Respectful Insolence

Over the years that I’ve been following the anti-vaccine movement, I’ve become familiar with typical narratives that reporters use when reporting on the vaccine fears stirred up by anti-vaccine activists. One narrative is the “brave maverick doctor” narrative, in which an iconoclastic quack (such as Mark Geier or Andrew Wakefield, for example) is portrayed fighting a lonely battle against the scientific orthodoxy. This particular narrative is extremely popular because it feeds into the story of the “underdog,” coupled with a healthy disrespect of the powers that be, particularly the government and big pharma, both of which are very popular themes. Such stories can range from being completely credulous, chock full of testimonials praising the brave maverick doctor as being the only one who knows how to cure cure or treat autism and/or actually cares about patients with the condition, to a bit more skeptical, as in, “look at this quirky character with his quirky ideas.” Frequently underlying such narratives is a subtle (or not-so-subtle) implication that can be summed up as a question, “What if this guy is right?”

Another type of story about the anti-vaccine movement begins with an activist stating his or her objections to vaccination, followed by whatever narrative the reporter wants to impose on the story. Sometimes it’s supportive of the activist; sometimes not so much. Sometimes it’s even what could be called a debunking of the activist’s pseudoscientific claims. The problem with even this latter narrative structure, however, is that it puts the claims of the anti-vaccine activist front and center in such a way that they tend to be more memorable than the refutation of the nonsense being spewed. Such were my thoughts when I came across this article in the L.A. Times over the weekend entitled Medical community confronts vaccine fears, which begins:

No matter how many times the medical community reassures parents that vaccines are safe and necessary to prevent life-threatening diseases, some people remain unconvinced.

“I believe that herd immunity is a complete myth,” says J.B. Handley, co-founder of an autism advocacy organization called Generation Rescue that is critical of the way vaccinations are carried out in the U.S. “It’s a tactic used to scare the public.”

OK, I’ll give the reporter, Amanda Mascarelli, credit for this opening. Basically, she sets the stage by letting Mr. Handley’s words speak for themselves and reveal him to be a complete crank when it comes to vaccines. Think of it this way: Here he is, denying that a well-established scientific principle behind vaccines, namely herd immunity, is a myth. Let’s put it this way. On the one side, we have immunologists, infectious disease specialists, bacteriologists, virologists, pediatricians, epidemiologists, and a variety of scientists who have studied vaccines and infectious disease telling us that herd immunity occurs and depends on a high level of vaccination. On the other side, we have Mr. Handley, who may have expertise in finance but has no discernable expertise in the relevant sciences undergirding vaccines–or the science of autism, for that matter–claiming that herd immunity is a myth. Who’s more likely to be right? Hmmmm. Let me think about that…

I’ve thought long enough. Handley’s a crank.

As an aside, I will note that these days herd immunity tends to be more often called something like the “herd effect” or “herd protection,” because, after all, the concept behind herd protection is that the unimmunized are indirectly protected by a high level of vaccination in the population because high levels of vaccination make the spread of disease more difficult between even the unimmunized. In other words, the unimmunized are not “immune” to the disease, but they are protected, because the natural reservoir for the infectious agent being vaccinated against is much smaller. Whatever nomenclature one decides to use, though, herd protection contributed to the eradication of smallpox and is critical to the success of several other vaccines in greatly decreasing the prevalence of the diseases against which they protect, as reviewed here. Points to remember are that the herd effect is real and that it can be measured. Handley has no clue what he’s talking about–as usual.

Next, Handley employs the shopworn gambit I like to call, “we’re not ‘anti-vaccine'; we’re just ‘concerned’ about the vaccine schedule”:

Handley, a father of three in Portland, Ore., has an 8-year-old son with autism. He believes that the cocktail of immunizations his son received when he was 13 months old is to blame

“Do I think a vaccine appointment was a trigger for his decline into autism? Yeah, with every fiber of my being I do,” he says. “And I’ve met several thousand parents who feel exactly the same way.”

Handley insists that his organization, led by actress-turned-activist Jenny McCarthy, isn’t opposed to vaccines altogether but believes they shouldn’t be given until children turn 2 years old and their immune systems are mature enough to handle them.

This is nonsense on so at least four levels. First, it’s nonsense from a scientific standpoint; there’s no compelling evidence that “too many too soon” is a valid complaint against the current vaccine schedule, and the current vaccine schedule contains far fewer antigens than it did 25 years ago, thanks to the use of antigens produced by recombinant DNA technology replacing older, whole cell lysate-based vaccines. Second, there is no compelling evidence that vaccines cause autism, and a lot of evidence that they don’t. There’s not even good evidence that vaccination is correlated with autism. Mr. Handley continues to base his anti-vaccine activism on a common cognitive error to which human beings are incredibly prone, confusing correlation with causation. Third, delaying vaccines until two years of age would leave babies unprotected from diseases that don’t have the politeness to wait until a baby is two to strike, such as pertussis. Indeed, in the case of pertussis, delaying vaccination until after age two is probably almost as bad as not vaccinating at all, given that the infants between the ages of 1 and 2 are most susceptible. Even with our current schedule, babies too young to be vaccinated can die of pertussis. In other words, balancing the risks and benefits of delaying the vaccine schedule, the risks include illness and death from disease in unprotected infants, and the benefits include nothing discernable by science.

Finally, I don’t for a minute believe Handley and other anti-vaccine activists when they oh-so-self-righteously and oh-so-woundedly claim that they “aren’t anti-vaccine.” I believe that they either delude themselves into believing they aren’t anti-vaccine or make the claim as a useful strategic aim, given that admitting to being anti-vaccine would lead public health officials to stop being so obsequious in dealing with them. Which it is in Handley’s case, I don’t know.

Of note, Handley also refers to a study published last year in Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis in which infant Macaque monkeys were injected with vaccines mimicking the vaccine schedule in the U.S. from 1994-1999) and reported that the brains of the vaccinated monkeys appeared “less mature” than the control group. Of course, this is the infamous “monkey business” study that I’ve written about at least three times, most recently about a year ago. Click the link for the details, but the CliffsNotes version is that this study was poorly designed, underpowered, poorly analyzed, and highly unethical to the point of being a horrific abuse of primates.

Not that that matters to Handley or his merry band of anti-vaccine activists. To them, it’s all about the vaccines. It’s always been about the vaccines, even when it was about the thimerosal in vaccines.

The rest of the article is a fairly standard reassurance of the public that vaccines are safe, pointing to the the exhaustive science on vaccine safety and, of course, the dangers of delaying vaccines:

But researchers have affirmed the safety of the U.S. vaccine schedule in numerous studies, including a 2002 review article in the journal Pediatrics, a 2010 study in Pediatrics and in many clinical trials in children, says Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“Why would you delay vaccines?” Offit says. “You have diseases like pneumococcus, whooping cough, Hib and chickenpox which can severely, and fatally, infect young children. Why would you ever take the chance?”

The article concludes on a hopeful note, stating that anecdotally pediatricians are reporting less resistance to vaccination than a year ago. I certainly hope that’s true, and if it’s true it’s definitely a good thing.

Still, it bothers me that even this article falls into the classic journalistic trope of “tell both sides,” in which on the one side we have a bunch of doctors and scientists citing research and clinical data, and on the other side we have a complete crank, with the two being presented as though their viewpoints had equal validity and as if there were a real scientific debate rather than a manufactured controversy. I think Dara O’Briain put it best:

Yeah, I’ll use any excuse to post that clip.

Comments

  1. #1 mercurianferret
    August 8, 2011

    Whenever I hear arguments that amount to “tell both sides”, I am tempted to say that if we really want to be consistent, we need to include the following as valid:

    * Principles of NAMBLA when discussing child sexual abuse.
    * Statements from rapists when discussing rape.
    * The writings of Josef Mengele when discussing human experimentation.

    and

    * The practical use of Russian Roulette when learning about probability. (I will, of course, let them take the first five tries.)

    Obviously, there are many things that cannot be very well argued as having “two sided” within a moral and scientific scope.

  2. #2 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    As a father of two, I can tell you that it does come down to reading the available literature, speaking with our doctor, and understanding both the benefits and the risks.

    There is a ton of information out there, plus parents should develop the kind of relationship with their pediatrician where they are comfortable asking questions and understanding the best course of action, to make the best decisions possible for their children.

    And overwhelmingly, the actual facts and evidence are on the side of vaccinating.

    Again, the woo-loons can’t have it both ways – either big Pharma is against prevention (since it costs more to treat diseases then to prevent them), which makes the push for vaccines not make sense, or they are pushing vaccines for profit, which again, doesn’t make sense given the margins on vaccines (prevention) vs. treatments…..so which is it?

  3. #3 Skeptico
    August 8, 2011

    Here we go again.

    Handley is quoted as saying:

    “Do I think a vaccine appointment was a trigger for his decline into autism? Yeah, with every fiber of my being I do,” he says. “And I’ve met several thousand parents who feel exactly the same way.”

    But on his Age of Autism blog just over a year ago he also wrote

    It is exceptionally rare that I hear the story, “my son was 100% fine, and at 2 years old after one vaccine appointment he lost everything.” I have heard that story, but very rarely.

    It’s exceptionally rare but he’s met several thousand parents who say it happened to them.

  4. #4 MikeMa
    August 8, 2011

    Love the OBriain clip. JB belongs in the fawkin sack.

    It is some good news that vaccination resistance is dropping. The Wakefield effect is lessening maybe.

  5. #5 Mu
    August 8, 2011

    I’ve met several thousand parents who feel exactly the same way.
    That statement might actually be true, but not saying much other than “there are more loonies than just me”. We have 4 M birth each year in the US, leading to 72 M over the last 18 years. That means we have about 36 M families with kids, of which about 360,000 have a kid with autism (assuming 1%, ignoring possible “multi-ASD” families). So if Handley met 3,600 of them, that only 1% that supports his craziness, even in the affected community.

  6. #6 Paul Browne
    August 8, 2011

    Great post Orac, and thank’s for the Dara O’Briain link, a classic that I’d not seen before.

    What I’m wondering is what motivated this LA Times story. There certainly doesn’t appear to be anything new or newsworthy in it. Perhaps the journalist who wrote it – Amanda Leigh Mascarelli http://www.amandamascarelli.com/Amanda_Mascarelli/home.html – who seems fairly sensible from the quick look I’ve had at ther website, would be interested in responding.

  7. #7 Krebiozen
    August 8, 2011

    “I believe that herd immunity is a complete myth,” says J.B. Handley

    A little thought makes it obvious that herd protection works.

    If I have a very infectious disease (like measles) and I am in contact with 10 people, if none of them are immune to the disease they will all probably contract it. They will each then give the disease to a similar number of people and the disease will spread like wildfire (become an epidemic).

    If 90% of people are immune (through vaccination or by surviving wild infection), I will only pass the disease on to one person, who will also pass it on to only one person, and the disease will spread very slowly (become endemic). If each infected person infects on average less than one person, the disease will disappear in that population.

    Clearly the level of vaccination that produces herd protection will depend on how contagious the disease is, how effective the vaccine is and how many people each person has contact with on average. In fact there are mathematical formulae that predict, with a good deal of accuracy, how this works in practice. I don’t know why, but I find this sort of mathematical modeling extremely satisfying.

  8. #8 CRM-114
    August 8, 2011

    Just curious, but do the anti-vacs and ‘skeptics’ also deny their dogs and cats their shots? Or do they secretly love their pets and want to kill their children?

  9. #9 René Najera
    August 8, 2011

    On the one side, we have immunologists, infectious disease specialists, bacteriologists, virologists, pediatricians, epidemiologists, and a variety of scientists who have studied vaccines and infectious disease telling us that herd immunity occurs and depends on a high level of vaccination. On the other side, we have Mr. Handley, who may have expertise in finance but has no discernable expertise in the relevant sciences undergirding vaccines–or the science of autism, for that matter–claiming that herd immunity is a myth. Who’s more likely to be right?

    But, Orac, we scientists don’t “feel” things with “every fiber of our beings” in order to prove stuff, so we must be wrong. We must be cyborgs or something.

    Then again, I looked into a microscope this weekend and managed to catch a “plasma cell” (a B-lymphocyte releasing antibodies). I saw the immune system in action… OF A TEN-MONTH OLD! I got a little tingle up my leg… I felt something.

    I wonder if that alone (and not the observation of such an event) makes what I know about immunology more “real”?

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    August 8, 2011

    “Then again, I looked into a microscope this weekend and managed to catch a “plasma cell” (a B-lymphocyte releasing antibodies). I saw the immune system in action…”

    If you saw a plasma cell in the act of “releasing antibodies”, your scope has a hell of a lot better resolution than mine.

    Maybe you could examine a vaccine sample to see if there are any TOXINS roaming around in there.

  11. #11 Denice Walter
    August 8, 2011

    I feel with every fibre of *my* being that JB illustrates a suspicion I’ve had about *some* anti-vaxxers for a quite a while ( Warning: hyperbole and speculation lie ahead ):

    I wonder if parents of children on the spectrum often share cognitive disability in executive functioning- problems with self-evaluation, the ability to understand abstractions, problems with letting feelings dominate their judgments, weighing risk/benefits, evaluating others’ abilities or motives, forming global judgments… Am I calling Dunning-Kruger, NVLD, or anoscognosia?.In some cases, yes. On the other hand, it could just be lack of relevant education. (As you may know, close relatives of the SMI often have cognitive problems although the former are not SMI themselves/ SMI and ASD both have genetic components) Of course, this would make them easier prey for alt med scammers as well- it would be harder for them to spot a charlatan.

    JB compares his own judgment about medical issues with that of experts and finds the latter wanting. This sounds like what one woo-meister calls the “cult of the expert”- in short, it holds that “experts” are rewarded for following the party line and are drearily towing the mark set for them by their masters. Inquiring members of the general public- who are unschooled and thus, not in the lock-step with the authoritarian authorities- stand a better chance of seeing the *Truth*- just like Brave Maverick Doctors, who were able to see beyond tired old orthodox horizons. Alt med proponents often encourage this sort of thinking: de-valuing education unless it happens to be their own spurious one.

    Everyone has emotional issues and is biased but certain characteristic make it difficult or impossible for people to even consider what their own particular slant is. It’s hard to argue with them by using data, literature, and consensus. Does that mean we have to fire up the emotional flame-thrower? I don’t know, but I think that the more-entrenched will not be affected by rationality. If we resort to emotional language or images, we have to back it up with data. And do it quickly before we lose their attention.

  12. #12 Th1Th2
    August 8, 2011

    Orac,

    Whatever nomenclature one decides to use,

    See it’s a myth. You are clueless.

  13. #13 LA
    August 8, 2011

    to Lawrence: not every child will get infected, but every child will get vaccine (More than 4 million babies are born in the United States each year!) Think!

  14. #14 Edith Prickly
    August 8, 2011

    Fantastic clip. I’m adopting “get in the f***in sack” as my anti-stupidity mantra.

    I hope this is a sign that the news media is finally realizing that the anti-vaxxers’ beliefs are completely delusional and should not be given equal weight to established science fact. It was far too long in coming, but the revelation of Wakefield’s fraud and the collapse of his career and reputation seem to have finally given the signal that it’s OK not to take the cranks seriously anymore. Science will really have won when nobody bothers to ask Handley’s opinions on vaccines or autism anymore.

    What I would really love to see next (a girl can dream…) is a major media expose of Big Supplement. Now that I’ve been hanging out here for a while, those rows and rows of bottled quackery at the drugstore are starting to annoy the hell out of me. The Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada’s equivalent of Walgreens) near my office actually has Oscillinum on the shelves along with the cold and flu pills. I’m thinking about complaining to their head office — or at least putting a post-it note on the box saying “this stuff is useless.”

  15. #15 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    To LA – yes, that is correct. Because of vaccines.

    In the past (pre-vaccine), 95 – 99% of the population would be infected with measles, for example. So, rather than take the chances of contributing to the return of that disease (much like what is beginning to occur in Europe), I did take the time to actually study the facts and speak to my doctor – rather than rely on Google U.

    Imagine that.

  16. #16 René Najera
    August 8, 2011

    @Dangerous Bacon

    Well, a plasma cell is a plasma cell is a plasma cell. You could tell that the cytoplasm was engorged and ripping itself apart (antibody release). I didn’t see the individual antibodies, but I saw the cell in the process of doing it.

    (That, and I have super-microscopic-vision given to me from a vaccine.)

    (That last bit about the super-vision is not true, but I’m wondering if anyone has reported “superpowers” to VAERS?)

    (I don’t advocate anyone put in false info on purpose into VAERS.)

    (But, if they did put in false info, that would just prove that VAERS data must be taken with a huge grain of salt.)

  17. #17 anarchic teapot
    August 8, 2011

    Curse you Orac! I just spent a happy hour or so wandering from Dara O’Briain clip to Dara O’Briain clip on Youtube. He is one of the few reasons I regret leaving the UK. Feckin’ brilliant.

    Mr. Handley, who may have expertise in finance

    As his BA is in economics and East Asian studies, this financier says: probably not. Being Chairman of a company doesn’t require financial acumen, it requires knowing which people to play golf with (hey, that’s not necessarily a bad thing! But it ain’t finance).

  18. #18 LA
    August 8, 2011

    to Lawrence: “And yet it moves!”…

  19. #19 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    to LA: Was that supposed to mean anything?

  20. #20 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Lawrence

    In the past (pre-vaccine), 95 – 99% of the population would be infected with measles, for example.

    Let me “tell the other side” by putting that into proper context.

    3-4 million people were infected with measles per year in the U.S. BEFORE vaccination.

    99.99% of them recovered fine with no permanent sequalae like death or encephalitis. Unlike the one shot vaccine(hence millions have to keep getting sequential shots) they also conferred lifelong immunity.

    It is perfectly reasonable, on scientific grounds, to abstain from a measles vaccine. Any objection to this scientific reasoning would be on the grounds of personal morality or personal ethics, not science.

    The same can be said for the chickenpox vaccine. It’s scientifically reasonable to abstain from that shot.

    Now the so called “science” bloggers may get their panties in a wad because they don’t like to hear the “other side” since it interferes with their personal ideology but facts are facts.

  21. #21 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine, even if your numbers were accurate, that words out to 1 in 10000 of 3-4 million, or 300-400 people a year dying or suffering permanent sequelae. How does that compare to the effects of the measles vaccine? How many people die or get encephalitis or deafness from the vaccine a year?

  22. #22 JohnV
    August 8, 2011

    “but facts are facts.” … which is why I don’t cite or source them.

  23. #23 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    That might be the most coherent thing boring troll has ever said – if he/she/it would have refrained from its blathering in the past, this might actually be the start of a decent debate.

  24. #24 Beamup
    August 8, 2011

    Augie’s analysis is flawed. Certainly, if everyone ELSE around was vaccinated, then the risk/benefit ratio would favor abstaining from vaccination because the risk of contracting the disease is so low. However, you can’t count on that. Not only does it only take one unvaccinated individual (or one for whom the vaccine didn’t work fully) to spread the infection, but the unvaccinated also tend to cluster (leading to localized outbreaks). Accordingly, the assumption that everyone else is vaccinated is not reliable, and therefore the decision not to vaccinate doesn’t turn out to be so justifiable after all.

  25. #25 LA
    August 8, 2011

    to Gray Falcon: “And yet … it moves.” Allegedly said by Galileo after signing a recantation of the Copernican theory that the sun was the center of the solar system, and accepting the church’s claim that the Earth was unmoving.

    another guote “I will read your work … all the more willingly because I have for many years been a partisan of the Copernican view because it reveals to me the causes of many natural phenomena that are entirely incomprehensible in the light of the generally accepted hypothesis. To refute the latter I have collected many proofs, but I do not publish them, because I am deterred by the fate of our teacher Copernicus who, although he had won immortal fame with a few, was ridiculed and condemned by countless people (for very great is the number of the stupid).
    1596

  26. #26 Venna
    August 8, 2011

    I loved that clip. I must lead a sheltered life as I’ve not heard of him before but he had me laughing out loud and not many comedians do that. My favorite line was, “science knows it doesn’t know everything, otherwise it would stop.” That had me laughing so hard I was afraid of waking my partner.

    I think most people here know my story so I won’t bore you with it. It really kind of irritates me that these anti-vax parents of autistic children are listened to more then I am. How many of these anti-vaxers that blame vaccines was their oldest child who has autism? With me it’s my youngest. To a degree I suppose that is fortunate. If it had been my first born rather then my last, I might not have realized that he wasn’t developing normally, I might not have realized that there were things that weren’t normal in him from day one. I might have been bamboozled back into the anti-vax lifestyle very easily. I was raised with it so to a degree it is still there inside me. That is probably one of the main reasons I stick so closely to science and evidence based medicine rather then going with my gut. The gut can be wrong, and in the case of science and medicine, it usually will be.

    And yet, my story doesn’t count and I am the crazy one going by my own personal experience. Well, here’s the difference: My personal experience in the anti-vax delusion wasn’t fun and to me proved the importance of vaccines, and my personal experience that makes me pro-vaccine, even though I have a child with autism, is at least backed up by evidence, and to me that makes my own argument and experience much more plausible then any of these other autism parents who are spouting the anti-vaccine litany. Still it is irritating to say the least to hear these parents insisting that autism is caused by vaccines and they know with every fiber of their being, and my son who didn’t get his vaccines on schedule and still developed autism doesn’t count…Hmm…

  27. #27 MI Dawn
    August 8, 2011

    @ René Najera: you don’t know of the infamous VAERS report submitted by Jim Laidler? He declared submitted a report stating that a flu vaccine turned him into the Incredible Hulk. So then Kev Leitch (LBRB – in the UK, not even in the US) submitted a report that vaccines had turned his daughter into Wonder Woman. Both reports were accepted by VAERS. Yeah. I’m gonna trust THAT database for some data. It’s nice for a first level, but not the definitive site the anti-vaxxers like to paint it.

  28. #28 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    JohnnyV

    “but facts are facts.” … which is why I don’t cite or source them.

    Are you questioning the source of the facts that I’ve given? Or are you questioning the facts themselves?
    Because if that’s the crux of your objection then you are going to fail miserably. Do you even have a clue where I got those numbers?

    Falcon

    How many people die or get encephalitis or deafness from the vaccine a year?

    If it’s even ONE who wouldn’t have succumbed to natural infection but did succumb to the vaccine then it’s TOO many. They should have that choice and be able to bear that responsibility. It think it’s unethical to force or coerce someone into vaccinating because YOU are scared of vaccine failure for yourself or some other. It’s a bait and switch vaccine compliance tactic. It’s deceitful.

    That’s why people should know that they most likely are not going to die from chickenpox or measles. Fear and disease mongering is the only way science bloggers can counter attack the facts.

  29. #29 Beamup
    August 8, 2011

    IIRC both of those reports were questioned, then removed once they were admitted to be hoaxes – it’s not like nobody noticed. But also IIRC it did require the agreement of Laidler and Leitch to remove said reports, so if they’d insisted the reports would remain.

  30. #30 Krebiozen
    August 8, 2011

    Why is it that people who compare themselves to Galileo or Copernicus inevitably seem to spout utter drivel?

  31. #31 MI Dawn
    August 8, 2011

    @Beamup: IIRC (from the posting on LBRB), Dr Laidler’s report was not questioned until after Kev Leitch submitted his and pointed out they were both there and accepted. But yes, I believe both have been removed now that the point of inaccurate reports was made.

    Similarly, there are deaths “attibuted” to Gardisil that were actually motor vehicle accidents; the point being claimed that if the young woman had not had the Gardisil she would not have had the accident!

  32. #32 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    BeamUp the Baby Scientist

    Augie’s analysis is flawed. Certainly, if everyone ELSE around was vaccinated, then the risk/benefit ratio would favor abstaining from vaccination because the risk of contracting the disease is so low.

    It’s not flawed. I gave you the numbers BEFORE vaccine era. But you’re right it’s even better now. Even more reason for me to not vaccinate.

    Or we could follow your slippery slope analysis that EVERYONE would stop vaccinating and the numbers would go back to the numbers I cited. The ones that STILL show favorable odds for not vaccinating.

  33. #33 Tim Bartik
    August 8, 2011

    Orac:

    I happen to be visiting L.A. right now , and the overall reporting on vaccines in the L.A. Times seems more on point than in the one article you cite.

    In today’s edition, the LEAD story, by the same reporter, Amanda Mascarelli, is entitled “Pierced Armor”, and is about the decline of herd immunity. It begins with a dramatic story of a Minnesota 15-month-old girl who contracted Hib meningitis, and almost died, because even though she had shots, she had an immune deficiency that left her vulnerable to the decline of herd immunity in Minnesota due to declining immunization rates. The article goes on to explain at some length why herd immunity is important.

    I can’t find this lead story on line, but in the print paper on Augusut 8, it is on page E1, whereas the story you cite is on page E3 and is much shorter. Furthermore, also on page E1, there is an article by a family physician in Seattle named Steve Dudley, entitled “Parents, Get the Shots”, whose content reinforces that message at some length.

    So, I think the overall coverage, at least in the print edition, is better than is represented by the article you cite.

  34. #34 Chris
    August 8, 2011

    LA still doesn’t make any sense. Or it is a very clumsy “Galileo Gambit” after having missed the point that in the pre-vaccine era almost every kid had measles by age fifteen. Which makes his/her first statement silly in light of historical fact.

    Just as bad as Little Augie’s “most kids are going to to die”, even though one out of 1000 to 10000 did. In his little mind he doesn’t care that in the 1950s about 400 to 500 people died from measles per year, and many more were permanently disabled. Not to mention the tens of thousands of babies who were permanently disabled or died due to the rubella epidemic in the early 1960s.

  35. #35 Beamup
    August 8, 2011

    @ augie:

    Read again. Nothing you said even approximately addresses the fatal flaw in your reasoning. In particular, due to clustering the pre-vaccine figures ARE the more prudent choice to use! It is NOT accurate to assume that everyone else will vaccinate.

    The ones that STILL show favorable odds for not vaccinating.

    The ones that show NOTHING OF THE SORT because there’s no risk figures cited for vaccination, you mean? This I’ve got to hear. Even assuming your numbers above are accurate, you would then have to additionally demonstrate that the vaccine has a greater than 0.01% chance of comparable permanent sequelae. What’s your reference that this is the case?

  36. #36 Terrie
    August 8, 2011

    @Rene, I believe the key to gaining superpowers is to get a full compliment of vaccines and then go through the scanner at the airport several times immediately after each one.

  37. #37 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Like I said Chris, the facts are the facts. If you don’t think they should be said and that people can make decisions that don’t fit your ideas then you can always engage in fear mongering. Pretend that everyone is at the same risk and that they will all have a serious negative fate if they don’t subscribe to your government disease policies.

    You’re a known vaccine injury denier on here. You have demonstrated that you are only concerned with your medically damaged son and herd theory. If someone else’s child is injured by a vaccine you are not going to take responsibilty for that. (even though you’ll murmur something about the vaccine compensation program that you also alluded is unscientific). You’re not concerned with the health or negative outcome of the vaccine recipient. There suffering is worth it to you.

    But it’s not about you and your son. That’s why everyone should be given a choice.

    If I’ve already gotten a measles infection and have acquired immunity you should be happy that I’ve contributed to your herd theory.

  38. #38 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine:

    If it’s even ONE who wouldn’t have succumbed to natural infection but did succumb to the vaccine then it’s TOO many.

    So, you’d let hundreds die for the sake of one? Are you that heartless? And how would you know that, anyway? Are you God, to know such things?

    They should have that choice and be able to bear that responsibility.

    What is that supposed to mean? Do people have a choice of which side of the road to drive on, and that’s their responsibility to bear?It think it’s unethical to force or coerce someone into vaccinating because YOU are scared of vaccine failure for yourself or some other. It’s a bait and switch vaccine compliance tactic. It’s deceitful.

    How is this deceitful? Is asking you to drive defensively so that other people don’t get into accidents deceitful?

  39. #39 JohnV
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine:

    “Do you even have a clue where I got those numbers?”

    That wasn’t a trick question. If you provided a source it would solve that problem.

    But please, allow me to further explain myself. While I realize this has no precedent in the anti-science brigade, like the uncited iatrogenic death number that increases every time it is brought up, but when random numbers are thrown around it is nice to know that they came from somewhere.

    Once we can see that your numbers are not just made up, then we can move on to whether or not you’re even honestly or correctly representing them. Again, not like anyone on your side of things would ever do that……

    Additionally, you say two times “it’s scientifically reasonable” and promptly fail to actually explain how you arrived at this assertion.

    I would have failed my philosophy and ethics courses as an undergrad had I tried that :p

  40. #40 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Even assuming your numbers above are accurate, you would then have to additionally demonstrate that the vaccine has a greater than 0.01% chance of comparable permanent sequelae.

    I don’t care about your vaccines. It’s not a number of deaths from disease vs. number of deaths from vaccine question. YOU don’t know ANYTHING about me so there is NO WAY ON EARTH that you could accurately tell me what my actual risk of dying from measles is. Just like you can’t accurately tell anyone else what their risk is.

    In general, what type of person dies from measles? Sans vaccines, What are the risk factors? Are you trying to lump me in with those risk factors? That’s ignorance on you part.

    What’s your reference that this is the case?

    The CDC Pink book.

  41. #41 Dangerous Bacon
    August 8, 2011

    “If it’s even ONE who wouldn’t have succumbed to natural infection but did succumb to the vaccine then it’s TOO many.”

    If even one person obeying the seat belt law dies in a fiery car crash because they couldn’t get out fast enough, that’s TOO many and invalidates the idea of mandatory seat belt usage, no matter how many lives it saves or serious injuries are prevented. You should be free to not fasten in your young children or use car seats. Everyone should have a choice.

    I just love these antivaxer lessons in logic and compassion.

  42. #42 René Najera
    August 8, 2011

    @Terrie

    You mean, like ZDoggMD did with his newborn daughter? (Seriously, look up his blog and his latest video. It’s hilarious.)

  43. #43 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    And cue boring troll going off on DB’s seatbelt analogy…..so predictable.

    Boring troll is & has obviously advocated against any & all medical procedures, because there isn’t a 100% certainty that they are 1) necessary 2) safe 3) completely effective each and every time.

    I wonder how it feels about “disease eradication” and if it considers it a worthwhile goal?

  44. #44 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    So, you’d let hundreds die for the sake of one?

    If they are afraid they are free to get a vaccine if they think it will save them. What you’ve done is used a logical fallacy and equated not taking a vaccine is equal to death. This is an abuse of logic and a rhetorical tactic used for purely persuasive purposes.

    Are you that heartless?

    Are you?

    How is this deceitful? Is asking you to drive defensively so that other people don’t get into accidents deceitful?

    You have a logic and analogy fail. Wearing a seatbelt or driving defensively does not even compare to the death of a small baby from a vaccine for a disease which it has never had a chance to be exposed to.

    If putting a seatbelt on by itself before even driving the car were to cause some proportion (any) to go into febrile seizures or death then I believe it is fair to repeal the seatbelt law and make it a choice whether one wanted wear a seatbelt. Otherwise it’s government mandated manslaughter.
    But this doesn’t happen with seatbelts. Seatbelts don’t cause damage BEFORE the hypothetical wreck(infection).

    And safe driving practices pose no danger to the driver.

  45. #45 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    Boring troll – I’d love for you to list out the number of babies that died from vaccines vs. the number that have died from vaccine-preventable illnesses.

    And provide direct sources.

  46. #46 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    augustine:

    In general, what type of person dies from measles? Sans vaccines, What are the risk factors? Are you trying to lump me in with those risk factors? That’s ignorance on you part.

    Do you have any answers to these questions? If so, please share them with us, and any of the evidence (not speculation) you used to come up with these conclusions. If not, do not deride us for not knowing when you are in the same boat as we are. Do you have a way of preventing all deaths from both the disease and the vaccine? If not then stop complaining that we don’t have a perfect solution.

  47. #47 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Lawrence

    I wonder how it feels about “disease eradication” and if it considers it a worthwhile goal?

    According to your philosophy as long as you can keep the reported cases below the collateral damage then it’s a worthy continual goal.

    Killing Nigerians and Indians with the polio vaccine must be worthy and necessary by your book. It takes a little propaganda to keep that type of war going and going.

  48. #48 Beamup
    August 8, 2011

    Ah, so augie’s Superman now and therefore doesn’t have to worry about disease. And here I thought we were almost starting to have a meaningful discussion.

  49. #49 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    Not what I asked (not surprised) – I asked you, your opinion. So, what is it?

  50. #50 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Do you have any answers to these questions? If so, please share them with us, and any of the evidence (not speculation) you used to come up with these conclusions.

    Malnutrition and host immune sufficiency significantly change the mortality numbers and risk.

  51. #51 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    augustine@49: I also asked for evidence. Present it.

  52. #52 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Beam Up

    Ah, so augie’s Superman now and therefore doesn’t have to worry about disease.

    Again science blogger resorts to logical fallacies and rhetoric. Since I reject a vaccine then I must think I’m impervious to microorgansim infection? Is that the only narrow logical conclusion you can come to?

    The odds are very good for me that I won’t die or have any permanent sequelae. Yes or No?

  53. #53 Chris
    August 8, 2011

    Terrie demonstrates the vast difference between wit and witless.

  54. #54 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    augustine@49: I also asked for evidence. Present it.

    The reason you would ask for evidence/citation is because you don’t believe me. Do you not believe the above factors are significant or seriously significant?

    The other could be that you are ignorant and are honestly interested in the factors that significantly lead to mortallity. But your tone of “Present it” “prove it to me” seems more like the former.

    PMID:
    8675238

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/80/1/193.short

    “Overall, 52.5% of all deaths in young children were attributable to undernutrition, varying from 44.8% for deaths because of measles to 60.7% for deaths because of diarrhea.”

  55. #55 CG
    August 8, 2011

    Who would have thought augustine would provide data showing that the measles vaccine is a very good idea?

    400-500 kids dying a year versus almost 0. It’s a pretty clear choice to any rational person.

  56. #56 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    So, by your citation, you’ve accepted the fact that undernurished children should receive both the Rotavirus vaccine (for prevention of diarrhea) and the measles vaccine, because both diseases contribute the large numbers of deaths, correct?

  57. #57 Anton P. Nym
    August 8, 2011

    And once again augustine strikes a blow for truthiness everywhere. (I’d be a much happier person if I thought that he and his ilk were merely working for the Stephen Colbert Report rather than being the butt of said show.)

    Please note that if “proof by vigorous assertion” is acceptable, his arguments still fail given the numerous countervaling assertions made not only with equal vigor but also alongside actual source citations.

    — Steve

  58. #58 Anton P. Nym
    August 8, 2011

    By the way, just to irk the irksome yet more, the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care here in Ontario announced earlier this month that they’ve expanded the immunisation schedule to include varicella (in the MMRV) and rotavirus innoculations.

    Science. It works, b****es.

    — Steve

  59. #59 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine, if everyone took your advice and didn’t get the vaccine, and if there was a measles outbreak, you wouldn’t be the only one to get it. If you got it, then the odds are good several more people would get it, probably from you, and they would spread it to several more people, and someone who, due to pre-existing issues, couldn’t get the vaccine, would suffer severely from the disease. Are you aware that you aren’t the only person on planet Earth?

  60. #60 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    Also remember that boring troll expouses the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand – it will never condone any action that isn’t for its own personal benefit.

  61. #61 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    400-500 kids dying a year versus almost 0. It’s a pretty clear choice to any rational person.

    If you have a belief system that says your kid will be one of the 500 then yes it is a very rational decision. Still not a 100% effective decision but it’s rational. It is also a rational decision to forgo the vaccine. You might not personally agree with it but it’s still a rational decision.

  62. #62 Beamup
    August 8, 2011

    YOU don’t know ANYTHING about me so there is NO WAY ON EARTH that you could accurately tell me what my actual risk of dying from measles is. Just like you can’t accurately tell anyone else what their risk is.

    In general, what type of person dies from measles? Sans vaccines, What are the risk factors? Are you trying to lump me in with those risk factors? That’s ignorance on you part.

    If that’s not an assertion that “I couldn’t possibly be at risk, I’M not such a weakling” I’ll eat my hat.

  63. #63 Chris
    August 8, 2011

    So Little Augie is equating the USA in the 1950s to late 20th century Sudan, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and Philippines. I just love these apples and oranges comparisons. What a maroon!

  64. #64 Ken
    August 8, 2011

    Dangerous Bacon @9: Maybe you could examine a vaccine sample to see if there are any TOXINS roaming around in there.

    Oh, I would hope so. Proteins from the outer coat of the virus would be a good choice, to trigger antibody formation.

    However I would hope that there wouldn’t be too much other stuff in there. You know, the sort of filth you get from the actual viral infection: other proteins, DNA, or RNA from the target virus; other bacteria and viruses taking advantage of the illness to reproduce; the products of virus-induced human cell lysis; similar gunk from the death and breakdown of the previously-mentioned opportunistic bacteria; all the stuff your immune system is pouring out to try to cope with the infection.

    Why anyone would deliberately allow that kind of filth to grow inside them, in preference to an injection of a couple of lab-grown proteins (proteins which, I emphasize, are in the “natural” filth) is beyond me.

  65. #65 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine:

    If you have a belief system that says your kid will be one of the 500 then yes it is a very rational decision.

    Augustine, what is the difference between the statements “A will happen if I don’t do B” and “It is far more possible A will happen if I don’t do B than if I do”. Think carefully.

  66. #66 ChrisKid
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine, you seem to be insisting on only comparing the numbers for unvaccinated individuals, or from before a measles vaccine was available. And yes, in that case, the chances of dying from the disease were low. The chances of being permanently injured from it were low. Most of us got measles, went through various degrees of pain and sickness, and got better. That does not change the fact that some did die and some did end up with permanent damage.
    What I don’t understand is why you keep insisting on using that comparison. “It’s not a number of deaths from disease vs. number of deaths from vaccine question.” Why isn’t it? Since that’s, at very bottom, what the entire discussion of vaccine safety hinges on, why are you saying that that’s not what it’s about?

  67. #67 Jeef
    August 8, 2011

    I love it when pro vaxxers get their knickers in a twist especially when they say things like, you know, it’s okay for several thousands of kids to die or be seriously injured by a vaccine as long as the millions are protected… UNTIL one of those injured becomes one of their kids and then the story changes. Yeah, I DO know this because I was one of them and I’ve since met hundreds of others.
    the US gives their babies and infants more vaccines in the first 24 months than they do in Europe and in the US you have MORE cases of cot death, autism and inexplainable deaths and injuries than they do in Europe. Just read it last week in an article in a European paper on that very subject. They were poking fun at the US and its drug/vaccine crazy blinkered view. And your big pharma IS laughing all the way to the bank – you guys should demand your share of the profits doing all this good promotional work for them!

  68. #68 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    Jeef, do you have any evidence that several thousands of kids die or are seriously injured by a vaccines? Do you have any sources for your claims? Why do you think the difference between American and European infant mortality is due to vaccination and not Europe’s generally superior health-care system? And why doesn’t big pharma stand to make more from treating diseases than preventing it?

  69. #69 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    First, provide sources for your information.

    Second, no one here has ever claimed that vaccines were 100% without potential side-effects.

    Third, I find the dramatic decrease (95 – 99.9%) incidence in vaccinated childhood diseases to be the only PR that is needed for the effectiveness of the vaccine program.

  70. #70 Beamup
    August 8, 2011

    Why isn’t it? Since that’s, at very bottom, what the entire discussion of vaccine safety hinges on, why are you saying that that’s not what it’s about?

    Apparently because Augie thinks he knows which side of the coin he and his loved ones would be on. Which is almost as stupid as Thingy’s assertions that it’s trivial to avoid exposure to an infectious disease.

    the US gives their babies and infants more vaccines in the first 24 months than they do in Europe and in the US you have MORE cases of cot death, autism and inexplainable deaths and injuries than they do in Europe.

    [citation needed]. Also, actual evidence that vaccines are implicated. We have more churches in the US than in Europe, too.

  71. #71 larry
    August 8, 2011

    Anyone?

    Explain to me how TB rates have declined in the US w/o a vaccine.
    and why this is not applicable to other diseases.

  72. #72 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    Larry – do you know the differences between bateria, viruses, airborne & waterborne illnesses?

  73. #73 Mu
    August 8, 2011

    Larry, TB is an odd one as its highly infectious but not very virulent. A lot of people have been exposed to TB without ever showing symptoms. Unfortunately a mild infection, as evident by antibody response, does NOT protect you from a later full blown outbreak. So vaccination doesn’t help.
    But since TB mostly reacts well to antibiotic treatment you see less chronic TB nowadays then you used to do in the time of the wasting disease.

  74. #74 Narad
    August 8, 2011

    Just curious, but do the anti-vacs and ‘skeptics’ also deny their dogs and cats their shots?

    I’ve certainly seen it. And, why bother? Let us travel to the land of MDC:

    Why do we assume that the rabies vaccine is effective and a silver bullet to prevent a fatal disease if we don’t view other vaccines that way?

    I don’t believe in the efficacy of big pharmas miracle drugs, so I don’t believe in their rabies vaccine.

    So, if their vaccine is worthless (or worse, since it causes harm), then how come more people don’t die of rabies?

  75. #75 Chris
    August 8, 2011

    Also, larry, there was lots of surveillance for TB. In the USA it was common to get a tine test every year or so, and there were even mobile x-ray units to check kids at schools (I skipped out of it when it in 8th grade when it came to my school because I was just recovering from pneumonia and had been x-rayed multiple times in the previous five weeks).

    Have you ever considered actually reading up on the subjects before your one sentence comments? And to continue what Lawrence said: learn about the difference between bacteria and viruses, figure out the differences of how certain diseases spread (airborne, water, insect vectors, etc). You might want to start here:
    http://www.historyofvaccines.org/

  76. #76 Calli Arcale
    August 8, 2011

    Larry — partly, it’s because one of the major strains that afflicted people in the US was primarily spread through contaminated milk; that particular strain was easily kept from humans by the widespread introduction of pasteurized milk. The other big strategy is a combination of quarantining known cases and aggressive antibacterial treatment of them and their close contacts. This isn’t foolproof, and other countries have not been successful at eradicating it that way and are using vaccination to regain the upper hand against the disease. One complication is that the vaccine is not very effective in adults; it mostly only works in children.

    In America, it helped greatly that the dominant strain was acquired mainly from contact with infected milk. Pasteurization eliminated that. Relatively sparse populations helped as well, by making it easier to quarantine people before they infected very many other people. In other parts of the world, which have not been so fortunate, a TB vaccine is given as part of the routine childhood schedule. It is actually one of the most popular vaccines in the world, but is not used in America because it is not generally needed unless one is planning some foreign travel. What makes this worse is that the vaccine isn’t very effective. It does definitely improve the odds, but it works best where TB is still endemic.

    There is bad news on the horizon as far as TB goes. Right now, vigilance at the borders is our best protection, as there isn’t a very good vaccine (though thankfully there is work being done to create a couple of good candidates), and this has served us well so far. But remember that aggressive antibiotic treatment is part of the TB containment plan; multidrug resistant TB is starting to show up. Our current strategy may not hold for much longer.

    Still, pasteurization, sanitation, and a combination of quarantine and aggressive treatment has kept it bay in the US for decades. Not all diseases are cooperative in this way. Measles is famously communicative, including during the prodromal phase. Quarantine is helpful, but it will never allow you to get the upper hand and actually extirpate it from a population. Hence, vaccination. In both vaccination and quarantine, the objective is to deny the pathogen its next host, forcing it to die out. In measles, quarantine is of minimal effectiveness for this, because it has generally spread well before you know a person is contagious.

    Different diseases need different strategies, is what it comes down to.

  77. #77 René Najera
    August 8, 2011

    Am I missing some good stuff from Augustine? (I have his comments killed… Probably saving me a nosebleed or two.)

    Pitiful.

  78. #78 Chris
    August 8, 2011

    Nah, it is just his normal kind of stupid.

  79. #79 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Apparently because Augie thinks he knows which side of the coin he and his loved ones would be on.

    And do you know how many sides of the coin me or my family has?

    I’ll give you a hint it’s not “coin-like” at all. Even given the general population and assuming homogenous (which it’s not) risk pre vaccine era AND counting you were infected it was a 1 in 7777 if you were going to die from measles.

    Those are pretty good odds that just the general population wouldn’t die.

  80. #80 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    The odds are also pretty good that if there was an outbreak, several people would die, and you wouldn’t have any good idea whether those would be in your family or not. You still haven’t answered my questions. Are you God, so that you know whether someone will die or not? And what is the difference between the statements “A will happen if I don’t do B” and “It is far more possible A will happen if I don’t do B than if I do”?

  81. #81 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Chris

    Nah, it is just his normal kind of stupid.

    I’m sure you think so. Anyone who doesn’t take the risk of a medical procedure to hypothetically protect your son must be stupid. Especially when you’ll deny ANY negative consequence of your suggestion.

    99.99% chance I won’t get measles and die.
    What is the risk for you son? Is it different than the general population? Do you have any numbers on the subpopulations? And how does this then reflect back into the healthy population risk. Is it then much higher than a 99.99% survival and immunity rate.

  82. #82 Beamup
    August 8, 2011

    Anyone who doesn’t take the risk of a medical procedure to hypothetically protect your son must be stupid.

    Or misinformed. In your case, yes – stupid.

    Especially when you’ll deny ANY negative consequence of your suggestion.

    A complete lie; nobody here denies that vaccines do carry real risks. They are just much smaller than the risks of the diseases they prevent.

    99.99% chance I won’t get measles and die.

    So you like an 0.01% chance of death, then? When you can readily greatly reduce it? Yes, you’re either stupid or very ineffectively suicidal.

    What is the risk for you son? Is it different than the general population? Do you have any numbers on the subpopulations? And how does this then reflect back into the healthy population risk. Is it then much higher than a 99.99% survival and immunity rate.

    Unless YOU have said numbers, you have no grounds to claim that you’re safe. As you have been very clearly implying.

  83. #83 larry
    August 8, 2011

    Thank you to all who answered my TB question.

  84. #84 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    The odds are also pretty good that if there was an outbreak, several people would die, and you wouldn’t have any good idea whether those would be in your family or not.

    And how many do you consider an outbreak? And I have pretty good idea. A real good idea.

    Remember Gray, I’m 3 steps ahead of you. I know all of your answers. You’re not going to win this one. You’re just to keep digging yourself deeper into a hole

  85. #85 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine, are you God, so that you know what we think? And an outbreak need not be large to kill people, for example, if there are a large number of elderly people in the area. Now tell me, what is the difference between the statements “A will happen if I don’t do B” and “It is far more possible A will happen if I don’t do B than if I do”?

  86. #86 Th1Th2
    August 8, 2011

    DB,

    You should be free to not fasten in your young children or use car seats. Everyone should have a choice.

    Stupid analogy. The seatbelt protects whereas the vaccine infects.

  87. #87 Militant Agnostic
    August 8, 2011

    Given that Augie’s family is entirely imaginary, he is correct in assuming that they are not at risk from vaccine preventable diseases (or anything else).

    Vaccine preventable diseases harm real people and Augie has demonstrated he doesn’t give a damn about harming real people.

    Does anybody have a link to nude pictures of Ayn Rand? That should keep Augie occupied and out of the comments for a while.

  88. #88 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Beamup

    A complete lie; nobody here denies that vaccines do carry real risks.

    Have you read every single post here to confirm this is a lie. It only takes one to refute you and make you wrong. For someone to give lip service that vaccines hypothetically cause irreparable harm and for someone to accept that they ACTUALLy cause harm to real people is not the same thing. Have you read the posts of someone who comes on here and says their child has been vaccine damaged? Do the science blog regulars sound like someone who honestly believe that vaccines cause permanent brain damage. They relentlessly attack the poster in order to protect the vaccine agenda. No amount of evidence is enough for them to believe because they use flawed epidemiology to say that it is damn near impossible to begin with. Therefore the poster must be self deceived. No amount of testimony will get them to change their mind that the poster is actually right.

    Yes, you’re either stupid or very ineffectively suicidal.

    Talk about being out of touch with reality. Now you’ve talked yourself into a spiral so much thatn now you’ve equated forgoing the measles vaccine to suicide. Wow!

  89. #89 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine, what is the difference between the statements “A will happen if I don’t do B” and “It is far more possible A will happen if I don’t do B than if I do”?

  90. #90 Chris
    August 8, 2011

    Here is a pdf of a paper on epidemics, and since it is from Japan it obviously is not “western medicine.”

  91. #91 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    Boring troll continues to refuse to answer basic questions….all done here.

  92. #92 Beamup
    August 8, 2011

    Have you read every single post here to confirm this is a lie.

    Why yes, I have indeed read every single post in this thread. And many others. Any fools who do make such a claim get jumped on (yes, I meant regulars by “nobody here” if that wasn’t obvious). Specifically Chris does not, and you are indeed a liar. Without any question.

    Have you read the posts of someone who comes on here and says their child has been vaccine damaged? Do the science blog regulars sound like someone who honestly believe that vaccines cause permanent brain damage.

    The evidence indicates that vaccine injury is CLAIMED far more often than it actually OCCURS. (Exhibit A, the OAP.) Acknowledging that it does occur is a completely different thing than accepting every single claimed case.

    Talk about being out of touch with reality. Now you’ve talked yourself into a spiral so much thatn now you’ve equated forgoing the measles vaccine to suicide. Wow!

    Note INEFFECTIVELY suicidal. You prefer a much larger chance of death from disease to the much smaller chance of death from vaccine. Ergo, you consider death to be desirable and are suicidal.

    Either that or, like I said, you’re stupid enough to not realize that’s exactly what you’re claiming.

  93. #93 Th1Th2
    August 8, 2011

    These hideous infection promoters play the Russian Roulette pretty well. Just imagine what Vodka can do.

  94. #94 Jarred C
    August 8, 2011

    Lawrence,

    One of my first comments on RI was asking Augustine a question on one of his statements, and asking for expanded detail. This was before I knew he was a troll. His response was along the lines of, “I won’t do your homework for you, go look it up yourself.” Based on that, I’ve never expected Augustine to answer questions, and 99.99% of the time, he doesn’t. He just evades, redirects, and ignores. His posts are almost always a misdirection specifically written to elicit emotional responses from others. In other words, he’s the classic definition of a troll.

  95. “Handley…believes they [vaccines] shouldn’t be given until children turn 2 years old and their immune systems are mature enough to handle them.”

    More unsupported assertions. If their immune systems weren’t mature enough to handle vaccines, they almost certainly wouldn’t be mature enough to handle actual infections of the diseases the vaccines are intended to protect against.

    Why choose to delay vaccination when we can’t choose to delay infections by diseases and there’s no credible scientific support for the “too soon” claim.

    Science is sophisticated, complicated, and rarely simple. Scientific answers to questions are usually nuanced and typically qualified. The enemies of science have no such limitations and are free to make broad, absolute, hyperbolic generalizations w/o qualification of any kind and express absolute certainty in their positions. This is one of our biggest problems. To adopt the opposition’s practices and compete on an apparent equal footing is to betray and endanger our principles by accepting and promoting unscientific and uncritical thinking. We would win the battle and lose the war.

    It seems we must find ways to develop and promote critical thinking in the general public. Scientific understanding would be a plus, but just being able to recognize the limits of one’s own understanding and comprehension is more important.

    -Karl Withakay

  96. #96 Th1Th2
    August 8, 2011

    Diarrheagenic Chris,

    So how are you going to eradicate VDPV?

  97. #97 Th1Th2
    August 8, 2011

    Beamup,

    Ergo, you consider death to be desirable and are suicidal.

    Only those who play the Russian Roulette. And you are among them who vigorously promote this deadly game.

  98. #98 Sense MD
    August 8, 2011

    I find it interesting how the anti-vaccine community isn’t screaming that HPV or tetanus vaccines is causing bipolar disorder or schizophrenia in teens or young adults.

    But, then again, the “vaccines-causing-autism-in-children” belief is far more profitable.

  99. #99 Uncle Dave
    August 8, 2011

    LA times just updated with article called “Pierced Armor’ by Amanda Mascarelli August 8th 2011

    Amanada posts on the next page of the LA Times, “Vaccination questions answered” and “Herd immunity can crumble”
    The whole Health and wellness section addresses this very dangerous threat.

    and followed by “Parents, Get the shots” by Steve Dudley.
    In “parent get the shots” Dudley points out that Washington state has a 6.2% unvaccinated rate, while Mississippi has fewer than 1% unvaccinated rate.

  100. #100 Chris
    August 8, 2011

    Beamup:

    Why yes, I have indeed read every single post in this thread. And many others. Any fools who do make such a claim get jumped on (yes, I meant regulars by “nobody here” if that wasn’t obvious). Specifically Chris does not, and you are indeed a liar. Without any question.

    Indeed. I have mostly noticed it is those who demonize vaccines claiming that vaccines should be 100% effective, when that is clearly not realistically feasible. Basic statistics seems to baffle them, because in their world (perhaps Htrae) the risk of one in a million is worse than one in a thousand!

    I have continued to ask for evidence that the vaccines carry more risk than the diseases, but I only get ignored or replies of bizarre studies that the person does not understand (one of my recent faves is the one from the econ professor who thinks all kids needing speech and language therapy have autism).

    If Thingy weren’t reading this from Htrae, she’d know the answer to her question was answered on this forum yesterday. Though all she has to do is ask Prof. Racaniello, or work on her comprehension of written English.

  101. #101 lilady
    August 8, 2011

    @ Ugh Troll: Must you always resort to personal hurtful insults directed at women here who have disabled children? You have attacked me and my child and other posters here, who do not share your “unique” view of the causes of developmental disabilities.

    Your posting at # 37 above, directed at Chris is your typical latest invective directed toward women who have disabled kids:

    “You’re a known vaccine injury denier….you are only concerned with your medically damaged son and herd immunity.”

    You have shown yourself to be a misogynist, xenophobic uneducated vicious pathetic excuse for a human being, who gets his “jollies” by insulting anyone and everyone who you perceive to be knowledgeable about vaccine-preventable diseases and immunology. Why not crawl back to your cave now…your “imaginary” healthy unvaccinated children need your attention.

    @ larry: Your post was off-topic about Tuberculosis, but I believe other posters provided some excellent information about TB. From a public health standpoint, here is some additional information for you.

    An excellent web site for information about tuberculosis is:

    CDC-Tuberculosis (TB)

    About 25 years ago, public health officials were confronted with an alarming uptick in active tuberculosis cases. Thereafter a determination was made that only intensive case management of active cases and “contact” investigations would reduce the instances of active cases and transmission to household contacts. That program was implemented and each County Health Departments has a “TB Control” unit. The costs to staff these programs with doctors, nurses and outreach staff is quite expensive, but has resulted in lower incidence of actual cases and much lower incidence of transmission.

    I read the article cited by Orac and it seems that the reporter let Handley “off the hook” with his first statement about herd immunity…wish she had pursued it with Handley, rather than let his spout his personal anecdotes and the anecdotes he has heard from his crowd of anti-vaxers.

  102. #102 lilady
    August 8, 2011

    Please ignore nasty delusional Thingy troll who is still a nasty delusional troll.

  103. #103 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    @gray

    One is relative, one is absolute.

    Relative statistics is how you fool people. That’s why context must be used.

  104. #104 kermit
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine, why do you cite a paper that measures malnutrition contribution to various childhood deaths, when you seem to be arguing that:
    1. You personally can’t catch contagious diseases because of some unspecified talent or virtue;
    2. That it’s evil to pressure parents into getting their kids vaccinated, even if it’s safer than not doing so;
    3. Things were better in pre-vaccine days.

    A note on the last – I remember before the polio vaccine. None of my classmates suffered from it. But many of their older siblings did. I’ve worked with, and knew, adults who were seriously crippled by it’s infection 50 years or more years ago. Many of them simply died; the worst of them were too crippled to ever get out into the outside world.

    Yes, most of us recovered from rubella, and rubeola, and measles, and chicken pox. But some of us died. And some of us have suffered terribly from shingles, an extremely painful recurrence of chicken pox. How about smallpox – do you think it’s better to get smallpox than to get the vaccine? Of course, you’re safe now; smallpox has been eradicated. By vaccination.

  105. #105 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Kermit

    when you seem to be arguing that:

    1. no 2.no 3. and no

    Hold on…#2. deceiving and pressuring is wrong.

  106. #106 Sense MD
    August 8, 2011

    @ kermit

    From numerous journals of my grandparents and great-grandparents, several family members and friends got blindness or limb damage from chickenpox alone. Even though those writings are quite old and about people you really don’t know, it’s still sad to see the line, “my friend died from chickenpox today” or “my mom still has trouble walking” after she was struck by polio.

    Perhaps one of the greatest advances from modern medicine is that we get to see less of that in writings.

  107. #107 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    SenseMD

    it’s still sad to see the line, “my friend died from chickenpox today”

    Yeh, because it was always such a common theme. Everybody knows someone who died of chickenpox. Gimme a break.

    See, science bloggers, this is what I mean, This type of unscientific scaremongering crap. Why don’t you post some chickenpox statistics.

    Obviously for chickenpox to “strike” down several members of your family you have something extraordinary about your family that is not in the general healthy population.

  108. #108 CG
    August 8, 2011

    It is also a rational decision to forgo the vaccine.

    No, it’s not. In fact it’s the very definition of an irrational decision.

    You already admitted that vaccinating has a lower risk than the disease. If your goal is the minimize the risk, then there’s only one rational decision available.

  109. #109 Th1Th2
    August 8, 2011

    Chris,

    If Thingy weren’t reading this from Htrae, she’d know the answer to her question was answered on this forum yesterday. Though all she has to do is ask Prof. Racaniello, or work on her comprehension of written English.

    Haha. Are you going to run and hide again Chris? Here’s what the professor had been dreaming of:

    Alan Dove and I suggested, in a 1997 Science article, that it might be prudent for WHO to switch to using the inactivated poliovirus vaccine, IPV, which cannot replicate in the recipient. Once OPV usage ended, the levels of circulating VDPVs would decrease until they no longer could trigger an outbreak. Careful monitoring of VDPV in sewage would indicate when it would be safe to stop immunization with IPV.

    So how are you going to eradicate VDPV, by using IPV? You are dreaming Chris. Again this is not 1955.

  110. #110 dedicated lurker
    August 8, 2011

    Also remember that boring troll expouses the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand – it will never condone any action that isn’t for its own personal benefit.

    But… doesn’t he hate those terrible atheists? Ayn Rand repeatedly stated in her works that belief in God is foolish.

  111. #111 Lawrence
    August 8, 2011

    Ignore idiot troll…..as for boring troll, he/she/it has already come out as a direct “contrarian” – so claiming to be a Christian or using christian beliefs is just a means to the end of trying to get a rise out of the group in general.

    So, yes, boring troll is an Objectivist – and based on my past experience with them in college, I’m now not surprised by boring troll’s general attitude & demeanor.

    Back to ignore mode for both.

  112. #112 lilady
    August 8, 2011

    @ Lawrence: Yes, yes. We need your sound advice about ignorant, delusional, nasty “resident” Thingy and Ugh Trolls.

    Just observe how they espouse their “theories” and display their warped view of life…and invoke Rule # 14 Don’t feed the trolls, Rule # 14 a) especially Thingy troll and Rule # 14 b) especially Augustine troll.

  113. #113 Venna
    August 8, 2011

    What it comes down to is risk. No, not everyone will die from a vaccine preventable disease, not everyone will become disabled from them either. But personally, I’d rather not suffer through an illness is painful to go through, can put me out of commission for weeks or months while I recuperate and has the potential however remote that might be, to maim or kill me. Why is suffering through something that can be prevented better then getting a shot has has FAR fewer rates of reaction and many times lower risks then the disease itself? As one who didn’t have the choice to vaccinate growing up and did suffer through some of these disease, or watched siblings suffer through, nearly die and end up with permanent disabilities from them, yeah, my experience is anecdotal, but science and evidence backs mine up. I CANNOT in good conscience NOT vaccinate myself and my children. I honestly would love if all infection disease that can be prevented with a vaccine were eradicated. Once they are gone, we wouldn’t need vaccines anymore (E.g. small pox). Without people getting vaccines now though, there is no way in Hades we can ever get to that point. How about that augustine? EVERYONE vaccinates (other then those who medically can’t, as we are aware they are out there) and eventually there is no more disease, thus no more need for vaccines. That would make everyone happy, correct? I wonder what would happen then to the autism rates if nobody was vaccinated? /end sarcasm. My guess on that is the rates of diagnosis will drop significantly once PDD-NOS is removed from the spectrum in 2013.

  114. #114 DaveD
    August 8, 2011

    augie wrote (way back):

    3-4 million people were infected with measles per year in the U.S. BEFORE vaccination.

    99.99% of them recovered fine with no permanent sequalae like death or encephalitis. Unlike the one shot vaccine (hence millions have to keep getting sequential shots) they also conferred lifelong immunity.

    Well, let’s see. The population at the time the measles vaccine was introduced was around 195 million, so today, with no vaccine, we’d be looking at 50% more cases, thus 4.5-6 million.

    Yes, most of them did recover completely, but not all of them. In fact, the number of annual US deaths from measles before the vaccine was around 450, according to the CDC, putting the
    death rate at about 0.01%, and the rate of permanent damage from measles encephalitis is about ten times higher than that. We might have a lower death rate today than in 1965, due to better supportive care, but the infection rate would be about the same.

    And what’s this crap about the MMR vaccine not providing lifelong immunity? It does require two shots, but that’s it for a lifetime, as far as I know.

  115. #115 Gray Falcon
    August 8, 2011

    Augustine:

    One is relative, one is absolute.

    You know that the two are not the same, right? So why do you insist that when somebody says one, we’re also saying the other? People are arguing “You are less likely to die with the vaccine than without”, not “If you don’t get the vaccine, you will die.” Are those statements equivalent?

    Relative statistics is how you fool people. That’s why context must be used.

    Why is the number of people who died from measles “context”, but not the number of people who died from the vaccine? Why declare a one in ten thousand chance trivial but a one in ten million chance unacceptable?

  116. #116 lilady
    August 8, 2011

    @ DaveD: MMR vaccine (2-dose series) does provide lifelong immunity…the naysayers are posting crap from their boundless store of crap, manufactured by their crap machines. Great posting BTW, but please don’t even mention the name(s) of our resident trolls.

  117. #117 sailor
    August 8, 2011

    Journalists think the truth lies half way between right and wrong.

  118. #118 Rene Najera
    August 8, 2011

    Funny. I’ve seen tons of blocked comments from Augustine, and some of you are engaging his delusions. And then I see one blocked comment after another from thing-thong and no one is engaging her. I bet she feels left out.

    Here’s me nodding and saying “uh-huh, yes, I see, what else?” to thingie. Won’t read her follow-ups, but I don’t like her feeling left out.

  119. #119 brian
    August 8, 2011

    @118

    Rene, this uncertainty is just the small price we pay for blocking comments by Augie and Thingie. It’s worth it, though, isn’t it?

    For those who haven’t yet blocked Augie and Thingie, it’s worth the effort to implement Greasemonkey and Firefox.

  120. #120 Broken Link
    August 8, 2011

    Personally, I’m hoping that will be the last we ever see of Handley in the mainstream media. He used to be the go-to guy for the “balanced” viewpoint. Now, he’s introduced with a “some people remain unconvinced” (read: “some wackos remain unconvinced”) and thoroughly debunked later in the article. His day is passed. Maybe he’s going to move on to acceptance of his son. After all, he’s tried almost everything known to man and DAN! and nothing’s worked.

  121. #121 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    gray

    Augustine, are you God, so that you know what we think?

    Are you god? So that you think if we don’t take your golden calf vaccine we will all die? Do you think it’s totally unreasonable to not take a measles or chicken pox vaccine?

  122. #122 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Venna the logical mishap

    As one who didn’t have the choice to vaccinate growing up and did suffer through some of these disease,

    I assume you are a full adult now. What brain damage or permanent sequelae have you occurred from disease that you think is 100% vaccine preventable?

    So, you vaccinated later in life and you didn’t have any conscious reactions. So you now think vaccines are 100% safe and nobody dies from vaccines?

    Dear Naive little under educated VEnna, do you personally think that every pathogenic microrganism can be eradicated? How many lives do you think it will take to eradicate all pathogenic microorgansims?

  123. #123 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    DAve D

    putting the
    death rate at about 0.01%, and the rate of permanent damage from measles encephalitis is about ten times higher than that.

    I’d like to see some citations and statistics on that. Chris you’re more than welcome to chime on those stats also. I don’t think we’ll be hearing back form Diamond Dave, though because he’s full of puff but no air.

    Dave?????Chris???

  124. #124 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Lilolelady whose education is long overdue

    @ DaveD: MMR vaccine (2-dose series) does provide lifelong immunity…the naysayers are posting crap from their boundless store of crap

    @

    Really? I’ve got some “crap” that says, “no” you’re a liar.

    Lilday, could you please tell dave why the one shot didn’t work for eradication when it was promised that it would. Could you explain why a 3rd shot is recommended if a 2nd shot guarantees immunity?

  125. #125 novalox
    August 8, 2011

    Ignore hypocrite “christian” troll.

  126. #126 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    For those who haven’t yet blocked Augie and Thingie, it’s worth the effort to implement Greasemonkey and Firefox.

    Yet another comment from a “sciency” blogger who can’t handle the fact that 99.99% BEFore vaccine would NEVER die or have permanent sequelae from measles OR chicken pox. The sciency blogger can’t handle facts. They resort to ad hominems, logical fallacies, and fear mongering to counter attack the facts. Thank you for “blocking” aka “putting your finger in your ears and say ‘I can’t hear you'”. I gives me more unlimitied access to what you call “lurkers”.

  127. #127 Venna
    August 8, 2011

    @augustine

    I love the way you pick and choose what you wish to use from my statements. It makes it so much easier to twist what I said. Have fun with your delusion of intelligence. Buh bye now!

  128. #128 augustine
    August 8, 2011

    Novalox the idolater

    Ignore hypocrite “christian” troll.

    Yes, please ignore the hypocrite “christian” troll.

  129. #129 The Christian Cynic
    August 8, 2011

    Yet another comment from a “sciency” blogger who can’t handle the fact that 99.99% BEFore vaccine would NEVER die

    I have two reactions to this:
    1) Measles confers immortality?
    2) As opposed to the 99.99% that would sometimes die?

    Also, someone still doesn’t grasp the distinction between blogger and blog commenter…

  130. #130 novalox
    August 8, 2011

    Continue to ignore the hypocrite “christian” troll.

  131. #131 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Venna

    I love the way you pick and choose what you wish to use from my statements. It makes it so much easier to twist what I said. Have fun with your delusion of intelligence. Buh bye now!

    I guess you have nothing to say about your naivete and logical fallacies that are the basis of your “science” blogging.

    There’s only so far that lilady can protect your stupidity, and she know’s it. Keep posting please! Your grace period is over! I hope you speak for ALL science blogger when you post. I would love it.

  132. #132 Gray Falcon
    August 9, 2011

    People are arguing “You are less likely to die with the vaccine than without”, not “If you don’t get the vaccine, you will die.” Why do you believe those statements are equivalent?

  133. #133 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Venna, this PROVES that you and Novalox are ignorant fools and have no idea what the vaccine issues are about:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ&feature=related

  134. #134 dedicated lurker
    August 9, 2011

    I would have been quite disappointed if that hadn’t been the video from before.

  135. #135 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    Rule # 14 mode, please. Resident trolls get their “jollies” from any attention they receive on this site.

    I despise delusional nasty hypocritical ignorant trolls.

  136. #136 Jarred C
    August 9, 2011

    Wow Augustine. That was a lot of set-up and effort for a single Rick-Roll (12 hours in the making).

  137. #137 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    I would have been quite disappointed if that hadn’t been the video from before.

    I

    Dedicated lurker: Rick Rolled!

    You lurk too much!

  138. #138 Gray Falcon
    August 9, 2011

    Augustine, do you believe that was an appropriate response for an adult?

  139. #139 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Awe lilady, you don’t even know what a rick roll is, do you? I need to do an Elvis roll on your old ass, don’t I?

    How’s the medial knee pain?

  140. #140 Allie
    August 9, 2011

    Yes, because my infant’s immune system is underdeveloped and she isn’t old enough to have her complete series of vaccinations, I worry about the infections RAGING in my community thanks to the antivaxxers. It’s too many outbreaks of measles and pertussis, WAY too soon!

    Isn’t ONE infant death from pertussis too many? Isn’t ONE case of permanent deafness from measles (like my aunt has) too many?

  141. #141 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    I worry about the infections RAGING in my community thanks to the antivaxxers. It’s too many outbreaks of measles and pertussis, WAY too soon!

    Somebody has bought into the delusion! Did you know that NOBODY died in England from you supposed WAkefield fiasco? Did you sCiecne blogging fooL? YOu are a Science blogger aren’t you Allele?

    They got to you emotions, didn’t they?

  142. #142 SushiMPLS
    August 9, 2011

    Seriously, I’d venture that most people would rather get a shot than have the goddam measles, mumps, or tetanus, et al. Why is lethality even part of this argument?

  143. #143 Venna
    August 9, 2011

    I know Rick Astley’s a bit of a joke, but I still like that song and think he’s got a great voice. I don’t get what this has to do with vaccines and my point of view on it though. Is this just augustine’s attempt at an insult? LOL! Try again son!

  144. #144 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Why is lethality even part of this argument?

    Because tetanus is not contagious, sushimuplusess. Do you get that?

    Do you actually know that? Do you actually get that measles was the chickenpox BEFORE chickenpox? If they know that the shot is less than 100%, way less and that the ‘disease is not necessarily a 100% killer then they can make that decision on their own. Except somebody like Chris thinks it threatens their child then you need to expose yourself for her child. That’s what the argument is all about.

  145. #145 SushiMPLS
    August 9, 2011

    Your argument seems to be much more based on your personality than any coherent version of reality that I am aware of. Carry on, if you must. Lolz.

  146. #146 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    While we ignore delusional nasty hypocritical ignorant trolls…it’s fun to see them going into overdrive with even more rants that make even less sense.

  147. #147 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    While we ignore delusional nasty hypocritical ignorant trolls…it’s fun to see them going into overdrive with even more rants that make even less sense.

    Lil ol crusty mean lady with crusty knuckles, have you ever given any evidence besides the Pink Book which I have referenced?

    You’re a mean ole needle thrusting nurse. You just make kids cry. That’s all you do.

  148. #148 Venna
    August 9, 2011

    It’s always amazing to me how someone who lacks emotional and intellectual maturity always results to name calling and insults when their point of view is refuted again and again, and again, and again…. etc.

    Anyone have a kill file for Chrome?

  149. #149 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Venna, the want to fit in science blogger

    Anyone have a kill file for Chrome?

    YOu need a kill file, Venna. Before I send you into oblivion with your sub 100 IQ that LIladay has to protect you from. Do you realize you are the dumbest science blog poster on here, don’t you?

  150. #150 novalox
    August 9, 2011

    @Venna

    Unfortunately, the only killfiles that I know for Chrome only work for Google groups.

    Perhaps someone else would know of one.

    Anyways, ignore the malicious troll.

  151. #151 Venna
    August 9, 2011

    Novalox,

    Sometimes he’s entertaining. The kindergarten cussing gets old and tired after hearing it for the hundredth time though. A man will always accuse another of his own faults. This is always going to be true. In essence, every time he makes some remark about my intelligence being sub-normal, he’s only insulting himself.

  152. #152 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    (While ignoring the trolls) I still think that Ugh Thing are channeling one another or are sock puppets. Then, upon reflection, is it possible that two creatures that are delusional, uneducated and unemployable with imaginary lives can be inhabiting this world?

    Hi Venna: When is your walk-a-thon for Autism Speaks taking place? Say Hi to Viktor and give him a hug for me.

  153. #153 SushiMPLS
    August 9, 2011

    Venna – I’m HFA. Thanks for your support!

  154. #154 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Then, upon reflection, is it possible that two creatures that are delusional, uneducated and unemployable with imaginary lives can be inhabiting this world?

    It couldn’t possibly be that Venna is unemployed and slightly retarded, could it?

    Lilady, you’re arent’ very smart are you? It’s very insulting to venna every time you talk about unemployed peoples. She’s told you time and again.

  155. #155 SushiMPLS
    August 9, 2011

    Augustine- I am, in very specific ways, retarded. I’m HFA. I’ll save you the name calling… ;)

    Or actually, bring it on. I’d love to see how you would pick on someone who has, and is open about their disability.

  156. #156 SushiMPLS
    August 9, 2011

    P.S., you seem very Asperger’s to me. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing – although, you’ve got alot of work to do.

  157. #157 Venna
    August 9, 2011

    @ lilady

    It’s August 27th and I’m feeling the stress of that date closing on me because I don’t feel ready. I’m still working on raising funds. It’s hard to do with so many people under or unemployed here. I’ve got a few things in the works but the funds most likely won’t be paid until after the walk. I suppose when they are collected doesn’t matter as much as that they are collected. I will give Viktor a hug for you. He has occupational therapy tomorrow so he’s excited because he gets to see the nemo fish in the waiting room. Oh, I’ll need to tell you sometime about his girl friend at school too!

    Speaking of the unemployed, now would probably be a good time to point out the difference between being unemployed and being unemployable. Not the same.

    SuchiMPLS, awesome! And really you shouldn’t refer to yourself as retarded because you aren’t. As Orac pointed out in a recent post, there is a difference between developmental delay and stasis. My son has autism. We are walking for him, as well as all the other people who have autism in the world, and I am very much putting forth as much awareness for autism as I can. I wear my puzzle piece pin every where I go.

  158. #158 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    I’m wondering why Handley didn’t plug the “mother ship” Age of Autism? Perhaps even he is leery about the L.A. Times readership reading the junk science and conspiracy articles and the “mommy and daddy warriors” replies? Then too, there is their unwavering devotion to Wakefield and the Geiers, which would be a red flag to the L.A. Times readership.

    While slumming again at Age of Autism, I see today’s “feature” by ace reported/mommy warrior Katy Wright:

    At IACC Geneticist Reacts to News Autism is 50 % Environmental

    Katie, as usual, writes about the “conspiracy” at the IACC (Inter-agency Autism Coordination Council) to not properly study environmental causes (she means vaccines) of autism. She then proceeds to misinterpret a recent twin study that she misinterprets to mean that post birth environmental factors (vaccines in particular) cause autism…the researchers have indicated that their focus is on factors before conception and in utero and at the time of birth that can affect the development of the fetus and neonate. Further along in her nonsensical article she comments that doctors are notorious for giving poor advice.

    (while commenting on hormone replacement therapy and more recent research linking HRT with higher incidence of breast cancer), she writes this “gem”:

    “Most women immediately stopped HRT and newly menopausal women never started. Just one year later there was a 50 % drop in breast cancer. 50 %! So much for the environment playing a small role in breast cancer.”

    Such is the quality of their journalism…no wonder Handley didn’t plug the “mother ship”.

  159. #159 cjf
    August 9, 2011

    I’m curious about what people think of a scenario where we have a pretty significant outbreak of something like measles and there are maybe a dozen deaths or so.

    Do you think people who had postponed or skipped the MMR would assess the risk vs. benefit of the vaccine differently than they had prior to the outbreak? Would a lot of people who had believed there was more risk than benefit from the vaccine recalculate that and view the benefit of taking the vaccine more favorably than they had before the outbreak.

    If many people who had avoided the vaccine decided to get the vaccine in light of an outbreak, would vaccination rates increase and herd immunity increase as well? Would that impact how large the outbreak could become?

  160. #160 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Augustine- I am, in very specific ways, retarded. I’m HFA. I’ll save you the name calling… ;)

    Aren’t they all? Aren’t they all? If you’re retarded, in which ways do I know you’re retarded if you don’t tell me?

  161. #161 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    No absolutely not Asperger Syndrome, just a nasty, arrogant, ignorant troll. We have posters on this site who have Asperger Syndrome and I know people who are diagnosed at each end of the Spectrum and they are fine decent human beings. Their parents and everyone who loves them are proud of them and enjoy their company, no matter what their challenges are.

    My deceased son was profoundly mentally retarded with autistic-like behaviors, wheelchair bound, with a grand mal seizure disorder and immuno-suppressed. He was not “medically damaged” as Ugh Troll has stated…nor is Chris’ child or Venna’s child Viktor.

    We are all proud to be the mothers of these children who have brought such joy into our lives and for the opportunity to reach out to help these precious children and their families.

  162. #162 CA anonymous
    August 9, 2011

    Venna, I’m surprised that someone with your interest in science-based medicine and doing the best for your autistic son is associated with Autism Speaks.

    I used to be part of the local ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network) chapter, and we were horrified by their anti-autism propaganda. Ever heard of their infamous TV ad, “I Am Autism”? Or how about their other video, “Autism Every Day,” in which the interviewer commiserates with a parent who talks about her desire to drive her car off a bridge with her autistic daughter–in front of that child?

    Although the Autism Society and Parents Helping Parents are too tolerant of quackery for my taste, at least they have the attitude that we need to accept autistics for who they are, and help parents before they get overwhelmed.

    I’m also angry at the damage done to autistic adults by the propaganda. I have been denied ADA accommodations for my autism because the people who should provide them get their information from Autism Speaks, and tell me there is no way I am Asperger’s or HFA, that my evaluations are fraudulent because an autistic person could never get a college degree. Tell that to Temple Grandin, PhD.

    (Sorry about the run-on sentences.)

    Anyhow, Venna, you sound like a nice person, so please ignore Ugh Troll and Thingy, and be careful who you hang around with in real life. Autism Speaks doesn’t have our best interests in mind.

  163. #163 Lawrence
    August 9, 2011

    How typical – notice how boring troll resorts to direct insults and personal attacks when people stop engaging he/she/it’s idiotic contrarian rants. Boring troll is only looking for engagement, every time someone responds, it is another opportunity to show off its Objectivist crendentials (and act as some kind of boost to its own self-esteem).

    If you ignore, it will eventually go away – as there will be no more “feeding of its ego.”

  164. #164 Andreas Johansson
    August 9, 2011

    Augie’s inanity reminds me of a kind of nuclear power opponent I have the misfortune of having a number of in my extended family: to them, any deaths caused by nuclear power are absolutely unacceptale, even if the alternative is a greater number of deaths from another energy source. A hundred dead in a coal mine collapse is bad, but one dead from a radiation leak is incomparably worse.

  165. #165 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Larry, Curly, and Moe

    How typical – notice how boring troll resorts to direct insults and personal attacks when people stop engaging he/she/it’s idiotic contrarian rants.

    These facts aren’t contrarian.. They’re just facts and reasonable scientific objection to a vaccine.

    Over a 15 year span you have 90% of “catching” measles. It’s much lower in any given year. BUT if you “catch” measle, according to prevaccine era statistics, you have a 99.99% chance of surviving and conferring lifelong immunity!

    Facts! Reasonable and scientific facts to object to a vaccine! Not woo or conspiracy. Just hard facts and science!

  166. #166 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Andreas Johansson ?????

  167. #167 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    @ CA anonymous: I am aware of the controversy associated with the video…Autism Speaks sponsorship of the video…and the overwhelming response from the autism community. In addition, the video’s controversy was featured in a Time Magazine article. I agree that it was inappropriate to be representative of autistic people and that Autism Speaks allowed too much “artistic” freedom to the producers. I suspect that part of the misstep by Autism Speaks’ staff was due to their naivete inherent in a newly-formed, newly-funded advocacy organization. It was supposed to be an outreach to families of children with autism who volunteered clips of their children and their families for participation in the proposed video. I’m sure many parents who participated were devastated by the way the video clips were used and the downright creepy voiceover, that the producer used.

    You have a very valid point about this video, yet you recommend organizations which you yourself state “are too tolerant of quackery”. Have you visited the “Autism Speaks” website recently (in the two year interim) since the video was produced? I suspect you would be surprised how firmly in the camp of real science the group is…and they are not “too tolerant of quackery.”

    Now, I don’t know how Autism Speaks may have affected your job prospects, you did not provide more specifics. I am fairly well versed in the ADA and its application for applicants who have the skill set required for a particular job. There is an ADA website that describes the law as well as referral agencies funded by federal tax dollars in each state for you to get assistance if you believe that the ADA applies to your particular situation.

    BTW, I make a donation to Venna’s team who are participating in the Autism Speaks walk-a-thon.

  168. #168 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    @ Lawrence: I am hoping that Orac steps in here. It is very distracting, a deliberate attempt to derail the threads and to “run off” any new posters…while continuing its vicious vile attacks on regular posters.

  169. #169 Lawrence
    August 9, 2011

    lilady – where can one make a donation to Venna’s team as well?

  170. #170 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    I suspect that part of the misstep by Autism Speaks’ staff was due to their naivete inherent in a newly-formed, newly-funded advocacy organization.

    Didn’t you say earlier that they are very powerful and well-funded?

  171. #171 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    @ Lawrence: Venna mentioned the walk-a-thon here on this blog about six weeks ago and I sent a check. It is so nice that you want to support Venna and her youngster Viktor. Please pose the question to her for the site…when she comes back to post here.

    You will be delighted with the picture of Viktor on her “team” site…he certainly is an adorable child.

    Still ignoring ignorant arrogant nasty troll.

  172. #172 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    lilady – where can one make a donation to Venna’s team as well?

    I think all science blogger should donate to autism speaks. In fact I think they should just call the executives in charge and just personally deposit the money into their bank account. You know, to cut out all the middle rah, rah.

    Chief Science Officer, Geraldine Dawson: $669,751
    President, Mark Roithmayr: $400,413
    Executive Vice President, Peter Bell: $265,981
    Glenn Tringali: $255, 256
    Alison Singer: $201,942
    Richard Brown: $190, 938
    Andy Shih: $187, 449
    Sophia Colamarino: $182,220
    Clara LaJonchere: $173, 310
    Thomas Hetzel: $167,732
    Elizabeth Emken: $151, 486

  173. #173 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    Still ignoring ignorant arrogant unemployable on-the-dole scam artist troll.

  174. #174 Lawrence
    August 9, 2011

    Thanks lilady – I’ll do that.

  175. #175 René Najera
    August 9, 2011

    No to derail Augustine’s rants and raves, which I’m sure are brilliant in their stupidity, but did any of you hear about this:

    http://wusa9.com/news/article/161543/77/Kensington-Murder-Suicide-Was-Dad-Next-On-Hit-List

    Basically, a mother murdered her 13 year-old, autistic son then turned the gun on herself. Age of Autism and others are picking it up as being a consequence of his autism, not the mother’s mental health or anything. (At least that’s how I read their assessments.)

    It’s a very sad story. I wonder what’s the over/under before the anti-vaxers blame a conspiracy for this tragedy?

  176. #176 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    You will be delighted with the picture of Viktor on her “team” site…he certainly is an adorable child.

    In all honesty, instead of wasting your money on a salary heavy beaurocracy like those breast cancer walks, it would be better to just give the money directly to Venna. Viktor would benefit more from that than any amount of dollars you send to Autism Speak’s Coffers.

    I’m sure Venna would agree.

  177. #177 Gray Falcon
    August 9, 2011

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

  178. #178 dt
    August 9, 2011

    Measles complication rates:

    Case fatality from measles is around 0.02% (1 per 5000, although recent European outbreaks have case fatality rates of 1 per 2000).

    Encephalitis rate is around one per thousand (0.1%)
    This is usually in the form of ADEM (acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis). This is the type of encephalitis that Bailey Banks developed after MMR vaccine and received compensation through the VICP to much acclaim from the antivax community after a diagnosis of PPD-NOS.

    Shame they never realised that this complicates one per ten million vaccine shots (0.000001%), as opposed to one per thousand measles cases (0.1%).
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X06009108

    But again, probability, logic and simple math are usually beyond them. Hell, none of them can even correctly add up the number of shots an infant gets on the vax schedule.

    Also unfathomable is how in the antivax mind set, ADEM after measles is somehow “harmless” or “trivial”, yet if it happens after vaccination, ADEM somehow transforms into the most evil neurological condition known to mankind.

  179. #179 Lawrence
    August 9, 2011

    Rene – that’s awful & occurred in my own backyard here in MD (with all of the financial news, a lot has been buried by the local media and not received the attention it deserves). Many school systems are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to mainstreaming special ed children & parents do sometimes have to fight tooth and nail to get the services that they deserve.

  180. #180 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    “but the number of reported cases with anaphylaxis dramatically decreased after 1999 when gelatin was removed from all brands of DPT.”

    Science blogger object. People eat Jello all the time there is NO WAY this vaccine ingredient can cause harm. Once an ingredient has been put into a vaccine vial, there is no way possible any single person, let alone multiple persons, could have anything happen other than lifelong immunity. This is a farce. Put the jello back in. You can’t prove it did anything other than give lifelong immunity.

  181. #181 René Najera
    August 9, 2011

    @Lawrence – Yeah, I’m right here in Maryland, too. This is a sad, sad story. I read up some more… The school she was trying to send her son to was going to charge about $60,000 a year for tuition. WTF? That’s more than some colleges, including room and board.

    But, you know, for the anti-vax autism “community”, it’s Big Pharma that needs to be brought to justice.

    Whatever.

  182. #182 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Also unfathomable is how in the antivax mind set, ADEM after measles is somehow “harmless” or “trivial”, yet if it happens after vaccination, ADEM somehow transforms into the most evil neurological condition known to mankind.

    When the vaccine causes the very thing it’s portrayed to prevent then it’s kind of disheartening to the parent who trusted the vaccine and their medical doctor. The vaccine and the doctor let them down.

    And on top of that,after deceiving you, instead of taking the side of the customer and admitting it the doctor and vaccine company throws you under the bus and makes you go through a brutal legal system.

    They could just say “Sorry, I caused it, I will pay for this immediately”.

    Do they do this? Nope. They clam up and then attack you to protect they’re financial securities. Like a criminal in prison. Never admit you did it.

  183. #183 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    @ Rene Najera: Thanks for the link…I will look at it later…have to dash for an appointment now.

    Still ignoring nasty ignorant arrogant troll.

  184. #184 Lawrence
    August 9, 2011

    My sister’s mother-in-law is a special ed / mainstreaming advocate up in Connecticut. She works with parents to walk them through the various processes necessary to get their kids the services required, if their kids are going to be mainstreamed by the school district.

    It can be a very daunting process, especially in light of tightening budgets around the country & the lack of qualified personnel to make these programs more affordable and have better access to them.

  185. #185 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Lil retired before science started nurse lady

    Still ignoring nasty ignorant arrogant troll.

    Still ignoring facts. It doesn’t make them go away. Ignore science all you want.

    Just curious Miss Arrogant Nurs,. Since you were in school how many medications and procedures have come and gone yet when they were used were proclaimed to be “SCIENCE”.

  186. #186 René Najera
    August 9, 2011

    @Lilady

    Still ignoring nasty ignorant arrogant troll.

    And that, my dear, is what makes you the better person than the troll. You have no idea how much more enjoyable this and other blogs are with the “kill comment” firefox extension. Blocking their comments has taken nothing from the discussion. Strangely, though their comments are blocked and unseen, thus subtracted, this has only added to the quality of the comments. A paradox.

  187. #187 augustine
    August 9, 2011

    Hey beaner, would you play the lottery if you had a 99.99% chance of winning?

    Those are good odds aren’t they? Numbers don’t lie right?

  188. #188 Lawrence
    August 9, 2011

    Lilady & Rene – a good friend of my wife was involved in autism-shadowing up in Fairfield, CT. She was assigned to one student & was his mentor throughout the school day – and the student showed remarkable progress in both his attitude and ability to perform in school.

    It was very unfortunate, that after a number of years of this successful relationship, that the school system decided to remove the student from her care – the setback was devastating and resulted in a real regression.

    Until we can find a way to maintain that type of program & the consistency across a student’s experience in school – and do so without compromising budgets or the experience of the other students, we are going to continue to have major issues dealing with special needs students in our schools.

  189. #189 DT35
    August 9, 2011

    Orac —
    I respect and admire your committment to open discourse and your reluctance to ban anyone, but augustine’s adolescent maunderings have now decomposed to the level of addressing Rene Najera with “Hey beaner”. Do we really have to tolerate ethnic slurs in order to enjoy the rest of RI?

  190. #190 Orac
    August 9, 2011

    I’ve been thinking about doing this for the last few days, but augustine’s finally reverted to intolerable form. Consequently, augustine is now in my “holding pen.” His posts will all go to moderation, where I’ll approve them when I get around to it; that is, unless they’re using racial slurs again. My commitment to free speech is ridiculously strong, but even I have limits, especially since augustine is starting to border on spamming comment threads again.

    His removal from the “holding pen” will depend upon augustine’s behavior over the next few days.

  191. #191 René Najera
    August 9, 2011

    He did what now? Just showed his true colors, I guess. That’s why I’m done arguing with the trolls. It’s pointless. It adds nothing to my life or the lives of others. Thanks for regulating, though, Orac.

    Now, back to the topic at hand…

    I’ve often wondered if the whole “one size fits all” approach to education is worth the savings in funding. I remember being in class with kids with special needs when I was in school in Mexico. There was a 15 year-old in third grade! He kept being held back because of his condition.

    This only led to him being teased and getting frustrated. Sure, the parents got him a “free education” (more like babysitting), but is it really worth it? Once he was 18 (and in fourth grade) he was released to the general public. Last I heard, he was selling ice pops on the street.

    Here in the States, when someone says that they want to abolish the Education Department, and they say that kids in special programs are getting a “free ride”, I cringe. Kids with special needs need all the help and attention NOW so they are not a problem for society LATER.

    Then again, we all know how badly we as a society (in America) do with preventative anything.

  192. #192 Amanda Mascarelli
    August 9, 2011

    I appreciate your feedback on my article, Orac. One point I’d like to make is that this article was one of three in a package. It wasn’t intended to be a stand-alone story but rather a sidebar of the main story on herd immunity (http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-vaccines-herd-immunity-20110801,0,6101873.story) along with a Q&A on herd immunity (http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-vaccines-qa-20110801,0,4888541.story). I wish that the links to the other stories were more prominent.

    That said, the section on Handley is less than 10% of the total word count of the three stories together. I certainly understand your concerns about presenting both sides of a ‘controversy’ when indeed there really is no true scientific controversy on vaccines, and it was something I struggled with as I wrote these pieces. However, because there are so many people who have deeply entrenched beliefs on this topic and who continue to point to the rare cases where there have been safety problems in the past, we felt it important to present their views and arguments and allow experts to address them with science rather than omit their voice altogether; the hope is that by doing so, they will be less likely to dismiss the article altogether.

  193. #193 dt
    August 9, 2011

    Regarding the idea that someone who gets a vaccine injury is ignored, perhaps the ignorant troll has forgotten (if he ever knew) that that there is the equivalent, not of saying “Sorry I caused this I will pay immediately”, but the even laxer system of “Sorry, even if I didn’t cause this I will pay you immediately”.

    It is the system of “Table injury” compensation which is ridiculously simple to claim on, and weighted heavily in favor of the claimant with no requirement to show causation.
    http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/table.htm

    As any fool can see, encephalitis is one of the injuries listed.

    Well, any fool other than the brain dead trolls that infest this blog I guess.

  194. #194 Marry Me, Mindy
    August 9, 2011

    ey beaner, would you play the lottery if you had a 99.99% chance of winning?

    How is “catching the measles and not dying” at all similar to winning the lottery? Dude, you are off the deep end.

    I hate to do engage the clown, but it is a pet favorite right now so I have to bring it up:

    According to US DOT estimates, the chance of a drunk driver dying in a drunk driving accident when he/she gets behind the wheel is about 1/500K. That’s right, a drunk driver won’t die 99.9998% of the time he/she drives drunk. The chances of just getting into an accident OR even getting a DUI are less than 1/1000. So drunk driving has absolutely no consequences more than 99.9% of the time it happens.***

    Which means that driving drunk is safer than getting the measles.

    So augustine, if your 99.9% chance of nothing happening means that we don’t have to worry about it, then you must be opposed to drunk driving laws.

    ***Which is why it is so common – the consequences are too rare to have an effect on people.

  195. #195 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    August 9, 2011

    Thick little tosspot said: “Lilady, you’re arent’ very smart are you?”

    OMFG! The irony meter just died and went to irony meter heaven!

    Syntax and punctuation fail in one sentence! Get a fucking brain, dipshit!

  196. #196 Beamup
    August 9, 2011

    would you play the lottery if you had a 99.99% chance of winning?

    Well, let’s see. If I don’t play the lottery, I have a 100% of no result. If I do play, I have a 0.01% chance of losing $2 and a 99.99% chance of winning a much larger amount. Balance of risks clearly favors playing.

    If I don’t get vaccinated, I have (assuming your number for the sake of argument) a 99.99% chance of nothing happening and 0.01% chance of dying. If I DO get vaccinated, I have a better than 99.99% chance of nothing happening and a less than 0.01% chance of dying. Balance of risks clearly favors vaccination.

    Just because you put the same number in two places doesn’t make the situations similar.

  197. #197 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 9, 2011

    It’s a little better than that, though. If you don’t get vaccinated you stand a 99.99% chance of living and not suffering a significant permanent injury. However, you do stand a chance of illness with possible quarantine. Whereas your chances of getting the disease if vaccinated are significantly lower.

  198. #198 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    August 9, 2011

    Yeah, the lotto is a bass-ackwards example anyway. To begin with, you can opt out of playing the lotto. You can’t opt out of taking your chances with disease, regardless of Thingy’s fantasies of “staying on the sidewalk”.

    Another difference is that with measles, just as one example, you’ve got between 4999 out of 5000 and 9999 out of 10,000 chances of winning the lotto and one chance of losing. If you win, nothing happens (other than a miserable disease), If you lose, you die—but you can also get lesser “prizes” of encephalitis, blindness, deafness, etc., 10 or 100 times as often.

    Somebody offers you a “magic system” that increases your chance of winning the lotto to 9,999,999 out of 10,000,000. Amazingly, this system has been proven to work! Do you take it? Hell, yes, sign me up! If I turn out to be one of the one out 10,000 who use the system and lose anyway, those are the breaks. I still would have been completely insane not to take advantage of it.

  199. #199 Keith Kloor
    August 9, 2011

    Orac,

    Speaking again as a fan, it’s unfortunate that you have a bit of tunnel vision when it comes to media coverage of this issue.

    Or, as I suggest here, a tic:

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2011/08/09/oracs-tic/

  200. #200 cjf
    August 9, 2011

    I think my questions got kind of lost in the shuffle but I was hoping someone could comment and give their opinion.

    If vaccine rates fall low enough for vaccine-preventable diseases, like measles for instance, that significant outbreaks begin to occur along with some deaths, would people who had foregone vaccines start to choose to get vaccinated?

    It seems like there are probably many people who choose to skip vaccines for themselves or their children, realizing that if they later change their mind for whatever reason, they can still get the vaccine.

    Choosing not to get the vaccine for the time being isn’t the same as choosing to never get the vaccine. People can opt-in to getting the vaccine at any time.

    I would guess that people’s behavior and vaccination rates would change in response to changes in the circulation of the disease and as reports of serious complications and deaths began to appear.

    That’s just my guess as to how people would act but I don’t know. Any thoughts?

  201. #201 Beamup
    August 9, 2011

    Given that a large portion of the antivax contingent has convinced themselves that vaccines are not only harmful but actually useless to boot, they won’t change their minds.

    The fence-sitters might be pushed onto the side of sanity, though.

  202. #202 Yojimbo
    August 9, 2011

    @cjf 201

    However, if you or your children happen to be on the forefront of the “changes in the circulation of the disease” then you’ll probably be too late in changing your mind.

    So, sure, if one of these diseases becomes epidemic probably a lot of people (outside of the true-believers) will line up for the vaccinations. But for some folks the horses will have already left the barn.

  203. #203 Th1Th2
    August 9, 2011

    cjf,

    If vaccine rates fall low enough for vaccine-preventable diseases, like measles for instance, that significant outbreaks begin to occur along with some deaths, would people who had foregone vaccines start to choose to get vaccinated?

    If vaccine rates fall, then that’s good news. The naive and uninfected will be spared from vaccine-induced primary infection–the leading cause of primary infection. Of course, the vaccinators aren’t going to be happy with this since infection promotion is their main goal and top priority.

    That’s just my guess as to how people would act but I don’t know. Any thoughts?

    Please do yourself a big favor. Stop guessing and educate yourself.

  204. #204 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    August 9, 2011

    Twat1Twat2: “Please do yourself a big favor. Stop guessing and educate yourself.”

    Why don’t you do all of us a favour and fuck off, eh? Too addicted to making an arse of yourself, are you? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing! Pitiful and nasty excuse for a human being, you!

  205. #205 Anton P. Nym
    August 9, 2011

    For those new to the blog, be advised that Th1Th2 has an idiosyncratic definition of “infection” that means “anything that gets under the skin”. Which makes Thingy one of the most virulent substances known to man, come to think of it.

    Because this definition is axiomatic for him/her, and therefor beyond argument, discussing immunisation with Thingy is fruitless at best. I advise against it, and instead advise killfiling or simply ignoring him/her.

    — Steve

  206. #206 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    August 9, 2011

    The naive and uninfected will be spared from vaccine-induced primary infection–

    Oh, look—Clueless is back! OK, Thingy. Now’s your chance. Tell us exactly how you plan to stay “naive and uninfected”, given that you’re exposed to millions of different kinds of invisible, unavoidable germs every frickin’ day of your life.

    Your answer will NOT include any variations on the meaningless phrases “due diligence”, “staying on the sidewalk”, “infection” referring to inoculation with protein fragments or dead pathogens, and absolutely will not refer to trees or squirrels in any way whatsoever.

    Please reread the last paragraph before typing a single character in your reply.

    I cannot emphasize this strongly enough—read the next-to-the-last paragraph again, and then again if necessary, until it penetrates your thick skull.

    Now is your chance to dazzle us with your brilliance. If you can elucidate a way to avoid infectious disease without vaccination, simply through mental powers only you have discovered, your Nobel Prize awaits.

    Again, reread the second paragraph.

  207. #207 Th1Th2
    August 9, 2011

    Oh, look—Clueless is back! OK, Thingy. Now’s your chance. Tell us exactly how you plan to stay “naive and uninfected”, given that you’re exposed to millions of different kinds of invisible, unavoidable germs every frickin’ day of your life.

    I’m being generous. Just give the top five out of the millions of germs one is exposed to everyday. BTW, make sure these are pathogenic.

  208. #208 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    @ cjf: Apologies for not answering your question when posed earlier.

    In my experiences working in public health, there are a large contingent of older people who may not be fully protected during an epidemic.

    *I’ll try to keep this short to describe how this could happen.

    The original single antigen measles vaccine was licensed in 1963 and several more types were licensed prior to 1968 when the live attenuated Edmundson-Enders strain, which is presently the only measles vaccine used today in the USA, was licensed. The prior vaccines were either killed vaccines, live or somewhat live attenuated vaccines…with varying degrees of efficacy and some side effects.

    In 1989 a second dose of this vaccine was recommended due to an uptick in cases in young children; greater than 99 % of youngsters and adults who are immuno-competent who receive the 2-dose series of measles vaccine (now available only in combination with mumps, rubella vaccine or mumps, rubella and varicella vaccines (MMR or MMRV vaccines respectively) are immune for life. The first dose cannot be given before one year of age and the second dose must be spaced at least 4 weeks after the first dose.

    It is assumed that if you were born in 1957 or before that you are immune…such was the prevalence of this virus before vaccines were available. It is recommended for these people in the absence of a blood test to prove immunity, or a vaccination record of having received at least one live attenuated Edmonston-Ender measles vaccine that they be administered one dose of the MMR vaccine; but how many physicians question their adult patients about measles susceptibility and history of vaccination is unknown.

    The 1957 “rule” of presumed immunity does not apply to health care workers who must be blood tested to prove immunity.

    When I worked as a public health nurse and there were outbreaks, people did respond and we ran large public clinics to administer the combined MMR vaccine to susceptible unvaccinated people. People who are close contacts of an actual case can be given immune globulin within 6 days of the actual exposure, which is especially important for infants under one year of age, pregnant women and people with certain immune-compromised conditions.

    Of course if there were children attending a school who had some sort of exemption…medical or philosophical and exposed within the school setting to a measles case…they were “excluded” until the incubation period expired (several weeks).
    I suspect that some of the parents who opted for a “philosophical” exemption, did some “soul searching” and got their child immunized.

    The local media has been public health’s ally when it comes to vaccine preventable disease outbreaks, the publicizing of special immunization clinics’ locations and hours to “walk in”
    for free MMR vaccine. And, of course media is very quick to report on the index case (oftentimes an unvaccinated child returning from a trip to a foreign country were measles is endemic) and the resulting secondary transmissions to other susceptible children and adults.

    You should key in “Measles Outbreak Minneapolis” to see the excellent coverage provided by the media. The outbreak is directly attributable to the three trips made to Minneapolis by the disgraced Dr. Wakefield to speak to the large Somali population there and his latest quackery about increased incidence of autism in Somali children.

    *Oops, I failed to provide a short version.

  209. #209 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    August 9, 2011

    I’m being generous. Just give the top five out of the millions of germs one is exposed to everyday. BTW, make sure these are pathogenic.

    Oh, no, no, no, no, no, Thingy. You don’t get to ride free on herd immunity due to everybody else getting vaccinated! This is your fantasy world, remember: Where there’s no such thing as herd immunity, and everybody’s “naive and uninfected”. They will be pathogenic. You want five? Here: measles, mumps, whooping cough, chickenpox, diphtheria—and then when you get your way, you can look forward to polio coming back as well. The psychic power, Thingy—the psychic power you have that allows you to spot invisible germs coughed out by asymptomatic people, and somehow avoid breathing them. Teach us, oh wise one! Tell us how it works!

  210. #210 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    Please ignore the ignorant arrogant nasty troll (I still think that Ugh Thing/Thing Ugh are “channeling”.

    The more you ignore trolls, the crazier they get…until they become raving blathering trolls. He/she/it will eventually receive the same treatment from Orac as his/hers/its alter ego.

  211. #211 Liz Ditz
    August 9, 2011

    cf asked

    If vaccine rates fall low enough for vaccine-preventable diseases, like measles for instance, that significant outbreaks begin to occur along with some deaths, would people who had foregone vaccines start to choose to get vaccinated?

    this is anecdata, but when Waldorf schools have been closed for whooping cough outbreaks, a significant number of parents have responded with at least getting their children immunized with the appropriate tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis formulation.

    Of course that doesn’t mean the children are fully immunized.

  212. #212 Th1Th2
    August 9, 2011

    You want five? Here: measles, mumps, whooping cough, chickenpox, diphtheria,{…]

    Apparently they are also the ones you vigorously promote. Am I exposed to these every day? I will have to doubt it. It’s not the same as going to the clinic with the intention of getting inoculated with known pathogens.

    Oh, no, no, no, no, no, Thingy. You don’t get to ride free on herd immunity due to everybody else getting vaccinated! This is your fantasy world, remember: Where there’s no such thing as herd immunity, and everybody’s “naive and uninfected”. They will be pathogenic.

    Like Orac, you have no clue of what herd immunity is. It does not exist. It is a myth. Herd infection caused by vaccines is real.

    The psychic power, Thingy—the psychic power you have that allows you to spot invisible germs coughed out by asymptomatic people, and somehow avoid breathing them. Teach us, oh wise one! Tell us how it works!

    Nah. I don’t have to spot those invisible germs. All you need is to identify the shortest distance between the uninfected and the infectious agent which is, without a doubt, the vaccines.

  213. #213 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    @ Rene Najera and Lawrence: I saw the article about this murder-suicide while slumming at AoA.

    First of all, IMO this is not the act of a rational person. I may be going out on a limb here, but the mother was adamant that the school district foot the bill for Wellspring Academy of the Carolinas…which is not a “special education” residential school. It advertises itself as a weight loss center that provides (regular) education for obese children whose parents opt for extended residential placement while undergoing the academy’s weight loss program.

    While there are difficulties in placing children in special education residential schools, that doesn’t seem to be the case here. The young man had lost considerable weight while attending the Academy…and we don’t know if the parents footed the bill for the weight loss school or for a shortened summer “camp-type” program. The mother, a psychiatrist and a seemingly well-educated woman must have known that a weight loss residential school offering only regular education programs would not be funded by the local district.

    There are some special education residential schools with special (secure) units for children who have Prader-Willi Syndrome which is a genetic disorder marked by varying degrees of mental retardation, very short stature and morbid obesity.

    I have visited a group home set up to meet the unique needs of these youngsters diagnosed with P-W Syndrome. Their diets are strictly controlled, all food cabinets and refrigerators are locked (or wired with alarms) and they require enriched client:staff ratios due to their tendency to “escape” in search of food, food in dumpsters or in garbage cans. The young man did not have Prader-Willi Syndrome…his diagnosis was somewhere on the autism spectrum and he attended a regular school.

    We will probably never know if in fact the school district offered a “trial” period in a special educational day program due to the district’s privacy policy regarding students and advised the mother that a weight loss program for her child is her responsibility. But, in any case, IMO the mother tried to get the district to pay for a residential academy for weight loss, which does not in any way meet the criteria of Special Education Laws and Regulations.

  214. #214 Lawrence
    August 9, 2011

    Take lilady’s advice – ignore idiot troll.

  215. #215 Billy
    August 9, 2011

    Ok, so Augie is clearly a troll who hates Christians and mocks them at every turn, and Th1Th2 is mentally ill, but who’s paying Harold to drop his turds of wisdom here?

  216. #216 Krebiozen
    August 9, 2011

    I’ve mentioned this before but I’m still wondering about the number of adults in the US and other developed countries who are not immune to a large number of vaccine-preventable diseases. Since measles, mumps and chicken pox are much more dangerous in adults than in children, these non-immune adults are at serious risk of a number of potentially life-threatening infections.

    For example 0.7% of 4069 adults aged >30 with measles in the US between 1987 and 2000 died of complications, while 27.2% were hospitalized (PMID:15106083). I don’t think a 1 in 143 chance of death are great odds, and that’s just measles. I can’t imagine what it must be like for adults without any immunity to these diseases, especially as there is always a possibility that measles and other diseases will increase in prevalence as they have in Europe. I suppose most of them are ignorant of the risk they are exposed to. The unvaccinated and previously uninfected are not at all fortunate they are terribly vulnerable to serious illness.

    I find the unexpected repercussions of mass vaccination quite interesting. If enough people are vaccinated herd immunity is maintained and serious adverse reactions to vaccines are very rare. If herd immunity is not maintained, some unwanted effects can occur.

    For example, the average age at which unvaccinated people get the disease can increase, because if most but not enough people are vaccinated the unvaccinated will tend to be older before they are exposed to the infection. This can be a serious problem with some diseases, for example rubella which is far more dangerous in women of child-bearing age than it is in children because of maternal rubella syndrome. As I mentioned, other diseases have a high rate of serious complications in adults.

    Maternal antibodies that are passed on to babies from vaccinated mothers may be less effective in preventing infection than those passed on by mothers whose immunity comes from natural infection. This can leave babies more vulnerable to infection, if herd immunity is not maintained. Of course mothers who are not vaccinated and have never been infected will not pass on any specific IgG antibodies at all to their babies, leaving them extremely vulnerable to infection.

    These are good reasons to ensure that herd immunity is maintained by any means necessary. Mass vaccination is really an all or nothing measure, if we are to avoid these unwanted consequences. I don’t like the idea of compulsory vaccination, from a civil liberties and human rights point of view, but from a public health perspective, if vaccination rates fall below those required for herd immunity I don’t see much alternative.

  217. #217 Rene Najera
    August 9, 2011

    @Lilady

    I get the same impression from all of this… I was wondering about her insistence on that school versus anything local. I read an article where her mother, the child’s grandmother, sent $10K to cover some of the costs. By the time the checked arrived, unfortunately, this had already happened. Can’t help but wonder if that would have eased her mind a bit.

    The big umbrella issue here (and in a lot of troubles in this country) is mental health. We (in the US) are horrible at dealing with this. I wonder if anyone saw warning signs that the mom was about to snap? I wonder if anyone at the school blew her off because, hey, “he’s not the only kid with autism” or “sorry about her luck”?

    To be honest, it bothers me to no end that AoA or others will blame it all on the child’s autism, or on whatever they think gave him the autism, or about a conspiracy, etc… It’s a whole universe of things that led to this and other similar tragedies. It’s ridiculous to continue to be fixated on one thing (with Handley et al it’s vaccines, with others it’s the government, and so on).

    Of course, all my opinion. God only know if I’ll change it when I have children and if said children are special needs.

  218. #218 Venna
    August 9, 2011

    @ Lawrence

    Sorry I didn’t get to you sooner, Viktor and I just got back from his occupational therapy appointment about 30 minutes ago. Gawd I LOVE being reliant on public transportation to get everywhere.

    Anyway, if you wish to make a donation, or if you know anyone else who might want to also (still trying to spread the word to any and all who would like to support our team’s efforts at raising funds and awareness) the web site is http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/oregon and our team name is Igoenitchu. Once you get to our team’s page, you can select any walker to place your donation under or even make a general team donation. We don’t have a very big team, unfortunately. I’m the team captain so my name appears next to the link to our team page after you search for the team name. In case you wanted to donate it under my name. Either way, my team gets the credit. And thank you for your support!

  219. #219 lilady
    August 9, 2011

    Apparently the Associated Press has written a more complete article entitled:

    Md. mom who killed son, herself, agonized over education costs for special needs child, debt

    I read this article at the Washington Post website and I believe the mother displayed certain signs of mental disorder(s). She was cold toward her neighbors and she was alienated from her family ignoring the family’s attempt to speak with her. Apparently the $ 10 K check from the maternal grandmother was the first payment for a year’s worth of tuition; her sister had spoken with her earlier and relayed that the grandmother was going to pay the entire $ 60 K yearly tuition.

    Yes, she fretted over bills and debts, but she could have had the emotional and financial support of her family and she was employed as a doctor…a lot more than many parents have who face extraordinary medical bills, loss of the parent/caretakers income, expensive therapies and assistance in the home.

    As I stated above, the school district is totally unwilling to discuss the child, citing confidentiality.

    Speaking from experience, I valued and cherished my support system after my son was born; my neighbors were/are the best neighbors anyone could ever wish for. I met so many wonderful people “inside the system” who went above and beyond for my son and for my family and I met new acquaintances…now the closest of friends…because I reached out for help.

    It is so sad that this mother didn’t seek professional help, didn’t use existing family and friends as a support system and dwelt on what she perceived to be great difficulties associated with raising her son.

    Rene, in spite of anti-bullying programs in place in all schools there is a degree of bullying, some of it is very brutal, sad to say. I know you will be a great parent as evidenced by your kind compassion. Your child(ren) will be a joy to you and you will handle the little and larger challenges of parenting easily.

  220. #220 Rene Najera
    August 9, 2011

    @Lilady Thank you for that. :-)

  221. #221 Homer 3D
    August 9, 2011

    Sometimes I think anti-vaxxers forget this important detail of the spread of disease:

    “If {influenza, pertussis, measles, rubella, etc.} was only contagious after symptoms appear, it would’ve died out thousands of years ago. Somewhere between tool using and cave painting, homo habilis would’ve figured out to kill the guy with the runny nose.” (As said by Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory regarding influenza)

  222. #222 jre
    August 10, 2011

    Well, it’s a long thread, and appears to be largely dominated by Augie and the Things, so I’ve missed most of it, what with killfile and all.
    But sometimes you just need to jump in anyway.
    To me, the most interesting quality of Handley’s comment regarding herd immunity was his statement that “… herd immunity is a complete myth,” as if the existence of herd immunity were demonstrable or refutable on the evidence. It’s not. Herd immunity is a mathematical construct, perfectly valid whether or not the actual condition of herd immunity exists in a given case. It is so straightforward in derivation that it is used as an example in calculus courses. For J.B. Handley to dismiss it as a “myth” is the strongest possible confirmation he could give that this is all just politics to him. “Well, the CDC wants us to believe that 2+2=4,” Handley continued, “but I think that parents of arithmetic-injured children would rather trust their own knowledge of what really happened to them.”

    Mark Chu-Carroll had a truly marvelous post on just this subject, but I can’t find it now, search as I may.

  223. #223 Delurked lurker
    August 10, 2011

    Stupid ignorant un-moderated troll said
    “Stupid analogy. The seatbelt protects whereas the vaccine infects.”

    Bwahahhahaahahahah

    Stupid ignorant unbanned troll is still stupid and ignorant, hopefully soon to be moderated.

    Remember rule 14 ;)

  224. #224 dt
    August 10, 2011

    V nice quote, Homer3D.

    Sheldon is a star.

    However, measles only evolved in around 1100 AD from/with rinderpest virus. Homo habilis would never have had it.

  225. #225 Fleegman
    August 10, 2011

    Hey Thingy,

    Just wondering, I mean, especially after this:

    Like Orac, you have no clue of what herd immunity is. It does not exist. It is a myth. Herd infection caused by vaccines is real.

    I really have to wonder if you’re purposefully saying these kind of things in order to drive down the level of respect people have for you to yet unexplored depths?

    Do you have weekly gatherings on the beach at midnight with your troll friends, and by the light of the blazing bonfire, regale each other with tales of disrespect and contempt from other commenters?

    “Yes, until now, there was another troll that people had as little respect for as they did me, but they were banned. Now, I, Thingy, am the least respected person on the whole of Respectful Insolence…”

    *gasps from the assembled throng*

    “Yes… Come closer… Bask in my stupidity, and learn from my blistering idiocy. You, too, could reach the depths of utter disdain that I have reached. It just takes patience, and a total commitment to never agree with anything sensible, and always, always, vigorously promote things that are, as far as anyone can tell, nonsense.

    These are the words of thingy… Heed them well…”

    Cos that would be awesome!

  226. #226 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    Fleegman,

    I really have to wonder if you’re purposefully saying these kind of things in order to drive down the level of respect people have for you to yet unexplored depths?

    Unlike other commenters, my technique is simple. I use straight Science and stick it deep into their heart and mind. With this, the discussion ends without them loading their pathognomonic manipulative and garrulous behavior, fantasy and group thinking. No, they can’t pull a fast one on me so they will prey on others instead.

  227. #227 Gray Falcon
    August 10, 2011

    Th1Th2, why do you believe what you say is “science”? Where is your evidence coming from?

  228. #228 Fleegman
    August 10, 2011

    Dear Thingy,

    I have to admit that I had to look up one of the words you used there, because your definition of what a “fact” is doesn’t seem to align with mine.

    Herd immunity is a myth.

    Is this one of the facts of which you speak? It’s just, well, it’s not really what the science says, that’s all. I’m also having trouble finding all these “end of discussion” moments you mentioned. There doesn’t seem to be a single example in this entire thread, to put it bluntly.

    I’m wondering, therefore, if you are living in some kind of alternate world where the things that I experience, are perhaps polar opposites from the things you experience.

    Or does your definition of “end of discussion” include instances where people completely disagree with everything you say? There has, indeed, been a lot of that.

    Your pal,

    Fleegman

  229. #229 Gray Falcon
    August 10, 2011

    Truth be told, most of us don’t engage Th1Th2 except out of morbid curiosity. Her arrogance exceeds normal limits of human sanity. It isn’t simply “I’m smarter than everyone else”, her attitude seems to be, “If it weren’t for me, people would eat by shoving food into random orifices until they find one that works!” Then she’d shove a sandwich in her ear.

  230. #230 lilady
    August 10, 2011

    @ Fleegman & Gray Falcon: Okay Fleegman you dispatched the Thing beautifully and Gray Falcon I’m still chuckling about he/she/it “shoving” the sandwich.

    I’m hoping that Orac will “terminally disinfect” this troll.

    Remember Rule # 14 Don’t feed the trolls and Rule # 14b) especially the Thingy troll.

  231. #231 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    Fleegman,

    Is this one of the facts of which you speak? It’s just, well, it’s not really what the science says, that’s all.

    Just check it out. Orac couldn’t even define what herd immunity is. I bet you have your own version of it as well like any one else claiming that it exist let alone some even have contrasting versions typical of a myth. The belief in such constitutes anti-science, deliberate disinformation and false reassurance. If you want to see the real herd and the effect, just go to your nearest hospital and you would find them saturating all the hospital beds and rooms. Immunity? Nada.

    I’m also having trouble finding all these “end of discussion” moments you mentioned. There doesn’t seem to be a single example in this entire thread, to put it bluntly.

    Because these people knew they can’t manipulate me. The discussion will only last for as long as they can control the other person. Just check out the Varicella thread. It was a nightmare for them.

  232. #232 JohnV
    August 10, 2011

    I can’t manipulate my clown loaches. That doesn’t mean they won anything. It means they’re fish.

  233. #233 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 10, 2011

    Orac couldn’t even define what herd immunity is.

    I suggest you re-read the blog post, particularly this section.

    As an aside, I will note that these days herd immunity tends to be more often called something like the “herd effect” or “herd protection,” because, after all, the concept behind herd protection is that the unimmunized are indirectly protected by a high level of vaccination in the population because high levels of vaccination make the spread of disease more difficult between even the unimmunized.

    Orac shows every sign of knowing what it is and defines it – though he acknowledges that there are different terms used for the same effect.

  234. #234 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    JohnV,

    I’m curious. Is your fish antivaccine?

  235. #235 Beamup
    August 10, 2011

    Probably the Thing has redefined “define” just like “infection.”

  236. #236 JohnV
    August 10, 2011

    In the absence of being able to carry out a meaningful dialogue with my loaches (amusing similarity), at best I can put myself in their fins. Were my caretaker to succumb to a vaccine-preventable illness, I (fish-JohnV) would rapidly run out of food and clean water. Therefor, I (fish-JohnV) would be in favor of vaccines.

  237. #237 Krebiozen
    August 10, 2011

    Orac couldn’t even define what herd immunity is.

    You can define herd immunity mathematically, and make predictions that are very accurate. I don’t think there is a much better way of defining anything.

    Th1Th2, your hovercraft is full of eels.

  238. #238 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    I read it again. Where’s the definition of herd immunity? Orac misconstrued it as herd effect. They are not the same.

  239. #239 Chris
    August 10, 2011

    Well, at least the delusional lying troll provides us a few laughs!

  240. #240 Gray Falcon
    August 10, 2011

    I like to compare herd immunity to the nature of fire codes. If a single building is built with no regard to fire safety, such as being made primarily of wood and built out to the edges of the property, then the odds a large fire breaking out are fairly low. If the whole city is built that way, well, see Chicago, year 1871.

    This analogy is not directed towards Th1Th2, who does not understand the concept of analogies. Or fire. Or buildings.

  241. #241 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 10, 2011

    Why do you claim these are not two different names used for the same effect?

  242. #242 Fleegman
    August 10, 2011

    Thingy:

    Because these people knew they can’t manipulate me. The discussion will only last for as long as they can control the other person. Just check out the Varicella thread. It was a nightmare for them.

    I think that’s the first thing everyone on this thread will agree on. A nightmare indeed.

    @Grey, thanks for the LOL on that last post. You rock.

  243. #243 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    Krebiozen,

    You can define herd immunity mathematically, and make predictions that are very accurate. I don’t think there is a much better way of defining anything.

    From that link it says, “An example of this being successfully achieved worldwide is the global eradication of smallpox, with the last wild case in 1977.”

    Now where did you derive herd immunity from in the absence of routine smallpox vaccination nine years prior to global eradication of smallpox?

    Luck maybe.

  244. #244 Krebiozen
    August 10, 2011

    Now where did you derive herd immunity from in the absence of routine smallpox vaccination nine years prior to global eradication of smallpox?

    Herd immunity leads to eradication of the disease in a population. Once it has been eradicated in that population, like smallpox was in the US population in the 60s for example, there is no need to maintain herd immunity, as long as reintroduction of the disease can be prevented.

    The smallpox vaccine had much higher rates of adverse effects than vaccines in use today, so its use was stopped as soon as it safely could be.

    The reintroduction of smallpox into the US was prevented by ensuring that anyone traveling from areas where smallpox was endemic was vaccinated, and by surveillance and isolation of any suspected cases.

    With the much higher numbers of people traveling by air today from areas where vaccine-preventable diseases are still common, and the much safer vaccines available, it isn’t practical to stop vaccination and depend on surveillance and isolation. Especially since herd immunity is threatened by people who have an irrational fear of vaccines.

  245. #245 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    Why do you claim these are not two different names used for the same effect?

    I knew Orac intentionally withheld defining herd immunity because if he did his infection promoting agenda will be exposed. The so-called herd immunity is actually acquired infection primarily from natural infection or vaccination. He skipped that. Of course, he wants all the credit be given to vaccination only. And of course, Orac knows how to sell the vaccines and make claims that vaccines work. This is what he calls herd effect.

  246. #246 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    Krebiozen,

    Herd immunity leads to eradication of the disease in a population. Once it has been eradicated in that population, like smallpox was in the US population in the 60s for example, there is no need to maintain herd immunity, as long as reintroduction of the disease can be prevented.

    Smallpox is just a plane ride away during that time. The herd immunity threshold for smallpox is 83-85%. Now how do you keep up that number in the absence of acquired “immunity” i.e. nine years of no routine smallpox vaccination. And what kind of acquired “immunity” do surveillance and containment have to offer? Do they have any effect on herd immunity threshold? Or do they sell very well like vaccines?

  247. #247 Lawrence
    August 10, 2011

    Ignore idiot troll – she doesn’t live on the same planet or the same reality as the rest of us.

  248. #248 Krebiozen
    August 10, 2011

    Th1Th2,
    I’m feeling patient, so I’ll repeat myself – you don’t need to maintain herd immunity once a disease has been eradicated from a population, as long as you can prevent reintroduction of the disease.

    Smallpox is just a plane ride away during that time.

    Until January 1982, smallpox vaccination was required for international travelers to the USA, and International Certificates of Vaccination forms included a space to record smallpox vaccination.

    And what kind of acquired “immunity” do surveillance and containment have to offer?

    If you can prevent infection spreading, and reduce the number of people each person with a disease infects, you increase the level of herd protection.

    If everyone lived in a cave and never had any contact with another human being, as you apparently do, we could eliminate measles and other diseases that have only a human reservoir, without vaccination. However, it would be a miserable world to live in, and there probably aren’t enough caves…

  249. #249 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 10, 2011

    Ah, so rather than simply say, “I erred in saying he didn’t define herd immunity” you resort to “he defined something completely different, pretending it was herd immunity, in order to hide his fiendish plots.”

    Entertaining as always.

  250. #250 Delurked lurker
    August 10, 2011

    Stupid ignorant un moderated troll said

    “Now where did you derive herd immunity from in the absence of routine smallpox vaccination nine years prior to global eradication of smallpox?”

    BWhahahahahahahahahaha

    Stop it you are killing me :)

    Stupid ignorant un moderated troll is terminally stupid

    Blow rule 14….milk the troll for laughs this is too funny

  251. #251 healthy
    August 10, 2011

    Have you guys ever known a parent whose child was behaviourally altered or had a severe health effects right after a vaccine? Would it make you more open minded about educating yourself first if you had?
    No, I’m not anti vaccines. I’ve done all the vaccines. I just wish people would be more open-minded to the info that’s out there. Even though there may be no scientific proof that there’s a link between vaccines and health problems, you shouldn’t disregard the people who experienced the horrible health effects right after they got vaccines, just because they’re not “part of a study” to definitely prove there is a link!

  252. #252 Chris
    August 10, 2011

    I just wish people would be more open-minded to the info that’s out there.

    I think you should be the one who was a bit more opened minded and actually read the articles and comments on this blog. You can start with this one. We don’t disregard that there have been those that have been affected, but you might want to also read the comments on VAERS. Oh, and the complications need to compared to the risks of the disease, something you would have known if you read this comment.

  253. #253 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    Krebiozen,

    I’m feeling patient, so I’ll repeat myself – you don’t need to maintain herd immunity once a disease has been eradicated from a population, as long as you can prevent reintroduction of the disease.

    The last case of smallpox in the US was in 1949. If reintroduction of the disease can be prevented sans the vaccine, why is that the use of smallpox vaccine continued up until it was rescinded in early 1970’s? What are you trying to maintain during that period?

    Until January 1982, smallpox vaccination was required for international travelers to the USA, and International Certificates of Vaccination forms included a space to record smallpox vaccination.

    The last known case of smallpox in the world occurred in 1977 and global certification was achieved in 1980. So what’s the rationale for the above requirement? What are you trying to prove here?

    If you can prevent infection spreading, and reduce the number of people each person with a disease infects, you increase the level of herd protection.

    The use of OPV certainly does not work that way. It’s goal is to make sure the vaccine infects not only the recipient but also its close contacts. Again, who are you trying to protect here?

    If everyone lived in a cave and never had any contact with another human being, as you apparently do, we could eliminate measles and other diseases that have only a human reservoir, without vaccination. However, it would be a miserable world to live in, and there probably aren’t enough caves…

    Make that two. A human reservoir and the measles vaccine. So no you cannot possibly eradicate measles if you remain loyal to your job as an infection promoter.

  254. #254 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    Mep,

    Ah, so rather than simply say, “I erred in saying he didn’t define herd immunity” you resort to “he defined something completely different, pretending it was herd immunity, in order to hide his fiendish plots.”

    Except that I didn’t err. You’re ambitious.

  255. #255 novalox
    August 10, 2011

    Ignore ignorant troll.

  256. #256 healthy
    August 10, 2011

    There could definitely be severe complications of diseases. You should always look at risks vs. complications. What bothers me is that it’s considered so wrong to question your doctor and to question every vaccine and that they’re so pushed onto you! But you SHOULD question what is put into your body and you shouldn’t just blindly follow just because “everyone’s doing it”. Eg. how many drugs like Vioxx or HRT were still given by doctors even though there were deaths attributed to them? What if you were a patient who just blindly trusted your doctor without finding out info for yourself? You might be dead. Some vaccines are more necessary than others, and some are for more deadly diseases than others. That’s all I’m saying..

  257. #257 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 10, 2011

    Even though there may be no scientific proof that there’s a link between vaccines and health problems, you shouldn’t disregard the people who experienced the horrible health effects right after they got vaccines, just because they’re not “part of a study” to definitely prove there is a link!

    Well, I’m glad we’re agreed on that.  It would be a silly standard to dismiss anyone who claimed they had health problems right after a vaccine just because they weren’t part of a study; how would we ever know what to study if we ignored what wasn’t already being studied?

    However, it would also be a silly standard to take all such claims at face value, because we’ve seen so many such claims that were definitely not what they were claimed to be.  

    Desiree Jennings is a famous example; she never had the dystonia she claimed she was given by the seasonal flu shot.  I don’t know if there’s really anyone who still believes that her disorder was anything except psychogenic, not after she got surprised by a camera crew who caught her walking normally until she realized she was on camera, and then started exhibiting symptoms.  The fact that so many people did jump to the conclusion that her case was a real example of vaccine injury, and clung to that conclusion long, long after it was clear that the facts didn’t match her account, shows why even the most fanatically insisted-upon claims of “vaccine injury” cannot be treated as immune to scrutiny.

    Another good example is Michelle Cedillo, one of the test cases of the Autism Omnibus Trial.  Her parents went into court and insisted that she was a normal child until her MMR vaccination and became autistic after that.  The problem was, they submitted videos of Michelle to the court to show how “normal” she was prior to the vaccination, and autism experts showed in those videos how even at that early age, Michelle was already displaying indicators of autism such as repetitive “flapping” and lack of interaction.  Remember, this was a test case, on of three cases picked to represent all cases predicated on the same basic theory of causation, meaning that it should have been one of the three strongest cases that could be found for that theory of causation.  If that was one of the strongest, it says a lot about how weak even the strongest claims of vaccine-caused autism are – and once again, the fact that people still scream so loudly about the Cedillo case, and still insists that the vaccine caused her autism when it didn’t even precede her autism, shows how often claims of vaccine injury are not what they seem.

  258. #258 Chris
    August 11, 2011

    healthy:

    There could definitely be severe complications of diseases. You should always look at risks vs. complications.

    Provide some, with real citations. Remember (something you would know if you had lurked this blog enough) I have a child who suffered seizures while suffering from a now vaccine preventable disease. Show us those risks.

    Do be mindful that neither Vioxx nor HRT were vaccines. Do try to stay on topic.

  259. #259 healthy
    August 11, 2011

    I understand what you’re saying but there are also people who WERE affected sincerely, and not “lying or mistaken”. There are entire support groups and forums online for parents and kids who DO have names, and who were affected but aren’t in the news.

    Now I know you’ll say “But how do you know it was the vaccine causing it and the child wasn’t already starting to show signs before?” That’s a great argument, however, has it occured to you that people who get serious complications after vaccines could already have a metabolic/nervous/other “weakness” to begin with? And a stimulus such as a vaccine could in some way be “the last straw” and set off the problem in vulnerable kids who are 1-2 years old and not mature or infants with under-developed immune systems? Maybe it’s not one vaccine, but the dozens of shots the infants/toddlers get that could overwhelm susceptible bodies?
    Just saying, there are a lot of possibilites we may not know yet, so don’t be so quick to say “Nope, there’s no connection”.. We don’t really know! We NEED more studies.

  260. #260 healthy
    August 11, 2011

    Chris:
    I was agreeing with you that there are serious complications to many diseases and that if we choose to avoid a vaccine, we have to make sure the risks of that aren’t too great. So why would I provide citations for something I’m agreeing with??

    My point with mentioning the drugs was to warn people not to fall under the mob mentality that since everyone’s doing it, it must be ok. If doctors are for it, it must be ok. If the media says it must be done, then it must be done.

  261. #261 Chris
    August 11, 2011

    healthy, two words: “prove it.”

    In case you missed it, one of my comments included this sentence: “Provide some, with real citations”.

    Do you understand what this means?

    This is really important when you say:

    That’s a great argument, however, has it occured to you that people who get serious complications after vaccines could already have a metabolic/nervous/other “weakness” to begin with? And a stimulus such as a vaccine could in some way be “the last straw” and set off the problem in vulnerable kids who are 1-2 years old and not mature or infants with under-developed immune systems?

    Because you don’t explain why they would suffer less with an actual disease. Much like the one that made my own son have a seizure and end up in the hospital when he was a bit over a year old. I’d rather he had not had the disease (by the way he is almost 23 years old and still quite disabled).

    So exactly why would a vaccine be more dangerous than the disease? Really, give us all the science you have to prove it to us.

  262. #262 lilady
    August 11, 2011

    @ healthy: Chris asked you a question based upon your statement,

    “Some vaccines are more necessary than others, and some are for more deadly diseases than others. That’s all I’m saying..”

    You still haven’t answered why, in your “opinion” some vaccines are more necessary? She just wanted to know what you based your opinion on. Posters here (non-troll types) have investigated the efficacy, safety and necessity of vaccines, as well as the consequences of opting out of some or all of them. Chris stated that (non-troll type) posters here provide citations from peer reviewed journals as well as information from the CDC and the WHO…we have some hard facts that are based in the sciences of immunology, chemistry and epidemiology.

    I suspect you went off topic about medicines to avoid providing citations and your comment about supposedly falling for “mob mentality” is insulting.

  263. #263 healthy
    August 11, 2011

    Proof of what?? When did I say vaccines are MORE dangerous? I actually said I agreed that there are serious diseases that could be prevented with vaccines and the disease complications are worth taking the vaccine. However, at the same time, we shouldn’t forget that there are parents just like you whose kids were negatively affected BY vaccines and they could be dangerous to SOME people.

    You are so passionate about vaccines perhaps because of your tragic story, that you think I’m an anti-vaccine activist or something? I’ve done all the vaccines, and now, I would probably avoid some, like the flu vaccine because I’m healthy/young with good immunity and got the flu maybe once in my life, but if I was 80 and unhealthy, I’d reconsider it! But I would do other vaccines for more serious diseases. I know how to choose, rather than accept everything.

    In my paragraph above that you copied, I hypothesized something, and it’s what I THINK is a possibility! Clearly I can’t test it out and even if others have, more studies are NEEDED, I never said I think it’s proven! It makes sense to ME (and others I’ve talked to), but clearly you’re incapable of seeing other points of view (as in, OPINIONS). I get YOUR points, I’ve even said “I understand what you’re saying” or “This is a great argument”.

  264. #264 lilady
    August 11, 2011

    Obviously “healthy” has been lurking here a long time…might have even posted here under a different name.

    If “healthy” read any of the prior blogs and was able to understand them then “healthy” would understand that vaccine safety studies have been done repeatedly and no link has been found between any vaccine, any combination of vaccines and autism. Just how many more studies need to be done? Five more, ten more or an infinite number of more studies?

    What “makes sense” to “healthy” about vaccines is that “more studies are NEEDED”…that is his “hypothesis”. Clearly, what “makes sense to him and others he has talked to” is an effort to “Tell both sides”…as if there are two sides of science.

  265. #265 anarchic teapot
    August 11, 2011

    If doctors are for it, it must be ok.

    How can one put this? While doctors are human, and therefore fallible, they’re generally a damn sight better informed than the Man Down The Pub, or the Troll In The Forum.

    As for choosing which vaccines “you” need, I say this, and it comes straight from the heart of a person who needs herd immunity for protection against ‘flu and other highly contagious respiratory diseases: you arrogant, self-centred, life-threatening BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

    Sorry about the outburst, but my colleagues who’ve had cancer and my friends who live with (their own of their lover’s) AIDS will surely forgive me.

  266. #266 Krebiozen
    August 11, 2011

    Ignore ignorant troll.

    This is the closest to a rational discussion I have had with her for a while – there may be hope!

    The last case of smallpox in the US was in 1949. If reintroduction of the disease can be prevented sans the vaccine, why is that the use of smallpox vaccine continued up until it was rescinded in early 1970’s? What are you trying to maintain during that period?

    By the early 1970s smallpox was well on the way to being eradicated in the rest of the world, and the number of potential cases coming into the USA had fallen to a level that could be controlled through surveillance, isolation and vaccination of contacts. As the smallpox vaccine was much more dangerous than currently used vaccines it was sensible to stop vaccination as soon as practically possible. More people died from the smallpox vaccine than from smallpox in the 1947 outbreak in New York, though of course many more people would have undoubtedly died without vaccination.

    The last known case of smallpox in the world occurred in 1977.

    UK 1978, as a matter of fact, but that was a laboratory escapee.

    and global certification was achieved in 1980. So what’s the rationale for the above requirement? What are you trying to prove here?

    I’m pointing out that there were very strict regulations in place to prevent smallpox being reintroduced to the US before and even after its official global eradication in 1980. I guess the US didn’t entirely trust the WHO.

    If you can prevent infection spreading, and reduce the number of people each person with a disease infects, you increase the level of herd protection.

    The use of OPV certainly does not work that way. It’s goal is to make sure the vaccine infects not only the recipient but also its close contacts. Again, who are you trying to protect here?

    It is not the goal to infect close contacts, though that does happen occasionally, about 1 in 5 million doses of OPV results in a case of paralytic polio in a close contact. On my planet the infection caused by the OPV is very much safer than that caused by the wild virus it protects against.

    you cannot possibly eradicate measles if you remain loyal to your job as an infection promoter.

    Yes we can, because the transmission of attenuated measles virus from a vaccinated person to another person is incredibly rare. To eradicate a disease (with no animal or other reservoir) in a population you simply have to keep herd protection levels high enough to reduce the average number of people a person with the disease infects to less than one. Wild measles viruses are only made by the cells of infected people. Once there are none left in the world, vaccination can be stopped, as it has been for smallpox.

  267. #267 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 11, 2011

    You’re ambitious.

    Why, yes, I do try to get ahead and am on the lookout for opportunities. Thanks for noticing.

  268. #268 Science Mom
    August 11, 2011

    Now I know you’ll say “But how do you know it was the vaccine causing it and the child wasn’t already starting to show signs before?” That’s a great argument, however, has it occured to you that people who get serious complications after vaccines could already have a metabolic/nervous/other “weakness” to begin with? And a stimulus such as a vaccine could in some way be “the last straw” and set off the problem in vulnerable kids who are 1-2 years old and not mature or infants with under-developed immune systems? Maybe it’s not one vaccine, but the dozens of shots the infants/toddlers get that could overwhelm susceptible bodies?

    @healthy, your assertion of ‘complications after vaccines, leading to autism’ (I’m paraphrasing) is the tired old trope that keeps this belief alive. Signs of autism are sometimes present at birth or sometime in infancy but many do not become evident until after a child is a year old when more pronounced developmental milestones are not met, leading parents to believe that their children suddenly regressed and about the time when a child receives a suite of vaccines, namely MMR. We have seen it time and time again and even when substantial evidence is available that they are revising history and relayed to the parents, they still deny it.

    Just saying, there are a lot of possibilites we may not know yet, so don’t be so quick to say “Nope, there’s no connection”.. We don’t really know! We NEED more studies.

    What, exactly are the studies that you think are needed that aren’t already done or in progress? You are being swayed by emotive outpourings by parents convinced of ‘vaccines did it’, rather than examining the actual evidence we already have.

  269. #269 healthy
    August 11, 2011

    You don’t know me or my education, and how much cancer I’ve had in my family and am currently going through. I never said the flu vaccine is useless for people who need it, but for healthy people like myself at them moment, I have the choice to avoid it and it shouldn’t be forced on me because I never get sick so I’m not “endangering” you! Since when is it ok to force procedures/drugs/etc on people without their consent!? You think this is normal??

  270. #270 Lawrence
    August 11, 2011

    Healthy – actually, if you’re going to be around people with compromised immune systems, like those going through chemotherapy treatments, you should be getting the flu vaccine – since, if you get sick, you could easily pass it along to those individuals.

  271. #271 augustine
    August 11, 2011

    Krebz

    Once there are none left in the world, vaccination can be stopped, as it has been for smallpox.

    And here’s the rub with the “benefit outweighs the risk” gambit. It falls apart at the end of the disease eradication hypothesis.

    The forced mass vaccine apologists say “we don’t deny vaccine can cause serious harm”. So they say that they concede some cases in all of the world will be caused by the vaccine. But if there is only a handful of measles virus left in all of the world, and only a handful of unvaccinated then the benefit DOESN’T outweigh the risk to the individual.

    The only counter to this is to play philosophical and move the goal post to “the benefit outweighs the risk” to the whole. This is ideology, not science.

    To the regular SBMers, in the scenario above, do you concede that it’s OK and reasonable to forgo the measles vaccine on the brink of supposed eradication. Or do you change your argument to further the real agenda, microbe eradication?

  272. #272 augustine
    August 11, 2011

    Healthy – actually, if you’re going to be around people with compromised immune systems, like those going through chemotherapy treatments, you should be getting the flu vaccine

    Citations?

    http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews/en/ab005187.html

    The studies found that vaccinating healthcare workers who look after the elderly in long-term care facilities did not show any effect on the specific outcomes of interest, namely laboratory-proven influenza, pneumonia or deaths from pneumonia.

  273. #273 Dangerous Bacon
    August 11, 2011

    healthy: “and now, I would probably avoid some, like the flu vaccine because I’m healthy/young with good immunity and got the flu maybe once in my life”

    If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say that they don’t have to worry about influenza because they’re young and healthy with a great immune system – well, I’d at least be able to buy lunch at the Cheescake Factory.

    In reality, this population may be at special risk of flu complications and death, owing to hyper-immune responses as was seen in the recent H1N1 outbreak (and may have been responsible for the high number of deaths among young healthy people during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic).

    I’m young and healthy,
    And so are you
    When the moon is in the sky
    Tell me what am I to do?

  274. #274 Vicki
    August 11, 2011

    Healthy–

    Actually, many of the worst cases in the outbreak of H1N1 flu a couple of years ago were otherwise healthy, relatively young adults. Yes, this is unusual, but think back: when H1N1 came around, did you look at the pattern and decide to get a flu shot that year, or did you skip it because you consider yourself healthy?

    More broadly: it is okay to force treatment on people when the alternative is to risk the lives of other people. This is current US policy with tuberculosis medication. That influenza doesn’t generally rise to that level doesn’t mean no infectious diseases do.

  275. #275 lilady
    August 11, 2011

    Citations?

    The Cochrane Review article according to the “Search Strategy” was conducted by two researchers using data bases from:

    The Cochrane Central 2009

    Medline 1966-2009

    EMBASE 1974-2009

    Biological Abstracts and Science Citations Index

    The abstract from the Cochrane Review stated:

    The three studies in the first publication of this review and the two new studies we identified in this update are all at high risk of bias.

    We conclude that there is no evidence that only vaccinating healthcare workers prevents laboratory-proven influenza, pneumonia, and death from pneumonia in elderly residents in long-term care facilities. Other interventions such as hand washing, masks, early detection of influenza with nasal swabs, anti-virals, quarantine, restricting visitors and asking healthcare workers with an influenza-like illness not to attend work might protect individuals over 60 in long-term care facilities and high quality randomised controlled trials testing combinations of these interventions are needed.

    Here is a more updated complete study of outbreaks in Long Term Care Facilities for the elderly and the steps taken to contain the outbreak and stop the outbreak of H1N1 2009 Influenza as reported from Colorado, New York and Maine. No “review of data base citations here”…but actual intensive case surveillance of laboratory confirmed H1N1 influenza virus, and the interventions used to contain and stop the outbreak in these facilities:

    MMWR, January 29, 2010 Outbreaks of 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) Among Three States-2009

    Let’s go back to the premise that “healthy” doesn’t need to get seasonal influenza vaccine…after all he doesn’t work in the health care field caring for elderly patients and doesn’t visit anyone in a long term care facility…so what would be the harm in opting out of influenza vaccine? How about “others” in the community that he has contact with?:

    Updated CDC Estimates of 2009 H1N1 Influenza Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths in the United States, April 2009-April 10, 2009

    How about laboratory confirmed cases, which are reported each week:

    CDC 2010-2011 Influenza Season Week Ending July 30,2011

    See the statistics under the header “Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality”:

    Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality

    No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 30. This season, 114 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths from 33 states, Chicago, and New York City have been reported. Forty-three of the 114 deaths reported were associated with influenza B viruses; 30 were associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses; 21 deaths reported were associated with influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and 20 were associated with an influenza A virus for which the subtype was not determined.

    What’s The Harm?

  276. #276 Dangerous Bacon
    August 11, 2011

    If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say that since they’re young and healthy with a great immune system, they don’t need to worry about the flu – well, I’d have enough for a nice lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

    In addition to the predisposition of young, previously healthy adults to get grievously ill or die from H1N1 flu, it’s thought that damaging immune responses were responsible for the high death rate of young people in the 1918-19 influenza pandemic.

    healthy might want to reconsider that feeling of invulnerability when it comes to influenza.

    I’m young and healthy,
    And so are you
    When the moon is in the sky
    Tell me what am I to do?

  277. #277 Composer99
    August 11, 2011

    Since when has strangers on the Internet making normative statements (such as ‘you ought to get your flu shot’) been equivalent to having vaccinations ‘forced on me/you/whomever’?

  278. #278 Chris
    August 11, 2011

    healthy:

    Proof of what?? When did I say vaccines are MORE dangerous?

    Your assertions, especially the part I quoted:

    And a stimulus such as a vaccine could in some way be “the last straw” and set off the problem in vulnerable kids who are 1-2 years old and not mature or infants with under-developed immune systems?

    If the “under-developed immune systems” is a problem for kids who are 1-2 years old, then how would they survive the actual disease. Then I mentioned my son was actually injured by a disease as a one year old as an example that kids that young do get sick.

    I want you to explain the “logic” that kids would have issues with a vaccine would fair better with the disease. Because that is an assertion that the vaccines are more dangerous than the disease.

    Oh, and if you think being young and healthy is going to protect you from influenza, you better work on reading some history. Particularly the history of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which was somewhat repeated with the H1N1 flu when children, young adults and pregnant women were at more risk.

  279. #279 Antaeus Feldspar
    August 11, 2011

    I understand what you’re saying but there are also people who WERE affected sincerely, and not “lying or mistaken”. There are entire support groups and forums online for parents and kids who DO have names, and who were affected but aren’t in the news.

    Well, first of all, no one used the word “lying” to describe such people.  Even when discussing Desiree Jennings, I said that her disorder was clearly psychogenic; that doesn’t mean she was lying or making it up.

    As for whether those people are mistaken or not, I’ve already acknowledged that some vaccine injuries are real, and the people who claim them are not mistaken.  But the question is, how many?  We can’t simply say “Oh, there are so many people who claim that their health woes began after a vaccine that a large number of them must be correct in blaming the vaccine,” because for centuries, people blamed witchcraft for their health woes in very large numbers, and today we think all those people were mistaken.

    Now I know you’ll say “But how do you know it was the vaccine causing it and the child wasn’t already starting to show signs before?” That’s a great argument, however, has it occured to you that people who get serious complications after vaccines could already have a metabolic/nervous/other “weakness” to begin with? And a stimulus such as a vaccine could in some way be “the last straw” and set off the problem in vulnerable kids who are 1-2 years old and not mature or infants with under-developed immune systems? Maybe it’s not one vaccine, but the dozens of shots the infants/toddlers get that could overwhelm susceptible bodies?
    Just saying, there are a lot of possibilites we may not know yet, so don’t be so quick to say “Nope, there’s no connection”.. We don’t really know! We NEED more studies.

    Well, in order to understand where we’re coming from on this, you need to understand an important concept called falsifiability.  Why do we do studies?  We do studies because we want answers.  Some questions, we can study, and studying them will result in either a “yes” or “no” answer.  But other questions lack the quality of “falsifiability,” which means that even if the answer to the question is “no,” studying that question will never give us a “no” answer.  Take the hypothesis that the whole world was created two minutes ago, complete with a consistent set of false memories in everyone’s head about what supposedly happened before that point two minutes ago when the world was created.  Do you believe that hypothesis is true?  No, right?  It’s amusing to contemplate but the far more plausible explanation for all our memories is that the world was in existence at that time and we actually lived through the events that we later retained some memories of.  But can you ever prove that the hypothesis is false?  Do we really need studies to investigate the two-minute-ago hypothesis when we know they can’t ever produce an answer if the answer happens to be “no”?

    The two hypotheses you propose: 1) that there is some subgroup of people who have a special vulnerability which can cause autism when vaccines trigger it, and 2) that it is not the effect of any one vaccine or vaccine ingredient which triggers autism, but the effect of “too many too soon,” are not inherently unreasonable hypotheses.  They are, however, unfalsifiable.  And it’s important to remember that those hypotheses were proposed by anti-vaccine advocates to try and keep the blame on vaccines after their previous hypotheses which were falsifiable were in fact shown to be false – the thimerosal hypothesis, for instance.  For years we heard that the cause of autism was “obviously” the mercury compound thimerosal added to vaccines to protect them from bacterial contamination; in fact, some went so far as to claim that there was not even a separate disorder called “autism,” that all autism was in fact misdiagnosed mercury poisoning (despite the symptoms of the two being substantially different.)  Well, if that was true, then we should have seen a dramatic drop in the rates of autism after thimerosal was removed from almost all vaccines; that’s an inevitable consequence of the hypothesis.  When that didn’t happen, those who had previously insisted that thimerosal was the cause and that autism would all but disappear when that cause was removed had a variety of reactions.  Some devised crazy excuses for why the autism rate didn’t drop – “crazy” seems like a strong word, but when you start claiming that the smoke from cremations of people who had mercury fillings, and power plant emissions from China were suddenly adding enough mercury to the environment to precisely compensate for what had been removed from vaccines…  that is crazy.  Others took an approach that was less crazy but equally misguided:  they switched to hypotheses that still blamed vaccines, but that could not ever be falsified (and again, that means that if the hypothesis is indeed false, all the time and money and effort you put into investigating that hypothesis is wasted; the only answer you can get is no answer, or the wrong one.)

    Now if someone comes up with a hypothesis that is falsifiable, and matches up well with the data we already have (as, for instance, “an effect that is no more common on the West Coast than on the East Coast is caused by toxic emissions floating over the Pacific from China” does not) then we might be able to get somewhere with studies of that hypothesis.  But trying to do studies on hypotheses that aren’t falsifiable, or trying to base policy on such hypotheses, will just drain precious resources of time, attention, funding and hope that would be better saved for more promising research.

  280. #280 Th1Th2
    August 11, 2011

    Krebiozen,

    By the early 1970s smallpox was well on the way to being eradicated in the rest of the world, and the number of potential cases coming into the USA had fallen to a level that could be controlled through surveillance, isolation and vaccination of contacts.

    Besides avoiding to answer my question, you have demonstrated lack of understanding and comprehension.
    What part of the word “eradicated” don’t you understand? Like, smallpox was eradicated in the US in 1949 but despite all that vaccination continued until the early 1970s. Are you contradicting your previous assertion?

    I’m feeling patient, so I’ll repeat myself – you don’t need to maintain herd immunity once a disease has been eradicated from a population, as long as you can prevent reintroduction of the disease.

    “Vaccination of contacts”, as you said, does not maintain herd immunity? Obviously you are clueless and lost. No wonder the belief in herd immunity is a myth.

    As the smallpox vaccine was much more dangerous than currently used vaccines it was sensible to stop vaccination as soon as practically possible.

    What does smallpox vaccine have to do with current vaccines anyway? Are you drunk?

    More people died from the smallpox vaccine than from smallpox in the 1947 outbreak in New York, though of course many more people would have undoubtedly died without vaccination.

    Two years after smallpox was eradicated in the US. Wow, that was fast. And despite all that vaccination continued which would only mean one thing, “many more people would have undoubtedly died” from the smallpox vaccine than from a nonexistent disease.

    I’m pointing out that there were very strict regulations in place to prevent smallpox being reintroduced to the US before and even after its official global eradication in 1980. I guess the US didn’t entirely trust the WHO.

    So you just follow whatever they say. Very typical of a sheep. I see. No wonder they are blind leaders of the blind. Haha. Do you believe in the saying, “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.”? WHO could tell who are stockpiling the only source of variola virus. Of course we all know that. And that’s why I’m here because I don’t trust these vaccine proponents and infection promoters.

    It is not the goal to infect close contacts, though that does happen occasionally, about 1 in 5 million doses of OPV results in a case of paralytic polio in a close contact. On my planet the infection caused by the OPV is very much safer than that caused by the wild virus it protects against.

    On your planet, you show no mercy in promoting and spreading the poliovirus to anybody especially to the poor and the naive.

    Global Polio Eradication Initiative

    For several weeks after vaccination, the vaccine virus replicates in the intestine, is excreted in the feces, and can be spread to others in close contact. This means that in areas where hygiene and sanitation are poor, immunization with OPV can result with the “passive” immunization of people who have not been directly vaccinated.

    Yeah instead of teaching the poor to clean up, you even invited more filth in their household by embracing poliovirus. Yikes. May be you need to reassess your job description being an infection promoter.

    Yes we can, because the transmission of attenuated measles virus from a vaccinated person to another person is incredibly rare.

    The only thing that is so incredibly rare is your intelligence. The number one cause of primary measles infection is the measles vaccine.

    To eradicate a disease (with no animal or other reservoir) in a population you simply have to keep herd protection levels high enough to reduce the average number of people a person with the disease infects to less than one.

    Haha. Now you talk like Orac. You can’t even say the “word” you really wanted to say. I know because you cannot prove that it exists. Like Orac, all you have to do is to tag it and replace it with more socially appealing words like “protection”. And besides, what are you reducing when you’re actually promoting an increase measles virus uptake and making sure everyone has the evidence of the measles virus and the disease? You make no sense.

    Wild measles viruses are only made by the cells of infected people. Once there are none left in the world, vaccination can be stopped, as it has been for smallpox.

    There are wild- and vaccine-type measles virus. Both of them are infectious. Both of them cause primary measles infection. When you stop inoculating there would be significantly less primary measles infection since the number one cause of primary measles infection (from vaccine) will be eliminated.

    In the case of smallpox, the vaccine was rescinded nine years before the disease was globally eradicated. That’s why I don’t trust you either.

  281. #281 lilady
    August 11, 2011

    (Orac, I posted a few hours ago rebutting Augustine’s citation at # 272 above)…is it held up in “moderation” or did I mess up because of my limited techie skills?

    @ Krebiozen: Nasty delusional troll, now using some of the references I provided (Global Polio Eradication Initiative), still cannot understand what he/she/it is reading and “spins” the information to justify his/her/its unique “germ theory”…pathetic.

    Let’s continue to ignore nasty delusional troll.

  282. #282 augustine
    August 11, 2011

    Chris

    Then I mentioned my son was actually injured by a disease as a one year old as an example that kids that young do get sick.

    Is your son MORE at risk than the general public or LESS at risk? He skews the overall numbers. These skewed numbers are then used as scare tactics and disease mongering for those with much much lower risks than your son. Omitting morbidity and other confounders is deceitful and unscientific.

    Oh, and if you think being young and healthy is going to protect you from influenza, you better work on reading some history. Particularly the history of the 1918 influenza pandemic…

    1918? Why don’t you tell us how deeeaadly avian flu is and how scaaarrryyy it is too? OOOooohh!

    If you want to be scientific and give true informed consent you should also include the typical age of infection and the age plots of death.

    What protects your son from ILI? The flu shot? That’s silly.

    Oh, and if you think being young and healthy is going to protect you from influenza…

    It usually does. The data also backs that up. 90% of deaths are in 65 and older. Most of those are above 75. But those only account for 10% of all deaths in that group.

    Healthy people aren’t massively OR epidemically falling over from random scary disease.

  283. #283 lilady
    August 11, 2011

    @ Chris: Here is part of my “missing post” that rebutted Augustine’s citation from the Cochrane Review and that further rebuts his most recent statement, “It usually does. The data also backs that up. 90% of deaths are in 65 and older. Most of those are above 75. But those only account for 10% of all deaths in that group.”

    CDC 2010-2011 Influenza Season Week Ending July 30, 2011

    Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality

    No influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week 30. This season, 114 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated pediatric deaths from 33 states, Chicago, and New York City have been reported. Forty-three of the 114 deaths reported were associated with influenza B viruses; 30 were associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses; 21 deaths reported were associated with influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and 20 were associated with an influenza A virus for which the subtype was not determined.

  284. #284 Composer99
    August 11, 2011

    As usual, the two regular trolls on vaccine threads have no clue what they are talking about.

    Considering how often he has been caught out dishonestly cherry-picking or quote-fracking (thank you, herr doktor bimler!) sources – most recently by lilady, the ugh troll has no credibility whatsoever when accusing other posters of ‘skewing’. Especially when the accusation is included in a stinking turd of rotten word salad.

    In Jeopardy, the Crank EditionTM, put ugh troll in the category ‘Clueless’.

  285. #285 augustine
    August 11, 2011

    retired nurse

    Forty-three of the 114 deaths reported were associated with influenza B viruses; 30 were associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses; 21 deaths reported were associated with influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and 20 were associated with an influenza A virus for which the subtype was not determined.

    In spite of what you think and feel you haven’t ‘rebutted” anything.

    You haven’t put this into context by leaving out total numbers.If there are 40,000 flu deaths then this 114 isn’t going to much of a dent into your “rebutted” argument.

    Next you assume that vaccination would prevent all or most of these. But I’m pretty certain that you don’t have any more evidence to prove this assumption because you would also have to know 1. how many were already vaccinated? 2. how many had comorbid states like immune deficiencies and therefore wouldn’t respond to the vaccine anyway. How many different vaccines would have to be injected to cover all of the virus listed?

    Do you know the answer to any of these? Try googling it like you do everything else. They didn’t teach you that stuff in 1960.

  286. #286 Krebiozen
    August 11, 2011

    I’ll keep hammering away here, just to see if I can actually get Th1Th2 to understand this a little.

    Besides avoiding to answer my question, you have demonstrated lack of understanding and comprehension. What part of the word “eradicated” don’t you understand? Like, smallpox was eradicated in the US in 1949 but despite all that vaccination continued until the early 1970s. Are you contradicting your previous assertion?

    How have I not answered your question? Smallpox was eradicated in the US but was still common in the rest of the world until the 70s. Until the 70s the chances of a vaccinated person coming into the US with smallpox (the vaccine was not 100% effective) was considered high enough that vaccination was necessary.

    “Vaccination of contacts”, as you said, does not maintain herd immunity? Obviously you are clueless and lost. No wonder the belief in herd immunity is a myth.

    Is it really that difficult for you to understand this, or are you deliberately playing dumb because you don’t like the truth? If enough people are vaccinated in a population, like the US between 1949 and 1972, even if the disease is introduced to the population it cannot spread due to herd immunity. If vaccination rates are lower than required to maintain herd immunity, like the US from 1972 onwards, cases of the disease can be controlled by surveillance, isolation and vaccination of contacts, as long as there are not too many cases introduced, as was the case when global number of smallpox cases had fallen, and were largely restricted to one part of the world so surveillance of immigrants was easier.

    What does smallpox vaccine have to do with current vaccines anyway?

    You asked the question back at #244! It is relevant, as you have to take the safety of a vaccine into account. If the smallpox vaccine had been as safe as MMR, for example, no doubt vaccination would have continued until smallpox was eradicated globally.

    Are you drunk?

    No, are you?

    More people died from the smallpox vaccine than from smallpox in the 1947 outbreak in New York, though of course many more people would have undoubtedly died without vaccination.

    Two years after smallpox was eradicated in the US. Wow, that was fast. And despite all that vaccination continued which would only mean one thing, “many more people would have undoubtedly died” from the smallpox vaccine than from a nonexistent disease.

    Smallpox had been almost eradicated in the US long before, but since there were so many cases in the rest of the world, and so much immigration into the US, there were sporadic cases. The 1947 outbreak occurred because vaccination rates had fallen.

    So you just follow whatever they say. Very typical of a sheep. I see. No wonder they are blind leaders of the blind. Haha. Do you believe in the saying, “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.”? WHO could tell who are stockpiling the only source of variola virus. Of course we all know that. And that’s why I’m here because I don’t trust these vaccine proponents and infection promoters.

    What a shame, we were doing so well, but once your idiotic claims are shown to be idiotic you lapse into crazy talk again.

    On your planet, you show no mercy in promoting and spreading the poliovirus to anybody especially to the poor and the naive.

    Whereas on your planet you allow infectious diseases to run wild with only an imaginary method of preventing it. How do you explain the extraordinary drop in the number of cases of paralytic polio? If you had been in charge there would still be hundreds of thousands of people dying and being permanently maimed by the disease. OPV may not be perfect, but if you have a better way of dealing with polio you have not yet shared it with us.

    Yeah instead of teaching the poor to clean up, you even invited more filth in their household by embracing poliovirus. Yikes. May be you need to reassess your job description being an infection promoter.

    Ah your pathological fear of filth again. How would you deal with polio then? Clean up the entire developing world? Nice idea, but a little impractical I think.

    Yes we can, because the transmission of attenuated measles virus from a vaccinated person to another person is incredibly rare.

    The only thing that is so incredibly rare is your intelligence. The number one cause of primary measles infection is the measles vaccine.

    So what? You are the only person who is stupid enough to think that infection is bad simply because it is infection. Once the wild measles virus has been eradicated globally, vaccination will no longer be necessary.

    To eradicate a disease (with no animal or other reservoir) in a population you simply have to keep herd protection levels high enough to reduce the average number of people a person with the disease infects to less than one.

    Haha. Now you talk like Orac. You can’t even say the “word” you really wanted to say. I know because you cannot prove that it exists. Like Orac, all you have to do is to tag it and replace it with more socially appealing words like “protection”.

    How many times do I have to explain this? When herd protection levels are high enough to reduce the average number of people infected to less than one, herd immunity is achieved. No one is afraid of these terms, and if you really think that herd immunity doesn’t exist, I can’t help you, as that’s just ridiculous. I do wonder how you explain how it is that measles predictably reappears in a population when vaccination rates fall below those necessary to maintain herd immunity.

    And besides, what are you reducing when you’re actually promoting an increase measles virus uptake and making sure everyone has the evidence of the measles virus and the disease? You make no sense.

    You are the only person on the planet, as far as I know, who thinks that attenuated measles virus (serious adverse sequelae less than 1 in 1 million people) and wild measles virus (serious adverse sequelae 1 in 1000 people) are the same thing.

    There are wild- and vaccine-type measles virus. Both of them are infectious.

    Wild type is thousands or possibly millions of times more contagious than vaccine-type virus.

    Both of them cause primary measles infection. When you stop inoculating there would be significantly less primary measles infection since the number one cause of primary measles infection (from vaccine) will be eliminated.

    You really believe that? You really believe that if measles vaccination stopped in the US there would not be a huge increase in wild measles and large numbers of cases of pneumonia, encephalitis and death? Again, if you do, I can’t help you, but I think that’s crazy.

    In the case of smallpox, the vaccine was rescinded nine years before the disease was globally eradicated. That’s why I don’t trust you either.

    Repeating myself again here but… Since smallpox vaccine was far more dangerous than MMR its routine use was discontinued in the US once global smallpox cases had started to fall, and strict regulations that demanded proof of vaccination against smallpox before anyone was admitted to the US were used. Perhaps routine vaccination could have been stopped long before, but it wasn’t. Measles is still endemic in much of the world, even in Europe, and with millions of flights to and from Europe every year, it would be very easy for measles to be reintroduced to the US (as we have seen several times), just as it has in France which has had cases increase from 40 in 2006 to more than 12,000 so far this year.

  287. #287 lilady
    August 11, 2011

    @ Ugh Troll: Stop moving the goal posts just because I “busted” you, again. The deaths occurred from H1N1 because of the antigenic shift that occurred Spring, 2009 before a vaccine could be manufactured. It was a newly emerging virus that affected youngsters and young people who had absolutely no exposure to similar type of influenza viruses that older people were exposed to.

    Why don’t you look it up on the Google U. website…being that you have no education in the sciences, no gainful employment in public health (or elsewhere) and are totally clueless about immunology, vaccine-preventable diseases and medical epidemiology? (hint: stay away from Cochrane Reviews)

  288. #288 Stu
    August 11, 2011

    (Apologies in advance for yelling)

    Hi, Thingy?

    The number one cause of primary measles infection is the measles vaccine.

    THERE IS A CLEAR, CLINICAL DEFINITION OF THE TERM “INFECTION”, AND THAT IS NOT IT. THIS HAS BEEN POINTED OUT TO YOU DOZENS OF TIMES OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL MONTHS. YET YOU STILL PERSIST IN YOUR LAUGHABLE DEFINITION. WHY NOT SAY “TOUCH”, OR “PANCAKE”? DO YOU REALLY THINK ANYONE TAKES YOU SERIOUSLY AFTER THEY REALIZE YOU MAKE UP YOUR OWN NUTBAR DEFINITIONS FOR “INFECTION”, “INTRAVENOUS” ET CETERA?

    PEOPLE ARE LAUGHING AT YOU (WHEN NOT ROLLING THEIR EYES). YOU ARE NOT FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT, PROVIDING COUNTER-WEIGHT LET ALONE SCORE ANY VICTORIES WHATSOEVER — NOT EVEN RHETORICAL. THOSE THINGS ARE ONLY HAPPENING IN YOUR DISEASED, MISERABLE EXCUSE FOR A PSYCHE. IT IS OBVIOUS TO ANYONE WHO CAN READ THAT YOU ARE DELUDED, DENSE, CHILDISH, OBTUSE, DUMB AS A SACK OF HAMMERS AND A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR.

    IT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY OBVIOUS THAT YOU ARE CLINICALLY INSANE. GET PROFESSIONAL HELP.

    (This message left loudly to serve as yet another marker for lurkers and archivists. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.)

  289. #289 Dangerous Bacon
    August 11, 2011

    Our merrily trolling belonephobe said: “Oh, and if you think being young and healthy is going to protect you from influenza…

    It usually does. The data also backs that up. 90% of deaths are in 65 and older. Most of those are above 75. But those only account for 10% of all deaths in that group.”

    The data from the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic does not back you up. Of the estimated 61 million cases in the U.S., only 6 million were in people aged 65 and over. Severe illness requiring hospitalization and death also disproportionately affected those under 65.

    htt://www.uptodate.com/contents/epidemiology-of-pandemic-h1n1-influenza-swine-influenza (link broken to prevent a moderation holdup)

    United States — A CDC epidemiologic survey assessed the ages of patients who were hospitalized or had died. Between April 2009 and April 10, 2010, the following numbers of hospitalizations were estimated to have occurred in the US:

    0 to 17 years — 87,000 cases
    18 to 64 years — 160,000 cases
    65 years and older — 27,000 cases
    Total — 274,000 cases

    “During the same period, the following numbers of deaths were estimated to have occurred in the US:

    0 to 17 years — 1280 cases
    18 to 64 years — 9570 cases
    65 years and older — 1620 cases
    Total — 12,470 cases

    You will also note that one-third of hospitalized patients had no underlying chronic illness, i.e. were “healthy”. Severe H1N1 illness in young adults, while mostly affecting those with a predisposing condition, also struck down young healthy adults.

    Whether it’s hospitalization, death, or just spending a week or so miserably ill from a preventable illness, there’s a potential price to be paid for stubborn ignorance and needle phobia.

  290. #290 Th1Th2
    August 11, 2011

    Krebiozen,

    How have I not answered your question?

    You keep on dodging my question. What is that you’re trying to maintain with continued routine vaccination during the period when smallpox was eradicated in 1949 until it was rescinded in 1971? Were they trying to preserve a certain ritual like some form of a pagan scarification? Was that considered a fashion trend before? What? Tell me. Are you afraid to say the thing you really wanted to say because if you did it will contradict your previous claim that “you don’t need to maintain herd immunity once a disease has been eradicated from a population”.

    Smallpox was eradicated in the US but was still common in the rest of the world until the 70s. Until the 70s the chances of a vaccinated person coming into the US with smallpox (the vaccine was not 100% effective) was considered high enough that vaccination was necessary.

    Not only the vaccine was ineffective, you were not vaccinating the people, you know the herd, for nine years before global eradication of smallpox. And then again, it’s still a contradiction of your statement that “you don’t need to maintain herd immunity once a disease has been eradicated from a population”.

    If enough people are vaccinated in a population, like the US between 1949 and 1972, even if the disease is introduced to the population it cannot spread due to herd immunity.

    But then you reiterated, “you don’t need to maintain herd immunity once a disease has been eradicated from a population,”

    Don’t you get tired beating yourself up?

    If vaccination rates are lower than required to maintain herd immunity, like the US from 1972 onwards, cases of the disease can be controlled by surveillance, isolation and vaccination of contacts, as long as there are not too many cases introduced, as was the case when global number of smallpox cases had fallen, and were largely restricted to one part of the world so surveillance of immigrants was easier.

    But polio is just a plane ride away right? And when herd immunity falls below the required threshold you would almost immediately put blame on antivaccinationists and those who refuse the vaccines, those you call parasites leeching off herd immunity. OK, so where is the herd immunity and what was the threshold during 1971 up until 1980?

    You asked the question back at #244! It is relevant, as you have to take the safety of a vaccine into account. If the smallpox vaccine had been as safe as MMR, for example, no doubt vaccination would have continued until smallpox was eradicated globally.

    No, you didn’t answer the question. You’re having flight of ideas instead.

    The 1947 outbreak occurred because vaccination rates had fallen.

    And two years after, smallpox magically disappeared in the US. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is especially when surveillance and containment campaign were only added in 1968.

    What a shame, we were doing so well, but once your idiotic claims are shown to be idiotic you lapse into crazy talk again.

    Is that an admission that you are indeed a sheep? Any way you also consider yourself part of the herd right? No?

    Whereas on your planet you allow infectious diseases to run wild with only an imaginary method of preventing it.

    Well the burden of proof is upon you but until then you’re just merely barking up the wrong tree.

    How do you explain the extraordinary drop in the number of cases of paralytic polio? If you had been in charge there would still be hundreds of thousands of people dying and being permanently maimed by the disease. OPV may not be perfect, but if you have a better way of dealing with polio you have not yet shared it with us.

    It’s because of better sanitation, food, water and living condition. Of course, they are not perfect either in the absence of due diligence but at least they won’t intentionally give you live poliovirus and its paralytic derivatives.

    Ah your pathological fear of filth again. How would you deal with polio then? Clean up the entire developing world? Nice idea, but a little impractical I think.

    Understandably, those essential factors I mentioned above don’t apply to your job description being an infection promoter.

    So what? You are the only person who is stupid enough to think that infection is bad simply because it is infection. Once the wild measles virus has been eradicated globally, vaccination will no longer be necessary.

    Yeah so what? Why do you even care to eradicate an infectious disease when you think it’s not bad. You cannot eradicate a disease when you are also the promoter.

    How many times do I have to explain this? When herd protection levels are high enough to reduce the average number of people infected to less than one, herd immunity is achieved.

    Where do you find that between 1971 and 1980?

    You are the only person on the planet, as far as I know, who thinks that attenuated measles virus (serious adverse sequelae less than 1 in 1 million people) and wild measles virus (serious adverse sequelae 1 in 1000 people) are the same thing.

    They are both infectious and deadly. That’s why I don’t play the Russian Roulette. What are you going to do now, shoot me in the back? See it’s 1 in 1000 people for those who opt out.

    Wild type is thousands or possibly millions of times more contagious than vaccine-type virus.

    Find just one source of wild-type measles virus in your community if you’re lucky and I will give you scores of infectious measles virus just in my nearby clinic and hospital alone.

    You really believe that? You really believe that if measles vaccination stopped in the US there would not be a huge increase in wild measles and large numbers of cases of pneumonia, encephalitis and death? Again, if you do, I can’t help you, but I think that’s crazy.

    Unlike you, I’m not a germ denialist so I’m not crazy. And besides I have not heard of someone promoting a “measles party”, have you?

    Repeating myself again here but… Since smallpox vaccine was far more dangerous than MMR its routine use was discontinued in the US once global smallpox cases had started to fall, and strict regulations that demanded proof of vaccination against smallpox before anyone was admitted to the US were used.

    MMR had nothing to do with smallpox. Why do you keep insisting that?

  291. #291 lilady
    August 11, 2011

    @ Dangerous Bacon: Thanks. I was holding that CDC epidemiology survey in abeyance…to see if Ugh Troll/Belonophobe could locate it at Google U.

  292. #292 augustine
    August 11, 2011

    Bacon

    United States — A CDC epidemiologic survey assessed the ages of patients who were hospitalized or had died. Between April 2009 and April 10, 2010, the following numbers of hospitalizations were estimated to have occurred in the US:

    Estimate? You mean it’s not real confirmation(notice the even zeros)? It’s an estimation? Is the estimate based medicine now? Can you confirm those cases and deaths?

    I don’t know how you could since the CDC advised states to stop testing and counting individual cases?

  293. #293 Stu
    August 11, 2011

    Whew! I was afraid my bold-faced rant would stand alone without a good example, but Thingy (wait, did I mention COMPLETE LACK OF SELF-AWARENESS and PSYCHOPATHIC PROJECTION?) came through @291.

    A regular Old Faithful of neuron-melting poo-flinging screeching and drooling industrial-grade nuts, our Thingy.

    Anyone know a psych major looking for a case study?

  294. #294 Krebiozen
    August 11, 2011

    I’m not crazy

    You know, I really do think you are, that or you are either deliberately pretending to be incredibly dumb. I’m honestly not sure which.

  295. #295 Denice Walter
    August 11, 2011

    @ Stu:

    Oh I wouldn’t even go near- but because I try to make myself useful as an educator:
    when people are delusional *reasoning* will not work because they do not *use* reason. Similarly your metaphor, allusion, allegory, or aphorism will usually be lost in a swirl of concretistic thought ( they are too abstract for assimilation). Idiosyncratic use of language ( word meanings) can be a marker of serious problems in thinking. As though they speak a “foreign” language even when it’s their *native* one. Solipcistic English. I don’t mean creative use of language. They are unable to self-evaluate their own lack of ability.

    People with SMI often get caught up in “communication” via computer forums and blogs. I know personally about caretakers using the computer as a sort of “sitter” for the person with SMI ( info not related to clients: I don’t work with the SMI) In particular, an adult with schizophrenia spends several hours daily writing about his own pet topics ( fortunately, not SBM, but sports and music). They may often live a cyber life in lieu of the more standard one.

    I would differentiate people with dis-ordered thought from contrarians: the former *can’t* while the latter *won’t*.

  296. #296 Th1Th2
    August 11, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    The number one cause of primary measles infection is the measles vaccine.

    Stu:

    THERE IS A CLEAR, CLINICAL DEFINITION OF THE TERM “INFECTION”, AND THAT IS NOT IT. THIS HAS BEEN POINTED OUT TO YOU DOZENS OF TIMES OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL MONTHS. YET YOU STILL PERSIST IN YOUR LAUGHABLE DEFINITION.

    I don’t usually respond to troll-like behavior like that but it leaves me with no choice but to expose your ignorance Stu.

    The Immunological Basis for Immunization Series
    Module 7:
    Measles

    WHO/EPI/GEN/93.17
    ORIGINAL: ENGLISH
    DISTR.: GENERAL

    The presence of IgM is generally accepted as evidence of primary measles infection (by disease or
    vaccine).

    And for Orac. I guess I have to close another thread of yours because this thread is done. You didn’t learn your lesson from the Varicella thread, did you?

  297. #297 Stu
    August 11, 2011

    Thingy, you get the Golden QuoteMine Award.

    Do you have any other references besides a document that was updated in 2009 and no longer contains that quote?

    Oh, and your presumption of “closing threads” would be quite endearing if it wasn’t so batshit insane. Check your voicemail, I’m sure there’s a message from Dunning and Kruger.

  298. #298 lilady
    August 11, 2011

    @ Stu: Please ignore the Thing. He/she/it is a nasty ignorant troll.

  299. #299 Andreas Johansson
    August 12, 2011

    Thingy wrote:

    I’m not crazy.

    It’s thespian talents are apparently remarkable.

  300. #300 Andreas Johansson
    August 12, 2011

    Unlike my spelling. Sigh.

  301. #301 Stu
    August 12, 2011

    lilady: you begrudge me my chew toy?

  302. #302 lilady
    August 12, 2011

    @ Stu:

    lilady: you begrudge me my chew toy? No, absolutely not, especially because your have chewed the Thing Troll toy so thoroughly and competently. I used to play with the chew toy occasionally and still enjoy the sheer ignorance and deranged postings of Thingy. She still needs *terminally disinfection*.

    * On another thread about measles and possible exposure to a suspect measles case in a hospital Emergency Department patient examining room, Thingy when questioned about steps to avoid transmission stated, “in the hospital WE terminally disinfect the examining room”. (Part of her imaginary career in health care, her “expertise” in infection control and her inability to differentiate between Standard Universal Precautions and infection control measures to prevent transmission of measles).

  303. #303 Science Mom
    August 12, 2011

    Oh, and your presumption of “closing threads” would be quite endearing if it wasn’t so batshit insane.

    Stu, that is, undoubtedly, a reference to MDC, where she is/was a critter and they routinely close threads, particularly if any informative discussion breaks out or the mods feel the need to protect their anti-vax loons. Incidentally, Th1/Th2 is considered cuckoo-pants even by the anti-vaxxers.

    Really, ignore her; she is simply not right (in so many ways) and it’s much more enjoyable to watch her talk to herself.

  304. #304 lilady
    August 12, 2011

    @ Dangerous Bacon: See, once you provided the CDC Epidemiological Survey for Ugh Troll, he comes back with another bullshit argument, about “estimates” used by the CDC.

    Ugh Troll still is clueless about the reasons why surveillance for the H1N1 virus was changed as of August 1, 2009, still clueless that the separate H1N1 vaccine was available for older people starting in January 2010 and thereafter the H1N1 strain was incorporated into the seasonal influenza vaccine for the 2010-2011 influenza season. So stupid in fact, that he doesn’t realize that 2011-2012 seasonal vaccine is now available.

    Please don’t provide him with the website that explains this…let him “Google” it…it might give us a slight respite from his endless nonsensical blatherings.

  305. #305 NZ Sceptic
    August 14, 2011

    The mere fact that Somalian mothers are losing their poor malnourished children to measles after walking for days in the hope of reaching ‘safety’ should be impetus enough for us all to unite in stamping out this insidious disease, worldwide. Sadly, looking at the comments of nasty self-centred trolls such as Augustine and Thwhatsit it becomes clear that some people are either utterly US-centric or indeed, just child-haters.

  306. #306 lilady
    August 14, 2011

    @ NZ Sceptic: Well I would not say it is limited to the U.S.A…but we do seem to have our “share”, especially on this blog. Even when we provide them with good reference material available on the internet, they still cannot understand…or chose to cherry pick, misinterpret and argue to justify their narrow minded unscientific xenophobic views.

    I know they derive pleasure from hurling invectives and their nastiness, so it’s best to ignore them.

  307. #307 augustine
    August 15, 2011

    lilday

    @ Dangerous Bacon: See, once you provided the CDC Epidemiological Survey for Ugh Troll, he comes back with another bullshit argument, about “estimates” used by the CDC.

    It’s not a bullshit argument. They stopped counting the cases. PERIOD. It’s a fact.

    Remember the 40,000 annual influenza deaths? Yeh, that was an extremely exaggerated “estimate” used to sell not only the 3 strain influenza vaccine but also the specific “pneumonia” vaccine.

    I’m sure, in your science based etiquette, you spurted out this misleading number to an unsuspecting citizen.

  308. #308 Rogo5
    August 16, 2011

    Orac,

    You (and O’Briain) made some very valid points that very few people teach in classes or say. This post strongly reminded me about the time I discussed with someone about economic policy. He insisted that lowering taxes wouldn’t do anything to (or help) the economy (only more government spending would), and he was practically yelling it as a fact even though he had absolutely no background in economics whatsoever. I, on the other hand, had taken both the AP Micro and Macroeconomics tests and got 4s in my senior year of high school and completely disagreed with his statements. My former high school English teacher was there and stated that “his opinion was just as good” as mine and “everyone should hear him”, even though she KNEW I took economics classes and he didn’t. It makes me really frustrated to have teachers and others to have the mindset of keeping everything “balanced” in (so-called) debates, so it’s really a breath of fresh air when I see posts that criticize this excessively “neutral” kind of mindset. Also, thanks for the laugh; I really needed it. :)

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