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The L.A. Times: Painfully false balance on antivax pediatrician Dr Bob Sears

Yesterday, Melody Gutierrez published a profile of antivax pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears in the L.A. Times. Unfortunately, it’s the worst case of false balance about vaccines or an antivaxer that I’ve seen in a long time.

Over the last few years, I’ve occasionally made the observation that the news media have improved in their coverage of vaccine-related issues. Back in the day, nearly 15 years ago, news coverage of vaccine issues used to infuriate me, because the journalistic trope of “balance” über alles would invariably rear its ugly head, with some truly facepalm-worthy consequences. In nearly every article or news story, the reporter would feel somehow obligated to include the viewpoint from a prominent antivaxer, be it J.B. Handley (way back in the day), Jenny McCarthy (starting around 2007), or even the Big Kahuna of antivaccine pseudoscience himself, Andrew Wakefield. Let’s also not forget a very prominent antivaccine pediatrician, “Dr. Bob” Sears.

You probably know Dr. Sears as the author of The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child. It’s a book, that, under the guise of offering a “reasonable” path between the CDC-recommended vaccine schedule and antivaxers refusing vaccines altogether, is in reality a book chock full of antivaccine misinformation, distortions of information, and pseudoscience that cashes in on fear. Let’s just put it this way. Dr. Sears is a man who adamantly denies being “antivaccine,” yet has gone full Godwin at least once over vaccines, referencing the Holocaust in describing SB 277, the California law that eliminated nonmedical “personal belief exemptions” to school vaccine mandates.

So it caused me extreme annoyance yesterday to see in the L.A. Times an article by Melody Gutierrez entitled, Dr. Bob Sears’ views on vaccines have inspired loyal followers — and a crush of criticism.

I could tell right away from the headline and the Twitter thread posted by the L.A. Times that the article was likely to be a cornucopia of false balance about antivaccine pseudoscience in general and the most definitely antivax Dr. Sears in particular. I held out a little hope, knowing that the reporter usually doesn’t write the headlines (the editor does), but that hope was quickly dashed in just the first four brief paragraphs:

Dr. Bob Sears sits at a worn wooden desk near a cushioned exam table designed for pediatric patients. The room has only a few other trappings — small molds of a child’s foot and hand, hanging from a wall — that suggest the routines of childhood. And there is nothing to suggest the notoriety that trails in his wake.

But this office is a hub in a nationwide movement that the medical establishment contends is a threat to public health. Sears’ practice caters to parents the public largely labels as anti-vaxxers, people who no longer trust the scientists, doctors or government representatives who say vaccines are safe and that the risk of disease is far greater than the chance of an adverse reaction.

Parents travel from across the state to Sears’ family practice in affluent Capistrano Beach, all of them paying out of pocket for checkups. Some of them believe that vaccines caused a sudden allergic reaction or neurological change in their children; others question whether they should delay the standard vaccination schedule — or ignore it altogether.

Sears gives these parents something they desperately crave — a kind smile and an acknowledgment that it’s OK for them to trust their intuition.

Yes, Gutierrez’s profile of Dr. Sears is just what the headline suggested that it would be: A “balanced” portrait of a “brave maverick” bucking the system that is chock full of false balance and in the end portrays him in a more positive than negative light. It’s festooned with photos of Dr. Sears smiling in his pediatrics office, looking over a patient’s chart pensively, and looking all serious-like staring into the camera, with a photo caption reading, “Dr. Bob Sears is beloved by patients who go to him for vaccine exemptions and is derided by many medical and public health officials.” I lost count of the number of times I face-palmed reading this article and can only hope that no one at work today asks me why my forehead is still so red and irritated. (Should I tell them it was because of all the facepalming, which kept happening as I typed this post up?)

The false balance continues as Gutierrez described Dr. Sears’ Vaccine Book:

Among the most controversial of the family’s endeavors is Dr. Bob’s bestseller “The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child,” first published in 2007. In the book, Sears, who was first licensed to practice medicine in 1996, writes that parents who are leery about the number of shots their children receive in their first two years of life have more choices than most pediatricians offer.

Get the shots. Delay the shots. Or simply skip the shots. Just know the risks and make a decision that’s right for your family, Sears wrote. His mantra: It all comes down to parental choice.

“Every other vaccine book either gives you all the negatives about vaccines and tells you not to do them, or it gives you only the positives, with a little asterisk footnote about the negatives,” Sears said during an interview. “My book was the first neutral one and [it] allowed parents to kind of formulate their own decisions.”

The book offers an alternative schedule to vaccination, which, Sears argues, could decrease the likelihood that a baby’s immune system is overloaded. Sears contends there is not enough research on the long-term effects of the schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He acknowledges, however, there is no medical research indicating his own schedule is safer.

See? Dr. Sears isn’t antivaccine? He’s just reasonable, unlike all those “vaccine zealots.” He’s willing to listen to parents’ concerns and basically do whatever they want, up to and including giving them a book based on his misinterpretation of science (or on no science at all) that has tormented science-based pediatricians for 12 years by giving vaccine-hesitant and antivaccine parents talking points to pepper their pediatricians at as they refuse to vaccinated their children.

Also in his book, Dr. Sears basically urged parents who don’t want to vaccinate to “hide in the herd,” telling parents who don’t vaccinate not to tell their neighbors about their fears of vaccines, lest those parents become afraid too and fail to vaccinate, leading to further degradation in herd immunity and increased risk of measles in the unvaccinated. Basically, Dr. Bob cynically urged vaccine-averse parents to mooch off the herd immunity maintained by those who do the responsible thing. Of course, the problem with that approach becomes obvious when vaccine uptake rates fall below levels needed to maintain herd immunity, as we are seeing in all too many communities today. As I asked at the time: What can Dr. Bob do when the herd becomes too thin to hide in anymore?

Perhaps what stood out to me about this article most of all is how Gutierrez seems to have downplayed the most damning aspects of Dr. Sears’ history. Yes, she mentions that the Medical Board of California had disciplined Dr. Sears and is currently investigating him again for writing dubious vaccine exemptions:

Sears is under investigation by the Medical Board of California for vaccine exemptions he wrote in 2016. That investigation, which was announced in June, comes as Sears is currently on a 35-month probation issued by the medical board for committing gross negligence, a decision made after Sears wrote a letter in a court case siding with the mother of a 2-year-old boy who did not want her child to receive any more vaccines over the objections of the father.

The mother in that 2014 case said her son went limp and couldn’t pass urine or stools after receiving shots at another doctor’s office. Sears said the judge in the case upheld his opinion, but the medical board said Sears failed to obtain “basic information necessary” to determine if the child should skip all future vaccines. Sears settled the case by accepting the probation, but did not admit wrongdoing.

Sears’ probationary status means that he must have another doctor review his files occasionally. But he’s still able to see patients and write medical exemptions to vaccines.

Too bad this critical piece of information about Dr. Sears isn’t mentioned until two-thirds to three-quarters of the way through the article. Waiting so long to mention that Dr. Sears is not only under medical board sanction but is being investigated yet again by the board only serves to feed the overall impression in the article that Dr. Sears is the “brave maverick” being persecuted by The Man for telling uncomfortable truths. It’s a false impression, of course, and Gutierrez probably didn’t intend it that way, but that’s sure how ti comes across.

Of course, as I’ve discussed many times before, Dr. Sears was one of the leaders in not only opposing SB 277 in California but in helping parents get around the law once it went into effect by writing dubious to bogus medical exemptions based on antivaccine pseudoscience rather than actual, scientifically and medically accepted indications for exemptions from school vaccine requirements. Basically, within a couple of months after Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law in 2015, Dr. Sears was already taking to Facebook to help explain how to get around the requirements of the law.

By 2016, he was on the antivax seminar circuit in California telling parents how to obtain medical exemptions, even appearing side-by-side with a homeopath pushing homeoprophylaxis for “immune boosting.” Homeopathy, of course, is so ridiculous that I like to refer to it as “The One Quackery To Rule Them All.” Around that time, a divorced parent whose wife had gotten medical exemptions for their children from Dr. Sears sent me copies of the exemption letters for both children. Basically, all his spouse had had to do to obtain it was to fill out an online history form and, of course, pay a fee of $180 per child. No wonder the medical board started looking into Dr. Sears’ practices, and—voilà!—Dr. Sears wrote medical exemption letters based on a family history of autoimmune disorders.

Ultimately, as the Gutierrez notes, Dr. Sears was disciplined by the Medical Board of California. His practice was put under supervision. This action didn’t just come about only because Dr. Sears had written a bogus medical exemption (although that was one of the complaints), as the case dated back to 2014, before SB 277 was even passed. In addition, the board found that Dr. Sears had also engaged in some mighty sloppy doctoring when he didn’t document a complete neurologic examination in a child with persistent headache after head trauma.

Oddly enough, although I knew about the new complaint against Dr. Sears from June this year, I never blogged about it. So let’s take a look:

In the case filed last week, the medical board said Sears issued improper exemptions for two siblings who were both seen by the doctor in May 2016, each with the chief complaint of “vaccine exemption.”

The first patient, a 7-year-old boy, suffered from psoriasis and had a family medical history of inflammatory bowel disease as well as autoimmune, psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders — none of which qualified the child to be excused from vaccinations for the duration of his childhood, according to the medical board.

The boy’s sister, whose age is not mentioned in the complaint, also received a vaccination exemption from Sears based on a review of her family’s medical history, and her own health, which involved having a bee sting allergy, a viral infection and feeding difficulties.

The board said the girl’s childhood-long vaccine exemption, which was based on her family history alone, was “a simple departure from the standard of care.”

I can’t be sure that these are the same children, but they sure sound like the children whose father had written to me about Dr. Bob’s issuing of medical exemptions. I remember having urged him to file a complaint to the Medical Board of California over how Dr. Sears treated his children and his having said that he already had filed such a complaint. Whether these are the same children or not, I’ll be very interested in the outcome of this particular case. (I’m also very curious why it took two years for the medical board to file charges.) It also has a bearing on SB 276, the California bill that would, if enacted into law, allow the California Department of Public Health to monitor medical exemption rates of schools and of doctors who issue more than a few of them a year, thus shining a light on doctors like Dr. Sears selling medical exemptions to antivaccine parents, who could then be investigated by the medical board.

Antivaxers hate this bill because state scrutiny would—shall we say?—discourage doctors like Dr. Sears from writing exemptions that are not medically or scientifically justified, and doctors like Dr. Sears hate it because it would cut of a lucrative revenue stream that they’ve been enjoying since SB 277 passed. To be fair, Gutierrez does allude to this, although not as bluntly as I just did, when she mentions that SB 276, if passed into law, would greatly affect how Dr. Sears practices, although she also included Dr. Sears denying that he would run afoul of the law.

But back to this horrible article. One useful tidbit of information in the article is that the whole Sears pediatrics brand is rotten to the core with antivaccine misinformation, at least if you believe what Dr. Sears says:

Sears said that at first, his father discouraged him from writing a book on vaccines, saying it was too controversial, but added that he “has come around now to pretty much agreeing with most of my ideas.” His brother Jim, Sears said, “semi-agrees quietly.”

Jim Sears said it can be difficult to see his brother cast as dangerous or self-serving. He said Bob is research-driven, often highlighting the latest study on general pediatric care and leaving it on Jim’s desk.

“I’m a little more sensitive to public opinion than him,” said Jim Sears, who is two years older than Bob but notes that his younger brother managed to finish medical school first. “He doesn’t care what people think.”

Jim Sears, who focuses on nutrition and weight loss, said it can be uncomfortable when someone approaches him at a public speaking event and confuses him for the vaccine book author.

“I have to correct them that I’m the TV doctor,” he said with a laugh.

If Dr. Jim Sears even just “semi-agrees” with his brother, he has no business being on a TV show dispensing health advice. As for “Dr. Bob” being “research driven,” I can only laugh. Being “research-driven” would involve actually paying attention to the totality of medical evidence and what it has led the pediatrics community to conclude about vaccines. What Dr. Sears does is not “research-driven,” except that you might say that it’s driven by “research” that is designed to fuel motivated reasoning by cherry picking studies that support his antivaccine fear mongering. Otherwise, he couldn’t say things like:

During the interview in his office, Sears said the vaccine can cause brain injuries and autoimmune diseases, making it “biologically plausible” that here is a link to autism. He added that research has neither proved nor disproved that vaccines can be attributed to an increase in autism rates. (Experts say the increase can be tied, in part, to greater awareness and changes in diagnostic criteria.)

Such assertions of a link, which stem from a now discredited paper co-written by Andrew Wakefield, a former British doctor, in 1998, have been widely refuted.

Offit said Sears uses language that incites fear, telling parents that science has yet to prove that vaccines don’t cause autism when there is no reason to believe that they do.

“You can never prove never … it’s not the way the scientific method is constructed,” Offit said. “So, [scientifically speaking] we can’t say MMR doesn’t cause autism, even though 18 studies in seven countries involving hundreds of thousands of children shows you are at no greater risk of getting autism if you got that vaccine or didn’t. People like Bob Sears take advantage of the fact that science can’t be definitive.”

Sears contends that Offit is stretching the limits of science.

“He’s right, the studies don’t demonstrate a link,” Sears said. “But he likes to conclude we know vaccines don’t cause autism and I like to conclude that we don’t know yet.”

Also note the infuriating way that Gutierrez has framed this whole conversation. She has presented Dr. Sears’ antivaccine pseudoscience as, in essence, equal to the statements of someone who is a real vaccine expert rather than a pseudoexpert, Dr. Paul Offit. She presents what Dr. Sears says; it’s refuted by Dr. Offit, and then she presents Dr. Sears’ response, letting him have Just because Dr. Sears finds something “plausible” does not make it so.

That being said, I would have explained it a bit differently that Dr. Offit. I would have pointed out that, yes, science can never absolutely, positively, 100% prove a negative, such as that vaccines don’t cause autism, but scientists sure as hell can provide an estimate of the likelihood of a causal relationship. In the case of vaccines and autism, the scientific evidence is of such a large quantity and quality involving so many children that the failure to find a “signal” suggesting a link between vaccines and autism is evidence sufficiently strong that we can confidently conclude that the likelihood that vaccines cause autism is so tiny as to be, for all practical intents and purposes, zero. To claim otherwise is to stubbornly cling to a discredited hypothesis.

Of course, to Dr. Sears it’s all a conspiracy:

The media has gotten so much wrong about him and the debate over vaccines, he added. “They’re now a tool of the government to get agendas out there. And, they are no longer fairly serving the people the way they should be as a neutral entity.”

Says the pediatrician who sells medical exemptions based on scientifically unsupported “reasons.” But note the conspiracy mongering. The titles of some recent episodes of his podcast, The Vaccine Conversation, are very telling: “The REAL Reason We Are Seeing More Measles,” “Censorship: Are the Vaccine Thought Police Finally Here?” and “Do Vaccines Actually Make You Healthier?”

Antivax Twitter was, unsurprisingly, mostly supportive:

Not surprisingly, pro-science Twitter was not pleased:

And it’s true. It did take Gutierrez until around two-thirds of the way through the article to mention that Dr. Sears had not only been sanctioned by the Medical Board of California but is under investigation again. That’s quite a long time to wait before letting the reader know something very important about the subject of your profile.

Sadly, Gutierrez doesn’t get it:

Sorry, Ms. Gutierrez, your article is naive at the very least, somewhat fawning, and full of the sort of bothsidesism that results in the communication of a distorted view of what the science says.

Look, I get it, though. You even admitted it. “Brave mavericks,” although they are nearly always cranks, are inherently interesting to a lot of people. Melody Gutierrez would hardly be the first reporter or documentarian to fall under the spell of a charismatic crank who is worshiped by other cranks and detested by the medical establishment. Andrew Wakefield, for instance, has been the subject of a documentary (The Pathological Optimist) by respected filmmaker Miranda Bailey. True, Bailey did at times try to reveal Wakefield’s flaws by just letting him be Wakefield, but the film struck me more as hagiography than critical review, a couple of scenes excepted, with some scenes clearly staged to make Wakefield more sympathetic. The film even concluded with scenes of a sweaty Wakefield wearing a tank top chopping wood on his property to take out his frustrations over his “persecution” interspersed with news reports about the backlash over his antivaccine propaganda film disguised as a documentary VAXXED having been accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016. More recently, a Daily Beast reporter fell prey to the same tendencies to produce a profile of antivaxer Del Bigtree that read more like a celebrity profile of a rising star of the antivaccine movement more than anything else.

As I said, when you profile a crank, be he an antivaxer, HIV/AIDS denialist, climate science denialist, or whatever, studiously claiming that you’re not taking a side, as Gutierrez claims to be doing, virtually always ends up in essence taking a side, and it’s not the side of science. Bailey fell into that trap—hard—when she made her documentary about Wakefield. Gutierrez appears to fall into that same trap by affecting a very assiduous “both sides” position. Reporters love to do profiles on famous people who are both loved and reviled because it’s interesting. For instance, the poster for The Pathological Optimist featured a photo of Andrew Wakefield with the words “Liar, healer, monster, savior” pasted over his face. See? Interesting and dramatic, right?

Gutierrez does a variation of the same thing to conclude her article:

During hearings on SB 276, opponents — many of them parents toting children they say were harmed by vaccines, hung on Sears’ every word as he testified before lawmakers. When Sears interrupted lawmakers to counter what he believed were false claims by supporters of the bill, the crowds packed into the room would call out, “Let him speak!” Afterward, Sears was greeted like a celebrity on a par with another staunch vaccine critic — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Some of the parents shook Sears’ hand and thanked him for his commitment to the cause, others excitedly pointed him out and snapped his picture. He is their doctor, even if he doesn’t treat their children.

At each step of the legislative process, as the bill was passed by committee after committee, Sears has returned to Sacramento to fight against the bill, navigating crowded Capitol corridors where he is called both an “opportunist,” and “a saint.” And it’s unlikely you’ll find middle ground between the extremes.

Just as the headline says, it’s loyal followers versus criticism. It’s the brave maverick doctor fighting the system. It’s the narrative of an opportunist versus a saint. The problem is that, by framing Dr. Sears’ story that way and refusing to take a side regarding what he is, Gutierrez implies that either possibility is an acceptable view of Dr. Sears. The problem, of course, is that the science disagrees and doesn’t care what Dr. Sears’ followers think of him, any more than the measles virus cares if you’ve “boosted your child’s immune system naturally.” Gutierrez’s article is the same sort of “balanced” coverage that has helped sustain the myth that vaccines can cause autism. It’s a throwback to the sort of reporting that was very common when I first started blogging, the sort of bothsidesism that I had thought largely gone. Apparently, unfortunately I was too optimistic.

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]

308 replies on “The L.A. Times: Painfully false balance on antivax pediatrician Dr Bob Sears”

This LA Times article is horrible and a worrisome step backward given we are likely to see more VPD outbreaks now that schools are back in session nationwide, since promoting the crappola spewed by Sears is what helped bring us to this point in the first place.

I would estimate that from 2007 to 2015, Bob Sears and his pediatric practice–along with the pediatric/family practice of Bill/Jim Sears–caused many thousands to perhaps even > 10,000 children to be severely undervaccinated in the Orange County/San Diego County area. This number is enough to put a sizable dent in herd immunity for that region. Worth noting is that before the 2015 “Disneyland” measles outbreak (136 cases in California, centered mostly in Orange (35 cases), Los Angeles (29 cases–thanks a lot, Jay Gordon) and San Diego (14 cases) counties, there was a smaller 21-case measles outbreak in March, 2014 in Orange County. After the March 2014 outbreak ended (but before the “Disneyland” outbreak began) several of the larger pediatric practices located near the Sears’ medical practices implemented new clinic policy expelling electively non-vaccinating families. Bob Sears had a snit fit over this (this was all on Facebook), but these practices are run by competent, science-based pediatricians who knew what was coming and were done with the dangerous anti-vax BS Sears was selling that had so horribly trashed herd immunity in Orange County. I also think they were tired of seeing measles in their exam waiting rooms from people who drank the Sears Kool Aid. I mention this because when the LA Times had first started covering increasing vaccine exemptions in the post-SB277 era, there were two journalists working for them who were much better at realizing Sears was a fraud. However, even they still didn’t bite on that information about the damage Sears had caused to vaccination rates in OC leading up to those measles outbreaks which were likely to recur if quacks like Sears were allowed to handout illegitimate vaccine exemptions by the bucketful.

Anti-vax pediatricians are the most despicable and dangerous of anti-vax physicians because they are highly likely to trigger outbreaks in their communities. (1) Bob Sears: Orange County–two measles outbreaks March 2014 and January 2015. (2) Jay Gordon, LA County–measles outbreak 2015. (3) Bob Zajac, Minneapolis Minnesota–measles outbreak of 2017. (4) Paul Thomas, Portland Oregon–measles outbreak in Clark County first 6 months of 2019 and now 9 cases near him since July. (5) Lawrence Palevsky, Manhattan, NY–two very large outbreaks of measles in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) and Rockland County. It would sure be nice if someone like Saad Omer (who is otherwise pretty good on vaccine-preventable disease outbreak epidemiology) could be bothered to actually acknowledge and write upon this very strong correlation between outbreak location and location of anti-vax pediatricians. Save for you, Dr. Offit, and Dr. Ianelli, most academics (such as Omer) and the AAP have completely blown this off as though these anti-vax pediatricians have some magic aura about them that prevents direct criticism of their dangerous malpractice. Well, it’s been 12 long painful years since Sears’ anti-vaccine book came out and this slow train going off the cliff is getting to the point where stopping it isn’t likely–and knowing that groups who knew better (the AAP and state medical boards) refused to do all they could have is so very disappointing.

@ Beth:

The CDC has an entry “Who should not be vaccinated with these vaccines?” ( also another Contraindications page) which lists each vaccine and those who should not use it, conveniently on one page

Thus the schedule is not “my way or the highway”, immutable, unchangeable, fixed forever as some would have you believe.

@ Thank you for the info. I am aware that the CDC schedule lists contraindications. My question was not about whether such contraindications exist, but whether individuals posting here are willing to allow that a parent can make a reasonable choice that conflicts with the CDC recommendations. Most responses indicate “no”, they don’t think it’s reasonable for a parent to refuse a vaccine unless the reason for their refusal is sanctioned by the CDC recommendations.

@Beth If it’s a contraindication to a vaccine, the doctor should be noting the contraindication in the patient’s medical records and not offering it, instead of parents refusing. This is why your question makes so little sense to me. It’s not like invoking your right to a lawyer, where you need to utter the magic words, or your child will get a vaccine the CDC says they shouldn’t.

@Beth,

I don’t think it’s reasonable to drive on the wrong side of the Interstate. Nonetheless, there is nothing to stop you from doing so.

For awhile. Eventually, physics catches up with you.

As soon as someone begins over establishment, be it medical, scientific or political, one should be very aware. It mostly means that the establishment is viewed as something negative.

It’s troubling that the journalist does not understand that painting Sears’ unscientific opinions as valid and his position on vaccine as reasonable does people a deep disservice, actively misleads.

Here is a more detailed discussion of his new charge. He gave medical exemptions, apparently, because a dad has psoriasis. Yes, it mentions other things, but his Facebook defense was about dad and psoriasis. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2019/06/21/dr-bob-sears-accused-of-issuing-invalid-vaccine-medical-exemptions-again/amp/

I still wonder if these are the same two children whose father (who was divorced from the mother) contacted me three years ago. The timeline fits. The references to autoimmune diseases in the exemption letters fit. The fact that it was a brother and a sister and that at least one of them was never examined by Dr. Sears fit. The fact that the parents were divorced, the mother didn’t want to vaccinate while the father did, and the father intervened to get the children vaccinated fits. It might not be the same two children, but I strongly suspect that it is.

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2016/07/29/after-sb-277-online-medical-exemptions-to-school-vaccine-mandates-are-now-for-sale/

@Terrie,

I rephrased it as Do you think it’s possible to hold a reasonable position on vaccines that does not align with all CDC recommendations? It’s a yes/no question, so I don’t think it’s unreasonably broad. I did ask for further explanations, so spinning out hypotheticals is fine by me. I gather that your answer, like the one PF posted, is “No”. Am I understanding you correctly?

I rephrased it as “Do you think it’s possible to hold a reasonable position on vaccines that does not align with all CDC recommendations?” It’s a yes/no question, so I don’t think it’s unreasonably broad.

[quotes added]

Unreasonably vague, on the other hand….

Beth, missed this, because you’re in a different thread. I am honestly wracking my brains, because you are being very vague. Do you mean the full CDC recommendations, or the standard default schedule? Because in the case of the former, the only time a decision to delay would go against the recommendations would be if it was based on a cause that the CDC invesitgated and found invalid. In which case, no, it would not be reasonable. If you mean the standard default schedule, the CDC itself has tons of recognized reasons to delay or not give certain vaccines on that schedule, in which case, your question really needs to be specific before it can be answered.

@ Terrie,

Sorry about the mixup with threads. I wasn’t paying adequate attention. I also apologize for my question being vague. I meant the full CDC recommendations – for example, choosing to skip or delay due to concerns not recognized by the CDC, such as an older sibling or other blood relative having had an adverse reaction to a vaccine. (I don’t think that is a CDC approved reason although I could be mistaken about that.) By your previous responses, I gather that you don’t feel it’s reasonable for a parent who had one child that experienced a severe adverse reaction to delay or skip vaccines with a younger child. Am I understanding you correctly?

Beth, It is not resonable to delay or refuse vaccines for someone based on a medical condition they do not have.

@Dorit

Do you think it’s possible to hold a reasonable position on vaccines that does not align with all CDC recommendations? If so, could you outline what that is? If not, how do you distinguish between positions such as Dr. Sears and the more extreme positions of people who advocate against the use of vaccines altogether, rather than simply supporting parents in their right to choose?

Sears does not “support parents in their right to choose.” He actively works to mislead them by, for example, downplaying the risks of measles, using VAERs reports to inflate vaccines risks, and routinely sharing anti-vaccine articles. He overstates the risks of aluminum adjuvants, deters parents from vaccinating against hepatitis B or vaccinating children with autism or their siblings.

I do not see promoting misinformation to scare parents from vaccinating as reasonable. I think I may have not been clear about my criticism of him, because your question does not address it.

@doritme (are you Dorit Reiss?)

You didn’t answer my question. I gather you don’t find Dr. Sears position to be equivalent to ‘supporting parents in their right to choose’, but do you think it’s possible to hold a reasonable position on vaccines that does not align with all CDC recommendations and if so, how do you distinguish between the more extreme positions and those of people who advocate for alternative schedules and parents having the right to choose?

Beth, Not Dorit, but your question is so wide open that it’s almost meaningless. For instance, the CDC does not routinely recommend the yellow fever vaccine. I would expect parents living in those countries with yellow fever to hold the stance that the vaccine is needed. I would expect a family living in poverty in a rural area with no transportation to hold the position that there is a lack of resources the CDC did not account for. Your question is just fishing for validation.

@Terrie My question is certainly USA centric, but I’m not seeking validation. If I were, I wouldn’t be posting here! I’m seeking to understand whether Dr. Reiss (and others posting here) are willing to consider any disagreement with the CDC recommended schedule a reasonable position? If not, how do they distinguish between people who are adamantly against of the use of any and all vaccines versus those who support a parents right to choose to skip or delay some vaccines or do they not consider such nuances of any value?

Beth,

I gave an example of when, even in the US, it might be reasonable. Asking people to make user of resources to which they lack phsyical access is unfair (and why we need to better fund our societal infrastructure).

Now, if what you really mean is “Given that the CDC schedule is based on a combination of the best scientific knowledge currently available and an assessment by medical experts of the risk-benefit ratio of the neccesity and timing of each vaccine, and that the schedule accounts for a wide number of potential issues that might require variation on an individual basis, and that it is rouetinely revisted as new information presents itself, is it possible for a reasonable parent to disagree with the CDC recommendations?” well, that question answers itself, IMO.

@Terrie,

Given that the CDC schedule is based on a combination of the best scientific knowledge currently available and an assessment by medical experts of the risk-benefit ratio of the neccesity and timing of each vaccine, and that the schedule accounts for a wide number of potential issues that might require variation on an individual basis, and that it is rouetinely revisted as new information presents itself, is it possible for a reasonable parent to disagree with the CDC recommendations?

Thank you for your response. Although that isn’t how I would have phrased the question, I think it does serve to answer my question regarding whether you’re willing to grant the adjective reasonable in describing any difference of opinion with the current schedule. You would answer the question with a “no” regardless of the parents’ educational background, family history with vaccinations, etc. In other words, you would consider it unreasonable for parents who had one child suffer a severe adverse reaction to decide to skip or delay some vaccines for a younger child. Am I understanding you correctly?

I think I’d have to know the position you have in mind before I can address it, I’m afraid. As Terrie was trying to point out, as it is the question is too general. What is the doctor actually saying?

Beth, if that’s not how you would have phrased the question, how would you phrase it? Again, your original question was nothing but a wide open invitation to spin out hypotheticals, so be specific.

Considering the amount of research that has gone into the CDC schedule/recommendations and the evidence backing it up, no, there are no reasonable positions on vaccines that do not agree with the CDC.

@PF, The core issues with Beth’s question is that there’s a lot of flexibilty already worked into the CDC recommendations and fair amount of leeway is given to healthcare professionals. The only time I can think of when a decision would go against the CDC recommendations is if it’s something that the CDC has investigated and found to be invalid. But when I attempted to phrase the question in a way that reflects that nature, she suggested that wasn’t what she meant. So I’m just confused as to what the heck she means.

And yes, my answer remains the same regardless of any other variables. It is not reasonable to skip or delay vaccines due to an adverse reaction personally or for a family member UNLESS there is a valid medical reason to do so. And guess what, the CDC guidelines allow for that. A parent being uneducated doesn’t make an ignorant position reasonable. A parent being afraid does not make an irrational position reasonable. And the only reason I see that there would be a need to distinguish “extreme” anti vax views from less extreme would be to determine if it’s worth the time to try to educate them or if they’re beyond the reach of reasonable people.

The parent’s educational background is irrelevant, unless that background is explicitly related to medical matters around vaccination.

Would you ask a physicist to explain the endocrine system? Would you ask a top flight lawyer to advise you on which stocks and shares to buy? Would you ask a doctor about the life cycles of the inhabitants of black smokers?

“Sears gives these parents something they desperately crave — a kind smile and an acknowledgment that it’s OK for them to trust their intuition.”

Yes, who would you trust – the nurturing pediatrician with “a kind smile”, or the frowning nabobs in the Medical Establishment?

I guess the LA Times needs the clicks? How many anti-vaxx events and anti-vaxx tropes does Bob Sears need to involve himself with before Ms. Gutierrez can get her blinders of adoration off? She comes off like a love-sick teenager.

I wonder what Michael Hiltzik thinks of this article. He does excellent work for the L.A. Times when it comes to science and medicine. He probably can’t say because Melody Gutierrez is a colleague working for the same newspaper.

Agreed. The blatant worship in this LA Times article is horrible.

At the start of a lengthy interview in his office last month, Sears introduced himself with a firm handshake, holding it just a little longer than expected. He had been somewhat reluctant to agree to the conversation, avoiding eye contact at the start, but he also wanted, he said, to set the record straight.

Geez, what is this, a blind date? A pediatric Indiana Jones in front of a weak-kneed blushing co-ed? Good grief.

He’s either Dr. Bob or, as some of his critics claim, a dangerous doctor.

No, Ms. Gutierrez, he’s Dr. Bob a dangerous doctor.

I am sensing you guys are not happy with the Times journalism. I think I could also try my hands at journalism. Tell me if you would recommend me to the Times and whether this would’ve been a better article….

Dr Bob Sears: A dangerous quack doctor

We met up with Dr Bob Sears at his Orange County practice. Dr Bob Sears is a dangerous quack doctor.

Special Health Reporter, Greg

Seriously guys, what do you think?

@ Greg,

You forgot to include the trigger-word ‘Antivaxxer’ & the photo shopped ‘baby with measles’ pic. A paragraph devoted to ‘coincidences’ that trivializes SIDS & Autism & of course; the obligatory preamble about how Wakefield’s 1999 ‘retracted study’ started this whole debacle (despite that parents had organized in the early 1980s; alleging death & brain damage from the DTP).

Finish it off by self-flagellating because the ‘irresponsible media’ has perpetuated ‘antivaccine lies’ & you’ve got a winner!

You forgot to include the trigger-word [sic] ‘Antivaxxer’ & the photo shopped [sic] ‘baby with measles’ pic.

This is at the level of believing that the Moon landing was faked.

Oh look Christine and her new best pal Rapey Greg are back! Joy!

Greg’s being just as witty as ever (oh, my sides!) and Christine is back with her trusty strawmen sidekicks.

I suppose one should cheer the spirit of co-operation that sees someone who loathes autistic people and denigrates them at every opportunity teaming up with someone who is not only the parent of an ASD child but someone who has ASD herself.. natural enemies joining up in their joint wish to spread lies, half truths and disinformation across the interwebs.

It warms my heart.. oh, no.. wait.. actually it’s just the bile rising in my throat.

Wakefield’s study didn’t start anti-vaxx sentiment – it’s been going on in one form or another since vaccination was invented. What that particular scum-sucking, child-murder-glorifying piece of excrement did was really start the ball rolling on the “vaccines-cause-autism” myth – remember that? When he trousered a load of cash at the behest of a lawyer and made up a load of stuff in a study in the hopes of an even bigger payday? Which not only resulted in the study being retracted (you don’t need the scare quotes by the way) because it was more fictional than Harry Potter but got him struck off as a medical doctor?

Pro-science folks (pro-vaxxers if you prefer) aren’t trivializing SIDS and autism when they say that vaccines don’t cause them – they’re just saying they don’t cause them. Vaccines don’t cause category 5 hurricanes either – doesn’t mean Dorian is any less serious.

Vaccinated babies have half the SIDS rate as unvaccinated babies. This is one of the lies antivaxers use to frighten parents. And vaccines don’t cause autism

Unfortunately, journalists often write articles intentionally to create controversy. That’s how newspapers and magazines get sold. How often do we read articles that, for instance, state “2 years without a case of measles?” Nope; but if one case breaks out. Well, you know the answer.

While it is true that the scientific approach cannot prove a negative, it can get damn close. If numerous studies conducted by different researchers, perhaps in different nations, on different populations, with various designs all result in the same finding, in this case, no association between vaccines and autism, then the probability approaches zero. Statistical significance doesn’t mean important, it means that the probability of another variable causing the result is 0.05 or 0.01 etc. As one does more and more studies, the probability that some uncontrolled and/or unmeasured variable being more predominant in one group caused the outcome becomes less and less. In fact, to give an absurd example of not being able to prove a negative, the law of gravity. Can we be “absolutely” certain that somewhere on this planet due to some confluence of cosmic forces that the law of gravity doesn’t apply? Nope and who cares.

As for herd immunity, antivaccinationists don’t believe in it, despite the recent outbreaks of measles. Measles is highly contagious and is contagious before it is symptomatic. Prior to the vaccine, if, in this case, an Israeli who caused the recent outbreaks in some Orthodox communities, had flown to the U.S., he would have infected many of the people on the plane and at the airport, some going on with connecting flights. He didn’t and the outbreaks followed his visits to various Orthodox communities. In the 1950s measles spread like wildfire causing up to one million cases per year, 50,000 hospitalizations, 500 deaths, up to 1,000 kids with various disabilities as result of encephalitis, and a dozen deaths or more years later from subacute sclerotic pan encephalitis. As it is just as contagious today, the only reasonable explanation for its only breaking out in circumscribed local groups with large numbers of unvaccinated is the high rates of vaccination in general. John Stone, a moronic antivaccinationist, wrote in various BMJ posts called Rapid Response, that the vaccine confers a shorter duration of mother’s antibodies in the newborn, so better to return to natural immunity. Yep, when natural immunity existed we only had the above. Robert Kennedy’s “Children’s Defense Fund” also includes similar claims.

Typical example of how antivaccinationists ignore history, ignore immunology, and live in a fantasy world.

In the case of vaccines and autism, the scientific evidence is of such a large quantity and quality involving so many children that the failure to find a “signal” suggesting a link between vaccines and autism is evidence sufficiently strong that we can confidently conclude that the likelihood that vaccines cause autism is so tiny as to be, for all practical intents and purposes, zero.

To draw an interesting parallel, this description is almost exactly the logic of why calculus works. Take integration of an area as an example. As the size of a measurement partition becomes small, where the number of sampling points in the domain of the function has become big, the value of the sum of the partitions only ever approaches the limiting value bounded by the function curve, albeit to arbitrary precision (infinitesimal difference). More succinctly, as the partition size goes to zero, you recover the area of the curve. Newton’s genius was to realize that 99.999999% is not different from 100%. This basic revelation has fueled 400 years of scientific boom. Dr. Bob is arguing in essence that calculus doesn’t work more or less because he says so.

More imbalance:

@ Rob Schneider has a video ( audio?) aimed at the governor of “882” doctors’ answering services saying that, no, we won’t give you medical exemptions for anaphylaxis following the 12 month vaccines.
I wonder why they chose anaphylaxis?

That 882 doctors video (Sears of course has it up on his Facebook page) is interesting. There is no identifying data as to whom the people are who are saying they won’t give an exemption–so it could be anyone (aka lying anti-vaxxers play acting for this audio). Second, if they did call physician offices in California and record these responses, you know they did so without consent, which is legally required in California to record a phone conversation. So anti-vaxxers break law once again. Audio here: https://youtu.be/yNNVVCqqVLM (warning,/b>: mind numbingly stupid)

Science Mom, I have no idea to what but they said the ( imaginary) child suffered anaphylaxis after 12 months shots
so I assume a rx to whatever is in said shots** or to syringes or the evil eye the nurse cast upon the mother.

** you know how they fear whatever is in vaccines so antigens, adjuvants, water, Hg, Al, monkey kidney etc.

But surely the doctor has to see the patient and consult their medical records before writing an exemption for vaccines? Cold calling the clinic asking if they will give an exemption for a condition in a child they have never seen. Of course the answer should be no. Make an appointment for the child to be seen and their medical records checked first.

Don’t anti-vaxxers ever think things through?

Rhetorical question. Of course they don’t, if they did they would not be anti-vaxxers.

@ Greg,

You forgot to include the trigger-word ‘Antivaxxer’ & the photo shopped ‘baby with measles’ pic. A paragraph devoted to ‘coincidences’ that trivializes SIDS & Autism & of course; the obligatory preamble about how Wakefield’s 1999 ‘retracted study’ started this whole debacle (despite that parents had organized in the early 1980s; alleging death & brain damage from the DTP).

Finish it off by self-flagellating because the ‘irresponsible media’ has perpetuated ‘antivaccine lies’ & you’ve got a winner!

Indeed that sums up their entire shtick, Christine. Problem for them is more people are catching on and getting weary of it. They are now left gnashing their teeth and decrying anything that steps out of the fold as providing ‘false balance’. Then at other times they call for outright censorship. Really such a ‘fun’ bunch of ‘vaccines advocates’.

@ Gregg

While the number of vaccines has increased since early 1990s, the cases of SIDS have plummeted to, in population-adjusted statistics, less than 20% of those in 1990s. So, if you believe vaccines associated with SIDS, then, using your foolish logic, we should increase the number of vaccines in order to further decrease the cases of SIDS.

@ Joel Harrison,

The ‘plummeting’ SIDS rates were attributed to the ‘Back to Sleep’ campaign which also coincided with the switch from the DTP to the DTaP. The vaccine was & still is causing the injury that leads to ‘SIDS’. Stopping the use of the DTP may have contributed some as well but the survival rate is higher because avoiding the prone sleeping position helps to survive seizures.

Babies with no history of a seizure disorder are seizing after vaccines. If not; “Back to Sleep’ would not have reduced SIDS rates.

https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/1336

I don’t know why the Reply button isn’t showing for her comment, but – OMG, is Christine saying that correlation does not equal causation because unrelated factors might be at play??

She’s so close to getting it. Often.

@Joel – Perhaps SIDS was diagnosed more liberally back in the day and now SUID or a more specific diagnosis is given?

“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): One type of SUID, SIDS is the sudden death of an infant younger than 1 year of age that cannot be explained even after a full investigation that includes a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history.”

https://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov/safesleepbasics/SIDS/Common

@Christine:

The vaccine was & still is causing the injury that leads to ‘SIDS’.

Professor Peter Fleming, the creator of “Back to Sleep”, also researched whether or not vaccines caused SIDS. The concusion? “No correlation”.
@Roadsterguy:

I don’t know why the Reply button isn’t showing for [Christine’s] comment

It has to do with the nesting. You can Comment, reply to a comment (1st nesting) and reply to a reply (2nd nesting), but it doesn’t nest more than that. Christine’s comment was second nested.

Problem for them is more people are catching on and getting weary of it.

Uh Huh, sure Greg. This so-called tide has been turning for how long now? And any day your idiocy will be vindicated by something or another right?

Heh. Antivaxers have been saying that “the tide is turning” in their favor for at least 15 years (which was when I first started blogging), and, I’m guessing, for many years before that.

Antivaxers who year after year proclaim that the tide is turning are like the black knight in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” While he’s being cut to pieces, he continues to insist on fighting on. “‘Tis but a scratch.”
“A scratch? Your arm’s off.”
“No it isn’t.” And so on.
Take away thimerosal, it must be something else. Debunk cells from aborted fetuses, it must be the aluminum. Or formaldehyde. Or the rubber stopper on the vial. Or the ink on the label. Or Mars is in Venus*. Or something, anything. Hopping around on one leg, armless, but still stubbornly claiming to be about to win the fight.
It must be nice to live in a world where if you believe hard enough, truth fades away and facts disappear in a puff of wishing.

*I know nothing about astrology, but that doesn’t mean that I am into Olympian incest porn.

I’m wondering if the fawning editorialist would give the same degree of fawning to:

“Every other book either gives you all the negatives about seatbelts and tells you not to do them, or it gives you only the positives, with a little asterisk footnote about the negatives,” the doctor said during an interview. “My book was the first neutral one and [it] allowed parents to kind of formulate their own decisions.”

What that particular scum-sucking, child-murder-glorifying piece of excrement did was really start the ball rolling on the “vaccines-cause-autism” myth – remember that?

Mo, with the Wakefield scapegoating, I find something truly mindboggling (oh oh! – I left you an opening there Narad). Mo, without Wakefield are you saying there wouldn’t have been a VCA ‘myth’, or wouldn’t be as big?

@ Gregg

Yep, there has always been an anti-vaccine movement, just as there has always been those who reject science. In fact, the modern day anti-vaccine movement began in 1980 or 81 when a so-called documentary went on TV, Vaccine Roulette, which made strong allegations against the DPT vaccine. Turned out that one of the programs advisors was Barbara Loe Fisher who started the National Vaccine Information Center, not affiliated with government and just a small but well-funded office in Virginia. So, what was wrong with the documentary:

It ignored what Pertussis was like prior to the vaccine, the suffering and deaths. It ignored research that already was questioning some of the early reports of vaccine-associated injuries. Early on, almost all medical interventions involve case reports and some studies of injuries, only later to be shown either completely wrong or grossly exaggerated. Such is the case with the whole-cell pertussis vaccine.
A number of people interviewed for the program later complained that they were basically asked the same question several times and their answers were cut to negative soundbites.

However, it was Wakefield’s dishonest study in 1998 that accelerated the antivaccinationists, especially regarding measles vaccine. His study claimed normal referrals, when in fact 11/12 were kids whose families were involved in lawsuit claiming they were damaged by the MMR vaccine or kids from families affiiiated with JABS, a UK anti vaccine organization. In other words, asking the families what they thought caused their kids problems was asking a question Wakefield already knew what the answer would be. Wakefield failed to acknowledge that he had received for a few years part-time consultation over and above his full-time salary from the Royal Free Hospital circa $750,000 and that he had applied for a received a grant from UK legal services to prove MMR as causative. No, he didn’t use the grant money in the study, but being a high-paid consultant and a grant-application where he intended to “prove” certainly shows a bias and a conflict of interest that he didn’t divulge. In addition, in a table he gave the time from MMR vaccine to first noticed instance of autism as one week; yet, the medical records showed as much as over three months and that several kids weren’t even diagnosed on the spectrum. Some antivaccinationists criticize this because they claim the medical records were obtained illegally. While I am not knowledgeable about UK law, how they were obtained doesn’t change what they contained and the British Medical Council holding the hearings certainly must have had legal authority to obtain the records even if journalist Brian Deer did or did not.

Finally, it turns out that the Royal Free had submitted two patents for a monovalent measles vaccine with Wakefield listed as a researcher. It is standard practice both in U.S. and UK to share patent royalties with the researchers. And Wakefield had arranged a partnership to produce the vaccine. So hypocritical to criticize Paul Offit who devoted 25 years to developing the rotavirus vaccine for receiving royalties from the patent which was owned by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia while Wakefield, who hadn’t devoted any considerable time to developing his “vaccine” and that he would have manufactured it if it had been approved, ignored.

In any case, yes, the publicity from Wakefield’s fraudulent study certainly had a major effect on the antivaccine movement. Stupid people like you, once believing and committing to some position, just don’t want to admit they are wrong, it hurts their “self-esteem” and causes huge pangs of cognitive dissonance. Just look at how many in the anti vaccine movement continue to ignore just how fraudulent Wakefield’s 1998 study was as well as some of his later papers. And people like you want a simple world of black and white. Something must be causing the alleged increase in diagnosed cases of autism, so why not focus on one thing, despite the overwhelming evidence against.

@ Greg,

I left you an opening there Narad

Lol you do that too … “WWNS” (what would Narad say)

@ Greg,

I left you an opening there Narad

Lol you do that too … “WWNS” (what would Narad say)

With ‘mindboggled’ he is likely to cease on this and hurl some cryptic insult, supported by some over the moon simile. For instance: Of course you are mindboggled when the grey matter that once inhabited your head has taken leave and is now enjoying its leisure like a patron at a Turkish whorehouse in mid Autumn.

@ DB,

the most painfully idiotic example of denial yet seen from Christine

Oh man, are you sure? There was one outed that appeared on a mainstream media page, can’t remember which one.

Gee, I guess I didn’t have measles. My mother must have painted spots on me to convince me I was itchy and feverish – no Photoshop for some decades to come, so she had to improvise.
I also never had poliomyelitis. Somebody tied my legs to the bed.
I’m still at a loss, though, to figure out how I and my pediatrician were fooled into believing I had chickenpox, mumps, and german measles. Unless my doctor, being part of the medical establishment, was in on the fakery too.

The photos that are always edited or staged are the anti-vax ones showing some infant or small child about to be the recipient of the contents of a half-filled 10 mL syringe with as 1-1/2″ 21 gauge needle.

Heh. Antivaxers have been saying that “the tide is turning” in their favor for at least 15 years (which was when I first started blogging), and, I’m guessing, for many years before that.

But there is something interesting here, Orac. If there is no antivaxxerism traction why are you so ‘obsessively’ blogging about it? Why do health agencies, governments, and you have to.waste so much time and resources battling the ‘losers’. Can you guys not find more productive things to do such as cutting the grass?

@ Gregg

Why blog about the anti vaccine movement? Maybe because, though it represents a small percentage of population, because it mainly forms clusters, it exposes innocent children to potential suffering, hospitalizations, disabilities, and even death from vaccine-preventable diseases and it also exposes innocents who can’t be vaccinated, due to autoimmune diseases, treatment for cancer, and those vaccinated but not developing immunity. In addition, it is a prime example for dealing with people like yourself who are scientifically ignorant, don’t understand critical thinking, ignore common sense, cherry pick articles, fail to devote the time and energy into really understanding basics, including history of vaccine-preventable diseases, and, yet, continue to display your ignorance. Look up the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

However, this blog could also devote some time and energy into those who deny global warming and other topics.

And this blog also devotes a lot of time and energy into debunking complementary and alternative medicines.

The mental state for all of the above is basically the same, a need to simplify the world into black and white, wishful thinking, and a misguided feeling of being with the righteous minority.

Dr. Harrison, slightly off topic, I know, but I have been under the impression that the term “herd immunity” is giving way to the better-sounding “crowd immunity”.

@Greg – I would guess most if not all of the regulars on this blog have financial ties to industry. I know Dorit Reiss has shares in GSK…so more mandates = more $$$$.

Oops….here’s the entire formula:

LESS EXEMPTIONS + MORE MANDATES = MORE VACCINES SOLD = MORE $$$$$

LESS EXEMPTIONS + MORE MANDATES = MORE VACCINES SOLD = LESS VPDS = LESS HOSPITALISATIONS, LESS NASTY EFFECTS OF VPDS, LESS INCOMES TO HOSPITALS, LESS MEDICINES SOLD.

As for me, the check is still in the mail.

I should complain to His Tentacled Benign Monstrosity, but I’m afraid the GlaxoSmythCline orbital station deorbited and went to look for cleaner pastures. His Lordship must have finally become fed up with us stupid monkeys.

I guess that most of the things you post here were extracted from your posterior, as you have no basis to make that claim and no facts to support it.
The old “pharma shill” gambit is about passè as attacking Demon Rum or witch trials of old women who keep pet cats.
It’s a new century. Try to keep up.

One could also ask that question to Christine, Beth, Nathalie and Greg, who seem to post a lot of antivax misinformation in every post that is vaccine related.

If there is no antivaxxerism traction why are you so ‘obsessively’ blogging about it?

Because there are still congenitally dishonest people like you and Christine who are willing to lie about links that don’t exist and ignore all the data and statistics that show you’re not telling the truth.

It looks like 276 passed ( Sac Bee) and is headed to the governor’s desk. I don’t have a count of votes though.

I found that the bill passed 28 to 11.
So better than 2 for 1.

Anti-vaxxers would have you believe that their position is immensely popular but consider this:
— if you were a senator/ assembly person would you support something that had no strong public support in your district?
— California is quite in the blue column ( Democrats), if your party supported something unpopular would you remain?
— Could you expect to be re-elected if you didn’t pay attention to your constituents’ wishes?
— Anti-vax isn’t the only reason to oppose the bill: it may be about personal rights, sovereignty etc.

As Orac has shown it isn’t just ( some of) the hippie/ lefties/ naturistas/ blue who oppose vaccines but conservatives do as well..I can’t tell which senator comes from which area but, believe it or not, CA has a red state interior, even some counties who want to secede to become “Jefferson” ( Shasta and east, other southern mountain areas IIRC- the coast is blue) I don’t know if the votes line up party-wise.

I find that ( see California State Senate Wikipedia) that the Senate splits 29-11 ( Blue. red) so maybe the votes did follow party line or we just had an unlikely numerical coincidence.

if you were a senator/ assembly person would you support something that had no strong public support in your district? There is a solid bit of evidence showing that public support has no correlation with the laws that are passed.

Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B

@ Beth:

see my response to Greg. Parents vaccinate their kids in overwhelming numbers. Anti-vax is not a majority opinion.
If it were, exemption rates would be huge.

“believe it or not, CA has a red state interior”

Oh lord. You don’t even have to go far. Plenty of Thank You President Trump! billboards up and down the I-5 corridor, and just try to go very far east of SF and talk about gun control. (I’m not gonna.)

@Denise You are correct. Parents vaccinate their kids in overwhelming numbers. Anti-vax is not a majority opinion. Why did you interpret my post as suggesting otherwise?

@ Beth:

Because you quoted that ” public support has no correlation with the laws that are passed”-
is that perhaps insinuating that vested interests ( pharma?) are behind vaccine laws not the voters?

I think that most parents vaccinate their children because they believe that vaccines are useful / their benefits outweigh the risk . They have other options: exemptions, private schools, home schooling, computer classes. Yet rates of non-medical exemptions have been low: I looked over many maps of exemption rates by state over the past decade – only a few states showed rates over 5% ( IIRC Oregon, Idaho, Michigan, Vermont- easy to find these maps) – they stuck out.
If parents are upset enough to protest, vote against vaccine laws or write comments, wouldn’t they also seek exemptions or ways to opt out if they truly believe that vaccines harm children? The truth is that anti-vax is a niche phenomenon – it isn’t sweeping the country and politicians aren’t rallying behind it to get votes. It is ridiculed on late night television and politicians who speak against vaccines ( Trump, Rand Paul, Williamson, Carson, others) have had to correct their messaging or else lose support.

@Denise Thank you for your response. That helped me understand where the disconnect occurred.

Because you quoted that ” public support has no correlation with the laws that are passed”-
is that perhaps insinuating that vested interests ( pharma?) are behind vaccine laws not the voters?
Yes

I think that most parents vaccinate their children because they believe that vaccines are useful / their benefits outweigh the risk .

And yes.

I don’t see those two things as being in conflict. Do you?

If parents are upset enough to protest, vote against vaccine laws or write comments, wouldn’t they also seek exemptions or ways to opt out if they truly believe that vaccines harm children?

Absolutely. Some do so. Others resentfully comply because the cost of giving up public schooling it too high a burden for them to take on. That’s the purpose of eliminating the non-medical exemptions. And I presume that’s why there is so much protest about the recent CA law that clamps down on medical exemptions.

@ motosubatsu,

I’m sorry but why on earth are you calling somebody ‘rapey’?

Wakefield’s study didn’t start anti-vaxx sentiment

Well then why don’t you use you’re provaccine authority to stop that requisite fallacy from appearing at the beginning of every media propaganda article? The truth is that ‘antivaxx sentiments’ started with the Cutter incident (1950s), were continued by the ‘swine-flu vaccine’ debacle (1970s) & started gaining serious momentum due to SIDS & infants left brain damaged from the DTP in the early 1980s.

This all occurred WAY before autism was a household name; while Wakefield was just a schoolboy. By admitting that ‘Wakefield’s study didn’t start anti-vaxx sentiment’ & not correcting that; you are admitting to & perpetuating false-balance in the media.

I’m sorry but why on earth are you calling somebody ‘rapey’?

You may want to familiarise yourself with people before coddling up to them but hey, anti-vaxx is the only tie that binds right?

The truth is that ‘antivaxx sentiments’ started with the Cutter incident (1950s), were continued by the ‘swine-flu vaccine’ debacle (1970s) & started gaining serious momentum due to SIDS & infants left brain damaged from the DTP in the early 1980s.

You have embarrassed yourself on the science front and keep embarrassing yourself on history. It goes back further.

This all occurred WAY before autism was a household name; while Wakefield was just a schoolboy. By admitting that ‘Wakefield’s study didn’t start anti-vaxx sentiment’ & not correcting that; you are admitting to & perpetuating false-balance in the media.

Why don’t you read the whole comment before going off half-cocked, yet again. He clarified Wakefield’s contribution quite clearly.

@ Christine

Yep, the placing babies on their backs, keeping pillows, etc away, and having baby monitors is the reason that SIDS has plummeted; but the few remaining cases have NOT been shown to be associated with vaccines

As for the DPT, studies in the 1990s and 2000s have found the risk from the whole-cell vaccine to have been greatly exaggerated. In addition the whole-cell vaccine confers a much higher level and longer duration of protection.

Yep, still, a few serious adverse outcomes; but compared with the exponentially higher serious results from natural pertussis, the choice is obvious for anyone with common sense. Do you risk your child with a thousand-fold or more risk from the natural disease or the much much smaller from the vaccine?

As a typical antivaccinationists lacking common sense, to avoid a small albeit serious risk, you would sacrifice a far greater number.\

Seatbelts only reduce death and serious disability by circa 50% and there have been a very few deaths and serious injuries from them, that the low impact accident without them might have avoided, so let’s ban seatbelts.

In addition, if a child suffers from a rare adverse event from the whole cell pertussis vaccine, that same child might have suffered the same if no vaccine existed.

@ Christine

Nope the anti vaccine movement didn’t start with the Cutter Incident; but goes back to colonial times. As for the Cutter Incident, less than two months later, the polio vaccine program continued, the majority of parents got their kids vaccinated and the once dreaded polio disappeared from the U.S. And the Cutter Incident really didn’t say whether the vaccine was good or not. It was a terribly more manufactured version. I love crunchy almond butter. There was a six month period several years ago where the major supplier of almonds was found to have lots contaminated with salmonella. Nothing wrong with almonds, just if contaminated. And kids have died from e-coli in undercooked hamburgers. Should we ban hamburgers? Any and all products on the market, whether medical, food, cosmetic, etc. can be manufactured incorrectly or become contaminated because of poor handling. Back to the Cutter Incident. For us who grew up with polio, knew people with steel braces, knew people in wheel chairs, knew people in iron lungs, the polio vaccine was a god-send. And, by the way, Sweden developed its own killed polio vaccine, gave it in January since polio season in Sweden began in Fall, just to be able to catch any vaccine-associated problems, found none, and within a few years ended polio. For those who don’t know, Sweden had the highest per capita incidence of polio in the entire world.

As for the 1976 swine flu debacle. It did not lead to a “strong” anti vaccination movement. However, it is more complicated than idiots like you would understand. There was an outbreak on a military base of flu. A couple of the soldiers, including one who was sick but went on a forced march and died, were found to have swine flu, similar to the pandemic of 1918-19. However, it was only found in a couple of soldiers, the majority had the run of the mill flu. So what to do? If it turned out to be the beginning of a similar pandemic as 1918-19 and there was no vaccine, then all hell would break loose. So they decided to manufacture a vaccine. However, as no other cases appeared, they decided to have it ready in case an epidemic broke out. They did ask for volunteers from medical and first-responders. Then in July, Legionnaires disease broke out in Philadelphia. No one knew exactly what it was, it could have been a severe flu, so it was decided to begin mass vaccinations, voluntary, of course.

A medical doctor in Minnesota was listening to a continuing medical education cassette tape explaining Guillain-Barre Syndrome. He must have been tired, since he got it wrong. However, he then reported a case with GB which was published in the CDC MMWR. Then other cases were submitted. And the swine flu vaccine was blamed. However, years later, an investigative team obtained many of the original case files and realized that most were not GB. The final report, based on conjecture, was that the swine flu vaccine had caused a few cases of GB. I should also point out that U.S. military received double doses of swine flu vaccine (including me) and had fewer GB cases than normal and same in the Netherlands.

So, was it a debacle? They could have only given to volunteer medical and first responders and waited until real epidemic broke out. Then mass vaccinations. Since vaccine takes two weeks to get full protection, given the deadliness of the 1918-19 swine flu, we would have saved lots of people; but still had probably more than 100,000 deaths. Given that the association with GB is tenuous at best and the risks of a potential real epidemic, they were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. Had they not even produced the vaccine, and it was swine flu, the death toll could have been horrendous. But they did give the vaccine, albeit as a panic because of Legionnaire’s disease; and the exaggerated cases of GB. How would you decide? Wait until a full blown epidemic, saving many; but dooming many others or go the prevention route?

As I wrote above, the modern antivax movement’s first major impetus was the biased documentary “Vaccine Roulette” in 1981; but then with a massive acceleration following Wakefield’s fraudulent study and subsequent press conference.

I could give you references to the 1976 swine flu event; but given your comments on this blog, your warped mind is made-up

“The truth is that ‘antivaxx sentiments’ started with the Cutter incident ”

…really?

Please, read a book. I dunno, The Panic Virus is a good start, but even just go back and read Jacobson v Massachusetts.

@ Roadsterguy,

Jacobson v Massachusetts

So you actually believe that has any relevance to what you are up against now? Anything about that event that has anything to do with the vaccine that killed my child?

Every time I read yet one more snarky comment from those who’s mind (& eyes) are closed to the reality around them; it reinforces to me that perhaps I have been wrong.

Maybe I should not be promoting better science & better vaccines for all. You can’t admit to past transgressions & have not shown one ounce of regret for the countless lives lost. You disregard the good science in preference for Vaccine Epidemiology Ad Nauseum. It’s becoming very difficult for me to remember that doctors & you all here are merely victims. The VIP targets of the propaganda. If they don’t have you; they have nothing. You poor things.

I think the only way to ensure no vaccine injuries today; is to promote no vaccinations; today. One day at a time. All or nothing. For me to champion vaccine science; will get more kids killed & you will make them invisible. You have zero interest in superior vaccines & I have zero interest in your antiquated, flawed ones.

Anything about that event that has anything to do with the vaccine that killed my child?

Repeating this doesn’t make it so and at this point, I think you are counting on no one challenging a dead infant story. Your baby didn’t die from a vaccine and you know it; your infant died tragically because she was premature and had numerous complications and her oxygen was discontinued. Please get some help dealing with this; you aren’t going to find catharsis here.

Christine, The Cutter Incident has nothing to do with your claims about your daughter’s death, so why did you bring that up? Jacobson v Massachusetts seems even more relevant than that.

Maybe I should not be promoting better science & better vaccines for all. You can’t admit to past transgressions & have not shown one ounce of regret for the countless lives lost. You disregard the good science in preference for Vaccine Epidemiology Ad Nauseum.

Or you could focus on spelling and composition skills, whatever.

“I think the only way to ensure no vaccine injuries today; is to promote no vaccinations; today. One day at a time. All or nothing. For me to champion vaccine science; will get more kids killed & you will make them invisible.”
I think the only way to prevent motor vehicle deaths is to promote no more automobiles, trucks, or motorcycles. For me to champion automotive safety will get more people killed.
Likewise for aviation disasters, industrial accidents, and construction crane falls.
I will go far enough to say that your approach will work to some degree with deaths from firearms

The truth is that ‘antivaxx sentiments’ started with the Cutter incident (1950s)

Yeah, no. Not even close. See this rather famous political cartoon from 1802:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_cow_pock.jpg
Titled “The Cow-Pock—or—the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!—vide. the Publications of ye Anti-Vaccine Society”

There has been anti-vaccine sentiment for almost as long as there have been vaccines, and vaccination has been a thing for well over two centuries now. Edward Jenner coined the term in 1796. Benjamin Franklin was a big supporter of vaccination, in part because he had lost family to smallpox.

@Christine

I’m sorry but why on earth are you calling somebody ‘rapey’?

As sciencemom states you might want to look into Greg’s history here a bit.

Well then why don’t you use you’re provaccine authority to stop that requisite fallacy from appearing at the beginning of every media propaganda article?

My what? I have no “authority” over the media, “provaccine” or otherwise. Contrary to that tripe Natalie White posts about basically every regular commenter here being in the thrall of the pharma companies I have no financial or professional connections to them or the medical field – unless the fixed fees I pay for my prescriptions or the portion of my taxes and National Insurance contributions that go towards paying for the NHS count (I suppose there are the fees I pay my physio?)

The truth is that ‘antivaxx sentiments’ started with the Cutter incident (1950s)

No they didn’t – they go back at least as far as 1802 (which was when Gillray’s famous cartoon The Cow-Pock—or—the Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!) was done and likely before that as well.

started gaining serious momentum due to SIDS & infants left brain damaged from the DTP in the early 1980s.

You mean the hysteria surrounding the alleged vaccine induced brain damage aka ‘pertussis vaccine encephalopathy’ which has been shown not to be vaccine-induced at all in multiple controlled studies since? The temporal correlation between the peak timeframe for SIDS (i.e. 10 weeks) and the two month scheduled first dose of DTP – which following multiple controlled studies as been shown to have no causative link?

Yep, that whole thing was pretty much a whipped-up hysterical frenzy – with good ol’ Barabara Loe Fisher right the forefront. Still, it wasn’t all bad – NVICP for example was a beneficial consequence.

This all occurred WAY before autism was a household name; while Wakefield was just a schoolboy.

I don’t know about your side of the pond but over here in the UK we don’t really class people as being a “schoolboy” either before they were born (Wakefield wasn’t born until two years after the Cutter incident) or when they head of to university (he’d have joined St. Mary’s Medical school in ~1975)

By admitting that ‘Wakefield’s study didn’t start anti-vaxx sentiment’ & not correcting that; you are admitting to & perpetuating false-balance in the media.

What an utterly absurd statement – it’s not my job to go around correcting every media outlet even if I did have the authority to do so (which I don’t). Choosing to respond to the occasional rubbish-filled post on a blog comments section is not the same thing at all, and hell, I do that for free.

Anything about that event that has anything to do with the vaccine that killed my child?

You really are predictable aren’t you? People have pointed out (with evidence) the factual inaccuracy in something you stated and you whip out the “vaccines killed my baby” card. Your child’s death was tragic, but simply repeating your baseless assertion over and over again, seemingly because you cannot stand to be proven wrong about anything is downright shameful.

You disregard and entire field of scientific research (epidemiology) based on nothing more than the fact that it disagrees with you and you don’t understand the math involved.

Maybe I should not be promoting better science & better vaccines for all. You can’t admit to past transgressions & have not shown one ounce of regret for the countless lives lost. You disregard the good science in preference for Vaccine Epidemiology Ad Nauseum. It’s becoming very difficult for me to remember that doctors & you all here are merely victims. The VIP targets of the propaganda. If they don’t have you; they have nothing. You poor things.

I think the only way to ensure no vaccine injuries today; is to promote no vaccinations; today. One day at a time. All or nothing. For me to champion vaccine science; will get more kids killed & you will make them invisible. You have zero interest in superior vaccines & I have zero interest in your antiquated, flawed ones.

Oh give me a break – you scoff at any science that doesn’t agree with your own beliefs based on nothing more than that. Vaccine injuries happen – yes they do. Nothing is perfectly safe (This is why it’s a good thing that things like the NVICP exist). Fortunately though they are rare – and rarer than the (potentially fatal) consequences of the diseases they prevent. Autism and SIDS? The science says they aren’t among them.

But no, you declare that there should be no vaccinations at all (and would see thousands of children die or severely injured every year from vaccine preventable diseases) in a fit of pique because you are a petulant child stamping her feet because aren’t getting your way.

Perhaps you and Rapey Greg are closer moral bedfellows than I first suspected.

More vaccines sold = fewer vaccine-preventable diseases = fewer drugs used to treat those diseases and their complications = less money for Big Pharma.*

*sorry, couldn’t take any more ALL CAPS.
* = zero effect on my income.

Fallacious argument. It’s rooted in a false premise foundational to AV rhetoric: the existence of Big Pharma as a single coordinated entity. “Big Pharma” refers to a number of large firms that sometimes act in concert through trade groups, sometimes act in similar ways out of having similar business models, but mainly compete with some subset of the others for market share, stock value, profits etc. In this, the different firms tend to specialize in different products category niches. The upshot is that the corporation that would profit from the producing treatment of VPD ‘X’ is not necessarily (or even likely) the company that produces the vaccine against VPD ‘X’.

If we’re going to stand for the verifiable knowledge from science, we shouldn’t employ facile rhetoric that not only is ignorant of the political economy of the pharma industry, but that reinforces false premises of how that sector functions.

Nothing fallacious about it (referring to my post mentioning that abandonment of vaccine production would mean more lucrative business opportunities for Big Pharma).

A little research shows the four big players in production of vaccines against infectious diseases (Sanofi, Merck, GSK and GSK) are all involved to some extent in antibiotics production. They also market other drugs whose $$ potential would likely increase if there was a major resurgence in preventable infectious diseases, resulting in a big increase in hospitalizations, serious complications etc.

Other companies would also benefit by an enormous revival in vaccine-preventable diseases in marketing their own products – antibiotics, anti-inflammatory/pain meds, chronic care supplies and so on.

So it’s apparent that Big Pharma overall would rake in considerably more dough if vaccine production was halted, contrary to the dimwitted belief of antivaxers which you should be more careful not to reinforce.

Except for pharmaceutical companies that are privately held, they are effectively all one big operation when it comes to profits. Profits get distributed to investors. I think it safe to say that most investors don’t really care very much where there money comes from, at least once they have decided that a certain type of corporation is acceptable.

For vaccine makes specifically (and I think this was discussed before), the volume of vaccine sales if everyone who currently refuses vaccination was added to the market pool wouldn’t be very much greater. The difference is big in terms of herd immunity and attempts to eradicate diseases, but not very big in terms of absolute numbers and the profit therefrom.

They also market other drugs whose $$ potential would likely increase if there was a major resurgence in preventable infectious diseases, resulting in a big increase in hospitalizations, serious complications etc.

Good luck finding the beds to start with.

I save my facepalms for news about Trump/GOP insanity/fascism/corruption, the approaching climate catastrophes, etc. But I can still relate to Orac’s pained red forehead over that story. Whatever mulitple science facepalm may be there, there’s multiple journalism facepalms there too. Eek!

As a professional/scholafrly media critic, including “the news” I have to say Orac does a generally excellent job of highlighting the major elements of the prose that carry the ideological tilt of Gutierrez’s piece. In the academy, we don’t say “bias” for a variety of reasons I don’t need to recount here, but for simplicitiy’s sake we can refer to ‘Gutierrez’s bias’, or ‘the bias in Gutierrez’s story’. Whatever we call it, Orac nails a laudable number of details.

That said,, nevertheless I shall object to the use of “False Balance” as description of what’s going on here. Not that it’s not bad. If anything it’s worse. It’s just that the cartegorization isn’t apt or helpful. False Balance is oen of what we might call Orac’s few pet concepts he loves to use to label things he critiques – ‘categories of wrong or stupid’ if you will: [Dunning-Kruger is another], There are at least two regular problems with the use oif these concepts here: 1) they are crude, overly general, and have little explanatory power, 2) even then, the things Orac slots under those rubrics sometimesn fit them about as well as a square peg fits a round hole.

As I’ve noted no doubt ad nauseum by now, the whole notion of ‘False Balance’ is misbegotten from the get-go, as it implies there’s such a thing as ‘True Balance’. Which would be desirable as a description or goal in contrast to the False stuff. And that’s BS. ‘False Balance’ is an oxymoron [and not in the sense of a useful figure of speech, but of confusing non-sequitur]. Which is to say that ‘Truth’ and ‘Balance’ are utterly different things. Truth is not balanced, it’s just true; and Balance is premised on not being able to discern the truth. At a meta-semiotic level Balanced reporting either gives a “We just don’t know who’s right!” shrug, or feeds the fallacy of the Golden Middle by hinting the best answer is midpoint between the extremes.

In practice, the False Balance critique – at least as Orac employs it – is almost laughingly reductionist, coming down to a sort of simple checkmark tally based on assumed source credibility. Dr. Bob, a vaccine science denier, gets quoted. Dr. Offit, a science-based pro-vaxer gets quoted. That’s bothsidesism ∴ False Balance ∴ Bad. The problem is that Orac typically fails to properly credit HOW the sides are represented, which is arguably far more important.

Moving this towards the LAT piece then, Orac winds up lumping this fawning puff-piece/advert/”profile” of “Dr.Bob” with the very UNflattering portrait of Del Bigtree Jackie Kucinich wrote for The Daily Beast. The problem with the Sears profile isn’t that Gutierrez affects an assiduous “both sides” position. It’s that Sears and his BS are presented in positive language at relatively great detail, while the pro-vax side gets merely perfunctory mention, and those pro-vax points are immediately followed by rebuttals from Sears (this is one of the details Orac gets right, btw), in his folksy ‘Dr. Bob’ persona, which are then left as the last word on the sub-point in question.

Note also that the first other-side quote questioning Sears is actually more complimentary than critical: “He’s a doctor from a very reputable family who questioned vaccines in a gentle way…But what he has done is sow a little seed of doubt.” Then the second other-side quote, from Prof. Reiss, is dry and legal-briefy: Sears’ podcasts ““repeat anti-vaccine talking points, overstate vaccine risks and understate the benefits, They are not a good source of scientific information.“ **

That strikes me as about the least punchy objection to the podcasts one could imagine. “Not a good source of scientific information”. How about, ‘Dangerous source of disinformation.” My point, though, is not that Prof. Reiss should be anyone but herself when responding to a journalist, but that the reporter is making a CHOICE about who to question. In this case the choice, before the professor is even contacted, is to contrast Dr. Bob’s “personal touch” with expertise presented in an impersonal, coldly objective voice. Gutierrez could have opposed Sears with someone like Chris Hickie, someone who could add some emotional stakes to the critique. She didn’t. That tells you a lot about where she’s coming from.

As I understand the False Balance critique in general, it’s directed at reportage that follows ‘good’ conventional journalism practice by presenting opposing sides of an issue, but in instances where the science is overwhelmingly unbalanced to one side. That is, the critique is one of false equivalence. It’s saying, “your supposed unbiased objectivity is actually creating a bias, because you’re airing a ‘side’ that’s such BS it doesn’t merit mention at all.” [The “doesn’t merit mention” is a dubious proposition, but that’s OT for this discussion.] But that’s not what’s going on with Gutierrez. Professional journalists who believe in balance and objectivity, – who would defend the sort of conventional reportage of controversial social issues the skeptic False Balance critique typically targets – have their antennae up for a different kind of sin that they might label False Balance: stories slanted dramatically toward one perspective where perfunctory opposing bites are included seemingly just to provide ‘but we presented both sides!’ as an excuse. I can’t imagine any of the ex-professional J-School profs I knew in grad school would do anything but scoff at Gutierrez’s piece. If ‘how it’s supposed to be done’ may produce misleading results, this isn’t even anywhere near ‘how it’s supposed to be done’.

Orac may be too kind to Gutierrez in suggesting she’s just trying to create an “interesting” (clickable) story by profiling a famous person who is “both loved and reviled”. To be sure, journalists do that all the time, There’s absolutely a bias for drama. The closing paragraph sounds like it was the pitch to get the story greenlit::

At each step of the legislative process, as the bill was passed by committee after committee, Sears has returned to Sacramento to fight against the bill, navigating crowded Capitol corridors where he is called both an “opportunist,” and “a saint.” And it’s unlikely you’ll find middle ground between the extremes.

The story frame isn’t just dramatic, it’s a particular kind of drama. As Orac aptly describes it, “Dr. Sears is the “brave maverick” being persecuted by The Man for telling uncomfortable truths.” Here’s a line that stuck out for me:

The climate in California surrounding vaccines has become particularly volatile in recent months as state lawmakers weigh controversial changes to the state’s immunization laws.

In that framing, The legislature is the literally the troublemaker, forcing through “controversial changes”. Pan and his colleagues, not the antivaxers Sears caters supports, are creating the “volatile climate”.

But here’s the thing, if Gutierrez had actually written the story to a dramatic conflict frame, made it as “interesting” as possible, it wouldn’t be constructed the way it is. It wouldn’t have that pillow-soft “questioned vaccines in a gentle way” as the initial antagonist voice. It wouldn’t place the conflict with the Medical board so far down the page, and even then (as Orac says) downplay it’s significance.

Sears’ probationary status means that he must have another doctor review his files occasionally. But he’s still able to see patients and write medical exemptions to vaccines.

.And Dr. Bob himself seems pretty nonplussed:

Almost all of [my] patients have already decided not to continue vaccines, And they’re just relieved and happy that there’s a pediatrician that will take them. … I’m very happy to see them…

What kind of story is it where the antagonists are dull functionaries who don’t show up until the third reel, and even then don’t cause the protagonist to raise a sweat? A bedtime story to send the inner child of the readers off to peaceful sleep?

The ‘used to hang out with professional journalists’ voice in my head bristles with skepticism when Orac writes “Gutierrez probably didn’t intend it that way”. I just can’t believe she’s that naive, But my media scholar voice reminds me that intent doesn’t matter, especially the intent of one content-generator cog in the larger machine., That “how it comes off” is what counts, regardless of what the author thought thought she was doing. Just as “how it comes up” is a product of a large set of choices that could have been different – who to interview, what quotes to pull, what voice to write in, what words to use, how to order things, whether to use photos, what photos to take, what specific frames to publish… The facts of the story’s appearance in the LAT are the product of choices going up the latter of juice at the paper. Why do an article on Sears at all, why to give it this many column inches, why hang on this peg as opposed to another. There’s not just editors involved here, but the business side as well, if only in the form of coded hints dropped to the news staff. Which leads me to suspect that somehow there’s revenue to be gained or lost with vaccine issue coverage, and THAT is unbalanced to the side of the anti-vaxers. Maybe a puff piece on Sears will go viral among the AVs in a way that maximizes clicks, pulling in more digital ad revenue. Or maybe an important ad account likes to see that sort of “balance” (ha!) in “the vaccine debate”. As ever, it seems, money talks.

** ATTN: PROF. REISS
Since you were quoted by Gutierrez, I wonder if you could comment on how that brief mention reflects your interaction with her, Did you actually speak to her, or just reply to an email enquiry requesting a brief quote. Was there anything in her question(s) that framed the response toward the terms you used? Is the quote edited at all? Did you say/write anything else you’d wished she’d used instead?

They did not add an error estimate. Actual points are very scattered, and do not support their claim. Is this your example of good science ?

To start with Miller is most widely known for heading up the anti-vaccine Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute (which seems to consist of Miller and his daughter), but otherwise for publishing anti-vaccine books and books claiming communication with aliens. I don’t know what is actual expertise is, but it is not anything related to science. Gary Goldman is a computer scientists and was a director of World Association for Vaccine Education – an anti-vaccine group. Despite a complete lack of expertise on either side they team up to write ‘research papers’ claiming vaccines are dangerous.

So have a stab. Anti-vaccine or not?

Gary Goldman is a computer scientist[]

Well, if a mail-order Ph.D. qualifies. He appears to have no publications in the field, just antivax crankery.

I read something about this earlier** – can’t recall where- when I googled ( binged?) SB 276 Senate bill CA. That he might add on something but Sen Pan said possibly additional bills later

** I sometimes look over lotsa articles .

That strikes me as more worrisome than anything Dr. Bob is up to. Anybody know anything about what’s up with that, who might be influencing Newsom, etc??

And…

Newsom’s newly proposed amendments would make clear that enforcement will start next year, meaning doctors who previously granted a high number of medical exemptions won’t face extra scrutiny. They would also remove a requirement that doctors swear under penalty of perjury that they are not charging fees to fill out medical exemption forms or conducting related medical examinations.

They would insure that an expert panel reviewing appeals of exemption denials could consider additional information from the doctor beyond the exemption form. And they would exempt the individual medical forms from being made public.

Sadmar, reading between the lines of Newsom’s proposed amendments, I would say what’s influencing Newsom is provaxxers’ greatest nemesis in the vaccination war. It’s even greater than not having truth on your side. It is the ‘skin in the game’ effect.

Indeed, if I were to make a bet, I would agree with Dr Gordon that Newsom will sign the bill but I am left pondering something: Will one or two percentage increase in vaccination rates in one state offset the serious hit to the vaccination faith from all the ensuing commotions and embarrassments surrounding the passage of the legislation?

Neil Z. Miller – a psychologist who has written many anti-vax books, gives lectures at chiropractic associations, and published his daughter’s book, Ambassadors Between Worlds, Intergalactic Gateway to a New Earth, which describes how they are both able to talk to intergalatic beings because she has been doing it for multiple lifetimes. No word yet if folks from the Pleiadians vaccinate their kids…

As for your child dying from a vaccine, while anything is possible, please give the vaccine and cause of her death, e.g. encephalopathy, etc. However, as with most antivaccinationists you fail to understand the risks from a world without vaccines. During the 1950s, circa 10 – 20,000 kids were permanently paralyzed from polio, many others would have died if not for the iron lung, not a great way to live. In early 1960s an epidemic of rubella caused almost 40,000 cases of still births or congenital rubella syndrome (blind, deaf, mentally retarded, seizure disorders, and microcephaly, small brains and early death), 500 died from measles, another 1,000 developed disabilities (deafness, seizure disorders, mental retardation) and on and on it goes. And if the smallpox vaccine had not been developed, up to half of all children born would die from it. However, a second strain of smallpox, variola minor came to predominate in North America which was much less lethal; but outbreaks of variola major occurred with visitors from abroad and there is no way of telling if variola major could have again become the predominant strain. Smallpox also left people blind and disfigured with horrible pockmarks.

If your child really died as a result of a vaccine, I am truly sorry; but compared to the above, despite what you choose to believe, this would be a rare occurrence. I wonder who you would have blamed if you had, for instance, been infected with rubella? Or if your child ended up in an iron lung or paralyzed from polio? etc. etc.

@ Joel Harrison,

as with most antivaccinationists you fail to understand the risks from a world without vaccines

And you have failed to understand the risks & harm we incur FROM vaccines. See; I vaccinated & I’m very, very sorry now that I did.

I’m beginning to wonder if your CDC understands what the fallout might be if they fail to respond to people like me; people who vaccinated & woke up the next morning to a still, white & dead, cold child.

After reading hundreds of studies done by the Bandim Health Project, Gregory Poland & so many others, ‘Dear Sir” letters from doctors dating back to the 1950s; it is quite obvious that the gish gallop of nearly identical epidemiology studies that you use as ‘proof’ that vaccines do not cause SIDS; are infested with bias & couldn’t correlate gravity to a falling object.

You know why I found Aaby’s & Poland’s work so exciting? Because they held promise for the future. They gave me hope that THIS country had what it would take to develop superior vaccines that I; a non-responder to the MV & my son; with severe regressive autism could safely benefit from. That my daughter did not die in vain but instead; her death & all those other sweet babies died but that their deaths would be taken seriously & not written off as yet ANOTHER coincidence.

Well, my excitement is fading fast. You can’t do it. Our CDC does NOT have what it takes & I suppose they will reap what they have sown. Deceit & mistrust. Your science ONLY exists to disprove & thwart a threat to an agenda. That is a horrible use of science. Four decades & all you got is to put babies on their backs to mitigate the seizures from the vaccines?

Back to sleep works for GROWN UPS with EPILEPSY, you morons, OMG. It’s a band-aid at best & one of those teeny-tiny circle ones at that. If anyone is responsible for bringing back VPDs? It will be the provaccine, in their arrogance & blind faith in their CDC; who simply failed to understand.

@ Christine

Pray tell what level of understanding of microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and biostatistic do you have that you are so sure that the studies you believe are valid are in fact so? I have devoted over 40 years to the above. I have no ax to grind. I have NEVER received money from any pharmaceutical company nor own stock in any. In fact, my sole income is from Social Security. Not only do I understand the above; but I have read dozens of books and hundreds of articles on the history and current status of vaccine-preventable diseases in the world today.

So, again, pray tell, what level of training/understanding do you have? Do you even know how vaccines work? Why would a killed or greatly weakened microbe do damage compared to if exposed to the full strength one which almost all children were exposed to? And why would minuscule amounts of substances such as aluminum be dangerous when on average we are exposed to far greater quantities on a daily basis? And it doesn’t matter how they enter the body, whether food, drink, scratches, or air we breath or from a needle because antigen presenting cells pick up any foreign substance, transport it to lymph nodes where antibodies and t-cells react. Did you know that breast milk contains aluminum?

In psychology there is a defense mechanism called projection where people project their own failings on to others, so calling us morons really implies that deep down you realize that you are the moron.

I suggest you learn some of the basics. A great place to start is a little inexpensive book, available at Amazon.com Lauren Sompayrac’s “How the Immune System Works” get the latest 5th edition. If you aren’t willing to even read a 150 page book with great illustrations, absolute proof you aren’t really interested in anything but mouthing off

“After reading hundreds of studies done by the Bandim Health Project, Gregory Poland & so many others, ‘Dear Sir” letters from doctors dating back to the 1950s; it is quite obvious that the gish gallop of nearly identical epidemiology studies that you use as ‘proof’ that vaccines do not cause SIDS; are infested with bias & couldn’t correlate gravity to a falling object.”
You could do some citations here. When you actually cite something, your citations do not support your claim.

After reading hundreds of studies done by the Bandim Health Project, Gregory Poland & so many others, ‘Dear Sir” letters from doctors dating back to the 1950s; it is quite obvious that the gish gallop of nearly identical epidemiology studies that you use as ‘proof’ that vaccines do not cause SIDS; are infested with bias & couldn’t correlate gravity to a falling object.

Written by someone who cannot identify a piece of junk science written by two anti-vaccine cosplay researchers.

CK- the efficacy of vaccination , it’s possible hazards, contra-indications and much more, has been and is continually studied by experts in many fields of science world wide both independently and in cooperation with the CDC. Untold millions of lives have been saved from death and suffering by this medical science. Blind faith has nothing to do with what has been achieved.

it is quite obvious that the gish gallop

A gish gallop is a series of questions, not a series of answers you don’t like.

of nearly identical epidemiology studies

Replicating results is a Thing in good science.
Also, Einstein said something very wise about people keeping asking the same question and expecting a different answer.

I was also interested in, but not excited about, Aaby’s two Guinea-Bissau studies. Since Guinea-Bissau wasn’t tracking deaths by SIDS, those studies have no bearing on whether the DTP could increase or decrease the likelihood of SIDS.

For comparison, Vennemann looked at nine case-control studies that specifically studied SIDS as a result.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17400342

And he concluded:

Immunisations are associated with a halving of the risk of SIDS. There are biological reasons why this association may be causal, but other factors, such as the healthy vaccinee effect, may be important. Immunisations should be part of the SIDS prevention campaigns.

Many of those “nearly identical epidemiological studies” you downplay also used a case-control methodology.

Mady Hornig’s study to replicate Wakefield’s work also use a case-control methodology.
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0003140

Hornig and her associates

found no differences between AUT/GI and GI control groups in detection of MV sequences in RNA extracted from ileal or cecal biopsy specimens. Real-time RT-PCR assays with molecular controls engineered to allow differentiation of products arising from synthetic vs. bone fide MV RNA produced consistent results across three laboratories, with each laboratory site reporting less than 10 cDNA copies of MV F and H gene in ileal biopsies from one child with autism and one child without neurological disorder.

Other studies like the recent Hviid study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30831578

use the cohort study methodology to look at incidences among a very large population of subjects.
And it found

During 5 025 754 person-years of follow-up, 6517 children were diagnosed with autism (incidence rate, 129.7 per 100 000 person-years). Comparing MMR-vaccinated with MMR-unvaccinated children yielded a fully adjusted autism hazard ratio of 0.93 (95% CI, 0.85 to 1.02). Similarly, no increased risk for autism after MMR vaccination was consistently observed in subgroups of children defined according to sibling history of autism, autism risk factors (based on a disease risk score) or other childhood vaccinations, or during specified time periods after vaccination.

The deStefano study (PMID: 14754936) was also a case-control study.

If the CDC had “lied” when it published that study, that might have been detected when Brian Hooker reanalyzed the same data. But he got essentially the same results.

And in any case the Danes tested the same hypothesis on a different population of children in a different country with a different medical records system and slightly different autism diagnosis criteria and got a similar result.

Vaccination does not increase the risk of autism (in ordinary language, it does not cause autism) and if anything it reduces the risk of autism.

How do you test your beliefs to find out if they are correct?

Also, Einstein said something very wise about people keeping asking the same question and expecting a different answer.

I’m afraid that’s a somewhat mangled misattribution. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” owes to Narconon.

@Sadmar Governor Newsom is probably being influenced by people worried that this bill will eliminate protection for children who have valid medical reasons for exemption but will not fall under the CDC’s guidelines for medical exemption. Seizures following a vaccine would be one example but there are many others. Because of [b]SB277[/b] many more children received vaccines. Easily argued to be a very good outcome. SB276 will increase vaccination by the smallest imaginable increment and harm more children than it helps.

He will still sign the bill.

Elevating the discourse: bullshit to your response, Orac. You do not know shit about pediatrics.

Reading your comment more closely, you mean any and all seizures should mean grounds for you to excuse children from any and all vaccines.

@ Jay Gordon

Do you really have a medical degree? Febrile seizures following vaccines do appear frightening; but in almost all cases are harmless. Even Red Cross First Aid manuals state to do nothing unless in rare circumstances. I won’t bother elaborating. So, the fact that you use seizures as your prime example just gives evidence that, as a physician, I certainly wouldn’t trust your judgement. And kids can get febrile seizures from almost any antigen, much more often following flu, measles, etc.

Dr. Harrison, I was not referring to febrile seizures. But, now that you bring them up, if [i]you[/i] took a medication and had a fever and a seizure shortly thereafter, I’d guess you’d skip the offer of a second dose. I would recommend the same regarding vaccines

You’d guess wrong. Instead, I’d want to knw the following:
1) How bad is the fever? What kind of seizure?
2) Do studies show an associatation with these things and the medication I just took?
3) If yes, what is the long term risks associated with these effects?
4) Does having them occur with the first dose increase my chances of having them occur with the second dose?
5) What am I taking the medication for?
6) What are the risks of not taking the medication?
7) Are there alternative medications with lower chances of these side effects?

Honestly, “I don’t like these side effects. No more medication” is the logic of parents who refuse cehmo for their child’s cancer.

@ Jay Gordon

I would say the one who doesn’t know shit about pediatrics is you, despite your training. Febrile seizures are almost always harmless; but the vaccine-preventable diseases ARE NOT.

I grew up knowing people who wore steel braces, were in wheel chairs, even in iron lungs from polio. I have known people with loss of hearing from measles, etc. The fact that thanks to vaccines we don’t see such, doesn’t mean they couldn’ reoccur without vaccines.

I can’t speak for Orac; but I have and have had several collegial friends who were pediatricians and have had many discussions with them. Several were my age, so they remember the world before many of the vaccines and a couple were with Doctors Without Borders and have seen polio cases, measles cases, etc.

Jay Gordon wrote,

“Seizures following a vaccine would be one example [of a reason for a vaccine exemption] but there are many others.

Well, what about the majority of young children who experience seizures that are clearly not temporally connected to vaccination? Should they get a pass, too, Jay, if their parents are willing to pay, or should you and others like you make even a token effort to understand genetically-determined seizure disorders that happen to manifest in early postnatal life ?

BTW, Jay, how are your doing with your previously-stated position: “Any thoughts I ever had about wavering in my support of Andrew Wakefield have dissolved”?

When I acquire more facts, wisdom, research and I change my opinions, I call that learning.
Give it a try.

@ Jay Gordon

If a child has a history of seizures or other problems that clearly can occur following a vaccination, then the CDC clearly exempts them. The problem is unethical doctors who use bogus medical excuses to accommodate parents who don’t want their children vaccinated.

[queue the sound of irony meters exploding globally as Jay Gordon accuses another physician of not knowing “shit” about pediatrics]

Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up one and all for the story of someone who truly doesn’t know anything about pediatrics as exemplified in an LA Times 2005 story about a 3 1/2 year-old girl who died of AIDS pneumonia, having contracted HIV from her HIV+ mother (who was an HIV denialist who also later died of AIDS-related illness):

One doctor involved with Eliza Jane’s care told The Times he has been second-guessing himself since the day he learned of the little girl’s death.

Dr. Jay Gordon, a Santa Monica pediatrician who had treated Eliza Jane since she was a year old, said he should have demanded that she be tested for human immunodeficiency virus when, 11 days before she died, Maggiore brought her in with an apparent ear infection.

“It’s possible that the whole situation could have been changed if one of the doctors involved — one of the three doctors involved — had intervened,” said Gordon, who himself acknowledges that HIV causes AIDS. “It’s hindsight, Monday-morning quarterbacking, whatever you want to call it. Do I think I’m blameless in this? No, I’m not blameless.”

Mainstream AIDS organizations, medical experts and ethicists, long confounded and distressed by this small but outspoken dissident movement, say Eliza Jane’s death crystallizes their fears. The dissenters’ message, they say, is not just wrong, it’s deadly.

“This was a preventable death,” said Dr. James Oleske, a New Jersey physician who never examined Eliza Jane but has treated hundreds of HIV-positive children. “I can tell you without any doubt that, at the outset of her illness, if she was appropriately evaluated, she would have been appropriately treated. She would not have died.

The little girl who died of AID-related pneumonia was also at time of autopsy very under weight and under height. I’ll wager even first-year medical students in 2005 would know enough basic medicine know that if a child is born to an HIV+ mom, you must test the child for HIV. You had two years to do this and you didn’t.

If I retired tomorrow (and I’m not because unlike you I’m not making money vaccinating nearly as much as you’re getting rich writing $720 vaccine exemptions) and had to choose between recommending you or Orac to my families for the care of their children–I’d ask they see Orac and avoid you like the plague. I’ll wager all the other physicians who post here would recommend the same. You wouldn’t know syphilis from shinola and you sure don’t have the slightest clue about vaccines. You helped create the 2015 “Disneyland” measles outbreak with all the cases it created in LA County. You shouldn’t have a license to practice.

So Merck increased its gross revenue by about 1%.

If you want to make some kind of case, go away and find the numbers that show what fraction of the increased sales of the vaccine were due to anti-vaxxers becoming less stupid versus ordinary sensible people who decided it would be a good idea to get a dose of MMR II because they weren’t sure about their vaccination history or learned that a second dose was a good idea when they had only previously had one dose.

@ Natalie

Yep, Merck does make a profit on vaccines, though because mandatory childhood vaccines used often by government and large health insurance companies, negotiations allow only reasonable profits; but making a profit doesn’t say if something is beneficial, neutral, or detrimental. Pharmaceutical companies make a profit on insulin, far greater profit per dose and because has to be used daily, far far greater profit than vaccines, so, would you recommend that someone with diabetes not use insulin because a profit is made. One can, of course, make a case that our government should limit the profit margin of insulin as they do mandatory childhood vaccines; but insulin, albuterol, and many other medicines, all sold for a profit, make far greater profits, so should we recommend people stop using them? How utterly stupid. If you supported vaccinations would you expect Merck to sell them at cost or even at a loss? Idiot!

Yes, the outbreak of measles in Orange County, CA (outbreak, not hysteria) sold more vaccines.Hurricanes make good money for Eveready and Rayovac, plywood manufacturers, and bottlers of drinking water, and all their suppliers. So what? If demand for a product increases, sales usually will too. Do you want manufacturers to sell below cost? Would you rather have the Federal government make vaccines? Maybe they all should be made by volunteers working for companies that will bear all the costs?
How about instead of having them made by large companies having them made to order over the pharmacy sink in Walgreen’s?

Anti-vaxxers are closet commies. The libertarian rhetoric is misdirection. But then extremists and ideologues of all stripes are very much alike.

Christine:
Has it ever occurred to you that there is exactly as much evidence that you killed your child as for vaccines killing your child?
Some of us react to your “vaccines killed my child” in much the same way that you would to a sentence beginning with “When Christine killed her baby. . .”

@ Opus,

Did it occur to me? Lol; not only did it occur to me but I counted on it.

As our country moves towards increased compulsion of vaccines & legislation that diminishes parental rights; it’s very important to me that vaccine-hesitant parents in this country understand exactly how the provaccine community views their concerns for their child.

I believe that would be: With contempt?

Additionally, as the legal debate gains momentum, I am aware that it will be people like me, those who would warn; who will be blamed if vaccination rates were to fall below what is required for herd immunity. I’d prefer to nip that one in the bud right now.

That will not be the fault of ‘evil antivaxxers’, nor will it be the fault of vaccine-hesitant parents. How you view & treat mothers of dead & disabled children; like snickering about how they may have killed them? Is not the way to earn the public’s trust on the value & safety of immunizations. If our country becomes vulnerable to vaccine preventable disease; it is you who should be held responsible.

This is the USA. We could have had a superior immunization program that was safe & effective for ALL; had the concerns of parents been heeded long ago. Instead; we now rank 44th in the world for infant mortality. Worse than ‘2nd-world’ countries such as Bosnia & Cuba. As a provaccine, ‘science-based’ person, I’d think you would be embarrassed to state in arrogance that it is YOU who has all the answers. Clearly, something has gone horribly wrong.

You are partially correct about one thing. It actually could be my fault that my baby died. I listened to those of your ilk & I believed what I was told & that the vaccines were safe. It’s my fault: I vaccinated.

@ Christine

Yep, we rank horribly when it comes to infant mortality. And as a typical antivaccinationist, it must be because of vaccines; however, most, if not all, of the nations with lower infant mortality rates also have mandatory as well as recommended vaccines. Sometimes as many as U.S., sometimes a bit less; but we are the only nation with a health care system designed to maximize profits. In the other nations with lower infant mortality, prenatal care is the norm and postnatal care, poverty rates are lower, nutritional programs better, and fathers more often in home, not in prison in a nation with 5% of world’s population and 25% of prisoners, many either innocent or guilty of minor infractions; but, heh, benefits the for-profit prison industry among others.

Yep, it must be vaccines???

For someone claiming to be intelligent, obsessing on one “possible” but due to research around the world, highly unlikely causal factor while ignoring other more probable ones doesn’t say much for your intelligence.

For someone claiming to be intelligent, obsessing on one “possible” but due to research around the world, highly unlikely causal factor while ignoring other more probable ones doesn’t say much for your intelligence.

Joel,

I saw many peoples claiming to have high intelligence…I never saw any claim out of them that they were using it.

Alain

@ Alain

I saw many peoples claiming to have high intelligence…I never saw any claim out of them that they were using it.

If you don’t mind, I’m going to steal that sentence 🙂

Alain, your comment made me think of Trump’s claim to be a “stable genius.”
I have been in a few stables, and while I don’t know if I ever saw a genius in one, I did see a lot of horses’ asses.

Perhaps what is required to make vaccines “safer” is weaker vaccines. Instead of using vaccines that cause strong immune response in 1 or 2 doses (e.g. attenuated live virus vaccines or adjuvated vaccines), we should have vaccines that require ten doses to produce the same response. Give them all one at a time – 10 doses of M, 10 doses of M, 10 doses of R – all with at least a couple of weeks between. See how that sits with the “too many” crowd.

Maybe it has happened, but I have yet to see one of these so-called advocates for “safer vaccines” suggest how to make vaccines safer – other than taking out the tiny amounts of CHEMICALS!! (a.k.a TOXINS!! they don’t understand.

@ Terrie

You really are quite dishonest. Yes, if a child has had seizures in general or in particular to a previous dose of the above, then CDC recommends not giving the vaccine. And if someone has been found allergic to penicillin it is not used for an infection. But if there is no history or indication of an allergy to penicillin it is used, same with vaccines. So, yep, CDC recommends in certain cases not to give the vaccine and also not to use penicillin and on and on it goes. So because some people have had allergic reactions to any number of antibiotics, perhaps, you would recommend we stop using antibiotics altogether???

Joel, um, I think you’re confused about who said what. I pointed out that, yes, the CDC recognizes seizures as a valid medical reason in specific circumstances for specific vaccines, while noting “Dr. Jay” seems to think any and all seizures should be grounds to excuse children from any and all vaccines.

@ Terrie

Sorry, old age and late at night and so many idiots posting, difficult to keep things straight

How many of you here know whether or not you are immune to measles? Mumps?
Pertussis?
Get your damn shots you dangerous bunch of freeloaders.

I already did, silly Dr. Jay. Already did. (As you would know if you followed my Twitter feed.) I took care of it the last time I saw my PMD and will get the second one in a few months.😏

You and you alone, Orac.

So for years and years you’ve been a health care provider caring for immunocomprised patients and no immunity to measles? And you call me irresponsible?!

Spare me your disingenuous sanctimony, Dr. Jay. I assumed I was immune, until recent outbreaks and evidence told me I might not be, particularly the recent measles outbreak among the Orthodox Jewish community in our northern suburbs, which hit mainly adults in my age range. So I acted to fix that and get the two shit MMR series, for which I have one to go. Otherwise I’m up to date on everything. Hell, we have an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak here in SE Michigan. Even though it wasn’t strictly recommended, I got the hepatitis A vaccine series anyway.

I got my bloodwork in 2014 before I tried for my last pregnancy. I’m immune. Got a pregnancy tdap in 2015.

But you’re right that most adults don’t, and assume immunity from childhood vaccines.

That’s not equivalent to not vaccinating a child, though. Consider the difference between someone who does maintenance on his brakes and assumes, therefore, they are in order v. Someone who doesn’t do maintenance. In both cases there’s a chance the brakes could fail, but the level of risk and the culpability aren’t the same,

That said, I Hope most pro vaccines adults here, at least, stay up to date.

I did and I meet my primary care doctor 4 times a years. We cover everything from TSH, vaccines, mental health (when it’s not the shrink which I meet 7 to 8 times a year recently).

I bet you’re angry and need to lash out given the result of SB276 but I’m definitely not dangerous nor freeloader; therefore, I will concur with Terrie you are an idiot.

Alain Toussaint who can do away with internet anonymity in this case because I stand behind my assessment of your behavior.

I have had a recent dTpa vaccine booster for tetanus and don’t need MMR, because yes I had all them all as full-blown disease offerrings in the ’60s. I had my flu vaccine 4 months ago.

What about you Dr Jay?

You’re assumption of freeloading is bothersome, Jay. I got a third MMR 20 years ago when I couldn’t find one of my shot cards showing I’d already had two doses (needed in order to be able to start residency). During residency I had to get 2 additional Hep B vaccines because I didn’t show seroconversion to the ones I had in medical school. I got PPSV23 several years ago b/c I have asthma. I get a flu shot yearly. I’ve had hepatitis A vaccine series after residency. I got a Tdap when my grand daughter was born 4 years ago. I do need to get a shingles vaccine soon, and I need to d/w my physician about getting PCV13.

Good luck getting the shingles shot. I’ve been trying for a year, but shortages are a problem. (And I’m due for tetanus et al., up to date on everything else.)

Already done. My shots are up-to-date. I am due for a flu shot soon. I usually get it done when they do the free flu shots on campus. If it were possible for me to get a shingles vaccine, I’d do that, too. I had chicken pox long before there was a vaccine and I have never been sicker.

Meg, I’m looking forward to being eligible for the shingles vaccine and hope that insurance companies start to cover it for younger people. A coworker in his early 40s recently was hospitalized with shingles due to optical involvement, forced to be isolated from his pregnant wife, as it was found she has no immunity, and another coworker decided this was a great time to tell the story of his neighbor, whose pain from shingles was so bad, he shot himself.

But, you knwo, chicken pox is a mild childhood illness, right?

I got the original shingles vaccine and then the newer shingrix. Must admit that the shingrix was first time I reacted to a vaccine. My arm was quite sore for about 24 hours and felt somewhat lethargic; but having actually seen my grandparents and parents suffer from shingles, a couple days unpleasantness was well worth avoiding shingles.

I got Shingrix at the same visit when I got my MMR. My Shingrix arm was definitely much sorer for longer than my MMR arm. I didn’t feel any lethargy and was able to go out for my bike ride later that day.

I have a couple of years before I will be eligible for shingles vaccine. I could get it earlier, but my doctor thinks that because I had a bout of shingles in my 40s and my health is otherwise good, that I should wait until I am older.

My titers are good and I had my last tdap about 2 years ago so pretty sure I’m good there. How about you? When exposed to your disease-carrying patients, will you be an additional vector for transmission through your body, or just through your incompetent practice of medicine?

I got a DTaP booster last summer, Jay. You see, I’m an asthmatic, and I know that whooping cough could prove lethal. I’ve also had Prevnar-13 after a bout of pneumonia, and get my flu shot every year. I know that I don’t need MMR because I had a second booster before I started college.

It’s rich for you to call anybody else a freeloader, chump. You get rich giving out vaccine exemptions that erode herd immunity, leading to deaths and long-term sequalae. How you manage to remain a licensed MD is beyond me.

@ Jay Gordon

When in college, of interest I contacted our long time family physician about childhood diseases I had had. The only one he wasn’t sure of was chicken pox. I forgot about it; but years later was dating a woman with a 9-year old son. I took them to a restaurant; but unusual he wasn’t hungry. The next day she phoned to say he had chicken pox. Well, in a panic, at the time faculty at a medical school, I contacted a colleague and got titers and just for fun asked if they could titer for everything else. Yep, I had had chicken pox. If it had been negative I would have immediately gotten gamma globulin and the vaccine.

And as I wrote in another comment I’m sure I’ve had vaccines you haven’t, including yellow fever, typhoid/paratyphoid, cholera, and three times small pox. I’ve been curious, since smallpox vaccine not lifelong immunity if having received it three times if I still have some immunity. Was really curious after 9/11 because I would have volunteered to help if terrorists were able to unleash it. Some day maybe I’ll get titred.

And as I wrote, I would love to be able to get several more vaccines, e.g. Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus, MRSA, and dengue (once they have vaccine for all serotypes as one of the few microbes that exposure to one serotype results in worse response to another, i.e. dengue hemorrhagic fever

I had my titers checked recently – I live in the Bay Area, and thanks to people like you, I have to think about these things. My M/M/R titers are all still going strong. I get my flu shot annually and my tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis booster on schedule.

The freeloaders are you and your patients. What kind of idiot ‘gotcha’ game are you trying to play?

Get your damn shots you dangerous bunch of freeloaders.

Holy fuck. Listen, dipshit, I solicit my PCP for any vaccines I might be behind on every time I see her. I am up to fucking date, including Twinrix and PPSV23, Try this, Jay.

“How many of you here know whether or not you are immune to measles?” Had it, no pneumonia, but really didn’t like it. “Mumps?” Had it. Also didn’t like it, no orchitis, and no ice cream either (Where did that fable come from?).
“Pertussis?” Dodged that bullet, but have been vaccinated against it, more than once.
Poliomyelitis? Had it as an infant, still have sequelae. Mass vaccination started about two years later. Sucks for me, but at least lots of other kids didn’t have to have it, and to have it worse than I did. I may be the youngest native-born American you will ever encounter who had it, and I’m a senior citizen now.
German measles? Had it, really didn’t like the fever and the itch.
Influenza? Had it so bad one time that I had to crawl to the bathroom to throw up, haven’t missed the vaccinations once in the ensuing decades.
“Get your damn shots you dangerous bunch of freeloaders.”
I get my “damn shots” for all the things I didn’t have, and got some for some of the ones I did. Did you get yours? If yes, you are a hypocrite. If no, you’re the dangerous freeloader, and still a hypocrite. Hiding in the middle of the herd at everyone else’s expense, are you?

I found that the bill passed 28 to 11.
So better than 2 for 1.

Anti-vaxxers would have you believe that their position is immensely popular but consider this:
— if you were a senator/ assembly person would you support something that had no strong public support in your district?
— California is quite in the blue column ( Democrats), if your party supported something unpopular would you remain?
— Could you expect to be re-elected if you didn’t pay attention to your constituents’ wishes?
— Anti-vax isn’t the only reason to oppose the bill: it may be about personal rights, sovereignty etc

I think you should exercise a little caution inferring popular public support for the bill based on the votes, Denice. The reason for this being that partisan voting that we are witnessing may be clouding its true public support. With partisan voting we are likely to see it increasing from public, then Assembly, and finally the Senate demonstrating greatest partisan voting. Sure enough, of the 29 Democrats and 11 Republicans in the Californian Senate all but one Democrat voted for the bill and all Republicans voted against it. In the Assembly we had slightly less partisan voting with 47 of 61 Democrats voting for the bill and 17 of 18 Republicans voting against it. Still, consider this, 14 Democrats abstained from voting, suggesting that even the partisan sway was not sufficient to keep over 20% of the Democrats in the Assembly from balking at the bill. Also, considering the 14 democrats that abstained and 17 Republican that voted against the bill we had 31 Assembly members or 40% of them having issues with the bill. Yet, as mentioned, things are likely worse amongst a public not so influenced by partisanship. The throngs of protesters storming the Parliament building to protest the legislation over the past weeks also suggests this.

All said, there are very good reasons to suspect that the Democratic party might be digging its grave in upcoming elections by hitching its wagon to forced vaccination. Sure it can be argued that the vast majority of people support vaccination or they are apathetic to the issue and it will not factor into their voting. Still,, as we’ve seen with past elections, riled up minority voters can influence things in a big way, and especially in Swing States.

For a good estimate of parents’ sentiments, look up the vaccination rates** in CA or other states. These are the people who aren’t seeking exemptions. Connecticut has a current exemption rate of 2.5%. NY has a overall low rate of exemption. Why do so few seek exemptions?..

I truly doubt that liberal states ( CA, OR, WA, NJ, NY, CT, MA, VT, RI) will change their politics : they reject Republicans, their tax policy, environmental position, gun law, social policy and Trump. Vaccines are not a major issue.

** hint: it’s well over 90% – perhaps 94+ IIRC You can look these figures up yourself.

For a good estimate of parents’ sentiments, look up the vaccination rates** in CA or other states. These are the people who aren’t seeking exemptions. Connecticut has a current exemption rate of 2.5%. NY has a overall low rate of exemption. Why do so few seek exemptions?..

I truly doubt that liberal states ( CA, OR, WA, NJ, NY, CT, MA, VT, RI) will change their politics : they reject Republicans, their tax policy, environmental position, gun law, social policy and Trump. Vaccines are not a major issue.

** hint: it’s well over 90% – perhaps 94+ IIRC You can look these figures up yourself.

But Denice, parents seeking out exemptions do not tell the whole story. There is a much larger group of parents who are vaccine hesitant and who will skip one or more vaccines for their kids and even if exemptions are not filled. Greater that 10% of parents make up this group.

Denice, now consider that Hillary lost the 2016 Election to Trump and even in some of the states that she won her margins of victory were less than 10% (Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Virgina, Maine). Now think Denice if you were some of these frightened parents and paying attention to what is transpiring in CA or NY with forced vaccination, would you be excited about voting Democrat in the next election?

Your comment is not even wrong, Greg.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, which reassures me that the US isn’t as bad as some people think. The US economy has started doing badly since Trump’s ill-considered trade war, which is a sign that he may lose. To quote another Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid!”
In addition, Democrats in North Carolina just won a court case over Republican gerrymandering. I would say that Democrats are a lot safer than you think.

Greg:

There are many ways to estimate parents’ or voters’ or adults’ ( all different figures -btw-) beliefs about vaccines: are there any polls that show that a majority is anti-vaccine? I have never seen a poll where large numbers ( more than 10%) oppose vaccines: some say they have concerns** etc. People vaccinate their kids in large numbers.

BLF’s website NVIC’s map shows that many states still have medical, religious and philosophical exemptions: do these places have an overwhelming number of exemptions? ** They don’t. CA and NY had to tighten rules about exemptions because of pockets of anti-vaccine sentiment yet until recently, parents could easily get exemptions. Why didn’t they, if they opposed vaccines- the rate was high even then ( but not the necessary 95%)? Opponents in NY claim that
26,000 kids are affected by the new rules: what proportion of kids is that in a state with a vast population? NYC alone has around 8 million people.

Anti-vaxxers claim that they have great numbers but do we see that demonstrated? A few things would happen: we’d see larger numbers of exemptions or flights to private schools or home schooling. I imagine that politicians would pick up on this and become more vocal: has anyone running for mayor ( of a medium-large city), a congressional seat, governor or president done so? In fact, those who hinted about vaccines had to re-phrase publicly. Even the Donald. No where is this considered a major issue. Anti-vax websites, twitter, Facebook wouldn’t struggle to get 10,000 supporters ( I’ve never seen more than 50 or 60K** ) A turnout of 500 in Sacramento doesn’t say much in a state of 40 million.

People who are immersed in anti-vaccine society think that the whole world is with them: There are “millions” of “vaccine injured children and their parents” claims one natural health advocate (PRN): where are they? Even if ALL parents of kids with ASDs were anti-vax ( they adamantly aren’t) that would involve only 1+% of all kids.

** this stuff is easy to find on the internet

@ Julian Frost: **

The ability to lose a presidential election whilst winning the popular vote is the result of an archaic system that was based on estimations of population wherein slaves were counted as “not a whole person” who couldn’t vote anyway ( neither could women, and originally, non-landowner men).( See electoral college). It’s really bad. If you look at a map of the US, ( see red state/ blue state):, it looks very red ( republican) but those are the open spaces ( low population/ rural) while the people are clustered in and around cities: very blue ( democratic) As you say, gerrymandering has been an issue as well as stifling the vote of (mostly) minorities in conservative areas: older ( mostly) black people are forced to show IDs ( many don’t drive), voting places are diminished so people must travel more, early voting days are curtailed, towns with large universities often discourage students’ votes.
I hope that all of this doesn’t conspire against sanity AGAIN as it did in 2000 and 2016.

** I thought you might like my rant

would you be excited about voting Democrat in the next election?

If the alternative is the guy who draw (badly) an extra front on hurricane Dorian’s predicted path, using a black sharpie instead of something with white ink like the other parts of the picture, or any of his sycophantic followers…

People who are immersed in anti-vaccine society think that the whole world is with them

I sorely doubt that Gerg is immersed in “society” in any meaningful fashion.

@ Narad:

I said “society” because I thought that it sounded better than the more truthful endless piles of bullshit.

@Athaic:”the guy who draw (badly) an extra front on hurricane Dorian’s predicted path, using a black sharpie instead of something with white ink”
His next plan is to erase the national debt.

@ Joel Harrison.

what level of understanding of

Certainly not as much as you.have. That’s why I can see what you cannot. ‘Pretend’ for one moment that the CDC is lying. What makes more sense: To recruit you & the thousands of those in medicine & research into some elaborate conspiracy to lie to moms like me?

Or to sell you; hook line & sinker on the lie & let you perpetuate it for them; with all your genuine & sincere belief that vaccines are safe? They need you more than me & a ton of time, effort & money has been invested in you for this purpose. You barely stood a chance.

I have NEVER received money from any pharmaceutical company

And I’ve never accused you or anyone else here of having done so.

why would minuscule amounts of substances such as aluminum be dangerous

I’ve never alleged that they would. Although I do have an unusual anecdote regarding aluminum.

If you aren’t willing to even read a 150 page book with great illustrations

Thank you for that information. I am ASD with atypical hyperlexia & I could finish that book in less than 15 minutes. My comprehension when last tested was in the top 2% of college grads in this country, so please save the snark. I read everything. Didn’t you used to have a blog of your own? I believe I’ve read that too.

@ Christine

You make one BIG MISTAKE, assuming that I base my learned opinion on CDC studies alone or mainly. I have lived in Sweden and Canada, spent lots of time in Denmark and sometime in UK and Germany. I am fluent at Swedish and have read a number of books on their history of infectious diseases. I can also read French, although not fluent. I have and have read a large number of peer-reviewed studies from around the world on vaccines as well as their history and current status. So, unless you as many antivaccinationists subscribe to some world-wide conspiracy then studies done in different countries with different populations, different researchers, with different study designs, tell me that vaccines are highly effective, though not 100% and their risks of serious adverse reactions are rare; but not zero; but compared to the much higher risks from the natural diseases they are quite good. So you are really sick to think that I and many like me are that naive to base our judgments on one source or even a small number.

As for hyperlexia, being able to read a book and comprehend in 15 minutes may be true; but I doubt it. But go for it. The book is available on Amazon.com

And as for 2% of college graduates, according to recent reports the level of knowledge of current graduates in most cases is less than my generation. Many profs are afraid to give failing or low grades because of student complaints. In any case, the tests I took required for grad school, at the time, put mean in the upper 5%. So what? It depends not on ones basic intelligence; but how one applies it.

But I really can’t be diplomatic when you accuse me of being fooled by CDC or anyone else, all I can say is you are FULL OF SHIT!

@ Joel A, Harrison, PhD, MPH:

And isn’t it odd that people who studied public health or medicine ( you and others) or law ( Dorit) or social science ( me) all come to the same conclusion? Very little of what I learned came from the CDC or medical associations..
But I did take lots of research design, statistical analysis and physiology.

People whose studies focus upon cognition and development can usually estimate writers’ abilities so I wouldn’t put much credence whenever an anti-vaxxer claims special intellectual abilities or achievements. Being anti-vax alone tells me all I need to know.

I work for a large company. We can’t get everyone to follow the exact same process for ordering printer paper, but Christine wants us to believe that millions of people, working for thousands of different academic, government and private organizations, over a period of decades, have managed to create a consistent, but fake, process to teach, produce, and publish invalid science that falsely shows vaccines are, overall, safer than VPDs.

@ Terrie

It’s not better in universities.
Someone wiser than me once said, it’s easier to herd cats than academics.

Athaic, it’s WORSE in academia. Tell a professor about a process and they are shocked to discover they aren’t an exception. We had a professor baffled that they couldn’t keep so many books in their office that it violated the fire code. But somehow they’re engaged in a massive coverup.

My comprehension when last tested was in the top 2% of college grads in this country, so please save the snark.

What is the name of this “comprehension” test?

@ Narad,

What is the name of this “comprehension” test

I haven’t a clue. I have been tested repeatedly, with different tests since I was temporarily identified as MR in the second grade. Hyperlexia wasn’t known at that time. The only intervention was to permit me to go to to the school library every day after school to try to stop me from leaving the classroom & hiding in the bookshelves with my little stash of ‘contraband’ (books).

I was tested at age 16, 26 & 37 & they were all different formats but always a timed test. Hyperlexic capabilities are supposed to plateau in late adolescence/early adulthood but mine did not. I wish I could just hit a ‘pause’ button with it sometimes.

I am ASD with atypical hyperlexia & I could finish that [150-page] book in less than 15 minutes.

Set up a camera and post the exercise to Y—be.

@ Joel,

I really can’t be diplomatic when you accuse me of being fooled by CDC or anyone else

Yeah, I shouldn’t have said it. It’s not like there is anything either you or I can do about it. The cognitive dissonance I experienced before I stopped being pro-vaccine was literally emotionally painful. I still struggle with the anger stage (grief recovery reference). So I apologize. Sincerely.

@ Narad,

Okay? Maybe I can find an online pdf. That might be better anyway so I don’t read it back to front.

This reminds me of elementary school when everyone would start whispering ‘no way, cheater!’ when I’d finish my reading test & try to turn it in & the teacher told me I wasn’t allowed to turn mine in until the next two people were done because I was ‘disruptive’.

Just another confusing memory from school that I had forgotten about until now.

@Christine, if you can read so quickly, and with such a high level of comprehension, why do you keep claiming studies say things they don’t?

@ Denice,

For a good estimate of parents’ sentiments, look up the vaccination rates

Oh no. That’s not it at all. I vaccinated 11 children. No exemptions requested. How do you think I would vote on this bill?

Jay Gordon: “How many of you here know whether or not you are immune to measles? Mumps?
Pertussis?
Get your damn shots you dangerous bunch of freeloaders.”

Speaking of which, Jay: on multiple occasions I’ve asked you whether you get recommended vaccines to protect vulnerable individuals (like sick children in the hospital when you are there to make rounds – or for that matter children visiting your own office).

Do you get annual flu shots? Up to date on pertussis vaccine? What’s your own immune status?

Try answering those questions instead of blustering about other people’s perceived failings.

Or as is more likely, you’ll duck out of this thread without responding, as you’ve done on previous occasions.

Re SB276 – Jay has no reason for alarm at its passage if he uses sound medical criteria to grant vaccine exemptions.

Hi Bacon.

I get annual flu shots. My pertussis immunity is complete. I was born before 1957 and have full MMR immunity.
My medical exemptions have all been written in full compliance with the letter and spirit of the law and documented with complete written signed histories by parents.

Your immune status Bacon?

Pertussis immunity from infection wanes after a few years (4-20). You should get yourself a booster if you haven’t had one in the past 5 years.

Jay Gordon said, “I was born before 1957 and have full MMR immunity.”
How do you know you have full MMR immunity, Jay?
Are you just taking the CDC’s word that those born pre-1957 are presumed to have suffered measles?
If so, why don’t you believe the CDC’s word that those who received 2 doses of MMR are measles immune for life and don’t need any boosters?
.
Jay Gordon also said, “My pertussis immunity is complete.”
What does that mean?
How do you know you are immune to pertussis, Jay?
Have you had your adult booster?
Even with the booster, how do you know you are immune?
Faith?
Do you get yearly titers for every vaccine preventable disease on the schedule?
Or are you relying on the nasty big-pharma CDC’s recommendations?
.
Paraphrasing what somebody up-thread said, “Get your damn shots you dangerous freeloader.”

@ Jay Gordon

I was born at end of World War 2. I had ALL the childhood diseases, including measles, rubella, chicken pox, mumps, rotavirus. However, I was first cohort to receive polio vaccine, then later oral polio vaccine. I get a tetanus booster every 10 years. I’ve also received yellow fever vaccine, typhoid/paratyphoid, cholera, annual flu vaccine (nowadays high-dose version), hepatitis A and B vaccines, meningococcus vaccine (polysaccharide and conjugate versions), including MenB, pneumococcus (polysaccharide and conjugate versions), and I received the smallpox vaccine three times, as infant, in 1968 when going to Europe, and 1975 when working for U.S. military in Far East as undergraduate instructor. And I wish antivaccinationists hadn’t led to removal of Lyme vaccine as I would gladly get it and hope a new one being developed with be on the market soon. And I check my shot records to make sure I am up-to-date and also to see if any new vaccines available. I would love one for MRSA, for instance.

In addition, early on I made sure my late parents and grandparents got flu shots, pneumococcal, etc. and advised close friends to make sure their kids were up-to-date.

If you ONLY give vaccine exemptions for valid cases, then you have nothing to worry about. Even if you give more than five, a simple look at your medical records will clear you.

“I made sure my late parents and grandparents got flu shots, pneumococcal”
Christine will probably say that’s why they’re your “late parents and grandparents”. And if she doesn’t there’s always Gregger.

Orac. Can you put the numbers back on comments? Remember the old days when the perseverating crowd would bait me, I’d foolishly take the bait and we’d easily hit 500+!?
They’re still here. I’m here. Let’s do it.

Dorit! I’m always surprised to see you joining this bad of merry hooligans.

OK. OK. I’ll say it: 40 years of taking care of children. Experience and anecdotes. The plural of the latter actually is data.

Good night all

In fact the plural of anecdote is not data, it is anecdotes. Data to be useful needs to be collected in a rigorous way. A handful of anecdotes is just a handful of anecdotes, because their is no rigour about their collection.

I suppose one should cheer the spirit of co-operation that sees someone who loathes autistic people and denigrates them at every opportunity…

(Greg musing at Mo’s comment) Does not wanting to find a cure for autism also mean you hate neurotypical people? Hhmmnn….

Well, Jay, finally we get an acknowledgement that you value annual flu shots to protect patients (or at least get them). Good for you.

I’m also a bit puzzled about what “My pertussis immunity is complete” means, and whether you actually had measles, mumps and rubella (like me) or are just depending on your date of birth to assume immunity. My memories of being sick with those diseases are still vivid. A working pediatrician should be sure about such things.

And yes, I’m up to date on recommended shots, though a couple more are on the horizon (pneumonia and improved shingles vaccines).

“You do not know shit about pediatrics.”

Oh? Are we pulling out degrees and certifications and measuring them, now? Because I know this one guy — a pediatrician — who means well but gets the epidemiology oh-so-wrong time and time again. Yet, when I point out the holes in his epidemiological reasoning, he shoots back at me with things like “I expected better from you” and blah, blah, blah.

Also, Cotton Mather (yes, that Cotton Mather) had his house firebombed over his recommendation that people be variolated to protect from full-blown smallpox. So I’d venture to say that anti-vaccine people and the organizations they make up have been around for centuries. Must be exhausting to see how little they’ve achieved toward their goal while maximizing the number of children they put in peril.

@ Dr Najera

Yep, Mather’s house was firebombed. At the time and for many years the reasoning behind antivaccinationists was that it was G-d’s will whether people lived or died. A young Ben Franklin was against the variolation; but changed his mind when an analysis showed circa 5 times as many unvariolated died as variolated. Boston was a small land area, homogeneous population, eating same foods, drinking same water, etc and all church attendants, so the only reasonable explanation for the difference was the variolation.

And Washington variolated his army and offered it to civilians as well. Jefferson got variolated and so did John Adams, etc.

One of Ben Franklin’s sons died of smallpox. He always regretted not vaccinating, and wrote in his autobiography that he was convinced that the benefits of vaccination were greater than the risks. He even felt that if he had lost his son from vaccination, it still would have been better than losing him to smallpox.

he US economy has started doing badly since Trump’s ill-considered trade war, which is a sign that he may lose. To quote another Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid!”
In addition, Democrats in North Carolina just won a court case over Republican gerrymandering. I would say that Democrats are a lot safer than you think.

Indeed the economy is important Julian, but short of a serious recession or Trump parading puppies out on the Front Lawn every morning from here on to shoot them, I say the Democrats are in for a real shellacking in the next election. Sorry — the ship has sailed on support for their brand of communism, and as we witness iterations of it with the push for forced medicine.

@ Greg

You really are a moron. Do you have any actual idea what communism is? Or is anything you disagree with labeled communist by you? Gee, I would hate if my house caught fire if the communist fire department showed up or if out sailing if boat sunk and communist Coast Guard showed up. Do you even understand the rudiments of economics, the difference between public goods and consumer good.

I gave articles I wrote above on health care. What we have today is forced denial of medicine despite anyone paying taxes contribute to our health care system. I gave examples in my article of a woman in terrible pain in abdomen going to emergency room thinking she had appendicitis. Turned out it wasn’t a life-threatening condition, so her insurance company didn’t pay. According to them, she should have stayed at home. If appendicitis, would rupture and then she could call an ambulance. I have a friend, two time kidney transplant, whose employer changed policies. New policy didn’t include his nephrologist; but they said he could continue with nephrologist; but each time first must go to a primary care physician to get a referral, so he has to take time off from work, go to primary physician’s office, pay copay, for 2 minute visit to get referral. And on and on it goes.

Single-payer means you pick the doctor, you pick the hospital, pharmaceutical companies make a profit; but not extortionist levels. Did you know that the price for insulin has quadrupled in last 10 years, though cost to produce hasn’t and a number of diabetics have died because they couldn’t afford it. I guess as long as you are a diabetic, you don’t care. Well, sooner or later, you or a loved one or friend will experience the negatives of the only health care system in the world, paid for by the taxpayers; but designed to maximize profits, not health.

@Joel A Harrison:

Greg appears to be Canadian (what did we do to deserve this?), so he will have had no experience of the fiscal mess that is US health care. While he’s ranting about Communism (Sooo last century), he’s taking advantage of our eeeevil socialist health care system.

He also appears to be a Trump fanboi. Beyond pathetic.

Greg appears to be Canadian

Oh, he is, but in his original incarnation, he feigned indignation at this observation.

I say the Democrats are in for a real shellacking in the next election.

You shoud lay off the two-four, Gerg. What statas do you expect to not flip?

@ Aarno Syvänen

Nope, biographies only show how individual’s interpret something. I’m not a Moslem; but have read the Quran and history of Islam. If someone uses ISIS, Al Qaeda, or the Taliban as instances of Islam, one could use Aryan Nations or the Holy Inquisition as instances of Christianity.

A really good book to start with: Erich Fromm’s “Marx’s Concept of Man”, just to start with. Stalin would more than likely have either executed Karl Marx and Engels or sent them to the Siberian Gulag. It is difficult to know what would have happened if Lenin lived longer. What happened after the Russian Revolution when the White Army was still fighting them, when the U.S. actually had soldiers on Russian soil, doesn’t say what Lenin would have done once peace established. In World War I, the U.S. basically suspended the Bill of Rights, people were given lengthy prison sentences for just being heard saying: “this war is just to benefit the industrialists”. And the prison guards were particularly brutal to those people. What does this say about American democracy?
In addition, American citizens of German extraction, if heard speaking German, were killed and juries found them non-guilty. We also have the internment of the Japanese during World War II, which was bad enough; but, because they couldn’t pay taxes on their farms, they were auctioned off. Really, intern someone, then tax them when they can’t work!

Read, for instance: Geoffrey R. Stone’s “Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime”

Greg:

There are many ways to estimate parents’ or voters’ or adults’ ( all different figures -btw-) beliefs about vaccines: are there any polls that show that a majority is anti-vaccine? I have never seen a poll where large numbers ( more than 10%) oppose vaccines: some say they have concerns** etc. People vaccinate their kids in large numbers.

BLF’s website NVIC’s map shows that many states still have medical, religious and philosophical exemptions: do these places have an overwhelming number of exemptions? ** They don’t. CA and NY had to tighten rules about exemptions because of pockets of anti-vaccine sentiment yet until recently, parents could easily get exemptions. Why didn’t they, if they opposed vaccines- the rate was high even then ( but not the necessary 95%)? Opponents in NY claim that
26,000 kids are affected by the new rules: what proportion of kids is that in a state with a vast population? NYC alone has around 8 million people.

Anti-vaxxers claim that they have great numbers but do we see that demonstrated? A few things would happen: we’d see larger numbers of exemptions or flights to private schools or home schooling. I imagine that politicians would pick up on this and become more vocal: has anyone running for mayor ( of a medium-large city), a congressional seat, governor or president done so? In fact, those who hinted about vaccines had to re-phrase publicly. Even the Donald. No where is this considered a major issue. Anti-vax websites, twitter, Facebook wouldn’t struggle to get 10,000 supporters ( I’ve never seen more than 50 or 60K** ) A turnout of 500 in Sacramento doesn’t say much in a state of 40 million.

People who are immersed in anti-vaccine society think that the whole world is with them: There are “millions” of “vaccine injured children and their parents” claims one natural health advocate (PRN): where are they? Even if ALL parents of kids with ASDs were anti-vax ( they adamantly aren’t) that would involve only 1+% of all kids.

** this stuff is easy to find on the internet

Denice, with this spiel you are making two main mistake. First, you are discounting
the quantity of antivaxx support by ceasing on exemption figures. As mentioned, many vaccine hesitant parents skip one or more vaccines for their kids but may not necessarily go through the formality of obtaining exemptions. Also, even parents that vaccinate may still lean antivaxx and reject provaxx legislation, as is the case with Christine.

Second, ceasing on opinion polls you are neglecting
the quality of artivaxx support. Even if only 10% of the population identifies as antivaxx, it matters that these people are passionate and committed to their cause. Contrast them with the 90% who may state in opinion polls that they support vaccines but are largely apathetic to the issue.

Consider Denice, why didn’t any of the 90% of people who state they’re provaxxers in opinion polls show up at the CA Parliament and counter the riled up antivaxxers by voicing their support of SB276? Denice, when the next election rolls around who do you think will remain committed to the fight, searching out the candidates and party that support their vaccination stance? Who do you think will remain passive, more preoccupied with other issues. Yet again, we see how the public’s gullibility both helps you guys and hurt you.

@ Greg

Wrong as usual. Since the legislation only reduces the number of false medical exemptions, parents who vaccinate their kids aren’t affected. Yep, ia antivaccinationists increase, herd immunity will decrease, and families with someone undergoing chemotherapy for cancer or with an autoimmune disease much less of a problem. In addition, antivaccinationists often subscribe to paranoid conspiracy theories, see the world in black and white, etc, resulting in much stronger emotions than the rational majority. I am strongly pro vaccine; but I am not about to fly to Sacramento to demonstrate.

And it isn’t the CA Parliament, it’s the CA legislature.

Not once have you given any indication that you have actually tried to understand how vaccines, e.g. basics of immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, etc, nor the seriousness of many of the vaccine-preventable diseases. You just continue to show your ignorance and bias based on it.

By the way, pro vaccine parents have demonstrated and showed up at town hall meetings around the U.S., particularly regarding allow unvaccinated kids in schools.

The fact that a fringe group is more emotional, more vociferous about its position, isn’t proof of anything.

To have ”voting clout” you’ve actually got to vote.

And if you want to gain legitimacy and support from legislators, it’s not smart to march around wearing Guy Fawkes masks, send threatening e-mails or ally yourselves with fringe groups like the Nation of Islam.

Roadsterguy, I think I love you. I quoted the immortal Royko on the abuse of one of the world’s most beautiful languages, Chicagoese, in a comment on the Skeptical OB several years ago! (Aside – can you believe the quality of work he turned out five days a week?)

@ DB,

a couple more are on the horizon pneumonia and improved shingles vaccines

ANOTHER shingles vaccine? What’s wrong with the Shingrix (besides that it’s always in a perpetual shortage)?

DB may very well have meant Shingrix. If he didn’t though, it doesn’t mean much. Medical scientists are always working to create new or improve old vaccines.

Shingrix is a very good vaccine; nothing wrong with it other than being in perpetually short supply as you note.

Reality: Also had my pertussis shot two years ago. Wish I could get the shingles shot.

Greg: Maybe you shouldn’t comment about things you don’t understand, the latest being politics. Do you like Trump just because he’s a rapey ignorant dick like the one in your mirror? I suppose you throw rocks at toddlers too.

Also, since you’re Canadian, and apparently hate it, I suggest you immediately cease taking advantage of the national health service and move to..oh, the middle of Rainy Lake. I hear it’s fantastic this time of year- oh, and by all means, feed and pet the bears. They just love humans.

PGP –
Yeah, I had my Tdap booster 8 years ago with my last TD 10 year booster. I got it because all the grandkids were popping out babies like mad at that time (5 IIRC). The last one was 5 years ago so I haven’t needed a pertussis booster since then due to no new babies. All of them, including all the earlier ones, are fully vaccinated on schedule with no adverse reactions. I guess we can’t join the anti-vaccine cult and proclaim every kid is “vaccine injured’. In fact, of all the scores of babies born to our family and friends over the years not a single one has been “vaccine injured”.
Isn’t it amazing?
.
I’m still on the waiting list for Shingrix…
.
Got my PPSV23 a year ago and I get a yearly influenza vaccine so I’m UTD on all my vaccines as are most people with a PCP.

@ PGP:

re “rapey ignorant dick” / dicks:

A few years ago, you commented about “rape culture” etc- ( AND although I think that you may sometimes state things in a very exaggerated manner)- I have to hand it to you because those issues- including #metoo, rape in universities, incels, reddit rude dudes and assorted misogynists etc- are now au courant and newsworthy.
And we have Trump’s history as a prime example ( various accusations by many women over decades).

Greg: Maybe you shouldn’t comment about things you don’t understand, the latest being politics. Do you like Trump just because he’s a rapey ignorant dick like the one in your mirror? I suppose you throw rocks at toddlers too.

Greetings PGP, don’t know why I am now garnering your attention.. Maybe you are just bored, not being able to talk a fellow astro-turfer in playing the good-cop for another rendition of your ‘antivaxxers hate their autistic kids’ shtick. Anyway, since you are making accusations perhaps I should provide some clarifications. First, I am not a Trump ‘fanboy’. Trump is just a blowhard, peddling BS but then so do you guys. In a way though I must hand it to Trump for his craftiness: He seizes the opportunities to point out your or the Democrats’ BS, and while using it as an effective means for dishing out his own. I will also agree that Trump is crass. He is a bully; he mocks, insults, berates, and dismiss people as not worthy. Wait! – don’t you guys do the same to ‘antivaxxers’? I guess the difference is you guys feel you’re ‘right’ and justified in doing so. Wait! – doesn’t Trump feel the same about his critics? With all this said though, if I were in the US and having to choose between Trump and a Democrats I would take Trump and the Republicans, and largely because I feel they’re less likely to ram forced medicine down my throat.

Second, insinuations are being made that I am a rapist or support rape. Indeed at this point some of the ‘antivaxxers’ here may be curious about the source of such claims. ‘Antivaxxers’ who are paying attention, first I want to make perfectly clear that in no way do I condone rape. I consider their comments stem from an incident that transpired here several months ago and which led to my second banishment from these blogs (yes, I am guilty, I consider the banishments as pegs of achievements). With the incident, I argued that they physical act of forced vaccination, sticking someone with a needle outside of their consent was very much comparable to rape, sticking someone with your member outside of their consent. I argued that the only difference that can be claimed is with forced vaccination we have a good reason to violate the person. We are protecting the individual and her community from diseases. We are raping for a good reason. I followed up by pointing out that on occasions rape has also been defended as providing a good, such as the woman was the property of the man and the man’s needs were more important.

Many of the shills here responded to my comparison with ‘feigned’ disgust, but I kept challenging them to state the qualitative grounds that forced vaccination could be seen as different than rape. Of course the kerfuffle caught Orac’s attention and he warned me to cease and desist or I would be zapped. I did not and was zapped. ‘Antivaxxers’, this is whole ‘sordid’ episode that is inspiring their ‘rapey’ moniker.

@ Greg

False analogy, rape and vaccinations. Rape is a violent assault not only on someone’s body; but on their basic concept of self, a total invasion. A shot in the arm or, in some cases, an oral vaccine, doesn’t even come close. In addition, one could include drawing blood for required annual physicals, even using a tongue suppressor as rape.

And rape is not sexual; but an act of aggression to harm, humiliate another human being. Vaccinating, drawing blood, even tongue suppressors is an act to improve/help the individual and protect the community as well.

@Julian – Yes…seriously. No argument…just posting. Why are you commenting? From what I can recall, you are not from the U.S. What’s your country’s opinion of pHARMa?

Ms. White, who are you to restrict comments from those outside a certain country? Though your criteria would also restrict the brain droppings of Greg.

Flip side, a poll at the MN State Fair this year found that 74% of people support restricting non-medical exemptions, with 52% saying eliminate all non-medical exemptions, and an additional 22% saying eliminate only the non-religious exemptions. https://www.senate.mn/departments/secretary/info/statefair.

Terrie read my comment to Denice. Polls should be taken with a grain of salt because they don’t tell us how committed people are to their ‘beliefs’. Again — where were those 74% provaxxers to show up to the Californian Legislature and confront the angry mobs of ‘antivaxxers’? Terrie, tomorrow if SB276 were to be scrapped that 74% would still be sleeping, and save for the bought media wailing what a cataclysmic blow to public health that is. As for the 26% antivaxxers, they would be dancing in the streets.
Terrie, for what it’s worth, I would wager that the ‘antivaxxers’ have more informed, committed support. All the provaxxers have are the gullible masses that haven’t spent more that two seconds on the issue other than digesting their pill that vaccines are ‘safe and effective’, and the rest being ‘incentivized’ supporters.

@ Natalie White

Yep, the pharmaceutical industry isn’t trusted. Over the past several decades, thanks to their leveraging political pressure, over 25 drugs that FDA officers recommended against approving, were approved, only later to be removed after harming numerous individuals. And they keep increasing their prices, far in excess of any legitimacy based on their exaggerated development costs. However, despite this, many drugs on the market do benefit people. Insulin is absolutely necessary for Type 1 diabetics. Albuterol for asthmatics. Antibiotics for septicemia. And on and on it goes. So, I am quite aware of the problems. However, despite these, I do my homework, so I know which of their products to avoid and which to use. Not always possible; but Public Citizen, a high quality consumer group, recommends not using a new drug for seven years, time for any problems to emerge, unless, there is NO other drug and it is life or limb threatening, then one doesn’t have a choice. So, given vaccines history, the fact that the regulations for their approval, the post-marketing surveillance, etc. that is far more rigorous than any other pharmaceutical or even foods, and the long history of vaccines, i strongly support vaccines, while not trusting the companies. I look at the vaccine research, not just in U.S. but around the world.

In our complex world it takes time and effort to keep safe. Even then not always possible; but antivaccinationists choose to see the world in black and white. If 1 kid in million seriously harmed by vaccines, ignoring the history and risk from the actual disease that might have killed and harmed thousands. We don’t live in a perfect world where vaccines confer 100% protection and zero risk; but the ratio is exponential in their favor.

They downplay the diseases, out of sight out of mind, believing, for instance, an episode on the sitcom Brady Bunch where the six kids are home with measles. I guess they also believe the sitcom Hogan’s Heros, that being an American soldier prisoner of war in Nazi German prison camps was a barrel of laughs.

Another musing…
‘Antivaxxers’ point out how deceitful Pan is for backpedalling on his promise that doctors would have the final say on exemptions, but is Pan and the Democrats also now ‘punking’ the Governor by ramming the bill so fast through to his desk — and without granting him his requested exemptions? Are they telling him, ‘who is Daddy is’?

@Chris – You’re funny. How am I restricting comments? I asked him why he is commenting and about his country. I’m all about freedom. Haven’t you figured that out?

@Terrie – Interesting…didn’t realize there were so many stoners in Minnesota.

You told someone not to comment because he was not in the USA. You actually told Julian: “Why are you commenting? From what I can recall, you are not from the U.S”

So along with not reading the links you post, you can’t even remember what you typed.

@Chris – I think it is more a comprehension matter and you making ASSumptions. I even asked him a question, so how is that restricting him? No sarcasm intended and not a rhetorical question. You just wanna dance.

@ Natalie

Rather foolish comment. I’m in my mid-70s, regular blood donor. My BP is usually 120/70 or less, total cholesterol 170, etc. I’m on NO medication. Just vegan diet, no added sugar (e.g., black coffee, no desserts), and lots of exercise, twice daily mile walk dog, 45 minutes to hour daily at YMCA gym.

Vaccinate Your Family expanded their mission to all ages from up to two, lost one of their staff, so weren’t able to post more of my articles. Science-Based Medicine has kindly posted two and I am working on a third; but it took quite some time to get all the documents and the current heat wave, don’t feel like doing much over my exercise program. Hopefully, I will submit it to them before end of October.

@Joel – You are the exception, the anomaly and for that, hat’s off to you! I am glad you do not have to take medication and are able to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Good day and good health!

@Joel

I refuted your argument already to show why the rape comparison is indeed valid. Truth be told though, I am bored with talking about rape. I prefer to push myself by finding other creative ways to ‘offend’ you guys.

@Orac
Could you not have a little mercy and slow down your vaccine blogs. You have a new one on Wakefield. The heightened arousal is quite stressful, and as I debate whether to jump threads. Can’t you write a few more blogs about clinical trials or Bruzinski (sp?) which no one reads?

@ Greg

Perhaps, in your mind you refuted my argument, not surprising given your lack of logic, hyperbole, and just plain bullshit.

Greg: ‘Many anti-vaxxers hate their autistic kids’ is not a schtick, it’s a FACT. No one who loves a kid would pour bleach down their kids throat. All your friends at Age of Autism spend hours on the internet, ignoring their kids. Kim Rossi straight up ditched her kids- isn’t she still in Europe? I do have to concede that the girls are probably better off without her. (Psst, Christine, take notes.) And again, you made up a kid to try to impress people on the internet.

Greg: I followed up by pointing out that on occasions rape has also been defended as providing a good, such as the woman was the property of the man and the man’s needs were more important. Many of the shills here responded to my comparison with ‘feigned’ disgust.

You were defending marital rape. You basically said you saw no reason that it was wrong, because it had been legal in the past. And no, that disgust wasn’t feigned, it was real, and then you doubled down on it by threatening a few of the commenters, because women don’t have feelings, right, redpiller?

Don’t forget, he would vote for a credibly accused rapist over any Democrat to fulfil his antivax agenda.

You were defending marital rape. You basically said you saw no reason that it was wrong, because it had been legal in the past. And no, that disgust wasn’t feigned, it was real, and then you doubled down on it by threatening a few of the commenters, because women don’t have feelings, right, redpiller?

PGP, I would laugh but I figure some Lurkers might actually believe you. Was that really what transpired? Prove it! I am linking the exact thread for you, and anyone for that matter, to find any passage supporting your accusation. Please identify any passage where I condoned rape and veered from my steadfast argument that rape was wrong and so too was physically assault a person with a needle outside of their consent.

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2019/03/15/vaccine-mandates-medical-rape/

Oh, so you think rape is “wrong”, do you? Oh sure it’s wrong, but not wrong enough to discourage you from choosing a rapist for president simply because he might favour your fixed delusions about vaccines.

Greg: ‘Many anti-vaxxers hate their autistic kids’ is not a schtick, it’s a FACT. No one who loves a kid would pour bleach down their kids throat. All your friends at Age of Autism spend hours on the internet, ignoring their kids. Kim Rossi straight up ditched her kids- isn’t she still in Europe? I do have to concede that the girls are probably better off without her. (Psst, Christine, take notes.) And again, you made up a kid to try to impress people on the internet.

Again PGP, it is quite obvious that you’re full of it, but in case any lurkers might be tempted to entertain this suggestion that ‘anti-vaxxers’ hate their autistic kids, here is something to dispel that. If you sit down with many autism parent, struggling to care for a disabled child, they will report many scary challenging stuff. Fear of their kids beating them up, beating siblings up, beating strangers up; frustration with broken things, broken furniture, broken walls, broken marriages; frustration with messes, a ransacked house, changing diapers and having to continually fuss with shit and urine; stress of being judged, dirty accusatory looks from strangers, why doesn’t she do a better job looking after her kid, why doesn’t she establish some discipline; stress of battling for more support for your kid, fights with schools, fights for more support and funding, struggling not to go broke… Yes PGP, autism parents including ‘antivaxxers’ fear many things that go with their kids’ disability, but do you know what they will state as their biggest worry? They will tell you it’s the fear of after they are dead what will happen to their kid.

PGP, reflect on that for a moment. If you truly hate someone, why would that be your biggest worry? Why would you stress about what will happen to your kid that you genuinely hate after you’re dead? PGP, these parents don’t hate their kids. They might hate their kids’ autism to core, with every fibre of their body, but they nevertheless love their kids.

@ Politicalguineapig

I have to strongly disagree with your claim that parents hate their autistic kids. Yep, pouring bleach down someones throat, chelation therapy, and dozens of other approaches are both horrendous and beyond STUPID; but, they are acts of desperation by people who can’t accept that the current level of scientifically validated therapies can’t “cure” their kids. Even the current best approach Applied Behavior Therapy doesn’t make someone on the Spectrum normal; but does often allow them to function much better.

Unfortunately, combine desperation, the poor level most Americans receive in education on the basics of scientific methodology/thinking and critical thinking, together with the propaganda of “cures” from complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, and we have a perfect storm.

So, no, while there might be some parents who hate their kids on the Spectrum, just as there are parents who hate their “normal” kids, the majority resort to such horrendous treatments out of desperation and love.

Joel, having read the way many antivaxxers talk about their kids, they do not like their kids. It might not rise to the level of hate, but it’s certainly not a healthy attitude about their children. They shuffle all their negative feelings on to “the autism” and talk about their “actual” child in glowing terms, as if these were separate things. It is quite possible to both love and resent someone at the same time.

Since we can never know what is truly in someone’s heart or mind, I couldn’t tell you whether they love or hate their children BUT what is disturbing to me is how some anti-vaxxers publicly discuss how their child/ young adult behaves or how they cannot achieve simple life skills or school tasks. One in particular, openly discusses really private matters ( toileting, feminine hygiene) that are better left alone- where she writes is not a parents’ or nurses’ manual about care for people with ID but a self-described “newspaper” of autism ( and anti-vax).in addition, she posted videos of a teenager struggling to say a word or two and displays her adult daughters’ entertainment choices which resemble those of pre-schoolers. ” Look at what she does! NO college for her”

It seems as though some of these mothers are in a competition about who has the worst case of “vaccine damage” and who is the most heroic martyred warrior for Truth.AS they relentlessly assail SBM, doctors and Pharma, I get the impression that it is misplaced hatred maybe if not exactly for their children but for their current life traumas.
In addition, they split the “autism” ( how the child behaves/ fails to achieve/ is not at least average) from the idealised child in their imagination- i.e. what might have been.: a perfect successful achiever whom one can brag about. People are not divided into parts : they are autistic people– there is not a dividing line arbitrarily drawn to please a parent’s ego. Early psychologists/ psychoanalysts used to talk about “splitting” as a mechanism of defence while I cannot endorse that, it sometimes almost seems as if we do see something that looks like that.
ASDs are part of who the person IS not something added on that can be erased..

TBruce: Of course. Rapists tend to stick together. (That and I bet Greg has a rich fantasy life starring Ivanka Trump, another thing he has in common with the Great Mango.)

DW: Don’t see it, weirdly enough. The ‘net ate a couple of comments on this thread, I noticed.

Sears is not at all happy about a new amendment to SB276, reached between Dr. Pan and the Governor (that hopefully this time leads to the Governor signing this bill):

Another new provision could revoke any medical exemptions written by Robert Sears, a Southern California doctor who has been disciplined by the Medical Board of California for writing an improper vaccine exemption.

The provision would apply to exemptions written by any doctor who has faced disciplinary action, but at this time Sears is the only California doctor to be disciplined regarding vaccine exemptions, said Carlos Villatoro, a medical board spokesman.

Sears told The Los Angeles Times it would result in hundreds of his patients losing their exemptions.

“This seems like a broad overreach from a government that is supposed to protect its medically fragile children,” he said.

I hope the Medical Board of California decides to be more aggressive and also goes after other illegitimate exemption-writing physicians, such as Stoller, Gordon and Zandvliet, all of whom have written many exemptions and deserve disciplinary action for doing so.

Source: https://www.kcra.com/article/vaccine-bill-california-newsom-pan-deal/28945591#

Indeed Christoper, I also read about the deal that was struck between Pan and the Governor. I would say what we’re witnessing is a morphing of the vaccination war from an ideological one to a class one. And so the story goes…

In the past, the stakeholders encouraged the masses to drink from the well, suggesting it was a good thing and indeed they too may have genuinely believed that. The convinced masses did indeed drink but the problem started when many started getting sick in increasing numbers. They became sceptics, warning others of the dangers of the well. Despite provoking their ire, how could the stakeholders not secretly agree with the ‘sceptics when witnessing all the injuries about the land? How could they not secretly consider that the well may not be what its cracked up to be, its potion not entirely ‘safe and effective’?

Yet, how could the stakeholders also forsake what had brought them so much gains? They could not, they will not. They must continue to convince the people to keep drinking from the well. They must force them if needs be and for that they will need new allies. Of course the ‘influential’ ones make the best allies, but unfortunately for the stakeholders some of these candidates (pun intended) may also be wary. Some of them too may have sustained injures or are intimately aware of the dangers of the well. .

To win over these special type of allies new relationships must be forged. Promises must be made. Reassurances must be granted where these ‘influential’ ones are incentivized to get others to drink from the well, but being exempted (pun intended) from drinking themselves. The ideology may be lost but the gains can continue. Its best conduit now being of course — class!

@ Greg

What fantasy world do you live in? Many who refuse vaccinations are well-educated suburban middle class whites. So, do you mean it is class warfare against them? If by class you mean some can afford to pay doctors to give exemptions that aren’t valid, perhaps; but you build your case on your delusional belief that vaccines do more harm than good which contradicts both the history of vaccine-preventable diseases and their current status in the world, but a plane flight away from the U.S. I wonder what would happen if some terrorist unleashed smallpox, variola major, in the world. Before we could vaccinate even a portion of the population we would literally have 10s of millions of deaths. Or, perhaps, eliminate vaccine for rubella and we could have up to 50,000 stillbirths and congenital rubella syndrome (mental retardation, seizure disorder, blindness, deafness, microcephaly), or measles, 1 to 2 million cases, around 100,000 hospitalizations, around 1,000 deaths, another 1,000 suffering encephalitis leading to deafness, blindness, mental retardation, and seizure disorders and several dozen dying a few years later from subacute sclerotic panencephalitis. And on and on it goes.

Why don’t you just crawl back under the rock you popped out from? I guess you are enamored by the sound of your own voice.

When anti-vaxxers like Greg bring back enough disease outbreaks, the anti-vax will have no allies and “class” won’t matter because these diseases don’t recognize “class”.

@Orac
PGP has accused me of being a rapist/condoning rape. I have challenged her to quote anything I have written on these blogs to support such an accusation. Orac, I ask, is it in keeping with the rules of your blog to hurl such grevious, unsubstantiated accusations. Or are they permissible providing ‘antivaxxers’ are the only targets?

Another clown pretending to take the moral high ground. TBruce, wanna know the essential difference between Trump and the Democrats? Trump stresses less about pretending to take the moral high ground.

Yeah TBruce, I am not cool with anyone raping anyone. I am also not cool.with impairing kids neurologically and then denying it. Yeah, keep denying it. Actually TBruce — don’t!

trump doesn’t “pretend to take the moral high ground” because he wouldn’t recognize it if it hit him in the face. He is a malignant narcissist who has no concept of morality. He operates on shame.

Yeah TBruce, I am not cool with anyone raping anyone.

..with one prominent exception, right?

You’re as delusional about Trump as you are about vaccines.

@ Terrie and Denise

Yep, some parents with kids on the spectrum don’t appear to have unconditional love; but neither do some parents with “normal” kids. The ones we hear most are the rabid antivaccinationist parents of kids on the spectrum and I doubt they represent the majority. Just as an anecdote, someone I was good friends with as an undergrad had to work his way through school because he chose a major his father was against. Some parents think they have the right to choose their children’s future. Read Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” about kids:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I know families that have declared children dead for converting to another religion or marrying someone outside their religion or ethnic group.

However, whether a parent has mixed feelings, including “hate” for a child on the spectrum may play a role in deciding on desperate horrible therapies; but even people who love their children with various disabilities, and accept them, often would still like them to be “normal”, to be able to achieve as much as possible in this life and so, might, due to ignorance, fall for some sales pitch.

I, for one, wish our public schools did a much better job of teaching the basics of scientific thinking and methodology and critical thinking and logic, rather than leaving it to “Google University.”

Greg: I’m not the only commenter who thought you came off as rapey. Maybe you should sit in a corner and think about why you’re trying to intimidate me, and not, say motsubatsu. Because I’m a woman and you think I should be bullied into silence? Gee, how not rapey of you. (Because you’re hard of thinking, that was sarcasm.)

I’ll take this as you conceding to libel after you were challenged to quote any passage supporting this…

You were defending marital rape. You basically said you saw no reason that it was wrong, because it had been legal in the past. And no, that disgust wasn’t feigned, it was real, and then you doubled down on it by threatening a few of the commenters, because women don’t have feelings, right, redpiller?

Greg: You should take it as ‘I have a life and a few thousand better things to do than trawl through an internet thread on the weekend.’ You should really get one of those, instead of whining about people hurting your feelings on the net. By the way, libel only applies to public officials, jackass. What you have is a bad case of incel butthurt.

By the way, libel only applies to public officials, jackass.

What? Jesus, just ignore him rather than emitting legal gibberish.

What? Jesus, just ignore him rath

Ignore him? Narad, if I accused you of being a rapist wouldn’t you insist that I back that up? For what it’s worth, I just think you’re a boring thesaurus. Oh — and I have lots of stuff to back that up!

Ignore him? Narad, if I accused you of being a rapist wouldn’t you insist that I back that up?

Gerg, no, I wouldn’t, because, Gerg, (1) nobody really gives a shit about your Gerpinion and (2) I’m not one to make a fool of myself bleating moronically and impotently about libel, Gerg.

Bleating ironically and impotently? Narad, did you read your own link…

Opinion based on disclosed facts — “look at this article about what he did, Elon Musk clearly has a personality disorder” — are not defamatory. But a statement reasonably taken as one of fact — or an opinion expressed in a way to imply false undisclosed facts — can be defamatory.

PGP did not just share an opinion that I am rapist based on what I wrote, but she engaged in falsehood, lying about what I wrote, to defame me. No Narad – I won’t sue PGP because everyone knows she is full of crap. Just saying I have a good.case.

Bleating ironically [sic] and impotently? Narad, did you read your own link

Yes, Gerg, including the parts that you chose not to cherry-pick, e.g., “Whether something is a statement of fact is determined by context, as viewed by people familiar with it.” I’m also pretty sure that you, Gerg, did not bother to read any relevant documents in this matter.

Just saying I have a good.case.

Gerg, Gardner (see n.1 in Unsworth) guarantees that you, Gerg, couldn’t think your way out of a wet paper sack.

Look you cryptic computer who no one can understand, and probably including yourself, there is no cherry picking or ‘context’ to worry about. PGP defamed me based on a factual false claim, attributing words to me that I didn’t write. No subjective opinion was implied.

PGP did not just share an opinion that I am rapist

This is not that she said.
She said ‘rapey’.
Meaning, she thinks you sound like the sort of guy who would trot out ‘boys will be boys’, and generally excuse and enable abusive behavior among your fellow guys.
Feminists and a few others call this to be part of ‘toxic masculinity’.
PGP may be wrong in thinking that. But last time I checked, she is allowed to think and write that.

lying about what I wrote

Good luck defending that, on a thread (one among recent others) where your colleagues – people whose behavior you explicitly defended and approved – have regularly misrepresented that others wrote, and openly called us pharma shills, baby-killers, children abusers, and what-not.

Actually, you have some gall being offended at being called “rapey”, when on the very same thread you trotted your vaccine = rape analogy.
That goes around comes around.

to defame me

That would require for you to have a fame worth sullying.

Good luck defending that, on a thread (one among recent others) where your colleagues – people whose behavior you explicitly defended and approved – have regularly misrepresented that others wrote, and openly called us pharma shills, baby-killers, children abusers, and what-not.

Well, I also honestly believe you guys are pharma shills, baby-killers, children abusers, and what not. Now since that’s an honest opinion that’s not defamation. Now, on the shill front, if I said I have evidence of you guys plotting with Merck reps and in which money was exchanged and it turns out not to be true, then that would be defamation. In lying about what I wrote, PGP conduct was in keeping with that type of defamation.

Athaic:Meaning, she thinks you sound like the sort of guy who would trot out ‘boys will be boys’, and generally excuse and enable abusive behavior among your fellow guys.
Feminists and a few others call this to be part of ‘toxic masculinity’.
PGP may be wrong in thinking that. But last time I checked, she is allowed to think and write that.

Thank you for understanding. That was exactly my intent. Maybe he’ll get it coming from a fellow dude. Or not. We seem to have an infestation of the hard of thinking around here.

Greg: And I honestly believe you’re a creep. So why don’t you dial your fratboy butthurt down a notch, hmm?

Wasn’t Greg the one that liked the comparison of vaccines with rape? I still prefer vaccination, blood drawing or a drip over being raped.

Anyone who compares vaccines with rape is probably a creep.

@ Renate:

I don’t remember exactly but I think he might have responded inappropriately to someone who had said she was raped or made light of the issue in another way. This might have led to a ban by Orac or been a partial factor. I don’t recall exactly.
Narad is usually the person to link directly back to the damning comment but in this case I think that he’s too disgusted with Greg to even try. Rape isn’t the only issue- his descriptions of people with ASDs are insulting.
Actually, there’s enough damning commentary on recent threads to show his particular bent.

@ Denice

Precisely.
Greg repeated and defended his vaccine = rape meme right on this thread.

Trigger warning, Greg is quite… precise in his description. And then he wonders why other people may find him creepy. Here is just the start.

I argued that they physical act of forced vaccination, sticking someone with a needle outside of their consent was very much comparable to rape

Rape is just like vaccination. Just this week I read about a frat party where the girls who got drunk and passed out were all injected with the MMR vaccine. The Congolese army is being accused of mass vaccination of women, and even children as young as two. The Syrian army is setting up vaccination camps for women and even men. Prison inmates have been selected by older and tougher inmates to be their vaccine bitches. Forcible vaccinators will get off when their lawyers ask the victim, “You could just have moved your arm. Why didn’t you?” It goes way back in history. Think of the vaccination of the Sabine women in ancient Rome.
See, just like rape.*
Of course, he could have been comparing vaccination to the plant canola oil comes from.

*Gregger, go vaccinate yourself, you stupid mothervaccinator.

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