San Ramon, we have a problem.

The other day, I laid some not-so-Respectful Insolence on a clueless school board president in San Ramon Valley, California, named Greg Marvel. What merited a heapin’ helpin’ of what Orac does so well was Marvel’s use of school board stationery to endorse a stinking, steaming turd of a movie that is really nothing more than antivaccine propaganda wrapped in false “balance” about vaccines. The movie I’m referring to is The Greater Good, and it’s going to be shown on Current TV this Saturday, followed by an online chat with the film’s producers. Basically, the antivaccine tropes are featured prominently, while the “balance” from token real scientists like Paul Offit, whose defense of vaccines was treated as though it were no more valid than the antivaccine pseudoscience on parade through most of the movie, which slavishly followed the “rule of three” by presenting three children whose parents believe they were injured by vaccines. As I described in my usual excruciating detail that you all come here for time and time again, none of the three anecdotes was convincing, and lined up against Dr. Paul Offit, Dr. Melinda Wharton of the CDC, Dr. Norman Baylor of the FDA, and Dr. Mark Feinberg of Merck were a whole host of antivaccine pseudosexperts, such as Barbara Loe Fisher, Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. Lawrence Palevsky, Dr. John Green III, and several trial lawyers known for representing parents suing for “vaccine injury.” The presentation made it very obvious on which side the filmmaker’s sympathies lie, and it wasn’t on the side of science.

So basically what happened is that Greg Marvel sent out a credulous letter on school board stationery strongly endorsing The Greater Good as being “balanced” and something that the parents of students in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District should watch. In other words, he unethically abused his position as school board president to sway parents to watch a movie that is nothing more than propaganda against vaccines that blames them for neurological damage, autism, autoimmune diseases, and a wide variety of other health problems. One wonders whether our old buddy Kent Heckenlively, one of the stable of bloggers at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, had anything to do with this, given that I’m told that he’s a middle school teacher in that very same district. Or it’s possible that Marvel might have simply fallen under the sway of the antivaccine views so prevalent in the Bay Area, which is where the San Ramon Valley Unified School District is located.

Now, if you were a public health nurse in the school district whose president had just endorsed such a blatant bit of antivaccine propaganda, encouraging parents int he district to watch it, what would your reaction be? If you were science-based, you would be appalled. You might be afraid to speak out because Marvel is, after all, the school board president, and what employee of a school district wants to speak out against her school board president? What I would hope that we wouldn’t see from such a person is something like this:

Re: The film “The Greater Good”

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Nancy Sheets, and I am a credentialed school nurse in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District. I earned my Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco in 1980, and worked in medical/surgical nursing, cardiopulmonary and intensive care units, and home health case management prior to my employment as a school nurse and health educator.

As a health professional, I feel it is my responsibility to be informed regarding public health issues, current research, and policy that affects the health and safety of our children. This film raises some very thought provoking questions regarding the development of vaccines and vaccine policy. The information is well presented, and offers a well-balanced discussion of these issues. The viewpoints of individuals in the medical field who are strong advocates for current vaccine policy are presented, as well as the opinions and experiences of neuroscientists and physicians who raise pertinent questions based on their research or clinical experience in the care of children.

As a school nurse, I encourage parents to confer with their health care providers on many issues. Parents are continually making decisions that influence the health and safety of their child. This film can be an educational resource parents can utilize as they discuss immunization plans with their pediatricians.

Nancy Sheets, RN BSN PHN

Not surprisingly, the antivaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism is touting this letter too.

No, the only thing this film can be an “educational resource” for is how to make a clever bit of propaganda with fairly high production values using a combination of the “tell both sides” and “false balance” tropes, all topped off with testimonials that confuse correlation with causation. It is also a useful teaching material for skeptics like myself to educate readers on how evidence can be cherry-picked and deceptively presented to make a seemingly compelling case for pseudoscience. In fact, I did just that a few months ago.

So let’s see. So far in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, we have a president who is at the very least seriously lacking in critical thinking abilities and at worst antivaccine. (I suspect the worse.) We also have a middle school science teacher named Kent Heckenlively who is so antivaccine that he blogs for one of the most prominent antivaccine propaganda blogs in existence. Then we have a public health nurse who, like Marvel, is either highly credulous or antivaccine–or both.

ZHere’s the mission of the health educators, including Nancy Sheets, as laid out on the dSan Ramon Valley Unified School District website:

Our goals are:

  • to promote the health and well-being of school children
  • to provide for optimal educational experiences

The health educator/school nurse is a registered nurse who has completed additional educational requirements and possesses a current credential in school nursing, a public health credential, and a school audiometrist certificate.

School nurses strengthen and facilitate the educational process by improving and protecting the health status of children. Activities include the identification and removal or modification of health-related barriers to learning in individual children.

The major focus of school health services is the prevention of illness and disability and the early detection and correction of health problems.

The health educator/school nurse is specially prepared in preventative health, health assessment and referral procedures.

Writing a letter such as the one that Nancy Sheets wrote and letting the antivaccine political action group the Canary Party publish it on its website are hardly in keeping with the mission of the health educators at the SRVUSD as stated. Defending and promoting a movie like The Greater Good is not consistent with improving and protecting the health status of children, given that the intent of the filmmakers is clearly to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt about vaccines.

If there’s one thing that bothers me more than almost any other form of pseudoscience promotion, it’s when health care professionals betray their trust and endanger public health by abusing the authority of their positions to promote nonsense like antivaccination beliefs. The Patriot Nurse did it. Dr. Bob Sears does it (and did it just recently by opposing tighter restrictions on philosophical exemptions for vaccination in California, writing on that other wretched hive of scum and quackery, Mothering.com). Dr. Jay Gordon does it, profoundly misunderstanding science along the way.

And now Nancy Sheets does it.

I feel sorry for the students of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

Comments

  1. #1 herr doktor bimler
    May 15, 2012
  2. #2 LW
    May 15, 2012

    Joe@192:

    Thank you for your response.  I can’t respond line by line to your long response, but I will hit the high points.

    You bring up a few points of interest, such as Formaldehyde being in our bodies naturally, isn’t it is produced constantly by cellular metabolism? Yet to inject it directly into the bloodstream in larger doses can’t be good can it?

    This is why you should read what Orac has said on the subject. I’m not giving links because I don’t want to be caught in moderation, but just use the search facility in the upper left to vaccines and formaldehyde. The amount in the vaccines is a minute fraction of what the body produces every day.

    Your dates re CDC FDA etc are all in the first half of the last century like I said, so Whats your point there?

    My point is that they’d have to work really fast to assist in a takeover in the first half of the century if they didn’t even exist for most of that time.

    I’ve met many doctors some were in my family, I just don’t employ them.

    Do they know you think they are mass murderers who should be executed without trial?  I really think you should seriously contemplate your casual bigotry. 

    Your reference to the past health conditions pre modern medicine is the myth of choice espoused by all doctors when confronted by any kind of criticism, along with the statement that we are living longer, as an excuse for the ever increasing rates of cancers and other health problems that plague ALL ages today.

    I’ve never had a doctor bring that up to me, frankly. The doctors I know are more interested in science than in history. I learned about past health conditions from reading history books. 

    firstly your comparison is with western Europe and early European immigrants in the US, from the middle ages to the time vaccination started.

    Well, yes. Graveyards are the easiest place to see evidence of infant mortality, so I cited them, but they aren’t the only evidence.

    These people were mostly impoverished, had terrible nutrition, lived in squalid overcrowded conditions, under oppressive monarchies and equally oppressive christian churches who would burn them alive for witchcraft, if they were caught using the herbal knowledge handed down from their pagan ancestors.

    City life was squalid and overcrowded. The great bulk of the population didn’t live in cities; the economy wouldn’t support it. They lived out in tiny hamlets, being physically active out in the fields and eating good organic food.  They used herbs; it was quite traditional and there were books on the subject.

     

    Despite all this, most who actually survived the childhood diseases, child birth, brutal wars and oppression lived into their 90’s and even 100’s.

    This is just not plausible. It contradicts everything I’ve ever read about the Middle Ages and, for that matter, any other time or place. I need better evidence than your recollection of looking at gravestones. 

     

    most of us will get cancer or some form of dementia before we die, which was rare 100 years ago I think.

    Cancer and dementia were rare because they are diseases of old age and most people didn’t live that long. Also, I do find it plausible that those who managed to survive the vicissitudes of life and got to be old were naturally healthier than average. Since the average person in developed countries now gets to be old, old people today are less naturally healthy than in the past. I do not consider that a criticism of modern medicine.

    Now if we were to compare today’s population to say the native Americans 100 years ago I think you would find far less disease and infant mortality

    100 years ago Native Americans were not living their traditional lives.  Europeans have been on this continent for over 500 years.  You seem to have a strangely compressed view of history.  But I’ll assume you’re talking about Native Americans 500 years ago.  

    They did have less disease because they lived in small communities that couldn’t sustain most contagious diseases. but, strangely, despite their natural way of life, their healthful food and physical activity, and their lack of vaccines and antibiotics, they died in droves when exposed to European diseases, contradicting your claim that people who lived the way they did “will have an immune system that can fight off any disease that mother nature can throw at it.”

    After all, the wisdom of elders has been one of our most valued assets since the beginning of our time on earth. Of all our crimes against humanity, none has and will have such a devastating effect as the chemical destruction of this wisdom. it could set back our evolution a thousand years in one generation. nothing saddens me more.

    We have these things called “books”. The wisdom of elders can be preserved in them. I’m having a hard time seeing how such knowledge can be chemically destroyed, or how much evolution there has really been in the past thousand years. 

  3. #3 JGC
    May 15, 2012

    Maybe I can clear up your confusion regarding “ethyl or methyl, it will still kill you”.

    No, it won’t.

    Thimerosal when used as a preservative in vaccines is incoprporated at very low, demonstrably non-toxic concentrations. Further, follwing injection thimerosal rapidly dissociates to form ethyl (not methyl) mercury and is rapidly eliminated from the body, primarily by fecal excretion–it does not accumulate as the result or receiving multiple immunizations according to the recommended routine childhood immunization schedule.

    In infants following vaccination ethyl mercury has a half-life of less than 4 days and blood mercury levels return to pre-vaccination levels by 30 days after vaccination. (see Mercury Levels in Newborns and Infants After Receipt of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines, Pichichero et al, Pediatrics Vol. 121 No. 2 February 1, 2008 pp. e208 -e214)

  4. #4 Vicki
    May 15, 2012

    As a side point, agriculture has been practiced in the Americas for thousands of years.

    Just a few obscure plants like maize, potato, sunflower, pumpkin, chocolate, peppers, and tomato.

    There were many varied cultures here, with different languages, customs, and beliefs; acting as though they all had the same religion is like assuming that, 500 years ago, the various peoples of Africa, Europe, and Asia all worshiped the same gods in the same way.

  5. #5 Denice Walter
    May 15, 2012

    @ herr doktor bimler:

    Otters have gotten remarkably good press
    HOWEVER, I saw them in their natural habitat a few years ago and believe me, they’re scowly little buggers and show-offs besides- entirely full of themselves. In short, awful.

  6. #6 Composer99
    May 15, 2012

    Of course my facts are just my opinions but I’m sticking with them.

    Oh, insist your false beliefs are equivalent to empirically-derived fact, that’s a very atheist/skeptical thing to do.

    Public Service Announcement for the Irony-Impaired: That was sarcasm.

  7. #7 Kelly M Bray
    May 15, 2012

    @ Lilady, yep that’s the one. The prion nut. Prions have DNA….uhh yeah…What a mess. I read some of the papers they cited and none of them supported their points. Big surprise.

    I am a Native American, Osage.
    From Joe: “just like their pre roman ancestors did in ancient Europe.”

    Sorry, my ancestors came from Eastern Eurasia not Europe. 100 years ago we were farmers and merchants. We were also oil barons. In the 1920’s the Osage were the richest people in the world per capita, around 150,000 per person tax free in 2012 dollars. Joe, don’t speak for people you don’t know, or pull up that “noble savage” crap.

  8. #8 Chris
    May 15, 2012

    As I said before, Joe would not be embarrassing himself so much if he actually picked up a real book instead of believing what is said on television.

    To repeat LW:

    We have these things called “books”. The wisdom of elders can be preserved in them. I’m having a hard time seeing how such knowledge can be chemically destroyed, or how much evolution there has really been in the past thousand years.

  9. #9 lilady
    May 15, 2012

    @ Kelly M Bray: I’ve just posted at the *maven* on the Ho-Po.

    For good measure, after I dished out some snark, I linked to this:

    http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/prion-disease

  10. #10 joe
    May 15, 2012

    To all that replied to my last post

    Re books: You might check out one titled ‘Our stolen Future’, which came out in 1996. Have long since passed it on and don’t remember the author’s names, there were 3 of them, all involved in breast cancer research in the 80’s and 90’s. They accidentally discovered the estrogenic effects of plasticizers such as BPA, after switching from glass to polycarbonate petri dishes, which caused their breast cancer cells to multiply without adding actual estrogen. They went on to identify large #’s of similar estrogen mimicking compounds used in the plastics industry, which leach out of the plastic and are found in the blood and breast milk of all the women they tested from all corners of the world. It was 12 years until I heard anything in the mainstream media about this, which has singled out BPA as the only culprit, so the plastics industry can sell us ‘BPA free’ products that still poison us. Now you all know I’m not a doctor so don’t know jack s**t, but suppose if, as women’s estrogen level’s naturally decline during menopause, they are constantly absorbing synthetic estrogen’s, which cannot be readily metabolized. Could this not be a major factor in the skyrocketing breast cancer rates, which seem to correlate neatly with the increased use of plastics? I’m sure it’s not the only cause, Premerine HRT was another, but that’s gone now and the rates still go up. Just wondering. I’m sure you’ll smack me down on this like everything else, but yes I can read too.

    Re My ponderings on native American’s: Yeah 100 was a typo sorry very tired by then, was meant to be 500 years ago, and Kelly M Bray, Your the first NA I’ve met who admits their ancestors may have come from Eastern Eurasia, funny that’s where the Celts were supposed to originate from too, at least in that general region and they were the “ancient Europeans I was reffering to. Guess I’ll have to be more specific from now on. I was also aware that some tribes practiced agriculture while some were Hunter gatherers, but I bet they didn’t use pesticides or GMO’s.
    I dare you to educate this unoble savage some more, just don’t ask me to attend a sweat lodge, do a sundance or peyote ceromony I’m not that pretentious.

    To JGC re Thimerisol: so if it dissociates to form ethyl mercury does that mean it was in methyl form in the shot, meaning I was right on that ‘FACT’? Anyway, if what you say is true, how does that explain Jordan’s ‘off the chart mercury levels’ in the film. They did explain that autistic children seem unable to excrete mercury like the rest of us. Wouldn’t it seem that the one size fits all approach to vaccination is part of the problem just like the documentary suggests. Once again Why the **** are we using ******* deadly toxic preservatives in vaccines that would never be allowed in our food. Thank **** some of us have the guts to question authority cause it never questions itself.

  11. #11 Marry Me, Mindy
    May 15, 2012

    “re Thimerisol: so if it dissociates to form ethyl mercury does that mean it was in methyl form in the shot, meaning I was right on that ‘FACT’?”

    No, not even close.

    You know, it’s no shame to admit that you are scientifically ignorant.

    Even though we aren’t talking about grad level chemistry, it could take some college level chem, so not everyone will know it. But jeez, given that, recognize that you are clueless about this. You know noting so stop acting like you do. You aren’t convincing anyone.

  12. #12 madder
    May 15, 2012

    @joe:

    re Thimerisol: so if it dissociates to form ethyl mercury does that mean it was in methyl form in the shot

    No, it does not mean that.

    meaning I was right on that ‘FACT’?

    No, you were not.

    how does that explain Jordan’s ‘off the chart mercury levels’ in the film

    I haven’t seen this film, but a common trick among those who blame autism on heavy metals is to compare “provoked” heavy metal levels with “unprovoked” reference ranges, making it seem that the patient has an unusually high heavy-metal burden. In reality, those tests cannot be interpreted meaningfully: see here and here.

    Once again Why the **** are we using ******* deadly toxic preservatives in vaccines that would never be allowed in our food.

    Thimerosal contains ethyl mercury, which is much safer than methyl mercury– the kind found in the fish available at your local grocery store, so some common foods are more “dangerous” than vaccines.

    Thank **** some of us have the guts to question authority cause it never questions itself.

    The vaccine schedule is constantly revised and updated to reflect current knowledge. A common preservative was removed from many vaccines, and certain vaccines are no longer used, as a result of scientific monitoring.

  13. #13 Krebiozen
    May 15, 2012

    Joe,
    I suggest that in future you check your “facts” before making assertions like:

    Why the **** are we using ******* deadly toxic preservatives in vaccines that would never be allowed in our food.

    Such as?

    Fruit and vegetables typically contain 3–60 milligrams of formaldehyde per kilogram and fruit juice up to 640 milligrams methanol per liter, while the maximum in any vaccine dose is 0.1 milligrams. Normal blood levels are 2-3 milligrams formaldehyde per liter and our bodies produce up to 59,000 milligrams of formaldehyde per day through normal metabolism.

    There is more mercury in a can of tuna than there ever was in any vaccine shot. Maximum in a vaccine shot was 0.05 milligrams, and there may legally be up to 0.1 milligrams of methylmercury in a 100 gram can of tuna (1 part per million).

    There is between 5,000 and 10,000 micrograms of aluminum in our daily diet, and a maximum of 650 micrograms in any vaccine.

    As far as I know no vaccines contain any detectable amounts of arsenic.

    In summary a liter of fruit juice might contain 600 times as much formaldehyde as any vaccine, a tin of tuna may contain 20 times as much mercury as there used to be in some vaccines, our daily diet contains up to 15 times as much aluminum as there is in any vaccine and vaccines do not contain arsenic.

    Don’t take my word for it. Please research this for yourself using reliable scientific sources.

  14. #14 Krebiozen
    May 15, 2012

    I should perhaps have made it clear in my previous comment that methanol is metabolized to formaldehyde by our bodies. That’s why I mentioned the high concentrations of methanol in fruit juice.

  15. #15 Chris
    May 15, 2012

    joe:

    I was also aware that some tribes practiced agriculture while some were Hunter gatherers, but I bet they didn’t use pesticides or GMO’s.

    They actually used fires to clear undergrowth and control forests. In the Pacific Northwest it was important to keep meadows clear for camas root (which started to become overgrown by the time Capt. Vancouver explored there, smallpox had already taken its toll by the end of the 18th century). Read 1491 and 1493 by Charles Mann. You might check out natural history museums, and your local nations (some have their own museums).

    I dare you to educate this unoble savage some more, just don’t ask me to attend a sweat lodge, do a sundance or peyote ceromony I’m not that pretentious.

    You are far from pretentious. More like arrogant from ignorance.

  16. #16 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 15, 2012

    Joe,
    You might take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiomersal. You’ll notice that thimerosal is Ethyl(2-mercaptobenzoato-(2-)-O,S)
    mercurate(1-) sodium. The term “methyi” appears nowhere in the chemical name. When the mercury-sulfur bond dissociates, you’re left with mercury connected to an ethyl group, not methyl.
    The thought that a methyl compound could dissociate into an ethyl compound is, if I recall correctly, the punchline of a very bad joke in 2nd year organic chemistry.

  17. #17 Kelly M Bray
    May 15, 2012

    “dare you to educate this unoble savage some more, just don’t ask me to attend a sweat lodge, do a sundance or peyote ceromony I’m not that pretentious.”

    To have someone such as yourself in a sacred ceremony of the Native American Church would be wrong. It requires respect for the ceremony, the church, and the people there. You have no respect.

  18. #18 Todd W.
    May 15, 2012

    @madder

    A common preservative was removed from many vaccines, and certain vaccines are no longer used, as a result of scientific monitoring.

    A minor quibble here. Thimerosal was removed from nearly all vaccines, not because of science, but because of fear and congressional pressure based on a lack of understanding of what science there was and calls for more research to be done. Once the research was done and it was found that there were no ill effects from thimerosal in vaccines, production had already been shifted to thimerosal-free formulations. Going back would have entailed far too great an investment (i.e., waste of money) by manufacturers to make it worthwhile. Not to mention, despite the evidence, people still feared anything associated with mercury, so a “better safe than sorry” approach maintained.

  19. #19 Todd W.
    May 15, 2012

    @joe

    At the risk of going even further off topic…

    funny that’s where the Celts were supposed to originate from too

    Uh, citation needed.

  20. #20 Kelly M Bray
    May 15, 2012

    “Your the first NA I’ve met who admits their ancestors may have come from Eastern Eurasia…”

    We know who we are and where we came from. We don’t need to be patronized by the likes of you.

  21. #21 madder
    May 15, 2012

    @Todd W.

    Quibble accepted; I had quickly edited that part of my comment down from an excessive dissertation on the precautionary principle. As it stands, you’re right: it does look like I’m claiming that they removed it in response to data. There was, of course, no such body of data. Bothersome situation: being careful and proactive inadvertently gave (phony) ammunition to the antivaxers.

  22. #22 Shay
    May 15, 2012

    I was also aware that some tribes practiced agriculture while some were Hunter gatherers, but I bet they didn’t use pesticides or GMO’s.

    But some Plains nations did routinely conduct mass slaughters of buffalo (prior to the introduction of firearms) by driving them over cliffs. They also used fertilizer and controlled fires to enhance plant growth and keep the forest primeval in check. So your notion that the pre-European Americas were some kind of idyllic paradise inhabited by hippy-dippy flower children living in harmony with nature is as poorly researched and indefensible as the rest of your claims.

    BTW, I’m not, so far as I know, even one scintilla American Indian, but I had two Irish grannies who would whale the snot out of you for suggesting they came from Eastern Eurasia.

    I dare you to educate this unoble savage some more

    You’re uneducable.

  23. #23 herr doktor bimler
    May 15, 2012

    Kelly M Bray: Joe is sounding more and more like a Poe, trying hard to squeeze the maximum amount of wrongness and ignorance into every sentence. He loses points, though, for the breezy racism.

  24. #24 LW
    May 15, 2012

    “So your notion that the pre-European Americas were some kind of idyllic paradise inhabited by hippy-dippy flower children living in harmony with nature is as poorly researched and indefensible as the rest of your claims.”

    Well, true, but they didn’t have vaccines, antibiotics, petrochemicals, or inorganic food*, so clearly their perfect immune systems made them absolutely immune to every disease that nature could throw at them.

    * the specification of “organic food” always amuses me.

  25. #25 ken
    May 15, 2012

    @madder
    “The vaccine schedule is constantly revised and updated to reflect current knowledge”

    The current vaccine schedule for infants is only based on the theory of Dr. Offit and his calculations which are purely theoretical- 10,000 vaccines indeed!
    The German study cited to support vaccination “German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS) considered a person vaccinated with receiving only a few vaccines. The conclusions cannot be considered valid.

  26. #26 LW
    May 15, 2012

    ken @222 : do you genuinely believe that organizations all over the world decided one day to base their infant vaccination schedules on a back-of-the-envelope computation presented by *one man* for purposes of illustration?

  27. #27 ken
    May 15, 2012

    There are no safety studies on the current vaccine schedule.
    The IOM is considering the plausibilty of such a study.

  28. #28 Shay
    May 15, 2012

    No, Ken, that’s not what the IOM is considering.

    From their website: “The IOM will conduct an independent assessment surrounding the feasibility of studying health outcomes in children who were vaccinated according to the CDC recommended schedule and those who were not (e.g. children who were unvaccinated or vaccinated with an alternate schedule). The IOM will review scientific findings and stakeholder concerns related to the safety of the recommended childhood immunization schedule. Further, the IOM will identify potential research approaches, methodologies, and study designs that could inform this question, including an assessment of the potential strengths and limitations of each approach, methodology and design, as well as the financial and ethical feasibility of doing them. A report will be issued in mid-2012 summarizing the IOM’s findings and conclusions.”

  29. #29 ken
    May 15, 2012

    Sorry you misunderstood-This is the study I’m talking about.
    How is this not studying safety? Why would they consider this?
    “The IOM will review scientific findings and stakeholder concerns related to the safety of the recommended childhood immunization schedule.”
    h ttp://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/ChildhoodImmunization.aspx

  30. #30 Shay
    May 15, 2012

    Ken: I did not misunderstand. You really should read your own links.

    The site you quote above announces the third meeting of the committee and then invites you to take a look at the project website. If you click on the link provided, it takes you to exactly the same study I mention.

  31. #31 ken
    May 15, 2012

    Stop intentionally obfuscating- It’s about the safety of the current vaccine schedule.
    http://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/ChildhoodImmunization.aspx

  32. #32 Shay
    May 16, 2012

    I’m not obfuscating. I posted a link to the committee and you claimed it wasn’t the same study when it most certainly is (which causes me to draw the not unreasonable conclusion that you never bothered to read it but were parroting something you’ve been spoon-fed by GoogleU).

    And it’s not a safety study. It’s a study to see if it is feasible to conduct a study .

    BTW, you state that there have been no safety studies done on vaccines (untrue — what’s your source for that?) and yet you point to the existence of the IOM committee study as proof, somehow, that vaccines are unsafe? An amazingly loopy piece of inverted logic.

  33. #33 ken
    May 16, 2012

    @Shay@225 Where is the link you claim you posted? You just quoted.
    I said “this is the study I’m talking about”-meaning the one you quoted.
    You did not post the link to it which I did. If there was not a safety concern why would they even consider a plausibility study? There are no studies on the current vaccine schedule.
    It might be “too many too soon” as many parents have these concerns. Having these concerns does not make you anti- vax. Look at the other IOM studies.

  34. #34 ken
    May 16, 2012

    “The committee finds that evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between some vaccines and some adverse events—such as MMR, varicella zoster, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, and tetanus-containing vaccines linked to anaphylaxis.”
    h ttp://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Adverse-Effects-of-Vaccines-Evidence-and-Causality.aspx
    There might be a synergistic and cumulative effect from “too many, too soon.

  35. #35 Julian Frost
    May 16, 2012

    @ken:

    There might be a synergistic and cumulative effect from “too many, too soon”.

    Given that vaccines are spaced out over a number of years, and that each dose is just a few ml, I find that unlikely.

  36. #36 Shay
    May 16, 2012

    That’s what I get for posting at midnight. However, a feasibiliy study =/= a safety study in any known universe. Nor is it any kind of admission, no matter how you spin it, that there is something unsafe about the current vaccine schedule.

    I notice that your quote @233 leaves out the rest of the paragraph which does not support your contention:

    “Additionally, evidence favors rejection of five vaccine-adverse event relationships, including MMR vaccine and autism and inactivated influenza vaccine and asthma episodes. However, for the majority of cases (135 vaccine-adverse event pairs), the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship. Overall, the committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.” (emphasis mine).

  37. #37 Fully Vaccinated
    May 16, 2012

    From the IOM website: “The committee finds that evidence convincingly supports a causal relationship between some vaccines and some adverse events—such as MMR, varicella zoster, influenza, hepatitis B, meningococcal, and tetanus-containing vaccines linked to anaphylaxis. Additionally, evidence favors rejection of five vaccine-adverse event relationships, including MMR vaccine and autism and inactivated influenza vaccine and asthma episodes. However, for the majority of cases (135 vaccine-adverse event pairs), the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship. Overall, the committee concludes that few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines.”

    Note that last bit “few health problems are caused by or clearly associated with vaccines”. However, we do know that many health problems are associated with not being vaccinated. It is unfair and cruel to allow children to suffer through diseases that can be prevented and irradicated through vaccination.

  38. #38 lilady
    May 16, 2012

    @ Fully Vaccinated: Here is an updated report from the CDC Vaccine Compensation Task Force on the 2011 IOM Report:

    http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/taskforcedeliberations.pdf

    I worked as a public health nurse investigating outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and I worked as a public health clinic nurse. During my tenure at this large County health department, I administered thousands of vaccines. I participated in major flu immunization clinics and post- exposure immunization clinics. We always had ampules of epinephrine and syringes nearby to administer epinephrine for the first sign of anaphylaxis…none of my colleagues ever recalled an anaphylaxis episode…following the hundreds of thousands of immunizations we provided.

    The only report of an anaphylaxis episode I recall, was reported by a pediatrician, who “rescued” a child who had received an antibiotic shot administered by another doctor, in another practice, nearby. That doctor did not monitor the child after the antibiotic shot was given.

  39. #39 maydijo
    May 28, 2012

    I call BS on Joe on his recollection of 500 year old graves in English cemeteries. Two years ago DH and I and our two kids trawled through countless cemeteries in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cornwall – I’d estimate 25 to 30. I never saw a gravestone that was actually readable that was more than about 200 years old. Those things deteriorate quickly. Some from the early 1900s weren’t legible – some from the 1970s weren’t legible. Also, they change gravestones out fairly frequently – there’s just not the space to keep them all. We knew for instance that my husband’s 2nd great grandfather should’ve been buried in a certain plot; there was no marker there; someone else had been buried over the top of him, his marker removed, and another marker put in its place. That’s only going back to the mid-1800s. I want to know where these 500 year old gravestones are.

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