.

  116. #116 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    @anon

    You’re anti-doctor simply because you think they’re “intellectually mediocre” and “motivated…finance and social status”? Therefore, vaccines are bad? Seriously? Are you pulling a Poe?

    Wow…first off, I’d venture to say that, while there are some who are motivated by finance/status, there are probably quite a large number motivated by a desire to actually help and heal people. Second, being anti-doctor/anti-authority is most definitely not a reason to be against vaccines. Well, I guess it is a reason, but not one derived by logic, and certainly not an intelligent reason. Your opinion of doctors and authority figures has no bearing on whether or not vaccines are safe and effective.

    Getting back to your first reason, you’re neglecting the non-zero risk posed to the individual by not vaccinating. You need to take into account what the risks of injury are from the disease, what the risks are from the vaccine, and the benefits to be gained from either taking or not taking the vaccine. Those all need to be tallied up. Again, rejecting vaccines simply because you don’t like utilitarian philosophy has no bearing on the safety and efficacy of vaccines. It does, however, have bearing on the risks/benefits to both the individual and society. By rejecting vaccines, you are putting the individual at greater potential risk for harm. Likewise, you increase the risk to society, as well.

    Finally, your approach, acknowledging that vaccines are effective yet still rejecting them, is exceedingly selfish and self-destructive. By vaccinating, there is a (minor) risk to the individual, but significant benefit to both the individual and society. By not vaccinating, there is a (minor) benefit to the individual, but a significant risk to both the individual and society. So, by rejecting vaccines, you opt for greater risk to both the individual and to society. Ultimately, your philosophy, then, is aimed at, if not the destruction, the harm of society and the individual.

  117. #117 Chris
    December 31, 2009

    anon:

    The second reason I am anti-vaccine is that I am anti-doctor and anti-authority. Every time I have ascended to the high ranks of an academic field, physics, philosophy, mathematics, I am always disappointed with the low quality of the experts. In the case of medical doctors I do not even need an advanced degree to see their logical failings in their often biased and inaccurate studies.

    Pray, tell, in your expert opinion… what evidence shows that the MMR is worse than measles, mumps and rubella? You really didn’t think you could come in and tell us you were smarter than the rest of us, and expect us to believe it just because you said so. We demand evidence.

    Until you prove it, all we have is evidence that the Dunning–Kruger effect is strong in you!

  118. #118 Kathy Blanco
    December 31, 2009

    Why am I not shocked and utterly dismayed that I would show up on this blog? God, I wish you all could be in my shoes, and see a TRUE IDENTIFIABLE autism vaccine reaction like I did. Perhaps you would quickly change your pontifications on vaccines if it were your child. My child almost died from a DPT reaction. Febrile convulsions, screaming, acting blind and unconsollable-no longer the same. Would you love to be a part of that scene as you push one more vaccine into YOUR CHILD? Give me a break, innocuous diseases are now deadly, your all liars and unbelievable inhumane beings. You pontificate yourselves into stupidity. You wouldn’t know autism if it kicked you in the ass.

  119. #119 Kevin Bjorke
    December 31, 2009

    @jen I’m curious about your advocacy of Cochrane as somehow bolstering your position when Cochrane’s own 2006 study (Lee C, Gong Y, Brok J, Boxall EH, Gluud C) advocated infant vaccination against Hep B, citing its effectiveness and concluding with the line: “Adverse events were rare and mostly non-serious.”

  120. #120 projecting
    December 31, 2009

    “Give me a break, innocuous diseases are now deadly, your all liars and unbelievable inhumane beings.”

    Hi, I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m projecting and so are you.

  121. #121 jen
    December 31, 2009

    any of you commenting on my “heartless” view that autism is, in many cases, a very serious difficulty for parents to manage are full of crap. You know damned well that parents would not choose to have their child experiencing things like pain, seizures, inability to express themselves. You are all trying unsuccessfully to minimize what autism is and make it seem like some harmless condition; a VERY,VERY condesceding viewpoint, I might add. Recently, in Nova Scotia, a child ran away and died in the cold weather. I guess real problems like that are no big deal to you guys.I have seen some real progress with the kids I have worked with and am proud of their accomplishments,and enjoy their individual personalities despite the nasty comments about me being a bad teacher/worker. Sorry, try and demonize me all you like to fit your little view but I’m one of the good ones. Sharon, you can kiss my ass. I am proud of the work I have trained and chosen to do with kids (whether they have ADHD, learning disabilities, aspergers, autism, cerebral palsey, down sydrome etc. Chris, you never responded to the fact that you changed your story about your child first having a genetic condition that predisposes him to seizures (yes, I clearly remember that from approx. one month ago) and now he has a “vaccine-preventable” reason for his seizures. People like you who lie are truly the despicable ones. Oh and for Bruce, yeah, duh, it will take time to see the numbers of cervical cancer go down (if it does, and IF the protection lasts) but it’s still worrying that there are so many severe reactions. Oh, but your the brain of all brains!

  122. #122 projecting
    December 31, 2009

    “You are all trying unsuccessfully to minimize what [disease] is and make it seem like some harmless condition; a VERY,VERY condesceding viewpoint, I might add.”

    Hey two new friends today. I don’t believe we’ve met either, but we’re both projecting. What a coincidence.

  123. #123 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    @jen

    You are all trying unsuccessfully to minimize what autism is and make it seem like some harmless condition; a VERY,VERY condesceding viewpoint, I might add. Recently, in Nova Scotia, a child ran away and died in the cold weather. I guess real problems like that are no big deal to you guys.

    Uh, where the hell did we try to make autism seem like it’s harmless. What we were pointing out is that the viewpoint that death is better than autism is cruel and heartless. Thanks for missing the point. Go back and read my post again, and you’ll see that I acknowledge that autism can be hellish to deal with, both for the caregivers and the individual.

    You also take a very condescending and offensive tone with those who have commented who are parents of autistic kids or who are, themselves, autistic. You waltz in here expounding on how bad vaccines are without knowing squat about them except what you’re regurgitating from anti-vax talking points. You appear to support the view that death is better than autism. And then you have the gall to not only take offense when people point out how wrong you are and how cold you seem to be, but to then attack those who very likely know a heck of a lot more than you do about what it is like to be the parent of an autistic child?

    All I can say is, go educate yourself properly before you open your mouth (well, type) again. You do not even have any self-awareness of just how much you do not know. So go. Educate yourself. If you still think that you are right, find some freakin’ science to back up your statements and present it to us. If it’s of good quality, we, unlike your behavior has suggested thus far, will change. If not, well, then be prepared to take some heat.

  124. #124 Erin
    December 31, 2009

    Evidently, I’m better off dead than ever having inflicted my often times obnoxious and anti-social behavior on my parents and community as a child. Aye, thanks for that then. Happy to know you have so little patience for so many children like me.

  125. #125 jen
    December 31, 2009

    “You seem to support the view that death is better than autism.” I have never said that. I never needed to. Just because one gets a disease, say chicken pox, doesn’t mean one is going to die. In fact, the chances are quite low. That’s a fact. You are trying to polarize the issue into one of death VS autism, not me. My nana had G-B after her flu shot and nearly died. It sucked that she was 75 and in the hospital for 3 months. She lived to be 91 without any further flu shots. Nobody has or can point out how “wrong I am” about that. I have not been condescending to parents of autistic children; to the contrary I think they face alot of hurdles and also learn alot from their children and I have taken heat. You have said that apparently I am racist, condescending, stupid;lots of name-calling. I’d say I’ve taken some heat. Bruce, oops, that should be “you’re the brain of all brains.”

  126. #126 jen
    December 31, 2009

    Erin, you’re welcome. I have hugged/consoled a screaming child showing “anti-social behaviour” as you say, until they laughed and were consoled. I’m not threatened by what you say in the least. I wish you all the best. You go girl! It’s people like Todd who make it out like it’s death VS autism. You actually don’t die from all these diseases,though that too is possible, just like it’s possible to die from a vaccine, that’s why it’s called risk VS benefit.

  127. #127 jen
    December 31, 2009

    actually, I should have said, just like it’s possible to die or receive a brain injury from a vaccine, that’s why it’s called risk VS benefit.

  128. #128 jp
    December 31, 2009

    jen@125:

    Please reference the comments where you were called racist and/or stupid.

    Kevin Bjorke asked you a relevant question about the Cochrane reviews at comment 119. I think that it is a great question I hope that you address it soon.

  129. #129 Orac
    December 31, 2009

    What we were pointing out is that the viewpoint that death is better than autism is cruel and heartless.

    Does anyone else hear a disturbing echo of “life unworthy of life” in the “better dead than autistic” gambit?

  130. #130 jp
    December 31, 2009

    jen:

    Probability is more useful in risk v benefit calculations than possiblity

  131. #131 JohnV
    December 31, 2009

    @jp

    I implied that Sid was racist after he marginalized the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people due to a disease because they were located in Africa.

  132. #132 Sharon Astyk
    December 31, 2009

    Jen, since you’ve offered no credible evidence that vaccines cause autism, you cannot credibly argue that the non-0 risk of dying or serious consequences from preventable disease is better than not having them. Yes, most kids don’t die of measles or chicken pox – but enough do that this is a non-0 number. The number of proven autism cases from vaccination is a 0 number.

    Moreover, parents of autistic children have really good reasons for them not to get sick – time out for illness causes regression. They can’t always express themselves clearly, so they may suffer more than a normal kid. The drugs that are sometimes necessary for kids with autism who get sick can be tougher on their bodies than the average kids’. Someone who actually cares about autistic kids wouldn’t want them to get sick, or a non-0 number of them to die unnecessarily.

    All of your argument rest on the rather nebulous presumption that even though we’ve never been able to find any evidence that vaccines cause autism, it must exist, because you believe it. But, of course, we keep pushing that presumption, keep doing more studies that prove the same thing, we don’t find out what actually does cause autism.

    I’m sure you truly believe you are one of the good ones – I see the same attitude in the doctors who tell women that they should definitely have an abortion if their pregnancy includes Downs Syndrome indicators – because, after, all, having one of those kids will be terrible, it is no walk in the park, they are so awful you can’t imagine… I’m sure they mean well too – and maybe for some people that’s the right choice, but the underlying contempt of the disabled is palpable in your writing and theirs. Yes, autism is hard – and those of us who deal with it not because we like to praise our goodness, but because these are our children and we love them know that. But that doesn’t mean they are expendible, even a few of them, to support an unproven theory.

    Sharon

  133. #133 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    @jen

    Man…you just don’t listen, do you?

    I have never said that.

    Which is why I said “seem to support” rather than “stated”. When I bring that up, it is not to say that the only issue is between death vs. autism. Those in the autism camp, e.g., the folks at Age of Autism, present an attitude that autistic people are broken and that death is better than autism. There are a lot of other health issues from anti-vaccine views: encephalitis, deafness, sterility, blindness, neurological damage, paralysis and so on. Go back and look at Jenny McCarthy’s comment that suggests that it’s okay if a lot of people die. Your comments in this thread, in particular at #56, suggest that you also feel that autism is “a fate worse than death”.

    It sucks that your grandmother had GBS, but I am glad that she recovered from it. That said, what evidence do you have that the vaccine was, indeed, what caused it, considering that GBS occurs in about 1 per 1-2 million people in the general population, the only flu vaccine with even a potential link shown was the ’76 vaccine, which had a GBS rate of about 1 per 1-2 million individuals. It’s possible that the vaccine caused it, but also likely that there was another cause. That said, even if one flu vaccine in the 70s caused GBS, that does not condemn all vaccines. It’s like saying that because a 1950 model Ford had brake issues, then all automobiles are completely unsafe and should be avoided at all costs.

    I have not been condescending to parents of autistic children; to the contrary I think they face alot of hurdles and also learn alot from their children and I have taken heat.

    You told one parent to kiss your ass. You offered up justification for the “autism is worse than death” mindset. When they have called you out on your unscientific ideas and presumptions, you reacted with offense and insults, rather than respectful disagreement. You most certainly have been condescending.

    You have said that apparently I am racist, condescending, stupid;lots of name-calling.

    I have not called you racist. You have been condescending. You haven’t necessarily been stupid, though you have been ignorant and espoused some idiotic ideas. As to name-calling, yep, I may be guilty of that, though it does not detract from the truth of those names: in your comments, cold and heartless you have been, and so I’ve called you cold and heartless; you have justified despicable views, and so I’ve called you despicable. If you continue with such views, you will appear a monster, and so I will call you a monster. It’s not too late to change your views and your behavior.

    Once again, go. Educate yourself. Use evidence to support your arguments. We’ve given you more than enough resources to read. Use them.

  134. #134 jp
    December 31, 2009

    JohnV@131

    I thought that your comment regarding Sid’s statement was justified. The only other comment that I have been able to find was the one made by Rogue Epidemiologist@35. It was in reference to Hep B shots for newborns. It was a question not a statement and in my opinion I thought it was also justified. I have not been able to find an instance where jen was called a racist or where anyone said that jen is stupid. I hope that she will soon either support or withdraw her claim.

  135. #135 jen
    December 31, 2009

    #35 referred to anti-vaccers as racist, Todd told me I didn’t use the grey matter between my ears and referred to me as a “monster.” Anyways, if Cochrane (06) study says hep b has no side effects, (rare and non-serious) then that is good. I trust them more than the AAP stamped pharma studies.Hewitson’s study, on the other hand, shows cause for concern. No doubt there will be more studies to show both problems (signif) and not. I am happy with my decision to not give hep b (even in grade 5) to my children. If you are happy that you have that’s great, too. Orac, again, both disease and vaccines can cause death brain damage. You are polarizing the issue. It’s risk VS benefit. Parents must choose carefully and individually.

  136. #136 T. Bruce McNeely
    December 31, 2009

    Jen:
    I called you an idiot, because you made a claim that I thought only an idiot would make. How would I know that you are in fact a brilliant person who makes idiotic claims?

  137. #137 jp
    December 31, 2009

    jen@135

    I recommend that you read Rogue Epidemiologist’s comment (@35) again. The specific comment about racism was raised as a question.

    Willful ignorance, intellectual laziness, “not using the grey matter between your ears” does not equal stupidity.

    Finally, just a bit of unsolicited advice. Please, give some serious thought to the difference between probable and possible.

  138. #138 jen
    December 31, 2009

    Todd and Sharon, think what you want. Sharon, your “I’m sure you do think of yourself as one of the good ones” is condescending and funny, as is your abortion comment. Sharon told me to “kiss her ass” first. This is all getting more than stupid. I gotta go and pick up a car that needed repairs in -20 weather and do some family stuff. Happy New Years! I will keep reading and researching and, believe it or not, would be the first to say I’m wrong if there ever is any conclusive evidence that vaccines don’t cause brain injury, along with disease which also can. I doubt that will happen, though.

  139. #139 Dianne
    December 31, 2009

    I have hugged/consoled a screaming child showing “anti-social behaviour” as you say, until they laughed and were consoled.

    Being a person with probable Asperger’s I find this sentence incredibly creepy. I find the idea of being hugged by someone I’m not close to VERY uncomfortable. Kids with autism are, in general, NOT consoled by being hugged by near strangers. They’re being tortured and their only thought will be how to escape, i.e. what to do to placate their torturer. Good thing the kid in question was socially aware enough to know what to do to make Jen let him/her go. Then at least s/he could go off and recover a bit.

    I’m sure that teachers don’t mean to torture autistic kids that way, but seriously think about their perspective: they’re likely to have sensory dysintegration and be very sensitive to certain sensations. The kids who are hypersensitive to touch are going to be freaked out by your touching them without permission. Not all the damage from autism is caused by the condition itself. Some is done by well or ill meaning members of society just not getting it.

  140. #140 Dianne
    December 31, 2009

    Anyways, if Cochrane (06) study says hep b has no side effects, (rare and non-serious) then that is good. I trust them more than the AAP stamped pharma studies.

    Er…are we talking about some Cochrane other than Cochrane Reviews? Because the Cochrane Reviews, as the name implies, are reviews of the literature, aka, the “pharma studies” (few of which are actually funded by pharmaceutical companies, most of which really, really dislike vaccines.)

  141. #141 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    @jen

    Sharon told me to “kiss her ass” first.

    Her doing so does not justify your behavior. Haven’t we all been told by our parents “Well, if they jumped off a cliff would you?”

    This is all getting more than stupid.

    Agreed. The thread should be put on hold until you’ve had a chance to go do some reading, learn more about vaccines and how they work, how they’re tested, etc., and have a chance to actually find some quality evidence to back up your claims. Absent that, we will all just start repeating ourselves.

    I gotta go and pick up a car that needed repairs in -20 weather and do some family stuff. Happy New Years!

    Good luck with your car and have a good new year. May it bring you health, happiness and wisdom.

    I will keep reading and researching and, believe it or not, would be the first to say I’m wrong if there ever is any conclusive evidence that vaccines don’t cause brain injury, along with disease which also can.

    You’re asking the wrong question. You shouldn’t be looking for evidence that vaccines conclusively do not cause brain injury (by which, I’m guessing you mean autism), but rather evidence that vaccines cause autism. It’s possible that vaccines cause autism, but that possibility is becoming a smaller and smaller probability of being right. So far, studies with proper controls and sample sizes have failed to find any connection between vaccines and autism, and more studies keep supporting that. As yet, not one has shown a causal connection between the two.

    To illustrate with an example: I could claim that I have an invisible pink unicorn living in my garage. Looking for evidence that shows there conclusively is not an invisible pink unicorn won’t work, because there is always the remote possibility that there is one. Instead, the investigator should look for evidence that there is an invisible pink unicorn. Or, more appropriately, I should be presenting the evidence that there is one, since I’m making the claim.

    Where vaccines are concerned, there is almost certainly not a connection to autism. The onus is on those who say there is to provide the evidence. That’s how science works.

  142. #142 BKsea
    December 31, 2009

    When will you all wake up and realize that vaccines do not cause autism – cars cause autism. Think about it, before cars were invented there was no such thing as autism. As the average distance driven per person has risen, there has been a direct rise in autism cases leading to today’s epidemic. Plus, the Amish don’t drive cars and they never have autism. Do you know how much mercury goes into the manufacture of cars? Plus, how do you think children get to the doctor to get vaccinated? They drive in cars. It is time to start sending billions of dollars on car research to determine what about cars is causing autism. The evidence will be found, it’s just not there yet. I am not anti-car, just pro-safe-car.

  143. #143 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    @BKsea

    I read a study by Anthony Makeshield that said the combination of power steering, power seats and power windows (the SSW package) in a single car was the cause. He suggested that cars should have them individually, rather than all together.

  144. #144 Dianne
    December 31, 2009

    ToddW: No, it’s the lead in the gasoline. Sure, they SAY they took the lead out in the 1970s but did they really take ALL of it out? What evidence is there that lead in gasoline doesn’t cause autism? Have controlled trials been done?

  145. #145 Todd W.
    December 31, 2009

    @Dianne

    Well, I saw another study saying that they put antifreeze in cars. Just think of what that does to kids.

  146. #146 Chris
    December 31, 2009

    Nah, you are all wrong. Autism started to go up with the growth of the Internet, especially the available of broadband service. Cable modems cause autism!

    Prove me wrong, jen!

    (oh, and I also called you despicable)

  147. #147 jen
    December 31, 2009

    Dianne, I do understand what you mean about some kids with autism being hypersensitive. That kid (whose privacy shall be respected by calling him “that kid”-my intent is not to de-humanize him by not using his real name) was crying very intensely and I did take the gamble and held him. He slowed down and was comforted and was eventually laughing. It wasn’t “creepy.” I will never know (know one will) what caused him to have autism (Sharon is right-there are many factors in a child’s environment that may be causal) but I just don’t think it’s all genetic-those studies don’t look too promising and alot of money has been wasted on those studies. Even though that kid didn’t talk (I did teach him a sign for scarf because he loved to play with the scarves) I thought he was awesome and lovable. IF vaccines did play a part in his autism (which know one can prove or disprove) then I honestly think the repeated MMR’s may not have been worth the theoretical risk of having a brain injury from the measles. We really can’t know that, though.
    The most stunning/disgusting example of de-humanization I can think of where death VS disability was highlighted was the case of Terry Schiavo (sp?). I cannot believe that her bastard of a husband was able to starve her to death (not even let her mom moisten her mouth) and this during a Republican reign. That still bothers me to this day.

  148. #148 Maryn
    December 31, 2009

    Do you know I read that people are worried about vaccinating their pets now? That’s great. I can at least avoid being bitten by an unvaccinated child.

  149. #149 jen
    December 31, 2009

    Chris, joke about it all you want. You lied and you were caught. First your son had a genetic disease that pre-disposed him to seizures then yesterday it was he has a now vaccine-preventable disease. Sure.

  150. #150 Dangerous Bacon
    December 31, 2009

    “Sure, they SAY they took the lead out in the 1970s but did they really take ALL of it out? What evidence is there that lead in gasoline doesn’t cause autism? Have controlled trials been done?”

    Controlled trials wouldn’t mean anything, because Big Auto has paid off everyone. And even if lead in gasoline wasn’t the culprit, it could be the plastic in seats, or synthetic carpet, or the adhesive they use to stick the rear view mirror to the windshield. You can’t prove me wrong!

    We need NCCAM to funnel $20 million or so to the Geiers to do a study comparing children who walk to the doctor to get vaccinated, as opposed to children whose parents drive them there. I’m sure JPANDS will publish the results. Then we can breathe easier, assuming Jesse Ventura has exposed the chemtrail threat by then.

    Happy New Year to everyone, even those who Don’t Want Us To Know.

  151. #151 Dianne
    December 31, 2009

    Autism started to go up with the growth of the Internet, especially the available of broadband service. Cable modems cause autism!

    Actually, it probably does…well, not cause autism per se, but make autism (or at least aspergers and high functioning autism) more adaptive and expand reproductive opportunities (there are dating services specifically for autistics out there, for example…not to mention the greater ease a verbal autistic person would have communicating online where no one has any non-linguistic cues). And if you accept that autism has a genetic component, which many people even of the vaccine causes autism movement do, that means an increase in autism. So, yeah, the internet might be vaguely plausible.

  152. #152 Otto
    December 31, 2009

    “The first reason I am anti-vaccine is that I am anti-utilitarian, and pro-kantian, which means I believe people are precious beyond price and that you cannot do arithmetic with people’s lives to determine ‘the greater good.’”

    Setting aside the laughable gymnastics of the Metaphysics of Morals for a second, how is this even “Kantian” in the first place? Let’s have the analysis of the gedankenexperiment in which the action of vaccinating is a universal law of nature, posthaste.

  153. #153 Dianne
    December 31, 2009

    Jen: You were there, I wasn’t. I won’t argue with your observations about this particular child.

  154. #154 jp
    December 31, 2009

    jen@147: “All genetic”? reference please

  155. #155 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 31, 2009

    and autism (whatever specifically is causing it- hydrolyzed gelatin, thimerosal,aluminum, live viruses,(“holy goal posts changing, Batman!”)

    jen, let’s do a quick thought experiment. Suppose you are sitting at a city bus stop, waiting for a bus, and an apparently distraught man comes around the corner and tells you, “I just got mugged!” You ask him when, and he says, “In the last fifteen minutes.” It would not be surprising if you believed his claim. Why not? He has not shown you any evidence to support his claim, but his story that he was mugged around the corner seems plausible, since it’s the city and street crime does happen in the city. It is an “ordinary” claim.

    Now suppose that the same man comes around the corner, sits down next to you on the bench, waits quietly for twenty minutes, and then suddenly announces “I just got mugged!” You ask him when, and he says, “In the last fifteen minutes.” “What, while you were sitting right next to me on this bench??” you say. “Yes,” he says. In contrast to the claim in our previous situation, which we said was ordinary, this claim is extraordinary. You’re being asked to believe that a violent street crime was committed right next to you, when you neither saw nor heard any trace of the alleged crime, nor even any trace of the alleged criminal. You would frankly be justified in deciding right then and there that the man’s claim is false; but even if you do not go that far, you would actually be unreasonable to believe his extraordinary claim before he’s given you extraordinary evidence to support it.

    Now, anti-vaccine activists often claim that there is an “autism epidemic” being caused by vaccines, by some mechanism. But you ask them “Where is this epidemic? In what population?” and they say “Why, among children like mine,” which means they are talking about a population in which epidemiological studies have already been done looking for an association between autism and vaccines. You know what epidemiological studies are designed to find? Epidemics. You know what no study has found? Any trace of an autism epidemic or indeed any association between vaccination and autism.

    That means that the anti-vaccine activists are making an extraordinary claim, which would be unreasonable to believe without extraordinary evidence. And do they provide extraordinary evidence? No, they do not. In fact, what they provide often doesn’t even come up to the level of ordinary evidence. The Michelle Cedillo case, for instance, was selected to be one of the test cases for the Autism Omnibus because, supposedly, the evidence showed more clearly in that case than just about any other how the MMR vaccine was the cause of an autistic spectrum disorder. Instead, it showed that in this case, despite the fervent convictions of the Cedillos and their lawyers and advisers, the MMR vaccine could not have been the cause of Michelle’s autism, because her symptoms began well before she received that vaccine.

    Anti-vaccine activists are still acting as if merely holding the conviction that vaccines cause autism, and saying it loudly, and refusing to consider the possibility that they don’t, will somehow substitute adequately for the extraordinary evidence their claim requires. It does not. If anything, it damages the credibility of their claim. When anti-vaccine zealots rant and rave about how all autism is simply mercury poisoning plain and simple, and the evidence is so clear that anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the idea is obviously a Big Pharma shill, and there’s no doubt that we’re going to see a huge drop in autism rates once thimerosal is gone from vaccines because unquestionably it’s thimerosal that causes autism, and then they themselves abandon the “mercury-toxicity” theory and advocate some new theory with just as much sound and fury — no reasonable observer says “oh, well, they’re certainly loud about this hydrolyzed gelatin idea; I guess being loud means that they must be right this time — which they weren’t when they were equally loud about thimerosal.” No, reasonable observers say “I guess their being loud and arrogant and forceful means nothing about the state of the evidence; it only speaks to their own fanaticism.”

  156. #156 BA
    December 31, 2009

    SAS, thank you. I’ll be copying and pasting that one if you don’t mind.

  157. #157 nlgirl
    December 31, 2009

    sharon@103

    So well said. I too have a son with autism who is minimally verbal. Pain is the hardest thing to get him to communicate. I understand that all too well.
    There is nothing he picks up on faster than someone who is not emotionally connected with him. He picks up that vibe so fast…and his behaviour mirrors that. If someone is loving and interested in him, he is a star.
    He has been unlucky to have a few Jen’s in his life. But he has been so lucky to have many wonderful, caring and thoughtful people in his life.
    Who knows what his life will be? we can’t predict that for any children even our neurotypical children. My world is certainly better because he is in it.

  158. #158 Joseph
    December 31, 2009

    IF vaccines did play a part in his autism (which know one can prove or disprove) then I honestly think the repeated MMR’s may not have been worth the theoretical risk of having a brain injury from the measles. We really can’t know that, though.

    @jen: You realize this (guilt-generating) speculation can be applied to anything, right? Maybe an antibiotic was not worth it. Or maybe giving him certain foods was not worth it.

    It’s all completely without merit given the lack of evidence, and in the particular case of the MMR vaccine, an abundance of negative evidence.

  159. #159 a-non
    December 31, 2009

    jen,

    I love you dismiss bias in studies like the Hewitson study, where the researchers in the study stand to personally profit if their theory is proven. You are a shill and a fraud, and if I didn’t know any better I’d say that your “work with autistic kids” was probably along the lines of the quack treatments that purportedly cure autism. I don’t know that, of course, but you like to speculate as to the motives of everyone else, I thought I’d give it a try too.

  160. #160 Kristen
    December 31, 2009

    @Dianne

    Respectfully I wish to disagree with you about your blanket statement that autistic children don’t like to be touched. My son is quite the opposite, he needs to be constantly physically reassured. We need to do intensive OT several times a day. The biggest problem we are working on is not hugging people he doesn’t know.

    I do know that most children with pervasive developmental disorders are not comforted by touch, but some are.

    That said, I can’t see how Jen holding a child could in any way be comforting. Children can sense when people are uninterested in or bothered by them. This sense seems especially pronounced in children with autism.

  161. #161 Chris
    December 31, 2009

    jen:

    First your son had a genetic disease that pre-disposed him to seizures then yesterday it was he has a now vaccine-preventable disease. Sure.

    When did I ever say he had a genetic disease that pre-disposed him to seizures? His genetic disease is something else.

    Still you are despicable.

  162. #162 Chris
    December 31, 2009

    Has jen offered up the evidence that Gardisil has caused more damage than prevented?

  163. #163 Chris
    December 31, 2009

    Oh, and another thing despicable jen: Children who have certain health impairments, can and do have adverse events due to actual illnesses. This also happens to actually healthy children, ever heard of something called “febrile seizures”? Or that measles, mumps, Hib, pertussis and other diseases can cause meningitis and encephalitis that can include seizures?

    You are despicable.

  164. #164 jen
    December 31, 2009

    in #126 and 135 I mentioned specifically that children can and do have side effects (brain damage, death) from illness-and of course things like febrile seizures. Any idiot knows that. Nice try, about a month ago (I don’t frequent this site often) you specifically commented that your son has seizures due to a genetic disease. I am certainly not going to go crazy trying to locate it. Now your story has changed. How convenient. a-non I actually did admit that Orac had a point about the control group being small (3). Kristen and Sharon if it makes you feel better to think of me as cold and hearless then by all means, go for it. I take absolutely no offence to it and the parents of kids I have worked with and colleagues would laugh to hear such a description of me. I don’t sell any kind of “treatments” to parents. I just work with kids. Joseph has a point about guilt- generating speculation. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. Happy New Year.

  165. #165 Jen in TX
    December 31, 2009

    Glad to see others asking this question…

    Did acetaminophen provoke the autism epidemic?
    http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/.fulltext/14/4/364.pdf

    Happy New Year, all. :)

  166. #166 jen
    December 31, 2009

    incidence of new cases of cervical cancer for /09 from National Cancer Institute: 11,270.
    incidence of VAERS reports (only by Oct. 08) so it’ll by higher by now: over 9,000. MedAlerts database through to Nov. 30 /08 showed 5, 021 emergency room visits. Those are some scary numbers, and unfortunately I think we’ll be hearing more about them from the Gardasil moms and girls.I’m glad I chose to research it and not get it for my daughterl. Bruce the brain has pointed out though, that it will take time of course to see how incidence of cervical cancer will play out.

  167. #167 deenaclaire
    December 31, 2009

    My “take” on the anti-vax autism groups is that they’d rather blame than help, and that they’re frequently motivated by self-interest/self-gratification or financial profit in selling their services or treatments through people affiliated with them. Autistic kids getting chelation or lupron or stem cell infusions doesn’t seem sane to me, and I’d need to see some scientific/Special Ed studies showing how helpful these treatments are. I don’t think these services, such as they are, come cheap. I think some people out there are making a lot of money, and usually it’s non-reimbursable. Is this the kind of bio-med stuff that jen is talking about?

    I have known many special needs kids during my long lifetime. I have known their families as well – and I have never, ever, heard one of these parents say that his or her special needs kid would be better off dead than autistic. Not one. That’s something I *have* heard by non-parents of special needs kids; those who assume superiority because their kids aren’t autistic or disabled. I have noticed that some anti-vax people (no, I can’t remember precisely which ones) have strongly implied that it’s better for an autistic kid be dead than autistic. And if I were the parent of an autistic kid, I’d get pretty steamed. Hell. I’m not the parent of an autistic kid, and I get pretty steamed too. My only criticism of Sharon is that she has been too gentle when she addresses that particular issue.

    And jen, you’ve said you work with autistic kids. Is that in a public school setting? Are you a certified Special Ed teacher?

  168. #168 Kristen
    December 31, 2009

    @Jen

    I don’t know you personally, true. I am simply commenting on the type of person you have portrayed yourself to be in this discussion.

    I hope you are a better teacher than you seem to be. But because of some of the dehumanizing things you have said about children like MY SON, my assesment of you stands.

    It doesn’t make me feel good when someone like you makes such inane comments, I hear it every day. But don’t pretend you have been the angel of autistic children and Sharon and I are so unreasonable. You don’t know how we feel about our children so stop projecting your views on us.

    In addition; my husband has aspergers syndrome and my daughters show some “autistic-like” traits. In my opinion living proof that their is a very large genetic componant. Perhaps there is some environmental trigger involved but it is conclusive that vaccines aren’t a factor (please someone correct me if I am mistaken).

  169. #169 Kristen
    December 31, 2009

    Just to clarify, I was asking for correction on possible environmental triggers (if I am wrong on that point). I know there is no scientific doubt concerning vaccines playing no part.

  170. #170 Chris
    December 31, 2009

    jen the despicable:

    incidence of VAERS reports (only by Oct. 08) so it’ll by higher by now: over 9,000.

    VAERS is a self selected survey. How many in the end were found to be actually caused by the vaccine? Does that data also include the auto accidents, congenital heart conditions, drug overdoses and undetected cancer tumors? Oh, yeah… if you heard of a school girl in England who died after her HPV vaccine (different brand), it turned out it was a large undiagnosed tumor.

    Come on, VAERS is no good until after you have gone through the case reports. One parent from the UK (which is not in the USA, which is where VAERS is only valid) used it to report his daughter turned into Wonder Woman!

    By the way, 11000 is more than 90000. Also, is fainting has horrible as cervical cancer? Really?

  171. #171 Chris
    December 31, 2009

    Sorry, a decimal mistake: 11000 is more than 9000.

  172. #172 Joseph
    December 31, 2009

    Even if all the VAERS reports did document an actual adverse event, how many are comparable to cancer? I’m betting a lot of them document a rash, fever, aches, perhaps fainting.

  173. #173 Dedj
    December 31, 2009

    Even just a skim of the numbers will tell you that 11k new cases beats a 9k running total.

    Thats before we consider it’s 11k confirmed cases versus 9k ‘in proximity to’.

  174. #174 Anonfornow
    December 31, 2009

    @jen

    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/10/15/genital-warts-hpv-gardasil-vaccine226.html

    (and yes I know the type that causes genital warts doesn’t cause cervical cancer, but this suggests that the vaccine is having a positive effect).

  175. #175 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 1, 2010

    The probable source of jen’s false accusation.

    On December 10th, Chris wrote:

    My son had a seizure disorder and required herd immunity for pertussis.

    Not all disorders are genetic, jen. Also, two days later in the same thread, Chris clarified that the disorder was caused by a now-vaccine-preventable disease.

  176. #176 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    Clarification required… the seizure disorder had an unknown origin. It went away, and was only brought back again by a now vaccine preventable disease.

    That was his last seizure, and the only one that a cause could be found. It was a year later that it was determined he was permanently disabled.

    Of course, that does not matter. Because in real life lots of kids have seizures with no known reason. For kids that have seizures for a known reason, that reason is often a real disease. Those diseases include measles, pertussis, mumps, Hib, rotavirus, influenza, and any other disease that can cause a fever. Just because these diseases can commonly cause seizures, that does not mean the seizures are always harmless.

  177. #177 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    By the way, Mr. Vicklund, I doubt despicable jen read that link. She would have missed the bit about parents sending sick kids to school with a bottle of Tylenol. Or that my son is now an adult.

  178. #178 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    By the way, jen has perfect children.

    She has no clue what it is to live with a child who has health issues from birth, nor how to live with a child with developmental delays. Sure she claims to deal with them at a school (as an aide perhaps?). Certainly not 24-7 like the rest of us, and definitely not for the time into adulthood when a IDEA no longer applies.

    She is despicable, and an idiot.

  179. #179 Richard Eis
    January 1, 2010

    ToddW: No, it’s the lead in the gasoline. Sure, they SAY they took the lead out in the 1970s but did they really take ALL of it out? What evidence is there that lead in gasoline doesn’t cause autism? Have controlled trials been done?

    No, no. no. It’s too many drives too soon. Children shouldn’t get in a car more than once a year for the first 3 years.

    Seatbelts don’t save lives either because I know people who still died even with them on and they cause chaffing. I’ve already had to fill out a VAERS form for that!!1!

  180. #180 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 1, 2010

    Anonfornow:

    (and yes I know the type that causes genital warts doesn’t cause cervical cancer, but this suggests that the vaccine is having a positive effect).

    Actually, the HPV genotypes that cause cervical cancer also cause genital warts. Other subsets of HPV cause genital warts, but don’t carry the risk of cervical cancer. The report that genital wart transmission is going down in Australia is good evidence that the vaccine will be effective in lowering the risk of cervical cancer.
    Incidentally, even low-grade dysplasia of the cervix (“precancerous” lesions) is no simple matter to deal with. More frequent Pap tests, colposcopy exams, cone biopsies – which carry a risk to subsequent pregnancies – and of course, the worry that the disease will recur, are all things that I would like to spare my daughters as much as possible.

  181. #181 Anonfornow
    January 1, 2010

    Bruce – Thanks for the clarification! ITA, I actually had high-grade dysplasia (yet was negative for hpv… was the quickest and weirdest case my obgyn had seen, went from abnormal cells to high grade in just over a year.. I was an outlier).

    Luckily had no pregnancy issues. I also wouldn’t wish any of the crap I went through dealing with the lesions on anyone, let alone my daughter.

  182. #182 Isis the Scientist
    January 1, 2010

    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.

    This sentence really struck me, Brother Orac. It created in my mind this image of heartless, childless doctors and industrial sinister geniuses plotting to inject things into their children. That’s powerful imagery that I don’t think I had really appreciated them creating…

    Hm…

  183. #183 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 1, 2010

    Nice try, about a month ago (I don’t frequent this site often) you specifically commented that your son has seizures due to a genetic disease. I am certainly not going to go crazy trying to locate it.

    Then you should shut the hell up.

    Seriously.

    You accused Chris of lying. Several times. At least one of your comments had no content other than accusing Chris of lying.

    Now you’re saying that you can’t be bothered to find this comment that you think you saw at some point, upon which your accusation depends.

    What a despicably dishonest person you are, jen. No wonder you cling so tightly to the despicable dishonesty spewed out by other anti-vaccine fanatics; you think it’s morally acceptable to put all your fervor and vitriol into promoting what you think is correct, and completely neglect checking whether it is correct.

    I highly doubt you could find the post you think you saw from Chris; I think you read something in it that it didn’t actually say, and if you did do the responsible thing and located the post, you’d realize that you drew conclusions from it that weren’t warranted.

    But you know something? Even if Chris was lying? You are no better. You made a very serious allegation without caring whether you actually had your facts straight. You didn’t even care enough to check whether you had your facts straight afterwards.

    I don’t see why you think anyone would give a damn what you think about vaccines, now, because we know now that you don’t give a damn about whether you’re telling the truth, no matter what the consequences of your falsehoods are.

    If you were anything but despicable and dishonest you’d either find that post which supports your allegations against Chris — not just one which you can read as supporting them, but one which an unbiased person would read that way — or offer him an immediate and humble apology for your false allegations against him. And until you do one or the other, shut the hell up.

  184. #184 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 1, 2010

    Anonfornow:
    Your experience demonstrates that cancers can have more than one cause, such as lung cancers occurring in non-smokers. I hope all is well now.

  185. #185 jen
    January 1, 2010

    W. Kevin Vicklund: no that was not the source for my understanding of Chris’ story changing. It was a specific remark about her son suffering from a genetic condition that caused his seizures. And no, AF, I seriously don’t have to shut up. I provided facts on Gardasil and I find that there are enough adverse events reported, yes, including fainting, to warrant concern. If you don’t think 5,000 trips to emerg by /08 was very concerning that’s your interpretation of the data. I have a B.A.Sc degree (4yr) in Child Studies from the University of Guelph, have worked with children with special needs since /85 and you can suck on that. Oh, and my children are not perfect. Duh.

  186. #186 Kristen
    January 1, 2010

    @Jen

    I believe the point Chris was making is that you don’t have a child with a developmental delay. Therefore your opinion of how parents with such children feel is an arrogant projection of your personal feelings.

    No child is perfect, but you don’t know what it is like to have a delayed child. And no, teaching autistic and disabled children doesn’t count. Being his mother is a 24/7 job. You get brakes, I don’t. The challenges of raising a “normal” child notwithstanding.

  187. #187 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    Also folks, there is more than one person posting as “Chris.” We just happen to agree on lots of things.

  188. #188 jen
    January 1, 2010

    AF: found it: from November (has Desiree Jennings VAERS report been found?)
    Chris: “Considering my son’s seizures started as a newborn, before any vaccines, plus he had more he had an actual disease…”
    That’s pretty different from: “he suffers from a now vaccine preventable disease.” She wrote that in Nov. and she says her son is now an adult. Did she just discover in the last month that lo and behold, it wasn’t a genetic condition it was a “vaccine preventable disease.” Common sense tells me no. She lied. Caught. Kristen, I can appreciate very much what you are saying. I have worked with enough families (outreach-behavioural counselling) besides in the school to understand your point.

  189. #189 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    So, he suffered seizures from a now vaccine preventable disease. Possibly because he was more sensitive, just like other children who get seizures from diseases.

    If I wrote he suffers in the present tense, it would have been a typo. He was however diagnosed with another completely genetic disorder several year later.

    Anyway, jen, you are still despicable and an idiot.

  190. #190 jen
    January 1, 2010

    it seemed that your story changed to one where, being pro-vaccine, it jived better. That’s it. Anyway, think what you want about me.

  191. #191 Kristen
    January 1, 2010

    @Jen

    No, you don’t understand!! My point is that you are being arrogant by THINKING you understand. My son had a wonderful preschool teacher who would often tell me “I don’t know how you do it. I can’t imagine what you are feeling.” She happens to be the teacher under which he has made the most progress.

    By the way children like Chris’ can have more than one condition. Your gotcha attitude is infuriating.

  192. #192 jen
    January 1, 2010

    my last thoughts on this post are that many of you (pro vaccine) seem to use the black and white “death VS autsim” stance which is sick and exaggerated.
    Also, you DO allow that vaccines are not 100% safe, no medical treatment is (I’m paraphrasing but I know that someone said exactly that). Side effects (which are many) are even listed on the vaccine inserts and yet you hold so dear to the position that vaccines cannot cause autism (based on some fairly unspectacular studies-not even a vacc VS unvacc study). It all seems flimsy. More studies do need to be done. AND,I know you’ll be shocked that I am saying this but vaccines are probably not the only cause of autism.

  193. #193 jen
    January 1, 2010

    Kristen, your presumption that a parent (with all the attendant heartaches, difficulties, speed bumps) can’t be a little empathic about how hard it must be for parents who have all that AND learning problems, shows YOU to be arrogant. My kids are not perfect. I have worked with people who have a child with a disability for over 24 years. But apparently children need to run from me when I comfort a screaming, crying child, and I am cold and heartless.Apparently some of you are glad there are no “Jens in their life.” Think what you want if it makes you feel better. As I said, my colleages and parents of the kids I work with would laugh at your comments. Chris did change her story and she’s very proud to proclaim her “victories,” too.

  194. #194 Joseph
    January 1, 2010

    my last thoughts on this post are that many of you (pro vaccine) seem to use the black and white “death VS autsim” stance which is sick and exaggerated.

    @jen: What gave you that idea? Vaccine-preventable diseases can kill you, and people like you aren’t helping, but there’s no choice of the form ‘autism vs. infectious disease.’ There’s no reason to believe one is related to the other.

  195. #195 nwo rebel soilder
    January 1, 2010

    scientists should know better they know the vaccines are harmfull but most scientists have there souls for sale and they only do what there paymasters demand. How ever there are genuine ones in every profession, but most are tools of those who fund them they are lapdogs of the system. Notice the genuine scenctists of history who wished to benfit mankind always met mysterious deaths or had there funded cut. 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. I wonder if those scientists which say the vaccines are safe and promote it would give it to there children NO they would not.

    science of sanity not the other way round

  196. #196 Joseph
    January 1, 2010

    How ever there are genuine ones in every profession

    @nwo: Riddle me this. Clearly, these “genuine” doctors would’ve been contacted by Big Pharma about getting payments so they too cover up the vast vaccine conspiracy to give kids autism and control the world’s population. Where can I find the whistleblower accounts?

  197. #197 MI Dawn
    January 1, 2010

    @Jen: Do you understand the word “unethical”? As is, it is TOTALLY unethical to do a “vax vs unvax” study. NO ethics board would approve it due to the potential risk to the children involved (those who remain unvaccinated). Orac, and many others, more than once have pointed out why this study would never be allowed in any country in the world. The best we can do are retrospective reviews, comparing vaccinated vs unvaccinated children by their charts. Since I’m not going to post an extremely long comment, I recommend you search the blog, or go to the Science-Based Medicine site, and read about the medical ethics of your proposal.

  198. #198 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    Kristen:

    By the way children like Chris’ can have more than one condition. Your gotcha attitude is infuriating.

    Exactly. It has also caused him to have a “Why me?” complex, that required intervention with a qualified psychologist. Doesn’t help having two younger siblings that have fewer health issues, and seem to breeze through school without effort.

    jen, don’t let the door hit your bum on your way out.

  199. #199 Dangerous Bacon
    January 1, 2010

    jen: “I provided facts on Gardasil and I find that there are enough adverse events reported, yes, including fainting, to warrant concern.”

    So you report needing laser treatment(s) to treat your own pre-malignant cervical condition (almost certainly caused by the human papillomavirus), and that’s that peachy, even though laser treatment is painful, can cause bleeding and discharge, and may require followup therapy to remove all dysplastic tissue. But an HPV vaccine that could prevent your daughters from having to undergo an invasive, painful procedure must be avoided because the vaccine is associated with risks like fainting after an injection?

    Your priorities are…strange.

    “Oh, and my children are not perfect.”

    And you’re working hard to ensure that.

    If only children didn’t have to suffer the consequences of arrogantly misguided parents.

  200. #200 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    @Joseph:the power that controls big pharma and orchestrates its horrors is being concentrated in ever fewer hands. in 1995, 25 companies controlled more that half the global drugs market, by 2000, it was just 15 and the mergers have continued since then. this big pharma merger mania is as with every aspect of society, centralising power over vaccines, drugs and the medical system in general. even now, only real doctors with balls to match are prepared to take them on. whenever i hear the term family doctor my heart sinks and i have visions of repeaters in suits parroting the party line so essential to keeping there job and maintaining the support of the authorities. it is so lucrative for doctors who play the game and pressure their patients to have their immune defences, and those of their children, consumed by the cocktail concoctions that issue from corporations like Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Aventis.

  201. #201 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

  202. #202 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.

  203. #203 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    long live the rebublic!!!

  204. #204 nwo rebel soldier
    January 1, 2010

    long live the republic!!!

  205. #205 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.

  206. #206 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.

  207. #207 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.

  208. #208 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 1, 2010

    nwo rebel soldier:

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

    Didn’t think so.

  209. #209 storkdok
    January 1, 2010

    Pablo and PalMD,

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

  210. #210 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)

  211. #211 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

  212. #212 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

  213. #213 Yojimbo
    January 1, 2010

    @211 nwo

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

  214. #214 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.

  215. #215 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

  216. #216 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?

  217. #217 Chris
    January 1, 2010

    ooops, HTML fail…

    It is the Borg!

  218. #218 Chris
    January 1, 2010

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

  219. #219 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

  220. #220 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?

  221. #221 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

  222. #222 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

  223. #223 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

  224. #224 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?

  225. #225 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.

  226. #226 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.

  227. #227 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.

  228. #228 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.

  229. #229 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.

  230. #230 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!!!

  231. #231 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.

  232. #232 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.

  233. #233 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”.

  234. #234 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

  235. #235 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.

  236. #236 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.

  237. #237 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.

  238. #238 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.

  239. #239 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.

  240. #240 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.

  241. #241 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.

  242. #242 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.

  243. #243 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.

  244. #244 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…

  245. #245 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.

  246. #246 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

  247. #247 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.

  248. #248 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.

  249. #249 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.

  250. #250 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.

  251. #251 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.

  252. #252 Chris
    January 2, 2010

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

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

  253. #253 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.

  254. #254 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.

  255. #255 Scottynuke
    January 2, 2010

    Poe trolls are Poe-ing.

  256. #256 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.

  257. #257 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.

  258. #258 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).

  259. #259 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.

  260. #260 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 …

  261. #261 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.

  262. #262 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.

  263. #263 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.

  264. #264 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.

  265. #265 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.

  266. #266 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!

  267. #267 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.

  268. #268 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.

  269. #269 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.

  270. #270 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.

  271. #271 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.

  272. #272 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.

  273. #273 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.”

  274. #274 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.

  275. #275 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.

  276. #276 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.

  277. #277 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.

  278. #278 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?

  279. #279 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)

  280. #280 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;)

  281. #281 jen
    January 2, 2010

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

  282. #282 Orac
    January 2, 2010

    I’ve shut nothing down.

  283. #283 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).

  284. #284 Kristen
    January 2, 2010

    @281

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

  285. #285 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?

  286. #286 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.

  287. #287 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…

  288. #288 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.

  289. #289 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.

  290. #290 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.

  291. #291 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.

  292. #292 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.

  293. #293 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.

  294. #294 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.

  295. #295 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?

  296. #296 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?

  297. #297 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.

  298. #298 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.

  299. #299 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.”

  300. #300 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.

  301. #301 kae
    January 3, 2010

    There should be a vaccination against “stupid”.

  302. #302 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.

  303. #303 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.

  304. #304 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.

  305. #305 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.

  306. #306 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.

  307. #307 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.

  308. #308 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    Also something else happened in 1994.

  309. #309 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.

  310. #310 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.

  311. #311 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.

  312. #312 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.

  313. #313 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.

  314. #314 Todd W.
    January 3, 2010

    @jen

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

    Citation needed.

  315. #315 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.

  316. #316 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!!!!!

  317. #317 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.

  318. #318 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    Lack of coherency and actual data duly noted.

  319. #319 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.

  320. #320 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.

  321. #321 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.

  322. #322 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.

  323. #323 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.

  324. #324 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.)

  325. #325 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?

  326. #326 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.

  327. #327 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.

  328. #328 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.

  329. #329 Chris
    January 3, 2010

    Again, lots of claims and no evidence.

  330. #330 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.

  331. #331 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.

  332. #332 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.

  333. #333 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.

  334. #334 Chris
    January 4, 2010

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

  335. #335 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.

  336. #336 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.

  337. #337 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.

  338. #338 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!

  339. #339 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?

  340. #340 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.

  341. #341 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. ;-)

  342. #342 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

  343. #344 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

  344. #345 Scott
    January 4, 2010

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

  345. #346 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

  346. #347 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”?

  347. #348 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.

  348. #349 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.

  349. #350 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.

  350. #351 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.

  351. #352 D. C. Sessions
    January 4, 2010

    I heard that aluminum causes brain damage in forum trolls…

    How can you tell?

  352. #353 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?

  353. #354 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

  354. #355 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

  355. #356 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.

  356. #357 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.

  357. #358 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.

  358. #359 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.

  359. #360 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.

  360. #361 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.

  361. #362 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.

The site is undergoing maintenance presently. Commenting has been disabled. Please check back later!