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David Kirby’s back, and this time his anti-vaccine fear mongering induces…ennui

I sense a disturbance in the antivaccine Force, which is, of course, by definition the Dark Side.

Whenever I sense such a disturbance, there are a number of possible reactions that it provokes in me. One such reaction is alarm, as when antivaccine activists say something that is just clever enough to sound plausible enough that it might cause trouble. It never is, of course, but it often takes a close reading and some research to figure out what the game is and deconstruct the nonsense. Sometimes, my reaction is amusement, as when an antivaccine activist says something that is so hilariously dumb, so over-the-top in its scientific ignorance that it provokes chuckles or even guffaws as I read it, as, for instance, whenever Vox Day jumps into the antivaccine fray. Such excretions have a tendency to provoke some amused not-so-Respectful Insolence; that is, when I’m in the mood. Sometimes, my reaction is boredom, pure ennui. Such reactions are generally reserved for antivaccine nonsense that is so unimaginative, so derivative of lies and misinformation that antivaccinationists have been flogging before, that I’d really prefer to let the cup pass. However, I can’t, because I feel duty-bound, knowing that supporters of science-based medicine opposing the quackery that is the antivaccine movement are about to be buried in a tsunami (word choice intentional) of utter nonsense.

You know such a moment is fast upon us whenever David Kirby decides to address the vaccine-autism manufactroversy.

Of course, David Kirby is so 2005 or 2006. That was back when hardly a week passed without a dropping by Kirby appearing on that wretched hive of scum and quackery, The Huffington Post. These days, he rarely dips his toe into the antivaccine pool, but when he does he twists the catch phrase of the “most interesting man alive” from “stay thirsty my friends” to “stay stupid my friends,” which is just what he’s done this time. In a way, it’s oddly comforting to know that, even after all these years David Kirby can still bring home the stupid, flaming like napalm, and bring home the stupid he does in a post on—where else?—HuffPo entitled Vaccine Court Awards Millions to Two Children With Autism. He begins with what is, in essence, a bait and switch that is apparent in the title. You can see right there that what Kirby is going to try to convince people is that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) through the Vaccine Court has “admitted” that vaccines cause autism by compensating children for vaccine injuries that include autism. We’ve heard this ploy time and time again. The routine is well-established and trotted out every so often to convince the credulous that somehow the government is “hiding” the “truth” that vaccines cause autism while paying off the parents of vaccine-injured autistic children.

It’s a transparent ploy for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the standard of evidence for the Vaccine Court is what has been referred to as “50% and a feather.” Basically, it’s the same standard of evidence as any other civil court: a preponderance of evidence. For another thing, Daubert rules are relaxed, and scientific evidence is not disallowed if it doesn’t meet Daubert standards. Finally, even if the VICP did reimburse parents because the Vaccine Court ruled that vacines cause autism, it would not be evidence that vaccines do, in fact, cause autism. After all, the courts have gotten it wrong on science time and time again, for example when there was a settlement of a class action lawsuit claiming that silicone breast implants cause all sorts of chronic systemic health problems. They don’t. No, courts don’t decide scientific conclusions; scientists do through evidence, experimentation, and hypothesis-testing that ultimately lead to a scientific consensus. Even if VICP did rule as David Kirby wants you to think it did, it would not mean that vaccines cause autism. More importantly, that’s not what the court ruled, and even David Kirby admits it:

The federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, better known as “vaccine court,” has just awarded millions of dollars to two children with autism for “pain and suffering” and lifelong care of their injuries, which together could cost tens of millions of dollars.

The government did not admit that vaccines caused autism, at least in one of the children. Both cases were “unpublished,” meaning information is limited, and access to medical records and other exhibits is blocked. Much of the information presented here comes from documents found at the vaccine court website.

Some observers will say the vaccine-induced encephalopathy (brain disease) documented in both children is unrelated to their autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Others will say there is plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise.

It’s exactly the same sort of issue again, and Kirby echoes a mailing I got from the Autism Action Network (another antivaccine quackery group), complete with a link to the order on one of the children, Ryan Mojabi. Of coure, the AAN can’t resist throwing this gem in:

And remember Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license for suggesting that there may be a connection between autism, the MMR and bowel disease, and that further study was warranted (but people should continue to immunize.)

Uh, no. He lost his medical license for conflicts of interest, research misconduct, and unethical behavior, not because he suggested a connection between autism, MMR, and bowel disease. Nice try, though, and Wakefield was wrong about his purported “connection” between MMR and autism. Even Bob “I’m not anti-vaccine, no, really” Sears is in on the action, sarcastically saying on his Facebook page, “Vaccines don’t cause autism . . . except when they do.”

But let’s get back to David Kirby’s take on Ryan Mojabi’s case. What the Special Masters decided is summarized thusly:

On June 9, 2011, respondent filed a supplemental report pursuant to Vaccine Rule
4(c) stating it was respondent’s view that Ryan suffered a Table injury under the Vaccine
Act – namely, an encephalitis within five to fifteen days following receipt of the
December 19, 2003 MMR vaccine, see 42 C.F.R. § 100.3(a)(III)(B), and that this case is
appropriate for compensation under the terms of the Vaccine Program.

In addition, although Ryan clearly has neurological problems, as Catherina points out there is no evidence of actual autism. In fact, if you go and look up earlier records, you’ll find that the child did not demonstrate any ASD behaviors on CHAT screenings:

On May 10, 2004, at Ryan’s sixteen month well-child visit, Dr. Armstrong completed a Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT) screen. Ps’ Ex. 4 At 25. That CHAT screen indicated that Ryan was interested in other children, pretend play, peek-a-boo, points with index finger, makes eye contact, and brings object for show. Id. On January 25, 2005, Dr. Armstrong examined Ryan for his twenty-four month well-baby check. Ps’ Ex. 4 at 31. During the visit, Dr. Armstrong conducted another CHAT screen, and again Ryan postively performed each of the listed behaviors.

The parents’ story is in fact rather difficult to accept, as Kirby inadvertently seems to point out. One interesting point is that Ryan’s family took him on a trip to Iran not long after being vaccinated. There was a stop in Paris, where the child was claimed to be very febrile, but the parents didn’t take him to a doctor. Moreover, the doctor’s records before the family left showed no sign of a severe reaction to the MMR and hepatitis B vaccine:

At trial, however, the government argued powerfully that written medical records, and the recollections of Ryan’s doctor, were inconsistent with his parents’ testimony. If Ryan had truly suffered an MMR encephalopathy, for example, his family would never have taken him overseas. And his parents’ complaints of ASD symptoms were raised a full year after returning from abroad, they alleged. It looked like the family had a weak case.

Indeed, if you look at the findings of fact in the case, the mother’s testimony is rather confused and at odds with the medical records and the doctor’s recollection, just as Kirby conceded. For example, Mrs. Mohabi stated that her child cried loudly and was very uncomfortable and that she called the doctor’s office more than once. Dr. Armstrong’s office notes and recollection were:

Dr. Armstrong had no recollection of the symptoms that Mrs. Vahabi described after Ryan’s first MMR vaccination and prior to the Mojabis’ travel to Iran. Id. at 155- 156. Nor did Dr. Armstrong have any recollection of receiving phone calls from the Mojabis during the period of time between Ryan’s MMR vaccination and the Mojabis’ departure for travel. Id. at 155-156. He testified that if he had been informed of Ryan’s alleged symptoms of restlessness and eye-twitching after the receipt of the vaccinations, he would have wanted to see Ryan back at the office. Id. at 181. He also testified that he would have been concerned about shaking and high-pitched crying. Id.

the doctor did conceded that it’s possible, based on the algorithm at Kaiser Permanente that the call was not deemed urgent enough to go through to him, but he also pointed out that the algorithm guides the call screeners to take certain actions based on what symptoms are described. The discrepancies between the mother’s testimony and the contemporaneous documentary record led the court to conclude back in 2009:

Here, while the undersigned found petitioners to be earnest in their testimony, it is difficult to reconcile petitioners’ later-recalled account of certain dramatic events following Ryan’s vaccination with the dearth of medical records corroborating their account. A review of the filed medical records suggests that petitioners may have recalled during the fact hearing events of importance that actually occurred later than the time period in question. But, in the absence of other evidence that supports the account that petitioners provided, the undersigned cannot credit certain parts of the Mojabis’ testimony. Specifically, the undersigned cannot credit petitioners’ testimony that prior to the family’s departure for Paris, Mrs. Vahabi placed numerous calls to Dr. Armstrong’s office on Ryan’s behalf describing the same type and degree of symptoms that she conveyed to the undersigned during the hearing. There is simply no corroboration of petitioners’ testimony in the record. Although the record-keeping practices by Kaiser Permanente have been shown during this proceeding to be disappointingly flawed, the absence of any record of Mrs. Vahabi’s calls strongly suggests that either the calls were not placed or, as Dr. Armstrong testified, the call handler did not deem the described symptoms to be of sufficient concern to warrant mention to Dr. Armstrong. Nor does it appear from the documentary record that the frequency of Mrs. Vahabi’s alleged calls to Dr. Armstrong’s office were sufficient to trigger either a message trail or a responsive call from Dr. Armstrong’s office. Additionally, Dr. Armstrong had no recollection of any calls from petitioners during the period between Ryan’s vaccination and the family’s departure for Paris. Tr. II at 156.

There are also a lot of other oddities about this story. For instance, despite multiple visits to doctors in Iran, Ryan was not admitted to the hospital, and he appeared to be fine for seven weeks after his last visit to an Iranian doctor, up until the mother brought him home at the end of February. Ultimately, the Vaccine Court ruled to compensate Ryan’s family because he appeared to have suffered a “table injury” of encephalitis. Why it decided to do this is unclear, but Kirby hints at dark conspiracies (in his usual fashion), pointing out that “something changed,” implying that it was new evidence under seal that did it. Maybe. Maybe not. What is clear is that, whatever the reasoning for the court’s final decision, the court did not compensate the Mojabi family for Ryan having an ASD. From the evidence that is publicly available, it doesn’t even sound as though Ryan has an ASD.

The second case discussed is Emily Lowrie, whose mother is Jillian Moller. Kirby, as is his wont, presents this case as David versus Goliath, with the government fighting to crush the child and her mother. (It is David Kirby we’re talking about, after all.) The story is actually somewhat different from that of Ryan Mojabi in that there was actually fairly convincing evidence that Emily suffered symptoms within two weeks of having received her vaccinations. She probably did suffer encephalopathy in close enough temporal association with vaccination to be, as the court ruled, a table injury. But evidence of vaccines causing Emily to become autistic? There is none. In fact, unlike the case of Ryan Mojabi, autism or autism spectrum disorder isn’t even mentioned in the ruling.

None of this stops Kirby from prime Grade A conspiracy-mongering:

The case dragged on for years, with motions and counter-motions, status reports and expert medical reports. In 2007, Moller filed for summary judgment. That also took years, as more medical records were submitted to bolster Emily’s case.

After the ASD diagnosis, the judge reportedly became convinced that Emily would prevail. “My attorney said she was angry, she felt forced into a corner with no choice but to find for us,” Moller said. “She said, ‘Emily has autism, and I don’t want to give other families who filed autism claims any hope.'”

This is lame, even for David Kirby. It’s pure hearsay, the mother complaining about being “badgered” on the stand. That’s how the legal system works, and I understand how uncomfortable it can be. Your opponent’s lawyers can cross-examine you on the stand, and it can be very uncomfortable; then your lawyers get to cross examine your opponent’s witnesses. From the transcripts I read, there was at least one respondent witness who likely had a hard time on the stand. I realize that it might not seem fair that parents with a special needs child has to be subjected to cross examination, but that’s the way the legal system works. It would be nice if there were a better way, but even various review boards would rely to some extent on a bit of an adversarial system. More importantly, however, what we have here is a plaintiff claiming that her lawyer told her that the judge became very angry that she would have to compensate Emily once she was diagnosed with autism because she didn’t want to give antivaccinationists hope. Seriously? The judge would have to be pretty careless to say something so utterly stupid in front of a plaintiff’s attorney, or even where attorneys could overhear.

Besides, having followed cases going through the Vaccine Court since 2005 or so, I smell hyperbole. In every case that I’ve examined, not only have the Special Masters (who do most of the questioning of parents) not been confrontational, but they’ve bent over backwards to give parents a chance to tell their stories in as non-judgmental a manner as possible. True, various parents’ expert witnesses don’t always fare so well (given that more than a few of them in the Autism Omnibus were anti-vaccine quacks, that’s not surprising), but the parents themselves, as far as I’ve been able to tell, have not been subjected to the same sort of questioning. One wonders if Mrs. Moller simply can’t take having her story questioned even gently.

As much sympathy as I might have for Mrs. Moller as the mother raising a special needs child, I find this story difficult to believe, particularly coming from David Kirby. In the end, he’s playing the same game he’s been playing since 2004. The difference is that right now he’s nowhere near as good at it as he was back in the day. Back in 2005, when I first encountered Kirby, I actually had to think a bit in order to deconstruct the various twists and turns of tortuous logic strung together by cherry picked facts mixed with misinformation. In 2013, all I feel is ennui, because it’s so easy to pick Kirby’s latest apart. But I do it because it has to be done. If I and other bloggers can keep even just a few parents on the fence from falling for Kirby’s spin, it’s worth it.

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]

190 replies on “David Kirby’s back, and this time his anti-vaccine fear mongering induces…ennui”

And sure enough, it’s already there on Age of Idiocy. You can probably already hear the stupidity in the comments…

Becky, are you going to write one of your hilarious, profanity-laden posts again? (Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes…)

At 5-6 months she would sit and flip through books? 6 months she was TALKING?

…waiting for her to say she took her precocious child to the doctor for the sky high fever and seizures…

She doesn’t.

For reference, here is the six month ages and stages:
http://www.language-express.ca/ages_stages/6months.htm

You can also look at 18 months milestones – which more closely describe her supposed abilities.

Has Kirby admitted he was completely wrong about thimerosal yet? Or does he still hold that in his back pocket, like the cherished used-kerchief of his crush?

Kirby is lying and bending the truth to suit his preconceived ideas and to bolster his cred with the loons. Well done David.

I read through the Findings of Fact for the Lowrie case. I feel horribly for Emily’s mother. Emily clearly has had a rough time of it, with persistent ear infections and history of febrile seizures. From the court document available, it seems likely that she did have an adverse reaction to the vaccine, but, as Orac points out, there’s not a single mention of autism.

When I was reading through it, I wasn’t certain I agreed with the Special Master’s ruling that the oral testimony presented by Emily’s mother should not be considered when weighed against the medical record. Then I remembered that the testimony was coming five years after the events described. Given the unreliable nature of human memory, I can understand why the SM went the way they did, but for Emily, it is unfortunate.

Overall, the story reminded me a lot of our own Chris’s story.

Please devote a post to the horrible USAToday artcle quoting a doctor saying “vaccines should be used sparingly” in ref. to the flu epidemic.

I thought that it might be entertaining to extract a few snippets- errata intact- of the comments @ AoA in order for readers to get a taste of the current mind set* without having to wade through the muck and grime themselves.
( The contributors’ names have been omitted – with one exception- because I am not entirely without sympathy for them and their obvious insufficiencies):

“The thought control police have been out overnight on the Daily Mail..

we dont trust the doctors. They have betrayed us, They are downright liars, thieves and murderers

And yes, Bran Deer will be discredited

even the lilady has been reduced to mere name calling and ranting, no serious scientific rebuttal

( doctors) said they the hardest part was when patients did not trust them and would not follow their advice

Bill and Melinda, have you no conscience at all?

what about “Vaccine Derived Autism”?

2013 is going to be our year.

Prison time, Brian Deer.

Thank you, David Kirby.

But autism still sounds so pink and cute**

YES this vindicates Andrew Wakefield’s much vilified MMR vaccine concerns.

long live Andrew Wakefield

Andrew Wakefield is right.

But its vaccines, vaccines, vaccines without a doubt- SHAME ON PHARMA!!

Great article.

I intend to forward a link to David’s column to each representative mentioned above”***

* if I may call it that
** “thingie”
*** oh, those poor representatives!

@ AllieP:

You know, I’ve been hearing a great deal of anti-flu vaccine material via the fiasco that is known as PRN ( not the real one, the fake one) including an appearance by Jefferson who pooh-poohed its efficacy last week.
Similar material at Natural News.

Also I have pointed out recent UPI articles about the seriousness of the flu in both Europe and the US.

Todd:

Overall, the story reminded me a lot of our own Chris’s story.

Except that the last seizures were from an actual disease, and I did take him to the doctor the day before, PLUS I called 911 when he had the seizures. His history was why we were refereed to a speech/language pathologist and (another) neurologist when he a bit over two years old, back in the days where “wait and see” was annoyingly common.

It is one reason I ask how to parents whose children were harmed from the actual diseases (even before there was a vaccine) get compensation. Because there are many who are becoming disabled from the actual diseases.

Oh, and for your information: It is a good thing Thingy is banned here, she has a new schtick where she claims any child who gets an infectious disease was purposely infected by the parents. She has made several posts elsewhere blaming me for my son’s illness and subsequent disabilities. Which proves she is both ignorant and evil.

These Vaccine Court findings make for fascinating reading.For me they always seem to point to the failures of doctors to diagnose rare or complicated diseases.They don’t so much indict vaccines,but the competency of the doctors these parents have seen.

While not autistic,Ryan Mojabi clearly has some serious underlying,and undiagnosed disorder doctors have yet to figure out.Been there,done that.

Emily Lowrie,we learn,was born with Periventricular Leukomalacia ,which is a cause of autism,cerebral palsy,usually caused by damage in the womb by maternal infection,as the .pdf states.

http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/cause/periventricular-leukomalacia/

These children are often on the spectrum,and have lots of medical and developmental issues,like the young lady here.

http://www.myspecialsweetpea.com/newindex.html

Look at what this page says about ear and sinus infections.As this page says,there are often other genetic problems that go along with PL.

If Mrs.Lowrie had some sort of serious infection while pregnant,as the .pdf states,it was up to her doctor to present her with a list of possible complications.

The bit about her “expert” relying a 1987 textbook is priceless,and just helps make my point about doctors who are incompetent,lazy,or none to bright.It takes a lot of work and disappointment to sort through the chaff to find that one gem of a doctor.

Sorry to go on BUT…

Discouraging usage of the flu vaccine and frightening people about it are harmful…
WHY do I say that?
Just personally- over the past 20 years I have counselled people who had compromised immunity, had frequent contact with family members in their 80s and 90s, currently counsel young adults/ students, have a close friend who has asthma, play tennis in a club that is popular with young mothers and children, like to go shopping, dine at restaurants and travel etc.

How many people could I have potentially infected if I hadn’t taken the flu vaccine religiously? You can never known if your own carelessness might have triggered serious consequences in people who might be susecptible.

Shame on them who scare people about the flu vaccine or convince others of its inefficacy!

It is always easier to blame someone else than it is to take responsibility for your own actions. Especially as a parent.

@Chris

Oh, definitely. I know your story is quite different. It was just the combination of a history of seizures and frequent infections that sounded so similar.

As to Thingie, I shouldn’t be surprised that she has sunk even lower.

Another disturbance in the antivax Force is coming from our dear friends at vactruth.com.

Apparently a small newspaper in Chad that’s been at odds with the government there, is reporting that 40 children who received a new heat-stable meningitis vaccine have been paralyzed:

vactruth.com/2013/01/06/paralyzed-after-meningitis-vaccine/

For some reason vactruth won’t furnish the actual article (which is in French) and the Major Media haven’t picked up on the story (probably to protect the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and their Giant Alien Reptiloid Masters who are foisting the vaccine on Africans for nefarious purposes), but there’s no reason not to believe the story. After all, it’s on vactruth and besides, there’s a video.

Well, yesterday I saw on a Dutch website of a consumers television-show again the funny list of stuff in vaccines, like:
tissue from monkey kidneys, formaldehyde, mercury, aluminium and aborted fetusses. Another person blamed the influenza-vaccin for narcolepsy. It is all so wrong, I wouldn’t know where to start.

Anj:

At 5-6 months she would sit and flip through books? 6 months she was TALKING?

Well, such precociousness can be an early sign of autism. Some autistic kids progress very rapidly in one or two areas, then hit a plateau. As others overtake them, to a parent it can appear that they’ve regressed, which they really haven’t; it’s the basis for comparison that’s changed.

Or the mom’s memory has exaggerated the past….

I see I’m being trashed at AoA, by the likes of “jen” and “ottoschnaut”…heh,heh.

Latest post on AoA…

“safe vaccine”

No such thing. Keep out of reach of humans.

Posted by: Th1Th2 | January 15, 2013 at 02:35 PM

From the NVIC Loe Fisher/Jillian Moller video:

At five months Emily was saying “mama, mama, mama”

At eight months she said her first sentence “look, bubbles”

At ~ 18 months of age she was frightened of thunder and lightning, whereupon her mother read Loe Fisher’s “A Shot in the Dark” and “knew her daughter was vaccine-injured”.

The grandmother who is a nurse (LVN/LPN) was never instructed in vaccine reactions. (Which is probably true, because LPNs are only taught the mechanics of procedures such as vaccine administration, not any chemistry or immunology or human physiology)

According to her mother Emily has multiple diagnoses; “Epilepsy, PDD, ADHD, Immune disorder and Immune Deficiency”.

Loe Fisher provides us with a new diagnosis “Vaccine Injury Spectrum”.

Latest post on AoA…

Oh they’ve let in Th1Th2? This should go well, if its unfortunately concluded efforts to elevate itself to the MDC antivax clergy are any guide.

Oh they’ve let in Th1Th2? This should go well, if its unfortunately concluded efforts to elevate itself to the MDC antivax clergy are any guide.

Any wagers for how long before she blames their children’s autism on their own negligence by vaccinating them?

In every case that I’ve examined, not only have the Special Masters (who do most of the questioning of parents) not been confrontational, but they’ve bent over backwards to give parents a chance to tell their stories in as non-judgmental a manner as possible.

Specifically, section 9 of the practice guidelines informs one that “while a witness testifying orally will always be subject to questioning by the special master, questioning of a witness by opposing counsel will not be a matter of right, but will be within the special master’s discretion. While ordinarily some such questioning will be permitted, the special master will prohibit abusive, irrelevant, or repetitive examination. Therefore, questions must be germane to the merits of the case and further the development of the record.”

In fact, the evidentiary hearings can be conducted by telephone if all parties agree.

Any wagers for how long before she blames their children’s autism on their own negligence by vaccinating them?

I’m thinking that the inevitable babbling about failure to avoid all infection is going to be the lever arm here. The commentariat is insane already, but of the “natural immunity” type. Th1Th2’s usual routine when trying to creep into someplace is to start out vague enough to think it’s got some potential acolytes on the hook and then to lash out when they prove not to be crazy enough to worship their uninvited god.

The thing that always puzzles me in so many of these cases – the parents don’t take the child to the ER or the doctor when the child is “screaming constantly, limp, not eating, dusky (!!!)” or whatever. But they DO take the child to the doctor for every little sniffle otherwise. Sorry – even if you aren’t medically trained, (which I am) – it makes no sense. limp, unresponsive baby is less scary than tugging on an ear?

Oh, if insano-troll makes AoA its new home, couldn’t happen to a “nicer” group of people. Talk about getting exactly what someone deserves….unfortunately, once the shine is off the apple, it will be easy for them to moderate insano out of existence over there…..still, should be fun to watch.

@Dawn – that was one major point against their side of the story – that they were such attentive parents & all of the sudden, they get to Paris & everything changes (yet they don’t go to the doctor)?

Definitely sounded fishy & the Special Master agreed.

MI Dawn,

Exactly. I didn’t rush my kids to the ped for every little thing, but anything that was concerning prompted a call the the office at least, or a trip to the ER when the situation was urgent.

Thingy should fit in well at AoA.Let’s wish her well at her new home.

Sid made a better troll anyway.I miss him.

Before Ms. Moller made a claim for vaccine-induced encephalitis, she made a claim for vaccine-induced autism…which was tossed out by the vaccine court.

When her daughter was 18 months old and afraid of thunder and lightening…and before she made the claim that Emily’s encephaltitis/encephalopathy was associated with vaccines, she read Loe-Fisher’s book and Babs’ explanation of her son’s reaction to the DTP vaccine.

http://blogs.plos.org/thepanicvirus/2012/09/13/the-whole-cell-pertussis-vaccine-media-malpractice-and-the-long-term-effects-of-avoiding-difficult-conversations/

“….Suddenly, Fisher remembered in meticulous detail what had happened one day eighteen months earlier, when Chris had received the final dose of his DPT vaccine:

‘ When we got home, Chris seemed quieter than usual. Several hours later I walked into his bedroom to find him sitting in a rocking chair staring straight ahead as if he couldn’t see me standing in the doorway. His face was white and his lips slightly blue, and when I called out his name, his eyes rolled back in his head, his head fell to his shoulder and it was like he had suddenly fallen asleep sitting up. I tried, but could not wake him. When I picked him up, he was like a dead weight and I carried him to his bed, where he stayed without moving for more than six hours, through dinnertime, until I called my Mom, who told me to immediately try to wake him, which I finally did with great difficulty. But he didn’t know where he was, could not speak coherently and couldn’t walk. I had to carry him to the bathroom and he fell asleep again in my arms and then slept for twelve more hours.’

It’s an incredibly moving story, and one that Fisher has told to congressional panels, federal committees, and state legislatures, and at national press conferences for more than twenty-five years. In all that time, she’s almost never been questioned about the specifics of her narrative—and there are parts that, if nothing else, certainly are confounding.~ Fisher, as she told an Institute of Medicine (IOM) Immunization Safety Committee in 2001, is “the daughter of a nurse, the granddaughter of a doctor, and a former writer at a teaching hospital” who viewed herself as “an especially well-educated woman when it came to science and medicine.” How was it that her only response to finding her unresponsive son displaying symptoms associated with heart attacks, strokes, and suffocation was to carry him to bed and leave him alone for six more hours? And if Chris’s reaction to his fourth DPT shot was so severe that it transformed an ebullient boy into a sluggish shell of his former self, why had he been fine after receiving the first three doses?

Shortly after the formation of Dissatisfied Parents Together, Fisher founded the National Vaccine Information Center. Since then, she’s played an essential role in organizing a movement that’s targeted the press, politicians, and the public in equal measures. The result has been a steady erosion of vaccine requirements and a steady increase in the percent of the population skeptical of vaccine efficacy….”

Oh, and for your information: It is a good thing Thingy is banned here

Wait, really? Under its original ‘nym? I totally missed this.

Actually, when I think about, perhaps not. But I have not seen her in any form lately. She keeps getting banned at shotofprevention, and comments deleted at JustTheVax because she really only posts lame idiotic insults.

I think that Thingy has been banned here, although she did post under another nym (“Rational Anti-vax”) a while back.

I’m with Narad here. The Thing will pass moderation at AoA until she starts her accusatory rants directed at the “warrior moms” and “warrior dads” who *claim* their kids are *vaccine-injured*

@Dangerous Bacon

The article is here:

http://www.letchadanthropus-tribune.com/article-1611-680.html

It’s screaming “bribes,” “conspiracy,” “media coverup” and demanding an investigation. I’m not familiar with the journal in question but their motto is “Neither the shadow of prison or the silence of fear shall prevent us from speaking what we think, and declaring the truth.”

I could probably provide a reasonably understandable translation (but I’d rather push this off on Alain or someone else more qualified).

AHA! I did some more digging and the same article appears in the Africa Times, still in French, but now with a by-line.

“Christina England, VacTruth.”

New post at AoA from “jen”/”jened”…

Hilarious how many new ‘bots’ are out there. They have been desperate to pay for more, I suppose. lilady is near frantic about it. Pretty sure beotch is a guy in drag (pseudonym), though. One jerk (autismnewsbeat) even tried the “we could be evolving to a different kind of brain,” bullcrap. Unbelievable! lilady lamented that we actually may have had allies meet with some congressional persons over one of the number one health issues of our time; how times have changed! Poor Orac is even feeling ‘ennui’ for David. No Orac, buddy, I’m pretty sure what your feeling is that dread of what is surely the beginning of the end for you creeps. I can’t believe how Pollyannaish I was about being hopeful for “Science”blogs to help and figure out the problem!

Posted by: Jen | January 15, 2013 at 06:41 PM

Hi Jen, in spite of your claim that you were done with commenting here, I would welcome you back. 🙂

I can’t believe how Pollyannaish I was about being hopeful for “Science”blogs to help and figure out the problem!

WTF? “Pollyannaish”? She’s done little more than freakin drop troll and sockpuppet poo here. This blog has shed a tremendous amount of light on daft anti-vaxx claims, her problem if she wants to keep her head lodged up her arse. Love the doomsday prophesies for “us” they have been shrieking for years now.

It only serves to illustrate that we’re dealing with a SMALL number of advocates with a SMALL amount of material** that is endlessly re-cycled and re-exhibited:

1. If you look at facebook numbers for popular anti-vax sites, ( AoA, TMR, GR, Autism File, Canary Party et al) you’ll find numbers that range from about 5K to 13 K. Some of that must overlapl I imagine that the average user is of an age cohort that would often use facebook, making this relevant.
Mnookin ( Parade, 2012) reports that about 1% don’t vaccinate their children and about 10% do so selectively (US).
Thomson-Reuters NPR 2011 finds that 30% of parents with children under 18 have “concerns about vaccines”. ( US)

I know they’ll say that about us: we’re a small number. HOWEVER we represent the scientific consensus and the majority of the lay audience- NOT a small number at all.

Similarly, hiv/aids denialists will harp upon their list of over 2000 “dissenters”. Right, and how many scientists, doctors, educators and medical personnel WORLDWIDE would be on the opposing list that accepts the idea that hiv can lead to aids?
Millions.

Remember though, that it’s not the numbers that make us correct- it’s the DATA. Anti-vaxxers use their inflated numbers to convince the uninitiated: they circulate around to make their movement appear larger than it really is. Many folks from AoA also hang out at the other sites I listed.

2. A few ideas and so-called data are circulated. For example, recently AJW jumped on the anti-psychiatry bandwagon ( see Orac’s post), fitting right in comfortably amongst woo-meisters like Adams and Null and cults like Scientology
.
Then, several others wrote up their own takes on meds there ( most recently, Natalie Palumbo, today) : thus, it seems as if there is a great deal of material on the subject.
Which we can contrast with data about meds and violence.
Again scientific consensus.

Much of what anti-vaccinators circulate is not data but opinion, stories and research of the University of Google variety. The jewel in their crown- data-wise- has been dis-credited, retracted and ridiculed- in fact, it led to the striking off of their own wonder by, AJW.

Anti-vaxxers attempt to beguile the unwary into their cadre by pretending to be scientists and whistle-blowers on corruption in medicine: another tactic used to breathtakingly self-serving advantage at places like Progressive Radio Network- cast aspersion upon your critics so that your audience doesn’t check into your own scandals.

** notice I don’t say “data”.

AHA! I did some more digging and the same article appears in the Africa Times, still in French, but now with a by-line.
“Christina England, VacTruth.”

When the Chadanthropus-tribune copied the text from Africa Times they kept the footnote /citation indicators but not the footnotes themselves. Ha!

Googling for Gouro+Chad+”Christina England” brings up England’s version of the story, reappearing in the usual way across a swathe of websites. The primary source is apparently an article co-written by one André Byakzahbo for the journal La Voix.

Sadly, England misspells the author’s first name (as “Anrde”) — and the misspelling is repeated by every single antivax spammer repeating the story. Including the ones back-translating it into French.

“La Voix” has a website (www.journalavoix.info) and André Byakzahbo’s other stories can be found syndicated on Francophone African websites (e.g. http://www.journaldutchad.com). However, I cannot find no trace of his report of vaccination after-effects in Gouro. The only available version is Ms England’s redacted one, either in English or back-translated.

Liz Ditz has carried out some fact-checking:
http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2013/01/claim-40-children-in-chad-paralyzed-by-vaccines-is-probably-false-.html

@ lilady:
That’s hilarious!

The anti-vaxxers’ plan may be set-back as folks all over the western world seek out vaccines against the flu which is currently raging in both Europe and North America.

Update: Liz Ditz kindly provides an image of the original printed report from La Voix.

AND a bread pudding recipe!!!

Sorry, I’ll go back to my corner.

@Denice:

A scurrilous falsehood spread by pharma shills. Everyone knows that 70% of all doctors don’t get flu shots, anyway.

@jen, dear jen, why do you lurk? I miss your snarly comments 🙂

@Shay,

I’ve read the few report of the vaccine incident in Chad and I have to say I’m not good at translating an article. It will definitely takes more than a few hours.

Regarding the number of “vaccine” injured peoples, it doesn’t pass the smell test that 8% of a population of 500 who received the vaccine had similar injuries. If we look at the genetic makeup, the 40 child would have a very close genetic makeup and indicate a really limited number of fathers (5 fathers of the same family) or mothers (ditto…)

Alain

I’ve got the product insert for the MenAfriVac, which is manufactured in India and has been used to immunize more than 100 million people against N. Meningitidis Type A, residing in the Sub-Saharan “meningitis belt” (December 3, 2012 UNICEF press release)

http://www.unicefusa.org/news/releases/100-millionth-person-receives-meningitis-vaccine-unicef.html

“…Nigeria will vaccinate 16 million people over the next two weeks and Cameroon and Chad are also conducting immunization campaigns this week targeting 5.5 million and 2.3 million people respectively. By the end of this year, the vaccine will have reached more than 112 million people, providing widespread and long-awaited protection….”

http://www.seruminstitute.com/content/products/product_menafrivac.htm

It is a polysacchride conjugate vaccine, that uses only the outer sugar coating of the bacterium and it is lyophilized (freeze dried) into a solid pill form in 1-dose or 10-dose vials and reconstituted at the time of use, with another vial of sterile water supplied by the vaccine manufacturer.

There are no reports that the vaccine contained the entire N. meningitidis bacterium and no reports that any of the lots of the vaccine were contaminated.

Assuming that HCWs, used 50 or more 10-dose vials to immunize the 500 people who were immunized in that village, and 4 or more multi-dose vials to immunize the 40 children who Christina England is reporting were “paralyzed” from the vaccine, I think the chances of these 4 or more vials being contaminated by HCWs as they reconstituted the vaccine or administering the vaccine, is slim to none.

Some of the *experts* (cranks) who posted on the websites that feature England’s report, seem to think that the vaccine might have been overheated past the 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which caused the *paralytic illnesses*. If the vaccine is exposed to high heat, it just loses its potency.

Well, my French is abysmal, but it doesn’t prevent certain inferences.

I know little of Chad’s internal politics, but that was my impression too, from the enthusiasm with which Francophone websites of various degrees of stridency had picked up on Ms English’s account… she has unwittingly provided atrocity stories for one side’s propaganda in a nascent civil war. This will end with health workers in Chad either targetted, or pulling out and leaving the population to various preventable diseases.

Well, it’s a step up from defending the parents of battered babies. Our Munchausen-by-proxy poster girl has entered the major league now.

she has unwittingly provided atrocity stories for one side’s propaganda in a nascent civil war

Nascent? Chad basically is a preassembled civil war. (If I weren’t tired, I would here take a gratuitous potshot at the Moroccan berm.) The N’djamena Matin (for whom Danzabé Wigné, attributed coauthor on Engand’s cite, seems to be a stringer or cub reporter) piece above dates to December 27. The question to my mind is whether she’s down to recycling the same sort of weird-ass propaganda that led to Nigeria’s polio invitation.

Actually, I suppose that’s not really a question.

Why do people who are pro-vaccine always want to try and paint this issue as completely black and white? Honestly I do not know where to stand but encephalopathy is a known side effect of some vaccines so why is this complicated?

Doctors are happy to hand out all kinds of meds with a range of nasty side effects, including death in some instances, and the whole system seems to be happy with some level of collateral damage, why is it not acceptable for so many to accept the collateral damage here? You think medical science and treatment is some perfect untouchable neat little process? I bet many doctors do as it serves their ego. In reality it is messy with many unseen variables and to think there are not many when you are medicating on a grand scale is ludicrous.

Not to mention encephalopathy presents like an auto-immune response, still one of the most least understood and untreatable areas of medicine. As if pumping children with low levels of viruses can cause different levels of encephalopathy or immune responses which could cause a wide range and level of long term issues is so surprising. It just seems no organisation or government wants to accept even the slightest possibility of moderate to serious side effects from vaccines because of the public fear it might cause. There just seems no middle ground in this debate at all.

By the way I am not anti-vaccine, I would just very careful about which and over what time period I would give any of my children any vaccines and accept there is a very low possibility of a bad reaction; what is dismaying about it is the total lack of acceptance and being left high and dry if something did go wrong.

The story has been up-dated today on the website of La Voix (http://www.journalavoix.info/derniereminute.php?action=fullnews&id=244) – and basically says: it is now 106 sick children, of which 34 have been airlifted to hospitals in the capital, and possibly 3 other to the city Faya. Besides the reported symtoms, clinical tests have not revealed anything about the nature of the children’s state. After these factual statements it also contains a mother’s voiced opinion of the lack of support and the blame of the vaccine, and a journalistic rant about how the leadership of Tchad has prioritized parties and celebrations instead of dealing with this tragedy. There is also a conspiracy note that the entire event has been classified and that the paper thus don’t want to talk to much about it.

In my opinion we still don’t have anything substantiating a possible connection to the vaccine. And if this would be a characteristic of said vaccine – where are all the other reports on the outcome for the 99 999 894+ other vaccinated children? It seems we need to wait for the Meningitis Project’s and the CDC’s investigations to learn more…

@Pharmacist-in-Exile

Hmm…I’m wondering if the additional cases are real or if this is a form of mass delusion, due to the reporting. It may seem uncaring to ask that kind of question, but we’ve seen this sort of thing happen before, for example with claims of illness due to EMF radiation in a school, so it’s not unreasonable to inquire.

Dear Orac,

Thanks for helping put The Refusers at the top of the charts!

We’re #1 in Seattle rock on the indie charts (out of 1900 bands – Seattle is a rockin’ town, home of Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Soundgarden, etc.).

Couldn’t have done it without your help – we are forever grateful. We feature your Refusers endorsement in our press clippings.

See our ranking and listen to the indie hit song that put us on top – Do You Want a Flu Shot? at this link:

http://www.reverbnation.com/main/charts?artist_id=786155&genre=Rock&genre_geo=Local

If you hear of any gigs at drug company, IOM, CDC or public health department vaccine Woodstock gatherings, please let us know. We’re a perfect fit.

Hugs and kisses to David and all you skeptics!

Luv ya!

The Refusers

Mr. Belkin, I live in Seattle and I have never ever once heard your music on the radio, even the horrible rock station that my daughter forced me to listen to for a while. How much did you pay for those ratings? (that site looks like one where you pay for services)

Also, we would ask that you use your story until you can answer those questions that you keep avoiding:

Yet it soon becomes even more apparent that there are a lot of unanswered questions about his portrayal of [his daughter’s] death and its aftermath. Asked, for instance, if he is sure that the medical examiner talked to Merck before switching her assessment of [his daughter’s] death, he says: “I think so. I told her to.” In other words, [his] allegation is based on nothing more than his own suggestion to the examiner, prompted by his suspicions about the vaccine.

Thanks for helping put The Refusers at the top of the charts!

You mean the one that uses “fan clicks”? Your music is nothing more than an ear-splitting perpetual whinge about teh vaxxeeens. But hey, delusion is your strong suit so run with it I say.

We feature your Refusers endorsement in our press clippings.

Bwahaha! Stop! You’re too funny. Ow. Side cramp. Man. Your parody of antivaxers is just too much!

We’re #1 in Seattle rock on the indie charts

Those aren’t “charts,” you moron. Submit it to Nielsen BDS and come back when you have the SoundScan data.

(Indeed, I will wager that the Bainbridge school song is better known around the Puget Sound than these sorry efforts.)

Denice Walter,

You wrote “It only serves to illustrate that we’re dealing with a SMALL number of advocates with a SMALL amount of material** that is endlessly re-cycled and re-exhibited:”

My general impression, too.* Ditto your closing paragraph strikes a chord v. the IAS, a local anti-vaccine group.

—–
* Although the IAS would no doubt point at their ‘101 reasons’ posts… (Basically cut’n’pastes with no checking of any kind.)

MI Dawn,

The thing that always puzzles me in so many of these cases – the parents don’t take the child to the ER or the doctor when the child is “screaming constantly, limp, not eating, dusky (!!!)” or whatever. But they DO take the child to the doctor for every little sniffle otherwise. Sorry – even if you aren’t medically trained, (which I am) – it makes no sense. limp, unresponsive baby is less scary than tugging on an ear?

Sounds like a case of HHE where the only culprit would be any pertussis-containing vaccines.

@ Grant:

I’ll bet we can figure out just how many comprise that ‘small number’ too!

“Sounds like a case of HHE where the only culprit would be any pertussis-containing vaccines”

Sounds like B.S. where the culprit would be an ignorant troll.

Lilady, sounds like someone from HuffPo and/or AoA is nipping at your heels. Throw ’em a biscuit.

@Denice Walter,

It reminds me of something I read (hopefully I’m recalling correctly) of in Holland where they used social media to suggest that just 8 people might be targeted for their anti-vax statements (implying the rest were mostly just repeating what these people said or “echoing” them, etc). I suspect that’s true for most countries.

Hey “TheOne”, how about some links to citations for your statement “Sounds like a case of HHE where the only culprit would be any pertussis-containing vaccines”?

@ Science Mom: I already threw the Troll a biscuit…and I’m waiting for a reply. 🙂

Hey watch your words.

You might note that this is not the overflowing shıthole that is HuffPo, so put a fuckıng sock in it.

Hypotonic and hyporesponsive episodes after diptheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccination.

Authors
Cherry JD, et al. Show all
Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2007 Oct;26(10):966-7
David Geffen School of Medicine, Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Abstract

Administration of the discontinued diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine was occasionally associated with a hypotonic-hyporesponsive episode in infants. The whole bacterial cell pertussis component was the likely culprit. For this reason, an acellular pertussis component was developed and incorporated into a new vaccine commonly called diptheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP). Administration of DTaP vaccine has been followed by remarkably few hypotonic or hyporesponsive episodes. This report describes one of these unusual events.

PMID
17901810 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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