Respectful Insolence

It was nearly a month ago when I first marveled at how nonsense could be so well-organized. My marvel was expressed at the awesomeness that was the Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense (which, by the way, is now available in “sanitized” versions, as well as versions in other languages). It turns out that Crispan’s effort has inspired one of my readers to try his hand at this whole organizating nonsense thing. This blog being what it is and all and his proclivities being what they are, he decided to create…drumroll, please…The Periodic Table of Vaccine Rejectionism, which he’s given me permission to post right here:

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A PDF version of the file can be found here.

How appropriate to post this on the very same day that Penn and Teller premiere their Bullshit! episode about the anti-vaccine movement. I like it, although I do think there are more trolls to be listed, some of whom infest the comment threads of this very blog! Perhaps John Best is quite simply too unstable to exist as an element. Ditto, perhaps, the Australian Vaccination Network, where the looniness is clearly too concentrated to exist or perhaps must combine with other elements. In any case, I’m half-tempted to start using the element symbol Hp whenever I blog about HuffPo’s pseudoscience.

Finally, like the actual periodic table of the elements, ca 1900, I do believe this particular periodic table is currently incomplete. Help us complete it! Surely there must be at least 118 anti-vaccine loon elements around.

One other question: How long before the anti-vaccine propagandists at Age of Autism or other anti-vaccine loons try to create their own periodic table of vaccine defenders (I’m sure they’d come up with a different name), probably complete with Paul Offit, Stephen Barrett, Nancy Snyderman, big pharma, and possibly even me. Actually, if they don’t include me on such a periodic table, I’ll be very disappointed. Wait a minute. By saying that I’ve probably guaranteed that they won’t. On the other hand, how do they know that’s not part of my nefarious plan to make sure that they don’t include me on their table? Answer: They don’t!

Muhahahahahahahahahaha!

Comments

  1. #1 Mu
    August 12, 2010

    Sid will be crushed that he didn’t make the list.

  2. #2 T. Bruce McNeely
    August 12, 2010

    We need a place for the trolls. Maybe an equivalent to the Lanthenide series, “off the chart” as it were:

    So – Sid Offit
    Su – Commonsense et al
    Ds – DrSmart
    Mm – Medicien Man (or is that Dr Smart’s sock puppet?)
    Jn – Jen the Tylenol troll

    and of course, the latest highly unstable element As – augustine (I didn’t choose Ag or Au because they already represent something valuable. You can also pronounce As as if it had 2 s’s)

  3. #3 T. Bruce McNeely
    August 12, 2010

    Sorry, that should be Lanthanide series.

    Also, sock puppets could be considered isotopes.

  4. #4 Chris
    August 12, 2010

    Yes, “DrSmart” and “Medicine Man” are the same person.

    Even though Jen does go on about tylenol, she is not a troll (she has changed over time).

    Who is “Twyla”?

    What about the ever amusing STY?

  5. #5 Phoenix Woman
    August 12, 2010

    Speaking of Hp, Mercola’s at it again, this time proclaiming that cholesterol is good for you in one of the sloppiest-written, hand-waving-dependent pieces I’ve seen in a long time: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/the-cholesterol-myth-that_b_676817.html

  6. #6 Charles
    August 12, 2010

    Meryl Dorey isn’t on it.

  7. #7 Setar
    August 12, 2010

    I object to #37. That parrot’s not dead, he’s pining for the fjords.

  8. #8 Science Mom
    August 12, 2010

    Chris@4, Twyla is Twyla Ramos, an AoA contributor who trolls blogs inserting ‘vaccines cause autism’ to any conversation, regardless of the topic. Need I say more?

    There is another jen, also an AoA regular who is just a garden-variety tosser. I think that is the one that comes to mind when you think of a jen-troll. Or should, anyhow.

    Must include STY.

  9. #9 Phoenix Woman
    August 12, 2010

    “Also, sock puppets could be considered isotopes.”

    Agreed.

  10. #10 T. Bruce McNeely
    August 12, 2010

    Forgot one!

    Tony Bateson, our Upper Class Twit from Oxford.

    I can’t use the symbol Tb, because it’s taken by Bensmyson.
    How about Mb, for Master Bateson?

  11. #11 Azkyroth
    August 12, 2010

    They should change “opportunistic MDs” to “predatory opportunists.”

  12. #13 Mu
    August 12, 2010

    Rumors that the machine says either “Autism sufferer” or “Stop whining about how nobody loves you on the internet and go outside” as a diagnosis are unconfirmed.

    Absolutely priceless

  13. #14 Alison
    August 12, 2010

    Loved that. . .but I wanted to see what they found in ADD brains!

    I got in trouble with some woo-loving friends the last time I posted a periodic table – I think this might go over their heads, though.

  14. #15 Orange Lantery
    August 12, 2010

    Anne Dachel, too. She trolls every pro-vaccine news story and drops a fact-free soundbite.

  15. #16 Corina Becker
    August 12, 2010

    Heh, and here we were talking about G Taylor’s killed by autism site on lb/rb. Nice to see her on there.

    @Liz, I disagree with the term “suffer” but otherwise, that’s a pretty funny article.

  16. #17 Denice Walter
    August 12, 2010

    It’s brilliant! But where is the “G” or “Gl” for glutathione?Also “Md” ( or “Mt”) for “mitochondrial disease”?

  17. #18 Squillo
    August 12, 2010

    I see someone has mentioned Meryl Dopey… I mean Dorey.

    How about Sherri Tenpenny and her wares under “Junk Websites.” And don’t forget that mistress of myriad woos, Dr. Christiane Northrup. She hates vaccines almost as much as she loves bioidentical hormone$.

  18. #19 Chris
    August 12, 2010

    ooh. I want to be in the table. The only thing is that I feel downright insulted that someone hasn’t created a periodic table of left wing socialist America hater science geeks yet.

  19. #20 Matthew Cline
    August 12, 2010

    One: I don’t think Passionless Drone is a troll. She puts a lot more effort into research than I think a troll would spend.

    Two: should the vaccine court be included? Anti-vaxxers act as if its mere existence supports their arguments, as well as the total amount of monetary rewards its given, but in-and-of-itself it’s not anti-vax.

  20. #21 MikeMa
    August 12, 2010

    Not sure if or where cooler belongs as he is most hiv denial but worthy of recognition all the same.

    I am very glad Jake got on there as he has tried so hard to make that list.

    Kimmy from AoA is missing unless I missed her.

  21. #22 Doctor Smart
    August 12, 2010

    I feel honored to be a part of your little anti-normal person tyrade. Go ahead and add me to the list of normal people in your silly little insignificant chart. Maybe a chemical composition will derive from it to cure Chris’s type 1 diabetes of what’s her name paralysis from the flu vaccine.

  22. #23 DLC
    August 12, 2010

    Good one. nice organization.
    The periodic table of the stupid.

  23. #24 Buzzard bait
    August 12, 2010

    I wonder where the periodic table of liberalism fits in? Here are some of the elements:

    Socialism/communism/atheism
    evolution/darwin worshippers
    gay or gay supporter or gay sympathizer or gay worshipper
    tree hugger/environmental terrorist
    PLO/Hamas terrorist/flotilla supporters
    vaccination/forced sterilization nuts (also commies)
    mandatory fascist/socialist healthcare rationing system supporters
    G20 gimme everything I want now terrorists
    violent labor union thugs
    black liberation theology/socilaist/terrorists
    social justice fake Christians
    economic justice/socialist fake christians

    man, there are just too many enemies of freedom to name here, but it would be a good thing to organize them into a periodic table of violent and dangerous left wing fringe nutjobs who need to be put into mental institutions.

  24. #25 Jason
    August 12, 2010

    Cute, but one-layered. I don’t understand how these bobbleheads are in any way analogous to the varied elements of our universe.

    Perhaps a chart of pests or diseases would have been a better starting point.

  25. #26 Matthew Cline
    August 12, 2010

    @Buzzard bait:

    I wonder where the periodic table of liberalism fits in? Here are some of the elements:

    vaccination/forced sterilization nuts (also commies)

    A lot of anti-vaxxers are liberals, especially the crunchy granola type liberals. It’s not a left-wing/right-wing issue.

    Also, are you talking about “forced vaccinations”? I don’t know of anyone on this site who’s in favor of forced vaccinations. There is support for mandatory vaccination, which means “vaccination is mandatory for children going to public schools”. With mandatory vaccination, parents can have their children go to a private school, or home school them, so it’s not the same as “forced”.

    but it would be a good thing to organize them into a periodic table of violent and dangerous left wing fringe nutjobs who need to be put into mental institutions.

    I can’t tell if you’re using hyperbole or not. If you’re not using hyperbole, then wow, is that ever a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Also, how pro-vaccine do you have to be to a “violent and dangerous left wing fringe nutjob”?

  26. #27 Chris
    August 12, 2010

    Perhaps there should be a general “morphing troll” that includes the idiot MM who seems to be posting here as “Dr. Smart”, Buzzard Bait and sockpuppeting my name (which was a tactic once used by another troll, I think it was STY).

  27. #28 Metamorphingtrollobigitus
    August 12, 2010

    Has anyone ever underwearpuppeted your name Chris?
    You are scaring me. Don’t make me send my brother Doctor Smart here. I will. Just in case you are wondering what my real credentials are as a doctor, you can find them at my URL. I think you will be surprised.

  28. #29 Chris
    August 12, 2010

    Obvious troll is obvious.

    (… and he should not really be on the internet when drunk)

  29. #30 Kristen
    August 12, 2010

    One: I don’t think Passionless Drone is a troll. She puts a lot more effort into research than I think a troll would spend.

    I agree PD does seem to try to at least think for him/her (?) self.

    Perhaps PD could be replaced by “Smarter Than You” with his weird rantings about the vaccine-autismpocalypse coming later this year.

    Bruce,

    I can’t use the symbol Tb, because it’s taken by Bensmyson.
    How about Mb, for Master Bateson?

    I love it. Now I will bust up laughing whenever he posts his ‘there are no unvaccinated autistics’ crap.

  30. #31 Sid Offit
    August 12, 2010

    Sid will be crushed that he didn’t make the list.

    Not so much. I realize I have to wait my turn and pay my dues.
    —————————–
    Where Mayer Eisenstein? And the Geiers?
    —————————–
    I don’t think Passionless Drone is a troll. She puts…

    I think I recall she being a he, but I could be wrong – although a drone is male. That having been said pD is far from a troll

  31. #32 Dangerous Bacon
    August 12, 2010

    Nice to see Jay Gordon make the table at #42 (Jy). However it should have been organized so as to place him under #15 (Aw), considering how far he is up Andrew Wakefield’s butt.

    Given how much competition there is for that slot, I suppose they couldn’t keep everyone happy.

  32. #33 kristina
    August 12, 2010

    Kudos to the creator of this table (also as the publication of the Age of Autism book is just on the horizon).

  33. #34 Adam C.
    August 12, 2010

    It needs crazy treatments – maybe the Actinides.

    I suggest:

    89: Gf: Gluten-free
    90: Hm: Homeopathy
    91: Sp: Supplements
    92: Ho: Hyperbaric Oxygen
    93: Bi: Biomed
    94: Dd: Doctor’s Data tests
    95: Co: Colonoscopies
    96: Np: Naturopathy
    97: Gs: Google search
    98: Wu: Woo
    99: Fc: Facilitated Communication
    100: Cn: Chelation
    101: Ic: Industrial chelators
    102: Lp: Lupron
    103: Kt: Kill them (with our treatments, $99.99 per session)

  34. #35 Julian Frost
    August 13, 2010

    Put JABS (Justice Awareness and Basic Support) under the websites.

  35. #36 Andreas Johansson
    August 13, 2010

    What did the poor Moon rocks do to be included here?

  36. #37 Adam C.
    August 13, 2010

    Note my proposal’d need Chelation to be moved out of the Cash Cows block. So we’d need a replacement…

  37. #38 Hudders
    August 13, 2010

    Re: Adam, post 34. Why would you have #89 as gluten free? What is wrong with a gluten free diet as a treatment? Or are you referring to people who do it despite not actually needing to (unlike celiacs who have to)?

  38. #39 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    August 13, 2010

    I was surprised to see pD in the list as a troll. I never got that impression from pD’s commenting at all.

    Trolls:
    Augie
    bensmyson
    and others

    no obvious research skills in what they post, and no ability to absord information that doesn’t fit their already fucked-up schemata.

    pD
    pretty meticulously constructed arguments and consideration of alternative hypotheses, from what I’ve read.

  39. #40 Adam C.
    August 13, 2010

    Well, this is a table of anti-vaccine woo. Obviously, it’s only woo as an autism treatment: Like Chelation, Hyperbaric oxygen, and Lupron, there’s legitimate reasons to use it, but in autism/anti-vaccine woo, pretty much every autistic child gets “diagnosed” as “needing” it, which isn’t, in fact, true.

  40. #41 SnarkyAdjunct
    August 13, 2010

    No John Best? Or did I overlook him?

  41. #42 Science Mom
    August 13, 2010

    Sid will be crushed that he didn’t make the list.

    Not so much. I realize I have to wait my turn and pay my dues.
    —————————–
    Where Mayer Eisenstein? And the Geiers?
    —————————–
    I don’t think Passionless Drone is a troll. She puts…

    I think I recall she being a he, but I could be wrong – although a drone is male. That having been said pD is far from a troll

    I don’t know why I feel so compelled (perhaps my dedication to objectivity) but Sid is spot on here. pD is a he and not a troll, Eisenstein and the Geiers should absolutely be on that table and lastly, Sid has not earned his/her way yet.

  42. #43 Todd W.
    August 13, 2010

    I have to concur that the vaccine court does not belong there. Anti-vaxers view it as part of the enemy (gov’t). Even BLF, one of the individuals instrumental in its creation, wants it gone. The only time they think it’s any good is when it hands down a ruling that they can spin to apparently support their claims. In reality, it does serve a vital purpose, allowing for the compensation for known injuries while ensuring that vaccine production does not halt completely due to law suits.

    Likewise, pasisonlessDrone does not belong on there. pD’s not a troll and actually has some thoughtful contributions. I don’t necessarily agree with his take on things, but he’s at least civil.

    Additions:
    STY (troll)
    Meryl Dorey (MicroCeleb, alternatively a new category for heartless whack-a-loons)
    AVN (Junk Web Site)
    Laura Hewitson (MicroCeleb)
    RFK, Jr. (celeb)
    augustine (troll)
    The Geiers (MicroCelebs)
    Genetic Centers of America (Cash Cow)

  43. #44 angelasodee
    August 13, 2010

    “Anne Dachel, too. She trolls every pro-vaccine news story and drops a fact-free soundbite.

    Posted by: Orange Lantery ”

    That is fabulous!! “fact-free soundbite” LOVE it!

  44. #45 Dangerous Bacon
    August 13, 2010

    Maybe there could be a slot for Internet antivax trolls in general (Tr?), but no individual troll deserves space, first because they tend to sameness after awhile so that no one stands out, and secondly because if you reward one all the others will start clamoring and nipping at your heels for attention, and they get more of that than they deserve to begin with (plus the table would get too unwieldy if you tried to accomodate them all).

    Sorry, Sid. Maybe you could lobby for a separate antivax troll table.

  45. #46 Orange Lantern
    August 13, 2010

    @43:
    Thanks, Angela. Wish I could spell my own pseudonym, though.

    I’m trying to think of other trolls that I see across various blogs and news sites. Chris and I have run into a dude named JonGH who likes to Gish gallop across the screen at various sites, but I don’t know that he’s a big enough pony.

    I’m guessing Tb stands for “Two Bensmysons” or “Team Bensmyson”, though we could give them the appropriate “Bs” symbol and give “Tb” to Tony Bateson, who deserves a spot for being a classic one-trick troll.

  46. #47 Doctor Smart
    August 13, 2010

    I never understood the hatred towards chelation and gluten free products. Then again, I never understood the government’s violent hatred towards raw milk either.

    Chelation is cheaper and safer than open heart surgery and stints. I’ll stick with detoximin and unclog my own arteries thank you very much. Then of course keeping cholesterol under control with Niacin, red yeast rice, and other items as well as taking vitamin D and magnesium helps prevent clogged arteries in the first place.

  47. #48 MikeMa
    August 13, 2010

    Doctor Smart?
    They are called stents, not stints.

    Chelation is a marvelous medical tool, when indicated. Autism is not an indication to chelate. Same with gluten. Got celiac? Go gluten free. I don’t know about niacin or any other ‘natural’ cholesterol lowering but based on previous experience with your posts, I discount them heavily.

  48. #49 Chris
    August 13, 2010

    MM:

    Chelation is cheaper and safer than open heart surgery and stints.

    Wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong, which is standard for all MM posts no matter what ‘nym he uses.

    Oh, cute, the stuff MM was scammed into buying is shoved up his arse!

  49. #50 evilDoug
    August 13, 2010

    Is the Smart like in Maxwell Smart? or alcohol in an abrasion smart(s)?

  50. #51 Sauceress
    August 13, 2010

    I never understood the government’s violent hatred

    Hatred? You keep using that word…it doesn’t mean what you think it means Dr Smurf.
    There are those though, such as yourself, who do spew hatred at anyone who doesn’t hold an identical an point of view. What a sad and angry existence you hold.

  51. #52 Midwest Dad
    August 14, 2010

    Most glaring omissions: John Best and the Geiers.

    Possible additions: Harold Doherty and Craig Willoughby.

    Agree with the consensus that passionlessDrone is not a troll.

  52. #53 Shay
    August 14, 2010

    Then again, I never understood the government’s violent hatred towards raw milk either.

    Particularly since listeriosis is so useful at keeping overpopulation in check.

  53. #54 Doctor Smart
    August 15, 2010

    @ MikeMa

    Go ahead and discount them then. That just means more supply for me.

    @ Chris:

    Right, Right, rightey right, boy am I right. Stop stalking me.

  54. #55 Chris
    August 15, 2010

    Stupid electronics technician does not know the definition of stalking, and is very stupid. Nor what it means when a person lacks a Y-chromosome. Must be the stuff he shoves up his anus, which is where his brain is located.

  55. #56 zed
    August 15, 2010

    I have about 200lbs of #6 to get rid of if anyone needs some..;.)

  56. #57 Twyla
    August 15, 2010

    I have never commented here before, and I’m quite reluctant to even stick one toe into these hostile waters, but I can’t resist asking, what is meant by the term “troll”? I have the impression that this refers to someone who has malevolent, malicious intent — who hides under the bridge waiting for the chance to do harm. I don’t know every single person in the “Troll” column above, but those whose blogging I’m familiar with certainly appear to me to have the best of intentions. Honestly, I have never received a satisfactory answer to the question of “What is a ‘troll’?” And please don’t say something cute like “You! Look in the mirror!” I’m seriously asking. Based on this chart, it looks like a troll is just a blogger whose opinions you don’t agree with?

  57. #58 Science Mom
    August 15, 2010

    @ Twyla, the objective definition is explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet-Troll

    Based on this chart, it looks like a troll is just a blogger whose opinions you don’t agree with?

    No, that would be AoA’s definition.

  58. #59 passionlessDrone
    August 16, 2010

    Hello friends –

    I’m very much in love with the idea of autism based infographic! I’ve been thinking of a few of my own, but not quite as flippant as this one. My signature does lend itself towards easy placement on a periodic table.

    In any case, for the record, I am male.

    I’d like to thank Mathew Cline, Kristen, Sid Offit, David N. Andrews, Science Mom, Todd W, and Midwest Dad for thinking I’m not a troll.

    - pD

  59. #60 Twyla
    August 16, 2010

    Thanks, Science Mom – I should have thought of going to Wikipedia! Now I finally understand better what is meant by “Troll”. I am not familiar with the blogging of “Crazy Dawn”, but I can say for sure that all the others on your (Orac’s) list of trolls are not actually trolls. Our “primary intent” is not to provoke an emotional response, but to disseminate information for the sake of raising awareness of vaccine injury, which will hopefully someday result in a better understanding of both prevention and treatment of vaccine injury.

    This is actually a great chart, except for the headings, and I am proud that you would consider my paltry insignificant blogging as worthy of a spot amongst such illustrious tireless brilliant people. But all the column headings need revision, as does the title of the chart. Most of these people became involved in this field because of their children’s vaccine injuries. If they had rejected vaccines, they would not have become vaccine safety advocates. Instead, they accepted vaccines, and are still dealing with the consequences for their vaccine injured children today. So, a more accurate title would be something like “Periodic Table of Vaccine Safety Advocates”. And change “Opportunistic MDs” to “MDs Not Afraid to Think Outside the Box, Help Children, and Speak Out”. Change “Junk Websites” to “Websites Where You Can Find Accurate Information Usually Suppressed Elsewhere by the Govt/Pharm Complex”. With these and a few other column heading changes along these lines, this chart would be much improved.

  60. #61 Science Mom
    August 16, 2010

    Our “primary intent” is not to provoke an emotional response, but to disseminate information for the sake of raising awareness of vaccine injury, which will hopefully someday result in a better understanding of both prevention and treatment of vaccine injury.

    No, you definitely troll. For example, you assert that peanut oil (along with other oils) are secretly added to vaccines. You keep insisting upon this even though you are provided evidence to the contrary and the topic is not even about vaccines. This is by very definition, trolling.

    Most of these people became involved in this field because of their children’s vaccine injuries. If they had rejected vaccines, they would not have become vaccine safety advocates.

    Spewing fact-free statements about how vaccines cause autism and not allowing any form of contrary evidence to pervade their echo-chambers, is not vaccine safety advocacy. Lipstick, pigs and all that.

  61. #62 gaiainc
    August 17, 2010

    Niacin does have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels particularly in lowering LDL and triglycerides as well in increasing HDL levels. This is a commentary about niacin and current trials and the future of niacin e-published ahead of print publication. It can cause liver toxicity, but the number one reason my patients stop taking it is that therapeutic doses often cause an uncomfortable and disconcerting flushing reaction. This reaction can be mitigated by taking aspirin 30 minutes prior to the niacin, but that is challenging for some people to do. Just an FYI.

    Twyla, nothing you have posted makes me think you are a vaccine safety advocate, unless by vaccine safety advocate you mean advocate for making vaccines 100% safe with absolutely not side effects or risks or anything and not accepting anything less, in which case, yeah… never going to happen and really? That’s your standard? Glad I don’t live in your fantasy land. By that standard, there is nothing I could use or give or perform in medicine. Nothing. Everything has a risk to benefit ratio. Vaccines have one of the most favorable ratios around, particularly in comparison to some of the meds I prescribe and use every day in clinic. Or are you proposing I stop using those meds as well?

  62. #63 gaiainc
    August 17, 2010

    Dang rabbits… HTML fail. This is the citation for the commentary:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20686417

  63. #64 Twyla
    August 17, 2010

    gaianinc, nothing I have ever posted advocates for “making vaccines 100% safe with absolutely no side effects or risks or anything and not accepting anything less.” I have often written about the importance of weighing risks and benefits. The problem is, our govt agencies are simply denying the risks without studying them. No longterm studies on the affects of our vaccine program. No study of the children whose vaccine injuries have been reported to VAERS, not even of those who have received payment for vaccine injuries. pD wrote an excellent article about how little is actually known about the immune system’s response to vaccines. http://passionlessdrone.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/a-brief-overview-on-early-life-immune-challenges-and-why-they-might-matter/

    One of the worst examples of faulty weighing of risks and benefits is the Hepatitis B vaccine given at birth to all babies, when only a small minority (those whose mothers carry this virus) are at risk of having this virus, and the baby’s health status at that time is unknown (allergies? kidney or liver problems?).

    Yes, I would accept some risk to get a small pox vaccine back when the disease was prevalent. I get that. But part of a good vaccine program is to understand the adverse effects, instead of sweeping unintended consequences under the rug.

    There needs to be better understanding of adverse reactions for the sake of prevention and treatment. This does not mean that I am against all vaccines. It means we need an honest and accurate weighing of risks and benefits.

    I don’t understand why so many seem to approach vaccines with a mentality similar to that of a totalitarian dictator — no criticism allowed — those who criticize are enemies of the state. That is not a scientific mentality. Problems with vaccine should be addressed.

    As Dr. Bernadine Healy said to reporter Sharyl Attkisson:

    “You’re saying that public health officials have turned their back on a viable area of research largely because they’re afraid of what might be found?” Attkisson asked.

    Healy said: “There is a completely expressed concern that they don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people. First of all,” Healy said, “I think the public’s smarter than that. The public values vaccines. But more importantly, I don’t think you should ever turn your back on any scientific hypothesis because you’re afraid of what it might show.”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

  64. #65 Todd W.
    August 17, 2010

    @Twyla

    The problem is, our govt agencies are simply denying the risks without studying them.

    That’s funny. I can go to the CDC or FDA web sites and find a list of the possible adverse events that might result from vaccines. If they were denying the risks, why would they list them?

    As to not studying them I did a search for NIH-funded research on vaccine safety. The very first link was this. That would be government funding for research into vaccine safety.

    No longterm studies on the affects of our vaccine program.

    Those would be Phase IV, post-market studies. You can search for these on clinicaltrials.gov.

    No study of the children whose vaccine injuries have been reported to VAERS

    Citation please? Every report to VAERS needs to be investigated to see if the reported event a) actually happened and b) is really related or likely to be related to the vaccine. You would know that if you actually went to the VAERS web site and read about how it works. They also need to do this to determine if there is a real trend of injuries related to a particular vaccine so they can decide if it should be pulled from market.

    One of the worst examples of faulty weighing of risks and benefits is the Hepatitis B vaccine given at birth to all babies, when only a small minority (those whose mothers carry this virus) are at risk of having this virus, and the baby’s health status at that time is unknown (allergies? kidney or liver problems?).

    IIRC, there was some study that found that the best means of preventing the spread of Hep B to infants was actually to cast a wide net by including it in the childhood schedule. I don’t remember the title, at the moment. Sorry. Anyone else know?

    As to the risks, a mother with Hep B is not the only person that can spread it to the infant. The father may as well, and is not, as far as I know, routinely screened for Hep B. Likewise for other caregivers or relatives. Add to this that many individuals may be infected without having any symptoms. One of the biggest reasons to immunize an infant is to hopefully prevent chronic Hep B, which can lead to cancer of the liver. More info can be found here.

    Yes, I would accept some risk to get a small pox vaccine back when the disease was prevalent. I get that. But part of a good vaccine program is to understand the adverse effects, instead of sweeping unintended consequences under the rug.

    Once again, the adverse effects are not swept under the rug. You might have noticed that we do not give small pox vaccine any more. Know why? Because we got rid of the virus…with vaccines. Know what else we could do if we managed to vaccinate enough people? We could get rid of polio (we’re soooo close!). We could get rid of measles. Basically, any disease that only exists in humans. Know what would happen then? No more polio vaccine. No more measles vaccine.

    I don’t understand why so many seem to approach vaccines with a mentality similar to that of a totalitarian dictator — no criticism allowed — those who criticize are enemies of the state.

    Honest criticism is most certainly allowed, and even welcome! What is not welcome is criticism based on false premises (such as you have provided in this very post). And even then, the approach is not totalitarian. If you read a little more, you’ll find that a lot of people here, people who support vaccinations, are not for absolute, 100% mandatory vaccination, no questions asked.

    Finally, your little sound bite from Healy is her opinion, and to me reads as a straw man. She seems to assume that the reason researchers will not pursue an hypothesis is out of fear, rather than the lack of plausibility or overwhelming negative evidence against the hypothesis.

    Here’s the thing. Government officials are constantly looking at vaccines and reevaluating them. Take a look at NVAC, for example, which has a meeting coming up to take a fresh look at the vaccine schedule. Manufacturers are constantly trying to make their products better (safer, more effective) so that they can get an edge over competitors, not to mention a better product means better business.

    We do not know everything about the immune system. We do not know every possible thing about vaccines. That does not mean that we do not care about these topics. It does not mean that people are not researching these things. Research is actively under way to better understand the immune system. Research is constantly ongoing to gain a better safety profiles of vaccines.

    But then, you would know this if you had actually taken the time to do some rudimentary research, like seeing what types of research the government is funding, or searching for ongoing or planned clinical trials on vaccines. If you went to the original source for your information, instead of anti-vaccine conspiracists, you might actually know the truth.

    Maybe I’m being too harsh on you and you did not know about resources like clinicaltrials.gov or the CDC or FDA web sites or the VAERS site. If so, I apologize and encourage you to go to those sites and read them until you understand what they are saying. If you knew about them and simply chose to ignore or discount them, then I don’t know what to say.

  65. #66 gaiainc
    August 18, 2010

    So you know exactly who will have contact with your child and how and what exactly your child will do for the rest of your child’s life so that you know that your child will never get Hep B? Really? I guess my crystal ball is not that effective. I much prefer to protect my child with a vaccine than assume that my child will be fine. Considering the risk of the immunization causing my child harm is substantially less than the risk of my child being hurt in a car accident, not immunizing is the non-logical choice.

    Or do you plan to argue that immunizations cause 30,000+ deaths per year (see the National Transportation Safety Board for their stats; I’m on a “smartphone” where I can’t toggle back and forth)? Because that is the number of traffic fatalities per year. Do you protest against transportation?

    Oh and what Todd W. said.

  66. #67 Chris
    August 18, 2010

    Todd W.:

    As to the risks, a mother with Hep B is not the only person that can spread it to the infant. The father may as well, and is not, as far as I know, routinely screened for Hep B. Likewise for other caregivers or relatives. Add to this that many individuals may be infected without having any symptoms. One of the biggest reasons to immunize an infant is to hopefully prevent chronic Hep B, which can lead to cancer of the liver.

    Don’t forget other children.

    And sometimes the parent does not know they have passed Hepatitis B to their child, only to tragically find out later.

  67. #68 Twyla
    August 18, 2010

    Todd W, I went to the clinical trials.gov site and searched for Phase IV post-market studies. Only one study appeared, which tracked the number of subjects reporting “solicited symptoms” during the 4-week follow-up period after each dose. This looks at obvious, short term reactions, but does not address the question of whether our current schedule is having cumulative effects on our babies’ and children’s developing immune systems. Two dozen vaccines by the age of two (and another dozen before school starts) is unprecedented in human history. Is it only a coincidence that we have escalating rates of many immune system, GI, and neurological disorders such as food allergies, asthma, diabetes (the auto-immune kind), ADHD, autism, bipolar, and more? The whole point of vaccines is to stimulate the immune system. Do we really understand all the consequences?

    Yes, the NIH’s new initiative is very encouraging. It aims to fund studies on “1) physiological and immunological responses to vaccines and vaccine components, 2) how genetic variations affect immune/physiological responses that may impact vaccine safety, 3) identification of risk factors and biological markers that may be used to assess whether there is a relationship between certain diseases or disorders and licensed vaccines, or 4) the application of genomic/molecular technologies to improve knowledge of vaccine safety.” AoA described this here:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/08/nih-launches-effort-to-define-markers-of-human-immune-responses-to-infection-and-vaccination.html
    If this results in good helpful research, a better vaccine program, and better treatment for vaccine injuries, I will be happy. I am not committed to complaining about vaccines forever, if things change as they should.

    The VAERS site says, “You or your health care provider may be contacted for follow-up information by VAERS staff after your report is received.” Additional info is gathered on “selected VAERS reports”. It does not say how often that actually happens. Certainly not every report is investigated. They mention regarding “Data quality” that “Since reports are accepted from anyone, the data reported is not always complete or accurate.” Most of the date is just what was reported, not investigated and confirmed or denied, not fleshed out with necessary additional data or follow up.

    Regarding Hepatitis B, the WHO web site says that, “The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person – not through casual contact.”

    The CDC says:
    “How is HBV transmitted?
    “HBV is transmitted through activities that involve percutaneous (i.e., puncture through the skin) or mucosal contact with infectious blood or body fluids (e.g., semen, saliva), including
    • Sex with an infected partner
    • Injection drug use that involves sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment
    • Birth to an infected mother
    • Contact with blood or open sores of an infected person
    • Needle sticks or sharp instrument exposures
    • Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
    HBV is not spread through food or water, sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, hand holding, coughing, or sneezing.”
    ~~

    Regarding gaiainc’s comment “So you know exactly who will have contact with your child and how and what exactly your child will do for the rest of your child’s life so that you know that your child will never get Hep B?” Did I say anything like that? No, I said that most newborns are not at risk for HepB – only those whose mothers are carriers. The risk of giving a vaccine to an infant within hours of birth is unknown. And by the time the child grows up enough to engage in risky behaviors, the vaccine’s effects will have worn off. Whether this vaccine has more risk or benefit at a later age is another topic. But in looking at the very crowded infant vaccine schedule, with unexplored synergistic effects, I can’t see the Hep B being necessary on the day of birth, or at age 2 months, 4 months, or 6 months. The risk of a baby contracting HepB is miniscule.

    Regarding Todd W’s comment that “Finally, your little sound bite from Healy is her opinion, and to me reads as a straw man. She seems to assume that the reason researchers will not pursue an hypothesis is out of fear…” She is not assuming; that is what people have told her. She says this is “a completely expressed concern”. She has held very high level positions including deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Policy, chairman of the Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, and director of the NIH. She has connections to very high level insiders.

  68. #69 Chris
    August 18, 2010

    Contact with blood or open sores of an infected person.

    Pretty sure that a kid’s bloody nose at a McDonald’s play area qualifies. Oh, wait, you didn’t read either of my links. Well, I guess that is the reason you would not get the reference.

  69. #70 Todd W.
    August 18, 2010

    @Twlya

    I went to the clinical trials.gov site and searched for Phase IV post-market studies. Only one study appeared

    What were your search terms? I went and searched for “vaccine safety”, limiting my search to Phase IV (there’s a check box for that). I got 192 results.

    Is it only a coincidence that we have escalating rates of many immune system, GI, and neurological disorders such as food allergies, asthma, diabetes (the auto-immune kind), ADHD, autism, bipolar, and more?

    It very well may be. There is certainly strong evidence that increased sterilization of the environment is responsible for many autoimmune disorders, like allergies and asthma.

    It does not say how often that actually happens. Certainly not every report is investigated.

    You’re shifting goalposts. You said that no study or follow up is done on VAERS reports. I showed you that there are. Now you shift to complain that not all are investigated.

    The risk of giving a vaccine to an infant within hours of birth is unknown. And by the time the child grows up enough to engage in risky behaviors, the vaccine’s effects will have worn off.

    You apparently did not read all of the information on Hep B available at the CDC’s site. While we do not know every possible risk of the vaccine, we do know a great deal about it. We know that, in general, it is quite safe and that serious adverse events are extremely rare. That is not “unknown”. We also know that the greatest risk of Hep B is to infants and young children, since it is more likely to lead to chronic Hep B infection and more likely to lead to cancer. That risk decreases the older you get. So, again, it appears that you did not read the information that I provided, nor does it appear that you read the info Chris provided.

    As to Healy, she is reporting opinion, whether her own or others, not facts. We cannot verify that others did, indeed, tell her that was the reason. Even if it is true that others told her that, we cannot verify that what they are saying is reality. Further, I don’t care what her position is or was. What I care about are the facts and evidence produced to support a position. Accepting someone’s statements as true simply based on who they are is a logical fallacy, which I try to avoid. What matters is not who says something, but what they say and the evidence that they provide to support their position.

    Again, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Further, as I suggested, you should stop getting your information from places like AoA, seeing as they heavily censor their material so that, more often than not, only those things which fall into their agenda of “vaccines cause autism” ever make it on their site. Many of the things that they post are factually incorrect. Nearly all of it is spun to support their a priori belief that vaccines are the root of all evil. (Yes, I’m being hyperbolic…but only a little.)

    Go to the sources, rather than getting your information filtered through the screen of AoA and their ilk. Hell, go to the sources rather than taking me at face value. think critically.

  70. #71 Twyla
    August 18, 2010

    Chris, how many infants are playing at the McDonald’s play area before they can even walk? The only reason for giving the Hep B vaccine on the day of birth is in case the mother is infected. There is a miniscule risk of a baby contracting Hep B from other sources. And don’t say that even for a miniscule risk then vaccine should be given. Vaccines have risks too. It is a matter of weighing risks and benefits, not just piling on the vaccines for every tiny risk from disease.

    My son received a Hep B vaccine containing thimerosal on the day he was born. I accepted it without question because in those days I had complete trust in the CDC. Our pediatrician simply said that this was being recommended by the CDC. He didn’t force me, but he also did not explain anything about it such as why it was being given or that it contained mercury. At the very least, vaccines should be informed medical decisions.

  71. #72 Twyla
    August 18, 2010

    Todd W, when I have a chance I will redo my search as you described. Re: “You’re shifting goalposts. You said that no study or follow up is done on VAERS reports. I showed you that there are. Now you shift to complain that not all are investigated.” I agree it was inaccurate of me to say that NO study or follow up is done on VAERS reports. That was carelessly written. Apparently some is done, but it is not at all clear from the web site how many are studied — certainly not all — but my impression is very few. I am not complaining about not ALL being studied. But there seems to be extremely little study or follow up. I have known many autism parents who tried to get govt officials interested in studying their children’s vaccine reactions but to no avail. Go ahead and tear that statement apart as subjective experience. But show me any evidence of our govt studying autistic regression into autism following a vaccine reaction.

  72. #73 Science Mom
    August 18, 2010

    Chris, how many infants are playing at the McDonald’s play area before they can even walk? The only reason for giving the Hep B vaccine on the day of birth is in case the mother is infected. There is a miniscule risk of a baby contracting Hep B from other sources. And don’t say that even for a miniscule risk then vaccine should be given. Vaccines have risks too. It is a matter of weighing risks and benefits, not just piling on the vaccines for every tiny risk from disease.

    Are you saying that American healthcare is so consistent and equitable that there is no need for Hep B vaccination? Do all mothers and close contacts get tested for Hep B antigens prior to delivery? Do you really wish to assert that there is no need for Hep B vaccination, given the current state of healthcare in the U.S.?

    My son received a Hep B vaccine containing thimerosal on the day he was born. I accepted it without question because in those days I had complete trust in the CDC.

    Yes and?

  73. #74 Todd W.
    August 18, 2010

    @Twyla

    but my impression is very few.

    Why? What gives you that impression?

    The only reason for giving the Hep B vaccine on the day of birth is in case the mother is infected. There is a miniscule risk of a baby contracting Hep B from other sources.

    You are, of course, assuming a couple of things. 1) You assume that every mother is tested. 2) You assume that no test comes back with a false negative (i.e., saying that the mother is not infected, when, in fact, she is). 3) You assume that the infant is extremely unlikely to come into contact with an infected individual (e.g., another infant at daycare, other family members, etc.) at home or in other settings, such as a waiting room at the ped’s office, supermarket and so on. 4) You assume that the infant is extremely unlikely to come into contact with an infected surface. From the CDC site I linked to above, “HBV can survive outside the body at least 7 days and still be capable of causing infection.”

    These are some major assumptions. Against this, let’s look at some of the risks involved. We know that adverse effects from the vaccine are quite rare and do not tend to be major. Serious adverse events are extremely rare. We know that infection in infants is almost guaranteed (~90%) to become chronic. We also know that about 1 in 4 of those with a chronic infection will develop some type of liver disease, like cirrhosis or cancer. Those are some pretty big risks. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty certain than I would not be able to keep an eye on my child 100% of the time and act fast enough to prevent the child from sticking things (like their hands) in their mouths that may have come into contact with an, unbeknown to be, infected surface (from blood, saliva or other bodily fluids). I’m also pretty sure that while I may know about most of the little cuts or scratches that my child might get, I probably am not going to be able to, 100% of the time, keep such cuts or scratches from coming in contact with infected material.

    From my perspective, no matter how careful one is, there is a risk of infection from some source. It may be small, but the consequences (e.g., death from liver disease and the attendant costs associated with treatment and palliative care) are quite huge. Against that, the risk of an AE from the Hep B vaccine is smaller, and the consequences significantly less serious (e.g., the Vaccine Information Sheet from the CDC for the Hep B vaccines (PDF link) states, as the worst AE for which we have statistics, “Severe allergicreactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million doses.”).

    I am willing to be shown that I am wrong, though. If you have evidence that the shot is, objectively, more risky than the disease, by all means, state your case.

    I have known many autism parents who tried to get govt officials interested in studying their children’s vaccine reactions but to no avail.

    With whom did they speak? What was the claim? Had the hypothesis been studied already, even if not including their particular child? If there were studies to which they applied, what were the exclusion criteria?

    show me any evidence of our govt studying autistic regression into autism following a vaccine reaction

    What, you mean like the government’s investigation into thimerosal’s potential relationship to autism where they found no association? Perhaps the CDC’s activities looking at vaccines and autism? And didn’t I point out, already, that the government is spending money on this?

    Twyla, I have to ask. Have you actually done any primary research of your own? Have you gone to the various government web sites to find out what they are doing? Or do you simply take the word of the people at Age of Autism? I was able to find the above information with some pretty quick, basic searching, which really makes me wonder what the heck you are doing that you haven’t found these answers. Did you really not know? Or are you spinning things to fit with your preconceived notion that vaccines cause autism or are, in some other vague way, responsible for a variety of other health issues?

    Your posts here have shown that you appear rather ignorant of the facts. You cast vaccines in a shady light that is unsupported by reality. Despite being pointed to where you can find answers to your questions and/or where you can remedy your misconceptions, you persist in repeating them. Before posting again, take some time to actually read the primary sources. Seriously. If you put that effort into educating yourself, rather than taking the word of AoA conspiracy theorists or random parents who, despite honest intentions and beliefs, may be mistaken, go to the CDC site. Go to the FDA site. Go to PubMed and clinicaltrials.gov. Read the information out there. Oh, and educate yourself on how to evaluate a study. Science-Based Medicine blog had a good series tailored to lay persons like you and me discussing what things to look for in a study to determine how much value to place on it.

    I admire your passion and dedication to your cause, so I would really like to see you base that on the real world, rather than anti-vaccine echo chambers.

  74. #75 Science Mom
    August 18, 2010

    I have known many autism parents who tried to get govt officials interested in studying their children’s vaccine reactions but to no avail. Go ahead and tear that statement apart as subjective experience. But show me any evidence of our govt studying autistic regression into autism following a vaccine reaction.

    Where you see government conspiracy, the rest of us see that there is no vast vaccine-autism causation, thus no need to keep spending money upon an association that doesn’t exist, or exists with extreme rarity. Those that claim that their children’s autism was caused by vaccines had the opportunity to present their evidence to the OAP, which does not require a high burden of evidence. They failed to provide, even a modicum of evidence via numerous mechanisms. So why should this avenue continue to be pursued when even your own experts, cannot present compelling evidence to do so?

  75. #76 Chris
    August 18, 2010

    Twyla, did you skip reading the second link? The father did not know he had hepatitis B that he passed along to his daughter (he also infected the mother, if you can’t figure out how that happened, I’m not going to explain it to you). As a consequence he had to something no parent should do, watch his child die.

    Now, as far as babies not bleeding on anyone… I guess you must have kept everything sterile and protected. But let us dispense with anecdotes and go to the data. Unlike you, I ignore websites edited by incompetent journalists who failed to find the Clinic for Special Children in Lancaster County. I start with the CDC Pink Book, since it has references I can check… and from there find other papers at PubMed. To make it simple I’ll just quote from the Pink Book chapter on Hepatitis B:

    During 1990–2004, incidence of acute hepatitis B in the United States declined 75%. The greatest decline (94%) occurred among children and adolescents, coincident with an increase in hepatitis B vaccine coverage. A total of 4,519 cases of hepatitis B were reported in 2007.

    … snip…because of a change in strategy…

    Hepatitis B vaccines have been available in the United States since 1981. However, the impact of vaccine on HBV disease has been less than optimal.

    The apparent lack of impact from the vaccine can be attributed to several factors. From 1981 until 1991, vaccination was targeted to persons in groups at high risk of acquiring HBV infection. A large proportion of persons with HBV infection (25% to 30%) deny having any risk factors for the disease. These persons would not be identified by a targeted risk factor screening approach.

    …snip…

    A comprehensive strategy to eliminate hepatitis B virus transmission was recommended in 1991; it includes prenatal testing of pregnant women for HBsAg to identify newborns who require immunoprophylaxis for prevention of perinatal infection and to identify household contacts who should be vaccinated, routine vaccination of infants, vaccination of adolescents, and vaccination of adults at high risk for infection. Recommendations to further enhance vaccination of adults at increased risk of HBV infection were published in 2006.

    My daughter was the first of my children to get the HepB vaccine, and I knew it was important because of the area we live has a large population from where it is endemic (also it is not terribly far from where PKIDS was founded, so I knew of the dangers in the early 1990s just by reading the local paper). I got my boys vaccinated during the next year, since I knew it was now available.

  76. #77 Twyla
    August 19, 2010

    Re: “1) You assume that every mother is tested. 2) You assume that no test comes back with a false negative (i.e., saying that the mother is not infected, when, in fact, she is).”
    I assume no such things. Nothing is perfect. But parents should be able to make informed choices. Yes, there is a risk of some mothers not knowing that they are carrying HepB. But there are also risks to the vaccine.

    re: “3) You assume that the infant is extremely unlikely to come into contact with an infected individual (e.g., another infant at daycare, other family members, etc.) at home or in other settings, such as a waiting room at the ped’s office, supermarket and so on. 4) You assume that the infant is extremely unlikely to come into contact with an infected surface.”
    Everything I’m reading says that this virus is extremely unlikely to be spread by casual contact.

    Regarding risks of the vaccine, see http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/10/hepatitis-b-vaccine-an-unmitigated-disaster-.html
    And yes you will all cry that this is from Age of Autism, but it cites studies from professional journals.

    My son turned blue and stopped breathing a while after receiving his HepB vaccine with thimerosal on the day he was born. The medical staff rushed him away and resuscitated him. They kept him in the hospital an extra day for observation. They never could figure out what happened. Was that a vaccine reaction? We will never know for sure. It’s pretty simple to test for the various microbes which cause diseases, so harm from diseases is readily identified. But harm from vaccines is still a mystery. As Barbara Loe Fisher has said, “NVIC has been calling for basic science research into the biological mechanisms of vaccine injury and death for more than two decades. Without understanding how and why vaccines can cause brain and immune system dysfunction, there will be no way to develop pathological profiles to help scientifically confirm whether or not an individual has been injured or died from vaccination.”

    It’s not enough to just keep pointing out the risks of the diseases. These need to be weighed against the risks of the vaccines.

  77. #78 Chris
    August 19, 2010

    Age of Autism and Barbara Loe Fisher Arthur’s National Vaccination mis-Information Corporation should also be covered under Scopie’s Law:

    In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to (and other non-scientific websites like AoA, NaturalNews, etc) as a credible source loses you the argument immediately …and gets you laughed out of the room.

    Funny how you did not mention the turning blue bit earlier. Though the HepB is given shortly after birth, so a reaction could be any number of things. My sister’s second son had to be under lights because of jaundice, and my first son had seizures as a newborn (and was transported from the hospital he was born in to a children’s hospital). Were those vaccine reactions? Um, no… both of them are over twenty years old.

    I believe you are the one who assumes to much.

  78. #79 Science Mom
    August 19, 2010

    Regarding risks of the vaccine, see http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/10/hepatitis-b-vaccine-an-unmitigated-disaster-.html
    And yes you will all cry that this is from Age of Autism, but it cites studies from professional journals.

    There is good reason why anything from AoA can be roundly discredited and I will give you an example with your specific link:

    1) A recent study published in the journal Neurotoxicology called “Delayed Acquisition of Neonatal Reflexes in Newborn Primates Receiving a Thimerosal-containing Hepatitis B Vaccine: Influence of Gestational Age and Birth Weight” found that monkeys who received a Hepatitis B vaccine on the first day of life experienced a significant delay in survival reflexes versus monkeys who received a placebo.

    This study has been thoroughly discredited by bloggers, such as myself: http://justthevax.blogspot.com/2009/10/20-monkeys.html , Orac (linked to in my post) and Prometheus: http://photoninthedarkness.com/?p=178 and of course, formally withdrawn by Neurotoxicology. I doubt you have read the paper yourself and are relying upon Handley’s regurgitation, but it isn’t a good study at all and does not demonstrate what you have been led to believe. So after you have read the opposing regurgitations, please feel free to discuss why you think this paper is evidence of anything other than appalling scientific methods.

    2) A recent study published in the journal the Annals of Epidemiology titled “Hepatitis B Vaccination of Male Neonates and Autism” found that “Boys who received the hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life had 2.94 greater odds for ASD [autism] compared to later- or unvaccinated boys.”

    Is a conference abstract of a poster presentation, not a peer-reviewed full study that can be properly assessed. Not to mention that they relied upon parental reporting, just for one fatal flaw. Do you not see a problem and a theme here? Just because someone says what you want to hear, doesn’t mean that it is valid. You need to get your hands dirty to critically evaluate the primary literature.

    3) A recent study published in the journal Neurology called “Hepatitis B vaccine and the risk of CNS inflammatory demyelination in childhood” found that the Engerix B vaccine for Hep B (the one my son received) appears to increase the risk of central nervous system inflammatory demyelination.

    I presume he is referring to this study?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18843097
    So you are making the argument that yours and Handley’s children have a demyelinating disorder? Surely you realise that diagnostic tools, such as neuroimaging and clinical presentation exist to confirm this. So do you consider all of the evidence before coming to your conclusions? Because as it stands, Hep B vaccination may or may not contribute to a very small cohort of demyelinating disorders, such as MS in children and this isn’t autism. It is clinically distinguishable you know.

    4) A recent study published in Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry titled “Hepatitis B triple series vaccine and developmental disability in US children aged 1-9 years” stated “the odds of receiving EIS [special education services] were approximately nine times as great for vaccinated boys as for unvaccinated boys after adjustment for confounders. This study found statistically significant evidence to suggest that boys in United States who were vaccinated with the triple series Hepatitis B vaccine, during the time period in which vaccines were manufactured with thimerosal, were more susceptible to developmental disability than were unvaccinated boys.”

    Just the fact that the journal isn’t even PubMed or Web of Science indexed, isn’t a good sign. My uni doesn’t carry many dodgy journal subscriptions so I’m out of luck (not really) getting the full text. But they based their criteria upon children receiving services, this is not a substitute for actual medical diagnosis, not to mention how many children were missed due to not receiving services.

    Handley’s dismissal of the IOM as corrupt and his inclusion of Generation Rescue nonsense are too laughable to even bother with. So I hope, that at the least, you can see that your sources are neither reliable, honest, nor relevant. But again, please feel free to point out why these sources are credible and what their strengths may be.

    My son turned blue and stopped breathing a while after receiving his HepB vaccine with thimerosal on the day he was born. The medical staff rushed him away and resuscitated him. They kept him in the hospital an extra day for observation. They never could figure out what happened. Was that a vaccine reaction? We will never know for sure.

    How peculiar that you should mention this now. Emphasis mine; but you believe that it is don’t you? Do you see why these anecdotes are useless? You could be saying anything you wish to, protestations of honesty I’m sure, not to mention recall bias and memory framing, without a shred of medical documentation and you consider that to be ‘proof’. If we actually operated on the same plane as you, medicine and science would be stuck in the fourteenth century.

  79. #80 Orange Lantern
    August 19, 2010

    @ Twyla:

    But parents should be able to make informed choices. Yes, there is a risk of some mothers not knowing that they are carrying HepB. But there are also risks to the vaccine.

    I’m glad we’re in agreement. Where we disagree, I think, is the “informed” part. What risks to the vaccines do you feel mothers are not informed about? I’m looking at the VIS for hep B right now:

    “Severe problems are extremely rare. Severe allergic reactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million doses. A vaccine, like any medicine, could cause a serious reaction. But the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.”

    I would welcome a discussion of evidence that the above statement is not true. So far you have not provided any. Perhaps the crucial studies are in the AoA article, which I can’t access here, but I will try to get to when I am on my home computer.

    My son turned blue and stopped breathing a while after receiving his HepB vaccine with thimerosal on the day he was born. The medical staff rushed him away and resuscitated him. They kept him in the hospital an extra day for observation. They never could figure out what happened. Was that a vaccine reaction? We will never know for sure.

    Of course we won’t know for sure, especially not knowing all the medical details of the event (How long ago did this occur? How soon after the vaccine? For how long was he not breathing? Whas he centrally cyanotic or peripherally cyanotic? What interventions were required to resuscitate him?). But we can make an educated conculsion based on the existing data.

    Instead of running through references chosen for you by AoA, you might try reading the safety and efficacy studies referenced in the report by the ACIP prior to the recommendation of universal newborn hepatits B immunization (PMID:16371945). I read through Lewis et al 2001 (PMID:11734710) which evaluated ~5000 newborns and concluded:

    “This study found no evidence that newborn hepatitis B vaccination is associated with an increase in the number of febrile episodes, sepsis evaluations or allergic or neurologic events. In addition our data did not support any increase in medical procedures attributed to receipt of hepatitis B vaccine.”

    On the other hand, you are describing a neonatal apneic event, sometimes called an ALTE (apparent life threatening event) which occur reasonably commonly in neonates and infants, and indepently from vaccine administration (indeed, if the vaccine had been delayed in your child, the event probably still would have occurred and we would not be having this discussion). They are idiopathic about half the time. There is not good evidence to suggest that your child’s event was caused by the vaccine. If it is, it has been too rare for studies to detect, and would not be appropriate to include in a list of significant risks.

    Further reading of the ACIP report will provide references to the efficacy of universal hepatitis B vaccination and reduction of deaths and disease burden of hepatitis b. If you have evaluated those and have useful critiques, we’re all ears. It would be comforting to know that your concerns about vaccination were from a review of the evidence, and not purely a combination of your personal musings and articles that make their way to you through the filter of an anti-vaccine website.

  80. #82 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 20, 2010

    Twyla, you’re citing a website that still presents “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as true information, even though it’s been nearly a century since that document was exposed as a lazy forgery plagiarized from a mid-19th-century political pamphlet aimed at Napoleon III.

    Do you actually believe, contrary to all the evidence, that the “Protocols” are a true document?

    If not, then why are you getting your information on vaccines from a site that presents that notorious anti-Semitic fraud as true?

  81. #83 Orange Lantern
    August 20, 2010

    Seriously, Twyla!

    I wrote:

    It would be comforting to know that your concerns about vaccination were from a review of the evidence, and not purely a combination of your personal musings and articles that make their way to you through the filter of an anti-vaccine website.

    To which you responded by posting a series of increasingly wacky anti-vaccine websites.

    If you don’t have time to actually evaluate the evidence, then maybe you should not post. I thought you were trying to make the case that you are not a troll.

  82. #84 Julian Frost
    August 20, 2010

    I know this is overkill, but Twyla, have you ever heard of Scopies Law? To wit: “In an evidence based debate, citing whale.to as a credible resource automatically loses you the argument, and gets you laughed out of the forum.” See Anateus Feldspar’s comment above as to why. Also, that’s not the craziest thing on the site. Orac did a whole post about whale.to.

  83. #85 triskelethecat
    August 20, 2010

    @Julian Frost: you beat me to invoking Scopie’s Law. I can’t believe (or maybe I can…) that Twyla actually listed whale.to as a creditable source!

    As a former nursery nurse, I saw many cyanotic episodes in my career, and almost all of them were non-injection related in occurance. And, my career was mostly before Hep B became routine. I still question the people who claim it was given the day of birth. In EVERY hospital I worked in, Hep B was usually given the day of discharge, after the mother signed a consent for it. The only injection given routinely to a newborn without a consent was Vitamen K. If Twyla didn’t sign the consent for Hep B, then it wasn’t given. And I would LOVE to see the documentation that it was given right after birth, as she seems to be claiming:

    My son turned blue and stopped breathing a while after receiving his HepB vaccine with thimerosal on the day he was born. The medical staff rushed him away and resuscitated him.

    Just too many questions. Besides, IIRC, Hep B, when in the single dose vials that most hospitals used, does not and DID not contain thimerosal. Physician offices have used multi-dose vials, but few hospitals, even then (going back to 1984), did, because it made billing too difficult.

  84. #86 triskelethecat
    August 20, 2010

    @Julian Frost: you beat me to invoking Scopie’s Law. I can’t believe (or maybe I can…) that Twyla actually listed whale.to as a creditable source!

    As a former nursery nurse, I saw many cyanotic episodes in my career, and almost all of them were non-injection related in occurance. And, my career was mostly before Hep B became routine. I still question the people who claim it was given the day of birth. In EVERY hospital I worked in, Hep B was usually given the day of discharge, after the mother signed a consent for it. The only injection given routinely to a newborn without a consent was Vitamen K. If Twyla didn’t sign the consent for Hep B, then it wasn’t given. And I would LOVE to see the documentation that it was given right after birth, as she seems to be claiming:

    My son turned blue and stopped breathing a while after receiving his HepB vaccine with thimerosal on the day he was born. The medical staff rushed him away and resuscitated him.

    Just too many questions. Besides, IIRC, Hep B, when in the single dose vials that most hospitals used, does not and DID not contain thimerosal. Physician offices have used multi-dose vials, but few hospitals, even then (going back to 1984), did, because it made billing too difficult.

  85. #87 triskelethecat
    August 20, 2010

    How the heck did that post twice when I clicked only once then went to a totally different process on my computer? Orac, please delete one if you can.

    (and this time I will remember to sign it since it posts with my Pharyngula login name)

    MI Dawn

  86. #88 Chris
    August 20, 2010

    Julian Frost:

    I know this is overkill, but Twyla, have you ever heard of Scopies Law?

    Well, she would have if she had read the 78th comment, where I invoked it for AoA and NVIC. Since she pulled Scudamore’s whale.to as “evidence” we can pretty much conclude she is not reading anything that goes against her beliefs.

  87. #89 Twyla
    August 21, 2010

    Science mom says, “you consider that to be ‘proof’”. Did I claim that my son’s experience was proof of anything? No. I said that we will never know whether that was a vaccine reaction. What about that sounds like I’m claiming proof of something? Then I quoted Barbara Loe Fisher saying that there is inadequate research on the biological mechanisms of vaccine injury and therefore no development of pathological profiles to help scientifically confirm whether or not an individual has been injured by a vaccine.

    If someone reports adverse effects of a disease, there are tests developed to understand the cause, and there are treatments developed for the disease. If someone reports a vaccine injury, they are told, “Just a coincidence! You have no evidence! You can’t prove it! Don’t confuse correlation with causation! It’s a mystery!” Yeah, it’s a mystery because proper research and study have not been done. As Dr. Bernadine Healy has said:

    “Lastly, Healy says the government has a long way to go to even do basic research that could get at the heart of what she believes is an open question. For example: why in the past decade hasn’t the government compared the autism/ADD rate of unvaccinated children with that of vaccinated children? If the rate is the same, it tends to point away from vaccines. If the rate is markedly lower in unvaccinated children, it tends to point toward vaccines.

    “The government has a dataset of unvaccinated children available. It has published more than one survey of parents of undervaccinated and unvaccinated children (to find out why the parents are choosing not to vaccinate). It would seem simple to use those same families to measure their rate of autism/ADD. Also, why hasn’t the government used vaccine court as a resource to ask the autism/vaccine question? There, nearly 5,000 families have self-selected as believing their children’s autism was caused by vaccines. Many have expressed willingness to let their children’s medical records be released and studied; but nobody in the government has been interested.”
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500803_162-4090144-500803.html

    Why haven’t these children been studied?

    The ignorance of what causes vaccine injuries is used as a defense – no evidence because it is not even known what evidence to look for. Fingerprints? Video surveillance? Eyewitness accounts are discounted as “anecdotal”. What would prove vaccine injury? Autopsies of babies who die after a vaccine reaction show no evidence – because they don’t even know what to look for. Bailey Banks had an MRI soon after his vaccine reaction, which documented acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). But it is very unusual for an MRI to be done soon after a vaccine injury, and not all adverse reactions involve demyelination.

    We are constantly told that epidemiological studies prove vaccines safe. Epidemiology is only one branch of science, and is notorious for being subject to manipulation. “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” (Mark Twain) Inclusion criteria and a multitude of other factors impact an epi study’s outcome. Where is the clinical study of individuals?

    Todd W. said, “We know that adverse effects from the vaccine are quite rare and do not tend to be major.” How do you know this? About 1 in 100 of today’s children have autism, there has been a 40-fold increase in childhood bipolar, there are significant increases in a multitude of immune system disorders and ADHD and learning disabilities. How much of this is caused by vaccines?

    Orange Lantern says that this is full disclosure: “Severe problems are extremely rare. Severe allergic reactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million doses. A vaccine, like any medicine, could cause a serious reaction. But the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.” That’s not full disclosure; that’s just reassurance.

    Regarding Scopie’s law: Whale.to and AoA post many stories that are links to articles and studies. I can understand that your opinions about the writing of J.B. Handley, Mark Blaxill, and Dan Olmstead are very different from mine. But it makes no sense to say that everything from those sites should be disregarded. That is not a rational, scientific viewpoint; that is simply prejudice and scoffing. Todd W. mentioned the NIH launching an initiative to define markers of human immune responses to infection and vaccination. As I linked to in my comment # 68, AoA wrote about this too. Does that mean if I were to mention that article I should be laughed out of the room? But it’s o.k. to mention this NIH initiative if I don’t mention AoA?

    All of the sites I linked to contain compelling information which should not be so summarily dismissed.

  88. #90 Twyla
    August 21, 2010

    Triskelethecat said: “I still question the people who claim it was given the day of birth. In EVERY hospital I worked in, Hep B was usually given the day of discharge, after the mother signed a consent for it. The only injection given routinely to a newborn without a consent was Vitamen K. If Twyla didn’t sign the consent for Hep B, then it wasn’t given. And I would LOVE to see the documentation that it was given right after birth, as she seems to be claiming… Just too many questions. Besides, IIRC, Hep B, when in the single dose vials that most hospitals used, does not and DID not contain thimerosal. Physician offices have used multi-dose vials, but few hospitals, even then (going back to 1984), did, because it made billing too difficult.”

    See http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4835a3.htm This notice from 1999 announces that thimerosal-free hepatitis B vaccine would become available and distribution was expected to begin in September of 1999. It was not available when my son was born, a few years before that.

    “Notice to Readers: Availability of Hepatitis B Vaccine That Does Not Contain Thimerosal as a Preservative

    “On August 27, 1999, Merck Vaccine Division* (Merck & Co., Inc., West Point, Pennsylvania) received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a supplement to Merck’s license application to include the manufacture of single-antigen preservative-free hepatitis B vaccine (Recombivax HB®, Pediatric); distribution is expected to begin September 13, 1999. In addition, SmithKline Beecham Biologicals (SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), expects to make single-antigen preservative-free hepatitis B vaccine (Engerix-B®, Pediatric) available in the near future. Further product information will be provided when it becomes available. Product packaging and labels will indicate that these vaccines do not contain preservative.

    “To prevent shortages because of limited supplies of single-antigen hepatitis B vaccines that do not contain thimerosal as a preservative and to assure prevention of perinatal and early childhood hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection during the transition when both vaccines that contain and do not contain thimerosal as a preservative are available, the following three steps should be taken:…”

    I don’t know, Triskelethecat, where you got the idea that most hospitals used thimerosal-free hep B vaccines. They were not even available when my son was born. He was born soon after they began recommending the Hep B vaccine for all babies on the date of birth, and before concerns about thimerosal were raised. And I don’t know how you came up with “right after birth, as she seems to be claiming.” I said “on the day he was born”. I don’t know how many hospitals you have been in, in how many states, but there is no reason for you to believe that all hospitals do things the same as the ones where you worked. I have heard parents say that their babies were given this shot without their permission. I did give permission. But I certainly was not fully informed. Yes, I should have asked questions. But I had faith in the CDC.

    I know what happened because I was there, my husband has the same recollection, and we have the medical records. To all who are reading this, these are just words on a screen and you have no way of knowing whether I am delusional or a liar, and that’s fine.

    But you really should get your facts straight, Triskelethecat, before questioning someone’s veracity.

  89. #91 MI Dawn
    August 21, 2010

    @Twyla: 10 different hospitals in 4 different states. Over 15 years. I now no longer work in hospitals, but I was working in them until 2000.

    I would be happy to get my facts straight, Twyla, but unfortunately, I can’t find my old drug books that listed the ingredients of vaccines based on how they were dispensed.
    I don’t recall all the ingredients of the vaccines, but I thought that even back in the 1980′s and 1990′s, single dose vials of medications did not usually contain thimerosal because there was no risk of cross-contamination. However, I am unable to find anything that lists the ingredients of the vials for single dose availability. If there was thimerosal in the vaccine, we are talking about 25mcg (and I am unable to determine, from the information where I found that, if that was per vial, which could be either multi-dose or single dose, or per injection.

    OK, nitpicky. You said the day he was born. I said at birth. Medical term. Generally, at birth is considered to be the first 24 hours in a nursery, so I used the terms I am accustomed to using.

    From your wording:

    My son turned blue and stopped breathing a while after receiving his HepB vaccine with thimerosal on the day he was born. The medical staff rushed him away and resuscitated him.

    This implies to me that he was with you in the room when he got the shot. Were you in a birthing room where mom and baby were never separated or did he go to the nursery for some care? That does make a difference to your story. And it is also VERY unusual, if you ARE in a birthing room, for them to “rush him away”; resusitation would generally start in the room and then move the child when he was stable. I am only questioning your recollection, since it goes against all the experiences I have had.

    So you signed the consent. You, I assume, read it, and were familiar with the printed risks on the consent.

    I never said you were a liar or delusional. I was only questioning, as I continue to question, your version of how things happened. But asking questions is not an accusation.

    (since I am not signed in to Sciblogs, I am also triskelethecat)

  90. #92 Twyla
    August 21, 2010

    I did not say that you called me a liar or delusional. My point was that for all anyone knows I could be a liar or delsional. So just because I know something, that doesn’t mean that anyone who reads what I write knows it to be true.

    But, I am correcting your statement, because my reading indicates that for the first about nine years after the decision to give the the HepB vaccine to all newborn babies, it was not available thimerosal-free. After concern was raised about thimerosal (I believe this was in July of 1999) some hospitals stopped giving it on the day of birth. In the “Editorial Note” below the notice which I linked to above, the CDC states that it hopes that when the thimosal-free version is available hospitals will go back to vaccinating newborns as recommended by the ACIP. The notice makes it clear that thimerosal-free hep B vaccines were not available previously.

    My husband and I were with our son, and no longer in the birthing room, but I can’t see the significance of that. Like you said, nitpicky.

    I know that what I wrote is true. But I don’t know why this happened. I don’t know what was happening inside his little body and whether this was a vaccine reaction. He is the only one of my babies who received the hepB vaccine at birth, because of the timing — the year in which he was born. He is also my only baby who turned blue on his day of birth. But this is a very small and informal study!

    Again, I told this story in relation to the issue of how little is known about identifying vaccine reactions, per my prior comments.

  91. #93 Todd W.
    August 21, 2010

    @Twyla

    Everything I’m reading says that this virus is extremely unlikely to be spread by casual contact.

    I do not doubt that what you are reading suggests that, since your reading appears to consist of Age of Autism, whale.to and similar sources. These sites tend to downplay the seriousness of the diseases, while exaggerating the risks of the vaccines. Here is a study that finds that saliva may be a vehicle for Hep B transmission among children. This case study shows that transmission by saliva/bite is possible. And this study found that horizontal transmission can occur through saliva and open wounds (though not as efficient a means of infection) when in a setting with a chronic carrier, such as in the home or in pre-school or daycare.

    A perusal of PubMed will turn up quite a number of studies that have found increased risk of infection, even with casual or limited contact with an infected carrier.

    Add this information to the findings mentioned above by Chris about blanket vaccination resulted in decreased Hep B infection as compared to vaccinating only at risk individuals.

    Todd W. said, “We know that adverse effects from the vaccine are quite rare and do not tend to be major.” How do you know this?

    From clinical trials and epidemiological studies, as has been mentioned already. Other than the serious allergic reactions, other serious adverse events, if they are caused by the Hep B vaccine, are so rare, that they cannot be found by clinical trials. Feel free, though, to point me at the well-designed studies that show that the risks from the vaccine exceed the risks from neonatal Hep B infection.

    About 1 in 100 of today’s children have autism, there has been a 40-fold increase in childhood bipolar, there are significant increases in a multitude of immune system disorders and ADHD and learning disabilities. How much of this is caused by vaccines?

    This is a non sequitur, since we were discussing the Hep B vaccine in particular. But, to answer this anyway… True, the current diagnosis rate of autism in children is around 1:100. Let us assume, for the moment, that the true prevalence (as opposed to diagnosis) is 1:100. If there has been a true increase in autism, then, using the same criteria that result in that 1:100 children rate, we should find that the rate is lower in adults. A U.K. study found an adult rate of about 1:100, so, no increase. This means that the true rate of autism has been around 1:100 for quite some time. Now, this is just one study, and further investigation is required, since studying the rate of autism in adults has not been a particularly popular focus.

    Some caveats to that: if the rate in adults is less than the rate in children, even using the same criteria for diagnosis, that could mean a couple different things. First, it could, indeed, mean that autism is truly affecting more individuals today than it did 20, 30, 40 years ago. Second, it could mean that the symptoms of autism decrease over time. In other words, for some subset of individuals, the effects of autism are overcome as they grow and progress, just as a natural development, regardless of any intervention. Third, it might mean that some manner of support system or treatment has helped to overcome the limitations of autism.

    To get more to the point of your comment, part of the problem with psychiatric disorders is that diagnostic criteria are changed over time, awareness of the disorders changes over time, perception/stigmatization change over time. Added onto this is the media effect. The more people hear about something, the more likely they are to see it in their surroundings.

    As to “how do we know how much of it is caused by vaccines?” Well, we study likely avenues of inquiry. Is there some plausible mechanism? If so, then we examine it. For example, MMR and thimerosal were both studied fairly extensively by people all over the world. Neither was found to have any connection to autism. As for other vaccines, or a combination of vaccines, there is no likely mechanism of causing autism. Add to this the other findings coming out about suggested causes (genes, parental age, etc.), the likelihood of vaccines being related is quite small. We also know of some specific causes, already. One of those is congential rubella syndrome. That is a case where a vaccine can actually prevent or reduce the risk of autism in the child.

    Twyla, since this is already quite long, I’ll wrap up by just saying that you have not taken my advice regarding research. While AoA, whale.to or other similar sites may report and provide links to some studies, what you need to bear in mind is that they also do several things: in their reporting, they spin and/or misinterpret (sometimes intentionally) the analysis of what the study says (and sometimes getting it very wrong, indeed); they cherry pick studies that align with their own biases; they cherry pick quotes from studies to support their position, even when the quote, in context, is completely opposite of what they say it means. In short, they are not reliable sources of information. Go to the source. Go to the study, to the CDC site, etc. Read the actual original source, rather than someone else’s summary.

    Research is hard. It takes a lot of time, a lot of reading. But the bonus of doing your own research is that you are less likely to be lead astray by someone else’s interpretation. If you have questions about what something means or if you don’t understand something that you read, then go ask someone who specializes in the appropriate field (i.e., they actually went to school for this – having a child with autism does not make one an expert in epidemiology or infectious disease, for example, nor does it necessarily make one an expert in autism). For example, if you don’t understand something in an infectious disease study, go ask an ID specialist about it. Universities are a great resource for this, and more likely than not, the faculty will be more than willing to answer your questions. You could also write to the study authors, asking for clarification, though that may take more time.

    Well, this has gotten long enough. Hopefully you’ll take some time to read this fully and do your own research (using original sources like journal articles, not pop conspiracy sites) before you post a reply.

  92. #94 Chris
    August 21, 2010

    Again, I told this story in relation to the issue of how little is known about identifying vaccine reactions, per my prior comments.

    It mostly reveals that you very little about newborns and vaccine reactions. So are you now going to say my son’s seizures when he was two days old was a vaccine reaction? Even though he turns 22 in a couple of weeks (and is still quite disabled, he attends community college with disability services).

    My youngest was the only child to get the HepB vaccine before leaving the hospital (about 24 hours after birth). She is the only on who has never had to get speech/language therapy, and the only child who does not need to wear glasses. Can I also say that her getting the HepB vaccine the cause of her good fortune? Or can we just figure is was a roll of the genetic dice, especially since her older siblings are both boys (the younger boy was a late talker, he was formally diagnosed as dysphasic and only needed a couple of years to catch up before kindergarten, he is a college sophomore going into engineering).

  93. #95 Twyla
    August 21, 2010

    All of this focus on what I mentioned about my son is just an evasion of the main issues that I raised, which are that:

    1) Our govt agencies and mainstream doctors know very little about vaccine reactions — what causes them, what are susceptibility factors, how to identify them, and how to treat them. The typical reaction is, “Just a coincidence, no proof, you don’t really know,” and leave it at that without study or investigation.

    2) The risks of giving the HepB vaccine on the day of birth are not justified by the benefits for the majority of babies.

    Obviously, I know nothing about what caused your son’s seizures, Chris. But if someone broke their leg skiing it wouldn’t make sense to say, “Well I know someone who broke their leg and they weren’t skiing, and I know people who ski and never broke their leg, so it wasn’t caused by skiing.” But best wishes to your son and to you.

  94. #96 Todd W.
    August 21, 2010

    @Twyla

    2) The risks of giving the HepB vaccine on the day of birth are not justified by the benefits for the majority of babies.

    Upon what evidence do you base this conclusion? Some questions to help guide you:

    * What are the risks of the Hep B vaccine?
    * What are the risks of Hep B infection?
    * What is the risk of serious adverse reactions to Hep B in infants?
    * What is the risk of serious complications from Hep B infection in infants?

    I am honestly interested in your answers to these questions, along with your sources (hopefully primary sources) for those answers.

  95. #97 Orange Lantern
    August 21, 2010

    Twyla:

    All of this focus on what I mentioned about my son is just an evasion of the main issues that I raised

    The conversation is maybe bogged down a bit with the details of that experience, but keep in mind you brought up your experience as an attempt to demonstrate “how little is known about identifying vaccine reactions”. But in this case, there are actual studies that show no difference in neonatal events following hepatitis b vaccination, one of which I directed you to. So we can be rather confident that that event was not caused by the vaccine. Bringing up your experience does not contribute to your argument. Rather, it is fearmongering.

    Concerning your two big points:

    Our govt agencies and mainstream doctors know very little about vaccine reactions — what causes them, what are susceptibility factors, how to identify them, and how to treat them. The typical reaction is, “Just a coincidence, no proof, you don’t really know,” and leave it at that without study or investigation.

    This is pretty much just your conjecture. A large variety of vaccine reactions are well recognized. We may not be able to predict who will get them (that would be great, BTW) but that does not mean we know “very little about them”.

    But I would guess that you are not talking about recognized vaccine reactions. You are talking about things you think are vaccine reactions and then claiming we don’t understand enough about how they occur. But you have not thus far been willing to present evidence of a link in the form of primary literature. In fact, in the case of your son’s apneic event, the literature is pretty clear that it was not vaccine related, but you choose to remain unconvinced.

    2) The risks of giving the HepB vaccine on the day of birth are not justified by the benefits for the majority of babies.

    Yes, you made that claim above. I asked you to read the ACIP report and specifically pulled out a study regarding the safety of the vaccine. You have not had any comment on that. If you like, I will direct you to some studies specifically addressing how it has reduced death and the burden of disease from hepatitis b. But I’d like to know that you will actually read them before I take that time. If you have links to published studies that you actually understand and feel strongly back your claim, then we would love to see them.

    Which brings me to:

    All of the sites I linked to contain compelling information which should not be so summarily dismissed.

    Maybe, but they also contain misinformation and lies, and no one here is likely to sort through all that chaff to find any wheat. If there are certain pieces of information that you find particularly compelling, then please present them.

    Orange Lantern says that this is full disclosure: “Severe problems are extremely rare. Severe allergic reactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million doses. A vaccine, like any medicine, could cause a serious reaction. But the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.” That’s not full disclosure; that’s just reassurance.

    Since the studies concerning the safety of hepatitis b vaccination are reassuring, it would be expected for the VIS to reflect that. At the risk of being repetitious, if you have any evidence from the primary literature to the contrary, fire away.

    But if someone broke their leg skiing it wouldn’t make sense to say, “Well I know someone who broke their leg and they weren’t skiing, and I know people who ski and never broke their leg, so it wasn’t caused by skiing.”

    Well, now you’ve just gone and gotten all ridiculous. A skiing accident is a well-recognized cause of broken bones. That is already a given. This is not true of, say, neonatal apnea or autism. The studies support no association.

    If you went to the doctor for your fracture, and the x-ray indicated that you might have osteoporosis, I hope you wouldn’t blame the osteoporosis on the skiing trip as well.

  96. #98 augustine
    August 21, 2010

    [* What are the risks of the Hep B vaccine?
    * What are the risks of Hep B infection?
    * What is the risk of serious adverse reactions to Hep B in infants?
    * What is the risk of serious complications from Hep B infection in infants?]

    Here’s your answer. Or motive anyway. It’s always a good thing to “follow the money”

    http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/PREVIEW/MMWRHTML/00033405.htm

    [In the United States, most infections occur among adults and adolescents (2,3). The recommended strategy for preventing these infections has been the selective vaccination of persons with identified risk factors (1,2). However, this strategy has not lowered the incidence of hepatitis B, primarily because vaccinating persons engaged in high-risk behaviors, life-styles, or occupations before they become infected generally has not been feasible.]

    ———————————–
    [Efforts to vaccinate persons in the major risk groups have had limited success. For example, programs directed at injecting drug users failed to motivate them to receive three doses of vaccine.]
    —————————–
    [Educational programs to reduce parenteral drug use and unprotected sexual activity are important components of the strategy to prevent infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. These programs appear to have reduced the risk of HBV infections among homosexual men but have not had an impact on hepatitis B attributable to parenteral drug use or heterosexual trans- mission (2). Educational efforts alone are not likely to fully eliminate the high-risk behaviors responsible for HBV transmission.]
    ——————————–
    [ In the United States it has become evident that HBV transmission cannot be prevented through vaccinating only the groups at high risk of infection]

    ____________________________________________

    [ Vaccinating adolescents and adults is substantially more expensive because of the higher vaccine cost and the higher implementation costs of delivering vaccine to target populations. In the long term, universal infant vaccination would eliminate the need for vaccinating adolescents and high-risk adults.]

    __________________________________________________

    [Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all infants, regardless of the HBsAg status of the mother.]
    —————————-

    U.S. infants are a means to an end. You’re an idiot to give your kid this vaccine unless you’re infected.

  97. #99 Orange Lantern
    August 21, 2010

    As an aside, what I’ve read indicates that the ACIP approved the birth dose for all neonates in 2001 and the CDC put in the the recommended schedule in 2005, as per the guidelines of the ACIP report I referenced above. This is when our hospital started. Perhaps certain regions or hospitals might have been immunizing all newborns prior to that depending on their demographics, but as far as I can tell, widespread universal immunization with the birth dose began well after thimerosal was removed. Do correct me if I’m wrong.

  98. #101 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 21, 2010

    Regarding Scopie’s law: Whale.to and AoA post many stories that are links to articles and studies. I can understand that your opinions about the writing of J.B. Handley, Mark Blaxill, and Dan Olmstead are very different from mine. But it makes no sense to say that everything from those sites should be disregarded. That is not a rational, scientific viewpoint; that is simply prejudice and scoffing.

    Are you saying that a “rational, scientific viewpoint” requires believing people who are still promoting anti-Semitic frauds nearly a century after their debunking? Please explain how that is either rational or scientific.

    The fact is that the Internet is full of speculations and claims and supposed “facts.” You seem to be claiming that, if we are “rational, scientific” then we must believe all those speculations/claims/supposed facts until such time as we have affirmatively disproven them. (If that’s not your position, if you don’t think we have to believe all the Internet, then please explain why Handley and Blaxill and Olmstead are getting favored treatment?)

    But the question is not “what reason do we have to disbelieve Handley and Blaxill and Olmstead and Scudamore,” it’s “when have they ever given us reason that we should believe them??” Olmstead told us that the Amish don’t vaccinate, and they don’t get autism. Both of those claims are easy to check, and both of those claims, when checked, prove to be false. Why should I believe the next tale Olmstead comes up with? Handley swore up and down that autism was not just caused by mercury but that “autism is a misdiagnosis for mercury poisoning.” Now he’s convinced that it’s something else about the vaccines, and he doesn’t even address how sure he was about mercury before. Why should I give any weight at all to Handley’s words?

    Olmstead gives me stories he hasn’t fact-checked.

    Handley swears to the truth of his new theories about autism … just as fervently as he swore to the truth of his old theories.

    Scudamore tells me that vaccination is “population-wide poisoning of countless infants and fetuses” … on the same website where he tells me that the Talmud is “the Satanic Bible of the Jews, which encourages Jews to kill” and that subways actually exist so that a Jewish conspiracy can blow up the capitals of “the Goyim” with explosives.

    If you tell me that it’s “prejudice” that I regard these people and the sites they run as bad sources of information then I tell you you’re nuts. Even if I had once been obliged to give them the benefit of the doubt (on what grounds?? merely that they can scream forcefully?) they’ve since sacrificed that.

  99. #102 augustine
    August 21, 2010

    Problems in the
    development of new
    vaccines
    Philip D. Minor

    http://www.sgm.ac.uk/pubs/micro_today/pdf/050005.pdf

    Some more follow the money with Hep B VACCINE:

    “Hepatitis B vaccines were initially targeted at specific at risk groups, including healthcare workers and business travellers, and were made either from antigen from the plasma of infected donors or from antigen expressed in genetically modified organisms, such as yeast. They were (and remain) expensive, but have now been incorporated into global vaccination programmes, including universal usage in most developed countries as the impact on incidence following targeted use was not great. The usage in developed countries can therefore subsidize that in developing countries, but only if valid and recognizable uses in wealthy markets exist.”

  100. #103 augustine
    August 21, 2010

    Follow the money.

    http://mdm.sagepub.com/content/13/1/4.abstract

    “It is concluded that universal vaccination against HBV in infancy is economically attractive, comparable in cost-effectiveness to existing health care interventions. Lower vaccine prices would substantially improve the attractiveness of such a program. Implementation of universal vaccination should be considered in North America, contingent on vaccine price reduction.”

  101. #104 Chris
    August 22, 2010

    Pedant mode: It is spelled Olmsted! There is no “a” in the silly man’s name.

    Whatever. I have found the passports, and I am getting things ready to go on a boat to visit island of hubby’s birth. Okay, it is the provincial capital, not exactly the tiny town he was born with, but it is a vacation.

    Play nice.

    (Just in case you forgot, Scudamore claimed satanic ley lines burned his bum! Yeah, he is a trustworthy source. Not!)

  102. #105 Twyla
    August 22, 2010

    re: Orange Lantern #97 “As an aside, what I’ve read indicates that the ACIP approved the birth dose for all neonates in 2001… Do correct me if I’m wrong.”

    You are wrong. A bit of Googling will show you that prior to 1991, the vaccine was recommended only for people who were identified to be at a high risk for acquiring the infection, but in 1991 the birth-dose recommendation was extended to include all infants as well.

    For example: “In November 1991, the ACIP recommended that hepatitis B vaccine be integrated into infant vaccination schedules”
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00038437.htm

    As noted in the CDC notice I linked to in comment #90, when concerns were raised about thimerosal in July of 1999, some flexibility in the timing of the initial dose was temporarily recommended, but when thimerosal-free vaccines became available it was once again recommended that all babies receive the birth dose.

  103. #106 Twyla
    August 22, 2010

    Chris, good point – Olmsted, not Olmstead! My apologies to Mr. Olmsted, who is not a “silly man” but a great man.

  104. #107 MI Dawn
    August 22, 2010

    @Chris: Enjoy your vacation.

    @Twyla: Olmsted is a horrible reporter. Is that better than silly? At least, he couldn’t find a whole clinic for autistic (and other developmental needs) children in Amish country, so declared the Amish have no autistic children.

  105. #108 Orange Lantern
    August 22, 2010

    Twyla, from reading that link, and others, it looks to me that was when it was universally recommended to be on the infant schedule (i.e. 2, 4, and 6 months, etc.), not the birth dose. That was approved by the ACIP in 2001 and the CDC in 2005. I’ll put up some links when I get a moment.

  106. #109 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 22, 2010

    Chris, good point – Olmsted, not Olmstead! My apologies to Mr. Olmsted, who is not a “silly man” but a great man.

    Is “tells me what I want to hear” where your criteria for greatness begin and end? It would seem so.

  107. #110 Orange Lantern
    August 22, 2010

    Okay, here are the actual CDC recommendations linked to by that AAP statement. Three doses were recommended for all infants between 0-6 months, and the first dose given between birth and two months of age.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00033405.htm

    “Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all infants, regardless of the HBsAg status of the mother. Hepatitis B vaccine should be incor- porated into vaccination schedules for children. The first dose can be administered during the newborn period, preferably before the infant is discharged from the hospital, but no later than when the infant is 2 months of age.”

    It would be physician/hospital specific whether to start at birth or at two months, per the table linked to below.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00033405.htm#00000747.htm

    In 2005 is when the CDC recommended to universally immunize all newborns at birth, and not wait until up to two months of age.

  108. #111 Todd W.
    August 22, 2010

    @Orange Lantern

    Ahh, original sources. Amazing what treasure troves of information you can find from them…if you only look.

    That’s how it’s done, Twyla. Sometimes it takes looking a little more deeply than just one link. And it definitely takes reading more fully than just skimming.

  109. #112 augustine
    August 22, 2010

    From Todd’s source

    ["Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all infants, regardless of the HBsAg status of the mother. Hepatitis B vaccine should be incor- porated into vaccination schedules for children.]

    Why? Why vaccinate as many infants as possible when they are not the target group?

    [Efforts to vaccinate persons in the major risk groups have had limited success. For example, programs directed at injecting drug users failed to motivate them to receive three doses of vaccine.]

    [ Vaccinating adolescents and adults is substantially more expensive because of the higher vaccine cost and the higher implementation costs of delivering vaccine to target populations. In the long term, universal infant vaccination would eliminate the need for vaccinating adolescents and high-risk adults.]

    It’s all about saving money and making money. They information is there. You just have to look for it.

  110. #113 Todd W.
    August 22, 2010

    I would like to thank augustine for pointing out that vaccinating children saves people money. Apparently augustine would rather place a greater financial burden on individuals, families and the health care system and bring more money to pharmaceutical companies. I may be wrong in that interpretation, but that’s what your statements imply.

    So, once again, thank you, augie, for showing how universal vaccination saves money.

  111. #114 Twyla
    August 23, 2010

    re: Orange Lantern comment # 110 You linked to this November 22, 1991 MMWR CDC “Recommendations and Reports” entitled “Hepatitis B Virus: A Comprehensive Strategy for Eliminating Transmission in the United States Through Universal Childhood Vaccination: Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP” at
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00033405.htm
    From the “Recommendations” section:

    “Women admitted for delivery who have not had prenatal HBsAg testing should have blood drawn for testing. While test results are pending, the infant should receive hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth…”

    “In populations in which screening pregnant women for HBsAg is not feasible, all infants should receive their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth…”

    “Universal Vaccination of Infants Born to HBsAg-Negative Mothers – Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all infants, regardless of the HBsAg status of the mother. Hepatitis B vaccine should be incorporated into vaccination schedules for children. The first dose can be administered during the newborn period, preferably before the infant is discharged from the hospital, but no later than when the infant is 2 months of age…” Note the recommendation “preferably before the infant is discharged from the hospital”.

    Here is a table from 1994 clearly showing that the Hep B vaccine was recommended at birth by the ACIP:
    http://wonder.cdc.gov/wonder/prevguid/m0038256/m0038256.asp#Table_2

    The 1999 CDC MMRW Notice which I linked to previously at
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4835a3.htm
    concluded:
    “After the statements on thimerosal in vaccines were published, changes occurred in newborn hepatitis B vaccination policies and practices in some hospitals, including unintended changes affecting immunization of infants at risk for perinatal HBV transmission… Of 574 hospitals that were aware of the statement and had existing policies or standing orders to vaccinate all newborns, 262 (46%) reported a policy change to no longer routinely vaccinate newborns of HBsAg-negative mothers… The availability of hepatitis B vaccine that does not contain thimerosal as a preservative should alert medical facilities to review their policies to ensure the vaccination of newborns as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, AAFP, and AAP.”

    Those are the kinds of original sources that I did look at, Todd W. Clearly the recommendation to vaccinate all newborns with HepB began way before Orange Lanterns’ stated 2005 date.

    Nevertheless, this is a recommendation, not forced with threat of prison. A child can still be admitted to school if s/he began the HepB vaccines at age 2 months, even without a medical or religious or philosophical waiver. This is consistent with what I said, namely that I was informed that this vaccine was recommended at birth, and I did not question that recommendation.

    The current schedule says, “Administer monovalent HepB to all newborns before hospital discharge.”
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/downloads/child/2010/10_0-6yrs-schedule-pr.pdf
    I can’t see that quibbling over exactly what year this recommendation went into effect really serves any purpose, other than wasting my time.

    I do understand the rationale behind not offering the mother a choice, not saying “If you are HepB negative your infant may not need this vaccine on the day of birth.” This way you are more sure of catching everyone, even those women who don’t know yet that they are positive, or won’t say they are, or have not been tested and may not understand. But this attempt to cast a wide net also means that a whole lot of infants receive an unnecessary vaccine on the date of birth. The assumption that this is harmless is based on incomplete information.

  112. #115 Twyla
    August 23, 2010

    I just posted a comment with too many links in it which is held up in moderation. In the meantime, I would like to recommend an article by Passionate Drone (aka pD) called “Increasingly Unsurprising Findings – Microglial Activation and Increased Microglial Density Observed in the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex in Autism” at
    http://passionlessdrone.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/increasingly-unsurprising-findings-microglial-activation-and-increased-microglial-density-observed-in-the-dorsolateral-prefrontal-cortex-in-autism-with-bonus-theoretical-pontifications/

  113. #116 Twyla
    August 23, 2010

    re comment # 107 – MI Dawn repeats the oft repeated falsehood “At least, he [Dan Olmsted] couldn’t find a whole clinic for autistic (and other developmental needs) children in Amish country…” Mark Blaxill thoroughly discussed this in this two-part article:
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/05/olsted-the-amis.html
    http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/05/olsted-the-am-1.html

  114. #117 MI Dawn
    August 23, 2010

    @Twyla: I can’t access AOA’s blather from work, so I’ll have to check out Blaxill’s spin on events when I get home tonight unless someone else has the stomach to read that stuff and report on it for me.

  115. #118 Orange Lantern
    August 23, 2010

    Twyla, most of us are familiar with pD and his theories, including the one you linked to. We appreciate how he uses original sources and stands up against debunked theories like thimerosal (hence the fact that he was voted “not a troll” above). You can read an example of a amateur critique/discussion regarding his theory here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/06/more_evidence_for_a_genetic_basis_for_mo.php#comment-2595724

    Research into the importance of neuroimmunologic changes in autism is continuing at institutions like Johns Hopkins. However, the evidence for a causative link is lacking.

  116. #119 Orange Lantern
    August 23, 2010

    Twyla, I don’t mean to quibble, but I want to clarify. Presenting accurate information is important to me. If it is wasting your time, then you don’t have to respond.

    Your first two quotes regard women with unknown Hep B status. The recommendation is that the baby should receive the vaccine. No question there.

    Now, Twyla, read your whole quote, emphasis mine.
    “The first dose can be administered during the newborn period, preferably before the infant is discharged from the hospital, but no later than when the infant is 2 months of age…”
    Medically speaking, the newborn period is less than 28 days. What this quote means, is if you are going to start the series in the newborn period, it is best to give it in the hospital instead of at the next outpatient visit where you might lose them to follow-up.

    Your first link is essentially the same thing I linked to. There are two options. Starting at birth, or starting at two months.

    The second link discusses hosptials that had decided to immunize at birth and put policies in place, and how that was affected by the thimerosal issue. The recommendation at the time was still that infants get their first dose between 0-2 months.

    Nonetheless, the unequivocal CDC recommendation that all newborns receive the birth dose of hepatitis b was in 2005. Please read the 2005 ACIP report that I have referred you to several times.

    But this attempt to cast a wide net also means that a whole lot of infants receive an unnecessary vaccine on the date of birth. The assumption that this is harmless is based on incomplete information.

    Again, no one is assuming it is harmless. It is well recognized that it is not harmless, as discussed in the VIS, but the benefits far outweigh the risks. Once again, show us some evidence, preferably from the primary literature, that this is not the case.

  117. #120 augustine
    August 23, 2010

    Todd, the economist: [So, once again, thank you, augie, for showing how universal vaccination saves money.]

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/health/july-dec09/flu-costs_10-08.html

    “Congress appropriated $7.65 billion in June to fight pandemic flu, including H1N1. Of that, $6.15 billion has been spent or is set aside, most of it for vaccine purchases and related supplies, including syringes, needles, antivirals and other support.”

    We all know how that turned out.LOL. Thank you scientismists for the fear and the cure.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/21/health/21vaccine.html

    The vaccines, which require three shots for a complete series, cost about $400 to about $1,000, depending on the country and the fees for doctors’ visits. Unlike older vaccines that save money by preventing costly disease, these vaccines cost health systems money.

    http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/hpv

    “HPV-related diseases cost the U.S. health-care system about $5 billion every year, and we took that into consideration.” Although Merck would not make sales projections, population data show that the vaccine would gross more than $11 billion if all women 11 to 26 in the United States were vaccinated per the CDC recommendation.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3601104.html

    “HIV and HPV were by far the most costly STDs in terms of total estimated direct medical costs, accounting for 90% of the total burden ($5.9 billion). ”

    HMM! That is some fuzzy math right there. Spend $11,000,000,000 on a disease that costs supposedly $5 billion.

  118. #121 Todd W.
    August 24, 2010

    Ah, augustine the dishonest. Couple problems with your “gotcha”:

    1) 2009 H1N1 Preparation: You did not include in your cost comparison the costs of treatment. You also chose for your example a situation which did not have a clear outcome. It was not known at the time whether H1N1 would be milder than seasonal flu, the same as seasonal flu or worse than seasonal flu. There was some evidence that there was potential for the virus to be as virulent and dangerous as previous pandemic flu strains, such as the 1918 flu. So governments were left with a dilemma: spend lots of money to ensure robust prevention and treatment availability and potentially end up not needing it, or take a wait and see approach and end up having to scramble to mitigate the damage if the virus turns out to be really bad. This situation is not representative of vaccines in general.

    2) HPV Vaccine: You picked a brand new vaccine that is still under patent protection, which is significantly higher in price than vaccines in general, and which is not part of the routine recommended schedule (yes, I know it is on the CDC schedule, but it is not generally required for public school attendance). It is also a vaccine for which we do not yet have long-term efficacy data. Furthermore, the numbers you quoted are annual burden. For example, this study found about $4-5 billion annual burden. Assuming that the HPV vaccine has long-term efficacy, that $11 billion would be one-time. After that, the annual dollar amount would be much lower, the total, unvaccinated population each year being significantly less (i.e., the total current population of 11-26 year old women would be more than the annual cohort of girls reaching 11 years old and becoming eligible for vaccination).

    Neither of these is on topic to what was being discussed, namely, the Hep B vaccine, which, as you yourself showed, can save money with universal infant immunization. Also, neither of your examples takes into account additional costs, such as lost time at work.

  119. #122 augustine
    August 24, 2010

    Ahh, Todd, I guess you didn’t like that because your objections were weak.

    [There was some evidence that there was potential for the virus to be as virulent and dangerous as previous pandemic flu strains, such as the 1918 flu.]

    I guess your “evidence” wasn’t cracked upped to what you thought it was.

    [HPV Vaccine: You picked a brand new vaccine that is still under patent protection,]

    You didn’t like that I picked an actual vaccine?

    [For example, this study found about $4-5 billion annual burden.]

    First of all that $5 billion number is crap. You know it. You know how disease promotion works. A fudge here, a fudge there. Or you can be dishonest. I’d like to see an itemization of this fictitious number. But I gave it to you anyway just to make a point.

    Assuming that the HPV vaccine has long-term efficacy, that $11 billion would be one-time.

    Really? That’s all just $11 billion? C’mon Todd, you’re becoming delusional on vaccine projection now. I’m telling you, if you don’t get this infatutation under control it will be the downfall of the enterprise of science.

    1. YOU are assuming long-term efficacy without any evidence except for a fantasy. Do you have ANY evidence for long term efficacy fantasy boy?

    2. There will be many more cohorts to sell this vaccine to not just a one time $11 billion Merck profit investment.

    3. Mercks REAL plan is to have developed country’s taxpayers to pay for undeveloped countries vaccines. That’s where the BIG bucks are made. BILLIONS of people. Never mind addressing WHY developed countries have higher infectious cervical cancer rates in the first place.

    And finally back to the topic. 3 day old infants don’t need HEP B vaccine! Period. At risk adults and adolescents are the target group. But since the vaccine strategy fails and society supposedly has to pay for their burden then the ACIP/CDC chose for us, without our consent, that we must vaccinate ALL infants whether or not they will EVER be exposed or at risk in the first place.

    It’s a societal crime every time an infant is injured through this economic mechanism. Do coercion vaccine advocates feel any remorse? I doubt it. Not by the cold calloused bloggings of this group. It’s the cost of scientism.

  120. #123 Twyla
    August 24, 2010

    Orange Lantern, presenting accurate information is important to me too, but I disagree with your interpretation of what we are reading.

    Again, we both agree that the 1991 ACIP recommendation says:
    “Universal Vaccination of Infants Born to HBsAg-Negative Mothers
    “Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all infants, regardless of the HBsAg status of the mother. Hepatitis B vaccine should be incorporated into vaccination schedules for children. The first dose can be administered during the newborn period, preferably before the infant is discharged from the hospital, but no later than when the infant is 2 months of age…”

    Again, note the phrase “preferably before the infant is discharged from the hospital”. That was the recommendation. That’s what was recommended, though not mandated.

    My interpretation is common, for example:
    “In 1991, these recommendations expanded to include universal hepatitis B immunization for all children, regardless of the mother’s hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) status, including the recommendation that all neonates receive hepatitis B vaccine at birth or before discharge from the hospital…”
    http://depts.washington.edu/hepstudy/hepB/prevention/perinatal/discussion.html

    OK, let’s do an experiment — let’s both keep repeating the same things 100 times and see whether after that either of us is convinced (j/k).

    Re: “Again, no one is assuming it is harmless. It is well recognized that it is not harmless, as discussed in the VIS, but the benefits far outweigh the risks.” For a baby who has not been exposed to HepB via an infected mother, there is no benefit to this vaccine — which is the case for most infants. We can argue about how great the risks of the vaccine are, but bottom line is for most infants there is zero benefit to getting this vaccine on the day of birth, therefore it cannot be said that the benefit outweighs any risk.

  121. #124 Julian frost
    August 24, 2010

    Twyla,

    bottom line is for most infants there is zero benefit to getting this vaccine on the day of birth, therefore it cannot be said that the benefit outweighs any risk.

    We could also say that for most car trips there is zero benefit to wearing a seatbelt. I was in a car crash in July and had I not been wearing my seatbelt I would almost certainly have been very seriously injured.

    For a baby who has not been exposed to HepB via an infected mother, there is no benefit to this vaccine.

    Not even wrong. As other commenters on this thread have pointed out, there are other ways to get HepB.
    Ok, someone pull up the numbers please. What percentage of unvaccinated babies get HepB? What are the consequences (deaths, liver damage etc.)? What are the negative consequences of the vaccine? How do the risks compare?

  122. #125 Todd W.
    August 24, 2010

    @Julian frost

    What are the consequences (deaths, liver damage etc.)? What are the negative consequences of the vaccine? How do the risks compare?

    Ah, the very sort of questions that I asked Twyla. Since she is convinced that there is “zero benefit” to children born to women who are not infected with Hep B, I am very curious as to the scientific basis for this.

    Twyla, go back and read the posts above again. Be sure to read the linked pages, as well. Then come back and let us know what evidence suggests that the risks of the vaccine are greater than the risks of the disease.

    Keep in mind the following factors:
    * Not all individuals infected know that they are infected.
    * Not all Hep B tests are accurate.
    * Hep B can be transmitted through non-sexual contact (e.g., some evidence that it can be transmitted via saliva, as well as blood through wounds or bites – of note, look at the link I provided on exposure during day care or pre-school).
    * Hep B can survive on surfaces for up to 7 days.

  123. #126 Orange Lantern
    August 24, 2010

    Fair enough, Twyla – no doubt physicians might interpret guidelines differently. However, you linked to a discussion section of a learning module, not a hospital policy or anything particularly official. Interestingly, the module was written well after the 2005 guidelines and makes multiple references to the 2005 guidelines. The reference that it gives for the sentence you quoted is to a 1991 CDC recommendation concerning post-exposure prophylaxis of healthcare workers, which as far as I can tell makes no reference to birth doses of hep B in hep B negative mothers. I don’t think it’s a particularly well-researched case module in that respect, or good example of your interpretation.

    OK, let’s do an experiment — let’s both keep repeating the same things 100 times and see whether after that either of us is convinced (j/k).

    I harbor no delusions that I will be able to convince you of anything, and that is not my purpose in discussing this with you. As I said, I want accurate information presented, for readers of the site. I think you are looking at the evidence through the lens of what you want to see, and I would like you to prove me wrong. If you can show me quality data that the risk of hepatitis B vaccination at birth is greater that the risk of the disease to a hepatitis B negative mother, than I am willing to change my position and my practice regarding that particular immunization.

    It occurs to me that perhaps you are not familiar with pubmed, which is why you seem to have not read the 2005 CDC report regarding the risks of hepatitis B and the benefits of universal immunization. It addresses the risks of the vaccine as well. I only provided the pubmed ID (16371945), so I will link to the full report to facilitate your further education.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5416a1.htm

    I am willing to review the highlights of it later, if you have not found the time or the desire to review it in detail.

  124. #127 Twyla
    August 24, 2010

    Orange Lantern, I was told in 1992 on the day that my son (my second child) was born that the CDC recommended the HepB vaccine on the date of birth for all infants. That is a fact, but of course I cannot prove that to you. My first child was born before this recommendation was made. When my third was born several years after my second (but before the thimerosal issue was raised), she did not receive this vaccine at birth. Evidently our pediatrician had decided not to give this vaccine to all on the date of birth.

    The quibbling over this issue is just a meaningless distraction. Fact is, the current recommendation on the CDC schedule is to give this vaccine at birth to all, regardless of whether the mom tests positive or negative for HepB.

    I did not say that there is zero risk of a baby whose mom tests negative for HepB of getting this virus from the mom. There are a very small number of pregnant women who are infected with the HepB virus, and an even smaller number who test negative but are infected with this virus. What I said is that if the mom is not infected with this virus, there is zero benefit to giving this virus on the day of birth. That is the case for most babies.

    The arguement over whether to give this vaccine later is more complex. It is very rare for toddlers and children to come down with this virus, which is primarily spread via shared neeldles and sex, but it can happen. It is difficult to ascertain the risks of this vaccine because surveillance primarily consists of:
    - postmarketing surveillance of immediate obvious reactions
    - VAERS reporting which is inadequate as many reactions are not reported and most of those that are reported are not investigated, not confirmed or denied.

    But what I was saying is that for most newborn babies, this vaccine has no benefit because newborns are primarily exposed to this virus via the mom’s infection. The impact of giving a vaccine on the first day of birth is poorly understood — not only the rate of obvious reactions, but also how this vaccine affects the developing immune and nervous systems. The research that pD wrote about in her most recent article is very interesting and sheds some light on possible mechanisms to expain why other studies have shown, for example, increased rates of special ed services among those who received the Hep B at birth.

    To compare this to wearing a seat belt is not a good parallel. Seatbelts have no risk of causing short term or long term effects on the immune system or nervous system, nor causing any other health or cognitive issues. There is no down side to wearing a seatbelt when you don’t have an accident.

  125. #128 Todd W.
    August 24, 2010

    @Twyla

    There are a very small number of pregnant women who are infected with the HepB virus, and an even smaller number who test negative but are infected with this virus. What I said is that if the mom is not infected with this virus, there is zero benefit to giving this virus on the day of birth.

    Fair enough. Although this makes me wonder: if there is a percentage of women who are infected but test negative (small though that may be), do you recommend not vaccinating the infants of women who test negative on the day of birth? How would you differentiate between a woman who is not infected and one who is but tests negative? When would you recommend vaccination for these children, given the seriousness of Hep B infection in the young?

    I would still say that there is some benefit to vaccinating at birth. For example, if the child is not brought in for regular check-ups after discharge, is not immunized at future check-ups or, for whatever reason, is not brought in until significantly later, there is some potential benefit provided by partial immunization. I would not say there is zero benefit to immunization at birth. As Orange Lantern suggested, you should go read the CDC’s reasoning behind the birth-dose recommendation.

    The impact of giving a vaccine on the first day of birth is poorly understood — not only the rate of obvious reactions, but also how this vaccine affects the developing immune and nervous systems.

    I agree that it would be good to have more longitudinal studies looking beyond the short-term. One difficulty (and I’m not sure how easy it would be to overcome this) is that the longer out you go, the more confounding variables there will be. So, any results that were obtained would be very hard to tie back to the vaccine. The short-term (“obvious”) reactions are pretty well understood and characterized at this point, however.

    expain why other studies have shown, for example, increased rates of special ed services among those who received the Hep B at birth

    Can you provide a link to one of these studies? I wonder which would you say is worse: needing special ed services or complications from chronic Hep B infection, such as liver cancer? Quick question, what is the range of services that have been reported? How valid is the study that found this increase?

  126. #129 T. Bruce McNeely
    August 24, 2010

    Augustine, re comment #120:

    I was going to reply, however, Todd W. has more than adequately demolished your Augielogic(tm).

    Keep it up. You are a joke, cumulatively so with every utterance.

  127. #130 Calli Arcale
    August 24, 2010

    Twyla:

    To compare this to wearing a seat belt is not a good parallel. Seatbelts have no risk of causing short term or long term effects on the immune system or nervous system, nor causing any other health or cognitive issues. There is no down side to wearing a seatbelt when you don’t have an accident.

    I’m shorter than average. Seatbelts, even most adjustable ones, seriously chafe my neck. It’s very annoying, and annoying means distracting, which is not a good thing when operating a motor vehicle. It is not beyond the realm of possibility to speculate that they may be responsible for a very small number of car accidents (just as it is said that vaccines are responsible for a very small number of adverse events). And when an accident does occur, they are not always clearly beneficial. A seatbelt broke my mother-in-law’s collarbone, which then punctured and deflated a lobe of her lungs. The irony is that it wasn’t an accident where she was likely to be ejected (though that can be difficult to predict), especially since the airbag properly deployed. She still wears a seatbelt, even though the worst injury she sustained from that accident was caused by the seatbelt itself, because she knows that while seatbelts can cause injuries, they can prevent much more horrific ones. (She learned that lesson when a drunk teen crashed his car outside their property, and was ejected through the windshield. Fortunately, the authorities got there before my in-laws did, and they didn’t have to see it. But they drive by the “THINK!” sign every day. South Dakota has a program where THINK! signs are placed at every site of a fatal drunk-driving accident on state roads.)

    It’s true that seat belts have no adverse* effect on the immune system or nervous system, but I don’t think that invalidates the analogy. Their effects mostly pertain to trauma, but they do have effects.

    * They do have effects on the nervous system in the sense that a shoulder restraint can prevent whiplash, which can prevent or at least reduce serious damage to the neck, spinal cord, and brain. (The brain sloshes around rather freely in the head when the body comes to an abrupt stop. The force is greater if the body is allowed to bend freely rather than being tightly restrained.) This is, in fact, the whole point of that strap. A lap belt would be sufficient if you weren’t worried about damage to the nervous system.

  128. #131 Todd W.
    August 24, 2010

    augie apparently failed reading comprehension.

    I guess your “evidence” wasn’t cracked upped to what you thought it was.

    The evidence suggested a possibility. I did not claim that it was a sure thing, as you imply I meant. Feel free to point out, though, where I said differently.

    You didn’t like that I picked an actual vaccine?

    As the point is lobbed, nice and easy at augie, we see that it still swings and misses. More plainly, in arguing about the cost-effectiveness of Hep B, you chose as an example a vaccine which is not at all comparable, yet imply that its circumstances show that vaccines in general are only driven by profit motive. You’re comparing apples and orangutans. Do try to be at least marginally intellectually honest.

    First of all that $5 billion number is crap.

    Then why did you use it in your argument? Pretty shoddy technique, there.

    You know how disease promotion works. A fudge here, a fudge there. Or you can be dishonest.

    And, of course, you have evidence to back this up, right? Take your time. I’ll wait.

    YOU are assuming long-term efficacy without any evidence except for a fantasy. Do you have ANY evidence for long term efficacy fantasy boy?

    Go back and read what I wrote, this time for comprehension. You’ll note that I state, explicitly, that we do not have long-term efficacy data. You will also note that, for the sake of argumentation, if we assume that the vaccine does have long-term efficacy, then it would be a one-time thing.

    There will be many more cohorts to sell this vaccine to not just a one time $11 billion Merck profit investment.

    Yep, and if you go back and actually read what I wrote, you’ll not that I said that there would be more. However, subsequent cohorts would be significantly lower in number than the totality of current 11-26 year olds. Therefore, that $11 billion number would not be an annual cost.

    Mercks REAL plan is to have developed country’s taxpayers to pay for undeveloped countries vaccines.

    Oooh, looky. Augie’s made another unsubstantiated claim. I may have to wait quite a while. That’s two whole claims it needs to back up.

    3 day old infants don’t need HEP B vaccine! Period. At risk adults and adolescents are the target group.

    Augie apparently failed to get the point that Hep B infection poses a greater risk to the young than to older individuals. You know, it’s that whole “chronic hep B” thing that tends to be pretty common among infants infected with hep B and not particularly common the older one gets. Augie also failed to grasp that targeting adults and adolescents didn’t make much of an impact in hep B reduction, but that infant immunization does make a difference.

    Ah, augie. You do try so very hard. Why, I can almost see the beads of sweat as you wrack your brain to come up with an argument. And yet, you continually fall flat. Perhaps taking some time away from the computer for a bit and sitting in a classroom may help, though I really do think it might be a bit over-taxing for your fragile being. Such efforts may even put you at risk of catching teh atheismz!!one!!!eleventy!

  129. #132 Vicki
    August 24, 2010

    And why would it be so horrible if rich countries paid to save women in poor countries from dying of cancer? One argument against the HPV vaccine has been that it’s not needed because we can all go get regular pap smears and if necessary have biopsies and possibly have larger bits of our bodies removed. Not only is that not exactly an appealing thought, but it assumes access to a health care system that can supply everyone with regular pap smears and the appropriate follow-up. That’s a questionable assumption in the U.S., and a ridiculous one in large parts of the world.

  130. #133 augustine
    August 24, 2010

    Thanks for your input Brucy @129. Your scientific and professional contribution is duly noted.

    [Todd: Augie apparently failed to get the point that Hep B infection poses a greater risk to the young than to older individuals. You know, it's that whole "chronic hep B" thing that tends to be pretty common among infants infected with hep B and not particularly common the older one gets.]

    Todd you must wear coke bottle thick glasses because you get extremely distorted views looking at magnified images of what you choose to see. You’ve completely lost an objective view of reality. Your vaccine apologetics is your science blogs weakness. I conclude that there will NEVER be a vaccine approved by the ACIP that you will not defend and rationalize it implementation.

    http://www.nfid.org/factsheets/hbagdoc.shtml

    “90% of the 6,000 infants infected perinatally in the US each year will become chronic hepatitis B carriers, and 25% will eventually die of cirrhosis or liver cancer.”

    Which is 5400. Vaccine efficacy is stated as 70-90% so for simplicity in your favor I’ll assume it means effectiveness. So 3780-4860 cases of chonic HBV infection can be POTENTIALLY prevented by vaccinating 3 million infants per year. That’s a poor trade off for the “not ever going to get HBV” children. Which is the vast majority.

    Transverse Myelitis:
    http://www.ccandh.com/decisions/stevens_2-24-06.pdf

    A compensated case for Multiple Sclerosis:
    http://www.ccandh.com/decisions/werderitsh_5-26-06.pdf

    A compensated case for Guillain-Barré Syndrome:
    http://www.ccandh.com/decisions/gilbert_3-30-06.pdf

    Never was going to get HBV. DID receive the vaccine and it’s side effects.

    [Augie also failed to grasp that targeting adults and adolescents didn't make much of an impact in hep B reduction, but that infant immunization does make a difference.]

    What your coke bottle glasses have failed to visualize is that the risk is not homogenous. To have 3 million infants assume the risk of the vaccine is not an ethical strategy.

    But given your worldview where children are pawns for public health policy then it’s perfectly ethical.

  131. #134 augustine
    August 24, 2010

    Vicki dear,

    You’re delving into politics. Not science. Sit back down.

  132. #135 Orange Lantern
    August 24, 2010

    I’m writing this in bits over the course of the day, so I apologize that some of this has already been covered by recent comments. I really don’t want to go back through and edit every time there is a new post.

    What I said is that if the mom is not infected with this virus, there is zero benefit to giving this virus on the day of birth. That is the case for most babies.

    And this is incorrect and irrelevant. It’s incorrect because infants can contract hep B before two months from blood-involved accidents from close contacts, child care settings, and other places. We’ve discussed this above. It may be a small risk, but it is not “no risk”.

    It’s irrelevant because neither the mother nor the physician knows for certain whether the mother has hep b. Without that knowledge, the benefits still outweighs the risk.

    Lets go to that apparently neglected 2005 CDC report:
    “Even with improvements in the management of pregnant women, only approximately 50% of expected births to HBsAg-positive women are identified (on the basis of application of racial/ethnic-specific HBsAg prevalence estimates to U.S. natality data) for case management, which maximizes timely delivery of postexposure immunoprophylaxis (11; CDC, unpublished data, 2004).”

    Further,
    “Even when maternal HBsAg testing does occur, certain infants of HBsAg-positive mothers do not receive postexposure immunoprophylaxis because of testing errors and lapses in reporting of test results (13)”

    13 refers to a report from the Immunization Action Coalition:
    http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2062.pdf
    This discusses the various ways in which babies whose mothers have hep B may not receive the vaccine. In addition there would be mothers who contracted hepatitis b after testing as well as false negatives of the test itself. Per that report:

    “CDC estimates that annually about 12,000 HBsAg-positive women are not reported to their state’s perinatal hepatitis B program and therefore do not benefit from case
    management.”

    That’s a lot of babies whose mothers are not correctly identified as having hepatitis b at the time of birth.

    It is difficult to ascertain the risks of this vaccine because surveillance primarily consists of:
    - postmarketing surveillance of immediate obvious reactions
    - VAERS reporting…

    Wow, you completely stepped over the Vaccine Safety Datalink there, which is how we know of the incidence of most vaccine reactions.

    To compare this to wearing a seat belt is not a good parallel. Seatbelts have no risk of causing short term or long term effects on the immune system or nervous system, nor causing any other health or cognitive issues. There is no down side to wearing a seatbelt when you don’t have an accident.

    No, but as metioned above, a seatbelt can cause injury or death when ordinarily it would not have happened. It is a risk/benefit decision as well. But Augustine hates that analogy too, so how about airbags? They can go off at any time, albeit rarely, even when not in an accident, and kill or otherwise injury you.

    I’m going to use wikipedia as a source here, only because it is dealing with airbags, not a medical issue, and the sources are there which should corroborate this quote:

    “From 1990 to 2008, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified 175 fatalities caused by air bags. Most of these (104) have been children, while the rest are adults. About 3.3 million air bag deployments have occurred and the agency estimates more than 6,377 lives saved and countless injuries prevented.”

    Out of all those deployments, only 6000 actually needed them. That means millions upon millions of people do not need an airbag and are driving around with them, and will never need them. And they carry a small risk of death and disability just be being there in the car.

    This seems like a fairly good parallel to me. BTW, pD is male.

  133. #136 augustine
    August 24, 2010

    [It's irrelevant because neither the mother nor the physician knows for certain whether the mother has hep b. Without that knowledge, the benefits still outweighs the risk.]

    The quality of this is baffling. You are defending your ignorance with certainty. How can you assess accurately without that knowledge? And then arrogantly claim your decision as the right one? Can you see this? Have you been blinded by your ideals that vaccines are absolutely the way to go for everyone? But this has become the medical creed. Do something, anything.

    You’re basing your argument on “because we just don’t know”. That is not a scientific decision at all. It’s an idiotic one.

    I posted the stats above.

  134. #137 Orange Lantern
    August 24, 2010

    You’re an idiot to give your kid this vaccine unless you’re infected.

    Hey, it just hit me who Augustine’s secret identity really is. It’s Bill Maher!

    http://twitter.com/billmaher/status/4403617471

    You really threw us off with all that religious stuff, Bill. I’m not a fan of yours myself, but that was a pretty good trick!

  135. #138 Chris
    August 25, 2010

    Todd W.:

    Twyla, go back and read the posts above again.

    It has been established that she does not read the comments other then hers by referencing whale.to after Scopie’s Law was invoked.

    Oh, yeah… about seat belts. I was in a car accident where the seat belt broke a couple of my ribs. I was kept in the hospital for a couple a day for observation to see that I did not also damage my spleen. I believe the spleen has an active function in the immune system.

    Twyla, like Little Augie, is a silly person and should be ignored.

  136. #139 Twyla
    August 25, 2010

    “As Orange Lantern suggested, you should go read the CDC’s reasoning behind the birth-dose recommendation.” I did read the CDC’s reasoning. “It has been established that she does not read the comments other then hers by referencing whale.to after Scopie’s Law was invoked.” Wrong again. I do read the other comments. But just because youall believe in “Scopie’s Law” that doesn’t mean I have to believe it or follow it.

    For another side of the story -
    http://vran.org/vaccines/hepatitis/pediatric-hepb.htm

  137. #140 Julian Frost
    August 25, 2010

    [J]ust because youall believe in “Scopie’s Law” that doesn’t mean I have to believe it or follow it.

    You do if you want to be taken seriously here.

  138. #141 Chris
    August 25, 2010

    She may also believe satanic ley lines burned Scudamore’s bum (oh, yeah… vran.org is also known for distorting data and supporting child murderers, so it readily falls under Scopie’s Law). She is a silly person who should be ignored.

    No, we shall not take her seriously. She may actually think we can direct satanic ley lines towards her. Twyla, watch out for your bum!

  139. #142 augustine
    August 25, 2010

    [Oh, yeah... about seat belts. I was in a car accident where the seat belt broke a couple of my ribs.]

    Seatbelt gambit again! UGHH.

    Ok. Did you break your ribs before the accident just from the hazard of putting on the seatbelt? I doubt it. Maybe you shouldn’t vaccinate and drive because of the real risk of having a seizure and causing harm to yourself and others. That would put a dent in compliance.

    But then again, maybe thousands of people really are trapped in the wrong body. Evolutionary mistake, it happens.

  140. #143 Todd W.
    August 25, 2010

    But then again, maybe thousands of people really are trapped in the wrong body. Evolutionary mistake, it happens.

    Ah, augie. Just because you got stuck in a human body doesn’t mean you need to feel bitter about it. I understand the stress you are under, having to deal with your condition, can be a bit overwhelming. Perhaps a nice hot cup of tea will help calm you down.

  141. #144 augustine
    August 25, 2010

    Todd,

    Chris appreciates your chivalry. You’re her huckleberry.

  142. #145 Rogue Medic
    August 25, 2010

    @ 142 augustine,

    Maybe you shouldn’t vaccinate and drive because of the real risk of having a seizure and causing harm to yourself and others.

    Please provide real documentation of these cases of real people having real vaccine-induced seizures while really driving.

    A real risk?
    .

  143. #146 augustine
    August 25, 2010

    [Roger Medic: Please provide real documentation of these cases of real people having real vaccine-induced seizures while really driving.

    A real risk?]

    Get your panties out of a wad and pay attention to the syntax.

  144. #147 Scott
    August 25, 2010

    Get your panties out of a wad and pay attention to the syntax.

    A charge that might make sense if augie were capable of writing a coherent English sentence; as repeatedly demonstrated he is not.

  145. #148 Orange Lantern
    August 25, 2010

    Do you think he meant to say “context”?

  146. #149 Todd W.
    August 25, 2010

    @Orange Lantern

    Do you think he meant to say “context”?

    Well, we already know that basic reading comprehension is a bit too difficult for augie. Do we really expect it to understand higher grammatical concepts?

  147. #150 Chris
    August 25, 2010

    Is there some kind of contest elsewhere by Twyla, little augie and others to try to be the most idiotic troll on this blog? Are they actually trying to get onto that periodic table?

    Don’t worry guys, there is plenty of room on the extended periodic table from Element #65 to #118. That should even cover some of the more amusing sock puppets.

  148. #151 Scott
    August 25, 2010

    @ Todd:

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but as far as I’m concerned I don’t expect augie to understand 1+1=2.

  149. #152 Orange Lantern
    August 26, 2010

    Massachusetts House of Representatives. Unfortunatley, the web page only gives as a reference as one of her books, and since I don’t own it and don’t plan on buying it, I’m not going to be able to figure out what her original sources are. I will say that most of her points are wrong or irrelevant to the issue, but maybe at a later time.

    I’m more interested in the paragraphs that come next, written by Dr. Yazbak. It opens with this:

    1.Hepatitis B is a reportable disease. The incidence rate of Hepatitis B in the United States has always been very low, 0.1 to 0.5% compared to 5 to 20% in the Far East and Africa.

    And at that point my jaw hit the keyboard. 0.1% of the population is about 125,000 Americans. 0.5% IS 1.25 MILLION AMERICANS. This is “very low” in Dr. Yazbak’s world? Compared to what, lefthandedness? That is a metric boatload of people!!!

    But then things go right off the rails. The next sentence:

    In 1991, there were 18,003 cases of hepatitis b viral illness in the US with an estimated population of 248 million.

    No, that is wrong. There were about 18,000 new, reported cases of hepatitis b in the US that year alone (of course, no citation was given for that statistic. I had to look up incidence rates for the early 90′s). There were still between 125,000 and 1.25 million Americans with Hep B living in the country that year. This is the difference between incidence and prevalence. Dr. Yazbak is either deliberately misleading or horribly, horribly bad at math.

    Next sentence:

    According to the Guide to Clinical Preventive Services,“The number of cases [in the U.S.] peaked in 1985 and has shown a continuous decline since that time”

    No kidding. The first vaccine was distributed in 1982. Be nice if there was a full citation here. There isn’t. Next:

    In 1986, only 279 cases of HBV infections in children under 14 were reported nationwide.

    Love the use of the word “only” there. 279 new, reported kids with hepatitis b in that year. Again, no citation, but it still sounds like a lot of children to me. Next sentence:

    “Hepatitis B continues to decline in most states, primarily because of a decrease in the number of cases among injecting drug users and, to a lesser extent, among both homosexuals and heterosexuals of both sexes,”

    The citation is for the MMWR for October 13, 1997 MMRW. Here it is:
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00050719.htm
    I don’t find that quote in it anywhere.

    Even if it was, it seems to me that since we had been immunizing since 1982, we would see decreases in the number of cases in injected drug users, homosexuals, and heterosexuals.

    Interestingly, after the Hepatitis B vaccine was recommended for general pediatric use, the CDC released new statistics on the “estimated incidence” of hepatitis B in the US. Now some 1_ million Americans had chronic Hepatitis B, 5000 died annually from liver failure and many others developed carcinoma of the liver.

    Now, hold up, Dr. Yazbak just said up to 1.25 million Americans have hepatitis b. How are these CDC statistics “new”? One million is between 0.1% and 0.5% of the population. What gives? Again, is Dr. Yazbak deviously bad at math, or being simply devious? Take your pick.

    The CDC also added that in the 80s, some 200,000 to 300,000 cases of Hepatitis B occurred annually.

    This was not a new number either. It is not the number of “reported cases”, it is an estimate of the incidence in the 1980′s because hep B is a stigma-associated, long-incubating, tragically underreported disease. I didn’t immediately find studies prior to 1990 to corroborate theses estimates, but PMID:9806021 is a 1998 study that uses NHANES data and finds a similar incidence during that period.

    I could go through this page line by line and continue to demonstrate the lies, half-truths, and trickery that it used. This is the kind of junk that is served up as “compelling information” on these sites that you casually use as evidence. You don’t demonstrate that you have read the evidence on either side of the debate, and as far as I can tell, you regurgitate websites that have been fed to you without independently evaluating their content.

    I’m not going to do this again. It’s extremely time consuming. Twyla, please, come with primary sources that you have read and understand, or stay in your echo chamber.

  150. #153 Orange Lantern
    August 26, 2010

    Sorry, I cut that top part off. Here it is:

    Twyla, you say that you have read the 2005 CDC report and that you read primary studies, but you haven’t demonstrated it at all. We ask you to evaluate some literature, and you ignore it. We ask that you give us a link to a study that you say exists, and you don’t. And you drop another badly-written anti-vaccine webpage as if it is the Gospel truth. You said above that the sites contain valuable information, and I responded that they contain a lot of lies and misdirection. I’m going to demonstrate with your last link.

    http://vran.org/vaccines/hepatitis/pediatric-hepb.htm

    You linked to “The Saga of Pediatric Hepatitis B Vaccination” by Dr. Yasbak, a retired pediatrician who now writes for antivaccine websites. He starts by listing 12 things that one Judy Converse (a dietician and MPH who writes books about diet and autism, and antivaccination) apparently testified before the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Unfortunatley, the web page only gives as a reference as one of her books, and since I don’t own it and don’t plan on buying it, I’m not going to be able to figure out what her original sources are. I will say that most of her points are wrong or irrelevant to the issue, but maybe at a later time.

    Okay, NOW go up to the previous post and finish…

  151. #154 Simpson Wood
    October 18, 2011

    Hey guys you missed out Bernadine Healey the first female chief of the NIH , Robert Kennedy Jnr , Katie Wright (J&J dynasty)….why was that ? afraid of the heavy weight division you scoundrels ? Vaccine derived Autism exists , and
    exists in very large numbers that your day of reckoning is coming boys . I cant wait til that happens (maybe China will be put you in your place when they work out you have destroyed a million of their citizens !).
    Why dont you include a picture of poor Zeda Pingel after her Gardasil vaccine – not even you apologists can dare to refute that one.

  152. #155 Simpson Wood
    October 18, 2011

    Hey guys you missed out Bernadine Healey the first female chief of the NIH , Robert Kennedy Jnr , Katie Wright (J&J dynasty)….why was that ? afraid of the heavy weight division you scoundrels ? Vaccine derived Autism exists , and
    exists in very large numbers that your day of reckoning is coming boys . I cant wait til that happens (maybe China will be the ones to put you in your place when they work out you have destroyed a million of their citizens !).
    Why dont you include a picture of poor Zeda Pingel after her Gardasil vaccine – not even you apologists can dare to refute that one.

  153. #156 Simpson Wood
    October 18, 2011

    Hey guys you missed out Bernadine Healey the first female chief of the NIH , Robert Kennedy Jnr , Katie Wright (J&J dynasty)….why was that ? afraid of the heavy weight division you scoundrels ? Vaccine derived Autism exists , and
    exists in very large numbers that your day of reckoning is coming boys . I cant wait til that happens (maybe China will be the ones to put you in your place when they work out you have destroyed a million of their citizens !).
    Why dont you include a picture of poor Zeda Pingel after her Gardasil vaccine – not even you apologists can dare to refute that one.

  154. #157 Gray Falcon
    October 18, 2011

    There’s a more recent article on vaccines up now. Why didn’t you post there?