Respectful Insolence

A black hole of antivaccine misinformation

Every so often, I come across a bit of antivaccine idiocy that’s so amazingly idiotic, such a–shall we say?–target-rich environment that it’s catnip to a cat. I just can’t resist it, even when there are other topics and subjects out there that have backed up over the last few days and I want to cover. You’ll see why in a minute. In this particular case the antivaccine lunacy comes in the form of a video that’s been making the rounds amazingly quickly the anti-vaccine crankosphere since it was released yesterday. It comes to us courtesy of a nurse who calls herself “The Patriot Nurse,” and it’s a video entitled Why this nurse won’t vaccinate. (NOTE ADDED: TPN removed the video but then someone else reposted it here.)

The first thing I noticed about the video is that The Patriot Nurse (TPN) turned off embedding. This really annoyed me, because when I’m featuring a video for a blog post I like to embed the video, so that my readers can just view it straight from my blog. When a YouTuber refuses to allow embedding, it strikes me as a transparent ploy to drive direct traffic to her YouTube channel. For what purpose, I don’t know, given that it’s views that count. Be that as it may, there’s something even more annoying about this video. Right in the beginning, TPN opines:

The comments are OFF for many reasons. Foremost is that I refuse to be abused for a contrarian viewpoint that goes against mainstream “Sickcare.” This video comes at a cost to me as a practicing nurse, and the comments are a casualty of war.

I almost don’t blame TPN for turning the comments off. What she says in the video is a collection of antivaccine talking points packed into the video so densely that it’s surprising it doesn’t form an event horizon around it, just like a black hole, that no logic, science, or reason can escape from. Perhaps at some level, TPN knows that she can’t defend the viewpoints contained in her video. Or perhaps she’s just too lazy. So, in order to save face, she comes up with a transparently obvious excuse that she is “not interested from the noise from either side,” which also has the advantage (to cranks) of drawing a false equivalence between the science-based viewpoint and the anti-vaccine viewpoint. I guess it’s not surprising that what follows is sheer, napalm-grade burning stupid.

Before I begin my deconstruction, though, let me know that I very much respect nurses. Heck, I’m married to one! In fact, that’s part of the reason why screeds like this one irritate me so much. They bring dishonor to the noble profession and utterly critical profession of nursing, much as anti-vaccine doctors bring dishonor to the profession of physician. However, it’s hard not to get sarcastic when I see TPN assert, in an utterly transparent argument from authority, that she “graduated with honors from the best school in my area.”

Color me not impressed.

In fact, if her education is what led her to lay down such a heapin’ helpin’ of anti-vaccine misinformation, pseudoscience, and lies, I’d say that TPN should get her money back. Or maybe whatever nursing school she graduated from should disavow her. After all, if I were the dean of a a nursing school and I saw one of my graduates spewing such dangerous misinformation, I’d disavow her in an instant, particularly after hearing her say something like:

In the time I was at my educational institution, there was very little discussion–true discussion–and even less true debate on the subject of vaccination, on the true “science” of vaccination and on the real risks and possible perceived benefits of vaccination. So I had to search out the information, the data, the studies for myself.

Oh, great. Whenever I hear someone say that there’s no “true debate” about vaccination, in my experience it’s almost always a rock solid indication that what I’m about to hear will be chock full of antivaccine crankery par excellance, and TPN doesn’t disappoint. Of course, it never occurs to her that “true debate” doesn’t mean “giving credence to every half-baked idea that anti-vaccinationists come up with to discredit vaccines and treating it as legitimate.” Her nursing school likely didn’t teach antivaccine canards any more than medical schools teach antivaccine canards. That it didn’t is a feature, not a bug, as we say. Nor should nursing or medical schools provide “true debate” about vaccines, at least not “true debate” as apparently defined by TPN, because there really aren’t two equally valid sides to a story. There aren’t even two sides whose validity is roughly the same order of magnitude. There’s science, which supports vaccines as safe and effective and not a cause of autism. Then there’s antivaccine pseudoscience.

Based on antivaccine pseudoscience, TPN concludes that she is opposed to vaccination, particularly for infants and children. Her three main areas of objection include “additives,” the vaccination schedule, and the sufficiency of breast milk for conferred immunity. In other words, her objections are (1) the “toxin” gambit; (2) “too many too soon,” and (3) the claim that natural immunity due to breast milk is enough. All are based on bad science, pseudoscience, and misinformation.

For example, our TPN starts by ranting about “mercury” and “aluminum,” beginning with the usual false equivalence where she attributes “strong positions” to “both sides.” In one part, she correctly points out that antivaccinationists claim there is no safe level of mercury “whatever form it may come in,” invoking her nurse credentials again to declare that she can’t envision any time when it is ever acceptable to inject and “bypass the body’s immune system” by injecting it into the body of a “six pound baby” in order to “help save their life.” (Yes, she does use finger air quotes when saying “help save their life,” a particularly annoying trait that she frequently exhibits during the video.) She then asserts that no poison is safe.

Well, duh! It’s a poison.

However, there are safe doses of poisons. It’s a cliche but it’s accurate to say that the dose makes the poison. Something that is poisonous at one dose is safe at a lower dose. If that weren’t true, Botox could never be administered, because it’s a deadly toxin. However, at small doses, it’s useful for many things, from cosmetic wrinkle removal to treatment for achalasia to stopping excessive sweating. By TPN’s view, no dose of Botox would ever be safe, not even a single molecule, but we all know that’s not true.

Particularly amusing to me is the part where TPN discusses eating a plate of tuna and how it’s not the same thing as “injecting” mercury:

When one ingests a plate of tuna, the tuna goes through the gut. And, being a “selectively permeable membrane” [Orac comment: She does that annoying air quote thing again here.], the gut decides whether or not to let certain chemicals through to the bloodstream. When you inject mercury or aluminum into the body via a vaccine, you are bypassing that security net. You are bypassing that defense mechanism of the body and, as such, the mercury and the aluminum go directly into the bloodstream to be dealt with in a myriad of ways, but quite often heavy metals, including mercury, accumulate in organs and the brain, an organ, accumulates a decent amount of mercury.

The ignorance here is breathtaking. First off, mercury and aluminum can be absorbed through the gut. The “selectively permeable membrane” of the gut doesn’t stop that. Inorganic mercury salts can be absorbed through the GI tract. Of course, the mercury in vaccines is in the form of thimerosal, which is a different chemical form, an organomercury. In any case, there is no evidence that mercury in the form of thimerosal is harmful at the doses used in vaccines. Similarly, aluminum has been safely used for decades; there is no evidence that it causes any harm at the doses contained in vaccines. Given how eagerly TPN laps up the antivaccine canard that is the “toxins” gambit, I suppose I should be grateful that TPN didn’t try the formaldehyde gambit or the “fetal cells” gambit. Maybe it’ll be in a followup post. She did, after all, say that she could talk for hours about this, and of that I have no doubt. I bet she could easily bury us in hours of pretentious gibberish with “air quote” flourishes about formaldehyde, squalene, “monkey cells,” “fetal parts,” and the like. In fact, in retrospect, I suppose I should be grateful for the small favor that, at least in this video, TPN doesn’t list those hoary old antivaccine canards. On the other hand, TPN does fall hook, line, and sinker for the myth that vaccines cause autism. That alone doesn’t speak well for her scientific ability or critical thinking skills. In TPN, Dunning-Kruger rules supreme, and ignorance doesn’t get much more arrogant than her.

I’m left to marvel at TPN’s credulously ignorant assertions that “regardless of how we want to classify these vaccines as effective, they are not safe” and “if they have a known poison in them there is no way they can be safe.” I guess that there’s no way a lot of things can be safe, then. After all, the dose makes the poison, and lots of common every day items and foods even have poisons in them. Why don’t we all suffer, then? Because they’re present at such low concentrations that they’re safe. By TPN’s “logic” (air quote!) we shouldn’t drink water because it’s a poison too at a high enough dose. Come to think of it, pretty much all drugs are “poisons” (air quote!) because they can be “toxic” (air quotes!) at high doses. Of course, if we are to believe TPN, babies are getting “too many vaccines too soon” (air quotes!). That’s a favorite antivaccine talking point and one without any evidence to support it, as a real expert, infectious disease doc Mark Crislip, so snarkily explained. Indeed, when the issue has been studied, it’s been found to be a non-issue.

Finally, TPN parrots the claim that breast milk is enough to protect baby from pathogens. This has to be one of the most pernicious, and, more importantly, dangerous antivaccine lies out there. While it is certainly true that there are maternal antibodies provided to the baby in breast milk, TPN has way too much faith in them to prevent diseases. Think about it this way. Before vaccines, mothers breast fed their babies, too. Yet, there were still epidemics. Babies suffered and died from infectious diseases that are only uncommonly (or even rarely) seen today in the United States. A perfect example is haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib). As recently as the late 1980s it was a scourge of children, causing encephalitis and other serious complications up to and including death. Was hygiene any worse 25 years ago? Nope. Were mothers not breast feeding 25 years ago? Certainly they breast fed their babies in large numbers. So what was the difference between 25 years ago, when suffering and even death from Hib were all too common, and today, when Hib is rare and many younger pediatricians have never seen even a single case? The Hib vaccine.

Truly, TPN is peddling the most dangerous of nonsense, invoking the naturalistic fallacy in which she rhetorically (and stupidly) asks what makes us think that “geeks with beakers” can do better than Mother Nature.

The Hib vaccine, for one thing. The MMR, for another thing. Antibiotics, for a third thing. In fact, much of modern science-based medicine is a living testament that “geeks with beakers” can do better than Mother Nature. And that’s a good thing. Vaccines have arguably saved more lives than any other medical interventions, yet, in the purest arrogance of an even purer ignorance, TPN declares that their risks outweigh their benefits, a demonstrably incorrect assertion. On her Facebook page, when she’s taken to task, she responds:

I looked at the original studies in detail and came to the conclusion for myself. Having been convinced in my own mind by the data I viewed, I formulated a viewpoint different than yours. I am no victim. I am a free-thinking individual and a healthcare professional.

Yes, indeed, TPN’s pseudoscience, antivaccine canards, and pure idiocy are nothing more than a “different viewpoint.” How postmodern.

I’ll conclude with a little request. Any time you see “The Patriot Nurse” video about why she doesn’t vaccinate, post a link to my post and this excellent additional deconstruction by a nurse who actually knows what she’s talking about, CanadianNurse. Those of you who know how, refute her pseudoscience and misinformation herself. Ask her why she is too cowardly to allow free and open debate about what she said. Dare her to come here or show up at Vara’s blog to defend her Dunning-Kruger nonsense. Post links on her Facebook page. The difference between a crank like The Patriot Nurse and defenders of science is that cranks like The Patriot Nurse, for all their protestations otherwise, can’t handle the free speech they claim to love so much. Compare my comment section with The Patriot Nurse’s cowardly declaration that she won’t allow comments after her video.

In other words, call her out.

Comments

  1. #1 Darwy
    January 19, 2012

    The fact that she disallows comments is enough to allow me to disregard anything she might spew forth as remotely factual or grounded in reality.

    I tried watching her video, and I freely admit I couldn’t sit through it to the end, it was so full of science fail.

    If she did graduate “with honors” from the “best school in her area”, that’s not saying much for her critical thinking ability nor her school’s ability to enforce learning them.

  2. I ran into this woman on her Facebook page just after she released the steaming pile of condensed anti vax canards. She has many supporters, and they all herp and derp exactly the same tired lies.

    You know that if they cannot explain the difference between an element and a compound, that there is no hope at all for them when it comes to looking at vaccination rationally.

    This makes me extremely skeptical regarding her claim to be a qualified nurse, on top of the fact that she will not disclose where she received her quals in the first place.

    Another great post, cheers Orac.

  3. #3 Julian Frost
    January 19, 2012

    I heard of this already. When I heard that “The Patriot Nurse” was anti-vaccination, I was reminded of a certain quote.

    Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

  4. #4 Chris Ho-Stuart
    January 19, 2012

    “In Dr. Johnson’s famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first.”
    – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, at entry for patriotism, The Collected Writings of Ambrose Bierce, p. 323 (1946, reprinted 1973).

  5. #5 dt
    January 19, 2012

    If she thinks breast milk is so marvellous at preventing infant disease, perhaps she has an explanation for the ravages infections like pertussis “wreaked” [air quote] back in the days before vaccines kicked in, and an explanation why babies die from pertussis before they are old enough to start the vax schedule for it.

    Note for readers – there is no effective transplacental/breast milk passive immunity for pertussis – best way to help is for pregnant mums to get a petussis booster, actually. That helps.

  6. #6 jc
    January 19, 2012

    i don’t know about anyone else but the link to the facebook page didn’t work for me, i just searched ‘the-patriot-nurse’ and this is what i got.. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Patriot-Nurse/210023559030931 i don’t know if that makes a difference for some trying to follow the link….

  7. #7 sophia8
    January 19, 2012

    After reading some of the comments on that Facebook page, I had to go over to my own page and join a discussion about chocolate and cats, just to remind myself that not everybody is batpoo-insane.
    Oh boy, that guy who was telling us that modern medicine kills more people than anything else because – PROOF! – most people die in a hospital..! Will somebody please tell him that actually, beds are the greatest killers of all, because – PROOF! – most people die in a bed?

  8. #8 JKW
    January 19, 2012

    She’s channeling the air quote king, Bennett Brauer:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7ms5k_saturday-night-live-update-bennett_fun

  9. #9 Daniel Sinnott
    January 19, 2012

    sophia8 – whats even worse, I have conducted some studies that show most people die after prolonged exposure to a mixture of gases often referred to as ‘air’

  10. #10 wu
    January 19, 2012

    Looking at the facebook page, it’s clear that she’s been traveling the globe on mission trips. You’d think that someone traveling (especially a medical professional!) to impoverished areas would be able to see the benefit of vaccines firsthand.

  11. #11 Anj
    January 19, 2012

    Facebook comments are an interesting read. Sad to read a comment from a mother of a toddler who discovered “scary stuff” about vaccines. There’s some good youtubes about what whooping cough looks and sounds like, but I’m not sure if there are any vids about the other vaccine preventable diseases.

    (Pertussis has the advantage of a truly cringe worthy sound. It’s active, as opposed to passive, suffering.)

  12. #12 MikeMa
    January 19, 2012

    @wu
    I would guess TPN got at least some of her vaccinations as a child or upon entering med school. Irony would have her contract some vaccine preventable disease she refused a vaccine or booster for before traveling to a high risk area.

  13. #13 Todd W.
    January 19, 2012

    When one ingests a plate of tuna, the tuna goes through the gut. And, being a “selectively permeable membrane”, the gut decides whether or not to let certain chemicals through to the bloodstream. When you inject mercury or aluminum into the body via a vaccine, you are bypassing that security net. You are bypassing that defense mechanism of the body and, as such, the mercury and the aluminum go directly into the bloodstream to be dealt with in a myriad of ways, but quite often heavy metals, including mercury, accumulate in organs and the brain, an organ, accumulates a decent amount of mercury.

    She should hit the books again. Yes, some things, like aluminum, are not readily taken up via the gut, with the majority just passing right on through and out the other end. But for something like the mercury found in tuna (methylmercury), around 95% of it is absorbed through the gut wall, from whence it circulates around the body. And, as we have learned before, methylmercury, unlike thimerosal’s ethylmercury, sticks around in the body for a much, much longer time period.

    I learned about that because I heard the very claim she mentions years ago. I asked, “How much ingested mercury actually does get absorbed?” Amazing what you can learn when you ask questions and do some real research to find the answers.

  14. #14 Sheepmilker
    January 19, 2012

    Hang on, if she is a real nurse,wouldn’t she have to be vaccinated to work in a healthcare setting?

  15. #15 Alareth
    January 19, 2012

    Part of me has a morbid curiosity that insists I watch the video and the other half says I should wait until the brain injury from watching youtube videos claiming spraying vinegar into the air from your backyard will make chemtrails go away heals.

  16. #16 dt
    January 19, 2012

    There is this youtube video of stories about those who have died from or survived meningitis on that “shot of prevention” blog. The message – get vaccinated.
    Real shame it has had so few views compared to the whackjob patriot nurse video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=i_IU7eM_TvA

  17. #17 Todd W.
    January 19, 2012

    Shot by Shot has a lot of videos from families affected by vaccine preventable diseases, too. Very moving.

  18. #18 Eric Lund
    January 19, 2012

    It sounds like TPN is a black hole in the sense of this Dilbert cartoon. Her ideas can escape the gravity because they have no substance.

  19. #19 Shay
    January 19, 2012

    You may not be able to leave comments on the video, but you can click on the link to this … individual’s… Youtube channel from the video and leave a comment there.

  20. #20 Ren
    January 19, 2012

    In my opinion and experience, there seems to be a lot of “patriotism” in the anti-vaccine groups. It’s as if vaccines will somehow unwind democracy and bring the Constitution to its knees. Or maybe they think that standing up and taking it in the arm (or up the nose) is not patriotic? I don’t know.

    But we shouldn’t be surprised that someone with such anti-science (or a-scientific) points of view can get through any medical/scientific program, even with honors. We all know that special little someone who is working on an MPH even though they have shown to detest the science of epidemiology.

    It’s like me being incredibly afraid of heights but still passing the FAA exam for a private pilot’s license. It doesn’t mean I’ll do a good job at flying or that people who really like to fly will ask me to fly for them.

  21. #21 Nathan
    January 19, 2012

    I’ll conclude with a little request. Any time you see “The Patriot Nurse” video about why she doesn’t vaccinate, post a link to my post and this excellent additional deconstruction by a nurse who actually knows what she’s talking about, Christine Vara.

    Christine does a fantastic job with the Shot of Prevention blog, but she is not a nurse. The author of the deconstruction, however, is a nurse and a friend of Christine’s, and she featured it for that blog post.

    Thanks for the additional breakdown.

  22. #22 Calli Arcale
    January 19, 2012

    the gut decides whether or not to let certain chemicals through to the bloodstream

    Wow! I had no idea the gut was intelligent! I wonder, then, why it does such a crappy (sorry) job of absorbing things you need, to the point where we have to cook most of our food and why it does such a bang-up job at absorbing actual poisons? Nobody should ever die of food poisoning!

    If the gut actually decides what chemicals to let in, then it’s incompetent.

  23. #23 Anton P. Nym
    January 19, 2012

    As a danged furriner, I’d like to note for the record that whenever I see anything promulgated by an American self-labelling as a “Patriot” (note capitalisation) I get damned nervous and view the content with extreme suspicion.

    (Once upon a time, I thought the paranoia in Dr. Strangelove and The Manchurian Candidate was over-the-top satire. Not anymore…)

    — Steve

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    January 19, 2012

    It seems that a few RNs go off the deep end: I know of some who call-in or support the swamp lord himself at that festering sinkhole of decaying vegetarian detritus ( a/k/a Progressive Radio Network) in his efforts to spread anti-vaccination mis-education and sue governmental agencies. Waste of a good education.

    Like the fear of heights that Ren brings up, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a natural aversion to being poked with needles and being injected with foreign substances ( related to the fear of poisoning/ see BigPharma fears) that had evolutionary significance. Technical innovations like vaccines may override that but the emotions haven’t had time to catch up: that’s where communication (also selected for) comes into play.

    In other anti-vaccination news:
    Autism One teams up with the Health Freedom movement. Oh yes.
    In de-constructing the DSM 5 and neo-hysteria in NY (the latter by Olmsted), AoA propagandists play psychologist at full force and they’re not any better at it than they are at playing biologist, physiologist, virologist, detective et al.

    Lord, I am forever thankful that I don’t hear any of this nonsense live from people I know. Pure luck.

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    January 19, 2012

    @ Calli:

    Lots of that idea ( re the gut) going around the woo-esphere. Post-Andy-al Syndrome? Plus Raphael Kellman has been talking this up for aeons.

  26. #26 Mu
    January 19, 2012

    Her bookshelf shows she’s not totally demented, after all she recommends a book on home birth AND a “Textbook of Neonatal Resuscitation”.

  27. #27 Dangerous Bacon
    January 19, 2012

    “If she thinks breast milk is so marvellous at preventing infant disease, perhaps she has an explanation for the ravages infections like pertussis “wreaked” [air quote] back in the days before vaccines kicked in, and an explanation why babies die from pertussis before they are old enough to start the vax schedule for it.”

    One of the contributors to the Christine Vara blog is a mom who lost an infant child to pertussis. I doubt she is a big supporter of the idea that contracting pertussis is preferable to vaccination, because of the superior long-term immunity it confers.

  28. #28 Anj
    January 19, 2012

    The gut decides?

    Ha! The body will happily absorb toxic amounts of various metals, including iron if they are present in the diet. The dose DOES make the poison.

  29. #29 Darwy
    January 19, 2012

    @Ren #18

    The anti-vaccine camp rants on about ‘patriotism’ much like Ron Paul – it’s all about the ‘freedom’ for ‘personal choice’ and to stop the ‘government forcing things into their bodies’ or ‘government mandating their health choices’.

    Or some other trite bullpocky.

  30. #30 OracIsAQuack
    January 19, 2012

    “A black hole of antivaccine misinformation”

    Must be talking about Respectful Insolence…

  31. #31 Karl Withakay
    January 19, 2012

    Whenever I see someone use the phrase “bypass the body’s immune system” I feel I can reasonably be sure that they “don’t know what they’re talking about”, “haven’t got a clue”, and are “anti-vaccine”.

  32. #32 Liz Ditz
    January 19, 2012

    The American Nurses Association has:

    About ANA Immunize

    The Bringing Immunity to Every Community initiative is a two-year cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote immunizations among nurses and their surrounding communities. Nurses have an important stake in helping to promote immunizations, both by being vaccinated to protect their families, contacts, and patient populations, but also by advocating for vaccination and striving to break down the barriers to a fully-vaccinated American population. As the country’s only full-service professional organization representing the country’s estimated 3.1 million registered nurses, the American Nurses Association has a long history of leading and participating in health promotion activities, and nursing itself is grounded in education and action to prevent disease and enhance wellness. ANA brings to the partnership its network of organizational affiliates and state and territorial nursing associations, making it poised to reach many registered nurses in diverse specialties on the regional and local levels, making it an ideal partner for sending targeted messages to nurses.

    Somebody needs to light a fire under them to counter this viral nonsense:

    American Nurses Association
    8515 Georgia Avenue
    Suite 400
    Silver Spring, MD 20910-3492
    301-628-5000
    301-628-5001 (fax)
    1-800-274-4ANA (4262)

    E-mail address
    Immunize@ana.org

  33. #33 Tom Herling
    January 19, 2012

    “This video comes at a cost to me as a practicing nurse, and the comments are a casualty of war.”

    I’d have to say the adage “the first casualty of war is truth” is fitting.

  34. #34 Dangerous Bacon
    January 19, 2012

    Karl, please stop with the “finger air quotes”, you’re making me “nauseous”.

  35. #35 Chris
    January 19, 2012

    The title of this article is”A black hole of antivaccine misinformation.”

    OracIsAQuack responds with:

    Must be talking about Respectful Insolence…

    This particular person’s only schtick is the random insult. Because so far he/she has not posted any real data to show what Orac writes is misinformation.

    What kind of troll is OracIsAQuack? Concern troll, annoying troll or someone who illustrates the complete lack of real argument from the anti-vaccine camp?

  36. #36 lilady
    January 19, 2012

    If TPN is a licensed and practicing nurse in a health care setting..she does need to have proof of immunity for most of the childhood diseases.

    She “states” she has been a nurse for twenty years, but when she was in a nursing program she would have to have blood tests for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and polio at a minimum, or an accurate immunization record showing complete and up to date immunizations (Td booster less than ten years elapsed time), before she would be permitted to begin rotations in a health care setting. She and the other students in her class would have been “advised” that the hepatitis B vaccine series should be “considered” as well.

    Following graduation if she was employed in a health care setting, she would have to undergo a physical exam, which would include blood tests to test for immunities…unless the health care setting accepted recent lab tests, in lieu of tests ordered at the time of the pre-employment physical exam. She would also undergo TB Mantoux skin testing, as well. If she was hired by the health care facility, she would have been “offered” free hepatitis B vaccines and post vaccine testing as well.

    Once the Varicella vaccine became available in 1995, her employer would have tested her for presence of IGG antibodies and if negative, she would be provided with the two-dose series.

    Tdap booster vaccines are recommended by the CDC for health care professionals and can been administered at any time, without waiting for 10 years to elapse since the last Td vaccine was given. Yearly seasonal flu vaccine are also recommended for health care professionals.

    Some State health department and some health care facilities “permit” philosophical or religious objections for certain vaccines for health care professionals.

  37. #37 Roadstergal
    January 19, 2012

    Karl, please stop with the “finger air quotes”, you’re making me “nauseous”.

    I “believe” that the word you are “looking” for is “nauseated.” I could be “wrong,” however.

    the gut decides whether or not to let certain chemicals through to the bloodstream

    She’s honestly saying that, say, Olive Thomas was the victim of bad decision-making on the part of her gut?

  38. #38 lilady
    January 19, 2012

    @ Chris: “What kind of troll is OracIsAQuack? Concern troll, annoying troll or someone who illustrates the complete lack of real argument from the anti-vaccine camp?”

    All of the above.

  39. #39 Roadstergal
    January 19, 2012

    Some State health department and some health care facilities “permit” philosophical or religious objections for certain vaccines for health care professionals.

    This post came up while I was writing mine – that is scary. What states allow this? Is there a listing of those facilities, so we can avoid them?

  40. #40 DaveD
    January 19, 2012

    What kind of troll is OracIsAQuack? Concern troll, annoying troll or someone who illustrates the complete lack of real argument from the anti-vaccine camp?

    The third type, obviously. Whoever it is has no argument to make, just screams insults and runs away. Hint to OIAQ: yelling “I know you are, but what am I?” is not a convincing argument.

  41. #41 TonyaR26
    January 19, 2012

    I am a nurse and could not believe what this woman was saying. Encouraging people not to vaccinate their children. Has anyone in her state considered reporting her to the Nursing Board for a review of her license? If people actually listen to her, and the amount of children not vaccinated continues to climb the children that are too young to be fully vaccinated have been given a death senctence.

  42. #42 lilady
    January 19, 2012

    @ Roadstergal: Google: Vaccines: Spec-Grps/Healthcare Workers
    for most current recommendations for health care workers.

    Scroll down at that site…to see “State Immunization Laws for Healthcare Workers and Patients”.

    I suspect that “TPN”…if she is a licensed nurse and if she works in a health care facility has had all the childhood vaccines or proof of immunity by testing in a licensed laboratory. Perhaps, this wacko “nurse” works for a N.D., homeopathic “doctor”, chiropractor or another alt/CAM “practitioner”.

  43. #43 Beamup
    January 19, 2012

    Maybe she works for “emily” from the Great Science Fraud thread? That would be amusing, and somehow appropriate.

  44. #44 G
    January 19, 2012

    Something that is poisonous at one dose is safe at a lower dose.

    Which is fantastic for all of us chocolate lovers. Just imagine the tragic, tragic world of “no safe amount of toxin” as applied to theobromine.

  45. #45 Agashem
    January 19, 2012

    I am still wondering at what ‘true debates’ she had in nursing school? I am in the medical field and I can tell you that many of the subjects had no debates allowed or even considered. Debate whether or not mobilizing sick patients is worthwhile? I think not. Debate whether or not dressing open wounds is necessary? No dice. Debate over checking blood glucose levels? Come on. Further, what student has the knowledge to debate such deeply complicated subjects.
    Jeesh.

  46. #46 CanadianNurse
    January 19, 2012

    Orac,

    If you googled a bit around the web about the patriot nurse, you may have seen a point by refutation of this video done by “a Canadian nurse” – which was me. Anyone who got to her Facebook page probably saw me posting under Meagan Cran.

    Thank you so much for picking this up and doing a much more thorough refutation than I ever could have. Your work is so very much appreciate.

    And not all nurses are batshit insane. -.-

  47. #47 CanadianNurse
    January 19, 2012

    Orac,

    I just re-read your article.

    You state here:
    “I’ll conclude with a little request. Any time you see “The Patriot Nurse” video about why she doesn’t vaccinate, post a link to my post and this excellent additional deconstruction by a nurse who actually knows what she’s talking about, Christine Vara.”

    The refutation there is mine, not Ms. Vara’s. I gave her – and anyone else – my permission to use it.

  48. #48 Krebiozen
    January 19, 2012

    I wonder if The Paranoid Nurse is Alex Jones’ personal nurse. She seems to share the same world view. I would have thought vaccination would be important for those facing the apocalypse (when TSHTF as TPN puts it). Those FEMA camps will be a perfect place for diseases to spread. I’m certainly up to date on all the vaccines Lord Draconis (may His slime glands ooze forever) has issued. I don’t intend to succumb to the plagues when they are released by our reptilian masters.

  49. #49 lumbercartel
    January 19, 2012

    She then asserts that no poison is safe.

    Well, duh! It’s a poison.

    Well, potassium is an incredibly reactive metal that makes impressive flames (and sometimes explosions) when it comes into contact with water. To show how toxic it is, it’s one of the substances used to euthanize animals.

    I hope she avoids any exposure to it, not to mention ingestion!

  50. #50 lilady
    January 19, 2012

    Hi Canadian Nurse: I posted several times on the Shot of Prevention website, after “Chris” notified us about the video and your excellent analysis of it. Chris did most of the “heavy lifting”, but a number of the Respectful Insolence “regulars” also joined in.

    @ Agashem: There are no “debates”, nor “viewing both sides of an issue” when it comes to learning science-based nursing.

    Hmmm, I wonder if a certain MPH-Epidemiology candidate, tries to open a debate about vaccines. I’m assuming that when the topics are immunology and vaccine-preventable diseases, Boy Wonder and Ace Reporter has to suck it up, whenever Wakefield is mentioned.

  51. #51 Orac
    January 19, 2012

    The refutation there is mine, not Ms. Vara’s. I gave her – and anyone else – my permission to use it.

    Oops. Fixed.

  52. #52 nastylittlehorse
    January 19, 2012

    Wow. “The Patriot Nurse.”

    (FYI – those with deeply held and examined religion, this is not aimed at you)

    I was thinking just a few days ago – if I had no morals at all, and wanted to make some money from the credulous, I could write a book on this sort of stuff. It would be called “Why Jesus Was Never Vaccinated” or something very similar, and would contain whatever nonsense I felt like because the people it’s aimed at don’t care about petty things like facts, nor do they really know much of Christianity despite their lip service to it. If the ol’ stars and stripes could be crammed in somewhere it would be a guaranteed success.

    Of course I do have some morals, so I won’t be doing this, and it was all thought exercise in the ridiculous. That real live loons have now come with in spitting distance of some of the most ridiculous things I can think of should be a surprise, but I find it’s not any more.

  53. #53 kidsnurse
    January 19, 2012

    Totally off subject but have you see the news or heard about all the issues CHoP is dealing with because a parent got made with the transplant doc said the child was not a candidate and posted a blog about the encounter (reminds me of the autism group)and accused the doc of denying the transplant solely because the child was “mentally retarded”. So now people are posting all over the CHoP FB page about how horrible the doc and social worker are and these poor parents. Of course CHoP can not comment because of privacy rules. The mother is a high school english teacher and admitted in her blog that she wanted people to get angry.

  54. #54 Narad
    January 19, 2012

    This post came up while I was writing mine – that is scary. What states allow this? Is there a listing of those facilities, so we can avoid them?

    I encountered one entity who stated that she forged her vaccination record to get into nursing school back when I had the patience for MDC. She also stated that she had let her license lapse and wasn’t practicing, I believe because of ongoing influenza requirements. It checked out at the time, but I don’t know that I saved the screen shots.

  55. #55 Kelly M Bray
    January 19, 2012

    I don’t know. Mothering.com gives anyone a run for the money for the stupid award.

  56. #56 Narad
    January 19, 2012

    I don’t know. Mothering.com gives anyone a run for the money for the stupid award.

    Eh, I’ll give it some credit. There were some fairly stalwartly rational types when I frequented it. Varies by topic niche, of course.

  57. #57 Kelly M Bray
    January 19, 2012

    There is a debate on a Facebook page called “As Nature Intended” about this very same video. Some of the responses….”There’s also studies showing that measles prevents ovarian cancer in adults and that people who contract measles while fighting cancer have a better chance of over coming it. More people than ever are getting cancer. How do we know that we’re not creating a ton of other problems by trying to prevent these diseases?”

    How do you debate someone with this mindset?

  58. #58 Chris
    January 20, 2012

    Kelly M Bray:

    More people than ever are getting cancer. How do we know that we’re not creating a ton of other problems by trying to prevent these diseases?”

    And to them the fact that cancer is a disease of old age, and that people are living longer is lost on them. By the way, have you met Emily on the “Wakefield as the Great Fraud” thread? She is just precious. Because “Natural Hygiene” is the way to go, doncha know.

  59. #59 Kelly M Bray
    January 20, 2012

    You mean like this?…….”Natural Hygiene”……..I got this off a Facebook post….”The thing that no one seems to understand is that many of these children that were affected by these infections is because either they weren’t breastfed, families eating processed foods which didn’t gave them a good support while getting sick or lack of a balanced diet. I was born and raised in Panama and back in those days, we were a 3rd world country. I survived and I’m a healthy, strong 37 woman that never gets sick. I was breastfed and my mother cooked whole/mostly organic meals and grassfed meats. I wasn’t raised in processed junk and my parents never liked taking is to crapdonalds. Prepare the child’s immunity with those basic principals and you are good to go almost for the rest of your life: Breastmilk, eat whole foods, avoid processed/junk.”

  60. #60 Narad
    January 20, 2012

    How do you debate someone with this mindset?

    Ah, I hadn’t heard of Anita Petek-Dimmer before. Looking a little deeper, it seems as though there may be a mumps connection to ovarian cancer. Then again, it’s not exactly a strong argument in favor of mumps.

  61. #61 Chris
    January 20, 2012

    Kelly M Bray, thanks for the laugh.

    My daughter was six months old and totally breastfed when she got chicken pox! (oh, a bit stubborn about going to solid food, and was asking for mommy milk until she was almost three… and now a stubborn teenager).

    I was born in Panama, and spent some high school years in Panama, along with a couple of years in Venezuela. Of course that was because I was an Army brat, and we were well vaccinated. I had my last smallpox vaccine in the Ft. Campbell medical annex in 1974 (it was in the Canal Zone).

    I also spent plenty of time in the actual country since many of my friends lived in Panama City, and quite a mit of time in the interior. I saw the junk that was advertized on television. And I also know that if someone came down with yellow fever the Guardia Nacional would ask for your vaccine record. If you did not have it, you were vaccinated whether you liked it or not (while Omar Torrijos was in power).

    I miss marmónes (also known as ginips/ginnups/genips). Also, after having good flavorful grassfed Brahmin beef, we were very disappointed with the beef when we moved to Texas. So I do give points to the very tough, lean and flavorful beef in Panama.

    I’m still calling regurgitated bovine excrement on the Facebook comment.

  62. #62 Chris
    January 20, 2012

    I hate the moderation here. Erg. I also lived in Panama. While I liked the lean grassfed Brahmin beef there, I smell pure manure in the Facebook page that Kelly quoted.

  63. #63 Chris
    January 20, 2012

    AAAaagh! Stupid, stupid mistake in my moderated comment. I got a smallpox vaccine in the medical clinic in Fort Clayton! I keep calling it “Campbell”, just like I call someone “Jaden” when her name is “Jeflin.”

    Time to go to bed. Nighty night.

  64. #64 Chemmomo
    January 20, 2012

    lumbercartel @ 49

    Well, potassium is an incredibly reactive metal that makes impressive flames (and sometimes explosions) when it comes into contact with water. To show how toxic it is, it’s one of the substances used to euthanize animals.

    Umm, I think you’re thinking of potassium chloride, a compound of potassium. Not the flammable elemental metal.

    I’m a chemist: I’ve put potassium metal in water. There’s no way you’re going to be administering that.

  65. #65 Kelly M Bray
    January 20, 2012

    “I’m a chemist: I’ve put potassium metal in water. There’s no way you’re going to be administering that.”

    Why not, it would be a hell of a show…..

  66. #66 azure thoughts
    January 20, 2012

    However, it’s hard not to get sarcastic when I see TPN assert, in an utterly transparent argument from
    authority, that she “graduated with honors from the best school in my area.”

    And my mom returned to school in her 40s, became a nurse, and graduated with the highest mark in the entire province (Ontario) from the best school in the province, and she says vaccinations are good things. Trump! (as in the game, not the creepy with the hair).

    Her nursing school likely didn’t teach antivaccine canards any more than medical schools teach antivaccine canards.

    As it should be. Biology courses don’t teach creationism. Astronomy courses don’t teach the other side about the moon landing being a hoax.

    the gut decides whether or not to let certain chemicals through to the bloodstream.

    Oh goodie. Being pregnant I can now eat all the tuna I want. Minamata disease be damned. Think I’ll suck on a broken thermomete (the ones
    with mercury, not alcohol. Hm, wonder if drinking alcohol is okay since my gut has a “semi-permeable membrane”?

    Finally, TPN parrots the claim that breast milk is enough to protect baby from pathogens. This has to be one of the most pernicious, and, more importantly, dangerous antivaccine lies out there.

    I’ve heard this one more times in the last 4 months than I have in my life, latest was four days ago. Doesn’t seem to have been very effective in protecting First Nations people from smallpox.

    she rhetorically (and stupidly) asks what makes us think that “geeks with beakers” can do better than Mother Nature.

    Astoundingly stupid. Enough so that it should discredit anything else she says. If she gets this easily verifiable simple thing wrong then how can she be expected to get the other items right?

  67. #67 Christine
    January 20, 2012

    I first want to thank you for covering this story. I am the blogger, Christine Vara, from Shot of Prevention, that you referred to in your post. As Nathan and Megan pointed out, I am not a nurse but a concerned mother and the wife of a true patriot. The Patriot Nurse video was brought to my attention from a friend (aka “Nurses Who Vaccinate”). In discussing our dissappointment with the Patriot Nurse, another friend (aka “Canadian Nurse”) felt compelled to counter the misinformation in the video. I am so grateful that they care enough about immunizations to have taken the time to share this disturbing video with me and present another view for those who truly are interested in the truth. I also appreciate you giving this issue a larger audience. We can only hope that inquisitive parents will examine the scientific evidence and realize that vaccines are the best way to prevent our children from suffering from dangerous, and sometimes deadly diseases. Keep up the great work!

  68. #68 Krebiozen
    January 20, 2012

    Kelly M Bray,
    You mentioned a possible link between measles and cancer. Yesterday I was trying to find out why measles is so contagious – I found that wild-type measles virus uses cell receptors (SLAM) to infect cells in the immune system, suppressing them. It also attaches to epithelial cells using receptor PVRL4 (nectin-4), so that lots of viral particles are sprayed out in an aerosol when a measles patient coughs or sneezes (which starts before the rash appears). Nectin-4 is highly expressed on many lung, breast, colon, and ovarian tumor cells. This means that modified measles virus could potentially be used to target and kill some tumor cells. I thought that was interesting, but not a great reason to let everyone get infected with measles!

  69. #69 The Domestic Goddess
    January 20, 2012

    Sigh. Hre we go again.

    Look, I exclusively breastfed my kids, consider myself a hippie/AP type and I am into healthy eating. The thing that irks me to no end is when folks think that ei naturally immunities are so good they don’t need vaccines. People. Doesn’t anyone remember smallpox? Polio? While I admit I am not too fond of the current vaccination schedule and think flu shots are lame (because, every year we get them and every single year ER get the flu, all of us, several times over) people fail to realize that the incidence of side effect, illness and death from vaccines is so super low. There’s a reason for vaccines. It’s to keep people from dying, see. We will continue to get them, just as we always have. We will continue to think people are bonkers for not getting them, too.

    So breastfeed. WHO recommends it, as a matter of fact. Skip processed foods and fast food, we all know they are crap. But what else does WHO recommend? That’s right! Vaccines!

  70. #70 Todd W.
    January 20, 2012

    @Krebiozen

    You beat me to it. I had just recalled that there are some studies going on (e.g., at the Mayo Clinic) examining using measles virus to treat certain cancers. From my understanding, a wild infection probably won’t help a cancer patient, since there’s no sure bet that it’ll get to the right place and take out the cancerous cells. Rather, a targeted approach, injecting modified measles viruses into the region of the cancerous cells, is what they’re looking at.

    The goal is to direct the viruses at the cancerous cells, rather than normal cells in the body, thus hopefully avoiding the nasty side effects of measles infection (and potentially a safer alternative to chemotherapy).

  71. #71 Tony Mach
    January 20, 2012

    What I would like to know: What vaccines are advisable to take as an adult? Is there a site (CDC?) that is advisable?

  72. #72 Todd W.
    January 20, 2012

    @Tony Mach

    Interesting that you should ask. Yes, there is a site: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/schedules/adult-schedule.htm

    The main ones to keep up to date on are influenza and Tdap or Td (given trends in pertussis transmission, I’m curious if they’re going to recommend Tdap rather than Td from now on). If you’re 60 or older, the shingles vaccine is recommended. There are some others, depending on your medical history.

  73. #73 Tony Mach
    January 20, 2012

    BTW: The link to Stop Jenny McCarthy in your sidebar on the left is not up to date. I believe this is the current one:
    http://stopjenny.com/

  74. #74 Tony Mach
    January 20, 2012

    @Todd W.,72
    While I am not over 60, I still need to ask…
    I had some tests done a couple of month ago and I already have a reactivated VZV infection (elevated IgG if I recall) back then – probably got VZV as chickenpox as a child. Does the shingles vaccine make sense if you already have the virus?

  75. #75 Tony Mach
    January 20, 2012

    Never mind, it say in the brochure:

    “All adults without evidence of immunity to varicella should …”

    “Evidence of immunity to varicella in adults includes any of the following: … c) history of varicella”

    Man, this is a lot to read.

    Thank for the pointer! I will need to see what vaccines I am missing and at least try to make an informed decision. :-)

  76. #76 Tony Mach
    January 20, 2012

    Dang, this stuff is complicated:

    “Herpes zoster vaccination
    A single dose of zoster vaccine is recommended for adults aged 60 years and older regardless of whether they report a previous episode of herpes zoster.”

    When you said shingles, you meant zoster, right? Why isn’t Varicella vaccine = Zoster vaccine?

  77. #77 Todd W.
    January 20, 2012

    @Tony Mach

    That link also has a little quiz you can take that can provide suggestions about what vaccines you may want to talk to your doctor about. My doctor actually brought up Hep A and Hep B for me, since I am too old to have received them as a child and a blood test didn’t show any immunity.

  78. #78 TBruce
    January 20, 2012

    because, every year we get them and every single year ER get the flu, all of us, several times over

    In all likelihood, you are not getting Influenza several times a year. Most people call viral infections that affect the GI tract “the flu”. Is this what you mean? The flu vaccine doesn’t protect you from these illnesses.

  79. #79 Roadstergal
    January 20, 2012

    I lost my comment, somehow. It was a ‘thanks’ to lilady for the link, and a facepalm at California’s lack of requirements.

    Look, I exclusively breastfed my kids, consider myself a hippie/AP type and I am into healthy eating.

    Yarp, I think it’s been mentioned here before – this odd idea that the anti-vaccination folk have that the reality-based community pounds back its toxic vaccine cocktails with Cheez Whiz while watching football on the couch. I’m a vegetarian, avid cyclist/runner/weightlifter, heatlthy as all get-out, and I get my vaccinations. If I get cancer, you bet your bippy I’m going to a real doctor to get real treatment options. Doing so is part of an overall healthy lifestyle, not at odds with it.

  80. #80 Rowrbazzle!
    January 20, 2012

    “flu shots are lame (because, every year we get them and every single year ER get the flu, all of us, several times over)”

    That’s because a flu shot tries to protect against the expected most common strain(s) of flu virus. It’s not always easy to predict the future and have enough time to develop the vaccine. Also there are many other less common strains out there for which we have no protection.

  81. #81 Krebiozen
    January 20, 2012

    Tony Mach,

    Why isn’t Varicella vaccine = Zoster vaccine?

    Same vaccine, higher dose of attenuated virus. Older people’s immune systems are more sluggish and require a higher dose than children’s do to produce an adequate response.

  82. #82 Narad
    January 20, 2012

    I had some tests done a couple of month ago and I already have a reactivated VZV infection (elevated IgG if I recall) back then – probably got VZV as chickenpox as a child. Does the shingles vaccine make sense if you already have the virus?

    VZV can reactivate subclinically from time to time. Zostavax isn’t recommended for someone with active shingles, but I don’t know that an unusual VZV IgG would be a contraindication. No doubt someone who knows better is around.

  83. #83 lilady
    January 20, 2012

    @ Narad: When I worked for the health department and the Varicella vaccine was recommended for non-immune health care providers…I had a titer done. (I had no recollection of having had chicken pox during my childhood and no blood tests done, prior to this)

    My VZV IGG titer was strongly positive…I’m immune. I believe that VZV IGG titers will be positive for an individual’s lifetime.

  84. #84 Th1Th2
    January 20, 2012

    No doubt someone who knows better is around.

    Ahem. Excuse me. You may proceed.

  85. #85 dandover
    January 20, 2012

    On TPN’s Facebook page, a fan of the video referred to it as a “no-brainer”. I’d have to fully agree with that statement. No brains were used whatsoever during the making of that video. It truly is a “no-brainer”.

  86. #86 LW
    January 21, 2012

    Thingy @84 : “Ahem. Excuse me. You may proceed.”

    Speaking of no-brainers, the resident example has now put in an appearance.

  87. #87 Alia
    January 21, 2012

    Just one thing that came to my mind as I was thinking about anti-vaccine movement (which, as it seems, is gaining footholds also in my country). Anti-vaxers may believe that mumps, measles, chickenpox, even pertussis are really not that dangerous and that you can avoid flu if you just eat well, have a lot of exercise on fresh air and wash your hands often. But what about real killers, like tetanus or rabies? I wonder what would anti-vaccine parents do if their child was bitten by a rabid fox or bat (over here it’s a real threat) or stepped on a rusty nail while playing in the garden. Would they still believe vaccines are evil incarnate and try natural remedies?
    I once stepped on a rusty nail as a child, and once on some broken glass. But since I’d had all my DTaP shots on schedule, nobody made a big fuss about it, they just dressed my wound.

  88. #88 Chris
    January 21, 2012

    Alia, I saw someone once post all you had to do to prevent tetanus was clean the wound well. You might be interested in this exchange in a German anti-vaccine forum.

  89. #89 Marry Me, Mindy
    January 21, 2012

    “Alia, I saw someone once post all you had to do to prevent tetanus was clean the wound well.”

    Posh, Chris, I thought it was as simple as staying on the sidewalk?

  90. #90 Kerry
    January 21, 2012

    If you don’t like what she has to say then don’t watch her. Stupid you.

  91. #91 Denice Walter
    January 21, 2012

    Alia brings up rabies: a real problem. I predict that some folks will feel otherwise. I often notice that when woo-meisters promote some hare-brained idea it will show up here- because antagonistic commenters have read the aforementioned. On the 19th, Mike Adams wrote about “Vaccine Warfare”( NaturalNews.com): it appears that he’s gotten his knickers/panties in a twist/ bunch/ knot because Texas- where he now lives- is using planes to drop 1.8 million doses of rabies vax so foxes and coyotes will eat them. ( A commenter @ RI does similar work in Canada)

    “Vaccines spread the disease they claim to prevent”, he blurts then further confabulates about the Gates Foundation experimenting with “genetically engineered mosquitos” that will vaccinate unaware humans. His argument devolves into the “militarization of modern medicine” followed by cries of “police state” and “eugenics”. He speculates that if animals that eat GMO corn are then eaten by rabies-vaccinated coyotes- well, you *never know* what might happen ( Coyote-zilla? Could be.) We may see species-specific vaccines. SBM and governments “play g-d with Mother Nature” and his governor was involved in a dastardly deal with pharma’s newest posion, Gardasil.

    A week or so back, the other idiot rants about Joel Fuhrman’s “life-extending”, caloric-restrictive, plant-based diet and soon thereafter, RI is then graced with a few comments dredged from F’s website. It’s a small world.

  92. #92 Science Mom
    January 21, 2012

    If you don’t like what she has to say then don’t watch her. Stupid you.

    She put her drek on YouTube; she isn’t immune to criticism. If you don’t like what we say about what she has to say then don’t read here. Stupid you.

  93. #93 Chris
    January 21, 2012

    Kerry:

    If you don’t like what she has to say then don’t watch her. Stupid you.

    The only stupid thing is to ignore misinformation, especially if it causes harm. If you have something constructive to say that corrects the concepts we feel are in error, then do tell us.

  94. #94 Midnight Rambler
    January 22, 2012
  95. #95 Midnight Rambler
    January 22, 2012

    She’s pretty whacked. Note that her most-watched video is “Who Will Die First when SHTF: A WARNING”. SHTF, for those who don’t know, is “shit hits the fan”, i.e. the collapse of civilization, and the subject of a lot of her videos. I’d bet she’s a Paulbot.

    Also, in case Orac doesn’t get in over the weekend to approve my pending comment with the link, you can check out the vaccine video with comments enabled at watch?v=1ZlTfzAw6Ak

  96. #96 Calli Arcale
    January 23, 2012

    Tony Mach:

    When you said shingles, you meant zoster, right? Why isn’t Varicella vaccine = Zoster vaccine?

    There may be some semantic confusion. The virus is “Varicella zoster”, so it’s really all vaccines for the same virus. When manufacturers come up with a name for the product, they may grab from either part of the scientific name, or from anywhere they like. “Zoster” has been part of the name for longer — the virus used to be called “Herpes zoster” before scientists studying it discovered that it was sufficiently distinct from other herpes viruses to deserve a different name. Its closest relative seems to be Herpes simplex. The actual disease shingles is still medically referred to as “herpes zoster”, but it’s caused by a reemergence of the varicella zoster virus.

    Manufacturers making chickenpox vaccines have tended to use “varicella” in the name, since the point of the vaccine is to prevent infection with varicella. Makers of shingles vaccines have tended to use “zoster” in the name, I think probably because that part is more familiar to the older patients who receive shingles vaccines.

  97. #97 PHNurseMichelle
    January 25, 2012

    I’m a registered nurse and an ardent defender of public health. I’ve now bruised my forehead from banging it on my desk over and over again while reading this woman’s blog. Thanks for sharing, despite the headache it’s given me.

    And thanks for defending our profession, and common sense in general, @CanadianNurse!

  98. #98 Chris
    January 25, 2012

    Sigh, there is more.

  99. #99 Autismum
    January 26, 2012

    Yes…in my capacity as a science writer, science lover and mammy to a little autistic tot who is sick of the autism-vaccines canard I took it upon myself to try to find out who this woman is and it looks like I did. If you look at the comments over at shot of prevention you can see the level of research of anti-vaxers – they are making up and guessing what I wrote. The e-mail I wrote to her place of work is here:
    http://autismum.com/2012/01/25/the-patriot-nurse-a-letter/
    Now, I posted this on her fb page (not that it lasted long) just to make the point that I did this as an individual and still the conspiracy theories started. Sigh.

  100. #100 Tony Mach
    January 26, 2012

    Thanks for all the explanations regarding VZV!

    I will try to get the Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine next month. I don’t seem at risk for the other things and the “shingles”-vaccine has time – if I need it at all.

    And Th1Th2: I think you either choose the wrong handle or you con yourself into thinking you understand stuff you actually have no grasp of. Guess you can tell people about Dunning-Kruger, but you can’t make them draw the right conclusions from it…

  101. #101 Tony Mach
    January 26, 2012

    And Th1Th2, just to be clear: I know that there is a very very small risk associated with vaccines, just as I know there is a risk in flying (and the risk in both could probably be improved further). But getting vaccinated is like flying with commercial airlines – and refusing vaccines is like flying a single-engine aircraft with little training. You think you are clever? With your confirmation bias you are nothing but a danger to yourself and others.

  102. #102 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    @ Chris & Autismum: Thanks for the “heads-up”. I’ve again posted on that blog…this time about health care personnel receiving the Tdap vaccine, per the new ACIP Guidelines. I clearly stated in that posting that I hoped TPN’s employer is following the debate and is complying with ACIP recommendations regarding health care personnel and immunizations.

  103. #103 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    Chris has posted again on the blog and so have I. Some idiots on that site made mention of the death of Vermont child following a flu shot in December. One poster in particular, stated that “a febrile illness after a flu shot is ‘prima facie evidence’ that the flu shot caused the child’s death”.

    There is preliminary report from the Medical Examiner in Vermont regarding the seven-year-old who died after a flu shot. Among contributing factors that caused the child’s death, “myocarditis” due to a viral infection is listed, by the medical examiner. So much for the idiot’s “prima facie evidence”.

  104. #104 Autismum
    January 27, 2012

    @Lilady, Thanks for the support xx

  105. #105 lilady
    January 27, 2012

    @ Autismum: I just posted again…I’m having fun with ‘cia parker’ and her “prima facie evidence” post.

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