An antivaccine “Circle of Mamas” has “questions” about vaccines. Orac has answers.

There’s a technique often used by denialists, pseudoscientists, and cranks to sow doubt, disgust, and fear about the science that they deny, while pretending to be either asking innocent questions, playing Devil’s advocate, or even trying to use the Socratic method to teach. It’s known as “JAQing off,” a play on “Just Asking Questions.” The basic idea behind JAQing off is to keep asking leading (or, arguably more accurately, misleading) questions in order to influence the audience, regardless of the actual answers. When called out on the misleading questions, the denialist’s frequent response is along the lines of, “Hey, I was just asking questions.” It’s a favorite tactic of creationists, 9/11 Truthers, believers in cancer quackery, and, of course, antivaccine activists like those behind the Circle of Mamas website. This brings me to a post on Circle of Mamas that went viral over the last few days, even though it’s nearly three weeks old and apparently drawn from an older source still, entitled Dear Provaxxers, I Have Some Questions…

Well, Circle of Mamas, you have questions, and Orac has the answers! They won’t be answers that this particular circle of clueless antivaccine moms likes, particularly given that some of them will be answers that point out how misleading and disingenuous many of the questions are, but, hey, they’re still answers! (Some of the answers might even be Insolent, either Respectfully or not-so-Respectfully.) Let’s go!

Circle of Mamas question 1:

If vaccines are so amazing, why would mothers go out on a limb to tell their story with nothing to gain and everything to lose?

It’s not too difficult to understand why this might be the case. Parents very often come to believe that their child was injured by a vaccine or vaccines by confusing correlation with causation. If, for example, they first start noticing symptoms of autism sometime soon after a vaccine, human nature is to assume that the vaccine caused it. The same thing is true of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) that happens soon after a vaccine. However, the studies have been done and have failed to find an association between vaccination and autism; between the thimerosal preservative that used to be in vaccines until nearly 20 years ago, and autism; or between vaccination and SIDS. (Indeed, if anything, vaccination appears to decrease the risk of SIDS; at the very least we can say with great confidence that there is no association.)

Here’s the thing, though. Parents love their children with a strength that is arguably greater than any other love. So it’s not surprising that if they have convinced themselves, even erroneously through the very human tendency to confuse correlation with causation, that vaccines were responsible for whatever health condition that their child has, they’re very likely to “go out on a limb” to tell their story, even if doing so causes problems for them. That they would do so is not good evidence that they have correctly interpreted the experiences of their child and themselves to be good evidence that vaccines somehow injured their child. In other words, it’s very possible to be passionate, well-intentioned, and nonetheless very much wrong in believing that vaccines cause autism, SIDS, or whatever other health issue a child has.

Circle of Mamas question #2:

If the science is settled…and vaccines cannot cause autism/autism like symptoms why did Hannah Poling receive 1.5 million due to her regression into autism? ⁣

She didn’t. The way antivaxxers spun the Hannah Poling verdict was an attempt to rebrand mitochondrial disease as autism, as I wrote about over a decade ago, and, ultimately, to spin a conspiracy theory about a coverup. It’s a conspiracy theory that the likes of reporter turned antivaccine conspiracy theorist and propagandist Sharyl Attkisson has been flogging more of late by harping on a statement by a Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a neurologist who’s become a useful idiot for the antivaccine movement.

Circle of Mamas question #3:

Why do you think science is settled when tobacco, asbestos, DDT, etc were once considered settled science and the people who questioned it were considered crazy?

First off, I like how the link to “asbestos” has almost nothing to do with asbestos and the link to DDT is about the wild conspiracy theories antivaxxers Mark Blaxill and Dan Olmstead once promoted linking DDT and other pesticides with polio. Secondly, this is nothing more than a “science was wrong before” argument, which is not a good argument to use, given that it’s simply an appeal to uncertainty that’s based on almost no uncertainty. Seriously, if you’re going to argue that vaccines are harmful, you really do need to bring evidence other than pointing out that there have been mistakes in science. Also, much of the reason that the evidence finding that, for instance, tobacco was harmful was attacked was because of the influence of the tobacco companies, which spent a lot of money to coverup the evidence, mislead about the evidence, and produce evidence of its own of low quality to shed doubt on the emerging scientific consensus that tobacco caused lung cancer, heart disease, and a host of other ailments. As for asbestos, you’ll see that, once the large definitive studies of the link between asbestos and mesothelioma were published in the early 1960s, they were rapidly accepted, and there had been suspicions that asbestos caused mesothelioma dating back to the 1930s.

Basically, this is a disingenuous, misleading question.

Circle of Mamas question #4:

Why were the top 4 vaccine manufacturers sued and found guilty for not running a single safety test on any vaccine offered in the US?⁣

I wasn’t sure what this was about when I first read it, but then realized that it’s probably a misinterpretation of Del Bigtree’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services. (If I’m wrong about this, perhaps Circle of Mamas could provide a link to a story about the actual lawsuit.) Even a reading of the press release by Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), Del Bigtree’s antivaccine organization, doesn’t agree with the way this question is framed. Fortunately, Dorit Reiss wrote an excellent summary of Del Bigtree’s legal action against DHSS. All this action showed was that HHS failed to submit did not file certain reports on vaccine safety that it had been required to report. What it most definitely does not mean is that the top four vaccine manufacturers were “found guilty” of “not running a single safety test on any vaccine offered in the US”?

As Reiss observes:

The stipulation does not mean that HHS did not work on vaccine safety, or that there is not abundant research on the topic. Multiple Institute of Medicine reports – now the National Academy of Science – looked at vaccines. These detailed reports summarize a large body of studies and draw conclusions based on this ongoing data. HHS commissions these reports. In July 2014, a large report on vaccine safety commissioned by HHS was also completed.

Also, Melinda Wharton of the CDC responded to Del Bigtree’s claims in detail, refuting them all handily.

Circle of Mamas question #5:

Why do you compare America to third world countries when it comes to illness counts and deaths? We don’t drink from the same water we shit in. You know that right?

We don’t make any such comparisons. I note that the link in the question above is to an antivaccine screed claiming that all the improvements in public health and infectious disease are due to improvements in sanitation. I love to respond to that one with an example from a mere three decades ago, the introduction of the vaccine against Haemophilus influenza type b. It’s a disease that can be quite deadly, causing a wide spectrum of disease ranging from meningitis to pneumonia. I saw cases during my training in the late 1980s; they were horrible. According to the History of Vaccines:

Before Hib vaccination, about 20,000 children younger than five developed severe Hib disease in the United States each year, and about 1,000 died. By 2006, the number of reported Hib cases was down to only 29 for the year. Now, while the majority of fatalities from Hib disease are reported in developing countries where the Hib vaccine is not widely used, fatalities still occur in developed nations when vaccination rates drop. Seven cases of invasive Hib disease were reported in Pennsylvania during a six-month period starting in October 2008. Only one of the children had received a Hib vaccination (and had received only one of the recommended doses). Three of the children died.

Sanitation did not change much between the late 1980s and 2006. The vaccine was responsible for causing the number of cases of Hib to drop from 20,000 to a couple of dozen a year and nearly completely eliminating death from this dread disease, not improvements in sanitation.

Circle of Mamas question #6:

If you cannot die from a vaccine why was Holly’s Law created?

Holly’s law is a New Jersey law that says simply that parents can ask to have a child’s antibody titer checked and, if the titer is high enough, can forego additional MMR vaccination for that child. It is named for Holly Stavola, a five-year-old girl who developed encephalitis after her second dose of the MMR vaccine in 2005, resulting in a vegetative state that ultimately led her to being taken off life support. It’s hard to find out much about the case other than highly biased accounts on antivaccine websites, but there was Vaccine Court settlement for $250,000, because encephalopathy was a table injury, meaning that the Vaccine Court assumes it to have been from the vaccine if it happens within a certain timeframe after vaccination.

This question is a straw man, though. No one, at least no physician or other health professional, says that you can’t die from a vaccine, just that it’s incredibly rare and that the risk of serious complications from vaccines is far lower than that from the diseases vaccinated against.

Circle of Mamas question #7:

Why do you insist that they are safe when the top health officials admitted that they don’t know if vaccines are safe at the World Health Organization Vaccine Safety Summit?

The short version is that “top health officials” at the WHO Vaccine Safety Summit “admitted” no such thing. That claim comes from a viral video by Del Bigtree that cherry picked statements taken out of context. In particular, antivaxxers intentionally misrepresented one official’s statement that vaccine safety monitoring systems in Third World Countries were nowhere near as robust as what we have in wealthy industrialized countries as implying that vaccine safety monitoring systems are inadequate everywhere. They also ignore the fact that the discussion among these WHO officials during which these statements were made was primarily about how to bring vaccine safety monitoring systems in poor countries up to the standards of such systems in wealthy countries. For the long version, read my recent post.

Circle of Mamas question #8:

Why do you trust your doctor when the Chief Scientist of the CDC said that doctors and nurses school curriculum on vaccines is about half a day long and they are not equipped to answer why deaths occurred from a vaccine?⁣

The “chief scientist of the CDC” said no such thing. This particular claim appears to have been misattributed. In reality, it comes from the cherry picked statements circulated by Del Bigtree mentioned in response to Question #7. (If it’s not, perhaps Circle of Mamas could provide…oh, you know…a link showing that the “chief scientist of the CDC” said this.) In brief, Heidi Larson, an anthropologist and Director of the WHO’s Vaccine Confidence Project, said:

When the frontline professionals are starting to question or they don’t feel like they have enough confidence about the safety to stand up to it to the person asking them the questions. I mean, most medical school curriculums, even nursing school curriculums, I mean in medical school, you’re lucky if you have a half day on vaccines, never mind keeping up to date with all this.

I and a lot of other doctors called bullshit on her claim about medical school curricula. For one thing, there’s a lot more that relates to vaccines than just studying the vaccines. We study immunology, pathology, microbiology, and more, and we spend many months doing it. Second, we learn more about how to interpret clinical trials in residency than in medical school.

Larson really, really, really pissed off a lot of doctors with her ignorance in making a statement like this. Indeed, quite a few of us tried to get her attention on Twitter, and I know that several tried to email her. As far as I know, no one has gotten a response. Let’s just say that, far from speaking an “inconvenient truth,” Larson has betrayed the mission of the Vaccine Confidence Project that she leads by speaking of things that she knows little of because she is not actually a health care professional.

In the end, through her thoughtless comment, Heidi Larson has given the antivaccine movement the gift of a quote that they’ll be able to point to for years and years to come, a quote that’s already served as the basis for dozens of antivaccine memes a mere month after Del Bigtree’s video first went viral.

Finally, the statement that health officials are not equipped to answer why a death occurred associated with vaccination was also not made by the “chief scientist of the CDC,” or even the chief scientist for the WHO. Rather, it was made by Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, pediatrician and Deputy Director General for Programs for the WHO, who never said or implied that vaccines aren’t safe but rather actually said that many countries don’t have very good vaccine safety monitoring systems, making it hard to determine if a death associated with vaccination was due to the vaccination or something else. Again, I discussed this before in detail.

Circle of Mamas question #9:

Why are so many other doctors and nurses AGAINST vaccines?⁣

I wish I knew the answer to that one, because every physician, every nurse, every health care professional in any capacity who is antivaccine has profoundly betrayed their calling, profession, and oath to do no harm. I guess that the best explanation I can come up with is that physicians and health care professionals are human too. Despite their education, they are susceptible to confusing correlation with causation, embracing pseudoscience, and worse. Also, it’s only a very small percentage of physicians and nurses who are antivaccine. Antivaxxers like Circle of Mamas love to make it sound as though there are so many physicians and nurses who “question” vaccines, but there aren’t. There really, really aren’t.

Circle of Mamas question #10:

Why did the Supreme Court rule them as “unavoidable unsafe”?⁣

Easy. The Supreme Court didn’t rule vaccines “unavoidably unsafe.” Also, “unavoidably unsafe” doesn’t mean what antivaxxers think it does. It refers to a product that has certain risks that can’t be eliminated because they are inherent to its nature. Indeed, “unavoidably unsafe” does not mean dangerous. Another way of looking at it is first, that this is a legal, not a scientific, term. Second, “unavoidably unsafe” simply means that the product can’t be made safer without compromising its function. I like this analogy:

Let me give you an example of what that means. The term is generally not applied to food, but if it was, peanut butter could be considered unavoidably unsafe, because some people have allergic reactions to peanut butter, and there is nothing that a peanut butter company can do to prevent that. In other words, there is no way to manufacture peanut butter without that risk being present. Thus (assuming that the product was manufactured and labelled correctly), a peanut butter company would not be liable if someone had an allergic reaction to the peanut butter, because that reaction was not the result of manufacture negligence. Now, does that mean that peanut butter is dangerous? No, obviously not. For the majority of us it is perfectly fine. “Unavoidably unsafe” does not mean that a product is dangerous and should be avoided. Rather, it simply means that are risks that cannot be removed.

I also can’t help but note that in the Supreme Court decision in which “unavoidably unsafe” was discussed, it was was not supported in the main opinion but rather in a dissenting opinion by one Justice. In fact, the Supreme Court explicitly rejected the claim that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.” These inconvenient facts don’t stop antivaxxers from misrepresenting that dissenting opinion as the actual Supreme Court ruling.

Circle of Mamas question #11:

How do you know your child is “fine” if they were vaccinated within minutes of being born? You never had a chance to find out. Would they have had the nonstop earaches, allergies, eczema, ADHD, learning disabilities…the list continues of common side effects listed on the vaccine insert. ⁣

The package insert is a legal, not a scientific document. It is, as I like to say, a CYA document. It lists every adverse event observed in clinical trials of the vaccine, whether they are thought to be related to the vaccine or not. Referring to the vaccine package insert is such a common antivaccine trope that we have a name for it: Argument by package insert. More importantly, we have epidemiological studies that show that vaccination is not associated with any of those things. That’s how we know.

Circle of Mamas question #12:

Why would vaccine manufacturers be free from all liability? The same people who killed over 55 thousand people from Vioxx and created opioid epidemic?⁣

Vaccine manufacturers are not free from all liability. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 simply said that all claims for vaccine injury must first go through a special court, now known as the Vaccine Court. Moreover, the Vaccine Court bends over backwards to make it easy for complainants. It pays legal fees and court costs, win or lose, for complainants, for instance. In addition, there are certain “table injuries” that are assumed to be due to vaccines and for which compensation is automatic. Even for conditions not assumed to be due to vaccines, the court seems to work on a less rigorous standard of evidence, giving wide latitude to experts used by complainants. Finally, vaccine manufacturers pay a tax to support the Vaccine Court and its fund to compensate families.

Circle of Mamas question #13:

Why do you trust vaccine manufacturers when they all have plead guilty to fraud?⁣

Let’s just say that this is a highly biased misrepresentation of a complicated situation.

Circle of Mamas question #14:

Why can’t you get your facts right with Dr. Wakefield? Nothing was wrong with his data, but his funding sources.

No, no, no, no, no. Wakefield was a total fraud. Seriously, Brian Deer documented Wakefield’s fraud so thoroughly that it can’t be denied.

Circle of Mamas question #15:

If Dr. Wakefield was crazy, why are there multiple peer reviewed studies supporting and duplicating the findings of the original work by Wakefield? ⁣

One notes that Circle of Mamas doesn’t actually provide references or links to these “multiple peer-reviewed studies.” I wonder why. This lack of links or citations will become hilarious (to me, at least) at the end of these “questions.” No, there are no such studies other than those by antivaccine cranks.

Circle of Mamas question #16:

If live virus vaccines don’t shed, why can’t a recently vaccinated person visit a cancer unit?⁣

They can. Shedding is not a problem or threat. This particular antivaccine propaganda talking point is based on old recommendations that were promulgated in the distant past due to an overabundance of caution. It is incredibly rare for shedding to transmit disease, even to the immunocompromised.

Circle of Mamas question #17:

And if it’s impossible to catch the measles (and other live viruses) from the vaccine why is it that immune compromised don’t get vaccinated because of that exact reason? Oh, and the insert states that you can as well. ⁣

This is just plain ignorant. In people with intact immune systems live virus vaccines like the measles vaccine in MMR are fine. They’re not fine in people with compromised immune systems because in such a population even a weakened virus strain in a vaccine can cause disease.

Circle of Mamas question #18:

What’s with you guys and herd immunity? If it did exist you would need 95% vaccination rates. But according to your beloved CDC, when you add in the adults vaccination rates we’ve only EVER reached around 60% and the fact that vaccines wane over time, where are all the epidemics?⁣

Nice misdirection there! That 95% vaccine uptake figure works perfectly well for children in schools. As for the epidemics, well, we do have outbreaks. There were a number of measles outbreaks last year, all of them in areas of low vaccine uptake.

Circle of Mamas question #19:

If vaccines are proven to shed, and herd immunity can not be obtained…how exactly are you protecting the immune compromised?⁣

Disease due to shed vaccine strain virus is exceedingly rare, even in the immunocompromised, and herd immunity can be and usually is maintained. See the answer to #16, as this question is repetitive.

Circle of Mamas question #20:

Why can an unvaccinated immune comprised child attend school but an unvaxxed child that isn’t immune compromised can’t? They both spread disease the same. ⁣

Simple. Unvaccinated immune compromised children are not unvaccinated by choice of their parents but as a consequence of their medical condition. Unvaccinated children are unvaccinated by choice of their parents and, if enough parents choose not to vaccinate their children, will be part of a group that undermines herd immunity and endangers not just the tiny number of immunocompromised children who can’t safely be vaccinated but all children at the school.

Circle of Mamas question #21:

How is the CDC an unbiased reliable source when they are funded by the vaccine companies, 50% of the CDC’s budget goes to selling and promoting vaccines, and they own 57 vaccine patents?⁣

Note that the CDC is funded by the federal government. As for the 50% figure devoted to promoting vaccines, I say: Show me the data. Actually, I know the data. It’s the FDA that is funded roughly 55% by federal appropriation and 45% by user fees paid by industry, not the CDC. (How can Circle of Mamas have mixed the two up?) Of course, those fees are not optional; if a company wants the FDA to approve its drug or device, it has to pay the fee. Ditto food producers for inspections. These fees in reality are taxes. The CDC, in contrast, is funded by appropriations passed by Congress.

As for the CDC, it is about so much more than vaccines, the antivaccine obsession with its supposed conflicts of interest goes beyond reason. The CDC budget is roughly $12 billion, of which less than a billion dollars goes to Immunization and Respiratory Disease, although $4.4 billion does go to Vaccines for Children. Here’s a description:

The Vaccines For Children (VFC) program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. CDC buys vaccines at a discount and distributes them to grantees—i.e., state health departments and certain local and territorial public health agencies—which in turn distribute them at no charge to those private physicians’ offices and public health clinics registered as VFC providers. Children who are eligible* for VFC vaccines are entitled to receive those vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

The CDC does not “sell vaccines.” It does buy vaccines at a reduced rate as part of this program to provide them for free to children whose families are poor. Unlike the implication in the question, the CDC is not profiting from selling vaccines.

I also note that the failure to provide links to sources is becoming a theme in these “questions.”

Circle of Mamas question #22:

Why would there be a vaccine court?⁣

Because there are vaccine injuries, some significant although rare, most relatively mild. Also, in the 1980s, when the law that formed the Vaccine Court was passed, there were so many dubious lawsuits against vaccine manufacturers that lawmakers had a legitimate concern that they would stop manufacturing vaccines.

Circle of Mamas question #22:

Why is there a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System?⁣

Because there can be adverse reactions to vaccines, as there can be to all medical interventions, perhaps? And because it’s desirable to track such adverse reactions?

Circle of Mamas question #23:

And if VAERS is “just something crazy moms use and put crazy shit down” Why did our government use 9 million of our tax dollars to pay Harvard to make it easier to navigate?⁣

This is a silly question. First, let’s dismiss the bit about Harvard, citing the Dr. Wharton’s explanation in her letter representing the CDC cited in the answer to Question #4, looking specifically at her response to the following question:

Please explain why HHS failed to cooperate with Harvard to automate VAERS reporting? And detail any steps that HHS has taken since toward automating VAERS reporting?

On June 30, 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA implemented a revised reporting form and a new process for submitting reports to the VAERS for non-manfacturer reports. Persons reporting adverse events are now able to use the VAERS 2.0 online reporting tool to submit reports directly online; alternatively, they may download and complete the writable and savable VAERS 2.0 form and submit it using an electronic document upload feature. Vaccine manufacturers submit VAERS reports electronically through the FDA Electronic Submissions Gateway (ESG). With VAERS 2.0 and the FDA ESG, multiple electronic options exist for VAERS reporting. In addition, CDC is developing the next generation of spontaneous reporting mechanisms for the VAERS. Following its initial work with Harvard, CDC completed a successful proof of concept study with Harvard and other partners that takes advantage of electronic health records (EHR) and computer algorithms to facilitate direct reporting from EHR systems. You can read about that study at https://academic.oup.com/cid/ruiicle/61/6/864/451758. CDC continues to explore options to further develop this capability.

As I’ve pointed out before, VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) is only one part of multiple redundant systems. True, VAERS is a passive reporting system, which means that it’s prone to underreporting (but also to overreporting of certain “injuries” such as autism at the behest of trial lawyers). It’s also far from the only reporting system. There are a number of active reporting systems now, systems that do not rely on people reporting adverse events that might be due to vaccines, as I’ve discussed before.

Circle of Mamas question #25:

Why have all of the “safety studies” been funded and completed by the vaccine manufacturers themselves? Why won’t they let a third party touch them? ⁣

This is, of course, simply not true. Circle of Mamas seems to think that the US is the only country in the world. Numerous vaccine safety studies have been carried out by other countries using other funding mechanisms. As for not letting a third party touch them, that might be due to Mark and David Geier having been busted trying to take Vaccine Safety Datalink data and combine databases such that patient privacy might be compromised. Actually, third parties can touch even the particular dataset that Mark and David Geier tried to abuse (the Vaccine Safety Datalink dataset). All that’s needed is a valid scientific protocol for a clinical study that’s been approved by a valid institutional review board (IRB).

Circle of Mamas question #26:

Why haven’t vaccines ever been tested against a true saline placebo?⁣

They have, of course. This “no true saline placebo” is the most brain dead antivaccine propaganda point in existence, one that’s so easy to debunk that I consider it an insult to my intelligence and knowledge when I see it.

Circle of Mamas question #27:

If vaccines cannot have any side effects, why is there a National Vaccine Injury Compensation program and why has 4 billion been paid out so far?⁣

This is not as much of a slam dunk argument as antivaxxers think it is. Many of us have written about this before, and this particular argument is downright innumerate. When compared to the many billions of doses of vaccines given over more than 30 years, as large a number as $4 billion sounds, it’s actually not all that much.

Circle of Mamas question #28:

Why are you so hellbent on polio when it’s been proven time and time again that the vaccine didn’t eradicate anything?⁣

Because no such thing has been “proven.” Not surprisingly, yet again Circle of Mamas didn’t provide a link to evidence to support this claim.

Circle of Mamas question #29:

Why do you think ingestion vs injection is the same thing when one crosses the blood brain barrier and the other is excreted out through odily waste?

This doesn’t even make sense. Circle of Mamas, clarify please. I assume they’re referring to aluminum adjuvants here, and aluminum adjuvants are very safe, dubious antivaccine misinformation notwithstanding.

Circle of Mamas question #30:

Why have all of the outbreaks of chickenpox, measles, mumps all been in 100% vaccinated communities?⁣

Maybe because they haven’t? Quite the opposite, in fact.

Circle of Mamas question #31:

Why are vaccines pushed on pregnant women when the insert clearly states that no studies have ever been done on pregnant women and the effect on the fetus is completely unknown? ⁣

Argument by package insert again. Also, maternal Tdap is safe and doesn’t cause autism in the child. Ditto the flu vaccine in pregnant women.

Circle of Mamas question #32:

You’re so against our “google degree” but did you know that we are in the day of information and it is a search engine…making medical journals, peer reviewed studies, books, everything your doctor uses…available to the public. Oh and your doctor uses it too.

It’s not the information. It’s the misinterpretation of that information by people who do not have the knowledge and understanding to interpret properly those studies in medical journals or to draw inferences from the totality of the scientific literature. It’s antivaxxers who cherry pick studies to support their preexisting beliefs and ignore the studies that don’t. That’s what bugs provaccine science advocates.

Circle of Mamas question #33:

Why do “anti-vaxxers” always have to provide you with links and sources but you never do? Why can’t you provide us with just one studyn their safety?⁣

⁣This is, quite simply, a brain dead claim. We can provide not just one study, but many studies, including long term studies. Antivaxxers simply ignore them or desperately look for reasons to discount them. Always.

Circle of Mamas question #34:

Why do you “vaccinate for the greater good” but at the same time wish death upon our children?⁣

No one “wishes death” upon anyone’s children, least of all the unvaccinated. The same can’t always be said of antivaxxers, unfortunately.

Circle of Mamas question # 35:

Why…when you demand links and sources from us you only accept the CDC as a source but you can throw whatever buzzfeed article at us?⁣ ⁣ For the first time, we want your answer and we want all the god damn links and sources

This one amuses me in light of the assertions made in several of the questions above that do not have links, particularly given that I’ve provided links to support my answers to Circle of Mamas’ questions.

In the end, Circle of Mamas might have a bunch of questions, but the those of us who are familiar with vaccines and antivaccine nonsense recognize those questions as JAQing off. We also recognize that antivaxxers like Circle of Mamas won’t like or accept the answers. Same as it ever was.

ADDENDUM: Thanks to everyone in the comments who pointed out things I missed or expanded on issues I could have discussed better. I’ve made some changes in response to your comments and included some links that you provided me.