Antivaxers marched on Washington last week. It was less than impressive.

Last week, I took note of something that antivaxers hadn't done in nine years, specifically a "march on Washington." Back in 2008, Jenny McCarthy and her then-boyfriend Jim Carrey led a rag tag rogues' gallery of antivaccine activists on a march and rally that they called "Green Our Vaccines." The name of the rally, of course, derived from a common trope beloved of antivaccine activists that I like to refer to as the "toxin gambit." It's basically a Food Babe-like fear of those "evil chemicals" writ large in a claim that vaccines are packed full of horrific chemicals that are Making Our Babies Autistic—and/or making them asthmatic, diabetic, or even dying of sudden infant death syndrome. It's a profoundly scientifically ignorant gambit in that the dose makes the poison and the amount of the various scary-sounding chemicals to which antivaxers like to point in vaccines is tiny and safe. For instance, antivaxers love to point to formaldehyde as one of those horrific toxins, and it's true. There are tiny amounts of formaldehyde in some vaccines left over from the process of inactivating the virus. However, the human body makes formaldehyde as a normal byproduct of metabolism in amounts that far surpass that contained in any vaccine.

Nine years later, the rally is called Revolution for Truth, and the "march" and "rally" (if you can call it that) took place on Friday. I thought about ignoring it completely after my one post, but since the antivaccine movement is one of my main topics, I find it hard to let things go without one last post on this rally. Part of the reason is that the rally surprised me. No, it wasn't the content of the speeches and signs that surprised me. Much of it was very similar to what occurred in 2008, although the cast of characters was largely different, with only Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Barbara Loe Fisher having appeared at both events. Also in the post-SB 277 world (SB 277 is the new law in California that banned nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates), there was a lot more talk about "freedom," and in the world of our very own Antivaxer-in-Chief, President Donald Trump, the rhetoric was much darker and more dire than in 2008. None of this is what surprised me though. What did surprise me is that, if anything, the turnout for the Antivaccine March on Washington, 2017 edition, appeared to be much smaller than the Antivaccine March on Washington, 2008 edition. Don't get me wrong. The 2008 march attracted at most a few hundred people, but by comparison the photos of the 2017 March made the 2008 march look like the the crowd for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech by comparison. (Antivaxers love to compare themselves to civil rights figures like Nelson Mandela or MLK.) I mean, take a look at the photos in this STAT News story, and you'll get an idea. Then compare to the photos from nine years ago, and you'll see what I mean.

Also, take a look at this photo on Twitter:

I honestly did not expect that. News coverage described the crowd as in the dozens, not the hundreds. Unfortunately, as I've been describing before when I lamented the politicization of vaccine mandates such that antivaxers are increasingly co-opting the rhetoric and messaging of the Tea Party to equate school vaccine mandates as tyranny and "vaccine choice" as "freedom," thus undermining what has until recently been a broad, bipartisan agreement about public health. For example:

For their lobbying day on Thursday, the activists had agreed to wear shades of the American flag: Red if they’d had a loved one injured by vaccines, and white if they were there in solidarity. (They were supposed to wear blue if a loved one had died from a vaccine injury, but STAT didn’t see anyone in the group wearing that color.)

Dressed in a red sweater and seated in a wheelchair, activist Marcella Piper-Terry teared up as she talked about her own chronic pain condition and her young adult daughter’s seizures and Asperger’s syndrome. She believes those injuries stem from vaccines.

What? They couldn't find a single antivaxer who thought that vaccines killed their child?

As tiny as the group was, we can't be complacent, as we can't say that they might not have an effect in the age of Donald Trump:

The day of demonstrations followed an intense lobbying push on Thursday. Activists held 80 meetings on Capitol Hill, many of them with staffers for members of Congress, according to Irene Pi, an organizer from Arizona. Among their goals: Push President Trump to establish a vaccine safety committee led by Kennedy.

“We’re being heard, and we’re going to enact change,” activist Jena Dalpez said.

Fortunately, that remains to be seen.

Because of the rain, unlike the rally in 2008, the speeches for Revolution for Truth took place indoors as the Washington Press Club, the very same place where a few weeks ago Robert F. Kennedy Jr. issued his ridiculous "thimerosal challenge." And what a bunch of speeches that this small band of antivaxers and a few reporters sat through, including Rebecca Robbins of STAT News:

Because of the length, I must admit that I didn't watch all the speeches—or even close. Even a cursory listen told me that it was a lot of the same ol', same ol'. For instance, Kent Heckenlively's speech in person was even worse than it was in print in all caps:

Yes, he referred to vaccines (or vaccine scientists; I'm not sure which) as "monstrous" evil and "unbelievable" wickedness. You get the idea. This is what most of the speeches were like.

For instance, here's Scientology's the Nation of Islam's Minister Tony Muhammad:

We've met Muhammad before, and his speech here isn't much different than the speech he gave a year and a half ago at a protest at the CDC. There are a lot of references to "satanic forces" and conspiracies, as you would expect. In fact, as I went back and looked at my old post about that CDC "protest," it occurred to me that "Revolution for Truth" reminded me, more than anything else, of that CDC protest more than the "Green Our Vaccines" rally.

One thing that I found strange about "Revolution for Truth" is that Andrew Wakefield wasn't there, even though a lot of people involved in his antivaccine propaganda film VAXXED were there. For instance, here's one of the parents featured in VAXXED, Sheila Lewis Ealey:

At least she's honest enough to state plainly that she is antivaccine and to assert that there is "no such thing as a save vaccine." (That kind of blows the cover off of, for instance, the organizers of the rally and RFK Jr.'s claims that they are not antivaccine," especially given how the crowd roared its approval to both lines. I've observed in past antivaccine conclaves that proclaiming oneself antivaccine and saying there's no such thing as a safe vaccine are two guaranteed applause lines.) Of course, she couldn't resist throwing in some Biblical stuff about how before vaccines "people were living, and they were living up to 200 years of age and beyond." The dead silence after that statement showed that it was just a bit too batshit nuts, even for people who are so antivaccine that they are willing to travel from all over the country to Washington, DC to participate in a protest like this. That's saying something. After all, these are people who didn't bat an eye at Ealey's likening the Dredd Scott decision regarding slavery to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created the Vaccine Court and the primary method of compensating people who suffer legitimate vaccine injury. To her, the NCVIA made children "property, not people," just as the Dredd Scott decision reinforced that slaves were property, to enthusiastic applause. When she then likened antivaxers to the "new abolitionists," the crowd went wild. Wow. Hyperbole much? Well done, Ms. Ealey! Fortunately, your bit about how before vaccines people lived 200 years made even the die-hard antivaxers who applauded your references to slavery go silent. She also revealed how parents arguing for "parental rights" with respect to vaccines think.

And here's Brian Hooker, the biochemical engineer turned incompetent epidemiologist and statistician who loves "simplicity" in statistics, with all the screwups that flow from that:

And, of course, here's the producer of VAXXED, Del Bigtree himself, whom we've met many times before:

Bigtree spends some time in the middle of his talk sarcastically beating up on a woman who didn't buy into the pseudoscience, quackery, and conspiracy mongering of the rally. Particularly hilarious is the part where he brags about how he doesn't care if there's a reporter doing a "hit piece" and that he'll stand in front of any camera "any day of the week" because "we're telling the truth." Um, no, Del. You might think you're telling the truth, but in reality you're spewing easily debunked lies, weaving them together into a tapestry of misinformation and pseudoscience that can be hard to penetrate if you don't—as I and some other skeptics do—have deep background knowledge of the specific threads of misinformation used to weave that tapestry. You are a propagandist, like Leni Reifenstahl, only much less talented. He then plays to the audience by referencing in contrast Paul Offit, who quite understandably got a bit pissed off at a VAXXED "reporter" who was bothering him in a hospital cafeteria while he was eating. It's a disingenuous comparison, of course. There's a difference between being a camera-hungry publicity hound of a crank desperate to speak to the press and being a real scientist tired of being hounded by antivaxers wherever he goes. Of course, disingenuous is how Bigtree rolls. It's how he's always rolled.

Of course, the main attraction had nothing to do with VAXXED. It was RFK, Jr., the environmentalist turned antivaccine crank since sometime around 2005. Specifically, he's a member of the mercury militia branch of the antivaccine movement, which is the branch that passionately believes that the mercury in the thimerosal that was used as a preservative in some childhood vaccines was responsible for the "autism epidemic." Never mind that thimerosal was removed from nearly all childhood vaccines in 2002 and in 2017, 15 years later, autism rates have not plummeted. Here he is again doing what he does best, blustering, deluding himself by claiming he's "not antivaccine," and spreading antivaccine pseudoscience hither, thither, and yon:

Notice one thing he didn't mention? Hopes were high among antivaxers that RFK Jr. would announce the "vaccine safety commission" that Donald Trump asked him to chair. (Or so he claimed; the transition team denied it that he had been offered anything, but that didn't stop him from running straight to the press to brag about how he would chair a Presidential commission on vaccine safety and/or autism.) One would think that, if it were confirmed that there would be such a commission, this "rally" would have been the perfect place to announce it.

Through it all, various antivaccine activists laid down a barrage of misinformation so thick and convoluted that Duane Gish himself would be proud. Examples were relayed on Twitter, such as:

Toni Bark's claim is, of course, utterly without a basis in scientific or clinical evidence. No surprise there.

There were also calls for measures that are clearly unethical and dangerous, such as this:

All the while they deny that they're antivaccine while saying things like the statements above and Tweeting things like this:

Sure. You're not antivaccine. Ri-ight... Whatever you say...

In the end, as surprised as I was that this was the case, I was glad that the 2017 version of the antivaccine "march on Washington" fizzled even worse than the 2008 version. Of course, the 2008 version had actual celebrities. Even though Jenny McCarthy was at best a C-list celebrity then, Jim Carrey was still arguably A-list. They also did their march in June and were fortunate enough to have a beautiful sunny day. Even so, I would have thought that in the world of Donald Trump, antivaxers could have done better. I'm glad they didn't.

On the other hand, remember images like this:

That's a photo of antivaxers meeting with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chair of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, whom Del Bigtree lobbied last summer, complete with a copy of VAXXED for him. Whether Chaffetz is just playing the marchers or really is sympathetic to their viewpoint and demands, such as a demand for an "independent" vaccine safety commission, it's a bit worrisome that antivaxers appear to have such easy access to such a powerful Congressman, particularly in the context of their apparently having the ear of the President.

Stay frosty, my friends. The Revolution for Truth rally might have been an embarrassing bust, but the real threat advocates of science and public health have to look out for exists in photos like this and what they tell us.


More like this

About five weeks ago, I took notice of an event that seems to be getting the antivaccine crankosphere a bit riled up and excited. I'm referring to the so-called "Revolution for Truth" march on Washington being organized by various antivaccine groups, who, emboldened by President Donald Trump's long…
]As hard as it is to believe, I've been dealing with the antivaccine movement since at least the early 2000s. Back then, I didn't have a blog, either this one or my not-so-super-secret other blog, and most of my online activities were restricted to Usenet. For those of you who don't remember Usenet…
I've written quite a bit about how our soon-to-be President Donald Trump has consistently expressed antivaccine views over the years, such as his oft-stated (on Twitter and elsewhere) beliefs that it's a "monster" shot that causes autism and infants get "too many" vaccines "too soon." I've heard…
Poor Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He went from admired environmental activist to reviled antivaccine campaigner so quickly. It began when he outed himself in 2005 with his infamous conspiracy mongering screed about thimerosal in and Rolling Stone. Basically, RFK Jr. is a member of what we used…

I imagine Jim Carrey thought his star power would attract people in the thousands. When only a few hundred kooks showed up he must have realized the pit of BSC he'd leaped headfirst into.

I'm sure his agent told him, "If you want to stay relevant in Hollywood you will not do something like this again."

News coverage described the crowd as in the dozens, not the hundreds.

Dozens, plural? Admittedly there may have been more to the crowd than shown in the photo attached to the first Rebecca Robbins tweet, but I count twelve people in that photo.

Regarding Chaffetz, given his track record, I am inclined to assume the worst about him. He's used his position to repeatedly investigate Hillary's e-mails and Benghazi, repeatedly finding in both cases that there is no there there, but has no interest in investigating the much more serious allegations against Donald Trump and other Republicans.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

'Dozens' is right. Their Facebook page has some video shot outside the Press Club, and I'd say no more than 5 dozen idiots were there.

Every speaker would have time to talk to every protester one on one. They could have saved money on PA system rental.

Viewed through the lens of homeopathy, the smaller the crowd, the more powerful.

I was particularly impressed by the crowds showing up from Scientology the KKK the NOI. They certainly had a great showing for this event.

Sheila Lewis Ealy laid down some truly irrational and demented stuff including allusions to racism, a lot of children's lives "snuffed out" by vaccines, and the obligatory 'religious piety' of the radicals who call for violence and death against their enemies:
"Because I'm going to tell you who I am. I AM ANTI-VACCINE! [Loud cheering and applause.]"
followed by this lunacy,
"Before the onset of vaccines people were living, and they were living up to 200 years of age and beyond. [dead silence.]"

You could almost hear the jaws hit the floor with that last statement. Isn't everyone familiar with going to the cemetery and seeing numerous markers that say, "Here lies Jeremiah Blow Age 439"?
Stark. raving. mad.

Hopefully this is an indication that the AA community isn't falling for this scam, heavily directed toward them, in any numbers.
I also note that Babs Low Fisher, and others, were blending anti-vaccine with anti-fluoride and anti-GMO propaganda. It makes sense as this 'Revolution4Truth' march was organized around a blending of these internet anti-science, Luddite delusions. Perhaps this indicates the anti-vaccine scammers need new blood to prey upon as they've bled the anti-vaccinationists dry.

Viewed through the lens of homeopathy, the smaller the crowd, the more powerful.

No, no, no, they have to be dilute – can't be standing all together like that. How to succuss them is anybody's guess.

Before the onset of vaccines people were living, and they were living up to 200 years of age and beyond.

Well, the Book of Genesis, which certain people regard as a reliable source, claims that someone named Methuselah lived to the age of 969. (Genesis 5:27, KJV: "And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.") And of course this was before the invention of vaccines.

In case it wasn't obvious, I am not among the people who believe that claim.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

That one photo with all the umbrellas made the march look more like a lot of commuters who had just gotten off the commuter train than a demonstration.

I am glad they had good weather.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

What? They couldn’t find a single antivaxer who thought that vaccines killed their child?

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons membership must have been busy that day. I am sure they have documented thousands</s hundreds scores a bunch of childhood deaths attributable to vaccines.

Great image! Best laugh I've had all week!

They tell us that the 'revolution won't be televised'
Suddenly , I can see why.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

What if they gave a war revolution, and nobody came?

Well, I'm not surprised at all at the low turnout.

As best I can read the clues, I think "the anti-vax movement" has been shrinking back to core group of fringe extremists post Disneyland/SB277. In the Jenny McCarthy heyday, the way the AVs presented themselves and their case had some potential appeal expecting parents who were generally sensible folks. Even in the clusters in Orange and Sonoma counties, the vax uptake couldn't have dropped outbreak-threat low numbers without a good number of parents merely being 'vax-hesitant', falsely thinking avoiding the shots fell into "better safe than sorry" precaution. But look at that Greatest Lie image. The rhetoric is so out there, so polarizing, there's no broad appeal. Just about the only way a person can approach the frames pretty much all the AVs use now is 'all or nothing'. So you get the Sheila Lewis Ealey types, but that's it. Dozens of attendees, nothing but "the usual suspects" at the mic; only eight comments here so far and no trolls. If this ain't a dying topic, I don't know what is.

Which is not at all to say I think there's no threat, or that complacency is OK. I just don't think there's any real threat from the tattered remains of 'the anti-vax movement' per se. I think public health advocates should (re)direct their vigilance to areas where immunization rates can be affected by a sort of 'collateral damage' of other policy matters and/or ideologies – especially in the terrain of "health freedom".

And then there's Jeff Sessions, who's opposed to regulations requiring schools to protect and provide services for disabled kids, including those with ASDs. There could be some real horror stories down the road if we go backward here – a lot more pressure on parents of more severely autistic kids leading to more Kelli Stapleton-esque breakdowns and desperate bad acts – and that could re-invigorate autism fears, and refuel some sort of AV politicking.

If we wind up in that environment, I'd suggest turning your attention away from 'the usual suspects" at that embarrasing bust of a rally – those folks are spent, politically – and watch the horizen for new players, especially any sort of 'new Jenny McCarthy' figure. Someone sympathetic mediagenic, younger and new to the issue and who can present "questiions" about vaccines as a new discovery, and re-invigorate the level of mere doubt about vaccines that can get members of the next generation of non-nutjob concerned parents-to-be to be just hesitant enough about the shots to seek a PBE 'just to be safe'...

How to succuss them is anybody’s guess.

Hit them with a bible?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

At this point, I would want external evidence for any political gain they claim. There have just been too many disproven claims.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

Their rousing protest in front of the National Press Club.
Literally dozens attended.
I can't help but smile at all the loons looking like drown rats halfheartedly chanting the idiotic memes. It got especially rousing when the rep. from the Weston A Price Listeriosis Society took over the microphone. /sarc

It makes you wonder why one of the anti-vaccine "heroes", like Del Bigtwig, didn't put in an appearance to buck up the troops. I guess they've all become too important to be bothered with the hoi polloi that make up their supporters.

I did think I saw a few longingly eyeing the Press Liquors store next door. Probably the folks from the TMR...

Sadmar, I won't count the anti vax loons out until my patients quit refusing vaccines and asking about "preservatives" in Vitamin K for babies.

I think you might have a point. Back when Wakefield first went public with his MMR scam I was a mum with 2 young autistic children and a new baby. No one was ranting about all vaccines being dangerous or wittering on about dangerous additives. It was just the MMR. Rational parents like myself were happily giving the rest of the schedule but dithering over the MMR. Now I think that genuine concerns about the MMR have been settled it is a much smaller hardcore group that have gradually become evermore paranoid. I think alas they will always have a following of 'true believers' but the sheer overwhelming dottiness of some of their beliefs means that a lot of people who might be swayed by a more moderate approach, do dismiss them as cranks. The Vaxxed team have their followers this side of the pond but they are having a hard time getting venues for their film and have had no positive media cover.

By Catherine Hall (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

I am really proud of how well the AV groups attended this very important march, it must rank up there with MLK (being very sarcastic).

On a personal note I am in the process of planning a vacation to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I am current with my normal vaccinations (just had a tetanus booster yesterday), any special vaccinations you can think of that would be appropriate?

Also, any good ideas of places to visit while I am there? I am researching places that I might want to retire to.



Rich @19: The CDC's website is usually pretty up-to-date with travel medicine recommendations. They suggest Hep A and typhoid.
Have you considered Costa Rica? I've only been twice but it's been lovely both times.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

@Sadmar said: "As best I can read the clues, I think 'the anti-vax movement' has been shrinking back to core group of fringe extremists..."

Of course there are efforts underway to create that impression--it's critical for manufacturing consent--but the reality is just the opposite. That's the reason for the frantic push to pass SB277, and to withhold child benefits from Australians who refuse to fully vaccinate, for example.

We can expect more and more efforts to prop up the shaky vaccine house of cards with coercive laws and regulations, and lots of pro-vax propaganda in the media. There are people in very high places who cannot allow that house of cards to fall.

"Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible." -- Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society (1952)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

"How to succuss them is anybody’s guess."
I have a leather strap that should work fine. I'll even do the job for them.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

JustaTech, I've had both the hep A and B series (part of my job requirements). I'll check out the typhoid.

Chiang Mai is one of my top relocation spots because it is central to some of the adventures that I want to do. There is a trek in Nepal called the Long Trek nd basically follows the spine of the Himalayas for 1000 miles (you can't do it in a single trekking season. Oh, there are some 20,000+ passes to go over and I have only been to 17,000.

Goodness, NWO, do you ever have anything new to say?

Out of curiosity, do you understand the germ theory of disease? Or do you ascribe all diseases to demons?

Oh, I know a great, vaccine-free place you can go! Afghanistan. You'll love it.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

Liz Ditz writes,

Viewed through the lens of homeopathy, the smaller the crowd, the more powerful.

MJD say,

Very clever and funny!

From my perspective, though, the crowd reminds me of allergy immunotherapy wherein the numbers slowly increase until specific antibodies (i.e. Orac's minions) no longer consider them a threat.

Orac's is correct again when he says "Stay frosty, my friends".

To be honest, I'm anti-vaccine when the vaccine packaging says, "Warning contains natural rubber latex".

This is a coming-out (i.e., medical) personal statement from me and I feel wonderful!

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

Piss off, Travis J. Schwochert 239 S Church St Endeavor, WI 53930

Banhammer summoned via moderated post

Fucking Travis J. Schwochert is using the name 'Scott' now.

Yeah, I recognized it right away because he was using Scott Gavura's e-mail address. It's been dealt with.

Can you watch my daughter for me so I can pay for an airline ticket to fly to DC to attend this event even though I am unemployed due to having to care for a permanently disabled child? Sincerely, thousands and thousands of parents of vaccine injured kids.

If I allowed you to care for my child would you vaccinate her even though you knew it was against my wishes as a parent?

Jeff: "Sincerely, thousands and thousands of parents of vaccine injured kids."

What happened with your National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program claim? Also, do tell us what experts you called in to prove the injury was from vaccines. Also the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease.

Sincerely, the parents of disease injured children before the vaccine was available (which were in the tens of thousands before the mid-1960s).

Go away Travis...

“As best I can read the clues, I think ‘the anti-vax movement’ has been shrinking back to core group of fringe extremists…”

Of course there are efforts underway to create that impression...

Yeah, and it all comes from the idiot anti-vaxers themselves.

First, AoA launches a nationwide petition to the White House, and don't discourage foreign citizens from signing it, and they come up with an impressive total of less than 17,500. That's a number so small that if you put them all in California, they would each have more than 9 square miles to roam around in. It's about the population of Talladega. It's less than 1 in 18,000 Americans. I'd bet that you were one of those that signed that petition, weren't you?

Then there is the subject of our host's post, the turnout for their march. I doubt they managed to pull in enough people to fill the roster of an NFL team.

So who is behind this effort to make them look like small band loonies? How are they doing this, besides posting the truth?

Chris writes,

Also the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease.…

MJD interjects,

From the CDC:

“If a person reports a severe (anaphylactic) allergy to latex, vaccines supplied in vials or syringes that contain natural
rubber, or whose product information does not say 'not made with natural rubber latex' should not be administered unless the benefit of vaccination outweighs the risk for a potential allergic reaction. In these cases, providers should be prepared to treat patients who are having an allergic reaction."

Offit et al. take on allergies and pediatric vaccines


Allergy-induced regressive autism

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

Metuselah was never presented as typical, to my understanding.

They're more than dozens - their petition got about 17,000 - but they're still
A very small minority, if passionate and committed.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

Jeff, I just thought of something you can do for your daughter. Find her another family that knows how to find the actual services she needs. You might start by contacting your local ARC.

She would definitely be better off with a family that did not consider her "damaged", and would actually cherish her for who she is.

On a personal note I am in the process of planning a vacation to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I am current with my normal vaccinations (just had a tetanus booster yesterday), any special vaccinations you can think of that would be appropriate?

As JustaTech says, check the CDC for current information. Without looking, I would guess that you should get a yellow fever vaccination if it's been more than ten years since your last one--many countries at those latitudes require it, at least if you plan to cross land borders. You might also want to look into malaria prophylaxis--ISTR that in parts of Southeast Asia you might encounter mefloquine-resistant malaria, but I don't know if Chiangmai is one of those areas.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

Re malaria:

30 days of doxycycline should do the trick. I did that when I visited Korea a few years ago, no side effects like what you find with the quinines. Cheap, too.

@NWO Reporter & @Jeff

Obviously you must realize you're clueless but just to recap your "movement" spent MONTHS organizing a "big" rally in even had a freakin website created. And literally less people showed up than probably designed the website. There are more people working at the corner Burger King than showed up for your "big" protest. It was embarrassing. Literally the KKK got more people at their last rally. Do you think the Klan is going to be part of a movement that's going to change legislation?

You attempted a hate laced petition to "declare autistics an epidemic" and couldn't even get 20% of the required ONLINE signatures. Were those "thousands" of parents of vaccine injured children unable to spend 16 seconds doing that? Maybe they were too busy liking Natural News articles and posting their "warrior mommy" blogs?

How about that Pan recall effort where you couldn't even get a single signature?

To say this movement is growing is a disgrace and insult to movements. Most of the people in the movement are the same ones we see online. They're loud, abrasive, annoying and science challenged. But it's the same damn charlatans. Nothing new (except adding in anti-semitism and holocaust denial to the cause:…)

It's sad that somewhere in the world (or in heaven) there are parents of someone who believes:
"There are people in very high places who cannot allow that house of cards to fall."

Can you get more paranoid/tin foil hat than that ignorant and completely not-evidence based idiotic statement.

Damn, some people...

P.S. Your movement needs a COMPLETE overhaul. It's a disaster.

By The Real Truther (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

Jeff: Not only would I vaccinate her, I'd make sure you never saw her again. Autistic kids need and deserve better parents than anti-vax curebie crybabies.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

I'm quite sure the vast majority of people who understand the real depth of vaccine fraud realize that petitions and marches on Washington will not solve the problem. That's like asking the coyotes to do a better job guarding the hen house.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

@NWO Reporter

Spoken like a true beaten down man who can't actually respond to facts so he has to go 4th grade level response "I didn't care about those marches & petitions anyways!"

Funny if the march on Washington had thousands of people he'd be the first to talk about how the world is "waking up."

Maybe look back in history and see what happened in the sixties with civil rights. Or in today's age with gay rights. Marches and petitions and a REAL movement actually changed the world. Your 12 guys with idiotic signs just made your cause look even worse.

I can't think of a so-called movement that's ever been organized worse in human history. Like I said, the KKK have more respect (and numbers) that you'll ever have. That's not debatable.

By The Real Truther (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

I'll bite - what are "the vast majority of people who understand the real depth of vaccine fraud" doing? Posting scientifically illiterate comments on blogs, like you?

@The 'Real Truther' -- The only thing petitions and marches can do is to alert people there is a problem they need to look into. And appease people who haven't realized the depth of the vaccine fraud, and think all we need are 'safer' vaccines.

Cute name. I see that kind of doublespeak being used a lot these days. Just call it 'truth' or 'waking up' and people believe that's what you're offering.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink

I see that kind of doublespeak being used a lot these days. Just call it ‘truth’ or ‘waking up’ and people believe that’s what you’re offering.

Well, it's not mindless assertions that are promptly run away from, crude attempts at animation, slorping down Rappoport's emissions, and skimming heavily from overdue child-support payments, that's true.

NWO Troll, why do you hate kids? Only a sadistic child hater would want them to suffer the high fevers and possible meningitis, encephalitis, seizures and other bad things form actual vaccine preventable diseases. Seriously, why do you hate children?

Are you a sadist who gets off on kids in pain, or do you just hate children?

Chris, your hypocrisy and corruption is monumental. Science Mom is another one of your socks, right? I see you all over vaccine media stories, slinging the same tired insults and obvious propaganda. You couldn't care less about the well-being of children.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 04 Apr 2017 #permalink


How exactly?

I'd recommend that you read "The Great Derangement" by Matt Taibbi - it very clearly explains why people like you feel the need to believe in conspiracy theories.

@ Lawrence: NWO can only sling her insults because she has no facts to support her theories. She *has* to call Chris names, because if she looked at the facts, she'd find out how wrong she is, and her narcissism won't allow for that. She obviously doesn't care for children, or the adults they will become.

@NWO: you can go ahead and call me names, too. After all, I'm an adult who suffered through most of the VPDs, being a child of the 60s. And, I didn't get the fairy-tale "life-long immunity" from most of them, thanks to a quirk in my genetics. My mom and dad would be very happy to tell you about the "pleasures" of the others they suffered. Strangely, even though we have autism in our genes, they were first in line with us, as my sister and I were, to have our children vaccinated on schedule. Guess we've just been "pharma shills" for ever. Can't wait for the nearly 80 years of shill bucks to arrive...

I have a "vaccinate" bumper sticker on my car, and recently someone who disagrees with that put the needle-baby sticker under my windshield wiper. (to their credit, they didn't damage my car)

But the baby in my sticker is white. I see the updated the baby.

By Mary (mem_some… (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

@NWO Reporter

Please name a SINGLE movement in US history that was instrumental in creating actual change which didn't have MASSIVE OVERWHELMING numbers at rallies, protests (peaceful or not), etc.

Women's rights movement? No.
Labor movement? No.
Civil rights movement? No.
Gay rights movement? No.

Your "movement's" biggest protest of the year barely made a single newspaper. I doubt 99.9999% of the country even knew it existed.

Like I said before, the KKK has more clout, respect and better organization than the anti-vax "movement" at this point. That is NOT debatable.

By The Real Truther (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

Chris, your hypocrisy and corruption [sic] is monumental. Science Mom is another one of your socks, right?

There was no need to demonstrate yet again the paucity of your imagination, I assure you.

Johnny @51
It is really hard to say if Shatner is a true antivaxer in the Robert De Niro mode,just because he retweeted one of Jake's posts.He may be one of those who are on the fence about vaccines.For the last eleven years,Mr.Shatner has been a spokesman for the March of Dimes Canada,urging the eradication of polio,and promoting vaccination for same.……

By Roger Kulp (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

I don't think Shatner is an antivaxer. At least, I've never seen any evidence that he is. I think he just picked Autism Speaks as a charity to promote and was shocked (and miffed) when a lot of autistic people took him to task for it on Twitter. Retweeting Jake was really dumb, but Shatner clearly knew nothing about Jake or his antivaccine views and probably retweeted him because he was agreeing with Shatner. It's halfway tempting to try to educate Shatner about the depths of lunacy to which Jake regularly descends, but he seems to be one of those guys who doesn't take criticism well.

I mean, blocking Ari Ne'eman? Not cool, Shat. Not cool at all.

Oh No, I am vaccine damaged. I finally pulled the dot band aid off the site of my tetanus shot I received Monday and there was a spot of blood on it.

I don't know what traumatic event from this I'll now face. Probably death in another 20 or 30 years (I am 63 now).

Your “movement’s” biggest protest of the year barely made a single newspaper. I doubt 99.9999% of the country even knew it existed.

No, you're missing the Big Picture: most of those people are patsies, led by their snouts by Disinformation Agents. Ginny's "movement" is much more, ah, stolid, as they say in Maracaibo.*

* What can I say? It's a go-to.

"Probably death in another 20 or 30 years (I am 63 now)."

And to think you could have lived to be 200. I guess I'm also screwed by vaccination. It's time to update the will.

It is really hard to say if Shatner is a true antivaxer in the Robert De Niro mode,just because he retweeted one of Jake’s posts.

I don't disagree. But Jake think's Shatner is his #1 fan. Jake's so desperate for any sort of validation that his backwater of a blog has any impact, that any mention of the blog is enough for a blog post in its own right.

It would be cute if it wasn't so sad.

MI Dawn, for the record, opining that someone engages in hypocrisy and corruption is not name-calling. Name-calling would be, for example, calling Chris a "hypocritical disinformation troll," or "corrupt mercenary troll," and I resisted the temptation. Calling someone a "sadistic child hater" would clearly be considered name-calling.

Anyway, what do you mean about calling you names "too"? Are you saying you're not just another sock? :)

You must have an exceptionally weak and disfunctional immune system. That means you're at risk from literally everything, and all the vaccines in the world can't save you. You need a bubble to live in--it could help ease your "suffering."

And "autism in your genes," too? Which genes? I'm sure genetic researchers would love to know. Must be the ones that mutated into in an autism explosion a couple decades ago. :)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

You mean the more than 400 genes that researchers have identified as being related, in some form, to autism?

We are talking about a very wide spectrum - and it's quite possible that different forms of what we now consider "autism" are caused by completely different genes.

And the so-called "autism" explosion is directly related to the "explosion" of the DSM criteria for determining a diagnosis of autism.

Lawrence--Just an explosion in autism diagnoses, eh? I thought ya'll backed off that ridiculously untenable position a long time ago. But anyway, vaccines don't cause autism, strictly speaking. Autism is just one of many behavioral diagnoses that could follow from brain damage caused by vaccines. That is, when the brain damage is more than subclinical.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

Really NWRO?

And what does this "brain damage" look like on an MRI?

Lawrence, that is an easy question to answer: it looks like NWOR.

Lawrence–Just an explosion in autism diagnoses, eh?

Add to that increased awareness, diagnostic substitution (people who would have been diagnosed with other conditions in the past getting diagnosed with autism today), and previous underdiagnosis (many people have only been diagnosed years into adulthood).
You're wrong that that position is untenable. Just look at the different diagnostic standards between DSM-3 and DSM-5, and still try to claim that.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

And you can easily check the "diagnostic substitution" aspect, since all of the official numbers show a decline in ID diagnoses which neatly correlates with a similar rise in autism diagnoses....

Lawrence --There's no physical test to diagnose autism, as I think you know. But in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, quite a few injuries that include autism have been compensated, arising from vaccine-induced encephalopathy and seizure disorder. You can read the study here:

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

There are no cases in the NVICP where the plaintiff was compensated for a diagnosis of autism....

And NWRO - you're the one who claimed that autism is "Brain Damage."

Brain damage can be identified via MRI.

So what constitutes "brain damage" that equals autism?

Lawrence, note I said "injuries that include autism." If a parent makes a claim for autism as a vaccine injury in the VICP, the claim will always be denied because it's not on the list of 'approved' injuries. From the study I referenced:

"This empirical investigation, published in a peer-reviewed law journal, examines claims that the VICP compensated for vaccine-induced encephalopathy and seizure disorder. ... This study found 83 cases of acknowledged vaccine-induced brain damage that include autism..."

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

I've stopped answering the commenter, since it's pointless, but this comment is very wrong on several levels.

First, claims to VICP are not limited to a list of approved injuries. If someone claims a table injury, causation is presumed, so winning is easier - but the standard for causation in other cases is still the "more likely than not", and in fact, the requirements are lower than in the court.

Second, the reason people claiming ASD consistently lose in VICP is because the evidence shows vaccines don't cause ASD - and in many of these cases, the medical records don't support parental claims, either. Like Brian Hooker's case.

Third, the paper you are referring to did not have any cases where compensation was based on autism. In fact, in some cases the government claimed autism as a defense - as in, the child's problems are because of autism and have nothing to do with vaccines, and the court rejected the autism claim. Using that paper as evidence that vaccines have anything to do with autism is simply wrong.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

In reply to by NWO Reporter (not verified)

I see you can't answer a very simple question.

See, you made the claim, therefore, you need to provide the evidence.

You also provided a link to a legal organization, not a scientific one....perhaps you should try again.

@JoyMama - yet we have the lowest infant and child mortality rates in to explain?

for the record, opining that someone engages in hypocrisy and corruption is not name-calling

"I love to watch the Masons squirm." – Noted late Drosophila expert

Keep digging, Ginny.

Actually, even in the US, we have mortality rates which, historically, are at their lowest points.

Travis, go away.

JoyMama, please provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease.

We all know that Travis hates both kids and common decency.

Dorit Reiss, thanks for the info. Do you have a list of the vaccine injuries that have been compensated in the VICP which are not listed on the table?

Please note I did NOT claim any of the cases in the study were compensated for autism--in fact I went out of my way to make that clear.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

re Jake and Shatner

A standup comic who knew all of the usual jibes about Shatner and who looked up who Jake is ( easy to do on the internet I've heard) could probably concoct a few jokes and scenarios about the implicit hilarity of the situation.

I'll bet that Orac and the minions could as well...

e.g. Jake Crosby and Wm Shatner walk into a bar where...

ends with something something a "remake of *Clueless" ?.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

Here's a copy of the vaccine injury compensation table. According to this document: "[T]he following is a table of vaccines, the injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions, and deaths resulting from the administration of such vaccines, and the time period in which the first symptom or manifestation of onset or of the significant aggravation of such injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions, and deaths is to occur after vaccine administration for purposes of receiving compensation under the Program."

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

NWO Troll, you can find all of the cases that were ruled here:

You can also find the compensation data here:

By the way, being called a sock puppet of Science Mom is a very high compliment. Thanks. We are completely different people, and I have actually talked to Orac in real life several years ago at a TAM (The Amazing Meeting which used to held by the James Randi Foundation).

By the way, being called a sock puppet of Science Mom is a very high compliment.

It's as though teh NWOR doesn't understand what the "expanding Earth" business is for.

I'm still hoping Dorit Reiss can provide a list of just the "off-table" vaccine injuries that have been compensated. I looked around, and although there are attorneys who say they have helped clients receive awards for off-table injuries, I couldn't find any who listed what those injuries were. :)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

Go away Travis J Schwochert.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

Travis - just go away.

How are you going to get gainful employment if you spend all of your time here, sockpuppeting?

Got him again. Amazing how he manages to keep finding commenters from the past whose e-mail addresses he can learn or guess. Ah, well, I have 350,000 comments in the archive. Although he's been scraping the barrel, there could still be a lot left.

Perhaps you should call those lawyers then....

@169 (NWO Reporter)

The law clearly lags behind the scientific evidence, and the overwhelming evidence that alleged cases of vaccine-induced encephalopathy are caused by pre-existing mutations rather than by vaccination began to accumulate little more than a decade ago. Nonetheless, it's been clear for years that the "Shot In The Dark" frenzy that reanimated the anti-vaccine movement years before Wakefield turned his attention to MMR really had nothing to do with vaccines.

The 83 claims cited in the EBCALA article would likely not be compensated today, now that the scientific evidence that the condition is caused by mutations is so clear. (Hint: these mutations cause such syndromes in unvaccinated laboratory animals.) Accordingly, the US Court of Federal Claims has begun to deny such claims and even to require genotyping--at least insofar as checking for mutations in the one particular gene (among many various genes known to cause this and similar syndromes) that is most commonly involved. Compensation was awarded in 0 of 16 recent cases that involved the suggested genotyping. See this recent decision, for example:

Here are some of the papers that suggest that cases like those cited in the EBCALA article are caused by mutation and not by vaccination:

--Berkovic SF et al. De-novo mutations of the sodium channel gene SCN1A in alleged vaccine encephalopathy: a retrospective study. Lancet Neurol. 2006 Jun;5(6):488-92.
--Catarino CB et al. Dravet syndrome as epileptic encephalopathy: evidence from long-term course and neuropathology. Brain. 2011 Oct;134(Pt 10):2982-3010.
--Garcia-Junco-Clemente P et al. Overexpression of calcium-activated potassium channels underlies cortical dysfunction in a model of PTEN-associated autism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 5;110(45):18297-302
--Guglielmi L et al. Update on the implication of potassium channels in autism: K(+) channel autism spectrum disorder. Front Cell Neurosci. 2015 Mar 2;9:34.
--Li BM et al. Autism in Dravet syndrome: prevalence, features, and relationship to the clinical characteristics of epilepsy and mental retardation. Epilepsy Behav. 2011 Jul;21(3):291-5
--Okumura A et al. Acute encephalopathy in children with Dravet syndrome. Epilepsia. 2011 Nov 16.
--Reyes IS et al. Alleged Cases of Vaccine Encephalopathy Rediagnosed Years Later as Dravet Syndrome. Pediatrics. 2011 Aug 15.
--Schmunk G, Gargus J. Channelopathy pathogenesis in autism spectrum disorders. Front Genet. 2013 Nov 5;4:222.
--Wiznitzer M. Dravet syndrome and vaccination: when science prevails over speculation. Lancet Neurol. 2010 Jun;9(6):559-61.
--Wolff M et al. Severe myoclonic epilepsy of infants (Dravet syndrome): natural history and neuropsychological findings. Epilepsia. 2006;47 Suppl 2:45-8.

Barbara Loe Fisher has some interesting history about the VICP. Apparently, many vaccine injuries that were initially listed on the Table were removed--making compensation much more difficult to obtain. And without an accessible list of non-Table injuries that have been compensated, how many consumers will associate their serious injury with a vaccine? I mean, it's not as if their doctor is going to suggest it to them 99% of the time.

"In the 1990’s, DHHS chose to wield discretionary authority given under the Act to change the rules and eliminate almost all on-Table adverse events that would allow for presumption of causation. With the assistance of the Department of Justice, DHHS turned the administrative compensation process into a highly adversarial, lengthy, expensive, traumatic and unfair imitation of a court trial for vaccine victims and their attorneys. The only difference is that the trial is now conducted in the U.S. Court of Claims in front of one individual who acts as judge and jury.

"Ironically, parents who helped create the Act in the 1980’s were told that Congress needed to grant the Secretary of DHHS broad discretionary authority to alter the Vaccine Injury Table so the Secretary could expand the list of presumptions for injuries associated with existing and future vaccines to make the system more inclusive not less inclusive. We never imagined DHHS would take away existing presumptions from the Table because the stated purpose of the Act was to err on the side of compensating potential vaccine victims in order to offer an effective alternative to vaccine injury lawsuits."

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

"New science showed vaccines don't cause them." LOL. What a surprise. :D

But jokes aside, Dorit, if that were proven, there would be no cases in which compensation was subsequently awarded for those injuries, I assume. What non-Table injuries have been compensated? Where can consumers find a list of compensated non-Table injuries?

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” Dr. Marcia Angell, NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.…

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

The department of justice published quarterly reports of compensations.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

In reply to by NWO Reporter (not verified)

@NWO Reporter, #86

the vaccine injury compensation table ... “[T]he following is a table of vaccines, the injuries, disabilities, illnesses, conditions, and deaths resulting from the administration of such vaccines,..."

You are lying as usual, this time by omission and suggestion. This wording does not constitute proof that vaccines are in fact causing aforementioned harm; it merely defines the conditions and time windows for claims with the VICP to be acknowledged. See page 12 of this document for more precise information.
Also note that according to the VICP, the burden of proof has been reversed for anything listed in the vaccine injury compensation table: "If the first symptom of these [listed] injuries/conditions occurs within the listed time periods, it is presumed that the vaccine was the cause of the injury or condition unless another cause is found."

If I may repeat the important bit: "... it is presumed that the vaccine was the cause ...". In other words: if a condition mentioned in the table develops in the time frame mentioned in the table, VaccineDidIt by default, no further proof needed.

@Dorit Reiss -- The DOJ summarizes awards by vaccine and does not distinguish Table and non-Table. Where are consumers supposed to get that information?

@Richard -- I simply quoted the HRSA website (note the quotations marks). If it's a lie by omission or suggestion, it's not mine. :)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

You only quoted what you wanted....

The decisions are public....perhaps you should read them.

Lawrence: The funny thing is that Chris provided a link to all the court decisions way back at comment 87, but it's not a nice neat table so NWO would have to put in effort to read all the court decisions and make a table.
And it's a lot of decisions, it would take a long time to read them all.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

Sure, JustaTech. Anyone who wants to know what non-Table vaccine injuries have been compensated in the VICP can simply devote all their spare time for the next three years to reading through historical VICP decisions.

By the time they figure out whether their infant's sudden unexplained death or permanent disability may have been caused by his last round of vaccines, the statute of limitation will have run. Problem solved! :D

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

NWO: You could do it, and put it up online for all those parents you say you speak for. That would be very helpful to them.
Or you could crowd-source it to a larger group of like-minded people.
Or you could pay Mechanical Turk to do it for you, although that might end up being expensive; I don't know their going rate.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

About autism genetics: about half of genetic sequences that cause autism are known, but they are searching for more:

It would require answering a questionnaire and getting swab samples from the child and both parents. It is explained in the following video, which notes that there are now parent groups based on the child specific autism related genetic sequence:

Of course not, JustaTech. She doesn't want to put that kind of effort in only to find she's wasted her time . . . because she won't find what she's looking for.

Lazy thinking. She thinks that by crying for some kind of easy to read table she can prove the government is trying to hide something.

Actually, I think summarizing the basis for the VICP awards could be a very worthwhile project. If it weren't, the government agencies charged with running the VICP would surely be doing it themselves, so the information would be readily available to the public, as well as medical professionals. :)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

Well, NWO Retorter finally served a purpose. For years, I've had a reaction to carrageenan/agar-agar that hit 9 of the 10 classical symptoms of a heart attack (as it turns out, it induces an arrhythmia). I've spent a decade looking to see if there's a link between allergies and arrhythmias, never found anything. But when I was looking at the Table Injuries, I noticed that it had a definition of anaphylaxis that included brady- and tachycardias and arrhythmias.

Which finally gave me the right search term. Loads of medical info on anaphylactic arrhythmia.

Thank you, NWO. And don't forget to vaccinate your children (and yourself, for shingles and the toxoid boosters)

By W. Kevin Vicklund (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

@96 (NWO Reporter)

Barbara Loe Fisher has some interesting history

Indeed, she does. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of that history is that Fisher has wasted much of her adult life by spewing anti-vaccine misinformation due to her misunderstanding of the sort of genetically-determined cases that you referenced in your comment regarding the pitiful EBCALA article, when she could have been doing something more productive--like this:

@NWO Troll

Medical professionals have little need for a table of court cases. Legal theories don't impact scientific conclusions, and they are not scientific evidence of anything.

Panacea--I guess by "legal theories" you're referring to VICP decisions, which are based on medical evidence and expert medical testimony. I'm afraid your sentence makes no sense. :)

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

NWO: the standard of evidence in VICP is basically whether or not the injury is plausible -- which, for table injuries, effectively means answering yes to two questions: "did you or your child have a table injury" and "did this injury occur within a reasonable time period after a vaccination". There is no requirement that the actual injury be proven to have been caused by the vaccine; it merely has to be plausible.

This is an easier standard than you'll find in a regular courtroom, where you actually need to prove causation.

This is indeed quite different from a scientific standard of evidence, which is far more rigorous than a legal standard is.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

80% of all compensation for vaccine injuries through VICP is made through settlement agreements. That really helps keep a low profile on vaccine injuries--the settlements are confidential; and there is no admission the vaccine caused the injury.

If you read through the VICP decisions that went to a contested hearing, it's one denial of compensation after another. There is no right to a jury--the only decision-maker is paid by the system. The cases often take many years to resolve--no better than regular court cases.

The VICP needs to go. Cases of vaccine injury need to be litigated like any other product injury case--just like they used to be, until vaccine manufacturers were bailed out of the onslaught of litigation they were facing from injuries caused by their products in the 1980s.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

80% of all compensation for vaccine injuries through VICP is made through settlement agreements. That really helps keep a low profile on vaccine injuries–the settlements are confidential; and there is no admission the vaccine caused the injury.

I know you are only trolling. However, this is worth commenting on. The settlement agreements are for Table injuries. These are paid out regardless of whether there is any evidence that the vaccine caused the injury. The injury merely had to occur within the specified time frame.

There is nothing low profile about the Table Injury list. They are listed on the website.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

Actually, today many of the settlements are not for Table Injuries. They're still paid independent of causation. All a settlement shows it that the parties settled. It can be anything from "not worth the time" to pity money to "maybe there's a chance they'll win." We just can't know. Settlements don't show causation.

Also note that the fact that there was a settlement is not secret, there's a decision on that.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

In reply to by Chris Preston (not verified)

Here's a "revolutionary" idea: Let the chips fall where they may in the market when it comes to vaccines--just like they do for every other product. Require vaccine injury claimants to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the vaccine caused their injury. Let them have a right to a jury decision on the matter, just like they would in any other product liability case. If vaccine manufacturers can't stay in business because their products harm too many people, then let them go out of business, just like manufacturers of any other product.

Seems like any cheerleaders here who genuinely believe vaccines are "extraordinarily safe" should welcome the idea.

By NWO Reporter (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

Thanks Dorit.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 05 Apr 2017 #permalink

You've obviously never been involved in Civil suggest that it would be better to go back to a system where the standards of evidence are substantially higher, where the process can take a decade or more (not counting appeals), and costs the plaintiffs tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Today, we have a non-adversarial system, with a lowered standard of evidence, which costs the plaintiffs functionally no money whatsoever....a system, I'll remind you, which was created with the full support of Barbara Loe Fisher as well.

She only turned against it when she realized it wasn't going to be an unlimited piggy bank of money for anyone and everyone who felt they suffered a "vaccine injury."

Yet another anti-vaxer who really doesn't understand how the system works, or just doesn't bother to read.

NWO Reporter, do you know what Marcia Angell (quoted at #98) thinks of vaccination ?

I think NWO is hoping to bypass the actual scientific facts completely. A trial with a jury means a jury of peers. Then you face off a scientific expert trying to explain trials and evidence against highly emotional parents and their lawyers who are convinced of their case and liable to directly attack any expert as bought and paid for. The jury would be quite capable of ignoring science and going with feeling.

By NumberWang (not verified) on 06 Apr 2017 #permalink

@NWO: sorry I didn't reply yesterday, but I had things to do. No, sorry to disappoint you, I'm not anyone's sockpuppet. Orac, whom I have met, can vouch for me. I sadly have not met the other commenters with brains who post here, and I would love to do so, one day.

Actually, I have a very good immune system normally. I get very few colds, and I am immune to most of the VPDs that I caught in childhood. Just, by some quirk, I didn't become immune to measles or mumps. Rubella, I did become immune to. Go figure. I will mount a temporary immune response with the MMR for measles and mumps, but it fades within 5 years. So I just keep getting it.

And also, yes, there are family members in my history who, if living today, would readily be diagnosed as autistic - even severely so. Cousins who were institutionalized for "mental retardation", a cousin who was "so naughty and unmanageable unless his routines were followed precisely"...lots of family letters discussing these things.

Remember, the diagnosis of autism was only created in the 1930s to give a name to a known phenomenom. And many more children and people were just thrown into institutions. All well before the "autism explosion".

By the way...explain why the diagnoses for childhood schizophrenia and children with mental retardation went down on about the same trajectory that autism diagnoses went up? Could it be clearer diagnostic rules for each disease?

Let them have a right to a jury decision on the matter, just like they would in any other product liability case.

They do have a right to a jury trial. Vaccine court decisions can be appealed.

What else do you want to be wrong about?

Also, Civil Litigation doesn't always mean "jury trial." Many, in fact, are trial by just Judge.

Product liability trials are incredibly complex & take years, sometimes decades and can cost millions of dollars....just look at how long the Tobacco Litigation took & you had both the government and hard science on the right side.

Johnny @ #124: "What else can you be wrong about?"

There's no way to tell WHAT she will be wrong about, but you can bet everything you own on the proposition that the number of errors/misstatements/fabrications per post will be greater than or equal to 1.

@ NWO Troll #113: Nice dodge. That's not what I said at all, but since you're accusomed to looking at information through a distorted lens it really is not a surprise that you didn't comprehend what I was talking about. Let me recap.

You said medical professionals could use a table of legal decisions summarizing the legal basis, not scientific basis, of VICP awards.

I said medical professionals such as myself have no use for such a table. A legal decision is not scientific evidence because legal decisions use different standards of evidence and proof. It's literally an apples vs oranges situation.

Yes I get that courts use science all the time as evidence. But the evidence flow is unidirectional: from medical researchers to the courts, to help the Special Masters understand the science so they can apply the law correctly.

The law is not applied to scientific conclusions in reverse, although legislators have tried (North Carolina's attempt to do this ended with much hilarity:…).

How VICP rules on a claim for damages has no impact on my treatment decisions as a future nurse practitioner. I will be make my vaccine recommendations based on the CDC and AAP guidelines, not on how the Special Masters ruled on some case 25 years ago.

@Lawrence: what NWO Troll wants is a return to what happened after that horrible DPT report by Lea Thompson in the 1980's.

After that scare a lot of parents filed lawsuits against the pharma companies. The judgements could have bankrupted them. Congress recognized the public health disaster in the making and set up the VICP to allow patients with genuine injuries access to compensation without destroying a vital public health tool.

NWO Troll knows that. That's why she wants the court to go. She knows that if it were ever repealed, lawsuits would destroy our vaccination programs.

She's a real pill. She's rather see thousands of people get sick and die or suffer permanent sequelae than admit she's WRONG.

They do have a right to a jury trial. Vaccine court decisions can be appealed.

There are no juries involved in the appeals chain. Before Bruesewitz, it was nominally possible to reject the OSM decision and pick back up in state court.

^ Gah. I have to rearrange this mess or give up on blockquotes entirely.

Here’s a “revolutionary” idea: Let the chips fall where they may in the market when it comes to vaccines plaintiffs

FTFY. You're advocating a lottery system, period.

Yeah, it looks like I was wrong on the jury part.

However, vaccine court cases can still be appealed, all the way to the Supremes should one be so inclined.

You’ve obviously never been involved in Civil Litigation….

I imagine that her role as a lawyer for a child-support collection agency with a lousy reputation mostly involves boilerplate.

"or give up on blockquotes entirely"

HTML is not designed for humans. I gave up on manually editing tags in the 90s. Scienceblogs comment system should allow human-friendly editing of text, or perhaps automate it. When you type a link it correctly tags it. That's at least a start. When you get shouty it should convert your text to all upper case. For some commenters it should automagically set the font to Comic Sans.

rs: I don't know about Comic Sans, but I do remember, years ago, that some blog owners (not Orac) would dis-em-vowel trolling commentors as a final warning before banning them altogether.
That was fun because if you worked at it for a bit you could usually figure out what they were saying, even without vowels.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 06 Apr 2017 #permalink

Circling back to the idea of making a database of all the VICP cases, it seems like something that could be automated with a decent scrape and search program.
Sadly that kind of programming is outside of my current ability, but it would be an interesting dataset to investigate. See if there are trends in cases brought by specific lawyers or if there have been changes in rates of specific table injuries.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 06 Apr 2017 #permalink

@JustaTech: PZ Myers used to disemvowel trolls. It was fun, especially figuring out words that could go multiple ways and still make sense.

In new vaccine news, via Mike the Mad Biologist, "Five HIV patients left 'virus-free' with no need for daily drugs in early vaccine trials", here. "n" is pretty small, but here's hoping.

I almost feel sorry for AoA at this point, as it seems that they still haven't figured out that Hooker is so full of crap that he must have fallen into severe constipation as a coping mechanism.

Narad, as an Environmental Health Specialist the idea of swimming in a cesspool while severely constipated strikes me as the height of comedy.

@140 (Narad)

Special Master Hastings noted that the 2011 Amended Petition that Hooker filed in the US Court of Federal Claims alleged that Hooker's son "developed “mercury poisoning” as a result of the MMR vaccination he received on February 25, 1999, and his fourth Hib vaccination, received on May 26, 1999. . . . (Although it is noteworthy that one of those two vaccinations, the MMR, in fact did not contain any mercury.)"

Yes. Really.

Hooker might be hard-pressed to answer this question: If you're neck-deep in a latrine and someone throws a bucket of piss at you, do you duck?

Ty Bollinger, the bodybuilder turned scam artist famous for his "The Truth About Cancer" fake documentary series (…) now is airing a new fake documentary, called "The Truth About Vaccines". He's paying for it to be a sponsored and heavily promoted site on Facebook. His followers are cultlike in their devotion - check out one of the comment threads if you feel like vomiting.