Respectful Insolence

I love it when cranks write petitions.

They’re hilarious. Usually, they’re oh-so-serious and ominous, sprinkled with unintentionally, un-self-aware bits of pure comic gold. For example, check out this “petition” being circulated by the anti-vaccine activists, called The Chicago Principles on Vaccination Choice:

We, the people who affirm our belief in personal rights, in order to promote the general health and welfare for ourselves and our children and to establish justice, advocate the following principles:

1. Vaccination choice based on complete and accurate information is a fundamental human right.

Yes and no. The problem is that what these loons propose is anything but “complete and accurate” information. The “information” they promote grossly exaggerates the risks of vaccination, attributes complications due to vaccination that science doesn’t support, and claims that vaccines aren’t effective. “Informed” consent is not “informed” if the information given is a pack of cherry picked studies, misinformation, pseudoscience, and even sometimes outright lies.

2. The right to conscientious objection from vaccination mandates, namely the right to a philosophical exemption, is a fundamental human right.

“The right”…is “a fundamental human right”? Who writes this stuff?

I could counter with the argument that the “right” to be as free from vaccine-preventable diseases as reasonably possible in public accommodations like public schools is a fundamental human right. More importantly, I’d tend to agree with this assertion by the anti-vaccine libertarian set if–and this is a huge if–in return for unfettering that “fundamental right” these anti-vaccine loons agreed that it is also their responsibility if someone else’s child suffers from the measles or other vaccine-preventable diseases because of their failure to vaccinate their children and if they supported a law that allowed the parents of such a child to sue the parents of the unvaccinated child who transmitted a vaccine-preventable disease. These guys always talk real loud and real bold about “rights,” but they seem loathe to acknowledge any of the responsibilities that go along with rights. I always thought that libertarianism basically postulates that We The People should be largely left alone as much as possible and should take responsibility for our actions rather than letting the government do it. Unfortunately, libertarianism is nothing but entitlement without consequences, if, in return for all these rights, the libertarian doesn’t accept the responsibility for his or her actions that goes along with these rights. The libertarian variety of anti-vaccine zealot never does.

3. Laws that make education, employment, daycare and public benefits contingent on vaccination status, except in the most extreme of public health emergencies, violate the fundamental human right to vaccination choice.

See #2. If the repeal of these laws also made the parents of unvaccinated children legally liable for any illnesses their children passed on because they weren’t vaccinated, with provisions for hefty civil penalties and, in extreme cases, even criminal penalties, then I might be able to go along with this.

4. When vaccination is used as a preventive medical intervention for healthy individuals, the precautionary principle must apply. If there is no public consensus about the need for or safety of certain vaccines, they should neither be recommended nor mandated for universal use.

I wonder if these people agree that the precautionary principle must apply in the case of secondhand smoke or BPA? In any case, note how the petition says public, not scientific. There is no valid science behind their case, particularly given that Andrew Wakefield seems to be the best “science” they can come up with.

5. Individuals who are in a position to evaluate, recommend and mandate vaccines must be free of all actual and perceived conflicts of interest.

You mean like Andrew Wakefield, who was in the pockets of trial lawyers when he did his “research” and now stands to make his entire income from his anti-vaccine activities?

Deconstruction of each of the “Calls for Immediate Action in the United States” that make up the rest of the petition is left for an exercise for the interested reader. And they wonder why scientists don’t take their arguments seriously. I also can’t help but wonder if Ginger Taylor wrote this petition. After all, she’s on the committee that organized the anti-vaccine American Rally for Personal Rights, and she’s the first signatory. It sure looks like her work: Self righteous, full of misinformation, and unintentionally hilarious.

Don’t forget: If you live in the Chicago area and get a chance, head on down to Grant Park this afternoon to bring a bit of science to this nonsense.

Comments

  1. #1 LOO Lillogic
    May 26, 2010

    and I stopped giggling long enough to sign the petition, just under MOUSE. Mickey…

    what a buncha MARROOONS, as Shemp would say.

  2. #2 kb
    May 26, 2010

    I thought justice was established by the Constitution, when a government was organized to prevent anarchy/a complete lack of a justice system, but whatevs.

  3. #3 provaxmom
    May 26, 2010

    I couldn’t take it seriously after the first line—”Signatories.” Seriously? Signatories? Who brainstormed that term. Hmm….signatures, no. Supporters, no. I’ve got it–Signatories!

  4. #4 BlueMaxx
    May 26, 2010

    Now I have to find out what part of the Great state of NY this congresswoman Maloney (D.- N.Y.) is from, and send her a “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE reconsider.. and dont waste time, energy, and federal funds on this sort of stuff.”

    OYE!

  5. #5 DayOwl
    May 26, 2010

    “If there is no public consensus…”

    If

    Does a gaggle of loons form a consensus? How much is a gaggle? More than three? Maybe a herd of consense’s, called a nonsense…

    Cripes. I feel like I’m channeling Lewis Carroll…

  6. #6 rni.boh
    May 26, 2010

    Oh dear, that poor petition has been respectfully crashed.

    I’ve joined in – I wonder if they’ll notice.

  7. #7 augustine
    May 26, 2010

    So science promotes totalitarianism? Very interesting. I didn’t know science promoted political views.

  8. #8 Speedy Gonzales
    May 26, 2010

    Speedy Gonzales signed and accounted for!

  9. #9 njk
    May 26, 2010

    3. Laws that make education, employment, daycare and public benefits contingent on vaccination status, except in the most extreme of public health emergencies, violate the fundamental human right to vaccination choice.

    Wait, is that bolded bit admitting that vaccines can be effective, and even necessary? Which of the anti-vaxxers is responsible for that bit of heresy?

  10. #10 DLC
    May 26, 2010

    I agree on the liability issue.
    If you don’t want to be vaccinated, you can skip it, providing you understand that if anyone becomes ill or dies as a result of your failure to follow a simple health protocol, you can and will be held criminally and civilly liable. Just like the guy who downs a 12 pack and gets behind the wheel. Actions have consequences.
    About Ginger Taylor’s little e-petition:
    Completely informed ? How can anyone ever be completely informed on any issue, let alone on vaccines ?
    Free of all possible and actual conflicts of interest ?
    First : nobody is ever free of ALL POTENTIAL CoIs.
    You may as well ask for virgins.
    (a scientist who’s never had sex is probably easier to find than one who has no potential CoIs )
    Second: Why? you Pots are calling the kettle black.
    As if JB Handley wasn’t in it to sell books?
    Wakefield isn’t in it to sell stuff ?
    You remember… the Wakefield you all rely on, who wanted the triple-shot MMR vaccine ended because HE had a measles vaccine that would have made him a billionaire?
    The Wakefield who got paid some 400,000 pounds by trial lawyers ? Oh right, but that’s not a conflict of interest!

    And I note that Giaus Baltar signed your poll too.

  11. #11 BKsea
    May 26, 2010

    What I find funny is that many of these demands (1,2 and 4) are already being met. When my kids go in for a vaccination, I am handed a form to sign that gives me a choice and provides complete and accurate information. I am free to choose not to vaccinate – of course there are consequences. The need for every vaccine on the schedule is carefully considered and unnecessary vaccines are not added. This really seems like an underhanded attempt at getting in a few unreasonable demands by hiding them in a list of fairly reasonable sounding ones.

  12. #12 Vicki
    May 26, 2010

    Maloney is from New York City. *sigh* Not my district, at least. (Then again, I’m not sure Rangel is much to boast about these days.)

  13. #13 eNeMeE
    May 26, 2010

    Edmund Dante has signed!

  14. #14 highnumber
    May 26, 2010

    Nuts. Working. Grant Park is just far enough to be too far for an unplanned break.

  15. #15 Paul United Kingdom
    May 26, 2010

    I don’t know how on topic this is, but over on the Daily Telegraph they had this link to an on-line comic “The facts on the case of Doctor Andrew Wakefield” I agree it is brilliant!

    http://tallguywrites.livejournal.com/148012.html

  16. #16 augustine
    May 26, 2010

    And now we’re getting closer to the truth. Scientists playing politics. It’s really not about science at all. It’s about ideology. This what I meant about hiding behind the banner of science.

  17. #17 augustine
    May 26, 2010

    All of you guys should go to all of these rally’s. You’ll find out just how elitist and small you really are.

  18. #18 augustine NOT
    May 26, 2010

    no really.. you guys should come to the rally.
    you will see, we are lots smarter than you all are.
    we have celebrities, and a website, and lots of alternative medicine vendors, and speakers and large angry mobs.

    all you have is science, tons of research and silly factual data.

  19. #19 augustine NOT
    May 26, 2010

    no really.. you guys should come to the rally.
    you will see, we are lots smarter than you all are.
    we have celebrities, and a website, and lots of alternative medicine vendors, and speakers and large angry mobs.

    all you have is science, tons of research and silly factual data.

  20. #20 augustine NOT
    May 26, 2010

    no really.. you guys should come to the rally.
    you will see, we are lots smarter than you all are.
    we have celebrities, and a website, and lots of alternative medicine vendors, and speakers and large angry mobs.

    all you have is science, tons of research and silly factual data.

  21. #21 augustine NOT
    May 26, 2010

    no really.. you guys should come to the rally.
    you will see, we are lots smarter than you all are.
    we have celebrities, and a website, and lots of alternative medicine vendors, and speakers and large angry mobs.

    all you have is science, tons of research and silly factual data.

  22. #22 augustine NOT
    May 26, 2010

    no really.. you guys should come to the rally.
    you will see, we are lots smarter than you all are.
    we have celebrities, and a website, and lots of alternative medicine vendors, and speakers and large angry mobs.

    all you have is science, tons of research and silly factual data.

  23. #23 augustine NOT
    May 26, 2010

    no really.. you guys should come to the rally.
    you will see, we are lots smarter than you all are.
    we have celebrities, and a website, and lots of alternative medicine vendors, and speakers and large angry mobs.

    all you have is science, tons of research and silly factual data.

  24. #24 augustine NOT
    May 26, 2010

    no really.. you guys should come to the rally.
    you will see, we are lots smarter than you all are.
    we have celebrities, and a website, and lots of alternative medicine vendors, and speakers and large angry mobs.

    all you have is science, tons of research and silly factual data.

  25. #25 augustine NOT
    May 26, 2010

    no really.. you guys should come to the rally.
    you will see, we are lots smarter than you all are.
    we have celebrities, and a website, and lots of alternative medicine vendors, and speakers and large angry mobs.

    all you have is science, tons of research and silly factual data.

  26. #26 Ian
    May 26, 2010

    All of you guys should go to all of these rally’s. You’ll find out just how elitist and small you really are.

    Neither of which makes us wrong. I don’t have trouble being an elitist, just as long as I’m actually being elite. Of course the elite will always comprise the minority of the population, that’s a necessity by definition. I’d prefer that the elite be educated, wise and judicious rather than simply slaves to fashion; catering to every whim the masses are obsessed about that particular day.

  27. #27 wfjag
    May 26, 2010

    “The unbearable lightness of health science reporting
    Rebecca Goldin, Ph.D, April 16, 2010

    Comparisons between Italian and American health science reporting show it’s la dolce media on both sides of the Atlantic.

    If a daily dose of journalism is essential for a healthy democracy, it may have a less-than-salutary effect on actual public health. This is the conclusion raised by two projects which set out to determine the quality of information in health science reporting.

    In “The Unbearable Lightness of Health Science Reporting: A Week Examining Italian Print Media,” published in the online journal PLoS One, Three independent doctors examined 146 printed health science articles, each one aiming to improve reader’s knowledge of health. They evaluated the articles according to an assortment of parameters, including benefits and costs, associated risks, sources of information, disclosure of conflicts of interest and balance. Balance included whether there were exaggerated or incorrect claims.

    Their conclusion? “These findings raise again the fundamental issue whether popular media is detrimental rather than useful to public health.” The researchers found undisclosed costs and risks, undisclosed conflicts of interest, and exaggerated claims. Benefits were exaggerated and risks underplayed. Reports on new medical approaches were considered unbalanced almost nine times as often as other kinds of health-sciences articles.”

    [see the rest of the article at the link http://www.stats.org/stories/2010/health_reporting_apr16_10.html ]

    The rest of the article, and the study, which the article links, provide a fairly good foundation for the conclusion that a lot of the hype, hysteria and ignorance on medical and other science issues stems from the horrible reporting of our “news” media. Till “science reporting” actually reports science, don’t expect events like the one in Grant Park, “petitions” and other advocacy events like the one mentioned in this blog, or claims like those made by Wakefield, to end.

    Remember — Sex sells. So does hype and hysteria. In Grant Park, you’ll get all 3.

  28. #28 Todd W.
    May 26, 2010

    Folks, don’t bother responding to augustine. He/she/it is only interested in getting a rise out of people, rather than engaging in rational discourse.

    Oh, and I’d rather be elite and of diminutive stature than a giant cretin.

  29. #29 mikerattlesnake
    May 26, 2010

    elitist is such a funny insult. It simultaneously conveys “I know you’re better than me” and “why do you have to act like you’re better than me?”

    You anti-vax folks may not be elitist, but you’re something way worse: wrong.

  30. #30 Ian
    May 26, 2010

    @Todd W.

    Indeed, I was simply responding to the idea that being ‘elite’ is somehow a bad thing. There will always be an elite group, and quite frankly I’d prefer that they rise to that level because of their education and intrinsic skills/talents rather than their celebrity or pandering to the largest group of supporters.

    I also don’t like how the American populace has turned the word liberal into a pejorative term, but y’all get to define your own terms, I suppose.

  31. #31 mikerattlesnake
    May 26, 2010

    Ian @ #18 hadn’t posted when I read the comments and posted. Weird.

  32. #32 Scott
    May 26, 2010

    Conservative is pretty perjorative these days, too.

  33. #33 mikerattlesnake
    May 26, 2010

    @24

    to you or I it may be, but you hardly see liberal politicians and pundits here(I guess I could probably end the sentence there) use the term as a blatant insult. That can’t be said of the other side. ‘Liberal’ is always presented with imaginary scare quotes and rarely uncoupled from the term ‘socialism’. It would only be equivalent if we were constantly accusing the GOP of fascism. Again, that’s common in some circles, but not particularly mainstream.

  34. #34 Ian
    May 26, 2010

    @Scott #24

    As is “Libertarian” and just about any political ideology. Correct me if I’m wrong (please), but “Liberal” has been a bad word for a lot longer than the tables were turned, no?

    I saw this really interesting thing called The Political Compass that shows that the left/right dichotomy is largely illusory. I’m an economic centrist and a social liberal. I found it pretty fun.

  35. #35 Anonymous
    May 26, 2010

    BlueMaxx, FTR, Carolyn Maloney has been suckered by pseudoscience before. She wrote a letter in support of the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project (aka Scientology’s Purification Rundown) post-9/11.

    (Ref)

  36. #36 augustine
    May 26, 2010

    ian: “I also don’t like how the American populace has turned the word liberal into a pejorative term, but y’all get to define your own terms, I suppose.”

    Since you’re promoting statist views then you don’t have to take it too serious if someone calls you a liberal. “

  37. #37 AnthonyK
    May 26, 2010

    All of you guys should go to all of these rally’s

    For god’s sake moron: it’s rallies, wrong spelling, worse grammar. And yeah, I am an elitist – especially in that I try to use proper English.

    It’s just as well that your poor grasp of (I presume) your own language doesn’t compromise the validity of your arguments.

    Rather, it provides a striking indicator of quite how dull your mind really is.

  38. #38 Composer99
    May 26, 2010

    While responding directly to the troll is probably not a good idea, we should at least identify the troll’s errors of logic & fact for the benefit of lurkers.

    For example, the troll’s comment on science somehow promoting ‘totalitarianism’ (comment #7) demonstrates a rather appalling ignorance (or equally appalling misrepresentation) about what, exactly, totalitarianism is all about. In that regard it is an obvious misrepresentation of Orac’s post and a disgraceful strawman argument.

    The status quo vaccination policy in the US, which already allows plenty of exemptions, can not in any sense be described as totalitarian.

  39. #39 Harry Seaward
    May 26, 2010

    Harry Seaward has signed and supports this campaign for truthiness.

  40. #40 Jeffrey Boser
    May 26, 2010

    How come there is never a principle 6:

    If a conscientious objector can be shown to be the source of another acquiring the contagion, because they willfully accepted the possibility of putting others at risk, shall be held accountable for their crime of negligence, up to and including charges of manslaughter.

  41. #41 augustine
    May 26, 2010

    compost: “The status quo vaccination policy in the US, which already allows plenty of exemptions, can not in any sense be described as totalitarian.”

    The error in your logic is that you do not condone the exemption freedoms in said existing policies. A totalitarian approach is the only logical way to deal with such personal freedoms.

    On que a lesser minion on here will give the seatbelt analogy or version thereof.

  42. #42 Lawrence
    May 26, 2010

    Nah, we’ll just ignore your comments.

  43. #43 augustine
    May 26, 2010

    Boser: “because they willfully accepted the possibility of putting others at risk, shall be held accountable for their crime of negligence, up to and including charges of manslaughter.”

    Only if the drug company and medical doctor who sold the person a faulty product can also be sued. If they’re vaccinated they should be protected by the product. If not then they should take 10,000. You know, as a booster. Safety is guaranteed because no medical doctor who wants to keep his license would ever admit vaccine damage.

  44. #44 Ian
    May 26, 2010

    Logic… you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  45. #45 augustine
    May 26, 2010

    “Nah, we’ll just ignore your comments.”

    The ego must be constrained. Good luck with that. Your intellectual arrogance will not allow it.

  46. #46 Jody
    May 26, 2010

    So I signed.

    Dr. William Dyer
    Esoteric Order of Dagon
    Building 443
    Miskatonic University
    Arkham, Massachusetts
    01924

    If you are going to invite the Apocalypse with your insane, anti-vax ramblings, you might as well invoke the best Apocalypse possible…

  47. #47 Ian
    May 26, 2010

    @Jody

    If that’s your goal, sign it “En Sabah Nur”

  48. #48 Shay
    May 26, 2010

    How could I resist? I signed it Lucrezia Borgia.

  49. #49 Fuzzzone
    May 26, 2010

    @Jody

    Should we really be playing around with immanentizing the eschaton? Cthulhu doesn’t like going back into his box.

  50. #50 nankay
    May 26, 2010

    Some mighty interesting names on that thar petishun thingy.

  51. #51 Jody
    May 26, 2010

    @Fuzzone

    I’m just mad Craig Venter put the James Joyce quote in the synthetic cell he made. Me? I’d have put Ai Ai Cthulhu Ph’Tagen. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu Rl’yeh wgah’nagl fhtagn in the DNA.

    Yes, it’s probably best I’m not a scientist.

    It’s also best that my designs for an apocalypse are less likely to come true than the one the anti-vaxers are bringing forth.

  52. #52 MikeMa
    May 26, 2010

    Elite used to be such a good thing. I still like being it and hope I will continue to qualify.

  53. #53 MissKate
    May 26, 2010

    @30 THANK YOU!

  54. #54 Matthew Cline
    May 26, 2010

    @augustine:

    And now we’re getting closer to the truth. Scientists playing politics. It’s really not about science at all. It’s about ideology.

    Which ideology is that?

  55. #55 FreeSpeaker
    May 26, 2010

    #922 Joseph Mengele

  56. #56 Knurl
    May 26, 2010

    Grinning Reaper just became a “signatory”. Occupation: Collections. Organization: Death becomes You in Truth or Consequences, NM.

    @31 Composer99:

    While responding directly to the troll is probably not a good idea, we should at least identify the troll’s errors of logic & fact for the benefit of lurkers.

    Agreed. There are quite a few things I’m very good at, and I can tell bullshit when I come across it, but deconstruction (at least on the level we see on this blog) is not really one of them. Kudos to those who post here and are pointing these things out. You may be surprised how many people are behind you (or at least how many people I hope are behind you).

    I wish a word other than “lurkers” had become common usage for the activity. It really sounds seedy. Perhaps like something involving only a fedora, black raincoat, galoshes, and Nixon mask in public.

  57. #57 Otto
    May 26, 2010

    What I want to know is what a cherry-picker painted with the slogan “Autism Awareness” was doing at 54th and Kimbark this evening.

  58. #58 Knurl
    May 26, 2010

    Oops.

    Should be Death Becomes You.

  59. #59 Johnny
    May 26, 2010

    So who signed as ‘Andrew “Kidkiller” Wakefield’ #844?

    I was happy to sign “Bob” #930

    After all, “Bob” makes money on the vaccine *and* the dis-ease… that’s just how he rolls.

  60. #60 maydijo
    May 26, 2010

    You do realise they’ll probably still count you in the tally, even if you sign under a ridiculously obvious fake name? “We had 980 signatures to our petition!” Never mind that 500 or so of them are fake. “This matters to people!” Do you really want to give them numbers to add to their fake tally?

  61. #61 Todd W.
    May 26, 2010

    @maydijo

    On the flip side, though, if they try to claim those numbers, then they will be laughing stocks when it is pointed out and their credibility will be even worse than it currently is.

  62. #62 dedicated lurker
    May 26, 2010

    You guys have taken all the good names. The person who signed as Buddy Holly is my favorite though.

    I was forced to sign as Aimee Semple McPherson.

  63. #63 Enkidu
    May 26, 2010

    My favorite signatory so far is BSG’s own crazy doctor, Giaus Baltar. :)

  64. #64 maydijo
    May 26, 2010

    @Todd – Somehow I don’t think they care so much about their credibility . . .

    The thing is, if this movement really is like a religious fundamentalism (and I think it is), any fake names will automatically be ‘persecution’ – and just as there are those religious fundies who think that any dissent is of the devil and they will be blessed for going about God’s work, regardless, so, too, will these anti-vax fundies think that this ‘persecution’ is evidence they are getting closer to The Truth about The Global Vaccination Conspiracy.

  65. #65 paulmurray
    May 26, 2010

    I find it extraordinary just how specific and detailed all these “fundamental rights” are. Next, having peanut butter on toast on Tuesdays will be a fundamental right.

    Personally, I think the idea of a “right” is deeply flawed. It’s a spin-off from the notion of the landowners who wrote the US constitution that everything is all about *property*. Since all they understood was ownership, they attempted to justify our deepest intuitions about right and wrong by turning right and wrong into a thing that you somehow have, or own.

    We need a new framework. The notion of a “right” has run its course.

  66. #66 dedicated lurker
    May 26, 2010

    “Mike Rotch” also made me laugh, but I’m really a twelve year old inside.

    The whole religion/fundamentalism angle is why I signed as McPherson.

  67. #67 Kathryn
    May 26, 2010

    Signed as Lucrezia Mongfish Heterodyne, Mad Scientist, Castle Heterodyne, Mechanicsburg.

  68. #68 augustine
    May 26, 2010

    matt kline: “Which ideology is that?”

    If you have to ask then ask Orac your leader.He’ll tell you which ideology he believes in.

  69. #69 Marion Delgado
    May 26, 2010

    In case anyone’s interested Andrew Wakefield will apparently be on the Nicole Sandler Show tomorrow at 3pm Pacific 6pm Eastern, http://www.radioornot.com . I believe the number is (305) 653-1159 last time i checked.

  70. #70 Amenhotepstein
    May 26, 2010

    What I want to know is what a cherry-picker painted with the slogan “Autism Awareness” was doing at 54th and Kimbark this evening.

    Otto @ 50

    I dunno, but piss on him for me willya? I used to live in the “Suzanne”.

  71. #71 Marion Delgado
    May 26, 2010

    CORRECTION:

    Someone just gave me an updated phone number for nicole Sandler show:

    (954) 889-6410.

    That’s almost certainly correct.

  72. #72 Prometheus
    May 26, 2010

    Knurl makes a good point:

    “I wish a word other than “lurkers” had become common usage for the activity.”

    I like the term “reader” – it describes their activity and doesn’t sound creepy or pejorative.

    “Augustine”, on the other hand, fails to make any point at all in his response to “The status quo vaccination policy in the US, which already allows plenty of exemptions, can not in any sense be described as totalitarian.”:

    “The error in your logic is that you do not condone the exemption freedoms in said existing policies. A totalitarian approach is the only logical way to deal with such personal freedoms.”

    I fail to see how the fact that some (or even all) people disagree with a law or policy changes it in any way. If that were so, I imagine that the US tax code would be very different.

    The current vaccination policies (which, by the way, are not “laws”, “mandates” or “compulsory”) allow for religious exemption without any requirement to document or certify that the person actually belongs to a religion that forbids vaccination. Adding to that the fact that many jurisdictions allow for philosophical exemptions, the current vaccination policies can hardly be described as “totalitarian” (or even “strict”).

    “Augustine” seems to be rather “black or white” in his view of policies; if they exist, they are “totalitarian”. I suspect that in the real world, policies, laws, etc. can be in all shades of grey. There can be vaccination policies that protect the public health while allowing individuals the freedom to follow their own “conscience” – like those in effect in the US today.

    And the fact that some people don’t “condone” those policies doesn’t change them.

    Prometheus

  73. #73 augustine
    May 26, 2010

    Prometheus: “And the fact that some people don’t “condone” those policies doesn’t change them. ”

    Prometheus,

    If you had any say so at all would you take these rights away?

  74. #74 Rogue Medic
    May 27, 2010
    If there is no public consensus…”

    As long as someone, somewhere is wearing a tin foil hat, there will be no consensus!

  75. #75 Rogue Medic
    May 27, 2010

    @ 37 Ian,

    Logic… you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    I hate to be picky, especially with a Princess Bride quote, but I think you are being much too specific. What leads you to believe that any of the other words it uses mean what it thinks they mean? I don’t rule out the articles as not meaning what it thinks they mean. No, I am not just being mean. ;-)

  76. #76 Rogue Medic
    May 27, 2010

    Now, to semi-contradict my previous comment in reference to Elitist.

    you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    All of the criticism of people for being elitist misses one important point.

    The Founding Fathers were elitists – unrepentant elitists.

    They were not the kind of whiny obscurantists that are running around screaming that, The sky is falling because of the elitists!

    They worked very hard to be elite. A lot of them were scientists.

    They did a great job of creating what I believe to be the greatest nation to ever exist.

    In addition to the Constitution, they created a Bill of Rights to protect unpopular minorities from tyrannical majorities. This Bill of Rights is a wonderful document that requires us to tolerate that which is unpopular, if we wish to protect our own rights. These protesters are just petty wanna be tyrants.

    These anti-elitists just want to create rights for themselves. They are only advocating freedom for themselves. The Founding Fathers are not likely to have supported the goals of these protesters, although the Founding Fathers would have supported their right to peaceably assemble, to speak freely, and to petition the government for a redress of their imaginary grievances.

  77. #77 maydijo
    May 27, 2010

    I dunno, Rogue Medic, I have a feeling Abigail Adams would argue the anti-vaxxers should be covered by the Sedition Acts . . . She was a pretty smart woman after all.

  78. #78 Matthew Cline
    May 27, 2010

    @augustine:

    If you have to ask then ask Orac your leader.He’ll tell you which ideology he believes in.

    If you claim that being pro-vaccination is ideologically driven, then you must have some idea of what that ideology is and how it motivates being pro-vax. Unless you mean that being pro-vax is so irrational that the only explanation for being pro-vax is some sort of ideology.

  79. #79 Chris
    May 27, 2010

    Kathryn:

    Signed as Lucrezia Mongfish Heterodyne, Mad Scientist, Castle Heterodyne, Mechanicsburg.

    Plus two in cool points! :-) … I love that series!

  80. #80 maydijo
    May 27, 2010

    @66 – The fact that some of us probably would remove these policies still does not make them totalitarian, because we do not have the power to do so. And under the current rule of law, in any developed country you can think of (or in any underdeveloped country, for that matter) we would not have the power to do so.

    However, if you would like to change the law so that I have full and total say over everything, I would not object.

  81. #81 Rogue Medic
    May 27, 2010

    Signature number 915 is Dr. Sarah Palin, but they rudely did not include the Dr.

    I stated that my profession as Elitist.

    In the comments, I explained –

    I, Barack Obama, sign this with my Muslim birth name – Sarah Palin. I hope this puts to rest any questions about my birth certificate. Now you know why there was always a green screen in the background whenever we were in the same place.

    I am outing both of us as the first transgender, transparty President. Talk about being elite.

    I am just doing my bit for people who wear tin foil hat wearers everywhere, but especially for the rabid ones in Chicago. ;-)

  82. #82 Rogue Medic
    May 27, 2010

    @ 70 maydijo,

    I dunno, Rogue Medic, I have a feeling Abigail Adams would argue the anti-vaxxers should be covered by the Sedition Acts . . . She was a pretty smart woman after all.

    The Alien and Sedition Acts should have been ruled unconstitutional (pre-Marbury vs. Madison), but they probably did result in John Adams losing to Thomas Jefferson. Ironically, Adams may not have supported most of the Alien and Sedition Acts, but felt this was not the issue on which to oppose his party.

    IANAL, but I believe that Abby would embarrass herself in court almost as much as the anti-elitists embarrass themselves every time they make attempts at logic.

  83. #83 maydijo
    May 27, 2010

    (insert outraged exclamation here) Insulting Abigail Adams! Why I never! Okay, yeah, you’re right, the Alien and Sedetion Acts were bad and Abigail was off the mark in supporting them; but surely I’m not the only one who likes to daydream about what society would look like if I could mould it all to my own liking . . .

  84. #84 Rogue Medic
    May 27, 2010

    @ 76 maydijo,

    The constitution is like the scientific method. We defend the rights of others to criticize, because that is the best way to protect our own rights. With the scientific method, the criticism of others is the best way to get to the truth, even if it is instinctive to protect one’s work. Even if that means listening to rantings that would embarrass a 2 year old.

  85. #85 maydijo
    May 27, 2010

    @77 – Unfortunately, with political science, there are no absolutes; it’s all theory and opinion. (Which is precisely what attracted me to study it, back in my post-modern ‘everything is relative’ youth – Is there a term for post-post modern?) With science, at least within the scientific community and those who believe in science, you can quiet dissent by presenting the science – the facts and evidence. Facts don’t exist in political science; and evidence is usually contradictory. Almost anything can be backed up with a theory; and even if there is no theory to back up what they are saying, the over-arching theory that they still have freedom of speech still holds and you still have to listen to them. (Ahh, for the days of The Prince!) The luxury of hard science is that you can draw a line in the sand and say, This is a law; or at the very least, This is a theory and here is a mountain of evidence to support it. Or, failing that, at least you can conduct experiments to test a theory, thus generating the evidence to support or discard it.

  86. #86 Brian Deer
    May 27, 2010

    Is it only me who has noticed that the artwork for this organisation is draped with the military flag of Japan?

    Do these people not know that it was under the ensign of the Rising Sun that Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941?

    Are there no American Patriots left?

  87. #87 Rogue Medic
    May 27, 2010

    @ 78 maydijo,

    Is there a term for post-post modern?

    Recovered?

    Ahh, for the days of The Prince!

    Some maintain that it was written as a satire.

    Or, failing that, at least you can conduct experiments to test a theory, thus generating the evidence to support or discard it.

    Or, failing that, at least you can conduct experiments on your opponents? Julius II would be proud. ;-)

  88. #88 Rogue Medic
    May 27, 2010

    @ 79 Brian Deer,

    Are there no American Patriots left?

    These clowns were never patriots. However, they are good for endless satire.

  89. #89 LC.
    May 27, 2010

    #60 Signed as Lucrezia Mongfish Heterodyne, Mad Scientist, Castle Heterodyne, Mechanicsburg.

    So if the cast sign the petition, does “Gil’s Magnificent Hat” get its own entry?

  90. #90 augustine
    May 27, 2010

    “The luxury of hard science is that you can draw a line in the sand and say, This is a law;”

    maydijo,

    Do you believe medicine is a hard science?
    Do you believe in the infallability of the scientific method?
    Is vaccination a law or a theory?
    Why do drug companies abort negative studies? Are thoese not objective scientists looking for truth?

  91. #91 mikerattlesnake
    May 27, 2010

    grammar and cogent points continue to elude poor augustine.

  92. #92 Quit Hatin!
    May 27, 2010

    Ummm, Orac, vaccinated individuals transmit VPDs too. All the time actually. Specifically Pertussis. The most vaccinatey family I know allll got Pertussis and transmitted it. aP is not that effective as a vaccine. Who should they sue?

    There are also outbreaks of Polio, for example caused by OPV just last year. Who should be sued then? So people can sue everytime my child transmits an illness, if I can sue for vaccine reactions. Oh wait! No one can sue over a vaccine reaction, they have to go through the kangaroo courts! I have a friend whose daughter became disabled from vaccine induced seizures. No doctor on the case attributed it to anything but the vaccine, there was literally medical consensus. She had to fight the best lawyer that $$$ can buy everyday for 7 years before she saw dime one. Her daughter has
    been in a wheelchair since the vax. That is just so comforting to families!

    Public school is not a ‘right’ it is an entitlement. Clean air & water are rights, we see what has happened to them! Bodily integrity is a right. Much as you may want to, you can’t compel people to sacrifice their children to the God of Public Health.

    Some very horrific things have been done to children in the name of public health through the years. (Ringworm Children?)

    Vaccines are in no way better or different than other patented chemicals, if anything the science behind them is weaker than the science behind the latest diabetes drug, because the studies are never double blind placebo studies. Sorry informed consent still applies! If you don’t like the info that say, Dr Sears supplies, you ought to advocate for an upgrade of the disgusting, insulting, condescending info sheets that pass for ‘information’ in doctor’s offices. My cousin got one that was
    literally illegible and contained only gross generalities and no ingredient list. You’ll never convince anyone that we deserve full disclosure on twinkies but not shots. Every parent should have access to the package insert, but you have to beg for it and they act surprised! Most doctors can’t quote the ingredients and many don’t even know what brand they are dispensing.

  93. #93 augustine
    May 27, 2010

    Quit Hatin,

    Be prepared for attack for asserting reasonable objections. Ideologists have no tolerance for objections. Especially ones that make sense.

    3…2…1…

  94. #94 augustine
    May 27, 2010

    However, if you would like to change the law so that I have full and total say over everything, I would not object.

    Exactly! Totalitarianism!

    “It attempts to control virtually all aspects of the social life including economy, education, art, science, private life and morals of citizens.”

  95. #95 augustine
    May 27, 2010

    “Unless you mean that being pro-vax is so irrational that the only explanation for being pro-vax is some sort of ideology.”

    Rationality, reason, and ideology are not mutually exclusive terms

  96. #96 Todd W.
    May 27, 2010

    @Quit Hatin!

    Ummm, Orac, vaccinated individuals transmit VPDs too. All the time actually. Specifically Pertussis. The most vaccinatey family I know allll got Pertussis and transmitted it. aP is not that effective as a vaccine. Who should they sue?

    A few things. First, we already know that vaccines are not 100% effective. Second, pertussis vaccine, just like infection with wild P. bordetella, does not grant lifelong immunity. Did everyone get their boosters? Third, individuals who get vaccinated are making a good faith effort to prevent the spread of infectious disease. People who refuse to vaccinate (barring contraindications) are acting in reckless disregard for others. You’re creating a false comparison.

    There are also outbreaks of Polio, for example caused by OPV just last year. Who should be sued then?

    The issues with OPV are well-known, and the risk of VAPP from OPV is the reason that it is no longer used in the U.S., which uses the IPV instead. OPV is mainly used in locations where polio is a major problem and vaccination rates are low (since immunity can be transmitted to unimmunized individuals). OPV is one of the few vaccines that is as close to 100% effective as we can get, but it also has some big risks associated with it. IPV is less effective, but has no risk of VAPP.

    No one can sue over a vaccine reaction, they have to go through the kangaroo courts!

    Wrong. People can sue. True, they need to go through the Vaccine Court (the establishment of which was aided in part by Barbara Loe Fisher of the NVIC) first. However, they can opt to reject the findings of the vaccine court and sue the manufacturers. However, the bar of evidence is set much, much higher in tort litigation.

    Vaccines are in no way better or different than other patented chemicals, if anything the science behind them is weaker than the science behind the latest diabetes drug, because the studies are never double blind placebo studies.

    A quick search on PudMed would seem to differ from your assessment.

    If you don’t like the info that say, Dr Sears supplies, you ought to advocate for an upgrade of the disgusting, insulting, condescending info sheets that pass for ‘information’ in doctor’s offices.

    And what science supports Dr. Sears’ recommendations? Oh, right, none. I agree that doctors’ offices need to be better at informing patients. However, patients should also take some responsibility for educating themselves, as well. All vaccine labeling is available, for free, from the manufacturer, from FDA, and so on, all online.

    You’ll never convince anyone that we deserve full disclosure on twinkies but not shots.

    Who’s saying that patients should not receive adequate information on vaccines?

    Every parent should have access to the package insert

    As noted above, they do have access. True, we, as a society, need to do a better job educating people about where to find information.

    Most doctors can’t quote the ingredients

    Can you quote the ingredients of products that you use regularly? No peeking, now. I’d wager that every doctor can quote the active ingredient(s) in the vaccines they give, as well as allergens (e.g., egg proteins). Expecting them to know every single ingredient of every single drug they administer or prescribe is absurd. It’s like expecting the manager of your local McDonald’s to know all the ingredients in the soda they sell.

  97. #97 Lawrence
    May 27, 2010

    The great thing is that they shouldn’t have to sue anyone – the Vaccine Court is much easier to go through that actual litigation, as the standard of proof is substantially lower (which also speaks to the total lack of any credible evidence for the vaccine-autism link, if you read the Special Masters’ recent judgement on the best three Vaccine cases the defendants could put together).

    There are plenty of people that shouldn’t or can’t get vaccinated – those with impaired immune systems, certain known genetic issues, and others. One big reason for the rest of us to get vaccinated is to help those that cannot – so they are less likely to ever be exposed to those diseases in the first place.

    You won’t find anyone here who isn’t for reasonable accomodation – especially in cases where medically, the person should not or can not receive the vaccines. But in the case of accommodations, it does create a responsibility for the rest of us to protect those individuals.

    So, reasonable enough for ya?

  98. #98 augustine
    May 27, 2010

    Todd: “People who refuse to vaccinate (barring contraindications) are acting in reckless disregard for others.”

    That is your opinion. Nothing more.

    Todd: “A few things. First, we already know that vaccines are not 100% effective.”

    The ole vaccines aren’t 100% effective gambit.Many times they aren’t even close to 100% effective. To many, many people they are ZERO percent effective. To suggest that they are 99% effective is disingenuous.

    Todd: “A quick search on PudMed would seem to differ from your assessment.”

    Todd, comparing the side effects of one vaccine to another vaccine is not the same as comparing the side effects of the vaccine in question to not getting side effects at all.
    Being scientifically literate you should know this. It’s standard practice to use another vaccine as “placebo”.
    Telling parents, when trying to sell a vaccine, that the side effects were similar to placebo is not completely honest.

  99. #99 augustine
    May 27, 2010

    “One big reason for the rest of us to get vaccinated is to help those that cannot – so they are less likely to ever be exposed to those diseases in the first place.”

    How many of these people exist? Is there good non-biased research that shows that this approach even makes a difference. What is that difference? What is the all cause mortality in these people? Was it effected by this approach?

    This is a typical vaccine judo move. Persuade the person that they’ll die if they don’t vaccinate. Person gives reasonable objective. Persuader moves goalposts and says “well you should vaccinate for others”. Objector says “if they are vaccinated then they should be protected.” persuader moves goalposts again. “well, some people can’t get vaccinated so you’re putting them at risk.” And round we go.

    Argument goes from vaccines are enormously beneficial for said individual to “you need to vaccinate for a small minority?”

    Science based? I don’t think so.

  100. #100 Composer99
    May 27, 2010

    Quit Hatin! (@84), I should also add that there is no such thing as “Public Health” separate from individual health per se. High vaccination rates are in your and mine individual interest since they decrease our exposures to infectious disease, as well as the exposures of our families, friends, co-workers, and so on.

    Indeed, it is in every individual’s self-interest to be protected from infectious diseases, and it is the aggregate self-interest of individuals in their own good health that creates the notion of ‘Public Health’. But it all comes down to individuals and their interests in the end.

  101. #101 Fannin
    May 27, 2010

    I was a lot more comfortable with religious exemptions from vaccination before I started reading Mothering Dot Com regularly and discovered how much lying those people do — all in order to escape any and all negative consequences of their choice.

    If people who cannot benefit from vaccines and are at increased risk if they contract vaccine-preventable illnesses want to know whether their kids are vaccinated, they lie. After all, it’s possible to be exposed to illness at the supermarket, so why should such people be able to take precautions when they can?! If emergency room doctors ask about vaccine status, they lie. After all, it’s much less important that their kids be treated by fully-informed physicians than that they themselves be able to avoid dirty looks. And so on and so on and so on.

    I realize that the people who post on MDC are not a representative sample of non-vaccinators, but even so, their insistence that they be able to control whether or not their children are vaccinated combined with their insistence that nobody else should be able to control whether or not they are exposed to people at increased likelihood of infection by unpleasant-to-fatal illness makes them completely unreasonable.

    They don’t want health freedom; they want health license, as in the license to subject other people to whatever health risks they choose without even warning them, and I do not think that is reasonable.

  102. #102 Quit Hatin
    May 27, 2010

    The vaccine court is not at all easier than the regular court. Ask anyone who has tried to go through it. Seperate is not equal!

    I can quote all the ingredients in soda, and I don’t even manage McDonalds. Wouldn’t you expect the manager to know if he was distributing coke or pepsi products? Interesting you would bring up soda, another fantastic product with pharmaceutical roots. (And Nurtasweet was developed by GD Searle) Sort of like Heroin. :P

    So if public health is the aggregate of individual health, we all have the blood of those previously healthy children who have descended into say, paralytic polio (from a global perspective), or seizures, etc following vaccination on our hands. Really what do you say to those parents? ‘Took one for the team’? ‘Bad genes in the first place’? Do they get Purple Hearts?

  103. #103 Perspexo
    May 27, 2010

    @Quit Hatin, Lets just use the analogy of driving a car, if you drive a car into a wall without wearing a seatbelt on your own land and with no-one else around I wouldn’t have a problem with it. If however you chose to drive recklessly on a public road I would, because then you are endangering others.
    Same applies with vaccines, people who choose not to vaccinate their kids are a threat to others’safety and the rest of us should be entitled to protect ourselves from the consequences of their idiocy.
    Just signed the comments section as Dr Victor von Doom, vaccines are clearly the work of the accursed Richards :)

  104. #104 Augustine
    May 27, 2010

    Gotta love the seatbelt gambit and any version thereof.
    Driving safely or putting on my seatbelt is not a medical procedure.

  105. #105 Quit Hatin!
    May 27, 2010

    So you are saying Fannin, that people who are unvaccinated because they have medical exemptions shouldn’t have to hang out with people who are unvaccinated because they have religious objections? Because no one ever gets a medical exemption without realIy needing it. should think you would be equally concerned about scenarios in which they say, spray FluMist containing live H1N1 virus all over the school, or parents who say, allow their children to receive MMR and then hit the public pool without disclosing anything to anyone.

    ER doctors ask about vaccination because they consider every interaction with a child a vaccination opportunity. They should always be looking for say Pertussis or Measles, because the vaccinated get those diseases frequently. Same for the Flu. I know parents who don’t lie, and they get worlds of harassment & discrimination on their own dime. If the state is paying, maybe that is slightly more
    justifiable, but otherwise medicine is still a service industry.

    If you want all who won’t accept every patented chemical on today’s list by syringe at frequent intervals, and hand over their infants for same, in camps, just say so, that will put you right on the same page with everyone else in history that has put other human beings in camps.

  106. #106 Todd W.
    May 27, 2010

    @Quit Hatin!

    The vaccine court is not at all easier than the regular court.

    The standard of evidence for the vaccine court is “more likely than not”. In other words, the claimant needs to show that it was at least just a smidge over 50% likely that the vaccine was the proximate cause of injury. The regular court needs to prove, not only proximate cause, but also that the manufacturer was negligent or guilty of some other mal- or misfeasance. While managing the legal system is never easy, the Vaccine Court is much easier than the tort system, at least as far as winning your case.

    I can quote all the ingredients in soda, and I don’t even manage McDonalds.

    Good for you that you can recite all of the ingredients on cue, from memory, without looking at the list. I’ll accept your claim at face value, since it would be hard for me to prove wrong and because it really isn’t germane to my argument.

    What specific ingredients of vaccines do you think are bad? What scientific evidence do you have that those ingredients are bad in the amounts found in vaccines, administered in the same manner as vaccines?

  107. #107 Party Cactus
    May 27, 2010

    Pro-vaccination makes one elitist, what a load of hooey. I don’t think being pro-vaccination makes one elitist in the least. In my case, I don’t know much about medicine, I really don’t. I know what is not medicine, but my field does not really involve the study of infectious human disease at all. As such, I will, in general, listen to people who know more than me about their respective areas. I don’t know more than the basics of astronomy, yet, because the experts say so, I believe that there is something out there that we call dark matter, because that is what the research of the experts indicates. And for that same reason, although I don’t know more than the basics of geology, I believe that the core of the earth is solid, surrounded by liquid magma. Even on this site, I don’t know much about cancer or surgery, so when I see something here about those topics, I am more inclined to believe it than whatever I happen to feel or assume about the topic. And I’m not an expert on vaccines, but based on the research of of the people who study infectious disease, I believe that they are effective, and based on the clinical trials of medical scientist, I believe they are safe, and don’t cause autism. I don’t think that’s elitist at all, if anything, it’s just the opposite. Being humble enough to admit that you, on your own, simply don’t know enough to build a truly informed opinion, and in objective scientific matters to instead go with the experts and the evidence, I don’t think that is elitist one bit.

    However, to declare that you and your group know more than the professors and researchers and doctors who devote their lives to the study a field based on no factual reasons whatsoever, to put yourself, in your ignorance and arrogance, above people with actual knowledge, because you have the ‘truth’ that the rest of us sheeple are just too dumb to see, and to believe that, no matter what you are right, even if you must continually move goalposts or build conspiracies, that, to me, is what smacks of elitism. I don’t know the ratio of skeptics to anti-vaxxers, but the majority of the population in developed countries vaccinates, yes? This, I would say, makes the anti-vaxxers the ‘elite’ group. It’s just like any conspiracy theory; you have the truth, and the rest of us are the unwashed masses. At the very least the movement some may have some pride issues, and looking at disease resurgences, it doesn’t take much to see why people say that’s one of your deadlier sins.

    And I don’t buy the idea that skeptics are, in general, elitist at all. They’re not saying ‘We know more than you, aren’t we great?’ What’s being said is ‘Hey, these are what the provable facts say, and you put yourself and others in danger if you trust quackery instead.’ I don’t think anyone here is claiming to be better, or more elite, than anyone else based on knowledge of any field. I’m a finance-horticulture major, and I certainty don’t think I’m better than anyone else because I can calculate the present value of a perpetuity, or discuss the effects of the five major classes of plant hormones anymore that the anti-anti-vax movement is claiming to be more elite because we know the difference between good science and absolute lies (like the Wakefield study). The pro-vaccine movement is claiming to be, as far as present human ability can discern, scientifically accurate. And I certainty doubt that the majority of the anti-vax movement, especially the misled and concerned parents who just want what’s best for their kids, actively thinks they are better than anyone else either, but for the ringleaders and hard core conspiratorial kool-aid drinking ones, having the ‘truth’ that the rest of us are too blind and unquestioning to see and accepting that over people who actually understand that field seems much closer to elitism than admitting what you don’t know, objectively evaluating your own beliefs, and accepting that you are not more knowledgeable than the experts.

    In other words, arguing that skeptics are just elitists is almost as bad of an agreement as ‘too many too soon.’

  108. #108 Quit Hatin!
    May 27, 2010

    So you are saying Fannin, that people who are unvaccinated because they have medical exemptions shouldn’t have to hang out with people who are unvaccinated because they have religious objections? Because no one ever gets a medical exemption without realIy needing it. should think you would be equally concerned about scenarios in which they say, spray FluMist containing live H1N1 virus all over the school, or parents who say, allow their children to receive MMR and then hit the public pool without disclosing anything to anyone.

    ER doctors ask about vaccination because they consider every interaction with a child a vaccination opportunity. They should always be looking for say Pertussis or Measles, because the vaccinated get those diseases frequently. Same for the Flu. I know parents who don’t lie, and they get worlds of harassment & discrimination on their own dime. If the state is paying, maybe that is slightly more
    justifiable, but otherwise medicine is still a service industry.

    If you want all who won’t accept every patented chemical on today’s list by syringe at frequent intervals, and hand over their infants for same, in camps, just say so, that will put you right on the same page with everyone else in history that has put other human beings in camps.

  109. #109 Mouse, Mickey
    May 27, 2010

    An old Chicago trick: get the other guy kicked off the ballot because his petition signatures are fake. Better still, sign the other guy’s petition with obviously phony names, so that all of the signatures are then suspect.

    Of course, this really only works for petitions that actually mean something, unlike online petitions that don’t count for anything. It’s still fun.

    Thanks for visiting Chicago. Sorry that the rally didn’t pan out as expected, but we can use the business.

  110. #110 Perspexo
    May 27, 2010

    @ St Augustine. My bad! Sorry for trying to simplify things so an anti-vaccer might understand.
    On one side we have independent peer reviewed medical studies and on the other we have personal testimony, conspiracy theories and celebrity endorsement.
    Simple choice really!

  111. #111 Ender
    May 27, 2010

    St Augustine. My bad! Sorry for trying to simplify things so an anti-vaccer might understand.

    You’ll never simplify things enough that Augustine will understand, he’s not listening. He’s scanning through for things he disagrees with, or thinks he knows better about then selectively replying to that without considering any reasons why he might be wrong.

    He’ll never listen to what you’re saying enough to realise where he’s wrong so he’ll just keep spouting his same set of disagreements, occasionally adding a new one when he hears a new bit of misinformation or misunderstands a bit of science that’s new to him.

  112. #112 Lawrence
    May 27, 2010

    Cue augie comback in 3…2….1 (I betcha it will be something like – who ever said I was anti-vax?)

  113. #113 Pareidolius
    May 27, 2010

    I signed in the name of the Self-Absorbed Mothers for Righteousness! My baby is not a corporate pincushion! You know, the further I get from reason, the better I feel?

  114. #114 AnthonyK
    May 27, 2010

    Why do drug companies abort negative studies?

    I know I shouldn’t bite but….the main reason drug companies abort negative studies is because the drugs they are testing don’t work. Why should they consider funding further research on an ineffective product?

    If, on the other hand you mean studies showing actual harm to the individual patients (side effects, or adverse reactions with other drugs) then a) the drug should not be used and b)if serious, current users should be informed.

    What the anti-science brigade always fail to realise – assuming bad faith and ulterior motives on the part of doctors and researchers – is that the first task of any scientist is to weed out their own wrong ideas. Ditch those useless theories! Only work with what works!

    But then, we Orac worshippers are only doing it because we are all in the pay of evil big pharma…ain’t that so guys?

  115. #115 Perspexo
    May 27, 2010

    @Ender, in his defence when you’ve got Jenny Mc’Carthy in your corner who cares what some pesky doctors and scientists say ;p

  116. #116 Lawrence
    May 27, 2010

    Researchers are ethically required to abort trials and studies that have negative outcomes for the trial participants (i.e. it is found that participants may have a greater chance of dying or suffering severe side effects from the drugs).

    Conversely, trials have been scrapped because the outcomes were too positive not to include the “placebo” group – i.e. it wouldn’t be ethical to deny them the benefits.

    These studies are expensive and R&D is even more expensive – for every drug that actually gets approved and to market, there are probably 50 – 100 that don’t. Drug companies like to find out as quickly as possible if they are on the right track, because otherwise they are just flushing money down the toilet.

  117. #117 Jud
    May 27, 2010

    Todd @99:

    This is a pet peeve of mine (as Orac can attest:) – you’re correct that Vaccine Court is ‘easier’ than the regular court system, but one of your reasons isn’t accurate. The standard of proof, “more likely than not,” is the same in Vaccine Court as in regular court. The standard for **admissibility** of certain evidence, however, is different and lower in Vaccine Court.

    Specifically, one of the standards in a regular courtroom for admissibility of expert scientific/medical testimony, that it be supported by peer-reviewed publications, is not a requirement of the Vaccine Court.

  118. #118 Todd W.
    May 27, 2010

    @Jud

    Thank you for the correction. Clearly, IANAL.

  119. #119 Ian
    May 27, 2010

    Can we put your massive straw men in a camp?

    The reason we have vaccine programs is the same reason we regulate food, or airplanes, or any number of other things (including medical procedures, although I don’t see how that is a relevant difference). It is true that not everyone will become sick if we don’t vaccinate. Obviously that’s the case – human beings existed before vaccines. However, we recognize that it is good for humanity at large to protect each other. All societies recognize this – the ones that don’t didn’t survive.

    In this case, there is a level of risk that everyone is being asked to take in order to gain a larger benefit when measured from the level of the population. Part of the risk is the chance that you might develop an averse reaction, and there is a system in place to compensate people. If you have ideas of how the system can be improved, that’s a useful topic for discussion and nobody here has ever claimed to be averse to that.

    However, the alternative case that you (or if not you, the anti-vaccine group) are suggesting will increase everyone’s risk, not just your own. While you may have the right to self-determination of your body, the offshoot is that you not only marginally increase my risk, but pose much higher incremental risks to those for whom the risk of vaccination is demonstrably higher than non-vaccinating (people who are allergic), people for whom the vaccine simply does not work.

    And as far as the risk posed to the public by those who go to public pools after MMR vaccination (I assume they are contagious in some way at that point), if there was a large, organized group advocating that practice you’d better believe we’d be concerned about it, and protesting it just as vigorously.

  120. #120 triskelethecat
    May 27, 2010

    @AnthonyK : I have been accused of being in the pay of Big Pharma, but my checks keep vanishing in the mail. Have you gotten any? Can you tell me who I need to call to get my checks? I could really use the money since Augie needs more tin foil for his hats,and now he’s brought a friend over too. I’m not quite sure what Quit’s whole name is supposed to mean, but since he/she seems to need a hat too, I’m willing to give one to both of them.

  121. #121 Composer99
    May 27, 2010

    Quit Hatin (@95):

    Unless and until we have a way of discerning in advance who will react badly to a vaccine (save for obvious cases such as people allergic to chicken eggs and vaccines whose viral stock was incubated in chicken eggs) then you are incorrect: we do not have any blood on our hands.

    As has been posted on innumerable blogs and comments (and I am sure printed on copious amounts of paper), no medical intervention, including vaccination, is 100% safe. There will be people who are harmed rather than helped. But for the most part we do not know in advance who those people are.

    We do know in advance, however, that people are far, far more likely to come to harm by the infectious diseases that vaccines prevent.

    To sum it up:
    - We know some people will be harmed by getting vaccinated.
    - We know far, far more people would come to harm if the vaccine-preventable diseases were more common (or left unchecked because of no vaccines).
    - We do not know, in advance, who will be harmed by either on an individual basis.
    - In the absence of foreknowledge, we have risk/benefit calculations to guide us in making decisions.
    - Given the risk/benefit ratio between getting vaccinated vs. the risk/benefit ratio of spreading infectious diseases, it is obviously in our individual interest to get vaccinated, to encourage our loved ones to get vaccinated, and to vaccinate our children.

    You appear to be engaged in the fallacy of adding up only the risks/costs of vaccines without recalling the benefits. Indeed, your later comments suggest that I am wasting my time trying to discuss this with you in the expectation that you are honestly trying to understand the subject rather than misrepresent, in a rather despicable fashion, the main body of commenters here.

  122. #122 Kristen
    May 27, 2010

    AnthonyK,

    But then, we Orac worshippers are only doing it because we are all in the pay of evil big pharma…ain’t that so guys?

    My motivations (listed in order):

    1. The smile of approval from the mighty Orac.

    2. Continued acceptance by the brainless collective.

    3. Big Pharma™ shill pay.

    Definitely not motivated to learn the causes and effective treatments for autism because of my son. No, only “warrior mothers” care…right?

  123. #123 Composer99
    May 27, 2010

    Quote from augustine troll:

    “Gotta love the seatbelt gambit and any version thereof.
    Driving safely or putting on my seatbelt is not a medical procedure.”

    The troll has failed to appreciate how the analogy holds.

    First, let us deal with the accurate claim by the troll: while it is true that safe driving and wearing a seatbelt is not a medical procedure, it is also true that:
    - the motivation to drive safe, wear a seatbelt, and get vaccinated are identical: to protect oneself and one’s family and friends from harm.
    - as an incidental benefit, safe driving, wearing a seatbelt, and vaccinating also benefit everyone else.
    - failing to drive safe, wear a seatbelt, and get vaccinated increases the risk that one or one’s loved ones will come to harm; incidentally, the risk of harm to any other person (about whose welfare one might not normally concern oneself) in one’s vicinity also increases in such circumstances.

    While it is the case that wearing a seatbelt or driving safely are not medical interventions per se, their functions are identical and so the distinction is irrelevant with regards to drawing analogies.

    This lets us now examine the troll’s first statement about the ‘seatbelt gambit’ or variations thereof.

    Since we have demonstrated that the functions of safe driving practices (of which seatbelt-wearing is a subset) and vaccinations are identical, we can confidently dismiss the claim that the analogy is some sort of ‘gambit’ of a kind with the ‘Pharma shill’ or ‘Galileo’ gambits. I will not recapitulate the nature of these gambits here or why they are inadequate forms of argumentation, only note that the interested passive reader can easily find explanations on this blog or many of the blogs that Orac links to.

  124. #124 Quit Hatin!
    May 27, 2010

    We differ on two points: I do not believe that absence of foreknowledge is an acceptable excuse. It just reduces the charge to manslaughter. It does not preclude trying to find out what causes debilitating reactions, or attempting to develop safer medicines. These things are not happening at least not at an acceptable rate. Also children who do ‘take one for the team’ should be lauded as national heroes, if their sacrifice is truly protecting the rest of us. Instead we pretend they don’t exist or actively deny their existence.

    The second point we differ on is whether 250G (which I believe you don’t even get if the child dies rather than just gets sick.) ever could compensate for the life of a child. It can’t. And if you talked to familes, the program is anything but easy to access.

    The vaccine program can’t be discussed as an all or nothing thing really: people wouldn’t start dying en masse from Polio if we suspend Gardasil. Indeed some vaccines take out more children than others. It is the fact that vaccines are seen as a pharmacy ‘growth industry’ and that new ones are added every year (two last year alone) that make some recoil in horror at the prospect of ever increasing mandates.

  125. #125 Composer99
    May 27, 2010

    Also, augustine troll appears to be guilty of equivocation with regards to the term ‘medical intervention’ since that term is rather too broad to be relevant to whether safe driving is functionally equivalent to vaccination.

  126. #126 Chris
    May 27, 2010

    Quit Hatin!:

    Also children who do ‘take one for the team’ should be lauded as national heroes, if their sacrifice is truly protecting the rest of us. Instead we pretend they don’t exist or actively deny their existence.

    Please tell us who those children are, how many there are and what data you are using. This seems to imply that the vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases. What is the data that supports that implication.

    And again, with the Gardisil vaccine? Where is that mandated? Why exactly should it be suspended?

  127. #127 Todd W.
    May 27, 2010

    It does not preclude trying to find out what causes debilitating reactions, or attempting to develop safer medicines. These things are not happening at least not at an acceptable rate.

    Who is arguing against investigating “debilitating reactions”? Who says we should not attempt to develop safer medicines? As to the rate, what would be acceptable to you? Do you know how long it takes to develop new medicines, test them for safety and then test them for efficacy (in addition to more safety testing)?

    Instead we pretend they don’t exist or actively deny their existence.

    Who is pretending they don’t exist? Who is actively denying their existence? Not anyone here.

    The second point we differ on is whether 250G (which I believe you don’t even get if the child dies rather than just gets sick.) ever could compensate for the life of a child. It can’t.

    No compensation, really, is ever enough for the life of anyone. Howevere, some is better than none, no? What do you propose as a suitable award for vaccine injury? Where should we get this money?

    And if you talked to familes, the program is anything but easy to access.

    Who said it was easy to access? We said it was easier than the tort system.

    The vaccine program can’t be discussed as an all or nothing thing really: people wouldn’t start dying en masse from Polio if we suspend Gardasil.

    Well, duh. Gardasil is for HPV, so of course people wouldn’t start dying from polio.

    It is the fact that vaccines are seen as a pharmacy ‘growth industry’

    Citation, please. Seen by whom? Vaccines, compared to other drugs, are not particularly good business for manufacturers. Because of the social and cultural issues surrounding vaccines, they are a high risk/low reward product line. Back when the VICP was established, there was the very real threat that companies would stop making vaccines altogether.

  128. #128 AnthonyK
    May 27, 2010

    It just reduces the charge to manslaughter

    Preposterous. Which children actually die as a result of vaccination? What proof is there? And could children who die subsequent to vaccination not have died anyway? You know correllation=/=causation? And just how many kids’ lives have been saved globally by being vaccinated (oh, yes, I know, none, because vaccines don’t work, right?)

    Kristen – Orac’s begnign smile (and please ignore those who say he doesn’t really exist) and the chance to worship with his other minions is, frankly, beginning to stale, especially since Big Pharma has so far failed to pay me a single cent.

    I’m seriously thinking of defecting to Big Placebo. Could one of our trolls please let me know their pay rates, whether it is a reliable employer, and reassure me that I don’t have to espouse all of their crazy ideas or loose my command of english grammer and speling.

    If so, I’ll consider swithching sides. C’mon guys – tempt me!

  129. #129 Orange Lantern
    May 27, 2010

    Darn it, Todd, you are amazing at taking the words right out of my mouth. I think about what I’m going to say, refresh, and there my words are with your name on them. Right down to the “Well, duh”.

  130. #130 Todd W.
    May 27, 2010

    @Orange Lantern

    Must be because all of us ideologues share a single brain.

  131. #131 Kristen
    May 27, 2010

    AnthonyK,
    Well, I’ll admit I’ve never gotten payed either. But I disagree with you about Orac’s smile, I think he’s dreamy. ;)

    It does not preclude trying to find out what causes debilitating reactions, or attempting to develop safer medicines.

    When anti-vaccers claim almost every childhood health problem is a vaccine “injury”, they dilute the meaning and (I fear) make doctors more leery of parents who complain of reactions. I have no proof, but I am worried there are children with real reactions that are getting lost in the noise.

  132. #132 Composer99
    May 27, 2010

    From Todd W (#120):

    Vaccines, compared to other drugs, are not particularly good business for manufacturers.

    Indeed, as has been pointed out on this blog and others, pharmaceutical companies would stand to make far more money by not making vaccines and instead selling the products used to treat the diseases/consequences the vaccines prevent.

    Why do they make vaccines, then? Partly it is because they are asked to (and, yes, given some compensation for it). Partly it is because even pharmaceutical researchers, executives, sales reps, etc., have (a) interests in self-preservation, and (b) families that they care about.

    If pharmaceutical companies were really as heartless as people like Quit Hatin! appear to insinuate, they wouldn’t make vaccines at all.

  133. #133 Raging Bee
    May 27, 2010

    Vaccines are in no way better or different than other patented chemicals.

    Right — because chemicals is chemicals (and parts is parts). “Quit Hatin” has got to be the stupidest anti-vax troll I’ve encountered here yet (then again, I’ve only got halfway down this thread).

  134. #134 Todd W.
    May 27, 2010

    @Composer99

    You remind me of another thing. If vaccine manufacturers are in it for the money, then why create combo vaccines, like MMR? They could make much more money selling separate measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. Why create the MMR-V and lump yet a 4th one into a single shot?

  135. #135 Scott
    May 27, 2010

    Why do they make vaccines, then? Partly it is because they are asked to (and, yes, given some compensation for it). Partly it is because even pharmaceutical researchers, executives, sales reps, etc., have (a) interests in self-preservation, and (b) families that they care about.

    More prominently, some other company WILL make the vaccine and the first company is still out the profits from treating the disease. So for a given company, there’s no profit to be had in suppressing a vaccine.

    But that doesn’t impact the fact that, if they were colluding to suppress the truth about vaccines as the conspiracy theorists claim, they’d be much better off to collude to suppress the vaccines themselves.

  136. #136 Perspexo
    May 27, 2010

    “More prominently, some other company WILL make the vaccine and the first company is still out the profits from treating the disease. So for a given company, there’s no profit to be had in suppressing a vaccine.

    But that doesn’t impact the fact that, if they were colluding to suppress the truth about vaccines as the conspiracy theorists claim, they’d be much better off to collude to suppress the vaccines themselves.”
    Also if a drug company could demonstrate a rival companies vaccine was unsafe they would stand to make large amounts of money from discrediting it and supplying an alternative. Unless the evil overlords of Big Pharma are all in cahoots!

  137. #137 Ian
    May 27, 2010

    @Raging Bee

    I’ve definitely seen anti-vaxxers on these threads that are far dumber than Quit Hatin’ (the name notwithstanding). Think of the likes of Doctor Smart, or Smarter Than You, or jen, or augustine (the newest contender for the title) who came in on an anti-atheist campaign and decided to stay because people were paying attention to him. Quit Hatin’ might be wrong, but he/she at least writes in legible sentences and has cogent, discernible points to make. Let’s give credit where it’s due.

  138. #138 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    May 27, 2010

    @Kristen

    We’re not a “brainless collective” anymore. We’re a hive mind now. If you’d stay connected all the time, you’d have gotten the memo. We miss you when you’re disconnected. :)

  139. #139 AutismNewsBeat
    May 27, 2010

    I was in Grant Park yesterday.

    http://autism-news-beat.com/archives/1015

  140. #140 Zetetic
    May 27, 2010

    @ augustine #91

    Todd: “People who refuse to vaccinate (barring contraindications) are acting in reckless disregard for others.” That is your opinion. Nothing more.

    True, but it’s a reasonable supposition based upon what we know of both disease and the immune system.

    To many, many people they are ZERO percent effective.

    For people that are severely immunocompromised this is of course true, and rather obvious. Fortunately such people represent a fairly small percentage of the population. Of course it precisely the same immunocompromised people that rely on the rest of us not to be spreading diseases when it’s reasonable to prevent such spread.

    Do you have credible evidence for any other groups where vaccines are “ZERO percent effective”?

    To suggest that they are 99% effective is disingenuous.

    Well then it’s a good thing that the neither Todd W. nor the rest of the pro-vax side hasn’t even suggested that, since to do so would be dishonest.

    Of course if no one in the pro-vax side has said anything to that effect, then to suggest that pro-vax side is making that argument would be disingenuous of the person making such an assertion. Wouldn’t it?

    Todd, comparing the side effects of one vaccine to another vaccine is not the same as comparing the side effects of the vaccine in question to not getting side effects at all.
    Being scientifically literate you should know this. It’s standard practice to use another vaccine as “placebo”.

    Maybe your should stop putting words in other people’s mouths. It’s rather rude. Todd W. didn’t cite such a PubMed study so to claim that he was doing so in that post is highly disingenuous of you.

    How about one that involved an actual placebo? Will that be sufficient for you? Considering your obvious ideologically motivated bias I doubt it, but it goes anyhow….
    Efficacy of 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine in preventing pneumonia and improving survival in nursing home residents: double blind, randomized and placebo controlled trial.

    There are others if you bothered to look.

  141. I signed it as Typhoid Mary and it was accepted! Lulz.

  142. #142 D. C. Sessions
    May 27, 2010

    And again, with the Gardisil vaccine? Where is that mandated? Why exactly should it be suspended?

    Because, as you should know, one dose of Gardasil will turn a sweet innocent 13yo girl into a sex-crazed zombie slut.

  143. #143 Chris
    May 27, 2010

    Gardasil just made my daughter more snarky.

  144. #144 Zetetic
    May 27, 2010

    Chris @ #136:

    Gardasil just made my daughter more snarky.

    LOL! Nice post hoc fallacy! I think that a more reasonable explanation is something called puberty. My condolences….
    ;-)

    Careful though, the anti-vaxers already trying to blame peanut allergies on vaccines now. Next the anti-vaxers will be demanding a vax-vs.-placebo study on the “snarkyness” of teenagers, and demand that it be included in the “full information” to be given to parents.

  145. #145 Pawl Offit
    May 27, 2010

    Stick me with 10,000 vaccines and Ill prove the world vaccines are safe once and for all. Then we create a law that forces all children to be vaccinated over and over just to make sure it sticks. If the parents refuse we put them in prison and put the kids in camps. This is the only way to assure the public’s safety from missed school days and worker’s sick leave.

  146. #146 Zetetic
    May 27, 2010

    @ Pawl Offit:

    Nice Poe.

  147. #147 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    May 27, 2010

    This article is not well written but it is correct is saying that there may be more pertussis in L.A. than usual.

    http://bit.ly/c2Ge7j

    Use this information as you see fit.

    Jay

  148. #148 Pawl Offit
    May 27, 2010

    Thanks Zyrtec.

  149. #149 Sid Offit
    May 27, 2010

    @Todd

    Vaccines, compared to other drugs, are not particularly good business for manufacturers.
    ————————
    Really?

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20091117/articles/911179870?Title=Vaccines-on-horizon-for-AIDS-Alzheimer-s-herpes

    “Even if a small portion of everything that’s going on now is successful in the next 10 years, you put that together with the last 10 years (and) it’s going to be characterized as a golden era,” says Emilio Emini, Pfizer Inc.’s head of vaccine research.
    “Vaccines are now perhaps seen to be more attractive than drugs,” says Dr. Stanley Plotkin,
    ————————-

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/business/yourmoney/26ping.html

    “People see vaccines as money makers,” says Paul A. Offit,

    “The size of the market is incredible, both in America and around the world.” Dr. Mahmoud was previously president of Merck’s vaccines unit.

    We are entering a new golden era of vaccinology,” says Gregory A. Poland, a vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

  150. #150 Zetetic
    May 27, 2010

    @ Sid Offit #142:
    A good point but you left out this part….

    By the mid-1990s, however, innovation in vaccines had virtually come to a halt. Only a handful of companies even tried to develop new ones, compared with 25 in 1955. But in a stunning reversal, innovators today are chasing dozens of vaccines, stimulated by some recent high-profile successes.

    A “stunning reversal”? Clearly what the article is alluding to is that vaccines weren’t considered very profitable before, but now that’s starting to change, thanks in part no doubt to biotech advances.

    So while Todd’s statement was correct in regards to the past, it’s now starting to change, so you may be correct on that point. Time will tell how profitable such future endeavors are, but it still doesn’t change that they weren’t a big money maker previously (compared to drugs).

    Of course all, of that is irrelevant to the real issues of effectiveness and safety, and surely you wouldn’t attempt to commit a Genetic Fallacy would you Sid? Just like we know you would never quote mine someone, right?

    Thanks for the news article!

  151. #151 Jen in TX
    May 27, 2010

    OT: Anyone catch the J&J congressional hearing today? In addition to bacteria-laden raw materials, “black specks,” and failure to respond appropriately to consumer complaints, we also have “phantom recalls”:

    http://freepdfhosting.com/8f02aadaab.pdf

    http://tinyurl.com/39wdm45

    Where’s the outrage from Age of Autism about this?

  152. #152 augustine
    May 28, 2010

    http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2004/11/04/Wyeths-Prevnar-sales-booming/UPI-21051099591852/

    Wyeth’s Prevnar sales booming

    http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2007/07/23/gardasil-gives-merck-shot-in-the-arm/
    Gardasil Gives Merck Shot in the Arm

    Swine Flu Vaccine Boost For Drugs Firm Glaxo
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Business/GlaxoSmithKline-Sales-And-Profits-Boost-After-Bumper-Sales-Of-Swine-Flu-Vaccine-H1N1/Article/201004415621792?f=rss

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/world/view/20100116-247587/Swine-flu-vaccine-sales-hit-136B

    Swine flu vaccine sales hit $1.36B

    http://knol.google.com/k/krishan-maggon/vaccine-market-2009/3fy5eowy8suq3/104#

    Top Vaccine Companies & Blockbuster Vaccines 2009

    And the myth continues. Drug company: “oh we’re doing it out of the goodness of our hearts. We promise. please stop making us make vaccines. We can’t stand it.”

  153. #153 Kristen
    May 28, 2010

    Gregarious Misanthrope,

    Thanks for the info. I will sync myself with the hive tonight. Glad to know I am important enough to be missed :p

  154. #154 Composer99
    May 28, 2010

    Sid, even if it is the case that vaccines are coming back into focus as a profitable market for pharmaceutical companies (both large and small, I would imagine), I trust you can explain how vaccines will somehow be more profitable than treatments for vaccine-preventable diseases?

    A shot of Gardasil may be a few hundred dollars, but I am sure that means lost income down the road for cervical cancer treatment.

    Of course, I doubt pharmaceutical company executives & staff mind, since they have daughters, too. (Some of them may even have had family, friends or colleagues who were stricken with or have died from cervical cancer.)

  155. #155 AnthonyK
    May 28, 2010

    We are entering a new golden era of vaccinology

    Thanks, Sid, that’s cheered me up no end, and what with the failure of the autism-one conference (have they developed an anti-stupid vaccine in Chicago, I wonder) it’s quite made my 48 hours!

    But sersly, I wonder what the reaction of all you anti-health nutcases is going to be when they make the next amazing vaccine discovery, against AIDS, say, or malaria (please please please please please)?

    Bet you’ll still be spouting your nonsense then.
    Have you considered moving to Chicago?..oh, wait, no. Vaccines are only useful before you catch the disease.

    As you were ;-o

  156. #156 triskelethecat
    May 28, 2010

    @ Dr Jay: what a sad article. 346 reported cases so far this year and 4 babies dead from pertussis? I’m glad they are starting to try and protect the babies by offering vaccinations to the parents and other family members, and to the woman prior to delivery in an attempt to improve protection for these vulnerable babies.

  157. #157 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 28, 2010

    Augie and Sid:

    OH NOES!!!11!!!

    Somebody is making a PROFIT!!!

    Why, that’s downright UNAMERICAN!!!!

  158. #158 Todd W.
    May 28, 2010

    @T. Bruce McNeely

    Profit is only okay if it benefits people like Wakefield, Kirby, Kennedy, the Geiers, etc.

    So, I may be wrong about the profitability of vaccines, as several individuals have pointed out. The market may be turning back to the point where companies are interested in producing them again.

    That said, here are some problems with the “OMG! Teh ebil vaccine makerz make money off of their products!”

    1) Should the vaccine companies be producing the vaccines for free? Should they not try to recoup the R&D costs and gain some profit to put toward future projects? Why is this a bad thing, and why don’t the anti-vaxers excoriate other industries (or even their cherished biomed pushers like Mark and David “Chemical Castration” Geier)? If you’re going to argue that profits are necessarily corrupting, evil influences, then you need to use the same argument against even those you support.

    2) How many companies are single, mindless, uncaring entities? They are made up of people. They are run by people. And these people have families. Husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, siblings, cousins. They have friends. All of these people would, very realistically, be exposed to the products that they produce. Why would they actively produce products as supposedly dangerous as the antivaxers make vaccines out to be? Do antivaxers really believe that all of these people are callous, money-grubbing, devil-may-care assholes who would even go so far as to sacrifice their own relatives and friends, just so they can make a buck? Really?

    Take the time to actually think through this stuff, for crying out loud.

  159. #159 Enkidu
    May 28, 2010

    @ Todd:

    Anti-vaxers DO think that pharma companies should work for free. When asked, they can never give a good explaination as to where money for R&D for vaccines should (in there mind) come from, because to them all money is tainted. Yet, unless the anti-vaxers are all out of work and living off unemployment (or a rich inheritance), they are earning a living, making “evil” money doing SOMETHING themselves.

  160. #160 Todd W.
    May 28, 2010

    @Enkidu

    Yeah, I realize that some anti-vaxers do think that way. The main point I was going for was to get people to really think it through, beyond that initial “OMG profits are teh badness!!!eleventyone!!”

  161. #161 Pablo
    May 28, 2010

    Todd – you forget an important component of the process:

    Drug companies are NOT the ones giving vaccines!!!!!!

    DOCTORS give vaccines. Drug companies supply them.

    The reason vaccination is becoming popular is not because drug companies are forcing vaccines on people. They are providing vaccines for doctors who choose to use them, generally on the advice of national and international health organizations.

    They do need viable suppliers of the medications, and therefore require working manufacturers, but they don’t need to boost profits to do that.

    This is like Jim Carrey’s caution against the “agenda of Big Pharma and the AAP.” In what way to Big Pharma and the AAP have the same agenda? I would not deny that the main agenda of Big Pharma is to make money. But how does the AAP have the same agenda, to have Big Pharma make money?

    Would doctors really not choose to vaccinate if their vaccines were supplied by the government? Oh wait, we already did that experiment. It was the H1N1 vaccine. The government bought it and distributed it. And the AAP highly recommended it (despite the fact that Big Pharma got paid regardless of whether anyone took it).

    So we actually have the evidence that the AAP is not recommending vaccines just to make money for big pharma. As if it wasn’t bloody obvious.

    Don’t blame Big Pharma if health professionals want to vaccinate as many as possible.

  162. #162 Zeteic
    May 28, 2010

    Thank you augie for completely missing the point of my reply to Sid. Or were you just being dishonest? I don’t know, you tell us.

  163. #163 augustine
    May 28, 2010

    Zyrtec: “How about one that involved an actual placebo? Will that be sufficient for you? Considering your obvious ideologically motivated bias I doubt it, but it goes anyhow….”

    That’s not a safety study. And can you confirm what actual “placebo” was used?

    Todd: “How many companies are single, mindless, uncaring entities? They are made up of people. They are run by people. And these people have families. Husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, siblings, cousins. They have friends.”

    I call this the Enron gambit. Do you think ALL enron employees went to work everyday knowing that their whole work existence was a fraud? The “we are people too” plea is a poor reason for determining truth. Big Oil likes to use this one. It’s a great PR strategy.

    Bruce: Somebody is making a PROFIT!!!
    Why, that’s downright UNAMERICAN!!!!

    The claim was vaccines don’t make a profit. Insinuating that pharma’s motive for producing vaccines is purely altruistic, not economically driven.

    Todd knows what level Enkidu is on. Thanks for correcting him.

    Composer: ON seatbelt gambit: Clicking on my seatbelt or following safe driving practices will not cause febrile induced seizures. Bad analogy.

  164. #164 augustine
    May 28, 2010

    ‘poser: “A shot of Gardasil may be a few hundred dollars, but I am sure that means lost income down the road for cervical cancer treatment.”

    I’m pretty sure Merck doesn’t get a lot of money for cervical cancer treatment.

    Giving a vaccine to millions/billions of healthy girls (and boys if pharma has its say)at $400 a pop is a better market than 10,000 cases of cervical cancer. Also you get liability immunity and you don’t have to actually prove that the product works in the field. It’ll be 20 years for data is accumulated.

    ‘poser:” I trust you can explain how vaccines will somehow be more profitable than treatments for vaccine-preventable diseases?”

    What does that have to do with anything? Don’t worry I know what you’re going to say. I just want to hear you say it.

  165. #165 Chris
    May 28, 2010

    Zeteic:

    Or were you just being dishonest? I don’t know, you tell us.

    Nah, he’ll just lie to you.

  166. #166 Zetetic
    May 29, 2010

    @ Chris:
    Probably true.

    Just like with Young Earth Creationism, Anthropogenic Global Warming Denial, Holocaust Denial, AIDs Denial, etc., at some point anti-vaxers have to lie in order to maintian their position. That’s a given for any anti-scientific position.

    But there’s always the possibility that augie won’t lie about the answer, I figure it’s worth a try…. Maybe. [shrugs]

  167. #167 Sauceress
    May 29, 2010

    oh we’re doing it out of the goodness of our hearts. We promise.

    Sounds just like Lee Silsby…and all the alt meddies… and all the snake oil supplement pushers, Mike Adams comes immediately to mind …hmm…and then there’s the likes of Thoughtful House…I’m sure they would never dream of profiting from their Autism “treatments”.

  168. #168 T. Bruce McNeely
    May 29, 2010

    Giving a vaccine to millions/billions of healthy girls (and boys if pharma has its say)at $400 a pop is a better market than 10,000 cases of cervical cancer.

    You forgot about the millions of women with atypical Pap tests who require frequent re-examination, colposcopies and biopsies. That ends up being a far greater market than the cases of actual cervical cancer. This market will be severely reduced by Gardasil.
    BTW, speaking as a pathologist, if Gardasil becomes a universal vaccine, my income from evaluating cervical specimens is going to go WAY down. Also, as a pathologist, I receive no income whatsoever from administering the vaccine. Yet I am entirely in favour of it.
    No profit for me. Does that mean I’m one of the good guys?

  169. #169 Zetetic
    May 29, 2010

    augustine @ #156:

    That’s not a safety study. And can you confirm what actual “placebo” was used?

    Nice goalpost shift. The original question from “Quit Hatin!” was about effectiveness vs. placebo.

    Just as a reminder Quit Hatin! @ #85:

    Vaccines are in no way better or different than other patented chemicals, if anything the science behind them is weaker than the science behind the latest diabetes drug, because the studies are never double blind placebo studies

    Then Todd W.’s reply @ #89:

    A quick search on PudMed would seem to differ from your assessment.

    Then your reply augustine @ #91:

    Todd, comparing the side effects of one vaccine to another vaccine is not the same as comparing the side effects of the vaccine in question to not getting side effects at all.
    Being scientifically literate you should know this. It’s standard practice to use another vaccine as “placebo”.

    First of all, you brought up side effects. Secondly, you were claiming that placebos aren’t used for such studies. The PubMed study I linked shows that they (placebos) are (at least sometimes) used for studies.

    So why again are you not doing this basic research yourself? Can’t you find PubMed on your own? (Hint: use Google if you have trouble).

    Oh but still not good enough for you, augie? That’s OK….I have better thing’s to do than do your work for you, but I’m feeling generous today so here’s a study just for you (it took me about 5 seconds to find it) that compares a saline placebo vs. an influenza vaccine, enjoy.
    Safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of an inactivated influenza vaccine in healthy adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial over two influenza seasons.

    Please feel free to look up any others on your own.

    augustine @ # 91:

    The claim was vaccines don’t make a profit. Insinuating that pharma’s motive for producing vaccines is purely altruistic, not economically driven.

    Another strawman argument since nobody on the pro-science side has said such. Care to quote were someone on the pro-vax side specifically said that?

    The point is that there are other pharmaceuticals that are more profitable (or at used to be in the past according the the NYT article of Sid’s) than vaccines. No one is claiming that it’s purely out of altruism, that’s a deliberate misrepresentation on your part.

    The point is to counter the Genetic Fallacy that anti-vaxers always make. The fallacy is that since the pharma companies make money on vaccines, that vaccines are therefore “tainted” and bad and thereby ignore the efficacy of vaccines. It’s an attempt by anti-vaxers at a purely emotional argument…”Look they’re making money! THEY must be doing something evil since they have more than you!”. All while the fallacy ignores the vested financial interests behind the anti-vax movement.

    As I pointed out earlier that’s an attempt at a Genetic Fallacy. Surely you wouldn’t want to commit a Genetic Fallacy would you augustine?

    ————————————————————————————————————————————-

    So, augie, have you found anybody else yet besides the severely immunocompromised for whom vaccines are “ZERO percent effective”? You seem to be ignoring that question.

    Have you apologized to Todd W. yet for putting words in his mouth, and misrepresenting his position? I haven’t noticed one yet.

  170. #170 Zetetic
    May 29, 2010

    Oh! I almost forgot this from augustine @ #156:

    And can you confirm what actual “placebo” was used?

    Here is the answer from the first study I linked to…”0.5 ml placebo (sodium chloride) intramuscularly”. If you had even bothered to have read the paper (which is free to view) you could have easily found that out for yourself.

    Thank you for proving that you aren’t attempting an honest discussion, nor are you even bothering the read the offered sources of information that conflict with your dogma.

    Typical denialist behavior. What was that you keep saying about science?

  171. #171 Orange Lantern
    May 29, 2010

    Clicking on my seatbelt or following safe driving practices will not cause febrile induced seizures. Bad analogy.

    Maybe not, but seatbelts can cause clavicle fractures, among other injuries. There are types of automobile accidents in which you would be safer to not have your seatbelt on, but they are so rare that is is much safer for you to keep it clicked all the time. The analogy stands.

  172. #172 Zetetic
    May 30, 2010

    I wonder if augustine understands that the point of an analogy is use use an otherwise unrelated situation to illustrate a specific concept. In the above case of how unsafe driving can be like not vaccinating, how private behavior can effect public safety.

    What am I saying? Of course augie does, he/she just wants to impose an arbitrary and irrational restriction on the conversation, in order to attempt to dodge the point that he/she has no intention of ever admitting to. Augustine is just making another attempt at denialism by attempting to arbitrarily deny the analogy rather than logically dealing with it. Just look at augie’s history of not reading references that he/she requested. In actuality I’m sure that augie is perfectly aware that in fact not vaccinating can have far wider reaching ramifications than unsafe driving, but that doesn’t mean that he/she will ever admit it since that would mean admitting error.

    —————————————————————

    Tell you what augustine, if it has to be a medical analogy to satisfy you (as if your satisfaction really matters)…. Why don’t you tell us of a contagious medical condition, that is treatable by a (usually) low cost, simple to administer, and rather low risk (albeit not perfectly 100.00000000000000000% safe) medical procedure.

    Just describe such a contagious condition and the procedure and I’ll be glad to make a medical analogy for it about vaccines, just for little old you.

    How does that sound?

  173. #173 augustine
    May 30, 2010

    lantern: “Maybe not, but seatbelts can cause clavicle fractures, among other injuries. There are types of automobile accidents in which you would be safer to not have your seatbelt on, but they are so rare that is is much safer for you to keep it clicked all the time. The analogy stands.”

    That’s assuming you’ll need the seatbelt. Not everyone NEEDS a vaccine. In fact the majority of the people do fine without vaccines. Just clicking on the seatbelt does not cause these injuries you speak of. Just injecting a vaccine never knowing if you ever needed it can cause febrile induced seizures.

    Bad analogy.

  174. #174 Pablo
    May 30, 2010

    I just want to say that, as of post 163, Zetetic had completely discombobulated augustine, who reveals herself to be apparently illiterate.

    In this thread, many kind souls have, in order to assist augustine
    1) done the literature search to find the citations
    2) looked up the papers IN the citations,
    3) read them for her, and
    4) explain what it meant

    I think y’all have done a remarkable effort, and should have given up long ago. It is obvious that augustine intends to make no effort to keep up.

  175. #175 Orange Lantern
    May 30, 2010

    That’s assuming you’ll need the seatbelt. Not everyone NEEDS a vaccine. In fact the majority of the people do fine without vaccines. Just clicking on the seatbelt does not cause these injuries you speak of. Just injecting a vaccine never knowing if you ever needed it can cause febrile induced seizures.

    What? That’s exactly why the analogy holds up. 99.999% of the time you don’t need your seatbelt either! But when you do, it’s lifesaving, even though there is a chance that in extremely rare circumstances it could cause a clavicle fracture or even death that would not have occurred if you had not buckled.

    I wonder if augustine understands that the point of an analogy is use use an otherwise unrelated situation to illustrate a specific concept.

    I’m quite certain that Augustine does and is being deliberately obtuse. I grow sick of repeatedly explaining how this simple analogy applies.

    As the song goes, “If you don’t [get it] by now, you will never never never [get it].”

    (“No, you won’t.”)

  176. #176 Chris
    May 30, 2010

    Not everyone NEEDS a vaccine. In fact the majority of the people do fine without vaccines.

    All around stupid statement, and I would love to know who and why the people would not need a vaccine. But I know anything Augie will say will be either idiotic or a blatant lie.

    He will deny the effectiveness of herd immunity.

    He will deny that measles can cause harm at least one time out of a thousand cases.

    He will deny the one out of five cases of diphtheria end in death, and deny that there was a diphtheria outbreak in former Soviet satellites like the Ukraine after the break up of the Soviet Union.

    End of feeding troll.

  177. #177 augustine
    May 30, 2010

    Chris: “All around stupid statement, and I would love to know who and why the people would not need a vaccine.”

    Stupid because of your values, not facts. The majority of people do not need a vaccine. Their immune systems can handle “wild” pathogens. The majority of people did not die or become permanently injured before vaccine existed. Fact. Save me you little “vaccine herd immunity” lecture. That is for the minority not the majority.Herd immunity is a minority objection. Herd immunity can exist with or without vaccines. Fact.

    Chris: “He will deny that measles can cause harm at least one time out of a thousand cases.”

    Of course I will because it’s simply not true. you forget that those numbers rely on the “village watchman”. The one who counts the total cases.

    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/378501

    “However, 400,000–500,000 cases of measles were reported to
    the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) annually during these years, suggesting that completeness of reporting was (about)10%”

    You do the math.

  178. #178 gaiaincg
    May 30, 2010

    Tetanus immunization, augustine. This is not dependent on herd immunity. Everyone needs it. The tetanus toxoid, for lack of a better term, lives in the ground and most surfaces of the earth. Full-blown tetanus does not confer immunity. Good hygeine helps but doesn’t take away the need for the immunization. Thus tetanus is an immunization that everyone needs. It is also an immunization that can carry risk. Please see the CDC website where you can download the VIS for your reading leisure.

    Cue useless discussion about what immunizations are actually needed in 3, 2, 1…

  179. #179 Zetetic
    May 31, 2010

    @ Pablo:
    Thinks for the kind words, but for me, convincing augustine was never the point. Augustine is no different from any other denialist.

    @ everyone (but augustine) sorry about the SIWOTI in the rest of the post, but I’m having too much fun.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Oh goody augustine replied again! Lets review aguie’s ethics/maturity score so far…
    1) Apologized for misrepresenting what others have said?
    Nope.

    2) Admitting to having requested links to info, and not reading it?
    Nope.

    3) Admitting that his/her statements were in error, even when presented with information confirming such?
    Nope.

    4) Provided a reasonable explanation for just arbitrarily dismissing an analogy even when it’s intent and purpose was readily apparent?
    Nope.

    5) Any sign of having moved towards an intellectually honest discussion, and away from denialism based on dogma?
    Nope.

    Not looking so good there augustine. Do you really think that not admitting your obvious mistakes somehow makes you right (or even less wrong)? Do you really think that anyone here thinks more highly of you for not admitting your errors and lies? Just the opposite in fact.

    Frankly I find it rather amusing how you attempt to avoid the subject by ignoring those observations and conclusion that you don’t want to answer or face up to. That’s OK though, I’ll just keep pointing out your lies and reminding everyone even if you don’t reply to me, I consider it a public service. (Not to mention entertaining.)

    ————————————————————————————————————————————-

    Now let’s see how your recent attempt and denialism and distraction fairs…
    augustine @ #166:

    That’s assuming you’ll need the seatbelt. Not everyone NEEDS a vaccine.

    True, you may not. But if you ever do need one, by the time you realize it, it’s probably too late to change things. Also, not everybody NEEDS a seat-belt either, many have survived a lifetime of driving without one. That doesn’t make it a good idea though, even though some people deny that seat-belts are ultimately beneficial. Do you have an actual point with that statement augie, or are you just making more empty rhetoric? You seem to have a rather low signal to noise ratio.

    In fact the majority of the people do fine without vaccines.

    Since the majority of people in most countries are in fact vaccinated (to one degree or another), you statement is another obvious lie. Not to mention that since most people are vaccinated and do fine, it tends to undercut your position about the risks of vaccinating. Do you want to see a region where the majority of the population isn’t vaccinated? Try looking at countries where low vaccination rates result in outbreaks, or past epidemics.

    Just clicking on the seatbelt does not cause these injuries you speak of. Just injecting a vaccine never knowing if you ever needed it can cause febrile induced seizures.

    Yes, and even eating something from the grocery store can kill you on the spot, let alone the drive there. Fortunately such things (as with vaccination) aren’t common. Thank you for proving my earlier point about your dishonestly deliberate refusal to acknowledge even the most obvious point about any analogy that contradicts your dogma, even after it’s been pointed out to you repeatedly. Whether the injury happens immediately or not is irrelevant to the point of the analogy. The point is that both acts pose a relatively very low risk to an individual, but improve one’s odds of survival, therefore they improve the odds of survival for each individual in the population as a whole. In other words it’s about possible risk vs increase in safety in the event of an unfortunate happenstance that may be out of the reasonable ability to control for most people. Therefore, in relation to the ultimate point of the analogy you’re committing a non sequitur.

    Yes, yes…We all know that you can get a reaction (rarely) from a vaccine, but if you get sick with a dangerous disease you’ll be responsible for spreading it to others you’ve never even directly interacted with (unlike with driving safely vs recklessly). But neither observation is relevant to the goal of the analogy. Refusing to admit that you’re wrong (yet again) won’t change the point of the analogy, nor will it change reality to make you correct.

    Also, why exactly do you also keep insisting that an analogy about statistical risks has to be a medical analogy only, when the purpose of an analogy is to use a different subject to make a point? You haven’t answered that question yet. Also, have you come up with that medical condition I asked you to at #166 yet? I’m so looking forward to seeing what you have to offer.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————-
    In closing augustine (for the moment at least)…. What EXACTLY are you attempting to accomplish here? What do you hope to accomplish by defending a position that you have to lie about, misrepresent the opposition, avoid conflicting information, and hope that we won’t notice these things?

    Do you somehow think that by attempting to score a few dishonest rhetorical points that it will in anyway change reality? Do you think that reality is optional, and can be determined by a debate/argument? You aren’t convincing anyone here, and making yourself look bad isn’t going to help.

    Do you think that you’re fighting for some juvenile definition of “freedom” that attempts to ignore the responsibility to respect the lives, rights, and well being of others?

    Then again, maybe you just get off on the idea of kids dying from preventable diseases?

    I really am curious about your apparently rather odd motives.

  180. #180 augustine
    May 31, 2010

    “Tetanus immunization, augustine. This is not dependent on herd immunity. Everyone needs it.”

    Everyone ABSOLUTELY UNEQUIVOCABLY does NOT need tetanus immunizations! Everyone will NOT get tetanus. That’s like saying “Everyone wins in Vegas.”

    Get the shot. Never exposed to tetanus. NO benefit. Zero. Well maybe some sort of psychological sense of security. But that’s it.

  181. #181 Orange Lantern
    May 31, 2010

    Thank you for educating us, St. Obvious.

  182. #182 Orange Lantern
    May 31, 2010

    Let me rephrase.

    Thanks for enlightening us, Saint Obvious. This is what I meant earlier by “deliberately obtuse”.

  183. #183 Zetetic
    June 1, 2010

    augustine @ #170:

    Their immune systems can handle “wild” pathogens.

    Ah yes that explains why so many children used to die from smallpox and polio. Because their natural resistance protected them! It also explains why nobody died during the bubonic plague, right augie?

    It all makes perfect sense now! That’s why the rate of infection drops during vaccination programs, because everyone is just naturally immune! No, wait a minute….

    The majority of people did not die or become permanently injured before vaccine existed.

    That rather depends on the disease in question doesn’t it? So it’s OK that 1/4-1/3 of Europe died from the bubonic plague since it’s wasn’t “The majority” of the population? Nice sentiment there augie.

    It’s easy to childishly brush off such concerns when you focus on the less dangerous diseases. I also notice that you conveniently leave out that the vast majority of people don’t die or get injured from vaccines either. Isn’t it odd that you left that out about vaccines?

    Save me you little “vaccine herd immunity” lecture. That is for the minority not the majority.

    Another lie, herd immunity protects the population as a whole by making it harder for the diseases in question to spread through the population in sufficient numbers to cause harm. It’s when herd immunity breaks down that everyone becomes potentially vulnerable, unless you live in a sanitized bubble. That’s why falling rates of vaccination among the gullible is a concern. When viral levels are high enough, almost everyone’s immune system can be overwhelmed regardless of vaccination or strong natural immunity. Vaccination tries to not just protect individuals, but to keep an outbreak from “gaining momentum” (so to speak) in a given population.

    You just can’t help lying can you augustine?

    Herd immunity is a minority objection.

    Ah! So now we get to the small-minded “screw everyone else”, part of the argument. I was wondering when you’d get to that. Thanks for proving what a callous, short-sighted, and self-absorbed jerk you are. So it’s OK for the majority to kill/injure the minority as long as they didn’t really mean to do it?

    While I know you won’t read it… but here are a few links about measles fatalities.
    First..
    The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review
    Second is from the World Health Organization.
    Measles A couple of unfortunate points in the article…

    # In 2008, there were 164 000 measles deaths globally – nearly 450 deaths every day or 18 deaths every hour.

    More than 95% of measles deaths occur in low-income countries with weak health infrastructures.

    Wow! 164,000 deaths in 2008, but that’s OK augie they were poor and probably a different skin color than you, so they don’t really mater do they? After all, it’s just “a minority objection”.

    Here’s another interesting highlight…

    Measles vaccination resulted in a 78% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2008 worldwide.

    What’s this? Vaccination lowered global measles death rates by 78% over an 8 year period? But what about the natural protection augie? Why wasn’t it helping more? Good thing we’ve good people like you augie trying to bring those death rates back up in poor counties, right? After all “it’s just a minority objection.”, right?

    Herd immunity can exist with or without vaccines. Fact.

    Well, well! Augustine finally admits that vaccines do in fact provide herd immunity! Thanks for that augie, nice to see you get something right for a change.

    The problem of course is that the only way to get a “natural” herd immunity is for most of the population to catch the disease in the first place. That can be problematic since you are ignoring that it also means people getting killed or injured (depending on the disease in question) at a higher rate than if we used vaccines to get the same effect. Funny how you ignored that rather obvious problem with your position. You also ignored that in between outbreaks that the natural herd immunity can decline, allowing new outbreaks and more people dying/injured as a result, vaccines allow us to bypass that problem through human ingenuity. Also, of course such a herd immunity won’t apply to diseases like tetanus.
    ——————————————————————-

    Of course I will because it’s simply not true. you forget that those numbers rely on the “village watchman”. The one who counts the total cases.

    As opposed to the “village lunatic” that just makes up numbers? I noticed that you still haven’t provided any credible estimates for the fatality rate. No, instead you provided a paper that focused on incomplete reporting in just one country (the USA) during the 80′s and 90′s. What about other countries and other periods? Do you think that the fatality estimates come from just one country during that one period of time? Did it occur to you that the paper you linked to is not about estimating fatality rates, but the spread of disease in the USA as a whole? Did it occur to you that those are two different (albeit related) things? Has it also ever occurred to you that disease experts are aware that not all incidents of a disease are reported and that they attempt to compensate for such factors in their research?

    I noticed something interesting about this quote you made from the pdf. Here is what you augustine quoted us…

    However, 400,000–500,000 cases of measles were reported tothe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) annually during these years, suggesting that completeness of reporting was (about)10%

    Here is the quote in context from the pdf [emphasis added by myself]….

    Before licensure of measles vaccine in 1963, multiple surveys indicated that virtually all persons experienced measles by adulthood[22]. In steady-state conditions, ∼1 birth cohort should therefore have had measles annually during the immediate prevaccine era. This would have been ∼4 million cases per year in the decade preceding measles vaccine licensure. However,400,000–500,000 cases of measles were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC)annually
    during these years,suggesting that completeness of reporting
    was ∼10%[11]. Before vaccine licensure,health care seeking
    and disease reporting for measles were possibly low because of
    the common nature of the illness and the limited treatment or
    prevention options available.

    So in other words the stats you were quoting was from before the measles vaccine was licensed in 1963!

    Can you say “quote mining”? I knew you could….

    Seriously augie do ever actually read the links people give you?

    You also left out a few choice quotes from the rest of the article {emphasis added by myself again]…

    First, in the Los Angeles community-based study, 85%of children with probable measles sought medical care, suggesting that in recent times and in a relevant setting, most patients with measles are evaluated clinically, providing opportunity for diagnosis and reporting to occur.

    Or how about this quote?

    Additional research would clearly be
    helpful to better understand provider diagnosis and reporting
    practices for notifiable diseases, particularly those such as measles that have been targeted for elimination.

    Eliminate measles? But I though everyone’s natural protection was sufficient to protect us? Wasn’t it augie? Oh that’s right…”natural protection” isn’t enough or there wouldn’t be plagues and epidemics in the first place. But, vaccines on the other hand give us the ability to eliminate some entire diseases. Remember smallpox? Have you ever compared the pre-vaccine polio rates (relying on your natural protection) to the current widespread vaccination levels? Notice the difference?
    ————————————————————————————————————————————-
    augusitine still showing everyone how denialism is done @ #173:

    Everyone ABSOLUTELY UNEQUIVOCABLY does NOT need tetanus immunizations! Everyone will NOT get tetanus.

    As has already been pointed out to you, not everyone NEEDS a seat-belt to save there lives either. After all you don’t need one if you never get in a serious crash, but how certain are you that it will never come to pass?

    The problem, oh oblivious one, is that once one get in a situation where you do need a vaccine against tetanus it’s already too late. Just like relying on suddenly fastening your seat-belt in the few tenths of a second before a serious crash.

    Get the shot seat-belt. Never exposed to tetanus a serious crash. NO benefit. Zero. Well maybe some sort of psychological sense of security. But that’s it.

    There you go augie, fixed it for you.

    Seriously even small children can understand such an obvious point. What your problem with grasping it?

    Oh! That’s right…denialism.

  184. #184 Zetetic
    June 1, 2010

    A couple of quick corrections..
    “not everyone NEEDS a seat-belt to save there their lives”

    and..
    “once one get gets in a situation”

    and…
    “What is your problem with grasping it?”

    Better.

  185. #185 El Guerrero del Interfaz
    June 1, 2010

    I love how the anti-vaxx kook uses the argumentum ad populum.

    But then it’s because it’s the US, a place where even one of the pillars of modern science like evolution is negated by a sizable portion of the population.

    Hopefully here in Spain people seem to be more educated and anti-vaxxers, just like creationists, are just a little tiny minority of uneducated marginals. And the law restricts their child-abusing behavior.

    Of course they can avoid vaccines for a while, although it’s quite hard. But then schooling is obligatory and without vaccination, schooling is not possible as no non-vaccinated is allowed to endanger the health of the other ones and endanger herd immunity (except for reasonable reasons like allergy and such but even then precautions are taken). So sooner or later the kids will get vaccinated or they will loose parenting rights.

  186. #186 Chris
    June 1, 2010

    Of course they can avoid vaccines for a while, although it’s quite hard. But then schooling is obligatory and without vaccination, schooling is not possible as no non-vaccinated is allowed to endanger the health of the other ones and endanger herd immunity (except for reasonable reasons like allergy and such but even then precautions are taken). So sooner or later the kids will get vaccinated or they will loose parenting rights.

    That is not quite accurate. There are options from homeschooling, to certain private schools (where outbreaks do occur), and the fact that 48 states allow exemptions.

    There was even a presentation at the Autism One conference about how to get those exemptions. This is one where they kicked out someone who paid to be there:

    A staff member of the California Department of Public Health was reportedly attending a session on vaccines and parental rights. According to one source, the speaker was advising parents how to apply for and receive vaccine exemptions. The session was interrupted by an AutismOne organizer who commandeered a microphone to announce that a CDPH staff member was present, so parents should be careful about what was discussed….A short time later four Westin O’Hare security guards entered the room, identified the staffer, and directed her to leave the conference facility.

  187. #187 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 1, 2010

    augustine:

    You DO NOT want to contract tetanus:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetanus

    Get (got?)the shot. Never exposed to tetanus. NO benefit. Zero. Well maybe some sort of psychological sense of security. But that’s it.

    You obviously don’t know that Clostridium tetani is an anaerobic bacterium that is common in soil and animal feces. You have been exposed to it, unless you are Bubble Boy.

    Perhaps you should read up on the basics before you shoot your mouth off – or is that too much like hard work for your peanut mind?

  188. #188 Zetetic
    June 1, 2010

    @ T. Bruce McNeely:
    [sarc]
    Oh, but augie’s natural protection will surely prevent any such illness. Didn’t you know? It’s true because augie says so!
    [/sarc]
    In all seriousness though, augie has already had this explained, but he/she refuses to absorb any info that contradicts the dogma that most people don’t need vaccines due to their natural immunity being able to handle any pathogens (see augie @ #170).

  189. #189 Calli Arcale
    June 1, 2010

    By comparing it to Vegas, augustine has revealed his true colors: he wants safety to be up to chance.

    You don’t know if you’ll need a vaccine — therefore, in his logic, you should take the gamble that you won’t and avoid the vaccine. After all, the only time you really know you’ll need the vaccine is after it is too late to do a thing about it. So he’s saying that because most people won’t get exposed to tetanus, most people have unnecessarily gotten the shot.

    A better analogy for him might be the use of condoms when the lady in question has erratic periods (which means you can never tell when she is ovulating). 90% of the time, it’s probably safe to have sex with her. So is it smarter to wear a condom (possibly risking anaphylaxis due to previously unknown latex allergy!) even though most of the time there won’t be an egg to worry about, or just go without and hope you don’t end up with the ultimate in unexpected responsbilities?

    Note: if you read his claim carefully, you will see that augustine actually did not say you shouldn’t get vaccinated against tetanus. He’s usually careful to avoid stating an actual position. I’m sure he thinks this is terribly clever, as it prevents him losing an argument, but it’s only on the technicality that you can’t lose an argument if you don’t actually make one. (So it’s a bit like declining to enter a skiing competition and then proclaiming that you never failed to win a gold. Technically true, but rather pointless.)

  190. #190 Zetetic
    June 1, 2010

    @ Calli:
    True, augie likes to play word games rather than rely on evidence and logic to make conclusions. For augie it’s apparently not about who is right or wrong, but who can win meaningless rhetorical points in an argument.

  191. #191 Sauceress
    June 1, 2010

    Get (got?)the shot house/medical/car/work insurance. Never exposed to tetanus fire, motor vehicle accident, work accident, health problem/medical emergency, house fire, house robbery, natural disaster, e.g. flood, severe storm damage…ect.ect.ect. NO benefit. Zero. Well maybe some sort of psychological sense of security. But that’s it

    Perhaps augie is too young to comprehend the insurance concept, but if that’s the case, then I wonder how much in various insurance costs its parents pay to cover it?

    Something else…
    augie’s always on about money.
    Any estimates all up on how much the actions, or rather non-action, of anti-vaxxers end up costing other taxpayers?

    A study published in the April issue of Pediatrics examined a 2008 measles outbreak in San Diego. The index case was a 7-year-old unvaccinated child who was exposed to the virus while abroad. This case resulted in 839 exposed persons, 11 actual cases (all in unvaccinated children) and the hospitalization of an infant too young to be vaccinated. In total, the outbreak cost the public more than $175,000, which would have covered the costs of measles vaccinations for almost 180,000 children.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-nguyen-measles-20100601,0,5116552.story

  192. #192 augustine
    June 1, 2010

    “A better analogy for him might be the use of condoms when the lady in question has erratic periods (which means you can never tell when she is ovulating). 90% of the time, it’s probably safe to have sex with her. So is it smarter to wear a condom (possibly risking anaphylaxis due to previously unknown latex allergy!)”

    If you throw in the rare but real serious event that could happen with vaccines and include it in your condom analogy then it would be better.

    Zertec, do you really want me to respond and shred that piece of work you did on #176? So many fallacies and myths I can’t count.

    How about if there is a chance that your pecker could fall off with the use of a condom. I believe condom compliance would reasonably go down in spite of the potential benefits.

  193. #193 Zetetic
    June 2, 2010

    augustine @ #185:

    Zertec, do you really want me to respond and shred that piece of work you did on #176? So many fallacies and myths I can’t count.

    True it was full of fallacies, but the only fallacies there are yours. I was simply responding to your denialism, but please feel free to go ahead and respond. I’m sure that it’ll be most entertaining.

    Are you afraid that even you can’t spew out enough BS to rationalize your further lies?

    Then how about you just try one part? How about we start with your deliberate misrepresentation of the paper you linked to? That should be fun.

    How about if there is a chance that your pecker could fall off with the use of a condom. I believe condom compliance would reasonably go down in spite of the potential benefits.

    I asked you for a medical analogy, and that was the best that you could come up with? LOL!

    OK let’s go with your juvenile analogy. Let’s say that hypothetical situation was true. Now lets make it fit the real world to make it a better analogy…

    1) So we have from you the situation where using a condom cause a situation where “pecker could fall off”.

    2) To that we now have to add that the risk of the “pecker” loss event is extremely low with condom usage.

    3) Now we have to add to that that there is a risk of your “pecker” falling off even if you don’t use a condom, and that risk is usually significantly greater than if you used a condom.

    4) Then we have to add that natural “pecker” loss from not using a condom is contagious. So that if a situation occurs where your “pecker” falls off for not using a condom then many people around you can have the same thing happen to them just for being in the same room, or touching the same doorknob, etc. Additionally, those same people that lose their “pecker” due to exposure to you, can then also cause additional others people to suffer the same result, and so on. Obviously this means that you too can suffer “pecker” loss from exposure to such persons.

    5) Also, we have to add that in areas where there is wide spread use of such condoms that the total levels of “pecker” loss drops dramatically. (pun intended) If the levels drop low enough then the risk of your “pecker” dropping off for not using a condom drops greatly and perhaps even becomes low enough that the cause of natural pecker loss can be eliminated (thereby eliminating the need for the condoms), but only if enough other people in society continue to be protected by using condoms to eliminate the natural source.

    6) Then we add that in areas where condom usage goes down sufficiently, that non-condom caused “pecker” loss increases. This is of course a logical result of the loss of protection afforded by condom usage and the corresponding increase in naturally occurring “pecker” loss.

    7) Then we add that there are some people that for medical reasons must not wear a condom, but are still at risk of “pecker” loss due to other non-condom wearers.

    8) Lastly, we also have to add religious groups that are opposed to condom use despite the demonstrated benefits and an “alt-condom” industry that makes condom “alternatives” (to the tune of tens of billions of dollars per year) that promises to protect you, or re-attach your “pecker” if it falls off, but none of their products have any demonstration of effectiveness. Also the “alt-condom” industry stands to profit from increased levels of “pecker” loss. So they fund anti-condom groups that spread fear mongering scare stories that inflate the risk of condom, talk about “Condom Industry Profits”, and downplay the risks of not using condoms.

    So…How’s your argument looking now augie?

    I have no doubt that in such a situation that there would be someone just like you augustine, ranting about how people don’t need condoms due to natural protection again “pecker” loss and that those that get “pecker” loss from exposure to those that don’t use condoms is just a “minority objection”. No doubt such an anti-condom augie would also be accusing others that support increased condom usage of being “totalitarian” and “forcing others to wear condoms”, even when the pro-condom user made no such position.

    Think my analogy is being unfair? Then by all means please provide credible evidence that the conditions I stated don’t apply to vaccine use too. Just remember if you try to quote mine some more, I will catch you. Unlike you, I do read the links provided.

  194. #194 Sauceress
    June 2, 2010

    For augie it’s apparently not about who is right or wrong, but who can win meaningless rhetorical points in an argument

    augie’s just a one trick troll. Its only trick consisting of a childish shell game using only two highly patterned shells. It thinks the patterning is sufficient to deceive its targets.

  195. #195 Zetetic
    June 3, 2010

    Sauceress said:

    augie’s just a one trick troll. Its only trick consisting of a childish shell game using only two highly patterned shells. It thinks the patterning is sufficient to deceive its targets.

    True, I recognized augustine’s “style” right away. Augustine’s style is typically used by those denialists that are intelligent, but highly intellectually dishonest. It’s my opinion that augie knows that he/she is lying, but will never admit to the fact.

  196. #196 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    zertec: “It’s my opinion that augie knows that he/she is lying, but will never admit to the fact.”

    there is no lying needed and no irrationalities given. If anyone has lied and deceived it’s the CDC and the vaccine industry. They have reason to lie. I don’t.

  197. #197 Zetetic
    June 3, 2010

    augustine @ #189:

    there is no lying needed and no irrationalities given. If anyone has lied and deceived it’s the CDC and the vaccine industry. They have reason to lie. I don’t.

    First of all, your own statements have already proven you to be a consistent liar. Your own inability to logically make a case for you position and refusal to admit your demonstrated errors are further evidence of that fact.

    As to your reason to lie…again your own words reveal other wise. In one of the other threads you claim to have lost a friend that died to a vaccine, if true that gives you an emotional bias. You’ve already revealed a dogmatic refusal to consider contrary evidence, emotional devotion to dogma sounds like a pretty typical reason for someone like you to lie.

    Secondly, if it’s true that the CDC and the vaccine industry have been lying, then fine. Just show us the credible evidence we’ve been asking you for since nearly the time you first started posting. So far all you’ve offered are papers were you’ve misrepresented a small part of the work. If you want to convince the skeptics you need to provide evidence, just playing word-games over semantics don’t count as scientific evidence of the validity of your position.

    Come on augie… show us the credible evidence. Surely you must have some if you aren’t lying, and came to your conclusion out of logic and not emotion…right?