Respectful Insolence

A couple of weeks ago I made what I thought to be a rather obvious observation, namely that the anti-vaccine crank blog Age of Autism is anti-vaccine, not, as it claims, pro-safe vaccine. One bit of the copious evidence that belies the claim is the obsessive focus of that blog on Gardasil. Even if science hadn’t failed time and time again to find a link between vaccines and autism, even in the most fevered dreams of anti-vaccine zealots Gardasil couldn’t have anything to do with autism because it is usually administered when a girl is between 10-13, long past the age when autism is most commonly diagnosed.

So is the meningococcal vaccine.

So why, then, is Age of Autism going crazy about a proposed vaccine mandate for the meningococcal vaccine to be required before children enter seventh grade? See what they’re writing:

Urgent Calls & Faxes Needed Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 1st to
STOP new meningitis shot mandate for 7th graders in NY and to oppose Assembly Bill 10313 and Senate Bill 7156.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 1, 2010 you need to get in the car and come to Albany to stop an effort to sneak through yet another mandatory vaccine in New York, this time for the meningitis vaccine, for both seventh graders and college students. If you can’t make it to Albany get on the phone, fax, and click on the Take Action link above to send your legislators an email and tell your legislators to fix state government and fix the $9 billion+ deficit and pass decent autism health insurance reform rather than interfere with your families’ health decisions.

No other state, or country requires, adolescents to get this shot. Only two states, New Jersey and Connecticut require it for college students, and that’s only for students who live in dormitories.

Other anti-vaccine groups are joining the bandwagon.

Once again, what was that about Age of Autism not being “anti-vaccine”? If it’s not anti-vaccine, why the obssessive focus on Gardasil and now the rabid reaction to a meningococcal vaccine mandate for seventh graders?

It’s because when Age of Autism bloggers proclaim that they’re “not anti-vaccine,” they’re either lying or fooling themselves.

Comments

  1. #1 Corina Becker
    June 2, 2010

    Wow, I just did a quick Wiki search on meningococcal, which redirects to Neisseria meningitidis, and they’re protesting a meningococcal vaccine for 7th graders and college students? Seriously? Do they even both to look up the diseases the vaccines are fighting?
    Meningococcus kills what, 10% of cases? ARG, these people!!!

    I will never ever take any sort of medical advice from them, not unless I get a second opinion by people with an actual medical doctorate.

    Corina Becker
    autistic adult

  2. #2 isles
    June 2, 2010

    It’s pretty telling that they feel the need to pretend they’re pro-vaccine. They KNOW vaccines are important. They KNOW vaccines save lives. They KNOW that reasonable people are uniformly in favor of vaccines.

    And yet they’re so far down the path of delusion, they just can’t turn back.

  3. #3 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    June 2, 2010

    I’m sure the discussion will revolve around how many people die of bacterial meningitis ignoring some of the rather unfortunate and gruesome permanent sequalae, including blindness, deafness, neurological impairment, and my favorite, amputation due to meningococcal septicemia. Timmy may be deaf, blind, and limbless, but oh happy day, he’s alive!

    Once again, serious side effects of the vaccine are about 1/1,000,000.

  4. #4 paulmurray
    June 2, 2010

    Well, herd immunity will tend to protect the unvaccinated, unless (of course) large numbers of unvaccinated children come into contact more than one would statistically expect from rand chance.

    Where might such a thing happen? The creche at AoA/antivaxx rallies. Obviously.

    Should there be a major outbreak of vaccine-preventable disease, it will be interesting if the vectors all lead back to one of these get-togethers.

    Maybe I’m not the only one this has occured to. Maybe that’s why the rally in chicago only got 200 people attending.

  5. #5 Sauceress
    June 2, 2010

    My, they’re a helpful lot over there at anti-vaxx rent-a-crowd central aren’t they.

    Handouts will be provided and we will help you find your legislators……
    PLEASE RAISE THESE POINTS!

    and exasperated says

    Here is the link for the proposed bill. This article should have included that.
    At the link, there is a “comments” space at the bottom. Leave comments there.
    THE PROPOSED BILL IS HERE:
    http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/api/1.0/html/bill/S7156

    Translation:
    No personal intelletual, or objective, effort required.
    We’ll tell you what to think, what to do, where to go, and what to say.

  6. #6 Rogue Medic
    June 2, 2010

    They aren’t anti-vaccine.

    They are anti-health.

    They are anti-child.

  7. #7 ChrisKid
    June 2, 2010

    They have to object to all vaccines, even if there is no possibility of any connection with autism, because if any on vaccine is considered safe, it throws all the rest of their objections into question. They simply cannot allow the thought of safe vaccines to come up.

  8. #8 NZ Sceptic
    June 2, 2010

    AOA is a business, pure and simple. It’s committed to deceieving parents into believing vaccines cause autism then selling them thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of over-hyped, under-proven supplements and dubious regimes. Their point is encapsulated neatly in this comment which was posted in response to Kent Heckenlively’s rambling and nonsensical comparison of Autism One with the TV series ‘Lost’.

    A mother says:

    “I so wished I could have been a part of Autism One last week, to meet and be inspired by the leaders of our Rebellion, however, funding and lack of vacation time kept me at my post. We did celebrate a victory two weeks ago against the Empire. My nephew, Alexander, was not given the Hep B vaccine at birth and will not be vaccinated any time in the near future. Three cheers for saving a child from autism!”

    It saddens me, but there you have it. AOA’s followers are completely brainwashed and it’s going to take some enormous miracle to undo the damage!

  9. #9 Lawrence
    June 2, 2010

    “Save a child from Autism – kill them with Pertussis!!!”

    How long before some of the whackos start intentionally spreading diseases to children to prevent them from getting the vaccines? You might see measles parties for babies – or worse, trying to sneak infected children into hospitals or pediatrician offices at peak times.

    And I just read an Article in SkyNews that we may be on the verge of a Breast Cancer vaccine – if that is true, I wonder how AoA will deal with that?

    Wackos.

  10. #10 Jud
    June 2, 2010

    Friend of mine from Oklahoma, a very beautiful young woman, died of bacterial meningitis.

    Go vaccines!

  11. #11 DayOwl
    June 2, 2010

    As the mother of a bacterial meningitis victim, all I can say is: “Arghhh!”

  12. #12 MI Dawn
    June 2, 2010

    I don’t know whether it’s true that the vaccine is only required in NJ and CT. Both of my children, as college students in VA, had to either get the vaccine or give a medical exemption. I don’t recall there was an option for philosophical exemption (although I could be wrong). Personally, I was VERY happy they were protected from meningitis, especially when it swept through some colleges a few years ago.

  13. #13 Dexter
    June 2, 2010

    Autism or no, there is a legitimate debate on whether the Gardasil vaccine should be mandatory. HPV is really not a killer. It may lead to cancer down the line, but the risk is much lower than for other transmissible diseases. Getting the vaccine may be a good idea, but making it mandatory is pushing the line a bit far.

  14. #14 bensmyson
    June 2, 2010

    I will petition against this bill simply because it makes the vaccine mandatory. Im not against this vaccine, just against the government forcing citizens to inject anything into their body.

    This has little to do with safety and what a wonderful (sarcasm) job the CDC does at protecting us, even though they lie and put children in Washington, DC in extreme danger.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/19/AR2010051902599.html

  15. #15 Poogles
    June 2, 2010

    Is someone trying to make Gardisil mandatory? I hadn’t heard anything about that…except from paranoid anti-vaccer’s of course..

  16. #16 am
    June 2, 2010

    Vaccines for stuff like Chicken Pox and HPV are totally unnecessary, it is just pharma companies working with government to take away our rights to decide about our own bodies and our children’s needs. Don’t believe the hype.

  17. #17 MissGrace
    June 2, 2010

    “It may lead to cancer down the line but the risk is much lower than for other transmissible diseases…”

    That sentence doesn’t even make sense – what other transmissible (?) diseases cause cervical cancer? And you also need to weigh up the risks of the disease itself – which are grave: death, infertility, distress, trauma, mental health issues – and in a population (younger women) that generally don’t get affected by cancer.

    And what exactly are the quantifiable and proven risks of the vaccine?

    TWAT.

    Love,
    The daughter of cervical and breast cancer survivor

  18. #18 D. C. Sessions
    June 2, 2010

    Where do they get that “two states for college students” nonsense?

    Certainly the University of Arizona and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NM Tech) won’t admit freshmen who can’t show proof of vaccination.

  19. #19 mikerattlesnake
    June 2, 2010

    @15 am

    And what, exactly, are your qualifications? You seem pretty quick to make assertions without any justification or citations. If you’ve got anything more than histrionic chicken-little-ing to share with us, feel free. Otherwise maybe you should educate yourself (and no, that doesn’t mean reading opinion pieces on AoA, I’m talking about actual scientific data and research) and come back when you have something meaningful to add.

  20. #20 Rene Najera
    June 2, 2010

    It has been my experience that many people who are anti-vaccine are quick to point at death as the final outcome of a disease. Since people are not dying en mass from a vaccine-preventable disease, they don’t see any need for vaccinations. They also point to people who contract a vaccine-preventable disease while vaccinated as an example of vaccines not working. They fail to understand that vaccine-preventable is a Public Health term, not necessarily applicable to an individual.
    When reasonable people try to point out to them that there are psychological, social, and economic impacts to vaccine-preventable diseases (because we’ve gotten so good at keeping someone with a disease alive longer), anti-vaccine people plug their ears and chant.

    To quote the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    “Shredder, you gotta listen to reason! You’re going to destroy us all!”
    Shredder responds by ominously saying, “Then so be it.”

  21. #21 Denice Walter
    June 2, 2010

    Another anti-vax screed being circulated around the net,”Will Merck’s Gardasil HPV Vaccine be its Next Vioxx?”, compares the “dangerous” vaccine to the much “safer” problems with Toyota gas pedals.Authored by Richard Gale and Gary Null(The Progressive Radio Network;5/25/10),the article is the newest installment in their series of “white papers”/”investigative reports” about vaccines posted in the past year.

  22. #22 jen
    June 2, 2010

    Gardasil is a piece of shit and Merck’s Rotateq is a piece of shit.(same as the other pig infested rota vaccine). Why would you inject a piece of shit into a perfectly healthy kid? Paul Offit should be ashamed.

  23. #23 JohnV
    June 2, 2010

    I totally agree jen. Also, why would you wear a seat belt while driving a perfectly intact car that hasn’t even been in an accident?

  24. #24 Scott
    June 2, 2010

    @ jen:

    Facts and evidence please, not meaningless and unsupported accusations.

  25. #25 Reginald
    June 2, 2010

    Dang, I didn’t even know there was a meningitis vaccine. Is it relatively new because I don’t think I got it as a kid. That would have been badass, Meningitis is awful.

  26. #26 realinterrobang
    June 2, 2010

    Speaking as someone who had a very tense few months because of a couple of irregular pap smears thanks to a HPV infection, I wish I could have gotten vaccinated against HPV when I was a kid. Having to have multiple pap smears in the same six months is not exactly a day at the beach, either.

    What I don’t understand is why they’re currently only vaccinating girls, and why Gardasil doesn’t seem to have been tested on men at all. Those HPV infections in women come from somewhere, usually from men. Men get HPV infections too, which can cause penile and anal cancers, but unless a man’s actually got visible genital warts, it’s impossible to tell whether he’s an HPV carrier or not. I realise that the majority of the HPV-caused cancers occur in women, which is why Gardasil has been focused on them, but women are generally not transmitting HPV between themselves. (Sociologically speaking from a feminist perspective, the focus on only preventing HPV in women looks an awful lot like a manifestation of the cultural belief that women are the “gatekeepers” of sex, and are therefore responsible for any and all forms of related prophylaxis.)

  27. #27 Calli Arcale
    June 2, 2010

    I had meningitis when I was four. I nearly died, though it was probably not bacterial. (Due to a couple of path lab screwups, the actual pathogen was never identified. Disease etiology more closely resembled a viral meningitis, however.) I was lucky to escape with no long-term sequelae, apart from having to be potty trained all over again. But it was two weeks in the hospital, followed by a long recovery. And those two weeks were . . . strange. The first few days were very confusing, as I had a high fever that would not come down much. (107F when I was admitted.) Because HiB and meningococcal disease could not be ruled out (thanks to the path lab screwup), I was placed into isolation. Terrible thing for a four-year-old, but I wasn’t really very responsive anyway. By the time my fever broke, they were able to move me into a private room. That may have been worse, because when I was in isolation, I could at least make friends with the girl in the next bed. We were separated by glass, of course, but at least it was another child. I do fondly remember the playroom, and the cart they used to wheel me down. It had a built-in IV stand for my drip. By the end, when I was starting to recover, I was able to stand on the feet of the IV stand while someone pushed that, which was very exciting for a little girl.

    I was very lucky indeed that all I needed was intensive hospital care for a couple of weeks, and came out mostly with interesting stories to tell. I’m luckier still that it happened before I started school; I would’ve been out of school for a whole month, most likely, including my convalescence.

    Damn straight my kids got the HiB vaccine, and damn straight they’ll get the meningococcal vaccine when the time comes. It’s a scary, scary disease. Comes on like lightning, too. I went from “I have a headache; can I have some water?” to delirious and projectile vomiting in about half an hour. Within an hour of first onset, I was admitted to the hospital. Pissed off a family waiting to get their kid’s broken arm set, but meningitis patients get priority, because of the risk of brain injury.

    Yes, brain injury. AoA is opposing a vaccine that will prevent some cases of brain injury. That’s nothing new, though, since measles can also cause meningitis and encephalitis, and they’ve got a long history of opposing that vaccine.

  28. #28 Rene Najera
    June 2, 2010

    @Realinterrobang
    It’s in the works for MSM, while men between 9 and 26 are already approved to take the vaccine. It just doesn’t make the news like you think it should… We are, after all, the vectors of HPV.

    LINK

  29. #29 Calli Arcale
    June 2, 2010

    realinterrobang: HPV vaccines are being rolled out for males as well. Mostly, it comes up against the FDA approval process (you have to approve things for specific indications) and the ethics of vaccines. All the talk about herd immunity tends to confuse people, because vaccines are never approved on the basis of helping the herd. They have to benefit the individual. Gardasil is approved for the prevention of cervical cancer that is caused by one of three HPV strains. Men don’t get cervical cancer; thus, it is not approved for use in men. Merck is, however, going through the approval process to get it approved for prevention of penile cancer, and then we will start to see more men vaccinated.

    Fact is, you can’t vaccinate a population to purely protect another population; it’s considered unethical. The vaccinated population has to benefit too. That’s why they’re working to get it approved for the prevention of penile cancer, because then there would be an approved indication for males.

  30. #30 Marc
    June 2, 2010

    @Calle Arcale:

    Me too, only I was two at the time and it was known that HiB caused my meningitis. I think my father, if he were still alive, would throttle some of these folks who have clearly never dealt with these sorts of diseases for suggesting they are unnecessary.

  31. #31 Scott
    June 2, 2010

    Yes, brain injury. AoA is opposing a vaccine that will prevent some cases of brain injury. That’s nothing new, though, since measles can also cause meningitis and encephalitis, and they’ve got a long history of opposing that vaccine.

    The most ironic, though, is their opposition to the rubella vaccine.

  32. #32 Calli Arcale
    June 2, 2010

    I stand corrected — it’s already approved for men! Cool! Thanks, Rene!

  33. #33 https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnXstPuvYMCXA8_0FBeZXUCruIJBFUL384
    June 2, 2010

    wow, just, wow. I remember back in 90-92 a few students at UIUC died, and they gave everyone on campus the vaccine. No one protested that I remember; we were more concerned with living, and even then living without horrible side effects of the disease.

    Given how many people die from this every year, in addition to having horrible complications, how could anyone be against it? You’d think by now we’d be giving this vaccine out to everyone.

  34. #34 Mu
    June 2, 2010

    Chriskid nailed it, Jen & Co just can’t have any vaccine be beneficial and needed. Both the HPV and meningitis vaccines treat so far unconquered, relevant to today’s society diseases, and worse, they do it at an age where the patient understands the importance of it. This might lead them to a less biased view on vaccines when the decision on vaccinating their children 5 – 10 years down the road comes up. It’s easy to argue against stuff like polio and measles, things no one has seen epidemic in 30 years to half a century; stuff that can hit you in a college dorm might get you pro-vaccine just at the age they are trying to hook you on their philosophy.

  35. #35 Dan Weber
    June 2, 2010

    This might get me in trouble, but I do have a fair bit of respect for the “health freedom” argument the anti-vaxxers make. In general, the Federal government should not be able to tell you what to do with your body unless there is a very clear and immediate danger to some other person. And “you might potentially give a disease to someone else” doesn’t cut it for me; there are lots of things that I can do that could potentially hurt another person, but we don’t have prior restraint on them. Freedom for you also means freedom for other people, and they might occasionally misuse that freedom.

    However, I drop those qualms about “health freedom” when we are dealing with individual states. If New York state wants to decide that seventh graders must get meningococcus vaccines, more power to them. Moving between states isn’t trivial, but if this policy is that offensive to you, you can move to another state that doesn’t have such a policy.

    The smaller the government unit, the more control over community decisions I’m comfortable with. Individual school systems ought to be able to be very aggressive in requiring vaccine compliance.

  36. #36 Pablo
    June 2, 2010

    Freedom for you also means freedom for other people, and they might occasionally misuse that freedom.

    Define “misuse”? If they misuse that freedom to put others in society at risk, then the government certainly does have a right to intervene.

    You mis-understand the purpose of “mandatory” vaccination. It is not about them. It’s about everyone else. It is about the risk that they present to others by not being vaccinated.

    Everyone will agree that people can choose to have their kids unvaccinated provided 1) they do not send them to public schools, 2) they do not use public facilities, and shoot, 3) they completely keep them away from the public without prominently displaying a caution sign that says, “I am unvaccinated.”

    If they are willing to agree to these stipulations, then they can be as unvaccinated as they want.

    However, if you expect to interact with society at all, then you have a responsibility to the members of society that you participate to benefit everyone. Morons like Sid Offit and Jay Gordon are perfectly willing – nay, REQUIRE that everyone ELSE participate in an activity that they deem to be dangerous, because everyone else doing it means they can get a way without having to. The government says, no, you can’t do that. If we are going to do this, we are going to ALL do it, and you are not going to sponge off the sacrifices of others.

    With the rights of society come responsibilities. If you aren’t willing to live up to your responsibilities, then you do not have the right to participate.

  37. #37 augustine
    June 2, 2010

    Is someone trying to make Gardisil mandatory? I hadn’t heard anything about that…except from paranoid anti-vaccer’s of course..”

    Every vaccine’s dream is to become mandated by the government. Even before it is conceived it wants to be mandated. It’s mommy and daddy also have high hopes and inspirations for it. It’s like a son who makes it to the big leagues or the NFL. Mandatory vaccine is the ultimate dream status. It doesn’t happen by accident.

  38. #38 Poogles
    June 2, 2010

    “Why would you inject a piece of shit into a perfectly healthy kid?”

    That wouldn’t be us, it would be people like Emily McDonald, the sMothering mother who put shit into her daughter’s IV line in the hospital. Does anyone know off the top of their head if she was anti-vacc? Since she was quite a regular on MDC, the probability is pretty likely, but I can’t remember for sure…

  39. #39 superdave
    June 2, 2010

    most of the comments have addressed points I wanted to make especially chriskid, but I want to point out something important to this discussions.

    Vaccine SAFETY and EFFECTIVENESS is a matter of science.
    The Age of Autism and others argue that vaccines are neither, when the science clearly proves otherwise.

    The politics of mandatory vaccinations however, are an entirely philosophical debate and a matter of personal opinion. The science can inform the politics but the arguments are different and one should not get swept up into anti vaccine rhetoric when the argument one is trying to make is a small government rhetoric.

  40. #40 Composer99
    June 2, 2010

    1 to 2 years before I started high school, there was an outbreak of meningitis (can’t remember which type) which killed 2 students at the school I was to attend.

    I was quite happy to get the vaccine that spring.

  41. #41 Anton P. Nym
    June 2, 2010

    And “you might potentially give a disease to someone else” doesn’t cut it for me; there are lots of things that I can do that could potentially hurt another person, but we don’t have prior restraint on them.

    Of course we do. Try digging a two-holer in your suburban back yard instead of using a septic or sewage system mandated by building code… and many cities instituted laws against spitting on the sidewalk as a means to control the spread of tuberculosis. Oh, yeah, and then there are health codes constraining how we store and prepare food…

    My freedom to put myself at risk does not extend to putting you at risk, to oversimplify.

    — Steve

  42. #42 Sullivan
    June 2, 2010

    When I read their action alert I was struck by one thing–

    any actual discussion of vaccine safety. Nothing stating “this vaccine is unsafe”. The only rationale for fighting this is the fact that it is a vaccine.

    There are true vaccine safety advocates in this world. AgeOfAutism and their cohorts are not amongst them.

  43. #43 Scott
    June 2, 2010

    @ Dan:

    The other big problem I have with the “health freedom” angle is that we’re not, for the most part, talking about individuals choosing whether or not to get vaccinated themselves. It’s mostly about whether parents will vaccinate their children. Yes, there’s properly quite a bit of deference to parental choice in general, but still far less than to an adult’s decisions for themselves.

    So we’re not talking about freedom to decide what happens with one’s own body. We’re talking about the freedom to decide whether one’s children are left vulnerable to disease. That’s a very different, and harder, question.

  44. #44 Sauceress
    June 2, 2010

    @9 Lawrence

    we may be on the verge of a Breast Cancer vaccine – if that is true, I wonder how AoA will deal with that?

    I was wondering the exact same thing. My bet is on something like..
    “Now evil Big Pharma and Big Gubmint is trying to stop us from breastfeeding”

    Utterly stupid…but hey it fits with that anti-vaxx tunnel vision mindset.

  45. #45 Dan Weber
    June 2, 2010

    Define “misuse”? If they misuse that freedom to put others in society at risk, then the government certainly does have a right to intervene.

    I can own a gun. That puts my neighbor “at risk,” because I could shoot him with it. Merely putting someone “at risk” is a very low bar for taking away freedom.

    Freedom can be messy at times. We deal with people misusing their freedoms (say, me shooting my neighbor) by punishing them after the fact. Now, this can be difficult with diseases, both because we can’t always figure out the source, and because we don’t want people to hide their disease status should they become ill. This doesn’t mean that I glibly dance into the “it’s okay for the Federal government to require vaccines” camp, though. Mostly because there are other ways of dealing with those problems.

    I can list a whole lot of ways we would be safer but they would involve curbing liberties.

    Try digging a two-holer in your suburban back yard instead of using a septic or sewage system mandated by building code

    Given that building codes are often local, I don’t have much problem with that. If the local building code is that offensive, I can move.

    To repeat, I’m perfectly fine with states requiring vaccines for children. This New York bill is fine, and I wish/hope my state has the same.

    Freedom does matter. And I realize that the anti-vaccine idiots say this, but that doesn’t make it wrong. That’s genetic fallacy.

  46. #46 Raging Bee
    June 2, 2010

    …tell your legislators to fix state government and fix the $9 billion+ deficit and pass decent autism health insurance reform rather than interfere with your families’ health decisions.

    These people aren’t anti-vaccine; they’re anti-spending, anti-gummint, and anti-collective-solutions-to-any-problem. They may not be the same crowd as the teatards, but the above quote shows they have exactly the same mindset and the same priorities.

    Oh, and Weber…are you fucking kidding me? You make the standard paleo-libertardian argument against gummint interference in personal choices, and then say it’s perfectly okay for local govermments to get as totalitarian as they want?

  47. #47 Pablo
    June 2, 2010

    I can own a gun. That puts my neighbor “at risk,” because I could shoot him with it. Merely putting someone “at risk” is a very low bar for taking away freedom.

    You can own a gun. You can’t bring a gun into a public school.

    You child can be unvaccinated. You can’t send your unvaccinated child into a public school.

    Bad example, dude.

  48. #48 Jud
    June 2, 2010

    And “you might potentially give a disease to someone else” doesn’t cut it for me; there are lots of things that I can do that could potentially hurt another person, but we don’t have prior restraint on them.

    Really? So you can fire off mortar shells in your backyard, pilot a tank on the public roads, dispose of garbage and waste any way you please, drive at any speed you desire, etc., in this strange country where you live?

    Might want to think harder prior to your next comment.

    Two additional examples relevant to the present public health-oriented discussion: (1) In the mid-20th century, facilities at which children might gather, such as pools, were closed to try to stem the spread of polio. (2) The local, state, and federal governments have the power to quarantine you to try to halt the spread of communicable disease.

    Last comment, a bit technical:

    In the USA, “prior restraint” is a term used in cases involving free speech. In such cases, prior restraint means stopping the publication of material to which the government objects, so the “speech” is restrained prior to being given. This is in contrast to cases that concern the enforceability, as against the right of free speech, of legal penalties against objectionable speech that has already taken place (e.g., the enforceability of fines for a striptease act that was “banned in Boston”). The government must make a greater showing to support a prior restraint than to support enforceability of penalties for speech that has already taken place.

    In vaccination cases, the right of free speech and hence the concept of prior restraint would not be relevant. In fact, I imagine the courts would quite sensibly favor enforced preventive measures prior to the spread of a disease over penalizing those responsible only after others have sickened and died.

  49. #49 Orange Lantern
    June 2, 2010

    Don’t forget, we’re talking about a school entry requirement. It makes good public health since to require most vaccines for school entry, because if there is a significant amount of unvaccinated kids in that close proximitiy to each other for days on end, you are setting up for an outbreak.

    The meningococcus vaccine, in this regard, should absolutely be required for junior high, as deadly outbreaks have occurred in schools around the world. I would favor requiring influenza vaccination for that same reason, allowing for medical exemptions.

    More nuanced is the argument whether to require vaccines for school entry that are not generally going to be transmitted at school or during school events, such as hepatitis B, tetanus, and HPV (which of course is not currently required).

    I find it harder to justify those requirements in discussions, except to appeal to the fact that without requiring it for school entry, it is likely that we would not be able to achieve enough uptake for herd immunity. But even I hesitate over whether that is a solid argument to require those vaccines.

  50. #50 Shannon
    June 2, 2010

    At this point other than complete cultish brainwashing, or simply hatred/indifference to the rest of the human race (or both) I cannot deduce a reason why anyone would have a negative reaction to something as wonderful as an HPV, chickenpox, or meningitis vaccine.

    The less diseases anyone has to suffer – the happier! Geesh! So obvious.

  51. #51 Jen M
    June 2, 2010

    Jeepers, my stepmother’s sister died in childhood because of the meningitis sweeping Brazil at the time. Headache one day, doctors said the equivalent of ‘take two aspirin’, the next day she fell over dead while riding a bicycle.

    Heck, that’s why I volunteered to be a guinea pig for the vaccine. Felt no side effects to speak of. I rarely do with vaccines.

    Meningitis is *NOT* an “inconvenient” disease.

  52. #52 Sauceress
    June 2, 2010

    fix the $9 billion+ deficit

    That statement makes me curious as to whether there are any estimates on how much pressure/added costs,if any, the anti-vaxx activities might add to the cost of…say health insurance and maybe health services in general? Treatment of vaccine-preventable diseases surely incurs much greater expense then vaccination.

  53. #53 Dan Weber
    June 2, 2010

    Really? So you can fire off mortar shells in your backyard, pilot a tank on the public roads, dispose of garbage and waste any way you please, drive at any speed you desire, etc., in this strange country where you live?

    No, because I’m not a total idiot who lives in a world of total black-and-white, where you are either completely for something or completely against something. That would be like Age Of Autism. That would be a frightening place to have a conversation, wouldn’t it?

    Try this. Just because something could potentially put someone at risk is not sufficient reason by itself for banning it.

  54. #54 RJ
    June 2, 2010

    I really enjoyed the piece posted on AoA today from Barbara Loe Fisher (what a piece of work). Ohhhh, the outrage! Two orally-administered rotavirus vaccines have < > porcine viral DNA! Oh my god, the terror! Pig virus DNA. As if eating a pork chop wouldn’t do the same thing, and we know how those pork chop viruses are killing children left and right.

    My guess is that most of those geniuses at AoA probably think that “it is injected DIRECTLY into the bloodstream” (I hear that all the time). Sorry folks…it’s an oral vaccine. If you can tell me why I should go to bat-shit mode because of these DNA chunks vs. all the other viruses I eat on a daily basis in…well, just about anything that is a natural food source…then I might give a krap. Until then < >

  55. #55 Orange Lantern
    June 2, 2010

    I understand what you are saying, Dan, with guns you are talking about danger to your neighbor from an intentional act or severe negligence (leaving it out in your yard or something). Most vaccine-preventable diseases are can be spread completely unintentionally and unknowingly, hence the importance of school entry requirements.

  56. #56 Orange Lantern
    June 2, 2010

    Whoops, that should read “I understand what you are saying Dan, but with guns you are talking about…”

  57. #57 Pablo
    June 2, 2010

    The gun analogy is interesting, especially considering my comments above about how you can be not vaccinated but in that case don’t go to public school and when you go out in public, to wear a sign that says “I’m not vaccinated.” With guns, we have laws against bring them to schools, and in places, concealed weapons laws, which basically means you have to make sure everyone can see you are carrying a gun (unless you have special permission).

    I like the analogy.

    BTW, Dan, the vaccine “mandates” ARE done at the state level, not federal.

  58. #58 Dan Weber
    June 2, 2010

    Thanks for the understanding, Orange Lantern. As I said in @45, we can’t always track down who gave someone measles, nor do we necessarily want such a regime, and so I’m a bit more willing to be pro-active versus re-active.

    Even with all my sympathies thus expressed, I’m still fine with a public (or private, FWIW) school demanding a certain threshold of its students have vaccinations against whatever diseases it deems appropriate. Said another way, even though I might be the kind of person most willing to listen to them on freedom grounds, I cannot find anything wrong with this legislation.

  59. #59 Todd W.
    June 2, 2010

    @Sauceress

    Over at antiantivax.flurf.net, I have a link to a study on the 2006 measles outbreak in Germany that examined the costs associated with the outbreak. There was also a recent study looking at the costs of an outbreak in California, where money spent to treat patients could have vaccinated something like 180,000 individuals, IIRC.

  60. #60 Raging Bee
    June 2, 2010

    Just because something could potentially put someone at risk is not sufficient reason by itself for banning it.

    No, but it is sufficient reason for elected officials to have an honest discussion of whether this or that particular government action might reduce the risk without undue burden.

  61. #61 Ian
    June 2, 2010

    I too share Dan Weber’s position (despite the “libertard” name-calling. I think if you looked at what libertarianism actually represents, you’d find yourself agreeing. I like reading this blog for a well-reasoned explanation and defense of libertarian principles). Liberty and self-determination should be the default state, and infringement of individual liberty should only be done when there is sufficient justification.

    Prevention of harm to others is reasonable justification, provided there is demonstrable risk. If you can’t reasonably show where the risk is, there is no justification to infringe. For example, while it would be better for everyone if we stopped eating hamburgers, it is not reasonable to ban them because my eating a hamburger doesn’t put anyone else at risk. What does put others at risk is if I make hamburgers with trans fats in them, and that harm is demonstrable, so it’s reasonable to restrict my freedom to put harmful substances in the food I produce.

    Dan, is this somewhat close to your position?

    The opposite view, I suppose, is that liberty should be preserved regardless of the consequences, since it is a “fundamental right”. There are survivalists who live by this mantra, but it’s misguided. Any time you have to exist with another person, you have to compromise your personal freedoms to accomplish collective benefit.

  62. #62 Sid Offit
    June 2, 2010

    October 5, 2006
    Number 14
    NEJM

    Invasive meningococcal disease is uncommon in the United States.
    Approximately 2500 cases (0.5 to 1.1 per 100,000 population) occur annually.
    ——————————–
    Another mandatory vaccine against a disease affecting few. The public health miracles continue.

  63. #63 Sauceress
    June 2, 2010

    Todd W.

    I have a link to a study on the 2006 measles outbreak in Germany that examined the costs associated with the outbreak.

    Thanks, I’ve saved the link from your site and I’ll be very interested to check that out. Right aftaer I take care of this little bout of work avoidance I’m experiencing.

    There was also a recent study looking at the costs of an outbreak in California, where money spent to treat patients could have vaccinated something like 180,000 individuals, IIRC.

    Indeed. There was an article in the LA Times yesterday. I actually linked to that one on another thread.

  64. #64 JohnV
    June 2, 2010

    Really Sid?

  65. #65 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 2, 2010

    @Sid:

    – because of the vaccine, you nitwit.

  66. #66 mikerattlesnake
    June 2, 2010

    A friend of a friend of mine died of meningitis. He was young, about twenty. It sounded pretty awful and it seems like for certain people (college students, people sharing an apartment with a bunch of folks) this would be a really worthwhile vaccine.

  67. #67 gaiainc
    June 2, 2010

    Before about 2 years ago, I was not feeling too much love for the meningococcal vaccine. Why? No reason that made any sense. Just kind of thought, really, another vaccine for something I had seen maybe one case of and that was in an adult? If a school required it, then I was happy to give it, but I also wasn’t keeping my eye on it like I do for the other immunizations.

    Then I spent two weeks taking care of a 6 month-old girl in the hospital who was getting towards the end of her 6-8 weeks stay there because she had meningococcal septicemia. She was in the PICU initially where on at least one occasion they had perform CPR to bring her back to life. She had to have multiple skin grafts done and clearly was delayed on her gross motor development because she had spent so much time in the crib. There were also some other developmental delays as well, again attributed to her being in the hospital and in a crib for so long. We were also weaning her off her methadone and benzodiazepines, medications she was placed on to manage her pain and anxiety. Ever since that experience, I’m feeling a lot more love for the vaccine. My little one is going to get it when recommended and I’m doing a lot better in making sure I give it in clinic as well.

    My understanding (and I have no citation to back this up… just something I heard along the way somewhere) was that Merck put in HPV 6 and 8 along with 16 and 18 (I think that’s right) because 6 and 8 cause a lot of genital warts with the specific thought to pursue indication for Gardisil for males after Merck secured indication for females. My little one is going to get Gardisil. This is one of the hazards of having a family physician as a mother. Gardisil is also not required for school. It is recommended by the ACIP and CDC. My state’s immunization alert system brings it up as something to give, but it is not mandatory. Then again, when did AOA let facts get in the way of their story?

    Oh, and what Rogue Medic said at #6. With all-caps and bolding too.

  68. #68 Todd W.
    June 2, 2010

    @Sid Offit

    Another mandatory vaccine against a disease affecting few. The public health miracles continue.

    Yeah. Something that can help cut down/eliminate a somewhat rare disease. Heaven forbid! Who gives a crap about such a minority of people? I mean, it’s not like they matter, or that the costs for treating them is more expensive than vaccinating, or that those costs in time and money could be used to treat people with other injuries/illnesses/conditions that might not be able to find space at hospitals because a bed is taken up by a meningitis patient. Who cares?

  69. #69 RJ
    June 2, 2010

    “Approximately 2500 cases (0.5 to 1.1 per 100,000 population) occur annually. ”

    Annually. As in year, after year, after year.

    Then, why go bat-shit over domestic terrorist attacks? They’ve only killed a 10th as many people in the last decade.

    “Another mandatory vaccine against a disease affecting few.”

    What is the percentage of cases in the age ranges in this discussion sid? Oh, how those little details make all the difference.

  70. #70 Dan Weber
    June 2, 2010

    I am in general okay with the current set of laws about vaccines and compliance. But some of the justifications that people have for these laws is just frightening and leads to a dangerous place.

    I can understand how we got here, because the AoA people make simplistic appeals to emotion (“don’t give mah baby teh autism!”) and it’s natural that we would respond in kind (“don’t have yer baby give mah baby teh measles!”).

    “Won’t somebody please think about the children!?” is never a good way to start a debate, as fans of Maude Flanders know. Parents make all kinds of health decisions for their children every day, including giving them meat, letting them watch television, eat non-organic food, or play competitive sports. These all have potential health effects, even if we aren’t sure whether they are positive or negative. But once we start dealing with potential risks it will become all too easy for the busy-bodies to declare these things either forbidden or required for parents.

    Ian, I think there are justifications for infringing on liberty for public health. This doesn’t mean that all infringements are proper or justified. I’m also more willing to let smaller entities have larger leeway in their policies. For example, if New York City thinks that banning transfats from its restaurants is in its interests, I’m okay with that. And any customers who really want their transfat in their burgers can travel outside the city, or have food delivered in to their homes. (I would object to the law if it forbade the first workaround. The second I could debate.)

    TLDR: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

  71. #71 Sid Offit
    June 2, 2010

    Pablo, do you have to wear a sign saying you’re an idiot when you go out in public?

  72. #72 Ian
    June 2, 2010

    @Dan Weber

    I’m not sure what the general rule to be abstracted from your example is. What if New York State banned trans fats? What about the entire eastern seabord working together? You could still go to another state if you wanted. What if it was the whole U.S.A. (some countries are moving to ban trans fats)? You could move to another country. There’s always the option to do something unless the whole world gets together and says ‘no’.

    I’m not saying I necessarily disagree, I’m just unclear on the general rule. My general rule is that if you can reasonably demonstrate harm, then infringement is justified, and I think we agree with each other there. I’m just not sure what the rule underlying your ‘smaller entities’ policy is.

  73. #73 Sid Offit
    June 2, 2010

    @T Bruce

    because of the vaccine, you nitwit.

    Really?

    http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic1444.htm
    During the last 6 decades, the occurrence of meningococcal disease has been mostly sporadic, and a widespread outbreak has not occurred. The prevalence has been approximately 1-2 cases per 100,000 population

  74. #74 JohnV
    June 2, 2010

    Sid did you get passed that paragraph?

    “Limited outbreaks of meningococcal disease have occurred in some populations. Public health officials arbitrarily define an outbreak of meningococcal disease as the occurrence of 3 or more cases during a 3-month period, with a primary attack rate of at least 10 cases per 100,000 population, which is approximately 10 times greater than normal. Outbreaks may be restricted to a closed population or may involve a larger community. In a Los Angeles County outbreak of meningococcal disease, nearly one half of community residents with the disease had had contact with persons who had been incarcerated.1

    Recently, the incidence of meningococcal disease in adolescents and college-aged young adults appears to have increased. College students living in dormitories seemed to be the population at an increased risk (see Deterrence/Prevention)”

    HEY LOOK AT THAT THE INCIDENCE RATE IS INCREASING IN THOSE FOR WHOM VACCINATION IS BEING DIRECTED AT. THE MIND BOGGLES.

  75. #75 RJ
    June 2, 2010

    Yeah, after reviewing the site you posted, sid, I can totally see why you’d be against this vaccine like all the others you are against too.

    Well, at least your link explains your apathy.

    One population-based study in the United States found that the incidence of meningococcal disease was significantly higher among African Americans (1.5 cases per 100,000 population) than among Anglo Americans (1.1 cases per 100,000 population). The relative risk (RR) was 1.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.8).

    A 1995 study in the United States found that the incidence of meningococcal disease among infants aged 1-23 months was 11.1 cases per 100,000 population. The age-specific rate was 1.5 per 100,000 population among individuals aged 2-29 year, 0.6 among individuals aged 30-50 years, and 1.3 among individuals aged 60 years and older.

  76. #76 Sid Offit
    June 2, 2010

    @RJ
    What is the percentage of cases in the age ranges in this discussion sid? Oh, how those little details make all the difference

    ————————
    1st year college students living in dormitories have higher than average rates (5.1 per 100,000) of meningococcal disease. These rates however, after the first year, rapidly drop to a below average level of 0.7 per 100,000
    —————————

    So what I think you’re saying is that if I won’t be living in a college dorm I have even less reason to consider the vaccine

  77. #77 RJ
    June 2, 2010

    “So what I think you’re saying is that if I won’t be living in a college dorm I have even less reason to consider the vaccine”

    Read the rest of your link.

    “Meningococcal disease is also a relatively common problem in military recruit populations.”

    “Meningococcal infection is probably introduced into families by asymptomatic adults and then spread through one or more household contacts to infect younger family members. Household contacts are defined as individuals who live in the same house with a person who has a meningococcal disease. An operational definition commonly used by public health authorities includes persons eating and sleeping under the same roof with the index case. The attack rate of meningococcal disease among household contacts has been estimated to be several hundred times greater than that in the general population. The secondary attack rate is inversely proportional to age and is estimated to be approximately 10% in household contacts aged 1-4 years.
    # The risk of acquiring meningococcal disease may also be increased in other closed populations, such as those of daycare facilities and nursery schools. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends antimicrobial chemoprophylaxis for contacts of persons with invasive meningococcal disease, including household members, individuals at daycare centers and nursery schools, and persons directly exposed to the patient’s oral secretions (eg, kissing, sharing food or beverages) within 7 days preceding the onset of the illness in the index case. The decision to administer chemoprophylaxis to other populations should be reached only after consultation with public health authorities who have a better understanding of the patterns of disease that currently exist in the community.”

  78. #78 Rene Najera
    June 2, 2010

    @Sid
    Pretty high and mighty of you to act like you don’t acquiesce to public health interventions that prevent rare occurrences. Do you eat enriched flour? Drink potable water? Pasteurized milk? Wear a seat belt? Cross the street on crosswalks? Cook your food? Take a vitamin? Get antibiotics? Use iodized salt? The list goes on and on… You’re just a comment troll, plain and simple. I bet you even wash your hands.
    Hypocrite.

  79. #79 Sid Offit
    June 2, 2010

    @RJ

    Blah, blah blah blah blah blah. Still doesn’t get you past .07 per 100,000

  80. #80 RJ
    June 2, 2010

    Good one sid. Good one.

  81. #81 Dan Weber
    June 2, 2010

    Ian, I don’t have absolutes here, but I think laws should be applied at the lowest level where they are effective. New York City banning transfats in restaurants in its borders meets its public health goal. Other cities in the state can pass similar legislation if they like the results. Or some cities might decide they don’t like the law and opt out.

    My preference is that individuals get to choose as much of the way they live as possible. They should be able to self-select into communities that match their preferences. If I want to live in the land of transfat and you want to live in the land without, hopefully we can both find a home.

    It might turn out that each and every other city in New York state decides to ban transfats, too. If I really wanted them, I would be out of luck, but that’s not the result of one community (the state) deciding, it’s the results of 62 communities (if I google properly) each deciding. If I couldn’t find any of those communities to match my preferences, maybe I should take the hint. I probably need to form a cooking co-op at that point.

    (I realize in practice that local politics can be pretty severe and hard to recover from. If US Congress passes a bad law, the press will notice, and I can locate people who feel like me in greater absolute numbers. If my small town passes a bad ordinance, can I get any media attention, or anyone to care? And watching something like a zoning board operate will scare the pants of you. So my inclination towards control being as-local-as-possible is tempered.)

    Also, from an engineering standpoint I also like diversity. Is getting rid of transfats a good thing? Probably, but we’ll only know once we try it. If one city bans it and another doesn’t, it gives us a natural experiment. If lots of people from one city repeatedly travel out of it to another city to eat in response to the differing laws, we probably should change the law in that first city.

    I also think that one should be very wary when using “this is good for you” as justification for something.

  82. #82 David N. Brown
    June 2, 2010

    “Why would you inject a piece of **** into a perfectly healthy kid? ”
    The vaccine referred to, Rotateq, is not “injected” into anyone. It’s an ORAL vaccine. This commentator is obviously ignorant of the details of how the vaccine is made (never mind its safety record)and is likely to be unduly influenced by trypanophobia, the non-rational fear of injections of all kinds.

  83. #83 RJ
    June 2, 2010

    David,

    I made the same point on AoA. Go figure it was “moderated”.

    I think their website needs to be moderated.

  84. #84 Ian
    June 2, 2010

    @Dan Weber

    I guess I am looking for a “hard and fast rule” that distinguishes between the actions of a local government and that of a “non-local” government. I am a resident of Vancouver, which is a city in British Columbia, which is a province of Canada, which is a country in NATO, and so forth. When any one of those regulatory bodies makes a decision, one could say it is “local”, and if I disagree I am free to move to Turkey or Algeria or Mozambique. I really don’t think that’s the point you’re making, but I’m not sure what the point is.

    Also, I agree that there is a difference between “we’re doing this because it’s good for you” and “we’re not letting you do this because it’s bad for you” that goes beyond semantics. In the interest of avoiding blatant thread-jacking, you can feel free to e-mail me at crommunist(at)gmail(dot)com if you want to continue the discussion, or we can simply drop the conversation altogether.

  85. #85 Calli Arcale
    June 2, 2010

    Orange Lantern @ 49:

    More nuanced is the argument whether to require vaccines for school entry that are not generally going to be transmitted at school or during school events, such as hepatitis B, tetanus, and HPV (which of course is not currently required).

    Tetanus can be transmitted absolutely anywhere; the key I guess is that it’s not communicable. (It’s an oddball disease among the ones we vaccinate against, because it isn’t contagious and there’s consequently no point in herd immunity to it. Also, it is odd in that contracting tetanus will not produce immunity; you can get tetanus over and over, assuming you survive each case.) Tetanus vaccination is required on the basis of reducing the school’s liability and the challenge of providing emergency medical care to someone with tetanus. (It’s a tricky disease, and you are much better off not getting it.)

    HPV is probably not going to be transmitted at school — at least, I hope not many kids are getting up to stuff during passing time and while cutting class. It can certainly be transmitted by school-age kids who know each other through school, of course. Mostly, it’s sexually transmitted.

    Hepatits B is another story entirely. While it is often sexually transmitted or transmitted by drug users (and yes, there are drug users in public schools, and they tend to be among the most foolish of drug users), it can also be transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or bodily fluids. And injuries happen to school kids. Blood is spilled. It is definitely reasonable to require Hepatitis B vaccination.

    Jen M @ 51:

    Heck, that’s why I volunteered to be a guinea pig for the vaccine. Felt no side effects to speak of. I rarely do with vaccines.

    I’m sorry for your loss, and enormously touched by the way you honored your stepmother’s sister’s memory. And as a meningitis survivor myself, and as a parent of two young, vaccinated children, THANK YOU.

  86. #86 Chris
    June 2, 2010

    For Sid Troll it is all about the numbers. Except he won’t tell us the minimum number of incidences, permanent disability or death that in his mind would warrant having the vaccine available. He goes nuts if someone says that there is up to three deaths per a thousand cases of measles, but refuses to say if he thinks even one case in eight thousand is acceptible.

    As far as costs go, it is far far cheaper to vaccinate. There are a couple of studies:
    Economic Evaluation of the 7-Vaccine Routine Childhood Immunization Schedule in the United States, 2001

    and the previous experience with measles in California:
    Pediatric hospital admissions for measles. Lessons from the 1990 epidemic.

  87. #87 D. C. Sessions
    June 2, 2010

    Everyone will agree that people can choose to have their kids unvaccinated provided 1) they do not send them to public schools, 2) they do not use public facilities, and shoot, 3) they completely keep them away from the public without prominently displaying a caution sign that says, “I am unvaccinated.”

    Not really fair to the sight-impaired. How about ringing a bell as they walk and announcing “Unvaccinated, unvaccinated!” Although “unvaccinated” is about three syllables too long.

  88. #88 Rogue Epidemiologist
    June 2, 2010

    I would wager that this doctor would be in favor of vaccinating against meningococcus.

    And I’m a libertarian, but I disagree with Dan Weber. You do NOT have the right to be Typhoid Mary. Your contagions directly infringe on my right to be healthy. I dislike centralized government, but I don’t go out of my way to spite myself to disagree with the Feds. If the POTUS and the SCOTUS and all of Congress told me the sky was blue, I would agree with them and not go all teagarrbbl on them. Unfortunately, I know there are people who would not concede the same point.

  89. #89 Orange Lantern
    June 2, 2010

    Calli, I appreciate your insight. The liability protection from tetanus makes sense, I hadn’t thought of it from that particular angle.

    I am familiar that hep B can be transmitted in classroom and daycare settings, though I am maintain that the significantly lower chance of transmission in the classroom makes it harder to argue for in discussions. Though the same liability issues would apply to hepatitis B as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, I support the school requirements as they stand and I understand how the diseases are transmitted.

    @ Sid: Your article also states “In the United States, the case-fatality rate is approximately 10%”. Is 250-500 deaths per year (+ other permanent sequelae) not enough for you?

  90. #90 Dan Weber
    June 2, 2010

    You do NOT have the right to be Typhoid Mary.

    I agree, and haven’t said otherwise.

  91. #91 Joseph
    June 2, 2010

    Approximately 2500 cases (0.5 to 1.1 per 100,000 population) occur annually

    I think Sid doesn’t understand incidence rates. The figure above is a whole-population figure, i.e. 2,500 divided by approx. 300 million.

    What would the incidence rate of, say, Down Syndrome be if you calculate it the same way? (I’m specifically saying I don’t want the rate per number of live births — which is basically the same as prevalence.)

  92. #92 Calli Arcale
    June 2, 2010

    Orange Lantern: I’m just trying to help provide useful arguments. ;-) With Hep B, I know they make extraordinary efforts to protect their staff in the event of a spill of bodily fluids (most schools have specific procedures to follow for cleaning blood in particular) and this is more because of Hep B than because of HIV. Frankly, I wonder if they require Hep B vaccination more to protect the *staff* than to protect the other students.

    It might be instructive to find out what various school districts/states/etc actually require as opposed to simply encourage. I know not all of the recommended vaccine schedule is actually mandatory (contrary to AoA claims). How many school districts will actually bar you from attending if you decline the tetanus vaccine but do not have a medical or religious exemption? And how many only require tetanus because these days it comes along with the pertussis and diptheria vaccinations? It would be interesting to analyze the differences.

  93. #93 tarowig
    June 2, 2010

    Meet Charlotte http://www.babycharlotte.co.nz/about.html. She contracted meningococcal septicaemia 6 years ago, resulting in the amputation of both her arms and legs. A recent news story on her can be found here http://health.msn.co.nz/pregnancy/parenthood/1054243/to-jab-or-not-to-jab-the-case-for-vaccination. This isn’t intended as a scare piece, just an example of how nasty meningitis can be. Why would any parent take a gamble on a disease like this?

  94. #94 D. C. Sessions
    June 2, 2010

    As long as we’re swapping horrible examples …

    Years back, our next-door neighbors had two daughters. Nice kids. One, like many sub-10yos, ran all over the place. Her sister, not so much. It may have had to do with the leg braces and spinal distortion left over from paralytic meningitis.

    This was from before the vaccine by quite a bit. Zero issue with the parents and vaccination (father from Panama, for crying out loud!), just no opportunity.

    $EX_WIFE may be batty, but she’s also an RN who never let the kids miss a vaccine.

  95. #95 D. C. Sessions
    June 2, 2010

    As long as we’re swapping horrible examples …

    Years back, our next-door neighbors had two daughters. Nice kids. One, like many sub-10yos, ran all over the place. Her sister, not so much. It may have had to do with the leg braces and spinal distortion left over from paralytic meningitis.

    This was from before the vaccine by quite a bit. Zero issue with the parents and vaccination (father from Panama, for crying out loud!), just no opportunity.

    $EX_WIFE may be batty, but she’s also an RN who never let the kids miss a vaccine.

  96. #96 Chris
    June 2, 2010

    D.C. Sessions, I know that is supposed to be a dollar sign in front of “EX_WIFE”… but the way it reads it sounds like an “Ex with benefits.”

  97. #97 alilz
    June 2, 2010

    My mother is a retired educator and worked most of her career with hearing impaired and Deaf children. There were several children — well now adults in their late 30s/early 40s –who lost their hearing due to Meningitis.

    They didn’t die of it but their lives were changed forever.

  98. #98 frustum.myopenid.com
    June 2, 2010

    Dexter @13 said:

    HPV is really not a killer. It may lead to cancer down the line, but the risk is much lower than for other transmissible diseases.

    HIV isn’t a killer either then. Sure, you might get severely anemic, catch pneumonia or some other virus, or develop cancer, but it personally hasn’t happened to me, so why should anyone worry about this stuff?

    Back in reality, my wife developed cervical cancer due to HPV back in the early 90s. It wouldn’t be right for me to share her painful story here, but here is a summary: she didn’t die but it has had profound life-long negative consequences.

  99. #99 jen
    June 2, 2010

    David N. Brown: yeah well that’s great but I really don’t want to be drinking any porcine viral wasting contaminated oral vaccine either. Nor would I want my kids to be injesting it.

  100. #100 dedicated lurker
    June 2, 2010

    jen, you don’t eat ham? Or pork? Or bacon?

    I’m going to have a nice porcine virus sandwich for dinner, myself. Yum. I’ll add some Calcium Propionate-laden cheese too.

  101. #101 D. C. Sessions
    June 2, 2010

    D.C. Sessions, I know that is supposed to be a dollar sign in front of “EX_WIFE”… but the way it reads it sounds like an “Ex with benefits.”

    It does, doesn’t it? And somehow I posted it twice, too.

    For the record [1], the primary benefit of she-who-was-once-married-to-me is that I’ve only seen her twice in the last five years: both times at kids’ University graduation ceremonies. Since this past weekend, she’s two states away.

    And there was much rejoicing.

    [1] Not that it matters to y’all.

  102. #102 augustine
    June 2, 2010

    How many people on this blog have tolerance for people who chose to not vaccinate? There is a LOT of vaccination discussion on here. I’m sure it’s unbiased, objective, and fair. If you don’t believe it’s the individuals choice then whose choice is it? The states choice?

  103. #103 augustine
    June 2, 2010

    Johnv: “I totally agree jen. Also, why would you wear a seat belt while driving a perfectly intact car that hasn’t even been in an accident?”

    The ole seat belt gambit again? Does getting in the care and clicking in the seatbelt cause fever induced seizures? No, it doesn’t. Ever.

  104. #104 augustine
    June 2, 2010

    The politics of mandatory vaccinations however, are an entirely philosophical debate and a matter of personal opinion. The science can inform the politics but the arguments are different and one should not get swept up into anti vaccine rhetoric when the argument one is trying to make is a small government rhetoric.

    You are wise in this comment, Superdave. Some of the scientists and wannabe scientists on here can’t tell the difference between science and philosophy/politics. This is a great string of posts showing that some here have very strong political opinions and their emotions can’t let them tell the difference between the two.

  105. #105 augustine
    June 2, 2010

    Pablo: “You can’t send your unvaccinated child into a public school.”

    Yes you can. Get educated, senor. Happens Every…single…day.

  106. #106 augustine
    June 2, 2010

    @Sid
    Pretty high and mighty of you to act like you don’t acquiesce to public health interventions that prevent rare occurrences. Do you eat enriched flour? Drink potable water? Pasteurized milk? Wear a seat belt? Cross the street on crosswalks? Cook your food? Take a vitamin? Get antibiotics? Use iodized salt? The list goes on and on… You’re just a comment troll, plain and simple. I bet you even wash your hands.
    Hypocrite.

    another version of the seatbelt gambit, rene. Do any of those cause fever induced seizures besides the antibiotics? It’s just a poor choice of logic. Very poor choice.

  107. #107 Chris
    June 2, 2010

    No, it does not matter to us’all.

    But that dollar sign sure makes it look amusing! I love all of your comments, and even more so now.

    Rejoice away!

  108. #108 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    “A friend of a friend of mine died of meningitis. He was young, about twenty. It sounded pretty awful and it seems like for certain people (college students, people sharing an apartment with a bunch of folks) this would be a really worthwhile vaccine.”

    A friend of mine died from a vaccine. Anecdotes work both ways. Either they count or they are dismissed.

  109. #109 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    Pablo, I like your identification strategy. I believe all the pro forced mass vaccinators should also wear uniforms that state: “I vaccinated and I plan on vaccinating you whether you like it or not.” The doctors of this group should especially wear this badge.

    If they are in private practice they should expect their patient base to plunge dramatically. Stand up for your beliefs and do it.

    “But, but, it’s all scientific n all. You have to believe me because the science says I MUST force you to get vaccinated whether you like it or not. It’s not my own thoughts, science made me do it.”

  110. #110 Chris
    June 3, 2010

    augie:

    A friend of mine died from a vaccine. Anecdotes work both ways.

    Except you have shown yourself to be a liar.

    Other anecdotes can be backed up with real data. Your lies, not so much.

  111. #111 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    chris: “Other anecdotes can be backed up with real data. Your lies, not so much.”

    Well back this anecdote up mr. I’ve been in the army and I’ve been around the world therefore I know more than everybody else. You’re one of those guys.

    Your accusations don’t mean much.

  112. #112 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    Mr. wordly military man: “Other anecdotes can be backed up with real data. Your lies, not so much.”

    So anecdotes are ok now?

    Or only data? If only data, then why is the anecdote necessary? What type of data? Merck type of data?

    If anecdotes are ok then I have lot’s of friends that would love to flood this website.

  113. #113 tarowig
    June 3, 2010

    @augustine – I disagree. All anecdotes are not created equal. You see, mine is true. And factual. Also factual- the risk of death and injury from diseases like meningitis is far greater than the risk of death and injury from the vaccines that protect people from them. BTW seatbelts may not cause seizures, but they can cause serious abdominal injuries if you’re in a crash. But people who are aware of this usually still wear them because they understand that the risk of a perforated bowel from a seatbelt is far less than a broken skull from getting flung through the windscreen.

  114. #114 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    tarowig: “BTW seatbelts may not cause seizures, but they can cause serious abdominal injuries if you’re in a crash.”

    Key words: “if you’re in a crash.” Already in a crash. Just by clicking the seatbelt doesn’t cause these injuries. Just by injecting a vaccine CAN cause febrile induced seizures or DEATH even without the “crash”.

    The seatbelt gambit is a fail yet the pro forced mass vaccinators keep going back to the well again and again.

    “Also factual- the risk of death and injury from diseases like meningitis is far greater than the risk of death and injury from the vaccines that protect people from them.”

    The term “risk is becoming so cliche in this context. You assume that the group for this so called “risk” is homogenous. How can you prove what the risk for any ONE individual is? You can’t.

  115. #115 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    @tarowig

    I disagree, also. All anecdotes are not created equal. You see, mine is true, also. And factual.

    Houston, we have a problem.

  116. #116 Kathryn Bjornstad
    June 3, 2010

    Ridiculous. My grandfather had meningitis and went deaf. It’s contagious and can be very deadly and is also extremely painful. Because of how quickly it spreads, it is critical that every person who is not immuno-compromised be vaccinated to prevent outbreaks, especially if they live with people who are immuno-compromised. Those people can only be protected by herd immunity.

  117. #117 Rogue Medic
    June 3, 2010

    @ 71 Sid Offit,

    Pablo, do you have to wear a sign saying you’re an idiot when you go out in public?

    Why Sid? Did you lose your sign?

    That sign would be much more appropriate for a germ theory denialist, such as you.

  118. #118 Sid Offit
    June 3, 2010

    I’m not a germ theory denialist. I just think the germ needs help

  119. #119 lizditz
    June 3, 2010

    Augustine @ 102

    How many people on this blog have tolerance for people who chose to not vaccinate?

    As far as vaccinating against chickenpox, I’m actually rather indifferent on the question as long as you educate yourself about early signs of chickenpox (varicella) in your children and practice rigorous quarantine procedures for children in your care ill with chickenpox.

    If you choose not to vaccinate yourself or your children against tetanus, that’s fine with me as long as you have adequate health insurance. It becomes my tax-paying business if your refusal to vaccinate means that the cost of treating the tetanus in my family becomes a burden to the taxpayer.

    Oh, but wait — a single vaccine against tetanus isn’t easily available (if at all). It’s now combined with an acellular pertussis vaccine and the diphtheria vaccine. So I take it back. To protect infants too young to be vaccinated against pertussis, it’s the ethical obligation of adults and the children in their care to maintain their immunity to pertussis.

    If you don’t believe it’s the individuals choice then whose choice is it? The states choice?

    False dichotomy. For adult vaccinations it is all the individual’s choice. For children, it’s again the adult’s choice, since very few <18 yo people (the definition of children, after all) make their own medical care decisions.

    Augustine @108

    A friend of mine died from a vaccine.

    Your anecdote would have a lot more weight if you provided year of death and the deadly vaccine.

    Since 1988 (22 years), according to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVIC) there have been 1,035 deaths reported to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. NVIC applies both to pediatric and adult vaccine administration.

    Not augustine related, but otherwise excellent vaccine-safety news, released today

    Preliminary Results: Surveillance for Guillain-Barré Syndrome After Receipt of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine — United States, 2009–2010

    “attributable risk of 0.8 excess cases of GBS per 1 million vaccinations.”

  120. #120 Rogue Medic
    June 3, 2010

    @ 113 Sid Offit,

    I’m not a germ theory denialist. I just think the germ needs help

    In other words, we are not playing fair by using vaccines against these poor, helpless, killer germs? Is that what you are claiming?

  121. #121 David N. Brown
    June 3, 2010

    “You are wise in this comment, Superdave. Some of the scientists and wannabe scientists on here can’t tell the difference between science and philosophy/politics. ”

    Not sure if this is directed to me, or someone else… The science shows there is no risk of vaccines causing autism, or SIDS, or disappearing penises (see Kano, Nigeria) or any other of the perennial anxieties raised by antivaccine activists. The main political question is whether the threat these activists create is great enough to justify vaccinating children by force.

    Another thing to think about: I would like to think of myself as a “vaccine critic”, in that I want to draw attention to real problems with vaccines and (especially) the system by which they are made and administered in the US. But it seems to me that “anti-vaxxers” would rather look for imaginary side effects, conspiracies and “Pharma dollars” than look for constructive solutions to practical problems.

  122. #122 Mithrandir
    June 3, 2010

    I’m not a germ theory denialist. I just think the germ needs help

    If you claim that it is impossible – not just less likely, but impossible – for a microorganism to cause illness in a human being in an optimal state of health, then you are a germ theory denialist.

    The human immune system and infections microorganisms have been in a Red Queen race for longer than humans have existed, and it is the height of arrogance to presume that the immune system is always and forever the victor unless put at a disadvantage.

  123. #123 sophia8
    June 3, 2010

    Sid@113: I’m not a germ theory denialist. I just think the germ needs help
    THAT explains a lot! You’re anti-vaccine because you want to help all those lovely little germs to find cozy new homes and breed!

  124. #124 Jud
    June 3, 2010

    Ian writes:

    For example, while it would be better for everyone if we stopped eating hamburgers, it is not reasonable to ban them because my eating a hamburger doesn’t put anyone else at risk.

    Let me preface this by saying I’m not a killjoy who wants to stop folks from eating hamburgers, or drinking (even occasionally to excess, if you are not driving or otherwise in a position to cause harm), or lots of other things we all enjoy. I’m also not in favor of the sort of “nanny state” or “police state,” or however you want to put it, that intrudes too far into our personal information and decision-making. But what is “too far” and “personal” isn’t always easy to tell.

    Take the hamburger example above. Your eating hamburgers actually does affect me, because other folks living less healthy lifestyles raises my private health insurance rates if we live in the USA, or raises my taxes in countries with national health care systems.

    This example also points out the very limited usefulness of local/state/federal concepts in deciding what is appropriate regulation. If we did want to regulate unhealthy lifestyles (I again want to point out I’d be against this degree of intrusion into our lives, but just using it as an example), at least one type of harm – higher insurance premiums or higher taxes – is not going to be local. It’ll be regional or statewide in the case of health insurance premiums, and nationwide in the case of countries with national health systems. The geographic reach of the problem certainly bears on the appropriate geographic reach of the solution.

    Same with a public health measure such as vaccination. You’ll remember there were school closures in some areas to try to prevent the spread of H1N1. If the problem had become large enough, then some type of vaccination enforcement might have become appropriate. I think you (Dan? Ian?) would agree in that event that a purely local or even state-based response would be ineffective in a society where people travel so freely and so often.

  125. #125 mikerattlesnake
    June 3, 2010

    @108

    Did he/she, though? I could text my friend and upset her by asking for all the details about her dead friend to share with you to prove what I said, but I’d rather you took me on my word. I don’t lie about shit like that for the purpose of winning some points in a debate. Do you?

    I wouldn’t argue for the use of the vaccine based on that one annecdote anyways. I was just using it as an example to illustrate the higher rate of complications from meningitis than those from vaccines (which is backed up by the statistics). There’s nothing wrong with using an annecdote as a way of supporting a statistic; it’s when you use annecdotal evidence solely to refute statistical evidence that you run into problems.

  126. #126 mikerattlesnake
    June 3, 2010

    Also: are analogies beyond you anti-vax folks? Would a seatbelt have to be injected into one’s bloodstream for it to click for you? We assume a small risk of a certain type of injury by wearing a seatbelt which offsets the larger risk of not wearing a seatbelt.

    Getting into a car is always a risk, just like going out into the world is always a risk. Some of us are lucky enough to never get in an accident and some of us are lucky enough to never come into contact with someone with a serious disease. Wishful thinkers assume that they will be the lucky ones. Pragmatic thinkers understand the risks and do what is in their power to mitigate that risk.

    Yeah, hospitals don’t have spark plugs and vaccines aren’t made of woven nylon, but the analogy definitely stands up.

  127. #127 provaxmom
    June 3, 2010

    Late to the party here, but darned work always gets in the way!

    My 7m old niece died from pneumo meningitis, a strain for which there is currently no vaccine. As a result, my SIL (this baby’s mom) does quite a bit of vaccine advocacy and meningitis awareness.

    My 3 year old son is getting the menactra. My 2 year old niece (twin to the baby that died) already got it, but it was a fight with the ped to get it. It is approved for ages two and up, though only in most protocols for ages 11 & up. Through her work, my SIL has met many families who lost someone under age 11 to it. And those that survive, it’s often a very poor QOL.

  128. #128 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    Mike the rattlesnake: “Also: are analogies beyond you anti-vax folks?”

    How about this one. If I CHOOSE to jump on a grenade to save my friends then I am considered a hero. If someone pushes me onto a grenade to save themselves then that person is a murderer.

    I’m not anti-vax. I think they still should be made for the people who want them and are scared they might die from chickenpox.

  129. #129 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    Getting into a car is always a risk, just like going out into the world is always a risk. Some of us are lucky enough to never get in an accident and some of us are lucky enough to never come into contact with someone with a serious disease.

    Thick headed. Don’t understand the risk analogy do you? The seatbelt can only hurt you if you’ve been in an accident. That risk/benefit analysis is apples to apples and straight forward. The seatbelt will not cause injuries unless person is in wreck.

    Vaccines, though can kill and maim, without the wreck(disease). They can cause brain damage to someone who may have never have a problem or complication with any disease.

    If seatbelts alone caused fever induced seizures then you can bet that it wouldn’t be the law to wear them. Not in this country (U.S.)

    Bad analogy. It’s the seatbelt gambit.

  130. #130 Poogles
    June 3, 2010

    Sure Augie’s not anti-vacc – I mean he did just compare getting a vaccine to “jumping on a grenade”, but what does that have to do with anything, right? Right? :-/

  131. #131 Militant Agnostic
    June 3, 2010

    mikerattlesnake

    There’s nothing wrong with using an annecdote as a way of supporting a statistic; it’s when you use annecdotal evidence solely to refute statistical evidence that you run into problems.

    Head of nail – meet hammer.

    However, I am sure this distinction will roll off Augie like water off a ducks back.

  132. #132 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    provaxmom: “My 7m old niece died from pneumo meningitis, a strain for which there is currently no vaccine. As a result, my SIL (this baby’s mom) does quite a bit of vaccine advocacy and meningitis awareness.”

    I find this an odd motive. A vaccine would not have saved the child yet the parent is advocating the use of vaccines. It’s sort of like the flu statistics that are used to promote the vaccine, yet the majority of the deaths wouldn’t be prevented by using the influenza vaccine. It’s misguided “awareness”.

    In many cases (not necessarily provaxmoms) it’s disease mongering and fear mongering.

  133. #133 Caro
    June 3, 2010

    Yeah, AoA just likes to pretend they’re pro-vaccine because even they, deep in their souls, know that vaccines save lives.

    On the topic of meningococcal vaccine, I just really wish Norway’d approve a vaccine against serogroup B, since a majority of meningococcus infections here are type B :\ Only today there’s reported a new case in my city (Trondheim, Norway) – a sixteen-year-old girl, the second case in three weeks (the other is a 17 year old boy), but they’re apparently not related because they’ve been infected with two different serogroups. I do wonder which.

    This happens every month of May in Norway. High school graduates (called “Russ”) gather in large groups to socialise, and there’s always a handful of meningitis cases. Every year.

  134. #134 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    provaxmom: “My 3 year old son is getting the menactra. My 2 year old niece (twin to the baby that died) already got it, but it was a fight with the ped to get it.”

    Probably because of this:

    http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/285/2/177

    “There was no evidence of protection in children younger than 2 years; all 8 MCD cases in this age group occurred in vaccinees.”

    or this:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/mening.pdf

    “In one study, efficacy declined from more than 90% to less than 10% 3 years after vaccination among children who were younger than 4 years of age when vaccinated. Efficacy was 67% among children who were older than 4 years of age at vaccination.”

    Is this the type of numbers people talk about when they say “of course vaccines aren’t 100%”? Zero percent, 10 percent, and 67%?

  135. #135 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    “it’s when you use annecdotal evidence solely to refute statistical evidence that you run into problems.”

    I haven’t done that so “head of nail, meet claw.”

  136. #136 jen
    June 3, 2010

    good point about anecdotes, Augustine. My grandmother had guillaume-barre after her flu shot in the 70’s. It works both ways,Chris, whether you like that or not.

  137. #137 Todd W.
    June 3, 2010

    @jen

    My grandmother had guillaume-barre after her flu shot in the 70’s.

    Ah, so she was one of those individuals who got GBS at the background rate for GBS in the general population. I hope she was also one of the many who recovered from it. Nice attempt, though, to perpetuate the unfounded belief that the ’70s flu vaccine caused GBS, when the case for causation is, at best, meager.

  138. #138 mikerattlesnake
    June 3, 2010

    For the record (so augustine can stop ineffectively flicking an empty lighter at a rather poorly constructed straw man), I am not pro-forced vaccination. I think it’s reasonable for public institutions like schools to require it (for safety and liability), but if you want to homeschool your kid and megadose on vitamins that’s fine with me. The trick is using education, a more vigilant (and less credulous) media, and sites like this to make sure that these morons make up a small enough portion of the population not to endanger my family. The problem we have now (and the reason some people are for forced vaccination) is that fools like augustine have managed to permeate into the public conciousness enough to do harm. If you don’t want forced vaccination, keep your goofy beliefs to yourself and nobody will bug you.

  139. #139 Pablo
    June 3, 2010

    Todd – I did some figuring a few months ago,** digging through the original literature on the topic, and I think I came to the conclusion that the number of cases of GBS that could be attributed to the vaccine was somewhere in the 15 – 35. There is some range in the measurement, and that is why it is such a large range in a relative sense, but let’s be conservative and use the high end.

    There were at most 35 extra cases of GBS in the US due to the swine flu vaccination. Out of millions of vaccinations.

    The amazing part is that it was enough to be noticeable, and could be detected. But still, 35 extra cases of GBS.

    **I basically looked at incidence rates compared to background, and compared it to the size of the vaccination pool. It’s more complicated that that (I blame the epidemiologists), but that is basically what we did. 35 was the upper end of the range, but 18 – 20 is more realistic.

  140. #140 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    Mike the snake: “If you don’t want forced vaccination, keep your goofy beliefs to yourself and nobody will bug you.”

    Shut up, sit down, and take my vitamins if I know what’s good for me? Just comes down to threats and intimidation now doesn’t it? Business as usual. You tell your side and I’ll tell mine and let the people decide.

  141. #141 Todd W.
    June 3, 2010

    @Pablo

    There were a number of studies looking at the possibility of the 1976 vaccine causing GBS. Only two showed a potential causation. The extremely low rate leaves the question in some doubt. We cannot say for certain whether the additional cases were, indeed, caused by the vaccine or not.

  142. #142 BlueMaxx
    June 3, 2010

    well.. I did my part, as a NYS registered voter, and health professional that KNOWS first hand how nasty meningitis can be. It kills. It permanently injures. I causes serious illness. It can be prevented.

    I dropped emails to both my assemblyman and my senator.

    GO VACCINES!

  143. #143 Pablo
    June 3, 2010

    I just used an epidemiological paper that discussed incidence rates.

    But don’t miss the point: even in that paper, that found a higher incidence of GBS, the extra number of cases amounted to all of 20. Out of the millions of vaccinations, this study concluded that there were 20 more cases of GBS than would be expected. Basically, it confirms your implication that the probability that jen’s grandmother got GBS _from the vaccine_ is pretty darn small.

  144. #144 Todd W.
    June 3, 2010

    @Pablo

    Ah, thanks for the clarification.

  145. #145 blueMaxx
    June 3, 2010

    Making it easy for the rationale side to voice opinions…

    DEAR STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON or SENATOR:

    I am writing to you to urge your SUPPORT of Assembly Bill 10313/Support for Senate Bill 7156, now pending in
    the NYS Assembly/SENATE.
    This bill mandates Meningitis vaccination for 7th graders, and I feel most sincerely that this is a terrific idea.

    As a Family Nurse Practitioner, having practiced at the Pediatric office, Emergency Department, and College Health settings, I am well aware of how devastating meningitis can be. It can kill, it can permanently injure, and it
    can cause significant illness.

    I urge you to support this bill. This is not some issue of personal or parental rights to choose, this is a public health and safety issue, and deserves support.

    thank you

  146. #146 David N. Brown
    June 3, 2010

    On GBS, I’ve heard of a “random day” study, which chose a completely arbitrary day, and studied how many cases of a condition occurred after it. To my recollection, even rare and severe events like MS occurred on the order of 1/100K. It seems to me, by logical extension, that it would be impossible to prove or disprove causation for an increase at or below that level.

  147. #147 Joseph
    June 3, 2010

    The prevalence has been approximately 1-2 cases per 100,000 population

    I think that article is confusing prevalence with incidence, although I can’t say for sure. For infectious diseases, it makes more sense to talk about incidence rates. What might be interesting to know is the lifetime prevalence (as opposed to the prevalence right at this moment) and this number is probably not going to sound so low that you can dismiss it.

  148. #148 David N. Brown
    June 3, 2010

    Something I find rather amusing: Wasn’t the “Urabe” MMR vaccine recalled because it was believed to CAUSE meningitis? But, anti-vaxxers oppose a vaccine that could prevent the same or similar condition.
    This is what I mean when I say anti-vaccine actives only get in the way when it comes to solving real problems with vaccines.

  149. #149 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    david brown: “Wasn’t the “Urabe” MMR vaccine recalled because it was believed to CAUSE meningitis? But, anti-vaxxers oppose a vaccine that could prevent the same or similar condition.
    This is what I mean when I say anti-vaccine actives only get in the way when it comes to solving real problems with vaccines.”

    How stupid. A vaccine for the side effects of another vaccine? Of course someone questioning vaccine safety would question this. But this would make TOTAL sense when viewed through medical colored glasses where there is a pill for every ill.

  150. #150 Todd W.
    June 3, 2010

    @augustine

    A vaccine for the side effects of another vaccine?

    That is not what David N. Brown said. That is yet another person whose words you have twisted to mean something other than what was stated.

  151. #151 Composer99
    June 3, 2010

    augustine:

    If you are not ‘anti-vax’, then what on Earth are you doing trolling the comment boards of this blog?

    Frankly, based on previous behaviour this statement demonstrates the same kind of mendacity behind so many others (such as the laughable grenade analogy).

  152. #152 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    “Wasn’t the “Urabe” MMR vaccine recalled because it was believed to CAUSE meningitis? But, anti-vaxxers oppose a vaccine that could prevent the same or similar condition.”

    He made a statement infering that “anti-vaxxers” are contradictory based on this statement. This is not contradictory. In fact it is a logical fallacy.

    But pro-forced mass vaccine people overlook those types of things when they are opposed to their beliefs. As a matter of fact they sometimes defend such fallacy when it coincides their belief systems. As evidenced right here.

  153. #153 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    “If you are not ‘anti-vax’, then what on Earth are you doing trolling the comment boards of this blog?”

    Isn’t this the pro forced mass vaccine agenda board where scientist spout off their ideologies, strong political opinions, personal philosophies and then with a twist of rhetoric call it “science” or evidence instead of what it really is?

    That’s pretty dangerous stuff. At least that’s what history proves.

  154. #154 stuv.myopenid.com
    June 3, 2010

    Could everybody please just stop feeding the damned troll?

  155. #155 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    “Could everybody please just stop feeding the damned troll?”

    I’m full as a tick. Fallacies, myths, and hypocritical, unprofessional scientists spouting off their philosophical/political opinions in the name of science fill me up. I could use a break so cut it out.

  156. #156 Dave
    June 3, 2010

    Could everybody please just stop feeding the damned troll?

    No.

    This is the Internet, feeding trolls is our National Pastime.

  157. #157 stuv.myopenid.com
    June 3, 2010

    Fine, fine, fine… but this one is so mind-numbingly transparent and tedious it makes reading comment threads simply not worth it anymore. I see “aug…” and move on.

    So in a sense, he/she is succeeding. Derailment and repulsion.

  158. #158 mikerattlesnake
    June 3, 2010

    “Isn’t this the pro forced mass vaccine agenda board where scientist spout off their ideologies, strong political opinions, personal philosophies and then with a twist of rhetoric call it “science” or evidence instead of what it really is?”

    Nope.

    If anything, at least you’re asking easy to answer questions!

  159. #159 Orange Lantern
    June 3, 2010

    In the past couple of weeks Augustine’s valuable contributions have been 1.) jumping on people for proof every time they imply that Wakefield’s actions have lead to childhood death, 2.) pointlessly nitpicking an analogy, and 3.) trying to make a comment section fit the definition of “cult”.

    These three areas have been well answered, but he keeps bringing them up in new threads as if no one has thought about them before.

    Keep feeding him if you want. I’ve fed him a banquet and will be happy to ignore him until he makes something resembling a point.

  160. #160 Composer99
    June 3, 2010

    @ 155/157:

    stuv., many of us appear driven by the sentiment expressed in this comic: http://xkcd.com/386/

    The troll has thus far contributed the following to the threads it has polluted on this blog:
    – Unsubstantiated assertions mendaciously presented as established fact
    – Distortions and lies (of opponents’ positions and statements, of basic facts, etc.)
    – A stunning lack of understanding of science, risk, logic, and history

    The troll then has the audacity to claim that he/she/it has a ‘side’ in a reasonable debate, a claim that, since the support the troll presents for his/her/its ‘side’ is as above, is demonstrably false.

    All the same, you’re probably right, we should stop feeding the troll. It just feels wrong to let him/her/it get away with such loathsome behaviour.

  161. #161 Dave
    June 3, 2010

    Stuv —

    Actually, I agree with you that auggie is boring, which is the worst sin a troll can commit. I personally ignore him. On the other hand, in over 15 years in Internet discussions, I have never once seen an appeal to “stop feeding the troll(s)” work.

  162. #162 Orac
    June 3, 2010

    Sometimes I wonder if bensmyson is in reality:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/03/the-kelly-bensimon-metaph_n_599139.html

    The spelling is too close to be coincidental.

  163. #163 Zetetic
    June 3, 2010

    Poor, poor augie…he/she started out trying to sound so full of intellect and bluster, and now is reduced to the the equivalents of “I know are but what am i?” and “No…You’re the booger head!”. Just more baseless assertions and name calling.

    No one even believes a word you say any more, since you’ve lied and misrepresented what others say so often. Never even admitting to making the simplest of mistakes.

    Come on augie we’re still waiting for that evidence we keep asking you for, and as I already mentioned in the other thread… if you quote mine again we will catch you.

  164. #164 KoryO
    June 3, 2010

    augustine, you may want to educate yourself on chickenpox. Kids with leukemia who get it have up to a 28% chance of dying from it (not leukemia), and other kids who are immunocompromised can also die from it. It’s believed to be behind almost 1/3 of childhood strokes and birth defects if a pregnant woman gets it for the first time.

    But hey, why let facts get in the way of snark, right?

  165. #165 ScienceCat
    June 3, 2010

    A slightly nitpicky fat detail – “they” can’t ban trans fats without banning meats that contain some natural trans fats. “They” can ban added trans fats or partly hydrogenated fats. The “no trans fats” declarations seen on steakhouse menus can’t possibly be accurate and need to be replaced with “no added trans fats” or “no hydrogenated fats”. I wish that the media would word the trans fat stories a bit more carefully – I once had to explain natural trans fats to a poor man in the grocery store who was desperately trying to find a brand of frozen beef burgers that didn’t have trans fats (they have to be on the label up here in Canada).

    I am also hoping that Gardasil will be approved for women that are above the current age limit sooner rather than later. Barrier methods are not 100% effective in preventing HPV transmission and are not really an option when trying to generate ScienceKittens.

    Isn’t AoA’s descent into obvious antivax madness to be welcomed? The logical disconnect between their frothing at the mouth over vaccines for older children and the onset age for autism makes it so much easier to point out the real agenda of the site to the concerned parents that are open to reason – and most of them ARE open to reason.

  166. #166 ScienceCat
    June 3, 2010

    Here’s a suggestion for another analogy for vaccines, since the seatbelt one doesn’t suit the local antivaxxers. They won’t like this one either but at least they will have to come up with different counterarguments, and that might be amusing.

    A fire drill is a(frequently mandated/legislated) precautionary safety procedure where people practice what to do in the event of a real fire. Participation in fire drills increases the safety of the participant (because the individual will have practiced how to get out and thus be better prepared for a real fire) AND increases the safety of others (because trained people will be less inclined to panic, go out the wrong way and otherwise create hazards for other people in the event of a real fire). Fire drills are not 100% protective and do not guarantee safety in the event of a real fire. They come with a cost (disruption and loss of work time, the need to have some people specially trained as floor wardens, use of professional firefighter time to supervise in some drills). The drill exercise is also not risk free. There’s a small chance that some people will stumble and hurt themselves getting out down the stairs, especially if they aren’t in good shape. There’s even a (vanishingly) small chance someone will fall and injure themseves badly, or even hit their head on a step and die.

    I put to you that even with these limitations, fire drills are still a good bargain risk-wise and that they are the price we have to pay to work and go to school in large buildings with lots of other people. Failure to comply with mandated fire drills is grounds for dismissal in many workplaces. Failure to enforce a fire drill in a school is nearly unthinkable. Home fire drills are also a good risk bargain. Now, “antidrillers” argue that rules against open flame around flammable materials, bans on workplace smoking, the presence of advanced sprinkler systems and the existence of modern burn units makes the fire drill an unnecessary risk these days, but they are a small, though vocal, minority.

  167. #167 Todd W.
    June 3, 2010

    @ScienceCat

    Very nice analogy. Much more apt than the seat belt one.

  168. #168 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    Sciencecat: “A fire drill is a(frequently mandated/legislated) precautionary safety procedure where people practice what to do in the event of a real fire. Participation in fire drills increases the safety of the participant …”

    This troll was a test. should a real troll come along and incite massively large numbers of unvaccinated all by him/herself then the members of scienceblogs will be more prepared to fight the potential risk of a real troll.

    Now, the troll drill is not 100% effective. Some will choose to ignore the troll’s valid points. Also the troll drill is not risk free as some will even begin to get confused and believe that people actually have individual rights when it comes to their bodies and medical procedures. And these drills do come with a cost. Valuable time that should be spent studying scientific endeavors or actually working could be lost. One could possibly even lose their job for participating in troll fighting drills.

    But in the end it’s still a good bargain risk-wise and that they are the price we have to pay to work and go to school in completely sterile environments.

    Now there are some who are opposed to fighting the trolls but they are a minority. Besides if we don’t fight them a real disease could break out and kill all of the vaccinated or worse… The trolls could take over the internet.

    KittyCat, that was the worst analogy I’ve ever heard. But I have to give it to you. You put some time and thought in to it. Bless, you.

  169. #169 Zetetic
    June 3, 2010

    @ ScienceCat:
    I like it as well, it’s a good analogy. Unfortunately, the hard line anti-vaxers still won’t like it since accepting it will undermine their dogma.

    It might be good at reaching the undecided though.

  170. #170 madder
    June 3, 2010

    The analogy I’ve used is the cards that were given to WWII anti-aircraft gunners (and for all I know, spotters and lookouts in just about all areas of the military). They showed color schemes and silhouettes of friendly and enemy aircraft, so that they could recognize and fire upon enemies instead of waiting to be shot at. Now sure, “natural immunity” probably worked better (if you’ve been shot at by a Messerschmitt or a Zero and lived, you’ll never forget what they look like), but at a hell of a cost. Compare that to the common papercuts, occasional injuries as somebody dropped a crate of the things on their foot, or rare but serious injuries at the printing presses.

  171. #171 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    Kory0: “But hey, why let facts get in the way of snark, right?”

    With words like “up to a 28% chance” ,”believed to be”,”almost”, “if a pregnant woman” you hardly established ANY facts there, kid.

    Snark returned.

  172. #172 squirrelelite
    June 3, 2010

    For the benefit of those commenters who assert that their rights trump the needs and safety of society, I suggest reading a document which had some influence on the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution:
    The Social Contract, by Jean Jacques Rousseau

    http://www.constitution.org/jjr/socon.htm

    It’s a bit long and the language a bit formalized, but I have mined a few quotes:

    1) “as the force and liberty of each man are the chief instruments of his self-preservation, how can he pledge them without harming his own interests, and neglecting the care he owes to himself?”

    It’s a bit subtle, but what he is leading to is that when you accept the contract to live with other people in society, you give up some of your liberty and pledge the force you can exert to benefit the common good.

    2) “The problem is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate, and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free as before.”

    Society is trying to defend and protect all of us collectively, but in doing so, can it each of us to obey themselves alone?

    3) “on the violation of the social compact, each regains his original rights and resumes his natural liberty, while losing the conventional liberty in favour of which he renounced it.”

    By entering into this contract, each of us gives up some of our personal “natural” liberty, in order to gain the “conventional” liberty that comes from organizing to provide for the common defence and promote the general welfare. When we insist on obeying ourselves alone, we also lose these common benefits.

    4) “These clauses, properly understood, may be reduced to one — the total alienation of each associate, together with all his rights, to the whole community; for, in the first place, as each gives himself absolutely, the conditions are the same for all; and, this being so, no one has any interest in making them burdensome to others.”

    i.e., you are giving up some of your rights to the community.

    You are accepting the same conditions as everyone else. So, if vaccination is a recommended public health measure for everyone else to protect against the common enemy of infectious disease, you should accept that it is recommended for you as well. A demonstrable medical/scientific contraindication that applies to you specifically would, I think, be an acceptable exemption.

    If you choose not to accept those conditions, then you should act not to make yourself burdensome to others.

    In other words, go find an obscure uninhabited corner of a rain forest somewhere and subsist on ethically wild harvested produce for a while. Perhaps in a few hundred years the rest of society will discover your surviving descendents and wonder where they came from.

  173. #173 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    Hey squirrel,

    Just a little exegetical interpretation here. Where exactly does it say that one must submit to medical procedures and/or vaccines? Just how much of your doctrine influenced your interpretation of the text you just read to us?

  174. #174 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    @squirrel: “For the benefit of those commenters who assert that their rights trump the needs and safety of society,”

    Starting off with a straw man is no way to influence these evidence based scientists. They see right through your hollow attempts to persuade. Remember these are fallacy killers you’re dealing with. They take no prisoners. They are serious about their science. Do not taint it with logical fallacies.

  175. #175 Zetetic
    June 3, 2010

    augustine @ #168:

    Now, the troll drill is not 100% effective. Some will choose to ignore the troll’s valid points.

    Perhaps that’s because we are still waiting for the troll to make any valid point at all. Especially any points that are either backed by evidence, logic, other lenses to view the world, or not based on lying about the positions of others.

    KittyCat, that was the worst analogy I’ve ever heard.

    This coming from the person whose best analogies are condoms making your “pecker” drop off, and throwing oneself on a grenade. LOL!

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Augustine at @171 still proving my suspicion in my earlier post:

    With words like “up to a 28% chance” ,”believed to be”,”almost”, “if a pregnant woman” you hardly established ANY facts there, kid.

    [scarc]
    Yes, because it’s so much better to be speaking with utter dogmatic confidence in support of a position for which you have no evidence or logic, than it is to speak of probabilities like a real scientist does. Because, we all know that being absolutely confident for no reason whatsoever, is far more important than being correct but showing any possibility of doubt. Obviously if you can’t provide any credible supporting evidence after weeks of requests for such and have to constantly lie about the positions of others, but you express absolute confidence, then you MUST be correct! Right, augie?
    [/sarc]

  176. #176 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    “Yes, because it’s so much better to be speaking with utter dogmatic confidence in support of a position for which you have no evidence or logic.”

    Please explain your strawman zertec. Let’s see if we can deconstruct him.

  177. #177 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    I’m watching “Creating Synthetic Life” with a round table discussion and Micheal Specter is a lunatic.

    He’s sitting around with real scientists and thinks he’s one of them.

    Anytime some ethic issue was raised he was the first one to pipe up with let’s do it. Screw ethics.

  178. #178 augustine
    June 3, 2010

    Orac,

    I ask for permission to be moderation free.

  179. #179 ScienceCat
    June 4, 2010

    Hi augustine! If that was the *worst* analogy that you’ve ever heard, then a. it’s back to the seatbelts for you :P and b. you’ve led a blissfully sheltered life without ever having to grade long-answer exam questions. Don’t worry your pretty little green head about wasting my time. I came up with the worst-analogy-that-you-ever-wasted-time-responding-to a while back for some nonbiogeek coworkers and it didn’t take long to type in. If it’s useful to someone else, great. If it sparks a bunch of posts with more stylish analogies (I liked madder’s enemy aircraft card one – my daddy told me about those), even better!

    I certainly didn’t post thinking it would convince you or any other true believer of anything. My ego just isn’t that big. Does anyone here actually argue with you thinking that their arguments will change your mind? (Do you argue with us thinking that you will change ours without evidence? Are we all just Don Quixote at heart?) I thought they/we just did it because there are things that cannot go unchallenged and possibly because arguing about science is a form of constructive entertainment for scientists. This is why I like a lot of your stuff, augustine. Not only do I enjoy a good argument, and you spark some good ones from other people, but I also find your writing to be quite entertaining much of the time – “troll drill” sounds like something out of LOTR or Warcraft (does it come with orcs?)

    How’s about this for a non-analogy? I actually support your right to remain unvaccinated and inviolate. I also (selfishly!)support the right of a crowded society to protect itself from epidemics and the rights of individuals in that society to enjoy reasonable protection from disease. What’s your solution to balancing those rights?
    Personally, I find the options of self-imposed physical isolation or ridiculously frequent testing and strictly enforced quarantine procedures (not my idea of individual freedom)to be somewhat restrictive of individual rights, much more so than requiring a few jabs as a prerequisite to mingling in crowded places. The going to work and school in sterile environments thing that you snarked about would in truth eliminate the need for vaccines but it’s a bit difficult to manage and sounds rather unappealing.

    Cheerio, please post your solution as soon as possible and don’t let the Alliance get you down!

  180. #180 Chris
    June 4, 2010

    ScienceCat! I love your ‘nym. I love your inputs! I love the idea of ScienceKitties!

    (not so fond of feeding the troll… but I must confess I fed him a bit yesterday because he is so silly!)

  181. #181 augustine
    June 4, 2010

    Chris: “ScienceCat! I love your ‘nym. I love your inputs! I love the idea of ScienceKitties!”

    @Sciencecat, I think he’s hitting on you and hinting on what he wants to do. Be careful if you’re married. You too, Chris.

  182. #182 Vicki
    June 4, 2010

    ScienceCat–

    I like that analogy.

    But I’m the person who annoys the building fire safety director by raising her hand when he says “any questions?” to ask “Yes, where are the fire extinguishers?” (I also got the H1N1 shot partly in the interests of herd immunity.)

  183. #183 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 4, 2010

    Please explain your strawman zertec. Let’s see if we can deconstruct him.

    Look in the mirror.

    BTW, you may be a bit confused on the gender in comment 181.

  184. #184 Todd W.
    June 4, 2010

    @T. Bruce McNeely

    Are you questioning augustine’s psychic abilities? I presume you have scientific evidence that augustine is mistaken? :P

  185. #185 squirrelelite
    June 4, 2010

    @augustine,

    Since a lot of the comments on this thread had to do with the social agreements we make as a basis for political decisions on public health measures, I thought a little historical/philosophical background might be useful.

    Since Rousseau certainly knew of smallpox and may have heard of Edward Jenner but probably never heard of the germ theory of disease, my comments were mainly an attempt to explain how I thought Rousseau’s philosophy was pertinent to the discussion. As you do, I also have predilections, philosphies, likes and dislikes and I am sure they affect what I choose to say and how I phrase those statements.

    If you disagree with my explanation, perhaps you would care to state your own interpretation and explain why you think it is correct.

    Any social contract is essentially a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” agreement.

    When people assert that the safety of others is not important enough for them even to accept a minute risk or exert the smallest effort to improve that overall safety, they are essentially saying, “I’m glad that you’re scratching my back, but I’m not going to scratch yours.”

  186. #186 squirrelelite
    June 4, 2010

    Also, augustine, in a bit of shameless self-promotion ;), I think I will repeat part of a comment I posted yesterday. jen seemed to think it referred to her, but perhaps you would benefit from reading it.

    To be taken seriously as a commenter, even if not everyone chooses to agree with everything you say, you should at least do the following.

    1) State what you think/understand/perceive to be the truth. Don’t just toss out questions that imply disagreement even if they don’t actually say so or respond to everything with a content free short retort.

    2) Explain what you base that on. You don’t have to provide peer-reviewed journal articles to support everything, but you should be willing to at least go to the well of real data when questioned to see if they really support what you are saying.

    3) Try to make a direct response to questions. Merely asserting that the other person doesn’t understand you or is biased or you just know (what you are asserting is really true) won’t convince very many people.

    4) Oddly enough, be willing to correct your own mistakes or at least clarify them when questioned. It shows you care about the accuracy of what you say, not just about whether it irritates someone into responding. And that makes you more believable, not less.

  187. #187 augustine
    June 4, 2010

    @Bruce:

    “BTW, you may be a bit confused on the gender in comment 181.”

    You’re right. Maybe they are talking about partnering up and making “science kitties” in the lab. Or maybe adopting these “kitties.”

    I guess I’m traditional and was thinking of the natural way of making science kitties from a science cat.

  188. #188 MI Dawn
    June 4, 2010

    All little Augie has done with his comment at 181 has proven that he does NOT read all of what anyone posts. Chris has posted enough times that L.A. should know her sex. I just wish I had a killfile at work like I do at home…

  189. #189 Mike
    June 4, 2010

    “Parents Requesting Open Vaccine Education”

    … sigh.

  190. #190 Zetetic
    June 4, 2010

    augustine @ #176:

    Please explain your strawman zertec. Let’s see if we can deconstruct him.

    Well since I’m still awaiting your “brilliant” deconstructions on the other threads, why not have a look at this one too?

    Here is your post (augie) from #171:

    With words like “up to a 28% chance” ,”believed to be”,”almost”, “if a pregnant woman” you hardly established ANY facts there, kid

    Now please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here, since your original comment was so vague, and lacking in specifics. But you seemed to be complaining about koryO @ #164 speaking in terms of probabilities of a complex event and it’s conditions, rather than speaking in terms of absolutism like a dogmatist such as yourself. So was that your intent or not, augie? If not then perhaps you should have worded things more clearly. If your intent was that koryO didn’t link to other sites to back-up the position, why didn’t you just say that? Also, why should he/she take the time to do so for you, augie? You don’t read them anyhow.

    As to my comments directed towards you augie, they were how you tend to make confident sounding assertions that have no basis in fact. Like your lie (in the other thread) about Brian Deer not criticizing anything to do with “Big Pharma”. Or your assertion (again in another thread) that natural resistance is all society needs against disease. We’ve been asking you for evidence for sometime now, but the only thing you’ve offered beyond more assertions, were quote-mined papers.

    So please, as I asked in the Petition thread, deconstruct away.

  191. #191 Todd W.
    June 4, 2010

    @Zetetic

    but the only thing you’ve offered beyond more assertions, were quote-mined papers.

    Don’t forget insults. Augie’s offered insults, too, in place of evidence.

  192. #192 Sauceress
    June 4, 2010

    I don’t bother reading augie’s incessant whiny repetitions anymore either. It’s practically the same thing over and over ad nauseam. However, whenever I see its nym this “Tree of Life” T-Shirt(@ bottom of page) comes to mind.

    http://www.darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2005-15.html

  193. #193 Sauceress
    June 4, 2010

    #178

    I ask for permission to be moderation free.

    Hmmm…isn’t the incessant posting of unsupported assertions akin to spamming?

  194. #194 Zetetic
    June 5, 2010

    @ Todd W:
    Quite true.
    Augie must have a very short memory since he/she pulled this same crap on me towards the end of the “Fun with anti-vaccine petitions” thread. I called the bluff then too, I’m still waiting for him/her to act upon the threat “to respond and shred that piece of work”. It’s amusing that someone can think that such a juvenile bluff would be any sort of threat to a grown adult.

    Hell…it’s amusing that he thinks that anyone with any degree of intellectual honesty (and maturity) would feel afraid of such a threat even if it wasn’t a bluff. Just another case of projection I guess.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–

    @ augustine:
    Do you know what intellectually honest adults do when they get caught making a mistake , or making a bad argument, and you can prove it? They admit the error, apologize for it, and move on. All of the things that you haven’t been doing.

    P.S. I’m still waiting….

    ;-)

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    @ Sauceress:
    Not to mention lying about Brian Deer, making false assertions about other poster’s positions, quote-mining papers, etc.

    Augie has been a naughty little troll.

  195. #195 augustine
    June 5, 2010

    “Don’t forget insults. Augie’s offered insults, too, in place of evidence.”

    I only mimic and mirror the posters on the board. I am a direct reflection of yourselves but I chose to use the antagonizing view. It’s not the method that you hate. If it were, you would choose to attack many of your own. It is my philosophy and my views that you hate me for. It is your neighbor’s philosophy and views that you hate them for and call them dangerous.

    You love science but only in it’s natural philosophical viewpoint will you accept it. You reject all other views as fallacy and absurd, even if using scientific evidence. You don’t attack logical fallacy and contradiction, you attack philosophies that contradict with your own psychological construction of the world.

    You’re not a critical thinker at all you are just a critic.

  196. #196 Kristen
    June 5, 2010

    @Zetetic and Todd W.

    but the only thing you’ve offered beyond more assertions, were quote-mined papers.

    Don’t forget insults. Augie’s offered insults, too, in place of evidence.

    Don’t forget about his imaginary hierarchy of commentators, that’s my favorite. I think I am (one of?) the resident angry mother(s). But definitively not at the top in regards to education or intellect (although my mommy sense knows all). ;)

  197. #197 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 5, 2010

    In place of evidence, Augie also uses the “ignore it and it will go away” technique. There’s also the misuse of terms for logical fallacies, and of course, my hot button: “scientism”.

    As Bugs Bunny says: “Whadda maroon!”

  198. #198 augustine
    June 5, 2010

    @Bruce:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

    Scientism: The term scientism describes the position that natural science is the most authoritative worldview or aspect of human education, and that it is superior to all other interpretations of life.

    It is used to criticize a totalizing view of science as if it were capable of describing all reality and knowledge, or as if it were the only true way to acquire knowledge about reality and the nature of things.

    As a form of dogma: “In essence, scientism sees science as the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth.

  199. #199 Zetetic
    June 5, 2010

    @ augustine:
    Thank you for admitting (yet again) that you ultimately have neither logic nor evidence to back up your position. So now instead of offering logic or evidence, you now offer the Tu Quoque rationalizations of those that insist on clinging to irrational beliefs.

    Shorter augustine…”Sure I have no evidence, logic, and have to constantly lie to make my case. But my way of making crap up is superior to your logic and evidence. You’re just being dogmatic, asking for evidence to change your minds. My not changing my mind in spite of contrary evidence, now that’s being open minded!”

    [sarc]
    Yeah augie being open to changing one’s position based on evidence is being dogmatic. While being in denial to any contrary evidence is being open minded.
    [/sarc]

    The problem with your definition is that dogma stays the same regardless of any contrary evidence (such as your position). Science changes with the evidence, you simply haven’t offered anything credible.

    Your “pull-it-out-of-my-ass-ism” is ultimately far more dogmatic since it deliberately ignores any contrary evidence and gaps in it’s own logic. Hell, augie you can’t even admit when you’ve made an obvious error.

    —————————————————————–

    Think I’m being unfair? Then, just as I asked you before, instead of just making “woo-prattle” give us an example of any advancement in human knowledge that was produced by unscientific thinking and explain how we know that it’s correct. Surely it can’t be that hard can it?

    Yet again your pathetic attempts at a Tu Quoque fallacy fail to either convince or impress. Go on, show us how your “other lenses” are superior.

  200. #200 Rogue Medic
    June 5, 2010

    @ 195 augustine,

    I only mimic and mirror the posters on the board.

    As with a mirror, only a reflection.

    No substance.

    No depth.

    No understanding.

    And, your specialty, no valid evidence.

    A distorted fun house mirror, but without the fun.

  201. #201 augustine
    June 5, 2010

    Zertec: “Then, just as I asked you before, instead of just making “woo-prattle” give us an example of any advancement in human knowledge that was produced by unscientific thinking and explain how we know that it’s correct. Surely it can’t be that hard can it?”

    Nuremberg Code. Your turn, Jesus.

  202. #202 augustine
    June 5, 2010

    Rogue: “As with a mirror, only a reflection.

    No substance.

    No depth.

    No understanding.”

    It displays your character. You attack yet you don’t even know what you attack. You’re playing in a house of mirrors, fool.

  203. #203 Sauceress
    June 5, 2010

    It’s not the method that you hate.

    and

    It is my philosophy and my views that you hate me for.

    Like the majority of the reality resistant, augie obviously can’t distinguish between hate and criticism.
    Don’t flatter yourself augie, my emotion toward you is as my emotion toward a brick or a rock. Emotion has nothing to do with it…except maybe to those whose entire world view is based on their emotions.

    But seeing as you obviously suffer a persecution complex, let me just tell you that the FSM still loves you. He really does and you’ll feel His love if only you open yourself to Him and let His Noodly Appendage come unto you. Only then will enlightenment embrace you.

    Here’s a a question for augie…

    augie, why don’t you get your own blog on where you can push your ideology and other various mental masturbations?
    Why is it you insist on using Orac’s blog to push your ideology?
    ~~~~
    Re link @192…looks like the ads constantly change…this was the one I wanted..
    Tree of Life

  204. #204 Seb30
    June 5, 2010

    Question from Zetetic 199
    “give us an example of any advancement in human knowledge that was produced by unscientific thinking and explain how we know that it’s correct.”

    The answer from Augustine
    “Nuremberg Code”

    What the heck?

    Ok, I will admit that the Nuremberg code is an advancement in human philosophy and ethics, and a very needed one, but as for knowledge?
    Also, I will not say that the judges came with these guidelines in a “unscientific thinking” mod. They reviewed data, identified causal effects and proposed an action to correct them. Hardly unscientific.

  205. #205 augustine
    June 5, 2010

    Zertec: “Thank you for admitting (yet again) that you ultimately have neither logic nor evidence to back up your position.”

    How is this for logic and evidence?
    http://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/overview.html

    999 out of 1000 cases of measles don’t die today. Yet cases are very low so deaths are very low. Statistical chance of unvaccinated immune system getting and dying of measles in a homogeneous population is tiny, very, very, tiny.

    http://web.med.unsw.edu.au/pathology/meas.pdf

    6,499 of 6500 cases didn’t die before vaccines. More than 97% of the population per year didn’t get measles.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1919891/pdf/pubhealthreporig00027-0069.pdf

    “For centuries the measles virus has maintained a remarkably stable ecological relationship with man. The clinical disease is a characteristic syndrome of notable constancy and only moderate severity. Complications are infrequent, and, with adequate medical care, fatality is rare.”

    So I like my chances of forgoing the vaccine. Based on evidence and logic. Herd immunity? If I get measles naturally then I confer lifelong immunity contributing to herd immunity. The vaccinated might not can say that. If I become infected how long am I contagious to

  206. #206 Rogue Medic
    June 5, 2010

    @ 202 augustine,

    It displays your character. You attack yet you don’t even know what you attack. You’re playing in a house of mirrors, fool.

    All you are doing is promoting ignorance.

    Fortunately, most people seem to be realizing that anti-vaccinationists just oppose protecting children from disease.

    You keep repeating your mantra that vaccines are bad.

    Children will keep dying from vaccine preventable illnesses.

    You claim that I do not know what I am doing?

  207. #207 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 5, 2010

    I have to say “augustine’s” name is very well chosen: “God grant me sanity—but not yet!”

  208. #208 augustine
    June 5, 2010

    @seb30
    non scientific would be a better word

    Rogue medic:
    “Fortunately, most people seem to be realizing that anti-vaccinationists just oppose protecting children from disease.”

    fallacy. It is an error of logical application. Because someone does not choose to take a vaccine does not mean they want someone to get sick and die.

    Rogue medic: “You keep repeating your mantra that vaccines are bad.”

    Did I say that?

    Rogue medic: “Children will keep dying from vaccine preventable illnesses.”

    This is just rhetoric. It presumes that the death of someone from an infection for which a vaccine has been concocted would have been prevented if that person had been vaccinated. This is IMPOSSIBLE to assess for that person. In fact there is evidence to the contrary.

    Rogue medic: “You claim that I do not know what I am doing?”

    No.

  209. #209 Chris
    June 6, 2010

    Isn’t it past your bedtime, Little Augie?

  210. #210 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 6, 2010

    It presumes that the death of someone from an infection for which a vaccine has been concocted would have been prevented if that person had been vaccinated. This is IMPOSSIBLE to assess for that person. In fact there is evidence to the contrary.

    Evidence to the contrary? Let’s see it.

    Oh I forgot. You don’t “do” evidence.
    You have “other ways of knowing”. I yield to the superior power of your ass, from whence all knowledge flows.

  211. #211 Zetetic
    June 6, 2010

    augustine @ #201:

    Nuremberg Code.

    Fail. I asked for knowledge and a means of showing that it’s correct, since that is what science is about. Instead you point to an ethics guideline that attempts to balance scientific advancement with long established human morals. BTW, while I have no trouble with the code itself, in what way is it “factual” instead of a series of ethical guidelines?

    Congratulations on commuting yet another fallacy to add to your list the “Category Error“.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–

    augustine @ #202:

    It displays your character. You attack yet you don’t even know what you attack. You’re playing in a house of mirrors, fool.

    Says the person that commits one fallacy after another, ignores contrary evidence, and continually lies about others. But never admits any error, all while accusing others that are asking for evidence to change their minds of being dogmatic.

    Projection thy name is augstine.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #205:
    Ah! Finally we get to an argument about facts! Fun time!

    But wait didn’t I warn you about misrepresenting the works of others?

    999 out of 1000 cases of measles don’t die today. Yet cases are very low so deaths are very low. Statistical chance of unvaccinated immune system getting and dying of measles in a homogeneous population is tiny, very, very, tiny.

    You said “999 out of 1000 cases of measles don’t die today”, but what did the article you cited actually say? (I did warn you that I would read it).

    From the CDC…

    About one out of 1,000 gets encephalitis, and one or two out of 1,000 die.

    So while what you said wasn’t completely inaccurate you already tried to spin it a little bit to your favor. Besides I don’t recall anyone arguing against the position that the death rate from measles was lower in industrialized countries than in poorer regions. But you would have known that we already knew that if you read the links I provided you back in Petition thread. But, lets look at what else you left out.

    Measles is very rare in countries and regions of the world that are able to keep vaccination coverage high.

    Uh, oh. That states that vaccination lowers the rate of disease. How can that be if people are naturally protected as you stated in the other thread?

    Worldwide, there are estimated to be 10 million cases and 197,000 deaths each year. More than half of the deaths occur in India

    That’s an awful lot of dead children augie. So exactly how many dead children is considered acceptable by your standards? Please let us know how many dead kids are acceptable to you.

    More augie…

    Statistical chance of unvaccinated immune system getting and dying of measles in a homogeneous population is tiny, very, very, tiny.

    I personally think that 1/1,000 odds are a bit more than “very, very, tiny”, but that’s debatable. The question you should be asking, and keep ignoring, is what is the rate of harm in for vaccination in relation to the odds of harm for the disease? In this case what is the odds of death from the vaccine in relation to the odds of death from the disease? I notice that you avoid citing sources for the complications of vaccines and instead focus on just trying to play down the risk of the more mild diseases. Hardly intellectually honest of you, now is it augie?

    Lets compare the risk of measles death to the risk of the most serious of vaccine complication from your own second link

    Encephalopathy less than 1/1,000,000 doses

    [note: I had to use “less than” since the system was ignoring the chevron symbol for it.]

    So augie if 1-2/1,000 deaths from measles is “very, very, tiny” what is a risk of less that 1/1,000,000, and even that doesn’t necessarily mean death? How tiny would you say that is augie?

    Seriously I wonder if you actually read that few things that you’ve linked to. For example, in neither your 2nd nor your 3rd (an article from 1967? Really?) links did I find your…

    6,499 of 6500 cases didn’t die before vaccines.

    Nor did I find your…

    More than 97% of the population per year didn’t get measles.

    Odd how it seems rather at odds from this quote from you own links which state [emphasis added]…

    Before 1963, approximately 500,000 cases and 500 deaths
    were reported annually with epidemic cycles every 2-3 years.
    However, the actual number of cases was estimated at
    3-4 million annually. More than 50% of persons had measles
    by age 6 and more than 90% had measles by age 15
    .

    Gee, I guess that 3% per year really adds up doesn’t it? Funny how once again you seem to have deliberately spun the facts in order to misrepresent them and attempt to dishonestly play down the risks.

    Here’s a few more choice quotes you left out, I noticed….

    Therefore, in a country where smallpox, diphtheria, and poliomyelitis have been brought under effective control through immunization of a moderately high proportion, but by no means all infants and children, so also can measles be controlled with the attainment of immunity levels that are reasonable and wholly practical to achieve.

    Prevaccine era: virtually universal infection
    in childhood with frequent epidemics

    Postvaccine era: >98% reduction in cases

    Recent resurgence due to low vaccination coverage levels

    Measles is more severe in malnourished children, particularly those with vitamin A deficiency. Complications include diarrhea, dehydration, stomatitis, inability to feed, and bacterial infections(skin and elsewhere). The case fatality rate may be as high as 25%. Measles is also a leading cause of blindness in African children.

    Measles is highly communicable, with >90% secondary
    attack rates among susceptible persons.

    Seriously augie…do you actually read for comprehension the articles you link to? Do you just hope that we won’t read them since most anti-vaxers are too intellectually lazy to do such? Or do you just filter them through your dogma and not notice the details that contradict your own position?

    More augie prattle:

    If I get measles naturally then I confer lifelong immunity contributing to herd immunity

    If you survive it then yes, hopefully the others you infect in the meantime will survive it as well…but why should you care about them, right augie?

    So lets look at your position… in order to avoid a less than 1/1,000,000 chance of serious harm to yourself only, you’re willing to take a 1-2/1,000 chance and potentially endanger the lives of others too? How exactly is this either logical or ethical?

    The only way your position makes sense is if the odds of harm from the vaccine are greater than the odds of harm for the disease, but your own links refute that position.

    Thanks for the links though, they’ll come in handy later when arguing against other anti-vaxers. BTW augie, I noticed that you like to keep focusing on measles. What about some of the nastier diseases like polio? I noticed that you seemed to dodge that subject in the Petition thread.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #208:

    fallacy. It is an error of logical application. Because someone does not choose to take a vaccine does not mean they want someone to get sick and die.

    The fallacy is yours augustine. Specifically the Straw-man Fallacy in this case. Rouge didn’t say in the post that anti-vaxers want children to die, but rather that people are realising that the goal of anti-vaxers is to not protect children from disease and instead rely on nature to take it’s course. You know augie, the exact same position that you had just advocated in your post @ #205.

    Once again augie you show yourself as being completely lacking in the integrity to honestly represent your opponent’s position, or lacking in the comprehension to accurately comprehend it.

    This is just rhetoric. It presumes that the death of someone from an infection for which a vaccine has been concocted would have been prevented if that person had been vaccinated.

    It’s a reasonable supposition based upon the statistics of both the disease and the vaccines, your own links earlier show that. It’s also a conclusion supported by disease statistics and there relation to vaccination rates, also shown by your 2nd link BTW. Funny how you neglected to point it out though.

    In fact there is evidence to the contrary.

    Really? As Bruce already stated…prove it. Preferably with citations from credible sources that actually support your position for a change, instead of contradicting it, and yes I will read them too.

    ;-)

  212. #212 squirrelelite
    June 6, 2010

    Well, augustine, Zetetic just gave you a much more thorough response than I have time for this morning.

    But, your comment that you “only mimic and mirror the posters on the board” piqued my curiosity.

    I know that you read my comment 172, because you immediately responded with 2 comments of your own and asked

    “Just how much of your doctrine influenced your interpretation of the text you just read to us?”

    I replied with comments 185 and 186, but those seemed to slip below your radar, so I will repeat a couple of statements.

    In response to your question, I answered
    “Since a lot of the comments on this thread had to do with the social agreements we make as a basis for political decisions on public health measures, I thought a little historical/philosophical background might be useful.”

    And, since your question seemed to indicate you didn’t entirely accept my interpretation of Rousseau, I asked

    “If you disagree with my explanation, perhaps you would care to state your own interpretation and explain why you think it is correct.”

    As a short review as you prepare to mimic and mirror my writing style, I suggest you read my comment 186. I noticed that Zetetic offered a similar thought to my suggestion 4 in comment 194.

    I look forward to your elucidation.

  213. #213 squirrelelite
    June 6, 2010

    Oh, and thanks to Francois T for noting that the U.S. Supreme Court also ruled on this individual freedom versus social protection issue 105 years ago!

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/05/the_american_rally_for_personal_antivacc.php#comment-2568456

  214. #214 Zetetic
    June 6, 2010

    @ augustine:
    Just an after thought…It occurred to me that you might try to spin my description of the most serious side-effect listed from your own link as an attempt to ignore the possibility of an allergic response. So just to preempt that accusation here is a little tidbit about the possibility of allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine.

    Although greater than 70 million doses of MMR vaccine have been distributed in the United States since VAERS was implemented in 1990, only 33 cases of anaphylactic reactions that occurred after MMR vaccination have been reported. Furthermore, only 11 of these cases a) occurred immediately after vaccination and b) occurred in persons who had symptoms consistent with anaphylaxis (CDC, unpublished data).

    and of course a link to the source…
    Update: Vaccine Side Effects, Adverse Reactions, Contraindications, and Precautions Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

    So augustine out of 70,000,000 doses in the USA at the time of the article there were 33 cases of an anaphylactic reaction, of which only 11 occurred immediately after the injection (meaning that the other 22 may be unrelated).

    You do the math.

    How does that stack up against your “very, very, tiny” risk of 1-2/1,000 of deaths from measles?

  215. #215 Rogue Medic
    June 6, 2010

    @ 208 augustine,

    Rogue medic: “Children will keep dying from vaccine preventable illnesses.”

    This is just rhetoric. It presumes that the death of someone from an infection for which a vaccine has been concocted would have been prevented if that person had been vaccinated. This is IMPOSSIBLE to assess for that person. In fact there is evidence to the contrary.

    No.

    That is not what I stated.

    If herd immunity is maintained with vaccination, the chances of a child dying from the illness vaccinated against are as low as possible, short of eradication.

    As herd immunity is impaired by decreasing immunization rates, the death rate among all children, for that vaccine-preventable illness, will increase.

    If the immunization rates drop much lower, deaths from vaccine-preventable illnesses may even become common.

    The reason the deaths from vaccine-preventable illnesses are so rare is the result of herd immunity.

    Of course, death prevention is not the only reason for vaccination.

  216. #216 augustine
    June 6, 2010

    Evidence to the contrary? Let’s see it.

    Oh I forgot. You don’t “do” evidence.
    You have “other ways of knowing”. I yield to the superior power of your ass, from whence all knowledge flows.

    ———————————————————
    Person receives vaccine for rhetorical “vaccine preventable disease. Person dies. Evidence:

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/10/10/despite_vaccine_meningitis_takes_teens_life/?rss_id=Boston+Globe+–+City%2FRegion+News

  217. #217 augustine
    June 6, 2010

    Zertec:
    “Projection thy name is augstine.”

    Tu Quoque.

  218. #218 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 6, 2010

    @augie:

    A newspaper account of a single person who died of meningitis despite being vaccinated against meningitis? And what would have happened had she not been vaccinated? Yes, in a rare case, a vaccine can be ineffective. Tell us something we don’t know.
    I forgot, for you, anecdotes are everything.

    The same article states that the vaccine is 85% effective.
    This is against an illness that has a significant mortality rate (3 – 7% in adults) and a very high rate of lifelong disability:

    In children there are several potential disabilities which result from damage to the nervous system. Sensorineural hearing loss, epilepsy, learning and behavioral difficulties, as well as decreased intelligence, occur in about 15% of survivors.[1] Some of the hearing loss may be reversible.[43] In adults, 66% of all cases emerge without disability. The main problems are deafness (in 14%) and cognitive impairment (in 10%).[4]

    (from Wikipedia)

    This is why my daughters are immunized.
    [edit]

  219. #219 augustine
    June 6, 2010

    Zertec: “Fail. I asked for knowledge and a means of showing that it’s correct, since that is what science is about.”

    Do you assert that ALL knowledge IS science? Or that All of knowledge comes through scientific first principles?

    Zertec: “…an ethics guideline that attempts to balance scientific advancement with long established human morals.”

    Long established human morals? It (code) was established at this time because new scientific advancement jumped out in front of human morals… in the name of, shall I dare say it, science. OUCH!

    Zertec: “But wait didn’t I warn you about misrepresenting the works of others?”

    1+9=10; 9+1=10 What’s the problem, zertec? You might not like the way I presented it but there is no misrepresentation. It is the exact same evidence.

    CDC via zertec “Measles is very rare in countries and regions of the world that are able to keep vaccination coverage high.”

    Is vaccination the ONLY difference in the citizens of these countries? No. Malnutrition is usually a big variable, but it is not the only one. Infection rate is not problem the mortality rate and serious sequelae is the problem. These were reducing in before vaccination. Mortality rate is actually higher now with vaccines.

    Zertec: “Uh, oh. That states that vaccination lowers the rate of disease. How can that be if people are naturally protected as you stated in the other thread?”

    They are protected after the disease. Some never get the disease. You’re somehow fixated on the incidence. I’ve already told you I’m fine with a disease where “Complications are infrequent, and, with adequate medical care, fatality is rare.”

    Zertec: “For example, in neither your 2nd nor your 3rd (an article from 1967? Really?) links did I find your…6,499 of 6500 cases didn’t die before vaccines.”

    That’s because I did calculations with the data given. You just look at the conclusions given.

    zertec: “More than 97% of the population per year didn’t get measles.”

    I looked at the census and used the 1950 number of 150 million people.

    Zertec: “Gee, I guess that 3% per year really adds up doesn’t it? Funny how once again you seem to have deliberately spun the facts in order to misrepresent them and attempt to dishonestly play down the risks.”

    It’s actually less than 3%.

    zertec: “If you survive it then yes, hopefully the others you infect in the meantime will survive it as well…but why should you care about them, right augie?”

    Which is a 99.99+++ percentage. I like those odds.

    zertec: “So lets look at your position… in order to avoid a less than 1/1,000,000 chance of serious harm to yourself only, you’re willing to take a 1-2/1,000 chance and potentially endanger the lives of others too? How exactly is this either logical or ethical?”

    Which is not my value for this decision making but yours so I’ll go with your numbers. 1 out of a million (BTW do you have a citation for this number. It’s actually much higher). So what is the absolute on this. How many people get the measles vaccine in the U.S? 100 million? So now, according to your numbers, at least 100 people have a serious reaction to measles vaccine? How many actual deaths occured last year from measles? How many cases of measles related encephalitis actually occurred. Now you’ll see that the difference isn’t so profound. That’s an honest comparison.

  220. #220 Zetetic
    June 6, 2010

    @ augustine:
    What is it about those that defend irrational positions that they don’t even use accusations of logical fallacies correctly? Oh, that’s right…it’s the irrational part.

    So putting aside that you apparently have nothing of substance in my rebuttal to your list of further lies, fallacies, and misrepresentations. (As an aside. I found that “selectively” quoting an article from 1967 calling for the eradication of measles by widespread vaccination, by cherry picking the one part that you could cherry-pick to support your position, was rather amusing. Thanks for the laugh.) Would you please be so kind as to point out where exactly I’ve committed a Tu Quoque fallacy? Remember…for it to be a Tu Quoque I’d have to be accusing you of something that I myself was demonstrably guilty of. Such as you accusing others of being closed minded, while they were open to contrary evidence and you were ignoring contrary evidence. Got it? In this case all you have to do is point out an example where I was clearly “projecting”. Please do so…it should be rather amusing to see how you lie and spin to try and pull it off.

    In the meantime augie, I also see that you have yet to answer which risk is greater 1-2/1000 or 1/1,000,000. Surely it can’t be that hard a question is it?

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

    Person receives vaccine for rhetorical “vaccine preventable disease. Person dies.

    Still unable to grasp even the most basic concepts of relative risks and probability, are you augie? How very pathetic.

  221. #221 Zetetic
    June 6, 2010

    “Person receives vaccine wears seat-belt for rhetorical “vaccine preventable disease automotive safety. Person dies.”

    See how build and foolish your statement is now augie? Of course not you’d have to be open to admitting that you’re wrong first. Can’t have that now can we?

  222. #222 augustine
    June 6, 2010

    “Person receives vaccine wears seat-belt for rhetorical “vaccine preventable disease automotive safety. Person dies.”

    See how build and foolish your statement is now augie? Of course not you’d have to be open to admitting that you’re wrong first. Can’t have that now can we?
    ———————————————————
    Did person get thrombocytopenia before making it out of their driveway?

    Zertec: “What is it about those that defend irrational positions that they don’t even use accusations of logical fallacies correctly?”

    Do you always label something irrational just because you don’t agree with it? Let me project some more. Do you think the belief in a god is irrational?
    ————————————————–

    Zertec, you’ve committed a mind numbing number of logical fallacies while attempting to engage in rhetoric and your particular view of disease, health, and the role of prophylactic medication.

    Me? I’m just a lowly virtual troll. I’m expected to make these errors because I stand for everything ignorant and irrational in the universe by the educated elite.

    You on the other hand are a professional scientist (or wannabe) who champions critical thinking and evidence. Remember who are are. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.

  223. #223 augustine
    June 6, 2010

    Zertec: “In the meantime augie, I also see that you have yet to answer which risk is greater 1-2/1000 or 1/1,000,000. Surely it can’t be that hard a question is it?”
    ———————————————————-
    If I use YOUR risk to benefit ratio equation then at what point is it ok to NOT take a vaccine? So will you accept 499 deaths from the measles vaccine? Since this ratio changes from region to region does that matter to you or do you only use it when it works for you? What about if measles is near hypothetical extinction and there are only a few incidences left with little to zero deaths from wild measles. With billions of vaccines this equation will change and the deaths from vaccine will exceed the natural deaths. Do you shift the goalposts at this point to push the agenda or do you allow someone to use the “old” risk/benefit formula?

  224. #224 Zetetic
    June 7, 2010

    @ everyone:
    Warning everyone….it’s SIWOTI time again!

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–

    augustine @ #219:

    Do you assert that ALL knowledge IS science? Or that All of knowledge comes through scientific first principles?

    More Straw-man arguments…You augustine are the one that is going around implying that issues of medical facts and risk can be determined by “other lenses to view the world”. All I asked was for you to provide any way that such issues of fact can be determined and proven to be correct by your “other lenses”. So far you have failed to do that.

    It is as if I asked you to describe an alternative source of power and specify it’s efficiency, and you replied “Rainbows are pretty”. Well, be that as it may, it doesn’t actually answer the question. Nor did your reply backup your position there are alternatives to evidence to access whether it’s factually better to take vaccines or nor. Overall it was a pathetic attempt at a diversion on your part.

    Long established human morals? It (code) was established at this time because new scientific advancement jumped out in front of human morals… in the name of, shall I dare say it, science. OUCH

    Which refutes my point how exactly? Do you really think that people in general didn’t have any concern for human lives before the Nuremberg Code? That no researchers any where had any ethics? While we’re on the subject though augie…how much death and suffering has been caused by religion or politics? Why is science so special to you, hmmm? No, you’re still attempting to divert from your own lack of argument about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

    1+9=10; 9+1=10 What’s the problem, zertec? You might not like the way I presented it but there is no misrepresentation. It is the exact same evidence.

    Because everything after that line shows that you deliberately cited, as evidence for your position, papers that contradict your position. Are you really that dishonest or just deluded? The closest you got to accurately representing the papers was when you said that the risk of death of measles was 1/1,000, but even there you still spun things a little and left out the 1-2/1,000. Just to do your math for you augie that means the rate of death from measles in industrialized countries is 1/1,000 to 1/500, but then you don’t seem to be big on accuracy. Not surprising since you seem to be derisive of evidence.

    Is vaccination the ONLY difference in the citizens of these countries? No. Malnutrition is usually a big variable, but it is not the only one. Infection rate is not problem the mortality rate and serious sequelae is the problem

    Are you really that delusional or just dishonest? What part of “Measles is very rare in countries and regions of the world that are able to keep vaccination coverage high.” said anything about the damage, it was clearly referring to the rate of measles infection, not fatality. The heading for that section (that you linked to) was “Measles Incidence”. Seriously, you really need to read these things for full comprehension, not just skim them for cherry-picking quotes that can be taken out of context.

    Infection rate is not problem the mortality rate and serious sequelae is the problem. These were reducing in before vaccination.

    Yeah funny how all other factors being equal, a higher infection rate means a higher rate of death and sequelae. How odd that you don’t mention that. I wonder why?

    Mortality rate is actually higher now with vaccines.

    You just can help lying can you? OK, augie where is your proof of this? We’ve been asking you for it for a few weeks now, but you still haven’t show anything credible that actually supports that position. Why not?

    They are protected after the disease.

    As I had already told you…Yes, If they survive it in the first place, you’re assuming that it won’t be a problem. Plus you’re also making the assumption that the others that they infect in the meantime won’t be harmed either. Why do you keep ignoring that?

    BTW augustine since you seem to be under the impression that getting immunity from a measles vaccine is so inferior in comparison to getting the disease I though that this might interest you [emphasis added]…

    Most children who get the vaccine develop immunity to all three diseases (over 99% for measles and 95% for mumps and rubella). Protection is believed to be life-long. Two doses of vaccine are recommended, with the first dose given at 12–15 months of age.

    Parents’ Guide to Childhood Immunization
    And gee it doesn’t involve risking killing anyone else!

    Some never get the disease.

    Your own articles show that before vaccination, about 90% would get it by age 15. You seem to be ignoring that too.

    That’s because I did calculations with the data given. You just look at the conclusions given.

    Let’s look at the numbers that you probably used. I’m sure that at this point you’ll bring up the estimated under reporting of measles cases (assuming that the estimates are accurate), but this brings up the question of if there were so many unreported cases of measles, how many cases of measles deaths went unreported/misidentified? We don’t know.

    But just to give the best (for you) scenario… Let’s go with the higher estimate of 4,000,000 cases of measles annually (most of which were unreported) assuming 500 deaths per year (and not higher, again to make it more in your favor) we still get a fatally rate of about 1/8000 (to make a simple example). Now lets compare that to the risk of serious harm from the Measles vaccine of about 1/1,000,000. Tell us augie, which is greater?

    I looked at the census and used the 1950 number of 150 million people.

    LOL! BUSTED! Caught in another deception augie. So now you’ve just admitted that you deliberately used a lower year for measles cases and then falsely implied that it was representative of the population of the whole for each year (not just 1950). While conveniently ignoring the higher years before and after 1950. How very typical of you.

    Either way you still are trying to ignore that 90% of the population having caught it by age 15. Why do you keep ignoring that augie? Oh that’s right…saying “3% per year” (while hiding that it was a low year) sounds much less risky than “90% by age 15″, even though the latter is more accurate and honest.

    Which is a 99.99+++ percentage. I like those odds

    Granted on an individual basis it does look good. But, you keep forgetting that when you are dealing with a highly contagious disease which infects 90% of the population by 15 years of age, that 0.001%-0.002% starts to add up.

    So augustine….again which is better? 99.999% with a chance of indirectly killing bystanders? Or 99.999999% with zero chance of killing bystanders? Have you decided yet augie, how many children dead of an easily preventable disease is acceptable to you yet?

    1 out of a million (BTW do you have a citation for this number. It’s actually much higher).

    Actually it was from the second article that you linked to, it’s the statistical probability of the most serious side-effect of the MMR vaccine “Encephalopathy less than 1/1,000,000 doses”. I explained that in my post at #211. The figure has been supported by every other credible medical source I’ve come across.

    It’s actually much higher

    By all means please provide a credible source for such a claim. So far nothing that you have given us supports that conclusion.

    How many people get the measles vaccine in the U.S? 100 million? So now, according to your numbers, at least 100 people have a serious reaction to measles vaccine?

    Oh brother! What is wrong with you augustine? It’s not 100 million doses per year! Since 1970 the MMR (the most common form of the vaccination) had been given in about 500 million doses in 60 countries. Seriously augie, are you even trying to think these things through honestly?

    So now you’re trying to compare the total number of doses over decades to the measles death and sequelae rate per year. Do you not see a problem with that? Lets go with the numbers though….

    How many actual deaths occured last year from measles?

    Shortly before the vaccine 450-500 per year (again from one of your own links, and other sources), it was higher earlier in the century for obvious reasons. Also 48,000 hospitalization per year before the vaccine.Parents’ Guide to Childhood Immunization

    I didn’t find a number for measles deaths in 2009, but from your second article again…”From 1980 through 1988, a median of two measles-associated deaths per year were reported”. The same was reported in 2002.

    So let’s see….
    Before vaccination…. an average 450-500 dead/48,000 hospitalized per year.

    After widespread vaccination… about 2 dead per year/and maybe 100 hospitalized over decades (using your own 100 million number).

    [sarc]
    Yeah…gee augie! I can barely tell the difference!
    [/sarc]

    That’s an honest comparison.

    As I just showed, your comparison was anything but honest.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #222

    Did person get thrombocytopenia before making it out of their driveway?

    Thrombocytopenia? Are you really that concerned about a temporary and usually benign reduction in platelets that only happens in 1/30,000-40,000 cases of the MMR? No… you’re still trying to avoid the point of the analogy aren’t you? The point is that just because something decreases the odds of harm doesn’t necessary guaranty that you won’t be harmed.

    Is it really that hard for your dogma riddled brain to understand that if a vaccine for meningitis in the case of your article is 85% effective (as opposed to the aprox. 99% against measles for 2 doses of the MMR), that there is a 15% chance that it won’t create the required immunity? Is your understanding of probability really that poor? Has it not occurred to you that the more people that are protected by the vaccine, the less likely it is for anyone to get it.

    If more people had been vaccinated against meningitis it’s possible that she might not have caught it and would still be alive. If she wasn’t vaccinated? Oh, that’s right, she still would have caught it and died too. Funny how you left that out, but then I guess that it’s just another “minority objection”, right?

    Do you always label something irrational just because you don’t agree with it?

    Not at all. I think that it’s irrational when the evidence, the numbers (as I just showed you above), and the field experience worldwide all conclusively speak against a given position. The fact of the matter is that more people died and were hospitalized before the vaccine even in industrialized countries, than in areas that have high vaccination rates.

    Your opposing position is contradicted by all of the available evidence. That is what makes your position irrational. It is further demonstrated by that fact that you consistently have to lie about others, and misrepresent the data. Tell me augie…how rational can you position be if you must constantly lie just to defend it? The evidence shows that you want to trade lower risks for greater risks. To trade fewer deaths and sequelae for more. How is that not irrational unless you goal is to reduce the human population? Now if reducing the human population is your goal, then yes…your position would be rational, but I would find it to be a highly unethical way to go about it. **Note: I’m not actually claiming that reducing the human population is your goal augustine, merely that it’s that only position that is rationally consistent with both the facts and your position regarding the measles vaccine.**

    Zertec, you’ve committed a mind numbing number of logical fallacies while attempting to engage in rhetoric and your particular view of disease, health, and the role of prophylactic medication.

    And yet strangely (in spite of constant threats to do so) you can’t seem to accurately cite even a single one against me.

    You are constantly accusing others of making fallacies, yet nearly every time you’ve done so it’s been by deliberately misrepresenting their positions. (Such as Rouge Medic earlier, and others.) On the other hand, every fallacy I’ve pointed out that you’ve committed has been by accurately representing your consistently dishonest position. All while you are refusing to admit to one clearly documented lie after another.

    Me? I’m just a lowly virtual troll. I’m expected to make these errors because I stand for everything ignorant and irrational in the universe by the educated elite.

    On the contrary augie, I had earlier referred to you as being apparently intelligent, it’s your honesty and objectivity that I’ve called into question. You’re either a pathological liar, or you have the most severe case of Morton’s Demon that I’ve ever seen outside of a Flat Earther.

    You on the other hand are a professional scientist (or wannabe) who champions critical thinking and evidence. Remember who are are. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.

    Good advice and thank you.

    ;-)

  225. #225 Todd W.
    June 7, 2010

    @Zetetic

    Great post overall, but there is one problem:

    You’re either a pathological liar, or you have the most severe case of Morton’s Demon that I’ve ever seen outside of a Flat Earther.

    False dichotomy. There are other possibilities.

    * For example, his (being uncertain as to augie’s gender, I’m going to default to the masculine) lying may not be pathological in nature. He might simply be doing it on here, but is relatively honest elsewhere in his life.
    * He may really be a troll; a well-educated troll, true, but a troll nonetheless.
    * He may simply be arguing the contrary position just for the sake of arguing.
    * He is one of the more dedicated and elaborate Poe’s seen in quite some time.

    Oh, and augie? This is an example of where Zetetic really has committed a logical fallacy, complete with an explanation of why his comment was a fallacy.

  226. #226 squirrelelite
    June 7, 2010

    @zetetic,

    I actually enjoy your little SIWOTI’s!

    Although I have trouble with the formatting changes once in a while, it usually becomes clear because your responses are clearly laid out and reasoned.

    augustine usually manages to avoid the said/said not broadsides, but comments 219 and 222 definitely remind me of Jake Crosby’s style after a few comments into the thread.

  227. #227 squirrelelite
    June 7, 2010

    Or, to borrow from Matthew chapter 7,

    “V16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
    V17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

    Actually, I don’t mind reaching among the thistles to pick blackberries or raspberries. The results are worth it. But, I haven’t found any figs lurking among augustine’s thistles.

  228. #228 Zetetic
    June 7, 2010

    Thanks Todd W. and squirrelelite.
    (Yeah I hate the way the site re-formats what I type.)

    @ Todd W.:
    I’ll concede your point, apologies I’m rather sleep deprived at the moment and I made a mistake. There are indeed other possibilities, as you stated. Good catch. Apologies to augustine for leaving out the other possibilities Todd elucidated in my attempt at keeping the SIWOTI from reaching critical mass.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Speaking of corrections, I forgot to include something with vaccination statistics (sorry about that).

    “After widespread vaccination… about 2 dead per year from measles/and maybe 100 hospitalized over decades (using your own 100 million number) from vaccine reactions (although I believe the number is closer to 70 Million in the USA, IIRC) plus about 45 Measles hospitalizations per yer.Measles hospitalizations, United States, 1985-2002.

    So we have 2 deaths from measles/45 Measles hospitalization per year and our hypothetical 100 hospitalizations (over a few decades) for MMR reactions.

    Still doesn’t change much though does it?

    Oh well now to try and get some sleep for a change.
    G’night all for now!

    ;-)

  229. #229 MI Dawn
    June 7, 2010

    Just to pile on a little…even GETTING the disease (measles, mumps) does not guarantee immunity. I had both, and for some reason I have never developed immunity (nor did the MMR give it to me; fortunately I DID develop rubella immunity after the disease…yes, I am that old…).
    My kids have had their immunizations. I hope to goodness that I never get exposed again to measles or mumps because I don’t want to get them at my age. No one has ever figured out why I don’t develop immunity to those 2 diseases when I have developed immunity to most others I had (chicken pox, rubella). Individual quirks, but I depend on herd immunity for this.

  230. #230 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 7, 2010

    @augustine:

    What you are describing in #223 is exactly why smallpox is no longer on the routine vaccination schedule. It could happen more often if only people like you would get a clue.

    PS NICE job on #224, Zetetic!

  231. #231 DuWayne
    June 7, 2010

    I am not going to wend my way through more than two hundred comments to see if anyone else mentioned this, so I wanted to address an issue a Dan brought up towards the top. He mentioned that his problem with requiring childhood vaccines was that the federal government is in charge. That it would be fine if the laws were state laws.

    I would just like to point out, that the federal government offers an opinion, but the laws are state laws. Not all states even require a full vaccine compliment, or they just don’t require it for uninsured children of families who can’t afford the vaccines. But in any case, it is most certainly the purview of the states.

  232. #232 Composer99
    June 7, 2010

    @ 230:

    Not only that, Bruce, but even if diseases such as measles or polio were en route to eradication, it takes only a slippage of vaccination rates for them to make a comeback (especially measles).

    The most obvious example of this phenomenon is polio. If it weren’t for anti-vaccination sentiments having arose in Nigeria, polio would probably have gone the way of smallpox by now.

    It’s very ironic that anti-vaccination sentiment is prolonging the requirement to vaccinate against a number of eradicable diseases. The best way to reduce vaccinations is to eradicate such diseases as are eligible for eradication. Then we wouldn’t have to vaccinate against them at all.

  233. #233 augustine
    June 7, 2010

    “Do you assert that ALL knowledge IS science? Or that All of knowledge comes through scientific first principles?

    Zetetic: “More Straw-man arguments”

    It’s a question not a straw man argument.
    ——————————————————-

    zetetic: “Which refutes my point how exactly? Do you really think that people in general didn’t have any concern for human lives before the Nuremberg Code? That no researchers any where had any ethics?”

    Does it really matter what “people in general” think when totalitarian regimes take over?

    No reseachers anywhere? They must have fled didn’t they?

    Did the Tuskegee reseachers have concern? Did someone at the time step up and say “Hey I will not condone this”? or did the experiments continue?
    ————————————————-
    Zetetic: “how much death and suffering has been caused by religion or politics? Why is science so special to you, hmmm?”

    I posted my response at religionblogs.com and politicsblog.com
    ————————————————

    zetetic: “Because everything after that line shows that you deliberately cited, as evidence for your position, papers that contradict your position. Are you really that dishonest or just deluded?”

    I cited the papers. I did not misrepresent the papers nor their authors. Their own personal conclusions and personal opinions are unaltered. I took the data available and drew reasonable conclusions. Apparently you didn’t like that, personally.

    Zetetic: “Are you really that dishonest or just deluded? The closest you got to accurately representing the papers was when you said that the risk of death of measles was 1/1,000, but even there you still spun things a little and left out the 1-2/1,000.”

    So which is it? 1 or 2? or both?
    ———————————————————–

    zetetic: “What part of “Measles is very rare in countries and regions of the world that are able to keep vaccination coverage high.” said anything about the damage, it was clearly referring to the rate of measles infection, not fatality. The heading for that section (that you linked to) was “Measles Incidence”. Seriously, you really need to read these things for full comprehension, not just skim them for cherry-picking quotes that can be taken out of context.”

    So if there is NO permanent sequelae from measles and the incidence is high, then what is the problem? Death and permanent sequelae is the REAL issue. Otherwise long term immunity is the side effect.

    ——————————————————-

    Zetetic: “Yeah funny how all other factors being equal, a higher infection rate means a higher rate of death and sequelae. How odd that you don’t mention that. I wonder why?”

    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/52/Suppl_2/1.pdf

    scroll down. first chart. Incidence rate remains stable. Death rate goes down. Chart ends before vaccination campaign. No sir, You’re wrong.
    ————————————————————

    zetetic: “You just can help lying can you? OK, augie where is your proof of this? We’ve been asking you for it for a few weeks now, but you still haven’t show anything credible that actually supports that position. Why not?”

    You’ve figured it out yourself. Just look at the links i’ve given. 1 in 8000 (your own calculations) case fatality before vaccine 1 in 1000 after vaccine. The question is why has this happened? You’re smart. You come with your own opinion.

    Plus you’re also making the assumption that the others that they infect in the meantime won’t be harmed either. Why do you keep ignoring that?

    ———————————–

    Zertetic: “Plus you’re also making the assumption that the others that they infect in the meantime won’t be harmed either. Why do you keep ignoring that?”

    Because statistically they won’t.Why do YOU keep ignoring that?
    ————————————————–
    Zertec: “LOL! BUSTED! Caught in another deception augie. So now you’ve just admitted that you deliberately used a lower year for measles cases and then falsely implied that it was representative of the population of the whole for each year (not just 1950). While conveniently ignoring the higher years before and after 1950. How very typical of you.”

    You remind me of those 50’s movies when they say “ah Ha , you’ve been caught.”

    I chose 1950 for no other reason than to get a starting point. The population rises each year after that. Show me where I calculated that particular year’s case rate. I didn’t Mr. 1950’s detective. You kill me.

    —————————————————

    Zertetic: “Granted on an individual basis it does look good.”

    It looks good because IT IS GOOD.

    Zetetic: “Or 99.999999% with zero chance of killing bystanders?”

    Do you care to retract that before you are ripped to shreds for being ignorant of the vaccine? Your fellow science bloggers just gasped.

    ———————————————————–

    Zetetic: “Shortly before the vaccine 450-500 per year (again from one of your own links, and other sources), it was higher earlier in the century for obvious reasons.”

    No it’s apparently not obvious. Go ahead and explain these reasons and explain how these reasons ceased to be once the vaccine came into existence. As if they knew the new king was in town.

  234. #234 augustine
    June 7, 2010

    @230

    Bruce,

    I explained it that way on purpose. Do you see the logic fail? He’s arguing the individual risk vs. benefit. At some point this argument does not work in the way he has described it. At that point, is the agenda still pushed using the same logic (to the recipient) that was used to get there or do you shift the goal post to perpetuate the agenda?

  235. #235 augustine
    June 7, 2010

    Composer: “If it weren’t for anti-vaccination sentiments having arose in Nigeria, polio would probably have gone the way of smallpox by now.”

    That is speculation. That is all it is.

  236. #236 augustine
    June 7, 2010

    MI Dawn: “I had both, and for some reason I have never developed immunity (nor did the MMR give it to me; fortunately I DID develop rubella immunity after the disease…yes, I am that old…)…Individual quirks, but I depend on herd immunity for this.”

    Did you die?

  237. #237 augustine
    June 8, 2010

    Todd: “Oh, and augie? This is an example of where Zetetic really has committed a logical fallacy, complete with an explanation of why his comment was a fallacy.”

    It’s not the only one where the kid committed a fallacy.

  238. #238 Zetetic
    June 8, 2010

    augustine @ #233:

    It’s a question not a straw man argument.

    It is when you are apparently deliberately using it to imply my intent about the subject. Especially, when you are attempting to do so in order to divert attention from you own lack of an answer to my question. If that wasn’t your intent, then why did you bring it up rather than answer the question? Better yet, why even bring up “other lenses” and play down the importance of evidence in discussions about medical facts and questions of effectiveness in the first place?

    Does it really matter what “people in general” think when totalitarian regimes take over?

    Still not answering how it refutes my point. So do you think that everyone in the world was in Nazi Germany or Tuskegee? That no one ever before had any principles of ethics?

    Yes, so some scientists were in Nazi Germany and yes we know about Tuskegee, this has what to do exactly with deciding what is factually correct when talking about vaccines? Why do you seem to be confusing ethical guidelines with matters of fact and evidence?

    No, you’re just trying to make a diversion since you probably know that deep down inside you can’t win on arguments about efficacy and rates of safety.

    I posted my response at religionblogs.com and politicsblog.com

    A nice non-answer.

    ——————————————————————-

    I cited the papers. I did not misrepresent the papers nor their authors.

    You claimed that they were logic and evidence that supported your position. They didn’t. Instead you made statements of half-truth, and made claims such as “More than 97% of the population per year didn’t get measles.” that were both phrased in a way to “spin” the truth. You also deliberately cherry picked a quote that played to your spin, from a paper where the author called for the eradication of the disease, while conveniently not mentioning the author’s intent. Hardly an example of intellectual honesty.

    So which is it? 1 or 2? or both?

    Call it 1.5 if you prefer. It seems to depend on the region being studied. Again it was from your own citation, I just find it interesting that you only went with the lower estimate.

    So if there is NO permanent sequelae from measles and the incidence is high, then what is the problem? Death and permanent sequelae is the REAL issue. Otherwise long term immunity is the side effect.

    There is always a risk of death and sequelae, factors such as nutrition, education, and medical care can lower the rates but there will still always be the possibility of harm. What you are ignoring is that even if the odds are low, as the number of cases increase, so does the risk of such harm. Do you really think that all possibility of harm has just magically disappeared rather than just being reduced?

    What I find additionally amusing about your position is that you’re willing to just wave off the risk of death and sequelae from measles (as long as it’s low enough), but you apparently will not tolerate an even much lower risk of harm from the vaccinations. An interesting double standard.

    Incidence rate remains stable. Death rate goes down. Chart ends before vaccination campaign. No sir, You’re wrong.

    So what part of “all other factors being equal” was unclear to you? Funny how your evidence was a study from 1962 that compares rates from 1912 to 1962, do you think that there was no changes in the USA during that time period? Did I not already mention in my earlier post that the rate of harm in the USA was higher earlier in the last century? Funny how you always miss those details.

    You’ve figured it out yourself. Just look at the links i’ve given. 1 in 8000 (your own calculations) case fatality before vaccine 1 in 1000 after vaccine. The question is why has this happened? You’re smart. You come with your own opinion.

    Thank you, but there are several problems with your line of thought.

    Problem #1: I was deliberately making a worse case scenario from your numbers.

    Problem #2: As I earlier mentioned we don’t know how many deaths were not reported to the relevant authorities, or were miss diagnosed.

    Problem #3: The 3-4 million total cases is an estimate, but not confirmed. So we don’t really know if it’s actually valid. But for the argument I was willing to assume that it is.

    Problem #4: Even if it is true that the death rate from catching measles is higher with measles vaccination, it still doesn’t change that due to preventing the disease the total number of deaths, sequelae, and hospitalization per capita is greatly reduced with vaccination. An average of 450-500 dead per year before vaccination vs 2 dead per year with incomplete vaccination. Do you really not see a difference? For what it’s worth I’ve heard some theories that measles might be more dangerous since the people that are often getting it now are the older unvaccinated (due to not being exposed to it as early), and may be more adversely effected due to their age. While the theory is unproven, even if it’s true it still doesn’t change the total death/sequelae rates. Hint: augustine in the real world, even something that is ultimately beneficial usually has at least some drawback, the question is whether the benefits outweigh the risks. In the case of measles vaccination they still clearly do.

    Problem #5: As with smallpox, if vaccination was sufficiently complete worldwide all measles deaths and sequelae would be permanently eliminated even with no further measles vaccinations. The biggest obstacles to such a goal (in many countries) are political priorities and people such as yourself.Refusing to Vaccinate Affects Other Kids, Too

    Because statistically they won’t.Why do YOU keep ignoring that?

    Soooo….what part of “highly contagious” do you have trouble understanding? What is it about 90% having been infected by age 15 is unclear? Sorry but as I pointed out before, while the odds per individual are good (so therefore I obviously didn’t ignore it, in spite of your assertion that I had), when you start talking about large number of infected children you end up counting lots of small coffins. Funny how you seem to have trouble with basic logic and statistics when it argues against your position. What part of 500 dead and 48,000 hospitalized (before vaccination) per year are you having trouble with? Do you think that all of those dead and injured just happened through spontaneous generation of the virus?

    ——————————————————————

    You remind me of those 50’s movies when they say “ah Ha , you’ve been caught.”

    OK…I’ll admit that I was having a bit of fun with you there. I was in a silly mood at that point. I found it amusing that you just happened to conveniently chose a starting point that just happened to be bracketed by years with nearly twice the rate of infection.

    The population rises each year after that.

    And so…..the population was rising for nearly every single year before then (with the exception of WWII). OK, I’m nitpicking there again, but I find it an odd reason.

    In all seriousness though you were correct in one statement…

    It’s actually less than 3%.

    (BTW I just realized that I made a typo in my post at #219 and left out the full quote, sorry about that.) The problem that I was trying to point out (granted, I could have been more clear in retrospect) is that the “less than 3%” is for the population as a whole, it adds adults that have already survived measles with children that have just caught it (or haven’t caught it yet). That is why you can accurately claim that “less than 3%” caught measles per year (it’s actually under 1% of the whole population, adults plus kids according to CDC statistics which still doesn’t include possible under reporting) but that 90% of the population can catch it by age 15. Do you understand now though why saying something like “less than 3%”, while accurate, isn’t being fully honest? You’re attempting to portray measles as being less common among children than it was by group adults with kids (both those kids that have already survived it plus those that didn’t get it yet). Just like when you previously tried to dishonestly group possible injuries over decades, with measles deaths/sequelae per year. Funny how you like to mix such different sets of data together when you think it supports your position.

    It looks good because IT IS GOOD.

    Wait…didn’t you just say that I ignored that point, previously? Hmmmm. Funny though how you still ignore the even better odds offered by widespread vaccination.

    Do you care to retract that before you are ripped to shreds for being ignorant of the vaccine? Your fellow science bloggers just gasped.

    Really? Do you have evidence of anyone having gotten a properly manufactured modern version of the MMR that spread measles to another person? If so I’d really like to read it. Or is it like your claims about how everyone is underestimating the rate of death and serious complications from the measles vaccine that you conveniently never seem to show us?

    No it’s apparently not obvious. Go ahead and explain these reasons and explain how these reasons ceased to be once the vaccine came into existence. As if they knew the new king was in town.

    Wow…first you go off over the observation that factors such as malnutrition and improvements in medical care lower the death and sequelae risks in industrialized countries, and how you apparently think that measles is now essentially harmless just because it’s less likely to kill and injure you if you catch it in an industrialized country. Then you seem to act as though you really don’t see a connection with improvements in the USA in the earlier 1900’s in medical care, nutrition, sanitation, and education? Are you now arguing that improvements in an industrial society doesn’t improve the survival rate of measles? Hell augie, you just linked an article in your own post that showed just that! Even when in your own post at #233 you noted that the death rate went down from 1912 (were the recording starts)? What else do you think magically caused a reduction in measles fatalities before vaccination? Odd that you didn’t seem to realize that I was agreeing with you about the reduction in deaths and sequelae with improved conditions, while still failing to realize that it doesn’t really ultimately support your position.

    Interesting…that’s twice in one post that you seem to have contradicted yourself. Having trouble keeping the lies, half-truths, and rationalizations straight, augie?
    ————————————————————————————————————————————-
    augustine @ #234:

    He’s arguing the individual risk vs. benefit.

    Actually I’m arguing the risks vs. benefits both individually and for society as a whole. You are the one that seems to be fixed solely on the risk to one individual and disregards the highly contagious nature of measles, and the risks that it poses to others. Either for the individual, or society, the benefits of vaccination ultimately greatly outweigh the risks of not vaccinating. Like I said before, even with our hypothetical worse case scenario which is better… 1/8,000 odds of death or 1/1,000,000 odds of just serious injury and even lower odds of death? We’re still waiting for you to explain to us augie how a 1/1,000,000 event is more likely than a 1/8,000 event. Please tell us how?

    At some point this argument does not work in the way he has described it.

    Really? In what reality? I noticed that you still aren’t explaining it how exactly it’s wrong, yet.

    At that point, is the agenda still pushed using the same logic (to the recipient) that was used to get there or do you shift the goal post to perpetuate the agenda?

    Exactly what goalposts have been shifted by the pro-vax side? The only goalpost shifting has been by you, such as bringing up the meningitis vaccine when you were just arguing about measles, or trying to divert the conversation with arguments about “other lenses”.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #235:

    That is speculation. That is all it is.

    Actually I have to agree with you a bit there augie (surprising, I know)….sorry Composer99. The main problem there (IIRC) is anti-west sentiment encouraged by some of the local religious leaders spreading scare stories. (Hey just like you augie!) Although people like you, augie, aren’t helping any.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #236

    Did you die?

    Of course, augie, you’ve already made it clear to us that apparently the people who do die don’t really count unless they were vaccinated and you can spin it to blame the vaccine.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #237:

    It’s not the only one where the kid committed a fallacy.

    Says the king/queen of lies and fallacies for the whole blog for over a week now. Still waiting for your promised “deconstruction”. For that matter we’re still waiting for you to admit to even one of your demonstrable lies in any of the threads you’ve posted in.

  239. #239 Todd W.
    June 8, 2010

    @Zetetic

    For that matter we’re still waiting for you to admit to even one of your demonstrable lies in any of the threads you’ve posted in.

    Hold on, there. Don’t set the bar too high. Let’s just start with augustine actually using a claim of logical fallacy correctly. Then, maybe he’ll provide evidence to support such a claim. If he can do that, then maybe, just maybe, we can hope that he’ll own up to some of his lies or misrepresentations that he’s been caught on.

  240. #240 Travis
    June 8, 2010

    Wow Zetetic, you have such patience and either are one very fast typer or have much more time on your hands than I do. Sadly after reading this lested post I see you still have to repeat the same things over and over and augustine still does not seem to understand.

  241. #241 augustine
    June 8, 2010

    Zetetic: “They didn’t. Instead you made statements of half-truth, and made claims such as “More than 97% of the population per year didn’t get measles.” that were both phrased in a way to “spin” the truth.”

    It’s not half-truths or spinning of truth. It is THE truth. I could say the same about your numbers. You can’t win this argument.

    What part of 1+9=10; 9+1=10 deceives?
    ———————————————————-
    Zetetic; “there is always a risk of death and sequelae, factors such as nutrition, education, and medical care can lower the rates but there will still always be the possibility of harm.”

    There is a possibility for anything isn’t there? That is not enough reason to vaccinate. Just because we don’t know and therefore we must vaccinate? What is wrong with improving the above factors. I’m fine with the very, very, very low risk that these improvements have resulted in. I’d rather put resources into these than vaccines.

    This is about an ideological agenda not what is best for everyone. If it so happens to benefit the greater good then great. If it so happens to kill a few then so be it.

    Science didn’t tell me to go hunting deer and to kill every one of them because I thought I could. Likewise science didn’t tell you nor any scientist to go microbe hunting and kill every known pathogen or certain pathogens just because someone came up with a theory that it was possible.

    It’s NOT SCIENCE! That is a strategy and the strategy is based in PHILOSOPHY! NOT SCIENCE!

    Zetetic: “but you apparently will not tolerate an even much lower risk of harm from the vaccinations. An interesting double standard.”

    You made it a double standard. Not me. Your formula for deciding medical procedures is: what is the statistical risk (supposedly known)of the homogenous population (which may or may not even represent the individual) vs. The risk of being harmed very, very seriously (again supposedly known) by the procedure.

    Your formula is moot until you answer the question “do I need the medical procedure?” Your medical opinion for me or my child is that I do.

  242. #242 augustine
    June 8, 2010

    Zetetic: “An average of 450-500 dead per year before vaccination vs 2 dead per year with incomplete vaccination. Do you really not see a difference?”

    What was mortality from 1900,1910,1920,1930,etc.? Answer: much higher and rapidly declining to 440 deaths. Vaccines had nothing to do with this decline. You cited the variable earlier. An unanswerable question is would the deaths continued to drop without vaccine? How much would it have dropped to? How much of the mortality reduction is being attributed to vaccines yet other factors are responsible for the drop?

  243. #243 MI Dawn
    June 8, 2010

    @little augie: No. I didn’t die. I have a small amount of hearing loss and caused my mother to give birth to a stillborn child who had congenital mumps (per the autopsy report). So I’m alive, my mother has had the sorrow of a stillbirth and I live with regret. I suppose that’s better than death but not important to you.

  244. #244 MI Dawn
    June 8, 2010

    Oh, and to add: my mother HAD had measles and mumps as a child, also (child of the 1940’s that she was; her entire second grade class got no grades for the fall term because of measles and mumps causing so many absenses in the class that the school district decided no child in the elementary schools – K through 6 – would get grades for that term). However, although she didn’t get a clinical case of the mumps from me, her antibody levels were obviously NOT high enough to protect the fetus.

  245. #245 augustine
    June 8, 2010

    “I have a small amount of hearing loss and CAUSED (my emphasis)my mother to give birth to a stillborn child who had congenital mumps (per the autopsy report).”

    “However, although she didn’t get a clinical case of the mumps from me, her antibody levels were obviously NOT high enough to protect the fetus.”

    HMMMMM?????

  246. #246 bobo the clown
    June 8, 2010

    i find it quite intresting that measels killed 2/3 of the population of cuba in 1529. reality trumps philosophy anyday. prove to me that small pox was elimanted by another means then vacine and i will cheerfully change my position, prove to me that measels in afficia can be elimated without vacines and i don’t need peer review papers for it i’m just and avarge person. i will see right now is a wall of text complaining about mean siency people

  247. #247 bobo the clown
    June 8, 2010

    i find it quite intresting that measels killed 2/3 of the population of cuba in 1529. reality trumps philosophy anyday. prove to me that small pox was elimanted by another means then vacine and i will cheerfully change my position, prove to me that measels in afficia can be elimated without vacines and i don’t need peer review papers for it i’m just and avarge person. i will see right now is a wall of text complaining about mean siency people

  248. #248 bobo the clown
    June 8, 2010

    i find it quite intresting that measels killed 2/3 of the population of cuba in 1529. reality trumps philosophy anyday. prove to me that small pox was elimanted by another means then vacine and i will cheerfully change my position, prove to me that measels in afficia can be elimated without vacines and i don’t need peer review papers for it i’m just and avarge person. i will see right now is a wall of text complaining about mean siency people

  249. #249 augustine
    June 8, 2010

    Bobo made a BooBoo.

    Don’t stop there. Please describe the living conditions and nutritional status in Cuba circa 1529. Please describe the living conditions and nutritional status in the third world countries. Please describe the living conditions and nutritional status of your family 2010.

  250. #250 augustine
    June 8, 2010

    Zetetic; “there is always a risk of death and sequelae, factors such as nutrition, education, and medical care can lower the rates but there will still always be the possibility of harm.”

    Zetetic,

    Do you take an antibiotic everyday? There is an african child somewhere who could succumb to a germ that you could easily kill or fight off with a broad spectrum antibiotic. That theoretical child has a 1 in 3 chance of making infected if he/she gets infect. Disease is only a plane ride away, you know?

    There is always “the POSSIBILITY of harm.” Better take the antibiotic. If that child dies the blood will be on your hands.

    Your arguments are weak. I see where you’re coming from. I just don’t agree with it. Man cannot avoid sickness and death by waging war with microbes. Man is just not that smart. I’m fine with you taking all the medicine you feel you need to take. Just don’t tell me or anyone else they need to take it because of your own fears.

  251. #251 MI Dawn
    June 8, 2010

    OK, augie. I’ll spell it out for you in simple words since my medical shorthand obviously is over your head.

    I caught the mumps at pre-school. My mother was pregnant. Her antibody level was not high enough to protect the fetus from developing congenital mumps, which caused fatal defects which killed the fetus.

    Cause: Mumps. Effect: Congenital disease which killed my mother’s third child while in the uterus.

    Simple enough and you understand now?

  252. #252 Dangerous Bacon
    June 8, 2010

    I love the frenzied graph-juggling and selective use of statistics by the antivax crowd to show that vaccine-preventable diseases would have waned on their own without immunization, and that deaths and serious injury from these diseases would have been magically eliminated by other factors.

    Wonder when they’ll start in on rabies. Used to be that no survival had ever been recorded in human rabies; in recent years a couple or so people have survived after contracting the disease (though what shape they’re in now may be another matter). Surely this means that the rabies problem has been eliminated by good hygiene or divine intervention or whatever, so we can stop mandating rabies vaccination for our susceptible pets and cease vaccine bait programs for wild animals. If more domestic animals and humans contract rabies as a result, no biggie*…they can just eat magic foods and take colloidal silver supplements, and everything will be nifty fine.

    *I’m still waiting for the first documented case of a hard-core antivaxer getting bitten by a rabid animal and subsequently declining the rabies vaccine. That would be something to see…at a distance.

  253. #253 augustine
    June 8, 2010

    A Case but not A clinical case. Got it.

    I read it as you saying she didn’t get the mumps from you.

  254. #254 augustine
    June 8, 2010

    bacon: “I love the frenzied graph-juggling and selective use of statistics by the antivax crowd to show that vaccine-preventable diseases would have waned on their own without immunization,”

    The data doesn’t show that it WOULD have waned, it shows that it DID wane.

  255. #255 Gray Falcon
    June 8, 2010

    Augustine, if you bothered to carefully examine the graphs, you’d realize that the values were, in fact, varying, and only appear to be dropping if you selected the proper years. Also, there is a VERY rapid drop after the vaccine is introduced.

    Please stop trying to deny the effectiveness of vaccination. It’s a bit like trying to disprove the possibility of heavier than air flight while riding on a 747.

  256. #256 Composer99
    June 8, 2010

    @ 254:

    Oh, look, another deliberate misrepresentation.

    Good job, troll.

  257. #257 augustine
    June 8, 2010

    Gary Falcon: “Augustine, if you bothered to carefully examine the graphs, you’d realize that the values were, in fact, varying, and only appear to be dropping if you selected the proper years”

    Oh, I see. It only “appears to be dropping”. It’s not really going down on the Y axis it only “appears” to be. Silly me.

    Oh wait, I had my computer screen upside down. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t see it right. There all fixed.

    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/52/Suppl_2/1.pdf

    Nope deaths are still decreasing before vaccine ever implemented. I can’t believe my own eyes.

    Falcon, seriously c’mon.

  258. #258 Zetetic
    June 9, 2010

    augustine @ #241:

    It’s not half-truths or spinning of truth. It is THE truth. I could say the same about your numbers. You can’t win this argument.

    Can’t win it? Wrong, I already did. That your refuse to acknowledge it is simply a symptom of your own dogmatically clinging to a position. It doesn’t matter how much you continue to lie in order to evade the point that you are deliberately grouping adult and child survivors of measles in with the uninfected, the fact of the matter if that you are deliberately trying to spin the stats so that they look more favorable to your position. As an example (and without trying to derail the thread), it’s like when Global Warming Deniers repeat the old line of there being “No statistically significant warming since 1995″ technically it’s a true statement but what they don’t tell you is that from 1994 (just one year longer) there is a measurable statistically significant global warming. Just as you neglect to mention that 90% of the population had been infected before age 15. It’s the proverbial “sin of omission”.

    Want to say the same about my numbers? Go right ahead…we’ve been trying to get you to provide evidence that actually supports the idea that vaccination is more harmful than not vaccinating for weeks.

    Like I told you before, augie, that is the difference between us and you. All you have to do to change my position is provide credible evidence that the measles vaccine is ultimately more harmful than not vaccinating. Instead all you do is argue that a 1/8,000 risk of death is better than a 1/1,000,000 of encephalopathy (the most dangerous side-effect) of MMR. You keep asserting that vaccines are more dangerous than not vaccinating, but nothing you’ve offered has supported it.

    Tell us augie, honestly, what would it take to convince you that vaccines are safer than not vaccinating? The statistics all ready support that conclusion, so obviously that isn’t sufficient to you.

    There is a possibility for anything isn’t there? That is not enough reason to vaccinate.

    It is when the odds of death and sequelae from measles without vaccinating is greater than the odds of harm with vaccination. Shortly before the vaccine the decline in death rates was leveling off, it then plummeted shortly after the vaccine started being used.

    What part of 450-500 deaths/48,000 hospitalized annually (just before the vaccine) vs 2 deaths/45 hospitalized annually with vaccination makes it seem like vaccination is more dangerous? Really I’d like to know.

    I’d rather put resources into these than vaccines.

    A baseless assumption. Why make the assumption that you can make significantly greater improvements in fatality without the vaccine just because it happened early in the first half of the 20th century? For that matter, why are you making the additionally baseless assumption that they are mutually exclusive? Funny how you have no trouble criticizing others as making assumptions even when they are reasonably backed by evidence, but you have no trouble with risking the lives of children over your own far more baseless assumptions.

    This is about an ideological agenda not what is best for everyone.

    More projection from augustine. Yes, augie you’ve made it abundantly clear that you are arguing exclusively from a position driven by ideology (as far as measles goes) and that you have shown no concern at all for what is best for everyone as a whole. You consistently side with greater risks of harm for both the individual and for the population as a whole, justifying it with one baseless assertion after another, all in pursuit of your ideological position.

    We on the other hand, have been arguing exclusively for what is best for both the individual and the population as a whole. Please by all means show evidence otherwise.

    If it so happens to kill a few then so be it.

    This coming from the person that thinks that 450-500 deaths per year is preferable to 2 deaths per year.

    It’s NOT SCIENCE! That is a strategy and the strategy is based in PHILOSOPHY! NOT SCIENCE!

    So now you’re arguing against the ethics of trying to protect human lives through medicine? If it’s really about ethics then why are you lying about the science in the first place? Oh that’s right, if you admit that vaccines ultimately save more lives than they take, it makes it much harder for you to make your case. No wonder why you have to lie and spin.

    You made it a double standard. Not me. Your formula for deciding medical procedures is: what is the statistical risk (supposedly known)of the homogenous population (which may or may not even represent the individual) vs. The risk of being harmed very, very seriously (again supposedly known) by the procedure.

    You’re projecting again augie… a double standard is saying that 2 deaths per year with vaccination is intolerable, but 450-500 deaths per year from an easily preventable disease is just fine. A double standard is saying that a 1/1,000 risk (from your own statements expressing your willingness to take the 1/1,00 risk) of death is fine, but that a less than 1/1,000,000 risk of death is too great.

    My position is that even with assuming a worse case scenario (as much in your favor as possible with the numbers) the risk of not vaccinating the population as a whole is worse than the odds of harm from vaccinating the population. The numbers that you augie want to use still support that position and you have failed to make an argument to the contrary.

    Your double standard is clear for all to see augie, how exactly is my siding with what is safest not just for the population as a whole, but also individually (even when assuming your worst case scenario) a double standard? Please explain, I’m sure that it’ll be hilarious.

    Your formula is moot until you answer the question “do I need the medical procedure?” Your medical opinion for me or my child is that I do.

    So augie, your position is that we should never use any medical procure no matter how low the risk of harm, until after someone is already sick or dying, even if it means preventing far greater levels of death? How is that rational? The answer is obvious if you’d set aside the dogma for a moment. If there are still people dying from an easily preventable disease and it’s safer for them to be protected (than to not be protected), then yes it makes sense to use the vaccine. Especially when it can potentially be eradicated and thereby eliminate the risk from it entirely forever.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #242:

    What was mortality from 1900,1910,1920,1930,etc.? Answer: much higher and rapidly declining to 440 deaths.

    Yes…due to improvements in living conditions, nutrition, and medical care. So why were you just arguing against that in your post @ #233? Are you brain damaged? Or too blinded by dogma to realize that I was agreeing with you on that point. Even after I explained to you at least twice that I was agreeing with you about that? Or are you just being a lying troll?

    An unanswerable question is would the deaths continued to drop without vaccine? How much would it have dropped to? How much of the mortality reduction is being attributed to vaccines yet other factors are responsible for the drop?

    True, it can’t be answered. But that doesn’t justify making an unwarranted assumption that they would have continued to do so (as you are doing augie), especially since the fatality rates were starting to level off before the measles vaccine was introduced. Check out your own link at page 3, figure 3.
    http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/reprint/52/Suppl_2/1.pdf

    Plus the fact that measles does still kill even in modern societies today, and therefore obviously there would still be some measles caused deaths. The difference, that you consistently try to ignore, is that without vaccination the death rate would be higher than it is today. Granted it MIGHT be lower than before vaccination was started (although how much lower is arguable), but it would still be higher than with widespread vaccination.

    A better question is how many deaths would there be if measles vaccination was sufficiently widespread enough to eradicate measles altogether, just like with smallpox? (No, I haven’t forgotten that you keep dodging that little detail.)

    Answer: None.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #249:

    Don’t stop there. Please describe the living conditions and nutritional status in Cuba circa 1529. Please describe the living conditions and nutritional status in the third world countries. Please describe the living conditions and nutritional status of your family 2010.

    I’m sorry… but weren’t you earlier arguing against my saying the same thing about improvement in the USA back at your post at #233? Are you now going to admit that you were wrong earlier?

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #250

    Do you take an antibiotic everyday?

    Why would I take an antibiotic against a virus?

    I know…I know…you’re just making a monumentally stupid analogy. You do realize, don’t you, that with antibiotics that overuse also poses risks? When the risks of overuse outweigh the benefits you should stop, that is the standard medical position. The difference is that the risks of using the MMR vaccine is still outweighed by just a little over 2 orders of magnitude by the risks of not using it. All you have to do to make a case otherwise is to finally show evidence that the risks of using vaccines is outweighed by the risk of not using them. Something that you have consistently failed to show after weeks.

    There is always “the POSSIBILITY of harm.” Better take the antibiotic. If that child dies the blood will be on your hands.

    If I get sick with something bacterial I generally try to avoid exposing others until any antibiotics I take have had time to make sure that I’m no longer contagious. Maybe you think that it’s OK if you don’t, since you seem to think that other people catching your infections is just another “minority objection”. Personally I prefer to not be such a self-absorbed SOB, and try to show some consideration for others. Again it’s still about those relative risks that you just can’t seem to backup.

    Man cannot avoid sickness and death by waging war with microbes. Man is just not that smart.

    Against all diseases? Of course not, at least not any time in the near future. But then no one here is claiming that such a thing is possible at this time, you seem to be making another Straw-man there augie. But right now it is possible to win battles again some forms of disease. Or do you think the all of the smallpox viruses worldwide committed mass suicide since us humans are just so dumb?

    Just don’t tell me or anyone else they need to take it because of your own fears.

    It’s not about my fears, augie, it’s about the rate of death and sequelae and having some compassion about others to rationally decide what’s best for everyone on the whole and individually. If there was a way to insure that in the process that you didn’t harm others by not vaccinating then I’d be fine with that, even though even your own worse case numbers show that you’d be a fool for accepting a higher risk over a lower one.

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    augustine @ #254

    The data doesn’t show that it WOULD have waned, it shows that it DID wane.

    True, but if you REALLY looked at it (and removed your dogma goggles for a minute) you would have realized that the rate of decrease was leveling off (see above).

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–

    Nope deaths are still decreasing before vaccine ever implemented. I can’t believe my own eyes.

    Falcon, seriously c’mon.

    Funny how your eyes noticed the decline but also missed the leveling off (see above, again).

    ————————————————————————————————————————————–
    BTW augie have you found any cases yet were someone getting a properly manufactured MMR vaccine spread measles to someone else? I’m still waiting for that, after all you were so sure that the other blogers here would take me to task for it. Surely if they didn’t take me to task you wouldn’t let it slide if it was true would you? Or were you just making another childish bluff, thinking that some how I’d shy off? News flash, augie, you’re the one that so far won’t admit a mistake (or apologize for a lie), not I.

    I’m also still waiting on your evidence that the MMR is less safe than the disease….and no just making more baseless assertions about how dangerous the MMR is doesn’t count.

    ;-)

  259. #259 augustine
    June 9, 2010

    Zetetic: “All you have to do to change my position is provide credible evidence that the measles vaccine is ultimately more harmful than not vaccinating. Instead all you do is argue that a 1/8,000 risk of death is better than a 1/1,000,000 of encephalopathy (the most dangerous side-effect) of MMR. You keep asserting that vaccines are more dangerous than not vaccinating, but nothing you’ve offered has supported it.”

    You’ve created a massive straw man argument.You’re supposed to be a champion of critical thinking but your philosophical beliefs have blinded you from seeing this as a straw man tactic.

    Like I said earlier I like my chances of 99.999+% of not becoming permanently injured by measles virus. Actually those odds are assuming a homogenous population. But it’s not a homogenous population. Healthy people have much better odds than those.

    You only have one logical argument remaining for me and that option presents ethical challenges which are outside the scope of science. You have no more arguments from a scientific standpoint only a philosophical standpoint. And I don’t agree with your philosophy or your vehicle (microbe eradication) to express that philosophy.

  260. #260 madder
    June 9, 2010

    @Augustine 257:

    Yet another deliberate misrepresentation. Perhaps your quote-mining would be more successful if the original text weren’t right there above yours. Note the part that you left out (I put it in bold so you wouldn’t miss it this time): “only appear to be dropping if you selected the proper years.” If you were anyone else, I’d be moderately surprised that the full quote contradicted your representation of it. But I’ve read your comments, and no level of mendacity from you can surprise me any more.

    Also notice that cases remained steady in that graph you directed us to. You’re as dense as bensmyson if you think that one supports your case. Or perhaps you’re just lying again.

    Your lies are getting weaker with time. I’m leaning toward the hypothesis that you’re a Poe.

  261. #261 madder
    June 9, 2010

    @augie #259:

    Like I said earlier I like my chances of 99.999+% of not becoming permanently injured by measles virus.

    What will happen to your chances if people stop vaccinating?

  262. #262 Dedj
    June 9, 2010

    Hmm, the graph shows a steady trend in cases, and a downwards trend in deaths ending in a relatively steady rate, and the text states that this downwards trend may have ceased and levelled off over the last few years.

    Somehow, this is being used as direct evidence that the downwards trend would have continued.

    Sarcasm is no defence against failing to understand a graph and plainly stated text.

    Augie is done here. All that’s left is to determine how much of an arse they have made out of themselves.

  263. #263 Composer99
    June 9, 2010

    Dedj @ 262:

    A mighty big one, emitting some foul stuff indeed.

  264. #264 augustine
    June 9, 2010

    madder:”What will happen to your chances if people stop vaccinating?”

    My chances? Nothing. I still like my chances circa 1967. Pre-vaccine era.

    “This self-limiting infection of
    short duration, moderate severity, and
    low fatality has maintained a remarkably
    stable biological balance over the
    centuries.”

  265. #265 augustine
    June 9, 2010

    “and the text states that this downwards trend may have ceased and levelled off over the last few years.”

    But we would need 5,10,20 more years to see if it would.

    “Also notice that cases remained steady in that graph you directed us to. You’re as dense as bensmyson if you think that one supports your case.”

    No need for name calling. Also, just about every infectious disease follows the same pattern BEFORE vaccines. I’m not saying that vaccines don’t affect immunity but they seem to get the lion’s share of credit for the numbers we see today.

    http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/55441/1/Aiello%20A,%20What%20is%20the%20evidence%20for%20a%20causal%20link%20between%20hygien%20and%20infections,%202002.pdf

  266. #266 augustine
    June 9, 2010

    Zertec: “Then, just as I asked you before, instead of just making “woo-prattle” give us an example of any advancement in human knowledge that was produced by unscientific thinking and explain how we know that it’s correct. Surely it can’t be that hard can it?”

    Answer: Penicillin. Name the scientific first principle that was the foundation for the discovery of antibiotics. There wasn’t one at the time. It was luck and “fortuitous” events combined with observation that led to it’s discovery. There was no skeptic brand of science involved.

  267. #267 madder
    June 9, 2010

    After promising myself that I wouldn’t feed the troll, look what I went and did. Now I have to get a shovel and clean up after it.

    I notice that you don’t address the quotemining I referenced above.

    You say that you “like your chances” with respect to measles given 1967 numbers. That’s nice. Foolish, but whatever. My point addressed your “99.999+%” chances of not being seriously harmed by measles. This would go down if fewer people vaccinated. But you know that, so I’m just keeping score for the spectators.

    Of course the downward trend would have ceased and leveled off. We see it in the graph that you linked to, and don’t need “5,10,20” more years to see it. Do you expect that perhaps it would continue its linear decrease past zero? That people would spontaneously come back to life because of measles? I hope I never meet a measles-zombie. Or perhaps it would rise again- we’d forget a century’s worth of medical advances?

    You say that vaccines unfairly get the lion’s share of credit for saving lives. We rightly credit vaccination with reducing the incidence of certain diseases, and therefore the attendant complications, whatever they may be. Perhaps you’d like to go back to the days of polio wards, and hospitals full of kids with preventable diseases, since it’s likely that fewer of those people would die given our advances in hospital care. I’d rather avoid that altogether.

    I’m done with you. I am convinced that you’re a troll, or a Poe, or playing some other silly game. Have fun with yourself.

  268. #268 augustine
    June 10, 2010

    Mad hatter: “My point addressed your “99.999+%” chances of not seriously harmed by measles. This would go down if fewer people vaccinated. But you know that, so I’m just keeping score for the spectators.”

    I certainly hope you’re not a doctor. Silly you, those ARE the 1967 statistics, pre-vaccine era. Mad hatter would be a better name for you. Maybe you have thimeresol poisoning. Maybe you’re a wannabe doctor.

    Mad person: “Do you expect that perhaps it would continue its linear decrease past zero? That people would spontaneously come back to life because of measles?”

    No. but coming from this statement I do expect more logical fallacy errors coming from you.

    madder by now: “Perhaps you’d like to go back to the days of polio wards, and hospitals full of kids with preventable diseases, since it’s likely that fewer of those people would die given our advances in hospital care.”

    A common fallacious use of logic particularly by the bottom dwellers on this site. Since someone questions the use of mass vaccination then they must be for death. Logic fail.

    I’m really really mad now: “Now I have to get a shovel and clean up after it.”

    Like you did anything. At least some of the other posters are more passionate. You’re just stupid.

  269. #269 Zetetic
    June 10, 2010

    augustine still lying at @ @259:

    You’ve created a massive straw man argument.You’re supposed to be a champion of critical thinking but your philosophical beliefs have blinded you from seeing this as a straw man tactic.

    Thank you for saying what I knew you would say, oh predictable one. As usual you haven’t admitted to any of any of the rather obvious error and deceptions of yours that I pointed out in your last post.

    So, how have I committed a Straw-Man when you’ve repeatedly stated that vaccines are more harmful than indicated, and that you’d rather take the odds of disease in an unvaccinated society, rather than get 2 little shots even though it ultimately confers greater safety? How is representing your own positions a “straw man”? Was it not you that claimed earlier “Mortality rate is actually higher now with vaccines.”?

    Like I said earlier I like my chances of 99.999+% of not becoming permanently injured by measles virus.

    And here is exactly were the irrationality of your position is revealed.

    You are still dismissing away the fact that the odds of harm per individual is greater without widespread vaccination that with it. Just as you have also continued to ignore that the odds of harm of vaccination can also be eliminated to zero once a disease has been eradicated. It’s a win-win, no more deaths/sequelae from the disease in question, and no risk of harm from that particular vaccine either, as negligible as it may be. You own words indicate that you know this, but that you still ignore it. Tell us augie, what is the logic of taking a greater risk instead of a lesser risk? I asked you this a while ago but you never answered. If your position is based solely on emotion, then you position is in fact irrational, something you attacked me about earlier for pointing out.

    Like I said earlier I like my chances of 99.999+% of not becoming permanently injured by measles virus.

    Yet strangely you seem to consider that 99.99999% to be a intolerably great risk. Hence the your double standard that I mentioned earlier. They should just LOVE you in Vegas.

    Actually those odds are assuming a homogenous [sic] population. But it’s not a homogenous [sic] population.

    Of course it’s not. Your claiming that we are assuming it is homogeneous another Straw-man. Some people are hyper-sensitive to the vaccine, that is why there are the occasional cases of severe reaction, but fortunately such conditions are rare. Others are allergic, but as I’ve show earlier, anaphylactic cases are rare too. Why do you think that there are statistics of the rate of possible harm in the first place? I find it amusing that you seem to think that the science assumes a homogeneous population, when in fact the statistics are derived from, a non-homogeneous population. That populations can change over time is one of the reasons why the statistics are constantly being re-evaluated, and why they can vary from location to location.

    That some people are different is precisely why there are different vaccine formulations, medical exemptions, and why herd immunity is important. All factors that you have taken great pains to avoid recognizing or just brushed off as “minority objections”, while accusing us of assuming a homogeneous population.

    Healthy people have much better odds than those.

    Which is precisely why for the sake of argument I was willing to assume a worse case scenario in your favor, but again your position still failed to hold up. Again you are still just making yet another baseless assumption to prop up your facade of a position.

    Tell us augie…Exactly how much better are those odds? What evidence do you have to support the assertion when 90% of the population used to get it by age 15? That was the basis of the worst case scenario, putting things as much in your favor as we could. Are you saying that we’re not supposed to care about the 450-500 dead and 48,000 hospitalized per year? After all they weren’t “healthy”, right augie? Do you think that they were weak and therefore deserved (in some sense) to get what they got? Just as long as you don’t have to get a couple of small shots all of the death and suffering is all worth it, right?

    You only have one logical argument remaining for me and that option presents ethical challenges which are outside the scope of science. You have no more arguments from a scientific standpoint only a philosophical standpoint. And I don’t agree with your philosophy or your vehicle (microbe eradication) to express that philosophy.

    Interesting. You still haven’t answered why if your objection is one of philosophy (apparently a very sloppy and irrational philosophy), then why are you lying about others and arguing about the science? Oh that’s right, I guess that I already answered that one for your earlier on my last post.

    Since you have neither a scientific argument nor a coherent ethical argument against using vaccines I don’t really care about what you think regarding my position. That you seem to think that I’ve been trying to convince you of anything is a mistake on your part. You’ve long since revealed you self to either be an inveterate liar, a troll, or so blinded by irrational dogma that attempting to reason with you is a futile endeavor. You have revealed that you have neither logic nor evidence to your position. Plus you lack even the most basic vestiges of intellectual honesty, failing to apologize even when publicly revealed to have committed lies about others, nor admitting to even the most basic of errors.

    No augie, this isn’t about you. It never was. It’s about anyone else that might be reading this, and my own amusement at your apparent smug self-righteous arrogance. Anyone reading this will clearly see that you have failed to support your position and that you show a lack of empathy towards your fellow humans that (if it’s not just a troll act) borders on the nearly sociopathic. I’d like to thank you for making the true colors of the anti-vax movement (assuming that it’s not an act) abundantly clear for all to see.

    Remember your quote here from your post at #250?

    Man cannot avoid sickness and death by waging war with microbes. Man is just not that smart.

    Your position reminds me of the advise some people give to women in the case of sexual assault…. the old “Just relax and try to enjoy it” position that shows an utter lack of even basic compassion or understanding. Disgusting.

    You even know that modern medicine can get rid of death from some diseases, but you just want to lay back and let people die, since you can’t be bothered to get 2 small shots (assuming no valid medical contraindications). This seems to be a common pattern among many deniers. Deny the problem, deny the solution, and when you can’t do that any more deny that anyone should do anything about the problem in the first place.
    ======================================================================================================================================
    madder @ #261:

    What will happen to your chances if people stop vaccinating?

    Actually, augie and I are arguing from a position of assuming no measles vaccination (as in pre-1963). What augie is failing to acknowledge is that it’s irrational to accept the risk of death per individual from measles while opposing a risk of harm from the vaccine is about 125 times less than from the disease. He/She has also indicated that those that do die when considering the large numbers of infected, don’t matter since apparently they aren’t “healthy” enough. Augie seems to arguing from an extremely simplistic and short-sighted form of Social-Darwinism.
    ======================================================================================================================================
    Dedj @ #

    Somehow, this is being used as direct evidence that the downwards trend would have continued.

    Yes, as I pointed out earlier augie seems to be very intolerant of others making any assumptions, even when it’s logical and supported by credible evidence. It’s simply another of augie’s double standards that it’s OK for him/her to make utterly baseless assertions, even when his/her own evidence contradicts it.

    Augie is done here.

    Oh I’m fairly sure that augie will keep popping up around the blog to say something else pretentiousness and inane. But augustine has revealed himself/herself to be just another denialist, with nothing for ammunition but more of the usual sophistry.
    ======================================================================================================================================
    augustine @ #264:

    My chances? Nothing. I still like my chances circa 1967. Pre-vaccine era.

    Yeah funny how I had already proven that your “Nothing” is still just over 2 orders of magnitude a greater risk than getting the MMR vaccination. I guess that means that you’re admitting that the risks of getting the MMR are less than nothing? If not please provide evidence that actually supports your position for a change.

    “This self-limiting infection of short duration, moderate severity, and low fatality has maintained a remarkably stable biological balance over the centuries.”

    Poor augustine is still quote mining from a paper advocating the elimination of measles. Translation of augie: Who cares if 450-500 die and 48,000 are hospitalized from measles a year? I just don’t want to get 2 little shots no matter how reasonably safe it may be.

    What’s the matter augie, did your mommy not give you any lollipops when you got a shot?

    ======================================================================================================================================
    augustine @ #265:

    But we would need 5,10,20 more years to see if it would.

    Only to see exactly were it leveled off at. That it was leveling off is clear from the data. As I already mentioned though, we do in fact know that there would still be measles deaths today, since in fact there are still measles deaths today, thanks in part to people like you.

    No need for name calling.

    There was even less reason for you to lie about others (such as Brian Deer) but that sure didn’t stop you.

    I’m not saying that vaccines don’t affect immunity but they seem to get the lion’s share of credit for the numbers we see today.

    Yeah funny how a disease’s death rate levels off, and then shortly after the widespread vaccination is started, the death rate drastically plummets due to much fewer people being infected. It’s also funny how the same pattern repeats in country after country.

    BTW augie…where did any of the pro-vax side say that hygiene doesn’t matter? Your link only says that hygiene plays an important role, that’s kind of a “no duh!” statement. It doesn’t nothing to undermine the role of vaccines, as was already noted above. Are you still trying to resurrect that Straw-Man again, I already called you on it before remember?
    ======================================================================================================================================
    madder @ #266:

    After promising myself that I wouldn’t feed the troll, look what I went and did. Now I have to get a shovel and clean up after it.

    Don’t feel too bad about it. People like augie tend to reduce themselves in significance the more they talk. Why do you think I’ve been spending all this time at it?

    I notice that you don’t address the quotemining I referenced above.

    Nor will augie ever admit to any other error or lie. All the more reason to keep bringing it up whenever augie rears it’s dishonest little head.
    =====================================================================================================================================
    Come on augie… We’re still waiting for you to provide any logical basis for your position. It can’t be that hard can it, or is it that you’re just phobic of shots/scientific medicine and feel some weird need to rationalize it?

    ;-)

  270. #270 Todd W.
    June 10, 2010

    @Zetetic

    Are you saying that we’re not supposed to care about the 450-500 dead and 48,000 hospitalized per year? After all they weren’t “healthy”, right augie?

    I half expect augustine to reply, “Well, of course they weren’t healthy! They got sick!”

    That draws very near to Th1Th2’s attitude over at SBM.

  271. #271 augustine
    June 10, 2010

    99.999++% odds that measles will not have permanent or residual problems.

    Rational to not take vaccine? yes.

    Reasonable? yes.

    Based on science? yes.

    Aware that some people are shaking in their boots about a <0.00001 of their child getting measles and dying? check.

    Realize that there is a microbe eradication ideological agenda going on in the background of this debate? YEP.

  272. #272 augustine
    June 10, 2010

    “Are you saying that we’re not supposed to care about the 450-500 dead and 48,000 hospitalized per year? After all they weren’t “healthy”, right augie?”

    They can get vaccinated if they believe it will save them. The vaccine works right?

  273. #273 augustine
    June 10, 2010

    “Are you saying that we’re not supposed to care about the 450-500 dead and 48,000 hospitalized per year? After all they weren’t “healthy”, right augie?”

    In general, what type of person gets measles gets sick and then dies? Then you have to ask yourself Am I that type of person? The answer for me is NO!

  274. #274 Zetetic
    June 11, 2010

    augsustine @ #271:

    Rational to not take vaccine? yes.

    Nope. Not when the odds are even better when taking the vaccine.

    Reasonable? yes.

    Still nope. See Above.

    Based on science? yes

    You mean based on the same science that you earlier seemed to indicated that didn’t matter, and that shows that the odds are better with the vaccine than without?

    Realize that there is a microbe eradication ideological agenda going on in the background of this debate? YEP.

    Yeah because wanting to minimize human death and suffering is an “ideological agenda”. You seem to have a rather lose definition of an ideology there augie.

    The funny thing is augie, you could be completely and perfectly safe from measles without getting a shot yourself if enough other people got the MMR instead. Not every one even needs to get the shot to eliminate measles, just enough of the population to make the herd immunity, that you are so dismissive of, strong enough for long enough for the measles to die off. Not everyone had to get the smallpox vaccine to eradicate it either, all it took was enough people to get it. Remember your paper advocating the elimination of measles from the 60’s, if more people had been vaccinated before we wouldn’t even be arguing about measles today, it would be dead, gone, and largely forgotten. I find it amusing that you talk as though you want a world without having to get the measles vaccination, when the biggest obstacle to eliminating measles is people like yourself, even if it’s all possibly been an act.

    =============================================================================================================================
    augustine @ #272:

    They can get vaccinated if they believe it will save them. The vaccine works right?

    Sure, but when people like you are deliberately going around telling lies and fear-mongering over assertions of harm from the vaccine the number of people that don’t get vaccinated goes down. When enough people don’t vaccinate the disease comes back and starts doing damage, starting with the unvaccinated that were either dumb enough to believe people like you, or those that can’t for various reasons. But of course you’ve already established that you apparently don’t care about them, right augie?
    ===========================================================================================================================
    augustine @ #273:

    In general, what type of person gets measles gets sick and then dies? Then you have to ask yourself Am I that type of person? The answer for me is NO!

    [sarc]Yes, aguie because denying that something is true will keep it from being true.[/sarc]

    The type of people that tend to get infected are those that haven’t been protected by either the infection or the disease. Your own scenario (remember 1/8000 vs 1/1000) seems to point to an increasing risk as you get older. Have you been either vaccinated or infected yet? Also, as I’ve also pointed out earlier there is those that you infect, if you catch the disease. Even if it doesn’t kill you, it may kill them. Oh but that’s right, you don’t care about anybody else, right augie?

    But there is more to consider that you seem to be overlooking in your overly simplistic worldview there augie. Tell us augie are you immortal? Do you think that you’ll never get older, or sick?

    [sarc]
    Look! Up there in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
    No ! It’s Super-Augie!

    Yes, Super-Augie, strange visitor from a distorted view of reality…who came to Earth with powers and reasoning abilities far below those of mortal men.

    Super-Augie, who can derail thread discussions by trolling.
    Tell big lies in a single sentence, can evade taking responsibility for any lie or error on his part, and who, disguised as augustine, a mildly bothersome troll in the threads of a great metropolitan science blog, fights a never ending battle for lies, harm to others, and the contagious way!
    [/sarc]

    Like I said before augie (assuming that the arrogance is not all just an act), I bet that they’d just LOVE you in Vegas!

    ;-)
    =================================================================================================================
    @ Todd W.
    Yeah I figured that to…and yeah I caught T1T2’s routine over there as well. There’s only so much time in the day though, and T1T2’s routine is just a one-trick pony. At least our augie here can do a little song-and-dance.

  275. #275 augustine
    June 11, 2010

    “At least our augie here can do a little song-and-dance.”

    And you or anyone else for that matter who decides to engage will do the little song and dance with me.

    As long as the solutions involve the application of ethics, morals, and values we’ll keep singing and dancing. You’ll keep talking about disease and fear and I’ll keep talking talking about ethical informed consent.

  276. #276 augustine
    June 11, 2010

    Look! Up there in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
    No ! It’s Super-Augie!

    And you too can become like Super-Augie with an immune system that can handle the measles virus without vaccination. Be able to fend off the mind control that tells you your immune system is too weak to fight a measles microbe without the help of vaccines. In spite of the scientific fact that 99.999+++% of the population didn’t need a vaccine to begin with. Once you become a Super Augie you’ll be able to use you your x-ray vision to filter out the enormous kryptonite type amount of propaganda that is laid over a foundation of data disguised as scientific fact.

  277. #277 augustilne
    June 11, 2010

    Zertec: “Yeah because wanting to minimize human death and suffering is an “ideological agenda”. You seem to have a rather lose definition of an ideology there augie.”

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. But if you’re an atheist then it’s justified.

  278. #278 Zetetic
    June 12, 2010

    aughustine @ #275:

    You’ll keep talking about disease and fear and I’ll keep talking talking about ethical informed consent.

    Yet another Straw-Man from augie! Tell us aguie, where exactly here did anyone on the pro-vax/pro-science side argue against informed consent? You talk about how you’ll keep arguing for informed consent, but nowhere so far have you actually done that. Note: informed consent doesn’t mean that those opposed to the procedure get to just make up lies and claim it as fact without credible evidence.

    As for fear, what exactly is it that makes you so fearful of a couple of little bitty shots? Or makes you so afraid of eradicating a disease that kills people? Hell augie, you’re apparently so afraid of a couple little shots that even children dying is of no concern to you, as long as it doesn’t effect you personally.

    If from the start you had just claimed that you don’t want to get a couple of little shots, and that you’re willing to take the risks even though the risks are higher than with the shot, then there would have been little to argue about. But (assuming that it’s not all just an act for you) you seem to be compelled to rationalize your position even though your own numbers don’t support your conclusion. Instead you’ve wasted lots of time arguing about the merits of vaccination and lying about others rather than just admitting that the shot is safer, but that you still refuse to take it. I find your attempts at rationalization rather interesting, and rather amusing.
    =====================================================================================================================
    augustine @ #276:

    Once you become a Super Augie you’ll be able to use you your x-ray vision to filter out the enormous kryptonite type amount of propaganda that is laid over a foundation of data disguised as scientific fact.

    And ignore the inevitable piles of dead and injured children, and the potential risks to your own health (sooner or later). Tell us augie, since you didn’t answer earlier, do you really think that you’ll stay “healthy” forever?

    “Denial, it ain’t just a river in Egypt.”
    ====================================================================================================================
    augustine @ #277:

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    True, but picking the road with the lower body count usually works pretty well to avoid picking the wrong road. The road to hell is also paved in ignorance, self-absorption, and shortsightedness. You know, your camp augie. Looks like your still projecting augie, it’s your side that increase death and suffering, remember? Also, you still haven’t shown (after weeks) that vaccination is more harmful than not vaccinating. Why haven’t you been able to locate that evidence yet?

    But if you’re an atheist then it’s justified.

    So you’re saying that only atheists can have compassion for their fellow humans and want to reduce humans suffering? It’s interesting that you have such a low opinion of the religious, even though it’s a rather nice thing for you to say about atheists.

  279. #279 David N. Brown
    June 12, 2010

    @269:
    “Deny the problem, deny the solution, and when you can’t do that any more deny that anyone should do anything about the problem in the first place.”
    I do believe I’m going to steal this one.
    Also, an irony: In the 1800s, when genuine problems with vaccines were far more common, clergymen were lining up to support vaccination. Hence, making an issue out of some “pro-vaxxers” being atheist makes one look rather stupid(er).

  280. #280 augustine
    June 12, 2010

    David Brown: “Also, an irony: In the 1800s, when genuine problems with vaccines were far more common, clergymen were lining up to support vaccination. Hence, making an issue out of some “pro-vaxxers” being atheist makes one look rather stupid(er).”

    In the spirit of science blogs, David, I give you this. 1800s? HMM. There was a big difference in living conditions that caused or contributed to higher infectious disease deaths. Clergymen were lining up? How many? The majority? only 3? What is your basis for this statement?

    Genuine problems with vaccines? You mean there has been genuine problems in the past? And how does the medical profession usually deal with the public relations of such problems? They minimize the real problem of safety and say the benefits out weigh the risks. Then when a newer medical only solution is available they say “a safer” version is available. Hence admitting that the older one actually DID have safety issues. But only until a newer product is available. Pertussis vaccine?

    1800’s hmm. What vaccines were available back then? I suppose you only mean smallpox? Not the “10,000 vaccines” combined that are reccomended and proclaimed safe. Of course safe is only a relative term to vaccinationists if one looks at their history.

    david b: “making an issue out of some “pro-vaxxers” being atheist makes one look rather stupid(er).”

    No. It doesn’t. An atheist and a believer in any god (Buddah,Allah, mother earth, etc) are going to have different ethics and morals and a different basis for those ethics and morals. They will have a different a priori.

    I believe that most of the hardcore pro mass vaccine propagandists are atheists. Are there those that believe in a god who also push this belief system? of course. But you atheist know how incongruent their positions are when it gets to the core of it.

    The believers need to realize that there is decisions of values that are involved. This is not a pure science decision.

    Do you believe that people are weak and incapable of fighting pathogens? Do you believe that most of us will perish without prophylactic medicine? How do you know which individual will?

    Or do you believe that we were created stronger than that? Do you believe that the living body is endowed with intelligence or created from intelligence or is it just a soup of chemicals that need to be manipulated?

  281. #281 Julian Frost
    June 12, 2010

    @Augustine:

    I believe that most of the hardcore pro mass vaccine propagandists are atheists.

    “Propaganda. You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.” Propaganda refers to lies, distortions and misquotes used to bolster a cause. Firstly, where exactly have those of us who support the current vaccination program lied or distorted? Secondly, and to quote one of the others dear Augie, “Project much?”

  282. #282 Zetetic
    June 13, 2010

    David N. Brown @ #279:

    I do believe I’m going to steal this one.

    Glad you liked it. Please feel free.

    ============================================================================================================================
    augustine @ #280:

    No. It doesn’t. An atheist and a believer in any god (Buddah,Allah, mother earth, etc) are going to have different ethics and morals and a different basis for those ethics and morals. They will have a different a priori.

    Bwahahahahahahahah! As if even two different people from the same culture and same religion are likely to share EXACTLY the same morals. Not to mention people from different cultures with the same religion.

    Oh augie, your argument just keeps getting more and more pathetic with your incessant need to rationalize your position rather than just being honest about it.

    Right from the start you came in with your “this is an atheist blog” line of crap, to try and divert everyone from the truth about your position. It did work then and it’s not going to work now. All you’ve done is add another fallacy to your list. Now we’ve got the Excluded Middle Fallacy from you. Do you really think that religious groups that oppose modern medicine are any thing more than a minority among most religious groups? Why do you think that so many religious groups justify using modern medicine, including vaccines, to help others? Because unlike your stated position, most religious institutions place at least some value on minimizing human suffering. The fact is that many that are religious would be appalled by your lack of empathy and shortsighted selfishness.

    So first we have augie “The Invulnerable”, and now it’s augie “The Patron Saint of Pestilence”.

    So tell us augie, if you’re so eager to cowardly and dishonestly hide behind the skirts of religion…

    Exactly where in your religion’s moral guides does it say “Thou shalt not use vaccines”? What about those that are religious that develop vaccines and promote their use to prevent death and suffering? If you’re opposed to vaccines on a religious basis, does your religion also have any prohibits against lying? I noticed that you seem to have no reservations about lying. You also don’t seem to be too big on confession.

    I believe that most of the hardcore pro mass vaccine propagandists are atheists.

    Of course augie, because nobody that disagreed with you could possible be religious, right? Never mind the religious that created and promoted vaccination, and would be embarrassed to have you using religion as a false defense. What was it I said about your pompous, self-righteous arrogance? Now you are even trying to imply a claim that you speak for the religions of the word? What a joke!

    Personally I find it rather amusing that one of the arguments used to defend religion is to point out the work of religious groups in trying to help others through medical care. But here you are augie, trying undermine that same defense to rationalize your own personal and irrational opinion.

    This is not a pure science decision.

    Of course not, it’s also about the ethics of saving human lives. We’ve been saying that for a long time now. But, the science comes down squarely against your position. You yourself have long since conceded that saving lives isn’t even a concern to you.

    Do you believe that people are weak and incapable of fighting pathogens? Do you believe that most of us will perish without prophylactic medicine? How do you know which individual will?

    Oh Goody! Yet another Straw-Man from augie! So tell us aguie, were EXACTLY did anyone on the pro-science side say that, hmmmm?

    You know perfectly well, that the pro-vax side knows that most people will in fact survive measles. Hell, augie, most of Europe survived the bubonic plague too, does that make it OK to just let it run rampant? Granted that is an extreme example, but it’s to illustrate a point. Just because most of a given population will survive a disease…How do you justify NOT doing anything about it, especially when the vaccine is so much safer? How do you justify hundreds of deaths and thousands hospitalized per year just because you’re apparently scared of 2 little (and extremely safe) shots? Please by all means give us any religious justification that doesn’t also rule out most of modern medicine in the process.

    ============================================================================================================
    So tell us augie is your “religious” conviction about vaccines any deeper that a simplistic dogma of “Nature Good, Science Bad”?

    Come on augie…it’s time to “come out of the closet” and tell us the truth for a change.

  283. #283 Zetetic
    June 15, 2010

    Well it looks like augie has decided to duck out of yet another thread.

    I did want to comment on was last thing though (don’t know how I missed it earlier).
    augustine @ #266:

    Answer: Penicillin. Name the scientific first principle that was the foundation for the discovery of antibiotics. There wasn’t one at the time. It was luck and “fortuitous” events combined with observation that led to it’s discovery. There was no skeptic brand of science involved.

    Once again augie…FAIL.

    Yes penicillin was discovered by fortuitous accident, but as usual augie you’re only telling (at best) half the truth. You left out that it was part of a scientific experiment that discovered it in the first place, not looking at the world through “other lenses”. You also left out that it was through study and experimentation (not woo) that it was demonstrate that it was the penicillin, and not something else that was at work. Also, it was through “skeptic brand science” (again, not “other lenses”) that penicillin was proven to help treat some diseases. Also it was again science that eventually found out how it worked and helped lead to other antibiotics too, again not woo.

    So sorry, you still failed to give a credible answer even after all that time to do so. But don’t feel too bad, after all antibiotics is another part of what you call the “war” on disease and “healthy” people probably don’t need antibiotics either right?

  284. #284 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 10, 2010
    Rogue medic: “Children will keep dying from vaccine preventable illnesses.”

    augustine: “This is just rhetoric. It presumes that the death of someone from an infection for which a vaccine has been concocted would have been prevented if that person had been vaccinated. This is IMPOSSIBLE to assess for that person. In fact there is evidence to the contrary.”

    I’m actually glad that our latest Goofus, augustine, chose to use this fallacious gambit again. I sometimes have to be away for a while and spot a delicious fallacy when I’m catching up… too late for it to be really worthwhile to call out the fallacy. So I’m actually quite tickled that the Goofus tried this trick again.

    Here is the claim to which the Goofus replies, in syllogism form:

    1) Out of the people who catch vaccine-preventable diseases, some of them die from those diseases.
    2) Out of the people who would otherwise catch vaccine-preventable diseases but receive vaccinations, many will not in fact catch vaccine-preventable diseases.
    3) Therefore, some of the people we vaccinate against these vaccine-preventable illnesses will be people whose lives are saved because of that vaccination.

    Until Goofus can produce some evidence that premises 1 or 2, or the form of the syllogism, are not correct, we must take the conclusion as true. In other words, the burden of proof is on Goofus. His denial of this fact is … well, it’s just that, denial. “Even though you’ve proven that vaccines save lives I refuse to believe it! I reject any form of proof except a kind that’s impossible, requiring us to have 100% perfect knowledge of what would have happened if we did something that we did not in fact do!”

    Usually when I dissect the arguments of Goofuses I like to find the central fallacy, because much of the time these arguments are taken seriously by people who are sincerely trying to find and understand the truth but who have fallen for someone’s superficially convincing arguments. Here, there is no clear fallacy. There is only a Goofus trying to pretend that he never needs to be bound by the rules of debate under which reasonable adults operate. The pro-science people have proven that vaccines save lives. Goofus can try to challenge the components of the proof, if he likes, but what he cannot do is deny that the burden of proof is now on him.

  285. #285 David N. Brown
    July 11, 2010

    “This is just rhetoric. It presumes that the death of someone from an infection for which a vaccine has been concocted would have been prevented if that person had been vaccinated.”

    I see. So, according to an anti-vaxxer, if a child is diagnosed with autism after receiving a vaccine, it must be a vaccine injury. But if somebody dies of a vaccine-preventable disease after not receiving a “scheduled” vaccine against it, THAT could just be coincidence.

  286. #286 Black Smith
    December 22, 2011

    A person with ASD will typically also prefer to stick to a set of behaviors and will resist any major (and many minor) changes to daily activities. Several relatives and friends of people with ASDs have commented that if the person knows a change is coming in advance, and has time to prepare for it; the resistance to the change is either gone completely or is much lower.

  287. #287 Mary Rojo
    January 4, 2012

    I can’t be so sure now if vaccines are for real since many vaccine scandals are aired now in media. We can’t be so sure if vaccines are good for autistic children too.

  288. #288 Calli Arcale
    January 4, 2012

    Mary — you *can* be sure. You aren’t sure, because of what you’ve read, but you can change that, if you’re willing to put in a little effort. Go beyond the press releases of groups like Age of Autism. Read the science. There is plenty of evidence that vaccines cause far more good than harm, and that it is less risky to use them than to not. (Can you be injured by a vaccine? Yes. You are much more likely to be injured by the disease the vaccine protects against, though, so it’s really not difficult to decide where to put your chips. Are there specific risk factors? A few, primarily allergies to vaccine ingredients; these are manageable, so make sure you tell your doctor if you have any known allergies, or if you have any known immune dysfunction, or any other concerns you may have.)

    As for autistic children, why don’t you think what’s good for normal children is good for autistic children too? I know autistic people can seem very strange, with puzzling mannerisms and sometimes explosive outbursts, but they are actually largely the same as the rest of us. Vaccines work the same in them as they do in the rest of us. And they deserve protection just as much as all other children.

    You might ask “what about Hannah Poling?”, a girl whose parents claim she became autistic because of a vaccine. Well, her case is more complicated than that. She has a genetic mitochondrial disorder which makes her susceptible to brain damage following a fever. Any fever. That includes fevers provoked by vaccines, of course, but the vast majority of fevers that children get have nothing to do with vaccines — it’s consequently impossible to say that the vaccine was what caused her specific fever. Indeed, since children like her are at such high risk from fevers, it is *more* important to vaccinate them, so as to reduce the number of fevers they get over the lifetime. The thing about vaccine fevers is that you know about them ahead of time, and you can give medications to prevent the fever. So her case is, in my opinion, actually a case *for* vaccination of the autistic.

    Bottom line: there is plenty of science to make your decisions, if you can get past the mess the media often makes of it. And autistic children deserve protection as much as any children do.

    BTW, Black Smith, that is my experience also. When my daughter has adequate warning of a change, she tends to handle it just fine. Her adaptability has improved with age as well, as she learns how to do the things that come more naturally to other children. That’s one of the oft-overlooked things about ASDs; the children aren’t really frozen, and they are capable of progress and often quite amazing things.

  289. #289 lilady
    January 4, 2012

    Excellent Post Calli…somehow I doubt that Mary “Carpet Cleaner” Rojo and Black “Plumber” Smith are sincere when they post here.

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