Respectful Insolence

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Over the last three weeks, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has been publishing a multipart expose by investigative journalist Brian Deer that enumerated in detail the specifics of how a British gastroenterologist turned hero of the anti-vaccine movement had committed scientific fraud by falsifying key aspects of case reports that he used as the basis of his now infamous 1998 Lancet article suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine and a syndrome consisting of regressive autism and enterocolitis. Indeed, Deer even went so far as to describe Wakefield’s fraud as “Piltdown medicine,” comparing it explicitly to the infamous “Piltdown man” hoax, and in an accompanying editorial the editors of the BMJ agreed. These revelations were not by any means new. Scientists had suspected that something wasn’t quite right about Wakefield’s work almost as soon as it had been published, and by 2004 Brian Deer had uncovered clear evidence of major undisclosed conflicts of interest on Wakefield’s part. Unfortunately, by that time the proverbial cat was out of the proverbial bag, and Wakefield’s fraudulent research, aided and abetted by his flair for self-promotion in the media and some truly execrable, credulous, and sensationalistic coverage by the British press, had ignited a major scare over the MMR vaccine. MMR uptake rates plummeted below levels necessary for herd immunity, and measles came roaring back with a vengeance in the U.K. By the time the British General Medical Council finally ruled about a year ago that Wakefield had committed research fraud and violated research ethics in the work reported in his 1998 Lancet article and recommended that he be “struck off” (i.e., have his license to practice medicine in the U.K. revoked) and finally was struck off, the damage had been done.

As important as Wakefield is to the genesis of the modern anti-vaccine movement, however, there is another force that acts far more “where the rubber hits the road,” so to speak. This force comes in the form of publications and online discussion forums that cater to new mothers, offering all manner of advice and support. Some of these are very good, but all too many of them are hotbeds of anti-vaccine pseudoscience, confidently proclaimed by “elder statesman” members of these forums and included in articles published in glossy, attractive magazines. As a rather ironic coincidence, just as news of Andrew Wakefield’s latest humiliation was finding its way out into multiple news outlets over the last couple of weeks, the first issue of 2011 of just such a glossy publication had hit the shelves a couple of weeks before. I’m referring to Mothering, whose tagline is “Inspiring Natural Families Since 1976.” In reality, it should read: “Inspiring quackery and anti-vaccine views since 1976.” Of course, in the world of “alt-med,” the two often go hand-in-hand. In any case, one of my readers sent me a link to the latest issue of Mothering. As I’ve pointed out before, Mothering is, particularly with respect to vaccines but not limited to vaccines. Taking into account its large and vigorous online forums, Mothering is major force for the promotion of anti-vaccine views and quackery among new mothers.

Mothering says: Don’t worry, be happy about pertussis

The cover of the January/February 2011 issue of Mothering asks, Whooping Cough: Is Your Family At Risk? Should You Vaccinate?, complete with the mandatory cute photo of a cherubic infant to drive home the point of how important these questions are. Now, it’s very tempting for me to cite the science-based answers and emphasize that the answers are yes and YES!, but, as you might imagine, that’s not what Mothering advocates. Far from it.

The article is by a physician named Lauren Feder, MD and entitled “Straight Talk on the 100 Day Cough: What are the Symptoms of Pertussis? Who’s at Risk? And Is the Vaccine Right for Your Family?” Again, the answers to the last two questions should be “Everybody, particularly the unvaccinated” and “Yes, unless your child has a medical contraindication to being vaccinated.” But that’s not what Dr. Feder says. In fact, her article is a mix of science and pseudoscience, which is not surprising because it turns out that Dr. Feder is a homeopath:

Lauren Feder, MD, specializes in homeopathy, pediatrics, and primary-care medicine. Known for her holistically minded approach, Dr. Feder is a frequent lecturer to parents and professionals. She is the author of Natural Baby and Childcare and The Parents’ Concise Guide to Childhood Vaccinations. Her website is www.drfeder.com.

One can’t help but notice how Dr. Feder says she specializes in “homeopathy” and then “pediatrics,” not the other way around, implying that she views herself as a homeopath first and pediatrician second. Just what I want taking care of my child, a physician so cluelessly unskeptical as to have devoted her life to pushing magic water. Perusing her website, I found that the Mothering article appeared to be very similar to this article on Dr. Feder’s website. In it, after the disclaimer urging parents who suspect their child has whooping cough to take the child to a physician because whooping cough can be life-threatening. Then she recommends various homeopathic remedies for whooping cough. I kid you not. Here are a couple of examples:

Drosera for violent coughing spells ending in choking, gagging, or vomiting. Sometimes these coughs are so strong that the child can hardly catch her breath. Drosera is indicated for barking coughs, whooping cough, croup, and coughs that are worse after midnight, commonly accompanied by a bloody nose and a hoarse voice.

Spongia tosta for dry coughs that sound like a saw going through wood; often used for croup. Useful for croupy coughs that are worse before midnight, accompanied by a dry, barking cough that can sound like a seal.

The text for this section is very similar both on Dr. Feder’s website and in her Mothering article. Added to the sidebar of her Mothering article, Dr. Feder proclaims in addition, “Holistic medicine and homeopathy may shorten the course and severity of the illness.” There is, of course, no evidence presented (probably because there is no good scientific evidence to support such an assertion) that homeopathy can shorten the course of pertussis (or the course of any disease, for that matter), and to suggest as much is irresponsible in the extreme. Homeopathy is, after all, water. In the meantime, Dr. Feder makes exaggerated assertions about the whole cell pertussis vaccine that has largely been replaced by the acellular pertussis because of concerns that it caused a lot of neurological complications. Early reports in the 1980s suggested a high rate of neurological complications due to the whole cell pertussis vaccine, but more recent studies, as described by Steve Novella last year and by Paul Offit in his recently released book Deadly Choices: How the Anti-vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, have failed to confirm a link between seizures, neurological damage, and the whole cell pertussis vaccine. Perhaps the most telling aspect of Dr. Feder’s article is that nowhere does she state that all children without a medical contraindication to being vaccinated should be vaccinated against pertussis. Rather, she plays the game of saying “if you choose to vaccinate,” and then recommending this program of woo around the times of vaccinations:

In an attempt to use a more natural preventive approach, I prefer a different course of action. With any vaccination, I recommend administering the following vitamin and herbal remedy seven days before and after the shot, to generally strengthen the body. They may also help reduce any side effects of the vaccine.

Remember, your child should not receive a vaccination if she is cranky or ill. At our office, we prefer that, when possible, people take only one vaccine at a time. Contact your practitioner if unusual symptoms occur following the shot. You can use this protocol in conjunction with any other medications you give your child.

Each day, for seven days before and after the shot, give your child the following:

Briar Rose This gemmotherapy herb is a general immune strengthener.

Vitamin C Less than two years old, 100 milligrams, twice daily; two years and older, 250 mg twice daily.

She also recommends five homeopathic remedies be given before and after the shots, depending upon which remedy. Hilariously, she recommends giving three pellets of homeopathic DTaP 30C once a week for three weeks, beginning the day of the vaccination. She recommends the same thing for the Hib vaccine, homeopathic Hib given the same way. One wonders why Dr. Feder would even acquiesce to giving the vaccine if homeopathy is so great.

It occurs to me that, if Dr. Feder really believes in giving only one vaccine at a time and that parents should engage in all this woo before each vaccine, it would be a wonder if any parent manages to get through the entire vaccination schedule anywhere near on time in Dr. Feder’s practice. Maybe that’s the point. Also, such a regimen would require a whole lot of visits to the pediatrician, way more than the current vaccine schedule does, not to mention the purchase of a whole lot of homeopathic remedies to be given before and after the vaccines. Maybe that’s the point, too; it wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Be that as it may, perhaps the most disturbing part of Dr. Feder’s article is how, after actually conceding that pertussis is dangerous and can even kill, she then tries to downplay the danger of pertussis by citing her own anecdotal experience, much as our “old friend” Dr. Jay Gordon, who has of late been infesting the comments attacking Brian Deer, likes to do:

Thus far, the worst case of pertussis I’ve seen was in an eight-month-old girl who was hospitalized for a few days despite having had two DTaP shots. Following the hospitalization, the patient and her family came to my office for homeopathic treatment to expedite her healing. Now she is fine.

Note the implications. First is the implication that, because this child got two DTaP doses and still caught pertussis, the vaccine doesn’t work. Next, the implication is that homeopathy works. Testimonials aren’t just for cancer, apparently. After all, this child was treated with standard of care in a hospital for a severe case of pertussis. Her parents also gave her homeopathic remedies prescribed by Dr. Feder. Obviously, it must have been the homeopathy that cured her, or at least completed her healing! Worse, Dr. Feder appears to be implying, “Don’t worry so much about pertussis. I’ve never seen a child die of it; so it must not be so bad, and homeopathy can take care of it anyway. So you don’t really need those nasty vaccines.”

Unfortunately, Dr. Feder’s article is not all that this issue of Mothering has in store for mothers. First, Dr. Feder’s article contains a link to an article by anti-vaccine-sympathetic pediatrician Dr. Jay Gordon, who has been featured on more than one occasion right here on SBM for speaking at Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine rally, downplaying the severity of pertussis and launching ad hominems at Dr. Paul Offit, arguing that vaccination against H1N1 is not necessary and the flu isn’t so bad, becoming indignant at arguments that parents who refuse to vaccinate shouldn’t be held legally liable if their child infects another, and for arguing on The Doctors that vaccines cause autism. It’s not for nothing that both Steve Novella and I have concluded that Dr. Gordon, if not anti-vaccine, is at the very least anapologist for the anti-vaccine movement His article for Mothering, entitled “Behind the Scenes with Dr. Jay,” is in the same vein as much of his other parroting of anti-vaccine views. Indeed, he makes nonsensical claims such as, “If vaccines work–and I believe they do–then vaccinated children are not endangered by unvaccinated children.” Apparently Dr. Jay has forgotten that no vaccine is 100% effective and that highly contagious diseases, such as the measles, can infect a subset of vaccinated children who didn’t respond to the vaccine sufficiently to achieve immunity. He then devolves into his usual pharma conspiracy mongering, replete with evidence- and data-free assertions such as this:

The pharmaceutical industry has not earned my trust. They have promoted ineffective drugs and other medicines that they knew had dangerous side effects. They have paid many physicians to ghost-write “in-house” research, and then to speak and write about the benefits of these same medications. Even if I believed that vaccines were the greatest invention in medical care–and I do not–I would still argue that the way they’re manufactured and given to children is not anywhere near as safe as it could be.

Evidence that the way vaccines are manufactured and given to children is not anywhere near as safe as it could be? None is presented by Dr. Jay. As I’ve said before, Dr. Jay clearly holds many anti-vaccine views, as defined thusly. Just as annoyingly, of late, Dr. Jay has been showing up in my comments whining about how he “doesn’t believe” that Wakefield has committed scientific fraud, doesn’t trust Brian Deer, and thinks Brian Deer is biased. As is typical of Dr. Jay’s M.O., Dr. Jay never actually presents any evidence to counter Deer’s assertions or any arguments that convincingly tell us why Deer’s research does not support his conclusions. Instead, Dr. Jay calls Deer “biased” and then blithely dismisses his years of work because he doesn’t like Deer’s findings about Andrew Wakefield.

Also featured in the Jan./Feb. 2011 issue of Mothering is an article by — holy crap! — Barbara Loe Fisher, the Founder and President of the anti-vaccine group the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). Arguably, BLF is the grande dame of the current iteration of the anti-vaccine movement, having started her activism in the 1980s. In it, she regurgitates the same sorts of arguments that we’ve heard time and time again. In particular, she is upset that recent pertussis outbreaks have been linked to the unvaccinated, pointing out that rates of vaccination for pertussis are very high. That’s true when one looks at the overall population, but BLF neglects to note that there are pockets with high numbers of unvaccinated children that provide a nidus for outbreaks to occur because herd immunity has broken down, as Joe Albietz, Mark Crislip, and Steve Novella have discussed, while Dr. Albietz has discussed the complexities of the recent whooping cough epidemic in California. While it is not clear how much of the current outbreaks in California are due to low vaccine uptake rates versus other factors, it is clear that vaccination against pertussis is safe and effective, the attempts of Dr. Feder, Dr. Gordon, and BLF to paint it otherwise notwithstanding.

Mothering, HIV/AIDS, vaccines, and other quackery

Mothering magazine has been a hotbed of anti-vaccine rhetoric as long as I’ve been aware of it, which has been around six years now. Worse, as I pointed out earlier in a post from two years ago about the death of HIV/AIDS denialist Christine Maggiore of what appears all the world to look like a case of terminal AIDS, Mothering has supported HIV/AIDS denialism. Indeed, Maggiore was featured on the cover of an issue of Mothering several years ago when she was pregnant, her pregnant belly emblazoned with the word “AZT” in a circle with a slash through it. The issue featured Maggiore in an article entitled Safe and Sound Underground: HIV-Positive Women Birthing Outside the System. Other articles published in Mothering about AIDS include Molecular Miscarriage: Is the HIV Theory a Tragic Mistake?, AZT Roulette: The Impossible Choices Facing HIV-Positive Women, HIV and Breastfeeding: The Fear. The Misconceptions. The Facts. (of which only one out of three was correct, namely the fear), and AZT in Babies: Terrible Risk, Zero Benefit. So, in addition to irresponsible and non-science-based recommendations about vaccines, Mothering promotes irresponsible and non-science-based recommendations about HIV very similar to the misinformation that led Christine Maggiore and her daughter to their deaths. Hundreds of thousands of people in South Africa have died following this sort of advice.

Then there’s vaccination.

If you Google for information on vaccination safety, mixed in with science-based sites like the CDC and CHOP and non-science-based sites like the NVIC, it doesn’t take long to find one’s way to the Mothering.com forums on vaccination, particularly if you Google “vaccine safety discussion.” If you then head to the Mothering.com Vaccination Forum, right at the top, you’ll find two discussions, Selective & Delayed Vaccination and I’m Not Vaccinating. The rules for the forums are stated thusly:

For I’m Not Vaccinating:

Posting to this forum will not be restricted only to members who do not vaccinate. However, we will actively restrict conversations in favor of mandatory vaccination or other topics that would be inappropriate for the forum. This is not a place for debate or discussions on the merits of vaccines or the dangers of not vaccinating, it is also not a place to argue against vaccines or selective and delayed vaccination schedules. Such discussions are already hosted in the main Vaccinations forum and posts in that vein are most welcome and appropriate there.

For Selective & Delayed Vaccination:

This forum is not a place to argue against selective or delayed vaccination or debate vaccination in general. Such discussions are already hosted in the main Vaccinations forum and posts in that vein are most welcome and appropriate there. Our purpose for this forum is to provide information that is helpful for parents who have made the decision to vaccinate and are not seeking discussion against their decision but rather support and information to help them proceed in the best manner. Please respect this and post at all times with this in mind.

In other words, don’t intrude on the comfy, self-reinforcing, supportive vibe. But what about the main vaccination forums, where, supposedly, in contrast to these two forums, it’s OK to debate the merits of vaccinating versus not vaccinating? Well, it doesn’t sound so friendly to anyone who wants to have a science-based discussion of vaccination, as evidenced by this notice about updated guidelines for the vaccination forum:

MotheringDotCommune is a community forum geared toward parents interested in Natural Family Living. On the issues of vaccinations we believe in informed consent. This means we look at both sides of the vaccine issue. However, one of our objectives, and for which members and guests come to our forum, is to bring to light the information that is not mainstream and readily available.

Recently, we have seen several members join MDC who seem to have an agenda to promote vaccinations. Though Mothering does not take a pro or anti stand on vaccinations, we will not host threads on the merits of mandatory vaccine, or a purely pro vaccination view point as this is not conducive to the learning process.

We will be contacting several members to discuss their sincerity on MDC. In the meantime, we are asking our members not to quote from this notice or address members within a thread as this is strictly prohibited. Instead, contact a forum moderator or administrator if you are concerned about a post and we will take appropriate action if need be.

And, from the guidelines themselves:

We embrace all parents, regardless of their choice. We uphold the Vaccinations forum as a place where they can come and discuss all aspects of all vaccinations, and find support in their desire to make an informed decision to not vaccinate, to vaccinate, to selectively vaccinate, or to delay vaccinations.

[...]

We expect and insist that all members post here with an open mind and a willingness to learn — even from the new member. There should be an understanding that a large number of Mothering community members are against vaccinations so when you do come here to post to ask your questions, and you have an intention to vaccinate, members here will feel a need to inform you of the concerns about vaccinations. While no one should be labeled as irresponsible or uninformed for deciding to vaccinate, neither should parents here who have chosen to not vaccinate be accused of irresponsibility, not caring for their child, or presenting a threat to others.

Elsewhere in the guidelines, it is spelled out:

That said, we will not tolerate new members who come to this forum with a focused agenda.

That “focused agenda” being, apparently, supporting vaccines and countering pseudoscientific arguments against them, which will get you booted off the MotheringDOTCommunity (MDC) discussion boards really fast if you persist after being warned. We don’t want to harsh the buzz of all those crunchy moms clucking about how vaccines are “unnatural” and “unnecessary.” Particularly revealing is this thread entitled Problem with ‘The Purpose of this Forum.’ One mother even asked, “Why does Mothering.com have to be so PC by stating Vaccinations Forum is neither pro-vax or anti-vax in policy??” Another mother wondered if the reason the MDC forum moderators don’t want to own up to being “anti-vax” is due to liability concerns. If you want to get a flavor of the discussions on these boards, though, check out the reaction to Andrew Wakefield. For example, macha10 writes:

Here’s how this issue boils down for me. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t care if this Wakefield guy falsified data. I don’t care if the study was good. I don’t even care if vaccines contribute to autism or not. I STILL will not vaccinate my children, for plenty of other reasons. Autism is not my only reason. And I am so sick of the media and the so-called “experts” out there telling the public that we crazy non-vac parents don’t vaccinate only because of autism. And now that the study is false, we can all just vaccinate our kids again. And everything will be great. UGGGG.

In other words, don’t bother me with facts and science. In fact, if you want to get a flavor of the entire attitude of the MDC towards vaccines, you can’t do better than a conversation I monitored about five and a half years ago, specifically, this disturbing challenge about vaccines posted by someone using the ‘nym Jen123, which led to a discussion of how they’d “dismantle the vaccine industry ingredient by stupid ingredient if we have to.”

This is the sort of the sort of antivaccination rhetoric that “vaccine safety proponents” try to hide from view. These mothers claim they are not “anti-vaccination,” and probably most of them honestly believe that they aren’t. However, right beneath the surface of all their attacks on mercury, just out of sight to the casual observer, full-blown antivaccination paranoia and conspiracy theories lurk, and certainly their “anti-mercury” advocacy provides aid and comfort to those who have more global problems with vaccination. The bottom line is that MDC is anti-vaccine to the core.The few brave souls who try to post science-based information will rapidly find themselves under attack from a swarm of anti-vaccinationist cyber sisters. If they persist after being “informed” of the forum’s guidelines or “counseled,” they will be rapidly banned by the forum moderators.

Misinformed consent on MotheringDotCommunity

Mothering and Mothering.com claim to be all about “informed consent” when it comes to vaccination, alternative medicine, “alternative” childbirth practices such as the various forms of “natural” childbirth, and even homeopathy. They are in reality about misinformed consent in that the risks of vaccination are grossly exaggerated, while the severity and danger of the diseases vaccines protect against are minimized, as are the ability of vaccines to protect against these diseases. Thrown into the mix are articles like Dr. Feder’s, which “informs” readers that, while pertussis is bad it’s really not that bad, that the vaccine isn’t so good, and that homeopathy can be used to treat pertussis. In other articles, readers are “informed” that there is doubt over whether HIV causes AIDS, whether AZT can decrease the transmission rate of the virus between HIV-positive mothers and their children, and whether antiretrovirals can prevent the progression of HIV to AIDS. In still other articles, parents are told that they can manage colds, asthma, the flu, earaches, and lots of other conditions with homeopathy.

Perhaps the best example of “misinformed consent” found in Mothering.com can be found at this link to Vaccine Safety Awareness. Right there is a “Physician’s Warranty of Vaccine Safety” that plays the “toxin” gambit and demands in essence absolute safety from vaccines. Elsewhere, prominently featured is a link to the monthly VAERS Report. Never mind that VAERS is a database to which anyone can report an adverse event after vaccination, whether the event is related to vaccination or not. Worse, VAERS is highly subject to publicity. Indeed, trial lawyers have in the past gamed the database by encouraging their clients to report that vaccines caused their children’s autism. Amusingly, a parent by the name of Jim Laidler entered a report into VAERS that a vaccine turned him into the Incredible Hulk, and Kev Leitch did the same in a report claiming that the flu vaccine turned his daughter into Wonder Woman. The point is that anyone can enter a report, and there is no verification that the adverse event reported is actually due to vaccination. VAERS has the potential to be useful as a sensitive “early warning” system that could alert health officials to a problem, but it is useless for estimating actual rates of vaccine injury, and the ease with which it is gamed diminishes its usefulness even as an early warning system.

In fact, the entire Vaccines section of Mothering.com is full of dangerous misinformation. For example, chicken pox parties are recommended, even though as a result of the party described one child had the “worst case his doctor had ever seen,” with “hundreds of lesions, even in his mouth and down his throat.” Another article, entitled Poison in our vaccines, played the toxin gambit in huge, bold letters, complete with blinking neon.

Mothering and MDC represent themselves as places to obtain accurate information about child care, health care, and childbirth. Because the magazine’s circulation is healthy and the community is very large, links to these sites all too often appear high in Google searches, leading young mothers to fonts of misinformation that leads to misinformed consent. Andrew Wakefield and his fellow travelers promoting unscientific information about vaccines are definitely to blame for providing the raw material for the anti-vaccine movement, but it’s communities like MDC and magazines like Mothering that spread the message to the masses, all in the name of protecting “freedom of conscience.” Unfortunately, freedom isn’t free when it’s based on misinformation, pseudoscience, and quackery.

ADDENDUM: Surprise! Surprise! Mothering has a fawning interview with Andrew Wakefield featured in a recent podcast.

Comments

  1. #1 Pablo
    January 21, 2011

    Spongia tosta for dry coughs that sound like a saw going through wood; often used for croup. Useful for croupy coughs that are worse before midnight,

    !!!!!!

    So the homeopathic remedy knows what time of day it is?

    I have to say, there’s been a lot of stupid things said by homeowhacks, but this almost has to be the funniest thing I have ever heard.

    BTW, as a parent with little ones around, I have a lot to say about these parenting magazines, although to be fair, two common ones, Parenting and Parents, very strongly advocate vaccination, so that is not among their flaws.

    Mothering certainly is not one that is taken seriously by the mainstream population.

    Remember a few years ago when it was discovered that a very active and well-respected member of the Mothering forums was found to be one of those Munchausen-syndrome-by-proxy folks, who intentionally poisons their child to keep them sick? Man, they eliminated all traces of her presence on their website faster than you could say Jenny McCarthy.

    There is also the famous (for being sad, I think) thread there where one of the moms says, “My child has autism but we didn’t vaccinate. I didn’t know that unvaccinated children could get autism

    The first sad part is how she had been so snowed by the misinformation campaign to be misled into believe that only vaccinated kids got autism.

    The second part was the response, which all took a Kim Stagliano approach of blaming it on the vaccination of the mom, and the mercury in her breast milk.

    Ugly.

  2. #2 Triskelethecat
    January 21, 2011

    One thing that really caught my attention: Dr Feder’s pertussis patient was 8 months old and had had only 2 DTaP shots? Why is that? Should be done by 6 months or so. Why was this child at least 2 months behind on vaccines? I suppose it did not occur to her that maybe the child didn’t get as severely sick as he/she could have due to the vaccines? Bad enough to be hospitalized though…

    I have, from my midwifery days, (or, at least,had…may have gotten rid of it by now) a copy (old…at least 15 years or so) of Natural Baby and Child care at home. Didn’t recall Dr Feder was the author and certainly don’t recall antivax woo because I would have tossed the book immediately if I’d read that. I’ll look for it this weekend and report back.

    MI Dawn

  3. #3 doctorgoo
    January 21, 2011

    Homeopathy for young infants? How cruel!

    An adult can take this crap knowingly all they want. And maybe the placebo effect will convince them that overpaying for pure water or plain old sugar pills is working for them.

    But the placebo effect certainly wouldn’t work on an infant. The only thing it could do is convince the parents that their baby isn’t really as sick as they think she is… and end up delaying real treatment when the health issues escalates to an emergency.

  4. #4 darwinsdog
    January 21, 2011

    My wife seemed to enjoy reading Mothering Magazine when our kids were little back in the ’70s & ’80s. I guess that whatever information or misinformation she took from Mothering didn’t kill our kids, since they’re grown now & have kids of their own. My wife even saved those old copies of Mothering. I wonder if they’re worth anything to collectors by now.

  5. #5 Todd W.
    January 21, 2011

    Perhaps someone should inform Dr. Feder that, unlike her practice of choice, real medicine has actually advanced in the last 200 years.

  6. #6 TimonT
    January 21, 2011

    Slightly OT:
    The N. Y. Times has an artile on vaccination today –
    Why Parents Fear the Needle

  7. #7 D. C. Sessions
    January 21, 2011

    Well, Orac, you sent up the batshit signal. Let’s see if J-Man answers the call.

  8. #8 Pablo
    January 21, 2011

    One more comment, which is more general:

    The rules for the forums are stated thusly:

    For I’m Not Vaccinating:

    I have read the rules for that forum, which tells them everything that they can’t talk about, and I am left with one question:

    What they hell DO they talk about in that forum?

    Maybe it is just me, but I consider forums to be places of discussion, and discussion means that there has to be places of give and take. I mean, it seems to me that the whole forum would consist of just

    “Hey, I took my baby to his 4 mo appt today and told the doctor I didn’t want any of those shots, so we didn’t.”
    “Good for you. None of my kids have ever gotten vaccinated for anything.”
    “Well, my first child got the first shot for measles, but I decided that I didn’t want to have any more of that mercury poisoning taking place.”
    “I know what you mean, I quit after our baby cried for 2 hrs straight after her 2 mo shots.”
    etc
    etc
    etc

    Now, maybe it is just me, but that is the most boring conversation. A statement about nothing, followed up with a bunch of “me, too”s. That’s a conversation? Note that, even when they spout blatant nonsense, forum rules prevent anyone from coming in and correcting the factually incorrect statement.

    This is very typical of parenting forums, where they so strongly discourage any contradictory comments of any sort (to “avoid drama”) that the forums become the equivalent of listing people’s favorite color.

    Wow, your favorite color is red, because it matches your hair. Fascinating!

  9. #9 Science Mom
    January 21, 2011

    @ D.C. Sessions. No doubt considering he defended the article with his usual fact-free canards while paying lip service to ‘vaccines work’. The man is a walking contradiction and a medical Luddite.

  10. #11 Lawrence
    January 21, 2011

    Well, they certainly are honest about one thing – not being interested in any open or honest discussion about vaccines (or anything else that doesn’t fit their mindset).

    To our standard set of detractors (at best) and trolls (at worst) – here you’ve always been given a forum to express your complaints regarding what Orac has written, how do you reconcile this ability with what your “supposed” allies are doing on their own blogs?

  11. #12 Dan Weber
    January 21, 2011

    When I read those instructions for using these natural medications, I have to do a double-take and make sure I’m not reading an article about activating powers in a Dungeons & Dragons game.

    But the D&D instructions make more sense. A healing potion that depends on the time of day? That’s just nuts, man.

  12. #13 Rugosa
    January 21, 2011

    I read Mothering for a while in the early 80s when I had a child. I had had an emergency C-section for an unanticipated premature birth, and fell into postpartum depression. I was also something of a hippie, seriously into breast-feeding and home-made baby food, so I found many articles informative. However, after a while I realized the mag was heavily tilted toward nonsense, such as that, if you have a C-section, it’s because you didn’t follow the all-natural path of virtue strenuously enough. I realized that it was contributing to my depression, and stopped reading it. That didn’t cure the depression of course (time did that), but not filling my head with that nonsense definitely helped.

  13. #14 Sara
    January 21, 2011

    Thank you for this – the more publicity about their quackery, perhaps the fewer people will be sucked in.

    The Christine Maggiori cover story was the nail in the coffin for me. I had bought several issues, looking for information about breastfeeding, cloth diapers, and general parenting issues that were slightly out of the mainstream. Only as I read deeper did I realize the underlying agenda of the magazine, which appears to be nothing more than a return to the Good Old Days, when women didn’t work, men worked so hard they could drink bacon fat for breakfast, and birth control was unnecessary because half your children would die before their fifth birthdays anyway.

    The current magazine, and forums, support “Intuition” over science or medical testing in all things “Your baby will tell you if the cord is wrapped around its neck, Mama!” denigrate women working outside the home (refusing, for years, to host a working mothers forum because any non-maternal care for any child under 12 is apparently against their philosophies), and encourage “unschooling” practices that beleive children can learn everything they need to know by playing WoW 18 hours a day. This, apparently, is the “natural living” to which we should all aspire.

  14. #15 Sarah
    January 21, 2011

    Chicken pox parties are one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard about. Like the kid in the article here, I had my physician’s “worst case” chickenpox when I was a kid. Photos of my chicken pox are in some German medical journal, if my parents are to be believed. Like the kid mentioned here, I had hundreds of lesions, in my nose and mouth and down my throat… and south of the border, too. I had so many lesions that some of them overlapped, and the sores were almost continuous throughout my entire body. Peeing was severely painful. I had to be hospitalized for dehydration because I couldn’t eat – the sores in my mouth and throat made it too painful. I had febrile seizures.

    And I never had a secondary infection or anything. It was all chicken pox.

    Chicken pox can be very bad. Those people are insane if they want to play around with it and risk their kid getting a case as bad as mine was.

    As for homeopathy and asthma, that’s going to get a kid killed some day.

  15. #16 Greg Fish
    January 21, 2011

    You know, it really bothers me to see how all this woo and pseudoscientific claptrap is being aimed at mothers under the banner of “moms know best” and encouraging that “monny instict” medicine represented by Jenny McCarthy.

    Thankfully, most mothers I know (certainly not all, but definitely most) don’t think that being a mom also makes you a pediatrician. Though I do know some who have a very pronounced anti-science streak and do bizarre things to and with their kids.

  16. #17 Lawrence
    January 21, 2011

    I remember what Chicken Pox as like in our household. I was sick for three weeks & very miserable, then two weeks in, my sister caught it & was sick for three weeks, and two weeks into her illness, my brother caught it & was sick for another three weeks.

    So, we had like two straight months of sick kids in our household. My case was fairly mild, compared to both my brother and sister, who were substantially sicker than I was. If we could have avoided it all together, that would have been my preference – but this was well before the vaccine was available.

  17. #18 Greg Fish
    January 21, 2011

    @ Sarah, #14

    Chicken pox parties are one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard about.

    Actually, having lived in a country which didn’t exactly have the best medical care in the world (it was in Eastern Europe, I’ll make it fun and let you guess which one), these parties were actually the poor people’s vaccination. The idea was that kids would be exosed to the virus when they’re young and will most likely heal quickly, and then as adults, when it could do some serious damage, they’d be immune.

    My parents never did that sort of thing to me, but I did get chicken pox when I was little. It was very, very, very unpleasant to put it mildly. Then my dad got it right after me and he was in far more misery than me. Seeing the same thing as I did, a lot of people who didn’t have access to chicken pox vaccines decided that getting their kids infected on purpose was the only way to protect them from something horrible as adults.

    I’m not saying this is a good idea because it’s definitely not, but I’m explaining the rationale. However, in a country like the U.S. there’s no excuse for not vaccinating your kids and putting them through the disease on purpose.

  18. #19 Stuart
    January 21, 2011

    Just for accuracy’s sake, the “worst case his doctor had ever seen,” with “hundreds of lesions, even in his mouth and down his throat” refers to an adult at the party who caught chicken pox at the party, rather than a child.

  19. #20 tunipseed
    January 21, 2011

    My children were small when Mothering started up and I was a subscriber. At first I enjoyed the “earthiness” of it and the support it seemed to offer to mothers. Much of the appeal was that the advice and stories were all about real mothers, not “experts”. They sure got me wondering about vaccines early on–thankfully, I listened to my doctor and decided that, even if they sounded arrogant at times, the docs knew what they were talking about. I cancelled the subscription after a while because they got more and more into the CAM and my kids were growing up.

    Reading through these comments, however, I find a certain smugness that is not helpful. It’s true that the online forums are just a lot of like-minded moms reinforcing nonsensical and possible harmful beliefs, but many of you do a grave disservice to the cause by diminishing a mother’s sense of knowing what’s best for her child. If you think that if only these women would read this column and its comments and be persuaded, you are mistaken. They would be insulted and have their thinking reinforced.

    Please read the NY Times piece referenced in the comments. The advice is much better than the approach so often taken here. Give the facts, and hammer them home, but insults and arrogance not going to win many hearts or minds. Why do you think they say they don’t care if Wakefield was dead wrong? Because their view does to way beyond him and autism. They just “feel” that there is something bad about “experts” telling them (the mother who gave birth and loves her child more than anything) how to mother. I’m not agreeing with them, just trying to explain it. I’ve experienced this feeling and only overcame it because I happened to have gone back to college about the same time I was reading Mothering and was taking science courses and learning about the history and development of the scientific method. Otherwise, I think the outcome may have been very different.

  20. #21 Jojo
    January 21, 2011

    Sigh. As a mother of a young child, I’ve faced this demon way too many times. I was active on a forum, not sMothering.com, and the drama was crazy. The anti-vaxx people scan the whole site looking for any posts about vaccination and they would bombard them with stupid. I finally had to resort to concern trolling on my son’s birth board just to keep them away from our group. Our board finally died when it got to the point,just as Pablo states above, that all we could talk about was trivial subjects. A group of us branched off and created a invitation only group, and that’s where we talk.

    I feel particularly bad for pediatricians. When I interviewed my son’s pediatrician before selecting the practice, I could see the Dr. tense up when I asked what their stance was on vaccination. They are pro vaccination (obviously since I’ll take my son there) and I’ve gotten the impression from several of the doctors in the practice that they encounter an good deal of resistance from their patients parents. So sad.

  21. #22 Mary Beth Moore
    January 21, 2011

    Rugosa, I’m sorry that the nonsense perpetuated by Mothering contributed to your depression. That’s one of the things I despise about Mothering magazine and it’s forums.

  22. #23 Denice Walter
    January 21, 2011

    (OT but..) Mikey’s new screed, “The Downfall of Science, etc.” ( NaturalNews, today) _directly_ refers to science bloggers *and* links to our esteemed host’s nemesis, JC( no, not *that* JC!)

  23. #24 Jojo
    January 21, 2011

    Rugosa, I actually let all my parenting magazine subscriptions lapse after the first year. Even Parents and Parenting caused me stress. I found that it was impossible to live up to all of the “standards” that are set, especially when they are contradictory. One month they would have an article about the benefits of attachment parenting, then the next they would have one about the perils of attachment parenting. At times I wondered if they trolled the online forums, identified the drama generating topics, and then did pro and con pieces just to draw readership.

  24. #25 Pablo
    January 21, 2011

    Thankfully, most mothers I know (certainly not all, but definitely most) don’t think that being a mom also makes you a pediatrician.

    Fortunately, yes, BUT there is a close to dangerous amount of literature out there that leads too many to that direction, even in the most innocuous sources. Very often in the parenting books and whatnot, you will see the advice to “follow your instincts, they are usually right.” The problem with the statement is that there is actually a grain of truth to it. When it comes to parenting, it is very often the case that following your instincts will lead to a positive outcome.

    The problem with the statement is more in what it doesn’t say. Particularly, that while it is true that your instincts are usually right, that doesn’t mean that someone else’s instincts are wrong. This is where the biggest failure comes in, when moms (or dads or grandmas or whoever the case may be) get into the mindset that “I am the mommy, I think it should be this way, and since my instincts are usually right, then that means everyone else is wrong!” The advice to “use your instincts” is not based on the idea that mom’s know best, it is based on the idea that the key to good parenting is that you care enough to worry about these types of things in the first place. Once you are at that position, the path you choose when faced with these difficult decisions where there is no clear cut answer doesn’t matter. If the decision is close enough to be debatable, then the result of that decision minor in determining the outcome are minor compared to the mindset that got you to face the decision in the first place.

    So where they get into trouble is when their insistence that my mommy instincts are so infallible that they apply to every decision, even when there are non-debatable differences in outcomes, or to ignore or underestimate risks that come from applying their instincts.

    The biggest issues in terms of mommy instincts problems come in terms of team parenting, where mommy insists that her way is the only way, and when dad doesn’t do it her way, it is WRONG! I always advise new parents (especially new moms) that the only thing that is going to lead to is to dad refusing to participate (why would dad want to feed cereal if every time he did it, mom stood over his shoulder yelling at him because he didn’t do it the way she did?). Yes, mommy’s instincts about how to do it are usually right, BUT so are daddy’s, even if they don’t agree with mom’s. In these cases, there is more than one right answer.

    But there are times when it goes too far, and mom thinks that not only does she know more about feeding the baby than dad does, but that she knows more about what leads to healthy babies than the pediatrician does. That is the point of mommy knows best going haywire.

  25. #26 desiree
    January 21, 2011

    i joined the mothering forums when i was pregnant with my second because i was hoping to VBAC, consider myself pretty crunchy, and thought it might be a good fit. wow was i wrong! they’re nuts there. i was told that home is the best place to VBAC (which is crazy). the birth woo is actually worse than the vaccination woo on that website, if you can believe it.

    but, because i have been a member for a while, i can get away with pro-vaccine posts. a thread i was posting in got locked either today or yesterday, but everything else i’ve posted in has remained open. sometimes i give up and stay away for months, sometimes i get re-energized for the cause and post again. i don’t think i’ve ever really gotten through to anyone, but i keep telling myself for everyone that reads and posts, there are 10 that read and don’t post.

  26. #27 Lawrence
    January 21, 2011

    @19 – There is a problem with your attitude. Given that these individuals have shown no inclination for want to hear any information whatsoever that contradicts their “mothering knowledge” it really doesn’t matter what tone is used. They aren’t going to listen anyway or allow any voice in opposition to be heard.

    You are, what we call here, a concern troll – that we’re not taking the other side seriously enough or we won’t give them equal time, or gosh darn it, we’re too harsh on them.

    At the end of the day, the advice that these people dispense is harming people at best and killing people at worst. How exactly are we supposed to find compassion in dealing with them, if they continue to ignore all of the evidence that is readily available out there. And it isn’t “mother knows best” anymore – it is “the Internet knows best,” because that is where a lot of these people get this false and misleading information.

    I have every right in the world to be upset about this, because, especially in the case of vaccinations, their actions do put my child at risk.

  27. #28 Pablo
    January 21, 2011

    Rugosa, I actually let all my parenting magazine subscriptions lapse after the first year.

    You mean they actually stopped sending them?

    I have been trying to “let our subscription” lapse for how long now, but they keep coming, all with notices of “Your subscription is about to expire!” My response is, “Promise? Please?” And yet they keep coming…

    As my problem with Parents and Parenting comes in the sexism. Despite being called Parents and Parenting, they are all about moms. The only time you see something about dads is when moms are talking about them. You see lots of articles about mothering (small m) but almost nothing about fathering, and the relationship between fathers and kids.

    Sure, you can say they are catering to their audience, but there is a chicken and egg problem (1), and (2) if they are really interested in effective parenting, shouldn’t they be advocating more to try to get fathers included.

    For a while, when we would get Parents or Parenting, the first thing I would do would be to scan the pictures to see how many dads are shown, or even men. When it got to the point that the only picture of an adult male in the entire issue was Alton Brown in a Smucker’s Jam advertisement, I knew they didn’t care about dads.

  28. #29 Jojo
    January 21, 2011

    Pablo made an excellent point here,

    Yes, mommy’s instincts about how to do it are usually right, BUT so are daddy’s, even if they don’t agree with mom’s.

    The main reason that I dodged the sMothering bullet was because the title offended me. I never wanted to be THE MOTHER, I wanted to be one of my son’s parents. While there have been times that I’ve had to force myself not to intervene between my husband and son because things were not going my way, I fully recognized that I needed to do so.

  29. #30 Kristen
    January 21, 2011

    Pablo,

    The second part was the response, which all took a Kim Stagliano approach of blaming it on the vaccination of the mom, and the mercury in her breast milk.
    Ugly.

    This doesn’t make any sense. If the vulnerable children are going to get teh autismz anyway because the mother is toxic why skip vaccines? It is a losing battle anyway.

    The twisted thinking boggles the mind. It just goes to show it isn’t about autism, or parenting even, it is an irrational fear of anything and everything even remotely related to medical science.

    And an HIV positive mother giving birth and breastfeeding without taking the medication that will protect the child? It is a criminal offense for an HIV positive person to have unprotected sex with someone without telling the person of their status, yet an irresponsible mother can give her child HIV with no consequences? Then sentence her child to death by withholding treatment?

    I hope Maggiore suffered from the guilt of causing her child’s death every moment of every day before she died (doubt she did, so deep was her delusion).

    The fact that Mothering ran a favorable story on it… I am just speechless (which is rare for me).

  30. #31 Pablo
    January 21, 2011

    This doesn’t make any sense. If the vulnerable children are going to get teh autismz anyway because the mother is toxic why skip vaccines? It is a losing battle anyway.

    This is why I bring it up more or less without comment. That it is completely idiotic pretty much goes without saying for even most anti-vaxxers, and most people realize that it is batshit insanity. Therefore, that it was the common response from sMothering members, without contradiction, to her question gives a pretty good indication of how far out there they are.

  31. #32 Pablo
    January 21, 2011

    The main reason that I dodged the sMothering bullet was because the title offended me. I never wanted to be THE MOTHER, I wanted to be one of my son’s parents.

    I also say, the key to good parenting is not for mom and dad to think alike, but to think together.

    Sappy, I know.

  32. #33 alissa
    January 21, 2011

    I found my way to MDC about 8 months ago, when I was struggling with breastfeeding a baby who was reacting to everything I ate and needed ideas/support. Then I accidentally wandered off into the other forum areas and nearly lost my mind from the ridiculousness of it all. Those people are crazy or stupid or both, I can’t decide. I think it’s mostly a giant failure of scientific education in our country that no one can actually think critically–they think they are by not doing what’s ‘mainstream’ but instead they’re doing something far more idiotic.

    FWIW, I intended a natural birth (complications happened), will breastfeed until at least 2, make my own (mostly) organic baby food, cosleep, wear my baby, and do all that other ‘crunchy’ baby-raising stuff. My son is also vaccinated on the CDC schedule, and I’ve lost a few FB friends over my posting of pro-vaccination info. There are no magazines catering to me, sadly.

  33. #34 Pablo
    January 21, 2011

    I think it’s mostly a giant failure of scientific education in our country that no one can actually think critically–they think they are by not doing what’s ‘mainstream’ but instead they’re doing something far more idiotic.

    I interpret it a little differently. Places like sMothering are what they are because those people can’t survive in the normal world, so they all congregate in the same place. Put them out in more typical parenting places, and they are generally not taken too seriously, and are treated like the loons that they are. In sMothering, they have found a place where they can all feel secure in their beliefs without having to face ridicule.

    It’s no different from any other interest group. You may be distressed at the size of that group, but then again, when it’s the only game in town, they tend to concentrate there.

  34. #35 Dangerous Bacon
    January 21, 2011

    “If you think that if only these (anti-vaccination) women would read this column and its comments and be persuaded, you are mistaken. They would be insulted and have their thinking reinforced.”

    If they ignored all the good evidence and sound advice presented here in a straightforward and polite manner and gravitated only to the examples of snark, then yes, they’d find cause to be insulted and declare their convictions reinforced. But that behavior of people is typical of those with set views who are determined to cast blame on others.

    As for fence-sitters, I highly doubt there are many who allow themselves to be pushed into one mind-set or another because of “tone”. If “tone” is so important, they’ll look at all the bile and crazy accusations issuing from the antivax sites and be drawn inexorably towards the evidence-based pro-vaccination side, which is far less prone to baseless personal attacks and does not endorse censorship of differing viewpoints (unlike the editors at Mothering).

  35. #36 ababa
    January 21, 2011

    If one wonders how they operate without being a huge migrane to their lawyers, they have a typical Quack Miranda Warning on every forum:

    The opinions offered at Mothering.com and MotheringDotCommunity are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking care because of something you have read here.

    Of course, every other post tells you to ignore what doctors say.

    Pregnancy forums are notoriously bad, particularly the Unassisted Childbirth ones. The Unschooling forums would be hilarious if it weren’t for the damage they are doing to their children’s future. It’s Homeschooling without all that hard work!

  36. #37 Autism and Oughtisms
    January 21, 2011

    I particularly like your distinction in the post between “informed consent” and “misinformed consent”; makes the point quickly and cleanly.

    My friend invited me to a chicken pox party when both our kids were toddlers (a couple of years back). I thought she was joking at the time. She wasn’t. We decided as parents that it was a good time to go get our son the (optional and pricey) chicken pox vaccine, to protect our kid from such lunacy: We couldn’t protect our son from other parents’ bad decisions, at least we could protect him from some of the consequences.

    This is the same friend who recommended I read Jenny McCarthy’s book after she found out my son had autism. She means well, she’s just been misinformed. A lot.

  37. #38 Vicki
    January 21, 2011

    Turnipseed–

    What you’re (perhaps deliberately) overlooking is that those forums aren’t encouraging mothers to act on their instincts. They are telling them to raise children in specific ways. The fact that the advice is coming from people without professional credentials doesn’t make it somehow better. It’s still someone else saying “if you don’t do X, you’re doing it wrong.” If I’m going to ask advice, I’m going to ask either people with a background in a field, or people I specifically know and whose judgment I generally trust. (If I had kids, I might ask friends whose own kids seem to be turning out well, for example.) Not people on the internet who all seem to agree because only one viewpoint is allowed.

  38. #39 Composer99
    January 21, 2011

    turnipseed @19:

    First, the context:
    – the magazine is publishing articles, by someone with an MD, encouraging the use of useless remedies and minimizing the risks of pertussis (whose main victims, it is worth repeating, are infants)
    – the magazine and/or its associated Internet fora encourage HIV/AIDS denialism, which, as has been noted in Orac’s OP, has led to many deaths in the US and elsewhere
    – the magazine and/or its associated Internet fora propagate a fact-free mythology positing that vaccines cause autism (or that vaccines cause all manner of toxic ills and evils, of which autism is a subset) – a mythology that contributes to the continued persistence of infectious diseases due to insufficient vaccine uptake

    So right off the bat I conclude it legitimate to be disapproving of Mothering’s take on things.

    Second, different people respond to different approaches.
    As such, the effort to improve this parlous situation requires a multi-armed approach. Some people who agree with the positions propagated by Mothering will be reached by reasonableness (if not necessarily by reason); others may need to be shocked into clarity by ridicule or excoriation.

    Third, this blog is called Respectul Insolence. That being the case, do you really think that the tone here will be – or ought to be – a sort of polite drawing-of-attention to some issues with Mothering’s position?

  39. #40 harey
    January 21, 2011

    It is scary to hear that such a magazine exists and that it even created a place for parents to discuss without ever hearing another opinion. And from personal experience as a kid, I know how utterly irresponsible homeopaths (and parents that believe in homeopathy) can be.

    When I was 5, I had a serious gut infection. I had diarrhea and stomach pain, my mother brought me to a doctor, who was very heavily into homeopathy. He ran some tests and (surprise!) decided to treat me with random sugar pills. Naturally, my condition did not improve, so my mother kept bringing me back. Since he couldn’t come up with anything else, he decided that there was nothing wrong with me physically, but that I was simulating my symptoms to get attention (of all the things, persistent diarrhea seems the most obvious symptom a five year old would fake!). After several months of sugar pills, I was finally brought to a real doctor and treated with strong antibiotics. But most surprisingly, I remember that still after this episode I was brought to the same idiot doctor and treated with sugar pills for all kind of illnesses.

  40. #41 turnipseed
    January 21, 2011

    @ #26 and #34

    I deeply resent being called a “troll” (#26) of any kind and that is exactly what I am talking about if you will reread my post. I am not supporting the Mothering people at all, just trying to explain them. I am very familiar with the idea of working to sway fence-sitters, not hard liners, but who is to say where every individual is on that spectrum? I have left this blog before because of these kind of attacks and I probably will do so again. I read the post, but often ignore the comments. They can be amusing in many cases, but I’ve been “told off” one too many times for something far from disagreement with the thesis. I am only giving you the viewpoint of someone who has been in their shoes and was rescued by knowledge, not insults.

    I have four children, by the way, all vaccinated and all who contracted chicken pox long before the vaccine, as did I and my siblings. I don’t deny that it can be terrible, but it usually isn’t and you should try to see that that’s what most people base their views on. Again, educate them, but why the need to entirely diminish them?

    I completely agree that there is a distinction to be made between respect for a mother’s instinct and that same idea being taken to the extreme the way Jenny McCarthy does. It is that distinction that is where science based views should provide prevail. I was able to persuade someone recently to read some posts from this blog and convince her that the casual reading she had been doing about vax was wrong–not be telling her she was stupid or had the wrong attitude, but by respecting her effort to be a good mother and gently directing her to good information. She wasnt’ a fence-sitter and felt convinced about the “too many, too soon” argument, but was easily swayed by Dr. Mark Crislip.

    Again, I would recommend the piece in the NY Times.

  41. #42 Sastra
    January 21, 2011

    pablo #8 wrote:

    This is very typical of parenting forums, where they so strongly discourage any contradictory comments of any sort (to “avoid drama”) that the forums become the equivalent of listing people’s favorite color.

    I think the same sort of attitude also permeates so-called “discussion” groups which deal with anything alt med, New Age, religious, or spiritual. Any disagreement — no matter how carefully couched in scientific neutrality and warm fuzzy reassurances — is usually interpreted as either an attack on freedom, an attempt to hurt people, or, ironically, an offense against diversity and tolerance.

    At least the “Mothering” forum is consistent, since the rules of censorship regarding acceptable topics and viewpoints sounds to me just like a Mommy exercising control over a group of unruly children. The Mothering contributors are being appropriately mothered. Play nice and don’t hurt feelings with any disagreement or contradiction. Mom says.

    It is, however, perfectly acceptable to rail furious insults against the “bully” — who is apparently defined as any close-minded outsider who isn’t accepting of the Woo of the Week (Weak).

    As for the “follow your instincts” rule of Motherhood, I always found that a pointless guideline. If I was in a quandary it was always because I was conflicted and could make a mental case either way. Which side was my Magic Mommy Instinct and which side was the Voice of the Disapproving Other trying to make me second-guess myself?

    Easy. Wait after the fact and figure out whether what you did worked or not. If you were happy with your choice, then you followed your instinct: if you were unhappy with your choice, then you didn’t follow your instinct. Simple.

    And worthless.

  42. #43 Orac
    January 21, 2011

    @turnipseed

    You do realize, of course, that Dr. Crislip is one of the most delightfully sarcastic people I have ever known. He calls CAM “sCAM,” doesn’t hesitate to call ideas and people “stupid” when he sees fit, and is almost as not-so-Respectfully Insolent as Orac can be. And he persuaded your friend. Your example would not appear to support your argument.

  43. #44 Triskelethecat
    January 21, 2011

    @alissa: while there may not be magazines that address women like you, stick around here (or go to Science-Based Medicine); we’re always happy to talk to moms! I wish you luck in all your baby care. My kids both weaned themselves off the breast before they were a year, thanks to ear infections (much easier for a kid in pain to suck a bottle than a breast; they decided it was the breastfeeding that caused the pain and refused the breast from that time on. Broke my heart…I wanted to nurse for at least a year).

    @turnipseed: the NYT piece is good. What you seem to have missed is that we have people coming here ALL the time repeating anti-vax nonsense and after a while you get tired of it. It’s like your toddler at the store whining for candy the whole time you are shopping. By the time you grab the kid and just leave, your nerves are fried and you may lose your temper. We’re just losing our temper.

    We KNOW the mothering people. Some of us were types of them. We go to the forums and read (well, not any more I don’t). You can’t lead someone gently to the facts when you can’t post the facts.

    MI Dawn

  44. #45 Liz
    January 21, 2011

    @ Pablo – LOL! I keep getting Parenting magazine too and wondering the SAME thing(s)! I HATE all of it. Worry about this, worry about that, worry about rabid bats that can sneak through tiny holes in your children’s window screens, bite your kid and slither out before you know it. Then your kid could get rabies and you would never guess to treat it in time. (I wish I was joking about that one)

    The Chicago Tribune recently posted an article about vaccinating against pertussis, with a story about a newborn baby who almost died and was hospitalized for weeks. I always find it interesting how anti-vaxxers NEVER comment on those stories.

    Every time a blogger opens this discussion I always hear the words, “Well, I believe…” It’s like a religion with these people. Like every other type of lifestyle support group out there.

    Anyhow, what we need is some “accessible” guy, sort of like Dr. Oz (before he fell down the douche hole), but a real Doctor, to explain the situation in very simple terms.Why do we vaccinate? What was life like when we didn’t? How are we NOT ‘taxing the immune system’? How are vaccines not toxic? How do we know they do not contribute to Autism and what about the personal stories? Who says Doctors just want to push meds? Do they get kickbacks to do so? (Since regular people don’t know these things, it is easy to get swept up in fear and hype) Answer all the usual questions, and – dare I say it? – show them the scare stories of what happens when we don’t vaccinate. An affable Doctor or two, who can dispense the right kind of advice without “criticizing,” personally, the other side. That is ORAC’s job. (and he does it very well!)

  45. #46 Sid Offit
    January 21, 2011

    While it is not clear how much of the current outbreaks in California are due to low vaccine uptake rates versus other factors, it is clear that vaccination against pertussis is safe and effective,

    Wake up from your vaccine dream world Orac. There is no low vaccine uptake rate. Rates in California at all time highs. Turn off Nancy Snyderman, put down Seth Mnookin and come back to reality.

  46. #47 Rose
    January 21, 2011

    A friend gave me a copy of Mothering while I was pregnant. I read through it and it pissed me off so much with all its “attachment parenting, cosleeping, unassisted birth, anti-vax” BS that I threw it in the garbage. Well, wouldn’t you know that another friend gave me a gift subscription to Mothering for a baby shower present! Yikes! Let’s just say that I don’t speak to either of those two friends anymore. Oh yeah, that gift subscription became great fire-starter in my woodstove this winter. Ugh.

  47. #48 Todd W.
    January 21, 2011

    @Sid

    Overall, California seems to have pretty decent vaccination rates. The picture is quite different when you take a look at regional data within the state, though. For instance, here are the California School Immunization Rates for 2009 (PDF).

    For diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, there are some school districts with rates as low as 43%. See, for example, Blue Oak Charter school on p. 5. Then there’s 24% at Green Elementary on p. 82.

    But, don’t let data get in the way of a good fear-mongering.

  48. #49 Greg Fish
    January 21, 2011

    “There is no low vaccine uptake rate. Rates in California at all time highs.”

    Sid, your statistical illiteracy is showing again. Just because the vaccination rates in a state are at an all time high in terms of the number of people actually getting their shots, that a) can be explained by population growth and b) doesn’t mean there aren’t pockets of people who aren’t vaccinating their kids.

    Maybe instead of asking Orac to come back to reality you should take a math class. Really. It would help with your inability to work with numbers.

  49. #50 Sid Offit
    January 21, 2011

    @G Fish

    Yeah vaccination rates on my block are down this year. Certainly enough of a drop to offset the actions of 30 million Californians. And thanks for the link. Dr. Reddy’s unsupported speculation provides excellent support for your case.

  50. #51 Sid Offit
    January 21, 2011

    @G Fish

    My statistical illiteracy? Really. Since vaccination rates are expressed as a percentage, population growth has no bearing on rates.

  51. #52 Pareidolius
    January 21, 2011

    There is no acknowledgment anywhere on the (s)Mothering site that Christine and Eliza Jane died. Nothing. Nada. Shame on them for this. No discussion. No forum. Nothing. If she was their hero in life, why no mention of her in death? Too afraid of having to argue their way out of that one?

    There is a smug creepiness to that magazine and site. It reminds me of a grade-school friend’s mom, who on the surface was “the best mom”, cookie baking, house decorating, organic gardening, Martha Stewart perfection. But on the inside the poor woman was wracked with insecurities, terrible fear, bulemia, pill addiction and as time passed, violent, abusive outbursts that I only heard about years later. That’s what I see when I look at Mothering. An illusion of perfection and safety covering a bed of festering neuroses and fear. And maybe worst of all, they don’t allow any dissent of any kind.

  52. #53 Jojo
    January 21, 2011

    trunipseed said:

    I deeply resent being called a “troll” (#26) of any kind and that is exactly what I am talking about if you will reread my post. I am not supporting the Mothering people at all, just trying to explain them. I am very familiar with the idea of working to sway fence-sitters, not hard liners, but who is to say where every individual is on that spectrum?

    While I can understand that you resent being called a troll, you may want to google what a “concern troll” is. You may not be intending to concern troll, but that’s how your posts read.

    As far as giving us the point of view of the people who are being criticized, we get it. Many of us are parents and have spent time with fence sitters IRL and on forums. Each different blog, forum, whatever has a different tone and I’m pretty sure most of us know how to adjust our tone to the environment. On my old birth board, I was well known for being kind, thoughtful, and a good member of the community. It was a mommy forum, I acted like it was a mommy forum. This, on the other hand is Respectful INSOLENCE. I’d suggest that anyone coming here to read should expect, simply based on the blog’s name, to find some insolence.

  53. #54 Lawrence
    January 21, 2011

    Sid, Sid, Sid…..seriously, you’re going to hold up “percentage of total population” & ignore the geographic component? There are individual towns in CA, WA & OR that have vaccinations rates under 40%, yet the overall population rate is high – and where do we find a number of these outbreaks, in the specific areas where the vaccination rates are low – you moron.

    And, once a disease gets a foothold in one of these areas, it does have a tendency to spread, since you’ve created additional exposure levels even with the vaccinated population (thus those with weaken immune systems, less then 100% immunity or too young to be immunized can get sick too).

    Of course, you’ll ignore all of these facts and continue to recite the textbook quack answers – go ahead, we’re waiting.

  54. #55 Agent Smith
    January 21, 2011

    Where is Dr. Jay? Whenever he is mentioned on this blog, a bat-signal (or jay-signal) seems to go up, requiring him to post his anti-vaccine apologetics on this blog.

    Also, where is augustine? He hasn’t posted anything about chemical warfare or the end times today.

    Additionally, I haven’t seen Tony Bateson in awhile. His amish copypasta skills seem to have died off in the last couple months. Maybe he got banned. Tragedy.

    Sid Offit is a poor substitute for these true, colossal, hall of fame caliber trolls. Sid is more the utility infielder of trolls, can surprise you sometimes but holds a pretty mediocre batting average. Not much pop in his bat.

  55. #56 MDC Survivors
    January 21, 2011

    Good to see that the insanity at Mothering is making the rounds in the science/skeptic blogs!

  56. #57 augustine
    January 21, 2011

    Liz

    Anyhow, what we need is some “accessible” guy, sort of like Dr. Oz (before he fell down the douche hole), but a real Doctor, to explain the situation in very simple terms.Why do we vaccinate? What was life like when we didn’t? How are we NOT ‘taxing the immune system’? How are vaccines not toxic? How do we know they do not contribute to Autism and what about the personal stories? Who says Doctors just want to push meds?

    That would take someone with human compassion. That is something ALL regular sciencebloggers are unanimously deficient in. The problem with sciencebloggers is they cannot communicate very well outside blogging. The tactics you use in written word simply do not persuade people in real live situations. You would have to hire an actor and even then it would still be fake.

  57. #58 Sid Offit
    January 21, 2011

    @Larry

    And I’m sure you have data demonstrating the pertussis epidemic of 2010 was concentrated in these individual towns with vaccination rates of 40%
    ————-
    @Agent Smith

    Sid is more the utility infielder of trolls, can surprise you sometimes but holds a pretty mediocre batting average. Not much pop in his bat.

    I’m like Ozzie Smith in the playoffs: power when it counts.

  58. #59 augustine
    January 21, 2011

    Todd

    For diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, there are some school districts with rates as low as 43%. See, for example, Blue Oak Charter school on p. 5. Then there’s 24% at Green Elementary on p. 82.
    But, don’t let data get in the way of a good fear-mongering

    So what was the number of pertussis cases and death cases at these schools respectively? What was it at nearby schools with high rates?

    Todd, Don’t let truth stand in your way of good disease fearmongering.

  59. #60 Todd W.
    January 21, 2011

    @augie

    Oh, dear. Perhaps you should work on your reading comprehension. Here is what Sid said:

    There is no low vaccine uptake rate. Rates in California at all time highs.

    I responded to that. That’s what that “@Sid” means. I showed that there are, indeed, areas with low vaccine uptake rates. Now, do stop making up straw men.

  60. #61 augustine
    January 21, 2011

    Pareidolius

    It reminds me of a grade-school friend’s mom…

    Stop right there! Surely what comes next will be unbiased, objective, reality. Anytime someone starts in with an anecdote like this it can only be valid if done from a skeptic bloggers viewpoint.

    … who on the surface was “the best mom”, cookie baking, house decorating, organic gardening, Martha Stewart perfection. But on the inside the poor woman was wracked with insecurities, terrible fear, bulemia, pill addiction and as time passed, violent, abusive outbursts that I only heard about years later. That’s what I see when I look at Mothering. An illusion of perfection and safety covering a bed of festering neuroses and fear. And maybe worst of all, they don’t allow any dissent of any kind.

    That’s right. Pure objective scientism.

  61. #62 Lawrence
    January 21, 2011

    http://www.oregonlive.com/kiddo/index.ssf/2008/08/post_2.html
    http://www.oregonlive.com/health/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1219787711233320.xml&coll=7

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/20100205/New-report-finds-low-adult-vaccination-rates-in-US.aspx

    http://www.spokesmanreview.com/breaking/story.asp?ID=16459

    And Sid – all it needs is a place to start. The whole point of general immunity (through mass vaccinations) is to deny fertile ground for a disease to get a foothold. Remove its ability to spread & the disease can be eliminated from a population – unfortunately, it is the very efforts of the anti-vaccine crowd that prevent us from eliminating the need for certain vaccines (like polio for example), because we could have eliminated them entirely since they don’t have a host population outside of people.

    If you want less vaccines, help up get rid of those diseases (perfect example – why we don’t vaccinate for smallpox anymore – again, moron.)

  62. #63 augustine
    January 21, 2011

    agent smith

    Also, where is augustine? He hasn’t posted anything about chemical warfare or the end times today.

    Because I’ve NEVER posted on those topics.

  63. #64 augustine
    January 21, 2011

    Todd

    I responded to that. That’s what that “@Sid” means. I showed that there are, indeed, areas with low vaccine uptake rates. Now, do stop making up straw men.

    Nothing more? Do you want to continue the unsubstantiated claim that the conscientious unvaccinated are causing disease and death? And that perhaps it is actually caused by Wakefields paper in combination with Jenny McCarthy’s celebrity. And scientifically backed up by a death count website.

    I thought you’d back off.

  64. #65 Nomen Nescio
    January 21, 2011

    @Greg, #17:

    Actually, having lived in a country which didn’t exactly have the best medical care in the world (it was in Eastern Europe, I’ll make it fun and let you guess which one), these parties were actually the poor people’s vaccination. The idea was that kids would be exosed to the virus when they’re young and will most likely heal quickly, and then as adults, when it could do some serious damage, they’d be immune.

    which kinda-sorta made sense until we figured out the link between chickenpox and shingles. which latter i now have to be wary of, since i had a miserable week of chickenpox as a child — also before vaccines. if i had any kids, they’d be vaccinated out the wazoo against everything i could think of and then some.

  65. #66 Amy
    January 21, 2011

    Thank you for exposing mothering for some of their quackery. Their message boards are a beacon for pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting misinformation.

  66. #67 Dangerous Bacon
    January 21, 2011

    “Where is Dr. Jay? Whenever he is mentioned on this blog, a bat-signal (or jay-signal) seems to go up, requiring him to post his anti-vaccine apologetics on this blog.”

    He’ll be by, probably to agree with the commenter at #19, reminding us what a classic concern troll he is.

    Dr. Jay’s content-free drive-bys often feature admonitions about how nasty his opponents are (and by implication, what a nice polite fellow Dr. Jay is). Of course, this is the same Dr. Jay who has suggested his critics here are paid Pharma shills, and who in a post yesterday attacked the professionalism of reporter Brian Deer, calling him “biased” (which is part of the antivaxer line these days in response to Deer’s beautifully documented series of articles exposing Andrew Wakefield, but it’d be nice if Jay had some evidence to make his drive-bys relevant).

  67. #68 Science Mom
    January 21, 2011

    The sMothering culture of mummies relegates fathers to sperm-donors with wallets who are just too inept to actually parent their children. The mummies reinforce their position by exerting they, “have done their research” (vis de vie vaccines, healthcare and feeding) and that baby Rathebone Moonstar would surely parish if left even for a minute alone with daddy.

  68. #69 Rorschach
    January 21, 2011

    I know it’s a messed up attitude, but part of me kind of wishes these anti-vax champs would put their money where their mouths are: no vaccines for anything, not even when the little ones down the street are dying in droves. I wonder how many tiny little coffins it would take before the True Believers would reconsider. Too many by far, I’m sure.

    Sid’s more like one of the Baseball Furies from ‘The Warriors': an obvious clown, and I can’t wait for somebody to shove a bat up his ass and make him into a popsicle.

  69. #70 Matthew Cline
    January 21, 2011

    @Dangerous Bacon:

    Of course, this is the same Dr. Jay who has suggested his critics here are paid Pharma shills,

    And when confronted on it, he says he doesn’t believe Orac in particular is a pharma-shill. Further, he doesn’t know if any particular commenter is a shill, or even if any commenters here are shills, because vaccine-shills are indistinguishable from non-shill pro-vaccine people. It’s just that he feels the need to remind us all that pharma-shills exist out there somewhere, and it’s not at all that he intends to imply that Orac or anyone here is a shill.

  70. #71 Greg Fish
    January 21, 2011

    Yeah vaccination rates on my block are down this year. Certainly enough of a drop to offset the actions of 30 million Californians.

    Oh Sid, Sid, Sid…

    Well, then your block gets infectious diseases and so does the next block, and the block after that, and any block that doesn’t vaccinate enough to maintain herd immunity. But then again, your block in CA is the only one that doesn’t vaccinate, right? Just like all the schools which have vaccination rates as low as 43% or so. All that doesn’t add up over millions of people and tens of thousands of refusers…

    And thanks for the link. Dr. Reddy’s unsupported speculation provides excellent support for your case.

    Says the guy who can’t be bothered to actually back up, well, anything he says. California’s vaccinations are at an all time high? Remind me again, what was your link for that claim? Oh, right. There wasn’t one.

    “Since vaccination rates are expressed as a percentage, population growth has no bearing on rates.”

    Which is why I said that if you wanted to tackle vaccination uptake in terms of raw numbers, but you missed that part, didn’t you? Of course you did. Reading the whole thing makes it harder to ding me for a perceived sleight.

    Tell me something, why are you so eager to use vaccine uptake averaged across the entire state to cover up pockets of abysmally low vaccination which are the centers of infectious disease outbreaks? Or is it no big deal that some town’s kids get wave after wave of childhood diseases and most others don’t because those towns aren’t representative of the whole state?

  71. #72 augustine
    January 21, 2011

    Rorschach

    I know it’s a messed up attitude, but part of me kind of wishes these anti-vax champs would put their money where their mouths are: no vaccines for anything,

    Are you that shaking in your boots scared to think that people can not exist and thrive without vaccines? Have the disease fearmongerers gotten to you. Spare me your “only because others vaccinate” rhetoric.

  72. #73 Greg Fish
    January 21, 2011

    @Nomen, #60

    … which kinda-sorta made sense until we figured out the link between chickenpox and shingles.

    Right. Again, keep in mind that I said this was the poor man’s vaccination strategy, not that it was a particularly good idea or that it didn’t have any serious drawbacks.

  73. #74 lilady
    January 21, 2011

    I have been following the threads on this site regarding immunizations and the proliferation of misinformation about vaccine safety and effectiveness. I do appreciate the opportunity to read the posts, especially those with misinformation regarding the B. pertussis outbreak. I have stated repeatedly that the best references for updates about communicable disease outbreaks are the CDC and MMWR websites.

    The CDC has an updated (January 11, 2011) report about the California B. pertussis outbreak with the number of cases reported preliminarily at 8,383; including 10 infant deaths. The prior “peak” year, was in 2005 when 3,182 cases were reported. Final numbers for this 2010 outbreak will not be available until Spring, 2011.

    This same “pertussis” disease web site has other pages devoted to the diagnosis of the disease, the proper techniques for obtaining nasopharyngeal specimens, proper transporting of the swabs and proper culturing of the specimens.

    Physicians and scientists have known for years that protection (vaccine) against this bacterial illness “wanes”, hence the new recommendations for “booster” vaccine in early adolescence and for adult booster shots.

    Another issue related to this disease outbreak is the downright deadly misinformation about vaccines that is available on the internet, on television and in printed media outlets. Herd immunity > 90 % is very difficult to maintain when pockets in the community refuse to vaccinate their children due to “feelings”, “mothers/fathers intuition” and the proliferation of unscientific arguments against immunization.

    As adults, we should follow the new recommendations for B. pertussis booster immunization as well, for our own protection and to protect vulnerable infants. Just thinking in terms of what we do to save lives, such as donating blood and organs to save lives… getting a booster tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis shot is life-saving.

  74. #75 J. J. Ramsey
    January 21, 2011

    Rorschach:

    I know it’s a messed up attitude, but part of me kind of wishes these anti-vax champs would put their money where their mouths are: no vaccines for anything, …

    As far as I can tell, they do put their money where their mouth is, at least in the sense of not getting themselves or their kids vaccinated (and this does lead to outbreaks of disease).

  75. #76 DLC
    January 21, 2011

    Mothering Magazine
    A wretched hive of homeopathy and woo-villainy.

  76. #77 Sid Offit
    January 21, 2011

    and I can’t wait for somebody to shove a bat up his ass and make him into a popsicle.

    Sounds like you’ve got me in your cross hairs Rorschach. Now I know how Paul Offit feels. Comments like these add to my growing concern about the tone of our national conversation. Intimidation and threats of violence have no realm in our public discourse.

    We need to move away from this type of incendiary language. Rorschach is a good friend, he’s loved vaccines for a long time, but we’re trying to get away from that kind of language

  77. #78 shasta
    January 21, 2011

    Nice to see other Moms who went through the same search for support and ended up horrified by sites like Mothering dot com. Parenting magazine is only interested in reaching married straight mothers, preferably stay at home. Similar to its lack of father related content there is also nothing for single moms or lgbt families.

  78. #79 Sid Offit
    January 21, 2011

    @G Fish

    Here’s some links
    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Documents/HowisCA(03_10).pdf
    And according to the California State Department of Health, as of March 2010:

    Vaccination coverage in California is at or near all-time high levels

    Finally immunizeca.org reports:
    Pertussis is the only disease that despite high levels of vaccination in early childhood continues to remain widespread in California
    http://www.immunizeca.org/about/directors-update

    Which are the centers of infectious disease outbreaks
    Where’s your link???
    ———————

    @lilady

    Herd immunity > 90 % is very difficult to maintain when pockets in the community refuse to vaccinate their children due to “feelings”, “mothers/fathers intuition”

    There is no herd immunity to pertussis. There are an estimated 1 million cases each year in adolescent and adults. You don’t get herd immunity when an illness is endemic

  79. #80 Sid Offit
    January 21, 2011

    @G Fish

    Links being held for approval

  80. #81 prn
    January 21, 2011

    Homeopathic DTaP 30C? Seems like somebody screwed up if they didn’t trademark/license, “DTaP” (FDA, USPHS?).

    With globalization, world travel and illegal immigration, diphtheria seems like a sleeping giant. When I was in elementary school, one kid got diphtheria. The parents were rabid rollers, not even antibiotics. Kid didn’t make it.

  81. #82 Natalie
    January 21, 2011

    LOL I just got an e-mail asking me to participate in Mothering’ survey, and BOY DID I. I hope against hope, but I don’t have much confidence that they’ll stop spewing their nonsense any time soon.

  82. #83 Rorschach
    January 21, 2011

    Don’t retreat, Sid. Reload!

  83. #84 Greg Fish
    January 21, 2011

    @Sid, #73

    Links being held for approval.

    This blog only holds a large number of links for approval. How many links did you plan to post?

  84. #85 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    January 21, 2011

    @Dangerous Bacon:

    Of course, this is the same Dr. Jay who has suggested his critics here are paid Pharma shills,
    And when confronted on it, he says he doesn’t believe Orac in particular is a pharma-shill. Further, he doesn’t know if any particular commenter is a shill, or even if any commenters here are shills, because vaccine-shills are indistinguishable from non-shill pro-vaccine people. It’s just that he feels the need to remind us all that pharma-shills exist out there somewhere, and it’s not at all that he intends to imply that Orac or anyone here is a shill.

    That’s a reasonably correct summary, Bacon. Thanks.

    Jay

  85. #86 Sid Offit
    January 21, 2011

    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Documents/HowisCA(03_10).pdf

    http://www.immunizeca.org/about/directors-update
    Vaccination coverage in California is at or near all-time high levels

  86. #87 Sauceress
    January 21, 2011

    because vaccine-shills are indistinguishable from non-shill pro-vaccine people.

    But..but Jay, don’t vaccine-shills get paid for shilling?

  87. #88 Sauceress
    January 21, 2011

    Oh wait…I see..
    It’s just like saying that doctors who attract their customers by presenting themselves as maverick alternative medical practitioners are indistinguishable from those that Really, Really Believe.

  88. #89 Matthew Cline
    January 21, 2011

    @Jay Gordon:

    The thing is that whenever you first bring up the pharma-shill subject, you always word it in a way that implies an accusation against at least some of the people here, people get offended, and then you clarify to say of course you didn’t mean any of them. So either you’re being disingenuous, or you’re bad at communicating clearly (online at least) and you simultaneously don’t learn from your mistakes (at least in the realm of online communication).

    Further, how does stating that pharma-shills exist out there somewhere advance any of the discussions that take place here? Unless the implication is that something which is shilled for is automatically suspect, because something which genuinely works would have no need for shilling, then your pharma-shill points contribute nothing to the conversation, and just derail the discussion. If that is your point, then you should make it clear.

    @Sauceress:

    But..but Jay, don’t vaccine-shills get paid for shilling?

    He means that they’re indistinguishable from the point of view of a person reading online discussions, not from the point of view of an omniscient observer. More specifically, he said that the pro-vaccines arguments used by vaccine-shills are identical to the pro-vaccine arguments used by non-shills.

  89. #90 Dangerous Bacon
    January 21, 2011

    Jay Gordon: “That’s a reasonably correct summary, Bacon. Thanks.

    Most of what you quoted was remarks by Matthew Cline, not me (comment #66).

    It could be considered a form of civility to pay attention to the post you’re quoting. Comprehending what it actually means would be nice too.

    Another day, another content-free drive-by from Jay.

    Do you like being associated with a magazine that promotes homeopathic drugs (and homeopathic vaccines) for whooping cough, Jay?

  90. #91 turnipseed
    January 21, 2011

    @jojo

    I don’t accept your excuse about “insolence” at all. I’ve been reading this blog for over a year now and I have met ORAC in “person” (and a magnificent box of blinking lights he is),so how is it I am a “concern troll”?
    —-Someone who posts to an internet forum or newsgroup, claiming to share its goals while deliberately working against those goals, typically, by claiming “concern”…—–

    Excuse me if I don’t know all the rules of what “tone” to take on each blog! I have never posted anything here that is a defense of anything anti SBM. I thought it was ORAC’s intent to dispel the lunacy of the anti-vax crowd and to try to persuade those even remotely sitting on the fence to see reason. How can you think that anyone who comes here with a question or comment that vaguely shows some empathy for a new mother who may have been exposed to some level of this stuff is a “troll” on any kind?

    Be as contemptuous as you like to the real enemy, but give some credit to someone who rads this blog daily and simply tried to participate without being utterly rude. I am not a fool and don’t care to be mistaken for one.

    I’ve asked this before, do some of you want to change things or do you just want to rant about it? I, for one, am very concerned about the spread of all thins woo as expressed by ORAC regularly (Dr. Oz, Oprah, medical centers bringing in “integrative medicine”), and while I find insolence a great way to make the case, it seems a crude way to conduct a follow up discussion.

  91. #92 Sauceress
    January 21, 2011

    #87 Matthew Cline
    Yes. Sorry Mathew,but I was trying to be facetious-a tone I know Jay enjoys seeing as he employs it here so often.

    That and I really need to give up drinking too much coffee…again!

  92. #93 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    January 21, 2011

    @turnipseed: “while I find insolence a great way to make the case, it seems a crude way to conduct a follow up discussion.”

    I don’t think you can have that one both ways, turnipseed. Correct me if I’m wrong, Matthew, Chris,Bacon, et al but I think that everything on this menu comes with a large side order of insolence and “crude.” No substitutions.

    I would read more carefully, Dangerous Bacon, but the content above is the same as in the all the previous posts about vaccines, “anti-vax loons” and so on. It’s called perseveration and I find myself drawn to it for reasons not always clear to me. I guess I hope to stumble upon a civil discussion of the issues some day . . . I’ll keep looking.

    But, to answer the question again: No, I have no proof that vaccines cause autism. And I really do believe that pharma-shills exist all over the Intertoobz and that there are probably none here mainly because there’s no need for them and because Orac is a stand up guy in spite of our major disagreements. (I actually believe that most of you here have a lot to teach a clinician like me but your main interest is in insulting me and others like me rather than conducting that civil discourse mentioned above.)

    Best

    Jay

  93. #94 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    January 21, 2011

    @turnipseed

    I went back up the page and read your original post. It’s really quite lovely and intelligent. I disagree with your comment about “the real enemy” because I have yet to encounter anyone on this site who isn’t interested in promoting optimal health for our babies. We disagree about lots of details and concepts, but I think everyone here believes that their ideas promote the best health. I’m not your enemy.

    Best,

    Jay

  94. #95 Greg Fish
    January 21, 2011

    @Sid, #84

    “Vaccination coverage in California is at or near all-time high levels…”

    Heh… You know, that first link is a little confusing because the differences between years through 2004 to 2009 are statistically insignificant so that “is at or near all-time high” phrase seems pretty meaningless. Bit I digress.

    Now, tell me again why you’re covering up local pockets of low vaccination rates by the big numbers? Now, knowing your history here, allow me to explain it to you with an example.

    Let’s say you need to have about 85% of the public vaccinated to keep up herd immunity against a certain disease. If you have areas with vaccine rates of 60%, 80%, 95%, 44%, 84%, 98%, 99%, 95%, and 97%, you’d get an average vaccination rate of 83.6%. The stats look good because you’re near your goal, but in those two pockets of 60% and 44% uptake, you’re going to get outbreaks of the disease you’re trying to prevent due to… wait for it… low vaccination rates!

  95. #96 Greg Fish
    January 21, 2011

    @Dr. Jay, # 92,

    “We disagree about lots of details and concepts, but I think everyone here believes that their ideas promote the best health.”

    The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, as the popular saying goes. Two people can both agree that they have the best idea to quell the AIDS epidemic in Africa, but one person’s idea is to fund better anti-retrovirals and make them available as cheaply as possible, and the others in to exterminate all those infected. Extreme example but it illustrates a point, and yes, this actually happened in Kenya and Tanzania.

    Your advice for people not to vaccinate, not to vaccinate fully, or fear vaccines, or whatever it is you’re going to be peddling tomorrow, is harmful according to volumes of study and medical literature gathered over decades. That’s all there’s to it. If your path to “optimal health for babies” actually exposes them to higher risks, you’re no friend of anyone who actually tries to protect them from infectious disease. You’re just someone who thinks he knows better than thousands and thousands of experts on the topic.

  96. #97 Mike
    January 21, 2011

    I’ve been looking at the data (no detailed statistical analysis because I haven’t got the data on a spreadsheet) and I’m appalled that parents are actively leaving their children unvaccinated.

    There’s an entry in http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Documents/2009SchoolIZRateTable1.pdf giving percentages of parents who got PBE’s (or Personal Belief Exemptions– parents sign an affidavit requesting that their kids be exempted from vacination) An example would be Santa Cruz Waldorf, where a whopping 77% of parents get a PBE.

    I’ve loooked at the other high PBE cases, and I’ve noticed that I keep seeing Waldorf schools getting a large number of PBE’s, and correspondingly low immunization rates. There are other schools of course, with high PBE’s– I was just surprised at how often a Waldorf school showed up.

  97. #98 Anonymous
    January 21, 2011

    It’s not a coincidence that Waldorf schools have high PBEs.
    http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2010/10/publicly-funded-waldorf-education.html

  98. #99 Matthew Cline
    January 21, 2011

    @Jay Gordon:

    And I really do believe that pharma-shills exist all over the Intertoobz…

    Why? What evidence do you have? More importantly for the discussion at hand, what evidence do you have that any of the shilling is done for vaccines?

    … and that there are probably none here mainly because there’s no need for them and because Orac is a stand up guy in spite of our major disagreements.

    What distinguishes a place that needs them from a place that doesn’t? For example, is the comments section on the Huffington Post one that needs them? Because I occasionally post pro-vaccine comments there under another handle.

    And, a question of mine from this thread you ignored: what do pharma-shills have to do with the vaccine discussion that take place on this blog? If they have nothing to do with it, then why do you repeatedly bring it up when we’re discussing vaccines?

    And a question of mine from another thread that you ignored: you don’t think that Wakefield is a well meaning person who wouldn’t have committed fraud. Why? What do you base this assessment on?

  99. #100 augustine
    January 21, 2011

    Greg the fish

    The stats look good because you’re near your goal, but in those two pockets of 60% and 44% uptake, you’re going to get outbreaks of the disease you’re trying to prevent due to… wait for it… low vaccination rates!/

    You’re about as smart as a fish. So go on with your solid conclusion…Put your intellectual reputation on the line. For whatever that is. Pull the trigger, greg. God knows todd is too scared to do it. Maybe you have the balls or stupidity.

  100. #101 Roger Kulp
    January 21, 2011

    From the “chicken pox parties” article

    “Although technically correct, Gershon’s opinion isn’t taken seriously by critics of vaccines. Vaccinating millions of healthy babies every year to protect leukemic children against chickenpox seems a stretch, but it’s the kind of thinking that forms vaccination policy.”

    So bolstering herd immunity to protect children,and adults with immune deficiencies,cancer,mitochondrial/metabolic diseases,or on immunosuppressant drugs is all BigPharma® /government propaganda plot,to trample on parents personal freedom,and poison their kids.Typical As someone who had chickenpox severe enough as a child,to cause carditis,and heart complications,and got shingles the first time in my twenties,I would have loved for the vaccine could have been available then.

    What do you want to bet,a lot of the readers/posters over there are homeopaths,who believe in “dynamic derangement” as a cause of diseases like chicken pox.

    “Suppose a group of people are exposed to Influenza Virus. Only few of them get sick and others remain healthy. Why does that happen? The people who remain healthy were immune to disease and were not vulnerable to disease. Immunity is a inborn tendency in individuals to recognize and acquire antigens. In short, the people who were immune to the disease were dynamically in a perfect equilibrium. People who got affected by disease were dynamically deranged before only, and were vulnerable to get affected by disease bacteria or virus. So, dynamic derangement in the person was first to occur, then bacteria and viruses entered in their body to produce disease. In fact, the presence of particular bacteria or viruses helps us to detect the type of dynamic derangement in a living entity and direct us to the necessary actions required to be taken to restore the dynamic equillibrium.”

    http://www.homeopathytreat.com/abouthomeopathy.html#Q11

  101. #102 novalox
    January 21, 2011

    @57

    Really, judging by your posting history, comparing yourself to Ozzie Smith would be a terrible insult to him.

    You’re more like Mario Mendoza, who rarely, if ever, can get over the Mendoza line.

  102. #103 NZ Sceptic
    January 22, 2011

    Hear, hear, Greg Fish at #95. You’ve summed up the danger of ‘Dr’ Jay Gordon, and his betrayal of his customers and their babies perfectly.

    Luckily he doesn’t infiltrate our media to any extent here but I did see his performance on Penn and Teller and was horrified. That, and his regular outbursts here at Respectful Insolence suggest most strongly that he is driven by a love of the limelight rather than a genuine medical vocation.

    The young parents reading Mothering magazine may never have seen people in iron lungs, and children dying or being maimed for life by preventable illness – but I bet ‘Dr’ Jay has. Whether he’d admit it or not is another thing!

  103. #104 Narad, the Man of Iron
    January 22, 2011

    You are, what we call here, a concern troll – that we’re not taking the other side seriously enough or we won’t give them equal time, or gosh darn it, we’re too harsh on them.

    TINW, “Lawrence.”

  104. #105 lilady
    January 22, 2011

    A big thanks to the posters here who researched the California counties and school districts with low rates of completed childhood vaccines. As yet, the California Health Department and the CDC have not posted on their websites and on the MMWR website, the case studies of the 10 infants who died during the 2010 pertussis outbreak.

    Such studies involve complete information about contacts, including their immunization status…prior to visiting the infants who died. I suspect that completed epidemiology reports from the CDC will reveal that the infants contracted their deadly disease through a long line of transmission from family members who hadn’t completed the childhood series of immunization or (more likely) an adult with no history of immunization.

  105. #106 ofis koltuklari
    January 22, 2011

    rt is how she had been so snowed by the misinformation campaign to be misled into believe that only vaccinated kids got autism.

    The second part was the response, which all took a Kim Stagliano approach of blaming it on the vaccination of the mom, and the mercury in her breast milk.

  106. #107 Clay
    January 22, 2011

    Cool, Dr Jay showed up. While thinking of people who are missing, it occurred to me, whatever happened to “Smarter Than You”? He claimed he was going to drop a bombshell on us by late November. I’ve only seen him once since, on LB/RB, sounding the same as he was here. Anyone hear from him since?

  107. #108 Matthew Cline
    January 22, 2011

    @Clay:

    While thinking of people who are missing, it occurred to me, whatever happened to “Smarter Than You”?

    Someone using the name “Smarter Than You” did show up recently. When asked about his “bombshell”, he claimed that he was an entirely separate person from the one who made the bombshell claims, that it was just a wild coincidence that two different anti-vaxxers commenting to this blog would use that exact same user name, that it was (somehow) blindingly obvious that he was a different person, and that we were all ignoramuses for not being able to tell that they were different.

  108. #109 Kirsi
    January 22, 2011

    Rorschach
    (I know it’s a messed up attitude, but part of me kind of wishes these anti-vax champs would put their money where their mouths are: no vaccines for anything,)

    augustine:
    Are you that shaking in your boots scared to think that people can not exist and thrive without vaccines? Have the disease fearmongerers gotten to you. Spare me your “only because others vaccinate” rhetoric.

    Are you claiming that herd immunity doesn’t exist? You couldn’t be more out of your league here.

  109. #110 Kirsi
    January 22, 2011

    Jay Gordon “MD”

    …I actually believe that most of you here have a lot to teach a clinician like me…

    The things they could teach you are something you should have learned in either medical school or by following up on scientific articles.

  110. #111 Scottynuke
    January 22, 2011

    The only legitimate comparison one can make between Sid Offit and Ozzie Smith is that Sid does such wonderful backflips in its attempts to distract us from its constant misquoting of statistics out of context.

  111. #112 augustine
    January 22, 2011

    Kirsi

    Are you claiming that herd immunity doesn’t exist? You couldn’t be more out of your league here.

    You’re out of YOUR league. You should stick to making trinkets.

  112. #113 augustine
    January 22, 2011

    I suspect that completed epidemiology reports from the CDC will reveal that the infants contracted their deadly disease through a long line of transmission from family members who hadn’t completed the childhood series of immunization or (more likely) an adult with no history of immunization.

    If they took to their investigation as biased as you that would be the only conclusion they could make. I mean if you automatically rule out the vaccinated, looking for only a chain of unvaccinated, what other conclusion could you make? That would be a case of faulty investigation.

  113. #114 adelady
    January 22, 2011

    Back to Orac’s post for a moment.

    I wonder what the homeopathic remedy might be for ribs broken by coughing spasms of pertussis?

  114. #115 Enkidu
    January 22, 2011

    @Roger Kulp, who said: “So bolstering herd immunity to protect children,and adults with immune deficiencies, cancer, mitochondrial/metabolic diseases, or on immunosuppressant drugs is all BigPharma® /government propaganda plot, to trample on parents personal freedom, and poison their kids. Typical.”

    Typical and sad. They don’t give a rat’s behind about anyone else, and the quote you posted from that article about chicken pox is yet another example.

    Helping sick people is part of a Big Pharma plot how? They never quite have an answer for that one, except to deny that herd immunity exists. I’m guessing they think Big Pharma is using our compassion for others against us, in their plot to have everyone vaccinated.

  115. #116 Kristen
    January 22, 2011

    Matthew Cline,

    Someone using the name “Smarter Than You” did show up recently. When asked about his “bombshell”, he claimed that he was an entirely separate person from the one who made the bombshell claims, that it was just a wild coincidence that two different anti-vaxxers commenting to this blog would use that exact same user name, that it was (somehow) blindingly obvious that he was a different person, and that we were all ignoramuses for not being able to tell that they were different.

    Yep, sounds like the same guy to me. His comments are like those old Mad Libs I liked so much in grade school. He’s pretty easy to spot.

  116. #117 Pablo
    January 22, 2011

    Why do you folks do this?

    “Where is Dr Jay?” Sure enough, he shows up
    “Where is augie?” He makes his worthless appearance
    “Where is STY?”

    NOOOOO! We don’t want these morons around! Please stop asking about them. It’s like they have a beacon, and as soon as you ask about them, they have to respond. Is that what you really want?

    Personally, I’m perfectly happy to have threads without the usual gang of idiots. The last thing I am thinking when threads are good is, “Where is [insert name of random dingbat]?”

    In other words, be careful, you might just get what you are asking for.

  117. #118 MDP
    January 22, 2011

    Thank you, Orac, for (re)focusing your insolence on some of the more extreme Mothering forums. It really is the ultimate realization of “Health Freedom”: Everyone’s an expert regardless of education, experience, capacity for intelligent thought. No members are ever held accountable for any bad outcomes, and no true believer is ever, ever wrong! Stick around and I’m sure you’ll find some Mothering “wisdom” that makes Mercola’s site seem well-researched and dignified.

  118. #119 novalox
    January 22, 2011

    @112

    And yet another ad hominem attack from you, but I shouldn’t be surprised by it, judging that is almost what you always do when presented with facts that don’t agree with your POV.

    @117

    Well, look at the sort-of good point (if there is any)…. you get to see the mindset of an anti-vaxxer in action, and then get to laugh at their mistakes.

  119. #120 lilady
    January 22, 2011

    Investigation of pertussis outbreaks include contact investigation and the immunization status of contacts. B. pertussis, as I mentioned in prior posts is caused by droplet transmission; in the case of infants it can be deadly. I’ve also stated that waning immunity in fully or partially vaccinated children and adults that are exposed to infants is the mode of transmission. Source investigations conducted by public health epidemiologists are not “faulty” or biased

    I stated that the “more likely” source of transmission is probably an unvaccinated adult…based upon prior reports of source investigations from the CDC.

  120. #121 augustine
    January 22, 2011

    lilady

    Source investigations conducted by public health epidemiologists are not “faulty” or biased

    So how do they determine if an unvaccinated person or a vaccinated is the “spreader”? How does an epidemiologist determine that? Or do they just assume “more likely” to. That wouldn’t be biased at all.

  121. #122 The Christian Cynic
    January 22, 2011

    I’m not even remotely surprised; my first experiences with anti-vaxers were on a forum I used to frequent, and they were all mothers who were overly enamored with the Mothering forums. Since I had never encountered anyone who disavowed the importance of vaccines (living in a non-“crunchy” part of the rural Midwest), I was skeptical even without knowing the science. (It was possibly the best thing that could have happened to me: I investigated it independently, found that there was no evidence to back up the hypothesis, and argued it on that forum long before my children got their diagnoses of autism.) I’ve never been impressed by anything I’ve seen from Mothering, especially given my experiences with these Mothering fanatics who were incredibly condescending, telling me that I needed to “do more research” even when I was easily able to counter the claims they made (like that Japan delayed vaccines and saw a decrease in SIDS, which was not actual but entirely superficial). That their lunacy goes beyond their radical vaccine stance and that they censor or stifle opposing viewpoints is entirely unsurprising given these experiences.

  122. #123 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 22, 2011

    “You’re about as smart as a fish.”

    And that means that GTF is still light-years ahead of you in any intellectual race here… even if it were true!

  123. #124 Dangerous Bacon
    January 22, 2011

    turnipseed: “I’ve asked this before, do some of you want to change things or do you just want to rant about it?”

    They’re not mutually exclusive activities.

    Postings in comments here will naturally have a limited effect. They can serve as a rallying point, for dissemination of information about antivax articles and activities that can be countered on a regional or local level by citizen action, or just for blowing off steam.

    Dr. Jay said: “I would read more carefully, Dangerous Bacon, but the content above is the same as in the all the previous posts about vaccines, “anti-vax loons” and so on…

    I went back up the page and read (turnipseed’s) original post. It’s really quite lovely and intelligent. “

    Here we have two of the classic woo-ist tactics employed to duck serious discussion:

    1) avoid substantive topics and evidence by sifting through posts to find examples of snark, which you can then claim represents all your opponents have to offer, and

    2) Bypass all those who disagree with you and cozy up to (“suck up” is a ruder, but even more accurate phrase) any poster who appears to sympathize with you, at least in part.

    By the way, no one needs a “beacon” to find mentions of themselves on this blog. One can do a simple Google search (a “vanity” search, if you will) to discover who’s been talking about you, and (if you’re an antivaxer) how you’ve embarassed yourself lately.

  124. #125 Science Mom
    January 22, 2011

    So how do they determine if an unvaccinated person or a vaccinated is the “spreader”? How does an epidemiologist determine that? Or do they just assume “more likely” to. That wouldn’t be biased at all.

    Contact tracing and assays for evidence of infection as well as estimation of chain of infection, in short. If you don’t know, then ask instead of barfing out indiscriminate accusations. That’s the problem with you Augie; you simply ASSume that your limited knowledge of hard sciences is applicable to people actually doing them.

  125. #126 augustine
    January 22, 2011

    ScienceMommy

    That’s the problem with you Augie; you simply ASSume that your limited knowledge of hard sciences is applicable to people actually doing them.

    I like where you’re going with this, mommy. Right on cue.

    So it appears that this information has already been obtained by none other than know it all bloggers. Otherwise they would not jump to such hasty conclusions, would they? They surely would not make accusations against one group of people without actual objective evidence and sound scientific reasoning.Or does something else besides actual evidence and science drive their hasty conclusions?

    Could you please present compelling evidence as you describe from above that has led you to the solid conclusion that conscientious non-vaccinators have caused a deadly outbreak. And is it available to the public? Thank you.

  126. #127 Daba
    January 22, 2011

    as a long time lurker on MDC, one response i have seen from anti-vax moms to questions on “won’t kids die from these diseases?” is either “the disease isn’t THAT bad” and/or “well, natural selection, dontchaknow. Some kids will just die.”

    *blink*

    My aunt had whooping cough at age 7 months which caused a stroke/brain damage which paralyzed the right side of her body. My SIL nearly died at age 6 months due to whooping cough (an epidemic said to be caused by low vaccination rates in the 70s).

    I also worked in child survival in West Africa – I have personally met grown up polio survivors begging in the streets and adults who were blinded by measles. Not to mention parents listing their dead children who were lost to preventable illness. And no, better nutrition and breastfeeding and better hygiene wouldn’t have “prevented” those loses.

    I feel like vaccinations are the victims of success – too few parents in the US these days have personally seen the impact of these illnesses, and therefore some have romanticize them. If parents are going to make decisions based on emotions and gut feelings, shouldn’t they include the very very nasty and negative outcome of a world without vaccinations? Because clearly the scientific data does not work in convincing these parents of the dangers.

  127. #128 sea creature
    January 22, 2011

    Shingles can be horrible. Just talk to someone who has been left with permanent nerve pain due to a bout with shingles. I worked at a pain management clinic and we saw some of these people. It was heartbreaking seeing folks whose careers were over, who were fighting for disability benefits because they could not work, who were struggling with the side effects of strong pain meds.

  128. #129 C. Sommers
    January 22, 2011

    I know we’re supposed to disregard anecdotes, but I need to say this in regard to the “concern trolls” that post here. Last year, I introduced this blog (as well as Orac’s “other” blog) to a good friend (and soon to be mother). She was on the fence regarding vaccines and was also starting to take an interest in homeopathy.

    Orac to the rescue. Seriously. My friend found the insolence to be funny enough to keep reading, and fortunately she’s smart enough to recognize that was is discussed here makes a lot of sense. I credit this blog with turning her around on a lot of CAM issues.

  129. #130 Chris
    January 22, 2011

    The Christian Cynic:

    (like that Japan delayed vaccines and saw a decrease in SIDS, which was not actual but entirely superficial).

    Actually the rate of infant deaths from pertussis went up, they should could not blame it on a vaccine they never had. In Offit’s book, Deadly Choices, there was a fear of the DTP vaccine in the early 1970s caused by a Dr. John Wilson. Both the UK and Japan (and Sweden) had a major drop in DTP uptake, with dire consequences.

  130. #131 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 22, 2011

    “You’re out of YOUR league. You should stick to making trinkets.”

    Actually, Kirsi is not out of her league at all. Evidently, though, you are… or you would have been able to come out with something sensible… and you didn’t.

    Augie, you’re a pillock.

  131. #132 Chris
    January 22, 2011

    lilady:

    As yet, the California Health Department and the CDC have not posted on their websites and on the MMWR website, the case studies of the 10 infants who died during the 2010 pertussis outbreak.

    And I doubt they will. They will need to reveal enough information to violate medical privacy laws.

    One argument I seem to seeing that is making me quite angry is the notion that “illegal immigrants” are the source of the pertussis. That was been publicly disputed by the California Department of Public Health.

    No one who is claiming it is “illegals” has come up with the data to show that in a state which was a former Spanish colony (with many Spanish place names like Sierra, La Jolla, Santa Monica) how to tell that the Hispanic families getting pertussis are recent illegal immigrants or have been in the state for two centuries.

    (I am trying to create a spreadsheet of the public school data, but it is not easy with much hand editing to get the data columns to line up. I need to do it in the evening and while listening to podcasts. I am noticing that there are are number of “charter” and schools with names like “exploratory” in them that have high levels of Personal Belief Exemptions, PBE. The shorter private school lists shows several Waldorf and a few religious schools with high PBEs. Most of the schools that look like Catholic Parochial have no PBEs, I guess is hard to claim an exemption when the Catholic Church supports vaccination!)

    Also, Kirsi, ignore Little Augie. He is a science hater and denier, starting with his first comment on this blog claiming that this was an “athiest” site. He is just one of our resident trolls.

  132. #133 Narad, the Man of Iron
    January 22, 2011

    I wonder what the homeopathic remedy might be for ribs broken by coughing spasms of pertussis?

    Bryonia, it looks like.

  133. #134 augustine
    January 22, 2011

    Pat

    Also, Kirsi, ignore Little Augie. He is a science hater and denier, starting with his first comment on this blog claiming that this was an “athiest” site.

    I do not hate science. I love science. It’s a great tool for knowledge but it has its’ limits.

    You seem to have equated skeptic brand science with actual science and the scientific method. Sticking your hand up science’s ass and pursing your lips like a ventriliquist does not mean science speaks. Hint: it’s actually you doing the speaking for science. And you have an agenda.

    If had said this was a blog for nihilists to congregate then would you have felt better about it?

  134. #135 Melisssssssssa
    January 22, 2011

    @allison, #33:

    “FWIW, I intended a natural birth (complications happened), will breastfeed until at least 2, make my own (mostly) organic baby food, cosleep, wear my baby, and do all that other ‘crunchy’ baby-raising stuff. My son is also vaccinated on the CDC schedule, and I’ve lost a few FB friends over my posting of pro-vaccination info. There are no magazines catering to me, sadly. “

    Yes, yes, yes!!!! Me too!!! I internet-ly embrace you as a fellow no-magazines-catered-to mom. :) Except at the time of my pregnancy, I was still very vulnerable and worried about vaccines. My dad “helpfully” kept forwarding me all this anti-vax garbage from the internet, fanning the raging flames of fear. Then I discovered Respectful Insolence, and it literally saved my sanity.

    My experience was very similar to C. Somers’s friend described in post #128– the tone of THIS BLOG blew past my irrational fears with humor and good information, and it was just the medicine I needed!

  135. #136 Pareidolius
    January 22, 2011

    Augie
    That wasn’t scientism, it was an anecdote. Those were my opinions and feelings about sMothering magazine. The part about Christine, Eliza Jane and not being able to express opposing views on the boards are facts. Comment on those if you must, my impressions are hardly worth arguing over since they’re mine alone.

  136. #137 Sara
    January 22, 2011

    Awhile back, one of the ringleaders on Mothering’s “Vaccination” forum posted her thought process behind which vaccinations she would give her children (Hint: The final answer on each vaccine was “nah, don’t need that one either.”) It’s a lovely, lovely example of the circular logic that goes on over there:

    First, she listed the risk of death of measles, per cases
    Next, she listed the chance of getting measles in the US each year.
    Finally, she concluded that since the possibility that anyone in the US could even get measles was 1 in 3 million, the vaccination was unnecessary.
    Of course that 1 in 3 million number (if it was correct) is because most US children are vaccinated against measles. If she and her her MDC friends don’t vaccinate, and persuade everyone else not to either …. then her whole argument would fall apart.

    As a side note: Biologists might enjoy going over there and doing keyword searches in their “health” forums on terms like “Methylation,” or “homocysteine.” I have never come across so many cases of “That word. You keep using it. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  137. #138 momma
    January 22, 2011

    @ alissa: also a co-sleeping, breastfeeding a toddler, make my own baby food mom. live on an island and eat fish. and my child is fully vaccinated. as am i. i too feel like there is no one out there like me, trying to be rational and reasonable about parenting. this blog and commentors, and SBM, helped me decide to vaccinate fully and on schedule. the mothering magazine type people just seem too crazy to me. they scared me off long before i was even pregnant.

    i would just like to comment to some of the others: WTH is this about mothers know best? that is such a bizarre thing to say. does this knowledge come with the ovaries? is it stored in the part of my brain where cooking and cleaning skills are? hope not. i don’t know much about parenting. i am learning a day at a time, getting to know my beautiful girl minute by minute, as is her father. i bring her my best knowledge and skill, but there are at times, shockingly, people who know better than i what to do for my child. case in point, our pharmacist who gave us the right cream for the diaper rash. parenting is not magic. it is hard freaking work mixed with random luck.

    the problem with the woo based, just believe in your instincts kind of parenting advice is that it fails when something goes wrong beyond anyone’s control. then all the mom can do is blame herself. and in that state she is not as available for parenting. sad and dangerous mentality, IMO.

    end rant.

  138. #139 lilady
    January 22, 2011

    @augustine You have continually questioned the case surveillance criteria used by public health epidemiologists throughout the U.S. for pertussis outbreaks-so I will provide you with the internet site for your (enhanced) knowledge. The web site is at http://www.cdc.gov Vaccines:VPD-VAC/Pertussis main page. I suggest you Check out “Resources for Health Care Providers” the last “bullet” of four “Pertussis Chapter-Vaccine Preventable Diseases Textbook” In your professional judgment, you can make a determination if public health professionals are conducting “biased” and “faulty” investigations. Please communicate your findings directly to the CDC and by all means, let us know how that all turns out for you.

    I am still awaiting the results of case studies which will contain no identifying data, no initials of the patients, no gender of the patient, no hospital name, and no immigration status of any close household contacts. In the case report dealing with a B. pertussis outbreak, histories of close household contacts will only state “fully immunized, incomplete immunization or never immunized”. If the case is linked to another case it will state that.

    I have participated in the investigation of outbreaks of many communicable disease (I am a public health nurse) Some of these outbreaks have been reported in the MMWR and I know that all identifying data is removed to protect patient and family anonymity.

  139. #140 Chris
    January 22, 2011

    Thanks, lilady. That is reassuring. I noticed that the California Department of Public Health now has a Public Service Announcement in Spanish about pertussis. It was very sad.

  140. #141 Basiorana
    January 22, 2011

    Pablo: “What they hell DO they talk about in that forum?

    Maybe it is just me, but I consider forums to be places of discussion, and discussion means that there has to be places of give and take. I mean, it seems to me that the whole forum would consist of just…”

    They discuss how to “treat” the diseases when their kids get them, how to get around state laws requiring it and how to scam private schools who don’t have to allow religious exemptions. They discuss how to convince/force their partners to go along with them. They gripe about doctors who get frustrated at them and complain about how the evil military their husband works for makes him get shots and how they have to get them for work and it’s SO NOT FAIR blah blah blah. Then they post links to websites, “research,” and media sources that support or oppose their view and rejoice or complain about them.

    Occasionally a mother comes in saying “X happened and my child is now really at risk of this disease and my husband is threatening divorce/taking custody if we don’t vaccinate, what do I do?” and all the other women start telling her to leave right away and that her husband is trying to KILL her child who has this serious disease and needs vaccination, and they imply that he’ll beat her in her sleep if he’s the kind of guy who would be so adamant about vaccinations.

    It’s SO SUPPORTIVE.

  141. #142 augustine
    January 22, 2011

    @lilady per your CDC source.

    “The efficacy of Tdap vaccination in controlling school or institutional outbreaks has not been evaluated;”

    Apparently you didn’t understand the question.

    http://www.adacel-locator.com/support/brochure/adacelpatientbrochure.pdf

    “[Adacel] is very similar to the one given to infants and
    children, but has been designed specifically to protect
    adolescents and adults from pertussis”

    “It is unknown whether immunizing adolescents and
    adults against pertussis will reduce the risk of transmission
    to infants.”

  142. #143 Matthew Cline
    January 22, 2011

    @Basiorana:

    … how to scam private schools who don’t have to allow religious exemptions.

    I’d like to see their argument for why private schools have no right to require that students be vaccinated. I’d also like to see their reaction if a child who was vaccinated got snuck into enrollment in a school that forbade vaccinations (if any such schools exist).

  143. #144 Matthew Cline
    January 22, 2011

    I said:

    I’d also like to see their reaction if a child who was vaccinated got snuck into enrollment in a school that forbade vaccinations

    Which I mean in an abstract sense, not that I’m actively wishing for a vaccinated child to be snuck into a school which forbids vaccination; going against the enrollment rules of a private school like that would be wrong. (Though if it’s already happened, or the folks at the Mothering forums have misinterpreted some situation and act as if it has happened, I’d still like to take a look)

  144. #145 Stacy
    January 22, 2011

    Mothering does not tolerate dissent on vaccines. I was banned from the forum over there a few years ago because I dared argue the rational point of view. I got away with it for a few days and then the ban hammer fell.

    The sad part is the anti-vax forum is not the worst part of the site. The worst part of the site is probably the unassisted birth forum. Unassisted as in no midwife. Oh and not low risk pregnancies either. Unassisted home birthing of twins and VBAC’s. Roughly once a month they have to mourn a dead baby because of such nonsense.

    I’m not in favor of censorship but this is one area where I could truly make an acception.

  145. #146 Sauceress
    January 22, 2011

    #93 Jay Gordon

    I guess I hope to stumble upon a civil discussion of the issues some day . . . I’ll keep looking.

    Seems Jay Gordon’s idea of engaging in a civil discussion is to spam this diversionary comment & link simultaneously onto three recent comment threads in the middle of discussions of the fraud perpetuated by Andrew Wakefield?

    You’re so full of it Jay.
    Narcissistic and disingenuous to the very core.

  146. #147 augustine
    January 22, 2011

    @augustine You have continually questioned the case surveillance criteria used by public health epidemiologists throughout the U.S. for pertussis outbreaks-so I…

    No. No, I question you, lilady, and called into question your lack of objectivity or bias on the issue. Of course you could rationalize (lie to yourself) your perceived need to be biased but the fact is you’re biased.

  147. #148 EMG
    January 22, 2011

    Great post but there are ever so much worse things happening at Mothering than just homeopathy and anti-vax. Look into what’s going on in their unassisted birth(“UC”)forum. Many women use it as a substitute for medical advice, even in active labor! The typical pattern is that an expectant “UC” mother begins to experience complications (reduced fetal movement, preeclampsia symptoms, premature rupture of membranes etc); she posts about in on Mothering; the ladies there guilt-trip her into “trusting her instincts” and continuing to avoid medical care; she posts, sometimes, in actual labor, floundering about in confusion as it slowly dawns on her that their wine-and-roses account of natural childbirth was BS; she goes to the hospital, too late, and comes home with nothing but a teddy bear; Mothering scrubs her history, meaning people who come along later can never get an accurate read on the dangers of their advice. Rinse and repeat. A doctor named Amy Tuteur started tabulating this some time ago; look her up. She found that the number of neonatal mortalities is shocking, like a couple dozen per year – and that’s only taking into account those who at some point choose to post openly about their experience and were noticed by Dr. Tuteur or her informers before MDC gets a chance to whitewash. To my eyes this is even huger than the vax thing, because the causal connection to children’s deaths is much shorter and more direct.

  148. #149 Sauceress
    January 22, 2011

    Oh, and Jay? A reminder for you that there are quite a number of questions & answers in response to your “Anyone here agree?” post on January 20, 4:31PM which are still waiting for your response. Why haven’t you, as yet, responded? You’ve made a number of posts on this thread since then, so I assume that you’ve certainly had sufficient free time to respond?

    Perhaps you’d forgotten about that post?
    Or perhaps that was just another of your hit and run troll efforts?

  149. #150 Sauceress
    January 22, 2011

    #144 EMG

    sometimes, in actual labor, floundering about in confusion as it slowly dawns on her that their wine-and-roses account of natural childbirth was BS; she goes to the hospital, too late, and comes home with nothing but a teddy bear; Mothering scrubs her history, meaning people who come along later can never get an accurate read on the dangers of their advice.

    *spouts very sharp fangs and teeth*

    GRRRR…..

    A doctor named Amy Tuteur started tabulating this some time ago; look her up.

    Thanks

  150. #151 augustine
    January 22, 2011

    EMG

    She found that the number of neonatal mortalities is shocking, like a couple dozen per year

    Thanks for the anecdote, EMG. But like the U.S. is terrible in neonatal mortality and the vast majority of births are like under full medical supervision. And that like doesn’t help your pleading. You know?

  151. #152 Militant Agnostic
    January 22, 2011

    Roughly once a month they have to mourn a dead baby because of such nonsense.

    And when the mother doesn’t make it I’ll bet no one ever hears about it.

    This is the result of the ignorant New Age idealization of nature. Evolution results in solutions that are good enough, not necessary optimal. From a species survival perspective a 1% maternal or infant death rate is an acceptable price for a big brain.

    Mothering scrubs her history, meaning people who come along later can never get an accurate read on the dangers of their advice.

    How 1984 of them – Big Mother eh.

  152. #153 hinterlander
    January 23, 2011

    EMG – that is very very disturbing. How could a woman put their ‘birth experience’ over the well-being of their baby? It’s so self-centred, it’s sickening. My mid-wife promoted home births, but I opted for a hospital birth. Just as well too, as my daughter was not positioned properly and had to be delivered by emergency c-section. The well-being of baby trumps ideals of being a perfect ‘Earth Mother’.

    Melissa, Allison & Momma:
    I’m another bfeeding, occasional co-sleeping, always pro-vaccine mother. It’s good to know there are more of us out there! I also had some rather hysterical anti-vax propaganda pushed on me by family when I was pregnant. This forum was a lifeline to sanity during those difficult times. It would be great to talk to other mums like you somewhere about general mum/mom non-insolence stuff. If you know of a forum far, far away from MDC, let me know!

  153. #154 prn
    January 23, 2011

    Outside or DIY homebirth sounds pretty adventuresome, asking for trouble. Some of them are also due to incompetent doctors/staff erroneously sending term moms home only to find their (t)error the hard way…

    It happens, it happened to the wife of a young professional in the same company office. The husband had platinum grade medical insurance through the company.

  154. #155 Chris
    January 23, 2011

    prn, unless you have real documentation that what you claim is standard practice, we will assume you just made it up.

  155. #156 prn
    January 23, 2011

    #150
    Chris, having trouble with reading comprehension again, or merely the bad faith part?

    “incompetent” and “error” does not imply standard practice, it reflects real life risks.

    “just made it up” Wrong but your world view is fine with me. I say, “consider the possible danger xxx based on previous experience.” Consider the idea, I certainly am not documenting people’s personal experiences if they didn’t make it a cause celebre’. Instead you attack asserting I’m a lying wanker, where my experience has been those who have made unfounded accusations typically reflect more about themselves.

    The world is rife with medical error and malfeasance. Only some of it is alternative. Go ahead and ignore me, Chris, I consider the inattentive, potential Darwin awardees anyway. It is not like you have shown me any capacity for interesting repartee.

  156. #157 MI Dawn
    January 23, 2011

    @Chris: prn wasn’t very clear, but if he is implying that a woman got sent home from the hospital as not in labor and ended up delivering at home or en-route back to the hospital …it can happen. Unfortunately, we are human and mother nature is a bitch who can surprise the best of us.

    @hinterlander, Melisssssa, Momma, and Allison: why not create a site where like minded moms like you can chat? I’d be happy to set up a blogger site where we could just create an “endless thread” sort of thing, with various topics as posts and links to useful sites. (I’m well beyond the baby stages, but as a nurse-midwife I’d be happy to moderate). If you are interested, let me know by emailing me at triskelethecat at g mail dot com and referencing Orac. Lillady, with her public health knowledge, Chris, and all would be welcome and we could link to the useful sites. And, unlike MDC we would welcome the fathers.

  157. #158 Kirsi
    January 23, 2011

    Chris:
    Also, Kirsi, ignore Little Augie. He is a science hater and denier, starting with his first comment on this blog claiming that this was an “athiest” site. He is just one of our resident trolls.

    Yeah, I noticed that a bit later *sigh* Maybe my hobby is sucking my troll-detector energy. I was going to respond, but will just enjoy the warm and fuzzies from people coming to my defence :)

  158. #159 dini sohbet
    January 23, 2011

    then cash it in for a meal ticket”. Somehow I don’t think there will be any mealtickets on offer when the current crop graduates. All my kids pretty much knew/know (2 freshmen, and a junior) what they wanted to do, and see college as a step -so I’m not too worried about the results, although I’m trying to help “optimize” the results (I place learning above credentials), I figure after a few years in the workforce skill and knowledge will sort out the empty credential-ed, from the real go getters anyway.

    Myself I was way more than ready for undergrad, but badly not ready for grad school -and most of us get only one real chance at it. I put some of the blame on my undergrad institution, which made getting a three year degree easy as pie, but which was insufficient prep for grad scho

  159. #160 Sauceress
    January 23, 2011

    Arrrrgh!
    The link in my post at #146 was meant to be New website: Hurt by Homebirth

    The FSM was probably drunk again and switched it around!

  160. #161 Anonymom
    January 23, 2011

    It’s too bad that site is owned by Amy Tuteur. It’s a worthy idea, but Tuteur is a nutter herself. She had a stint on Science Blogs that ended quickly when the crazy revealed itself. Same thing on Open Salon. It’s a shame because she has fascinating ideas about natural parenting as it relates to feminism and she’s been shining a spotlight on Mothering.com’s bullshit for years. But Tuteur really isn’t the best standard bearer for the side of reason and rationality. Trust me.

  161. #162 MI Dawn
    January 23, 2011

    Hi, Orac. You are a blogfather again!

    For parents who want to talk about parenting, I created a blog

    http://mommyminions.blogspot.com/

    Comments are welcome from the moms and dads, interested persons here (Jay Sweet, Todd W, lillady, Chris, Science Mom) to help me improve this and make this a great site.

    MI Dawn

  162. #163 Lawrence
    January 23, 2011

    After experiencing two births with my wife, even the idea of home-birthing scares the crap out of me. With the first, we had some major complications & there was a good chance that my wife & the baby would have died if we weren’t in the hospital (difficult delivery, baby in wrong position) and she dropped about four pints of blood/clots a couple of hours after – which was scary enough as it was, even being in the hospital.

    I don’t understand how any mother could put the “child-birth experience” above the health of the child. There is a reason why we have access to medical facilities – people should be taking advantage of them!

  163. #164 Chris
    January 23, 2011

    MI Dawn, I do know women get sent home if they are not in labor. I was sent home twice for false labor myself (only to give birth at least a week later). Except, prn, made it sound like a common practice.

    I’ll check out your new blog soon.

  164. #165 MikeMa
    January 23, 2011

    My wife went heavy-woo before the birth of our second child and wanted to home birth. Her doc went absolutely batshit and I wasn’t happy about it. Good thing we were at the hospital as the baby didn’t breathe on her own without intervention and would have died at home.

  165. #166 Jay Gordon
    January 23, 2011

    Out of hospital births are very safe when the mothers are lower risk and receive excellent prenatal care. This is not always the case, I know.

    My experience with hospital obstetrical care is also not uniform but most of the OBs I know are quite good and many are excellent.

    My problem involves the care of newborns after the birth. Many hospitals over treat healthy babies, follow out of date blood sugar protocols, treat Transient Tachypnea as a disease and separate babies from their families without good medical reason. Many hospitals are also not sufficiently supportive of breastfeeding.

    Best,

    Jay

  166. #167 Chris
    January 23, 2011

    Dr. Jay, you are the last person anyone should get advice from. You are actually part of the problem.

  167. #168 Wren
    January 23, 2011

    Of course many babies are born at home without problems. The problem is, the ones who aren’t often need immediate medical care.

    If I hadn’t had a needed c-section with my first (we discovered after I was in labour that his feet were coming first), I probably would have tried for a home birth with my second. I nearly had one by accident, turning up at the hospital already at 10 cm because it took me a while to recognise it was real labour and not another round of the false kind. Of course, I was a mile from the hospital, so I knew I could transfer quickly, and it would have been with an NHS trained midwife who was both familiar with home deliveries and knowledgeable about when to transfer. As I had the c-section the first time, I was more than happy to plan a hospital birth.

    I have never given birth in an American hospital, but I and all 5 of my sisters were born in one, as was my nephew. The culture had already begun to shift from nursery care of healthy newborns to rooming in by the time my last few sisters were born. If Dr Jay has a problem with the care he sees newborns receive, perhaps he should push for changes to that care. NHS hospitals are very much for babies rooming with their mothers (mine even encouraged co-sleeping) and pro-breastfeeding. It’s not impossible for a hospital to support those things.

    To the other fairly “crunchy” mothers and fathers who still believe in science, count me and my husband in your ranks. My children have been and will continue to be fully vaccinated, no question, but I did breastfeed to 9 months with my first and 35 months with my second, my daughter practically lived in a sling because it suited us both and my kids both co-slept until about 7 months. I made my own baby food, which made the transition to table food easy and gave me a great motivation to move them to it. I was once even an MDC reader.

    Funny thing, I’ve not heard a peep from MDC in years, but received a link to a survey for them in my email box this morning. I took it, but I don’t think they’ll like what I had to say.

  168. #169 MI Dawn
    January 23, 2011

    @Dr Jay, you said”Out of hospital births are very safe when the mothers are lower risk and receive excellent prenatal care. This is not always the case, I know.

    My experience with hospital obstetrical care is also not uniform but most of the OBs I know are quite good and many are excellent.

    My problem involves the care of newborns after the birth. Many hospitals over treat healthy babies, follow out of date blood sugar protocols, treat Transient Tachypnea as a disease and separate babies from their families without good medical reason. Many hospitals are also not sufficiently supportive of breastfeeding.

    Let’s re-word some sentances for accuracy:

    Out of hospital births may be safe when the mothers are low risk and receive excellent prenatal care and the parents and caregiver have a transport plan in place in case of emergency. The caregiver also has the needed emergency equipment and training to handle basic emergencies.

    {No comments about your experiences with OBs. Some are fantastic. Others I wouldn’t recommend to care for a Barbie (TM) doll. I can say the same thing about nurse-midwives, lay midwives, pediatricians, family practitioners…all are human and some are better at what they do than others.}

    Some hospitals treat healthy babies with signs of low blood sugar with out of date blood sugar protocols by giving them glucose water instead of breastfeeding and watching glucose levels IF the baby is able to nurse adequately.

    Some may treat Transient Tachypnea as a sign of illness rather than a transient issue and separate babies from their families without diagnostic tests that confirm the illness state over the transient state. Due to malpractice, many hospitals are afraid to take a watch-and-wait stand in case the baby develops respiratory distress or worse.

    Some hospitals are not sufficiently supportive of breastfeeding because they don’t force women who wish to bottle feed to breastfeed, nor do they force women who want to just skip one feeding to sleep to instead wake up and nurse. (yes, I know that consistent feeding is important. I also know that a resentful mother will quit breastfeeding faster than you can blink). Some hospitals still hand out packs with formula to breastfeeding mothers.

    I believe in breastfeeding. But you should not resort to hyperbole. Let’s be honest and say Some hospitals, some mothers. Because it’s true.

  169. #170 Melisssssssssa
    January 23, 2011

    I breastfed my son exclusively for 6 months, and supplementally for 3 years total. (Yeah, I know it’s a long time, but I was afraid of the autistic meltdown-freakout that might occur with weaning. Turned out he just took it in stride– good for him! And for me! Those baby things ought to come with instruction manuals, because I really had no idea what to do. Mommy-instincts? Where???)

    Anyway, the point of this is that I really kinda wish I had supplemented that with formula, because I will always wonder if his neuro issues would have been lessened had he had more vitamin D early in life– said vitamin is not passed on well via breastmilk, but there’s loads of it in most formula.

  170. #171 Chris
    January 23, 2011

    I actually found great breastfeeding support at the children’s hospital my newborn was transported to. As he was in the Infant Intermediate Care Unit (having spent only one night in Infant Intensive Care Unit), I had a rocking chair and pillow to nurse him as he was attached to IVs and monitors next to his isolette. They also had a pump station and bottles to store my milk, plus information on where to went a pump when I was at home. When he was detached from the IV, I even got to carry him to the room for his EEG, and nurse him when necessary (though not while he was being attached to the EEG and it was being taken). This was over twenty years ago.

    Dr. Jay is full of it.

    Melissssssssa, I believe Vitamin D was in the drops I gave my kids, but the memory is fuzzy since the youngest is 16.

  171. #172 Pablo
    January 23, 2011

    I take a little consolation in the fact that, in this thread, we haven’t had any “I spend some time at MDC, and a lot of what they say seems reasonable” defenders showing up. Even the folks who have come, the ones who one might think on the surface would be more sympathetic to a lot of the topics there, have been harsh toward it. It kind of reinforces my opinion that when it comes to sMothering, it is so far out there that only the craziest of crazies really buy into it. As I noted above, it may seem that there are a lot, but remember, the place is a lone oasis for those folks. It is extreme to say the least.

    I guess what I am saying is that I don’t think there are a lot of fencers when it comes to MDC. If you buy into it, then you are fully there.

    Another funny thing is how the hardcore MDCers haven’t even shown up. Man, say a bad word about homeopathy or accupuncture or Andy Wakefield, and the supporters come out of the woodwork. Talk smack on MDC, and they have no response. Not surprising, of course, because that means they would have to post in a place where dissenting views are allowed, and they might get their feelings hurt when someone has the nerve to disagree with them.

  172. #173 maydijo
    January 23, 2011

    I couldn’t think any less of this publication. A friend of mine buys their crunchy-granola view of natural birth completely. (Although in all fairness, it’s not just Mothering – there is an entire subset of childbirth culture that shares this view.) In the past 3 years we have mourned 3 of her babies, all born premaurely. She was so proud to tell us that she gave birth to her first baby when she was only 7 cm dillated, and how happy she was not to be in a hospital because those horrible doctors would’ve insisted on intervention to make sure she was fully dillated first . . . And now she can’t carry a pregnancy much past 20 weeks. It’s almost certainly due to cervical damage, but she refuses to take any steps (other than herbs) to maintain a pregnancy. She’s swallowed the kool-aid, and in her mind it’s better to lose baby after baby than to accept medical intervention.

  173. #174 Dangerous Bacon
    January 23, 2011

    For regular readers of Mothering, the photo of the adorable little infant on the cover of the issue that asks “Should you vaccinate” (for whooping cough) probably provides sufficient answer. Stick a needle in that cute widdle innocent baby? Never!

    It might be a bit tougher to answer the question in the same way, if the photo accompanying this article was substituted for that of the baby on the cover.

    (While I as a child was spared whooping cough, both my sister and brother suffered badly with it).

  174. #175 augustine
    January 23, 2011

    Chris

    Dr. Jay, you are the last person anyone should get advice from. You are actually part of the problem.

    Nothing in his post deserved your emotional outburst of personal attacks no matter how justified you think it is. You’re simply a jilted angry lady with emotional issues that you have not come to terms with. This unnecessary response is just further evidence of that.

  175. #176 novalox
    January 23, 2011

    @175

    Ha, that’s rich, coming from a poster known for throwing ad hominems at anyone who doesn’t agree with his POV.

  176. #177 augustine
    January 23, 2011

    Haha, Novavax, I can do that. You can’t.

  177. #178 novalox
    January 23, 2011

    @177

    Ah, another childish taunt.

    But what else would I expect from a child like you.

  178. #179 hinterlander
    January 24, 2011

    MI Dawn

    Thanks a bunch for setting up Mommy Minions. Have just checked it out and it looks great. I look forward to sharing with other parents there.

  179. #180 Sesli Sohbet
    January 24, 2011

    This unnecessary response is just further evidence of that good.

  180. #181 J
    January 24, 2011

    “The Unschooling forums would be hilarious if it weren’t for the damage they are doing to their children’s future. It’s Homeschooling without all that hard work!”

    Urm..I don’t think that that word means what you think it means…

    The word ‘unschooling’ can mean lots of things, but the stereotype you’ve got (‘unschooling means that the parents do nothing while the kids wach TV’) is very rare / almost non-existent.*

    ‘Unschooling’ was originally used to describe any form of home education that was child-led – John Holt, an early pioneer of the American homeschooling movement, coined the term to signify a form of homeschooling that was not intended to replicate school processes. Nowadays, people who call themselves ‘unschoolers’ range all over the place, from people who use a unit-study model and allow their children to choose the unit themes, to people who practice Charlotte Mason education and avoid textbooks wherever possible, to the ‘radical unschoolers’ who try to be 100% child-led, but plan activities and present resources to broaden their children’s education.

    In some cases, traditional, structured homeschoolers who aren’t religiously motivated will call themselves ‘unschoolers’ to distinguish themselves from fundies in the HSLDA and similar groups.

    The real danger of the Mothering forums isn’t that they will encourage educational neglect – it’s that for many people, the Mothering forums are the easiest non-fundie homeschooling forums to find on the internet. It would be all too easy, as a new homeschooling parent, to see Mothering and get the (luckily false!) impression that all non-fundie homeschool families were anti-vaxxers, HIV-denialists, etc. Other secular homeschooling resources (The Denim Jumper, HSFreethinkers, progressivehomeschool.com, etc.) are harder to find and not nearly as active. Most of the secular stuff lives on individual families’ blogs or in local associations. It’s harder to find, and a secular homeschooling skeptic who wandered into Mothering.community might feel very isolated and discouraged.

    (*I’m sure it’s not _nonexistent_ – there has to be someone this lazy out there! – but whoever is neglecting their children this way isn’t much involved with any part of the homeschooling community. Even the Taking Children Seriously people, who are as radically child-led as you get, produce educated kids with a decent record of university admissions.)

  181. #182 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 24, 2011

    Kirsi: “Yeah, I noticed that a bit later *sigh* Maybe my hobby is sucking my troll-detector energy. I was going to respond, but will just enjoy the warm and fuzzies from people coming to my defence :)”

    Aivan!

    Toi ‘augie’ idiootti on semmonen paskapää, jolla ei ole mitään älykyyttä ollenkaan. Se toistaa aivan sitä, mitä hänen/sen johtokunta käskee hänen/sen sanovan. Myö ollaan laittaneet tommost ihan pönttöön… kunpas toi menis samaan suuntaan, vai? *sigh*

  182. #183 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 24, 2011

    “You’re simply a jilted angry lady with emotional issues that you have not come to terms with.”

    LoL

    You bleeding idiot. Even if psychoanalysis were a reasoned theory (it actually isn’t), your conclusion is totally unsupported by the data available to you. Indeed, the data suggest that you are the ‘bitter and twisted’ one, because your parents failed to home-educate you properly. Instead of doing something about it, you go ahead and spitefully abuse anyone who has had a proper education (home or otherwise) and actually knows something about how science works.

    To call you a cretin would be to insult cretins. And I’ve already insulted turds in my previous post to Kirsi about you; so I’m reluctant to insult cretins.

  183. #184 Composer99
    January 24, 2011

    ugh troll, as I believe many people have told you on previous occasions when you attempt to post evidence on this blog, a publicity brochure printed by a manufacturer for the general public, filled with CYA language, does not constitute scientific evidence. Indeed, I’m almost certain you’ve trotted out that very brochure on this blog.

    Neither does cherry-picking quotes, which is another common error (which you will likely also persist in engaging in despite repeated corrections).

  184. #185 ababa
    January 24, 2011

    (*I’m sure it’s not _nonexistent_ – there has to be someone this lazy out there! – but whoever is neglecting their children this way isn’t much involved with any part of the homeschooling community. Even the Taking Children Seriously people, who are as radically child-led as you get, produce educated kids with a decent record of university admissions.)

    Perhaps I said it wrong, but that area is pretty much like I said. “Unschooling” may work or have a different meaning outside of MDC, but you don’t have to read long to find it is far from the best example of a glowing endorsement of the process. A significant number of the MDC homeschoolers are that way because they want to shield their children from everything those forums say is bad, from vaccines to anxiety of having the kids gone for six hours a day. And it doesn’t take long in the Unschooling forum to find out that a good number of them take that route because they were not capable of performing an effective homeschool.

    I still remember one post in particular from a Mom that was asking what to do because their 8 year old child only wanted to watch videos on the computer all day and couldn’t read yet, and the response were basically “well if that’s what he is leading then go with it!” Some children will lead themselves to learning and reading, others if allowed to lead will have advanced degrees in Spongebob and Super Mario. I’ve seen very little evidence of the MDC Unschoolers having evaluated if their kids are good candidates for it.

    Let’s face it, the one thing that seems to be overwhelmingly pervasive on MDC is their rejection of science and conventional wisdom, where personal intuition trumps evidence based thinking in every case. That doesn’t exactly make for the best setting for someone to be educating a child.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many MDC regulars who are perfectly sane and take the nonsense with a grain of salt as they should. And there are many homeschoolers that perform at or above their peers, and no doubt unschooling works well in certain very limited situations as well.

  185. #186 J
    January 24, 2011

    @ababa
    THe “unschoolers” on MDC are hardly the most rational people, but I don’t think you are really seeing what’s going on there at all.

    Most of the people in the MDC unschooling forums are not any sort of “radical unschooler” at all – they are people trying to incorporate some child-led approaches into their (garden variety, generally secular) homeschooling. There are lots of intros that say things like “I try to do some unschooling along with…” and “we are, ideally, unschooly in our approach…” The thread you mention above was started by one such person: her other posts are her asking about math textbooks and other resources for her family.

    The few true “radical unschoolers” who actually do seem to participate in MDC seem mostly to be followers of Sandra Dodd. Dodd advocates a totally child-led approach which is anything but lazy – it involves huge parental effort toward helping the child turn their interests into academic projects. Dodd’s followers plan near-constant trips and try to “turn the home into a museum” – kids whose parents use this approach are hardly neglected!

    ‘Radical unschooling’ (of any type) is not an approach I favor for my (planned) homeschooling, but it is one that works well for some families, and looks nothing like parental neglect. Most “unschoolers” on MDC aren’t “radical unschoolers,” anyway! As with any gathering of secular and liberal-religious homeschoolers, the most common approaches discussed on MDC seem to be Well-Trained-Mind-type ‘classical ed’, science-intensice options like Nebel, Charlotte Mason – influenced approaches, and Oak Meadow-type Waldorfy approaches, all modified to meet the kids’ and families’ needs.

    Again – I think Mothering magazine and its positions on health issues are nuts, but I also suspect that your concerns about the “unschooling” forum kids’ education are based in a misreading of what’s actually going on here…

  186. #187 augustine
    January 24, 2011

    ugh troll, as I believe many people have told you on previous occasions when you attempt to post evidence on this blog, a publicity brochure printed by a manufacturer for the general public, filled with CYA language, does not constitute scientific evidence.

    Sorry, Beethoven, but facts are facts. Evidence is evidence. If they (or you for that matter) could scientifically prove that that the pertussis vaccine could stop transmission you could bet your last dollar that the pharmaceutical company would put that in BOLD letters. Denial doesn’t help you here.

    Otherwise the statement “It is unknown whether immunizing adolescents and adults against pertussis will reduce the risk of transmission to infants.” would not be in there.

    http://iai.highwire.org/cgi/content/full/68/12/7175

    The acellular vaccines presently in use are highly effective at preventing severe disease but are less effective at preventing bacterial infection (1, 4, 8, 17, 20). Presumably, they achieve protection by blocking bacterial attachment and neutralizing the adverse effects of pertussis toxin. In this small study, we found no evidence that acellular vaccines promoted antibody-dependent killing by complement or enhanced phagocytosis by neutrophils

    Translation for Beethoven. The fully vaccinated can transmit pertussis.

  187. #188 a-non
    January 24, 2011

    Wow, augie you posted a 10-year-old study of six people as rationale for your belief?

    Positive: You actually published a study.

    Negative: Reading comprehension fail.

  188. #189 Yojimbo
    January 24, 2011

    Why is “conscientious non-vaccinators” not an oxymoron?

  189. #190 augustine
    January 24, 2011

    anon

    Wow, augie you posted a 10-year-old study of six people as rationale for your belief?

    Is that all you can say? Can you explain to me at what age that study lost it’s merit? Was it at 2,5,7,or 9 years? What factors led to it being dismissed? You seem to be making fun of it’s 10 year age for some purpose. Was that part of your argument?

    Vaccinated adolescents and adults may
    serve as reservoirs for silent infection and
    become potential transmitters to unprotected
    infants (3-11). The whole-cell vaccine for
    pertussis is protective only against clinical
    disease, not against infection (15-17). Therefore,
    even young, recently vaccinated children may
    serve as reservoirs and potential transmitters of
    infection.

    Isn’t the whole cell vaccine considered generally more effective that the acellular?

    We found that immunity does not even
    persist into early childhood in some cases. We
    also observed that DPT vaccine does not fully
    protect children against the level of clinical
    disease defined by WHO. Our results indicate
    that children ages 5-6 years and possibly
    younger, ages 2-3 years, play a role as silent
    reservoirs in the transmission of pertussis in the
    community.

  190. #191 UberFubarius
    January 24, 2011

    About chicken pox.
    If you got chicken pox as a child, do the immunity last for the remainder of your life?
    I know that the vaccine lasts for a decade or two, not sure if I should get one right now (had chicken pox, not from pox party, just caught it at school).

  191. #192 Todd W.
    January 24, 2011

    @UberFubarius

    AFAIK, natural infection with chicken pox usually leads to lifetime immunity, but there is the chance for reinfection, particularly if your immune response the first time was mild. I don’t know off-hand if natural immunity also wanes.

    Regardless, infection with chicken pox does carry with it the risk for developing shingles. Vaccination is recommended for that in those over 60, if I remember right.

  192. #193 lilady
    January 24, 2011

    Varicella Zoster Virus is the pathogen that causes chicken pox. Prior to the development of the Varicella Vaccine, most children (90%), were infected with the virus and acquired chicken pox. This virus, after an individual has recovered from chicken pox, is the virus “that keeps on giving”; it is latent in the dorsal ganglion cells of the sensory nerves. When it reactivates, it appears as “shingles”. People who have suppressed immune systems…congenital or transient… are at high risk for re-activation of the latent varicella zoster virus in the form of “shingles” disease. People with great immune systems, as they get older, do experience aging-related immune suppression.

    Varicella vaccine is given to young children, as part of their early childhood immunizations, along with MMR (measles, mumps, rubella vaccine).

    Shingles vaccine, is now available and recommended for adults age 50…and beyond. It is also recommended for younger patients who are immune suppressed.

    Information about these diseases and these vaccines are available on the web at CDC Vaccines:Pubs/VIS/main page

  193. #194 Luna_the_cat
    January 24, 2011

    One of my very good friends has had chicken pox — actual chicken pox, not shingles — no less than four times. Although common wisdom has that catching it should give you lifelong immunity, and it may do for most, for some people that is patently not the case.

    Aside from that, I’d rather not risk shingles, if I have any choice in the matter. It can be truly crippling and horrendous. I’d rather just keep getting shots every ten years for however many iterations needed.

  194. #195 Lawrence
    January 24, 2011

    My wife has a copy of “American Baby,” and they have a great article on vaccines. They address the concerns, state why the vaccines are important (both in number of shots & when they should be given). They also talk about Wakefield (that he had been striken from the roles in the UK & his study retracted), and even have a great quote from Dr. Offit.

    Nice to see good parenting magazines out there.

  195. #196 VMB
    January 25, 2011

    My dad pointed me to your blog when I started asking him about vaccines. He is a doctor (and mom a nurse), so naturally they were pretty upset that I would ever question vaccination. I have 2 kids, ages 2 and 4, who ARE currently up-to-date with vaccinations. I started hearing some of the concerns from the anti-vax camp, and it just made me so confused. I find it difficult to get un-emotional information about this issue. I really like this post, so thank you. I have ended up on mothering.com a few times in different searches, but have always felt like it seemed a bit intense for me.

    Of course, when I googled things like “vaccination safety” or saw the resources the anti-vax people were recommending, I could smell something fishy, but I still have questions. I get the point about the time-tested, really important vaccines. I get it. I don’t want my kid to die from an easily preventable disease. But am I to trust the recommendations of the powers-that-be with regards to ALL vaccines (specifically the hpv vaccine)? What about the rotavirus vaccine? Is there any reason for concern about the newer combined vaccines? I just want to do the right thing. I am glad that most of my decisions have already been made before I started getting exposed to all the concern. I am genuinely interested in your answers here, so please be gentle.

  196. #197 augustine
    January 25, 2011

    VMB

    I am genuinely interested in your answers here, so please be gentle.

    Me, too!

  197. #198 Scott
    January 25, 2011

    Each new vaccine is required to undergo rigorous safety and efficacy testing before approval. And the CDC vaccine schedule recommendations constitute the collective consensus of the experts in the field.

    So yes, trusting the CDC recommendations is appropriate.

    In particular, rotavirus can kill and routinely results in hospital stays. Combined vaccines are generally preferable to separated because there are fewer total shots, so less pain and hassle. HPV is pretty new to the recommended schedule, but preventing cancer is quite a desirable thing.

  198. #199 attack_laurel
    January 25, 2011

    @Dangerous Bacon:

    I thought the exact same thing – imagine that gorgeous child wracked with coughing, unable to breathe, breaking ribs, red-faced and near death. Seems like a very good argument for vaccinating!

    I was too old to get the chicken pox vax, but got the DPT and polio vaccines – to my mother’s relief (she grew up in the 1920s and 30s, when iron lungs and infant deaths were an everyday reality; her elder brother died of amoebic dysyntery). My husband, who is a bit older than me, grew up before vaccines and got the works – mumps, whooping cough, chicken pox, measles, and scarlet fever (which almost killed him; I got SF as a child too, through unfortunate chance, and spent four weeks at home, two of them basically unconscious, two of them too weak to walk).

    We are both heavily in favour of vaccines. Too many of the younger mothers on the sMothering forums have never seen the results of unvaccinated illness (heck, HiB Influenza didn’t get a vaccine until the ’80s, and I remember the numbers of “special” schools that catered to the kids with the brain damage, deafness, and blindness that were the lagacies of that disease), and don’t understand. It sucks to think that we only learn as a result of negative consequences, but it seems like that’s the only way the anti-vaxxers will understand the consequences of their choices. Certainly, the deaths of other people’s children doesn’t make a dent, adding callousness to their stupidity.

  199. #200 Chris
    January 25, 2011

    VMV:

    . But am I to trust the recommendations of the powers-that-be with regards to ALL vaccines (specifically the hpv vaccine)? What about the rotavirus vaccine? Is there any reason for concern about the newer combined vaccines?

    You have over five years before you have to worry about the HPV vaccine. Which newer combined vaccines? I hope you don’t mean the DTaP (which replaced the decades old DTP), or the MMR (which has been used since 1971).

    Your kids are a bit old for the rotavirus vaccine (only given to babies under a year old), and be glad you may never have to live with a toddler suffering from rotavirus. It gets even more “fun” when you end up catching it yourself because you need to spend most of your time keeping up with dirty diapers.

    For more information go these series of articles, and (I am out of allowed number of links) the CDC Pink Book.

  200. #201 Calli Arcale
    January 25, 2011

    VMB:

    There are always reasons to be concerned, which is why it’s so easy to slip in to paranoia. ;-) But there are answers to many questions, and I think the CDC can generally be trusted to be looking out for our best interests. Here are my thoughts on the specific vaccines you mentioned:

    HPV:
    There are I believe a couple of these out there, and though the CDC is only recommending it for girls at present, it is approved for boys as well. HPV is a very common virus; 50% of all sexually active women are believed to be infected, and it seems likely that a similar percentage of sexually active males as well. It’s better studied in women than in men, largely because it is a major cause of cervical cancer. (It is not the only cause of cervical cancer, just as smoking is not the only cause of lung cancer.) It can be transmitted through oral sex as well as vaginal or anal sex, which is why it *also* causes mouth and throat cancer. The vaccine has been pretty safe in testing (there were serious adverse reports in VAERS, of course, but they turned out to be coinicidental upon investigation — that’s not really unusual and is sort of the point of VAERS, to weed out coincidences versus side effects). It protects against several strains (five, IIRC) but not all strains. One can avoid HPV infection through abstinence, but this may not be a good long-term strategy if children are desired. Also, if there were a good way to ensure that one will never be raped, and one’s partner will never cheat, then human society would likely be different today.

    Me, I think it’s worth vaccinating against HPV. At this point, the recommendations are not going to achieve herd immunity, so decide based purely on individual protection and protection of future sexual partners. Also, it’s certainly no excuse for not educating one’s children about safe sex and not being promiscuous, and could even provide a nice conversation starter for the topic, as you explain to the child why they’ve been vaccinated. My kids will get this vaccine.

    Rotavirus:
    The controversy over this vaccine stems from two things. First, most people in Western nations do not take diarrhea seriously. It’s considered a nuisance and/or a comedic opportunity. Parts of the world which see severe diarrhea more frequently (due to inadequate sanitation) are more acquainted with it — it can and does kill people. In fact, diarrhea is one of the major killers worldwide. Rotavirus is one of many pathogens that can cause severe diarrhea. Others include norovirus, cholera, amoebic dysentery, etc. Some can be controlled pretty reliably with proper sanitation, with cholera being a famous example. Others are more easily transmitted by person-to-person contact, such as rotavirus. Rotavirus is also exceptional for the existence of a vaccine. There was some controversy after an early rotavirus vaccine was linked to cases of intusucception, a terrifying and potentially deadly condition. The current rotavirus vaccine is different, and has never been linked to that sort of thing. My kids got this vaccine.

    Combined vaccines:
    There is no reason to be more worried about a combined vaccine, IMHO, as long as the various components can all work with the same mixture of adjuvants and preservatives (if applicable). Putting more antigens into the vaccine doesn’t tax the immune system any more; the load is vastly beneath its capacity. In fact, this has been done for years even in what you might think are monovalent vaccines, because many vaccines are actually protecting against multiple strains. Influenza, for instance, is usually trivalent. It only protects against one disease, but there are actually three different antigens. As I see it, a combined vaccine reduces the pain for my child, as well as reducing any possible risk that the adjuvants and such might confer because they don’t need as many of them to get the same protection. It’s more efficient, more cost-effective, and far less pain for my child, so I’m an enthusiastic fan of combination vaccines.

  201. #202 augustine
    January 25, 2011

    Each new vaccine is required to undergo rigorous safety and efficacy testing before approval.

    Rigorous isn’t a necessary qualifier is it? How does comparing the safety profile of one vaccine to that of another unknown vaccine safety profile considered rigorous?

    And the CDC vaccine schedule recommendations constitute the collective consensus of the experts in the field.

    ie., industry representatives.

    So yes, trusting the CDC recommendations is appropriate.

    “Trust your government, folks. Just get your damn vaccine!”

    In particular, rotavirus [vaccine]can kill and routinely results in hospital stays.

    Combined vaccines are generally preferable to separated because there are fewer total shots, so less pain and hassle.

    Which means the main reason isn’t for safety but for compliance and cost. But that’s a government/industry thing, you wouldn’t understand.

    HPV is pretty new to the recommended schedule, but preventing cancer is quite a desirable thing.

    Did you see that?

    What?

    That.

    He just threw that right by you.

    In one sentence he dismissed safety concerns without addressing them, dismissed risk and benefit, asked an unrelated question about cancer, and got the reader to assume that HPV vaccine prevents cancer when there is NO ZERO NADA ZILCH evidence that it has EVER prevented one single cancer. (No amount of snark on this blog has yet to present evidence.ONe can only spout off theory of benefit in lieu of evidence)

    He didn’t even ask what sex were your children.

  202. #203 augustine
    January 25, 2011

    HPV is a very common virus; 50% of all sexually active women are believed to be infected, and it seems likely that a similar percentage of sexually active males as well.

    And for objectivity to avoid unnecessary fear she should also point out that almost all of these infections will be cleared by the body. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. Some of these not cleared will have persistent infection but will not lead to cervical cancer. Of these, pap smears catch most. Hence cervical cancer is not epidemic in this country.

    There is no reason to be more worried about a combined vaccine, IMHO, as long as the various components can all work with the same mixture of adjuvants and preservatives (if applicable). Putting more antigens into the vaccine doesn’t tax the immune system any more;

    I have a question? Is the MMRV the recommended vaccine now over the MMR and varicella seperated?

    Risk of seizure doubled? How did it do that?

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/126/1/e1?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=mmrv+vaccine+seizures&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT

  203. #204 Pablo
    January 25, 2011

    I’ve gotten distracted, and haven’t been able to follow up this thread as I’ve wanted, but I want to go back to a comment by maydijo from a couple of days ago:

    A friend of mine buys their crunchy-granola view of natural birth completely. … She was so proud to tell us that she gave birth to her first baby when she was only 7 cm dillated,

    This just doesn’t make any sense. Can anyone tell me the virtue of delivering a baby while only at 7 cm, and why it is worthy of being proud of it?

    I can’t think any redeeming feature of doing that.

  204. #205 Calli Arcale
    January 25, 2011

    Pablo — offhand, I’d guess it’s the pride of hardship. It’s not far from “when I was a kid, I had to WALK to school!” even if the magnitude is rather larger. It’s establishing one’s toughness cred.

    Personally, I think any childbirth toughness cred story is eclipsed by the tale of the woman in South America (or possibly Central America, I’m not sure) who a few years ago got her 15 minutes of fame because of the way she had her home childbirth. It was pretty extraordinary — she was in a remote region, and went into childbirth prematurely. Worse, she had no car. She recognized that there was a problem, though I don’t recall how or what, specifically, the problem was. She enlisted her eldest child to assist with sterilizing kitchen knives and calling the nurse (who, living in the next village over, would take some time to get there), drank some alcohol as sort of an anesthetic, and then performed a c-section on herself, delivered the child, cut the cord, and then waited for the nurse to arrive. Nurse used the woman’s own sewing thread to stich her up temporarily and then transported mother and child to the hospital. Both lived.

    That tops ‘em all, though I suspect the crunchy crowd would be horrified by the c-section part. OK, most people would be horrified by that part; that takes nerves of freakin’ steel.

  205. #206 Scott
    January 25, 2011

    Rigorous isn’t a necessary qualifier is it? How does comparing the safety profile of one vaccine to that of another unknown vaccine safety profile considered rigorous?

    Please refer to the FDA’s requirements for vaccine approval. They do not, in any way, shape or form, consist of “comparing the safety profile of one vaccine to that of another unknown vaccine safety profile.”

    ie., industry representatives.

    And doctors with no industry ties.

    “Trust your government, folks. Just get your damn vaccine!”

    When one has no special expertise in an area, it is entirely appropriate to (provisionally) accept the consensus of those who do. I note that you fail to dispute this in any meaningful way, just trying to make it sound bad.

    In particular, rotavirus [vaccine]can kill and routinely results in hospital stays.

    Please provide evidence that rotavirus vaccines kills or results in hospital stays at anything vaguely similar to the rate at which rotavirus infection does.

    Which means the main reason isn’t for safety but for compliance and cost. But that’s a government/industry thing, you wouldn’t understand.

    Only Augie the Idiot could possibly find avoiding unnecessary infliction of pain upon children a bad thing.

    In one sentence he dismissed safety concerns without addressing them, dismissed risk and benefit, asked an unrelated question about cancer, and got the reader to assume that HPV vaccine prevents cancer when there is NO ZERO NADA ZILCH evidence that it has EVER prevented one single cancer. (No amount of snark on this blog has yet to present evidence.ONe can only spout off theory of benefit in lieu of evidence)

    And all this is a complete lie, as anyone with a first-grade reading comprehension level can tell.

    He didn’t even ask what sex were your children.

    I assume someone asking about the HPV vaccine is talking about girls. So sue me.

  206. #207 augustine
    January 25, 2011

    Scott

    Please refer to the FDA’s requirements for vaccine approval. They do not, in any way, shape or form, consist of “comparing the safety profile of one vaccine to that of another unknown vaccine safety profile.

    Safety is a relative term then. Please refer to individual package inserts as to the manner of “safety” testing.

    https://www.vaccineshoppe.com/image.cfm?doc_id=11167&image_type=product_pdf

    “In this large study, deaths due to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other causes were observed but were not different in the two groups.”

    Both vaccine groups experienced sudden infant death syndrome after vaccination. What did the non-vaccinated group experience? Oh that’s right. There wasn’t a control group for that. That might be to “rigorous”.

  207. #208 Triskelethecat
    January 25, 2011

    Welcome, VMB. We do tend to be nice to newcomers who honestly want to ask questions and listen to the answers. You will note that most of us are a bit impatient with augie; he has proven that nothing gets through to him except the items that fit his agenda. Calli Arcale, lilady, Scott, Todd W. and I are glad to listen and talk.

    Re: rotavirus. As pointed out, your children are above the age for the vaccine. For people living in the US, with good medical care, reasonably pure water and sewage control, it’s not as dangerous as in other countries. However, it CAN be a miserable illness (do you really want to deal with an infant with severe diarrhea for days?) and it can be caught by family members. Most babies do fine; some end up in the hospital with dehydration and need IVs (with all the risk those have), and some few do die, even in the US.

    HPV: again, as pointed out above, currently it’s given to girls only, as a girl’s risk of cervical cancer from HPV is greater than a boy’s risk of penile cancer, but both are at risk for oral/throat cancer. As far as I know, no deaths have been caused by the vaccine (the closest I know of is a report that a girl died in a car crash after the vaccine and the parents claim the vaccine caused their daughter to faint or something and crash the car). It is not a mandatory vaccine. You can certainly discuss the options with your spouse, your care provider, and your children when they get to the right age. I personally let my children decide whether to get the series or not (both decided to do so). Yes, they get annual pap smears but both felt the benefits of the vaccine outweighed any risks. I stayed totally out of the decision making except to inform them that the vaccine was covered by our insurance so they didn’t have to worry about the cost.

    Combined vaccines: most of them are meant to decrease the number of injections a child needs. Individually, most of the vaccines have been used for years. The MMRV has been shown to have an increased amount of febrile seizures (scary for a parent to observe, almost never with serious sequelae) and is not currently used in the USA. Other combinations have been shown to be safe and effective so far. Many combined vaccines are “new” to us here in the states but have been used in Europe and Canada for longer.

  208. #209 Heliantus
    January 25, 2011

    @ VMB

    If Augustine’s post got you wondering,

    got the reader to assume that HPV vaccine prevents cancer when there is NO ZERO NADA ZILCH evidence that it has EVER prevented one single cancer.

    Have a look at this study in Australia.

    Following an anti-HPV vaccine program, the number of reported pre-cancer lesions went down in the local population.
    This is not going to meet Augustine’s high standards of evidence (being there, done that), but more honest people may conceed that, maybe, there is something good to expect from anti-HPV vaccination.
    Oh, and remember, pap smears will only detect a carcinoma, they neither prevent or cure it. If a pap smear “catches it”, it’s too late, you already have a bunch of rogue cells.

    Feel free to explore Pubmed, searching for stuff like “hpv vaccine efficacy”. Most of the time, only the abstract is available, but it will give you an idea of what the scientists are concerning themselves with.

  209. #210 Pablo
    January 25, 2011

    More catching up to do…

    Lawrence wrote:

    My wife has a copy of “American Baby,” and they have a great article on vaccines…Nice to see good parenting magazines out there.

    I don’t know anything about American Baby, but just want to point out that being pro-vaccine, while necessary, is not sufficient for making something a good parenting magazine. See the discussion earlier about Parents and Parenting magazines, both of which have had very strong vaccination advocacy articles, but both are, for the reasons described above, horrible parenting magazines in many other respects.

  210. #211 augustine
    January 25, 2011

    violin plays

    trisket

    Calli Arcale, lilady, Scott, Todd W. and I are glad to listen and talk.

    Oh, please stop it. You are not listening. Your “listening” is conditional. Why even give any pro mass vaccination information. The end is the same. It’s not about listening, understanding, or choice. If VMB says “Ok I’ll read your commments”, But then chooses to NOT vaccinate. Your intolerance will surely rear it’s ugly head.

  211. #212 Sid Offit
    January 25, 2011

    @Greg Fish

    Get it through your head, there is no herd immunity to pertussis. There are 1 million cases each year. 1,000,000 cases =/= herd immunity

  212. #213 Lawrence
    January 25, 2011

    Sid – you’re a dolt. Yes, immunity to pertussis does wane over time, which is why it is important to update people’s vaccinations over time – especially if they are going to be around newborns or young children.

  213. #214 Scott
    January 25, 2011

    The profound mistake Sid is making, of course, is equating “herd immunity has not currently been achieved” with “herd immunity does not exist/is impossible to achieve.”

  214. #215 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 25, 2011

    got the reader to assume that HPV vaccine prevents cancer when there is NO ZERO NADA ZILCH evidence that it has EVER prevented one single cancer. (No amount of snark on this blog has yet to present evidence.ONe can only spout off theory of benefit in lieu of evidence)

    According to these standards, there is also no evidence that parachutes have ever prevented deaths by falling. If the parachute deploys and the person reaches the ground alive, poof! There goes all the evidence that it would have prevented a death!

  215. #216 Vasha
    January 25, 2011

    @205: Yeah, I remember that — it happened in Mexico, as I recall. This woman had had what the newspaper called “obstructed labor” during her previous birth and the baby had died. So this time, recognizing that labor was obstructed again, she performed an emergency c-section and managed to save the baby. Nerves of steel, indeed.

    But I don’t want to hear anyone saying “See? It is possible to deal with complications during an unassisted home birth.”

  216. #217 treeves
    January 25, 2011

    @199
    “anti-vaxxers will understand the consequences of their choices. Certainly, the deaths of other people’s children doesn’t make a dent, adding callousness to their stupidity.”

    very sad statement from someone who probably hasnt had a child start seizuring immediately after the vaccine, or have a child end up hospitalized for 3 weeks after severe fevers post vaccine, and several other traumas our children have endured because we made such a ‘smart’ decision to vaccinate. Glad I could murder my child to protect others. I was the stupid one, and I will forever be a murderer.

  217. #218 Chris
    January 25, 2011

    treeves, my son spent a week in the hospital as a newborn due to continuing seizures, before he had any vaccine. He was on phenobarbital for a year.

    He had another very bad seizure while suffering with a now vaccine preventable disease and had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance.

    He also ended up in the hospital four times for croup so bad he could not breathe before he was three years old.

    I found your statements very sad and unfortunate.

  218. #219 Chris
    January 25, 2011

    treeves, I had a another thought. Could you please find the data and evidence that compares the risk of seizure from a vaccine, like the Hib or MMR, to that of the actual diseases? It is nice in a discussion like this to actually use that kind of information instead of emotional rants.

  219. #220 augustine
    January 25, 2011

    Chris

    Could you please find the data and evidence that compares the risk of seizure from a vaccine, like the Hib or MMR, to that of the actual diseases?

    Is that your consolation for people whose kids get seizures directly caused by vaccines? Is your anecdote supposed to be evidence that vaccines do not cause seizures or cannot cause autism? Because your child experienced one preceding vaccines?

    Do you have to be so angry, cold, cruel, and heartless to people who have experienced vaccine damage? Has life jaded you that much?

  220. #221 treeves
    January 25, 2011

    219
    it is sad and emotional to deal with. Would hardly call it a rant. No, sorry, I didnt research anything because it was already over. I wasnt talking about comparing a disease to a seizure…I was talking about death. The seizure led to death. I was saying to 199 dont be so callous calling people stupid when some kids die getting the vaccines. You said your son had the MMR 2 weeks before he got sick with rotavirus which led to seizures. Maybe his little immune system was working so hard after the vaccine that he was more susceptible to the rotavirus. I would probably act all angry to everybody like you do, if I realized that could have caused it. That might be why you are so outspoken for vaccines so you dont have to admit that maybe in your case the vaccine hurt him. It doesnt happen in most kids, but in mine it did and maybe in yours. I truly am sorry, and I accept any way that people express grief.

  221. #222 dedicated lurker
    January 25, 2011

    Treeves, where did Chris say he got the MMR two weeks before getting rotavirus? And even if he did, two weeks isn’t an uncommon time for an incubation period.

    Using that logic, I ate a ham sandwich and an hour later I was hit by a car. Therefore, I demand everyone investigate the link between car accidents and ham sandwiches. Not enough research has been done!

  222. #223 Triskelethecat
    January 26, 2011

    @treeves: I think you mis-read Chris’s statement. As those of us know, her experience went like this:

    baby was born. had seizures shortly after birth which continued. baby placed on meds. baby NOT given DTP for fear of additional seizures. Community had a pertussis outbreak while he was a baby.

    Baby developed rotavirus (before the vaccine existed) and became so dehydrated that he had severe seizures on the way to the hospital where he stayed for some time. Baby also was hospitalized 4 times with croup.

    Baby (now adult) still has severe defecits from seizures and other issues.

    Our sincere sympathies for the death of your child. What vaccine(s) were they that your children responded so badly to? Given the severity of their reactions, I would hope that you or your physician reported them to the VAERS database and avoided those vaccines with your other children.

    MI Dawn

  223. #224 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    treeves, MI Dawn has it quite correct. She has given more details about my kid than you gave about yours, which you obviously googled on this site.

    I am sorry you lost your child, but we only have the information you provided, which is not much. Unfortunately there are children who are born with predispositions to seizures. One thing that was noted in Offit’s book, Deadly Choices was the research by Samuel Berkovic on the SCN1A gene. I am not going to provide spoilers, you’ll have to read it yourself.

    Now you need to provide the actual data that the risk of seizures from any vaccine is greater than the risk from the disease. Here is a sample of what I have, you need to provide something of similar caliber:

    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

    MI Dawn:

    Given the severity of their reactions, I would hope that you or your physician reported them to the VAERS database and avoided those vaccines with your other children.

    Might I also add that she be sent to a specialist to see if there was a genetic cause, or followup (oops reminder, I need to schedule echocardiogram for younger kids since HCM is genetic, cardiologist recommends it every five years). The pediatric neurologist who my son saw did all sorts of metabolic tests to check for certain disorders, along with multiple EEGs (like the sleep EEG to check for Landau Kleffner Syndrome).

  224. #225 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    treeves, here is a paragraph from the last page of Deadly Choices:

    In April 2009, Brendalee and Julieanna Flint traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak to congressional staffer about the importance of vaccines. “Parents need to understand that when they choose not to vaccinate, they are making a decision for other people’s children as well,” said Brendalee. “Someone else chose Julieanna’s path. It doesn’t seem fair that someone like Jenny McCarthy can reach so many people while my little girl has no voice.”

    So even if your children have a genetic problem that prevents them from being protected by a vaccine, then you will be dependent on herd immunity. Because, unless you provide real evidence to the contrary, the data show the diseases are far worse than the vaccines.

  225. #226 treeves
    January 26, 2011

    I read this a few weeks ago… sorry if the story is different from what I read.

    …he was weaned off the phenobarbital. Then he got his MMR vaccine… but all was well.
    Until two weeks later. He started to have serious diarrhea, and I could not…
    Posted by: Chris | December 31, 2010

    anyway, it wasnt even worth a comment. I simply wanted to point out to attack_laurel to not forget that sometimes the vaccinated kids are the ones that die. I blame myself for sacrificing my child for the herd. Chris didnt need to throw in her comment at all. I brought up the “maybe” due to her previous reply to me that had no heart, but I really dont deserve heart anyway.

  226. #227 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    Chris

    Now you need to provide the actual data that the risk of seizures from any vaccine is greater than the risk from the disease.Now you need to provide the actual data that the risk of seizures from any vaccine is greater than the risk from the disease.

    No she doesn’t. Could you give a good explanation of why you feel she does? That type of data could never tell you what actually happened to an individual or what will happen in any individual. This isn’t card counting, Chris.

  227. #228 Gray Falcon
    January 26, 2011

    No she doesn’t. Could you give a good explanation of why you feel she does? That type of data could never tell you what actually happened to an individual or what will happen in any individual. This isn’t card counting, Chris.

    Ah yes, because no human being in the history of the planet has ever had an irrational fear or concern. Please, augustine, learn the basics first.

  228. #229 treeves
    January 26, 2011

    none of it matters now Chris. I dont have to look at any of that anymore. That part is over. attack_laurel said that anti-vaxxers need to see the consequences of their actions… well, there is no argument that when there is a vaccine reaction and your kid dies or ends up severely disabled you have to face the consequences of your actions too. Thats it. No argument here. Nobody ever said that diseases didnt cause problems. You made that whole topic up yourself based off of reminding people to be careful what you say because there are some kids who react to vaccines and can die just like unvaccinated kids. But I think you would argue with a tree because you are that kind of angry person. Have fun with your research if that makes you feel better.

  229. #230 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    treeves:

    Chris didnt need to throw in her comment at all. I brought up the “maybe” due to her previous reply to me that had no heart, but I really dont deserve heart anyway.

    I did it to remind you that vaccines are not the only reason for seizures, and are actually not the reason for most seizures. The data show that kids often have seizures for no known reason, and that Hib, measles, pertussis, etc cause many more seizures than any vaccine.

    Plus, you never gave much information, and as far as we know this is the first time you have commented here. For all we know you may have been told other things by the big ol’ mean medical establishment. This is another reason why anecdotes are essentially worthless.

    If what you say is true and verifiable, then you would have been one of the about 2600 vaccine injury claims compensated between 1989 and 2010 as noted by Table II here (other table shows less than half are for deaths). Somehow that number seems a bit low for millions of vaccines given over twenty years versus the numbers shown here for less than four years.

  230. #231 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    treeves:

    You made that whole topic up yourself based off of reminding people to be careful what you say because there are some kids who react to vaccines and can die just like unvaccinated kids.

    And exactly, what is the risk of that? How many? Provide real evidence. You made the claim, you do the research and give us the actual documentation.

  231. #232 treeves
    January 26, 2011

    I dont care ‘how many’ or ‘the risk’! That was never my point. Even one kid dead is a reason to not trivialize the fact that some will die. Another words…worry about all the kids that die, not just the unvaccinated ones. Did I ever say dont vaccinate? Show my where you evil person. Please show me. I said watch what you say. What is your fricking problem? I said some will die from the vaccines, and you know that, so watch what you say about the anti vaxxers being the only ones who have to deal with the consequences. The parents of the dead vaccinated children have to deal with the consequences too. Now you need to go make up some more arguments with a tree somewhere.

  232. #233 Todd W.
    January 26, 2011

    @treeves

    No one will argue that vaccines do not carry the risk of death. The point that Chris is trying to make, I think, is that when it comes down to it, the question is which results in more deaths: vaccines or the diseases they prevent?

    Simply making a statement (and I’m not saying this is what you did) that “Well, vaccines can cause death, too”, while true, does not address the whole picture and doesn’t really advance the discussion much. Everyone here will readily acknowledge that, yes, vaccines can results in deaths. However, they will also acknowledge that the diseases prevented cause more deaths. That second part is something that a lot of anti-vaccine folks don’t seem to acknowledge.

    At any rate, my condolences on your loss. I agree that any death is too many, and we should always strive to reduce that risk as much as possible. We’ll never remove it completely, but we can make it exceedingly rare. I know that’s not particularly comforting or reassuring, but it’s the best I can offer from myself.

  233. #234 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    Why do you think a name calling rant is a substitute for real evidence?

  234. #235 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    Chris

    Why do you think a name calling rant is a substitute for real evidence?

    She has real evidence. A vaccinated dead child. No amount of your posturing and bitterness changes the evidence. At least Todd has some couth.

  235. #236 Gray Falcon
    January 26, 2011

    She has real evidence. A vaccinated dead child. No amount of your posturing and bitterness changes the evidence. At least Todd has some couth.

    Once again, you fail to understand the concept of “risk management”. If we had any way of knowing the child would have had an adverse reaction, he would not have been vaccinated.

  236. #237 Scott
    January 26, 2011

    @ treeves:

    The anti-vaxers are the ones currently NOT having to deal with the consequences of their own decisions, therefore they’re the ones who need to be made to do so.

  237. #238 treeves
    January 26, 2011

    @todd
    I know, I know and appreciated. I should not have engaged with Chris in the first place. I never said to not vaccinate. In 217, I just wanted to remind attack laurel, 199, that kids die on both sides. It wasnt an argument of which causes more death. Just that death may have already occurred so dont call them stupid. All the rest was in response to Chris’s made up arguments to things that were never mentioned or intended. History shows to ignore her, but she got the best of me. Thoroughly enjoy Orac’s other science topics.

  238. #239 Gray Falcon
    January 26, 2011

    I should clarify my last comment. The mathematical risk of a death by vaccination, knowing what we knew at the time, was much less than the risks of the disease. This is true in the vast majority of cases.

  239. #240 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    treeves:

    All the rest was in response to Chris’s made up arguments to things that were never mentioned or intended.

    You posted an anecdote with no supporting evidence. I have also posted that list of Vaccine Injury Compensation statistics for the last two decades. It shows that the level of provable vaccine injury cases are much less per year than the vaccine preventable deaths in the Jenny McCarthy Body Count.

    You responded by calling me evil, angry and more. I do not see how you can pretend to play the high ground, while still avoiding providing evidence that vaccines pose a great risk, especially in regards to the diseases that are resurfacing from partial truths like “vaccines cause deaths.”

  240. #241 treeves
    January 26, 2011

    “You responded by calling me evil, angry and more. I do not see how you can pretend to play the high ground, while still avoiding providing evidence that vaccines pose a great risk, especially in regards to the diseases that are resurfacing from partial truths like “vaccines cause deaths.”

    Not one person said anything about risk but you! Why would I give evidence for something I never said? I will play your game though…I asked you to show me where I said that vaccines cause a greater risk than disease, and you cant, because I didnt. Yes, vaccines can cause death, that isnt news, and I never said disease caused less. In my case (and of course, some others), the risk was the greatest, and I take responsibility for it. You have a problem. I said you are evil because you are almost trivializing his death so you can argue that disease causes more death. When nobody disagreed with that in the first place. Do you understand now how you set people off by putting words in their ‘mouth’?

  241. #242 Todd W.
    January 26, 2011

    @treeves and Chris

    I think this whole back-and-forth is the result of some misunderstanding, and I think both of you need to take some time away from the thread to cool down.

    @treeves – I think that you may have misunderstood attack_laurel’s point, that many in the antivaccine camp do not take responsibility for the effects of their actions. Unfortunately, there are many who will only learn that their staunch anti-vaccine advocacy is wrong when bad things start happening. Attack_laurel was not minimizing deaths suffered by anyone on either side of the issue.

    @Chris – You seem to have misunderstood that point that treeves was trying to make, namely that no death should be trivialized. Treeves does not appear, to me, to have been arguing that vaccines are worse than the diseases, nor that deaths from vaccines are worse than from diseases. I know and understand your son’s story, but I think you’ve let your emotions get the best of you on this one.

  242. #243 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    I understand, Todd, I will let it go. She came in here blazing with “Glad I could murder my child to protect others. I was the stupid one, and I will forever be a murderer.”, and I reacted.

  243. #244 Rinn
    January 26, 2011

    Forums like Mothering are perfectly fine and there is NOTHING wrong with following maternal instincts for most things because most children are HEALTHY! To read this blog and comments you’d think one would have to take their child to a doctor once a week whether they need it or not in order to be a responsible parent and that’s just ridiculous. To read these diatribes you would think that most children are on the verge of dying at every turn and that a home remedy is going to put the nail in the coffin.

    If you believe that vaccinations are the best thing for your family then by all means get them. If you believe they work then you and your family should do not have to worry about getting sick. But why spend so much time whining about those who don’t prefer to vaccinate?

  244. #245 Scott
    January 26, 2011

    But why spend so much time whining about those who don’t prefer to vaccinate?

    Because they’re killing people, including their own children and ours?

    This is NOT a question where there is any credible dissent.

  245. #246 Chris
    January 26, 2011

    Rinn:

    If you believe they work then you and your family should do not have to worry about getting sick.

    One of the top ten fallacies about vaccines promoted by those who oppose them: they are 100% effective.

    Sorry, vaccines are not 100% effective and some people have immune issues like cancer treatment that prevent vaccination. That is why herd immunity is so important.

    Forums like Mothering are perfectly fine

    Then why the draconian moderation there? If they are perfectly fine they would not ban people who post comments that favor vaccines, or even delete the stories of mothers who lost babies due to following the Mothering guidelines. Examples of both of those scenarios are included in the comments above.

  246. #247 Todd W.
    January 26, 2011

    @Rinn

    If you believe they work then you and your family should do not have to worry about getting sick. But why spend so much time whining about those who don’t prefer to vaccinate?

    Well, a few reasons:

    1) Vaccines, like everything in life, are not 100% effective. Most are pretty darn close, but there are some individuals who will not gain immunity from the vaccine. So, unvaccinated individuals are putting those people at risk.
    2) Some people cannot get a vaccine, due to valid medical reasons (e.g., allergies, too young, etc.). Therefore, they do not get the benefit of vaccines and need to rely on the people around them to be vaccinated. If you do not vaccinate, you put those individuals at risk.
    3) There are people who have compromised immune systems (e.g., the elderly, cancer patients, transplant patients, AIDS patients, etc.). If you do not vaccinate, your put those people at risk.

    In short, when you choose not to vaccinate for a reason other than a valid medical reason, you are being selfish and putting everyone around you at risk. Many diseases are contagious before symptoms even appear, so you may be spreading disease before you even know you’re sick. Likewise, most people who are susceptible do not have magic neon signs above their heads letting you know that they are susceptible, so you may come into contact with quite a few people at risk for infection without even knowing it.

    As to the Mothering forums, did you actually read Orac’s post and the comments here? Did you see the part where they actively silence dissenting voices? Did you come across the bit where they completely scrubbed anything to do with the deaths of people who follow their advice?

  247. #248 JohnV
    January 26, 2011

    @Rinn

    “If you believe they work then you and your family should do not have to worry about getting sick.”

    Just to reinforce what others are saying, this is dumb and the only people who actually feel that way are the strawmen you anti-vaccine people construct.

  248. #249 Roadstergal
    January 26, 2011

    If you believe that vaccinations are the best thing for your family then by all means get them. If you believe they work then you and your family should do not have to worry about getting sick.

    I don’t have to believe anything. I can look at the evidence and make a rational decision. It’s one of the things we can do if we choose to use the convoluted grey thing that resides a bit north of the collarbones.

  249. #250 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    @gray falcon

    Once again, you fail to understand the concept of “risk management”. If we had any way of knowing the child would have had an adverse reaction, he would not have been vaccinated.

    What about if we had a way to know how the child/person would respond to wild viruses or bacteria? If we knew it would be mild or subclinical would you still recommend vaccination? Would that be based on individual health or social policy?

  250. #251 Gray Falcon
    January 26, 2011

    What about if we had a way to know how the child/person would respond to wild viruses or bacteria? If we knew it would be mild or subclinical would you still recommend vaccination? Would that be based on individual health or social policy?

    And that means what, exactly? Odds are, when they do get the wild virus, things will be worse than with the vaccine. That is established as fact. Don’t just react, think before you post.

  251. #252 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    roadstergal

    I don’t have to believe anything. I can look at the evidence and make a rational decision.

    Peer review won’t help you there as evidence, pal. If the vaccine is 60-80% effective you have to ask yourself. Do I feel lucky today? Well, do you punk? Are you in the ~70% or the 30%. Paul Offit can’t answer that for you. Looks like most people just have to believe in it.

  252. #253 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    @gary

    I asked you a reasonable hypothetical question. You said if we had a reasonable way to know if someone would be harmed by a vaccine then you wouldn’t recommend it.

    I asked if we had a reasonable way to know if that particular person would only get mild or subclinical disease would you still recommend vaccination. And what would that value be based on?

  253. #254 Gray Falcon
    January 26, 2011

    Where are you getting the idea that the vaccine is only 70% effective? Even if it were, the odds would still be in favor of the vaccine, rather than the wild infection.

    Another thing I should bring up is the concept of “herd immunity” comes to mind. If more people who can be vaccinated are vaccinated, the odds of an actual outbreak is reduced.

  254. #255 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    Where are you getting the idea that the vaccine is only 70% effective?

    I just threw out a number for argument’s sake. But many vaccines are lower than that. You may be confusing efficacy with actual effectiveness. But some efficacies are lower than that also.

    So can you answer the question?

  255. #256 Todd W.
    January 26, 2011

    @Gray Falcon

    Augie is only asking half of the relevant question. If we had a means of accurately and reliably determining what a person’s outcome would be from wild infection and that that outcome would be mild or subclinical, we would still need to have a similarly reliable and accurate determination of what their outcome would be from the vaccine. Furthermore, we would also need to reliably and accurately be able to predict whether they would, while mildly infected, spread the disease to others. In short, augie is asking a fairy tale hypothetical. Since none of those situations actually exist, the question is moot.

    If:

    a) we knew reliably that a person would have a mild/subclinical reaction; and
    b) we knew reliably that the person’s reaction to the vaccine would be worse; and
    c) we knew reliably that the person would not spread the infection to any other person

    Then it would probably make sense that they do not receive the vaccine. But those are a lot of IFs that cannot be reliably predicted.

  256. #257 cynic
    January 26, 2011

    @Todd:

    1) Vaccines, like everything in life, are not 100% effective. Most are pretty darn close, but there are some individuals who will not gain immunity from the vaccine. So, unvaccinated individuals are putting those people at risk.

    Since there is no way of knowing who will, and will not gain immunity, and the “effectiveness” we are discussing is not the same as disease resistence, but rather, seriopositivity – isn’t the most responsible course to treat everyone as if they are not immune? Just because a person is vaccinated and shows no symptoms to diseases for which they have been vaccinated, doesn’t mean they aren’t just as capable of spreading those diseases.

    Some people cannot get a vaccine, due to valid medical reasons (e.g., allergies, too young, etc.). Therefore, they do not get the benefit of vaccines and need to rely on the people around them to be vaccinated. If you do not vaccinate, you put those individuals at risk.

    And those that get vaccinated and still get those diseases? They also put that population at risk. Since we do not know who will actually gain protection from the vaccine, and who will present correctly due to their vaccination status, isn’t the most responsible course to treat everyone as if they are not immune and capable of spreading disease?

    There are people who have compromised immune systems (e.g., the elderly, cancer patients, transplant patients, AIDS patients, etc.). If you do not vaccinate, your put those people at risk.

    Everyone puts this population at risk regardless of their vaccination status. Those vaccinated not presenting correctly to disease more so. Presenting less symptoms to disease does not mean you are not infected yourself.

    Many diseases are contagious before symptoms even appear, so you may be spreading disease before you even know you’re sick.

    Exactly. Vaccination status notwithstanding. Unvaccinated people present classic symptoms to the diseases in question. The Vaccinated do not, and there’s no way they could be spreading that disease because they were vaccinated… right? Clinical efficay trials are measuring sera, they do not measure how well a subject will resist the disease when it is encountered. And just because a vaccinated person has enough antibodies (from their vaccine exposure) to prevent them from exhibiting symptoms, it doesn’t tell us much about their capacity to also infect others.

    The most responsible (and less discriminatory) way to interact in society is act as if we are all capable of spreading disease. Because we are.

  257. #258 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    Guys, it’s not that hard. Just A. Not B. Not C.

    I’ll answer the question for you. You will vaccinate no matter what the severity of the disease is. Because that’s just what you believe in doing.

    You like to talk all big and bad how disease is to get and then I say, “Suppose it’s not that bad.” Would you still sell the vaccine to that person? Then you shift the goal posts by changing the argument to a social policy (c) based on altruism.

    The fact is you are always going to sell the vaccine no matter how rational the argument is against it. No if’s and’s, but’s about it.

    BTW, I don’t care what the relative vaccine safety profile is if the disease is mild or subclinical. Neither do a lot of people. Maybe that’s where one of your disconnects are.

  258. #259 Gray Falcon
    January 26, 2011

    Augustine, do you understand that diseases spread? That’s why we vaccinate everyone we can.

  259. #260 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    That’s why we vaccinate everyone we can.

    Translation: That’s vy ve vaccinate evzeryone ve can.

    Your social policy comes out in your heart.

  260. #261 Heliantus
    January 26, 2011

    Your social policy comes out in your heart.

    What’s wrong with trying to limit the spread of disease?

    Most microbial disease vectors (bacteria or virus) are, by nature, contagious. Since a disease can potentially affect both the individual and the society, I have a hard time separating the benefits of the vaccine for the individual from the benefits for the society.

    @cynic

    And just because a vaccinated person has enough antibodies (from their vaccine exposure)

    Vaccine benefits (or generally, primary-exposure benefits) are not just circulating antibodies. The immune response to the second encounter of a specific germ is faster, stronger, and more specific.
    In other words, the disease vector will have less time to establish a hold and do nasty things to the host. And the host will be sick and carrying the vector for a shorter period of time.

    The most responsible (and less discriminatory) way to interact in society is act as if we are all capable of spreading disease. Because we are.

    Well, that’s true, anyone can be (and is) passing germs around. But we cannot stay hiding home forever, some of us have to go out. I would prefer to be surrounded by vaccinated people. True, there is a chance they could be sick. But comparatively to non-vaccinated, this chance is lower, because of this primary/secondary exposure thingy: the opportunity window for the germ to jump from one host to the next is way smaller with vaccinated people.

  261. #262 dedicated lurker
    January 26, 2011

    Is augustine trying to call us communists? I think that’s what I’m supposed to infer from the typing of an accent that’s straight out of a bad movie from the sixties, the actor wearing the “I love to kill Americans” look.*

    *No offense intended to non-american readers. I’m sure auggie hates you too.

  262. #263 maydijo
    January 26, 2011

    @Pablo re: the virtues of giving birth when you’re not fully dillated – I don’t get it either, but then I don’t really get the virtues of a ‘natural’ birth. If that’s what you want and you can do it, go for it; but I don’t see how it makes you a ‘better’ mother.

  263. #264 a-non
    January 26, 2011

    Translation: That’s vy ve vaccinate evzeryone ve can.

    Your social policy comes out in your heart.

    Now we’re getting somewhere.

    Let me guess, augie – Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. and is a closet socialist hell-bent on forcing government into every avenue of our lives? And that we shouldn’t do pesky things like vaccinate, but let the free market of natural disease protection take over.

    Am I right? Close? Or are you just an a-hole who hates people and thinks that only the poor and lazy die from vaccine preventable diseases?

  264. #265 a-non
    January 26, 2011

    @Rinn:

    Forums like Mothering are perfectly fine and there is NOTHING wrong with following maternal instincts for most things because most children are HEALTHY! To read this blog and comments you’d think one would have to take their child to a doctor once a week whether they need it or not in order to be a responsible parent and that’s just ridiculous. To read these diatribes you would think that most children are on the verge of dying at every turn and that a home remedy is going to put the nail in the coffin.

    If you believe that vaccinations are the best thing for your family then by all means get them. If you believe they work then you and your family should do not have to worry about getting sick. But why spend so much time whining about those who don’t prefer to vaccinate?

    Because when a population isn’t vaccinated, diseases spread to the most vulnerable – the ones that are already sick or the ones that can’t be vaccinated or the ones for whom the vaccine failed.

    Of course, I’m sure folks like you don’t give a rip about other people’s kids. If you think the sMothering boards are fine, then you probably think that only the poor kids eating Oscar Mayer bologna and going to daycare get sick.

  265. #266 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    anon

    Am I right? Close?

    Not even close. But nice strawman attempt. Try grasping for another straw.

  266. #267 cynic
    January 26, 2011

    @Heliantus: The immune response to the second encounter of a specific germ is faster, stronger, and more specific.

    This is not limited to only the vaccinated. The literature is very clear regarding a strong cell-mediated response. It seems logical to stop an intruder at the front door rather than engage them once they have broken in and start to rob the place.

    In other words, the disease vector will have less time to establish a hold and do nasty things to the host. And the host will be sick and carrying the vector for a shorter period of time.

    Please provide a citation. Must be a controlled setting with both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. Animals will do.

    But comparatively to non-vaccinated, this chance is lower, because of this primary/secondary exposure thingy: the opportunity window for the germ to jump from one host to the next is way smaller with vaccinated people.

    Please provide a citation. Must be a controlled setting with both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. Animals will do.

    Spreading “infection” is reliant upon those encountered.

  267. #268 dedicated lurker
    January 26, 2011

    So, cynic, how do we stop people spreading infection? Including the asymptomatic. Do we keep everyone in isolation all the time?

  268. #269 cynic
    January 26, 2011

    Dedicated Lurker: So, cynic, how do we stop people spreading infection? Including the asymptomatic. Do we keep everyone in isolation all the time?

    You can’t. Being exposed to infectious disease is part of living in a society. If one expects to be isolated from disease, then they must go live in isolation. You cannot assume that the vaccination status of a person has precluded them from spreading disease.

    Treat everyone as if they are not immune, you have no way of knowing anyway.

  269. #270 Composer99
    January 26, 2011

    cynic: asking for a ‘vaccinated vs unvaccinated’ study is almost certainly going to be interpreted as a dogwhistle term. Given your other posts on this thread, it appears that such an interpretation would be an accurate characterization of your language.

    In any case, if you’re hoping for such a study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated, prepare to be disappointed (Prometheus’ blog to the rescue!).

    Prometheus’ post is specifically about vaccines and autism, but anytime you start asking for a vax vs. unvax study, similar logistical and ethical issues are going to pop up.

    Perhaps you should consult introductory immunology texts at your local library as a starting point.

  270. #271 Heliantus
    January 26, 2011

    @ Cynic

    This is not limited to only the vaccinated.

    Well, yes, that’s why I said “Vaccine benefits (or generally, primary-exposure benefits)”.
    Ah, maybe it should have been “more generally”.

    [various citations needed]

    You are right, I should have searched for something. Although it was sort of common knowledge when I was in my first university years, about 20 years ago. I expect that any good book on immunology will say it better than me.

    All I have to prove is that the second immune response is faster/stronger than the first. Logically, faster immune response = less time for the bugs to proliferate and invade, no? So less time for being contagious, no?

    Surely, you are not asking me to prove that vaccination is followed by an immune response?

    Anyway, little google search, and here is a study on human children measuring titers of antibodies during a first and then a second infection. Note how the IgG and IgA showed up in 10 days during the first infection, and 5 to 7 days in the second.
    However, only the abstract is available. Let’s search for a full article, free.

    Little Pubmed search with “immune response to primary and secondary infection”. Let’s start with something from the 70’s. PMID: 4824634 (1974).
    Let’s have a look at some more recent stuff.
    PMID: 6860214 (1983) – herpes simplex infection of mouse eyelid. Funny enough, the mice who were previously infected in the ear were experiencing milder eye infection, compared to naive mice.
    Ah, 1988, another good article . Immunoglobulin response to herpes simplex virus infection, first and second. I like the final figure.
    I could not find more recent articles free to download.

  271. #272 adelady
    January 26, 2011

    cynic. I presume you would therefore agree with a children’s hospital administrator who refuses visiting rights to all grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles, maybe even the parents of newborns and sick or injured children?

    Or would it be better to ask people to check on their vaccination schedule before visiting to avoid risking infection of unvaccinated newborns or vulnerable sick children.

  272. #273 Rachel
    January 26, 2011

    You may try Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa (ninjiom-hk.cwahi.net). i know a lot of people use it, its also non alcoholic, though it’s effectiveness is not as good as alcohol based cough medicine, but it’s still good to use on not so serious scratchy throat.

    apprently ( according to the instruction) children from 2 to 12 can use it.

  273. #274 Gray Falcon
    January 26, 2011

    To put it simply, the reason we don’t have studies of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated is the same reason we don’t study parachute vs. no parachute.

  274. #275 Heliantus
    January 26, 2011

    @ cynic and others

    Actually, studies of vaccinated vs unvaccinated are done with humans (not to mention animals), notably with new vaccines. New stuff versus the standard of care, I suppose.
    By example, here is one such study . Only the abstract is available, but it does include the number of children in both groups and the effect of the vaccine (curiously, vaccinated children experienced less flu events and absenteism than the unvaccinated).

    Pubmed is fun. I should spend more time in it.

  275. #276 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    Gary Falcon

    To put it simply, the reason we don’t have studies of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated is the same reason we don’t study parachute vs. no parachute.

    Do you believe that unvaccinated people surely die from disease? Do you have science based evidence of this? LOL

    If I don’t get my influenza vaccine it must surely spell death for me. If I don’t get my chicken pox vaccine I may not make it another single second. Measles will surely strike me dead any minute now.

    Nice attempt at humor there, Gary. I hope you don’t really mean it.

  276. #277 Heliantus
    January 26, 2011

    Oh, lookee, perfect timimg Augustine. Just go read the study I just posted above.

    Will missing a vaccine spell death to you or anyone? Oh, not necessarily. But apparently, you are more likely to spend some time in your bed, feeling miserable. Personally, I would prefer to be up and running. Well, it’s your life.

  277. #278 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine, what I was making was called an “analogy”. I’m not surprised you don’t understand the concept, you don’t seem to understand much else.

    Anyway, let’s continue that “analogy”. There are actual documented cases of people surviving falls out of airplanes without parachutes. There are cases of people dying during parachute jumps. And there are cases of people being injured and killed by parachutes. Does this mean one is safer jumping out of a plane without a parachute? Should we do a series of double-blind studies to find out?

  278. #279 tielserrath
    January 27, 2011

    Every day in the emergency department I see mothers who think something is seriously wrong with their child.

    95% need reassurance that it is a minor illness, education on symptoms of concern and encouragement to manage at home.

    Around 4% need admission for observation, but you can be pretty sure they’ll be fine.

    1 in 100 is truly, alarmingly sick.

    So… what does this say about ‘mommy instinct’? Every mommy thought their kid was really sick. Almost all of them were wrong. Not only were they wrong, they were shown to be wrong by one of those horrible, childless, dried up spinster atheist doctors (me).

    Of course, if one child deteriorates at home, the parents will likely go to the media, claiming ‘We said our child was sick and they ignored us! Doctors ignore mommy instinct!’

  279. #280 LW
    January 27, 2011

    260

    That’s why we vaccinate everyone we can.

    Translation: That’s vy ve vaccinate evzeryone ve can.

    ***

    Is augustine trying to call us communists? I think that’s what I’m supposed to infer from the typing of an accent that’s straight out of a bad movie from the sixties, the actor wearing the “I love to kill Americans” look.*

    He’s not calling us communists. He’s calling us Nazis. Using a V sound for a W is common for German speakers.

  280. #281 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    January 27, 2011

    “Do you like being associated with a magazine that promotes homeopathic drugs (and homeopathic vaccines) for whooping cough, Jay?”

    Homeopathic vaccines? They inject water?? Well, I suppose it’s better than Ayurvedic vaccines… they inject your own piss! So that’d mean they’d inject some bugger else’s piss!

    Ewww!

  281. #282 LW
    January 27, 2011

    The most responsible (and less discriminatory) way to interact in society is act as if we are all capable of spreading disease. Because we are.

    Being exposed to infectious disease is part of living in a society.

    I have trouble understanding cynic’s point. The above comments appear to me to imply that you should trot down to the Department of Health and get vaccinated against anything they have vaccines for, since you can’t rely on herd immunity, especially with people going around actively trying to undermine it. Self-protection via vaccination appears to be the only sensible response to cynic’s arguments, and of course I entirely agree.  

     But the rest of cynic’s comments seem to be hostile toward vaccination and the commenters here, which puzzles me.  

  282. #283 Todd W.
    January 27, 2011

    @cynic

    The issues you raised don’t really affect the decision whether or not to vaccinate. We should act as though we are possibly infectious and able to be infected – wash our hands, cover our coughs with our sleeves, don’t touch our eyes/nose/mouth, etc. However, we can only modify our behavior within reason. To act as though every person were possibly infectious could very quickly lead to paranoia and isolation, which is not a viable option for any society.

    So, what can we do? We can reduce our own risks of both being infected and spreading infection by doing the things I listed above, as well as getting vaccinated. Yeah, it isn’t perfect, but it is, demonstrably, better than not vaccinating at all (see, for example, measles rates in the U.K. after vaccination rates dropped; same for mumps in Japan; disease history in the U.S. [# cases, not just fatalities]; and so on). Vaccines are just another tool in the arsenal of controlling the spread. It may not remove it completely, but it definitely cuts the risk down.

  283. #284 Science Mom
    January 27, 2011

    @Heliantus: The immune response to the second encounter of a specific germ is faster, stronger, and more specific.

    This is not limited to only the vaccinated. The literature is very clear regarding a strong cell-mediated response. It seems logical to stop an intruder at the front door rather than engage them once they have broken in and start to rob the place.

    Of course it isn’t limited to vaccinated, but the objective is to eliminate/reduce disease pathology. Which vaccines achieve and natural infection does not.

    In other words, the disease vector will have less time to establish a hold and do nasty things to the host. And the host will be sick and carrying the vector for a shorter period of time.

    Please provide a citation. Must be a controlled setting with both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. Animals will do.

    You really need a citation for this? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=vaccine%20disease%20re%20challenge

    This information is also found in any graduate level immunology textbook.

    But comparatively to non-vaccinated, this chance is lower, because of this primary/secondary exposure thingy: the opportunity window for the germ to jump from one host to the next is way smaller with vaccinated people.

    Please provide a citation. Must be a controlled setting with both vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. Animals will do.

    Again, you really need a citation for this? Refer to a textbook, this is really basic knowledge and the epidemiology of diseases pre and post vaccination are rather telling.

    Spreading “infection” is reliant upon those encountered.

    More importantly, is reliant upon immune status.

  284. #285 Scott
    January 27, 2011

    cynic’s argument appears to be that all risks are equivalent. Since there is a possibility that someone who is vaccinated could still spread an infection and/or actually get sick, vaccines do nothing?

    The concept that vaccination makes it much less likely appears to elude him.

  285. #286 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    tielserrath

    So… what does this say about ‘mommy instinct’?

    It says that the system of drug distribution that we call healthcare has influenced “mommy instincts” so much that they run scared to the doctor at any insecurity. Because they have been systematically trained to do so.

    Is it mommy instinct that says give a child Tylenol for a fever? That “instinct” didn’t exist 500 years ago. It was created. Created by a system predicated on fear and insecurity. What if…You never know…You better…Just in case.

    Is it mommy instinct to demand antibiotics for ear infections? Or even go to the doctor for every ear infection?

    You’re partly right. These people shouldn’t be running to the doctor for every little thing. But you’re also partly wrong because what you call “instinct” is not. It’s part of a health education system.

    So when you see all of these people running to the emergency room unnecessarily and running up healthcare costs, you only have the medical system to blame.

    Of course, if one child deteriorates at home, the parents will likely go to the media, claiming ‘We said our child was sick and they ignored us! Doctors ignore mommy instinct!’

    So you “treat” them all to manage malpractice risk. How is that evidence based? It’s not. Doctors are a victim of their own system.

    You created it.It didn’t poof out of thin air. The medical system has oversold itself on what it actually can do. Tort reform won’t make it better.

  286. #287 Science Mom
    January 27, 2011

    Since there is no way of knowing who will, and will not gain immunity, and the “effectiveness” we are discussing is not the same as disease resistence, but rather, seriopositivity – isn’t the most responsible course to treat everyone as if they are not immune? Just because a person is vaccinated and shows no symptoms to diseases for which they have been vaccinated, doesn’t mean they aren’t just as capable of spreading those diseases.

    You aren’t making much sense here, either out of ignorance of vaccine effectiveness or you just aren’t conveying your point well. First, you have to include a specific vaccine e.g. measles. Why treat everyone as non-immune when we know the vaccine effectiveness is ~95%. Conversely, pertussis vaccine, since we know that it is of lower effectiveness and does not prevent infection, those with symptoms should (and are in increasing numbers) be suspected as having pertussis. Even so, those with sufficient pertussis immunity (not established) and infected are not going to spread the disease to distal contacts as would someone with full blown pathology.

    And those that get vaccinated and still get those diseases? They also put that population at risk. Since we do not know who will actually gain protection from the vaccine, and who will present correctly due to their vaccination status, isn’t the most responsible course to treat everyone as if they are not immune and capable of spreading disease?

    Another for which you will have to clarify a particular vaccine/disease and also if you feel as though it is beneficial to allow for wild-type disease to circulate instead. Do you really want to argue that those immunised for measles, rubella and Hib are a threat to others?

    Everyone puts this population at risk regardless of their vaccination status. Those vaccinated not presenting correctly to disease more so. Presenting less symptoms to disease does not mean you are not infected yourself.

    Are you on crack? There is this thing called epidemiological reports. Avail yourself of them. And while you are at it, go read how many threads are on MDC about dipshit mothers who have to ask if it’s all right to take their pertussis infected spawn out in public since keeping them in the house is such a burden.

    Exactly. Vaccination status notwithstanding. Unvaccinated people present classic symptoms to the diseases in question. The Vaccinated do not, and there’s no way they could be spreading that disease because they were vaccinated… right? Clinical efficay trials are measuring sera, they do not measure how well a subject will resist the disease when it is encountered. And just because a vaccinated person has enough antibodies (from their vaccine exposure) to prevent them from exhibiting symptoms, it doesn’t tell us much about their capacity to also infect others.

    The most responsible (and less discriminatory) way to interact in society is act as if we are all capable of spreading disease. Because we are.

    How many vaccinated people are spreading measles, rubella, polio and even varicella right now? Vaccine effectiveness can be derived post licensure with contact tracing and surveillance. Seriously, what point are you trying to make?

  287. #288 cynic
    January 27, 2011

    SM: Of course it isn’t limited to vaccinated, but the objective is to eliminate/reduce disease pathology. Which vaccines achieve and natural infection does not.

    Some vaccines clearly do. To infer that all vaccines do, is misleading.

    You really need a citation for this?

    Well… yes… I do. If we are defining an infectious state based upon symptomalogy, this is also misleading.

    Refer to a textbook, this is really basic knowledge and the epidemiology of diseases pre and post vaccination are rather telling.

    For what?

    Host A is vaccinated against Disease X.

    Host B is not.

    Host A and Host B are then exposed to Disease X in a natural setting. Host B has enough circulating antibody to identify the pathogen and prevent Host B from showing symptoms (NOT the same as being immune). Host A shows symptoms, or not, depends on immune response. Just because Host A didn’t show symptoms, didn’t mean they weren’t capable of spreading disease. Direct infection studies focus on symptomalogy, as do the textbooks you are referring me to.

    What happens when both are exposed to a novel pathogen? My money is on the Host not wasting resources looking for bugs introduced to it artificially and the one that has a strong cell mediated response (since that’s the where natural exposure occurs). You are free to bet otherwise. You cannot persuade me to bet with you by telling me to go fetch a textbook. I suspect any other lurkers that selectively vaccinate or do so on a less vigorous schedule feel exactly the way I do.

    The point of my posts, call them hostile if you like LW – just calling it like I see it, is that none of us have any idea who will and will not respond accordingly to vaccines, and who will and will not actualy resist the disease when it’s introduced in the real world. Too many confounders. Who eats crap? Who doesn’t get enough sleep? Who’s lazy? Who is exposed to x,y,z? It’s rhetorical to tell people that they wouldn’t have gotten sick if they were vaccinated, you simply don’t know. It’s rhetorical to tell people that the unvaccinated are the only people spreading disease, you simply don’t know and that it patently false. It’s rhetorical to cite efficacy studies, when they only look at seroconversion… History has shown us plenty of primary and secondary vaccine failure. It’s rhetorical to tell people the risks of vaccines are minute, when clinical trials use only healthy subjects and there are no measures to identify people that cannot tolerate vaccines.

    If you feel you can persuade people with rhetoric, then by all means, file my post in the trashcan. I suspect many do already. The fact that I read here, and other places that don’t particularly conform to *all* of my ideals, should tell some of you regulars that I am open to being convinced. So far, I’m not.

  288. #289 Heliantus
    January 27, 2011

    @Augustine

    Is it mommy instinct that says give a child Tylenol for a fever? That “instinct” didn’t exist 500 years ago.

    Effectively. 500 years ago, the mom would have run for the local witch to get some poultice for the baby. Or something like this.
    And if it didn’t work, eventually the villagers would burn the witch. Or hang a few jews. Or something.
    Are you really saying that people are looking for cures for their ailments only recently? The need for a shaman is as old as humanity.

    @Orac

    I wrote last night an answer to Cynic who was asking for citations. I believe I put only 2 html links, but I triggered the moderation anyway. Is it still blocked over there?
    (I’m not complaining, mind you. Just checking)

  289. #290 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    Falcon

    Anyway, let’s continue that “analogy”.

    Says the professor teaching his student.

    Yes professor.

    But I have a question. You are comparing the case fatality rate of jumping out of an airplane sans parachute vs. someone going unvaccinated. How many people would die if 100 jumped out of an airplane. How many, out of 100, would die from chickenpox if they weren’t vaccinated for it?

    Doesn’t seem like you’re comparing anything remotely close. You’re attempt to persuade based on your parachute analogy just failed.

  290. #291 cynic
    January 27, 2011

    Science Mom,

    Why treat everyone as non-immune when we know the vaccine effectiveness is ~95%. Conversely, pertussis vaccine, since we know that it is of lower effectiveness and does not prevent infection, those with symptoms should (and are in increasing numbers) be suspected as having pertussis. Even so, those with sufficient pertussis immunity (not established) and infected are not going to spread the disease to distal contacts as would someone with full blown pathology.

    That’s fair, but Todd was talking in generalizations, so he got generalization in response. Measles vaccine definitely does work, I have never stated otherwise. As to your pertussis comment, you have made my point. Someone with full blown pathology isn’t mingling around the herd thinking they have a cold.

    Another for which you will have to clarify a particular vaccine/disease and also if you feel as though it is beneficial to allow for wild-type disease to circulate instead. Do you really want to argue that those immunised for measles, rubella and Hib are a threat to others?

    I am undecided on the circulation of wild-type viruses and pathogens. Those immunized for measles may definitely show less symptoms, but I am not convinced they are not a threat to others. Specifically the compromised population. Hib is an opportunistic pathogen, best I can tell, and based on what I have reviewed of the literature, I don’t think it offers more protection than breastfeeding. There has been a lot of discussion regarding serotype replacement with this bug as well, and I’m not convinced that it’s universal use hasn’t created more work for us. On many levels.

    Are you on crack? There is this thing called epidemiological reports. Avail yourself of them. And while you are at it, go read how many threads are on MDC about dipshit mothers who have to ask if it’s all right to take their pertussis infected spawn out in public since keeping them in the house is such a burden.

    I wondered how long it would take you to start talking shit. Thanks for not disappointing. Epi reports? You are the one on crack if you’re putting all of your eggs in that basket. Diagnostic shifts. Increased awareness. Lack of laboratory confirmation. As for being a dipshit, this is not simply reserved for those that forego vaccines. “Johnny is coughing a lot, but he couldn’t possibly have pertussis… he was vaccinated. I think I’ll take him to see my grandmother who has cancer anyway.”

    How many vaccinated people are spreading measles, rubella, polio and even varicella right now?

    Good question. As far as I can tell, nobody’s looking. I read a case report of a boy shedding measles virus from his vaccine while being asymptomatic… I was told it was a phenomenon and couldn’t possibly be occuring on a wide scale basis. As for my point… why are you pretending to care? You just want to exchange insults to see how vulgar and pithy you can be so onlookers can be impressed. Must get lonely on top of that soap box.

    I’m out. Enjoy your high-fives.

  291. #292 Heliantus
    January 27, 2011

    @Cynic

    Host A is vaccinated against Disease X.
    Host B is not.
    Host A and Host B are then exposed to Disease X in a natural setting. Host B has enough circulating antibody to identify the pathogen and prevent Host B from showing symptoms.

    Wait a second. Where do these circulating antibodies come from in Host B? He/she first has to have them produced.
    Which is the point of vaccination. To reduce the lag time between the germ being identified as a threat by our immune system and the rise of specific antibodies (or T-cells) against it.

    Host A shows symptoms, or not, depends on immune response. Just because Host A didn’t show symptoms, didn’t mean they weren’t capable of spreading disease.

    Yes and no.
    There is something like a dose effect. In order to create a disease, the germs should first get a hold in the host, and then proliferate faster than the immune system can kill them.
    Because this is that the immune system does: killing germs. Kill all germs before they get a hold, and you will be asymptomatic and germ-free.
    So, in an immune, asymptomatic person, germ populations are maintained under disease level.
    Which makes it unlikely for this immune person to spread the disease (once the immune response has kicked in): he/she is not shredding enough germs for them to be a threat to the other people around.

    Well, of course, this is not true for all germs, or all persons. Some germs are very good at jumping and settling in a new host (like the cold viruses or flu), and some persons are more sensitive. And you have carrier people like Typhoid Mary.

    But on average, immune people do not spread diseases. Or spread them less than non-immune people.

    Again, this is found in basic immunology/bacteriology textbooks.

  292. #293 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    Hilantius

    Oh, lookee, perfect timimg Augustine. Just go read the study I just posted above.

    It’s painfully aware to the regular sciencebloggers that you are a new skeptic. Your skills are very amateur. They are not going to touch your post with a ten foot needle.I’ll give you a pass. Read around some more first before acting cocky with your intellect.

  293. #294 cynic
    January 27, 2011

    The vaccinated host will identify some of the pathogen causing the threat in a natural setting. Are you so certain they will not be subclinical? I’m not.

    In order to create a disease, the germs should first get a hold in the host, and then proliferate faster than the immune system can kill them.
    Because this is that the immune system does: killing germs. Kill all germs before they get a hold, and you will be asymptomatic and germ-free.

    Asymptomatic does not mean “germ-free”. I’m fine with my germs. They were here before me, and happily reside in and on me.

    But on average, immune people do not spread diseases. Or spread them less than non-immune people. Again, this is found in basic immunology/bacteriology textbooks.

    Correct. All based upon symptomalogy. Being asymptomatic does not mean you are infection free.

  294. #295 Science Mom
    January 27, 2011

    SM: Of course it isn’t limited to vaccinated, but the objective is to eliminate/reduce disease pathology. Which vaccines achieve and natural infection does not.

    Some vaccines clearly do. To infer that all vaccines do, is misleading.

    Hello? That is precisely what you are doing, lumping all vaccines together which is why I told you you needed to specify which vaccine(s) you were using for an example.

    You really need a citation for this?

    Well… yes… I do. If we are defining an infectious state based upon symptomalogy, this is also misleading.

    And yet I still supplied a list for your perusal. But again, this really is basic immunology/microbiology, which you should be acquainted with.

    Host A and Host B are then exposed to Disease X in a natural setting. Host B has enough circulating antibody to identify the pathogen and prevent Host B from showing symptoms (NOT the same as being immune). Host A shows symptoms, or not, depends on immune response. Just because Host A didn’t show symptoms, didn’t mean they weren’t capable of spreading disease. Direct infection studies focus on symptomalogy, as do the textbooks you are referring me to.

    There you go again. Which vaccine and disease? Haven’t you even read the Pink Book? There are numerous vaccines which prevent microbial replication to the point of preventing most or all disease pathogenesis and transmission. I don’t know what the hell you are reading, but clearly, isn’t enough or understood.

    What happens when both are exposed to a novel pathogen? My money is on the Host not wasting resources looking for bugs introduced to it artificially and the one that has a strong cell mediated response (since that’s the where natural exposure occurs). You are free to bet otherwise. You cannot persuade me to bet with you by telling me to go fetch a textbook. I suspect any other lurkers that selectively vaccinate or do so on a less vigorous schedule feel exactly the way I do.

    Your ideas about cellular and humoral mediated immunity are lacking. Different pathogens provoke numerous responses as do vaccines. I don’t follow your example since it is so poorly stated. I don’t care how you or lurkers ‘feel’, I’m only interested in the basis for your contention, which is neither presented well, nor seemingly rooted in a solid knowledge base.

  295. #296 nsib
    January 27, 2011

    lol. Is it even worth it responding to cynic? They’ve already demonstrated themselves to have a horribly twisted understanding of the immune system. I mean, thinking that the creation of a few memory B-cells leads to decreased immune response against novel pathogens? How wrong can you get?

  296. #297 Heliantus
    January 27, 2011

    @ Cynic

    As for being a dipshit, this is not simply reserved for those that forego vaccines. “Johnny is coughing a lot, but he couldn’t possibly have pertussis… he was vaccinated. I think I’ll take him to see my grandmother who has cancer anyway.”

    This is how you will react? Interesting.
    If my vaccinated Johnny was coughing, I would suspect cold, flu, strept infection, or, why not?, maybe he got pertussis despite being vaccinated. Vaccines are not 100%, you know. And immunity wanes.
    Definitely not going to bring him to grandma, if I have any two neurons working.

  297. #298 AnthonyK
    January 27, 2011

    It’s painfully aware to the regular sciencebloggers

    and it’s painfully obvious to everyone here that you mangled syntax is the result of an immensely misplaced arrogance, of which you are comletely unaware.
    The thinking fairy never visited, you did it?

    Your skills are very amateur

    and yours are, apparently, non-existence.
    Sigh. You’re still just as dull and pointless as a stubbed toe. Education didn’t really take with you did it?
    Oh. but don’t worry, like most of the regulars here, I’ll just ignore you. It’s not as though you’ve ever said anything even remotely interesting.

  298. #299 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    But I have a question. You are comparing the case fatality rate of jumping out of an airplane sans parachute vs. someone going unvaccinated. How many people would die if 100 jumped out of an airplane. How many, out of 100, would die from chickenpox if they weren’t vaccinated for it?

    Once again, you prove to be a bottomless well of stupidity. An “analogy” is a comparison between two similar situations, often with differing consequences, used to explain a similar concept they share. For example, there are numerous cases of children dying from chickenpox. I was using the extreme case to show that it is possible to weigh relative risks, something you refuse to understand.

    In any case, here’s an example of the problems caused by natural infection:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/varicella/unprotected-story.htm

    Two weeks of missed work is not fatal, but it certainly is not trivial, either, and could easily mean a lost job in many instances.

  299. #300 Mizraki
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine, I dont know who you are, but I Love your intelligent, respectful, witty responses. Please keep them coming.

  300. #301 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine, I dont know who you are, but I Love your intelligent, respectful, witty responses. Please keep them coming.

    Care to explain why you consider him intelligent, respectful, or witty? Interesting you don’t show up at all until now.

  301. #302 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine, I dont know who you are, but I Love your intelligent, respectful, witty responses. Please keep them coming.

    Care to explain why you consider him intelligent, respectful, or witty? Because I haven’t seen that.

  302. #303 dedicated lurker
    January 27, 2011

    Aug – it depends on both groups. If a hundred people jump out of an airplane without a parachute, and the airplane is still on the ground, I’ll bet all 100 will live. Similarly, if the group of 100 not vaccinated against chicken pox is immunosuppressed because of genetic conditions, cortosteroid use, or cancer treatments, and they get exposed, well, a lot will die.

  303. #304 Mizraki
    January 27, 2011

    This site has been a guilty reading pleasure for years. Way before Augustine came along, and you, for that matter. Whether you agree with a particular point or not, does not deter from appreciating the ‘conversation’.

  304. #305 Sid Offit
    January 27, 2011

    @Todd W

    Some individuals who will not gain immunity from the vaccine. So, unvaccinated individuals are putting those people at risk.

    No Todd. You can’t put someone at risk if you don’t have an illness. And no being vaccinated isn’t an illness

  305. #306 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    No Todd. You can’t put someone at risk if you don’t have an illness. And no being vaccinated isn’t an illness

    Unvaccinated people are much more likely to carry the illness than vaccinated people, that much is established. Try to remember that we are working with probabilities here, not certainties.

  306. #307 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    @Ded-

    It goes without saying that we would be talking about jumping out of an airplane at several thousand feet. The height is what would make a parachute relevant.

    Similarly, if the group of 100 not vaccinated against chicken pox is immunosuppressed…

    You’re not helping your friend’s argument.

    Must not be very many of those groups of 100 then, because if there were then we would have seen a lot more than 80 per year die from chickenpox.

    But this brings up a good issue. Confounders. If 100 immunosuppressed chickenpox infected people jump out of a flying airplane san parchute at 10,000 feet then we know what will happen to all 100. Not many confounders there.

    His analogy fails. Case mortality is not even close. With any vaccine associated disease for that matter.

  307. #308 Heliantus
    January 27, 2011

    @ AnthonyK

    Thanks.

    @ Augustine

    It’s painfully aware to the regular sciencebloggers that you are a new skeptic.

    Well, I’m here to learn.

    Read around some more first

    I just spend 3 hours yesterday wadding through Pubmed. Learned some stuff as I was searching for citations. It was fun and educating. You should try it one day.

    If you were anywhere close to honest, you would have pointed to me why my quoted vaccinated vs unvaccinated study is not that good. By example, only 165 children in each group, so low statistical power, and no chance whatsoever to catch any event with low probability.
    Still, this little study was powerful enough to show a difference in health outcome, to the benefit of the vaccinated children. How is it for vaccine usefulness?

    before acting cocky with your intellect.

    Well, it takes a thief to catch a thief.

  308. #309 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine, once again, you fail to realize that there are consequences of diseases other than direct mortality. What’s more, that’s still 80 a year who die of chickenpox, far more than would die from the vaccine. Learn the basics first, before trying to comment.

  309. #310 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    Unvaccinated people are much more likely to carry the illness than vaccinated people, that much is established. Try to remember that we are working with probabilities here, not certainties.

    Try to remember we are working with facts here. “More likely” does not mean actually has illness. And “at risk” does not mean “will get it” or actually has it. These are concepts often abused as a substitute for actual facts.

    How does not having an actual disease but “being at risk for having it” put someone else “at risk for it”? Is being “at risk” the same as actually having a disease?

    You guys are so caught up in your ideology that you believe in things that aren’t even there. Do you believe in fairies too?

    One of you should develop a “risk” vaccine. It would have high efficacy and a great risk/benefit safety profie. Maybe you could sell it off label too for other risks like the stock market. Put out several studies that show it lowers your risk of risk.

    Remember, you don’t have to prove that it actually works in real life. When someone loses all of their money in the stock market you just say “Well, it’s not 100%” or “you would have lost all your money anyway”. And just think everytime someone doesn’t lose all of their money it will just reinforce their belief that it was the risk vaccine. Customer for life.

  310. #311 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine, did you ever take grade-school mathematics? Technically, parachutes aren’t 100% effective, nor are seatbelts or crosswalks. So are they useless as well?

  311. #312 dedicated lurker
    January 27, 2011

    Yeah, aug, playing the stock market is a risk. You could lose all your money or double it. Those who do play the stock market are hoping for a good risk/benefit ratio. (And it’s certainly more reliable than, say, lottery tickets.)

  312. #313 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine, did you ever take grade-school mathematics? Technically, parachutes aren’t 100% effective,

    We’re not talking about parachutes. We’re talking about not wearing parchutes. Stay focused.

    Remember you implied that not vaccinated is the equivalent to jumping out of an airplane sans parachute.

  313. #314 Scott
    January 27, 2011

    Augie’s point is actually a little more subtle (though no less moronic). He seems to be arguing that, if somebody doesn’t have a parachute but dies anyway, the parachute was useless and shouldn’t have been bothered with.

    The idiocy comes from the fact that one does not know the outcome ahead of time. This is key to the understanding of risk.

  314. #315 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine, you were denying the concept of risk. That requires failing basic probability, which I learned in second grade. I mean, do you play in busy streets? After all, you being struck by a car is only a possibility, not a certainty.

  315. #316 papa zita
    January 27, 2011

    @312
    Those who do play the stock market are hoping for a good risk/benefit ratio. (And it’s certainly more reliable than, say, lottery tickets.)

    I know a couple of ex-day traders who would beg to differ.

  316. #317 Scott
    January 27, 2011

    @papa zita

    If they’d actually say that the lottery has a better risk/return ratio, then that might well explain why they didn’t do well…

  317. #318 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    He seems to be arguing that, if somebody doesn’t have a parachute but dies anyway, the parachute was useless and shouldn’t have been bothered with.

    No. I’m not.

  318. #319 papa zita
    January 27, 2011

    Certainly not better, but they couldn’t have done much worse, either. They both exhibited classic gambler behavior – doubling down on losses, going all-in, etc. Each lost over half of their assets (one well over), and both were ahead early in their trading “careers”. I have told friends in the past that playing the market is exactly like gambling and not to put in more than you can afford to lose. My father’s hard-earned knowledge from 1929 made a serious impression on me.

  319. #320 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    Well then, augustine, what are you arguing? That assessing and weighing risks is impossible? Because that would be news to every engineer and doctor on the face of this planet!

  320. #321 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    Well then, augustine, what are you arguing?

    This unfair and erroneous comparison:

    To put it simply, the reason we don’t have studies of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated is the same reason we don’t study parachute vs. no parachute.

  321. #322 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    My point was that the benefits of vaccination, as with parachutes, are well-established, and suggesting someone go without would be unethical in both cases. For one thing, polio and smallpox are no longer daily threats. Your attempts at hair-splitting didn’t change my point in the slightest: More people have suffered without the vaccine than with it. That is historical fact.

  322. #323 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    To clarify my last statement: Polio and smallpox are no longer daily threats because of vaccination policies. Measles and chickenpox can kill, and so vaccination is still necessary for them, and asking someone to go without would be unethical. The risk-benefit may not be as extreme as with parachutes, but it is still there, and the comparison is still valid.

    You seem to believe that weighing risks means “predicting the future”. Try to learn the basics first before making an argument, don’t just go by instinct. The Lord may be guiding your words, but he may want you to look like a twit as a warning to others.

  323. #324 cynic
    January 27, 2011

    Hello? That is precisely what you are doing, lumping all vaccines together which is why I told you you needed to specify which vaccine(s) you were using for an example.

    Nice. I was responding to general rhetoric and am being asked for specifics by someone who cites, measles, mumps, rubella and Hib in the same sentence acting as if they are the same.

    And yet I still supplied a list for your perusal. But again, this really is basic immunology/microbiology, which you should be acquainted with

    By all means. Pick one that supports your position and let’s discuss. Furnishing a list of “whatever” then asking me to sift through and prove your point… doesn’t really prove your point. Crying ignorance is not the same as making science accessible. Where do you lie in this debate precisely? I can’t keep up.

    Haven’t you even read the Pink Book? There are numerous vaccines which prevent microbial replication to the point of preventing most or all disease pathogenesis and transmission. I don’t know what the hell you are reading, but clearly, isn’t enough or understood.

    Then by all means guide me Holy One…. whose aim is to make the science more clear. Or is that just bullshit for the sake of equality?

    Your ideas about cellular and humoral mediated immunity are lacking.

    Try to be less predictable. (sarcasm) Of course, the body engages injected pathogens and “encountered” pathogens identicially… that biochemical reaction instigated by contact with the mucosa is just stupid. Much better to start a shitstorm inside. If you want to pick a disease to discuss, then do it. My “general” responses were aimed at “general’, discriminatory rhetoric that I am happy to abandon.

    Try as you might to complicate the skeptical position (also making it inaccessible to the audience you are trying to reach… how’s that working out?) and prove intellectual superiority, in the end, simplicity will always win. Regular people have little patience for condescending people telling them to vaccinate their kids because they are selfish when they know zip about that family and act like Vaccination Status is the be all of health status. Unless you’re committed to being available for the vaccine damaged because of your efforts to enforce the invasive “vaccinate, or else you’re selfish”… then knock it off.

    Yes. I’ve read the Pink Book. Not near as scary as this thread is. What’s your point?

  324. #325 Heliantus
    January 27, 2011

    @ Cynic

    I’m sorry, but I start to believe we are not talking about the same thing. When I was talking about primary/secondary infection, I did not mean passive immunity/specific immunity, as you seem to suggest.

    Of course, the body engages injected pathogens and “encountered” pathogens identicially… that biochemical reaction instigated by contact with the mucosa is just stupid.

    Could you elaborate? What’s happening when the pathogens come into contact with mucosa that is so important?
    And do you mean that pathogens never sneak inside the body naturally?

    Much better to start a shitstorm inside.

    Citation please.

  325. #326 Science Mom
    January 27, 2011

    Nice. I was responding to general rhetoric and am being asked for specifics by someone who cites, measles, mumps, rubella and Hib in the same sentence acting as if they are the same.

    You’re thick as a plank. You can’t even respond correctly even when given specific examples.

    Then by all means guide me Holy One…. whose aim is to make the science more clear. Or is that just bullshit for the sake of equality?

    I can make it clear as a bell for those interested in asking questions, not for those, like you who act with authority and expertise but don’t know a B cell from a T cell. You are asking for information that you should already know, considering how you come off.

    Try to be less predictable. (sarcasm) Of course, the body engages injected pathogens and “encountered” pathogens identicially… that biochemical reaction instigated by contact with the mucosa is just stupid.

    And yet no one even said that. Next strawman please.

    Much better to start a shitstorm inside. If you want to pick a disease to discuss, then do it. My “general” responses were aimed at “general’, discriminatory rhetoric that I am happy to abandon.

    Shouldn’t you have done that to begin with instead of generalising to the point of stupidity? Your ‘general’ responses were wrong because of the differences in disease epidemiology, vaccine effectiveness and host responses.

    Try as you might to complicate the skeptical position (also making it inaccessible to the audience you are trying to reach… how’s that working out?) and prove intellectual superiority, in the end, simplicity will always win.

    It’s working great. I get along swimmingly with those that are genuinely seeking information to make decisions. Ignorantly arrogant douches like you, not so much.

    Regular people have little patience for condescending people telling them to vaccinate their kids because they are selfish when they know zip about that family and act like Vaccination Status is the be all of health status. Unless you’re committed to being available for the vaccine damaged because of your efforts to enforce the invasive “vaccinate, or else you’re selfish”… then knock it off.

    Oh go whine and save the performance for someone who actually might give a toss. And there’s the other strawman. Go find a single post that I have made anywhere that includes that kind of rhetoric. As for whining about intellectual superiority, that charge only comes from the likes of you. You want to play rough with the big kids but then complain when you get your ass kicked. If you are seeking information, then I suggest you try a different tact and you know, actually ask questions.

  326. #327 dedicated lurker
    January 27, 2011

    The only reason I think cynic is not the infamous Th1Th2 is that they have not mentioned the word “naive” yet.

  327. #328 Chris
    January 27, 2011

    dedicated lurker:

    The only reason I think cynic is not the infamous Th1Th2 is that they have not mentioned the word “naive” yet.

    Or told us that a toddler know enough to stay on the safe sidewalk and not go into the dangerous dirt and grass!

  328. #329 tielserrath
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine the ignorant:

    So you “treat” them all to manage malpractice risk. How is that evidence based? It’s not. Doctors are a victim of their own system.

    No, I don’t ‘treat them all’ – the vast majority get reassurance and a shove in the direction of the exit. I spend hours every day educating about why antibiotics are unecessary and what symptoms should make them seek review.

    This is why people like you are loathsome – you erect straw men and use them to peddle your ‘all doctors are swine’ message. Your ignorance is nauseating.

  329. #330 dedicated lurker
    January 27, 2011

    Or told us that a toddler know enough to stay on the safe sidewalk and not go into the dangerous dirt and grass!

    I must have been an exceptionally stupid toddler. Even though I could read I didn’t even know enough to not eat those bright red poison berries that looked just like cherries.

  330. #331 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    gary falcon:

    My point was that the benefits of vaccination, as with parachutes, are well-established…

    Stop right there. The benefits of vaccines are laid over many confounders. The benefits of parachutes do not have to be sifted out of confounders.

    To imply and recommend that no more research be done with the health of vaccinated vs. (totally)unvaccinated is to stifle scientific progress and knowledge.

  331. #332 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    By “confounders”, do you mean cases where the vaccine has side effects? There are two things you have to keep in mind:

    1) With the general population, side effects are probably going to be much rarer, and less severe, than the effects of the disease likely will be. This is known as probability theory. Your consistent refusal to learn it does not do you any credit.

    2) Not everyone can be vaccinated, but if the general population is vaccinated, the chance of an outbreak is reduced. This is known because of observed effects over the years, and the fact that the universe is assumed to be consistent.

  332. #333 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    I spend hours every day educating about why antibiotics are unecessary and what symptoms should make them seek review.

    You spend hours everyday? Really? So how many Rx do you write anyway? Count them up. Are you really any different? Or do you think it’s just your colleagues overprescibing?
    Why do you think people put so much faith in antibiotics? Do you think most doctors are still ignorant on the fact that antibiotics are oversold? The fact is they still over prescribe. Are they just too weak minded? Does the wants of society overpower them? Are they insecure? Do they practice defensive medicine to cover their own asses in lieu of patient’s health?

    So if it’s not you then who? What type of doctor over prescribes antibiotics? Are skeptic based doctors immune from this type of practice?

  333. #334 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    By “confounders”, do you mean cases where the vaccine has side effects?

    No. We’re talking about effectiveness.

  334. #335 paulmurray
    January 27, 2011

    #12 “But the D&D instructions make more sense. A healing potion that depends on the time of day? That’s just nuts, man.”

    Maybe the potion was brewed by a cleric of Pelor.

    #8 “A statement about nothing, followed up with a bunch of “me, too”s. That’s a conversation?”

    You have clearly never listened to a bunch of twelve-year-old girls talking. It’s excruciating.

  335. #336 Gray Falcon
    January 27, 2011

    No. We’re talking about effectiveness.

    What do you mean? All the evidence suggests they are effective. The CDC rates them as around 90% effective, which is better than nothing.

    I once got hit by a car while walking on a crosswalk, with a green light my way. Does that mean that you’re better off jaywalking anyway?

  336. #337 WTL
    January 27, 2011

    Falcon, it was a stupid analogy to begin with. Just admit it and move on.

  337. #338 Gray Falcon
    January 28, 2011

    So, can you explain why you think it’s stupid? The concept still stands, even if my example was extreme.

  338. #339 Heliantus
    January 28, 2011

    @ Cynic

    One last try, if you are still around. I was reading again our crossed posts, and I keep having the feeling we are not talking about the same thing. Maybe it’s because English is not my first language, or maybe you are not clear enough. Or maybe both.

    I will re-state a few of my points, which I believe you misinterpreted. I will also state what I believe are a few of your opinions. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Me: “This is found in basic immunology/bacteriology textbooks.”
    You: “Correct. All based upon symptomalogy.”
    No, that’s wrong. I didn’t refer you to medical books. Medical books or studies may be based upon symptoms, but immunology books are not. They talk about the mechanisms of the immune system and its interactions with the self (your body) and the non-self (everything else). And bacteriology textbooks? Bacteriology is (among other topics) about finding and characterizing bacteria, including in an infection situation. Same for virology.
    And a good number of studies on vaccines or infection do look at antibody titers, viral amount, or bacterial presence. These studies don’t rely uniquely on symptoms.

    You:”Asymptomatic does not mean “germ-free”. I’m fine with my germs.”
    By “germ-free”, I was not talking about all your germs. I was talking about the pathogen who tried to invade you and which your immune system was successful at killing. My point was, if your immune system mounts a response which is fast and strong enough against a specific pathogen, there will be none of this pathogen left to be spread around.
    More precisely, there will be a lot less compared to someone whose immune system is still busy finding the proper antibodies to produce. Hence the interest of giving the immune system a leg start by injecting a less harmful version of the pathogen or of its constituents.

    You: “Being asymptomatic does not mean you are infection free.”
    Yes, this is correct, especially for viral infections (HIV is notorious for this). But this is not correct for all infections, and further, my point was that asymptomatic people have a lesser load of the pathogen (viral or bacterial) and are thus less contagious, on average, than people who exhibit symptoms, because their immune system is busy killing it.
    Do you believe that, on the average population, for a specific illness, the severity of the symptoms does not correlate with the severity of the hold of the pathogen on the host? More severe symptoms, more free-roaming pathogens, less symptoms, more pathogens antagonized by the immune system?

    You:”the body engages injected pathogens and “encountered” pathogens identicially”[not]
    Yes, there are differences.
    Will you agree that vaccines which mimic the natural way of entrance of a pathogen should be doing a good job at training your immune system? I am thinking of flumist, of anti-rotavirus vaccines (which are swallowed), of the anti-tetanus vaccine.
    Now, for vaccines which do not precisely mimic the normal pathogen invasion, do you have a specific example in mind where this is an issue? I don’t deny this could be, I just would like to have a specific case to talk about.

    What happens when both [host A, vaccinated against X, host B, not] are exposed to a novel pathogen? My money is on the Host not wasting resources looking for bugs introduced to it artificially and the one that has a strong cell mediated response (since that’s the where natural exposure occurs).

    Could you elaborate on this? I don’t understand what you mean.
    The host is wasting resources keeping all these memory B-cells ant T-cells around after a first encounter with a pathogen (or any antigen from the outside, actually). And the host is wasting resources producing antigen-presenting cells to chase around anything which does not belong to the inside of the body, regardless of previous exposure. How are vaccines disrupting this?

  339. #340 cynic
    January 28, 2011

    @Science Mom –

    not for those, like you who act with authority and expertise but don’t know a B cell from a T cell.

    Your sanctimonious bullshit grows old. I know the difference well, I thank you for your consideration.

    Shouldn’t you have done that to begin with instead of generalising to the point of stupidity? Your ‘general’ responses were wrong because of the differences in disease epidemiology, vaccine effectiveness and host responses.

    Good lawd woman, can you fit through the door with the conceit exploding your head? I suspect not. You chimed in during a general conversation that was in response to general fear mongering.

    It’s working great. I get along swimmingly with those that are genuinely seeking information to make decisions. Ignorantly arrogant douches like you, not so much.

    That’s because you’re an asshole incapable of seeing your own hypocrisy. As for being arrogant, I think your picture is next to the definition… regardless of the slobbering over your words wherever you may go.

    Oh go whine and save the performance for someone who actually might give a toss.

    You cared enough to talk shit to me, perhaps you should evaluate your own standards before you open your wide-ass mouth. As for kicking my ass? All you’ve managed to do (which is all you EVER manage to do) is claim superiority while saying nothing. Go kick the MDC moms some more, but before you put your big-ass foot in my direction, you had better make certain you’ve got reason for it.

    All this from a closet-selectively-vaccinating hypocrite. You can suck it lady. When you’re ready to truly face your position and stop pretending, maybe we’ll talk again. Probably not.

    Cheers.

  340. #341 cynic
    January 28, 2011

    @Science Mom –

    not for those, like you who act with authority and expertise but don’t know a B cell from a T cell.

    Your sanctimonious bullshit grows old. I know the difference well, I thank you for your consideration.

    Shouldn’t you have done that to begin with instead of generalising to the point of stupidity? Your ‘general’ responses were wrong because of the differences in disease epidemiology, vaccine effectiveness and host responses.

    Good lawd woman, can you fit through the door with the conceit exploding your head? I suspect not. You chimed in during a general conversation that was in response to general fear mongering.

    It’s working great. I get along swimmingly with those that are genuinely seeking information to make decisions. Ignorantly arrogant douches like you, not so much.

    That’s because you’re an asshole incapable of seeing your own hypocrisy. As for being arrogant, I think your picture is next to the definition… regardless of the slobbering over your words wherever you may go.

    Oh go whine and save the performance for someone who actually might give a toss.

    You cared enough to talk shit to me, perhaps you should evaluate your own standards before you open your wide-ass mouth. As for kicking my ass? All you’ve managed to do (which is all you EVER manage to do) is claim superiority while saying nothing. Go kick the MDC moms some more, but before you put your big-ass foot in my direction, you had better make certain you’ve got reason for it.

    All this from a closet-selectively-vaccinating hypocrite. You can suck it lady. When you’re ready to truly face your position and stop pretending, maybe we’ll talk again. Probably not.

    Cheers

  341. #342 Science Mom
    January 28, 2011

    @ Cynic, I see that you can’t address the lapses in your arguments. I’m shocked. I am quite open about my vaccine choices and how I came to them; nothing closeted at all. Pathetic try to get people here to turn on me perhaps?

    Your kind are a dime a dozen; you come in swinging a big, limp dick and then shriek about ‘intellectual superiority’ of those that refute your bullshit. The problem is your inferiority complex; you think you know what others do but don’t want to do the work to actually achieve that knowledge and experience. There are many here who aren’t scientists or physicians, don’t try to act like one and earn and achieve respect nonetheless.

  342. #343 cynic
    January 29, 2011

    Heliantus,

    I’m sorry. I forgot there was civil discussion here.

    …infection do look at antibody titers, viral amount, or bacterial presence. These studies don’t rely uniquely on symptoms.

    This is fair. In a clinical setting, we do rely mostly on symptoms. What occurs in a clinical setting transfers to epidemiology, and sometimes it is accompanied by laboratory findings. So in the real world?

    My point was, if your immune system mounts a response which is fast and strong enough against a specific pathogen, there will be none of this pathogen left to be spread around.

    I understand this. Let me see if I can clarify my position. Children (people) encounter pathogens on a daily basis. Sometimes that encounter will produce fever, etc… This tells us that the mucosa, and various other mechanisms, are working as they should and there is a successful non-specific response. Fair so far?

    How can we know what pathogen was encountered (many do not warrant a doctor visit)? Isn’t it possible it was for a disease for which there is a vaccine? And if so, what would remain would be memory cells which cannot be measured. Fair?

    Do you believe that, on the average population, for a specific illness, the severity of the symptoms does not correlate with the severity of the hold of the pathogen on the host? More severe symptoms, more free-roaming pathogens, less symptoms, more pathogens antagonized by the immune system?

    I think there are too many things to consider. Diet, sleep, sunshine, etc… I think that a person that eats species appropriate (ie. mostly hunter/gatherer) and sleeps with the cycle of the sun has a better chance of fending off disease causing agents. I think that robust children who encounter those disease causing agents generally respond well, mount strong fevers, then the next day you have no idea what happened (this is has been my experience with 4 children). I think the knee-jerk response to contain a fever is a very bad practice.

    Which leads to what I considered to be my biggest/only point: we have no idea who will respond well and who won’t. I don’t think vaccination status should be a determining factor, and all too often it is via epidemiology or the likes. And it is often used in debates, when it simply is not true.

    Could you elaborate on this? I don’t understand what you mean.
    The host is wasting resources keeping all these memory B-cells ant T-cells around after a first encounter with a pathogen (or any antigen from the outside, actually). And the host is wasting resources producing antigen-presenting cells to chase around anything which does not belong to the inside of the body, regardless of previous exposure. How are vaccines disrupting this?

    I’m sorry, I was being a little sarcastic and trying to be simple so it may have made me unclear. There is some evidence for a allergic response to injected vaccine (pertussis). This is where I derived “introduced to it artificially”. There is also some evidence (though not conclusive) that hyperactive immune systems turn on the host (but I did not say that in my first post, and this is not an attempt to shift the goal posts, just an observation). Taken in totality, I chose the phrases that I did, albeit not perfect.

    @Science Mom,

    you come in swinging a big, limp dick and then shriek about ‘intellectual superiority’ of those that refute your bullshit.

    You are incapable of seeing your own contribution to any altercation. We were getting along just fine until you started talking shit. Then you started to shove your ego down my throat, as per usual.

    The problem is your inferiority complex; you think you know what others do but don’t want to do the work to actually achieve that knowledge and experience.

    Um, nope. Perhaps you should stick with epidemiology and leave the couch out of it? Others here know damn well that rhetoric such as “vaccines don’t cause autism” and “it could have been prevented anti-vaxxers would just vaccinate” (of any epidemic involving “VPD”s) – are bullshit. Doesn’t stop you from espousing them ad nauseum. That was the only reason I posted in the first place, in response to general rhetoric to which you told me to be specific.

    What I know, is that you’re not going to win over any fence-sitters with rhetoric and scientific conceit, try as you might and continue to be in denial that you don’t care.

    There are many here who aren’t scientists or physicians, don’t try to act like one and earn and achieve respect nonetheless.

    Nice projection. I’m not acting like anything, except pissed off at you. And I’m certainly not here to earn your respect… Why would I? Every encounter I’ve ever had with you has ended in you slinging insults and shoving your intellect in my face (a very familiar story to a LOT of people). Similarly, I cannot respect people who fail to see the void in their own positions and stifle the exchange of information and ideas with their own prejudice.

    I’m not here to argue the specifics of each vaccine and the disease, and I did not engage in a specific argument. I engaged in a general, rhetorical one (and it wasn’t mine, have a look up yonder) in hopes that vehement vaccine defenders would stop using such arguments and accept parents that decide to delay or forego vaccines and stop promoting discrimination. Using rhetoric and fear-laden arguments against them is not going to work because they do not stand up to scrutiny. Vaccination status is not the end-all, be-all of immune/health status. To act like it is, is intellectually dishonest

  343. #344 youngskeptic
    January 29, 2011

    @cynic I think you have effectively convinced me the last thing I should show anti-vaxxers such as yourself is any level of sympathy. No one on this site was bullying anyone or demanding they put their children in danger. If you’re to dishonest a human being to recognize that there’s really nothing else to say.

  344. #345 Militant Agnostic
    January 29, 2011

    Sicence Mom @342

    The problem is your inferiority complex; you think you know what others do but don’t want to do the work to actually achieve that knowledge and experience.

    In other words, cynic is a prime example of gnoron.

  345. #346 Todd W.
    January 29, 2011

    @cynic

    Vaccination status is not the end-all, be-all of immune/health status. To act like it is, is intellectually dishonest

    This is the main point you have been trying to make all along, right? The thing is, no one here is saying that it is the “end-all, be-all” of health or immune status. We repeatedly say that vaccines are not 100%. We readily acknowledge that the health of a person is tied to numerous things (diet, level of exercise, etc.).

    Now, in general, vaccination is another tool in lowering the risk of infection and transmission. As we keep saying, it isn’t 100%, but it is damn better than nothing at all. And certainly, no one is saying that, if you’re vaccinated, you can just go about your merry way and behave as thought you are completely immune. That’s another straw man you’ve erected.

    As to “vaccines don’t cause autism” being empty rhetoric, with all of the available evidence that we have, it is very likely that vaccines are not associated. Again, as with everything, that assurance is not 100%, but it’s pretty darn close. And your “it could have been prevented [if] anti-vaxxers would just vaccinate” line is not quite accurate either. From my own perspective, I wouldn’t say that, 100% of the time, outbreaks/epidemics could have been prevented if anti-vaxxers vaccinated. However, their lack of vaccination and their influence on others demonstrably does contribute to such outbreak events. I can point you to quite a few instances, if you like, such as the measles outbreaks in California, Germany, the U.K., the mumps outbreak in New Jersey, the Hib outbreak in Minnesota, etc. Would these events have been completely avoided if the index case in each had been vaccinated fully? Possibly. We cannot know for certain, but the likelihood would probably have been much lower that they would have happened.

    In short, your criticisms of us are based largely on straw men. Further, despite others pointing to evidence based on immunology, virology/bacteriology, etc. (not just clinical presentation), you continue to pooh pooh vaccines as though they were useless products, not once admitting that they just might have some use after all.

  346. #347 Gray Falcon
    January 29, 2011

    I’m wondering if we’re looking at the “perfect solution fallacy”. The traditional form of it: “Why bother with social welfare programs? There are still going to be poor people!” The traditional response: “Why bother with police departments? There’s still going to be crime!”

  347. #348 Science Mom
    January 29, 2011

    Why treat everyone as non-immune when we know the vaccine effectiveness is ~95%. Conversely, pertussis vaccine, since we know that it is of lower effectiveness and does not prevent infection, those with symptoms should (and are in increasing numbers) be suspected as having pertussis. Even so, those with sufficient pertussis immunity (not established) and infected are not going to spread the disease to distal contacts as would someone with full blown pathology.

    That’s fair, but Todd was talking in generalizations, so he got generalization in response. Measles vaccine definitely does work, I have never stated otherwise. As to your pertussis comment, you have made my point. Someone with full blown pathology isn’t mingling around the herd thinking they have a cold.

    Referring back to Todd’s posts that you answered (in #257), you merely constructed a bunch of strawmen. And no, I didn’t make your point about pertussis at all; you conveniently ignored a key comment, which was that those with even partial immunity to pertussis will be less likely to spread it to distal contacts. You, however are implying that is is preferable to allow pertussis to circulate freely because magically, they will all know what they have and quarantine themselves. Good plan you have there.

    Another for which you will have to clarify a particular vaccine/disease and also if you feel as though it is beneficial to allow for wild-type disease to circulate instead. Do you really want to argue that those immunised for measles, rubella and Hib are a threat to others?

    I am undecided on the circulation of wild-type viruses and pathogens. Those immunized for measles may definitely show less symptoms, but I am not convinced they are not a threat to others. Specifically the compromised population.

    You are undecided? What part of measles epi 101 don’t you grasp? There has never been a documented case of measles vaccine virus transmission. Whoa, big threat there Einstein. Incidentally, vertical transmission of rubella vaccine virus and horizontal transmission of varicella vaccine virus have been documented so it obviously isn’t a conspiracy.

    Hib is an opportunistic pathogen, best I can tell, and based on what I have reviewed of the literature, I don’t think it offers more protection than breastfeeding. There has been a lot of discussion regarding serotype replacement with this bug as well, and I’m not convinced that it’s universal use hasn’t created more work for us. On many levels.

    Your review of the literature is obviously lacking. Please feel free to provide citations that support that. And while you are at it, please tell me what the Hib disease rate was pre and post vaccine introduction.

    Are you on crack? There is this thing called epidemiological reports. Avail yourself of them. And while you are at it, go read how many threads are on MDC about dipshit mothers who have to ask if it’s all right to take their pertussis infected spawn out in public since keeping them in the house is such a burden.

    I wondered how long it would take you to start talking shit. Thanks for not disappointing. Epi reports? You are the one on crack if you’re putting all of your eggs in that basket. Diagnostic shifts. Increased awareness. Lack of laboratory confirmation. As for being a dipshit, this is not simply reserved for those that forego vaccines. “Johnny is coughing a lot, but he couldn’t possibly have pertussis… he was vaccinated. I think I’ll take him to see my grandmother who has cancer anyway.”

    Emphasis added. What do you think comprises disease epidemiology? The rest is a red herring.

    How many vaccinated people are spreading measles, rubella, polio and even varicella right now?

    Good question. As far as I can tell, nobody’s looking. I read a case report of a boy shedding measles virus from his vaccine while being asymptomatic… I was told it was a phenomenon and couldn’t possibly be occuring on a wide scale basis. As for my point… why are you pretending to care? You just want to exchange insults to see how vulgar and pithy you can be so onlookers can be impressed. Must get lonely on top of that soap box.

    You read a report and you are too lazy to cite it? Stop listening to Hilary Butler, that’s a sure path to being mocked. You can’t even logic out that it obviously isn’t happening frequently, nor is the virus even infectious, given the reduction in measles cases wherever it is used? Stop whining, get your head out of your arse and deal with the criticism that you rightfully earned.

    You are incapable of seeing your own contribution to any altercation. We were getting along just fine until you started talking shit. Then you started to shove your ego down my throat, as per usual.

    If you don’t have the chops to defend your statements and position, then maybe you’re in the wrong sandbox. I refer you to my posts 284 and 287 which you couldn’t answer. Not my problem and you would do well to recognise that.

    Others here know damn well that rhetoric such as “vaccines don’t cause autism” and “it could have been prevented anti-vaxxers would just vaccinate” (of any epidemic involving “VPD”s) – are bullshit. Doesn’t stop you from espousing them ad nauseum.

    Vaccines don’t cause autism isn’t empty rhetoric. All of the available evidence does not demonstrate any causality. As to the second of your charge; I told you to find any post of mine anywhere that I have said any such thing. Repeating it doesn’t make it true and it is dishonest to continue along that line.

    Vaccination status is not the end-all, be-all of immune/health status. To act like it is, is intellectually dishonest

    Strawman. Look, if you really felt comfortable with your decisions, then you wouldn’t be seeking validation for them and also, trying to poke holes in the evidence and challenges presented to you with vapid, ignorant statements. MA is absolutely right, you are a gnoron and you and your ilk will be rightfully treated as such. You aren’t some poor picked on mummy for her vaccine choices; you go out looking for it, well you’ve found it.

  348. #349 Chris
    January 29, 2011

    Science Mom:

    Stop listening to Hilary Butler, that’s a sure path to being mocked.

    I remember when she was the Grand Dame of the sMothering forums. Then I heard she was also banned. I wonder how crazy she had to get to be banned from there!

  349. #350 Chris
    January 29, 2011

    I went back by checking on someone on the JREF forum who was on the sMothering forum a while ago, Prester John. He was banned after a couple of dozen posts and I know he engaged Hilary Butler often. I found one of the threads here. It is really hard to follow because they have completely scrubbed Hilary Butler from that site.

  350. #351 adelady
    January 29, 2011

    I can’t be the first to think of this, but I’ve not seen it anywhere.

    What would be the response if someone (heroically, unexpectedly) discovered a vaccine against autism? (And I do realise that rubella vaccination has that as a secondary effect.)

    Do we know how the anti-vaccination promoters would react?

  351. #352 Chemmomo
    January 30, 2011

    @cynic

    Which leads to what I considered to be my biggest/only point: we have no idea who will respond well and who won’t. I don’t think vaccination status should be a determining factor

    Here’s a mini “study” if you will (OK, anecdote) from back in the mid-70s when the MMR was still a new vaccine.

    When I received the MMR, along with just about the rest of the 3d grade at my school, I lived with my older sister (as a 5th grader, not offered the vaccine), my mother then pregnant with my younger sister, my dad, and my grandmother. Same household: more or less the same nutrition and more or less the same amount of rest.

    Later that same winter, my older sister contracted the mumps. What happened at my house? My dad and grandmother, who had both had the mumps as children, did not get the mumps. I, vaccinated, did not get the mumps.

    My mother, who had never had them, got the mumps.

    She got the mumps from my sister who had the disease. She, in spite of lowered immunity due to being pregnant, did not get the mumps from my vaccine. Repeat: she did not get the mumps following my live vaccine. She did get the mumps from my sister.

    It took the actual disease to spread it.

    Oh, and did I mention that I did not get mumps even though there were two people at my house who got them, sequentially? And, yes, their actual illnesses overlapped, but it’s still two individuals in my household who were contagious at two different times.

    Finally tally for those who didn’t keep count: 1 index case, sick. 2 contacts immune from prior illness, not sick. 1 contact, no immunity, got sick. 1 contact, vaccinated, not sick.

    My reaction to the mumps virus was basically the same as my dad’s and my grandmother’s: I stayed healthy. And I didn’t have to suffer through 2 weeks of agonizing illness (as I observed my sister and mother experienced) to achieve that.

    So, cynic, please explain to me why vaccination status doesn’t matter.

  352. #353 Stat Grrl
    January 30, 2011

    How did I miss this gem? The HUGE and I mean HUGE problem with publications like this one, babycenter.com, babble.com (the list is unending) is that it attacks otherwise rational people with “crazy” when they are the most susceptible to it. Speaking strictly for myself, I was so tired as a brand new mother (not to mention terrified and unsure of myself) that I would read things like this and begin to question my choices. I am not a complete idiot so as soon as I saw no vaccines, I’d have run from the exits and made sure that these devoted readers of mothering did not come within a mile of my brand new unvaccinated baby. They sow the seeds of irrationality at a time when mothers wanting to do the very best for their children, might believe more nonsense than they would were they not sleep-deprived, reeling from hormone instability, feeling less than competent and perhaps even a little (gasp) depressed. This is not only peddling of nonsense, it is deliberately using a new mother’s state to indoctrinate her into a religion of crazy. I think that it is morally repugnant and marketing of the worst sort. As for these, “if” people, what a weak and fence-sitting place to live. I imagine fenceposts are rather uncomfortable.

    http://statgirlskewer.blogspot.com/2010/12/why-i-pick-on-babycentercomnot-just.html

  353. A little frustrating that no one really attacked these institutions till a study came out – now everyone is attacking these organizations. I guess the studies were just great ammo.

  354. A little frustrating that no one really attacked these institutions till a study came out – now everyone is attacking these organizations. I guess the studies were just great ammo.

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