Who is James Lyons-Weiler?

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Are you aware that there is a new darling in the antivax movement? James Lyons-Weiler.  I have been fascinated with him for a few years, when I found him on disqus comments. He is on both disqus and Twitter as lifebiomedguru.

Here is his linkedin

As you can see, he started off with a pretty decent education, doing work on genetics and statistical modeling. He was at the University of Pittsburgh for a long time and then left and founded his own company: IPAK.
He wrote a book on Ebola and now has written one on autism.  He sent me a copy of it last year. It is called The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism.  I will be writing a review of it this weekend.
Earlier this year, he got into a public spat with Leslie Manookian, which ORAC chronicled.
He keeps saying his own children are vaccinated just fine so I have no idea where this all comes from. But, he is truly now the darling of the antivax world. If you look at his Facebook pages (he has at least three profiles and two pages), you see he’s been to the anti CDC rallies and met up with the Vaxxed team and all the key players in the AV world, including Marcella Piper-Terry.  Mary Holland, the attorney, is on the board of his company.  He is also very involved in supporting two Michigan mothers who are in custody trials that involve vaccination considerations.
He has an alias: Jack Knight  (yes that is definitely him, apparently, this is his nickname).
He has teamed up with the Vaxxed team to give pediatricians copies of the Vaxxed movie along with his new book on autism. I never did hear if any peds actually read it.
Check out the rest of the ipak website. He has a database you can buy access to and is planning a vaccine safety conference for this year and you can donate to support his research.
He also has a personal website.
I have been working on debunking his citations for the “CDC ignored” chapter of his book. I have read the book but I was busy with my own studies (special education) and got waylayed. I now have a break and will be blogging more!
I have a pet theory that something happened at his last job and he had to leave in disgrace. Finding this niche, in the antivax world, is his last ditch attempt at making a living.  Yes, that is a tad conspiracy-ish of me, but I enjoy my theory.  I did write about him once already and he actually posted in comments.
Happy reading and remember, #vaccineswork

 

Kathy
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Del Bigtree is not a scientist

On October 12, 2017, Del Bigtree,  a former producer of the television talk show, The Doctors, producer of the film Vaxxed, and founder of something called the Informed Consent Action Network (ICANDecide), sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wherein he outlined what he perceives as their “failure of HHS to conduct the proper science required to demonstrate vaccine safety.” This letter accuses HHS of everything from ignoring vaccine risks to not doing proper safety testing. For those of us who understand vaccine science, this letter almost seems like a parody. Alas, it was not only real but Del threatened HHS with a civil suit if they did not make the changes he suggested in the letter. He also made demands, such as wanting “vaccine safety advocates” to comprise half of HHS’s vaccine committees.  The letter was co-signed by 58 antivaccine organizations, including Weston A Price Foundation and World Mercury Project.

DEL is not a scientist

After October 12, nothing much happened at ICANDecide. In fact, not much has been heard from ICANDecide in a while.  Even their Facebook page has been quiet.

Until now.

Earlier this week, a notorious antivax crusader (I will refer to him as Pant) who despises Del Bigtree posted a link to a pdf he had created with the response from HHS to Del Bigtree. Pant claimed he was able to get the response through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.  The response is from Melinda Wharton, MD, MPH, Acting Director of the National Vaccine Program Office, whom I have confirmed is real. The letter includes responses to all of Del’s claims and accusations, every single one of them proving Del knows nothing at all about vaccine safety.  All of his claims were disproven and all of his requests were denied.

This letter is a glorious piece of vaccine gold and when you read it you will understand completely why Del let this ball completely drop, pop, fizzle into nothing, and fade away.

For your reading pleasure, I bring you the HHS response to Del Bigtree.

 

Happy reading!

Kathy

Spreading fear and misinformation to pregnant women

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Antivaxers are lately taking the position of very strongly spreading fear and misinformation about the use of vaccines during pregnancy. One source for this information is Informed Choice Washington (ICW), an organization based near Seattle and run by two women who believe vaccines injured their children. Bernadette Pajer believes her grown son’s dairy allergies were caused by vaccines and Drella Stein believe her grown son’s autism was the result of a vaccine injury. They have made it their mission “to educate and advocate for vaccination policies that serve the best interest of the public and the individual patient.”  The problem is that they don’t espouse good science, and instead, cherry pick only what fits their antivax agenda. They believe they support medical freedom and, as such, are members of something called the Coalition for Informed Consent, a network of other antivax (“medical freedom”) organizations.

cherrypicking

Case and point: Their Vaccination during pregnancy page. This purpose of this page is to mislead women into not vaccinating during pregnancy, despite good evidence supporting its benefits and low risks.

The page starts off with a melodramatic and inaccurate video from Del Bigtree, a man with no science background whatsoever) tell viewers the CDC knows flu vaccine during pregnancy causes abortion. This is in reference to a study the CDC detailed here.  This one study found that women who had been vaccinated for flu two years in a row suffered a miscarriage at a higher rate than others. They noted “this study does not quantify the risk of miscarriage and does not prove that flu vaccine was the cause of the miscarriage”  They also noted that earlier studies have not found a link between flu vaccination and miscarriage.

Instead of focusing on the facts, ICW plays up the possibility of a risk and creates a conspiracy theory by accusing the CDC of purposely delaying to release this study. They also ignore the FIVE studies that showed no link between miscarriage and flu vaccine.

This is a classic tactic from ICW and Ms. Pajer, to play up the risks and ignore the studies which do not confirm her biases.

She also makes the point that Currently, no vaccine is approved specifically for use during pregnancy to protect the infant(her bolding, not mine). It has been explained to Ms. Pajer many times that the FDA approved flu vaccines TDAP and then post-licensure studies demonstrated efficacy and safety during pregnancy, but that does not require relicensing. The vaccines are already licensed. They do not need to be specifically licensed for use during pregnancy. Still, she feels the need to do this on her website:

CAUTION: No vaccine is currently licensed by the FDA for protection of the infant.

Yes, big bold letters warning you of a fictional issue. This is deceptive. On purpose. Further, they cite a paper by David Ayoub and F. Edward Yazbak, both MDs, as evidence the vaccine is dangerous. This paper has a lot of misinformation in it. First of all, it is about the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) annual report from 2004, which was written before much of the research upon which the current recommendations are based were published. Currently, both ACIP and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and these are based on recommendations from 2016. To cite a review of recommendations from 2004 is deceptive. Again, ICW is deceiving people on purpose.

Another ICW concern is immune activation. This is a relatively new concern from antivaxers and is code for “vaccines cause autism.” They are concerned that giving vaccines to pregnant women could trigger immune activation thus leading to neurodevelopmental issues in all babies whose mothers were vaccinated. They compare the risk of dying from flu to the risk of immune activation in 100% of vaccinated babies.

  • Risk of flu-complication death for pregnant women: .000125%
  • Risk of flu-complication death for pregnant women in a pandemic year: .001875%
  • Risk of newborn death under three months during a non-major outbreak year: .00015%
  • Risk of newborn death under three months during a major whooping cough outbreak: .000375%

These statistics are based on the number of babies and women who died compared to the general public.

It should be noted that there is no evidence that giving a vaccine to pregnant women causes immune or neurodevelopmental issues in the newborn.

ICW also has the usual concerns about vaccine ingredients being dangerous and inserts not specifically stating vaccines are licensed for pregnancy or have been tested during pregnancy. As we have told you many times, inserts are only written about clinical trials. Studies on vaccines for use during pregnancy occurred after licensure, after clinical trials, and are, therefore, not represented in inserts. Inserts have serious limits. Always read more than them.

Ms. Pajer further has concerns that some of the CDC-cited studies were not randomized clinical trials. She has been told by yours truly, several times, that it would be unethical to do randomized clinical trials on pregnant women. The studies which have been done, with willing volunteers, are valid and strong. She criticizes and finds flaws in each of the 13 studies she reviews, which is okay, but does not take them as a body of literature. This is typical of what we call a ‘cherry picker,’ a person who reads studies with a bias in mind and only agrees with studies which confirm her pre-existing bias. So, because no one study meets all her exacting criteria, then none will satisfy her. However, the medical community looks at the ever-growing body of literature showing the safety and efficacy of vaccines during pregnancy. Hence, the recommendations from CDC, ACIP, and ACOG. Again, this is a disingenuous attempt by ICW to mislead people away from vaccinating.

The final concern from ICW is the aluminum salt in vaccines that is used as an adjuvant. The aluminum in vaccines is not a heavy metal. It is not even in a metallic form as portrayed by vaccine fearmongerers. It is in the form of a salt, usually aluminum hydroxide. The aluminum in aluminum hydroxide is not readily bioavailable and retention is extremely low from both ingestion and injection
This is a great explanation. 

It should be noted that we get actual aluminum in our food, including in antacids pregnant women take for acid reflux, a common pregnancy symptom. And, the aluminum salts are about 2 um or 2000 nm, in diameter, as per the work of Christopher Exley. That is much too large to cross the placenta (or the blood-brain barrier, for that matter).  According to my friend with a master’s in chemistry, aluminum salts don’t fit the definition of nanoparticles because they are over 100 nm in any 1 direction.

Here is some reading about the permeability of the placenta.

Most of the literature I’ve seen puts the pore size for the placenta at under 50 nm, and given the size of the adjuvant, I wouldn’t expect it to diffuse across the placenta.

The concerns about aluminum in vaccines are cherry picked and not based on sound science. Here is some excellent reading from learned friends of mine.

Aluminum adjuvant in vaccines – let’s go cherry picking

Torturing more mice in the name of antivaccine pseudoscience, 2017 aluminum edition

Mothers’ Flu Vaccination In Pregnancy Protects Newborns, Even The Second Time Around

Please don’t be scared by antivax websites.  Get the facts. Understand cherry picking does not an argument make.

 

Remember to think for yourself!

 

 

Kathy

Vaccines don’t cause mass shootings

Yes, I went there. Why? Because antivaxers have been going there all week, since a teenager opened fire at high school in Parkland, Florida, USA.

Ever since Sandy Hook,  when Shari Tenpenny blamed vaccines for causing the shooter to be autistic and rage against society, antivaxers have blamed mass shootings on vaccines and autism. It is not just pseudoscience but ableism of the worst kind.

No! Just No!  Vaccines do not cause autism, there is no autism epidemic, and neither autism nor vaccines are responsible for mass shootings!

vaccinesguns

Not much has changed since Shari made that statement. Antivaxers are still blaming all of society’s ills on vaccines. The antivax band and group. The Refusers, was the first one I noticed.  Refusers is basically the brainchild of Michael Belkin, a man who believes his baby died from a reaction to the hepatitis B vaccine, although he has no evidence to back that claim.

refusers copy

Comments have been made around the internet

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First of all, we don’t know if Nikolas Cruz was autistic.  Secondly, it doesn’t matter. Humans have been violent since they first started to walk upright. Anyone who has ever read history, studied anthropology, or just bothers to be well-read knows that humans have tended to be violent since the dawn of our time.

“Medieval knights—whom today we would call warlords—fought their numerous private wars with a single strategy: kill as many of the opposing knight’s peasants as possible. Religious instruction included prurient descriptions of how the saints of both sexes were tortured and mutilated in ingenious ways. Corpses broken on the wheel, hanging from gibbets, or rotting in iron cages where the sinner had been left to die of exposure and starvation were a common part of the landscape. For entertainment, one could nail a cat to a post and try to head-butt it to death, or watch a political prisoner get drawn and quartered, which is to say partly strangled, disemboweled, and castrated before being decapitated.”

source

“Lethal violence increased over the course of mammal evolution. While only about 0.3 percent of all mammals die in conflict with members of their own species, that rate is sixfold higher, or about 2 percent, for primates. Early humans likewise should have about a 2 percent rate—and that lines up with evidence of violence in Paleolithic human remains.

The medieval period was a particular killer, with human-on-human violence responsible for 12 percent of recorded deaths. But for the last century, we’ve been relatively peaceable, killing one another off at a rate of just 1.33 percent worldwide. And in the least violent parts of the world today, we enjoy homicide rates as low as 0.01 percent.”

source

We have gotten less violent as we have gotten more civilized, primarily due to education and lawmaking. The USA may have the 31st highest rate of violence in the world, but that rate is also decreasing. A 2014 report from the FBI found “Violent crime, however, is about 0.7 percent lower than five years ago, and 16.5 percent lower than a decade ago. The violent crime rate – nearly 373 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in the U.S. – is almost half the 20-year high reached in 1996.”

So, why does USA have so many mass shootings, particularly mass shootings in schools? Well, without good research, which the NRA blocks, we don’t really know. It certainly has nothing to do with vaccines since we know that human’s tendency to violence is nothing new. Perhaps it relates to easy access to guns. Perhaps it is about social media attention. Maybe shooters want to go down in a blaze of glory.  Until we have some research, we won’t really know what this is all about. One thing for sure, this is not about mental illness.

“Our brief review suggests that connections between mental illness and gun violence are less causal and more complex than current US public opinion and legislative action allow. US gun rights advocates are fond of the phrase “guns don’t kill people, people do.” The findings cited earlier in this article suggest that neither guns nor people exist in isolation from social or historical influences. A growing body of data reveals that US gun crime happens when guns and people come together in particular, destructive ways. That is to say, gun violence in all its forms has a social context, and that context is not something that “mental illness” can describe nor that mental health practitioners can be expected to address in isolation”
One thing I know for sure, these shootings are not about vaccines or autism or mental illness. Please stop blaming those for things they do not cause. You are not helping.
Kathy
PS Did you know we have a Facebook page? Please check it out!

 

Antivaxer’s challenged me to a quiz

 

QUIZ!

I got challenged to a quiz, while chatting on the CDC Facebook page today. I thought I would share. I answered from the top of my head. Did I do okay? Feel free to share this post if you ever get challenged to this quiz.

 

Note: I answered these questions as part of a challenge on Facebook. I was pretty proud that I answered them all in about five minutes. I appreciate all the clarifying comments. I am aware of all those details, but did not post them in the FB thread because I was trying to be super  brief.  But thanks!

 

1. Name 5 vaccine ingredients – aluminum salts, neomycin, various cells, polysorbate 80, albumin,
2. What is MRC-5? Cells from an fetus legally aborted 50+years ago on which some viruses are cultured.
3. What is WI-38? same as #2
4. What is vaccine court? Colloquial term for USCFC wherein people can file a claim of vaccine injury.
5. What is the national vaccine injury compensation program? VICP is the same as vaccine court
6. What is the 1986 national vaccine injury act? Federal act, co-written by founders of NVIC, with a great many safety laws and guidelines for informed consent, etc, also specifies how and when you can file a claim for vaccine injury and mandates high safety standards for vaccine production and distribution.
7. How has the CDC schedule changed since 1986? As science has developed more vaccines to prevent serious diseases, they have been added to schedule. Examples are rotavirus, PCV13, HIB.
8. How much money has been paid out by vaccine injury court? A bit more than $3 billion for claims and attorney fees. Compared to 5 billion doses given in 30 years, injury rate is 0.000011%.
9. How many doses of how many vaccines are in the CDC schedule between birth and age 18? Off the top of my head, we protect against 14-16 diseases.
10. Do vaccine contain DNA from aborted fetal cell lines? No. When viruses are grown on any cells, they are removed from those cells and purified before use in vaccines.
If so, which vaccines? None.
11. Do any vaccines contain dog, Monkey, Pig, and human DNA? No, see #10.
12. What is an adjuvant? Something that stimulates immune response to vaccine works better.
13. What is an antigen? The disease components in the vaccines.
14. Which arm of the immune system do vaccines stimulate? adaptive
15. Which arms of the immune system do natural diseases stimulate? innate
16. What is transverse myelitis? Inflammation of the spinal cord, often caused by natural infection
17. What is encephalopathy? Brain swelling, often caused by natural infection
18. What is the rate of autism in 2017, what was it in 2000? What was it in 1980? Autism rate today is 1.5%.
19. What is glyphosate and is it in vaccines? It is a pesticide and not in any vaccines.
20. If your child is injured, who will take physical, emotional and financial responsibility? Same person who takes responsibility if your child is injured by a disease – you. You could file a claim in federal court, if you meet the time table.
21. What was the Supreme Courts statement on vaccines in 2011? Bruesewitz v Wyeth is too long to summarize herein.
22. Can you provide a study showing vaccinated vs unvaccinated health outcomes? Yes, many. One is called KIGGS. Google it.
23. Can you show me a safety study proving it is safe to inject multiple vaccines? Yes, Dr Offit authored one for the journal Pediatrics. Google it.
24. What is shedding? Something antivaxers fear irrationally but, in reality, is mostly myth. There are no outbreaks caused by vaccines shedding.
25. Do vaccines shed? Which vaccines can shed for up to 6 weeks? Some live vaccines can shed, such as measles in urine, rotavirus in feces, chicken pox in pox, but there are no outbreaks connected with these vaccines. There are only a couple of cases of children shedding to siblings when proper hygiene protocol was not followed.
26. Which vaccines are live virus vaccines? MMR, oral polio (which we do not use in USA), smallpox ( which is only for military), rotavirus, and the nasal flu mist (which we don’t use in USA )
27. What is the VICP? You already asked this question. See #s 4-6
28. What is SV 40? It was a virus that was found in one of the early live polio vaccines. It was killed when it went thru the digestive system and never caused any health concerns in humans.
29. What is MTHFR and how is it affected by vaccines. A gene we all carry. It can have mutations, which antivaxers worry about, but all you need to do is take extra folate and you will be fine. It is not a valid reason to avoid vaccines, despite what naturopaths and health nuts think.
30. What is an acceptable amount of aluminum to be me ingested per day and what is the aluminum content of the Hep B shot given at birth? The ingested limit for intravenous feeding solutions that have aluminum in them is 25 mcg. That has nothing whatsoever to do with vaccines. FDA has approved vaccines as safe.
31. Can someone who was vaccinated for pertussis still spread pertussis after being exposed to it? If so for how long? Vaccinated baboons, when exposed to wild pertussis, were shown to colonize the pertussis in their throats for weeks but they were asymptomatic and thus not spreading the disease. Therefore, vaccinating are not spreading pertussis unless they get pertussis and have symptoms, which is unlikely.
32. What is the death from measles in the past 10 years in the US? From the MMR vaccine? According to CDC Wonder database, there have been 49 deaths from measles in the USA in the last ten years and zero from MMR.
Well, that was fun.
Happy weekend everyone!
Kathy

Vaccines Save Lives

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Happy New Year!

Did you know that vaccines save lives? This can be analyzed in many ways but here is how vaccines have helped babies NOT die of SIDS or other causes of infant mortality. Look at how the numbers drop! It’s astounding.

Citations:

CIA infant mortality data

Infant Mortality, USA 1960-1980

CDC SIDS/SUID data

USA vaccine schedule by year

USA SIDS rate by year, 1980-2010

Meta-analysis showing vaccines cut risk of SIDS by 50%

 

Aren’t we lucky!

 

Blessings to you all for a happy and healthy 2018,

 

Kathy

Dissolving Illusions Book Review

 

dissolving-illusions
Thanks to MW, I was able to read this book without giving the author any funds.  I always prefer to share books or check them out from the library, if I can, since I am a voracious reader. I do love to buy a real book, now and then, but simply cannot afford to buy all the books I want. 

The Authors

 

authors 

Dr. Humphries is a currently-licensed nephrologist but is not currently practicing medicine. Instead, she is mostly traveling around the country with the Vaxxed team. I have been aware of her antivax stance for many years, back when she used to post alongside Hilary Butler, a long-time antivaxer from New Zealand. Hilary self-published a book called Just a little prick about ten years ago. I read it when it first came out as she was giving away free copies back then. Back in the early days of online parenting chats, Hilary was often found in vaccine forums. At some point, Suzanne picked up that trail. I can recall, back when I ran Informed Parents of Vaccinated Children page on Facebook (I was founder and ran it from 2011-2013 when I gave it to friends) that both of them would show up to chat about polio being caused by DDT, Vitamin C being the cure for everything, vaccines cause all the world’s evils, and how, at the time, Suzanne was studying homeopathy. Suzanne now denies this happened, but I was there. I just wish I had taken screenshots!  Oh well, that was two computers ago anyway. At any rate, Hilary and Suzanne share a great many ideologies about vaccines, diseases, and vitamin C.

Roman Bystrianyk is the co-author and all I have ever been able to find on him is what was printed on the back of this book, that he has a BS in engineering and an MS in computer science. There is a little more information on him at the book website, but he otherwise keeps a low social media profile. He used to run a site called Health Sentinel but that appears to now be defunct.

Synopsis

First of all, about half the book is quotes from various other texts, articles, and studies, which is extremely unusual. I believe it is self-published and had no formal editing because a book from a reputable publisher would never have allowed this many quotes.  Also, all the graphs are sideways, which is very annoying I ended up pulling them all from the digital copy onto my computer’s desktop so I could turn them the right way and actually view them while I read.  The original writing is not very sophisticated, in my opinion, and there are many snide remarks throughout, such as “Millionaire vaccine inventor Paul Offit, a supporter of mandatory vaccinations, wrote a book on the Cutter incident.”  I feel like this book was likely not edited by a professional as that inflammatory and untrue statement should have been flagged and changed to “Pediatrician and Vaccinologist Paul Offit wrote a book on the Cutter incident.” The book’s version, to me, seems rather snide, as if the authors are trying hard to portray him negatively when they should be letting the reader judge for herself.

 

Forward by Dr Jayne L. M. Donegan

Dr. Donegan is a general practice doctor and homeopath from the United Kingdom. She says the debate about safety is discouraged and no attention is given to improved social conditions. She states she was trained in medical school to not question vaccines. The UK 1994 measles outbreak, and recommendation to vax a 2nd and third time with MMR led to her doubts. She started to research death rate related to vaccine-preventable diseases and noticed a pattern of death rate decreasing before vaccines. “We get infectious diseases when our bodies need to have a periodic cleanout. Children, especially, benefit from childhood spotty rashes, or “exanthems” as they are called, at appropriate times in order to make developmental leaps, so long as they are treated appropriately. In my experience, the worst complications of childhood infections are caused by standard medical treatment, which involves suppression of all the symptoms.“

Sidebar: If you want to know what vaccine-preventable diseases actually do, I recommend reading the Pink Book. 

Authors’ introduction

Roman Bystrianyk says a book by Neil Z Miller and graphs of death rate decreasing before vaccines influenced his thinking. His experience curing his son of epilepsy “Happily, after a few months, the EEG revealed no seizure activity! Not only was I thrilled that my son’s condition had improved, but the experience had again shown me the power of belief systems. In this case, the belief that nutrients and diet had no effect on brain health was absolutely wrong. ”

Sidebar: Please note we have no evidence Roman cured his son and we do know his ex-wife was a nurse and was not anti-vax.

Suzanne Humphries says, “It would be untrue to say that I ever completely believed in the necessity and safety of vaccination. I have long had an intuitive distaste for vaccines.”

“During my medical residency, I saw many autoimmune diseases and silently wondered if the vaccines could be playing a role”

“The God-given sense that I was endowed with was temporarily replaced by supposed evidence-based medicine and mindless rules, protocols, and guidelines. ”

Sidebar: It is very apparent Suzanne has always had antivax tendencies.

Suzanne says that the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine caused kidney failure in three patients (her diagnosis) and that led her to be antivax. There is no evidence to support these claims.

Chapter 1

This chapter is a reminder that diseases were rampant in 19th-century cities due to sanitation and sewage issues, factories, hazardous housing, and poor quality of food. I don’t refute this at all. However, I would look at more than just mortality rates to talk about community health. Just because death rate dropped does not mean diseases went away. The Pink Book does a good job of explaining modern outbreak data.

Chapter 2

This chapter informs us that in the 19th-century, children were working and labor contributed to disease and injury rates being very high. Again, I do not refute this but there were still large outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and some deaths.

Chapter 3

This chapter informs us that disease rates were high in 19th-century. We know that fact. Again, that did not mean diseases all went away. The authors only present death, or mortality, data and not incidence, or morbidity, data.

Chapter 4

This chapter is about smallpox history. The claim is made that compulsory vaccination did not curb outbreaks because smallpox vaccine did not prevent smallpox in 100% of the population. The claim is made that strict vaccination laws had no beneficial effect. Some quotes from the book:

“In fact, more people died from smallpox in the 20 years after the strict compulsory laws than in the 20 years prior.”

“In 1948, there were an estimated 200 to 300 deaths as the result of smallpox vaccination, while during the same time there had only been 1 smallpox death.”

“The death rate for smallpox declined after 1872, but there is no evidence that vaccination had anything at all to do with it. In the early 1900s, death from smallpox all but vanished from England.”

Her implication is that better sanitation and hygiene contributed to the reduction of smallpox. I believe this is an inaccurate and disingenuous view of vaccines and smallpox history. Dr. Vince Ianelli does a good job of explaining smallpox disease and vaccine facts at his blog, Vaxopedia.

Chapter 5

The authors are very concerned about cell culturing using animal cells. I am not sure why this bothers them. They state “as long as animals and animal cells are used for vaccine manufacture, the potential for infection will exist. There is no proposed end to the use of animals in vaccine production.” Since we eat, breathe, and drink non-human DNA all day, every day, and the human race has managed to survive quite a long time, I am unsure of their actual concern. Perhaps they saw “The Fly” with Jeff Goldblum and are concerned humans will morph into non-humans if we are encounter non-human DNA? I would remind them that is science fiction.

For some very good information on cell cultures, here are two excellent links:

https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/early-tissue-and-cell-culture-vaccine-development

https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/human-cell-strains-vaccine-development

Chapter 6

This chapter describes the case of Leicester, in the UK, where some people chose jail rather than compulsory vaccination. They chose quarantine and disinfection. This is now called the “Leicester Method.”  Dr. Ianelli does a great job explaining how this worked on his blog, Vaxopedia.

Chapter 7

Leicester Method employed by WHO in Yugoslavia 1972 after smallpox vaccine supposedly failed. I found a WHO document explaining the outbreak and how it was handled. They quarantined those affected and vaccinated many others.  The outbreak was contained and spread was halted. This was a public health win.

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/67617/1/WHO_SE_73.57.pdf

This outbreak was imported and confined to family and contacts from hospital exposures, 175 in all. Yugoslavia had been free of smallpox since 1930. There was a decreasing rate of children being immunized. The vaccination campaign was implemented in communes affected. Vaccination was continued until 95% of the population was successful. Vaccination was then extended to the entire population of 18 million. In areas affected by the outbreak, there was a restriction of movement of the population. “To quote Humphries and Bystrianyk,  “even though they knew that vaccination was ineffective, the Yugoslavian Federal Epidemiologic Commission went ahead and vaccinated 18 million citizens. Vaccination had to continue through the end of April because so many of the vaccinations were considered unsuccessful and had to be repeated.”

Notice the negative tone here? In reality, this tone is not found in the WHO document, linked above, which merely states “it had to be continued to the end of April, however, because vaccination was unsuccessful in a proportion of the vaccinees.” P. 7.   So, the authors of the WHO document recognize that vaccines have a certain failure rate and revaccination is a necessary reality. The authors of Dissolving Illusions, on the other hand, make the implication that revaccination is a problem. The authors of the WHO document also thank WHO for their efforts and explain that any outbreak of a serious infectious disease has to involve a variety of tasks, including immunization campaigns and quarantine.

They Yugoslavia outbreak of 1972 was extinguished because of a combination of quarantine and immunization. The authors of Dissolving Illusions, on the other hand, refuse to recognize this fact.

Chapter 8

This chapter compares compulsory immunization laws to eugenics. This is so completely offensive, I am not going to say anything else.

Chapter 9

This chapter tells the story of Arthur Smith Jr who suffered smallpox as a result of smallpox vaccine he got for school. The compulsory vaccination laws in 1915 New York are blamed. We know that some smallpox vaccinees got smallpox from the vaccine. This is not a reason to dismiss the vaccine.

Chapter 10

Improvements in hygiene and sanitation are explained and credited with reducing disease outbreaks. As has been stated, it is obvious that hygiene and sanitation played huge roles in reducing disease rates but that does not mean vaccines did not help.

Chapter 11

Smallpox decline is credited to improved sanitation and not vaccination. Smallpox cases become mild and routinely mistaken for chicken pox. Sanitation is credited for decreasing rates of typhoid fever, scarlet fever, measles, whooping cough, chicken pox, and diphtheria. They refer to this ear of mid-1800s to early 1900s as “the Sanitation Revolution.” Mortality rates are discussed but not morbidity.

In reality, there is no evidence that chicken pox is smallpox. And, again, the rate of disease (morbidity) should not be dismissed.

Chapter 12

The authors claim “the polio story is a haunting one: long, complicated, and ugly. It’s not a story you will have read or that the medical profession will be able to tell. Beyond the smoke and mirrors lie sketchy statistics, renaming of diseases, and vaccine-induced paralytic polio caused by both the Salk and the Sabin vaccines. Dr. Albert Sabin’s oral polio vaccine (OPV) continues to cause paralysis in vaccine recipients today.”

Medical professionals know that low uptake of the oral polio vaccine, which is live, can lead to the shedding of vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks. But, the oral polio vaccine has a very important place in history as it is easier to use than the inactivated version. It has many advantages over the inactivated vaccine.  It is easier to share in developing countries but, in times of war, there are vaccine-derived outbreaks. This is no reason to dismiss the vaccine. In 2016, there were 34 cases of wild polio and three cases of vaccine-derived, on earth. That is astounding! Unfortunately, due to war, there have been 84 cases of vaccine-derived polio in 2017, but we are still extremely close to eradicating polio from earth.

The best place to learn about polio is the Global Polio Eradication website.

Humphries and Bystrianyk further claim polio was a low incidence disease. They introduce the story of the Brazilian Xavante tribe who apparently had no paralytic polio amongst polio cases in a 1964 study. Americans living in the same area had significant rate of paralytic poliomyelitis. The authors make the claim that modern medicine increases susceptibility to poliomyelitis. “ Refined sugar, white flour, alcohol, tobacco, tonsillectomies, vaccines, antibiotics, DDT, and arsenic had become financial golden calves that led humanity blindly down a spiral of disease and misery. Unfortunately, the paralysis was uniformly attributed to poliovirus infections which thus justified and prioritized vaccine research at all costs. Many thousands of people were needlessly paralyzed because the medical system refused to look at the consequences of these golden calves, gave only lip service to the success of the Sister Kenny treatment of paralysis (discussed later in this chapter), and concentrated solely on vaccine research.”

No proof of these claims is offered.

Humphries and Bystrianyk also claim a change in diagnostic criteria and advent of diagnostic tests, which could distinguish between polio and other paralytic diseases. They tell about a 1958 Michigan outbreak where 1060 patients who were believed to have polio were found to have a variety of issues, including 401 with no virus and 176 with other viruses. They make the claim that paralytic polio was, in fact, mostly not actually poliovirus and deformed limbs and life of paralysis could be easily avoided if everyone had good food and employed Sister Elizabeth Kenny’s methods of physical therapy for rehabilitation. This anecdote is not supported by any evidence Sister Kenny’s methods actually work.

The authors further claim that we see high rates of Polio in India and Nigeria and Gaza because they lack safe food and physical therapy. They do not reflect on how India, Gaza, and Niger all have zero cases of polio lately.

Humphries and Bystrianyk then go on to describe their theory that transverse myelitis in the USA today would have all been labeled polio in past generations. They also make the claim that that DDT poisoning causes similar symptoms as polio. Diet is again implicated. ““Diet—in particular, diets high in refined sugar and flour—has a known impact on susceptibility to severe poliovirus infection. The harsh chemicals used in cane sugar refining are thought by some scientists to have contributed to the synergy between an otherwise innocent virus and the sugar. In addition, as Dr. Sandler demonstrated sugar metabolism and post-prandial hypoglycemia increased cellular viral susceptibility.”

These are common antivax tropes but no one ever explains how polio was found before DDT was invented and is currently eradicated in countries where DDT is back in use. Further, they don’t explain how the polio virus has been recognizable in tests for decades and how polio is distinct from TM.  In my opinion, these are unproven conspiracy theories.

The current distribution of DDT shows it’s used in many countries which are free of polio. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/254912/1/WHO-HTM-GMP-2017.4-eng.pdf

The authors also claim polio is related to arsenic poisoning and syphilis. These are pure conjectures. The authors then explain how polio is very mild in 95% of cases and they hypothesize that paralytic polio had other causes and, thus, we do not need a vaccine for polio.

The Cutter Incident is presented as a big issue but I feel the authors try to use this incident as a reason not to vaccinate and that is not appropriate. The SV40 issue is also outlined. ““How much of the abrupt rise in human cancer rates since the introduction of monkey products into the human population is due to SV40 will also remain uncertain due to a lack of precise research.” The Skeptical Raptor does an excellent job debunking this myth.

https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/polio-vaccines-cancer-debunking-myth/

Finally, the authors claim the increase in the incidence of acute flaccid paralysis in countries like India is due to changing of diagnostic criteria and AFP would have been labeled polio in previous years. I find this claim simple to debunk because India has been able to track viral causes for AFP for quite some time and has seen a yearly rise for the first decade of 21st century. But, is that due to increased access to diagnosticians or is it related to the polio vaccine? That it might be related to the vaccines is an idea primarily promoted by Dr. Jacob Puliyel, a pediatrician in Delhi, India. His opinion is a minority one and his opinion that polio vaccination funds would be better spent on improved sanitation is not one shared by many people. Most experts believe it is important to vaccinate and improve sanitation, at the same time.   Not one or the other. ”

Dr. Puliyel blames the polio vaccine for a sharp rise in India in cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis – weakness or inability to move limbs. “But polio is just one of many causes, with other viruses and bacteria also responsible. Public health officials also point out that monitoring of cases is now far better than in previous decades.” http://www.bbc.com/news/health-21207601

The authors also fault GAVI for increased efforts to vaccinate children. But, it should be noted that since the publication of this book, India has been declared polio-free. So, something great has been accomplished by GAVI’s efforts. The authors further state that the attention spent to polio vaccine is inappropriate and the billions of dollars spent by GAVI and Gates Foundation would be much better spent on improving nutrition, clean water, farming, and dealing with war and famine. It’s as if they don’t realize that Gates Foundation and WHO all actually do address those issues AS WELL AS immunizations.

The authors conclude:

“History books of the future may reflect upon a disaster with this conclusion: Wild poliovirus should have been left alone and the real sources of paralysis pursued and addressed.”

How on earth can they think the world is not better now? I am flummoxed.

Chapter 13

In this chapter, the authors claim whooping cough is not a serious health threat in healthy individuals and play up quite dramatically the risks of the vaccines. Many incidences of vaccine injuries are presented. Again, the historical death rate is presented as proof that vaccines did not save us. The authors also make the claim that there is much more pertussis around us than is documented because doctors do not consider a mild cough could be pertussis. They also discuss the promise of lifelong immunity made with vaccination. The limitations of the acellular pertussis vaccine are presented as a reason not to vaccinate.

They discuss original antigenic sin ““The concept of original antigenic sin (OAS) was coined by Dr. Thomas Francis, who became well known during the Salk vaccine era when he oversaw and interpreted the results of the largest (and most controversial) vaccine trial in history. He explained the phenomenon of OAS using natural influenza virus as an example.”  This is the concept that the body responds more robustly and naturally to wild disease than to a vaccine. The authors believe that immunity from natural pertussis is stronger than that of vaccine pertussis. They believe that the CDC portrays pertussis as severe to increase vaccine uptake.

“The reason immunologists and vaccine scientists don’t talk about original antigenic sin is that if they had to explain to the public just what it means in principle and in practical fact, they’d have to explain that vaccination breaches a fundamental immunological tenet. They would have to admit that whooping cough vaccine immunity is vastly inferior and that vaccine immunity has immunologic unintended consequences in the future.”

The thing is, immunity from wild pertussis is not that different from vaccine immunity. “A review of the published data on duration of immunity reveals estimates that infection-acquired immunity against pertussis disease wanes after 4-20 years and protective immunity after vaccination wanes after 4-12 years. ”

The authors then go on to explain that pertussis will be a mild infection if the child is properly nourished and treated with Vitamin C. But, they don’t have any actual scientific evidence to support this claim. Dr. Humphries says that “generally speaking, antibiotic-treated children fare no better than their untreated counterparts. In my experience, they often fare worse. Breastfeeding makes a major difference in how well the child handles the infection. Infants as young as two weeks of age have fared quite well at home with the vitamin C treatment and breast milk alone. This makes sense given that antibiotics alter the bowel immunity and, during the dying off of bacteria in the gut, release even more toxin into the already toxic child.”  Now keep in mind that Dr. Humphries was a kidney doctor, so she never treated children for pertussis. And her vitamin C protocol is based on case studies from the 1930s where nothing else was tried but vitamin C.

She makes some truly outrageous claims that are not supported by any evidence:

“Properly managed, natural whooping cough is but an irksome nuisance that will impart true and lasting immunity upon the convalesced.”

“If vitamin C in adequate doses was given to children, and even the youngest infants with pertussis, the reputation of B. pertussis as the devastating 100-day cough would fade away.”

In fact, the Linus Pauling Institue at Oregon State University has research demonstrating vitamin c has no proven efficacy for any virus or bacteria.

Chapter 14

This chapter is about measles and again history mortality rates are illustrated but not morbidity. Real epidemiologists always compare death (mortality) rate to the incidence of disease (morbidity) to better understand trends. Are people still getting sick in huge numbers but just not dying or is the disease truly waning? In this book, only mortality rates are analyzed. And the graphs are all sideways, which is incredibly annoying.

A brief history of some of the bumps in the road to an effective measles vaccine is presented as proof vaccines do not work. Then, we get to Wakefield. The authors paint a portrait of Wakefield’s history that is common amongst his fans. They claim his original 1998 study was valid and only pulled because he was attacked. They also claim his colleagues found proof of his original hypotheses but their research has been stalled due to lack of funding. The authors try to discredit the measles vaccine by claiming that because measles virus can be found in the urine of some vaccinated individuals this must suggest that we are all walking around with atypical measles infections. These claims are all refuted by the facts of the case against Wakefield.

This all led the authors to conclude that there is no danger from measles and the vaccine is unnecessary. They also cite several outbreaks of measles in those with only one MMR as proof the vaccine does not work. Again, the implication is made that vaccines do not really work. They are just a profit scam by pharmaceutical companies. They make the claim that the vaccine does not produce lifelong immunity. Honestly, that the vaccine does not create the kind of immune response as a wild disease doesn’t actually matter to vaccine advocates because the vaccine comes with a far lesser risk of complications than having a wild disease. The idea the authors imply, that we should all get sick with natural measles because it induces a stronger immune response, is dangerous.

The authors also claim that the vaccine is not responsible for the steep drop in incidence of measles after 1963. Their reasoning is because not all children were vaccinated for measles in the 1960s then the vaccine could not be the reason for the decline in incidence. They claim that the vaccinated were still getting measles but were not being counted; thus, measles incidence rate did not really fall. They claim laboratory confirmation of disease was not done for all patients with symptoms. They claim that the 5-10% of vaccinated individuals who get a mild rash after measles vaccine not only actually have measles but that percent is a gross underestimate.

“If 5–10 percent of measles vaccines result in fever and rash, then there are approximately 650,000–1,300,000 cases of measles in the United States per year given the 13–14 million yearly doses of vaccine injected into one-year-olds (live births per year US census = 14 million).”

Humphries and Bystrianyk also claim this is why we have a “present-day epidemic of connective tissue diseases, immunoreactive diseases, and degenerative and tumorous ailments.”  They cite a study by Ronne called “Measles Virus Infection Without Rash in Childhood Is Related to Disease in Adult Life” wherein the author theorizes but does not prove that patients who were given immune globulin had higher rates of certain adult infections and that should lead to the reconsideration of immune globulin for atypical measles infection. This is just an opinion and no support is provided.

Humphries and Bystriany state that “rashless infection would have led to fewer measles reports, but not because measles was not circulating and causing occult infections. So, on one hand, the early vaccines were leading to cases of atypical measles and causing a different disease (which were not counted as wild measles), and on the other hand, the gamma globulin given to prevent the side effects of the vaccines was also interfering with normal cell-mediated processing of the virus.”  Again, this appears to be their opinion.

Finally, the authors believe measles was dying out on it’s own and improvements in nutrition and increases in breastfeeding are the reasons. They make a correlation between low breastfeeding rates in the 1940s and pertussis epidemics. I am sure we can all agree that breastmilk is a wonderful food for infants and I breastfed my own children for 36 months each. However, the authors are implying that all women should breastfeed their children and that because many of us were vaccinated, we are putting our infants at risk by not passing the immune properties of our own measles infections along to our infants via our breastmilk. This makes two deeply offensive implications: that women should all breastfeed and that being vaccinated actually endangers children. The authors provide no evidence to support either assertion.

“Today, because of vaccination, young infants are more susceptible than ever. Scientists are searching for ways to vaccinate them and bypass the vaccine neutralization that comes from placental and breast milk immunity. Why? That immunity protects the infant from measles. This is just another example of how vaccines have created a situation that requires even more vaccines and more manipulation of the immune system. This is financially efficient for vaccine manufacturers but scientifically and immunologically unsound.”

 I am sure I am not alone in not only feeling this argument is unscientific but it is also remarkably sexist.

Vitamins A and C are presented as all the measles patients need. It is implied that children in western countries all become deficient in vitamin A and case studies from the 1930s are cited as proof that Vitamin A is important for all measles patients. They cite a study from 1990 of 20 children in California who had measles as proof American children are low in vitamin A. They also cite case studies from before the 1940s as proof vitamin C has efficacy in fighting infections.

No evidence is offered that American children are deficient in vitamin A nor that vitamin A will prevent most of the complications of measles infection.

The authors also downplay the severity of SSPE, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, claiming it is a disease only in the vaccinated. They cite a study called Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis: Is there something different in the younger children? This was a study of 9 children with SSPE, all but three with no history of vaccination and two of those three also had a history of wild measles infection. They cite another study from China that is also cases of children who previously had wild measles. SSPE is always caused by wild measles, but the authors claim otherwise. They also postulate that fever medicines (antipyretics) and measles immune globulin are to blame for SSPE. I find this claim incredible, mostly because they don’t support it with evidence at all.

Chapter 15

This chapter is about scurvy and vitamin C. More case studies from before modern medical treatments were invented are provided as evidence vitamin C is all one needs to fight disease. These are more anecdotes about children who did not die rather than actual evidence Vitamin C has any value in treating vaccine-preventable diseases.

Chapter 16

This chapter is about herbs and other “lost remedies.” This chapter is also full of very old anecdotes about remedies people tried before modern medicine. There is no actual evidence in this chapter.

Chapter 17

This one is about belief and fear. This chapter is a repeat of all the previous messages that vaccines did not save us.

This, my dear readers, brings us to the end of the book.  I hope you enjoyed my synopsis. I believe is is clear that Dissolving Illusions is based on conjecture and not scientific evidence.

 

Two awesome ways to help bring vaccines to those in need.

  1. Public Health BC Canada has fun and games on this website, which leads to them donating vaccines to UNICEF. Join my team! I get nothing but the knowledge that we are awesome!
  2. If you don’t want to play a game but you want to make the world a better place, UNICEF is the site! Personally, when antivaxers make me really unhappy, I go donate to UNICEF in their names. Makes me feel better.

think

 

Remember to think for yourself!

 

Kathy

 

Note: I just finished a very difficult quarter at the local university, wherein I authored two very long reports using APA style. As such, I am purposely giving myself a break and not worrying about APA-style rules for this blog post. Therefore, I am denoting page numbers for quotes.

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.

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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. 

Diseases and their risks

danger

The list below popped up in chats this weekend. Where did it come from? I have no clue. But it is 100% wrong. Dangerously wrong.

diseases copy

 

Original comments in italics, facts in red.

Chicken Pox = itchy rash; 5-7 days; resolves itself. In the prevaccine era, approximately 11,000 persons with varicella required hospitalization each year. Hospitalization rates were approximately 2 to 3 per 1,000 cases among healthy children and 8 per 1,000 cases among adults. Death occurred in approximately 1 in 60,000 cases. From 1990 through 1996, an average of 103 deaths from varicella were reported each year. Most deaths occur in immunocompetent children and adults. Since 1996, hospitalizations and deaths from varicella have declined more than 70% and 88% respectively.

Diptheria = low fever, sore throat; many infections are asymptomatic or mild; treat with antitoxin and antibiotics. The most frequent complications of diphtheria are myocarditis and neuritis.The overall case-fatality rate for diphtheria is 5%-10%, with higher death rates (up to 20%) among persons younger than 5 and older than 40 years of age. The case-fatality rate for diphtheria has changed very little during the last 50 years..

Haemophilus influenzae Type B (Hib) = flu symptoms, stiff neck; treat with antibiotics for 10 days.  Invasive disease caused by H. influenzae type b can affect many organ systems. The most common types of invasive disease are meningitis, epiglottitis, pneumonia, arthritis, and cellulitis.

Meningitis is infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord and is the most common clinical manifestation of invasive Hib disease, accounting for 50%-65% of cases in the prevaccine era. Hallmarks of Hib meningitis are fever, decreased mental status, and stiff neck (these symptoms also occur with meningitis caused by other bacteria). Hearing impairment or other neurologic sequelae occur in 15%-30% of survivors. The case-fatality rate is 3%-6%, despite appropriate antimicrobial therapy.

Hepatitis A = transmitted orally through feces; children usually have no symptoms; flu symptoms, jaundice; resolves itself. Severe clinical manifestations of hepatitis A infection are rare, however atypical complications may occur, including immunologic, neurologic, hematologic, pancreatic, and renal extrahepatic manifestations. Relapsing hepatitis, cholestatic hepatitis A, hepatitis A triggering autoimmune hepatitis, subfulminant hepatitis, and fulminant hepatitis have also been reported. Fulminant hepatitis is the most severe rare complication, with mortality estimates up to 80%. In the prevaccine era, fulminant hepatitis A caused about 100 deaths per year in the United States. The hepatitis A case-fatality rate among persons of all ages with reported cases was approximately 0.3% but may have been higher among older persons (approximately 2% among persons 40 years of age and older) More recent case-fatality estimates range from 0.3%-0.6% for all ages and up to 1.8% among adults aged >50 years. Vaccination of high risk groups and public health measures have significantly reduced the number of overall hepatitis A cases and fulminant HAV cases. Nonetheless, hepatitis A results in substantial morbidity, with associated costs caused by medical care and work loss.

Hepatitis B = transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluids; flu symptoms, jaundice; most people do not show symptoms; acute Hep B resolves itself.  While most acute HBV infections in adults result in complete recovery, fulminant hepatitis occurs in about 1% to 2% of acutely infected persons. About 200 to 300 Americans die of fulminant disease each year (case-fatality rate 63% to 93%). Of children who become infected with HBV between 1 year and 5 years of age, 30% to 50% become chronically infected. By adulthood, the risk of acquiring chronic HBV infection is approximately 5%. Acute HBV progresses to chronic HBV in approximately 40% of hemodialysis patients and up to 20% of patients with immune deficiencies. An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 persons die of hepatitis B-related cirrhosis each year in the United States. Persons with chronic HBV infection are at 12 to 300 times higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma than noncarriers. An estimated 1,000 to 1,500 persons die each year in the United States of hepatitis B-related liver cancer.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) = transmitted sexually; usually resolves itself with no symptoms; takes years to develop into cancer; regular pap screens prevent cancer; vaccine discontinued in Japan due to adverse reactions. The CDC and National Cancer Institute’s United States Cancer Statistics Working Group reports that from 2005 through 2009 there were annual averages of 12,595 cases and 3,968 deaths due to cervical cancer. HPV is believed to be responsible for nearly all of these cases of cervical cancer. HPV types 16 and 18 are associated with 70% of these cancers.

In addition to cervical cancer, HPV is believed to be responsible for 90% of anal cancers, 71% of vulvar, vaginal, or penile cancers, and 72% of oropharyngeal cancers.

Also, pap smears can only detect cancer. They cannot prevent it. 
Influenza – a.k.a. “the flu”; high fever, cold symptoms, vomiting; lasts 7-10 days; resolves itself; vaccine contains mercury (thimerosal). “Classic” influenza disease is characterized by the abrupt onset of fever, myalgia, sore throat, nonproductive cough, and headache. The fever is usually 101°–102°F, and accompanied by prostration (bedridden). The onset of fever is often so abrupt that the exact hour is recalled by the patient. Myalgias mainly affect the back muscles. Cough is believed to be a result of tracheal epithelial destruction. Additional symptoms may include rhinorrhea (runny nose), headache, substernal chest burning and ocular symptoms (e.g., eye pain and sensitivity to light).  Most pediatric flu deaths are in unvaccinated children. 

Measles = fever, cold symptoms, rash; 7-10 days; resolves itself. Diarrhea was reported in 8% of measles cases, making this the most commonly reported complication of measles. Otitis media was reported in 7% of cases and occurs almost exclusively in children. Pneumonia (in 6% of reported cases) may be viral or superimposed bacterial, and is the most common cause of measles-related death. Acute encephalitis occurs in approximately 0.1% of reported cases. Death from measles was reported in approximately 0.2% .  SSPE is another complication, which is 100% fatal. 

Meningitis = flu symptoms, stiff neck; usually caused by bacteria or virus; viral usually causes no symptoms and resolves itself; bacterial is spread through saliva (kissing, coughing); most people who ‘carry’ the bacteria never become sick; bacterial is treated with antibiotics. The case-fatality ratio of meningococcal disease is 10% to 15%, even with appropriate antibiotic therapy. The case-fatality ratio of meningococcemia is up to 40%. As many as 20% of survivors have permanent sequelae, such as hearing loss, neurologic damage, or loss of a limb.

Mumps = fever, swelling of salivary glands; many people show no symptoms; resolves itself within a few weeks.  Complications include orchitis in 12%-66% in postpubertal males (prevaccine) 3%-10% (postvaccine), Pancreatitis in 3.5% (prevaccine), Unilateral Deafness 1/20,000 (prevaccine) and Death 2/10,000 from 1966-1971. In the prevaccine era, mumps accounted for approximately 10% of cases of symptomatic aseptic meningitis (inflammatory cells in cerebrospinal fluid resulting in headache or stiff neck). Men were afflicted three times as often as women. Aseptic meningitis resolves without sequelae in 3 to 10 days. Mumps encephalitis accounted for 36% of all reported encephalitis cases in the United States in 1967.
Pertussis = a.k.a. “whooping cough”; resolves itself. The most common complication, and the cause of most pertussis-related deaths, is secondary bacterial pneumonia. Young infants are at highest risk for acquiring pertussis-associated complications. Data from 1997–2000 indicate that pneumonia occurred in 5.2% of all reported pertussis cases, and among 11.8% of infants younger than 6 months of age. Neurologic complications such as seizures and encephalopathy (a diffuse disorder of the brain) may occur as a result of hypoxia (reduction of oxygen supply) from coughing, or possibly from toxin. Neurologic complications of pertussis are more common among infants. Other less serious complications of pertussis include otitis media, anorexia, and dehydration. Complications resulting from pressure effects of severe paroxysms include pneumothorax, epistaxis, subdural hematomas, hernias, and rectal prolapse.

Pneumococcus = flu symptoms, stiff neck; treat with antibiotics.  Approximately 400,000 hospitalizations from pneumococcal pneumonia are estimated to occur annually in the United States. Pneumococci account for up to 36% of adult community-acquired pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia has been demonstrated to complicate influenza infection. About 25-30% of patients with pneumococcal pneumonia also experience pneumococcal bacteremia. The case-fatality rate is 5%–7% and may be much higher among elderly persons. Other complications of pneumococcal pneumonia include empyema (i.e., infection of the pleural space), pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart), and endobronchial obstruction, with atelectasis and lung abscess formation.

More than 12,000 cases of pneumococcal bacteremia without pneumonia occur each year. The overall case-fatality rate for bacteremia is about 20% but may be as high as 60% among elderly patients. Patients with asplenia who develop bacteremia may experience a fulminant clinical course.

Pneumococci cause over 50% of all cases of bacterial meningitis in the United States. An estimated 3,000 to 6,000 cases of pneumococcal meningitis occur each year.

Poliomyelitis = 72% of infections cause no symptoms; 25% flu-like symptoms that last 2-5 days; 0.5% leads to more severe symptoms such as paralytic polio; only people with the paralytic infection are considered to have the disease.  Up to 72% of all polio infections in children are asymptomatic. Approximately 24% of polio infections in children consist of a minor, nonspecific illness without clinical or laboratory evidence of central nervous system invasion. This clinical presentation is known as abortive poliomyelitis, and is characterized by complete recovery in less than a week. This is characterized by a low grade fever and sore throat.  Nonparalytic aseptic meningitis (symptoms of stiffness of the neck, back, and/or legs), usually following several days after a prodrome similar to that of minor illness, occurs in 1%–5% of polio infections in children. Increased or abnormal sensations can also occur. Typically these symptoms will last from 2 to 10 days, followed by complete recovery. The death-to-case ratio for paralytic polio is generally 2%–5% among children and up to 15%–30% for adults (depending on age). It increases to 25%–75% with bulbar involvement. In the immediate prevaccine era, improved sanitation allowed less frequent exposure and increased the age of primary infection. Boosting of immunity from natural exposure became more infrequent and the number of susceptible persons accumulated, ultimately resulting in the occurrence of epidemics, with 13,000 to 20,000 paralytic cases reported annually.

Rotavirus = vomiting, diarrhea; children, even those that are vaccinated, may develop rotavirus disease more than once. Rotavirus infection may result in severe dehydrating diarrhea with fever and vomiting. Up to one-third of infected children may have a temperature greater than 102°F (39°C).  

In the prevaccine era an estimated 3 million rotavirus infections occurred every year in the United States and 95% of children experienced at least one rotavirus infection by age 5 years. Rotavirus infection was responsible for more than 400,000 physician visits, more than 200,000 emergency department (ED) visits, 55,000 to 70,000 hospitalizations, and 20 to 60 deaths each year in children younger than 5 years. Annual direct and indirect costs were estimated at approximately $1 billion, primarily due to the cost of time lost from work to care for an ill child.

In the prevaccine era, rotavirus accounted for 30% to 50% of all hospitalizations for gastroenteritis among U.S. children younger than 5 years of age; the incidence of clinical illness was highest among children 3 to 35 months of age. 

There has been a 90% reduction in cases since the vaccine. 

Rubella = a.k.a. “three day measles”; flu symptoms; 1-3 days; 25 to 50% of people infected with rubella will not experience any symptoms; resolves itself. Symptoms are often mild, and up to 50% of infections may be subclinical or inapparent. In children, rash is usually the first manifestation and a prodrome is rare. In older children and adults, there is often a 1 to 5 day prodrome with low-grade fever, malaise, lymphadenopathy, and upper respiratory symptoms preceding the rash. The rash of rubella is maculopapular and occurs 14 to 17 days after exposure. The rash usually occurs initially on the face and then progresses from head to foot. It lasts about 3 days and is occasionally pruritic. The rash is fainter than measles rash and does not coalesce.

The concern about rubella was congenital rubella syndrome.  Prevention of CRS is the main objective of rubella vaccination programs in the United States.

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. Congenital infection with rubella virus can affect virtually all organ systems. Deafness is the most common and often the sole manifestation of congenital rubella infection, especially after the fourth month of gestation. Eye defects, including cataracts, glaucoma, retinopathy, and microphthalmia may occur. Cardiac defects such as patent ductus arteriosus, ventricular septal defect, pulmonic stenosis, and coarctation of the aorta are possible. Neurologic abnormalities, including microcephaly and mental retardation, and other abnormalities, including bone lesions, splenomegaly, hepatitis, and thrombocytopenia with purpura may occur.

Tetanus = sudden, painful contractions of muscle groups; caused by Clostridium tetani transmitted through broken skin; prevention is to allow wound to bleed freely because the bacteria needs oxygen to germinate; treatment is tetanus immunoglobulin injection and hospitalization. 

Laryngospasm (spasm of the vocal cords) and/or spasm of the muscles of respiration leads to interference with breathing. Fractures of the spine or long bones may result from sustained contractions and convulsions. Hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system may lead to hypertension and/or an abnormal heart rhythm.

Nosocomial infections are common because of prolonged hospitalization. Secondary infections may include sepsis from indwelling catheters, hospital-acquired pneumonias, and decubitus ulcers. Pulmonary embolism is particularly a problem in drug users and elderly patients. Aspiration pneumonia is a common late complication of tetanus, found in 50%-70% of autopsied cases. In recent years, tetanus has been fatal in approximately 11% of reported cases. Cases most likely to be fatal are those occurring in persons 60 years of age and older (18%) and unvaccinated persons (22%). In about 20% of tetanus deaths, no obvious pathology is identified and death is attributed to the direct effects of tetanus toxin.

We’ve likely all seen this famous depiction of tetanus. Modern sufferers are put into a coma to prevent those spasms from causing unbearable pain and breaking limbs.

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Vaccine Risks = ALL product inserts list numerous potential reactions including impaired immune system; autoimmune disorders; and/or death. All vaccine inserts DO NOT list potential reactions but adverse reactions reported without regard to causation. See explanation here. 

Vaccines that shed (are contagious): Measles, Mumps, Varicella (Chicken Pox), Oral Polio, Rubella, Rotavirus, Influenza (Flumist). Vaccine shedding is a non issue.

My references

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878093

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/chapters.html

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/sspe-a-deadly-and-not-that-rare-complication-of-measles/

 

As always, verify your claims

 

Kathy

Poison control is provax

 

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For the past month or so, the following post has been going viral on Facebook.  The poster, Ms Figueroa, is a well known antivaxer from New  York who posts a great deal on vaccine-related threads.  She routinely blocks anyone who is provax so please don’t think she is interested in learning from any of us.  I am refuting her post for others.

She claims that she called poison control and had the following conversation:

“I gathered all vaccine ingredients into a list and contacted Poison Control. After intros and such, and asking to speak with someone tenured and knowledgeable, this is the gist of that conversation.
Me: My question to you is how are these ingredients categorized? As benign or poison? (I ran a few ingredients, formaldehyde, Tween 80, mercury, aluminum, phenoxyethanol, potassium phosphate, sodium phosphate, sorbitol, etc.)
He: Well, that’s quite a list… But I’d have to easily say that they’re all toxic to humans… Used in fertilizers… Pesticides… To stop the heart… To preserve a dead body… They’re registered with us in different categories, but pretty much poisons. Why?
Me: If I were deliberately to feed or inject my child with these ingredients often, as a schedule, obviously I’d put my daughter in harm’s way… But what would legally happen to me?
He: Odd question… But you’d likely be charged with criminal negligence… perhaps with intent to kill… and of course child abuse… Your child would be taken away from you… Do you know of someone’s who’s doing this to their child? This is criminal…
Me: An industry… These are the ingredients used in vaccines… With binding agents to make sure the body won’t flush these out… To keep the antibody levels up indefinitely…
He: WHAT?!
Your conclusion?”
#LearnTheRisk
#PoisonControl
#Vaccines

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Now, anyone with any knowledge about how toxicity works would understand that vaccine ingredients are not toxic in the doses they are in vaccines. Nothing is toxic at all doses. Do you know who especially knows this is fact?  The nurses and pharmacists who work for Poison Control!  How do I know this? Because I called American Association of Poison Control Centers  (PC) at (800) 222-1222 and talked to Joan, RN with Washington Poison Control.  We had a very nice conversation.  She laughed at the idea that anyone at PC would be read a list of ingredients and call them toxic in all doses. They are specially trained to know that toxicity is based on dose. They are very provax, at poison control, she told me.  She said that, in her opinion, everything in the above conversation goes against the standardized poison control training nurses and pharmacists receive to be employed by PC. Also, she said a PC employee would never talk to someone about an action being liable for criminal negligence.  Finally, they know very well that THE DOSE MAKES THE POISON.  That is what they do at PC, they talk about dose.  For example, when my then one year old ate some christmas berries, I called poison control and we talked about how many she had eaten and how there is nothing toxic in the berry but the seeds do have cyanide. Since humans don’t masticate (I learned that word that day) much, there was little to no chance of my child actually getting any cyanide. The seeds would pass through her digestive system whole, just like apples seeds.

Nothing in vaccines is toxic at those doses. Don’t fall for bullshit.

 

Think for yourself! And do call the nice people at Poison Control if you ever have any poison concerns!

 

Kathy