Antivaxers jump the shark

Fonzie_jumps_the_shark

Are you familiar with the term ‘jump the shark?” It refers to the moment when you know a program, band, actor, politician, or other public figure has taken a turn for the worse, gone downhill, become irreversibly bad, is unredeemable, etc. It originated with the show Happy Days and refers to the episode where Fonzi went water skiing and jumped a shark.  It was the point the show was beyond redemption and quality deteriorated.

This week, antivaxers jumped the shark over the story of David and Louise Turbin, the California parents who had been torturing and neglecting their 13 children for years.  California Assemblyman Jose Medina and Senator Dr Richard Pan have both discussed online and in news interviews how there should be oversight of homeschooling to make sure this kind of thing does not happen. Right now, in all states in USA, you can homeschool your children without any oversight by any authorities. Most homeschools are wonderful, but this does present an easy means for child abusers to hide their children away.  Assemblyman Medina, who represents the area where the children lived, made the following statement:

“I was very disturbed to learn about the horrific violence that has taken place in our community, and am thankful that these children are now in safety.  I am extremely concerned about the lack of oversight the State of California currently has in monitoring private and home schools. I have been in conversation with the Riverside County Office of Education, which agrees that we need to do more to protect our students and validate that they are in safe learning environments. I am looking into introducing a bill this year that would provide a legislative solution and prevent a situation like this from occurring in the future.”

State senator, Dr Richard Pan, has also been concerned.

“This tragic situation is the result of the fact that there’s no requirement for anyone to take a look at the kids,” said State Senator Richard Pan, D-Sacramento.

“It’s certainly not emblematic of homeschooling, but it does underscore the tremendous lack of oversight,” Pan said.

All this has led antivaxers to believe that Dr Pan is coming for their homeschools in order to vaccinate all children in California. In my opinion, they have jumped the shark.  They have swarmed to Dr Pan’s facebook page and Assemblyman Medina’s facebook page, posting endless comments about how they know “big pharma’ has paid Dr Pan to force vaccinate all kids and the idea of mandating oversight for homeschool programs is really about the government controlling them.  It’s been very rare to see anyone express empathy for the Turbin children or provide a solution to preventing children from being hidden away.

Some examples:

pan1 copy

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Here’s a rare supportive message:

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Over on leviquackenboss blog, Ms Charron has added her two cents, convinced this might even be a fabricated story!

“This is starting to look like serendipitous timing for Pan. Just what if… any part of this story is fabricated or exaggerated so that California gets out some kind of “children’s safety” bill to start regulating homeschoolers, and once that’s done, they’ll no longer be exempt from vaccines?

I don’t think the press coverage is about monitoring California homeschools. I think this is about destroying them, making all children subject to SB277.”

A comment from her blog:

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I think it is pretty easy to see that antivaxers seem very concerned about themselves and the possibility that they will lose some perceived freedoms more than they are concerned about protecting vulnerable people. I find that incredible. We have a great many laws which limit our freedoms in the name of protecting others. Americans used to have the right to own their children like property and put them to work, deny them an education, even sell them into indentured servitude. Laws have taken away all those rights because children are humans and deserve protecting. As a homeschooling mom myself, I would not mind one bit if I had to bring my kids somewhere to report in once a month. I have nothing to hide.

And do you see how they’ve gone off the deep end thinking this is all about vaccines?  They cannot fathom Dr Pan might be concerned about children’s well-being. I find it troubling that they are so deeply paranoid.

As for Levi (aka Robyn Charron), I did not provide a link to her blog because I have recently discovered she edits comments. Her identity is pretty well known, in vaccine circles, so I mentioned to her that she could talk to her state representatives in Colorado. She edited out the state name. When I called her on it, she posted this:

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The paranoia runs deep in this crowd.

 

 

Remember to think for yourself!

 

Kathy

 

More on “jump the shark”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=jump%20the%20shark

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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.

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. 

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

 

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

 

How did immunologist Tetyana Obukhanych become antivax?

The Vaxxed bus is in Washington state and they took some time to interview the world’s only antivax immunologist, Tetyana Obukhanych.  She is interviewed by Polly Tommy.

Skeptical Raptor has already published a nice post about Tetyana, so you can read it to learn about her background.

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First, she discusses her qualifications and how she has a PhD.  She only worked in research labs and has no experience in medical clinics. She claims to have done some research at  Harvard but I am only aware of a post-doctoral lab assignment at Stanford University. She explains how she is a not a clinical immunologist, but is a research immunologist and used mice models to study the human immune system. She says vaccines were not mentioned in her studies except to talk briefly about Edward Jenner.

She claims that, at one point, she started seeing “things” that did not quite fit into theory. For example,  she noticed mice could be immune activated but they would not develop immunity to a pathogen, which told her that immune response does not necessarily equal immunity. At that point, she started paying attention to vaccine research, comparing immune response to efficacy. She believes some vaccines are only studied for immunogenicity and not efficacy.  When she went to get her green card, she looked closely at her own medical records. She recalls having measles as a child. She found out she had a MMR at age 1 and another one at age 5 but still got measles at age 12. This didn’t make sense to her. How could a person get measles after vaccination, she thought? She then realized she had been “indoctrinated” into believing vaccines work but they clearly do not.  She started also looking into safety and efficacy studies for flu vaccine and research showing that flu vaccines do not work. She says she occasionally tried to bring this up with the senior research scientists but would routinely be told vaccines work and be quiet. She also told a strange story about a department at Stanford where psychologists are charged with talking to parents of children with autism about vaccines. Tetyana found this odd because psychologist don’t know much about vaccines, except Marcella Piper-Terry. (Tetyana claims Marcella is a psychologist). Tetyana then decided she should be the one to talk to parents about vaccines, as an immunologist. So, she started meeting with parenting groups and it grew into her writing her self-published book.  Note: To my knowledge, Marcella, founder of vaxtruth dot org, an antivax website, is not a PhD in psychology. She currently travels the country with the Vaxxed bus and is listed, on her Linkedin page, as a “biomedical consultant.”

Next, Polly asked Tetyana what she thinks about inserts and ingredients. Her answer is that pharmacology is not the focus but the vaccine reactions and immune reactions. She believes vaccines cause long term health issues. She is also concerned with why we need to eradicate diseases, that we should look at childhood infections as have positive benefits. She claims that the life long immunity one gains from having childhood diseases is beneficial in many ways as certain viruses are associated with lower risk of certain cancers.

Her latest project is lecturing about how to keep children healthy without vaccines. She discusses a new website, called bbch dot community, that will be launching soon. Building Bridges in Children’s Health will help parents learn about vaccines and develop communication resources. The goal of the community is to educate about vaccine dangers, the benefits of childhood diseases, and how to manage if you are being bullied by a pediatrician or reported to CPS for your healthcare choices.

She also helps “educate doctors” so they can overcome their “indoctrination.” She does this at Physicians for Informed Consent. She and Polly fervently believe autism, allergies, epilepsy, asthma, SIDS and other issues are all caused by vaccines and doctors need to be “awake” to see this reality. She wants to see legislation passed at the state level so doctors will be free to practice medicine the way they see fit.

Polly asks Tetyana about the criticism that she, Tetyana, is not a vaccine expert. Her answer is that no one is a vaccine expert because no one is trained in vaccines. (I guess she has not met Dr Paul Offit or any other immunologist or epidemiologist who works with vaccines. Or a person with a public health degree who specializes in vaccines.) Tetyana’s theory is that people just don’t want to listen to her expertise. She also explains that she left academia because the focus was too much on sick people, not on the healthy immune system. She claims research grants all come from drug companies wanting to expand their markets.

My thoughts:

Tetyana seems sincere, in this interview. She seems like she believes what she has read. What confounds me is why she has chosen to cherry pick studies that back her point of view (vaccines cause autism, etc) rather than look at the whole body of science. She also makes some outrageous and false claims, such as pharmaceutical companies stopped paying attention to vaccine safety in 1986, after the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986  (NCVIA )was passed. She says that because pharmaceutical companies have no liability any more, for injuries, they don’t need to make safe vaccines. Apparently, she is completely unaware that you can sue vaccine makers, after you first go through the “vaccine court” system. That is outlined in section 300-21aa in NCVIA. Skeptical Raptor blog explains more about the legalities in this blog post.  She also seems unaware of all the ways vaccine safety is assured, through legislation and testing standards.

I also wonder why she does not understand that vaccines do not confer 100% immunity so it is not unheard of for a child, like herself, to get measles in a big outbreak.  If she did, indeed, have two MMRs as a child, she would theoretically have been 99% likely to be immune. If she did get measles, she was in the 1%. According to numerous records I read on the WHO website, measles is a problem in Ukraine and has been for years. So, it is not surprising that a vaccinated child could still get sick. Natural immunity also does not necessarily confer 100% immunity for life. As I often say, I had chicken pox twice in my childhood. It is well known you can get pertussis and tetanus more than once. Natural immunity lasting a lifetime is a myth.

Tetyana ends the interview with the idea that humans have survived for millennia without vaccines. Diseases only became a problem, she says, due to crowded conditions and unhealthy food and water. Now that we know how to eat well and clean our water, our bodies will handle infection just fine. The healthy body will “sail right through” without complications. This is a very naive manner of thinking that puts the blame for disease complications squarely on the shoulders of the parents, mostly the mother since most children have their mother in the primary caregiver role. If as many as 90% of pediatric flu deaths are unvaccinated, then this line of thinking says the deaths are the fault of the parents for not nourishing the children properly. I find this way of thinking abhorrent. Survivorship bias downplays real risk and real efforts to minimize or prevent them and distorts reality. It is also a form of deception, in my opinion, because parents are led to believe they can control the course of illness. It is like telling a veteran soldier that war is not bad because, hey, you survived.

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In conclusion, Tetyana buys into all the usual antivax tropes and has not used her formal education to her best advantage. She has cherry picked the science to show what she wants it to show, that vaccines are not perfect. This is a real shame. No, Tetyana, we are not ignoring you. We just know better than to believe your version of science.

Remember to always think for yourself. And don’t cherry pick!

 

Kathy

 

 

10 Things I Want Parents Who Don’t Vaccinate Their Kids To Know

I read a blog post today, entitled “10-things-want-parents-vaccinate-kids-know” and I felt the need to respond.

1.Most of the time the diseases we vaccinate for are very mild and unlike vaccine injury, they last only a short time. This is not true. Back when vaccine-preventable diseases were common, disease injury was common. 30% of measles patients suffer complications and many require hospitalization. Some of those will be permanently injured. Back when nearly all children got measles, this mean thousands suffered injury every year.  Polio was also very bad in the 1950s.  “In 1952 alone, nearly 60,000 children were infected with the virus; thousands were paralyzed, and more than 3,000 died. Hospitals set up special units with iron lung machines to keep polio victims alive. Rich kids as well as poor were left paralyzed.”  source  Before the hepatitis V vaccine was recommended for all children in 1994,  30% of infected adults had no risk factors and 10,000, of children under age 10 were found to have Hepatitis B yearly. source

I could go on but, no, these diseases were not mild for everyone and yes they did cause permanent injury.

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2. Even if you choose to vaccinate, please please make yourselves aware of the adverse events that can occur.  Yes, by all means,  check the vaccine information sheets. If you read the vaccine inserts, be sure to be aware that they do not list side effects. Inserts list adverse events reported during the clinical trials without regard to causation. There is always more to read than inserts. Vaccine information sheets list actual, proven side effects.

3. If you are really are worried about viruses and bacteria, you might want to also read about vaccine ingredients.  Sure, by all means ask questions about vaccine ingredients.  But, know that the dose makes the poison and nothing in vaccines is toxic. MSDS are not helpful, as they refer to pure mercury and pure aluminun, neither of which are in vaccines. Antivaxers will refer to the limit for aluminum in IV feeding  but that is not a helpful thing to read because vaccines are not TPN feeding. The Children’s Hospital of Philadephia has great resources on vaccine ingredients. Remember, the dose makes the poison.

4. Your children will be shedding their live virus vaccines (this includes the measles and chickenpox vaccine) after their shots. Just big fat no. Here is a great article for you to read about why vaccine shedding is theoretically, but not actually, possible. Measles and chicken pox rates are down. Because shedding is myth.

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5. The Mawson study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children, found significantly higher rates of autism, allergies, ear infections, learning disabilities and chronic diseases in those vaccinated to the schedule.  The Mawson study is completely invalid.  Don’t just read my take. Read all the links.

6. Vaccines are far from perfect… but there is not a huge failure rate. Many vaccines have 95% or greater efficacy.  Measles vaccine, for example, is 99% effective for life after two shots. Rubella vax is 95% effective for life. Tetanus vaccine is nearly 100% effective but only for ten years.   You can find all the efficacy rates here.

 

7. If you are worried about where to get good and unbiased information from. Look at vaccine inserts, VAERs reports, studies that aren’t funded by pharma companies, and most importantly, parents of vaccine injured children. By all means, look at VAERS reports but understand that nothing about them is valid. They are not valid because no medical information has been analyzed to confirm those reports. Also, most vaccine studies are NOT pharma funded, so using pubmed, you should be easily able to find many studies to read. International scientific consensus will show to you that vaccines have far greater benefits than risks.  Finally, parents are not great resources. We are not medical experts.  For example, if you read the Brian Hooker vaccine injury claim, you will see how one parent, even one with a PHd in a science-field, can make mistakes and miss early warning signs.

8. The people trying to convince you not to vaccinate have only one motivation, and that is to prevent more suffering, because they have either witnessed it first hand in their own family or know someone who has.  Okay, moving past the bad grammar in that sentence, which pains me, the reality is that there are people who have been duped by others into believing everything under the sun is a vaccine injury. And, those doing the duping are shysters and snake oil salesmen and women. They call themselves “experts” but they are really selling you products in lieu of modern medicine.   Be wary. Science should verify the validity and reliability of data. Shysters do not.

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9. In the time you have spent reading this, more children have been damaged by vaccines, because they believed what Doctors and the government told them. In reality, 5482 vaccine injury claims have been compensated in the last 30 years.  2,845,946,816 doses of vaccines have  been given out in that 30 years. That means that vaccine injury rate is 0.00000195%. That is incredibly rare.

10. It’s not too late to change your mind. I agree. It is never too late to vaccinate.

 

Remember to always think of yourself and verify your claims using valid science.

 

Kathy

 

 

All vaccine infographics come from here

 

The Truth about vaccines 6: rotavirus

Hopefully, you get the picture from my posts about episodes 1-5 that The Truth about Vaccines is anything but truthful.  This series is really just full of misinformation and lies. For today’s post, I am going to focus exclusively on the misinformation about rotavirus vaccine and Dr Paul Offit, as presented in episode 6. This vaccine is the reason I became a vaccine advocate in the first place. You can read my story, “How a bout of rotavirus made me appreciate vaccines.”

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For my family, rotavirus was a terrible experience. It was 10 days (times two) of me not sleeping much at all, because my 11 month old daughter was spewing fluids from both ends every hour or so. When she was not vomiting or having diarrhea, she was nursing. If she was not nursing, she was crying. She refused to eat or drink anything else and would not take her pacifier. I took her to the doctor and was given information on how to keep her hydrated.  It was very hard on both of us and I am not exaggerating when I say that I experienced psychological trauma going through those ten days (times two). I have spoken with other moms who’ve experienced severe rotavirus in their babies and they understand and feel the same way.  14 years later, I still get upset and teary just thinking about it. It was godawful.

With all this in mind, watching the “experts” in the Truth about vaccines talk about rotavirus was painful.

First, Robert F Kennedy Jr implied that the only reason Dr Paul Offit invented the rotavirus vaccine was to take part in the “vaccine gold rush.” RFK Jr, also brings up that the rotavirus inventor, Dr Paul Offit sits on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and holds a chair at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) that is financed by Merck. . It is claimed that Offit voted to add the vaccine to the schedule and then later sold the patent for millions of dollars.  The implication is that because Dr Offit is a “vaccine industry insider,” and this vaccine was put on the market for nefarious reasons.

Next, Jennifer Margulis calls rotavirus “a pretty benign disease.”  She also claims that the decrease in rotavirus incidence has led to an increase in norovirus rates and “that is much more virulent than rotavirus.”  She says ” The theory that I have behind that is that since rotavirus, which was relatively benign, that almost every child in America got before age five and recovered from—no child in America has ever died from rotavirus with the exception of that kid that poor Paul Offit saw when he was a young doctor. Kids in America don’t die of rotavirus. There’s no reason to be giving the rotavirus vaccine.” (Note: Margulis is referring to a story Dr Offit tells of being unable to treat an Appalachian girl with rotavirus, due to her severe dehydration, and how that spurned him to study the disease.)

Then, Dr Paul Thomas, who does not give his patients rotavirus vaccine, claims that his patients who got the vaccine elsewhere have more diarrhea and ER visits than his patients who were not given this vaccine. (Please note he presents no actual data for us to verify his claims nor has he published any data.)  Thomas also says the rotavirus vaccine is contaminated. Barbara Loe Fisher also claims dangerous porcine viruses are in rotavirus vaccines and Sayer Ji implies porcine viruses “are able to infect children with a virus that goes into potentially their germline” and they are in the “same category as HIV, which is associated with AIDS.”

 

Let’s dive in to these claims.

 

The first rotavirus vaccine came on the market in 1998 and was called RotaShield. Pretty soon after, it was noted that some infants were experiencing intussusception soon after vaccination. Rotashield was pulled from the market and studied and an increased risk found between the vaccine and intussusception.  “Intussusception from all other causes is most common among infants in the first year of life; 1 child in 2,000 children to 1 child in 3,000 children is affected before one year of age. Based on the results of the investigations, CDC estimated that one or two additional cases of intussusception would be caused among each 10,000 infants vaccinated with RotaShield® vaccine.”

Please note that infants can get intussusception even when unvaccinated.

Seven years passed before another rotavirus vaccine was on the market. RotaTeq, from Merck, was invented by Drs Fred Clark, Stanley Plotkin, and Paul Offit and licensed in 2006. Rotarix, fromGlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, was licensed in 2008. Globally, there are other rotavirus vaccines. Dr Offit did not sit on the FDA committee that approved any rotavirus vaccine and he was not a member of ACIP, as RFK Jr claims, at the time they voted to recommend adding rotavirus vaccine to the immunization schedule.  The patent for RotaTeq was sold for $182 million but by CHOP, not the doctors who invented the vaccine. As co-inventors, each of the three doctors split 10% of that three ways. Keep in mind that they spent 25 years working on that vaccine, nearly all vaccines in development never make it to market, and they never knew if their vaccine would succeed until it did. As Dr Offit himself states, scientists don’t research vaccines for money. “You do it because it’s fun and because you think you can contribute. And the reward for creating a vaccine was also never financial. The reward was watching this vaccine dramatically reduce the incidence of rotavirus hospitalizations in the US and now getting to watch the vaccine enter the developing world in countries like Mali, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ghana, and Nicaragua. That’s why we did it.”

Jennifer’s claim that rotavirus is a benign disease is easily negated by the facts:

Dehydration is the major concern for infants with rotavirus.  Globally, 3.4% of child deaths are from dehydration and rotavirus. Most deaths occur in the poorest countries, but rotavirus was still a health concern in USA, before the vaccine. In the prevaccine era, in the USA, 95% of children under five experienced at least one rotavirus infection by age five.

“Rotavirus infection [in USA] 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. Infants younger than 3 months of age have relatively low rates of rotavirus infection, probably because of passive maternal antibody, and possibly breastfeeding. Rotavirus infection of adults is usually asymptomatic but may cause diarrheal illness.”

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And she claims norovirus is worse than rotavirus. Rotavirus is 3 to 8 days of terrible diarrhea and vomiting that can be severe in infants. Norovirus is 12 to 48 hours of vomiting and diarrhea. Rotavirus used to cause 200,000 ER visits a year and 50,000-70,000 hospitalizations a year, pre-vaccine.  Norovirus rates vary from year to year but, in bad years, it has also caused as many as 250,000 ER visits and 50,000-70,000 hospitalizations. As you can see by this graph of hospitalization rates for norovirus, norovirus rates clearly go up and down and have not risen dramatically, other than the pandemic years, since rotavirus vaccine was licensed. And, rotavirus did not only kill the one child Dr Offit met as an intern. It killed as many as 60 infants a year, pre-vaccine. Clearly, Jennifer Margulis is wrong.

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Dr Paul Thomas’ claims about his own vaccinated patients being sicker than those who did not have rotavirus vaccine are unable to be verified. There are no better than rumors or anecdotes. I could counter with my own anecdote that I have only had a gastro infection once in my life, never had noro or rota viruses, my younger (vaccinated for rotavirus) daughter has never had a gastro infection in 9 years, and my oldest has never had a gastro bug since she was 14 months old and recovered from that second round of wild rotavirus. Harrumph!

Finally, the porcine dna issue has been studied at great length and not found to be a health concern by anyone reputable. Keep in mind that people opposed to vaccines present a lot of concerns about dna in vaccines without regard to the fact that we eat, breathe, and drink non-human dna all day, every day.  They fear that we are going to turn into mutants, like The Fly. If non-human dna were a health risk, I would be half cat, thanks to these guys.

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Remember to think for yourself,

 

Kathy

Why this vaxed v. unvaxed study is not valid: Update: Study retracted AGAIN.

Update: This study has been retracted for the second time. 

 

For the last few days, people opposed to vaccines have been posting a link to a study called Pilot comparative study on the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12- year old U.S. children. The lead author is Jackson State, MS, University professor, Anthony R. Mawson. This study is not valid and here is why.

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First of all, I need to explain what is meant by validity and reliability, with regards to science.  The University of California, Davis, has a very good synopsis. “In order for research data to be of value and of use, they must be both reliable and valid.” Reliability refers to how well the findings of the study can be repeated. If a study was done in a manner that is objective and well-executed, then other scientists should be able to repeat (or replicate) it and get the same findings. Validity refers to the believability of the research.  How well do the findings answer the study hypothesis.  There is internal validity, which refers to how well the procedures in the study measured what they were supposed to measure. And, there is external validity, which refers to how well the findings can be generalized.

So, in an ideal study of children’s health, we would not need to take the researcher’s word for anything. The data would be reliable because all claims would be verified. For example, if the the study claims that 5% of children got colds twice a year or more, it would be reliable data if the researchers used the children’s medical records to determine how many colds they had a year. We would know that the data had been compiled by the children’s healthcare providers and analyzed by the researchers. Nothing would be left to interpretation.

But, if we just ask parents, how many colds a year do you think your child has had, those answers are not necessarily reliable because parents don’t always know the difference between a cold and influenza or allergies. And, they would not be basing their answers on data they collected but rather memories. Memories are notoriously inaccurate.

That brings us to the Mawson study.  First of all, you need to know that there was an attempt to publish this study last year but the methods the study used and the fact that there were only two peer reviewers ( one being a chiropractor) caused alarm in the scientific community. The journal pulled the study before publication.  Many of us found out this was happening from Retraction Watch, a very interesting source to follow if you like reading about how science works and how studies are monitored.  Based solely upon the abstract, the study was criticized by many, including Respectful Insolence blog.

I must take a moment to point out that I homeschool one of my children so I am not biased in any way towards homeschooling. 

At Respectful Insolence blog, ORAC (aka Dr David Gorski, oncologist) rightfully criticized the methodology of the study as well as the fact that a chiropractor was used to peer review an epidemiology study. Chiropractors are not the peers of epidemiologists. ORAC also noted that this study was funded by Generation Rescue, a notoriously antivax group.

These are problems. Real problems. So, the original journal, Frontiers, took note and pulled the study.

Now, months later, the study has been published in a pay-to-publish journal online called Open Access Text. Reputable scientists don’t pay to publish their studies. Journals like Pediatrics or Vaccines or The Lancet don’t require authors to pay and they are considered far more respectable when it comes to considering authors for professorship positions. Scientists know these facts. They know that publishing in a predatory journal is not a good career move.

So, what happened after this study was pulled by Frontiers? It was submitted to Open Access Text, a predatory, pay-to-publish online journal, and published this week. And it is being spammed everywhere as a valid study.

It is not valid and here is why.

One: It was funded by two known antivax groups, Generation Rescue, Inc., and the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute (CMSRI).  Both are well know to be opposed to vaccines. CMSRI is funded by the Dwoskin Foundation, who are big money behind a lot of antivax operations. This does not negate the results, by any means, but it does beg the question – what was the motivation for the study. By the same token, I would look very skeptically at any study published by a pharmaceutical company.

Two: Read the introduction. The authors went into the study assuming vaccines cause grave harm. ” The aims of this study were 1) to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children on a broad range of health outcomes, including acute and chronic conditions, medication and health service utilization, and 2) to determine whether an association found between vaccination and NDDs, if any, remained significant after adjustment for other measured factors.”  That is serious bias.

Three: The study design was flawed. “The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey of homeschooling mothers on their vaccinated and unvaccinated biological children ages 6 to 12. As contact information on homeschool families was unavailable, there was no defined population or sampling frame from which a randomized study could be carried out, and from which response rates could be determined. However, the object of our pilot study was not to obtain a representative sample of homeschool children but a convenience sample of unvaccinated children of sufficient size to test for significant differences in outcomes between the groups.”  Right from the start, Mawson, et al, admit that they aren’t really able to do a good, quality study.  “A number of homeschool mothers volunteered to assist NHERI promote the study to their wide circles of homeschool contacts.”   This is also problematic. They had participants promoting the study to their own friends. How did they account for bias? They did not.

Four: Methods were flawed. The authors categorized the children as unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or fully vaccinated based only on word of the mothers. They did not consult medical records. Mothers were then asked to indicate which illnesses their child had had but no medical records were consulted. This data was analyzed statistically but how can they analyze data they have not verified as accurate? They purposely did not use medical records because they said that would have led to low participation.

Five: The limitations. Oh my, the limitations. “We did not set out to test a specific hypothesis about the association between vaccination and health.”  So, this was not even science.

So, what does all this mean? It means we cannot validate the information the mothers gave is accurate or real. It means none of the data in this study means anything, because no one would ever be able to completely replicate it. They would never be able to go back in and find all the same anonymous mothers and guarantee the same answers from them. This kind of survey does not add anything of value to the body of literature on children’s health. Honestly, I could have done better as a freshman in college, in my introduction to research methods and statistical analysis class.

If you want a real, valid, reliable study on vaccinated versus unvaccinated, the KIGGS study is the place to go. Because the researchers used not only a parent survey but also a “standardized, computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) of the accompanying parent by a doctor,” this data can be verified as authentic. That is reliability. This study could be repeated. Children’s vaccination status was documented. “The questions about diseases were followed by data collection on the basis of medical records in the vaccination card, about data concerning the administered vaccinations and the timing of the vaccination”  So, everything was verified. KIGGS is everything this new study is not. There is no reason whatsoever to think this new study is anything but bunk.

Remember, always verify claims and always think for yourself,

Kathy

Updated2: Other bloggers have been tackling this study and since their blogs are just as good as mine, I would like to share. Please check them out.

 

KidNurse: THE TRUTH ABOUT VACCINATED VS UNVACCINATED

Respectful Insolence: A boatload of fail: Were two horrendously bad zombie “vaxed/antivaxed” studies retracted—again?

Respectful Insolence: The Mawson “vaxed/unvaxed” study retraction: The antivaccine movement reacts with tears of unfathomable sadness

Respectful Insolence: The check must have finally cleared, or: Mawson’s incompetent “vaxed/unvaxed” study is back online

Snopes: ‘First Ever’ Study Comparing Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Children Shows Harm from Vaccines?

Science Based Medicine: Two (now retracted) studies purporting to show that vaccinated children are sicker than unvaccinated children show nothing of the sort

I Speak of Dreams: About Those “Homeschooled, Unvaccinated Children are Healthier” Studies.