Skip to comments.Time to Fight Back Against"Angry Paranoid" Anti-Vaccinationists
Posted on 01/24/2008 6:05:55 AM PST by Kaslin
Grant the anti-childhood vaccine fanatics this; they are dogged. No amount of data and no number of studies from any array of sources will sway them from their beliefs – or claimed beliefs – that thimerosal, a mercury-containing vaccine preservative once used in many such injections, is causing the so-called “autism epidemic.”
Therefore a California Department of Public Health study in the current Archives of General Psychiatry hasn’t either. Nevertheless, for the rest of us there are two valuable lessons. First, the lack of a thimerosal connection to the developmental disorder has once again been reaffirmed. And second, those fanatics really and truly are fanatical – as a British Medical Journal book reviewer put it, an “angry and paranoid universe.”
These people operate over 150 anti-vaccine web sites that claim not only a thimerosal-vaccine connection but a Massive World Wide Conspiracy to cover up of the alleged link. They are often hateful people who have sent death threats to Public Health Service officials who subsequently quit their jobs in fear.
As a precautionary measure – surely influenced by the anti-vaccinationists – thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines as of March 2001 (except flu shots, which contain a trace amount.) The angry paranoids and those who make a living catering to them confidently declared that soon the California data would show a dramatic drop in diagnoses.
Indeed they quickly asserted it had done so, as did former New York Times writer David Kirby, author of the influential 2005 book Evidence of Harm - Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic: A Medical Controversy. Never mind that this alleged peak, in 2002, came far too early to have reflected cessation of thimerosal use. (Huffington now writes for the left-wing Huffington Post blog.)
Later the father-son team of Dr. Mark and David Geier published a study they claimed showed a dramatic 35 percent drop, also beginning in 2002. The Geiers make their living as expert witnesses and consultants for lawyers who make claims against the government’s National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
But now there has been enough time, and the news is good for parents and bad for the fearmongers. The Archives study evaluated autistic children referred to the state’s Developmental Services System and covered the years 1995 to March of 2007. It included children age three and above. If thimerosal-preserved vaccines cause autism, the researchers said, diagnoses should have started falling in 2004 – not 2002.
But as this chart from the paper shows, there been no plummet, no decline, no leveling. There hasn’t been the least bit of decrease in the increasing number of cases.
Further, the California findings are hardly anomalous. As the Archives paper noted, “Our findings are in concordance with the rigorous 2004 review of at least 12 previous published and unpublished studies by the IOM Immunization Safety Committee, which concluded that the body of evidence rejected a causal relationship between [thimerosal containing vaccines] and autism.”
Included in the IOM review were three studies looking at the entire populations of Sweden, Denmark, and Canada respectively. In all three countries thimerosal-containing vaccines were discontinued in the late 1990s and yet, as in California, autism rates climbed at the same pace.
The main problem with the “angry and paranoid universe” is that its members have terrified parents throughout not only the U.S. but the world into refusing to vaccinate their children. These parents become free riders, relying on those parents who do vaccinate to keep diseases at bay through “herd immunity.” That means that immunization rates in the wider population are high enough (for example, 85 percent for diphtheria) to protect those not immunized.
But if enough people free ride, herd immunity is lost and what follows is the return of childhood diseases we hardly think about anymore. Diseases like pertussis (Whooping cough) have made comebacks in countries as diverse as the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Japan, and Sweden after anti-vaccinationist scares. Pertussis cases went from fewer than 8,000 in the U.S. in 2001 to over 25,000 in 2005.
The anti-vaccine crowd aren’t merely harmless kooks. They harm their own children as well as others. It’s time our Public Health Service starts using publicity campaigns rather than just scientific findings to start fighting back.
If these vaccinations are so safe then why do parents have to sign waivers for their children to receive them.
There’s always a small chance of a severe allergic/immunological reaction, and no medical authority has ever claimed otherwise. That’s what the waiver is for. Vaccines do not cause autism, period.
Forget the mercury... why would anyone with a brain, take a shot where the odds of getting the disease are 1 in 1 million, but the odds of getting a very bad side-effect are in in 50,000?
the key word in post #2 is LAWYERS....
Damn vaccinnes, I never dropped/switched words before getting them...
Nothing is perfectly safe. There are always possibility of allergic reactions, infections from unsterile needles, needles broken off in the arm, etc. However, the general idea is that having the vaccination is safer than not having it.
Now, how that balances out depends on how dangerous the disease is versus how dangerous the vaccine is. When smallpox was rampant, a small death rate from the vaccine was considered acceptable compared to the death rate of smallpox. With smallpox eliminated everywhere except for a few research labs, the smallpox vaccine isn't worth the risk. Is the polio vaccine worth the risk? Listen to a room full of children on respirators because their lungs no longer work and then answer that. Is the chicken pox vaccine worth the risk? I don't know if it is for a disease that is annoying rather than deadly.
We make decisions that put our lives at risk every day. Did you drive to work this morning? Some people in America died because they decided to drive today instead of hiding under their blankets. No one would say that cars should be outlawed because of the risk (no, not even Nader). Similarly for vaccines - the benefits outweigh the risks.
Conversely, if enough people "free ride" then we'll have a statistical base to see if there are developmental distinctions that may help identify problems with vaccines, such as animal viruses.
There have been families with KNOWN reactions FORCED to take 2nd and third boosters.
SAFETY profile. 100% probability of a reaction vs. 1 in a million disease..
Then that is a problem, but if their reactions aren’t known then their safer off taking the vaccine.
The general rule is this, if the chances of a person getting a disease are higher then the chances of a person having an adverse reaction to the vaccine, then you get the vaccine. Why can’t some people get that?
Since you mentioned your questions about the chicken pox vaccine, how do you feel about the push to make it mandatory? There are two questions here
1. Should vaccinations be mandatory?
2. To what level should parents have discretion concerning the timing of vaccinations? (For example, should I be “allowed” to refuse to vaccinate my newborn for a disease that is almost exclusive to IV drug users?)
Your analogy of driving is interesting, but consider this version. I agree that we all take risks when we drive, but how would you react to a government mandate that you avoid an intersection with known accidents and instead drive over a bridge of unknown safety?
In the end, the debate is all about the rights of parents to make decisions concerning their children.
I don’t see why parents should be forced to have their daughters be vaccinated with gardasil.
my take is if you do not vaccinate your children, and your child gets a disease and passes it on to my children, are you criminally liable for my childs illness? I would say yes, and lock your butt up....
IMHO Gardasil is a bit of a different situation because it doesn’t protect against a public health risk; it protects against a personal health risk. I think it’s moronic for a parent not to have their child vaccinated with Gardasil, it doesn’t impact those of us out here in the world riding a subway with that kid. If a parent denies MMR or other vaccinations, that puts all of the innocent bystanders at some risk, and risks epidemics as well.
ALTHOUGH I think its moronic for a parent not to have their child vaccinated with Gardasil, it doesnt impact those of us out here in the world riding a subway with that kid.
It’s “for your own good” and any debate on the issue makes you a “ludite” or in the case of Governor Goodhair Perry’s HPV “executive order” a “prude”.
Good question. Chicken pox is more annoying than anything, but it puts a person at more risk of having shingles later in life. I'm pretty sure my father in law wishes there had been a vaccine available. He gets ferocious, debilitating headaches with shingles.
“Forget the mercury...”
Injecting mercury into infants and children...and who thinks this isn’t harmless?
Illegal aliens avoided vaccination and screening for diseases. Lock up the government officials who continue to support illegal immigration.
I also find it offensive when people who are sick with the flu or have 3 people at home sick with the flu come into the office or attend a party and say “I’m nursing a bunch of sick people back home” (and carrying the disease to everyone you come in contact with).
Personally, I don’t want to give a vaccine to a child unless that product has been on the market for over ten years.
I think the government steps over the line when they force parents to protect their child against sexually transmitted disease.
Hmmmmmm. Maybe we could start enforcing these crucial matters at our sovereign borders!
We'd elimiated polio in America too until some good hard working undocumented workers saw fit to enjoy "the good life" by breaking a "few" rules.
. What's it to you ? Why can't people make their own decisions ? Or does everyone have to see it your way ? I think you, like many others in the medical community, are a control freak.
agreed....now apply that principal to a school bus loaded with kids, and one on the bus has TB, and is coughing up a storm....now to be fair, one poster earlier said that someone had an allergic reaction to the shot, and was forced to get the other 2 in the series, i would have told the health department to go to hell....
I’ve asked and asked this about the HPV vaccine. Both guys and gals can get HPV. Both guys and gals can get cancer from HPV (which is the stated reason for giving girls the HPV vaccine, to prevent a possible cancer complication later).
Since the guys can GET HPV and spread it to unvaccinated women, and guys can get cancer from HPV, why is it just women getting the vaccine?
Not safe for the general population?
Easier to politically sell the HPV as strictly a “women’s issue” (like abortion)?
Guys can get and pass along HPV to women. Either they should all be getting or no requirement.
Unless is just doesn’t WORK on men. Anyone have a stat that says that? Or will we be getting strains of HPV that mutate because men get it and keep boffing women until a new variant can take hold?
again, i state, if you do not vaccinate your child, and he or she comes down with a communicable disease that the vaccination would have prevented, and my child gets seriously sick or dies, then YOU are crimally neglegent, and should be prosecuted....
I'd say you have to factor in how serious the disease itself is, should you contract it. Considering that all shots carry some risk, some diseases are not serious enough to vaccinate for. Do most people really need flu shots? And when I went to East Africa some years ago, I noticed on a map that my destination was in an area where typhoid is common. I asked the hospital, which specializes in exotic diseases, if I should get a typhoid shot. They said not to bother. Just don't drink unbottled or unboiled water. And even if I got the disease, as a healthy, well-nourished Westerner with a strong immune system, typhoid would not pose a real danger.
Speaking of exotic foreign countries, my guess is that immigration from the Third World (without disease screening by our immigration authorities) has more to do with the reappearance of formerly vanquished diseases in America than a few parents who won't vaccinate their kids.
And by the way, since I don't plan on training my daughters to become crack w****s, Merck knows where they can stick their Gardasil. Let them find another way to attract a marketone that hasn't involved bribing government officials to order its use.
If you vaccinate your OWN child, why would he get the communicable disease that you would blame on someone else?
Some people follow kooky old testament or veggie diets and yet the market adapts to provide such foods regardless of the ficitious nature of their arguments.
Can you explain to me what a vaccine is?
“Some people follow kooky old testament or veggie diets...”
I love my beef, pork, etc., but I see nothing kooky about a vegetarian diet. Some vegetarians ARE kooky, but others simply feel better not eating meat.
valid point....never considered that one.....
I’m with you there. That “dedication to work” thing only goes so far. How are you helping your employer by making half the office sick? Me, if there’s nothing pressing and I’m not 100%, I’ll bug-out to keep from “spreading the love.” Fortunately we have flex-time, so I can simply make up the hours later...
I’m not suggesting mercury is harmless but just pointing out the fact that even if these vaccinnes had zero mercury, it would be completely foolish to trade 50,000 to 1 odds of getting a very bad side-effect for the 1 in 50 million odds of getting something like polio.
Not my kids. One of my boys had a bad reaction (fever etc.) to the first pertussis shot. He didn’t get the rest. The Dr. gave us the option - the fever/reaction wasn’t that bad but... So we opt’d out for him.
So the only kids getting the disease would be the ones not vaccinated. Appropriate.
But don’t you get the irony that the whole REASON the odds are now so very very low is because of that Polio Vaccine almost 50 years ago?
Which begs the question, when is it safe to stop vaccinating for something? If a generation passes unvax’d, you’re back to square one if the disease breaks out again.
I've watched videos of neurons collapsing into NFTs with very low levels of organic mercury present...No thanks...Even if I'm misguided, why not humor me and provide a non-mercury preservative...The net result is more people vaccinated, which is probably a good thing.
Ask John Edwards...
Hey I’m the ultimate individualist. Smoke a crack pipe, see if I care. But when it comes to MY LIFE and your refusal to get a vaccine for a communicable disease, then it concerns me.
My daughter/son-in-law are of the no vaccination until their children are older persuasion. I kinda am, too.
If we don't want the government to tell us not to smoke or eat fatty hamburgers, then why do we want them to force us to inject our children with poisonous mercury?
Vegetarian diets aren’t “healthier” than all other diets.
They make a moral stand. They oppose eating honey because it exploits the bees to take their barf.
It is kooky.
Did your vaccine wear off?
People, you heard it here first. The debate is over. There is consensus in the medical community. Every credible doctor/scientist agrees. Now is the time is for action.
Oh wait, that sounds alot like global warming nut jobs - so tell me what hospital or medical study did you run/participate in that told you so?