The Truth about vaccines 3: MMR, DTaP, and the Greater Good

I accessed the documentary by joining the email list. From there, I got a daily email with a link to watch today’s episode free for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, the episodes are available for purchase at the Truth about Vaccines website. I am not going to share a link to the video because I don’t want anyone to think I am an affiliate with them, trying to earn referral dollars. On their website, you will see that they have a referral program where can earn $1 per person you refer. (I have taken screenshots)

My goal in watching this series is to “take one for the team” and blog about the worst mistruths and list in each episode.

The series is hosted by Ty Bollinger. Ty is a CPA. See episode 1 for information about Ty. 

 

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The top ten lies from episode 3

Please see this post for the full names and identity of each guest.

One: The theme of episode three should be ” we love Andrew Wakefield.”  Because that is the claim made over and over, by multiple interviewees.  Andrew is a saint. He should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Price. His work has been replicated 28 times. His work was not bogus or fraud. He is a victim of “big pharma” who are only interested in profit.  Please click on the blue words to learn why Andrew is a lying fraudster and his work has definitely not been replicated.

Two: Neil discusses how, if vaccines worked correctly, we would not have anyone vaccinated ever get a disease. Brian brings up the mumps portion of MMR and the current lawsuit about it. These two issues are related. First of all, no one ever promised vaccines work 100%. Depending on type, vaccines have an efficacy rate of 50-99%. Mumps is said to have an efficacy rate of 66% to 95% after two doses. So, some people who are vaccinated can still get mumps. Having followed the mumps outbreak news in detail, I don’t feel we yet know why there are suddenly more cases of mumps in USA.  It could be related to waning immunity.  What I do know is that it is not because mumps vaccine does not work at all nor is it because there is a lawsuit against Merck regarding mumps vaccine. The lawsuit makes claims that Merck did possible fidget with data to bump the effectiveness up from 78% to 95%.  This means the vaccine is still effective, but it might not be AS effective. The lawsuit needs to sort out the details before we can know for sure.

Three: Toni and Tim both claim that current measles outbreaks are caused by the measles vaccine, due to the recently vaccinated shedding the virus.  But, here’s the thing. Measles is a reportable disease and CDC and health departments test for virus type. The vaccine uses measles strain A, which protects against all strains, but all outbreaks are NOT strain A. For example, between 2001 and 2003, the following strains were found in measles patients:  B3, D3, D4, D5, D7, D8, H1, H2. These strains are all imported to USA. Furthermore, there are no cases on record of anyone even passing measles vaccine virus to another person. There are a few cases of vaccinated persons getting full blown measles and this is called shedding, but it is shedding to oneself, not others. Measles vaccine virus does not cause outbreaks.

Four: The vaccines did not save us idea is a lie. Sayer and Suzanne both repeatedly refer to mortality (death rates) graphs showing death rate was decreasing before vaccines. Suzanne has put a bunch of these historical mortality rate graphs in her book. It is true that improvements to water quality and nutrition and other lifestyle improvements did help lead to a dramatic decrease in death rate, even from diseases for which we now vaccinate. But, people were still dying and there was still great suffering from diseases, until we started to vaccinate. Look at this graph comparing the measles (mortality) death rate from 1912 to 2001 to the measles (morbidity) disease rate.

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In this report on the history of measles in USA, the authors found

“In the first decade of reporting, an average of 297,216 cases were reported each year, representing a mean reported measles incidence of 289/ 100,000. In the same period, an average of 5948 measles-related deaths were reported annually. The average annual number of reported measles cases increased to 530,217 (incidence, 310 cases/100,000) in the decade preceding licensure of measles vaccine (1953—1962). Population-based surveys suggested that reported cases underestimated actual cases in the pre-vaccine period by 85%–90% [1]. By 1953–1962, the mean annual number of fatal measles virus infections had decreased to 440, despite more reported cases [2].

Measles case fatality decreased from 21 deaths/1000 reported cases in 1911–1912 to <1 death/1000 in 1953–1962. This improvement in survival of people infected with measles virus presumably resulted from improved nutrition and medical care, especially the availability of newly discovered antibiotics to treat many of the bacterial complications of measles. It is difficult to estimate whether measles-related deaths were as severely under-reported as were measles cases.”

So, in 1912, we had 5948 measles deaths a year and 289 cases per 100,000 people. In 1953, we had 310 cases of measles per 100,000 people. And, since the population had grown, this meant a tremendous increase in the number of measles cases yearly, from 1953-62. Yes, death rate was down. But measles was still causing suffering to many until the vaccine came out in the 1960s.

This argument applies to all the vaccine preventable diseases. Modern water plants, refrigeration, hand washing, and clean food all helped us be vastly healthier. But, VPD rates were still high until vaccines helped lower them.

 

Five: Sayer talks about how we need germs to be healthy and if we allow our body to fight infection naturally, we will be stronger. He and Neil both claim having a vaccine preventable disease naturally will protect one from cardiovascular disease and cancer.  It is true that some studies are being reported showing a correlation between having chicken pox naturally and a reduced risk of a type of brain cancer. It is true that there is a study from japan that linked having had natural measles and mumps with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. But, why is Sayer concluding that children should get sick in order to possibly not have cancer or heart disease later in life? To me, this makes no sense at all and, certainly, the study authors do not make this suggestion at all. No reasonable person would ever suggest that a child should risk getting sick in order to possibly not get sick as a senior. So, this is a half lie, in my opinion. Or, a crazy stretch of the truth. You choose.

Six: Larry makes a claim that combination vaccines are problematic because, in real life, nobody ever gets more than one disease at a time. I am making the face again. Seriously? He thinks you cannot get two diseases at once? The term used for one disease or disorder linked to another is comorbidity. There is scientific literature on vaccine preventable disease comorbidity. Here is a study of children in Ghana having more than one VPD at once. Here is a study from Iran of children getting chicken pox with other diseases.  It is rare to acquire one vaccine preventable disease with another but this does not mean it cannot happen. And, it is not uncommon for people with HIV or other very serious diseases to acquire another infection. Yes, this more common people who are immune compromised or living with malnutrition, but it can happen.

Larry also claims that some countries know that combination vaccines are more dangerous and this is why they don’t offer them. He shares how Japan switched from MMR to MR and M separately because the combo vaccine caused meningitis. In reality, there are different strains of mumps and Japan prefers to use the Urabi strain while USA sticks with Jerryl-Lynn. One brand of MMR, used in Japan, was shown to increase the risk of aseptic meningitis so they switched to a different vaccine for mumps that does not have this problem. They still vaccinate for all three diseases. The switch has nothing to do with combination.

Seven: Paul says the 2004 study discussed in the movie Vaxxed shows a 300% increase in autism in African American Boys. Follow the links to read more about the film and claims.  However, this is a lie, in and of itself, because no studies show 300% more AA boys with autism. This study shows a rate of autism in whites of 62.5 per 10,000 and 42.6 in blacks. Data published in 2012 shows autism rate 1 in 63 white children, 1 in 81 black children, and 1 in 93 Hispanic children were identified with ASD. Here is the dataset.  It is possible that Paul was confused about recent claims made by RFK, but those have been refuted by several scientists who also happen to have autistic children (lest you think they are biased).

Eight: Tetyana says rubella is an unnecessary vaccine for boys and it would be better to simply have rubella parties, the disease is THAT mild. She says pregnant women are the only ones at risk from rubella. It is true that rubella, or German Measles, is a relatively mild disease in children. Complications are more common in adults than the children. The problem is not that rubella is mild but that congenital rubella syndrome is a terrible thing. “A rubella epidemic in the United States in 1964–1965 resulted in 12.5 million cases of rubella infection and about 20,000 newborns with CRS. The estimated cost of the epidemic was $840 million. This does not include the emotional toll on the families involved.”

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Thanks to vaccines, the incidence of rubella as well as the incidence of congenital rubella syndrome both dropped 99%.  The Pan American Health Organization declared all of the Americas free of native rubella in September 2016. The fact that a person with a PhD in Immunology should believe that rubella parties are a good idea is so reprehensible to me that I am just going to say that this woman must not have even one clue that CRS was like, in the days before vaccines. Before vaccines, 20,000 babies a year were born with CRS, in the USA. That we have eradicated this is astounding.

Nine: Paul says there are no safety studies done for TDaP during pregnancy. He says the vaccines is too toxic to justify giving it to prevent 5-10 pertussis infant deaths a year. Pertussis is a very serious illness, particularly in infants under age 1. Infants are most susceptible to complications and death. In 2015, almost 3000 infants had documented pertussis and 6 died. In 2012, 6000 infants had documented pertussis and 16 died. In 2013, 4000 infants had pertussis and 12 died.  It is likely that many of these infants needed hospitalization and probably all of them needed medical care. Does Paul really think that is not worth preventing?

And, yes, there are safety and efficacy studies on pertussis vaccine during pregnancy. Here is a very long list of such studies.

Paul needs to read more than inserts.

Ten: Suzanne says pertussis vaccine doesn’t work and it leads to a worse infection called parapertussis. Neil says the vaccine has caused the bacteria to evolve. This is something antivaxers have been worried about for years. But, parapertussis is milder than pertussis and parapertussis does not produce the pertussis toxin. Even Joe Mercola says it is milder. So, what about the claim made by Suzanne and Neil? This turns out to be related to a mice study where authors added findings to hype their results and this claim is contradicted by many large-scale human studies.

And, with that, I end my take on episode 3. I am going to save commenting on the greater good for a blog post of it’s own, set for next week.

 

Thanks for reading and remember to think for yourself!

 

Kathy

 

 

 

Thank you to Michael for helping me access this episode and thank you to Dorit for helping me clarify a few poins.

Truth about vaccines: who are the experts?

I missed out on watching episode three of The Truth about Vaccines.  The episodes are only available for free for 24 hours. I missed episode three. I suppose I could try to find it on youtube but, instead, I decided to bring to you the people behind the series.  It is quite a long list.  It is important to know who they are, why the filmmakers consider them experts, and why they are not truly experts in immunization science. Narrator Ty Bollinger makes frequent claims that his film is unbiased and truthful. Is it? How impartial and free of conflicts of interest are the members of this group?

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Robert F. Kennedy, JR – RFK is an attorney, author, and environmental activist. For a while, he was famous for working with Riverkeepers and then Waterkeeper Alliance but has since moved on to The Mercury Project and vaccines. His claims about mercury and vaccines are not supported by scientific consensus. He is lately becoming famous for his choice of words.

Sherri Tenpenny, DO – Sherri is a practicing osteopath in Ohio, USA, who runs a store online for supplements and a website called The Vaccine Library where, for $100 a year, you can access her information on vaccines. She also runs a website called TruthKings, which publishes very dramatic stories related to science and vaccines, rarely providing evidence to support claims. She calls herself a vaccine researcher but she has, in fact, published no research.

Paul Thomas, MD – Paul is a pediatrician with offices in the Portland, Oregon area.  He is a founding member of Physicians for Informed Consent, an antivax group affiliated with many other antivax groups. Dr Paul makes claims about his patients health that are not supported by any actual evidence and he is the author of a book called The Vaccine-Friendly Plan. He claims not to be antivax but then he spends a lot of time saying vaccines are dangerous, without much evidence to support his claims.

Toni Bark, MD – Toni is a former hospital medical director who currently runs an aesthetic beauty clinic and health center in Illinois called The center for disease prevention and reversal.  She is a practicing homeopath who also offers nutrition advice, bio-identical hormones, and aesthetic treatments like dermabrasion. She has, in recent years, become a very outspoken antivax activist.

Mike Adams, Health Ranger – Mike fancies himself a sort of health lone ranger, but this is really a business model for which he has become quite successful. It has been documented that Mike’s original foray into the business of health blogging was based on what he felt would be the most financially lucrative area of the internet. His it no wonder he “has found a way to foster and monetize the most current fear gripping the cultural zeitgeist?”  He is considered a health scammer and has been under investigation by the FBI for his actions.

Andrew Wakefield, former MD – Andy has been involved in two notorious science scandals, both relating to his 2004 study.  Brian Deer’s profile of him is accurate, as is this explanation of the “whistleblower” manufactroversy. Of course,  I watched his film Vaxxed.

Barbara Loe Fisherfounder of the National Vaccine Information Center, Barbara talks a lot about vaccine risks, including autism, and freedom and choice. She has a son who had a reaction after his fourth DPT shot that she believes led to his learning disabilities. That spurned her into vaccine advocacy, leading to her being one of the authors of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

Del Bigtree – former producer of the television talk show, The Doctors, and producer of Vaxxed. Del was a lower tier producer on 32 episodes of The Doctors (out of 1125 total).  He now makes a full time job out of promoting Vaxxed.

Suzanne Humphries, MD – Suzanne is a former nephrologist (currently licensed but not practicing) who, in 2011, devoted herself to studying homeopathy and then gave that up to focus full time on what she perceives as the evils of vaccines. She has been widely criticized for her ahistorical take on vaccines. I have read her book, Dissolving Illusions, and I am familiar with her vitamin C protocol. Her recommendations for vitamin C are based on case studies from the 1930s.

Larry Pavelsky, MD – Larry is a holistic pediatrician in New York state. He is in practice with a host of “alternative health practitioners.” A hallmark of someone not espousing good science is if they offer a store where they sell supplements and whether they offer to cure autism. Larry does both. Throughout the Truth series, Larry’s comments are among the most outrageously disconnected from fact and science.

Brian Hooker, PhD – Brian is an associate professor of biology at Simpson university in California. He has a teenage son on the autism spectrum and has spent much of the last 20 years working on proving that MMR and mercury caused his son’s “vaccine injury.” He was heavily involved with Vaxxed in that it was his now-retracted study that is featured in the film. His claim of vaccine injury was recently denied with medical evidence proved him wrong.  He has a PhD in chemical engineering.

Sayer Ji – businessman Sayer has a degree in philosophy and runs the website, Greenmedinfo, which is a natural health website oft noted for it’s inexplicable inability to properly read scientific studies. He is also an advisory committee member of RFK’s World Mercury Project.

Judy Mikovitz, PhD – Judy is a disgraced scientist who chose to embrace pseudoscience rather than admit she made a mistake. She was a researcher looking into possible causes of chronic fatigue syndrome and claimed it was caused by a mouse recombinant virus called XMRV.  The reality is that the XMRV was found to be caused by lab contamination, but Judy could not face facts.  Sadly, bad science has a hard time dying and people desperate to repair their reputation sometimes dig themselves in deep holes.

Sin Hang Lee, MD – Sin has made a reputation for himself with his ideas about Gardasil vaccine. Even though his ideas about HPV dna have been widely discredited, he is still sought out by antivaxers.

Stephanie Seneff – Stephanie is Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. That sounds so impressive, doesn’t it. But, why is she trying to study vaccines? This is the question of the day. Lately, she is making incredible claims about vaccines and autism, none of which make any sense.

Marco Ruggiero, MD – Marco is an Italian AIDS denialist and practitioner of autism “cures.” In my world, this makes him pretty low on the respectability totem pole.

Janet Levatin, MD – Janet is in practice with Tenpenny and a known antivaxer.

Joseph Mercola, DO – Joe is the granddaddy of natural health bloggers. He has been in legal trouble for making outlandish claims not based on science and is a millionaire off tanning bed and supplements sales.

Jennifer Margulis, PhD – Jennifer is a writer and known antivaxer. She has no background in science but co-authored Paul’s book (scroll up). She is anti medicine on several fronts, including birth.

Robert Scott Bell, DA, Hom – Robert is a podcaster who supposedly overcame a lot of chronic health conditions with homeopathy (which he now practices) and other natural healing methods.

Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD – Tetyana is a currently not employed immunologist who self published a small manual one can buy online.  She makes a lot of strangely unscientific claims, in her book, which has led to her becoming a popular member of the antivax brigade. She is now also a member of Physicians for Informed Consent. It is not clear why she has rejected her training.

Rashid Buttar, DO – Rashid is a known antivaxer.

Debra Gambrell, DO – Debra is an Anthroposophical Medicine Specialist, which means she espouses the theories of Waldorf School founder, Rudolf Steiner, including that disease makes us stronger.

Allison Fomar, JD – Allison is a parental rights activist.

David Wolfe – David is, well, David.  He thinks the earth is flat.

Jeffrey Jaxen – Jeffrey is an independent journalist who often writes for greenmedinfo and appears on the Robert Scott Bell show.

Robert J, Krakow – Robert is an attorney specializing in vaccine and other injuries.

Polly Tommey – Polly is a friend of Andy Wakefield’s and very involved in Vaxxed, including actively travelling the USA in the Vaxxed bus, collecting vaccine injury stories. She doesn’t believe science is truthful and instead believes whatever parents tell her. She has a son on the autism spectrum and believes he is vaccine injured and his life was destroyed. She is known for saying things like vaccines are murdering babies.

Shawn Centers, DO – Shawn is an integrative doctor who believes he can heal autism.

Neil Z Miller – Neil is a vaccine researcher who likes to use VAERS data that has not been medically verified as accurate in his “studies.”

Laura Hayes – Laura is media editor of Age of Autism, which many in the autism community believe is a hate group.

Tim O’Shea, DC – Tim is the author of a self-published book claiming vaccines do not immunize.

Ty and Charlene Bollinger – Ty is a former CPA who now runs the Truth about Cancer website. Charlene is his wife.

Nico LaHood – Nico is District Attorney for Bexar County, Texas. He believes one of his children became autistic after a vaccine and now talks about it in public.

Brandy Vaughan – Brandy is a former Vioxx rep for Merck who now runs a website called Learn the Risk. She thinks vaccine ingredients are highly toxic and raises money to fund a billboard campaign about them. She feels that her two years selling Vioxx makes her an expert in pharmaceutical company practices.

G. Edward Griffin – G. Edward is a far right conspiracy theorist. 

April Boden – April believes vaccines caused her son’s autism.

Tony Muhammad – Tony is a minister with the Nation of Islam and opposes vaccines. He also believes Vaxxed is truthful and vaccines are causing 250% more autism in African American boys.

Erin Crawford – Erin believes she got cancer from the HPV vaccine but this is not supported by medical evidence.

Mario Lamo-Jimenez – Mario is a Colombian author who now speaks at Autismone conferences on HPV vaccine.

Michael R Hugo – Michael is an attorney

Erin Elizabeth – Erin calls herself “the health nut” and is either currently or has overcome every chronic health condition you can think of, including being aborted as a fetus, mold toxicity, vaccine injury, and god knows what else. Read her story, on her blog. It’s astounding. She is Joe Mercola’s girlfriend and spends much of her time, lately, making a list of “holistic” doctors who have died in the past few years. She believes they are all murder victims.

Heather Rice, DC – Heather is a Vermont chiropractor

Erick Zielinski, DC – Erick is a chiropractor, essential oil salesman, and practitioner of “biblical health” and online ministry out of Atlanta, Georgia.

Srinivasulu Gadugu MD – he is a homeopath

Cilla Whatcott, PhD – she is a homeopath

David Lewis – David is a former research microbiologist and now Co-Chair of the Whistleblower Leadership Council.

Heather Wolfson, DC – Heather is a chiropractor from Arizona who believes vaccines are toxic

Jack Wolfson, DO – Jack is a cardiac specialist from Arizona who now runs a practice with this wife wherein they sell supplements and share why they think vaccines are toxic.

David Brownstein, MD – David is a holistic medicine practitioner from Michigan with specialty in thyroid health, arthritis and other chronic conditions. He believes they can all be overcome through diet.

Edward Group, DC – Edward wins the award for the most initials I have ever seen after one person’s name. According to his website, his title is Dr. Edward F Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM. You can check for yourself what all of that means.

Ian Clark – Ian is developer of a nanno-nutrition supplement called Oceans Alive.  Yes, it is supposed to have two Ns.

Heidi Bonaroti – Heidi believes her son’s autism was caused by vaccines.

Muhammed Rafeeque, AA, BHMS – Muhammed is a homeopath who practices in India.

Edda West – Edda is founder of Vaccine Choice Canada, a believer that vaccines cause catastrophic illness and death in children, and a contributor to whale dot to and Vaccine Risk Awareness News.

Edwin Black – Edwin is a syndicated columnist and investigative journalist. He specializes in human rights.

Manuela Malaguti-Boyle, PhD, NMD – has a master’s in philosophy and a degree as a naturopathic doctor. She practices homeopathy and natural medicine in Australia.

Tom and Candace Bradstreet – Tom and Candace are related to Jeffrey Bradstreet, who killed himself as federal officials were about to raid his clinic. He had been accused of using an unproven, unregulated, potentially dangerous “cure” for autism called GcMAF.

Irvin Sahni, MD – Irvin is a pain medicine specialist from San Antonia, Texas.

 

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Do you see what I see? The only person on the list who comes close to claiming any expertise about vaccines is Neil Z Miller and his studies have been widely refuted as not valid since he uses unverified VAERS data. Every person on this list has a reason to be antivax and completely biased against vaccines. They either make a living off the claims that vaccines cause all manner of health problems or they are people who are convinced they or their child experience vaccine harm. These are not unbiased, impartial people. Not at all.

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In writing this blog post, I have linked often to several blogs I have come to know and trust over the years. Scienceblogs, Science Based Medicine, the Genetic Literacy Project, Skeptical Raptor, Left Brain Right Brain, and Harpocrates Speaks are blogs I have followed for years. They are all excellent quality. But, don’t take my word for it. My criteria for blog excellence is the following: do they cite their sources, do they back up their claims, do they NOT sell things, and are they good people with good intentions.

 

As I alway says, think for yourself.

 

Kathy

The Truth about vaccines 2, more lies

This episode is sub-titled What is in vaccines, are they effective, and what about polio.

I accessed the documentary by joining the email list. From there, I got a daily email with a link to watch today’s episode free for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, the episodes are available for purchase at the Truth about Vaccines website. I am not going to share a link to the video because I don’t want anyone to think I am an affiliate with them, trying to earn referral dollars. On their website, you will see that they have a referral program where can earn $1 per person you refer. (I have taken screenshots)

My goal in watching this series is to “take one for the team” and blog about the worst mistruths and list in each episode.

The series is hosted by Ty Bollinger. Ty is a CPA. See episode 1 for information about Ty. 

So, let’s look at the top ten lies from episode two.

One: Robert Kennedy, Jr states all vaccine safety studies are epidemiological and they are notoriously prone to manipulation.  Epidemiology is the study and analysis of the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations.  For example, he states, the CDC eliminates all autists from safety studies.

Let’s look at the reality. There are three parts to this claim: A, that all the safety studies are done by the CDC; B, that all safety studies are epidemiological; and, C, that children with autism are not included in these studies.

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A. There are many different sources for vaccine safety studies. In the USA, one source is the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which is collaborative project between CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and nine health care organizations. These studies are published in journals, but the CDC also has a link to them their website. These studies are not conducted by the CDC. The CDC also publishes yearly reports on vaccine safety. Some of these studies have authors who are affiliated with the CDC and some of these studies were done by the CDC but by far most are NOT affiliated with the CDC. Vaccine safety studies are also done by researchers in other countries.

B. Safety studies are all epidemiological.  ‘Epidemiology is the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why.” Thus, all safety studies are epidemiological. This is true.  But, this is a deceptive comment in that it implies that safety studies should be not epidemiological.  I think what RFK means is that there should be a study on a group of children purposely left unvaccinated for the sake of science, a vaccinated versus unvaccinated study. This would leave those children vulnerable to disease, for the sake of science, and would never be approved by any ethics committee in any country. Even this study would be epidemiological. In other words, there really isn’t a good alternative. It appears the RFK does not understand the term.

C. Children with autism are not included in safety studies.  This is simply untrue. Here is a study from Denmark. The implication is that vaccine safety studies are not done on special populations but that is simply untrue. Here is a study from Cuba that included physically and mentally disabled persons. Here is a study from Japan that included handicapped persons. Here is another Japanese study.  Much thanks to Dot for helping me to find these.

Two:  Brandy Vaughan, who sold Vioxx for Merck for two years, makes a claim that no vaccine safety studies include sick or disabled children. See 1C for refutation.

Three: Suzanne Humphries and Sherri Tenpenny state vaccine studies never use saline placebo.  But, here is a flu study that used a saline placebo. Here is a literature review of HPV studies, some of which used saline placebo. Here is another flu vaccine study with saline placebo.  Here is a meningococcal serogroup B safety study with a saline placebo.  Why am I easily able to find many saline placebo studies on Pubmed when these two doctors cannot?

Four: Mike Adams appears in his lab to tell us that healthy people will always make a strong immune response to wild flu because they will immunize themselves. This is simply untrue. Studies show that more unvaccinated children die of influenza than vaccinated, even in those previously healthy.

Five: A common topic, in this series, is that vaccine ingredients are toxic. Not once does any of the so-called experts mention how toxicity varies by dose. Irvin Sahni, MD, claims vaccines have the herbicide glyphosate in them as well as anti-freeze. What is amazing about these claims is this man has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.  He should know better than to make claims not grounded in science. Parents need to know that the glyphosate in vaccines issue has been debunked and there is no antifreeze in vaccines. A single component of anti-freeze, polyethylene glycol, is used in some flu viruses but it is not anti-freeze and it is not toxic.

Are you beginning to be as annoyed as I am at these lies? I make this face a lot lately.

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Six: There is glyphosate, an herbicide, in vaccines. This is a claim made by many of the “experts” in the documentary but no one discusses the reality, which is that there is one study done by Moms Against Monsanto, where in glyphosate was found in vaccines which use mammal cells. The theory is that the animals who eat the grain which has been sprayed with glyphosate have it in their tissue, which is then used to grow vaccine viruses, and that is transferred into the vaccines. A great discussion of the reality of this claim comes from The Genetic Literacy project. As you can see, the results of this MAM study have been challenged by many and they have been replicated by no one.

Seven: Ty claims formaldehyde in vaccines is not the same as what is made in our bodies or what is in our foods, naturally, because it cannot be broken down by the body. Formaldehyde is used to inactivate pathogens and toxins. Ethyl acetate is used to precipitate formalin out of solution in a gas chromatography tube. So, there is not actually any formaldehyde in the vaccines. It is just used in the process of manufacturing. The CDC explains how some ingredients are removed before the vaccine is given. Just the Vax blog explains how even what is possibly left is not a health concern.

Eight: This is a new claim, for me. Toni Bark and Lawrence Pavelsky, both doctors who are against vaccines, claim that polysorbate 80, when used in conjunction with other drugs, opens the gut and blood brain barriers. Further, they claim, because everything with them also gets into the gut and brain, then nanoparticles of viruses, bacteria, and aluminum are also getting into these parts of our bodies. Larry says polysorbate 80 binds to the viruses and and aluminum and “walks into the brain the way a ghost can go through a wall.”  He concludes that this is what is causing vaccinated children to have autism and other neurodisabilities.

Now, first of all, we know vaccines are not causing autism. Secondly, aluminum salts in vaccines are microparticles, not nanoparticles. Polysorbate 80 is used with nanoparticles of certain drugs, like loperamide, to deliver them to the brain when necessary.  These drugs only cross the blood brain barrier  when loaded onto polybutylcyanoacrylate (PBCA)-nanoparticles and coated with polysorbate 80. But, aluminum salts are microparticles, not nanoparticles. There are experiments underway using aluminum salt nanoparticles but all existing vaccines use microparticles of aluminum salts and those are much too large to cross the blood brain barrier.

Nine: Ty, and others, claim the amount of aluminum in vaccine exceeds the FDA limit. Ty is referring to a document on the FDA website which refers to aluminum use in total parenteral nutrition. The TPN limit is 25 micrograms per liter. TPN is a method of feeding people bypassing the gastrointestinal tract. Sick newborns, for example, may receive TPN via a vein. Children and adults with bowel disease may also get TPN. Adult daily requirements for TPN are 30–40 mL Water (/kg body wt/day).  This has nothing to do with vaccines and is not the aluminum limit for vaccines. In fact, an “FDA study found that the risk to infants posed by the total aluminum exposure received from the entire recommended series of childhood vaccines over the first year of life is extremely low” and  “the maximum amount of aluminum an infant could be exposed to over the first year of life would be 4.225 milligrams (mg), based on the recommended schedule of vaccines. Federal Regulations for biological products (including vaccines) limit the amount of aluminum in the recommended individual dose of biological products, including vaccines, to not more than 0.85-1.25 mg. For example, the amount of aluminum in the hepatitis B vaccine given at birth is 0.25 mg.”

Ten: I cannot believe I got all the way to #9 and I still am only half way through this episode!  The rest of the episode is about polio and Salk and SV40.  Suzanne plugs her book and claims there was a diagnostic criteria change around the time the polio vaccine was invented and that is the reason polio rate dropped. She claims the vaccine had nothing to do with it. Sayer claims women pass SV40 to their fetuses and he got it from his mother who had that vaccine. Toni claims the polio vaccine causes massive paralysis in developing countries, but it is not tracked.

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In lieu of debunking all these claims, I am going to link to Mr Skeptical Raptor, who has done a find job debunking polio vaccine claims. These all specifically address claims made by the movie, although these blog posts were written well before the movie. Antivaxers like to recycle the claims. Skeptical Raptor fully cites all sources and backs all claims.

Polio, and SV40 do not cause cancer

Jonas Salk is an American Hero

Polio vaccine did not cause 47,000 cases of paralysis in India

Bill Gates is not trying to depopulate the world with vaccines

And, finally, to learn more about the single greatest public health initiative of all time, wherein we went from polio paralysing 1000 children a day in 1988 to 37 cases of polio (wild and vaccine-derived) last year, please visit the The Global Polio Eradication Initiative website.

Remember to always think for yourself,

 

Kathy

 

 

The Truth about Vaccines Episode 1: Top Ten lies debunked

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This episode is sub-titled The History of Vaccines, Smallpox, Vaccine Safety and the Current CDC Schedule. I accessed the documentary by joining the email list. From there, I got a daily email with a link to watch today’s episode free for 24 hours. After the 24 hours, the episodes are available for purchase at the Truth about Vaccines website.

 

The series is hosted by Ty Bollinger. Ty is a CPA. He runs a seemingly successful business and website telling people factoids about cancer. For clarity, I am going to refer to everyone by their first name, after introducing them.

The first guest is author Jennifer Margulis. She makes a point is that if a patient did not want an antibiotic for a viral infection, they would never be called anti antibiotic, so why do we call people who question vaccine safety “antivax?”  Now, dear readers, do you see the logical errors here? As someone who is actually allergic to two different kinds of antibiotics, I know that being unable to take certain antibiotics and asking questions about antibiotic risks and benefits does not mean one is opposed to all antibiotics. It behooves my health to double check with my doctor that any antibiotic they are prescribing to me (on the rare occasion I need one) is not related to the two types which caused me allergic reactions.  By the same token, if you had a bonafide allergic reaction to a vaccine, you would want to find out which ingredient caused the reaction and avoid that one ingredient. Asking your doctor questions about your reaction and future vaccines does not make you antivax. What makes a person antivax is, for example, assuming that everything bad is a vaccine reaction or that a minor reaction is cause to avoid all future vaccines.  Also, doctors do not prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, so Margulis’ comment doesn’t actually make a lot of sense to me.

I do agree with Ty and Jennifer that we all want our kids to be safe. As I am oft to say, there is nothing wrong with asking questions. It’s the answers that are the issue.

The documentary says many falsehoods, such as the one above. I chose to narrow it down to ten and debunk just them.

 

One: The first lie comes from Dr Paul Thomas, a pediatrician from Oregon.  Paul explains that the AAP does not investigate vaccine safety. Ty claims that the issue is that we need to entertain the vaccine safety discussion. Now, do you see the lie?  The American Academy of Pediatricians is a professional organization.  They publish several journals, including Pediatrics.  They also research pediatrician office practices and they do research issues related to immunizations. In a way, Paul is correct that the AAP does not specifically research vaccine safety but this does not mean members are not involved in vaccine safety research nor does this mean that AAP ignores vaccine safety. In the journal Pediatrics alone, there have been many vaccine safety studies published. Therefore, it is untrue that the AAP does not investigate vaccine safety.

Two: Paul brings up iatrogenic, the idea that doctors cause harm by what they do. He says that doctors have lost their way and don’t look at the harms vaccines do. He discusses the connection between autism, vaccines, mercury in vaccines, the hepatitis B dose at birth, aluminum and how, in 2008, he had to make a decision to slow down and analyze vaccines for toxicity issues. His implication is that doctors cause grave injury to children, with vaccines, but they are not interested in learning why or how. This begs the question why then are doctors reporting adverse events to VAERS, the vaccine adverse event reporting system? Why are other doctors studying the medical information related to these reports and publishing findings in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a network of nine healthcare organizations across the country? Why are these findings published in journals to which doctors subscribe, such as Pediatrics, wherein they can be easily read? I have to think that Paul must be aware of these facts and is simply misleading viewers on purpose.

ThreeNeil Z. Miller comes to discuss all the side effects he thinks vaccines cause but he never brings up how he got these ideas from raw VAERS data nor does he discuss issues of validity or reliability of using raw VAERS data. The problem is that anyone can report anything to VAERS and reports are made, in comes cases, without regard to proving causation. This is important because the CDC and FDA and the VSD will monitor these reports and do studies of actual medical records to see if vaccines really do cause serious issues. For example, it was the results of these kinds of studies that the first rotavirus vaccine was removed from market in 1999 for causing intussusception more often than would occur normally. Neil should know how this works but he does not have access to medical records, so his studies only look at raw VAERS reports. This is not considered valid since none of the reports have been verified by medical evidence. SIDS is an example of something that may be reported to VAERS but, in reality, is not caused by vaccines. In fact, studies show SIDS rate in USA is not only at an historical low but that vaccines cut the risk of SIDS in half.  Therefore, Neil has nothing valid to offer and it was remiss of Ty to not mention these facts.

Four: Ty then comes on to claim that the CDC states informed consent issues are, according to the 10th amendment, a state’s rights issue. Barbara Loe Fisher, NVIC founder, explains how vaccine laws are state laws. Vaccine laws are statutory, created by states. They are implying that vaccines are given to children without the parent being afforded informed consent; therefore, they argue, this is coercion. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss has written about the legalities this topic and states: “The informed consent process for vaccines is carefully regulated and thought through. A serious effort is made to provide patients with the information they need in a short, accessible format. As long as the healthcare provider performs the legal duty of providing the Vaccine Information Sheet before vaccinating, the patient – or parent – has before them the information necessary to make an informed decision.”  Therefore, patients and their parents are give informed consent and the filmmakers, again, have lied.

Five: From this point, Ty discusses how much medical education a typical doctor receives in medical school. Larry Pavelsky states vaccines are not very much discussed in medical school.  Suzanne Humphries says doctors are not taught anything at all about what is in vaccines. Paul talks about how his daughter is in medical school and she is still not being taught what is in vaccines. Shari Tenpenny says the problem is the “big ramp up in the number of vaccines.” Del Bigtree, film producer, comes on to explain that doctors entire understanding of vaccines is “just because.”   He says doctors know nothing about vaccines except that they were told vaccines are safe. This is fraud, in his opinion.  Ty spends some time going over the average medical school curriculum. He claims that only one course is offered, microbiology, which addresses vaccines at all.

standford copy.jpg

 

In reality, doctors spend a great deal of time learning about everything to do with the human body, disease, prevention, treatment, and more. As you can see from the schematic above, which is from Stanford University’s s 2016-2017 MD Program, doctors learn about immunology, microbiology, diseases, systems, and more. What those opposed to vaccines really mean, when they say doctors don’t learn about vaccines, is that doctors do not learn the ingredients to vaccines. This is true. There is nothing on this curriculum list about pharmacology. Do you know why? Because pharmacists learn about pharmacology, not medical doctors. Medical doctors don’t memorize the ingredients to the drugs they look up. They can look up ingredients and side effects on their laptop. If you want to discuss drug ingredients, find a pharmacist.

Six: Barbara Loe implies that all manner of pediatric health issues are all on the rise and, therefore, must be related to the increase in vaccines. She states that the worst public health report card in history coincides with the increase in vaccines. But let’s take a look at the actual data. This report, from AAP, noted that the prevalence of disability increased 16.3 percent from 2001-2002 to 2009-2010 with more children today having a disability than a decade ago, and the greatest increase is among kids in higher-income families. But, “while neurodevelopmental and mental health-related disabilities increased, those due to physical conditions decreased.” “The survey did not break out autism, but we suspect that some of the increase in neurodevelopmental disabilities is due to the rising incidence or recognition of autism spectrum disorders,” Dr. Houtrow said. ”

We also know, from my research project last summer, that shifting diagnosis codes is responsible for the increase in autism diagnosis. And, we know that increases in special education funding and programming have resulted in more children being diagnosed with learning disabilities who would have been ignored in past generations.

We also know that SIDS and infant mortality rates are at all time lows, in USA.

Therefore, it is a lie to say that pediatric health issues are on the rise.

Lead

Seven: Paul brings up how doctors were promoting cigarettes in the 1950s and implies vaccines are similarly waiting for studies to be done on them. This is a bit silly but since it is brought up often by those opposed to vaccines, I am going to give it some time. As you can tell from this 1956 Atlantic Article, science knew a great deal about how cigarettes were related to cancer, even back as far as the 1930s. “The year 1950 saw the publication of four independent statistical studies, each of which established a significantly higher percentage of heavy cigarette smokers among lung cancer patients than among any other group. There have now been more than fourteen similar studies, and without exception they arrive at this same conclusion.” So, why did doctors promote cigarettes in the 1950s? Well, because they were fake doctors in advertisements. The tobacco companies were not yet required to list warning about cigarettes and advertisers were allowed to lie back then. Laws changed in the 1960s. The Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act was not enacted until 1965. So, it is a lie to say that doctors were promoting cigarettes and there was not science about them being health hazards.

Eight: Paul comes back on to talk about how doctors don’t know what to look for, with regard to vaccine reactions. He says no one has looked at whether the unvaccinated have febrile seizures or die of SIDS.  He talks about how there are more allergies, more ADHD, etc and they have not been studied in relation to vaccines. (Does he really not know that these questions have been answered already? See #2)   Here is some information about febrile seizures. A lot is known about how they connect with vaccines. Some vaccines can cause a fever which could cause a febrile (fever) seizure. This is not epilepsy and it is not a vaccine issue, per se, but that some toddlers are prone to a seizure with a fever. An illness could also cause the seizure. We also know that vaccines cut risk of sids in half and that sids rate is at an all time low, in USA. 

Nine: Barbara  brings up how vaccines are unavoidably unsafe. Toni reiterates this point. Toni claims that judges don’t understand this point when she discusses it with them. Unavoidably unsafe refers to a legal case Bruesewitz v. Wyeth. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss explains that it means “these products are beneficial enough that society wants to encourage their manufacturing. Therefore, while strict liability would be applied to most products, a manufacturer that prepared a drug or vaccine carefully and warned consumers of its risks should not have to pay for the side effects of a drug or vaccine whose benefits outweigh the risks unless that manufacturer can be shown to have been negligent.” Therefore, vaccines are not unsafe.

Ten: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger comes on to claim that vaccines are advertised as 100% risk-free, that the vaccine risk are ignored. He claims the vaccine injury wants us to ignore the risk-benefit ratio. He does not explain why he thinks the risk from vaccines is “very very high.” I am sure Mike knows that vaccine information sheets fully state the risks and that disease risks are much higher. Therefore, he is lying to viewers.  Here is a great explanation of risks of diseases versus vaccines from the National Center for Immunisation in Australia.

Sidebar to #10: Ty brings up the vaccine injury awards paid out. He mentions the risks but does not qualify them. We know that 5200 claims of vaccine injury have been compensated, along with attorney fees, in 30 years. We also know that we’ve given out 3 billion (at least) vaccines in those 30 years. Why does Ty not mention that makes vaccines 99.999984% safe?

 

As you can see, there were a great many mistruths and outright lies told in this first episode of The Truth about Vaccines. I hope this information helps you to debunk the film. Look for episode 2 debunking soon!

Some information about Ty Bollinger

Official biography

Woman following his protocol died unnecessary death

Ty Bollinger’s pseudoscience

 

As always, remember to think for yourself.

 

Kathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vaccines Revealed 3 – a provaxer’s view

Did you read about episode 1? Please check out this post, which has links to all the information about this series and it’s major players.

Patrick Gentempo interviews Robert (Bobby) Kennedy Jr. 

Right off the bat, Kennedy talks about studies that link vaccines, thimerosal and autism. He says the public perceives otherwise, but there is a large body of research supporting vaccines cause autism. Kennedy claims the pharmaceutical industry is paying of the press to post otherwise, to keep these studies out of the press.  One can only assume he is referring to work by Geier and Geier, and others, which have been debunked as very badly done studies. He essentially blamed it all on Rubert Murdoch, saying that only a few entities control the press and they are bought off by pharmaceuticals.

He says the CDC buys and SELLS $4 billion worth of vaccines yearly. However, he is referring to the Vaccines for Children program, which gives away FOR FREE vaccines to programs for children living in poverty.

So, let that sink in a bit. Robert Kennedy Jr is a conspiracy theorist. He believes theories not supported by science and that “BIG PHARMA” controls the media. He also claims Paul Offit is on the payroll of Merck. No, I am sorry Bobby, but Dr Offit works for CHOP. And, yes, he was on the team who developed one of the two rotavirus vaccines but he did recuse himself from voting on the approval for that vaccine. Also, he and the other vaccine developers sold the vaccine along with their employer, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. And no one ever claimed the transaction was bad. Ever. Only you, Bobby.

Here is a large list of studies looking at thimerosal and vaccines and autism. Notice they all conclude no connection.

Bridges case, vaccine court

Bobby spends a lot of time talking about how many vaccines children are given today. He claims that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (NCVIA) is the reason we have more vaccines today, because pharmaceutical companies are immune to liability. But, this is all simply untrue. NCVIA mandates that you go through “vaccine court” first, in most situations, but section 300-aa21 does allow for when and how you can sue pharmaceutical manufacturers for claims.

Bobby also spends time talking about how there are no double-blind, saline-placebo or placebo-controlled studies on vaccines. But, most clinical trials are done as such. Pubmed has lists of them.

Again, I have the same impression as with other Vaccines Revealed speakers: Is he lying? Or ignorant?

Bobby goes on to spend some time linking thimerosal to autism and other neurological disorders, without regard to how diagnoses expanded and changed throughout the 1980s and beyond. He appears to not know anything at all about the history of special education and psychology.

He really is a conspiracy theorist, in the classic sense. This is a shame. He even brings up the Amish. This has been debunked.

The “very good science” he refers to is by Geier and Geier. Several doctor/bloggers I respect have written about this widely: Science-Based Medicine and Left Brain, Right Brain. In a nutshell, it has been completely discredited to the point where father Geier no longer has a medical license. That is because of shoddy research and practices.

Bobby closes up the interview claiming that we inject pregnant mothers and newborn babies with hundreds of times more mercury than is in fish.

Sigh

Here is the thing. We give newborns Hepatitis B vaccine. There is no thimerosal in it. None. We recommend pregnant women get a thimerosal-free flu vaccine or a thimerosal-free TDaP vaccine. No thimerosal.  None. Nada.

In fact, there is no thimerosal in most vaccines and it is very easy to avoid it all together.

So, what is he talking about? Is he lying? Or ignorant?

If you want to learn more about thimerosal, or any vaccine ingredient, here is a good website.

After this, Kennedy spends some time talking about his project, The World Mercury Project, and how they need donations.

Next, there is an interview with Scott Miller, who made a film about The Gulf War Syndrome. I chose not to pay attention to this interview since he is not a vaccine information player.

The episode concludes with a shortened version of Vaxxed.

Remember, think for yourself!

 

Kathy

 

Vaccines Revealed 1 – a provaxer’s view

If you have not heard, some chiropractors are starting to band together to put for propaganda on vaccines. I say propaganda because they are doing so in the classic sense of the term.

From Merriam-Webster

Propaganda: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect

 

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This is exactly what they are doing. In this post, I am going to write about Vaccines Revealed, a 9-part documentary series produced by chiropractor Patrick Gentempo. As far as I can tell, he does not practice chiropractic these days. Instead, he runs a holding company that owns, among other entities, Circle of Docs, a networking group for chiropractors. It is run by Gentempo and Beau Pierce, another chiropractor. My theory, which is mostly an educated guess, is that Circle of Docs and Vaccines Revealed are about pushing chiropractic to the next level; in other words, they are about marketing. By hooking up with “experts” who oppose vaccines, they are marketing to an audience who is already suspicious about medicine. Promoting these videos, which are basically interviews with the standard antivax players (Wakefield, Goldberg, Kennedy, Tenpenny, etc), enables them to promote their own point of view about chiropractic being a viable alternative to medicine. Simply put, they want you to see a chiropractor for your healthcare.

But, I digress. A common occurrence.

Why am I writing about these videos? Because no one will ever be able to accuse me of being closed minded. I watched Vaxxed, did I not?

Therefore, I signed up, via email, to get the free previews. And I watched them. And I rewatched them on youtube. There are 9 episodes and they all were free to view online for 24 hours. But, of course, they are all on youtube for free. Just search!

So, let’s talk about these videos.

Video one: Andrew Wakefield 

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Andy starts out with a personal story of mistrusting doctors. He implies all doctors are working only for money and one must trust one’s instincts.  He spends a lot of time talking about autism, which he believes is caused by vaccines, and how debilitating it is to society to have to deal with autism. He talks about special education services and how the burden on the school system is so great that autists are becoming a burden on the social system. He believes the number or autists is growing and it will be a plague. He uses that term, “plague.” He spends some time explaining why he studied MMR. There is nothing new herein. He slanders Brian Deer, as usual.  He still feels he was wronged. Having read his book, Callous Disregard, I feel this is a tiresome argument. Why is he still trying argue that Brian Deer was wrong? There is just too much evidence against you, Andy. Move on.

Andy spends more time talking about Merck and all their evils (according to him).  He believes Merck put people at risk the interest of profit. He does not present any evidence. If you want to read about the Merck Mumps lawsuit, I recommend this blog post. If you want to learn about the CDC Whistleblower, read this fabulous post.   There is no evidence to back his claims that Merck employees should be in prison. He is really very good at hyperbole.

Andy spends some time trying to explain that public perception of vaccines is shifting from trust to anger. He refers to a Michigan study, but of course he misquotes it. Let’s look at the real study.

“One-third of parents who participated in the poll indicated they now perceived more benefits of vaccines, while one-quarter perceived vaccines to be safer now than a year ago. One–third of parents also reported being more supportive of school and daycare entry requirements for vaccination than they were the previous year.

“Over the last year there have been high-profile news stories about outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough. These news reports may be influencing how parents perceive childhood vaccines across the country,” says Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., director of the National Poll on Children’s Health and professor of pediatrics and internal medicine in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School.

“For a quarter to a third of parents to say that their views on the safety and benefits of vaccines have shifted in just a year’s time is quite remarkable. Parents’ perceptions that vaccines are safer and offer more benefits are also consistent their stronger support of daycare and school entry requirements for immunizations.”

Parents were also asked their opinions about the risk of measles and whooping cough compared to a year ago. Two out of every five parents, or 40 percent, believe the risk of measles for children in the U.S. is higher than what it was one year ago. Another 45 percent say the risk is about the same and 15 percent say the risk is lower.”

Well, that certainly does not say to me that more Americans distrust vaccines.

It is fair to say that Andy Wakefield continues to be a lying liar.

Video one: Gary Goldberg. 

Hour two has Toni Bark, homeopath, interviewing Gary Goldman. Goldman is the editor of Medical Veritas, a website and journal. Goldman is often associated with Neil Z Miller, as they have authored several badly done studies on vaccines. Goldman is a computer scientist and seems to think he has expertise in data analysis. I can find no evidence he ever worked for the CDC. It appears he was contracted by third party groups to participate in a study somewhat connected with the CDC. In the video, he is described as a CDC researcher.

Goldman talks a lot about shingles rate increasing because adults no longer have contact with children who have wild chicken pox. He spends a great deal of time discussing his theory, which has been debunked. Of course, he fails to mention this fact. He spends some time talking about the monetary cost of treating chicken pox versus shingles but fails to bring up the shingles vaccine.

The next segment involves Toni Bark talking about how she went to medical school knowing she would not practice mainstream medicine because she wanted to affect change and practice Chinese medicine. This is why she studied homeopathy. She spends some time talking about how vaccine studies don’t use saline placebos. Strangely, she is wrong and does not understand this. She does not mention that most clinical trials use a saline placebo. Use Pubmed, Toni! You will find many saline placebos in vaccine clinical trials. So, is she lying or just ignorant?  She also talks about morbidity and mortality and insists that sanitation and water saved us. She even says the ingredients in vaccines breach the blood brain barrier and cause autism.  She thinks microglial activation is causing autism.

Sigh.

This has all been debunked.

 

 

 

Remember! Always think for yourself!

 

Kathy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Carey discusses Vaxxed, the film.

Today, I had the pleasure of listening to a pre-recorded conference call between Karen Ernst, the Director of Voices for Vaccines, and Matt Carey, PhD in physics, autism parent, autism advocate and blogger at Left Brain, Right Brain (LBRB). I have been reading LBRB for years, since back when it was run by Kevin Leitch. It is one of my favorite blogs.

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Today’s conversation was recorded live and there was an opportunity to call in and ask questions about the film Vaxxed. For those of us who missed the live version, you can listen to the recorded version at this link. You will want to open it with music player for google or podcast app or something similar.

To remind you, Vaxxed is the film Andrew Wakefield, Polly Tommey, and Del Bigtree made about the “cdcwhistleblower” controversy. I saw it and wrote my own review, which you can read here. You can also read the full facts (or lack thereof) in Vaxxed at Harpocrates Speaks Blog. 

I am not going to transcribe the whole conversation but here are some of my notes. It was definitely worth a listen.

Matt and Karen discussed the facts from the film and the controversy, including going in-depth into what William Thompson actually said and what he did not say. Matt also discussed the idea that the data was thrown away (it was not). Matt has written quite extensively about all of this, on LBRB. For example, herein he writes about how there was not really any whistle to blow.

The first caller was antivaxer Sherry Saunders who came on at about minute 37:00.  She stated that she used to work as a security guard at Huntsville [sic] Hospital and claimed it was part of her job to take care of hysterical parents who had brought a child in having seizures after a vaccine. She asked how she could convince parents the vaccine is not the problem and that the doctors and nurses are not at fault. My first reaction was that she could not be telling the truth because she stated she used to work at the hospital but then asked the question as if she still does work at the hospital.  She switched back and forth in tenses a lot, as if this is not a real story.  She went on to say that she was the security supervisor in the ICU and had to restrain the parents because they were hysterical about their child’s vaccine reaction. She claimed she had to restrain them and call the police and  that she had a stun gun. Because the parents were hysterical. Had. All past tense. Then, she asked what she is supposed to say to the parents since she is being told by doctors to keep them far away from the child in ICU and call the police. Present tense. 
At this point, I am making my “what the….” face and I can hear Matt, in the background, laughing. Here is what my “what the….” face looks like:
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Matt answered by telling her the doctors need to be the ones talking to the parents, not her, and Sherry responded by saying the hospital told her to keep the parents far away from the kids and call the police. At this point, Matt and Karen told her they did not believe her story and they hung up on her. 
A few more calls and questions were taken, including a nice discussion about how most parents of children with autism know vaccines don’t cause autism and how The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is a great Facebook page and has a marvelous website for respectful talk about vaccines, autism, and advocacy. Matt also explained thoroughly how the idea that African American boys have a greater risk of autism is simply not backed up by data.
The last caller was Joshua Coleman, who identified himself as a member of the Vaxxed team.  Joshua is, in fact, the videographer who went on tour with the Vaxxed team in their bus for the last few months.  He was up at minute 66:34. Joshua is the person who recently ambushed Dr Paul Offit at breakfast and video recorded him without permission.  Joshua began to talk about Del Bigtree showing the film to Senator Ben Allen, but Karen redirected him to stay on the topic of the content of the film Vaxxed.  So, he brought up how we only know MMR and thimerosal don’t cause autism, that the rest of the ingredients and other vaccines, he said, have not been tested. Joshua mentioned the (now retracted) Wakefield 1998 paper. He stated that provaxers often use that paper as proof that Andrew Wakefield said vaccines cause autism. Joshua said these two facts, that vaccines don’t cause autism and Wakefield says they do, are both blatent lies.  This, he says, was his first clue that provaxers lie. He asked Matt to explain to him how this is okay and not a major red flag that there is some deceit going on here. 
Matt responded first by making the point that he, Matt, has published over 100 papers and none have ever been retracted.  Matt then brought up how many papers Wakefield has had retracted and then made a very valid point that the Vaxxed fans and team tend to forget to bring up how many papers Wakefield has had retracted.  Matt explained how Wakefield went in to the press conference for the 1998 paper and made statements that were “wildly extrapolated and wildly irresponsible” and antivaxers never explain about this fact. Matt also reminded Joshua that we can easily go through Wakefield’s public records and find many statements where he has stated, in one form or the other, that vaccines cause autism.  The 1998 Lancet article, Matt states, tends to be the only thing antivaxers want to talk about, not the fact that the work he did for that paper was a result of the ethics violations that were found proved and which cost him his medical license.  We are not talking about an upstanding researcher, said Matt.  
After Matt answered Josh’s question, Josh ignored him and began to argue with Matt. Basically, Matt answered the question in full but, somehow, Josh missed it and claimed his question was not addressed. He was arguing so much, that Karen hung up on him. 
This led to a nice conversation between Karen and Matt about how antivaxers tend to distract and divert by arguing “itty bitty” details.
The final comment made by Matt is that he is not provax, he is an autism parent and wants to counter misinformation that is used to damage his community. He feels antivaxers use vaccines as a tool to damage the autism community.
Karen made very good point that we need to make a place at the table for parents of autists who are harmed by this assault, by this myth getting perpetuated that vaccines cause autism. Matt agreed and pointed out that autists are more medically fragile than the general public and his own child has been hospitalized many times because a minor infection which set off his epilepsy. He made the point that a serious infection like measles could kill his son and not vaccinating puts everyone in danger. Matt concluded by saying how he got into this provax fight not because of vaccines but because of wanting to protect his own son and others in the autism community from the harm that antivaxers cause by not vaccinating and also by thinking of autism as damage. 
All in all, this was a very worthwhile listen.  Thanks Karen and Matt.
Remember to always think for yourself!
Kathy

ETA: For another look at this call and the output connected with it, here is a storification from @jkellyca of twitter responses using the hashtag,  #vfvcall.

 

 

 

 

USA does not vaccinate more than other countries

 

vaccinesworld

Have you seen this blog?

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This is a product of Generation Rescue.  The title refers to a quote from vaccine advocate, Amanda Peet, who said there are (were at the time) 14 good studies showing vaccines don’t cause autism.  Now, there are more than 107 studies showing vaccines do not cause autism. And, despite protestations from people opposed to vaccines, there are no studies demonstrating vaccines do cause autism.

But, what was really interesting on this website is the claim that the USA vaccinates more than any other country. We do not.

In this post from 14 Studies, they say

“The United States has the highest number of mandated vaccines for children under 5 in the world (36, double the Western world average of 18), the highest autism rate in the world (1 in 110 children, 10 times or more the rate of some other Western countries), but only places 34th in the world for its children under 5 mortality rate. What’s going on?”

They  provide a list of the number of vaccines given in several major Western countries. For example, they list USA as giving 36 mandatory vaccines, Iceland, Sweden, and Japan all give 11, Norway 13, Finland and Denmark 12 each, and France and Israel 17 each. They also list the autism rate per country, with USA’s being the highest, according to them.  But, are these statistics correct?

None of their information is correct. One cannot even begin to determine how they got this erroneous information because they simply linked to the wiki page for each country, as supposed proof. None of the wiki pages say anything about immunization statistics nor autism data.

Here is the (incorrect) data from 14 studies:

 

Country # vaccines in schedule under age 5 Autism rate Autism rate by percent Mortality rate per 1000 children under 5 mortality rate worldwide
USA 36 1 in 110 0.0091 7.8 34
Iceland 11 1 in 1100 0.0009 3.9 1
Sweden 11 1 in 862 0.0012 4.0 2
Japan 11 1 in 475 0.0021 4.2 4
Norway 13 1 in 2000 0.0005 4.4 5
Finland 12 1 in 719 0.0014 4.7 6
France 17 1 in 613 0.0016 5.2 11
Israel 11 1 in 1000 0.0010 5.7 17
Denmark 12 1 in 2200 0.0005 5.8 18
 Australia

Here is the up-to-date data:

Country # diseases vaxed for under age 5 Autism rate (2013-2015) Autism rate by percent Mortality rate per 1000 children under 5 mortality rate worldwide Start date of universal healthcare
USA 14 1 in 68 0.012 7.0 56 never
Iceland 10 120 in 10,000 0.012 2.0 3 1990
Sweden 9 1 in 862 0.001 3.0 8 1955
Japan 14 161 in 10,000 0.016 3.0 2 1938
Norway 11 80 in 10,000 0.008 3.0 5 1912
Finland 11 54 in 10,000 0.005 2.0 6 1972
France 11 37 in 10,000 0.004 2.0 14 1974
Israel 14 48 in 10,000 0.005 4.0 21 1995
Denmark 9 22 in 10,000 0.002 4.0 18 1973
Australia 12 1 in 52 0.019 4.0 37 1984
Canada 14 1 in 68 0.015 5.0 46 1966

As you can see, there is quite a bit of difference from the 14 studies page and the reality.  Since 14 studies only linked to wiki pages, I have no idea where they got the numbers they shared. It would be that, for USA, they counted number of diseases vaccinated for as one vaccine. But, why did they not do that for all countries?  At the end of this post, you will find an extensive set of links to all the data I put in my chart.

Look carefully at my data. The number of vaccines we give, in the USA, is not much different from other developed countries. Japan, Israel, and Canada give the same number. Look at the autism rates. The USA’s is not the highest.

Simply put, 14 studies website is not telling the truth.

 

Please think for yourself. Always check sources for claims made.

 

Kathy

 

 

References:

CDC Immunization schedule

European Immunization schedules

Japan Immunization schedule

Israel Immunization schedule

Australia Immunization schedule

Canada Immunization schedule

USA autism rate

Iceland Autism rate

Sweden Autism rate

Japan Autism rate

Norway Autism rate

Finland Autism rate

Israel Autism rate

France Autism rate

Denmark Autism rate

Australian autism rate

Canada Autism rate

Child mortality rate under 5

International Infant mortality rate

Start date of universal healthcare

 

 

This is part 3 of a three part blog series about USA infant mortality rates, vaccines, and autism. Be sure to check out part 1 and part 2.

 

 

 

 

 

USA Infant Mortality Rate is low. Part 2

There are claims, by those opposed to vaccines, that vaccines are the cause for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). According to the Mayo Clinic, “Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs.” Some people think that the only thing that caused infants to die, 50 or more years ago, was poor nutrition and unclean water. This could not be farther from the truth.

america

As you can see, infant mortality rates in USA. Please visit Part 1 for details.

graph-copy

(source)

 

Even when presented with this evidence, persons opposed to vaccines will claim that the rate would be lower if the USA did not have ‘the highest vaccination rate in the world.’ Or, they will claim the USA ‘is the only country on earth to vaccinate newborns.’  (I am paraphrasing from what I have read online.)  So, does the USA have the highest vaccination rate in the world? Are we the only country on earth to vaccinate newborns? Let’s take a look.

Australia: Hep B at birth, infant schedule a lot like USA’s

Israel: Hep B at birth, infant schedule a lot like USA’s

Amongst other European countries, the following routinely give Hep B at birth to all infants: Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Spain. The following countries routinely give tuberculosis (BCG) as well as Hep B vaccine to newborns:  Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovenia. All of the rest of European countries do give these vaccines to newborns but only in recommended groups. All of these countries also give vaccines for pertussis, diphtheria, polio and tetanus to infants in the early months. The following countries also give rotavirus to infants, some as young as six weeks: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom.

What about in Asian countries or thereabouts?

Singapore: Hep B and BCG at birth, infant schedule a lot like USA’s

Hong Kong: Hep B and BCG at birth, infant schedule a lot like USA’s

The World  Health Organization has a search engine for immunization schedules. The following additional countries to routine Hep B immunization for newborns: Algeria, Botswana, Bhutan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Nigeria, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Thailand, China, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.

All of these countries also routinely give children most, if not all, of the same vaccines we give in USA.

As you can see, it only takes a bit of leg work to disprove the myth that American babies are dying more than ever and that USA vaccinates more than other countries. American babies are LIVING more than ever and we DO NOT vaccinate more than the rest of the world.

 

Remember to always think for yourself!

 

Kathy

 

Be sure to read part 3: USA does not vaccinate more than other countries

USA Infant Mortality Rate is low. Part 1

Lately, I keep reading comments from people saying that the hepatitis b vaccine for newborns, along with the rest of the infant vaccines, is causing massive infant deaths in USA. They say that vaccines are the reason the infant mortality rate is abysmally low. They say that vaccines are murdering babies.

america

This is confounding when you look at the actual evidence. Infants in USA are not dying. They are living more than ever before in history. SUID and SIDS rates are both at all time lows.  Look at these two graphs.

graph2-copy

source

graph-copysource

In 1935, the infant mortality rate (IMR) was 55.7 deaths per 100 live births. In 2000, it was 6.9. In 2015, it was 5.87 deaths per 1000 live births. From 55.7 to 5.87 in less than 100 years is an astounding decrease.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the USA currently ranks 167th best, out of 224 countries, for Infant Mortality. The worst is Afghanistan at 115/1000 and the best is Monaco at 1.82/1000.  But, look at the countries close to our statistics:

cia-copy

We are much closer to the best countries than we are to the worst. There are many countries in the same 5 range as  USA. Pretty much all the countries with better IMRs have socialized medicine and far less poverty (meaning more welfare and higher taxes) than USA. Plus, there is an additional reason the USA has a higher IMR than some of the best countries: we count premature births differently and we have significant issues with regards to income and other demographics. According to Chen, Oster, and Williams, some European countries count very premature infants who then die not as infant deaths but as miscarriages. We count them as infant deaths, in USA. Also, there are dramatic differences, in USA, between socioeconomic groups. “Digging deeper into these numbers, Oster and her colleagues found that the higher U.S. mortality rates are due “entirely, or almost entirely, to high mortality among less advantaged groups.” To put it bluntly,” says the Washington Post,  “babies born to poor moms in the U.S. are significantly more likely to die in their first year than babies born to wealthier moms.”

As you can see in this graph, the race difference is profound:

graph3-copy

source

Now, some people opposed to vaccines like to say that SIDS is a made up diagnosis, one that did not exist before vaccines. That is because we used to call it cot death or crib death and it was poorly understood. It is clear, however, by looking at the above graphs that infant mortality is lower than ever before in USA. We may vaccinate more, we may have only recently started to vaccinate newborns, but it is indisputable that babies are dying less and less in USA. And that is wonderful news.

And, lest you still think vaccines might be associated with SIDS, read this study. Vaccines cut the risk of SIDS in half.  That’s astounding!

Stay tuned for part 2, coming soon: Many countries vaccinate newborns.

 

Remember to think for yourself!

 

Kathy