Why I don’t believe the Vaxxed bus stories

To remind you, Vaxxed is the film produced by Andy Wakefield that makes claims about MMR causing autism. I watched it and reviewed it here.  The Vaxxed bus is an RV decorated thematically to resemble the DVD package. It travels America with a revolving team of antivaxers, interviewing people who claim a vaccine injury or have unvaccinated children they believe are very healthy.  The main player is Polly Tommey, who fervently believes the MMR caused her son’s autism and that vaccines murder children and pediatricians are murderers.  She believes every story told to her and requires no proof to verify any claims. She films the stories and also allows the names of the “vaccine injured” to be written on the bus in white.  You can see some of them below.

IMG_6736

Here is why I believe that nearly all Vaxxed stories are not really vaccine injuries: there is not only no evidence to verify most of the claims, there is often evidence to the contrary. 

Note:  I don’t doubt these are stories of real health issues and I feel tremendous sympathy for all these families.  I don’t think they are lying about the health issues but I do think there are too many holes in their claims to take them seriously. I also believe they are doing harm to both public health and their children’s health by denying the reality of the health issues. For example, we know SIDS risk is cut by 50% in vaccinated children. Blaming vaccines for SIDS and not vaccinating infants for that reason puts them at greater risk for SIDS. 

Let’s look at some of the more public examples of Vaxxed injury claims. I will not be violating anyone’s privacy and will only share names and pictures that are on public sites.

Ariella Aisha Talha’s story first came to my attention in mid 2015.  She is number 1229 on the Vaxxed bus. Reading the story, it seemed pretty obvious to me that the child had Krabbe Disease, a 100% fatal genetic condition. The story (first blue link) is that “Her galactocerebrosidase was low. Indicating it could possibly be Krabbe disease, or another disease similar.” The parents, however, refused to believe and, instead, blamed her vaccines. And now they also blame toxic mold, an idea they got not from the hospital but from a “mold doctor” in their area. I am actually allergic to mold and I can promise you mold does not cause a brain to shrink nor does it cause developmental delays.

As her condition deteriorated, they continue to seek attention for her supposed “vaccine injury,” including fundraising quite a bit for natural treatments for her. Meanwhile, public posts about her continued to show her condition deteriorating as expected with Krabbe Disease. Ariella passed away in August of 2016, shortly after her baby sister was born. Rumor has it that the baby was conceived because they wanted to use stem cells from her to cure Ariella.  And, unfortunately, it appears the most recent baby also has Krabbe Disease. Since she is unvaccinated, this time they are saying she has suffered damage from toxic mold. They have been raising funds to pay for a doctor who supposedly treats patients for toxic mold-related illnesses.

I feel for these two babies and their parents. It must be horrible to watch your child slowly dying. This post is not a personal attack on them at all. I am reading their public posts and going off what they say. If they want to believe vaccines caused low galactocerebrosidase, that is their choice. Science tells me that Krabbe Disease is the genetic cause of this enzyme-making gene mutation. 

VaxXed_Tour_0023-1

Hannah Robinson is #20 on the Vaxxed bus. Her story has gotten quite famous, even appearing in the news in her state. Screenshots I have seen from her pages show her to have gone on multiple trips to the emergency room for paralysis, seizures, pain, and other reported issues. Each time, tests are run and doctors find nothing wrong with her. Her family hints that doctors want to refer to a psychologist, but they have refused to take her to one. They took her to multiple different specialists and she had to drop out of school, due to her health problems. I would guess she had a conversion disorder, which is not a made up illness but a disorder where “the physical symptoms are thought to be an attempt to resolve the conflict the person feels inside.”  But, since her parents refused to take her to a psychologist, they never considered this diagnosis. Hannah also claimed she was infertile. Meanwhile, she had a baby boy earlier this summer and appears to have recovered from a great many of her health issues.  Finally, her claim of vaccine injury was denied for lack of evidence and because the “record neither reveals a “Table Injury” nor contains a medical expert’s opinion or other persuasive evidence indicating that her injuries were caused by a vaccination.”

Colton Berrett is another story of HPV injury.  I found his video interview but not his number on the bus.  Three weeks after his third HPV vaccine, on February 21, 2104,  he started to experience symptoms of neck soreness. He was diagnosed with transverse myelititis.  His family has not, to date, filed a vaccine injury claim.  At this point, the statute of limitations for filing has passed. Still, Colton and his mom continue to believe the HPV vaccine caused his TM and not that it could be caused by a wild virus, which is much more likely.  I am not sure which number he is on the bus.

UPDATE 1/6/2018  Colton has passed away. May he rest in peace.  This is very sad to learn, but, as we read above, it is likely to NOT be related to the HPV vaccine at all. Condolences to his family.

This weekend, I followed an antivaxer named Lu Drago who was trolling a provax Facebook page back to her profile to see why she is so ardently opposed to vaccines. I found her son, #527 on the bus, a survivor of congenital heart disease, a child with clear epicanthal folds on his eyes (sign of Down Syndrome or some other genetic disorder), and autistic. Rather than blame genetics, apparently his autism is the fault of vaccines. Meantime, several genetic disorders that include epicanthal folds among symptoms are comorbid ( existing simultaneously with) autism.  This woman is devoted to the idea that vaccines are the greatest evil on earth. Why doesn’t she spend her time on something more positive, like support for children with genetic disorders?

Look at all these names.

vaxxednames

Supposedly, there are now 6000 names on the bus and the Vaxxed bus tour continues.  I have not read all 6000 stories but I have a few hundred. Only one was an actual, bonafide vaccine injury, compensated in court.  When Polly interviews these families, she never asks for any evidence. In fact, she makes a big deal about how parents should be trusted and doctors should not. Parents know what is best. Polly preaches to her followers that doctors are not to be trusted.  How does that help children?  How does that help children live longer and healthier?  We know that SIDS and infant mortality rates are at time lows in developed countries, including USA.  Why doesn’t Polly know this?  Why doesn’t she know that there is no autism epidemic, that diagnosis change is responsible for much of the rising rate.

Most importantly, what has happened in these people’s lives that they do not believe what science is telling them, that they believe their opinions over evidence?

If you want me to believe you or your child are vaccine injured, you better pony up some actual evidence.  I am fully aware that vaccines can cause injury, but at a rate of 5500 claims compensated and 3 plus billion vaccines given, in the last 30 years in USA, the risk of vaccine injury is literally 0.000016%.

 

This bus and this list are not helping keep children healthy.

 

Remember to always think for yourself,

 

Kathy

PS This is another good post about the veracity, or not, of vaccine injury stories. Written by another Kathy.

 

PPS: I welcome comments from all walks but any comments that call me nasty names, threaten me, refer to the possibility of me burning in hell for all eternity, or harass me in any similar manner will be trashed. 

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There is NO Science that shows Vaccines Cause Autism, EXCEPT ….. explained

You may have seen this copypasta show up in a vaccine debate.

There is NO Science that shows Vaccines Cause Autism, EXCEPT in ALL THESE Government Published Studies which show Vaccines Cause Autism.

This list was made by Marcella Piper-Terry of the website, Vaxtruth.com

Let’s take a look at this list and see what the studies actually say.  I will indicate a YES or NO after each to indicate if the study shows vaccines cause autism. I do have access to full studies and will be interpreting those, not abstracts.

Copypasta

First of all these studies come from pubmed which is a database managed by the  US National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of Health.  It commprises more than 27 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites. It is not a list of “government published studies.”  The studies are mostly published in independent journals.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3878266/

This study used raw VAERS data, which is not confirmed by medical evidence and, therefore, not valid. Also, two study authors, David and Mark Geier, have a notorious reputation for performing shoddy science in support of their work chemically castrating autists.  Senior Geier, the medical doctor, has lost 11 medical licenses for causing serious harm to children. NO
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21623535

This is just a correlation between vaccination rate and autism.  The author analyzed disability rates compared to vaccination rates without regard for diagnoses changes nor increasing disability rates linked with increasing services in schools. Medical records were not verified. She did not analyze historical rates of disability by comparison. I do not find this study to have much validity. No
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25377033

This is just a commentary regarding the perception, via the film Vaxxed, that Dr William Thompson of CDC found a higher risk of autism in children vaccinated with MMR. Since we know this is untrue, this commentary is meaningless. No
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24995277

This study’s authors include Geier senior and junior as well as Boyd Haley and Brian Hooker, both antivaxers also very convinced mercury is behind autism. The study, a literature review, was funded by CoMed, the Geier’s business. What they have done is take a list studies that may show mercury can cause neurological damage and try to link that with autism. This study was written in 2014 but an excellent summary of why mercury preservative in vaccines is not accepted as causing autism comes from the Brian Hooker vaccine injury claim from 2016.  No
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12145534

This is a very small study that compared MMR antibodies in autistic and not autistic children. Study authors conclude vaccines save lives and are necessary but that measles may elicit an autoimmune response in genetically susceptible children. They do not conclude vaccines cause autism.  No
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058170

This is just a comparison of hepatitis birth vaccination rate and autism. Study authors found 9 autistic children  received birth dose of Hep B vaccine and 22 autistic children had not. This study has been analyzed by several people I respect, including Matt Carey and a few other science bloggers.  No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22099159

This study has been discredited by many, including WHO.  No
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3364648/

This is just an opinion piece about the supposed dangers (all not true) of vaccines. No
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17454560

This was written by the Geiers (see above for more about them). They used hair analysis to test for metal toxicity. Hair analysis is a dubious practice that is not accepted as scientifically valid.  When combined with serious conflicts of interest from study authors and their nefarious history, this study is not valid. No
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19106436

Full text was not available for this one but it is also written by the Geiers.  Their theory is that mercury poisoning and autism are similar so autism must be mercury poisoning. This has been proven untrue. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3774468/

More Geier and Haley. They are again using hair samples. See above.  No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697751/

This study is postulating that children with autism are sensitive to thimerosal. Since thimerosal is out of all pediatric flu vaccines, except multi-dose flu, and has been proven not causative of autism, this is also a no.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299355

The author goes through every possible explanation for autism that has ever been proposed, without regard to changing diagnostic criteria, and postulates vaccines must be contributing to rise in autism rate. It is merely her opinion.  No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21907498

This is just an editorial about another study.  No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11339848

Very old study theorizing autism is caused by mercury poisoning. We know this to be untrue.  No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17674242

I was unable to gain full access to this study. Geiers blame mercury preservative in Rho(D)-immune globulins given during pregnancy for autism. Given their past conflicts and shoddy science, I am going to call this a no.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21993250

I was not able to gain full access to this document but it appears to be a hypothesis that conjugate vaccines may be linked with increase in autism rates, not an actual study in and of itself. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15780490

This is a paper by the Geiers on all the uproven and dangerous treatment options they used to offer autists before Geier senior lost all eleven of his medical licenses.  This is just their opinion on how to treat autism.  No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12933322

This is a look at haircut samples from babies, which we already know is bogus because hair sample tests are unreliable and not accepted as valid. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16870260

Authors postulate that heavy metal poisoning from thimerosal in vaccines can cause toxicity issues in children, leading to autism. They exposed a small survey of cells from autistic children and not autistic children to ethyl mercury and zinc and found up-regulate metallothionein to be low in the autistic children’s cells.  While I was not able to access the full study, based on the abstract I do not see this implicating vaccines as causing autism because we have removed thimerosal and autism rate did not decrease. And, this study does not conclude vaccines cause autism. No
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19043938

The author, retired neurosurgeon Russel Blaylock, shares his opinion that vaccines causeimmunoexcitotoxicity (he coined this term, he claims). It is problematic that he cites the now retracted, infamous Wakefield study in his review of literature. This indicates Blaylock is not using quality research methods in his review.  Furthermore, this is just an opinion piece in an alternative health magazine, not a study on vaccines causing autism. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12142947

Safe Minds, an antivax group devoted to connecting autism to mercury, wrote an opinion piece/literature review stating that “all US influenza vaccines, all mono- and divalent diphtheria and tetanus vaccines, some immunoglobulins routinely given to pregnant Rh-negative women, and some over the-counter ear drops and nasal sprays” have enough mercury in them to cause mercury poisoning and should be removed from the market. This is not saying vaccines cause autism.  Also, thimerosal is out of pediatric vaccines, except multi dose flu, and autism rates did not decrease. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24675092

Study authors subcutaneously injected mice with thimerosal-mercury at a dose which is 20× higher than that used for regular Chinese infant immunization during the first 4 months of life. I have no idea whatsoever why anyone thought that would be a valid comparison to the amount of thimerosal in vaccines in some countries. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25198681

Study authors Hooker, Geier, Geier and others from CoMed compared neurodevelopmental rates to vaccination with thimerosal.  First of all, there are serious conflicts of interest here. Comed is a troublesome organization. Secondly, their funding came from Dwoskin Foundation, a known antivax group dedicated to connecting vaccines to autism. Thus, they went in to this study already assuming vaccines cause autism due to mercury poisoning.  Thus, this study has some serious conflicts of interest and cannot really be seen as valid.  If there are any studies independent of this group which confirm their results, I would be happy to change my No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22531966

This is an analysis of raw data from the Vaccine Adverse Event reporting system (VAERS) comparing vaccination to reported deaths.  Since no medical evidence was confirmed, this study is not valid. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9345669

This is an extremely small study (n=23) of children in New Zealand in 1977 who got DTP and live polio vaccines and has nothing whatsoever to do with autism. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170075/

This is an analysis of vaccination rate compared to infant mortality rate, but authors do not tell you that infant mortality rate in USA is at all time low, as is SIDS rate. The authors are disingenuous and lying by omission. See my blog series with actual IMR and SIDS facts.  This study has nothing to do with autism.  No
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16126512

This study has nothing to do with autism. No.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17092614

This study has nothing to do with autism. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1646939/

This study has nothing to do with autism. No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21623535

Author postulates a correlation between autism rate and vaccination rate. Correlation does not equal causation. No.

ScreenHunter_04-Jan.-07-23.11

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12145534

Authors suggest measles vaccine may cause autism. Several large studies, including this one, have proven that wrong.  So, No .
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3173748/

No, thimerosal is not the cause of autism. Just No.
http://jcm.asm.org/content/46/3/1101.long

Not about autism.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17454560

No, thimerosal is not the cause of autism. Just No.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23609067

This study’s authors have been discredited by many, including WHO.  No
http://www.mednat.org/vaccini/dannivacc_study.pdf

An antivax group in New Zealand surveyed their members and did not verify medical records. Not valid. No.

Several others listed at this point had bad links so I could not read the studies. Then, there were a few studies about flu which had no relation to autism. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21575620

Again with hair analysis, which is proven faulty.  No.
http://www.getcancercure.com/fda-announce-that-dtap-vaccin…/
This is about Tripedia vaccine, claiming the insert shows FDA concludes vaccines cause autism. Tripedia vaccine has not been used in years. It was discontinued. And, inserts don’t imply causation. No.

 

As you can see, none of these studies are written by the US Government and none conclude vaccines cause autism. 

Marcella offers more!

1. http://www.scribd.com/…/124-Research-Papers-Supporting-the-… This is Ginger Taylor’s list of studies she thinks implicate vaccines as causing autism. This has been debunked. As you can see, Ginger also cannot read studies accurately.

2. Marcella wants us to believe there are cases where families have been compensated for vaccine injury causing autism. She links a number of cases but did not read them accurately. Here and here are explanations on why that idea is wrong.

 

In conclusion, not one study on Marcella’s list actually shows vaccines cause autism. This list is cut and pasted (copypasta) EVERYWHERE. So, now you can feel good about debunking it as horseshit.

 

Remember, always think for yourself,

 

 

Kathy