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Antivaxers inundate the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting

Yesterday, antivaxers inundated the public comment session of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. There were only two pro-science advocates versus a host of antivaccine activists spouting pseudoscience

Unlike most people, I’ve been following the activities and rhetoric of the antivaccine movement for nearly two decades. In that time, I’ve learned that there really isn’t anything new under the antivaccine sun, so to speak. The fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) that antivaxers spread about vaccines includes the same basic claims made without evidence of alleged harm caused by vaccinations that show up with different variations such that refuting them is like playing a game of Whac-A-Mole in which the moles are ever mutating into ever more ridiculous and terrifying forms. Over the last few years, particularly since the Disneyland measles outbreak four years ago, the media have been paying more attention to the antivaccine movement. It also appears to me that the media have also been less prone to one of the things that used to drive me crazy when I first started blogging about antivaxers, namely indulging in false balance by including an antivaxer for “balance” in every story about autism or vaccines. This has occurred even as antivaccine groups have become more politically powerful, aligning themselves with conservative, anti-government, anti-regulation political groups under the guise of “freedom,” “choice, and “parental rights,” to the point where Republican politicians feel obligated to pander to antivaxers and the Republican Party has arguably become he political home for antivaxers. Unfortunately, as a result antivaxers have become more visible doing what they’ve always done, harassing vaccine policymakers, particularly at the CDC. This harassment was on full view this week at the meeting of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) yesterday.

I’ve mentioned the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices before, as it’s the CDC committee tasked with making and updating the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule for children and adults. Basically, antivaxers have shown up at every Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting I can remember since I first learned what ACIP is and what it does. However, people whom I know have become increasingly concerned about the behavior of antivaxers at these meetings. Indeed, there is now a Facebook group called Inundate the CDC ACIP Meetings:

I have been going to the CDC’s ACIP meetings and I wanted to make something more specific to the meetings themselves where all can keep up with when they are, when to register, where, share photos, comments, and videos from our presence there. We have got to keep showing up and we have got to get larger in force.

Meanwhile, antivaccine blogs like Age of Autism routinely encourage their readership and followers to submit written comments and try to make oral comments. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, like many government advisory bodies, allows public comment, and antivaxers take full advantage of that. That’s how we end up with spectacles like Del Bigtree giving oral commentary:

Del Bigtree, as you remember, is the producer of VAXXED, the antivaccine propaganda film disguised as a documentary directed by Andrew Wakefield, the man who, arguably more than anyone else currently alive, is most responsible for the massive resurgence of measles that is ongoing in Europe and the smaller outbreaks we’re suffering in the US as we fear that we could be going the way of Europe, our current outbreaks of tens or hundreds exploding to outbreaks of thousands.

Public commenters are allowed only a very brief period of time; so it’s interesting to see how Bigtree packed in so much pseudoscience in a mere three minutes. He starts out by identifying himself as the founder of the Informed Consent Action Network. This leads me to a rule of thumb that I recently posted on Twitter that pissed off a fair number of people. If a group related to vaccines has the term “informed consent” or “vaccine choice” in its name, it is antivaccine. I admit that there could be an exception to this rule of thumb, but I’ll respond by saying one thing. I’ve been refuting antivaccine pseudoscience for close to two decades now. I’ve seen more antivaccine groups than I can recall. If there is an exception to this rule, I have yet to find it despite having been paying close attention to vaccine-related issues for a very long time.

Basically, to antivaxers, “choice” is code for antivaccine. So is “informed consent,” is in reality what I like to refer to as misinformed consent. Basically, the idea when antivaxers invoke “informed consent,” their version is a distorted image of informed consent that’s a warped reflection from a funhouse mirror. What antivaxers portray as informed consent involves telling parents nonexistent risks from vaccines (e.g., autism, diabetes, asthma, autoimmune disease, sudden infant death syndrome) and exaggerating massively the tiny actual risks from vaccines while denying or downplaying the benefits of vaccines. Basically, what antivaxers consider “informed consent” involves telling parents that vaccines don’t work very well and cause all sorts of horrible complications, hence my referring to it as “misinformed consent.”

Bigtree starts right out claiming that discussing “actual vaccine safety” is something that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices rarely does, which is utterly ridiculous. Of course, antivaxers routinely misrepresent themselves, either through self-delusion or strategic lying, that they are “not antivaccine” but rather “vaccine safety advocates.” Again, like the case for informed consent, when an antivaxer invokes “vaccine safety,” he will demand impossible standards, in essence no adverse reactions at all ever.

In any event, Bigtree launches into a litany of antivax tropes, such as the “no true placebos” trope. I’ve discussed this before, as it’s a trope that even someone like Peter Gøtzsche, who is not an antivaxer, can fall prey to, and it’s most frequently used to attack Gardasil. The argument goes that it is an inappropriate control to compare an aluminum-containing vaccine like Gardasil to an aluminum adjuvant without the actual antigens from the vaccine. The argument is that the best control should have been normal saline; i.e., an inert control. This is a profoundly ignorant argument when you have an intervention known to be safe based on many studies in many vaccines over the years (like aluminum adjuvants). When you have such an ingredient, then if you want to determine whether or not a vaccine containing that ingredient works and is safe, an excellent way to do it is to compare it to a control containing everything in the vaccine except the antigens that produce the immune response. In other words, the adjuvant-only control is a very good control. Antivaxers often claim that the real reason this control was chosen in so many studies of Gardasil and Cervarix was to hide adverse events due to these vaccines.

Bigtree, like many antivaxers, also misunderstands medical ethics. Vaccines against diseases not previously covered by vaccines are always tested against placebo control. It is new versions of vaccines against diseases for which a vaccine exists that are not, and the reason is a very simple reason of medical ethics. It is unethical to leave a control group unprotected against a vaccine-preventable disease when an existing vaccine against that disease exists and is standard-of-care. So new vaccines are tested against existing vaccines to show that they are either superior or, at the very least, not inferior (a non-inferiority trial).

For some reason, Bigtree wastes precious seconds of his time ranting against the vaccine against Japanese encephalitis. It’s a vaccine recommended for travelers to Asia, particularly southeast Asia. Bigtree claims without evidence that six times more Americans have been injured by the vaccine than have had Japanese encephalitis, a claim that basically demands a citation. He then rants about influenza vaccination and Tdap during pregnancy, claiming again that they cause miscarriages. They don’t. Nor does maternal Tdap cause autism in the child.

Not surprisingly, Bigtree finishes by claiming that vaccines are a medical experiment and that it is a direct violation of the Nuremberg code. Let’s just say that this is one of the more historically and scientifically ignorant claims of antivaxers, and that’s saying a lot.

No, actually, that’s not the dumbest thing he said. He claimed that Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is the only scientific body in the world that says something is settled science. First, it’s not. Second, it is pretty much settled science that vaccines don’t cause autism, despite what Bigtree claims. There have been numerous studies involving huge numbers of subjects that have failed to find a hint of a whiff of a correlation between vaccines and autism. At some point, scientists have to decided that a question has been answered and that it doesn’t make sense to keep doing the same study over and over again because a fringe group doesn’t accept the results of all the other studies. Finally, he calls for a study of vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. Apparently, he doesn’t know that such studies exist, and they don’t show what he thinks they show. Basically, vaccinated children are at least as healthy as unvaccinated children, probably even healthier—and they don’t suffer from the infectious diseases vaccinated against at nearly the same rate as unvaccinated. Basically, it’s an antivaccine myth that there are no “vaxed/unvaxed” studies.

Where denying science doesn’t work, at least one commenter went full religious:

I couldn’t quite make out her name due to the rather crappy audio on this video, but thankfully, I was ultimately able to figure out who it was from another source. In any event, basically Sandra Spaetti’s argument is full on “parental rights,” in which she goes on and on about how God has given parents the absolute right to decide what is right for their children, not the government. It is, of course, an appealing argument to the religious and to conservatives, but it’s also an argument that completely ignores one person: The child. It’s an argument that doesn’t treat the child as an autonomous being with rights of his or her own. Rather, it treats the child as, in essence, the parents’ property, giving the parents an absolute right to medically neglect the child by not vaccinating. Hilariously, Spaetti goes on and on about how she’s “researched vaccines,” including ingredients, etc., and then says that she “rejects your belief that vaccines bring about improved health” and “your belief that herd immunity can be achieved through vaccinations.” Well, isn’t that special? Am I supposed to be impressed that some non-scientist went to Google University and now thinks she knows more than scientists about vaccines? The arrogance of ignorance is strong in this one, as is the Dunning-Kruger effect. Basically, Spaetti is as annoying as Bigtree (just in a different way), particularly as she declared that “God is on my side” and “I do not consent.” She also projected a lot, claiming that the the Constitution does not allow the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’s “religious beliefs to trample mine.” Yes, she pulled the idiotic “science is a religion trope.”

If you want to see the whole thing, We Are Vaxxed posted this video:

I must admit that I didn’t watch the whole thing, because it was quite the shitshow. For example, right after Del Bigtree was Dr. Alvin Moss, an antivaccine nephrologist. For a nephrologist, he’s pretty ignorant, because he opens by saying that nephrologists noticed dialysis-associated encephalopathy and ultimately found it to be due to too much aluminum during dialysis. He also cites how aluminum in used for total parenteral nutrition in preterm infants can cause neurologic injury. Seriously? Dr. Moss doesn’t see the massive difference between large amounts of aluminum in dialysis solution or an intravenous infusion and the tiny amount of aluminum in vaccines? The stupid, it burns.

It wasn’t all bad. Two commenters were pro-science and therefore pro-vaccine. First was Alison Singer of the Autism Science Foundation, a woman who did a very difficult thing and renounced her antivax employer. Ten years ago, she resigned as executive vice president of communications and awareness for Autism Speaks, a group that was undeniably at the time very much all-in with the conspiracy theory that vaccines cause autism and actively promoted antivaccine pseudoscience. In 2006, she received heavy (and, in my opinion, deserved) criticism for her appearance in an Autism Speaks-sponsored film, Autism Every Day, during which she was interviewed and said that she had contemplated driving off a bridge in a car with her autistic daughter Jodie with Jodie sitting by her, going on to say that the only reason she didn’t was because she had a neurotypical daughter at home. It was a film admittedly staged by the filmmaker to make autism look as horrible as possible. Fortunately, in 2009 Singer started to redeem herself by resigning from Autism Speaks and founding the Autism Science Foundation. She went from working for an antivax organization to staunchly standing up for the science that shows that vaccines don’t cause autism. Not surprisingly, since then antivaxers have viewed her as a traitor and have attacked her viciously. One, Levi Quackenboss, described her thusly after she appeared on John Oliver’s show in a segment deconstructing the antivaccine movement:

And as for Alison Singer, who appears toward the end of your clip, you do know that she was staunchly vaccines-cause-autism until she was blinded by the cash offered her to publicly switch sides, right?

Because anyone who finally comes to the realization that vaccines don’t cause autism must have come to that realization because she was paid off, amirite? After all, the pharma shill gambit is the favorite antivaccine gambit to use against pro-science advocates. In any case, it took guts to leave an antivaccine organization so publicly, and for that I salute her. I also salute her for having gone into the lions’ den yesterday.

There was also Lori Boyle, a representative of Nurses Who Vaccinate, who was excellent. Unfortunately, they were sandwiched between antivaxers, one of whom presented herself as a “concerned citizen” who wanted to “talk about the science.” She then went on to claim that the individual components of vaccines have never been deemed safe and invoke the same brain dead “no placebo” gambit that Del Bigtree did. Truly, understanding what does and doesn’t constitute a valid placebo and the ethics of clinical trials is not a strong suit among antivaxers. Hilariously, she says that using an aluminum-containing placebo is unethical. It is not. Really, it isn’t. She has no idea what she’s talking about. There was a mother of an immunocompromised child who spouted the “shedding” trope. There was a pediatric nurse practitioner who claimed that she was having a hard time recommending a product (vaccines) that haven’t been adequately tested. In fact, it was very depressing to me an antivaccine nurse practitioner and other antivaccine nurses testifying. One of them was particularly idiotic, ranting about toxins in vaccines.

In addition, others accused vaccine scientists of fraud. One even invoked an oldie but stupid conspiracy theory by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. about the Simpsonwood meeting. I was having acid flashbacks as she partied like it was 2005; that is, before I laughed out loud that anyone would still be parroting the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory in 2019. I mean, come on! There have been so many conspiracy theories since then! Pick a more recent one instead, like the CDC whistleblower or the Andrew Zimmerman “confession” being flogged by antivaccine “journalist” Sharyl Attkisson. It’s not a good sign when I’m more up on the latest antivax conspiracy theories than antivaxers are. Yes, I know the CDC whistleblower was mentioned, too, but it just amused the heck out of me to see Simpsonwood, given that that was one of the first antivaccine conspiracy theories I ever encountered.

So what this ACIP meeting public testimony consisted of was antivaccine nonsense, barely countered. There were basically two pro-science advocates against antivaxer after antivaxer after antivaxer ranting about vaccines, laying down every antivaccine trope in the book, calling science a religion, denying that herd immunity exists, and just generally laying down black hole density antivaccine pseudoscience, bad science, appeals to “freedom,” and arrogance of ignorance.

Meanwhile, Del Bigtree thinks that because there’s so much media attention directed at antivaxers right now, thanks to the outbreaks caused, in whole or in part, by vaccine averse frightened into not vaccinating by antivaxers like Del Bigtree, that they are “winning.” He brags that antivaxers are the only ones who can seem to “break through” and make compete with Donald Trump for generating news. In actuality, that’s a massive exaggeration, testament to the massiveness of Del Bigtree’s ego, but he’s not entirely wrong either. On the other hand, it’s not as though the antivaccine message is getting out the way it was before, as the media have basically radically decreased the amount of false balance granted antivaccine views and appropriately present the science without feeling obligated to present the “other side” as though there were a real scientific controversy. There’s not.

Even so, Del Bigtree and antivaxers are ebullient:

Bigtree goes on and on about how all the antivaxers at the ACIP meeting yesterday “made history.” Somehow, I doubt that. I don’t doubt, however, that they think they did. Fortunately, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is a science-based committee. It’s obligated to allow public comment, and, like many crank groups, antivaxers were really good at mobilizing their cranks. The result was that, other than the two lone voices of sanity whose fortitude and willingness to stand among so many enemies and defend science, the ACIP public comment session resembled, more than anything else, YouTube comments or a particularly dumb Reddit thread. Sadly, this is not the first time they’ve done this; they’ve even harassed ACIP members. Indeed, I fear this is the new normal.

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]

425 replies on “Antivaxers inundate the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting”

The “made history” comment is especially strange since this isn’t even the first time they used the comment period at ACIP to basically make campaign speeches to their own community (it’s not as if the committee can do anything with comments that don’t actually address what it does or ask them to do anything realistic, and I don’t really see anyone who isn’t already convinced taking the time or seeing this as anything but rants).

I would also note that over 150 of them registered but didn’t show up. I wonder how many of them can sustain this, coming for two days where they barely listen and certainly don’t try and understand for their one 75 minutes session of making their YouTube videos (I wonder how many of them will bother to show today). I would note it was one part of two long, intense days that are packed with deep discussions of data at a very high level.

It’s an interesting cultural experience to watch them.

What this speaks to the need for is organized pro-vax laypeople lobby group. The antivax groups out there must not be allowed to present themselves as if they have a monopoly on the interest of the general public.

Those of us who are not medical experts who nonetheless believe in science based medicine and the importance of deferring to expertise on issues of life and death tend to shut up and let the experts talk. But this approach is flawed in that it basically let’s the antivax lobby exercise a heckler’s veto on reality.

Layperson advocates I think can play an important role in signal boosting truth, communicating stories of the consequences of vaccine preventable illness and vaccine refusal, and helping to out-shout the frauds and their willing victims.

I completely agree, and urge you – and anyone else seeking to get involved – to reach out to Karen Ernst from Voices for Vaccines, who can connect you with your local activists and direct you to more national efforts.

Why? You have billions of dollars behind you. You are pushing through more legislation than ever before. If you see this as a contest, you are certainly winning.

What billions of dollars? Is this a plea to the pointless lame boring Pharma Shill Gambit?

Do you seriously think it is cheaper to skip vaccines and treat diseases, which many times involves hospitalization? Some gadfly legislator in Texas actually thinks measles can be treated with antibiotics! Good grief. The legislation is being proposed because outbreaks are freaking expensive: https://www.oregonlive.com/health/2019/02/cost-of-washington-measles-outbreak-tops-1m.html

Coddling the anti-vaccine folks is very expensive. If they are going to leave their children susceptible to some very serious diseases, they should not have the liberty to infect other children. Especially babies, who cannot be vaccinated from measles, mumps, rubella or chicken pox until they are a year old.

As someone who had to take care of a six month old baby with chicken pox a year before the vaccine was available, I am not terribly fond of those who think kids need to get sick. Especially infants who are inconsolable, cannot sleep and prone to more complications.

You better have a very good reason for thinking sick babies are okay dokay. So far I have asked Mr. Ball to prove it three times, and he has yet to answer Would like to give it a crack? Just provide the PMIDs that show it is better for children, especially babies, to get chicken pox, instead of a varicella vaccine. Especially since my youngest now has a higher chance of getting shingles as a graduate student in their mid-20s.

Yes, billions of dollars. So what you’re saying is that it’s not enough? What end result are you looking for exactly?

Be honest. If you don’t want to be vaccinated, or have your children vaccinated, then just say “I don’t feel like it. I don’t want to. I don’t see why I should, I’m not worried by the effects of diseases X, Y and Z”. Don’t lie and try to justify your desires by making up unproven, evidence free harm from vaccination. Accept that your life will be restricted in some way, narrower choice of jobs, fewer educational choices for your children. Stop trying to crab bucket the rest of society.

No, “Questions”, I am asking you what are you referring to in the phrase “You have billions of dollars behind you.” Who has those billions of dollars and where did they get them from?

Also, why is it better for a child to get chicken pox and be in pain covered in dozens of itchy pox, rather than get a varicella vaccine. Please post your answer with verifiable documentation in the form of PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researcher not on the Dwoskin payroll. Also do not include any written by an engineer like Brian Hooker or Gary Goldman.

Excellent points. I doubt many have shown today since there is no public comment. As to the topic, the media appears to have done a complete about face on anti-vaxxers calling them just that instead of euphemisms like vaccine sceptic and more accurately portraying their harmful activities.

It’s nice to see that a group is standing up for the parents who want their children dead or disabled. Too long such people have been oppressed by “child protection laws” that prevent corrective beating with irons, or burning with cigarettes. Now at least, people can make it more likely that they will be rid of the little vipers, by promoting the spread of diseases (for the cowardly, by delaying vaccines, and for the more heroic, by holding measles parties). Someday, these heroes will be even more free to do their good works, as they will have no little burdens holding them back with demands for time, food and love. The pro-vaxxers have no chance – their time and efforts are spread between promoting vaccines and caring for their living children.

I’m delighted to see that our heroic pro-disease efforts are going to be honored – soon we will be recognized as allies of the hero Plague in a computer game (https://www.polygon.com/2019/2/28/18244807/plague-inc-anti-vax-petition-vaccine). I hope we will be recognized more and more for our good work in making more room in the world for cute tiny gravestones and memento mori portraits.

It’s possible that the anti vaccine no shows were actually intended. As there were only a limited amount of seats available it is possible that the anti vaccine crowd tried to “muscle out” the opposition by taking up all the available seats.

“The argument goes that it is an inappropriate control to compare an aluminum-containing vaccine like Gardasil to an aluminum adjuvant without the actual antigens from the vaccine. The argument is that the best control should have been normal saline; i.e., an inert control. This is a profoundly ignorant argument when you have an intervention known to be safe based on many studies in many vaccines over the years (like aluminum adjuvants). When you have such an ingredient, then if you want to determine whether or not a vaccine containing that ingredient works and is safe, an excellent way to do it is to compare it to a control containing everything in the vaccine except the antigens that produce the immune response. In other words, the adjuvant-only control is a very good control.”

In addition, there has been at least one Gardasil trial that did use a saline placebo.

None of this stops cranks like Mary Holland, who flogs the “no true placebo” mantra in her recently published anti-HPV vaccine book.

The ACIP floor show can only have a rally-the-troops function for antivaxers. ACIP members respond to real evidence, not stale antivax tropes and Bible-based exhortations.

You can do Google Scholar search with query “”saline placebo” hpv”. It returns 244 hits.

Aluminum has proven to be a huge proplem. The idea that it did not cross the blood brain barrier was proven wrong. All it take is histamine. CDC Researcher William Thompson already admitted vaccines can cause autism. What’s not so clear to sommanynof You is that vaccines also cause death, especially in babies. There’s a reason the US infant mortality rate is three times higher than in Japan.

Aluminum has proven [sic] to be a huge proplem. The idea that it did not cross the blood brain barrier was proven wrong. All it take is histamine.

Would you care to go into detail about this purported mechanism?

^ Aha. Once again (aside from where all the histamine is supposed to come from), the question is how the aluminum is supposed to receive its traveling papers.

William Thompson did nothing of the sort:

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.

More specifically:

The fact that we found a strong statistically significant finding among black males does not mean that there was a true association between the MMR vaccine and autism-like features in this subpopulation.

ICAN…is that ICAN as in “I CAN bring back preventable diseases that maim and kill”? How ACIP members are able to not roll their eyes in 360s or facepalm to the ultra-concentrated stupidity of Bigtree is a testimony to their resolve.

Well, yeah. That’s why I could never be a member of ACIP even if I did have sufficient credentials, which I don’t. I wouldn’t have been able to restrain myself from rolling my eyes, muttering, and even facepalming. My poker face is just not that good.

I wouldn’t have been able to restrain myself from rolling my eyes, muttering, and even facepalming. My poker face is just not that good.

Dems ‘let me at em’ words right there, Orac, and which brings to this: Instead of, after the fact, you and the minions shadow boxing on these blogs, why don’t you go to these meetings and confront Del and those other ‘quacks’ in person? Surely you guys would have no difficulties making easy minced meat of dem.

Shadow boxing is more important: it allows curious readers to discover the inanity of antivax arguments, and more importantly, it allows curious readers to be acquainted with a model of critical thought that their schooltime as kids failed to endow them with.

Before debunking antivax nonsense, we have to prepare the audience a bit.

Orac, and which brings to this: Instead of, after the fact, you and the minions shadow boxing on these blogs, why don’t you go to these meetings and confront Del and those other ‘quacks’ in person?

Typical immature suggestion from Greg. It was an ACIP meeting and not the appropriate venue to “confront” anti-vaxxers. That’s the problem with you people, you think the world is your toilet. It’s bad enough anti-vaxxers hijack these meetings to make irrelevant commentary for the benefit of their peanut gallery to have us behaving equally unprofessionally.

It’s a really interesting and data-heavy meeting. If they came to learn rathe than grab soundbites that could enrage believers and make off-topic comments, they could learn a lot. And may have trouble holding on to their beliefs, given the intensive amount of data included and the thoroughness in which questions are examined.

But they’re not here to learn. They’re here seeking to be outraged and express their simmering anger.

Precisely. Jo amount of data will persuade then, and they’ll do their best to find imperfections out anomalies in the study that they can use for fear mongering.

“It’s bad enough anti-vaxxers hijack these meetings to make irrelevant commentary for the benefit of their peanut gallery to have us behaving equally unprofessionally.”

Dick wagging is indeed not argumentation. Though I admit dick wagging can indeed be serious fun.

Hard to make mincemeat out of someone who doesnt realise that herd immunity is a mathematical inevitability, given diseases have infection rates, contagious periods etc. Might as well try to explain geological dating techniques to a young earth creationist (Yes but you don’t know because no one was there to see it happen).

I don’t go confront them because I’m too busy caring for children, Greg. Orac’s busy caring for cancer patients and doing real research on top of that. And just what exactly, Greg, do you do all day beside being an annoyance?

However i don’t see that as a bad thing, frankly these unhinged idiots, particularly the cynical big players like Deltree need to be mocked, reason does not work, they do not listen, but mocking them will almost certainly make them into a spectacle, even pretending to take them seriously gives them credibility. Perhaps this is where pro vaccine groups need in on the action, the panel might not feel that they can mock but the audience cure can.

The atavistic gangs grow in power. Encouraged by the burgeoning anti-immigrationist , anti-global warmingist (a.k.a. climate change deniers) and their de facto sponsor (Trump’s GOP), and the ever-present, barbaric gun lobby, the anti-vaxers trample the common welfare and condemn children to the perils of preventable diseases (child abuse). .

The deliberate ignorance of these atavists is unworthy of , is an insult to, humanity.

hi folks ive been away ..has anybody missed my input from down in oz ?????.oh..hmmmmmmmmmm…no ..ok cheers happy bob

Welcome back, there’s been an on-going debate about defining the word “anti-vaccine” and I would welcome your point of view (i.e., wisdom).

Q. How would you define the word “anti-vaccine?”

Please advise, happy bob.

yes hello mr m.j.d…ok well with the hundreds of posts on this site over many months & many points of view on the matter the word….anti-vaccine…it does mean many different things @ heart too all or most??? this is a unwinable debate it seems too both sides ..too many strong opinions prevail for me ..im not smart enough to offer a blue ribbon too either side cheers to all thank u ….happy bob from oz

“Encouraged by the burgeoning anti-immigrationist , anti-global warmingist (a.k.a. climate change deniers) and their de facto sponsor (Trump’s GOP), and the ever-present, barbaric gun lobby”

I’m appalled that you omitted mention of the Koch brothers. 🙁

Hey Dangerous,

Today Mike Adams displays BOTH his anti-vax and gun nut proclivities by proposing that having guns will solve the problem of “forced vaccination”
As if this is such a common problem for parents.

I wonder if he realises that it cuts both ways. Pro-gun, pro-vaccine parents could also use their guns to protect themselves and their families.

Orac writes,

“someone like Peter Gøtzsche, who is not an antivaxer”

MJD says,

On February 25, 2019 Orac’s post was titled, “Peter Gøtzsche and the antivaxers.” Thereafter, the minions directed much respectful insolence towards Peter Gøtzsche based on Orac’s subjective interpretation of Gøtzsche’s intent.

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2019/02/25/peter-gotzsche/

@ Orac,

In the spirit of “not burning a bridge,” would you consider making the appropriate title correction as follows: “Peter Gøtzsche, and the antivaxers?”

..ok thanks saddened MJD

I was never anti-vax. I was in favor of studying whether or not vaccines caused autism. That doesn’t make me antivax as much as it makes me proscience. I would appreciate if you could please correct that statement. Many thanks. Alison

I’m also guilty of inappropriately using the inflammatory and counterproductive word “anti-vaccine.” Deepest apology, Alison Singer.

She just stood up in ACIP, said vaccines don’t cause autism and called for vaccinating. I think that’s very clear.

I was never anti-vax. I was in favor of studying whether or not vaccines caused autism. That doesn’t make me antivax as much as it makes me proscience. I would appreciate if you could please correct that statement. Many thanks. Alison

Alison, by my definition, or what I consider they mean by ‘antivaxxer’, you are an antivaxxer. Being antivaxxer is not about belief but action. You could be a parent who believed in vaccines and vaccinated your kid, but after crap happened and you complained, you’re suddenly an antivaxxer. Likewise, you could spout off about being provaxx but have secret reservations, but as long as you don’t express them you’re a provaxxer. The common thread is belief is irrelevant; it’s whether your action is bringing ill-repute to the vaccination exercise. Alison, questioning whether there is a link between vaccines and autism, you’re bringing ill-repute to the vaccination sentiment and this makes you an antivaxxer.

That is actually not the way anything works. Thanks for showing how little you know

Wanting to study is not antiscience. However, failure to engage with the literature and the evidence is not being proscience. There will always be some irreducible amount of doubt, which does not excuse someone for discarding the evidence.

Then there is the question of where to allocate funds into research. Spending money in an area that has not given meaningful result would be an objectionable project.

As far as I see it after having googled your name, you avoided the pitfalls spawned by blind beliefs. That’s a good thing.

(The amount of hate your name brings forward, from the likes of Jake Crossby, does put you in favorable light.)

I think that possibly Orac and others may refer to Ms Singer as having been anti-vax was because at one time post Wakefield’s study she doubted whatever data existed at that time and called for more research.
Not everyone did.

I’m not an MD/ DO but I never doubted the safety of vaccines: as a matter of fact, my cousin, who waited for a long time to finally become a parent, was somewhat frightened by the Wakefield brouhaha in October 2001 and asked me. I told him that he shouldn’t fear vaccines: there seemed to be consensus and AJW was an outlier. Something odd, I thought.
He was scared by what he had heard through the press. He’s a smart guy although not schooled in bio – he engineers “movie magic”/ sports video coverage through high tech. He did vaccinate his son who is now 17.

Ms. Singer: To be honest, back in the early days of my blog (2004-2008), I did consider you antivaccine. After all, you had a high-ranking position in group (Autism Speaks) that undeniably vigorously promoted antivaccine pseudoscience at the time, as well as autism biomed quackery, something it continued to do for several years after you left before (seemingly grudgingly) renouncing antivaccine pseudoscience and quackery. So what else was I supposed to think? That being said, I apologize for being so terse in describing you in in this post; I was in a hurry and didn’t take the time to include the nuance I should have, which you deserved. I have tried to remedy that. I suspect that you will probably not like my expansion of the passage about you, either, but hopefully you will at least dislike it a lot less.

Whether you believe it or not, I was impressed by how you ultimately resigned from Autism Speaks, joined the side of science, and have been a staunch advocate for good autism science and against antivaccine nonsense ever since. That is admirable, and I didn’t relate that adequately, which was on me.

In 1999, after the Wakefield paper was published, I was in favor of more vaccine/autism research. Wakefield put forth a hypothesis and this hypothesis warranted investigation, if for no other reason than to calm fears about vaccines. When I joined Autism Speaks in 2005 (at its launch) we already had data that refuted the link between vaccines and autism and I was very much, publicly, pro vaccine. At the time of its launch, Autism Speaks was focused on building awareness of autism and encouraging families to learn the early warning signs and seek early intervention. Yes, over time Autism Speaks became anti vaccine, and for years I tried to be a voice of reason from within. As frustrating as that was, I felt it served the greater good. Eventually that became impossible and I resigned. I don’t think you will find anyone in this field who will say I was ever anti-vaccine. In fact, most of your pro vaccine colleagues are currently having a good laugh over your characterization of me as anti vaccine. Alison.

…..then you are anti-vax for refusing to look at the multitude of studies showing no link between vaccines and autism. You just won’t admit you are anti-vax

Alison just stood up before ACIP, said vaccines don’t cause autism and encouraged people to vaccinate. She’s clearly not antivaccine now and calling her that is incorrect and unfair.

In fairness, even I would definitely not say “are.” At worst, I would say “was,” and then qualify that “was” by saying that it’s been at least a decade since I last suspected she was antivax. I know she’s angry at me that I ever thought she was antivax when she worked for Autism Speaks and was willing to state as much in my blog post today. Fair enough. I also understand that I was careless in my writing in the first version of this post (for which I’ve apologized and tried to make some amends by expanding the passage). However, my perception was what it was back then, and I’d be lying if I changed that part of the post. Regardless of what my perception of Alison was then, today it’s very different. Anyone who could do what Alison did yesterday is not antivax and is quite admirable.

This has been studied long time. You could start digesting studies with twin studies, that show autism is genetic.

Yesterday somebody I know ( not me) remarked that you could tell a great deal about who a person is if you bring up one topic:
Global Warming.
I responded that vaccines might be a similar issue.

Looking at this in detail, AGW denial might be closely related to a rightist political outlook because it has been a major talking point AS WELL AS having less insight into science whilst vaccines may be less politically determined- although as Orac has shown, it’s become more right slanted than left recently- and obviously less SB.

I am heartened that the media has not been giving anti-vaxxers a microphone/ interviews as they have in the past
HOWEVER, this had led to an explosion of websites, podcasts, facebook pages, tweets etc . including a major effort by woo-meisters ( e.g. PRN, NN) to take up the gauntlet. I notice that Mike Adams, who shows the number of views for his own posts, get higher numbers whenever he discusses vaccines or leftists so on he goes, his actions reinforced by his followers’ responses. Similarly, Null does numerous special investigations, interviews or documentaries ( he has 5 ) involving vaccines and vaccine “damage” which tells me that his listeners must prefer this type of nonsense over say, hiv/aids denialism.

Although people’s ideas about vaccines may be illustrative of their general outlook, I prefer to not bring the topic up in everyday conversations: sometimes peace and quiet is a valuable commodity.

Scientists are cautious in language. The idea is that vaccinated children have less preventable disease than unvaccinated, unprotected one – that’s better health.

It’s also more than just that. Vaccinated are definitely healthier when it comes to not suffering from vaccine-preventable diseases. However, there is also evidence that they are probably healthier by several other metrics. I say “probably” because that evidence is less conclusive. What is not in doubt at all is that vaccinated children are not less healthy than unvaccinated children.

probably is not scientific, nor does it establish proof but we’re used to that twisted dictionary use by the Oracs of the world.

Sitting in ACIP, “probably” appears very usual in assessing data. In fact, one of the defined categories for it.

Pseudoscience is likely more inclined to talk in absolutes.

probably is not scientific

Dear G-d. Do you know what a probability distribution is, Ball? Hypothesis testing? This remark is imbecilic.

Mr. Ball you are back! Let’s see if you can tell us about relative risk.

Do please explain why it is better to let a baby get chicken pox, rather than protecting them by maintaining community immunity with a varicella vaccine. What is “good” about an infant suffering from dozens of itchy open wounds that are susceptible to bacterial infections, or the possibility of stroke:
https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/a-recent-case-report-highlights-why-skipping-the-chickenpox-vaccine-is-a-bad-idea/

Just support your answer with PMID authored by reputable qualified researchers.ll, you are back.

Anything less than 100% is probably. 95% is probably. 50% might be “possibly” though. Mr Ball, you can’t science.

Dammit.
<a href=”https://www.ebaumsworld.com/videos/guy-trolls-australian-anti-vaccination-rally-asking-people-if-they-are-doctors/85896007/”>Guy Trolls Australian Anti-Vaccination Rally Asking People If They Are Doctors

GAAH!
<a href=”https://www.ebaumsworld.com/videos/guy-trolls-australian-anti-vaccination-rally-asking-people-if-they-are-doctors/85896007/”>Guy Trolls Australian Anti-Vaccination Rally Asking People If They Are Doctors

“I guess being an engineer means you cannot understand science”

Many of us engineers do understand science, but we also know that there are gaps in our understanding is not complete.. There are others like Brian Hooker, Gary Goldman and others who think they can do science, when they really cannot.

Ok but the argument is being made externally, not internally. It seems odd to ask someone if they are a doctor, trying to infer they are not allowed to have an opinion, care about an issue, or be educated about an issue. Is Elon Musk a doctor? Would you doubt his ability to understand the science?

Way to miss the point, “Questions”, and I mus say that’s an appropriate name for someone who’s been JAQing off.
Who is more likely to understand the science here? A physician who spent literally years in medical school, or an engineer? Even if the engineer spent a lot of his/her free time studying medicine, the physician is still more likely to know the science of medicine better.

Is Elon Musk a doctor? Would you doubt his ability to understand the science?

If it was about building an electric car or a gas flamethrower, I may trust him. He has some experience in both.
On other topics, outside of his area of expertise, Elon Musk has sometimes been a tad… simplistic. As I would be if I was to talk about car engines, rocket fuel, and a few hundreds other scientific topics outside of my specialty.
Also, he didn’t build all of his stuff by himself. I will credit Musk for building his businesses, but I would credit his engineering team for building his cars.

Many of us engineers do understand science, but we also know that there are gaps in our understanding

This of course goes for “scientists” (experimentalists? theorists?) and mathematicians as well. Check out John Baez’s or Foolish Physicist’s blogs. The days of being able to take in the whole of a field are long gone.

Unless you’re a random crank who wanders into a blog.

Yeah, I am amused at “Questions” remarking about engineers. One of my pet peeves are the engineers who seem to pontificate on lots of things outside their expertise. Examples include Elon Musk’s silly torpedo tube to rescue trapped soccer players, Andy Cutler’s promotion of chelation for heart issues (something he died from), Gary Taubes writing on diet and, of course, Brian Hooker pontificating with bad vaccine statistics. And the list goes on and on.

Is Elon Musk a doctor? Would you doubt his ability to understand the science?

Actually, I would. Elon Musk’s ego is frequently three steps ahead of his brain at this point. He is creative and I do grant him that he’s ridiculously successful, but I also know that a lot of crap is coming out of his mouth and that he is claiming more than a little credit for things that he is not truly responsible for. For one thing, Elon Musk did not start Tesla: he hijacked it from the original creators, seized control and forced them out…. his business sense has since kept that company alive, but not without some serious missteps. One of his flashy projects is going to fail in a spectacular fashion at some point and I genuinely hope he doesn’t kill a large number of people when that happens. If you aren’t scared of that guy turning into a James Bond supervillain or the Emperor of Mars, you haven’t been paying attention.

For the record, I oscillate between applauding the guy and lambasting him; this week he seems pretty dangerous to me.

Everyone has different beliefs. You can get outliers everywhere. Out of your context, some of these points were very well done. You are just painting your own narrative.

“You are just painting your own narrative.”

No.

But you will take a few years to figure it out.

Be patient.

DW: “Yesterday somebody I know ( not me) remarked that you could tell a great deal about who a person is if you bring up one topic:
Global Warming.
I responded that vaccines might be a similar issue.”

Even more so: genetically modified organisms (notably, GMO foods). Similarities between antivaxers and anti-GMOers include:

1) relating dubious and unverifiable anecdotes (i.e. a girl’s death from falling down a well was due to the HPV vaccine she received a week earlier; my goats won’t touch GM produce).
2) reliance on laughably bad fringe studies and unqualified goofballs posing as experts (Neil Z. Miller communicates with extraterrestrials; Jeffrey Smith levitates).
3) dismissal of an abundant body of contradictory evidence as all being produced or tainted by Corporate Interests (Big Pharma or Monsanto)
4) a conviction that opposing views are the products of paid shills and/or a massive conspiracy

And of course, a high degree of concordance between beliefs (for example, anti-GMO folks at March Against Monsanto, the Organic Consumers Association and Stephanie Seneff also preach the Antivax).

GMO’s destroy diversified ecosystems in exchange for scalability. A limited number of entities are controlling the supply chain of food. If these supply chain break down then the food supply is going to have a massive crisis. A healthy food supply is diverse. Instead of trying to scale food by modifying it’s natural structure, we should be focusing on ways to scale the facilitation of producing food. I’m in the agriculture industry. Farmers cannot function without glyphosate. This generation of farmer doesn’t understand how to properly grow food without using a Monsanto seed or chemical. Again, we’re sacrificing strong diversified ecosystems for scalability and it will come back to hurt us.

At least you’re not falling for the trope that GMO is bad because it is unnatural and hence toxic. You are making claims, whether true or not, that are more ecological and political in nature than health-based fear mongering. That’s better than 90% of the vocal anti-GMO crowd.

Instead of trying to scale food by modifying it’s natural structure, we should be focusing on ways to scale the facilitation of producing food.

You seem to have a great talent for producing word salad.

From Orac’s article:
“Basically, Spaetti is as annoying as Bigtree, particularly as she declared that “God is on my side” and…”
This triggered the thought in me –
Hmmm. Where have we heard that before?:
Oh yeah,
“Gott mit uns.”
Yeah. That’s it.
Immediately followed by the memory of Dick Shawn as Lorenzo St. DuBois:
https://youtu.be/UxL3A4ln58o?t=46
.
I couldn’t sit on the ACIP panel because I would have burst out laughing and jumped up to ape LSD:
“Bow wee dow! Baba-dooby-doop! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!”
.
If these dimwits think they are doing anything other than using the ACIP meeting as a set for their anti-vaccine RubeTube videos they are truly delusional.
This is just marketing for the anti-vaccine death cult.

There was a mess in Toronto earlier based on a number of anti-vaxx billboards that went up recently, and got taken down by the company running the billboards after outcry.

https://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/metro-morning/segment/15673547

Billboards questioning vaccination were up in Toronto briefly but was there damage done?

Feb 28, 2019

Messages questioning vaccination appeared on electronic billboards around Toronto. And were then removed . There were more than 50 of these billboards, paid for by a group called “Vaccination Choice Canada.” Dr. Vinita Dubey is the Associate Medical Officer of Health at Toronto Public Heath. And Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta… His book ” The Vaccination Picture” explores the myths and false assumptions about vaccines and why the anti-vaccination movement remains so influential.

Yet another example of Orac’s rule of thumb in that name.

And this just three weeks after Del Bigtree was dropped from his originally-scheduled speaking engagement at the ‘Total Health Show’ in April. The news about that may have been a trigger for whoever took out the billboards.

(One of the things mentioned is that the city doesn’t really have a lot of say of what goes up on billboards, most of the regulations on that are at higher levels of government and based more on false advertising claims.)

Yea I saw one of these billboards. It didn’t make a statement or claim. It simple asked a question about the frequency of vaccinations and then said educate yourself. Since when is asking people to educate themselves an issue? This is getting ridiculous

It’s thinly veiled anti vaccination rhetoric. Asking to educate yourself, in their minds, means googling their fear mongering on the Internet, seeding distrust towards standard medical opinions on vaccination. End result will be bringing back vaccine preventable diseases. Which most people would agree is an undesirable outcome.

But they didn’t say any of those things. They said educate yourself. They also questioned frequency. What’s wrong with that? If there can’t be an open and honest discussion about vaccines without people becoming polarized, then you’re just going to breed radicalization. People are offended by everything to the point of wanting to limit others rights. They don’t just want it to stop, they want to remove your right to do it. This billboard is proof that people are too polarized and aren’t being rational.

I’m going to repeat F86.10’s point since it sailed over your head.

Asking to educate yourself, in their minds, means googling their fear mongering on the Internet, seeding distrust towards standard medical opinions on vaccination.

A lot of antivaxx talking points are half truths, distortions, or even outright falsities. They exaggerate the risks of vaccination and downplay the risks of the diseases.

You are arguing in bad faith, I’m afraid.
Since 9/11 and the rise of Truthers-like conspiracy theorists, “just asking questions” and “go educate yourself” have always been synonymous with “don’t believe the mainstream media” and “officials are lying to you”.

When the people raising questions can point to specific details, they have a point.
Eh, no-one know everything about everything, so it’s OK to honestly ask for pointers and references.
When the questions have been answered ad nauseum and they keep about “just asking questions”… But I repeat myself.

Since 911? People have been asking questions since forever? It’s amazing how many people out there think it’s unhealthy to question anything. This is the foundation of what science is. A healthy scientific community will extend someone elses work, challenge someone elses work, apply new technology, revisit previous studies. It’s all healthy.

People have been asking questions since forever?

For vaccines, since the first one, actually. Almost two centuries ago.
But it’s human to doubt. Persevering in face of contrary evidence, OTOH…

A healthy scientific community will extend someone elses work, challenge someone elses work

Well, thank you, sir, we didn’t know that.
But OK, fine.
Studies have been conducted by academics, comparing vaccinated/non-vaccinated people. No serious study showed conclusively a link between vaccination and autism. Well, except a negative correlation, with the rubella vaccine. Wild rubella is not good for a growing fetus and interfere with neural development.
That being aid, which work would you like to see extended/challenged?

It simply asked a question

So, there’s nothing really intrinsically wrong with asking questions. You never learn anything if you don’t ask questions. Quite a few people around here find it annoying that people seem incapable of obtaining or believing the answers that are already available to the questions that seem to be asked over and over again. Within the scientific community, after the evidence rises to a certain level, it’s time to discard a hypothesis… laypeople frequently seem to underestimate the weight of what the scientific community already knows and don’t understand that it’s time to stop seeking a different take on the same answer. Unfortunately, there is no choice but to trust the judgment of the experts about what scientific questions should be asked in a field of which you are non-expert; people simply do not know what they don’t know.

There are plenty of scientific controversies, but it’s a delusion that a band of populist laypeople are somehow solving them. This isn’t an insult to laypeople; you simply have to know when to start trusting that someone really actually knows what they’re talking about. And, this isn’t arbitrary elitism on my part, it’s just the reality of time spent becoming an expert. If you are a trained engineer, as is implied elsewhere, would you trust me telling you how to do your job?

Since when is asking people to educate themselves an issue?

To begin with, I feel that the billboards are disingenuous at best. I think that the message caters strongly to a libertarian sense of self-sufficiency that a lot of people entertain regarding the wealth of information the internet has dropped in everyone’s hands. If you have the information available to you, clearly that means you can make quality decisions regarding what you should do with it. This assumes that by having access to the information, you are automatically able to comprehend its content, judge its veracity and synthesize the point. This is actually at direct odds with the nature of the task of education: if you don’t know something, you don’t know what’s true about it or what’s false about it. If you have equal access to truth and lies about a subject, all of it presented earnestly by every author and fundamentally possess no metric by which you can disentangle truth from falsehood, how in the world can you overlook the information that’s false in favor of what’s true? By gut feeling alone? (If you can, you have my admiration.) If you’re uneducated about a subject, this is your starting state.

Asking people to self-educate is like asking them to roll the dice where you’re hoping that the random walk through the information landscape that they actually take will lead them to… what? Anything but stumbling over misinformation? From a position of complete ignorance, self-education can only ever work if you happen to get your hands on only true information. Otherwise, you have no choice but to depend on the expertise of the individual you have ultimately acquired your information from, and that individual could be anyone. If they present in a believable manner, how do you know that what they’re saying is untrue? And, if you’re doing this through Google U, you have shot yourself in the foot from the start because there is no editorial control over what you’ll find. At some level, if you aren’t willing to bow to the opinion of a true expert, you’re in over your head.

A genuine billboard would better have read, “Have questions about vaccines? Talk to your physician today.” Problem is that many in the anti-vaccine crowd only like the experts that parrot their preconfirmed opinion… that’s why the billboard does an end run around expertise altogether and implies that laypeople can spontaneously acquire the truth of a subject about which they may be too ignorant to find the ground.

I would like to believe that people can spontaneously self-educate, but I don’t have great faith in it in most cases –mainly because I have a great deal of hands-on experience at failing to do it myself.

she “rejects your belief that vaccines bring about improved health” and “your belief that herd immunity can be achieved through vaccinations.”

I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Whether the science is accurate or not should not have a bearing on someones right to choose what they put into their body. Even if it’s water.

A. ACIP’s role is to recommend vaccines based on science. They don’t mandate anything.
B. Children are not part of a parent’s body (when discussing childhood vaccines).

So what you’re saying is that the government has the right to decide what goes into my child’s body more than I do? Absolutely not.

In this case, I’m pointing out that the claim to bodily autonomy is wrong – and disturbing, if you really cannot tell the difference between your child’s body and your own.
Parents are the first medical decision makers for their children. But their power is not absolute, and when they endanger children the state can step in. The U.S. state and federal governments, however, rarely do that in the vaccine context, and only when the risk ot the child is very high. School mandates do not force any parent to protect their child from disease. If you choose not to vaccinate, however, and not to protect the child, school mandates can limit your ability to send the unvaccinated child to school. You do not have a constitutional right to make school less safe from disease for other people’s children.

What makes you think people believe their children are their own body? The point is that children are our children. They are not the governments children. They are legally our dependents. Yes, the parents decision should be absolute. If it’s not, then children are effectively dependents of the state, not the parents. I’m not arguing that children should be allowed into institutions that require vaccines. I’m just making it clear that I don’t believe the government should be allowed to dictate what happens to a child if they decide to stay home or go to a private school.

Yes, the parents decision should be absolute.

So if a parent decides to use prayer to treat meningitis or faith healing to treat cancer and to refuse proven treatments like antibiotics, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, the government should just sit back and fold its arms and let the child die? NO.
If a parent is physically or sexually abusive to a child, the state can intervene and remove the child. If parents refuse to let their children have their cancers treated the state can force treatment to save the children’s lives.
Parents are responsible for their children, but even loving parents can get it wrong. If a parent acts in a way that would result in harm or death to a child, the state is obliged to intervent.

So what you’re saying is that the government has the right to decide what goes into my child’s body more than I do? Absolutely not.

and

Yes, the parents decision should be absolute.

How far are you prepared to ride that “absolute” horse? Should parent’s have the right to say that their child doesn’t get food, or a diabetic child, insulin? To decide to feed their children bleach, or rat poison?

A parent’s first job is arguably look out for the health and wellbeing of their children – unfortunately becoming a parent does not magically make someone infallible or to be frank a good person. As such there are numerous scenarios where they get it wrong through ignorance or malice and this results in harm to the child, in such scenarios third parties (such as the government) have to step in.

A child being a dependent of the parent is not a free pass for the parent to do whatever the hell they want regarding the child – it’s a responsibility.

As regards vaccines in particular they aren’t forcing any parent to vaccinate – but they are taking steps to protect others in society (such as the immunocompromised, those too young to be vaccinated etc) from the increased risk presented by an unvaccinated child. Vaccines aren’t perfect – but nothing is, if you’re holding out for some sort of 100% iron-clad assurance of safety then I hate to break it to you but you aren’t cut out for living in reality.

Just to put emphasis on motosubatsu points:

Should parents have the right to say that their child doesn’t get food, or a diabetic child, insulin? To decide to feed their children bleach, or rat poison?

These are not hypothetical or rare situations. All of these are real-life examples of parenting neglect or abuse in North America and Europe, with sensational cases being revealed on a yearly basis, if not way more often.

Also note that these parents don’t necessarily have bad intentions. They just believe that withholding food/medication or giving harmful chemicals is for the child’s best interests.
The ‘feed their children bleach’ is actually a fad among some parents of autistic children who were misled into thinking that it will “cure” their children, by killing toxins/parasites/bad bacteria. Also, ‘feed’ is to be used loosely, the bleaching agent is often administered on each end of the digestive tract. Either way, it’s doing a lot of harm and no good.

They are not the governments children. They are legally our dependents.

If you’re talking about the U.S. tax code, sure. Otherwise, this is more meaninglessness.

I don’t understand what you are inferring. My point is that my decision and medicine are independent of one another. Let’s not forget the federal government has criminalized and continues to criminalize cannabis use. It’s bad enough having the government tell you what you can’t do, but when a government starts telling you what you must do, then the sirens start going off.

I’m inferring that the current state of medicine is one where doctors have the authority to force you or trick you into taking medications. Of course, they do not do that all the time, but they do do it. Because they know what’s best for you when you don’t. That’s the gist of the underlying logic.

Let’s not forget the federal government has criminalized and continues to criminalize cannabis use.

Yes, let’s, as it’s apropos of nothing here, except perhaps your comments.

It’s bad enough having the government tell you what you can’t do, but when a government starts telling you what you must do, then the sirens start going off.

That is a strawman. Prof. Reiss’ explanation is far more detailed but the government does not tell you what to do re: vaccines.

There are numerous people who want to criminalize parents who do not vaccinate their children. I’m a little shaken by this after seeing the healthcare act require insurance even if you do not want it. Two separate issues but an underlying theme.

There are numerous people who want to criminalize parents who do not vaccinate their children. I’m a little shaken by this after seeing the healthcare act require insurance even if you do not want it. Two separate issues but an underlying theme.

“Numerous people” does not equate to the government criminalising anti-vaxx/non-vaxx parents. Frankly I’d like to see a financial incentive regarding non-vaccination such as what is done with smokers and in Australia with the child credit. The ACA mandate is part and parcel of universal healthcare, which is appalling the U.S. doesn’t have. As such, not having medical insurance is costly to the rest of us so no reason to quake in your libertarian boots.

when a government starts telling you what you must do, then the sirens start going off.

Income Tax
Jury Duty
Conscription
At least here in Canada, those are really the only cases where the government explicitly says ‘You must do this’ under force of law (unless you’ve been accused of a crime). Everything else, like vaccination, is ‘you are not allowed to do X unless you also do Y’ (send children to school without vaccinations, drive without a licence, etc.) That’s a lot different from ‘you must do Y’.

I’m a little shaken by this after seeing the healthcare act require insurance even if you do not want it.

Aside from the fact that there is no longer a tax penalty associated with the ACA, fine. Now, let’s modify the rest of the law so that this choice carries concomitant financial responsibilities. Perhaps medical expenses should no longer be dischargeable in bankruptcy for the uninsured. Why should hospitals have to carry the freight for people who make bad choices?

Persons over 18 years of age (or 21, depending upon where they live) have the right to please themselves about being vaccinated, BUT, does a parent or carer have the moral right to refuse, on behalf of their child, a beneficial medical treatment that is highly successful (and safe) at preventing known childhood diseases?

In other words, is it morally right to leave a child vulnerable to preventable diseases because of ill-founded beliefs about vaccination?
Is it morally right to refuse administration of a drug (e.g. antibiotic), or procedure (e.g. emergency surgery) that will aid in the curing of a disease or ailment?

Is it morally right to expose a child to danger?

“Is it morally right to expose a child to danger?”

There’s also a danger in seeing danger everywhere.

AoA – EDITOR AND COMMENTERS – present their views on the meeting today.
RFK jr was not permitted to rant… uh, *speak^

There’s really no place to post this that makes sense, but because I feel like this is one of my communities, I just thought I’d stop in and say that I figured out I’m trans, which is interesting and also kind of “ohhhh duh” moment. It does present a few problems.

See my reply below, I guess; didn’t notice the “reply” button here.

Anyway, for some unfathomable reason, I actually really like the very boring name John.

Haha, yeah, I’ve mentioned it to a few people and they were like, “Haha, no sh!t dude.”

Well, for the time being I’m living in the middle of nowhere with my mom, who’s a Jehovah’s Witness and lots of relatives around, so that just kind of presents certain… problems. Basically I just need to really get my sh!t together and get some kind of job and hope I can handle it and move. I’m actually kind of thinking Madison, WI; I have a bunch of close college friends there, just by various coincidences.

Ah that, so sorry. Well yes you need to get yourself in a good place in a multitude of things but you are doing that and don’t be too hard on yourself, progress can be painfully slow. I wish I could do more. By the way, I like Jack too. My father’s name was John and he always chuckled when people called him Jack.

@JP
I have no idea if this could be useful to you, but here goes:
There is a webcomic (NSFW) in English called “Go get a Roomie”. The French/Belgian author is currently exploring Trans/Poly/etc. themes.
The author and a few commenters may let slip a few good advices.
Some commenters may be less supportive, so please be careful.

@ JP:

When I first interacted with you, I naturally assumed that you were a guy.

You have many friends and fans at RI and to us, you’re you.: interesting, smart, real, great. A decision like that is only up to YOU. It’s difficult but only one person can work it out.

I wonder myself: at which point does a person decide: ( forgive me it I get terms wrong) does someone go from identifying as a Mannish Girl** to a Man? Or gender neutral or gender fluid to a more distinct category? Then, ONLY the person themselves knows.
Long ago, did people not consider more options because of how others thought ( social norms), so it was either M or F. And TYPE of M or F ( sissy/ butch; soft / hard)- there are more choices.

Then of course there’s the whole : is this intellectual/ emotional/ social or do I need to get parts fixed? Oh boy. Literally.
I wonder how much of identity is physical vs mental anyway. For ANYONE.I suppose that there are many answers and that each person themselves has to find the path that suits them best.
You’ll do alright. Take your time.

** obligatory Blues reference

that should be person THEMSELF twice and maybe fem not sissy – although my gay uncle used the latter that’s where I got it.

And, “John” is so turn-of-the-previous-century. Nothing wrong with that if you like it.

You have many friends and fans at RI and to us, you’re you.: interesting, smart, real, great.

Thanks, Denice. 🙂

I wonder myself: at which point does a person decide: ( forgive me it I get terms wrong) does someone go from identifying as a Mannish Girl** to a Man? Or gender neutral or gender fluid to a more distinct category?

Idk, I can’t really speak in generalities, but I know both people who identified as genderqueer or non-binary or whatever along the way to deciding to actually transition in some sort of binary way and people who are definitely non-binary. I mean, the gender binary is fake anyway, and it’s not like I’m going to be entirely inside of it or anything anyway.

It’s sort of like a weird proprioceptive or even “energetic” (yes, I know) thing. Like I’ve had this feeling for as long as I can remember that something was wrong in sort of a queasy, unsettling way, but I just kind of would bury it as deep as I could when I felt it because yuck. (This is not a good strategy for emotional health and development.) And then there was the sort of obvious stuff, like being a tomboy, wanting to be a boy (ohhhh duh haha), having mostly guy friends, etc. It’s astonishing how repression/denial can really prevent you from putting two and two together.

Long ago, did people not consider more options because of how others thought ( social norms), so it was either M or F. And TYPE of M or F ( sissy/ butch; soft / hard)- there are more choices.

Could be, at least in some cultures at some times. (Lots of cultures have also had other gender roles besides “man” and “woman.”) But yeah, I think it’s super rad that people are recognizing different options and stuff now. And, I mean, gender stereotypes are boring anyway. I’m not going to start talking about trucks and football or whatever all the time. I didn’t like stereotypical girl or girl stuff as a kid. I was into books and music and make-believe and stuff.

Then of course there’s the whole : is this intellectual/ emotional/ social or do I need to get parts fixed? Oh boy. Literally.

Lol. I’m familiar with the options. For some strange reason, I’ve been reading about this stuff for like … 10 years or something? Because that’s definitely not a sign of anything.

I wonder how much of identity is physical vs mental anyway. For ANYONE.

I honestly don’t really see how they can be separate.

The one thing I’m caught up on are the cases of sudden regression. There are thousands of testimonials from parents saying their children were happy and healthy one day, get vaccinated the next, and within a few days have regressed. Maybe this is a fraction of the total cases of ASD, but the question is what is happening? Even if genetics + other factors make them more susceptible, what’s causing them to tip over the edge?

“what’s causing them to tip over the edge?”

Statistics.

Children who will become autistic will become so regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated. The regress happens statistically around the same time that they get vaccinated. So it ends up being an illusion in which these parents are unfortunately caught.

Exactly. Testimonials may also be influenced by events which happened LONG AFTER the event: e.g. child gets MMR in 2002, parents reads misinformation in 2004. To a certain degree, memory works like this that’s why we have to be careful of how we relate our experience- you don’t have a tape running in your head that you can access.
-btw- recently, commenters here presented studies that showed that regression is rather common.

There are thousands of testimonials from parents saying their children were happy and healthy one day, get vaccinated the next, and within a few days have regressed.

It’s because they didn’t notice the subtle signs of autism prior to the age where both developmental milestones (or lack thereof) reveal more autistic behaviours and vaccines. Please note that it is in rather poor taste to infer that autistics are not happy and healthy; that is not the case with all but unfortunately is with the parents who insist it was vaccines that caused their child’s autism.

To back what the others have said, I refer you to Michelle Cedillo, one of the test cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings before Vaccine Court.
As part of their case, the Cedillos introduced video of Michelle at 15 months, before her vaccines. Experts in autism were able to show that in the video Michelle was showing autistic behaviours, and that her parents were adjusting their behaviour to her.

Wait this is one example… I’m sure this happens frequently. I actually know of parents who are a prime example of what you are referring to.

I’m referring to sudden regression, such as a kid banging his head against a wall continuously that didn’t happen a week previous of getting the vaccine, flapping their arms, or ceasing to laugh or communicate. These are specific actions, not someones interpretation of actions. Of course there’s non regressive ASD.

You are telling me that you are certain that there are absolutely no genetic factors where the ingredients in a vaccine could cause an autoimmune response? See that’s what blows my mind. People will sit here and argue all day about how vaccines dont cause autism, and maybe they don’t directly, but no one will bring up the other variables involved. You carry heterozygous traits that may become homozygous in your children. Given that we still have an enormous way to go with genetics and studies around genetics, I just think it’s crazy to come to a conclusion that something can’t happen when most people are effectively ignorant about the complexity of the situation.

It would be more telling if people flat out said, hey if you’re worried get tested for these 5-10 major correlated genetic factors then make an educated decision. Why aren’t we seeing that? My pediatrician has no idea what MTHFR is and there’s been numerous studies correlating MTHFR with autism and autoimmune disease.

I’m sure [regression] happens frequently. I actually know of parents who are a prime example of what you are referring to.

We’ve heard all these stories, but in instance after instance, it turns out that it didn’t happen that way. It turns out that as with Michelle Cedillo, there were clear signs of autism before the vaccination.

You are telling me that you are certain that there are absolutely no genetic factors where the ingredients in a vaccine could cause an autoimmune response?

That is a straw man argument. Two, in fact. Autism is not an autoimmune disorder.

People will sit here and argue all day about how vaccines dont cause autism, and maybe they don’t directly

Two things:
Firstly, large studies, including a meta-analysis looking at more than 14 million people, found no correlation between vaccines and autism. In a sample that huge, if vaccines caused even a minority of cases of autism, the effect would have been detected.
Secondly, “maybe they don’t directly” is pseudoscientific. The evidence is against the vaccine autism causation hypothesis. You are trying to explain the evidence away, to use Antaeus Feldspar’s excellent comment.

My pediatrician has no idea what MTHFR is and there’s been numerous studies correlating MTHFR with autism and autoimmune disease.

Cite these studies..

This is what I’m referring to. You aren’t listening to the parents. Have you watched at least 10 video testimonials of parents who witnessed their children regress? Link them please

Is it definitive that ASD isn’t an autoimmune disorder? I heard that at least some forms are. If it’s not an autoimmune disorder then what is it? I’ve read a few studies saying it’s the mother with the autoimmune disease that potentially impacts brain development before birth. Is this in line with what you believe?

But meta analysis is technically pseudoscience isn’t it? It has it’s place in observation and hypothesis but doesn’t actually perform any specific experimentation. It should be used as a tool to form hypothesis and then experiment? How many of these ASD diagnosis are neurological vaccine injuries then? Here’s a meta analysis on MTHFR https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23653228

Do you believe autism is microbiome related?

To back what the others have said, I refer you to Michelle Cedillo, one of the test cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings before Vaccine Court.
As part of their case, the Cedillos introduced video of Michelle at 15 months, before her vaccines. Experts in autism were able to show that in the video Michelle was showing autistic behaviours, and that her parents were adjusting their behaviour to her.

At 15 months, Julian, before her vaccines? I think you mean to suggest before her MMR. Have you considered the Cedillo may have been reacting to her other prior vaccines and then things got a lot worse after her MMR? Could it be that the Omnibus Autism Proceeding was essentially a strawman one? We take the heat off one vaccines and that proves everything.

This is what I’m referring to. You aren’t listening to the parents. Have you watched at least 10 video testimonials of parents who witnessed their children regress? Link them please

Testimonials are just that. When these parents testimonials are examined and fleshed out with medical histories and video (when available), in every case the parents have misremembered and revised history. Better than testimonials are the NVICP decisions for Cedillo, Hazelhurst, Hooker, King, Meade, Dwyer, Snyder, etc.

Here’s a meta analysis on MTHFR https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23653228

You misrepresent or didn’t read correctly. The association was found where dietary deficiencies existed, besides, nothing to do with vaccines. And no, correctly conducted meta-analyses are powerful tools, not pseudoscience by any metric.

It’s also troubling that they only want parents who believe the claims to be listened to. What about the many autism parents – and autistics – who tell them that they are harming the autism community by spreading dehumanizing myths and promoting harmful treatments?

But meta analysis is technically pseudoscience isn’t it?

Where did you get this idea?
Like any scientific study, a meta-analysis’s stated objectives, methods and especially the statistical analysis been done are to be assessed when giving any weight to its results. That’s all.

Here’s a meta analysis on MTHFR

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23653228

This meta-analysis shows a correlation between some forms of genetic diseases/malfunctions (to put it in simple terms), and autism.
Its conclusions are also that the effect on the fetus of this genetic disease could be alleviated by a diet fortified on folic acid.
Also, for a biologist, it’s quite clear that MTHFR polymorphism is not an autoimmune disease. If anything, ‘polymorphism’ is a specific term from the geniticist’s jargon, and there is no mention of immunity in the abstract.
How do you link this to vaccines? That’s quite a jump.

It would be more telling if people flat out said, hey if you’re worried get tested for these 5-10 major correlated genetic factors then make an educated decision. Why aren’t we seeing that? My pediatrician has no idea what MTHFR is and there’s been numerous studies correlating MTHFR with autism and autoimmune disease.

Which you have not provided. Why aren’t we seeing genetic testing to see the degree to which one is related to a bonobo? That could be revealing in your case.

@ Questions

get tested for these 5-10 major correlated genetic factors

I was visiting the Pasteur Institute in Paris some weeks ago and they have this nice historical poster about the institute’s scientific endeavors.
One of their long-term project is the study of the genetics behind autism, since before 2000. IIRC, the list of involved genes went recently past 200.
I won’t be surprised if one day we end up with basically all genes involved in brain development on the list. Seems autism is way more diverse and complicated than we anticipated.
It make take a wee bit more time to refine the list and design a meaningful screening test.

Ok this is the problem. If it were a few parents saying this, then I’d understand. It’s happening too often. I think one problem with the “anti-vax” community is that these specific triggers aren’t being taken seriously. Even if the child would have been diagnosed with ASD at some point, there is absolutely some type of trigger happening in some children after being vaccinated. If a child is happy, healthy, making eye contact, talking and then stops.. you’re telling me that it was going to happen anyway where they suddenly regress in a matter of days? Testimonials are data. Everything is data. The medium to discover these events is fatally flawed.

If the “pro vax” community can take a serious look into these very specific cases where children regress within days of a vaccine and figure out what the issue here is, then you will probably convert 80-90% of “anti vaxers.” My guess is there is some type of genetic susceptibility mixed with some type of deficiency such as vitamin d.

Even if the child would have been diagnosed with ASD at some point

Then why would vaccination matter?

Testimonials are data. Everything is data.

You’re only half right. Testimonials are the weakest form of data. Eyewitness testimony is known to be unreliable. It has been shown that after Andrew Wakefield released his “case study”, parents of autistic children edited their memories. Many believed that the MMR had caused their children’s autism, but when the medical records were checked, these turned out to be wrong.
Jenny McCarthy’s story of her son Evan has changed several times.

If the “pro vax” community can take a serious look into these very specific cases where children regress within days of a vaccine

We have looked. And every time, there has been no “there” there.

What do you mean why does it matter? Because if there’s a discovery that shows vaccines compound whatever the issue is, then there’s a chance it can reduce the amount of damage or reverse it. Of course it matters.

Testimonials are still data. At first they weren’t data. Now they are the weakest form of data. I’m not sitting here telling you testimonials are the best form of data. I’m simply saying that there are a lot of video testimonials of parents who see their kids regress within days.

In regards to the Exley study, the only takeaway is that another study needs to be done. They found aluminum in brains with ASD. That’s it. They didn’t have anything to compare it to, great go back and form another hypothesis and get to work. Aren’t you interested in a follow up study?

Lots of people claim to have been probed by aliens too.

It’s also called “recall bias.”

In regards to the Exley study, the only takeaway is that another study needs to be done. They found aluminum in brains with ASD. That’s it. They didn’t have anything to compare it to, great go back and form another hypothesis and get to work. Aren’t you interested in a follow up study?

What good is it if the methods are so poor that the results are useless? That is exactly what Mold et al. did and I wouldn’t doubt that given their waste of precious brain tissue samples that they were unable to procure any more.

There are now two scientists that worked for the CDC that have provided testimonial evidence that they found evidence of autism correlated with MMR vaccine for specific subgroups of children (black male toddlers and children with mitochondrial diseases). Your questions are most appropriate.

Beth Clarkson: no, neither has actually provided data for such a link, and Thompson certainly didn’t claim a causal connection existed; in fact, in his statement to Posey he explained that the finding that troubled him so (and that is pretty clearly spurious) is not evidence of causal connection.

Both of these claims were addressed in this blog in detail, and have no real substance. Maybe it’s fair for someone unfamiliar to ask “is there anything to these claims,” but no, they’re not a good basis to reject vaccines and thevdata that shows they don’t cause autism.

There are now two scientists that worked for the CDC that have provided testimonial evidence that they found evidence of autism correlated with MMR vaccine for specific subgroups of children (black male toddlers and children with mitochondrial diseases). Your questions are most appropriate.

Seriously Beth? The Thompson nonsense has been discussed ad nauseum and Zimmerman isn’t a “CDC scientist” and his claim is just that and based on an n=1. You’re a statistician, you really want to roll with that?

@ Dorit: I didn’t say they provided data nor did I say anything about their findings being cause to reject vaccines. Please try to avoid reading more into my statements that my words state. I said they provided testimony supporting a correlation and, as you are well aware, correlation is not necessarily causation. They were both experienced researchers employed by the CDC when they made their findings and both have stated the CDC tried to keep their findings out of the public eye. Both indicated that more research would be appropriate. This is I why I felt they supported Questions questions.

While the published data does not prove that vaccines cause autism, to extrapolate that the lack of significant findings means vaccines don’t ever cause autism is taking the current research beyond what has been proven. The published data is not inconsistent with a subgroup of children being adversely affected by the vaccine. That is exactly what those researchers identified yet those findings were not made public nor further research instigated at that time. This is why people like Questions and myself continue to voice questions and concerns about the vaccine schedule. It is why many parents do not feel they can trust the recommendations made by the CDC.

There are now two scientists that worked for the CDC that have provided testimonial evidence

Someone on Twiddle the other day was banging on about Zimmerman the CDC whistleblower… even though Zimmerman has never had any connection to the CDC. It is bizarre. It is as if the prion disease has progressed to the point that “CDC!!” has become a Worship Word – a shorthand for “Evil Gubblement Conspiracy” – in the minds of the movement’s duckspeakers and dogwhistlers.

My son has Aspergers, and although he was only diagnosed at the age of 11, with the benefit of hindsight we can see that there were signs from a very young age. What I did not see, was a sudden ‘regression’ – I hate that word in this context! – after he was given vaccines. We found that at the age of 11, new school etc, he reached a tipping point and just couldn’t cope anymore, which brought his autism to vivid attention. Incidentally, symptoms of autism can be very similar to those of trauma, which can lead to a very difficult time with Social Services/Education Authority. So, for what it’s worth in terms of weak data, that is my testimonial – neither I nor my family, as lay people with no scientific or medical expertise, noticed a link between my son’s autism and his vaccinations.

Whoopedydoo!

Hello Carl. Aspie here.

Incidentally, symptoms of autism can be very similar to those of trauma, which can lead to a very difficult time with Social Services/Education Authority.

And speaking from personal experience, bullying (an actual trauma) can make it worse. If your son is still in school, I recommend you keep an eye on him in case he’s being bullied. It may also be useful to sign him up for martial arts training.

Julian – thanks for that, we are very lucky that right now he is at a school where the teacher/pupil ratio is such that bullying is almost impossible. At his previous school it was starting to happen – also from teachers who did not know him, especially as he was not diagnosed at that time. In fact I was being accused of violent behaviour towards him, hence his behaviour, but after the diagnosis things have gradually smoothed out – he stopped speaking to people out of his immediate circle at the previous school, which has continued, to be honest he won’t interact with other people much and I don’t really know how to encourage this without pressurising him which always seems counter-productive,
Thanks again,

Carl

I watched the whole thing. Del was unbelievable. He did not seem sober. He adjusted his clothing a lot. The rest of them were cringeworthy. How do they think science is on their side? Allison Singer and the Lori Boyle (both FB friends of mine) were FANTASTIC.

16 years of doing this vaccine online debate. It just gets worse every year but this is the first year I have ever felt there is a glimmer of hope. All these bills on the horizon and the media exposing the lies and misinformation and bullying and money issues. I recently realized almost all the state vaccine “choice” groups are related to Mark Blaxil, Safe Minds, and Age of Autism. So frustrating but I hope and pray their extreme negativity is being exposed!

What are you hoping for exactly? There are numerous independent arguments to be made here.

Publicly traded pharmaceutical companies manufacturer vaccines given to children. These companies can be owned by private companies who in turn are owned by foreign companies. Massive conflict of interest
Manufacturers have no liability, even if their vaccines work, they make mistakes and have no repercussions. This should be unconstitutional.
Pharmaceutical companies who are making vaccines do some highly unethical even illegal things
Vaccines change and more are being introduced
Vaccines still cause injuries, unrelated to autism
The average life expectancy growth is the worst it’s ever been
1/5 people have an autoimmune disease

Do you expect this debate to ever end? It won’t and it shouldn’t. Questioning anything is always good, especially when it comes to your health.

You’ve just confirmed you’re antivaxx.

Publicly traded pharmaceutical companies manufacturer vaccines given to children. These companies can be owned by private companies who in turn are owned by foreign companies.

Conspiracy theorist much?

Manufacturers have no liability

Incorrect. Manufacturers can still be sued for faults in the manufcturing and QC of vaccines.

The average life expectancy growth is the worst it’s ever been

Operative word “growth”. That means that life expectancy is still increasing, just not as fast as it once was. Do you not realise the logical flaw in your argument?

1/5 people have an autoimmune disease

Citation needed, and citation needed that vaccines are responsible.

Questioning anything is always good

No. Antivaxxers like you constantly question vaccine safety, raising questions over and over again that have been answered multiple times already, and ignoring the answers because they disprove your beliefs. When a question has been answered, repeating the question is just a waste of time.

“Do you expect this debate to ever end? It won’t and it shouldn’t.”

“then you will probably convert 80-90% of “anti vaxers.”

Sorry, which of the 2 statements do you want us to use to ‘debate’ you?

“The average life expectancy growth is the worst it’s ever been”

Oh FFS.
The slowing/reversal of life expectancy is mostly happening in the US, and it has a lot to do with the amount of obesity there in the population (now that’s an epidemic, if you look for one). Add the opioïd epidemic, for good measure.
Oh, and that the US has a very crappy healthcare system, going crappier by the day. Not in term of quality, it’s one of the best; still leading on a number of fronts. But in term of accessibility.
In most of the other North American countries, and in most European countries, people usually don’t have to worry about going bankrupt just by having a ambulance driving them to the hospital. And insulin doesn’t cost $300 a month, or whatever it is now for you lucky people.

Also, maybe, just maybe, life expectancy cannot just keep on growing forever.

Your attitude is a good example of the larger problem. You want everything to be binary. I don’t blame you, even though most people understand the idea of multiple variables, psychologically humans have a hard time actually processing them. I want vaccines. I want vaccines that I feel confident in. If I have issues with the current state of vaccines then all of a sudden I’m “anti vax.” I guess

“Conspiracy theorist much?”

It’s a fact. It’s not a conspiracy. I think this was directed towards you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU

“Incorrect. Manufacturers can still be sued for faults in the manufcturing and QC of vaccines.”

You’re wrong. Bruesewitz v. Wyeth

“Operative word “growth”. That means that life expectancy is still increasing, just not as fast as it once was. Do you not realise the logical flaw in your argument?”

No, I don’t see a flaw in my argument because all I did was state a fact. Great, it increased 0.6% in 10 years when we’ve had more innovation than anytime in history. Yay? 10 year ALE growth rate:

1967: 1.4%
1977: 4.0%
1987: 2.2%
1997: 2.1%
2007: 2.1%
2017: 0.6%

20% from here https://www.aarda.org/knowledge-base/many-americans-autoimmune-disease/ no one said vaccines are responsible. That’s why we’re here today. To figure out things.

“No. Antivaxxers like you constantly question vaccine safety, raising questions over and over again that have been answered multiple times already, and ignoring the answers because they disprove your beliefs. When a question has been answered, repeating the question is just a waste of time.”

Then we’ll never agree because of this point alone. Even if vaccines had 100% voluntary uptake i would still question them. Just like I question the water I drink or the air I breath. A healthy society is one of free thought. If you’re wanting everyone to be aligned then you might prefer a more authoritative government. You only feel like people ignore the answers. The problem is that the answers aren’t fixing the problem. Maybe you have a more passive frame of mind where you easily accept answers. I don’t know. Even if vaccines had no side effects, I would still be completely against a company having no liability for their product.

“Also, maybe, just maybe, life expectancy cannot just keep on growing forever.”

Since we do know other countries ALE then we know it can be doing better. My point was showing that we’re not healthy. I didn’t say this was from vaccines. I’m saying that overall, now’s not the time to stop questioning the problems with our healthcare. Yes healthcare is ridiculously expensive, but that’s due to economic problems related to regulation. If you want to dive into that let’s do it.

My point was showing that we’re not healthy.

And I pointed to some obvious differences between you Yankees and us Old Europeans. For now. We are not going slimmer, either.

I didn’t say this was from vaccines.

Then why bring it up?

Yes healthcare is ridiculously expensive, but that’s due to economic problems related to regulation.

I’m half-tempted to continue on this line, but let’s keep to this thread’s topic. Vaccines.

“Incorrect. Manufacturers can still be sued for faults in the manufcturing and QC of vaccines.”

You’re wrong. Bruesewitz v. Wyeth

Nope. Bruesewitz covers only design defects, not manufacturing or warning defects.

The debate will never end. I understand this fact. My hope is that we will see philosophical and religious exemptions to vaccine mandates for school, university, military work, and work in healthcare settings be legally removed.

Asking questions is very important. I always say that. Where you get the answer is also important.

If the manufacturer makes a mistake in making the vaccine, you can sue in claims court. If you have a rare severe reaction to a vaccine, you cannot sue pharma companies in claims court because it is not their fault you had a rare reaction. But, you can apply for compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

You should look at lawsuit data from other countries with similar vaccine schedules, like Australia. Do you see a lot of lawsuits? Do you see any pharma ads? No to both. And you will also see cost benefit analysis is why universal healthcare countries pay for vaccines. Disease outbreaks are vastly more expensive.

Please post statistics about autoimmune diseases before 1950. Oh wait, there is not much because we knew basically nothing back then. That does not mean rates have gone up. It means we know more.

Right. There’s also Generation Rescue; the Canary Party is another one . They re-name groups ( maybe CP became Health Choice ). In addition, some of the principals contribute to groups like TMR – others there in turn started Fearless Parent, involving diverse woo folk.
In short, it’s a small incestuous group.
I once looked over facebook numbers and other measures for various groups, twitter accounts and was unable to find more than 50K for any one of them ( The Vaccine Machine facebook was the most) Remember, they must include all family members and dogs and cats.

One of the anti-vaccine speakers was Patricia Neuenschwander, a Nurse Practitioner with the Bio Energy Medical Center in Michigan. One might say she is a shill for Big Alternative. She is also married to James Neuenschwander, MD, the founder of the Center. James Neuenschwander was disciplined after questionable treatment of a breast cancer patient.

@Questions
You cite Youtube for conspiracy theories. Not exactly reliable source.
You cite advocacy group for how many Americans have autoimmune disease. These groups are known to give impossible high numbers. Please go into details. How many Americans have diabetes I, etc. And, of course, vaccines have nothing to do with this.
Drop of ALE growth rate is indeed caused by obesity. It is very well known health risk.
You may have a constitutional right to have measles, but I do not think that you have right to make your children sick. Neither you have right to make other peoples’ children sick.

What was the conspiracy theory? I don’t remember saying any. I apologize if the advocacy group isn’t accurate. Please revise the number then. My point was in regards to the health of the country. Maybe it’s a stretch to have brought up the fact that our country isn’t healthy in a vaccine topic. Not vaccinating your children doesn’t mean they get sick. You’re inferring that it does. If you’re approaching the idea that getting another child sick forms liability, then you’re really going down a slippery slope.

“What was the conspiracy theory? I don’t remember saying any.”

You wrote:

“Publicly traded pharmaceutical companies manufacturer vaccines given to children. These companies can be owned by private companies who in turn are owned by foreign companies. Massive conflict of interest”

Sure, there are problems with pharmaceutical companies. But their demonization in no way settles the science about vaccines.

To me, I’ve always been surprised to see that most “conspiracy theories” about pharmaceutical companies can often be traced back to statements by doctors. To me, it seems that they have a tendency not to own up to the fact that it is doctors who are prescribing medications, and it seems rather uncanny to claim “Pharma made me do it”.

If you’re approaching the idea that getting another child sick forms liability, then you’re really going down a slippery slope.

What slope would that be? As a practical matter, the tort system is a lousy remedy, but there’s no time like the present to clear up your vagueness.

Not vaccinating your kids does mean that they get sick:
https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/esw.06.27.01933-en
Measles epidemic causes 19 cases of encephalitis and 3 deaths. This does not include pneumonia, which comes later.
Infecting other peoples’ children is not, in this case, criminal liability, but it is not constitutional right, either. Latter one was my point.
If 20% of people have autoimmune disease, 1 of 5 people you know would have one. I do not know anybody with autoimmune disease, do you ?

“Not vaccinating your children doesn’t mean they get sick”

True, but it does mean they are more likely to catch vaccine preventable diseases, eg measles cases in England trebled this year while vaccinations have been declining for the past five years. Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but I’d be very interested in any ‘alternative’ reasons.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/01/vaccine-deniers-gaining-traction-nhs-england-chief-simon-stevens

I love how you ride this unethical issue when thousands of orphans & mentally handicapped have unethically been used for your vaccine experiments.

You’ve got Families investigating facts while you look busy doing absolutely nothing.

I think you’re referring to experiments in the 1960s, where standards for testing were not what they were today, and would be considered unethical. I agree that those experiments – which were across the board, and not limited to vaccines – were extremely problematic. As a reason not to protect children from diseases today, the lower standards for research in the 1960s is irrelevant. Data still shows vaccines prevent diseases and are safe.

I would add that it’s always a little jarring to hear the argument that “they experimented unethically in the 1960s” from someone who is part of a movement that uses untested, potentially abusive, and dangerous treatments against children with autism – like chelation, MMS, HBoT and more. If you really oppose experiments on disabled children, that is a much better – and current – target to focus on. But many of you either participate or support that.

You do realize that rules were created to prevent those unethical practices. It is the reason for the Belmont Report. Yet, there are calls to do a “vaccinated” versus “unvaccinated” random control study by those who do not like vaccines (like Del Bigtree). It seems they want to ignore the Belmont Report. Kind of hypocritical.

That same group (AARDA) cites the NIH as estimating 23.5 million Americans with autoimmune disease of various sorts (there are about 80 separate diseases in that category. That’s around 7% of the population, not 20%. And there’s still no link shown to vaccination.

The Bruesewitz decision did not eliminate liability for manufacturing defects.

You’re not Just Asking Questions when all you’re doing is supplying false and misleading answers.

As for “slippery slopes”, do antivaxers really think there is no ethical or legal responsibiiity involved when an immunosuppressed child contracts a fatal vaccine-preventable infection from another child whose parents obtained a phony vaccine exemption for him?

That was the entire premise of the court case. I find interesting that two of you weren’t aware of this. http://law.emory.edu/elj/content/volume-67/issue-3/articles/liability-vaccine-injury-united-european-world.html and https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/national-childhood-vaccine-injury-act-and-supreme-courts-interpretation/2012-01

If an immunosuppressed child contracts a fatal vaccine-preventable illness from another child and the parents are held liable, then there will be no difference in any child becoming sick from any illness spread from another child where the parents won’t face similar criminal charges. You are setting precedent. Do you know how many flu lawsuits you’d have from people who received their shot and still infected people? I’m sure someone is trying to open that can of worms, but if I were you I wouldn’t be racing towards it.

That’s wrong in several ways.
A. Tort liability is not criminal law. These are very different.
B. There have been cases when people successfully sued others for being infected with a communicable disease.
C. As with most (though not all) cases, you would have to show negligence or intent. Not vaccinating a child is arguably unreasonable. So can sending the child to school unvaccinated or taking the child to a measles endemic area be. Sending a child to school when you know her siblings have measles and she’s unvaccinated would be closer to intent.
Getting flu after being vaccinated against it isn’t negligent. It’s bad luck.
It’s the difference between your brakes failing because you didn’t maintain them and then failing because of a rare mechanical failure even after you did maintain them.

Majority of the people who get the flu go into work. That’s negligence.

How on earth are parents who have a vaccine injured child going to bring a criminal lawsuit to a pharmaceutical company? If tort law doesn’t exist then it’s nearly impossible. You know this. This is exactly why tort law exists.

Here’s a hypothetical that happens to real life people. You take your son to get a dtap vaccine. He dies. You find the physician followed all the proper protocols. Are you going to be satisfied with the $250,000 payout (if you can prove it) and no responsibility from the manufacturer? Because that’s where it ends.

That [manufacturing defects] was the entire premise of the court case.

I, for one, am impressed that you could (1) be so ignorant of what you’re asserting, (2) keep running away from corrections, and (3) offered up a random case (Holmes) that flatly obviously contradicts your assertion. You seem to be in over your head. But, hey, you can make up the losses with volume, right?

“You seem to be in over your head. But, hey, you can make up the losses with volume, right?”

“Questions” must be an engineer. Just add another one who is over their head.

Majority of the people who get the flu go into work are flat on their ass for a week.

FTFY, bonobo.

Orac, I’ve been following your page for years and usually cheer at your insight. HOWEVER, your depiction of Alison Singer as being formerly anti-vaccine is completely off base. There is no one, not one person, in the public health community who has done more to debunk the vaccines cause autism myth than Alison Singer. The fact that she stayed at Autism Speaks for as long as she did to help this highly visible organization see the science light should be commended, not characterized as time spent being anti-vaccine.

And to the point of when a person did or did not believe in the science on this issue…any parent who doesn’t question what medical products are being put into their children is just plain lazy. Questioning vaccines and seeking the facts does not make a person anti-vax. If fact, during my early days as Executive Director of Every Child By Two, I too had questions. As a pregnant mother, I sat in the audience at the Congressional hearings and watched Andrew Wakefield explain his claim, leaving me to wonder – could it be? Even the CDC takes claims of potential side effects of vaccines very seriously, conducting follow up research when warranted. I was fortunate and my doubts were immediately resolved b/c I had access to experts like Walt Orenstein and Paul Offit to go to who could explain why Wakefield’s claims were complete nonsense. That is why we created the Vaccinate Your Baby program website and Facebook page – so that other parents could have access to the same type of experts.

Without Alison Singer, the public health community would still be fighting the likes of Jenny McCarthy. Alison stood firm against Autism Speaks, worked with groups like Every Child by Two and CHOP to debunk these myths, long before others came out of the woodwork to publicly decry the false information being shared by media, celebrities and others. I admire her courage and thank goodness for organizations like the Autism Science Foundation, who set the bar for all of us. Amy Pisani, Executive Director, Vaccinate Your Family – The Next Generation of Every Child By Two.

The Autism Science Foundation that Alison leads made and makes real contributions to understanding this. Their site on autism and vaccines is one of my common go-to sites when I interact with beginners. I like the way it explains this.
I also appreciate their help in this.

Amy Pisani writes,

The fact that she stayed at Autism Speaks for as long as she did to help this highly visible organization see the science light should be commended, not characterized as time spent being anti-vaccine.

MJD says,

Where was Alison Singer when MJD warned Autism Speaks about atopic autistic-children being exposed to their marketing products?

https://shop.autismspeaks.org/autism-speaks-balloons-100-pack-mixed-colors

Exposure to NRL-based products can increase NRL sensitization, especially balloons; and possibly vaccine packaging’s.

A time of anticipated celebration, a time of joy as brightly colored party balloons, wrapped gifts, paper plates, and inscribed napkins decorated picnic tables for family and friends gathered to share vanilla-frosted cake at my son’s 2nd birthday. He playfully mouthed an inflated natural-latex balloon while others cheerfully watched and sang happy birthday. Within the balloon was an invasive danger that would soon severely threaten and change his life forever. Shortly after playing with the balloon, his health steadily regressed as his adaptive immune system recognized and attacked the natural-latex proteins that had transferred, through inhalation and dermal absorption, from the balloon and into his body. As the allergic response progressed and intensified his health worsened, frightened parents comforted their child as each labored breath failed to change the dark-purple color in his lips from oxygen-starved blood. Rushed to the hospital emergency room, a nurse quickly injected adrenaline into his tiny shoulder. A mask supplied a steady stream of oxygen, and intravenous tubes dripped vital fluids into his arm, rapidly turning his lips a safe pink color allowing this atopic child to overcome a severe allergic reaction and live another day. Before leaving the hospital, a Doctor discussed his allergy situation; a nebulizer is used at home to relieve recurrent asthmatic symptoms. The treatments helped his breathing but failed to address its underlying cause and progression – his adaptive immune system was hyperactive and out of control. Within a year, he experienced many more allergic manifestations, and later diagnosed with regressive autism; helplessly imprisoned in behavioral atypicality.

“Where was Alison Singer when MJD warned Autism Speaks about atopic autistic-children being exposed to their marketing products?”

Are you serious?

I’d guess she was busy with more important things.

@ F68.10 and Julian Frost,

Unethical to prove a negative in medical science so MJD attempts to persuade the disuse (i.e., exclusionary means) of NRL to prove the allergy-induced regressive autism hypothesis. I will say no more about this…

Q. Would Orac label this a “vaccine safety advocate” gambit.

“Questions” still doesn’t understand the federal law that Bruesewitz upheld, namely that vaccine manufacturers cannot be directly sued in state courts for design defect claims – in other words, injuries claimed to be due to properly prepared vaccines must be litigated first through the federal vaccine court. The relevant law:

“Federal law prohibits parents from suing vaccine makers for design defects, saying that no vaccine maker can be held liable for death or injuries arising from “side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.”

http://healthland.time.com/2011/02/24/bruesewitz-v-wyeth-what-the-supreme-court-decision-means-for-vaccines/
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-152.pdf

If a vaccine maker was thought to have caused injury through faulty manufacturing, they still could be sued in state court.

Antivaxers who claim that there is zero liability for vaccine manufacturers are wrong, they typically keep repeating the falsehood even after being shown they’re in error.

Kudos though to “Questions” for griping about how longevity is still increasing in the U.S., just not as fast as (s)he thinks it should, because of Dem Evil Vaccines. 🙂

I went through that ruling. Some relevant quotes:

Within nine days [of MMR vaccination], Jacob began experiencing seizures and developed encephalopathies. He died approximately six months later. Acting on behalf of their son Jacob’s estate, Erin and Shawn Holmes petitioned for compensation from a government fund created by the Vaccine Act. They received $250,000 through the program.

Already, it appears doubtful that the vaccine caused the death. But Vaccine Court has been known to favour plaintiffs.

[T]he Act requires a plaintiff to show that the manufacturer had (1) engaged in conduct that would subject it to punitive damages under the Vaccine Act; or (2) failed to exercise due care.

The key phrase is “due care”.In other words, Vaccine manufacturers CAN be sued for faults in the manufacturing process.
To make it even clearer:

Provided that there was proper manufacture and warning, any remaining side effects, including those resulting from design defects, are deemed to have been unavoidable.

If there was “improper manufacture” or inadequate warning, the manufacturer can be sued.

Kudos to you for being wrong. again.

G-d, Holmes again. The Ninth Circuit is only the Ninth Circuit, and the only thing you have here is a rejection of warning defect, not the assertion of manufacturing defect that you’ve been asserting. Go fucking read Bruesewitz itself rather than flinging shit, lovingly scraping it off the wall, and flinging it again.

I’m not going to do your homework for you. I will, however, repeat that you’re out of your depth, which is clear from the fact that all you can do is post a link to the case over and over with no substantive analysis.

Why must any discussion of vaccinations be only couched in terms of Vax versus AntiVax? For many of us, the issues center more around a RATIONAL, national conversation on the subject of how many, how often and at what time to address our concerns over inundating developing immune systems with more than they can handle. Is there compelling medical reasoning as to why Measles, Mumps and Rubella must be given simultaneously at 12 months? Is their any compelling data that shows that ALL 12 month old infant immune systems are sufficiently developed to withstand the sudden onslaught of a simultaneous triple vaccination against these 3 diseases? Can someone tell me why postponing this vaccination another 6 months, or breaking them up into 3 seoerate vaccinations would cause irreparable harm to our children or our society?

Who is threatened by examining this subject on a more rational basis?

A great disservice is being performed by merely creating a binary argument of To Vax or Not To Vax.

This entirely depends on what you mean by “RATIONAL”.

The first point to make is that there is a distinction between (1) assessing what the science says about vaccines and (2) working towards a peaceful society where conflicts are resolved through, among other things, compromise. These two things constitute two different interpretations of what “RATIONAL” could mean.

In principle, I tend to be against the government of experts, I perceive a tendency of public health claims to be either overblown or overreaching, so I do not see an objection in principle to an alternative schedule. I willing to accept more lives being sacrificed in favor of a more pacified society.

However.

That specific claim, that it would bring a more pacified society, is entirely contradicted by the raving delusional positions of the anti vaccine movement, who are indeed science denialists of the worst kind. Digging that specific rabbit hole is more than dangerous as it would not be perceived as a tentative compromise, but as a major blow dealt to the “medical establishment” vindicating their delusional position.

That renders the compromise attempt more than moot and downright delusional.

A baby is constantly bombarded by pathogens. Only way to avoid this is to let him/her to live inside a balloon.

Is there compelling medical reasoning as to why Measles, Mumps and Rubella must be given simultaneously at 12 months?

Yes, because there are too many people not vaccinating to delay that and that is an age where maximal “catchment” is. Additionally, it is a triple valent jab so yes, it’s going to be given simultaneously.

Is their any compelling data that shows that ALL 12 month old infant immune systems are sufficiently developed to withstand the sudden onslaught of a simultaneous triple vaccination against these 3 diseases?

It’s not a “sudden onslaught”, drop the histrionics. Yes, infants can withstand that and much more if you’d care to crack an immunology textbook. Those that have been identified with contraindications are vaccinated differently or vaccinations withheld.

Can someone tell me why postponing this vaccination another 6 months, or breaking them up into 3 seoerate vaccinations would cause irreparable harm to our children or our society?

It theoretically could be if vaccine uptake was consistently high enough. There are no medical nor economic reasons to separate them and leaves children vulnerable to the diseases they protect against. It is also an odd demand given anti-vaxxers are so very concerned about vaccine ingredients but separating them gives more of those ingredients and many more opportunities for adverse effects.

Who is threatened by examining this subject on a more rational basis?

Certainly not vaccine advocates as it has been done to death. Why don’t you ask that to your anti-vaxx acquaintances who reject any and all valid vaccine information?

Go get your flu shots! Don’t worry about how it kills scores of folks each year like NY Senator Jose Peralta… trust everything vaccine profiteers tell you via the best government and fake news media money can buy! Hurry up and get in line at your local CVS for free “herd immunity”… 👌

The IP address match Aarno’s previous posts, as does the email address. If it’s a sockpuppet, it’s one beyond my ability to detect. I suspect he screwed up and accidentally put his email address in the Name field. I will go back and remedy that.

I see what happened now. He put his email address in the username part, and forgot the “not.” It just seemed to be a pattern. Thanks for removing the email address.

I will go back and remedy that.

I see that I erred. You should probably nuke my comment below, which gives up the address as well.

Ok, I did. Thanks for the advice. Still breathing too. Wait.. hold on. Having. Hard. time. Possibly a Force choke… Oh, nevermind, just a sneeze.
Carry on

Your opinions would hold more credibility if you spoke about the vaccine court and the current lawsuit that shingles vaccines hurt seniors. Your obviously into opinion pieces versus informational or you would of shown evidence from both sides.

Very eager to speak about vaccine court. And specially about Cedillo case. It was really a case of Keystone docs. On which side, perhaps you can guess.

Your opinions would hold more credibility if you spoke about the vaccine court and the current lawsuit that shingles vaccines hurt seniors.

Your comment would hold some information content if it cited the case.

“Questions” apparently didn’t bother to read the appeals court judgment to which (s)he posted a link, including the section that reads:

“…despite Plaintiffs’ protests to the contrary, applying Section 22 to their claims does not leave them without a remedy for their injuries. Plaintiffs alleged eight claims plus a claim for punitive damages in their state wrongful death action. Application of Section 22 affects only two of these claims—the strict products liability and negligence claims to the extent that they were based upon allegations of design defect and failure to warn. Therefore six of Plaintiffs’ claims remain unaffected by the Act and each of these provide a possible remedy to the injuries that they suffered as a result of Jacob’s illness and death.”

In other words, there is no blanket immunity for vaccine makers, who can still be sued in state courts over issues such as claimed manufacturing defects. For side effects alleged to be caused by vaccines, there is a requirement to go through the federal vaccine court, which provides for parents to receive a considerably larger portion of any award compared to civil suits, and requires a relatively low standard of proof, further benefiting plaintiffs.

I suspect that “Questions” simply doesn’t want to acknowledge that (s)he is wrong, and will continue to flog the “no liability for vaccine makers” claim here and in other venues.

For side effects alleged to be caused by vaccines, there is a requirement to go through the federal vaccine court, which provides for parents to receive a considerably larger portion of any award compared to civil suits, and requires a relatively low standard of proof, further benefiting plaintiffs.

Don’t forget the automatic reimbursement for attorneys’ fees.

Two articles about anti-vax in The Guardian today.

“‘God knows how I’m alive’: how a teen defied his parents to get vaccinated ”
(https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/01/teens-breaking-away-anti-vaxxer-family)
Part I found most interesting:

[Peter} Hotez argues, the so-called anti-vaxxer community is diverse. “When I look at vaccine-hesitant parents, roughly two-thirds of them are not deeply dug in,” Hotez said about the families in his own practice and research. “They read some garbage on the internet or Facebook or [watched] the documentary Vaxxed, but you can talk them off the ledge. “It’s true [that] there’s another 10 to 15% that are deeply dug in and completely buy the conspiracy theories, but I think that’s a minority.” Indeed, research shows that only a small percentage of parents are seriously worried about the safety of vaccines, while most who are hesitant agree that vaccines are necessary but have questions and doubts about their safety. For example, a 2011 survey of 748 parents found that of the 13% who said they followed an “alternative” vaccination schedule, only 17% said they refused all shots, while others either refused only certain injections or delayed them.

Anti-vaxx ‘mobs’: doctors face harassment campaigns on Facebook
(https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/27/facebook-anti-vaxx-harassment-campaigns-doctors-fight-back)
Oddly, the pro-vax provideer being targeted is actually a naturopath named Elias Kass. who testified in support of a bill to eliminate personal and philosophical exemptions in Washington state. According to The Guardian, the harrasment of Kass is coming mainly from FB groups tied to Larry Cook and Erin Elizabeth.

Kass, who has been honored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and profiled in Time magazine for his approach to persuading hesitant parents to vaccinate, said that he is concerned the campaign will affect his ability to connect with parents, now that he has been labeled “an enemy”.

This is disproportionate to the harassment those critical of vaccines get. Doesn’t justify it, but it does show the misrepresentation of the larger problem.

“This is disproportionate to the harassment those critical of vaccines get.”

As medicine can be a question of life or death, controversies have an unusually harsh tone. This is not going to change any time soon. Medicine has a tendency to drive people nuts across the board.

Do tell me where on this comment thread you have been harassed? Was when I asked you to provide PubMed indexed studies that show a kid, especially a baby, is better off getting chicken pox instead of the varicella vaccine? Or when I decided that you were acting like many engineers we have encountered who have gone outside their area of expertise?

Just a couple of hours ago I returned Dr. Hotez’s book titled Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism to the library. It was a very good read. You should open your skull and give it a go. They did do the genetic test and found she had a unique variation in her genome. If your child is under the age of eighteen years, you might give it a go:
https://sparkforautism.org/portal/page/autism-research/

I never claimed to have been harassed on this thread.
Sure I have bias. There’s nothing like being told to die, kill yourself, or that I should be incarcerated for being critical of vaccines, repeatedly. The majority of vaccine discussions on social platforms such as twitter, facebook, and reddit are very hostile towards people criticizing vaccinations. Maybe offline it’s a different story.

“There’s nothing like being told to die, kill yourself, or that I should be incarcerated for being critical of vaccines, repeatedly.”

So you’re feeling persecuted because your delusions make you a danger to others?

I sympathize. Really.

“There ya go”

No. Really. I know from experience that it’s a tough spot to be in. (After all, my medical records do claim that I’m a terrorist.)

Questions: “There’s nothing like being told to die, kill yourself,..”

Actually I have been told that my child deserved to die due to vaccine preventable diseases because “Darwin natural selection.” Yeah, just because the kid has autism and a genetic heart disorder. A one in five hundred heart disorder (it is common). Fun times.

All I have to say to you, Questions, is to thank your responsible neighbors who are protecting your family from some nasty diseases. I assume you have never dealt with a kid getting seizures due to dehydration from a rotavirus infection like I have. Nor have you had to deal with three kids getting chicken pox, including a six month old baby who could not sleep with dozens of itchy open wounds (pox), like I have. That is because those responsible neighbors boost your community’s immunity to those diseases with vaccines, neither of which existed when my kids were young.

You are kind of a parasite leeching off of that protection. But as those in Clark County, WA are learning, it is not perfect. Many now have kids in the hospital. Hopefully they have health insurance. Trust me, as someone who has paid a deductible of several hundred dollars for a kid to just get to the hospital… it is not cheap, even with good health insurance. I hope you have that cash saved up! Because due to the influence of Facebook and Vaxxed… there is a higher probability of an outbreak near you.

@ Questions

There’s nothing like being told to die, kill yourself, or that I should be incarcerated for being critical of vaccines, repeatedly. The majority of vaccine discussions on social platforms such as twitter, facebook, and reddit

Oh FFS Questions.
Twitter, Reddit? These places are packed with people who just go here to tell nasty things to other people.
Just try to read any thread from a politician, it tends to attract these types.
That doesn’t make it right when it’s a pro-vaxer doing it. But it’s your claim that anti-vaxers as targets had it worse than other people which I challenge.
It’s likely to happen to everybody in any discussion on controversial topics. And unfortunately a lot of important topics in science, medicine and politics are controversial. If there were simple perfect solutions and easy answers, these topics would be easily resolved, and thus just be trivial matters.

Science proponents like Orac can tell you one thing or two about the abuse they received. Use the search box, if you are really curious.
I’m not going to provide specific examples, because it’s not my story to tell, and anyway being threatened/abused/slandered is not a pissing contest.

Actually, I dare you: go read a few public active threads on any platform by women who are pro-abortion. Or the official thread of an elected non-white congresswoman. And then come back and tell me that anti-vaxers had it worse.

Two articles about anti-vax in The Guardian today.

Weekend Edition Saturday did a segment on last month’s Arizona House Health and Human Services Committee hearing on HB2472 this morning. Sponsor Nancy Barto seemed a bit overwraught.

@Questions I opined that you have no constitutional right to make other peoples’ children sick. I did not say that you are criminal. I am sure that you have no intention to make children sick, you are just reckless.

Questions: “I stand corrected. I will revise my position”

Thank you. Much appreciated.

“There’s nothing like being told to die, kill yourself, or that I should be incarcerated for being critical of vaccines, repeatedly.”

There are angry nitwits all over social media, and violent rhetoric is inexcusable whether or not the shouters are allegedly on your side.
Such language is foreign to mainstream pro-immunization websites and health care workers, who are however commonly targeted by antivaxers (on antivax and pro-“natural health” websites) with vicious personal attacks. Currently the proprietor of one popular site (a notorious individual who’s been profiled on this blog) is speculating about home-schooling parents shooting school officials who might come to their homes to conduct child health and safety checks:

“That’s why I encourage all the vaccine zealots and vaccine jihadis — I use the term “Jihadi” because the vaccine cult is carrying out a kind of religious fanaticism war against humanity — to think very carefully about what they may encounter across America if they attempt to force risky medical inventions onto children and parents who do not consent to the procedure…
When they come for your children, will you protect your children against medical violence, or will you surrender them to the tyranny of the medical police state that demands you sacrifice your children to the will of the pharma cartels in order to appease your government “god” controllers?”

“My advice is that when they come for your children in your own home, you call the police, report a felony assault and medical kidnapping in progress, demand the criminal prosecution of those carrying it out, and prepare to defend the lives of your children using every legally available tool at your disposal.”

Note that the proposed Iowa bill is not about “gun-toting police” overseeing “forced immunizations” on home schooled children; it states only that quarterly health and safety checks would be conducted by school district personnel. Readers of the quoted rhetoric can decide whether the author is piously advising parents to protect their children by legal means, or salivating at the prospect of violence being committed against school officials doing their jobs.

Re “angry nitwits on social media”

Heh.

Obviously, DB is quoting Mike Adams** ( Natural News) who has recently been describing political opponents as “demon possessed” – not really people any more- who relish killing “babies” and licking up their blood- PLUS he has been advocating gun rights and self defense for years. In addition, Mikey does a show on Alex Jones’ Info Wars. His material has been dropped from You Tube ( he then created his own video service) and Twitter.

Other natural health advocates describe how Wikipedia maligns and misrepresents them, portraying SBM advocates and sceptics as criminals: money-obsessed and without morality ( PRN), writing articles detailing their destructive influence on human health- medical care is the leading cause of death. They are initiating legal suits against their critics.

So from my perspective, it’s not the sceptics who are tossing around thinly veiled threats and invoking violent and legal action.

Anti-vax commenters ( AoA, more than TMR) constantly discuss prison terms for those who “destroy” children and call for governmental investigations into malfeasance by scientists and pharmaceutical firms or for them to be “injected” with vaccine “poisons”. Jake Crosby often compares SBM to crime.

These groups are now shrieking because social media are not allowing their BS- crying “censorship” or oppression of women
( Kim Rossi amongst others).
I don’t see any sceptics/ SBM supporters being disciplined by YouTube, Twitter, Google, Facebook, Wikipedia etc.

** Mikey says ” if I had children”- thus, he’s not even protecting his own but telling others what to do

Do you realize that the majority of those who testified would consider themselves to be EXvaxxers? I vaccinated my first three children to the ages of 4, 3, and 2. They dealt/deal with ‘normal’ childhood sicknesses such as otitis, strep throat, UTI’s, fever blisters, chronic bronchitis, and allergies. Surprisingly, the 5 unvaccinated children that came after them have never dealt with any of those and have never needed antibiotics, inhalers, nebulizer treatments, allergy medications. Am I wrong to assume that the vaccines were what damaged the older children’s immune systems?? All 3 healthy kids got their shots on the same day, all 3 were on antibiotics for ear infections 4 days later. I’m not a doctor. I am a mom. I know my children. Vaccines are not one-size-fits-all. Where there is risk, there must be choice.

“Where there is risk, there must be choice.”

Look at the big picture, and reflect on whether the risk really is in the direction you think it is.

“Am I wrong to assume that the vaccines were what damaged the older children’s immune systems??”

Unfortunately, that is indeed quite a stretch. Given the amount of exposure of kids to all kind of LIVE viruses.

“I am a mom. I know my children.”

That is a dangerous illusion. I made every effort imaginable so that my own mother did never really know me.

Here is a term for you to look up: confirmation bias.

There is no reason to believe you. Especially in light that some more recent vaccines have reduced some of the infections that caused those conditions are in use. Vaccines like pneumococcal vaccine (which include strep strains) and meningococcal vaccine.

Your younger kids are perhaps benefiting from your responsible neighbors who vaccinate, and those bacterial infections your older kids dealt with are no longer circulating in the abundance they were before. These includes the ones that causes ear infections and strep throat.

Or it could be confirmation bias. You might want to take a step back and see how different you view your older kids versus your younger kids. Another term you need to look up: ableism. Though there should be one which distinguishes how a parent feels about the kids who were vaccinated versus those who were not.

Seriously, it is not a good thing that you compare your kids based on their vaccination status. Plus, as someone who had thought something happened to their kid and then later finding out the medical records showed something different. As a mom, I now now better than to rely on my memory. By the way, this happens to everyone. Look up the term: confabulation.

Sorry, I typed too fast and missed some words: Plus, as someone who had thought something happened to their kid and then later finding out the medical records showed something different, I learned memories need to be verified. As a mom, I now know better than to rely on my memory.”

Everyone’s memory is imperfect. This is why you need to look up the term “confabulation.”

“Where there is risk, there must be choice.”

As long as those who choose to not vaccinate exist, there is a risk the diseases will return. Like the measles outbreak in Clark County, WA. Just do not be the person who makes the choice that the kid getting cancer treatment gets a vaccine preventable disease from one of your kids. Because that is the risk your choice is making possible.

Vaccines produce immune reaction against pathogens. If they would damage immune system, they would not work: damaged immune system means no immune reaction.

Do you realize that the majority of those who testified would consider themselves to be EXvaxxers?

I for one don’t give two tugs on a dead dingo’s dick about what labels are preferred by scammers and imbeciles.

“I am a mom. I know my children.”

Do you know the pH of their blood and how it compares to yours? Do you know the isotopic fractions of the copper and iron in their blood, and how it compares to yours? Do you know the concentration of formaldehyde in their bodies, and how it compares to yours?

Do you know what isotopic fractions are?

There is a big difference between knowing your children in some general way, and knowing the specifics of how chemicals interact with them. You are claiming knowledge you don’t have, sorry.

This will seem like an odd comment, but it seems worth writing. Having just browsed 250 comments on this thread, I just wanted to say that I’m impressed with how good of quality the work is. Despite the disagreements, the decorum remained fairly good quality, which is somewhat unexpected given the nature of the debate. People actually conceded points.

Just, thanks.

I’m impressed with the very even-tempered tone used to point out important principles by many on this thread including you. However, as much as I want people to be nice and all, I think you are exaggerating the degree to which there has been conversational back-and-forth. The script is perhaps more polite than usual, but still the same – the antivaxxers repeat the same points refuted thousands of times, get corrected, and still don’t get it.

Baby steps. It seemed better than I’ve seen.

I would like to believe that encouraging conversational engagement and using positive feedback may help to make people not dig in. Perhaps I’m thinking fantasy.

Perhaps I’m thinking fantasy.

It depemds on who one is responding to, of course. The “lurkers” idea is tenuous in such a long and disorganized sequence of comments, IMHO, but it might be useful for future cross-referencing.

^ “depends”; my good hand is trying to hold together the Gorilla Glue on the Velcro on my thumb splint. My kingdom for cyanoacrylate — it would be a pretty fair trade.

Y’know, this comment is troubling to me and I’m still thinking about it. Aside from both sides upping their rhetoric into the usual histrionics (or worse, terrorism), how does anyone make headway? Without actually having a truly serious outbreak of infectious disease to hammer the point home as to how bad infectious disease can be, is there any way to induce self-correction in someone who absolutely can’t see that they need to self-correct? Worse, even if the diseases came back at a strength great enough that their true price is apparent, many antivaxxers would find a way to continue rationalizing their stance. Seems like a gordian knot to me.

Without actually having a truly serious outbreak of infectious disease to hammer the point home as to how bad infectious disease can be, is there any way to induce self-correction in someone who absolutely can’t see that they need to self-correct?

I don’t know whether he was actually convinced by other comments or already held the position, but over at AoA, John Stone was persuaded to state that he would admit rubella vaccination if a girl were not so lucky as to have had the disease by reproductive age. I seem to recall there was a kerfuffle that ensued.

“Where there is risk, there must be choice.”

Not protecting one’s children against vaccine-preventable diseases is a decision made by parents; sadly the kids have no choice in the matter.

Wearing of seat belts can occasionally produce serious injury (i.e. seat belt syndrome) in children. Yet, since the low risk of such injury is vastly outweighed by the benefits of seat belt protection, we (most of us, anyway) don’t view mandatory seat belt laws as a gross imposition on parental choice.

Wearing of seat belts can occasionally produce serious injury (i.e. seat belt syndrome) in children. Yet, since the low risk of such injury is vastly outweighed by the benefits of seat belt protection, we (most of us, anyway) don’t view mandatory seat belt laws as a gross imposition on parental choice

PROBLEM WITH THE WEARING SEATBELT/MANDATORY VACCINATION COMPARISON

First, driving is a privilege, but education in some states is a right

Second, you can sue the manufacturer in case of a defective seatbelt and someone gets harmed

Third, to mitigate the risk you can stop driving and take off your seatbelt; however, once you’ve vaxxed you cannot unvaxxed

Fourth, there are not 1000s upon 1000s of anecdotal reports of people getting injured from seatbelts/

Fifth, related to fourth, in all likelihood we have accurate reports of people getting injured from seatbelts, but this cannot be said for vaccines where only an estimated 1 to 10% of injuries gets reported

First, driving is a privilege, but education in some states is a right

California is the only state that I’m aware of. Look how that worked out.

@Narad: education has been in state constitutions from the 19th century. As you point out, California courts have recently rejected a challenge based on a right to education, but it may be useful to know that they had lengthy jurisprudence to draw on, including, for example, Viemester v. White, 1904, New York.

As to driving being a privilege, that’s legally true, but practically, in some areas of U.S. there are a lot less options to driving than there are to sending an unvaccinated child to school in California now.

Third, to mitigate increase the risk of death in a collision you can stop driving and take off your seatbelt

FTFY. You’re really not good at this, Gerg.

@Narad: education has been in state constitutions from the 19th century.

Thanks. I guess I had gotten a bit vague on the details of San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez and the California responses.

So in your smug, arrogant, oh-so-sure vaccines are 100% hunky dory, have saved humanity from infectious diseases and do no harm world, I am just curious how you handle the cognitive dissonance that must arise when you confront the fact that the “Vaccine Court” has thus far awarded almost $4B in damages to parents/families of injured or DEAD vaccine victims? And also what do you think about the CDC-sponsored study prepared by Harvard showing that only approximately 10% of all vaccine injury cases are reported to the VAERS system? In your world vaccines are just fairy dust sprinkled on the unsuspecting immune systems of babies starting on their first day of birth, but in reality, there are 10s if not 100s of thousands of vaccine injured children and adults. Oh, and why does the US have the highest rate of infant illness in the western world? You guys are the really ignorant ones… laughing and scoffing at parents with vaccine-injured children. I hope it never happens to you or you families. Please read the book Dissolving Illusions. You just might learn something. I know that might be hard to consider, given that you guys obviously no everything… but you might be surprised.

Tell us about that $4 billion some more by doing a little math word problem for us. Here is the latest NVICP statistics:
https://www.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/hrsa/vaccine-compensation/data/monthly-stats-february-2019.pdf

Now look at the table on the second page, and go to the bottom line where it says “Grand Total”. Take the total number of vaccines given in the stated time span (3,454,269,356 vaccines). Then run your finger along that row to where it is says “Compensable Total” (4172 compensated claims). Divide the first number by the second number.

Now tell us what that number is. Then tell us what it means.

And finally go to the Definitions on the next pager. Please explain in your own words what the term “settlement” means.

Chris has already addressed the fact that compensation is around one per million, most in settlements that don’t show causation, reinforcing what science shows – that serious harms from vaccines are very rare. The study you refer to did not actually address serious harms, but all harms. I am sure sore arms are underreported, but I have yet to see good evidence of substantial underreporting of serious harms – and we know serious harms and deaths are often reported when vaccines do not cause them (over reporting).

Dissolving illusions is not reliable.
https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/wrong-about-polio-a-review-of-suzanne-humphries-md-and-roman-bystrianyks-dissolving-illusions-part-1-the-long-version/
https://vaccinesworkblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/20/dissolving-illusions-book-review/

I recommend getting information from better sources.

“CDC-sponsored study prepared by Harvard showing that only approximately 10% of all vaccine injury cases are reported to the VAERS system”

Also, only 5% of Tooth-Fairy sightings are reported, and only 2% of unicorns.
Is Ms BlueSky Art Prints trying to fit as much bullsh1t into one comment as possible?

I love how in your smug, arrogant, oh-so-sure rant, you make the hilariously false assumption that Orac has never addressed vaccine court. You couldn’t be more wrong.

If you leave it up to quacks and pharma frauds to decide whether or not placebos can be pushed as if they were remedies to any condition, you will have a very long line of them looking to hawk their ineffective wares. And an even longer line of people will die who otherwise could have been saved without them.

Don’t expect quacks and frauds to shed a tear or have any concern that they are doing this. They will laughing at the foolishness that allows them to victimize ignorant dead patients all the way to the bank.

The term “scientific fraud” describes intentional misrepresentation of the methods, procedures, or results of scientific research. Scientific fraud includes fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing scientific research, or in reporting research results.

The public representation of vaccine science as conclusive proof that vaccines do not cause autism is deceptive and fraudulent at its core. Science is NEVER SETTLED.

In June of 2000, CDC held a secret meeting “Scientific Review of Vaccine Safety Datalink” at the Simpsonwood Conference Center to discuss the problems with the Verstraeten study looking at thimerosal in vaccines. The transcripts were leaked showing the intimate relationship between pharma and the CDC. At this meeting they determined that there was “no way to massage the data” to get the signal to go away.
Conveniently, the original study data disappeared and in 2003 Verstraeten produced another study using children too young to receive a diagnosis.

In 2004 CDC Published “Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan atlanta” comparing on time vs late administration of MMR. There was no comparison to children who did not receive the vaccine. The findings from that study were so troubling, a decision was made to to omit altogether the data showing the signal. This was used to dismiss nearly 5000 cases known as the Autism Omnibus Proceedings in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

According to Dr William Thompson, this was the lowest point in his career – today he has massive guilt when he encounters families affected by autism. In 2014 Thompson said “the CDC has put the research TEN YEARS BEHIND.” Now we are FIFTEEN YEARS behind – because the CDC is paralyzed by anything to do with Autism.

Criminal acts of scientific fraud, gone unpunished – while scientists who dare to question vaccines are routinely hounded and their careers destroyed. We are constantly told that hundreds of studies debunk the link and none prove it. Actually, only one vaccine and one ingredient have been studied – and the link was covered up. Meanwhile the list of studies that support causation continues to grow. Studies that this body IGNORES.

When you all say “the science is settled, vaccines don’t cause autism,” you are bearing false witness to the public, a violation of the 9th commandment. It’s time to stop the lying.

“Science is NEVER SETTLED”

Though it gets quite close.

A wee word of advice: you should actually read an article before commenting. That would keep you from look foolish, especially since you mentioned the Simpsonwood Conference. Look up and see what was said about that (emphasis added):

In addition, others accused vaccine scientists of fraud. One even invoked an oldie but stupid conspiracy theory by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. about the Simpsonwood meeting. I was having acid flashbacks as she partied like it was 2005; that is, before I laughed out loud that anyone would still be parroting the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory in 2019. I mean, come on! There have been so many conspiracy theories since then!

The rest of your comment has been addressed on this blog multiple times.

Obviously this article has been linked to on Facebook, and you are your friends are proving this observation yet again: http://thesciencepost.com/study-70-of-facebook-commenters-only-read-the-headline/

She basically reposted here her comment to ACIP. As you pointed out, it’s not only ignoring the content of the article, it refers to familiar, and ill-founded, conspiracy theories that have been addressed by our fearless host multiple times in the past.

And, of course, incorrectly using fraud and false witness. Scientists following the science are not committing fraud. This would be true even if their understanding of the science was wrong (it’s not) and even if she and her anti-vaccine friends were right to blame vaccines for children’s autism (they’re not).

I thought it was amusing that she used conspiracy theories that were mentioned in the article. I looked her up, and found this bit about in an interesting place: http://autism.wikia.com/wiki/Tia_Severino

It is a wiki by from the autism community, and I don’t mean the parents. It is actually those on the spectrum. They are not fond of folks like Ms. Severino.

Obviously you didn’t pay very close attention to my comment because in your article you said I should have picked something more recent such as the CDC Whistleblower. Like, that was literally the NEXT THING I spoke about.
Nonetheless, the accusations of fraud are well founded. And clearly we are a much greater threat to Pharma – or you shouldn’t be addressing us at all. The truth is, even your hack job of an article against our efforts will serve to further awaken the masses. That 3% unvaccinated children are not a health threat. The rise in autism, seizures, autoimmune diseases, learning disabilities, cancer and DEATH are actually the biggest threat to your agenda. Back in the 80s, I knew exactly ZERO people with autism. Today, I have TWO in my family and thousands of friends with affected loved ones. THAT is your real threat. As more and more people are injured, our numbers grow. Stop hurting people and your problem will disappear

I gave it all the attention it needed, Ms. Severino. You mentioned Simsonwood like it actually mattered, it does not. You just revealed you are clueless and we don’t care what you think, or even remember from your youth.

Our comments are essentially for the lurkers. You should really read that tribute to you by those on the spectrum. It is deadly accurate. Then go into your hyperbaric chamber to calm down.

“And clearly we are a much greater threat to Pharma – or you shouldn’t be addressing us at all.”

Splendid conspiracy theory.

“Back in the 80s, I knew exactly ZERO people with autism. Today, I have TWO in my family and thousands of friends with affected loved ones.”

That’s hardly an argument. This has been debunked extensively.

I read the entire article. The author admits to not actually listening to the public comments and having acid flashbacks. So yeah, he’s one to take seriously.
You link to a blog by a troll in Australia as if it is proof that I am disliked by the autism community, that’s funny. Phil Gluyas, the author of that blog, regularly slanders and defames vaccine risk awareness advocates, I consider being included in his list to be a badge of honor, just as including me here in this article only solidifies my standing in this community. THANKS.
As for Ms Reiss, I will take fashion advice from her before considering her a source of information on vaccines. Loved the ensemble she put together for the meeting … she’s a lovely woman with an aura of health around her. I wish her nothing but success as a pro-vax spokesperson.

“Loved the ensemble she put together for the meeting … she’s a lovely woman with an aura of health around her.”

I’ve never understood why women seem to be so aggressive among themselves when it comes to looks.

Grow up.

“I read the entire article.”

Then why did you even mention Simpsonwood when we all know it’s an old stupid conspiracy theory? That made you look foolish.

Your opinions about Phil Gluyas proves you are ableist. He does not have to defame “vaccine risk awareness advocates”… you folks do that just fine all by yourselves.

Hint: when you are this deep in the hole, stop digging.

Very true. It is more accurate to refer to Severino and friends as disease promoters. Especially since the number of measles cases has gone up to 75 cases. Most of them are very vulnerable children.

The author admits to not actually listening to the public comments and having acid flashbacks.

You are apparently are unfamiliar with the concept of ‘metaphor’.

Obviously this article has been linked to on Facebook

The tedious hit-and-run regurgitation of hoary tropes is something of a giveaway.

Hence the link to the satirical site poking fun at those from Facebook who only read the headline.

Stop hurting people and your problem will disappear

Right back atcha, Tia. Two quick questions: Is measles eradicable? If so, would you object to its eradication?

If anyone wants the comments without sitting through the videos, I took extensive notes of all of them and am happy to share. My email is easy to find.

“Science is NEVER SETTLED”

Isaac Asimov has written a little text about science being wrong, “relativity of wrong”. I encourage you to go read it.

Or, to put it another way, do you feel the same way about the theory of gravity?

Or, to put it another way, do you feel the same way about the theory of gravity?

Well, GR is incompatible with QM.

Note that you are interacting with several people, who are not the blog owner and host.

This blog has addressed the cdc whistleblower manufactroversy too, multiple times. You can use the search box to find that.

The diagnostic criteria for autism were changed in the 1990s. People who would not be diagnosed with it then are now. And large studies show vaccines don’t cause autism.

And yes, you are a threat, but not to pharma. I don’t know that you cost them anything, rather than benefit them: after all, as you bring back diseases, they make money from selling things related to diseases.

However, when you bring back diseases like measles, people suffer, die, and there are costs to public health and health systems. That’s the threat you pose: to people’s health. Hence the criticism and counter of your movement.

This blog has addressed the cdc whistleblower manufactroversy too, multiple times. You can use the search box to find that

And they’ve all pretty much followed this template…

Moan about how you’ve been preoccupied with other personal matters (research project, ocology, etc) and really weren’t motivated to discuss the CDC Whistleblower affair again..  Lead with irrelevant matters about the vaccine debate.   Here you have a wide selection to choose from (Simpsonwood, anything having to do with Wakefield, that ‘wrectched hive of antivaxx scum’ AoA, etc).  With these leads you’re at liberty to use whatever ad-homs and vicious personal insults at your disposal to spice things up.  Next, promise to get right into the meat of the Whistleblower ‘manufactroversy (very good word to choose), but again you may veer to other irrelevant matters(Simpsonwood, anything having to do with Wakefield, that ‘wretched hive of antivaxx scum Aot, etc).  Again as you veer, compliment your tact with more ad-homs and personal insults.  Having exhausted such diversions you may begin by discussing the Whistleblower affair.  Of course this will involve dwelling completing on the strawman of  Hooker and his ‘incompetent’ reanalysis. More ad-homs and personal insults, but now more focussed at Hooker and Wakefield will also do well here again.  Close by reminding the readers how the antivaxxers got it wrong again — and of course don’t forget the obligatory closing insults.

And, of course, I’ve written extensively about the “CDC Whistleblower” myself. Three examples follow, first my dissection of Kevin Barry’s book of the “CDC Whistleblower” transcripts:

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2015/08/25/kevin-barry-you-magnificent-bastard-i-read-your-antivaccine-book/

Then, here’s my discussion of the ACTUAL documents provided by William Thompson:

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2016/01/05/the-cdc-whistleblower-documents-a-whole-lot-of-nothing-and-no-conspiracy-to-hide-an-mmr-autism-link/

Finally, my review of VAXXED and description of all the misinformation in it:

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2016/07/18/in-which-andrew-wakefield-and-del-bigtrees-antivaccine-documentary-vaxxed-is-reviewed-with-insolence/

Moan about how you’ve been preoccupied with other personal matters (research project, ocology, etc)

It’s true, I spend much too much time on ocology.

Ms. Severino the number of measles cases in our neck of the woods is now up to 75 very sick people:
https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/03/vancouver-area-measles-outbreak-cases-climb-to-75.html

You must be so proud to have helped cause so much pain and suffering to all those kids. From the article: “The vast majority of people diagnosed with measles are young children who were not vaccinated.”

This is why those who actually love children and those on the spectrum really detest the sadistic adults who think children should suffer nasty illnesses. Really read that tribute to you from several on the autistic spectrum. They are not really fond of your ableism.

I sincerely doubt Ms. Severino cares at all about them foreigners, especially the ones that are brown.

Tia, you must not realize that I’m totally familiar with all the misinformation that you laid during your statement. For instance, here’s what I meant when I referred to Simpsonwood as a ridiculous old conspiracy theory from 14 years ago (at least):

http://oracknows.blogspot.com/2005/06/saloncom-flushes-its-credibility-down.html
https://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/06/robert_f_kenned.html

As for William Thompson and the “CDC whistleblower,” I bet I know that conspiracy theory in far more detail than you do, as I watched the birth of this particular antivax conspiracy theory as it happened in August 2014. That’s why I know it’s nonsense:

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2015/08/25/kevin-barry-you-magnificent-bastard-i-read-your-antivaccine-book/

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2016/01/05/the-cdc-whistleblower-documents-a-whole-lot-of-nothing-and-no-conspiracy-to-hide-an-mmr-autism-link/

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2016/01/06/the-cdc-whistleblower-data-dump-redux-even-william-thompson-appears-not-to-believe-the-antivaccine-spin/

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2015/12/01/ben-swann-returns-and-this-time-hes-got-the-cdc-whistleblower-documents/

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2016/01/27/ben-swanns-long-awaited-report-on-the-cdc-whistleblower-goes-over-like-a-lead-balloon-of-misinformation/

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2016/04/26/the-conspiracy-circle-is-complete-brian-hooker-claims-the-man-has-gotten-to-the-cdc-whistleblower/

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2016/07/18/in-which-andrew-wakefield-and-del-bigtrees-antivaccine-documentary-vaxxed-is-reviewed-with-insolence/

“When you all say “the science is settled””

Actually we don’t all say that; in fact no one here says that. And you’d be hard pressed to find any prominent pediatricians, immunologist, vaccine developers or others knowledgeable in these fields who do.

Does the evidence from abundant well-conducted research and longstanding clinical experience overwhelmingly show that vaccination does not cause autism? Yes.

Referring to nonexistent claims of “settled science” represents another antivax strawman, along with arguing that pro-immunization advocates declare that vaccines are “100% safe and effective”.

Oops, forgot this strawman: “So in your smug, arrogant, oh-so-sure vaccines are 100% hunky dory, have saved humanity from infectious diseases”

I’ve never seen anyone bring up the “saved humanity” line except antivaxers.

Vaccines have indeed saved many millions of children and adults from death, permanent disability and miserable illness. Prevented Homo sapiens from going extinct due to infectious disease, no.

*Antivaxers have a truly bizarre view of virulent pathogens; I’ve run into ones who argue that the Black Death wasn’t such a bad thing, since humanity survived.

One of the things I find weird about the anti-vax crowd is how they will label any minor side effects of vaccination as an “injury” but when it comes to evaluating the benefits of vaccines the only thing they seem to be concerned with is death rate.

One of the things I find weird about the anti-vax crowd is how they will label any minor side effects of vaccination as an “injury” but when it comes to evaluating the benefits of vaccines the only thing they seem to be concerned with is death rate.

Ok, ok, vaccination has been successful in reducing the incidence of some diseases that were will on their way out anyway and even before the introduction of vaccines. Happy?!

Happy?!

Not until you cop to your comically lying about not being Canadian.

Actually, probably not even then. You’re just a dumbfuck, Gerg, but there will always be the memories.

Hey, Greg, do you mind telling me which year the incidence of measles dropped before the introduction of the first vaccine in 1963? Can you explain without vaccines why the incidence dropped 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970 according to US Census data?

Seriously, please do that. Just don’t mention “deaths”, nor any other country, nor any other disease… because it changes the subject in regards to the all too familiar table of that I am going post at the end of this comment.

Really, do tell us when measles incidence dropped 90% before vaccination and never went up to pre-vaccine rates again. Be a hero and actually answer a question I have been asking for years with actual verifiable scientific documentation:

From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year…. Rate per 100000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4
1965 . . . 135.1
1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1

Seriously, how did reported measles incidence go form 245 per 100000 to 23.2 per 100000 in just ten years? Was it magic? Or was it aliens?

bool purpleworld = *Ibelieve_Ibelieve_Ibelieve
while (purpleworld) {
string argument = trope(rand(1000))
writeRI(argument)
string reply = readRI()
argument = reply and filterAV(argument, rand(3))
writeRI(argument)
reply = readRI()
freemain(reply)
}

In other anti-vax news…

Well, they’ll soon have something new to bitch about:
–according to Mike Adams ( Natural News, today) Amazon will BAN anti-vax films**, ban books and then delete anti-vax books from Kindles. ***

(ACTUALLY, the films will be “removed from Amazon Prime streaming service” which is sort of the same thing, amirite?)

–Twitter informs him that natural health content is now “hate speech” as they tossed him

–Pinterest is lost Wikipedia we know about from PRN. Apple, Google, You Tube, twitter gone, gone, gone. Where an a woo-meister post content and sell stuff now?

BECAUSE: Mr Bezos will become a large scale purveyor of toxic meds competition for supplements
Rep Schiff is alerting techno-fascisti about anti-vax : the Vaccine Deep state is behind it all ( mostly Ms Clinton and Mr Obama)

But of course, Mikey is providing a video channel, Brighteon.com and starting an Online Civil Rights campaign/ web site that will recruit lawyers for a class action lawsuit against the tech giants.

** like VAXXED: you may contribute to VAXXED II at NN
*** woo-meisters in Europe and North American have been telling their entranced followers that supplements will be banned for decades because of Codex Alimenterious

ALIMENTARIUS

After trying to get all of that BS typed accurately, you can understand why I misspell a simple word.

Third, to mitigate increase the risk of death in a collision you can stop driving and take off your seatbelt
FTFY. You’re really not good at this, Gerg

No Narad, you get home from work, stop the car and unbuckle your seatbelt. You’ve just ‘unseatbelted’. Contrast this with having no way of unvaxxing those known neurotoxins from your body once vaxxed. Wearing a seatbelt is temporary, while vaxxing is permanent.

“… known neurotoxins from your body…”

Well, real toxins like tetanospasmin and diphtheria toxin can really destroy your day, with a very high chance of mortality. You seemed to be scared of just the fictional “toxins.” It is right up there with your ignorance of reality.

Wearing a seatbelt is temporary, while vaxxing is permanent.

Thanks for copping to lifelong immunity. Again, you’re really not good at this.

“Contrast this with having no way of unvaxxing those known neurotoxins from your body once vaxxed.”

Thank you for this. Now could you pass it on to all your antivaxer friends (and the sleazy entrepreneurs they support) who claim they can chelate and flush the pseudo-toxins from children’s bodies with chemical castrating drugs, bleach and other useless and dangerous methods?

No Narad, you get home from work, stop the car and unbuckle your seatbelt.

That’s an even dumber analogy than I thought. So, one takes off one’s vaccines when one gets home from work? Brilliant.

And, of course, I’ve written extensively about the “CDC Whistleblower” myself

I know, I know Orac, like a good ‘journeyman’ who can fault you for not putting in the effort with your ad-homs, red-herrings and strawmen as they pertain to the CDC whistleblower affair. Still, after all your work, you get people like Tia who still aren’t convinced everything is all kosher there. Oh well — whadya gonna do!

This brings me to a musing,Orac. Instead of the CDC relying on people like you to ‘set the record straight’, why don’t they come out and clarify things themselves? Surely they have to see the harm being wrought from this whistleblower ‘misinformation’ campaign. Why rely on people like you and Matt to fight the good fight? Why allow politicians to do their bidding by calling for the banning of books?

On a slightly related note, Orac, I remembering reading one of your blogs where you said you’re completely not a fan of censorship, and would march with nazis to protect their right to deny the holocaust. Orac, how does Schiff letter to Amazon requesting that they pull their ‘antivaxx’ materials sit with you? I am really curious whether you will even answer this question.

Where is Mr Schiff calling for censorship?

He’s asking that a private company not make mis-information so readily available or to suggest it as an option to consumers. It’s about a streaming service. I just looked and saw that you can buy many books by Wakefield, Blaxill & Olmstead and Stagliano ( Rossi) at Amazon.
Mr Schiff’s jackbooted liberals have yet to raid PRN archives or Mike Adams’ video library waving torches.

These private companies ( twitter, facebook, google, apple, you tube, Wikipedia) can decide for themselves if they want to be enablers of pseudo-science and affect public health negatively. I don’t see any laws being proposed or bonfires being set in Silicon Valley. Tagging an article as “bad science” is not the same as burning it or its banning by a government. Companies don’t have to allow any content on their listings for any reason.Pseudoscientists have made enjoyed free access for years: let them pay for websites and adverts on the net.

He’s asking that a private company not make mis-information so readily available or to suggest it as an option to consumers

Actually Denice, I understand that a private company is in their right to pull whatever materials they choose, but here we have a government official making the request. How exactly is this not government censorship?

…but here we have a government official making the request. How exactly is this not government censorship?

Operative word REQUEST. If it was a demand, then it would be censorship.
There really are no boundaries to your ignorance.

Also, all those antivaxers still have a right to speak their dangerous nonsense. They don’t, however, have a right to a platform. Companies can choose what they will and won’t host or allow on their services. Mike Adams got kicked off YouTube, for instance, and edd up hosting his videos on his own website.

Apparently Greg is unfamiliar with basic English vocabulary. One wonders how he functions in the meat world. Or function in any reality… something he seems quite unaware exists.

This brings me to a musing,Orac.

You’re so much fun, Gerg.

Instead of the CDC relying on people like you to ‘set the record straight’

The CDC relies on “people like Orac”? Perhaps you could flesh out this simile. In the meantime… who the hell pulled the Yakety Sax version of the ending to The Wicker Man?

Orac and minions, regarding this request to censor Vaxxed, I have to make a confession: Of course I despise censorship, but I couldn’t be more thrilled with the free publicity that Vaxxed is getting. Do you realize that Vaxxed is now no 7 on Amazon’s list of bestselling movies, and no 1 for ‘special interest’? Quick anyone — name another film that played at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival where Vaxxed was censored? Heck — while you’re at it, reflect on that movie about Andy’s story, The Pathological Optimist. You left that film alone and has anyone heard anything of it?

For the life of it, I am trying to figure in what insane universe you guys can claim to be the smart ones? No seriously — I am trying to be objective here about your claim to be the smart ones, can anyone here with straight face say that the net gain of Schiff’s request is that less people will see Vaxxed? One would have thought you learned the lesson from The Pathological Optimist to leave Vaxxed alone, and don’t speak of censoring it.. Heck, if you must speak of it, mock it and and ridicule the antivaxxers telling them you will stream it for them for free as punishment. Totally unbelievable!

Anyway, I digressed. Narad and Denice, I was hoping though that you would let Orac fight his own battle. C’mon Orac, you censorship hating big-guy you, how do you feel about Schiff’s actions? Surely you have an opinion, don’t you? What is a man made of if he is not prepared to stand firm to his principles!

“For the life of it, I am trying to figure in what insane universe you guys can claim to be the smart ones?”

In a universe where being “smart” and rational happens to be at odds with the way people naively think. There are lots and lots of issues, not restricted to vaccination nor merely medicine, where it is becoming more and more important that they be addressed rationally. The Internet has opened a new era where misinformation and real information compete on the cognitive market. It is becoming more and more important that people get educated when it comes to discerning falsehood from truths, and more importantly recognize the extent to which they are able to do so. It’s an uphill battle, and Vaxxed can be argued to be somewhat anecdotal in the grand scheme of things.

Food for thought, Greg:

https://social-epistemology.com/2016/12/28/they-respond-comments-on-basham-et-al-s-social-sciences-conspiracy-theory-panic-now-they-want-to-cure-everyone-sebastian-dieguez-et-al/

Orac and minions, regarding this request to censor Vaxxed

Who wants to “censor” Vaxxed? Who gives a shit at this point? More to the point, why do you keep changing the subject, no matter how inanely?

Anyway, I digressed. Narad and Denice, I was hoping though that you would let Orac fight his own battle.

Oh, G-d, this again. You’re lucky you get scorn from the minions.

I was as Titan II crewman

Kewl. Although it predates the Titan II, I never like to pass up an opportunity to recommend Alas, Babylon.

Personally, my favorite post-apocalypse novel is probably Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart. True, in this novel it is an epidemic of a mysterious plague that kills nearly all of humanity, but the novel provides an interesting perspective of what happens as the main character, Isherwood Williams, grows old and becomes frustrated as society reverts back to an agrarian, pre-industrial state, with people scavenging remains of the old world. What frustrates him more is the the youth born since the plague (who have never known the old world) don’t even care about learning about science, literature, and all of what “Ish” viewed as the great achievements of the old world. Another really good one is A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr., which is a post-nuclear apocalypse story involving how monks go back to the function they had in the Middle Ages of transcribing ancient knowledge.

It still exists only as a novel, although it was clearly relied upon quite a bit for the early episodes of the TV show Jericho.

involving how monks go back to the function they had in the Middle Ages of transcribing ancient knowledge

It may be my having completed* my undergraduate language requirement by taking Eric Hamp’s sparsely attended year-long seminar,** but I tend to think of Irish monks and the Dark Ages.

*I actually had to defend this as a legitimate fulfillment by proving that there was a body of literature in Old Irish. It’s true that once most of the three hours was about the discovery of felt.

**He went right along and did his thing when I was the only one present. Two undergrads, and four or five graduate students who were taking it for the second time.

I have both of those and read Leibovitz 3 or 4 times, although not recently.

Another that seems increasingly likely is The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard.

@Greg We can always start discussion about those “neurotoxins” in vaccines. There are no need to detox when there are no toxins.

Who wants to “censor” Vaxxed? Who gives a shit at this point?

Apparently you guys, Narad.

…but here we have a government official making the request. How exactly is this not government censorship?

Operative word REQUEST. If it was a demand, then it would be censorship.
There really are no boundaries to your ignorance.

Oh, I get it now! So a government official REQUESTING censorship is fine, but bad if he DEMANDS it? So if he were to REQUEST that people not discuss antivaxx stuff in public that would also be fine?

@ Julian Frost:

Right.
In addition, even if he wanted to, Mr Schiff – as a member of Congress- isn’t able to censor anything. There are 400+ other members and no one has called for a law about internet pseudoscience. .

I think that commissions might look into standards first – I doubt that true censorship could ever be invoked because we’re discussing private businesses. AND business usually reigns.

I learned via twitter that BOTH RFK jr and Kim Rossi are not pleased with Mr Schiff so he must be doing something right

( @ Kim Rossi 1111- this will rob her of income just like vaccines robbed her daughters etc.)

Also, all those antivaxxers still have a right to speak their dangerous nonsense. They don’t, however, have a right to a platform. Companies can choose what they will and won’t host or allow on their services. Mike Adams got kicked off You Tube, for instance, and edd up (sic) hosting his videos on his own website.

Ok — although not directly answering my question, we have something we can work with here. So Orac, are you saying you’re cool with Schiff’s ‘request’ — not ‘demand’ but ‘request’?! C’mon Orac, surely you can answer the question — just do it, just do it! Anyone remember that rap song by Ice T by the same name? ‘Orac can do it, just put his back in it…’

Love the energy and intensity of that song, although the video is a little too thugish for me. Some may also say it’s inappropriate for a science blog but is this really so? What’s the difference between a Dr Rapper and a MD anyway? Both are renowned for peddling drugs for bling and booty. Perhaps MDs on average get a lot less booty but is the drive not there?
MDs will also say they’re helping people feel better, but Dr Rappers say the same thing.

Anyway, I am still hoping that Orac will ‘put his back in it’ and tell me what he thinks of Schiff’s request. Just do it — do it– do it!

Pleading for a hummer from Orac is one of Gerg’s go-to’s.

Narad, I got my rapper wrong. That song was by Ice Cube not Ice T. You missed another snide put down inspired by some off-the-wall simile — snifing a bicycle seat, Vegas strippers, penguins defacating…..

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with the free publicity that Vaxxed is getting.”

Um, this is 2019, close to three years since “Vaxxed” was released, and for a long time the only people still burbling about it have been the same sort of deluded antivaxers who made it possible for Andy Wakefield to buy his posh retreat near Austin. Expect “Vaxxed II”, “Vaxxed: The Beginning” and “Vaxxed: Andy Is Still Jesus” to debut to increasingly subdued derision and yawns.

“For many of us, the issues center more around a RATIONAL, national conversation on the subject of how many, how often and at what time to address our concerns over inundating developing immune systems with more than they can handle.”

Speaking of rational, national, fantastical conversations, the following provides counterpoint to antivax wails about alleged censorship and nasty words from pro-immunization meanies.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/27/facebook-anti-vaxx-harassment-campaigns-doctors-fight-back

Once the signal fires of Gondor are lit, we must respond, fellow minions!!! 🙂

“For many of us, the issues center more around a RATIONAL, national conversation on the subject of how many, how often and at what time to address our concerns over inundating developing immune systems with more than they can handle.”

Phrasing things this way is not objective, hence not “RATIONAL”. You’re confused about what “RATIONAL” means.

Um, this is 2019, close to three years since “Vaxxed” was released, and for a long time the only people still burbling about it have been the same sort of deluded antivaxers who made it possible for Andy Wakefield to buy his posh retreat near Austin. Expect “Vaxxed II”, “Vaxxed: The Beginning” and “Vaxxed: Andy Is Still Jesus” to debut to increasingly subdued derision and yawns

Mr Bacon, I beg to differ that in the early days it was the only ‘deluded antivaxers’ supporting Vaxxed. Remember where I wrote that provaxxers and antivaxxers are different sides of the same coin and we have more in common than we care to admit? You guys from the start have also been supporting Vaxxed. You needed to see how damaging it was to your BS, how much it exposes it. It was almost like a tormenting itch that begged for relief. Being that there is more of you guys, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if more provaxxers have seen Vaxxed than ‘antivaxxers’, and I would guess just about everyone here has including yourself. I will leave it up to you guys to lie about this.

Still Mr Bacon, you’re missing the key point. After three years of its release Vaxxed is as popular as ever, battling top current releases for supremacy on Amazon’s list. Stop for a second and wrap your mind around that, Mr Bacon. How many films actually increase in popularity three years after their release? I would say its no longer just hardcore antivaxxers and provaxxers supporting the flick, but the fence sitters are also wanting to see what the buzz is about. This is a huge problem for you guys, Mr Bacon.

Yes, I did come across one of Offit’s latest spiel suggesting the social network sites are on the verge of stepping in and silencing us the same way MSM did. However, what Offit neglected mentioning (or did not want to mention) is that the MSM paid a price for this. The public feeling that the news was too ‘sanitized’ and censored turned away from them and onto those social network sites. The MSM loss was the social networks sites’ gain.

Does Offit not realize that those companies will heed this lesson and not be so eager to return the gifted ‘loot’ by censoring us? For companies their brand is everything. A social network site such as Facebook became such a behemoth by successful executing its wild-west of information brand. Imagine the choice words that Zuckerberg and the other big-wigs will have for you guys as they meet behind closed doors and consider your censorship request. I am sure they’re well aware that you’re asking them to sacrifice their brand and with their competitors ready to pounce at any missteps.

I am not surprised by the lip-stick appeasements that we’ve seen thus far. Still, Offit Insinuation that we will be effectively booted from social network sites soon, will turn out as nothing more than a wet dream.

Yawn. Vaxxed, an idiotic vanity project by Wakefield and Bigtree. Because of their “work” the Pacific Northwest measles outbreak is up to 75 victim. Most of whom are unvaccinated children. Several have been hospitalized.

Any damage to those kids will be the fault of Wakefield, Bigtree and credulous folks like you. I guess there is a reason why you did not answer my question on why the incidence of vaccines dropped 90% between 1960 and 1970 in the USA. Mostly because it proves you are liar.

Just like Wakefield, Bigtree, and the others. Who will all have blood on their hands for every child who has had to suffer with measles, many with permanent damage. Especially those who have died from SSPE.

“I am sure they’re well aware that you’re asking them to sacrifice their brand and with their competitors ready to pounce at any missteps.”

That’s your wet dream. There is more and more pressure to make the Internet a place where information is less prone to manipulation. The awareness of this problem has singularly increased over the last few years, and it’s likely that the trend will continue. The problem of Internet misinformation will likely be addressed rather forcefully in the coming decade.

F68.10: “The problem of Internet misinformation will likely be addressed rather forcefully in the coming decade.”

I certainly hope so. I have often described it as being full of dreck. Which is defined as worthless nonsense, or more simply: trash. This is why we laugh at those who make big claims, and refuse to give us legitimate evidence for those claims with the ever lame “just Google it.” Le sigh.

Please post links to any clearly pro-vaxxers who gave Vaxxed a positive rating when it was first released.

A lot of great movies are under-appreciated when they were first released. Check out this list which includes The Shining, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Terminator and The Big Lebowski among others.

https://www.listchallenges.com/best-movies-that-werent-nominated-for-any-oscars

I think I’ll kick back and watch the movie version of Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism (ABC), which won the Sundance award for Best Direction and was nominated for an Oscar for documentary. It’s streaming on Amazon Prime right now.

“Blade Runner” is one of my favorite examples. It was actually a bit of a flop in the US when it was first released in the theaters and didn’t become a cult classic and cultural icon of a film until much later.

“It’s not really possible to put Eternal September back in the bottle.”

There’s always the Chinese model as a fallback. I hope we won’t come to that, but I’m no more optimistic.

There’s always the Chinese model as a fallback.

Packet switching requires only UUCP as a worst-case scenario.

As Orac said above- Mikey got tossed from You Tube and had to initiate his own Channel, Brighteon.

SO it may be about MONEY as well. These things cost money.
A few years ago, Null was thrown off of a few liberal or public radio stations and had to make his own internet avenue, PRN.
Being an internet persona non grata, he had to hire IT guys to create and update his channel- which continues after years.

You Tube, FaceBook and twitter provide free access for woo and anti-vax.
Maybe people like Andy might have to pay more people to create advertisement for his films and books. Websites can cost money if you can’t do it for yourself. Therefore, less profit and maybe less customers.

That’s your wet dream. There is more and more pressure to make the Internet a place where information is less prone to manipulation. The awareness of this problem has singularly increased over the last few years, and it’s likely that the trend will continue. The problem of Internet misinformation will likely be addressed rather forcefully in the coming decade.

And again I point to the popularity demise of the MSM as the consequence of what happens when information or news gets too sanitized and manicured. Money will decide what approach is victorious, and right now all signs point to money being on the side of social networks’ approach.

“Money will decide”

Well that’s a naive view of things. It’s not only a question of money. It’s also a question of having an environment where power structures, such as politics or journalism among others, can adequately function. They need a modicum of respect for the truth as a prerequisite. And this lack of respect for truth itself is currently driving a backlash.

You can feel high and mighty all you want, but bear in mind that freedom of expression and freedom of the press has a history. It did not come from nowhere, it’s not a given, and under the wrong circumstances, it can fade into oblivion.

I’d really encourage you to study the following text, as it’s a turning point in the history of the freedom of the press.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areopagitica

The issue really goes well beyond “money”. Studying this text might give you a clue as to the conditions under which these freedoms disappear.

Well that’s a naive view of things. It’s not only a question of money. It’s also a question of having an environment where power structures, such as politics or journalism among others, can adequately function. They need a modicum of respect for the truth as a prerequisite. And this lack of respect for truth itself is currently driving a backlash.

F68.10 you sound like a smart, well read person, but why for the life of it you say the most asinine things! Reading you sometimes, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Journalism adequately functioning, respect for the truth as a prerequisite? F68.10 the ship has long sailed on those lofty goals for journalism and it doesn’t appear to be coming back anytime soon. What we have now are corrosive fake news, pack journalism, lazy journalism, bias journalism and so on and so on That is why people are increasingly turning to the ‘net for news and information as an alternative to bought and paid for journalism. Good luck with your elitist mission of ridding them of their online free for all melees, and ‘rewarding’ them with your brand of journalism that will involve ‘respect for the truth as a prerequisite’. As I said, the money is no longer there.

“the ship has long sailed on those lofty goals for journalism and it doesn’t appear to be coming back anytime soon”

It will come back. There will be a crackdown on misinformation. We’re only at the beginning.

As I said, it’s not a question of money anymore.

I’ll leave this here. It includes links to the original study & accompanying editorial.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/04/no-link-between-autism-and-mmr-affirms-major-study

The article includes some choice quotes from the editorial. For example:

“In an ideal world, vaccine safety research would be conducted only to evaluate scientifically grounded hypotheses, not in response to the conspiracy du jour. In reality, hypotheses propagated by vaccine sceptics can affect public confidence in vaccines.”

Please post links to any clearly pro-vaxxers who gave Vaxxed a positive rating when it was first released.

No that wasn’t my argument. My argument was from the start provaxxers have also been lining up to see Vaxxed, and I believe many of you here have. Anyway, let’s have a tally, who here will admit or deny seeing VAXXED? Squirrel, Denice, Narad, Mr Bacon, Christopher, Orac,Julian, Alain, Chris, Science Mom, JustaTech, RS, JP, Doug, F68.10, ORD, Mr Harrison, others? This is gonna be fun:)

I have watched it four times, one in the theater. I gave three presentations on how it misleads; can’t do that without watching the thing.

It is unreliable.

My daughter watched it and was disgusted – with the movie’s falsehoods and stupidity. I neither want to or need to watch it. I’m getting older and life is too short.

There is a distinction between just watching a movie and actually supporting it. But perhaps you can link to a news item about people “lining up to see it”.

I haven’t watched Expelled either, but judging from the amount of on-screen time given to vaccine supporters in Vaxxed, it seems science supporters have learned something from that previous experience.

Perhaps you can help me out though.

What is the strongest argument against vaccines that the movie makes?

Where is the published evidence that supports it?

How does the movie address the 15 or more studies by different groups if researchers such as Hviid in 6 different countries over the last 20 years that show that MMR vaccines do not cause autism, thimerosal containing vaccines do not cause autism and that there is no positive statistical correlation between vaccines and autism?
BRW, I started watching Life Animated last night but didn’t get very far I think I’ll watch some more now.

There is a distinction between just watching a movie and actually supporting it. But perhaps you can link to a news item about people “lining up to see it”.

So have you seen Vaxxed, yes or no?

So have you seen Vaxxed, yes or no?

Gerg, I’ll go watch Vaxxed when you watch Wax or the Discovery of Television among the Bees and produce a five-paragraph essay.

I think the answer was implied in what I wrote,but if you will give me a direct, best effort answer to my 3 questions I will give you a direct answer.

It suddenly occurs to me that Gerg himself has not, to the best of my recollection of this bloated thread, stated whether he himself has watched Vaxxed.

The idea that more pro-immunization advocates have seen “Vaxxed” than antivaxers is comical, seeing that online “Vaxxed” groupies complain that negative reviewers must not have seen the film or else they’d be fans too. I mean, how can you not believe Andrew Wakefield, given his sterling record for honesty and ethical behavior?

I’ve suffered enough reading antivax books – I don’t need to subject myself to a screening of “Vaxxed” (others, including Orac have amply exposed its nonsense, and the story line is nauseatingly familiar from countless online diatribes as well as books and interviews with the principals). Putting more money in the pockets of Del Bigtree and Co. is not a good idea.

So we have three minions completing my survey. Two claiming they haven’t seen Vaxxed and one claiming she has — multiple times! And the rest? C’mon minions, I promise not to judge you for your ‘dirty’ secrets since even the best of us have given in to sin and temptations now and again.

“I promise not to judge you for your ‘dirty’ secrets”

I’ve watched “The Human Centipede”. I’m a disgusting human being, I know.

I did not see VAXXED: I never pay one penny for woo because I don’t want to enrich people who provide mis-information.
If it were free on the internet, I would watch it as I have many alt med docu-dramas.I also have read alt med/ anti-vax books that I didn’t buy and have seen woo-meisters present live.

-btw- Greg, calling DB, Chris Hickie, Joel Harrison or Orac “Mr” doesn’t erase their MDs/ PhDs. They still have them.

C’mon minions, I promise not to judge you for your ‘dirty’ secrets since even the best of us have given in to sin and temptations now and again.

How would you know, useless attention whore?

@ F68.10:

You are correct: mis-information on the internet IS being countered and there is an effort to clean up the debris.
Sceptics, SBM and Orac are leaders in this movement.

I have been reporting how woo-meisters/ anti-vaxxers have reacted over the past year or so:
— Gary Null has been squawking and writing “exposes” of Wikipedia and sceptics at PRN. It has affected business: he hasn’t been invited to speak at conferences, has lost a book deal ( maybe even a publisher) and probably sells less supplements because ( paraphrase) ” people see my bio on Wikipedia and think I’m a quack”. He will sue them and others soon.
— Mike Adams had to create his own You Tube clone after being dropped. He rails against the monstrous tech giants and SB congressmen who would rein him in on Twitter et al.
— Anti-vaxxers complain that they are not being heard – as if #MeToo includes women who make fantastic claims about vaccine injury. It’s about sexual abuse and mistreatment, Kim Rossi. They believe that their ideas are being censored by Amazon, FaceBook, Google, twitter.
Anyone who doubts me should look at their websites regularly.

So it’s happening. Long ago, I wished that perhaps woo and anti-vax would be relegated to the darkest, dustiest corner of the internet amongst ancient alien theorists, 9/11 Truthers and moon landing hoax believers.
I think Chris and I will both ultimately get our wishes but it’s sure taking a LONG time.

“I think Chris and I will both ultimately get our wishes but it’s sure taking a LONG time.”

I’d caution you against this wish: while medicine must be science based (which it unfortunately is still not enough), it’s dangerous to equate criticisms of medicine with criticisms of science. You do not need to be antiscience to have a knee-jerk reaction to medical authority. Conflating the two indeed turns people into antiscience folks rather quickly, and is a disservice.

Of course,
Criticism of medicine should be science based. Otherwise, it’s just woo.

The problem is that accomplished woo-meisters – to get “their foot in the door”- with reasonable people, at first make reasonable criticisms of medicine that soon morph into totally outlandish claims ( e.g. it’s true that arthritis is difficult to treat BUT that doesn’t justify saying that there is NO help and feeding sufferers a blend of roots and berries that no one tested because it’s “ancient wisdom”)
or shorter: ” planes aren’t perfect doesn’t mean flying carpets work”.

“Criticism of medicine should be science based. Otherwise, it’s just woo.”

You left out ethics out of the equation. As I already mentioned in another post, the end of life debate, among other things, is fairly illustrative of this point.

In contrast to my examples, another woo-meister/ anti-vaxxer/ alt med supplier DOESN”T seem to protest much about censorship and governmental interference**:
Dr Mercola!
Probably because his business model (since the early aughts) has included a massive, professional-looking website compleat with articles, recipes, advice, videos and PRODUCTs ( books, supplements etc). In fact, he even solicits for job applicants for his company.
So he didn’t need to rely upon social media and distributors like Amazon to spread his woo: he hired people to do it. He has over a million unique visitors monthly and earned over 7 million USD ( 2010).

** despite actually being sanctioned by the FDA etc a few times. ( see Wikipedia on him)

“I promise not to judge you for your ‘dirty’ secrets”

I’ve watched “The Human Centipede”. I’m a disgusting human being, I know.

And did you also transgress and let Satan in your heart by seeing Vaxxed?

“And did you also transgress and let Satan in your heart by seeing Vaxxed?”

I’ve also seen “Cannibal Holocaust”.

I’ve also seen “Cannibal Holocaust”.

I’ve seen Sexual Freedom in the Ozarks. Why, I don’t exactly recall. I’d rank it higher than Natural Born Killers or Last Tango in Paris, though.

Precisely. I have made rude noises in the theater after a film exactly twice, and this was one. There’s a third that tempted me, but the name isn’t coming to me at the moment.

“You do not need to be antiscience to have a knee-jerk reaction to medical authority.”

But it helps.

Having a knee-jerk reaction against “authority” (including experts in medical and scientific fields) is a large part of what brought us Trumpism.

Speaking of which, antivaxers will undoubtedly be increasingly beating the drum for Trump’s re-election, because they absolutely, positively know that he’ll make their wishes come true and ban mandatory vaccination, eliminate the CDC, form a tribunal to convict pro-immunization advocates of Crimes Against Humanity etc. – never mind that Trump has done exactly zero thus far to gratify antivaxers’ wishes, other than a bit of inconsequential babbling early on.

It does “help”. But maybe you’ll be able to clarify this for me: has the process to unclassify homosexuality as a mental illness been driven by science, or by a reaction to medical authority?

I recommend securing all of your straw in a vault. Indications are that AVers will increasingly attempt to grasp at them.

JP/Jack:
Good to see you back. I think it’s cool that you’re continuing to figure yourself out, and I hope you get to Madison. (By the way, there’s a great comic books store there.) Best of luck. Just don’t go out of the city, the countryside is full of Walker voters.

I’m playing catchup so I’d just like to say a few things;

Speaking for myself, I have always considered my brain and body to be separate. Brain works oddly, but it does, but my body has always been a source of dissatisfaction, so I just taught myself to not think about it. It’s not dysphoria, but it’s a cousin.

Question 1: I’m referring to sudden regression, such as a kid banging his head against a wall continuously that didn’t happen a week previous of getting the vaccine, flapping their arms, or ceasing to laugh or communicate.

If it were a few parents saying this, then I’d understand. It’s happening too often.

First of all, as people said, trauma is a thing. Autistic kids process trauma differently, and may suddenly shut down if they’re exposed to to many experiences too fast. In some cases, they may be reacting to an entirely different thing than the vaccine but the parents don’t, won’t or can’t understand that.

It is actually only a few parents. The problem is some of them are rich, and all of them are loud jerks that shout down everyone else in the world. No wonder narcissists like Trump, McCarthy and Wakers are minor gods in the anti-vax world.

Yeah, that comic book store is great! I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Madison over the years; I went there frequently during grad school during breaks. (Friends there.)

I don’t really figure the brain and the body can be separated. I mean, the brain is a part of the body, and the body is sensed by the brain and nervous system, if we’re talking in terms of monist materialism, anyway. I personally experience my consciousness in a very diffuse way, and a lot of things I experience in a sense of “feeling” rather than “in my head.” Like, I actually experience what people call “thought” sort of between my shoulders, where I feel my voice. And so on.

That feeling of dissatisfaction is probably well worth feeling and sensing and investigating. Sometimes the body “knows” things (in a certain way.) Feelings aren’t arbitrary.

Damn, the threads on this post are like the good old days of RI.

I still miss Krebiozen, though.

Read this and weep, Greggles: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/another-study-finds-no-link-between-autism-measles-mumps-rubella-n979176?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_ma&utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Yes, weeping at the same pathetic playbook. Even before checking I was suspicious about the cutoff date, and after checking indeed I found this….

657 461 children born in Denmark from 1999 through 31 December 2010, with follow-up from 1 year of age and through 31 August 2013.

The mean age at first autism diagnosis was 7.22 years (SD, 2.86), and the mean age among autistic disorder cases was 6.17 years (SD, 2.65).

Jack: Yeah, I found a few rare finds there and I loved the atmosphere. I haven’t been back in a while, though, since we don’t take trips down to Madison anymore. We used to have family members living there. Hope it’s still there.

As for the feeling of dissatisfaction, well, I know where it comes from and I kind of figured everyone had that same vague unhappiness. My body fits a little better now, I guess. As for feelings not being arbitrary…yeah, mine are and always have been. If I did everything my feelings told me to, I’d be dead or severely hurt.

As for Vaxxed, I am happy to report that the copy at my regular library does not, in fact, ever seem to be checked out.

On the subject of contaminants, has anyone looked at what babies actually eat? I suspect pill bugs and rock salt might actually contain more aluminum than a vaccine does. (One of my siblings would have happily lived on rock salt.)

@PGP:

Oh, I’m certainly not advocating doing whatever your feelings suggest; far be it from me, of all people. More just, like, hanging out with them. I personally find zazen helpful; I imagine there are plenty of different ways and postures to go about it, though. I’ve actually realized I had certain emotions that I’d been carrying around with me pretty much constantly; they actually showed up in zazen first as physical sensations. (Which, I guess, emotions actually are. Hence the word “feelings.”) It was kind of like, jeez, I didn’t realize I went around just carrying around this huge mountain of tension and anxiety – more like some sort of terror, almost – inside of me. Explains certain things!

And just sort of hanging out with that, letting it be, things start to shift somewhat. It’s kind of like taking a psychological/emotional breath of fresh air or something. It can be really uncomfortable while I’m doing it, but I actually tend to feel significantly better afterwards. And it’s also helpful for understanding my inner workings better, finding things out sometimes. And also also, funnily enough, it actually helps me not to do whatever my feelings immediately suggest doing.

By the by, I actually won’t be moving to Madison quite as soon as I was thinking, although I may head that way eventually. My friend Bart’s dad, Jean, who is trans, offered me a room in her place in Vancouver, WA, rent free for the time being. (Not open-ended-ly, though.) Which means I can stay on WA Medicaid and stuff, which is a lot better than BadgerCare, especially for trans-type stuff. She made some good points, like, “If your family can’t deal with it, they can’t deal with it no matter how far away you are,” and “Do you really think anybody’s going to be all that surprised?” among other things.

Oh, and pretty much everything contains more aluminum than a vaccine does. It’s really, really common here on Earth.

For the record, I used to eat (dry) cat food as a toddler. I haven’t tried it lately, though.

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