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While I’m back on the topic of vaccines….

…be sure to check out Dr. John Snyder’s article on vaccines on the official blog of the NYC Skeptics. As a pediatrician practicing in areas with high levels of resistance to vaccines, he’s on the front lines.

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]

31 replies on “While I’m back on the topic of vaccines….”

Oh, Snyder’s just a pharma shill, what does he know? Just ask Jay Gordon, most pediatricians don’t support the CDC/AAP approach to vaccination.

(Whoops, I should note the sarcasm in the previous post lest anyone come along and think I actually care what Jay Gordon thinks)

Does Blaylock’s fear of aluminum (a dangerous heavy metal doncha know) prevent him from wearing his tinfoil hat?

Does Blaylock’s fear of aluminum (a dangerous heavy metal doncha know) prevent him from wearing his tinfoil hat?

No more than fear of toxins keeps Jenny McCarthy away from the botox or silicone.

While the anti-vaxers (and other woo-boosters) cry,”Pharma shill!”,we often just go on citing facts and studies and being reasonable.I offer an additional action: we can cite how money is made by the aforementioned woo-providers and/or enablers.Some glaring examples: Wakefield had an alternative vaccine to sell; Jenny sells books,products,herself;Mike Adams sells books, products,”courses”,land in Ecuador;Somers sells books, cruises,”performances”, products on QVC;see other woo-ful websites.In some cases, it is possible to research companies’ sales and profits.(Full disclosure: my work doesn’t involve pharmaceuticals;like most people with mutual funds,I’ve probably benefitted from pharma profits in this way only).

Denice – do not forget to add Uncle Bob Sears.

Moreover, I described recently how Cousin Jay benefits indirectly from his “maverick” reputation. Read Snyder’s article about who is prone to avoid vaccination, and you can see that it fits in pretty well with Jay’s clientelle out their in Beverly Hills. Being known as the “anti-vax sympathetic doc” feeds right into that.

suzanna somers on msnbc’s dr nancy today talking cancer and altmed

lets hear some comments, she mentioned ny times.

@ Pablo: Exactly! It seems that many of those with an “axe to grind” often also have a “purse to fill” and an “ego to feed”.

On the financial interests front, I’ve pondered the idea of adding to my site a section on the subject, citing figures for how much the vaccines cost, how much they cost to make, how much is reimbursed by insurance, etc., as well as a section on the types of money to be made by the anti-vax treatments (chelation, anyone?), as well as how much money pharma companies and hospitals/doctors would make treating the diseases (antivirals/antibiotics, IV fluids, equipment charges, in-patient care charges, etc.).

Unfortunately, I don’t have nearly the time or resources to put something like that together, let alone where to start looking for the numbers. If anyone has any ideas, I’m all for helping where I can and posting the results (including original source citations, where possible).

Another idea for a web site would be one with photos and videos of children and adults who have suffered from vaccine-preventable diseases. It would provide a much needed emotional aspect to the “Why vaccinate” question, that all the studies and facts we cite just can’t get across.

The page would definitely need a warning on the front page that the images contained within may be disturbing to some viewers.

“I offer an additional action: we can cite how money is made by the aforementioned woo-providers and/or enablers.”

Denice – great minds think alike. I do this whenever I can. Particularly good targets are Andrew Weil and others on HuffPo. Curiously, though, my comments always get deleted…

My favorite was a HuffPo “health” post whose author had been fined by the Federal Trade Commission for false medical claims. I simply posted a link to the FTC page (after all, a reader should know all the facts, right?) Dana Ullman rushed in to object to my post, I objected right back, and the next thing you know, the whole exchange was deleted HEE HEE. I learned a couple of things that day – HuffPo doesn’t mind if you’ve made false medical claims for profit, and the woo guys spend all day manically defending each other in blog comments. The only group I know more slavishly dedicated to blog commenting is the Scientologists.

@Jen: Nice job. I’ve never posted a comment on HuffPo. I tried, but the whole ordeal and moderation gave me fits so I quit before I sent the comment. Keep on linking the facts! 🙂

@Denice Walter:

I offer an additional action: we can cite how money is made by the aforementioned woo-providers and/or enablers.

I think we would want to be very careful in our use of this tactic; it could easily be twisted to make it look like we’re generally endorsing the ad hominem circumstantial fallacy.

On the other hand, though, there are a lot of people out there who haven’t quite grasped the true landscape, and it could open their eyes if they realized just how much Wakefield, Haley, the Geiers, etc. have made and are making from Big Altie.

Ahhh yes, Dr. Snyder points out the interesting observation of socio-economic status and vaccination rates that has been addressed here in the past.

“A healthy questioning of authority (doctors), an underlying mistrust in the competence of the government (the CDC), overt mistrust and a general level of cynicism of big business (the pharmaceutical industry), and a sense of empowerment that comes with one’s social status, all contribute to this tendency to mistrust vaccines and those who recommend them. The difference between these concerned parents and myself (also a parent), is an understanding of the scientific method and the role it plays in this issue.”

Or as Jon Stwart would say “I think the H1N1 virus is more interested in killing you then your government is.”

@ Antaeus Feldspar: Of course, we must be careful and realise how they can twist info(and how good they can be at that!).Remember,many woo-meisters present themselves as “whistle blowers”,”uncovering corrupt Big Pharma”,in short, as some sort of *protector* of public health(as strange as that may sound *to us*).They are emphatically *not* not-for-profit: they are simply businesses who advertise.Large woo-based websites often portray themselves as “educational” and “informational”,while they are there to *sell* anything and everything by saying whatever they can to make the sale.(see NaturalNews,see Gary Null, see Mercola). I rest my case.

ORAC,

I don’t know if you are aware of this or not but I stumbled on it today and was a little stunned at the cluelessness of The Atlantic, which by experience is usually a respectable publication, for running it.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200911/brownlee-h1n1

It is full of bald assertions, attributions to “authorities” without references etc. and I just wondered if someone with your expertise might have some comments on some of the claims being made.

This is not my field at all, but my initial impression is that it is BS and would appreciate your insights.

I enjoy reading here very much.

Cheers,

ORAC,

I don’t know if you are aware of this or not but I stumbled on it today and was a little stunned at the cluelessness of The Atlantic, which by experience is usually a respectable publication, for running it.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200911/brownlee-h1n1

It is full of bald assertions, attributions to “authorities” without references etc. and I just wondered if someone with your expertise might have some comments on some of the claims being made.

This is not my field at all, but my initial impression is that it is BS and would appreciate your insights.

I enjoy reading here very much.

Cheers,

Ouch! I got attached by a fake anti-virus “scan” and installer when I opened the John Snyder NYSceptics.org page you referenced.

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