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“If you’re pro-science, then you should be anti-vaccine”?

Antivaxxers love to claim the mantle of science and that they are more pro-science than vaccine advocates. They aren’t, although it is often true that they appear to “know” more about vaccines. The problem is motivated reasoning based on cherry picked evidence.

This week has been busy, but not here unfortunately. I had a minor crisis at a certain other weblog to deal with, leading me to neglect things here at the shebeen (as Charles Pierce would put it). When I came back, I started noticing a mantra from antivaxxers that I had seen before dating way back to the early days of the blog. It’s one that I’ve alluded to before but haven’t really looked at head-on, probably mainly because I haven’t seen it stated so baldly. Unsurprisingly, I saw it at Natural News, that repository of quackery, antivaccine fear mongering, and conspiracy theories that Alex Jones would have a hard time topping in the form of an article that “inspired” the title of this post, If you’re pro-science, then you should be anti-vaccine. It’s not by the big macher himself, Mike Adams, but one of his drones churning out less rabid content, S.D. Wells, whose real name is apparently Sean David Cohen. I rather suspect that Adams uses Wells to churn out the more “reasonable-sounding” content for his conspiracy site, leaving himself free to speculate about vaccine depopulation agendas in which the global elite conspires with extraterrestrials.

Let’s see what Wells has to say, shall we? The message is simple, namely that being pro-vaccine is antiscience and being antivaccine is pro-science:

You have to be anti-science to believe that vaccines are “safe and effective” because there is NO science proving that. The science proves just the opposite, that vaccines are much more of a risk than any kind of benefit. If you still want to believe that medicine can only work if it’s made in a laboratory, then take a close look at the science behind those creations, and the science that examines their true “safety” and “efficacy,” and you will see that the science proves vaccines and prescription pharmaceuticals are dangerous and cause much more health detriment than they offer benefit, if any of the latter.

This is, of course, projection, as you will see. It’s also very much of a piece with how antivaxxers think. Projection is part and parcel of being antivaccine. For example, antivaxxers love to try to portray pro-science advocacy for vaccines as a “religion.” One time, an antivaxxer even referred to it as “Vaccinianity.” Another example is the exaggerated claims of “shedding” of virus from the vaccinated; it’s a simple attempt to flip the script and portray the vaccinated, rather than the unvaccinated, as being somehow dangerous to those around them. Then, of course, there are the antivaccine grifters, who are numerous and include “luminaries” such as Del Bigtree, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Andrew Wakefield, Mike Adams, Joseph Mercola (who’s basically an alternative medicine and antivaccine tycoon), and many others. While it is true that big pharma is profit-oriented and hasn’t always behaved well, antivaxxers project the grifting nature of their heroes onto all pro-science advocates by automatically assuming we’re all somehow on the take from big pharma, hence the “pharma shill” gambit.

But claiming to be “pro-science,” or, as I’ve sometimes seen it, the “real pro-science” people is very much a thing in antivaccine circles. Usually, it comes in the form of antivaxxers denying that they are actually antivaccine, while asserting that they are “pro-science” and pro-…a lot of other good things:

pro-science
“Pro-science.”? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Of course, they are really none of these things. They are only “pro-research,” for instance, if it’s the sort of research that they like. Whenever a large, well-designed study shows that vaccines are safe and effective, you can bet that antivaxxers will attack it, almost always on scientifically dubious grounds.

Of course, Mike Adams being Mike Adams, S.D. Wells being S.D. Wells (and a Mike Adams minion), and Natural News being Natural News, even a more “reasonable” take couldn’t help but end up going off the deep end, complete with rants like this:

Then came SARS in 2003. “We’re all going to die!” The news warned us. It’s spreading like wildfire around the world. The CDC warned us. And what happened? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), less than 8,100 people worldwide even became sick with SARS during the 2003 crisis (outbreak). How many died worldwide? 774. That’s not million or billion. That’s under 800.

In the United States, it turned out, that just 8 people actually had SARS-CoV infection, and every single one of them had just traveled to other continents where SARS was “spreading like wildfire.” That “scamdemic” also seriously threatened socioeconomic stability worldwide. Guess what caused it? “Accidental releases” of the SARS-CoV isolates from laboratories in mainland China and Singapore. Sound familiar? That’s because it is.

I remember a famous quote at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It came from Anthony Fauci, currently the latest villain to antivaxxers. Do you remember what Dr. Fauci said? I do:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said Sunday that it was better to err on the side of caution in coronavirus mitigation, even if the steps taken appear to be an overreaction.

“If you just leave the virus to its own devices, it will go way up like we’ve seen in Italy. That’s not going to happen if we do what we’re attempting to do and are doing,” Fauci told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.”

“The way you get ahead of it is that, as I try to explain to people, that I want people to assume that … we are overreacting because if it looks like you’re overreacting, you’re probably doing the right thing,” he added.

It is always thus with public health interventions to prevent epidemics and pandemics. As for SARS-1, it turns out that public health interventions, combined with a significant difference between SARS-1 and SARS-CoV-2 explain why SARS-1 did not become a pandemic like COVID-19:

Why did the original Sars epidemic come to end? Well, SARS-CoV-1 did not burn itself out. Rather, the outbreak was largely brought under control by simple public health measures. Testing people with symptoms (fever and respiratory problems), isolating and quarantining suspected cases, and restricting travel all had an effect. 

SARS-CoV-1 was most transmissible when patients were sick, and so by isolating those with symptoms, you could effectively prevent onward spread.

Of course, as we all know now, SARS-CoV-2 can spread asymptomatically. Scientists argue over exactly what the fraction of people with asymptomatic infection is and how effectively they can transmit the virus compared to symptomatic individuals, but there is no doubt that during the pandemic there has been a large pool of infectious individuals without symptoms who can transmit the disease. Public health interventions worked, although there were problems similar to the ones that we’ve seen over the last year and half. Were that not the case, the pandemic might never have happened. In any event, the world got lucky with the original SARS. Our luck ran out with COVID-19.

Then, of course, to Wells and Adams, these pandemics are all about selling vaccines:

As if the yearly multi-dose, mercury-laced influenza vaccine, a.k.a. “flu shot,” wasn’t enough, now everybody accepts dying of blood clots and early onset dementia, because they’re more terrified of dying of the Covid flu.

Notice how hard the flu shot has been promoted, for free, up until Covid? That’s because they not only want you to forget the flu ever existed, but they’re chalking up every flu case and flu death as Covid-caused. That’s the scare tactic that worked best on this whole scamdemic, along with the masks and social distancing. It’s all Marxist propaganda that’s anti-science, anti-democracy and anti-human. It’s called biological warfare, and the CDC has waged it against all Americans, and that’s why if you’re pro-science, then you should be anti-vaccine.

To be honest, I’m rather “grateful” (if you can call it that) to Wells for saying this so blatantly. As I mentioned before, the usual dodge that antivaxxers use is to claim that they are “not antivaccine” but rather pro-science.” Leave it to Adams’ minion to be too honest and admit to being antivaccine, justifying it by claiming that his antivaccine position is actually “pro-science.”

Not long ago, I wrote about how antivaxxers (and, in the era of COVID-19, antimaskers) have weaponized the tools of science and science visualization to attack vaccines and public health interventions (such as mask mandates) using what seems like convincing science. Indeed, their social media postings are full of appeals to science. They crave the validation of science, but can’t seem to realize that they are using science in the way the proverbial drunk who lost his keys uses a streetlight: For support, not illumination.

That’s because the cognitive errors to which humans are prone are what make scientific thinking difficult. However, science has great cachet in our society, and rightly so, which is why antivaxxers crave the legitimacy of science and are so eager to portray themselves as “pro-science.” However that self-identification of “pro-science” and “health literate” does not prevent them from embracing pseudoscience and conspiracy theories:

As far as we know, people who refuse vaccines use their health literacy skills to dive deeper into vaccine information, develop more sophisticated views and greater confidence in those views.

But health literacy doesn’t appear to make pro-vaccine evidence look more convincing to refusers. In fact, when people who distrust vaccination also have higher health literacy, they are even more likely to choose information that matches their biases, and to think that information supports their beliefs. Indeed high health literacy seems to help reinforce anti-vaccination beliefs among people who refuse vaccines.

Again, the example of the drunk and the streetlight comes to mind. Worse, the deeper antivaxxers dive down the rabbit hole, the better they become at motivated reasoning to support their position. They become experts at cherry picking scientific studies, finding small flaws in science disconfirming their beliefs that vaccines don’t work (or at least don’t work well), are dangerous (or at least, cause more harm than the diseases vaccinated against), and that they cause autism, death, and all manner of other health problems.

And they use their pro-science self-view thusly:

Vaccine refusers’ “pro-science, health literate” identity is not benign. In their eyes, it makes them highly credible, which helps them resist public health messages. It also makes them look more credible to others, who may in turn be persuaded to question vaccines.

It doesn’t matter if their self-identity as “pro-science” and “health literate” is a self-delusion and that they very much overrate their understanding of medicine and science, to the point that memes like this are very common in antivaccine circles:

"Pro-science"?
Um, no. You aren’t.

It also leads to posts on antivaccine websites, in which advice is proffered to parents on how to annoy your child’s pediatrician with your supposedly “superior” knowledge and better understanding of science, complete with “pro-science” appeals like:

My decision has not been made lightly. I have spent many hours researching and learning about vaccines, their ingredients, the lack of placebo-controlled studies, and the fact that they have never been studied for safety or efficacy as they are administered according to The CDC’s Childhood Schedule.

As an aside, I feel obligated to point out that it is utter BS to claim that there are no placebo-controlled studies of vaccines. How many would antivaxxers like me to list? This link provides a start, as do Dorit Reiss and our scaly friend the Skeptical Raptor.

The bottom line is that, as much as antivaxxers want to don the mantle of being “pro-science,” they can’t, at least not correctly. They can certainly appear to be pro-science, especially to other antivaxxers but also to those not familiar with antivaccine conspiracy theories, bad science, pseudoscience, and misinterpretations of science, but they are not.

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]

100 replies on ““If you’re pro-science, then you should be anti-vaccine”?”

Those “pro-science” protesters in the photo are lying in 6 out of 7 signs.

Better than usual, I suppose.

@ Dangerous Bacon,

Notice that the front wheels on the stroller are turned into the street curb avoiding a dangerous roll away. These are caring, loving mother’s practising child safety.

“Notice that the front wheels on the stroller are turned into the street curb avoiding a dangerous roll away. These are caring, loving mother’s practising child safety.”

Notice that the stroller is empty, as is the vault of integrity they and you have regarding vaccine science.

Anti-vax mothers ain’t exactly concerned with ” child safety”

So exactly correct;
Amongst those I survey “peer review research” (sic) is usually touted as supporting their dreck even citing “orthodox physicians” and linking to supposed SBM research ( usually, it’s from more creative journals or mis-interpretted).There are a few anti-vaxxers ( @ katiewr31413491) who RT loads of quite unrelated studies/ speculation to hint at various myths concerning brain diseases, dysbiosis and other unlikely scenarios related to autism..

They do this because it is difficult for an unsophisticated reader to weed through the unrelated or spurious cites and move towards consensus material which is never even hinted at.
The core research that shows why it’s truly extremely unlikely that vaccines cause autism is NEVER discussed.

katiewr31413491 where anti-vaccine meets far right conspiracy theories.

I feel a bit less intelligent know after reading some of her tweets.

I know. And she’s a NY liberal feminist ! Her parents founded Autism Speaks when her son ” lost all his skills”. She works with RFK jr now.

The difference between science and religion is simple. Science allows itself to be questioned. Science is willing to debate not only ignorance, but maliciousness and disinformation. Any “science” that cannot tolerate dissent is religious by definition. Anyone who invoked “consensus” to defend a “scientific” theory is a presbyter.

Well I gotta tell ya, I’m not flying BOAC anywhere, after them four pilots died (Reuters fact check says that contrary to rumors the deaths were unrelated to Covid-19 vaccination, but of course they would say that).

From the Reuters story:

“I believe it was actually FOUR young pilots who died due to the Maxine,” tweeted one user.”

So who is this Maxine and why is she targeting pilots???!?

Well, I have it on good authority (I’m sure it’s on some website somewhere) that Maxine is the name of a hyper-intelligent chicken (raised on GMO grain from Monsanto and exposed to high doses of “radiation” from WiFi networks) who acts as a hit-bird for Big Pharma! How do I know this? Because these four deaths are obviously fowl play! And I’m sure that Maxine, with a string of successful assassinations to her name, is now quite high on the pecking order! Another feather in her cap, as it were!

I have it on good authority that you won’t be flying BOAC anywhere, for any reason. 😉

Its successor has been called British Airways since BOAC and BEA were merged in 1974.

Just an example of pro-science who didn’t ‘follow the science’ because of the politics of “orange man bad”.
You link to a site ‘skeptical raptor’ and others which claim to be skeptical but in truth are not “skeptical” but only defending consensus/public opinion. ‘If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.’

“Chan (Alina Chan Broad Institute of MIT/Harvard) said there had been trepidation among some scientists about publicly discussing the lab leak hypothesis for fear that their words could be misconstrued or used to support racist rhetoric about how the coronavirus emerged. Trump fueled accusations that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a research lab in the city where the first Covid-19 [Chinese coronavirus] cases were reported, was connected to the outbreak……..At the time, it was scarier to be associated with Trump and to become a tool for racists, so people didn’t want to publicly call for an investigation into lab origins,” she said.

“The science around the lab leak theory hasn’t changed. But here’s why some scientists have.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/lab-leak-theory-science-scientists-rcna1191

Which is more likely true.

A. A bat caught in a cave, was transported 900 kilometers on a train (and didn’t infect anyone on the train or any of the people who handled the
infected bat, on the train, loading or unloading the bat, bi-passing 50-70 million people along the way), to a wet market in Wuhan China and
sold in that market, that bat transferred the Covid virus to only person(s) in the city of Wuhan.

OR

B. The Wuhan Institute of VIROLOGY, that was studying Covid in bats and kept live bats infected with Covid in the institute
and were studying gain of function in Covid infected bats and had the virus escape or was transferred to people who
were working with infected bats (from being bitten, feces or in the air). Who then infected the local population.

https://nypost.com/2021/05/28/scientists-at-wuhan-lab-filmed-being-bitten-by-bats-report/

So I am going to go with Occam’s Razor on this.

Occam’s Razor is not defined as “trying to change the subject and hope no one notices”.

Funny how you stack the odds in favor of the hypothesis you prefer.

A bat caught in a cave,

“A bat”? As in “one bat”? I hope you are not a professional hunter. Catching and selling one animal at a time is no good business model.
On a similar vein, there may be one BSL-4 lab in Wuhan, but there is not just one bat-cave being explored.
And there are quite a lot more hunters/gatherers/cave explorers. It’s not just that one guy.
So it’s more “one bat among the thousands caught in a dozen different caves being exploited by the local humans”.
Also, humans don’t just catch bats in these caves. Bat guano. Mineral deposits. For all I know, mushrooms and herbs growing locally. Plenty of occasions to be exposed to odd pathogens.

was transported 900 kilometers on a train

Or migrated all by itself, with a few hundred friends, leaving some cousins home with the same virus load, to be found later.
Animals move, you know. It’s in the definition of “animal”.

(and didn’t infect anyone on the train or any of the people who handled the
infected bat, on the train, loading or unloading the bat, bi-passing 50-70 million people along the way),

If the people infected on the train were bound to Wuhan, that does it change?
With the laps of time between infection, contagion phase, and symptoms, and most infections being asymptomatic or low-symptomatic, people infected on the train may not have noticed anything unusual.
Are you saying it took two weeks for the train to do 900 clicks?

to a wet market in Wuhan China and sold in that market,

And as I hinted above, by that time, the virus may already have jumped from the bat to some human, and it’s the infected human who initiated the superspread at the market. Plenty of people around talking and arguing. Wonderful place to exchange respiratory viruses.
And interestingly, if it took the hunter one week between catching bats – and the virus -, taking the train, and selling his catches to someone at the market, the timing is right. He would have been just entering the contagious phase.

Anyway, what’s your beef? The virus is mostly harmless and we were all over-reacting, you have kept repeating us for the past year.

Would it have to be humans first? Seems that ACE2 receptors are in quite a few animals that could be carriers. Seems like it’s lives mostly asymptomatically but transmissible;who would know so well when it changed enough to be a problem for humans.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32921279/

Not sure I can take 15 years of this blatant and purposeful misuse of scientific information.

I am not saying that your explanation is not possible its just not probable.

The caves where Covid were discovered are located in Yunnan province in a series of caves, these caves have been off limits to people (except researchers) since about 2012, when the Covid virus was discovered (if you had read the article I linked you would have understood that). There are other caves in Yunnan province and they are actually tourist attractions and are quite magnificent and yes they have bats and there is a possibility that others bats had transmitted the virus to them, but the pandemic did not start in Yunnan
Yunnan province has several local rail stations that serve the area where the caves are located. Then in turn are serviced by the rail hub at Kunming. The train from Kunming to Wuhan must go through two additional rail hubs, which handle millions of travelers every day.
In all likely hood your bat catcher would be the equivalent to US farmers, who don’t travel to the market with their cows, sheep, chickens etc. but instead sell their live animals in a local market (or have contracts to sell them to the wet market in Wuhan or to friends or family who run the shops).
The live animals are shipped via rail just like any other cargo (in China they have no prohibitions from using passenger trains to ship cargo as we do).

If the bats that were live caught and were infected, some person or persons would have been infected prior to getting to Wuhan, by cargo handlers, passengers etc. which was not the case.

So yes it is possible that the wet market was the source of Covid but not likely. The most direct/easiest/logical route for infection is the lab leak. But we will probably never really know the answer.

About being antiscience, ot just dull, did it not occur to you that viruses in the cave can very well infect bats outside cave.

Am I mistaken — not probable means impossible if I understand the math. Like 0 chance it will happen = not probable. Where do you go from here?

I have made a lovely carrot soup. I wish you could all enjoy it with me! I could be wrong but my gut feeling is — it’s good!

@Scott Allen

You have to understand that this site has nothing to do with science.
It’s an opinion site dressing up as science.

Even if you tell them that there are at least two Chinese defectors who confirm the lab leak theory, they will say something racist about Chinese people and dismiss it.

Defectors claims could be evaluated, when they are public. Of second one’s claims we lknow nothing.

About those signs in the photo:

Joshua Coleman ( Facebook/ JoshBucky; We are JoshuaColeman Facebook); V is for Vaccine, Builda-a-Sign) sells them and vinyl banners that people hang on freeway overpasses with similar content You need two signs and a wooden piece to make a usable sign.

squirreletite
If you have other theory as to how the virus was spread please tells us, so far it’s either lab leak or wet market.
(it is interesting to note that Dr. Chan would call the lab leak theory racist but the spread from a Chinese wet/live market is not racist?)

Dangerous Bacon (the big head, little hands cartoon person)
I apologize, for putting two ideas in one post. I will limit it to only one from now on.

My favorite highly speculative theory is that, after his latest defeat by the Avengers, Victor Von Doom moved into the underground lab complex in Siberia that had been abandoned by Zemo. He staffed it with Uyghurs from China whom he trained in viral manipulation. He also hired Rohingya refugees from Myanmar for grunt labor. He infiltrated Uyghurs into various labs in China to steal copies of viral samples and smuggle them back to his lab.

In the lab, various viruses were passaged between sables, raccoon dogs, and deer mice and tested on unsuspecting Rohingya. until he got a virus that was both more transmissible than SARs-CoV-1. He then developed a vaccine to protect his Uyghur employees and the residents of Latveria before sending infected Rohingya to travel in Hubei province where he was running another smuggling operation selling wild animals from Myanmar.

Eventually, enough people got infected in Wuhan to kick off an epidemic. Because the new virus was transmissible before infected people showed symptoms, it soon spread via foreign travelers to Italy, the U.S. and elsewhere around the world. /sarc

Disprove it!!!

More to the point, the lab leak theory remains technically possible but highly unlikely until we locate a much closer viral relative in a wild bat species or find positive evidence of such a variant actually being in a lab such as the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Whereas zoonotic transfers happen all the time with new viral species or important variant strains turning up every 10 years or so.

I love the ignorance behind the ‘unavoidably unsafe’ sign. Given the probabilities, flying is unavoidably unsafe, driving is unavoidably unsafe, eating seafood is unavoidably unsafe, crossing the road is unavoidably unsafe.

Farm workers, trawler fishermen and emergency service personal laugh at your.sense of danger anti-vaxxers.

‘unavoidably unsafe’ sign

They got caught in the double negative.

To be fait, we are telling them simultaneously that vaccines are safe but also ‘unavoidably unsafe’. It’s bound to be confusing.
That being said, it’s a confusion which is easy to get over, once you stop thinking in black-and-white
Vaccines ae most generally safe, but it’s unavoidable that sometimes they aren’t. Like with about everything in life. The trick is to make them so these are rare occasions,

“You have to be anti-science to believe that vaccines are “safe and effective” because there is NO science proving that. The science proves just the opposite, that vaccines are much more of a risk than any kind of benefit.”

I wouldn’t call this projection — I’d call it lying! There is ample science and evidence that proves vaccines are safe in the same way that science and evidence proves evolution is real. Of course, the evidence provided by science is mishandled by those without training and purposely maligned and distorted by those looking for a quick buck.

Interesting read in STAT about a fellow very well learned in science but not in a field that would provide expertise to a level that would support making recommendations for public health. It is slightly similar to the layperson not knowing enough but being convinced that they have the inherent skill to read and comprehend what they read. They just aren’t reading the right things. The quacks just see an opportunity for self aggrandizement and cash flow (and don’t care if they are right or wrong — just that you believe it).

Vaccines work and are safe! Germs make me sick! Prove it otherwise!

Had a colleague who basically didn’t believe the germ theory of disease which was quite amazing to me. Very steadfast about it and into the CAM thing. Not a big deal but had a tendency to make recommendations that were not supported — not dangerous but unsupported.

Sad there is commerce to be had in misinformation.

It is a different world or perhaps the covers have come off.

Projection and lying aren’t mutually exclusive, certainly not within a subculture like antivax, and not even within any given individual. What we mean by ‘projection’ is a certain kind of unconscious lie — a psychological defense mechanism that involves lying first of all to one’s self. if anything, the weight of evidence showing that vaccines are safe indicates that deniers are mostly NOT consciously lying in rejecting it, as that cognitive burden would be incredibly high.

Perhaps for the author it’s projection, but believe it was written to provide an angle for antivax to maintain whatever it is they need (psychologically or other) IMHO to keep united in some group cause. For me, it crosses into clear lie territory, just like COVID isn’t real or the election was stolen. Such articles promote a reality, supported at best, by a half flake of evidence by opportunists who need the enterprise to keep motivated. Same with co-opting other people’s holidays, claiming to be better scientists, and writing easily debunked articles in newspapers.

A gentleman here on this thread wrote what I would consider projection, by accusing the science side of racism when discussing the lab leak theory. I seem to recall a really bad leader using pretty clear pejoratives against a whole slew of racial groups. Then again, maybe that’s how they roll to keep in the spotlight and muddy the water around others. You know, accuse the other of fake news first while pumping out alternative ‘facts’.

I seem to recall an advisor to the really bad leader who’s strategy was to flood the zone with crap to make it difficult for some to take action or find truth.

Sadly, I think many know better consciously but to be part of the group need to keep on message. Just my humble opinion :).

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2021/03/controlling-misinformation#

Dissension is a means to inspire continuous improvement. In my opinion, Orac is pro-science, pro-vaccine, but anti-dissension with respect to science-based forced immunity.

@ Orac,

I could be wrong about anti-dissension. In the spirit of vaccine continuous-improvement, can you provide a wisp of constructive dissension for the state of the art?

For the thousandth time, if you don’t like what Orac posts, you don’t have to read it. He isn’t running a science news site, and never claimed to be.

But I’ll throw you a bone. a link to a blogger who talks about this stuff from a different angle: https://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/

“To be fai(r), we are telling them simultaneously that vaccines are safe but also ‘unavoidably unsafe’. It’s bound to be confusing.”

What the sign says is false, and represents one of the Big Lies of the antivaccine movement.

“U.S. law” does not classify vaccines as unavoidably unsafe. The phrase stems from a law review published by a group of attorneys and was mentioned but not endorsed in a majority opinion in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth , in which the Supreme Court found that federal law precluded having a case over an alleged vaccine design defect heard in state court.

@ Dangerous Bacon.

Absolutely correct; however, it is true. Everything is “unavoidably unsafe”. Nothing in life is absolutely safe. Kids died from e-coli from hamburgers at a Jack-in-the-Box. E-coli sickened people eating spinach and raw cookie dough. When you purchase a new tire the company has conducted tests, probably found on average only 1 defect per 100,000; but if you get the one defect, could have a blow-out. I love almond butter. For a time there was a shortage because salmonella found in some brands. Arsenic was found in rice from Texas. Antibiotics save lives but some people react with anaphylactic shock. And on and on it goes.

However, one has to weigh benefits vs risk something antivaccinationists are incapable of. They downplay risk from disease (ignoring that covid not just deaths; but long covid, including vascular damage, even in asymptomatic youth) and grasp at anecdotal evidence, even blowing it out of proportion. Oh well.

Everything is “unavoidably unsafe”.

Not in the context of Comment k, which was specific to product liability.

Heck, get out of bed, you could fall and hit your head and die. Stay in bed and you could get a fatal blood clot. LIFE is unavoidably unsafe.

Bills’ wide receiver Cole Beasley is pro-science, as he rejects Covid-19 vaccination. From ESPN:

“”I will be outside doing what I do,” (Beasley said). “I’ll be out in public. If your [sic] scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated. … I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living.

“I’m not going to take meds for a leg that isn’t broken. I’d rather take my chances with Covid and build up my immunity that way. … I’ll play for free this year to live life how I’ve lived it from day one. If I’m forced into retirement, so be it.”

Well, I’m vaccinated and I’m still actually living. I don’t see how getting vaccinated changes things. Or does living well, free, enjoying autonomy in some way conflicts with getting vaccinated?
In a way it sounds childlike: “I don’t want it, I don’t want it, because it makes me less free, to do what is in my best interest.”

@ Scott Allen

So, back again. As mentioned, you like to see things in dichotomies. Lab vs Wuhan wet market, then you focus on bats, distance from Yunnan. Well, there is another quite viable explanation, namely, trade in animals. Yunnan province sells all kind of animals, including exotic ones, to Wuhan markets (Doucleff, 2021). And we know that, at least some animals can harbor coronaviruses, even ones quite close to current covid. So, you ask, if virus carried by animals from Yunnan, why weren’t there cases in Yunnan? Simple answer. May have required one or two more mutations, possibly happening by contact with other animals at market. Thee are literally 100s of billions of coronaviruses in world and millions very close to current covid. All mutating. Not completely random as would have to be reasonably close, but not necessarily require just one mutation, could be a few if close enough. In any case, a third possibility that you weren’t aware of, probably because your unscientific, dichotomous thinking didn’t need to do the research. Tell me, have you ever taken a course or even read a book on microbiology, especially chapters on viruses? Have you ever taken a course or read a book on epidemiology?

And, though, despite what you choose to believe, the chances of it having originated from a leak from the Wuhan lab is minuscule; but I don’t completely rule it out; however, given that nature is the best lab, the bottom line is we were ill-prepared. If it is proven it came from nature or a lab, same difference, we were ill-prepared. Out-of-sight out-of-mind. For a couple of years after major pandemic funding increases to public health, e.g., WHO, CDC, State and City Public Health Departments; but then cut. Our Public Health departments are way understaffed. And we are dependent on China and India for most medical supplied and drugs. Not only contamination found; but by outsourcing increases already exorbitant profits of industry. If produced in U.S. would still make good profits; but in American corporations enough is never enough.

What Americans don’t understand and I’m sure you are with them, is that prevention is the best approach. The monies saved when no pandemic are less than monies lost, along with suffering, disability, and death when a pandemic occurs. And while in the past pandemic have been rare they will be occurring at ever increasing frequencies and shorter intervals and could easily be far more deadly than the current one. A recent UN report explains why:

IPBES (2020). IPBES Workshop on Biodiversity and Pandemics: Workshop Report. [IPBES stands for Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.]

I also recommend: Engber D (2021 May 26). If the Lab-Leak Theory Is Right, What’s Next? We know enough to acknowledge that the scenario is possible, and we should therefore act as though it’s true. The Atlantic.
[The latter article explains just how unprepared we were.]

Besides funding cuts to public health, the Strategic National Stockpile, a dozen or so huge warehouses filled with Personal Protective Equipment, Oxygen, Ventilators, Antibiotics, Antivirals, and portable hospitals was basically closed because when Obama asked for funds, Republicans, having sworn not to cooperate with him, voted against and then Trump ignored his advisors to renew funding. Alone, would have supplied most needs during first few months of pandemic. Then we were warned as early as first week in January; but Trump ignored for almost two months. Other nations took early precautions, resulting in far fewer deaths and disruptions to economy. Then Trump left it to States. Viruses don’t recognized geographical boundaries. States were left to bid for supplies, sometimes those most in need getting fewest supplies. Trumps Operation Warp Speed was great, except most people don’t know he funded it by taking funds intended to help hospitals during the pandemic.

In any case, if later evidence, despite the almost overwhelming evidence (including genomic analyses of covid) find was lab leak, U.S. has experienced dozens of lab leaks from far more dangerous gain-of-function virus studies, including a couple of lab leaks of coronaviruses from North Carolina lab, so it could have happened here; but, once again, whether from lab leak or overwhelmingly nature, result same, we were and probably will continue to be unprepared. More lives each year are saved by public health; but people just don’t understand this and given how people like Scott Allen think, or better don’t think, probably never will.

References:

Doucleff M (2021 Mar 15). WHO Points To Wildlife Farms In Southern China As Likely Source Of Pandemic. NPR. [NOTE. I have the UN report]

I think my issue with the lab leak thing is this: So what? So what if it did leak from an experiment? Would it be the first time? Heck no. What are we going to do with this information? We gonna sue China? Does it absolve Dump of his inept response, regardless of the original source? Will all those lives be restored if only we knew?

@ EVERYBODY

If anyone is interested, the following are some of the articles on possible animal market origins. Note, we may NEVER know for sure the origin of the current pandemic; but the following provide reasonable hypotheses and as I’ve discussed over and over, regardless of origin, we were unprepared and dealt poorly with current pandemic and probably will be unprepared for the next ones:

Maxmen A (2021 Apr). WHO report into COVID pandemic origins zeroes in on animal markets, not labs: Scientists say the conclusions make sense but note that supporters of the lab-leak theory are unlikely to be satisfied. Nature; 592(7853): 173-174.

WHO (2021 Mar 30). WHO-convened Global Study of Origins of SARS-CoV-2 – China Part – Joint WHO-China Study 14 January-10 February 2021.

Xiao (2021 Jun 7). Animal sales from Wuhan wet markets immediately prior to the COVID‐19 pandemic. Scientific Reports: 11(1): 11898

Zhong R (2021 Jun 9). Wuhan Markets Sold Animals That Could Have Infected Humans With Covid, Study Finds. The New York Times.

Knowledge from science is continuously evolving. Some knowledge from science has evolved to fit a policy & program. I have faith that some day, the truth will become bigger than the lie. It will be uncontainable.

Knowledge from science is continuously [sic] evolving.

Not really, CK — you wouldn’t need to beg the question if you actually had something resembling an argument.

I have faith that some day, the truth will become bigger than the lie. It will be uncontainable.

You’re also not Galileo by proxy, Peaches.

Indeed, christine, soon everyone will know the truth, as you do, that vaccines change the color and texture of a child’s hair, and believe, like you, in a giant thunderbird “who’s flapping 30 ft wingspan popped my eardrums with a loud “Boom” with a percussion of air that knocked me backwards into my door.” Because science.

@ brian:

Sometimes a single statement by a person tells you all that you need to know concerning the quality of their other communication no matter how voluminous.

Because as we all know, the hair a baby is born with never changes. That’s why there are so many bald children running around. (Seriously, I will never get over that bizarre, racially-tinged claim).

Truth will indeed prevail. Witness Wakefield case. His claims were tested and proved false. His fraud was exposed, too.

In other anti-vax news….

I didn’t see any of Del’s latest @ HighWireTalk so I decided to skim it- not much, BUT at 2:02:00 he mentions RI and Orac’s article about his “problem” including a really nice photo of Dr DG- witness Del’s amazement that someone would write in detail about his “issues” ( also, two others’ reactions) including a discussion of cults
I wonder if he knows that this wasn’t the first article about him here ( he knows about CCDH).

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “Knowledge from science is continuously evolving. Some knowledge from science has evolved to fit a policy & program. I have faith that some day, the truth will become bigger than the lie. It will be uncontainable.”

I assume you mean that any anecdote that confirms your irrational unscientific bias will be found to be valid. As I’ve written numerous times, do a search of PubMed or Google Scholar and you will find over 25,000 papers on vaccine safety, some editorials, some reviews; but many original research. Do you really believe that the overwhelming number of these studies that found vaccines safe, not perfectly safe, nothing is, but quite safe, minuscule risks, compared to the actual diseases were all biased or done by incompetent people? And vaccines have to be approved by independent bodies and independent post-marketing surveys in numerous different nations. Do you really believe that nations with different cultures, different histories, different political and economic systems, different public health systems, different education systems, that all the policy makers and researchers are biased, incompetent, don’t care, especially about their nations children.

Your “truth” differs little from the “truth” of QAnon, etc. As I’ve written numerous times, you are an extremely disturbed, irrational, and/or just plain stupid person. So, keep making a fool of yourself!

In the previous exchange, because I got someone’s name wrong, you immediately jumped on it as your proof of my cognitive decline following getting the covid vaccine. Well, as I think I’ve mentioned I am currently proof-reading and editing the next edition of a colleague’s undergraduate Microbiology book. This morning, after a cup of coffee (due to insomnia I only drink coffee in the morning), I did my thing, this time in a chapter on immunology. As an example, the book said “NK cells are large granular leukocytes.” Well, I immediately recognized this was wrong; but, not wanting to make a mistake, I checked if mentioned elsewhere in book, it was, as agranular leukocytes. But just to be sure I took out two undergraduate immunology books. I was right. Golly gee, why does getting someone’s name wrong indicate cognitive decline after covid vaccination; but getting immune cells right doesn’t? When editing, I do it after coffee, when posting comments on a blog, often before coffee. Just one more example of how you jump to conclusions that fit your ignorant, irrational, rigid, stupid beliefs. You do know the difference between granular and agranular leukocytes, the first from precursor myeloid cells, the latter for precursor lymphoid cells. Of course you must since you are an expert on vaccines and vaccine science is based on immunology. Do you think a Full Professor of Microbiology would allow you to proof read and edit their textbook. And, I’ve asked them if they use what I suggest and both the author and representative from publisher have continuously said yes.

Why do I bother responding to your comments. Actually I couldn’t give a rats ass about you; however, living in a world that is suffering due to various forms of irrationality, ignorance, and stupidity, e.g., believers in QAnon, racists, Islamaphobia, etc. I can use you as a substitute for venting against such people. Nope, not accusing you of any of the aforementioned; but your mentality is basically the same.

@ Joel,

“Do you really believe that the overwhelming number of these studies that found vaccines safe, not perfectly safe, nothing is, but quite safe, minuscule risks, compared to the actual diseases were all biased or done by incompetent people?”

No. I believe only some were done by biased people, who set standards in research practice, which has caused a domino effect for other research to be skewed. Doing the math wrong. Counting cases wrong … among other wrongs.

I also believe it’s not just one vaccine; it may be cumulative & it’s not one antigen, adjuvant or ingredient … Something has not been factored for regarding the process of immunization. Something regarding immune response that is not yet known.

Vent at me all you wish, it’s worth it to me every time I show up here. Every time, I learn something new. Insinuating cognitive decline was a cheap shot on my part so I apologize. I am sure you are perfectly qualified to proofread your colleague’s book.

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “No. I believe only some were done by biased people, who set standards in research practice, which has caused a domino effect for other research to be skewed. Doing the math wrong. Counting cases wrong … among other wrongs.”

Yikes. Textbooks in epidemiological methodology have NOT changed, which are the basis for research practices. Again, as I wrote above: “And vaccines have to be approved by independent bodies and independent post-marketing surveys in numerous different nations. Do you really believe that nations with different cultures, different histories, different political and economic systems, different public health systems, different education systems, that all the policy makers and researchers are biased, incompetent, don’t care, especially about their nations children.”

Really, despite standard methodology, you really believe what you wrote? As I’ve written you are delusional. The only evidence you have is your own beliefs, your grasping at anecdotes, etc. Your gut. As I wrote, you represent much of what I see as wrong in the world, that is, people who don’t think; but react with unquestioned biases, irrationalities, illogic, and, of course, their gut.

“Every time, I learn something new.”

It’s evident that all you “learn” is how to restate your uninformed biases in slightly altered ways.

How does one “Do math wrong” and not immediately get shredded for doing so by the peer review process? Everyone, everywhere, is always in on it, huh? Most of the folks I know who do real bench research on a daily basis would jump at the to be able to shred someone else’s work in publication-it’s easier than coming up with one’s own ideas, you see…

@ Joel,

Do you really believe that nations with different cultures, different histories, different political and economic systems, different public health systems, different education systems, that all the policy makers and researchers are biased, incompetent, don’t care, especially about their nations children.”

They are under the thumb of the WHO & depend on US funding. We poisoned the well of science.

Do you really believe that health authorites in every blindly obey WHO ? Do you really believ e that medical research in every country is funded by US ? Your statements are obviously false

And indeed, there are differences between childhood vaccination schedules between countries. The BMJ has a nice graphic of the schedules for the G8 countries. They’re clearly not all blindly following anyone, though there are clear similarities.

@ Christine Kincaid

You have NO credible independent evidence to back your claim. Basically, for you, if the studies go against your gut and anecdotes then that is your only proof. In addition, having lived in Sweden and Canada and staying in touch with friends, their public health establishments are independent. and taxpayer funded. Has any particular research project received funds from WHO or U.S. probably; but I have worked in public health departments that received small grants from various sources; but the largest proportion of funding was from the taxpayers.

You are basically claiming that all the public health personnel, medical and epidemiological researchers around the world are whores, willing to sell out their nations own children, etc. Thank Satan we have the likes of you who know the “truth.”

And you have NEVER once picked a single study, e.g., from Sweden, and using your non-existent knowledge of epidemiological methods, your poor knowledge of immunology, etc. actually documented any problems.

As I have written, you are irrational, illogical, delusional. How does your belief, based on your gut, differ from QAnon followers who see conspiracies everywhere to hide the truth???

Ms. Kincaid, you have figured it out. A huge number of people are all aware of the harms vaccines cause and continue to tout them. Only you and a few of your friends have figured it out. It’s not just a few bad actors who know; it’s (https://youtu.be/74BzSTQCl_c?t=9).

@sirhcton,

I didn’t watch the video, I normally do not watch videos posted anywhere but no, I don’t believe a “huge number of people are all aware of the harms vaccines cause and continue to tout them.”

That would be an impossibility. There is not a conspiracy among rank & file physicians & scientists. The physicians truly believe what the scientists report & are well intentioned. The vast majority of scientists believe they are doing the studies appropriately. But they are not. The Danish autism studies are an example of such flawed studies.

Others have experienced that “controversial” findings mean “not published” & adjust accordingly.

@Christine Kincaid
Here is one of those Danish studies:
Hviid A, Hansen JV, Frisch M, Melbye M. Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccination and Autism: A Nationwide Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med. 2019 Apr 16;170(8):513-520. doi: 10.7326/M18-2101. Epub 2019 Mar 5. PMID: 30831578.
1) Some other vaccines were evaluated
2) Autism rate was not higher among children having autistic siblings.
Autistic and neurotypical brains very different. It is not only epideological studies.

Clearly tin foil hat stuff! Thanks, needed this data point. We will always evaluate claims.

Love,
Us

I think tomatoes grown in late spring get the best nutrients for my nutrition. That’s just my opinion though.

They are under the thumb of the WHO & depend on US funding. We poisoned the well of science.

When faced with the choice that either all countries across the world have evaluated vaccines and recommend a set for their population that they consider to be effective, safe and economically valuable or there is a massive worldwide conspiracy orchestrated somewhere within the US CDC to foist dangerous vaccines on the population for some vague genocidal reason, anti-vaxxers always go for the conspiracy theory.

Nonsense. You must not get out of this country very often. The US is not the “Shining City on the Hill” we once were, if ever we were. No, I assure you – China (For starters) would love to catch us in some underhanded plot like you propose and expose it in living color to the UN. That’s just one of the many ways this fantasy would unravel…

@ Christine Kincaid

As I’ve already written, without any credible evidence you accuse public health officials, medical and epidemiological researchers of being whores to U.S. and WHO, of not caring about their respective nations children first and adults. I have stated several times that you are irrational, illogical, unscientific, delusional, disturbed. Well, you wrote the following in a comment:

June 19, 2021 at 12:11 pm
“I misspeak frequently & when I do, even when I correct it; I am attacked here & called a liar & “stupid”. Especially by you, so forgive me if I haven’t had enough coffee yet to be my normal demure self & give you the leeway you would never afford me. But then again; I am vaccine injured, which leads to me sometimes choking on my words & scrambling my thoughts in text. I’m used to it. Welcome to the dark side. https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/06/14/covid-19-vaccines-and-female-infertility-a-lie-that-never-dies/

Whether you are vaccine injured or not, you write that you “misspeak”. . . “scrambling my thoughts”. . . “Welcome to the dark side.”

So, you admit be at times irrational. I add delusional based on claims about research around the world without any credible evidence. And you continue to ignore that the Covid mRNA vaccine produces not an intact virus, not even a complete S-spike protein, so can’t do anything. You know that, despite everything we know about molecular biology, that everyone but you are wrong. And you ignore the overwhelming evidence that as vaccination rates have increased, covid cases have decreased. Oh, I forgot, all the stats from around the world are false, according to you. As I wrote, if anything goes against your gut, then it must be fraudulent in your irrational, illogical, unscientific, delusional mind.

And as I wrote, based on studying clinical psychology and working at psychiatric clinic, the more disturbed someone is the less likely they admit it, perfect description of YOU!

@ Joel:

I responded to your question on the “infertility” thread but it doesn’t seem to be showing up on my computer ( my thoughts about anti-vaxxers based on observation)
they cling to unrealistic ideas: it sets them apart, makes them feel superior and they can dream about eventual vindication when their “truth” will be recognised by everyone.

Importantly, how can people continue to believe something when there is NO outside evidence to support their claims and they need to construct an elaborate imbroglio of conspiracies to explain why the world doesn’t agree with them?.

You compare them to Q believers which is telling.
A few psychologists have asked what type of person believes in anti-vax, CTs or Q and they have found intriguing variables such as less cognitive complexity, a tendency for paranoid ideas, lack of belief in hierarchies of expertise, concern with self over others and many others. I listed articles a few times.( see psychology of conspiracy theorists/ anti-vax, Hornsey et al.),

Basically, they think very differently from most other people and it shows up in their actions and choices: this winter, when the majority of people feared the virus and sought vaccines, they resisted and condemned the new products; when people trusted Dr Fauci TWICE ( 70% to 37% IIRC) as much as Trump, they branded him as evil.

I think about two points-:
— their unfounded belief in their own superior abilities over the rest of the world AND
— reliance upon Secret Knowledge to support their claims
Secret Knowledge lies at the heart of their beliefs:
they know something NO ONE else does..
We see RFKjr’s Simpsonwood notes, Del’s/ Wakefield’s Whistleblower, Null’s secret papers and CK’s warnings from he later mother. about vaccines.
ANYONE CAN SAY THIS!
Someone told me in secret that…..; I have secret files……I have inside information
BUT when they have to produce this damning evidence-
it isn’t available,, it sounds much different than what they say or it doesn’t exist at all.

Claims of secret information enable them to present themselves as having superior information without actually presenting data or evidence.

Speaking of “pro-science” and “pro-vaccine”, RFK Jr.’s “The Real Anthony Fauci” is now listed as Amazon’s #1 best seller in Virology.* A neat trick, seeing that the book doesn’t even come out until September. Did Children’s Health Defense swamp Amazon with pre-orders?

From the book blurb:

“After effectively abolishing the First Amendment right to free speech, Dr. Fauci subverted our Seventh Amendment rights to jury trials”

Nope, no hysteria there.

*other authors who have Amazon “best sellers in Virology” include Judy Mikovits, Kent Heckenlively, Francis Ruscetti (a Mikovits sidekick who has an as yet unreleased book) and Thomas Cowan (a germ theory denial book).

Good research … and sad/bizarre result. Of course, none have credibility to talk to public with honesty and fact. Oh boy and Yikes!

In America, you have the freedom to reduce your intelligence with every buck you have!

I noted that Amazon ‘best seller’ thing for The Real Anthony Fauci some time ago. I think it appeared almost immediately after the book went up for pre-order on Amazon. Must be a bulk order from somebody… But I also did some clicking around to listings for a few other vax related books, and noticed that there were a good number of categories they might be listed under. i mean, “Virology” is a pretty narrow, specialized category for a mass market site to maintain a best-seller list for. So i came away with a speculation that this could be a marketing tactic for Amazon: offering so many categories that many more books can be hyped as a “bestseller” in something.

What will the science say when people who never get this vaccine are totally fine? Ahhhh, the irony of the fanatical pro-vaccine zealots who proclaim they are following the science.

“What will the science say when people who never get this vaccine are totally fine?”

Same thing it’ll say when people who refuse to wear seat belts don’t get involved in a serious accident.

Except there is actual science behind those with innate or adaptive immunity. Cognitive dissonance is amazing on both fronts of this vaccine campaign.

@ Nick

Except there is actual science behind those with innate or adaptive immunity.

Err, yeah. No-one here said otherwise.
You… try to lecture us on the immune system? Oh boy.

Adaptive immunity? What do you think vaccines do, if not ringing the adaptive immunity?

Let’s talk about something more fun; Did you know arthropods only have an innate immunity, but one part is continuously on, and another part is adaptive, sort of? Insects respond differently when exposed to viruses, fungi or bacteria.
Even more fun, the “excitement” and production of protective molecules following exposure to a micro-organism seems transmissible from mother to eggs/new larvae. Stick a needle with some bacteria into a beetle, and its progeny will have a higher survival rate if exposed to bacteria of the same type.
Bit like a vaccine, except it’s not specific. Or long-lived. In the fruitfly, the immune reaction tends to be gone 2 days after stimulation.
Vertebrates’ innate immunity has shade of these mechanisms, but we went and added a true adaptive immunity, complete with long-lived memory cells.

Nick : “Except there is actual science behind those with innate or adaptive immunity. ”

I don’t think you understand what is meant by innate immunity and adaptive immunity, firstly because it is not an either/or situation. If you’ve only got one you’re in big trouble. They are two systems that work together.

And you’re right that there is science behind our understanding of these two parts of the immune system. They’re vital for vaccine development.

@DB Good analogy. Let the insurance companies sort it out (kill ’em all — lol).

Frankly, I don’t care if antivax zealots don’t get a vaccine. I have mine and I don’t feel like I’m in the most danger of their filthy germs (habits), or those who are vaccinated even. If they choose to run around unprotected, I don’t care if they get sick, although I got me some schaudenfreude for Ted Nugent.

If I do some stupid math, it seems like the chance of serious illness is 3%, although higher / lower based on certain conditions. How many encounters with people will get you a serious infection (did you eat perfectly today -lol)? Will it be the same tomorrow? Now, if they are anti-germ theory of disease and pro-i-just-know-better, then they are just impervious to any pathogens and the problem just isn’t real! No science needed.

I don’t care if the ideologically vaccine opposed die in a cold, wet ditch. Don’t go the the hospital where you screw up my insurance rate when you had the opportunity to get a couple of free shots. Public health did what had to done to keep the health care system standing and available for tomorrow. Wasn’t pretty. We owe gratitude to those who stood there with a helping hand to care for the sick. Seems clear that vaccination is a valuable tool for protecting against disease and sickness. Those who want to protest can do so with the peril that comes with it.

IMHO.

@ Nick

You write: “What will the science say when people who never get this vaccine are totally fine? Ahhhh, the irony of the fanatical pro-vaccine zealots who proclaim they are following the science. . . there is actual science behind those with innate or adaptive immunity.”

You apparently don’t understand that adaptive immunity is specific, has to first experience a microbe, and takes 10 – 14 days to rev up in order to defeat. For some microbes, e.g., current covid, damage done prior to this. You also ignore that as herd immunity builds up, risk of exposure lessens, so people who didn’t get vaccine may be perfectly fine. However, you also seem to have missed that more and more evidence is finding that even asymptomatic young people are experiencing long covid and vascular damage. Whether the vascular damage will lead to future problems or not, I certainly wouldn’t take a chance. And the latest, though not yet peer-reviewed but available at medRxiv found brain shrinkage in covid infected: Douaud G et al. (2021 Jun 20 medRxiv). Brain imaging before and after COVID-19 in UK Biobank.

And I would be willing to bet you have little to no knowledge of how the immune system works nor epidemiology, little knowledge of the history of vaccine-preventable diseases, little to no knowledge of actually the research behind and how the mRNA vaccines work, and ignore the overwhelming evidence of the safety of the current mRNA covid vaccines and decline in cases as vaccinations increase, e.g., Israel. And, as opposed to antivaxxers, I make NO absolute claim that the vaccine is 100% safe. There is little to nothing in this world that is 100% safe. Kids died from e-coli in hamburgers at a Jack-in-the-Box, 420,000 developed long term severe diarrhea in Milwaukee from city water, e-coli also found in spinach and raw cookie dough. Salmonella found in a number of foods. Maybe 1 in 100,000 of best tires defective; but if you get it, could have a blow-out, etc. However, looking at risk from current covid, both to self and to others, the extremely small number of validated severe side-effects vs the disease, for people of reasonable intelligence and open-minded, the decision to vaccinate is a no-brainer.

So, just one more example of someone out of ignorance commenting on this blog. And another example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, namely, the less one knows the more certain they are.

So, just one more example of someone who arrogantly uses a PhD to make condescending assumptions about people on a stupid blog.

Does it really make sense for millions of people who were previously infected (and now have antibodies) and experienced mild symptoms or none at all to be vaccinated because they might have vascular damage or brain shrinkage? There is also evidence that some of these previously infected people have robust immune systems (e.g, transferon genes that activate an adequate T cell response). But I guess you have if all figured out since you apparently know so much more about immunology, epidemiology, and everything else.

@ Nick

Actually, several studies have found that antibodies in those previously infected are not as high as from the vaccine and after a shorter period of time even lower. Why? Simple, when an intact virus attacks it displays numerous antigenic determinants, that is, small distinct parts that the immune system reacts to. Whereas, the mRNA vaccine produces only one antigenic determinant, the s-spike protein, which is also the one and only way the virus can attach and enter into a cell. So, even the best of immune systems can only produce so many antibodies at at time, thus, either produce antibodies to a number of antigenic determinants or just one. Which do you think will elicit the highest? So credible studies have shown than one booster from the mRNA covid vaccine for those who have previously been infected greatly increases their antibody titers.

You write: “So, just one more example of someone who arrogantly uses a PhD to make condescending assumptions about people on a stupid blog.”

So, if you think this is a stupid blog, why are you posting here?

You write: “Does it really make sense for millions of people who were previously infected (and now have antibodies) and experienced mild symptoms or none at all to be vaccinated because they might have vascular damage or brain shrinkage? There is also evidence that some of these previously infected people have robust immune systems (e.g, transferon genes that activate an adequate T cell response).”

Actually, studies going back several decades found that the s-spike protein elicits both a robust B-cell (produces antibodies) AND T-cell response. So, I already knew that; but again, it is the s-spike protein that elicits both, not other antigenic determinants from a corona virus. And, yep, even if they have damage of various sorts why would one want them to experience possibly more?

It isn’t my PhD; but that I have devoted over 40 years to reading about, studying, etc the history and current status of vaccine-preventable diseases. I have over a dozen books and over 1200 papers on polio alone.

Transférons main effect is to an induce an inflammatory response which does in turn increase production of antibodies and t-cells, not just t-cells; but as I wrote, to increase production of something, first it must exist and it is the s-spike protein that elicits a t-cell response.

So, continue to make a fool of yourself.

@ Nick

Regarding vascular damage, found in many who experience asymptomatic covid. A good friend of over 25 years two years ago got up to make coffee for his wife. She heard a crash. He died of an aneurysm, a weak section of a blood vessel that could never cause problems or at any time end ones life. He was not a smoker, not overweight, coached Little League, and was only 63. I for one prefer to NOT experience any damage to my blood vessels that I can do anything to avoid.

Oh, last fall, as I do every year, I got the flu vaccine, FLUAD QUADRIVALENT, and will again, as soon as my health plan offers, get flu vaccine. Have been getting it for over 40 years after ending up in hospital from Hong Kong flu in 1970. And recently after doctor office visit given print-out which stated time for tetanus booster, so went downstairs to nurses clinic, they didn’t have tetanus only shots; but TDaP, tetanus, diphtheria, and accelular Pertussis, so got it. And I am a quite healthy 74 year old. I would love to have available vaccines for several other diseases. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Was written against you — “So, just one more example of someone who arrogantly uses a PhD to make condescending assumptions about people on a stupid blog.”

Was thinking about this phrase on the way to work. I think you are hurting him with your experience or intelligence (guessing there’s a thick skull and skin here that dissipates any type of the good stimulus–don’t stop!). Perhaps it’s just prop. Seems like a weak rhetorical gimmick like so many responses to factual information.

It’s so much like an insult to those who know how to detect the finest and clearly, the not so fine, BS. Reminds me of the pivot to those classic insults against intelligence like, pointy headed liberal, mainstream media, liberal media, pencil neck geek, political hack, political correctness, cancel culture, and who could forget, I didn’t mean to offend you with my terrible words (can you ever forgive me).

You do good work! Thank you!

Would love to see empirical data of vascular damage in those who have experienced asymptomatic covid. Jon Rahm just overcame a positive coronavirus test to win the US Open. Do we really know how many of these people will suffer aneurysms or something in the future?

Look, there’s no denying how much vaccines have helped eradicate some of the worst diseases but I think we ought to admit that a novel coronavirus with evolving variants may raise more questions than answers too. I come to this blog for good information because there is a lot of quackery and fear mongering out there, but it seems that the conceited hubris of credentialed medical experts cause them to ignore anomalies and push forward with an unprecedented mass vaccination campaign. WHO admits there is not enough evidence to vaccinate children because many of them are at such low risk of experiencing severe symptoms. We do not know whether autoantibodies produced after infection or immunization will necessarily lead to future autoimmune disease. But if we don’t ask the right questions and look for the right answers, we will never know. Autoimmune antibodies should be monitored in both recovered and vaccinated individuals to understand the potential long-term risks of developing autoimmune disease. Autoimmune antibodies may be present for decades before a clinical autoimmune disease develops.

A pandemic won’t last decades but we can be almost certain that these vaccines will be around for a long time.

Your lame insinuation that COVID-19 vaccination might (and I stress might) result in autoimmune disorders is noted.
“What if” does not cut it here. And I’d like to point out that the diseases are orders of magnitude more likely to cause autoimmune disorders.

Sorry, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). And yes, I realize research is ongoing to verify causation but it still will deter some people from being jabbed. Especially the young and healthy.

@ Nick

You write: “Would love to see empirical data of vascular damage in those who have experienced asymptomatic covid. Jon Rahm just overcame a positive coronavirus test to win the US Open. Do we really know how many of these people will suffer aneurysms or something in the future?”

And the anecdote of my friend’s aneurysm, given he did sports, etc for many years and was 63 when he died, one anecdote, just as yours of Rahm doing fine but may have vascular damage that will affect his health later on. My friend probably born with the aneurysm. Nope, we don’t know how many will suffer aneurysms or something in the future; but as I wrote, I err on the side of caution and there is good research that they have found vascular damage in asymptomatics. Below is a partial list of papers I have on asymptomatic vascular damage. Since the pandemic first appeared, January 2020, I have downloaded and read over 1,000 papers, e.g., medical journal articles, CDC, WHO, Swedish (I am fluent in Swedish), and British Government reports, etc. and reviewed my molecular biology sections on mRNA and searched and read every paper I could find on research on mRNA vaccines. I currently have 454 papers on just vaccines, sorted into various categories..

You write: it seems that the conceited hubris of credentialed medical experts cause them to ignore anomalies and push forward with an unprecedented mass vaccination campaign.”

Yep, I am exhibiting “conceited hubris” because I have studied infectious diseases for over 40 years, have a basic understanding of immunology and molecular biology, etc. and have devoted at least one hour almost every day since outbreak of pandemic in reading medical journal articles, CDC, WHO, Swedish, and British government reports, etc. Yep, it is “hubris” to challenge claims made by you, claims that you give NO indication you have the background, nor devoted significant time and effort into understanding the current pandemic nor the mRNA vaccine. I suggest you do a Google search on the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

You write: “We do not know whether autoantibodies produced after infection or immunization will necessarily lead to future autoimmune disease.”

NOPE NOPE NOPE. Auto-immune disease is based on molecular mimicry. Quite simply, if a small section, antigenic determinant, of a microbe resembles some small section of a body cell, then the antibody may, not always; but may attack the body cell. The mRNA vaccine produces only a part of the s-spike protein which doesn’t in any way, shape, or form resemble any cell in our body. Just another example of you making statement without having any understanding of mRNA vaccine nor autoimmunity.

You write: “A pandemic won’t last decades but we can be almost certain that these vaccines will be around for a long time.”

While the current pandemic hopefully will subside, most experts agree that the Covid-19 virus will continue with random cases; but thanks to the vaccine will hopefully be far and in-between; but we will probably need boosters to deal with either waning immunity to the current vaccine and/or more dangerous variants. Well, I get the flu shot every year and have NO problem getting a Covid booster. Yep, I hope the vaccines will be around for a long time.

So, you continue to attack me and others who have devoted years to studying infectious diseases, etc. without even considering that it is you who are the arrogant one, the person making claims with little to no knowledge, understanding, etc.

Asymptomatic Covid Vascular Damage, Including Children
Reference List

Dutton G (2020 Nov 23). SARS-CoV-2 Causes Heart Damage in 20% of People with Mild or No COVID-19 Symptoms. BioSpace

Editorial (2020 Sep 1). Understanding the long-term health effects of COVID-19. EClinicalMedicine; 26: 100586.

Fan BE et al. (2020 Nov 7). Delayed catastrophic thrombotic events in young and asymptomatic post COVID‐19 patients. Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis; 51(4); 971-977.

Kavanagh K (2020 Sep 8). Is COVID-19 Primarily a Heart and Vascular Disease? Infection Control Today.

Landecho MF et al. (2021 Jan). COVID-19 retinal microangiopathy as an in vivo biomarker of systemic vascular disease? Journal of Internal Medicine; 289(1): 116-120.

ScienceDaily (2020 Dec 8). Elevated biomarker for blood vessel damage found in all children with SARS-CoV-2: Study found high proportion of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection met clinical criteria for thrombotic microangiopathy — ScienceDaily.

@ Nick

You write: “However, we should not discount even the rare side effects we are already seeing (e.g., TPP linked to Pfizer vaccine in small Israeli study).” AND “Sorry, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). And yes, I realize research is ongoing to verify causation but it still will deter some people from being jabbed. Especially the young and healthy.”

First, no one is discounting rare serious side-effects. No one I know makes claim that vaccines are 100% safe. What we do is look at the benefits vs rare serious costs. And, as my previous comment made clear, even asymptomatics, including children can develop vascular disease, even the young and healthy, not rare according to studies, which could have long term consequences. And children can infect others, e.g., incapable of being vaccinated because of certain conditions, or vaccinated; but immunity low because as organ transplant on immunosuppressants.

And the research may find that the TTP wasn’t caused by the vaccine; but even if it was, again benefits vs rare serious side-effect.

@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

You write: Yep, I am exhibiting “conceited hubris” because I have studied infectious diseases for over 40 years, have a basic understanding of immunology and molecular biology, etc. and have devoted at least one hour almost every day since outbreak of pandemic in reading medical journal articles, CDC, WHO, Swedish, and British government reports, etc. Yep, it is “hubris” to challenge claims made by you, claims that you give NO indication you have the background, nor devoted significant time and effort into understanding the current pandemic nor the mRNA vaccine. I suggest you do a Google search on the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

OK, you win. I apologize for insulting your superior intelligence. You have devoted more years to studying infectious diseases than I have lived (I am 35). I work for FDA in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and I have a bachelors in biology (concentration in micro), but I have not written any books or 1200 papers on polio, and I do not devote significant time and effort into understanding the current pandemic other than what relates to my job. I have only recently discovered this blog and aside from the nasty comments, there is useful information to be found here (even if I think Orac and his haughty minions tend dismiss anyone who questions these vaccines as ignorant antivaxxers suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect – slight dig, but mostly joking; so relax). I have no underlying conditions, exercise at the gym regularly without a mask, and I am currently unvaccinated (shocking, right?). Maybe I am a complete fool for putting myself and others at great risk, but I haven’t been cowering in a corner, isolating myself from the rest of the world since the pandemic began.

Forgive my inferior knowledge on autoimmune diseases, but I do have concerns about much of what is going on today. What outlandish claims have I made to challenge the dogma of vaccines?Like everyone else, I am interested in learning more and I think it is reasonable to ask basic questions because nobody has all the answers or knows how this will end.

@ Nick

I never claimed “superior intelligence.” I know lots of people more intelligent than me; but they have focused on other topics or don’t apply the intelligence they have; e.g., jump to conclusions, form opinions, etc. without doing their homework. While I’ve devoted minimum hour every day since January 2020 on Covid papers and kept in touch by e-mail with experts in molecular biology, virology, etc. I try NEVER to rely on my judgment alone.

I won’t give names; but I have several friends who work or worked at FDA and despite what Trump and his followers believe, on the whole, the FDA and CDC staff are EXCELLENT.

And, though I am 74, for my age I am in excellent shape. BP 118/68, total cholesterol 168.
On NO MEDICATIONS. As I’ve written, after reading up on mRNA vaccines, I volunteered, got the Moderna vaccine and switched from being whole blood donor to plasma donor. And, despite having received the vaccine, I will continue to wear a mask when shopping and in fall will get flu vaccine and will continue to wear mask. May reduce risk of even getting common cold. Life is based on probabilities, so all I can do is play the probabilities that increase, but don’t guarantee, some more years of health.

Hopefully, you are OK; but you may have been exposed, had an asymptomatic case and subclinical vascular damage. Odds in your favor; but not certain. I’m surprised that someone who works for FDA ignored mitigation. Oh well.

If you are at all interested, I suggest you read the following WHO report that makes a strong case that pandemics will be occurring at ever shorter intervals with risk of some being far more deadly than the current one.

IPBES (2020). IPBES Workshop on Biodiversity and Pandemics: Workshop Report. [IPBES stands for Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services]

Easily found on internet.

@ Nick

You write: “I have not written any books or 1200 papers on polio”

Nor have I written books on polio; but read over a dozen and probably 1200 articles. I grew up knowing kids with iron braces, quadriplegics and in late 1980s met a man who had been in an iron lung since early 1950s. And several friends had family members who had had mild cases of polio and then 40 years later developed post-polio syndrome, eventually ending up bedridden.

It might interest you to know that I am currently proof-reading and making editorial suggestions for the next edition of an undergraduate microbiology book. Nope, don’t have degree in microbiology; but know enough and am obsessive-compulsive, that is, if sentence can be written better, then suggest, etc. Keeps an old man out of mischief.

If you have degree in microbiology, I’m sure your library has Field’s Virology, two volume set. Read the chapter on coronaviruses. Quite excellent.

Well of course vaccines are Marxist. I had my second Astra Zenica jab the other day, and it was all I could do to get the nurse to keep her mind on the job and not wander off taking control of the means of production.

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