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I didn’t know nonsense could be so well-organized, anti-vaccine edition

It was nearly a month ago when I first marveled at how nonsense could be so well-organized. My marvel was expressed at the awesomeness that was the Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense (which, by the way, is now available in “sanitized” versions, as well as versions in other languages). It turns out that Crispan’s effort has inspired one of my readers to try his hand at this whole organizating nonsense thing. This blog being what it is and all and his proclivities being what they are, he decided to create…drumroll, please…The Periodic Table of Vaccine Rejectionism, which he’s given me permission to post right here:

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A PDF version of the file can be found here.

How appropriate to post this on the very same day that Penn and Teller premiere their Bullshit! episode about the anti-vaccine movement. I like it, although I do think there are more trolls to be listed, some of whom infest the comment threads of this very blog! Perhaps John Best is quite simply too unstable to exist as an element. Ditto, perhaps, the Australian Vaccination Network, where the looniness is clearly too concentrated to exist or perhaps must combine with other elements. In any case, I’m half-tempted to start using the element symbol Hp whenever I blog about HuffPo’s pseudoscience.

Finally, like the actual periodic table of the elements, ca 1900, I do believe this particular periodic table is currently incomplete. Help us complete it! Surely there must be at least 118 anti-vaccine loon elements around.

One other question: How long before the anti-vaccine propagandists at Age of Autism or other anti-vaccine loons try to create their own periodic table of vaccine defenders (I’m sure they’d come up with a different name), probably complete with Paul Offit, Stephen Barrett, Nancy Snyderman, big pharma, and possibly even me. Actually, if they don’t include me on such a periodic table, I’ll be very disappointed. Wait a minute. By saying that I’ve probably guaranteed that they won’t. On the other hand, how do they know that’s not part of my nefarious plan to make sure that they don’t include me on their table? Answer: They don’t!

Muhahahahahahahahahaha!

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]

157 replies on “I didn’t know nonsense could be so well-organized, anti-vaccine edition”

We need a place for the trolls. Maybe an equivalent to the Lanthenide series, “off the chart” as it were:

So – Sid Offit
Su – Commonsense et al
Ds – DrSmart
Mm – Medicien Man (or is that Dr Smart’s sock puppet?)
Jn – Jen the Tylenol troll

and of course, the latest highly unstable element As – augustine (I didn’t choose Ag or Au because they already represent something valuable. You can also pronounce As as if it had 2 s’s)

Sorry, that should be Lanthanide series.

Also, sock puppets could be considered isotopes.

Yes, “DrSmart” and “Medicine Man” are the same person.

Even though Jen does go on about tylenol, she is not a troll (she has changed over time).

Who is “Twyla”?

What about the ever amusing STY?

[email protected], Twyla is Twyla Ramos, an AoA contributor who trolls blogs inserting ‘vaccines cause autism’ to any conversation, regardless of the topic. Need I say more?

There is another jen, also an AoA regular who is just a garden-variety tosser. I think that is the one that comes to mind when you think of a jen-troll. Or should, anyhow.

Must include STY.

Forgot one!

Tony Bateson, our Upper Class Twit from Oxford.

I can’t use the symbol Tb, because it’s taken by Bensmyson.
How about Mb, for Master Bateson?

Rumors that the machine says either “Autism sufferer” or “Stop whining about how nobody loves you on the internet and go outside” as a diagnosis are unconfirmed.

Absolutely priceless

Loved that. . .but I wanted to see what they found in ADD brains!

I got in trouble with some woo-loving friends the last time I posted a periodic table – I think this might go over their heads, though.

Anne Dachel, too. She trolls every pro-vaccine news story and drops a fact-free soundbite.

Heh, and here we were talking about G Taylor’s killed by autism site on lb/rb. Nice to see her on there.

@Liz, I disagree with the term “suffer” but otherwise, that’s a pretty funny article.

It’s brilliant! But where is the “G” or “Gl” for glutathione?Also “Md” ( or “Mt”) for “mitochondrial disease”?

I see someone has mentioned Meryl Dopey… I mean Dorey.

How about Sherri Tenpenny and her wares under “Junk Websites.” And don’t forget that mistress of myriad woos, Dr. Christiane Northrup. She hates vaccines almost as much as she loves bioidentical hormone$.

ooh. I want to be in the table. The only thing is that I feel downright insulted that someone hasn’t created a periodic table of left wing socialist America hater science geeks yet.

One: I don’t think Passionless Drone is a troll. She puts a lot more effort into research than I think a troll would spend.

Two: should the vaccine court be included? Anti-vaxxers act as if its mere existence supports their arguments, as well as the total amount of monetary rewards its given, but in-and-of-itself it’s not anti-vax.

Not sure if or where cooler belongs as he is most hiv denial but worthy of recognition all the same.

I am very glad Jake got on there as he has tried so hard to make that list.

Kimmy from AoA is missing unless I missed her.

I feel honored to be a part of your little anti-normal person tyrade. Go ahead and add me to the list of normal people in your silly little insignificant chart. Maybe a chemical composition will derive from it to cure Chris’s type 1 diabetes of what’s her name paralysis from the flu vaccine.

I wonder where the periodic table of liberalism fits in? Here are some of the elements:

Socialism/communism/atheism
evolution/darwin worshippers
gay or gay supporter or gay sympathizer or gay worshipper
tree hugger/environmental terrorist
PLO/Hamas terrorist/flotilla supporters
vaccination/forced sterilization nuts (also commies)
mandatory fascist/socialist healthcare rationing system supporters
G20 gimme everything I want now terrorists
violent labor union thugs
black liberation theology/socilaist/terrorists
social justice fake Christians
economic justice/socialist fake christians

man, there are just too many enemies of freedom to name here, but it would be a good thing to organize them into a periodic table of violent and dangerous left wing fringe nutjobs who need to be put into mental institutions.

Cute, but one-layered. I don’t understand how these bobbleheads are in any way analogous to the varied elements of our universe.

Perhaps a chart of pests or diseases would have been a better starting point.

@Buzzard bait:

I wonder where the periodic table of liberalism fits in? Here are some of the elements:

vaccination/forced sterilization nuts (also commies)

A lot of anti-vaxxers are liberals, especially the crunchy granola type liberals. It’s not a left-wing/right-wing issue.

Also, are you talking about “forced vaccinations”? I don’t know of anyone on this site who’s in favor of forced vaccinations. There is support for mandatory vaccination, which means “vaccination is mandatory for children going to public schools”. With mandatory vaccination, parents can have their children go to a private school, or home school them, so it’s not the same as “forced”.

but it would be a good thing to organize them into a periodic table of violent and dangerous left wing fringe nutjobs who need to be put into mental institutions.

I can’t tell if you’re using hyperbole or not. If you’re not using hyperbole, then wow, is that ever a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Also, how pro-vaccine do you have to be to a “violent and dangerous left wing fringe nutjob”?

Perhaps there should be a general “morphing troll” that includes the idiot MM who seems to be posting here as “Dr. Smart”, Buzzard Bait and sockpuppeting my name (which was a tactic once used by another troll, I think it was STY).

Has anyone ever underwearpuppeted your name Chris?
You are scaring me. Don’t make me send my brother Doctor Smart here. I will. Just in case you are wondering what my real credentials are as a doctor, you can find them at my URL. I think you will be surprised.

Obvious troll is obvious.

(… and he should not really be on the internet when drunk)

One: I don’t think Passionless Drone is a troll. She puts a lot more effort into research than I think a troll would spend.

I agree PD does seem to try to at least think for him/her (?) self.

Perhaps PD could be replaced by “Smarter Than You” with his weird rantings about the vaccine-autismpocalypse coming later this year.

Bruce,

I can’t use the symbol Tb, because it’s taken by Bensmyson.
How about Mb, for Master Bateson?

I love it. Now I will bust up laughing whenever he posts his ‘there are no unvaccinated autistics’ crap.

Sid will be crushed that he didn’t make the list.

Not so much. I realize I have to wait my turn and pay my dues.
—————————–
Where Mayer Eisenstein? And the Geiers?
—————————–
I don’t think Passionless Drone is a troll. She puts…

I think I recall she being a he, but I could be wrong – although a drone is male. That having been said pD is far from a troll

Nice to see Jay Gordon make the table at #42 (Jy). However it should have been organized so as to place him under #15 (Aw), considering how far he is up Andrew Wakefield’s butt.

Given how much competition there is for that slot, I suppose they couldn’t keep everyone happy.

It needs crazy treatments – maybe the Actinides.

I suggest:

89: Gf: Gluten-free
90: Hm: Homeopathy
91: Sp: Supplements
92: Ho: Hyperbaric Oxygen
93: Bi: Biomed
94: Dd: Doctor’s Data tests
95: Co: Colonoscopies
96: Np: Naturopathy
97: Gs: Google search
98: Wu: Woo
99: Fc: Facilitated Communication
100: Cn: Chelation
101: Ic: Industrial chelators
102: Lp: Lupron
103: Kt: Kill them (with our treatments, $99.99 per session)

Note my proposal’d need Chelation to be moved out of the Cash Cows block. So we’d need a replacement…

Re: Adam, post 34. Why would you have #89 as gluten free? What is wrong with a gluten free diet as a treatment? Or are you referring to people who do it despite not actually needing to (unlike celiacs who have to)?

I was surprised to see pD in the list as a troll. I never got that impression from pD’s commenting at all.

Trolls:
Augie
bensmyson
and others

no obvious research skills in what they post, and no ability to absord information that doesn’t fit their already fucked-up schemata.

pD
pretty meticulously constructed arguments and consideration of alternative hypotheses, from what I’ve read.

Well, this is a table of anti-vaccine woo. Obviously, it’s only woo as an autism treatment: Like Chelation, Hyperbaric oxygen, and Lupron, there’s legitimate reasons to use it, but in autism/anti-vaccine woo, pretty much every autistic child gets “diagnosed” as “needing” it, which isn’t, in fact, true.

Sid will be crushed that he didn’t make the list.

Not so much. I realize I have to wait my turn and pay my dues.
—————————–
Where Mayer Eisenstein? And the Geiers?
—————————–
I don’t think Passionless Drone is a troll. She puts…

I think I recall she being a he, but I could be wrong – although a drone is male. That having been said pD is far from a troll

I don’t know why I feel so compelled (perhaps my dedication to objectivity) but Sid is spot on here. pD is a he and not a troll, Eisenstein and the Geiers should absolutely be on that table and lastly, Sid has not earned his/her way yet.

I have to concur that the vaccine court does not belong there. Anti-vaxers view it as part of the enemy (gov’t). Even BLF, one of the individuals instrumental in its creation, wants it gone. The only time they think it’s any good is when it hands down a ruling that they can spin to apparently support their claims. In reality, it does serve a vital purpose, allowing for the compensation for known injuries while ensuring that vaccine production does not halt completely due to law suits.

Likewise, pasisonlessDrone does not belong on there. pD’s not a troll and actually has some thoughtful contributions. I don’t necessarily agree with his take on things, but he’s at least civil.

Additions:
STY (troll)
Meryl Dorey (MicroCeleb, alternatively a new category for heartless whack-a-loons)
AVN (Junk Web Site)
Laura Hewitson (MicroCeleb)
RFK, Jr. (celeb)
augustine (troll)
The Geiers (MicroCelebs)
Genetic Centers of America (Cash Cow)

“Anne Dachel, too. She trolls every pro-vaccine news story and drops a fact-free soundbite.

Posted by: Orange Lantery ”

That is fabulous!! “fact-free soundbite” LOVE it!

Maybe there could be a slot for Internet antivax trolls in general (Tr?), but no individual troll deserves space, first because they tend to sameness after awhile so that no one stands out, and secondly because if you reward one all the others will start clamoring and nipping at your heels for attention, and they get more of that than they deserve to begin with (plus the table would get too unwieldy if you tried to accomodate them all).

Sorry, Sid. Maybe you could lobby for a separate antivax troll table.

@43:
Thanks, Angela. Wish I could spell my own pseudonym, though.

I’m trying to think of other trolls that I see across various blogs and news sites. Chris and I have run into a dude named JonGH who likes to Gish gallop across the screen at various sites, but I don’t know that he’s a big enough pony.

I’m guessing Tb stands for “Two Bensmysons” or “Team Bensmyson”, though we could give them the appropriate “Bs” symbol and give “Tb” to Tony Bateson, who deserves a spot for being a classic one-trick troll.

I never understood the hatred towards chelation and gluten free products. Then again, I never understood the government’s violent hatred towards raw milk either.

Chelation is cheaper and safer than open heart surgery and stints. I’ll stick with detoximin and unclog my own arteries thank you very much. Then of course keeping cholesterol under control with Niacin, red yeast rice, and other items as well as taking vitamin D and magnesium helps prevent clogged arteries in the first place.

Doctor Smart?
They are called stents, not stints.

Chelation is a marvelous medical tool, when indicated. Autism is not an indication to chelate. Same with gluten. Got celiac? Go gluten free. I don’t know about niacin or any other ‘natural’ cholesterol lowering but based on previous experience with your posts, I discount them heavily.

I never understood the government’s violent hatred

Hatred? You keep using that word…it doesn’t mean what you think it means Dr Smurf.
There are those though, such as yourself, who do spew hatred at anyone who doesn’t hold an identical an point of view. What a sad and angry existence you hold.

Most glaring omissions: John Best and the Geiers.

Possible additions: Harold Doherty and Craig Willoughby.

Agree with the consensus that passionlessDrone is not a troll.

Then again, I never understood the government’s violent hatred towards raw milk either.

Particularly since listeriosis is so useful at keeping overpopulation in check.

@ MikeMa

Go ahead and discount them then. That just means more supply for me.

@ Chris:

Right, Right, rightey right, boy am I right. Stop stalking me.

Stupid electronics technician does not know the definition of stalking, and is very stupid. Nor what it means when a person lacks a Y-chromosome. Must be the stuff he shoves up his anus, which is where his brain is located.

I have never commented here before, and I’m quite reluctant to even stick one toe into these hostile waters, but I can’t resist asking, what is meant by the term “troll”? I have the impression that this refers to someone who has malevolent, malicious intent — who hides under the bridge waiting for the chance to do harm. I don’t know every single person in the “Troll” column above, but those whose blogging I’m familiar with certainly appear to me to have the best of intentions. Honestly, I have never received a satisfactory answer to the question of “What is a ‘troll’?” And please don’t say something cute like “You! Look in the mirror!” I’m seriously asking. Based on this chart, it looks like a troll is just a blogger whose opinions you don’t agree with?

Hello friends –

I’m very much in love with the idea of autism based infographic! I’ve been thinking of a few of my own, but not quite as flippant as this one. My signature does lend itself towards easy placement on a periodic table.

In any case, for the record, I am male.

I’d like to thank Mathew Cline, Kristen, Sid Offit, David N. Andrews, Science Mom, Todd W, and Midwest Dad for thinking I’m not a troll.

– pD

Thanks, Science Mom – I should have thought of going to Wikipedia! Now I finally understand better what is meant by “Troll”. I am not familiar with the blogging of “Crazy Dawn”, but I can say for sure that all the others on your (Orac’s) list of trolls are not actually trolls. Our “primary intent” is not to provoke an emotional response, but to disseminate information for the sake of raising awareness of vaccine injury, which will hopefully someday result in a better understanding of both prevention and treatment of vaccine injury.

This is actually a great chart, except for the headings, and I am proud that you would consider my paltry insignificant blogging as worthy of a spot amongst such illustrious tireless brilliant people. But all the column headings need revision, as does the title of the chart. Most of these people became involved in this field because of their children’s vaccine injuries. If they had rejected vaccines, they would not have become vaccine safety advocates. Instead, they accepted vaccines, and are still dealing with the consequences for their vaccine injured children today. So, a more accurate title would be something like “Periodic Table of Vaccine Safety Advocates”. And change “Opportunistic MDs” to “MDs Not Afraid to Think Outside the Box, Help Children, and Speak Out”. Change “Junk Websites” to “Websites Where You Can Find Accurate Information Usually Suppressed Elsewhere by the Govt/Pharm Complex”. With these and a few other column heading changes along these lines, this chart would be much improved.

Our “primary intent” is not to provoke an emotional response, but to disseminate information for the sake of raising awareness of vaccine injury, which will hopefully someday result in a better understanding of both prevention and treatment of vaccine injury.

No, you definitely troll. For example, you assert that peanut oil (along with other oils) are secretly added to vaccines. You keep insisting upon this even though you are provided evidence to the contrary and the topic is not even about vaccines. This is by very definition, trolling.

Most of these people became involved in this field because of their children’s vaccine injuries. If they had rejected vaccines, they would not have become vaccine safety advocates.

Spewing fact-free statements about how vaccines cause autism and not allowing any form of contrary evidence to pervade their echo-chambers, is not vaccine safety advocacy. Lipstick, pigs and all that.

Niacin does have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels particularly in lowering LDL and triglycerides as well in increasing HDL levels. This is a commentary about niacin and current trials and the future of niacin e-published ahead of print publication. It can cause liver toxicity, but the number one reason my patients stop taking it is that therapeutic doses often cause an uncomfortable and disconcerting flushing reaction. This reaction can be mitigated by taking aspirin 30 minutes prior to the niacin, but that is challenging for some people to do. Just an FYI.

Twyla, nothing you have posted makes me think you are a vaccine safety advocate, unless by vaccine safety advocate you mean advocate for making vaccines 100% safe with absolutely not side effects or risks or anything and not accepting anything less, in which case, yeah… never going to happen and really? That’s your standard? Glad I don’t live in your fantasy land. By that standard, there is nothing I could use or give or perform in medicine. Nothing. Everything has a risk to benefit ratio. Vaccines have one of the most favorable ratios around, particularly in comparison to some of the meds I prescribe and use every day in clinic. Or are you proposing I stop using those meds as well?

gaianinc, nothing I have ever posted advocates for “making vaccines 100% safe with absolutely no side effects or risks or anything and not accepting anything less.” I have often written about the importance of weighing risks and benefits. The problem is, our govt agencies are simply denying the risks without studying them. No longterm studies on the affects of our vaccine program. No study of the children whose vaccine injuries have been reported to VAERS, not even of those who have received payment for vaccine injuries. pD wrote an excellent article about how little is actually known about the immune system’s response to vaccines. http://passionlessdrone.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/a-brief-overview-on-early-life-immune-challenges-and-why-they-might-matter/

One of the worst examples of faulty weighing of risks and benefits is the Hepatitis B vaccine given at birth to all babies, when only a small minority (those whose mothers carry this virus) are at risk of having this virus, and the baby’s health status at that time is unknown (allergies? kidney or liver problems?).

Yes, I would accept some risk to get a small pox vaccine back when the disease was prevalent. I get that. But part of a good vaccine program is to understand the adverse effects, instead of sweeping unintended consequences under the rug.

There needs to be better understanding of adverse reactions for the sake of prevention and treatment. This does not mean that I am against all vaccines. It means we need an honest and accurate weighing of risks and benefits.

I don’t understand why so many seem to approach vaccines with a mentality similar to that of a totalitarian dictator — no criticism allowed — those who criticize are enemies of the state. That is not a scientific mentality. Problems with vaccine should be addressed.

As Dr. Bernadine Healy said to reporter Sharyl Attkisson:

“You’re saying that public health officials have turned their back on a viable area of research largely because they’re afraid of what might be found?” Attkisson asked.

Healy said: “There is a completely expressed concern that they don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people. First of all,” Healy said, “I think the public’s smarter than that. The public values vaccines. But more importantly, I don’t think you should ever turn your back on any scientific hypothesis because you’re afraid of what it might show.”
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

@Twyla

The problem is, our govt agencies are simply denying the risks without studying them.

That’s funny. I can go to the CDC or FDA web sites and find a list of the possible adverse events that might result from vaccines. If they were denying the risks, why would they list them?

As to not studying them I did a search for NIH-funded research on vaccine safety. The very first link was this. That would be government funding for research into vaccine safety.

No longterm studies on the affects of our vaccine program.

Those would be Phase IV, post-market studies. You can search for these on clinicaltrials.gov.

No study of the children whose vaccine injuries have been reported to VAERS

Citation please? Every report to VAERS needs to be investigated to see if the reported event a) actually happened and b) is really related or likely to be related to the vaccine. You would know that if you actually went to the VAERS web site and read about how it works. They also need to do this to determine if there is a real trend of injuries related to a particular vaccine so they can decide if it should be pulled from market.

One of the worst examples of faulty weighing of risks and benefits is the Hepatitis B vaccine given at birth to all babies, when only a small minority (those whose mothers carry this virus) are at risk of having this virus, and the baby’s health status at that time is unknown (allergies? kidney or liver problems?).

IIRC, there was some study that found that the best means of preventing the spread of Hep B to infants was actually to cast a wide net by including it in the childhood schedule. I don’t remember the title, at the moment. Sorry. Anyone else know?

As to the risks, a mother with Hep B is not the only person that can spread it to the infant. The father may as well, and is not, as far as I know, routinely screened for Hep B. Likewise for other caregivers or relatives. Add to this that many individuals may be infected without having any symptoms. One of the biggest reasons to immunize an infant is to hopefully prevent chronic Hep B, which can lead to cancer of the liver. More info can be found here.

Yes, I would accept some risk to get a small pox vaccine back when the disease was prevalent. I get that. But part of a good vaccine program is to understand the adverse effects, instead of sweeping unintended consequences under the rug.

Once again, the adverse effects are not swept under the rug. You might have noticed that we do not give small pox vaccine any more. Know why? Because we got rid of the virus…with vaccines. Know what else we could do if we managed to vaccinate enough people? We could get rid of polio (we’re soooo close!). We could get rid of measles. Basically, any disease that only exists in humans. Know what would happen then? No more polio vaccine. No more measles vaccine.

I don’t understand why so many seem to approach vaccines with a mentality similar to that of a totalitarian dictator — no criticism allowed — those who criticize are enemies of the state.

Honest criticism is most certainly allowed, and even welcome! What is not welcome is criticism based on false premises (such as you have provided in this very post). And even then, the approach is not totalitarian. If you read a little more, you’ll find that a lot of people here, people who support vaccinations, are not for absolute, 100% mandatory vaccination, no questions asked.

Finally, your little sound bite from Healy is her opinion, and to me reads as a straw man. She seems to assume that the reason researchers will not pursue an hypothesis is out of fear, rather than the lack of plausibility or overwhelming negative evidence against the hypothesis.

Here’s the thing. Government officials are constantly looking at vaccines and reevaluating them. Take a look at NVAC, for example, which has a meeting coming up to take a fresh look at the vaccine schedule. Manufacturers are constantly trying to make their products better (safer, more effective) so that they can get an edge over competitors, not to mention a better product means better business.

We do not know everything about the immune system. We do not know every possible thing about vaccines. That does not mean that we do not care about these topics. It does not mean that people are not researching these things. Research is actively under way to better understand the immune system. Research is constantly ongoing to gain a better safety profiles of vaccines.

But then, you would know this if you had actually taken the time to do some rudimentary research, like seeing what types of research the government is funding, or searching for ongoing or planned clinical trials on vaccines. If you went to the original source for your information, instead of anti-vaccine conspiracists, you might actually know the truth.

Maybe I’m being too harsh on you and you did not know about resources like clinicaltrials.gov or the CDC or FDA web sites or the VAERS site. If so, I apologize and encourage you to go to those sites and read them until you understand what they are saying. If you knew about them and simply chose to ignore or discount them, then I don’t know what to say.

So you know exactly who will have contact with your child and how and what exactly your child will do for the rest of your child’s life so that you know that your child will never get Hep B? Really? I guess my crystal ball is not that effective. I much prefer to protect my child with a vaccine than assume that my child will be fine. Considering the risk of the immunization causing my child harm is substantially less than the risk of my child being hurt in a car accident, not immunizing is the non-logical choice.

Or do you plan to argue that immunizations cause 30,000+ deaths per year (see the National Transportation Safety Board for their stats; I’m on a “smartphone” where I can’t toggle back and forth)? Because that is the number of traffic fatalities per year. Do you protest against transportation?

Oh and what Todd W. said.

Todd W.:

As to the risks, a mother with Hep B is not the only person that can spread it to the infant. The father may as well, and is not, as far as I know, routinely screened for Hep B. Likewise for other caregivers or relatives. Add to this that many individuals may be infected without having any symptoms. One of the biggest reasons to immunize an infant is to hopefully prevent chronic Hep B, which can lead to cancer of the liver.

Don’t forget other children.

And sometimes the parent does not know they have passed Hepatitis B to their child, only to tragically find out later.

Todd W, I went to the clinical trials.gov site and searched for Phase IV post-market studies. Only one study appeared, which tracked the number of subjects reporting “solicited symptoms” during the 4-week follow-up period after each dose. This looks at obvious, short term reactions, but does not address the question of whether our current schedule is having cumulative effects on our babies’ and children’s developing immune systems. Two dozen vaccines by the age of two (and another dozen before school starts) is unprecedented in human history. Is it only a coincidence that we have escalating rates of many immune system, GI, and neurological disorders such as food allergies, asthma, diabetes (the auto-immune kind), ADHD, autism, bipolar, and more? The whole point of vaccines is to stimulate the immune system. Do we really understand all the consequences?

Yes, the NIH’s new initiative is very encouraging. It aims to fund studies on “1) physiological and immunological responses to vaccines and vaccine components, 2) how genetic variations affect immune/physiological responses that may impact vaccine safety, 3) identification of risk factors and biological markers that may be used to assess whether there is a relationship between certain diseases or disorders and licensed vaccines, or 4) the application of genomic/molecular technologies to improve knowledge of vaccine safety.” AoA described this here:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/08/nih-launches-effort-to-define-markers-of-human-immune-responses-to-infection-and-vaccination.html
If this results in good helpful research, a better vaccine program, and better treatment for vaccine injuries, I will be happy. I am not committed to complaining about vaccines forever, if things change as they should.

The VAERS site says, “You or your health care provider may be contacted for follow-up information by VAERS staff after your report is received.” Additional info is gathered on “selected VAERS reports”. It does not say how often that actually happens. Certainly not every report is investigated. They mention regarding “Data quality” that “Since reports are accepted from anyone, the data reported is not always complete or accurate.” Most of the date is just what was reported, not investigated and confirmed or denied, not fleshed out with necessary additional data or follow up.

Regarding Hepatitis B, the WHO web site says that, “The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person – not through casual contact.”

The CDC says:
“How is HBV transmitted?
“HBV is transmitted through activities that involve percutaneous (i.e., puncture through the skin) or mucosal contact with infectious blood or body fluids (e.g., semen, saliva), including
• Sex with an infected partner
• Injection drug use that involves sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment
• Birth to an infected mother
• Contact with blood or open sores of an infected person
• Needle sticks or sharp instrument exposures
• Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
HBV is not spread through food or water, sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, hand holding, coughing, or sneezing.”
~~

Regarding gaiainc’s comment “So you know exactly who will have contact with your child and how and what exactly your child will do for the rest of your child’s life so that you know that your child will never get Hep B?” Did I say anything like that? No, I said that most newborns are not at risk for HepB – only those whose mothers are carriers. The risk of giving a vaccine to an infant within hours of birth is unknown. And by the time the child grows up enough to engage in risky behaviors, the vaccine’s effects will have worn off. Whether this vaccine has more risk or benefit at a later age is another topic. But in looking at the very crowded infant vaccine schedule, with unexplored synergistic effects, I can’t see the Hep B being necessary on the day of birth, or at age 2 months, 4 months, or 6 months. The risk of a baby contracting HepB is miniscule.

Regarding Todd W’s comment that “Finally, your little sound bite from Healy is her opinion, and to me reads as a straw man. She seems to assume that the reason researchers will not pursue an hypothesis is out of fear…” She is not assuming; that is what people have told her. She says this is “a completely expressed concern”. She has held very high level positions including deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Policy, chairman of the Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, and director of the NIH. She has connections to very high level insiders.

Contact with blood or open sores of an infected person.

Pretty sure that a kid’s bloody nose at a McDonald’s play area qualifies. Oh, wait, you didn’t read either of my links. Well, I guess that is the reason you would not get the reference.

@Twlya

I went to the clinical trials.gov site and searched for Phase IV post-market studies. Only one study appeared

What were your search terms? I went and searched for “vaccine safety”, limiting my search to Phase IV (there’s a check box for that). I got 192 results.

Is it only a coincidence that we have escalating rates of many immune system, GI, and neurological disorders such as food allergies, asthma, diabetes (the auto-immune kind), ADHD, autism, bipolar, and more?

It very well may be. There is certainly strong evidence that increased sterilization of the environment is responsible for many autoimmune disorders, like allergies and asthma.

It does not say how often that actually happens. Certainly not every report is investigated.

You’re shifting goalposts. You said that no study or follow up is done on VAERS reports. I showed you that there are. Now you shift to complain that not all are investigated.

The risk of giving a vaccine to an infant within hours of birth is unknown. And by the time the child grows up enough to engage in risky behaviors, the vaccine’s effects will have worn off.

You apparently did not read all of the information on Hep B available at the CDC’s site. While we do not know every possible risk of the vaccine, we do know a great deal about it. We know that, in general, it is quite safe and that serious adverse events are extremely rare. That is not “unknown”. We also know that the greatest risk of Hep B is to infants and young children, since it is more likely to lead to chronic Hep B infection and more likely to lead to cancer. That risk decreases the older you get. So, again, it appears that you did not read the information that I provided, nor does it appear that you read the info Chris provided.

As to Healy, she is reporting opinion, whether her own or others, not facts. We cannot verify that others did, indeed, tell her that was the reason. Even if it is true that others told her that, we cannot verify that what they are saying is reality. Further, I don’t care what her position is or was. What I care about are the facts and evidence produced to support a position. Accepting someone’s statements as true simply based on who they are is a logical fallacy, which I try to avoid. What matters is not who says something, but what they say and the evidence that they provide to support their position.

Again, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Further, as I suggested, you should stop getting your information from places like AoA, seeing as they heavily censor their material so that, more often than not, only those things which fall into their agenda of “vaccines cause autism” ever make it on their site. Many of the things that they post are factually incorrect. Nearly all of it is spun to support their a priori belief that vaccines are the root of all evil. (Yes, I’m being hyperbolic…but only a little.)

Go to the sources, rather than getting your information filtered through the screen of AoA and their ilk. Hell, go to the sources rather than taking me at face value. think critically.

Chris, how many infants are playing at the McDonald’s play area before they can even walk? The only reason for giving the Hep B vaccine on the day of birth is in case the mother is infected. There is a miniscule risk of a baby contracting Hep B from other sources. And don’t say that even for a miniscule risk then vaccine should be given. Vaccines have risks too. It is a matter of weighing risks and benefits, not just piling on the vaccines for every tiny risk from disease.

My son received a Hep B vaccine containing thimerosal on the day he was born. I accepted it without question because in those days I had complete trust in the CDC. Our pediatrician simply said that this was being recommended by the CDC. He didn’t force me, but he also did not explain anything about it such as why it was being given or that it contained mercury. At the very least, vaccines should be informed medical decisions.

Todd W, when I have a chance I will redo my search as you described. Re: “You’re shifting goalposts. You said that no study or follow up is done on VAERS reports. I showed you that there are. Now you shift to complain that not all are investigated.” I agree it was inaccurate of me to say that NO study or follow up is done on VAERS reports. That was carelessly written. Apparently some is done, but it is not at all clear from the web site how many are studied — certainly not all — but my impression is very few. I am not complaining about not ALL being studied. But there seems to be extremely little study or follow up. I have known many autism parents who tried to get govt officials interested in studying their children’s vaccine reactions but to no avail. Go ahead and tear that statement apart as subjective experience. But show me any evidence of our govt studying autistic regression into autism following a vaccine reaction.

Chris, how many infants are playing at the McDonald’s play area before they can even walk? The only reason for giving the Hep B vaccine on the day of birth is in case the mother is infected. There is a miniscule risk of a baby contracting Hep B from other sources. And don’t say that even for a miniscule risk then vaccine should be given. Vaccines have risks too. It is a matter of weighing risks and benefits, not just piling on the vaccines for every tiny risk from disease.

Are you saying that American healthcare is so consistent and equitable that there is no need for Hep B vaccination? Do all mothers and close contacts get tested for Hep B antigens prior to delivery? Do you really wish to assert that there is no need for Hep B vaccination, given the current state of healthcare in the U.S.?

My son received a Hep B vaccine containing thimerosal on the day he was born. I accepted it without question because in those days I had complete trust in the CDC.

Yes and?

@Twyla

but my impression is very few.

Why? What gives you that impression?

The only reason for giving the Hep B vaccine on the day of birth is in case the mother is infected. There is a miniscule risk of a baby contracting Hep B from other sources.

You are, of course, assuming a couple of things. 1) You assume that every mother is tested. 2) You assume that no test comes back with a false negative (i.e., saying that the mother is not infected, when, in fact, she is). 3) You assume that the infant is extremely unlikely to come into contact with an infected individual (e.g., another infant at daycare, other family members, etc.) at home or in other settings, such as a waiting room at the ped’s office, supermarket and so on. 4) You assume that the infant is extremely unlikely to come into contact with an infected surface. From the CDC site I linked to above, “HBV can survive outside the body at least 7 days and still be capable of causing infection.”

These are some major assumptions. Against this, let’s look at some of the risks involved. We know that adverse effects from the vaccine are quite rare and do not tend to be major. Serious adverse events are extremely rare. We know that infection in infants is almost guaranteed (~90%) to become chronic. We also know that about 1 in 4 of those with a chronic infection will develop some type of liver disease, like cirrhosis or cancer. Those are some pretty big risks. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty certain than I would not be able to keep an eye on my child 100% of the time and act fast enough to prevent the child from sticking things (like their hands) in their mouths that may have come into contact with an, unbeknown to be, infected surface (from blood, saliva or other bodily fluids). I’m also pretty sure that while I may know about most of the little cuts or scratches that my child might get, I probably am not going to be able to, 100% of the time, keep such cuts or scratches from coming in contact with infected material.

From my perspective, no matter how careful one is, there is a risk of infection from some source. It may be small, but the consequences (e.g., death from liver disease and the attendant costs associated with treatment and palliative care) are quite huge. Against that, the risk of an AE from the Hep B vaccine is smaller, and the consequences significantly less serious (e.g., the Vaccine Information Sheet from the CDC for the Hep B vaccines (PDF link) states, as the worst AE for which we have statistics, “Severe allergicreactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million doses.”).

I am willing to be shown that I am wrong, though. If you have evidence that the shot is, objectively, more risky than the disease, by all means, state your case.

I have known many autism parents who tried to get govt officials interested in studying their children’s vaccine reactions but to no avail.

With whom did they speak? What was the claim? Had the hypothesis been studied already, even if not including their particular child? If there were studies to which they applied, what were the exclusion criteria?

show me any evidence of our govt studying autistic regression into autism following a vaccine reaction

What, you mean like the government’s investigation into thimerosal’s potential relationship to autism where they found no association? Perhaps the CDC’s activities looking at vaccines and autism? And didn’t I point out, already, that the government is spending money on this?

Twyla, I have to ask. Have you actually done any primary research of your own? Have you gone to the various government web sites to find out what they are doing? Or do you simply take the word of the people at Age of Autism? I was able to find the above information with some pretty quick, basic searching, which really makes me wonder what the heck you are doing that you haven’t found these answers. Did you really not know? Or are you spinning things to fit with your preconceived notion that vaccines cause autism or are, in some other vague way, responsible for a variety of other health issues?

Your posts here have shown that you appear rather ignorant of the facts. You cast vaccines in a shady light that is unsupported by reality. Despite being pointed to where you can find answers to your questions and/or where you can remedy your misconceptions, you persist in repeating them. Before posting again, take some time to actually read the primary sources. Seriously. If you put that effort into educating yourself, rather than taking the word of AoA conspiracy theorists or random parents who, despite honest intentions and beliefs, may be mistaken, go to the CDC site. Go to the FDA site. Go to PubMed and clinicaltrials.gov. Read the information out there. Oh, and educate yourself on how to evaluate a study. Science-Based Medicine blog had a good series tailored to lay persons like you and me discussing what things to look for in a study to determine how much value to place on it.

I admire your passion and dedication to your cause, so I would really like to see you base that on the real world, rather than anti-vaccine echo chambers.

I have known many autism parents who tried to get govt officials interested in studying their children’s vaccine reactions but to no avail. Go ahead and tear that statement apart as subjective experience. But show me any evidence of our govt studying autistic regression into autism following a vaccine reaction.

Where you see government conspiracy, the rest of us see that there is no vast vaccine-autism causation, thus no need to keep spending money upon an association that doesn’t exist, or exists with extreme rarity. Those that claim that their children’s autism was caused by vaccines had the opportunity to present their evidence to the OAP, which does not require a high burden of evidence. They failed to provide, even a modicum of evidence via numerous mechanisms. So why should this avenue continue to be pursued when even your own experts, cannot present compelling evidence to do so?

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