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

Jennifer Raff —  August 14, 2013 — 1,273 Comments

“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.

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Jennifer Raff

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Scientist, fighter, reader. In pursuit of the extraordinary.

1,273 responses to The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google

  1. 

    All I have to say is… my neighbours children got whooping cough real bad one winter when they were small. They were both immunised against the disease. My own pre-school age son was not immunised and even though he was in daily contact with the infected children, he luckily did not get sick.

    This was the first of many examples of contrary vacination indication which I witnessed over a period of 20 years as a mother.
    I have closely observed the differences between immunised and non-immunised children, especially where there is close contact between the two groups. I can state that almost without exception, the immunised children tended to get much more severe bouts of illness.

    I have seen some very sick children who have been immunised against the very diease they suffered through. Although my initial idea was to hold off immunising my children until they were older/ stronger, I eventualy decided entirely against. My children were always the ones who suffered the mildest symtoms of chicken pox etc.

    My very strong suspicion is that vacination may actualy weaken the immune system in many cases. It is also my opinion that the issue of immunisation is nowhere near as important as adequate living conditions and proper available nutrition.

    Lets not forget that it is in fact poverty which is the real culprit in the outbreak of disease.

    • 

      When should be expect your peer reviewed paper to come then which backs up this anecdotal evidence?

      • 

        What makes you think that your, or any other opinion or evidence on here is any less Anecdotal than that of anyone else? Do you hold a full dossier on all and every Scientific appraisal, theory or Evidence based article? Do you think that a Scientist cannot be any more, or less biased than any man in the street?
        Do you not think that someone who owes his living to a Company is more likely rather than less likely to tout the Company Agenda?
        Are you any more an expert by having more people at your disposal who say one thing rather than another? Was Galileo not ridiculed fro his beliefs that the World was round? What makes you think that most people are as likely to be wrong, if not more wrong as right? Has Science grown to such incredible advances that we can now conquer every known disease? Do doctors Cure every disease or do they simply treat them? Should not Doctors be paid only for Cures as a result of Treatments or simply for the application of them?

        • 

          If you think the random guy on the street is more knowledgeable than people have spent year studying the topic than I recommend quit your job now. Because apparently none of your knowledge and experience is worth anything at all and you do not deserve the wage or job you currently have.

          No doubt you are good at your job and have some experience but please understand how hypocritical and rude it sounds when you so easily dismiss the knowledge and experience of others.

          As to the doctors and an agenda. I find this farfetched. If this was a single country or along certain political or party lines you could swing a point. However, when it’s EVERY COUNTRY, no matter the doctors political affiliation, or economic situation this idea moves from opinion to suggesting a farfetched massive worldwide conspiracy. You may as well say magic/aliens and be done with it.

          The US is not the only country on earth, and your private for profit system is not the norm in the developed world.
          You wouldn’t accept massive worldwide conspiracy as a trial defense or even for your child’s homework not being done. There is no reason you should take the lazy way out and accept it here.

          • 

            According to the CDC’s own website they put formaldehyde, aluminum, and mercury in the vaccines which are known neurotoxins. But Im sure I don’t know what im talking about cause I don’t have credentials and the CDC told you the poison helps the vaccines work better.

            • 

              Ariana, are you cognizant of the concept of a dose related response to a substance? ANY substance you add to your body in a great enough excess will be poisonous, including pure water and pure oxygen. Equally true, I can think of no substance that is unsafe in minute enough amounts — the minute amounts of arsenic present in “pure well water” in many parts of the world, for instance, or the mercury found in sea food. Avoiding these substances completely would often lead to an unbalanced diet and very poor health. It is also impossible to avoid all exposure to radioactivity, as it is present, in minute amounts everywhere we are. So, the presence of minute amounts of substances that, in larger amounts, are neurotoxic (you know, like oxygen and water in extremely excessive amounts are either directly toxic to nerves as oxygen is, or cause changes in physiology that cause damage to the central nervous system as water can) is immaterial to the safety of a vaccine. They simply don’t matter. A careful review of the scientific literature will give you an idea of the levels of these compounds necessary to create an effect in the human body. Chances of a lifetime of exposure to the recommended doses of vaccines isn’t going to get you even close to the levels of exposure necessary to create problems.

            • 

              Hmm, their is more mercury in tap water than most vaccines, just maybe … minute amounts aren’t bad for you? seriously though, everyone get vaccinated. Scientists conduct tests which are done in controlled enviornments, where every environmental factor is the same, besides what they are studying. Watching one child’s (or even 20 children) life fot a short time, in a random place is not solid evidence.

        • 

          Galileo was not ridiculed for his belief that the Earth is a sphere. Magellan even made his famous voyage around the Earth decades before Galileo was born. Galileo was ridiculed by the church for his theories on a heliocentric solar system. The reason he was ridiculed was because very few people possessed the ability to look at the sky and translate it all into complex math equations. If I’m not mistaken his equations were incorrect, also; but, he had the right idea. Today we have many researchers capable of studying diseases and vaccines and the effects of each.
          Not going to bother citing here because these dates and theories are common knowledge, learned in almost any high school – or middle or elementary school – Earth Science class.

        • 

          “Was Galileo not ridiculed fro his beliefs that the World was round?”

          Um… no, he wasn’t. See, that’s what lack of reseach gets you!

          • 

            People knew the world was round by then. The debated the size. Common misconception. That is why life-long learning is important, we discover new things about old topics all the time.

        • 

          Mr Anonymous, everybody is allowed an opinion. But until it is the result of an accepted method of study, it is peer reviewed and goes through a whole system of verifications, re-testing by others and vetted by a significant portion of the scientific community concerned with the subject, it remains just that: an opinion. In this particular case, a few people who form the social environment of Louise are not of statistical significance. The problem is that never in history have humans relied so much on science but most are ignorant about what science is. Science is not just knowledge, it is the method of obtaining it and the rigorous discipline destined to keep opinion from influencing the observation of hard observable and reproductible fact.

    • 

      The plural of anecdote is not data.

    • 

      Louise do you know what confirmation Bias is?
      You had an opinion and your mind seeks out ways to prove it without considering the other factors. For instance you cannot say that every kid who was immunized got sicker… you have a few examples and probably didn’t notice all the other occasions. It’s like how you feel like you hit every red light on the way home. This not an uncommon practice for people. Hence why we do large studies to avoid bias.
      Afterall you wouldn’t declare someone guilty of murder without a proper unbiased investigation of all the facts.

      Also have also considered that those parents who didn’t vaccinate their kids were extra careful due to their fear of infection?

      As to the whooping cough……. Where you neibours kids over 10? The Whooping cough vaccine is ONLY effective for less than 10 years and is also 70-80% effective. They give it to babies because it is especially dangerous to newborns. After that they have to receive a booster, and

      In short you have an extremely high and unrealistic expectation to what a vaccine does, how long it lasts and what it is for. I’m sorry to say but your neibours were the 20% ineffective portion while the rest of there class and friends were part of the 80% who didn’t have to suffer along with them.

      • 

        Louise, I second what Kevin says. Individuals are very fallible witnesses. Humans are extremely good at seeing patterns, and conflating correlation with causation. The way to circumvent our biases, so that we can tell if something caused something else, is to test it in carefully designed studies of many subjects. That’s what the papers I linked to are about. Your personal observations of your (and others’) kids made an impression on you for sure, but without a greater understanding of the context (like a physician has) your “suspicions” aren’t good evidence. I’m sorry if that seems harsh, but the truth is that relying on anecdotes has genuine consequences, like this outbreak in my own state (http://www.nbcnews.com/health/measles-outbreak-tied-texas-megachurch-sickens-21-8C11009315)

        • 

          If NBC news reported it then it must be unbiased. You article did a poor job of presenting facts from both sides and simply reinforced your opinion using articles, studies ect that share the same opinion. I do consider myself to be educated, I am a physician with a masters degree, and I have my own opinion that happens to be against vaccinations for children, for annual flu and even for my pets. I could paste dozens of links supporting my opinion and write an article that anyone who disagrees with my opinion is wrong but I realize that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Lets agree to disagree, I will not get my children vaccinated and you will have nothing to worry about because your children’s vaccines will protect them from harm.

          • 

            You have no right to hold an opinion that is misinformed and plainly wrong. You clearly are not a physician with a masters degree, as any scientist would know what NBC reports ‘stories’ not facts, that dozens of links do not make a fact, and an article written by someone who is an idiot doesn’t make a fact either.

            By not vaccinating your children you are failing them and frankly social services should taken them from you. It is knowingly putting them in harms way. Otherwise called abuse.

            By not protecting your children you are putting neighbours children at risk as *they* will bring infection into the community.

            You should’ve ashamed of your stupidity, your abuse if your children and get them vaccinate immediately. You should also beg your neighbours for forgiveness and convince them to vaccinate their children if they aren’t already.

          • 
            ATeenagerWhoknowsmorethanthis^guy(man, isn't that sad) June 1, 2014 at 6:05 pm

            I tink all i need to do is put 1 quote that should be on every website that talks about scientific facts.

            “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”-Niel DeGrasse Tyson (a badass scientist)

            also, in THIS VERY ARTICLE it says that science has no sides. again, NO SIDES!!! the facts are the facts, whether it is true or false is proven through the scientific method. By the way, I think it is illegal to be impersonating a doctor, which you clearly are because NO DOCTOR WOULD SAY WHAT YOU ARE SAYING!!! they would not be approved to become a doctor if they believed in what you are believing in (you can look that up yourself, assuming of course that you are smart enough to run google. which i am having serious doubts about your ability to do so, i am amazed that you knew how to use a keyboard to type up this lame, half-assed, unintelligent comment that showcases your stupidity for the world to see for all of time. the fact that you are now experiencing this much punishment is made even worse by this one fact:

            You have just been owned by a 16 year-old kid in high school. I clearly know more than you do which is sad, nay, PATHETIC since you must be in your late 20s-early30s at the time of this comment.

            it’s people like you who i want to become the subject to Darwin’s law, survival of the fittest, and you, and others who think like you, are not the fittest of the human race, you are the farthest from the fittest.

    • 

      My brother got hooping cough in the same house as I.
      I did n’t get it. I got measles. He Got German Measles.I did n’t.
      i got Mumps. He did n’t. I got chicken pox. He did n’t !

      What gives? We all lived through the Vaccination Era but i was never Vaccinated against any of the Above nor was my brother.
      I was vaccinated against Polio and TB. Thats all .I have lived through having Flu without Vaccination. I have lived through Bird Flu epidemic and Swine Flu as well as the Egg and Cow scares. I am still fairly healthy and am 63.
      Why should i be any different to anyone else?

      • 

        Because we prefer not to have the common and longer term negative health effects assocaited with the virus. Many of these viruses have up to a 5% chance of causing fertility issues, nerve damange, cronic pain, spontanous abortion and brith defects. I also prefer having a low infant mortality rate and knowing that a single virus will not infect or hurt all the children in my kids daycare.

        and remember your parents didn’t have access to cancer treatments, advanced medical care, the current drugs and diagnositic tools.

        They lived through it why should you be different than anyone else?

        Sorry to throw your words back and your face but every generation improves on the others knowledge. You cannot fault the current generation for learning from the previous generation. Just as I will not fault you for being treated by the current generations knowledge when you parents also managed to survive without it. (just for not as long or as well)

        • 
          He has never been right about anything January 20, 2014 at 10:12 pm

          You really love yourself – in that kind of spiritually unhealthy way. Um, oh yeah….you’re wrong about everything…always.

      • 

        I’m an ER physician and have watched young otherwise healthy people die horrible deaths from vaccine preventable illnesses. Most recently a 39 year old who died in front of me from complications from the flu which likely would have been prevented by a simple vaccine. He’s DEAD. I think about him all the time. I’m glad you have been healthy and have never had a bad flu, many aren’t as lucky.

      • 

        Well… because people are different. Some people contract flu and die from it. In fact, so many people contract flu and die from it that it has exceeded epidemic proportions.

    • 

      Louise, you can’t even spell ‘vacination’ correctly, so how are we supposed to take anything you say seriously?

      By the way, it’s vaccination. I hope your kids die so you can see the light.

    • 

      “…he luckily did not get sick.”
      Yep, he really was lucky.

      “I have closely observed…,” therefore, ” I can state that almost without exception, the immunised children tended to get much more severe bouts of illness.”
      Based on my observation of the abnormally cold and snowy winter we had in my area, I can state with almost absolute certainty that the earth is not warming.
      Who cares what science shows? It’s my observation that is correct.

      “Lets not forget that it is in fact poverty which is the real culprit in the outbreak of disease.”
      Let’s not forget that immunization levels are lowest in poverty-stricken regions.

    • 

      I’m sorry but your insistence is painful to me. As a young child I was incredibly sick until i was vaccinated i suffered further until we discovered a close friend of mine(at kindy) had been passing the viruses constantly to me and others he of course was not vaccinated and ended up dying because his mum didn’t trust modern science. her reason? “Oh everybody knows vaccines are in fact designed to kill you and spread the disease.” She then turned on us claiming my immunizations had given HIM the viruses that killed him, pretty traumatic for an 8 year old.

  2. 

    Has a study been done to see how many children developed autism despite not being vaccinated?

    • 

      Well, sort of. The studies showed that vaccination doesn’t increase the risk of autism. If it decreased the risk of autism (i.e. non-vacciantion increases your risk), then that would show up in the data. I can’t imagine a scientist saying “no increase in risk” if the data showed “decrease in risk”.

  3. 

    The thing that really infuriates me about the anti-vaxxers is their willingness to take appalling risks with their children’s health. I’m willing to bet that their parents made sure they were vaccinated.

    I also wonder if any of these idiots would be happy to be exposed to rubella during the first trimester of a pregnancy.

    Unfortunately, I fear the only thing that will convince anti-vaxxers of their irresponsibility is if their children fall victim to the diseases.

    They obviously don’t have the wit to learn from history, when epidemics of what are now preventable diseases swept through communities leaving devastation in their wake.

    • 

      I agree with Jane. Anti-vaxxers must think that we humans are a species apart. We vaccinate dogs for rabies routinely, with the result that there are 75 (2008) and 81(2009) (per CDC) cases of rabies in dogs. Human cases are very rare in the US. In India, where dogs are not routinely vaccinated, there are 15,000-20,000 in HUMANS-primarily a result of dog bites (per CDC). By the way-if you are bitten by a rabid animal-the treatment of choice is vaccination against the virus-called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)-with near 100% certainty that you will not come down with rabies if treatment is started before symptoms express. Sounds to me like it works. Also, India doesn’t have nearly as good access to PEP. Sounds like a reasonably controlled study to me.

      • 

        Ah, but if only those Indian dogs had moms who were doctors and who let them get colds when they were puppies, their immune systems would be strong enough to fight off rabies.

    • 

      My parents were born in 1950 and 1951, before most vaccines were available. My mother told that it wasn’t unsual at school to be told someone wouldn’t be around any more because they had died of some disease (now vaccine-preventable). My was quite horrific (enough to make not want to watch the video in this post). My mother’s younegr brother had whooping cough, and my mother’s decsription of it. Their experiences certainly weren’t unique.

      Consequently, when that generation had childen, they made damn well took advantage of every vaccine available. However, my generation grew up without these deadly diseases, and so the threat seems much more abstract and thus easy to ignore…. hence the lower vaccination rates amongst our generation’s chlidren.

      Personally, if any parent says they don’t want to vaccinate against whooping cough, they should be shown that video.

    • 

      Hi there – first of all, calling a whole group of people “idiots” is well, idiotic. They have their beliefs just like you have yours. I happen to be in a family that doesn’t vaccinate. Neither my sister nor I have ever gotten seriously ill, neither has my mom (who is an “idiot” who, by the way, was ALSO not vaccinated by her “idiot” mother). We have wit, probably more than the next person, we simply choose not to put icky things in our succeptable children’s bodies. Which brings up another point… If you vaccinate YOUR children, then it shouldn’t be a problem if I don’t vaccinate MINE. Your vaccinated child should be safe from the disease my child MAY have; or are you afraid your vaccine won’t work? Plus, if you’re careful with your child, who is not vaccinated (don’t put them in daycare when they’re very young, etc) then the chances they’ll get a preventable disease is very small.

      • 

        Please refer to the article where it explains equivalence.

      • 

        First of all, that’s not how vaccines work. They aren’t bulletproof; they work by slowing the spread of disease. The more people that are vaccinated, the less the virus is able to get a foothold.

        Second, “belief” isn’t really the issue. Objective tests, that have been repeated many times, show the data that scientists work with. They do not “believe,” they test and test and test to find out. If I believed that putting salt in coffee made it sweet, no matter how many people had actually tested it, what would I be?

      • 

        Vaccinations increase the immune systems response to a disease, they do not guarantee immunity. Vaccinations require herd immunity, meaning the fewer infections, the limited number of possible mutations the disease goes through, and the more likely a vaccinated individual will be resistant to the current mutation. By not vaccinating your child, all children the come into contact are by proxy weakened.

        True, isolation will prevent some spread of disease. Hopefully us all shelling up in our homes is not the alternative.

        I would like to point out that the large number of cases were non-vaccinated individuals having “more mild” or the “mildest” symptoms of community diseases compared to the vaccinated individuals is a gross generalization implying you saw a majority or all of the vaccinated individuals and evaluated their symptoms. When you don’t know, its safest to be specific versus generalized. Also, consider vaccinations do not make a person’s immune system a certain level of resistant, it improves it overall. You probably have very immune-strong genes. Good for you.

      • 
        ATeenagerWhoknowsmorethanthis^guy(man, isn't that sad) June 1, 2014 at 6:11 pm

        I…I… cannot express/describe the level of how stupid this person is… for once, I am lost for words. You deserve an award for stupidity,nay, the CROWN so you can be the queen of stupidity. (if you know how to read, refer to the part of the article that describes herd immunity, again, that is if you have the mental capacity to be able to read.)

    • 

      If you are so sure your vaccinations work why would it bother you if I didn’t vaccinate my kids because I believe that they do more harm than good? It’s not like your kids would get sick from mine.. If vaccinations work… Are you aware of how many young girls died from the gardasil vacc? Google it. And yes my kids are vaccinated but I’m not so convoluted by my beliefs that I can’t see the other side of an argument.

  4. 

    Another point: I have a friend who is allergic to eggs, and thus can’t receive many vaccines (often the culture is grown in eggs). If enough people *choose* to not have vaccines, then the herd immunity disappears, and she would be at risk. (If she dies as a result, I will hunt down the source and make sure they know their choices resulted in someone’s death)

  5. 

    There is no vaccination to prevent tuberculosis, isn’t it true??

    • 

      There is a vaccination for tuberculosis — it’s called BCG (for bacille Calmette-Guerin). BCG is NOT used much in the US as a vaccine against tuberculosis.

      According to Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary (2009) 21st Edition, F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, PA, USA, page 2424:

      “BCG v. Bacille Calmette-Gur=erin vaccine, a preparation of a dried, living but attenuated culture of Mycobacterium bovis. In areas with a high incidence of tuberculosis (TB), it is used to provide passive immunity to infants against disseminate TB or TB meningitis, and it affords some protection against leprosy, it is not effective prevention, however, against pulmonary infection with tuberculosis. Among its other shortcomings, the vaccine cannot be used in pregnant women or in immunosuppressed individuals. It also produces hypersensitivity to TB skin tests, making them unreliable for several years. The vaccine can be used in caner chemotherapy, e.g., to treat multiple myeloma and cancer of the colon, or as a bladder wash in patients with carcinoma of the bladder.”

  6. 

    @stephenfry
    Bad advice Stephen, here is the truth.

    http://www.followingvaccinations.com

  7. 

    All of the anecdotal information in the world that seeks correlation doesn’t prove much unless it is of the category of “I saw the car hit the walking, breathing, person and the person died. Even then, an autopsy MIGHT show that the actual cause of death was the heart attack or stroke that occurred right before the car hit. If, by chance, every time I turned on the overhead light in my kitchen the refrigerator compressor came on — and this happened every time I turned on the light for the first week I lived in my new dwelling — with your logic I would be justified in reporting that turning on the light in my kitchen made my refrigerator compressor turn on. I could say this without ever checking the wiring or turning the light off and on several times in an hour to see if my hypothesis was correct. Obviously, that kind of “fact” would not be satisfactory to most people who had any understanding of how refrigerators turn the compressors on and off to maintain a certain temperature within or for people who understand how electrical wiring is usually done in the USA.

    That’s the problem with anecdotal evidence about immunizations, medications, in fact, about anything science tries to explain. That’s why ethical scientists are so darned careful about designing their studies. They want an honest answer to an honest question (unlike the phone call surveys I occasionally agree to participate in where the questions are worded to “corner” the respondents into giving answers that support the agenda of the group making the calls). So, until you have more than anecdotal evidence to offer I won’t be convinced — in fact, I won’t read much of your evidence. People who love other people will usually, when the loved one suffers a devastating health problem, seek to identify the cause of the problem, and, generally, they want the cause to be external to themselves. This is human nature and is not to be ridiculed. But, it isn’t science, even when done by a scientist.

  8. 

    Very good article, thank you.
    Does anybody know about a study or survey where vaccination or non-vaccination was correlated with desinfection routines? My collegues and I realized that non- or little-vaccinated students (nursery school) seem to be more prevalent to use desinfactants and antimicrobial wipes than fully vaccinated pupils. 2 students exhibiting compulsion to wash are not vaccinated. Some of students parents routinely use laundry detergent advertised as anti-microbial.

    Quite knocks the “raising strong, healthy children” argument down…

  9. 

    I was vaccinated as a child. I was also severely abused and neglected. I caught almost every illness going, including some I was vaccinated against, probably because of my abuse and neglect. Ill every week, missed out on education, near fatal enzyme counts, the works. Without the knowledge or consent of the parents from hell I somehow managed to register with a more competent GP who started giving me boosters for my immune system. Finally managed to get parent’s permission for a tonsillectomy age 15, as they were shot to pieces from my coughing and vomiting. Had them removed, started haemorrhaging, lost hearing in right ear. Slowly got healthier and healthier. Have had no vaccines since 1979. Have had 1 cold every 2 years for the past 20 years of my life. Just saying…

    • 

      Sorry to hear that, but remember, me and a couple of billion people are regularly vaccinated and are healty because of it.

  10. 

    I Have not had a flu shot or vaccine in over 20 years. I have not had one problem.

    • 

      may I suggest a trip to the Amazon of Panama, a 3-4 week vacation during the rain season, without the advised vaccinations of course.

      • 

        If you dont expose yourself to danger; then you must be less likely to be in danger.
        Is not the Flu everywhere these days?What evidence is there of people who had all the required Vaccinations and yet still came back with a disease? Is prevention not better than sure, or is it as Good or Much Better or not so Good at all? That depends on whether you are able to prevent it not .
        Are you not being anecdotal ; even when you relate to Scientifuc Articles? Can you not pick and choose your Science and Scientist arguments too?Arguments are all about gaining Victories and not about the truth. The Truth Seeker does not ridicule but question.
        He always takes in,(and entertains ) all the evidence before him before he swallows any of it.
        He does not state what other people say,( and that includes Scientists.)because even that itself is anecdotal evidence! Just because Billions of people believe or follow one Faith, it does not mean that they all believe it exactly the same way either or at all.
        “If a man knoweth anything he knoweth nothing; yet as he ought to know’

  11. 

    Me again! I greatly appreciate you writing about how to read and understand scientific papers. Since I’m feverishly trying to do as much research as possible before the arrival of my 2nd baby, I wanted to pass this along for your thoughts: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23902317/
    I know it has nothing to do with autism but many on-the-fence parents are not only concerned with that possibility. This study is in PubMed and thought the study size is small, its enough for me to be concerned. Thanks in advance!

    • 

      The study does not mention the rate of premature ovarian failure in the non-vaccinated publication. Documentation of anti-ovarian and anti-thyroid antibodies. No mention of thyroid issues or not. No testing of asymptomatic individuals for the same antibodies. In short, inadequate evidence. Interesting, yes. But large scale follow up of group of vaccinated vs. un-vaccinated (possibly a historical cohort in a country with good record keeping) necessary before any causality even possible to assess.
      As others have said: The plural of anecdote is NOT data.
      Correlation does not equal causation.
      Having cared for a # of women with cervical cancer, prefer vaccine. My colleagues with children have all vaccinated their children and many vaccinated their sons at their own expense before FDA approval.

    • 

      Ali, your first article had a sample of 3 and, from the abstract, which was all I could see, seemed to show they couldn’t determine the cause of the young women’s autoimmune disorder and thought it could be the vaccine. However, they said they saw an association as I remember, but not that they found evidence for causation. Also, I have no ideas how common or uncommon autoimmune diseases, and specifically autoimmune destruction of the ovaries, might be in the part of the gene pool from which the young women came; nor do I know how many young women got the HPV vaccine during the time frame that the 3 young women received it. There’s also no information that I saw regarding presence or absence of autoimmune disorders in the young women’s family trees. So, there isn’t enough information in the abstract to draw any conclusions from. If there were reports showing statistical significance for the occurrence of the 3 discussed cases, the findings would be more compelling.

      The second article identifies some correlations — things that happened at the same time but the only conclusion in the abstract is that further studies need to be done to see if there’s any information that would support causation.

      Again, as I’ve said several times during this discussion, correlation is necessary for there to be causation but can never prove causation. You have to prove that the outcome identified (autoimmune destruction of the ovaries in one study and a rise in diagnosed cases of autism in the other) occurs only when the hypothesized stimulus is present and WHILE you have statistically controlled for all other possible confounding factors. So, in the aluminum study, I’d want to see comparisons based on similar levels of socioeconomic status of entire populations with similar levels of education, access to health care, and immunization but with some countries having vaccines that included the identified forms and amounts of aluminum products while in other in countries the vaccines didn’t have those compounds. Also, I’d want clear definitions of the diagnostic criteria used in diagnosing autism spectrum disorders in each setting. If the diagnostic criteria have evolved over the time period of the study, until that is accounted for in the statistical analysis, none of the other findings are going to tell me much. If the diagnosis is a moving target comparisons over time become invalid.

      • 

        Marni, there is a link at the bottom of each abstract for the full text. In that text you may find some answers to your questions, especially for the second link I posted regarding aluminum. (Please especially read Section 4: Discussion) Thanks for your input! I guess my point here is that even in respectable scientific journals there can be different findings, so again us parents trying to learn and inform ourselves are finding it difficult to choose a side. Just because something isn’t proven doesn’t mean the opposite is true. I remember reading something once about how it took decades and tons of court cases (of course I have no sources to reference!) for there to be found a link between smoking and lung cancer… just keeps me thinking. ..

        • 

          Ali, I went back to the aluminum article — I don’t have time to investigate both — and found that many of the facts on the autoimmune effects of the aluminum in vaccines are based on studies in macaque monkeys, rats, mice, etc. While animal studies are an important lead up to studies in humans it is difficult to predict which will translate to human physiology. In addition, while they made excellent use of the data available, they apparently had no way to separate the population level data so as to determine differences in the rates of autoimmune disorders, autism, etc. in fully vaccinated children from unvaccinated children or any variations based on the numbers of vaccinations children in any group had received. Until such data is available and is analyzed appropriately I think we would be jumping to conclusions to decide on causation. There are so many environmental factors that would be in common in the various countries from which they received data — the US, Canada, Iceland, the UK, Australia, Finland, and Sweden. Population data is very valuable for many purposes — but when you’re trying to detect differences in outcome of a small proportion (the unvaccinated, in this case) portion of the population, data on the incidence of a diagnosis in the entire population won’t show whether the vaccines were definitely the cause of changes — unless, and this would be difficult if not impossible to do — you can statistically control of every feasible confounding variable. We still don’t know enough about the causes of autoimmune disorders and we know little, indeed, about possible causes of autism.

          By the way, separate research is pretty clear that the increase in some disorders, I remember specifically the discussion of childhood asthma, is directly related to too much cleanliness and not enough exposure to normal dirt and the components thereof, by very young children. Children who were allowed, among other activities, to make mud pies, were less likely to have asthma than children who were kept clean all of the time. So, when you look at disorders without obvious causes (obvious as in, for instance, streptococci and staphylococci that cause sore throats) the search for causes must range far and wide — and include even some counter-intuitive variables. Again, correlation does not equal causation, no matter how close the correlation may be. Also, studies looking for causation must be incredibly well designed if bias is to be avoided.

      • 

        Ali–does that answer your questions? Marni–You’re wonderful. Thank you for your contributions here!

        • 

          Jennifer,
          thank you for hosting this interesting discussion and for the original post from you on the subject. In addition, the article you wrote on how to read scientific papers is a gem and I wish I’d had it when I was trying to learn the process. I am a 66 year old masters prepared nurse and have seen a LOT of change in healthcare knowledge and practice since I graduated in 1969. I’ve even had the honor of working around and with some world class physicians who added significantly to the body of knowledge on causes of hypertension and in the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine abnormalities.

          Some of the research done there led to dead ends. I remember a VERY promising cholesterol reducing drug that was in the second stage of testing on humans — when it was being tested for efficacy as well as safety. It was extremely efficacious in treating the kind of familial hypercholesterolemia that killed people with heart disease at an average age of 15 — but after a few doses a young woman patient lost nerve control in one wrist. When the drug was stopped, the nerve function was restored. At the patient’s insistence they might have tried a second time with the drug — I can’t remember as it was back in the 1970s, but the studies, nationwide at several research centers were stopped and no more of the substance was studied in humans. Unless one has had an opportunity to see ethically done medical research in action, it can be difficult to believe how truly moral and ethical the researchers are. They want so desperately to find ways to prevent, if possible, or cure, if that’s the only currently available option, diseases and disorders that plague mankind. To read some of the inflammatory comments about them, stereotyping them based on awareness only of the few bad apples among them, hurts us all. We need their knowledge and dedication. And since most of them work in university medical centers and are employed, primarily, as faculty in a school of medicine, while they are affluent, they aren’t and won’t ever be what most people who are contributing to this discussion would describe as wealthy.

          • 

            Thank you so much. I’m not teaching this year, so I’m able to prioritize blogging and scientific outreach as my non-research activities. I’m really, really enjoying the chance to interact with thoughtful people such as yourself.

        • 

          Kind of. But in your article above you quote a science blog as saying ,“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…” But this study I found in PubMed that Marni read proves there is certainly a hint of a correlation. And while that is not causation it’s enough for parents like myself to think and weigh options. I don’t think anyone here is saying a link has been proven. Just that even in reputable scientific studies in scientific databases that you say are reputable, there are contradicting studies. Does that make sense?

          • 

            Ali, as in almost all areas of life, proving a negative is much more difficult that proving a positive. That is, how does a woman who has at some point had sexual intercourse with one man PROVE she hasn’t had sexual intercourse with more than one man? Short of the woman having been in a locked in environment where only one man has a key and only that man is ever in the building, she basically can’t. It is much easier to prove that a woman or a man has had sex with more than one partner if that has happened. It isn’t always possible to prove it even if it has happened, but it is much easier to prove than proving the absence of such an event. So, in medicine, research only very rarely can come up with “always” and “never” answers to questions. Therefore, studies will say “No causal association was found” but not “No causal effect is possible”. And, unless one can test one’s hypothesis on the entire possibly affected population — not just on increasingly large samples of that population — you’re not going to find many times when a researcher will guarantee absence of correlation or causation in every person, every time. What medical researchers can do is do enough testing and follow enough patients for long enough to reduce to incredibly small levels any questions remaining on causation in the presence of correlation. So, as long as most infants and children are immunized from very early ages on, and as long as the less severe forms of autism can only be diagnosed based on behaviors that can’t be evaluated until the child is walking and talking, almost all children diagnosed with autism will have had multiple vaccinations. There just isn’t any good evidence available now to implicate vaccinations in the causation of autism or any of the many other difficulties or disorders that have been named or hinted at in this discussion.

    • 

      Sounds wonderful Ali & very professional and informative to boot. However, if one delves a little deeper you will find that the journal in which this article was published has no requirements, or even mechanisms in place, for reviews of submitted work by appropriately qualified and experienced peers in the relevant field. Therefore, while such an article may look impressive, there are no checks and balances in place to ensure the accuracy of its content.

      Unlike most of the data published about how there is no causal link between vaccines and Autism.

      I am not going to get into a debate into this with you. You will either accept the limitations of the article you provided a link to or you won’t. If you don’t than you are likely to not be swayed from your position no matter how much sense and how many facts people bring to your attention.

  12. 

    Hmmm. Dr. Paul Offit or former Playboy model McCarthy. The National Institutes of Health or drama queen Oprah. Such a dilemma deciding whose medical evidence to accept.

  13. 

    You could have written a junk post, which you didn’t, and just because of the title it would still be great. Not commenting on the issue itself, though. Popular interpretation of science usually gets a rise out of me.

  14. 

    There once was a McCarthy named Jenny
    when nude, earned quite a pretty penny.
    She thought it would be green
    to declare vaccines mean.
    Never mind the lives saved are many!

  15. 

    I don’t know how you can watch that video of children suffering from pertussis, and not be driven to take action to protect your own kids. That video was hard to watch – but powerful. Thanks for your post.

  16. 
    Roxanne Williams August 31, 2013 at 7:21 am

    This article was too long and you’re trying too hard to convince… So let me be brief: One size does not fit all and sorry but there IS a link between vaccinating and autism, it just can’t be definitively proven. Peer reviewed in the AMA? Laughable! I’m glad the ‘tonier’ folks are taking a stand and opting out.. The poor folks have no choice and are offered cash vouchers to get their jabs.

    • 

      You mean that the article was accurate, provided sources and information and you have nothing intelligent to counter otherwise. But you would have been more convinced if it was provided to you as a 30s commercial and soundbite. Maybe with a little jingle?

      and FYI there is more than one country on earth. I’m sorry that America has a pay for use system and a heavily active pharmaceutical lobby. However, not all countries are like that.

      You deserve better. However, so do the many professionals that you like make up massive world wide conspiracies about.

    • 

      “there IS a link between vaccinating and autism, it just can’t be definitively proven.”

      I don’t understand what you mean. Either it can be proven or it can’t. If you can demonstrate this link, using scientific methods, then please share your work.

      “you’re trying too hard to convince”

      I will never apologize for “trying too hard” on this issue. It matters.

    • 

      If the link hasn’t been proven Roxanne then you can’t claim that there definitely IS one. Why is peer reviewed in the AMA laughable? if that is not to your satisfaction why not try any one of numerous other publications around the world that use suitably qualified and experienced professionals to check on the reliability of the content of any material submitted before it gets published. That is much more than can be said for magazines, periodicals, blogs, etc which published unsubstantiated claims.

      Most countries don’t offer people money to receive vaccines. What many ‘tonier’ folk, as you call them, choose to do with their lives should not be a guide for the greater population. As far as I’m aware there has been about as much evidence of the link between wealth and intelligence as there is for the vaccine/autism link = NIL!

  17. 

    I loved your article , which is why I followed you to, as I wish to keep track of your blog and see what else you have to offer the blogging world :) please check out my latest blog feature a song by a young man called Kurtis Robinson Every like gives him a greater chance of making it .
    Thankyou in advance and I hope to talk to you more often.
    All the best
    Steven

    http://sfoxwriting.com/2013/09/02/daily-song-sinnerman/

  18. 

    Vaccines are a joke, cause basically a vaccine is you are infected and givin the antidote the same time. Sounds good right, get the disease and cure i same time. I have only had one vaccine in my adul life and its cause of the scare this virus caused, the swine flu. I had the H1N1 vaccination and a year later I have been diagnosed with narcolepsy. It is related who knows but after I had my vaccination, reports started coming out linking he H1N1 vaccine and narcolepsy. Before this vaccine I had taken, I had perfect health for 35 years. After it I have constantly been sick and my immune system has been failing to fight off simple things. I use to be a advocate for vaccines, now to me they are worthless and cause more harm then good.

    • 

      let me rephrase some things, vaccines are good if they work. enough said.

    • 

      1. vaccines do not provide the sickness and cure. All they do is infect you with a castrated version of the virus. this causes your body to fight the virus, learn how and produce anti-bodies. In short it takes your immune system to school.

      2. The H1N1 vaccine is ONE vaccine. one that was by all reports produced rather quickly to counter a potential threat that had already killed more people in a short per infection than anything else going around at the time. You really cannot compare it to other vaccines. Nore can you state all vaccines are bad based on one.

      3. I find it hard to believe an “advocate” for vaccines would have only had one vaccine in there life. Usually when someone agrees with something they don’t go out of there way to avoid it.

      4. I’m sorry that you are suffering these side effects. I know to you personally this vaccine did more harm than good. For most vaccines it’s one in every 1,000,000 people. There is more danger in wearing a seatbelt.

  19. 

    I agree that vaccines do work but, you cant deny the fact that many vaccines contain toxic chemicals such as mercury and aluminum. There are also thousands of documented cases of people be permanently injured from being injected from contaminated vaccines.I just find it so frustrating how people are so binary in their thinking ending at one extreme or the other.

    • 

      If there are “thousands of documented cases of people be[ing] permanently injured from being injected from contaminated vaccines”, please provide the references from the scientific, peer reviewed literature that includes the form of contamination because if the injury was due to improper storage of the vaccines or improper use of equipment, that will be no evidence whatsoever that properly maintained and administered vaccines are dangerous, so that I may evaluate the level of the evidence provided. Thank you.

    • 

      I agree that people shouldn’t be going from one extreme to the other. Vaccines like any medicine has its risks including if it has been improperly applied. For instance I’m not going to run around getting every vaccine in existence.

      However, that being said people need to keep that risk in perspective.
      By a quick estimation over 3 BILLION vaccines have been administered in Europe and North America.
      The people that have been negatively affected are literally 1 in a million. You have a greater chance of greater injury driving your car each day than by the vaccine. (The anti-vaxiers say they won’t take the vaccine because of the risk, however, by that logic they probably shouldn’t be driving either)

      I did a statistical estimation in response to someone else in this thread and it works out that you are about 39 times more likely to die from the virus than you are to experience long term side effects. You are also about 133 times more likely to catch the virus and be severely sick for 6+weeks vs. having a fever for a few hours with the vaccine. (this was assuming every infection statistic in the anti-vaxers favor the real stats would probably be 10-100 times this.)

      As for the items in the vaccine……. These items are at such a low dose that it almost becomes pointless. There are exposure thresholds. Afterall if mercury or aluminum were really that dangerous do you think people would make light bulbs and paper clips out of them?

      So in short I don’t think people are binary in there thinking. They have just properly weighted the risks and that comes out in there writing.

  20. 

    The more and more I read on this topic from various sources and news articles the more shocked I am at the Anti-Vax crowd.

    Even in this forum. The majority can’t even show the posters here enough respect to provide a name. They couldn’t even manage a fake one.

  21. 

    Interesting how it is not mentioned that these “trained physicians” giving advice are also often getting money/payments/etc from the same companies that make the vaccines. Where is that discussion, I wonder?

    • 

      Funny how the people you get your advice from like write and sell books and other products.
      If you are going to accuse people of only being in it only for the money you should start closer to home.

      And FYI not all healthcare systems are like America’s.

    • 

      I am middle-aged physician who does not receive a dime from Pharmaceutical Companies. Go forth and vaccinate. Vaccines have saved more lives than anything but sewer systems. Not sexy, I know.

    • 

      There is no discussion because they are not getting paid. That is internet rants based on nothing. As has been mentioned here numerous times, the US is the only private healthcare system. Every other industrialized nation has a British style NHS. Where no docs are salaried in any way based, or linked to profit. It doesn’t exist there. And yet every one of those countries vaccinates. Please. Facts. It’s not hard to find them.

  22. 

    I got shots when I was really young, but thats it. I’m overdue for all of them, yet I need a few shots to get into school (I do not like this idea of this). I’m 26, had a very small case of chicken pox as a child, never had the flu or flu shot, I often go years without getting sick. I have no idea how I will go about this situation if I ever had a child.. I would prefer not to..

    • 

      VanishaRDailey,
      Healthy young adults rarely get terribly sick with the flu and generally have been immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, and generally are not at high risk for bad outcomes from other contagious diseases. However, you are probably due or past due for a booster on your tetanus vaccination. While tetanus doesn’t strike a high percentage of the people exposed, it is impossible to avoid exposure if you are ever exposed to dirt that isn’t sterile. It is also difficult to diagnose in the early stages unless the physician (or other emergency room care provider or primary care provider) has a high index of suspicion. It is difficult to treat after established in the body, it affects the nervous system, and even when cured can leave a person with permanent neurologic deficits.

      Children, especially infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, have immature immune systems and cannot readily fight bacterial or viral infections as efficiently as do young adults. People CANNOT entirely protect children in those age groups from exposures to contagious diseases unless, with the exception of the tetanus which is ubiquitous in the dirt of this planet, the family lives in a remote area and avoids all contact with the outside world. In addition, there’s research supporting the concept that the WORST two things, health wise, that parents of healthy young children can do in regard to hygiene is keep them too clean or keep them too dirty. There’s a broad middle ground there, but it almost always includes playing in the dirt or mud and getting it all over one’s body — and probably eating just a bit of it. These exposures are necessary so that the immune system of a very young child can develop as human immune systems are meant to develop. Children who lack adequate exposure to dirt are at increased risk for certain hypersensitivity reactive disorders, like asthma and eczema.

      Hygiene levels in a contemporary population cohort are
      associated with wheezing and atopic eczema in
      preschool infants
      A Sherriff, J Golding, and the ALSPAC Study Team

      “Results: Increasing hygiene scores were independently associated with wheezing (OR = 1.04; 95% CI: 1.00 to 1.08) and atopic eczema (OR = 1.04; 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.07) between 30 and 42 months, but not in the first six months. The odds ratio was higher for atopic eczema if the rash was reported to have become sore and oozy (OR = 1.09; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.16).
      Conclusions: High levels of hygiene at 15 months of age were independently associated with wheeze and atopic eczema reported between 30 and 42 months, and there was an increased risk for children
      with more severe eczema during this period. The importance of hygiene in public health should not be dismissed; however, the creation of a sterile environment through excessive cleanliness may potentially
      be harmful to the immune system.”

      At: http://adc.bmj.com/content/87/1/26.short
      Found via the NIH in a Google Scholar search. The study was published in 2002, by the way.

      So the parent (or parents) who claimed they could keep their children healthy with cleanliness and good hygiene, depending on how clean they actually meant, could be exposing their children to increased risks for uncomfortable, sometimes life threatening, and sometimes difficult to treat, and incurable with modern medical interventions (though some children “outgrow” them) disorders.

      This world is NEVER without risks. There are ALWAYS risks to acting and ALWAYS risks to inaction. The challenge is to find the pathways through life that optimize ultimate outcomes. Public Health goals are to minimize threats to the population as a whole (the public) while maximizing opportunities for good health for individuals (in part, by minimizing their risks). So, when you think about your own health, remember to look carefully at the numbers. You’re a healthy young adult, from what you’ve said. How much time can you afford to miss from work or school if you get the flu? Depending on the strain of flu involved, you could be looking at an average number of days being too sick to get far from your bed for from 3 to 7 (or more) days. Then look at the numbers of healthy young adults who, having caught the flu, get pneumonia as a complication. This is unlikely if you are not only healthy, but also consistently well nourished with a balanced diet and consistently well rested. However, most young adults at least occasionally have periods lasting from days to weeks when life piles up on them and either their diet deteriorates or they are consistently sleep deprived, or both. So, how positive are you that, this winter, you won’t get exposed to the flu when your immune system is compromised by, say, several days of running on 2 or 3 hours less than you need each night of sleep? I have clear memories from the days prior to effective flu vaccinations — this would have been, I think, 1967 or 1968 — when I, as a healthy young adult nursing student, got what was called the Hong Kong flu. Several days of a fever of 104 degrees F in spite of full doses of aspirin (I don’t remember Tylenol — acetaminophen — being readily available or valued for fever control back then) and sick as a dog. In addition, have you seen what a severe case of bacterial meningitis can do to a healthy young adult? With the best modern medicine can do, it can kill. With the best modern medicine can do, it can leave the survivors deaf, with decreased cognitive abilities, or otherwise physically disabled. Check the numbers to see what percentage of young adults who get meningitis end up with permanent disabilities or die, and compare that to the percentage of young adults who have those outcomes directly related to the vaccine available. Remember, always, when you look at risks for yourself, never assume that you’re other than within the middle 75% of the bell curve. You MAY be, because of your genetic make-up, at much less than average risk for getting or being left dead or disabled from an infectious disease for which there is a usually effective vaccine, but there are NO tests available to determine that status prior to your decisions about getting vaccinated and the fact that you haven’t had problems YET doesn’t have much predictive value. So, assume you’re among the average unless you KNOW (from experience or medical advice) that your risks are higher than the average.

      Take care and best wishes for optimal health given your genetic make up,

      Marni

  23. 

    Thank you for this excellent post. I am from the healthcare community and it really angers me when ignorance takes over from medical knowledge and people/parents are against vaccines because of something they have read or been told by a friend putting their child and other childrens’ health in danger.

  24. 

    Your blog’s excellent. There’s so much bad science (someone else trying to debunk it: http://www.badscience.net/). I had a go at ‘anti microwave fundamentalists’ the other day: http://cookingacontinuum.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/whats-wrong-with-using-a-microwave-oven/ hardly a matter of life and death, but too much effort is devoted to ignorance.

  25. 

    i didnt find your post convincing. you used graphics and videos to convince your reader. your writing alone should do. i want to feel informed and taken seriously rather than scared into any opinion. i think it doesnt belong into a subject like this. there have been too many others using these “tactics”. you have not explained the “other side” enough and taken those opinions into consideration and treated them with respect. there are many parents out there that have actually lost their children (and at this point it doesnt matter if they are right or wrong) and believe it was because of a vaccination. they deserve to be respected and treated with dignity because they have suffered enough. you have not mentioned the problem of funding or the bias it creates nor have you mentioned the problems created by the pharma industry that is a considerable force in this subject. politics and sience are not the same but unfortunately financial profit blurres the lines. any lines… you have not mentioned the problems parents will face if they suspect a vaccine injury of their child and the loops they will have to jump through to get acknowledgement and the way they are treated. you have not explained that no doctor is obligated to report any adverse reaction to a vaccine given by him or her (and why would they…) and the effect this has on statistics… you have not mentioned that vaccine reports are often not filled out properly so that any trace back to the original vaccine is impossible. you have not mentioned the financial interests of vaccine producing companys and the way they conduct but you have mentioned the “profit” of some person that seems to be against vaccination. apart from all the sience your view seems biased and onesided to me and is therefore not credible or trustworthy to me. here is a website that i would suggest that tries to be what i mentioned above: provide information in a respectful way http://www.nvic.org/about.aspx.
    please excuse any wrong typing as i am not a native speaker..

    • 

      Just to be clear. You decided to link a professional done page with pictures of small children all around. That continues to insinuate that Vaccines cause Autism while having no proof and hardly playing lip service to the other KNOWN factors.

      There are more graphics on a single page from the site you linked than there are in this entire blog.

      This seems to be an interesting double standard that you have.

      I also have to point something else to you. science isn’t about being fair. There is not 2 equal sides to every idea. Science is not like American politics.

      There is what you can prove and then there is what you can’t.

      So of course we could talk like the 1 in 1,000,000 as if it was equal to the 999,999. But that would hardly be honest either.

      • 

        Prove vaccines do not cause autism. I have had many patients that are pro-vaxxies notice vast declines in health and wellbeing in their child (ie. loss of speech, loss of motor control, emotional detachment, and stomach/ eating disorders) set in immediately following a vaccination. Personally knowing these children from birth and watching their development not only stop, but regress immediately following a set of pokes, literally starting that night or next day in most cases, makes it difficult as a practitioner to ignore the cause and effect. While I do not have epidemiological studies, there is no denying the credibility of what I have observed.

        • 

          It has been shown that the incidence of autism is no greater in unvaccinated than in vaccinated children.
          DeStefano F, Price CS, Weintraub ES. Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism. J Pediatrics 2013, doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.001.
          Summary
          We analyzed data from a case-control study conducted in 3 managed care organizations (MCOs) of 256 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 752 control children matched on birth year, sex, and MCO. In addition to the broader category of ASD, we also evaluated autistic disorder and ASD with regression. ASD diagnoses were validated through standardized in-person evaluations. Exposure to total antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides from vaccines was determined by summing the antigen content of each vaccine received, as obtained from immunization registries and medical records. Potential confounding factors were ascertained from parent interviews and medical charts. Conditional logistic regression was used to assess associations between ASD outcomes and exposure to antigens in selected time periods.

          Results
          The aOR (95% CI) of ASD associated with each 25-unit increase in total antigen exposure was 0.999 (0.994-1.003) for cumulative exposure to age 3 months, 0.999 (0.997-1.001) for cumulative exposure to age 7 months, and 0.999 (0.998-1.001) for cumulative exposure to age 2 years. Similarly, no increased risk was found for autistic disorder or ASD with regression.

        • 

          Clarity, that’s exactly the problem. Typically, symptoms of autism are first noticed right around the same time as children are getting their vaccinations. Now, the question is: did the vaccines CAUSE autism, or do they just occur at the same time. (The difference between correlation and causation). We humans are extremely good at seeing patterns, and inferring causes from them…even if we’re wrong about it. It’s precisely why those epidemiological studies are needed–to test the null hypothesis that vaccines cause them. You have to look at large populations, ruling out confounding factors (like genetics, or stomach/eating disorders caused by other conditions) to test whether there’s robust support for that hypothesis. You simply can’t do this by intuition alone. Study after study after study, looking at thousands of children, has shown that there is no causal association. So long as we’re fixated on the wrong thing (vaccines), we’re going to hinder progress in finding out what DOES cause these symptoms. They’re very real, and the conditions are very real, but we’re doing parents and children a disservice by using anecdotal data to extrapolate cause.

          ps If you’re interested in how vaccine safety studies are conducted, I go through one in great detail here: http://violentmetaphors.com/2013/09/08/an-example-of-how-to-read-a-vaccine-safety-study/

          • 

            After reading 500+ publications about ASD/vaccines there is not proof that the vaccines do or do not cause or trigger ASDs.
            Can you tell me that for 100% certainty vaccines, in a perfect storm ( genetic predisposition, comp. immune , bad batch of vaccine, improperly stored and or not timely administered), can not trigger or cause ASDs?

            • 

              Clarity,
              can you tell me that for 100% certainty consumption of apple by infants, in a perfect storm (genetic predisposition, comp. immune, bad batch of applesauce, improperly stored and or not started at the right time in the infant’s life), can not trigger or cause ASD? Proving such a negative is difficult, if not impossible. Even if I showed a huge study of people worldwide who had or hadn’t ever eaten applesauce, even if I showed that there was no causation apparent, people could still present all kinds of anecdotal evidence of infants/toddlers who had been fed that noxious substance and subsequently developed ASD. So, you either have faith in the scientific method and the usefulness of testing hypotheses or you don’t.

              Prior to the development of the body of scientific knowledge currently available (as inadequate as it is compared to what I think will be available in a few more decades) the only “logic” people could access for ascribing causation of illnesses and sources of cures was the personal observations made by themselves, their friends, and their relatives. When my mother-in-law grew up and was first married she lived in rural northeast Alabama. Her perceptions of causation and cures for many illnesses were “intriguing”. Certain people could, when standing near a particular bush in the woods with another person suffering from a certain viral illness, by reciting specific verses from the King James Bible, cure the afflicted person. She knew this because her neighbor’s cousin had been cured that way. Or, so-and-so who lived across from us when we lived at such-and-such a place died last year because his “asthma dog” (the special breed of dog that would take his wheezes away from him) had died and he had an attack before he could get a new one. Your anecdotal information carries as much weight with a person with a scientific way of examining evidence as do the anecdotes from my mother-in-law.

          • 

            Clarity…..I have to be straight with you here. As a person with ASD and a professional I actually find your insistence on this issue insulting.

            You’ve been spoon fed the exact study that shows you that there is NO statistical correlation between Vaccines in autism. You have the opinions of professionals the WORLD over. From a thousand different political, economic and religious backgrounds. You apparently think that they are all incompetent liars. Or you think they are trying to poison you with expired vaccines.

            You are purposely and knowing ignoring the other factors that have KNOWN effects. Like,
            Age of the mother (on the rise) (are you having yours young?)
            Certain types of pollution (also on the rise) (are you avoiding cities? farmers fields?)
            Detection methods and trained teachers (also on the rise)
            Heredity (the main factor)

            Since you are so afraid of the perfect storm possibility.
            I have to honestly ask.

            Do you own a car? walk down the street? Every used birth control? Had drink?

            Because if your fear and efforts to avoid random perfect storm was consistent across your entire life I could understand it.

            However, if your efforts are ONLY about vaccines and ASD. Than I would really have to ask what is your problem with ASD what is your problem with people like me? Just like 2/3rd of people with ASD I have an above average IQ, strong sense of right and wrong and the ability to look at and solve problems in new and exciting ways. I have a wife and family but you certainly seem so afraid of me.

          • 

            @Kevin, I want to thank you specifically for saying this:

            “As a person with ASD and a professional I actually find your insistence on this issue insulting….what is your problem with ASD what is your problem with people like me?”

            I have said to many people that even IF the autism/ASD and vaccine link were proven, I would still have vaccinated both my children. That does not make light of ASD at all, because I know that it IS a spectrum and that there are individuals on one end of it who have serious struggles to face. But most people with ASD can work, can have friends, can marry, can do everything you would hope your child could do — in some cases, better than a neurotypical person! I often wonder if the supposed link had been to, say, Type 1 diabetes, if the response would have been quite as dramatic.

            So I am glad that you stepped forward to say, “This is me, this is who I am, and to treat me as if my condition is the whole of my existence is offensive.”

          • 

            Here’s the largest study ever done. Clarity here’s your proof vaccines are not related to autism. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X14006367

  26. 

    I just completed reading your “How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists” and I’d like to point you the references you cite in here are to panels and discussions (opinions) regarding vaccine safety — not scientific papers.

    Don’t think you’ll find much reassuring information regarding the certification of polio vaccines being ‘clean’ of SV-40. If you happen to run across the literature validating this, please send it my way. Thanks.

    • 

      Take a closer look at the links I posted. There are many, many primary research papers for you to read there.

      • 

        Typhoid and Scarlet fever were eradicated never using a vaccine. influenza and the measles were 90% under control before a vaccine was introduced into American society. the same patterns follow many infectious diseases that find it hard to infect a person when their immune system is strong. Mumps effect such a small amount of people that youd have to ask yourself whether it would be worth it to fill your body with much deadlier things just to combat it. If you really look into the history of polio youd understand that it also is much less of a threat than youve been told. and for those that vaccinate their children and are upset at families that don’t vaccinate, don’t worry, by your way of thinking your child is safe because they’ve been vaccinated. On top of all that, I refuse to trust a medical industry that lobbies for further deregulation even after several admitted mistakes in fast tracking while looking at vaccines as more of a product to sell consumers. Furthermore, their denials of any connection between vaccines and autism sounds exactly like tobacco industries told us that smoking doesn’t cause death. We need to evolve our thinking to evolve our species.

  27. 

    I feel sorry for you. Most people take time to know the truth.

    • 

      You don’t need to feel sorry for me! What truth are you talking about?

      • 

        Glad you asked, the truth about how the Rockefellers and other rich elites have been in control of the medical industry and Big Pharmaceutical companies for at least 100 years, the truth about how theyve manipulated doctors through the medical journals and books that are used in medical schools to perpetuate the use of deadly medicines. The truth about how the Big Pharma companies have CEOs that have been government representatives and senators and vice versa. The truth about how 100,000 people die a year from prescription drugs(one every 5 mins) and millions more injured by American doctors that think they know what is best. The truth behind why they don’t teach doctors about proper nutrition(see scurvy). The truth about how its impossible to sue these companies. I really could go on and on. It shouldn’t make you mad that people think they know as much as doctors by googling, it should scare the hell out of you that they do.

    • 

      So Jennifer writes a 2500 word, well thought out, well articulated article on the subject matter and this is the best nonsensical criticism you can come up with?

  28. 

    I’m not saying I think vaccines cause autisim, but this quote “Andrew Wakefield faked his data for profit” is pretty comical. Surely no one in the vaccine-making business is profting off fear mongering…

    • 

      The evidence is pretty clear that Wakefield owned enough interest in the company in the UK that made/sold the single vaccine measles vaccination (as compared to the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines) that if the triple vaccine fell out of favor and people got the separate vaccines, he, Wakefield, would be a VERY rich man. That’s where the profit would have been. The companies developing and making the vaccines don’t make a lot of corporate profit on them (many companies find the profit so inadequate that they go out of that business and devote themselves to making drugs with a better profit margin for themselves and their stockholders), but an individual able to tap the profits from administration of a given immunization that was to be given to almost every child in the UK could make a lot of money, indeed. So, Wakefield was apparently in it for the money — and if he wasn’t, he very effectively hid that LACK of greed from the investigators present at the time when the discovery of his publication based on falsified data occurred.

      Here’s a brief summary of research on this subject from the site of the American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www2.aap.org/immunization/families/autismwakefield.html References and some links to some of the papers cited are at the end of the article.

      And here’s a quote from a report commissioned by the Institute of Medicine in the National Institutes of Health which is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services:

      Causality Argument

      Studies examining the association between MMR and autism (see Table 10), including nine controlled observational studies (DeStefano et al., 2004; DeWilde et al., 2001; Farrington et al., 2001; Fombonne and Chakrabarti, 2001; Madsen et al., 2002; Makela et al., 2002; Takahashi et al., 2003; Taylor et al., 1999, 2002), three ecological studies (Dales et al., 2001; Gillberg and Heijbel, 1998; Kaye et al., 2001), and two studies based on a passive reporting system in Finland (Patja et al., 2000; Peltola et al., 1998), consistently showed no association. Two studies reported findings of a positive association between MMR and autism. The first was an ecological study (Geier and Geier, 2004a) that reported a potential positive correlation between the number of doses of measles-containing vaccine and the cases with autism reported to the special education system in the 1980s. The second was a study using passive reporting data by the same authors (Geier and Geier, 2003c) that reported a positive correlation between autism reports in the VAERS and estimated administered doses of MMR. However, these two studies are characterized by serious methodological flaws and their analytic methods were nontransparent, making their results uninterpretable, and therefore noncontributory with respect to causality (see text for full discussion). The case-series study by Wakefield and colleagues (1998), which originally raised the hypothesis linking MMR and autism, is uninformative with respect to causality and subsequent studies have not been able to replicate or prove this hypothesis. Based on this body of evidence, the committee concludes that the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between MMR vaccine and autism. This conclusion is consistent with the finding in the committee’s previous report on MMR and autism (IOM, 2001a).

      The entire report can be read or a free PDF of the report downloaded at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10997

      There literally is NO reliable data — remembering that no number of anecdotal reports will equal scientific data — to support a causal relationship between immunizations and autism or any other common disorder. No substance you apply to your body or take into your body is without risk; too much water, too fast will kill you; too much pure oxygen for too long will irreparably damage your lungs and some other body systems and will kill you; not that much sunlight on your skin will increase your risk of skin cancers; etc. So, there is no 100% safe anything in this world. Expecting vaccines to be 100% safe is as reasonable as expecting crossing the street, driving a car, riding in an airplane, or going to sea on a boat to be 100% safe. Other, perhaps, than driving a car, all of the things I listed are quite safe — and many people do several of these activities EVERY day — yet no one is terribly shocked to learn that, somewhere in the world, every day, people die doing these activities. Yet we have a huge discussion going here and in many other places on the internet where individuals decry the fact that they are expected to get themselves and their children immunized because the immunizations are not 100% safe. As has been noted for the last 2,000 years at least, the members of the human race are very prone to straining at gnats and swallowing camels.

    • 

      Erin, If you wont say it the courts will. google Ryan Mojabi or Emily Moller. just two cases in which vaccines were found to be causes of autism. Although, while compensation reaches 10’s of millions of dollars they only admit to encephalopathy, not autism specifically. What I find most interesting is the medical records in most of these cases are sealed or blocked from the public and the rulings are often unpublished. This raises concerns about the interests of the government and pharmaceutical companies as well as the role of the media. But, just like tobacco industries arguing that smoking isnt harmful to your health while putting money away for lawsuits that they knew were inevitable, there will come a time when we will look back at this debate with certainty. While your at it, google the history of vaccines, it will tell you all you need to know.

  29. 

    Thank you for this post. The people who claim that vaccines cause autism are doing two things: 1) potentially ruining the lives of other people by not having children vaccinated, and 2) being incredibly insulting to people with autism by not understanding what autism actually is. It’s really sad what these people do.

    • 

      1) ruining some big company’s profits? maybe maybe.. Tell my how rates of sick people went down almost to zero before vaccines were introduced. Tell me how some deseases even dissapeared, and no vaccine was introduced to “prevent” from those deseases? Tell me whose lives are pottentially ruined.. there is no such thing like “community immunity”, because there are lots and lots of people (30+ years and more) who were not vaccinated with lots of today used vaccines. So there is no such a percent like 95% of community are vaccinated. It is more about 25% – this can’t be called “community immunity”. And also – vaccines expire after 10 years or so, so there are lots ant lots of people who are not “immunized” or they lost their “immunization status” or whatever you call it. Again, if you are “immunized”, why would you worry? You are totally safe, aren’t you? So you really don’t believe in this “immunization” crap, if you still worry to get a flu, or any other virus. Then why would you write such stupid comments like ” 1) potentially ruining the lives of other people “. By the way, rates of autism in USA are shooking (1 out of 88), while in Europe its like 1 out of 1000. Think about it. What’s interesting in the blog post for me was, that rich people are avoiding vaccination :) Oh ye, somebody knows more than you.

      • 

        Tell me where you’re coming up with this crap, because I can tell you right off the bat that the rate of “sick people” was most certainly not at 0 before vaccines were introduced. Unless your definition of sick people is “healthy as a horse.” You want to know how some diseases disappeared before the introduction of vaccines? Enough people died of those diseases that the disease also died out.

        You obviously don’t understand the way vaccines work, the meaning of “immunized” and you sound like a total conspiracy theory nut. Not to mention the fact that you obviously seem to think autism is some terrible, deadly disease when in fact it’s not in most cases. Scientists are showing more and more that everyone’s brain develops a little differently, and that has nothing to do with vaccinations. You are insulting people with autism who live perfectly normal lives when you act like they are debilitated.

        • 

          http://www.sailhome.org/Concerns/Vaccines_files/historical_vaccine_graphs.png – all graphs show decline before vaccines. I have a 10 month child, never was sick, didn’t have temperature more than normal -some kind of “healthy as a horse” :) – was not “immunized” not a single vaccine. People were living in the same house with flu and +40C temperature. People say, child is developing so fast, she can be compared to 14 months old children. Is that a pottential threat to community? Maybe.. she will be too smart, compared to you sick people. Go get some vaccines.

          • 

            Wow – a whole 1 person anecdote! A ‘study’ with a sample size of 1! Incredible science we see from the conspiracy crowd.

          • 

            Only the graphs from the hippy websites that made them up. All reliable graphs show quite the opposite. Let’s not forget that you’re making up the story about your one child. Sorry but when you’re on the losing end of science people like you make up stories to try and provide some “proof” of your position

          • 

            you cant help everybody Algis, conspiracy theorist? I bet she says that to all the boys! its true, vaccines are not responsible for the decline of measles, whooping cough, typhoid etc. proper living conditions are.

          • 

            Those graphs show death/mortality rates, NOT infection rates. People were still getting sick, but medicine and general living standards have evolved away from the high mortality rates.
            And you might want to read your source. Thomas Mckweon rates smallpox vaccination as one of the greatest medical inventions ever.

          • 

            Your poor child, I hope someone calls Social Services on you soon – and I hope you get the help you need too. I don’t know if you have some form of mental insanity or maybe you’re just illiterate, but this graph shows nothing remotely like “the rate of sick people was down to 0 before vaccines were introduced.”

            This shows that the amount of people DYING from ONE disease – whooping cough, aka pertussis – went down. You want to know why? Because before the vaccine for it came along, other ways of preventing it came along first. Like people washing their hands more and coughing into napkins instead of onto other people. There was also an economic boom during those years that made people less poor and less hungry – also contributing to keeping people healthy.

            Go learn to how to read a graph. And then consider going to learn some science and some history. I don’t know who’s bullshit you’ve been eating, but you still have the chance to clean it up.

          • 

            Algis. I’m going to make this simple.
            DEATH IS NOT THE REASON THAT THEY MADE THE VACCINES. Our medical technology may have reduced the cause of death but it did NOT reduce the rate of infection. (check out those graphs)

            Most of the viruses what we are vaccinated against are done because they have MAJOR long term side effects.
            They cause infertility., spontaneous abortion, crippling of the nervous system. Birth defects, chronic pain and paralysis. These virus also don’t go away once they got a foot hold. You are a carrier the rest of your life and it can resurface at any point and pass it on to another person.

            and also FYI your child has the mothers immunity right now.

            ” Maybe.. she will be too smart, compared to you sick people. Go get some vaccines.”
            and FYI since you didn’t know ANY of above it was pretty damn STUPID to say that. considering it took me all of 5 minuets to find out.

            So with respect Algis instead of believing in magic conspiracies and that your doctor and every medical professional world wide is personally out to get you on this one topic.

            Maybe you should consider that fact that they know more than you and that the guy you take you baby to for a check isn’t an evil monster trying to kill your kid.

      • 

        Totally agree with u algris. They are pro vaccines and still worry to get infected?? Makes no sense

        • 

          Since you clearly don’t understand vaccines.. It makes sense that you think vaccinated people are “worried” for themselves. The short answer is no.. We’re not.. We’re worried about the affects of long term lack of immunization.. Put simply another plague is inevitable and completely avoidable.. However those that don’t get vaccinated don’t know the evolution of a disease because (thanks to a vaccinated public) they’ve never had to witness the horror.. And due to that fact feel invincible and immortal in the face of such an idea of epidemics.. Having never seen or experienced plagues why would you know it’s evolution or even believe in its ability to occur? But it does happen.. And it will happen..

    • 

      How are the unvaccinated ruining the lives of other people exactly? Vaccines were never responsible for the disappearance of influenza, the measles, whooping cough, typhoid, scurvy and others. Proper hygiene and advances in society deserve the credit. Anyways, Autism is a disorder that impairs brain development, it is one of three types in the spectrum. The others being Aspergers and PDD-NOS. No one knows what it is, not even “ayearfromnowchampagne”, but court rulings have attributed many cases of vaccine injury on Encephalopathy(a disease of the brain). While being careful not to blame vaccines for Autism specifically, the symptoms and first signs are remarkably consistent in many cases. From what ive seen its only a matter of time. Just like the tobacco industry.

  30. 

    Reblogged this on Running for kicks.

    • 

      @kevin. As an African American gay amputee also with ASD and graduating 3 rd in my class married with children all three with varying spectrum disorders it is ignorant for you to make wild ASS U mptions of my motive experiences and your faulty feeling of superiority. I don’t drive I don’t walk I haven’t had a drink since a month after I lost my legs to a road side bomb so get of your high horse and respect others if you want to shoot up your children go ahead but don’t try to make me or we will have bigger problems than just some feelings of insult.

      There isn’t solid proof that vaccines don’t cause ASD, so until there is 100% proof many will still feel that there may be a correlation.

      • 

        Just because you’ve had a hard life doesn’t give you the right to ignore science and doctors. Saying that isn’t meant to be insulting, it’s meant to educate you. If you don’t like it and you don’t want to listen, that’s your own problem to deal with.

        • 

          why is it always the uninformed that try to educate. History shows no proof that vaccines are responsible for bringing infectious diseases under control(see typhoid, measles, whooping cough, scurvy etc.) Improved living conditions do. Its about a healthy immune system, that’s it. The industry boasts that you can take 100,000 doses easily with no harm. If youre so sure, take the Piers Morgan vaccine challenge.

        • 

          What does that even mean, ” doesn’t give you the right to ignore science and doctors”? This is the U.S. We have the right to believe what we want and ignore what we want. As for it being at the peril of one’s own kids or others, this has yet to be demonstrated. I have heard ALL the vaccine statements many times. None of them hold water. Thanks to whoever posted all those sources, especially the Gianelloni Family Blog. She. Is. Awesome. (No, she’s not a doctor–foreseeing the inevitable snark–she’s just marshaled a lot of resources, including those who are doctors, for those who want to look into it. She does state that she hopes people won’t use that as their “research.”)

          There is much more personal rhetoric going on from the pro-vaccine side than any actual information. Saying that I’m an idiot is so much easier than actually answering the claims:

          –that pro-vaccine studies are being funded by Merck & Co. (Is there vaccine research that isn’t? What does it say?)
          –that there is credible evidence vaccines did NOT cure polio (however, they seem to’ve caused it a number of times: about 40,000 cases in India, I believe. I pray to God that it doesn’t have permanent effects.)
          –that there is a strong, OBVIOUS connection between vaccines and autism. It is NOT just that the vaccine “happened” to be given at the same time. By the way, the error of that could be easily established by giving the vaccine at a DIFFERENT time and observing those children.
          –that vaccines have not been proven to work.

          Why in heaven’s name do the non-vaccinators have to prove the danger? Wouldn’t it make sense, for people to inject themselves with foreign material, for the providers to have to prove there IS no danger? And since they virtually all admit that there is (we just disagree on the degree of danger), why are we even talking about this, rather than looking for better ways to stay healthy?

          “If there were any other way, my doctor would’ve told me” is a cop-out. Doctors do not know everything. And they have not done that much specialized study of vaccines, on the whole: they’ve simply been told to give them. Some find it compelling that doctors, as a rule, “endorse” vaccines. Considering inevitably biased training (all training is biased) and despite pharmaceutical companies contributing to medical school, despite the obvious conflict of interest created by the Vaccine Injury Act, I do not find it compelling. I find it quite compelling that so many doctors have, nonetheless, turned against vaccines or to questioning them seriously. Maybe because doctors’ ideal was to “first, do no harm,” and many of them cannot walk away from that even with the extraordinary pressure placed on them. I also find it compelling that so many other professionals, such as chiropractors and nurses, do not or would not vaccinate their own children.

          There is more to being scientific than aggressively promoting vaccines.

          Finally, as to my physician knowing more than the University of Google–no. No he doesn’t. Do you use google scholar? Google News? Google anything that leads you to discussions of politics, money, or history? No one can possibly know all of that. Quit trying to shame people for daring to disagree with doctors. Even if no one in all of Western medicine had an inkling that vaccines were not the panacea for everything, there are those who don’t believe that Western medicine has all the answers.

      • 

        I believe clarity is just trying to mock my posts. However, there is no point arguing about that fact since it has little to no bearing on the argument.

        When I pointed out that as a professional and a person with ASD that found clarities insistence on the grounds she provided insulting.

        http://violentmetaphors.com/2013/08/14/the-truth-about-vaccinations-your-physician-knows-more-than-the-university-of-google/comment-page-5/#comment-1365

        The above was her response to that.

        Clarity I don’t need to assign motives or assuming anything Clarity. I just need to ask questions and see your response.
        Afterall in order to make your previous logic remotest sense to you if you were a black, gay amputee with ASD. Something that is a 1,000,000 to 1 situation.
        That still doesn’t address the other known factors, or the rather insulting opinion of medical professionals worldwide.
        Nore does it address the lack of corresponding drop in ASD in non-vaccinated populations.
        And it ultimately doesn’t address the double standard you apply to this perceived threat. Walking and driving were just common examples that most people do on a daily basis. Your current challenges do not change the fact there are several hundred things you or millions of other people do on a daily basis that are more dangerous and more likely to cause a perfect storm situation than a vaccine ever would.

        So with respect Clarity. I am not acting smugly superior….. I just have a superior and straightforward argument. One that is consistent in any other situation, requires no exceptions, and no conspiracies.

        Remember you are the one who thinks they know than a world of qualified people on this topic. Not me.

        I was honestly hoping that you would come back with a clear straight forward argument as well.
        1. As to why unvaccinated populations have the same ASD rate as vaccinated ones and how does that affect your theory.
        2. Why doesn’t the rise in pollution, food supplements, age of the mother, invention of the microwave the joy of canned pickles also qualify as a threat worth avoiding to avoid ASD. They actually fit your criteria better.

      • 

        You’re an idiot.

  31. 

    Yes, it’s about death rates, not infections. But still if you can be cured, why would you want to get vaccines (medication) in you. It has side effects. It’s better to avoid side effects and get medication when you need it. You say, if you get an infection, it has long term problems.. but wait! Those vaccinated have same chances to get sick. Look at statistics, half of sick are vaccinated from that diseases. Poor them, they got side effects from vaccine and the diseases. Side effects mean you have poor self healing mechanisms, because they have to cope with stuff you have in your blood after all vaccines. You don’t really know whats inside of vaccine.It may be protein of some animal or even abortion residue protein from lung, brain, skin. Do you have a knowledge of what it means for a body to find an intruder protein in blood stream? You get autoimmune response to that, if it’s part of lung – you get asthma, if skin, or brain – your body learns to fight your own body cells. RUN to your pharmacist for some more drugs – it’s their part to SELL you more. Also, you get the toxic metals, chemicals right into your blood stream. And what about SV-40 in polio vaccines. It was a mistake? What mistakes are they doing now, your children will understand 40 years later. Or maybe their children.. And the most stupid thing is to put that in new born child (hepatitis B vaccine in 24 h after birth). Why? is he going to get a shot of illegal drugs like heroin? Is he going to get a hooker? That is stupid and you will not find a statement against it. So tell me, if we all get sick, vaccinated or not, why vaccinate? Why take risk of side effects, slow child’s development?

    Another thing, diseases helped civilization to survive to these days. Weak children died, instead, people were wasting resources on strong individuals. Virus work is like a body test, if you are strong, you beat it and survive. You can be strong, if you have good nutrition, clean place to live, no toxicity around you. You can be weak if you put viruses, toxic stuff, foreign proteins…

    By the way, I had a hard time posting this comment. Have you blocked me? :) Nice attitude for seeking the truth..

    • 

      Nah, you got caught in my spam queue for some reason, and I didn’t see your post for a while to rescue it. Apologies for that.

      I don’t block anyone unless they’re abusive, and so far nobody has been that bad. I prefer to keep the conversation going freely.

    • 

      Sorry, DAlgis, but this:
      Look at statistics, half of sick are vaccinated from that diseases. Poor them, they got side effects from vaccine and the diseases.
      is only true if equivalent numbers of people were in the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups. When up to 90% of the population in an area is vaccinated against a disease but as many unvaccinated as vaccinated people get the disease, it’s proof that the vaccination worked. Remember, we pro-vaxxers, at least the ones who’ve studied the subject from a scientific viewpoint, have never said the vaccines were 100% effective. The idea of “herd” or “community” protection is that, if as many people as possible are immunized, those who can’t be immunized for health reasons and those in whom the vaccine is ineffective, are very unlikely to ever be in direct contact — that is, exposed enough — to an infected person to be at risk of getting, suffering from, being disabled by, or dieing from one of these contagious diseases. When you slash that herd or community protection, the people who were born with an immune disorder, the ones getting chemotherapy for cancer (and no matter how healthy you are now, the older you get the greater your risk of getting cancer), etc. are at an increased risk for that direct exposure — and if they get the disease, extreme suffering and death are way more likely.

    • 

      Can I just ask if you have any knowledge in actual medicine? Any actual true knowledge of the immune system? You say you can receive treatment after the fact. You do realize that there is no cure for polio. And yes there is a confirmed case of polio is an Amish community that does not believe in vaccination. Have you investigated the number of infants who DIE from whooping cough. Both easily preventable diseases. You talk about autoimmune diseases when clearly you have no idea what you are talking about. You talk about survival of the fittest and the weaker children. Its kind of hypocritical don’t you think? It’s the reason you are anti vaccine because you believe in side effects. And no you can’t have a healthy immune system just by proper nutrition and the like. We are exposed to disease and microorganisms everyday. People don’t wash their hands, they don’t always cover their mouths, and there are organisms in the natural environment that are infective. People like you are the reason whooping cough and measles cases has tripled this year. I assume when you say “toxic metals” you are referring to aluminum, there is more aluminum found in breast milk than in vaccines. Also the amount needed to be toxic far exceeds the amount in vaccines. So please step down from your soap box and educate yourself before your “toxic” knowledge gets someone hurt!

  32. 

    Reblogged this on What Lies Beneath The Rock and commented:
    An informative post for parents who’re confused about vaccinating their kids due to all the chaos out there.

  33. 

    thaaaaaaaaanx

  34. 

    True story:

    After Fukushima I looked for iodine supplements, but the standard brands were all sold out – so, I called a local pharmacy. They told me they could supply a liquid iodine, but I’d need a prescribed dosage. Before going to the doctor, I went to the University of Google to research, found an appropriate website, and jotted down the mentioned dosage.

    In person, the doctor told me he had no idea off the top of his educated head what the appropriate dosage would be, and would have to research. He went into his office to do so; I followed him. After a few minutes, through his sources he landed literally on the same website I’d found, and prescribed the same dosage.

    Much if not most of everything pediatricians know, academically, is available at UG, and much, much more. If they would only use it, they’d begin to get an inkling of the nature and extent of serious vaccine damage, a subject never even mentioned in medical school, despite the fact that we routinely rely on doctors to assure the quality of our vaccine decisions.

    But no more. Motivated by the protective instinct, parents are not only capable of discerning valuable sources of information, but determined to do so. Since medical schools deny doctors critical vaccine information, we must seek it out.

    • 

      Shawn, unfortunately, you seem to have greater faith in information from unverifiable sources, from opinion pieces, and from the anecdotes of family, friends, and strangers, than you have in the literature based on use of the scientific method to test hypotheses and report on the results of the tests. By the way, did you thoroughly investigate the risks associated with excessive iodide intake prior to getting the prescription from your physician? I’m pretty sure he endeavored to provide you with accurate information in that regard, but I can’t tell for sure from your post here. Adequate amounts of iodide are necessary for the body to be able to create appropriate amounts of the thyroid hormones — but excessive quantities can create imbalances in those hormones. Backer and Hollowell (2000) (free PDF available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1638306/) report that, while most people can tolerate pharmacolgic doses of iodide for prolonged periods without complications, there are people without prior histories of thyroid disease who develop either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism (with goiter) from ingestion of even the small amounts of iodide such as are used by travelers to purify water for drinking. They also report that there have been suggestions in the literature that a link may exist between increased levels of iodide intake and certain thyroid cancers. Since the incredibly minute amounts of atmospheric radiation that reached this country after the radiation disaster in Japan were never of sufficient levels to create increased risk of thyroid cancer, one wonders at your willingness to risk thyroid diseases, including cancers, treating a non-problem.
      Or, for another reference on the subject:
      At this website: http://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/43579?mode=full&submit_simple=Show+full+item+record
      you can download a free PDF of a report, Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 72: IODINE AND INORGANIC IODIDES: HUMAN HEALTH ASPECTS
      from the World Health Organization. Starting on page 21 of this document you will find reports on acute toxicity from iodine and iodides, including information on the unpredictable nature of human physical responses to increased doses of iodides. Again, while most people can tolerate high doses, some people experience alterations in the production of thyroid hormones at small to moderate doses, doses within the range of recommended dietary amounts. So, as you live life attempting to manage your own medical care, please make sure you’ve adequately studied the topics of importance, and make sure that, as you consult the University of Google, you have fully assessed the qualifications of the authors of the recommendations you find there, and that you have carefully searched for the currently available information in the scientific peer reviewed literature — where you have a chance that the people best acquainted with all of the world literature on the subject have reviewed the reports you’re reading and have evaluated the quality of the data (sample size, and how, when, and where it was collected); the quality of the analysis of the data; the comparisons of the current findings with the findings of previous studies; and the conclusions the authors of the papers have drawn from the above, and then the subject matter experts have been willing to bet their reputations on the quality of the entire paper provided that the paper’s authors have been honest. There are no 100% guarantees in this world — other than death and taxes, that is — but only in this fashion might you be assured that you will, in general, know more about medicine in general as it applies to you than your physician.

      I recognize MANY areas of my life where I must do my best to find experts to provide services I haven’t learned to provide for myself. I could have chosen to learn one or even several of these occupations instead of the occupations I learned, but in this world no one can know everything necessary to live an active life. I cannot do my own auto repairs; I can’t generally do repairs on my household appliances; I have limited knowledge of the financial world, including the stock market and all that surrounds it; I can’t develop and manufacture my own pharmaceuticals, especially antibiotics, antihypertensives, and many other classifications of medications I may need at some point in my life; I lack the knowledge to develop a reasonable schedule for the regional bus service where I live; I can’t design and arrange for the construction of a city street, much less an interstate highway. I endeavor to be knowledgeable enough to be able to eventually detect incompetence in the providers of many services — but I don’t try to tell the providers how to do their jobs. I did choose to get a good education in nursing and did get a masters degree in the nursing care of adults. However, I recognize that I know darned little about the care of pregnant women, premature babies, people with acute and chronic psychiatric disorders, people requiring care in an intensive care unit, and so on, ad infinitum. There is no way your doctor could know everything about everything in the practice of medicine. In the absence of a true radiation emergency, there would be no reason for him to clutter his brain with information on protective doses of potassium iodide (or any other form of iodine meant for human consumption). Perhaps, in your chosen occupation or profession, you prefer not to have to make decisions and would rather not offer your advice to persons you meet in the course of doing your job. Most people, however, prefer to work with and for people who know enough to be reasonable in their expectations for outcomes and who accept that they won’t know as much as the specialists in the fields involved.

  35. 

    As humans we see the world through a filter as we BELIEVE it to be.. not on the truth as it actually is..

    The only way for ignorance to see what it has caused is to experience the consequence of their actions.

    There is no “treatment” for Polio, Measles, Mumps, Pertussis, or Diptheria.. all treatment for these addresses only pain and discomfort. These will be the same people crying “oh poor me and mine” when they’re lying by their 20 something year old having measles and not recovering. They are not interested in any kind of proof or legitimate finding. Their only interest lies in their filtered belief of all science bought and paid for to lie.

    Again ignorance has a right to choose ignorance. What it doesn’t have a right to is complaint about the consequences of that choice. If you choose dying of a horrible disease? Then if it should happen you must remember your choice in the first place.

    • 

      How ignorant you are is beyond comprehension .

      Silver kills EVERY single Virus known to man and has been tested on all of them .

      Then we have a MAX 30% immunisation so how would that work then you silly yiddish woman ?

      Polio was a flue like disease PRIOR to mass vaccination which most Europeans could not be convinced was working and indeed IT DOESN’T .

      So how does it all work for you Heide ?

      You never checked when vaccination were introduced and when the diseases where dropping to close to extinction only staying alive in Slums of Metropolitan cities ?

      POLIO died when they started washing hands ! Like all other serious diseases UNTIL they started vaccinating and allowing it to mutate to now
      +25 STRAINS that paralise … when they never use to .

      I HAD Measles and who here over 30 didn’t ? And who died ?

      So Heide go and educate yourself before you push for something Like AGENT Jennifer working for Merck & friends does .

      She gets paid for it what aboyut you ? What you get for spreading “their lies” you never properly analysed ?

      Go and buy Eutsace Mullins Book and Russel Blaylock , a Author and a Neurosurgeon .

      STOP spreading other peoples lies OR inform yourself to a point that you can make such silly statement like crying from Measles complication .

      I kill this stuff with a little colloidal Silver proven to kill Measles as well and all over Viruses or diseases .

      Also devices like the Rife or Papimi … use to have the Lakhovsky and Priore device all kill this silly Virus .

      Also e

      • 

        Like with most vaccines they were created to prevent more than death. But thank you for picking on one of the weaker cases and failing to talk about the viruses that we are vaccinated against that cause birth defects, spontaneous abortion, chronic pain and nerve damage.

        However let’s look at measles.

        Measles causes complications…….

        Complications with measles are relatively common, ranging from mild and less serious complications such as diarrhea to more serious ones such as pneumonia, otitis media, swelling of the brain (and very rarely SSPE – subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (leading to long term Seizures, neurological problems and coma) and corneal ulceration (leading to corneal scarring). Complications are usually more severe in adults who catch the virus. The death rate in the 1920s was around 30% for measles pneumonia (under death rates this was probably recorded under pneumonia).

        In short measles is a gateway to bigger problems. (but you already knew this right???? Afterall it would beyond silly to talk about the death rates of measles when it’s the complications that are the primary concern. You’d never use a silly and erroneous stat like that would you.)

        Polio among other things has a 5%+ chance of causing percent nerve damage and has a 22% infection rate and spends a large amount of time being undetectable. The vaccine has a 10 year life span and is 90% effective. It is now largely used in localized instances to stem a potential outbreak or high risk areas. (another thing you already knew of course. Didn’t you??)

        And FYI I think hand washing has been around for some time. The people in the 1920’s and 1940’s were not unwashed primitives.

        Sorry for being a little terse but you are accusing several million people from a thousand different political and economic backgrounds of outright fraud, incompetence and suggesting they are purposely causing you harm.

        Than you are getting pissed at us for repeating and relying on the common knowledge from the world over supported by the same people you trust on almost any other medical problem you have.

      • 

        Neither Merck, nor any other pharmaceutical company pays me. I’m a university-affiliated researcher. My salary is paid by the National Science Foundation.

      • 

        Poor John — missed out on the standard education in grammar, syntax, how to write an organized essay AND the scientific method. Therefore, he tries to substitute rash rhetoric for rational conversation. Polio is transmitted in WATER — and vaccinations protect most of the people who are exposed to the virus in their drinking water. If one examines the current situation in Africa and southwest Asia, for instance, where adjacent regions with equivalent hygiene practices either have children being paralyzed or dying of polio or not depending on vaccination status, it is difficult to maintain an argument that hygiene practices make the difference; given that the countries described also are of similar socioeconomic levels also addresses some of those arguments. Here’s a link to the WHO information sheets on the persistence of endemic polio in 3 countries, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. http://www.polioeradication.org/Mediaroom/Factsheets.aspx Given that polio in each country is occurring primarily or completely in only specified regions where immunization rates are low (sometimes the low immunization rates are due to the war/conflict related dangers of congregating in areas to receive the vaccine, sometime related to the forbidding of vaccinating by local governments/tribal leaders), it is, again, very difficult to say that socioeconomic or hygiene factors make the difference. Here’s a link to the website for the WHO Global Polio Eradication Initiative: http://www.polioeradication.org/

        So, John, get your data together before you decide to post another anti-vaccination screed here. Some of us who keep up with the posts on this website actually read and understand research reports on this subject; some of us remember getting the first Salk polio vaccines back in the 1950s, followed by participation in Sabin Oral Sundays. We remember when parents kept their kids from swimming in rural rivers, lakes, and ponds during hot weather, before air conditioning was commonly available in homes, in hopes of protecting their children from polio — and we remember the subtle relaxation of our parents when they were assured that the risks to their children from that awful disease had been greatly reduced or eliminated with so little effort or expense on their parts.

      • 

        Your ignorance is incredibly transparent and you fit in quite nicely with the sad few who ignore those who are well versed and well educated on the topic. Your belief outweighs the truth to the extent you’d believe any lie so long as it :supported your current belief system. You are certainly entitled to your choice, so why do you find it so hard to accept that others will make a different choice? Why must you defend your actions as though you knew it were a lie? http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/PhonyAds/silverad.html

      • 

        Do you get an honorary tinfoil hat for reaching this unbelievable level of ignorance, or do you still have to make your own?

      • 

        Just a quick question, how does Silver act on viral pathogens? I would assume that it would have to have some type of replication based effect, but given that silver has remained unchanged since it’s formation as silver, while viruses go through a plethora of nucleic acid mutations every year, how does it determine virus versus animal, plant, bacteria or other types of cells?

        Do you have any papers to back up your response? I would be quite interested to read them, given it is my field, and I haven’t heard about the wondrous nature of silver (only that it was originally used but now levels of resistance and toxicity are mainly why it is phased out).

        • 

          I think you missed John’s impressive point that just like werewolves, ALL viruses are killed by silver, every single one of them has been tested – and the only viral mutations that have ever happened were because of the introduction of the polio vaccine against a disease that never harmed anyone before we turned it in to the rabid killer it now is…

          How irresponsible that we have been able to cure HIV all this time and have just done nothing

          does that sum it up?

          Hmmm, so then all we need to do is wear silver jewellery and no virus can ever harm us again?

      • 

        If you wish to ever be taken seriously for your comments, you should first learn to speak with proper grammar. I feel like trying to read/decipher your post gave me cancer.

      • 

        Hello John,

        I know it has been a long time since you posted this comment and I sincerely hope you have changed opinions since then but I would just like to point out that yes nano-colloidal silver is an antibacterial agent but it should not be used in big quantities and should be used sparingly. It can cause some serious health problems if overused.

        -A Nanotechnology Engineer

      • 

        My god, not only do you know NOTHING about science, microbiology or infectious disease control, you’re barely literate to boot. Crawl back under your rock. Don’t bring you silver potion though, because you’re already brain-damaged from heavy metal poisoning from ingesting it.

  36. 

    GARBAGE , all false science …. Vaccination NOT RELATED TO AUTISM ? WHY DO WE HAVE IN UK

    1 – 32 Kids Autistic ? Hep B vaccines at birth that last 4 years .

    THIS WOMAN IS A AGENT FOR BIG PHARMA .

    Vaccinations created 25 new polio strains that initially were flue like symptoms , harmless in 99.9% of cases . Now it’s a killer because of the mass vaccination .

    TELL IT TO THE TEACHERS , that have 2 in 30 kids that they would consider Normal.

    All other are ADHD, ADD , DDE , PPE … I am making them up because Vaccines create more chemical brain imbalances THAN ANYTHING ELSE ,

    Don’t take my word for it ask a Neurologist like Russel Blaylock or

    a excellent researcher student of Ezra Pound , Eustace Mullins .

    THIS Agent 666 Jennifer either does it in ignorance ( me don’t think so ) or she is expecting her cheque from Glaxo , Merck & friend by end of the month !

    • 

      If you rant and yell like a crazy person than you deserve to get treated like one.

    • 

      Hey John, I ask everyone here to provide citations to peer-reviewed scientific studies for their factual claims. I’d appreciate it if you did the same. If the neurologists you mention want to come here and provide their data, that would be great, but please back up your own statements instead of telling us to “ask them”.
      I can tell you that you’re incorrect about my sources of income– “Glaxo, Merck & friend” don’t pay me anything.

      Also, what is an “Agent 666″, exactly?

      • 

        Think about what 666 really means

        • 

          What does it mean, Melissa?

          • 

            666 is considered the devil’s number. an Agent is someone who works for something. saying “Agent 666″ is essentially saying “Devil’s Advocate”.

        • 

          Actually the number 666 was the numerical representation that Jewish people used to refer to the severely unhinged Emperor Nero. The whole devil’s number thing caught on through the bible terming it “the number of the beast” as a way of speaking ill of the tyrant without fear of additional persecution. Soooooo yeaaaaa…… guess the good doctor is a servant of a long-dead emperor of an extinct empire……

          • 

            haha burn @melissa

          • 

            The good doctor who?

          • 

            or you could go with the Biblical definition. maybe.

          • 

            666 is a representation of evil. i know what you are referring to, and it’s actually christian writing in the book of revelations that has been theorized as referring to Nero, it’s not a jewish reference at all, it’s christian. And no one today would be using 666 to refer to Nero, it’s commonly acknowledge as the devils number

      • 

        Just wanted to say, Dr. Raff: very classy response.

      • 

        Hate to reply to an old comment, but not all British people are similar to this individual. I would down right refuse to have children with my beloved partner if she decided she was against vaccines. I’ve had all my vaccines, I get the usual cold twice a year. I had pneumonia once that’s it. I don’t have ADD, ADHD, ABCD or EFG.

        Sincerely,

        Welshman living in Denmark.

      • 

        You may be interested to know that the term Agent 666 was a tongue in cheek expression some used to refer to Aleister Crowley during his time working with British intelligence during WWII. I’m unsure of the origin of the term, or if it had more widespread use generally or as far as referring to other individuals, but in many of the published biographies of A.C. he has jokingly been referred to as Agent 666.

      • 

        pretty sure it was a troll/joke comment… just saying

      • 

        Agent 666 can mean Devil’s Advocate or in a Historical Sense it was a Member of the Allies Anti-Occult Task Force during WWII.

        As to the other comments: 666 is also described in some myths as the number of links in the chain used to link Mikhiel(The General of Heaven) and Lucifiel(Queen of Hell).

        Note: In most of the early myths Lucifiel was described as a beautiful women and was suspected of being changed do to patriarchal preference of the societies.

    • 

      John, you realize that there are a plethora of other factors that could be related to the number of autism cases? Or could be linked to an increase in autism? By singling out one factor and promoting it as the sole cause, you have shown how truly ignorant you are. There are many other things that could cause this, and indeed many other things are being looked at to see if they have harmful effects (like some of the ingredients in our food). In studies of issues such as these, rarely is there shown to be one SINGLE irrefutable cause of a problem. Usually the problem is multifaceted and can be traced to several possible sources. It would be a good idea for you to become scientifically literate and actually make an attempt to understand these things before you spout ignorance.

      Also, just because you can claim a few “experts” who back your cause does not mean that it is correct. There will always be people running to back claims, no matter how nuts they are. What you need to do is look at where the majority of evidence points. Are you siding with the minority, the ones who claim the least bit of scientific evidence? The side with the fewest accurate studies, with the least accurate data? Yes you are. There’s a reason why the good majority of true experts in this area don’t side with the anti-vaccination group. Hint: it’s because they’re right.

    • 

      By the way, John, what formulation of silver did you test in humans to determine this global effectiveness against each and every virus pathogenic (or not) to humans? Viruses (or viri) are pretty ubiquitous and some of them, like small pox and HIV, are pretty darned lethal. I’m asking because, while pure, metallic silver seems to be relatively benign, it also is very poorly absorbed by the body and appears to stay in the gastrointestinal tract after ingestion and excreted, unchanged, via the feces. Soluble forms of silver, however, may be more problematic, as they are readily absorbed after ingestion and attach to various body proteins and to molecules of DNA & RNA. Now, imperfect as I am, I think I’ll try to avoid unpredictable changes to my DNA & RNA. Somehow, that just seems wise to me. According to Drake and Hazelwood, (http://annhyg.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/7/575.full), 2005,

      Ancient civilizations were aware of silver’s bactericidal properties (Hill and Pillsbury, 1939). Metallic silver was used for surgical prosthesis and splints, fungicides, and coinage. Soluble silver compounds, such as silver salts, have been used in treating mental illness, epilepsy, nicotine addiction, gastroenteritis, and infectious diseases, including syphilis and gonorrhea (Marshall and Schneider, 1977; Shelley et al., 1987; Gulbranson et al., 2000).

      Please note that prior to introduction of penicillin for treatment of syphilis, many treatments (arsenic, silver, who knows what else) were used but unless the body managed to eliminate the spirochetes (the process not apparently improved by any of the then available treatments), death from tertiary syphilis was the usual outcome.

      Anyway, back to Drake and Hazelwood’s article,

      Metabolism studies indicate that soluble silver compounds are absorbed by the body more readily as a result of their ability to bind to proteins, DNA and RNA. Soluble silver compounds can be quickly taken up in the bloodstream (Jongerius and Jongeneelen, 1992), deposited throughout the body, and subsequently reduced by light to metallic silver. Finally, accumulated silver can be oxidized to silver sulfide or silver selenide, resulting in blue-gray pigmentation. Metallic silver is not soluble in aqueous solutions nor is it readily solubilized by any physiological mechanisms (Grabowski and Haney, 1972; Weir, 1979); therefore, it is poorly absorbed after exposure and is more likely to be excreted by the body than is soluble silver (HSE, 1998).

      In many of the studies, silver could not be definitively linked to an adverse health outcome due to the presence of confounders.

      So, again, are you using pure silver to fight the viruses (viri)? If so, you’re almost certainly getting a pretty expensive placebo effect. If you aren’t, what substance or substances is the silver bound to that make it water or fat soluble and therefore absorbable? How toxic is that substance or are those substances? How much of it are you consuming? What are your risks for toxicity, including whatever might come from the silver binding to your DNA as well as what the other substance or substances might be doing to various vital organs? Oh, and what are your feelings regarding your skin color? One non-toxic side effect of chronic silver ingestion/inhalation is a nice dark skin color, that for one patient described in the article cited meant the patient “no longer looked Caucasian”? Just asking.

      Since silver has been available in various formulations for several millennia, I think that if it was as effective as you think, we’d never have needed the small pox vaccine because only the poor would have died of the disease. Since it was a non-exclusive killer of people of all socioeconomic groups, I’d imagine silver was less than effective in combating or preventing the disease.

      • 

        Well, neato. I’m going to have to check out this site sometime, with replies like that and the one from…Agent 666, I forgot her name already. Jennifer. Yeah, her.

      • 

        Hi Marni,

        My friend just shared the link to this article on my page. He told me to watch the video, read the article and then read the comments. He specifically said we should somehow befriend YOU, as you’re a critical thinker.

        So, you up for two new friends? We promise to be open-minded, intelligent and painfully punny.

        Let me know!

    • 

      1 in 32 kids are not registered autistic in the UK, recent papers are showing autism starts in vitro, so it CAN’T be caused by post birth vaccination (see http://www.jni-journal.com/article/S0165-5728%2809%2900003-4/abstract). The autism = vaccination is a false cause/event analyse, the diagnosis and understanding of autism spectrum disorders has increased greatly in the last two decades, thus the rate of diagnosis has increased as parents and medical professional now look for it (see http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1651-2227.2005.tb01779.x/abstract;jsessionid=0F27377A06F330CFCC4F3E0E836DF646.f03t02?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false). There has been multiple scientific investigations of autism/vaccination correlation, none show cause (see http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa021134 and http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2899%2901239-8/fulltext) in fact some show higher rates in non-vaccinated children.

      • 

        Um, in vitro meaning ‘in glass’ right? That first study doesn’t support your position Kev. It’s fairly neutral in that the findings could support both sides of the argument…

        • 

          In vitro.. means before birth, in the womb, in the mom.
          Autism starts before birth.
          I’m autistic, I’m also allergic to components in vaccines.
          Thus, I’ve never been vaccinated, I can’t be.
          None.. no flu, measles, mumps, polio, pox, anything.
          When people don’t vaccinate their children, they put many people at risk, not just their children.
          It is the height of selfish behavior to deny not only your own child life, but possibly the lives of others because some snake oil salesman told you that their cure is better

        • 

          Sorry, but Biologist wading in here.
          “In Vitro” is used to refer to anything genetic/developmental/experimental that you do, is done, or happens, to the subject, while it is in place.
          So when I subject my e-coli sample to an interesting allele I want them to replicate, it’s replicated “In Vitro.”
          This usage of the term probably dates to shortly after Watson and Crick figured out the double helix.

          Secondly, The first study *does* support his position. Given the rates of autism, and that the statistical change is apparent to the third S.F.
          For a preliminary study, it’s pretty darn hefty.

    • 

      … wait …. Eustace Mullins? The delusional pro-Hitler fascist? THAT guy? You’re suggesting that people should look at Eustace Mullins as a source? The guy who wrote “Adolph Hitler: An Appreciation”, and who believed that the Illuminati are behind the Federal Reserve?

      THAT guy?

    • 

      Polio strains were never as harmless as the flu

      • 

        The world as a whole needs to take vaccines and the flu more seriously. The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed more people in one then the plague did of the 4 year period of 1347-1351.(http://virus.stanford.edu/uda/) I read people who feel that the flu is a upset tummy that after a couple days you are better. It is a potentially deadly virus that should be taken seriously. By seriously I mean GET A VACCINE. :)

    • 

      you are plainly mad

    • 

      you sound ridiculous

    • 

      Troll.

      Oh well. Your loss if you die from the measles or other viruses because you’re either stupid or you’re a troll. On the bright side that would mean less stupid people in the world.

    • 

      You know, if you had used proper grammar, I might have been able to take you seriously. I would still say you’re full of it, but at least you would sound more educated.

    • 

      You’re are nothing but a gullible arrogant misinformed ill-educated deluded sheep.

    • 

      The tinfoil hat department is downstatirs and to the right.

    • 
      Anthony Floyd June 1, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      Actually, most of these disorders are more related to formula feeding. Something that has become over-common in the last 20-30 years.
      Breast Milk contains endocannabinoids that help regulate the body’s immune system and greatly affect mental development and protect against genetic breakdown.
      Baby-Formula does not have these cannabinoids, nor does pasteurized milk.
      This is why the more recent generations have had an increase in mental and physical disorders.

    • 

      Erm, we don’t “have here in UK”. No evidence of anything relating any vaccine to autism. Nor was there ever. I believe that you may be referring to a single article published in the British Medical Journal that contained nine pieces of anecdotal evidence, from the US by the way, suggesting that a link could be investigated. Since then the BMJ has completely debunked the article, even if the evidence presented was convincing (which it was not, ask anyone with even a vague knowledge of statistics… I’m a member of the Royal Statistical Society by the way) the BMJ’s own investigation showed that the original evidence was highly manipulated. Many of the subjects did not agree with the findings of the article or, in some cases, even that they had indeed said what it was claimed that they had said.

      In the meantime further studies, on a total of around fourteen million children across the US and Europe, have found no correlation whatsoever between any vaccine and any of the disorders listed above. These studies have been carried out under careful conditions which were independently scrutinised and their findings independently reviewed before publication. You may choose to criticise me for discussing something that you claim to be biased, but at least it is something. The anti-vaccine lobby have nothing to present in this discussion, or they would have presented it.

      You may wish to note that even if there were a correlation between the rise in vaccine use and the rise in levels of autism being diagnosed (and I’m not sure that you can prove that there is one) that: firstly correlation does not prove causality; secondly any such correlation would be coinciding with greater methods for detecting and diagnosing autism. What I am saying is that just because there are is an increase in people buying yellow cars in your neighbourhood at the same time as an increase in children being named Gerald, doesn’t mean that the two things are related. Also that all those people who, even as little as fifty years ago, were simply the village idiot or ‘a bit weird’ are now autistic. I would urge you to reflect on these points.

      As for the scientists that you cite, Russel Blaylock never publish an independent, peer reviewed article. While he was indeed published it was for an openly political group. Ezra Pound, unless you are referring to someone that I’ve never heard of nor can find any reference to, was a fascist poet and so I fail to see how they have a substantial voice in this debate. Eustace Mullins, another fascist poet, openly antisemitic and a holocaust denier. Clearly a delusional fanatic. I urge you to pin your colours to more reliable and respectable sources.

      Perhaps if you spent more time reading you would understand these issues better. Wider reading would also allow you to form a cogent argument and even an effective sentence.

    • 

      1 in 23 kids have always been on the autistic spectrum, we just know what it is now rather than calling them “problem children”

      The 4 year thing, I think that is to do with the development of children’s immune systems and bone marrow, ask a biologist.

      sure 2 in 30 kids “normal” right, source?

      Who is “big pharma”? do you mean GSK who are admittedly getting obscenely rich off essential healthcare they have a monopoly on?

      Yeah and why do you think vaccines are responsible for chemical imbalances, can you provide proof?

    • 

      Hi John,

      You can’t claim that at all, there is NO proof of a link – Correlation does not equal Causation (as anyone studying psychology/ statistics will know). The increase in diagnoses of Autism could be linked to a multitude of things! One great indication is that diagnostic procedure and criteria have gotten much better, if you look back into the not so distant past then you’ll see there were still people with autism but they were locked up in assylums, or parents didn’t seek appropriate help for them. Another is that we are becoming an increasingly aware society and recognise symptoms more!

      There’s also some evidence that autism is also linked to brain structure not a chemical imbalance – (e.g. an enlarged amygdala) Baron-Cohen et al., which will have been determined long before they were administered any vaccine. The brain doesn’t actually change all that much after birth (only more connections) so there’s another whole in the story….

      Please get proper evidence before trying to scare people who have control of the life of a child.

      Here’s links to some of the papers I was talking about:

      http://www.utdallas.edu/~tres/neuroII/trautman.pdf

      http://www.jaacap.com/article/S0890-8567(11)00303-0/abstract

    • 

      “All other are ADHD, ADD , DDE , PPE … I am making them up because Vaccines create more chemical brain imbalances THAN ANYTHING ELSE”

      lol talking of brain imbalances

    • 

      Thought I might point out the fact that correlation does not equal causation, and a much, much, much more reasonable guess as to why there are more instances of ADHD, ADD, etc. (As a individual who personally has ADD, I can tell you there’s a lot of genetic basis, as my mom has it as well — same with a close friend of mine, who has ADHD from his dad) would be that A) Now that we’ve developed the diagnosis of ADHD more people are being diagnosed/misdiagnosed, and B) diet and largely sedentary lifestyle. Like, come on, does that not make way more sense? Kids aren’t moving around the way they need to, schools are making huge cuts to the amount of time for recess/unstructured play — this is proven to make kids less attentive and more irritable. Imagine keeping a puppy in a kennel all day, and that’s what’s happening to a lot of children. Additionally, certain food dyes and omega-3 and -6 imbalances, amongst other dietary imbalances and anomalies, can also stimulate ADHD-like symptoms. But most kids who are diagnosed with ADHD likely don’t have it (Which, again, as a person with ADD, is a dangerous thing to say because I don’t want to discredit a very real diagnosis or people out there who deal with it every day), and with lifestyle adjustments symptoms would probably dissipate.

    • 

      You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

    • 
      Lookforyourself June 5, 2014 at 5:37 am

      I was born in the former GDR, there every kid dif get vaccination, free of charge, starting in the early fifties, so i look at my generation and the generation of my parents, none of them ever showed any of the symptoms you are describing, while on the other hand nearly all kid sicknesses where wiped out. So the these symptoms “ADHD, ADD , DDE , PPE ” are eventually more a society problem. Its really easy just check those countries where vaccination was free for a long time and check their rates of unnomal kids during this time, i am quite sure the numbers will speak for themselfs.

    • 

      Correlation does not equate to causation. There needs to be actual science backing what you claim. 95% of people who have cancer have drank coffee, so coffee must cause cancer. hell it probably causes autism, and all the other problems. That is the same as your logic. i hope your children don’t suffer from your ignorance.
      Majority of people who have vaccinations do not have problems you associate with them. if it caused these things, the numbers would be greater. there are a ton of unknown factors. you are agent 666

    • 

      Did you literally just decide to NOT read any of the TRUE information she has taken the time to write for brainwashed people like you? You people are the reason there are outbreaks now of preventable diseases and deaths to many many children. Quit talking out your ass and get educated please.

    • 

      if you have a problem with the diagnosis of psychological illnesses, you should be mad at psychologists, not vaccines.

  37. 

    I’m a pediatrician. Wonderfully written. I will be sharing this…

  38. 

    if you did any pubmed searches for the epidemiology of said vaccines you would know that these virus’ mutate, and shed like crazy. The vaccinated population is the group that is carrying around this man made in a lab disease. The unvaccinated have nothing to do with this creation….

    • 

      Vaccines do not permanently give the person the virus. They provide a castrated version of the virus that provides our anti-bodies the opportunity to learn and adapt as they quickly kill the castrated virus. Our bodies learn how to spot the virus right away and how to kill it before it can get a foothold within our bodies.
      So in short the Vaccinated population is not carrying around anything but an improved immune system that can recognize a virus faster and quicker than an unvaccinated person can.

      Viruses do mutate but it takes time for them to do so. Vaccines give the body the ability to fight off the virus before it gets any foot hold and thus the person doesn’t get sick and the virus doesn’t have much chance to mutate. At least at no-where near the same rate as an infected person.

      The unvaccinated population on the other hand can carry the fully functional virus around for years without showing the full signs of the virus. This provides the virus ample opportunity to sit and mutate as it fights against the person immune system. Providing penicillin against another virus will teach the more dangerous viruses how to live and survive.

      So while I’m sure you enjoyed your time on PubMed. Your time would have been better spent learning the basics of vaccines instead of trying to second guess the professionals.

      This all seems like basic common sense to me. However, the blog owner would probably know better than I.

      • 

        I think perhaps the time has come for a post on the basics of how the immune system works. Mike, you seem a little confused. Viruses DO mutate, but that’s why we have, for example, a different form of the flu vaccine every year. Immunized people aren’t creating new viruses.

        • 

          I’m glad you’re here, Jennifer (Dr. Raff? I’ve never addressed a scientist before, and frankly, I’m a bit star-struck, heh) to educate Mike on his misinformation because I’m writer, not a scientist and my only reaction was to burst out laughing at his post.

    • 

      If what you say is true(and let me tell you it is not), then how do you explain the fact that we are not all swimming in rabid animals? By your logic all cats and dogs would do is “shed” rabies, therefor ensuring that all wildlife, livestock, and unvaccinated pets would be rabid. Yet, thanks to Louis Pasture (I’m sure you have heard of him right…did he work for big Pharm too?)rabies is much less of a problem today. How do you make this mesh with your little world view?

      • 

        No need to insult. Read back, get off your high horse and delete that comment really quickly. Also, if you decide to contradict someone with years of experience and elaborate knowledge on the matter, better back it up with some evidence. “Let me tell you it is not” is not academic language and certainly won’t make anyone revise their original point of view.

  39. 

    Thanks so much for the fantastic discussions here, everyone. I have a favor to ask–would you mind commenting on this: http://violentmetaphors.com/2013/10/18/send-me-your-vaccine-qustions/ , with any specific questions/links/issues that you’d like to see addressed in a FAQ on vaccines?

    I think it would be a helpful to pull together summaries of all of the questions and responses into an organized, searchable resource. It will be an iterative page, so I will be soliciting more contributions as it gets developed. Many thanks!
    –Jennifer

  40. 

    Just a salient quote: Journalist Ed Murrow: “Who owns the patent on this vaccine?” Jonas Salk: “Well, the people, I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” -Jonas Salk, medical researcher and developer of polio vaccine (1914-1995) So, no one is making a profit off of the original polio vaccine other than what a company can make off of an unpatented medication. If any company started making much money on it, some other company would begin to make it for a bit less — that tends to keep the prices down. I don’t know about the Sabin oral polio vaccine (which isn’t used in the US any more), and I don’t know about the current injectable vaccine — that is, I don’t know if it is the same vaccine as was developed by Salk and I don’t know whether, if it isn’t the same, whether there’s a patent holder.

  41. 

    I had a question about this particular quote: “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.” So what they are saying is that unvaccinated children are increasing the risk of transmitting diseases to other children… including vaccinated children? How does that make sense? If the other children are vaccinated, why would they be getting those very diseases they were vaccinated for??? Isn’t that the whole point of vaccinating them? So that when they are around the virus, they DON’T get it? I am on the fence about vaccinating my children and trying to make an informed choice.

    • 

      No vaccine is 100% effective. However, the FDA approved vaccines have track records of preventing infections after exposure in most of the persons who were vaccinated. So, the herd or community immunity protects both people who, for medical reasons, can’t be vaccinated, AND people who received the vaccination but whose bodies simply didn’t respond in the expected fashion by developing the “upgraded” immune system cells. Since revaccination probably wouldn’t be effective in those few folks, testing is rarely done for the general population since

      1. it wouldn’t change what care would be provided, and
      2. since it affects so few people it isn’t cost effective to conduct the testing.

      Healthcare providers ARE tested for immunity to certain viral infections because if they aren’t immune, they might contract the disease and, during the prodromal period (the period before onset of symptoms of a disease, during which time the person is contagious), they might infect at risk patients with dire results. I hope this explains why vaccinations are important for as many people who can safely be vaccinated, even though they aren’t 100% effective.

    • 

      research the history of vaccines Amanda, many infectious diseases were on a major decline or had disappeared completely by the time a vaccine was ever introduced. Yet the medical industry takes credit for it. The story of Leicester England is an incredible example. Whooping cough and typhoid never even needed a vaccine to be eradicated. This is undeniably true in the US and Europe with other diseases like influenza as well. Their decline was attributed to better living conditions, proper sewer, cleaner water, better personal hygiene etc. Understanding the history of vaccines, you will definitely find a side of the fence to land on.

      • 

        I live in Nigeria, and we have a high rate of typhoid fever here. Do we have clean running water? Yes. Even amongst the élite, with high hygiene standards, there is still a high rate of typhoid fever. Because all it takes is one meal from a person who is a carrier of typhoid fever to pass it on.
        However, there was a period in the 80s and 90s when the typhoid vaccine was easily available. Those who got it then can eat freely anywhere and never come down with typhoid. Now, the typhoid vaccine is not part of the National Programme on Immunization, so you see pple getting the disease. To get the vaccine on your own from a private hospital costs about 10, 000 naira (abt 62 dollars).
        Also, under the NPI, vaccination is free. Mothers pay 50 naira for the syringes used, and about 200 naira to get a booklet where the child’s immunization history and general progress would be recorded.
        Almost all babies, except those in the core North where there are some tribal issues against vaccines, are immunized. Do we have a high rate of autism? In spite of our meagre research and records, I would say NO.
        Someone mentioned above how a teacher would be hard-pressed to find 2 normal kids in a class of 30. That is unheard of in Nigeria. Yes, we have special schools for the autistic and mentally-retarded, and yes, some children with these conditions are not sent to school at all. But that doesn’t mean we have a high number of autistic children.
        I’m speaking not as a scientist, because I haven’t done any study to prove my points, but as someone who lives in a community and has children around her.
        Are there no other causes of autism besides the MMR vaccine? I think that is what people in the US shd be focused on answering? And since only the MMR vaccine has been implicated, shouldn’t the fight be about discarding that only, but comtinuing with the rest?

        • 

          Lily, the “study” linking the MMR vaccine with Autism was proven to contain falsified evidence and withdrawn. That’s science-journal speak for “The guy who said he found that the MMR vaccine causes autism was lying about that”.

          The guy – Andrew Wakefield – made money from lying about the MMR vaccine. He has also been struck off as a doctor – had his licence to practice medicine revoked.

  42. 

    To think that you know best because you have letters behind your name is a real error and a major cause for concern. You are the last person that the Big Pharma companies want knowing the truth. You are the interface between their agendas and society. How long was the period of study for vaccines or immunology in medical school? A couple of weeks? the same as nutrition id guess. Its why bank tellers don’t know what the rule of 72 is, or why the power of compound interest isn’t taught in schools. The FDA finally has admitted that trans fats are not “generally recognized as safe” but only after years of public and scientific outcry have they dared to take such a small, meek step forward into the future. How long did it take the tobacco industry to admit what theyd already known for years? They are more concerned about their shareholders and the bottom line than our health. The rich and powerful companies want it this way. They want the debate to continue for ever. You are allowing yourself to be used and you are doing a great disservice to the people. You are the Marlboro man. You are allowing yourself to be guided by your bias and ego. You are scared because of what it would mean to your career if you were wrong. Have some courage and look at some information that is not sponsored by CDC or the FDA or other corrupt organizations and you will find the truth. For that is what will win this debate, not you nor I. The truth will win, and you owe it to every person you treat to find it, fast.

    • 

      I don’t have my letters yet (or the title/education they represent), I am “only” a first year medical student. I feel I can help out with your question (since it is clear you have not looked at a medical school curriculum).
      We have an entire class called Immunology. Since I am a first year, this was a basics course. We only covered the “simple” stuff, for 6 weeks. Then we constantly refer back to it, even on exams. So I would say by now, I have covered the basics for about 8 weeks now. Again, this is my first year, I get to enjoy the specifics of diseases and their immunological ramifications, I will see you in a year for a deeper conversation if you would like.
      The debate should be over, we are trying to end it, just people will not listen.
      Scientists are not Marlboro men, for two reasons. First, that is a spot held by ad execs. Second, are you really trying to compare us to an ad character? Really?
      We are guided by science, and peer-reviewed data. I am curious, what are you guided by?
      Truth will win, as it always will (see Copernicus or Galileo) just it takes some intelligence and gumption to receive, read or understand the information.

  43. 

    I would much rather my kid be autistic than ever have to even risk the chance of suffering from tetanus, whooping cough or polio.

    Autism doesn’t kill your children, or permanently disfigure them. So many of the diseases we can prevent and have eradicated, do. I am already infinitely grateful that smallpox is gone.

    That aside, why is it that every single rant I see against vaccines boils down to conspiracies and Big Pharma money? Where I live, vaccinations are free of charge.

    • 

      I would suggest that you study up on the effects of autism, then. It’s not what the media would have you believe and frequently involves kids who are non-verbal and not toilet trained, teens and adults who scream for hours, lunge out with no provocation, and still have other bathroom issues. Needless to say, many cannot go in public.

      Most people, if pressed, would prefer a disease that attacked them physically but left their minds intact to the horrors of severe autism.

      Also, the great majority of people who do contract polio recover just fine. Those who do not may sometimes be the same ones who got the illness FROM the vaccine. No, I’m not going to link to any peer-reviewed paper. If I did, the avid vaccine defenders would carefully find something to shred anyway.

      For those who are interested, Neil Miller’s Vaccine Safety Manual and Aviva Jill Romm’s Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide are interesting places to begin. These are print sources.

      Gianelloni Family Blog also links to and references some fantastic sources.

      Watch The Greater Good on youtube.

      The best thing is probably to challenge yourself to find any study NOT funded by Merck or other drug companies that shows a vaccine–any one vaccine–to be both safe and effective. Or it would be fine to find 2 separate studies–one showing the MMR, for instance, to be safe, and the other showing it to be effective. The first question should not be why anyone wouldn’t vaccinate; the first reasonable question is why anyone DOES inject himself with foreign material.

      Whoever said that organic food companies also make lots of money, the point is not that you have to reject something because the producer is making money. The point is that you need to recognize conflicts of interest. The organic farm should not do its own studies for effectiveness and safety. You cannot reasonably expect that any study carried out in this way is unbiased or accurate.

      • 

        Oh dear….I don’t know where to begin….Please don’t refer to children with autism ” not toilet trained, teens and adults who scream for hours, lunge out with no provocation, and still have other bathroom issues. Needless to say, many cannot go in public.” It is just plain offensive. Children are born with autism. It is who they are and they are wonderful, interesting people. These children are wonderful children simply see and react to the world differently than us.

        For the vaccine argument, I won’t consult science (even though that is the logical way to go) but I will consult common sense. Where in the world did you hear that many people recover fine from polio? If you don’t die, you have lasting effects including paralysis. Many immuno-compromised children cannot get vaccinated and thier lives depend on the common sense from the rest of us.

        For conflict of interest, not only pharma companies research vaccines. Universities and research facilities dedicate their time and lives to this research with NO conflict of interest. There are many studies not done by these companies but by scientists at Universities. Pub Med is a great place to start to do some actual research.

        Spreading fear is very dangerous. Not vaccinating children is ignorant and dangerous. Please educate yourself not on blogs and fear-filled websites.

        Our society depends on it!

      • 

        I’m so late here but I climbed down the link rabbit hole. I have an autistic child and he is NOT the boogyman man hiding under the bed or a parent’s worse nightmare.

        He’s amazing. Fear mongering hurts the Autism Community. It hurts MY son. It paints a picture that makes him be seen as less than human. When really he is amazing and I’m very lucky to be his parent.

        Oh yeah and I vaccinate on schedule. I’m suspect genetics is the driving force when it comes to my kiddo. There is no link but even if there was I’d take my son just as he is 100 times over a dead child. To believe other wise is disgusting and dehumanizes his inherent value as a person. My child’s presentation is not severe but EVERY PERSON Autistic or otherwise has value and dignity.

        • 

          As someone that has Asperger’s (an Autism Spectrum Disorder), I really appreciate your kind words regarding what an Autistic person is like. Many people often forget that that there is a spectrum of what one can expect with an Autistic kid, and thus stereotype the Autistic community. The truth however, is that many of us with Autistic Spectrum Disorders go on to live fairly normal, well adjusted, happy lives. There is no doubt among educated people that Autism is a disability or that it can cause problems in one’s life, but no matter what, all people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

        • 

          Cheers to you Dawn! (i too fell fell down this rabbit hole.) My 8yr old son, who is a beautiful and amazing smallish human, is on the autism spectrum with Aspergers and ADD. He was also a preemie. Since birth he has had a less than stellar immune system, therefor catching every bug and usually far worse than his class mates, not vaccinating him would have been a death sentence. I too would take the risk, even if it was well proven one, over a dead child. ( Interesting note :we have a few Aspergers and PDD-NOS individuals that have come to light in the last couple/current generations of both family lines when doing the testing for our son. I am with you on the genetics factor with mine as well)

      • 

        I would like to say thank you. I have ADHD (Attention Deficate Hyperactivity Disorder) a cousin of Autism. My best friends have a mix of Autism, ADHD, ADD, Aspergers as well nothing at all. We are not holding our own version of AA (Which I think most of you shollow and small minded people who get your facts from the guys screaming the “end is here” on the corner of your street seem to go to swap your small minded and factually wrong concepts) where we get together and share how hard it is for us to function. I am an electrician from victoria, so by no means a fool. I have a friend with Autism who is going on to his last year of chemistry, but I wont use him to prove I am correct. I also have a writer friend who has Aspergers, a mechanic with adhd a farm hand with ADD. Three semi-pro LoL players with Autism.

        None of us hide away, in fact we spend more time in public than we do asleep. But hey if you think that we all manage to miss like your drunken friend on the corner, then good for you. You had a though. Not a great one I will admit but hey we all start somewhere.

        Now can you please show me one bit of fact. One report that has not been blown so full of holes by other’s in the scientific community that you could use it to strain pasta of water. You do that and me and my friends will all start missing the bowl and being the hidden away monster that you think we are. Till then I would only ask of you two things. One that you shut up with your arguments that are so lacking in facts that it is almost an insult to us with the ability to think more than once a day. And two that you think before you open your mouth and see what effect you bigoted idiocy can have.

        Yours truly
        A guy who fully thinks you should get vaccinated.

      • 

        Just a quick reaction to your incredibly inaccurate description of Autistic children: ” of the sweetest and best children I have ever worked with as a kids worker were on the ‘extreme’ end of the autistic scale. With love and understanding from their families and teachers they blossomed into loving 8 year olds. Yes they reacted differently to the world then I do but you just have to learn to adapt to them and after that it’s like looking after any other kid in the world!!!!

    • 

      Ed, it is unfortunate that the person or persons who wrote the report at the site for which you provided a link didn’t read the data in the chart they provided which shows that the time from the filing of a petition with the “Vaccine Court” to the time of settlement of the various cases ranged from 6 months to at least 2 years and 8 months. That is, the data report cases settled, not the number of cases that were reported or that occurred in a 3 month period. The report also assumes that not one person in the United States of America has EVER filed an unjustifiable claim with the vaccine court so tax payers or pharmaceutical companies should willingly pay any person who files a claim however much money they ask for — no proof required and no questions asked. You may believe this to be true, but I spent too many years as a nurse hearing patients and family members admit to bold-faced lies about the facts of a case (including a clear memory of a parent telling me he had lied to a police officer about the circumstances of a child’s injury) to believe that in this one arena patients and families only ever tell the truth.

      According to the website for the “Vaccine Court” at http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/statisticsreports.html#_ftn5

      from 2006 to the end of 2013, about 809,000,000 doses of flu vaccine were administered; and there were a total of 658 cases where patients or their families were compensated for complications thought likely to have been caused by the vaccine. NOT definitely were caused by the vaccine, just likely. This is a complication rate of 0.00081%. Now, among the population of the US,, for just the 2012-2013 flu season, there were 8.9 hospitalizations for every 100,000 population (including all ages) for influenza related illnesses. This would be, then, 890 hospitalizations per million of population. Since there are over 300,000,000 people in the USA, you can see where your greater risk can be found. If the flu vaccine was only effective 50% of the time, the numbers would still be overwhelmingly in favor of getting vaccinated.

      Finally, when you find a completely safe human activity or a completely safe substance that a human can put into his/her body, please, please notify me. I have yet to find anything that cannot, under some circumstance, be dangerous or lethal to humans.

      • 

        “Finally, when you find a completely safe human activity or a completely safe substance that a human can put into his/her body, please, please notify me. I have yet to find anything that cannot, under some circumstance, be dangerous or lethal to humans.”

        And that is why insisting that the majority of humans ought to put into themselves any substance is unconscionable.

        I find “the few for the many” to be ethically abhorrent.

        • 

          You’re right. “The many for the few” makes so much more sense.

        • 

          Ooook, so don’t eat, don’t drink and don’t breathe. Oxygen, water and food are substances too, you know?
          By the way, there is more mercury in fish than in vaccines.

          Ah, and by the way, this is NOT a “the few for the many”. This is a “accidents can happen: this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use a powerful tool for fighting diseases”.

  44. 

    like all big pharma propagandists, this author suppresses evidence, then denies there is evidence… there is OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE that the skyrocketing levels of many childhood maladies have been caused by the skyrocketing levels of vaccination..
    please do your own research and then ask yourself why these FACTS have been hidden from the public? 22 Medical Studies That Show Vaccines Can Cause Autism, vaccine studies damage nervous system, vaccine compensation payouts prove autism link, Univ of Piittsburgh infany monkeys autism study, following vaccinations testimonials, mmr autism testimonials, Dr. salk admitted vaccine caused polio epidemic…

    • 

      Prove all of that. Provide empirical, evidence based studies. Not some website with unproven statements made by someone with unverifiable credentials. If there is a ton of “evidence”, okay, should be easy for you to provide. Don’t you want to? We’re all waiting for you to prove us wrong.

    • 

      I guess you don’t believe in climate change either right?

      Ya’know what fellas, I think this is just natural selection at work, we should all just shut up and start working on a way to survive climate change and go to mars. Screw trying to talk all these people into facts, it’s a waste of time.

      • 

        right the natural selection thats going to leave you with less brain function for being vaccinated, thank you good day.

        • 

          Says the person who uses improper grammar throughout his/her post. Oh, the irony.

        • 

          I was vaccinated, ‘friend’
          I actually do have many diagnoses on my head, most of them somewhere on the Autism Spectrum or Dissocial Disorders; though if anything was done to make me that way post birth it would probably have been the sexual assault received via both birth parents.
          As for natural selection, I’ve only ever worked to enhance myself and my community. Sometimes in ways considered universally charitable, sometimes by running fear-mongers from their soapbox altars. I’ve achieved quite a bit academically, and despite some troubles with interpersonal relations, I’ve created a fine web of people to support me should I ever slip. Negative thinkers like you doubtless could achieve so much more; I realize it is a fallacious statement, but I urge you to consider people like me. Autism or other disorders of the mind do not preclude success or contribution.

    • 

      I totally agree, Chris. This author has been paid to write this article, and the brainwashed zombies can’t do their homework and think for themselves. God bless the whistleblowers that are not afraid to tell the truth no matter what!

      • 

        Amen Tutti. Worth repeating

        “I totally agree, Chris. This author has been paid to write this article, and the brainwashed zombies can’t do their homework and think for themselves. God bless the whistleblowers that are not afraid to tell the truth no matter what!”

        The same old worn out rhetoric still being parroted after all these years can easily be spotted & seen through these days. And because, FINALLY, many people are paying attention we can get to where we need be in order to save our children from further harm & death. Thanking the good God is for that.

        Too many watching for the cover up to continue. That cat’s not going back in.

        Please see the most urgent link & help truth along by taking action. The video at this link made believers out of many who did beLIEve vaccines not a problem.

        We The Parents & World Citizens want a retraction of the fraudulent 2004 MMR autism study so please add your signature.

        • 

          “We The Parents & World Citizens want a retraction of the fraudulent 2004 MMR autism study so please add your signature”

          Why? What are the scientific reasons? Please provide the critique from someone who is actually qualified (not Brian Hooker nor Mark Blaxill) on how it is wrong.

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