Respectful Insolence

Dr. Paul Offit on The Colbert Report

Paul Offit on the anti-vaccine movement:

Looks like a win to me. Colbert appears to get it. I like how he doesn’t mention Andrew Wakefield’s name and he asks Dr. Offit a bunch of questions based on talking points the anti-vaccine movement likes to use to frighten parents.

Comments

  1. #1 turnipseed
    February 1, 2011

    I’m so glad Colbert managed to get in the bit about “too many, too soon”. This is the one that always pops up when I discuss this with people. Even people whose kids are completely vaccinated worry about this, as I myself did many years ago when my daughter had to be revaccinated due to a lost shot record–I was terrified that she was going to get everything she was being vaxed for! I laugh now, but at the time I was very angry and upset. I shudder to think what my future may have held if the internet had been around then! Instead, happily, I went on to study science. The answer is simple enough, but one that just doesn’t readily occur to the “unscienced” (people who aren’t necessarily stupid, but don’t know a whole lot about science).

  2. #2 MikeMa
    February 1, 2011

    The hardcore fools will gnash their teeth and rage some more but this may reach some of the fence sitters. That is the best possible outcome I think.

  3. #3 oakborn
    February 1, 2011

    I love how deft Colbert is, hidden in the comedic shell. I also have met Dr. Offitt and he is a very dynamic speaker. They did well, I just wish there was more time.

  4. #4 Beth
    February 1, 2011

    Another media sighting yesterday … Bill Gates and David Oshinksy were on NPR’s Talk of the Nation on Monday to talk about polio eradication. They did a full shutdown of an anti-vax caller. http://www.npr.org/2011/01/31/133377748/bill-gates-goal-get-rid-of-polio-forever

  5. #5 Adrian W.
    February 1, 2011

    For those of you in Canada, hopefully this link works.

  6. #6 lilady
    February 1, 2011

    Colbert did a bang-up job. There are a few postings on the Colbert Report website…equally divided, from the pro and anti-vaccine crowd.

    One “notable” poster wants Colbert to interview Wakefield to validate his research and to discuss the “conspiracy” of the Lancet and BMJ to discredit him.

    I too, want Colbert to interview Wakefield…for entirely different reasons.

  7. #7 Paul Browne
    February 1, 2011

    Another excellent performance by Dr. Offitt:-)

    Beth “Bill Gates and David Oshinksy were on NPR’s Talk of the Nation on Monday to talk about polio eradication. They did a full shutdown of an anti-vax caller. http://www.npr.org/2011/01/31/133377748/bill-gates-goal-get-rid-of-polio-forever

    I saw that earlier, it was an excellent put-down. It’s a pity that such moments are so rare on TV these days.

    It’s not just anti-vaxers who distort vaccine history, animal rights activists also do their best to quote-mine and misrepresent http://speakingofresearch.com/2011/02/01/the-monkeys-who-gave-summer-back-to-the-children/

  8. #8 pateinduced
    February 1, 2011

    Thank you for the light hearted, refreshing break.

  9. #9 Todd W.
    February 1, 2011

    @lilady

    I too, want Colbert to interview Wakefield…for entirely different reasons.

    Not me. Wakefield is a petulant, self-centered child screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” The best thing to do, from a media standpoint, is ignore him. From a scientific/legal standpoint, on the other hand, he should be watched with an eagle eye.

  10. #10 Erika
    February 1, 2011

    That was a thing of beauty. I just wish Offit had pointed out that we’ve eradicated polio worldwide–thanks to the vaccine. But Colbert is a genius.

  11. #11 a-non
    February 1, 2011

    That was brilliant. For the 98% of the population that isn’t really up to snuff on the whole “vaccine debate”, that was basically it in a nutshell.

  12. #12 Autism & Oughtisms
    February 1, 2011

    That was brilliant! There need to be lots of different ways to get the truth out there, not everyone wants to sit through documentaries or read books about this. It is incredibly valuable to have a neat little 5 minute video that people can watch to answer some of the most commonly voiced concerns about vaccines, that does it in an amusing and highly informative way. Bravo.

  13. #13 Autism & Oughtisms
    February 1, 2011

    That was brilliant! There need to be lots of different ways to get the truth out there, not everyone wants to sit through documentaries or read books about this. It is incredibly valuable to have a neat little 5 minute video that people can watch to answer some of the most commonly voiced concerns about vaccines, that does it in an amusing and highly informative way. Bravo.

  14. #14 Autism & Oughtisms
    February 1, 2011

    That was brilliant! There need to be lots of different ways to get the truth out there, not everyone wants to sit through documentaries or read books about this. It is incredibly valuable to have a neat little 5 minute video that people can watch to answer some of the most commonly voiced concerns about vaccines, that does it in an amusing and highly informative way. Bravo.

  15. #15 Autism & Oughtisms
    February 1, 2011

    That was brilliant! There need to be lots of different ways to get the truth out there, not everyone wants to sit through documentaries or read books about this. It is incredibly valuable to have a neat little 5 minute video that people can watch to answer some of the most commonly voiced concerns about vaccines, that does it in an amusing and highly informative way. Bravo.

  16. #16 Autism & Oughtisms
    February 1, 2011

    That was brilliant! There need to be lots of different ways to get the truth out there, not everyone wants to sit through documentaries or read books about this. It is incredibly valuable to have a neat little 5 minute video that people can watch to answer some of the most commonly voiced concerns about vaccines, that does it in an amusing and highly informative way. Bravo.

  17. #17 Todd W.
    February 1, 2011

    @Erika

    I just wish Offit had pointed out that we’ve eradicated polio worldwide

    But, we haven’t. There are still pockets of the disease, which is what Bill Gates was talking about on The Daily Show just before Colbert. Smallpox has been eradicated. Polio, not yet. We’re close, but it’s still a struggle.

  18. #18 Poodle Stomper
    February 1, 2011

    That was a thing of beauty. I just wish Offit had pointed out that we’ve eradicated polio worldwide–thanks to the vaccine

    You mean to say smallpox, right? Polio is still around.

  19. #19 DrMead
    February 1, 2011

    “You see now, this isn’t fair. Because you’re playing the ‘Children Dying Card’. How am I supposed to fight that?”

    Steven, I love you!

  20. #20 Scott
    February 1, 2011

    I just wish Offit had pointed out that we’ve eradicated polio worldwide–thanks to the vaccine.

    As Todd said, we didn’t. We got very close, though. In fact, it was on the verge of eradication before an antivax movement intervened.

    Which is an even better “teachable moment” about the dangers of antivaccination lunacy than the actual eradication would have been.

  21. #21 lilady
    February 1, 2011

    The “Polio Eradication Initiative” website has up-to-date information about the incidence of polio, areas in the world where it is still endemic and the resources devoted to polio eradication.

  22. #22 Erika
    February 1, 2011

    D’oh! Slip of the tongue (well, fingers). I meant smallpox, esp. when they were talking about the scar left by the vaccine.

    Sorry about that. But you’re right–polio makes a good case study for the dangers of anti-vax conspiracies.

  23. #23 The Gregarious Misnanthrope
    February 1, 2011

    I would have liked to see Dr. Offit mention that Colbert’s kids don’t have the smallpox scar because it was been eradicated… by vaccines.

  24. #24 Erika
    February 1, 2011

    I would have liked to see Dr. Offit mention that Colbert’s kids don’t have the smallpox scar because it was been eradicated… by vaccines.

    Yes, this.

  25. #25 moderation
    February 1, 2011

    Anyone notice AoA’s attempt to pre-emptively smear Dr. Offit, prior to his appearance … with four articles about him posted in short order

    Is That Paul Offit with a Casserole?
    Paul Offit and the “Original Sin” of Autism
    Offit Cashes In: Closing the Books on the Vaccine Profits of a Merck-Made Millionaire
    Counting Offit’s Millions: More on How Merck’s Rotateq Vaccine Made Paul Offit Wealthy

    What is reassuring though is the article that occurs right before these four … the anouncement that “Autism One/Generation Rescue Conference Announces FREE Admission” for this summer in Chicago. I am hopeful that this is less some kind of altuistic behavior on the part of Autism One/Generation Rescue, and more a sign of decreasing interest in their pseudoscience and autism recovery biomed therapies.

  26. #26 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 1, 2011

    I like Dr. Offit and I’m crazy about Colbert. It was entertaining light-hearted TV.

    But, by the way, vaccines as they’re now manufactured and administered continue to be one of the unproven but probable environmental triggers to the genetic predisposition to autism.

    Perhaps it’s just in a small percentage of children with mitochondrial dysfunction or perhaps in another small group of children. As we all know, no one on this website or elsewhere denies that vaccines have side effects.

    The heated debate is ignited by those who claim proof of either causation or absolute lack thereof. Both are being disingenuous and unscientific.

    Best,

    Jay

  27. #27 Chris
    February 1, 2011

    Dr. Jay:

    But, by the way, vaccines as they’re now manufactured and administered continue to be one of the unproven but probable environmental triggers to the genetic predisposition to autism.

    Another unsupported claim from Dr. Jay, with extra hand waving thrown in for fun.

  28. #28 Todd W.
    February 1, 2011

    @Jay

    vaccines as they’re now manufactured and administered continue to be one of the unproven but probable environmental triggers to the genetic predisposition to autism.

    Um, no, vaccines are an improbable trigger. Based on all of the current evidence available, the likelihood that vaccines play a causative role in autism is really, really small. Now, if you have some, y’know, actual evidence to the contrary, please present it. You know that we will evaluate it fairly, Dr. Jay.

    Not that you’ll actually respond to this request with anything of value, but I can always be surprised.

  29. #29 Scott
    February 1, 2011

    Dr. Offit is my new hero; I am almost done with the book and I am really impressed with the work. Just one more solid proof that science trumps superstition.

    As for morons like Handley, so-called “Dr” Gordon…well, no amount of proof will sway them from the self-induced delusion that vaccines do anything other than save lives. Yes, some side effects may occur but these do not include autism, or retardation, or anything else.

    A friend recently recounted a story to my wife. Her daughter had been a part of a mommy’s day out group. Well, yesterday she was informed that one child had died of meningitis. Guess what? I will bet we find out that the child who died was not vaccinated against Hib due to parental stupidity. Yes, the child might have contracted the disease from some other source, but with the prevalence of the anti-vaccine idiots I just suspect that this is a case of a misled parent making a tragic mistake.

    We know vaccines work. We know that they have saved countless lives, have eradicated smallpox and almost eradicated polio. We know that without vaccines we would return to a world of iron lungs, whooping cough and other unnecessary maladies. Why can’t the antivax brigade see the scientific truth?

  30. #30 Roger Kulp
    February 1, 2011

    “You see now, this isn’t fair. Because you’re playing the ‘Children Dying Card’. How am I supposed to fight that?”

    The same way the antivaxers insist that measles and mumps are no big deal.Perhaps Mr.Colbert hasn’t read enough of the screeds on the web from these people.It’s always kind of hard to tell what he does or doesn’t know.

  31. #31 Roadstergal
    February 1, 2011

    This was a particularly good interview. Colbert did a masterful job of being the ‘straight man’ and pitching the anti-vax camp claims out for Dr. Offit to calmly debunk.

    When they did the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear, I wrote an angry letter to The Daily Show asking why they let Ariana Huffington and Oprah anywhere near a rally to restore sanity, as they have insane stances on important health topics of today, including anti-vax. I was happy to see Gates talking about polio and Colbert with Offit – maybe they’re trying to atone? ;)

  32. #32 triskelethecat
    February 1, 2011

    @Scott: Jay Gordon IS an MD, even if he is a bit(!) misguided about vaccines. Either just call him Jay, or Dr Gordon, but drop the scare quotes. It’s really demeaning to you when you use them inappropriately.

    @Orac: Thanks for posting the video. I enjoyed watching it, and was worried that I would not be able to see it.

  33. #33 Dianne
    February 1, 2011

    But, by the way, vaccines as they’re now manufactured and administered continue to be one of the unproven but probable environmental triggers to the genetic predisposition to autism.

    What’s your evidence for this statement? I’m not asking for proof of a relationship, just some correlation or biological mechanism or anything else that would make it vaguely plausible that there’s more relationship between autism and vaccines than between autism and the phase of the moon or what the OB was wearing when he or she delivered the autistic kid.

  34. #34 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 1, 2011

    We can learn a lot from Dr. Offit, Colbert, Stewart, Gates and their dialogues. There can be more discussion, less rancor and acivil exchange of information. There can even be humor.

    Todd, there’s evidence in both directions but no conclusive proof in either.

    Scott, a sad story but an (unconfirmed) aberration accompanied by speculation on your part.

    Triskele, thank you.

    Best,

    Jay

  35. #35 Ing: Wielder of Snark Torpedoes
    February 1, 2011

    “I like Dr. Offit and I’m crazy about Colbert. It was entertaining light-hearted TV.

    But, by the way, vaccines as they’re now manufactured and administered continue to be one of the unproven but probable environmental triggers to the genetic predisposition to autism.

    Perhaps it’s just in a small percentage of children with mitochondrial dysfunction or perhaps in another small group of children. As we all know, no one on this website or elsewhere denies that vaccines have side effects.

    The heated debate is ignited by those who claim proof of either causation or absolute lack thereof. Both are being disingenuous and unscientific.”

    Ah data taken straight from the New England Journal of Shit I made Up

  36. #36 Todd W.
    February 1, 2011

    @Jay

    Todd, there’s evidence in both directions but no conclusive proof in either.

    I didn’t ask for conclusive proof either way. I asked for evidence that vaccines were a “probable” (as in likely) trigger for autism.

  37. #37 Dianne
    February 1, 2011

    Also, assuming that vaccination might trigger an autism like illness in children with mitochondrial dysfunction, what is the risk of infection triggering the same problem? I’m thinking of things like SSPE where the MMR vaccine can occasionally set off the disease (especially if given at less than 12 months) but measles has a much higher probability of triggering SSPE so that on the whole it’s safer to vaccinate even in individuals who may be vulnerable, for whatever reason, to SSPE.

  38. #38 Dianne
    February 1, 2011

    Her daughter had been a part of a mommy’s day out group. Well, yesterday she was informed that one child had died of meningitis.

    Are you sure the child died of Hib meningitis? If it was N. meningititis meningitis all those exposed need to get prophylactic antibiotics. Now!

  39. #39 Ing: Wielder of Snark Torpedoes
    February 1, 2011

    “Todd, there’s evidence in both directions but no conclusive proof in either.”

    What a shitty doctor you must be.

    Well there’s evidence on both sides whether your illness is caused by Hobgoblins but no conclusive proof either way”

    You know what we call something in REAL science that has no causal evidence demonstrated? Not likely.

  40. #40 Science Mom
    February 1, 2011

    But, by the way, vaccines as they’re now manufactured and administered continue to be one of the unproven but probable environmental triggers to the genetic predisposition to autism.

    Do you not see the contradiction here? I expect not. In any event, would you care to share your hypothesis with the class?

    Perhaps it’s just in a small percentage of children with mitochondrial dysfunction or perhaps in another small group of children. As we all know, no one on this website or elsewhere denies that vaccines have side effects.

    Yes, vaccines have serious adverse effects; that doesn’t mean that groups (and individuals, ahem) get to take liberties with what effects are.

    The heated debate is ignited by those who claim proof of either causation or absolute lack thereof. Both are being disingenuous and unscientific.

    Says you. You, just a couple of paragraphs up made a rather definitive statement of causation, with again, not a shred of evidence to support your claim. Sure you mentioned ‘unproved’ but you contradict yourself, yet again. Those who are making definitive claims of causation and aren’t happy with the current direction of research are free to conduct their own study. They can be as rigorous or sloppy as they choose. And bonus, they have you, Dr. Bob Sears and Eisenstein’s practise to pull a highly biased pool of study subjects from.

  41. #41 Beamup
    February 1, 2011

    Todd, there’s evidence in both directions but no conclusive proof in either.

    “Conclusive proof” is an impossibility in scientific matters, as you (should) well know. I’d ask what “evidence” you have in the direction of vaccines being a credible cause, but we all know that it consists solely of “because I say so.”

    BTW, I used to post as “Scott” but the post upthread was not mine; there are enough such cases that I’m switching names.

  42. #42 Ing: Wielder of Snark Torpedoes
    February 1, 2011

    How the hell does someone get through med school without apparently learning about Null Hypothesis?

  43. #43 Prometheus
    February 1, 2011

    “Dr. Jay” leads off with a swing and a miss…

    “But, by the way, vaccines as they’re now manufactured and administered continue to be one of the unproven but probable environmental triggers to the genetic predisposition to autism.”

    And this hypothesis is supported by……?

    As mentioned above, what is it about vaccines that makes them a more potent trigger of mitochondrial catastrophe than the circulating adenoviruses, herpesviruses, influenza viruses…etc.? All of these viruses trigger an apoptotic cascade in cells as well as causing high fevers and an orders-of-magnitude greater response in interferon and other inflammatory mediators.

    Making stuff up is no substitute for real data (and knowledge).

    Prometheus

  44. #44 Dianne
    February 1, 2011

    Todd, there’s evidence in both directions but no conclusive proof in either

    So, what’s some of the evidence for vaccines triggering autism? I searched medline, briefly, and found a bit against. For example, this article which found a possible correlation between fever and autistic regression in patients with mitochondrial disease, but no correlation with vaccination in the absence of fever.

  45. #45 scott
    February 1, 2011

    Er, the use of “Dr” relating to Gordon was done on purpose as I think anyone who makes the claims that he does without a single shred of scientific cannot be referred to as a doctor of medicine. Promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism and holding a medical license are, in my mind, mutually exclusive and if you do so you ought to lose the medical license.

    I find it interesting that Gordon has yet to direct us to any conclusive proof of his hypothesis.

    As for the meningitis story, I was rather clear on the fact that I was not 100% sure what happened save the fact that the child died of meningitis. I clearly stated that was not sure if it was due to a failure to vaccinate the child. I will find out for sure. What I do know is that the Missouri health department is involved and that all the kids at that group have been contacted and are receiving treatment (I assume preventative).

    What I know is this- there is NO EVIDENCE that vaccines cause autism and until such evidence is presenting and confirmed as scientifically accurate to mention anything suggesting a correlation is irresponsible. And stupid.

  46. #46 amphiox
    February 1, 2011

    environmental triggers to the genetic predisposition to autism

    Well, Dr. Gordon, this is interesting. So you know how to identify the specific genetic predisposition to autism? Because this evidence you speak of, pertaining to environmental triggers, MUST begin with a reliable genetic screen for predisposition. You can’t obtain any meaningful evidence potential triggers in at-risk subpopulations unless you can identify a priori those sub-populations at risk. So, since you claim such evidence, you MUST have a screening test, one that can tell us which children are at risk.

    This is big news, Dr. Gordon. This screening test will be able to tell us which small proportion of children are at risk, who should not have the vaccines, and even more importantly, tell us which of the vast majority of children for whom it will be absolutely safe to have their vaccines.

    So show the world your data, Dr. Gordon. This is a major discovery you are claiming, one that would immeasurably improve the lives of millions of children, and earn you many accolades, if true.

    So what are you waiting for? Show the data.

  47. #47 GM
    February 1, 2011

    Could someone please explian what journalist Lynn McTaggart is talking about here: “Despite being exhaustively peer-reviewed and accepted for publication, Wakefield’s monkey study was subsequently pulled as ‘not suitable’ for publication after the GMC delivered its verdict. The pulling of the study ultimately became the centrepiece of our story. The more that Bryan dug into this issue, the more layers of deceit he uncovered in the form of censorship, data-massaging and burying of damning data.”

    I used to subscribe to McTaggart’s emails for her “intention project” which mysteriously vanished without any explanation a couple of years ago. Then just recently started getting emails in a completely different format called “What Doctors Won’t Tell You” (which will tell you how far I’ve come as far as my opinions on alternative medicine!)
    http://community.wddty.com/blogs/lynnemctaggart/archive/2010/03/29/Monkeying-with-the-truth—.aspx

    I haven’t been following this as closely as most people here, so I apologize for not being up on everything regarding this, but can this monkey study be debunked?

    Dr. Offit was great on the Colbert Report, I know that Wakefied’s ‘research’ on kids is complete BS, but what is this about censorship, burying data and the like regarding his monkey study? More BS?

  48. #48 Chris
    February 1, 2011

    GM, it is discussed in the following article, and be sure to check the links where the very flawed study was discussed (also, get familiar with the search box on the upper left of this page):
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/02/wakefield_retracted_again.php

  49. #50 Dangerous Bacon
    February 1, 2011

    It’s always interesting seeing the number of comments following an Orac piece suddenly jump. What example of numbnuttery has turned up to stimulate responses?

    Why, hello Jay.

    Jay: “I like Dr. Offit”
    “We can learn a lot from Dr. Offit, Colbert, Stewart, Gates and their dialogues. There can be more discussion, less rancor and a civil exchange of information.”

    Here’s a “civil” Jay Gordon slamming Paul Offit on Twitter:

    “Paul’s not the devil some say he is but he doesn’t act like a scientist much of the time.”

    Apparently Jay has a special personal version of “civility” – as long as he doesn’t use curse words he can impugn the professionalism of a true scientist for utilizing evidence over anecdotes, or insinuate that commenters on RI who criticize Jay’s antivax views are on the take from Big Pharma.

    What a civil fellow. Such a nice guy.

    Jay: “The heated debate is ignited by those who claim proof of either causation or absolute lack thereof. Both are being disingenuous and unscientific.”

    How “unscientific”, to actually require evidence (which is lacking) of a vaccine-autism connection before going on an antivax crusade and putting large numbers of children at risk!

    Jay – you really, really should avoid calling anyone “unscientific”. You’ve demonstrated repeatedly that you have no understanding of the meaning of the word.

  50. #51 dean
    February 1, 2011

    Typo in your post Jay: it should read

    The heated debate is ignited by people like me because we profit from it and don’t want to take the time to understand the studies. We are being disingenuous and unscientific.

  51. #52 GM
    February 1, 2011

    Thank you, Chris. An example of the comments on the McTaggart link: “Wakefield’s findings have never been refuted. He is themodern Galileo.” Just amazing.

    Comments are now disabled.

  52. #53 Chris
    February 1, 2011

    Your welcome, GM. Yeah, the cries that Wakefield has not been refuted is very familiar, and was wrong starting in 1999 (starting with Brent Taylor, who was at the same place!… and on and on).

  53. #54 Djinna
    February 1, 2011

    Not that it matters in any way other than an “OMG, I can’t believe I’ve never heard that word said aloud in my life, that alone is amazing, that I’ve only ever read this word, never heard anyone actually say it,” but is whooping usually pronounced “hooping”? Always thought it was like, “whoomp, there it is” from the song, only w/o the M.

  54. #55 jenbphillips
    February 1, 2011

    Scott said:

    Er, the use of “Dr” relating to Gordon was done on purpose as I think anyone who makes the claims that he does without a single shred of scientific cannot be referred to as a doctor of medicine.

    I think you’re going to have to widen the net there, Scott. Dr. Gupta, Dr. Oz, Dr. Sears, Dr. Gordon, Dr. Egnor. They’re all really doctors, and they’re all really unscientific. And there are probably hundreds more like them. I think the take-home message is that a medical degree in no way guarantees the development or utilization of critical thinking skills or an understanding of science.

  55. #56 Sid Gordon, MD, FAAP
    February 1, 2011

    Now, when you discuss this topic with your pediatrician, he or she will clobber my ideas and me. So be it. I have watched children getting or not getting vaccines for thirty years. I won’t publish my data because I have none suitable for “peer review.” I can tell you that my very strong impression is that children with the fewest vaccines, or no vaccines at all, get sick less frequently and are healthier in general. I truly believe they also develop less autism and other “persistent developmental delays

  56. #57 Denice Walter
    February 1, 2011

    @ moderation: Why yes,I did! Over the past several weeks, we’ve witnessed revelations about Wakefield, releases of books by Offit and Mnookin that challenge anti-vax views, and now Dr. Offit himself speaks out in interviews! AoA, whose *raison d’etre* is anti-vaccination, as well as sympathetic altmed sites ( NaturalNews; Gary Null’s various endeavors) have seen a flurry of activity( articles and interviews) supportive of Wakefield and attacking Brian Deer and Dr. Offit.

    They sound rather desperate to me! Perhaps they have a sneaking suspicion that their base is dwindling.

    I think that the anti-vaxxers are attempting to

    Whether the pushback

  57. #58 DW
    February 1, 2011

    Oops! Disregard the last two sentence fragments in my comment @ 53.

  58. #59 Jen
    February 1, 2011

    Well Denise, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much because if only a couple people (Herr doktor and LW) can handle some critical immunological discussion with people like PassionlessDrone and Skeptiquette, then I’m pretty sure sure it’s indicative of why your side is in trouble. Oh yeah, that, and stuff like the narcolepsy problems in Finland etc.

  59. #60 Matthew Cline
    February 1, 2011

    @”Sid” Gordon:

    Okay, from the name it’s obviously some sort of troll, but I don’t get the point.

    @Jay Gordon (the real one):

    Perhaps it’s just in a small percentage of children with mitochondrial dysfunction or perhaps in another small group of children.

    If you’re going to hypothesize a susceptibility subgroup, just leave it at that rather than guessing at a possible mechanism that makes no sense. (Unless you can make it make sense by proposing how there can be different qualities of oxidative stress, and that the oxidative stress caused by vaccines has qualitatively different than that caused by wild-type infections).

    Also, about you doubting that Wakefield would commit fraud, and thinking that he’s an honest person: is this just because that’s your default assumption (null hypothesis) about any given individual, and the evidence against him just isn’t good enough, or is there anything more? If there is anything more, what is it? You’re a good judge of character, you met him in person, and he just doesn’t strike you as the sort of person who’d do that?

  60. #61 Djinna
    February 1, 2011

    Oh, and I really liked that The Daily Show/The Colbert Report had back-to-back guests that talked up the importance of vaccines, and addressed the reasons people don’t get them, but from completely different angles.

  61. #62 Science Mom
    February 1, 2011

    Well Denise, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too much because if only a couple people (Herr doktor and LW) can handle some critical immunological discussion with people like PassionlessDrone and Skeptiquette, then I’m pretty sure sure it’s indicative of why your side is in trouble. Oh yeah, that, and stuff like the narcolepsy problems in Finland etc.

    There you go again Jen, cocksure and foolish. No, a number of us have had numerous conversations with pD and Skeptiquette. Why the competition? ‘Your side’? In trouble? I wouldn’t expect anything less from ‘your side’, to be that delusional, that is. And invoking some kind of imagined defeat, along with unsubstantiated narcolepsy-vaccine claims, is pretty delusional.

    You may wish to confront the fact that your luminaries are no longer media darlings and called in to provide false balance. Your scientists are frauds and charlatans and the best of the best autism test cases failed to provide even a feather’s weight of evidence over the (comparably) low standards in vaccine court. If you wish to put it into terms of defeat and victory, then I think you are mistaken on who is feeling defeated.

  62. #63 Sid Offit
    February 1, 2011

    Here’s my take on the matter.

    And when did the immunocompromised become my responsibility?

  63. #64 dedicated lurker
    February 1, 2011

    And when did the immunocompromised become my responsibility?

    So nice of you to admit you only care about yourself here.

  64. #65 sister lurker
    February 1, 2011

    Sid, let me tell you a story.

    A co-worker of mine had a daughter with cystic fibrosis. You know what that is? Lung disease, very bad if they get sick. She was in waiting to get a flu shot, but couldn’t get one right away due to her compromised immune system making her get sick.

    The flu killed her before she could get the shot. She was only 24 years old.

    Tell her mother to her face that her daughter doesn’t matter as long as you do what you please.

  65. #66 augustine
    February 1, 2011

    Science Mommy:

    Your scientists are frauds and charlatans and the best of the best autism test cases failed to provide even a feather’s weight of evidence over the (comparably) low standards in vaccine court. If you wish to put it into terms of defeat and victory, then I think you are mistaken on who is feeling defeated.

    Poor, poor Science mommy. Long before Jenny McCarthy. Long before Wakefield or Fisher there were people questioning the “wisdom” of vaccination. Why because they saw it not work back then and they saw it kill people way back then. But even back then the crusted and scraped calf pus poured into tubes and sold as a vaccine was called “scientific”.

    But scientific doctors killed even back then in the name of science and the name of the amorphous masses. To the ideologists the ends justify the means. To the dead…they were a sacrifice to science mommy and her professors god.

    Bow down. Bow down. Bow down to the god of the sciencebloggers. The god is the human brain. But it’s not every human brain. This god only serves the intellectual elite. And the sacrifice is its’ inferiors.

    Some things never change.

    “Your side” has been killing people since the small pox vaccine. As long as you don’t give people a choice and you deceive them you’ll never get rid of the people who question scientific medicine and it’s last sacred cow.

  66. #67 Science Mom
    February 1, 2011

    “Your side” has been killing people since the small pox vaccine. As long as you don’t give people a choice and you deceive them you’ll never get rid of the people who question scientific medicine and it’s last sacred cow.

    Then “your side”, by default would be the pro-disease side and diseases have been doing what since time immemorial? Nothing changes the fact that the bottom-feeders of anti-vaccinistas are made up of frauds, mockeries of science and scientific illiterates. What a distinguished group you have aligned yourself with Augie.

  67. #68 Sid Offit
    February 1, 2011

    Tell her mother to her face that her daughter doesn’t matter as long as you do what you please.

    You have a vivid imagination. Where did I say this person didn’t matter. I simply enquired as to why I’m responsible to expose a child to a series of painful and potentially risky unwanted medical treatments in order to ensure that an immunocompromised individual is never exposed to an infectious agent. especially when my child is exceedingly unlikely to encounter this person – and even more unlikely do do so while infected.

  68. #69 Matthew Cline
    February 1, 2011

    @augustine:

    Long before Wakefield or Fisher there were people questioning the “wisdom” of vaccination. Why because they saw it not work back then and they saw it kill people way back then.

    “Your side” has been killing people since the small pox vaccine.

    So you’re saying that the smallpox vaccine was ineffective, or even worse than ineffective? I thought you’d said before that it had at least some effectiveness.

  69. #70 dedicated lurker
    February 1, 2011

    especially when my child is exceedingly unlikely to encounter this person – and even more unlikely do do so while infected.

    How do you know that? The immunocompromised don’t wear giant signs saying they are such.

  70. #71 sharon
    February 1, 2011

    augustine, I can’t beleive you were thoughtless enough to refer to smallpox in your rant. Then again, I can believe it. You chose a disease that has been eliminated thanks to immunisation. Bravo, smart arse.

  71. #72 Adam_Y
    February 1, 2011

    series of painful and potentially risky unwanted medical treatments

    Painful???? What fantasy world are you living in. I used to get jabbed in the arm with a needle on a weekly basis. It was always an annoying time sink and there was always a risk that I would be sent to the hospital but ehhh…. I really couldn’t complain.

  72. #73 Sid Offit
    February 1, 2011

    I’m only going by what I hear on reputable, reliable sites such as Science Based Medicine

    As much as I support vaccines, I see the short term consequences. Vaccines can be painful. Kids don’t like them, and parents don’t like seeing their children suffer.

  73. #74 novalox
    February 1, 2011

    @62

    And yet again, we see utter stupidity in action.

  74. #75 dedicated lurker
    February 1, 2011

    Adam – I’d rather get a vaccination than a blood draw. But since I’m a bad stick those usually turn me into a human pincushion as they try to find a usable vein.

  75. #76 Chris
    February 1, 2011

    Adam and dedicated lurker, I spent two years getting allergy shots once a week. It seemed to help. dedicated lurker, I actually give blood every few months. I can only give in one arm, and I just look away and turn up the mp3 player.

    If Sid Troll had received a vaccine in the last few years he would not have said the vaccines were painful. The needles are now very tiny and there is not pain.

  76. #77 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    ScienceMom

    Then “your side”, by default would be the pro-disease side

    If you were an objective critical thinker (which you’re not) you’d know that was a straw man phrase and an absolute abuse of reasonable logic.

    When it comes down to it you science bloggers can’t stick to your guns. You’re hypocrits. Either you stand for science, critical thinking, and skepticism or you don’t. But no one on this intranet has anyway. And you have some lunatic fringes of your own.

  77. #78 Clenbuterol
    February 2, 2011

    Hi,
    Small pox vaccination play a quite major role in the eradication of this disease from the earth,the thoughts shared by Dr. Paul are quite interesting and will help people understand the point.

  78. #79 Autistic Lurker
    February 2, 2011

    @Sid Offit 64

    especially when my child is exceedingly unlikely to encounter this person – and even more unlikely do do so while infected.

    Very simple, each, non-vaccinated person is a reservoir for the illness; regardless if there’s visible symptoms or not. Your children might pass it to other child and adults which may in turn pass it to other people.

    second concern, with a good number of reservoir (read: non-vaccinated people), the virus might mutate.

    A.L.

  79. #80 Jen
    February 2, 2011

    Science mom, you’re right. I did slip a bit. I honestly was disappointed that that discussion didn’t continue.

  80. #81 Fabian
    February 2, 2011

    That video was actually pretty funny and entertaining. Hopefully he will sell lots of books from that interview.

  81. #82 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    Matthew Cline

    So you’re saying that the smallpox vaccine was ineffective, or even worse than ineffective?

    Are you saying it was 100% effective?

    Was it 1% ineffective? Was it 10% ineffective? 40% ineffective? 60% ineffective?

    Just how effective was that cow lymph. Minus the confounders? you can account for all of the confounders that attributed to smallpox mortality can’t you?

  82. #83 Autistic Lurker
    February 2, 2011

    Thinking about it; may I recommend to the science crowd here to expand on the concept of reservoir. I’m no expert in that domain and I think it could be a good talking point r.e. pro-disease…

    A.L.

  83. #84 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    Sharon

    You chose a disease that has been eliminated thanks to immunisation. Bravo, smart arse.

    You should give your kids a few hundrend smallpox vaccines. The safety profile is immaculate. Just ask the man with the chin.

  84. #85 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    Chris

    The needles are now very tiny and there is not pain.

    You obviously do not understand the neurology nor the psychology of pain. If you did you would know it is difficult, no impossible, for you to tell someone what is painful for them. You do not share their subjective experience.

    You also must not pay attention in pediatrician’s offices. Tell screaming crying babies when they get that giant syringe of goodness injected into them that it is irrational for them to cry because the shot is not painful for the.

    When they break out into a iatrogenic fever with high pitched screams tell them to knock it off and suck it up.

    Really Chris? Your emotions are clouding your judgement. I know you love the idea of disease eradication and herd immunity but try to be reasonable and evidence based.

  85. #86 Chris
    February 2, 2011

    Isn’t past your bedtime, Little Augie?

  86. #87 Matthew Cline
    February 2, 2011

    @Chris:

    If Sid Troll had received a vaccine in the last few years he would not have said the vaccines were painful. The needles are now very tiny and there is not pain.

    Even from the liquid being forced into the muscle?

  87. #88 Matthew Cline
    February 2, 2011

    @augustine:

    Are you saying it was 100% effective?
    Was it 1% ineffective? Was it 10% ineffective? 40% ineffective? 60% ineffective?

    When you say:

    Long before Wakefield or Fisher there were people questioning the “wisdom” of vaccination. Why because they saw it not work back then and they saw it kill people way back then.

    When you say people questioned the wisdom of the smallpox vaccine because they saw it not work and kill people, you’re implying that it was obvious to observers that the vaccinated were dying at least as much from vaccination + smallpox as the non-vaccinated were dying from smallpox alone (or at least that the death rates were close enough that the rates would seem the same to an observer not tabulating the results). That’s far different than it being obvious that the vaccine was less than 100% effective and less than 100% safe.

  88. #89 sharon
    February 2, 2011

    augustine, it is my understanding that you can no longer obtain the smallpox vaccine. It has done it’s job and been put into retirement since. So wont be able to give my kids those 1000’s you suggest. You have to admit, youve made an arse of yourself again with that comment :)

  89. #90 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    February 2, 2011

    “Oh yeah, that, and stuff like the narcolepsy problems in Finland etc.”

    Yeh, and they’ve found an increase of similar magnitude in people who did got the H1N1 vaccine in Sweden, but there are no reports from anywhere else except Iceland; getting pretty clear that the H1N1 vaccine may not be the cause of the incidence increase in narcolepsy here.

    This is what the Ministry for Health and Social Affairs had to say about this in August last year:


    The Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare recommends that the swine flu vaccination campaign with Pandemrix vaccine be discontinued until it has been found out why the incidence of narcolepsy among children and adolescents has increased. The recommendation is based on a proposal from the Finnish National Advisory Committee on Vaccines. The Advisory Committee discussed the issue at its meeting on 24 August.

    The discontinuation is a safety measure put in place until the matter has been examined sufficiently. At the moment there is no swine flu epidemic in Finland, and therefore there is no immediate need for vaccinations. Furthermore, major parts of the population are already protected against the swine flu virus either through vaccination or after having had the disease. In individual cases it can however be decided to use the vaccine, for instance for people travelling to a region where an epidemic is prevalent.

    A number of reasons may be behind the estimated increase in the incidence of narcolepsy: the swine flu infection itself, vaccination, a compound effect of vaccination and infection, or some other factor.

    The view of the National Advisory Committee on Vaccines is that, in the light of international information, it appears unlikely that there would be a link between the Pandemrix vaccine and narcolepsy. It is peculiar, however, that there have been observations only in Finland and Sweden, but not from any other country using the same vaccine. More than 90 million doses of similar Pandemrix vaccine have been used in more than twenty countries. At the moment there is a temporal association between the swine flu vaccinations and narcolepsy among adolescents in Finland, but no other link has been detected.

    Minister of Health and Social Services Paula Risikko finds the proposed discontinuation of vaccinations as a measure that is justified.

    “Special caution is needed until more information has been received on the matter. According to experts a link between the Pandemrix vaccine and narcolepsy is unlikely. It is however important that this issue will be probed.”

    The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health supports the recommendation of the National Institute for Health and Welfare and will follow closely how the investigation proceeds.

    The Center for Infections Disease Research And Policy at the University of Minnesota says this:


    Reports of a possible narcolepsy link to the Pandemrix vaccine in Finland and Sweden came to light in August 2010. The following month Swedish regulators issued a preliminary report finding no link between immunization and the condition.

    Among other countries that used Pandemrix, increased numbers of narcolepsy cases were seen only in Finland, Sweden, and Iceland, the Finnish investigators noted. However, Iceland also found a greater-than-expected number of narcolepsy cases in unvaccinated children and teens.

    Further investigations will explore infections or other factors that occurred in the children around the time they receive the pandemic vaccine. The group said they would explore a range of possible epidemiologic, immunologic, and genetic factors that could contribute to the development of narcolepsy. Specifically, studies will be conducted to detect if children with a genetic disposition to the condition or those who got sick varied in their response to different components of the Pandemrix vaccine.

    More than 31 million doses of Pandemrix have been administered in 47 countries, Glaxo said. As of yesterday the company had received 162 reports of narcolepsy in people who have been vaccinated. Seventy percent were from Sweden and Finland.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a release today that it was aware of the preliminary report from Finnish health officials and agrees that further study is needed. It said its Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety is considering all available data on the increased narcolepsy reports and will issue a statement within the coming days.

    The World Health Organisation in Europe had this to say:


    WHO agrees that further investigation is required concerning narcolepsy and Pandemrix® vaccine. In collaboration with a number of European Union Member States, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is currently conducting a joint epidemiological study of narcolepsy and pandemic vaccines.

    Recommendations for the use of seasonal 2010/2011 influenza vaccines in children and adolescents remain unchanged.

    This is what the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare had to say on the matter:


    In Finland during years 2009–10, 60 children and adolescents aged 4-19 years fell ill with narcolepsy. These figures base on data from hospitals and primary care, and the review of individual patient records by a panel of neurologists and sleep researchers. Of those fallen ill, 52 (almost 90 percent) had received Pandemrix® vaccine, while the vaccine coverage in the entire age group was 70 percent. Based on the preliminary analyses, the risk of falling ill with narcolepsy among those vaccinated in the 4-19 years age group was 9-fold in comparison to those unvaccinated in the same age group. This increase was most pronounced among those 5–15 years of age. No cases were observed among those under 4 years of age. Also, no increase in cases of narcolepsy or signs of vaccination impacting risk of falling ill with narcolepsy was observed among those above 19 years of age.

    In 2009, among countries using similar pandemic vaccine as was used in Finland, an increase in cases of narcolepsy has been observed only in Finland, Sweden and Iceland. Contrary to the observations in Finland, narcolepsy has occurred in greater numbers than expected also among unvaccinated children and teenagers in Iceland.

    It is also of utmost importance to find out whether the association is observed also elsewhere than in Finland. At present, Finland is participating in the ECDC contracted, VAESO led narcolepsy background incidence and case control studies which are being conducted in 9 European Union countries by pharmacovigilance researchers from Public Health Institutes, Regulatory Agencies and Universities. These studies will evaluate the contribution of the pandemic vaccines and other risk factors in the onset of narcolepsy, and confirm whether increase in incidence in narcolepsy is seen in other countries. The outcomes of these studies will be reported during early summer 2011.

    By January 24, 2011, 56 notifications of narcolepsy in association with Pandemrix® vaccination have been received by the National Vaccine Adverse Events Register maintained at the National Institute of Health and Welfare in Finland. Of these, 54 cases belonged to the age group of 4–19 years. Among most of the notified cases, the onset of symptoms of narcolepsy had started approximately two months following Pandemrix® vaccination.

    The final report from the National Narcolepsy Task Force will be released by 31st August 2011.

    Personally, I wouldn’t even begin to speculate on the meaning of all this. But one has to ask: if it is the vaccine, and there are no confounding factors, then how come they have seen an increase in narcolepsy in non-vaccinated children and adolescents in Iceland? And how come the cases seen in Finland have been between the ages of 5 and 19 inclusive? Why not the 4 and unders or the 20 and overs? A lot of questions are raised by this set of observations.

    I don’t think that this is going to be easy to untangle, but I’m thinking that – given the history between Finland and Sweden (Finland was under Swedish rule for over 600 years) – the results of Swedish and Finnish interbreeding may well give rise to similar observations if there is some degree of genetic homogeneity across the Finnish population (especially including families in which Finnish and Finlands-Svenska populations are both represented). I would expect this genetic homogeneity not to exist between the Baltic Norden populations and the Arctic Norden populations (especially Iceland).

    My research question here would be this: what are the predisposing genes (if such genes exist) that would give rise to any adverse effects in people being immunised against diseases using vaccines?

  90. #91 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    February 2, 2011

    Some html bagaraps in there.

    My contribution was as follows:

    ‘Yeh, and they’ve found an increase of similar magnitude in people who did got the H1N1 vaccine in Sweden, but there are no reports from anywhere else except Iceland; getting pretty clear that the H1N1 vaccine may not be the cause of the incidence increase in narcolepsy here.’

    ‘Personally, I wouldn’t even begin to speculate on the meaning of all this. But one has to ask: if it is the vaccine, and there are no confounding factors, then how come they have seen an increase in narcolepsy in non-vaccinated children and adolescents in Iceland? And how come the cases seen in Finland have been between the ages of 5 and 19 inclusive? Why not the 4 and unders or the 20 and overs? A lot of questions are raised by this set of observations.

    I don’t think that this is going to be easy to untangle, but I’m thinking that – given the history between Finland and Sweden (Finland was under Swedish rule for over 600 years) – the results of Swedish and Finnish interbreeding may well give rise to similar observations if there is some degree of genetic homogeneity across the Finnish population (especially including families in which Finnish and Finlands-Svenska populations are both represented). I would expect this genetic homogeneity not to exist between the Baltic Norden populations and the Arctic Norden populations (especially Iceland).

    My research question here would be this: what are the predisposing genes (if such genes exist) that would give rise to any adverse effects in people being immunised against diseases using vaccines?’

    Apologies for any confusion that might come from the html bagarap.

  91. #92 Science Mom
    February 2, 2011

    If you were an objective critical thinker (which you’re not) you’d know that was a straw man phrase and an absolute abuse of reasonable logic.

    On the contrary Augie. Your post history provides every indication that you are a dyed-in-the-wool anti-vaxxer. By the very name, anti by definition, means opposed to. You cannot simultaneously be opposed to a preventative measure for disease and opposed to allowing disease circulation. Of course by your (il)logic, you can since it’s great when others vaccinate in order to provide protection for others who don’t want to.

    When it comes down to it you science bloggers can’t stick to your guns. You’re hypocrits. Either you stand for science, critical thinking, and skepticism or you don’t. But no one on this intranet has anyway. And you have some lunatic fringes of your own.

    You know Augie, just because people post here, that doesn’t make all of us bloggers. Since you wouldn’t know what critical-thinking was if it bit you in the arse, I doubt you are in any position to make your determination. Something again, you have repeated time and again.

  92. #93 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    SM:

    You cannot simultaneously be opposed to a preventative measure for disease and opposed to allowing disease circulation.

    It’s not disease circulation. Another assumption with faulty logic. You need to check yourself. Really think about what you say and the conclusions you come to. There are a lot of assumptions thrown in there.

  93. #94 LW
    February 2, 2011

    “It’s not disease circulation.”. You prefer the term “epidemic”?

  94. #95 MikeMa
    February 2, 2011

    Augie is an epidemic. The troll is well fed on this post!

  95. #96 adelady
    February 2, 2011

    Perhaps augie and friends would prefer the strategy used here long before there was a vaccine. When my mother was a child in the 1930s, she and her parents were obliged to report to the local police station – when they returned from visiting relatives interstate. Because there seemed to be outbreaks in that region at the times her family took holidays.

    I presume if they’d displayed any symptoms they would have been sent off to a quarantine hospital.

    Vaccination’s easier. It has certainly allowed large numbers of hospital beds to be used for other purposes than just keeping people away from people.

  96. #97 Science Mom
    February 2, 2011

    It’s not disease circulation. Another assumption with faulty logic. You need to check yourself. Really think about what you say and the conclusions you come to. There are a lot of assumptions thrown in there.

    Not disease circulation? What then, fluffy bunny outbreak? Saying it is so doesn’t make it so; you need to clarify your position, if not as I stipulated.

  97. #98 Enkidu
    February 2, 2011

    Sid says, “especially when my child is exceedingly unlikely to encounter this person – and even more unlikely do do so while infected.”

    Yes, because we all know the immune-status of everyone we encounter on a daily basis. Not to mention when/if our children are infected and contageous. My sister got measles back in the late 80s. We haven’t a clue where she picked it up from, since none of her classmates or our family members were sick.

  98. #99 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    Sid,

    Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? Are there no big plastic bubbles for the immunodeficient to live their lives in?

    How do you know that your children will not transmit a potentially deadly, vaccine preventable disease? They doubtless have some form of casual contact with tens, if not hundreds of people in a day. They can be contagious without being obviously sick, or at least not sick enough to warrant staying home. Could some of these people be immunodeficient? If not, why not?

    Suppose your children don’t directly infect an immunodeficient person, but instead infect 6 other people who infect Kevin Bacon who then infects the immunodeficient person?

    While the immunodeficient are not your personal responsibility, vaccinations benefit your children and may benefit people you don’t know.

  99. #100 Calli Arcale
    February 2, 2011

    Regarding pain and vaccinations….

    People who are saying the needles are very tiny and hardly hurt are probably thinking of influenza vaccines. These are usually nearly painless or even *completely* painless. But not all vaccines are the same. In the past decade, I’ve also had MMR (my rubella titers were low), Rhogam, and TdaP. Those all stung quite a bit more than influenza. It’s not THAT bad, really, and it’s over quickly, but it wasn’t painless.

    There is one big personal factor that affects how much they hurt: muscle tension. If you can keep the muscle relaxed during the injection, it will hurt a lot less. That takes a certain amount of self-control that not a lot of preschoolers have, so vaccines are almost bound to hurt a kid more than an adult. Even the flu shot.

  100. #101 Chris
    February 2, 2011

    Yes, the influenza vaccine is pretty painless. Unless there is inflammation. So I stand corrected on the others.

  101. #102 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    As I recall, tetanus, yellow fever, and plague inoculations produced noticeable soreness over a couple of days.

  102. #103 Gray Falcon
    February 2, 2011

    As I recall, tetanus, yellow fever, and plague inoculations produced noticeable soreness over a couple of days.

    That still sounds more pleasant than the actual diseases. A few day’s soreness or lockjaw? Not exactly a tough choice.

  103. #104 jen
    February 2, 2011

    Mephisto: Talk about lack of compassion and caring!! – someone like Ari NeMan, is endangering the lives of children with autism by conflating the issues of personal freedom and potentially life-saving tracking devices for children with autism (yeah, the severe kind). Yes, apparently, at a recent IACC meeting he used up valuable time to supposedly speak for people who are severely handicapped, and gloss over the fact that more and more children with autism are wandering with tragic consequences. In the special ed class I work in we have a locked door, walkie talkies and hold the hands of 4 out of 7 children due to them “bolting.” It’s reasons like this that people like him cannot speak for all in the autism community.

  104. #105 Melissa G
    February 2, 2011

    I know I am a mutant, but I actually enjoy the sensation of getting vaccinated. It’s kind of like receiving the Supersoldier Serum! :D

    Gah… I HATE agreeing with jen, but now and again I find myself doing so. When he was between the ages of 2 and 6, my son was a dyed-in-the-wool runner, and it was a real safety issue for him. I wished for one of those tracking devices, but fortunately he grew out of it. I feel that it’s not just an autism issue, though– any person without the ability to understand danger or communicate needs to others might need such a safety device. (I’m thinking of having one implanted in myself on my next birthday!)

    However, I maintain the most important lifesaving intervention one can give one’s child is vaccination.

  105. #106 Dangerous Bacon
    February 2, 2011

    Oh dear, those painful, painful shots! The martyred lamb who posted in aother thread about his “purple biceps” from having had a tetanus shot (which image he duly reproduced online to impress antivaxer buddies).

    Indeed, I had a TB test yesterday in which a NEEDLE was used to INOCULATE FOREIGN PROTEINS subcutaneously, and it STUNG! I was in EXTREME PAIN!!!

    Well, actually it was a couple of mildly painful seconds which somehow I managed to bear without screaming or wailing. There is a tiny red needle mark which I will resist photographing and posting online to demonstrate my suffering at the hands of Big Vaccine.

    As for those of you going on about the dread pain of immunization and showing off your stigmata – you big babies! Most people get over it by the age of ten.

  106. #107 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    @Gray Falcon,

    True, but I didn’t actually get the diseases, so all that localized muscle pain and tenderness was for nothing!

    Yes, joke.

  107. #108 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    SM

    You cannot simultaneously be opposed to a preventative measure for disease and opposed to allowing disease circulation

    First of all, disease doesn’t circulate. Viruses, which may/potentially cause infection, can “circulate” under certain host and environmental conditions.(not all exposed get clinical disease and not all disease is a bad thing. Using the term to designate ebola and also using it for rhinovirus can be misleading). Disease is a condition. It is an action in flux or an adjective. Not a thing or noun that is capable of circulating. Streptococcus can “circulate”. Streptococcus is not a disease.

    Next, if vaccines, which you call “preventive measure” were 100% effective you could have an argument. And mass vaccine advocates certainly shout that to be the case when defending certain counterpoints against vaccines. So it’s not an absolute preventive measure. The term is misleading. To be more accurate you should qualify this with potentially, maybe, in some, it can be etc.,…OR instead of playing the rhetoric game with “preventative measure” you could just say “Vaccines”. This little lapse in detail is where your logic fails. Vaccine are not the only thing that determines if one gets or dies from a disease.

    Opposing the personal use of a vaccine does not warrant a logical conclusion that one is for death and disease. You may emotionally feel this way but logic does not dictate it.

    Allow me to use your logic but apply it to the abortion rhetoric. The terms used are “anti-abortion” and “pro-choice”.

    If I am pro-choice does that make me pro-death since abortion is medically sanctioned death? I cannot be pro-life and pro-death can I?

    It’s a polarizing technique that you’ve used and it’s a strawman.

  108. #109 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    adelady

    When my mother was a child in the 1930s…

    It’s not the 1930’s anymore! Nor is it 1918!

    Living standards have changed across the board. Do you use an outhouse, still? Is it still the great depression? Is WWI and WWII still going on? Is poverty and access to nutrition the same? Has medicine stayed the same. You seem to think that vaccines are the only independent variable.

  109. #110 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    @Angus,

    Why is it necessary for vaccines to work 100% to say that it is good public health policy to encourage (possibly require) people to use them?

  110. #111 Julian Frost
    February 2, 2011

    Jen:

    more and more children with autism are wandering with tragic consequences.

    Hm, you mean that in the past, autistic children didn´t wander off at the same frequency they do today? I find your assumption questionable to say the least.

  111. #112 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    Suppose your children don’t directly infect an immunodeficient person, but instead infect 6 other people who infect Kevin Bacon

    Then you should blame the vaccine manufacturer for the failure of their product to protect those 6 people and Kevin Bacon.

  112. #113 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    That still sounds more pleasant than the actual diseases. A few day’s soreness or lockjaw? Not exactly a tough choice.

    Do you seriously call yourself a critical thinker?
    Those are not the only options. Just because you don’t get a vaccine doesn’t mean that you will get lockjaw. Far from it. Just because you don’t get the flu shot doesn’t mean you’ll get the flu. Far from it. But the risk is…Ooooohhh(goalpost shift).

  113. #114 jen
    February 2, 2011

    Look Julian, I don’t care to get all tangled up in the causal aspects. Even if you just look at the fact that children with severe autism would have been institutionalized more in the past (as opposed to today where we tend to emphasize early intervention, special education and community living – de-institutionalization), we have a number of young people with autism who are tragically wandering (and yes, dying) and this Ari NeMan (who has Aspergers-mild on the spectrum) thinks he speaks for people who need protecting?
    Let me guess. Do you want me to dig up a study that proves children with severe autism are more likely to wander and die than children who do not? Are we really going to get that assinine?

  114. #115 Gray Falcon
    February 2, 2011

    Augustine, do you understand the concept of probability? At all? Some things are more likely than others, this is fact. Driving recklessly won’t guarantee you’ll get in an accident, you can be in a severe crash and survive, and it’s possible to die in a car crash without a safety belt. Does that mean that it’s perfectly fine to drive recklessly without a seat belt? And that since not everybody on the road suffers when accidents do occur, that your actions wouldn’t impact others significantly? Please answer these questions honestly.

  115. #116 Composer99
    February 2, 2011

    Two words, ugh troll:

    Due diligence.

    If the manufacturer and the regulator did their due diligence by testing vaccines for efficacy & safety (which they do, funnily enough), and people have done their due diligence by getting vaccinated, then they are ethically without blame.

    Whereas if Sid did not perform due diligence by keeping up to date or getting his children vaccinated, and they form a link in a chain of infection… still his fault.

    Nice try, though.

    Your blathering about atheism on these threads led me to conclude you were religious. Most religious people in the States talk a big game about personal responsibility. Due diligence is a part of personal responsibility. So is owning up to mistakes, errors, and dishonesty (which you are remarkably adept at failing to do, I might add).

  116. #117 Joseph
    February 2, 2011

    So it’s not an absolute preventive measure.

    @augustine: And what is?

    Opposing the personal use of a vaccine does not warrant a logical conclusion that one is for death and disease. You may emotionally feel this way but logic does not dictate it.

    If you were to oppose the use of seatbealts, could you rightly be thought of as someone who favors vehicular fatalities? If you can’t demonstrate to have a coherent rationale, absolutely.

  117. #118 Dedj
    February 2, 2011

    “Then you should blame the vaccine manufacturer for the failure of their product to protect those 6 people and Kevin Bacon.”

    Blaming a faulty product only works if the fault was due to the use of the product, or prevented the use of the product.

    If people refrain from using a product for non-fault reasons, the product cannot logically be blamed.

    Try again.

  118. #119 dedicated lurker
    February 2, 2011

    Gray Falcon, augie doesn’t understand probability. He’s said before that something that is 99% effective is no better than something that is 0% effective.

  119. #120 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    February 2, 2011

    “Augustine,”

    I’ll answer for him – obviously, he doesn’t understand the question much, or he’d have come back at you can called you an atheist (thinking that it’s a nasty thing to call someone).

    “do you understand the concept of probability? At all?”

    Ummmmm… no. He doesn’t understand probabilities at all. This much is very apparent in his bilious out-spewings on here.

    “Some things are more likely than others, this is fact. Driving recklessly won’t guarantee you’ll get in an accident, you can be in a severe crash and survive, and it’s possible to die in a car crash without a safety belt. Does that mean that it’s perfectly fine to drive recklessly without a seat belt?”

    This is the bit he’d very likely not understand. Not in his version of the world, because that is obviously a mechanistic and deterministic world where likelihoods don’t exist and things have probabilities of 1 or 0.

    “And that since not everybody on the road suffers when accidents do occur, that your actions wouldn’t impact others significantly?”

    The notions of proximal and distal results of actions seems to be very much beyond little augie’s home-schooled ‘mind’.

    “Please answer these questions honestly.”

    Well… he’d just lie to avoid looking like the pillock that he clearly is. I’ve answered truthfully, based on his behaviour on this blog.

  120. #121 Dedj
    February 2, 2011

    “And mass vaccine advocates certainly shout that to be the case when defending certain counterpoints against vaccines. ”

    Provide direct examples, including thread and post number.

    You appear to be arguing against people that only exist in your head.

  121. #122 Composer99
    February 2, 2011

    This is the bit he’d very likely not understand. Not in his version of the world, because that is obviously a mechanistic and deterministic world where likelihoods don’t exist and things have probabilities of 1 or 0.

    I’ve often wondered what advantage there is to be gained from thinking like a binary computer. After all, there’s a reason why most computer game AIs suck.

    After all,

  122. #123 Composer99
    February 2, 2011

    Please ignore final sentence fragment in my previous comment.

  123. #124 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    @Angus,

    Just because you don’t get a vaccine doesn’t mean that you will get lockjaw. Far from it.

    That’s true. Not everyone will get exposed to the germ that causes the disease. Not everyone who is exposed will become infected.

    In this case, I was going to some place where these particular diseases were endemic. I could not control whether I would be exposed, but knew that the probability was much higher that I would be exposed than if I’d stayed home. I could not control whether I’d contract the disease once exposed, but know that people who are in excellent health with good immune systems do catch these diseases.

    The one thing I could control that would allow me to maximize my chances of staying healthy and not catching these diseases was immunization.

  124. #125 lilady
    February 2, 2011

    Just a few clarifications about this year’s flu immunization:
    H1N1 strain is incorporated in the current flu immunization, as well as two other strains of influenza. The outbreak of H1N1 occurred and was reported during midyear of 2009…too late to incorporate that strain in the yearly flu vaccine being manufactured for the 2009-2010 influenza “season”. Once the separate H1N1 vaccine was available in limited supplies, targeted vulnerable populations, including children, received it. It became more available for older populations and I received the separate H1N1 vaccine from my doctor, late January 2010.

    There is no vaccine for tuberculosis available in the United States. “Mantoux” testing for tuberculous exposure is done through an intradermal needle to place PPD (purified protein derivative) beneath the skin. It must be read within 48-72 hours by a trained professional to determine if the person has TB infection. If this screening test is positive, then other tests such as chest x-ray and sputum specimens are warranted to determine if the disease is latent or active; antibiotics are prescribed depending on the results of these other tests.

    Health care providers are tested frequently; when I worked in public health I was tested twice yearly. I also tested patients in public health clinics and those with a known exposure to an active tuberculous “case”. It is a public health initiative that keeps the incidence rate of tuberculosis at a low level in highly developed countries.

    I am one of those people who experience somewhat prolonged muscle ache after intramuscular immunizations and Mantoux testing “stings” for a few minutes. They are just “what we do” to protect ourselves and others from acquiring dreadful infectious diseases.

  125. #126 Sid Offit
    February 2, 2011

    @Composer99

    Sid did not perform due diligence by keeping up to date or getting his children vaccinated,

    Due diligence based on what?

    ———————–
    @M O’Brien

    Suppose your children don’t directly infect an immunodeficient person, but instead infect 6 other people who infect Kevin Bacon who then infects the immunodeficient person?

    People catch illnesses when they live together. It’s part of life and not a phenomenon that I have not obligation to prevent. The obligation begins when I know I’m sick.

    vaccinations benefit your children and may benefit people you don’t know.

    If I felt that way I’d vaccinate.

  126. #127 Science Mom
    February 2, 2011

    First of all, disease doesn’t circulate. Viruses, which may/potentially cause infection, can “circulate” under certain host and environmental conditions.(not all exposed get clinical disease and not all disease is a bad thing. Using the term to designate ebola and also using it for rhinovirus can be misleading). Disease is a condition. It is an action in flux or an adjective. Not a thing or noun that is capable of circulating. Streptococcus can “circulate”. Streptococcus is not a disease.

    You, at least, get half marks for pedantic prick. It is perfectly acceptable to use “disease circulation” on a blog, with a large cross-section of people, in a non-professional setting.

    Next, if vaccines, which you call “preventive measure” were 100% effective you could have an argument. And mass vaccine advocates certainly shout that to be the case when defending certain counterpoints against vaccines. So it’s not an absolute preventive measure. The term is misleading. To be more accurate you should qualify this with potentially, maybe, in some, it can be etc.,…OR instead of playing the rhetoric game with “preventative measure” you could just say “Vaccines”. This little lapse in detail is where your logic fails. Vaccine are not the only thing that determines if one gets or dies from a disease.

    Brilliant! In your effort to demonstrate that mine was a strawman, you constructed a doozy yourself. No one has said that vaccines were 100% effective and thus, no one has stated that it is absolute prevention. In fact, if vaccines were 100% effective, then those who wish to avoid the disease would get vaccinated, be assured protection, thus allowing all others who wish to take their chances. It would be perfect for the likes of you. Except that isn’t the case now is it and no one has ever tried to argue such.

    Opposing the personal use of a vaccine does not warrant a logical conclusion that one is for death and disease. You may emotionally feel this way but logic does not dictate it.

    Allow me to use your logic but apply it to the abortion rhetoric. The terms used are “anti-abortion” and “pro-choice”.

    If I am pro-choice does that make me pro-death since abortion is medically sanctioned death? I cannot be pro-life and pro-death can I?

    It’s a polarizing technique that you’ve used and it’s a strawman.

    Your post history is rather conclusive that you are opposed to vaccines, don’t think they work and think the diseases aren’t ever complicated, except in those who don’t lead the perfect, god-worshipping, healthy, naturalistic lifestyle. You have the personal choice to eschew vaccines so if that is your only objection, then why defend it with anti-vax rhetoric? So you see Augie, it is not an emotional statement at all but a logical conclusion derived from both yours and Jen’s posts on the matter. You have your personal freedom to choose; there is nothing for you to argue then.

  127. #128 Sid Offit
    February 2, 2011

    The best solution to the IC problem would be to get the government out of the education business and allow private schools to decide on their vaccination policy. At that point those schools with the strongest requirements would attract the IC. Additionally many IC are only in that state for a limited period of time. Certainly if they’re concerned about infection they can take steps to limit contact with the outside world.

  128. #129 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    @Sid,

    If I felt that way I’d vaccinate.

    So, seriously, why don’t you feel that way? If vaccines are effective (and they are to a very high degree) and safe (which they also are to a very high degree) and if they will reduce the chances that your children will get sick (which they do) and if reducing the number of sick people also reduces the chances that other people will get exposed and get sick (which it does)?

  129. #130 Todd W.
    February 2, 2011

    Here’s the thing about augie. It is very cagey and seldom, if ever, makes any actual claims about anything. Why? Most likely to be able to say “I didn’t say that” when someone else infers its stance from the tone of its posts. Its purpose seems to solely be to be a contrarian. In the end, best off ignoring augie completely.

  130. #131 Sid Offit
    February 2, 2011

    Yeah they’re safe. A lot of you dismiss the pain of the shot itself. And three hours of high-pitched crying and the possibility of seiziures are no big deal. But a lot of things that were once safe were later discovered to be unsafe (see the shoe fitting X-ray device) so I’d need a reason to play around with a developing immune system.

    And I’m not interested in becoming part of the next mercury over-exposure [even granting it may have had nothing to do with autism] or the next SV40 contamination or the next Cutter Incident.

    Finaly from whom will I catch the measles? The tourist from Sweden? That happened once in how many years?

  131. #132 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    @Sid,
    So you believe they’re not safe enough, which I suppose is a judgment call. How safe is safe enough?
    Thimerosal, I’m told, is not present in childhood vaccines except in the most minute trace amounts. You can also get the influenza vaccine without thimerosal.
    You also believe that your risk of being exposed are small – which is a tribute to the effectiveness of existing immunization programs.

  132. #133 Sid Offit
    February 2, 2011

    Yes thimerosal is gone but what’s the next issue going to be?

    which is a tribute to the effectiveness of existing immunization programs.

    The foundation of those “programs” are force and trickery(no shots no school when exemptions are available) So the question becomes when the government acts in such a way as to distort reality (we’d still have some measles without the program) should I not respond to the world as it is (no measles/no risk)

    I know what you’ll say, “if everyone did that…” but that’s a theoretical construct and no a reflection of the actual risks occurring today.

    It’s like the housing bubble (assuming government policy created it to some extent) If I become aware of the bubble should I refrain from selling at a high price because if I did everyone would become aware and sell and prices would plummet and we’d be back to a point before government intervention

  133. #134 dedicated lurker
    February 2, 2011

    Sid, if you want an example of others thinking the same thing, go to England.

  134. #135 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    Sid,
    I disagree with the trickery term.
    So hypothetically: if a substantial percentage of people were to stop immunizing and these diseases were to become more common, would you reconsider immunizing?

  135. #136 Pablo
    February 2, 2011

    So you believe they’re not safe enough, which I suppose is a judgment call. How safe is safe enough?

    Actually, this is the problem with Sid. Vaccines aren’t safe enough for him and his family. However, he also thinks that they aren’t needed for him and his family, because the chance of them contracting the disease is so low.

    But the only reason that is true is because folks like me do vaccinate their kids and themselves.

    Thus, the Sid Offit position: he thinks vaccines are dangerous, so he needs me to put my family at risk to protect him and his.

  136. #137 Sid Offit
    February 2, 2011

    Thats the question. Is the freedom to chose or freedom from the measles more valuable.

  137. #138 Composer99
    February 2, 2011

    Sid @ 127:

    Your case is hardly helped when you spout unsubstantiated claptrap like the ‘developing immune system’ stuff. Citations needed.

  138. #139 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    @Sid,

    Just so I can be sure I understand: as long as you believe the government is telling you to immunize, you will not consider doing it. Is that a fair summary?

  139. #140 Sid Offit
    February 2, 2011

    But the only reason that is true is because folks like me do vaccinate their kids and themselves.

    And that’s a choice you willingly make. I don’t know how I shouldn’t base my decisions upon what’s going on in the rest of the world.

    Thus, the Sid Offit position: he thinks vaccines are dangerous, so he needs me to put my family at risk to protect him and his.

    I don’t need you to do anything. I just respond to what others do.

    And even if it were the 50s and there were 4 million cases, based on reports from the time, I doubt I’d vaccinate due to the mild nature of the illness(and yes I know some believe the measles are deadly but we’ve been over that)

    Anyway if you don’t think the vaccines are dangerous what’s the problem. People in a free society perceive and value things differently. You get what you want and I get what I want

    and not JUST because the chance of contracting is low. The chance of contracting the flu (killer of 24K a year) is substantial but I along with 50% of the population aren’t all that worried about it

  140. #141 Pablo
    February 2, 2011

    I don’t know how I shouldn’t base my decisions upon what’s going on in the rest of the world.

    BUT YOU DO!

    You have stated that you aren’t concerned about your kids catching the disease. The only reason you can say that is because people like me vaccinate, which makes the disease so rare that your kids are unlikely to catch it.

    If we didn’t vaccinate, your kids would be at a much bigger risk. So your decision that you don’t need to vaccinate is completely based on what is going on in the rest of the world.

  141. #142 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    It’s like the housing bubble (assuming government policy created it to some extent) If I become aware of the bubble should I refrain from selling at a high price because if I did everyone would become aware and sell and prices would plummet and we’d be back to a point before government intervention

    But should you avoid taking on excessive debt buying an overpriced house because you know that in a couple of years you’ll be able to sell it for twice its current price? And now that the crash has come, should you refrain from walking away from your overpriced property?

  142. #143 Sid Offit
    February 2, 2011

    UNFAIR! The guv’mint forces me to wear a seatbelt and although it’s none of their business I do it because it’s the right decision. The guv’mint warns me about salt (not their business) but I try to limit my intake. My only issue with the guv’mint is their coercing people into doing something they don’t want to do

    The fact that many infectious illness are gone isn’t that big of a deal it just ads weight to the non-vaccination side. After all pertussis is still here.

    “Trickery” I’d say at best they don’t go out of there way to announce there are exemptions

  143. #144 Sid Offit
    February 2, 2011

    But should you avoid taking on excessive debt buying an overpriced house because you know that in a couple of years you’ll be able to sell it for twice its current price?

    As with any investment one can’t see the future. If you think home prices are going up because of what ever reason – government or market – you should respond to your perception of the world. As to excessive debt everyone has their own risk appetite. Me, I wouldn’t go crazy because one never knows for sure where prices will go. If as you state in your question I KNEW it would double then no amount of debt would be excessive

    And now that the crash has come, should you refrain from walking away from your overpriced property?

    I’d abide by the contract which as I understand it allows you to walk away. Of course there would be credit issues, children leaving friends and the possibility that, just as I walked away, prices would rebound

  144. #145 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    Sid,
    Very logical. So you would – for the most logical reasons – feed the bubble and once the bubble burst, help destroy your neighbors’ investments.
    The bubble grows because people are willing to buy at any price – and as you said, if you believed prices were going to double in two years, no price is too high.
    Likewise, since your contract allows you to walk away you’d be foolish not to. Of course, houses in this state tend to reduce the price of other houses for sale in the same area. So the act of walking away tends to destroy other investments.

  145. #146 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 2, 2011
    When my mother was a child in the 1930s…

    It’s not the 1930’s anymore! Nor is it 1918!

    And since there was nothing in adelady’s anecdote that is dependent upon its time setting, Goofus’s harping on the time setting is indicative of an inability or an unwillingness to discuss the actual issues.

    We’re all aware that it is no longer the 1930s. But the 80 years that have passed since that decade have not introduced any great wonderful non-vaccine innovations in technology or social practice for drastically reducing the incidence of disease. (For those about to scream “sanitation! nutrition!” I will underline that I said incidence, not mortality. The difference is significant.) Pointing out that time has passed, as if the mere passing of time had changed the situation, is dishonest.

  146. #147 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    Pointing out that time has passed, as if the mere passing of time had changed the situation, is dishonest.

    You need to go back and read the second line. In your haste, you skipped it.

    Incidence does not even raise my eyebrow. Death and permanent disability would have to accompany that. Incidence is not the same. Chickenpox is not scary.Why is it, after a vaccine becomes available it becomes this big killer and debilitating disease?

  147. #148 jen
    February 2, 2011

    I agree with Sid about chicken pox. I can still remember that old doctor trying to sell that vaccine based on less “missed sick days.” Not kidding. He didn’t mention anything about it being deadly ( although I do realize there would be the odd kid having a problem with it). Now I think they really go on about the risk of “flesh eating disease” as a complication but my kids both had chicken pox in the /90’s and they did just fine-even swimming in polluted lakes. I never bought into that anti-bacterial hysteria and maybe that helped. I think they now believe that the anti-bacterial products contribute to the increase in some of those nasty varieties. A friend’s husband had it and they were told to clear the house of any of those kind of products.
    Cystic Fibrosis is a really sad situation. I have known people who had it and I really think you can’t blame anyone’s not getting a flu shot on someone with CF’s death. A cold could kill them and there is no vaccine for the common cold. If anything, she should have been on some kind of priority list for getting the flu shot (assuming it would have been effective, which is a pretty big assumption).

  148. #149 dedicated lurker
    February 2, 2011

    Okay, for all of you that say “the disease isn’t that bad”, what disease is that bad? What is the level of mortality you’d consider enough for vaccination?

  149. #150 Jen
    February 2, 2011

    Dedicated lurker- you’re leaving out one really important variable for us to consider that problem and that is the safety profile of the vaccine. So for us you would have to ask, “what is the level of mortality you’d consider enough for a vaccination that was thoroughly safety tested, including extended toxicology studies and compared to no vaccine?” Chicken pox wouldn’t even come close. I will encourage condoms and regular pap smears for my daughter with respect to hpv. There’s no way everyone is going to get Gardasil and so a woman will always need to think that hpv is a possibility.

  150. #151 dedicated lurker
    February 2, 2011

    Dedicated lurker- you’re leaving out one really important variable for us to consider that problem and that is the safety profile of the vaccine. So for us you would have to ask, “what is the level of mortality you’d consider enough for a vaccination that was thoroughly safety tested, including extended toxicology studies and compared to no vaccine?”

    But you’ve admitted yourself that you don’t even know what type of testing should be done in the first place! All you’ve said is that what’s been done is inadequate. (I’m not sure how you know that, since you’ve said you don’t know what further testing should be done besides a hand wave that what’s been done isn’t enough…)

  151. #152 John
    February 2, 2011

    Augustine,

    Have you ever heard of shingles – it’s a fun disease; people sometimes kill themselves to escape the pain. It only occurs in people who have had chicken pox.

    Jen,

    Fascinating logic – since a cold could kill a CF victim, there’s no harm in exposing them to the flu?

  152. #153 jen
    February 2, 2011

    oh man, not this again. I already stated, I think it’s up to scientists to do better vigilance with respect to some of the safety studies (Tozzi’s study had an autism prevalence 15-20 times less than that in the US, Fombonne looked at autism rates in Montreal and compared vaccine uptake in Quebec city and Madsen utilized different autism diagnosis methods when comparing incidence of autism and thimerosal) and to figure out some more convincing safety tests (like extended tox studies). I really do know that I am out of my depth on the particulars. But as a consumer, I know that something is left to be desired.
    I forgot to add that any real disease complications would have to of course take into account that there is better medical care now than say 20 or 30 years ago.

  153. #154 jen
    February 2, 2011

    John, I’m pretty sure that someone who didn’t keep getting boosters could get shingles. I know 2 people lately that have had shingles. One has just gone through cancer and she got treatment promptly and was fine. I don’t doubt you that it wouldn’t be fun but my God, where do you guys draw the line with vaccination. Must we vaccinate for every single disease? The common cold ? Hep CDEF? AIDS? Would you want your kid to first in line for the aids vaccine? Not for me or mine, thanks.

  154. #155 Matthew Cline
    February 2, 2011

    including extended toxicology studies

    I’ve heard people talk about this before when it comes to vaccines. Are vaccine clinical trials excluded from toxicology studies, unlike other drugs?

  155. #156 Matthew Cline
    February 2, 2011

    @Jen:

    oh man, not this again. I already stated, I think it’s up to scientists to do better vigilance with respect to some of the safety studies

    So, with regards to what would count as adequate testing for vaccines, you’ll know it when you see it?

  156. #157 John
    February 2, 2011

    I pray that your children and those of your neighbors do not suffer much for your beliefs. What does AIDS have to do with chicken pox, other than it’s a disease that you think the world shouldn’t get rid of?

  157. #158 dedicated lurker
    February 2, 2011

    Would you want your kid to first in line for the aids vaccine?

    I have no children. But if I did and it existed? Hell yeah.

  158. #159 jen
    February 2, 2011

    No John, I don’t mean to say that AIDS is not a terrible disease. I was just wonder where your line is with respect to disease and vaccination-how well tested, for instance would an aids vaccine have to be for you to give it to your child? And Matthew, I honestly think the mistakes in methodology that Handley inititally pointed out are pretty glaring. If I saw other studies I may or may not be able to spot all the potential weaknesses but surely the journals that printed those studies should have picked up on them (peer review).

  159. #160 Chris
    February 2, 2011

    Jen:

    the mistakes in methodology that Handley inititally pointed out are pretty glaring

    Why should we care what he thinks about science? How is he more qualified than the authors of those studies?

    (and, yes, I am laughing at you for trying to pull that again)

  160. #161 Poodle Stomper
    February 2, 2011

    Would you want your kid to first in line for the aids vaccine?

    I would, too. In fact, I’m about to start participating in an HIV vaccine trial soon. Go science!

  161. #162 passionlessdrone
    February 2, 2011

    Hi Poodle Stomper –

    I like your handle. Do you know ‘StompsOnFrogs’? You guys should get together for some stomping sometime.

    – pD

  162. #163 Poodle Stomper
    February 2, 2011

    I don’t know him but I like his attitude toward lesser animals already!

  163. #164 Enkidu
    February 2, 2011

    I don’t think that anyone outside the field quite understands how much testing is done for vaccines to get from theory to public use. I just sat through a meeting today that outlined 20 years of failed attempts at making an HSV vaccine. All sorts of different kinds of vaxes have been tried (live, killed, subunit). Tons of cell culture work, animal models out the wazoo, numerous failed Phase III trials… Not to mention that if anti-vaxers think that vaxes aren’t effective anyway, and that we scientists know this and there is a grand cover-up, why the hell are we wasting 20+ years looking for a vaccine that is safe and effective?

    And I’ve heard now heard numerous different anti-vaxers such as Jen scoff at any potential AIDS vaccine. Why is that? Because it’s a sexually transmitted disease? Because in their world their kids would NEVER have sex without a condom? Or because it’s killing people in the third world moreso than here?

  164. #165 LW
    February 2, 2011

    Not to mention that if anti-vaxers think that vaxes aren’t effective anyway, and that we scientists know this and there is a grand cover-up, why the hell are we wasting 20+ years looking for a vaccine that is safe and effective?

    Because you aren’t. You’re looking for something that can be passed off as a vaccine but really will kill off most of the population and rob the rest of our free will so that we can be easily taken over by Lord Draconis Zeneca.

  165. #166 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    dedj

    If people refrain from using a product for non-fault reasons, the product cannot logically be blamed.
    Try again.

    “If you don’t use our product something really, really bad will happen to you. Something horrible. And to your loved ones. But that’s your choice. Also sign right here. It says if something bad happens to you for using our product you accept full responsibility because we don’t except any.”

  166. #167 Poodle Stomper
    February 2, 2011

    All hail Lord Draconis Zeneca!!!

  167. #168 dedicated lurker
    February 2, 2011

    In augie’s world the VICP doesn’t exist, apparently. (Unless his incomplete sentence was supposed to go “because we don’t, except any that do can apply for compensation” but then the phrasing would make no sense.)

  168. #169 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    except it’s accept.

  169. #170 DW
    February 2, 2011

    @ LW- No,no,no! The so-called “vaccines” merely make selected humans sterile; destruction of free will be accomplished by the cumulative effects of the additives ( so-called “chlorination” and “fluoridation”) in public water supplies.

    DW

  170. #171 Matthew Cline
    February 2, 2011

    All hail Lord Draconis Zeneca!!!

    Heretic! Death to the Zenecanistas!! Cthulhu shall devour all!!

  171. #172 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    Heretic! Death to the Zenecanistas!! Cthulhu shall devour all!!

    Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fthagn! Iä! Shrub-Niggurath! The Green Bush of the Woods with a Thousand Buds!

  172. #173 dedicated lurker
    February 2, 2011

    *points towards augie*

    SHOGGOTH!

  173. #174 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011
  174. #175 Chris
    February 2, 2011

    Mephistopheles O’Brien, for that video you win this thread!

  175. #176 A. Noyd
    February 2, 2011

    LW (#161)

    Because you aren’t. You’re looking for something that can be passed off as a vaccine but really will kill off most of the population and rob the rest of our free will so that we can be easily taken over by Lord Draconis Zeneca.

    Awfully incompetent at their task if it’s taking them 20 years. They should hire some experts in getting people to poison themselves–like those guys passing off industrial bleaches and chelators as supplements.

  176. #177 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    Mephistopheles O’Brien, for that video you win this thread!

    Chris and I also made a video.

    I’m the troll with the beard. You can guess who Chris is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1c2KzJbcGA

  177. #178 Enkidu
    February 2, 2011

    Mephistopheles: That video is awesome. LOVE the sign for Cyclon!

  178. #179 jen
    February 2, 2011

    Enkidu, I really do take offence to your hint that I don’t care about a disease that is killing people moreso in the third world. I do wonder if clean water might help with disease there and AIDS really is something we all have to be concerned about.
    Chris rocks in that video!

  179. #180 Enkidu
    February 2, 2011

    Oops, my post above should read “Cylon!”

  180. #181 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 2, 2011

    I claim no credit for the video. Tom Smith is a genius and a very, very funny man.

  181. #182 Enkidu
    February 2, 2011

    Jen, like I said, you are not the first person I’ve heard talk dismissively about an AIDS vaccine (and/or flat out say that their kids would never, ever get one). Sometimes it sounds, the way it is talked about, as if we already have one and it’s been shown to be ineffective/ dangerous. I’m just wondering why.

  182. #183 Chris
    February 2, 2011

    Enkidu:

    Mephistopheles: That video is awesome. LOVE the sign for Cyclon!

    Every time I saw them on the recent unfortunate version of that series I just had to say “By your command!”

    I have a great admiration for the sign language interpreter. She rolled along, especially as he changed what the creatures were saying. She was really on her toes.

  183. #184 Rebecca
    February 2, 2011

    Jen, you say, “I do wonder if clean water might help with disease there and AIDS really is something we all have to be concerned about.” Are you trying to say that dirty water has something to do with the transmission of AIDS? HIV is transmitted through blood and sexual contact, not through dirty water.

    Why isn’t AIDS something we all have to be concerned about? According to the CDC, in 2006 there were about 56,000 new HIV infections in the US. About 53% were spread by male-to-male sexual contact. 31% were high-risk heterosexual contact. 12% were injection drug use. There are currently more than a million people in the United States living with HIV. About 18,000 die of AIDS every year.

    Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if there were an effective vaccine against AIDS? It would be particularly beneficial for people in high risk groups, like gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, and African-Americans (about half of those living with HIV are African-American). And this is only in the U.S. – in other countries there is a much higher incidence of HIV.

    If there were a vaccine against AIDS, I would certainly get it. Unless you live in an entirely monogamous sexual relationship, and are completely confident that your partner is monogamous, you can’t be sure that sex will not expose you to a deadly disease. I think that an AIDS vaccine would be well worth it for that peace of mind.

  184. #185 augustine
    February 2, 2011

    Chris

    She rolled along, especially as he changed what the creatures were saying. She was really on her toes.

    So did you! You rolled right along. You were amazing in those body rolls. And speaking of toes, those high kicks were awesome displays of athletic prowess.

  185. #186 augustine
    February 3, 2011

    Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if there were an effective vaccine against AIDS? It would be particularly beneficial for people in high risk groups, like gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, and African-Americans (about half of those living with HIV are African-American).

    In 1985 they said this virus would go rampant through the heterosexual community. Why, 25 years later, has it stayed in the same risk groups? What are the scienceblogger opinions?

  186. #187 snerd
    February 3, 2011

    What are the scienceblogger opinions?

    You’re like the Duracell Bunny of Stupid, for a start. I’ve long since given up any hope that you’d come up with anything resembling a cogent, concise opinion. If you want to pick fights with Evil Secular Athiests, piss off to Pharyngula.

  187. #188 herr doktor bimler
    February 3, 2011

    127: And I’m not interested in becoming part of the next mercury over-exposure [even granting it may have had nothing to do with autism]

    Assuming that this is referring to the presence of small amounts of a mercury-based antiseptic in some vaccines, why are you calling it “over-exposure” when there is no evidence of any ill-effects? If no harm can be detected to outweigh the drop in the number of cross-infections from an antiseptic doing its job, then it was only an “exposure”.

    It is almost as if Sid Offit has made up his mind and is not interested in good-faith discussion.

    Yes thimerosal is gone but what’s the next issue going to be?
    What was the thimerosal issue?

  188. #189 Kathryn
    February 3, 2011

    Sort of OT: The CDC is surveying attitudes about autism prevalence, such as whether or not it’s accurate to call it an “epidemic.” I thought this might be a good place to drum up some anti-alarmist votes.

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8KBXH7W

  189. #190 Matthew Cline
    February 3, 2011

    @herr doktor bimler:

    Assuming that this is referring to the presence of small amounts of a mercury-based antiseptic in some vaccines, why are you calling it “over-exposure” when there is no evidence of any ill-effects? If no harm can be detected to outweigh the drop in the number of cross-infections from an antiseptic doing its job, then it was only an “exposure”.

    Many people think that any exposure is overexposure.

  190. #191 Wow
    February 3, 2011

    > Why, 25 years later, has it stayed in the same risk groups?

    Because those risk groups are still at risk.

    As are heterosexuals.

    Adding more risk groups doesn’t stop the previously at risk being, uhm, at risk.

  191. #192 Poodle Stomper
    February 3, 2011

    Why, 25 years later, has it stayed in the same risk groups?

    Maybe you should ask Christine Maggiore. Which one of the original risk groups was she in again? Was she homosexual? An IV drug user? A hemophiliac? What about her daughter? Ask Karri Stokely to which of the risk group she belongs. HIV definitely has spread to heterosexuals (even the crunchy, organic-eating, meditating, spiritual, *insert fad-of-the-day here* people).

  192. #193 Todd W.
    February 3, 2011

    @Kathtryn

    Thanks for sharing that survey link. I paid a visit and shared my thoughts. I encourage others to do the same. And Orac, if you are paying attention to this thread still, maybe consider promoting the survey?

  193. #194 dedicated lurker
    February 3, 2011

    In 1985 they said this virus would go rampant through the heterosexual community.

    And it has.

  194. #195 lizditz
    February 3, 2011

    Todd W & Kathryn, I’m not quite sure it is a CDC-sponsored survey, or that it was intended for the general public (as opposed to those who attended the workshop). I’m awaiting confirmation.

    What made me suspicious was (1) only promoted by anti-vaccine activists like Ginger Taylor and Julie Liberman (2) it’s on Survey Monkey, which seems odd for a government entity (as opposed to an in-house survey instrument).

    Stand by.

  195. #196 Todd W.
    February 3, 2011

    @Liz

    Yeah, the Survey Monkey part seemed odd, but when finished, you’re taken to the CDC’s web site. My own workplace has used Survey Monkey before, as well, and on the ADDM site, if you click on one of the links to register for the workshop, it takes you to Survey Monkey.

    So, in the end, it may have been intended only for participants.

  196. #197 Dan Weber
    February 3, 2011

    And when did the immunocompromised become my responsibility?

    I think there’s a legitimate question about how much we are required to take care of each other. It’s a simple rhetorical device to resort to ad hominems about people who would raise this question but it doesn’t bring us much knowledge.

    However, we are all immunocompromised in one way or another. There’s a very decent chance that there is something you have ostensibly been vaccinated against that you are vulnerable to today. But you are lucky enough to not know about because enough people around you are immune. And if you aren’t now, you surely were at one point (too young) or will be at some point, God willing (too old).

    Now the troll responds with “I thought vaccines always worked 100%!!!!1one” again.

    You should give your kids a few hundrend smallpox vaccines.

    No, because as Dr. Offit would explain to you if you listened, the smallpox vaccine has significant side effects. Less than the disease, but still enough that we’re better off not giving it at all since we’ve eliminated it.

  197. #198 augustine
    February 3, 2011

    Dan

    No, because as Dr. Offit would explain to you if you listened, the smallpox vaccine has significant side effects.

    You can’t prove that. It’s only temporal. Correlation doesn’t equal causation. It’s only a sore arm compared to the deadly risk of the disease. Everyone is still at risk because terrorists may get some smallpox stocks and release them. All it takes is for one person in a cave to get infected and get on a plane and then the whole unvaccinated world will get infected and die.

    It’s too risky to not get vaccinated for smallpox. Not only that. It’s selfish not too. Some people can’t get vaccinated. And you may spread the small pox to them or Kevin Bacon. If Kevin Bacon gets infected then no one is safe.

    If you infect Kevin Bacon then that makes you a mass murderer. That makes you worse than Randolph Hitler … no …Jenny McCArthy.

    And that is why we still vaccinated for smallpox for years after it evaporated. Because you can never be too sure and you just never know who the next terrorist is.

  198. #199 MI Dawn
    February 3, 2011

    @little augie: you really are being stupid, aren’t you? You know nothing about smallpox, smallpox vaccines, or how the disease was eradicated as an infectious disease. I have a smallpox scar, since I am old enough that it was a standard vaccine. My sister, 5 years younger, does not have one. We did not perform general vaccinations IN THE USA for years after it evaporated. Smallpox was not declared eradicated for about 11 years after my sister was born. But it WAS considered eradicated from the US, so she didn’t get the vaccine. Those at risk for exposure (travelers to other countries, military) still got the vaccine, but it was not part of the general childhood routine.

    Now, quit being a troll and go do some actual reading on the subject so you can sound intelligent when you disagree instead of like a five year old having a tantrum.

  199. #200 Gray Falcon
    February 3, 2011

    Augustine, you still haven’t answered my questions. Since you’re not guaranteed with 100% certainty to have an accident if you drive recklessly, does that mean it’s perfectly fine to do so? Does the fact that those who do drive safely are likely to be affected mean that driving safely is useless? Do you have an answer to these questions?

  200. #201 augustine
    February 3, 2011

    Gray Falcon

    Do you have an answer to these questions?

    Why do you speak in absolutes?

  201. #202 Dan Weber
    February 3, 2011

    Everyone is still at risk because terrorists may get some smallpox stocks and release them.

    I know you’re only being a douche, but even if a terrorist got ahold of smallpox, we wouldn’t need to proactively vaccinate. Because in the particular case of small pox, you can 1) tell by simple observation who is sick and contagious, and 2) you can vaccinate after exposure.

  202. #203 Gray Falcon
    February 3, 2011

    augustine@197:

    Why do you speak in absolutes?

    Here’s your answer:

    augustin@194:

    Everyone is still at risk because terrorists may get some smallpox stocks and release them. All it takes is for one person in a cave to get infected and get on a plane and then the whole unvaccinated world will get infected and die.

    You were the one speaking in absolutes, I was showing why that was a stupid decision.

  203. #204 augustine
    February 3, 2011

    You were the one speaking in absolutes, I was showing why that was a stupid decision.

    I was impersonating vaccine apologists. It’s pretty obvious.

  204. #205 Gray Falcon
    February 3, 2011

    I was impersonating vaccine apologists. It’s pretty obvious.

    No, you were pretending that they were speaking in absolutes, we were speaking in terms of relative risks. Learn what those are, if you want to be taken seriously. I mean, it’s like suggesting those who want traffic laws are saying “Everyone should drive at ten miles an hour because if they go eleven they’ll cause an accident and kill everyone on the road.” Don’t argue what people aren’t saying.

  205. #206 Rebecca
    February 3, 2011

    Augustine – you claim that heterosexuals are not at risk for getting AIDS. If that is so, why did the CDC report that 31% of infections came about because of heterosexual transmission?

    Also, when people make this argument, they always ignore the fact that the rate of heterosexual transmission among people in sub-Saharan Africa is much higher.

  206. #207 augustine
    February 8, 2011

    Augustine – you claim that heterosexuals are not at risk for getting AIDS. If that is so, why did the CDC report that 31% of infections came about because of heterosexual transmission?

    The high risk groups then are still the high risk groups now even 25 years later.

  207. #208 James R. Adams
    March 14, 2011

    “…why did the CDC report that 31% of infections came about because of heterosexual transmission?”

    Because bi-sexuals have caused the disease to migrate into the heterosexual realm. This does not mitigate the fact that homosexuals are responsible for the vast majority of AIDS.

    Homosexuality results in numerous health problems to those who practice it, including increases in AIDS, other STDs, colon and rectal cancer, and hepatitis. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 82% of all known sexually-transmitted AIDS cases in 2006 were the result of male-to-male sexual contact. Moreover, gay and bisexual men account for more than 60% of all syphilis cases.

    Homosexuality shortens the life span of homosexuals, on average from 8 to 20 years. Smoking, on average, reduces life span by 7 years. Since we discourage smoking, why would anyone with a lick of sense endorse homosexuality?

    Homosexuality spreads disease to innocent people who never engage in homosexual sex. A prominent example is Ryan White, the teenage boy who died of AIDS after a blood transfusion. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are nearly ten thousand known cases of innocent people in the United States who have contracted AIDS the same way, despite improvements in blood screening. Moreover, there are thousands of innocent heterosexuals (many are spouses) who have contracted STDs via sexual contact with bisexuals.

    Homosexuality costs North Americans millions in higher health insurance premiums because increased health costs from homosexual behavior are reflected in those premiums. In fact, the homosexual lobby has induced some states to prevent insurers from asking potential consumers any medical questions, including if they are HIV positive. As a result, every consumer is paying a higher premium because insurance companies are prevented from identifying clients who engage in high-risk sexual behavior.

    “We cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease. We have to own up to that and face up to that.” – National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Leader, Matt Foreman. (For the record, AIDS used to be termed GRID, or Gay Related Immune Deficiency)

  208. #209 Militant Agnostic
    March 14, 2011

    Oh look, a homophobic necromancer whose nym links to the infamous quackaloon website Natural News made an off-topic post. You are an ignorant disgusting bigot.

  209. #210 triskelethecat
    March 14, 2011

    @James R Adams: No. In the USA, when it first was noted, it was called GRID – back in the early 1980s. In Africa, where it had been around much longer, it was called other various names – “skinny” for one, IIRC. (And, IIRC also, it’s been around at least since the 1930s in Africa. but I suppose James is like dear old Sid; if you aren’t a WASP, you don’t count).

    Now, go crawl back under your bridge,troll.

  210. #211 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    April 4, 2011

    “I don’t think that this is going to be easy to untangle, but I’m thinking that – given the history between Finland and Sweden (Finland was under Swedish rule for over 600 years) – the results of Swedish and Finnish interbreeding may well give rise to similar observations if there is some degree of genetic homogeneity across the Finnish population (especially including families in which Finnish and Finlands-Svenska populations are both represented). I would expect this genetic homogeneity not to exist between the Baltic Norden populations and the Arctic Norden populations (especially Iceland).

    My research question here would be this: what are the predisposing genes (if such genes exist) that would give rise to any adverse effects in people being immunised against diseases using vaccines?'”

    FIGJAM!

    Seems that the Finnish authorities have read my comment post… seems that they are now looking into genetic factors that might exist in Finnish and Finlands-Svenska families just like I suggested!

  211. #212 DW
    April 4, 2011

    @ David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C.P.S.E.

    Hah! Like I didn’t see that coming! You f#cking rockstar.
    So I guess that now the anti-vaxxers will start arguing that genes themselves are _actually_ an environmental factor, as are vaccines!

  212. #213 Claude
    July 22, 2011

    If it is sound science I’d prefer not to see it used as the straight man material for a comdey act. Dr. Offit is quite full of himself isn’t he? I’ll give Colbert this: he can mock and riducule like few other…not quite what you would call a virtue now is it? I suppose that doesn’t occur to those who get their “science” briefing from the comedy channel.

  213. #214 Sally Offit
    January 1, 2012

    “February 3, 2011 3:42 AM
    184
    127: And I’m not interested in becoming part of the next mercury over-exposure [even granting it may have had nothing to do with autism]
    Assuming that this is referring to the presence of small amounts of a mercury-based antiseptic in some vaccines, why are you calling it “over-exposure” when there is no evidence of any ill-effects? If no harm can be detected to outweigh the drop in the number of cross-infections from an antiseptic doing its job, then it was only an “exposure”.
    It is almost as if Sid Offit has made up his mind and is not interested in good-faith discussion.
    Yes thimerosal is gone but what’s the next issue going to be?
    What was the thimerosal issue?
    Posted by: herr doktor bimler | February 3, 2011 3:50 AM”

    Wow, this discussion is like watching someone try to herd cats.

    Anyone who dares question anything about vaccines is roundly trounced on by the pro-vaccine ‘police’. No wonder Sid has left the building…..

  214. #215 novalox
    January 1, 2012

    And why the hell are you trying to necro the thread, troll?

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.