Dear parents, you are being lied to.

Jennifer Raff —  March 25, 2014 — 4,422 Comments

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.

About these ads

Jennifer Raff

Posts

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

4,422 responses to Dear parents, you are being lied to.

    • 

      So first the author decries cherry picking, and then post an article by Lucija Tomljenovic and Christopher Shaw published in an inorganic chemistry journal. Really? Are you aware that paper is also funded by two anti-vaccine groups, the Dwoskin and Katlyn Fox Family Foundations? Neither of those researchers are reputable.

      Then we have to only by the author’s word that the studies say something different. Well, gee, why didn’t she provide and explain the actual PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that show the MMR vaccine causes more harm than measles, mumps and rubella. She and you can start by also providing documentation dated before 1990 that the MMR caused autism in the 1970s and 1980 in the USA coincident to its introduction in 1971, and being the preferred vaccine for the 1978 Measles Elimination Program.

      Then she wrote:

      I typed “austism” and “chelation” into the search thingy and was greeted with non other than a systematic review (the pinacle of the evidence hierarchy) that states “Multiple studies were identified that suggest some individuals with an ASD manifest clinical and behavioral improvements with chelation.”

      But she never mentioned the papers or the authors. Why is that? Were they by a father and son team, where one has been legally stripped of his medical license and the other is being investigating for practicing medicine without a license? They have made a career out of being “experts” for vaccine court cases using their own VAERS dumpster diving “studies”, and recently for convincing desperate parents to treat their autistic kids with chemical castration.

      She did mention “Blood levels of mercury are related to diagnosis of autism: a reanalysis of an important data set”, but that is only a quote in the abstract. You need to read the full paper. Plus both authors are psychologists with known anti-vax sentiments, not actual epidemiologists or biochemists. You might want to read this analysis of that paper, because it does not say what you think it says.

      That is the end of anything substantially evidential the “analysis”. The rest is just the author’s opinion. Now who is the author and what are her credentials? Well check the “About Mel” link we learn: “Hi, my name is Mel Hopper Koppelman and I am a registered Acupuncturist and a practitioner of Integrative Medicine.”

      So this is a person who is not a real medical care practitioner who actually thinks sticking needles in the body works. I’d be interested to learn if she uses bare hands or actually uses gloves and properly sterilized needles.Obviously she was not aware that it takes a very long time to recover from amoebic dysentery, and she could have avoided it if she had boiled or distilled the water she drank in India. Anyone who has traveled and understands germ theory would know this, the New Dehli house my brother lived in had a distiller for the water as standard kitchen equipment.

      • 

        Hi Chris,

        Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

        If my post had been intending to make the case against vaccines, then you would be right about my cherry-picking articles (which I fully disclose that I’m doing) and your suggestions for further analysis would be relevant. However, my post is about the deliberate misrepresentation of research by this author to prove a point. The articles that I “cherry pick” are merely showing that, unlike what the author states, evidence to the contrary exists. I’m pleased that you are capable of a more nuanced view, which is to acknowledge that they do exist. Assessing their quality is a separate matter. I took umbrage that a woman with a PhD did not seem to appreciate the difference between the total absence of evidence to the contrary and poor quality evidence to the contrary.

        Thank you for pointing out that I have forgotten the links to those articles, I will add them this afternoon.

        Your suggestion that somehow my being an acupuncturist precludes me from being research literate is rather ad hominem and incorrect (I’ve earned a BSc and an MSc). Jennifer Raff isn’t a “real medical care practitioner” – does that make her arguments about vaccines any more or less sound? Personally, I don’t think so.

        I’m really pleased to hear that your brother had a water distiller in New Delhi. My accommodation was rather more basic as I was volunteering in an orphanage but I can assure you that the amoeba’s weren’t selective for acupuncturists; we were all drinking bottled and sterilised water, but even the real doctors that I was volunteering with got sick too.

        • 

          “However, my post is about the deliberate misrepresentation of research by this author to prove a point.”

          Which you failed to point out with relevant citations. You can correct that by answering these two points:

          “provide and explain the actual PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that show the MMR vaccine causes more harm than measles, mumps and rubella.”

          And: “providing documentation dated before 1990 that the MMR caused autism in the 1970s and 1980 in the USA coincident to its introduction in 1971, and being the preferred vaccine for the 1978 Measles Elimination Program.”

          You can also provide the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that thimerosal is a cause of autism, and that chelation is effective. You should make sure that the authors have the relevant background and have not had their medical licenses revoked. That eliminates papers by the Geiers, DeSoto, Hitlan, Tomljenovic, Goldman, Blaxill, etc.

          Even if Dr. Raff is not a medical doctor, the references she posted are by qualified researchers. Just click on the links provided and then explain why we should not trust those researchers. Prove you are a capable of analyzing scientific documentation by providing some yourself.

          • 

            Chris, I respectfully disagree. Had I claimed that vaccines cause autism (which I haven’t) then a request to back that claim up with reference to the research would be appropriate. However, I’ve only pointed out that Dr Raff’s piece makes a series of black and white claims about “the truth” about vaccines and then she proceeds to back up these claims using mostly opinion pieces, un-referenced blog articles and newspaper articles. When she does use peer-reviewed research, it’s often of a design that isn’t appropriate to support the claim that she’s making.

            If you’re itching for a fight about vaccines, I’m sure there are plenty of people on the internet to pick a fight with. My points were about the mis-leading use of the evidence-base to support an argument. As Dr Raff has a PhD and has written pieces on research literacy, I have assumed that this mis-use was intentional, which is why I decided to write about it.

            • 

              “Had I claimed that vaccines cause autism (which I haven’t) then a request to back that claim up with reference to the research would be appropriate.”

              Then why did you include this: “I typed “austism” and “chelation” into the search thingy”? Now you are back peddling.

              “she proceeds to back up these claims using mostly opinion pieces, un-referenced blog articles and newspaper articles.”

              This is proof you did not click on all of the links. If you had you would have found these:.

              Vaccine. 1999 Oct 29;17 Suppl 3:S120-5.
              Demographic impact of vaccination: a review.

              PLoS One. 2008 Sep 4;3(9):e3140. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003140.
              Lack of association between measles virus vaccine and autism with enteropathy: a case-control study.

              J Pediatr. 2013 Aug;163(2):561-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.02.001. Epub 2013 Mar 30.
              Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism.

              JAMA. 2003 Oct 1;290(13):1763-6.
              Association between thimerosal-containing vaccine and autism.

              Pediatrics. 2003 Sep;112(3 Pt 1):604-6.
              Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism: negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data.

              Institute of Medicine. Released: February 20, 2002
              Immunization Safety Review: Multiple Immunizations and Immune Dysfunction

              MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 May 20;60(19):619-23.
              Ten great public health achievements–United States, 2001-2010.

              Plus if you had clicked on http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org/autismandvaccines.html you would have found a bigger list of scientific studies. Also, the “opinion” pieces by Dr. Offit were all backed up with scientific references. If you had bothered to read them you would have found them well referenced. As were the CDC, NHS and WHO links. The blog posts were accessible versions of some of the cites that are behind a paywall.

              Now, where is your evidence?

        • 

          Your protestations are hollow; admitting that you are cherry-picking evidence does not make it a sound or serious attempt to come to terms with the totality of the evidence.

          I do substantial research into various irrational ideologies: Bigfoot hunters, creationists, UFOologists, anti-vaxers, crystal healers, homeopaths, and yes, chiropractors (at least some of them). No matter how one-sided the overall evidence is, there is always, always, always “poor quality evidence to the contrary.” Whenever people divide along ideological lines, a division you are actively promoting, the minority will generate its own evidence. It doesn’t make the minority position right or reasonable. Only substantial evidence would do that, which the anti-vax position hasn’t been able to find–that’s why you had to scratch up such dubious research to support your scaremongering.

          Highlighting that exceptionally poor quality evidence and pretending that it rises to the level of a serious rebuttal to the totality of the evidence is indeed an anti-vax position.

          • 

            Colin, reading your comment, I can’t help but get the impression that you haven’t actually read my post but are taking my comment to Chris out of context? I have highlighted that contrary evidence exists, not because I have attempted to equate it to evidence to the contrary, only because Ms Raff’s post on several occasions says that no evidence to the contrary exists and goes through the mock exercise of referencing articles to support this claim. I was merely pointing out that this assertion was false.

            All I have done is a critical appraisal of her article using widely accepted research methods.

            Can you please provide an example of how I have engaged in scaremongering? Again, I think you can find plenty of examples of this on the internet and your comments would be more relevantly addressed to people actively engaging in that practice. I have only pointed out that she’s supported her claims about what the scientific research shows using sources squarely outside the realm of scientific research.

            • 

              “I have highlighted that contrary evidence exists, not because I have attempted to equate it to evidence to the contrary, only because Ms Raff’s post on several occasions says that no evidence to the contrary exists and goes through the mock exercise of referencing articles to support this claim.”

              Except your references were not quality research, as I pointed out. Not all “evidence” is equal. You need to learn how to tell the difference, which is why Dr. Raff has provided some articles about evaluating studies.

              I have also asked you to provide that evidence to the contrary that are from reputable qualified researchers. You have not done that.

              Also, Dr. Raff has a PhD, you might want to use the proper honorific.

            • 

              You are incorrect; I have read your post. It is a good, if uninspired, example of the “just asking questions” school of rhetoric: pretending not to hold a particular position while using rhetorical questions to advocate for that position. It is often distinguished by the nature of the questions, which have little resemblance to the sorts of things people ask when they are actually interested in determining the truth of a difficult question.

              When someone says that no evidence to the contrary exists, they do not mean–and this is obvious to any native speaker of the English (or any) language–that literally no one, anywhere, has taken the contrary position. (Technically, simply the fact that one person makes a claim is evidence for that claim. Just not very good evidence.) What they typically mean, particularly in a scientific context, is that the balance of evidence is extremely one-sided. That’s certainly the case here, where you had to dive into some very shaky research, and even shakier rhetoric, to support your anti-vax scaremongering.

              “All I have done is a critical appraisal of her article using widely accepted research methods.”

              No, this isn’t true. A critical appraisal would involve critically measuring the strength of the two positions you are holding in equal esteem: that vaccines are safe and effective, and that they are not. But rather than analyzing the strength of the various positions, you’ve identified that there are two camps and are insisting that they be treated with equal seriousness.

              Are you aware that a scientist published a paper purporting to sequence the Sasquatch genome? If another scientist said, “There’s no evidence that Bigfoot exists,” would you jump up and claim that they were abusing science? Probably not, because you aren’t trying to convince people that Bigfoot exists. You’ve done exactly that here because you are, despite your protestations, trying to convince people that the scientific consensus regarding vaccines is not a consensus.

              “Can you please provide an example of how I have engaged in scaremongering?”

              Yes. For example, you purport to be examining the question of whether science shows a causal link between vaccines and autism. Dr. Raff linked to a great deal of science showing the consensus that it does not. You “hopped over to Google Scholar and typed in the words “vaccines” and “autism”,” then credulously reported the first anti-vax paper you found. That is not a serious or reasonable attempt to learn the truth–it’s (as you admitted here in another comment) cherry-picking. In fact, if you do just a little bit more Googling, you’ll find that paper has been thoroughly debunked. It’s not on the same level as the serious science done by disinterested experts–it’s an advocacy piece, much like yours, although the authors have better credentials. Holding that article up as a false equivalent to the overwhelming body of scientific research is scaremongering. It’s an attempt to persuade your readers that this is an unsettled scientific question, when in fact–like the existence of Bigfoot–it has been thoroughly investigated and put to rest.

              Another example is your pretense that vaccines are not adequately studied for safety because many vaccine trials use vaccinated controls. This is also not a serious concern; the reasons for using vaccinated controls are obvious and well documented. You can even Google it! (Try “clinical equipoise” if your results aren’t satisfactory.) It does not mean that vaccines have been inadequately studied. Moreover, you disregarded the vast body of pre- and post-licensure safety studies. Why? Because your goal is not to determine whether vaccines are adequately studied (another question regarded as settled by the professional and expert communities) but to “just ask questions” that will scare your readers–and generate pageviews.

              A third example is your claim that “Dr Raff uses this document to support the claim that there is no evidence for a link between the MMR vaccine and autism… Wow, I don’t even know what to say. What the report says is so incredibly different from how Jennifer summarised it, which is frankly insulting to the intelligence of her readers.” You should have known what to say! You should have said, “That document says exactly what Dr. Raff said it did: ‘there is no evidence for a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.’” Please reread the excerpt you pulled from that document. You casually and misleadingly tried to recast the report’s statement that it could not definitively prove that the MMR vaccine never caused autism in any child as a statement that there was evidence of such a link–again, scaremongering.

              A fourth example is statement that you “typed “austism” and “chelation” into the search thingy” and found that chelation can be an effective treatment for autism. I find it ironic, I should say, that you accuse Dr. Raff of “abusing” science when your own approach is “the search thingy.” In this case, you failed to cite the source of your evidence. Is it because you didn’t want people to type the author’s name into “the search thingy?” They would learn that he is the subject of a lawsuit regarding the alleged practice of using tests designed to mislead parents into thinking their children are poisoned by heavy metals and subsequently prescribing chelation over the phone, without an phone. It is, allegedly, a “big business.”

              A reasonable person might pause and think, perhaps this Google result, being the research of a fringe scientist making money off of the fringe treatment his own research, is not quite on the same level as the mainstream academic and clinical consensus–especially since it runs counter to that consensus and is supported by no disinterested research. But not you–you reported it without “just asking questions.” You save those for the conclusions you don’t like.

              • 
                Jonathan Boersema July 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm

                Could you please address Rina Marie’s follow up article. She seems to make some very convincing statements. As well, the website “adventuresinautism” also refers to 84 journal articles that link autism to vaccinations. What can we say about these?

                On Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 7:16 PM, Violent metaphors wrote:

                > Colin commented: “You are incorrect; I have read your post. It is a > good, if uninspired, example of the “just asking questions” school of > rhetoric: pretending not to hold a particular position while using > rhetorical questions to advocate for that position. It is often dist” >

              • 

                I’m not certain what article you mean. The one where she says that measles isn’t a big deal because only sixty-something kids have been hospitalized because of measles? I think I have a different standard for concern than she does–sixty-something kids in the hospital seems like kind of a big deal to me.

                I don’t have the time, training, or experience to review and understand those 80 papers. (That’s true of the blogger there too; she’s obviously not exercising any quality control but rather scraping abstracts for anything that sounds vaguely supportive of her ideology.) Those who do find them extremely poor evidence of the proposition that vaccines cause autism.

                I’m more persuaded by the review of expert bodies like the Institute of Medicine, a division of the National Academies. It reviewed the entire body of literature and found the evidence does not support the supposed vaccines-autism connection.

                As I said above, whenever there is an ideological division, the minority is heavily incentivized to create evidence supporting their position. It happens with UFO stories, it happened with the JFK assassination, it happens with creationism, and it happens with vaccines.

                The test is not, “Has someone ever said something in a journal that supports my position?” The test is, “What do the people with the greatest access to and understanding of the data think on balance?” It’s been asked by government agencies like the WHO and CDC. It’s been asked by non-governmental agencies like the IOM and MSF. It’s been asked by academics, clinicians, and economists. It’s even been asked by courts of law. The answer, for anyone who sets out to learn the truth rather than create support for their own beliefs, is that the experts overwhelmingly reject the vaccine-autism connection.

              • 

                It was discussed here, with Rina Marie being told about the problems in her article. You should also read the comments posted on her website.

                “As well, the website “adventuresinautism””

                That list has also been addressed at this blog:
                http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2013/08/-those-lists-of-papers-that-claim-vaccines-cause-autism-part-1.html

                There are more articles, and some more recent ones where the papers are being looked at individually. You will see I used one above.

              • 

                Thanks, it looks like that Liz Ditz blog is the source for the material I linked to. Better to use that than the secondary material.

              • 

                You are welcome, I am glad to help. Ms. Ditz and some others analyzed through those papers on a Facebook page. I am glad she hosted them where others could see them.

                I have trudged through an earlier list, so I am glad that others took this on. While this is an interest to me because I have an adult child who not only has suffered from actual diseases before the vaccines for them was available, he has other health concerns that require community immunity.

                But even I have my limits of fortitude. One way to avoid additional time sinks to to stay away from Facebook and to never comment on news articles.

              • 

                Ah, blush! Thank you.

                Disclaimer: I was just a structural dynamics engineer (BS in aero engr). I had to quit twenty five years ago to be a mother to a child who had medical issues from the start.

              • 

                Whoops, I apologize. You did cite the Rossignol paper after all.

              • 

                I am not anti-vax (or pro-vax) – I merely object to the use of false dichotomies to artificially oversimplify a complex issue.

                My references were merely used to point out that Dr Raff had over-simplified the issues; as such, they were appropriately used. Critical appraisal of papers can only happen when we acknowledge that they exist.

                Take safety – people are asking are vaccines safe? (And Dr Raff answers this with a simple “yes, they are, look at this single study”). Answering this type of closed question with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is simply not supported anywhere in the research literature or in reality. Vaccines can and do cause serious adverse events. So does infection by vaccine-preventable illness. The only reasonable question about vaccine safety is “How safe are vaccines?” and we need to be clear about how we’re defining and measuring safety.

                a) Safety is relative, so a study can only (indirectly) evaluate if one intervention is safer (using particular outcome measures) than another. The safety studies that I’ve come across do not use an unvaccinated control group. Please explain to me how using vaccinated controls as a comparator answers the question of the relative safety of vaccinating vs not vaccinating.

                And the number of safety studies on the combination of vaccines in the current vaccination schedule in the United States is exactly 0. So on exactly what can you base the assertion that the current vaccine schedule is safe for long-term health outcomes?

                b) Outcome measures – these are indirect proxies of safety and it’s important to be specific about these – the most common measure of ‘safety’ in clinical vaccine trials is how often that disease is caused in the recipient by the vaccine – most often, other concerns around vaccine safety (atopia, autoimmunity, adverse reactions to adjuvants) are not measured. And timescale is an issue – are safety outcomes only measured in the short-term or are long-term health effects taken into account?

                It’s entirely possible that the short-term and long-term safety profiles for the current vaccination schedule are different.

                c) Vaccine safety exists on a spectrum – support for this assertion comes from the simple fact that vaccines are a heterogenous group of heterogenous compounds – in trials, some are found to be ‘safer’ than others

                d) Combinations of vaccines – as stated above, the safety of the current vaccination schedule in the US has simply not been tested by anyone and the National Academies report concludes that the administration of multiple vaccines increases the risk of allergies and autoimmune disease. Are you really saying that you are totally confident that all vaccines are completely safe in any combination and in any number? (And that it’s unreasonable or “ideological” to simply ask the question of why you think you know this?)

                f) How is the study population defined? – Due to biochemical individuality, individuals respond uniquely to vaccines. How people respond is determined by an intersection of factors, including genetics, nutrition status, toxic burden, weight and other factors. The current vaccination schedule is based solely on age and takes none of this into account. One weakness of large scale trials that are not adequately segmented is that they are not sensitive enough to detect adverse reactions in sub-populations.

                In sum, there are a number of complex factors that need to be weighed to rationally discuss vaccine safety. And when we are talking about vaccine safety, we need to define what we mean (what are the outcome measures we are looking at, what are the comparators, and who is the population). To answer in the simple affirmative (or negative) without acknowledging these issues is simply unsupported by the scientific literature.

                So going back to Dr Raff’s piece and my response to it: if we take, for example, her argument that vaccines are safe (a simple ‘yes’ answer) and to support this assertion, her evidence is that a single large scale trial found pneumococcal vaccine caused fewer cases of vaccine-induced disease than the meningococcus vaccine, my point is NOT that vaccines are not safe (scare-mongering). I’m merely pointing out that the evidence she is presenting is woefully inadequate to reasonably and responsibly answer this question in the simple affirmative. This report answers the question “which of these two vaccines caused more cases of vaccine induced invasive illness” (and had a few secondary outcome measures) but it leaves all of these other questions unanswered. Suggesting that it says anything but that is irresponsible.

                Again, my main objection is the creation of this false dichotomy. There are many ways to measure safety and there are enough reasonable concerns that have been raised – according to the Department of Health, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out $2.7 billion in compensation for vaccine injuries (http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecom… and the National Academies report raises reasonable concerns.

                As such, asking questions that acknowledge the complexity of the issues around vaccines is a reasonable thing to do. Claiming that the scientific literature supports a simple “yes” or “no” answer to the question “Are vaccines safe?” is completely irresponsible.

                • 

                  (I’m copying the reply I left at your blog, because it looks like you posted the same comment there–please let me know if I missed a change in this one.)

                  My references were merely used to point out that Dr Raff had over-simplified the issues; as such, they were appropriately used.

                  This is a bizarre and hypocritical assertion. You are using risible papers, both debunked and obviously written to generate a commercial advantage, to claim there is some sort of equivalence between anti-vax and pro-vax research. You are oversimplifying the issue to an absurd extent. In other words, whether chelation treats autism is not an open question. You had to dredge up a poor-quality, biased paper to make it appear as it if is. If you were actually treating the issues as they are, instead of oversimplifying them to make your point appear reasonable, you would have come to terms with the balance of the research rather than cherrypicking papers that support your preexisting beliefs.

                  As for whether Dr. Raff is oversimplifying, I’ll make the same point here I did there. A researcher in Texas claims to have sequenced the Sasquatch genome, and published a paper with her results. If a zoologist wrote that there’s no scientific evidence that Bigfoot exists, would you call her a liar? Probably not, because your ulterior motive is not to increase belief in Bigfoot. But you’re an antivaxer, so you jumped on an opportunity to (a) generate page hits and (b) make it appear, falsely, as if the safety or efficacy of vaccines are seriously questioned in the expert community.

                  In other words, Dr. Raff is assessing the entire body of research. You’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to present a distorted picture of that research, using cherrypicked research and fiery rhetoric. Only one of you is oversimplifying, and it’s not the one with the PhD.

                  Critical appraisal of papers can only happen when we acknowledge that they exist.

                  I would take this statement more seriously if you showed any inclination to actually performing such an appraisal. Nevertheless, I take your point to be that no zoology conference should leave Bigfoot research off of the schedule without first stopping to acknowledge the one paper that concluded that Bigfoot exists. I disagree, and I think I’m not alone in that.

                  You keep referring to my “ideological position” – my only position is against asking and answering closed (yes/no) questions to create a false dichotomy on issues that are complex.

                  This is a rhetorical tactic known as “just asking questions”. Your ideological position is obvious from the context and content of your writing. You aren’t happy that the overwhelming consensus among experts is that vaccines are safe and effective, so you went hunting in the far fringe of anti-vax research and medical woo to find a few papers you could hang your hat on. Then you held them up as equivalent to the body of research overall, and serious reviews by bodies like the IOM and WHO.

                  If you were trying to ask open-ended questions, you would be asking things like what the balance of research says or why it says what it does. Instead, you created exactly what you pretend to dislike: a “closed … question.” Here, you used terrible research and pretended it was equal to the body of serious science in order to, as you say, “create a false dichotomy on issues that are complex.”

                  In other words, a reader of Dr. Raff’s piece who didn’t do any further research would walk away with an accurate impression of the overall body of research: vaccines are safe and effective. A reader of your piece who didn’t do any further research would walk away deceived, believing falsely that there is serious research finding that vaccines cause autism or that chelation treats it. You are deceiving your readers with the rhetorical tactic of false balance.

                  Take safety – people are asking are vaccines safe? (And Dr Raff answers this with a simple “yes, they are, look at this single study”).

                  Are seatbelts safe? Sometimes they kill people by strangulation. And yet, if you asked a researcher that question, “yes” would be an accurate and reasonable answer. They could also say, “Yes, but very rarely they hurt people,” because it is always possible to give a more in-depth answer. But to a reasonable person looking at the totality of evidence, “yes” is an accurate and legitimate answer—whether the products in question are vaccines or seatbelts.

                  The safety studies that I’ve come across do not use an unvaccinated control group. Please explain to me how using vaccinated controls as a comparator answers the question of the relative safety of vaccinating vs not vaccinating.

                  If you don’t understand this, you might consider being more humble about your angry denunciations of others and do more reading yourself. First, check your assumptions—the idea that vaccines aren’t tested against a neutral placebo is an anti-vax talking point. Use your “search thingy” to ask the question rather than assuming the conclusion most convenient to your beliefs. (For example, in the first page of search results for “vaccine placebo saline” you’ll find research reporting the results of a Gardasil trial that involved both a saline placebo and an aluminum adjuvant placebo—two things anti-vaxers often claim are never done.) Saline placebos are less common in vaccine trials than with many other pharmaceuticals, largely because of basic medical ethics. The Declaration of Helsinki prohibits researchers from adversely affecting the health of their subjects, and thus from using a saline placebo when the existing vaccine is known to be safe and effective.

                  Vaccines go through a variety of trials. The early stages do test whether the vaccine alone is safe. Later trials test whether it is safer or more effective than the status quo vaccine. You can’t—and I mean that researchers are not permitted to do this—deprive a test group of the status quo vaccine for the sake of research. It would be an appalling breach of ethics. (Did you study medical ethics in acupuncture school? I’m not trying to be snarky, I’m honestly curious. Since acupuncture is a placebo, I’m not certain whether there’s any focus on this kind of conduct.) Even after a vaccine is approved its safety is tested through post-licensure trials and population studies.

                  I hope you can understand that it’s not just vaccines that are tested this way. When pharma companies develop a new antibiotic, they don’t let a few dozen people suffer untreated staph infections to create a control group. The fact that drugs are tested against the standard of care, rather than unmedicated subjects, does not prevent researchers from testing the safety of the drug.

                  And the number of safety studies on the combination of vaccines in the current vaccination schedule in the United States is exactly 0. So on exactly what can you base the assertion that the current vaccine schedule is safe for long-term health outcomes?

                  I like to go back to the Institute of Medicine’s study, Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies: “This report is the most comprehensive examination of the immunization schedule to date. The IOM committee uncovered no evidence of major safety concerns associated with adherence to the childhood immunization schedule. Should signals arise that there may be need for investigation, however, the report offers a framework for conducting safety research using existing or new data collection systems.”

                  The immunization schedule has been studied, and there is no evidence of major safety concerns. Even anti-vax leading lights like Dr. Sears have been unable to uncover real evidence of problems with it. If such problems do come to light, there is a system in place for detecting them and resolving them (as has been done in the past). I’m sorry to say that system does not really include bloggers; it tends to rely more heavily on experts who can actually engage with the data and contribute to the research, rather than echoing ideological talking points like, “But vaccines aren’t tested!”

                  the most common measure of ‘safety’ in clinical vaccine trials is how often that disease is caused in the recipient by the vaccine – most often, other concerns around vaccine safety (atopia, autoimmunity, adverse reactions to adjuvants) are not measured

                  This isn’t true. How did you even come to this conclusion? I suspect by reading anti-vax blogs; certainly not by actually searching for adjuvant studies—you would have found many of them. Vaccine adjuvants are well studied, both by themselves and in situ as vaccine ingredients.

                  It’s entirely possible that the short-term and long-term safety profiles for the current vaccination schedule are different. . . . Vaccine safety exists on a spectrum – support for this assertion comes from the simple fact that vaccines are a heterogenous group of heterogenous compounds – in trials, some are found to be ‘safer’ than others

                  It’s entirely possible that the short-term and long-term safety profiles of everything are different. But in the absence of evidence for a serious concern, you’re just scaremongering.

                  the safety of the current vaccination schedule in the US has simply not been tested by anyone and the National Academies report concludes that the administration of multiple vaccines increases the risk of allergies and autoimmune disease. Are you really saying that you are totally confident that all vaccines are completely safe in any combination and in any number? (And that it’s unreasonable or “ideological” to simply ask the question of why you think you know this?)

                  It isn’t necessary to run a giant trial of the specific combination of vaccines currently used when population studies show no particular cause for concern. It would be impossible, probably; the schedule changes too often to run a giant trial every time. It’s easy enough to test its safety by, for example, looking to see whether adverse events are correlated to changes in/adoptions of the schedule.

                  I’m not a vaccine researcher, or even a scientist. I’m a layperson—we have that in common. I’m nevertheless confident that the vaccine schedule is safe because those people who are experts are essentially unanimous on the subject. Even anti-vaxers who have tremendous incentives to prove that their doom-and-gloom pronouncements are right, and the resources to test their theories, have been unable to generate any convincing evidence that the schedule is dangerous.

                  In other words, I’m confident that vaccines are safe for the same reason I’m confident that antibiotics, seatbelts, household wiring, computers, cellphones, moderate exercise, and even acupuncture are safe. I’m an expert in none of them, but the people who have studied them have concluded overwhelmingly that they’re safe, and I have no particular reason to believe those conclusions are the result of a giant shadowy conspiracy. (Nor, and I speak as someone who is experienced in detecting and litigating complex fraud, do I believe such a conspiracy would be remotely possible.)

                  One weakness of large scale trials that are not adequately segmented is that they are not sensitive enough to detect adverse reactions in sub-populations.

                  You have yet to persuade me that vaccine trials aren’t adequately segmented, or that such problems wouldn’t be detected in population studies. If you were to cite someone with experience and expertise in the field who shares your concerns, I’d be interested in reading their take.

                  Again, my main objection is the creation of this false dichotomy.

                  Again, they hypocrisy of your complaint is staggering. You have been working hard to create exactly the kind of false dichotomy you’re pretending to oppose, by elevating terrible research to the level of the scientific consensus and pretending there are two equally valid positions to be assessed. There aren’t, and I think you know that—if there were a real dichotomy, as you pretend, you wouldn’t have to dig so deep to find paper with which to wrap your ideology.

                  There are many ways to measure safety and there are enough reasonable concerns that have been raised – according to the Department of Health, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out $2.7 billion in compensation for vaccine injuries

                  This was the wrong argument to make. I’m an attorney, and I’ve studied the NVICP to some extent. You can find my articles about it on Violent Metaphors. $2.7 billion sounds like a lot of money, but to anyone familiar with large-scale litigation the interesting thing about that number is that it’s so small. It’s the amount the court has awarded over decades, in which many, many millions of vaccines were given, in the context of an extraordinarily plaintiff-friendly system. Plaintiffs alleging table injuries don’t even have to prove that the vaccine caused their injury—just showing up and proving that they were vaccinated, then had the injury, is enough to win compensation. In that kind of environment, over many years, with millions and millions of vaccines administered, a $2.7 billion pot is evidence that vaccines really are extraordinarily safe. (You could also look at how few claims are filed, despite the plaintiff-friendly terms and the fact that the government pays for plaintiffs’ lawyers—it’s further evidence that even with the incentive and resources to generate evidence that vaccines are dangerous, the facts just aren’t cooperating.) Manufacturers of any other product would kill for the safety record of vaccines.

                  As such, asking questions that acknowledge the complexity of the issues around vaccines is a reasonable thing to do. Claiming that the scientific literature supports a simple “yes” or “no” answer to the question “Are vaccines safe?” is completely irresponsible.

                  It’s no more irresponsible than saying that yes, antibiotics are safe, or yes, airplanes are safe, or yes, cellphones are safe, or yes, ballroom dancing is safe. All of those things, like vaccines, hurt people from time to time. But a reasonable person actually asking serious questions about how safe those things are would be perfectly comfortable saying yes, they’re safe.

                  It’s a long post, so let me repeat something I wrote earlier: you are creating the very false dichotomy you complain about. A reader of Dr. Raff’s piece who didn’t do any further research would walk away with an accurate impression of the overall body of research: vaccines are safe and effective. A reader of your piece who didn’t do any further research would walk away deceived, believing falsely that there is serious research finding that vaccines cause autism or that chelation treats it.

                  • 

                    “you are creating the very false dichotomy you complain about. A reader of Dr. Raff’s piece who didn’t do any further research would walk away with an accurate impression of the overall body of research: vaccines are safe and effective.”

                    You are conflating how Dr Raff supported her argument with what she was actually arguing. The issue that I initially took with Dr Raff’s blog post is the way she used references to support her conclusions. I may be a lay person in the field of vaccine research (as is Dr Raff, to the best of knowledge) but I have post-graduate training in research methods and two research degrees. You keep arguing that her use of references to support her statements was valid because you agree with her conclusions. These two things are really unrelated. If she had used identical methods to support a conclusion that you happened to not agree with, this would be much more apparent to you.

                    Using your Big Foot example, we both agree that Big Foot does not exist. But that does not preclude someone with a PhD from writing a blog post which seeks to support the conclusion that Big Foot does not exist but does so by inappropriately using the scientific literature (or using the non-scientific literature while implying that it is scientific literature) to support their claims. And, then to continue, if someone comes along as says: “Wait a minute, an unreferenced blog post isn’t appropriate evidence in a scientific discussion about whether or not Big Foot exists. And you can’t use single studies to summarise the evidence base” (unless you do so in context) and then a wave of hate comes down on that person because pointing out the mis-use of the research to support that Big Foot Does not Exist is being equated to saying that Big Foot does exist.

                    All that having been said, now that I have read a bit more about it, I do have my concerns about the long-term adverse effects of the current vaccine schedule. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

                    ‘”Use your “search thingy” to ask the question rather than assuming the conclusion most convenient to your beliefs. (For example, in the first page of search results for “vaccine placebo saline” you’ll find research reporting the results of a Gardasil trial that involved both a saline placebo and an aluminum adjuvant placebo—two things anti-vaxers often claim are never done.)”

                    Ok, are you referring to “Clinical Trial and Post-Licensure Safety Profile of a Prophylactic Human Papillomavirus (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) L1 Virus-Like Particle Vaccine”? You keep pointing out the inadmissibility of certain “anti-vaccine” articles based on the conflict of interest of the authors. Under the author information for this study, it states: “Supported by Merck Research Laboratories. S.B. and K.R. have received research support from and are consultants for Merck and Co., Inc. S.B. and K.R. have also received research grants from GlaxoSmithKline. M.G. has received research support from Merck and Co. Inc., GenProbe, GlaxoSmithKline, MediSpectra, MGI Pharma, sanofi aventis, 3M, ARIAD, Precision Therapeutics, and Tigris Pharmaceuticals, and honoraria from Merck and Co. Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, MGI Pharma, and Monogen.”

                    In your inexpert opinion, what do you think the likelihood is that the results of this study are subject to unreasonable amounts of bias? And who do you think funds and performs the overwhelming majority of pre-licensure vaccine trials? This is not a conspiracy theory, but you keep pointing out financial conflict of interest as a primary reason for disregarding the results of research studies. What do you think is more lucrative, chelation therapy or vaccines?

                    There is a large body of research into the effects of industry funding on study outcome, but to provide a reasonable summary, I am going to appropriately reference a Cochrane Systematic Review (like any study, not infallible, but indeed the appropriate study design to answer a question about what the literature as a whole shows). The Cochrane study unsurprisingly concludes that when pharmaceutical companies fund their own trials, the results are more likely to find that the drugs are safe and effective than when funding comes from other sources (Lundh 2012).

                    The National Academies Press Report

                    I’ve taken a skim through this and here are some initial concerns. Looking at the chapter on Allergy and Asthma, a couple of things jump out. First, the authors write in the intro: “it is necessary to have a detailed understanding of the relationship between allergic disease and vaccination, because the effectiveness of the immunization program may be adversely impacted by a perception that vaccination is harmful.” So the authors have stated that the purpose of reviewing the literature is to disprove any relationship between vaccines and asthma, and not as one could only hope, to find out if any relationship exists.

                    Then, the authors write: “Though the committee did not undertake a formal systematic review, the quality of individual articles was judged by the validity of the study design, the method by which the research was conducted, and the transparency of methods.” And this makes sense; if you want to summarise the literature in a way to support a given conclusion (and again, not find out what it actually shows), then you would do a narrative, not a systematic, review, and this is exactly what the authors have done.

                    So what’s the big deal? In a systematic review, you have to predefine your methods, including searching and inclusion criteria. You should actually publish and register this before conducting the review. Doing this makes it way more difficult to exclude studies that do not support your desired outcome.

                    The search and exclusions are carried out by multiple researchers and the way any disagreements will be handled is decided in advance. Using this method, you do not exclude studies based on, for example, validity of study design as they have. You include them and then you can account for methods that introduce bias in different ways, such as rating them using the Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.

                    The method that I am describing, called the Systematic Review, is universally accepted as a design that when executed well greatly reduces bias as compared to a narrative review. For example, the methods of their narrative review are inadequately described in order to ascertain how easily a study that was identified in the search could be tossed out do to “methodological problems.” The bottom line is, with a systematic review performed according to pre-published methods, if different researchers performed the review, the probability that they would come to the same conclusion is extremely high. With a narrative review, you can literally support any conclusion that you like.

                    “I’m nevertheless confident that the vaccine schedule is safe because those people who are experts are essentially unanimous on the subject.” That’s fantastic, I’m sure you sleep very well at night. You seem to have an enviably naïve, albeit unrealistic, view about how often medical consensus changes. Prasad and colleagues (2011) found that 13% of published studies in NEJM in 2009 constituted reversals of current practice while Ioannidis’ well-respected and highly-cited 2005 paper “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” lends more reasonable doubt into the solidity of medical consensus.

                    This is not a criticism of conventional medicine – this is a well-acknowledged reality within the field. Dr David Sackett, frequently attributed as the father of evidence-based medicine, said to his students: “Half of what you’ll learn in medical school will be shown to be either dead wrong or out of date within five years of your graduation; the trouble is that nobody can tell you which half–so the most important thing to learn is how to learn on your own.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC300793/) The certainty that you place in the correctness of “medical consensus” is really not shared by people more familiar with the field than you.

                    “In other words, I’m confident that vaccines are safe for the same reason I’m confident that antibiotics . . . are safe. I’m an expert in none of them, but the people who have studied them have concluded overwhelmingly that they’re safe, and I have no particular reason to believe those conclusions are the result of a giant shadowy conspiracy.”

                    You don’t seem to appreciate, despite a large number of very impressive medical advances, how little we collectively as a species understand about how the human body works. Let’s put conspiracy (and the unfortunate reality that over half of medical research funding comes from the pharmaceutical industry which we’ve already seen significantly effects outcomes) aside. We are just scratching the surface of how our DNA interacts with its environment, how the brain works, how the immune system works, how inflammation affects the brain . . . and on and on and on. Our current conclusions are likely to be changed in the future, not because of conspiracy, but simply because we don’t know everything yet.

                    Your example about the safety of antibiotics is extremely fitting and in some ways analogous to vaccines. Antibiotics are a class of drugs that since their inception in 1941 have saved millions of lives. In some people, they cause life-threating adverse reactions and even death. But these events are sufficiently rare that we generally consider them safe.

                    However, two disturbing trends have begun to emerge. First, over-use of antibiotics (undoubtedly tied to their perception as being “safe” and “effective”) has led to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria (“one of our most serious health threats”, according to the CDC. The second, is a long-term effect of antibiotics that are just beginning to be explored, which is their short and long-term effects on the gut microbiota. Due in part to emerging technologies, we are now able to begin to see the diversity of a healthy microbiome and the long-lasting effects of antibiotics on the microbiome in a way that we couldn’t a few years ago (a small indication of how recent the research into this area is, putting “microbiome” into the search thingy for Pubmed indicates that over 90% of all hits on that search term come within the past decade) http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0009836#pone-0009836-g008.

                    The role of the microbiome is a rapidly emerging area of research, but a new consensus is developing that indicates it’s central to our health and imbalance is connected with all of the most common chronic illnesses in our society (obesity, depression, CVD, etc). So is there a direct cause and effect relationship between antibiotic use and these illnesses? That’s very difficult to prove because we’re talking about complex systems with multiple interactions. But does antibiotic overuse play a significant role? The emerging evidence suggests that it’s likely to be a contributing factor.

                    So are antibiotics safe? Well, 10 – 20 years ago medical consensus would simply say “yes” (and perhaps people who asked the question “how do you know?” were considered to be very bad, dangerous, deluded people who were ignorers of “truth”). Now, the medical consensus is: if you’re not allergic to them, then taking them when you have a life-threatening bacterial infection or if you’re having surgery would be prudent. But the manner in which they are currently prescribed poses long-term health risks to society as a whole and contributes to our collectively worsening health.

                    “‘Please explain to me how using vaccinated controls as a comparator answers the question of the relative safety of vaccinating vs not vaccinating.’
                    If you don’t understand this, you might consider being more humble about your angry denunciations of others and do more reading yourself.”

                    No dude, your answer explains why large scale trials of the current vaccination schedule against unvaccinated controls have not been done. You have not answered my question, which is how the current available research is able to answer the question about the relative safety of being vaccinated vs not being vaccinated. Do you see the difference? For a variety of practical reasons, there are no scientific studies on the long-term effects of the current vaccination schedule as compared to not being vaccinated (not even in the National Academies Report). You seem to be taking an “innocent until proven guilty” approach (quite similar to what was done in the case of the overuse of antibiotics). But in the US, we have a situation of worsening health outcomes, increasing chronic disease and health care costs, increasing childhood illness, increasing atopia and auotimmune illness, and there’s no data that will allow us to ascertain what role, if any, the increasing vaccine schedule is playing in that picture.

                    And just humor me for a second. I’m not trying to introduce doubt for sadistic reasons. The incidence of autoimmune diseases, for example, is increasing rapidly. We know that these have a genetic component and an environmental component. Vaccines, by virtue of what they do, alter the immune system (create an imbalance between the T1 and T2 classes of antibodies, similar to what we see in autoimmune diseases). Autoimmune diseases are multi-factorial and often take years to develop, making simple cause and effect difficult, if not impossible to establish. Because we do not have data on unvaccinated controls, there’s no way to establish what role, if any, vaccines are playing in the rising incidence of these diseases. And yet, the biological plausibility of such an association is high.

                    I am not a lawyer, so I don’t know what school of rhetoric I have just evoked by posing this question. But I still maintain that the situation is much more complicated than closed questions can adequately or reasonably answer. I do not think that vaccines are “guilty until proven innocent” but caution and humility seem appropriate.

                  • 

                    Could you do something more original that pulling out and tired anti-vax JAQing maneuvers?

                    “You have not answered my question, which is how the current available research is able to answer the question about the relative safety of being vaccinated vs not being vaccinated.”

                    Read it yourself: Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence

                    Plus this review of the literature: Vaccines are not associated with autism: An evidence-based meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies

                    (out of links) Also check the publications of the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink Program

                    “The National Academies Press Report”

                    It is still ten years old. Go and read the IOM report Colin linked to, plus the two links I just posted. The Vaccine Safety Datalink Program has several studies on asthma and allergy, read them.

                    “Due in part to emerging technologies, we are now able to begin to see the diversity of a healthy microbiome and the long-lasting effects of antibiotics on the microbiome in a way that we couldn’t a few years ago (a small indication of how recent the research into this area is, putting “microbiome” into the search thingy for Pubmed indicates that over 90% of all hits on that search term come within the past decade)”

                    Plus you have the typical anti-science rhetoric that papers are wrong, research is bad, Pharma paid is bad… and despite the fact that antibiotics are not vaccines (the latter actually reduces the use of the former by preventing bacterial infections), you pull up that paragraph…

                    and yet still reference the ten year old NAP report! (though admitting you have not actually read it)

                    Now just answer these questions with actual evidence like PubMed indexed studies/articles by reputable qualified researchers:

                    What evidence is there that the MMR vaccine has more risk of injury than measles?
                    Did the incidence of autism in the USA rise sharply in the 1970s and 1980 after the 1971 introduction of the MMR vaccine, and even more when it was the preferred vaccine for the 1978 Measles Elimination Program?
                    Since 2006 National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has compensated 1300 claims out of almost two billion vaccine doses. How does one compensated claim per 1.5 million vaccine doses where the level of evidence required is very small show that vaccines carry an unnecessary risk?
                    If you are going to use the “Pharma paid studies bad” argument, then you need to explain how preventing diseases with vaccines is more costly than treating them. So how much would society benefit financially by not vaccinating any child over the next ten years? See the following papers as guidelines (they are available on PubMed, but I wanted to stick to the two URL limit):

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

                    Pediatrics. 2014 Mar 3.
                    Economic Evaluation of the Routine Childhood Immunization Program in the United States, 2009.

                  • 

                    The issue that I initially took with Dr Raff’s blog post is the way she used references to support her conclusions.

                    You did so by illustrating what a real false dichotomy looks like. Dr. Raff didn’t purport to present all the research on vaccines; she presented information accurately representing the conclusions of that research. You presented misleading information in an attempt to make it appear, falsely, that there is an open question as to whether vaccines cause autism or chelation treats it. Once again, a reader of Dr. Raff’s piece would walk away with a true impression of the state of the research. A reader of your piece would walk away with a false impression of the state of the research. And not by accident—you went to great effort to create that false impression.

                    Nor do I think that you can claw your way back to moral high ground by pretending you were only complaining about the references Dr. Raff used. This is a blog post, not a formal research article. She used sources that are accessible to most people and summarized the state of the research. Your specific complaints about those sources are ludicrous; you’re unhappy that she used a Forbes article, but she didn’t claim it was scientific research—she used it to illustrate the rhetoric being used by anti-vaxers such as yourself. The “weather.com” article is very well-referenced and sourced, but rather than addressing those references and sources you attacked the URL. And all of these complaints are just the preamble to your attempt to substitute, for the real information Dr. Raff presented, your terrible anti-vax articles. Your complaints are sophistry.

                    I may be a lay person in the field of vaccine research (as is Dr Raff, to the best of knowledge) but I have post-graduate training in research methods and two research degrees.

                    Your “about me” says you have a Masters in Acupuncture. Are you counting that as a “research degree?” Regardless, you don’t need even one “research degree” to understand that (a) a blog post needn’t cite only paywalled articles most readers can’t access; (b) discussing the state of the research overall can obviously involve news media sources; and (c) your own sources are the worst of the worst.

                    You keep arguing that her use of references to support her statements was valid because you agree with her conclusions.

                    No, I’m arguing that your rebuttal is a hit piece, an attempt to slyly insert debunked anti-vax “research” into the discussion. Her use of references is valid because those references are appropriate to the context and discussion, and are founded—unlike your sophistry—on the scientific consensus.

                    All that having been said, now that I have read a bit more about it, I do have my concerns about the long-term adverse effects of the current vaccine schedule.

                    I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! It was immediately obvious that a professional acupuncturist would be heavily incentivized to prefer woo over the scientific consensus, and that your article was thinly veiled anti-vax rhetoric. After all, you’ve invested a lot of time and money in unscientific medical woo, haven’t you? A master’s degree in acupuncture and a practice devoted to it—accepting that scientists know what they’re talking about implicitly devalues your sunk costs. You have tremendous incentives to reject the scientific consensus, but nothing compels you to do it by deceiving your readers.

                    And who do you think funds and performs the overwhelming majority of pre-licensure vaccine trials?

                    This isn’t a serious concern on your part; if you believed this was relevant, you wouldn’t have relied so heavily on anti-vax research funded by anti-vax advocacy groups. In any event, the detection of fraud is something with which I actually have a great deal of experience. Hundreds of trials don’t get distorted without evidence being created to demonstrate it—and despite the furious efforts of anti-vaxers like yourself to find fault with those studies, they still stand. Part of the reason for that is that even if 80% of studies were funded by vax manufacturers (I believe the number is much less than that, but don’t know for sure), and even if all of those studies were part of some shadowy pro-autism conspiracy, that would still leave a lot of independent trials to check their results.

                    Once again, the proof is in the pudding. And when anti-vaxers try to prove their theories, or disprove the scientific consensus, they come up short. It’s not because of a global conspiracy—it’s because those theories are wrong.

                    What do you think is more lucrative, chelation therapy or vaccines?

                    For any individual practitioner, chelation therapy. No individual researcher gets rich doing vaccine safety trials, so they have small incentives to reach any predefined result. They have a very large incentive to reach the true result, since what makes a scientist respected and gives them status in their field is the quality of their work—which they know will be subjected to peer review and replication. Your article, on the other hand, was by someone who directly makes money off of chelation, and would have a hard time finding more patients if there wasn’t research out there he could point to purporting to show that lots of people without the usual signs of heavy metal poisoning need this expensive and dangerous therapy. Unlike vaccine safety researchers, this person had a direct, personal financial stake in the product. And unlike vaccine safety researchers, his results weren’t replicated by disinterested parties. Why is that? Another conspiracy to suppress chelation? Who’s in on this plot? And why?

                    I’ve taken a skim through this and here are some initial concerns. Looking at the chapter on Allergy and Asthma, a couple of things jump out. First, the authors write in the intro: “it is necessary to have a detailed understanding of the relationship between allergic disease and vaccination, because the effectiveness of the immunization program may be adversely impacted by a perception that vaccination is harmful.” So the authors have stated that the purpose of reviewing the literature is to disprove any relationship between vaccines and asthma, and not as one could only hope, to find out if any relationship exists.

                    The more you defend your sophistry the deeper you dig your hole. This statement is absurd. The authors didn’t state “that the purpose of reviewing the literature is to disprove any relationship between vaccines and asthma.” They wrote that “it is necessary to have a detailed understanding of the relationship between allergic disease and vaccination.” They are concerned about the impact on vaccinations, which they should be given how bloggers like yourself distort and deceive people to scare them about vaccines. But nothing in that statement says that they want to do anything other than “have a detailed understanding of the relationship between allergic disease and vaccination.” Your clumsy substitution, in an attempt to ascribe evil motives to the researchers, is plainly dishonest.

                    Then, the authors write: “Though the committee did not undertake a formal systematic review, the quality of individual articles was judged by the validity of the study design, the method by which the research was conducted, and the transparency of methods.” And this makes sense; if you want to summarise the literature in a way to support a given conclusion (and again, not find out what it actually shows), then you would do a narrative, not a systematic, review, and this is exactly what the authors have done.

                    The quality of the articles was judged by (a) the validity of the study design, (b) the research methodology, and (c) the transparency of those methods. I don’t see a (d) in there, but you’re claiming this they’re filtering for study results as well. It’s easy to say that, but hard to explain why it might be true or how this report supports that conclusion. So you don’t try, you just announce it—more sophistry.

                    You go on a bit about the committee’s “searching and inclusion criteria,” but the points you specified above are neither. They’re the criteria by which they evaluated “the quality of individual articles.” The search criteria are defined elsewhere; it looks like an extremely broad literature search. Did they unfairly exclude or malign high-quality anti-vax research? I don’t think so. You could possibly persuade me by locating such research—I don’t think it’s out there.

                    “I’m nevertheless confident that the vaccine schedule is safe because those people who are experts are essentially unanimous on the subject.” That’s fantastic, I’m sure you sleep very well at night.

                    I do, thank you! One reason is that vaccination rates, despite the best efforts of snake oil salesmen, quacks, and shady bloggers, remain quite high in the United States—over 90%. And the consistent failure of said salesmen, quacks, and bloggers to support their scaremongering with anything but angry rhetoric reassures me that this isn’t likely to change in the foreseeable future. We’re arguing over the last mile, the most intransigent advocates of make-believe medicine.

                    You seem to have an enviably naïve, albeit unrealistic, view about how often medical consensus changes.

                    “Albeit” doesn’t mean what you think it means. I expect the medical consensus changes quite often! It was (barely) within living memory that doctors helped advertise cigarettes as good for the lungs. Do you know what changed that consensus? Data. Do you know what anti-vaxers have tried and failed to find to support their ideology? Data.

                    It’s called the Galileo fallacy: they laughed at Galileo, but he was right. That doesn’t mean that being laughed at makes you right—you still have to be right. The anti-vax community has labored in vain for many years precisely because their beliefs aren’t correct. Consequently anti-vaxers like yourself fall back on rhetoric and scaremongering; you can’t point to serious research supporting your conclusions, so you slyly imply that the terrible research is just as good as the scientific consensus.

                    You don’t seem to appreciate, despite a large number of very impressive medical advances, how little we collectively as a species understand about how the human body works.

                    Is it Qi? That’s a big idea in acupuncture, right? Please enlighten us. What knowledge “about how the human body works” guides you in needle placement? Energy meridians? Psychic forces?

                    Yes, “we collectively as a species understand” fairly little about how the human body works. But some members of our species—like the M.D./Ph.D.s who study the immune system—understand it much better than others—like acupuncturists.

                    Your example about the safety of antibiotics is extremely fitting and in some ways analogous to vaccines.

                    Yes. Both are well-studied and quite safe. What issues there are with these medicines are studied by doctors and scientists; the unscientific detractors such as anti-vaxers and deniers of the germ theory of disease are hooting and hollering from the sidelines, but the real work is being done by qualified professionals.

                    You have not answered my question, which is how the current available research is able to answer the question about the relative safety of being vaccinated vs not being vaccinated.

                    Through the use of neutral placebos where possible and population studies where not. My answer may be incomplete; neither of us is an expert in these studies, immunology, or epidemiology. Of course, the people who are experts in those fields overwhelmingly conclude that the data refute your scaremongering. Even Dr. Sears, who has tremendous incentives to attack the safety of the schedule and the deep pockets to do the research, had to admit he had no evidence-based basis for challenging that consensus. Consequently you had to dive deep into very poor research to find anything to support your position. You’ve stopped trying to defend those articles; why is that?

                    And just humor me for a second. I’m not trying to introduce doubt for sadistic reasons.

                    I agree. I think you are trying to introduce doubt to generate pagehits, and because you have tremendous personal incentives to believe that the scientific consensus (which doubts the efficacy of acupuncture) is inferior to magical medicine (in which you have a graduate degree). I don’t think for a second that you want to hurt people, or believe that your scaremongering is doing so. But I think that’s because you are disinterested in seriously analyzing the evidence, especially where doing so would implicitly devalue the time and effort you’ve sunk into unscientific “medicine.”

                    I am not a lawyer, so I don’t know what school of rhetoric I have just evoked by posing this question.

                    I’m no logician, but I’d call it an association fallacy. “Vaccines affect the immune system” does not logically support the conclusion that it’s biologically plausible that vaccines are to blame for an increase in autoimmune disorders. Nor is that a well-evidenced argument; it’s been analyzed and rejected on the merits.

                    But I still maintain that the situation is much more complicated than closed questions can adequately or reasonably answer. I do not think that vaccines are “guilty until proven innocent” but caution and humility seem appropriate.

                    Yes, you’re “just asking questions.” But they aren’t serious questions about whether vaccines are safe; they’re closed, misleading questions that are intended to create the false impression that your terrible vaccine research—so bad that you’ve stopped even trying to defend it—is somehow as meaningful as the vast body of scientific research concluding that vaccines are safe and effective. Let me return to the ultimate conclusion here: a reader of Dr. Raff’s piece would walk away with a true impression of the state of the research. A reader of your piece would walk away with a false impression of the state of the research. And not by accident—you went to great effort to create that false impression.

                  • 

                    Whoops, misread your comment–”albeit” does indeed mean what you think it does.

                  • 

                    “Supported by Merck Research Laboratories. S.B. and K.R. have received research support from and are consultants for Merck and Co., Inc. S.B. and K.R. have also received research grants from GlaxoSmithKline. M.G. has received research support from Merck and Co. Inc., GenProbe, GlaxoSmithKline, MediSpectra, MGI Pharma, sanofi aventis, 3M, ARIAD, Precision Therapeutics, and Tigris Pharmaceuticals, and honoraria from Merck and Co. Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, MGI Pharma, and Monogen.”

                    So now you are flinging about because the FDA requires the drug companies to finance the studies of their drugs? The placebo trials are done by the companies in order to get approval and for post licensure surveillance. The citation on PubMed is:
                    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2010 Feb;29(2):95-101. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3181b77906.
                    Clinical trial and post-licensure safety profile of a prophylactic human papillomavirus (types 6, 11, 16, and 18) l1 virus-like particle vaccine.

                    The information for the lead author says:
                    1Kentucky Pediatric/Adult Research, Inc., Bardstown, KY 40004, USA.

                    It is not like it is hidden.

                    Then search for other more recent HPV safety reviews we find:
                    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Jul 25;63(29):620-4.
                    Human papillomavirus vaccination coverage among adolescents, 2007-2013, and postlicensure vaccine safety monitoring, 2006-2014 – United States.

                    The authors are all with the CDC. Not exactly Big Pharma.

                    As to my question on the issue you and others have giving money to pharmaceutical companies to prevent diseases, on how much would we save by not vaccinating children for the next ten years, which with four million births each year in the USA that would have lots of vulnerable kids. There has already been natural experiments of that happening elsewhere:

                    Diphtheria in the former Soviet Union: reemergence of a pandemic disease.

                    The result being:

                    Although all of the Newly Independent States were affected, three quarters of the more than 140,000 cases (Table 1) and two thirds of the more than 4,000 deaths reported since 1990 (1-3) were reported by the Russian Federation.

                    Measles vaccine coverage and factors related to uncompleted vaccination among 18-month-old and 36-month-old children in Kyoto, Japan

                    The result was:

                    In Japan, measles vaccine coverage has remained low, and either small or moderate outbreaks have occurred repeatedly in communities. According to an infectious disease surveillance (2000), total measles cases were estimated to be from 180,000 to 210,000, and total deaths were estimated to be 88 [11,12]. Measles cases are most frequently observed among non-immunized children, particularly between 12 to 24 months.

                    So again, the question is about relative risks and real costs. So instead of “just asking questions” answer mine about the actual risks and costs. Because as a parent who had had a child get hospital care for a now vaccine preventable disease, I really want to know why it would be so cost effective to just treat measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, pertussis, HIb, rotavirus, influenza, cervical cancer, liver cancer, pneumonia, etc instead of preventing them.

                • 

                  “Take safety – people are asking are vaccines safe? (And Dr Raff answers this with a simple “yes, they are, look at this single study”). Answering this type of closed question with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is simply not supported anywhere in the research literature or in reality. Vaccines can and do cause serious adverse events. So does infection by vaccine-preventable illness.”

                  No, the question is the relative risk. Which is why I asked you to provide the scientific documentation about the MMR versus measles, and about its affect on autism rates in the USA during the 1970s and 1980s.

                  “There are many ways to measure safety and there are enough reasonable concerns that have been raised – according to the Department of Health, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out $2.7 billion in compensation for vaccine injuries …(mistyped link removed).. and the National Academies report raises reasonable concerns”

                  Really? Have you looked at those numbers, especially the table on that page under the title Filed Calendar Year 2006 to Present? If you go to the bottom of the page you find that total number of vaccine doses given since 2006 is 1,968,399,297, and the number of compensated claims is a mere 1300. That is a ratio of over 1,500,000 to one. That is 1.5 million to one. How does that raise a reasonable concern? Sure you can claim big numbers, but you have to read them in context.

                  (By the way, the National Academy report on immunization is now ten years old. The studies that they recommended have been done. See link I included in the penultimate paragraph, it has much of the studies done since then)

                  “As such, asking questions that acknowledge the complexity of the issues around vaccines is a reasonable thing to do. Claiming that the scientific literature supports a simple “yes” or “no” answer to the question “Are vaccines safe?” is completely irresponsible.”

                  The questions have been asked, and answered. Multiple times. And the relative risk of getting vaccine is much much lower (over a million times lower) than getting the actual disease. Many of those answers are in this list: Vaccine Safety: Examine the Evidence.

                  Go through that list, and see what they conclude. If you disagree with any of those papers then bring up those concerns and discuss them. Do not continue on this “just asking questions” crusade. If you have evidence that any vaccine on the American pediatric schedule causes more harm than the disease then just post the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers to support your claim.

  1. 

    what a bunch of lies and disinformation. My child almost died after getting shot up and spent the following first year of her life scratching the skin off her flesh. People like the author of this text have no consciousness and likely work for the Pharma-cartell making billions of the shots and even more precious billions for the chronic diseases that need lifelong treatment. Only a sick person is good business, this insane system doesnt profit from health so keeping everyone sick is best suited for the Anglo-American dream of swimming in beautiful green precious paper. If that means injecting kids with a cocktail of formaldehyde,aluminum and formaldehyde(...) that in some cases kills them, then so be it, no problem either legally or morally. Its not like anyone is going to be prosecuted either, once a corporation reaches the billion profit mark it is excused from the law and can poison us or earth as they please. What are the victims going to do? Go to court and face a team of lawyers for the next 20years or until they bankrupt.
    To difference right from wrong seems to be a major issue in modern civilization. Low-lives like the author of the above who
    s name is very likely not Jenifer and maybe not even a female deliberately spread these reports. Sounds like the lies of a sad, barely human creature sitting in an office located in a Big Pharma-Building has put this rubbish to paper, making sure revenue won`t drop and surely to give his masters ass a good licking, the proper way to get to the top and sack the most precious paper.
    You are scum and I hope you get what you deserve. I hope the dead babies you killed eat your flesh in hell for all eternity.

    • 

      Odee–

      I am sorry that your child was sick, and I hope that she is feeling better now. I understand that I won’t be able to change your mind on this issue, or convince you that I genuinely care about alleviating suffering in children.

      The reason that I insist on a scientific, not anecdotal, approach to the question of whether or not vaccines are safe and effective at preventing diseases, is that it’s very easy to see a relationship between two events (a child got a shot, a child got sick) even if something else may be the cause. Did the child get exposed to another illness at the same time as the shot? Did the child have a genetic condition that predisposed him or her to the condition? We humans are very good at seeing patterns, but sometimes that ability fools us. You can’t tell whether something caused something else from just one incident. It’s only when we look at thousands and thousands of cases that we’re able to eliminate different variables that might be complicating the story, and effectively figure out an answer to these questions. But because we’re talking about children, it’s a very emotionally fraught situation, and it’s quite natural to fixate on one thing as the cause–even if that thing is not actually the cause at all. Being upset is very understandable, but the problem is that we can’t move forward very effectively on finding the true cause of certain issues (I’m thinking specifically of autism here) when we have to keep revisiting factors that have already been shown (through research on millions of cases at this point) to not be the cause.

      I don’t know the specifics of your child’s illness, but I hope that you were able to find a good physician to discuss your concerns and to get treatment for her.

      You are free to call me names and wish me to suffer as much as you want. I hope that it makes you feel better, because it sounds like you and your family have gone through a lot of stress. I am sorry for all that you’ve had to experience. But you should know that you’re wrong about your assumptions of me. I really am a female, and my name really is Jennifer. I’ve posted my CV on this site so you can see for yourself what my background is, and who I work for. I don’t work for a pharmaceutical company. And I probably make less money than you do.

      I understand that you’re angry with me, but I’m not some cartoon villain in cahoots with evil companies to kill babies for profit. If you knew me as a person, not just a blog post, you might better understand my good intentions.

    • 

      Wow. I think you need to really calm down and take a less aggressive approach vs the troll approach. I doubt you have any scientific backing, evidence or proof for any of your rant so no one will take it seriously. You make it easy to be pro-vaccination.

      You also might want to work on your grammar and sentence structure to articulate your points and keep personal insults out of this.

    • 

      “What are the victims going to do? Go to court and face a team of lawyers for the next 20years or until they bankrupt.”

      The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program pays for the claimants’ lawyers, and often the expert witnesses. The information on NVICP is included on the vaccine information sheets that federal law requires be provided each time one is administered:
      http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/index.html

      Unfortunately there is no such program for those of us whose children have been harmed by an actual disease before its vaccine was available. Our oldest child had seizures from a now vaccine preventable disease, plus he has a severe genetic heart condition. We know all about ambulances, hospitals, years of speech/language therapy (most not covered by insurance) and special ed. systems. This is why I prefer information comparing the relative risks between vaccines and the diseases, because the diseases are not always “mild.”

  2. 

    I found this good resource to contextualize the debate an interactive global map of vaccine preventable outbreaks of measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and whooping cough from 2008-2014.

    http://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/#map

    btw, is it under-reporting that NSW, Australia would have the highest rate of whooping cough globally at 13,046? Shocking statistic.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Queridos padres: os están mintiendo con las vacunas | La Búsqueda - April 27, 2014

    […] post apareció por primera vez en el blog personal de la autora. Haz click aquí si quieres participar en el debate en torno a esta […]

  2. Драги родители,некој ве лаже … (негирање на статијата на Џенифер Раф поради неиздржаните про-вакцинирачки тврдења) | Здравје на игла НЕ в - April 28, 2014

    […] статијата насловена како “Драги родители, некој ве лаже“, Џенифер Раф ги прикажува сите аргументи поврзани […]

  3. Драги родители,некој ве лаже … (негирање на статијата на Jennifer Raff поради неиздржаните про-вакцинирачки тврдења) | Здравје на игла НЕ влегу - April 28, 2014

    […] статијата насловена како “Драги родители, некој ве лаже“, Џенифер Раф ги прикажува сите аргументи поврзани […]

  4. Драги родители,сеуште ве лажат … (негирање на статијата на Jennifer Raff поради неиздржаните про-вакцинирачки тврдења) | Здравје на игла НЕ вле - April 28, 2014

    […] статијата насловена како “Драги родители, некој ве лаже“, Џенифер Раф ги прикажува сите аргументи поврзани […]

  5. Autism And Vaccines | My Mamihood - April 30, 2014

    […] not self-appointed experts) have amassed a mountain-sized pile of No, in terms of No evidence linking vaccines to autism. Most experts cite these three main […]

  6. Drahí rodičia, klamú vás. | Očkujeme svoje deti - May 4, 2014

    […] verzia tohto článku bola zverejnená na blogu Jennifer Raff 25. marca […]

  7. “Why Are They Lying?” | The PediaBlog - May 8, 2014

    […] diseases, and the lack of accountability of anti-vaccine advocates.  In a passionate open letter, she writes on her […]

  8. Quora - May 21, 2014

    Do babies need to be vaccinated? I would rather not have to do that.

    Here’s a good post about how anti-vaccine propaganda is made up of lies meant to frighten parents: http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/03/25/parents-you-are-being-lied-to/

  9. Dear parents, you are being lied to. | Möbius and Klein - June 1, 2014

    […] Read the whole post. […]

  10. Brain Post: Not Vaccinating Kids is NOT SMART | by Dr. Jennifer Raff | SnowBrains.com - June 1, 2014

    […] note:  This article was written by Dr. Jennifer Raff on her blog Violent Metaphors.  This article is being reposted here with Dr. Raff’s permission.  This article has about 3 […]

  11. Dear parents, you are being lied to. « Violent metaphors | arthur battram| - June 2, 2014

    […] http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/03/25/parents-you-are-being-lied-to/ […]

  12. The Last Stand On The Vaccination Debate | escaped convictions - June 3, 2014

    […] parents over the years. Stay-at-home vs working moms. Breast or bottle. Public or home school. To V or not to V, ‘vaccination’ is the new battle […]

  13. Impfmythen: Liebe Eltern, Sie werden angelogen | Nachrichten Heute Deutschland - June 4, 2014

    […] impfen? Unsinn, schreibt die amerikanische Biologin und Anthropologin Jennifer Raff. In ihrem Blog Violent Metaphors räumt sie mit den verbreitetesten Impfmythen […]

  14. Cari genitori, vi stanno mentendo - June 4, 2014

    […] della dottoressa Jennifer Raff, pubblicato originariamente su Violent metaphors. Si ringrazia Neil Perri di Bufale un tanto al chilo per la […]

  15. Cari genitori, vi stanno mentendo - June 4, 2014

    […] della dottoressa Jennifer Raff, pubblicato originariamente su Violent metaphors. Si ringrazia Neil Perri di Bufale un tanto al chilo per la […]

  16. Lüge? Wahrheit? Was denn nun? | Gemüsebaby - June 4, 2014

    […] gestern noch nicht den Artikel „Dear parents, you’re being lied to“ zum Thema Impfen gelesen hat, ist wohl spätestens heute dank der Übersetzung vom Stern nicht […]

  17. VAX | - June 9, 2014

    […] the other day, not that long ago really, and I saw that one of my closest friends had posted this article. It wasn’t really a suprise to me, I know he is passionate about vaccination. While we were […]

  18. Pro Vaccine article | Coastside Mothers' Club Blog - June 9, 2014

    […] http://violentmetaphors.com/2014/03/25/parents-you-are-being-lied-to/ […]

  19. Mama Reads Monday - June 16, 2014

    […] Dear Parent’s You are Being Lied To…: 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…Educate yourself. But while they mean “Read all these websites that support our position”… […]

  20. Paul J Janson MD PSC - June 16, 2014

    […] From: Dr. Jennifer Raff […]

  21. Anti-Vaxxers Say "You Vaccinate, So We Don't Have To!" | The Thinking Moms' Revolution - June 18, 2014

    […] – someone with a lot more in the way of resources than we have.  The post is entitled “Dear Parents You Are Being Lied To” and was written by Jennifer Raff, who blogs at the site Violent Metaphors. As I’m sure many of […]

  22. All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others | alex vs science - June 19, 2014

    […] about literally nothing. I really need to get better at this, and pay more attention to people that are good at this […]

  23. Thank you, translators ! « Violent metaphors - June 21, 2014

    […] take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to the people who have translated my article (“Dear parents, you are being lied to”) into many different languages (including German, Spanish, Italian, Slovakian, Portuguese, and […]

  24. ::: Why We Have Opted Out for Sienna ::: | Shelli & Sean - June 27, 2014

    […] so I’m aware of the pros as well as the cons in this argument. In fact, I enjoyed reading this one by Jennifer Raff because she writes in little snippets of information and I really like her […]

  25. 10 Reasons Why Parents Won’t Vaccinate | vaccinelinks - July 25, 2014

    […] who don’t vaccinate are uneducated. Ignorant. They are being lied to. They are looking at the wrongs sources for […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s