Vaxxed bus in my state, Washington: Dr Suzanne speaks to the “vaccine religious.”

Update June 30, 2017: Amusingly enough, Suzanne Humphries actually took the time to rebut my blog post.  You can read that here.  I find it interesting that she really just repeats a lot of the same things I wrote, but from her point of view these are not a big deal. Most people will survive vaccine-preventable diseases fine, after a week or so of suffering. We vaccine to prevent that suffering and also prevent the cases that will cause permanent damage or death. She also claims most people bring mumps to schools instead of catching mumps in school.  So what? We know diseases are more highly contagious when people are in close quarters.   I also find it interesting that she confirms that she is a licensed doctor but never links to her practice. Because, as I stated, she is not a practicing physician right now. She begins her rebuttal to me claiming I am stalking her. I would like to point out that when I was the administrator/founder of Informed Parents of Vaccinated Children, Suzanne, you came to my page more than once and engaged me in debates. This was during the time you were studying homeopathy and learning a lot from Hilary Butler. I vividly remember you writing about how you were studying homeopathy. Why you have removed this part of your life from public view is beyond me.  But, I am certainly not stalking you.  I only wrote about you because you came to my town.

*****************************************************************

This week, the Vaxxed rv (or, as they call it, the bus) is in Washington state, where I live. They are being hosted by Informed Choice of WA, a local antivax group. They were in Tacoma yesterday and are heading to Seattle, Redmond, Bellingham, and then Spokane where they will interview people who don’t vaccinate as well as “vaccine injured” persons or families.  Headed up by known antivaxer and autism antagonist (opposite of advocate), Polly Tommey, the Vaxxed tour also includes Suzanne Humphries, a former kidney doctor who is no longer practicing medicine. They are both convinced all stories of vaccine injury are absolutely true. They will interview anyone who claims a vaccine injury and put the names of “victims” on or in the bus, to memorialize them. Supposedly, there are about 5000 names on and in the bus and many of them are babies who died of SIDS or children or adults with autism. Of course, science advocates will know that SIDS is not a vaccine injury and neither is autism. There is also a name on the bus of a baby who died of Krabbe Disease, a 100% genetic, 100% fatal disease. Her parents refused to believe doctors and, instead, blamed vaccines. Their story has been spread far and wide, by antivaxers, without regard to medical facts.

vaxxed copy

I do not doubt the suffering of these families but I fail to see how irrationally blaming vaccines helps anyone? In fact, all it does is harm. Blaming vaccines for autism harms children who are denied vaccine protection. It also causes grave harm to the autism community. Think about it. When a child is deemed “damaged” and exposed to unproven, dangerous, even illegal treatments to “undo” this “damage,” the very humanity of that child is being denied. This rhetoric damages families.

“This “deficit model” of thinking about autism, “which focuses almost exclusively on impairments and limitations, ultimately leads us to see autistic individuals as broken people who are ill and, as my child’s first psychologist explained, need to be fixed.”

“I look at autism like a bus accident, and you don’t become cured from a bus accident, but you can recover.”

Jenny McCarthy

Hopefully, no one looks at their autistic child and thinks about a child in a bus accident, or a child who has lost their soul, been kidnapped by autism, or that they have a damaged child.  That kind of thinking is offensive to many, and hopefully more and more people.”

source: Vincent Ianelli, MD

Update: There are many parents of children with autism who do not think of their children as damaged. They do not expose them to unregulated, potentially dangerous treatments like chelation or lupron or bleach.  Calling children with autism “damaged” is extremely negative, particularly when all valid science points to autism being mostly caused by genetics. One would be appalled to hear the mother of a child with cerebral palsy or microcephaly call her child “damaged” but, somehow, this crew thinks it is perfectly fine to call children with autism damaged. I find that vile. Thankfully, the majority of the autism community is on my side in that debate. I feel very sorry for the children who are exposed to these dangerous treatments.  There is no valid excuse for using them on your child.   Autism symptoms can be treated with valid treatments.  The editor of The Thinking Person’s Guide to AutismShannon Des Roches Rosa  agrees that children do not need these dangerous and unregulated.

So, I am rightfully upset that this group is now in my state, spreading this message, and I am going to follow their activities online and counter them, as best I can with, actual facts.

suzanne copy

First up, Suzanne Humphries was on periscope this morning talking to us “vaccine religious” about how it is utter nonsense, in her opinion, that the unvaccinated spread disease. If this link does not work for you, try going to this Facebook link.

This video is so full of lies and mistruths, it’s astounding. Let’s go through them.

  1. Suzanne claims to have done 9 years of immunization research. She means reading. She has published no studies of any kind. Search pubmed. Nothing. Update: I should have clarified she has published nothing to do with immunizations. Also, since I don’t use my own qualifications as proof of my authority on the topic of immunizations, then my own resume is not applicable to this discussion.  I link to the valid science (not cherry picked) to back my claims. That should suffice.
  2. She claims we vaccinated persons “almost don’t have a prayer” against diseases because of our poor, unnourished status.  I challenge her to find any research backing up that claim. Update: Suzanne did not address this in her rebuttal.
  3. She claims “96.8% of children in WA are fully vaccinated for MMR.” I know see where she got that number. She went to the spreadsheet for K-12 immunization data and saw there isa 3.1% exemption rate for MMR for k-12 students.  But, there are other places to find immunization data at the state Department of Health website. There is school data and state immunization registry data.  According to the most recent state data, 90.5% of kindergartners enrolled in school for the most recent school year are fully vaccinated for MMR and 81% of 19-35 month olds in WA state have had more than one MMR while 66% of 4-6 year olds have had more than two MMR.  Update: According to the state, there are 1,088,959 in public and private schools. According to the census, there are 1,632,512 children under 18 in WA state. So, there are almost 600,000 children NOT in school. That is why I prefer the statistic that only 66% of 4-6 year olds and only 90.5% of kindergartners more telling than the exemption rate of all K-12 students in public schools.  Not all children in Washington state are in school.  Many are homeschooled. Some are too young for school.  Preschools are terrible at collecting immunization data.  Therefore, no, you cannot say that 96.8% of WA children are fully vaccinated. NOT TRUE. 
  4. She claims mumps outbreak in WA state has been 100% in vaccinated populations.  But, for Spokane county, here is the data: 334 cases, 197 vaccinated, 15 unvaccinated, 122 status unknown.  For King County, 311 cases, 64.6% vaccinated. In Arkansas, the rate of fully vaccinated who got mumps is about 35-46%.  Definitely not 100%.  Update: In the rebuttal, she posted a lot of statistics about how mumps outbreaks still affect the vaccinated and how the vaccine is not 100% effective. Moot point.  She claimed mumps outbreaks are in 100% vaccinated and she was wrong.  Suzanne spent about 10 minutes going on and on about all the classification statuses. I do not care about that.  My point was the outbreaks are not in 100% vaccinated. Period.  So, yes, that 100% was still a lie. Or a mistake. On her part.
  5. She claims mumps vaccine is “impotent” because of claims it may only be 69% effective by virologists who used to work at Merck. (see this article from my friend Dorit for explanation) The claim is that the CDC and Merck say the mumps portion of MMR is about 88% effective but that may not be accurate. It may only be 69% effective. Since 69 is still a great deal larger than the zero you get from not vaccinating, I find this claim highly misleading. It is not an outright lie, but 69% is still highly effective. It just means 31% might still be susceptible. Yes, the vaccine could be better. Doesn’t mean it is “impotent.” Update: She tried to defend this choice of wording, in her rebuttal, but 69% is not impotent. Impotent means helpless or powerless.  69% is not powerless. 69% is far better than nothing, which is what all the literature concludes. I am 100% confident Dr Stanley Plotkin would agree with me.
  6. She says “Vaccinated people have an inferior ability to fight off wild strains” and the best immunity is when children should get these diseases “at the appropriate age” so they get lifelong immunity. This is a fallacy.  To gain natural immunity, you have to suffer disease. Suffer. Yes, suffer because all vaccine-preventable diseases cause suffering, even in mild cases. Why should we allow our children to suffer, particularly when a high percent may suffer horribly and some may die? “Cases of such “mild” childhood diseases as pertussis dropped from more than 147,000 per year to less than 7,000. Annual measles cases dropped from more than 503,000 to less than 100. Diphtheria, polio and congenital rubella nearly disappeared. And if you don’t get the diseases, you can’t die from the diseases, can’t be rendered paralyzed, blind or deaf by the diseases. The difference between vaccine immunity is the difference between prevention and treatment … and prevention is always superior.” Source: Skeptical OB   Update: Here, again, Suzanne missed the point. The point is that wild disease causes suffering and natural immunity is not worth going through that suffering.
  7. From there, Suzanne goes on to mention several conspiracy theories. I call them conspiracy theories because there is no evidence to support them and they are based on paranoia, in my opinion. For example, she says MMR is a failure because a lot of people get measles but stay home and are not counted. This is ridiculous. They probably had Hand Foot Mouth disease or some other mild rash. And, “vaccines create a very loose net of pseudoprotection in the population” and “that is leaving those of us who are older susceptible to measles should it come back in.”  I am not at all sure what she means by the “pseudoprotection” statement. I had an MMR 26 years ago, had my titers done two years ago, and still have actual protection.  Update: In the Disney California outbreak, 88% of patients were unvaxed or no history of vaccine (likely unvaxed).  So, I feel pretty good about MMR’s protective abilities.
  8. She claims babies never got measles, pre-vaccine, because they got protection from their mother’s milk, which had measles antibodies in it.  She doesn’t seem to realize that not all babies, before 1963, were breastfed.  My own mother, born in 1941, was not breastfed. And, I have a friend who had measles encephalitis at four months of age, before the vaccine started. Also, I went to the vital statistics data for USA for 1955 and found a measles death rate of 2.2/100,000 for American infants under age 1 year. So, clearly infants were getting measles, pre-vaccine, if 2.2 per 100,000 cases were dying. Update: Suzanne did not actually state, in the first video, that breastmilk protects infants. I assumed that was implied because I am so familiar with her stance on breastmilk protecting infants.  You can read about that on her website. Furthermore, she never addressed the fact that babies did die of measles before 1955.
  9. She claims a properly nourished child will survive diseases just fine. This puts the blame for disease suffering squarely on the shoulders of the mother. A good mother, according to Dr Suzanne, does not work but stays at home to breastfeed her baby and feed her child “nourishing” food, according some mysterious standard. I find this point of view highly offensive. First of all, it is sexist to imply that mothers who do not breastfeed and do not stay home and prepare “nourishing” meals are bad mothers. But, that is exactly what she is implying. Secondly, there is no research whatsoever supporting her claims. I am sure we can all agree that a steady diet of soda pop and Cheetohs would not be healthy but there is no data supporting what she is implying. What exactly is nourishing, to Suzanne, and what is not? It’s a mystery.

 

As you can see, there is a great deal of misinformation both INSIDE and outside this bus. I honestly question their motives and, also, I would love to know who is funding them.

 

Remember to always think for yourself.

 

And Suzanne?  Vaccines do not cause autism. Autism has always been here.

 

Kathy

 

 

Advertisements

33 thoughts on “Vaxxed bus in my state, Washington: Dr Suzanne speaks to the “vaccine religious.”

  1. To your point 8: If you are traveling somewhere with an outbreak doctors recommend you get the MMR sooner for your baby but then they still have to get it again at 12 months because of maternal antibodies and their immune system doesn’t respond as well. The CDC is actually trying to save babies a stick by waiting until 12 months – which works when we have herd immunity. Do I have that right?

    Like

  2. Thanks!

    BTW, I’m looking forward to your write up of part 7 of The Truth About Vaccines 🙂 I appreciate what you do – I just left a “natural mom” group because probably half the posts were anti-vaccine nonsense.

    Like

      • Yeesh be careful home birthing. The risks in the US are pretty high. In fact I think they’re even higher in the PNW but that may be incorrect as I’ve been out of the debate for awhile.

        Like

    • For me it was worse. I left a listserv devoted to my son’s non-speaking disability because I got tired of the nonsense fifteen years ago.

      There were a few really pushing chelation, a dangerous and useless bit of quackery. I researched this bit of nonsense and had written a comment titled “Bad Idea” explaining why it was a terrible thing to do to children, only to get lots of private nasty grams in reply.

      It turned out one “mother” was actually an employee of a quack who was scamming others into this expensive dangerous nonsense. So I left, leaving with my own nasty gram of exactly how I felt about those who prey on vulnerable parents and children. I make no apology on how I treat those who try to convince caregivers of disabled children to waste money on useless dangerous regurgitated bovine excrement!

      Like

      • That sounds awful. I’d never heard of chelation until the q&a session of TTAV. According to Ty and his wife (and they have a truth about detox show, shocker) chelation, infrared saunas, chlorella and cilantro are all you need to “cure” autism.
        I pushed back a little on the anti-vaccine stuff in the FB group because of new moms asking questions and got bombarded with so many rude and untrue comments. Plus several saying their kid was vaccine injured including one with their name on the Vaxxed bus. The Franz center is big here. No one seemed interested in facts so I decided it wasn’t for me – even though I thought it might be since I’m a baby wearing, extended breastfeeding, mostly vegan mama who had a doula and unmedicated birth lol!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. Sorry for the late reply, we went to Hawaii and then when we came back we spent a weekend at Lake Chelan. Dear hubby scheduled our week in Hawaii in a legacy hotel in Waikiki, right across the street from the Maui Brewing Company’s second story open air restaurant/bar with piped in electric guitar music. Not exactly “lull you to sleep” stuff. (when we got home I wanted to tease him that I could not sleep without listening to canned electric guitar riffs)

        Again, thanks. That experience probably colors my reaction to anti-vaccine nonsense. A few months earlier someone had tried to get me banned from the listserv because I sent comment that thimerosal had never been in any version of an MMR vaccine Apparently pointing out that actual fact was “anti-science.” (someone had brought up the MMR, and a chelation mom responded back stuff about thimerosal, so I just sent a “clarification”, it was she who wanted me banned). It was amusing.

        By the way, I did the cloth diaper, home made baby food, breastfeeding bit too… but I also made sure my kids went their regular doctor visits and got vaccines to prevent diseaeses. Just like I secured their safety by putting them in car seats and used leashed harness when traveling on ferries or near open water. (I got lots of grief for that harness with leash, but I almost had a toddler hit by a car when he darted into the street… they claimed I treated my kids like dogs, except they could not explain why a dog was more valuable than a kid — I never got grief on a ferry or at older kids’ swim lessons).

        PS: The toddler who ran into the street is getting married in August! Woot! Obviously our main job as parents is to make sure they go to bed alive. My methods were vaccines, breastfeeding (never judge those who cannot), cotton fabrics (diapers!), healthy food (lots of veggies, though kid was picky), car seats, tethers near traffic/water, swim lessons, etc. And lots of snuggles, and for me: no homeschooling (my sanity only goes so far).

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, goody goody. Between July 1-9, the Vaxxed “bus” will be in three cities in my state, all within 1 1/2 – 2 hours from me. I just bet my (unfortunately) anti-vax friends will go to at least one appearance. I wish they’d stay away from my state. We don’t need that garbage here! And my friends don’t need any more brainwashing. 😦

    Like

      • Well, it’s not actually about you at all. It’s about all the people who listen to you and believe what you say, and for the sake of those who are on the fence. It’s about the truth. It also helps Dr. Suzanne keep up with the trends and answer the rhetoric as it morphs and changes. You misrepresented her professional status in your article, so that probably also plays in. Nobody likes to be slandered! I mean, doesn’t it hurt your credibility, Kathy, if you can’t get your facts straight about the person your trying to refute?

        Like

      • I hope people listen to me. What the Vaxxed bus and Polly and Suzanne preach is an incredibly negative, unscientific view of public health, children’s health, autism, SIDS, and vaccines. Suzanne just cherry picks often very old studies that fit her agenda. And she does lie. She refused to admit she once was actively studying homeopathy.

        I don’t see any good from what the Vaxxed team is doing. Vaccines don’t cause autism or sids or epilepsy. The Vaxxed team is harming public health. The Minnesota measles outbreak is entirely the fault of antivax gurus. We will see this more and more until people wise up and stop allowing anything except medical exemptions.

        https://www.wired.com/2017/05/anti-vaxxers-brought-war-minnesota-came-measles/

        The truth is vaccines do not cause autism or SIDS and the vaxxed bus is harming children and perpetuating lies. And harming autism advocacy.

        Like

  4. My husband works in pediatrics here in Spokane and he has seen exclusively breastfed babies with pertussis. And children who were EBF as babies – and whose families live an overall healthy lifestyle – contract mumps in the recent outbreak. I’m very much a supporter of breastfeeding and I breastfed my children, but I find it so upsetting when mothers are led to believe that it will prevent illness. Yes, it may help, but it is not a vaccine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I hate that too. My now 23 year old daughter got chicken pox when she was six months, a year before the vaccine was available. She was fully breastfed, and was the most difficult to wean even when she was almost three years old.

      The misery that baby went through covered in pox, several very close to her eyes, is why I do not think good thoughts about those who think children should get chicken pox, or other vaccine preventable diseases.

      Since she got chicken pox before her first birthday, she also has a much higher chance of getting shingles when she is young. The chances go up with stress: she starts grad school in September. Again, not nice thoughts about those who think kids need to get diseases.

      Like

      • The risk of shingles in children did not exist before the CP shot. The CP shot is responsible for the rise in shingles cases by actually preventing natural immunity from taking hold!

        Like

      • Work on reading comprehension, my youngest is at risk of shingles in her twenties because she actually got chicken pox as a six month old baby. There was no vaccine, and she suffered greatly.

        Newsflash: about 20% of those who have suffered high fever and dozens of itchy open wounds (pox) by actually getting chicken get shingles when they are older (like us baby boomers).

        Also, citation needed. Make sure it is not authored by Gary Goldman, and it shows a higher incidence of shingles from the vaccine compared to the actual disease.

        Liked by 1 person

      • “The risk of shingles in children did not exist before the CP shot”

        I sincerely doubt that assertion is an actual fact. Oh, wait, someone studied this in another country: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/135/3/e565.long

        Results: “Of 27 517 children with medically attended varicella, 428 developed HZ. The incidence of HZ was 262.1 per 100 000 person-years. Of 25 132 vaccinated children without medically attended varicella, 106 developed HZ. The incidence of HZ was 93.3 per 100 000 person-years. The mean duration from varicella to HZ was 4.12 years. Children diagnosed with varicella at aged <2 years had a higher incidence (P < .001) and shorter duration (P = .04) than those diagnosed aged ≧2 years. Children diagnosed with varicella aged ≥2 but <8 years had a significantly increased incidence of HZ after than before the vaccination program (relative risk = 1.85 at 3 years of follow-up, P = .03). Children with varicella infections had a significantly greater risk of HZ than vaccinated children without a history of varicella (relative risk = 2.31 at 4 years of follow-up, P < .001)."

        Liked by 1 person

    • Who is saying that breastfeeding prevents pertussis? Since the DTaP itself has a failure rate, why are you comparing breastfeeding to a vaccine? And mumps? Why in the world would anyone want to prevent it? Honestly, I want to know why?

      Like

      • I never said breastfeeding prevents pertussis. Suzanne claims breastfed babies will survive illness unscathed. Not I. My breastfed baby got rotavirus TWICE. I am smarter than to believe breastmilk is some sort of disease preventing magical substance.

        Mumps used to be the major cause of meningitis in USA. That is why we vax. Also, I don’t want my children to suffer. If I can keep them healthy with good food, clean water, limited sugar and junk food, healthy lifestyle, and vaccines, that makes me happy. I also want other children to not suffer disease. Even yours.

        “In recent U.S. mumps outbreaks (2006, 2009 to 2010), orchitis occurred in 3.3 to 10% of adolescent and adult males. In 60% to 83% of males with orchitis caused by mumps, only one testis is affected. Such orchitis, even bilaterally, very rarely causes sterility. Among adolescent and adult females in recent outbreaks, mastitis rates have been ≤1% and oophoritis rates have been ≤1%. Other rare complications of mumps include pancreatitis, deafness, meningitis, and encephalitis, which have occurred in less than 1% of cases in recent U.S. outbreaks. There have been no mumps related deaths reported in the United States during recent mumps outbreaks.”

        https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/hcp.html#complications

        “Mumps Complications

        Orchitis
        12%-66% in postpubertal males (prevaccine)
        3%-10% (postvaccine)
        Pancreatitis
        3.5% (prevaccine)
        Unilateral Deafness
        1/20,000 (prevaccine)
        Death
        2/10,000 from 1966-1971
        No deaths in recent U.S. outbreaks”

        https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/mumps.html#complications

        Like

  5. For #5: If the mumps vaccine was “impotent,” then why do we only have *thousands* of cases a year now instead of the *hundreds of thousands* of cases every year before the vaccine? Or do you think Humphries would just chalk that up to better hand washing practices? 🙂

    Like

      • It doesn’t bug you to be shown to be wrong over and over? Does that mean you are conceding that vaccines actually cause harm?
        What’s your goal? I really don’t get it.

        Like

      • Suzanne did not really prove anything wrong.

        Vaccines cause harm very rarely. We have compensated 5400 claims of vaccine injury in 30 years and give out more than 3 billion vaccines during that time. That is an injury rate of 0.00016%. Measles complication rate is 30%. Every single VPD has a complication, injury and death rate much higher than 0.000016%. That is the point. Benefits far outweigh risks.

        My goal is to debunk vaccine myths. And advocate for autism and vaccines with good science.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s