The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google

“A cousin of my mom’s survived Polio and lived the rest of his life with its effects. He was not expected to live past his teens but made it to his 40s. I am grateful that modern science can protect us from Polio and other diseases and I choose to take advantage of modern science to give my kid better odds of not dying from a preventable disease. I had heard a lot of noise from people claiming vaccines caused Autism, but never saw any clear evidence. It just seemed to me like people really wanted to point to something as the cause and they latched onto vaccines.”–Jennifer

I have been getting into a lot of discussions about whether vaccines are safe in the last few days. I’m not sure if it’s because of a post going viral about a (terrible) Italian court ruling last year (In contrast, American courts side with doctors and scientists on vaccine safety) or Jenny McCarthy’s recent hiring as co-host on “The View”, or simply (as a friend suggested to me today) the fact that a new school year is starting soon and parents are having to provide vaccination records to schools.

“(I got my children vaccinated) because the science supports it and I don’t want my kids to die. And civic reasons. It’s so straightforward.”–Britta

Whatever the reason, this week I’ve been in many conversations with individuals staunchly against vaccinations, parents who are very upset at the idea of unvaccinated children putting their own kids at risk, and parents who are confused and worried and want to know how to make the best decision possible for their children’s safety. I’m writing this for the third group of parents.

What’s going on?
There has been a very steep decrease in the rate of vaccinations recently, particularly (but I want to stress not only) within communities of affluent, well-educated parents. [UPDATE: Keep in mind that there’s considerable diversity among anti-vaccine proponents. A conservative religious community here in Texas, opposed to vaccines because “faith should be enough”, is currently experiencing an outbreak of measles].

“It’s that whole natural, BPA-free, hybrid car community that says ‘we’re not going to put chemicals in our children,’” Shapiro told Salon. “It’s that same idea: ‘I’m going to be pure and I want to keep my child pure.’”

California law mandates that all students get vaccinated, but it also makes it easy to get exemptions for personal beliefs. And parents in tony places like Marin County are taking advantage of it in seemingly growing numbers. One public elementary school in Malibu, an affluent beach town just north of Los Angeles, reported that only 58 percent of their students are immunized — well below the recommended 90-plus percent level — according to Shapiro.

And it’s even worse in some of L.A.’s private schools, where as few as 20 percent of kids are vaccinated in some schools. “Yes, that’s right: Parents are willingly paying up to $25,000 a year to schools at which fewer than 1 in 5 kindergartners has been immunized against the pathogens causing such life-threatening illnesses as measles, polio, meningitis and pertussis (more commonly known as whooping cough),” she wrote. –from http://www.salon.com/2013/08/14/whats_with_rich_people_hating_vaccines/ (Emphasis mine)

This is particularly frustrating when there is overwhelming evidence that vaccinations DO NOT cause autism. As the wonderful blog Science Based Medicine puts it:

“At this point, the evidence is so utterly overwhelming that there is not a whiff of a hint of a whisper of a correlation between vaccines and autism that it has become irritating that antivaccine activists keep pressuring scientists to do the same study over and over again, coming up with the same results over and over again, and then seeing antivaccinationists fail to believe those same results over and over again. Apparently, antivaccine activists think that if the same sorts of studies are done enough times, there will be a positive result implicating vaccines as a risk factor for or contributing cause to autism.”

Why are parents choosing not to vaccinate their children?
I think there are several reasons, but they all may have some connection to misunderstanding of what the scientific evidence on this issue is, or resistance to perceived authority. In Western cultures, we’re accustomed to framing every public issue as two-sided. People who refuse to acknowledge that there’s legitimacy to the other side are “unfair.” I think this viewpoint is really muddling the vaccine safety conversation. When the media presents scientists on one side, and Natural News on the other, it’s creating a false equivalency. The anti-vaxxers have no credible scientific evidence supporting their position, but placing them opposite a scientist makes it seem like there are two legitimate sides to this debate. There aren’t. The simple fact is that there’s overwhelming scientific consensus that the MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism.

“I unapolagetically vaccinate my kid, and it’s not just because that’s what you do, it’s because I really looked at what the science said and made a decision based on facts, evidence, and rational weighing of risk-benefit. I think the problem is that it’s easier to feel off the hook for risking your kids via inaction rather than action. But realistically, the risks of vaccination are so much less than the risks of what could happen if your child does get a vaccine-preventable disease, and you are also protecting those who *can’t* be vaccinated. That’s why I get a flu shot. Not because I am going to die of the flu, but to protect the elderly, infants, and immunocompromised folks I might come into contact with.” –Melissa (emphasis mine)

Do vaccines work?

Yes. Here are some of the diseases prevented with vaccinations:

 
   

from “Demographics of Unvaccinated Chidren”, National Network for Immunization Information.

Do vaccines cause autism?

No. As a starting point for you, here’s a roundup of trustworthy scientific resources for you to read on your own (everything is peer-reviewed, or contains links to peer-reviewed articles):

Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK25349/

Vaccine Safety studies (a bunch of studies, with notes about what they mean): http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/faq/vaccinestudies.pdf

Concerns about vaccine safety (this is really great, and written in layman’s language) http://www.immunizationinfo.org/issues/vaccine-safety/concerns-about-vaccine-safety

How do we know that scientists and doctors are right?

I’ve been asked about this quite a bit lately. One person asked me “why aren’t we getting peered reviewed research from other points of view?” The reason is quite simple: there isn’t any.

Scientific research works like this:
You start with the specific questions “Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?”, “Does the MMR vaccine increase the risk of inflammatory bowel disease?” and so forth. You then design a study to test that question. It’s not starting from one “side” or the other, trying to seek proof for it. That’s the way politics works, not science. When you get an answer, it’s either “yes” or “no” (actually it tends to be “there is a statistically significant association between this drug and this disease” or “there is NOT a statistically significant association between this drug and this disease.”) Your results are submitted to experts for peer review. These experts then go over your results and methods with a fine-toothed comb, trying to find weaknesses in your approach, or over-interpretation of the results. They evaluate your statistics to make sure that they’re correct. If they decide that it’s acceptable (and this is usually a very hard test to pass), your paper gets published and is considered “peer-reviewed.” But that’s not the end.

Studies are then done by other research groups to both test and build upon your results. While the initial screen by peer reviewers is very stringent, it doesn’t always catch mistakes, and can miss identifying faked data (for example, Andrew Wakefield’s paper got past peer review because the reviewers didn’t catch that his data were fraudulent). However, all scientific research is iterative–that is, it builds upon a foundation created by other research. So if your results are wrong, or faked, it will quickly become obvious to other researchers who try to replicate or use them. Scientific consensus is VERY hard to achieve. So when it happens, pay attention.

Why do I (and others) keep harping on “peer-reviewed” studies? Why do I (and others) refuse to acknowledge the truth of what X blogger says?

Science operates based on the philosophy that the truth is knowable if we design experiments correctly, and we do enough of them to rigorously test our hypotheses. And I hope that you know by now that anyone with a keyboard can make stuff up. Peer review is how we test that someone isn’t making things up. Experts in your field have to agree with your conclusions.

But what about Andrew Wakefield’s research?

“I got my son vaccinated after doing research about it. I had been going through birthing classes that were against it, but the scientist in me questioned what they were saying. I found the info about the falsified info about autism. I still couldn’t believe (and still can’t) that parents would hold chicken pox parties. I’d had chicken pox as a kid, and I know about shingles. It just made sense to me.”–Charity

Andrew Wakefield faked his data for profit. His medical license has been revoked as a consequence. It’s important that people know that the the link between vaccines/autism is based on an outright lie–most of the other authors on the paper have removed their names from it. You can read more about this story here:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/01/05/autism.vaccines/index.html

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/01/14/andrew-wakefield-great-science-fraud/

What are the consequences of not vaccinating your children?

“We chose to vaccinate Vera on a regular schedule, and to be honest I did not do extensive research. I read enough to know that the studies showing an autism link were bad science and I found a pediatrician I really trusted and talked to her about it. I also really do believe that those of us with healthy kids should vaccinate to protect children who have compromised immune systems.”–Faye

Harm to your child:

Penn and Teller illustrate this beautifully (if profanely: language NSFW)

To put it simply, your child is at risk of contracting a preventable disease.

Image from http://www.freeinfosociety.com/media/images/1404.jpg
Many of us (myself included) don’t remember polio epidemics. This was the treatment. Image from http://www.freeinfosociety.com/media/images/1404.jpg

What happens in the absence of our vaccination program? Read about it here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/whatifstop.htm

Harm to other children:

“Unvaccinated children are concentrated in particular states, increasing the risk of transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases to other unvaccinated children, undervaccinated children and fully vaccinated children.” http://www.immunizationinfo.org/science/demographics-unvaccinated-children

One person with whom I was discussing this issue (he has not vaccinated his kids, but does homeschool them) put forth a hypothesis:

“but if you are correct, i guess in the near future the progressive states will have noticeable outbreaks (and not just the ones you read about), ones that touch somebody you know, as more and more hippy parents stop vaccinating their kids. stay clear of the pacific northwest or perish. ahaha. nah, we are growing super strong natural kids for the future here, and not ones reliant on medicines from a lab. we are sprouting wings and soon we shall fly to furthest regions of the universe and beyond”

I agree with that hypothesis. Unlike the rest of his comment, it’s quite scientific. IF vaccines are protective, and IF parents are choosing not to vaccinate, we should be seeing outbreaks of those diseases in states where the rate of non-vaccination is highest.

This is indeed the case. Here are two examples:

Incidents of whooping cough (pertussis) are significantly higher in states that easily allow parents exceptions from the vaccination. In Washington state alone, there was a 1,300% increase in cases.
Have you ever taken care of a child with pertussis? I have. This is what it’s like (warning: video of children in pain):

And cases of measles infection in the United States have already doubled since last year.

That’s just the beginning. This post is already too long, but I urge you to go to the CDC’s website and read about recent outbreaks. They are tied to regions where vaccine rates are low.

Final thoughts

Googling and listening to what people tell you over on parenting message boards, “Natural News”, and similar sites is not the same thing as advice from a trained physician. I really believe that the vast majority of parents who are leery of vaccinating their kids are simply confused because they’ve been given bad information.

“We live in a society, and our actions have consequences for others. It’s our responsibility to protect our children and our neighbors’ children. Plus our ancestors could only have dreamed of something that would protect their children from these horrible diseases.”–Mary

Vaccination is not just to protect your own child. It’s also a moral and civic issue. Remember that we are incredibly privileged in our society to have access to vaccines. In many places around the world, people don’t have easy access to them, and there are even some places where aid workers are killed for trying to administer vaccines. Our privilege confers responsibility as well. By vaccinating your children, you are also protecting other children (and adults) who can’t be vaccinated. Here is a really great explanation of this, and the concept of herd immunity.

“I chose to have my first child vaccinated because I paid some attention in science classes and it works. I paid better attention in history classes and have a sense of the suffering various preventable diseases have caused in the past and I didn’t want that for my child. After my first born spent a week in the hospital with an infection, I feel much more strongly about having my second child vaccinated. In that case, it wasn’t something that could have been vaccinated against, but there is no reason and no excuse for subjecting your child to the risk of that kind of suffering over a preventable disease. It’s irresponsible and cruel.”–Eric

Wakefield, McCarthy, Kennedy and other leaders of the movement are deceiving you. They bear responsibility for the deaths of children. That’s why I keep speaking out on this issue.

I hope that I’ve provided you with a starting point from which to do your own research. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me here, or on twitter, or by email (link at the top of this page), or–even better–ask your physician!

UPDATE: I wrote a tutorial/example of how to critically read a vaccine safety study here. If you wish to do your own research, I suggest that reading the primary, peer-reviewed literature is a vastly better approach than relying on books/Facebook memes/discussion forums. Hopefully the tools you’ll find in that post (and this one) will be helpful.

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Edited to remove Lyme disease from list of vaccine preventable illnesses. There’s a vaccine currently in clinical trials, but it’s not fully tested or available yet. Thanks to “justreadingyourblog” for pointing that out to me.

1,341 thoughts on “The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google

  1. Anon July 12, 2014 / 10:25 am

    Let’s see here. What I’m getting from most of these comments is that all vaccines cause autism, right?

    So, let me introduce you to a special little disease I like to call smallpox.

    Smallpox was a virus that would create blisters on the skin, was highly infective, and highly deadly. In its run on human lives, it killed 300 to 500 million people just in the 20th century.

    However, you never hear about it anymore, do you? That’s because its all but been eradicated.

    By vaccines.

    After all, it was a virus. Antibiotics wouldn’t have worked.

    “But you said all but been eradicated!”

    Ah, very astute of you to notice that. Smallpox still does exist, but it is held in labs in Atlanta and Russia under security.

    “Why don’t we get the vaccines anymore? It must be something to do with the vaccines themselves!”

    Well, for one thing, its gone.

    Poof.

    Disappeared.

    And, if you think the vaccine causes autism, then check yourself if you did get it, or ask your parents, or any other person that was alive in the 60s to 70s. They most likely got it. Anybody who were kids during that time got it too!

    That is all I have to say for now. Comment if you want, but you don’t have to.

  2. universal souljah August 2, 2014 / 5:00 pm

    A CDC scientist, spokeswoman on vaccines said the science was settled. Anyone in science KNOWS that science is never or seldom settled. The truth is that vaccines are effective because of our own immune system is stimulated by them. Irrespective of vaccines, we do have an immune system that works if you arenot immuno-compromised.

    We do not need vaccines to live, if we did no one would be alive today. In fact, natural exposure to disease will strengthen your immune system and convey life long immunity to the same specific pathogen in most cases. Vaccines rarely give life long immunity, which is why you need booster shots.

    My immunolgy and virology professor told me all medicines are poisons; they are poisons given in small increments. Vaccines are not just vaccines: they have other chemicals, carcinogens, animal cell and blood products, preservatives, and adjuvants that cause mild to serious side effects. This cannot be ignored when injecting all these shots in young babies. We are all slightly biochemically unique beings and how each person reacts to these injected chemicals is different.

    Just as we have to take the side effects into consideration with other medications, we should also with vaccines. Many pediatricians do not know why they are administering vaccines and it is peer pressure from the medical/scientific/pharmaceutical industrial complex.

    Side effects ARE an issue. I have witnessed it with my own eyes. There is a reason the vaccine makers and even doctors have immunity from liability for vaccine injuries, because they DO occur.

    • Chris August 3, 2014 / 10:45 am

      “A CDC scientist, spokeswoman on vaccines said the science was settled”

      Please provide the name, and a link to the original quote so it can be read in context.

      This statement “We do not need vaccines to live, if we did no one would be alive today” indicates that this one is questionable: “My immunolgy and virology professor.” You obviously did not learn that diseases are not 100% fatal, there are always survivors. Diseases, and starvation because those who procured food were sick, wiped out 90% of the native population of both American continents. That leaves at least 10% who survived. Read Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill.

      “Side effects ARE an issue.”

      Certainly, but what are they compared to those of the actual diseases? I have a suggestion, instead of “argument from blatant assertion” or “I have witnessed it with my own eyes”, try to actually provide some evidence. Choose one vaccine on the American pediatric schedule, and then provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers comparing the relative risk between the vaccine and its intended disease. If you believe the MMR vaccine is dangerous, then show that it causes more harm than measles.

      Here is some additional reading for you:
      Historical Comparisons of Morbidity and Mortality for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases in the United States

      And this older 1985 paper that was published a bit over ten years after the MMR vaccine was introduced in the USA, note how it compares the diseases and does address the known risk from the vaccine in its appendix:
      Benefits, Risks and Costs of Immunization for Measles, Mumps and Rubella

    • Shay Simmons September 3, 2014 / 6:46 pm

      “My immunolgy and virology professor told me all medicines are poisons”

      I suspect your professor added “If given in large enough doses. It is the dose that makes the poison.”

    • Marsha September 22, 2014 / 6:05 pm

      You people buying into the polio myth need to do real research. This deceptive article begins speaking of polio so I would like to address this much misunderstood myth.

      But before I post the ground breaking news I told Jennifer, (Anonymous), I’d be right back to post I’ll tell you this bombshell is not so new but explosive & incredible considering…

      So before that, first I’d like to start with a doctor who’s done extensive research on Polio.

      Dr Suzanne Humphries

      Look her up.

      “The History, Myths, And Flawed Science, Of Polio And Vaccinations”

      http://thehealthcaresurvivor.com/library/dr-suzanne-humphries-the-history-myths-and-flawed-science-of-polio-and-vaccinations/

      Be right back. I did find that undeniable proof I was looking for on the ‘Polio Myth’.

      Oh! There’s the Small Pox Myth’, too but we’ll save that for later.

      • Chris September 22, 2014 / 6:31 pm

        “Dr Suzanne Humphries

        Look her up.”

        We have, she is not a reputable source of medical information.

        If vaccines had nothing to do with the reduction of polio, then you need to tell us why the incidence dropped after 1955, as noted in this US Census data from the 20th century:

        From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
        Year…. Rate per 100000 of polio
        1912 . . . . 5.5
        1920 . . . . 2.2
        1925 . . . . 5.3
        1930 . . . . 7.5
        1935 . . . . 8.5
        1940 . . . . 7.4
        1945 . . . 10.3
        1950 . . . 22.1
        1955 . . . 17.6
        1960 . . . . 1.8
        1965 . . Less than .05
        1970 . . Less than .05
        1975 . . Less than .05
        1980 . . Less than .05

  3. SEJ September 21, 2014 / 1:21 am

    Just the fact that the author admits there is peer reviews because of available information is questionable. Any educated person sees right through that. This is an indication that even this author should not be staunchly guiding others this way without more of a leg to stand on, peer reviews are highly important in research and if you can’t get it, you have to build it SO GET ON WITH IT!

  4. J Dean September 21, 2014 / 11:48 am

    I did ‘t read all of the comments above, but was intrigued by the reference to Ezra Pound, who was of course a poet. Eustace Mullins was not a scientist but a friend of Pound’s in Pound’s later life. Mullins wrote about the Federal Reserve and was not a scientist. According to Wikipedia (I know, its not peer-reviewed) Russell Blaylock is a physician and a fascinating figure. He was a neurosurgeon who published some important papers on issues related to his field. Lately he has become a fierce exponent of the idea that small quantities of chemicals (such as fluoride in water) cause major health problems. So far as I am aware, he has not attempted to analyze these claims according to scientific approaches such as epidemiology.

  5. ladylazarus September 21, 2014 / 11:53 am

    I 100 percent agree with you Dr. Jenn and support your efforts to battle misinformation regarding vaccines. We have forgotten the true devastation that these diseases caused here and continue to do elsewhere in the world. My children were all fully vaccinated. I look forward to your further blog posts. Keep up the good fight doctor.

    • Marsha September 21, 2014 / 1:46 pm

      Please do the proper research Ladylazarus 1 in 68 with autism & 1 in 8 with other sickness & injury. These CDC stats cannot be ignored even though their corruption has been exposed many times over if investigated honestly. Children are dying actually & the cover up is at it’s close.

      • Chris September 21, 2014 / 4:07 pm

        “Children are dying actually & the cover up is at it’s close.”

        Please tell provide the scientific studies that show the vaccines are responsible.

        • Marsha September 22, 2014 / 7:41 am

          Debate’s over Chris. You need pay attention to all the evidence you will find doing the proper research for yourself. It’s all at #CDCwhistleblower & #hearthiswell if you’re really looking for the real science & fact. Many studies will be found telling it like it is. MANY! They were ignored & shunned until now. And those you beLIEve real science are brought to you by those with vested interests. This cat’s not going back in the bag & that’s fact!

          Many whistle blowers, too, have come forward through the years which soon will be even more to follow suit.

          Want proof? Go to the hash tags & see the undeniable evidence for yourself.

          • Chris September 22, 2014 / 9:30 am

            What evidence? Twitter hashtags? That is the most idiotic thing I have ever read.

            Marsha, you need to provide real science, and presently the best way to know that it did not come out of thin air are papers indexed in PubMed by qualified reputable researchers. Where is it? What is your evidence?

            And no, videos and social networking sites do not qualify.

            • Marsha September 22, 2014 / 1:28 pm

              I see what’s going on here, Chris. Big tell & old tactic right out of the play book. People paying attention know how to look past you who are Vaccine Pushers For profit or their parrots trying to detour them with old worn out rhetoric that used to work. No more. People know they can glean truth & fact embedded in said twitters, videos & all the other sites, cites & sources your team works hard to discredit.

              • drscottnelson2014 September 22, 2014 / 1:36 pm

                Marsha-there is a reason scientist rely on peer-reviewed data and replication. Its very easy to say anything on the web, its much harder to be able to verify the source, document the authenticity and reproducibility. I could say that “The nuts of Ricinus communis are delicious and a great treat”, but I would challenge to verify the veracity of that statement.

  6. Marsha September 21, 2014 / 2:09 pm

    While waiting for my prior comment to post here’s another important matter.

    Now if Poul Thorsen wanted by the FBI would give himself up maybe he could go for immunity? He could tell the truth of 20 some studies he was part of & save the children for posterity. He could become our next of many, whistle blowers, a hero instead of the zero he is now.

    The studies Thorsen represents were being denied that he had anything to do with them by the pro vaccination crowd but were pointed out by Congressman Dan Burton to Colleen Boyle, the CDC doctor, who also tried to deny but documents were presented.

    Boyle, one of three complicit with the CDC whistle blower fraudulent MMR study hung herself at the 2002 Congressional Hearing. Look it up.

    Thorsen’s studies also had to be fake claiming no link.

    Media was quick to drag the good name of Wakefield through the mud in the orchestrated witch hunt against him but not a word on the real criminal, the scientist behind the Danish studies who ran off with the CDC’s autism research money.

    Again, I repeat what Tutti said:

    “God bless the whistleblowers that are not afraid to tell the truth no matter what!”

    And on a final note I will say it’s true that we have hundreds of whistle blowers who have surfaced through the years & are still surfacing to this day. Some who have been blowing that whistle for years but ignored & stifled until now.

    And also in that final note many names of those behind the vaccine cover up have been recorded & are being investigated. The ax has fallen & heads will roll.

    The words are Nuremberg Code & Geneva Convention. And justly so!

    • Chris September 21, 2014 / 4:17 pm

      “Thorsen’s studies also had to be fake claiming no link.”

      What “Thorsen” studies? Please provide the citation showing he is the principal investigator and author.

      Because it is certainly not any of these:

      Vaccine. 2012 Jun 13;30(28):4292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.01.093.
      The combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines and the total number of vaccines are not associated with development of autism spectrum disorder: the first case-control study in Asia.
      Uno Y1, Uchiyama T, Kurosawa M, Aleksic B, Ozaki N.

      Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2010 May;29(5):397-400.
      Lack of association between measles-mumps-rubella vaccination and autism in children: a case-control study.
      Mrozek-Budzyn D, Kieltyka A, Majewska R.

      PLoS ONE 2008; 3(9): e3140 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003140
      Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study.
      Hornig M et al.

      rch Dis Child 2008; 93(10):832-7.
      Measles Vaccination and Antibody Response in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
      Baird G et al.

      J Autism Dev Disord 2007; 37(2):210-7
      MMR-Vaccine and Regression in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Negative Results Presented from Japan.
      Uchiyama T et al.

      J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;46(6):572-9.
      No effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study.
      Honda H, Shimizu Y, Rutter M.

      Pediatrics 2006; 118(4):1664-75
      No Evidence of Persisting Measles Virus in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells from Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
      D’Souza Y et al.

      Lancet 2004; 364(9438):963-9
      MMR Vaccination and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: A Case-Control Study.
      Smeeth L et al.

      Pediatrics 2002; 110:957-63
      Neurologic Disorders after Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination.
      Makela A et al.

      BMJ 2002; 324(7334):393-6
      Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Bowel Problems or Developmental Regression in Children with Autism: Population Study.
      Taylor B et al.

      Pediatrics 2001;108(4):E58
      No Evidence for a New Variant of Measles-Mumps-Rubella-Induced Autism.
      Fombonne E et al.

      Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2001;155(3):354-9
      Measles-Mumps-Rubella and Other Measles-Containing Vaccines Do Not Increase the Risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Case-Control Study from the Vaccine Safety Datalink Project.
      Davis RL et al.

      BMJ 2001; 322:460-63
      Mumps, Measles, and Rubella Vaccine and the Incidence of Autism Recorded by General Practitioners: A Time Trend Analysis.
      Kaye JA et al.

      J Med Virol 2000; 62(3):377-82
      Further Evidence of the Absence of Measles Virus Genome Sequence in Full Thickness Intestinal Specimens from Patients with Crohn’s Disease.
      Afzal MA, et al.

      Lancet 1999;353 (9169):2026-9
      Autism and Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: No Epidemiological Evidence for a Causal Association.
      Taylor B et al.

      J Med Virol 1998; 55(3):243-9
      Absence of Detectable Measles Virus Genome Sequence in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Tissues and Peripheral Blood Lymphocytes.
      Afzal MA et al.

      Lancet 1998; 351:1327-8
      No Evidence for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine-Associated Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Autism in a 14-year Prospective Study.
      Peltola H et al.

      • Marsha September 22, 2014 / 8:55 am

        Chris, people paying attention know all studies used by Vaccine Pushers For Profit & their parrots are paid for by the foxes guarding the hen house.

        True studies are out there & have been ignored & stifled until now. I could show you many if you just ask. You should be able to do the research yourself but I will answer any questions you have.

        Poul Thorsen was involved with 21 of the 24 studies, Chris. To be precise you said to prove he is principal investigator and author. That doesn’t matter. His being involved is enough.

        Here’s the proof>>>

        Look up ‘Posey Questions CDC on Autism Research’ to see Dr. Coleen Boyle from the CDC say Thorsen was only involved in two studies. Caught lying again & she is involved herself, (complicit), in the fraudulent MMR study in the recent CDC whistle blower scandal.

        Boyle was outed by Dr. Thompson so principal investigator or author matters not with so many complicit in the cover up.

        • Chris September 22, 2014 / 9:36 am

          Do you have some kind of reading comprehension problem, Marsha? I asked “What “Thorsen” studies?”, and then provided you almost twenty studies showing the MMR vaccine has nothing to do with autism, none of them that were Danish. And you come up with a video of a congressional hearing!

          Marsha, videos are not scientific evidence. Also science is not determined by politicians, especially very silly ones with agendas.

          Try again, list those “Thorsen” studies and provide a scientific critique by someone who is actually qualified. Not a silly politician or an engineer and definitely not someone with a Master’s of Business Administration.

          • Marsha September 22, 2014 / 2:56 pm

            You find Thorsen’s studies yourself, Chris. I proved they exist with that document you see the congressman presenting as evidence in that 26 second clip at a ‘REAL’ congressional hearing. You can’t fake that kind of stuff so videos are certainly important in many cases. They can’t be omitted or denied even if you say so.

            And I told you about those fake studies you sent, Chris.

            Anyone can look up ‘fake studies and paid doctors to put their name on them’ in order to see this long time practice through many credible articles, sources & references.

            Current studies accepted due to real science black out are ALL backed by the makers of vaccines & their partners in crime they are in bed with like the CDC, FDA, ETC…This is now common knowledge.

            They will stand no more as so many whistle blowers are coming out of the woodwork to go with the mountain of evidence our people hold to prove fraud, truth & real science.

            There are hundreds & hundreds of whistle blowers, actually, from past to present. All ignored & silenced until now.

            There’s going to be an article soon on all the many whistle blowers. Media blackout won’t stop our people from learning all of the truth.

            Word travels fast when there’s something important under foot.

            And this our children we’re talking about. Nothing is more important. If we don’t save them, soon, nothing else will matter. 1 in 68 with autism & 1 in 8 with other injury & illness. Right in step through the years with the increase in vaccines.

            It’s not rocket science!

            • Chris September 22, 2014 / 3:08 pm

              “You find Thorsen’s studies yourself, Chris.”

              No, Marsha, I will contend that there are no vaccine studies where the principal investigator and first listed author is Poul Thorsen, because you simply cannot list them. Therefore they do not exist.

              He is definitely not the first listed author of
              N Engl J Med 2002; 347(19):1477-82
              A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism.
              Madsen KM et al.

              and

              Pediatrics, Sept. 2003, Vol. 112(3 Pt 1):604-606
              Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism: Negative Ecological Evidence from Danish Population-Based Data
              Madsen KM, Lauritsen MB, Pedersen CB, et al

              “It’s not rocket science!”

              Isn’t it fortunate for you that I used to be one! I was an aerospace engineer before my first born had seizures.

          • Marsha September 22, 2014 / 3:03 pm

            Science is determined by fact & truth, Chris. Not the fake science that’s been exposed now to the degree of undeniability.

            I don’t have time to play the distract from truth game where anything factual to do with the real science is lost in back & forth banter if that’s what you’re up to, Chris.

            Our parents & activists have been advised to answer sincere questions, make points & share the facts but not allow the distract tactic to work as it used to. This is one tactic of several right out of the playbook for people hired to help in the cover up.

            Look past what you call videos, tweets, etc. for real content as people paying attention are, Chris. I say this in hope you’re just a parrot & not one holding children purposely in pHARM’s way.

            If you are just a parrot many of us were once like you. Willing to beLIEve what we were told. Not realizing we needed to do our own research.

            Many names believed guilty & directly responsible for this worst crime against humanity & the cover up have been recorded & are being investigated.

            The talk is of Nuremberg Code & Geneva Convention. All involved in the cover up should know the ax is falling & heads will roll.

            • Jennifer Raff September 22, 2014 / 3:10 pm

              Can you be more specific about what the cover-up is, and who is involved?

              • Marsha September 22, 2014 / 5:36 pm

                I thought I was replying to you Jennifer Raff but this reply box has the name Anonymous. Is that you?

                Anyway, I believe you know the answer to what the cover up is about or you wouldn’t have written this bogus article right out of the Vaccine Pushers For profit hand book. As for who is involved you’ll need wait for the article after verification for publishing. Many articles have been written naming names but the surge is coming.

                Jennifer you need to research the ‘Polio Myth” as you are misinformed on the matter. I have some ground breaking news for you on the polio scam. Be right back after I locate it.

                • Chris September 22, 2014 / 6:21 pm

                  “Anyway, I believe you know the answer to what the cover up is about ”

                  If she did she would not have asked you to be specific. Telling her to “research” something because you claim is misinformed seems to tell us that you don’t have anything but vaporous conspiracy theories.

            • Chris September 22, 2014 / 3:12 pm

              “Science is determined by fact & truth, Chris.”

              Which you have failed to provide. You claim there are “Thorsen” studies, but will not provide their title or PubMed Identification Numbers. When asked for scientific evidence you point to twitter hashtags.

              “Chris. I say this in hope you’re just a parrot & not one holding children purposely in pHARM’s way.”

              So exactly how are the vaccines more dangerous than the diseases? Why do you want more children to suffer like those depicted in Vaccine Preventable Disease – The Forgotten Story?

            • Scott Nelson September 22, 2014 / 3:23 pm

              Marsha,
              Here is the result of search of Pubmed for Thorsen P. Nineteen articles, none on vaccines, that I can see.
              C-Reactive Protein and Preterm Delivery: Clues From Placental Findings and Maternal Weight
              Bertha L. Bullen, Nicole M. Jones, Claudia B. Holzman, Yan Tian, Patricia K. Senagore, Poul Thorsen, Kristin Skogstrand, David M. Hougaard, Alla Sikorskii
              Reprod Sci. 2013 June; 20(6): 715–722. doi: 10.1177/1933719112466302

              PMCID:
              PMC3713547

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–146K
              Select item 36299072.
              Cytokine Profiles of Preterm Neonates with Fungal and Bacterial Sepsis
              Beena G. Sood, Seetha Shankaran, Robert L. Schelonka, Shampa Saha, Danny K. Benjamin, Jr, Pablo J. Sánchez, Ira Adams-Chapman, Barbara J. Stoll, Poul Thorsen, Kristin Skogstrand, Richard A. Ehrenkranz, David M. Hougaard, Ronald N. Goldberg, Jon E. Tyson, Abhik Das, Rosemary D. Higgins, Waldemar A. Carlo, for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network
              Pediatr Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013 April 18.
              Published in final edited form as: Pediatr Res. 2012 August; 72(2): 212–220. doi: 10.1038/pr.2012.56

              PMCID:
              PMC3629907

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–1.2M
              Select item 37042123.
              Association Between Blood Spot Transforming Growth Factor-β and Patent Ductus Arteriosus in Extremely Low-Birth Weight Infants
              Girija Natarajan, Seetha Shankaran, Scott A. McDonald, Abhik Das, Richard A. Ehrenkranz, Ronald N. Goldberg, Barbara J. Stoll, Jon E. Tyson, Rosemary D. Higgins, Diana Schendel, David M Hougaard, Kristin Skogstrand, Poul Thorsen, Waldemar A. Carlo
              Pediatr Cardiol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013 July 8.
              Published in final edited form as: Pediatr Cardiol. 2013 January; 34(1): 149–154. Published online 2012 June 10. doi: 10.1007/s00246-012-0404-7

              PMCID:
              PMC3704212

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–386K
              Select item 32157874.
              Cytokines and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants
              Waldemar A. Carlo, Scott A. McDonald, Jon E. Tyson, Barbara J. Stoll, Richard A. Ehrenkranz, Seetha Shankaran, Ronald N. Goldberg, Abhik Das, Diana Schendel, Poul Thorsen, Kristin Skogstrand, David M. Hougaard, William Oh, Abbot R. Laptook, Shahnaz Duara, Avroy A. Fanaroff, Edward F. Donovan, Sheldon B. Korones, David K. Stevenson, Lu-Ann Papile, Neil N. Finer, T. Michael O’Shea, Brenda B. Poindexter, Linda L. Wright, Namasivayam Ambalavanan, Rosemary D. Higgins
              J Pediatr. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 December 1.
              Published in final edited form as: J Pediatr. 2011 December; 159(6): 919–925.e3. Published online 2011 July 27. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2011.05.042

              PMCID:
              PMC3215787

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–388KSupplementary Material
              Select item 29898725.
              Parental infertility and cerebral palsy in children
              Jin Liang Zhu, Dorte Hvidtjørn, Olga Basso, Carsten Obel, Poul Thorsen, Peter Uldall, Jørn Olsen
              Hum Reprod. 2010 December; 25(12): 3142–3145. Published online 2010 November 2. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deq206

              PMCID:
              PMC2989872

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–116K
              Select item 27148506.
              Racial disparity in pathophysiologic pathways of preterm birth based on genetic variants
              Ramkumar Menon, Brad Pearce, Digna R Velez, Mario Merialdi, Scott M Williams, Stephen J Fortunato, Poul Thorsen
              Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2009; 7: 62. Published online 2009 June 15. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-7-62

              PMCID:
              PMC2714850

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–8.4M
              Select item 25532677.
              Preterm Birth in Caucasians Is Associated with Coagulation and Inflammation Pathway Gene Variants
              Digna R. Velez, Stephen J. Fortunato, Poul Thorsen, Salvatore J. Lombardi, Scott M. Williams, Ramkumar Menon
              PLoS ONE. 2008; 3(9): e3283. Published online 2008 September 26. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003283

              PMCID:
              PMC2553267

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–185KSupplementary Material
              Select item 15814748.
              Acquisition and Elimination of Bacterial Vaginosis During Pregnancy: A Danish Population-Based Study
              Ida Vogel, Poul Thorsen, Bernard Jeune, Bo Jacobsson, Niels Ebbesen, Magnus Arpi, Annie Bremmelgaard, Birger R. Møller
              Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2006; 2006: 94646. Published online 2006 May 25. doi: 10.1155/IDOG/2006/94646

              PMCID:
              PMC1581474

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–492K
              Select item 1496259.
              Determination of Immunoglobulin A against Gardnerella vaginalis Hemolysin, Sialidase, and Prolidase Activities in Vaginal Fluid: Implications for Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes
              Sabina Cauci, Poul Thorsen, Diana E. Schendel, Annie Bremmelgaard, Franco Quadrifoglio, Secondo Guaschino
              J Clin Microbiol. 2003 January; 41(1): 435–438. doi: 10.1128/JCM.41.1.435-438.2003

              PMCID:
              PMC149625

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–53K
              Select item 386971010.
              Separable Sustained and Selective Attention Factors Are Apparent in 5-Year-Old Children
              Mette Underbjerg, Melanie S. George, Poul Thorsen, Ulrik S. Kesmodel, Erik L. Mortensen, Tom Manly
              PLoS One. 2013; 8(12): e82843. Published online 2013 December 20. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082843

              PMCID:
              PMC3869710

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–1.0M
              Select item 361912711.
              Cytokines and Post-hemorrhagic Ventricular Dilation in Premature Infants
              Namasivayam Ambalavanan, Waldemar A. Carlo, Scott A. McDonald, Abhik Das, Diana E. Schendel, Poul Thorsen, David M. Hougaard, Kristin Skogstrand, Rosemary D. Higgins, for the Cytokine and GDB Subcommittees of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network
              Am J Perinatol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2013 October 1.
              Published in final edited form as: Am J Perinatol. 2012 October; 29(9): 731–740. Published online 2012 July 6. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1316443

              PMCID:
              PMC3619127

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–983K
              Select item 304289212.
              T cell cytokines and the risk of blood stream infection in extremely low birth weight infants
              Robert L. Schelonka, Akhil Maheshwari, Waldemar A. Carlo, Sarah Taylor, Nellie I. Hansen, Diana E. Schendel, Poul Thorsen, Kristin Skogstrand, David M. Hougaard, Rosemary D. Higgins
              Cytokine. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 February 1.
              Published in final edited form as: Cytokine. 2011 February; 53(2): 249–255. Published online 2010 December 9. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2010.11.003

              PMCID:
              PMC3042892

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–587K
              Select item 287377913.
              Perinatal Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome and Retinopathy of Prematurity
              Beena G. Sood, Ashima Madan, Shampa Saha, Diana Schendel, Poul Thorsen, Kristin Skogstrand, David Hougaard, Seetha Shankaran, Wally Carlo
              Pediatr Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 April 1.
              Published in final edited form as: Pediatr Res. 2010 April; 67(4): 394–400. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181d01a36

              PMCID:
              PMC2873779

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–537K
              Select item 320295114.
              Interrelationship of Cytokines, Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Hormones, and Psychosocial Variables in the Prediction of Preterm Birth
              B.D. Pearce, J. Grove, E.A. Bonney, N. Bliwise, D.J. Dudley, D.E. Schendel, P. Thorsen
              Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2010 July; 70(1): 40–46. Published online 2010 February 17. doi: 10.1159/000284949

              PMCID:
              PMC3202951

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–149K
              Select item 283153515.
              Circulating β chemokine and MMP 9 as markers of oxidative injury in extremely low birth weight infants
              Girija Natarajan, Seetha Shankaran, Scott A. McDonald, Abhik Das, Barbara J. Stoll, Rosemary D. Higgins, Poul Thorsen, Kristin Skogstrand, David M. Hougaard, Waldemar A. Carlo
              Pediatr Res. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2011 January 1.
              Published in final edited form as: Pediatr Res. 2010 January; 67(1): 77–82. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181c0b16c

              PMCID:
              PMC2831535

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–192KSupplementary Material
              Select item 271326616.
              Genome-wide scans using archived neonatal dried blood spot samples
              Mads V Hollegaard, Jonas Grauholm, Anders Børglum, Mette Nyegaard, Bent Nørgaard-Pedersen, Torben Ørntoft, Preben B Mortensen, Carsten Wiuf, Ole Mors, Michael Didriksen, Poul Thorsen, David M Hougaard
              BMC Genomics. 2009; 10: 297. Published online 2009 July 4. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-10-297

              PMCID:
              PMC2713266

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–274KSupplementary Material
              Select item 290321017.
              Cytokines Associated with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia or Death in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants
              Namasivayam Ambalavanan, Waldemar A. Carlo, Carl T. D’Angio, Scott A. McDonald, Abhik Das, Diana Schendel, Poul Thorsen, Rosemary D. Higgins
              Pediatrics. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2010 July 13.
              Published in final edited form as: Pediatrics. 2009 April; 123(4): 1132–1141. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-0526

              PMCID:
              PMC2903210

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–348KSupplementary Material
              Select item 268366318.
              Mid-pregnancy circulating cytokine levels, histologic chorioamnionitis and spontaneous preterm birth
              Julia Warner Gargano, Claudia Holzman, Patricia Senagore, Poul Thorsen, Kristin Skogstrand, David M. Hougaard, Mohammad H. Rahbar, Hwan Chung
              J Reprod Immunol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2009 October 1.
              Published in final edited form as: J Reprod Immunol. 2008 October; 79(1): 100–110. Published online 2008 September 23. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2008.08.006

              PMCID:
              PMC2683663

              ArticlePubReaderPDF–696K
              Select item 253250419.
              Serum Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor in the Prediction of Preterm Delivery
              Brad D. Pearce, (Ms.) Sicily E. Garvin, Jakob Grove, Elizabeth A. Bonney, Donald J. Dudley, Diana E. Schendel, Poul Thorsen
              Am J Obstet Gynecol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2009 July 1.
              Published in final edited form as: Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 July; 199(1): 46.e1–46.e6. Published online 2008 February 1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2007.11.066

              PMCID:
              PMC2532504

  7. Marsha September 22, 2014 / 6:18 pm

    This is BIG & speaks for itself. Written in the archives of history not to be denied. Here This Well ‘Salk Testified’

    http://vaxtruth.org/2012/03/the-polio-vaccine-part-2-2/

    “Doctors and scientists on the staff of the National Institutes of Health during the 1950s were well aware that the Salk vaccine was causing polio. Some frankly stated that it was “worthless as a preventive and dangerous to take [26:142].” They refused to vaccinate their own children [26:142]. Health departments banned the inoculations [26:140]. The Idaho State Health Director angrily declared: “I hold the Salk vaccine and its manufacturers responsible” for a polio outbreak that killed several Idahoans and hospitalized dozens more [26:140]. Even Salk himself was quoted as saying: “When you inoculate children with a polio vaccine you don’t sleep well for two or three weeks [26:144;43].” But the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, and drug companies with large investments in the vaccine coerced the U.S. Public Health Service into falsely proclaiming the vaccine was safe and effective [26:142-5].

    In 1976, Dr. Jonas Salk, creator of the killed-virus vaccine used in the 1950s, testified that the live-virus vaccine (used almost exclusively in the U.S. from the early 1960s to 2000) was the “principal if not sole cause” of all reported polio cases in the U.S. since 1961 [44]. (The virus remains in the throat for one to two weeks and in the feces for up to two months. Thus, vaccine recipients are at risk, and can potentially spread the disease, as long as fecal excretion of the virus continues [45].) In 1992, the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an admission that the live-virus vaccine had become the dominant cause of polio in the United States [36]. In fact, according to CDC figures, every case of polio in the U.S. since 1979 was caused by the oral polio vaccine [36]. Authorities claim the vaccine was responsible for about eight cases of polio every year [46]. However, an independent study that analyzed the government’s own vaccine database during a recent period of less than five years uncovered 13,641 reports of adverse events following use of the oral polio vaccine. These reports included 6,364 emergency room visits and 540 deaths (Figure 3) [47,48]. Public outrage at these tragedies became the impetus for removing the oral polio vaccine from immunization schedules [36:568;37;38].

    Figure 3. Polio

    Go to the link for the rest of the story. Please don’t bother to try to discredit this site because the sources & cites used are credible as those looking for truth will see.

    • Chris September 22, 2014 / 6:24 pm

      Marsha, that does not seem to be a verified source of information.

      • Marsha November 2, 2014 / 10:11 am

        Then you didn’t do the proper research Chris. It’s there for those paying attention & want to know the real science.

        • Chris November 2, 2014 / 12:02 pm

          Okay, Marsha explain how to do “proper research.” Obviously I did it wrong as an engineering analyst using published engineering/mathematics research for my job. Was I supposed to go to some random guy who said he had an alternative method for getting eigenvectors and eigenvalues for structures?

          Well excuse me for using PubMed and only willing to take the word of those scientists who are qualified and reputable, and not Neal Z. Miller. Miller is a journalist with no scientific education:

          http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2014/03/950-neil-z-miller-gary-s-goldman.html

          Marsha, though it is not perfect, please stick to providing PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers in the future.

          • Marsha December 21, 2014 / 9:39 pm

            You mean studies done by the foxes guarding the hen houses?

            • Chris December 21, 2014 / 9:47 pm

              So exactly which researchers are approved by you? And when you do provide a detailed educational and vocational resume so that we may determine your level of expertise.

              I just have a degree in engineering, and have been dealing with medical experts who have kept my son alive from seizures, diseases and a severe genetic heart disorder. So I can assume that you have at least the same level of education as an epidemiologist. Perhaps you even know how to get eigenvectors and eigenvalues from multivariable nonlinear second order differential equations.

            • Jennifer Raff December 22, 2014 / 8:11 am

              Marsha, how would you design a study to test the safety of a vaccine?

              • JN January 30, 2015 / 12:31 pm

                I am not Marsha, but I like this question, and want to think about what kind of vaccine study I would like to see.

                I like the premise of this article you’ve written, because I am that exact kind of parent in the middle – tired of hearing only fear-mongering on both sides, and a completely polarized issue with no hope of conversation.

                Previous generations were o.k. with just trusting their doctor, but I don’t think we’ll ever get back to that. Parents now have many advanced degrees, and want to have lots of real information, not be told they aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions, and to just listen blindly to your doctor. They are constantly made to hear “you are anti-science if you have any questions about vaccines.” Since the measles cases in the news lately, I have been reading (yet again) about the vaccines and history of the disease – primarily on the CDC website. It is very clear, although you have to spend a lot of time looking, that there are pros and cons to vaccination (for example, the epidemic of measles in 1989-1991 killed primarily babies under 1, in whom the vaccine is not effective. This was higher than pre-vaccine deaths of babies because mothers during the outbreak did not pass on effective antibodies since they didn’t have wild measles as children, but were vaccinated.) That may not outweigh the benefit of vaccines, but is one among many facts that I would like to read in a book or document accessible to lay people, listing all facts on either side, not just all positives. When the news from official sources (doctors, pamphlets from hospital, official spokespersons for government agencies) is only glowingly positive, it makes it seem suspect.

                Another thing that could help more people decide to vaccinate, is for tons of research to be done on what IS causing the modern conditions like allergies, autism, and auto-immune disease. When parents look at their kids and friend’s kids, they don’t see measles or polio (for which I am truly thankful), they see the immediate threat of ADHD, autism, life-threatening food allergies, and have to deal with that reality. The fact that modern science has NO idea what these are from and how to prevent or cure them creates a great lack of confidence in other things studies, government, and doctors are telling them, which makes information that questions things like vaccine safety seem like something to consider. Especially considering conditions that are connected to the immune system – it makes a parent start to look at why the immune system is disordered.

                So advice I would give the CDC and epidemiologists is:
                1. Give parents an accessible history of the vaccines and how they were developed, including trial and errors, failures, reactions, etc. Follow up to this with current information as it becomes available. It can’t be one-sided or it will be seen as propaganda. Life is not perfect, and people know it. When something is presented as perfect, it seems there is something to hide. When they don’t have an answer, admit it.

                Realize that the current issues most parents are facing today (especially parents who start to question current conclusions of science) are ADHD, Autism, severe food allergies, many auto-immune diseases, etc. These are the realities of the modern parent. They get tired of having no answers when their kids are chronically sick and suffering, so they start to look around themselves, and suspect anything that’s happened in the last couple generations. THIS IS WHY people don’t vaccinate. Research into vaccines won’t convince anyone until some of these modern diseases are acknowledged and understood. Doctors and other people who think these are sort of fake or exaggerated are adding to the problem of pushing people to find their own, often fringe, information.
                Full disclosure on the money trail. Easy to read publication of who paid for what studies and what treatments or vaccines, and who profits. With honesty. If it’s totally incriminating, and couldn’t ever be disclosed, then re-think the ethics of this and fix it. Not easy to do, if there is corruption or personal interest, but that would solve a lot of suspicion.

                …basically have respect for parents and the reality of their children’s health, and take the time to understand what their concerns are. Trust needs to be established by the medical community by treating parents as peer-adults, not fanatic idiots. Realize that even non-medically trained adults are capable of processing information. Even if they are not, forced vaccination laws just polarizes people more, not convinces them or future generations that the government and science is trustworthy. Most people opting out of vaccines are in upper classes and educated. Medical experts should get to know people who opt out of vaccines, and ASK them why. ASK them, in person, without threat of taking their kids away or losing their friends, WHY they don’t vaccinate, and what could be done to change their mind.

                • JN January 30, 2015 / 12:40 pm

                  My numbers and paragraph spacing got deleted at the end. There should be a 2 before the “Realize” paragraph, and a 3 and a line space at “Full disclosure”.

                • Jennifer Raff January 30, 2015 / 12:55 pm

                  Thanks so much for your thoughtful answer JN! I agree that the main issue is trust, and I know that parents who are concerned about vaccines often feel that they aren’t being listened to by doctors. The flip side of this is that doctors are providing evidence that vaccines are safe and effective–there’s virtually no disagreement on this subject by anyone who has expertise in infectious disease, immunology, or pediatrics–but their evidence is being ignored. But you know all of this, I’m sure.

                  As far as your other point, that parents are scared of allergies and things like autism, I know that very well and I have nothing but sympathy for these fears. However, research to better understand the causes of these syndromes is ongoing–just about the only thing that it has produced so far is that vaccines AREN’T the cause, and that much of it can be attributed to genetics. But that research gets rejected by these same parents who don’t like hearing it for whatever reason.

                  I agree wholeheartedly that parents are capable of processing information–after all, there’s nothing special about we doctors and scientists except, in part, that we’ve had rigorous and formal training in how to do so (and in all the technical knowledge that makes up our disciplines). While it’s hard to replicate that experience, I do think that there are ways that parents can learn to process scientific/medical information better. That’s exactly why I wrote a guide for non-scientists to reading scientific papers! (it’s here : http://violentmetaphors.com/2013/08/25/how-to-read-and-understand-a-scientific-paper-2/ )

                  Anyway, I want to think more carefully about the points you raised when I have a bit more time. I think that you’ve done a great job in articulating them, and you deserve a much more thorough response than my off-the-cuff remarks here. Maybe, if it’s all right with you, I’ll use your comment as the basis for a post, in which I heavily moderate comments to encourage a different tone in discussion. I’ll give this some thought. Thanks!

                • Chris January 30, 2015 / 1:31 pm

                  “(for example, the epidemic of measles in 1989-1991 killed primarily babies under 1, in whom the vaccine is not effective.”

                  Citation needed. Something similar to this (and the full paper is free to read online):
                  J Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;189 Suppl 1:S69-77.
                  Acute measles mortality in the United States, 1987-2002.

                  Which says: “Age at death ranged from 25 days to 57 years of age; there were no significant differences in the age distributions of measles deaths recorded in NCHS and those reported to NIP.”

                  “1. Give parents an accessible history of the vaccines and how they were developed, including trial and errors, failures, reactions, etc”

                  The CDC Pink Book is available for free online, and includes all that information in an accessible format. Here is the Table of Contents:

                  Cover and front matter: Cover, table of contents, etc.
                  Chapter 1: Principles of Vaccination
                  Chapter 2: General Recommendations on Immunization
                  Chapter 3: Immunization Strategies
                  Chapter 4: Vaccine Safety
                  Chapter 5: Vaccine Storage and Handling
                  Chapter 6: Diphtheria
                  Chapter 7: Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
                  Chapter 8: Hepatitis A
                  Chapter 9: Hepatitis B
                  Chapter 10: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
                  Chapter 11: Influenza
                  Chapter 12: Measles
                  Chapter 13: Meningococcal Disease
                  Chapter 14: Mumps
                  Chapter 15: Pertussis
                  Chapter 16: Pneumococcal Disease
                  Chapter 17: Poliomyelitis
                  Chapter 18: Rotavirus
                  Chapter 19: Rubella
                  Chapter 20: Tetanus
                  Chapter 21: Varicella

                  There is also this website: http://www.historyofvaccines.org/

                  There are also several good books on vaccines that include “trial and errors, failures, reactions,”. One I would suggest is The Cutter Incident by Dr. Paul Offit (his biography of Maurice Hilleman, Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases is also very good). Another one would be Pox: An American History by Michael Willrich.

                  “Realize that the current issues most parents are facing today (especially parents who start to question current conclusions of science) are ADHD, Autism, severe food allergies, many auto-immune diseases, etc. These are the realities of the modern parent.”

                  Those have been studied, extensively. There are several links in the above article, especially in the paragraph titled “Do vaccines cause autism?” (by the way, the answer is no). And this is a list of studies using the Vaccine Safety Datalink (includes some of your autoimmune concerns):

                  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/library/vsd_pubs.html

                  “Full disclosure on the money trail. Easy to read publication of who paid for what studies and what treatments or vaccines, and who profits. With honesty. If it’s totally incriminating, and couldn’t ever be disclosed, then re-think the ethics of this and fix it. Not easy to do, if there is corruption or personal interest, but that would solve a lot of suspicion.”

                  That is required for every paper and study. The study I listed on the 1990 measles epidemic includes all of the authors affiliations, The last paragraph explains who paid for the study (the CDC and Dept. of Energy, in other words your federal tax dollars). Papers do get corrected and/or retracted if that is not disclosed. I have reached my limits for links, but there is a blog called “RetractionWatch”, it has a search box. Search it for “conflict of interest.”

                  “I am not Marsha, but I like this question, and want to think about what kind of vaccine study I would like to see.”

                  This is your first sentence, but I did not see you answer Dr. Raff’s question: “Marsha, how would you design a study to test the safety of a vaccine?”

  8. David January 31, 2015 / 7:22 pm

    I really don’t understand what the big issue with vaccines is. I mean if they did cause autism or ADHD (which they don’t) is that worse than burying a child due to mumps, measles, or rubella?

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