Respectful Insolence

A vaccination tool every parent could use

Regular readers know that I lived in Chicago for three years in the late 1990s. Indeed, Chicago is probably my favorite city in the world, and my years there count as three of the happiest years of my life. I lived in a cool neighborhood near DePaul in Lincoln Park; never again in my life am I ever likely to live in a place with such a fine mixture of residential houses, businesses, restaurants, bars, and parks. Moreover, I still have family there, which, combined with my knowledge of the city, leads me to continue to feel a connection to the city. It’s that connection that guarantees that I remain interested in the goings-on in Chicago and is also part of the reason why the yearly descent of anti-vaccine quacks on the Chicago metro area for the Autism One quackfest annoys the crap out of me.

It’s also why I’m concerned to learn that there are a number of schools with vaccination rates that are low enough that they could serve as the incubators for outbreaks of infectious disease, as this story in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune by Trine Tsouderos, Deborah L. Shelton and Joseph Germuska, entitled Low vaccination rates in some schools raise outbreak risks reports:

Clusters of children without their required vaccinations in about 200 Illinois schools are raising the chances of school-based outbreaks of serious preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough, a Tribune analysis of state data has found.

The Tribune found that the number of public and private schools with immunization rates below 90 percent — a protection level the state recommends in order to prevent epidemics — has grown dramatically in recent years for each vaccine.

For example, in 2003, 31 schools fell below 90 percent for measles vaccinations. Last year, 124 did. The number of schools below 90 percent for polio rose from 27 to 122 during the same period.

Some of these schools serve low-income students who arrive at school without proof that they are up-to-date on their immunizations, the Tribune found. Others are private schools serving middle-class and wealthy families who sometimes seek religious exemptions from vaccination requirements.

The story provides a detailed, interactive map that allows parents to look up the vaccination rates at their children’s schools. It reminds me of the same sort of data presented in an earlier article that looked at vaccination rates in California schools and provided a map listing vaccination rates in schools in southern California, but the Tribune map is more user-friendly.

One aspect of public healht that anti-vaccine activists frequently distort is high overall vaccination uptake rates. For example, the article points out that the overall vaccination rate in Illinois is still around 98%. Sounds great, right? Well, yes, it is quite good. The problem is that the number of schools with vaccination rates below 90%–and even those below 60%–have rapidly increased in number since 2003. These clusters of unvaccinated children eat away at herd immunity and provide a nidus for infection to take hold and spread among the population. Since no vaccine is 100% effective, these pockets of unvaccinated children can be a danger even to the vaccinated. Even worse, children who can’t be vaccinated, either because they are too young or have a medical condition that doesn’t permit them to be vaccinated, depend upon herd immunity to protect them. When that herd immunity wanes, they are at risk:

But scientists and public health officials say clusters of unvaccinated people across the country are weakening the herd immunity made possible through vaccines and resurrecting preventable childhood diseases that can be deadly.

“Whenever the community risk goes up, everyone tends to get affected, including people who are vaccinated,” said Saad Omer, an Emory University scientist who researches unvaccinated clusters. “Even the best vaccines are not perfect.”

Clusters of unvaccinated people are, Omer said, like patches of dry grass that, with a single match, can start a wildfire that will burn not only dry material, but sometimes wet as well. The match could be a student who returns from a trip abroad with measles or a train commuter with whooping cough.

That’s actually not a bad metaphor. How many times have I seen anti-vaccine advocates asking pro-vaccine parents why they should be worried if their children are vaccinated? They’re protected, right? Well, yes, but not all of them. The measles vaccine in the MMR, for instance, is around 90% effective. That’s pretty darned good as medical interventions go, but that means that around 10% of children vaccinated against measles will fail to develop adequate immunity to prevent infection.

There appear to be two types of clusters of unvaccinated children. One kind is due to poverty and a highly mobile population, where children show up at achool unvaccinated or without records of having been vaccinated. These children don’t have good access to medical care, and as a result many never receive recommended vaccinations. Many also don’t speak English very well, if at all, and many have parents who can’t read.

The next category have no such socioeconomic problems. These are schools where there are large numbers of parents seeking religious exemptions:

Clusters of unvaccinated students with religious exemptions are more common in private schools, the Tribune found, and such exemptions are rising. For example, religious exemptions for the measles shot grew from about 3,400 in 2000 to about 9,500 last year.

The increase reflects growing unease among some parents — mostly affluent, according to some surveys — about the safety of vaccinations, even though vaccines rarely cause serious complications and the notion that they can cause autism has been scientifically discredited.

That’s what I love about Trine Tsouderos. She doesn’t mince words. It’s quite true that the myth that vaccines cause autism has been scientifically discredited again and again and again and again. Unfortunately, it doesn’t die. It’s like a zombie in a monster flick; just when you think it’s finally been killed for good, a hand reaches out of the dirt of the grave to grab the ankle of children and infect them with measles. It’s all due to what Dr. E. M. Fine appropriate calls a “brutal, ugly logic”:

Strong herd immunity can protect infants and other vulnerable members of society from dangerous diseases, but achieving it requires people to think alike, and they don’t.

“Individuals, if they look at the world selfishly, will say: ‘I don’t want a needle to be stuck into my kid, but I want everyone else to be vaccinated,’” said Dr. Paul E.M. Fine, a community immunity expert and professor of communicable disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “There is a brutal, ugly logic there.”

Which basically describes anti-vaccine groups like the NVIC and Generation Rescue perfectly.

In the end, the Chicago Tribune has done its readers and the citizens of the State of Illinois a great service by producing this interactive map. The anti-vaccine movement demands “informed consent” and to be given more information. In this case, I agree, although I doubt this is the kind of information that they want us to have. However, if I were a parent, I would certainly want to know the vaccination rate at any school where I was going to send my child. This is exactly the sort of information that should be available for every city, every county, and every state.

Comments

  1. #1 anarchic teapot
    June 21, 2011

    A nice rebuttal of the anti-vaxers’ favourite position. I have to admit, relying on herd immunity when you’re personally undermining it and encouraging others to do so requires a special kind of stupid.

    Here in France, DPT is still mandatory, while MMR, HPV and HepB are merely “recommended” (but still subsidised by the health service). Tuberculosis isn’t even recommended any more for most children: needless to say, the disease is on the rise again, especially among the poor and immigrants.

  2. #2 Th1Th2
    June 21, 2011

    That’s actually not a bad metaphor.

    It is a very bad metaphor.

  3. #3 ebohlman
    June 21, 2011

    It’s disgusting how often the word “Christian” occurs in the name of an undervaccinated school.

  4. #4 Mary
    June 21, 2011

    I am seeing that 98% statistic quoted a lot. Generally followed by complete denial of the problem of the unvaxxed pockets.

    Despite having been vaxxed as a child (because my parents remembered polio, measles, et al), I still got mumps and then German measles. So I was worried that I hadn’t become immune. For my upcoming Euro trip I had to pay $60 for a specialist visit to the travel clinic, and get MMR again. (I have been unable to detect any subsequent spectrum characteristics. Well, beyond what I already had.)

    These people cost me time and money. And I have a nephew with leukemia that can’t afford to have anyone in the family bring this around.

    The willfully ignorant enrage me.

  5. #5 Todd W.
    June 21, 2011

    Very cool tool to have available. More states should develop similar maps for parents.

  6. #6 Stephanie
    June 21, 2011

    Great information – thankfully it looks like the parents in my neighborhood have some sense.

  7. #7 Jojo
    June 21, 2011

    That is a great tool and I wish we had something like that for my area. In talking to my son’s pediatrician, there is a noticeable amount of vaccine rejection in our area. It’s very frustrating, and considering my mom is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment, a little scary.

  8. #8 Steve
    June 21, 2011

    I loved that tool – I live in the area and spent a good hour perusing the pockets. The schools my kids go to have good rates, but even the absolute numbers are scary. There are 10 exempted kids in a school of 470. The rate sounds fine, but I find it mind boggling to even think about the fact that there are 10 among kids and families that I probably know who don’t get vaccinated. I also pinged one of the worse schools out in the far west suburbs (around Naperville). This was a place with something like 50% non-compliance and a $10,000 yearly tuition to boot.

  9. #9 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    Like clockwork. As soon as there is a video of a child who died of pertussis (Australian 5 week old boy) or a child who has permanent spastic quadriplegia as a result of contracting pertussis in early infancy, Thingy comes posting; cruel ignorant troll.

    Trine Tsouderos is an extraordinary reporter who reports regularly on the impact of the anti-vax movement and the tearing down of our public health system.

    VISs (Vaccine Information Sheets) for all Recommended Childhood Vaccines are available in 40 languages and should be provided to parents before the child receives any immunizations. Occasionally an immigrant parent is illiterate in their own native language. It takes time, but it is time well spent, to read the contents of a foreign language VIS to these parents. During my experience in public health, I found high compliance with immigrant groups. I believe that immigrant parents were grateful for an effective public health system because of their earlier experiences in foreign countries where the infant death rate from vaccine-preventable diseases was their reality.

    In my state we, at one time, had very strict vaccination regulations for entry into day care and kindergarten. Unfortunately, those regulations have changed with the resulting outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Time to re-visit those regulations once again, as we have seen the results of philosophical and religious exemptions.

  10. #10 plutosdad
    June 21, 2011

    @1 anarchic teapot “relying on herd immunity when you’re personally undermining it and encouraging others to do so requires a special kind of stupid.”

    Actually I think it’s not stupid, it’s “a special kind of ethics” especially after reading the ranting they do on the net. I used to think they were misinformed and scared. Now I think they are no better than drunk drivers, actually they’re worse. At least the driver is drunk.

    I couldn’t believe that map the other day when I read it. I thought this only happened in California and Utah, and a few of those weird charter schools where kids set their own curriculum. I was shocked to see it going on here.

  11. #11 Calli Arcale
    June 21, 2011

    lilady:

    Occasionally an immigrant parent is illiterate in their own native language.

    One good example of this in my area is the large Hmong community. A new wave of immigrants recently came in, and it’s gotta be massive culture shock, coming from a squalid refugee camp in Laos or Thailand to St Paul/Minneapolis — in January, naturally, just to add to the fun. Fortunately, there’s a large community of them here already to help them settle in, but one challenge is that until recently, no one was literate in Hmong because it had no written form. A written form was developed, however, using the Roman alphabet, and you can see multilingual signs all over the local hospitals with English, Spanish, Hmong, Russian, and sometimes a few other languages. (Chinese, Arabic, etc.) But the new Hmong have to learn how to read their own language. Fortunately, most of the medical providers around here are sensitive to that now, and have translators on staff, but there’s only so far that can go. Explaining the value of immunization requires translating not just words but *concepts* which are unfamiliar.

    That’s a pretty cool tool. I’d love to see it expanded to cover the entire nation.

  12. #12 plutosdad
    June 21, 2011

    Here are some non profits that focus on health for children, part of which is vaccination. Has anyone heard of these people? I can’t find any information on them:
    http://www.ilmaternal.org/caic/aboutcaic.html
    or them:
    http://www.infantwelfaresociety.org/clinicservices.html

  13. #13 Ted
    June 21, 2011

    It’s shameful that two elementary schools near the U. of Chicago fall short. Fortunately, the one run by the U of C (Lab School) meets the standard.

  14. #14 Liz Ditz
    June 21, 2011

    Here’s the website for school immunization rates in California

    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Pages/ImmunizationRatesatCaliforniaSchools.aspx

    Unfortunately the data are in a PDF, not a searchable form.

  15. #15 Mu
    June 21, 2011

    I know why Thingy doesn’t like the metaphor, it doesn’t include the notion that it doesn’t matter if you throw out a soggy cigaret butt in the swamp or play with a flame thrower in an Arizona forest, any flame is an assured forest fire.

  16. #16 Bronze Dog
    June 21, 2011

    Actually I think it’s not stupid, it’s “a special kind of ethics” especially after reading the ranting they do on the net. I used to think they were misinformed and scared. Now I think they are no better than drunk drivers, actually they’re worse. At least the driver is drunk.

    I’m reminded of a line from, I think, The Great Gatsby, where one of the characters is lightly scolded for driving recklessly. Her response: “It takes two to have an accident.”

    The problem with that logic: There is always, always an overabundance of other people thinking the same thing.

  17. #17 Beamup
    June 21, 2011

    Am I the only one to see a connection to the fact that the substantial majority of people consider themselves to be above average drivers?

  18. #18 Vicki
    June 21, 2011

    That “takes two to have an accident” doesn’t even work for accidents: one careless, drunk, or sleepy driver can drive straight into a tree. (Even a careful, sober, awake driver can have their tires fail, or a tree branch hit their car: but being careful, sober, and awake when you drive helps a lot.)

    The really special “ethics” isn’t even the ones who are undermining herd immunity, which is just destructive: someone who actually thought that way would be encouraging everyone else to get immunized and immunize their kids, quietly claim a religious exemption for themselves, and not talk much about it, because if they talk about it people might follow their lead.

  19. #19 Bronze Dog
    June 21, 2011

    It’s either A) rank hypocrisy or B) “special ethics” combined with failure to realize that other people exist, are capable of thought and decision making, and might do the same neglect using the same rationale, producing a larger, emergent form of neglect (specifically, breaking down herd immunity).

    Sadly, I suspect ~90% of the anti-vaxxers I’ve met fall into category B.

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    June 21, 2011

    NJ has also seen a drop in vaccination rates ( Star Ledger, 8/22/10) making it 42nd in the nation. Like Chicago, NE NJ includes pockets of affluence, poverty, and immigration- often in the same town ( Cliffside Park- probably 15,000 people per square mile; while many workers from Central America reside here, so does a US Senator- and other affluent folk).

    We also have anti-vaccine activists- LKH, Assembly Member Charlotte Vandervalk- and charter schools springing up like mushrooms. If you look at the CA data Liz has so graciously provided- you’ll catch a glimpse of one aspect of the charter school phenomenon- in Sebastopol in Sonoma- anti-vaxxers flock to these innovative, barely administered schools to escape the soul-killing machine of mass state-education. And they’re cheaper than Steiner. NJ’s governor is big on charter schools.

    Which makes me despair: during the H1N1 crisis- which hit students hard ( including my relative, living at her U.: she was ill for weeks)- we experienced school closings in the metro area, especially NYC. I can imagine measles spreading in one of these towns or densely populated sections of the city. I hope that when vaccination rates finally turn around, the increase will not have been triggered by that proverbial “best teacher”- dire experience- for fools keep no other.

  21. #21 cervantes
    June 21, 2011

    It’s generally accepted now that closing schools during the recent H1N1 “pandemic” (a label which the WHO essentially made meaningless in order to apply it to what turned out to be a milder than usual flu season) was a mistake. The kids didn’t stay home, they went to the mall, so this did nothing to control transmission. Most of the costs of the phony pandemic resulted from over-reaction — loss of restaurant business, tourism, closing of schools and businesses, etc.

    That said, once the vaccine became available it was obviously a good idea for people to get it.

  22. #22 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    @ Calli Arcale: VIS(s) are now available in the Hmong language. My personal belief about the VIS(s) is that they might be more effective if women in the latter stages of pregnancy were provided a folder with all the VIS(s) beforehand. Even if they cannot read them, encourage them to sit down with a member of their closely-knit community who can interpret them for the parents. It might also help with English-speaking expectant parents as well…as a counterbalance to the garbage spread on the internet.

    The VFC (Vaccines for Children) Program is operational in all areas of the United States. It provides (tax-dollar- paid-for) “free” vaccines to all children on Medicaid, children whose parents have no medical insurance or who have medical plans that don’t cover childhood immunizations. Neighborhood public health clinics and some private practitioners are VFC “providers” and the Program covers children from birth through their eighteenth year.

    There should be a lot of linkage between local health departments and local immigrant groups (churches, social clubs, etc.) It really “works” to get reliable “leaders” on board, so that immigrants have access to vaccines and primary health care.

  23. #23 Marry Me, Mindy
    June 21, 2011

    Note that even Uncle Bob Sears recommends that his followers not advertise their non-vaxxing activities and blend into the herd, knowing full well that they need others to step up to keep their risks small enough to justify not vaccinating.

  24. #24 Squillo
    June 21, 2011

    @Liz–I used that data to do a spreadsheet for the Bay Area counties (am writing about it) I can send it to you, if you like. The rates of PBEs in private and charter schools are absolutely shameful

  25. #25 highnumber
    June 21, 2011

    We are very lucky to have Trine Tsouderos. She is the rarest of science journalists.

  26. #26 Fellow
    June 21, 2011

    Whenever Trine writes an article, Anne Daschel writes comments discouraging people from using the vaccine court to get compensation for vaccine injuries – I wonder how much the pharma companies pay her for that service…

  27. #27 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    “It is generally accepted now that closing schools during the recent H1N1 “pandemic” (a label which the WHO essentially made meaningless in order to apply it to what turned out to be a milder than usual flu season) was a mistake”. (Citations, please)

    While you are looking up citations, you might also check the meaning of “pandemic”.

    Also check out this article on the internet:

    Researchers find lessons in first NYC H1N1 deaths (May 3, 2010)

    See Cervantes that’s why decisions about pandemics are made by trained public health officials, instead of the dilittantes who are clueless about disease transmission.

  28. #28 Denice Walter
    June 21, 2011

    @ Fellow: and Anne has her very own, brand new blog called AnneDachel ( see AoA)
    Lord, so much nonsense , so little time! What’s a girl to do!

  29. #29 Calli Arcale
    June 21, 2011

    Lilady — I know VISes are available in Hmong, I was just raising the Hmong as an example of a group of immigrants who in many cases won’t be helped by native-language materials, because most of the newcomers are illiterate even in their own language. Most of them learn to read once they get over here, but it’s harder for the older ones. Hospitals and clinics are, as I said, largely aware of this and keep a Hmong interpreter on staff, but it’s a challenge because translating the words isn’t enough — the translator has to almost be a medical educator because the *concepts* are so novel. (It’s hard to get a decent education when you’ve lived most of your life either on the run or in a squalid rainforest refugee camp run by a government which resents your very existence.)

    That’s not to say it isn’t worth trying. It’s always worth trying, and we’ve got enough Hmong here now that community support is really starting to gel, and they’re becoming integrated with the larger community. They do not generally shun vaccination, once they know what it’s for, and they tend to be eager to accept modern medicine.

  30. #30 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    Orac, I thought you were the “vaccination tool.”

  31. #31 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    @ Offal: We all think of you as the anti-vax (bit player category) tool.

  32. #32 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    Orac

    “but I want everyone else to be vaccinated”

    Which basically describes anti-vaccine groups like the NVIC and Generation Rescue perfectly.

    So they’re “anti-vaccine” but they want everyone to get vaccinated. Makes sense.

  33. #33 novalox
    June 21, 2011

    Thanks for the link, Orac.

  34. #34 Gray Falcon
    June 21, 2011

    For those unclear on the concept of herd immunity, there’s a similar example concerning Chicago in the 1800′s, before they had a building code. Most landowners, in an attempt to maximize area of their buildings, while constructing them out of wood, minimizing cost. This was beneficial to the individual, but added a small risk to the community, and therefore a small risk to oneself. However, the total risk from everyone doing so added up for everyone, and in 1871, the city got a swift and terrible lesson in the tragedy of the commons: http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215480/fire.htm. Afterwards, a building code was established to prevent such things, coming at cost to each individual, as they had to build using more expensive fireproof materials, but reducing the risks to the community as a whole.

  35. #35 Steve
    June 21, 2011

    @32:
    That’s a population from which you would expect sense?

  36. #36 Blasphemous_Kansan
    June 21, 2011

    Gray Falcon:

    I plan on borrowing that graceful analogy in the future whenever I’m engaged in a herd immunity discussion. In my experience one of the most difficult topics to reasonably discuss with anti-vaxers (as regularly demostrated by Sid) is what herd immunity is, and distinguishing it from the typical anti-government/authority emotions that are manipulated by anti-vax orginizations.

    Others may disagree, but in my conversations it seems that the fear-mongering of the anti-vax organizations incubates well in the government-conspiracy-theory types of the far left, and the orwellian paranoids on the far right. That’s why I love analogies like this, since I think we can say that fear of death by burning is an ideal that crosses political lines.

  37. #37 Anton P. Nym
    June 21, 2011

    Most of the costs of the phony pandemic resulted from over-reaction — loss of restaurant business, tourism, closing of schools and businesses, etc.

    Not at my place of business, at least. Our absenteeism skyrocketed, and for weeks afterward productivity suffered as folks got over their symptoms. Admittedly I feel strongly about this because I was one of those hit pretty hard (worst. flu. evar.) ironically just days before the vaccine went public. Also admittedly we have a number of health care workers on site who also practice in hospitals, which would expose them to carriers more than typical of the population, so we were more vulnerable.

    — Steve

  38. #38 elburto
    June 21, 2011

    Question from a Brit here – does the US not have a service like Language Line?
    It’s basically a teleconferencing service available to medical services (hospitals, GP practices etc), the police, and social services. The patient/client indicates their language on a wallchart. It’s written in all of the various languages with the english name of the language alongside each one. The doctor/nurse/social worker then speed dials the LL service, tells the operator which language they require, and is then connected to the first available speaker of that language. The translators usually work from home.

    It’s a brilliant service because it eliminates the need to have on-site translators, especially in areas where even a small hospital may serve up to 12 different native populations. It’s especially valuable in emergency situations, because nobody has to locate a translator who may be busy with somebody else in another part of the hospital.

    I’ve dealt with some truly horrific cases, where young refugees who spoke certain Afghani dialects, or Xhosa, or whatever, were able to relate what had happened to them in order to receive care. Because they were dealing with other native speakers (rather than someone who’d learned it as a second language) they were at ease, and felt free to talk. The details that were given were precise enough that the refugees were able to receive the appropriate treatment. The alternative, of mimes or drawings, would not have been as helpful. It’s especially handy in cases where the patient/client does not have sufficient literacy, in their native language, to be able to read and evaluate written material.

  39. #39 triskelethecat
    June 21, 2011

    @elburto: there are some services like that (AT&T used to have one, I know), but hospitals and clinics try to cut costs by using employees instead. I don’t know if many places around here have Language Lines anymore.

    Awww…we got a visit from Silly Sid. Don’t we all feel special?

  40. #40 Autism Parent
    June 21, 2011

    One has to suspect that special education programs have big clusters of unvaccinated or undervaccinated kids.

    Imagine being required to place your child in a special day class, where you don’t know the vaccination status of the kids around yours.

    Imagine that your child, in addition to autism has epilepsy. Imagine what it’s like to have your kid in the ER multiple times with status epilepticus, a constant state of seizure. Imagine that your child has seizures when sick.

    To be blunt–if you haven’t gone through it, you can’t really imagine it. But you get some of the picture from the fact that as a parent, you stay up all night wondering if your kid will suffer brain injury or death while in status.

    Groups like Generation Rescue and NVIC sew this fear. Hell, JB asked his readers to “take a bow” for reducing vaccination rates.

    But they take ZERO responsibility for the harm they cause.

  41. #41 BKsea
    June 21, 2011

    In the case of affluent, private schools, this seems like an opportunity to hit them in the pocketbook. If these schools got a reputation for being unsafe because of low vaccination rates, the sensible parents might start to shop around for safer environments. Then, the schools would have an incentive to bring up immunization rates. I, for one, would be horrified to send my kids to a school with 60% vaccination, even though they are fully vaccinated.

  42. #42 Andrew
    June 21, 2011

    >That’s actually not a bad metaphor.

    Speaking of metaphors, here’s one I’ve been meaning to post here (I did pass it along to Todd W. a while back):

    During the London Blitz, “Blackouts” were instituted. Streetlights were turned off, windows were blocked, etc., all so that the German bombers would have less light to use to target the citizens of London. Note that if you didn’t follow the blackout rules in your own house, you saved yourself trouble and made yourself safer from the dangers of darkness-caused injury, but you increased the chance that your neighborhood would be hit (the bombers weren’t all that accurate) – and fires started by bombs would spread even to houses that had observed the blackout rules. Non-cooperators weren’t making a decision that only affected themselves – they were affecting everyone who lived near them.

    In case it’s not clear, “blackout” regulations are analogous to vaccines, German bombs are analogous to infections, and fires are analogous to epidemics. As before, non-cooperators are risking not just their own children, but the children of their neighbors.

  43. #43 Jen
    June 21, 2011

    Orac says,”There appear to be two types of clusters of unvaccinated children.” He wishes there were two types of unvaccinated clusters. There is actually a third group, Orac, and it grows all the time (probably in pretty direct relation to the growing schedule, which likes to add new, life-threatening illnesses by the day). The third group is actually comprised of people who gave given their child a vaccine only to have had a bad reaction (yes, some even confirmed by the medical establishment. My grandmother did develop G-B after her flu shot and you can categorize me as “affluent” or “religious exemption” all you and Trine want but i haven’t given my kids all the recommended shots due to immune concerns. Oh yeah, and i’m not complaining about others who do the same. People like you and Trine willfully ignore the truth and ignore the existence of this growing third category. “If I were a parent…” you have no idea how you would behave if you were a parent. In fact you might be just as wary of the whole vaccine issue if you had the responsibility for a precious bundle.

  44. #44 Narad
    June 21, 2011

    Then, the schools would have an incentive to bring up immunization rates.

    Unfortunately, the Waldorf schools (one being the worst example in the Tribune article) are ideologically committed to a policy of indifference.

  45. #45 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    Gray Falcon, a broken link to a grade-school quality report that provides no support for any issue you raise. Great work.

  46. #46 Gray Falcon
    June 21, 2011

    There are other links, if you would like: http://www.lib.niu.edu/1997/iht419734.html

  47. #47 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    @Andrew

    “darkness-caused injury”

    Are you insane?

  48. #48 Gray Falcon
    June 21, 2011

    Sid, are you high? How can you possibly be unaware that people can be injured by not being able to see where they’re going! And Jen, you don’t have evidence that vaccines caused problems, you have suspicions. Learn the difference.

  49. #49 Scott Cunningham
    June 21, 2011

    Have you got evidence to cite for that third cluster, or just anecdotes? Because the worried well seeking religious exemptions based on unsubstantiated fear and internet conspiracy theories sounds like a description of the affluent second cluster and your supposed third cluster. I believe they are the same.

  50. #50 Andrew
    June 21, 2011

    Sid – I would have thought it was too obvious to require explanation, but since it doesn’t seem to be, I’ll use smaller words: If it’s too dark to see obstacles, a person call fall. Falling can cause injuries. Those injuries would have been caused by the darkness. Simple enough?

  51. #51 Lawrence
    June 21, 2011

    Sid – hundreds of individuals were run over by vehicles during the blackouts during the war.

  52. #52 Calli Arcale
    June 21, 2011

    elburto — yes, there are Language Line type services available in the US as well. However, hospitals don’t always use them and NOT because of cost-cutting. It’s because it isn’t just a question of translating the words. The *concepts* need to be translated as well, and more and more hospitals and clinics are starting to understand that they need translators who have some medical training.

    Now, I live in a large metropolitan area with several strong immigrant communities and relatively well-organized medical care. A rural hospital would not have this sort of luxury.

  53. #53 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 21, 2011

    Orac, I thought you were the “vaccination tool.”

    Now, if Augustine is anything but a mouthy hypocrite, he’ll rush here to chastise Sid for poisoning the well against Orac with this “ad hominem” argument. Integrity would dictate that he stand against Sid’s comment, which had no possible purpose except to slur Orac’s standing.

    Anyone want to bet on him actually doing it?

  54. #54 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    @ triskelethecat: “We got a visit from Silly Sid. Don’t we all feel special? Not especially, unless I’m up for kicking around his posting…Hmm…Yes I am up for it.

    @ Offal: Regarding your dumb article “No Vacation against vaccination” that you posted today on your rarely visited blog…it is replete with errors.

    Offal takes on the California Department of Health and the California State Assembly that enacted new regulations requiring booster Tdap immunization for students entering grades 7-12 during the 2011-12 school year.

    Quoting some “gems” directly from Offal’s blog:

    “Additionally, you have many in the 7th through 12th grades who have contracted pertussis and are therefore immune.”

    “Natural immunity has been shown to last at least 30 years”

    (Offal as usual, provides no citations for these factoids)

    Come back Offal, when you provide citations as none of us are inclined to provide you with same. And, please no smart ass comments about the youngster who is physically impaired for life, due to pertussis disease.

  55. #55 W. Kevin Vicklund
    June 21, 2011

    Jen,

    Orac said there were two types of clusters, not two groups. A cluster is not the same thing as a group. A cluster is instead an abnormally high concentration. Unlike with socio-economic or religious/philosophical exemptions, medical exemptions would not be expected to cluster, unless there was a difference in the criteria for medical exemption (or some medical reason, such as access to medical care).

  56. #56 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    @lilady

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763266/?tool=pubmed

    Our results support a period of natural immunity that is, on average, long-lasting (at least 30 years) but inherently variable.

    And you’re saying no previously-vaccinated children in the 7-12 grades ever contracted pertussis? This report would dispute that

    http://www.watchdoginstitute.org/2010/12/13/whooping-cough-epidemic-california/
    Keys findings included:
    For pertussis cases in which vaccination histories are known, between 44 and 83 percent were of people who had been immunized, according to data from nine California counties with high infection rates. In San Diego County, more than two thirds of the people in this group were up to date on their immunizations.

  57. #57 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 21, 2011

    So…

    The third group [is] comprised of people who gave given their child a vaccine only to have had a bad reaction

    and furthermore

    [the] third group … grows all the time

    Hmmmm, I’m gonna hafta respond to that with the good ol’ [citation needed].

  58. #58 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    @lilady

    Links got caught in the spam filter. You’ll just have to google for them

    “Our results support a period of natural immunity that is, on average, long-lasting (at least 30 years) but inherently variable.”

    And you’re saying no previously-vaccinated children in the 7-12 grades ever contracted pertussis? This report would dispute that

    watchdoginstitute.org

    Keys findings included:
    For pertussis cases in which vaccination histories are known, between 44 and 83 percent were of people who had been immunized, according to data from nine California counties with high infection rates. In San Diego County, more than two thirds

  59. #59 JayK
    June 21, 2011

    Oh look! Sid can’t read:

    For the current studies, epidemiologists examined the vaccine’s effectiveness in three age groups: 4-5 year olds, 6-7 year olds and 8-10 year olds. They found that while the vaccine was 95 percent effective for the first group, effectiveness dropped to 84 percent for the second group and then to 81 percent for the last group.

    Are you a liar, Sid?

    Source

    Maybe you should learn how to cite. Do you need a special teacher?

  60. #60 JayK
    June 21, 2011

    Post caught in spam filter as well, but I basically show that Sid is lying about the numbers. What a surprise.

    Do you know what the higher infection rate amongst those that are immunized (drops as low as 81%)? A possible mutation that will require another vaccination for students in a year or so. Will you be lining up to get an update? I will be, along with my family and friends.

  61. #61 Gray Falcon
    June 21, 2011

    Even if Sid’s numbers were accurate, how safe would he feel in a city where only two-thirds of the buildings were built to the fire code?

  62. #62 Beamup
    June 21, 2011

    @ Stupid:

    The non-morons among us can notice that with vaccination rates above 44-83%, that shows quite nicely that the vaccine WORKS. Since the vaccinated were less likely to get it than the unvaccinated.

    The non-liars among us will also note that lilady didn’t say or imply anything even vaguely related to what you decided to make up and put in her mouth.

  63. #63 Chris
    June 21, 2011

    Gray Falcon:

    Even if Sid’s numbers were accurate, how safe would he feel in a city where only two-thirds of the buildings were built to the fire code?

    He’ll reply that he does not live in Haiti/Albania/China/etc. Which is his standard weasel reply.

  64. #64 Gray Falcon
    June 21, 2011

    Sorry, I misread Sid’s commentary, it was on the number of people infected, not the total population. Which means he’s failed Probability 101 again. Then again, he’ll probably always be known as the guy who didn’t know that darkness could be dangerous.

  65. #65 Todd W.
    June 21, 2011

    “Natural immunity has been shown to last at least 30 years”

    Here’s at least one citation that would appear to contradict Sid’s abysmal provision of “facts”. Natural immunity to pertussis lasts from around 4-20 years, not a minimum (or even a maximum) of 30 years.

  66. #66 Beamup
    June 21, 2011

    Which isn’t quite as moronic as being the guy who thinks that all toddlers instinctively know that it’s better to walk on the sidewalk than in the grass.

  67. #67 JayK
    June 21, 2011

    Here is another article that reviews the resurgence:

    Factors contributing to pertussis resurgence
    DOI 10.2217/17460913.3.3.329

    The CDC schedule is a TDaP booster every 10 years.

  68. #68 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 21, 2011

    Keys findings included:
    For pertussis cases in which vaccination histories are known, between 44 and 83 percent were of people who had been immunized, according to data from nine California counties with high infection rates. In San Diego County, more than two thirds

    And why would that be a key finding? Or, more precisely, why would it be a key finding for the side you want it to be? Because immunization rates are so high in the general population, of course they’re also going to be high in the sub-population of those who contract pertussis, despite the protective effect of immunizations. If someone checked the handedness of those who contracted pertussis, I’m sure they’d find that right-handed people outnumbered left-handed people by a large margin, but that would hardly be a significant finding, let alone a “key” finding.

    This has been discussed here many, many times before. Are you saying that you did not understand it any of those times it was discussed before? Or did you understand it but think it best to phrase things as if you didn’t understand them?

  69. #69 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    Antaeus, nothing your saying contradicts my position that many 7th to 12 graders have had pertussis and are therefore immune. As to your obsession with “key finding,” that’s from the report not me.

  70. #70 Gray Falcon
    June 21, 2011

    Mr. Offit, he doesn’t have to contradict your claim, you have to prove yours. It’s called burden of proof.

  71. #71 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    @ Offal: What site did you use (that got caught in a “spam filter”?) How about a PubMed citation?

    I keyed in your sentence, “Our studies support a period of natural immunity….” into PubMed and found some very old citations of studies done in foreign countries.

    “Interesting” that you refer us to Watchdoginstitute.org which an “investigative” (muckraking) site run by a California school of journalism…hardly experts in public health…with an agenda against “Big Pharma/Government Control” and the lack of impetus for “Big Pharma” to develop more effective pertussis vaccine.

    Offal, being that your latest screed is directed at the California Department of Public Health and the California State Assembly for enacting new requirements for booster pertussis vaccine, why not go to the source…after all the CDPH has been dealing with the largest outbreak of pertussis and pertussis deaths in the last 57 years. Professionals at the CDPH are not journalism students, they are the experts in immunology, epidemiology and outbreak control.

    Why not key in:

    PertussiswebinarQandA

    The site is a Q and A Session for addressing the pertussis epidemic and “Clinician’s role in preventing pertussis” (Thursday, September 2, 2010, Updated March 2, 2011)

    Now scroll down…

    Q. After my patients have had pertussis, how long are they immune? Do they need a Tdap booster if they have had pertussis?

    A. Pertussis disease just like immunization provides temporary immunity against catching pertussis in the future. The temporary immunity from disease appears to last at least 4 years, but probably varies a great deal between individuals. (Recommendations are to boost with Tdap in early adolescence)

    Offal, you do know the differences in efficacy between immunizations against bacterial diseases versus efficacy of vaccines against viral diseases, don’t you? I learned the difference in Junior High or High School General Science course…years before I ever enrolled in an Immunology 101 course.

  72. #72 Jen
    June 21, 2011

    Scott, the third cluster could pretty easily be deduced by looking up the VAERS data and also knowing that only 10% of all vaccine reactions even make it to that. grey Falcon: then I guess our family doc had suspicions too, since he advised all of us not to get flu shots.
    Again, I think Both Orac and Trine are being willfully ignorant and inflammatory.

  73. #73 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    @lilady

    Sweetie, I’m sorry if you don’t know how to use the interwebs, but that’s not my problem. You do know what Google is right?And I’ll take a real study (and decades of medical opinion that pertussis immunity is close to lifelong) over some random webinar chatter.

  74. #74 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 21, 2011

    Antaeus, nothing your saying contradicts my position that many 7th to 12 graders have had pertussis and are therefore immune.

    That’s very true. It’s also true that nothing I’m saying contradicts your position on the designated-hitter rule in baseball. And, of course, nothing I’m saying contradicts your position on who truly deserved to win last season’s American Idol.

    But, if we could actually stick to the subject — you know, like honest people do — you were the one who brought up the fact that a majority of those who have had pertussis were immunized against it, calling it a “key finding,” and if you try to pretend that you were not trying to imply that the high percentage of immunized people among those who contracted pertussis reflected poorly on the protective effect of the immunization, I’m just going to have to call you a liar and a poor one at that.

  75. #75 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    @ # 43 Jen “In fact you might be just as wary of the whole vaccine issue if you had the responsibility for a precious bundle.” Jen has hit a new low here after viewing Autism Parent’s posting # 40 above.

    Autism parent has a “precious bundle” who has seizures with the onset of febrile illnesses. The child has also had prolonged (status epilepticus) repetitive seizures. Status epilepticus is a life threatening event that can leave a “precious bundle” in a state of hypoxemia and pulmonary respiratory failure requiring resuscitation. Postictally, further neurological impairments are common.

    I also had a “precious bundle” whose tenuous grand mal seizure control was compromised by fevers and childhood illnesses and lead into many episodes of status epilepticus…and he lost ground following every episode and had to be resuscitated. Postictally, he suffered through several episodes of Todd’s paralysis, as well.

    How insensitive and jaded you’ve become Jen…based on some anecdotal family lore that your grandmother was diagnosed with G-B syndrome, following an influenza immunization. Stop being a troll, get some real education in the sciences and knock off the nasty, crass commentary.

  76. #76 JayK
    June 21, 2011

    @Sid Offal:

    And I’ll take a real study (and decades of medical opinion that pertussis immunity is close to lifelong)

    Do you have a citation for that, or did you just pull it out of your ignorant ass? Todd W. above gave the pubmed link to a study showing pertussis immunity is between 4-20 years. The CDC recommends a 10 year booster for adults, especially those that are around children and infants. I included a DOI to a published article that discusses the factors about the resurgence, which includes a section that discusses the temporary immunity of vaccinations and active viral infection.

    How many citations does a liar like yourself need as proof that your insinuation of a “lifelong immunity” is absolutely wrong?

    Wendelboe, A. M., Van, R. A., Salmaso, S., & Englund, J. A. (January 01, 2005). Duration of immunity against pertussis after natural infection or vaccination. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 24, 5, 58-61.

    Is there some sort of formatting issue that upsets your tiny little mind? What format do you want citations so you’ll actually pay attention? PMID’s? DOI’s? Full APA 6th edition farking bio?

    Or are you just as dumb as everyone says?

  77. #77 Agashem
    June 21, 2011

    Jen is stuck in the 1970s.

  78. #78 triskelethecat
    June 21, 2011

    @jen: In case you haven’t noticed, most of us have had “the responsibility for a precious bundle.” Most of us are parents who have done the reasonable and responsible thing and had our children vaccinated. And we support those who cannot be vaccinated due to health issues (allergies, immuno-suppression, adverse effects to previous vaccines) by making sure we DO maintain our vaccination status to protect them.

    So, we are not parasites on others. (or is that insulting parasites?)

  79. #79 Jen
    June 21, 2011

    There, just read the whole story written by Trine and like I thought it is complete bullshit, avoiding the topic of vaccine injured completely, never mind the willfully ignorant cluster grouping presented in the story. Of course there is a child victim mentioned regarding the pertussis and that is sad, but there is no guarantee that no one will ever get any disease. Why wasn’t there a child victim from vaccine court in the story? Oh yeah, that would mean balance. I laughed out loud when I heard them mention how we don’t remember the deadly childhood illnesses anymore. Some of us do and I’m sorry but chicken pox, for the vast majority of kids, isn’t deadly! Lilady, save your pius attitude! You sound pretty ignorant referring to my gramdmother’s GB as “anecdotal.”

  80. #80 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    Offal: I’m not your “sweetie” and I do know how to Google. I also know how to do research…as do most of the posters here who are educated in the sciences and work in the health care field.

    Webinar Chatter? The site I provided to you is a seminar for clinicians (you do know what “clinicians” mean, don’t you?), conducted by the State of California Department of Public Health (You do know what public health is, don’t you?)

    So tell us where you acquired your expertise…self styled real estate investor, doesn’t count. Also we are still awaiting your PubMed citations…preferably more recent than 2005 and preferably studies conducted in the United States…not Europe or Mexico or South America.

    Also anti-vax sites or muckraking sites written by journalism students don’t count, either.

    Offal, you’ve been busted…again.

  81. #81 Andrew
    June 21, 2011

    Jen,

    The fatality rate for chicken pox is about 6.7 per 100,000. The rate of GB after vaccination is about 1 per 100,000. So when you laugh about chicken pox, you’re laughing about something more than six times more likely to kill than the vaccine is to injure.

  82. #82 Matthew Cline
    June 21, 2011

    Clusters of unvaccinated students with religious exemptions are more common in private schools, the Tribune found, and such exemptions are rising.

    Wait, wait, religious exemptions at private schools? Do private schools voluntarily accept religious exemptions, or is there a law forcing them to do so?

  83. #83 Anonymous
    June 21, 2011

    *jaw drop*

    Jen is still here?

  84. #84 Narad
    June 21, 2011

    Do private schools voluntarily accept religious exemptions, or is there a law forcing them to do so?

    Depends on the state.

  85. #85 Matthew Cline
    June 21, 2011

    @Narad:

    Depends on the state.

    So in states where it’s a legal requirement, does the requirement derive from anti-discrimination laws, or something else?

  86. #86 Narad
    June 21, 2011

    So in states where it’s a legal requirement, does the requirement derive from anti-discrimination laws, or something else?

    IANAL, and I haven’t given it much thought lately, but I think there is an issue of accepting federal funds if an exemption exists in the first place. Some states merely make it a statutory requirement from the get-go.

  87. #87 Matthew Cline
    June 21, 2011

    @Narad:

    IANAL, and I haven’t given it much thought lately, but I think there is an issue of accepting federal funds if an exemption exists in the first place.

    Ahhh, okay.

  88. #88 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    @ Matthew Cline: (Short Answer to complying with State’s education law and regulations)

    The Federal government “returns” public dollars to each state’s education department, state’s in turn add money to the Federal money and adds money to “return” to each individual school district in that state. Any child who attends private (or parochial) schools and resides in the individual school district has certain services (special education services, textbooks, school nursing staff, psychologists and social workers and school busing) provided by property tax revenues given to each school that the “local” children attend. It is a major amount of money that offsets private tuition costs for the parents.

    I suppose a small number of private/parochial schools will refuse these monies to avoid complying with the State’s laws and regulations regarding immunization exemptions…with a corresponding huge hike for tuition costs.

  89. #89 Ken
    June 21, 2011

    Andrew @81, don’t forget the shingles. Why anyone would think letting a virus permanently colonize your nervous system is a good idea is beyond me. Yet that’s exactly what people who prefer the “natural immunity” of chicken pox parties think.

  90. #90 Dangerous Bacon
    June 21, 2011

    Jen: “I’m sorry but chicken pox, for the vast majority of kids, isn’t deadly!”

    Sorry you’re so focused on the death rate from chicken pox (100 or so die annually in the U.S., no biggie, right?) that the 14,000 hospitalized every year due to chickenpox never reach your limited awareness. High risk groups include the following (according to mayoclinic.com):

    “Newborns and infants whose mothers never had chickenpox or the vaccine
    Pregnant women
    People whose immune systems are impaired by medication, such as chemotherapy, or another disease
    People who are taking steroid medications for another disease or condition, such as children with asthma
    People with the skin condition eczema

    A common complication of chickenpox is a bacterial infection of the skin. Chickenpox may also lead to pneumonia or, rarely, an inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), both of which can be very serious…Shingles can lead to its own complication — a condition in which the pain of shingles persists long after the blisters disappear. This complication, called postherpetic neuralgia, can be severe…Other complications of chickenpox affect pregnant women. Chickenpox early in pregnancy can result in a variety of problems in a newborn, including low birth weight and birth defects, such as limb abnormalities. A greater threat to a baby occurs when the mother develops chickenpox in the week before birth. Then it can cause a serious, life-threatening infection in a newborn.”

    But as our resident antivaxers would tell us, screw all those people, you can’t make us get shots!

  91. #91 Dangerous Bacon
    June 21, 2011

    Jen: “I’m sorry but chicken pox, for the vast majority of kids, isn’t deadly!”

    Sorry you’re so focused on the death rate from chicken pox (100 or so die annually in the U.S., no biggie, right?) that the 14,000 hospitalized every year due to chickenpox never reach your limited awareness. High risk groups include the following (according to mayoclinic.com):

    “Newborns and infants whose mothers never had chickenpox or the vaccine
    Pregnant women
    People whose immune systems are impaired by medication, such as chemotherapy, or another disease
    People who are taking steroid medications for another disease or condition, such as children with asthma
    People with the skin condition eczema

    A common complication of chickenpox is a bacterial infection of the skin. Chickenpox may also lead to pneumonia or, rarely, an inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), both of which can be very serious…Shingles can lead to its own complication — a condition in which the pain of shingles persists long after the blisters disappear. This complication, called postherpetic neuralgia, can be severe…Other complications of chickenpox affect pregnant women. Chickenpox early in pregnancy can result in a variety of problems in a newborn, including low birth weight and birth defects, such as limb abnormalities. A greater threat to a baby occurs when the mother develops chickenpox in the week before birth. Then it can cause a serious, life-threatening infection in a newborn.”

    But as our resident antivaxers would tell us, screw all those people, you can’t make us get shots!

  92. #92 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    lilady, now you’re just making stuff up.

  93. #93 Matthew Cline
    June 21, 2011

    @Ken:

    Andrew @81, don’t forget the shingles. Why anyone would think letting a virus permanently colonize your nervous system is a good idea is beyond me. Yet that’s exactly what people who prefer the “natural immunity” of chicken pox parties think.

    From what I remember reading, the chickenpox vaccine can end up causing shingles, but less often than the wild type virus, and of a lesser severity.

  94. #94 Dangerous Bacon
    June 21, 2011

    Jen: “I’m sorry but chicken pox, for the vast majority of kids, isn’t deadly!”

    Sorry you’re so focused on the death rate from chicken pox (100 or so die annually in the U.S., no biggie, right?) that the 14,000 hospitalized every year due to chickenpox never reach your limited awareness. High risk groups include the following (according to mayoclinic.com):

    “Newborns and infants whose mothers never had chickenpox or the vaccine
    Pregnant women
    People whose immune systems are impaired by medication, such as chemotherapy, or another disease
    People who are taking steroid medications for another disease or condition, such as children with asthma
    People with the skin condition eczema

    A common complication of chickenpox is a bacterial infection of the skin. Chickenpox may also lead to pneumonia or, rarely, an inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), both of which can be very serious…Shingles can lead to its own complication — a condition in which the pain of shingles persists long after the blisters disappear. This complication, called postherpetic neuralgia, can be severe…Other complications of chickenpox affect pregnant women. Chickenpox early in pregnancy can result in a variety of problems in a newborn, including low birth weight and birth defects, such as limb abnormalities. A greater threat to a baby occurs when the mother develops chickenpox in the week before birth. Then it can cause a serious, life-threatening infection in a newborn.”

    But as our resident antivaxers would tell us, screw all those people, you can’t make us get shots!

  95. #95 Narad
    June 21, 2011

    lilady, now you’re just making stuff up.

    Is this supposed to refer to anything in particular, Bob?

  96. #96 Sid Offit
    June 21, 2011

    Post 83, Narad. While I’m here can anyone explain the logic behind Orac believing the NVIC is an anti-vaccination organization that wants everyone vaccinated.

    “Individuals, if they look at the world selfishly, will say: ‘I don’t want a needle to be stuck into my kid, but I want everyone else to be vaccinated,’” said Dr. Paul E.M. Fine, a community immunity expert and professor of communicable disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “There is a brutal, ugly logic there.”

    Which basically describes anti-vaccine groups like the NVIC and Generation Rescue perfectly

  97. #97 Narad
    June 21, 2011

    Post 83, Narad.

    That doesn’t appear to be one of the choices.

  98. #98 dedicated lurker
    June 21, 2011

    No, it’s more like “Vaccines carry a small risk, and I’m not taking it, but since most people are I can crow about my decision like it’s reasonable.”

  99. #99 Dangerous Bacon
    June 21, 2011

    Jen: “I’m sorry but chicken pox, for the vast majority of kids, isn’t deadly!”

    Sorry you’re so focused on the death rate from chicken pox (100 or so die annually in the U.S., no biggie, right?) that the 14,000 hospitalized every year due to chickenpox never reach your limited awareness. High risk groups include the following (according to mayoclinic.com):

    “Newborns and infants whose mothers never had chickenpox or the vaccine
    Pregnant women
    People whose immune systems are impaired by medication, such as chemotherapy, or another disease
    People who are taking steroid medications for another disease or condition, such as children with asthma
    People with the skin condition eczema

    A common complication of chickenpox is a bacterial infection of the skin. Chickenpox may also lead to pneumonia or, rarely, an inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), both of which can be very serious…Shingles can lead to its own complication — a condition in which the pain of shingles persists long after the blisters disappear. This complication, called postherpetic neuralgia, can be severe…Other complications of chickenpox affect pregnant women. Chickenpox early in pregnancy can result in a variety of problems in a newborn, including low birth weight and birth defects, such as limb abnormalities. A greater threat to a baby occurs when the mother develops chickenpox in the week before birth. Then it can cause a serious, life-threatening infection in a newborn.”

    But as our resident antivaxers would tell us, screw all those people, you can’t make us get shots!

  100. #100 Gray Falcon
    June 21, 2011

    It’s actually that they fail to realize that the reason the disease carries such a low risk currently is because of the high rates of vaccination. They fail to understand that if the vaccination rate drops, the odds of an outbreak increases.

  101. #101 Jen
    June 21, 2011

    Dedicated lurker, I really don’t think anyone is crowing. I believe a lot of people wish the science supposedly going on with vaccine safety was more credible. I also believe people would like vaccination to be all sunshine and lollipops, but it just isn’t, as is the case with many modern medical interventions/drugs. By the way, the risks aren’t small when it happens to your loved one.

  102. #102 Denice Walter
    June 21, 2011

    Anti-vaccine advocates frequently sneer at what one indecently prolific woo-meister calls the “cult of the expert”:

    Specific people are considered “experts” because they follow the “party line” in order to be recognised as members of the “elite”. These creatures are neither curious nor innovative. They are merely cogs in the wheel of the larger machine: soul-lessly obediant to their paymasters.

    Whenever a truly creative genius appears on the scene: the brave maverick- whose brilliantly revolutionary discoveries threaten the staus quo- will be subjected to the most vile public ridicule and smear campaign. Black ops will be initiated, hirelings will be employed, and the media will be utilised mercilessly in his undoing- martyrdom, actually. Thus, being despised is a sign of greatness, not a stigma.

    What lies behind this attitude- often seen in the trolling set- as well? Try as I might, jealousy, envy, and downright hatred of the educated, appear to be the first words that pop into my head.

    Often the “experts” praised by pseudo-science haven’t standard credentials; they may address fields peripheral to their own or their background may be spurious at best, fictional at worst. Derision is flung furiously at those with more respectable CV’s.

    If the vitriol is fuelled by such powerful emotions, can we ever get through to them? I don’t know. While I’ve been described as having a “poison pen”, it’s nothing compared to what I’ve heard directed at me or those I agree with.

  103. #103 Jen
    June 21, 2011

    GF: I realize very well what the risks of my kid getting chicken pox are and he had them- swam in toxic lakes etc. And was fine. Now if I want to give my son a second MMR (just for mumps) I’m not even sure he can get anything but an MMRV and if that’s the case we’ll bail. They are increasingly taking any choice away.

  104. #104 Jen
    June 21, 2011

    Denise, then what do you call “experts”/phd guys from all kinds of universities who find ingredients like thimerosal and aluminum to be neurotoxic? Do you call them “pseudo-scientists? Just because they actually don’t come to the same conclusions as yourself?

  105. #105 Jen
    June 21, 2011

    Denise, then what do you call “experts”/phd guys from all kinds of universities who find ingredients like thimerosal and aluminum to be neurotoxic? Do you call them “pseudo-scientists? Just because they actually don’t come to the same conclusions as yourself?

  106. #106 elburto
    June 21, 2011

    @calli – the LL operators who are used for medical situations do undergo training, and are given copious glossaries and manuals to read through and digest. They also have to be educated to a certain level, they’re not just picking random language speakers! They have to be extremely proficient in English, people who grew up bilingual are preferred. The hospitals don’t pay individually for the service, the NHS is invoiced, and has a budget set aside for it. Thanks for the info about your services though.

    @Jen- your grandmother’s GB is anecdotal. Nobody did a study on her, we don’t have her medical record here.

    When I last got a vaccine, purple monkeys flew out of my arse, cats fell from the sky, and my hair caught fire. Never doing that again, hoo boy.

    Of course the plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’, and correlation does not imply causation, so the chimpus rectus outbreak may have just been a coincidence, see how that works?

  107. #107 Chris
    June 21, 2011

    Jen:

    I believe a lot of people wish the science supposedly going on with vaccine safety was more credible.

    So much unintentional humor in that statement. Especially since she has never ever once posted the valid critique of any paper by someone who is actually qualified. Then there is the unquestioning support of known frauds like the Geiers, Wakefield and others.

    Oh, and let us not forget the blog that references a cartoon show on how “safe” it is to get chicken pox, and a sitcom to show that measles was not that big a deal. LOL

    By the way, the risks aren’t small when it happens to your loved one.

    And the trips to the hospital with a kid sick with the actual disease is not something I would wish on anyone.

    You are living in a fantasy world. No one here has ever claimed that vaccines are 100% safe, it is folks like you who are denying that the diseases cause more and harm more often than any vaccine.

    You have been asked over and over again that if you had real verifiable documentation of risks of the vaccines being more than the diseases, and you have never produced anything. If you have it has been from those who have actually been convicted, and are being charged with fraud. Or lapping at the feet of a guy who has cybersquatted, and is still squatting, websites of folks he did not like. Just like any obedient sycophant.

    There are some people who come here from AoA that learn and start to think for themselves. You, Jen, have proven that your mind is welded shut and you will only parrot the stuff you are hand fed from your handlers.

  108. #108 Denice Walter
    June 21, 2011

    @ Jen: There are MD’s who assert that schizophrenia is attributable to a niacin deficiency while others agree with the “cult of the experts” ( i.e. medical consensus, c. 2011). Some PhD’S claim HIV doesn’t exist or is harmless, others are more drearily prosaic in their beliefs.

    Thimerasol and Alum: And which PhD’s and which uni’s? Names? Again, re neurotoxicity, “dose makes the poison”- it’s all about amounts.

  109. #109 Calli Arcale
    June 21, 2011

    elburto — maybe the Language Line people in your country are better. Here, they tend not to be as specialized, and there have been cases where serious misunderstandings occurred. I really don’t want to belabor the point, though, as we are seriously offtopic at this point.

    jen — you think the article would have had better balance if it discussed a case of a vaccine injured child, because one vaccine injured child is equivalent to one disease injured child? But that would not be balance, and I’ll tell you why. Vaccine injuries are extremely rare. Yes, they can be devastating when they happen to your child — but if we did not vaccinate a large majority of the population, we’d have a great deal more suffering children. So if you really want balance, they need to show statistically equivalent groups.

    Group one, nobody vaccinates, a certain number die or are permanently injured by vaccine-preventable diseases.

    Group two, everybody vaccinates, a certain number are injured by the vaccines.

    Do you seriously think the two groups will have the same number of injured people in them? Or will depicting this balance actually come out poorly for what you are intending to convey?

  110. #110 lilady
    June 21, 2011

    Why are we even bothering with these factoid spewing know-nothing trolls? They are totally unable to provide any citations for any of the factoids…I suspect they are ripping off the factoids from anti-vax sites…truly parrot tools.

    Jen says, “I’m not even sure he can anything except an MMRV and if that’s the case we’ll bail.”

    Um Jen, there’s a bit of a disconnect here. You hopelessly try to impress us with your research skills and talk about the dangers of thimerisol and aluminum and are still clueless about the antigens/components contained in the Recommended Childhood Vaccines.

    The measles,mumps,rubella,varicella vaccine is not MMRV but rather the MMR-V vaccine. Why don’t you do some very simple research by perusing the MMR VIS…yes it is still available…so you don’t have to “bail”. I mean REALLY!!!

    Still no citations from Offal?

  111. #111 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 21, 2011

    Thimerasol and Alum: And which PhD’s and which uni’s? Names? Again, re neurotoxicity, “dose makes the poison”- it’s all about amounts.

    When I got my last flu shot, I asked for extra mercury…well, they thought it was funny!

  112. #112 Jen
    June 21, 2011

    Denise, there actually are quite a few researchers who ( God knows, against all odds and sponsorship) have found problems with certain ingredients in vaccines, and no, I am not going to name them all. Calli, I do appreciate what you are saying but I still think it is very dodgy of them to divide clusters into” poor” people and people with” religious exemptions” when, of course, statistically, there are a number of people who have had vaccine damage/ reaction experience and that’s what has led them to perhaps avoid certain or all vaccines. Wow, lilady I didn’t write MMR-V -sue me, such a big diff! I have heard that in our area it is not available as just MMR anymore. I will call tomorrow to check, though.

  113. #113 Gray Falcon
    June 21, 2011

    Jen, please name them, if you’re going to make claims, back them up!

  114. #114 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 21, 2011

    Jen, 99.9% of so-called “vaccine injury” is simply somebody developing a very rare condition subsequent to being vaccinated. In our universe, that’s just how time works. Was it John Wheeler or Richard Feynman who said “Time is just one damn thing after another”?

    Since up until recently, almost everybody was vaccinated, almost everybody who developed any rare condition could say that their problem followed vaccination, and thousands of them have been paid off to shut them up. That does not mean that the vaccinations had any causative relationship with the rare medical condition, it’s just that time is one-dimensional—things happen sequentially.

  115. #115 W. Kevin Vicklund
    June 21, 2011

    I still think it is very dodgy of them to divide clusters into” poor” people and people with” religious exemptions” when, of course, statistically, there are a number of people who have had vaccine damage/ reaction experience and that’s what has led them to perhaps avoid certain or all vaccines.

    Jen, please provide evidence that people who have had vaccine damage tend to live near each other and whose lack of vaccination is not due to being poor or utilizing religious/philosophical exemptions.

  116. #116 Chemmomo
    June 21, 2011

    Jen,
    there’s actually a fourth group of people, who you just wish were included in this third group of yours you imagine is so large.

    These would be parents whose children had real, serious reactions to specific vaccines, but are more capable of doing a realistic risk vs benefit analysis than you are. We continue vaccinating, because we understand that the risks of the diseases are still higher than the risks presented by the vaccine.

    As for

    there actually are quite a few researchers who ( God knows, against all odds and sponsorship) have found problems with certain ingredients in vaccines, and no, I am not going to name them all

    OK, you don’t have to name them all. Just name at least one, or we’re going to assume you just made it up.

  117. #117 lilady
    June 22, 2011

    @ Jen: The Very Rev makes so valid points about coincidence. If you read very old research papers about “classic or Kanner’s” autism you will see that “classic” regressive autism was first defined about 70 years ago, long before the availablity of any vaccines against childhood illnesses were available. In fact, the only vaccine that was given was smallpox vaccine and it did not contain thimerisol. The incidence of classic autism was very rare in spite of confusing diagnoses such as childhood schizophrenia.

    The broadening of the diagnosis of autism into Autism Spectrum Disorder occurred when the DSM IV was published, replacing the DSM III Manual and the doubling of the diagnostic criteria…it is responsible in large part to the purported autism “epidemic”. Furthermore, early diagnosis and the availability of early intervention therapies and pre-school programs have added to the numbers of children with ASD.

    There have been instances of the development of encephalitis, not autism, within 15 days of a child receiving an MMR vaccine; the incidence rate for that significant neurological event is 1 case per 1,000,000 doses of the trivalent MMR vaccine. The VICP, which has a much lower threshold of proof of vaccine injury than civil courts has compensated children with the one and only criteria being a significant neurological event within that 15 day window of immunization with MMR vaccine. As the Very Rev. states “time is one-dimensional-things happen sequentially” and we could attribute anything that happens to us following vaccination as being caused by the vaccine.
    Are you aware that the parents of girls who died in an automobile accident or drowned in the ocean after receiving the HPV vaccine have reported their deaths as vaccine-related?

    You haven’t provided us with citations that back up your assertions regarding thimerisol and aluminum, yet there are dozens of extensive studies conducted here in the United States, in Europe and in Asia that find no link between any vaccine and the onset of autism.

    BTW, there are some vaccines that contain aluminum salts and aluminum gels and they are not preservatives, they are adjuvants that enable the specific antigen(s) contained in the vaccine to work quicker, to provide a higher level of immunity and to make that immunity longer lasting.

    Aren’t you somewhat upset that anti-vax sites have supported parents and caregivers who have battered their babies and murdered their babies, attributing the injuries inflicted on these innocents as “evidence” of vaccine injury?

  118. #118 Politicalguineapig
    June 22, 2011

    Andrew: Until this year, I never thought about the permanent effects of shingles. When I was a little kid, the chicken pox vaccine hadn’t been invented yet, so I got my immunity the old fashioned way. Thankfully, my flare-up of shingles didn’t cause any permanent damage, but it had enough short term effects to make me rethink the whole ‘natural immunity’ thing.(The shingles virus paralyzed a couple of facial nerves.)
    I’d also like to point out that pertussis immunity is not permanent. The immunity from the vaccine does wear off about 20 years on. I had a friend who was sent home from college because she had whooping cough. I’m not sure about the immunity from the wild-type, but I’d bet it’s about the same or a little less. So in sum: booster shots are a good thing, and natural immunity isn’t always a good thing.

  119. #119 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 22, 2011

    I love reading about shingles*. I had the chickenpox before there was a vaccine. Now 50 years later, I have this to worry about. Anybody who would deny their kids protection against this virus is a criminal.

    *Not intended to be a factual statement.

  120. Rev Battleax, it’s my understanding that the shingles vax is quite effective at preventing shingles in people who’ve already had the chicken pox. In Australia it’s recommended for people 60 and over, but it’s approved for use on people 50+. I’m not sure when my doc plans to offer it to me, but “Yes please!” will be my reply.

  121. #121 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 22, 2011

    Cath, thanks for the info. I will look into that for sure. If it could even reduce the severity of attacks like some I’ve heard about, it would be well worth it.

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

    jen: “Denise, there actually are quite a few researchers who ( God knows, against all odds and sponsorship) have found problems with certain ingredients in vaccines, and no, I am not going to name them all.”

    Name them. Or shut the fuck up and piss off out of here. You have nothing to contribute to the discussion and you never had anything to add to it.

    “Do you call them “pseudo-scientists? Just because they actually don’t come to the same conclusions as yourself?”

    No. They get that accolade because they basically take the piss out of proper science by pretending to be scientific and instead are just doing things like cherry-picking their data or even completely fabricating their results… you know, like Andy Wankfield did.

    Grow a bloody IQ, jen. And stay away from here until you’ve grown it.

  123. #123 Jen
    June 22, 2011

    Chemmomo, you have an interesting point, too, but if my child reacted badly to a vaccine I would not have persisted in the face of a lack of vaccinated VS unvaccinated studies (they could even do an adjuvant -alum, thim VS no adjuvant study or extended phase 4 tox studies where they don’t just kill the lab animals that get the vaccines after 90 days. In fact, you can’t even do the risk/benefit analysis you speak of because there really isn’t the data on how present day children would fare with say, chicken pox since they have probably buggared with the strains and they haven’t compared children who have had, say MMR-V to those who have not.
    “made them up” – you wish I made them up. They’re at uni’s in Canada and U.S. Why do you want the names? So you can complain to the Dean about them because you don’t agree with what they’re doing?
    @112-stupidest thing I’ve read in a long time.

  124. #124 JayK
    June 22, 2011

    @Jen: “you wish I made them up. They’re at uni’s in Canada and U.S. Why do you want the names? So you can complain to the Dean about them because you don’t agree with what they’re doing?”

    You do know that there are a lot of commenters and readers here who do research and spend a lot of time doing literary reviews, right? By at least getting a name we can look up the papers and determine for ourselves what is being said about adjuvants.

    Do you even understand the nature of adjuvants? Where did you go to school, what research have you participated in or where are you getting your information? Most likely you’re parroting information from someone like Barbara Loe Fisher or some other anti-vax site.

    Evidence of increased clinical protection of an MF59-adjuvant influenza vaccine compared to a non-adjuvant vaccine among elderly residents of long-term care facilities in Italy. DOI: 10.1017/S0950268805003936

    So I can show that adjuvant based vaccines have a higher efficacy rate than non-adjuvant based vaccines.

    But you want to accuse the adjuvants of causing problems. OK, I’ll bite. Where is your citation that indicates that aluminum salts as an adjuvant are given in a large enough dose that they can cause problems? If you can’t cite something, I have to assume you’re lying.

    And I really hate liars.

  125. #125 Krebiozen
    June 22, 2011

    a lack of vaccinated VS unvaccinated studies

    A lack? Where does this bizarre idea that vaccines are never tested against placebo come from? There are 36,300 hits if you search for “vaccine placebo safety” on Google Scholar. http://is.gd/wsaPBS

  126. #126 Chemmomo
    June 22, 2011

    Jen,

    “made them up” – you wish I made them up. They’re at uni’s in Canada and U.S. Why do you want the names? So you can complain

    We disagree strongly about many things but I find myself seriously offended by your statement above.

    I want the names so I can look up their research for myself since you have already demonstrated over and over again that you only repeat what’s written by AoA rather than reading papers for yourself! I’m didn’t both asking for actual links because I already know you think you don’t have to post those.

  127. #127 JayK
    June 22, 2011

    If you want an article that is targeted to parents in order to help them understand the ingredients in vaccines, such as the adjuvants, I highly recommend this paper:

    Offit, P. A., & Jew, R. K. (January 01, 2003). Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Vaccines Contain Harmful Preservatives, Adjuvants, Additives, or Residuals?. Pediatrics Springfield-, 112, 1, 1394-1402.

  128. #128 Calli Arcale
    June 22, 2011

    Jen:

    I think I understand where the disconnect is about the clusters now.

    Calli, I do appreciate what you are saying but I still think it is very dodgy of them to divide clusters into” poor” people and people with” religious exemptions” when, of course, statistically, there are a number of people who have had vaccine damage/ reaction experience and that’s what has led them to perhaps avoid certain or all vaccines.

    There are, of course, many reasons why people might not be completely* vaccinated. Religious beliefs, poverty, ignorance of what care is available, concern about side effects in the absence of a specific medical exemption, and medical exemptions (allergies, history of adverse reactions, etc).

    Poverty and the ignorance of certain groups (particularly immigrants)** will tend to cluster, because poor people and immigrants tend to cluster, for much the same reasons — they both need cheap housing. So we can expect vaccine noncompliance to cluster since these people cluster. This problem *should* be fixable — it’s simply a matter of making free vaccines more widely available, and educating them so they *know* they’re available. Of course, it’s just a symptom of the general problem this group has, and that’s that they do not have good access to health care. That’s a bigger problem than vaccination; we can protect them from measles only to have them die of untreated diabetes or uncontrolled thyroid problems or whatever. Unfortunately, I don’t think this problem will be solved anytime soon, given the current political animosity towards fixing our health care system.

    Religious beliefs and philosophical opinions will also tend to cluster, though not as much based on real estate prices. Instead, they tend to cluster based on proximity to the places of worship which promote these beliefs, or to whatever community is supporting the philosophy. More on that later, since this is the most interesting group.

    Medical exemptions, however, do not tend to cluster. Things like allergies to various ingredients are pretty widely distributed through the human population, so the incidence of these exemptions do not cluster. Thus, there isn’t much reason to be concerned about people in this group. I mean, you should be concerned about them; they’re people, like anyone else. But they’re all spread out, and are not likely to affect herd immunity as long as there aren’t too many of them. Say 5% of the population can’t take a vaccine incubated in eggs. No problem; if the other 95% are vaccinated, odds are they’re hardly ever going to bump into any of the other 5% unvaccinated. This group is important, but unlikely to trigger any clustering of unvaccinated people, which means they aren’t important to the question being asked, which is how much danger are we in from declining herd immunity.

    Now, back to the “religious exemption” group. I’d prefer a different term — “conscientious objector” — because this group should include more than just people who think God won’t believe they’re faithful if they use a vaccine, or who object on religious grounds to some of the ingredients (I’m thinking particularly of the human albumin found in things like MMR, which is incubated in a fetal cell line obtained from an abortion that occurred nearly fifty years ago). This should also include those who disagree with what the experts say about the safety of vaccines, those who believe vaccines may be something else in disguise, and those who believe vaccines are unnecessary because they object to the germ theory entirely and believe they would do better with lifestyle or diet modifications (for instance). This is a big group, but it is qualitatively different from the poverty group, which for the most part, would vaccinate if it could. This is, essentially, the group which has no medical exemption but *chooses* not to vaccinate, for their own personal reasons. I favor the “conscientious objector” term because it is more inclusive; while non-religious philosophical exemptions are legally distinct from religious ones, for the purposes of this article I think they can be considered together, because they are examples of nonvaccination by choice, rather than circumstance or biology.

    Now, I don’t know whether you feel your son fits better in the conscientious objector category or the medical exemption category; it is entirely possible for him to be in both, in my opinion. But only the conscientious objector category will form a geographic cluster. So it’s not meant to exclude other reasons for vaccination; it’s to describe those reasons which form geographic clusters and which therefore mean that although the numbers look good at the national level, within the neighborhoods with these clusters, the numbers are not so good for herd immunity.

    Regarding MMR versus MMRV, do go ahead and ask your doctor, or ask around various clinics which do vaccination. You can probably find MMR in your area, or find someone who can obtain it. I believe it is even still manufactured.

    *In the sense of meeting CDC requirements for their age group. I never received a varicella vaccine, for instance, or HiB, because they were not available (much less recommended) when I was undergoing my childhood vaccines.

    ** I’m not saying immigrants are ignorant in general; they are generally ignorant of the local culture, however, which is sort of unavoidable even for wealthy and educated ones. The degree of culture shock varies.

  129. #129 redacted
    June 22, 2011

    @114
    What regressive “classic” autism? They all “shown extreme aloneness from the beginning of life. (Kanner 1943)” If you are referring to De Sanctis’ dementia or Heller’s dementia they showed up even earlier in 1908. With Heller’s described as “presenting ‘an almost photographic identity of course’ with the following features: After normal development during the first two or three years of life, there was a rapid change of behavior with anxiety, motor restlessness, loss of speech and sphincter control, and general regression, leading in a short time to complete dementia, while the children showed no clinical signs of physical disturbance and retained an intelligent facial expression. (Kanner 1965)” Hmm… sounds like my child suddenly regressed, lost all speech, has horrible bowel problems, and is stuck in his own world to me. Better yet is that Kanner specifically differentiates early infantile autism to Heller’s and De Sanctis’s dementias in ‘Autistic Disturbances Of Affective Contact’. If only Wing hadn’t f’ed what the definition of autism was we wouldn’t be here with a hoard of stuff that is actually meant to be separate in one box.

  130. #130 Denice Walter
    June 22, 2011

    @ Jen: Here’s a little anecdote I hope you will consider.

    I read Wakefield’s original study in the late ’90′s and thought it very odd. I was surprised a few years later when I read about the strength the anti-vaccine movement had gathered based on his work: even my own cousin was very worried about vaccinating his newborn ( Fall 2001)- I told him, ” Don’t worry.”

    Now why would I do that? And possibly endanger a child of a terrific guy I have always *really* liked and who had waited so long for?

    Because I studied child development ( including neuro-development) and the study didn’t fit in with what I already knew… and it had 12 subjects… and it wasn’t replicated… and something else.

    My prof lectured about a highly respected psychologist who was found to have created data to show how intelligence was inherited. His fictional results had far-ranging consequences on educational policy for dis-advantaged kids: if IQ is largely genetic why sink money into schools for those who will never achieve anyway? But there weren’t similar results.

    He got caught because his numbers were too perfect- correlations were identical to 3 places ( which would be highly unlikely by chance). And he made up subjects and assistants as well as data. I sometimes wonder if Wakefield ( my contemporary) knew this and used the IQ study as a way to figure out how *not* to get caught ( his data didn’t line up perfectly- not 12 of 12, but 8; his so-authors were real people).

    To sum up: my suspicions were aroused *because* of what I had already knew. And it wasn’t just one thing. If there are studies that point against the consensus ( which is based on many contributions over decades) they will need to be replicated. We haven’t seen that on any of the major points usually relied upon by the anti-vaccine movement.

  131. #131 JohnV
    June 22, 2011

    I wish I could have pulled the Jen gambit when writing my dissertation. “Oh yeah, I have citations for all this stuff but I’m not giving them to you because you’ll look them up and complain.”

    No shit Jen, this is why we’re scientists and you get your medical advice from google and Dr. Jenny McCarthy.

  132. #132 Chris
    June 22, 2011

    Jen:

    I would not have persisted in the face of a lack of vaccinated VS unvaccinated studies (

    Why do you keep repeating this lie, even though you have been told multiple times that before the 1970s there were several vax vs. unvaxed studies? They were done on disabled children who were in institutions like Willowbrook.

    And they were done Africa and other developing countries. Look at this paper from the early 1960s. Now go to Table 1, and see what the third column is about. Now tell us how you would avoid what happens in the second row of that column.

    I have told you before to not bring up the “vaccinated versus unvaccinated” study unless you can show a design that would avoid what happens in the second row of Table 1 in that paper. Explain exactly how the unvaxed arm of the study would be protected. Otherwise, we would just figure you really hate children, or have a special love of eugenics.

  133. #133 Narad
    June 22, 2011

    This is, essentially, the group which has no medical exemption but *chooses* not to vaccinate, for their own personal reasons. I favor the “conscientious objector” term because it is more inclusive

    Unfortunately, it’s so inclusive as to encompass explicit free-riders, who are anything but conscientious.

  134. #134 Tsu Dho Nimh
    June 22, 2011

    @121 – She means she wants to see some researchers do a large prospective study of completely unvaccinated children compared to fully vaccinated children.

    You know, give 100% placebo vaccines to thousands of children and see what the rate of autism, allergies and the rest of the problems that vaccines supposedly cause is in that group compared to the rates in the fully vaccinated children’s group.

    Of course, if the researchers insist on including a comparison of the rates of illness, hospitalization, disability, and death from vaccine-preventable diseases, the anti-vaccine groups will cry foul.

  135. #135 Todd W.
    June 22, 2011

    @Tsu Dho Nimh

    She means she wants to see some researchers do a large prospective study of completely unvaccinated children compared to fully vaccinated children.

    You know, give 100% placebo vaccines to thousands of children and see what the rate of autism, allergies and the rest of the problems that vaccines supposedly cause is in that group compared to the rates in the fully vaccinated children’s group.

    Perhaps she should read the 4 posts I wrote on just that kind of study and why it cannot be done.

  136. #136 Narad
    June 22, 2011

    You know, give 100% placebo vaccines to thousands of children and see what the rate of autism, allergies and the rest of the problems that vaccines supposedly cause is in that group compared to the rates in the fully vaccinated children’s group.

    Don’t forget that you have to follow them for the course of a lifetime. Anything else would be hasty.

  137. #137 Krebiozen
    June 22, 2011

    @Tsu Dho Nimh

    She means she wants to see some researchers do a large prospective study of completely unvaccinated children compared to fully vaccinated children.

    I suppose she does, but she mentioned VAERS and suggested that only 10% of even serious adverse reactions are reported there. This implies that huge numbers of children are suffering serious adverse reactions to vaccines, and not only do we not know about them, we don’t care.

    I wanted to point out that’s not true. There have been many placebo controlled vaccine safety studies that find no increased risk of serious adverse reactions. Of course it is is impractical to conduct such studies of a sufficient size to detect very rare adverse reactions, and we have to rely on post marketing surveillance to pick these up. That, partly, is what VAERS is about, looking for rare adverse reactions that safety studies do not have the sensitivity to pick up.

  138. #138 Dangerous Bacon
    June 22, 2011

    There’s a good review of William Foege’s new book “House On Fire” (about the fight to eradicate smallpox) in today’s Wall St. Journal (and reviewed elsewhere here).

    The tale of this vaccination-centered effort is an inspiring one, at a time when we are getting close to eliminating polio and facing challenges keeping down other once-feared diseases, thanks in part to ignorance and fear.

    History’s lessons are cruel to the antivax movement, but so valuable for the rest of us.

  139. #139 lilady
    June 22, 2011

    @ Jen #119 “Why do you want the names? So you can complain to the dean about them because you don’t agree with what they’re doing?”

    We don’t need the names of the authors of studies you refer to because:

    a. We’ve probably read the studies and have already evaluated them for reliability.

    b. They may be excellent reliable studies, but you have cherry-picked or misinterpreted the results.

    How dare you accuse any of us (non-trolls) of a concerted effort to go after any researcher’s jobs at any university…those are the tactics of the gang at Age of Autism. Jacob Crosby, cub reporter/boy wonder at Age of Autism led the charge and the letter writing campaign at Orac’s place of employment…because “they didn’t like what he was doing.” They have also gone after the jobs of posters here because “they didn’t like what they were doing”. I think you owe us an apology for that outrageous libelous accusation.

  140. #140 Chemmomo
    June 22, 2011

    Jen,
    I will apologize for being snippy with you this morning; I am little short on sleep due to a preschooler with a fever, and I realize that I didn’t express myself well.

    But here’s the thing, Jen: You can’t just assert “there actually are quite a few researchers” without giving us more information. If there are so many of them, surely you (a) know some of their names or (b) can look them up and point them out to us. Again, knowing your style of posting I didn’t expect you to post a link. But I do want to see for myself what you’re talking about and I can’t do that unless you show me where to look. I’m not going to go on a wild goose chase trying to read your mind across the internet. And you’ve been posting here long enough that you know what’s expected of commenters. If you’d like to gain some credibility on the issues, you need to get more specific than you’ve been.

    As for the other issue that added to the anger I expressed in my earlier response: it’s your move.

  141. #141 Beamup
    June 22, 2011

    I have yet to be wrong when I assume that someone who refuses to provide citations they purportedly possess, is doing so because they’re lying through their teeth and in fact have none.

    Jen, feel free to prove me wrong in this case. But until you do, I will continue to believe that you’re just making stuff up.

  142. #142 Roadstergal
    June 22, 2011

    JohnV 127: I wish I could have pulled the Jen gambit when writing my dissertation.

    I could have had the six-month PhD. “This is true, and there are citations out there that say it is; you can go look them up. And some studies should really be done, but I can’t be arsed with biological rationale, experimental design, or actually doing them.”

    My old grade school doesn’t come up in the drop-down, either under Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Laboratoy School or its nickname, King Lab. But both my sister’s (ETHS) and my (Oak Park River Forest) high schools look pretty good. OPRFHS offered a lot of solid AP courses – it had good science (I tested out of a full college year of bio, physics, math, and english 101, bless).

  143. #143 lilady
    June 22, 2011

    (a bit off topic…but) I cannot resist “slumming” at Age of Autism.

    Jake Crosby cub reporter/boy wonder at Age of Autism has posted an article about Wakefield’s seminar at Brandeis University. He details in a rather long harangue, his inability to get any professor to engage in a “debate” with Wakefield. Notable is the comment offered up by “Eindekker” that got past Age of Autism’s “moderation” policy, detailing Wakefield’s (non-use) of PCR testing for reliable results.

    We had speculated on earlier postings that Age of Autism was decidedly backing off with their support of the Geiers…no they haven’t. They have a link to Dr. Geier’s recent article appearing in the Baltimore Sun:

    Autism Doctor: my therapy is unconventional but it works”

    I pose the rhetorical question…how dumb can they be to continue to support Wakefield and Geier?

  144. #144 TBruce
    June 22, 2011

    One of the researchers Jen is refusing to cite may be Christopher Shaw at UBC. He has recently started making a lot of noise about adjuvants in vaccines. He was also one of the organizers of the antivax Quackapalooza in Jamaica this January. Unfortunately, he is affiliated with my alma mater. Also unfortunately, he probably has tenure.

    Sorry, I can’t provide links, I can’t cut-and-paste in Netscape on my work terminal. Google will locate this stuff fairly easily.

  145. #145 DoctorDiva
    June 22, 2011

    To get back to the topic of the thread here, this is a really cool map and easy to use. I work in Chicagoland, so I will definitely use this in talking with parents and I’m going to link to it from my practice website.

  146. #146 Andrew
    June 22, 2011

    @JayK “If you can’t cite something, I have to assume you’re lying.”

    Actually, I think you’re _concluding_ (based on refusal to provide claimed evidence), not _assuming_.

    Nitpick complete.

  147. #147 Jen
    June 22, 2011

    David N. Andrews, you sound seriously scary. Chemmomo, after one of your buddies says, “unfortunately, he probably has tenure” (T. Bruce), I think that shows what some of you people might be up to. Lilady, same goes to you. Krebiozen, thanks for the link but as Tsu said, most of those studies compare the placebo to the full vaccine- it would be interesting to see adjuvant compared to no vaccines period. I believe in the HPV shots the women were only followed for 7 days post vacc, which I don’t feel is long enough. I do know a woman who had her right arm go numb for months after her H1N1 shot. She did see a neurologist and she told my friend that basically just don’t ever get one again. I didn’t get the feeling that he wanted to associate it with the vaccine, though (it happened the next day or two after) or enter it to the VAERS data equivalent in Canada. And by the way, Tsu, of course you would have to include illness, death and disability
    rates from vaccine preventable illnesses (whether the kids got them after being vaccinated or not).
    Calli, thanks for the cluster explanation. I still think the article by Trine seems purposely
    inflammatory since there probably a number of people who may have had vaccine reactions in the
    family-of course those are medical exemptions.

  148. #148 JayK
    June 22, 2011

    So Jen is a liar that has no actual research to back up her assumptions. Most likely that allows her her confirmation bias without any self-evaluation when it becomes clear that her only sources are other anti-vax liars like herself.

    @Jen: TBruce even gave you an easy way out of this lie, you twit.

  149. #149 Chris
    June 22, 2011

    TBruce:

    One of the researchers Jen is refusing to cite may be Christopher Shaw at UBC. He has recently started making a lot of noise about adjuvants in vaccines.

    This is one of his latest efforts:
    Curr Med Chem. 2011;18(17):2630-7.
    Aluminum Vaccine Adjuvants: Are they Safe?

    Now, check out the research group:
    Neural Dynamics Research Group, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia

    Yep, he is an ophthalmologist. One of the signs of quackery is a medical professional going outside his/her realm of expertise. Like a gastroenterologist and a geneticist researching vaccines and autism. Or an ear/nose/throat doctor who does IV chelation, sometimes with fatal results.

  150. #150 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 22, 2011

    wimpy-jan: “David N. Andrews, you sound seriously scary.”

    Does anyone else think I sound ‘seriously scary’, or is jen-poos just being a bloody wuss?

  151. #151 DW
    June 22, 2011

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

    Don’t think so- *at all*- but I suspect that we are f–cking related! ( less than third cousins)

  152. #152 lilady
    June 22, 2011

    Well we all tried folks, to help Jen get past her fixations and her anecdotal-family-lore-as-scientific fact. Alas, I feel that we are unsuccessful.

    Jen, you still think it is just fine to smear the posters here with your libelous remarks…what a nasty troll you are. Too bad you never developed a moral compass and ethics.

    @ Chris: I just love bloggers who are “financial planners” and self-styled “real estate investors” who are libertarians, advocating for “safe (green) vaccines, who have developed the theory of the vaccine-autism links and whose heroes are physicians who have lost their medical licenses or had licenses suspended.

    @ David N. Andrews: a bloody wuss.

  153. #153 Chris
    June 22, 2011

    lilady, there is also some guy who is trying to link taking a certain pain medication after vaccines to autism. Guess what he is? A dentist!

  154. #154 Chemmomo
    June 22, 2011

    Jen,
    Am I (Chemmomo) TBruce? Did I use the words “unfortunately, he probably has tenure”? Why on earth would you assume I’d be “up to” anything at all in the first place? And, more importantly, let’s consider this: had TBruce (not Chemmomo) posted his unfortunate (pun intended) comment (#145, June 22, 2011 4:02 PM) when you accused me of planning to harass researchers? Let me give you a hint: you did it in post #124 at June 22, 2011 10:29 AM. Last I checked, time still only goes in one direction.

    I feel sorry for you if the people you normally associate with display so little integrity that you assume the rest of us behave the same way.

  155. #155 TBruce
    June 22, 2011

    I said “unfortunately” because this bozo (Shaw) is on the faculty of the med school I graduated from. I said it was unfortunate that he probably had tenure, because he’s going to stink up the place for the foreseeable future. I just find it embarrassing that a faculty member can organize conferences with the like of Wakefield and Blaylock as featured speakers. Kind of like Harvard and Dr. Mack, the alien abductions guy.

    I have no plans to try to get him booted. I’ve got too much else to do.

  156. #156 lilady
    June 22, 2011

    @ Chris: Thanks for the link to the PubMed citation and Christopher Shaw; he’s not an opthamologist, but a professor of Opthamology and Visual Science at UBC. (BSc-UC-Irvine, MSc and Ph.D-University of Jerusalem)

    I clicked on his name at the top of the PubMed citation and wow he’s been a busy author…8 pages of citations. And, he’s “all over the lot” as authoring articles on autism, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)-eliciting higher antibody levels, breast cancer and every other specialty, sub specialty and sub-sub specialty in medicine and genetics.

    @ Jen: stop “projecting” what you would do or what you may have done to people “when you don’t like what they are doing”.

  157. #157 Jen
    June 22, 2011

    Sure, TBruce, and Chemmomo I do realize you are different people with different ethics.
    David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C. P. S. E.: whatever C. P. S. E. stands for I’m sure they’re really proud of the way you represent yourself and them.

  158. #158 Gray Falcon
    June 22, 2011

    Jen, all Andrews did was ask you to back up your claims, like anyone else.

  159. #159 Roadstergal
    June 22, 2011

    @159 Yea, but Jen takes reasonable requests like ‘support your statements’ as a personal attack.

    The reason she immediately took a statement of regret about someone with terrible ideas having tenure as an implied threat to try to have him booted, and the reason she took requests for naming sources for her statements to check their veracity as implied threats to try to have those sources booted? That’s pretty telling. It shows where her mind is.

    And a small and sad mind it is, spinning around and around in its confines, spitting out the talking points it’s taken in, never thinking, never processing, just regurgitating.

  160. #160 Jen in TX
    June 23, 2011

    From Chris @154:
    “lilady, there is also some guy who is trying to link taking a certain pain medication after vaccines to autism. Guess what he is? A dentist!”

    So what? Anyone can come up with a hypothesis-you don’t need any special credentials to generate an idea. Who knows? That “dentist” may just be on to something.

    Just a thought.

  161. #161 Gray Falcon
    June 23, 2011

    Not if the dentist only has speculation with no evidence, which is almost always the case. And if anyone here wanted to make implicit threats, we would be dropping names like “No-Neck” Vinnie and “Bigger than Medium-Size Jack but not as big than Big Jack” Jack.

  162. #162 Matthew Cline
    June 23, 2011

    “Bigger than Medium-Size Jack but not as big than Big Jack” Jack.

    Crivens!

  163. #163 lilady
    June 23, 2011

    Oh cripes, why did I ever give Jen/Jen in Tex information about aluminum salts and aluminum gels as adjuvants? Maybe I was hoping that she would stop posting/littering here whilst she did research on adjuvants for a week or more…till she “got the goods” on the dangers of aluminum. Of course, once she “got the goods”, she would start her many postings with..

    “It’s been proven…..”

    “It’s a well known fact…..”

    “My grandmother…..”

    Then we all would ask for citations, she would hem and haw, change the subject and then (perhaps) find a small unpublished study from forty years ago and call it a “citation”. When questioned about her citation, she would then state she has more recent research but she is protecting the scientists’ identities, lest we “put out a contract” to silence the scientists. Lively imagination our Jen/Jen in Tex has.

  164. #164 Chris
    June 23, 2011

    lilady, Jen and Jen in Tex are two separate people. Jen in Tex is okay, except for one bit on pain medication. Jen in Tex is also not happy about the treatment at Thoughtful House. Please give her a break, and do not mix her up with other “Jen.”

    The problem is still those who speculate outside their field of expertise. Unfortunately, I am saddened to say, there are too many engineers who fall into this category. Among them are Gary Goldman (computer science), Mary Lansky (computer science), Andy Cutler (chemical engineer)… and there are several more.

  165. #165 lilady
    June 23, 2011

    Thanks for the “heads up” about the two Jens. Jen in Tex, I apologize.

  166. #166 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 23, 2011

    Since we know that everything that follows another event in time is caused by that event, then obviously if anyone is exposed to aluminum, that will cause all the problems they will ever have. And since aluminum is only the third most common element on Earth, nobody could possibly be exposed to it except through vaccination. I’m convinced!

  167. #167 Ender
    June 23, 2011

    “The problem is still those who speculate outside their field of expertise… …Gary Goldman (computer science), Mary Lansky (computer science), Andy Cutler (chemical engineer)… and there are several more.”

    Yup. Richard Dawkins (biology), PZ Myers (biology), Coyne (biology?). It’s a sure sign of a quack.

  168. #168 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 23, 2011

    @DW-DL-etc: “Don’t think so- *at all*- but I suspect that we are f–cking related! (less than third cousins)”

    Heh – at least on some transpersonal level ;)
    We’re awesome :P

    @lilady: “a bloody wuss.”
    Yeh. I thought so.

    @GF: “Jen, all Andrews did was ask you to back up your claims, like anyone else.”
    Thank you :)

    @the-stupid-wikkle-fuck-wuss: “David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C. P. S. E.: whatever C. P. S. E. stands for I’m sure they’re really proud of the way you represent yourself and them.”
    Oh, I am proud of them. You have no qualification worthy of naming, it would seem. And I’m proud of how I represent them: as a no-nonsense person. You come in here, talking all manner of fucking bollocks and expect us to believe what you say – without giving us a scrap or a shred of proper bloody evidence to back up what you say. And that’s when you’re not being an insensitive twat, steam-rollering over the feelings of people who’ve had some serious misfortune in their lives… something you seem to do just to make yourself feel better about yourself without having to do anything serious – like, oh I dunno, doing some proper learning or even figuring out how to stop being a contemptible little shit (which – and I’m damn certain everyone here will agree with me on – is what you really fucking are).

    If you can’t handle being talked to like this, then you should get out of here and leave this blog the fuck alone. Because this is all you will get from me until you have done the following:

    1- learned to at least understand science;
    2- learned to be more sensitive to the feelings of others;
    3- learned to provide proper citations for the things you say (on matters relating to research);
    4- learned to shut the fuck up on issues in which you have no bloody expertise.

    Now, get the fuck out of here, and don’t let the metaphorical door smack yer arse on the way out. Have a nice day, now!

  169. #169 luna-the-cat
    June 23, 2011

    Just to correct this niggle…

    Jen states (#148)

    I believe in the HPV shots the women were only followed for 7 days post vacc

    Well, you believe wrong. Over 12,000 of the women out of the numerous trials of the HPV vacc were followed for 6 months+.

    ….Sorry about the post-and-run. Don’t have time to really engage.

  170. #170 Chris
    June 23, 2011

    Ender, aren’t both Myers and Dawkins professors of biology? Gasp! I’m not sure how that equates to a PhD in computer science running a rag called “Medical Veritas.” Or like Lansky, writing a book on how homeopathy cured her son of (diagnosed by her only) autism.

  171. #171 DW
    June 23, 2011

    @ Chris: I think that they are abtrusely hinting that biologists Myers and Dawkins are going beyond their ken by talking about *atheism*. I suspect they’d only accept the faithfuls’( or experts’ on religions) ideas about atheism. Oh well, leaves me out.

  172. #172 Ender
    June 23, 2011

    @Chris – yes professors of biology. Gasp! As I said in my comment. What about that confuses you?

    PhD in computer science : Magazine “Medical Veritas”
    PhD in biology : Book/Blog on religion.

    It’s like the parallel was incredibly obvious already.

    @DW – that wasn’t an ‘abstruse hint’ unless you’re incapable – it was a direct comparison. And it wasn’t about atheism, it was about religion i.e. not their area of expertise, as mentioned in Chris’ comment.

  173. #173 Ender
    June 23, 2011

    Or should Chris’ original comment be modified to:

    “The problem is still those who speculate outside their field of expertise… unless they agree with me, then it’s just great”

  174. #174 Ken
    June 23, 2011

    Chris: Now tell us how you [Jen] would avoid what happens in the second row of that column.

    Would she? You are talking to someone who wrote, I’m sorry but chicken pox, for the vast majority of kids, isn’t deadly! Empathy like that is normally found only in sociopaths and serial killers.

    There’s a thought, let me google…. It looks like very few of the serial killers on Wikipedia’s list ever killed seven or more people in a single year. So it’s actually safer to have one serial killer per 100,000 people than to let your kids catch chickenpox – or, as Jen might put it, Jeffrey Dahmer, for the vast majority of kids, wasn’t deadly!

  175. #175 Chris
    June 23, 2011

    Sorry, I generally ignore religion or atheism rants. They are kind of off topic.

  176. #176 Yojimbo
    June 23, 2011

    Um… Ender (@172) You’re comparing apples to aardvarks – the problem comes when making statements of fact outside your area of expertise. Anyone can have opinions about anything – claiming factual expertise outside your area is questionable.

    And, since it is not possible to make statements of fact about religion (at least beyone trivial ones like “there are x-number of followers of such-and-such faith”, or “Luke 2:1 says…”), it is all opinion and fair game to anyone. Science and medicine ain’t.

  177. #177 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 23, 2011

    The reason she immediately took a statement of regret about someone with terrible ideas having tenure as an implied threat to try to have him booted

    Except that even that scenario is still giving Jen too much credit. She didn’t jump to the conclusion she did based on insufficient evidence, she jumped to it based on no evidence, and then tried to pretend that the fact that a different person than the one she accused said something she was able to twist in her twisty mind retroactively provided evidence for her defamatory accusation.

  178. #178 JayK
    June 23, 2011

    Because there is biological evidence that supports the evolutionary origins of “belief”, Myers, Coyne and other biologists have the exact qualifications to discuss it. From the well documented and researched facts of altruism and pareidolia to group theories and even cognitive research, there is plenty of evidence that humans are just stuck with an evolutionary appendix called “religion”. Given that we are consciously aware of the evolutionary origins of belief, it is up to the scientists to keep on attempting to prove that religion is nothing more than a less-functional appendix that does nothing for the human race.

    Right Ender?

  179. #179 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 23, 2011

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I think digressing from the subject of vaccination to infighting over religion is a mistake.

  180. #180 JayK
    June 23, 2011

    @Anotaeus Feldspar:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I think digressing from the subject of vaccination to infighting over religion is a mistake.

    There was a serious concern about the credibility of those that produce hypothesis/theories/research. I think Ender actually had an interesting question, and while it probably was intended to distract from the vaccination debate, it was easily answerable and provides a good point/counterpoint example of why it is important for those doing research to have credible backgrounds. Dentistry, for instance, isn’t a scientific academic background. It lacks any sort of training in skepticism or empiricism, it is essentially a type of trade skill training that has developed because of scientific research. Same thing with many physicians, their studies lack the type of training and coursework that would demand investigation, research and skepticism to create a real scientist.

    So when Barbara Loe-ball Fisher or any of the other anti-vaccers attempt to use scientific methods, or when your local dentist attempts to disprove evolution by studying Ica Stones, then it is easy to ignore those sources and demand sources with at least a modicum of credibility.

  181. #181 Chris
    June 23, 2011

    Ender:

    “The problem is still those who speculate outside their field of expertise… unless they agree with me, then it’s just great”

    I personally don’t care. Bring them up when their actions match those of Andy “mercury is bad” Cutler and Roy “tie ‘em down” Kerry.

  182. #182 Chemmomo
    June 23, 2011

    Antaeus Feldspar @178: Thank you

  183. #183 Chemmomo
    June 23, 2011

    JayK @181,

    Dentistry, for instance, isn’t a scientific academic background. It lacks any sort of training in skepticism or empiricism, it is essentially a type of trade skill training that has developed because of scientific research.

    I don’t think your statement is entirely accurate: I’m pretty sure dentists have to take science classes. Maybe someone who actually knows what’s required for dental school can correct both of us.

    I can vouch for the fact that dental hygienists are required to take a fair amount of science, including biology and chemistry. While the chemistry class required isn’t the same level as for pre-meds, it’s still a lab class.

    I doubt that dental schools have easier requirements that the ones for the hygienists.

  184. #184 JayK
    June 23, 2011

    Scientific vs. Science, Chemmomo. Scientific backgrounds would insist upon courses that factored in a significant amount of research and critical thinking. Undergraduate courses typically lack those scientific basics, instead focusing on current knowledge and memorization. While chemistry/biology/physics require some derivation of advanced concepts and formula in a pyramid fashion, it isn’t exactly critical thought and most of it can be done in the same fashion as trade work.

    Advanced specialization in a discipline can also be done without the skills necessary for producing scientific research or reviews, although many schools and programs attempt to at least familiarize the students with the concepts. For instance, an engineer may spend time in the lab taking measurements and deriving statistical constants or validating theory, yet that is only using facial scientific techniques. There is little critical thought or development of intuitive hypothesis.

    Orac and many commenters here have made similar observations in the past, but I cast a bit wider net with my comment. I’ve been short of temper the last few days and my comments have probably reflected that mood, so if anyone found my comment offensive, it wasn’t really intended that way, but I can understand it. I just find myself with little patience for those that believe they have scientific backgrounds, because of their educational backgrounds, but are little more than a common short-order cook applying recipes to problems that are already well defined.

  185. #185 Chemmomo
    June 23, 2011

    JayK – no worries on the short temper; as you may have noticed I’m with you on that this week.

    I do agree with much of what you’ve said, but I think you are making a lot of assumptions here about what is or is not taught, both in introductory science courses and in dental programs. Then again, I may be making assumptions about what students retain from introductory science courses vs what we think was taught.

    And, interestingly, when I went to my dental appointment this week, my dentist and hygienist discussed a recently published paper they’d read on saliva pH, minerals, and cavities in light of what they were cleaning off my teeth (and no, I didn’t ask for a citation while they had instruments in my mouth).

  186. #186 Roadstergal
    June 23, 2011

    Then again, I may be making assumptions about what students retain from introductory science courses vs what we think was taught.

    I hear from so many people – “Science in college was so pointless. I just memorized a bunch of facts and forgot them after the exam.”

    So either they didn’t have good instructors, or they didn’t care to learn. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a bit of both. Bio 201/202 at my college was a great year of classes that you couldn’t pass if you were only regurgitating facts; for exam questions in most quarters, you had to design little experiments and draw conclusions from observations.

  187. #187 Jen
    June 23, 2011

    Antaeus and David N Andrews, M. Ed., C. P. S. E : just so we’re clear, by the time I responded to Chemmomo, no less than 3 people demanded me to “name names.” True, I didn’t like the vibe and didn’t feel like “naming names” and my hunch seemed kind of confirmed with TBruce’s later response ( however he wants to characterize his tenure comment). I obviously wasn’t specifically worried about Chemmomo but rather any/all of those demanding me to name names.
    David N. Andrews- you never did say what CPSE stands for, I suspect even you are embarrassed by your rage. Oh and BTW, no less than 3 of you referred to my grandmother’s GB as anecdotal or even “lore,”which strikes me as kind of ironic since our actual doctor stated the GB was as a result of the vaccine; so YOU fuck off, David N. Andrews and YOU “learn to be more sensitive to the feelings of others.” My God, come to think of it, I hope you aren’t in direct contact with people! Have a nice day yourself!

  188. #188 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 23, 2011

    I think we should be clear (with others and with ourselves) that we don’t reject ideas and research purely because of the credentials of the proponent. If we did, I believe we would have missed out on a few important observations by a physicist who was still a postal clerk when his hypotheses first came to attention.

    But just because we acknowledge that someone without formal qualifications could have gone about their work without making any significant errors, we don’t expect that to be the case, for the simple reason that errors are easy to make. That is in fact why the entire discipline of science exists, to deal with the myriad ways that errors can creep into our observations and perceptions. Expecting someone who hasn’t studied all the sources of error to successfully navigate past them all is like expecting an amateur batter to go up against a pro baseball team’s best pitcher and not get struck out. If there’s a place where that analogy is imperfect, it’s that the pitcher might choose to show mercy and go easy on the amateur; the amateur scientist cannot expect such mercy from impersonal, implacable Error.

  189. #189 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 23, 2011

    If we did, I believe we would have missed out on a few important observations by a physicist who was still a postal clerk when his hypotheses first came to attention.

    One tiny quibble—Patent Examiner. But otherwise true. It’s a cliché that physics now is different than in 1905—multibillion-dollar machines and all that. But it’s still conceivable that someone could make an earth-shattering theoretical contribution with just pencil and paper. In the life sciences, probably not. That kind of reverses the usual perception in people’s minds, but I think it’s generally true.

  190. #190 JayK
    June 23, 2011

    Actually, Antaeus Feldspar, given that the entry requirements into science are so demanding, how could a layman expose their theories to the world at large? Dentists/engineers/counselors all at least understand the trappings of science and publications and could at least brave the submittal process. Laymen with no qualifications would probably find it almost impossible to disperse their ideas without at least an organizational recommendation.

    A few areas where that might not quite be true would be paleontology, astronomy and possibly a few others. However, from what I know of areas like electrical engineering, one would have to spend thousands of dollars just for the entertainment of being turned down by an organization like the IEEE. Perhaps I’m wrong, but can you even find a post-2000 citation by someone without multiple letters behind their names?

  191. #191 Ender
    June 24, 2011

    @Yojimbo – which is why there where no statements of fact in Dawkins book? Sounds about right.
    More seriously, he does absolutely make statements of fact about religion, about what people believe, what the implications of those beliefs are, and on the probability of any God existing – all of these things are outside of his area of expertise – which fits Chris’ original complaint – and are statements of fact, so satisfy your new addition to the complaint.

    @JayK – so you’re saying that Dawkins et al have expertise on the biological origin of religious belief? And that there was only information about that in his book? Don’t talk silly bollocks. Special pleading will get you nowhere. He wrote outside his area of expertise, stop making excuses.

    @Chris – So you didn’t mean “The problem is still those who speculate outside their field of expertise” you meant “”The problem is still those who speculate outside their field of expertise… if it bothers me. Which Myers doesn’t”. Coolio. That’s some top notch thinking.

  192. #192 Chris
    June 24, 2011

    Ender, I still don’t care.

    Obviously you did not understand the point about Cutler’s and Kerry’s hand in the execution of a little boy whose only crime was that he was autistic.

  193. #193 Chris
    June 24, 2011

    I am only offended that Ender pretends to know what I am thinking. Yet he does not understand the difference between petty arguments and actions that have harmed and even killed children.

  194. #194 Venna
    June 24, 2011

    @Jen
    I haven’t read through all 194 posts so please forgive me if something I say has already been covered.

    You seem to believe, from what I’ve read, that nobody here could possibly understand your position because they don’t have children and so don’t really understand the risks or fears that come into play when your child is involved. For the record, I’m a mom, probably have more experience being a mom then you. I have six children.

    My first four were born prior to the chicken pox vaccine being required or part of the normal childhood vaccine schedule. My fifth and sixth children have received it. My older four all had chicken pox naturally. My oldest didn’t get much of a rash and she didn’t infect the younger children when she had it. She got it from a little boy in her kindergarten class. She had four or five spots, but had a fever over 104 for an entire week, couldn’t eat and couldn’t get out of bed. I had to carry her to the bathroom to bathe and toilet to make sure she didn’t fall and get hurt.

    The next three all caught it at the same time. This was about two years later when my second was in kindergarten and he caught it from a child in his class also. He woke up one morning covered in spots and had a slight fever. His rash was mild compared to what his younger brothers got. The youngest at the time (forth born) was just 9 months old and was so miserable he was crying all the time, when normally he didn’t cry at all. My third child got the rash spots in his ears which eventually became infected and he had to start taking antibiotics because he had several spots that wouldn’t clear up on their own and were beginning to ooze. He was only three and didn’t understand that scratching and picking would make them worse and he was always a picker. He would “take his owies off” (scabs from scratches and scrapes) when he was a year and a half and give them to me. Kind of gross but there you are.

    When my fifth came along, I had no objection to having her get the chicken pox vaccine. I had seen what it can do and I didn’t want to put her through it, nor did I want to have to watch her suffer either. My sixth, he wasn’t vaccinated when he was an infant but he is fully vaccinated now. He has autism and sensory integration issues. Can you imagine a child with sensory issues having a case of chicken pox? I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. What my children suffered through was mild compared to what I’ve heard others have suffered through. But I still wouldn’t want to force anyone to suffer through something unnecessarily.

    Perhaps, before you bad mouth something you have clearly read all the propaganda about from one camp, learn the other side of the story also. There is a reason a vaccine is developed. It isn’t done on a whim.

  195. #195 Chris
    June 25, 2011

    Venna:

    The youngest at the time (forth born) was just 9 months old and was so miserable he was crying all the time, when normally he didn’t cry at all.

    Oh, wow! I feel for you. My daughter was sleeping through the night at six months old when she got chicken pox. It is just horrible when they are in pain and there is really nothing you can do other than oatmeal baths and calomine lotion, and they really don’t help that much.

    Oh, so sorry about the pox in ears. And, I must say: ewww!

  196. #196 lilady
    June 25, 2011

    Some pretty awful stories about chicken pox. I don’t know how my son avoided contracting varicella for many years, but he caught it at age 19…just a few years before the vaccine became available.

    We spotted a few telltale marks starting to blister, called the doctor for a prescription and immediately started him on Acyclovir, which is specifically formulated to lessen the severity and shorten the time of acute herpes viruses illnesses. It worked quite well; he had many poxes but they dried quickly and the itching was minimal.

    Now a great, highly effective vaccine is available so that children are protected from the more serious aspects of the disease.

  197. #197 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 25, 2011

    DW: “My prof lectured about a highly respected psychologist who was found to have created data to show how intelligence was inherited. His fictional results had far-ranging consequences on educational policy for dis-advantaged kids: if IQ is largely genetic why sink money into schools for those who will never achieve anyway? But there weren’t similar results.”

    Indeed. I know about this crazy bastard (Cyril Burt, founder of educational psychology in Britain). He was a graduate of Oxford, having studied philosophy and psychology there and got a teaching diploma too. Whilst at Oxford, he was under the tutelage of one William McDonald … who espoused eugenics and had some very unusual views on things… his viewpoint on acquisition of characteristics was very Lamarckian. And this he passed on to Burt.

    “He got caught because his numbers were too perfect- correlations were identical to 3 places ( which would be highly unlikely by chance). And he made up subjects and assistants as well as data. I sometimes wonder if Wakefield ( my contemporary) knew this and used the IQ study as a way to figure out how *not* to get caught ( his data didn’t line up perfectly- not 12 of 12, but 8; his so-authors were real people).”

    Agreed. And one has to wonder if Wankfield didn’t indeed use that study for that purpose. Wouldn’t put it past him, really.

    I grew up in ‘Burt’s Britain’ – psychologically speaking. His ideas were everywhere. The IQ issue, and the schooling system it spawned with the 11-plus examination (which I passed) and grammar schools (which – from experience – I can say are a waste of money and time).

    Burt’s work did very little to make life easier for a kid like me, who had social, communication and specific academic difficulties at school. If anything, they made it worse. I know that there’s a great deal that he did that was actually very good for the most part; but this issue of falsifying one’s results and then using those results to affect public policy … that’s a serious deal-breaker.

  198. #198 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 25, 2011

    McDonald -> McDougall! Oops … lunchtime and food is on my mind!

  199. #199 Denice Walter
    June 25, 2011

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

    Fraudsters show that if you make up fictions it’s advantageous that they align with relatively common prejudices – thus, you’ll guarantee having defenders as Burt did with Eysenck and Jensen over decades and be able to recruit additions like Fletcher and Joynson.

    Sir Cyril’s “results” appealed to those who held more rigid beliefs about the under-pinnings of social-economic class, bringing in racial prejudices as well. His work’s effects travelled far beyond the UK, probably affecting educational policy by conservative policy-makers to this day.

    Wakefield’s defenders are a different lot: the mistrust of the establishment plays an important role. He also was canny enough to see how parents distraught by their children’s ills might be needing someone to blame- and pharmaceutical corporations and doctors’ associations make lovely targets. I’m sure his supporters will be around for a while.

    Burt and Wakefield as “men of their own times” reflect common beliefs of their respective eras: maintaining the status quo vs questioning authority. Having fixed stars of central beliefs is useful if you want to accumulate followers but not if you endeavor to navigate reality ( which, btw, is a b-tch).

  200. #200 Ender
    June 25, 2011

    @Chris – You reply a lot for someone who doesn’t care. I get your point, it’s clear you don’t get mine.

    @Chris – I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I can see what you’ve written, it’s still there, up above, and it still says what it says. Sure the consequences were different, but the error remains the same, exceeding your area of expertise.

  201. #201 Th1Th2
    June 25, 2011

    From what I remember reading, the chickenpox vaccine can end up causing shingles, but less often than the wild type virus, and of a lesser severity.

    Well, it should if not there’s always a shingles vaccine for you shingles-loving people. Nasty.

    How fortunate are the unvaccinated

  202. #202 lilady
    June 25, 2011

    @ Ender: Obviously you haven’t read the link that Chris provided about the youngster who died from Chelation as “treatment for autism”. You “surely” understand don’t you that:

    Chelation is indicated ONLY for heavy metal (arsenic, lead, mercury) toxicity and occasionally for iron overload for persons who have specific blood disorders.

    Chelation has been used by Alternative Medicine practitioners for such bogus diagnoses as “chronic” Lyme disease and by DAN doctors to treat autism. At a minimum, chelation used by the scamming doctors only remove cash from the pockets of their patients; very often the patient “pays” the ultimate price…death…which is what happened to this little boy.

    The DAN doctor used the wrong chelation agent (for the wrong diagnosis) on the little boy.

    The DAN doctor directed an untrained and unqualified person to administer the wrong chelation agent via IV Push.

    The wrong chelation agent and the “IV pushed bolus dose” by an untrained and unqualified person is what stopped this little boy’s heart and killed him. Of course the DAN doctor didn’t mean to kill him, but the little boy is dead…a victim of this DAN doctor.

    BTW, DAN doctors are still in business, providing unproven, often downright dangerous “treatments” for innocent little kids who have autism.

  203. #203 Agashem
    June 25, 2011

    Can’t let id1-id2 have the last word. And to Jen, thanks for once again proving why i was glad my autistic daughter didn’t have you as an educational assistant.

  204. #204 lilady
    June 25, 2011

    @ Agasham: Thingy is an uneducated nasty troll. He/she/it is totally clueless about disease, vaccine preventable diseases, immunology, epidemiology of diseases and even junior high or high school basic biology or chemistry.

    I hardly ever engaged Thingy because it is an exercise in futility. Others engage Thingy and have fun with the troll, because of the crazy postings elicited by the Thing.

  205. #205 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 25, 2011

    You know, I’m not happy with P.Z. Myers et al. treating my religion as a symptom of sloppy and disordered thinking, a useless holdover from primitive protohominid mentality.

    But if I wanted to discuss it, I’d go to some other blog where it’s on-topic.

  206. #206 Chris
    June 25, 2011

    Ender, your petty differences are still off topic. You played strawman by rephrasing my comments. That is idiotic and silly.

    Personally the petty stuff with those biologists bore me. I am so indifferent to them that I really don’t plan on going to Dr. Dawson’s talk at TAM 9. Though I will go see Dr. Myers’ talk on aliens, because that is a much cooler subject (I attended to a fascinating talk he gave on eyes).

    How you managed to equate engineers and medical doctors going way outside their field of expertise that endangers children to a petty argument is beyond the pale. If you have anything to say about vaccines, the return of killer diseases, quackery that endangers children and medical misconduct, please share. Otherwise take your silly argument somewhere else, because it is boring, stupid, silly, petty and completely off topic.

    lidady:

    The DAN doctor used the wrong chelation agent (for the wrong diagnosis) on the little boy.

    Actually it was not the “wrong” chelation agent, that was an excuse used after the fact. Kerry only ever stocked that form of EDTA. That is what their little toxicology club put into their pseudo-journals.

    Also, Kerry is not the only culprit. It also includes Andy Cutler, Phd in chemical engineering, who helped create this hysteria over mercury, starting with dental fillings (where Boyd Haley also started). Then he branched out with a “Mercury-Autism” yahoo group, the little boy’s mother joined that, and it convinced her son was toxic.

    Another way the Mercury Malicia tried to make excuses was to claim the little boy had lead poisoning. Well, if that was true he would have been treated by the NHS in the UK, where they lived. He would not have been sent overseas for his eventual execution for the unspeakable crime of autism.

    I shouldn’t forget the guys with business degrees who try to play scientist. The only papers Jen can come up with that criticize the large epidemiological studies are written by folks like Blaxill and Handley. Neither of whom have probably taken any science past the one they needed in college, and no math beyond basic business calculus (which is the mathematical equivalent to the “Rocks for Jocks” geology class).

  207. #207 lilady
    June 25, 2011

    @ Chris: I read the Disciplinary action against Dr. Kerry and the review of Dr. Kerry’s notes on the patient and the doctor’s medical notes clearly stated that the child had autism and in addition had a “high aluminum” level in his body…”possibly” to give the DAN doctor “cover” for treating the boy for aluminum toxicity…not autism.

    The child was treated with Endrate a chelating agent ONLY indicated for emergency treatment (in a hospital setting) for dangerous hypercalcemic states or digitalis toxicity…never as a chelating agent for heavy metal toxicity.

    There is another chelating agent (a combination of Endrate with added calcium) that is used for heavy metal (lead, mercury, arsenic) toxicity and this was not used by Dr. Kerry, according to the Disciplinary Action against Dr. Kerry that I located on the Quackwatch website.

    Use of Endrate, outside of a hospital setting, for the wrong reason will result in hypocalcemic states…which probably caused the child’s heart to go into dangerous arrhythmia and then cardiac arrest.

    Yes Chris, this criminally negligent doctor who caused the child’s painful, unnecessary death received a “slap on the wrist”…he is still practicing as a DAN doctor.

    Ender, your postings make no sense and add nothing to the discussion of vaccines and the junk science behind the anti-vax movement.

  208. #208 Chris
    June 25, 2011

    lilady:

    There is another chelating agent (a combination of Endrate with added calcium)

    I know. Except Kerry never used it, nor did he ever have it in stock. Do a search of this blog and its predecessor on the discussions of why he only used the one without calcium.

  209. #209 lilady
    June 25, 2011

    @ Chris: So…we are in agreement then…that he never had the Endrate with calcium in stock?

    The little guy NEVER had a chance to survive the chelation and (might have) had a chance to survive if the doctor used Endrate with Calcium. I view this as a further indictment of the doctor’s gross incompetence in addition to his obvious medical negligence that doomed the child to a painful death.

    When you undergo kidney dialysis or donate blood platelets, you may have a loss of electrolytes, including calcium. The apheresis procedure for platelet donation is a rather prolonged procedure (3 hours) where veins in both arms (antecubital area) are accessed for drawing off the donor’s blood and for returning donor’s blood after it is centrifuged. An anti-clotting agent is added, which may bind up the calcium in the blood returned to the donor. Donors are intently monitored by physicians and nurses for early signs of calcium depletion (mild tetany) marked by tingling of fingers and face…chewable calcium tablets are giving to patients to avoid hypocalcemia. (Been there, done that and chomped on many of these calcium tablets.)

  210. #210 lilady
    June 25, 2011

    ATTENTION: This is important guys. I have just posted…got it through moderation too…on a website for a local newspaper that is very influential on Long Island, New York.

    It seems that Anne Dachel, spokesperson for Age of Autism is posting repeatedly on behalf of the rag. Well, lilady has thrown down the gauntlet, named names, called them out for their yellow journalism and provided a lot of “push back” to Dachel and her fellow travelers.

    I need some help here guys…please look at the article and consider posting; site is available at:

    A Look Inside the Immunization Dilemma-Long Island Press

    P.S. I also “plugged” Science Based Medicine

  211. #211 Ender
    June 25, 2011

    @lilady – I understand all about Chelation. What does that have to do with people speaking outside their area of expertise? Except that it was a result of that one particular example.

    @Antaeus – You’re worried about the tail end of a days old post staying on topic?

    @Chris – “Ender, your petty differences are still off topic. You played strawman by rephrasing my comments. That is idiotic and silly.

    It’s not a strawman – it was my own comment, not a description of your position. I just noted that the same could be said for them. You don’t like the comparison, even though it’s apt, so you’re bringing up all sorts of unrelated complaints that don’t change a thing.

    “How you managed to equate…”

    This is your own opinion, and an actual strawman. I said nothing about the two situations being equivalent, I just noted that they also venture outside their area of expertise. And that’s a bad thing.

    This seems to be the root of your misunderstanding. You’re getting all worked up about how much worse the results were, – which would make sense, if I was saying they had led to equivalent results as you seem to believe. But I didn’t.

    @lilady “Ender, your postings make no sense and add nothing to the discussion of vaccines and the junk science behind the anti-vax movement.”

    If you think my comments make no sense you’re either being hyerbolic or are too stupid to post.
    If you can see the note asking people to only discuss vaccines and junk science then you have a point; otherwise you’re just reaching for reasons why pointing out an entirely correct similarity is somehow “wrong”, though the similarity clearly exists.

  212. #212 Chris
    June 25, 2011

    Ender, get a clue and stop troll type behavior.

  213. #213 lilady
    June 25, 2011

    Ender: Huh??? your comments still do not make any sense and they are very distracting and totally off-point for the subject of this particular blog about vaccinations.

    Take Chris’ good advice, shape up, stay on point…or deal with the label of “troll”.

  214. #214 Gillion
    June 26, 2011

    are you getting better now? Pei Pa Koa (http://www.geocities.jp/ninjiom_hong_kong/index_e.htm ) is one of the few Chinese untreated cough remedies that have been scientifically studied. it’s something like herb plus honey, and it’s sweet, thick and black in color. If you have a cough, look for it! It used to be one of my favourite untreated cough remedies.
    if your cough persists, seek professional help such as traditional Chinese medicine physicians – I have had very excellent experiences with them.

  215. #215 adelady
    June 26, 2011

    “How fortunate are the unvaccinated”

    And how unfortunate the poor overworked spouse (me) caring for the not quite 50 year old unvaccinated sufferer of chicken pox. Contracted from our unvaccinated children (this was 20ish years ago) who contracted it at a holiday camp.

    The misery the poor man went through – blisters inside ears, mouth, nose as well as piled up like boils on all visible skin surfaces – was awful. Delirious with fever for a couple of hours during a couple of nights, I only just avoided calling an ambulance. And that was only because I was already in the habit of night-long icepacks, sponge baths and all the rest of it from dealing with the children. His previously smooth, fine, unmarked skin still carries the scars.

    And all because neither he nor the children (nor any of their friends) were vaccinated.

  216. #216 Venna
    June 26, 2011

    @ lilady #211
    I read the article. Is it wrong that I had to take a moment before I could even think about commenting? It really made me angry, the innuendos were ridiculous. Anyway, I did comment, currently awaiting moderation. It’s long, which seems to be the only way I can do anything unfortunately so probably most people won’t even read it. I had a lot to say and I’m not sure how to make a condensed version of it, hehe. Anyway, I got your back!

  217. #217 lilady
    June 26, 2011

    @ Venna: Yes, I read it and thanks for your support…so that it isn’t Anne Dachel and Age of Autism all over again. They were commenting at Age of Autism how they could make inroads with this article in NYS. My 2nd posting stayed in moderation for hours…At 1 AM I sent them a “bitch” note, “why am I in “moderation” since 7 PM…is it only Dachel’s forum, etc.” I checked past 2 AM still being “moderated” and then this AM, I am posted and I saw your superb posting.

    It’s nice to have a professional perspective (public health nurse) and even nicer to have your’s as a mom of an unvaccinated child who showed early signs of autism and of course your experiences with Age of Autism were PRICELESS!!

    Anyone else want to join the fray?

  218. #218 Denice Walter
    June 26, 2011

    @ lilady: I commented as “DW”- I tried to appeal to reason-wonder what I’ll be called? I have a few guesses.

    As people who have studied medicine, education, or psychology, we have to remember that our perspective is based on reviewing data- over years- while most of the opposition doesn’t have that training: they view their own children emotionally through their own exhaustion and disappointment. It’s really hard to bridge that divide.

    How can we discuss the horrible so-called studies they quote as if they were Holy Writ? They are acceptable to them because they don’t understand how research is done and because they fulfill their expectations regardless of the authors’ inexpertise.

    Our task may appear insurmountable because we’ll never convince the most vocal adamant believers *but* the slient fence-sitters can compare and contrast the arguments. We have a good shot.

  219. #219 lilady
    June 26, 2011

    @ Denice Walter: I JUST KNEW “DW” WAS YOUR POSTING! BRAVA!

    Well we all did a commendable job. I take pride that I’m now labeled by one of Dachel’s trolls as practicing Western Medicine!! They cannot tag me with being in on the conspiracy and not knowing my science. Venna’s posting as the mom of a child with autism was a gem…no conspiracy there, either.

    There are some more great postings from others on the site so it is not all one-sided.

    I am debating if I should post a 3rd time….hmmm….oh yeah, I’ve made up my mind. I am going to visit “my other son” at his group home shortly, but I’m going back to the site this afternoon.

  220. #220 novalox
    June 26, 2011

    @lilady

    I just love all the innuendo and insults that the trolls at the website have thrown at you. Seems to me that you have struck a nerve with some of them.

  221. #221 Venna
    June 26, 2011

    @lilady

    You go girl! I can’t post or read anymore, it’s just too irritating (to be mild) frustrating, aggravating? I’m not sure which one is appropriate. The comments are RIDDLED with inaccuracies and nonsense that is taken at face value and assumed correct and factual. I could rip each comment apart, but I don’t have the time or the energy necessary to do it. It really irks me these people that believe fairy tales spun into ‘fact’ without even researching. They just spew what the anti-vax websites have told them and then claim they know what they are talking about. Grr!

  222. #222 Chemmomo
    June 26, 2011

    @Venna, Lilady, and DW re Long Island Press – Brava all of you! I’m not sure what disturbs me more – the article itself, or the fact that so many commenters are calling it “balanced.”

  223. #223 lilady
    June 26, 2011

    So, how about it…novalox and Chemmomo…you can’t let the three “girls” do all the heavy lifting on that site. Just a short posting will do lots to counteract Dachel’s trolls. J.B. must be having a fit.

    (hint) You might want to mention RI or Science Based Medicine sites, or the web pages on Casewatch for the actual Medical Board opinions for Dr. Roy Kerry for the chelation death of a five year old…or the more recent Mark Geier-Maryland Licensing Board suspension for chemically castrating kids with autism.

    Thanks for the compliments…they mean a lot coming from you guys.

  224. #224 Politicalguineapig
    June 26, 2011

    Cath: thanks for the info, but I won’t be able to use the vax. I’m nowhere near fifty, despite my old fashioned real-life name.

  225. #225 Venna
    June 26, 2011

    Twyla = the definition of a broken record. Everywhere she posts she always says the same thing, posts the same info, web links etc. Nothing she says is new. And even when you rip her ‘information’ to shreds, she continued to spread it ass if it’s gospel. She’s one of those who has tried to tell me my son must be vaccine injured otherwise he wouldn’t have autism.

    I find it really odd that lilady has been attacked personally, but nobody has said anything to me. I’m feeling a little left out now, LOL!

  226. #226 augustine
    June 26, 2011

    Ender,

    In the end, the science based medicine bloggers eat their own. I told you, “you were at the bottom of the heirarchy”.

    Venna, you’re on shaky ground. When you swim with piranhas you risk getting eatin’ in the frenzy yourself. You’re sloppy. Better make sure you don’t bleed.

  227. #227 novalox
    June 26, 2011

    @lilady

    Sorry I couldn’t get to your post today. Busy today. I did put up a post on the site you mentioned, but given the difficulties in moderation there, I don’t know if it will get out of moderation.

    @Venna

    I noticed that noone on that post had actually said anything against you, perhaps because of your experiences there, and they cannot say anything against you because of it.

    But it looks like you got the attention of the resident hypocrite “christian” troll here.

  228. #228 Chemmomo
    June 26, 2011

    lilady, I’ve thought about commenting (for over 24 hrs now), but the article itself make me incoherently angry. Plus I now live on the opposite side of the county. But the “incoherent” part of my anger is the bigger part of the problem.

  229. #229 augustine
    June 26, 2011

    Verra

    I find it really odd that lilady has been attacked personally, but nobody has said anything to me. I’m feeling a little left out now, LOL!

    You are not on intellectual par with the other science blog regulars. They are only coddling you for now. Your non vaccinating vs. vaccinating story makes you an asset for them in an anecdotal way. Although your logical (un)awareness is overlooked by them for now,you’re still safe. It’s hypocritical of them, I know but it’s just a matter of time. You can say some stupid things (which you have) but they won’t attack/abandon you until it becomes indefensible of there stance. No matter how much science, logic, and skepticism you don’t know just say, “I love vaccines and anyone who opposes the mandatory use of all cdc recommended vaccines is evil” and you can “right the ship” no matter how ignorant you are.

    Even crazy ass David N.Andrews A.B.C.D.L.M.O.P. can do that.

    There! Does that make you feel better and not so left out?

  230. #230 Gray Falcon
    June 26, 2011

    Augustine, do you believe your words are appropriate for a mature adult?

  231. #231 augustine
    June 26, 2011

    Gray Falcon

    Augustine, do you believe your words are appropriate for a mature adult?

    Have you not seen the video of ZDoggMDrap? Does that seem like a mature adult doctor to you?

  232. #232 Gray Falcon
    June 26, 2011

    Augustine, do you believe your behavior is appropriate for an adult?

  233. #233 Venna
    June 26, 2011

    Augie, you’re only spouting out of jealousy. But I’m curious, what exactly have I said that’s stupid? Just humor me for a moment because you have let loose with some pretty moronic statements yourself, therefore what on Earth do you view as stupid?

  234. #234 lilady
    June 26, 2011

    Gee, just when we were missing the Ugh Troll it shows up again.

    In your absence Troll, we had some secrets votes:

    Which new intelligent poster do we want to welcome into our elite crowd?

    Results: Venna won (not “Verra”)

    Which long-term ignorant Ugh Troll do we want to throw off the island?

    Results: Augie won

  235. #235 augustine
    June 26, 2011

    you have let loose with some pretty moronic statements yourself

    Feel free to discourse. I am sad to say that you’ll be lacking.

  236. #236 augustine
    June 26, 2011

    In your absence Troll, we had some secrets votes:

    Oh, Lil old nurse lady from 1960, they never taught you about argumentum ad consentium did they?

    Since you’ve found a little virtual bond with some other little friends in the name of science, logic, skepticism, and anti-religion tell me something. What did they teach you in 1960 about sexual reassignment surgery? If one is sexually unambiguous, can they be trapped in the wrong body and need science based medicine to “reassign” them?

    Can one also be trapped in the wrong body and actually be a werewolf or kitty cat inside? What does your pink book say about it?

    Your liberal rocket scientist (not a medical doctor) friend is having a hard time with this science based charge.

  237. #237 JohnV
    June 26, 2011

    Whenever augustine attempts to throw around logical fallacies I laugh so hard I nearly shit my pants.

    Also, opposing vaccines is only evil (as opposed to stupid and ignorant) if you’re like Sid Offit or Dr. Gordon who either directly or indirectly link their use to allowing undesirables the chance to live.

    Even the death worshipping malthusians like Jen aren’t evil. Oh wait, maybe that is evil, too.

    Ok so evil = eugenics or death worshipping malthusian, while stupid = the rest of you.

  238. #238 augustine
    June 26, 2011

    John V, is Venna logically sound? You may want to rethink that.

  239. #239 Chemmomo
    June 26, 2011

    augustine,

    you have let loose with some pretty moronic statements yourself

    Feel free to discourse. I am sad to say that you’ll be lacking.

    How about:

    You are not on intellectual par with the other science blog regulars.

    In my book, that’s a moronic statement. Maybe, on the other hand, it’s a pathetic attempt at an insult. Wait a mintute: that’s still “moronic.”

    I only had to go 6 posts back. Feel free to discourse. Whatever it is that you mean by that.

  240. #240 augustine
    June 26, 2011

    No answer, chemomom. Exactly.

  241. #241 Chemmomo
    June 26, 2011

    augustine, so by stating

    No answer, chemomom. Exactly.

    you’re admitting your insult to Venna is “moronic”?

  242. #242 augustine
    June 26, 2011

    Gray Falcon

    Augustine, do you believe your words are appropriate for a mature adult?

    Augustine has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent’s posterior about his miscellaneous verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few will.

  243. #243 Chemmomo
    June 26, 2011

    augustine, dude – that’s plagiarism.

  244. #244 Venna
    June 26, 2011

    Augie,

    For starters, your total lack of the ability to spell simple words just screams moron. Also you seem to have a very low level of reading comprehension and try to say someone said one thing when they really said something entirely different. Any time someone posts a statement you aren’t able to argue against (which is quite often actually) you result to defamation of character in a very crude sense, resorting to junior high antics in a moronic attempt, I can only assume, to make them cry. Sorry, but most of us have grown up and beyond the rules of play ground engagement. No more of this “my dad can beat up your dad stuff” you’re on your own. You have been weighed, you have been measured and you have been found wanting. Welcome to adulthood, may God have mercy on your soul!

  245. #245 liady
    June 27, 2011

    Damn, I had a hard time posting for the third time on that site…my old laptop is in the computer hospital…and this newer notepad is a bit more difficult to manage.

    Three-quarter of the way through my posting (it happened five or six times) the posting went pfft. I enlisted the help of hubby who is a (relative) genius compared to my computer skills and he showed me how to type the posting in a word document then cut and paste. Yup…it’s on the site awaiting “moderation”

    I hope it gets through moderation as I so want to be prominently mentioned on the Dachel-J.B. “Fecal Roster”.

  246. #246 augustine
    June 27, 2011

    Chemomom

    augustine, dude – that’s plagiarism.

    Let me fix that for you, chemical lover.

    Augustine, like ORAC,”has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent’s posterior about his miscellaneous verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few will.”

  247. #247 augustine
    June 27, 2011

    Welcome to adulthood, may God have mercy on your soul!

    There is no god here, verra. Just ask around.

  248. #248 Venna
    June 27, 2011

    @augie

    The name is veNNa, not veRRa. Are you doing that are purpose in some insane and moronic attempt to be funny? This is obviously not the place to discuss religion or spirituality, just as this isn’t the place to discuss politics. Therefore, in this particular sense, you are correct, there is no god here, and there shouldn’t be. We aren’t talking about faith, we are talking about science and medicine which are based on fact, not faith. Therefore, nothing wrong with that.

  249. #249 lilady
    June 27, 2011

    Ugh Troll, upset that the secret ballot you won, demonstrates how utterly boring you’ve become? Tough..

    Let me state it in other words. I may be a senior citizen, but I have an education, I am a licensed clinician and in my dotage you would have to die and be re-incarnated to ever get to my level of intelligence.

    I worked damned hard to support my (non-imaginary)children and to educate my daughter and to provide for a leisurely retirement. Tell us about your un-immunized imaginary children, your imaginary sex life…as if, your education and your gainful employment. Also tell us about the many times you left your crypt and helped a fellow human being…or does your dole money not allow for that.

    We are so anxious to hear from you about God and the bible…but you have “conveniently” forgotten the passages about charity and kindness. I bet your pastor and fellow parishioners have banned you from the church…too much of a sanctimonious hypocritical Christian.

    Crawl back to your crypt now….you’re boring us.

  250. #250 Chemmomo
    June 27, 2011

    augustine

    Let me fix that for you, chemical lover

    Try living without them.

  251. #251 novalox
    June 27, 2011

    @Chemmomo

    Obviously, augie hasn’t had much of a science education, based on that statement and many others moronic statements of his.

    @lilady

    That’s augie “christian” love showing.

  252. #252 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 27, 2011

    Augie farted: “Even crazy ass David N.Andrews A.B.C.D.L.M.O.P. can do that.”

    Let’s give lil’ augie some qualifications, eh? Let’s say this:

    Augustinus Imbecilis BFA, MFN, DipShit.

    Just so this non-educated waste of what should have been a good wank doesn’t feel so left out amongst those of us who actually have proper qualifications. You know… those of us who actually went through our schooling and our university education. Because we all know that augie’s parents were to mean/stupid/high-as-kites to send him to a proper school to learn things that any reasonable person would get to know.

    Gray Falcon: “Augustine, do you believe your words are appropriate for a mature adult?”

    Gray Falcon: “Augustine, do you believe your words are appropriate for an adult?”

    Two questions that augie cannot possibly answer since he has no clue what is or isn’t appropriate for anybody.

    Augustine: “Augustine has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent’s posterior about his miscellaneous verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few will.”

    Chemmomo: “augustine, dude – that’s plagiarism.”

    Not just that, Chemmomo It’s also pretty strong evidence that augie cannot think something cool up for himself!

    Venna: “The name is veNNa, not veRRa. Are you doing that are purpose in some insane and moronic attempt to be funny?”

    I wouldn’t worry, Venna. He’s doing that for one reason and one reason only… he is, in Monty Python parlance, ‘an annoying little tit’. We’ve tried to explain to him, in many ways, that he’s in with the bog boys and girls here and has neither the verbal skills nor the cognitive skills he needs to be able to hold his own here. Of course, we throw him the occasional bone, but really we just laughat him until he gets too stupid and then we slap the wee knob-head down.

    Novalox: “Obviously, augie hasn’t had much of a science education, based on that statement and many others moronic statements of his.”

    Actually, he hasn’t had any sort of education, really. He’s ‘home-schooled’ (i. e., kept at home so he couldn’t mix with anybody else and thereby become influenced by the satanic world that surronded his crack-pot family home; as opposed to home-schooled, meaning given a high quality education in his home surroundings by parents who wanted him to learn about things being taught in schools in a more relaxed manner, and with more opportunity for honing any rational debating skills that might be developed). In a way, I kinda pity this poor moron, since he’s a product of his parents’ collective stupidity and irresponsibility. But – well – he has a choice as to how he behaves, and whether he decides to learn from people who know and understand far more than he does, eiks niin? So, maybe just a wee bit of pity (it being a rather nasty emotion, based largely on schadenfreude and little on actual caring). And a lot of scorn. And example of his scientific understanding: “When you swim with piranhas you risk getting eatin’ in the frenzy yourself.”

    No clue about actual piranha feeding behaviour! Piranhas only occasionally attack humans, and even then mostly in places where fish are gutted and the entrails are disposed of into the water.

    “Feel free to discourse.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, people, but isn’t ‘discourse’ a noun and not a verb? Wouldn’t we usually say, for example, ‘feel free to engage in discourse’?* Surely an educated person would know that discourse is ‘engaged in’ and not just ‘done’.

    But, no. Augie’s no educated person at all.

    lilady: “Tell us about your un-immunized imaginary children, your imaginary sex life…as if, your imaginary education and your imaginary gainful employment.”

    FTFY. YW ;)

    Imaginary sex life? Wow… that has to be one of the best I’ve seen levied against this world champion masturbator! You just brought a grin to my face! Maybe that could be a second master’s ‘degree’ for him: M. Bate.

    I have things to do now. If augie gets out of hand, feel free to skelp his airse.

    * Or is that word going the same way as nouns like ‘access’ because pillocks like augie are trying to use nouns as intransitive verbs?

  253. #253 Ender
    June 27, 2011

    @Chris – Yes “to Troll” often described as “To be right when Chris disagrees with you, and refusing to pretend Chris isn’t wrong” – it’s a well known internet thing.

    @Lilady – Gasp! Lilady has labelled me? Not the label Troll? Whatever will I do? – If you think that the blog has an official topic and I am varying it then why not try and find that rule somewhere? – If being right about something, and then pointing out logically how I’m right while other people come up with irrelevant reasons why even if right I shouldn’t be right here counts as trolling, sign me right up. Idiot.

  254. #254 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 27, 2011

    imbecile alert @254.

    Could be that stoner idiot; can’t see it being augie. He’s not clever enough to come up with even that pathetic post.

  255. #255 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 27, 2011

    254: @David:

    Did they fat pillock you again?

    How annoying for your fat and your brain.

    Posted by: Intransitive Verb Police | June 27, 2011 4:06 AM

    QFT. AAF.

    Interesting, though.

    There is the noun ‘pillock’, and there is indeed a verb ‘to pillock’ … at least, as far as certain colloquial grammars in the north of England and the south of Scotland take it. But ‘fat pillocking’ as a verb doesn’t actually exist. Which shows our intrepid, but very stupid, Intransitive Verb Police ‘Officer’ to be somewhat below par in thinking skills. Maybe too much weed and not enough of anything useful.

  256. #256 Sharon Astyk
    June 27, 2011

    I have a very low tolerance for reading the comments here ;-), but let me just add my experience to Venna’s, since I agree, the assumption that none of us are parents is obnoxious and stupid as hell. All my kids are vaccinated for CP, because when I was in high school, I lost a friend to CP. We were in our late teens and (long before the vaccine) he teased his much-younger sister about getting chicken pox – everyone thought he’d had it. Then, when he first got it, I teased him about getting a “baby” disease. Three days later he was hospitalized with pneumonia and two after that, he’d died – he had complicating health factors including asthma, but it was the chicken pox that killed him.

    My oldest son has autism – but he also had CP (before he was of age to get the vaccine), contracted from a friend. He never had the CP vaccine, or thimerosol-containing vaccines – and he showed symptoms of autism from birth. My other kids sure as hell got the CP vaccine and the rest of them – and are not autistic. Sure, this is anecdotal, but because I’m not an idiot, I can see the statistical benefits as well.

    Sharon

  257. #257 lilady
    June 27, 2011

    Well, after sending another “bitch” note to the Long Island Press, my posting is on the site. I covered the two cases (Dr. Kerry killing an autistic child during chelation and Dr. Geier’s chemical castration of children with autism).

    I also discussed “anecdotal” stories that I was accused of using, in great detail being that a public health clinician who refers people to reliable websites and discusses experiences garnered in public health is not providing “anecdotal” stories.

    Some “real” anecdotal information about me was provided as well as my credentials of having a very disabled child and advocating for him and others similarly situated stands in stark contrast to the whiners and complainers at AofA.

    “WhiteandNerdy” has joined the fray and sliced and diced the agenda of Dachel and her handlers at AofA…very effectively I might add.

  258. #258 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 27, 2011

    Isn’t it funny how Augie tries to dictate standards of conduct for others that he won’t even try to follow himself?  In a thread where J. B. Handley was being called an idiot (for proposing the bizarre conspiracy theory that “Sullivan” was Bonnie Offit) Augie claimed to believe that if you said anything insulting about anyone who had ever made any claims, anywhere, it was automatically an “ad hominem” argument aiming to discredit those claims by attacking the person.

    But obviously Augie doesn’t believe in that standard of conduct when it comes to his behavior!  I guess it shows what Augie really thinks of his anti-science stance:  He knows it can’t be defended in fair debate, so he tries never to let a debate stay fair.

  259. #259 Ender
    June 27, 2011

    “I also discussed “anecdotal” stories that I was accused of using, in great detail being that a public health clinician who refers people to reliable websites and discusses experiences garnered in public health is not providing “anecdotal” stories.”

    Of course they are. If it’s “experiences garnered in public health” then those experiences are anecdotes, the data is anecdata and any stories of individuals you tell will always be anecdotal. Words have definitions, you can’t just redefine them because you don’t think “anecdotal” is important enough description of your useful anecdata.

    Anecdotal =/= Wrong though.
    It’s just one the weakest forms of evidence, and can often point the way for more formal and rigorous research.

  260. #260 augustine
    June 27, 2011

    @augie

    The name is veNNa, not veRRa.

    @Verra

    The name is Augustine, not AugIE.

  261. #261 Gray Falcon
    June 27, 2011

    Augustine, if you’re not going to behave like an adult on this thread, please don’t expect to be treated like one.

  262. #262 lilady
    June 27, 2011

    @ Ender: I stand in awe of your word usage…no doubt acquired from visiting anti-vax sites and your trolling activities. From the Urban Dictionary:

    Anecdata: The use of multiple points of anecdotal data to confirm any stipulation, often used to “prove” pseudo-science claims of illnesses and treatments.

    (Example provided) Jenny McCarthy uses anecdata gathered from dozens of accounts to support her pseudo-science treatment for childhood autism.

    Anecdata is never acceptable in science-based medicine. The use of examples of decreasing rates of invasive HIB disease following licensing of a vaccine and the example of infant deaths due to pertussis disease is not anecdotal or anecdata, when a clinician/specialist in epidemiology who actually investigated the said cases, posts on a website.

  263. #263 Ender
    June 27, 2011

    @lilady – Why would I visit antivax websites? I don’t hang around in hives of scum and villainy that ban you for speaking the truth.

    p.s. Trolling is a deliberately inflammatory activity comparable to ‘winding people up’. If I was winding you up it would be a lot more amusing for me. As it is this is rather dull when you’re simply wrong and in were in our previous discussion reaching for irrelevant reasons because it was clear I was correct in my comparison.

    But truth matters, so I soldier on.

    Anecdata is absolutely accepted in medicine – what do you think Case reports are? (It ain’t SBM though). Check your hierarchy of evidence.

    ‘Decreasing rates of invasive HIB’ is not an anecdote and therefore not anecdotal whether it comes from a clinician or a plumber.

    All “experiences gathered in public health” are anecdotes though, and are anecdotal evidence. All “data gathered in public health” is of course data.

    Your repeated appeal to authority makes no difference. (Nice try though, it does sound all official and important. You are obviously a person that matters more than laypeople and hoi-polloi)
    Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal even if it comes from the most senior clinician/specialist in epidemiology in the world! Even if he gathered all the anecdotal evidence himself. Similarly actual data is actual data whether presented by a brickie or a streetsweeper.

  264. #264 Anton P. Nym
    June 27, 2011

    It is acceptable to illustrate the impact or meaning of the data via anecdote. (When dealing with the general public, this is even desirable as a way to personalise the matter.) However anecdotes shouldn’t be the data.

    As long as the differences are kept clear I don’t have a problem with anecdotes. It’s when they become anecdata that I take issue.

    — Steve

  265. #265 Chris
    June 27, 2011

    Ender:

    @Chris – Yes “to Troll” often described as “To be right when Chris disagrees with you, and refusing to pretend Chris isn’t wrong” – it’s a well known internet thing.

    Strawman.

    . Trolling is a deliberately inflammatory activity comparable to ‘winding people up’.

    Which is exactly what you did. Not stop playing your little game by bringing up a petty arguments surrounding a pair of opinionated biology professors. The changing of subject was classic troll type behavior, as is changing the wordings of my comments.

  266. #266 Composer99
    June 27, 2011

    But obviously Augie doesn’t believe in that standard of conduct when it comes to his behavior! I guess it shows what Augie really thinks of his anti-science stance: He knows it can’t be defended in fair debate, so he tries never to let a debate stay fair.

    QFT

  267. #267 augustine
    June 27, 2011

    Chemomom

    Try living without them.

    I do.

  268. #268 Venna
    June 27, 2011

    So it’s official! Augustine doesn’t breathe, bathe or eat. I gotta ask this question of him… What is your opinion of the use of dihydrogen monoxide?

  269. #269 augustine
    June 27, 2011

    VeNNa

    I gotta ask this question of him… What is your opinion of the use of dihydrogen monoxide?

    Is that Merck’s new FDA approved patented inhaler compound? I have no opinion. It is what it is. Why don’t you inhale it and then I’ll look at the data.

  270. #270 Chris
    June 27, 2011

    Dihyrdrogen Monoxide

    Yes, it is quite handy for colds and croup, it is also a very effective solvent. Remember we are laughing at you, not with you.

  271. #271 augustine
    June 27, 2011

    Chris

    Remember we are laughing at you, not with you.

    See, VeNNA, they are already turning on you. Laughing. You should tell them you were just trying to be witty with me.

  272. #272 Chris
    June 27, 2011

    And you can also get little bottles of dihydrogen monoxide with some sodium chloride mixed in as a nasal spray.

  273. #273 Chris
    June 27, 2011

    Little Augie, we are laughing at the person who does not know about dihydrogen monoxide. You. You are hysterically funny.

  274. #274 augustine
    June 27, 2011

    Little Augie, we are laughing at the person who does not know about dihydrogen monoxide. You.

    No I’m smirking at your amusement. Perhaps you would like to inhale it also. Make sure it coats the lungs thoroughly. 8 -8oz glasses is recommended.

  275. #275 Chris
    June 27, 2011

    It works better as steam from the shower or an open window during a rain storm. You really are an idiot, and I believe there are no chemicals nor electrical activity in the space between your ears. Especially with your pointless backtracking trying to forget the “Merck” statement.

    It is because of your silly idiocies that I don’t use a killfile.

  276. #276 augustine
    June 27, 2011

    Chris

    Especially with your pointless backtracking trying to forget the “Merck” statement.

    Your pretty thick in social skills for a rocket scientist pretending to be a medical expert. If you didn’t take yourself so seriously you could see that it was a joke.
    Some things science just can’t teach you.

  277. #277 Gray Falcon
    June 27, 2011

    If it was a joke, augustine, it wasn’t a funny one. If you didn’t know what “chemical” means, then it’s a pretty safe bet you wouldn’t know what “dihydrogen monoxide” means.

  278. #278 Venna
    June 27, 2011

    Augustine

    You said previously that you live without chemicals, and yet chemicals are what we are made up of, do most of what we do that is required to keep us alive and really chemicals are everywhere and you can’t get away from them, nor can you live without them so your statement was, once again, an example of how moronic you are. Everything that happens in your body is a chemical reaction. By saying you live without chemicals, you are showing just how much of a fool you really are. There is this thing that people like to do before they talk sometimes, it’s called thinking. You might want to try it from time to time. The results will amaze you!

  279. #279 lilady
    June 27, 2011

    Venna: Don’t even reply to the troll…once he’s be nailed as the all-time-ignorant-playacting-masquerading-as an intellectual goofus troll. Brava Venna for nailing him from the get-go.

    I’m so glad you won our secret ballot for newbie intelligent poster invited to join our elite group!

  280. #280 Venna
    June 27, 2011

    Aww, thanks lilady! I wasn’t replying really, just having a bit of sport with him. You know, similar to a cat playing with a ball of string. Although in this situation that might be slightly insulting to the string.

  281. #281 lilady
    June 27, 2011

    Don’t feel so bad that the anti-vax crowd at the Long Island Press website on the vaccine controversy hasn’t personally attacked you. This afternoon I got the blame for your “offense” of posting about the shoddy nasty treatment you received when you posted of Age of Autism. So…I naturally responded…and got a few more licks in about nasty remarks made to parents of children with autism.

    It took 6 hours for this posting to pass “moderation”…it just went up on the Long Island Press web page.

    There are a few more posters giving the Age of Autism their just desserts…I’m so enjoying it.

    Dachel wrote on the rag’s website that this was a golden opportunity to score “points”/get exposure with the readership of an influential local newspaper. I think I’ll send Dachel a gracious “thank you note” for alerting me to the article…after all she wanted people to post about the vaccine-autism link…and I did so and I provided Age of Autism with “exposure”.

  282. #282 Venna
    June 28, 2011

    Oh, I don’t feel bad. I guess they feel it would be ‘bad form’ to attack/insult someone who has a son with autism and has already been attacked by other autism parents from the anti-vax camp for simply not believing the same way they do. It’s easier to just ignore me and pretend I don’t exist. There will come a time, in short order I believe, when these anti-vax people will be silenced. Not that they won’t continue to scream and shout that they are correct in their assumptions, but that scientific fact will speak so loudly and clearly against their position that they will finally be seen as the crazy bunch of woo-ists they have always been. Research is so close to finding the real cure, and when they do find it, the anti-vaxers will be laughed at. It’s started already and they can feel it. These are the last desperate flailings of the drowning victim.

  283. Politicalguineapig: don’t worry, the risk of shingles before 50 is relatively low. And according to wiki the risk is reduced if you eat your fruit. An apple a day keeps the herpes zoster away.

    Re chemical-free: Enjoy – http://fnochemicalfree.tumblr.com/

  284. #284 Genna
    June 29, 2011

    I am a long time reader but first time poster. I fear I have been sucked into the vortex of stupid created by such posters as Jen and augie and I will soon regret this.

    @Jen
    Firstly, those above are correct in saying there are studies of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children but further to Todd W. above who I am sure has dealt with this previously, there is absolutely no way that a study doing this now would be able to be designed. Why? you ask because simply it is UNETHICAL.

    A study like that would never get through but in the hypothetical chance there was one running the safety officer would cease it so quickly you would not even be able to complain. The benefit of vaccines is so great it would be unethical to continue any trial like this as deny the placebo group the vaccination.

    As for adjuvant trials. To change the adjuvant they would need to develop a whole new trial vaccine. Considering that the adjuvants are already proven to not cause harm at those amounts, no one would be wasting their time or money. Let me tell you, designing and manufacturing drugs is not just a case of chucking ingredients together and mixing.

  285. #285 Venna
    June 29, 2011

    Hopefully it isn’t ‘unethical’ for me to post this here, but facebook can only take me so far (since I don’t actually know a lot of people to begin with) and it hasn’t reached far enough to make a difference. Orac, if you feel this is inappropriate please feel free to moderate it out of posting, I have no complaints in that since this is your blog after all…

    My son and I are participating in the Oregon Walk Now For Autism Speaks walk in August. We have a team and need donations and team members to help with fund raising efforts. the web site is:
    http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/oregon
    and our team name is Igoenitchu (what my son says to let me know he wants to play, particularly he wants me to chase him. It’s how he says I’m gonna get you.) The funds raised will go toward funding autism research to find a cause and better treatments. Even if you can’t join us on walk day, you can still join the team and help raise funds and awareness. Since every little bit helps and since so many people are affected by autism, we need every little bit we can get. Thanks and I hope this doesn’t offend anyone and if it does, feel free to ignore it ;D.

  286. #286 lilady
    June 29, 2011

    Hi Venna: Yes, I want to donate specifically for your team…but dumb me doesn’t know how. I went to the site, located your “team”…but don’t see how I can do it with a credit card on the site.

    Can you provide us with the address of the Oregon Autism Speaks chapter so I will send a check…notating on the check that I am sponsoring team Igoenitchu

    Go Team Igoenitchu!!!

  287. #287 Venna
    June 30, 2011

    @lilady

    I’m glad you found the team at least. I think in order to be able to get to the donation page, you need to click on my name after selecting the team. It’s on the right hand side of the page. I didn’t want to give my real name here, but my initials are LL if that helps at all. There are only two people currently on my team, me and my sister and she has raised $25 (I’ve not been able to raise any yet, but there’s still time.) If you wish to send a check, there is a link to print out a form to mail in and it will be pre-filled with my team’s and my personal walker information. But just in case you still aren’t able to find it, here’s the mailing address:
    Autism Speaks, 5455 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 2250,
    Los Angeles, CA. 90036-4272
    My Supporter ID# is: 329976164
    The Event ID# is: 469772
    It also asked for my name, hmm. Try this link (it’s long, sorry)
    http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=469772&lis=1&kntae469772=5C7450DD2E384501A55A1DB7F4CAFDA5&supId=329976164#

    That should take you to the donation page and if you wish to mail in your donation, there is a link to print out a donation form there too. I hope this makes it through the spam filters. Thank you so much for trying though!

  288. #288 lilady
    June 30, 2011

    Hi Venna and Good Morning: Sorry for the mix-up about the donation…the check has been sent. My fault really…I’m a real dodo when it comes to computer stuff…Chris can verify!!

    I sent the check and also enclosed a note for you for forwarding by Autism Speaks.

    Viktor looks like a sweet child, full of enthusiasm…and don’t they keep you young.

    I’m delighted that you are involved in Autism Speaks as I think you will have the opportunity to me other parents with children on the Spectrum…face to face…and very welcoming.

    I’ll be away for a 2 week vacation July 1-13th and I’ll be missing RI…so keep on posting. Go Team Igoenitchu !!!

    Affectionately, lilady

  289. #289 lilady
    June 30, 2011

    @ Genna: You raise some excellent points about adjuvants (aluminum) in vaccines. I suppose if the “anti-vaxers”, “vaccines caused my child’s autism” and the (latest) “we’re not against vaccines…we want them safer…or greener” cranks had their way, we should discard all vaccines that have aluminum adjuvants.

    Wanna play vaccine trivia? How many years have vaccines contained aluminum adjuvants?

    Find the answer here:

    NNii: Aluminum Adjuvants in Vaccines

    Under “Safety of Aluminum” Aluminum has been used safely as adjuvants in vaccines for more than 75 years.”

  290. #290 Venna
    June 30, 2011

    @ lilady

    I hope your vacation is fun and enjoyable! Thank you for sending in your donation, hopefully it gets counted for my team, but even if it isn’t, it’s still going toward real research and that’s what mattes.

    Viktor is a handful at times but very sweet and fun and full of love. He’s learning to spontaneously say I love you (I nuv e-you, as he pronounces it) which makes my heart leap and my eyes fill with tears every time I hear it. I don’t always have the energy necessary for keeping up with him. Hopefully I’ll be able to find a PCP soon (welfare medical coverage has its limitations unfortunately) and can go and get my knees checked and figure out what’s wrong with them, possibly have my blood sugar levels taken because diabetes runs in my family and I worry about it developing in me as I’ve already been shows to be insulin resistant. Basically see if there’s anything that can be done to help with my waning energy so I can keep up with Viktor better. Anyway, I need to go because Viktor wants me to build him a house with his blocks now.

  291. #291 Politicalguineapig
    June 30, 2011

    Cath: The funny thing is that I do eat a lot of fruit, and the suspected shingles thingie struck while I was still munching on fresh apples from October. Then again, my family is kind of a lightning rod for weird diseases.

  292. #292 lilady
    June 30, 2011

    @Politicalguineapig: Ah…to be “no where near fifty…once again…(sigh). Right you are about incidence of shingles being much higher beyond age 50. Just in case any “eldsters” are here, the “Shingles Vaccine” is recommended for ages 60 and above…and of course there is a VIS-Shingles Vaccine available on the web.

    I mentioned in a prior post (here?) that my son got chicken pox at age 19…we were able to lessen the attack, shorten the time of the disease and decrease itching by starting him on Acyclovir (brand name Zovirax) which is specifically targeted for any herpes outbreak. Information on Acyclovir is available at:

    PubMed Health Acyclovir

    Yes, when I worked at the health department we used to call “Shingles…the ‘gift’ that keeps on giving”.

  293. #293 Politicalguineapig
    July 11, 2011

    Lilady: Yeah, I got started on an anti-viral and steroid mix immediately after my diagnosis, which was a day after I first noticed the palsy. They worked wonders- I started noticing a difference after a week on them, and by two weeks things were fairly normal. (Except for the sound and cold sensitivity.) I’m still kinda worried about having another outbreak, but at least I won’t freak out as badly as I did the first time. Shingles ain’t fun, especially when it’s in the nerves.

    I’m glad your son’s all right; chicken pox can be very dangerous for a nineteen year old.

    I really don’t get all the people who won’t vaccinate or prefer alternative medicine. The parents who aren’t vaccinating are my age or a bit older. Didn’t they have parents who told them about suffering through the mumps or measles? And if they view an autistic child as ‘damaged,*’ how would they deal with a deaf or blind child?**

    *Not a view I subscribe to, thus the quote marks. I’m definitely not neurologically normal, and I know a lot of awesome people on the spectrum.And Venna, I’d donate if I had the money.

    **I do not view deafness or blindness as a bad thing either. But I think it’d be fairly traumatic for a child to lose their hearing or sight due to measles or mumps. And given the way the anti-vax parents present themselves on the ‘net, I find it hard to believe that they could provide any comfort to a suddenly disabled child.

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