As hard as it is to believe, it was over seven years ago that I started my Annals of "I'm not antivaccine" series. The idea was (and continues to be) to point out how the claim that many antivaccine activists proclaiming themselves to be "not antivaccine" but rather "vaccine safety advocates" is, depending on the specific antivaxer making it, a lie, a delusion, or perhaps both. I do that by simply highlighting bits of over-the-top rhetoric I see on antivaccine websites likening vaccines to all sorts of evil things, particularly the Holocaust. In the case of the very first entry in this series ever, I highlighted Kent Heckenlively's likening vaccines to dynamite. Other examples rapidly followed, such as Kathy Blanco declaring that vaccines have NO VALUE [sic] (a sentiment echoed by a commenter), antivaxers likening vaccines to rape and human trafficking, and fraught comparisons to the Oklahoma City Bombing and the Titanic. Of course, through it all, there have Holocaust and Nazi comparisons. Oh, there have been so many Holocaust and Nazi comparisons, more than I can count, ranging from invoking Josef Mengele, the infamous doctor at Auschwitz known for conducting horrific medical experiments on prisoners, to general invocations of the Holocaust as an appropriate metaphor for "vaccine-induced autism," to an antivaxer putting a no vaccine badge on herself and her child, likening it to the Yellow Star of David patches that Nazis forced Jews in Germany to wear.
I never realized back then that, seven years later, I'd be up to part 25 now, although, to be honest, I've exercised self-restraint. I could easily have done 100 parts to this series since 2010. I also never realized that Holocaust analogies would lose their power to shock, but damn if antivaxers haven't used them so much that they elicit a yawn from me these days (at least most of the time). That's not to say that it isn't worth discussing such analogies, particularly when doing so serves a purpose. This time around, over at the antivaccine crank blog, Age of Autism, where the bloggers routinely oh-so-piously deny that they are "antivaccine," a woman named Laura Hayes is providing me with just such a reason to discuss yet another vaccine/Holocaust analogy, because she goes beyond just ranting to advocating action for "vaccine safety activists in a post called A Dozen Things We Can Do RIGHT NOW to Help Stop the Vaccine Holocaust. (Ms. Hayes sure does appear to like her all caps.) You can read the full dozen for yourself; I'll just "cherry pick" a few of the ones that interest me the most. But first let's look at Ms. Hayes' rationale in her introduction:
Every single week, without fail, there are tragic, heartbreaking stories of how vaccines have decimated or ended more lives. These stories are unending, they just keep coming.
Yet, doctors and nurses, who have become some bizarre type of pre-programmed automatons, continue to vaccinate day in and day out, despite the evidence of harm in their patients. It is as though they are brain dead, the “Stepford Wives” of Big Pharma, incapable of connecting that which they are injecting to that which they are then seeing and treating in their patients. Instead of stopping, analyzing, and changing course, they blindly plow forward, wreaking unspeakable damage in the very ones they have taken an oath to not harm.
Every single doctor and nurse (and now pharmacist, too) who is presently vaccinating the health, well being, and life out of their patients needs to stop, read the vaccine package inserts word for word, and then read critical analyses of vaccines and their ingredients that have not been written by those profiting directly or indirectly from vaccines. There can be no more excuses for or tolerance of the medical malpractice of injecting highly toxic, havoc-wreaking vaccines into people, followed by an inexcusable and callous disregard for the fallout, and a refusal to immediately stop that which is causing harm.
Extra credit for invoking the title of Andrew Wakefield's book! Well, done! Excellent posterior smooching! Of course, there is no evidence for any of Ms. Hayes' assertions about vaccines, other than that doctors and nurses continue to vaccinate. The reason, of course, is because vaccines are one of the safest, most effective medical interventions ever conceived by the human mind and created by human hands. Of course, because we physicians don't buy into the pseudoscience and quackery that Hayes believes, to her, we must be "brain dead" or "Stepford Wives." Our excuse for refusing to stop is simple: Vaccines work and they are safe. They do not cause all the conditions that antivaxers attribute to them.
Hayes tells us that more and more people are asking, “What can we do to stop this vaccine insanity and medical tyranny?” Whether that's true or not, I have no idea. I'm sure some people are asking that, because some people believe that the moon landing never happened, that the Holocaust never happened, or that 9/11 was an inside job, and antivaccine activists easily scale the same eights of delusion as any of these conspiracy mongers. In any event, Hayes wants you—yes, you!—if you're an antivaxer to take action immediately. I laughed out loud at the first one:
1. STOP giving business to doctors who vaccinate. When medical help is needed, let’s give our business to doctors and healers who are not harming and killing their patients with vaccines.
I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth of pediatricians everywhere who practice science-based medicine! This is one thing they would like more than anything else. Their loss of business would be minimal, and they wouldn't have to waste untold hours explaining to yet another mother like Ms. Hayes that vaccines don't cause autism, aren't loaded with deadly "toxins," and are indeed effective and safe, with such explanations falling on deaf ears. I can hear pediatricians everywhere saying, "Please, Ms. Hayes, don't fling me in dat brier-patch!"
Another one of Hayes' suggestions later in the article is almost, but not quite, as hilarious:
Call your insurance company to request a list of doctors who don’t vaccinate (of course, don’t expect such a list to exist). For those who have a vaccine-injured child, or who have lost a child as a result of vaccines, or who have suffered vaccine injury themselves or in a loved one, frequenting a medical practice where vaccines are still administered is akin to having your public school assignment be one where you can hear children being beaten and abused in the next room, or simply having the knowledge that beatings and abuse are occurring somewhere on campus whether or not you can hear them. Being in such a place can trigger post traumatic stress symptoms, and we should not be forced to endure such an environment when seeking necessary medical care. If such a list does not yet exist, then request as a bare minimum a list of doctors who don’t require proof of vaccinations or that you vaccinate. Remind your insurance company that they are required to provide necessary medical care that is accessible. When doctors require proof of vaccinations or that you vaccinate, that makes necessary medical care inaccessible to those who do not want vaccinations. We need to demand that our insurance companies offer and cover that which they are required to provide, in addition to that which we, the paying customers, want, and which doesn’t destroy our health.
Hmmm. Not only is it a "Vaccine Holocaust" but to Ms. Hayes going to a medical practice where vaccines are still administered is akin to having your public school assignment be one where you can hear children being beaten and abused in the next room," something she can't endure and doesn't think that anyone else should have to endure either. But, no, AoA is not antivaccine. Perish the thought! It just routinely publishes pieces by a woman who thinks there is a "Vaccine Holocaust" and likens vaccines to beating children.
There's just a modicum of a grip on reality left in Ms. Hayes that she realizes that no insurance company is going to maintain a list of doctors who don't vaccinate or even a list of doctors who don't require proof of vaccination before accepting a child into their practice. Quite the contrary! Vaccination rates are considered a quality metric that is used in pay-for-performance programs. Can you guess why? Because preventing disease is better (and cheaper) than treating disease. Doctors might remain on insurance plans if they don't vaccinate (clearly, there are antivaccine-friendly doctors who do), but any insurance company that becomes aware of such a physician is not going to publicize it.
The next one is not so funny, and is basically what many would consider harassment:
2. If you have a vaccine-injured child, return with your child to the doctor’s office where the harm was inflicted (for those whose child was killed by vaccines, take a picture of your child, or of their tombstone). Write a 1-pager detailing your child’s story, make 10 copies, and pass them out to the parents in the waiting room. Introduce them to your vaccine-injured child, and let them know that they were injured right there at that office. Include in your 1-pager and conversations how the doctor responded to your child’s vaccine injury, including whether or not they acknowledged it, reported it, helped your child after, or changed their vaccination practices as a result. Include whether or not any type of informed consent took place, including whether or not the doctor reviewed each and every vaccine package insert with you prior to administering vaccines to your child, and whether or not your doctor offered alternatives to vaccinations, including the option of not vaccinating. If entering the office is too intimidating or traumatic for you, consider the option of talking with parents in the parking lot before they take their child in for their appointment, and/or going with another parent and their vaccine-injured child. *If you no longer live near the doctor’s office where your child’s vaccine assault happened, take your child and your story to any local pediatrician’s office where the abusive practice of vaccination is still taking place.
Great. So basically she's telling antivaxers to harass the patients of pediatricians, none of whom did her any harm, before getting to the pediatricians, none of whom did her any harm either, her delusion otherwise notwithstanding reality. This is the sort of thing that will not end well—for Hayes and anyone who tries to follow her example. Most likely the result will be the police being called to escort her off the premises. I also can't help but note her obsession with package inserts. Package inserts are legal CYA documents. They are not scientific documents. Manufacturers list every potential adverse event ever observed, whether there is a link to the vaccine or not.
In any case, bothering parents just bringing their children to the pediatrician and potentially exposing them to disease by bringing your likely undervaccinated child along (given that most antivaxers stop vaccinating once they become convinced that a vaccine caused their child's autism) to potentially expose them to disease is a profoundly self-centered strategy. Hayes isn't trying to educate other parents; she's drawing attention to herself. It's all about her and gaining attention for her "plight" and that of her child, which is why she also advocates going to pharmacies that administer vaccines to pester pharmacists about whether or not they read every line off the package insert when giving informed consent and then bother the store manager with the same questions, while spreading antivaccine misinformation.
A lot of Ms. Hayes's other ideas are in the same vein and only marginally less obnocious. For instance, she advocates printing up a bunch of cards with brief lists of websites and "resources" chock full of antivaccine misinformation on them to pass out to expectant mothers. She also suggests approaching pastors and boards of places of worship to try to win them over, making signs to display, and starting a private e-mail group for local antivaxers to use to strategize, all dashed with a little sprinkle of paranoia:
Vet members carefully, keeping a watchful eye out for “controlled opposition” looking to infiltrate. Gather addresses and phone numbers, too, in preparation for a time when electronic communications may no longer be advisable or possible.
Yes, because the government is definitely coming to force you to vaccinate, just like it's definitely going to take away your guns. Oh, wait. It hasn't, and it's not going to. In a flourish of drama, Ms. Hayes asks for the help of AoA readers in coming up with more ideas to stop this "Vaccine Holocaust." The results are predictable—and depressing.
First, there's joe, who can't resist injecting (if you'll excuse the term) a bit of misogyny as foul as those toxins antivaxers imagine to be in vaccines. It's so nasty as to be worth posting in its entirety to make my point (also in case AoA moderators get rid of it):
I have a friend who is a pediatric nurse practitioner. I'm convinced it's willful ignorance with her. She doesn't know about vaccine dangers because she doesn't WANT to know.
Look, most pediatric docters in the U.S. are women. Most pediatric nurse practitioners are women. Heck, most nurses, LPNs, and medical assistants are women. WOMEN ARE PROPAGATING THE VACCINE HOLOCAUST.
Sorry if that hurts. They don't have to participate in the holocaust. They should be nurturing. But they're killers. They are. They should find other work. But it's not going to happen.
People in the healthcare field are followers. Laura, I love your passion, but please take this into account. The world today is not even close to what it was 10 years ago. People have lost their minds.
I organized a VAXXED movie showing and NO ONE from the conventional healthcare field came. They're afraid and suspicious, and dismissive, and snide. They're not coming out of their comfort zone. Ain't happening.
These fascist women vaccine providers must be stopped. But they will not by themselves.
I know you're shocked. But, but, but...it CAN'T be women doing this!!! Oh yes it can, and is. Walk into ANY pediatricians office and look at the staff - women. Including the doctor behind it all. Female.
Of course, the "Tbought Leaders" are all female, too. Melinda Gates, anyone? Chelsea Clinton, anyone? Young Barbara Bush and her Global Healthcorps? Do you know what her organization does? Just guess.
I bet joe's a Trump supporter too.
Here's the one that really disturbed me, though, as it hits very close to home. Not quite my institution close to home, but my medical alma mater close to home, which is bad enough. A nurse rants:
I am very frustrated by this article, Here is why: I am the mother of a severely vaccine injured 21 year old boy and a nurse. I work at Michigan Medicine. I am not allowed to say anything at work except the company script to patients concerning vaccination. I have been disciplined for not following this script when asked questions about vaccine by patients. Patients ask me my opinion which I am not allowed to give per Michigan Medicine policy. When I did answer one of these questions honestly some patients turned me in to my boss. They assured me also that talk about my vaccine injured child even to co-workers will lead to more discipline ending in my termination. They told me that when asked about my son I must say he is fine or doing well. If I could quit I would.
She is also very much opposed to the flu vaccine:
I am allowed to avoid vaccine for flu IF I WEAR A YELLOW MASK at all times in the hospital. This mask does not filter tiny viral particles. It is utilized to co worse me and others to take the flu shot. I have A LOT of difficulty breathing while I wear this. I would work with a ball and chain around my ankle to avoid taking vaccine.
It's good to know that my medical alma mater is doing the right thing and not letting its employees spout antivaccine misinformation to parents or try to persuade them not to vaccinate. It's also good to know that Michigan is requiring its employees with direct patient care responsibilities to be vaccinated against the flu. It's not so good that it allows an nurse with what can only be described as radically antivaccine views to continue to work in a capacity where she deals with patients and vaccines. I actually feel sorry for this nurse in that she clearly has a hard life dealing with a special needs child who is no longer a child. It's also very sad to see how far down the rabbit hole she's gone, having taken her child to Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, who apparently administered 85 doses of IV chelation therapy, which clearly didn't work (because chelation therapy doesn't work for autism).
Ms. Hayes is, of course, totally sympathetic with the nurse's plight, but in the wrong way, as in supporting her antivaccine stand. Then a commenter named Linda1 misinterprets the Florence Nightingale pledge, which she invokes at the end of her comment:
I am truly sorry for all that you've gone through and for what you face at work every day. But what Laura says is right. A nursing license is not a permit to act unethically. In fact, it is a license to stand firm to protect patients and to deliver the best care and teaching, even if that means standing up to a morally bankrupt hospital system and loss of employment. Financial need is never an excuse for wrong doing. If your job tried to force you to compromise on the principles that you are legally and morally obligated to uphold according to your license, then you have no choice but to either seek another line of work or work somewhere else where you will be free to provide good care. If all healthcare workers refused to do harm, or to be silenced when patients are being deceived, the holocaust would end. The only reason why it continues is because people rationalize that they have no choice but to participate. But they do have a choice.
A nursing license also requires that the nurse practice her profession according to the accepted evidence-based standard of care. Frightening patients and parents out of vaccinating is not practicing according to that standard of care. In fact, one thing that drives me crazy about state licensing boards for healthcare physicians is that they do nothing about antivaccine physicians, and they do even less against antivaccine nurses, no matter how much they endanger the public. In any case, about the only thing Linda1 and I agree on is that this nurse should not be working where she is working, albeit for incredibly different reasons. I predict that whenever our nurse commenter either decides to leave her job or is fired from it she'll end up working for an alternative medicine practitioner or going into alternative medicine herself, perhaps naturopathy.
So, to recap. What we've learned from Ms. Hayes and AoA commenters is that there is a Vaccine Holocaust of autism and neurologic disorders that antivaxers need to do something about. Also, their resistance is like that of partisans in Nazi-occupied territories. (Never mind that I don't see any "vaccine safety advocates" being gunned down, and, no, I haven't forgotten Jeff Bradstreet, who killed himself as the FDA zeroed in on his quack clinic.) Most importantly, doctors and nurses who vaccinate are the perpetrators of this holocaust who could stop it if they would only speak up. They are thus collaborators who are risking their licenses and going against their Hippocratic Oaths or Florence Nightingale Oaths by pumping horrific toxins into their patients in the form of vaccines.
Tell me again how all this is "not antivaccine" and how AoA could be "not antivaccine" despite publishing dreck like this over and over again. I'm not getting it. After all, it's not as though Ms. Hayes doesn't have a copious history of rhetoric very much like this over the course of several years.
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My employer blocks AOA so I can't access the site from work. (The site is considered a possible security risk for viruses...LOL) Or I'd respond:
Dear Laura: Insurance companies like healthy people. They cost a lot less to care for. That means encouraging vaccines, diet, exercise, a good work/life balance (at least, where I work). They don't like quacks or CAM - though they unfortunately do cover chiropractic care and acupuncture.
When you can present *good* science based information, which is what most of our policies are based upon, we'll talk, OK?
Signed: A Nurse who is fully vaccinated, UTD, and all her family is also.
I cannot recall a single vaccine that's ever been endorsed by anyone writing at AoA. And if you point out to them the success of smallpox and polio vaccines, they will tell you that either smallpox and polio diagnoses are faked and/or these diseases have been eradicated/decreased via clean water and sanitation. They will also tell you that neither disease was anywhere near as dangerous to humans as they are.
The worst type of anti-vaccinationists are the ones who won't even own up to being anti-vaccine.
Well, start the countdown timer to see how long before those nimble minds at AoA hook their "Vaccine Holocaust" claims to a new German law requiring kindergartens to report the parents of any unvaccinated child--which then puts those parents on the hook for a $2,800 fine for not vaccinating their children.
Virus menticola is the virus that lives in the mind.
@Chris Hickie: yeah. After all, we all know that smallpox and chicken pox are the same thing, they just renamed smallpox. And polio is the same as AFP, just renamed. There can't be different causes for the diseases. AOA just KNOWS they are right and we are all wrong and viruses and bacteria are the same things.
Oh yeah. Smallpox isn't dangerous...after all, the death rate in NYC in 1947 (12 cases, 2 deaths) must have been related to the poor water and sanitation, or the people must have just not been healthy like their own special snowflakes. Due to the mass immunization campaign they did, the outbreak was stopped in its tracks quite quickly.
Right? (I know you know this, but those nimrods at AOA annoy me).
There are parts of the world where polio is still a problem. One of them is Pakistan, where the CIA team that found Osama bin Laden operated under the cover of a polio vaccination effort.
If these anti-vax types persuade enough people in the West to forego the polio vaccination, then eventually there will be another polio outbreak in the US when somebody who is susceptible brings it back from one of these areas. We have already seen this with measles and pertussis.
Sooner or later, this is going to end up in court. Restraining orders for people who harass the customers of legitimate pediatricians, backed up with contempt citations when (with this crowd it won't be if) somebody ignores the restraining order.
"I organized a VAXXED movie showing and NO ONE from the conventional healthcare field came. They’re afraid and suspicious, and dismissive, and snide. They’re not coming out of their comfort zone. Ain’t happening."
How does this square with the oft-repeated antivaxer assertion about how the Conventional Paradigm is ending and antivaxers have a list of a gazillion health care providers on their side?
Chris Hickie: "if you point out to (people at AoA) the success of smallpox and polio vaccines, they will tell you that either smallpox and polio diagnoses are faked and/or these diseases have been eradicated/decreased via clean water and sanitation. They will also tell you that neither disease was anywhere near as dangerous to humans as they are."
Somehow I doubt that AoAers will tell you they are more dangerous to humans than smallpox and polio were, but there's a grain of truth there. :)
March 9, 2017 USA: Highest Vaccination Rate in the World Has the Worst Health
(Paul Fassa) That “worst health” label includes a ranking of 34th in the world with infant mortality. In other words, the USA has the 34th worst infant survival with its highest rate of vaccinations. Some are directly from multiple vaccinations administered.
Fuck you, you call us Holocaust deniers.
And vaccines are cancer.
For most of history, smallpox was a major killer, with a case fatality of 30% and higher (Variola major). Infant mortality approached 50%. Many smallpox survivors have permanent scars over large areas of their body, especially their faces. Some are left blind. Sometime during the 19th Century a new mutation (Variola minor) arose in the Caribbean with a case fatality of 1%. The outbreak in New York City was Variola minor (but even 2 deaths in 12 is not trivial); but a few instances of Variola major occurred in other parts of the country and, without vaccination, could easily have spread. As for “clean water and sanitation”, totally wrong as smallpox is a highly contagious AIRBORNE infection. The absolute cleanest water and sanitation would have no effect on its spread.
Smallpox and chickenpox are not the same thing!
Chickenpox: Chickenpox illness usually lasts about 5 to 7 days. The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs. The rash may first show up on the face, chest, and back then spread to the rest of the body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all the blisters to become scabs. Serious complications from chickenpox include
•bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissues in children including Group A streptococcal infections
•infection or inflammation of the brain (encephalitis, cerebellar ataxia)
•blood stream infections (sepsis)
Though rare, deaths have occurred.
Smallpox: The first symptoms include:
•Head and body aches
A rash starts as small red spots on the tongue and in the mouth. These spots change into sores that break open and spread large amounts of the virus into the mouth and throat. The person continues to have a fever. Once the sores in the mouth start breaking down, a rash appears on the skin, starting on the face and spreading to the arms and legs, and then to the hands and feet. Usually, it spreads to all parts of the body within 24 hours. As this rash appears, the fever begins to decline, and the person may start to feel better. By the fourth day, the skin sores fill with a thick, opaque fluid and often have a dent in the center. Once the skin sores fill with fluid, the fever may rise again and remain high until scabs form over the bumps. The sores become pustules (sharply raised, usually round and firm to the touch, like peas under the skin). After about 5 days, the pustules begin to form a crust and then scab. By the end of the second week after the rash appears, most of the sores have scabbed over. This stage lasts about 6 days. The scabs begin to fall off, leaving marks on the skin.
Even Variola minor has a much higher death rate than chicken pox. Chickenpox doesn’t leave permanent scars. The rash spreads in a different pattern and looks differently between the two. Anyone who did their own research, that is, simply looked up the two diseases rather than relying on websites such as Age of Autism would see the differences.
And one can find newspaper articles, etc. from the 18th Century describing the devastation of smallpox prior to vaccination.
Any serious anti-vaxer is capable of believing six impossible things before breakfast.
I hear The Gnat buzzing about my mentioning Holocaust denial. One notes that I did not actually call antivaxers Holocaust deniers, although one could make the case that those using the offensive analogy between vaccines and the Holocaust are guilty of minimizing the Holocaust as a crime. I did mention that "some people believe that the moon landing never happened, that the Holocaust never happened, or that 9/11 was an inside job, and antivaccine activists easily scale the same eights of delusion as any of these conspiracy mongers." That's a different thing than calling antivaxers Holocaust deniers. Antivaxers use the same sort of techniques to distort, deny, and misrepresent science, history, and evidence that Holocaust deniers use, which are the same techniques to distort, deny, and misrepresent science, history, and evidence that 9/11 "Truthers," moon hoaxers, and climate change denialists use.
This is odd, given that The Gnat appears to be very much supportive of using the truly offensive analogy comparing vaccines and autism to the Holocaust.
@ David Gorski:
In a previous article written by Laura Hayes on AOA, she wrote: "Not one vaccine has ever been tested according to the scientific gold standard, that of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Yes, you read that correctly, not one."
I submitted a comment describing the 1954-55 Salk Vaccine Trials where half, almost 800,000 kids were double-blinded randomized and gave links. I wrote I could supply links to dozens of double blinded randomized clinical trials of other vaccines. AOA did not post my comment! Not the first nor the last time they haven't posted a comment by me where I not only explained why were wrong; but gave links. What does this say about AOA?
So, if Hayes really believes what she writes, she obviously livings in NEVER NEVER LAND!
The "Gnat" continues his journey down the rabbit hole. His latest screed is just another rung down, guaranteeing that he'll be living in his parent's basement for the foreseeable future.
Oh, The Gnat's parents are rich enough that I'm sure he has a very large, comfy bedroom and office in their house.
@Orac-Anti-vaccine views can be part of an overall paranoid worldview, so I would expect that anti-vaxxers would be more likely to believe in other conspiracy theories.
@Brian: Of course it has to be the vaccines, it can't have anything to do with the difficulty poor people (especially the ones in rural areas who can't afford cars) have in this country accessing health care, amirite?
Correlation does not imply causation. Figures can't lie, but liars can figure.
Don't worry, because we know that many of the Gnat's new "friends" are most certainly Holocaust Deniers as well.
@Joel Harrison-I've heard anti-vaxxers make the same claims about measles-i.e., that measles cases declined because of better sanitation-of course, measles is also spread through the air, so that claim is obviously false.
They will also try to claim that measles is "only dangerous in third-world countries", and try to claim that measles is not dangerous in previously healthy persons. Again, this is obviously false-anyone can get pneumonia, acute measles encephalitis, or the worst-SSPE-as a result of getting measles. Of course, anti-vaxxers refuse to listen to facts.
The overwhelming majority of the Holocaust's victims were people killed because of their ancestry, and most of the rest had medical conditions that were no fault of their own.
Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are making a conscious choice, and are not being murdered because of it. I can feel some sympathy for any ostracized children, who didn't get to choose their parents, and likewise the parents of children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. But the parents of otherwise healthy children who refuse vaccinations deserve no sympathy. Just as their right to swing their fist in the air ends at my face, they have no right to recklessly endanger other people's children.
"many of the Gnat’s new 'friends' are most certainly Holocaust Deniers as well."
And fuck you, too.
You know Lawrence, I saved your linkedin profile. Want it to suffer the same fate as Lindsey Graham's phone number?
Jake, based on your previous posts on different threads, it appears that you have autism, and erroneously believe that vaccines caused it.
You really should stop blaming your autism on vaccines, and instead do some real research into what might actually cause autism. From what I've read, there is evidence that the brain abnormalities present in autism are already present in utero (which would rule out vaccines as a possible cause, even if there hadn't already been study after study showing no link between vaccines and autism). I can provide links to these studies if you are interested.
As for the cause of autism, it looks to me like it is mostly genetic. The children of older fathers have a much higher rate of autism, and advanced paternal age is associated with an increasing number of de novo mutations, some of which may cause autism. The link between advanced paternal age and autism spectrum disorders is strong, and multiple studies have confirmed that the link exists.
In a small number of cases, autism occurs as part of a known genetic syndrome, like Fragile X Syndrome or Tuberous Sclerosis, but that doesn't account for most cases.
#12 - Joel A. Harrison,
It's all part of AoA's policy of providing their readers with all the disinformation they need to make a vaccination decision through "disInformed Consent".
Their policy is apparently - 'If you can't lie to your supporters, who can you lie to?'
I believe Babs Low Fisher's NVdisIC also has such a policy.
May 31, 2017 You Won't Believe What They Admitted on the News in 1971...
Jake-IF you are willing to consider that your views are incorrect, I suggest that read these links:
Unfortunately, I highly doubt that you are willing to admit that you beliefs about the cause of autism are wrong, and therefore I doubt that you will even read these articles. People like you typically ignore any evidence that challenges their belief system.
The whole infant mortality point is interesting, because not only does the US have an equivalent schedule to just about every other developed nation, but the deciding factor here is that we are one of the only nation's around which doesn't guarantee universal access to health care.
When you compare the infant mortality rates for US children who are white, our rate is certainly near the top of the list, but when you compare the rate with minorities, who have less access to health care - both prenatal and post-natal, our rates climb significantly.
Even the Washington Post article that anti-vaxers like to cite specifically dings us for lack of universal health care, and doesn't mention vaccines, even once.
@Lawrence-Same goes for life expectancy-most of the European countries have a longer average life expectancy than the U.S., and I'm guessing that that's because they have universal healthcare and we don't.
As a longtime supporter of a non-profit single-payer health care system who has lived in Canada, a single-payer system and Sweden, socialized medicine (they are different) and who has studied comparative health care systems, both do a much better job and cost less than ours. Check out Physicians for a National Health Program at: www.pnhp.org
I've been a member of almost 30 years. Their website has a wealth of information, including numerous international comparative studies that show US ranking on almost all variables, except cost, to be towards the bottom.
On only one measure does the US appear to rank high, cancer survival. However, there are problems with this measure:
1. Lead time bias. We do much more preventive screening, so catch some cancers at early stage; however, for instance, if caught at a later stage, treated, and survival, say, 5 years, and earlier screening caught 2 years earlier and survival 7 years, not a difference, though appears so in Stats. And too much preventing screening also leads to false positives and unnecessary risky interventions.
2. We treat pre-cancerous cell dysplasia, e.g. from Pap smears. However, many cell dysplasia won't become cancers; but we include in Stats of lives saved..
3. For instance, Prostate Cancer. Studies have shown that many will not progress to problems for many years, in many cases, patient will die of something else first. Nowadays, based on Swedish studies, often patient counseled about risks from surgery, probability of becoming life-threatening, and adopting watch and wait approach, frequent exams. However, if operate on Prostate cancer that would not have become life-threatening, still include in Stats of lives saved.
I've written about the issue of cancer survival in Europe versus the US before:
@Lawrence and Brian: the healthcare issue is one, and certainly a major one. However, the US also has different criteria for stillbirths than many other countries. Many countries include gestational age/birth weight in their requirements; in the US it's a live birth even if it's a 20 week gestation and under 500 grams.
But yes, many studies have shown that non-white (Hispanic, African-American) persons have a much higher infant mortality rate.
Universal healthcare and paid maternity leave would, in many cases, help improve our states.
And, Brian, as has been pointed out above, many of the countries with scores much higher than ours have essentially the same immunization recommendations.
If you want, you can compare the various European countries..look at those near the top of the scale like Sweden, Norway, Denmark.
I find this whole "infant mortality" argument to be a prime example of anti-vaxer ignoring the actual elephant in the room (lack of health care access) and putting the blame on vaccines instead, for no real reason.
Tell me again how all this is “not antivaccine” ...
It appears the "anti-vaccine" rhetoric presented is intended to protect persons under 5-years of age. (i.e., vaccines can cause harm and/or autism in young children)
The U.S. Census Bureau (July 1, 2015) has determined that 6.2% of the population is under 5 years of age.
If 93.8% of the population (i.e., persons > 5 years old) fail to encompass the "anti-vaccine" rhetoric we can ask the following question:
Q. If a person questions the safety of vaccines, independent of the rhetoric, towards a very small percentage of the population are they considered "anti-vaccine".
If the answer is NO, Orac's "anti-vaccine" classification is in dispute and "Vaccine Safety Advocate" terminology may be considered.
1. I doubt Ms. Hayes would be in pediatricians parking lots herself - she's just calling for others to do it. Her kids are grown up. I would add that there are likely limits on the ability of providers to limit people expressing opinions at least near their facilities, but individuals harassed can certainly complain to the police.
And it would be sad if parents, already dealing with a lot, would have to deal with this harassment on top. Of course, I expect only a few are extreme enough to follow up on Ms. Hayes' suggestions.
2. The insert is not just not designed as an informed consent document, it's not suited to it. In fact, just going over the insert would not fill the requirements of informed consent. For example, it doesn't include the benefits of the treatment - the vaccine, omitting a major part of what patients need to hear. The language is also formulaic in ways not geared to the purposes of informed consent, and not designed to be accessible. It's simply not fitted to that purpose.
At least we don't have to worry about Jake ever breeding.
It would seem that he's using his personality as a contraceptive.
I would also think that owners of pediatrics practices could complain to the police about such people trespassing on their private property.
On their property, yes. But I expect the antis would learn from anti-abortion activists quickly and be present at the entry to the property or something like that. Harassing people in parking lots isn't a new idea, after all.
"If the answer is NO, Orac’s “anti-vaccine” classification is in dispute and “Vaccine Safety Advocate” terminology may be considered."
Considered only by people as low on intellect and integrity as Michael J. Dochniak.
I would say that I'm surprised that the anti-vaxers haven't attempted to replicate the anti-abortion's strategy of targeting clinics, but when you combine the fact that there are pediatricians everywhere (and only a few abortion clinics) and that the anti-vax movement is significantly smaller, they don't have the resources to pull it off, not even close.
But, they can be a pain in the neck for specific pediatricians, if they wanted to be. That's what I'm worried about in this case.
He also appears to have epic anger management issues as well.....combined with Don Quixote syndrome for good measure.
Through the magic of crank magnetism an anti-vaxxer is also likely to be or become a Holocaust denier. I guess then they'd have to stop using that analogy or risk vanishing in a puff of logic.
"Crank Magnetism" is a well-known phenomenon - it is quite possible for conspiracy theorists to hold true to multiple different conspiracies (Holocaust Denial, AIDS denial, the Illuminati, Chemtrails, UFOs, HAARP, etc), even when those conspiracies are at odds with each other.
I'm trying to remember a game I used to play in College, which was based around collecting cards representing all of the various conspiracy theories and groups, and you had to lead your faction to victory (the Greys vs. the Illuminati, vs. the Rothchild's, vs. Reptiliians, etc.)
It was a great game, I really need to see if I can find a copy.
Oh, they might. Of course, it would be a blacklist.
@ Young Mr. Crosby's comments on this thread.
I suspect that many of your potential employers and professional associates will be suitably impressed by both your academic prowess and charming rhetorical skills displayed on the internet. Your future is likely assured. Stay classy, Grasshopper.
Thanks to those anti-vaxers propaganda a Dutch pediatrician was stabbed in her face, by a woman who blamed her child's autism to the vaccinations.
The pediatrician might not be able to work again.
I have tried to find something in English, but alas I can only find sources in Dutch. Perhaps Google translate can help.
If those questions and concerns have been answered and addressed multiple times, and that person and others like him continue to ask those same questions, can we then call them a delusional anti-vaccine loon? Doesn't that more accurately reflect the current reality?
Peebs (#34) writes,
At least we don’t have to worry about Jake ever breeding.
That's so insensitive and borderline defamation of character based on his diagnosis.
@ Jake Crosby,
May your vaccine-safety journey be handled with compassion, honesty, integrity, and an open mindedness. Good Luck!
@MJD-They are anti-vaccine, not "vaccine safety advocates", as many of them like to be called, because, as Johnny noted above, their "questions" have been answered over and over and over again, and yet they have remained just as opposed to vaccination as ever.
Also, while you try to argue that anti-vaxxers are opposed only to vaccines for infants/young children, that's not true-the same people who oppose childhood vaccines are generally opposed to adult vaccinations (e.g., the flu shot) as well. The people at AoA are also against the HPV vaccine, too, even though that vaccine is not given until 10-12 years of age-so your assertion that they are opposed only to vaccination of children under 5 is simply false. But even if they were, they'd still be accurately described as anti-vaccine.
Dorit-Yes, as long as they stayed outside of the building, it would probably be protected under the First Amendment-if I recall correctly, the law that established"buffer zones" around abortion clinics, to protect patients from harassment by anti-abortion protesters, was struck down a few years ago.
@MJD-Jake is obviously completely anti-vaccine-to describe him as advocating for "safe vaccines" is laughable. Earlier today, he stated "vaccines are cancer."-if that's not antivaccine, I don't know what is.
MJD has obviously never bothered to check out the Gnat's site.....those four attributes are not in evidence, anywhere.
In yet another exposition of his lack of self awareness, Jacob Lawrence Crosby, MPH, asked on his blog, "Who wants their kid going through life being a socially repugnant loser who thinks they owe nothing to society by refusing to fit in?" before he posted "fuck you" responses here and threatened a commenter.
That reminds me. I have to thank Jake for pointing out who Lawrence is in real life. I've friended him, and he seems like a good chap, a proper chap.
You know whose LinkedIn profile I found and follow? Alex Cranberg*. Now, he seems like someone you don't mess around with. Such a fierce look on his face.
*Alex Cranberg is a regent in the University of Texas system. He is also Jake's uncle. Where's Jake working on that PhD, again?
Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH @9
I would add myocarditis or pericarditis to your list of chicken pox complications.This happened to me when I had chicken pox as a child.I also had shingles,twice,before age 40.This is the sort of stuff you have to expect when you live with a primary immune deficiency.
I believe that to be true. I also believe MJD didn't see Jake's post #20, due to profanity filtering.
However, at this point I have to believe he now has, and in my mind there is just one question - does he stand by his post (currently) #46?
How about it, MJD? Do you still think Jake is a reasonable vaccine safety advocate?
The scuttlebutt is 'not there'. Word around town is Jake liveswith mommy down in Florida these days. I dunno for sure, and Jake doesn't seem to want to say one way or the other.
John Stone has grudgingly accepted rubella vaccination for baby mamas in case they are not so fortunate to be infected before it's breedin' time.
Way, way, way back in the day, I attempted to get the folks at AoA to give their opinion on the Rabies vaccine.....and all I got was crickets.
AoA has published rants on how rabies vaccine supposedly gave a child autism. And Kent H. wrote a piece speculating that rabies vaccine can give pets rabies.
All in a day's work for folks who are constantly foaming at the mouth about immunization.
@ Roger Kulp:
It would have been impossible to list every rare condition. The point I was making is that Smallpox and Chickenpox are NOT similar, not even close. If you have a primary immune disorder, you probably would not have survived smallpox, so, lucky we had a high smallpox vaccination rate in US.
You'd think they could spring for a decent call girl, as well.
If he's in the dissertation phase of his doctorate (and if UT runs their doctoral programs like my school does, which is probable), he doesn't need to be around campus, just in touch with his academic/thesis advisor(s). He can be back home, with mom or whomever, diligently going through data and writing his dissertation. Or he could also be working as an epidemiologist, helping local/state/federal agencies fight the next wave of Zika, or advising them on Ebola...
Full disclosure: I didn't finish writing that with a straight face.
No, you're just an imbecile. You wouldn't know the basis of a defamation claim from a fυcking hole in the ground.
Exactly. The Gnat doesn't have problems with women because he's autistic. He has problems with women because of his toxic personality.
Jake, based on your previous posts on different threads, it appears that you have autism, and erroneously believe that vaccines caused it.
Jake claims fo be autistic as an excuse for what he is, but it seems to be self-diagnosis.
Ren - the Equalizer! Almost as cool as Edward Woodward. Or am i showing my age by remembering that show?
I was referring to #52 of Ren's.
You're probably thinking of Illuminati by Steve Jackson Games. I also played it once back in college.
"Kent H. wrote a piece speculating that rabies vaccine can give pets rabies."
Then he is even more far gone than even I would have thought, considering that the Rabies vaccine is a killed virus vaccine and thus *cannot possibly* cause the disease.
Then again, I think he's the one who subjected his daughter to stem cell "treatments" in Costa Rica to try to cure her autism, so I guess nothing coming from him should surprise me.
@Lawrence #41: Illuminati. Steve Jackson Games. The company is still in business and the game is probably still in print as it was one of their better selling non-RPGs.
@Jake Crosby #20: Wow. That's a threat. A weak pathetic threat, but a threat. No wonder Orac refers to you as the Gnat.
But back to the discussion of what really matters: the sheer bat s*** craziness of AoA . . . .
As bad as the comments from the commentors identifying themselves as nurses are, there's one that sent chills up my spine: some nurse named Tracy was bragging about handing out anti vax propaganda cards and convincing new parents to skip the Hep B initial vaccination. The only silver lining is she's gotten caught once, and will hopefully get caught again soon and fired. The bad news is the hospital probably won't report her to the BON for discipline. . . . and they should.
One of the amusing things about the perpetual screaming of 'holocaust' from the antivaxx side is that t most of them wouldn't have had any significant disagreements with the Nazis on the treatment of the disabled, and wouldn't hesitate to turn over their own kids(Yeah, Jake, your parents would sell you out in a heartbeat..) Not to mention the overlap between being anti-vax and anti-semitic, which grows by the day.
Peebs: Yah, and he thinks the problem is with everyone else. To the point where he's actually claimed that every autistic woman is a lesbian because they won't settle for a donkey like him.
@Politicalguineapig-I wouldn't go anywhere near that far, but I do understand what you are saying-in that the anti-vax "autism moms" are always whining about "stress", "caregiver burnout", their autistic children being a "burden" etc.
PGP, Wow; and I thought I was taking the piss.
your review of my article on vaccine nanocontamination had a great effect in Italy and some bloggers who have little imagination and little time to spare translated that into Italian, sometimes adding some mistakes or meaning to summarize wrote blunders. There was a discussion among common people and some supposed to be scientists, but none 9f them accepted to repeat the analyses. Great fear ! I agree with you that it is a world of sheep. Very superficially you attacked the article in its form, but couldn't demonstrate that images and spectra were wrong.
You are in contact with pharmaceutical industries; so could you suggest them, in order to increase the safety of vaccines, to prevent this contamination? Most particles are markers showing the possible origin of contamination and I can identify their presence at some stages of the industrial process of preparation. I believe that that could be extremely important in case contamination should be avoided. Of course there is no interest if contamination is what is desired..
Yeah, I was about to link to http://www.sjgames.com/illuminati/ myself. Played that game a fair bit in University in the late 1980s. (Managed to win a game by getting everybody else to focus on the Gnomes of Zurich as the main threat while building up power myself as The Network.) There was a collectible card game version (Illuminati: New World Order) in the 1990s that was also fun.
Wow. Mr. Gatti sounds truly desperate. Sir, there isn't a chance in hell that Orac is going to contact Big Pharma on your behalf to support an idea he's already dissected and believes to be wrong.
I'm mean really . . . you don't insult a man one minute and then ask him for a favor the next.
That's the one!
Thanks guys. I need to find me a copy for the next game night.
I organized a VAXXED movie showing and NO ONE from the conventional healthcare field came.
Yet, when Dr Lance O'Sullivan attended the showing in Kaitaia, they all lost their marbles.
your review of my article on vaccine nanocontamination had a great effect in Italy and some bloggers who have little imagination and little time to spare translated that into Italian, sometimes adding some mistakes or meaning to summarize wrote blunders
It's easy to find examples of Italian bloggers citing the Oracian analysis. Case in point, Antonio Scalari at "Blue Suitcase". As for their distortions of the analysis, though, perhaps Dr Gatti can highlight these?
Scalari notes in passing:
You are in contact with pharmaceutical industries
[Citation Needed], as the kids like to say.
Forgot the Scalari link:
Wow. Mr. Gatti sounds truly desperate.
Dottora Gatti, Panacea.
Good grief, AoA is suggesting people *hang out* in pediatrician waiting rooms?
Even if the parents didn't get way upset at you, even if the staff didn't call security or the police to throw you out, think about who is in the waiting room of a pediatrician.
Little kids. Probably sick little kids. Kids who are too young to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough, too young to verbalize when they are about to throw up.
You'd catch half the diseases known to humanity (the remaining being divided between arthropod vector diseases and STIs).
And what makes these anti-vaxxers assume that the parents have no thoughts on vaccination? What if you run into a practice full of pro-vax families? Something something momma bears?
Dragging around your sick or developmentally delayed child as a dancing bear is just cruel on top of everything else.
Johnny (#54) writes,
How about it, MJD? Do you still think Jake is a reasonable vaccine safety advocate?
Your asking me a direct question, I thought we agreed that we weren't going to do that.
Although, being judgmental is not in my training.
There's always an exception, Narad (#62) is an Orac minion with a nasty disposition.
@ Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
To be pedantic you can get permanent scarring from chicken pox, at least if fifty years counts as permanent? It is less likely, and or course much less severe, but I assure you it does happen.
While the two issues aren't exactly alike, the increasingly bizarre rhetoric of the anti-vaxxers does bear some similarity to the anti-choice movement: imagined persecution, conflating fantasy with reality, and advocating violence. I wish physicians had banded together instead of letting abortion become a marginalized procedure performed in specialized clinics. If every gynecologist performed abortions in their offices, it would be far more difficult to target individual Doctors. Instead they caved to the pressures of the lunatic fringe, and now most counties in the United States have no abortion providers. Vaccinations are simple to give to patients, but without courageous opposition, the anti-vax movement could become just as deadly as the anti-choice faction. Reading over this and the science based medicine website, it disappoints me that the Doctors who contribute here don't more firmly address the murders of physicians who provide abortions; instead it is largely ignored. All it will take are Doctors deciding that providing vaccinations isn't worth the trouble or risk, plus more success in creating fanatical followers and perhaps some elected representatives to fall in with them to result in a country where people will have to drive hundreds of miles to get their shots. The advantage of vaccinations is that not getting them will mean outbreaks of disease, disability and death, which will quickly mobilize people to start vaccinating, and those deaths will affect boys and girls alike. Unwanted pregnancies carried to term remain largely invisible, the consequences falling mostly on poorer women, who are all too easily ignored or blamed for their problems.
@HDB: apologies. I used the AP convention.
It is your interpretation of the images and spectra and the experimental design that led to them that are wrong.
@Cloudskimmer. I am pro-choice, and I agree with you.
However, I understand why abortion rights are not discussed here, and I'm pretty sure that the rationale is this: if RI or SBM became known as pro-choice blogs, it would drive away those who are anti-abortion, and, considering that a sizable minority of Americans are still opposed to abortion, that would likely turn off a substantial number of people, who would otherwise read RI and SBM.
Remember, there are far more people who are anti-choice than there are who are anti-vax, and if Orac is trying to reassure people who may be concerned about vaccinations, or steer people away from dubious "alternative treatments", then talking about an issue as controversial about abortion might be counterproductive.
I think that Orac stays away from writing in support of abortion rights for the same reason that Steven Novella specifically makes a point of stating that his blog is nonpartisan.
Gatti's so-called "research" is not better than when Mike Adams looked at a chicken mcnugget under his microscope and shouted "contaminants". Substitute Gatti for Adams and a vaccine vial for mcnugget and you've got the same sophomoric stupidity.
Hehehe. I might have to look up those links to throw in Gatti's face.
While the two issues aren’t exactly alike, the increasingly bizarre rhetoric of the anti-vaxxers does bear some similarity to the anti-choice movement
There is a lot of overlap between the two causes. You've got god-botherers all hot-and-bothered about HPV vaccines, for fear that they might encourage sex (sex should be punished with cancer as god intended). Not to forget the Catholic bishops in Kenya and the Philippines who did not receive any financial or power-related kickbacks from vaccination programs, and therefore denounce those programs as concealed birth control.
And there are the various Alt-Med scammers who want to conflate the two causes, and present antivax / food-purity / Alt-Med as a natural extension of the theocratic forced-birth belief system, in the hope of increasing their customer base. So 'Natural News' regularly plays human centipede with "fetus-in-our-food!" fabrications from christianists.
I have been a long time follower of this blog, but finally decided I needed to post a comment.
When anti-vaxxers spew their crap, I basically have this to say: Smallpox. The smallpox vaccine basically saved my life. See, it all had to do with herd immunity. I was unable to get the smallpox boosters back in the late 60's very early 70's since I had (and still have) eczema and well, the smallpox vaccine does something really not fun and very dangerous to people with certain skin conditions. But, instead of being against vaccines, I'm actually for them because thanks to EVERYONE ELSE getting the smallpox vaccine, I didn't have to worry about getting smallpox. So, herd immunity saved me from getting a potentially life threatening disease. The way I was told I couldn't get the booster (I did get the initial vaccine and luckily nothing adverse happened) was done so incredibly well by the nurse who told me, that it never occurred to me what the real reason could be until one of my idiot friends decided to go on anti-vaxx tirade and chose the smallpox vaccine to villify. That's when I found out about the potential skin reaction I could have gotten. It just made me more pro-vaccine.
Don't even get me started on the number of adults I met in my childhood/youth that had polio as children and were disabled because of it. Yup, pro-vaccine I am!
Still, I was an exception to the rule and because of a valid medical condition, I couldn't receive one life saving vaccine. I am 100% up to date on my shots...all of them. I have a reaction to every single one of them, including rashes, severe pain, some fatigue (which just could be nerves because getting shots always make me a bit nervous) but nothing life threatening, so I still get 'em, even though they make me uncomfortable.
I even had shingles once in my early 40s...I had a very uncomfortable reaction to the shingles shot (including a huge rash that was very painful) but got it once they cleared me to get it. I'll get it again too when I need to.
Another friend of mine who cannot get the measles shots for medical reasons almost died from encephalitis when exposed to some idiot's kid who didn't get vaccinated and got the measles. Another friend almost lost her newborn to pertussis because the people around her didn't get vaccinated. Thankfully the baby pulled through and is a very healthy, active teenager now - but for years she had numerous tests to make sure her lungs were working as they should and other tests to make sure she suffered no damage. Doctors told my friend she was very lucky indeed. It could have been much, much worse.
Anti-vaxxers just piss me off.
News to me, but I admit there are times I talk about you and not to you.
Up at # 46, you say of friend Peebs "That’s so insensitive and borderline defamation of character based on his diagnosis." We know you have an alternate definition of 'vaccine safety advocate ', and it looks like you have an alternate definition of 'judgmental'.
You do seem to bring that out in people.
So late to the party but yes Ms. Hayes N97 masks certainly do filter viral particles (better for out than in however).
Ah except dear Ren he's not at the dissertation phase since he's still a PhD student, maybe, and certainly not a PhD candidate. Not to mention his very obvious continued degradation signifies something is afoot with Jacob's life right now. His latest screed indicates some epic self-loathing at the very least.
What perfect timing! Got my copy of the June National Geographic Magazine (yes, I'm an old fart!) and there's a ranking of the top ten inventions in history. Vaccines made the list, nowhere near the bottom, at #5. The ranking was done by Carla Hayden, U.S. Librarian of Congress.
Jonas: I wouldn’t go anywhere near that far, but I do understand what you are saying-in that the anti-vax “autism moms” are always whining about “stress”, “caregiver burnout”, their autistic children being a “burden” etc.
I take it you haven't seen the video where one anti-vax mom talks about driving off a bridge with her daughter in the car. Or read much of Age of Autism. To me it always sounds like most anti-vaxxers are one tiiiny second away from abandoning their kids in the woods, and the only thing keeping them from outright murder is the opinions of the neighbors.
Peebs: Yeah, Jakey is basically Reddit and 4chan combined on two legs.
Jonas: I don't see how RI or any of the other blogs being vocal about being pro-choice would drive away readers. Most people who are against abortion are very, very religious, and dislike science intensely. I mean seriously, they'd be more at home with flat-earthers.
I don't recall Orac talking about a "world of sheep" or an equivalent generalization.
That's because I never did.
Ah, I had not noticed that. I wonder if his conduct got in the way of his studies, given how the student code of conduct reads?
And thanks for the compliment, Ren. I do consider myself quite the proper chap.
@ Johnny #93: MJD seems to forget that it isn't defamation if it's true, and what Narad said certainly is true.
@Science Mom #94: Ah, I forgot to address the mask when I posted earlier. It doesn't have to be an N 97 mask, because influenza is droplet precautions not airborne precautions. A regular mask will stop a sneeze from getting into the air, which is the actual point of making people who refuse flu vaccine wear it.
The "nurse' who wrote that is a total twit.
Don't like the mask? Get vaccinated.
HDM: Yes, there is some overlap-in addition to the HPV vaccine and the Kenyan bishops, there are some anti-vaxxers who claim that vaccines "contain aborted fetal cells" and therefore they have a religious/moral objection to certain vaccines.
Polticalguineapig-Yes, you are probably right. Look at Michael Egnor, for example-he's antiabortion, and he also denies evolution, and has even stated (in a comment thread on Steven Novella's blog) that he would "prefer to live in a Catholic theocracy".
IIUC, the Catholic Church stipulates that this is not a valid objection to vaccination. When your position on abortion-related matters is even more extreme than the Catholic Church's, you are pretty far out there.
Yes, I know, but there are anti-vaxxers who make that argument anyway, so I thought I'd mention it.
BTW, I do not think that there should be religious (or any non-medical) exemptions to vaccination. In my view, every state should have a law replicating SB77.
I assume that, with the exception of Jake and MJD, everyone else here agrees with me on that point.
I thought that was the case, and was hoping someone more knowledgeable would speak up. ;-)
So the nurse who wrote that is extra bad -- she really should know that you don't need to protect against infinitesimal particles when protecting against flu, because all you have to hold back are droplets.
And the mask isn't for her, it's to protect her patients. What a shame she doesn't care about that....
Eric Lund: you are correct. The Catholic Church specifically says that although they'd *prefer* the vaccine not require the use of fetal cells, the lives saved far outweigh the life that was lost long ago, and so not only is abortion not a valid reason to avoid MMR, getting MMR (unless you have medical contraindication) is a religious imperative because it protects life.
Oh, Christ, MJD is bitching because I pointed out that he said something incredibly f*cking stupid about defamation? Blame the campus library for not having Greasemonkey installed on the machines.
If being direct consitutes a "nasty" disposition, I can only wonder what "sort" of disposition describes brain-dead, passive-aggressive malingering.
When is poor Dr. Gatti going to realize that the appropriate response to "your methodology is poor and your conclusions unwarranted" is NOT "Then you must repeat my experiments and disprove them!".
I think that was covered in Basic Research Principles 101.
As Harry S Truman said: "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell." MJD is free to think you're giving him hell, especially when you are simply telling the truth.
Laura Hayes' brand of delusion is just more evidence that in (most, anyway) AoA-style anti-vax, the fear and loathing of autism is the base, and the vaccine animus the superstructure. My response to 'vaccine holocaust' is that my ASD cousin is different, not dead. PGP has it wrong in suggesting AVs want to murder their kids, because they don't even consider their kids to be alive to begin with, already having been murdered by Bog Pharma. Or maybe they take ASD as worse than death. Since ASD kids are ambulatory, we could say they take them as The Return of The Living Dead monsters eating the flesh of their otherwise cozy haute-bourgeois lives and eating the brain of their sanity. What are the projections for the 'autism epidemic' but fear of a coming Zombie Apocalypse?
It's this that's at the source of the parallels between Hayes writing and the screeds of anti-abortion extremists: She thinks vaccination is murder. To think that, you have to already have an incredibly sick, twisted view of ASD.
Why this matters, of course, is that we want to prevent AV propaganda from leading to more outbreaks, like the recent one in Minnesota. To do so, we must understand the psychology of parents who are vulnerable to the message, and may be dissuaded from immunizing their kids. There aren't near enough cranks who start from a generalized fear of vaccines, or even a predisposition that might lead to such, to create a cluster. (One reason the stereotype of AVs as post-hippie granola-crunchers has been so unfortunate... Never forget the real capital of AV is the arch-conservative OC.) No. Jenny McCarthy remains the paradigmatic case of anti-vax conversion. After her kid was diagnosed with autism, she found her life turned upside down, went on a quest for blame and took awhile to settle on vaccines as the culprit. The line of course is, "I believed they were safe, but now I know better!" Andy Wakefield developed his grift to exploit a group of distraught and disoriented parents in the UK similarly looking for "answers" and a target to blame (and sue). It's not like he was talking to the Minneapolis Somails before the cluster of ASD diagnoses were reported there, either. But when he heard that news, he knew he had a potential group of new converts/marks, so he hopped right on a plane.
This is maybe the main reason why spreading the science of vaccine safety has little or no effect on AV. It's a fundamentally irrational projection rooted in primal emotions that rule how the whole business is processed. Unless those emotions are effectively addressed, challenging the imaginary scaffolding that has been built upon them (that is, at some level it's adherents 'know' it's cockamamie) is so threatening to the primal fears, they just double-down: defending their imaginary Explanation Of It All, as if it was a life or death matter.
Of course, the investments and stakes are lower for those parents who are at risk from getting sucked into anti-vax due to their horror at ASD, so we should be able to make a dent in the conversion rate by addressing those underlying emotions, and doing what we can to show ASD kids and adults as valuable, fully human, beings. To that end, I think it would be great if there was a prominent adult-ASD pro-vax spokeperson who combined that message with appeals for ASD understand and against ASD demonization. (An anti-Gnat?)
I cringe whenever anyone tries to put a bad light on the U.S. infant mortality rate in comparison with the rest of the world. The World Health Organization's definition of infant mortality rate: The number of infants who die between birth and age one, per 1,000 live births. Sounds straightforward, doesn't it? However, here are the many variables in the way that infant mortality rates per 1000 live births are calculated in the USA in comparison with other countries world-wide:
> The USA counts deaths of premature infants, some countries don't.
> In the USA, any sign of life is counted as a live birth - Even if a premature infant takes one breath or one heartbeat is detected. In many countries, they do not count these live births.
> In Austria & Germany, a live birth counted must be at least 500 grams weight (~1 lb.), this is not the case in the USA.
> In Switzerland, a fetus must be at least 30 centimeters long (~12 inches) to be counted.
> In Belgium & France, deaths at less than 26 weeks are not counted.
> Some countries don't reliably count any infant that dies within the first 24 hours of birth.
> As an example, Norway appears to have one of the lowest infant mortality rates but when adjusted for disparate variables between calculating methodologies, their infant mortality rate is comparable to the USA.
So… To sum it all up, the infant mortality reporting algorithms world-wide are a non standardized bio-statistical patchwork quilt. The late Dr. Bernadine Healy analyzed USA infant mortality rates in her "On Health" column in the U.S. News and world Report. Her 2006 article was entitled "Behind the baby count". She was the former NIH director, American Red Cross president AND Age of Autism's 2008 "Person of the Year." She pointed out in the article that the USA records ALL deaths where an infant showed any signs of life while the European countries compute their rates with different parameters like minimum weight, minimum infant length, length of gestation, how long the infant survived, etc. Direct comparison of data is not advisable but when adjusted for the factors she cited, the USA is on a par with most of the European countries.
@sadmar-Speaking of the measles outbreak in MN, the number of cases climbed to 73 today. 68 of the 73 patients are unvaccinated.
As for the idea of "a prominent adult-ASD pro-vax spokeperson who combined that message with appeals for ASD understand and against ASD demonization.", that's basically what those in the "neurodiversity movement" are trying to be. Ari Ne'eman is an example. The "neurodiversity" folks are very critical of the anti-vaxxers.
However, they deny/downplay the fact that ASD is a disabling condition, and the vast majority of people disagree with them on that, which would make them less effective pro-vaccine spokespeople, in my opinion.
"In 2005, the United States ranked 30th in the world in infant mortality, behind most European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Israel. There are some differences among countries in the reporting of very small infants who may die soon after birth. However, it appears unlikely that differences in reporting are the primary explanation for the United States’ relatively low international ranking. In 2005, 22 countries had infant mortality rates of 5.0 or below. One would have to assume that these countries did not report more than one-third of their infant deaths for their infant mortality rates to equal or exceed the U.S. rate. This level of underreporting appears unlikely for most developed countries.
The United States compares favorably with Europe in the survival of infants born preterm. Infant mortality rates for preterm infants are lower in the United States than in most European countries. However, infant mortality rates for infants born at 37 weeks of gestation or more are generally higher in the United States than in European countries.
The primary reason for the United States’ higher infant mortality rate when compared with Europe is the United States’ much higher percentage of preterm births. In 2004, 1 in 8 infants born in the United States were born preterm, compared with 1 in 18 in Ireland and Finland. Preterm infants have much higher rates of death or disability than infants born at 37 weeks of gestation or more (2–4, 6), so the United States’ higher percentage of preterm births has a large effect on infant mortality rates. If the United States had the same gestational age distribution of births as Sweden, the U.S. infant mortality rate (excluding births at less than 22 weeks of gestation) would go from 5.8 to 3.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, a 33% decline. These data suggest that preterm birth prevention is crucial to lowering the U.S. infant mortality rate."
Marian F. MacDorman, Ph.D., and T.J. Mathews, M.S. Behind International Rankings of Infant Mortality: How the United States Compares with Europe. NCHS Data Brief ■ No. 23 ■ November 2009. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db23.pdf
See also: Marian F. MacDorman, Ph.D., and T.J. Mathews, M.S., National Center for Health Statistics; Ashna D. Mohangoo, Ph.D., TNO Child Health, Netherlands; and Jennifer Zeitlin, M.D., Inserm, France. International Comparisons of Infant Mortality and Related Factors: United States and Europe, 2010. National Vital Statistics Reports Volume 63, Number 5 September 24, 2014. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr63/nvsr63_05.pdf
Please note above: "However, it appears unlikely that differences in reporting are the primary explanation for the United States’ relatively low international ranking."
Lawrence #41: Is it "Illuminati: New World Order"? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminati:_New_World_Order
When is poor Dr. Gatti going to realize that the appropriate response to “your methodology is poor and your conclusions unwarranted” is NOT “Then you must repeat my experiments and disprove them!”.
Dr Gatti is also ignoring offers to repeat her experiments, breaking off the correspondence when she is asked to agree on an acceptable protocol.
I cannot spend my time reading blog's comments. My priority is to make something real for people who are suffering. You can put your insolence on my mission and laugh at it.
In Italy, I asked a person called Elia Marin (Is he a troll?) to repeat analyses of vaccines under a scanning electron microscope with EDS. You, an American blogger arie n contact with an italian blogger. Aren't you ? Have you lost your self assurance?
Many scientists throughout the world use that instrument (Elia Marin?). You could ask them to perform that analysis they way it should be down.
@Callie: Sadly, I know far too many nurses with that attitude. They make it all about them, for whatever ungodly reason they do. I know far too many nurses who firmly believe getting the flu shot gives you the flu, and there's no convincing them otherwise.
@sadmar: I'm on the spectrum. I advocate vaccination. I know several other Aspie nurses who do the same. We're dismissed out of hand. Emotion is easier to relate to than logic for most people. That's why it always takes something terrible to happen before the public is galvanized to push for action.
Bracketing that how you approach and frame immunization advocacy matters no matter who you are, those who dismiss you may be the wrong audience for the message – that is, they've already formed an opinion. I'm talking about public spokesfolk, like Paul Offit or Matt Carey. The idea would be that the public voices reach parents before they have firmed up a stance on the issue, and influence how they frame it's terms to begin with.
But, I'd also add that opinion change is a process. Contradicting argument is generally dismissed out of hand the first time it's encountered. And the second and third. If vax refusal is rooted in fear and loathing of ASD, an Aspie nurse doesn't fit the paradigm, and cognitive dissonance kicks in. As (the sometimes foolishly maligned) Tom Kuhn observed, when contradictions pile up over time, paradigms can change.
Don't think of yourself as doing nothing because you get dismissed. Think of yourself as, if nothing else, at least putting a potentially irritating pea under the anti-vax mattress.
#116 Dr. Harrison:
Thanks for the additional references re infant mortality in the USA. I've noted that there's no mention of the USA's vaccination schedule as a causative factor in infant mortality as alleged by many anti-vax groups.
SInce there is literally overwhelming evidence that vaccinations reduce infant mortality, it would be unnecessary to mention it. The smallpox vaccine alone in the 20th Century as the WHO program went from 3rd World Nation to 3rd World nation, the mortality rates from smallpox went to zero. Since there were NO other changes, e.g. better healthcare, nutrition, etc. that occurred at the same time, only the vaccination program can have been responsible. In addition, though the US includes more vaccines than somel other nations in its vaccine schedule, they are mainly given later, so the vaccines given in the first year would be fairly similar.
It would be a futile gesture to write reports targeted at dealing with the illogic, lack of science, lack of knowledge of history of infectious diseases, and lack of common sense that underlies antivaccinationist arguments. The very fact that life expectancy has gained so much, based not on people living longer; but mainly on lower infant mortality with vaccines playing a major role that they refuse to accept.
Sadmar: heh. Irritating pea. I like it.
I never tell patients I'm an Aspie. I'm afraid of the very reaction you cite. :(
"You know Lawrence, I saved your linkedin profile. Want it to suffer the same fate as Lindsey Graham’s phone number?"
Widdle Jakey thinks he's so scawwy - but to any parent who's had a 2-year old, his tantrums just seem tots adorbs (as the young folks say). Whatever Orac's paying Jake to be the public face of the pro-disease movement is well worth the money.
Panacea - awkward situation! On one level, it's no one's business if you have a yeast infection or are an Aspie. On the other hand, there is so much negative attention paid to people on the extreme of the syndrome. Do you want to live as a shining example of a "good Aspie"? But attitudes will never change if we don't be open.
Speaking as someone who is probably high functioning but not diagnosed, with others in the family - past and present. I'm also speaking as somewhere who realizes that many academics and co-workers I've known were on the spectrum - but regarded as just odd.
What to do!
At 1 in 68 (CDC and I'm bound to be unscientific but I'll assume prevalence is the same in adult for management purpose), we're bound to witness a royal bunch of undiagnosed but odd peoples.
It's been some time I've been thinking of the issue of vaccination and also, autism and it seem to me that these were two separate topics which has got intermixed (is that a word??). On the one hand, we have the past history of autism with one of the superstar being Ivar Lovaas and a few others (refrigerator mother anyone...) who paved the way for a bad reputation in the psych science world and on the other hand, there is the vilification of vaccine which has been going on since forever (witness NWO et al in the other post / thread, impurification of the bloodline...). Special snowflakes with IQ off the chart (220 IQ level...you know what a bellcurve look like) but that impure vaccine series got it down to 160 and presto, diagnostic of autism. Remember that wakefraud was always on the MMR likely causing crown's disease but as soon as the lawyer got involved, he changed his tune to autism where the vilification has already been done, thus having a stronger case to "help" desperate parents and increase his superstar status.
That kind of damage is better countered by a many-pronged attack: at least, many anti-gnats, addressing the impurification of the bloodline, and many other things and it's been since sadmar commented on the issue that I've been thinking about it but never commented before (commitments....)
That said, I wanted this out of my mind right now.
I'll post a bit more later.
If wakefraud stayed on the case of MMR causing crown's disease and never got involved WRT autism, where would the gnat be today?
I think you mean Crohn's Disease :) Named after the physician who first identified it.
But to answer your question: still living in his parent's basement.
Dr. Gatti: It is not up to Orac to do your homework for you. Or anyone else for that matter.
You have to do your own research and make it convincing. You didn't. It's on YOU to address the identified flaws and fix your own argument. If you can't do that, it's your problem.
Are we being unfair to Dr. Gatti?
Maybe in her remote corner of the Italian academic research establishment, aspiring scientists are allowed to respond to criticism of their deeply flawed PhD theses and other failing efforts by demanding that their professors and peers replicate their findings or else shut up.
This would explain the bizarre output of certain Italian researchers, including those of the Ramazzini Foundation and the guy who pioneered "liberation" surgery for MS. Most likely, certain Italian jurists are trained in similar fashion, evident from Italian court rulings that vaccination causes autism, that cellphone radiation induces brain cancer, and convicting Italian scientists who failed to accurately predict a devastating earthquake of manslaughter.
Dr. Gatti announces that she is trying to "make" sonething "real" for people who are suffering. Conducting very flawed work hoping to find yet another spurious reason to blame vaccines for autism isn't helping anyone. People with autism need acceptance, therapy to cope and employment that utilizes their considerable strengths.
Not whining about "evil" vaccines.