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 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.

  2. #2 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.

  3. #3 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.

  4. #4 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!

  5. #5 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

  6. #6 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.

  7. #7 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.

  8. #8 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.

  9. #9 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!

  10. #10 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.

  11. #11 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.

  12. #12 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.

  13. #13 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.

  14. #14 Lawrence
    August 9, 2011

    Take lilady’s advice – ignore idiot troll.

  15. #15 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?

  16. #16 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.

  17. #17 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.

  18. #18 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!

  19. #19 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.

  20. #20 Rene Najera
    August 9, 2011

    @Lilady Thank you for that. 🙂

  21. #21 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)

  22. #22 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.

  23. #23 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 😉

  24. #24 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.

  25. #25 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!

  26. #26 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.

  27. #27 Gray Falcon
    August 10, 2011

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

  28. #28 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

  29. #29 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.

  30. #30 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.

  31. #31 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.

  32. #32 JohnV
    August 10, 2011

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

  33. #33 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.

  34. #34 Th1Th2
    August 10, 2011

    JohnV,

    I’m curious. Is your fish antivaccine?

  35. #35 Beamup
    August 10, 2011

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

  36. #36 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.

  37. #37 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.

  38. #38 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.

  39. #39 Chris
    August 10, 2011

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

  40. #40 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.

  41. #41 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 10, 2011

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

  42. #42 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.

  43. #43 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.

  44. #44 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.

  45. #45 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.

  46. #46 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?

  47. #47 Lawrence
    August 10, 2011

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

  48. #48 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…

  49. #49 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.

  50. #50 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

  51. #51 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!

  52. #52 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.

  53. #53 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.

  54. #54 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.

  55. #55 novalox
    August 10, 2011

    Ignore ignorant troll.

  56. #56 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..

  57. #57 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.

  58. #58 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.

  59. #59 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.

  60. #60 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.

  61. #61 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.

  62. #62 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.

  63. #63 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”.

  64. #64 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.

  65. #65 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.

  66. #66 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.

  67. #67 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.

  68. #68 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.

  69. #69 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??

  70. #70 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.

  71. #71 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?

  72. #72 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.

  73. #73 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?

  74. #74 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.

  75. #75 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?

  76. #76 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?

  77. #77 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’?

  78. #78 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.

  79. #79 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.

  80. #80 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.

  81. #81 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.

  82. #82 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.

  83. #83 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.

  84. #84 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’.

  85. #85 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.

  86. #86 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.

  87. #87 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)

  88. #88 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.)

  89. #89 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.

  90. #90 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?

  91. #91 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.

  92. #92 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?

  93. #93 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?

  94. #94 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.

  95. #95 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*.

  96. #96 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?

  97. #97 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.

  98. #98 lilady
    August 11, 2011

    @ Stu: Please ignore the Thing. He/she/it is a nasty ignorant troll.

  99. #99 Andreas Johansson
    August 12, 2011

    Thingy wrote:

    I’m not crazy.

    It’s thespian talents are apparently remarkable.

  100. #100 Andreas Johansson
    August 12, 2011

    Unlike my spelling. Sigh.

  101. #101 Stu
    August 12, 2011

    lilady: you begrudge me my chew toy?

  102. #102 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).

  103. #103 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.

  104. #104 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.

  105. #105 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.

  106. #106 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.

  107. #107 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.

  108. #108 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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