Respectful Insolence

I’ve frequently referred to Age of Autism as the “anti-vaccine” crank propaganda blog and Generation Rescue, the organization that primarily runs it, a an anti-vaccine propaganda organization. Although longtime readers know exactly why I say such things, newbies might not. That’s why I consider it instructive to take note of this observation by reader Todd W.:

You know, I always wondered why Age of Autism, the “Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic” has articles on Gardasil. They have absolutely no connection to autism. There have been no studies linking Gardasil to autism. There aren’t even any anecdotes suggesting a link between Gardasil and autism (probably because kids are usually diagnosed years before they are even eligible to receive the vaccine).

Articles like that reveal the fact that AoA is anti-vaccine. They are not pro-autism education. They are not interested in spreading real awareness of autism. They are interested in arguing against vaccines.

He’s exactly right. Age of Autism bills itself as “Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic,” yet there’s very little there about autism outside the context of trying to convince people that vaccines cause it.

Out of curiosity, though, I decided to take a look at the last several days worth of posts on AoA. Over the last few days, we’ve been treated to a three-part bit of conspiracy-steeped ranting by Mark “I’m not a scientist but I play one on AoA” Blaxill entitled, A License to Kill? Part 1 was subtitled How A Public-Private Partnership Made the Government Merck’s Gardasil Partner; Part 2, Who Guards Gardasil’s Guardians?; and part 3, After Gardasil’s Launch, More Victims, More Bad Safety Analysis and a Revolving Door Culture. I won’t go into the details of the nonsense that Mark Blaxill lays down in these anti-vaccine propaganda pieces other than to note that he references an anti-Gardasil site, which blames the death of several girls on Gardasil, even some of them died weeks or even a month after being vaccinated. One even died six months after the first dose. In other words, it’s the same old confusing of correlation with causation about Gardasil that I have written about on multiple occasions.

Yet AoA claims it’s not anti-vaccine.

So why would AoA devote that much space to Gardasil? Even in the most fevered fantastical ideas for how vaccines might cause autism, Gardasi couldn’t have anything to do with autism. First, it’s administered to girls, and autism has a marked male prevalence. More importantly, it is given to girls between 10-13, which is long past the time when autistic symptoms first appear. Yet, if you search AoA for articles on Gardasil, you will find not only Blaxill’s blather, but numerous other posts linking Gardasil to death and all sorts of horrific health problems, posts such as The Truth about Gardasil? It’s Destroying our Girls, Gardasil Damage Stories Everywhere, When Will the FDA Act?, and In Memory of one of the First Gardasil Girls: RIP Jessica Ericzon.

Yet AoA claims it’s not anti-vaccine.

But that’s not all. If you just peruse the posts from the last couple of weeks on AoA, you’ll find the aforementioned three posts about the alleged dangers of Gardasil, several posts castigating Paul Offit and/or his rotavirus vaccine (including one post likening Dr. Offit’s statement about vaccines to the Milgrom experiment), a post pimping Richard Moore’s truly moronic anti-vaccine article, and several posts on vaccines as a cause of autism or criticizing the PBS FRONTLINE documentary The Vaccine War. Compared to the posts about vaccines or attacking big pharma, the number of posts about autism or actually helping children with autism that didn’t have anything to do with vaccines were in a distinct minority. It wasn’t even close.

Yet AoA claims it’s not antivaccine.

I think I’m with Kim Wombles on this (and, damn if she didn’t beat me to writing a post like this):

Today, in an unprecedented show of integrity and honesty, Age of Autism changed its name to Vaccines: The Cause of Everything Wrong With the World: the daily newspaper of vaccine conspiracies.

After running a series of posts having absolutely nothing to do with autism at all, in any capacity, Age of Autism took a deep breath, looked good and hard at itself in the mirror, and decided to quit pretending to be anything other than a gathering place for wackawoos. To that end, the wackawoo brigade went full tilt into redesigning its website, dumping most of the sponsors because they just weren’t vaccine-hating enough, and by gosh, enough is enough. Using a camouflage motif and shots in a Curt Linderman crossed style (without the black skull), the three editors of VTCoEWWtW (not as catchy certainly, as AoA, but well, they are trying to be honest), along with the rest of the wackawoos brigade, dressed in camo, guerrilla style, with big syringes held lovingly in their arms as if they were AK-47s and glared at the camera. They want you to know they are serious and mean business! There are no good vaccines!

Or, as the “American rally for personal rights” would say, “There Are No Safe Vaccines!” Remember, as I’ve said before, it’s not about autism. It never really was, at least not primarily. It’s about vaccines and looking for something to blame.

Comments

  1. #1 Gopherus Agassizii
    May 14, 2010

    One of the characteristics of the mindset within this movement is that they are incredibly self-centered. Ignorance is actually secondary to this center-of-the-universe mentality.

    They tend to be fairly well-educated and adept at spinning arguments that play well if they’re not examined too carefully. So a basic ignorance is not the real problem. They just do not care if their populations rise high enough to bring on an epidemic. “It’s all about me” in their minds, which is why making the CDC and its concern for public health into a threat becomes quite easy.

    Their ignorance is a product of their self-centered personalities.

  2. #2 Mike Robinson
    May 14, 2010

    It’s sad to see that so many turn their heads to the fact that there are more then one cause for Autism obviously. One being genetic but that had to come from somewhere. But another ‘type’ of Autism .. The Largest type.. Is REGRESSIVE .. and that regression comes after Vaccines. Anyone that feels it’s safe to have embalming fluid and other toxins shot up into them go ahead and get them done, in the meantime quit attacking a group telling it how it is. At least one part of this article is correct. The members and leaders of Age of Autism ARE Educated.. it’s time the rest of the world be .. as I’ve written this response to this attack blog several children were diagnosed with Autism… and several ignorant people allowed a flu shot injected into them. Wake up. And for those that like being that way.. you are few in number and you have no right to interfere with ‘Rescue’ of a Generation. Nuff Said…

  3. #4 Chris
    May 14, 2010

    Mike Roginson:

    The Largest type.. Is REGRESSIVE .. and that regression comes after Vaccines.

    Sure, yeah, whatever… do you have actual real evidence? You know, something that has any actual science backing it up?

    It looks like you know all the answers. Great! Now answer my perennial questions:

    1) What actual data and evidence do you have that shows that the MMR vaccine is more dangerous than measles, mumps and rubella? Remember that it has to be real scientific evidence and not random news stories or websites like whale.to.

    2) What evidence do you have that the DTaP is worse than diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis? Again, remember that only real scientific evidence will be accepted. Do not quote Barbara Loe Arthur (Fisher)’s website, since the most recent reference on the “whooping cough” page was before the DTaP was available, more than twenty years ago.

    Come on, you can do it! You said “Nuff said”… but you left out one crucial element: evidence.

  4. #5 David N. Brown
    May 14, 2010

    With Gardasil, there can’t be much doubt that a significant factor is that it is a treatment against an STD. I wrote about this in my ebook “Urban Legend of Vaccine-Caused Autism” last year, and I noted then that there was a striking tendency in these “scare” stories to use language of youth and innocence, in the context of which the denunciation of Gardasil could easily be regarded as a none-too-subtle allegory of sexuality. It has crossed my mind that the emotional and cultural baggage of the disease could cause a significant number of “adverse events” that are purely psychosomatic.

    Also, a public service anouncement: HPV is not a disease that affects only adolescent and adult females. I have a scar on my foot where a papilloma was surgically removed when I was eight.

  5. #6 Joshua Zelinsky
    May 14, 2010

    Obviously, the HPV vaccine has impact on the past. It must be secretly filled with tachyonic toxins. These tachyons allow the toxins to go back in time and into the the developing bodies.

    I don’t have an explanation for the gender imbalance. Any suggestions?

  6. #7 KittyB
    May 14, 2010

    hahaha, do some research Mike Robinson- the type of formaldehyde used in vaccines is NOT of the same composition as the type used to embalm corpses. The type used is a man-made version of the type that occurs naturally within our own bodies as a byproduct of metabolism.
    Here’s some ACCURATE info for you:

    ~ Formaldehyde- a misunderstood ingredient. Formaldehyde occurs naturally in the body, it is a by product of human metabolism and used in the synthesis (combining of two or more entities to form something new) of DNA and amino acids. It is used in vaccines to kill/detoxify the virus/bacteria to create a ‘dead vaccine’. The vaccine is purified to remove the formaldehyde, however minute traces can remain so for safety reasons it is listed as an ingredient in the final vaccine product. The amount of minute traces is considered well below what the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) consider to be the maximum limit to be used. The type in vaccines is not the type used on dead bodies!
    http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/hot-topics/formaldehyde.html
    http://www.formaldehyde.org/applications
    http://www.formaldehyde.org/health_safety
    http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/SafetyAvailability/VaccineSafety/ucm187810.htm
    http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/pdf/hfile50d.pdf
    http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/2008/03/13/common-anti-vaccination-myths-and-misconceptions/

  7. #8 Setar
    May 14, 2010

    Mr. Robinson, a quick bit of research (okay, wiki-fu, sue me) tells me that “regressive autism” is disputed as a diagnosis. A quick scan of the article shows that it seems to be something constantly trotted out by anti-vaccine cranks and may simply be early-onset autism that just happens to be diagnosed later than normal. Could you please provide us with a case study of “regressive autism”, followed by studies that show a link between “regressive autism” and vaccination?

    Furthermore, Mr. Robinson, would you please enlighten us as to why the anti-vaccine (or, as you likely prefer it, ‘pro-safe-vaccine’) crowd never seem to say anything about the polio vaccine?

    Sidenote 1: I have an ASD and don’t blame that on vaccines…though my ASD is Asperger syndrome, so I don’t know if that counts in the eyes of the antivax crowd. I’d like to see Mr. Robinson’s opinion (and possibly “Dr.” Handley and Ms. McCarthy’s as well, if possible) on this, though.

    Sidenote 2: How in bloody hell can you compare Dr. Offit’s statement to the Milgram experiment? What’s next, comparing the comments here to Stanford Prison?

  8. #9 Chris
    May 14, 2010

    Yeah, I am thoroughly convinced the HPV vaccine my daughter got caused my son’s seizures seven years before she got the vaccines. Not!

  9. #10 A. Schaefer
    May 14, 2010

    blink, blink :
    Chris:

    But don’t you see the vaccines must contain Resublimated Thiotimoline which causes those bad quantum vibrations that travel back in time, are reflected by the mature body of the parents at conception and then travel forward again to affect the sibling. See I can explain it all!

  10. #11 Chance Gearheart, NREMT-P/EMD
    May 14, 2010

    Mike Robinson Orally Flatulated:

    “It’s sad to see that so many turn their heads to the fact that there are more then one cause for Autism obviously. One being genetic but that had to come from somewhere. But another ‘type’ of Autism .. The Largest type.. Is REGRESSIVE .. and that regression comes after Vaccines.”

    Ok, so basically you’ve made leaps and bounds in the field of autism research in that single sentence more so than any researcher in the last twenty years by stating that vaccines cause the regression seen in autisitic children (That, atleast in some form, tends to reverse as the child gets older with some becoming completely neurotypical). Surely you have some SCIENTIFIC evidence of repeatable experiments to back up this extraordinary claim!?

    What’s that, crickets?

    “Anyone that feels it’s safe to have embalming fluid and other toxins shot up into them go ahead and get them done, in the meantime quit attacking a group telling it how it is.”

    First off, you need to go take biochemistry 101. It’s not just what a chemical is, but how it’s concentrated and in what form it is intaken into the human body that determines how it affects a living organism. Take “Embalming Fluid” comment, for example – which I assume you mean Formaldehyde (Which, is incorrect, as most embalming is now done with formalin and glutylalderhyde due to it being easier to handle): Formaldyhide used to preserve human tissue is often around 60-70% concentration, up to about 90% used by morticians in difficult cases. Formaldehyde is also produced naturally by your cells, and is detoxified by the liver, and the amounts contained in vaccines are trace, used to kill the viruses and bacteria that are used in it. If formaldehyde were at a concentration where it would cause harm, it wouldnt cause autistic symptoms, it’d cause local tissue destruction, and systemically, clotting problems and blindness.

    “At least one part of this article is correct. The members and leaders of Age of Autism ARE Educated.. it’s time the rest of the world be .. as I’ve written this response to this attack blog several children were diagnosed with Autism… and several ignorant people allowed a flu shot injected into them. Wake up.”

    I allowed myself to get a flu shot because I saw first hand what happened to those who didnt, expecially the infants and children, and the pregnant women who were near death because of the virus. And strangely enough, I never got sick, nor got autism. It did make me get a B on a Micro exam, given the way you judge causation and correllation.

    “And for those that like being that way.. you are few in number and you have no right to interfere with ‘Rescue’ of a Generation. Nuff Said…”

    I hate to burst your ego bubble, but that’s not even wrong. Thanks, and have a nice day. :)

  11. #12 Wrysmile
    May 14, 2010

    Mike

    I,m glad you added that “wake up” towards then end, I could feel my head getting closer and closer to the desk, little bit of dribble from the side of the mouth as fell into a coma of stupid.

  12. #13 Skepacabra
    May 14, 2010

    Some people on the Titanic were vaccinated. Coincidence???

    I think we should all start an internet meme of inexplicably blaming vaccines for every bad thing that happened in human history followed by “Coincidence??”

  13. #14 Porlock Junior
    May 14, 2010

    I don’t have an explanation for the gender
    imbalance. Any suggestions?

    Posted by: Joshua Zelinsky

    I think you’re forgetting CGT invariance. When tachyons travel backwards in time, CGT requires a reversal of gender.

  14. #15 MartinM
    May 14, 2010

    Sidenote 1: I have an ASD and don’t blame that on vaccines…though my ASD is Asperger syndrome, so I don’t know if that counts in the eyes of the antivax crowd.

    It counts if you’re antivax. Otherwise we’re fair game.

  15. #16 Kristen
    May 14, 2010

    I hate it when these idiots smear Dr. Offit. As a mother who had two of my four children hospitalized with rotavirus, I was more then happy to get my youngest vaccinated.

    Caution: Sad, angry, sappy anecdote follows.

    My middle daughter got sick when she was nineteen months. She went from 28 lbs to 21 (about 25% I believe) in the course of two days! I will never forget the morning that I couldn’t wake her up because she was too dehydrated to open her eyes. Holding her for over an hour while they tried to find a vein in which to place the IV that eventually saved her life.

    The next day, the doctor came in and told me that her electrolytes were so messed up that she would have to stay for at least another couple days. If you want to talk about brain damage, we will never know for sure if this is why her speech and motor skills have been delayed.

    She is okay, but many children are not. Death is not the only adverse outcome of preventable diseases. My son didn’t get near as sick, but it was still scary.

    My youngest got rotavirus, she had diarrhea for one day, thanks to Dr Offit. I consider Paul Offit a hero.

  16. #17 Todd W.
    May 14, 2010

    @Orac

    Another thing I noted in the other thread, when’s the last time you saw an article about a real scientific advance in autism research reported on AoA? Where are the articles discussing the studies finding genetic components to autism? Where are the articles discussing the parental age studies?

  17. #18 Rene Najera
    May 14, 2010

    So:

    A) Everyone dies (with rare, unverified reports of exceptions)
    B) Everyone who has been vaccinated will eventually die

    Thus, vaccines cause death, right? I mean, that’s the line of logic being used here.

    Amazing.

    DISCLAIMER: Again, folks, just me writing here, no one else.

  18. #19 JulianFrost
    May 14, 2010

    The Supreme Court just rejected the Hazlehurst Appeal.
    http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/page.htm?shortname=infco20100513188

  19. #20 Kristen
    May 14, 2010

    Todd,

    That is an excellent question. I don’t go over to AoA because I get enough of that crap from the other mothers I come in contact with, my boss (who has a developmentally delayed son) and my father, who is sure vaccines are the answer. So their inane ramblings piss me off.

    But I think it is telling that they ignore the real research, all the while trying to get (real) scientists to spend their funding on the antivax agenda. That is why they hate skeptics, and anyone else with critical thinking skills; these people remind them that they are wrong.

    By the way, your website is doing worlds of good. It helped me, and I recommend it to everyone else.

    And I bestow on you one trillion Internets for your astute observations yesterday and today.

  20. #21 Todd W.
    May 14, 2010

    @Kristen

    Thanks! I’ll need to get a storage pod for all those internets!

    Glad the site’s helpful!

  21. #22 Kristen
    May 14, 2010

    Thanks! I’ll need to get a storage pod for all those internets!

    Just ask Lord Draconis, he will hook you up. I am sure you are one of his most effective drones.

  22. #23 Richard Smith
    May 14, 2010

    @Mike Robinson (#2 – hehe):

    Anyone that feels it’s safe to have embalming fluid and other toxins shot up into them go ahead and get them done, in the meantime quit attacking a group telling it how it is.

    Ya know what was used for embalming long before formaldehyde? Salt! So, next time you find yourself in the hospital, being hooked up for an emergency fluid transfusion, better tell them to lay off the saline solution because you don’t want to have embalming fluid shot up into you!

    Out of curiousity, if a nursing mother has a nipple ring, is the baby drinking ringer’s lactate?

  23. #24 colmcq
    May 14, 2010

    Well said Kristen. The sooner these morons realise what their actions are doing, the better…

  24. #25 Vicki
    May 14, 2010

    Mike Robinson–

    A gorgeous example of proving our host’s point. The anti-Gardasil arguments aren’t even connected to autism, and a number of them are basically anti-sex, apparently using the theory that since obviously teenage girls didn’t have sex before this vaccine was introduced, because they were worried that they’d get cancer much later, introducing it is corrupting the youth of America. Because of course it’s better for your daughter to develop cancer after she marries someone who doesn’t know he is infected with HPV, or doesn’t care, than for her to have sex before marriage. Which is a crazy idea even if the claim–that girls who don’t get this vaccine will refrain from sex–were true.

    I want to grab these parents and ask them “So, not being vaccinated will protect your daughter from rapists and pedophiles?”

  25. #26 Marc
    May 14, 2010

    You guys have glossed over the funniest part of Mike’s post: the folks at Age of Autism are educated? OMG–I did a spit-take reading that, literally.

    The arrogance of assuming a year or two of Googling is education, but 30+ years of education, including specialized training in the subject is not, is just staggering.

    Oh, and as a child who survived meningitis caused by HIB and nearly died. My daughter’s grandparents thank their stars that their grandaughter won’t have to go through what their son did thanks to vaccination.

  26. #27 Pablo
    May 14, 2010

    Death is not the only adverse outcome of preventable diseases.

    I often think about this when I hear morons like Slid downplay things like measles. Yeah, ok, so the measles only has a deathrate of 1/1000 of those who are infected. But what of those who don’t die? If nothing else, they still get to spend 10 – 14 days miserable with the measles. I think that only a childless person could dismiss that as no big deal.

    I know when the Offspring is sick, it really sucks. Even when he has a cold, I feel so bad that I can’t do more to make him feel better. And when ear infections hit, those fevers clearly make him so miserable, and I’m glad to do something to heal that (we are relieved when the doctor sees an ear infection, because then we know we can treat it). Even knowing that the measles would not lead to permanent damage, why would I want to have him to live through those weeks of misery?

    I really don’t like the attitude of, “It’s just the measles, you probably won’t die or anything.” Yeah, it’s the measles, and I think I’d really like to find a way to keep my son from getting them. See also: chicken pox

  27. #28 trrll
    May 14, 2010

    One being genetic but that had to come from somewhere. But another ‘type’ of Autism .. The Largest type.. Is REGRESSIVE .. and that regression comes after Vaccines.

    Ironically, perhaps the best-studied genetic cause of autism is associated with regressive autism. Rett syndrome, due to mutations of the MECP2 gene, is associated with apparently normal development up until 6-18 months, followed by regression. So far from regression being evidence of an environment insult, it is clear that there is a critical period at around this age where a genetic defect can cause loss of developmental progress. This is not surprising from the point of view of neuroscience, because development of the brain in early childhood is not a monotonic process like the growth of a plant. Rather, during this period the brain undergoes profound synaptic reorganization over this period, with with many synapses being lost, and others being formed, so it is quite easy to see how a genetic flaw could cause things to go disastrously wrong at this point.

  28. #29 Ian
    May 14, 2010

    @Orac

    I don’t really see my it’s so mysterious that they’re aligning themselves with the anti-Gardasil camp. It’s the crank transitive property:

    1 – gardasil is a manufactured vaccine
    2 – vaccine manufacturers are bad
    3 – the government uses vaccines

    Therefore, by the crank transitive property, since there are (well, there aren’t, but let’s pretend) problems with Gardasil, government vaccines are bad and kiling oure babbys.

    It’s the same thing the GOP tried to do with William Ayers and Rev. Wright. Forge a tenuous connection, find some dirt, then insist without evidence that the two MUST be connected by invoking the “COINCIDENCE???” card (@Skepacabra – that’s a fantastic idea).

  29. #30 lizditz
    May 14, 2010

    Somewhat off-topic, because it is about infant vaccination against HepB and not Gardasil: May is National HepB awareness month. Post about San Francisco’s campaign to be HepB free and AoA’s counter-factual, anti-science track record of opposing HepB vaccination.

  30. #31 Pablo
    May 14, 2010

    liz – I heard one of the lead directors of the SF program on Dr Radio a couple of days ago. It was a great topic. The hosts and callers made it very clear why HepB vaccination was very useful.

  31. #32 gpmtrixie
    May 14, 2010

    Pablo #27 –

    I always wondered this too…why do these people minimize the suffering these diseases cause even if it’s only temporary? Anecdote: My offspring #2 was too young to get the chicken pox vaccine when it hit his daycare center where he attended with his older sister who had gotten her shot a few months before. The vaccine was new then and I was all over it, but he was only 6 months when another kid brought the pox to the center.

    Offspring #2 suffered with a high fever for several days and a ton of itchy pox, even down to his poor little privates. It took 4-5 months for all traces of the pox to finally disappear. Offspring #1 sailed through without getting sick even though I did not keep her away from #2.

    On that note, does anyone know if people vaccinated against chicken pox are safe from shingles later in life? Or is it too early to know for sure, since the vaccine has only been around 14 years or so?

  32. #33 catgirl
    May 14, 2010

    OMG you guys, I just got my last Gardasil booster on Monday. Sadly, I was too late to be warned by the wonderful folks at AoA, because something terrible happened. No, I didn’t die, but my arm was sore at the injection site for two whole days! And that is totes worse than getting cervical cancer, amirite? Everybody panic!

  33. #34 Pablo
    May 14, 2010

    But catgirl, the good news is now that you are vaccinated, you can go out and have a lot more sex, not having to worry about catching cancer. Freedom!

    (sorry, I’m married)

  34. #35 Ian
    May 14, 2010

    I’m not… but I’m allergic to cats… and statutory rape. Damn allergies.

  35. #36 MikeMa
    May 14, 2010

    Ian,
    Time to develop that cat dander allergy vaccine.

  36. #37 Fannin
    May 14, 2010

    @Marc, of course they’re educated! Magna cum laude from Dunning Kruger University, every last one of them!!

  37. #38 Ian
    May 14, 2010

    I have a serious question for the immunologically-minded among us.

    Why can’t we create a vaccine for genital herpes? I know why an HIV vaccine is tricky – the external subunits keep mutating which is why it’s so hard for the immune system to fight it. Is herpes the same way? Or is it simply an ideological thing?

  38. #39 Pablo
    May 14, 2010

    Is herpes the same way?

    Given all the strains of herpes that are known, I’ve always assumed that it is a good mutator.

    “Tell Victor that Ramone just got back from the clinic and I have Herpes Simplex 10 and he should get himself checked out”

    (damn, I was trying to find the video of Tim Kazurinsky on SNL where he did all the variations of herpes, like if you have sex with a midget you get “twerpes”)

  39. #40 MommaD
    May 14, 2010

    You can only get shingles if you’ve had chicken pox.

  40. #41 Gardasil Victim since 2008
    May 14, 2010

    Autism is just a TERM used by the CDC for vaccine injury. This will be proven someday, so YES Age OF Autism should be reporting it. I had Gardasil in 2008 because I USED to believe all vaccines were safe, and I never researched it, just got it because my doctor said it was good. Ever since then I have had a debilitating “mystery illness” Not defined as AUTISM because my brain was fully developed unlike these poor kids who are injured before that. So I, and the THOUSANDS of other girls who were injured are actually able to TALK about what’s hurting, unlike the brain damaged kids. We already knew how to talk and interact, so the typical “autism” characteristics are not there. But the fact is we were vaccine injured. And our lives have changed. I have had MANY other issues that also effect some autistic kids like GI, Headaches, leg pain, chest pain, hairloss, night sweats, sudden allergies, always sick, etc etc. I would MUCH rather have just had my whole UTERUS taken out than go through the hell I have been through in the past two years. Having to quit my job and not know if I will ever be healthly again. Why is sodium borate, a rat killer, in this vaccine? Why have there been almost 300 reports of abnormal paps AFTER the vaccine? Annual paps are the best prevention of cervical cancer. NOT some new, posionous vaccine.

  41. #42 Ian
    May 14, 2010

    @Gardasil Victim

    I’m not trying to minimize your suffering, but it is clear from your tone that you’re not interested in rationally discussing the issues around Gardasil; you’re just looking for a forum to vent your anger. That is your right, I suppose. Don’t expect much sympathy for your position, however, when you repeat a bunch of unsubstantiated nonsense about the source of your symptoms. I have no doubt your pain is real, but that doesn’t give you any authority to assign causation.

    No doubt you will pivot this into feelings of being “condescended to” by people who “don’t understand” you. Again, you’re free to hold that opinion, I can’t stop you. Don’t for a second, however, think that your ideas have a shred of scientific support, or that your salvo of accusatory statements carry any sway among people who understand the scientific process. Strong emotional appeals are certainly persuasive, but they are not a substitute for facts.

  42. #43 Pablo
    May 14, 2010

    Don’t expect much sympathy for your position, however, when you repeat a bunch of unsubstantiated nonsense about the source of your symptoms.

    It’s not the unsubstantiated nonsense about the source of her symptoms that leads me to not take her seriously, it is the “autism is just a term for vaccine injury” thing. WTF is that? That is a sign of someone who is coming from a completely different planet, and I honestly didn’t get much farther than that in her post.

  43. #44 Todd W.
    May 14, 2010

    @Gardasil Victim since 2008

    First off, my sympathies to you for your pain and ailments. However, there are a few errors in your post.

    Autism is just a TERM used by the CDC for vaccine injury.

    No, autism is a disorder (or spectrum of disorders) defined by the DSM-IV and consisting of distinct, identifiable symptoms. It is not synonymous with vaccine injury any more than “bruise” is. Further, the CDC does not use autism as a term for vaccine injury.

    the THOUSANDS of other girls who were injured

    Please provide a citation that thousands of other girls were confirmed to have been injured by the vaccine.

    unlike the brain damaged kids

    Children with autism do not have brain damage.

    I have had MANY other issues that also effect some autistic kids like GI, Headaches, leg pain, chest pain, hairloss, night sweats, sudden allergies, always sick, etc etc.

    Non-autistic kids (and adults) also have those issues. I am unfamiliar with hair loss being associated with autism. I’ve known a number of people with autism, none of whom had problems with hair loss. Also, the majority of the ones I’ve known did not have GI issues or allergies and, other than being autistic, were in generally good health. Granted, my account is anecdotal. If you have some scientific evidence to show that the issues you mentioned are common among autistics and exist at levels higher than for non-autistics, I’d be interested in seeing it.

    Why is sodium borate, a rat killer, in this vaccine?

    You mean Borax? It is often used in chemistry as a buffer. It is also an anti-fungal agent. Keep in mind that the dose that a rat would get in rat poison is orders of magnitude more than the minute amounts that are in a dose of Gardasil (35 mcg).

    Why have there been almost 300 reports of abnormal paps AFTER the vaccine?

    Again, citation needed.

    Annual paps are the best prevention of cervical cancer.

    While pap smears are one of the best means of detecting precancerous lesions, it is not perfect. Further, this manner of screening can lead to false positives and cancer scares, unnecessary procedures, etc. Preventing infection is definitely a good idea, and no one is arguing that vaccination is a replacement for annual pap smears.

    At any rate, your claim that Gardasil is related to autism is unfounded.

  44. #45 Composer99
    May 14, 2010

    @ Gardrasil Victim (#41):

    Regarding your specific claim: “Autism is just a TERM used by the CDC for vaccine injury. This will be proven someday”: evidence, please.

    After all, if the CDC already uses autism as a synonym for vaccine injury (as implied by your present tense), it should be demonstrable now, not just some nebulous ‘some day’ in the future.

  45. #46 a-non
    May 14, 2010

    Actually, the Desiree Jennings experience (among others) makes me immediately skeptical of folks who assign their condition or the condition of their child to the “evil drug of the day”.

    So in light of there being no actual evidence that Gardasil is harmful, I claim shenanigans on post #41 until proven otherwise.

  46. #47 Pablo
    May 14, 2010

    Actually, the Desiree Jennings experience (among others) makes me immediately skeptical of folks who assign their condition or the condition of their child to the “evil drug of the day”.

    Note the part about “this will be proven someday”. It’s pretty clear that this person has chosen a position a priori. It’s not a conclusion, it’s a premise.

    So these calls for evidence that she was harmed by the vaccine are howling at the wind. She _knows_ she was harmed by vaccines, and nothing you can say will make her believe anything else. She doesn’t have evidence, YET

    Although this line is interesting:
    “Annual paps are the best prevention of cervical cancer.”

    Hmmm, seems she has been drinking at the trough of Jay “Cookie Monster” Gordon.

  47. #48 Dangerous Bacon
    May 14, 2010

    “Annual paps are the best prevention of cervical cancer.”

    Prevention is best achieved by never getting the human papilloma virus in the first place. The vaccine is one proven way to do that.
    While Pap tests continue to be important, many women still do not get them regularly, the physician may inadvertently not sample a lesion, and/or abnormalities on the slide may be difficult to interpret or misinterpreted. Pap tests have greatly reduced the incidence of cervical cancer, but they’re not foolproof.

    The HPV vaccine has been extensively tested, and those trials along with accumulated clinical experience show it to be as safe as other vaccines in common use – which is to say very safe indeed.

  48. #49 Natalie
    May 14, 2010

    I think it’s important to note that a) an abnormal pap does not automatically mean one has HPV and b) Gardasil only prevents infection of some of the strains of HPV, the ones most likely to cause cervical cancer. This is a complete non-point.

  49. #50 gpmtrixie
    May 14, 2010

    Lucky me, I just had my Pap test today and now they concurrently test for HPV. I had to sign a form saying that I understand that I could opt out of it. The only reason I can see for opting out is if you truly can’t afford it, since insurance may not cover it all, as the form explained.

    As it was explained to me, the guidelines now are if I’m clear on both the regular test and the HPV, I only need the test every 3 years.

  50. #51 Jon H
    May 14, 2010

    Gardasil Victim – are you sure your ailment isn’t caused by Morgellons?

  51. #52 Rogue Epidemiolgist
    May 14, 2010

    #41

    I would MUCH rather have just had my whole UTERUS taken out than go through the hell I have been through in the past two years.

    I have had Gardasil.
    My mother had her whole uterus removed.
    Several women from my mother’s village have had cervical cancer.

    It is very, very safe to say that of these three categories of people (including me), the people who suffered the most are the ones who had cervical cancer.

    As for the uterus, you’d miss it if it was gone. My mother’s hysterectomy didn’t lack for side-effects.

    And Gardasil, well, I’m inclined to believe you’re misattributing the etiology of your symptoms. I don’t deny that you’re suffering, but I think you ought to reexamine possible culprits.

  52. #53 Enkidu
    May 14, 2010

    @38, herpes vaccine

    A few years ago there was a vaccine in trial that offered some protection, but it was curiously gender-specific. I’m not up to speed on vaccines in trials since then.

    One of the reasons it’s hard to develop a good herpes vaccine is that the damn virus is so big, and contains a lot of redundancy. HSV is able to use at least three different receptors to infect a cell, and on top of that can get in via at least three different pathways (direct fusion at the plasma membrane and two types of endocytosis). Choosing what’s best to target to take down the bugger is tough.

  53. #54 NZ Skeptic
    May 15, 2010

    It’s a worry that all these teenagers are getting locked into being ‘Gardisal Girls’ – which sounds rather like a wartime entertainment act! Once you’ve got your daughter on a few websites and felt the love from all the other anti-vax parents, surely you have a vested interest in keeping her ill with all those vague, non-specific ailments. If she wakes up one day and tries to say, “Mom, my ache/pain/ tingling/sweating or other symptom de jour has gone now. Can I get back to living please?” – where does that leave you? Could there be an element of Munchausen by Proxy at work here? I think these girls and their families are being cruelly manipulated by people with anti-vax agendas, setting them up as poster girls for alleged vaccine damage, requiring them to be ‘ill’ indefinitely, and in doing so robbing them of their precious teenage years.

  54. #55 Gray Falcon
    May 15, 2010

    Sorry for the late comment, but there’s something important to note:

    Sidenote 1: I have an ASD and don’t blame that on vaccines…though my ASD is Asperger syndrome, so I don’t know if that counts in the eyes of the antivax crowd.

    That depends. If you’re counting total autistic people and trying to create an epidemic, then you, you count. If you’re advocating neurodiversity and suggesting not chelating based on flimsy evidence, then you aren’t “really autistic”, and don’t count.

    Sorry for the diversion.

  55. #56 JustAmom
    May 15, 2010

    You’re own body creates more formaldehyde naturally than what’s in a vaccine. Ya got that right about a ‘group’ (AOA) telling it how it is! Ya think AOA leaves a tad bit out?? It sure shows one highly educated ‘group’ alright. And where is your proof the largest type of autism is regressive??
    “you are few in number and you have no right to interfere with ‘Rescue’ of a Generation.” Dream on. A few in number is a good one. Many within the public see past the use of scare tactics used by AOA and GR, the public is probably more educated than any of those groups are.
    You’ll never read AOA talk about how deadly or serious contracting some of these diseases can be. My child also had rotavirus and RSV, both of which cause deaths each year. If vaccines had anything to do with autism, I’d much rather deal with autism than a dead child from a preventable disease. Paul Offit IS a hero. No one at AOA or even Wakefield have offered a thing in prevention. AOA is out solely to attack any and all vaccines regardless of the child’s health risks or factors which pertain to each. They offer a one size fits all rejection of vaccines.
    @ Gardasil Victim: Autism is also not a term used to describe vaccine injury. My child with autism is not vaccine injured. “GI, Headaches, leg pain, chest pain, hair loss, night sweats, sudden allergies, always sick, etc etc” you know who experiences those things? A zillion Americans! Gardasil also doesn’t prevent all things, so abnormal paps could just be from anything. You know what? So you’re not healthy, but you’re also not dead!

  56. #57 Alareth
    May 15, 2010

    So:

    A) Everyone dies (with rare, unverified reports of exceptions)
    B) Everyone who has been vaccinated will eventually die

    Thus, vaccines cause death, right? I mean, that’s the line of logic being used here.

    Amazing.

    DISCLAIMER: Again, folks, just me writing here, no one else.

    Actually It’s worse than that. Everyone who has ever died was born first.

    Therefore I can say without fear of contrdition that birth is the leading cause of eventual death for every person on the planet.

  57. #58 Orac
    May 15, 2010

    As they say, life is a fatal, sexually transmitted disease.

  58. #59 Corina Becker
    May 16, 2010

    “the number of posts about autism or actually helping children with autism that didn’t have anything to do with vaccines were in a distinct minority.”

    Which is why, all anti-vax and woomongering aside, I refuse to go to AoA for any sort of autism help, and when I do browse, I wear gloves. It’s such a torrent of hate, loathing and rage that it’s hard to believe that there is any sort of constructive advice generated on it. If any at all.

    Corina
    ~autistic adult

  59. #60 sheldon101
    May 16, 2010

    @robinson, you know one difference between sites of skeptics and sites like Age of Autism? You can disagree with the party line here (your comment got posted) but not at site like AoA.

    And don’t think it is a matter of the tone of the comment, it is about censorship. I wrote a nice, polite comment that explained what AoA blog entries left out, the reason the UK medical licensing board found that Wakefield had done research without the necessary permission. I even got it successfully posted at AoA (proved by screen shots) and I even got John Stone of AoA to agree that it was polite and on topic. It never appeared.

    @robinson, I’m glad you commented here. Just remember that AoA and similar sites would rather not have their readers know that they’re censoring comments based on the content of the comments.

  60. #61 Corina Becker
    May 16, 2010

    Sorry, but I’m laughing at “Gardasil Victim since 2008″ now. Given the ridiculous statements “she” has made, I’m half-tempted to call “her” out as an attempt at sarcasm.

    either that or a troll that’s digging her own grave.

    So dear, as the rest of us here have pointed out, please provide some evidence and try to argue better.

    Corina
    ~autistic adult, not brain damaged

  61. #62 David N. Brown
    May 16, 2010

    I was interested that the “victim” referred to GI and leg pains. I have constant abdominal pain. I also have had leg pains (the worst at a time when I was having to tromp around northern AZ to finish my geology degree). I never received Gardasil. But (as mentioned above) I have been infected with HPV. So, I could argue from my personal experience that my GI problems and leg pain could have been caused by the virus Gardasil protects against. Will this cancel out the “Gardasil victim’s” story?

  62. #63 Orac
    May 16, 2010

    @robinson, I’m glad you commented here. Just remember that AoA and similar sites would rather not have their readers know that they’re censoring comments based on the content of the comments.

    Actually, I think most of the readers there know that comments are censored but don’t care. They like the echo chamber, where never a discouraging word is allowed to penetrate the bubble vaccine hatred and quackery.

  63. #64 JustAmom
    May 16, 2010

    Most reader at AOA do know that site is censored but what’s really interesting and hypocritical is while those who write for and post to AOA never get an opposing side, those same people go to other sites (as seen here) which allow fairly for all comments and they attack those readers and outright complain about censored comments once they’ve gone too far with their attacks and their comments get deleted. People at AOA call it a ‘debate’, but what it actually is, is an attack. It could be a debate had they allowed all comments on AOA, but since they do not, they go else where to plague others with their attacks.
    Fear that they might be wrong or that others may be more rational than they are is why they censor.

  64. #65 Paul Murray
    May 17, 2010

    @1 “Their ignorance is a product of their self-centered personalities.”

    As I’ve pointed out before: a lot of their behavior makes sense once you recall that autism runs in families.

  65. #66 Jodi Speakman
    May 27, 2010

    For more information, please visit http://www.truthaboutgardasil.org

    My daughter, Victoria, has been ill since February 2008. She had her first Gardasil vaccination in November 2007. Her second vaccination was in the beginning of February 2008. Immediately after her second vaccination, Victoria experienced severe diarrhea, vomiting and was nauseous for about eight weeks. She had blood work done many times and the pediatrician thought she had a virus. On March 31, 2008, she had her first seizure. My daughter has treated with many neurologists, all of whom have not related her seizures to Gardasil. Meanwhile, there are quite a few hundred people that I have found over the internet through my numerous postings and through Erin Brockovich, and their daughters are all experiencing the same symptoms, which occurred after the Gardasil vaccination. We have actually formed a group and share our daughters’ stories, symptoms and information. My daughter has had CT scans, MRI’s, MRA’s, EEG’s, blood work and was hospitalized at an epilepsy center in the video EEG monitoring unit for two separate weeks in May 2008 and September 2008. A follow-up MRI was performed and a spinal tap was recently attempted, but was unsuccessful. Victoria later underwent a lumbar puncture with fluoroscopy. She was put on many different seizure medications. After the normal EEG results, she was taken off all medications. Her SED rate has always been high and she does have protein in her urine, but doctors do not seem concerned. I was told that her red blood are small, but this apparently is not concerning either. She is also slightly anemic.

    My daughter has been seen by several neurologists, a psychiatrist, psychologist, several neuropsychologists, an immunologist, several infectious disease doctors, and also treated a at Wellness Center for a period of time.

    My daughter currently experiences the following symptoms: non-epileptic seizures, migraines, fainting, various tremors, twitches and numbness, intermittent leg paralysis and facial paralysis, tingling, staring or blank episodes, eye pain, joint pain, neck pain, back pain, memory loss, confusion, brain fog, regression, mood swings, hair loss and chronic fatigue. She continues to have bouts of nausea and diarrhea. She has not been in school since April 2008. My daughter can never be left home alone. She can’t go to school, go out with her friends or work or has little “normalcy” in her life. She has very few good days and always says she doesn’t feel good.

    I do not know which way to turn for help. We have seen so many doctors and I can’t seem to find anyone willing to help my daughter. There are so many other young girls who have the same exact symptoms as my daughter and the one thing that all of the girls seem to have in common is the Gardasil vaccination.

    There are no “traditional medical doctors” who relate my daughter’s symptoms to Gardasil as I am told “there is not enough information available” about the vaccine and doctors believe it to be “safe” . Most recently, a neurologist informed that he does believe that my daughter’s symptoms were brought on by the vaccine, just not in a way that he could test or prove.

    There are some doctors who are making the correlation between Gardasil and many of the girls’ symptoms. Other doctors are willing to “try” treatment, most of which is “homeopathic” in nature and extremely costly. Once again, I must reiterate that there are so many other young girls experiencing negative symptoms.

    Each night, I check on my daughter many times in the middle of the night to make sure she is still breathing (like we ALL did when they were babies).

    I often cry and wonder if Victoria will be next one to die from adverse reactions to Gardasil.

    We are in desperate need of medical treatment for my daughter. I have run out of ideas, doctors to treat with and finances have dwindled. I do not know which direction to turn. Any thoughts are most appreciated, especially from the medical community.

    Please feel free to forward this information.

    Thank you for your time and attention.

    Jodi Speakman

    (267) 939-0591

    Jodispeaks@aol.com

    P.S. Victoria is one of five girls mentioned on the NVIC website. Victoria’s story appeared on the front page of the Philadelphia Weekly Newspaper in June 2009 and also mentioned on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer in August 2009. A Fox news story recently aired as well.

    ALSO, PLEASE NOTE THAT GARDASIL WAS HALTED IN INDIA AND SPAIN.

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/14/investigate-gardasil-vaccine-risks-now

    http://www.nvic.org/Vaccines-and-Diseases/hpv.aspx

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/posted.php?id=547704835&share_id=76759221290#s76759221290

  66. #67 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 29, 2010

    My daughter has treated with many neurologists, all of whom have not related her seizures to Gardasil.

    Most recently, a neurologist informed that he does believe that my daughter’s symptoms were brought on by the vaccine, just not in a way that he could test or prove.

    … which of the two is it?

    There are some doctors who are making the correlation between Gardasil and many of the girls’ symptoms. Other doctors are willing to “try” treatment, most of which is “homeopathic” in nature and extremely costly.

    Any doctor who offers you “homeopathic” treatment is not a competent doctor; homeopathy cannot cure anything except psychogenic disorders or dehydration. I see no reason to think that the doctors you refer to who are “making the [sic] connection” between “many of the girls’ symptoms” and Gardasil are any higher in competence.

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