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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 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.

  2. #2 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.

  3. #3 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

  4. #4 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.

  5. #5 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.

  6. #6 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.

  7. #7 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”.

  8. #8 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.

  9. #9 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.

  10. #10 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.

  11. #11 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.

  12. #12 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

  13. #13 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.

  14. #14 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.”

  15. #15 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!

  16. #16 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.”

  17. #17 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.

  18. #18 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.

  19. #19 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.

  20. #20 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?

  21. #21 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.

  22. #22 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!

  23. #23 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

  24. #24 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).

  25. #25 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.

  26. #26 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.

  27. #27 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.

  28. #28 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.

  29. #29 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.

  30. #30 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.

  31. #31 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.

  32. #32 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.

  33. #33 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.

  34. #34 Chris
    January 26, 2011

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

  35. #35 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.

  36. #36 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.

  37. #37 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.

  38. #38 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.

  39. #39 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.

  40. #40 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.”

  41. #41 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’?

  42. #42 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.

  43. #43 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.

  44. #44 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?

  45. #45 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.

  46. #46 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.

  47. #47 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?

  48. #48 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.

  49. #49 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.

  50. #50 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?

  51. #51 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.

  52. #52 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.

  53. #53 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?

  54. #54 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.

  55. #55 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?

  56. #56 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.

  57. #57 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.

  58. #58 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.

  59. #59 Gray Falcon
    January 26, 2011

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

  60. #60 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.

  61. #61 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.

  62. #62 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.

  63. #63 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.

  64. #64 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?

  65. #65 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.

  66. #66 augustine
    January 26, 2011

    anon

    Am I right? Close?

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

  67. #67 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.

  68. #68 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?

  69. #69 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.

  70. #70 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.

  71. #71 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.

  72. #72 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.

  73. #73 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.

  74. #74 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.

  75. #75 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.

  76. #76 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.

  77. #77 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.

  78. #78 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?

  79. #79 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!’

  80. #80 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.

  81. #81 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!

  82. #82 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.  

  83. #83 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.

  84. #84 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.

  85. #85 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.

  86. #86 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.

  87. #87 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?

  88. #88 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.

  89. #89 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)

  90. #90 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.

  91. #91 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.

  92. #92 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.

  93. #93 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.

  94. #94 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.

  95. #95 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.

  96. #96 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?

  97. #97 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.

  98. #98 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.

  99. #99 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.

  100. #100 Mizraki
    January 27, 2011

    Augustine, I dont know who you are, but I Love your intelligent, respectful, witty responses. Please keep them coming.

  101. #101 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.

  102. #102 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.

  103. #103 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.

  104. #104 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’.

  105. #105 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

  106. #106 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.

  107. #107 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.

  108. #108 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.

  109. #109 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.

  110. #110 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.

  111. #111 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?

  112. #112 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.)

  113. #113 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.

  114. #114 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.

  115. #115 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.

  116. #116 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.

  117. #117 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…

  118. #118 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.

  119. #119 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.

  120. #120 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!

  121. #121 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.

  122. #122 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.

  123. #123 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.

  124. #124 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?

  125. #125 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.

  126. #126 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.

  127. #127 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.

  128. #128 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!

  129. #129 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.

  130. #130 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.

  131. #131 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.

  132. #132 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.

  133. #133 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?

  134. #134 augustine
    January 27, 2011

    By “confounders”, do you mean cases where the vaccine has side effects?

    No. We’re talking about effectiveness.

  135. #135 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.

  136. #136 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?

  137. #137 WTL
    January 27, 2011

    Falcon, it was a stupid analogy to begin with. Just admit it and move on.

  138. #138 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.

  139. #139 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?

  140. #140 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.

  141. #141 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

  142. #142 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.

  143. #143 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

  144. #144 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.

  145. #145 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.

  146. #146 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.

  147. #147 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!”

  148. #148 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.

  149. #149 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!

  150. #150 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.

  151. #151 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?

  152. #152 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.

  153. #153 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

  154. 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.

  155. 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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