When people decide not to vaccinate their children, I take it personally

If the media and Internet are to be believed (and these days, really, what is the difference?), the act of parenting has become a full-scale cultural war.  How to raise your kids.  On what to raise your kids.  How your kids sleep, eat, play, and practice “Little White Donkey” on the piano–nowadays, these are all grist for the mill.

But if modern parenting feels like a war, its bloodiest battlefield surely must be that of the vaccine debate–namely, between parents who decide to vaccinate their children in accordance with recommended medical guidelines, and those parents who do not.  Vaccines.  At this point, even the word itself is polarizing, sending parents skittering in opposite directions, like scattered iron filings between two magnets.

This is not going to be, at its core, a piece about the vaccine debate.  At this point, I trust it’s a story we all know well.  Regardless of which side of the debate you align yourself, it is difficult to argue against the fact that the development of vaccines is one of the greatest advances in modern medicine–right up there with antibiotics and anesthesia.  Vaccines, of course, are biological agents, prepared in a number of different ways, which strengthen the body’s own immunity to a number of dangerous or potentially fatal diseases.  When they were developed, vaccines were heralded as nothing less than a miracle.  Over the years, potentially fatal diseases like the measles, polio, and smallpox were virtually eliminated with routine immunization.

Ask parents who choose against vaccinating about the reasons behind their decision, and you may hear a handful of different answers, both specific and vague.  But direct or indirect, it is difficult to ignore the influence of one particular man named Andrew Wakefield, who in 1998 published a paper in The Lancet about a link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and the development of autism.  The study has since been roundly debunked and condemned several years ago by the scientific community at large, but the damage, it seems, was already done.  The word was out: vaccines are dangerous.  And despite best scientific evidence, that’s the sole message that remains for many.  As easy as it was to scare people, it becomes impossible, now, to un-scare them.

All this, like I mentioned before, is old news, and at this point, you honestly don’t need me to tell you about any of it.  What I do want to address, however, is the way in which this debate has pitted parents against doctors, creating an adversarial relationship when it comes to the task that both parties have at heart–namely, raising healthy children.  Somehow, the rhetoric from the most vocal portion of the anti-vaccine contingent has turned particularly antagonistic, painting doctors and the drug companies who develop vaccines as greedy, ignorant, maleficent perpetrators of a giant medical conspiracy, and who recognize the supposed harm of vaccines but who willfully force them on children anyway.

This is the part where I have to admit that, as a doctor who also just so happens to be a parent, this topic never fails to enrage me. To be clear, my reaction to people who don’t vaccinate is not annoyance, not puzzlement, not dismay, but actual, visceral anger, like I’m taking people’s anti-vaccination sentiments as a personal affront.  I’ve worked in both pediatric and adult medicine, and I’ve had more than my share of patients disagree with my medical assessments, but this is one of the few issues that I take so much to heart, that can make me this upset, and it makes me wonder why.

The fact is, when people tell me that they decided not to vaccinate their children, I am taking it personally.

Here is why.

As someone who works in healthcare, with sick patients, I see every day the injustice and horror that is illness. Preventative healthcare is a wonderful thing, perhaps the best kind of medicine that we can practice. Along with a healthy lifestyle, protecting against preventable illness is a big part of that. As a doctor, it’s quite simply the very best that we know how to do.

So when I stumble upon those internet parenting boards, read the anti-vaccination literature and hear the rhetoric, I see people who are not only rejecting we have to offer, but are vilifying doctors and other healthcare workers–who have devoted decades of their lives to caring for children and families and continue to work their hardest to give patients the highest quality care we know how.  And quite frankly, it hurts my feelings. It’s not just paternalism, it’s not about me wanting to tell patients what to do and for them to comply mindlessly, it’s about me wanting to do my job and do it well, always, for everyone.  And when I feel like people reject my efforts and recast my motives as somehow evil, greedy, or just plain ignorant, it hurts my feelings.

So yeah, I take it personally. I respect a parent’s intuition and I respect the fact that no one feels great, myself included, about bringing their baby in, making them cry by jamming them with needles filled with seemingly mysterious antigens and preservatives. As a doctor I know fever and irritability is part of the immune process in action, but as a parent, I still hate to see it.  The rational mind understands the biology, but I know first-hand that the desire to protect your children from all real or potential harm is beyond conscious thought–it is, pure and simple, instinct.

But I respect science, too, and I have based my life around that. In lieu of religion, I have science. And the impulse to prosthelytise is equally strong. And just like people who prosthelytise about religious faith, I am doing so not to force you to be like me, not to scorn or humiliate you for possibly being of a different faith, but because I care about you and your children and families, and I want what all best evidence I have points to being the most effective way to stay out of my hospital.

Doctors aren’t always the best communicators, and though the vaccine debate in some ways feels like it has inflamed beyond the easy fix of rational discussion, I wanted to at least offer one doctor’s viewpoint.  Because when you tie a doctor’s hands to do their very best for you and your family, it’s not just that they’re angry at you for doing it.  It’s because most doctors are people who went into medicine to “first, do no harm,” and as much as anything, they’re angry at themselves for letting you down.

Michelle Au is an anesthesiologist and author of This Won’t Hurt A Bit (and other white lies): My Education in Medicine and Motherhood. She blogs at This Won’t Hurt at Bit and the underwear drawer.  This article is reprinted with the author’s permission.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ardella-Eagle/840440226 Ardella Eagle

    As an informed parent, I’d like to think that my voice in the anti-vaccination campaign was just a tiny bit of a push for the removal of  Thimerosal, from the preps.  Am I against vaccines or vaccinations?  Absolutely not!  I just want them to be presented in the most safe way possible. I am aware that there has been no direct link between the occurance of autistic behaviours and the use of Thimerosal, however mercury poisoning is a known hazard and if it can be avoided, why not avoid it?  Yes, I’m aware that the amounts of mercury in the vaccines miniscule, however, given the number of injections a newborn receives within it’s first year and when you realized that the effects are cumulative, throw in the body mass/fat index ration and things can look dire.

    I AM against the CDC’s recommended vaccinations schedule and the forced vaccination of school aged children for the entry into the public school system, but the voice of dissension is a necessary evil for the safety of all.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Wakefield demands retraction from BMJ after documents prove innocence from allegations of vaccine autism data fraud.Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/031117_BMJ_Dr_Andrew_Wakefield.html#ixzz1XCch54ES

  • Anonymous

    Michelle,

    Your feeling of impotence in being able to communicate effectively with anti-vaccine parents is shared by many of us who went into medicine to do our very best to prevent disease before it has a chance to happen.   These parents have never watched a child die of a preventable disease.  Their great great grandparents would be appalled that their descendants are withholding life saving vaccine from their children.

    I believe this is because we as a society have forgotten the killers that vaccinations are meant to thwart.  It is very easy to be anti-vaccine when not confronted with the death of children as a routine happening in a community–something that was just part of daily life only 100 (or fewer) years ago.

    I’m old enough to not have forgotten what contagious diseases can do, as I wrote recently on this website:
    http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/03/vaccination-killers-yesterday-overcome-modern-medicine.html

    Thanks for articulating our shared anger at the inevitable and terrible consequences of being misguided and misinformed.

    Emily Gibson, M.D.
    http://briarcroft.wordpress.com

  • http://twitter.com/M1ssDiagnosis Deanna Johns Nichols

    As someone who suffered permanent health damage from a vaccine my mother took while pregnant with me, let me say that I don’t care about your hurt feelings one bit. How ridiculous. Of course you believe vaccines are best; that’s what you were taught, and I would expect no less. Even if your own personal motives for pushing vaccines are pure, they are also based on misinformation pushed by greedy pharmaceutical companies. And there is much proof that these vaccines don’t even last in the system for more than a year or so anyway, so much of the population has been walking around unvaccinated for decades without any disastrous results. Not to mention the U.S. government’s own records that prove diseases like polio began to die off on their own long before the polio vaccine became available. If you want to be angry at parents for not providing preventative care, be angry with those who feed their children McDonalds, soda, kool-aid, and Oreos instead of whole, healthy foods and those who allow their children to sit on their rear ends and play video games or surf the internet instead of going outside and throwing a football with them. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

      Deanna, with all due respect, you are mistaken in many of your beliefs. First of all, if you believe that vaccines are a high-margin item for pharmaceutical companies, you’re dreadfully mistaken. If you believe that “vaccines don’t even last in the system for more than a year or so”, you’re mistaken. If you believe that polio began to “die off” on its own before the vaccine, then you’re not only wrong, but you’re merely parroting something you read off of an equally wrong anti-vaccination website. But the real tragedy is that you suffered an injury, and therefore your judgement is clouded by that fact, so much so that you have blinded yourself to anything approaching scientific rigor.

      • http://twitter.com/M1ssDiagnosis Deanna Johns Nichols

        Brian, I am far too intelligent to gain my beliefs about something as important as vaccinations from reading an “anti-vaccination website.” Just because you have not spent the time that I have researching this topic (presumably because you have not had the misfortune to be directly impacted by the negative consequences of vaccinations, as I have) does not mean that the evidence I mentioned does not exist. Denying the scientific validity of facts merely because they contradict your belief system does not negate the existence of those facts. If you truly seek the truth on this topic, please contact me and I will be happy to provide you with valid sources available to the public to prove the truth of my statements. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

          Scientific validity… facts… I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

          There is no indication that polio was going to sod off on its own before the vaccine; my assumption that you read anti-vax websites is based partly on the fact that that’s a frequently-encountered canard in those dark corners of the internet. As for sources that demonstrate what you say, I’d be glad to see such.

  • Cazamel

    Dr. Wakefield was actually cleared of the allegations that he fabricated data linking vaccines and autism.  You should read the attached link and perhaps do a little more research before publishing your articles.  “Dr Wakefield demands retraction from BMJ after documents prove innocence from allegations of vaccine autism data fraud”  http://www.naturalnews.com/031117_BMJ_Dr_Andrew_Wakefield.html#ixzz1XCzOiUGO.  I also question why children are not titer tested BEFORE the administration of any vaccine; I guess the pharmaceutical companies cannot make any money with titer testing.

  • Anonymous

    I have a friend named, Tiffany.  Withing 45 minutes of her healthy baby getting vaccinated, seizures began.  He died and she is now seeking compensation from the VICP.  She has been told that her baby had a bad reaction to his shots.  I have several other friends who have witnessed their children regress in their development soon after vaccination.  I myself, watched my newborn son break out in hives and could not console him after the first Hep B shot.  He then was diagnosed with “austism” after the MMR.  After reading the package inserts on all of the vaccines, I have come to the conclusion that until I see a rigorous study of the total health outcomes of never vaccinated children vs fully vaccinated children, I will not vaccinate anyone in my family again.  I know many people who do not ever vaccinate their children either.  Andrew Wakefield has NOTHING to do with any of this.  You are so mistaken.  Too many children have suffered injury after vaccination and parents know it.  All it takes if for parents to actually read the package inserts that come with the vaccines and do just a little research to be very leery of them.  Want to talk about anger???  How about us parents that have watched our precious baby die from vaccination?!  Every child is precious and none should be sacrificed for the so called “greater good”.  All I needed to read was the line about this man’s religion is science.  That explains it all to me.  If he worshipped God Almighty in heaven, he would see things completely differently.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

      Unfortunately, parents know far less than they think they do. And one of the things they don’t know is that vaccinations caused their babies’ autism. Despite that, they’ll take their flawed post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning and run with it, spreading FUD, reducing vaccination rates and endangering their communities.

      The “vaccinated vs unvaccinated study” is a red herring, and usually when someone trots that tired one out, I know I’m dealing with someone who thinks they know a whole great deal more than they actually do. For starters, that sort of study would be incredibly unethical to do. The benefit of vaccines are so great and so well-documented that it would literally be impossible to conduct that study. No IRB in its right mind would approve it. But more than that, there’s really very little reason to conduct such a study; there have been no preliminary studies that indicate the need for such a study.

      • Anonymous

        Brian,   I have heard that so many times that it is unethical to do such a study.  How absurd!  There are thousands of never vaccinated children in this nation alone that could have been used for such a study and there will be thousands more.  If science is so worried about “herd immunity” and the lack of such is causing epidemics around every corner, then how can they not do it?  They do studies on HIV in areas known for promiscuous behavior…. is this unethical?  No, because those people would have behaved that way anyhow.  Same goes for the never vaccinated children available for study at this very moment around the world.  You can toot your horn all you want but no one will listen as long as hate is what you are spewing.  People love their children and are not taking chances anymore.  The days of some “physician” bullying his patient are over.  People have access to research as well and are able to read and understand and when you are talking about their children, they will learn what they do not know.  It is possible to do a study with never vaccinated  children vs fully vaccinated children and we know it.  The fact that is has not been done already is disgusting.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

          kwagler, the fact that I am relatively certain you are wrong in your beliefs regarding vaccination does not make what I write hate-spewing. That people love their children is a pretty good reason to vaccinate them, I should think.

          The vax/unvax study is more than just finding a bunch of vaccinated children and a bunch of unvaccinated children and comparing them. First of all, to have any meaningful results, the sample size required would be fairly gargantuan; second, I’m relatively sure that controlling for confounding variables would be a Hurculean effort. As a result, most of the limp efforts on the part of the antivax legion tend to be survey studies, and pretty weak-sauce ones at that.

          Occasionally, anti-vaxxers will try to do something along the lines of
          their sacred cow, the “vaxed/unvaxed” study. It warms the cockles of my
          heart to tell you that the most recent attempt by an anti-vaccine group
          to do so found… wait for it… no difference in rates of autism between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Quelle surprise!

          Additionally, the access you have to research is relatively limited, unfortunately. More open-access journals are popping up, to be sure, but many (I would venture a guess the majority) reputable sources will not be available easily and/or freely. Unfortunately, the research that many concerned parents do find rather easily tends to be poorly designed, and often entirely misrepresented.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ardella-Eagle/840440226 Ardella Eagle

        Actually, I remember a few articles about some communities in the Northwestern islands off of Washington State where families opted not to immunize their children as a community decision. Granted, we’re not talking about thousands of children, but we are talking about communities that have been in place for about 50 years and could be a starting point for such a comparative study.

        • Anonymous

          I serve as the medical officer for a public regional university in Washington State that has a two MMR requirement for enrollment, and those children from the non-vaccinate cohorts from the islands in Puget Sound typically decide to get vaccinated as adults, often because they plan to travel for foreign study to countries with higher rates of contagious vaccine-preventable disease, and because they don’t want to be banned from campus in the event of a rubeola or mumps outbreak.  They do not have a religious objection to vaccination, but more often cite a desire to avoid injection of “foreign substances”.

          We had an outbreak of 11 proven rubeola cases in 1995 on our campus and very few individuals declined vaccination in that setting, even those whose parents continued to feel very strongly they should avoid vaccination even when exposed.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LRZNHDZS6DU45WQ567LPQ7CMI ninguem

            For what it’s worth, public health officials have suggested to me, some of the “objectors” who are listed as not vaccinated, really are taking advantage of the law to avoid having to deal with the hassle of documenting vaccines.

            Some software engineer moves to Redmond WA from Cleveland, and doesn’t want to track down the kids’ pediatricians, maybe from two or three sources, and just checks off “objector” to avoid the hassle.

            How often it happens is speculative.

            The Weekly and the Stranger (every third word is the F-bomb), do point out some incredible factoids. Some of the yuppie crunchy granola schools in metro Seattle run incredibly high exemption rates.

            “…….At 5.3 percent, the rate of parent-signed exemptions for kindergarten
            enrollees at Seattle’s public and private schools is still way too high,
            and the exemptions appear to be skewed toward a handful of private and
            alternative public schools. According to statistics obtained from the
            Washington State Department of Health, six Seattle schools have
            kindergarten exemption rates higher than 20 percent, almost all for
            “personal,” rather than medical or religious, reasons: Seattle Hebrew
            Academy (43.5 percent), University Cooperative School (36.4 percent),
            the Community School of West Seattle (33.3 percent), Salmon Bay School
            (30 percent), Seattle Waldorf School (24.6 percent), and Pathfinder K-8
            School (20.4 percent). Not one of these schools has a kindergarten
            vaccination completion rate better than 65 percent. That’s an epidemic
            waiting to happen……”

            I’m not Jewish. I know of nothing in Jewish tradition that prohibits vaccines. I have to imagine a yuppie thing more than a Jewish thing. I wonder if they’re using the exemption clause to avoid the hassle of tracking down documentation?

          • Anonymous

            When I get the “yes I had an MMR but don’t have the records” request for waiver of our immunity requirement, I simply require a titer.  Over 90% of them are immune based on titer results.  K-12 schools and community colleges don’t have the staff, resources or (let’s face it) the utter stubbornness that I have about making sure my campus community is protected.  One rubeola outbreak per lifetime was plenty for me…

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LRZNHDZS6DU45WQ567LPQ7CMI ninguem

            What do you think? If I were so requested, I didn’t have records, I was asked to get a titer, I think I’d just go ahead and repeat the vaccine. For me personally I mean, I give patients the option. I figure either way, I get the needle.

            At the University you mentioned, are students allowed to do the “personal opposition” cop-out to vaccines if they want?

            Influenza epidemic put me in the hospital when I was in college. I was lucky, it was midJanuary for me. My brother did the same thing in mid-December. It killed his finals, and he felt so crappy he forfeited his entire semester.

            It tell my student-patients, get the flu shot. The flu won’t kill you, but it will kill your semester.

          • Anonymous

            In the state of Washington, there is quite a liberal “personal objection” waiver option for vaccinations which is why our overall exemption rate in K-12 is so high.  However, in cases of personal objection in my college students, I have a discussion with each of them about how devastating it would be to have to be banned from campus in case of an outbreak of rubeola and mumps, and how vulnerable they are if they decide to do foreign study.  Right now we are running at about 3-4% unvaccinated on our campus. 

            You are correct, influenza is a academic nightmare, taking students out of class for up to five or more days, but we have experienced an influenza death in a healthy young adult in our campus community, so I don’t represent it as anything less than it is: a viral killer as well.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LRZNHDZS6DU45WQ567LPQ7CMI ninguem

            Indeed, I should correct it to say, not likely to kill you. The flu CAN kill.

            You might want to die………..

            I went to the college infirmary and threw up in the doc’s office. Wanting fluids, I happened to drink a big bottle of red grape juice.

            That got the doc’s attention when I threw it back up in her office.

            For all the fuss about prioritizing the flu vaccine for the elderly, I wonder sometimes. Seems to be worse for young adults. Just a casual observation, don’t know the numbers.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LRZNHDZS6DU45WQ567LPQ7CMI ninguem

          Heh. Those Northwestern Islands. Both Seattle alternative papers……the ALTERNATIVE PAPERS……..the ones with the marijuana ads……..even they have the number on those clowns.

          A very detailed article in the Seattle Weekly.

          http://www.seattleweekly.com/2011-06-15/news/the-anti-vaccine-epidemic/
          http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweekly/2011/06/comment_of_the_week_you_dont_h.php

          And The Stranger………..don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel

          http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/06/02/wa-leads-nation-in-stupid-fucking-anti-vaccine-hippie-child-killers
          http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/stupid-fucking-anti-vaccine-hippies/Content?oid=8526583

          About ten whooping cough cases a week in Washington State.

          Two pediatric whooping cough deaths last year, one this year so far.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Okay Ninguem….how about you do a summation of all this reading.  Your a doc….you should be able to break this down into your own words.   I read it….just another writer trying to make anti vaccer’s look like nuts.  You know…if this “journalist” had even did some homework they would know major universities like Duke have picked up on Wakefield’s research and found the problem is in the gut.  They are using worms, etc. and getting great results.  Ah ha….before you accuse me of defending Wakefield  I am not a supporter.  I had no idea who he was when I made my decision with a doctor’s help.

            What some of the purposeful blinded can’t see is that by their denialism they can’t help the kids with a predisposition to autism.  You read and you think….what type of oath did they take….what type of thinking skills do they have….where is their compassion?  What is wrong with identifying the kids who are predisposed to that shot doing harm?

            You are fighting in vain…because as this article shows parents just aren’t believing the sales pitch you doctors are giving.  I mean…why can’t you guys get with the program.  You mention a dead child…..if vaccines worked like you say that child shouldn’t have died….there are so many variables to these examples…sometimes parents did immunize and the child’s immune system couldn’t take it….some SIDS deaths happen right after the shot.  But what really irks me is even a doctor who immunizes knows what adverse reactions look like and get their own child help….but they will stomp their feet and throw an apprehensive mother out…of just inject…get the waiver signed…then complain about insurers who get amnesty from the Sherman Act…you just got amnesty too from being sued.  It’s a stacked deck here…..do your duty…help clean up the shots and stop trying to make those who want them cleaned up to look like eejets.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LRZNHDZS6DU45WQ567LPQ7CMI ninguem

            Not trying to make them look like nuts. They succeed.

            Pretty bad when the alternative paper looks sensible compared to you.

            The baby that dies with whooping cough was not old enough to be vaccinated. Source of infection was family. That’s why I recommend vaccinating new parents, and parents-to-be, against whooping cough.

            The rest of your little screed is beneath contempt.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Well….you proved our point….an immunization would not have helped that poor child….about the rest of your posts…..you are so hypersensitive…..it makes sense you do not like any dissention…nor the truth but I don’t have a superior to report me to.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LRZNHDZS6DU45WQ567LPQ7CMI ninguem

            Not hypersensitive, just suffer fools badly.

            Frankly I could care less if you vaccinate or not. There’s something Darwinian about that.

          • Anonymous

            I’ve thought a lot about the Darwinian angle. With more and more children being permanently disabled by vaccines, it’s going to be the ones unvaccinated and with natural immunity built up from exposure to diseases, the way it was done for millions of years before vaccines,  that will be the only healthy ones left on the planet.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            .Ninguem…if you suffer fools badly…you must be avoiding mirrors:)  

            Cia answered you….so come out, come out, and let’s talk.   I am game for conversation on Darwinism and the immune system.  Please expound on your shout out.

            I had no idea you even answered me.   Why do you answer fools?  And is this how you handle patients who ask questions?  Just wonderin’!  I would think doctors would enjoy the challenge….my doctors love it….they are able to discuss and even in disagreement we find clarity…it’s really wonderful when doctors can actually defend their reasoning…so few can:)  Many prefer insults under a cloak of anonymity.  And worse yet, they want their arse kissed….even when they are acting like fools themselves.   An education and license entitles you to run tests and write scripts….not pretend to be the Vaccine Guru and all the subjects fall at your wise words….yeah, just a bit of facetiousness going on.  In other words….really good doctors like controversy and debates.  At the symposium I attended they begged for debate and even threw out analogies…but it was an a university…they do research there and the doctors on that panel offered their services and e-mail addresses…..the audience thought they were brilliant…even in disagreement,.

      • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

        Brian…how many children do you have? None?

        • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

          This relates to the ability to interpret evidence… how?

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            That you will feel differently when it’s your kid.  Brian…I gotta be honest with you….sometimes you believe a load of tripe:)

      • Anonymous

        On the contrary, the dangers of vaccines are so great and well-documented, that it is a crime motivated by greed that no vax/unvax study has been done, herculean though the task would be. Hundreds of thousands of children crippled for life by autism or other disorders are a far greater burden for them, their families, and society as a whole than the problem of keeping track of the numbers of sick children in the ranks of the completely unvaccinated. Thousands of families are already declining to vaccinate their children, so the study group is already there. Unethical only if you are a spokesperson for the vaccine industry who has been programmed to deny vaccine damage and magnify the dangers of diseases like measles, chicken pox, mumps, and whooping cough out of all proportion to reality. Days of constant, inconsolable screaming are prima facie evidence of encephalitic swelling of the brain in the absence of any other cause, they are called le cri encépalique in medical texts, but they are routinely brushed off by medical professionals. Informed consent is the sine qua non of ethical vaccination, but it is completely lacking in our society at present. My baby was given the hep-B vaccine at the hospital at birth without informing me or asking my permission, and at no point did any medical professional inform me of the symptoms of vaccine damage. I have a law degree, Brian, and I can match you quote for quote in Latin and several other languages.

    • http://profiles.google.com/jrbwalk Rose walker

      My son had a HHE to the DPt at age 2 months.  Lots of kids have reactions that have never entered the NVICP archives.  Doctors don’t know why kids have severe reactions.  When they figure it out, more people will trust vaccines knowing if there is a severe reaction doctors will be there and know what to do, instead of brushing it off with pejorative injections of latin sayings to make parents feel ignorant and put down.  I hate it when that happens.

      My own pediatrician had sense enough to listen to me, and told me it wasn’t coincidence that my son had a brain swelling after arriving home from receiving the shot.  He told me there was a danger in the pertussis vaccine that was changed within a year, and that was the cause of the encephalopathy.  If doctors don’t know WHY kids have such severe reactions, why in the hell are we supposed to believe them when they say they KNOW it doesn’t cause autism? 

      Very little work has been done by science to determine whether a compromised immune system could be sent into overdrive by vaccines.  But a lot of flapping of the lips, because we say so, has cleared vaccines.  Only a crazy parent would complain.  So most are quiet but never let go the idea. 

      So if you want to quit taking it personal, do something to determine why some children are so succeptible, and then determine how to overcome that  succeptibility. Ignorance is rampant in the medical profession…do something.  Develop trust.  You hold peoples lives in your hands.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ardella-Eagle/840440226 Ardella Eagle

      Not for nothing, but the author is a woman.

      The incidence rate for mortality after vaccination varies depending on the vaccine with  the MMR being the worst ( 1:10,000), that’ still pretty low.  However, when it’s your child being the ONE…  Vaccination is important for the larger society, however, does it need to be done at such an early age and at the frequency that the current schedule  suggests?

      • Anonymous

        The incidence rate for mortality is based on actual reported deaths that were proven to be from the MMR.  Most adverse events are never reported, even deaths.  If a child dies after vaccination, it is most often labeled SIDS, coincidental, accident or related to another condition.  It is very difficult to prove a vaccine adverse reaction.  Here is the meat of the problem here.  It is against our constitutional right to mandate an invasive medical procedure such as injecting any substance into any human being against their will.  Period.  It is even worse that vaccines are known to kill some and harm and injure others.  No parent should ever have to sacrifice their child for any other child.  Period.  Vaccines are NOT 100% safe and just how unsafe they are is yet to be proven.  If one chooses to vaccinate after being fully informed of all risk then so be it.  If another chooses not to vaccinate after being informed then so be it.  Herd immunity is a theory.  I can tell you that many counties have had immunization rates well below 95% and still do without epidemics of disease.  If vaccines are so wonderful, time will tell.  If reports from parents continue to escalate after vaccination then time will tell that as well.  Anecdotal reports are very important.  That is how all drugs are monitored after being put on the market.  

        • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

          Citation needed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

      Michelle never said her religion was science, kwagler, but even if she had, I don’t really see how that “explains it all to [you].” Explains what all? That you are unable to even determine whether the author is a man or a woman is a serious red flag that you’re a selective reader, and likely not very well-acquainted with science (most likely in general).

  • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

    The fact that Dr Wakefield demanded a retraction doesn’t mean that he was actually cleared of those allegations. In fact, no one has “cleared” Dr. Wakefield of anything. He’s still struck off, and the paper is still retracted. The fact that something appears in naturalnews doesn’t actually make it, well, news.

    And for the love of God, how is it possible that so many people could delude themselves into thinking that vaccines are some cash cow for pharmaceuticals?

    • Curtis Farnham

      Well, when I was in Medical School and we were in a lecture on childhood immunizations, a very damning comment came from the professor.  When she started talking about vaccinating infants within the first month or two of life, a hand went up.  My classmate asked, “if children’s immune systems aren’t well developed until at least 6 months or even 1 year of age, then why do we vaccinate so early?”  The professor’s response: “Good question.”  And this is in a fully accredited US medical school.  Deluding ourselves?  If it looks like a duck…

      • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

        S’pose it depends on what you mean by “well-developed”, doesn’t it?

  • Ginger

    Everybody wants the benefits of society but nobody wants the risks.  We thought we’d eliminated risk with mortgage securitization and look how that went.  Skipping vaccinations in the name of avoiding risk is a mistake.

  • Anonymous

    As someone who came down with pertussis at the age of forty, I take it personally, too. They don’t call it the hundred-day cough for nothing. I’m lucky I live alone and could quarantine myself. I wasn’t around any children or elderly people who might have died. I muddled through. Coughing to the point of choking and vomiting? Not a lot of fun.

    All my shots are up to date, and my little niece and nephew are current on all their vaccinations, too. As my niece started school today, I’m very glad she is as protected as she can be. Yes, there will be bad and dangerous and even deadly reactions to the occasional vaccine, and those are tragedies. The same can be said of any drug. My nephew is allergic to some antibiotics, but we would be considered lunatics if we tried warning others away from using them. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/rob.lindeman1 Rob Lindeman

      Don’t blame non-vaccinators, blame a bad vaccine.  We are re-vaccinating middle-schoolers precisely because of waning immunity.  Until we have a truly effective vaccine, we are not likely to eradicate pertussis, and adults like you are going to get sick.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/CloseCall_MD Close Call

    “Decreased lymphocytes, elevated eosinophils, elevated Cr, dysuria, fungal dermatitis, parasthesia…”

    All reported adverse reactions or lab abnormalities attributed to… azithromycin!  

    The same parents who assume nefarious or negligent motives behind the manufacturers of vaccines should apply the same standards to antibiotics.  Quit asking for antibiotics for your 15 year old’s ear infection – if they don’t have a fever, aren’t in a lot of pain, they’ll get over it!  

    When my theoretical grandchildren are born, I only want them playing with a group of vaccinated kids, in a vaccinated school, in a vaccinated community.  Mark your unvaccinated kids with a scarlet “U”.  Keep them away from my precious butterfly of a grandchild.  

    On another point, when I hear ADULTS refuse the tdap booster on some weird, distorted thought process that a 38 year old man will suddenly develop autism… my old heard just can’t take it any more.  Some people just have a big hole in their screen door.  

  • http://twitter.com/M1ssDiagnosis Deanna Johns Nichols

    Can someone please explain to me the logic behind the irrational fear that unvaccinated children will somehow pose a danger to vaccinated children? If these “life-saving” vaccinations are so effective in preventing disease, wouldn’t the children in danger be those who have not been “protected” by the vaccines? (You know, the ones whose “irrational” and “uneducated” parents didn’t care enough about them to give them “preventative care.”) How does this pose ANY risk to the vaccinated children? 

    • Anonymous

      Vaccine immunity can wane or in 5-10% of fully vaccinated individuals, depending on the vaccine, it can fail to develop at all.  So those individuals are vulnerable to infection and can become contagious.  However, an unvaccinated person is far more vulnerable than someone with at least some immunity so more likely to become significantly symptomatic and spread infectious disease.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I2TXK4DMWLGP4LI3W7TR6JZ2BA morogo

        LIE.  Having cared for many end stage cancer patients and organ transplant patients, the one admonition I have heard again and again over the years from the oncologists is to help the cancer patient or transplant patient avoid recently vaccinated children since they are reservoirs of disease.  The MMR, flumist, varicella, are examples of live virus vaccines that can spread the disease that the person is recently vaxed against.

        • Anonymous

          Morogo,

          I can assure you, I am not in the habit of lying about issues on a public forum as my professional reputation is very important to me.   Your lack of civility weakens your credibility.

          You are misinformed about the live attenuated (weakened) viruses in the MMR being transmitted from the vaccinated person to anyone else.  There is no documented risk to immunocompromised people exposed to the vaccinated individual.  It is correct that severely immunocompromised people should not receive the MMR or any other live attenuated virus for that matter. 

          According to the CDC, there have been only 5 cases of documented transmission of the live attenuated varicella vaccine virus from a vaccinated person to a non-vaccinated person, and all five resulted in a very mild illness.  This is quite a low risk given the many millions of varicella vaccine doses that have been given.  It too is not recommended for direct vaccination of immunocompromised people.

          Yes, you are correct that Flumist is a live attenuated virus that can be transmitted from the nasopharynx of the vaccinated person (since that is where it is delivered) so is potentially a risk to severely immunocompromised individuals in contact with the vaccinated person.  The injected influenza vaccination is not a risk to those exposed to the vaccinated individual and is exactly why health care professionals should all receive annual influenza vaccine.

          Emily

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.lindeman1 Rob Lindeman

    I scarcely know how to respond to this.  So much requires correction I’ll go one paragraph at a time.

    First paragraph: With respect, Dr., arguments about parenting have been going on as long as there has been parenting.  There is nothing special about our generation except that we live in it.  

    Second paragraph: War?  Strike the word ‘war’ and replace with ‘hyperbole’ and you’d sound less rabid.

    Third paragraph: Why state this piece is not at its core about the vaccine debate when that’s precisely what it is? Minor quibble: Smallpox wasn’t virtually eliminated, it was eliminated period.

    Fourth paragraph: The history of the anti-vaccine movement goes back much farther than Andrew Wakefield.  Again, because he is our contemporary, you fell victim to the fallacy that our era is exceptional.  It is anything but.  If you want to read the history of ACTUALLY bloody battles over vaccines, read the accounts of opposition to Smallpox vaccination in colonial Massachusetts.  What we’ve got today is small potatoes by comparison.

    Fifth paragraph: Dr. Pot calling Patient Black!  Did you read your own piece?  Vituperation is not the sole property of anti-vaccine activists.  You, like many of our colleagues, can dish it out as well as we take it.

    Sixth: See paragraph Five.  You should never blog angry.  I know whereof I speak!

    Seventh: “I see every day the injustice and horror that is illness”.  Please!  But let’s stipulate for the sake of argument that YOU are so affected by the illness that you see: are you blaming the anti-vaccine crowd?

    Eighth: The only truth you speak in the piece: ” It’s not just paternalism, it’s not about me wanting to tell patients what to do and for them to comply mindlessly…”  Thank you for acknowledging paternalism.  The other bit can be called, justifiably, arrogance.

    Ninth: “I respect a parent’s intuition”.  Again, with respect, Dr. Au, you don’t respect a parent’s intuition.  If you did, you would not have written this piece.

    Tenth: Science is a method, religions are faiths.  And there’s no such word as “prosthelytise”.

    Finally: “Doctors aren’t always the best communicators”.  Quod erat demonstrandum

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

      With regard to your condescending reply, it appears you wrote the first sentence about so much of Dr. Au’s post requiring correction, and then felt compelled to pick nits all the way down as filler once you realized “I disagree with you” isn’t synonymous with “You are incorrect”. I mean, wow, what a let-down, after so direct an opening, to find that your “corrections” comprise, more or less in order: Two criticisms of word choice (without regard for their context), some hash of New England history intended to demonstrate how it’s not so bad after all, a weak-sauce tu quoque argument, two disingenuous quote-mines, and an opinion disguised as a “correction” (though it seems that word is used relatively loosely in your reply).

      As to the tenth paragraph correction (whatever that means, at this point), I don’t see anything in Dr. Au’s post that indicates that she doesn’t understand that “science is a method, religions are faiths”. It may be an awkward analogy, but it comes across as sort of silly (especially given the lack of substance in your other “corrections”) to be criticizing a poor analogy as though it were in some way damaging to the author’s thesis. As for “prosthelytise”, well, that’s sort of indefensible, and a good, old-fashioned spell-check might have come in handy.

      As for the last, I am struck by the irony.

      Perhaps rather than start by saying how much “requires correction”, you might have fared better had you said, “I feel ways about what you wrote, and I’ll tell you why”. The thing is, you exhaust so much space in cataloging your flippant “corrections” that you never actually mention how your views contrast with Dr. Au’s, or otherwise make any sort of substantive contribution.

      As a paediatrition of some years’ experience, you ought to be versed enough in the sound science of vaccination to actually have an important message for the legion of parents armed with fear, half-truths, misinformation, and faulty reasoning that can and do endanger their communities. But you waste the opportunity, choosing instead to play editor.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rob.lindeman1 Rob Lindeman

        Guilty as charged, for wasting an opportunity to argue for the benefits of vaccines.  But as you correctly point out, my point was to criticize the piece, which I regard as poorly-argued and badly-written.  As such, it serves no one’s cause, in particular the cause of public health.

        • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

          I agree……..this article does have misinformation in it.  There are youtube videos with distinquished doctors and PhD’s discussing the research in their public testimony about the adverse reactions in shots (just last week a report came out that 100% of the samples of one shot had DNA in it…I am not keen on another’s DNA being injected in my children…and I definitely don’t like monkey DNA being….wow….imagine being offended that your patient’s mom says….whoa…wait a minute there partner….slow down….let’s discuss this…or how about your drink what’s in the vial if it’s so safe?:).  The problem is most doctors who give the shots really haven’t studied indepth.  My research doctor did and his doctor wife….they found evidence that should raise a red flag.  I discuss this with our doctors at Cleveland Clinic who are in research….they seem to understand much better and do not promote the ignorance most doctors appreciate…most want blind obedience…just give them your child’s arm and let them to do their job easily….an informed mother is considered militant…worthy of being punted….demeaned……and I consider the doctors who refuse to discuss ignorant….they expect mothers to take a hit for mankind or be labeled.  I will take the labeling.  I was thrown out by a doctor…thank God….I found one of the top fifty doctors in my state and she could discuss at length…no browbeating…no coercion…and compassion.  She was not so fearful of rejection or insecure she could not take a disagreement.  Doctors who value a mother’s opinion do not berate her.  She is a brilliant doctor….cares more about the patient than her own ideologies.

          I have six children…two have had cancer…so my experience with the medical community is more vast than even most doctors who have not had to deal with doctors on the level I have had.  I vaccinated three and didn’t vaccinate three.  I have homeschooled for 23 years…so please save the patronizing jabs I usually get about your children being at risk…not to worry…by your own beliefs you risked your child for the good of society and they should be immune…yet, research shows they are not.

          There is a group of highly educated individuals….not ones you label eejets like Dr. Oz who are skeptical….or other doctors like Dr. Jay Gordon, etc. etc.  or the neurologist who proved in court the MMR was the reason for his daughter’s rare form of autism…and let’s not discuss the learning disabilities, bowel problems or my two year old cousin who died after the MMR (yeah…feel free to take that one personally….I am sure some will claim this can’t be true….and recommend I get a rabies shot:)…but could not sue because they had signed a waiver….yes, the shots are so safe we are asked to sign a waiver….brilliant.  How I wish they had offended that pediatrician and not got that shot because the image of that child in that coffin haunts me….the mother at the gravestone thinking her dead child is cold….her heroin usage….yeah…better to offend a doctor.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

            Would love to see your source for the claim of “100% of the samples of one shot had DNA in it”, or that there’s monkey DNA.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            I doubt you are going to “love” reading this.  It is very sad to think of the ladies who are dead because of the cover up.  And it is bothersome that the vast amount of people reading this thread don’t know this info…they are not informed but come here and act as if they are….sigh….

            Several articles on the web about what and how vaccines are cultured…you should know this if you are posting about vaccines.  But here is the title of the article and there are many more online…it is only a week old.  If I post a link it goes into moderation so here is the title.  The letter went to the FDA Commissioner….just a snippet to get started….then you can study the culture of these diseases.  There is much more info on this:

            SANE Vax to FDA:  Recombinant HPV DNA found in multiple samples of Gardasil
            excerpt:  The Honorable Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner
            U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

            10903 New Hampshire Ave.

            Silver Spring MD 20993-0002August 29, 2011

            Dear Dr. Hamburg:

            At the request of medical consumers
            concerned about HPV vaccine safety and efficacy, SANE Vax Inc. has
            retained a private laboratory to test a number of samples of HPV 4
            Gardasil™ (Merck) for possible contamination by human papillomavirus
            (HPV) DNA in the vaccine lots distributed to physicians.

            The laboratory has informed SANE Vax
            Inc. that one hundred percent of thirteen (13) samples of Gardasil™
            taken from lots  #1437Z, #1511Z, # 0553AA, #NL35360, #NP23400,
            #NN33070, #NL01490, #NM25110, #NL39620, #NK16180, #NK00140, #NM08120
            and #NL13560, currently being  marketed in the U.S.A., Australia, New
            Zealand, Spain, France, and Poland have been found to be positive for
            HPV DNA.

            One of the HPV DNA fragments detected in
            the vaccine is part of a synthetic construct (GenBank Locus SCU55993)
            for HPV11 major capsid protein L1 gene, a recombinant DNA genetically
            engineered specifically for manufacturing of the Gardasil vaccine. Its
            unique sequence is copied below for your reference.

            [more online if you want the truth]

          • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

            Whoa! Ladies are dead because of this? By what fantastic leap of logic do you come to that conclusion? And to what cover-up do you refer? When I asked for a source, I was hoping you actually had some study that one could actually look at to evaluate methods, results, and conclusions, not some letter / press release from an anti-vaccine organization like SAFE Vax.

            When a contract lab uses unverifiable, “proprietary” methods to reach a conclusion that can’t be independently verified, all to support the claims of a rabidly anti-vaccine organization, I don’t really get all that worked up about it. This especially so when you consider that what rDNA they did detect was at such low concentration that it is almost vanishingly unlikely that anything untoward would ensue as a direct result.

            It drives me up a wall when people say that they are “informed” about vaccines, when really what they mean is that they’ve read stuff like the SANE Vax letter (or Generation Rescue, et al.) and have a notion that is only very rarely based on anything approaching a firm foundation in biology or immunology. I mean, what gall to assume that a quick perusal of Safeminds or some other Mercury Militia garbage dump somehow gives one an expertise in immunology sufficient to actually have a substantive “debate” with an actual expert.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Dig deeper dear ….look into the deaths and stop reacting….you will look foolish if you continue.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            I am on a cellphone with an infared track ball…difficult to type in sunlight but how about I help you…go read what the CDC says about Gardasil. You try to paint a picture that leaves out major colors….stop grabbing bits and misconstruing….most people are not anti vac…they want safer vacs…

          • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

            Having looked into the deaths, and checking the CDC, I see no reason to believe that any deaths were the result of HPV recombinant DNA in the vaccines, or, for that matter, that they were the result of the vaccine at all. Could they be? I suppose it’s possible, but as the CDC goes to great pains to note, VAERS data cannot be used to determine causality.

            More to the point, though: I see no reason to believe the SANE Vax press release/letter at this time. They arrived at their results using a super-secret method that they’re demanding the FDA keep secret (meaning these results cannot be independently verified), but beyond that, there is no reason to believe that such a small amount of recombinant HPV DNA is even meaningful clinically.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Hindsight is 20/20…let us learn from the injured….denialism is ignorant and unprofitable….it is why autism rates are up….now we have the new CDC campaign about environmental factors….genius….a day late and a dollar short for the vast amount of victims their pussyfooting created. But if visited their page and didn’t use critical analysis…um…thinking….like a smoker who denies it is harmful….The CDC is useful to a point…some of their stuff is quite mind bending to those who look beyond BigPharma and try to look at all the data. I guess when Brian has a daughter he will not mind risking her health for medical science…he will not mind injecting with a bit of live cancer…will not mind if she is given a shot in the dark against his parental rights.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

            Live cancer? What the hell are you on about?

            If and when I have children, they will of course be vaccinated.

  • http://twitter.com/Dr_Toohey Matthew Toohey MD

    I sympathize fully here with Dr. Au and her visceral response. It is the same initial response I had to the whole debate at first and one I still have when I read a demonization of pediatricians. After all, these are folks selected from the top of the top of their graduating classes, given over to years of rigorous training, sacrificing most of their young adult life to become middle class pediatricians! These people are to be hated, vilified and smeared on parenting blogs?!

    Unfortunately, most folks don’t and will never understand the sacrifices a doctor has made to get where they are. They don’t grant us any more respect than anyone else, any other opinion. 

    In the scientific and the medical community, respect is afforded to those who have earned it. The rest of the world doesn’t really care.

    And it is time we stopped expecting them to.

    The more I researched each individual vaccine, the more educated I became about the true efficacy and potential for adverse reactions. As Dr. Lindeman pointed out, some of these vaccines, particularly pertussis and mumps, really aren’t all that effective. Don’t get me wrong: the more I researched the epidemiology of these diseases, the more clear it has become to me that these vaccines have had a profound positive effect. How to relay this message, though?

    The scientific method, the cold calculation of data and the idea of the null hypothesis are profoundly ‘unhuman.’ We are designed to have a gut reaction and stick to it, manipulate data to our own points of view and continue to believe what we already did. We are born lawyers, not scientists. This is most people. Once the seed of an idea is set, a person usually cannot be convinced otherwise. Each new data is efficiently turned around and manipulated to prove exactly what they already thought. More thoughtful, openminded people regularly change their minds but lets face it, these people are few and far between.

    I guess I’m saying some of these folks are lost causes, mired in psuedoscience so deep I don’t even want to wade in and engage them. But the more I acknowledge the good and the bad in vaccines, the more I am able to engage those folks on the fence. The MD doesn’t mean anything anymore. We have to be willing to engage on these subjects and that means learning more than they taught us in residency or med school and accepting there are some limitations and areas for improvement, there are some risks, but these vaccines really are making a profound difference in the way human beings live today in the developed world.

     

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I2TXK4DMWLGP4LI3W7TR6JZ2BA morogo

      Actually, no.  The top of a medical school class goes into internal medicine and cardiology.  The bottom goes into obstetrics. How do I know?  I come from a large family of healthcare providers and we discuss this all of the time.

      Respect?  Trust?  Those are earned, and you have not earned them from me.  

    • Anonymous

      But, you know what? Every parent who thinks that vaccination played a role in their child developing artist started out as a parent who believed in vaccines and their pediatrician.

      It takes a lot of failures on the part of the medical community to transform a parent into a skeptic.

  • Michele Dgracia

    I have to say that although I disagree with your opinion of today’s parents getting all their information on parenting on the internet. I have four children, non of which have been vaccinated. This was my well researched choice in 1986 when the first was born as well as in 2000 when the last was born. I have had doctors tell me that I was conducting an unsafe experiment with my children’s lives on the line. My “experiment,” has resulted in four extremely healthy children. Combined they have had to have an antibiotic less than 10 times in their lives.They had no childhood diseases with the exception of chicken pox which the three oldest had at the same time. That being said, growing up at home they ate a mostly organic, homegrown diet rich in fruits and vegetable and little sugar. We knew where our food came from long before it was popular.  I know I am blessed to have four such healthy children. Do I think that it is a result of not vaccinating them? I think it had a part. I also think that raising them learning how to eat properly and exercise in the sunshine played equally a part. I do not share my story with expectant mothers and I do not judge those who chose to vaccinate. If I had to do it all over again I would probably make the same choice. However, if I did decide to vaccinate I would never do it at the recommended infant age. I have no scientific data to back this up, but my common sense tells me that we are vaccinating our children way too young and that waiting until they are 2 or 3 might change some of the side effects that many experience.  I may change my mind after med school, I may not. I only hope that I will be that kind of doctor that respects my patients enough to value their opinion and their right to make the decisions they see fit to make for their own children.

    • http://twitter.com/Dr_Toohey Matthew Toohey MD

      Michele,
       I have to say I wish just a fraction of Americans today took as much care to create a natural wholesome lifestyle for their children. Simply changing people’s diets and exercise habits would make more of an impact than all the medical interventions we have to offer combined. I really believe this. This is why I am a pediatrician, focused on preventative medicine. I also think the psychological benefits of being raised with nature as a central focus (organic gardening, outdoor activities etc.) as apposed to TV and Media is incalculably important.

      That being said, there are some important accomplishments western allopathic medicine has made. Antibiotics save lives. Our understanding of disease processes saves lives. And vaccines do to (though I should point out this principle was used in eastern and middle eastern medicine thousands of years before it came to Europe) . The lives of children are completely different since their introduction.

      Many older folks recall that ‘everyone got measles and everyone did fine.’  This isn’t the time or place to go through each disease (you can read about it on my website, PediatricianNextDoor.com) but these diseases did have bad outcomes on a regular basis. If you scour the MMWR, read through the classic medical texts like Nelson’s, even utilize something like UTD, the epidemiological data is clear: while mortality was declining (in large part do to the advent of better ICU care and antibiotics) the incidence of these diseases was still strong until vaccines were introduced and a certain percentage of these children did suffer hearing loss, encephalitis, death and other ‘bad outcomes’ at a predictable rate. The rate of these side effects to ‘natural disease’ was significantly greater than the side effect profile of today’s vaccines (which is also real).

      Unfortunately, you won’t learn about this in medical school. You will need to do your own research.

       I believe in the power of lifestyle choices over pills and procedures but I also recognize that life, on a microbiological level, is a severe, indifferent struggle for survival. These pathogens have the same right to struggle for survival that we do and they DO do harm. Sunshine, exercise, and diet do a great deal to make us healthy and they may boost the immune system but we only need to look to the past or look to the developing world right now to see that infectious diseases can harm and kill anyone, no matter how robust and healthy. We don’t see these things today because of the effective work of the scientific community over the past several generations. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

      Michele, the problem with common sense is that while it is often common, it is rarely sensible. Why does your “common sense” tell you that children are being vaccinated too young? You damage your assertion before you even make it when you say that you “have no scientific data to back this up”, so really it more or less amounts to a notion, or an unsupported belief.

      You are very blessed to have four such children, but I suspect, based upon what you’ve written, that there were some differences in the environment and manner your children were raised and schooled versus your average child that might be germane. Even that notwithstanding, however, it is folly to extrapolate from your experience that nothing bad would happen if no one vaccinated their children; one of the reasons that your “experiment” has been successful (thus far) may very well be that it has been conducted against a background in which vaccination among the general population is still the norm. Certainly it demonstrates that not everyone needs to be immunized for immunization as a policy to work, but that’s sort of the point: Widespread vaccination in the population confers a benefit to those who have not or can not be vaccinated. In other words, the fact that your experiment has worked could be construed as a demonstration that vaccination initiatives work.

       

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2LRZNHDZS6DU45WQ567LPQ7CMI ninguem

      I didn’t wear seatbelts when I was a kid, as they didn’t exist routinely. I was never hurt.

      I guess that means seatbelts are unnecessary as well.

      • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

        Damn that Ralph Nader, taking away parents’ right to choose.

      • Kypdurron5

        My thoughts exactly.  You raised 4 children without vaccines and they all survived?  Vaccine debate resolved.  This is the problem with the debate; anecdotal evidence vs. rigorous scientific evidence.  I just met a patient on service the other day- she’s used every homeopathic remedy on the planet.  High dose garlic, inhaling hot vinegar fumes for cold symptoms, and performing monthly anti-cancer colon-cleanse routines on herself since she was 16, among other remedies.  Why is she in the hospital right now?  Colon cancer.  Her daughter told me, “Of all of us, I never should SHE would get colon cancer.”  How often do people go around prosthelytizing that they got colon cancer despite colon-cleanses, compared to how often people prosthelytize that they prevent colon cancer?  It doesn’t matter what the issue is; the only prudent course of action is to ignore what people say, ignore the hype, ignore celebrities, and instead look at the evidence.  The REAL evidence, not the evidence of anecdotes.

        • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

          I mean really….is this the best you can do….someone survives a journey with no seatbelts and you think they make that into a concrete statement on how to live their life? Oh my goodness….how can a thinking person even respond to such non sensical, non reasoning. It just shows shots are an emotional issue….built on doctors who take an idea and try to build a case to support it….even if it means demeaning people with facts.

          A good doctor listens to their patients….posts based on something meant to kill the messenger….or drown out the trumpet call are not marks of a good doctor….they are marks of someone who memorized textbooks and could answer the multiple choice tests. Maybe that is
          why PhD’s are much better at testifying and looking at all the facts….they are a varied lot….but overall have higher level thinking skills.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

            Oddly enough, I think you missed the point entirely. When someone writes, “Hey, I didn’t vaccinate my kids and they turned out fine” in order to support the thesis that vaccinations aren’t necessary, it’s exactly the same thing as saying “Hey, I didn’t make my kids wear seatbelts in the car and they turned out fine”. So, see, it actually is sensible.

            Also, you’ve got the timeline backwards. The concept of vaccination began with an observation (“Hey, wait a minute; milkmaids don’t seem to get smallpox”), which led to a hypothesis (“Maybe their exposure to cowpox somehow makes them resistant”). The hypothesis was tested (“What if I expose others to cowpox? Let’s see if they, too, are resistant to smallpox”), and proved successful (“Wow! I’ve found a way to halt the scourge of smallpox! Huzzah!”). Over time, a great deal of human suffering has been prevented as a result of vaccines; it is one of the greatest advances of modern medicine. So it’s not as if someone took “an idea and [tried] to build a case to support it.” Rather, an observation led to an idea that has been proven correct time and time again.

            It’s not about drowning out a trumpet call. It’s about working very hard to combat misinformation and outright lies about vaccination.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Brian…..I think you need to read your history better.   You didn’t even mention a few other things that show the diseases were going down BEFORE the vaccinations.  Ah….and a doctor actually liked your post without even doing her homework.  God help us! 

          • http://twitter.com/Dr_Toohey Matthew Toohey MD

             I ‘liked’ Brian’s post because I agreed with his logic in regard to how nonsensical anecdotal evidence can be. The seat-belt analogy from the other post is a perfectly good illustration of that faulty logic.
            You also add a dash of commonly used ‘facts’ that are bandied about… namely that vaccine preventable diseases were going away before vaccines were introduced. For any parents reading this or who have seen this ‘fact’ on other sites, this is absolutely false and is proven so by the epidemiological data.  As far as I can determine, it was actually some fringe MDs who came up with this fact and it has been embraced and regurgitated all over the web… but it can not be supported:

            MORTALITY was going down from these diseases. This means less children were dying. This is also the time frame when antibiotics and leaps forward in ICU care were being made. The side effects of these diseases are the main concern: yes we were getting better at treating life threatening meningitis and pneumonia with antibiotics and managing children through encephalitis, etc. but the actual organisms weren’t going away and infections were not down! Kids just weren’t dying!

            Parents, check those graphs: it is deaths, not CASES. Who wants to have a child end up in the ICU or contract secondary pneumonia following measles or develop encephalitis, hearing loss, mental retardation, developmental delay, etc? Nobody! Death is not the only bad outcome from a vaccine preventable disease!

             Also, with increasing antibiotic resistence, who is to say more children would not succumb to these secondary bacterial infections and cases of meningitis if we simply let these diseases run rampant again.

            I want to make these points for anyone out there interested in understanding this topic and learning the benifits, shortcomings, and true risks of vaccination.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Yes, please check out the real graphs that show the truth. Easily found…even from government agencies overseas before doctors started working for Pharma. Here is a good place to start…then write to me at; arobert6@Juno.com and I can provide far better untainted research than doctors will share. But let us start with these two doctors;

            Dr. Buchwald, MD. “The decline in infectious diseases in developing countries had nothing to do with vaccinations, but with the decline in poverty and hunger.”. This is well worth thinking about because socioeconomics proves this is true….add in hand washing….that doctors found so preposterous they would do autopsies then deliver a child and kill it with bacteria. Midwives had better results, but doctors refused to understand and fired one of the groundbreakers on that observation. I am a history buff… and 23 years of Homeschooling and reading medical history what you learn is astonishing….tis’ true those who refuse to understand it…repeat it.

            Next quote; Dr. Archie Kalokerinos, MD….”Up to 90% of the decline in the death rate of children between 1860-1965 because of whooping cough, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and measles occured before the introduction of immunizations and antibiotics.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=700465656 Sandy L

    VACCINE CRITICS MAY KNOW A GREAT DEAL ABOUT VACCINES
    There are many who are critical regarding vaccines and who have studied the subject thoroughly for years. Because of this they often know more about vaccines than doctors. Amongst vaccine critics are many highly qualified people with medical backgrounds.

    It is frustrating for vaccine critics to receive unsatisfactory responses from doctors to their questions about vaccines. Many ask about ingredients, potential longterm side effects, interactions between ingredients (which do occur), only to experience that doctors cannot answer and that some are uninterested in finding the answers.

    PACKAGE INSERTS
    Vaccine critics sometimes discover that a doctor has not read the important information on the vaccine package inserts. These contain a great deal of officially approved information and should be offered to people who are considering taking a vaccine or having their child vaccinated, because vaccination should be based on informed consent.   

    Vaccine package inserts may be found in the internet when the brand name is known.

    HERD IMMUNITY
    There is also the issue of herd immunity. We are often advised that we should vaccinate to protect the population at large. The problem is that the issue of herd immunity relates to the fact that natural diseases normally confer immunity which lasts for a lifetime, but this does not apply not to vaccines.
    Vaccine induced immunity normally possibly lasts from 2 – 10 years. Boosters are then suggested and they often last for possibly 2 years or less. This is why we are now seeing mandates, but they are not justified because the issue of vaccine induced herd immunity is a myth.

    DR. WAKEFIELD
    “Dr. Wakefield’s crucifixion is a desperate well-orchestrated effort to restore faith in risky vaccinations that the majority of people worldwide no longer trust,” said Dr. Horowitz.

    We noted that in connection with the harassment of Dr Wakefield simultaneous broadcasts from radio stations world wide announced that his work was fraudulent, and they interviewed “experts” who all declared that the MMR was perfectly safe.

    We also noted that the questions and answers in these interviews were identical, irrespective of whether they were broadcast from radio stations in Europe or African countries.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I2TXK4DMWLGP4LI3W7TR6JZ2BA morogo

    So you give families and children your best?  When ever a child develops autism, I have seen the family dropped like a hot potato when ever the family reaches out to the doctor for help.  

    You lie!  My niece has a horrid vaccine reaction and the only way my sister got help was to fight the system tooth and nail. Not one doctor helped her.  She was turned away at every venue. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_I2TXK4DMWLGP4LI3W7TR6JZ2BA morogo

    Dr. Toohey, have you ever seen a clinical case of measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, or pertussis in front of you?  If you did, I am sure you diagnosed it as something else.  As a mother, my child had measles.   I diagnosed it faster and more completely than the green intern who charged me for an office visit 20 years ago. 

    Yes, sometimes those diseases did not turn out too well, but neither do vaccines and the reactions that they cause more frequently than you will ever acknowledge.  

    • http://twitter.com/Dr_Toohey Matthew Toohey MD

      morogo,
       You are expressing a fair amount of anger here. I am sorry for whatever ills you have suffered at the hands of the medical community. Doctors are as falible as anyone and most of us are doing the absolute best we can to learn, make diagnoses and help people through illness.
      As to being ‘sure’ I would make a mistake and miss one of these conditions, I’m not sure where you base your assessment of my clinical skills.  I have had, seen and treated varicella. I have seen and treated bacterial meningitis, I have diagnosed and treated pertussis and I am regularly on the lookout for measles among other things in my patient population… because of recent outbreaks in and around my community. This is an evolving battle with pathogens, vaccines are not perfect by a long shot, and many people do not vaccinate so these  illnesses are never far off.

      As to my acknowledgement of the reactions to disease and to vaccines, I have my own personal experience and the epidemiological data on which to base my opinions. The data trumps any personal stories obviously but, as a pediatrician, I’m not sure who else manages, discusses and follows up on side effects more than I do. I’m not sure anyone else has more day to day personal experience with a large sample of people being vaccinated. I advise each and every one to report back to me anything but the mildest reaction.
       I openly discuss potential serious side effects to vaccines that I have never seen with patients. I acknowledge the side effects as evidenced by the current data and backed up by my daily observation. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1138076670 Lori Selby Devine

    Wow, I wonder why we can’t just have respect on both sides.  Brian, you seem to think that you know much more than anyone else commenting here and that makes you just laughable.  I won’t risk my kids either.  If they want to get vaccinated when they are adults, that is up to them.  I have been a critical care RN for 11 years now, a nurse for 17 years.  I have seen debilitating diseases.  I have seen GBS disable people to the point that they have a trach, a peg tube, and end up in a LTC facility.  Some of the neurologists I work with even admit that vaccines HAVE TO play a role in autism.  But I suppose, Brian, that you think these doctors to be stupid? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

      Well, yes. I don’t think their “notions” any more credible than anyone else’s. The facts are really quite simple: The preponderance of the evidence does not demonstrate any link between vaccines and autism. It doesn’t matter how much you’d like to believe there is, or that there is some sort of well-orchestrated conspiracy between greedy BigPharma (who make very little on vaccines) and the government to give your kids autism. One would think that with your many years of nursing experience, you might have picked up some critical thinking skills; however, your response leads me to believe that did not happen.

      • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

        So what do you say to the neurologist who proved in court the vaccine did cause his daughter’s autism? Why does it have to hit home for a doctor to gain conscience and intellect? The author would be a grieving mother if her child had autism….and this article would never have been written….she would be too heartbroken and angry….and busy….to even entertain such a uncompassionate, faulty, insecure post.

        How about asking the obvious….why aren’t the non immunizing segment of the Amish studied against the immunizers (realizing doctors love to point out the Amish have been studied…yes, the immunized one’s with blood diseases who use the children’s hospitals….so disingenuous of these doctors who practice in my backyard….because I live almost on the border of two huge Amish communities….the one’s that do not immunize rarely…if ever see autism).

      • Anonymous

        Big Pharma gets twenty billion a year in revenue from vaccines in the U.S. alone. The amount they gross has increased astronomically with the increase in the number of mandated vaccines and in their price, and the fact that Big Pharma and vaccine purveyors are absolutely not liable for adverse events caused even by defectively designed or negligently administered vaccines. Families of vaccine-damaged children are on our own. Thank you for nothing, Supreme Court. The facts really are very simple, it would be good if you learned them, Brian.

        • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

          [Citation needed]

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            If I forget remind me to get you the name of the Harvard researcher who wrote the book about this. And read up who pays for 85% of clinical studies…what is ditched in cover ups when data costs sales. Read Vaccine Epidemic….Wendell Potter…. tons of footnotes. Read up on the chain of research and financing.

    • Kypdurron5

      I think the reason for a lack of mutual respect is that both sides of the argument are not based upon equal factual evidence.  That’s the problem.  I empathize with “health nuts” for lack of a better word, which desire to live their lives without using any pharmaceuticals, who pay twice as much for organic foods, and who are willing to ingest various expensive “natural” supplements that promise good health and general well-being.  In a world of processed foods and McDonald’s, I get it.  With these issues, however, there is evidence.  Evidence that high fructose corn syrup contributes to obesity, that high fat intake and low fiber contribute to cardiovascular disease and even cancer, that high salt intake is bad.  

      Vaccines, however, are a completely different issue.  Despite the fears and parental intuitions that vaccines are associated with autism or other negative consequences, beyond the now debunked work (on multiple fronts) of Dr. Wakefield, not a single scientific study has even to a small degree, supported these fears.  Could something be found one day?  Possibly.  But does that really justify putting your child’s health from known preventable diseases at risk now, before there is any evidence for it?  I like this article because it points out what anti-vaccinationists are really saying…  That doctors are shills for medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies.  Never mind that that the polio vaccine was developed by a physician, who refused to patent the vaccine and charge money for it simply because he was tired of seeing disabled and dead children.  And nevermind that Dr. Wakefield was paid large sums of money by lawyers seeking a reason to sue pharmaceutical companies (which they did), money he did not disclose being paid.  Who’s the real shill, and who has dedicated their entire life to providing children with better health?  I honestly hope your children live into adulthood so that they CAN make the decision for themselves.  

      • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

        Yikes….sigh….anyone who has researched this will see the fallacies here….did you purposefully leave Paul Offit off the money grubber list? Did you read his pro vaccine book where he admits there are adverse reactions….read that he made more money than Wakefield. I think people in glass houses should not throw stones.

        I support medical innovation….and doctors….my doctors would tell you I encourage them ad nauseum. We are not anti establishment…we are anti ignorance. For the record this is my second child with cancer….it seems she got a bad dental xray….a negligent at Cleveland Clinic did not read the lab report that said the biopsy was too dry to accurately read…he sent home twice saying all was well….the delay in treatment means the cancer spread to her lymphs…we are battling cancer two years later…still. I blog about the day I watched my unimmunized daughter drink radiation…..now I am told it may have damaged her bone marrow….it did no good…only harm…yet, I was assured it was 95% effective…now they say those stats were wrong.

        We are using natural remedies to build the immune system. Our doctors are leery of vaccines…order special shots and few. There is room for each form of medicine….doctors need to take off their blinders because we are not the enemy….nor are we ignorant….you try to keep us on the defensive….I think you are losing this battle and your own credibility.

        I guess….I write because there is a false label attached to our movement….it feels like people are trying to type with their knees because they are blind folded…and their fingers are in their ears while they are saying, “I can’t hear you!”

        • Kypdurron5

          Again, this is nothing more than anecdotal evidence (and, quite frankly, evidence completely unrelated to vaccines), but I’ve got to tell you, I’m extremely glad doctors don’t practice medicine based upon anecdotes.

          Of course there are SOME adverse reactions, but everything has some adverse reactions.  One of the most common adverse reactions is to bee stings, but many people also have adverse reactions to latex, penicillin, laundry detergent, and a few people on earth are even allergic to semen, the basis for human life and reproduction.  Serious reactions to vaccines are infinitesimally small, as where serious reactions to even more serious preventable diseases are very high.  I’m a libertarian, and would never advocate forcing people to get vaccines.  You are free to choose, however, I suggesting picking your poison wisely.  But whatever you do choose is your decision, and I have no problem with that.  

          On the flip side, I’m an anesthesiologist and I LOVE love my job.  Rates of acute epiglottitis in kids (a serious condition with high mortality due to airway compromise) are only a fraction of what they once were thanks to the Haemophilus Influenza vaccine.  That said, God forbid your unvaccinated child gets this infection, but he does, I’m more than happy to support your decision with my advanced airway devices.  I advocate primary (vaccines) and secondary (early identification) prevention, but I’m happy to provide tertiary prevention (reducing harm) when the situation calls for it.  Because again, I love my job, and I love saving lives, regardless of the reason for the condition.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Okay you squawk about anecdotal posts…then proceed to not only write an anecdotal post….you typed with one arm….the other was busy patting yourself on the back. See….you harm the conversation….with the fear projections and false altruism that has no place amidst true data. You are not picking up the so called pieces of the non immunizers supposed train wrecks….you won’t even volunteer…you just jab and try to make yourself look good. Critical analysis shows most who get sick were immunized….you caused that….you are the one easily persuaded and your colleagues….so save your arrogance for sick children from that mindset that you promote….because you promote ignorant zeal…and I seriously doubt you sit down and do the responsible thing you have been paid to do….I am sure you do not know what that is do you? Let me enlighten you….a good doctor tells the parent there are risks….they takes seriously the deaths and adverse reactions….even though they may be rare they are a possibility. How I wish the pediatrician who killed my cousin with that shot….accidentally…but killed him, nonetheless, had taken 2 minutes to share what an adverse reaction looks like.

            So quit implying we have our heads in the sand….you are the type that are creating a nation with learning disabilities…etc. You refuse to even listen to your learned colleagues because you prefer demeaning caring parents. Not to worry…I have a wonderful doctor….one of the top fifty in the state….she is
            brilliant….a rare bird…

          • Kypdurron5

            To be honest, I’m having a hard time deciphering your post.  I’ve haven’t accused you of having your head in the sand, and have thrown no personal insults.   

            “Critical analysis shows most who get sick were immunized”  That’s a silly statement; since most people in the US get vaccines, of course most of the people who get “sick” have been vaccinated.  However, I encourage you to show me data supporting that MOST kids vaccinated against H. Influenza get H. Influenza.  I know for a fact that you cannot, because it’s simply not true.  Nor is it true for inactivated polio, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcus, or any other vaccine that comes to mind at the moment.  MOST who are vaccinated do not get the disease, that’s the whole point of vaccination.  If that were not true, I would be on the anti-vaccination side in a heartbeat.  All doctors would be.  A few do still get the disease, because vaccines do not work for 100% of those who get them, but again, I encourage you to show me the scientific studies that prove your statement.  Your statement is simply false; do not reprimand me for saying things which have “no place amidst true data,” when you immediately do just that.

            Again, to this point “you are the type that are creating a nation with learning disabilities…etc.”  Show the scientific studies to support this claim.  I’m not talking about a book by playboy model Jenny McCarthy, or by one doctor or another, I’m talking about a legitimate, peer-reviewed, scientific study that backs up your claim.  Or any scientific study that supports your claim that I have said something untrue.  Only one of us is attempting to spread fear and lies.  And once again mentioning another anecdotal story and refusing to provide evidence for your all of your own claims is, as you say, providing “harm [to] the conversation.”

            “Evidence” is a tricky thing.  Just because you read something by someone who may or may not have a reputation does not make it evidence.  People have a tremendous amount of “evidence” for 9/11 conspiracies, the Illuminati, the bilderbergers, and the lizard people.  Am I comparing anti-vaccinationists to people who believe these things?  No.  My point is only that much of the “evidence” has no more scientific validity than the “evidence” cited by these conspiracy theorists.

            Feel free to say your peace now and it will go un-rebutted (at least by me).  My only claim in what I’ve said today is this:  my view is that vaccinations provide more good than harm, no one should be forced against their will to receive them, and I support the rights of parents while encouraging parents to dig into the scientific data rather than allowing fear mongering over anecdotal stories, and a few books by random people (books written, of course, to make money) to guide healthcare decisions for the most un-empowered individuals in our society; children.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            It will go unrebutted? Hmmm….like everything here that is met without rebuttal? You know I stated earlier we are not anti vac we want safer vacs….why can’t doctors see that Tge protected thimerosal…it was the supposed militant, crazy moms who got that removed…be grateful to them.

            Just google learning disabilities and vaccines….new proof came out from good research this week. It is frustrating to debate when people do not current or accept proof. And, ultimately, I come here as amok with way too much experience with doctor….both negligent and wonderful….my daughters records were falsified at Cleveland Clinic….Negligence by one doctor….he was cited…no apology….and kids with cancer. I want to help others not to prevent the shots….but to encourage true education.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

            Grateful for what? They haven’t done much of anything except score a PR victory. Whoop-de-do. Thimerosol’s gone. Now let’s sit back while the autism rate changes not a bit, and reflect on the fact that we could have actually been trying to learn more about the disease instead of chasing a specter.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            You are not grateful mercury is gone from some shots? Oh my goodness….this is an outrageous post. Have you studied the effects of mercury, MS, etc.? Wowsers….revealing…

          • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

            My god, if there were an eyeroll character, I’d write it. It often helps to know a thing or two about even very basic chemistry. Often, it’s not just about what atoms are in a given solution, but also in what form, that counts. So you can save your outrage, because it’s not particularly warranted in this case.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Huh….outrage….eyes rolling….are you on female hormones?  HA!

          • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

            Sigh… perhaps one of the reasons most people who get sick are immunized is… wait for it… that most people are immunized. It’s like trying to say that most people who get mugged have a high school education, as though high school is somehow a factor that predisposes one to get mugged.

            Also, again, when you make a claim like “you are the type that are creating a nation with learning disabilities”, which is a pretty extraordinary claim, you should probably be armed with extraordinary evidence. Since you have provided none, I’m not sure how you expect to be taken seriously.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Ugh….today is not the day for me to try to reeducate….my bestfriend’s young daughter became a widow …..her husband, Christopher Horton was killed in Afghanistan. I am sorry if I am terse….but when people say they have studied this issue I trust they have. Some shots are very weak….why….in an effort to make them safer…and some people react differently….and then hot lots. Do you know how many kids who get whooping cough were immunized? Check the American Academy of Pediatrics. Why all the boosters?

        • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

          Since when did anyone claim that there were no adverse reactions? Don’t be silly, Alice. And who has claimed that there are no circumstances under which a person probably shouldn’t receive a shot? Not a one.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Brian…who said that? This iPad is excruciating to post on….sometimes the whole post goes poof…you cannot see the whole post. Who said what you claim? I stated a fact that I immunized half…half not. Unless someone else said it….um….it is something I cannot defend….I certainly fo not think that way. My daughter probably got cancer from an old dental xray machine….we still get xrays…with caution and a cuff. I would not infer anything like what you tried to share….that is foolishness….it is like saying you survived a plane wreck….so let’s try it again….it has no place here….the stats are adequate….

            Quite frankly you are making assumptions about my statements….clarify please. I did not say what you just typed. So I can’t defend what yourself added to my statements….but I am more than willing to defend my own statements.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s a great response to this ludicrous article. 

    “Sad,
    because when people decide to mandate vaccines, block any legal redress
    for injury and then make very nice profits besides, it makes me really,
    really angry. Not to mention classifying chickenpox as a deadly disease
    and mumps and messing with the normal bacterial balance (Prevnar) of
    children who opt out of vaccines. There sure are a lot of reasons to be
    pissed, aren’t there?”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ELKLFMUSQTF5ZJUHGTIMGDOAC4 Yancy

    The problem is, you say that every since Andrew did his article, that now every parents believe him. We’ll he made peoples eyes open. And you say that they’ve debunked it, which is BS, because they’ve also proven that they didn’t do a full investigation to debunk it to make him look stupid. There’s been research after research to prove that vaccines are dangerous. Seriously, is there a need for mercury and aluminum and other neurotoxins in it, and carcinogen?  Unfortunately too many healthy children have died by this poison. I understand that you are offended by all this, if i was you, i probably would be too. However, wouldn’t it be something to look into and maybe wandering why this keeps happening? And what the pharmaceutical companies are hiding. Oh right, conspiracy crap, sorry. Seriously, should research it. You might actually be disgusted by what you find.  When there’s multiple ways to curing those diseases naturally, and also the fact that alot of those diseases have been caused by those vaccines in the first place. Either way, i’ve never been vaccinated, and im perfectly healthy, healthier then alot of people i know that are vaccinated. Eihter way, it should be the parents choice, period, end of story.

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      Something blipped by my Facebook today from Health News Digest…titled New Clues to Molecular Understanding of Autism…from University of Buffalo and Stanford…in the proceedings of The NIH. It seems to be on the same road as Wakefield with predispositions..molecular clues…fascinating…….oh wait a minute….the UK may have to give two innocent doctors their licensing back….but they have that stiff upper lip syndrome…no vaccine yet for that malady….sigh…..anyhoo…the research is about autism spectrum disorder. Imagine a world where real science is envied…insightful doctors admit they have little indepth knowledge about immunology…or what is actually in that vial…a doctor who writes here told me she can’t discuss the topic with me because I haven’t been to med school….I felt despair for her patients who, obviously, call her Empress or Queenie. I would punt her….she proved she could not even discuss the immune system…anyone who understands any topic can teach it to a ten year old…she maintained her superiority and never did explain that she knew anything more than a chapter read long ago….and a completely forgotten multiple choice test.

  • Anonymous

    Andrew Wakefield said that children with bowel disease also often have autism, which developed after getting the MMR vaccine. How can he be faulted for saying this? Doctors now are told to screen for bowel disease any child newly diagnosed with autism since the two so often go together, as numerous studies have shown. He was drawn and quartered to protect the vaccine profits of the medical industry.
     
    It’s silly at this point to talk about the safety of vaccines. They often protect against the targeted disease, but then again, they often don’t. Most people  who have gotten diphtheria, polio, or pertussis in recent decades had been fully vaccinated for protection, but got the diseases anyway. And as for danger, one in every thirteen children vaccinated for pertussis develops asthma, and some of them die from it. One in a hundred vaccinated children develops autism. It is extremely unscientific to dismiss the many cases of a child’s screaming for long periods of time shortly after a vaccine (encephalitis) and subsequently developing autism, a seizure disorder, or another autoimmune disease. Tens of thousands of children were developing normally until they got the MMR, and bam! they plunge into autism and severe bowel disease. Many people who get the flu vaccine are permanently crippled by it, and more of them develop Alzheimer’s. This collective turning away from the evidence which is RIGHT IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY can only be explained by a criminal desire to protect profits, authority, and prestige at the cost of permanent disability for millions. And when I think what will happen when the millions with vaccine-induced autism, diabetes, food allergies, asthma,  arthritis, paraplegia, and Alzheimer’s rise up, or their family members rise up on their behalf, against the medical and pharmaceutical industries and their cohorts in government and the news media and call for blood, I can undertand their desire to delay the day of judgment for as long as possible.
     
    My baby got encephalitis from the hepatitis-B vaccine at eight hours old, though I had said I didn’t want her to get it. Four days and nights of screaming, and she was diagnosed with autism at twenty months old. Both my arms were paralyzed by a tetanus booster when I was twenty, for only two days then, but I later got M.S. My nephew has vaccine-induced autism. My parents got yearly flu vaccines at the mall, until my father developed a mysterious paralyzing illness which left him bedridden for the last two years of his life. My mother developed Alzheimer’s, though no one else in her family had ever gotten it, and her care has been paid for out of pocket for thirteen years now. There is twenty times as much Alzheimer’s in the U.S. now than in 1980. The aluminum in vaccines causes Alzheimer’s. We were a highly-educated family, but our health and lives have been bankrupted by vaccines. Articles like Michelle Au’s are an insult to all of us.

  • Anonymous

    Andrew Wakefield said that children with bowel disease also often have autism, which developed after getting the MMR vaccine. How can he be faulted for saying this? Doctors now are told to screen for bowel disease any child newly diagnosed with autism since the two so often go together, as numerous studies have shown. He was drawn and quartered to protect the vaccine profits of the medical industry.
     
    It’s silly at this point to talk about the safety of vaccines. They often protect against the targeted disease, but then again, they often don’t. Most people  who have gotten diphtheria, polio, or pertussis in recent decades had been fully vaccinated for protection, but got the diseases anyway. And as for danger, one in every thirteen children vaccinated for pertussis develops asthma, and some of them die from it. One in a hundred vaccinated children develops autism. It is extremely unscientific to dismiss the many cases of a child’s screaming for long periods of time shortly after a vaccine (encephalitis) and subsequently developing autism, a seizure disorder, or another autoimmune disease. Tens of thousands of children were developing normally until they got the MMR, and bam! they plunge into autism and severe bowel disease. Many people who get the flu vaccine are permanently crippled by it, and more of them develop Alzheimer’s. This collective turning away from the evidence which is RIGHT IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY can only be explained by a criminal desire to protect profits, authority, and prestige at the cost of permanent disability for millions. And when I think what will happen when the millions with vaccine-induced autism, diabetes, food allergies, asthma,  arthritis, paraplegia, and Alzheimer’s rise up, or their family members rise up on their behalf, against the medical and pharmaceutical industries and their cohorts in government and the news media and call for blood, I can undertand their desire to delay the day of judgment for as long as possible.
     
    My baby got encephalitis from the hepatitis-B vaccine at eight hours old, though I had said I didn’t want her to get it. Four days and nights of screaming, and she was diagnosed with autism at twenty months old. Both my arms were paralyzed by a tetanus booster when I was twenty, for only two days then, but I later got M.S. My nephew has vaccine-induced autism. My parents got yearly flu vaccines at the mall, until my father developed a mysterious paralyzing illness which left him bedridden for the last two years of his life. My mother developed Alzheimer’s, though no one else in her family had ever gotten it, and her care has been paid for out of pocket for thirteen years now. We were a highly-educated family, but our health and lives have been bankrupted by vaccines.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

    It’s like a big, sad game of Whack-a-Mole.

    What you people lack in evidence, you certainly make up for in volume.

  • http://twitter.com/MicheleLucc Michele Angelucci

    i wonder if she takes it personally when a child that she jabbed with a vaccine becomes irreversibly damaged by the vaccine? (or does she deny the connection and instead call it coincidence so she can sleep at night?)

    • Anonymous

      As a child in the 1950s I used to walk to school and to the local
      grocery store. I could have been killed on these trips. In fact a
      classmate of mine in 8th grade was killed when she didn’t pay attention
      in crossing the street after getting off a bus. The question then
      becomes “What is the magnitude of risk?” We have a medical establishment
      that can rationally compare the risk from rare adverse reactions to
      vaccination to actual death from measles or lifetime incapacitation from
      Polio. I advise Ms. Angelucci to research the iron lung wards that were run in the
      1950s. It is difficult to fully convey the dread of polio and the relief
      when health officials declared that the polio vaccine worked. What
      sticks in my mind was that a child in an iron lung saw the the world
      through a small rectangular mirror attached to the machine.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

    Amazing when vaccine red flaggers have to educate doctors….anyone who does not include this name in the debate has not studied the issue….CBS and others think it is interesting the the head guy of the vaccine center made millions upon millions….but no it is Wakefield you want to lynch….ignorance is not bliss….you are chasing a scapegoat…..is that an example of your good research? Again…let me guide you:). Look into Paul Offit then let me the same outrage….what….I can’t hear you….wait a minute….where did you disappear too? Ha!

    Paul Offit and the Vaccine Industry
    By Sharyl Attkisson

    For years some parents and scientists have raised concerns about vaccine safety, including a possible link to autism and ADD. Many independent experts have sided with government officials and other scientists who say there’s no possible connection. But how “independent” are they CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson shares here’s what she found.

    They’re some of the most trusted voices in the defense of vaccine safety: The American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two, and pediatrician Dr. Paul Offit.

    But CBS News has found these three have something more in common – strong financial ties to the industry whose products they promote and defend.

    The vaccine industry gives millions to the Academy of Pediatrics for conferences, grants, medical education classes and even helped build their headquarters. The totals are kept secret, but public documents reveal bits and pieces.

    A $342,000 payment from Wyeth, maker of the pneumococcal vaccine – which makes $2 billion a year in sales.

    A $433,000 contribution from Merck, the same year the academy endorsed Merck’s HPV vaccine – which made $1.5 billion a year in sales.

    Another top donor: Sanofi Aventis, maker of 17 vaccines and a new five-in-one combo shot just added to the childhood vaccine schedule last month. Every Child By Two, a group that promotes early immunization for all children, admits the group takes money from the vaccine industry, too – but wouldn’t tell us how much. A spokesman told CBS News: “There are simply no conflicts to be unearthed.” But guess who’s listed as the group’s treasurers Officials from Wyeth and a paid advisor to big pharmaceutical clients.

    Then there’s Paul Offit, perhaps the most widely-quoted defender of vaccine safety. He’s gone so far as to say babies can tolerate “10,000 vaccines at once.” This is how Offit described himself in a previous interview: “I’m the chief of infectious disease at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics at Penn’s medical school,” he said. Offit was not willing to be interviewed on this subject but like others in this CBS News investigation, he has strong industry ties. In fact, he’s a vaccine industry insider. Offit holds in a $1.5 million dollar research chair at Children’s Hospital, funded by Merck. He holds the patent on an anti-diarrhea vaccine he developed with Merck, Rotateq, which has prevented thousands of hospitalizations. And future royalties for the vaccine were just sold for $182 million cash. Dr. Offit’s share of vaccine profits? Unknown.

    Read more about this story at Couric & Co. Blog

    There’s nothing illegal about the financial relationships, but to critics, they pose a serious risk for conflicts of interest. As one member of Congress put it, money from the pharmaceutical industry can shape the practices of those who hold themselves out to be “independent.” The American Academy of Pediatrics, Every Child By Two and Dr. Offit would not agree to interviews, but all told us they’re up front about the money they receive, and it doesn’t sway their opinions. Today’s immunization schedule now calls for kids to get 55 doses of vaccines by age 6. Ideally, it makes for a healthier society. But critics worry that industry ties could impact the advice given to the public about all those vaccines.

  • Anonymous

    To Bill:

    The magnitude of risk is greater for vaccinating than not vaccinating. One in thirteen vaccinated children get asthma, only one in a hundred unvaccinated children have it. One in about a hundred vaccinated children has autism. No federally-sanctioned vax/unvax study has been done on autism, though Congress has ordered it done twice, and there are many thousands of unvaccinated children who would willingly be part of such a study. (Dr. Proffit says that such a study would be immoral because it would deprive the unvaccinated children of valuable disease protection.) Dr. Bernadene Healy said that the Institute of Medicine said that it didn’t want to do such a study, because it knew it would implicate vaccines as the major cause of autism, and it didn’t want to disrupt the vaccine  program already in place (by scaring parents who learned the enormous risk involved in vaccinating, at least if you consider one in a hundred unacceptable odds, one in seventy some-odd boys). There was no autism before the early 1940s: Dr. Kanner, the first to describe it and give it the name autism, had contributed to a comprehensive compendium of neurological diseases in the mid-1930s, with other researchers at Johns Hopkins University, and no such illness was described. Dr. Kanner in 1943 said it had never been seen before, and a syndrome so distinctive would certainly have been described had it existed. That was only a few years after the pertussis vaccine came into general use. There was no autism in Japan until 1949, a couple of years after the Americans started giving the pertussis vaccine to Japanese children. The Merck manual describes encephalitis as being inflammation of the brain caused by either disease or a vaccine. The package insert of many vaccines says that encephalitis and subsequent autism are possible adverse events caused by the vaccine. There is no autism among those Amish who do not vaccinate (except one boy who lived near a coal-burning electrical plant with mercury emissions). No autism among the thousands of unvaccinated patients of Mayer Eisenstein’s Homefirst Health Services in Chicago. Peanut allergies did not use to exist, but the numbers of those who have them grows with the addition of each new vaccine. Vaccines cause an inflammatory reaction by their very nature: they are designed to do so in order to make the body produce antibodies against the antigens injected. But some people, whether because of a gene or because their immune systerms were already on high alert because of an illness, mount a vigorous reaction to vaccines which causes acute or sometimes chronic  inflammation of an organ, which is diagnosed as one of many autoimmune diseases.

    The school nurse Patti White testified before a congressional sub-committee in May 1999 that Missouri schools were suddenly hit by a wave of autistic children starting in 1996. She said it was because in 1991 they had started vaccinating newborns with the hepatitis-B vaccine, which cause encephalitis and autism, and those children hit kindergarten in 1996. The committee found that the vaccine was so dangerous they recommended a moratorium be placed on its use. But regardless  of that, my baby was born in May 2000, a year later,  and given the vaccine in the hospital without asking my permission, and it caused encephalitis and autism in her.

    Measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, flu, and even whooping cough are mild diseases. Rubella is dangerous to pregnant women’s fetuses in the first months of pregnancy, whooping cough is dangerous to babies less than four months old. The adverse events associated with the MMR, DTaP, and varicella vaccines are so severe and relatively common that most parents, if they knew all the facts, would choose to take their chances with the diseases rather than risk permanent disability in their children. Books such as Wendy Lydall’s Raising a Vaccine-Free Child and Aviva Jill Romm’s Vaccinations give good advice on caring for someone with one of these formerly very common childhood diseases.

    Diseases such as tetanus, meningitis, polio, diphtheria, and hepatitis are scarier, but not very common. Parents should read books like Randall Neustaedter’s The Vaccine Guide to help them make an informed decision as to whether the risk of the vaccine seems less or greater than the risk of the disease. All of these vaccines have caused permanent disability in many instances, and some of them aren’t very effective. Of course the diseases can cause permanent disability or kill as well. Probably if there is any autoimmune disease in the child’s family, any kind of allergies or neurological disease, he or she is more likely to react to a vaccine, and it may well be an unacceptable risk.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianpcurry Brian Curry

      Cia, your opinion is that the magnitude of risk in vaccinating is greater than that of not vaccinating. You’re either misinformed or lying.

      You claim a difference in asthma rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated children. Prove it. You claim there was no autism before the early 1940s. Prove it: Behavior reminiscent of autism was described as far back as the 18th century. You claim that the Amish have no autism; why should one suppose that has anything to do with vaccines? You’re essentially saying that a genetically inbred group with a generally entirely different set of environmental exposusures has a different incidence of autism, but without any evidence, you claim it must be due to vaccines. You claim there hasn’t been a single case of autism at Homefirst. That’s a paraphrase of a quote of Eisenstein in which he said he couldn’t think of a case of autism. So it’s essentially a nonscientific off-the-cuff remark, not a definitive statement.

      Measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, flu, and even whooping cough are mild diseases.

      You fool. Most diseases are relatively mild, in general. But to those with impaired immunity, or those just unlucky enough to suffer a more severe disseminated disease, it’s not all that mild, is it? The fact is, people did and do die from vaccine-preventable communicable diseases, even the mild ones. But you feel entirely qualified to proclaim these diseases too mild to worry about.

      You are ignorant of what you speak. That’s not a crime, to be sure, but the tragedy is that you’re ignorant and willfully unconcerned about that fact.

      • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

        Brian….I am reading and wondering if you are reading with an open mind or selectively in an effort to prove yourself right?  Kids lives are at stake here……not just by death.  Why would you be against safer shots?  That is the part that is baffling…but I have been around long enough to remember the docs who protected the hot lots…..they don’t apologize either…but the docs I talk to get the bare minimum of shots and claim if they didn’t work among sick people they probably wouldn’t have gotten them at all.  But it is work to research to find the truth….the ones who did were horrified at what they found. 

         The Amish don’t deal with autism much unless they are forced to get the shots by pushy, ignorant doctors who would inject a sick child.  So….why not take a pure group of unimmunized Amish and compare?  Scared it will show that autism is extremely rare among the unimmunized?

        • Anonymous

          I think a lot of people here are lacking basic logic.

          To compare the Amish (a completely isolated, genetically-different inbred group) to the general population, is almost like comparing different species.  Genetics are everything, and as any scientist or doctor knows, hundreds and hundreds of years of no genetic variation leads to an extremely narrow (yet potent) gene pool.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Ya know….now that you mention it……I always did wonder why their kids have two heads, 24 fingers, but only four toes.   Some only have one eye because of the cyclops gene.  But they keep those special children in the basement….only the enlightened people get to see them…………that’s about how logical your post was….

          • Anonymous

            Sorry, I’ll break it down into terms that are more understandable.

            I met this guy at the grocery store, just waiting in line, who told me about how his 10 year old kid got a vaccine.  16 years later, his kid is now the starting small forward for the Miami Heat, Lebron James!  Holy crap! If my kid gets a vaccine, he’ll turn out to be a superstar NBA player! YESS

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Ha!  Well….you just proved my point that you can’t think logically…have you studied Sherlock Holmes?  You seem to like fiction.  Some good reading is the differences in logic the author chose for Watson and Holmes.  A better idea….I teach Logic…there are openings in my class.  But you may want to zero in on fallacy in research and science.   See logically…..if you and the good doctor who wrote these things under the guise of caring really cared you would hear the sweet mother’s voice that has tried in vain to get an ounce of compassion out of either of you.  You can keep trying to stun us with your supposed superior logical skills…..that don’t make sense scientifically nor logically……but how about trying to listen, learn and help.  Novel idea to those who think they are intellectuals.  You know the difference right?  Intellectuals consider an idea more important than people.  And that is what we have seen here…..most care more about being right…..looking altruistic while not stopping to help a person in need.

          • Anonymous

            Oh yes, I know the big bad doctors are all out to get you and your kids; they’re so evil!.  Your logic that the medical community doesn’t “consider an idea more important than people” is as sound as a Kleenex tissue curing a meningioma.  Please let me know when you decide to actually write a real educated response, or even something with actual substance, instead of responding with verbal diarrhea that detracts from the real issue at hand in your response: a lack of an argument.

            What I brought up was your idea of taking “Amish people vs. unvaccinated kids” is a terrible scientific study.  Only a true case control studying involving 1 large pediatric population(e.g. 100,000 kids), divided into two separate interventions (50% receiving standard vaccines, 50% receiving none at all), with measurable outcomes (incidence and prevalence of diseases) would definitively put the question to rest.  Since it is widely viewed as completely immoral to subject 100,000 kids to no vaccines, us evil doctors/scientists don’t want to subject an entire generation of kids to this torture.   

            I will have to respectfully decline your “Logic” class. Don’t know what school you teach at, but I feel a little sorry for your students in said class.  Here’s a puzzle for you guys!  I got a flu vaccine this year.  I also got into a car accident 1 hour afterwards.  Do flu vaccines cause car accidents???

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Your argument sounds more unionized, than logical.  Here’s a tip for free….next time ask questions and make sure you understand those you disagree with.  You haven’t summed up any movement I know of except the teacher’s union’s illogical, entitlement mindset….it’s not really about education and your posts are not really about the truth in education about the shots…it’s about false labeling….it’s an occupational hazard.

          • Anonymous

            First of all, you should lookup what occupational hazard means, because it doesn’t make sense in context of your sentence.  Second, maybe you should actually explain your stance about false labeling because once again, you are side-stepping any true discussion or debate.

            Also, you can stop calling yourself a teacher for every class just because you homeschool.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Well….you flunk the Logic course….a teacher who doesn’t know what “teach” means?  Assumes way to much…and can’t understand the basics.  I gave references….it’s really the problem with teacher unions and entitlement mindsets and undeserved tenure.  It creates non-thinkers.   Look into Idaho and their changes….good thing you don’t rely on merit pay yet:)

          • Anonymous

            There are brick walls out there that make more sense than you.

          • Anonymous

            I’m a teacher too! Reading comprehension class:

            My argument summarized:

            If A happens, then B happens, it does NOT mean that A caused B.

            Your response summarized:
            “Go study Sherlock Holmes, a fictional piece of work, which uses two fake characters that solve crimes. Now that’s true science!”
            (Have you seen Transformers? Alien life forms have a plot to take over the earth! Watch out, your toaster might become a car!!!!)

            “I teach a Logic class. You should learn about research and science.”
            (No thanks on joining your class, I have medical school to teach me all about science. Oh, and I have plenty of research experience.)

            “If you and doctors actually cared, you would have compassion for mothers.”
            (Yes, we’re all out to get you. It’s not like our entire profession is based around helping others or anything.)

            “Your superior logical skills don’t make sense to me, but instead, you should listen and help.  Do you know the difference between listening and performing science?”
            (This is why I’m simplying everything for you, I hope my point is more clear.)

            “Help me.”
            (Trying.)

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

    Bob….can you tell me who financed the lit you promote? I know the answer….but just want to make sure you do to. Did you study the studies and did you go back and read that they used to say that about thimerasol? Did you see the CDC is now studying environmental factors? Wouldn’t contents of shots be considered environmental? Did you stop and compare these studies to….oh maybe statins that BigPharma had studies promoting while patients claimed their brain was all messed up. New research shows statins work for one in fifty men and no women. Will docs listen….nah….most will not…and like vaccines they will quote false data….just read about cardiologists who are steering patients away from them. Time is showing that millions of parents cannot be wrong….something happened after the shot….they are not all hysterical moms….ADD and autism are like an epidemic….ditto admit that medical science is as tainted as the shots would mean a whole lot of people cannot become millionaires.

  • ciaparker2

    To Brian:

    I know you aren’t interested in the truth about vaccines, your ego is invested in defending them, but those who are concerned about the issue might be interested in the information on smartvax.com. It says there that a Manitoba study published in 2008 found that children given the DTaP two months later than is dictated by the schedule had a 6 in a 100 rate of asthma at age 7, while those vaccinated normally had a rate of 14 in a hundred. A CDC Asthma-Vaccine study found that vaccination with Hib and HepB also increased the rate of asthma.

    If you think autism existed three hundred years ago, I would have to ask you to prove it. Dr. Leo Kanner, an eminent neurologist at Johns Hopkins, wrote in 1943, when he described the first case, that it had never before been seen.

    I’m sure you’ve read the article by Dan Olmsted on the lack of autism among the Amish. If you think that it’s just because they are a genetically homogenous group that has some sort of protection from autism, then why are there now cases among those Amish who have succumbed to pressure from the outside world and vaccinated? Not as much as most people, and they don’t have as high a rate of autism as children who get all the recommended vaccines. But, of course, if Big Pharma can block a population study long enough, most people won’t know the truth and will keep vaccinating until everything hits the fan. Europe vaccinates much less than the U.S., except for Great Britain, and there is a much lower rate of autism among Europeans. Denmark has a rate of about one in a thousand, compared to our one in a hundred. American children often fall into autism after the MMR, and it’s said to be a coincidence, that they would have gotten autism at that age anyway. But countries that give the MMR at a different age have children that develop autism at that age rather than our 15 months. There are only three or four other countries that give the hep-B to newborns, and this is an example of a vaccine that only exists for profit. There is no risk to a baby or child of getting hep B unless a family member has it, and the vaccine wears off in a few years, before the child is old enough to engage in the risky behaviors of unprotected sex and intravenous drug use, which are the usual modes of transmission. But of course, there’s more money in mandated boosters! 

    I’m glad that you recognized that measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and whooping cough are usually mild. I had measles and chicken pox as a child, it was normal then and everyone got them, no one worried about them. My daughter had whooping cough at eight and nine months old, even though she had gotten three DTaP vaccines, but, since it’s a dangerous vaccine and not very effective, she got it anyway at a La Leche League meeting, and gave it to me. She coughed for over a month, and I coughed for over two months. It scared me when she coughed up sheets of mucus every half hour for a few days, but in retrospect, I’m glad we both got it and developed immunity and strengthened our immune systems. She got chicken pox when she was two, I had shingles and she caught it from me, and it was no big deal, I’m glad she wasn’t damaged by the varicella vaccine, which I had refused. I don’t think it’s good policy to damage the majority hoping to protect the weak from getting the diseases. I refused the MMR, she would have severe autism now if I had not. There are effective herbal, vitamin, and homeopathic treatments for these diseases when they occur that greatly reduce the chance of complications. I can’t say that only the weak should get the vaccines, since they may be especially susceptible to reactions, but if you believe the vaccines are harmless, that is what you should suggest.

    Going through the diseases naturally teaches the immune system how to act when attacked by microbes, and makes it stronger. Getting the vaccines teaches the immune system to launch an autoimmune reaction, as seen in these statistics: In 1979 there were one million kids under 14 with asthma, now the CDC reports that more than 9 million under 18 have it. Now 3 million kids are learning-disabled, in 1976 there were 796,000 learning disabled kids in elementary schools. Now 206,00 American kids have type 1 diabetes, and more and more have type 2. The CDC says that one in every 400 or 500 has diabetes. Between 1945 and 1969, the incidence in school children was 1 in 7,100. And, of course, no one had autism in the 1960s and 1970s.

    Science is not my religion, I am not trying to proselytize for it. Those for whom science is their religion are using it to cloak the billions in profits the medical industry and Big Pharma are reaping while forcing the faithful to roll up their sleeves and get in line. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

    It is the Dr. Jon Poling case and his daughter Hannah.  When people make such bold statements like, “There is no proof autism is caused by a shot.”  It’s not true.  They need to rephrase and they could say little proof…but then they need to cite the source and who is paying for that research.  Basically, with shots it’s a closed case because Big Pharma is running that show.  I believe out of 23 studies 18 were financed completely by BigPharma and we already know what they do with data that will cost them money.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

    I was reading this doctor’s…PhD about the doctored data physicians believe without many questions….then they get flustered with skeptics….so….who isn’t using deductive or inductive reasoning?

    Early in the interview Dr. Golomb cites a perfect example of the qualitative difference between the scientific facts amassed and the conclusions drawn.

    “FDA analysts now have access to clinical trials whether or not they are published because of the clinical trial registries that some journals now require. (That doesn’t actually require that those results then be published, but at least now there is opportunity for the FDA to get access to those studies, and sometimes to the evidence from the studies.)

    So the FDA conducted an analysis of antidepressant drug trials and found that of 38 trials for which the evidence appeared favorable, 37 had been published. Whereas of 36 trials for which the evidence did not appear favorable toward antidepressant drugs, 22 were not published at all, and 11 were published in a way that misleadingly conveyed the outcome as though it was favorable.

    So that research, the “published evidence,” would be that over 90 percent of publications were favorable, relative to “truth” (at least as determined by the FDA analysts), which was about 50 percent.

    … So that’s an example of how the evidence we see can be dramatically different from the evidence that was procured, and there are actually a number of mechanisms that lead the evidence that was procured to already have disparities, generally favoring treatment benefits, relative to truth.” 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tauna-Grinager/100000919818775 Tauna Grinager

    The author of this article might want to dig deep within herself and find the true answer on why non-vaccinating parents offend her so. Typically I find that when I’m the most upset and personally offended by something another person did or said, it’s because it is bringing up an issue in me I don’t want to confront. When I’m strong in my beliefs and convictions, discussing said thing does not throw me off balance or upset me. In fact I enjoy taking an deeper examination on my belief(s) and seeing if they still hold true. But, oh boy, present a topic or idea where I’m on shaky ground, and I can feel the emotion rise quickly! In reading this doctor’s article, I think deep inside she knows vaccines are not the lifesavers she touts them to be; and does know what damage they can cause. But she’s not ready to deal with that inner voice yet, so best to attack.

    BTW – Science and religion (or belief system) are not exclusive and separate from each other. I’m so sick of hearing that BS. Humans don’t do well without both balancing each other out. I am not religious, but there is a mystery to life that science will never answer. I believe that Mother Nature will always find a way, no matter how much we try to control everything through man-made science.

    Also – non-vaccinating parents too believe in preventative medicine. Vaccines are not the only way to prevent disease (or complications of disease). In fact, I’ll argue that they don’t prevent at all – they just change disease into the countless chronic conditions that have quickly become the “norm” in today’s children. Just because I choose to not inject my child with known toxins and altered disease, does not mean that we don’t work to preserve his health.

  • Anonymous

    Michele Bachmann has become one of the few politicians willing to support vaccine-damaged families, and Rick Perry has sunk his campaign by lying about the $30,000 he took from Merck for mandating the HPV vaccine. The HPV vaccine has had over 10,000 adverse events reported to the VAERS, and over 80 deaths. There have been many more in other countries which use it. It was pulled from the market in India when it killed a number of girls. In the U.S. we don’t care as much about the health of our girls as they do in India. If you google Zeda Pingel, you will learn about a thirteen-year old girl, a cheerleader and straight-A student, who got the Gardasil vaccine in November 2008, reacted to it, and is now in a hospital bed in her living room, unable to walk or talk, with a feeding tube and a trach that allows her to breathe.
    The mother Michele Bachmann talked to said her daughter had become mentally retarded after getting the HPV vaccine. That means she reacted with encephalitis, which damaged her brain. The package insert of all vaccines says that encephalitis is a possible adverse event. My daughter reacted to the hepatitis-B vaccine with encephalitis and subsequent autism.  
    The HPV vaccine only protects against a few of the many serotypes of HPV, and the other serotypes are already filling in the gaps left by the absence of the vaccine strains. It is not yet known if the vaccine will ultimately prevent deaths from cervical cancer. The Pap test or the DNA test for HPV are safe tests which will not mess up your immune or nervous systems. You still should have Pap tests even after you get the HPV vaccine, since it doesn’t protect against all the cancer-causing strains of HPV.
    Most parents when they learn the facts will forego this dangerous vaccine, unless state governments mandate it (which I don’t think they will in the present climate).

  • Anonymous

    “…they’re angry at themselves for letting you down.”
    Oh, please. The anti-vax crowd is minuscule compared to the problem drinkers, smokers, obese people, couch potatoes, and unhealthy eaters clogging medical clinics across the country. What do anti-vax parents and all of these other groups have in common? You understandably get exasperated with them, and not simply because they are rejecting your brilliant advice. No, most likely they’ve already HEARD your advice from public service announcements, health educators, school nurses, magazine articles, and numerous other sources, all of which are informed by the same research findings that trickled down to you as well. You are angry because you are no more persuasive (and quite possibly less so) than any of the aforementioned sources. You are angry because the tools available to you are insufficient to tackle this very frustrating, yet ubiquitous, aspect of human nature that allows people to make irrational life choices. You are angry at your impotence.

    • Anonymous

      To a_brad:

      I didn’t understand your post. Were you being sarcastic when you mentioned brilliant advice in the third line? Are you talking about the research findings that say there is no autism/vaccination link based on all the studies that only compared somewhat vaccinated children to more vaccinated children, and never vaccinated children to unvaccinated children? No official vax/unvax study has ever been done, although Congress has mandated one be done on two occasions, the first time over twenty years ago. Are you talking about revoking Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s license because he said there appeared to be connection between the MMR, and subsequent autism and bowel disease? (a connection now upheld by many studies?) When you say “you”, are you addressing the medical professionals angry because there are thousands of parents now apprised of the dangers of vaccines and are refusing them (to the detriment of said medical professionals’ pocketbooks and presumed authority), or does the “you” refer to those who have refused to damage themselves or their children? There are many counties in California and Washington state which now have a rate of between 15 and 20 percent of their children completely unvaccinated (numbers not admitted to on the official record). That must not be what you were referring to, because with increasing officially recognized rates of parents refusing vaccinations from fear, the anti-vaxers are proving to be very potent indeed.  

      • Anonymous

        I think you are mistaking the intensity of your feelings around this issue with the actual influence of the thought leaders in your movement. Outside of your echo chamber, your most prominent representative is the esteemed Dr. Jenny McCarthy. The rest of the world, and particularly the scientific community, has begun to move on, even those who were willing to entertain some rational skepticism around the vaccine-autism link.

        But I think that your reply does speak to the power of emotion to undermine rational thought, which is sort of where I was going with my original comment.And, for what it’s worth, I didn’t say anything about Andrew Wakefield or his license. Since you brought it up, though, I believe that scientific misconduct should be grounds for disciplinary action on that part of the licensing boards. Anti-intellectualism plagues all of the health professions – the least we can do is remove those who have been found to engage in scientific misconduct.

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      Who is misinformed? I have not read Jenny’s book she co authored with a doctor. This is the problem……you can’t discuss facts…just parrots for pharmaceutical…like the bioarseholes who are offering a stupid reward this week with conditions they Know can’t be met. What doctor…well except the whistleblower doctor who helped in the development of .Gardisil is going to put down on any death certificate that a shot killed the child? Yeah the shots are so safe the settlements are capped at a quarter mil…so safe a neurologist won over a mil because he proved in court the shot wasn’t safe…so safe they are going mandate them and stomp all over rights…that’s how great they are….and we are seeing the results here:)

      • Anonymous

        “you can’t discuss facts…just parrots for pharmaceutical..”Grow up. That sort of self-serving hyperbole serves no one.If we are going to privilege facts, please cite the peer reviewed scientific articles to support your assertions. Do leave out those that have been retracted due to fraud. Jury decisions are not equivalent to empirical evidence. If we had a more scientifically literate population I can’t imagine we would even be having this debate.

        I’m sure you have your mind made up, and I am doubtful that you will be able to cite a preponderence of reputable scientific evidence to support your positions. I do feel confident, however, that you will continue to cling to isolated pieces of ambiguous information that support your cartoonish, good-versus-evil, David Everyman versus Goliath Pharma construction of this issue.

        Incidentally, I am not a physician. I am a scientist with a Ph.D. from a top-tier R1 university. I have openly criticized aspects of the pharmaceutical industry in my peer-reviewed publications. I am on record as stating that I will not accept funding from the pharmaceutical industry. So perhaps you’ll need to revise your image of your bogeyman.

        • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

          Um…..you have, obviously, not kept on this debate nor read the scientific studies that disagree with your ideology…and I am assuming you do not know what is in them or how it works. How about you download Vaccine Epidemic and read research…there are doctors who post here who will not immunize…particularly research doctors. I seriously doubt a doctor here has a child with full rounds and boosters. I listened to an OB on Hugh Hewitt this week say he wants 9 year old girls to get the Gardisil shot….another eejet….the shot needs boosters every five years…golly….let’s start it out of the womb on millions just incase a pervert gets loose…that is the kind of reasoning you use….most don’t even know it is only 65% effective and I doubt that is correct.

          Then a pediatrician called Hugh who he tried to demean..he cut her off…she graduated from John Hopkins…she had Hugh beat…she had did her research…but he came off looking very foolish….an attorney who stomps on parental rights and candidates right to free speech….he was a complete disappointment. And I like conservative talk radio…..just the more he talked the more his foot went in his mouth….Orwell’s thought police are losing this battle…their answer….mandate it…force it…against parental rights. It will not affect me…I have homeschooled and taught for over 20 years. I am not playing Russian Roulette with my kids.

          • Anonymous

            Since you didn’t actually cite any of these alleged studies, and all of the peer reviewed journal articles I have read don’t match up with your claims, I presume you don’t have any actual citations and are relying chiefly on hearsay and other non-empirical sources that align with what you want to believe. And, given your talk of homeschooling, parental rights, etc., I am wondering if this is primarily an issue of fear and control for you. It’s entirely your choice to live in an echo chamber.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Well….if you had read this whole thread I gave a lot of info…gave my private email address…the name of a new book with the studies…but you proved my point…instead of studying you just rant.

            I can name studies…but I seriously doubt you have an open mind. I am not anti vac…I am anti ignorance.

            If you want To…since this thread is dying…write to me privately…I love to debate…used to teach it….I have no apprehensions about debating this with you
            or anyone else.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t want to keep this going either, because I think we are miscommunicating across a wide cultural divide. You, like a great many Americans, think that by reading a lot of web sites and consumer books and activist materials, can sidestep the fundamentals of scientific literacy.

            I haven’t read the consumer book you referred to, but it seems like the coverage is far broader than the autism debate. Vaccines, despite their benefits on a population level, are associated with known and unknown risks. Who would disagree? I completely support ongoing, critical research on vaccine safety as I do for all aspects of patient safety. I am well aware that I am taking a risk by consuming anything coming from the US food and drug supply chain, and within reason I try to mitigate those risks. But I don’t choose to live in a world of fear and paranoia, and I don’t isolate myself from my larger community. I feel that those moves are far riskier.

          • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

            Scientific literacy? Hmmm….you didn’t read this whole thread. May I suggest you study…write an article on clinical trials and BigPharma…then write to me at: arobert6@Juno.com and alert me where the article is at…then we can debate whether money is driving medicine…and who is really benefiting….and doctors who only know a short chapter on immunizations…..who break the law and flippantly warn about reactions…or do not warn at all while handing you a waiver that absolves them and leaves you with a cap on damages…on that supposedly ultra safe shot.

            I have went through cancer twice with my kids…I know how to research…know when condescending attitudes block the truth….but I do not believe truth in medicine is the goal…you see it all the time from those involved…they evolved into that which they once disdained.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6WOESY3J7BGVAS76ADBLXYMBVM amwhoiam

    Oh.  So you think you are God?  Pathetic.  Little. Girl.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6WOESY3J7BGVAS76ADBLXYMBVM amwhoiam

    Oh.  Michelle.  I see.  A “working mom” who puts her desires in front of her children’s needs. A woman who abandons her children daily to go to work and tell caring parents how to raise their children.
    Shelley, if you don’t care about the well being of your own children why should I take you seriously?

  • http://twitter.com/EKrumbeck Erika Krumbeck

    I see that vaccinations are an emotionally charged subject – judging from the way the commentators on this blog post are borderline abusive in their attacks on one another. 

    My opinion is: we need a new way of discussing vaccinations with parents.  Parents have a right to receive all the literature – including some of those articles discussed in the comments here (the rate of asthma, the questionable vaccine adjuvants, etc).  Parents also have a right to know the actual risk of their child getting a vaccine-preventable disease, as well as the cost to society for not vaccinating. 

    I believe that when parents are given all the facts, most decide to vaccinate.  It may not be in accordance with the CDC schedule, but most children end up protected. 

    I wrote a blog piece on this myself, I suspect it will be somewhat controversial: http://naturalmedicineisthebestmedicine.blogspot.com/2011/09/all-naturopaths-are-against.html

  • Anonymous

    The problem is one of trust.  We as a society no longer trust we’re getting honest or truthful information.  Everyone, including science and healthcare seem to have an agenda.  How many studies go like this:  Coffee is bad for us, later it’s not so bad, then even later it’s good!  Foods, medicines and behaviors are studied then used to manipulate public opinion regardless of accuracy.  It also doesn’t help when lawyers are on the television trying to get clients who were “damaged” from various drugs.  When H1N1 was identified a pandemic which many thought was overstated panic, the CDC lost an incredible amount of trust.

    As a parent of 8 kids who were all vaccinated, I made this decision as I’m old enough to remember the ravaging effects of whooping cough, polio, mumps, etc.  Understanding the seriousness of childhood diseases would drive many to take the preferred risk of vaccination over the non vaccine route.    

    Unfortunately, we’re seeing the long term impact of junk science and sensationalist journalism  on society with no real way to find out the truth.  So while I don’t agree with the no vaccination camp, I can certainly understand their position.  They only want what’s best for their kids understanding only the vaccination risk and not the risks of having their children endure the ravages of these childhood diseases. 

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      Thank you for writing this summation of how the average mom feels…it reminded me of an article I needed to
      send through to show that the research we depend on is often bought and paid for…this week the media exposed journalists
      taking BigPharam gifts….we already know it is fine for Dr. Paul Offit
      to develop a vaccine and make millions upon millions while proclaiming
      Wakefield a money grubber, and head up an organization that promotes
      buying his shot and the rest……that’s an ethical problem few in
      the medical field will expose….it makes them look like the prototypes
      in this American Scholar article from this summer:

      Flacking for Big Pharma
      Drugmakers don’t just compromise doctors; they also undermine top medical journals and skew medical research
      URL
      is chopped up because links get moderated.  Go to the American Scholar
      site and after the org and slash put in “Flacking-for-big-Pharma”. But
      there is a slash at the end.
      The author of the article has a book being released;

      Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself–And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future

  • Anonymous

    Agree the problem is one of trust. And that, especially in recent decades, bio-medical science has been hopelessly contaminated (no pun intended) by financially motivated and greedy vested interests including vaccine science.

    Dr. Rick Lippin
    Southampton,Pa

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689688878 Jenoir Spiritwind

    My god, the crazy anti-vaccine people just came out of the woodwork for this, didn’t they?  Including some nutjob who believes no working mother can love her children.  Yeah, that will win you a lot of fans.
    It’s incomprehensible to me how anyone can want to go back to the bad old days of smallpox, polio, and measles outbreaks.  What is WRONG with you people?  Yes, a very small number of children have bad reactions to vaccines, and if one of them was your child, I am sorry.  But understand that many, many more times than that sickened and died from the diseases the vaccines prevent.  Is it really so difficult to understand?  REALLY?!  Must you be so obtuse?!

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      Obtuse or willfully ignorant? It’s obvious you not have studied the issue, just ate the ideal without understanding there is a reason to stop and pause.   What are you recommending?  That we drink the same pharmaceutical kool aid you have?  Why Jenoir…I do think you are glowing……:)

  • Anonymous

    To Just Thinking Logically:
    You are fortunate that your children were not prone to reacting to the vaccines they got, at least not obviously. I am just as logical as you are, but unfortunately, those in my family are prone to reacting to vaccines. They gave my baby the hep-B vaccine at birth without asking my permission, when I had already told her pediatrician I didn’t want her to get it, and when a congressional subcommittee in May 1999 had found that it was so dangerous they recommended a moratorium be placed on its use. My daughter reacted in just the way they had judged to make it dangerous a year before, with encephalitis, constant inconsolable screaming for four days and nights, and she was later diagnosed with autism. Alison MacNeill on the PBS program Autism Now last April said on that program that her little boy got a number of vaccines at the same time when he was fifteen months old, he reacted with the prolonged, inconsolable screaming, and was soon diagnosed with autism. Logically speaking, this is a no-brainer. The body of some of those who get vaccines reacts with a violent inflammatory response to counter strange antigens that bypass the usual defenses and show up suddenly in the body. If the inflammation is in the brain, it’s encephalitis, and the resulting brain damage is what we call autism. The sudden spike in autism rates in the early 1990s is because the hep-B at birth began in 1991. Autism started in the 1930s with the pertussis vaccine, and rates of autism started spiralling upward with the MMR in the 1980s. Then rates went through the ceiling with the hep-B at birth.  It would be logical to inform parents that le cri encéphalique is a fairly common vaccine reaction, and to look for it in the weeks after a vaccine, and go to the ER if they observe it. Doctors and nurses are compelled by law to inform parents in writing of this and other possible reactions, but at least for the hep-B at birth, neither I nor anyone I know was given this information. Then count the numbers of those who are later diagnosed with autism.

    To Jenoir:
    If you were to read books like Neustaedter’s The Vaccine Guide, Jamie Murphy’s What Every  Parent Should Know About Childhood Immunization, and Wendy Lydall’s Raising a Vaccine-Free Child, you would read meticulously documented evidence published in medical journals of the history of the smallpox, polio, and measles epidemics and vaccines. The vaccines for the first two weren’t very effective, the smallpox vaccine was extremely damaging and killed and disabled thousands, while the thousands who died of smallpox in the European epidemics of the nineteenth century had been recently vaccinated for smallpox, but died anyway. Measles was considered a fairly mild, common childhood disease until the 1980s, when Big Pharma took control of the discourse and converted it to a killer disease .I had measles when I was six, when it swept through my elementary school, but all those children were sick for two weeks and then got well, not one of us died or was disabled by it. The MMR , on the other hand, has crippled hundreds of thousands with autism and severe bowel disease. The pertussis vaccine only has an effectiveness rate of between 30 and 70%, and has the distinction of being the least effective and possibly the most dangerous vaccine, for a disease that is the most common of the vaccine-preventable diseases after the flu. Vaccination rates make no difference to the epidemics, which reach a peak every 44 months regardless of how many in the population are vaccinated for pertussis. This winter is going to be at the top of the 44 month cycle. The disease has become much milder in recent decades. My daughter had gotten the DTaP vaccine at 2, 4, and 6 months, but still got pertussis at 9 months, and gave it to me. It was frightening and long-lasting, but not that bad. Sweden had a terrible epidemic in 1977-79, with not one fatality. It had suspended use of the DTP vaccine in the early 1970s when many Swedish children had died or been permanently damaged by it.
    You are, of course, free to believe what you like, but I believe that if parents were fully informed most would refuse to vaccinate their children. The diseases are either mild or very rare, while the vaccines are very dangerous.

  • Anonymous

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks to everyone who commented, this is clearly an issue that inspires a lot of passionate discourse from both sides and it’s heartening at the very least that everyone has the same priorities at heart, which is keeping our children (ALL our children–not just the ones in our own house) healthy, though clearly there is an essential schism in our views of how to accomplish this.  

    If people are game, can we talk about the following discussion points?

    1.) Correlation vs. causation?  For example (and I’m not meaning to be insulting or facile, I just want to give an example of what I mean) the sun rises right after I get to work, but it’s not my getting to work that makes the sun rise.  Why are vaccines the go-to antigenic boogeyman?  Lots of people mention that vaccines cause a fever, but…that’s what they’re supposed to do.  Fever indicates an immunologic response.  Why are vaccines the culprit, instead of any other exposure, antigenic or otherwise?  

    2.) Discussion of anecdotal evidence (“my child” “my family” “my friend’s son” “this lady I saw on the news show”) versus large-scale scientifically validated epidemiologic studies.  For the people who choose not to vaccinate, what kind of evidence would it take for you to reconsider your position?  Everyone has papers and studies that they can pull out, but I think we all can agree that not all studies are constructed with the same degree of scientific validity. Is there anything that anyone could say or show you that could sway your point of view?  This is not intended as antagonism, I am sincerely curious, because it seems that both sides are pretty firmly entrenched.  

    3.) The villainization of healthcare professionals with respect to their stance on the childhood immunization schedule.  For healthcare professionals who have to deal with these issues every day (this probably applies in particular to Pediatricians, Family Medicine practitioners and their support staff), how do you manage this in your practice?

    4.) There’s a sense to me that vaccines are the victims of their own successes.  Can anyone (particularly in the more senior generation of physicians who have actually seem these diseases in the wild) speak to perception that vaccines are more harmful than the diseases themselves?  I have never seen a child with polio, but I have seen many, many adults with post-polio syndrome, and I don’t think that they would argue that the disease was benign.  You can argue that polio or the mumps is uncommon now (as many commenters have), but obviously that begs the question–WHY are they so uncommon now?  

    OK, I think that’s enough to chew on.  Thank you again for all the discussion, and for keeping it civil.  I would also like to point out to the commenter who said she could not take my viewpoint on childhood vaccination seriously because I as a mother “abandon” my children in order to go to work at the hospital–who do you think I’m taking care of when I’m not taking care of my kids?  And would you really take a viewpoint more seriously from someone who didn’t have some skin in the game herself?

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

      Hi!  I responded to this with research…but I had to keep cutting it down.  It is in moderation.  Curious though….how many people liked your letter and yet, you didn’t really prove anything.  It was a challenge…nothing of true relevance…..hmmm………..sounds like what we have been trying to say all along.:)  I wish they would actually study instead of rah rahing that which from a discerning point of reading hasn’t really proven much?   It’s a vitally important matter I would recommend they actually study and understand….the doctors that do have patients who adore them….even when they vaccinate.   Willful blindness is never helpful to any topic….ignorance is not bliss.  We do not need cheerleaders of ignorance….we need more discussion.

    • http://www.twitter.com/alicearobertson Alice Robertson

       versus large-scale scientifically validated epidemiologic studies.  >>>>>>

      Who financed these fabulously iron clad studies you refer to?

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Au,

    I feel as though you were not taking seriously those of us with children who reacted to vaccines. Have you read Judy Converse’s book When Your Doctor is Wrong: The Hepatitis-B Vaccine and Autism? She was invited to tell her story at the subcongressional meeting on the dangers of the hepatitis-B vaccine in May 1999 because her experience was so horrible and so compelling. Her newborn baby was given the vaccine without her knowledge, and reacted severely with bowel disease and autism. The school nurse Patti White testified at the same hearing that the flood of autistic children to hit Missouri schools as kindergartners in 1995 was due to their being in the first wave of babies to get the hep-B shot at birth. I’m sure you’ve read my story of my daughter’s reaction to this shot given her at birth without my knowledge or permission, the four days and nights of inconsolable screaming. Her pediatrician tried to dismiss it as colic, but then went on to say he didn’t believe colic was a real syndrome either. The congressional subcommittee found that the shot was so dangerous a moratorium should be placed on its use. So why was it given to my baby in May 2000? My baby was given intravenous antibiotics at birth because they thought she might have an infection. She didn’t, but Merck didn’t accept babies on antibiotics in its safety trials of the hep-B vaccine because they felt that that might make them more likely to react adversely. So why did the hospital just blithely give the shot to my baby? Why did the pediatrician just forget to tell them that I had made a special visit a month before just to ask that she not be given that shot? She has autism now, and is unlikely to ever be independent. Does anyone care?

    Ginger Taylor’s baby reacted to the DTaP vaccine, Allison McNeill”s baby (the grandson of famous journalist Robert McNeill) reacted to several shots given at once, Hannah Poling reacted to several shots given at once, J.B. Handley’s baby reacted to several given at once, my baby reacted to the hep-B vaccine and later the DTaP.All of these children developed autism, some of them bowel disease too.  Zeda Pingel reacted to the HPV vaccine by becoming a vegetable. Michael Belkin’s baby reacted to the hep-B vaccine by dying. These are individual names, on the macrolevel there are many thousands of parents with identical stories. I had measles and chicken pox as a child, they weren’t that bad. I had a college roommate who had had polio when she was three, she walked with crutches and braces, or used a wheelchair. She was bright and happy, always laughing, she had friends and was popular. You asked for individual examples, I know there must have been many cases of polio with a far darker outcome. The point is just that parents must be as well informed as possible on both sides of the issue. My mother told me about a neighbor boy in the 1930s who had diphtheria. His family called in every doctor in Taylor, Texas, but he died anyway. She cried whenever she talked about him. But most of the people who got diphtheria in the epidemic in the ex-Soviet Union twenty years ago had been fully vaccinated for diphtheria and got it anyway. Most of the people in Australia and New Zealand who got diphtheria in the early ’90s had been fully vaccinated but got it anyway. There is a great need for an accurate risk/benefit analysis to be done. My baby got pertussis at nine months, after having received the DTaP at two, four, and six months. She got the disease anyway and gave it to me. She coughed for over a month, ten coughs on a breath, I coughed for two months, but it really wasn’t that bad, we didn’t even feel that sick. Most of the children getting polio in Africa and Asia these days have been fully vaccinated for polio, the way most of the children in California last summer with pertussis had been fully vaccinated against it. Maybe if pertussis comes back on a large scale, people will be more careful about keeping young babies (the only ones at risk) away from germs. My baby caught it at a La Leche League meeting, I felt so virtuous going that it didn’t even occur to me that a large group of babies and toddlers in January might be a disease vector. And since antibiotics do nothing to treat pertussis once the coughing has started, maybe parents will adopt the old custom of having the parents take turns holding the baby up on their shoulder all night long during the severe coughing phase, to help them cough up the mucus, and not even expect help from a magic bullet. 

    The vaccines force the immune system to react to strange antigens showing up suddenly in the body in a way never experienced by the immune system in millions of years. You mention fever as being a sign that the immune system is reacting appropriately, trying to quell the threat presented by the antigens in the vaccine. Inflammation is another sign of a healthy immune response, but inflammation to the point of encephalitis is not a healthy reaction, and even Merck says that encephalitis and subsequent autism can be caused by vaccines. Lungs inflamed to the point of asthma, or intestines inflamed to the point of IBD are signs that the immune system is trying to respond adequately to a perceived attack, but most people would not dismiss those reactions as business as usual, no need to worry. Are you dismissing the reality of vaccine reactions? If you read the package inserts of the vaccines you give, you will find that constant, inconsolable crying for even a few hours is a symptom of vaccine reaction, of encephalitis. Until doctors take it seriously, what hope do we have of quelling the autism epidemic?

    No real studies on vaccines and autism have been done. Studies funded by pharmaceutical companies don’t count. Comparing children who get a little mercury or aluminum with children who get more, and then saying both groups got sick, so that proves it wasn’t the adjuvant, doesn’t count. Drawing and quartering Andrew Wakefield for saying there seemed to be an association between the MMR, autism, and bowel disease that might bear further study, doesn’t count.  

    Measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, whooping cough, in most cases these are not diseases to be feared. Complications are more likely if the parent tries to lower the fever with Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Vitamin A and D lessen the chance of complications. Children who are allowed to rest quietly in bed and kept well hydrated in the vast majority of cases will do fine. The immune system becomes stronger when it overcomes the  diseases naturally: it needs its own education to become competent, but vaccines teach it to activate an auto-immune response, which is unhealthy and dangerous. The germs that cause Hib meningitis and Prevnar are found in most healthy people, and it may be a mistake to try to counter them with vaccines. Most people develop immunity to meningitis C naturally, only a minority is susceptible to it. Breast feeding offers the best protection possible from Hib meningitis. The Hib vaccine sometimes causes diabetes. The disease is bad and hits hard, but only since antibiotics became common. Maybe the frequent use of antibiotics cripples a child’s immune system.

    Most of the diseases for which we vaccinate children are not dangerous most of the time. The vaccines don’t appear to be dangerous to most children most of the time, though with one in thirteen children vaccinated for pertussis getting asthma, while only one in a hundred unvaccinated getting asthma, with one in six diagnosed with a learning disability when it was only one in several thousand fifty years ago, etc. may indicate that the damage caused by vaccines affects more children than we have been accustomed to think. No one used to have peanut allergies, Joel Stein of Time magazine was a vaxer until his baby Laszlo nearly died from a peanut allergy, and he thought maybe we anti-vaxers were right.

    A doctor here in Columbia, Missouri, told me she had five children. The first few got all the reduced number of vaccines recommended in the late ’80s. But she studied the issue of vaccines, and only let her fifth child be vaccinated for tetanus, nothing else. It’s usually safe, but it paralyzed both my arms for two days when I got a booster before going to Mexico for the first time. All parents can do is read, read, read, and look at the autistic children who are everywhere these days, and remember that pediatricians get between 50 and 80% of their income from vaccines, and are also probably just going to say what they have been instructed to say as they circle the wagons.  Children in the U.S. are unhealthier now than at any time in history, while being the most vaccinated and medicated. For many of us, it’s obvious what the reason is for this tremendous load of chronic illness.

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Au:
    I would like to ask you two questions, and I hope you will answer them here.
    1) What do you consider are signs of a vaccine reaction that would alarm you? How often do you think they occur?
    2) Since the publication of the Manitoba study in 2008 that showed that delaying the first DTaP vaccine by giving it at four months rather than two months more than halved the chances of a child getting asthma, have you decided to delay giving that first dose in your practice, or do you continue giving it at two months?

    • michelleau

      ciaparker2:

      With respect to the so-called “Manitoba Study,” I read through the full report (link to the actual report is here: http://mchp-appserv.cpe.umanitoba.ca/reference/MB_Immunization_Report_WEB.pdf) and found only mention of studying the effect of vaccines on risk for Guillain-Barre, encephalitis, and thromobocytopenia (of note, the study found NO increased risk for ANY of these) but the study only mentioned asthmatics as a particular risk group for the diseases against which children should be immunized (such as influenza)–I did not see any mention about increased risk of vaccines themselves causing asthma.  If you could look through primary source (meaning the study itself) and point out to me where it recommends delaying DTaP until four months because of increased risk of asthma, could you please let me know what page it is on?  The summary of the article (also put out by the University of Manitoba) is here: http://mchp-appserv.cpe.umanitoba.ca/reference/MB_Immunization_summary.pdf but the primary source has more data if that’s what you’re looking for.

      I am no longer in Pediatrics (I currently practice anesthesiology), but with respect to your second question, I have seen no primary, scientifically valid research that would convince me not to vaccinate my own children on the schedule recommended by the CDC.

      As for the first question, I think that this debate underlines the essential disconnect between healthcare practitioners who believe in vaccinations and families who do not.  The key to the rancor is that what alarms each group, and the causation ascribed, are not the same.

      The point of my original article was not to engage in the vaccine debate, I think I said as much in the article itself.  The  purpose was to illustrate the personal and emotional reactions of some healthcare practitioners when villified in the name of the vaccine wars.  If people really think that doctors are vaccinating kids because of willful malevolence or because it ensures them some kind of financial windfall, I guess there’s probably little I can do to convince them otherwise.  Though I would argue that if doctors cared that little about children and that much more about making pharmaceutical money, there would be more money in studying pediatric uses for Botox and Viagra (outside of, you know, blepharospasm or pulmonary hypertension).

      I care about children just as much as you do.  Thank you for your questions.  

  • LetsAllThinkLogically

    Before I delve into this debate, I just want to say that the media (print, TV, newspaper, radio, etc) has a big influence on people’s emotions and thoughts.  What’s key, however, is for individuals to not mix fear and emotion with logic and science.  Of course, this is not possible for everyone, but in the spirit of a lively debate, I implore ciaparker2 and Alice Robertson (and other “non-vaxers”) to carefully read through my post and consider some points.

    1.  Wakefield’s 1998 Lancet article was falsified.

    Andrew Wakefield’s devastating 1998 Lancet article had numerous issues that were quickly noticed. However, since this was a great media event, it published anyways.  In 2004, the article was deemed a fraud.  How was it a fraud you say?
    A. Small sample size with NO case control – Wakefield’s article contained 12 children.  12.  In scientific terms, this extremely small case series is worth nothing in mathematical and probability terms.  This is easily explained here, as was in my high school statistics class: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_size_determination.  A lack of case control is equally laughable, because without a comparison, a true scientific study is essentially worthless.

    B. His study linked 3 very common diseases.

    C. Patient data relied on parental recall and beliefs.  Also, if you actually read the article, you will see that 4 out of 12 children did not even receive their psychiatric assessments at the hospital, but were “professionally assessed elsewhere.”  RIDICULOUS.  25% of the sample size does not even follow the same data collection guidelines.  The senior clinician did not even take the patient history of ALL the patients, only 11 / 12.  All neurological and psychiatric assessments were not even made by DOCTORS, but “professional consultants.”  Furthermore, Wakefield has been given ample opportunity either to replicate the paper’s findings, or to say he was mistaken. He has declined to do either. He refused to join 10 of his coauthors in retracting the paper’s interpretation in 2004, and has repeatedly denied doing anything wrong at all. Instead, although now disgraced and stripped of his clinical and academic credentials, he continues to push his views.  91% of the authors retracted their original publication.

    2.  When responding to posts, I think everyone should leave out anecdotes.  

    “My mother, my friend’s sister, my co-worker, my dentist, my neighbor’s dog, some lady who approached me [looking at you Michelle Bachmann].”   Since one of you claimed to “teach debate” in school, I hope we can put these personal stories aside (I too, was on state-winning debate team).  As sad as they may be, they are inherently irrelevant in a logic-based discussion and do not add anything to the argument. All I know is, I certainly listen to porn star Jenny McCarthy on Oprah crying about her autistic son.  Great TV.  Poor argument.

    3. Vaccines are not 100% safe.

    Yes, nothing in the world is 100% safe.  Vaccines are included.  So is driving, or taking the bus.  I could die every single time I am in a car, or an airplane, or walking across the street.  But the risks of my walking to work outweigh the benefits.  Vaccines are not even 100% efficable, doctors know this. Medicine is not 100% fully understood, and it might not ever be, but it’s damn near the most scientifically-based industry in the world.  Your annual influenza shot may only work 75% of the time, depending on the strains.  But the 5 second discomfort of having a needle stick far outweigh the possibility of you contracting a severe disease, and then proceeding to spread it around.  It is the whole mentality behind vaccines.  While we will always have our Zeda Pingels and other sob stories, it is more important that clinicians EDUCATE all parents about potential side effects and warning signs.  Why did Zeda’s parents wait 24 days until getting help when they said they started to notice signs days after the shot?  

    In purely nonmedical speculation, it is entirely possible that certain people react differently, especially the immune system.  Maybe it’s genetic, maybe it’s environmental.  We’ll never know for sure.  Maybe kids with asthma have an overly sensitive immune system, which prediposes them to side effects from vaccines.  As Andrew Wakefield stated, he found low serum IgA in 4 out of 12 patients that he studied.  Maybe, he chose a particular subset of immune reactive patients for his “study.”  But once again, the CHANCES of a side effect happening far outweigh the BENEFITS.  Not only does not vaccinating your children put them at HIGH risk, it also puts other children/adults at risk.  It’s a simple numbers game.  Currently, the old US satellite URAS that will re-enter orbit has a 1 in 21 trillion chance of hitting someone, according to NASA.  Does this mean you should keep your kids inside for the next couple days?  

    Also, please stop citing your quoted prevalence of asthma in children with vaccines of “1 in 13″ (7.7%) as some monstrous breakthrough.  The CDC clearly states that 9.4% of kids in America have asthma, regardless of vaccination status, not the 1 in 100 previously posted.
    All I can be sure of is, I do not want your non-vaccinated kids around my kids.  Here is what happens:http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=19605If this is really is such a “mild disease” as you stated, please go ahead and “save” your kid from the big evil doctors and big pharma.Germany 2006:  2,300 measles cases.  414 hospitalizations. 2 deaths.Germany post-vaccination program in 2009 with 89% vaccinated:  574 cases.Look at the difference in only 3 years.  (89% is still below the recommended 95% vaccinated rate.)If not vaccinating your kids is truly your own belief, fine its your kid, your prerogative.  But with the wealth of science and information in front of you, I do hope that all “non-vaxers” are using sound judgment, and not the TV, as a basis for their decisions.  For full disclosure, I am currently in my final year of medical school, and I do not have children.  I have seen and helped treat hundreds of pediatric and adolescent patients in the hospital.  I have one distant relative with autism.

  • LetsAllThinkLogically

    MMR vaccine and pediatric bowel disease.  No link.

    Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and bowel problems or developmental regression in children with autism: population study
    Brent Taylor (b.taylor@rfc.ucl.ac.uk), professor of community child healtha,Elizabeth Miller, headb, Raghu Lingam, research fellowa, Nick Andrews, statisticianb, Andrea Simmons, research fellowa, Julia Stowe, research associatea
    Abstract
    Objectives: To investigate whether measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination is associated with bowel problems and developmental regression in children with autism, looking for evidence of a “new variant” form of autism.Design: Population study with case note review linked to independently recorded vaccine data.Setting: Five health districts in north east London.Participants: 278 children with core autism and 195 with atypical autism, mainly identified from computerised disability registers and born between 1979 and 1998.Main outcome measures: Recorded bowel problems lasting at least three months, age of reported regression of the child’s development where it was a feature, and relation of these to MMR vaccination.Results: The proportion of children with developmental regression (25% overall) or bowel symptoms (17%) did not change significantly (P value for trend 0.50 and 0.47, respectively) during the 20 years from 1979, a period which included the introduction of MMR vaccination in October 1988. No significant difference was found in rates of bowel problems or regression in children who received the MMR vaccine before their parents became concerned about their development (where MMR might have caused or triggered the autism with regression or bowel problem), compared with those who received it only after such concern and those who had not received the MMR vaccine. A possible association between non-specific bowel problems and regression in children with autism was seen but this was unrelated to MMR vaccination.Conclusions: These findings provide no support for an MMR associated “new variant” form of autism with developmental regression and bowel problems, and further evidence against involvement of MMR vaccine in the initiation of autism.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/324/7334/393.abstract?ijkey=5aa175dd9aa7a84bfa05a5f21fb8dc1b76d4af2a&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Au:

    You didn’t read the correct study. The one you read, “An Ounce of Prevention: Manitobans and Immunization,” by Tim Hilderman, Alan Katz, Shelley Derksen, et al, was not the Manitoba study I was referring to. The one that found that giving the pertussis vaccine in the DTaP beginning at two months more than doubled the incidence of asthma in children compared to those who began the series at four months is the following: “Delay in Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus Vaccination is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Childhood Asthma,” by  McDonald KL, Huq SI, Lix LM, Becker AB, and Kozyrskyj AL, in J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2008 Mar; 121(3):626-31, Epub2008 Jan 18.

    I find it alarming that a physician who publishes articles on the safety of vaccines should be unaware of a recent study that found a significant danger in the accepted vaccination schedule.

    • Anonymous

      The study you refers to applies to a whole cell DPT vaccine that is no longer administered (the whole cell vaccine was taken off the US markets in the late 1990s and replaced with the version we now use today, which is the DTaP–and before you jump on that, I’d like to point out that the formulations of different vaccines is constantly evolving). What generalizations you choose to draw from this study based on a vaccine that is not longer used, and how you choose to generalize it to other vaccines, cannot be supported by science until those specific studies are done (though if and when they are, I would be glad to look at the primary sources of those studies too).  

      I would also like to point out the very scientific conclusion that the researchers themselves noted in the article–that while there was a negative ASSOCIATION between delaying the first three doses of this (old, no longer used) vaccine with the development of asthma, the MECHANISM “requires further research.”  Again, the very basic scientific principle that correlation does not equal causation.

      But again, the purpose of my piece is not to rehash the vaccine debate itself, it is to discuss the personal experience that many physicians face, trying first to “do no harm” to the best that our medical training and formal scientific study have taught us to do, and being accused of willful maleficence in these efforts.  My hats are off to the physicians who deal with this rancor as part of their daily practice.  

      Thank you for your comments and for sharing the article.

  • Anonymous

    To LetsAllThinkLogically:
    I think you should state what the data is in the Lancet study that you believe to have been falsified. I have read the study and many articles about it, and I have not seen any falsified data in it. No “case control” was necessary in the type of study it was. It was designed to be a case series, defined in Hennekens and Buring (Epidemiology in Medicine) as describing: “the experience of a single patient or a group of patients with a similar diagnosis. These types of study, in which typically an astute clinician identifies an unusual feature of a disease or a patient’s history, may lead to formulation of a new hypothesis. At that time an analytic study (most frequently using a case-control approach), can (then) be done to investigate possible causal factors.”

    The Lancet study was entirely professional in its design and description. Nine of the twelve parents of autistic children said that the onset both the symptoms of bowel disease and autism had coincided with receipt of the MMR. Are you suggesting that these chldren did not really have autism? That they did not really have bowel disease? That they had not really gotten the MMR vaccine? Numerous specialists confirmed the medical problems brought up by the parents.  If you want to dismiss all reports by parents of their children’s reactions to vaccines, how do you suggest that such data be gathered? In the current political climate, pediatricians in the U.S. are well aware of the risk they would take in implicating vaccines as the cause of damage, and usually take the safe path (for them) of dismissal and denial. Most parents would like to hear the evidence of vaccine damage of children. If a child (like mine) gets a vaccine and four days later screams nonstop for four days and nights and later is diagnosed with autism, they want to hear it, and take that as well as the dozens of other identical cases into account when making the decision whether to vaccinate their own child. Truth is truth, and in this area science is not really science, to its eternal shame. Parents only get one chance of doing it right, and thousands of parents are unwilling to incur the considerable risk while waiting decades for the relevant research to be done and publicized.
     
    Wakefield has replicated the findings in the original Lancet study, and many other researchers around the world have done so as well. His study on rhesus monkeys given the hep-B vaccine at birth was so devastating in its implications for the vaccine industry that it was able to pressure the journal Neurotoxicolgy into withdrawing it from publication after it had already declared it to be a structurally sound and valid study.  

    Your children would never play with mine because she is vaccine-damaged and has autism. She is sweet, friendly, and helpful, but delayed developmentally and impaired in her speech. Other children are unforgiveably cruel to her and won’t go anywhere near her. It is true that I refused to let her get the MMR, the most deadly of all the vaccines, but since she lives in a bubble you need not worry, your family is totally safe from catching any disease from her.

    • LetsAllThinkLogically

      1. With regards to Wakefield’s original study: 

      First, you don’t have to copy/paste wikipedia scientific terms at me.  Also, a case series study inherently implies a need for a true retrospective or prospective study.  Case series are only a mere snapshot and best used for extremely rare diseases.  If you read the study, you would understand what I was talking about was that in Wakefield’s PCR analysis for bowel disease, he had no controls.  Without negative PCR controls, it is extremely easy to have contaminated plasmids, as they are very sensitive, and one error will lead to amplification. Without controls, your comparison is essentially void.

      His design construction and data collection is inherently flawed.  As anyone with a science or medical background would know, his study has classic recall bias and confirmation bias.  His claims of autistic regression and bowel disease are not based evidence or true clinical records, but parent MEMORIES.  
      If I had a room full of angry vengeful mothers, you don’t think their responses would be different?  

      Second, it was revealed by investigator Brian Deer that his patients ALREADY had clinical records of autistic signs and symptoms in their G.P.’s records BEFORE the MMR vaccine.  It was further revealed that the participating parents/mothers were cherry picked for the study’s purposes.

      Finally, Wakefield’s conflict of interest level was simply astonishing.  Deer further revealed that Wakefield has been financially supported and paid by big trial lawyers who had been looking to SUE vaccine manufacturers for vaccine injury, which he just so conveniently decided not to reveal.  In addition, Dr. Wakefield conveinently applied for a PATENT for a “safer MMR vaccine” mere months before his Lancet publication.   Also, as I said before already, which you decided to not address, 12 is an extremely small and irrelevant sample size, with practically no statistically significant contribution. This doesn’t sound so “professionally designed” anymore?

      This man single handedly created a media firestorm headed by the honorable Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, which scared so many people, it brought the British MMR vaccination rate below critical herd immunity levels from 93 to 75%.  Subsequently, in 2008, Great Britain declared measles endemic again.

      2. With regards to Wakefield’s retracted study: 
      Wakefield’s rhesus monkey/Hep B vaccine study was not withdrawn because it was devastating (as you made up), but instead more likely because Laura Hewitson and Andrew Wakefield asked the editors to withdraw it. Or, maybe the journal did not want to risk their reputation.  In the study, they changed the controls half way.  My guess is that Wakefield et al will try to “fix” these problems now, and re-submit them to some lesser known “new” journal or alternative med journal.  This all happened within the 2 month whirlwind of the downfall of Wakefield, where his dishonesty, conflict of interest, and false science caught up with him, leading to his resignation and damning British GMC ruling.   If Wakefield is such a great scientist, how come no one will work with him anymore?
      Please show me the replicated studies that Wakefield performed, and “many other researchers” have performed.  I would be glad to analyze them and discuss them in a productive manner.

      Here is some reading material from Columbia University.  Ironically, the lead author even used to be a lead speaker at the National Autism Association.  
      Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study
      http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0003140

  • Anonymous

    If your kids are vaccinated, why do you not want unvaccinated kids near them?  That makes no sense.  Wouldn’t yours be protected by the vaccines?

  • Anonymous

    Dr. Au:

    It is true that the Manitoba study that  found that delaying the pertussis vaccine by only two months more than halved the chance that a child would get asthma, was done on the DTP vaccine used until the 1990s rather than the current DTaP vaccine. However, since the asthma rates in the U.S. and Canada have not gone down since the year the study was done, it would be reasonable to assume that the DTaP vaccine is still causing asthma. Parents should at least be made aware of the study and allowed to judge for themselves the likelihood that they may cause their child to get asthma if they permit him or her to get the DTaP at two months, as per the recommended schedule. The article “Safety and Immunogenicity of PRP-T combined with DPT,” in Pediatrics 1995:4, by Miller, M.S. et al., found that no antibodies are produced in infants given the injection at two months, and that they lose much of the remaining immunity conferred by their mothers’antibodies. Antibody formation is still indadequate at four months, and effective antibody levels are only achieved in a number of babies after the third injection at six months. The DTaP has always had a low rate of effectiveness, only 30-70%, depending on several variables. Since this is true, parents who feared pertussis would be running no risk in delaying vaccination for their children until at least four months, while greatly reducing their risk of developing asthma.

    Science would never progress if no one were willing to observe the correlation of certain events with certain outcomes and consider the likelihood of causation. Many children have been compensated millions of dollars in Vaccine Court for damage even an obstreperous court adjudged to have been caused by vaccines beyond the shadow of a doubt. I’m sure you’re familiar with the cases of Hannah Poling and Bailey Banks, children completely healthy until irreparably damaged by vaccines. Even the Merck Manual defines encephalitis as being caused either by a disease or by a VACCINE. All medical authorities admit that encephalitis can cause death or brain damage. You would need to erase a century of medical progress to deny either that vaccines can cause encephalitis, or that encephalitis can cause brain damage, manifesting as autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, dyslexia, or seizure disorders. 

    A recent study (Suny Binghamton) found that newborn boys who got the hep-B vaccine were three times as likely to develop autism or other brain deficits as those who did not. Another study on newborn rhesus monkeys given the hep-B vaccine at birth showed that they exhibited delay in their reflexive survival skills and brain deficits comparable to those of autism. There is no need to give newborns the hep-B vaccine. Babies born to mothers free of hepatitis  B are at no risk of contracting it, and any protection conferred will wear off by the time they are old enough to engage in the high risk behaviors that transmit hepatitis-B. It is a very reactive vaccine. They gave it to my daughter at the hospital her first day of life when I had said I didn’t want her to get it, and she reacted at four days old with constant, inconsolable screaming for four days and nights. And, of course, she has autism now. A real scientist would say that that corrolation looked suspicious, and in the absence of a pressing need to incur the risk of reaction, there is no need at all to give it to newborns. The only reason it has been given to newborns for the past twenty years is PROFIT!

    Real studies should be done on all the vaccines, studies independent of any ties to Big Pharma. There should be no vaccine mandates, no parent should be pressured to give their child a potentially extremely damaging vaccine. Even Dr. Robert Sears (The Vaccine Book) said in it that there is a lot of evidence that vaccines are causing a lot of damage, and if this proves to be the case, then the risk of vaccines would be much greater than the risk posed by the vaccine-preventable diseases.

  • Anonymous

    To LetsAllThinkLogically:

    Andrew Wakefield published a case series, and at the very end said that his data suggested the need for further study. He said the correlation raised the possibility of causation, as well it did. He said later that his fellow researchers abjured their part in the study for unknown reasons, but that it was not possible to retract a possibility, the possiblity remained possible. It is obvious to everyone that his fellow researchers were unwilling to lose their careers for the sake of defending a possibility, the way Andrew Wakefield’s career as a well-respected British specialist was ruined. He thought protecting children from irreparable damage caused by the MMR was more important than playing Big Pharma’s game. Our society is so unused to witnessing noblility and self-sacrifice for the benefit of others, that many can do nothing but jeer and seek a selfish angle when they see it.

    Every British family has a Red Book in which the visiting professionally-trained nurses write down data and dates on the health of the children they visit. This Red Book data support the claims of the Lancet parents on their children’s symptoms of autism and bowel disease. And have you read nothing of the reams of documents on Brian Deer’s lies on the whole subject for the last thirteen years? Someone paid him to bring the action against Wakefield and attend  the hearings, but he has not admitted who it was. The newspaper which sometimes paid him for freelance articles has denied that it was they who had paid him, as he claimed. He bullied the parents of the Lancet children and lied to them on many counts, then lying himself about the evidence .  

    Child One developed normally to 18 months of age, and regressed soon after MMR with “a clearly delineated onset with loss of words, comprehension, and social interaction plus secondary fecal and urinary incontinence.” Child Two, William Kessick, develped normally, but regressed after receiving the MMR, developing autism and bowel disease in quick succession. He was hospitalized for severe progressive neurodegeneration. Child Three developed normally followed by sudden changes in behavior just 2 days after MMR vaccination at 14 months, when he started head-banging accompanied by fever and rash. At 15 months of age he had hand flapping, and at 2 years of age could no longer speak. His bowel problems starting shortly after the MMR began with diarrhea and progressed to constipation, pain, and blood in the feces. Child Four was suspected of having a congenital disorder at birth because of a wide bridging of his nose, and was closely followed up, but was discharged as developmentally and physically normal at 15 months of age. At that time he got an individual measles vaccine, at which time he stopped cruising around and regressed to crawling. He stopped progressing in language, and at 20 months had lost the words he had learned. He developed loose bowel motions with pain after the measles vaccine, and when he got an MMR at four and a half years old, he disappeared and lost all skills and communication. His case is significant in showing that upon rechallenge with the vaccine, he became much worse. Child Five developed normally until he was 18 months old and got the MMR. Within two months, he started making strange noises, lost normal speech, and became socially unresponsive. At two years of age he developed chronic alternating constipation and diarrhea.  Chilren Six and Seven were brothers. Child Six suffered onset of fever, rash, drowsiness, aggression, and convulsions within two weeks of the MMR, followed by developmental regression. He also developed constipation, diarrhea, and passed blood from the rectum. A colonoscopy revealed colitis. That child’s mother decided to delay giving Child Seven the MMR in light of what had happened to his brother. But she was finally pressured into giving him the MMR at 21 months old. Within one month he had become uncoordinated, had lost skills, had alternating constipation and diarrhea. He did not appear to have an inflamed colon at that time, but eventually had progressed to full-blown Crohn’s disease. Child Eight had a heart defect at birth, and at ten months was referred to a developmental pediatrician, who said she was normal. She had successful heart surgery, and made rapid gains in speech and general development. She got the MMR at eighteen months. Guess what happened? One day after getting the MMR she developed rash, feer, convulsions, loss of words, screaming. A developmental pediatrician had examined her at 17 months of age, one month before the MMR. He said she was at the slow end of the normal range, not unexpected in view of her aortic coarctation and major surgery. But when the same pediatrician examined her a few weeks after the MMR, he said she had gone from functioning at a low 17 month level to a 12 month level, a considerable regression. Child Nine developed normally until he got the MMR at eighteen months, when he develped autism and bowel disease. Since her pediatrician had dismissed her concern as silly, the coincidence of the problems with the MMR was not included in the original Lancet study. Child Nine’s father had told the mother to drop mentioning the MMR so as not to compromise the child’s access to clinical care. Child Ten got the MMR at 12 months, developed normally for another four months, got measles at 16 months  (!), and afterwards had a rash, fever, reduced level of concsciousness, and, parallel with developmental regression, abdominal pain, diarrhear, colitis, nd intolerance for some foods. The measles infection at 16 months may have been a reactivation of vaccine irus infection. Child Twelve got the MMR at 15 months, and developed normally for one more month, when he started getting frequent viral infections and regressed. His GP noted that he had had frequent illnesses since the MMR, but his mother did not link his health problems to the MMR. He lost speech starting at sixteen months of age, and develped vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and failed to put on weight.  

    Which of these children do you claim had autism before receiving the MMR? Wakefield was reviled for daring to suggest that there might be an association between the MMR and subsequent autism and bowel disease. He was accused of “inventing” a new bowel disease in order to promote his career. Most people, on reading the facts, would say there is a definite association which should be studied, and most people, by the same token, would choose to refuse the MMR and take their chances with the usually mild disease measles, mumps, and rubella.

    If Wakefield was torn to pieces only for daring to publish a case series in which he published his “snapshots” of what had happened to these children, why do you insist he was at fault for not  procuring support for doing a larger-scale study with controls? Can you tell me what the bowel disease is that he is dismissed as having “invented” for personal gain?  I am grateful to him for publishing this information, it’s certainly enough for me to ” just say no” to the MMR. My daughter is autistic from the hep-B vaccine, and is severely impaired developmentally, verbally, and socially, but is considered high-functioning. I am certain she would be low-functioning if I had allowed her to get the MMR. Just a parent observation, but since the medical industry insists on closing their eyes to the truth, the observations of other parents and a few medical professionals like Andy Wakefield are all we have to go on. 

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