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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do vaccines work?

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


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

Do vaccines cause autism?

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

Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism

Vaccine Safety studies (a bunch of studies, with notes about what they mean):

Concerns about vaccine safety (this is really great, and written in layman’s language)

How do we know that scientists and doctors are right?

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

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

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

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

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

But what about Andrew Wakefield’s research?

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

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

What are the consequences of not vaccinating your children?

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

Harm to your child:

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

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

Image from
Many of us (myself included) don’t remember polio epidemics. This was the treatment. Image from

What happens in the absence of our vaccination program? Read about it here:

Harm to other children:

“Unvaccinated children are concentrated in particular states, increasing the risk of transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases to other unvaccinated children, undervaccinated children and fully vaccinated children.”

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

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

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

This is indeed the case. Here are two examples:

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

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

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

Final thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

2,204 thoughts on “The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google

  1. patblackard August 21, 2013 / 12:16 am

    The infant who would have become my Texan uncle, and the toddler who would have become my Irish aunt, both died of whooping cough. My mother witnessed the latter death, in a small cottage in Galway. She remembered her little sister’s last breath for the rest of her life. She tried to stop them from putting the little white coffin in the ground.

    No one in my family has considered not vaccinating our children.

    We boomers grew up in a new age of rapidly growing medical science. We always assumed that we would grow up and live long healthy lives, and most of us have. We couldn’t understand our parents’ fears about our minor medical problems. Most of us are still unaware of the horror of childhood deaths so common just a few years before we were born. So I can understand when boomers and later generations assume that their kids (and their neighbors’ infants) will be OK without these miraculous child-saving vaccinations. But I cannot forgive their stubborn ignorance.

    • therealadrinux August 21, 2013 / 9:55 am

      True. To some extent I think the anti-vaccine movement has been coasting on previous generations. Previous to the last 15 years or so everyone was either a survivor or vaccinated.

      Years of under vaccination are now taking effect. It’s sad it takes people getting hospitalised or dying before that gets redressed, the outbreak of measles in Swansea, Wales last winter should be a wake up call to everyone that has unvaccinated children. Out of 1219 cases there were 88 hospitalisations and one death (an adult).

      The one silver lining here is that vaccination rates in Swansea have now recovered, albeit at extra cost to our NHS.

  2. Thinking Mom August 21, 2013 / 7:36 am

    I appreciate the spirit and humor of your post. I choose an alternative schedule for both my children. A large part of the debate on vaccines has nothing to do with autism. It may have began it but it isn’t really the issue. When women begin pregnancy care, educated woman begin to find out about the medicalization of birth. Unnecessary interventions, scheduled c-sections and the difference in insurance compensation for different types of births. It becomes apparent in pregnancy that there are different motivating factors in some practices of medicine including profit. Add that to any distrust of big pharma (which can hardly be called misplaced) and it seems natural and right to believe that vaccination might be a scam. Additionally you have historic items like ” Hey stop breastfeeding and use FORMULA” followed by “oops, yeah we just said that to make money” For me (I have a master’s degree and read voraciously) I read everything on Vax. I didn’t think it caused autism, I did think I was placing a lot of trust in lots of other people when I vaccinated. Yes it’s only a tiny percentage that have reactions but it sucks to be that .0001 percent. Additionally they require so many early shots to protect kids, but also because children are most likely to be seen by their doctor in the first 2 years so they have a higher chance of getting them all. My children are fully vaccinated by age 4, but most of it happens beyond the 2 year mark. We just wanted to know our children better, know their reactions, have them be stronger so that if something did happen (and reactions can happen to any medication) we would be better able to determine that it was the vaccine that caused it or not. When a tiny baby gets a rash and screams for hours it’s hard to say if they are being an infant, or if something serious is going on.

    • Cindy August 21, 2013 / 8:58 am

      Well stated! Common sense has been displayed with your comment, unlike this post…..

      • Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 1:03 pm

        You are ignorant and you keep your thoughts to yourself.

        • Jennifer Raff August 21, 2013 / 1:05 pm

          I don’t think that either of you are contributing very much to this discussion with these statements. How about instead of name calling, bringing up some specific issues?

      • Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 1:09 pm

        part of the reason for scheduling is due to the age at which children usually contract the life threatening disease. The fact that your children didn’t get sick before they got vaccinated was probably because there is no epidemic (due to vaccines). You were lucky. In your mind, no harm done by pushing off the vaccine, but in a world of fewer vaccinated children or no vaccines, you put your children at risk far more than you realize.

    • Lora August 21, 2013 / 2:25 pm

      I also used an alternate schedule. (Dr. Sears) It didn’t delay my kids vaccinations much at all…. Just split them up so that if there was a reaction it would be easier to figure out what it was, instead of trying to figure out which of the four vaccines that visit caused it. I have 4 kids… All had NO problem with the vaccines. Also, it is disturbing when your newborn is inadvertently exposed to measles from cousins who don’t vaccinate!

    • Erwin Alber August 21, 2013 / 8:40 pm

      “Belief in immmuization is a form of delusional insanity.”
      Dr Herbert Shelton, USA

      “The entire vaccine program is based on massive fraud.”
      Dr Russell Blaylock MD, USA

      “I was shocked to find that this entire vaccine business was indeed a gigantic Hoax.”
      Dr A Kalokerions MD, Australia

      “Vaccination is the biggest crime against humanity.”
      Dr G Lanctot MD, Canada

      As far as I am concerned, vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention by means of junk science.

      If we lived in a sane society, the people who make and push these poisons would be jailed and their entire racket would be shut down.

      Unfortunately most parents allow themselves to be sucked in by the propaganda and – not knowing any better – then allow their babies and children to be brutalised, traumatised, tormented and poisoned for profit by these maniacs, idiots and criminals.

      Vaccines need to be banned as a matter of urgency to prevent generations of children being destroyed – according to plan.

      • schfrench August 22, 2013 / 8:28 am

        For every doctor you’ve listed here, there are thousands that support vaccination. That’s the point of scientific consensus – we don’t just listen to one or two people and choose to believe them in a vacuum. We listen to the majority of doctors, after they’ve peer reviewed their findings and tested every counter argument they can think of.

      • Anonymous August 22, 2013 / 1:06 pm

        If they destroyed the children, who would they make their money from? Even from a purely economic standpoint, your thoughts are off. Anti-vaccine is hugely into trend-setting and not scientific at all when compared to the scientific consensus of vaccinating.

      • Anonymous August 22, 2013 / 5:52 pm

        Well said doctors!

      • Jason hoagland August 22, 2013 / 6:57 pm

        What do you think and how do you feel when an unvaccinated child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease? When a six-month-old without pertussis vaccination contracts Bordatella pertussis and dies from its complications, how do you view that death?

        • plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 7:28 am

          Vaccination doesn’t prevent pertussis, perhaps you should learn how vaccines work before you start baseless fearmongering.

      • Anonymous August 23, 2013 / 8:21 pm

        You are definitely psychotic! You think a tetanus shot is junk science? Or that a baby fighting to breathe or dying from pertussis is because of a “sane society”? Clearly you’ve never seen someone suffering from any of these ailments, and how many mothers who lost their infants due to whooping cough would give the world to go back and be vaccinated?… Do the world a favor and take your unvaccinated dumb ass to a third world country!

      • Anonymous August 23, 2013 / 8:59 pm

        Go to med school and find out for yourself that you are wrong!

        • plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 7:40 am

          You mean the place where pharmaceutical companies spend millions every year influencing curriculum and syllabus? Great suggestion. Clearly based on your pertussis fear-mongering comments you haven’t actually learned how the pertussis vaccination works.

      • KidDoc August 24, 2013 / 9:41 pm

        I think this is awful. I’m a pediatrician. I spend time in the NICU and PICU. If you don’t take the time to read the real impartial science behind this, then you are lost. It’s not worth arguing with you. It’s just a shame if you manage to convince parents not to immunize their children. Spend some time in the intensive care and see some of the diseases that could have been prevented. I think the perspective might help. On second thought, maybe you should watch a video from home lest you get patients or staff sick.

      • Joseph Hertzlinger August 25, 2013 / 3:13 am

        Depopulation agenda? I thought that was a matter of banning GMOs to starve the Third World. I thought a refusal to invest in public health was due to the depopulation agenda.

      • William Kaiser August 25, 2013 / 7:58 am

        Then keep your kids far away from mine.

        • plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 7:44 am

          Yes, please keep your kids at home William, obviously you have no faith in the protective power of vaccines. Please lobby for guards to be placed on all buses, airports, malls, shops, playgrounds, heck why not one on every street in America making sure only those who are fully vaccinated (that would include the useless influenza vaccine right) are allowed out in public, maybe we can make some exceptions like perhaps only allow people out who aren’t fully up-to-date on their vaccines if they wear a big symbol indicating as much, you know, like the Jews in Nazi Germany perhaps, would that sit well with you?

      • Idge August 25, 2013 / 6:45 pm

        Though I can appreciate that there are many people with fancy letters after their names who are against vaccination, there are 1000x more physicians who are wholly for vaccination. Some of the people you quote here have actually had their medical license taken away from them for their stances because there have been no validated (peer reviewed) studies to support their claims.

        There will always be people to quote who will end up being on the wrong side of history.

      • Kelly M. Bray August 28, 2013 / 10:38 pm

        Seeing Erwin on this thread is the height of irony. He has no education, only a stable of quotes from doctors who went to prison for manslaughter from malpractice and other fringe know nothings. Hey Erwin it must be nice to be able to post your stuff since you delete comments and ban anyone who disagrees with you.

    • You are not thinking August 21, 2013 / 9:17 pm

      You are unwilling to watch your children get a rash from the immunization but feel confident in stating, when at the ICU bedside of your child dying from pertussis or measles or meningitis, that you made the right decision about delaying immunizations? The majority of morbidity and mortalility happens in infants, elderly and the immunocompromised. Your “masters” degree means nothing here.

    • Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 10:24 pm

      that’s the answer…give it to them later than early infancy and /or divide the dosage into more shots….less potent….

    • Anonymous August 22, 2013 / 9:05 pm

      Great comment…we think alike.

    • Anonymous August 25, 2013 / 2:21 am

      It’s all I could say!!! Great answer!

    • just saying August 27, 2013 / 4:18 pm

      –Yes it’s only a tiny percentage that have reactions but it sucks to be that .0001 percent.

      If your unvaccinated child comes down with the measles or chickenpox, there’s a pretty good chance she’ll come through okay (hey, I did). However, there is a significant chance, way larger than .0001 percent, that there’ll be complications.

      • Kelly M. Bray August 28, 2013 / 4:28 pm

        1 to 2 in a 1000 die from Measles even in the US.

  3. Dan August 21, 2013 / 8:22 am

    I am one person who should be totally anti-vaccine, but I am not. You see, I had a near death experience with the DTP vaccine when I was a child. I was one of those people who had a severe reaction to the vaccine, called pertussis vaccine encephalopathy. This was a cause for concern in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and the whole reason behind non-fault insurance protection for vaccine manufacturers.

    The potential for this type of reaction is about 1 in 310,000, however the risk of dying from pertussis is much higher therefore there is a great benefit to the vaccine even though there is a risk. Since then, and even as an adult, I have never had more than one dose of DTaP. I have had the diphtheria and tetanus components of the vaccine separately.

    You would think after an experience like that I would stay away from any vaccine? Absolutely not. In anything there are inherent risks and rewards. Just think though what is worse, being that one in the million person who could have a severe allergy to a vaccine or, the more likely outcome, dying from a terrible disease?

    There is a second point to this. The only way that I can avoid contracting pertussis is to rely on the herd immunity of the rest of society. Pertussis has never really gone away, it’s still floating out there but because the majority of society has been vaccinated we rarely see it’s effects. Once this herd immunity starts to disappear, it becomes a huge concern for someone like me.

    When you boil it down, it appears that people are more concerned that their kid is safe rather than the rest of society. There are other people that you affect by your decision, no matter how you look at it society functions as a collective group. Your decision, because you’re worried about the possibility of a statistically insignificant event occurring, affects the people who are those statistically anomalies and who’s health is most at risk.

    Trying to argue with a believer, no matter what subject, is like trying to build a bookcase out of mashed potatoes, it just doens’t work. But please, seriously consider the impacts your decision to not vaccinate your child has on others in the world. Remember that for most of the diseases that vaccines are available, there is no treatment after infection. Vaccines are only defence that we have against them. Thank you for your time.

    • Jennifer Raff August 21, 2013 / 9:08 am

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Dan.

      • Maia Paula Liddle August 21, 2013 / 10:34 am

        I have to agree with Jennifer on most vaccines even though I have two children and myself that all react vaccine carriers. The only vaccines I think are pointless are influenza vaccines because the virus’s mutate in reaction to the vaccine. Vaccine carriers are honestly getting safer every year. I think that the biggest disconnect most americans of education are having, has to do with the huge debates going on over out food supplies and the use of hormones and antibiotics in them… If we can’t trust the government to do the right thing about growth hormones and antibiotic’s in our food supplies how can we trust our vaccines? I would like to point out that the Center for Disease Control is an international organization and it is peer reviewed by more than just the American government. Most vaccination strains are held by the CDC and approved by them and carrier rules are stringently followed and inspected by any vaccine producers. I think it would be helpful if you had reminded people that vaccines are a separate issue from food supply

        Thanks Maia Liddle

      • p51d78th August 21, 2013 / 6:38 pm

        @Maia While the CDC maybe Peer Reviewed by other Nations. It is a Federal Agency under the Department of Health and Human Services.

      • Kevin August 26, 2013 / 7:27 pm

        @p51d78th Because massive world wide conspiracy make so much more sense. The US is not the only country to use vaccines. They are used around the world by literally hundreds of countries and have been reviewed by there various health departments.

        If only the US used them than you might be able to swing some conspiratorial point (maybe). However, once you add in every other nation. Including my own your point moves from conspiracy to massive world wide conspiracy. The kind that is only told in comic books.

    • Peter August 21, 2013 / 4:58 pm

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, my friend.

      I was uneasy as I read the part where you state that people care more about their own child over the rest of society. While that may be true in most cases, that argument is now the reason why people choose not to vaccinate children. There is clear compelling evidence stating that given the choice of vaccine vs no vaccine, the safest choice for your child is vaccine. 1:300,000 chance of developing a severe reaction is still nowhere near the risks of catching preventable disease. The safer choice is vaccination. The reason people choose to not vaccinate children I fear is more due to ignorance, misleading media, mistrust (hard to argue that this mistrust is unwarranted, big pharm gives us many reasons to doubt it), fear, etc… NOT because anyone should believe that his or her child is safer without a vaccine.

      • Jason August 22, 2013 / 12:30 am

        Curious, do you have similar morbidity data graphs? Might there be a stronger correlation between the reduction in number of cases of a disease that corresponds with introduction of its vaccination? As you pointed out, the reduction in mortality from all causes of disease went down–using scarlet fever as an example. Mortality data might reflect improved care for those afflicted while morbidity data might be a more accurate representation of the impact of the vaccine. Would love to see what you have.

      • Whitney August 22, 2013 / 2:43 am

        They helped me. I was born with pneumonia in both lungs. As an infant I received the whooping cough vaccine. I already was super susceptible to respiratory illness when a whooping cough epidemic broke out in my preschool. I had the vaccine the year before, so I was the only child that did not get the disease. It I had gotten it, it could have killed me because of the state of my respiratory health at the time.

      • Timothy O'Donnell August 23, 2013 / 9:56 am

        Really? Apparently in the alternate universe you live in, smallpox is still killing millions every year, as well as diphtheria and tetanus. Interesting. The iron lung and leg brace industry for polio victims must be booming there as well.

      • Anonymous August 25, 2013 / 8:42 am

        I just retired after 38 years of providing care as a pediatrician to thousands of children. In my first 10 years I treated well over 150 children with various forms of meningitis. Most prevalent being H-flu. Since the H flu vaccine came on the market I saw one case over the next 28 years. A fluke of statistical probability? I doubt that! It was so much better not doing spinal taps, blood work, etc. for diagnostic purposes. Not seeing kids die, or become deaf, or blind or disabled. I never saw any reaction beyond fever for any of the vaccines given over those 38 years. That, however, could be a statistical possibility.
        If you do not believe that diseases are prevented by vaccinations then you need to look back to the statistics of the prevaccine era. The thousands of deaths every year from diseases that no longer occur.
        Or look what happened in Great Brittain and Sweden during the years that their vaccine percentages went down be cause of unfounded fears about vaccine side effects.
        Yes there are potential side effects from vaccines. But preventable diseases are on the rise as numbers of children completing their vaccine series decreases. Put into perspective 1:300,000 occurrences calculates to hundreds of cases reported every year. Yes, some do include death, though very rarely. On the other hand, we still experience about 50,000 highway deaths each year in the US alone. I would bet that you have never considered not driving because of the high risk of death to you and your family. My advice: get you children vaccinated and stop driving.

        • plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 7:50 am

          “If you do not believe that diseases are prevented by vaccinations then you need to look back to the statistics of the prevaccine era. The thousands of deaths every year from diseases that no longer occur.”

          Sorry doc, we did go back and look at the statistics of the prevaccine era and in almost every case of disease, including those we eventually vaccinated against AND those we didn’t, mortality rate was in decline long before vaccination began. Your statement is a logical fallacy.

          My advice: plot the mortality rates of all the diseases from 100 years before vaccination began (in each case) to present, see how many diseases were not seeing huge drops in mortality until vaccination began, the answer is likely one – polio – and we know the role pesticides like DDT played in that one. Stop giving advice with gaping holes in logic.

      • Kevin August 26, 2013 / 7:40 pm

        @plasmarules and Erwin.

        If you are going to complain that Vaccines cause side effects than you cannot forget that the Viruses they work against do the same.

        Mortality isn’t the only problem with viruses.

        Medical technology may have decrease the rate of death but it has not decreased the rate of infection nor has it reduced the neurological, damage or sterility that many of the viruses cause. This doesn’t even mention the often long lasting painful affects as the virus goes through it’s phases. These effects pale in comparison to any side effect or negative aspect of the vaccines that we currently use.

        For people who have spent so much time researching the topic I find it shocking that this thought has never occurred to you.

        Are you out to reduce world population by increasing the rate of sterility?
        Maybe you are in the pockets of drug companies since you’d rather a much wider portion of the population spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting a virus that they would have never had.

      • Kelly M. Bray August 28, 2013 / 11:04 pm

        Erwin and Plasma do not understand the difference between mortality figures and morbidity figures. They also do not see any gray area between death and life such the severe disabling effects of diseases such as brain damage, pneumonia, blindness, hearing loss, gangrene, sterility, etc. The numbers clearly show a sudden drop in morbidity and associated sequelae. Polio has nothing to do with pesticides and you have no proof otherwise.

  4. Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 8:53 am

    Something to ponder:

    • Scott Nelson August 21, 2013 / 10:44 am

      Pure and udder conspiracy drivel!!! If you would like to know the truth about GMO crops here it is. The crops are genetically modified to contain an enzyme (protein) that allows the plant to synthesize aromatic amino acids in the presence of an enzyme inhibitor called glyphosate (Round-up). Plants require aromatic amino acids to grow-if they can’t make them, they die-hence this is a very easy way to get rid of competition in a field. A few other crops are modified to either contain the toxin from the bacterium Bacillius thurigenesis, rendering them resistant certain chewing pests (the other options are to do nothing and watch the crop disappear, or to spray organphosphates which kill every insect in the field), or to over express enzymes for the synthesis of Vitamin A, deficiency of which is a leading cause of blindness in less developed nations.

      If you would like to live without these kinds of technologies, feel free-but also get ready to learn the real meaning of work, as in hard, physical, labor. At the turn of the 18th century (1799-1800), 90% of the people farmed, today its less than 2%. By farming, I mean up at dawn, out in the fields behind a horse, or weeding a field, one weed at a time, -bend over, pull it out, and move on. Making hay one pitchfork at a time-pick it up, pitch it on to a wagon and move on 10 ft down the line. If you don’t put up enough-you die in the winter of starvation.

      I’ve baled hay in the 70’s and 80’s-move a 50-80 lb bale of hay every ~20-30 sec on a hayrack (about 100-120 bales/rack), and stack it up over your head-that’s real meaning of work, and I really have no desire to go back to it. If you want non-GMO crops, be prepared to work for it

      • plasmarules August 21, 2013 / 7:36 pm

        Fearmongering at its best, as we know that for all intents and purposes in this day and age when we talk about GMOs we’re talking about transgenic crops, not selectively bred species of crops.

        International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
        DOI: 10.1080/14735903.2013.806408

        Starting with maize, how has the commitment to GM crops benefitted the US agroecosystem? Maize is a dominating crop for the US Midwest and a significant crop for W. Europe. Between 1961 and 1985 the United States produced on average approximately 5,700 hg/ha more maize per year than did W. Europe. By the mid-1980s, there was a significant change in yield in our comparison countries (Figure 1). Between 1986 and 2010, W. Europe’s yield averaged 82,899 hg/ha, just slightly above United States yields of 82,841 hg/ha (Table 1). Comparing W. Europe with the United States for the entire period 1961-2010 (Figure 1), the average yields were not significantly different (ANOVA: F 1,98 = 0.53; P = 0.47). These results suggest that yield benefits (or limitations) over time are due to breeding and not GM, as reported by others (Gurian-Sherman 2009), because W. Europe has benefitted from the same, or marginally greater, yield increases without GM. Furthermore, the difference between the estimated yield potential and actual yield or `yield-gap’ appears to be uniformly smaller in W. Europe than in the US Midwest (Licker et al. 2010). Biotechnology choices in the form of breeding stock and/or management techniques used in Europe are as effective at maintaining yield as are germplasm/management combinations in the United States.

        The average yields of rapeseed for Canada have always been lower than W. Europe’s, by an average of 11,000 hg/ha between 1961 and 1985, and an even larger average difference of 17,300 hg/ha between 1986 and 2010, the period when Canada moved to GM and Europe did not.

        The short-term reduction in insecticide use reported in the period of Bt crop adoption appears to have been part of a trend enjoyed also in countries not adopting GM crops (Figure 3). Thus, reductions attributed to GM crops (Fedoroff 2012) are in question. In 2007 (the latest FAOSTAT figures available for the United States) US chemical insecticide use was down to 85% of 1995 levels by quantity of active ingredients, and herbicide use rose to 108% of 1995 levels. Meanwhile, similar if not more impressive reductions have been achieved in countries not adopting GM crops. By 2007, France had reduced both herbicide (to 94% of 1995 levels) and chemical insecticide (to 24% of 1995 levels) use, and by 2009 (the latest FAOSTAT figures available for France) herbicide use was down to 82%, and insecticide use was down to 12% of the 1995 levels. Similar trends were seen in Germany and Switzerland.

        The choice of GM-biotechnology packages in the US agroecosystem has been the stark contrast with W. European patterns of biotechnology use. Notwithstanding claims to the contrary (e.g. Derbyshire 2011), there is no evidence that GM biotechnology is superior to other biotechnologies (all `technological applications that use biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for a specific use’, IAASTD 2009) in its potential to supply calories (Heinemann 2009, IAASTD 2009, Jacobsen et al. 2013).

        GM crops are not a solution, in part because they are controlled by strict IP instruments. Despite the claims that GM might be needed to feed the world, we found no yield benefit when the United States was compared to W. Europe, other economically developed countries of the same latitude which do not grow GM crops. We found no benefit from the traits either.

        GM crops have maintained or increased US pesticide use relative to equally advanced competitors. The pattern and quantities unique to the use of GM-glyphosate-tolerant crops has been responsible for the selection of glyphosate-tolerant weeds, with estimates of resistant weeds on between 6 and 40 million hectares in the United States (Waltz 2010, Owen 2011, Benbrook 2012, Heap et al. 2013). The use of Bt crops is associated with the emergence of Bt resistance and by novel mechanisms in insect pests (Lu et al. 2010, Waltz 2010, Benbrook 2012, Zhang et al. 2012).

      • Erwin Alber August 21, 2013 / 9:38 pm

        GMOs and vaccines should in my opinion be banned because they are along with chemtrails part of the depopulation agenda.

      • Erwin Alber August 21, 2013 / 9:46 pm

        GMos and vaccines are part of the depopulation agenda Scott. If this is not clear to you now, it will be.

        • Marni August 21, 2013 / 10:21 pm

          Someday, I want to meet one of the world dominators who want to depopulate the world, or one of the Jews that’s managing somehow to control all of the financial markets in the world. There are, without doubt, many evil people in the world, but they tend to focus their efforts on personal aggrandizement and/or inflicting the maximum possible suffering on others. I’ve not yet read of anyone whose goal was to just in general decrease the population of a given part of the earth. Genocides occur way too often, but what you seem to be worried about is just a forced reduction in the numbers of all kinds of people. Not a scenario I’ve read about before. Now, denying immunizations to the disliked/hated groups has been fairly effective in some parts of the world (polio in Somalia is a recent example), but whatever.

          I’ll add that there have always been versions of “It’s an artificial assault on God’s plan for the human race” with every single new medical procedure. It was said when Queen Victoria (I think) was given a little bit of ether as anesthesia during childbirth. God made labor and delivery painful to punish all women forever for tempting Adam to eat from the tree of knowledge, don’t you know. Now, it’s not so often “God’s plan” but it’s science attacking nature and the natural way of living/eating/being sick/getting well. Personally, I’ve lived a much better life thanks to sciences — chemistry, agriculture, engineering, biology, physiology, anatomy, and many others.

      • Anonymous August 22, 2013 / 7:59 pm

        Maybe do some actual research into what GMO’s are doing for the world and get back to us. The garbage your spewing can be read on any of Monsanto’s propaganda campaign trails. The truth is simple and here it is. Glyphosate works by mineral chelation which simply puts stops the plants and weeds that aren’t Round Up ready from up taking minerals and that’s what kills them. The only problem is that while the Round up ready plants like soy, cotton etc may stay alive through this application they aren’t taking up proper amounts of minerals from the soul either. Studies show that GMO crops contain anywhere from 70-90% less minerals and nutrients as their organic counterparts. They are slowly killing us through vitamin depletion no matter what they might tell us. When will people wake up? This is just one of the many problems with GMO crops. Please don’t get me started on vaccines. I say keep taking your needles and if you have your shots according to your own logic you should be safe. All the people still pushing the bogus herd immunity logic should also read because they proved it was all a lie created by the people who make the vaccines making sure people like you try to pressure people like me to get vaccinated. Get a clue. It’s all about money people. They don’t give 2 cents about the people or our children.

    • Kelly M. Bray August 28, 2013 / 11:08 pm

      Wow Erwin and Plasma fall for every ascientific trope there is. Vaccines, chemtrails, now GMO’s. The conspiracy trifecta.

  5. Holly H. August 21, 2013 / 9:13 am

    Thank you so much for the post! As a psychologist in Mexico, I find so many people unknowledgeable about scientific method; and I know many physicians who are irresponsibily replicating false information about vaccines. Keep up the good, invaluable work! May I translate your page to Spanish and promote it among my friends?

  6. Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 10:51 am

    who funds your blog? I still find it interesting that people put so much trust in physicians and their research. Having seen first hand the terrible research practices of these people. Results can be spun to say whatever the researcher and who ever funds that person wants to say. Don’t believe it just because a physician says its so. They for the most part are funded by the same companies who supply the vaccinations. I’m not saying that vaccinations are bad, but truly independent third party verification is needed in all medical research. until then, I don’t believe anything I read out of medical literature. I do know that vaccines were made with a mercury compound, which has been, as you I am sure know, proven to me neurotoxic. To an adult probably doesn’t mean anything. To a newly developing brain? I don’t know.

    • Jennifer Raff August 21, 2013 / 11:01 am

      Nobody funds my blog. I do it in my spare time. If you’re looking for a funding connection between Big Pharma and me, you’re wasting your time. I don’t make any money from them.

      I and others in the comments here have already discussed the issues of independence in scientific studies (I’ve provided plenty of links, have you read them?) and the fact that mercury (or rather thimerosol) has been out of childrens’ vaccines since 1999, yet ASD rates continue to climb, not fall.

      • plasmarules August 21, 2013 / 7:39 pm

        That’s a pretty tall tale you’re peddling, if you count the # of vaccines given between birth and age 18 you’ll find that almost half of them contain thimerosal unless you’re specifically requesting a thimerosal-free version of the influenza vaccine and the current market share of the multi-dose shot is over 70%. That means almost 50% of the vaccines you’ll be injected with in all states except California, where they didn’t remove them in 1999 at all but slowly throughout the 2000s as supplies ran out (and can still use them when the CDC declares it a pandemic), contain thimerosal.

        You talk quite loudly of being scientific, but there are oodles of holes throughout your entire blog.

      • Erwin Alber August 21, 2013 / 9:00 pm

        I used to believe in this vaccination nonsense as well until I found out that vaccination is a massive fraud.

        Vaccination has been a failure and a fraud from the beginning and vaccines now cause far more harm including deaths in developed countries than the diseases they supposedly prevent. Vaccination is a money-making and disease promoting racket as vaccines don’t prevent, but cause ill-health.

      • Erwin Alber August 21, 2013 / 9:31 pm

        That’s incorrect Jennifer. Multidose vials of flu vaccine given to children and pregnant women as part of the vaccine poisoning schedule still contain mercury,

        Even some supposedly mercury-free vaccines. have been found to contain mercury.

        But not to worry, because two studies have found that mercury is actually good for children:

        Really? I don’t think so!

        In my estimation mercury certainly contributes to autism, but so do other neurotoxic substances in vaccines such as aluminium, formaldehyde and MSG, as well as the foreign protein such as cell particles from monkey kidneys, chick embryos and aborted human foetus. To be fair, not all autism is caused by vaccines, but only an estimated 75%.

        Also check out how the evidence that vaccines cause autism was covered up:

      • Marc August 22, 2013 / 3:41 am

        Many thanks to plasmarules & Erwin Alber for bringing back a bit of sanity and reason on this page. The worst warmongering crooks in the history of mankind responsible for tens of millions++ of war-related bomb-gun-military deaths each year around the globe – are suddenly the psychopaths who have on their payroll the very doctors who need to tell working families “you guys go forcefully insert these chemicals in our children right now – or we lock you (and/or variants, such as your kid can’t join a or b public school, etc)”. What a sick society. To have governments forcefully dictates “compulsory” chemicals to insert inside the bodies of newborn babies, “you don’t have to – but if you don’t…”, also, what a fascist and intrusive way to think and what an utterly insulting way to look at people in general. The worst part is people like Jennifer freely plays the trumpet for the Hitler and Stalin of her century, it’s so absurd, the kind is dead long live the king, Stalin and Mao are dead, long live Bush and Obama. From her own words – she doesn’t make a single buck from the process of promoting these sick maniacs we call “leader” who enforce and protect everything and its contrary from Monsanto to fakes wars around the world. Sad. Fascism is in all of us – no need to look too far. We all have a tiny bean in the belly of fascism – Jennifer’s bean is just a bit bigger than others. I am noticing with age that people working/studying way too close to the government (public funds, public institutions, etc) always end up waking up finding themselves repeating the same game, over and over again, the only speech they know of is how to use fear techniques with destroyed crying babies or very scary brown Muslims or really bad weather going through hell and back – and then you just announce out loud how you will tax people just a bit deeper. It’s so absurd, I am amazed by how sick the overall social tissue is, and how much free promotion the sick end gets from all these socially-lost researchers in search for a way out of this uncomfortable position they find themselves at a late age, totally overly studied but clearly noticing they are under-serving society, as they try to go out there to compensate…

      • Anonymous August 22, 2013 / 8:42 pm

        They replaced Mercury with Aluminum… same thing. A neurotoxin.

      • Kelly M. Bray August 28, 2013 / 11:12 pm

        Marc, your rant is completely off topic and provides no science of any kind to back it up. It has nothing to do with the subject at hand. You must be a Ron Paul voter.

    • Marni August 21, 2013 / 1:15 pm

      Anonymous, how many medical researchers have you known? How much research have you personally observed or participated in? I’ve seen and participated in some medical research and most of the physicians I worked with were deeply caring people who earnestly searched for treatments and cures for diseases that didn’t have good options yet. There are physician researchers who don’t care — but I have no reason to believe that they are in the majority. It is easy to find examples of the bad representatives of the people involved in medical research — just as it’s easy to find examples of bad cops, terrible school teachers, evil psychologists, etc. You paint with a very broad brush when you assume that the visible bad apples are representative of the entire profession.

      With the exception of carefully constructed and executed qualitative research, research is NOT based on anecdotal evidence. Scientific research when well and appropriately done (as most of it is) seeks to answer questions and, unlike most telephone surveys, is not designed to prove what the scientist wants to be true. Yes, when testing a new compound that has, in animal models, worked well on a certain disease or condition, the responsible researcher hopes the compound will work in people, but he/she does not ignore any hints of evidence that the compound is unsafe or ineffective. This has not always been true. In 1946 the 3 year old girl who would have been my older sister died because one of those new sulfa drugs was prescribed to treat her bronchitis. Unfortunately, the FDA wasn’t as powerful then as it is now, and the drug had not been adequately tested. My sister developed agranulocytosis (damage to the white blood cell making parts of the bone marrow) and died. Medical researchers continue to try to make human life healthier — to relieve symptoms of disorders that people used to have to “live with”. There will be difficulties along the way but who wants to go back to the pre-tranquilizer, pre-antidepressant, pre-antibiotic, and pre-vaccination days? Not me.

      How many people do you know who have had a child die of an infectious disease? Go back and research births and deaths in your family in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Yes, improved hygiene standards that nurses (for the most part) taught to the populations of the big cities decreased the incidence of some contagious diseases (those from contaminated water, for instance), but medications have decreased the incidence of disability and death from infectious diseases NOT based on poor hygiene, but from airborne pathogens for instance. Good hygiene does NOT protect one from tuberculosis, or from measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, smallpox, or any of the other medications for which immunizations are available. We live in an imperfect world — but when you look at your children, remember the evidence from the past. What risks do you expose YOUR child to?

      “A Scottish physician, Francis Home, demonstrated in 1757 that measles was caused by an infectious agent present in the blood of patients. In 1954 the virus that causes measles was isolated in Boston, Massachusetts, by John F. Enders and Thomas C. Peebles. Before measles vaccine, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age. Each year in the United States about 450-500 people died because of measles, 48,000 were hospitalized, 7,000 had seizures, and about 1,000 suffered permanent brain damage or deafness. Today there are only about 50 cases a year reported in the United States, and most of these originate outside the country.”

      Here’s the list of possible reactions to the MMR Vaccination, also from the CDC:

      “MMR vaccine side-effects (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)

      What are the risks from MMR vaccine?

      A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions.

      The risk of MMR vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

      Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps or rubella.

      Most people who get MMR vaccine do not have any serious problems with it.

      Mild Problems

      Fever (up to 1 person out of 6)
      Mild rash (about 1 person out of 20)
      Swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck (about 1 person out of 75)

      If these problems occur, it is usually within 7-12 days after the shot. They occur less often after the second dose.

      Moderate Problems

      Seizure (jerking or staring) caused by fever (about 1 out of 3,000 doses)
      Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women (up to 1 out of 4)
      Temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder (about 1 out of 30,000 doses)

      Severe Problems (Very Rare)

      Serious allergic reaction (less than 1 out of a million doses)
      Several other severe problems have been reported after a child gets MMR vaccine, including:
      Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness
      Permanent brain damage

      These are so rare that it is hard to tell whether they are caused by the vaccine.

      This information was taken directly from the MMR VIS ”

      And here is the link to a very recent report from the CDC on the diseases of measles, mumps, & rubella and some on the vaccines. I have not personally evaluated the 339 references used in the preparation of this report, but others may want to assess them to assure the accuracy of interpretation by the scientists at the CDC (who have no particular reason to support the makers of vaccines since they are all employees of the federal government and do not receive gratuities of any value from the pharmaceutical industry).

      There is also a PDF version of this issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report available at the CDC website.

    • Coriann August 21, 2013 / 8:03 pm

      Actually, you really should learn more about which kind of mercury is in the vaccine before you claim it’s a known neurotoxin. Thimerosal is ethylmercury, an organic compound that does not accumulate in the body. It clears an adult body quickly with a half life of 18 days (14 days in infant monkeys). That compared to methylmercury which is the mercury found in fish and is a biproduct of industrial pollution (such as the burning of coal) binds easily to proteins and accumulates in the body. It has a half life of about 50 days, but again it acculumates, unlike ethylmercury that does not. If you want to rage against anything, it should be against the use of fossil fuels. And Thimerosal was phased out of childhood vaccines in the late 1990’s. The only one that has is is the inactive flu shot.

      To be honest, I’m a bit over the whole “physicians, government and anyone else with a medical degree is being paid off by Big Pharma to push vaccinations” argument. When you break it down into real world examples of how this would work it’s absolutely ludicrous. Let’s take the flu shot since that’s a yearly vaccine and the price (pre Affordable Care Act – which covers the cost) is pretty fixed around $30 a shot. Of that $30 a portion of that vaccine goes to the doctor or pharmacy (a store typically marks up around 2-2.5 times it’s costs, but I’m not sure if that applies to pharmaceuticals), then a portion goes to the marketing, the sales rep, then a portion goes to research and development. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone in that, but you get the picture. How much of the $30 a shot is left to pay off every doctor, hospital, pharmacy, government official, researcher in the entire world AND still make mega bucks off of it? Really, think about it. Then factor in that some of these shots are one, two, three a lifetime. So really, how much is Big Pharma making off of these vaccines? Vaccines are not cash cows. Medicines like Viagra and Lipitor are because they are taken on a regular basis. How much do I pay in the office for my kids vaccines? Nothing other than what my monthly medical insurance bill is.

      • Erwin Alber August 21, 2013 / 9:04 pm

        You have all the ethylmercury you want Coriann but there is no way I would let anyone inject me or any child of mine with ethylmercury, or mercury or any vaccine of any kind for that matter.

      • plasmarules August 22, 2013 / 7:41 am

        Coriann I believe it’s YOU who needs to research the different kinds of mercury a little better. In order to conclude that ethylmercury doesn’t accumulate in the body you’d have to conclude that the brain is not part of the body! Is that your conclusion? Ethylmercury is removed from the bloodstream more quickly than methylmercury, but far more inorganic mercury is left behind in the brain from ethylmercury which is the more dangerous form or mercury and then has a half life measured in years, not weeks or months.

        PubMed: 16079072

        A higher percentage of the total Hg in the brain was in the form of inorganic Hg for the thimerosal-exposed monkeys (34% vs. 7%). The results indicate that MeHg is not a suitable reference for risk assessment from exposure to thimerosal-derived Hg. Knowledge of the toxicokinetics and developmental toxicity of thimerosal is needed to afford a meaningful assessment of the developmental effects of thimerosal-containing vaccines.

      • Jeff August 22, 2013 / 2:06 pm

        The study posted by plasmarules (below, PMID: 16079072) has the damning evidence that “A higher percentage of the total Hg in the brain was in the form of inorganic Hg for the thimerosal-exposed monkeys (34% vs. 7%)”. However, the entire study shows very rapid clearance of ethylmercury from the body (figure 5). The reason for this higher percentage of inorganic Hg in the brain is that very little organic mercury accumulates in the brain for ethylmercury (figure 7, looks like “noise”), while there is significant accumulation of methylmercury (figure 4, note semi-log plot). The total amount of inorganic mercury in the brain appears to be similar (and quite low – potentially noise since several measurements go from zero to the average measured level with no added injections of either mercury form). Of course the PERCENT of inorganic mercury will be higher in the thimerosal group because the total mercury is lower with unchanged, barely-detectable levels of inorganic mercury in either. Reporting PERCENT inorganic mercury being higher in this case is only “damning” if you believe it is GOOD to have more total mercury in the brain.

        The data in the study is very straight-forward: ethylmercury does not accumulate in the brain while methylmercury accumulates in the brain. A critical missing component is the measured amount of inorganic mercury before injection of either mercury form, as the detected levels of inorganic mercury are very low and potentially noise or pre-existing levels. Because the authors do not address this (or state their limit of detection), and they quote the percentage of inorganic mercury vs the total levels (because percentage is artificially high in the thimerosal-exposed due to low total levels), this does not support harmful effects of ethyl-mercury (thimerosal), but the overall conclusion that methyl-mercury toxicokinetics differs from that of ethyl-mercury is sound. Ethyl-mercury is cleared more quickly and does not appear to significantly enter the brain. Frankly, I’m shocked that they were allowed to quote percentage instead of total amounts in their abstract, as this is extremely misleading and does not reflect their results.

        • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 2:26 pm

          You show a lack of understanding of what happens with ethyl and methyl mercury, in the brain they rapidly de-ethylate/de-methylate, forming tissue-retained inorganic mercury (Hg2+).

          Vahter ME et al. Demethylation of methylmercury in different brain sites of Macaca fascicularis monkeys during long-term subclinical methylmercury exposure. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 1995;134:273–84.

      • Jerry A. August 27, 2013 / 12:27 pm

        I have read the articles on thimerosal and methylmercury cited by Richids Coulter / Plasmarules (same person). The conclusions of the authors are not as stated by Richids. The Vahter paper does not even test ethylmercury, so RC’s comments on de-ethylation are unsupported. The Burbacher paper’s abstract concludes with “The results indicate that MeHg is not a suitable reference for risk assessment from exposure to thimerosal-derived Hg. Knowledge of the toxicokinetics and developmental toxicity of thimerosal is needed to afford a meaningful assessment of the developmental effects of thimerosal-containing vaccines.” (which RC also quotes), is also counter to RC’s conclusions. When the peer reviewed literature cited by RC contradicts the concepts he draws from those papers, then I can only conclude that RC does not understand the literature he is quoting.

      • Doc of Life August 28, 2013 / 10:04 am

        Doctors get paid on the back end…flu shots do not help. They make people sicker. If not acutely, then chronically over time. This creates a greater dependency upon western “medicine”. There. Solved. Everybody’s pockets get filled 😉

  7. kristi August 21, 2013 / 11:43 am

    You may want to update your vaccine list and do some research on the HPV vaccine. Doctors actually came out and said that it can actually do more harm than prevent.

  8. Stephanie Selby August 21, 2013 / 11:53 am

    I’m not a parent, but every time I hear about this argument I always want to bang my head against a wall. Religious beliefs are one thing, but this overly paranoid, nonscientific reasoning to not protect children is a level of stupid I cannot comprehend. If non-vaccinated children get sick I will wholeheartedly blame their parents for their idiocy. I’ll give my sympathy to their children, but I won’t feel bad for them. Sorry if I seem overly harsh, but this is a subject that really gets under my skin.

    • ELW August 21, 2013 / 2:26 pm

      I am a parent, and have been a pregnant woman and a mom of little babies, which serves to make me even madder. Factor in the immuno-compromised, and I’m frankly furious that people would choose to endanger those vulnerable populations for the sake of their own hoodoo and overblown Google moral panic.

      • Stephanie Selby August 21, 2013 / 3:57 pm

        Yeah, I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone in your situation, or the immuno-compromised for that matter. These issues just makes people who refuse to have their children immunized rather selfish. Some people are more interested in protecting themselves from perceived threats than protecting everyone from real ones. In terms of disease we’re all in the same damn boat people!

    • plasmarules August 21, 2013 / 7:42 pm

      And who will you blame when a child dies following vaccination, the manufacturer? I’m sure they’ll be much happier shouldering your blame than shouldering any financially responsibility for their faulty products given that the are all indemnified. Tax payers cover the damages awarded by VICP, very cushy deal for the pharmaceutical industry, reaping the rewards of spending $250 million annually lobbying at the federal level alone.

      • Coriann August 21, 2013 / 8:56 pm

        Again, logic needs to be applied to arguments like “the government is just taking money from the pharmaceutical companies.” If vaccines were so unsafe and causing so many debilitating health problems WHY would the government continue to promote vaccines? The only way a government can survive is through the productivity of it’s people. Dead, dying and permanently disabled citizens don’t generate income, they deplete it. No amount of big pharma money can replace millions of productive, tax paying citizens. AND if millions of people were dying because of vaccines there wouldn’t be any argument to the vaccine safety debate. However, if you really believe that governments act in their best interest than keeping the general public from outbreaks of dangerous diseases seems to fit the bill.

        And the reason they became indemnified is because the pharmaceutical companies making these vaccines were losing so much money against these false claims that they were no longer making them. The government saw that as a greater good problem and indemnified them. Again, applying some logic to your argument that – if they are indemnified but as you believe lobbying for their product (at all levels of government – not just with politicians), I think it’s safe to say that they are paying into the fund and it’s not just coming out of the tax payers pockets since the money would be pooled. If pharmaceutical companies are paying the CDC and that money goes to something that the Federal gov’t would have paid for then that’s less money out of the public coffers. My whole point of this is that they are paying for it so you shouldn’t be upset.

        • plasmarules August 22, 2013 / 7:58 am

          This is absolute nonsense, they are not paying one red cent and vaccines are the fastest growing profit sector. I’ve been saying for years that you will continue to see vaccines coming out for all sorts of things, there’s even a tooth decay vaccine in the works. It’s a money maker and pharma doesn’t lobby to stay indemnified, they lobby to make sure that restrictions remain as loose as possible. This is why Vioxx can get approved in only 15 months and go on to kill over 50,000 people and Merck still didn’t lose money in any year despite paying over $4 BILLION in fines over Vioxx. Now another one of their products, Gardasil, has been approved after only 15 months of a 4 year trial and already there are over 16,000 reports of serious adverse events in VAERS.

          Sorry, you can defend them all you want, but there isn’t a single shred of evidence to back up your claim that the pharmaceutical companies are paying into VICP’s fund. That’s total nonsense.

          They weren’t battling false claims either, their products cause harm and damage to many people every year.

          Will you be fine if government indemnifies them from all pharmaceutical products? Or is it just vaccines you’re okay with? Are you okay with vaccines never being tested on pregnant women and infants and the elderly whom they are most pushed on? If you think they are tested for these groups, please provide some links to the .gov website to those specific tests.

      • Kevin August 26, 2013 / 10:24 am

        Erwin Alber. I’ve read many blogs on many topics and over and over there is a single trend.

        Those that only post videos and links to a single source show that they are fanatical in there devotion to there belief but know very little about it.

        Instead of explaining thing to us in your own words you are forced to use others. There pictures and videos sounded so convincing when they said it. The conspiracy sounded so real. However, when you say it, People are not as convinced as you were. So you assume that you just said it wrong. So you repost the video hoping others will see the logic that you saw so clearly, but were unable to say yourself.

        The reality is that there arguments without the pretty graphics or appeals to conspiracy the arguments are just unconvincing.

        • Richids Coulter August 26, 2013 / 10:36 am

          Do people really only post to a single source? Wow, that’s crazy, but I know what you mean about graphics and imagery, it’s the same fear-mongering industry uses when they post videos showing a little kid with whooping cough saying that this is solely the result of not vaccinating (which is a lie in itself)…but they will NEVER at the same time post a video of a child who has been permanently disabled FOR LIFE as the result of a serious adverse vaccine reaction like encephalopathy. What’s good for the goose…

      • Kevin August 26, 2013 / 4:52 pm

        Richard. Did I or even the blog owner rest solely on that? Or did they make a factual case. One that is supported by millions of professionals world wide. They did have a few graphics but that was hardly the extent of there case.

        While you held up single cases and conveniently forgot that these virus cause more than death. I find it shocking that you missed that huge and massive fact considering that every single side effect of Vaccines you complain about happens in the actual virus only in greater numbers.

        the several million medical professionals from hundreds of countries around the globe have looked at all the facts. As opposed to just picking and choosing what video/graph they find useful while ignoring the other information.

        But of course you believe that all these professionals are lying, incompetent and part of a massive world wide conspiracy.

        I’m sorry but I think I’m going to listen to people who can get through a single explanation without starting with a logical fallacy or invoking magical conspiracies.

      • Lucy Hill January 15, 2014 / 7:07 am

        Great link Erwin, I’ll never vaccinate again, thanks for sharing

    • Sabster January 17, 2014 / 11:54 am

      Just like people like you get under my skin, land of the free means I get to decide. Until vaccines contain ingredients that I agree on, my future children and myself will NOT use vaccines. You can be a lab experiment all you want, I am not a guinea pig. Oh dear god! Whatever shall we do!?! Heaven forbid a kid gets sick! It’s called an immune system, ever hear of it? Kids get sick and kids get better, your body miraculously develops immunity naturally to these bugs. You don’t need to vaccinate for every little thing that comes our way….but whatever go on back in your hamster bubble, good little lemming.

  9. AT August 21, 2013 / 12:25 pm

    I agree with nearly everything you say, but having done peer review, I can tell you:
    “These experts then go over your results and methods with a fine-toothed comb,”

    That is overly optimistic. More like, “oh great, I have three papers to review today. And they are incredibly boring. I’ll get through this as quickly as possible.” Scientists are probably as careful as most people are on their homework, because that’s what it feels like.

    • Jennifer Raff August 21, 2013 / 12:31 pm

      I suppose I’m generalizing from my own experiences as a reviewer! Your point is fairly taken.

    • Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 1:51 pm

      As someone who has published three papers myself I can say that while your attitude may be true of some reviewers, there is generally at least one on the panel that really does double check ALL your methods. This is a huge source of frustration for those of us publishing in multidisciplinary journals, as you end up having to explain in depth methods that are standardized and common in your field because the person reviewing it is from a different background.

      It does help weed out bad science though. If a journal had nothing but lazy scientists reviewing papers then it would put out a lot of bad articles and it’s impact rating would likely drop as a result. Not all scientific journals are equal.

    • Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 11:20 pm

      I am a physician and think you are overly cynical! AND I sincerely hope you are no longer doing peer review!!!

  10. Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 1:07 pm

    I really have to refrain myself from getting into debates about vaxes but it is so frustrating to see so much misinformation. Some of this sounds like something I would say BEFORE I really started looking into vaxes. These vaccines are like the holy grail to humanity in theory but its just not that black and white. They a flawed. There are way too many, and their effectiveness is questionable. I could go on and on. Why aren’t more people speaking up and demanding safer vaccines? There are NO studies conclusively proving they are safe. I’ve heard countless stories of so many women who have vaccine injured children. It sounds downright irresponsible and preposterous to not vaccinate your child, I know. I felt that way too. But the more research I did the more I started questioning things. We have a belief system that has been entrenched in our society for decades about vaccines. It is a very powerful belief system. Not vaxing questions and challenges that belief system too its core. The thought of this just goes against everything that you were taught to believe. At the beginning of my research this terrified me. But the more i did the more comfortable i became.

    Why does it always have to be vax or no vax anyways? Why can’t they just be made safer and more effective? But I know for me I will not just blindly follow orders (not that all vaxers are doing this of course), I will also look into something myself also. Especially with regard to my child. Every comment I see that is pro vax I have heard time and time again. I have asked myself ALL those questions in the past too. I’ve looked into this from every aspect I can think of. I will probably never stop researching. I could go into all the subtle nuances as to why I am delaying vaxing my child but it would take an eternity. I could argue my point for days until I’m blue in the face. Many people would still think I’m nuts. I just hope that more people will question things.

    But with regards to your article, I am curious to know just how much research you have done. There are so many misconceptions about non vaxers that it is infuriating. Hard core pro vaxers Always spout off the same arguments, over and over again. Wakefield, Jenny McCarthy, herd immunity, and so forth. There is no conclusive proof that vaccines are safe. Period. Before you or anyone claims that non vaxers are “hippies”, undereducated, or out of your mind, perhaps you should research each vaccine one by one, research each disease one by one, research the side effects for each vaccine, research the complications of each disease, look into statistics, read peer reviewed studies (not just from Natural News) look into how the human immune system works, I could keep going but won’t. Then you can make a much more informed decision. I do not take my decision lightly. But when you have that ridiculous Penn and Teller video and the iron lung picture, your credibility goes out the window. With all due respect this article is flooded with inaccuracies. To someone who hasn’t done any research though, well, it seems like it makes sense. Perhaps instead of ridiculing those with different viewpoints than you, you ought to encourage folks to do their own research. Because on such an important topic, we can’t afford not to.

    • Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 1:37 pm

      You are correct, “there are NO studies conclusively proving” that vaccines are safe. You are asking for the impossible proposition of proving a negative. There are also NO studies conclusively proving that you are not a purple hippopotamus brought here from another planet to destroy our way of life. Therefore, I cannot believe anything that you say because you just may be an alien out to kill us all.

      • plasmarules August 21, 2013 / 7:43 pm

        But a simple DNA test would prove they are human and not a Hippo, in the same manner a 20-year study could be conducted on 10,000 vax vs. unvax but the industry hides behind a morality argument which holds no weight because those unvax children are going to be unvax no matter what.

    • Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 5:03 pm

      Fortunately, the job of the FDA is to look at all of the data generated by a company trying to introduce a new vaccine… they take into account the severity of the disease, the safety of the vaccine, the efficacy of the vaccine (how well it works) and make an informed decision. It’s absolutely true that we will never know with 100% certainty that a new vaccine or drug will not have complications, because, as has been stated, that would be impossible.

      And of course you’ve heard stories about people being harmed by vaccines, because no one ever reports on the uneventful experiences they’ve had. You won’t read news stories with headlines like “Airplane completes flight safely with no problems” or “Customer eats at Denny’s, doesn’t get sick”. If the millions of perfectly uneventful vaccinations were talked about as loudly as the few that experienced adverse events, we might have a better impression of the truth.

      For the record, I’ve worked in pharmaceutical research for years, and not once has any drug company given me money to support vaccines. There’s no conspiracy among scientists to push them, and no payola. If there is, I’d like to get a piece of that action, please…

      • Karlin August 22, 2013 / 12:00 am

        The FDA?!? You put stock in the FDA? That is the worst argument I have read in this post.

    • Kelly M. Bray August 28, 2013 / 11:26 pm

      Plasma lots of studies have been done but you refuse to accept them. How is you believe that DNA testing works yet disbelieve the proof that vaccines work using the same scientific methodology?

  11. Informed August 21, 2013 / 2:21 pm

    “All consensus is false consensus”, because if there appears to be consensus then guaranteed it is the result of an agenda to destroy dissenting opinion.

    The amount of Aluminum found in some vaccines is enough to induce aluminum toxicity in less tolerant children.

    Among my friends are several doctors and my regular reading of medical journals makes me the informant in my circle. Medical school is about money, science, and indoctrination. If you think it is anything else you’ve been deceived.

    • Peter August 21, 2013 / 5:07 pm

      Medical school is not at all about money or indoctrination, it is about critical thinking and reading. There is MUCH more to science than most lay people can even fathom, which is why publishing science for the public to see often leads to idiot responses such as “Among my friends are several doctors and my regular reading of medical journals makes me the informant in my circle.” You wouldn’t know where to begin reading a medical journal, it is something that takes years of education and experience. The money paid to go to graduate school is not money wasted.

      Stop tooting your own horn, its foolish and makes you look like an idiot.

    • Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 8:08 pm

      Informed, that is not an actual study. It is a hypothesis based on correlation (and an opinion article).

    • Coriann August 21, 2013 / 8:22 pm

      Did you just read the abstract and form your opinion? Since I don’t have access to the actual research, who’s to say what that was based on. How old were the children they studied. How long were they followed? Were they studied BEFORE they were given vaccines to measure for aluminum levels? Were they checked for autism BEFORE being given the vaccines? Correlation does not equal causation.

      Here’s some information on aluminum, what it is, what it does for the body, it’s levels in vaccines, etc. from the top children’s hospital in the country.

      Which research article specifically said that med schools are “money, science, and indoctrination?” And if that is what you really believe, why read medical journals?

      • plasmarules August 22, 2013 / 7:45 am

        You call it the top children’s hospital in the country, I call it the hospital where the top vaccine pushers who made millions off vaccines are, speaking prominently of Paul “Profit” Offit of course who made at the very least over 6 million from the Rotavirus vaccine he helped develop. Funny how the mainstream media chastises Wakefield for being poised to make millions of his own measles vaccine (which would have been impossible given that he recommended the EXISTING measles vaccine in his press conference and to the best of my knowledge it has never been demonstrated that he has psychic powers) yet it’s perfectly okay for Dr. Offit to be the leading voice for vaccine advocacy when he’s actually made millions from his own vaccine. The double standard alive and well.

      • Anonymous August 22, 2013 / 1:25 pm

        Coriann, the linked article is not a study at all. It first builds a case that aluminum can be bad for you in large amounts and is considered a toxic substance. It then says that the total amount of vaccinations has increased over time and the total amount of aluminum in aggregate from vaccines has been increasing over time as well AND the number of autism diagnoses has increased over time similarly. Then it says that it could be due to aluminum exposure in a rather nonscientific way. There are no patients associated with the linked article.

        Their main “evidence” is from a study by the same authors of the opinion who admit that they cannot claim causality, just correlation (because that article is a peer reviewed study that requires evidence). I think we all know that many things have changed directionally over the past 50 years so you can form thousands of correlations that are not causal.

        • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 1:40 pm

          Yet despite a strong correlation the powers that be would rather rely on Cochrane’s assesment of Al in vaccines from over ten years ago when the amount was just a fraction of what it is now, this was back in the Hg days.

          Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry (JIB-08876)

          Do aluminum vaccine adjuvants contribute to the rising prevalence of autism?

          Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are serious multisystem developmental disorders and an urgent global public health concern. Dysfunctional immunity and impaired brain function are core deficits in ASD. Aluminum (Al), the most commonly used vaccine adjuvant, is a demonstrated neurotoxin and a strong immune stimulator. Hence, adjuvant Al has the potential to induce neuroimmune disorders. When assessing adjuvant toxicity in children, two key points ought to be considered: (i) children should not be viewed as “small adults” as their unique physiology makes them much more vulnerable to toxic insults; and (ii) if exposure to Al from only few vaccines can lead to cognitive impairment and autoimmunity in adults, is it unreasonable to question whether the current pediatric schedules, often containing 18 Al adjuvanted vaccines, are safe for children? By applying Hill’s criteria for establishing causality between exposure and outcome we investigated whether exposure to Al from vaccines could be contributing to the rise in ASD prevalence in the Western world. Our results show that: (i) children from countries with the highest ASD prevalence appear to have the highest exposure to Al from vaccines; (ii) the increase in exposure to Al adjuvants significantly correlates with the increase in ASD prevalence in the United States observed over the last two decades (Pearson r=0.92, pb0.0001); and (iii) a significant correlation exists between the amounts of Al administered to preschool children and the current prevalence of ASD in seven Western countries, particularly at 3–4 months of age (Pearson r=0.89–0.94, p=0.0018–0.0248). The application of the Hill’s criteria to these data indicates that the correlation between Al in vaccines and ASD may be causal. Because children represent a fraction of the population most at risk for complications following exposure to Al, a more rigorous evaluation of Al adjuvant safety seems warranted.

    • Leila Hays August 22, 2013 / 1:49 pm

      My mother was a doctor, and I resent this comment. Having grown up with her and her colleagues, I assure you that is not what medical school is about. it is about critical thinking, reading, caring about people, and science. Most doctors take the Hippocratic oath extremely seriously.

  12. Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 2:40 pm

    I get frustrated when people use the argument that people who don’t vaccinate put others at risk. If you vaccinate, then you shouldn’t be at risk, regardless of what the others do. Additionally, this arguement doesn’t seem to trancend the issue to other “puitting others at risk” issues. For instance, many schools will not disclose to teachers or parents when a child has HIV citing privacy. But then they claim that not vaccinating is putting other kids at risk. If a kid with HIV bleeds in class shouldn’t the teacher at least be aware of the risks in order to mitigate them?

    • Scott Nelson August 21, 2013 / 2:58 pm

      Teachers should always take standard precautions when dealing with wounds. Its called a pair of gloves and don’t ingest the blood. HIV is not highly contagious-you have to get a significant amount of blood into your blood stream. The reason that you put others at risk if you don’t vaccinate is that they are not 100% effective (is anything in life?). Vaccinating is like thinning trees BEFORE a forest fire. If you get the density low enough (i.e. very few unvaccinated people) then the fire peters out. If the density is high-well, just look out west right now, they can tell you what happens.

    • Marni August 21, 2013 / 3:06 pm

      Teachers, like doctors, nurses, department store workers, and a multitude of others who live and work in the 21st century, are taught to treat ALL body fluids as potentially carrying a blood borne pathogen such as Hepatitis B, HIV, and other viral diseases. So, the reason teachers don’t need to know if a kid has HIV is that they know how to handle body secretions so they won’t be at risk of getting a disease from them. If exposure occurs anyway (the child vomits and the teacher gets splashed on, and the teacher has an open wound in the area splashed on, for instance), then the appropriate information about the child IS available, the teacher gets the appropriate anti-viral medications, and almost always all is well. Life IS NOT SAFE. If you’re under the impression it can be made totally safe, you’re delusional and there are medications and therapies that may help. Making it easy to discriminate, even subconsciously, against children with HIV will make the kids’ lives more hellish and will NOT make teachers safer.

    • scdsutton August 21, 2013 / 3:53 pm

      there is not vaccination against HIV you dimwit, and HIV is contracted through a completely different way then the vaccines we are talking about. Blood pathogens are dealt with through precautions, such as gloves. Also the chance of contracting HIV through coming in contact with an infected person’s blood is minuscule, (blood getting into a cut or open wound). By not vaccinating your child, you put other children at risk who may not be old enough yet to be immunized. It’s your choice whether to immunize, but if you don’t, then keep your children at home, and away from anywhere they may come in contact with others. Measles for example is spread even before symptoms are shown, and is a highly contagious and deadly disease. Shame on you for putting others at risk….

  13. Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 3:01 pm

    IS GOOGLE Wrong? or the Doctors that state vaccines are not always a good thing??
    We don’t get our information off the street, We get it from very educated Doctors.

    • Scott Nelson August 21, 2013 / 3:10 pm

      I looked at a few of the sites listed. What was presented was the opinion of a doctor (M.D.). These are by and large not peer-reviewed articles, (for the importance of this see above) just the opinions a very few M.D.s They can have opinions like anyone else-and also be quite wrong. Yes there are quacks still in the medical field.

      • Jennifer Raff August 21, 2013 / 3:26 pm

        Scott, check out and what kind of “research” they endorse in general.

    • JR August 23, 2013 / 8:57 am

      “IS GOOGLE Wrong?”


    • Jennifer Raff August 21, 2013 / 3:22 pm

      You’ve posted a roster of links to mainly opinion pieces (there might be one or two actual studies in there, I’ll have to look more closely) written by something like 25 doctors.

      And citations to papers from the 1860s-1930s. I hope that people know why they shouldn’t rely on these.

      I realize that nothing I say to you is going to have the slightest impact on your opinion, but for anyone else reading this, please understand that this group of individuals falls FAR outside the medical mainstream. There’s a vast difference in quality and authority between an opinion piece written by a single doctor and hundreds of well-designed peer-reviewed case controlled studies.

      WHALE (the organization that you got this list from) also endorses the following non-mainstream beliefs:

      Holocaust denialism (

      Homeopathy (,

      Satanic/Luciferan hand signs (

      Reptilians ( controlling our minds through television ( etc.

      There’s a pretty long list. I’ll leave it up to you guys to decide whether this is a reputable organization from which to seek medical advice.

      Edited to remove grammatical error

    • Jennifer Raff August 21, 2013 / 3:12 pm

      Hi Kacey! Is that book peer-reviewed? Or is it just the opinion of one osteopath?

      • Jennifer August 21, 2013 / 5:33 pm

        Are you not writing this blog to sway opinion? Why should anyone trust you? Are you peer reviewed? Peer reviewed studies seems to be your holy grail of proof. Frankly I don’t have the same kind of confidence in my scientific peers that you have.

        Are there any claims that the “opposition” makes about vaccine safety that are true (not limited to Autism?) There are many intelligent and educated people on both sides of the argument. Like you stated in your article when one side thinks/ believes that they are 100% right and the other side is 100% wrong they are not being fair. To be fair to those that you don’t agree with, what middle ground do you agree on? What if both sides of the issue have some legitimate points…and the truth is some where in the middle?

        I like the debate /discussion, I learn new things from both view points that help shape my choices and the choices of my loved ones. I think that most people make the best choices they can based of of the information they have. Just like you, I get annoyed with those that refuse to be fair. Like judging the “opposition” and putting them in boxes…like hippie, uneducated, green/ natural movement or unable to understand how the scientific method works. I know and respect many people in my life that are in both camps and they are very informed and understand the “why” they choose what they have. None of these people fit into the boxes that you’ve suggested. Could it be that both sides have merit?

      • Jennifer Raff August 22, 2013 / 4:43 pm

        Hi Jennifer, yes, peer-reviewed studies are my “holy grail of proof” because that is the most rigorous approach to fact verification that exists in science. Anyone can write anything in a book…or even a blog 🙂
        I don’t ask people to take my word for things (I hope that I haven’t here, I’ve tried not to); that’s why I try to provide citations for the statements I made here. I encourage you to go read them and see if I’ve fairly represented what the authors say.

        Indeed, there are adverse reactions to vaccines in a minority of people who receive them! Nobody is disputing that. My post was focused on debunking the MMR-autism myth, but here is the CDC’s list of possible vaccine side effects:

        As far as accusations of unfairness, I will accept that you disagree with my approach. I don’t believe that the only people opposed to vaccines are “hippie, uneducated, green/ natural movement or unable to understand how the scientific method works”—if I’ve given that impression I am sincerely sorry. I think that there’s a wide variety of people who are anti-vaccine, for a wide variety of reasons. We have evidence for that right here in the comment section! I do make a distinction between the leaders of the anti-vax movement (I would include Wakefield in this) who I don’t believe are acting in good faith, and the vast majority of parents who have concerns. That latter group, I am certain, is simply wanting the best outcome for their children.

        Hopefully this makes sense and I’ve addressed your points. Thanks for your thoughts.

      • Jennifer August 21, 2013 / 7:33 pm

        So let me get this straight…unless you’re a rare “immunology expert” you haven’t earned the right to weigh in on the Autism debate. Even if you have an MD in front of your name? If that’s the case… then none of us have the right to our opinions earned through research and critical thinking. We should leave everything up to the few dozen people on the planet with these credentials.

      • Kevin August 29, 2013 / 12:25 pm

        As with most things Jen. You have the right to have your opinion.

        I also have the right to have an opinion on your opinion and its value on a given topic.

        For instance at your work if a guy just walked in off the street and started tell you how to do your job. How would you react? What would the first questions be out of your mouth?
        Maybe…. Who are you/who do you represent? What is your experience? What are your credentials? And what are you doing here?

        Would you opinion of that person change if you found out that they lied or tried to mislead you about any of the above questions?

        In short just because you agree with someone doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hold them to the same standards as you’d hold anyone else.

  14. PBT August 21, 2013 / 3:53 pm

    Seems to me the vaccination vs. autism debate is very similar to the climate change vs. skeptics debate! Thanks for putting out a clear, scientifically-backed discussion.

    • Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 7:55 pm

      Idiot. To compare vaccinations to climate change is ludicrous. Man caused climate change can be debunked at every level. When you try to force the input data from the environmental nuts on their studies, they refuse enery time. It can be proven with no opposing view that vaccinations have saved millions and millions of lives. There is zero proof of man caused global warming killing people. Only suppositions by ignorant grant money grubbing university professors who cannot get a job in the real world.

      • Jennifer Raff August 22, 2013 / 4:34 pm

        Please refrain from calling people names here. Thank you.

    • Joseph Hertzlinger August 25, 2013 / 11:31 am

      What is the equivalent of “if these people were serious, they would be pro-nuke” for anti-vaccine?

      • plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 7:50 am

        Secretly the pharmaceutical companies must love the autism debate, because it detracts from the many other reasons to choose not to vaccinate.

  15. Anonymous August 21, 2013 / 4:15 pm

    More people now than ever are getting cancer, auto immune diseases, allergies etc. and more children now more than ever are developing learning disabilities, autism, cancers etc. We need to ask ourselves why. Why now? What has changed over the course of decades? Well, more environmental toxins for one. It’s a broad term. This could be pesticides, household cleaners, vaccines, prescription drugs are only some. The vaccines are only part of the equation. The chemicals in them far exceed what the limits are ironically as stated by the FDA itself. Why do you think Thimerasol was taken out of most of them. They are flawed. Why can’t some people just accept that. I think most things in moderation are ok in life but too much can poison you, so to speak. People need to stop trying to disprove those who don’t believe in vaccines and sit down and start doing some digging themselves. Many doctors get very little vaccine training in medical school and little to no training on vaccine injuries. So no, they don’t always know best. My doctor years ago gave me a tetanus shot because I stepped on a rusty nail. Think about that. I was injected with more tetanus when I potentially already had the toxin inside me. What she didn’t know is that I should have received a TIG shot (tetanus immuno-globulin). And I’ve heard of things like this happening a lot. So no, doctors are misinformed too. Your best bet: take the time to do your own due diligence. Whether you vaccinate or not, you’re taking a risk. You just have do decide which one you are more comfortable with. Time will tell in 20 years or so what all these chemicals are doing to us. People need to open their eyes.

    • Peter August 21, 2013 / 4:50 pm

      No actually its very clear that vaccinations have saved lives

      • plasmarules August 21, 2013 / 7:48 pm

        Actually no it’s not that clear cut; it’s very clear that vaccinations have lowered incidence rates of disease, but in the vast majority of diseases we vaccinate against the death rates were in decline many years before vaccination began.

        In the UK for example, in 1941 there were 1,145 deaths, by 1967 the year BEFORE vaccination it was 99. That’s a 91% drop in 26 years. See – (England’s public health website)

        Pertussis vaccine introduced USA 1948. Pertussis mortality rates in 1918 = 16/100k, pertussis mortality rates in 1948 = 1.5/100k, a reduction of over 90%. (Source: Vital Statistics of the United States 1937-1960; and Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1980 Part 1 Ch. B Vital Statistics and Health and Medical Care, pp. 44-86H

        Influenza vaccination first widely administered in the 1980’s. Mortality rates in the early 1930’s = 180/100k. By the 1960’s it was less than 5/100k. A reduction of over 90% in deaths. (Source: Doshi, P., Trend in Recorded Influenza Mortality: United States 1900-2004, American Journal of Public Health, May 2008, vol. 98, no. 5, p. 941.)

        Pertussis vaccination begins in the UK in 1950. Death rate in 1850 was over 1,400/year. Death rate when vaccination began was under 50/year. A reduction in deaths by over 96%. (Source: Thomas McKeown, The Role of Medicine: Dream, Mirage or Nemesis?; Basil Blackwell; Oxford, UK; 1979; p.103)

        BCG vaccine introduced in New Zealand in 1953, death rate from tuberculosis in 1880 = 1,400/mill. Death rate in 1953 was 100/mill. Reduction in deaths before vaccination of over 92%. (Source: Director General Annual Mortality Reports Covering 1872 – 1960, New Zealand Parliamentary Journals for the years specified)

        • Marni August 21, 2013 / 8:37 pm

          To plasmarules:
          What technology and techniques were used by physicians to diagnose tuberculosis in the late 1800s? Especially in rural/remote areas of even the industrialized countries? Since Roentgen didn’t discover x-rays until 1895, (, I can assure you they weren’t doing chest x-rays. Robert Koch didn’t discover a way to stain the bacteria that cause tuberculosis until the early 1880s, so I can assure you they weren’t diagnosing it by examining sputum for the tubercle bacillus, either. I’m guessing that, mixed in with the people who died from a diagnosis of tuberculosis you had some people with “miner’s lung”, COPD, lung cancer, and heaven knows what else. So, your numbers don’t prove much in regard to that diagnosis.

          In the USA, if you’ll look at the link for the information I sent earlier from the CDC, both morbidity AND mortality rates declined dramatically after introduction of the measles vaccine and for a number of other vaccines. The medical community in the USA doesn’t use BCG as an immunization against tuberculosis because it lacks the preferred level of efficacy; however, the CDC provides good information on all of the approved immunizations including the effect of the vaccine on incidence of the the diseases; the rubella vaccine is generally given not to protect an individual from the illness (which is almost always short and benign) but to protect the unborn, the fetuses growing in utero, especially during the first 3 months of pregnancy, so the data there would support a dramatic decrease in the number of infants born with severe developmental delays or other physical problems rather than numbers of deaths.

          If you don’t trust CDC data then there will be no convincing you regardless of the kind or amount of data presented.

      • plasmarules August 22, 2013 / 7:53 am

        Marni the problem with your post lies in the very beginning, you lump in mortality with morbidity. As you’ll note in my post I’m not discussing morbidity for it doesn’t have any correlation with mortality as the clearly dropping mortality rates show. Mortality decline didn’t speed up when vaccines were introduced, it hadn’t suddenly stopped declining the year before, so it is simply misdirection to suggest that mortality rates fell with the introduction of vaccines because they were already falling. That is the concept you’ve failed to grasp in your rebuttal.

    • Peter August 21, 2013 / 4:51 pm

      There are thousands of other explanations for why people are getting cancers and such, none of the theories have anything to do with vaccination.

    • Think it through... August 21, 2013 / 7:03 pm

      Totally agree. There is big money in vaccines, I believe it’s mainly controlled by people who are wanting to pad their own pockets. Doctors are paid very well when they shoot these chemicals into your babies bodies. Of course they’ll say they are fine. My word. Yes, doctors can be misinformed. They are human. Along with eating GMO foods, injecting chemicals into our bodies, laying on carpet full of chemicals – none of it is good. A lot of these illnesses would’ve been take out of the picture had clean water, sanitary bathroom habits amoung others evolved.

      • Coriann August 21, 2013 / 8:32 pm

        I wrote this for another poster’s comment, but I’ll repost for your comment:

        The whole “physicians, government and anyone else with a medical degree is being paid off by Big Pharma to push vaccinations” argument is devoid of reality. When you break it down into real world examples of how this would work it just doesn’t work. Let’s take the flu shot since that’s a yearly vaccine and the price (pre Affordable Care Act – which covers the cost) is pretty fixed around $30 a shot. Of that $30 a portion of that vaccine goes to the doctor or pharmacy (a store typically marks up around 2-2.5 times it’s costs, but I’m not sure if that applies to pharmaceuticals), then a portion goes to the marketing, the sales rep, then a portion goes to research and development. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone in that, but you get the picture. How much of the $30 a shot is left to pay off every doctor, hospital, pharmacy, government official, researcher in the entire world AND still make mega bucks off of it? Really, think about it. Then factor in that some of these shots are one, two, three a lifetime. So really, how much is Big Pharma making off of these vaccines? Vaccines are not cash cows. Medicines like Viagra and Lipitor are because they are taken on a regular basis.

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  17. Melissa August 21, 2013 / 5:40 pm

    I’ve always had my children vaccinated because I knew the diseases they could possibly get, are awful. I had the chickenpox twice! It was awful!
    I had a very hard time deciding whether or not to have my daughters vaccinated with the hpv shot… Because of scary rumors. But, than I spoke with many friends in the medical field, our doctor and nurse. I also remembered some of my patients (when i worked at the hospital) that had cervical cancer and some of the not so nice procedures they had to go through. I than decided, if I could prevent my children from getting an awful disease… Why wouldn’t I? It was the reason why I got all the other vaccinations for them. And I couldn’t bare the thought if they got hpv and got cervical cancer… And found out later in life if “I” would have made sure they had received the vaccine, than they wouldn’t be dealing with such a horrible disease.
    I agree with your blog, and I hope more people realize how important it is to vaccinate!

  18. Think it through... August 21, 2013 / 6:57 pm

    Oh goodness, you’ve hit a hot topic with many I’m sure! The problem with this subject is people are not open minded. Be and let be, let everyone make their own decisions. that being said, if vaccines really work as well as the those who choose this method think they do, then why on earth are you afraid of the non-vaxed kids? They should not be a threat. There is nothing about a vaccine that is a sure fix, you can still get whatever you are being vaccinated for! Whooping cough outbreaks are mainly all vaxed kids. There are many risks with being vaccinated. We live in a free country, everyone should be able to make their own decisions. Just as you think it’s crazy to vaccinate, and feel you are totally justified, I’m sure there are others who feel you are crazy and that htey are justified.

    • Jerry A. August 27, 2013 / 11:45 am

      The problem with your “live and let live” approach is that it will cause people to die. Vaccines not only protect the person who was vaccinated, they also protect family members and neighbors who are too young to be vaccinated, who were never vaccinated, and whose vaccine did not provide 100% protection. This is called “herd immunity”. The Japanese did a study that found elderly deaths from the flu dropped most when more children were vaccinated, because kids in school more easily get and spread the flu.

  19. plasmarules August 21, 2013 / 8:05 pm

    There are doctors opposing vaccinations going back over 100 years, this notion that we suddenly opposed vaccines after the Wakefield press conference is quite silly.

    In addition, regarding Wakefield, how did the other 11 authors get fooled for so long if Wakefield “faked” his data (note, he didn’t, the other authors only redacted an INTERPRETATION of the data)?

    How was Wakefield going to make millions of his own vaccine when at the time of the 1998 press conference the single measles vaccine, widely considered to have an excellent safety record, was still on the schedule and Wakefield himself RECOMMENDED using it over the MMR. (Translation – Wakefield at the time recommended vaccinating against measles).

    The NHS didn’t pull the license for the single measles vaccine for another 6 months. I haven’t seen even the “great” blogger at Science Based Medicine provide a scientifically sound argument in support of Wakefield psychic abilities, so I’m presuming that he couldn’t possibly have had foreknowledge of this about to occur (no-one did, GSK pressured the NHS to pull the single option so the MMR could succeed.) Given that, who is really responsible for the blame of any measles deaths they conclude happened from parents refusing to vaccinate after 1998, the government that pulled the measles vaccine option those parents were WILLING to get, or Wakefield who expressed a preference for the single jab and recommended vaccinating with it?

    The GMC trial was a farce, Wakefield and Walker-Smith lost the licenses to practice medicine in the UK as a result of the 5-man GMC panel concluding they should have gotten approval from the ethics committee for some of the tests Professor Walker-Smith deemed necessary. How does a 5-man panel consisting of an adult psychiatrist, a general practitioner, a geriatrician and 2 LAYPERSONS have such experience in pediatric gastroenterology that they were able to conclude differently that Professor Walker-Smith, a leader in the field of pediatric gastroenterology in the UK at the time? They didn’t, which is why last January Justice Mitting quashed the findings of the panel and reprimanded the GMC over their farce of a trial. Only a fool would suggest the same result wouldn’t have occurred with Wakefield.

    All that we have with Wakefield is the rantings of a journalist funded by The Sunday Times whose owner at the time was James Murdoch (son of Rupert) who was making a cushty 70,000 pounds on the side in a non-executive position on the board of UK MMR makers GlaxoSmithKline. The CEO of the Lancet who pulled the study, Sir Crispin Davies, was also making that same money in the same position. You can get rid of all the tin foil hats, only a newt would be so foolish as to ignore the obvious witch hunt that took place.

    PS – having influenza in the list of vaccine-preventable diseases really destroys any credibility this article may have had.

  20. Debbie Miller August 21, 2013 / 8:12 pm

    Just wondering when they will come out with a vaccination for hangnails………

  21. Jennifer Ondrejka August 21, 2013 / 8:26 pm

    I was completely stunned the first time a young mother told me she was questioning whether to have her daughter vaccinated. Then I realized that because of the success of vaccines, women in her generation had never faced the devastation of the preventable diseases that were common when I was a child. No one who was alive during the polio epidemic, especially no one who saw people in iron lungs, would oppose vaccines. We think polio is no longer a risk, but that’s not entirely true. We “eradicated” it through mass vaccination; the virus still infects people in other countries and could return here if children aren’t protected. Who would put a child at the known risk of whooping cough, chicken pox, measles or polio to save them from the hypothetical risk of vaccines?

    • Coriann August 21, 2013 / 9:00 pm

      My dad says to me “This is a first world “problem”. These parents don’t remember babies were dying from these preventable diseases.” I totally agree.

      • plasmarules August 22, 2013 / 8:01 am

        That’s funny, because my parents (born in the 30’s and 40’s) don’t remember losing a single friend to any of these diseases. Anecdotes are peculiar like that aren’t they? What does your Dad think of the very real statistic that deaths from measles had been reduced in developed countries by over 99% in the 100 years before vaccination even began? Do you think if we returned to the days of having no flushing toilets and sewage running down the side of the roads in our towns, and no sewage handling, no idea how to safely handle or store food, no running water, no water treatment plants, etc., you know, the living conditions of 1800 let’s say, that vaccines would keep mortality rates where they are?

  22. Sara E-C August 21, 2013 / 10:30 pm

    You are admittedly not interested in the viewpoint of any of those who might fall on the questioning side of vaccinations; but at the very least, it seems like good practice to hold those who agree with you to the same standards that you’ve expected from responders who disagree.

    Namely, if you’re going to reject personal experiences as anecdotal and therefore not scientifically admissible – no problem. But then be sure to refrain from validating those who tell their own familiar horror stories dealing with infectious disease. If you’re going to require sound scientific evidence from the claims that some respondents make (a GOOD practice, absolutely!), then make those who agree (both implicitly and explicitly) with you do the same. This means: no sloppy comments of how deadly a disease is without sufficient backup. It’s this last point that I’d particularly like to pursue.

    As an example, let’s take a look at the available information on pertussis. It’s certainly much more prevalent in the US than most other diseases that are part of the regular childhood immunization schedule, and it’s one of those lynchpin examples that is brought up whenever those evil anti-vaxxers are taken to task.

    Number of cases reported in the US in 2012: 41,880
    Number of deaths from pertussis (in the US) in 2012: 18 (15 of which were infants, 2 in children 1 – 4, 1 in a person over 55+).

    Number of cases reported in the US in 2011: 18,719
    Number of deaths from pertussis in the US in 2011: No credible information available (I’ve found some sources that report no deaths from pertussis in the US in 2011, but don’t trust them. The mortality reports from the CDC don’t do a reliable job in breaking out deaths by different cause, and there’s no Provisional Surveillance Report for 2011.)

    Now, let’s take a look at the reported risks of the vaccination that is used to protect against pertussis. (For sake of not entertaining hyperbole, we’ll throw out the most common, “mild” problems – even though some of those are pretty terrifying, from a parent standpoint, and we’ll differentiate between the “moderate” and “severe”.)

    Vaccination profile risks of DTaP:
    “Moderate Problems (Uncommon)
    • Seizure (jerking or staring) (about 1 child out of 14,000)
    • Non-stop crying, for 3 hours or more (up to about 1 child out of 1,000)
    • High fever, 105 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (about 1 child out of 16,000)
    Severe Problems (Very Rare)
    Serious allergic reaction (less than 1 out of a million doses)
    Several other severe problems have been reported after DTaP vaccine. These include:
    • Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness
    • Permanent brain damage.”

    Let’s consider how these statistics might map onto a profile group of children. As a population, we’ll consider the 4,242,558 kindergarteners estimated by the “Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten — United States, 2012–13 School Year” report that just came out (see Of those 4,242,558 children, an estimated 91,453 weren’t fully vaccinated at the time of the study, leaving us with a presumably vaccinated population of 4,151,105 children.

    Due to some ambiguity in the wording of the vaccine information insert, let’s try thinking about the potential risks of vaccination to these children in two ways.

    First, take that “1 child in…” as straightforward, and treat each child as only one potential instance. In the second example, we’ll see the impact if this was actually meant to denote a time-limited instance (that is, each child fully vaccinated on schedule, who would have had five doses of DTaP at the time, would have had five separate possible opportunities for reaction.) Also note that these are treated as discrete reactions (though presumably more than one mild or moderate reaction could present in the same individual).

    Example One:

    Of those 4,151,105 children, an estimated:
    … 297 will exhibit seizures.
    … 4151 will exhibit non-stop crying
    … 259 will exhibit a high fever (considered over 105 degrees F)
    … it is likely that at least 2 will have truly serious, potentially deadly reactions (that’s being conservative, estimating the rate of truly serious complications as 0.5 in 1 million, since the information sheet wasn’t explicit).

    Example Two:
    For the second calculation, 5 doses of DTaP multiplied by our kindergartner population means that 20,755,525 individual shots would have been administered.

    Of those 4,151,105 children and 20,755,525 shots, an estimated:
    … 1483 will exhibit seizures.
    … 20,756 will exhibit non-stop crying
    … 1297 will exhibit a high fever (considered over 105 degrees F)
    … at least 10 will have truly serious, potentially deadly reactions

    Both situations – disease progression with incomplete vaccination (even though herd immunity for pertussis is not as uncontroversial or fully substantiated as many of your readers seem to insist – see, for example:; D Vickers et al. “Whole-cell and acellular pertussis vaccination programs and rates of pertussis among infants and young children.” Canadian Med. Ass. J. 2006:175(10):1213-17; JD Cherry. “Immunity to pertussis.” Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2007 (May 15); 44:1278) or pervasive obedience to the regular vaccine schedule – cause damage, and death. Treating the situation as if obeisance eradicates the possibility for deadly outcomes is irresponsible, and incorrect.

    There are certainly limitations to calculations like these: for one, morbidity and mortality for the disease is typically aggregated on a yearly basis, while the statistical probabilities mentioned above for risk of the vaccine are calculated over a longitudinal basis. There are many other mitigating factors to the incidence and course of pertussis. This isn’t meant to be exhaustive; but it’s certainly also not meant to be reductive.

    I’m merely trying to approach the scientific literature, as you’ve repeatedly expected those who DON’T agree with you to do, in such a way that more accurately represents the nuance that a huge public policy/public health issue like this deserves, and in a way that utterly refrains from making baseless generalizations about the actual impact of this disease.

    I am by no means trying to say that contracting pertussis is not a big deal. I am also not suggesting that some form of vaccination schedule for pertussis is a bad idea. What I am trying to emphasize is that telling (repeatedly) a concerned person (amidst also insisting on their innate stupidity, their recklessness, their lack of morale fiber) that “the consequences of infection are so much worse” isn’t a completely honest statement either.

    I absolutely agree with you that scientific literacy is an incredibly important skill to develop and to foster in those who need it. Despite your insistence to the contrary, this is not a black-and-white issue. Policy (and those who seek to shape or study it) must take serious (not conspiracy-oriented) questions into account, and respectfully address them, not merely dismiss them with ad hominem attacks, appeals to authority, and red herring fallacies.

    • Kevin August 22, 2013 / 12:43 pm

      Sara I apologize If I misunderstood you but there is some ambiguity in your post.

      However, some to be supporting the Anti-Vaxers.

      In which case I should point out the TWO flaw in your argument. These are fairly common errors when people work with stats.

      1. Sample size.
      -The reason that the 2012 deaths are so low is because the vast majority of the population is vaccinated against it. To the point that even people with compromised immune systems are unlikely to come in contact with this extremely contagious virus and it can never get a foot hold in the population.

      In short for this to be an accurate comparison you’d have to use pre-vaccinated numbers. Not the 93% vaccination rate of today.

      2. Use of units. (time)
      -Further compounding your numbers is the fact that Vaccinations are a single one time event. That happens once in someone’s life time.

      Vs. the a yearly compounding figure.

      In short with the 310 million people in the US only over the average human life span (60 years)
      310 people suffered long term problems from the vaccine. (assuming everyone in the US was vaccinated)
      Vs. 1080 people who DIED and 2,460,000 who suffered.

      And if you were to expand that figure based on 0% vaccination and assuming the same % infected in the US as now
      The numbers balloon to 35,000,000 infected and 15,000 dead. (however, this number doesn’t take into account an increased infection rate)

      So in conclusion using your numbers it over 113,000 times better to get the vaccine.

      • Kevin August 22, 2013 / 2:11 pm

        Oops quick correction to my post.

        You are 49 more likely to die from the virus than you are to suffer long term consequences from the vaccine
        You are 113 times more likely to catch the virus and suffer for 6 weeks than you are to have a high fever from the vaccine

        Assuming todays vaccinations rates over the entire population of the US. (this is a conservative estimate in the Anti-vacers favor)

        However, I think it’s safe to assume that the infection rate would be much much higher if there was no herd immunity.

    • Jennifer Raff August 22, 2013 / 4:26 pm

      Sara, thanks for your comment. I appreciate the fact that you supported your points with peer-reviewed literature. Though I ultimately agree with Kevin’s reasoning below, your case was much more strongly and cogently made than many others (on either “side”) that used only anecdotal points.

      Please do continue to share your thoughts here–despite what you said, I actually AM interested in others’ viewpoints.

  23. ali August 21, 2013 / 11:16 pm

    Thank you for this article. As a mom I am certainly in the group that is questioning everything about vaccinations. I don’t personally know a lot doctors, chemists, scientists, etc to get info from and it is hard to do your own research when there is so much info out there. I appreciate you actually posting links to the peer-reviewed studies you cite, that certainly helps me in my efforts to be “informed.” And it’s tough to read through these comments with so much negativity thrown back and forth. .. it doesn’t help. I did just come across this article though and wanted to know your thoughts. It seems to cite, to me, valid scientific sources and it is written by a scientist, just like your article. But it completely disagrees with a lot of what you’re saying. This is why it is difficult for us “lay people” – I can find doctors, scientists, scientifically adequate citations, etc on either side of the debate. We may not be able to read certain peer-reviewed research. Then we just have to take your word for it because of your credentials and citations. But we can’t do that for everyone since so many are in disagreement! So frustrating!! What do you suggest for those who are trying to be informed and make the best decisions without feeling like they are blindly following the advice of others? Thanks!

    • Jennifer Raff August 22, 2013 / 7:34 am

      Hi Ali, I thought a lot about your comment this morning when I was working out. I’ll read your paper as soon as I can, but let’s talk about the larger issue here. You ask an extremely good question: “How do I know who to trust?” The blithe answer is “trust the experts”, but you’re right, if you can’t tell the difference between them it can be incredibly frustrating.

      I guess that my suggestion would be, for issues like this where you can’t be certain which self-proclaimed “expert” is trustworthy is to go deeper and actually read the studies they’re using to back up their claims. I realize that this is a very difficult proposition for several reasons. First : access. The current state of publication (and it is because of publishers, not scientists) puts many papers behind a paywall. It’s outrageous. If you come across a paper that you really need to read, but can’t afford it, please email me and I’ll try to help you (there are some resources out there).

      Second: Reading scientific publications is very, very difficult. They’re written in a particular way, to pack as much information as possible into a few pages, and with the assumption that the person reading has a background in that particular field.
      The good news for you is that every single researcher and physician has had to learn–just as you would–how to read them. It’s not that any of us are necessarily smarter, we’ve just been specifically TRAINED to read them. And with a lot of practice (I typically read at least 3-5 new papers every day) you get better at it.

      I’ve been thinking about trying to put together a guide for non-scientists specifically for this purpose–reading the scientific literature on your own. Would you find something like that helpful?

      Finally, there are a couple of things that you can do before you sit down and read a paper. Examine the format in which the claims are being presented. Is it in a journal indexed by PubMed ( A book? Is it an editorial? Keep in mind that anyone can write anything in books, editorials, blogs (yes, I know this is ironic, but it’s true). Do other peer-reviewed studies reference this one in a positive or negative way? (that will take a bit longer to find out, but if you can get access to web of science, that will help: Google Scholar is another useful tool here). I wrote a bit about this here:

      I hope this helps answer your question! Please stay in touch, and let me know if a guide to reading scientific papers would be something you might find useful.

      Edited to add: I’m very sorry that you and others have found the negativity here off-putting. I thought hard about commenting policy, and decided that I didn’t want to censor anyone (unless they were simply name calling and not contributing anything at all). Disagreement is important in this discussion, and I’d rather err on the side of allowing too many comments.

      • plasmarules August 22, 2013 / 7:50 am

        I agree you should always read sources and not just believe that someone is a quack because the usual vaccine apologists are screaming out that they are because many of their opinions contradict the ones the trillion dollar pharmaceutical industry wants you to believe.

        For example, Dr. Russell Blaylock, retired neurosurgeon, wrote an excellent article on vaccines and the possible link to ASD here fully referenced –

      • Scott Nelson August 22, 2013 / 10:46 am

        I took a look at Dr. Blaylock’s site. He has some glaring errors that nobody familiar with immunology would make. ” If a virus invades, the T-helper lymphocytes quickly switch to the Th1 phase—allowing immune cells to secrete a group of cytokines that kill viruses.” Cells don’t kill viruses-you either kill the cell that is infected with the virus (a cytoxic T-cell response), or render the cells less able to support a viral infection through interferons. Viruses are not alive, they “hijack” a cells protein and replication machinery to make new copies of themselves. The Th1 and Th2 arms are both activated during an infection, the Th1 stimulates the cytolytic arm, while the Th2 stimulates the antibody/memory cell arm of the response. They both work together to clear an infection. Regulation and limitation of the response is an area of active research, and to state what causes autoimmunity is to greatly overstate the extent of our knowledge.

        Immune responses to bacteria and viruses are also grossly different, the Th2 response tending to be greater in bacterial infections, while the Th1 is greater viral and intracellular bacterial infections, suffice it to say, it does not break down as Th2 is immunosuppresive. The entire field of immunology is extremely complex-a pubmed search pulled 2801 reviews of the field using Th1 Th2 as search terms, the same search gave over 18,000 peer reviewed papers. I can assure you that as a neurosurgeon, Dr. Blaylock had far more to do than to try and keep up on immunology. I’m at a major research university and find it impossible to keep up with everything in immunology, although I try.

      • ali August 23, 2013 / 11:20 am

        Hi Jennifer,
        I think it would be extremely helpful to have a guide for non-scientists available. However I would want one written by someone on each side of the debate. ..I feel there would be a certain bias from each side. Or from a completely neutral party, if that even exists on this topic!
        Thank you for the advice of what to look out for when reading a scientific paper. I’m going to try to start looking into that. (Having only a month to go in my 2nd pregnancy, I just need to find the time!)
        And regarding the negative comments, I’m glad you kept them in. I do like to read what everyone has to say. I just don’t like people that use the “you’re stupid” kind of comments …offers no help to me! Thanks again!

        • Jennifer Raff August 23, 2013 / 11:23 am

          No problem! I’m actually working on one today 🙂
          I’m writing it just as a general guide on how to read any paper, so hopefully it’s as neutral as possible, and therefore useful to anyone. If I use an example paper, it will be one from my own field that doesn’t generate quite as much controversy.

    • Scott Nelson August 22, 2013 / 9:48 am

      I took a look at this site. Here are a few of the red herrings.
      1) He’s trying to SELL you something
      2) He has a master’s in Organic Chemistry. That’s a nice start, but it doesn’t give him much credibility in the fields of epidemiology, physiology, or immunology. Nor does he have a track record of publishing in peer reviewed journals. (you can check a publication record for most peer reviewed articles at and choose pubmed, enter the authors name, this covers most all biological fields) (Make sure you’re looking at the right person too, lots of people have the same name)
      3) He doesn’t site his sources
      4) He’s claiming he can cure an awful lot societies problems (obesity, diabetes, “toxins”)

      • Jennifer Raff August 22, 2013 / 9:48 am

        Thanks, Scott! I really appreciate your contributions.

      • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 10:16 am

        You realize that the CDC is tasked with ensuring vaccine uptake right? By your standards, given that they are most definitely trying to sell you vaccines, all the information on their website which is routinely posted by vaccine advocates is a pretty big red herring right? And we are never given individual qualifications of the person that’s posting the information, another huge red herring, do they even have a degree in organic chemistry? Yikes.

      • ali August 23, 2013 / 11:24 am

        Thanks Scott! I never thought about this stuff while reading that link. I didn’t see what kind of scientist he was. I did see that he mentioned his book a lot though and that was off-putting 🙂 I guess I just need to learn to be extremely critical of authors and sources when trying to get more information on this subject.

  24. Vilx- August 22, 2013 / 4:56 am

    You should also add “tick-borne encephalitis” to the list of diseases that have vaccines. I know that it’s not popular in the US, but for large parts of Europe (including Latvia where I live) it’s an everyday reality.

    • Jennifer Raff August 22, 2013 / 4:44 pm

      Thanks, I realize that this post is very American-centric (that’s the context for my work). Can you provide me with a citation for that, please?

  25. evija August 22, 2013 / 8:32 am

    Many children get chikenpoxx after vacine. My best frends doctor sed : oh, it is surprise, it should not be like this. Excatlly the same was with my neibor, which son , also got chikenpoxx after vacine against them. Many other kids got them too , and they were form diferent cities. I did not made vacine to my son, he got chikenpoxx and I was not suprised, all was fine, just 2 weeks at home, like all other kids.
    I knew man, who died form tick-borne encephalitis, but he had vacine against it.
    I know family, where youngest boy ( form 5 children) become criple, after vacine. His father suffers a lot and we had a long talk , after what I made desicions, no more vacine for my kids. My youngest son will not recive any vacine, till he will live in my house and I am responible for him. I love him and I wish him all the best! By the way – I had neved had vacine as a kid, couse my grandmom was nurse and she forbided that. I think that she new already, that all that is business.

    • Kevin August 22, 2013 / 7:52 pm

      Evija Vaccines are like any medicine they have side effects. However, like all medicines the side effects are better than the alternative.

      For instance before there was the chicken Pox vaccine parents purposely and knowingly sent there kids to other peoples houses to get infected with mystery and uncontrolled strains of chicken Pox because it was preferable than letting there kids get to adult hood and become susceptible to an even worse variation of the virus.

      However, you are concerned when much smaller number of kids get sick from a castrated version of the virus? Even though you were going to infect them anyway?

      You are also complaining that a vaccine wasn’t 100% effective even though it was effective in other cases. Vaccines are your bodies helper, they do not make you invincible to various items or all strains.

      I fully and completely understand why you formed your opinion based on the facts you had on hand.

      However, have you considered how you accept all of the above faults from any and all of the medicines that you freely and regularly take that only have a limited effect.

      However, you won’t accept the same actions and limitations from a medicine that has life long lasting benefits, and prevents pain.

      I just want you consider that next time.

  26. Barbra August 22, 2013 / 10:26 am

    I don’t understand why there has to be fighting and arguing about this subject. Make your own decision based on the research you do, looking at both sides, and then get on with it. If you don’t want your unimunized kids going to school with immunized kids or vice versa, then homeschool your kids. If you really want to do the best by your child then it’s nobody’s right to tell you you’re doing it wrong. Your children belong to you. Let other people’s children alone and let parents make their own decisions based on what they believe.

  27. L. Rosenblood August 22, 2013 / 12:52 pm

    There is another reason that some parents are not vaccinating that this postdoesn’t mention – dishonest reporting of studies, with an attempt to appear objective and scientific. Anti-vaccination books such a Vaccine Safety Manual purport to be an overview of the scientific literature, targeted to the intelligent layperson. The reality is that they distort the facts to fit their pre-determined agenda.

    • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 1:25 pm

      You don’t honestly think that’s a good rebuttal of Miller’s book do you? Reading approximately 2% of a book and then reviewing it?

      • Scott Nelson August 22, 2013 / 1:48 pm

        Actually, that’s a very good practice. If you read a few pages of something and find that the logic does not follow, or that many logical fallacies are present, then it is reasonable to assume that that is the what is present throughout the writing and move on to a better use of your time. It happens all the time in peer review. You find 2-3 major things wrong and you send it back with a “try again-there at least this many things wrong” comment, and move on to the next thing in the pile. I might point out that peer reviewers receive no compensation for the work they do-so they have little vested interest in trashing someone unnecessarily, although, in the words of Carl Sagan “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”

        • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 1:58 pm

          You can point something out but that doesn’t make it true, I’m sure you’re aware of that given your understanding of fallacies. I happen to personally know a few people that peer review and when it’s a peer-review of a study that puts a corporations product in a negative light there are very definitely financial incentives to find anything wrong with it.

      • L. Rosenblood August 22, 2013 / 3:37 pm

        A) I reviewed approximately 20% of the book. You are off by an order of magnitude.
        B) Many of the arguments made in the chapters I reviewed were repeated in other sections.
        C) Taking a representative sample is a fairly common practice in most fields of human endeavour. If there is little of merit and much that is misleading in the fifth of the book under scrutiny, there is no reason to believe the other chapter adhere to any form of intellectual integrity.

        • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 3:45 pm

          “I have read the Introduction, Measles, and MMR sections”

          So you’re saying this is 20% of the book? Either someone sent you a version with most of the pages ripped out or you are simply being dishonest. It is no surprise to see some of the most well known vaccine apologists like Liz Ditz posting in your comments section.

      • L. Rosenblood August 22, 2013 / 4:30 pm

        The three sections (or chapters, if you prefer) constitute 65 or so pages of ~350, which is nearly 20% of the book.

        This would be a far more productive disucssion if you took issue with any of the actual points made in the review, instead of inaccurately characterizing the methodology and casting unwarranted (and spurious) aspersions on the quality of my character.

      • Jennifer Raff August 22, 2013 / 5:00 pm

        Richids, just out of curiosity, are you and plasmarules the same person? WordPress seems to think you are. If so, I’d appreciate it if you post under one account.

        • Richids Coulter August 26, 2013 / 7:19 am

          The e-mail address is identical, not my fault if Word Press mucks it up, take it up with them. I sign in the same way every time.

        • plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 7:21 am

          Oh wait I see what happened, it was for some reason (no swear words or links that would flag an automated response) not allowing the Word Press accounts to be logged in so I used Facebook instead. If you want only one method of logging in, I suggest you move the other options okay? Cheers.

  28. Leila Hays August 22, 2013 / 1:16 pm

    I find it interesting that most of Edwin’s sources are from the kinds of blogs that this particular post list as being unrelViable. I also think that he should probably read something like The Demon in the Freezer, which discusses epidemic outbreaks and how they are handled. Of particular interest is smallpox. Whenever there is an outbreak the way that it is contained is by quarantining people within the outbreak area and then vaccinating in a circle outside of the outbreak to prevent it from spreading. I have little doubt that most of us, including Edwin, are alive because we or someone in our family has been vaccinated. Jennifer, thank you for this rational and well written post. I will be passing it on.

    • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 1:36 pm

      So despite the fact that all deaths from almost all diseases were in decline long before vaccination, Leila Hays says that most of us are only alive because of vaccines. This really shows just how successful 100 years of vaccine propaganda have been, that this sort of blind faith with extremely little scientifically sound basis, continues to be spouted forth across “teh interwebzzz”

      • Leila Hays August 22, 2013 / 2:01 pm

        Read the book I referenced then come back and respond to my post.

        • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 2:08 pm

          You’re asking me to read a book when you can’t even read a post? I’m talking about BEFORE vaccinations began, what relevance would a book about vaccinating people be when discussing how death rates were in decline long before vaccination even began, hence suggesting most of us are alive thanks to vaccines is patently absurd given that mortality rates didn’t stop falling just before vaccines started, certainly hadn’t started to rise again, and didn’t even decline more rapidly. It is simply a bizarre statement you’ve made that has no basis in reality.

      • Kevin August 22, 2013 / 2:44 pm

        Fine than Richard a good portion of us are alive because of vaccines. Considerably more than there would have been without vaccines.

        and yes things were in decline,….. they were not wipeout out, rare, or even not a threat.

        Just ask any of the posters that are over 60 here they will tell you.

        • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 3:23 pm

          Wrong, again this statement makes NO SENSE. Look, if the DEATH RATES had been reduced in many cases by over 90% and in some cases by over 99% just due to changes in sanitation and living conditions and understanding better how to treat diseases, how is it logical to say “a good portion of us” – how is less than 1% a good portion? Less than 1% of us can thank vaccines for keeping us alive, which means that the result of most diseases must have been 100% guaranteed death right?

          Let’s look at official measles statistics from the UK.
          In 1940 there were 409,521 cases of measles reported and 857 deaths, so 0.002% of people in the UK that got measles, died.

          In 1967 the year before vaccine protection would have begun in the UK, there were 460,407 cases of measles reported and 99 deaths, so 0.0002% of people that caught measles died in 1967, so a factor of ten was the reduction in the number of people dying in the 27 years before vaccination began. Why do you think that percentage was suddenly going to stop going down? I’d love to hear a valid reason.

          By the way 0.0002% is 1 in every 4,650 cases, which doesn’t sound very much in line with what the government regulatory agencies are telling us (don’t they say 1 in every 2,000).

          1990, 1 death in 13,300 (0.000075%)
          1994 0 deaths of over 16,000 cases.

          • Jason hoagland August 22, 2013 / 6:39 pm

            What do you think and how do you feel when an unvaccinated child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease? When a six-month-old without pertussis vaccination contracts Bordatella pertussis and dies from its complications, how do you view that death?

          • Jason hoagland August 22, 2013 / 6:44 pm

            How do you feel about the reduction in deaths from 99 down to 0 per annum and the number of cases of measles down from 460,000 down to 16,000 Pre- and post-vaccination eras?

      • Anonymous August 22, 2013 / 2:50 pm

        Richids, we certainly have become better at preventing deaths due to increased scientific knowledge of the world around us, enhanced medical practices, and scientific understanding of the nature of epidemics and disease etc. Clearly the prevention of death due to disease was affected by these advances, which would certainly help explain the decline. I think our worrying about different ailments in the world are not simply that we don’t want to die from them. We also do not want to be affected by the non-lethal yet potentially severe consequences of contracting them in the first place.

        The point of a vaccine is to prevent infection (ie morbidity). What you really need to look at is a plot of morbidity vs time before and after introduction of vaccines. This is something that I would love to see yet I have not found good sources for.

        • Richids Coulter August 22, 2013 / 3:12 pm

          The problem is that diseases mutate and we’re already seeing a more deadly strain of pertussis which the vaccine doesn’t protect against causing grave concerns and those that don’t vaccinate are shouldering the blame which is absolute nonsense. What we should be doing is recognizing that the original diseases may often be pretty benign when we know how to handle them and understand that REAL herd immunity has only been observed with wild circulating disease, not from measles in a needle.

          • Jason August 22, 2013 / 6:18 pm

            What do you think and how do you feel when an unvaccinated child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease?

            • Richids Coulter August 26, 2013 / 7:24 am

              How did you feel when the Scarecrow got a brain in The Wizard of Oz?

      • Rectangle August 23, 2013 / 11:47 am

        Of course there were fewer deaths. We developed a healthcare system to take care of the sick, even if they were crippled for life from a polio outbreak. You know, the kind of outbreak that used to happen every summer in the US. In 1952, there was an epidemic with 57,628 new recorded cases. The vaccine was widely used by 1957 and by 1961 polio was basically eradicated from this country.

        The internet will tell you anything you want to hear if you search hard enough and don’t have any fact-checking standards. Odds are there’s a couple guys out there with MDs willing to say it too. But anyone who knows what they’re working with will know that it’s not DEATH rate you need to track, but infection rate. That’s the whole point of the vaccine. Or do you think that infection doesn’t matter at all as long as the patent remains alive?

        • plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 7:33 am

          The very GLARING reality you’re missing is that we are constantly being fear-mongered upon by industry, so-called experts writing internet blogs, government regulatory agencies and vaccine apologists that were we to stop vaccinating we would have the deaths of millions of children on our hands – DEATH STATISTICS, something I’m sure you’re not suggesting are being fabricated by the UK’s government public health website (and many other sources for other countries), tell no lies on this issue – to suggest mortality rates would suddenly skyrocket is patently absurd and no scientist in their right mind, including Dr. David Gorski from Science Based Medicine, will argue to the contrary.

      • Kevin August 26, 2013 / 4:23 pm

        Richids where would you like me to begin?

        1. You are comparing every number to a prevaricated public.

        2. To properly compare any Vaccine effect to the viruses per year number you must multiply the deaths and level of effect by the average human lifespan. I’ve already shown that even using the post vaccinated infection rate that virus is 50 more times to kill you than it is to cause you a life time problem. According to post vaccinated scenarios. (some people don’t know how to use stats)

        3. Medical technology may have reduced the chance for death however, it has not decreased the rate of infection. Vaccines do. This is massively important when it comes to countries or areas that cannot afford or provide first world medical care both within the US or outside it. Or to people who can’t afford to be down for 6 weeks or more or in that much pain for that length of time.

        4. Death IS NOT the only negative effect cause by these viruses. Most of the vaccinated viruses often and regularly cause long term side effects. Above and beyond the damage well in excess of any damage done by vaccines.

        In short if you are going to complain about the possible negative effects of vaccines than you cannot ignore/forget the known and common short term and LONG TERM negative effects of the viruses.

  29. Seeing Is Believing August 22, 2013 / 7:47 pm

    I am a 22-year-old male who has never been vaccinated; my only intravenous experience is with an IV when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I have never battled with any life threatening diseases or sickness. All of my physical exams have concluded with an optimal health report. Sure, I suffer from the common cold once a year, but I am always able to fight off all symptoms in no more than a couple of days.

    I also have numerous family and friends of various ages who have not been vaccinated and their health status is shockingly similar to mine.

    Without a doubt, science and modern medicine have provided many great benefits to society, and I base this claim on direct observation. I also base my opinion about vaccines by the same measure. I can directly observe that they would have done me no benefit in receiving them and I am confident they will be of no benefit to my future children either. I am no less healthy, or disadvantaged in fighting disease than any of my vaccinated peers for not having a concoction of heavy metals, and toxic chemicals flowing through my veins.

  30. JR August 23, 2013 / 8:52 am

    Thank you for this very important and hard hitting post.
    I can’t be as calm and level headed as you about this. I am autistic, my son is autistic, and I have older generation family members who are autistic. It’s pretty obviously a genetic condition. I find it very frightening that we are being demonized in order to give some people an excuse to refuse to vaccinate. The extreme cases are highlighted in the media and the problems of autism are blown well out of proportion to the rather mild level of actual “disability” it causes – meanwhile the actual benefits of autism are completely overlooked or even disbelieved. If I tell people I’m happy with who I am, they act like I am crazy. It’s horrifying to me that people would rather their children die of measles, polio, and whooping cough than be like me – not that refusing to vaccinate them would make them like me. They would just be the exact same children they were who happened to be more susceptible to contagious diseases.

    • Jennifer Raff August 26, 2013 / 10:42 am

      Thank you. I’m thinking about doing a post on the genetic basis for autism (so far as it’s currently understood). It’s an interesting topic to me.
      I, too, am disturbed by the treatment of autistic people in this larger debate. I happen to be neurotypical (is that the correct word?), but I know that there’s a range of manifestations and it seems to me that you’re correct about only the most extreme cases being highlighted in an attempt to frighten parents. Thanks very much for your perspective here.

  31. Kelly McGill August 23, 2013 / 9:54 am

    What do you do when your own doctor advises against the MMR vaccine? We opted not to give it to our son until he was older. He is scheduled for his MMR vaccine before kindergarten next year… I admit, I was terrified of the perceived link between autism and the vaccine. After spending time reading , and a measles out-break in my county, I am bumping up that vaccine appointment.

    • Jennifer Raff August 26, 2013 / 10:43 am

      I’d suggest getting a second (or third) opinion! Is your physician an MD?

      • Richids Coulter August 26, 2013 / 11:09 am

        What Jennifer’s suggesting is going to different doctors until you find one that wants you to get MMR, in other words pushing vaccines. Many doctors don’t care about individual children’s needs or even allergies or whether or not they were recently or currently sick, all of which would be a warning sign against getting the vaccine. Any possible gastrointestinal issues would be a concern too, which is one of the things Wakefield was saying that has been replicated many times over by other researchers. Perhaps you’ll find one that is of the opinion that serious reactions never happen, there’s no need to give out lot numbers to your for your immunization records (something EVERY doctor should be doing but none do), and if something serious happens afterwards they’ll just say it was coincidental. If that’s the kind of doctor you’re looking for, then definitely keep shopping around.

        • Jennifer Raff August 26, 2013 / 11:19 am

          My suggestions don’t need your clarification, Richids. “Many doctors don’t care about individual children’s needs.” Interesting allegation. Are you one of those doctors that does?

          • Richids Coulter August 26, 2013 / 12:16 pm

            Oh it’s not an allegation, it’s an observation based on hundreds of accounts of testimony I’ve heard and many interactions with those in the medical profession myself. Your suggestions very definitely did need my clarification Jennifer.

            PS – you know that Google doesn’t actually supply information itself, it’s just a search engine. Always found that terminology either intentionally misleading or ignorant of what Google actually does. You can access the entire PubMed library through Google.

  32. Carolyn terry August 23, 2013 / 10:21 am

    What I find interesting in all this discussion is the blame being charged to vaccines but why does no one discuss all the unnecessary additives & chemicals in a large per cent of foods ingested & the very REAL danger to mental & physical health, esp. since that ingestion begins before birth? Before birth, you say? Yes, because the mother has been ingesting them all during the time the child was inside her body & then whether she breast feeds or bottle feeds, the additives & chemicals continue to be fed to the child for the rest of its life.

    I had polio in the dreadful epidemic of 1944. I’ve never forgotten the screams of the babies & small children because of the pain we endured, with NO pain killers & with NO comfort of our families because we were all quarantined from the moment we entered the hosp. ’til we went home. I remember the young mother encased in the iron lung across the aisle from me in the ward. Often I’ve wondered if she lived. To die would have been more merciful than to live as an infant encased in the huge, noisy, iron monster, unable to even scratch an itch.

    My husband’s aunt died of polio that yr., leaving behind a yr. old daughter. You better believe I had my 3 children take the polio vaccine. Seeing children & adults wearing the heavy, ugly leg braces or in wheelchairs ….. sad, sad, sad. Rarely did they smile or laugh. Too often they were stared or laughed at. Too often parents had no money to care for them & they went into “homes.”

    I mentioned to my drs. over the last 25 yrs. that they wouldn’t even know how to diagnose a person who had polio & they said I was right. They wouldn’t know what to look for. You who think you are somehow safe from getting any of these “oddball” diseases are living in a “pipe dream” world. All it takes is for you to come into contact with a carrier from a 3rd world country & YOU NEVER KNOW when that might be!!

    Personally, I think the vaccines should be spread out instead of all being given at one time but I’ve been away from medicines too long to know what’s being given or in what time frame. As with ALL medicines, people do NOT react the same. Nor are all pharmaceutical companies honest in their compounding methods or with ingredients they use. There are MANY variables but having lived through the yrs. when many lives were taken by polio, measles, mumps, etc., I would EVER opt to take vaccinations if given the choice.

    Once again … start looking more at additives in food, as well as pollutants in the air we HAVE to breathe, as the source of many problems falsely attributed to vaccines.

    • Marni August 23, 2013 / 11:27 am

      I’ve read just a very little bit about why vaccines are administered on the schedule used in this country. The rationale for giving several immunizations during a single healthcare appointment is simple. Please remember that most recipients of well-child care don’t have parents or care givers with a great commitment to achieving full immunization coverage by the time the child starts kindergarten. The research shows that the fewer visits needed to get all necessary vaccinations, the more likely the average child in an average family situation will get all of the needed immunizations. Therefore, each new vaccine developed has been initially administered separately from all of the others — as in weeks to months between a new vaccine and all of the other vaccines the child will receive. When enough evidence on widespread safety and efficacy has been gathered and analyzed, studies are done on continued safety and efficacy when administered at the same time as one or more of the other vaccines. When safe and feasible, the vaccines (like the MMR) are combined and given in one injection rather than, for the MMR, 3 separate injections. Healthcare providers are NOT mind readers, nor are they able to detect with great accuracy during an appointment which caregivers will actually come back in a specified time period for the child to receive the next scheduled immunization. Therefore, the safest, most efficacious way to assure that as many children as possible get all of the needed immunizations is to group the immunizations and give several during single healthcare visits. You may argue the usefulness and wisdom of this policy as you wish, but this is the main reason the immunizations are clustered as they are. This is just an FYI comment, not intended to spark another vitriolic debate, by the way. And please note that caregivers in the US are always able to do what several parents involved in this discussion have done, which is spread the immunizations out on a self-determined schedule. As long as all of the needed immunizations have been administered by the time the child is in school and are maintained with boosters as needed for the rest of their lives, all is fine.

      • Carolyn Terry August 23, 2013 / 9:05 pm

        Thanks, Marnie. Yes, after working nearly 7 yrs. as pharmacy dept. manager of a large drug store I know well that people OFTEN do not follow through. I never heard of “well visits” ’til I worked in pharmacy in the ’80s & early ’90’s. Too often I saw parents who had money for beer & cigs but not for things/care the child really needed. We were barely able to scrape by when our 3 children were small but they got their shots & medical care … no welfare, food stamps, etc.. Besides that, I never knew such help existed!! Those who haven’t lived through epidemics that I saw or illnesses I had, have NO idea of what it is like for the child, the parents … or the doctors who struggled to save lives of adults as well as children. I was put to bed on a couch in the doctor’s home one night! During WW2 most drs. & nurses were in war zones or military hospitals.

  33. abutler70 August 23, 2013 / 11:40 am

    Thanks for a wonderful post on this subject. Too often, advocates for either position direct so much vitriol toward the other side that the discussion boils down to a shouting match — which does no one any good. People do not change their minds by being yelled at or talked down to; this just makes them dig in their heels more. Your post may not change the minds of people for whom anti-vax sentiments are basically an article of faith, but for people on the fence who just want to make a good decision, it ought to be helpful.

    Professionally, I have represented a number of clients in litigation against pharmaceutical and chemical companies over the harmful effects of their products. I am WELL AWARE of the reasons not to blindly trust industry and government. Big Pharma really has a terrible track record (Risperdal, Fen-Phen, Avandia, etc.)! So does the U.S. government (consider the government’s role in uranium mining and the beryllium and asbestos industries). And unfortunately (as the Wakefield case illustrates), as much faith as we’d like to put in the scientific literature, even published, peer-reviewed research is not immune to the influence of money and politics.

    Even knowing all that, for me, as a parent, the important point (as illustrated by the Penn & Teller video) is that there is no completely risk free option here–and the most consistent, abundant evidence supports the practice of vaccinating infants, since the risks to unvaccinated children are so serious and well-known. Just look at WHO’s most recent statistics on measles. “Measles vaccination resulted in a 71% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2011 worldwide,” yet there were still a whopping 158,000 deaths from measles worldwide! ( Bluntly, I would far rather my child be autistic than to see her die or cause another child’s death from measles.

    Regarding your discussion of pertussis, I think your point was that parents need to protect their infants against the very real and serious risk of pertussis. However, I do see how someone could read what you wrote and start lighting the torches to go after parents who do not give their child the DTaP vaccine, on the theory that they are the ones causing pertussis outbreaks. For what it’s worth, CDC does not attribute increases in reported cases of pertussis over the last 20-30 years to the failure of some parents to vaccinate their children, but rather to the fact that pertussis continues to circulate among adults (who often don’t even know they have it) because our vaccine isn’t 100% effective and doesn’t confer immunity indefinitely. See for a complete explanation.

  34. Erin August 23, 2013 / 1:22 pm

    I’m not anti-vaccines, but side effects exist for all pharmaceuticals, Even something as mild as an asprin. Saying vaccines are 100% safe is ignorant. You can legally file a claim and get compensated for adverse reactions. There is a government program here:

  35. Margs August 23, 2013 / 1:48 pm

    One question that comes to
    Mind…if a persons children are vaxxed. Why are they so afraid of nonvaxed kids? Shouldn’t it be that nonvaxed kids be the ones who are afraid? The vaxxed kids should be safe! It’s the nonvaxed kids who are in harms way, right?

  36. Anonymous August 23, 2013 / 9:09 pm

    Why do people who vaccinate their children care about others who choose not to vaccinate their kids. Some parents state ” Your un-vaccinated child is harming and putting my vaccinated child at risk” Seriously? Your child was vaccinated. Shouldn’t they be protected? Isn’t that the whole point of vaccinating?

    • patblackard August 25, 2013 / 1:51 pm

      Infants can’t be vaccinated until 2 months. They can die if they get the disease from an unvaccinated person. That’s the whole point of vaccinating.

      • plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 7:52 am

        They can die from the vaccine too, in other cases become permanently disfigured and/or brain damaged, that’s the whole point of not vaccinating.

    • Jerry A. August 27, 2013 / 12:12 pm

      Vaccinations are not 100% effective in 100% of people. Not all vaccines are effective for your entire life; some require booster shots which many people do not get. When 90-95% of people are vaccinated, the chance of an un-vaccinated person or a vaccinated but not fully protected person coming into contact with an infected person is low. When the vaccination rate drops to, say, 70%, the chance of contagion is a lot higher. Un-vaccinated people are dangerous to others as well as themselves.

  37. Sue Kucklick Arencibia August 23, 2013 / 10:21 pm

    I was one of those kids that managed to survive the years before mumps, rubella, chicken pox and some of the other vaccines. We got DTP and polio vaccines. The rest of those illnesses, measles (2 kinds), mumps, chicken pox– I got, some of them twice, by some parent sending their sick, feverish kid to the elementary school. I was the oldest in the family, so once I contracted the illnesses my little brothers were exposed and got sick just as soon as I was starting to recover. Sometimes the neighbor kids got sick too. That tied the moms up for three weeks minimum nursing a bunch of sick kids back to health. It didn’t do me any good, as I spent a substantial part of second grade dealing with some contagion turning into two episodes of pneumonia. Thank heaven for the development of sulfa because it saved my life.
    Another childhood memory is the little graveyard attached to the textile mill behind my mom’s childhood home in South Carolina. Most mill towns have one or more of these graveyards. My aunt was always on a tear in her later years calling Milliken, the owner of the long shuttered mill property, to come and mow it. I always wondered why there were so many tiny graves of young children, sometimes several from the same family who died at the same time. My mom told me it was the diphtheria.

  38. Michael August 24, 2013 / 12:23 am

    Well as my mother always tells me, people are stupid. An arrogant statement? Maybe? Take a look and decide for yourself:

    Which world do you live in, the one in which god created the world 5700 years ago and buried a lot of false evidence about dinosaurs to fool us, not to mention the 14 billion year old microwave background radiation (or maybe the devil did it and god left it there for some crazy reason) , or the one where the same science that builds sky scrapers and jets that zip us from place to place at 600mph tells us we are better off with vaccines?

  39. Joseph Hertzlinger August 25, 2013 / 4:42 pm

    It looks like some of the states with high vaccination rates also have high birth rates. Does this mean the depopulation agenda isn’t working?

    • plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 7:55 am

      Some of the states with philosophical exemptions also have the healthiest kids and have shown that vaccination coverage rates are actually higher than those that don’t, take Vermont for example. Perhaps all states should allow philosophical exemptions instead of taking the route of tyranny and not even allowing religious exemptions like VA and MI do. Healthier kids when parents have a choice, that’s clearly what Vermont shows.

  40. plasmarules August 26, 2013 / 12:39 pm

    We’re still waiting on you to address the questions that were posed to you in the section of your article where you blatantly lied about Andrew Wakefield. Some of those questions in case you can’t find them would be:

    1) In the original press conference in 1998, Andrew Wakefield said that he recommended using the single measles vaccine that had a 30 year safety record until further research on the MMR could be done. At this time the single measles vaccine was on the schedule and there was no mention anywhere of it being pulled. This is something Dr. Offit mucks up in his book, as he accuses Wakefield of suggesting parents avoid the MMR when there was no other option. Now I’ve never seen any good peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that Wakefield was psychic, so please explain how he was going to replace the MMR with his own measles vaccine when he had just recommended the single one that was still on the schedule 6 months before the NHS inexplicably (no doubt at the request of GSK) pulled the license for it.

    2) If Wakefield faked his data, why have none of the other authors ever supported that theory? Not a single one of them. They all redacted an INTERPRETATION of the Lancet study, but not one of them said their data was faked. You say it, but hopefully that’s not based on Brian Deer’s findings which have been soundly squashed.

    3) Wakefield lost his license because he and Professor John Walker-Smith refused to get ethics committee approval for some of the tests they ordered on the Lancet children. The 5-man panel at the GMC trial was comprised of 2 laypersons, 1 geriatician, 1 general practitioner and 1 adult psychiatrist. How did those 5 people better decide than one of the leading pediatric gastroenterologists (Walker-Smith) that those tests didn’t require ethics committee approval? In addition Brian Deer withheld documents that would have advised everyone in the GMC panel that the doctors were routinely operating under ethics approval 162/95 and not ethics approval 172/96 – which was for a different study never carried out which Dr Kumar and his GMC panel decided was carried out. It was a giant muck up. Recently Walker-Smith won his appeal and Justice Mitting reprimanded the GMC for their messy procedures. Not one part of the GMC trial had anything to do with Wakefields results or with the data or with any vaccine, yet the mainstream media and repeaters like yourself keep mentioning these things like they’re facts and not outright lies.

    4) Does it not bother you at all that one journalist whose findings have never been peer-reviewed is behind all the allegations against Wakefield and that his investigation was funded by Rupert Murdoch’s son who was at the time on the board of UK MMR makers GlaxoSmithKline making 70,000 pounds per year in a non-executive director position? Or what about Sir Crispin Davis, the man who pulled the Lancet study as CEO of Elsevier, who also was making 70,000 pounds annually in a non-executive position on the board of GSK.

    It was a very successful witch hunt, that is for sure. Of course I’d expect the same result for anyone that stands in the way of the multi-trillion dollar pharmaceutical industry and any of its fastest growing profit sectors. Many segments of industry are the same.

    • Kevin August 26, 2013 / 9:56 pm

      does it bother you that almost all the behavior you are complaining about above from various people and random connections was committed by Wakefield.
      Including how he was paid more than all the people combined to create this problem.
      Or how he stood to make millions on his single shot vaccine?

      Don’t get me wrong I’m sure there are reasons but you can’t avoid the fact that Wakefield had equal or even greater motivation than anyone else.

      Also are all vaccines bad or just the ones not produced by Wakefield? Afterall he was producing his own vaccine. So you accept that but don’t accept the others?

      there are more than a few double standards here.

  41. Kevin August 26, 2013 / 9:45 pm

    What some people have forgotten
    In addition to the painful virus itself the virus have long term consequences to people and to the unborn.

    27% chance of spontaneous abortion.
    5% chance of inflammation e of the ovaries causing fertility issues.
    10% chance of swelling of the brain.
    30% chance of testicular problems in males that can lead to sterility.
    Acute deafness in one in 20,000 cases

    In the unborn cardiac, cerebral, ophthalmic and auditory defects, eonatal thrombocytopenia, anaemia and hepatitis
    Or the mothers body just KILLS THE BABY.

    a host of complications and opens the body to contracting more serious problems.
    including Corneal ulceration.

    Chicken Pox.
    Damage to brain: encephalitis,[22] microcephaly, hydrocephaly,[23] aplasia of brain
    Damage to the eye: optic stalk, optic cup, and lens vesicles, microphthalmia, cataracts, chorioretinitis, optic atrophy
    Other neurological disorder: damage to cervical and lumbosacral spinal cord, motor/sensory deficits, absent deep tendon reflexes, anisocoria/Horner’s syndrome
    Damage to body: hypoplasia of upper/lower extremities, anal and bladder sphincter dysfunction
    Skin disorders: (cicatricial) skin lesions, hypopigmentation

    Motor involvement — including weakness especially in “motor herpes zoster”
    Eye involvement — trigeminal nerve involvemen /BLINDNESS
    chronic pain after the virus has left.

    1 in 75 chance of suffering paralysis. Increasing with age.

    The Anti-Vaxers like to talk about the dead and how there are fewer of them (amazing how medical knowledge has increased). They Like to talk about the unsubstantiated fear of Autism. They like to talk about the one in a million chance of vaccine damage.

    but for some reason they don’t like to talk about the above.
    They don’t like to talk about permanent and pretty common neurological damage
    They don’t like to talk about sterility and infertility.
    They don’t like to talk about paralysis
    They don’t like to talk about dead babies, or crying mothers.

    They don’t like to talk about how vaccines dropped the rate of these occur from as high as 1 in 20 to almost ZERO chance.

    Somehow the above just slipped there mind when they did there exhaustive and detailed research. As they questioned the results of professionals world wide.

    Now some may say that I’m being a little condescending and even a little rude. However, lets be realistic here. The anti-vax premise relies heavily on the fact that millions of professions from across the globe are either incompetent, are filled with soulless greed or are part of some massive world wide conspiracy. This is a premise I find pretty rude to start with.

  42. momologues August 27, 2013 / 6:26 am

    Great post! A huge concern of the nonvax argument involves the ingredients in vaccines. Can you speak on the some findings or stats on those? Once the autism link was beaten to death, they latched onto ingredients!zomg!11

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