Dear parents, you are being lied to.

Standard of care.

In light of recent outbreaks of measles and other vaccine preventable illnesses, and the refusal of anti-vaccination advocates to acknowledge the problem, I thought it was past time for this post.

Dear parents,

You are being lied to. The people who claim to be acting in the best interests of your children are putting their health and even lives at risk.

They say that measles isn’t a deadly disease.
But it is.

They say that chickenpox isn’t that big of a deal.
But it can be.

They say that the flu isn’t dangerous.
But it is.

They say that whooping cough isn’t so bad for kids to get.
But it is.

They say that vaccines aren’t that effective at preventing disease.
But 3 million children’s lives are saved every year by vaccination, and 2 million die every year from vaccine-preventable illnesses.

They say that “natural infection” is better than vaccination.
But they’re wrong.

They say that vaccines haven’t been rigorously tested for safety.
But vaccines are subjected to a higher level of scrutiny than any other medicine. For example, this study tested the safety and effectiveness of the pneumococcal vaccine in more than 37,868 children.

They will say that doctors won’t admit there are any side effects to vaccines.
But the side effects are well known, and except in very rare cases quite mild.

They say that the MMR vaccine causes autism.
It doesn’t. (The question of whether vaccines cause autism has been investigated in study after study, and they all show overwhelming evidence that they don’t.)

They say that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism.
It doesn’t, and it hasn’t been in most vaccines since 2001 anyway.

They say that the aluminum in vaccines (an adjuvant, or component of the vaccine designed to enhance the body’s immune response) is harmful to children.
But children consume more aluminum in natural breast milk than they do in vaccines, and far higher levels of aluminum are needed to cause harm.

They say that the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (and/or the “vaccine court”) proves that vaccines are harmful.
It doesn’t.

They say that the normal vaccine schedule is too difficult for a child’s immune system to cope with.
It isn’t.

They say that if other people’s children are vaccinated, there’s no need for their children to get vaccinated.

This is one of the most despicable arguments I’ve ever heard. First of all, vaccines aren’t always 100% effective, so it is possible for a vaccinated child to still become infected if exposed to a disease. Worse, there are some people who can’t receive vaccinations, because they are immune deficient, or because they are allergic to some component. Those people depend upon herd immunity to protect them. People who choose not to vaccinate their children against infectious diseases are putting not only their own children at risk, but also other people’s children.

They say that ‘natural’, ‘alternative’ remedies are better than science-based medicine.
They aren’t.

The truth is that vaccines are one of our greatest public health achievements, and one of the most important things you can do to protect your child.

I can predict exactly the sort of response I will be getting from the anti-vaccine activists. Because they can’t argue effectively against the overwhelming scientific evidence about vaccines, they will say that I work for Big Pharma. (I don’t and never have). They will say that I’m not a scientist (I am), and that I’m an “Agent 666” (I don’t know what that is, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not one).

None of these things are true, but they are the reflexive response by the anti-vaccine activists because they have no facts to back up their position. On some level, deep down, they must understand this, and are afraid of the implications, so they attack the messenger.

Why are they lying to you? Some are doing it for profit, trying to sell their alternative remedies by making you afraid of science-based medicine. I’m sure that many others within the anti-vaccine movement have genuinely good intentions, and do honestly believe that vaccines are harmful. But as a certain astrophysicist recently said “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it”. In the case of vaccine truthers, this is not a good thing. Good intentions will not prevent microbes from infecting and harming people, and the message that vaccines are dangerous is having dire consequences. There are outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses now throughout the United States because of unvaccinated children.

In only one respect is my message the same as the anti-vaccine activists: Educate yourself. But while they mean “Read all these websites that support our position”, I suggest you should learn what the scientific community says. Learn how the immune system works. Go read about the history of disease before vaccines, and talk to older people who grew up when polio, measles, and other diseases couldn’t be prevented. Go read about how vaccines are developed, and how they work. Read about Andrew Wakefield, and how his paper that claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been withdrawn, and his medical license has been revoked. Read the numerous, huge studies that have explicitly examined whether autism is caused by the vaccine…and found nothing. (While you’re at it, read about the ongoing research to determine what IS the cause—or causes —of autism, which is not helped by people continuing to insist that vaccines cause it).

That may seem like a lot of work, and scientific papers can seem intimidating to read. But reading scientific articles is a skill that can be mastered. Here’s a great resource for evaluating medical information on the internet, and I wrote a guide for non-scientists on how to read and understand the scientific literature. You owe it to your children, and to yourself, to thoroughly investigate the issue. Don’t rely on what some stranger on the internet says (not even me!). Read the scientific studies that I linked to in this post for yourself, and talk to your pediatricians. Despite what the anti-vaccine community is telling you, you don’t need to be afraid of the vaccines. You should instead be afraid of what happens without them.

 

Edited to add: This video is an outstanding summary of many of these issues. I encourage you to watch it.

“Humans try to make sense of the world by seeing patterns. When they see a disease or condition that tends to appear around the time a child is a year or so old, as autism does, and that is also the age that kids get particular shots, they want to put those things together. Parents watch kids more carefully after they get shots. Sometimes they pick up on symptoms then. Just because two things happen at the same time doesn’t mean that one caused the other. This is why we need careful scientific studies.”

Note: For people coming via a direct link, please also feel free to participate in a follow-up discussion
here.

1/13/15: Edited to update broken hyperlinks. If you find any additional broken links, please don’t hesitate to let me know. –JR

5,014 thoughts on “Dear parents, you are being lied to.

  1. Aby Pingree January 29, 2015 / 4:39 pm

    There has been a lot of new about the anti-vaccination movement lately and I must say that I feel troubled by our medical community’s response. The articles I have read written by medical professionals have been harsh, dividing, and using an “I am right” voice.
    It seems to me that the deeper issue is one of trust. There is much mistrust of big money pharmaceutical and personally I have yet to be convinced that big business pharmacy has my or my family’s best interest at heart. This mistrust runs deep and is very disturbing. This being said, I feel the anti-vacc movement is one born of mistrust not of ignorance. To call anti-vaccers ignorant is unkind.
    As a medical professional I feel it is my job to support my patients and their decisions whether or not I agree with them.
    Let’s not create more division but address the real issue of miss-trust.

    • Richard Daggett January 29, 2015 / 6:03 pm

      Aby – I believe many of those who oppose vaccines have honest concerns. I also believe that many of these concerns are based on information that is designed to fuel fears and mistrust. Most parents today have never seen a case of vaccine preventable disease, so it is not something they worry about. They weigh fears about vaccine ingredients against a disease they have never seen, or perhaps never even heard of. I don’t agree with this, but I understand it. On the other hand, the argument that vaccine are bad because they are “pushed by big-pharma” is an argument that has little merit. The government, and most safety experts, encourage the use of safety belts while in moving automobiles. It is, in fact, against the law to ride in an automobile without a safety belt. Is this also a conspiracy pushed by seat belt manufacturers? Surely seat belt manufacturers also make a profit.

      • wacky February 26, 2015 / 8:53 pm

        Nope, seat belt laws were pushed by the auto insurance industry.

        • Chris February 26, 2015 / 9:47 pm

          Possibly because they don’t like paying out claims on preventable injuries. Perhaps it is the same reason that Kaiser Permanente does vaccine safety research and is part of the Vaccine Safety Datalink Program (and what insurance company actuary does not want to make sure medical procedures for their families are safe?).

          Also, auto makers pushed for seat belt laws. One reason is because the federal government was mandating they build in passive restraint systems, but those are costly and often not effective (also what engineer does not want to make a product they use safer?):
          http://articles.latimes.com/1985-02-19/news/mn-546_1_seat-belts

          I grew up wearing seat belts, in the 1960s. When my dad bought a new car he would order the seat belt package and install them himself. He started to do this after he helped clean after several high school kids had a horrific crash when he was an Army MP, and then had a similar less fatal ride down a hillside a little bit later (he ended up in the back seat). Since this was the late 1940s when there were no seat belts in cars, he found some designed for small planes and put them in his car.

          The car seat belts were only lap belts when I was a kid. I was in a slow speed head on crash when I was in college. I saw the dash board coming towards my head until the lap belt of boyfriend’s car stopped that motion, but I ended up breaking a couple of ribs. I’ll take the broken ribs over a crushed scull any day, but I do like shoulder belts.

    • confusedbylogic January 29, 2015 / 7:05 pm

      Aby Ping,
      I don’t blame you for mistrusting an opinion from a person from whom the opinion is in accordance with his own profit. Do you help your patients to “follow the money” by showing how much money is kept out of corporate hands (including hospitals, Pharma, home nursing, medical equipment, etc, etc) by vaccination? Do you show them what a small percent of the Pharma profits are obtained by vaccination? Do you explain to them that vaccines do not provide profit for you or any other physician? Do you show your patients where to look up (for free) any compensation their doctors have received from Pharma? Do you explain that insurance companies are for-profit corporations, and those corporations were happy to pay for vaccines long before they were required by law to do so, because they save insurance corporations loads of money that would otherwise be paid out to care for the illnesses that vaccines would have prevented?

      If there is mistrust of profit, and I think there should be, then a realistic examination of the money trail shows vaccinations are a thing to be trusted.

  2. Christine January 30, 2015 / 2:50 am

    “They say that if other people’s children are vaccinated, there’s no need for their children to get vaccinated.”

    This IS the most despicable argument, but not quite for the reasons mentioned in the article. What makes it particularly abhorrent in my mind is that anti vax folks truly believe they are making the best choice for their child by not vaccinating. That their child’s health and life will be poorer or at risk for vaccinating. The disgusting thing about the above argument (and I have heard it, in person) is that what they are really saying is “I’m not going to risk MY child, because other people have risked theirs for me, so now I don’t have to.” Or if you think about it, they are saying their child’s life is more important than the lives of the other children around them. I have heard many people make this argument of “I don’t need to vaccinate because all of the other children are vaccinated.” So what they are saying is that their child’s heath is contingent on the other families and people around them choosing to do what they see as a very real risk… but that’s okay because it’s not THEIR child. They want to reap the benefits of herd immunity without partaking their part of the risk. That’s the part that I find despicable.

    • Andrew February 14, 2015 / 7:06 pm

      No Christine this is not what we say. The lies in this article is what is abhorrent.

      It’s a proven fact non-vaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children are less likely to contract asthma and all the other autoimmune diseases that are so prevalent today. You don’t have to believe me the research is out there it’s in Europe it’s in Canada it’s in many places of the world, including he USA.

      In fact it’s non-vaccinated kids that have actual heard immunity amongst themselves true heard immunity and they are the ones that are protecting vaccinated kids that have a chance of getting the disease because vaccinations are not 100% effective but natural immunity is and most kids survive natural immunity so they are the ones that are protecting vaccinated kids. It’s the old wolves in sheep’s clothing. And if you tell a tale enough times people will begin to believe it especially when it’s fear-based

      What the mainstream tells you about about vaccines is a very small percentage of the information that’s available. Do you think that they’re going to give you the raw data honestly ask yourself. they have models to create statistics mathematical models and they’re based on random numbers and they skew the numbers and they make the calculations to result in their favor.

      Just google a CBC article on the flu analysis flu death reality check.

      If these companies were to publish the raw data you’d be in for a big surprise

      the most unbiased way:

      Number vaccinated
      Number vaccinated infected.

      Number non vaccinated 
      Number non vaccinated infected.

      • Chris February 14, 2015 / 7:59 pm

        It’s a proven fact non-vaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children are less likely to contract asthma and all the other autoimmune diseases that are so prevalent today. You don’t have to believe me the research is out there it’s in Europe it’s in Canada it’s in many places of the world, including he USA

        Citations please. Make sure that the other autoimmune diseases are clarified. And there is these for asthma:

        Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2004 Jan;13(1):1-9.
        Infant vaccinations and childhood asthma among full-term infants.

        Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2002 Jun;21(6):498-504.
        Childhood vaccinations and risk of asthma.

        J Pediatr. 2001 Mar;138(3):306-10.
        Does influenza vaccination prevent asthma exacerbations in children?

        So, yeah, you need to provide those citations in the form of PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers.

      • moladood February 14, 2015 / 10:16 pm

        I don’t think that is a proven fact and have actually read studies to the contrary with the conclusions being that the only measurable difference between vaccinated and non was non vaccinated had a higher rate of preventable diseases (for which the vaccinated had received vaccines for). Funny enough that the study was actually on an anti-vaxx site, go figure.

        http://www.vaxchoicevt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/schmitz-KIGGS.pdf

      • jb0nez95 February 15, 2015 / 7:10 pm

        Why is it that so many anti vaxxers have a) poor grammar b) poor spelling and c) abhorrent/totally ignorant understanding of anatomy & physiology, especially in regards to the immune system?

        Oh… I think I answered my own question….

  3. Pamela January 30, 2015 / 11:18 am

    Regarding the flu-The CDC says between 3-49,000 (39,000 is the most often used #) people die from flu every year in the US. How do they reach that number? Not by facts; they use every flu, pneumonia, respiratory and circulatory death just in case. These are scare tactics, not science. The actual number of people with confirmed flu death in 2010 was 500. http://www.cdc.gov/…/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm. http://www.asrn.org/journal-advanced-practice-nursing/1212-do-not-believe-everything-you-read-about-flu-deaths.html

    • Chris January 30, 2015 / 11:31 am

      So what? They probably would not have had pneumonia, etc if they had not gotten sick with influenza.

      Now the pediatric deaths are confirmed, and so far this year there have been sixty one children who have died from flu. It is going up the over hundred pediatric deaths that happened in each of the last two years. Are they included in that magical “500” number? Do you have a minimum number of pediatric influenza deaths that would make you care?

      • Pamela January 30, 2015 / 6:33 pm

        So what? I’m responding to a post that states that parents have been lied to which gives a link to the CDC who states that x amount of people die every year from the flu and it is a statement that is a lie. Do I believe that people who have underlying health conditions fare worse when they develop another illness, such as the flu? Absolutely. Does that mean it’s ok to have a double standard when reporting something as a fact which is picked up by news agencies and many other groups who trust the CDC as a source? No way. Then you bring up pediatric deaths as if that makes it ok for the CDC to lie, then accuse me of not caring about pediatric deaths because I don’t think it’s ok for the CDC to lie. So how many of the children who died received the flu shot? Here’s one who received it and still died: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/year-girl-dies-catching-flu-vaccine/story?id=28526729. The inference about caring about children dying is that they somehow would not have died if they had received the magical flu shot. Yes, this years is admittedly not a good match for circulating strains, but I personally observed five hospitalized patients during one week LAST YEAR who were cultured with the H1N1 2009 strain that was in the vaccine that four of them had received. This finding was being lamented by the doctors throughout the flu season. And because I started to become more interested in this topic last year I also found that two of my patients that I cared for (not hospitalized for flu) had a health history that included Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy attributed to a vaccine, one specified it was a flu vaccine received in 2001. These were injuries causing difficulties with walking and pain years later. And I’m sure you will dismiss my personal observations because I can’t cite it like the trustworthy sources such as the CDC.

        • Chris January 30, 2015 / 7:02 pm

          You are accusing the CDC of lying by linking to an article written by some unknown person in a small journal with no real references (just hints, no actual citations). Colin below explained why the numbers in the article were wrong.

          The pediatric deaths due to influenza are confirmed through laboratory tests, which you would have learned if you had clicked on link under the graph of pediatric deaths in the page I provided. It is obvious you did not.

          You seem to want to dismiss those very real statistics, especially since they make up over one fifth of that magical five hundred number from some unknown person who wrote an opinion piece with no real citations. Epidemiology is not easy, and your link would carry more weight if we knew the qualifications of the unknown author. Please try again and post a PubMed indexed article by an actual epidemiologist about how influenza mortality is determined.

          Perhaps you can tell some of the families in Vaccine Preventable Disease – The Forgotten Story that influenza only kills five hundred Americans per year. It just happens over 20% are children. That should be comforting.

          “So how many of the children who died received the flu shot?”

          90%

          If you have data that shows more than 10% of children who are vaccinated for influenza will die from the disease, please provide us the PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers.

          Like all things in life nothing is perfect, thinking otherwise is the Nirvana Fallacy. Are you now going to tell us the MMR vaccine does not work because a few vaccinated persons got measles at Disneyland, even though tens of thousands vaccinated persons who were also there did not get measles? (note: 99% of persons who get two MMR doses are immune, that still leaves one in a hundred who are not…. and in a park which sees between fifty to eighty thousand visitors a day, it is remarkable that only a few vaccinated persons got measles instead of at least a thousand)

          • Pamela January 30, 2015 / 8:01 pm

            I think you need to re-read my response. You seem to be in a big hurry to argue and haven’t understood what I wrote. I didn’t dispute that children died of the flu, I asked how many of those who died had received the flu vaccine. You stated 90%. That would be a huge defeat to flu vaccine pushers, but since I clicked on the link I found that it takes me to a link for the 2012-2013 season that states that “About 90 Percent of Children Who Died From Flu This Season Not Vaccinated”. The article states, “This brings the total number of influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported to CDC, to date, to 105 for the 2012-2013 season.” Please note again the term “influenza-associated”. This is the same term used in the inflated numbers CDC reports every year. But, why are we even going here? Is there some reason you have to go off topic? Colin did not explain anything. I didn’t come up with those figures, the CDC did. Didn’t you read the link I provided? If you read the whole thing you will see that the CDC even explains that those figures are estimates and how they came up with that number by including the deaths in the other categories. Once again, pointing out how tragic it is that people die from the flu every year does not make it ok to mislead the public with estimates.

            • Chris January 30, 2015 / 8:12 pm

              Ooops… it was 90% were not vaccinated. You should have read the link: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/children-flu-deaths.htm

              “Didn’t you read the link I provided?”

              I read both of them several times. I even found the source of some of data and quotes written by that unknown person. You might try reading the two papers I just posted. I just think that the magical “500” is very wrong.

            • Anonymous January 31, 2015 / 12:43 pm

              So they “mislead” the public by estimating the number, even if they err on the side of caution. So what?? You are okay with your child being one of those 500? I’m not.

        • Chris January 30, 2015 / 7:56 pm

          “And I’m sure you will dismiss my personal observations because I can’t cite it like the trustworthy sources such as the CDC.”

          Perhaps if you wrote up the case studies, had them reviewed and then published. You would also need to include the relative risks of those vaccine reactions to actually getting influenza.

          I have found some of the pertinent documentation on how influenza mortality estimates are made, and could be improved, they could help in your calculations of relative risk:

          Epidemiology of Seasonal Influenza: Use of Surveillance Data and Statistical Models to Estimate the Burden of Disease

          and

          Improving the estimation of influenza-related mortality over a seasonal baseline

        • moladood January 31, 2015 / 11:49 am

          I really like how you can take CDC data as truth but then say that they are liars. You either believe the data or you don’t. CDC also estimates Flu deaths as they know it is not an exact science because flu is not a cause of death that they can pull from death certs. Similarly, strangulation is also not a cause of death, the real term is asphyxia which may be due to one being strangulated by medically it is not the cause. Simuilarly flu can generally lead to other things that lead to death so it may not be a direct cause of death but not having the flu, like not being strangulated would have had different outcomes.

          Not sure if this has been posted on this thread, they don’t know, they estimate. This comes up again and again on this thread and for some reason, there is an inability for some to comprehend and do the math.

          http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/us_flu-related_deaths.htm

          Your link about someone who died and got the shot is possible. Not every vaccine is 100% effective but if 100% of people have it, those where it was not effective have a statistically better chance of not getting it. It is all statistics and probabilities, people just seem bad at assessing risk. There is a % chance leaving my house today that a car could run me over but you don’t seem to not want to take that risk, you rarely know anyone this has happened too. I don’t know of anyone who has been injured by a vaccine, so why when all the data points to support eradication of deadly diseases would I decide to not vaccinate. People respond to fear, in the getting hit by a car, they can say that is dumb luck because they do it every day but since you don’t get vaccinated every day you are poor at assessing risk.

          • Chris January 31, 2015 / 1:09 pm

            “Not sure if this has been posted on this thread, they don’t know, they estimate. This comes up again and again on this thread and for some reason, there is an inability for some to comprehend and do the math.”

            It seems to be a persuasive meme, and it keeps getting repeated without anyone checking the sources. Age of Autism posted an article on that “Journal of Advanced Practice Nursing” article.

            Further investigation shows that the “Journal of Advanced Practice Nursing” article is a refinement of this:
            https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/the-cdc-is-lying-to-you-again-flu-fiction-vs-flu-reality/

            Which I found here:
            http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/16682/does-the-cdc-over-report-annual-flu-deaths-in-the-u-s

            So I’d really like to know who wrote the “Journal of Advanced Practice Nursing” article and kind of review that journal does for its articles.

          • Pamela January 31, 2015 / 3:18 pm

            I posted that link. Sorry, my time is limited because of other obligations right now. If you’d like to look at my other posts and comment I hope to come back. Vaccine injury became a topic of interest to me last year and I took care of two women just last year with documented vaccine injuries that continue to impact their lives years later, so it is quite real to me. Just to emphasize my original intent with my first post; my own employer and many news agencies have reported the CDC’s estimates of 30,000-xxx,xxx FLU deaths and reported them as fact with no disclaimers. And yes, flu is a cause of death that can be, and is listed as cause of death. I included that link in my first post.

            • Chris January 31, 2015 / 3:29 pm

              “Vaccine injury became a topic of interest to me last year and I took care of two women just last year with documented vaccine injuries that continue to impact their lives years later, so it is quite real to me.”

              Were you asked to provide data for any National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program claims for those injuries? Have their case reports been indexed in PubMed. If the vaccine is causing that much injury, the medical community needs to be told.

              There are several questions about the link you gave from the “Journal of Advanced Practice Nursing.” If you are member of that organization could you contact them for the name and qualifications of the author?

    • Colin January 30, 2015 / 11:52 am

      Your facts are inaccurate. More than 52k people die each year of pneumonia, and presumably a lot more from undifferentiated “respiratory and circulatory” causes. So the CDC obviously didn’t calculate 39k flu deaths by using “every flu, pneumonia, respiratory and circulatory death just in case.” In fact, your own link points out that the CDC uses a computer analysis to determine how many pneumonia deaths are ultimately caused by flu; they can’t simply count them because most death certificates don’t differentiate between pneumonia caused by flu and other causes.

      But even if your facts weren’t wrong, 500 lives a year sounds like a serious problem to me. That’s ten times the number of people killed by lightening strikes in the US every year, and yet we don’t let kids swim outdoors during storms. Getting a flu shot would still be the right thing to do, especially considering that influenza is nasty even for people who survive it.

    • Andrew February 14, 2015 / 7:10 pm

      Go ahead Pamela,

      Ironic as I just posted the same thing above with a suggestion to google a
      CBC article that breaks it down.

      Thank you for posting

  4. Brenda January 31, 2015 / 8:20 pm

    Wow, you have lots of links that lead to more links and obviously have not checked them all. I clicked on your “overwhelming” evidence link (under “They say that MMR vaccine causes autism”) that leads to an article at the Autism Science Foundation which links to a journal article titled “Vaccine and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses.” If you scroll down to the every end you’ll see this under Acknowledgments: “Potential conflicts of interest.P.A.O. is a coinventor and patent coholder of the rotavirus vaccine Rotateq and has served on a scientific advisory board to Merck…”

    THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE HOLDS A PATENT FOR THE ROTAVIRUS!!!! MAJOR CONFLICT OF INTEREST!

    Mind you, this was the very first link I checked, and who knows how many other “credible” sources you have linked. Well done. You have successfully discredited yourself and your pro-vax movement has taken several steps backwards.

    • confusedbylogic January 31, 2015 / 9:05 pm

      Brenda,
      Yup, you checked one, by your own admission, and found a possible conflict of interest in one out of a hundred or so links.
      I’m going to presume you know that rotavirus is not the MMR and even Wakefield didn’t attempt to link it to autism, but others might not know that.

      Did you find a bunch of other primary source high-level pubmed indexed journal articles that refuted this authors findings? No.
      Did you find a couple hundred articles that confirmed those same conclusions? Yes.
      So what should a reasonable person conclude from an article written by an author who is himself a renowned researcher in the field, but web has no direct financial connection to the MMR vaccine, whose conclusions are confirmed by hundred of other researchers and not refuted by a single one?
      Why yes, like any reasonable person, you ignore the 95+% of the actual experts in a highly technical scientific field and “do your own research” (which consists of clicking on the web, never getting an education in the field in question), and leap to your conclusions.

      Please be sure to get back to us with your in depth survey of the literature on the topic.

      • Brenda January 31, 2015 / 10:14 pm

        For all the studies that have absolutely, convincingly declared there is absolutely NO association between vaccines and autism (btw, no REAL scientist would ever declare they are absolutely, positively sure that A does not cause B) are several studies that have raised the question that MAYBE there could POSSIBLY (or overwhelmingly) be a link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/220807175/86-Research-Papers-Supporting-the-Vaccine-Autism-Link. All of these abstracts and links are from scientific studies, unlike some of the links you provided which were links to other mommy bloggers hopping on the bandwagon. Albeit, some of your links were to a more reliable source like the CDC (yes, I actually do research on CDC, WHO, and I’ve actually read the product inserts for many vaccines). While measles is deadly in developing nations, it is RARE for someone to die from measles in the U.S (and complications are MUCH LOWER than in 3rd world countries). Your link to the CDC was sensationalizing the fact that children around the world are DYING FROM MEASLES but yet fail to acknowledge the actual death rate in the U.S. (even during “outbreaks”). Yes, it is deadly in malnourished countries with unmatched sanitation efforts like the U.S. has! It is ignorant to blatantly exclaim VACCINES ARE SAFE, VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM! That is still very much debatable. Many of these studies linked above suggest vaccine preservatives (not just in the MMR and not just thimerosal) can deplete the body’s glutathione. Interestingly enough, glutathione is also widely deficient in many autistic children. Hmm, a common thread worth considering? Maybe it’s not just ONE vaccine that is linked to autism but a host of vaccines and a cumulative effect altogether. There is also a genetic component to autism. If you don’t have the genetic predisposition for it, no amount of vaccine injury will induce it.
        The evidence that cinched the deal for me to not vaccinate my children was reading the product inserts from the vaccine manufacturers. In these are numerous adverse reactions, while not common, but still devastating. Now consider this, why would I vaccinate my kids for polio, diphtheria, or measles (btw, I don’t treat all diseases equally, some are more serious than others and some more prevalent while other are eradicated or nearly eradicated) when the threat of polio or diphtheria is non-existent and measles (even with the occasional outbreaks) is generally not a serious infection FOR MOST. So, I’m going to vaccinate my kids for something they aren’t likely to contract anyway, but now I have to risk the potential for adverse reaction from vaccines. When the prevalence or severity of these diseases is very low now I’m going to bypass this extra level of protection and go ahead and load ‘em up with a bunch of toxic preservatives (aluminum, in most, and thimersol, if they are getting the flu shot). Yeah, no thanks. I’ll opt out for now until I see a dramatic shift in the incidence of these “vaccine-preventable” diseases.

        • Colin January 31, 2015 / 10:28 pm

          For all the studies that have absolutely, convincingly declared there is absolutely NO association between vaccines and autism … are several studies that have raised the question that MAYBE there could POSSIBLY (or overwhelmingly) be a link

          Are you sure? Have you reviewed the research thoroughly, comparing the number of studies, as well as the quality of those studies, and weighed their reported results accordingly?

          A lot of people who aren’t immunologists, pediatricians, virologists, immunologists, or other experts will tell you that the evidence could go either way or that it’s a good bet that vaccines aren’t safe. But the people who are experts virtually unanimously agree that they are. And they vaccinate themselves, and they vaccinate their children.

          What is it about the anti-vax community that elevates it, in your eyes, to the same level of credibility held by genuine trained and experienced experts?

        • Colin January 31, 2015 / 10:33 pm

          Now consider this, why would I vaccinate my kids for polio, diphtheria, or measles … when the threat of polio or diphtheria is non-existent and measles (even with the occasional outbreaks) is generally not a serious infection FOR MOST.

          1. Because it’s widespread vaccination that keeps these diseases suppressed. Vaccine deniers are bringing measles back in small pockets around the country, even though overall vaccination rates are quite high. It only takes a few irrational parents in clumps to endanger everyone’s kids.

          2. Because many of the diseases that are negligible threats today in the United States are still very much spreading in the outside world. Your child may travel one day–or your neighbor might, and bring bring home a nasty souvenir.

          3. Because the actual risk of vaccine injury is incredibly small. If we look at the actual reviewed literature, rather than the fretting of Facebook friends, it’s extremely unlikely for your child to be harmed by vaccines. The risk of harm from the disease is greater, even those diseases you think are never going to strike.

        • Chris February 1, 2015 / 12:13 am

          “All of these abstracts and links are from scientific studies, unlike some of the links you provided which were links to other mommy bloggers hopping on the bandwagon.”

          Do they really say what you think they say? Oh, here is a another version of that list.

          “Now consider this, why would I vaccinate my kids for polio, diphtheria, or measles (btw, I don’t treat all diseases equally, some are more serious than others and some more prevalent while other are eradicated or nearly eradicated) when the threat of polio or diphtheria is non-existent and measles (even with the occasional outbreaks) is generally not a serious infection FOR MOST.”

          So between one in ten to one in four needing hospital care for measles is not a serious infection? Have you ever had a sick child in the hospital? I have, they are not admitted for minor things, and it is not fun.

          Oh, and diphtheria is only a plane ride away. This is what happened right after the Soviet Union broke up and the vaccination programs were interrupted: Diphtheria in the former Soviet Union: reemergence of a pandemic disease..

          • Brenda February 1, 2015 / 8:23 pm

            <>

            Thanks for the very opinionated reviews from “a group of pro-science bloggers and writers ” who throw out some scathing words like “junk science” and “debunked”. Who are these people again?

            <<Oh, and diphtheria is only a plane ride away. This is what happened right after the Soviet Union broke up and the vaccination programs were interrupted: Diphtheria in the former Soviet Union: reemergence of a pandemic disease..>>

            We (my family and I) live in the U.S. I’m only talking about living in the U.S. When we decide to take the kids with us aboard for travel, I will reconsider vaccination. If cases of diptheria emerge again in the U.S., I will reconsider, reevaluate, and weigh the risks. If there is significant risk, I will act accordingly.

            • Richard Daggett February 1, 2015 / 9:19 pm

              Brenda. You wrote, “We (my family and I) live in the U.S. I’m only talking about living in the U.S. When we decide to take the kids with us aboard for travel, I will reconsider vaccination. If cases of diphtheria emerge again in the U.S., I will reconsider, reevaluate, and weigh the risks. If there is significant risk, I will act accordingly.”

              I am president of the Polio Survivors Association. A few months ago I received a telephone call from a father. He was distraught, because his 21 year old son contracted polio two years earlier. His son was on a church sponsored mission trip when he was 19 and contracted polio while on this trip. The son had recently discovered that his parent had never had him vaccinated as a child. The son was astonished and angry. The father was crying as he described how this incident was tearing apart his family.

              But, you know what, the father was telephoning in the hope that I could give him a good reason to NOT vaccinate! While I offered my sympathy for this family’s tragedy, and the son’s disability, I could not, in good conscious, give the father a bogus alibi. If a person is exposed to polio, and has not been vaccinated, this person can be contagious for as much as three weeks. Suppose this man’s son had been your next door neighbor. What if you or your children were exposed to the polio virus. It would too late to “reconsider” or “reevaluate” or “weigh the risks.”

              Have you ever met anyone who survived polio, but was left with significant disability? Most communicable diseases have an incubation period. You can be exposed and not even aware of it for days. We are all, infants and adults, just one plane flight away from some pretty devastating diseases. Please reconsider your position. I have seen to many deaths from diseases that are now preventable through vaccination.

            • Chris February 1, 2015 / 9:25 pm

              “We (my family and I) live in the U.S. I’m only talking about living in the U.S. When we decide to take the kids with us aboard for travel, I will reconsider vaccination. If cases of diptheria emerge again in the U.S.,”

              Please thank your responsible neighbors who vaccinated. They are the reason that diphtheria is so low, and are protecting your family. Though people like you tend to congregate, so you may encounter someone who has traveled who might pass an infection to your family.

            • Sarah February 3, 2015 / 10:56 pm

              As one mother speaking to another I understand that you want to protect your own children. If your children do become infected they could be fine, you’re right, but what if they come into contact with a child who has a weakened immune system, a child who’s too young to be vaccinated yet, a child for whom the vaccination didn’t work, it could have devastating consequences. When we vaccinate we do so not just for ourselves but as members of a society to protect each other.

        • notnearlysoanonymous February 1, 2015 / 2:59 pm

          “I’ll opt out for now until I see a dramatic shift in the incidence of these “vaccine-preventable” diseases.”

          Like we have now for measles and whooping cough, or is that not enough of a shift yet for you? How much shift, exactly, would make you vaccinate your kids?

          • Brenda February 1, 2015 / 8:07 pm

            So far, these measles outbreaks are relative small. It is not an epidemic. Whooping cough is cyclical. Clusters of outbreaks happen every 3-5 years or so, even in vaccinated populations since the vaccine is just not effective for lifetime immunity. The CDC site says: “high levels of protection within the first 2 years of getting vaccinated, but then protection decreases over time.” Those at greatest risk are infants. My children are no longer infants. The risk of them developing complications or dying from this disease is very low. Also, please read this from the same CDC page:” Q: I’ve heard about parents refusing to get their children vaccinated and travelers to the U.S. spreading disease; are they to blame for pertussis outbreaks?” http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/about/faqs.html

            • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 8:31 pm

              So how much shift would change your behavior? I’m interested in just what it would take. I’m not looking for right or wrong, just interested in where that line is for each person.

            • mudskipper5 February 3, 2015 / 2:55 am

              The spike in measles cased in the US is alarmingly high (really… it is) but of even greater concern is the incidence of measles outside of the US. Why? Because we are not isolated from these places anymore. We are a relatively short plane ride from there to here, bringing the disease with them.

              Case in point, the Philippines had 57,000 cases of measles last year. Doctors are scrambling to increase vaccination rates to protect the population but it is difficult in the more rural areas and the disease spreads very, very quickly in denser populations. Why is this a concern to us? Because one of the strains in the Philippines was found in the strain spreading from Disneyland and, according to officials, is likely from an unvaccinated American.

              http://www.npr.org/2015/01/30/382716075/measles-is-a-killer-it-took-145-000-lives-worldwide-last-year

              I do hope, for your children’s sake, that you are not part of the tragedy that this is becoming. But in a way, you already are. Parents like you are the reason our herd immunity is weakening, resulting in the spread of a disease that was supposedly eradicated 10 years ago from our country. So people who, through no fault of their own, cannot develop immunity or can’t be vaccinated because of valid medical reasons because parents like you chose not to vaccinate because of unsupported fears and paranoia. Well done. Evidence that the actions of a few can have powerful (and, in this case, imminently harmful) effects on our entire community, all because their fear is horribly misplaced. You fear the imaginary dangers of the cure instead of the very real dangers of the disease itself.

          • annette February 25, 2015 / 11:14 am

            yes that is not enough of a shift for me. nor would i ever consider putting my child at even a theoretical risk to protect someone else’s. sorry but that is just how it is.

            • Colin February 25, 2015 / 1:11 pm

              Given the relative rates of confirmed vaccine reactions and vaccine-preventable diseases, you’re putting your child at greater risk by not vaccinating. Even without any regard whatsoever for other peoples’ children, you’re putting your own at a greater risk for irrational reasons.

            • moladood February 25, 2015 / 1:28 pm

              Your argument only holds up if everyone else protects you. The more people that think like you, put your child at higher risk.

    • gewisn January 31, 2015 / 9:17 pm

      Let me ask, Brenda, what sort of evidence could you imagine that would cause you to change your mind about vaccines?

      What sort of information, from a source you trust very highly, would cause you to say, “Wow. I think maybe I’ve been wrong about this?”

      Would it be an enormous multitude of studies from researchers who never got a dime from Pharma, with absolutely no contradictory results?

      Would it be a hundred mothers who’ve said for years that vaccines caused autism in their kids, but who, upon learning more about immunology and autism, all said, “You know what, we were wrong?”

      Would it be someone in your own family, who you’d trust with your life, getting an advanced degree in this field and then telling you, “That’s just not how this works. I know you’re trying to help kids and families, but you just don’t have the facts right?”

      Or something else?
      What sort of information would it be?

      • Brenda February 1, 2015 / 7:51 pm

        <>

        Several studies comparing unvaccinated vs vaccinated populations for autism and other neurological issues. Not talking about just the MMR but the current recommended vaccine schedule vs those who opt out. Also, long-term studies of similar populations comparing incidences of chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. Per the Merck product insert for the MMR II (and many others) have specifically stated: “M-M-R II has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential.”

        Let’s start there.

        • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 7:55 pm

          Thank you, Brenda.
          If those studies came out negative, you’d consider the vaccines better than risking the illnesses they prevent?

          • Brenda February 1, 2015 / 8:44 pm

            Yes, I would consider it after reading the literature. I’m not completely anti-vaccine. I take each vaccine individually and try not to lump them altogether (although, during discussions like this, it’s difficult and lengthy to discuss each vaccine on its own). As I mentioned above, when we start traveling with our kids abroad, I will revisit applicable vaccines. But I still won’t get them vaccinated for Hep B or rubella (if I had the option to separate it out from MMR). When they hit puberty, I will reconsider these then.

            • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 8:48 pm

              Thank you. I appreciate the candor and the specificity.

    • Colin January 31, 2015 / 10:24 pm

      The problem with technical issues like medicine and biochemistry is that the people who are best qualified to understand them also work in those fields. It’s like complaining that the cardiologist who tells you that you need a heart transplant also makes his money off of heart surgery. Well, yes–but that doesn’t mean you should let some quack stick a potato in there instead.

      Offit’s potential conflict is a potential conflict. The man doesn’t make money off of MMR viruses, and if I remember right he doesn’t even make money off of rotavirus vaccines anymore. I think the terms of his license have expired. Nevertheless he discloses it, because he’s a pretty credible commentator. Compare that to Wakefield, who’s notorious for profiteering without disclosing his conflicts.

      If a disclosed, potential conflict renders a source non-credible to you, then you won’t have any sources left to give you information on technical problems. That might be convenient if the information you want isn’t what the experts are saying is true, but it’s no way to find out the true facts of the matter.

    • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 12:34 am

      I know there’s a lot of back and forth right now, but I’m still hoping Brenda will answer, “What sort of information would change your mind?”

  5. Sass February 1, 2015 / 10:20 am

    There is a LOT of misinformation and factually incorrect assertions in this article. Aside from the fact that it is presented with extremely emotive, irrational language and a distinct lack of impartiality, the content is astonishingly misleading.

    Firstly, you say that ~ vaccines do not cause autism, that thimerosal doesn’t cause autism and that it hasn’t been used in most vaccines since 2001 anyway ~.

    Yes they do and yes they have.

    Here are some peer-reviewed studies showing vaccines DO cause autism:
    https://therefurbishedrogue.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/my-list-of-peer-reviewed-vaccine-research/

    Even Federal judges in the US, and the US government itself, agree that vaccines have caused autism – and paid compensation to parents of vaccine-damaged children for autism and other forms of encephalopathy.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/government-concedes-vacci_b_88323.html

    The above article also mentions a direct connection to thimerosal, which the author contends is “no longer used”. It is used – as the article shows. Oh, and there are currently 4,900 autism cases pending in a Federal vaccine court.

    You also say that aluminum in vaccines is “not harmful to children” and that children “consume more aluminum in natural breast milk than they do in vaccines”

    This is totally untrue. You may not have realised this, but breast milk enters a baby’s body via the MOUTH and processed by the digestive system. Anything that shouldn’t be in it is processed by the liver and expelled. In contrast, aluminium in vaccines is injected directly into the blood stream, by-passing our digestive system, where it can cross the blood-brain barrier and find its way directly to our glial and neural cells. The comparison is totally inappropriate.

    You say that “the normal vaccine schedule is fine for a child’s immune system to cope with”.

    In the above link to the court ruling, it shows that the child received 9 vaccinations at once – two of which contained thimerosal. The result, just a few days later, was catastrophic. That is NOT “coping”.

    Moving on, you argue that “herd immunity” only works if everyone possible is vaccinated.

    The premise of herd immunity is ludicrous and often used by vaccine addicts as a way to push guilt at people who don’t line up, with their children, like robots for their shots.

    Herd immunity protects nobody – strong immune systems do, which is anathema to vaccine-led medicine. If a person has a weak immune system, he will get dangerously sick, and it doesn’t matter how many people around him are vaccinated against how many diseases.

    Vaccination is, in fact, a cover story used to conceal the fact that the health of populations has everything to do with good nutrition, adequate sanitation, and an absence of toxic environmental pollutants. Many doctors know this but are not rewarded by big pharma for limiting pharmaceutical prescriptions and vaccines.

    Vaccination, as a propaganda strategy, is used to medicalize the population – to assert that good health is fundamentally a medical matter. It isn’t. Health and life are not medical functions. Any science that claims they are is false science, and the people who make those claims are liars or morons or criminals, or some combination of all three.

    What’s more is that the risk of disease transmission are INCREASED in HIGHLY VACCINATED areas of the population. See here: http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/04/29/infdis.jit143.full

    Quote: “Children of mothers vaccinated against measles and, possibly, rubella have lower concentrations of maternal antibodies and lose protection by maternal antibodies at an earlier age than children of mothers in communities that oppose vaccination. This increases the risk of disease transmission in highly vaccinated populations.”

    In case you missed it, that’s a study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Infectious Diseases concluding that highly vaccinated populations = increased risk of disease transmission.

    Finally, as we see cancer rates soaring, let’s we take a moment to compare the CDC’s own list of vaccine ingredients with known carcinogens:

    Here is the CDC’s list (not comprehensive): http://cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/b/excipient-table-2.pdf.

    It includes formaldehyde in many, many cases. Now look here: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2004/pr153.html

    Come on folks, it’s not hard to see what’s going on here.

    • notnearlysoanonymous February 1, 2015 / 11:46 am

      Oh, good.
      A couple hundred years of science on immunology and vaccination and you’ve been able to debunk it all in one comment.
      Thank goodness!

      Now you won’t have to read any of the previous comments where everyone one of your assertions was reportedly answered.

      Or…..
      You could read what’s been written in the article, and the associated links, that demonstrates you’re incorrect and the many times it was explained again in the comments.

      Or…maybe take an immunology course and then come back and let us know what you learned.

      • Sass February 1, 2015 / 12:05 pm

        Feel free to address any one of my individual points rather than trying to throw muck at nothing in particular. Be specific or go away.

        • Chris February 1, 2015 / 12:39 pm

          Sass: “Even Federal judges in the US, and the US government itself, agree that vaccines have caused autism”

          Actually that is untrue. Plus scientific facts are not set in a courtroom by lawyers.

          “Here are some peer-reviewed studies showing vaccines DO cause autism:”

          I looked at the first one. It was published in Medical Hypothesis. I suggest you look up what the word “hypothesis” means, because that is not a peer reviewed journal (it is more of a joke). Plus, the author is a lawyer, and not a qualified medical researcher

          “It is used – as the article shows. Oh, and there are currently 4,900 autism cases pending in a Federal vaccine court.”

          You mean David Kirby the free lance travel writer who was hired by Lyn Redwood to write Evidence of Harm? You are almost a decade out of date, after the Autism Omnibus test cases all failed in 2007, most of those were dismissed.

          If you want to argue the NVICP awards then look at the statistics between 1988 and 2014, out of at least two billion doses (the dose data is two years short), there were onlyt 1300 compensated claims.

          Colin took care of the rest. But I suggest you read Dr. Raff’s articles on how to read science papers, plus the short but excellent book Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort Through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversie by Sherry Seethaler.

          • Sass February 1, 2015 / 2:38 pm

            @Chris:

            I agree that scientific facts are not set in court rooms any more than they are set in the personal blog of an anthropology PhD. But, unlike here, court rooms lean on the side of objectivity given the importance of determining whether a claimant has a valid claim and a defendant has a case to answer. In the case of the child above:

            “In sum, DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder”.

            Re: awards, your link doesn’t work. Irrespective – 1,300 children harmed by vaccines is 1,300 too many, wouldn’t you say? And that doesn’t count for cases that never reached court or where parents were thrown off the scent by common conceptions around vaccine “safety”.

            I will take a look at Raff’s article on “how to read a science paper” just as soon as she writes a “science paper” on the subject of vaccines. I don’t even need it to be peer-reviewed, just something that’s fit to be called a work of scientific merit unless the junk she’s penned here.

            I’ll address Colin in a moment. But I suggest you look up what the term “fallacy” means, and specifically the genetic, cherry-picking, ad hominem and argumentum ad verecundiam. You committed all four above.

            • Chris February 1, 2015 / 2:43 pm

              Mitochondrial disorders are not autism. Encephalopathy is not autism, even it it shows the same symptoms. It is not proof that vaccines cause autism, especially since the child would have experience similar or worse problems with the actual diseases.

              • Sass February 1, 2015 / 4:03 pm

                The case remains open – despite Raff’s claim. And FWIW, I am not OK with encephalopathy, either.

                • Chris February 1, 2015 / 9:28 pm

                  One case. That is just one case. How does that overturn decades of vaccine research? How does that show vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases?

        • notnearlysoanonymous February 1, 2015 / 2:16 pm

          Every one of them has been addressed ad nauseam above. I won’t do your reading for you, nor your basic education in immunology.

          Let me know what your immunology professor thinks of your arguments.

          • Sass February 1, 2015 / 2:40 pm

            Do you rely on all of your teachers for your thinking, NotNearly, or just for your gold stars?

            • notnearlysoanonymous February 1, 2015 / 2:52 pm

              I start with the assumption that people who’ve put in >13k hrs in higher education and professional research in the field I’m trying to understand probably know more than I do. After I’ve learned the basic material, then I begin to ask how they arrived at the conclusions they have and ask them questions about the methodology and assumptions inherent in their work.

              Which of the researchers in the field of immunology knows less about the field than you? Do tell.

            • Chris February 1, 2015 / 2:53 pm

              Actually he learned how to think and evaluate the available evidence from his teachers. It seems you missed a few lessons in that regard. Only you can correct that oversight by catching up on science, history and critical thinking.

              Remember you are the one claiming one court case about a little girl with a genetic disorder is evidence of vaccine causing autism, that a list of random studies that included a non-peer reviewed article by a lawyer and the writings of a former travel writer are evidence.

              What you really need to do is provide the following bits of evidence:

              PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers that any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the diseases. This means no studies by lawyers, journalists, computer scientists and venture capitalists. And definitely none by anyone who has had their legal right to practice medicine revoked, and none by any of their known associates.

              • Sass February 1, 2015 / 4:06 pm

                My visit to the comments section was stimulated by bogus claims made by Raff.

                • Chris February 1, 2015 / 9:32 pm

                  Please list all of those bogus claims with the scientific evidence showing they are wrong.

                  For instance, what is bogus about this link? Can you explain how this study is bogus? (both obtained in a link from the above article)

                  Please include equivalent scientific documentation to support your statements.

    • Colin February 1, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      (I slightly edited this comment to clean up a sloppy cut-and-paste)

      Here are some peer-reviewed studies showing vaccines DO cause autism:

      That’s not a list of studies showing that vaccines cause autism. It’s just a list of vaccine studies. The ones I looked at had nothing to do with autism. If you’re interested in what the research says overall, looking at a self-described “thrown-together list” that is “pretty helter skelter” is not a very good process. You might consider asking an expert in the field their opinion. Given that virtually all the immunologists, epidemiologists, pediatricians and neurologists out there agree that vaccines are safe and effective, and given that they vaccinate themselves and their own kids, you probably aren’t going to get an answer that conforms to your preconceptions.

      Even Federal judges in the US, and the US government itself, agree that vaccines have caused autism – and paid compensation to parents of vaccine-damaged children for autism and other forms of encephalopathy.

      This is false. Autism is not a “form of encephalopathy.” No “federal judges” (the “f” isn’t capitalized, it’s not a proper noun) has ever ruled that vaccines caused autism, in any case. The vaccine court is overseen by “special masters,” not federal judges; federal judges oversee and rule on appeals from the vaccine court, but neither they nor the special masters have ever held, in any case, that vaccines cause autism. You can read more about this anti-vax urban legend here, but the short version is that no one has ever been paid compensation for autism caused by a vaccine. Nor has the government done so in any other capacity.

      The courts have actually ruled specifically on whether vaccines cause autism. In the Autism Omnibus Proceeding, the courts allowed anti-vaxers to make their case under several different theories. After hearing all the experts in all the cases that were part of the proceeding, the court held, “The evidence was overwhelmingly contrary to the petitioners’ contentions.” The author of the opinion added that the families anti-vaxers used as their test cases were “misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment.”

      You may not have realised this, but breast milk enters a baby’s body via the MOUTH and processed by the digestive system. Anything that shouldn’t be in it is processed by the liver and expelled. In contrast, aluminium in vaccines is injected directly into the blood stream, by-passing our digestive system, where it can cross the blood-brain barrier and find its way directly to our glial and neural cells. The comparison is totally inappropriate.

      And yet, you haven’t actually established—as no one has ever established—that injecting aluminum-based adjuvants actually deposits a dangerous amount of aluminum in a child’s brain. The research shows that the aluminum in vaccines is safe; a study “found that the body burden of aluminum from vaccines AND diet throughout an infant’s first year of life is significantly less than the corresponding safe body burden of aluminum, based on the minimal risk levels established by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.” You can read more here.

      In the above link to the court ruling, it shows that the child received 9 vaccinations at once – two of which contained thimerosal. The result, just a few days later, was catastrophic. That is NOT “coping”.

      You did not link to a court ruling. You linked to a Huffington Post article by an anti-vaxer, misleadingly and inaccurately describing a court ruling. And pointing out a “result, just a few days later” is identifying a correlation, not causation. The studies into causation have shown that there is no causative link between vaccines and autism, or thimerosal and autism. Consider, for example—if there was such a link, autism rates would have declined precipitously when thimerosal was taken out of the childhood vaccine schedule. It didn’t, which demonstrates there’s no significant connection between the two.

      The premise of herd immunity is ludicrous and often used by vaccine addicts as a way to push guilt at people who don’t line up, with their children, like robots for their shots.

      A lot of things that are true can seem ludicrous if you don’t study them carefully; our instincts are not a very good guide to complicated factual questions. The “premise of herd immunity” is basic math, supported by actual research and studies. The idea that it’s a lie is an anti-vax myth that’s supported by comment threads and Facebook posts. You can see a demonstration of the effect here.

      Herd immunity protects nobody – strong immune systems do, which is anathema to vaccine-led medicine. If a person has a weak immune system, he will get dangerously sick, and it doesn’t matter how many people around him are vaccinated against how many diseases.

      In case you missed it, that’s a study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Infectious Diseases concluding that highly vaccinated populations = increased risk of disease transmission.

      Does this mean that research is persuasive to you? Because we can definitely have a conversation about the research, which overwhelmingly supports the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Or did you mean that just this one study is meaningful, because its specific conclusion fits into your preconceptions without asking you to reconsider them? I guess I’m asking why this study is worth your attention, when you ignore all the others. Are their methods better? Are they better scientists? Or are you just cherrypicking things that say what you want to hear?

      It includes formaldehyde in many, many cases. Now look here: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2004/pr153.html

      Your body contains formaldehyde, too. Are you a carcinogen?

      Come on folks, it’s not hard to see what’s going on here.

      It is very hard to see what’s going on if you start with a conclusion and refuse to consider facts that challenge it. What’s your method for determining what’s true? Do you do your own research, or get your conclusions from your community? Is that community made up of researchers, or people who have their own preconceptions about science and medicine?

      • Sass February 1, 2015 / 3:35 pm

        @Colin:

        You asked at the end:

        “What’s your method for determining what’s true? Do you do your own research, or get your conclusions from your community? Is that community made up of researchers, or people who have their own preconceptions about science and medicine?

        My method is based around the trivium method. It was created by Plato (he wasn’t subjected to the US vaccination program but don’t hold that against him). His method, which has been popular ever since but really only known about in the very most select of schools, provides an extremely robust means of identifying sophists and perpetrators of dreaded fallacies/reasoning errors. If it is not taught, it gives rise to reasoning errors. Its absence can make people believe those who have letters after their names know the truth. Entire communities can fall prey to it if they are not instructed in it – including so-called scientists who are not born with it nor are they taught it as part of their studies.

        I can tell for certain that you don’t use this method. You comments are even more replete with fallacies than Chris’s. Again, a fallacy is a reasoning error – they fail the scientific process, so let’s look at some of your reasoning crimes.

        You:

        “If you’re interested in what the research says overall”.

        What “research says overall” is a combination of argumentum ad populum and argumentum ad temperantium and is hugely risky business. It causes one to generalise and pass over what might be absolutely vital information – that one snippet of information known as a “fact”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_to_moderation

        You:

        “looking at a self-described “thrown-together list” – ”

        Genetic fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_fallacy

        You:

        “You might consider asking an expert in the field their opinion. Given that virtually all the immunologists, epidemiologists, pediatricians and neurologists out there agree that vaccines are safe and effective, and given that they vaccinate themselves and their own kids, you probably aren’t going to get an answer that conforms to your preconceptions.”

        This is argumentum ad verecundiam. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority. Extremely dangerous. Who has the keys to this domain of so-called experts? What does one need to do to get into the club? Who has the casting vote? Do you see why this is not a basis for a scientific argument? Just because a so-called “expert” tells you something, doesn’t mean they’ve ever been instructed in anything other than believing what other so-called “experts” tell them – it certainly doesn’t mean that an “expert” has been schooling the classical art of finding truth for oneself. Jennifer Raff definitely hasn’t.

        You:

        “Autism is not a “form of encephalopathy.” No “federal judges” (the “f” isn’t capitalized, it’s not a proper noun) has ever ruled that vaccines caused autism, in any case. The vaccine court is overseen by “special masters,” not federal judges; federal judges oversee and rule on appeals from the vaccine court, but neither they nor the special masters have ever held, in any case, that vaccines cause autism”

        Thanks for the grammar lesson. Hair-splitting aside, the ruling stated that:

        “In sum, DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder”.

        You:

        “And yet, you haven’t actually established—as no one has ever established—that injecting aluminum-based adjuvants actually deposits a dangerous amount of aluminum in a child’s brain.”

        That doesn’t mean it’s safe. Get me a vaccine insert that doesn’t detail the fact that your child is part of a highly profitable scientific experiment when lining up for this highly toxic metal.

        You:

        “The research shows that the aluminum in vaccines is safe; a study “found that the body burden of aluminum from vaccines AND diet throughout an infant’s first year of life is significantly less than the corresponding safe body burden of aluminum, based on the minimal risk levels established by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.” You can read more here.”

        OK, clicked the link and it says under “MYTH 2: “There haven’t been any studies done to evaluate whether the amount of aluminium that an infant typically receives when completing the full AAP recommended vaccine regimen is actually safe.” Then it says “There have been, for example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22001122

        Note – the “myth” they are trying to bust here states that “aluminium… is actually safe” and then it points to the NCBI link for the study “assessing” – note, NOT PROVING – whether it is safe. And that study does NOT prove safety.

        You:

        “The studies into causation have shown that there is no causative link between vaccines and autism, or thimerosal and autism. Consider, for example—if there was such a link, autism rates would have declined precipitously when thimerosal was taken out of the childhood vaccine schedule. It didn’t, which demonstrates there’s no significant connection between the two.”

        I’m not making the argument exclusively about thimerosal – I was addressing the fact that “Dr” Raff had said it wasn’t used nowadays. It is still found in some vaccines, but hey – I’m open to other carcinogenic, neurotoxins being the culprits. We shouldn’t just put the stocks on little ole’ mercury.

        You:

        “The “premise of herd immunity” is basic math, supported by actual research and studies. The idea that it’s a lie is an anti-vax myth that’s supported by comment threads and Facebook posts. You can see a demonstration of the effect here.”

        No. The premise of herd immunity – even when animated in a cartoon with little red dots – is ridiculous and avoids the laws of cause and effect. I’ve got nothing further to add to what I already said on this.

        You:

        “Does this mean that research is persuasive to you? Because we can definitely have a conversation about the research, which overwhelmingly supports the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Or did you mean that just this one study is meaningful, because its specific conclusion fits into your preconceptions without asking you to reconsider them? I guess I’m asking why this study is worth your attention, when you ignore all the others. Are their methods better? Are they better scientists? Or are you just cherrypicking things that say what you want to hear?

        It is very hard to see what’s going on if you start with a conclusion and refuse to consider facts that challenge it. What’s your method for determining what’s true? Do you do your own research, or get your conclusions from your community? Is that community made up of researchers, or people who have their own preconceptions about science and medicine?

        I am really looking forward to hearing what methodology you use for finding truth. First, count up your fallacies above and put them into a red-dot animation.

        From what you’ve written above, you seem to belong to the same congregation as Raff – a devout follower of scientism who cannot find objective truth without someone in the pay of a large institution say it is so. My offering what to help Raff realise that her comment deriding those “dispacable” people who don’t get vaccinated has been shown to be in doubt within her very own church.

        I am not refusing to consider any “facts”. I consider them all – and disregard the flawed arguments which are innumerable in both Raff’s and your own contributions.

        You:

        “Your body contains formaldehyde, too. Are you a carcinogen?”

        Um, what? Your body contains faeces. Would you go around injecting people with that, too?

        • notnearlysoanonymous February 1, 2015 / 4:06 pm

          “The premise of herd immunity…Is ridiculous”

          What’s your understanding of the term, just so we know we’re all using the same definition?

          So what’s your account of how the incidence of measles, mumps, and rubella were reduced do dramatically in the US after widespread use of the vaccine?

        • drscottnelson2014 February 1, 2015 / 4:44 pm

          Sass,
          There is a basic problem with the trivium method. It does not necessarily have any bearing on reality. That is why empiricism has replaced it in the scientific method. In science we have a saying “There is nothing so terrible as the slaying of a beautiful theory by a horrible fact” The trivium method assumes its observations are correct and argues from there. In scientific observation, we question the validity of our observations and try as hard as possible to make sure that we are not fooling ourselves. Rather, he is saying that people who have studied years on a subject probably know more than those who have made a brief study of subjects. Perhaps you could use Platonic argumentation to explain how a computer and the internet work-please do not consult authorities or experimentation, but argue simply from your observations-then design a computer using those observations. That is the essence of the scientific method.

          What does one need to do to get into the community of experts? One must demonstrate an understanding of the current state of knowledge in a field, be able to experimentally advance the field, and have ones observations and theories confirmed by others WHO ARE SEEKING TO PROVE YOU WRONG.

          As to the amount of aluminum that is safe for a child, I hope that none of your offspring ever crawl around in the soil, eat a fresh vegetable from a garden. Most soil has a large percentage of aluminosilicates-your child is continuously exposed to aluminum. Experimental studies have been done, and one cannot detect an increase in circulating aluminum levels after an immunization. Aluminum is not highly toxic, in fact it is the sixth most abundant element in the earth. You need to reexamine your definition of toxic. By the way-you are committing a major logical fallacy-one cannot prove that something will never, under any circumstance, cause ill effects-because one cannot examine ALL circumstances. One cannot prove a negative.

          I’m sorry to disappoint you but herd immunity is a FACT. The simple fact is that if no one around you has disease X, you can’t catch it. Herd immunity is what keeps us from catching rabies from our pets (look at the incidence of rabies in India if you think we are incapable of catching rabies). To my knowledge, only veterinarians and some public health officers are immunized against rabies, yet I strongly doubt that anyone you know of has ever caught rabies.

          You really should read some reviews of papers prior to publication if you think that the experts are not scrutinized. Perhaps scientist on here could post some of the more scathing reviews of papers. Also, I’ll ask Geswin’s question and ask who would you trust to perform large studies on vaccine efficacy, if it were not for large institutions. These studies are not something one or two people can do-it requires hundreds of people and expensive equipment and software. Also, most vaccine surveillance is performed by the CDC and FDA-who are actually paid to find things going wrong (and they do find things going wrong).

          Finally-please learn some anatomy or perhaps topography. Your entire digestive tract is OUTSIDE your body-and your faeces is to. If you have faeces inside your body, please consult a surgeon immediately. You are going to develop peritonitis very shortly.. Colin is very right-we manufacture formaldehyde in our body, that is one of the major functions of folic acid, its essential to nucleotide synthesis.

          • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 4:54 pm

            Drscottnelson,
            You’ve implied your answer, I think, but I’m hoping you’ll give a more explicit one, just to get the ball rolling.

            What sort of new information would change your mind?

            I know. I know.
            I’m a freakin’ terrier with OCD.
            So please relieve my obsession!

            • drscottnelson2014 February 1, 2015 / 5:21 pm

              Geswin,
              I’ll be glad to answer. Lets start with the assumption that there is no such thing as perfect safety. Somebody, somewhere, sometime will have an adverse reaction to anything anybody does. I’ll also state for the record that I believe that vaccines are by and large, safe and effective, with excellent therapeutic windows.

              To convince me that a vaccine was unsafe or unnecessary, you would have demonstrate that either it treated a disease for which there was no need to protect against (say Bacillus anthracis-Anthrax), since in my current occupation there is little risk of me being exposed to it, or that the vaccine was worse than the disease. An example would be a influenza vaccine that caused febrile seizures in a large fraction of the adult occupation immunized (say >10%), or as one rotavirus vaccine did, increase the incidence of Intussusception in babies. As to who should conduct the studies, the manufacturer would probably scrub any vaccine in phase 1-3 studies that caused large, deleterious effects (who needs bad PR?), so I would probably rely on post-distribution surveillance by the FDA and CDC, with correlating studies from the appropriate agencies in other countries. No single study would convince one way or the other, but a preponderance of evidence does sway me. BTW, I do routinely consult with experts, and take their advice.

              • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 5:33 pm

                Thank you.

          • Chris February 1, 2015 / 5:02 pm

            “There is a basic problem with the trivium method. It does not necessarily have any bearing on reality.”

            Which is why it is precisely why it is not used, and those who adhered to it long after it was known to be false hampered science and mathematics.

            In my previous life, my work involved lots of applied mathematics. If we stuck with Plato, Aristotle and Euclid we would not even have calculus, much less the beauty that is Euler’s Formula. I recently read
            Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World
            by Amir Alexander. From the book blurb:

            With the stroke of a pen the Jesuit fathers banned the doctrine of infinitesimals, announcing that it could never be taught or even mentioned. The concept was deemed dangerous and subversive, a threat to the belief that the world was an orderly place, governed by a strict and unchanging set of rules.

            Which is as bad as the Pythagorean edict against irrational numbers, hence no pi for them.

            Arguments of old Greek philosophers are just not very compelling. Though I am seeing lots of Dunning Kruger.

          • Anonymous February 3, 2015 / 2:21 pm

            Why are PCR studies not done on the children infected with measles in Disneyland? Because it would probably proof that it is the vaccine virus that is causing measles

            • Chris February 3, 2015 / 2:35 pm

              They were: http://emergency.cdc.gov/HAN/han00376.asp

              Which says “Measles genotype information was available from 9 measles cases; all were genotype B3 and all sequences linked to this outbreak are identical. The sequences are also identical to the genotype B3 virus that caused a large outbreak in the Philippines in 2014. During the last 6 months, identical genotype B3 viruses were also detected in at least 14 countries and at least 6 U.S. states, not including those linked to the current outbreak.”

              If you complain that it was only nine that were tested, then I suggest you come up with the funds to test the rest. Otherwise you’d be accused of trying to spend others money.

              More info here: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/lab-tools/genetic-analysis.html

              (the blog JustTheVax is where I got the two links, they have more information)

              • cleverlyconfused February 3, 2015 / 9:08 pm

                Anonymous,
                Did that answer your question, or was they’re something more?

            • cleverlyconfused February 3, 2015 / 2:38 pm

              Anonymous,
              Is there something that makes you think they don’t?
              I don’t know if they do or don’t, but since they make declarations about where it came from, and which outbreaks are related, I’m guessing that maybe they do.

              Do you have evidence, not presumption, that they don’t?

        • Colin February 1, 2015 / 6:07 pm

          My method is based around the trivium method. It was created by Plato (he wasn’t subjected to the US vaccination program but don’t hold that against him). His method, which has been popular ever since but really only known about in the very most select of schools, provides an extremely robust means of identifying sophists and perpetrators of dreaded fallacies/reasoning errors.

          The Trivium is merely the collection of grammar, logic, and rhetoric together. Please notice that “science” is not part of the trivium; as Dr. Nelson noted, that makes it a very poor tool for understanding the natural world. When your basis of gathering facts is grammar (the invention of symbols to represent ideas) rather than scientific observation, you’ll be at a significant disadvantage in understanding facts that don’t conform to your preconceptions. I think that is consistent with what you’ve had to say here: you have beliefs! that are very strong, very passionate, and very inconsistent with the evidence. You’ve decided to deal with that inconsistency by disbelieving the evidence; this may make you more comfortable, but it does not make you wiser or safer.

          You comments are even more replete with fallacies than Chris’s.

          “Your” is the possessive form of “you.” Were you aware that grammar is the fundamental basis of the Trivium?

          What “research says overall” is a combination of argumentum ad populum and argumentum ad temperantium and is hugely risky business.

          No, you have misunderstood and misapplied these terms. Argumentum ad termperantium is the fallacious argument that a position is correct because it lies between two extremes. Pointing to the scientific consensus neither identifies a position between extremes nor argues that the consensus is correct as a consequence.

          Argumentum ad populum is the logical fallacy of arguing that a proposition is true because most people believe it. It would be fallacious to say, for example, “Vaccines are safe because 99% of parents believe they’re safe.” On the other hand, pointing out that 99% of qualified experts have concluded that they’re safe after reviewing the evidence is not an argumentum ad populum; if it were, then every statement of scientific consensus would be fallacious and no one would ever be able to identify the current state of scientific knowledge.

          The fact that virtually all experts concur that vaccines are safe does not mean that vaccines are safe as a matter of logic. It expresses the current state of our collective knowledge about the evidence. Those of us who are most qualified to gather, assess, test and report the evidence have overwhelmingly agreed that the evidence supports vaccination. An accurate statement of that fact is not a final conclusion (which might be argumentum ad populum) but rather an input into a rational assessment of whether vaccination is safe. This involves the logical and rhetorical branches of the Trivium, with which you claim to be familiar.

          “looking at a self-described “thrown-together list” – ” Genetic fallacy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_fallacy

          Again, you have misunderstood the fallacy. It would be a genetic fallacy if I said, “Nothing on that list could be accurate because the list is dumb.” I did not. Instead, I said that looking at a self-described “thrown-together list” that is “pretty helter skelter” is not a very good process.” And that’s true. If you’re trying to determine what the facts are, instead of looking for justifications for keeping a preexisting opinion, you should be scrutinizing the evidence as it lies. Finding a list of articles that the list-maker admits was generated hastily and without care, then citing the list itself as the basis for your opinion, betrays a process that is not intended to find out what is true. Instead, that process is intended to defend your preconception of what you want to be true.

          True to your self-described methods, this is an effective tactic for defining a reality and arguing in favor of it. But the world has moved on since the classical Greeks. We’ve had pretty good luck with the scientific method, which took us to the moon and eradicated polio and whipped the hell out of infant mortality. And scientific reasoning is all about finding out what’s true, not making it up and then pounding the rhetorical drum to defend that mindset. You can be wrong! Refusing to admit that is not wisdom.

          [Relying on expert opinion] is argumentum ad verecundiam.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority. Extremely dangerous.

          You should read more on these fallacies; Wikipedia isn’t doing it for you. The argument from authority (it’s not the same thing as the argument ad verecundiam) is when someone says, “X says this is true, and X is an authority, so it must be true!” That is different from saying, “I don’t know whether vaccines cause autism. I’m going to ask someone who is an expert; if they say that vaccines are safe, then that is a good reason to believe that vaccines are safe.” One of the key differences is that scientific conclusions are always tentative, open to refutation from evidence, whereas logical statements are not. The fallacy only applies to logical statements.

          If the fallacy applied as you say it does, no one would ever be able to consult a doctor or a plumber. “I don’t know if I need my septic tank replaced. I should ask a plumber… oh wait, I can’t, that would be an argument from authority.” Seeking information from an actual authority isn’t a logical fallacy, it’s common sense.

          Who has the keys to this domain of so-called experts? What does one need to do to get into the club? Who has the casting vote? Do you see why this is not a basis for a scientific argument?

          Anyone can join the domain of experts. All you have to do is become an expert. It is going to take more work and sacrifice than reading blog articles; it might take you—as it takes MDs and PhDs—years of study and penury. But once you get there, you can compete in the marketplace of expert ideas the same way they do: propose an idea, submit the evidence for review by the other experts, and see whose ideas actually prevail in the real world. Not only is the community of experts a basis for science, it’s an excellent basis for science. Experts built the Apollo program, not internet blowhards.

          “Autism is not a “form of encephalopathy.” No “federal judges” (the “f” isn’t capitalized, it’s not a proper noun) has ever ruled that vaccines caused autism, in any case. The vaccine court is overseen by “special masters,” not federal judges; federal judges oversee and rule on appeals from the vaccine court, but neither they nor the special masters have ever held, in any case, that vaccines cause autism”

          Thanks for the grammar lesson. Hair-splitting aside, the ruling stated that:

          “In sum, DVIC has concluded that the facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder”.

          You’re welcome for the grammar lesson. Once again, please recall that grammar is the foundation of the Trivium you claim to follow. Are you very good at it?

          My corrections were not pedantry. You do not understand the facts you are citing. You argued elsewhere that “court rooms lean on the side of objectivity given the importance of determining whether a claimant has a valid claim and a defendant has a case to answer.” I agree with that wholeheartedly. And that’s why it’s important to mention that the case you’re citing was not decided by a court. The government conceded before the court was asked to adjudicate any claims. No one, not a special master or a judge, ruled on the facts in that case.

          And it obviously maters that encephalopathy is not autism, because the case you cite is nothing like evidence that vaccines cause autism. The language you quote makes that clear. No one would describe an apple by calling it a fruit “with features of” an apple; they’d just call it an apple. An encephalopathy “with features of autism spectrum disorder” is, by definition, not autism. This, again, was how the parties described the child in question—not any court upon analysis of the facts.

          When the courts did address the claims of anti-vaxers about vaccines and autism, they found—once again, and very thoroughly—that those claims were bunk, unsupported by serious evidence.

          OK, clicked the link and it says under “MYTH 2: “There haven’t been any studies done to evaluate whether the amount of aluminium that an infant typically receives when completing the full AAP recommended vaccine regimen is actually safe.” Then it says “There have been, for example:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22001122”

          Note – the “myth” they are trying to bust here states that “aluminium… is actually safe” and then it points to the NCBI link for the study “assessing” – note, NOT PROVING – whether it is safe. And that study does NOT prove safety.

          Science doesn’t really prove anything definitively. If you want to know whether injecting aluminum as an adjuvant is safe, you assess its safety. The studies that did so concluded it’s safe. That’s as much proof as you can ever really get on a question like this. If it’s not convincing to you, is it because you have serious evidence to contradict those studies, or is it because you have come to identify with your hostility to vaccines and refuse to accept evidence that contradicts your preferred beliefs?

          I’m open to other carcinogenic, neurotoxins being the culprits. We shouldn’t just put the stocks on little ole’ mercury.

          You are not, however, open to the idea that vaccines simply don’t cause autism. If they did, then autism rates would track the rise and fall in vaccination rates, or the rates of various adjuvants. They don’t. But you need to believe that they do in order to protect your conclusions from hostile pressure from the outside world, so you will hunt for any scrap of evidence you can use to support those beliefs. You’re defending a conclusion, not creating one based on the totality of evidence.

          No. The premise of herd immunity – even when animated in a cartoon with little red dots – is ridiculous and avoids the laws of cause and effect. I’ve got nothing further to add to what I already said on this.

          I’m entirely comfortable leaving your response on this point (not to mention the rest) as an example of the depth and quality of the reasoning behind anti-vax rhetoric.

        • thefunktasm March 9, 2015 / 11:52 pm

          Thank you, sir. This has been mercury-induced logical circle-jerking rivaling that of the S.P.Q.R.

          • Patrick McDonald March 10, 2015 / 10:22 pm

            A little more coherence please.

            • Chris March 11, 2015 / 10:57 am

              Maybe he ate too much tuna and other fish that is high in mercury..

                • Chris March 11, 2015 / 5:39 pm

                  Since when is the CDC, ACIP, all of the state and county public health departments pharma sales reps? Sorry, I am not going to watch a video, so could you explain how pharma sales reps misrepresent vaccines? Provide PubMed indexed papers by reputable authors with that information for each vaccine on the American pediatric schedule.

                  Also, if vaccines are such a big money maker, please you give me a verifiable economic report showing that it would be more cost effective to treat diseases instead of prevent them. I would really like to know how letting kids get pertussis is better, and how much would be saved if we went back to every kid getting measles and having to treat up on one in ten in the hospital for pneumonia. Provide documentation that is equivalent in quality to Economic Evaluation of the Routine Childhood Immunization Program in the United States, 2009. Thank you in advance.

                  Since I had three kids get chicken pox a year before the vaccine was available, I would have much preferred to skip that horrible month even if it meant paying twice as much as they cost without insurance. Do you know how to comfort a six month old baby covered in pox? It is not easy, and it is very tiring when no one gets any sleep. I think anyone who proposes kids get sick just because they don’t like the pharmaceutical companies likes being cruel to both kids and the parents who have to take care of them. Especially since my youngest has a much higher chance of getting shingles in her twenties because she had it as a baby.

                  • Sue Ledbetter March 11, 2015 / 6:03 pm

                    Chris, you are 1. an idiot, 2. a liar 3. totally blinded. Take your pick. This isn’t so much about vaccines it is just about drugs overall. Drugs are poison period. I was poisoned by Cipro and still trying to crawl out of that black hole. Vaccines don’t work. I had all the childhood diseases, whoopee, I didn’t die and in fact, didn’t suffer that much. It’s not the non vax people causing anything. It’s the dumbed down sheeple who get vaccines that shed. And if you think that taking a vaccine is gonna keep you from getting shingles in later years, duh, what makes you think that. The virus is still in your body. I take it you are smart enough to know that most viruses and such go to the spine and harbor there for years, only to come out later. Wow, I never had any vaccines and I don’t get sick..am around people all the time who are sick, so GO FIGURE!!! lol

                    • Chris March 11, 2015 / 6:27 pm

                      “Chris, you are 1. an idiot, 2. a liar 3. totally blinded.”

                      Why do you think insults are a valid substitute for the evidence I asked you for? Were my questions to hard?

                      Why in the world would you think a pain killer is equivalent to a vaccine? And if a child gets sick enough from a disease to require hospital care, do you think they should withhold all medication including antibiotics.

                      “Vaccines don’t work. I had all the childhood diseases, whoopee, I didn’t die and in fact, didn’t suffer that much.”

                      So because you are okay, it is okay dokay to forget the hundreds to thousands of kids who died each year from vaccine preventable diseases before the vaccines were available? Or the thousands more that were permanently disabled like in this essay?

                      “And if you think that taking a vaccine is gonna keep you from getting shingles in later years, duh,”

                      If my kids had not had chicken pox, they would not get shingles. I have had the shingles vaccine.

                      So vaccines don’t work? Hmmm… the following is US Census data on measles incidence from the 20th century. Please tell me why rate of measles incidence dropped 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970. Do not mention deaths, do not mention any other decade, do not mention any other country (England and Wales are not American states), and do not mention any other disease. Also provide verifiable documentation to support your answer (no videos!).

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

                    • Jennifer Raff March 11, 2015 / 7:06 pm

                      Deepest apologies, Chris. Sue was banned a while back for previous comment policy violations, and I just identified her IP address was the same. I’ll leave her recent comments up for posterity, as I think they illustrate a lot about the antivax mentality.

                    • Jennifer Raff March 11, 2015 / 7:15 pm

                      And now she’s threatening to send me to spam. I think she’s confused about whose blog this is.

                    • Anonymous March 11, 2015 / 6:52 pm

                      @Sue Ledbetter Your response is so ignorant I don’t even know where to begin. It’s obvious you know nothing about anatomy, physiology,microbiology, pharmacology, the way the immune system works, how medications work. Sorry, but I can’t condense years of college-level study and learning into one short paragraph. Here’s a tip: Go to school and educate yourself.

                    • Jennifer Raff March 11, 2015 / 7:02 pm

                      Sorry guys, I think Sue was banned under another name for violating comment policies a while back and I just now saw that. Her comments won’t make it out of moderation again.

                    • Chris March 11, 2015 / 7:17 pm

                      Thanks, and no worries. It is not the first time I’ve encountered this behavior.

                    • Patrick McDonald March 11, 2015 / 8:02 pm

                      Well, “Sue” demonstrates better than anything else the folly of closing so many psychiatric beds in the 70’s and80’s. The non-institutionalized deranged are vocal, but definitely a few pins short of a strike.

                    • moladood March 12, 2015 / 6:00 am

                      Wow, your anecdotal evidence of 1 is compelling. Maybe you submit that study as scientific fact, I am sure it won’t get laughed at. You don’t seem to get science.

                    • notnearlysoanonymous March 13, 2015 / 12:34 pm

                      Sue,
                      You’re right that “this is not so much about vaccines,” as it is about understanding how the process of scientific inquiry brought us out of the Dark Ages and provided pretty much every significant improvement in the human condition since then.

                      Your experience was bad. That’s unfortunate. But one such experience is largely irrelevant to how we should make decisions that affect the well-being of millions.

                • Chris March 11, 2015 / 5:50 pm

                  By the way, I found her book on Amazon. I did a search, and found one part that deals with vaccines. Apparently she still thimerosal is in vaccines, and does not know the decision to remove it was from the US government as a precautionary measure. There is no real evidence the amount used in vaccines was dangerous, it was never found to be a plausible reason for autism. Even a recent Safe Minds funded primate study failed to find a connection between thimerosal and autism:
                  http://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2015/02/21/comment-on-examination-of-the-safety-of-pediatric-vaccine-schedules-in-a-non-human-primate-model-assessments-of-neurodevelopment-learning-and-social-behavior/

                  So, do tell us which vaccine on the American pediatric schedule is only available with thimerosal. Do not mention influenza, because four of the approved vaccines for children do not contain thimerosal.

    • gomiam February 1, 2015 / 12:14 pm

      “There is a LOT of misinformation and factually incorrect assertions in this article. Aside from the fact that it is presented with extremely emotive, irrational language and a distinct lack of impartiality, the content is astonishingly misleading.”
      Let’s see what your emotionless, rational, impartial language brings to the table.
      “Firstly, you say that ~ vaccines do not cause autism, that thimerosal doesn’t cause autism and that it hasn’t been used in most vaccines since 2001 anyway ~.

      Yes they do and yes they have.”
      No, they don’t and they haven’t.
      “Here are some peer-reviewed studies showing vaccines DO cause autism:

      https://therefurbishedrogue.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/my-list-of-peer-reviewed-vaccine-research/
      Ok, let’s read the first link in that list, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21993250
      It is published in “Medical Hypotheses”, a journal known for publishing idiocies like suggesting chemical castration to turn back the supposed effects of vaccination on autism onset. Even so, the author of that article (¿) states:
      “The author of this hypothesis also acknowledges the extraordinary public health benefits of conjugate vaccines and the misguided decisions by many parents to withhold vaccines from
      their children following the promulgation of the MMR and Thimerosal hypotheses”
      So the first article in that list talks against causality relationship between MMR or thimerosal and autism. And that is the first link. If the author doesn’t even care about reading the links he posts, why should I care about whatever nonsense that link includes?
      Better luck next time.
      “Even Federal judges in the US, and the US government itself, agree that vaccines have caused autism – and paid compensation to parents of vaccine-damaged children for autism and other forms of encephalopathy.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/government-concedes-vacci_b_88323.html
      Did they? Did you notice the HVIC statement that reads:
      “DVIC has reviewed the scientific information concerning the allegation that vaccines cause autism and has found no credible evidence to support the claim. Accordingly, in every case under the Vaccine Act, DVIC has maintained the position that vaccines do not cause autism, and has never concluded in any case that autism was caused by vaccination.”

      “The above article also mentions a direct connection to thimerosal, which the author contends is “no longer used”. It is used – as the article shows. Oh, and there are currently 4,900 autism cases pending in a Federal vaccine court.”

      Yes, yes, please read only what you want. Despite the author talking about “linguistic gymnastics”, the fact stands that if you have an unknown propensity to react adversely to a chemical compound it is not the chemical that kills you but your adverse reaction. The same way some people die because they have weak brain vessels and they will burst and kill them because they overexterted pressure on them while defecating. Do you think defecating is a killer disease that should be avoided at all costs?
      “You also say that aluminum in vaccines is “not harmful to children” and that children “consume more aluminum in natural breast milk than they do in vaccines”

      This is totally untrue. You may not have realised this, but breast milk enters a baby’s body via the MOUTH and processed by the digestive system. Anything that shouldn’t be in it is processed by the liver and expelled. In contrast, aluminium in vaccines is injected directly into the blood stream, by-passing our digestive system, where it can cross the blood-brain barrier and find its way directly to our glial and neural cells. The comparison is totally inappropriate.”
      Aluminum in diet reaches the liver through the bloodstream, remember? Thus it is as able to cross the brain barrier. Besides, vaccines are not injected directly into the blood stream: they are injected subcutaneously so a minimal amount reaches the bloodstream. And further more, the amount of aluminum acquired through diet is orders of magnitude higher than any given vaccine.

      “You say that “the normal vaccine schedule is fine for a child’s immune system to cope with”.

      In the above link to the court ruling, it shows that the child received 9 vaccinations at once – two of which contained thimerosal. The result, just a few days later, was catastrophic. That is NOT “coping”.”
      Oh, so if a child is given more vaccines that are scheduled complications may arise. How does that refute the statement that a normal vaccine schedule is withstandable by a child’s immune system. Analogy: jumping from one metre to the ground is something the human body can cope with easily. Now try jumping from 9 metres high and tell me how well did you cope.

      “Moving on, you argue that “herd immunity” only works if everyone possible is vaccinated.

      The premise of herd immunity is ludicrous and often used by vaccine addicts as a way to push guilt at people who don’t line up, with their children, like robots for their shots.

      Herd immunity protects nobody – strong immune systems do, which is anathema to vaccine-led medicine. If a person has a weak immune system, he will get dangerously sick, and it doesn’t matter how many people around him are vaccinated against how many diseases.”
      Your ignorance is ludicrous, sorry. Please explain how a strong immune system protects against rabies or even smallpox in many cases. Bingo: it doesn’t because it needs too much time to react.

      “Vaccination is, in fact, a cover story used to conceal the fact that the health of populations has everything to do with good nutrition, adequate sanitation, and an absence of toxic environmental pollutants. Many doctors know this but are not rewarded by big pharma for limiting pharmaceutical prescriptions and vaccines.

      Vaccination, as a propaganda strategy, is used to medicalize the population – to assert that good health is fundamentally a medical matter. It isn’t. Health and life are not medical functions. Any science that claims they are is false science, and the people who make those claims are liars or morons or criminals, or some combination of all three.”
      This is incredible. Do you know what the life expectancy was before vaccines started being developed? Under 40 years, all over the board, never mind how clean you were, how well you ate, you only had a 50/50 chance to go beyond 40 years old.

      “What’s more is that the risk of disease transmission are INCREASED in HIGHLY VACCINATED areas of the population. See here: http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/04/29/infdis.jit143.full

      Quote: “Children of mothers vaccinated against measles and, possibly, rubella have lower concentrations of maternal antibodies and lose protection by maternal antibodies at an earlier age than children of mothers in communities that oppose vaccination. This increases the risk of disease transmission in highly vaccinated populations.”

      In case you missed it, that’s a study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Infectious Diseases concluding that highly vaccinated populations = increased risk of disease transmission.”
      No, and it’s not surprising you didn’t understand that, because you have taken little time to even read it. It states the risk increases against children having longer working maternal antibodies. But who are they going to get infected from? Not their mothers: they are already immune. They will get infected by children that are not vaccinated because their parents are either unable or unwilling to vaccinate them.

      “Finally, as we see cancer rates soaring, let’s we take a moment to compare the CDC’s own list of vaccine ingredients with known carcinogens:

      Here is the CDC’s list (not comprehensive): http://cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/b/excipient-table-2.pdf.

      It includes formaldehyde in many, many cases. Now look here: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2004/pr153.html

      Come on folks, it’s not hard to see what’s going on here.”
      It isn’t hard. You are reading things (sometimes, you don’t even seem to read part of them), not understanding what you read, and keeping what supports your prejudice. In sum, you are wrong but you don’t know and don’t want to know. And that is really sad.

      • Pamela February 1, 2015 / 2:03 pm

        Please note vaccinations are given in muscle, not subcutaneously. The blood brain barrier in an infant is more permeable than an adult’s or older child which is not a fact to dismiss on this topic.
        Pam

        • Mike Vlachos February 1, 2015 / 3:23 pm

          Most vaccines are given IM. Some, including the MMR, are given SC. Neither of which are truly directly into the blood stream. The sheer amount of aluminum and other chemicals consumed by even the most organic of families, more than makes up for the difference in exposure methods.

          • Pamela February 1, 2015 / 3:43 pm

            You are correct and I thank you for correcting me in a mature manner. I did not recall a vaccine ever being given in that way to my kids and have never given any that specify a SC route.

      • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 4:16 pm

        Gomiam,
        I like to ask people on both “sides”of this issue:

        What sort of information would change your mind?

        Could you describe for me, what sort of information, from what kind of source, might make you think, “Wow. Maybe we ought to rethink this whole thing?”

        • gomiam February 2, 2015 / 7:11 am

          TL;DR version:
          I will accept rigorously researched proof, but I find it unlikely that the concept of vaccination can be disproved. Specific components and specific vaccines can be (and have been) removed due to health safety concers before so there is no reason to think this could happen again. But the concept of vaccination relies on very solid bases (including natural vaccination).

          Longer version:
          It would be hard for anything to make me “rethink this whole thing”.
          I mean, well done research would convince me that a given vaccine (say, e.g., MMR) was harmful. It has happened before: Patarroyo’s malaria vaccine was discarded, AFAIK, because it was inefficient (under 30% immunization rate IIRC), too specific (it didn’t work on african strains of malaria) and had noticeable side-effects.
          To discard the whole concept of vaccination, researchers would have to prove that natural vaccination didn’t exist (which, mind you, was the way vaccination against smallpox was found) and that there is no causal relationship between vaccination efforts and infectious disease rate decrease.
          Unfortunately, this means proving over two centuries of scientific research (and possibly much longer as it seems that old China already knew a bit about it) is wrong. Someone might manage to do it, but I think it will be quite unlikely.
          OTOH, if studies rigorously carried out and rigorously reviewed find out that some component of a vaccine is dangerous for human health, then yes, of course I’ll change my mind about that component or even that vaccine.
          If you allow my digression, the problem is that anti-vaxxers want to throw out the baby with the bathwater: components of vaccines have been removed before because they were found to be harmful, specific vaccines have been delisted ( http://www.who.int/immunization/newsroom/newsstory_dtp_hepb_removed_prequal_list/en/ ) due to fears of low quality or dangerous side-effects.

          • gewisn February 2, 2015 / 8:28 am

            Thank you, gomiam.
            I think it’s helpful to find out what would change people’s minds.
            It gives us a view of how they understand research is done and how science works overall.

            Interestingly, few who are at all in the “anti-vaxx” camp will even answer the question. Brenda is a notable recent exception.

    • Mike Vlachos February 1, 2015 / 12:42 pm

      can’t say much about your list, as most of them are behind paywalls. I can address a couple of glaring inaccuracies in your statement.

      Ia) lets start with your assertion that ingested aluminum is filtered by the liver and therefor not as dangerous as vaccines injected in to the bloodstream (also false, but we’ll get to that). Any basic biology class would tell you that there is no direct link between the digestive system and the liver. Any aluminum that reaches the liver did so by traveling through the circulatory system. Nor is the liver 100% effective in it biotransformation process. Some aluminum (or other chemical) passes through completely unchanged.

      1b) vaccines are not injected directly into the blood stream. They are given IM. There is a huge difference, not only in uptake rate, but in where and how they enter into the circulatory system. IM injections disperse primarily through the lymph system (which is the target area since that is where it is most likely to find B and T cell). not to mention that aluminum (of various forms) has been used for 6 decades). thats a heck of a long safety profile.

      2) Your pertussis study? is to see how effective it is in adults and adolescents. “Pertussis is a worldwide, cyclic illness, which was concentrated in children under 5 years of age during the pre-vaccine era. After widespread use of whole cell pertussis, tetanus, and diphtheria toxoid vaccines for infants starting in the United States in 1948, the incidence of pertussis decreased noticeably and infants under 6 months and adolescents became the most susceptible age groups” Way to cherry pick a set of numbers and misrepresent them.

      Your Neuro effects post vaccination study link is 404… page not found (was’t it retracted?).

      There is a warming that children may gain a lower amount of antibodies to VPD… really? how many of us have the antibodies, B or T cells to fight off smallpox? Pretty much the whole point of the vaccination program is to hopefully eliminate human only diseases.. which means that post reduction of infection that moms will pass down less of those antibodies..

      You do realise that our bodies makes formaldehyde right? That eating a single pear has 120x the amount of formaldehyde in a vaccine?

      • Mike Vlachos February 1, 2015 / 12:51 pm

        I should clarify that the point of vaccination is to reduce infection of diseases that are preventable. If possible the complete elimination of human only diseases is pursued. Since small pox was eradicated we no longer get vaccinated for it.

    • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 2:45 pm

      SASS, I’d like to take different approach.

      What sort of information would make you consider even the possibility that you might be wrong about vaccines?

      You obviously want to know the facts, so what sort of information, from what sort of source, would make you question your current conclusion?

      Is there a certain kind of study you’d like to see done?
      Are there people you trust, that if they said, “You know what, I’ve been misleading people. Now that I understand more, I’ve changed my mind,” would cause you to rethink your position?
      What would it be for you?

      • Sass February 1, 2015 / 4:16 pm

        Your sentiment is appreciated but don’t be misled – I AM open to be proven wrong. Whilst there are some valuable comments here (and also some silly ones), nothing has manifested that could in any way accurately be called ‘proof’ that vaccines are safe or effective.

        Raff’s emotional appeals are junk. That’s what I came to comment on. I am still open to new inputs. I hope others are likewise and take on board that these pages are littered with reasoning errors.

        • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 4:32 pm

          Thank you.

          Could you describe a bit about what sort of information you would find convincing, if you came across it?

          I really do want to know.

    • Richard Daggett February 1, 2015 / 4:24 pm

      Good nutrition is important, but good nutrition is not an adequate protection against viruses. And, as far as sanitation is concerned, you obviously don’t know that the dramatic increase in polio cases during the first half of the twentieth century was because we had better sanitation. I can explain this to you if you contact me privately (richard@polioassociatiation.org) and you really care about facts. But you really lose credibility when you rant about “big pharma” and write your closing sentence, “Come on folks, it’s not hard to see what’s going on here.”

    • R U February 4, 2015 / 5:40 am

      “This is totally untrue. You may not have realised this, but breast milk enters a baby’s body via the MOUTH and processed by the digestive system. Anything that shouldn’t be in it is processed by the liver and expelled. In contrast, aluminium in vaccines is injected directly into the blood stream, by-passing our digestive system, where it can cross the blood-brain barrier and find its way directly to our glial and neural cells. The comparison is totally inappropriate.”
      I find your lack of knowledge about human anatomy and phyiology disturbing.

      • Patrick McDonald February 4, 2015 / 9:43 am

        Vaccines are not injected intravenously. This point has been made several times.

      • Chris February 4, 2015 / 10:52 am

        “I find your lack of knowledge about human anatomy and phyiology disturbing.”

        We find your lack of knowledge on vaccine administration disturbing. It has also been pointed out several times that the liver is not directly connected to the digestive system.

        • R U February 4, 2015 / 11:11 am

          Maybe I was not clear but I was commenting in the original thought that vaccines or any other component thereof are or are not “filtered” by the liver. Don’t worry, I know how vaccines work and I give them to children as a health profissional

          • Chris February 4, 2015 / 11:15 am

            Then why are you fear mongering on a non-issue like aluminum salts? Why did you say “injected directly into the blood stream”? Which is factually wrong.

            Perhaps you can bolster you argument with some actual citations, though not by the dynamic duo of Tomljenovic and Shaw.

            • R U February 4, 2015 / 11:22 am

              Me??? I did not say that. I simply quoted the initial comment (by some anti-vaxxer in this site) and said it was stupid. I just don’t understand how people can have strong opinions in fields where they clearly don’t grasp any basic concepts.

              • Chris February 4, 2015 / 12:52 pm

                I apologize. This is an example that even being up for two hours and still needing coffee to think coherently.

          • Chris February 4, 2015 / 11:17 am

            Ack! I just found the quotation marks! I am so so sorry.

            Hint: a line space may have helped. Okay, coffee is finally made and I will now get some.

  6. Marsha McClelland (@Mofmars333) February 1, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    Great news for those on the moral side of this vaccine war waged against our children. The Vaccine Pushers For Profit & all parroting the fraud are done. It’s all over now! We have media attention as of yesterday. Equal voice, finally.

    Then today, media must have known the gig was up, because we learned today that Dr. William Thompson the #CDCwhistleblower HAS WON legal immunity & can NOW testify against @CDCgov for MMR fraud .

      • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 4:27 pm

        Patrick,
        I’m sure people are getting tired of me asking the same question to everyone, but here goes:

        What sort of new information would make you change your mind?

        Just so readers know, Colin and Chris answered months ago. I didn’t leave them out.

        I think this is sort of a critical question for this discussion because the answer establishes two things:
        – what sort of information, from what sources, reported in what format, they find most compelling, and
        – whether someone remains open to new information at all, or if they have decided “this is what I have decided to think for the test of my life, no matter what else comes along.”

        So I really hope people from all points along the spectrum will answer.

        • Chris February 1, 2015 / 5:11 pm

          Patrick is already convinced vaccines are safe. He just does not believe Marsha’s whistle blower story. I also doubt that Dr. Thompson has any information that would change the results of the MMR study that Brian Hooker statistically muddled.

          For that I would need another statement from Dr. Thompson’s lawyer and a link to a legal ruling. Definitely not a video from Andrew Wakefield using recordings of Dr. Thompson phone calls taken without his knowledge.

          • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 5:21 pm

            It appears I was unclear.

            I was asking drscottnelson what sort of information would make him start to consider maybe he is wrong about vaccines having sufficient safety and efficacy to conclude they are better than not vaccinating.

            What sort of new info would make him think they are not, as a class, safe?

            I apologize for the confusion,
            Unless, of course, I was not confusing then, but I am now.

            I’m beginning to think being trapped in a metal tube at 30k feet, nor knowing I’d it was designed by engineering our by the Socratic method, is starting to screw with me. :-)

            • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 6:02 pm

              There is a sudden lull in the comments. Let me guess:
              The game started?

              Now I know where everyone’s priorities really lie.
              :-)

            • Chris February 1, 2015 / 9:21 pm

              “I was asking drscottnelson ”

              Except you started the comment with “Patrick” :-)

              “I’m beginning to think being trapped in a metal tube at 30k feet, nor knowing I’d it was designed by engineering our by the Socratic method, is starting to screw with me.”

              I used to be an aerospace engineer, and no they use actual science, mathematics and engineering. Which I mentioned before were made possible by looking at how the world really works instead of how the Greek philosophers wanted it to work.

              “There is a sudden lull in the comments. Let me guess:
              The game started?”

              Well, I read this comment while I was still at the local public library. When I walked there from home the traffic was fairly normal, when I walked home there was very little traffic. I did see many houses with people gathered as they looked at a TV, and when I walked by one house I heard lots of cheering.

              • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 10:39 pm

                Yup, I was definitely confused.
                My apologies.

                Luckily my plane was engineered upon scientific principles. Thank you, engineers.

                • Chris February 1, 2015 / 10:57 pm

                  I am sure the Boeing engineers and scientists appreciate that, especially after the Super Bowl.

                  (FYI: most of their commercial airplane design and final assembly, plus some manufacturing is in the area in and around the city with the team that lost today’s game)

                  You might enjoy this: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/alternative-flight/

                  • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 11:36 pm

                    Just glancing at it is making me laugh
                    That’s fantastic. And the analogies, exaggerated for humor, are very apt.

                    Sometimes people think engineers are unimaginative and humorless.
                    But no one could have made the Flowbee work without imagination and probably some herbal remedies.

                    • Chris February 2, 2015 / 1:23 am

                      It was written by an infectious disease doctor, one known for his acerbic humor. He has recently published a book: Puswhisperer: A Year in the Life of an Infectious Disease Doctor.

                      “Sometimes people think engineers are unimaginative and humorless.”

                      Actually, that is quite true. ;-)

                      It makes it easier for us to recognize satire.

    • gewisn February 1, 2015 / 4:11 pm

      Marsha,
      I’m sure you try to remain open to new information.
      What sort of information would change your mind?

      I honestly want to know. I may ask some follow up questions, but I promise not to berate or insult you no matter what the answer. You can search my other comments to see if that’s true.

  7. Marsha McClelland (@Mofmars333) February 2, 2015 / 12:15 am

    Watch media & pay attention children. We are in control & burying the deception no matter how many come out of the wood work to deny the truth. This earth shaking change of events is finally here. We are winning this war waged against children everywhere. And that’s the fact because the real science is with us & the world is waking. Bye now. LOL

    • Richard Daggett February 2, 2015 / 11:09 am

      I can’t tell from your post if you are human, alien, or some kind of ideological terrorist!

    • moladood February 2, 2015 / 1:36 pm

      You sound like a conspiracy theory buff. Do you believe in chemtrails as well? I guess if what you believe is actually true, it would be the biggest and longest cover up ever. It has every expert across the globe buying in to it. Let’s assume this to be true, every medical professional, researcher and scientist in the field is getting paid by poisoning kids. What is their end game? Why would they vaccinate their own children? I assume the answer is money, so the assumption is that every one is just getting rich from this mass poisoning of kids. You would also need to assume that none of these people have any moral compass and take pleasure in this as well. Assume that many charities that vaccinate poorer nations are also in on it as well as their governments. I guess you could also assume one of the richest men in the world (Bill Gates) is also in on it as his foundation is funding vaccines for these poorer nations. Wow is he greedy – all of those rumors of him giving away 99% of his fortune are just putting on a heck of an act. I guess I could go on and on but I tend to start thinking about Occam’s razor when you start making this amount of assumptions – the principle states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. The burden of proof is on you to prove that what you are saying is correct. And that is where anti-vaxxers argument breaks down. It isn’t wrong or bad, just because you say it is or you feel it is or believe it to be. Show me some data, convince me and I would gladly change my mind. I don’t think the same would be true for you.

  8. Karen February 2, 2015 / 1:20 am

    thimerosal is mercury, plain and simple. When it was first in contact lens solution it had to be puled out because too many people were ALLERGIC to it, including myself. My optometrist tried to tell me it was all in my head when my eyes swelled shut. NOW it is in vaccines, but it’s supposedly “safe” bullshit.

    • gomiam February 2, 2015 / 6:54 am

      Thimerosal is mercury plain and simple the same way table salt is chlorine.
      Thimerosal is a mercury-containing compound whose metabolic route is different from metallic mercury and whose absorption is also different.
      Also, that thimerosal causes skin allergies in contact fluid doses (several drops, if I’m not mistaken) does not mean that it causes brain reaction when applied through intramuscular or subcutaneal injection in vaccine dosis.
      As an example, capsaicin will also swell your eyes if applied there. And yet it is used as an analgesic with no contraindications.

      • Danny in Canada February 2, 2015 / 2:08 pm

        karen – you know they’ve stopped using thimerosal as a vaccine additive, yes?

    • jb0nez95 February 2, 2015 / 1:59 pm

      It’s not in any vaccines since about 1999 sweetheart (with the exception of one: multi-dose flu shots; these are not used in children for the most part). Yet all the complaints about it continue. Typical anti-vax ignorance. Not only that, retrospective studies have shown that thimerosal has no negative effect neurologically or in ANY other way. Here’s a great anecdotal story: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2014/01/growing_up_unvaccinated_a_healthy_lifestyle_couldn_t_prevent_many_childhood.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_bot

    • Chris February 2, 2015 / 2:14 pm

      Karen, do you understand the difference between an allergy to thimerosal in a lens solution (which I also had), and the claims about it causing autism in children?

      By the way, how can it be affecting children when it was removed from pediatric vaccines (and half of the influenza vaccines do not contain it)? In fact the folks at SafeMinds had trouble over a decade ago locating some for some research they were funding:

      Subject: Thimerosal DTaP Needed
      From: Sally Bernard
      Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 00:01:50 -0400
      Yahoo! Message Number: 27456
      Onibasu Link: http://onibasu.com/archives/am/27456.html

      Hi all:

      A group of university-based researchers needs several vials of the older DTaP vaccine formulations which contained thimerosal for a legitimate research study. If anyone knows an MD who might have some of these vaccines or knows where to get them, please email me privately.

      Thank you.

      Sallie Bernard
      Executive Director
      Safe Minds

  9. caring4theleastofthese February 3, 2015 / 5:07 pm

    Reblogged this on caring4theleastofthese Blog and commented:

    I have seen the horrors of these diseases. I have researched and read much on the pros and cons of vaccines. I am a peds RN and I am pro-vaccinations! This is a great article by a physician.

  10. Scott February 3, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    Never be the first (nor the last) to prescribe a drug, vaccine, or medical treatment. I have had patients die from both preventable diseases, and patients die from supposed miracle drugs. I have seen patients die from preventable tetanus, and I have seen one patient permanently mentally disabled from that same shot (the old DTP). I have seen heart attack patients saved by a simple aspirin, and I have watched someone die from anaphylaxis to that same aspirin. I have seen children have their digestive tracts permanently maimed by the first Rotovirus vaccine and I still have patients debilitated from the old oral polio vaccine. It is good to wait for a safety history. Leaping at the newest vaccines is mindless, especially if it is for usual benign or treatable diseases. I remember when Vioxx and Bextra were touted as miracle NSAIDS only to find out they were killing people. Vaccines have a similar history, many are pulled from the market before they even come off patent. Wait for the generics to come out, that is when most real safety issues are found out. I and my children are immunized, but only with those vaccines with a long history of safety and efficacy. Be safe, don’t allow you children to be the Guinea Pigs.

    • jb0nez95 February 3, 2015 / 11:38 pm

      Scott,
      You are correct that those 3 vaccines you name had significant adverse reactions. And all that you claim to have seen certainly lies in the realm of reality. However, this is not about trading anecdotes. There’s an anecdote for everything.

      We are talking about public health here – meaning populations and statistics. Even the original rotavirus vaccine, probably the worst offender of the 3 (though that’s debatable) saved far more lives than the 1 in 10,000 who got intussusception. But thanks to the nature of the scientific method and evidence based practices, those vaccines have been replaced with safer alternatives.

      Every time I give the MMRV I have to make sure to alert the parent about the seizure risk, and give them the option to vaccinate with MMR and V separately instead. Vaccines aren’t perfect. But they are, on the whole, second only to sanitation/clean water as the greatest public health achievement to date, and have allowed vastly more children to live to see adulthood and an increased lifespan than they have harmed.

      You do make a good point to be prudent about new therapies (many times the old standards are just as effective and safe), but regarding vaccines at this point in time I’m not aware of any new vaccines that people are leaping at, nor do I expect to see any. The vaccines we have now work, are about as safe as they’ll ever get, and there’s not many more life threatening diseases that we even COULD vaccinate against anymore, so I doubt there will be anything new to leap at. Are you aware of any? (Not counting Ebola or other niche vaccines, I’m talking about ones that would be used routinely as part of a recommended course).

    • cleverlyconfused February 4, 2015 / 7:53 am

      So, Scott, which vaccines would you give to your own family’s children, which would you withhold from them and risk the disease instead?

      And given your expertise, I think it’s reasonable to ask “Why?” in each case that you withhold.

  11. Stavros February 5, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    “It can be?” Is that the best you have to offer? Well, let me remind you that water “can be” fatal for you too…

    • Chris February 5, 2015 / 10:19 pm

      ?

      Explain who you are quoting and the context.

    • cleverlyconfused February 7, 2015 / 10:43 am

      Me. I’m the one who said that.
      Give me the credit.

      How can you know it’s true?
      Because I use all caps when I tell you it’s a “FACT.”

  12. Mike Vlachos February 7, 2015 / 5:54 am

    It’s unlikely that your an MD and pitching this BS. However on the off chance you are actually a medical doctor. Stay away from my family.

    now that I got that off my chest. Are you frelling kidding? The mortality rate decreased (with a commensurate increases in medical cost) therefor the measles arn’t a big deal? I guess 90% infection rate, with a 25% hospitalization rate is nothing to worry about (sure lines your frelling pockets though doesn’t it – if your an MD).

    So what the CDC spent 4 billion dollars on all vaccines (not just the MMR), without it how much would insurance have paid?

    tell me doc whats your prescription for CAD? milk and honey? A paleo diet?

    • Chris February 7, 2015 / 12:20 pm

      Why do I suspect a person pretending to be a medical doctor has been removed and banned? Perhaps he did not like my questions on the “Open thread” comments.

        • Chris February 7, 2015 / 1:02 pm

          Thank you. I am sure he had a very good reason to request that, and it eliminates the reason I have most often seen and puts him in a better light.

          I wanted to share this article with him by an academic who focuses on medical ethics: Revoke the license of any doctor who opposes vaccination.

          • Jennifer Raff February 7, 2015 / 1:05 pm

            He was very apologetic and regretful. In light of that, I thought it was a reasonable request.

            • Chris February 7, 2015 / 1:30 pm

              That is very good to know.

  13. Brent February 7, 2015 / 2:23 pm

    Do vaccines prevent the likelihood of a given disease that the vaccine is targeted at? Yes! The data confirms that. BUT….

    Please show me a study that has compared the long term health of people that have been vaccinated vs people that have not been vaccinated. Is there a difference between the two groups in regards to the cases of asthma, allergies, herpes, hyperactivity, scoliosis, migraines, diabetes, thyroid issues, etc.?

    Without a control group, you can’t prove anything regarding the risks of vaccines. As far as I know, no one has even collected this data, which is a tragedy.

    • Patrick McDonald February 7, 2015 / 4:34 pm

      Perhaps the problem is that a lot of the totally unvaccinated group would not live long enough to compare their long term health with those that are protected.

    • gewisn February 7, 2015 / 4:42 pm

      Brent, what if they have collected that sort is data?
      How many subjects, over what time, would be convincing to you?
      If the type of data you want was presented, would that change your mind any about vaccines safety?

      • Brent February 7, 2015 / 6:07 pm

        Gewisn:

        “what if they have collected that sort is data?”

        I would study it and correlate the results between the two groups, like any normal scientist would do.

        “How many subjects, over what time, would be convincing to you?”

        However many subjects it takes to have a statistically valid sampling of the two groups that would weed out anomalies. The longer the better, but one lifetime would be sufficient.

        “If the type of data you want was presented, would that change your mind any about vaccines safety?”

        I am currently agnostic regarding vaccine safety, since it has never been studied long term. I can’t say one way or the other if no one has ever done a study on it. I would hope to have an opinion after looking at the data and coming to a conclusion based on facts and actual data, not faith.

        • Chris February 7, 2015 / 6:45 pm

          Some studies offered for your consideration:
          Vaccination Status and Health in Children and Adolescents

          and many of the ones from the Vaccine Safety Datalink Program.

          “The longer the better, but one lifetime would be sufficient.”

          Who would pay for that? There has been lots of media chatter about the Dwoskin Family Foundation and some of the studies they have funded. Have you considered designing a study, getting it reviewed by an Independent Review Board and submitting a grant to fund it to them?

        • gewisn February 7, 2015 / 6:51 pm

          Thanks, Brent.
          That’s a clear and thoughtful answer.

          I’m a little unclear how there would be one lifetime worth of long term data, since many have not been available for 70+ years.

          Many of the conditions you mentioned are usually evident by early to mid adulthood. For those conditions, would you accept 25-30 years as long enough to have shown increased or decreased propensity due to vaccines?

          Would there be something wrong with a naturalistic study of a few million in a society? As you know (But not everyone does) we generally use randomly selected control groups to remove the potential of the one group being different than the other in some important way. But when using goups consisting of millions that were not intentionally preselected for an important variable, that chance of a systematic difference is much less.
          So would you accept a naturalistic study of incidence among millions where some were vaccinated and others were not, if we removed the subjects who were unvaccinated due to a personal or family medical condition that changed the likelihood of such diseases (since that would be a systematic important difference). I realize that is not the “gold standard” of double-blind placebo controlled, but that standard was developed so that we can use smaller numbers to hopefully extrapolate to conclusions about entire populations. When we can study entire populations, the studies using those smaller proxy populations are not really as necessary.

          Long post. Sorry. I’ll be quiet now.

          • Chris February 7, 2015 / 7:11 pm

            The request for a life-time study sounds familiar. Here is a one description.

            • Brent February 7, 2015 / 8:12 pm

              Not asking for “one” study…the more the merrier. And I’m not demanding a single study of that rigor…which is somewhat ridiculous. I’m asking for at least one study that compared vaccinated vs unvaccinated children. That’s a standard requirement for any experiment…control and experimental group.

              The article mentions that families that don’t vaccinate are “different” than ones that do, so studying the unvaccinated children would be pointless. Though honestly, I would be quite interested in seeing those results, as well!

              If you want to admit that you simply can’t know the actual effects of said vaccines and hence you take it on faith that they do not negatively alter your body long-term, fine…I can accept that. But I am a person of little faith and only accept the scientific method. It doesn’t have to be the “best” or “all inclusive” study, I would just expect to see multiple studies on this…yet no one has done a single one.

            • gewisn February 7, 2015 / 8:24 pm

              That’s a good read.
              Although it’s intentionally exaggerated in order to demonstrate a point, it can serve as a starting point for discussion.

              To be fair, I don’t think that’s at all what Brent is describing, but it is sometimes the underlying presumption in some of these discussions.

              I think a simpler starting point is refutation of the old saw, “Better safe than sorry.” While that phrase can help in everyday conversation about why we make hygiene behaviors into habits and why we teach children to look both ways before crossing even rural streets, it is not really useful in determining the best medical interventions nor public policy.
              If “Better safe than sorry” were to be used in these circumstances (and lots of others), literally nothing could get done.
              No doctor world ever recommend any treatment, no matter how seemingly safe. No legislator would ever exact any law, except a law stating no laws shall be passed, because there might be an untoward effect to someone. No criminal could ever be found guilty because “Better safe than sorry.” Or maybe no defendant would go free.

              If “Better safe than sorry,” was an actual rule from which decisions could be made, I would never get in a car or on a plane or even into the back of a giant tortoise [Many fewer people were killed last year riding tortoises to work than riding in cars. :-) ]. I would never leave my house, or my bedroom, or my bed. (This is sounding better and better.)
              That is clearly a failing strategy for, well, anything.

              So what do we do in the adult world?
              We weigh the risks and benefits.
              When something has shown clear and dramatic benefit (fire, wheel, electricity, scientific method, sanitation, vaccines, antibiotics, etc.), we don’t abandon it at the first sign of adverse effects unless one of two things becomes clear:
              A) it’s clearly shown that the risks outweigh the benefits or,
              B) something else comes along that has demonstrably more benefits or less risks, or both.

              To abandon something nearly universally beneficial because it might have a hidden risk we haven’t seen until we can do a lifetime of study on thousands or millions of people would be horrific, cruel, torture.

              We would not think of doing that regarding fire or sanitation or electricity. Can you imagine randomly assigning half of a few thousand kids to go live without fire, wheels, electricity, heat, sanitation, medical care of any sort – just to see if they might somehow be better off?
              Because that is where we would have to start to accomplish the one great and true control group study.
              The One Study to Rule Them All.

              Dammit.
              I promised to be quiet. Sorry.
              That’s what you get for putting me in planes and airports with wifi for the last 9 hrs.

              • Brent February 7, 2015 / 9:56 pm

                “To abandon something nearly universally beneficial because it might have a hidden risk we haven’t seen until we can do a lifetime of study on thousands or millions of people would be horrific, cruel, torture”

                Again, I am NOT saying we should abandon vaccines. They have been proven, at least in the cases that I am aware of, to significantly cut down the risks of the targeted disease.

                All I am saying is they should study the long term health by studying the overall health of unvaccinated vs vaccinated to see if there is any difference. That is critical to determining the “risks.” We know the benefits, let’s know the risks.

                Let me give you a few examples of real-life scenarios:

                Back in the 40’s-50’s, doctors would prescribe cigarettes to cut down on irritation due to cough. And yes, cigarettes do indeed help with that. However, without studying the control group (people that don’t smoke), we wouldn’t be able to link smoking to lung cancer. Link = (http://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/news/print/hemonc-today/%7B241d62a7-fe6e-4c5b-9fed-a33cc6e4bd7c%7D/cigarettes-were-once-physician-tested-approved)
                Oral contraceptive pills increase the risk of breast cancer. If we never studied the control group (people that do not uses oral contraceptives), then we would not be able to link breast cancer to oral contraceptives. Link = (http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/study-birth-control-pill-and-abortion-spike-breast-cancer-risk/)

                So, we have all these diseases, disorders and cancers, and many of us are dumbfounded about what is causing them and what is causing them to increase. Until we start doing studies and isolating things, we won’t ever get any further. Are vaccines to blame? Hopefully not, but we simply don’t know. And why don’t we know? We haven’t studied it…and that bothers me.

                We can’t weigh risks vs benefits if we don’t study the risks.

                Note: The KIGGS study that Chris referenced is interesting, but from my precursory reading, it only is looking at related issues dealing with the disease the vaccine targeted, not overall health.

                • Richard Daggett February 7, 2015 / 10:35 pm

                  Brent – If I understand your question, you want a study that compares long-term health between two groups; those who received a particular vaccine and those who did not. There has already been such a study. It is called history. Let me explain in easy to understand language; the language that even those who oppose vaccines should be able to understand.

                  In 1952, there were almost 60,000 cases of polio in the U.S. not one of these individuals received a vaccine. If you survey their long-term health history you will discover that a significant number of these individuals have weakened or withered muscles, have spinal deformities, have reduced pulmonary capacity, and numerous other long-term effects. Some of these 60,000 cannot be studied today because they died in 1952!

                  Now, jump to post 1955. Most of the children in post 1955 U.S. received a vaccine against polio. If you survey the long-term health history of these vaccinated children you will find few of the health issues listed above.

                  The facts are really quite simple. You receive a vaccine against a disease and it is less likely you will get that disease. It can be equated to wearing a seat belt in an automobile. Diseases and automobile crashes still happen. But, if you are vaccinated against a disease or wearing your seat belt, the diseases and automobile crashes take a less appalling toll. You do wear a seat belt, don’t you?

                  • Brent February 7, 2015 / 11:19 pm

                    Thank you for the red herring and for not addressing my concern in any form or matter.

                    • Mike Vlachos February 7, 2015 / 11:52 pm

                      I’m curious how you would go about getting this study done? comparative cases studies, with a listing of illnesses that can’t possibly be definitively traced to vaccines? let me give you an example. I’m a 48 year old male who received just about every vaccine due to my parents and military being very pro-vaccine. I’m in moderately good health, a bit out of shape, a bit overweight, a touch of hypertension. I recently have some fatty tumors removed. How are researchers going to dis/prove that any of my conditions are due to vaccines? What variables are you going to control for and how that will let you determine that it’s vaccines and not some other cause?

                      Or would you demand that there be a study from scratch that takes samples after every vaccine dose and through out the life time of the patient? Of course to accurately observe the results, it would have to be a double blind study, and what happens when those unknowingly unvaccinated people start contacting diseases like the measles? At what point of negative outcome would you accept them stopping the study? Are the researchers going to so control the subjects of the study that they all get the same food, the same exercise, the same clothes, breath the same air etc…

                      You know why a long term study like yours hasn’t been performed? Because it’s impossible. And it would be medically unethical to expose patients to dangerous outcomes. Studies are cancelled all the time, because the researcher realized that it’s just too dangerous to continue.

                    • Penny February 8, 2015 / 6:32 am

                      I think I sort of get what Brent is trying to say. Just an observational long-term study for the prevalence of most major diseases in the two study groups, vaccinated vs unvaccinated. It might no even be that hard to plan if you do it with a retroactive prospective study plan in mind.

                      However, for the sake of fairness, your two study groups can’t be vaccinated people vs unvaccinated ones in the middle of a fully vaccinated population with active herd immunity. Because we are discussing the relative risks of having the entire population vaccinated or not. There is no such thing as two standards, on one side the idiots doing all the hard work of getting vaccinated and on the other the smart ones that reap all of the benefits without doing anything. I mean, if you’re doing a study like that, it’s to tell everyone to vaccinate or not. So it would have to be a vaccinated vs unvaccinated population.

                      Whiiiiiich wouldn’t turn out very good results for the unvaccinated, I can tell you now. So no one really bothers.

                    • gomiam February 8, 2015 / 7:34 am

                      Red herring? Methinks not. You harp about some “unknown” side-effect of vaccines and want researchers to look for unknown correlations. Since you talk about people not knowing how science is carried out in other comments I will assume you do know. Thus, I will assume you also know that if you look hard enough you will find a correlation (even though it is spurious), like, for example, that global warming correlates with the decrease of pirate attacks at sea.
                      Besides, each and every component of vaccines, AFAIK, has been tested before and found not to be harmful. Do you have anything more specific to point out than your “there might be some side-effects we don’t know about yet”? Because there always might be. You can’t make decisions on what might be if you don’t even have an inkling about its probability. Otherwise you would be able to make no decision.
                      There may be some unknown side-effects of vaccines. If there are, they will show up sooner or later and they will be studied, and once their existence is validated decisions will be made. Doing otherwise is fear-mongering, plain and simple.

          • Brent February 7, 2015 / 8:16 pm

            “Many of the conditions you mentioned are usually evident by early to mid adulthood”

            That was just a sampling I made up off the top of my head. What about all the forms of cancer, or heart disease, etc.? Some of those don’t show up till much later in life.

            “For those conditions, would you accept 25-30 years as long enough to have shown increased or decreased propensity due to vaccines?”

            Considering there are zero studies out there that I’m aware of comparing unvaccinated vs vaccinated, I would take just about anything at this point. :) It would still be valuable.

            “So would you accept a naturalistic study of incidence among millions where some were vaccinated and others were not, if we removed the subjects who were unvaccinated due to a personal or family medical condition that changed the likelihood of such diseases (since that would be a systematic important difference).”

            Yes, I would LOVE to get my hands on that data!

            • gewisn February 7, 2015 / 8:29 pm

              Brent,
              Of course in my long-winded post about The One Study To Rule Them All, I missed your posts in between.

              Luckily I credited you with Not demanding that type of study.

            • Chris February 8, 2015 / 10:37 am

              “Considering there are zero studies out there that I’m aware of comparing unvaccinated vs vaccinated,”

              So the large epidemiological studies using medical databases in the UK, USA, Denmark and elsewhere do not count? Some of the papers from the CDC’s VSD list I provided cover a few of your concerns like “Childhood vaccinations and risk of asthma” and ” Hepatitis B vaccine and risk of multiple sclerosis.”

              If you do not like what you see, you need to give more to give some concrete criteria, not some nebulous “chronic conditions.” Especially since the twentieth century many common chronic diseases were eliminated or treated. These include rheumatic heart disease (which was often caused by strep infections, now prevented with antibiotics) and tuberculosis (sanitary condition prevent from spreading). Measles, mumps, rubella, and Hib were common causes of blindness, deafness, paralysis and other chronic disabilities. There were other things like hookworm (caused anemia which hampered brain development, stopped with sanitation), malaria (yes, it was common in the USA) and lead poisoning (stopped by removing lead from gasoline and paint). Things like Type 1 diabetes are now considered “chronic” because before insulin was available it was a death sentence. Even HIV is now just a “chronic condition” due to new long term antiviral treatments.

              Here is just one summary of <a href=”http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm4829.pdf’>changes of mortality due to several health conditions. As noted it helps to know a bit of history.

              So, just please identify only one or two “chronic conditions” that you feel need to be studied, figure out the numbers needed for a long term study (remember they need to volunteer, and many will drop out), design the study to make sure it complies with the Belmont report and figure out how to pay for it. Also if you have a study and IRB approval you can get access to the Vaccine Safety Datalink.

              • Chris February 8, 2015 / 10:43 am

                I need coffee, but I am waiting until I need to wake up college kid so she can go to work.

                ” you need to give more to give some concrete criteria, not some nebulous “chronic conditions.””

                and:

                “Here is just one summary of <a href=”http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm4829.pdf”>changes of mortality due to several health conditions. As noted it helps to know a bit of history.”

                Now to make coffee and wake up kid.

              • Chris February 8, 2015 / 10:54 am

                Oh, good grief. But at least coffee is made.

                • Notnearlysoanonymous February 8, 2015 / 11:45 am

                  Rule #1: Coffee First!
                  Rule #2: Coffee Second!

                  • Chris February 8, 2015 / 12:57 pm

                    :-)

                    Well, twenty year old college kid did get to work on time, 9am on a Sunday morning. It doesn’t help that the wifi transmitter on the router is dying, so my laptop is without a connection in the kitchen,so I dragged to the room down the hallway. Even though I am ten feet from the router, the signal only shows three bars. This is why hubby’s work station is hardwired (he occasionally works from home). Aargh.

                    Scheduled delivery of new router is on Friday the 13th.

              • Tim W. February 8, 2015 / 12:57 pm

                Another instance that screams, “The anti-vaccer emperor has no clothes!”

                The logical, thoughtful, informed thinking of scientists and medical journalists, such as this comment, are SO COMPLETELY BEYOND the trivial, uninformed and often paranoid blather of most the anti-vaccs folks that I seriously wonder why we are all wasting our time debating with them.

                Even the most basic introduction to any physical science involves that moment when you are thrown down and shown that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and then informed that nearly the ONLY rule of science is that you know about that which you speak. The anti-vaccers surely didn’t even get through Bio 101 or Chem 101.

                They’ve succeeded in engaging us in an argument that is so (SO!) profoundly undebatable that in a sense, I think they’ve won.

        • moladood February 8, 2015 / 11:06 am

          I guess by your standards, we shouldn’t really use or develop anything. What are the long term impacts of antibiotics? There isn’t an anti-antibiotic movement. What about wireless networks and phones that produce radiation? The same people who question vaccine safety are fine with giving the kid an iPhone. What about the changing environment and atmosphere? Pollution in water? You have no control group in many instances. Its not to say we should just accept it and not study it but we need to rely on the current data we have which is that vaccines are safe and effective. Much safer than not vaccinating and getting all the the diseases we have protection against. We know what these diseases do and since vaccines have come along we have seen a dramatic shift in overall health.

    • moladood February 7, 2015 / 5:24 pm

      Show me the control group used for your car in the crash tests? They don’t test seatbelts or air bags on people either but you gladly accept crash test dummy sensor results.

      • Brent February 7, 2015 / 6:08 pm

        I’m gonna take it you don’t understand science or how actual studies are performed for different cases.

        • moladood February 7, 2015 / 10:34 pm

          You take it wrong. It sounds almost as crazy as anti vaxx BS.

        • gomiam February 8, 2015 / 7:16 am

          And yet it is you who wants to cavalierly use humans as guinea pigs. Excuse me if I’m not that impressed.

        • Chris February 8, 2015 / 10:39 am

          This why I encouraging you to design a study that conforms to the human subject rules of the Belmont Report, get it approved by an IRB, find the funding and then go do it yourself.

  14. moladood February 7, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    Look at cases of measles, mortality is not indicative. Mortality of AIDS has also decreased since the 80’s (you can actually expect to live near full life on drugs) so if we come out with a vaccine tomorrow, does that mean it doesn’t work because mortality decreased? And wouldn’t you think Big Pharma would rather a lifetime of expensive drugs over a vaccine?

    Bottom line, you can’t use the fact that we get better at treating something before we have a vaccine to support your claim that they don’t work. Same goes for polio, the iron lung made people live longer and have better chances but the vaccines were the only way to drop cases to 0. Stop spreading the lies.

    • moladood February 10, 2015 / 4:52 pm

      I think that I would like to see and understand the evidence leading to the conclusion vs the conclusion. Law is not science. The document they refer to is blacked out in spots and I can’t read Italian. If there was substance in the claim that can be proven and which changes the current scientific consensus on vaccine safety then that should be looked at. Otherwise this is just a court win (assuming what is being reported is factual) and courts can get it wrong sometimes.

  15. Edward February 11, 2015 / 10:41 am

    2004 & Barling. Our lab has procured and imported it from New Zealand.

  16. Steffany February 14, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    CBC Marketplace (TV show) did an expose on ‘natural’ vaccination alternatives and found they were just a waste of money and not effective at all. Don’t listen to the homeopaths on this one, their remedies have NOT been proven scientifically and do you really want to put your child at risk because a small group of people are scare of modern medicine that has been scientifically proven to be effective? The sheer numbers should convince you, if nothing else will. My mother chose not to vaccinate me when I was a child, and I did contract whooping cough when I was about 3 or 4 I don’t remember much about being that age, but I do remember being so sick I could barely move for a long time. When I had my own children, I chose to vaccinate them and myself as well for MMR and chicken pox and they never caught any of those diseases – thank God.

    • Patrick McDonald February 14, 2015 / 10:45 pm

      To my great embarrassment, my Credit Union, Alterna Savings, had a poster up on their community bulletin board which promoted Homeopathic Alternatives to “harsh” vaccines. When I called them on it, they said they had to respect alternate opinions. I pointed out that it was a public health issue rather than one of free speech, but I was micturating into a predominant airflow.

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