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Larry Cook’s “Stop Mandatory Vaccination” page is about to be removed by Facebook

Stop Mandatory Vaccination is one of the largest antivaccine groups on Facebook. This week its creator and administrator Larry Cook announced that Facebook is on the verge of deleting it. Is Facebook finally getting serious about anti vaccine misinformation on its platform?

I’ve been discussing how tech giants and social media companies have been belatedly trying to stem the flood of health misinformation in the wake of the largest measles outbreaks in more than a generation. Both Google and Facebook have been tweaking their algorithms and adjusting their rules to try at least to deprioritize antivaccine content. Mike Adams, for instance, was kicked off YouTube last year and off of Facebook a month ago. Google has clearly adjusted its algorithms and started enforcing its penalty against misinformation about “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL), which includes web pages about financial and medical issues, leading to dramatic falls in search engine-generated traffic at sites like Joe Mercola’s. More recently, tech companies have been broadening the net and trying to deal with more forms of medical misinformation than just antivaccine misinformation. Even so, I questioned whether social media and search companies were doing enough. After all, all Facebook and YouTube, for example, did was to demonetize antivaccine content by not letting its creators run ads and to deprioritize such content in their in-platform search results without actually taking it down. Left intact on Facebook were thousands of groups dedicated to health misinformation, particularly antivaccine misinformation and dangerous quackery aimed at autistic children, some secret, where misinformation continued to flow and activists plotted strategies to harass pro-vaccine advocates. Then I saw yesterday a heartening development reported by Katie Joy. Apparently Larry Cook, the administrator of one of the largest antivaccine Facebook groups in existence, Stop Mandatory Vaccination, was put on notice by Facebook that his page had many violations of community guidelines and was soon going to be taken down:

A massive Facebook group dedicated to spreading fear and misinformation related to vaccines is on the verge of being shut down. Stop Mandatory Vaccination administrator Larry Cook announced to the 167,00 group members that the group has violated dozens of community guidelines, and Facebook has had enough. According to a post uploaded by Larry Cook, his group “Stop Mandatory Vaccinations” is about to be shut down. Cook shared a screenshot from Facebook alerting him of the violations of the group. In Spring 2019, Facebook announced changes to its community guidelines related to groups and pages that spread vaccine misinformation. Facebook said that groups that continually shared false or misleading information related to vaccines could be shut down. Additionally, Facebook tasked group administrators with monitoring the content shared in the group.

Joy also made a video:

Larry Cook shared a notification from Facebook that warned him that his group had three Community Standard Violations and 67 counts of sharing false news. (Only 67? That must have been just the number reported, because practically every post in Stop Mandatory Vaccination shares false news about vaccines.) Here’s his full message:

I find it rather ironic and amusing that Larry Cook has been snared by the algorithms that antivaxers have wielded so effectively against pro-vaccine advocates over the last few years to get them put in “Facebook jail,” or temporary bans from posting on Facebook that can last up to 30 days. The difference is that, this time, the algorithms appear to be working as intended, rather than being gamed to be weaponized against unintended targets.

I also find Cook’s whine about moderating 400 posts a day to be a bit disingenuous. As far as I’ve been able to ascertain, antivaccine activism has been Larry Cook’s only job since 2016. He could totally moderate 400 posts a day if he so desired. In any event, until Facebook’s crackdown in recent months on monetizing antivaccine content, Cook had been quite successful at it, as a recent Daily Beast story on his weaponizing Facebook ads in his war on vaccines shows (not to mention his panicked reaction when he learned that reporters were looking into his finances.) Basically, he used a combination of Facebook and GoFundMe to raise close to $80,000 and has bought more Facebook ads than any other antivaxer:

Cook, according to Facebook’s own tallies, has been the No. 1 anti-vaxxer buying ads on the site since it began tracking campaigns in May, spending $1,776 in the last nine months to boost his posts. For the latest campaign, Cook boasts that he will be targeting a specific group, namely moms in Washington State, where public health workers are struggling to keep the outbreak under control.

Recall that Washington has been the site of a large measles outbreak, making Cook’s actions particularly egregious and irresponsible.

I checked this morning before this post went live, and, unfortunately, Stop Mandatory Vaccination is still up and running—for now. Katie Joy’s post was published yesterday, and in it she noted how she had perused the group and noted many posts that were spreading false news (I guess that’s Facebook’s term for “fake news”) about vaccines, including at the time the two most recent posts. I perused it this morning after having written most of this post last night and found the same thing. For example:

He’s also promoting snake oil autism “cures” like Kerri Rivera’s Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) “CD treatment,” or, as I like to call it, bleach enemas, because it involves feeding children industrial bleach until they get sick and using it as an enema to “get rid of parasites” until children slough the lining of their colon. No, really. I’m serious.

Not surprisingly, Cook is scrambling to save what he can. He’s urging members (in multiple posts on Stop Mandatory Vaccination) to join his backup MeWe group. To be honest, I don’t recall ever having heard of MeWe; so I’m guessing that’ll work really well. He’s also urging people to join his mailing list, which I did with a throwaway email address just for yucks (and to supply me with blogging material). Finally, he’s also trying to transition members to another Facebook group, The Vaccine-Free Child, where the same sort of nonsense is being shared:

It’s such a transparently obvious attempt to do an end run around Facebook’s rules that I doubt the group will exist for long. I can’t help but feel a sense of schadenfreude over Larry Cook’s downfall. He might think he’s doing good, but in the process he’s turned antivaccine activism into his full time job and spread misinformation claiming that vaccines regularly kill and injure children around the world. It’s especially sad that hte considers the Facebook page he created, which served as a vector for so much misinformation for so long, to be his “greatest achievement.” I don’t shed a single tear for him.

As for Facebook, the question is whether this is just an anomaly or a warning shot in a bigger effort. Four months ago, Facebook announced a multistep plan to crackdown on antivaccine misinformation. So far, while I welcome the attempt, I’ve been concerned that Facebook is relying too heavily on algorithms and AI alone and not enough on humans to moderate and train those algorithms and AI. Until now, all I’ve seen are measures of questionable effectiveness, such as demonetizing and deprioritizing antivaccine content without actually removing it. Getting rid of Stop Mandatory Vaccination, one of the largest antivaccine pages on Facebook, marks a major escalation in the effort to get rid of antivaccine misinformation. Time will tell how serious Facebook is and how effective its measures to purge such misinformation from its platform will be.

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]

179 replies on “Larry Cook’s “Stop Mandatory Vaccination” page is about to be removed by Facebook”

The only time I ever heard of MeWe was from members of TMR who suggested it as a way to avoid surveillance by FB. That was a few months ago.

Woo-meisters are also scrambling because of Facebook’s/ Google’s recent actions. There is a flurry of articles at PRN casting aspersions upon sceptics ( today’s against Dr Novella/ but praises Seneff and Seralini)

Hilarity.

I was a member of a special interest group on G+ that moved to MeWe when Google closed that platform. A lot of other groups probably did the same.

But it doesn’t have the ability to advertise to a wide audience that Facebook provides.

Who makes up the membership of these groups? Are these real people or are they made-up Facebook profiles? I’m in the Deep South where belief in bizarre things are common but vaccines appear to be okay (luckily) with a majority of the people I meet. Some might not like the HPV vaccine because they think the vaccine leads to sexual activity but this appears to be the exception. on occasion, I do talk to a few natives who accept just about every conspiracy theory muttered but none talk about a conspiracy of vaccines.

Leaving aside the fact that VAERS doesn’t have a Facebook Page, or for that matter, any Facebook presence:

Apparently Larry Cook, the administrator of one of the largest antivaccine Facebook groups in existence, Stop Mandatory Vaccination, was put on notice by Facebook that his page had many violations of community guidelines and was soon going to be taken down

What disinformation is VAERS peddling?

@ Julian:

I think that she’s being sarcastic because VAERS includes parents’ accounts of “vaccine damage” maybe it’ll be censored next.

@ Denice,

VAERS does contain many online parent accounts of vaccine injury. It contains may pharmaceutical trial accounts of vaccine injury & some accounts from healthcare providers. I should have said ‘deplatform the parent’s accounts’.

At least that would be consistent.

I should have said ‘deplatform the parent’s accounts’.
At least that would be consistent.

It still wouldn’t be English, though. That’s one hell of a barbarous neologism.

@ Julian,

Sometimes (okay; alot of times) I see things in the context of my experiences & I am terrified of mandatory vaccination. When I see a group that is very polarized as antivaccine, I assume (maybe mistakenly) that they are afraid for the same reason that I am.

The ‘going down in a blaze of glory’ references may seem extreme to some here but if they had to walk in my shoes; they would understand why. Three strikes for me. Vaccines are out.

I would no more let a vaccine come towards my child than I would a freight train. Maybe their ‘misinformation’ is based on their very real life experience?

Most here are really betting on the epidemiology, Biology; not so much. When the only argument one has against my real life experience is that all three strikes were coincidental? You may as well deplatform the passive-reporting system VAERS as coincidental too. It’s hopeless.

Epidemiology includes biology. In fact, we epidemiologists must be well-versed in biology because so many of the things we observe need to be confirmed through our knowledge of biology. For example, when we study measles epidemics, we need to know the biology of DNA viruses and the biology of the human immune system.
I’m curious, why do you say that we don’t “bet” on biology? Are you a biologist?
“Epidemiology, by law; cannot prove nor rule out causation. It may only demonstrate correlation.” Nope. We can very much declare causation. There’s no law against it. Some use the Bradford HIll criteria, others use it and a modified version of Koch’s postulates. I’m curious as to how much epidemiology you’ve studied.

Indeed. And epidemiological correlation is necessary before you can actually demonstrate causation by other means. If there’s no correlation, then causation is incredibly unlikely.

One example of epidemiology basically proving causation that I like to cite is cigarette smoking. There was no randomized trial to show that smoking causes lung cancer. (That would have been highly unethical and impractical anyway.) It was all epidemiology. Epidemiological studies showed such a high correlation between smoking and lung cancer risk that it didn’t take much else to conclude causation.

@ Rene F. Najera, DrPH:

Now that’s a great question.

Interestingly, we usually don’t get many answers when we get into details like that.
Sometimes if we ask about what degrees they achieved we may get a clue – ( although *some people we know manage to mix SB courses with liberal studies BAs).Most are not in a science like bio. Usually English, Childhood Education, History, Business, Marketing, a few Social Science- unfortunately
.
What I’ve found is that most anti-vaxxers don’t have much college-level or above life science ( and it shows): the exceptions may be those who are trying to sell products ( DOs, DCs, RNs, PhDs).

My best guess: she has possibly secondary school bio, not more than 2 college level life science courses ( I include bio, physio etc)

IIRC, the connection between smoking and lung cancer had been made at least tentatively by German statisticians in the 1920s.

Incorrect. VAERS includes summaries of suspected Vaccine Reactions – and if you bothered to read most of them, you’d see that information provided can be laughable at best….

My personal favorite is the person who reported “109 people died from neurotoxic vaccines” listing no names, no dates or vaccines.

@ Lawrence,

Yes & that’s the tracking system we have to work with. A joke. Childhood death & disability from vaccines is tracked by a laughable system & all parents need to know this before their child gets a vaccine.

Because, you know; parents are told that vaccine safety is carefully monitored. With straight faces even.

So you think that VAERS is the only vaccine safety monitoring system? Really? You are quite ignorant about some basics. What say you, my regulars? Should I educate her, or would you like to do it?

Oh, never mind. I can’t resist. I’ve written about this twice before in the context of other discussions:

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2017/12/15/robert-f-kennedy-jr-anti-vaccine-not-fiercely-pro-vaccine/
https://respectfulinsolence.com/2018/03/07/yet-more-evidence-that-the-antivaccine-trope-of-too-many-too-soon-is-nonsense/

In addition to VAERS, which is a passive monitoring system, there are three active monitoring systems examining vaccine safety:

Vaccine Safety Datalink: A collaborative project between the CDC and eight health care organizations. The VSD uses electronic health data from each participating site. This includes information on vaccines: the kind of vaccine given to each patient, date of vaccination, and other vaccinations given on the same day. The VSD also uses information on medical illnesses that have been diagnosed at doctors’ offices, urgent care visits, emergency department visits, and hospital stays. The VSD conducts vaccine safety studies based on questions or concerns raised from the medical literature and reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). When there are new vaccines that have been recommended for use in the United States or if there are changes in how a vaccine is recommended, the VSD will monitor the safety of these vaccines.

Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) project: The CDC partners with several large academic medical centers and Kaiser Permanente Northern California to study vaccines safety: CISA addresses vaccine safety issues, conducts high quality clinical research, and assesses complex clinical adverse events following vaccination. CISA facilitates CDC’s collaboration with vaccine safety experts at leading academic medical centers and strengthens national capacity for vaccine safety monitoring. The CISA Project provides consultation to US clinicians who have vaccine safety questions about a specific patient residing in the US. In addition, CISA provides consultation to US healthcare providers and public health partners on vaccine safety issues, and reviews clinical adverse events following immunization ( AEFI) involving the US-licensed vaccines.

Post-licensure Rapid Immunization Safety Monitoring System (PRISM): This is run by the FDA. a powerful, computer-based system that separates critical bits of information from vast streams of healthcare data in order to investigate adverse events and determine if there is a connection to a specific vaccine. PRISM is a cooperative effort between FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and its partners in the health care and medical insurance communities. It analyzes health insurance claims data from four national healthcare plans: Aetna, HealthCore (Wellpoint), Humana, and OptumInsight (United Healthcare).

More about PRISM:

PRISM is one component of FDA’s Sentinel Initiative, which monitors the safety of a variety of FDA-regulated medical products by examining information in electronic healthcare databases.

Sentinel performs what is called “active” surveillance, as opposed to “passive” surveillance. Passive FDA surveillance systems depend on industry, consumers, patients, and healthcare professionals to recognize and report suspected adverse events to an FDA web site, such as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). This means that FDA might not become aware of potential problems related to a licensed product for months.

Unlike passive surveillance, Sentinel’s active surveillance lets FDA initiate its own studies using existing electronic healthcare data in a timely manner. Sentinel also lets FDA evaluate safety issues in targeted groups, such as children, or to evaluate specific conditions (e.g., heart attacks) that are not usually reported as possible adverse events of medical products through passive reporting systems.

Together these three systems don’t just wait for reports of adverse events due to vaccines, they actively look for them.

So, no, VAERS is not the be-all and end-all of vaccine safety monitoring in the US. Far from it. And the three active surveillance systems above don’t even count all the active surveillance systems for drug and vaccine safety operated in other countries.

No, that’s the tracking system that “you” rely on – and misuse because you don’t have a clue as to how it is actually used (to analyze trends – and when used properly, it can be a very effective tool).

In fact, when VAERS reports were analyzed as part of the post-licensure studies of the first Rotavirus vaccine, researchers were able to identify a single additional serious adverse reaction per 100,000 doses – which was enough to get the vaccine pulled from the market.

But, instead, you anti-vaxers take the reports at face-value and try to use them to represent exactly what they are not.

As Orac posted above, the vaccine safety systems are far more robust and actively tracking….

Note that Mr. Cook is talking about the closed Facebook group but the screenshots above are from his public page. Unfortunately, I don’t think the group going down will also remove the page.

Interesting observation. There’s also his secondary page The Vaccine Free Child, his FB page under his name, and who knows what else? Interestingly, he stated on The Vaccine Free Child that that page will be public, so that parents understand that anything they post there could be screenshot and reposted elsewhere.

He can’t approve 400 posts a day because 399 of them would violate terms of service.

I saw this yesterday on his page and I couldn’t believe. I broke out laughing. I did shed a tear for him, a tear of laughter. Schadenfreude truly is the correct word to describe it. Larry Crook is preying on vulnerable people and he deserves nothing more than having his group kicked off Facebook.

Sorry, I can’t cheer for Facebook. Reading what Larry Cook wrote reminds me of what I would write on the Neoboards as a bunch of kids and I tried to write fairly normal fiction in the sand. Neopets’ Neorules censored everything and then some. No it was not government censorship. It was intellectual freedom violation. Intellectual freedom is freedom of expression granted by a private organization.

And Facebook’s stance on antivaccine nonsense is a big blow to intellectual freedom, not just for those who write it but for the rest of us. People ought to be able to read whatever they want without having to twist themselves in pretzels to find it. That includes bunkum and hogwash if that is their choice.

The other issue with what Facebook is doing, is that it is large in the way that shopping malls were in many cities and towns. Yes, there was freedom of speech for demonstrators and pamphleters on the public sidewalk of Main Street, but when the mall (which was private) replaced the public sidewalk, free speech took a hit. You might be able to make an argument that Facebook is the new public square.

I’m not sure how well that argument will wash. In fact I kind of hope it doesn’t. I just hope Facebook becomes craven enough to start driving users elsewhere.I do kind of wonder “who’s next?” and whether it will be me.

If Larry Cook and others don’t want to run a community on the cheap, they can rent web space and administer one of several varieties of bulletin boards. The software is out there. There are also alternative services like Brighteon and MeWe. It’s still somewhat possible to route around damage. That would suit me better than a public square law suit.

No it was not government censorship. It was intellectual freedom violation.

Horseshit. Their machines, their rules, same as it’s ever been. You might as well be complaining that the local grocery store doesn’t let people take markers to the walls. FB (which I no longer use) owes you nothing beyond the TOS, just as I’m free to kick out an obnoxious drunk from a dinner party.

Right.

FB, You Tube etc are NOT public street corners. They are companiesprivate companies

Actually, I can argue that anti-vaxxers and woo-meisters USED these companies to sell their ideas and products.
FB is supposed to be a social connection where people can share recipes, gossip and cat pictures NOT an advertisement venue. These groups and companies ( e,g. woo sellers) use FB etc to collect new followers and patrons. Often they will cash in- getting new people or money. Some anti-vax sites solicit money for their charities so numbers of people count even if they’re not actually selling products ( they sometimes sell books they wrote)

FB and You Tube are FREE.

Now if I went to Joe’s Market and handed out cards for my services, Joe can say, “Get lost”.( Altho’ the local grocery allows businesses or individuals to leave advert cards or notes on a bulletin board -for free) So why not FB or You Tube?

Anti-vaxxers and woo-meisters are pissed off because they are losing a free way of peddling their ideas and products often with their followers doing the work posting their material. Now they have to pay for websites, maintenance, maybe IT people or rent out ad space on other sites.

( They’re angry with Wikipedia because they can’t write up their own self-serving bios)

And if you gave the obnoxious drunk and all your party guests a chance to speak their minds it would be “intellectual freedom.” Notice, I did not say free speech. You don’t have a right to free speech on a private platform. That platform may grant intellectual freedom or take it away.

Good grief. If I wanted to write a screed about how I’ve dedicated my life to linguine, would the New York Times be obligated to publish it? Would they be violating my “intellectual freedom” by refusing to do so? Freedom of the press belongs only to those who own one. Don’t like it? Make your own platform. I believe the neo-Nazis and Alt-Righters created their own social media platforms to replace Facebook and Twitter after they similarly ran afoul of the terms of service of the big boys. I know Mike Adams did the same thing. Maybe the anti-vaxxers can migrate to those places as well, and they can be even more wretched hives of scum and villainy together.

”Intellectual freedom is freedom of expression granted by a private organization.”

So if I write a really bad novel and publishers won’t accept it, I’m being denied intellectual freedom?

”You might be able to make an argument that Facebook is the new public square.”

That argument presumes that there’s no virtual real estate elsewhere on the Internet for others to create their own version of the public square. Who’s to say that Mike Adams or some other entrepreneur couldn’t rake in a ton of money by establishing Facebook/YouTube competitors dedicated to the proposition that no information is too despicable or fake to be allowed?*

*and yes, Mike is trying hard already with his own video channel.

That argument presumes that there’s no virtual real estate elsewhere on the Internet for others to create their own version of the public square tragedy of the commons.

FTFY. Hello, Usenet.

I think it needs to be pointed out once again that the people at greatest risk from vaccination are public health workers in Afghanistan, where they are in danger of being shot by radical antivaxers.

They are not Antivaccine; they vaccinated & now they know. A highly oral society; autism is a particularly cruel disability there. You could wipe Facebook from the pages of history & word of mouth would prevail.

Attacks on medical convoys in the DRC have nothing to do with them being anti-vax and everything to to with 1) active war zone, 2) deep-seated and long lasting distrust of Western governments due to centuries of colonialism.

Most of Africa is very pro-vax, because they see the consequences of infectious disease.

The people attacking vaccine providers have been misled by anti-vaccine misinformation, and are acting in ways that directly harm the people who need the vaccines. People can become anti-vaccine.

And if you are trying to argue that the people attacking “vaccinated and now know,” some evidence would be nice.

And to remind you, vaccines do not cause autism.

I hope you are not intending to justify the violence, or the stopping of giving vaccines to those at risk from Ebola.

Local clinics have been sacked & workers killed, because of misinformation being spread about Ebola & the vaccine…..its people like you who have encouraged this type of behavior.

@ Lawrence,

Are you actually saying that there is such a thing as Antivaccine liaisons in third-world countries who could convince bands of angry youth that vaccines are bad, when they have lived with endemic diseases every day of their lives? 😂

Please don’t tell me I have to invoke Aaby & Guinea-Bissau again …

@Christine K,

Since you like to Aaby and Guinea-Bissau so much, I went back and took a look at the original study from 2004

https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/33/2/374/715842

and his follow-up look at a slightly different patient set in 2018.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5868131/

It’s worth reviewing as an example of what actual scientists do when confronted with evidence that seems valid but doesn’t meet their expectations.

Even Dr Aaby in his second report finds it a bit of a head-scratcher.

The inherent biases in this study are clearly in favor of the DTP-vaccinated children (2): first, the DTP vaccine protects against three severe diseases. Second, the DTP-unvaccinated children were usually children deemed too sick or too weak to be vaccinated, as evidenced by the nurse’s notes on the BHP card and by the fact that these children had worse nutritional status. Third, DTP-unvaccinated children attended the weighing sessions less frequently (Table ​(Table1)1) and were, therefore, more likely to be staying for longer periods in the rural areas where the mortality risk was higher (12). Noteworthy, we were able to obtain mortality information from these children because their father and other relatives stayed in the study area.

WHO experts have argued that the negative effect of DTP is exaggerated, because studies have only been conducted in situations with herd immunity against pertussis and where the benefit of preventing pertussis would not be seen (13). However, pertussis was endemic in the 1980s before the roll out of the vaccination program in Guinea-Bissau, but all three studies of the introduction of DTP into urban and rural areas of Guinea-Bissau showed excess mortality associated with DTP vaccination

And he speculates that this might be due to some difference in the immune response to the DTP vaccine as opposed to live vaccines like OPV and MMR.

The specific immunological mechanisms explaining why DTP and OPV have NSEs have not yet been identified. However, there is an increasing evidence that live vaccines (BCG, Vaccinia) induce innate immune training producing stronger pro-inflammatory responses which may lead to protection against unrelated infections (29, 30). In contrast, studies of non-live vaccine have suggested that they may induce tolerance which could enhance the susceptibility to unrelated infections (31).

And in the first study, he noted

While DTP vaccine appears to be associated with increased mortality, general infant mortality did decline over the period examined from 1979 to 1987. This decline was undoubtedly related to expansion in primary health care, increased availability of drugs, and better control of measles and whooping cough epidemics, both associated with very high mortality in 1979–1983.1

So I decided to take a closer look at the numbers myself. I focused on the original study, but the later results were similar.

I had noticed before that the % of children dying in both groups were similar, with 97 of the 720 not vaccinated before 9 months of age dying before the age of 5 (12.47%) vs 117 out of 846 (13.83%) in the vaccinated group. The difference is 3 more children in the vaccinated group that died.

The causes of deaths are also similar (19 malaria and 8 diarrhea out of 47 for the vaccinated, 7 and 3 out of 20 for the unvaccinated).

And the vaccinated who died actually lived longer (95 days vs 82 days) although all deaths were calculated from the 15th of the month of death, so there is considerable uncertainty here.

Also, while deaths per 100 person-years are higher, after comparing for several confounders, the uncertainty range was 1.04-3.52. For boys the range straddled 1.0 (0.7-3.48) while for girls it was barely significant (1.04-5.27).

And, as Aaby notes, whatever negative effect the DTP has was outweighed by the nonspecific benefits of receiving the BCG, OPV and MMR vaccines as well. And the overall vaccination program has reduced child mortality in Guinea-Bissau.

So my takeaway conclusions are:
1–This is most likely a statistical artifact based on only 3 excess deaths.
2- The implications for most developed countries which have already switched to the DTaP/TDaP formulations are slight.
3– Avoiding pertussis epidemics like the one that preceded this vaccination program is still a good thing.

And there is still no good evidence that vaccines increase the risk of either SIDS or Autism/ASD.

Remember that one of the ways the CIA sniffed out bin Laden’s location was by having people pose as health workers offering vaccinations to villagers. That generated a huge amount of ill will.

@ Orac,

You said: “Epidemiological studies showed such a high correlation between smoking and lung cancer risk that it didn’t take much else to conclude causation.”

I assume you are implying that the epidemiology shows so little correlation between vaccines & (insert neurological horror) that it doesn’t take much to deny causation?

That’d be great, except that the epidemiology of smoking to lung cancer was actually hijacked by by lawyers from Big Tobacco & successfully ‘conroversified’ (for Narad) by BTs epidemiologists to show not much correlation at all, to where a consensus on causation was denied for over 20 years.

Modern science had been concerned since pre WWII. The consensus was not achieved until the 1964 Surgeon Generals report.

I know that last link I gave you was literally a book (The Cigarette Papers) but it’s free & really interesting.

You still don’t get it. In the case of tobacco, the data were there. There was found to be a very strong correlation between smoking and lung cancer, first discovered by, of all people, the Nazis and then reconfirmed after WWII by Ernst Wynder and Evarts Graham in the US and Richard Doll and A Bradford Hill in England. (It’s been argued that the Allies distrusted Nazi science after WWII and therefore were very skeptical of the German finding of a correlation between smoking and lung cancer.) Then the tobacco industry worked to deny and obfuscate. In the case of vaccines, there was never a correlation to “cover up.” There’s no correlation between vaccines and autism. It’s been shown again and again in studies not just by US investigators by by investigators from several other countries.

“The epidemiology of smoking & vaccines is similar.”

Big Tobacco has one product – one. Big Pharma could stop making vaccines tomorrow and experience little more than a temporary hiccup in their cash flow.

Not entirely true any more. Imperial Brands owns blu, BAT owns Vype and Vuse (the latter via their ownership of Reynolds), Altria owns MarkTen (outside the US distributed by Philip Morris) as well as 35% of Juul and Japan Tobacco owns both E-lites and LOGIC.

I doubt those are high-value properties, though; there are too many better value options flooding the market.

Christine K:

“Yes & that’s the tracking system we have to work with. A joke. Childhood death & disability from vaccines is tracked by a laughable system & all parents need to know this before their child gets a vaccine.”

Yes, we have a system that makes it very easy to make a report of a possible reaction. I look forward to you telling antivaxxers that you think that this is terrible and that complaining about a possible reaction should be made harder.

Did comments from a different thread somehow get merged here? Anyway,

Narad: “That’s one hell of a barbarous neologism.”

Thank you. It is barbarous, isn’t it. I only had to fight auto correct on ‘deplatform’ four times. I didn’t want to say it normal …

Rene: “when we study measles epidemics, we need to know the biology of DNA viruses”

Just like the DNA in the Sv40 virus found in human tumors was traced back to a rhesus monkey in Salk’s lab?

Please cite where the requisite etiology of SIDS or Autism can be found that backs up the epidemiology.

Denice:

“English, Childhood Education, History, Business, Marketing, Social Science, DOs, DCs, RNs, PhDs,”.

8th grade education, LOL. Oh & one of the above too. ASD, remember? Educators didn’t know what to with someone like me because they REALLY had NOT seen autism before. So they lost me. Left home at 16. Baby at 17. Started college at 18. Graduated at 23, was a mom of only 4 by then.

I’m thinking you were much more traditional?

OK, so you’re not a DO, DC**, PhD… AND RNs don’t usually say they attended college . Thus probably one of the others like the anti-vaxxers I write about . NOT bio, pre-med or an odd combination of arts and science

How do you go from 8th grade to college?

** a DC wouldn’t be optimal either because woo

@ Denice,

I took the GED when I turned 16 & scored in the top 2% of the nation (except for in math). Got a letter from the White House encouraging me to continue into higher education but I disregarded it at that time.

I was very disillusioned about school. Like many females with ASD I had experienced precocious puberty & had a horrible 6th grade teacher who told me I was so stupid at math that I would have to stay after school every day for ‘tutoring’ & I totally lost my confidence. I believed him.

I wanted nothing to do with what the letter suggested & left home shortly after that. Fortunately, living in abject poverty as a teenage mom for two years was a great motivator to get back to school.

I entered a community college with my GED & a Pell Grant, established a decent GPA & after a year, I was accepted into a university.

@Christine K: You mention you got into university, but quite distinctly omitted to mention what course you even took when you did get there, even after going into a mess of irrelevant details about your life. What course did you even take? I’m willing to bet your course was NOT anything life science related, or even other science or engineering related (though engineers do seem to have a strange propensity to woo for some reason).

Third time:
Potential exposure to SV40 in polio vaccines used in Sweden during 1957: no impact on cancer incidence rates 1960 to 1993.
(PMID:9776244)
Olin P , Giesecke J
Developments in Biological Standardization [01 Jan 1998, 94:227-233]
In addition, not all labs find SV40 in cancer cells. So this is not a known fact, either.

“Just like the DNA in the Sv40 virus found in human tumors was traced back to a rhesus monkey in Salk’s lab?”

So? After 35+ years of looking at the people who were vaccinated with the contaminated stock, there was no difference in cancer rates between them and those who got other vaccines and between them and people who didn’t get the vaccine… And between them and the general population.

“Please cite where the requisite etiology of SIDS or Autism can be found that backs up the epidemiology.”

I don’t have to. You’re the one making the claim that there is a link. Thus, it is up to you to provide the evidence of your claim. We do know that the rates of SIDS and/or autism are the same in vaccinated and unvaccinated, and that the rates of vaccination are the same in SIDS cases and in autistics and neurotypical people.

@ Rene,

Yay! So glad you are here!

After 35+ years of looking at the people who were vaccinated with the contaminated stock, there was no difference in cancer rates between them and those who got other vaccines and between them and people who didn’t get the vaccine… And between them and the general population.*

How did they they do that? Cross-referencing vaccine lots? Yaknow … I’ve been looking for those studies for YEARS. You are an epidemiologist? You will fare better than I …

Would you mind just one citation?

No, because I’m not playing your game. Every time someone has ever brought to you any evidence, you move the goalposts. It doesn’t matter what the anti-vaccine argument that is refuted for you, you always bring something up. What? Do you think all your other discussions online are private and not subject to the ever-watching eye of Google?
Frankly, it’s a little disquieting that you think you know more than so many of us with proper credentials. It’s some sort of pathology… I can’t quite put my finger on it.

René F. Najera, DrPH wrote:

Do you [Christine Kincaid] think all your other discussions online are private and not subject to the ever-watching eye of Google?

Yeah, Christine wrote that a week after vaccination her son’s “peaches & cream complexion & dark soft curls” were transformed such that “You can see his scalp through his orangey-tinted hair that is wiry & standing straight up.” Yep. That’s good to know.

@ AC,

When have I given any indication that I ‘do woo’? I actually specifically mentioned that I will not be seeking out & have never tried any alternative treatments. I want his brain to remain unadulterated with substances during the ‘adulting’ neurodevelopmental stage. I have to be very careful with him because he has had surgery three times & exhibits paradoxical reactions to anesthesia.

I am an RN. Surgical/Trauma/ER but cross trained in PICU. Fully vaccinated as required for employment but I am a non-responder to measles vaccine. Kids, unfortunately, received all childhood immunizations & I have been care-giving now for 12 years, will likely never return to the workforce.

@ ‘Lawrence’,

Off-label use of psychotropics, chelation agents, even most supplements are off the table right now. He can have a multi-vitamin because he has a sensory issue with the texture of most fruits, vegetables & beans & he can’t swallow them.

I consent to conscious sedation for dental procedures & general anesthesia only in inpatient children’s hospitals. Antibiotics when ordered & Ibuprofen prn pain. He does not require any pharmaceuticals at this time. His doctor does not disagree & neither have any specialists who have treated him.

Based on his level of impairment at age 5, his behavioral status at onset of puberty & the massive amount of case-history reading I’ve done; this is the best option I have at mitigating his potential for both self-harm & violence towards others as an adult.

He will be about 6’7″ (he is 6’3″ now at age 15) when fully grown. Safety has to be my first priority.

I am ( mildly) surprised to see that the degree was in Nursing although there are RNs who don’t support vaccines. Similarly, there are nurses who support woo providers and who protest vaccine work requirements ( such as flu vaccination in NY).
No degree- even an MD/ DO- is an insurance policy against alt med but I guess it decreases the odds of acceptance.
In a way, it’s worse because you studied life science and aren’t applying what you learned in everyday life.

You should be aware that Orac rarely responds so much to anti-vax commenters here as he did to you. I’m not sure you should take that as a compliment- he doesn’t seem to agree with you in any way, shape or form.

@ Denice,

How did I not apply what I learned? My kids received all childhood immunizations. I accepted all immunizations as recommended. I’ve administered hundreds of vaccines & counseled hundreds of parents, seniors & hospital employees regarding the benefits of vaccines.

I don’t believe that’s a fair thing to say to me at all.

My position today is still a source of dissonance for me. I feel betrayed & disillusioned. I don’t want vaccines gone. I want them better. Had principals of vaccinomics been accepted in the early 2000s; I likely would not be doing this today.

My son would be getting ready for high school sports. Have a girlfriend (or 5). I would be at work. Probably administering very safe vaccines. Nothing special or Utopian. Just living life.

Regarding Orac.

I’m acutely aware of the atypical response. He does not ‘suffer fools’ lightly. He thinks I’m a fool. Yet he suffers me. He has his reasons.

What I find weird is what happens to your usual antagonists when I post? Maybe I just don’t see them?

@ christine kincaid:

Orac and his commenters gave you lots of information which you didn’t use. In school, you were taught how to read studies like those which show vaccines are safe and effective- that true vaccine injuries were exceedingly rare and did not cause autism. Yet, you persist.
It seems you follow the model perpetrated by anti-vaxxers more than what is presented here.
I read people like those at AoA or TMR and you sound similar to them but most of them didn’t have the benefit of an education like you did.

If you want to learn, go to the search function in the sidebar and read articles about vaccines that address your concerns.

The only way a person can accept the many, many theories of vaccines causing autism is to buy into mind bogglingly unlikely conspiracy theories that assert that vaccines cause autism- the government covered it up etc.

“will likely never return to the workforce” I’m glad. I love my American neighbors and don’t want them to be be hurt by bigoted health-care providers.

Dr. G seems to have enraged that man of Science and devotee of Pure and Applied Knowledge, James Lyons-Weiler. This stems from an article on Science-Based Medicine examining the newly published study which determined that genetics are the overwhelming factor leading to autism.

L-W has just posted a screed on his website denouncing Dr. G. for “wickedly”, “callously” and “cruelly”* denying L-W’s revealed truths about vaccination. Makes interesting reading if you like opaque frothing-at-the-mouth Weilerisms.

*maybe it’s because I recently viewed part of “Blazing Saddles”, but I find myself hearing L-W’s accusations in the voice of Madeline Kahn.

@Dangerous Bacon–even funnier is JLW recently announced he’s teaming up with……(drum roll please)….ANDREW WAKEFIELD….to do research into how vaccines lose their immunogenicity. This should be like tying two sinking rocks together to watch them sink even faster. JLW is a con artist scamming marks to do his pseudoscientific BS.

I looked at JLW’s website and read the article about Dr DG.. Oh boy.
More intriguingly, his IPAK page seeks out donations and will host a “gala” fundraiser dinner in August. We should go.

IN ADDITION, he has created a flow chart/ pathway that illustrates how ASDs occur.
It has many arrows but no circles that I can discern

he used to comment at RI, maybe if we’re REALLY nice, he’ll show up again. I hope, I hope.

…. In other news….. more disturbingly:

AoA features a letter to a university by Cathy Jameson’s eldest daughter:
she wants to study bio / pre med and is an anti-vaxxer because of what she’s seen ( her brother’s disability) and her mother’s tutelage. Over the years, Jameson, mere, has written about her – especially her debates with other students. She was accepted, they say, despite this. ( University is unnamed)

They’re preparing ( warping) the next generation.

For all anti-vaxxers are convinced their child has some strange, hidden vulnerability to vaccines, none of them consider they have a vulnerabilty to these illnesses. The idea of a child with Alpha-1 getting measles and almost certainly getting pneumonia as a result is horrifying to me.

@ Terrie,

I’ve not only considered it I am almost convinced of it. Nobody noticed when I said I was grateful for my son’s HepB vaccine … despite … his bizarre reaction

What’d you wanna bet a increased susceptibility to a pathogen translates into increased susceptibility to vaccine for said pathogen? Yeah I’ll find the link. It’s a 1999 by Poland, I believe.

Do you actually know what Alpha-1 is? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not a vulnerablity to any pathogen.

@ jazzlet,

There is some evidence that vaccination may be protective against SIDS.

Or … It’s Healthy User Bias …

@ Chris,

At this point I don’t believe a word she types on the keyboard.

You sound mad.

No. I actually feel sorry that you have built yourself a paranoid pity prison with your very wrong ableist repetitive narrative. People have tried to give you pointers to services, but you ignore them all. I am sure you have pushed away anyone in your community that attempted to help you.

@ Chris,

LOL, it’s safe to say that The Herd has not beaten a path to my door to pay their respects. I don’t want your pity. If I wanted to appeal to pity; you’d be screwed. I’m being sarcastic. My life isn’t all bad; I’d love to see you do it better.

Services. Yeah all those services … Push a broom around a Goodwill retail store … It’d be all good until somebody whistles. Someone whistles & Im not there? They’d be evacuating & callng his mom. At least that’s what his former school did.

His new school, where he gets to go back to start his sophomore year is awesome because he actually gets to stay in the classroom They have great big guys who wear radios & an 8ft high fence around the perimeter but damn, at least they aren’t afraid to educate him. No evacuations.

I’d rather have an RV so my kid can do what he loves best … Travel! Yeah. There’s no service for that.

@ Denice,

Is ‘TMR’ that ‘thinking moms’ site? They are full of ads. How do you even read anything on there (maybe I’m on the wrong page)?

And I don’t care about the many theories of how vaccines can cause autism. I have my own (that should go over well). My theory is that:

Preponderance of BAP (Broad autistic phenotype) + vaccination = atypical immune response.

Atypical immune response —> altered cytokines —> dysfunctional microglia.

Dysfunctional microglia —> synaptic overgrowth —> neuroanatomical changes = Autism.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

Prove that, then. Autistic persons do not have specific cytokine profile (all your links had a different one). Instead, symptomatic genes in gene.sfari.org are developmental ones.

@ Aarno,

Okay. Firstly, I noticed several mutations in their database that I have. You know what would be cool, is if that site could screen uploaded raw data. I’d pay for that. I’ve never tried Prometheus but I’ve used genetic genie & genetic life hacks. They just give ‘novelty’ type of information though.

Second. I’m learning very quickly that I’m not as good at communicating by writing as I thought I was. I feel bad because for so long I thought, ‘it’s a good thing I don’t have to say this & can write it instead.’ Verbally, I’m one of those ‘I don’t know’ & ‘Im sorry’ ASDs. I don’t think of the right answer until the conversation is over & I rely heavily on scripting.

If I’m as bad as some here say I am, then I’m in a bad position to be proving anything. I’m not changing the goalposts. I don’t think I am, at least. I do restate things to try to clarify.

I don’t think I understand what’s you mean by ‘no specific profile’. Didn’t interleukns 1 & 6 come up repeatedly?

TMR has become much less of a source for anti-vax woo of late because its principals gather in other places- they used to publish several articles a week- they buy into every sort of woo imaginable. These women are still activists in diverse venues. Anti-vax people gravitate to different groups- you’ll see the same commenters/ writers across different boards/ FB pages.

AS to your theory:
I can only say- vaccine monitoring has uncovered problems that occur VERY infrequently- in one case, 1 in 100,000 ( with the earlier rotavirus vaccine).
If what you say is true, wouldn’t it have been uncovered? Orac writes about the many ways in which vaccines are monitored ( in another thread)- even if a specialised set of vulnerable people existed – wouldn’t they be found?
All of the theories of ASD due to vaccines purport that certain people are more vulnerable and vaccines lead to ASDs in them**

AS I’ve mentioned previously, evidence of ASDs can be found prior to vaccines or even in utero.

Anti-vaxxers claim that most ASDs are caused by vaccines- that’s more than 1 in 100,000.- maybe 1 in 100.

** -btw- have you met Michael ( MJD) yet?

Oh lordy, Christine and MJD, that’s a match made in … somewhere. Somewhere with a lot of spare text to go around.

have you met Michael ( MJD) yet?

I’ll wear my BD&SM latex suit in his honor 😀

Al who’s scrambling to find the whip…

@ Narad,

I’m sure I was born with BAP. But I was vaccinated against recommendations & I am ASD.

Not everyone with BAP will regress into autism.

Not everyone with BAP will regress into autism from vaccines.

With the exception of true cases of MIA (maternal immune activation); everyone who is autistic was born with BAP. With the exception of MIA; nobody is born autistic.

Just my theory. I could be wrong. Bet I’m not.

@ Rene,

“No, because I’m not playing your game. Every time someone has ever brought to you any evidence, you move the goalposts.”

LOL, play or no play; it wouldn’t go far, would it. The NIH told Congress in 2003 it couldn’t find the lot number records. There’s no way they ‘studied it for 35 years’.

The minute those records are located (as if), they are to go directly to Congress, so if you’ve seen them, you’ll be a popular guy.

I don’t think there is any pathological process at play here; you’ve just been lied to, that’s all. Happens to the best of us.

“The NIH told Congress in 2003 it couldn’t find the lot number records. There’s no way they ‘studied it for 35 years’.” <- This is what I mean by moving the goalposts. She doesn’t want 35 years of studies, she wants 35 years of studies by NIH. If NIH comes out tomorrow with a study, she’ll ask that it be done by a specific person at NIH. If that person does the study, she’ll ask that they do it on a Tuesday, and so on and so forth.

For those of you who like evidence without moving goalposts, here are a few citations:

Carroll-Pankhurst, C., E. A. Engels, H. D. Strickler, et al. “Thirty-five Year Mortality Following Receipt of SV40-Contaminated Polio Vaccine During the Neonatal Period.” British Journal of Cancer. 85 (2001): 1295–1297.

Engels, E. A., J. Chen, R. P. Viscidi, et al. “Poliovirus Vaccination During Pregnancy, Maternal Seroconversion to Simian Virus 40, and Risk of Childhood Cancer.” American Journal of Epidemiology. 160 (2004): 306–316.

Engels, E. A., H. A. Katki, N. M. Nielson, et al. “Cancer Incidence in Denmark Following Exposure to Poliovirus Vaccine Contaminated with Simian Virus 40.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 95 (2003): 532–539.

Engels, E. A., L. H. Rodman, M. Frisch, et al. “Childhood Exposure to Simian Virus 40-Contaminated Poliovirus Vaccine and Risk of AIDS-Associated Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.” International Journal of Cancer. 106 (2003): 283–287.

Ferber D. Monkey virus links to cancer grow stronger. Science. 2002;296:1012-1015.

Ferber, D. “Creeping Consensus on SV40 and Polio Vaccine.” Science. 298 (2002): 725–727.

Fraumeni Jr., J. F., C. R. Stark, E. Gold, and M. L. Lepow. “Simian Virus 40 in Polio Vaccine: Follow-Up of Newborn Recipients.” Science. 167 (1970): 59–60.

Innis, M. D. “Oncogenesis and Poliomyelitis Vaccine.” Nature. 219 (1968): 972–973.

Mortimer, E. A., M. L. Lepow, E. Gold, et al. “Long-Term Follow-Up of Persons Inadvertently Inoculated with SV40 as Neonates.” New England Journal of Medicine. 305 (1981): 1517–1518.

Olin, P. and J. Giesecke. “Potential Exposure to SV40 in Polio Vaccines Used in Sweden during 1957: No Impact on Cancer Incidence Rates 1960 to 1993.” Development of Biological Standards. 94 (1998): 227–233.

Rollison, D. E. M., W. F. Page, H. Crawford, et al. “Case-Control Study of Cancer Among U.S. Army Veterans Exposed to Simian Virus 40-Contaminated Adenovirus Vaccine.” American Journal of Epidemiology. 160 (2004): 317–324.

Shah, K. and N. Nathanson. “Human Exposure to SV40: Review and Comment.” American Journal of Epidemiology 103 (1976): 1–12.

Shah, K. V., H. L. Ozer, H. S. Pond, et al. “SV40 Neutralizing Antibodies in Sera of U.S. Residents without History of Polio Immunization.” Nature. 231 (1971): 448–449.

Stenton, S. C. “Simian Virus 40 and Human Malignancy.” British Medical Journal 316 (1998): 877.

Strickler, H. D. and J. J. Goedert. “Exposure to SV40-Contaminated Poliovirus Vaccine and the Risk of Cancer: A Review of the Epidemiologic Evidence.” Development of Biological Standards. 94 (1998): 235–244.

Strickler, H. D., P. S. Rosenberg, S. S. Devesa, et al. “Contamination of Poliovirus Vaccines with Simian Virus 40 (1955–1963) and Subsequent Cancer Rates.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 279 (1998): 292–295.

Strickler, H. D., P. S. Rosenberg, S. S. Devesa, et al. “Contamination of Poliovirus Vaccine with SV40 and the Incidence of Medulloblastoma.” Medical and Pediatric Oncology. 32 (1999): 77–78.

Vilchez, R. A., A. S. Arrington, and J. S. Butel. “Cancer Incidence in Denmark Following Exposure to Poliovirus Vaccine Contaminated with Simian Virus 40.” Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 95 (2003): 1249.

@ Rene,

I was told here that if I make an assertion or claim that I must provide a citation. You did, in fact; provide many citations.

The majority of those citations you provided were by a varied assortment of the authors; Shah, Strickler, Goedert & Engles. I will respond with just one citation to back up my claim:

https://www.nature.com/articles/1206552?proof=true

Christine K: A highly oral society; autism is a particularly cruel disability there.

Oh my lord. Once again proving that somehow, you timetraveled directly from the 1950s to here.

Seriously. I was thinking about the Ms thing and a book I just read “The Plague and I”, a surprisingly funny memoir about author Betty MacDonald’s experience in a TB sanitarium. There’s a whole scene where, on intake, they want to know her name and she says that professionally she goes by Ms Betty OtherName, because she’s a divorced single mother, but this offends the nurses (it was the 1930’s) so they insist on calling her Mrs ExHusband.

(I highly recommend the book both for the great observations of all the other people in the hospital, but also as a great first-hand account of life before antibiotics.)

Justatech: That sounds like an awesome book, thanks for the recommendation. I wonder if anyone I know owns a copy. (And if not, I think I know what one of my brother’s presents is going to be..)

Larry Cook should have announced he was leaving Facebook before it could boot him out, due to their reprehensible privacy policies.

Joe Mercola was able to gather up his skirts in this fashion and depart Facebook in a huff, apparently anticipating a Purge of the Righteous.

As the parent of an actual child with autism, I’ve heard a lot from the “vacciens stole my Babie” crowd, but they’ve never been able to tell me how it would help me or my child if I pretended to believe that vaccines caused autism (I couldn’t really believe it (some might, but I couldn’t – I haven’t seen any convincing evidence (Wakefield was a fraud, McCarthy keeps changing her story, etc. – and my child didn’t change immediately after his vaccines)). Would pretending stop the self-injurious behaviors? Would it silence the screaming? It just doesn’t sound worth it to have take up such a hobby. I’d rather spend my time and money on taking care of her – if that means I don’t have much time to post here, I can live with that.

Actual Parent,

LOL. How much actual parenting have you done? I wouldn’t take up any hobbies either, because if your child didn’t change immediately after his vaccines & you’d rather take care of her?

You have some other issues to attend to.

Maybe ActualParent didn’t want to publicly gender their child?
Or maybe they made a typo.
Heaven forfend.

Christine K: Sure. You just happened to brought up in Pleasantville or Stepford or you live in one of those weird places where the women all wear pioneer dresses.

@ PGP,

Oh whatever; I prefer long denim jumper dresses with embroidered Bees. (not)

@ Narad,

Nope. My first reply to (not an) Actual Parent went into mod despite no links. Just in case (delirium, fugue; ya never know), I took a screenshot. After a couple hours I refreshed the page & it was totally gone. So I rewrote it & it posted right away, along with the original post.

Since AP can’t figure out if their child is a ‘him’ or a ‘her’; I believe your concern is misplaced.

But they validated your narrative so why worry about the details.

Are you so slow on the uptake that, even if your extremely dubious assertion is true, you can’t see that the person might be deliberately trying to obscure the child’s gender for sake of the child’s privacy?

Or that it was autocorrect or an unfinished sentence (count the parens), or any number of other things. This isn’t the dumbest part as far as I’m concerned, though — that award goes to “I wouldn’t take up any hobbies, either.” She can’t read for context or nuance, as far as I’ve seen.

I read Actual Parent’s comment two ways:
— at first, AP said “his” right after to referring to McCarthy, who has a son and then “her” referring to her own
— later, I thought, she was saying “he” and “she” to refer to generic children- any children

So no gender switching but AP did supply a riff on “Dingo ate my….” and who could argue with that!

Yah, I went through the same process. The confusion didn’t merit multiple attempts at ridicule, IMNSHO.

@Christine Kincaid About SV40 and cancer. You just drop papers you do not like ( because the name of the author). This is wrong. You should instead tell us what problems these papers have.
Your citation is about parts of SV40 virus spliced into cultured cells. Quite different thing than actual infection of humans.

@ Aarno,

You’re right. I’ve just studied SV40 so much that I have a visceral reaction to the sight of those names. They make me nauseated.

But my citation stated quite a bit more than ‘spliced cells’, didn’t it?

To summarize, SV40 is present in some human tumors. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that SV40 is a pathogen, not a passenger, when present in certain tumor types and that it contributes to tumor development. It appears likely that some SV40 comes from the contaminated polio vaccines.*

Regarding ‘the names (papers)’:

It should be noted that the presence of SV40 in mesothelioma and other human tumor types has been challenged by a research team that has consistently reported negative findings (Strickler et al., 2001).

However, a member of this research team has recently acknowledged – in sworn testimony –sensitivity problems and possible irregularities that raise concerns about these negative reports (MacLachlan, 2002).

More recently, this same research team reported that SV40 was not present in brain tumors from India. A critical analysis of this latter manuscript revealed that the technical approach was flawed because of technical errors that invalidate the conclusions of this paper*

Is this of no concern? We are talking about cancer on a global scale. The above was in regards to Strickler, Goedert & Shah.

Engels & Shah (2002) used a methodology with such low sensitivity that it failed to detect SV40 in a tumor formed by an SV40 positive cell line.

Engels & Shah also stated that GAPDH is a single-copy gene when in fact, human cells contain 25 copies of highly homologous GAPDH sequences.

That’s pretty lame. The Swedish studies everyone keeps trotting out are irrelevant:

The polio vaccines in Sweden were prepared locally until 1957 & and were not contaminated with SV40. In 1957, Sweden used just one batch of American vaccines. Since only 1/3 of our vaccines were contaminated to begin with, the odds are that Sweden never received contaminated vaccines

Those … are just some of the problems identified. I could go on but I don’t think I have to. Great, now I’m nauseated again.

Okay, the above didn’t quote right. The below is the excerpts from the citation I gave to Rene:

To summarize, SV40 is present in some human tumors. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that SV40 is a pathogen, not a passenger, when present in certain tumor types and that it contributes to tumor development. It appears likely that some SV40 comes from the contaminated polio vaccines.

*It should be noted that the presence of SV40 in mesothelioma and other human tumor types has been challenged by a research team that has consistently reported negative findings (Strickler et al., 2001).

However, a member of this research team has recently acknowledged – in sworn testimony –sensitivity problems and possible irregularities that raise concerns about these negative reports (MacLachlan, 2002).

More recently, this same research team reported that SV40 was not present in brain tumors from India. A critical analysis of this latter manuscript revealed that the technical approach was flawed because of technical errors that invalidate the conclusions of this paper*

So, basically, you’re riding equivocal, narrow results like a rented mule? What happened to the parade of cyokines?

This seems like a classic case of “engagement at any cost.”

You cannot just drop a study because you do not like its results. Positive results seems to be caused by oversensitivity
If 1/3 of vials are contaminated, there is still quite high possibility for cancer. 33% of full exposure. Lots of cancers, if you are right.

@Christine Kincaid About cytokines IL6 gene is actually one possible autism genes. There are others that are related to cytokines, too. So cytokine profile could be genetic, even if there are one.

Aarno,

I should have seen that first. I got distracted. Thank you. If a newborn were to be checked for the requisite IL 6 gene variant & indeed had that variant. And then cytokine profiles were checked before & after each immunization & the profiles stayed within a consistent range … Would that deny causation of vaccines for autism?

If that were true & especially if any other common genes for autism & immune activation were found & also remained in range after vaccines; I would be willing to reevaluate my hypothesis. I would have to. That would mean I was wrong.

If a newborn were to be checked for the requisite IL 6 gene variant & indeed had that variant. And then cytokine profiles were checked before & after each immunization & the profiles went ‘out of range’ … Would that imply causation of vaccines for autism?

I wonder if not selecting only infants with requisite variants & not having baseline cytokine profiles could be obscuring the epidemiology?

There would be a problem with prenatal immunizations as a confounder, correct? It occurs to me that if so; none of my children would have been eligible for such a study, as I am Rh negative & must receive Rhogam during every pregnancy.

Damn it, 23 & Me links directly to PubMed & I just checked my own IL6 & when I click on the SNP, I get this again: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov’s server IP address could not be found so now I have to do it the hard way.

That would mean I was wrong.

You’re not even wrong. What is “the requisite IL 6 gene variant”?

I should remark here that through my travels, I’ve come across many, many theories of exactly how vaccines cause autism:
usually these include something about the microbiome or immunological response. Some are by parents.
–Lately, JB Handley wrote a book about ending the autism “epidemic” that included the idea that all children should be tested in order to see if they are vulnerable to vaccine “damage” before being given any vaccines.
–Teresa Conrick, AoA’s “Science Editor” has a convoluted theory that involves the microbiome and lack of melanin when I last looked- it keeps expanding so there may be new factors involved by now.

As I mentioned previously:
if any of this were true, wouldn’t I be picked up by testing which can discern 1 in 100,000 cases?
Wasn’t an odd genetically mediated reaction to a vaccine in Finland that involved narcolepsy detected?

My point, which apparently is orbiting a few thousand miles above your head, was that for someone who claims to be a Gen’ Xer, you spend a lot of time acting like you just fell out of the ’50s or as though you figured out how to be human from Scooby-Doo. The 21st century is fun; you should tell hubs to step up at home and join it sometime.

@ PGP,

I am ASD. I don’t act right.

Screw ‘hubs’. He lives downstairs so he can play his TV extremely loud (legally deaf) , spent 5 minutes upstairs with his son & managed to get him so riled up that I might not be able to keep appointment for Luke’s SSI benefits with the SSA this afternoon.

Our SSA has armed guards. I’ve ducked about 20 blows since he did this (three just while typing this). I can’t take any chances & this could affect Luke’s benefits. “Hubs” is 6’4″ but he left to go get soda. He is an unaffected by autism autism parent.

Dw: Wasn’t an odd genetically mediated reaction to a vaccine in Finland that involved narcolepsy detected?

I think I remember that. Wasn’t it because they were seeing some odd reactions to the flu vaccine used that year?

@ PGP:

Right. People given the H1N1 vaccine ( 2009?) in Finland had more incidents of narcolepsy than other places because they have more of a certain gene compared to say, the UK. Even without the vaccine, they have more narcolepsy.
Finland is an interesting place with genetics and language that are not average for Europe. There are lots of SB articles about it on the net.

Anti-vaxxers used the incident as a way to discourage all vaccines for ALL people.
” See what vaccines do?” AoA had a few articles like that.

@ Denice,

What’s the occurrence of that gene in other populations or the overall population now? It’s not like anyone’s really ‘bottlenecked’ anymore. Nobody will know if will happen to them unless they have their raw dna data & search for it themselves.

Genetic counseling isn’t helpful. They avoid antivaccine information.

Nobody will know if will happen to them unless they have their raw dna data & search for it themselves.

This is ridiculous. You’re not just positing yourself to be a geneticist, you’re figuring that one can just browse a whole human genome like an issue of Cosmopolitan or something.

@ Narad,

Wait, what? You said: You’re not even wrong. What is “the requisite IL 6 gene variant”?

rs1800795(C) allele is over-represented in patients with Alzheimer’s disease & (G;G) genotype is associated with sudden infant death syndrome. Everything leading to autism, even from Aarno’s link is trying to route me through PMID via PubMed & I get this:

This site can’t be reached http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov’s server IP address could not be found.
Try running Windows Network Diagnostics.
DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

I’m so frustrated I could just cry. I’ve only had access for about 18 hours this entire week.

Cancer incidence (and related deaths) have been declining in recent years, even as the population which received SV40-contaminated vaccines ages and becomes more susceptible to cancer. Maybe those vaccines were protective against cancer?

If I believe that (and by Christine’s “logic”, belief is enough to validate a theory), then, well, case closed.

@ DB,

What in the actual f **k are you talking about? That population. Those exposed & who developed sv40 cancer already? ARE ALREADY DEAD.

Very, very specific age groups & years. Literally the only ones left to go are maybe a few Non-Hodgkin’s & the Mesotheliomas, along with the stragglers from the ‘oops we used the rhesus again!’ crowd.

The pediatric brain cancers from the 1960s & 1970s? Gone.

The osteosarcomas in late childhood-early adulthood in the 1970s & 1980s? Gone.

The adult Non-Hodgkins from the 1980s to early 2000s? Gone.

Nobody (well … almost nobody) survived Sv40 cancers. The survival rates during the years those cancers peaked was under 5% … jesusfreak, man. They died.

Protective? No. But those strange survivors & their sv40 cancers will help FIGHT cancer. Sv40 viral vector chemotherapy. Small consolation prize.

@ Christine K.:

Please re-read what Dr Najera said about SV40 in this thread. One study has an especially telling title.
also re-read what Orac wrote about vaccine monitoring above.

Re-read what … oh, never mind- those two should be enough

@ Narad

Engagement at any cost?

I’m answering questions I’m asked.

Rene honed in on sv40 comments from last week. Julian & Aarno were about the cytokines. Denice wants to hook me up with MJD & PGP wants to know what I’m wearing. I mean …

Sorry, I can’t provide any more. I’ve had it.

You have had an epidemiologist and a cancer researcher as well as a couple of pathologists here who attempted to teach you the basics AND so have a few well-educated commenters

What did Orac say about the link between vaccines and autism?
What did Rene say about SV40?

AS for narcolepsy and a European vaccine in the Finnish population: look it up,

@ Denice,

Good question. What DID Orac & Rene say?

Did they prove that autism is not immune-mediated? No. Did they prove that autism is caused by something else? No. Did they show me SV40 epidemiology with contaminated vs non-contaminated cohorts per lot numbers? No.

When I point out to Rene that none of his proof had lot-number confirmed cohorts; he said I changed the goalposts, lol.

Did I show proof of autism as immune-mediated? Yes. Did I show proof that there ARE no lot numbers? Yes. Are vaccines immune mediating? Yes. Are lot numbers mandatory for exposed vs non exposed cohorts. Yeah, they kinda are, huh.

You know what is so frustrating; is that I keep forgetting that nobody here is actually being obtuse. I know better & then … poof …it’s gone & I find myself trying to wear people down so that they admit something they don’t even know.

At this point, I’m not sure if that makes me more understanding or less.

I find myself trying to wear people down so that they admit something they don’t even know

Definitely not the way to go. Wearing peoples down will only bring up disrespect for you and it’s par for the course because it’s disrespectful to everyone. You don’t have power over anyone here but yourself so act accordingly if you want to convince peoples.

Alain

You did not show that autism is immune mediated. Instead it is genetic. You know that autism is fourth time higher amongst boys. Why would boys have so different immune system ?
You did not show that vaccines immunomodulate. Weakened pathogen vaccines do not need adjuvants. So, no immunomodulation here. And adjuvants do not immunomodulate either. (They do not mess up the immune system)
You did not show that lot numbers are necessary for epidemiological studies. An example: compare lung cancer rates amongst men and women. You do not need to know who smokes.

@ Julian,

No, my comment asserts that anything that could indicate contraindications to a vaccine will be understood as Antivaccine. Contraindicated vaccine literally means Antivaccine.

Whether or not anyone here likes it; an Antivaccine parent is a parent who believes vaccines are contraindicated for their child.

The comment was actually about Narcolepsy to the swine flu vaccine.

Leaving aside the fact that Pandemrix wasn’t used in the U.S., it was taken very seriously. More to the point, this wasn’t a strong signal, but not only was it detected, it’s still a subject of research.

This is getting close to my Miss Sweetie Poo neurons.

No, my comment asserts that anything that could indicate contraindications to a vaccine will be understood as Antivaccine. Contraindicated vaccine literally means Antivaccine.

To make sure I understand you correctly:
You are stating that Geneticists and genetic testers avoid looking for genes that may indicate a susceptibility to vaccine injury. Correct?
If so, which genes would indicate a susceptibility?

Christine Kincaid:It’s not like anyone’s really ‘bottlenecked’ anymore.

The North Sentinal Islands and Iceland, off the top of my head. Granted, Icelanders have a larger selection, should they chose to, but it’s interesting to note that ‘oops I took my third cousin twice removed home’ is a common enough problem that an app was developed to help people avoid that situation.

DW: I knew that the language was very distinct from anything else spoken in continental Europe. I didn’t know about the genetics and that’s really interesting. Although I’d suspect that long-running family records are a feature in Scandanavia; Iceland has nearly complete records going back to its founding.

Christine Kincaid: I am ASD. I don’t act right.

I know people with ASD ok? And NONE of them act like they suddenly arrived here from another time or cop attitudes straight outta All in the Family. I’m what might be called socially awkward myself, but at least I live in THIS century, and I generally have an idea of what’s appropriate to say and do.

That personal remark was a bit out of line, and I’m sorry. But still, consider taking some time off. There are professionals out there who specialize in in-home care. Being trapped in suburbia isn’t good for anyone.

Christine Kincaid: Genetic counseling isn’t helpful. They avoid antivaccine information.

Do you know what genetic counseling is FOR? Generally the people who need those services are facing bigger problems then ‘should I vaccinate or not?’ It’s not cheap, and it’s usually for people who have scary things like Tay-Sachs, heart defects or Marfan’s in their family histories, and need to figure out how to adjust.

@Christine Kincaid You need not to test IL6. Immunosuppression is good enough contraindication
Fourth time:
Potential exposure to SV40 in polio vaccines used in Sweden during 1957: no impact on cancer incidence rates 1960 to 1993.
Olin P , Giesecke J
Developments in Biological Standardization [01 Jan 1998, 94:227-233]
Care to comment this ?
There is a review:
International Journal of Cancer
SV40 and human cancer: A review of recent data
Keerti V. Shah
Some people find SV40, some do not.

Aarno,

I am completely dumbfounded here. Evidence based science relies on EVIDENCE. It is not thought that Sweden actually received any of the contaminated batches of Polio vaccine. Sweden only used one American batch in 1957. Nobody actually knows who did & who did not receive the contaminated lots. It’s estimated that only 1/3rd of the supply was contaminated, in the first place.

The Swedish study was published in 1998.

In 2002, The Vaccine Safety Review Committee of the IOM, National Academy of Sciences, USA, declared that ALL the epidemiological studies were sufficiently flawed due to this.

https://www.nature.com/articles/1206552?proof=true#ref42

This is actually wrong. Somebody did get contained batch, so somebody should have cancer. Epidemiological studies should show this.

@ PGP,

Generally the people who need those services are facing bigger problems then ‘should I vaccinate or not

Three of my kids had red herring positive results for cystic fibrosis. I was terrified but nothing, absolutely nothing; has compared to the Alpha & Omega of vaccines.

There are professionals out there who specialize in in-home care

There are also many underpaid disgruntled people too. And I cancelled everything so he wouldn’t hurt anybody.

Being trapped in suburbia isn’t good for anyone

I’m not leaving him behind.

at least I live in THIS century, and I generally have an idea of what’s appropriate to say and do

I’m still a little confused. Was this primarily because I hate ‘Ms’? How can my personal preference be worthy of so much vitriol? It’s so … weird. Is it something else? ‘MZZZZZ’ … Eww, gross.

“Whether or not anyone here likes it; an Antivaccine parent is a parent who believes vaccines are contraindicated for their child.”

As long as we’re being simplistic, then a parent who places their children at risk in a moving vehicle by leaving them unsecured, is a parent who believes seat belts and car seats are contraindicated for their kids. And a parent who whacks their kids for misbehaving believes that disciplinary methods that don’t involve physical abuse are contraindicated for their children.

”You know what is so frustrating; is that I keep forgetting that nobody here is actually being obtuse…I find myself trying to wear people down so that they admit something they don’t even know.”

Telling yourself that everyone else here is ignorant may be comforting to you, but it’s not a good strategy for changing minds. Actually having evidence to back up your claims would be better than constantly repeating “I believe…”

@ DB,

Actually having evidence to back up your claims would be better than constantly repeating

One would think so.

Two or three different posters here have waved the Sweden/SV40 study at me, although I have repeatedly shown you that the IOM had declared it & it’s ilk as flawed. Seventeen years ago.

I’m sorry for the snark about being obtuse but it crossed my mind that some here may be a bit higher up on the ladder than I had assumed & are not arguing me because they didn’t know but rather; because they do.

You should read the study. Sweden has vaccine records, US does not (what is reason for IOM’s opinion).

@ Aarno,

I should read the study again. It’s been a few years since I did, so maybe I’m forgetting something.

The IOM concluded that since there are only records of where SV40 was found in the vaccine versus records of where & to whom actually received the vaccine; that the studies done are flawed & that all future studies will also be flawed,

Aarno gave you a whole list of references including other epidemiological studies. You can find another list here.

https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients/sv40

You responded with one study which found SV40 virus in mesothelioma cancer cells and tried to make the case that this fulfilled the Hill criteria for causation. But even that study said this needs to be confirmed by epidemiological studies. And those have not shown correlation.

Subsequently, investigators found SV40 DNA in biopsy specimens obtained from patients with cancers such as mesothelioma (lung), osteosarcoma (bone) and non-Hodgkins lymphoma (lymph nodes). However, several facts should be noted:

SV40 was present in cancers of people who either had or had not received the polio vaccines that were contaminated with SV40.

SV40 has not been present in any vaccine since 1963.

People with cancers who were born after SV40 was no longer a contaminant of the polio vaccine were found to have evidence for SV40 in their cancerous cells.

Epidemiologic studies do not show an increased risk of cancers in those who received polio vaccine between 1955 and 1963.

Taken together, these findings do not support the hypothesis that SV40 virus contained in polio vaccines administered before 1963 cause cancers. In addition, available evidence suggests that SV40 virus is likely be transmitted to people by a mechanism other than vaccines.

SV40 is a moot point wrt to harm from vaccines because it hasn’t been in the polio vaccine for over 50 years. That is why trotting it out as an argument against vaccines is a trope.

@ Squirrelite.

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way
(Joni Mitchel)

In 1979, an internal memoranda from American Cyanamid’s technical superintendent :

It should be made clear that Lederle did not test
the original Sabin seeds for extraneous agents or
neurovirulence since only 50 ml or less of each seed
were provided by Dr. Sabin

http://www.whale.to/a/kops1.html

In 1999, a child died from brain cancer & the SV40 was traced back to the OPV he had been administered
http://www.ouralexander.org/BurtonSV40%20Letter%20(2003).doc

The IOM concluded that since there are only records of where SV40 was found in the vaccine versus records of where & to whom actually received the vaccine; that the studies done are flawed & that all future studies will also be flawed,

Chapter and verse, please. I found the two (identical) mentions of the epidemiological being flawed, but none of the rest of it. Also note that you can’t rely on this and ignore the other information that you’ve been presented with.

No problem. I mean, I and most everybody here may think that you are way barking up the wrong squirrel, but it’s… I dunno, inoffensively contrary to your belief that there’s a hill to plant a flag on here.

Hey Narad, they have Janet Butel on! She’s worked with Carbone & I’ve read so much about her … I can’t wait to see it thank you!

@ Narad,

I just stayed up & watched the whole thing, had to have my son lay down on the couch to sleep to do so & now I’m going to have to get him to the bedroom somehow but IT WAS WORTH IT!

I think I have a better perspective now of what I’m doing wrong. Basically; I think backwards, don’t I. I still believe I am right about sv40 because I am not in a position to ‘un-know’ something (or someone) that I know but the way I think isn’t conducive to how things become known & I’m being too impatient. I sort of wish I knew nothing instead.

I do believe I was wrong about the impact here in the USA. I think that the impact has been a little more than what Janet Butel believes it is but nowhere near as high as what I was thinking.

The ends/ the means thing. Not sure how to reconcile that my first reaction will always be ‘but what if that were you or your child’ . Or if I could. I maybe shouldn’t; it deserves a place at the table too. I’ll have to think more, later. Thank you, again.

@ Squirrelite (& anybody who may inquire),

I’m slow to respond for the next few days due to one device down (collective cheer) but my point was that it is very likely that SV40 remained in the vaccine supply until 2000, albeit in very small amounts.

Christine,

SV40 in vaccines up to y2000 is what I’d call filling in the blank the holes of your hypothesis (vaccine cause…) with a false hypothesis. I would say that there has been no SV40 in any vaccines after 1963.

Alain

@ Aarno,

You did not show that lot numbers are necessary for epidemiological studies. An example: compare lung cancer rates amongst men and women. You do not need to know who smokes

I’m not sure I understand.

Without knowing which lots went where, you would be studying the next best thing; those who received the Polio vaccine between 1955-1963. Some states didn’t have ANY lots test positive for SV40.

Is ‘the next best thing’ good enough?

As I said, if somebody get contaminated lot, and this caused cancer, there should be more cancer, and one should notice this. Yes, there would no numbers, but still a signal.

Have you seen what has happened to the cancer rates in the last 50 years? Even the mortality rate, despite that so many more people survive cancer now than in the 1960s or 1970s.

Death rate for all malignant neoplasms in 1940 was 120.3.
In 1945 was 134.0.
In 1950 was 139.8.

When use of SV40 contaminated vaccines started in 1955, it was 146.5.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/vsus/vsrates1940_60.pdf page366.

By 1960; the death rate from all malignant neoplasms was 193.9

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/mortab/aadr6067.pdf page7.

I’m afraid to keep going because my links get me in mod. Maybe I’ll continue in another post but holyfreak man …

@ Aarno,

Damn it I can’t edit & the data changed to age-adjusted & that changed rate from 149 in 1960. I can’t find cohesive reports (either all non-age adjusted or all age-adjusted) they spin off after 1955. They also restructure age groups. If they were watching the rates; they sure made them hard to follow.

There are no SV40 contamined vaccines anymore. It was polio vaccine, remember.
Age adjustment is a basic thing to when comparing cancer incidences. Old people have more cancers.

Christine Kincaid: It was actually the comments about divorcees and then the Congo that sounded anachronistic. And if you like the suffering, well, I can’t help you there. I wasn’t suggesting that you leave your son behind, but I do think changing your surroundings (and maybe taking a vacation to the real world) might help.

@ PGP.

the comments about divorcees and then the Congo

I have been divorced. I’m just not bitter. I find ‘bitter divorcees’ to be a ‘thing’ & an amusing one at that. That’s really terrible of me, not sorry.

You can muster up all the indignation you’d like about my Congo comment but first rewind this blog here to the beginning of the Somali community measles epidemic & re-read some of the links to the words from the actual officials that had to navigate the challenges & you will see that same view mentioned repeatedly.

Some societies rely on interpersonal & reciprocal communication more than others & if you misunderstand the impact of autism in such a society, you’ll have … well; outbreaks.

I’m trying to take him ‘glamping’ before school starts on August 14th but it will be where HE wants to go; The Great Sand Dunes National Park. Not so much ‘real-world’ as it is ‘other-worldly’ but he is ASD & so am I. That’s kinda our thing. He gets free admission to all National Parks, which is why my dream is to have an RV.

Wow, that was a really informative read all round. I think Christine provides a great reminder of a few things. In no particular order:

A little bit of knowledge is dangerous. There’s a reason why there are more anti-vax nurses than there are doctors, and indeed more anti-vax doctors than there are research scientists.
Coming in to a blog comment section that is populated by very knowledgable people, pitting your inferior qualification against theirs, then accusing them of failing to be on your level, is ill-advised.
personal experience, logical fallacies (to which we are all vulnerable, no criticism), and the pull on your heart-strings of being a parent, have a more powerful effect on human psychology than facts.

But we knew that. One other thing that strikes me is Christine – you describe yourself as ASD. As others have pointed out, there is solid evidence that vaccines do not cause autism, plus ever-increasing evidence that there is a large genetic component. Yet, to you: Family history of ASD + evidence is for genetic cause + evidence that vaccines do not cause autism + “I’m an RN” = the vaccines caused my son to be ASD. I know that resources are sparse for most, but I hope you can get some support and maybe explore the idea of grieving what you lost when your son was diagnosed, and be able to free up your time and energy (and his) that is currently consumed by conspiracy theories.

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