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Why you should get vaccinated against the seasonal flu anyway, despite H1N1

Even with the H1N1 pandemic flu going around you should still be vaccinated against the seasonal flu. revere has the details.

I guess that means Dr. Doug Bremner must think that revere is an idiot. After all, Bremner tells us that the flu vaccine is all a plot for big pharma to make money, don’t you know? Subtlety and weighing of risk-benefit ratios in a manner that doesn’t turn into an anti-big pharma rant is beyond him. Fortunately it is not beyond revere:

The truth is this. No one knows what’s going to happen. We’re all guessing. But in my estimation, the risk-benefit calculation for vaccine side-effects and flu is so markedly in favor of the vaccine that I made the decision to get vaccinated and that’s what I’d advise others, too. How confident am I? I’m confident it is the most rational thing to do given what we know.

Exactly.

I may not always agree with revere on a lot of things, but I know he’s not an idiot. I’d love to see Bremner try to counter the arguments of a highly respected senior epidemiologist who can calmly discuss the pros and cons of flu vaccines from a scientific and practical standpoint based on evidence. Bremner points to “experts” who say that vaccination against the seasonal flu is a waste of money and time, but here’s one expert I bet that Bremner can’t refute. I won’t hold my breath waiting for him to try, though. It’s so much easier just to say that you’re an idiot if you get vaccinated.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

162 replies on “Why you should get vaccinated against the seasonal flu anyway, despite H1N1”

@Todd,

I don’t think so but I know that Meryl Dorey and a number of anti-vaxers do. And just a slight technicality there, but Icke thinks that it’s a plot by the alien lizard people who call themselves the Illuminati to cull the human population and conduct biological experiments rather than to make a quick buck…

http://worldofweirdthings.com/2009/09/17/david-ickes-warning-about-flu-vaccines/

Money is of no use to those not of this world and with limitless access to all the planet’s money via a tap into the banking system. Or so I hear.

I have a 10 mo old baby at home. I get so distressed when he just gets a cold because there is really nothing I can do to help him with it. I feel so sorry for the poor guy and wish there was something I could do.

Imagine how I would feel if he got the flu because I wouldn’t get myself vaccinated and came down with it, exposing him?

Of course, it goes beyond that. What about everyone else? Do you care that you might expose my son to the flu? I would hope that you wouldn’t want to do this, even if you don’t have to watch him suffer through it. At the same time, I am getting the shot, not just because it helps protect my son, or me, but it also protects you. With the vaccine, I am less likely to be carrying around that bug to transmit it to you. So me getting the shot benefits everyone, not just me. In the same way, you getting the shot benefits us all, including you. Let’s all help each other, right? I’ll do my part to help you. Is it too much to ask that you step up and help out in return, if you can?

I’m a bit confused. People at The Cochrane Collaboration who review research on influenza say that the evidence in favor of flu vaccine is very poor.

Mike, that was over a month ago, back when it was thought that we’d need several different flu shots. Work since then has developed a single flu shot that should cover both H1N1 and more typical strains of flu.

Chris: Are you suggesting the information contained in the BMJ paper has somehow reached an arbitrary expiration date? The study has been cited at least a half dozen times between 2007 and 2009 in various peer reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Public Health and Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Actually, it mostly noted the shortcomings of the studies reviewed. Also, since the influenza virus changes each year and it is a guess to which to create a vaccine with, it is kind of a crap-shoot in the first place. Some years are good, and some years are not so good.

Even if the paper had been cited, that does not change the fact that the vaccine of five years ago is equivalent to the one this year. Nor does it change the premise that there were really few adequate studies to base review on.

Plus, I was thinking about Phoenix Woman’s comment about it being “a month ago”. Three years is more than one month.

Yes, the 2006 BMJ paper is a commentary, not a study.

Any comments on this 2009 study on discrepancies between study results and conclusions regarding influenza vaccines which includes this statement: “Influenza vaccination continues to be recommended globally, despite growing doubts about the validity of the scientific evidence underpinning policy recommendations.”

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/338/feb12_2/b354

Orac,

Does your flu vaccination recommendation extend to children under two years of age? A 2009 Cochrane review “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy children” states that little evidence is available for flu vaccine efficacy in children under two. The review also contains these statements in its summary and conclusion:

“It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from 6 months old in the US and Canada. If immunization in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.”

“It was not possible to analyze the safety of vaccines from the studies due to the lack of standardization in the information given but very little information was found on the safety of inactivated vaccines, the most commonly used vaccine, in young children.”

“Extensive evidence of reporting bias of safety outcomes from trials of live attenuated vaccines impeded meaningful analysis.”

These are surprising statements, given that 51 studies were reviewed.

There is no way in hell I am getting vaccinated (unfertilized?) especially with nutjobs in the Obama administration running around embracing mandatory sterilization and population control. Where the hell did these fascist freaks come from? They should be sterilized and made to graze grass like the asses they are.

The whole swine flu crap is media hyped anyway just like global warming: “AHHHHH! We’ll all die from global warming tonight at 9:31 p.m. if Bubba don’t stop filling up his SUV and working so hard! AHHHHH> It’s getting wrmer already! AHHHH!

These loons and moonbats don;t know it but it’s going to universe warming where they are headed … HELL. there is a lot of warming going on there and implicating light bulb swat nazis like the EU is doing wil not cut down the heat one single degree.

Anyway, I refuse to get vaccinated in ana age where whackjob marxist fascists are running science departments. It’s too dangerous. There’s no telling what’s in that vaccine and what kook in washington backs it. No way in hell will I take anything made by leftists with an agenda to exterminate old people to prop up their party. Remeber Van Jones? A pshychopathic communist with an agenda to kill people under population control methods. Now do you really trust Obama now? So far his administration’s czars make Vlad the Impaler look like Santa Clause. This is the most left wing fascist administration in world history. Even Hugo Chavez and Castro do have nuts like these working for them. They do have a shred of dignity left.

Beside the swine flu was man made. If stupid scienitsits would stop creating illnesses we wouldn’t have to worry about gettting it in the first place. Probably where AIDS came from. Except that backfired and ended up in San Francisco … probabaly where it belongs.

Booger Flinger has to be a joke. He’s managed to cram more anti-vaccine, conspiracy theory, anti-Obama, New World Order-fearing, whacko nonsense into a single comment than I’ve seen in a long time. The crazy, it is strong in him.

I snickered quietly to myself when I read Booger Flinger’s comment. The LULZ is strong with him.

I am even more amused by the fact he spelled Santa Claus as “Santa Clause”. Clearly, he is a Tim Allen fan.

The flu vaccine works about as well as a car that starts up one out of every three times you try to drive it

If you were to ask a doctor whether vaccines should be held responsible for the rise in autism, SIDS, asthma, diabetes, ear infections, gastro problems, childhood arthritis and allergies given the statistical relationship over the past 50 years or so and that many parents see their children come down with some of these illnesses soon after a vaccine, these doctors will tell you that correlation doesn’t equal causation, and regale you with a lecture in logic on post hoc ergo proctor hoc and argument by anecdote fallacies.

Fair enough I suppose. However, if you were to ask those same experts in logic: how do we know that vaccines work? They will point to the statistical relationship between the polio vaccine and polio reduction (and smallpox and others). They will also regale you with anecdotes about countries that have reduced their vaccination rate (such as Britain’s MMR take-up after Andrew Wakefield’s report) and experienced a rise in measles or some other illness.

But aren’t correlation equals causation and arguments by anecdote supposed to be fallacies?

Of course we might ask whether the ‘coincidental’ adverse events surrounding vaccination occur equally before and after vaccination (hence coincidence) or only after? In addtion one might ask whether it is simply common sense that an injection of various poisons and foreign substances into a baby (or adult for that matter) is more likely than not going to lead to problems, be they mild and temporary or severe and chronic. Why for example is it considered extremely dangerous to inject someone with the wrong blood type (if they don’t have the A and/or B proteins) but dead viruses (which are foreign proteins) are considered safe.

To give some explanations for their (the disease prevalence) falls:

Polio was barely, if at all, reduced much less eradicated. One of the main causes of polio was vaccinations (for example, the new diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus shot that came out in the late 40s). When the polio vaccine was introduced, the definition of polio was changed so that almost all cases of it were now called viral (aseptic) meningitis. Hence the skyrocketing numbers of kids with meningitis and plummeting number of kids with polio in the past 50 years. Statisticians wiped out polio, but the vaccine most certainly did not. Other names for polio are – cerebral palsy and Guillian-Barre. In general, the diagnosis for polio is only ever made if you have not been vaccinated for polio and you have been to one of the few countries that governments admit it still exists in. This is a beautiful way to work the numbers. It looks like the vaccine is absolutely effective because by definition, if you have been vaccinated and you get the exact same symptoms, you must have something else.

Small pox is now called severe chicken pox (which is why if you query with your doctor the purpose of getting a chicken pox shot they will tell you that kids today can actually die from chicken pox). It may well be true that less people get it than say 200 hundred years ago – but, if true, that would more likely be because of better living conditions than vaccinations.

Pertussis (whooping cough) will be called croup.

Diphtheria is now called (severe) tonsillitis.

After the Hib (bacterial meningitis) vaccine was introduced, the numbers of that particular type of bacterial meningitis plummeted – a perfect success! Unfortunately – by pure coincidence I’m sure – the number of different ‘strains’ of bacterial meningitis skyrocketed. (Incidentally, the proteins in the Hib vaccine are almost identical to that found in peanuts – bet you can’t guess when anaphlyaxis to peanuts started to become common).

See the pattern here?

Of course you might say that in cases of polio, diphtheria etc a particular pathogen (virus, bacteria etc) is present, however detection of the supposedly culpable germs in these cases is fairly uncommon today (particularly in developing countries) let alone 60 years ago making such an argument specious. In addition, (and more on this below) the presence of the same symptoms but different (or no) germs should make people ponder whether or not it is the germs that are actually causing these diseases in the first place.

But this is just scratching the surface.

We are told to get boosters for various diseases. Why do you think that is? Whenever a vaccinated person comes down with the mumps say, doctors, not being the brightest group of people (as well as wanting to cover their a*ses), determine that the problem is that people are not vaccinated enough, and order a fresh round of vaccinations for everybody. It is a perfect system, if there is a correlation between disease reduction and vaccination, then the vaccine is lauded, if there is no correlation then the decision is made to vaccinate more! And the people believe it! If somebody has only been vaccinated once and still gets the mumps, the doctors will declare that they are unvaccinated and tell everybody that it just goes to show that vaccinations are needed.

Of course, there is another excuse that gets used for diseases like the flu. The virus, cunning little bastard that it is, is supposedly mutating so quickly that it is impossible for our heroic vaccine researchers to keep up. But why does this virus mutate so quickly? The theory of evolution maintains that all mutations are random, so why hasn’t the so-called small pox virus mutated? Or the measles virus? It seems unlikely that if all mutations are random then the flu vaccine can mutate 4 or 5 times a year and the measles not once in hundreds! I believe mathematicians would give this probability a zero. Still, people swallow this crap and continue to line up like cattle to get the flu shot, despite even the CDC data demonstrating that there has been no reduction in flu incidence since flu shots started.

But this is restricting ourselves to the usefulness of vaccinations under the assumption that the germ theory is actually true. It is not:

Why do people have germs that supposedly cause disease but have no symptoms? I won’t bother with specific examples as this is true with all germs.

Why do people with the same symptoms not have any of these germs? As above

How could vaccinations work? How do our T-cells remember how to fight pathogens, they don’t after all have brains? Of course the alternative theory is that we already have the necessary T (B? (the theory seems to change every other day)) Cells and vaccines ‘stimulate’ these cells making them produce so many more such that at a later date viral/bacterial exposure will be rapidly fought off. But given that viruses are always supposedly mutating there must therefore be an infinite number of potential viruses and hence we would need an infinite number of types of T-cells! Seemingly unlikely. And even then, the obvious question is why wouldn’t our bodies just create these T-cells en masse in the first place rather than force us to go through the dangerous process of having the disease. If, on the other hand, our bodies find benefit to having the disease (or costs of having the T-cells produced en masse) wouldn’t vaccination be an incredibly stupid thing then?.

Why do we only decompose after we die – wouldn’t that suggest that bacteria only attack dead cells? If, as some have said, that our immune system protects us when we are alive, how is it that our skin decomposes readily with the rest of our body. After all our skin does not have any T-cells protecting it and yet it remains remarkably undecomposed throughout our lives.

Why don’t doctors get sick all the time? The corrollary of this is: Why isn’t visiting a doctor’s office suicide? If you are sick, why would you want to be around a place with trillions of supposedly pathogenic bacteria, viruses etc that others have coughed, sneezed or breathed out. If most of us are immune because of previous exposure, what about taking babies to the doctor – isn’t that a form of infanticide?

Why do supposed pandemics come and go without herd immunity or vaccinations, such as SARS or bird flu? The only explanation (that is consistent with the germ theory being true) is that trillions of viral particles all simultaneously mutated into a benign form – seemingly unlikely.

If viruses are not actually alive, how can our bodies fight them? How can we kill something that is already dead? How can vaccine manufacturers kill them with formaldehyde?

Many people are exposed to people who supposedly have a viral infection but are unaffected. The mainstream medicine explanation for that is that in order to be susceptible to viruses your immune system must be down for some other reason. But if viruses only attack us when we are weak and subsequently weaken us still further, then how could anybody ever recover after falling sick from a virus?

And here’s a link explaining the trustworthiness of the medical system vis-a-vis the safety of vaccines.

http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/back-to-basics/how-are-vaccines-evaluated-for-safety/

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1847794,00.html

Turns out that flu shots seemed not to make much difference: Kids who got immunized did not get the flu at lower rates than unvaccinated kids. In fact, the immunized youngsters were just as likely to be hospitalized or to visit the doctor as kids who never received the vaccine.

—————
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/25/AR2007092501042.html
TUESDAY, Sept. 25 (HealthDay News) — The ability of flu shots to reduce the risk of influenza-related death among people 65 and older may be greatly exaggerated, say researchers who reviewed the available scientific evidence.
——————————
Does Flu Vaccination Lower Risk for Pneumonia in Elders?
Covering: Jackson ML et al. Lancet 2008 Aug 2; 372:398
Belongia EA and Shay DK. Lancet 2008 Aug 2; 372:352

…influenza vaccination offered no benefit in broad measures of risk for community-acquired pneumonia. Editorialists noted that this study has several strengths that have been missing in many other studies: It was conducted during seasons when the antigenic match between influenza strains and vaccine was good; CAP was ascertained with chart audit rather than by evaluating administrative data; the analysis was controlled for a wide range of chronic disease and functional status measures; and both inpatient and outpatient cases were identified.
——————————

This one’s like shooting alien lizard people in a barrel

So much concentrated antivax idiocy it makes me weep.

“How do vaccines work? How do our T cells remember how to fight pathogens, they don’t after all have brains?”

The real mystery here is how Punter is able to type something that actually looks like a sentence written in the english language.

punter: Small pox is now called severe chicken pox ….

Pertussis (whooping cough) will be called croup.

Diphtheria is now called (severe) tonsillitis.

Punter, you really should not be going to whale.to for medical information. The symptoms of percussis are different from croup (the “whoop” is not like seal bark, and you can test for the bacteria), and the symptoms of diphtheria are very different from tonsillitis (and again, there are these things called “microscopes” and other ways to test for types of bacteria). Comparing smallpox to chicken pox is just stupid.

Also, the webpage “insidevaccines” is from a pair of rabid anti-vaccine folks in the UK (Clifford Miller and John Stone) who do get their “medical” information from John Scudamore of whale.to. Read more about them at http://jabsloonies.blogspot.com/ .

Sid Offit: “The flu vaccine works about as well as a car that starts up one out of every three times you try to drive it”

Nothing substantial to say, so you construct a crummy analogy? Wouldn’t a better comparison be a safety system that protects you from one out of every three accidents? Of course, I’m sure you won’t agree, since it makes vaccines sound good and we can’t have that …

Polio was barely, if at all, reduced much less eradicated. One of the main causes of polio was vaccinations (for example, the new diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus shot that came out in the late 40s). When the polio vaccine was introduced, the definition of polio was changed so that almost all cases of it were now called viral (aseptic) meningitis. Hence the skyrocketing numbers of kids with meningitis and plummeting number of kids with polio in the past 50 years. Statisticians wiped out polio, but the vaccine most certainly did not.

The level of stupidity here is astonishing. Somebody would have to be very young and also very ignorant of history to buy this.

Those of us who were around before the polio vaccine know first hand that polio was not wiped out by statisticians, because the paralysis produced by polio is quite distinctive. We remember the iron lungs. We remember our friends with crutches and withered limbs. You don’t see the distinctive polio paralysis any more (and if polio is really caused by vaccination, how is it that we have more vaccination and less paralysis?). The polio virus is likewise gone. And this did not happen until the polio vaccine was introduced. Polio-style paralysis persists only in those parts of the world in which vaccination levels or low (mainly because of false vaccine fears like those promoted by whale.to). Indeed, no disease has ever been eradicated except by vaccination.

@trrll

The level of stupidity here is astonishing.

Shortly after I started following this blog I ceased being astonished by the stupidity of antivaxxers. There is no statement too stupid for them to make.

Punter – I had an Aunt (now no longer with us) who had Polio – her knees were surgically fused so that she could walk (with the aid of crutches). You are either dishonest, willfully ignorant as a tree stump, mentally ill or any combination of the above.

The re-naming of diseases reeks of John Scudamore’s whale.to website. Back when it was still the 20th century and I ventured on to Usenet I used to see that claim by Scudamore every so often. I actually tried to reason with him. I stopped being naive fairly quickly.

Fair enough I suppose. However, if you were to ask those same experts in logic: how do we know that vaccines work? They will point to the statistical relationship between the polio vaccine and polio reduction (and smallpox and others).

Or they might point to trials of vaccines. And yes, there were trials of the Polio vaccine.

@punter: You don’t seem to understand statistics. It’s true that correlation does not imply causation. But it’s not so simple.

For example, if the number of TVs per capita has increased at the same time as the administrative prevalence of autism has increased, it’s reasonable to assume that’s a coincidence.

But suppose the number of TVs increased in 1980, then decreased in 1985, then increased in 1990, then decreased in 1995, and so on. Suppose autism diagnoses followed the same pattern, with a lag of a few years. Then it would be harder to argue that correlation does not imply causation in that case, wouldn’t it?

There are ways to control for possible coincidence (nonstationarity of series) in statistical models, and good studies do that.

Thanks for the NVIC link. Quite a diverse group of speakers for their upcoming conference, what brings them all together? Merely pecuniary interest? Or perhaps desire for an inter-disciplinary and open dialogue on an important topic. I may have to pay more attention to NVIC in the future.

I may be wrong, but Orac’s post 20 implies that T. Jefferson is either seriously misinformed about NVIC (doubtful) or “guilty” by association. I note that there is no criticism of T. Jefferson’s work with the Cochrane Group, just a comment about his association with undesirables. That would imply that guilt by association extends to all the NVIC speakers, including George Annas and Diane Harper. Given their current positions and credentials I would be more than surprised if these two individuals are “anti-vaccine” or uninformed. Certainly they are educated regarding the benefits and risks of vaccination and public health policies, perhaps more so than any contributors to this blog. Any MPHs lurking out there?

Summary dismissal of individuals because of a NVIC speaking engagement is not very scientific. I reserve judgment until I’ve observed and analyzed what these individuals have to say at the October conference.

Chris, can you please provide documentation for the claim that Miller and Stone are responsible for the inside vaccines website? Thanks.

diatom, I made a mistake. They are associated with “childhealthsafety” (read the first paragraph). I mixed them up. Sorry.

(it was the oft brought up theme of diseases being renamed that led me astray)

I know I read about insidevaccines in the past. It is actually run by a group, and there is this comment on how they tend to cherry pick: JREF comment by DeeTee

Again, sorry about the mistake. It is still not a reliable website.

diatom, I made a mistake. They are associated with “childhealthsafety” (read the first paragraph). I mixed them up. Sorry.

Ack! Read the second paragraph. Okay, I will stop now, the program I am waiting to install on other computer should be done by now!

Thanks Chris. a-non, I am not personally acquainted with any of the individuals under discussion, and therefore have no knowledge of their “common sense”, do you? Again, I’ll refrain from speculation until I hear what they have to say.

BTW, I did not refer to the credentials of Annas and Harper because they are impressive (though they are). I referred to them because the MPH designation indicates they are likely to be well versed on the topic of vaccination. I am interested in what they have to say.

Punter I’m going to ignore the wall of nonsense to ask for a clarification on one statement:

“Small pox is now called severe chicken pox [snip] It may well be true that less people get it than say 200 hundred years ago – but, if true, that would more likely be because of better living conditions than vaccinations.”

Are you suggesting that small pox is not eradicated from the wild* and that its apparent eradication is not due to a universal vaccination program, but just due to its having been rebranded to “severe chicken pox”?

*CDC still uses it for experimental infections in monkeys, for example

may be wrong, but Orac’s post 20 implies that T. Jefferson is either seriously misinformed about NVIC (doubtful) or “guilty” by association. I note that there is no criticism of T. Jefferson’s work with the Cochrane Group, just a comment about his association with undesirables. That would imply that guilt by association extends to all the NVIC speakers, including George Annas and Diane Harper. Given their current positions and credentials I would be more than surprised if these two individuals are “anti-vaccine” or uninformed.

Why would you be surprised? Most mainstream scientists don’t pay much attention to the anti-vaccine fringe, which is why they can be so easily duped. Harper and Annas, I do not know, but if they are reputable, ask yourself this: Why would they share the stage with Andrew Wakefield, who is well known as an anti-vaccine loon? Or speak at a conference organized by Barbara Loe Fisher, who is one of the grande dames of the anti-vaccine movement? The two most reasonable potential explanations for their accepting a speaking engagement at the NVIC conference are ignorance of the true nature of NVIC or sympathy with the aims of NVIC. These reasons apply to Jefferson as well. I leave it to the reader to decide which reason is closest to correct.

In any case, I just learned this morning a bit of a lovely tidbit about Jefferson and the NVIC conference that leads me to think he was indeed either duped or insufficiently diligent in checking out the group that invited him to speak. Suffice it to say, I know from what I consider to be a reliable source that he was most displeased to find out that he was scheduled to speak at an event where Andrew Wakefield is going to be the keynote speaker. I will blog about this when I have more information and, more importantly, verifiable information.

I am curious as to whether Pablo of post 3 is going to get his 10 month old child vaccinated for seasonal flu and H1N1, since he mentions how we should all help each other by getting vaccinated.

Regarding post 35, I can think of at least one more reasonable potential explanation that reputable people want to speak the NVIC conference, which I already stated: a desire for open interdisciplinary dialogue on an important topic. Apparently some are not fearful of virtual contamination by their co-speakers. I leave it to the reader to decide if the list of reasonable explanations is limited to two.

And yes, I would be surprised. I have yet to see any reputable MPHs taking an “anti-vaccine” stand. Please enlighten me if I have missed any.

Will await Orac’s insider gossip with bated breath.

I am curious as to whether Pablo of post 3 is going to get his 10 month old child vaccinated for seasonal flu and H1N1, since he mentions how we should all help each other by getting vaccinated.

My son is going to be going to daycare in January. You damn straight he will be vaccinated.

BTW, Wakefield is not the keynote speaker at the NVIC conference According to the schedule on the NVIC site, the keynote speaker is Annas, followed by Harper then Jefferson. Wakefield appears on the second day.

Diatom, it’s you antivaxers who have the obsession with contamination — that’s why you insist on things like coffee enemas and the misuse of chelation therapy and freaking out over the miniscule amounts of ethyl mercury used in vaccines when study after study has shown that ethyl (unlike methyl mercury) doesn’t hang around in the body long enough to do anything to any tissues. The reason legitimate scientists wouldn’t want to be on a quackademic panel is to avoid giving it the undeserved appearance of legitimacy. But of course you know all that.

Chris, my “month ago” comment referred to the most recent Cochrane comment of which I was aware. Orac has newer and better info, as it turns out.

Phoenix female is apparently an omniscient (amateur) taxonomist. It would behoove her to gather more evidence and review taxonomy and nomenclature before prematurely and ignorantly affixing labels and assigning categories.

I had an Aunt (now no longer with us) who had Polio – her knees were surgically fused so that she could walk (with the aid of crutches).

I also had an aunt with polio. She came down with it in 1946, at the age of 16. She spent her last 50 years married, and in a wheelchair.

Since the anecdotes are getting thick here, I’ll relay that my father-in-law is a healthy 85 year old with 5 adult children and 5 grandchildren. He contracted polio as a teenager, but did not end up in an iron lung or a wheelchair.

I still cannot fathom the purpose of coffee enemas, except perhaps a novel method to imbibe coffee for people with their heads firmly lodged.

diatom, polio actually paralyzed a small percentage of those who got it. The problem was that in the mid-20th century was that it was so prevalent. Hence, lots of folks got it, and the numbers of those who got paralysis, temporary and permanent, was large.

But you are correct in that the plural of anecdote is not data. The data did show that vaccines did reduce polio greatly after its introduction. The data for the influenza vaccine is not so clear, and is always fluctuating, because predicting the strains for the next season is an educated guessing game. There is an interesting blog on virology (by a polio specialist, who also does a “This Week in Viruses” podcast which are linked in the blog), here are the influenza posts:
http://www.virology.ws/tag/influenza/

The coffee enema bit is a spill-over from the Gonzalez protocol threads. It is an example of some of the fractured reasoning that has been experienced over many issues discussed on this blog.

@Phoenix Woman

—————-
ethyl mercury) doesn’t hang around in the body long enough to do anything to any tissues.
—————-
Your link doesn’t provide any actual science supporting your assertion that there is some arbitrary time frame preventing mercury from inflicting damage. Is it just a guess, wish, hope, opinion or do you have more substantial evidence

Your link doesn’t provide any actual science supporting your assertion that there is some arbitrary time frame preventing mercury from inflicting damage. Is it just a guess, wish, hope, opinion or do you have more substantial evidence

However, basic knowledge of chemical kinetics will tell you that extent of reaction depends upon time, and so all things being equal, a rapidly eliminated compound will be less toxic than one that is eliminated more slowly.

@trrll

We may not disagree all that much. My particular point here is that a definitive statement such as Pichichero’s “… it’s obvious that ethyl mercury’s short half-life prevents toxic build-up from occurring. It’s just gone too fast,” are unjustified.

As to your points:

Rapidly eliminated from the blood isn’t necessarily rapidly eliminated from the body

As ethyl mercury and methyl mercury are different compounds, not all things are equal

We don’t actually know how much methyl mercury is toxic – unless were to believe the estimations and extrapolations derived from the Iraqi grain contamination incident.

Less toxic isn’t necessarily safe

[Thanks for the reminder about the JREF stuff I posted way back, Chris.]

Re “Inside vaccines”…..

I certainly would not trust the site to give unbiased information, for the reasons I mentioned.
I actually can see that there are slightly different degrees of craziness among its contributers. “Minority View” is the one who set up the site, and the woo is strong with him. However there is a contributer called “generic” who actually once posted a decent rebuttal of the toxins in vaccines myth.
http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/2008/03/13/common-anti-vaccination-myths-and-misconceptions/

Unfortunately that post appeared to be a one-off, and even misled Epiwonk into thinking InsideVaccines was a decent site. Their stuff is generally, as I indicated in the JREF post, quite distorted antivaccine pseudoscience. I suspect they left the toxins in vaccines rebuttal up because it made them seem reasonable and it was one thing they couldn’t continue to mislead their readers over.

So, should we presume then that anti-vaxxers never drink soda or alcohol, never eat out, never take a tylenol, never breathe the air… I was going to say “never drink coffee” but we know what they do with that. I mean come on, people. I’d wager the vax is safer than, say, a triple chocolate whipped cream brownie fudge trans-fatilicious delight with a cherry on top and as side order of fries.

“Anyway, I refuse to get vaccinated in an age where whackjob marxist fascists are running science departments.

This comment from “Booger Flinger”.

“I have to agree completely with this assessment”
signed,
Feces Flinger

Rapidly eliminated from the blood isn’t necessarily rapidly eliminated from the body

Any drug in the body distributes into the blood stream to some degree. So yes, rapidly eliminated from the blood does mean rapidly eliminated from the body. If there is some bodily compartment from which the drug is eliminated slowly, then there will be a corresponding slow phase of elimination from the bloodstream (e.g. it will be biexponential rather monexponential). Also slow elimination and slow uptake go together. So even if there is a compartment of the body (e.g. brain) from which the drug is slowly eliminated, very little of the drug will ever have time to get into that compartment if the drug is rapidly eliminated with the blood. This is why toxicologists are concerned about accumulation of things like heavy metals with long term chronic exposure at low concentrations, whereas is single exposure to a much higher concentration can be perfectly safe (it is also why standards for acceptable levels of substances in drinking water cannot be applied to levels in vaccines).

As ethyl mercury and methyl mercury are different compounds, not all things are equal

No, but given the much more rapid elimination of ethyl mercury than methyl mercury, it would have to be much more toxic than methyl mercury to pose a hazard. The evidence from animal toxicity studies does not support that. So we have no toxicological basis to expect a hazard for ethyl mercury in vaccines, and all of the epidemiological studies of thimerosal in humans also show no indication of adverse effects. So of the thousands of substances that children are exposed to more today than in the past, ethyl mercury is one of the least likely to be a hazards.

Less toxic isn’t necessarily safe

Nothing in this world is truly safe. You could walk out of your door and be hit by lightning. But we don’t spend our time cowering in Faraday cages, because experience has shown us that while it is not safe to venture outside where lightning can strike us, the risk is too low to waste time worrying about it.

I see everybody managed to successfully ignore the substance of my post – relaying their own anecdotes (as I said they would) about how their grandmother got polio and therefore vaccinations must have cured polio QED.

Not that I would expect anything else from this website where independent thought = crazy. From the same people that pour scorn on those who see their child become autistic moments after a vaccine linking this phenomena to said vaccine, comes anecdotes about how because we used to use iron lungs to treat child paralysis and we don’t anymore – vaccines reduced polio QED.

The notion that we test for bacteria or germs in the case of diphtheria (or any other disease) is spurious. It is predicated on the assertion that the bacteria is what actually causes the disease. But lots of people have the diphtheria bacteria (or meningitis or herpes or varicella or any other virus/bacteria you care to name) without any of the symptoms – that is common knowledge.
In addition, just how much isolation of these pathogens do you think ocurred in 1850? Even if we assumed that our current tests are compelling evidence you still run into the problem that all comparisons against historical data is worthless because such tests were simply not possibly and/or not widely done. The point was (and I could have sworn this was obvious) that in the days before powerful microscopes (and even for quite a while after) diagnoses were made purely on the basis of symptoms. The symptoms for many (supposedly) different diseases can easily be confused, ergo comparing polio stats today with those of 50 years ago is lunacy. For the posters who mentions levels of infantile paralysis, I agree that it would be interesting to see the level of child paralysis in today’s children compared to previous times, but the point I made was that we have many different names for such paralysis today so you need to integrate all of these diseases (cerebral palsy, meningitis, etc) and compare them to polio previously. It is possible that paralysis is less or more than historical averages – I don’t know. In the early 50s there was a massive outbreak of infantile paralysis because – I believe – of the massive vaccine campaign previously for DPT. I am happy to accept this particular vaccine was more dangerous than any of the current vaccines – but this would scarcely prove that vaccines are a good idea would it? Actually, going by some of the logic demonstrated here it would probably be interpreted by many of you to be that way.

I love the “arguments” against my insidevaccines link – they are anti-vaccine therefore they must be wrong. QED. The level of logic on display in this site is astonishing. The question for you people is not whether this site is anti-vaccine, but whether any of the charges they level against vaccine safety tests are wrong.

dt – if my question is idiotic then someone as smart as you will have no trouble answering it.

I have laid out over a dozen questions – any one of which (if not answered) comprehensively destroy the vaccine/germ theory paradigm. And none of them have been. Because you can’t. Noone can.

JohnV – try reading and attempting to understand a single word of my post. I specifically state that the germ theory is a crock – every last part of it. Small pox is not caused by a virus – so regardless of whether a particular germ that scientists arbitrarily blamed for small pox exists or not is irrelevant. I said that small pox is generally called severe chicken pox, but it can also be called other things like monkey pox etc. There are outbreaks in poorer countries but again it is always just assumed that because small pox doesn’t exist – it can’t be small pox. Like every aspect of the germ theory – facts are changed to fit the theory rather than the other way round.

And Joseph I am pretty good with statistics it so happens. But please show me the stats that show without equivocation that the reduction in certain diseases can only have come about due to the vaccines themselves, and not due to other conditions such as increased health due to better sanitation, nutrition etc or rediagnosis

@53 thank you for that insite.
Now this memory makes more sense to me…My daughter has cerebral palsy. When my grandmother(102yrs) met her for the first time years ago, she said “my heavens, I havent seen a child with polio in ages”. Even after it was explained to her, she still insisted it looked just like the polio of her day.

punter:

It is predicated on the assertion that the bacteria is what actually causes the disease.

I have laid out over a dozen questions – any one of which (if not answered) comprehensively destroy the vaccine/germ theory paradigm. And none of them have been. Because you can’t. Noone can.

Ah, yes, definitely someone who denies reality. If we don’t answer his/hers question the way s/he/it likes, it means that s/he/it has “won” the argument and germs do not exist!

punter,

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If you’re going to claim that the “vaccine/germ theory” is bogus, you need provide unassailable proof. Not the other way around.

“I have laid out over a dozen questions – any one of which (if not answered) comprehensively destroy the vaccine/germ theory paradigm. And none of them have been. Because you can’t. Noone can”

Because no-one can be bothered. The only questions you’ve asked in that barely literate mish-mash Gish-Gallup of yours can be answered by cracking open almost any entry level book on the relevant area of study, or attending (not that any course is likely to accept you) more or less any basic academic course on the subject.

Don’t accuse us of ignorance when you are clearly missing the basics.

Are you really as stupid as to think that you have discovered something that has passed several entire professions and area of study by? How egotistical of you. How utterly shamefully arrogant.

Really shameful.

Please don’t darken this place until you’ve actually done some study.

I see everybody managed to successfully ignore the substance of my post – relaying their own anecdotes (as I said they would) about how their grandmother got polio and therefore vaccinations must have cured polio QED.

Yes, and probably nobody will. If you’ve managed to deny not merely the enormous body of experimental data demonstrating that microorganisms cause disease, but the personal experience of people who have lived in the years before these diseases were largely eliminated by vaccination, there’s clearly no conceivable evidence that could change your mind. In the words of Barney Frank, it would be like arguing with a dining room table.

I take back everything I said about you guys being against independent thought – I don’t know what I was thinking making such a baseless accusation.

Your arguments are:

a) you are wrong because even though we don’t know any of the answers to your questions we presume that somebody else has and it is just a matter of asking those people – whoever they may be; and
b) how could you have noticed something that millions of others have missed? (I’ll give you a hint – when anybody else dares to look they are dismissed with the exact same arguments you guys just used)?

In other words, as expected you guys reverted to appeals to authority and appeals to popularity (these arguments are considered fallacious for a reason you know).

But it doesn’t matter – I didn’t expect to change the minds of anybody on this website. You guys will stop believing in vaccinations when the so-called experts tell you to do so and not a moment sooner. None of you have ever had an independent thought and you never will.

And for as long as none of you bother to answer any of my questions I won’t darken this place with any more of my nasty, evil independent thoughts again. I will let you guys get back to your usual drivel of telling each other how smart you are and how positively stupid and crazy those people who dare to question and look at evidence rather than just willingly submit to authority must be.

Being a germ theory denier does not make you an independent thinker, it makes you an uneducated thinker. Your “independent thought” has as much intellectual substance as a dining room table.

To to be charitable to tables, they are actually useful.

Punter – you have no right to demand answers to your questions. To demand that we must answer your exact questions now is both arrogant and outright rude.

It is you – as the person asking the questions – who must show that your questions are worth our effort rather than yours.

Stop for a moment and think about how stupid you look. You are asking what you have claimed are basic questions that supposedly refute the germ theory.

Now, don’t you think if they occured to you, then they might also have occured to people who are actually educated and trained in this area? Don’t you think that if they were such basic questions that there might be an answer somewhere?

Let’s talk this elementary question, answered in any relevant entry level textbook:

“How do our T-cells remember how to fight pathogens, they don’t after all have brains?”

There are even T-cells that have the purpose of ‘remebering’ pathogens. The process of how they do this is well known and well described.

But then, someone who has done the basic reading that a ‘idiot’ dr. has done would know this.

I think you should consider that possibility that you simple are clueless and unaware of it.

Explain how the mainstream explanation of T-cell memory does not answer your question and do it now!

You have one replt to do so and one reply only. Failure to do so will be taken as indication that you are clueless and have not done a smidgeon of the required reading.

If you want to treat other people like clueless morons, then that is how you will be treated. I don’t think you’ll hack it.

None of you have ever had an independent thought and you never will.

Independent thought suggests that you came up with it on your own. But germ theory denialism is well over 100 years old. You didn’t come up with it on your own. You read it on some nutjob website, like Whale.to, and now you’re parroting it back to us.

And for as long as none of you bother to answer any of my questions I won’t darken this place with any more of my nasty, evil independent thoughts again.

These guys always like to pat themselves on the back as being independent thinkers, not realizing that they are parroting ridiculous cant that was old decades ago. The glaring ignorance beyond these assertions makes it obvious that not a one of them has actually bothered to independently read the scientific literature, much less do an independent experiment.

trrll:

The glaring ignorance beyond these assertions makes it obvious that not a one of them has actually bothered to independently read the scientific literature, much less do an independent experiment.

Or take a basic science class in high school.

And Joseph I am pretty good with statistics it so happens. But please show me the stats that show without equivocation that the reduction in certain diseases can only have come about due to the vaccines themselves, and not due to other conditions such as increased health due to better sanitation, nutrition etc or rediagnosis

That’s not as difficult as you think, punter. There’s data from hundreds of countries. It’s obviously not coincidence (except to a denialist) when the same pattern repeats as predicted at different times in different locations.

Also the “better sanitation” bit tends to fall apart when it comes to polo. Better sanitation made it so polio struck after infancy when it was most likely to cause harm.

Then there is the return of measles in countries (UK, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and elsewhere) where measles vaccine uptake was reduced. Japan stopped vaccinating for mumps, and it is now endemic there. There several other examples of diseases coming back after a reduction of vaccines all over the globe, from pertussis in Japan to diphtheria in the Ukraine and polio in Nigeria.

It is funny that a germ theory denier even brings up sanitation in the list of disease reduction reasons.

This shows that this is not independent thinking because it is so common in the anti-vax websites like whale.to. Anyone who really denies that bacteria and other microbes cause disease should not be concerned with those little things in drinking water.

Actually, I am concerned is that punter and friends do not wash their hands after using the toilet!

By the way, punter, no one denies that sanitation and nutrition have not had an impact in diseases. They have had an impact on diseases like cholera, typhus, typhoid, bubonic plague, amoebic dysentery, and other water born or insect born diseases. Do you see any of those on the current vaccine schedule?

Well it didn’t take me long to break my promise.

First you guys accuse me of supreme arrogance in questioning what everybody knows to be true and how shameful it is of me to suggest that the majority of people could get it so wrong for so long. Now you guys accuse me of being an idiotic conformist with no ability to think for myself. Which is it?

But more importantly – I love this notion that I have no right to force you to answer my questions (although I don’t recall holding a gun to your heads). But isn’t the whole point of this blog about criticizing the anti-science whackjobs that seem to get such a large audience on the internet? Well I can’t imagine a bigger anti-science whackjob than me – a germ theory denier (and believe me this is just the start of my whackjob beliefs). You would think that this is your bread and butter – your chance to sink the boot into us loons real good. And yet you refuse. Why?

I have asked some (what should be) simple questions and instead of answering them you have come up with every pathetic excuse under the sun in order to avoid doing just that. Why won’t you answer them if the entire raison d’etre of this site is about pointing out the foolishness of those who question medical and scientific orthodoxy? Anybody with any integrity reading this blog would find it a bit strange that those who devote so much time to weeding out unorthodox opinions would run so far when challenged about their own. I guess it’s lucky that there are so few readers of this blog in that category.

I love how you guys just assume that someone somewhere must have the answer to all of these. People herd. They follow others in the presence of uncertainty (this caveat is extremely important). This is instinctive (and in a sense rational) and whilst the impulse to herd can be ignored in place of reason, for most it is easier to just herd. Doctors have this instinct just as much as those in financial markets, politics, religion and every other institution. If the answers are there, then those who have taken it upon themselves to be such staunch defenders of orthodox medicine should be prepared to find them and explain them all to a fool such as me. The fact that you are not suggests that you are terrified that if you dig too deeply you just might find something out that you really don’t want to know.

Punter:

Why for example is it considered extremely dangerous to inject someone with the wrong blood type (if they don’t have the A and/or B proteins) but dead viruses (which are foreign proteins) are considered safe.

That you are asking this question points to the fact that you know very little or nothing about the immune system.
In brief and greatly oversimplified, if you are administered blood of the wrong type, you already have antibodies against the antigens carried by the donated cells, and your immune system will destroy the donated cells, causing a severe hemolytic reaction.
When a “dead virus” is administered, your immune system does not carry antibodies to it, but will produce them as a response to the viral proteins. On subsequent exposure, the antibody reaction is “primed” and ready to go, neutralizing the virus before it can multiply. Destruction of a dead virus doesn’t produce a severe reaction. Also, a pint (or more) of mismatched blood is a hell of a lot more than the quantity of viral protein in a vaccine.
I hope you appreciate this answer. However, I would suggest that you do some basic reading in immunology and microbiology before charging in here with your questions again. You have a hell of a nerve calling us arrogant, when you claim to know that the germ theory is bunk while you appear to be completely ignorant of the basics. That’s why you piss me off.

punter – you think smallpox can be called severe chicken pox. Even if you deny viruses exist and think these diseases are all caused by, say, the smallpox and chicken pox fairy, there’s still no comparing the two. Smallpox has an extrordinarily different presentation than chicken pox. Even without germ theory, both diseases are present far in the past.

Oh, and microscopes have existed since the sixteenth century, so I’m willing to bet quite a bit of isolation of organisms was being done in 1850. And bacteria can be seen under those. If diptheria is being called tonsillitis, why are throat cultures still routinely done?

“Which is it?”

It can be both, they’re not mutually exclusive.

“Why?”

Because all of your questions demonstrate a lack of understanding or functional knowledge of the mainstream view of germ theory, rather than being legitimate questions about germ theory than requitre specialised knowledge to answer. None of your questions cannot be answered by the preliminary research that any competant person would have already done in order to feel as if they have a legitimate right to demand answers to their questions. Translation: you haven’t done your homework and it shows. Badly.

You were even asked to validate a simple question. You failed to even show knowledge of what the generally accepted understanding of the process involved actually was, much less demonstrated any understanding of it. Certainly nowhere near enough to be a worthwhile opponent.

You keep bleating on about the orthodoxy, yet don’t appear to have any actually functional knowledge of what that is. If you did, you’d know exactly where to look for your answers. In the work of the trained qualified respected experts.

Just like we’ve been telling you.

“I love how you guys just assume that someone somewhere must have the answer to all of these.”

Not assumption, most of us here have done at least basic human biology courses or modules at the university degree level.

Even logically, if the questions occured to you (and as someone else already pointed out, it’s clear none of this is your own work), then they’re likely to have occured to the people who actually study this stuff for a living. The answers are already out there, in exactly the places a competantly trained and educated person would think to look. This is clearly not you.

You have no right to demand answers, especially not as you have dodged very simple elementary questions about your questions. If you can’t even justify asking them, then you can get right to fuck if you think people are going to spend their free time answering them.

Thank you T Bruce – you actually bothered to attempt to answer one of my questions. Kudos to you.

Couple of follow up questions:

Let us say that there is half a gram of protein in a vaccine – how many grams of proteins are there in a lethal dose of another blood type? (I am sure there are more, but I never said that one vaccine was as dangerous as receiving the wrong blood in a transfusion, just that foreign proteins were dangerous in even relatively small quantities.)

Secondly, and here is something that I find terrifying. If what you are saying about a hemolytic reaction is true then wouldn’t that mean that the vaccine “boosters” we routinely get for various diseases are astonishingly dangerous? If we already have the antibodies (which some people surely must) from the first vaccine and we get another dose – then doesn’t this mean that we would get a hemolytic reaction to the viral proteins just like if we got the wrong blood donated to us?

And of course there is still the point about what constitutes a ‘dead’ virus given viruses were never alive to begin with.

Dedicated lurker – Why is this so hard for you to understand. It doesn’t matter if isolation could be carried out or if it was carried out some of the time. What matters is that given that it was not carried out all the time in all places in previous eras and indeed now, the statistical “evidence” must be called into question.

In addition today, doctors would never diagnose smallpox because they don’t believe it exists no matter what symptoms they are presented with. This is why epidemiological data should only ever be used to point people in the right direction – never to draw concrete conclusions. You will note I didn’t say that smallpox exists at the same level today as it used to I just don’t know. What I said was that it still exists we just call it severe chicken pox – hence the “necessity” of getting a vaccine for a disease that all throughout the ages was considered harmless.

For example imagine during say the Crimean War doctors who had a hundred patients all with a pox condition and they all died as a result, however, one of them (who died) had a slightly different type of pox to the others and so the doctor stipulates that in fact all but one of them had small pox and the other guy was completely unaffected by small pox but coincidentally had a fatal case of chicken pox instead. Do you think that is likely? Or do you think it slightly more plausible that doctors would have simply lumped them all in together when making their diagnosis? They all had the pox, they all died, small pox is a lethal form of the pox, ergo they all had small pox.

When doctors make a diagnosis they don’t just look at your symptoms they look at other factors. If you have a form of partial paralysis, fever and stiff neck and you have never been vaccinated and just stepped off the plane from a trip helping poor people in Nigeria and Pakistan, they will think polio. If you have the exact same symptoms and you have been fully vaccinated and never left the US or Australia or some other rich Western country, the thought of polio won’t even cross their minds. But don’t believe me if you don’t want to – do this experiment for yourself with a couple of different doctors. This is the point I was making. It should have been obvious. But of course it is obvious from the perspective of people wanting to learn and understand as opposed to the perspective of those who want to maintain the faith.

punter, perhaps you did not get my point. Smallpox and chicken pox are not remotely similar. Chicken pox has a primary symptom irregularly shaped marks that are clustered on the torso and face. Smallpox consisted of identical lesions that were evenly clustered throughout the body, including the throat and mouth. Before the electron microscope and the discovery of the signatures of viruses, people were still able to tell them apart. Even in the Middle Ages doctors correctly identified two different types of the plague. (The common bubonic is not transmitted from person to person; the pneumonic plague is however and was also present in that day, in case you’re going to argue that since the plague isn’t epidemic today vaccines aren’t needed. You have to be bit by an infected rat or flea to get the bubonic.)

The blood protein thing – your blood, unless you are type AB, posseses antibodies in various forms. A blood has B antibodies, B blood has A antibodies, and O blood has both A and B antibodies. Once infused, it will infect the entire vascular system leading to what is essentially a giant allergic reaction. AB people can receive any type of blood because they do not react that way. Besides existing in smaller amounts, vaccine proteins are put under the skin, or into a muscle.

I certainly can’t just go to a bunch of doctors and say I’ve got symptoms I don’t, so I’m not sure what your point is there. But if I somehow became a doctor and someone came in with those symptoms, polio would be in the “rule out” category. Whether it was first or much farther down the list would depend on a bunch of things.

I have what I hope isn’t a stupid or irrelevant question:

Why are vaccines administered into the muscle? Is it as simple as just being easier to jab in?
And another if I may:
How does serum act as an adjuvant? I know serum has been added to some of the H1N1 vaccines and I wondered if it had to do with agglutinins. Is that how the immune response is ramped up?

If anyone knows of a better place for me to be asking these question, please kindly tell me. Thanks!

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