Antivaccine nonsense Humor Music

It's getting to be that time of year again, people…

…that’s right. It’ll soon be time to get your flu shot. Listen to ZDoggMD:

I think I’ll ask for the thimerosol-containing version of the vaccine again this year.

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]

104 replies on “It's getting to be that time of year again, people…”

As usual ZDoggMD is very entertaining.

There are *slightly* different seasonal influenza vaccines recommendations this year for children ages six months-eight years of age. In prior years, the recommendations from the CDC and the AAP, were that these children needed two flu shots 28 days apart ONLY during the first year that they received seasonal influenza vaccine.

The new recommendations now state that if children within this age group who, (for any reason), did not receive the separate 2009 H1N1 vaccine and did not receive seasonal influenza vaccines during 2010-2011 or 2011-2012 which contained the H1N1 influenza strain…that they should receive two shots of the 2012-2013 influenza vaccine, 28 days apart:

Vaccine Dose Considerations for Children Aged 6 Months Through 8 Years

Children aged 6 months through 8 years require 2 doses of influenza vaccine (administered a minimum of 4 weeks apart) during their first season of vaccination to optimize immune response. In a study of children aged 5 through 8 years receiving trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) for the first time, the proportion of children with protective antibody responses was significantly higher after 2 doses compared with a single dose (6). Several studies have indicated that the time interval between two initial doses (from 4 weeks up to 1 year) of the same antigen might not be critical (7โ€“9). However, because of the antigenic novelty of the 2009(H1N1) pandemic virus, which is anticipated to continue circulating during 2012โ€“13, exposure history to this antigen also must be considered. Children who last received seasonal (trivalent) influenza vaccine before the 2010โ€“11 season but did not receive a vaccine containing 2009(H1N1) antigen (either seasonal vaccine since July 2010 or monovalent 2009[H1N1] vaccine) will not have received this antigen. These children are recommended to receive 2 doses this season, even if 2 doses of seasonal influenza vaccine were received before the 2010โ€“11 season. This is illustrated in two approaches for determining the number of doses required for children aged 6 months through 8 years, both of which are acceptable (Figure 1).

1. The first approach takes into consideration only doses of seasonal influenza vaccine received since July 1, 2010. This recommendation is harmonized with that of the American Academy of Pediatrics (10). This approach has the advantage of simplicity, particularly in settings in which ascertaining vaccination history before the 2010โ€“11 season is difficult. Using this approach, children aged 6 months through 8 years need only 1 dose of vaccine in 2012โ€“13 if they received a total of 2 or more doses of seasonal vaccine since July 1, 2010. Children who did not receive a total of 2 or more doses of seasonal vaccine since July 1, 2010, require 2 doses in 2012โ€“13.

Good idea! When I was a child back in the ’50’s, my mother routinely painted every scratch and scrape with mercury antiseptic. But today, my only source of mercury is the occasional tunafish sandwich. I’m concerned that deficiency of this important nutrient might be bad for my health. After all, as we have been repeatedly told, there was hardly any autism back in the ’50’s. I certainly wouldn’t want to become autistic, particularly at my advanced age….

The way Australia goes, we usually go. Go check out the heck of a time Australia had this summer (their winter) with H3N2 (the seasonal, not the new, improved H3N2v). Look at their morbidity and mortality for the younger age groups. And then, for the love of Pete, go get the shot. Let’s not be Australia this season.

Renate, it’s because ZdoggMD is both a talented performer and is a highly qualified medical professional.

I’m lucky to have an employer that provides free flu shots to all employees. Soon as it’s available, I’ll be in line.

Thanks for the comment about the children’s vaccination schedule. I’ll know to ask about what specifically my 1 year old should get.

I suppose my dad will get his free shot later this year. I’m still to young to get it.

I never had access to free flu vaccine but with my former head teacher we had at least a doctor come to our school to give paid shots to everyone that wanted to get them Unfortunately, we have a new head teacher and now I need to find a place to have a flu shot and arrange an appointment (and of course pay). But I’ll do it anyway.

And you know what – it suprises me to no end that so few teachers at my school took advantage of flu shots when they were available. After all, if you meet 600 students every day at the height of flu season, you should do everything to protect yourself.

On a side note, my father always gets his free flu shots every year (lucky him). My mother also qualifies for free flu shots but unfortunately she is one of those few people who suffer from severe side effects.

One of the benefits of actually being a Big Pharma shill is that I get my family flu shots free and early. While the kind we get don’t have thimerisol, I make sure to ask for extra toxins to make up for it ๐Ÿ˜‰

There’s an advertising banner for you. Flu Shots – now with Extra Toxins!

@ Liz Ditz:

Thanks for the *heads up*…I’ve done my part.

IMO, “anonymous” does not sound like Boob/Sid Offal…but then I’ve been wrong before ๐Ÿ™‚

Yay ZdoggMD, but I miss Dr. Harry. Can’t wait for Child2 to get his first flu shot! Six months old!

@ Jane MD…I miss ZDogg’s adorable daughter ZPupp, who was featured in another of his videos. ๐Ÿ™‚

Right. Got to remember my flu shot this year. Last year work was stupid about it (On a Monday? And you had to sign up a week early?). The real trick is cool-weather work clothes that still let the nurse get at your upper arm without giving your coworkers a show.

Well, I tried to tabulate how many times I was vaccinated ( records lost; attended several elitist educational facilities in far-flung locales), traveled to some awful places and counselled people / had aged family members with serious illness ( many flu vaccines) PLUS have dental fillings done long ago. That adds up to a lot of Hg.

Still no autism. Actually, on Baron-Cohen’s ASQ, I come up as quite the reverse- maybe Hg is protective.
My anecdote trumps their anecdotes.

Can’t wait! I even got a $10 off coupon from Targe. I have to pay for my own, but it is so worth it. I’m low on my thimerosal, too.

OT but I wanted to share this (my cousin’s 6yo daughter has T1D)
From TypeOne DiabetesAwareness

Please click this link and vote for Sam Talbot, he is playing for JDRF and if he wins JDRF will receive $10k. He is currently in 3rd place. You don’t even need to sign up it’s just 1 click. You can vote once per day. Please vote & share this link.”

And I need a cookie. Back next week for some catch up.

I normally didn’t bother with the seasonal flu shot because I rarely get even a cold, but there are enough people at work with kids now that maybe I should this year…

I am planning to get my “other vaccines” status checked out anyway – prompted by the pertussis outbreaks that have been in the news lately. The description of “a cold with a cough that lingers for weeks afterward, so you don’t know it’s pertussis until you’ve spread it far and wide” as being a common course for healthy adults describes *all* of my colds, when I do get them.

Not for me. Spring is in the air! I had my shot back in February or March, and I have not had flu this winter. Nor even my customary week-long horrible no good very bad cold. Very weirdly, my current ill-health seems to have fixed all my other problems. (*touches wood* HEY! Touching wood is at least as effective as homeopathy, and much more fun if you get a nice volunteer to help.)

What a great video to send to my DD#2, starting her MPH in Atlanta this week. This daughter plans to make a career of vaccine policy. Anti-vaxxers will be on her radar in 2 years.

@Alain Hmm. First time I’ve seen that test, and scored 36. Although some of things I was answering I’m pretty sure are worse since CFS.

When do you think it’ll be available? Headed to a con in a few weeks and since those are always hotbeds of viruses, I’d like to get my family as shot up as possible beforehand.

Having kids dropped my score on the AQ test by 10 points. No more time to be an obsessive MMO gamer planing the day around the next raid ๐Ÿ˜‰

Compared to a few years ago, I may have dropped 10 to 15 points too because I’m much more social and thus, I developped a fairly good theory of mind but sometime, I still manage to piss off some people (like Garbo @ AoA who don’t seem to have developped a theory of my mind).


@ DurhamDave:
@ Mu:
@ Alain:

I have a very, very low score BUT isn’t it interesting that we can all be on the same wavelength so to speak : people are each and all a confluence of diverse abilities – each person unique and multi-dimensional. Which is great.

We get free convenient flu shots through my work (just drop in, no signup required, offered at multiple buildings), and still, people at my work do the ‘Oh, it’s just the ‘flu…’ thing. *sigh* And I work in the life sciences. Ah, well, I’ll be getting it, at least. I got it from my PCP last year because I needed the Tdap, so I got a shot in each arm. Still not autistic.

@ Denice:
@ DurhamDave:
@ Mu:

Denice, I agree with you. Gang, how about going to the pub after our shot?


@ Alain:

Sure. I do believe that the excess formaldehyde, polysorbate and thimerisol newly circulating in the bloodstream might possibly enhance the bouquet of the essence of juniper berries considerably.

FYI- one of my ancestors was well-known for his essence of juniper berries.

I got a score of 25. Which doesn’t surprise me at all. Sometimes I think I have autistic tendencies.

I was somewhere in the AQ mid-30s when my shrink of the time suggested I take it. This was deemed “clinically significant.” On the other hand, a Rogerian approach was also deemed clinically appropriate. No soap.

possibly enhance the bouquet of the essence of juniper berries considerably.
I have heard that combining the juniper extract with a dilute quinine solution has synergistic effects.

I’ve come to the conclusion that those who don’t get flu shots have never had the flu. By “flu”, I mean the real flu, not the 24 hour bug, not a bad cold, not all the other ‘flu like illnesses’. I mean the real body ache, high fever, in bed almost a week, and wish you could get well enough to die flu. I remember sitting on the couch, in an 80 degree room, with a sweater, coat, gloves, and a hat, and wishing I could stop shivering. The most interesting part of the whole experience was that I felt the fever break. I was completely miserable, then for the first time in days I felt warm and relaxed, but still sick.

I would pay extra for a flu shot, and have made it a priority to get one every year after that. The flu hurts.

I’d also like everyone to keep in mind that if a few more people had got their flu shots a few years ago, we wouldn’t have wrong sounding ‘Muppets’ today.

@ herr doktor bimler:

It’s true! And I’ve never had malaria.
It must be Traditional European Medicine/ ancient ancestral herbalism, I suspect.

@Phoenix Woman

I remember some hypotheses about paternal age being linked to autism but this article explain it very well.



I had to wikipedia juniper berry and it sound like it goes along well with gin; perhaps it would be good with white & spiced beer ๐Ÿ™‚


@ Alain:

Actually the highly esteemd ancestor was famous for his gin. Lord knows what else went into it! Turpentine, perhaps?

A friend from Italy noted that their much-loved grandmother used to dose whomosever was sick in the family ( cold, flu, sore throat) including children- with Benedictine, saying that it had herbs in it and that the monks knew what they were doing.
Again, Traditional European Medicine.

Uh..can that juniper berry stuff go with bitter lemon with quinine, rather than that other tonic type stuff? I’ll join the party if you have bitter lemon.

Unfortunately, my work doesn’t supply the GOOD vaccine with thimerosol. They have individual vials. (pouts, sulks). I asked about ti last year and they won’t get it that way. How can I get my mercury if they won’t inject me with it? My mom is all out of Merthiolate…

I was nowhere in the AQ mid-30s when my shrink of the time suggested I take it. This was deemed โ€œclinically significant.โ€ On the other hand, a Rogerian approach was also deemed clinically appropriate. Lots of soap.

Just curious, but do most of you males here urinate in your trousers when encountering a marginally attractive women?

Just curious, but do most of you males here urinate in your trousers when encountering a marginally attractive women?

Does marginally increased mucous production and general humidity in your presence count?

I got AQ of 37. I think it’s social anxiety though.

I’ve used juniper berries as seasoning, mainly sauerkraut based dishes.

@Sid, Maybe in your dream that happen but why do you ask? do you have a fixation to pee in your pants? is it your restricted interest?


I have a juniper tree near my back deck and when I make gravalox I crush some of the berries in gin to splash on the salmon. I also use bunches of fresh dill..not tarragon, Narad ๐Ÿ™‚
Alain, I think juniper berries are what give the gin its flavor. Try crushing a berry between your fingers and sniffing the scent…smells like a very dry martini.

So Offal, when are you getting your flu shot?

I use juniper berries for my version of choucroute garnie. Relax, it is just a French version of sauerkraut with sausage and pork. My version also includes thinly sliced apple, and lots of time in a low heat oven.

Like many classic recipes that actually started out as something assembled in a pot in the morning and set on coals to be eaten as the large mid-day meal before going back to work the fields. Which is how I modified beef bourguignon (brown meat, saute onion and mushroom, add flour, herbs and wine and cook at low heat for hours). These were life savers when all three kids played soccer… on the same day.

@ Julian…It’s a science blog, but when blinky box is in sleep mode…the foodies come out to play.

dill has more medicinal properties
Aalborg Dill Akvavit. I am not in any way remunerated by Big Akvavit for advertising it, though if they want to pay me, I will not turn the offer down.

nommylicious recipes
I read that as “non-mycelious” and wondered “Why would you not want fungi?”

I fear that your immediate family do not share your fungal fascination. (unless it includes mushrooms.. mmmm mushrooms. And bacon. With garlic & sour cream.)

I should really sart looking into getting up to date on things. I stopped because we didn’t know what was wrong with me, and so didn’t want to provoke stuff. I should look into if it is recommended against for some reason.

I seems a bit random. I can’t give blood for example.

OK, I am not usually one to give recipes BUT here is something that my grandfather taught my father; it has a long history I was told:

you stick sliced cheese ( try Muenster or Gruyere) with a smidgeon of butter/ margarine between 2 slices of white bread
you may also add thin sliced ham or turkey, if you wish.

Dip the entire thing in beaten egg and fry on a lightly oiled pan.
You may serve with bacon, if you like but a few teaspoons of
golden/sugar syrup are MANDATORY ( Maple is alright).

Right, it’s a variant on *Croque Monsieur* perhaps more rightly called ‘Croak, Mister!’ and it is a vegan’s worst nightmare.

-btw- OH, Sid!

@ Alison: Someone once said to me it is near to impossible to get a bad meal in France. I might add that I found some superb meals in Quebec province, as well.

Hubby has just departed for his weekly meetup with his lunch crony. They are going to dine at an Indian restaurant recommended by my friend … who is Indian-Guyanese, then off to a huge Indian supermarket.

@ Denice:

Kind of a cross between grilled cheese and French toast – sounds yummy!

Actually it sounds kind of like a Monte Christo (popular 50 years ago but you don’t run into it very often nowadays. I see it a lot in old cookbooks).

Aalborg Dill Akvavit. I am not in any way remunerated by Big Akvavit for advertising it, though if they want to pay me, I will not turn the offer down.

Mercy. I can imagine people sitting around and thinking, “You know, this caraway just isn’t bad enough. How could we make this more horrifying?” (I am, however, still a booster of Jeppson’s Malรถrt.)

@ Narad: How’s that corned beef/pastrami on rye (minus caraway seeds), with a tarragon pickle. ๐Ÿ™‚

Right, itโ€™s a variant on *Croque Monsieur* perhaps more rightly called โ€˜Croak, Mister!โ€™ and it is a veganโ€™s worst nightmare.

I do a variant of this with ciabatta, mozzarella and sundried tomatoes. It only gives the vapours to vegans.

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