Antivaccine nonsense Humor Medicine

24 hours later…

It’s been more than 24 hours since I received my H1N1 vaccine, and so far the only problem I’ve had is a bit of a sore arm. (Maybe I shouldn’t have had the nurse use the left arm again, as that’s where I got my seasonal flu vaccine, too. On the other hand, I am right-handed.)

Sadly, I have not become autistic, despite having had all that mercury, formaldehyde, and witches brew of “toxins” injected “directly into by bloodstream.” I guess it’s just not to be.

I did notice one “side effect,” though. Shortly after I received my vaccine yesterday morning, I received an urgent call to the clinic and had to spend the next three hours dealing with a patient emergency. Fortunately, it didn’t turn out to be as urgent as it had been originally billed, but it took a lot of time to figure that out. Because of that lost time I was unable to finish the talk I have to give in a couple of hours, meaning that I stayed up late last night working on the talk, further meaning that I didn’t have time to cook up the usual logorrheic batch of not-so-Respectful Insolence on a hapless “victim” (I mean subject).

I know, that means that vaccines must cause other people to have emergencies requiring the services of the one vaccinated, thereby keeping that vaccinated person from anything other than a brief, snarky blog post making fun of how anti-vaccinationists confuse correlation with causation by pointing out how my being vaccinated must have caused my patient’s emergency! (Yes, I know my reality-based readers got the point, but you really do have to spell it out for the anti-vaccine trolls. Preferably in crayon, but I can’t really do that easily on this blog.)

In any case, I really must test my hypothesis next year, when it’s time to be vaccinated against the seasonal flu again.

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]

136 replies on “24 hours later…”

I have another hypothesis – your H1N1 vaccine “caused” J.B. to put up another loving tribute to you on AofA today.

I almost had a severe vaccine-related injury yesterday.

I got my seasonal flu shot yesterday morning. On the way to lunch, I decided I probably ought to check my arm, just to make sure there wasn’t any visible irritation. Stupid me, I was walking towards a staircase as I rolled up my sleeve and peered at my arm (rather than what was in front of me). I looked up about six inches before I was about to go careening down a flight of stairs.

Put that in your VAERS and smoke it!

I had to laugh since my 15 year old got her HINI yesterday and ranted about all the terrible things that were going to happen to her including walking backward when you were attempting to go forward! She heard it all from credible sources, teenagers, who got it from very credible sources, cable TV.

Moral of the story, Moms rule: she got the shot.

I have another hypothesis – your H1N1 vaccine “caused” J.B. to put up another loving tribute to you on AofA today.

Quite a hilarious one, too. Complains up and down about “long-distance doctors” making unethical diagnoses. Well, gee, isn’t it worse to have long-distance NON-doctors making such? You know, the one he’s completely relying on for his entire position…

OMG! You mean the H1N1 vaccination resulted in your inability to blog about the antivax cranks? What a brilliant way for them to silence the pro-vaccination bloggers. They wouldn’t even have to specialize it to only effect the pro-vax side since their antivax comrades would never subject themselves to begin with.

I smell conspiracy!

OK, I know we’re all preaching to the choir here, but as far as I’m concerned, using proper logic and reason is the key to overcoming anti-vaccine arguments. The first step in this is not to completely distort those arguments. Attack the real arguments, not ones you’ve made up. The anti-vaccine types argue that thimerosal causes autism when given to people with brains still in early stages of development, not adults. There is no scientific evidence to support their view, but it weakens our arguments when we distort their views in order to ridicule them. There is enough room for ridicule as it is.

I have another hypothesis – your H1N1 vaccine “caused” J.B. to put up another loving tribute to you on AofA today.

Obviously, I can test that hypothesis next year. 🙂

In any case, my only surprise is that it took that long for J. B. to do it. After all, both of my Desiree Jennings posts were last week. It must have taken poor J.B. four days of Googling and searching my blog to find those excerpts that he thought might embarrass me, as well as the video of Fonzi jumping the shark.

I must have really hit a nerve. J.B. only launches one of his patented Google reputation-poisoning attacks like that when I’ve scored big. Of course, it’s been about nine months since the last time J.B. did that; so it was due anyway. Also, Friday’s post on Desiree Jennings was Digg’ed, and passed around all sorts of other social media, driving my unique visit count to over 40,000 in a single day, which, I think, is an all-time one day traffic record for this blog. As I said, I must have scored a direct hit, in particular in correctly pointing out that GR and J.B. are despicably exploiting this poor young woman, which is true.

But, most characteristically, J.B. didn’t even have the common courtesy of linking to the posts that annoy him. Heck, I do that for him even when I despise what he’s saying and am writing a post refuting it. The reason is that I want my readers to be able to read the entire text, so that they know I’m not misrepresenting what I’m criticizing or taking quotes out of context. J.B.’s too inconsiderate to return the favor. The ingrate! I probably drive more traffic to his blog than almost anyone else (although I’m always careful to use the rel=”nofollow” tag in order not to increase his Google juice). Actually, the real reason is almost certainly because he doesn’t want to drive traffic to me, and he wants to be able to misrepresent what I say and take it out of context with near impunity because most people won’t go searching for the original post that he’s attacking.

BTW, you can use this comment thread to make fun of J.B.’s post if you want, given that AoA ruthlessly censors comments and would never let you do it there.

I half-way support Gus Snarp’s position. I think this whole “I’ve been vaccinated and didn’t catch autism” crap is pretty insulting to those who are legitimately afflicted (not from vaccines, of course). I’d prefer you all knocked it off.

(although to correct Gus a bit, recall that the the anti-vaxxers are jumping all over the dystonia thing, so they don’t care what vaccines cause, they just know it causes something bad)

Less than 30 minutes after getting my seasonal flu shot, I had to give a presentation. It went wonderfully, and I was able to get a group who generally has nothing to ask or say, asking questions and talking about the topic. Obviously, I need to get a flu shot before every presentation.

Reposting a previous comment, but it’s been two weeks since my H1N1 shot.

adjuvanted, with thimerosal, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

Two weeks. Still not more autistic.

I’m an autistic adult, which supposedly means that I’d be pre-supposed (or whatever) to have autism caused by whatever toxins-of-the-month in vaccines, right?

Oh wait, I don’t have GI issues…. hmmm… that might be why…

oh, wait wait wait. According to the accounts, autism develops MONTHS after vaccines. Well, dang, I guess I better not call off the “Happy More Autistic” party quite yet.

Gonna keep track 😀

@Pablo – Like I said, plenty of room to ridicule their real arguments. So saying you don’t have dystonia 24 hours later – fair game. Here’s what should top any story about “dystonia” “caused” by vaccines: the number of vaccinations given compared to the number of suspected cases of “dystonia”. That ought to settle (though we all know it won’t).

But what we’re making fun of here is the confusing of correlation with causation, which is made even more ridiculous when an adult says he got vaccinated and didn’t become autistic. No insult is intended. If you like, I could just as well have used dystonia or the claim that the flu vaccine causes Alzheimer’s.

I agree that it gets a bit childish after a while, BUT….

…it’s not an entire strawman, as Gus suggested. While the general thrust of their argument is indeed that vaccines afflict growing minds, with the Desiree Jennings case they are *specifically* referring to an adult. And more pertinently, prominent anti-vaxxers have repeatedly challenged doctors to prove they believe in vaccine safety by going out and getting vaccinated. It is an actual anti-vax argument that doctors don’t really get vaccines, because they know better. So I think it is good for medical bloggers to go get vaccinated and then blog about it. True, the “and I’m still not autistic!” thing can get old. But then, so do the lies about doctors not getting vaccines.

Funny, my H1N1 shot, in the right arm, has caused more soreness than the seasonal (a week earlier in the left arm) which caused almost none. The H1N1 shot hurt when being given, the seasonal did not hurt at all.

Now we just need a third data point and we have a trend.

Gus Snarp:
I think that brian (or it could have been some other troll) tried to explain the finding that 1 out of 100 adults has ASD by blaming it on vaccines administered while they were adults.
However, I’ll be damned if I will slog through his huge pile of electronic bullshit to verify this.

Hmm… you had a vaccination and were kept awake late into the night. Are you sure that the shot didn’t upset your humors ? They really should have bled you for a bit . . .

But what we’re making fun of here is the confusing of correlation with causation, which is made even more ridiculous when an adult says he got vaccinated and didn’t become autistic.

If you are going to make fun of the correlation/causation problem, then the better approach is the one like techskeptic, who notes an effect after the vaccine was given, or the “your H1N1 vaccine “caused” J.B. to put up another loving tribute to you on AofA today” – those are funny, and in many cases, instructive.

Intended or not, “I had a shot and didn’t become autistic (or catch dystonia or develop an auto-immune disease)” still comes off as mocking and condescending. Stick with the positive effects.

(in terms of childish and tiresome, it’s still got nothing on “dihydrogen monoxide,” which is exceedingly lame)

I had my H1N1 shot and my arm hurt for about 2 days. It was stiff and moving my shoulder around hurt a bit bit then it disappeared. However, unlike Greg, getting the shot did not hurt at all.

My right arm/shoulder started hurting a couple of days ago and I didn’t get any flu shots this year. Judging by the number of you who got shots and didn’t report pain, it clearly proves that the flu shot reduces arm pain.

@T. Bruce McNeely:

Well, that wouldn’t really surprise me, but if one statement by brian is the basis of the argument, that is the ultimate in feeding trolls, isn’t it?

Intended or not, “I had a shot and didn’t become autistic (or catch dystonia or develop an auto-immune disease)” still comes off as mocking and condescending. Stick with the positive effects.

I hope it was intended! The folks being mocked deserve worse.

My two-and-a-half year-old got hers Sunday. When we got home, she ran around the house in stocking feet and fell and really hurt head and other parts of her body. Coincidence? I am writing this one into VAERS.

Personally, I was thinking more about the comments from yesterday and today in my ranting, but just noticed something:

Orac, you realize you actually said this?

Sadly, I have not become autistic,

I realize the jest, but come on. I hope you can see that some might not find it funny that you are “sad” that you didn’t become autistic.

(in terms of childish and tiresome, it’s still got nothing on “dihydrogen monoxide,” which is exceedingly lame)

But exceedingly relevant in some cases.

2 more VAERS reports! My SO and I were both vaccinated for seasonal flu in early Sept.- a week later,I was scouting out ethnic restaurants on a city street and FELL DOWN (I NEVER fall down!)causing slight misery, but only if I play tennis.My SO had knee trouble after the gym and later required an MRI (slight tear in ligament) and PT.Seasonal flu shots cause clumsiness, not autism.Seriously.

Yep, I definitely smell a “concern troll” rant coming. Orac doesn’t like it when people disagree with him.

Orac has no problems with people disagreeing with him so long as they actually provide evidence and reasoned arguments why. And yes, he’ll even (publicly) admit he was wrong if the arguments of those disagreeing are better than his.

Why do you always apologize to the blog readers when you don’t have time to write a long post, especially when you are using time to do your “real” job? Do you ever apologize to your family when you don’t have any time for them because you spend all your free time working on the blog? I’m sure the world could survive a few days a week without Orac. Maybe you should get your priorities straight.

@For Pablo: I think that Orac can tell the difference between a difference of opinion and a troll.

“Also, Friday’s post on Desiree Jennings was Digg’ed, and passed around all sorts of other social media, driving my unique visit count to over 40,000 in a single day, which, I think, is an all-time one day traffic record for this blog.”

This really makes me ecstatic. I have hope that we’ll see a day when these uninformed opinions will be summarily dismissed and marginalized. *Crosses fingers*

No, swine flu does not cause ASD in adults.
However, I do have evidence that it causes outbreaks of concern trolls.

Right, J?

I was recovering from a sinus infection (and was told by my doctor not to get immunised for anything this fall until after I’d finished my antibiotics) when the flu vaccines became available here, so I didn’t get the shot, and something terrible happened to me…

I got the *@%#$!!ing flu instead. I don’t (*kaff wheeze*) recommend it, particularly the ~30h I spent vomiting up everything I’d eaten since childhood, and the nasty bronchitis. I’ve had fun before, and that wasn’t it.

Whew…. just imagine the relief it is to know that no one in my family has gotten the swine flu vaccine and no one has died! I wonder what the odds are for that? Must be one in … um.. one in, help me here, anyway I feel like I won the lottery!

Ok, cut Pablo a break. People who are autistic or who live with/care for autistic kids, with all the problems, disadvantages and genuine coping issues that this brings (and make no mistake, there are always some) may not necessarily find jokes about becoming autistic in good taste — and this is perfectly legitimate. It’s not entirely unlike making jokes about people being deaf or blind or mentally ill.

I mean, it seems unlikely to me that this will stop everyong from making jokes, but it’s not outwith the realm of normal reactions to not find it funny if you have to deal with that reality.


…despite having had all that mercury, formaldehyde, and witches brew of “toxins” injected “directly into by bloodstream.”

Intramuscular injections – the person who gave you your shot is doing it wrong…

@Greg #20:

Funny, my H1N1 shot, in the right arm, has caused more soreness than the seasonal (a week earlier in the left arm) which caused almost none. The H1N1 shot hurt when being given, the seasonal did not hurt at all.

Had both last night; the H1N1, in the left arm, is still sore; the seasonal, in the right, isn’t. So we can discount left/right effects.

OTOH, neither shot hurt on administration.

Two hours after you got your vaccination, I got constipated real bad. Felt like I was passing a child. Thanks a lot, Orac!

@ Luna_the_cat

that may be true, depends on the joking and the person.

but as an autistic adult, in regards to vaccines causing autism joking, I find it funny.

heck, I was joking about it while waiting in line for my shot two weeks ago. I’m thinking of making a shirt “two weeks after vaccine – still not more autistic”

so i didn’t get my vaccine today because they ran out. Still I think this is a minor victory

I’m with Corina on this. I’m mother to three awesome children on the spectrum, and it’s not offensive to me. Of course, I’m not an anti-vaccination, my children-have-autism-because-of-something-in-the-vaccines kind of gal.

And many autistic individuals take pride in who they are, autism and all. And we should, as parents, want our children to have that same pride. So, Orac writing sadly, well, is that not reinforcement that there is nothing wrong with being an autistic individual?

And if the AoAers were only worried about early childhood vaccination causing autism they’d stick to that meme. They do not.

Make the t-shirt, Corina!

Crappy McBrainless, really, I feel for you. After surgery a few months ago I was taking a lot of Codeine and after only a few days foolishly ate a lot of very, very cheesy pizza along with that. Well, you can imagine the pain a few days later.

Sorry for that delightful image.

As the parent of children with autism, I can assure you two things:
1) I am not offended by his references to “catching” autism, I find it quite amusing because people literally tell me tehy don’t want their kids to catch autism from the MMR shot so they delayed it (ZOINKS!)

2)People who get offended by such nonsense need to lighten up a bit. Life is too short, people. You’ve all got more important things going on in life than to be Internet Trolls. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, if you don’t like it, don’t’ read it.

Physicians who get vaccinated for H1N1 flu are not just protecting themselves, but outpatients, hospital patients and visitors who otherwise might get exposed to flu from an infected doctor.

I don’t recall Dr. Jay ever telling us that he was going to get the shot to protect his contacts, either as a requirement of being a hospital staff physician or because of a moral imperative to do so. It’s an interesting dilemma for an antivaxer – do you forego immunization and put others at risk, or get the shot and then face the hypocrisy of advising your at-risk patients against it?

@KWombles, I totally will. I’m thinking on the front:

“two weeks since vaccine – still not more autistic”

and then on the back

“guess I’m canceling the Happy More Autistic Party”

@Domestic Goddess
I agree. People do need to lighten up. Mocking doesn’t necessarily mean disrespect. Isn’t parody one of the most sincere forms of flattery?

@ Liz
I’m half waiting for him to show up as well. He started messaging me on LiveJournal, wanting to apologize. I told him it wasn’t just me he offended, and that if he was sincere, he would make amends for what he has done. Haven’t heard back from him yet…

I’ve had a much more dangerous side effect. Not 10 minutes after getting the shot, I’ve had a door slammed in my face, then I found my bike’s tire flat and when I got home, I found not one but FIVE bills in the mail!

Also, my shot hurt more than any needle ever. I’ve given blood dozens of times, and that was much less painfull than the H1N1 shot. I think they may have use a knitting needle.

Also as a parent of a son on the spectrum I take no offense from the “more autistic” joke. My son is a perfect, fully vaccinated individual. He has his issues, but what parent doesn’t deal with their child’s issues (they ALL have them).

And a big THANK YOU to Corina (and any other autistic individuals who post)for communicating their own points of view. It is an inspiration to me.

Orac wrote;
“Sadly, I have not become autistic, despite having had all that mercury, formaldehyde, and witches brew of “toxins” injected “directly into by bloodstream.” I guess it’s just not to be.”

How do you know?
Loud noises realy upset you lately?
Are you stemming a lot?
Get upset when people request you try new things?
Diet not vary much, or fairly routine?
find yourself repeating the last few words of other peoples sentences? (note email responses to others)
Starting to rock when you sit (while not in a rocking chair of course)?
Your social skills (on the internet) have been called into question numerous times on this blog, however that was before the H1N1 so never mind.

Dialing phone to Jenny right now……
I have Oprah on hold.

I really don’t post often here but I must add that I’m okay with Orac’s joke about confusing correlation with causation (and getting more autistic). I don’t believe autism is a life sentence.

I don’t believe autism is a life sentence.

There is a difference between

1) “I am not unhappy because I have autism”


2) “I am unhappy I do not have autism”

I wholly support all of you who are espousing (1).

I do not support Orac’s statement of of (2) (even in jest)

Sorry, Orac, if I steal your thunder and I apologize for getting a bit carried away with this, but here are my thoughts on J.B. Handley’s blog of 11 Nov 2009 regarding Orac.

OK, J.B.

1. J.B. does recognize Orac’s real name, but I’m not sure whom he is referring to as “SoCalGal”. I did a quick Google search and came up with several women on various social network sites who use that pseudonym. Without a cross-reference, it is hard to tell which one is supposed to be Orac.

2. He then spends about 20 short lines griping about Orac’s being “very proud” of his medical qualifications. Mostly, I find this irrelevant because I have been following Orac’s postings on this blog and his other postings on Science-Based Medicine for over a year now and I have never seen any of the quotes that J.B. cites. Occasionally, Orac does note that he is a cancer surgeon when it is relevant to the subject he is discussing, i.e. cancer.

3. Then, J. B. complains about Orac’s criticizing other physicians, calling it “wildly unprofessional”. Sorry, J.B., but that is how science works. It is perfectly normal to discuss the quality of scientific research and the validity of the conclusions that are drawn from it. That is how science sorts the wheat from the chaff. Mostly, this strikes me as a reverse ad hominem argument. In other words, Orac shouldn’t be complaining about other doctors (truly ironic in this case, since Desiree Jennings doesn’t say who they are or give them release to discuss her case) because he is a doctor, but it is perfectly all right for me, J.B., to complain about Orac because I am only a businessman ?!?

4. Then, he complains about Steven Novella’s reporting on the Desiree Jennings case that had “no basis in reality and was simply false”. O.K., J.B., what are the falsehoods?

5. Then he offers a series of complaints about breaking “all sorts of medical ethical boundaries”, including:

a. “Challenging Ms. Jennings’ original diagnosis of dystonia. Since when do doctors make long-distance video-only diagnoses?”

i. Actually, those doctors questioned the original reporting of this case. As Dr Novella said, “The media … failed to ask basic journalistic questions – was the illness Jennings suffered from due to the vaccine, was it confirmed as the flu, and was it the strain from the vaccine, was the incubation period compatible with a vaccine-induced flu, did she get the live-virus version of the vaccine, does she really have dystonia, has that diagnosis been verified, are their other possibilities, and what is the plausibility that it was caused by the vaccine? None of these basic questions are addressed in the news reports”

ii. Sorry, J.B., but that’s about all most people have to use as a basis for responding to the claims made in this case. As Dr. Novella said in one comment on his original blog, “I am not diagnosing Desiree or recommending a treatment. I am simply commenting on the videos made public (as others have).” Of course, Dr. Rashid Buttar and Ms. Jennings are quite free to arrange for her to visit Dr. Novella (who does treat dystonia patients) or his neurology colleagues to get a complete workup. In the medical world, that is called “getting a second opinion”. Then, J.B. complains about “offering up potentially false commentary”. Hello, pot. Meet kettle.

b. “Claiming Ms. Jennings condition is ‘all in her head.’” I reviewed blogs about this case by Orac and Dr. Novella and didn’t find where they used that term, at least not as their own description of her condition. As Orac says, “I do not think that she is faking, and “psychogenic” doesn’t mean that she can control her symptoms. She is indeed suffering, I’m sure.” And, as Dr Novella says, they (at Generation Rescue) “are denying the very legitimate and debilitating nature of psychological illness – that it is very real and deserving of compassion and treatment. It is just another kind of “brain” disorder – just a functional one.”

c. “Claiming she couldn’t possibly recover from a condition she didn’t even have.” Actually, several doctors who treat dystonia have offered the opinion based on the video evidence that Desiree Jennings’ symptoms are not compatible with true dystonia. And, the doctors who allegedly diagnosed her with dystonia are not free to comment on her case. Dr. Novella states, “psychogenic disorders can and do spontaneously resolve.”

d. “Claiming the flu shot couldn’t possibly cause her condition.” Again, as Dr Novella says, “The medical community is always careful to point out that there are very rare reactions to vaccines. No one is claiming that they are 100% safe – no medical intervention is. But severe reactions are very rare. Meanwhile, about 36,000 people die each year in the US alone from the seasonal flu.”

As I calculate the odds, we have been giving seasonal flu shots for over 30 years now. If we have been only vaccinating 10% of the people in the U.S. every year, we have still given about a billion flu shots. From those billion flu shots, only 3 or 4 cases of dystonia have been reported to VAERS. And, those are only anecdotal claims. I couldn’t determine if any of them were actually confirmed as being dystonia and as being caused by the flu shot. So, for the purpose of analysis, let us set them aside and assume that Desiree Jennings is the first “confirmed case of dystonia caused by a flu shot”. Then, the odds are about 1 in a billion of an individual getting dystonia from a flu shot. Or, if we amazingly succeed in vaccinating everyone in the U.S. who does not have a medical reason not to receive the shot for three years, we will see about 1 more case of dystonia.

I would much rather worry and devote effort to protecting the 100,000 people who are likely to die in those three years from the seasonal flu and the still uncertain but already rising number of people who will die from the H1N1 flu.

JB’s recent post was one of the worst I have ever seen from him. He writes about you like Lex Luthor would write about Superman.

yes my school was providing free shots today and ran out of their supply
This the second time too. I have to get their early next time.

Nice post. Very clear and concise. I suspect JB will not respond. By calling him out, we threaten his livelihood and I believe he is in this for the money not because he is passionate about autism or anything else. Crass commercial exploitation. Snake oil never looked so good.

It is my considered opinion that Pablo is not a “concern troll.”

I think it more likely he is a coward. An anti-vax weasel. Bitching and moaning about Orac’s sarcasm and irony rather than addressing the dangerous ignorance that the sarcasm is clearly drawing attention to.

Those are quite the priorities you got there, Pablo.

Yes, MikeMa.

Judging from the ads at AoA, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would sell you some snake oil.

Ok… I’m surrounded by anti-vaccinationists.

And facebook is making it really easy for them to post “evidence” that supports them.

My girlfriend’s pregnant and we’re getting vaccinated as soon as we can, but a mutual friend posted the following article about a correlation between vaccination and miscarriages.

I can see that this is anecdotal evidence and since miscarriages are very common (my doctor told us roughly 1 in 5 babies are ‘naturally aborted’) correlation definitely does not prove causation.

Does anyone have any reliable evidence which refutes (or confirms) what’s found in this article?:

Any input is appreciated. thanks!


Your characterization of Pablo is both wildly unfair and wildly inaccurate. Pablo is a regular on RI and very much a supporter of science-based medicine. Please know what of you speak before hurling insults and accusations around.

I spoke with my employee health nurse this morning about getting my regular flu shot. She says they ran out this year in 2 weeks, usually they throw away about 400 doses. We have very limited supplies of H1N1 apparently so it is being rationed for those who need it most. Since I’m in a non patient contact position I can’t get it at work. So it’s off to my doctor to get the regular shot, I wonder if they have any of the H1N1.

I can well imagine an autistic person failing to get the joke in “I was vaccinated and didn’t become autistic, damnit!” In fact, I think one such person missed it on the previous thread. I must go back and check. I do find it hard to imagine a neurotypical person who supports the scientific side failing to get that joke. Though humour does vary, I suppose.

When I made the joke before, I had two things in mind:
1. to mock the ridiculous claim that vaccination causes autism.
2. to suggest that autism is not necessarily an undesirable state.

Now, of course not all autists are savants, but I have actually met several who are very smart people and find their atypical brain wiring to be quite helpful in their chosen field. And I’ve read of many more. It may be difficult to manage well, but having an autistic child is not the end of the world. The stigma the anti-vaccers heap on the autistic is a problem in itself, even before you get to their horrendous crank “cures”.


OK, I see… and I’ll take your word for it.

So please disregard “anti-vax” in my last comment. Nothing else, just “anti-vax.”


Pablo has been a consistently literate, pro-vax, pro-science poster. He is, to my mind, a little sensitive about this one issue but on an outrage scale of 1 to 10 with brian coming in at 12, Pablo’s sensitivity earns him a cool 2 in my book. Everyone has their buttons.

Per “logorrheic”:

now, I teach medical terminology / etymology.

So, you’ve said ‘verbosity’ perhaps in the vernacular, but more so as ‘flow of words’ in the medical-archane:

-rrhea is flow; and logos, of course, is words; and ‘ic’ means of.

But, I like the Greco-Roman verbiage better, a.k.a. the Hellenoitalic.

Yes, Orac, I often skip to your conclusion — there be SO much verbiage. Keep it up.

That’s a matter of trust — you conclusion is parsimonious er your argument.

Me, I’m quite rationed / sparse in terms of my verbiage.

Which reminds me of The Edge, of U2:

who either gets to the heart of things with his SPARSE guitar method, or repeats what he does as a digital delay.

Except, of course, he rocks.


It’s amazing how irrational people can be when it comes to vaccination. My high school is offering H1N1 vaccinations next week and one girl in my history class asked me if I was going to get it. I replied that of course I was and she told me that she wasn’t going to get it. When asked why, she said that she’d heard that it can have a lot of bad side effects. She had heard this from ‘her mom’s friends’ and various other such sources. She also said that she doesn’t see the point since it’s “just the flu”.

I attempted to explain to her that this strain is particularly dangerous for those in our age group and that even if she gets it and is fine, there’s still the risk that she could pass it on to others in high-risk groups, but she was still not convinced. I’m going to bring her a copy of the CDC information sheet on the vaccine tomorrow, but somehow I doubt I’ll be able to convince her.

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