Respectful Insolence

Fresh from the comments last night:

I just want to say that JM nor Wakefield had anything to do with my decision not to vax. My doc in fact doesn’t recommend it. I have plenty of studies from CDC’s site that did the convincing for me. Maybe ya’ll should read it too, you may be surprised at what you actually find. I’d love to see the groups seperate if that’s what it has to come down to. If you vaxed folks start saying things like “Ew you’re not vaccinated, gross.” Then hey- you and your toxic children– who are shedding the viruses and causing new outbreaks–can go and live together in a bubble for all we un-vaxed healthy folks care. Then we can get a real study going on and see where the outbreaks truly occur and why.

Besides the fact that this commenter (Eli) posted on a thread that is more than a year old (damn the Sb setup that doesn’t let me automatically close comment threads after, say, 90 days), Eli is a master of utterly missing the point. The reason she can get away with not vaccinating her children is precisely because of those “toxic” children who are protected against disease by vaccines. It’s called herd immunity.

People like Eli make sometimes make me despair.

Comments

  1. #1 Corina Becker
    September 12, 2010

    I would love to see the actual studies from the CDC site that convinced her. Ya know, let’s both look at them.

    And considering that we don’t need to go live in bubbles, since there’s already outbreaks of measles in, oh! unvaccinated children! I can read the news too!!!!!!!

    But don’t worry, Orac. Worse comes to worse, the stupid will prove science right in the long run with their groups of unvaccination. I just wish they don’t suffer too much.

  2. #2 Kausik Datta
    September 12, 2010

    People like Eli make sometimes make me despair.

    I sometimes wonder whether such comments from the antivaxers are, in fact, one giant Poe… But then reality slaps me hard; there are indeed such people, there are these people committing immeasurable harm to their children by knowingly sticking obstinately to their ignorance. It’s pathetic.

  3. #3 DLC
    September 12, 2010

    Gee, Eli covered every antivax trope out there in one short blisteringly stupid post. There should be an award for that.
    Maybe call it the Jenny ? or the Wakey, for everybody’s favorite Struck-Off physician ?

  4. #4 Lycanthrope
    September 12, 2010

    Oh, please don’t call it the Jenny. The Jenny Awards are already a real (albeit tongue-in-cheek) thing in my local Fringe Fest.

  5. #5 Jennifer
    September 12, 2010

    I’m undergoing fertility treatment, and I had my blood drawn last week by a woman who told me she was “one of those anti-vaccine people.” (I had asked whether I could get a pertussis booster while pregnant, and she was confused as to why I would want one. I have a three year old in preschool and he brings home lots of stuff.) She told me with supreme confidence, “I’m in the medical field and I’ve done my research.” At least I know to ignore any medical advice she might give me.

  6. #6 Otto
    September 12, 2010

    I’d love to see the groups seperate if that’s what it has to come down to.

    I think Guyana is still looking to do something with that Jonestown property.

  7. #7 Aaron M Hatch
    September 12, 2010

    All Eli has to do is present the CDC studies he’s referring to. Waiting…

  8. #8 madder
    September 12, 2010

    @Jennifer–

    In a perfect world, Dunning-Kruger cases like that one would face immediate license revocation. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Had I been in your situation, it’s likely that I would have brought it to the attention of the office management, as she is endangering their clients. Probably no loss of licensure, but hopefully she would have been forced to defend her actions to someone in authority.

  9. #9 viggen
    September 12, 2010

    It is truly sad.

    Working at a university, where there are hundreds, if not thousands of people constantly rubbing elbows with each other, I’ve become exceedingly careful about getting annual vaccinations. I realized that in February everybody suddenly gets really sick and I don’t like being among them–colds and influenza, I’m sure. It’s like watching the black plague sweep through the department. The years I’ve gotten flu vaccinations, it’s been quite gratifying to be the only one in the lab to not need days off to wallow in my suffering. Maybe vaccines aren’t perfectly effective, but it sure is nice to not have to be miserable.

    People who turn the chance avoid it because of some imagined conspiracy are bonkers.

    I think the fact that there are no bells and whistles that go off when vaccines work probably gives people a false sense that they aren’t doing anything. People want to have the cure right when they’re feeling sick and then see this immediate cessation to their symptoms.

  10. #10 Pareidolius
    September 12, 2010

    Well, I can report one good bit of pro-vaccine news from Santa Rosa, CA. At our final Wednesday Night Farmer’s Market of the season, there was a free DTaP shot booth and there was a very long line of adults waiting to get their vaccines. Most gratifying to see that the media and public health initiatives to raise awareness of pertussis and how it’s spread, has made some kind of impact. By the way, having pertussis as an adult sucks.

  11. #11 Sid Offit
    September 12, 2010

    At our final Wednesday Night Farmer’s Market of the season, there was a free DTaP shot booth and there was a very long line of adults sheep waiting to get their vaccines.

  12. #12 sirhcton
    September 12, 2010

    . . . I had my blood drawn last week by . . . “one of those anti-vaccine people.” . . . She told me with supreme confidence, “I’m in the medical field and I’ve done my research.” . . .

    I think her employer might be interested in that, especially if she is delivering such views on their dime. In fact, I would hope that having up-to-date vaccinations would be a requirement, given the potential spread of infection. Not to mention the potential liability. Perhaps a concerned question or two directed to the right ears is in order.

  13. #13 Jackrabbit
    September 12, 2010

    Honestly, I wonder if there is any hope at all for humanity? I will advise my children to be sterilized. This sort of thing, coupled with the media’s handling of the 9/11 anniversary here in Canada, is enough to make me doubt the point of even trying. Surely there will be little less than nothing left worth fighting for if this is what we are faced with. Ugh.

  14. #14 Sunday Afternoon
    September 12, 2010

    @10: Agree with your comment about adult pertussis – I realised in hindsight that I had pertussis earlier this year. My SO’s infection was about 2 weeks ahead of mine and her doctor did not test for and consequently did not diagnose her as having pertussis.

    However, once we had recovered in early June after the full 2 months of coughing and cracked ribs (and hence very little sleep), we read about the worsening epidemic here in Northern California and concluded that was what we must have had.

    But the problem with pertussis is not generally for adults directly as I am sure you are aware. Adults give it to infants who die from it. Indeed, several have in California: http://www.montereyherald.com/breaking/ci_16010847

  15. #15 Gopiballava
    September 12, 2010

    Jennifer:
    I’m thinking a good response might be,
    “Oh? You’re an epidemiologist? No? An immunologist? No? A virologist? No? Do you have any sort of academic medical research background? No? So, your research leads you to a different conclusion than experts in fields that you haven’t studied? Can you explain why epidemiologists at the CDC disagree with you?”

    I have no clue if that line of argument will work, but I think it at least works to push the burden of proof where it belongs. (I have a similar response for, “Do you believe in UFOs?”; my answer is “Yes!”. Takes a minute for the questioner to realize that I believe in unidentified flying objects, and it’s up to them to try to explain to me that they’re aliens, orbs, or angels.)

  16. #16 Enkidu
    September 12, 2010

    @Gopiballava: Unfortunely, there are quacks out there that are anti-vax who they hold up as their own “experts.” Then they usually follow-up with their claim that the CDC is in the pocket of Big Pharma (along with most major medical/research journals). It’s depressing and frustrating talking to them [anti-vaxers].

  17. #17 Pareidolius
    September 12, 2010

    I definitely meant that it was something we adults can do to protect those too young to be immunized or those who are immunocompromised.

    And Sid, I get it! You meant that they were all sheep because they were in a flock and doing whatever the lead sheep did! That is so clever! Did you think up that whole redacted thing up all by yourself, cause that was really neat-o! How will I ever catch up with your towering intellect and now, your newly revealed brilliant sense of humor.

    The unfairness of it all fills me with ennui . . .

  18. #18 Mandrellian
    September 12, 2010

    Woooooow, Sid @ #11 has learned how to use strikeout code. And “sheep” was just gold.

    *long, slow clap*

    Case closed, well done Sid. People only immunise because The Man tells them to, not because they don’t want their children or themselves to catch and transmit diseases. And disease-proponents only avoid vaccines because they’re educated & have “done their research” – not because some idiot Bunny and a discredited quack told them to and played on their conspiracist paranoia.

    Whatever, pro-diseasers, just keep your adorable “healthy” little disease-vectors – I mean, children – away from my wife and our unborn child.

  19. #19 Matthew Cline
    September 12, 2010

    Then hey- you and your toxic children– who are shedding the viruses and causing new outbreaks–

    Is Eli implying that “live” virus vaccines don’t use attenuated viruses? Or that (somehow) attenuated viruses are even worse than the wild type viruses?

  20. #20 Drivebyposter
    September 12, 2010

    Hey S[tup]id,

    Why did you even bother quoting someone to do that? Did you think you were making a point? You might as well done something like this:

    Sid Offit:At our final Wednesday Night Farmer’s Market of the season, there was a free DTaP shot booth and there was a very long line of adults sheep waiting to get their vaccines.I beat children with sticks for fun!

    If you’re going to quote someone and change what they said (again) you might as well do it with gusto, you know what I mean?

  21. #21 snerd
    September 12, 2010

    Sid, you really suck at this.

  22. #22 Chris
    September 13, 2010

    Matthew Cline:

    Is Eli implying that “live” virus vaccines don’t use attenuated viruses?

    I was really interested on how vaccines for bacterial diseases shred viruses and cause outbreaks!

  23. #23 Matthew Cline
    September 13, 2010

    @Chris:

    I was really interested on how vaccines for bacterial diseases shred viruses and cause outbreaks!

    Well, if you use some bizarre Frankensteinian combination of germ theory and Bechamp’s pleomoprhic theory…

  24. #24 Militant Agnostic
    September 13, 2010

    Mathew Cline wondered.

    Is Eli implying that “live” virus vaccines don’t use attenuated viruses? Or that (somehow) attenuated viruses are even worse than the wild type viruses?

    The wild viruses are natural, so they *must* be better for you.

  25. #25 Sid Offit
    September 13, 2010

    Orac, you’ve got to have the #1 blog for the “I broke my ribs when I had pertussis” demographic.

    I beat poke children with sticks needles for fun!

  26. #26 Mandrellian
    September 13, 2010

    Is that really the best comeback you’ve got, Sid? “Dawcters poak kids with needlz fer fun, baw haw haw haw *drooool*”.

    *longer, slower clap*

    Bloody hell, you’ve lost it – you can’t even troll with any competence any more. In fact, given your latest contributions I doubt you could troll on the trolliest day of the year with an electrified trolling machine.

    Furthermore, in something of a Dunning-Krueger variation, you’re so deeply un-annoying you couldn’t possibly see how un-annoying you are (which, in case you wonder, is not homeopathically annoying, making you more annoying than you clearly intend by virtue of your memory of how annoying you used to be – you actually are not annoying at all by any stretch of even an imagination capable of thinking you have a point to make). Face it, whatever you thought you were accomplishing by coming here and doing whatever it was you were doing, it is no longer trolling. Anyone still calling you “Orac’s resident troll” would be giving you an honour far exceeding that of what you deserve. At least trolls have an effect of some kind; you barely rate as background hiss. You are an ex-troll.

  27. #27 Sid Offit
    September 13, 2010

    @Mandrellian

    Discredited quack. Nice tautology.

    …keep your adorable “healthy” little disease-vectors – I mean, children – away from my wife and our unborn child

    I rarely visit penal colonies such as Australia so I think you’re safe

    Dunning Kruger blah blah blah blah… [insert eye roll here]

  28. #28 John
    September 13, 2010

    Mr Offit, do you realize how ridiculous it is for you to criticize another country based on the background of it’s founders?

    If there was any link between the character of the founders and the present day inhabitants, for example, then your own country could be roundly mocked for being filled with religious zealots who wished the enlightenment had never happened.

    And we both know that that would not be fair…

  29. #29 Mandrellian
    September 13, 2010

    Penal colony. Heh heh. Never heard that before. I’m originally from South Australia anyway – no convict settlements there.

    Not that history, reality, facts, truth or any of those big words would make a lick of difference to a *former* troll.

    Anyway: yawn, sigh. I grow tired of … what is it you do here now?

  30. #30 John
    September 13, 2010

    Apologies for the stray apostrophe, an overzealous iPad “autocorrected” it in there.

  31. #31 John
    September 13, 2010

    Oh, and Mr Offit, I don’t think that that word means what you think it means.

    A tautology is when one of the words adds no new information, so if you referred to someone as a male bachelor, you would be employing tautology.

    Discredited quack is not a tautology. A person can be a quack but not yet be discredited, and a discredited person need not be a quack.

    An example of tautology would be describing you and your wife as antivaccinationist cranks, because, with what we know of the science, the cranks part adds nothing new.

  32. #32 MikeMa
    September 13, 2010

    The whole shedding virus thing has me puzzled too. Are these viruses on dead skin? Hair? How exactly do vaccinated people shed anything dangerous to their surroundings?

    What a whackjob. Sid too.

  33. #33 Todd W.
    September 13, 2010

    @MikeMa

    With certain vaccines (e.g., the OPV for polio), the vaccine-strain is shed via the vaccinated individual’s stool. So it can happen, but I think it depends on a number of factors, like the particular vaccine, whether it is a bacterial or viral vaccine, type of particle used (e.g., protein, inactivated [dead] virus, weakened [live] virus, etc.) and method of administration. It can happen with some, though not all, vaccines.

    That said, a bacterial vaccine (e.g., DTaP) cannot, ever, shed viruses and vice-versa.

  34. #34 MikeMa
    September 13, 2010

    @ Todd,
    Good info I clearly didn’t have. Thanks.

    So my biggest risk for shedding contact is in NYC with fecal-smeared holy books. Still, it is a very, very small risk for those who just wash hands regularly. As for the sheep comment, I hope such an ovine moment happens near me as I do believe I am DTaP deficient.

    I will say that the local Walgreens (Happy Harrys to the locals) that provided free (or cheap & convenient) flu shots last year has actually issued reminders for this year at the mailing address they collected at the time. Son & wife are headed over this week. I will get mine at the doc’s office in a month.

    All hail science.

  35. #35 Prometheus
    September 13, 2010

    It must take a lot of effort to get that much burning stupid into only 133 words. At that density, it’s almost a quark plasma of stupid.

    Here’s one of my favorites:

    “Then hey- you and your toxic children– who are shedding the viruses and causing new outbreaks…”

    If this is to be taken seriously, I have to assume that Eli is referring to the extremely rare cases where non-immune adults developed polio after being exposed to revertant live polio vaccine strain.

    Otherwise, this makes no sense at all. Of course, it still doesn’t make sense – not since the polio vaccine recommendations were changed years ago to give a dose of inactivated polio vaccine.

    Researchers have been looking for evidence of human-to-human spread of the other attentuated virus vaccines, but there haven’t been any unambiguous data showing that happens. If it did, we wouldn’t have to vaccinate everybody; we could just give – for example – the MMR vaccine to one kid in every grade school class and count on them to infect the rest.

    Too bad it doesn’t work that way.

    As for having the unvaccinated separated from the vaccinated…well, that might happen sooner that Eli thinks, and not in the way he/she imagines. Quarantine has a long and noble history in the management of infectious disease, so Eli and his/her children may some day find themselves “in a bubble”.

    I hope they like the view.

    Prometheus

  36. #36 Drivebyposter
    September 13, 2010

    Orac, you’ve got to have the #1 blog for the “I broke my ribs when I had pertussis” demographic.

    I didn’t break my ribs because of pertussis, but then again I was vaccinated and never got pertussis.

    I poke children with needles for fun!

    That sounds like a fun new party game! Oh…wait…
    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AutismNews/autism-british-doctor-andrew-wakefield-started-autism-vaccine-debate-ethics-debacle/story?id=9713197

  37. #37 Drivebyposter
    September 13, 2010

    Oops. I mean

    I poke children with needles for fun!

  38. #38 Mandrellian
    September 13, 2010

    *kicks self*

    “I poke children with needles for fun”. Dammit, that should have immediately brought to my mind that _discredited quack_ and author of retracted & fraudulent studies, Mr Wakefield. I can think of no more frivolous poker of children than that improvident lackwit & public health risk. I mean, it’s one thing to publish a dodgy paper in order to push your own vaccine above a rival product; quite another to actually _buy childrens’ blood_ at parties or order invasive & painful lumbar punctures on children who don’t need them. I’ll take a child getting an MMR jab over some ghoulish fuckwit looming over my kid with a syringe and a five-quid note any day of the week.

  39. #39 MI Dawn
    September 14, 2010

    @Drivebyposter:

    I didn’t break my ribs because of pertussis, but then again I was vaccinated and never got pertussis.

    I didn’t break my ribs either, I just coughed myself breathless, vomited, couldn’t speak, eat, or sleep without every 3-4 hour doses of cough syrup with codeine. On the other hand, my friend DID break a rib.

    I WAS vaccinated, as a baby, but that was (mumble, mumble, fortysomething) years ago. Until recently, most adults didn’t get a pertussis booster. Now, thankfully, they are learning about it (and I am really stressing it with my young coworkers who are pregnant/have pregnant wives/are planning pregnancy).

  40. #40 medicine revealed
    September 14, 2010

    The problem is not with these studies or these case reports. It is the way these case reports and studies get misinterpreted by people and so called experts on the internet. People with agenda twist the findings to match own theory.Unless you know how clinical trials are done and how case reports are compiled, you can not do your own assessment of the original article objectively and have to depend on the “experts” for interpretation. Unfortunately, you have experts on both sides of any issue with their own agenda.

  41. #41 Gr8GooglyMoogly
    September 14, 2010

    Dear Mr. Sid Offit,

    Thank you for thoughtful and informative replies. You are truly a legend in your own mind. That you can post here while concurrently performing a visual inspection of your own colon is exceedingly impressive. To you, sir, I say “Huzzah”.

    Best Regards,
    Gr8GooglyMoogly

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