Doctors are "pushing vaccines"? Gee, you say that as though that were a bad thing!

I frequently point out how antivaccine activists really, really don’t want to admit that they are, in fact, antivaccine, so frequently, in fact, that I have a series that I call The annals of “I’m not antivaccine.” It’s already up to part 21. It could easily be up to part 51, or 101, or even 1,001. The only reason it isn’t is because I don’t want to devote this blog to nothing other than how antivaccine activists who deny they’re antivaccine routinely inadvertently reveal the truth.

If there’s one area in which antivaccinationists reveal themselves to be antivaccine, it’s in their reaction to any sort of efforts to encourage vaccination. Given how vaccination protects populations from vaccine-preventable diseases, it’s important to maintain high levels of vaccination. The reason, of course, is that a high percentage of any given population (usually at least 90%) needs to be protected from any given disease to achieve herd immunity to that disease. Basically, herd immunity (sometimes also called “community immunity” in deference to people who don’t like the connotation of the word “herd”) is general immunity to a pathogen in a population based on acquired immunity to it by a large proportion of that population. Basically, when a “critical mass” of a population that depends on the contagiousness of the pathogen and the efficacy of the vaccine is vaccinated, even unvaccinated members of that population are protected from the pathogen vaccinated against. Basically, when a high proportion of a population is immune to a pathogen, its chain of transmission is broken, a concept illustrated below:

Community immunity

Thus, it is very desirable to vaccinate as large a proportion of the population as possible. How to achieve that? In the US, there are school vaccine mandates, which require children to have had certain vaccinations as a precondition to entering schools. However, it’s not just the “stick” that is used to achieve vaccine uptake high enough for herd immunity, in which the children of those who refuse to vaccinated can be denied something. There are also multiple points in the system where “carrots” can be used as well, such as incentives, and multiple points where persuasion in the form of public relations and advertising can also be effective.

This drives antivaccinationists crazy.

Indeed, one way to identify antivaccine activists is by how they react to such campaigns. Take, for instance, a recent string of posts about the CDC AFIX program. AFIX stands for (Assessment, Feedback, Incentives, and eXchange). It’s described on the CDC website thusly:

AFIX is a quality improvement program used by awardees to raise immunization coverage levels, reduce missed opportunities to vaccinate, and improve standards of practices at the provider level. The acronym for this four-part dynamic strategy stands for

  1. Assessment of the healthcare provider's vaccination coverage levels and immunization practices.
  2. Feedback of results to the provider along with recommended quality improvement strategies to improve processes, immunization practices, and coverage levels.
  3. Incentives to recognize and reward improved performance.
  4. eXchange of information with providers to follow up on their progress towards quality improvement in immunization services and improvement in immunization coverage levels.

Having been a co-director of a statewide collaborative quality improvement program designed to improve the quality of brast cancer care in my state, I recognize this as a rather unremarkable and common strategy to improve quality of care, a typical quality improvement cycle, in which iterative improvements are made though these very strategies. Indeed, the CDC provides a 78-page book of standards for providers to implement AFIX. Not surprisingly, it begins with a discussion of what continuous quality improvement (CQI) is and how AFIX is a CQI.

Not surprisingly, antivaccinationists do not like AFIX at all. No, not at all. For instance, Rishma Parpia over at The Vaccine Reaction, the house organ of the antivaccine group National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is outraged that doctors are “incentivized by CDC to increase vaccine coverage.” (The horror. The horror.) Note how Parpia characterizes AFIX right off the bat:

Many people have encountered going to their physician’s office or their child’s pediatrician’s office and being coerced into “getting up-to-date with their shots.” This is not a rare or random occurrence. There is a method and approach that federal health officials expect health care providers to enforce in order to ensure that vaccination coverage goals are met at the local level.

Not exactly. Like all CQIs, AFIX is a voluntary program. However, if you agree to be part of it, then, yes, certain standards are encouraged. That’s how CQIs work. What seems to bother her the most about the program is, of course, the database that is maintained to assist in the improvement of vaccination rates. This database is portrayed as being particularly Orwellian:

This indicates that a centralized national electronic medical/vaccine record keeping system is being operated by the CDC and that a patient’s medical records, including vaccination history, is now or will be readily available to all health care providers, hospitals, federal and state government agencies, schools, etc. This has serious implications for medical privacy, exercise of medical informed consent rights and the potential for abuse of personal information by social service and law enforcement agencies, as well as doctors discriminating against children and adults who have not received every federally recommended vaccine.

Of course, given that, unlike several industrialized countries, the US does not have a national health system, one of the most vexing problems in CQIs, regardless of what specific quality measures are being addressed, is how to track patients who receive care at more than one facility or to track patients who move. In my CQI, if a patient left the system (i.e., left the state or transferred care to a hospital outside of the CQI), it was a problem and efforts were made to find out what happened to those patients. Those efforts, as you might imagine, weren’t always successful. If you are a health investigator in, for instance, Denmark, you would have access to the Danish National Patient Register, which contains health records for everyone in Denmark. We don’t have anything like that. Consequently, it is not surprising that the CDC would want to try to create a record of vaccine coverage to be used by providers who are part of AFIX. After all, you can’t improve what you can’t measure

I also can’t help but note that some states do in essence the same thing. Michigan, for instance, there is the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR). Basically, providers are required to report childhood immunizations to MICR within 72 hours of administration. Any physician or the local health department can print an Official State of Michigan Immunization Record at any time. Ironically, there is a safety aspect to this that even antivaccinationists should approve of, that of preventing duplicate vaccinations. If, for instance, a parent loses a child’s vaccination record, the school can be provided with the child’s immunization record to satisfy school vaccine mandate requirements. Of course, the main drawback of this system is that it is only useful in the State of Michigan. If a child moves to another state; it ceases to be as useful.

Parpia also notes that the AFIX program tries to address “missed opportunities” to vaccinate. Specifically, it encourages providers to send reminders and recall messages to patients and abide by standing orders that allow vaccination without the direct involvement of a physician at the time of immunization, noting:

It is important to understand the aggressive strategies that health care providers are being taught to use to increase use of all federally recommended vaccines. Regardless of what vaccination or other health care choices you make for yourself or your family, it is so important to take the time to become fully informed about all the risks involved and defend your right to make a voluntary decision. It is your basic human right.

Of course, nothing in AFIX does anything to take away any rights of patients to refuse vaccines. For one thing, contrary to what antivaccinationists would lead you to believe, no physician, nurse, or other provider can force an adult to take any vaccination. They can’t “force” children to be vaccinated, either. However, if a child isn’t vaccinated, school vaccine mandates will mean that there is a consequence to that decision not to vaccinate the child, and that consequence will be that the child will not be permitted to enroll in school and day care, where unvaccinated children can degrade herd immunity and make outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases more likely.

Not surprisingly, uber-quack Dr. Joe Mercola doesn’t like AFIX either and characterizes it as providers being offered “bribes” to recommend vaccines. In particular, he compares the incentive program to encourage increases in vaccine uptake to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who at the center of a massive corruption scandal a few years back and ultimately sent to prison for three years. Not surprisingly, he blames passage of the law that established AFIX on—you guessed it—big pharma. The goal? To make money by encouraging vaccination:

It's important to understand that the foundation of corruption is all about bribery, and bribery involves giving a gift with monetary value to somebody, who makes a decision on behalf of the public. Certainly, doctors have tremendous influence over their patients, and providing gifts/incentives to doctors to sell more vaccines is not really in the public's best interest... Health factors such as individual biological susceptibility to vaccine damage is completely ignored in this scenario—the only thing that counts as "good" is increasing overall vaccine use by all patients.

Gee, Mr. Mercola, you say that as though increasing overall vaccine use by patients were a bad thing. It’s not. In general, it actually is good thing. The only way you can view increasing vaccination rates as a bad thing is if you believe that vaccines cause more harm than good, or at least if you believe that the risk-benefit ratio for vaccines is not nearly as in favor of vaccinating as it is. In other words, you have to buy into antivaccine misinformation that vaccines cause autism and that severe vaccine reactions are common as opposed to the true case, that they are very rare. Mercola would characterize incentivizing doctors to vaccinate as a form of “corruption” designed to benefit big pharma rather than patients. It’s not. For one thing, it’s public knowledge. (Indeed, it’s right there all over the CDC website.) For another thing, in this case (as is the case for all CQIs), physicians are being incentivized to live up to the standard of care, to do, in essence, what they know they should be doing anyway. That’s how CQIs are supposed to work, and it benefits patients when they do work that way. It would be lovely if no such incentives were ever required, but, human nature being what it is and physicians being human beings, sometimes a little nudge is required.

It’s not just doctors, either. There are incentive programs offered by the government and insurance companies to parents of patients to encourage vaccination. Not surprisingly, antivaccinationists view these sorts of programs as evil as well. For instance, the Orwellian-named antivaccine website VacTruth recently posted an article entitled Back to School Shots: How Your Child is Being Programmed. Before I go on, I can’t help but note that any time you see a group that includes the word “Truth” in its name, especially with a capital T emphasized the way VacTruth emphasizes it, there is a high probability that it is peddling bullshit. In any case, VacTruth sees these incentive programs as pure evil and mocks programs offered by some states, based on the recommendation of the CDC and the Healthy People 2020 campaign to consider “client or family incentive rewards, used alone or in combination with additional interventions” to increase vaccination rates:

In southeastern Idaho, the public health department is offering Kindle Fire tablets in monthly drawings for children who receive vaccines at special clinics. They are offering a total of 24 tablet devices each month to entice children and parents into accepting vaccines.

Their state health department claims that “legally, in order to enter kindergarten, children are required to have five DTaP, two MMR, four Polio, three Hepatitis B, two Varicella (Chickenpox), and two Hepatitis A” vaccinations.

However, the press release fails to disclose that in Idaho, parents may file a medical, philosophical, or religious exemption from those vaccines on behalf of their children.

Why should Idaho have included that in its press release? This is an incentive program, not a mandate. In any case, apparently a fair number of states have similar programs. In Kansas, for instance:

In Kansas, health departments in 105 counties have recently offered an outreach incentive program called “Immunize and Win a Prize,” targeting children under the age of two. Children must complete 19 vaccine doses before their second birthday in order for their parents to be eligible to win a prize, including a $200 or $300 utility bill payment at each of 380 participating providers and 300 smaller prizes. The program also provides petty incentives like sippy cups and diaper wipes. [9, 10]

This program was instituted in 2003 and all children are now eligible to participate, not just children who participate in Medicaid programs. Since its 2003 inception, immunization rates in Kansas have risen from 49 percent to 87 percent in 2010. In some counties, immunization rates have even doubled.

Again: Gee, you say that as though it were a bad thing. One wonders if the author of this post is upset because of the incentive programs or more upset that this particular incentive program appears to have worked quite well.

VacTruth is also upset that insurance companies would offer incentives for vaccination. It doesn’t seem to occur to them why insurance companies might do that. (Hint: It’s not because they are in the pockets of big pharma.) Think about it. Administering vaccines costs insurance companies money. Yet insurance companies are not only encouraging vaccination but offering incentives to both parents and physicians to vaccinate; i.e., paying money in order to spend money on vaccinations. Why would insurance companies do that? The answer is obvious: In the long run it saves them money by preventing diseases that much more expensive to treat than to prevent. Also think of it this way. If vaccines really did cause autism or severe vaccine reactions were as incredibly common as the clueless wonders at VacTruth would lead you to believe, insurance companies would be discouraging vaccination because in the long run it would cost them a lot more money to treat autism and all the severe “vaccine injury” resulting in long term disability from it. Yet insurance companies encourage vaccination. As I like to say: Follow the money. Vaccination saves lives and prevents serious illness, which insurance companies have quite correctly judged to result in overall savings.

The bottom line is simple. If you’re antivaccine, any effort whatsoever to promote vaccination is “pushing” vaccines. If that effort involves school vaccine mandates or any other sort of government requirement, to antivaccine activists it's an unacceptable infringement on "parental rights" and personal freedom. If, on the other hand, that effort involves any sort of incentivization, be it of parents, patients, or doctors, even with trivial gifts or rewards, it is inherently something shameful, “corrupt,” and somehow dishonest. While it’s possible for incentivization to be misused, there is no evidence that this is the case for AFIX and other programs designed to improve vaccine uptake, which, when you come right down to it, encourage physicians and patients do do what’s best for patients.

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Two thoughts:
A. These people don't seem to realize that incentive programs are a potential alternative to mandates. Get rates high enough with these, you don't need - or have a political case - for mandates. Opposing these isn't in the interest of people who want less mandates.

B. Incentives were also used to help end segregation. In other words, incentives are a common, accepted tool to acheive public policy goals. They're not inherently good or bad. The question is whether the goal they support is, and as you point out, in this case it very much is.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

A doctor having a financial incentive to do something does not automatically mean the doctor will not act in the public's best interest. If the thing someone is incentivized to do is also in a public interest, its mutually beneficial. Seems obvious, but the conspiracy is key to antivaccidiots.

These people don’t seem to realize that incentive programs are a potential alternative to mandates. Get rates high enough with these, you don’t need – or have a political case – for mandates. Opposing these isn’t in the interest of people who want less mandates.

A good point. However, if you're antivaccine, then any measure intended to increase vaccination rates is evil and to be opposed. It doesn't matter if it's a mandate or an incentive program. The goal of both is the same: To increase vaccination rates. If you believe vaccines are harmful, then both strategies are to be opposed. In fact, it's a good way to distinguish antivaxers from those who just have a problem with government mandates. The latter group will generally not have too much of a problem with incentive programs, because they reward voluntary behavior; the former group will oppose both mandates and incentives because, of course, they oppose anything that will increase vaccination rates.

It doesn’t seem to occur to them why insurance companies might do that. (Hint: It’s not because they are in the pockets of big pharma.)

Oh, but they are. Don't you see, Big Pharma heaps loads of money onto insurance companies so that insurance companies will encourage subscribers to get vaccines. Since there's always a profit motive, Big Pharma must be paying insurance companies more than what the insurance companies pay Big Pharma for the vaccines. It makes perfect sense.

"Since its 2003 inception, immunization rates in Kansas have risen from 49 percent to 87 percent in 2010."

49% in 2003?! What the hell, Kansas?? Yikes.

By Dr. Chim Richalds (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Going to the original sources, the 49% figure appears to refer to children 2 and under who participate in the state's Medicare program, not overall rates. Still bad, but not as terrible as that quote would make it seem.

By General Factotum (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Sorry, Medicaid, not Medicare.

By General Factotum (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Since its 2003 inception, immunization rates in Kansas have risen from 49 percent to 87 percent in 2010. In some counties, immunization rates have even doubled.

I wonder if Kansa has seen a corresponding increase in autism or whatever the vaccine injury de jour may be during this time period?.

I'd guess not.

Personally, I have no problem with parents being incentivized to vaccinate their children because it promotes the public good.

The concept of a "public good" may be foreign to the anti-vaccine crowd.

@ Dr Chim

I'm surprised that Kansas was that low, too. The 49% was probably the number that had completed every vaccine recommended or required.

I pulled these numbers from the CDC website for 2003

http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/coverage/nis/nis_iap.asp?fmt=v&rpt=tab03_antig…

Kansas rates for different series range from 95% to 62% for

Four or more doses of DTP, three or more doses of poliovirus vaccine, one or more doses of any MCV, three or more doses of Hib, three or more doses of HepB,
and one or more doses of varicella

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

It is ridiculous on all fronts that there are people who are anti-vax out there.

Love the utility bill incentive for low income families. Too often poverty forces people to give up long term gains for short term survival. This way, they can have both!

So why is herd immunity always set at 90-95% vaccination compliance when vaccine efficacies vary so much?

This Lancet article states that influenza vaccines are only 23% effective. So even at 100% compliance, I don't think that it appropriate to speak of "herd immunity" in this case. Even using the word "immunity" at all in seems like an abuse of language when they are only 23% effective.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

"Community Immunity" does vary depending on the disease - but public health officials push for the highest possible rates, because it is the most effective.

The Flu, with so many different strains, is impossible to achieve the appropriate level of immunity - it also doesn't help that it has multiple non-human hosts as well.

I understand the concept, but the the cartoon above is misleading. In the first panel, 2/60 people are red (infected) and go on to infect 53/60 people. Name one infectious disease that is actually this contagious.

Cartoon panel #3 has 55/60 people are vaccinated and uninfected, but vaccine effectiveness is never 100%. This is also misleading. What this cartoon needs is another colored person. let's say purple, that indicates immunized and infected.

As it stands, the cartoon is statistically unrealistic and looks like CDC propaganda.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Measles - it will infect anywhere from 70 - 85% of people who come in contact with it.

It is perhaps the most infectious disease on the planet, currently.

I understand the concept, but the the cartoon above is misleading. In the first panel, 2/60 people are red (infected) and go on to infect 53/60 people.

You have misunderstood. The 2 originally infected each infect several others, who each infect several others until most of the population is exposed.

Name one infectious disease that is actually this contagious.

Measles.

Cartoon panel #3 has 55/60 people are vaccinated and uninfected, but vaccine effectiveness is never 100%. This is also misleading.

That's the miracle of community immunity. Not everyone in a community will be in contact with every single other member of the community. What happens is that if enough people are immune, the disease can't reach a new immunologically naive host before the old host fights it off, and so it dies out. It's how we drove smallpox into extinction.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@It’s how we drove smallpox into extinction.

You and who else?

How old are you?

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Love the witty response.....that's what happens when they can't respond with actual facts or evidence.

I was using the universal "we", as in "humanity".
As for my age, I'm old enough to be one of the last people, but not one of the very last, to be vaccinated against smallpox.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

I still find the cartoon highly misleading. Here is a breakdown of the cartoon peoples' colors and their meaning.

Blue = Not inoculated, not infected
Red = Not inoculated, infected
Yellow = Inoculated, not infected

You see there is one that is missing.

Purple = Inoculated, infected

Any herd-immunity cartoon is incomplete and misleading without the fourth person-type.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Just because you say so?

If those people existed in any real number, why don't we see large-scale outbreaks anymore?

Name one infectious disease that is actually this contagious.

Cold viruses
Herpes viruses
Polio virus
Ebola virus
HIV
Corynebacterium tuberculosis
Shigella dysenteriae
Yersinia pestis
and measles virus, already noted.

Basically any infectious micro-organism left unchecked long enough in the appropriate conditions.
For water-borne diseases, washing hands help, a bit. For airborne or contact diseases, not so much.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

I said: ...infect 53/60 people. Name one infectious disease that is actually this contagious.

And Helianthus said:
Cold viruses
Herpes viruses
Polio virus
Ebola virus
HIV
Corynebacterium tuberculosis
Shigella dysenteriae
Yersinia pestis
and measles virus...

Most of hese are not 88% contagious. For example, the HIV transmission rate [anal] is 1.4%, and even lower among the heterosexual population.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20406794

Even if the cartoon is all male homosexual prostitutes, you would not get 88% transmission in a population. Even the most promiscuous homosexuals [Lawrence, wink wink] do not test HIV+ anywhere close to this.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ Avocado Aficianado

In the middle picture, where disease spreads because the majority are unvaccinated, there are only a total of 6 vaccinated people, so it's statistically unlikely that you will find a breakthrough infection in such a small group for most vaccines. In the lower picture, where enough people are vaccinated to maintain community immunity, the disease doesn't spread, so, again, a breakthrough infection would be unlikely.

@ Avocado Aficianado #23

The transmission rate is per exposure - it doesn't take into account the number of exposures, which is why Helanthius said that almost any infectious microorganism can have an 88% infection rate "if left unchecked long enough." If you maintain all of those people in the same airspace for long enough and one of them has a cold, eventually nearly all of them will catch it. Similarly, if this group of people were continuously having sex with one another and one of them had AIDS, eventually they would all contract HIV.

The avocado fetish person it's the same category as the person from the NVIC mentioned by Orac. In other words avocado person is anti-vaccine but doesn't have the honesty to fess up about it and instead masquerades with lies, distortion of facts and attempts at trying to convince us he or she knows what they're talking about.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Lawrence Just because you say so?

If those people existed in any real number, why don’t we see large-scale outbreaks anymore?

They do exist in large numbers. Vaccine efficacy rates imply the existence of vaccinated and infected people, people who get the infection in-spite of the inoculation.

Take a vaccine that is 50% effective. There would be an equal amount of inoculated yet infected people and non-inoculated and infected people.

To put it another way; For ever person who is protected from the vaccine, there is one person that is not protected from the vaccine.

This is a significant amount of people.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Sarah H ...“if left unchecked long enough.” If you maintain all of those people in the same airspace for long enough...

So are you implying that the cartoon depicts a homosexual orgy that lasts months? That is the only way you could get an 88% infection rate from HIV.

If that is the case, they why are not some of the cartoon people bent over?

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Chris Hickie

You are the one that pretends to be a Lizard.

I have not lied nor distorted anything. I am simply pointing out the innacuracies in the "Community Immunity" cartoon.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Avocado @25: What do you mean by "Polio Hysteria in the 50’s, only one person out of 4,000 had Polio. "? Do you mean that only 1 in 4000 Americans at any time had polio? Or do you mean that only 1 in 4000 people who thought they had polio did?

My great aunt, for whom I am named, died of polio in 1946. She was an athletic, healthy 13-year-old. My great uncle was permanently disabled from his bout of polio. And he had to live with the guilt of giving it to his beloved sister.

So if people were 'hysterical' about polio it was for good reason. Polio kills. Polio cripples. Never forget.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Take a vaccine that is 50% effective. There would be an equal amount of inoculated yet infected people and non-inoculated and infected people.

Umm....

For the sake of simplicity, let's assume 50% efficacy in the vaccine, given to 50% of the population. Then all of the population is exposed to the disease equally. Of those who would get sick, 50% are vaccinated and 50% of those do not get sick. So total of 25% of those sick would be vaccinated. 75% wouldn't.

Now, back in real world where vaccine uptake is much greater than 50%, and almost all, if not all, vaccines have far higher efficacy, the percentage of vaccinated yet sick people would be much, much lower.

And the cartoon in question was meant to be a quick visual aid to describe the concept to laymen. Absolute statistical accuracy is not and never was the point. Absolute statistical accuracy would also make it too complex to easily understand at a glance.

By Jenora Feuer (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

You might also want to zip up, your homophobia is hanging out.

@31 If one searches the Google for "polio hysteria," it quickly becomes apparent what the poster means.

It's in the same category as the claim that nobody had Shingles before the chicken pox vaccine was available. It wasn't really "polio," and could have been avoided if those of us who were alive there had simply known to wash our hands after using the toilet, and eaten healthy food - which of course, we were too pig ignorant to do.

They can all get into Dara O'Briain's sack.

So, can we all agree that the cartoon is inaccurate and highly misleading?

This here is a propaganda site. Here is a chart that shows the influenza vaccine effectiveness: http://static.wixstatic.com/media/69aff5_e97b36f2a3534851b851039d7bb9dc…

If the cartoon represented the flu, then the efficacy is highly inflated. In addition, we would have to introduce yet another symbol:

♿ = inoculated, Gullain-Barre Syndrome

If this cartoon represented the MMR vaccine. then we would have to introduce yet another character:

🚶 = inoculated; autistic

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Ellie @35: OMG. Those people infuriate me. Like I said, family history.

They can get in Dara O'Briain's, but I want at crack at the cricket bat!

By JustaTech (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

I forgot to add colors:

♿ = inoculated, Gullain-Barre Syndrome
? = inoculated; autistic

You see, we are making progress towards a more realistic cartoon.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Avocado Aficionado

The purpose of the image is to illustrate the concept of herd/community immunity. It is not misleading at all, since it is not attempting to be 100% statistically accurate for every single disease.

You only think it is inaccurate because you misunderstand it and let your ignorance show.

As for GBS, if you wanted to add that in, you would need over a million little figures to get 1 with GBS following vaccination.

For autism, you wouldn't need any little figures, since MMR doesn't cause autism, but thanks for illustrating you fully buy into anti-vaccine nonsense.

And if the above cartoon represented the live-polio vaccine, then we would have to introduce this character:

ꆜ = inoculated, VAPP

We need a cartoon that also highlights the dangers of vaccination. This is the only was people can make a realistic assessment of the risks and benefits.

We need better cartoons.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

I should add that having 1 case of GBS in a million vaccinated would still be labeled as "uncertain", since there is no strong evidence that the flu vaccine actually can cause it.

Todd@42: And there's plenty of evidence that influenza does cause GBS. So can Zika.

Avocado@41: And how many tiny iron lungs would we need? And how many tiny leg braces? And how many tiny graves? You know, for everyone who didn't get vaccinated and did get polio?

I work with someone who got VAPP. He still wears a brace. He's pro-vaccination.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Side note: I see that AoA has provided an "update" re a live blog of the Whitlow preliminary-injunction hearing.

The payload is hilarious (hint: FB Live).

Re: VAPP

You act as if the scientific community isn't aware of the risk of VAPP. But, they are, and it is something that enters into the risk/benefit analysis when deciding whether IPV or OPV should be used. In areas where polio has been eradicated long enough to ensure that the risk of an outbreak is very low, the decision is made to switch to IPV. Where polio is still endemic, OPV, despite the risk of VAPP, is the preferable choice, because it is much more effective and still results in far less injury/death than infection with the wild virus.

We need better cartoons.

And better trolls.

@Narad

I can see that you have started posting at AoA Narad.

I didn't know that you were an ant-vaccinationist in drag.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Gayst

And better trolls.

And better vaccines.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Avocado Afficionado, you are the embodiment of the phrase "a little learning is a dangerous thing."

By Dr. Chim Richalds (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Narad

I can see that you have started posting at AoA Narad.

Sorry, Fendelsworth, I've already pointed it out. This is just doubly pathetic.

? + 💉 = ♿

An unexplained increase in the risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) occurred among recipients of the swine influenza vaccine in 1976-1977. Guillain-Barre syndrome remains the most frequent neurological condition reported after influenza vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) since its inception in 1990.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15562126

Merck has been accused of falsifying data on vaccine effectiveness by it's own virologists!: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lawrence-solomon/merck-whistleblowers_b_58…

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Narad

How many sock puppets do you think he has under his belt, now?

Even the most promiscuous homosexuals [Lawrence, wink wink]
If that is the case, they why are not some of the cartoon people bent over?
@Gayst

I expect you're not aware that the "avocado" is derived from the Aztec for "testicle". So as an Avocado Aficianado, that means...

In 2009, more than 1,000 people in New Jersey and New York came down with mumps. At the time, questions arose about the effectiveness of the vaccine as 77 percent of those sickened were vaccinated.

A similar scenario occurred in 2006, when mumps infected more than 6,500 people in the US. Most of those cases also occurred among the vaccinated population, primarily among college students who had received two doses of MMR vaccine.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/07/10/merck-lyi…

Hmm...??

Risk getting GBS and Autism for nothing it seems.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Bruce

I was aware of that as a matter of fact.

Did you know that Bruce and Lance are the two most stereotypical homosexual names?

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@AA

Your point being?

From the Simpsons:

Homer: “No, I’m not, Marge. They’re embarrassing me. They’re embarrassing America. They turned the Navy into a floating joke. They ruined all our best names like Bruce and Lance and Julian. Those were the toughest names we had. Now they’re just—”

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

How many sock puppets do you think he has under his belt, now?

Here? I have nine or ten* killfiled, but I didn't always bother.

* I forgot to explicitly comment-bound the block, and there's one that I don't recall the reason for between the nine that I recognize and the resumption of the list.

Avocado orifice inserter: actually I'm a pediatrician who despises your ilk.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Dr. Chim Avocado Afficionado, you are the embodiment of the phrase “a little learning is a dangerous thing.”

If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?

-Thomas Huxley

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Call it "polio hysteria"? "Only" 1 in 4000? If someone in your city set out to cripple or kill 1 person in 4000, would the civic demand for action be hysteria? Should the police sit on their hands because someone might be arrested by mistake? I am probably the youngest native born Americans to have had polio that you will ever encounter. While I was affected less than many, those effects have dogged me all my life. If I believed in God, I would ask for blessings on Salk and Sabin.
As for the "cartoon", as you call it, you are trying to stretch a greatly simplified illustration of a concept far beyond its intent. It's like learning economic theory by playing Monopoly.
Now while science has reduced the incidence of plague to a handful of cases per year, it's history shows how devastatingly contagious a disease can be. When it was prevalent in Europe, advice on protection was in the vein of "leave early, go far, return slow". The best protection was said to be "a pair of new boots used until they break". Small wonder - something like a third of Europe died. It was reported that in one German city the end of the outbreak left one man alive from a population of ten thousand. Look at the history of European conquest.and see how destructive measles and rubella can be to a disease-naive population.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

ORD: YHBT. HTH. HAND.

Speaking of emoji, we need one for STFU Sock-Puppet!
(Wondered why this topic blew up from 10 posts all day....then I started reading, my eyes..they burn)

I know, but the cartoon may give youngsters an unrealistic comprehension of the efficacy of vaccines.

This may lead to reckless behavior!; like kissing people with measles, or engaging with prostitutes and IV-drug users.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@AA #60

How ironic that you quote Huxley when you yourself have such a tenuous a grasp on science. Furthermore, it is the very herd immunity that you argue against that prevents natural selection (which Huxley staunchly defended in his time) from taking its course on those whom you seek to harm by your misguided views. I'm sure he's spinning in his grave. Shameful.

By Dr. Chim Richalds (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

No, Dr. Chim, I don't wish to harm anyone.

I think that there should be a concerted effort to produce safer vaccines and safer schedules. Thimerosal and alum are totally unnecessary vaccine ingredients.

I have already conclusively shown that phenoxyalcohol is a safer and more effective preservative than thimerosal.

There is also no rational justification for many of the vaccines given. How can anyone make a justification for the administration of a hep-B vaccine to an infant?

Hepatitis B is strictly a disease of IV-drug users, and the link between HPV and cancer is tenuous at best. The vaccine ingredients should, at least partially, be moderated by independent toxicologists; and the vaccine efficacy rates should be determined by independent epidemiologists.

We all know how the Verstraeten Study was modified to attenuate the link between thimerosal and autism. One only has to look at the original and final data to realize that the CDC and the IOM engaged in fraudulent statistical manipulation.

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@AA#67

You're the worst. Just stop.

By Dr. Chim Richalds (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Come on Dr. Chim. Let's hear your best case for thimerosal.

Did you know that the Hg binds with the -thiol groups on the proteins thereby mitigating its' effect.

Would you smoke weed out of a broken thermometer?

By Avocado Aficianado (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Take a vaccine that is 50% effective. There would be an equal amount of inoculated yet infected people and non-inoculated and infected people.

Will get back to the previous comments but Fendelsworth needs a lesson on what R0 is. And how to change his socks with cleaner ones.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

@AA: You're really getting embarrassing. You're obviously too young and ignorant to understand why people of my mother's generation made sure her kids got every vaccine available (WITH THIMEROSOL, OH THE HORRORS), and why I made sure my kids got all their vaccines.

Do some real research, drop the idiotic emoji, and come back when you're an educated adult.

And let me know when you understand basic chemistry and the difference between organic and inorganic mercuries.

Oh, AA is Fendlesworth? Never mind. Once Orac deals with the sockpuppets we'll maybe get smarter trolls.

The Mighty Morphing Sock Puppet who really hates water showers (see JustTheVax blog): "There is also no rational justification for many of the vaccines given. How can anyone make a justification for the administration of a hep-B vaccine to an infant?"

You've been given that answer multiple times, it is not our fault that you have either a several memory problem or a skull that is welded shut. By the way, which states require HepB or even influenza vaccine for school attendance?

It might be useful to put a few things in perspective. The U.S. is essentially polio-free. I just heard a long discussion on my car radio about the fact that 2 cases have appeared in Nigeria, which is disturbing news to those who had hoped to make polio extinct. The continued existence of a few cases means that the world will have to create billions of doses of polio vaccine in order to carry on the eradication process for another generation or so. The bright side of the news is that as late as the 1950s, any major American city might have seen a couple of new polio cases in any one day, and now we don't see any.

One lesson is that at least some of our vaccines work extremely well, even on a worldwide basis, in spite of the cranks over here and the terrorist organizations in other parts of the world (who are getting the blame for the continued prevalence of polio). The use of compulsion (such as the requirements for school attendance) are generally working. Perhaps the Europeans and the English should take note.

My answer to the cranks: Of course I would like vaccines that are 100 percent effective and perfectly safe. I'm not averse to the NIH putting lots of money into creating new vaccines and developing more effective vaccines for diseases such as pertussis, mumps, and influenza. But the idea that we could make progress doesn't presuppose using what we already have, which is by and large excellent. I don't have to worry about getting polio in the next epidemic, like my uncle or my family friends Paul and Arlene.

I wonder if these same people would reject a shot of antibiotic for a raging ear ache. Apparently there are a few who do, but most people in pain get the idea. They can continue to deceive themselves about polio and plague and diphtheria because they aren't seeing it all around them.

The other point that needs to be made is that there is no such thing as an absolute right to reject preventive medical treatment. That's because there is no absolute right to be a hazard to the rest of the community, in spite of the fact that this false and illogical argument is the center of anti-vaccine arguments coming from a legal position. I suspect that the anti-vaccine people understand this point, which is why they fight so hard to push their incorrect arguments about side effects.

I was recently reminded of an incidence of herd immunity. I am a farmer who grew up on my parents' farm. We raised polled hereford cattle, a breed that is highly susceptible to an infection called pink eye. When I was in high school we had a massive outbreak of pink eye in our herd. Over the course of the winter we and our vet doctored every head of cattle for pink eye. In the succeeding 40 years or so we had not one more case. Herd immunity. It works for humans too.

By Keith Krehbiel (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Oh, AA is Fendlesworth?

I'm puzzled that this wasn't widely apparent from just the pseudonym; I didn't even get around to its clockwork ejacυlations until quite a while later.

"Hepatitis B is strictly a disease of IV-drug users..."
Astounding. With half a sentence you conclusively demonstrate for the world to see that you are a complete ignoramus. Your pronouncement is so wrong that calling it wrong does the word a disservice.
Would you like me to elucidate, or would you prefer to slink off without further attention paid to you to go research the depths of your shameful declaration of your incompetence for yourself?

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

Long time reader, first time posting... and off topic at that as I'm desperate for some advice...

My mother is totally into natural remedy, naturopath, Chinese herb type things. For every ailment I have she pushes me to take vitamins and bottles of extracts. I've tried to smile and nod and then ignore her hoping she'll eventually take the hint and back off. But yesterday I totally lost it and we had a terrible argument about it.

At this point I'm convinced she's actually trying to bully me until I will cave: she thinks I should just try it, what harm can it do, that I'm being close-minded, that it works for other people so I should consider it. She seems to think that I don't believe in anything because I don't pursue a total cure for a chronic ailment, and don't try everything I can in order to get better, despite numerous doctors, specialists, tests, etc. She spends a lot of time blaming me for not trying hard enough to get better.

Meanwhile she often talks to her doctor/naturopath about me when I'm not even there, and comes home with ideas or pills to take without these people having ever seen or dealt with me. I've actually had to avoid certain local doctors because she has also seen them and they will try to steer the conversation away from why I'm actually there and my current ailment (like an infection) to whatever concern my mother has just told them about, usually chronic and not a priority at the time. Meanwhile she'll dismiss my own doctor out of hand because "they don't know everything" and "stats can be manipulated" (but she'll happily take antibiotics for infections, is pro-vaccine and is pleased with the new scientifically-based cancer treatment another family member has been on). I've had to talk to her before about how it's unethical and illogical for someone to offer treatment without consent - or even directly speaking to the patient and taking a proper history - but she barrels on anyway.

The worst of it is that she pushes on though she knows I don't want to try any of it, and clearly will continue doing so until I cave. Like if I don't pop some vitamins I'm actually harming her, or don't care about her, or that because she worries about my health that means I should have no opinions or thoughts whatsoever of my own on how I should deal with my health and should just do it her way to please her. It's clear that the only thing that should matter here is soothing her qualms, and she tends to treat me as a non-person because of it.

I am terrible at explaining myself or my thinking and since I know we disagree on the merits of alt med I've been trying to avoid talking about it altogether. She's totally dug into this stuff and I don't think I can reason her out of it. She uses the usual tropes that alt medders do but won't actually listen or understand when I explain how she's wrong. Indeed this is about the fifth or sixth time she's come home with things for me to try based on an unseen diagnosis by one of her health 'professionals'. She knows why I don't like her doing it but she keeps on anyway. And when I asked her to drop the subject and to agree to disagree she kept on hammering away.

I'm tempted to lie and say I've tried it, or take a couple of these herbal things and tell her they didn't help, but I would rather stand up to her bullying than go along with it. I don't want to change her mind either necessarily, just get her to leave me be on the issue of health or at least stop getting second opinions on my behalf.

Does anyone have some non-confrontational ideas to dealing with this?

I thought perhaps printing out a good intro to naturopathy or Chinese medicine from a skeptical point of view might help... but don't really know where to find one that won't put her off due to snark or a dismissive attitude. Other than that I'm at a loss as to how to approach things. Ignoring her clearly isn't working, and we've only managed to upset each other when we try to talk about it.

Thanks... and sorry for the derail. If there's a better place to have this discussion, let me know.

By Bullied by Alt Med (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

The U.S. is essentially polio-free.

Mind you, there's no routine sewage testing.

ORD: "With half a sentence you conclusively demonstrate for the world to see that you are a complete ignoramus. Your pronouncement is so wrong that calling it wrong does the word a disservice."

Which is pretty much how we conclude this was a sock puppet of a particularly clueless single minded troll. This one hates infant vaccination for HepB. Be aware he/she also hates taking showers with water and soap, as he calls folks he/she/it hates "douches" (French for water shower, work with me).

Just check out its clueless posts on JustTheVax blog. Apparently it really hates me, so much so that it calls me a very useful way to bathe oneself while camping (something I stopped doing when I married the one Canuck from Vancouver Island who does not go camping... little whimper... hotels are nice).

Even if the cartoon is all male homosexual prostitutes, you would not get 88% transmission in a population.

"left unchecked" is the operative two-words. Let an infectious disease run as it wants in a pocket of population, and eventually everybody would have it.

You may want to avoid the cheaper Bangkok bordello of young prostitutes.
The "HIV is pink plague" is an old canard. Again, in the proper conditions, heterosexual people are not safe. You may want to avoid some countries in the southern part of Africa.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 12 Aug 2016 #permalink

"Hepatitis B is strictly a disease of IV-drug users..."

So that's why, before immunisation was introduced, about half of the population of the East Cape of New Zealand had hepatitis B antibodies before they were teenagers?

ORD @ 77

Quite: the reason the NHS insists on all clinical staff having Hep B vaccination can't be because our employers have severe doubts about what we get up to on our own time...

Speaking as one who is a non-responder, which was only discovered/acknowledged after I had 3 courses of the stuff, and who had to be screened for Hep C following an assault by a patient (scratch which broke skin and caused bleeding during the course of a sustained attack on me) with unknown Hep C status...

HepB is to "only" IV drug users as immaculate conception is to my now pregnant teenage patient.

Bullied by Alt Med, I'm afraid there's no way to dissuade your mother from interfering in your health care, other than putting your foot down and refusing to further discuss alt med nostrums. She does not sound like the kind of person who's open to evidence debunking them. For your peace of mind and health, declare the subject closed, and end conversations about it politely but firmly.

"She spends a lot of time blaming me for not trying hard enough to get better."

This is a common and disgusting facet of alt med, which says it's the patient's fault if alt remedies don't work. Evidence-based medicine is far more holistic in this respect. Aside from recommending lifestyle changes where applicable, we don't approve of blaming patients if treatments are ineffective; in that instance, it's time to try a new approach without pointing fingers at the people we're trying to help.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Terri: "Love the utility bill incentive for low income families. Too often poverty forces people to give up long term gains for short term survival. This way, they can have both!"

I think the utility bill incentive is a great idea, too, but don't get caught up in the false dichotomy of vaccines vs something else needed for survival. Virtually every child can get free vaccines. People with ACA-compliant insurance, which is almost everyone with insurance, can get it from their PCP. The uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid recipient, Alaskan Native and Native American can get it from the Vaccines For Children Program for free.

By Gretel Hansen (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

I’m puzzled that this wasn’t widely apparent from just the pseudonym; I didn’t even get around to its clockwork ejacυlations until quite a while later.

The little freak just showed up on my blog posting as Anonymous and Narad spewing juvenile rubbish.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Avacado: "You and who else?

How old are you?"

Well, me for one. I am 67 years old, graduated from nursing school in 1970. Smallpox was still on the recommended vaccine schedule then and would be for another two years. After that, travelers to certain countries needed it. I have given SPV. So there!

By Gretel Hansen (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Avacado: "So, can we all agree that the cartoon is inaccurate and highly misleading? "

No

By Gretel Hansen (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

Bullied by Alt Med (#79)

Long time reader, first time posting… and off topic at that as I’m desperate for some advice… […] Does anyone have some non-confrontational ideas to dealing with this? […] Ignoring her clearly isn’t working, and we’ve only managed to upset each other when we try to talk about it.

Yuck. Sounds like your mom’s a real piece of work. Honestly, if ignoring her isn’t working, I don’t think you’ll be be able to get out this without some confrontation. But the way your mom’s going at you, that’s on her. She’s the one who is failing to respect you.

Luckily for you, there exists the awesome advice blog Captain Awkward. They specialize in scripts and strategies for how to approach problematic people. Their advice is extremely concrete and usually offered with multiple alternatives. (Note: I’m not affiliated with them in any way.)

Since I’m not sure what their turnaround is or how many submitted questions make the cut, you might check out the archive. Controlling, boundary-ignoring, stubborn parents are a rather common issue and you’ll probably find something you can adapt. (Also, like at RI, the comments there are as much of a goldmine as the OPs, so don’t overlook those.)

My personal advice is that you don't try to argue alt med with your mother. However much you might be offended on an intellectual level by her embrace of it, the real problem is her abusive behavior. (And yeah, that’s what it is. Abuse.) The topic is just a pretext to go after you, albeit one she might believe in strongly.

No doubt she’s convinced herself she’s only trying to look out for you, but it’s clearly more important to her to be manipulative and abusive than listen to your feelings and desires. So your focus should be on making it clear to her that she has to stop or there will be consequence (such as being cut out of your life). Captain Awkward has scripts for doing that directly or conversational techniques for doing it indirectly, so please do check them out.

" By the way, which states require HepB or even influenza vaccine for school attendance?"

Hep B-All but Alabama, Maine, Montana, and South Dakota.

Flu: Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island for day care only.

Source: Immunize.org

By Gretel Hansen (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ Chris

OT

Side, pedantic note

“douches” (French for water shower)

True, but be careful, dear lurkers, in English it's supposed to describe an ustensile for women's intimate toilette, and which has recently come to be seen of dubious help (the place it's supposed to reach is self-cleaning and doesn't need that hard a scrubbing)
So it's both a gendered insult and synonymous for "useless tool".

So, French people, don't tell your English hosts you are going to take your douche. That may summon some disturbing mental pictures.

OTOH, anybody, if a French lady (or gentleman, according to taste) is proposing you to partager sa douche, you may hope for an intimate experience, but not too deeply intimate.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

Helianthus: " in English it’s supposed to describe an ustensile for women’s intimate toilette, and which has recently come to be seen of dubious help (the place it’s supposed to reach is self-cleaning and doesn’t need that hard a scrubbing)"

Which is why they are pretty not sold much anymore, so using that word as an insult is more antiquated than spewing about thimerosal in vaccines (which is fifteen years out of date). Since the silly products are highly discouraged, and actual showers of water that wash the entire body are encouraged without damaging the internal mucus membranes, I am going with the French word.

Plus the use of a word that means getting your whole body wet and bathed as a insult just tickles my funny bone. Now I must spray water onto my garden as the heat is making the cosmos and sunflowers wilt.

Though I hope to encourage side flowers on the sunflowers because the main flowers were eaten by a critter. Apparently a young deer actually strode up my urban street from the Union Bay Natural Area and had a meal in my yard while we were traveling (it was reported on my street). My bumper crop of pears is now down to just the one pear sitting on my kitchen counter.

Aargh. must fix awkward wording: " pretty much not sold anymore"

Yes, English was not my first language. But I speak my first language as well as any three year old (the age I was when we left). I learned Spanish just enough to not be able to pronounce French, I seem to want to make sure all the letters are said phonetically.

Chris... oh horrors! Don't deer realize that pears are full of formaldehyde!?!

(our newest German shepherd just finished off the lone survivor of the blueberry bushes that the spousal unit has carefully nurturing for two years).

By shay simmons (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

Chris, #94:
" Now I must spray water onto my garden as the heat is making the cosmos and sunflowers wilt."
Things must be worse than I knew. But I don't think your garden hose is going to do much good if the entire Cosmos is wilting.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

ORD: "going to do much good if the entire Cosmos is wilting."

RFOL! I deserve that! Fortunately they are only feathery leaved flowers, heavy on the wilting feathery leaves and light on the flowers. I just realized that my annuals include asters and sunflowers along with the cosmos --- all have starry names.

Shay, oh no! I feel for your spousal unit, and hope he forgives the pup dog.

Helianthus #22,
Y. pestis is a good example of a highly contageous disease that largely went away without a contiguous vaccination program.

A formalin-inactivated vaccine once was available in the United States for adults at high risk of contracting the plague until removal from the market by the Food and Drug Administration. It was of limited effectiveness and could cause severe inflammation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yersinia_pestis#Immunity

Rats! The flea that carried the bubonic plague is in New York City, according to a rodent parasite survey. Fortunately these rats don’t currently carry the disease

http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/2/8134541/nyc-bubonic-plague-fleas-rats

I'm trying to remember a quote; I *think* it was the closing lines of some movie concerning the rats and fleas again visiting some unhappy city -- anybody know what that's from??

@Dangerous Bacon

Thanks for the advice. I do try to get myself out of these conversations and most times politely, but yesterday I just lost my temper. I'm not sure continuing that way will do anything but make her push on until I change my mind.

I think it's worth mentioning that my SBM for my chronic condition is not perfect (of course I understand the nirvana fallacy), so she would say that she's trying to get me to try a new approach. She has a fair point in that it's been a while since starting on these meds, and a regular check-in from my doctor about the appropriateness/effectiveness of my meds is something I'd like but haven't received. Alt med may be crap, but I'm not terribly happy with my local doctors either, who seem disinterested in doing anything other than treating the symptom or looking for other lifestyle management techniques to assist. She takes my general dissatisfaction with this and turns it into mountain.

@A. Noyd

Thanks so much for linking me to Captain Awkward! I've not found anything there yet that speaks to my issues but will keep reading through their archives - in the meantime I've posted in their forums. Great place, wish I'd found it earlier :)

I live with my parents so cutting her out isn't really possible as a consequence... but maybe I can think of something else to replace it.

Thank you both for responding, after that argument it's good to feel like people are listening :)

By Bullied By Alt Med (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.

--The Plague, Albert Camus, Stuart Gilbert.

Bullied By Alt Med:
I feel for you. My mother has also tried to push her ideas onto me, different topic and not so extreme. One thing that helped was to tell her that if she continued to start every conversation we had with "What you need to do is...' then we couldn't converse at all. She got the hint over time and does it much less and in a minor key now.
Arguing the facts will not help. The more you counter her, the more intransigent she will get. If you can, try walking out of the room. Keep doing that and it might make her back off (or tell her that her constant pushing is blocking your chi, or come back with some other woo that she disapproves of - "I went to the Hindu temple in town and I'm starting on a regimen of eating cow manure."). Joking aside, when she starts in thank her for her concern, then politely decline.
Keep calm. Don't fight, don't argue, don't counter her. It might help some to tell her that you want her to be your mother, not your doctor.
As for her peddling your medical history all over town, the doctors' discussing your medical history with her is a gross violation of your privacy, probably of proper medical ethics, and possibly of the law. Even if it's not any of those where you are, her bad behavior is no excuse for them to join in. I'm sure you can make that clear to them in a nice calm way. If it continues tell them that you intend to consult with an attorney to see what remedies (no joke intended) are open to you.

By Ol Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 13 Aug 2016 #permalink

I wonder if the anti-vaxxers have pets. I don't recall in any of their screeds whether they mention having cats or dogs. I wonder if they get this offended by the once or twice yearly reminders to have their pets vaccinated that I get (and I presume a lot of pet owners get). Do you think they are bothered by animal vaccinations?

Slugdoc: "Do you think they are bothered by animal vaccinations?"

Yes, they are. There are some that are very vocal about veterinary vaccines. I dare not say her name, but try to get the hints: she lives down under, shares a name with a monarch of an island nation across a channel from France and has a surname that sounds like a cardiac organ.

Chris: Hint taken.

Do they think animals can get ASD? Or is it the toxins gambit all over again? In any case, if you have any sources from the aforementioned person, I'd love to see them. Much obliged in advance.

I think you need to be a BadScience forum member to check up on their member list. This is a cut and paste of hers:

My main interest is investigating over-vaccination of companion animals, particularly dogs. My submission to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (June 2011) provides some background, refer to this link: http://bit.ly/AwaH5I My submission to the RCVS also includes hyperlinks to much of the other material I have produced regarding the unethical practice of over-vaccination of pets.

Have fun.

In the minds of the Anti-Vax group / society it will always be in regards improving vaccination-rates: "Dambed if you do, Dambed if you don't"

@Gilbert: plague hasn't died out. It's still found in places like Colorado, California, Nevada, and Arizona. (In 2014, there were 10 confirmed cases).

In place of rats, there are creatures called "squirrels" and "chipmunks" and "prairie dogs" that are carriers. The major difference these days is that we have antibiotics that can treat the humans who catch is, and ways to try and kill the fleas on the animals.

New Mexico has had 2 cases of plague in humans this year and 10 confirmed pet deaths as well. Tularemia is another disease humans share with their pets and wild animals. Apparently rock squirrels are a big reservoir.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

In the lands of milk and honey, pink unicorns farting purple pixie dust wave their hoofs at the prarie dog communities vanishing all forms of infectious disease. Naturally. Organically. Magically.

Apparently rock squirrels are a big reservoir.

Yea, I was always cautioned to wash up with alcohol after cleaning squirrel over 'rabbit fever' fears; Funny, eating something that requires cleanup with alcohol after touching it raw.

Here is a local news article about transmission methods for the two diseases.

http://www.abqjournal.com/791345/tularemia-plague-in-pets-higher-than-a…

Apparently it's the rock squirrel flea that is the main vector in transmitting the disease to humans.

https://entomologytoday.org/2015/09/29/human-plague-cases-confirmed-in-…

I won't add a third link because of the moderation trigger, but the New Mexico Health Department reports that about half the plague cases in the US each year occur in New Mexico. Fortunately this has been an off year in that respect, although the 20 confirmed animal plague cases already match the total for 2015.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

Tularemia is another disease humans share with their pets and wild animals.

Fun fact: also carried by the lone star tick.

#103 Slugdoc

Do you think they are bothered by animal vaccinations?

Thank you very much for raising my level of paranoia. I grew up in what called itself the “Rabies capital of the World”. The thought that antivaxers would not get rabies shots for their animals terrifies me.

#104 Thanks Chris this really reassures me.

The stupid dangerous fools: I really don't care if one of them gets rabies (it's a nasty death but I am not all that sympathetic a person) but I care about myself and my friends and other people in general.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

#112 Gilbert

Funny, eating something that requires cleanup with alcohol after touching it raw.

You clearly have never see a professional kitchen cleanup after working with raw chicken.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

#35 Ellie
polio hysteria
I remember that. Also known as one's parents in a state close to total terror when one came down with the flu. I still don't know what dill pickles were supposed to do with diagnosing polio but I do remember my parents' worry during the epidemic.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

Speaking of "hysteria": the antivax/govt.conspiracy contingent continues frothing over the U.S. Zika virus uproar.

Which is no joke, especially if you're a woman of childbearing age in the lower South.

Still, I think the op-ed writer whose syndicated column appeared Sat. in our local paper may have been going off the edge a bit. She referred to Zika as the 21st. century's equivalent of the 18-19th century outbreaks of yellow fever.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

@118 That would be reasonable hysteria. I do not believe that is what was being referenced. Rather, I believe, it was the idea that we all became hysterical over this practically non-existent and not all that dangerous disease (pay no attention to those iron lungs in the corner - or the people who were crippled for the remainder of their lives).

I do not recall dill pickles having anything to do with polio. I recall it was a way to "diagnose" mumps. Presumably, one was unable to eat a dill pickle if one had that disease. My husband had an Aunt who thought polio came from eating too many fudgsicles. There are nuts in every generation.

I just ran across a blog that said we should ask old people what they thought of vaccines because this person's relative was old and thought they were unnecessary. I'm old. My mother lived to be 6 days short of 94. She thought anti-vaxxers were nutcases that should keep their unvaccinated children away from babies, pregnant women and old people. I think the same thing.

My husband had an Aunt who thought polio came from eating too many fudgsicles.

I take it that you've spared yourself from D'Ohlmsted's 15-part odyssey about how the use of arsenical pesticides on Hawaiian sugar cane was the actual cause of the 1916 polio epidemic.

"Funny, eating something that requires cleanup with alcohol after touching it raw."
After eating, I like to clean my upper digestive tract with alcohol.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

Vaccines are a plot to make money for Big Pharma?
No! Anti-vaccine hysteria is a plot to make money for Big Medicine.
Chemtrails are a diversion from the UFOS. Area 51 is a diversion from Area 52, where the REAL secret stuff is going on.
I'm just wondering if the conspirasuckers believe any other countries besides the US, Israel, and the UK have any secret plots.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

"You clearly have never see a professional kitchen cleanup after working with raw chicken."

My recollection is that also involves bleach. I worked clean up in the dorm kitchen, it has been decades but I remember some of the routines.

In my kitchen there are two types of counter surfaces. The one around the cook top and cleanup sink is the only area where raw meat is allowed. Fruit and veg are only really allowed if they have been prepped.

The other counter is for prepping (including rolling out pizza dough), and no raw meat is allowed. There are lots of white terry cloths for cleanup (and the laundry room is nearby). I sincerely dislike food poisoning, the worst case I got was from a very nice restaurant, which I never went to again.

Speaking of those who really don't have a clue about not spreading pathogens, a family went to Europe with their unvaccinated kids. One came home with measles, so they were quarantined. They are very unhappy with that because it is really messing with their schedule. I find it hard to be too sympathetic to them, especially if they cannot come up with their other child's vaccine record:
http://www.wral.com/judge-upholds-wake-measles-quarantine/15923838/

I don't think they understand the incubation period for measles.

@ 122 TL:DR but, I have read a synopsis. Another person ignorant of human history.

Chemtrails are a diversion from the UFOS.

Pfft. Chemtrails don't exist. Though I once heard a local tv weather spokesman declare that the spiderweb looking stuff filling the air and sticking all over everything was really "residue from a new jet fuel additive".

They call these imagined features "chemtrails." Adherents of this conspiracy theory sometimes attribute this alleged spraying to the government and sometimes to industry.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160812103718.htm

... the U.S. Zika virus uproar

Wait til they find out the the vaccine that is entering Phase 1 trials is a DNA vaccine that actually blasts foreign DNA (a plasmid) into muscle cells of the vaccinated person.
It will be interesting to see how the trials pan out. DNA vaccines have a remarkably dismal history of failure to work in humans after success in mice. The vaccine in question has been successful in small monkeys, so hopefully it will work in big monkeys.

Wow! Are you saying that we can create antibodies to DNA?

Adherents of this conspiracy theory sometimes attribute this alleged spraying to the government and sometimes to industry.

Well, Old Rockin' Dave #24; There is, I believe, certain 'chemtrails' used in the atmospheric seeding managing hurricanes.

The trick is to seed just outside the eyewall, starving it of moisture and widening the eye thus slowing maximum winds. Who might do this?? The insurance industry. One side effect of such manipulation is to widen the storm with its' concomitant extra rainfall -- The expensive buildings survive at the cost of more massive flooding area-wide. Who carries flood insurance, these days?

after the record-setting 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, with a whopping 27 named tropical storms, the bottom pretty much dropped out of hurricane activity since then.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/will-we-reach-4000-days-since-a-maj…

Orac writes,

This drives antivaccinationists crazy.

MJD says,

This patent may drive the "closet" antivaccinationists crazy:

Mammalian colostrum derived nanopeptides for broadspectrum viral and recurrent infections with a method of isolation thereof (Saharan in 9,249,188 – February 2nd, 2016).

Abbreviated Abstract - Nanopeptides isolated from mammalian colostrums with vaccine like antiviral and immunodulator activity via building body's own immune system and attachment inhibition on the cell surface receptors.

Abbreviated Claim 2 - The method of claim 1, wherein the immune related disorder is Autism.

In an article from Business Standard (January 1st, 2010) titled, New Vaccine May Cure Multiple Diseases authors Sohini Das & Maulik Pathak write, “Receptol is a recipe for all, covering 90 per cent of diseases that we encounter today. We plan to launch over 30 products over a period of five years, subject to necessary government approvals. These products will be specially designed by isolating the specific nano-peptides which are active in curing diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis, swine flu, bird flu, allergies, asthma, some forms of cancer, even neurological disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. This could be the next big thing after Penicillin," Pawan Saharan, chairman of Biomix Network told Business Standard.”

By Michael J. dochniak (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

Wait til they find out the the vaccine that is entering Phase 1 trials is a DNA vaccine that actually blasts foreign DNA (a plasmid) into muscle cells of the vaccinated person.

Interesting. Will it be like a vaccine for dengue where, if one is vaccinated but gets a different strain, then the disease is worse?

Well, Old Rockin’ Dave #24; There is, I believe, certain ‘chemtrails’ used in the atmospheric seeding managing hurricanes.

The trick is to seed just outside the eyewall, starving it of moisture and widening the eye thus slowing maximum winds. Who might do this?? The insurance industry.

Unless they have a fleet of stealth seeders, the dozens of aircraft flying in and out of a hurricane that it would take to deliver enough 'seed' would show up on RADAR. Somebody would notice.

Unless, you know, the government is in on it. Why have a small conspiracy theory when you can involve everybody.

the dozens of aircraft flying in and out of a hurricane that it would take to deliver enough ‘seed’ would show up on RADAR. Somebody would notice.

I notice, Johnny #131. Since 1995 with hurricane Opal, satellite data seems 'missing' just before a landfall.

It doesn't take 'dozens of aircraft'; The eyewall is fairly small and the gel they use now is effective when fairly dilute.

Wait til they find out the the vaccine that is entering Phase 1 trials is a DNA vaccine that actually blasts foreign DNA (a plasmid) into muscle cells of the vaccinated person.

GLS-5700? It's not entirely clear to me how they're thinking about the ADE angle, despite passing mentions of dengue.

Unless they have a fleet of stealth seeders

I don't think youunderstand how long ago the program began.

^ No, I can't yodel.

This is so bizarre that it looks like a ploy to discredit anti-vaxxers.

See here. The best part is that AoA's "Benedetta" is deeply invested in what is being parodied.

I found a NaziVaxx meme that hasn't been exploited yet. All you have to do is substitute a few words in this nazi quote.

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked [virus], and denounce the pacifists [anti-vaxxers] for lack of patriotism [compliance] and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.

You would need a picture of Goering in ceremonial Nazi dress and one of those slick syringe swaskika's.

By Ms. Mia Wallace (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

The note about insurance companies is spot on. This is the same argument I have used on people who think that Big Pharma may have already developed a final cure for cancer and are keeping it under wraps. If that were true, Big Pharma would be under immense pressure from Big Insurance (an arm of Big Banking) to make the cure widely available, and not keep it under wraps, because even if the cure costs a lot of money, it would certainly be a lot cheaper for the insurance companies to pay for a single treatment that will cure the disease, than to rely on the treatments we use today which are far less effective.

By Anonymous Coward (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Anonymous Coward

I disagree with that reasoning. It is the best interest of the insurance company to keep treatment expensive. If it were affordable, then there would be no need for insurance.

There would also be little need for health insurance if everyone was 100% healthy all of the time. They need some degree of sickness to exist as a viable corporation.

The most profitable situation for health insurance companies IMO, is to have expensive treatments and a fearful clientele.

By Ms. Mia Wallace (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked poisoned and holocausted by Big Pharma, and denounce the pacifists greedy shills and sheeple for lack of patriotism for being shills and sheeples who don't believe in my FREEDOM and exposing the country to danger autism. It works the same in any country.
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader. Anti-vaccionist

You mean like this, (Fendelfroth or whatever the original 'nym was)?

I found a NaziVaxx meme that hasn’t been exploited yet.

Go away, Fendelsworths.

@Ms. Mia Wallace (143). You are completely and utterly wrong about how insurance works. Remember that when someone gets sick, *the insurance company foots the bill*! If the treatment is expensive, THEY are the ones on the hook for it! It is not profitable for an insurance company to pay out a massive claim! The most profitable situation for the insurance company is if everyone were completely healthy and paying their premiums. That way, they don't have to pay any claims out and they just keep getting everyone's money. Second best for them is if they don't have to pay too much when someone does get sick. This is why you see insurance companies actively promoting vaccination for their clients as Orac's article states. That way, their clients avoid major illness that would require the company to pay a large claim.

The basic idea of insurance is sort of like a gambling table. The insurance company makes a bet that you won't get sick. You bet that you will. As long as you remain healthy, the insurance company keeps winning and you go on paying them. If you get sick, they lose their bet, and now you have a claim for them and they have to pay for your treatment.

By Anonymous Coward (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Ol Rockin' Dave

Thanks for the advice. I will try sticking with politely saying no and hope it helps.

By Bullied by Alt Med (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Anonymous Coward

I how how insurance works. First and foremost, they need premiums. They need people willing to pay the companies.

They always make money, because they are excellent mathematicians.

A cancer cure would create short-term profits, but in the end, they would have to lower premiums to reflect the lower demand for insurance.

By Ms. Mia Wallace (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Gaist #144

That doesn't even make sense. You need to practice your analogies.

By Ms. Mia Wallace (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

I know it doesn't make sense. I was making fun of anti-vax propensity for inappropriate holocaust and nazi-analogies.

That, and you. Making fun of you.

@Gaist was making fun of anti-vax propensity for inappropriate holocaust and nazi-analogies.

So was I.

Why are you a hater?

By Ms. Mia Wallace (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

Hater? Moi?

I'm not the one calling people names, flinging insults, using somebody else's 'nyms or constantly playing with sock puppets...

...come to think of it... For all the extra effort you're making as a troll, there's awful little to show for it, don't you think?

@Ms. Mia Wallace: On the balance I don't think a cure for cancer would lower the demand for insurance all that much. Even if there were a cure for cancer there are still plenty of other diseases out there, and still plenty of ways one can get injured. If they have to lower premiums because of the cure for cancer, then that only means that they can sell more insurance to people who couldn't afford it before. They could sell insurance with reasonable premiums to, say, people from families with a history of cancer, or even to people who persist in smoking. That doesn't look like a bad thing for insurers. It looks more like a bigger win for them than the current situation where they have to charge higher premiums because of the potential high cost to them of a cancer claim.

By Anonymous Coward (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Ms Mia Wallace:

You seem to be forgetting that the insurance-based system is not the only one out there. In civilised countries, there is a state-funded healthcare system. Governments outside the US can negotiate to drive down drug prices. It's only really the US where profit is a dominant component in healthcare.

By Guy Chapman (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ squirrelelite

the New Mexico Health Department reports that about half the plague cases in the US each year occur in New Mexico.

Tony Hillerman, who lived for a long time in New Mexico, was so impressed with the plague being just a flea's bite away, he wrote a short story (in France, published in "The Great Tacos Bank Robbery" collection of short novels) and later a full crime novel ("The First Eagle") centred around epidemiologists tracking plague-infected prairie dogs and other critters in the Four Corners area.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 14 Aug 2016 #permalink

What is stopping the plague from becoming a plague?

The fact that we now know how it is spread, it is treatable using antibiotics, and it is bacterial, not viral.

@Michelle: the other thing, besides treating the human, is they try to treat the carrier mammels with flea powder traps, to kill the fleas that are the transmission insect. Granted, it's not 100% effective, but it's better than nothing.

@jrkrideau #119-the pickle test was for mumps. If they couldn't eat a pickle, they had the disease.

By Gretel Hansen (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

The pickle test is amusing. My mom passed it with flying colors...but failed on strawberries! (And she did have bilateral mumps.)

@Gretel Hansen, 88. I was thinking more the issue of losing money to take time off work to get kids vaccinated. Even if the vaccine itself is free, there's still a cost in taking time to get you and your child to the clinic to get that free shot.

@Terrie,

One can always think of a reason not to vaccinate if one doesn't want to do so. "I can't afford it" is always thought to be an acceptable reason. I worked both at a health department and a pediatric office that had evening hours. Some places offer Saturday clinics, especially right before the start of school.

I'm not indifferent. And I said I favor incentives. I've spent a career trying to get kids immunized, and doing things to make it easier for people, not harder. It is not necessary to have to decide on paying your utility bill vs getting your kid vaccinated.

By Gretel Hansen (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Terrie (not verified)

Narad @ 137

Yes, cloud seeding has been going on for years, and yes, it sorta works. But Gilly is saying that the insurance industry is seeding clouds to control hurricanes. It's been tried, with no provable success, but Gilly says that the powerful insurance industry is flying planes into hurricanes, and the government is helping to hide the fact by turning off the satellites* (and, one assumes, the systems that monitor the Air Defense Identification Zones). Also, the pilots and crews are keeping quiet about the whole program.

So we have NOAA, the Air Force, and the civil Air Traffic Control system all working to cover up a secret insurance industry plot (that probably wouldn't be cheap to run) to save money, because... why?

Maybe someday they will be able to at least reduce the severity of tropical storms. But today isn't the day.

*Citation needed to show the lack of satellite data

@ Bullied by Alt Med:

Some people can't be reasoned with effectively- perhaps your mother is one of them. I look at this phenomenon as a form of self-protection and a way to preserve self- esteem: their beliefs about alt med are intertwined with their beliefs about themselves.
They need to feel in control of reality and above it all. I suspect that many woo-meisters suffer from the same malady.

Alt med prevaricators make use of this to sell their snake oil;
they tell their marks that they are superior to others who 'fall for' SBM's lies and myths. They create an alternate reality that explains away normal people's suspicions about said snake oil and presents science fiction rather than fact.

Then they sell them stuff.

In my travels around altie world, I've catalogued their ways to trap people.

I think it would be wise - and possibly entertaining- for you to scan some of their work as well as explications from people like Orac ( and - um... us) in these pages.

Prime woo:
Mercola, prn.fm, natural news, age of autism, thinking moms revolution, green med info

We monitor woo and we never sleep.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

As a side note:

I seem to be using the phrase *alternate reality* quite frequently this past week.
And it's not all about woo either.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

Ms. Wallace:

At the risk of restating the obvious, profits are income minus expenses. Payments to policy-holders are not an insurance company's only expense--they're paying all sorts of staff, utility bills, rent and/or property taxes and maintenance, etc.--but they are a large one. If your expenses go down, you can cut prices and still make the same profit. That's true for the corner store and for MetLife.

Gilly says that the powerful insurance industry is flying planes into hurricanes, and the government is helping to hide the fact by turning off the satellites* (and, one assumes, the systems that monitor the Air Defense Identification Zones). Also, the pilots and crews are keeping quiet about the whole program.

Nonsense! Everyone is using orbital lasers these days.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

Orbital lasers and high-energy radar stations.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

MI Dawn @159: And that people generally live in much more tightly sealed houses now, so most people don't get rats in their homes. That cuts *way* down on the volume of contact between humans and rats, which reduces the risk of transmission.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Helianthus,

Thanks for the tip.

I've read a couple of Hillerman's books and New Mexico is still quite proud of his contributions. Most of our middle schools are named for past Presidents of the U.S., but Tony has a middle school on the west side named for him. The other non-president middle school is Ernie Pyle, named for the World War II journalist who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for reporting on war from the viewpoint of the ordinary soldier and was killed in the battle for Okinawa.

If you like that genre, you might want to read some of the books by Aimee and David Thurlo. David was a local middle school teacher who grew up in Shiprock. I read their book Changing Woman to my wife while she was in the hospital recovering from bypass surgery. Aimee was from Havana, Cuba and died earlier this year.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

And here I thought they were using healing touch to cure hurricanes. Silly me.

Narad @ 137

Yes, cloud seeding has been going on for years, and yes, it sorta works. But Gilly is saying that the insurance industry is seeding clouds to control hurricanes.

Bear in mind that I don't actually see Timmeh's comments.

Orbital lasers and high-energy radar stations.

Well, the high-energy radar stations are real, herr doktor bimler #169.
Case in point - TWA crash 800; An Aegis system was on maneuvers in that area that day.

The Aegis Combat System is an integrated naval weapons system developed by the Missile and Surface Radar Division of RCA, and now produced by Lockheed Martin. It uses powerful computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Combat_System

It is much more than that -- The powerful radar beam is what they call a duel-purpose sensor weapon. You know that spark in the fuel tank of crash 800? Yep.

ps. the only thing in space concerning 'orbital lasers' are dynamic mirrors to redirect GBFL TIE -- The Ground Based Free electron- laser Technology Integration Experiment. out of New Mexico....Squirrel!!

Rabies rhymes with babies, but I have yet to hear a song that exploits this fact.

@Guy Chapman, #154:
Are you implying that Switzerland is uncivilized (I mean they are, sort of, but no more than the rest of Europe)? Their health insurance is mostly not government funded. Every resident has to have health insurance. It's bought from private companies, and every company has to sell the same insurance at the same price in their region of the country, and they are not permitted to make a profit off of it (Yes! In archcapitalistic Switzerland, no profit.). Those who can't afford it are assisted by the government on a sliding scale. The profit comes from selling add-on coverage for things not covered in the basic policy.
So, single payer no, universal coverage yes, and last I looked the Swiss are not suffering for a lack of competent care.

By Olld Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

Hey, hold on there, gang. I made that comment about chemtrails and Area 52 as sarcasm (and, no, unlike Trumpery, I know what it is).
I was basically trying to get the word "conspirasuckers" into use as a counter for terms like "sheeple" and "shill". I'm proud of my coined term and think it should make its way into common usage immediately.

By Olld Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

Yep, the US Navy shoots down a commercial airliner just off a heavily populated area, and a whole ship's crew just forgets it. And none of the many commercial and private vessels had people on board that saw the Navy in the area. And no one has come up with a navigation warning that was issued for that time and place. And I've got a real estate contract to sell several large structures that convey traffic across the East River.

By Olld Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

Hi Richard,

Given some of 'Avocado's' entries, not a good look, certainly. I'd say that much.

By Eddie Unwind (not verified) on 15 Aug 2016 #permalink

And none of the many commercial and private vessels had people on board that saw the Navy in the area. And no one has come up with a navigation warning that was issued for that time and place

They were there.

One of the submarine's that was ordered to immediately leave the area of the TWA crash was the Seawolf. The Seawolf was testing a missile that could be fired on an enemy aircraft while the submarine was fully submerged. The Navy ordered all radar data of the incident seized. ...

The Seawolf's Cooperative Engagement Capability, which linked its weapon systems with the Aegis radar systems installed on other Navy ships participating in the exercise, also saw its data purged.

Is it unusual to not see submarines?? No, wait

A number of observers witnessed a subsurface wake after the explosion of TWA 800. The Seawolf, if ordered out of the area at maximum speed, is capable of doing over 35 knots submerged. At such a speed, a visible surface wake is very possible. The pilot of a Cessna reported seeing a distinct subsurface wake in addition to a passenger on board US Air flight 277.

The Navy continues to classify a "design deficiency" discovered during theSeawolf's Weapons Systems Accuracy Trials (WSAT) conducted in 1998. In addition, the November 1999 Operational Assessment report cited six critical operational issues as high risk for Seawolf. The second issue on the Navy's list was the submarine's "weapon launch, handling, and stowage."

http://milfuegos.blogspot.com/2014/07/uss-seawolf-missile-shot-down-twa…

But yea, why muddle things up with some sort of directed energy weapon (aegis radar) when plenty of people are pretty sure they saw a missile? I've never been comfortable with a sparking fuel sender detonating the center fuel tank; It takes a certain vapor/air mix -- I seem to recall a Mythbusters where they couldn't get a fuel tank to 'explode' only BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Evaporative Vapor, umm, Explosion).

Catching up on this entertaining thread!

Chris @ 95:
"Which is why they are pretty not sold much anymore, so using that word as an insult is more antiquated than spewing about thimerosal in vaccines (which is fifteen years out of date). Since the silly products are highly discouraged, and actual showers of water that wash the entire body are encouraged without damaging the internal mucus membranes, I am going with the French word."

No, the're actually still sold. I noticed them at my local Target the last time I was looking for phenazopyradine tablets to relieve the discomfort of a UTI until the antibiotics could kick in. Mind you, they also carry oscillinococcium, so evidently efficacy is less significant than marketability.

MI Dawn @ 110:
"@Gilbert: plague hasn’t died out. It’s still found in places like Colorado, California, Nevada, and Arizona. (In 2014, there were 10 confirmed cases)."

Those are in the US, of course, but there are way more cases of plague outside the US. According to the WHO, the most endemic nations are Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Peru, but it is found on every continent other than Antarctica and Australia and is endemic across much of Asia and Africa. In 2013, there were 783 reported cases worldwide and 126 deaths. Alas, the only vaccine is not effective enough to be useful in controlling the disease. (They only give it to lab workers who handle the bacterium directly.)

And to Michelle @ 156:
"What is stopping the plague from becoming a plague?"

Mostly flea control. But there are periodic epidemics of plague in other parts of the world. It *is* still a plague. Just not in America.

And to JustaTech @ 170:
"MI Dawn @159: And that people generally live in much more tightly sealed houses now, so most people don’t get rats in their homes. That cuts *way* down on the volume of contact between humans and rats, which reduces the risk of transmission."

Oh, you wish! Rodents are much harder to keep out than most people realize. They have routes of entry into homes that most people won't even recognize. There's the obvious stuff, like the fireplace, but even if you don't have a fireplace, there's the dryer vent, the sewer vent, bathroom fan vents, chimney vent, french drain and sump, attic vents, soffits, openings for exterior lights and even the entry points for power/data/phone/water/gas, foundation cracks that you might not even be aware of, and heck, even weatherstripping around the doors and windows may not be an effective barrier. It's nearly impossible to keep rodents completely out of a house. Rigorous rodent extermination programs have been more important in controlling it; they can't exterminate the prairie dogs, of course, but non-endangered rodents in urban areas can be targeted when the bacterium pops up.

Terrie @ 162:
"I was thinking more the issue of losing money to take time off work to get kids vaccinated. Even if the vaccine itself is free, there’s still a cost in taking time to get you and your child to the clinic to get that free shot."

Yes. This can be far more of a hardship than people realize. If you don't have a car and work two jobs with latchkey kids, and the only free clinic is on the other side of the county for two hours once a month, then the shots might as well be offered on the Moon for all the good that does. What we should start doing is offering free shots to kids on free & reduced price lunches, administered at school during school hours (and some places actually have started doing that). Sure, the antivaxxers hate that, but they hate everything that involves vaccines.

In my county, the government-sponsored free clinic is, at best, once a month. If you can't make that day, or can't get transportation, too bad.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

It's rare so see somebody so ineptly and impotently butthurt as Fendelworth at #180.

@Calli Arcale #183

I wondered why we went away from school-based vaccination programs...

I always ended up being vaccinated already during my annual before school starts check up, but was in elementary school when mumps and rubella vaccines were introduced and I don't think anyone had to pay for them (but I dunno maybe there was a fee based on income). I always wondered if the "gun" felt different from the individual syringe I got, but never needed to find out. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_injector is what I think they used.

Although I do wonder if it was since most eventually became routine before kindergarten there just weren't enough kids who needed them to make it cost effective to go out to the schools, but it would seem that since the kids are there anyway, some kind of program like that would be helpful.

"It’s rare so see somebody so ineptly and impotently butthurt as Fendelworth at #180."

The prize for recent achievement in this category goes to Kent Heckenlively, for comparing himself to both Nelson Mandela and Galileo (in an article on the Dozens Of Quackery Fighters website).

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

For some reasonably expert opinion on Flight 800, try this:
http://www.askthepilot.com/shorttakes/twa-800-redux/
You don't suppose that the hundreds of people who would have direct or close second-hand knowledge could each and every one be silenced for such a long time. For just one thing, most people come equipped with that inconvenient feature or bug called a conscience.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

The prize for recent achievement in this category goes to Kent Heckenlively, for comparing himself to both Nelson Mandela and Galileo (in an article on the Dozens Of Quackery Fighters website).

Linky please?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ Dangerous Bacon:

But you omit his stellar self-aggrandisement in which he self-portrays as either a superhero or a - what was it?- a supernatural detective.

Like many others from woo-topia, he lacks self-esteem and needs to create an impermeable shell that locks out reality. He turns to comicbooks however. Watch out for references from pop culture used by 'scientists' who leave out science.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

It’s rare so see somebody so ineptly and impotently butthurt as Fendelworth at #180.

That's nothing; you should see the crap he's left on my site using yours, Narad's and Chris' 'nyms. I deleted them but take my word for it; Fendelsworth has some issues.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

@ Science Mom:

I looked at the linky- Yiiiiiiiiii!

For more entertainment:
Jake Crosby ( Autism Investigated) shows his political leanings.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

From Old Rockin' Dave's link:

The Boeing 747 crashed after takeoff from Kennedy Airport when its empty center fuel tank exploded, killing 230 people.

The flight was bound for Paris; Should that tank have been empty? Leak we much?

Many of the TWA eyewitnesses who heard something and then looked up, were 50-60 seconds behind the event due to speed of sound. Moreover, as any crash expert will tell you, eyewitness accounts in general are notoriously unreliable.

^^Maybe. But the many witnesses reported seeing the 'streak' before the explosion.

and they’ll be rarer still now that the FAA has mandated tougher wiring inspections and the installation of nitrogen inerting systems for empty tanks.

Nitrogen inerting sounds like a good idea -- I guess flt 800 didn't have time to get the retrofit since the '60's and 70's.

Science Mom: "That’s nothing; you should see the crap he’s left on my site using yours, Narad’s and Chris’ ‘nyms. I deleted them but take my word for it; Fendelsworth has some issues."

Wow, I annoyed the fool as much as Narad. Hmmm, good company.

The prize for recent achievement in this category goes to Kent Heckenlively, for comparing himself to both Nelson Mandela and Galileo (in an article on the Dozens Of Quackery Fighters website).

Holy Mother of G-d, he's been reduced to writing for Pattimmy?

I purposely did not provide a link to Kent's wailings over on the Bozo Report (his martyrdom stems from two friends/acquaintances not being sufficiently sympathetic to his antivax ravings, which equates to spending decades in prison for defying tyranny).

One can readily find this and other Heckenrants on the site, Kent being one of Bozo's Augean stable of writers.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Callie Arcale 183 and KayMarie 185-

Re: school based vaccine clinics. First of all, the only vaccines recommended for school age children are the DTaP, polio, MMR and varicella boosters for kindergarten, and then the Tdap, Menactra and HPV for 11-12 year olds, and a second Menactra at 16-17. These are not all required for school attendance in every state. see: http://www.immunize.org/laws/ All the others are supposed to be given by age 2.

Secondly, the assumption that health departments et al are inconveniently located miles and miles from the patient's homes and have totally implausible hours (really, two hours once a month?) is incorrect (to be nice, since I will b/c you guys seem pro-vax).

The health department in my county started doing evening hours about 20 years ago. We also found very little interest in Saturday hours, clinics at malls and the like. Even in a small-ish county like the one where I live, we had multiple offices where we gave vaccines, and were open from 1PM-7PM, once a week, different days at different offices. We actually ended up having to close one clinic due to lack of interest. These clinics are on-going to this day. When I worked in larger health departments, there were numerous offices and also satellite clinics at rec centers and the like. The peds office I retired from last year started doing evening hours 3 days a week a few years ago. These are ongoing as well. Another big provider in town has Saturday morning hours.

A huge issue in using schools, even moreso than rec centers, et al, is that they're being used for school! It's hard to find a room or rooms to hold the clinics. For all off-site clinics vaccines have to be transported in coolers with possible cold-chain breaks, all the other equipment has to be brought in as well.

Regardless of where the shots are given, parents have to sign permission, and ideally present to be educated about the vaccines and so forth. I've done a few school clinics when Hep B was first required of entering 7th graders in this state. The parents were not present. Many kids "forgot" to either bring the permission slips home for parents to sign, or to bring them back to school. Sometimes the homeroom teachers forgot to hand them out. Sometimes a whole class was off on a field trip the day we were scheduled. These are just some of the problems, and everything I stated happened. The yield was small. It's not like the "good old days" when informed consent was not such a big issue. Angry parents would call and ask why their kid never brought home a consent! Hmm, I wonder.

I am all for making it easier and more convenient for parents to get their kids vaccinated. That just isn't the way to go.

By Gretel Hansen (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

Secondly, the assumption that health departments et al are inconveniently located miles and miles from the patient’s homes and have totally implausible hours (really, two hours once a month?) is incorrect (to be nice, since I will b/c you guys seem pro-vax).

Oh, I'm so glad you decided to be nice to us. You just won't believe us that our counties aren't as well-appointed as yours. *sigh* I'm very very glad, honestly, that where you are this is not a problem. That is not universally true, even in wealthy "blue" states like Minnesota with a reputation for strong investment in public health.

My county, which is solidly suburban, has two county health offices, at the county service centers. One is in West St Paul. The other is in Apple Valley. (Oddly, there is not one in Hastings, the county seat.) Fortunately, both of these are located on major bus routes -- the Apple Valley one is just a few blocks off of Cedar Avenue (which becomes Hwy 77 and crosses the river to go by the Mall of America and then the airport before heading into Minneapolis), and the West St Paul one is a few blocks off Robert Street, aka State Hwy 3, which runs straight to the state capitol in St Paul. Major major bus routes. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the county is very poorly served for busses. If you live in Hastings (which is the county seat!) you will need to walk eight miles to reach a bus station, in Cottage Grove. (For comparison, this is greater than the distance between the two county health offices.) I am not joking. And that bus only goes one place: downtown St Paul, which is in Ramsey County, and only at rush hour. Wanna do that with small children? It would be like planning a backpacking expedition. If our public transit didn't stink so badly, it wouldn't quite so bad.

As far as hours go, sure, the offices are open lots. They keep regular hours. But they aren't running free vaccination clinics all the time. Each of the two public health centers run eight vaccination clinics a year. (Due to staggered schedules, at least one of them will be having a clinic each month.) They are always 4-6PM. Since you don't believe me that such improbable hours could be true, here's their schedule:
https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/HealthFamily/HealthServices/ImmunizationCli…

Oh look! Apple Valley is having one right now. It'll be over in fifteen minutes. If you miss that, you'll have the choice of either lying on the school admission forms or filling out a form promising to get it done later. (Which is not counted the same as a philosophical exemption, by the way. I often wonder just how many kids are going undervaccinated and uncounted because of the ability to get temporary waivers.)

Yes, there are inconveniences to doing it in the school. But why would *space* be a problem? Schools have gymnasiums. They do blood drives and voting at schools, for heaven's sake. Surely they could do vaccination clinics there. It wouldn't have to be during school time; it could be in the summer, on weekends, in the afternoons.... My thinking is that there are WAY more public schools than there are public health offices. They're much better distributed through the community. We've got those two public health offices, but four school districts, and dozens of schools, even without counting private schools.

Of course, the *biggest* problem is lack of public investment. These clinics cost money. Minnesota used to do a better job with this sort of thing, but we went through several legislatures and governors hell-bent on reducing spending, and this is one of the consequences. And if it's this bad in Dakota County, I can't imagine it's any better in, for instance, St Louis County, largest county in the state, which includes the city of Duluth and is about a hundred miles from end to end -- and has some deeply poverty-stricken communities in the Iron Range. (It's feast or famine there. When the mines are active, things are good and people can get work and pay for gas and stuff like that. When the mines are not, and right now they are not while the Polymet dispute drags on, things are much harder.)

You do need to understand that the problem of access is a great deal worse in other parts of the country than it is in yours. This is a serious problem that we need to address in order to get the immunization levels where we want them.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

I'm glad you replied before I posted, KayMarie. I actually had a response started but had to leave to go out to dinner for my 36th wedding anniversary.

I'm back.

Callie Arcale, I'm glad you gave your location. I happen to be somewhat familiar with the MSP area. I actually have a friend who worked for Dakota County as a public health nurse about 15-20 years back. She told me they didn't do a lot of immunizations because many people there had HMOs that paid for IZs, so demand was low! That was before most insurances paid for vaccines. That was then, this is now. Anyone with ACA-compliant insurance, meaning almost anyone with insurance, gets vaccines for free at the point of service, also well-child care. So demand is probably even less than it was when my friend worked there. Dakota County has a median household income of $73,475, in the middle of the metro counties, and higher than Hennepin (Mpls) and especially Ramsey (St. Paul). https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Government/Analysis/Demographics/Pages/medi… I did find that Hennepin and Ramsey Counties have weekly IZ clinics. https://www.co.washington.mn.us/DocumentCenter/View/799 St. Louis County doesn't give hours on their website, just numbers to call. They also point out that some doctors participate in the VFC (free vaccine) program. https://www.stlouiscountymn.gov/ADULTFAMILIES/CommunityServices/Immuniz…

Do you not think that schools are using their own facilities? Generally here in the wild west, the schools charge other groups to use their facilities, especially at times when the schools aren't open, such as weekends and summers. We didn't get charged for those Hep B clinics b/c they were being done for the students, but I can assure you that if we had a clinic on a summer Saturday afternoon (got all your criteria) we would be charged the going rate for a facility rental. Why do that when we had our own facility which was not overcrowded? Note hourly rates: http://bvsd.org/policies/Policies/KF-E1.pdf

By Gretel Hansen (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Calli Arcale (not verified)

Access really varies across the country. Some places are quite lucky to have more than adequate services but other states (or some counties in some states) are so underfunded they do what they can with what they have and it often isn't nearly enough.

And the problems often get compounded with the poorest counties having the worst access and no public transportation.

Can't find info on how often the do vaccinations quickly on the web in my county, well other than the widely advertised low cost rabies clinics that seem to be posted all over the place, but I don't think that would satisfy any of the school requirements. ^_^

Oh, so if median income is high, then there are no poor people? Or none that matter? So if there is ACA, everybody should have a decent doctor? Hah! I wish that were true. My brother couldn't get decent medical coverage, here in Minnesota, until he switched to an employer who didn't require him to buy his own insurance on the exchanges. (He skipped his flu shot that year.)

And damn, but you didn't even bother to admit you were wrong when you lambasted my claim of a 2-hour vaccine clinic as being absurd. Even though I posted the actual Dakota County hours.

"So demand is probably even less than it was when my friend worked there."

Ah, I see. Assumptions based on twenty-year old second-hand information is your preferred source of information. Fine. I think we're done here. I don't know what your objective is in trying to argue against improving access to vaccination, but I can't see any way this conversation is going to be productive.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 16 Aug 2016 #permalink

Gilbert:
"The flight was bound for Paris; Should that tank have been empty? Leak we much? "
I wouldn't put my judgment of how much fuel a particular flight might carry against a professional airline pilot. Fuel is heavy and costs fuel to lift it off the ground. There is a required safe minimum of fuel for unanticipated problems.

" "...eyewitness accounts in general are notoriously unreliable"..
Maybe. But the many witnesses reported seeing the ‘streak’ before the explosion."
You don't think it's unreliable? Ask any cop. Ask any of the prisoners sentenced to execution or life in prison who were released due to DNA testing.

"Nitrogen inerting sounds like a good idea — I guess flt 800 didn’t have time to get the retrofit since the ’60’s and 70’s." Airlines have a long and ignoble history of fighting rules that either have a direct cost, or add weight, which is an indirect cost.
I had an instructor who had written the code for the threat warning system on the F-14. She said that the engineers fought over how many lines of code were needed so they could reduce the size and weight of the storage medium (1970s); they were literally fighting to save ounces, and it's not much different in civil aviation.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 17 Aug 2016 #permalink

regardless of what you gas bags say, if i were to be blessed with a child in these times I would not let him/her get vaccinated, nor would i let us be bullied by anyone who tried to force us or coerce us

Victor C, why should we care about your opinion? You seem to be convinced that children should suffer from fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes and pain. Plus a higher probability of dehydration, seizures, pneumonia, and other more severe consequences from disease.

It there a reason why you do not want to prevent a child from suffering? Please answer with PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule causes more than the disease.

And who is coercing or forcing you? As noted many times: in the USA certain vaccines are required to attend school, though there are ways to get out of that requirement. In the states where the rules are more stringent you an always home school.

"...if i were to be blessed with a child in these times I would not let him/her get vaccinated..."
Let me rephrase that:
If a child was cursed to have you as a parent, you would prefer to let him/her suffer and risk permanent injury or death instead of getting vaccinated.
Don't tell your story to me. Tell it to someone who hasn't had the vaccine-preventable illnesses that I had before the vaccines came along.
Go ahead, call me a gasbag. It's better than being a busted valise like you.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 17 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Old Rockin' Dave,

They might have been concerned about how many 8 kilobit ROM chips they would need. But if the F15 used the 6502 chip like the F16 ( I was once involved in reviewing part of the code), the real problem was cramming machine code for all the functions including navigation, ground and air targeting and (for the F16) nuclear safety protocols into the 64KB available.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 17 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Chris, & @OLd Rockin Dave, the biggest gasbags here. Oh My God, a vaccinated child hasn't suffered these maladies that you list, fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes and pain since when? You birdbrains are the prime examples of brainwashed idiotic sheeple ruining the world today. I am sure if i put enough commercialism into notifying you knuckleheads that is okay to jump off the highest bridge, you two would lead the rest of the pack. Thank the Lord I am an independent thinker and not reliant on the "authorities" to lead my life for me like you inbreds.

Well, young man, my children are all now adults who did get sick before some vaccines were available. And yes, my children did get fevers, diarrhea, rashes, pain and one had seizures. My youngest was a six month old baby when she had chicken pox. Ever tried to comfort a fevered baby covered in dozens open itchy painful wounds?

Why do you want that for your children? I am not fond of people who think it is okay for little to suffer so much. Because of "independent" thinkers like you, chicken pox is still circulating (so is measles and pertussis)

"Thank the Lord I am an independent thinker and not reliant on the “authorities” to lead my life for me like you inbreds."

Why do you think insults are a valid substitute for evidence? If you were a true independent thinker you would not be calling us names, but would actually be providing the verifiable scientific evidence I asked for.

By the way: who are these "authorities" you mention?

And which "Lord" are you thanking? The one that likes children to suffer from disease, or the one that gave humans the intelligence and will to find ways of preventing diseases?

Victor C: "I am sure if i put enough commercialism into notifying you knuckleheads that is okay to jump off the highest bridge, you two would lead the rest of the pack."

Really? Where is the data for that?

Speaking of data, I am going to ask for more. The measles outbreak in 2015 sickened 159 people, and put 14% of those in the hospital. Measles is very contagious, and back in the days before the vaccine almost every child got it before age fifteen years.

Do tell is if it would be cheaper to go back to the days where every kid got to miss two weeks of school because of measles, with a one in ten chance of ending up in the hospital --- or providing each child with two MMR doses.

Provide a detailed economic analysis with references. Here are a couple of examples:

J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S131-45.
An economic analysis of the current universal 2-dose measles-mumps-rubella vaccination program in the United States.

West J Med. 1996 Jul-Aug;165(1-2):20-5.
Pediatric hospital admissions for measles. Lessons from the 1990 epidemic.

Like I said, Victor, I don't care what you call me, because every word you type reveals you to be less independent than you claim to be. "Sheeple" gives you away as just another conspirasucker spouting out the errors, half-truths, distortions, and outright lies of the antivaxxers, so many of whom stand to profit by selling their fake treatments and phony remedies, their propagandistic books, and their meetings of their cult followers.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 17 Aug 2016 #permalink

Victor C #6 And you think you know more the all the world's health and science experts?

By Gretel Hansen (not verified) on 17 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Chris, & @OLd Rockin Dave, the biggest gasbags here

No-one told me there was a competition.

By Herr Doktor Bimler (not verified) on 17 Aug 2016 #permalink

Man somebody get these guys some understanding:

"Vaccines exist today not to prevent disease, but to sell more vaccines. And they accomplish that by making sure their vaccines don't work. Because they know that the more their vaccines don't work, the more disease they will spread, the more panic there will be in the media, and the more parents will blindly, obediently rush out to vaccinate their children. And the cycle repeats. Vaccine 'science' is actually a marketing scheme and nothing more. It has nothing to do with real science."

"Vaccines actually cause the very conditions, in many cases, that they claim to treat. This is why the children who are affected in outbreaks are very often the same children who were vaccinated." (See this article about how Merck virologists faked vaccine trial results using animal antibodies to commit scientific fraud.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/053469_vaccines_autism_FDA_documents.html#ix…

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/053469_vaccines_autism_FDA_documents.html#ix…

Institute of Medicine adverse reactions report admits MMR vaccines cause measles, seizures, anaphylaxis and other health problems

Every year more and more children are being diagnosed with learning disabilities and autism. What is the cause? According to many experts, including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council and author of Deadly Immunity, our government is to blame. There's growing evidence that shows that a drug called thimerosal is to blame. This drug is found in vaccines. The fact is the more vaccines kids get, the more autism, learning disabilities, and lifelong illness develops. The drug thimerosal is a preservative that was put in vaccines back in the 1930s.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/027178_autism_vaccines.html#ixzz4HdpRxndM

Victor C, just a quick tip: go to the top right of this page and put "Natural News" into the handy dandy search box.

Le sigh. How come you are not answering my questions?

Well since you brought up the "vaccines do not prevent diseases" canard, I have another question for you.

The following is US Census data on measles incidence in during the 20th century. Please tell us why the number of measles cases dropped 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970. Please do not mention deaths (mortality is not the same as morbidity), do not mention any other decade unless it has a similar percentage drop and did not go up higher again, do not mention any other disease (we like to keep it simple) and do not mention any other country (England, Wales, Japan and Canada are not American states).

Prove you are an independent thinker and give us a well documented answer:
From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year.... Rate per 100000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4
1965 . . . 135.1
1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1

Victor C: "According to many experts, including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.,"

Oh, good grief. Are you really that clueless? Do tell us where he studied science. Again, put that name into the handy dandy search engine at the top right of this page.

Now, yet, another couple of requests:

Please provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that the present American MMR vaccine causes more harm than measles, mumps and rubella. By qualified I mean those who have relevant education and work experience. So please no "studies" by lawyers, finance professors, geologists, journalists, computer scientists, etc. Also to be qualified they should not have been legally stripped of their medial license.

Plus, because you mentioned autism I request this: The MMR vaccine was introduced to the USA in 1971. It was modified in 1978, which is the year it was used for the Measles Elimination Program. Please provide the verifiable documentation dated before 1990 that autism increased in the USA during the 1970s and 1980s coinciding with MMR use. The USA is much larger than the UK, and was using the MMR vaccine much longer ---- so if it caused autism it would have been noticed there first.

Man somebody get these guys some understanding:

Kinshasa beckons.

"Every year more and more children are being diagnosed with learning disabilities and autism."
Every year we get better at identifying these conditions. Diagnostic criteria get expanded. The development of new therapeutic methods makes searching for cases that might have been missed more desirable. Many who might have been passed over before are being diagnosed retroactively.

First it was thimerosal causing autism. Thimerosal was taken out of nearly all vaccines, so it was vaccines in general. The autism scare fell apart with the exposure of Wakefield as a fraud and parasite. So now it's vaccines don't work, or vaccines cause disease.
Whenever a claim fails to stand up to scrutiny vaccines are blamed for something else.

Vaccines will turn your child gay.
Vaccination leads to abortion and promiscuity.
Vaccines cause male pattern baldness.
Vaccination causes Fascism/communism/racism/terrorism/ whatever-ism depending on the audience.
That's the beauty of conspiracy fantasies.
Challenge them and you're a shill or a sheeple, or they retreat even further into fantastic realms where every conjecture is a fact, everything that's unknown gets replaced by whatever the conspirasuckers want to believe.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 17 Aug 2016 #permalink

There’s growing evidence that shows that a drug called thimerosal is to blame.

False. In fact, not even wrong. Thimerosal is a preservative, not a drug. And the opposite is true. Thimerosal was suspected of causing autism and removed from almost all vaccines. The autism rate rose.
I second Chris's advice to you: search this blog for "Robert Kennedy" and "Natural News". If you are relying on them for information, you have been duped.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 17 Aug 2016 #permalink

It's really quite refreshing to see a self-described "independent thinker" who replies with quotes.

I admit that Natural News and Robert F Kennedy Jr are certainly independent of something, but financial profits aren't one.

I demand better quality trolling!

This new one can't even get the standard (and repeatedly debunked) anti-vax "facts" right.

Have thy just given up trying?

"they" even...

It’s really quite refreshing to see a self-described “independent thinker” who replies with quotes.

Quotes, and invocations of a Higher Power --

Thank the Lord I am an independent thinker and not reliant on the “authorities”

By Herr Doktor Bimler (not verified) on 17 Aug 2016 #permalink

Is Victor C another sockpuppet? There seems to be a great similarity in the lack of critical thinking of the lastest trolls.

This one: Thimerosal in vaccines: given it's been OUT of all pediatric vaccines for nearly 15 years (and out of any flu vaccine given to pregnant women) and autism rates continue to rise, that's a massive fail on Victor's part.

(TBH, I laughed when he not only sent NN links, but used RFK as a reference.)

And when will the antivaxxers learn the difference between morbidity and mortality? Is it really THAT difficult to figure out?

Murmur @ #22: "I demand better quality trolling!
.
This new one can’t even get the standard (and repeatedly debunked) anti-vax “facts” right.
.
Have they just given up trying?"
.
I totally agree. It's reached a point where I'm almost ready to revive an old thread and summon Costas. I hesitate to, though; it's so nice to have a troll like him who not only stuck the flounce but left with a cheery "Be right back with those PubMed citations"!

And then there was that one last year who claimed to have some mega-revelation about vaccines that would finish them off, but never came back...

At least he was a bit more imaginative than inaccurately trotting out the same old rubbish.

Even SNE is a better troll...

It's only to be expected that an NN troll would show up here, seeing that there's yet another explosion of butthurt over there directed at Orac (like clockwork, one appears every time a bit of insolence is directed at their Commandant of Crazy).

I am pleased though to see that Orac has been promoted to be the Leader of the Oncology Racket in his state, to go along with his awesome powers to control Wikipedia. The Reptilicons must be jealous.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 18 Aug 2016 #permalink

Possible line for a novel: "He fancied himself an independent thinking, relying on no authority, who believed everything that his favorite web sites said without question."

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 18 Aug 2016 #permalink

If you want to know how little thimerosal is in the few remaining vaccines that still have, I have a proven thimerosal allergy (oldtimey contact lens solutions), and the last time I had an influenza vaccination, it came from a multidose vial which had it. I had a complete lack of an allergic reaction. If that tiny quantity couldn't touch off a reaction in someone massively allergic to it, I doubt that it could be enough to completely restructure a brain.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 18 Aug 2016 #permalink

Victor C, why won't you answer my questions?

OT but I need to express my dismay whilst traipsing around various alternate realities...as has been my recent experience

- watching/ listening to political news/ discussion I feel oddly *at home* because much of it resembles the woo I survey
- altie sites such as my usual haunts focus on the Evil Que ..I mean *Hillary Clinton* rather than health issues ( prn.fm esp).
- Natural News has a new look but same old shlock

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 18 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Chris- My guess is Victor's not answering your questions because to do so would require more mental effort than regurgitating whatever article he just read.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 18 Aug 2016 #permalink

Gray Falcon, but I give them all the data! Seriously! The USA Census is there for anyone to see! How can I make it even more transparent? I even provided the actual numbers that I mostly cut and pasted myself (seriously I can key in four digit "thousand" numbers, not so much with "ten digit billions" numbers... I can understand why these guys cannot use the simple rule of tens of numbers to get the ratio, but not being able to cut and paste on to the calculator in their phone or computer is absolutely fascinating.

I am just flabbergasted that the data that is freely available and is counter to their message is somehow invisible in their universe on Htrae.

For those in the real world who have actual calculators, you know that 2 x 10^9 (the more than two billion vaccines given) divided by 2 x 10^3 (the a bit more than two thousand compensated claims for vaccine injury, of which more than 1800 were "settlements). is essentially one in a million.

Look folks, 2/2 equals one ( 1 )... yeah, it is one. Then divide ten raised by nine by ten raised by nine all you had to do is this: 9 - 3 = 6. The final answer is literally 1 x 10^6... or one in a million.

This is the math the vaccine warriors cannot do. Go figure.

Chris, are you familiar with the counting system used by certain jungle peoples?

Y'know, the one that goes "one, two, many...".

That is the level of mathematical and arithmetic sophistication we are dealing with in the case of many anti-vaxxers it would seem...

Chris, I had a little comment squabble with an occasional writer of anti-vaccine BS over the expected number of deaths from a large outbreak of measles. He insisted it was ONLY 1 in 10,000 based on a quote mined from a paper he could never provide a publicly available citation for and apparently thought that was acceptable and better than the risk of vaccination!

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 19 Aug 2016 #permalink

Cursed typo: Then divide ten raised by nine by ten raised by three...

If memory serves me well (a dicey proposition, I'll admit) a commenter using the nym 'Victor C' or 'Vikor C' has appeared previously either here or at SBM, on vax threads, but with a different 'persona' - a 'prospective parent' troubled by 'the many questions' about vaccines declaring 'I don't know, but it's just too risky!', or something like that, and sans the ad hominem insults. I vaguely recall similar invocations of G-d and 'independent thinking' there as well, though.

As such, I suspect our 'Victor; is a true 'troll': meaning the 'voices' of the differing posts are all fake, and he is just trying to get a rise out of the regulars and clog up the bandwidth. My guess is he's been around this block before, knows exactly what it means here to cite Mike Adams and RFJK, and is chumming the waters with red meat. I'd bet he's smuggly sitting back, reading your earnest replies, and derisively chuckling at your 'stupidity' in taking the bait by treating his remarks as genuine.

He may 'buy into' none, some or all of the sources/arguments he cites. I think it doesn't matter – the 'substance' of the comments is purely perfomative. It's not in what the words SAY, but what they DO – fire salvos to renew combat in the vaccine wars. At base level, these comments are a form of virtual graffiti tagging: 'You want me gone, but I'm here and in your face.' Beyond that, they sometimes act as French Knight taunts to pro-vaxers playing Graham-Chapman-as-King-Arthur straightmen.

I blow my nose at your so-called 'science'. You don't frighten me Pharma sheeple! Go and boil your bottoms, silly gasbags! I don' wanna hear you no more, you bird-brained animal food-trough wipers! I blow giant clouds of noxious Mike Adams stinky in your general direction!

And then, when skeptic-Arthur becomes flabbergasted by a refusal to deal with data and math – or some other apparent gross irrationality – the French troll turns to his compatriots hiding behind the parapets and they all snicker and giggle to each other.
_____
You can't win a game your opponent simply refuses to play, nor the alternate power-game played by the true-troll – which amounts to creating multiple ways to say, 'F*** them, and f*** you!' The 'sincere' AV 'trolls' aren't just out to pull chains and bust chops, but are still utterly non-responsive to any evidence or thought outside of their bubble. You can tell from the RI front page when any sort of troll shows up here by the number of comments listed in "Recent Insolence returned". The comments grow to the hundreds of comments, but each thread just restages non-discussions that appeared last week, last year, last decade, ad infinitum / ad absurdam / ad futilis... I can only imagine this as some ritual of mutual self-affirmation, no more than an exercise in subcultural identity and cohesion.

What concerns me about this from an sbm/rationalist perspective is that it encourages intellectual laziness among self-avowed 'skeptics'. Poor argument for 'science' is quite common among the minions. The woo-ists couldn't tell the difference between strong, weak, or just plain faulty cases if they cared, which they don't. The minions are too devoted to the 'home team' (or perhaps to fighting the 'visiting team') to apply the skeptic creed of "Think, question, and only accept where there is good evidence," amongst themselves or to themselves.

Meanwhile, Orac's posts on topics that call for original thinking – like "How should we deal with vaccine hesitancy," receive a paucity of good comments and useful discussion/debate.

I think we all can and should do better...

"I think we all can and should do better…"

Like not expelling hundreds of words to explain why responding to trolls has its limitations?

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 19 Aug 2016 #permalink

sadmar, as I responded to you on a thread from several mnths ago:
"We engage the trolls for the benefit of lurkers who may be undecided. And it works. It worked for me."

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 19 Aug 2016 #permalink

As one of those who (mostly) lurk, I thank you, too.

I never doubted that vaccines work, or that, say, chiropractic was mostly quackery. But there's a world of difference in knowing something, and knowing why.

My background isn't medical, or even in the life sciences. But the minion's explanations to the trolls and idiots have been both simple and comprehensive enough that I feel I can defend my beliefs. I don't intend to award myself a degree anytime soon, but I feel I now know enough to be able to point someone down the correct path.

Sure, our host has done a lot of the heavy lifting, but I'm also grateful to the minions who spend the time and energy to taking on the idiots. I can almost understand why the loon squad thinks they're paid.

For myself and those like me, I say 'carry on tellin those idiots (and trolls) why they're wrong - I've more to learn'. And 'thanks'.

Also, I am not so much telling anything, I am asking them to find information that counters the stuff I present to them. More than once when using the US Census measles data I have had someone at least realize that morbidity is not the same as mortality. And sometimes this makes them realized they have been lied to.

And, of course, I am always astounded by people who are of the age to have had an MMR vaccine in the 1970s being surprised that it was not a new thing in 1988 when it was finally introduced in the UK.

Maybe this is a dumb question, but do antivaccine people vaccinate their animals? I always thought the Rabies vaccine was a wonderful thing. I can also think of two episodes from Dr. Pol that involved unvaccinated animals, in both cases the animals were put down because it was the kindest option. Even as a little girl I viewed humans as animals, so to me these episodes are good reasons to vaccinate.

@Sarah:

Maybe this is a dumb question, but do antivaccine people vaccinate their animals?

Sadly, it's not a dumb question at all. Many antivaccine people do not vaccinate their animals, and in fact blame problems animals face on vaccination.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 20 Aug 2016 #permalink

@Sarah:
As I have pointed out before (Regular readers, this is your chance to stop reading.), the second disease that was eradicated by mass vaccination was rinderpest, a cattle disease, not a human one. Like smallpox, it's last bastions were in India and East Africa.
Often, antivaxers attribute the decline in cases of a vaccine-preventable disease to improved nutrition and sanitation instead. Since Somali cattle don't seem to have had access to these advances, the antivaxers I have challenged with this either ignored me or changed the subject.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 20 Aug 2016 #permalink

Sarah, it didn't receive much publicity, but the next disease eradicated by mass vaccination was rinderpest, a cattle disease (Regular readers have seen this before so you can stop here.). Not coincidentally the last strongholds for it were the same as those for smallpox, namely East Africa and the Indian subcontinent. When a disease comes under control by vaccination, antivaxers will often claim that improved nutrition and sanitation were actually responsible, but so far they have not been able to show those improved conditions in, for example, Somalia.

Note to the powers that be: My recent posts seem to have been delivered into the black hole that swallowed Matt Damon. Can someone tell me what's hapening?

By Old Rcckin' Dave (not verified) on 20 Aug 2016 #permalink

Paging the usual suspects: Anybody have access to PMID 18317274? The freaking university sold the dorm a block away from me, so I no longer have convenient access to the network.

@Narad, #45

I can find that article by a simple google search:

"Epileptic syndromes in infancy and childhood" ext:pdf

Note: Apparently there is also another article by that title.

I can find that article by a simple google search

Ah, nice trick. Thanks.