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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Is turnabout not fair play?

Setting aside the absurd and provably unscientific attempt of many vaccine advocates to blame whooping cough deaths on vaccine critics, it is informative to see the difference in the way the media covers the death of a child killed by an infectious disease versus the way it covers the death of a child killed by a reaction to a vaccine:
On March 9, 2009, four-week-old Dana McCaffery's heart stopped after whooping cough left her tiny lungs unable to breathe.... Little did they know then that Dana's death from whooping cough, and the media coverage that followed, came to represent a very inconvenient truth to the anti-vaccination lobby - and thus began an extraordinary campaign against this grieving family.

The McCafferys are today breaking their silence on the cyber bullying,the anonymous letters and the cruelty of some members of the anti-vaccination movement.

The couple has been accused of being on the payroll of drug companies; they have had their daughter's death questioned and mocked; they have even been told to "harden the f . . . up" by an opponent of vaccination.

"The venom directed at us has just been torture and it's been frightening, abhorrent and insensitive in the extreme," says Toni, who has not had the strength to talk about this until now.
First, let's do what the Australian Telegraph article failed to do and address the facts.  The child's death from whooping cough was not likely the result of anti-vaccination campaigns or unvaccinated children.  The increased incidence of whooping cough in the United States, and therefore the death of Dana McCaffery, is primarily due to the reduced effectiveness of the current pertussis DTaP vaccine, which replaced the more effective, but less safe DTP vaccine in the 1990s.

As evidence, I again cite Science magazine to prove that the scientists, unlike the vaccine advocates, believe that it is the vaccines and not the anti-vaccination campaign that is responsible for what is described as "the return of the disease".
Whooping cough, or pertussis, has exploded in the United States in recent years. A new study confirms what scientists have suspected for some time: The return of the disease is caused by the introduction of new, safer vaccines 2 decades ago. Although they have far fewer side effects, the new shots don't offer long-lived protection the way older vaccines do.

Pertussis bacteria colonize the upper airways, causing a severe cough and shortness of breath that can be fatal in babies. The disease seemed to have mostly disappeared from the United States by the late 1970s—in fact, scientists believe, it continued to spread, undiagnosed, among adults—but over the past 2 decades the disease has bounced back with a vengeance, with strong outbreaks among school-aged children in 2010 and last year, when the United States reported 40,000 cases. Many European countries have also seen increases.

Researchers have long suspected that new vaccines might have something to do with it....  Physicians at Kaiser Permanente of Northern California compared the protective effects of these vaccines with the old ones when included in a four-dose series of shots called DTP (for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis), given to children before the age of 2. They studied children born between 1994 and 1999, years in which Kaiser Permanente gradually introduced the new vaccines. As a result, some children had received only the old-style shots, some only the new ones, and some a mixture of both. Of the 1037 children included in the main part of the study, 138 got pertussis during a massive epidemic in California in 2010 to 2011.

Children who had received only the acellular vaccine were more than 5.6 times more likely to get sick than those who received the old, whole-cell vaccine, the team will report next month in Pediatrics. Those receiving one or more of each type had an intermediate risk.

The results confirm other recent research. In August, a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that acellular vaccine-vaccinated children in Australia were six times more likely to get sick than those receiving the old vaccine. And a study of another California population, published online in March by Clinical Infectious Diseases, showed an eightfold increased risk of illness associated with the new vaccine.

"We're now finding out that the acellular vaccine's doesn't offer protection for as long," says the first author of the new study, pediatrician Nicola Klein. "It does work well in the short term. But there was definitely a tradeoff in phasing out the whole-cell vaccine."
Now, it is certainly impolitic to criticize, even by implication, grieving parents.  But that impolity and lack of respect for parental grief has been an aspect of the vaccine debate for years thanks to the vaccine advocates viciously attacking parents who have lost children to vaccine reactions.  Moreover, the media's dishonest reaction to the McCaffery child's death, including the linked Telegraph article, demonstrates that the vaccine critics were entirely correct to express their doubts about the child's death and attempt to get more detailed information on it.

As the head of the Australian Vaccination Network stated: "To my mind, while an entire community of conscientious objectors were being victimised by the government and the media and being blamed for the death of a child who was too young to be vaccinated, I had every right to ask for this information."

The complaints of the mother, "they were just tearing apart everything we had just witnessed and lived through", are totally misplaced.  She lost her right to private grief the moment that she permitted her child's death to be used as pro-vaccine attack propaganda.

Every family, the McCafferys included, have the right to private grief so long as their grief remains private.  It does not have a right to use their grief as propaganda without expecting skepticism and criticism, much less to hide behind the emotional rhetoric of their child's death to avoid legitimate, science-based criticism of their spurious attacks on vaccine skeptics.

And it is the height of hypocrisy for pro-vaccine advocates to object to the use of their very arguments against parents actively campaigning for vaccines:
Like the McCafferys, he went public to raise awareness about vaccination. In 2010 he did three television interviews and he left his phone number with each network for other parents to get in touch.  Soon after, he received a call from a woman who claimed she was from the AVN. He does not recall her name.

She accused him of doing the community a disservice, saying he should not be promoting immunisation.

"Then she went on saying my son was obviously weak and the weakest of the herd are not meant to survive, I should just get over it," he says. Kokegei was gobsmacked. "I didn't think someone could be that cold, to belittle what happened to my son in such a heartless way," he says.
And yet, is this not the very argument that pro-vaccine arguments implicitly make when they argue that it is worth permitting some children to die in the interest of herd immunity?  For every sob story the vaccine advocates have to offer, the anti-vaccine advocates can cite a dozen that are equally rhetorically effective.  And they will never be won over, because all the statistical studies in the world will never convince a parent who has seen, with his own eyes, an infant scream and slump unconscious in immediate reaction to a vaccine injection.

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105 Comments:

Anonymous VryeDenker May 30, 2013 5:27 AM  

What if vaccines are a clever way of making diseases immune to our bodies' defenses?

Blogger GF Dad May 30, 2013 6:09 AM  

Scream and slump - been there, seen that. I wonder at the even greater potential my son would have had it not been for that. May God have mercy on us for our ignorance. I want to cry when I think of his nearly lifeless little body and how he wasn't the same little guy after that shot.

Blogger GF Dad May 30, 2013 6:11 AM  

But I am also thankful to God that he protected us from some of the more severe consequences of that crap.

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 6:28 AM  

Wait wait wait wait hold on.

Are they seriously arguing that vaccines would have protected a four-week-old baby from pertussis?

Since that one isn't given until 2-4 months old, how is that supposed to happen?

Anonymous VD May 30, 2013 6:36 AM  

Are they seriously arguing that vaccines would have protected a four-week-old baby from pertussis?

Yes, because Herd Immunity. Also, Science. Never mind that the DTaP is so ineffective that 13 percent of the "immunized" got pertussis despite being vaccinated.

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 7:09 AM  

Herd immunity? So they're saying that people who are vaccinated can't transmit it? One in eight chance of total failure, no less. Sounds great for a disease that isn't lethal if treated promptly!

Also, I know this sounds callous, but I have to wonder who the McCaffreys let touch and breathe on their baby.

Blogger Nate May 30, 2013 7:53 AM  

I want a t-shirt that says, "Why autism? BECAUSE HERD IMMUNITY!"

Blogger Nate May 30, 2013 7:53 AM  

with a picture of train. The T-shirt has to have a picture of a train.

Anonymous TheExpat May 30, 2013 7:59 AM  

Just wait for the growing epidemic of shingles in the elderly population due to the chickenpox vaccine.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 30, 2013 8:03 AM  

So let me get this straight: because their daughter, whose only vaccination was probably Hepatitis B since that's the only vaccine a four week old could get, died from whooping cough, I have to vaccinate my kid. My kid who doesn't got to those cesspools we commonly call daycare where his fully vaccinated, six month older cousin gets sick more often while going there?

My wife and I had to suffer through five miscarriages before my son was born. There was no real reason behind it, besides some minor medical issues that my wife had. And even then it's no guarantee to work next time. In this life, we have to accept that we cannot control even our very heartbeats and that every once and a while we face serious tragedies.

But don't fret, if these parents are also supporters of Planned Parenthood, then what happened to their child was also a blessing.

Anonymous Athor Pel May 30, 2013 8:04 AM  

put the picture of the train on the back of the t-shirt
and under the picture of the train the words,
"The train was not damaged."

Anonymous tiddlywink May 30, 2013 8:05 AM  

with a picture of train. The T-shirt has to have a picture of a train. - Nate

That literally brought a smile to my face...

Anonymous Ioweenie May 30, 2013 8:20 AM  

Anyone familiar with the case of a dozen or so teenage girls in upstate New York who developed Turret's-like symptoms? Ever any investigation into if they received the Gardasil vaccine (i.e., a particular lot)?

Blogger Nate May 30, 2013 8:22 AM  

Wait.

if someone from New York got Turrets... how would you even know?

Anonymous Ioweenie May 30, 2013 8:34 AM  

Good point, Nate. These girls were in rural New York. I caught about 10 minutes of program done on the story; most concern was focused on potential environmental exposures, yet oddly, only teenage girls developed symptoms despite men, women, and boys having same exposure.

Gawl-dernit, those girls and their moms could have been southerners if given the proper drawl. Well, maybe WVA southerners.

Anonymous wcu May 30, 2013 8:37 AM  

Our lisping dr's lisp, became even more fever pitched as he literally screeched, "jenny mccarthy! Jenny mccarthy! Playboy!" All we asked was it necessary to introduce so many different innoculations at once into our 6 month year old baby. "Science! Good! Vaccinations! Studies!"...never got off the vaccination train...I'm sure it was a coal fueled train...we walked out...neither my wife or I knew too much about the other side of the dangers of vaccines, but after that rant by dr sylvester, I figured something was being hid...thank you to the ilk and vox bringing up this topic and sharing this info to an ignorant parent...

Anonymous DonReynolds May 30, 2013 8:41 AM  

This reminds me of the polite arguments I had with my mother, for about 30 years. She did not understand much about immunization but she was part of a generation that was more impacted by serious diseases. To people like my mom, medicine (and public health) had been successful in getting control over the old terrors of polio, tuberculosis, cholera, small pox, and the bacterial infections, that often made minor injuries become fatal.

The faith of the public in immunization (and medicine in general) was founded during the century after the Civil War. Yes, there was a great deal of progress. My mother and I agreed on this completely. Our long-running argument was over the "flu shots", which are of questionable value. Toward the end of her life, she would continue to get the flu shots and ban me from visiting her in person because I did not. She lived 77 years, 3 months, and 3 days.....and no, she did not die of influenza.

Anonymous Stilicho May 30, 2013 8:45 AM  

Wait.

if someone from New York got Turrets... how would you even know?


Their grammar improves.

Blogger Joshua_D May 30, 2013 8:52 AM  

DonReynolds

Toward the end of her life, she would continue to get the flu shots and ban me from visiting her in person because I did not.


I know it's been said before here, but this is what I really don't understand. If your mother was vaccinated, why would she be worried about someone visiting who wasn't vaccinated? The point of the vaccine is to prevent her from getting the flu!

Anonymous Hunsdon May 30, 2013 9:04 AM  

Don Reynolds said: I know it's been said before here, but this is what I really don't understand. If your mother was vaccinated, why would she be worried about someone visiting who wasn't vaccinated?

Hunsdon said: It's the heresy, it's catching.

Anonymous TLM May 30, 2013 9:13 AM  

She lost her right to private grief the moment that she permitted her child's death to be used as pro-vaccine attack propaganda.....

This is why it always comes down to motive, and that is how we'll be judged. The most outwardly helpful and caring person in this world may be doing it only out of selfish gain, pride, etc. Or they may be doing it out of genuine love for others. God knows, and that's what makes his judgments so just.

As to the mother's motives in going public, who knows? I'd be more judgmental concerning those that took advantage of her grief for their own gain.

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 9:22 AM  

FYI: Tourette's.

Carry on.

Anonymous DaveD May 30, 2013 9:24 AM  

So are any of the vaccinations safe to get a child? A less aggressive schedule maybe?

DD

Anonymous Edjamacator May 30, 2013 9:30 AM  

Wait.

if someone from New York got Turrets... how would you even know?


They're subdued a bit.

Blogger Nate May 30, 2013 9:40 AM  

"Their grammar improves."

teh lulz

Blogger Nate May 30, 2013 9:40 AM  

"FYI: Tourette's.

Carry on."

zip it skippy.

Anonymous JartStar May 30, 2013 9:41 AM  

So are any of the vaccinations safe to get a child? A less aggressive schedule maybe?

Yes. Who knows?

There are no scientific studies about safety for a less aggressive schedule, but there aren't any showing the safety of the aggressive schedule either. So like everyone else you will be awash in a sea of anecdote, conjecture, and statistical analysis. Welcome to vaccine schedule hell.

Blogger Nate May 30, 2013 9:49 AM  

"So are any of the vaccinations safe to get a child? A less aggressive schedule maybe?"

I view vaccines as extremely dangerous. My wife is board certified anesthesiologist.

our kids are unvaccinated.

take from that what you will.

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 9:52 AM  

Nate, stop being so sensitive about being corrected. You'll never grow up to be smart if you're not willing to learn.

And don't make that face at me, young man; it'll freeze that way.

Anonymous Cranberry May 30, 2013 10:06 AM  

Somewhat related. I have three kids under five years of age. My older kids are fine and never had vaccine-related issues. Nor do they have any food allergies and can eat foods like dairy, peanut butter, eggs, etc. without issue.

When my youngest was three months old, he was exposed to peanut butter by my eldest. I was concerned, but he exhibited no signs of reaction. Same as when he was six months old. But after his six-month vaccinations, he started to develop horrible eczema, diarrhea, vomiting at every feeding, and broke out in hives regularly. A consult with an allergist and skin testing revealed multiple food allergies: eggs, all dairy, peanuts and all tree nuts, beef, lamb, shellfish. I've also found out that avocado is an allergen for him too, since he vomits and gets hives whenever he's had it. I didn't know one could be allergic to meat, but feed him beef or venison, and he gets hives and vomits. Weird.

I suppose some food allergies are to be expected in one so young, but he was completely fine being in a kitchen with peanuts, meats, eggs, cheese, etc. and breastfeeding when I was eating all of those same foods. Then suddenly, he wasn't.

Some think that food allergies can be triggered by vaccinations. I'm inclined to think that over-activating an immature immune system causes it to attack everything which contacts it. I wonder if that is what is behind my son suddenly developing multiple allergies so suddenly. We have already had one episode of anaphylaxis and a trip to the ER. Epi-pens are not cheap and not covered by my insurance. I'm perplexed.

So, aside from not preventing disease and possibly causing death, it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility that vaccines are also behind the growing number of food allergies present in children.

I'm not getting any more vaccinations for my kids. It just seems too risky, and my children are precious to me, too precious to risk on what amounts to a giant, uncontrolled public health experiment.

Anonymous Cranberry May 30, 2013 10:07 AM  

OOps, meant to link to an article in my comment above:

http://www.foodsmatter.com/allergy_intolerance/peanut_treenut/articles/history_peanut_allergy_epidemic.html

Anonymous Anonymous May 30, 2013 10:19 AM  

"And yet, is this not the very argument that pro-vaccine arguments implicitly make when they argue that it is worth permitting some children to die in the interest of herd immunity?"

Have to admit, I don't think I've ever heard anyone make that argument, or even something that could be construed as that argument.

Anonymous Stilicho May 30, 2013 10:24 AM  

Have to admit, I don't think I've ever heard anyone make that argument, or even something that could be construed as that argument.

It's the argument they are making when they claim vaccines are worth the risk of the side effects, even when it's known that those effects have an established mortality rate. They do not make it explicitly in my experience and, if confronted with it, will claim that the mortality rate would be even higher without the vaccine.

Anonymous Anonymous May 30, 2013 10:25 AM  

"They do not make it explicitly in my experience and, if confronted with it, will claim that the mortality rate would be even higher without the vaccine."

The question is, would the mortality rate actually be higher without the vaccine?

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 30, 2013 10:35 AM  

The article states that the likely place of contraction was the HOSPITAL itself.

Another interesting note was that they "quick test(ed)" for whopping cough. No bacterial culture has been revealed.

Anonymous VD May 30, 2013 10:35 AM  

I don't think I've ever heard anyone make that argument, or even something that could be construed as that argument.

Then you haven't been paying attention. It has been made in numerous places, including the comments of this blog.

Anonymous Anonymous May 30, 2013 10:36 AM  

"Then you haven't been paying attention. It has been made in numerous places, including the comments of this blog."

True - I don't pay attention to this blog very often, so I probably missed them.

Anonymous Anonymous May 30, 2013 10:37 AM  

"Another interesting note was that they "quick test(ed)" for whopping cough. No bacterial culture has been revealed."

Well, is he a-whoopin'? Then he must have tha whoopin' cough!

Gotta love those hospitals in Arkansas.

Anonymous CLK May 30, 2013 10:39 AM  

"When my youngest was three months old, he was exposed to peanut butter by my eldest. I was concerned, but he exhibited no signs of reaction. Same as when he was six months old. But after his six-month vaccinations, he started to develop horrible eczema, diarrhea, vomiting at every feeding, and broke out in hives regularly. A consult with an allergist and skin testing revealed multiple food allergies: eggs, all dairy, peanuts and all tree nuts, beef, lamb, shellfish. I've also found out that avocado is an allergen for him too, since he vomits and gets hives whenever he's had it. I didn't know one could be allergic to meat, but feed him beef or venison, and he gets hives and vomits. Weird."

I was under the impression that for some part of the infants first months they still have the antigens etc provided by the mother - so its not uncommon for infants to be born with no allergies and then develop them over time....

Anonymous Anonymous May 30, 2013 10:43 AM  

"I was under the impression that for some part of the infants first months they still have the antigens etc provided by the mother - so its not uncommon for infants to be born with no allergies and then develop them over time...."

What are you, some kind of pro-vaccine weirdo?

Anonymous Toby Temple May 30, 2013 10:44 AM  

Nate: if someone from New York got Turrets... how would you even know?

my reaction: you would see it. its a turret.

Sigyn: FYI: Tourette's. Carry on.

my reaction: ooohhhh......

Nate: zip it skippy.

lol!

Anonymous harry12 May 30, 2013 10:45 AM  

Sigyn May 30, 2013 9:52 AM
Nate, stop being so sensitive about being corrected. You'll never grow up to be smart if you're not willing to learn.

And don't make that face at me, young man; it'll freeze that way.


+1

Anonymous VD May 30, 2013 10:55 AM  

I don't pay attention to this blog very often, so I probably missed them.

And yet you don't hesitate to comment....

Anonymous CLK May 30, 2013 10:58 AM  

What in life is 100% risk free ?...

Vaccines are right up there with sewers, refrigeration, water treatment etc of greatest inventions that improved mankind... doubled the life expectancy of humans from the beginning of the 20th century (30) to now 68...

Vaccines are 99% effective .. but that means nothing if you one of the unfortunate 1%... but that does not mean that the 99% should go without because of the 1% -- I guess that's kind of a "herd mentality" but maybe no uncommon as we all live in herds.




Blogger Nate May 30, 2013 11:05 AM  

"Nate, stop being so sensitive about being corrected. You'll never grow up to be smart if you're not willing to learn.

And don't make that face at me, young man; it'll freeze that way."

wow! the mommy hormones are kicking in! you're gonna be good at this.

Anonymous Anonymous May 30, 2013 11:17 AM  

"Vaccines are 99% effective .. but that means nothing if you one of the unfortunate 1%... but that does not mean that the 99% should go without because of the 1% -- I guess that's kind of a "herd mentality" but maybe no uncommon as we all live in herds."

I have some issues with certain vaccines myself (the autism thing, side-effects, etc.), but your point is fundamentally correct, and the question I asked above which alluded to this has gone conspicuously unanswered.

The essential fact is that vaccines have nearly eliminated a goodly number of communicable diseases that uses to be the bane of parents even into the 1960s. There's a reason we no longer hear about polio, smallpox, measles, diphtheria, etc. killing children in large numbers. That reason is because the vaccinations worked, and largely eliminated these diseases. There hasn't been a case of diphtheria in the USA since 2003, and there were only 53 between 1980 and 2003. Contrast that with the thousands who got it every year (and the hundreds who died from it) even in the earlier parts of the 20th century.

The argument that we shouldn't have vaccines because in a few cases the vaccine didn't work is simply rank stupidity, and anyone who advances it is an idiot of earthshaking proportions. It's like arguing that because 1 out of 100,000 people still get typhoid fever even after we chlorinate water, we shouldn't chlorinate water (even though, say, 100 out of 100,000 may get it then).

I agree that many of the newer vaccines on the market should probably not be there, and that the science behind both their efficacy and their safety is often questionable. However, this doesn't mean that the apparent *separate* argument being advanced by some on this blog that because a vaccine doesn't always work, it means we shouldn't use it at all, is a good argument. In fact, it's a stupid argument made by stupid people.

Anonymous JCB May 30, 2013 11:18 AM  

"She lost her right to private grief the moment that she permitted her child's death to be used as pro-vaccine attack propaganda.....

As to the mother's motives in going public, who knows? I'd be more judgmental concerning those that took advantage of her grief for their own gain."

As a father who has buried two children I've met a fair amount of people in the "grief" community. Many people (mostly women) try to deal with the loss of their child by becoming advocates for something. They may try to promote awareness (a good friend has tried to do this with CMV, which I admit I'd never heard of) or raise money for one cause or another. Most have pure intentions and simply want to honor their child's memory. Many also have the glazed over look of people on anti-depressants, an avenue my wife and I have rejected. Unfortunately, there are jackals lurking everywhere who will take advantage of these people at their most vulnerable.

There is a hit piece commercial currently running in AZ about senator Jeff Flake (who is just another neocon, but that's beside the point). They drag the grief stricken mother of a man killed in the CO theatre shooting in front of the camera to excoriate Flake for voting against additional background checks. It's a disgusting spectacle and churns my stomach. Who's funding it? Bloomberg.

So while I think the McCafferys are wrong and misguided, I can understand what they are doing. They have bought into the big lie and think they are honoring their child by becoming public figures. Watching your child die fucks with you in ways I could have never imagined. You experience depths of emotion and surges of rage I didn't know were possible. Previous moments in your life that you considered watershed events (getting sacked, a bad divorce/breakup, etc) become laughable in comparison. All that energy has to go somewhere. Some drink/do drugs, some turn to God, some become nihilists, and some become inadvertent agents of evil. So show the McCafferys their errors, but pray for them too.

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 11:35 AM  

Vaccines are 99% effective .. but that means nothing if you one of the unfortunate 1%... but that does not mean that the 99% should go without because of the 1% -- I guess that's kind of a "herd mentality" but maybe no uncommon as we all live in herds.

Bzzzt! Sorry, wrong answer. As demonstrated in the study cited above, DTaP is only 87% effective in prevention PER EXPOSURE. This does not include temporary to permanent side effects, allergies, and interactions, which means that the effectiveness is LESS than 87%.

So what's your threshold for unreasonable risk, CLK? 1 in 8? 1 in 5? Just as long as it's not you?

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 30, 2013 11:48 AM  

Vaccines are right up there with sewers, refrigeration, water treatment etc of greatest inventions that improved mankind... doubled the life expectancy of humans from the beginning of the 20th century (30) to now 68...

What do the studies say about the effectiveness of each of these advancements/how much each contributed to increased health/life expectancy?

Anonymous tiddlywink May 30, 2013 11:49 AM  

Vaccines are 99% effective .. but that means nothing if you one of the unfortunate 1%... but that does not mean that the 99% should go without because of the 1%

I wonder if one can catch something from someone talking out of their ass...?

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 11:52 AM  

I wonder if one can catch something from someone talking out of their ass...?

I don't know, but that kind of behavior tends to increase your risk of foot-in-mouth disease.

Blogger WATYF May 30, 2013 12:12 PM  

GF Dad: Scream and slump - been there, seen that. I wonder at the even greater potential my son would have had it not been for that. May God have mercy on us for our ignorance. I want to cry when I think of his nearly lifeless little body and how he wasn't the same little guy after that shot.

Which shot was that, if you don't mind me asking?

WATYF

Anonymous Stilicho May 30, 2013 12:26 PM  

The argument that we shouldn't have vaccines because in a few cases the vaccine didn't work is simply rank stupidity, and anyone who advances it is an idiot of earthshaking proportions

I have not seen that argument made. What I have seen are the arguments against some vaccines (not the ones you mentioned like smallpox and polio) and particularly against the government recommended schedule (too much too young) and against giving them to children at too young an age in general.

The question is, would the mortality rate actually be higher without the vaccine?

I expect that depends on a variety of factors including age of child, specific disease, vaccine components, interaction with other vaccines, etc. Smallpox vaccine (not that it is given to children) worthwhile, Chicken Pox, not so much (unless a child has reached an age where it could be life threatening without previously contracting it; around 12-13 IIRC).

Anonymous Concerned Rabbit Hunter May 30, 2013 12:27 PM  

"Then she went on saying my son was obviously weak and the weakest of the herd are not meant to survive, I should just get over it,"

That seems like a good argument for not vaccinating at all. Let the weakest die. The strong will remain.

Anonymous CLK May 30, 2013 1:12 PM  

"I wonder if one can catch something from someone talking out of their ass...?"

Nice and educated response Tiddly ... I did not say any particular vaccines - just in general -- hey anyone heard of small pox, polio lately ?

"What do the studies say about the effectiveness of each of these advancements/how much each contributed to increased health/life expectancy?

The fact is that over 100 years there's been a doubling of average life expectancy -- too short of time to attribute to any generic changes IMHO... its a matter of public health (water, food, sewage, shelter, energy ...) - it took improvements in these basic elements of life to get us to where we are. I don't know who would disagree --- certainly not any engineers.

Anonymous Ioweenie May 30, 2013 1:19 PM  

Signe, I appreciate the pass, since I started the misspelling train (and am usually an annoying nit picker about grammar and spelling, despite making frequent errors myself).

Ioweenie said: "Anyone familiar with the case of a dozen or so teenage girls in upstate New York who developed Turret's-like symptoms?"

Thanks for taking the fall, Nate.


Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 30, 2013 1:20 PM  

The fact is that over 100 years there's been a doubling of average life expectancy -- too short of time to attribute to any generic changes IMHO... its a matter of public health (water, food, sewage, shelter, energy ...) - it took improvements in these basic elements of life to get us to where we are. I don't know who would disagree --- certainly not any engineers.

My question remains, how much is attributable to which of the factors? e.g. Are the improvements in water, sewer, and garbage disposal responsible for x% of the increase and/or are vaccines responsible for x%?

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 30, 2013 1:22 PM  

....And I am currently engineering things mechanically as we speak (so to speak).

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 1:22 PM  

Ioweenie, I wasn't even paying attention to who misspelled it. I was just doing a Public Service Announcement. No worries.

...And stand up straight, young lady, or you'll sag.

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 1:23 PM  

...What did he put in these "supplements" I'm taking?

Blogger Nate May 30, 2013 1:24 PM  

"Vaccines are 99% effective .. but that means nothing if you one of the unfortunate 1%... but that does not mean that the 99% should go without because of the 1% "

There are places on the webs were you can make this kind of unsupported statement and get away with it.

This isn't one of them.

Anonymous tiddlywink May 30, 2013 1:28 PM  

"Nice and educated response Tiddly"

He says as he definitively proves my point.

Please show me where vaccines are proven "just in general" to be 99% effective.

Anonymous Stilicho May 30, 2013 1:35 PM  

...What did he put in these "supplements" I'm taking?

Oats

Anonymous Mudz May 30, 2013 1:41 PM  

I'm pretty dubious at the idea of keeping a disease in storage and then regularly injecting it into each new generation.

Call me crazy, but I don't think that's how you get rid of a disease.

Just to note, I am completely unaware and unmoved by the arguments of medicine, statistics and science. My position purely revolves around me because I'm awesome and that's how the universe works.

I've never been immunised, and I have the iron constitution of a Kryptonian superhero. I basically just operate on a policy of 'keep clean, and carry on'. (This whole vaccination thing just doesn't seem like the sort of thing that should be going on, it sounds like a dystopian 'dying race' deal. That's not an argument, just saying.)

Anecdotal, and completely unscientific, but that's just my thoughts. All the big problems of disease I can think of in the past seemed to be preventable by basic hygiene. (And if it isn't, then it's genetic and I can't see how a vaccination would help.)

Just my 2 cents, adjusted for tax and ignorance.

(P.S: That last unspecified lady was pretty douchey though.

But in the first quote block "has not had the strength to talk about it until now" cracked me up. I mean, is that acceptable journalism, or was Toni literally rendered physically incapable of speech?)

Anonymous Mudz May 30, 2013 1:54 PM  

I don't have kids, just by the by, which is why I've put almost zero thought into the subject. I just like waving my non-immunisation around to make the immunised people feel intimidated by my superior health. Take my contribution in that context. :P

Anonymous Jack Amok May 30, 2013 2:05 PM  

Everybody is just a pawn to the rabbit warren loving bastards. That's the problem with r-selection. Dead? Who cares, we can always make more...

Blogger James Dixon May 30, 2013 2:31 PM  

> Well, maybe WVA southerners.

Northern WVA at best. :)

Blogger Jake May 30, 2013 2:52 PM  

So the same people whose advice has resulted in epidemic surges in heart disease, diabetes, alzhiemers, obesity, cancer, etc. are telling us that to be healthy we need to let them inject us with various biological and chemical substances.

And some people believe them???

Anonymous Russ May 30, 2013 3:02 PM  

I can add an interesting data point to the immunization discussion.

I was in Pointe Noir, Congo a couple years ago during a polio outbreak. The Congolese (probabaly with some NGO input) vacinated as many people in PNR as they could. They even vaccinated all us expats with full vaccination cards.

The way it was explained is that the 'outbreak' would die out if they got the vaccination rate above 90%.

Anonymous Hong Hu Shi May 30, 2013 3:14 PM  

The fact is that over 100 years there's been a doubling of average life expectancy -- too short of time to attribute to any generic changes IMHO... its a matter of public health (water, food, sewage, shelter, energy ...) - it took improvements in these basic elements of life to get us to where we are. I don't know who would disagree --- certainly not any engineers.

As long as we're lumping things together to make them sound more important, I'd like to note that during the time period in question, the film-making industry took off. Ergo, films have improved our life expectancy. By how much, you ask? Piss off, I don't have to answer to you.

Furthermore, because Harold Lloyd, Cary Grant, and Greta Garbo were great actors, there's no reason you shouldn't be forced to watch Paulie Shore and Charro.

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 3:52 PM  

CLK, I'm still waiting for you to answer my question, but since it was poorly phrased I'll try it again:

Where would you put the threshold for a vaccine not being worth the attendant risks? 13% ineffective? 20% ineffective? Anywhere at all?

And go comb your hair. You look like a hobo.

Anonymous Dc May 30, 2013 4:11 PM  

"Just as long as it's not you?"

Knowing leftards that would be the true answer.

Blogger GF Dad May 30, 2013 4:51 PM  

@WATYF - it's been 15 years and I just didn't remember, so I called GF Mom. She remembered - MMRI with thermerisol(sp?).

Anonymous Sigyn May 30, 2013 6:43 PM  

Thimerosal.

Now clean your plate. There are starving children in China.

Anonymous Greg May 30, 2013 8:24 PM  

http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/16056/20130530/cfc-global-warming-ozone-levels-uv-radiation-skin-cancer.htm

CFC's causing global warming instead of greenhouse gasses?

Anonymous Ioweenie May 30, 2013 9:20 PM  

Sigyn -

Don't forget (to girls, when girls wore dresses) - "And don't wear underwear with holes; you might get in a car accident."

Really. Come on. Don't tell me my mom was the only mom who said that?

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein May 30, 2013 9:39 PM  

As long as we're lumping things together to make them sound more important, I'd like to note that during the time period in question, the film-making industry took off.

PORN. Is there anything it can't do?


*Ducks*

Blogger Justthisguy May 30, 2013 9:53 PM  

Don't we know that when we come out of Mom, our immune systems are not fully formed? And that it takes a while, drinking mother's milk, to get one's immune system working?

Vaccines work by "challenging", or some would say, "insulting" one's immune system. If one is a tiny baby, insulting the not-yet-completely-existent immune system with vaccines seems like lunacy to me.

Blogger Justthisguy May 30, 2013 10:02 PM  

P.s I don't believe any of that nonsense about vaccines causing autism. Some of us are just naturally strange. As I wrote before on this here blog, God made all kinds of people.

Anonymous Lana May 30, 2013 10:55 PM  

Sigyn and loweenie,

Text from my daughter on memorial day, "Finish all your beer! There are sober kids in Africa!"

Anonymous Lana May 30, 2013 11:01 PM  

I actually read this article yesterday and wondered how anyone could possibly "attack" a random, private person with a child death in the family? It made no sense. It reminded me of nothing so much as the 9-11 widows. Remember when they had all the moral authority in the world, because 9-11!!!, and no one could argue with anything they jointly proclaimed because 9-11!!!. Yeah. This is the same dang thing.

Anonymous Sigyn May 31, 2013 5:59 AM  

Ioweenie, my mom actually never said that, though I've read about it being said. Now, did you wash behind your ears?

TBG, you're going to go blind.

Anonymous Ioweenie May 31, 2013 7:49 AM  

Lana, you definitely did something right. Good work.

Anonymous CLK May 31, 2013 8:01 AM  

"here are places on the webs were you can make this kind of unsupported statement and get away with it.

This isn't one of them."

If you want to complain that that what I said was 'no shit Sherlock' and not worthy of your standards I would gladly take that criticism as I was thinking the same thing -- I often say to myself when writing a reply "what would VD say here." or " how would Nate handle this.." ... but a bit of blog self introspection is required if you think that what the majority of what is posted here (present company and our host excluded) is ever proven to any level where one would bet ones money or life or whether it could be...


"And go comb your hair. You look like a hobo." many a time Albert Einstein would find himself mistaken for a hobo .. it is the pristine book on the shelf that is never read. Is it really my fault that you cannot see past the superficial to the genius inside.. :) but feel free to stop by and give me hair advice any time you desire.




Anonymous Weary May 31, 2013 8:11 AM  

Maybe you can answer Sigyn's question now, CLK.

Anonymous CLK May 31, 2013 8:14 AM  

Sorry Weary ... you dont get a seat at that table...

Anonymous Sigyn May 31, 2013 8:30 AM  

Neither do you, CLK. Rule 2. Answer the question, please.

And tie your shoes before you trip over those laces and break your neck.

Anonymous Weary May 31, 2013 9:10 AM  

Nice crickets you got there, Sigyn.

Anonymous CLK May 31, 2013 9:30 AM  

"Vaccines are 99% effective .. but that means nothing if you one of the unfortunate 1%... but that does not mean that the 99% should go without because of the 1%"

So Risks for DTaP from CDC

Common - (.02-.25) so aprox 2-25% (fever, redness, soreness)
Uncommon -(.0000625) so aprox .006% (higher fever to seizures)
Rare - (.000001) so aprox .0001% (severe reactions up to death)

US population = 314 M - those < 5 YO is 4.6% or 21.6M,
0 to 1 = 4.2M

That means (using the <5yo numbers)

43k-5M children show mild effects (no death)
1350 show uncommon (no death)
21.6 show rare effects ( ? how many die ? ..unknown to me but assume God forbid all)

Now compare that to deaths by other natural causes in US ages (0-18) (sorry don't have time to restructure the data to 0 to 5 but I picked out those effects I think apply to young children only -- I removed things like suicide, drowning, firearms for infants)

(#) (%)
Congenital Anomalies 6,896 8.4
Neoplasms 2,302 2.8
Respiratory Disease 1,442 1.8
Circulatory Disease 1,666 2.0
Nervous System Disease 1,609 2.0
SIDS 2,453 3.0


The argument I see is one of risks and less about effectiveness (although I can see how one would argue a ratio of the two).. the risks of death from vaccines is far less than risks form other natural causes. I don't mind diminished effectiveness as such provide the risk of adverse side effect is very low but certainly at some point when the risk of disease is reduced enough that it outweighs the risks of the vaccine and the the risks of the disease itself.

Now for just the "D" diphtheria -- prior to the vaccine over 15k people died per year from "D" -- of that 3100 were in our age group (<5) -- so that's a ratio .0067 of deaths due to vaccine vs deaths without vaccine.

Now as for what is an acceptable number -- as a father of children I say 0 --- I don't want any kid to die --mine, yours, anyones .. but as a mathematician I might say that 21 deaths (and those are not all deaths) are in the statistical noise.

And before the local Jenny Mc's attack .. none of this deals with any of the claims of autism etc -- there's so far no hard data to show a relationship between vaccines and autism - I am not saying that the concern is not real, just a lack of data to do any statistics on...

I will accept no comments from anyone on actual numbers unless you provide those numbers, sources and the methodology of how the data was created --- these numbers above were gathers in a 1/2 hr search so don't go complaining to me because I am trying to get order of magnitude only ...





Anonymous CLK May 31, 2013 9:36 AM  

"And tie your shoes before you trip over those laces and break your neck."

Sorry.. only Velcro sweetie... they don't give you laces in the asylum .. we might hang ourselves.

Anonymous Sigyn May 31, 2013 11:50 AM  

Thanks, CLK. I'm glad that you agree that zero deaths should be considered the only valid outcome if options are available.

Per the CDC, only 18 people died last year of pertussis complications, apparently all of them infants too young for immunization.

If we assume that the 22 "rare" side effects resulted in deaths--all of these in children older than the ones I mentioned above--then we have what are literally 22 deaths that would not have happened without the vaccine.

In other words, the vaccine is literally more lethal than the disease. Are those 22 deaths now an "acceptable number"?

...You look cold, by the way. Go put on a sweater. You don't want to catch cold, do you?

Anonymous CLK May 31, 2013 12:21 PM  

"Per the CDC, only 18 people died last year of pertussis complications, apparently all of them infants too young for immunization."

"In other words, the vaccine is literally more lethal than the disease."

You are misinterpreting your data...if Nate was here he would say you can get away with that on some places but not here.

You got 18 because of the DTaA vaccine was (and is) use for many years ... the young get the benefit of everyone else being vaccinated and thus a overall decrease in probability of exposure. You have to go to the prevaccine data to get a useful number and adjust that date to 2013 population --- that would be 45k deaths per year in 2013 with deaths in the <5 group being almost 10k. Any time you could reduce the number of deaths by that amount(99.7% decrease in the deaths) considered a grand success. If it were breast cancer it would be called a cure.

"...You look cold, by the way. Go put on a sweater. You don't want to catch cold, do you?"

Sorry .. its 85F right now ... but keep trying my dear .. its a funny technique.

Anonymous Sigyn May 31, 2013 12:32 PM  

CLK, the effectiveness of the vaccine as demonstrated by actual real life is only 7/8. That's 83% effectiveness THIS TIME AROUND. Please stop with the "99.X percent" thing; you're not fooling anyone.

Meanwhile, the CDC estimates that 30-40% of the infant cases were exposed to pertussis by Mommy, who almost certainly was vaccinated. That "herd immunity" didn't save them.

Furthermore, I challenge your numbers on the projected deaths. You provide no sources nor methodology. Turnabout's fair play, after all.

Are you drinking your eight glasses of water a day, by the way?

Anonymous Mudz May 31, 2013 3:02 PM  

I think it's important to note that according to the CDC chart it is DTP that can be correlated with the reduction of incidents, not DTaP which was prelude to an increase. Like the OP said. So one vaccine is not equal to another.

Another note, even more important: is that the incidents looked like they were steadily climbing until mid 1930s, and then started doing a bizarre see-saw.

In fact if you actually look at how the data falls (look at the minimum points and see the curve), one can actually perceive a pattern that seems utterly unaffected by DTP.

In fact, DTP does land on a date where there were extremely low incidents, but it lands on it where it was already declining to. (Technically, it spiked right after, but that's part of the normal pattern.)

There's two ways to view that graph. One is that DTP could have stabilised the decline (which could honestly cannot be based on the graph alone), and the other is that it actually had no observable effect, but was placed near enough to a perceivable decline that one could assume a correlation.

Just my thoughts looking at that graph.

(The trends pdf on: http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/outbreaks/trends.html)

Anonymous Mudz May 31, 2013 3:18 PM  

TLDR: it looked like it was already declining without DTP.

Anonymous Mudz May 31, 2013 3:19 PM  

*could have been (it's all speculative)

Anonymous Sigyn May 31, 2013 7:35 PM  

Mudz, I had a thought, and it seems to make some sense: Merck began mass production of penicillin in 1942, which is about the time whooping cough took a strong downward trend. Treating pertussis with antibiotics shortens the infectious stage, meaning fewer people are exposed to it. Fewer exposures = fewer reported cases.

And don't sit so close to your monitor. You'll hurt your eyes.

Anonymous Mudz June 01, 2013 12:14 AM  

Haha, too late for that, lady, I was one of the 'I wonder how long I can stare into the sun' kids.

That certainly looks like a hypothesis with merit. A superficial look at the chart could suggest a steady decline beginning from around 1945, which I think is a plausible range. It could also be supposed to be from mid-30s, and the spikes are particularly massive all around that period, which is interesting.

There's a lot that could be looked into here.

I might actually try and put aside some time to do some research, cos my interest has been perked now.

It's certainly something to pose to the next doctor, or email some pathologist about.

Anonymous Mudz June 01, 2013 1:54 AM  

In fact, it looks like the most obvious decline pattern does begin right on the year 1942. Isn't that interesting?

Personally, I blame the Nazis.

Anonymous Mudz June 01, 2013 2:06 AM  

That's my way of telling you you're a genius. (Not the Nazis. The other thing.)

Anonymous Mudz June 01, 2013 5:15 AM  

Okay, so I'm going to take some time to try and compile some comprehensive research, but I'm just going to mention something that intrigues me so far:

Google DTP in the media. Look it up on CDC. And tell me if they ever give you a specific date that DTP was introduced. I've only looked briefly, but so far I haven't found any reporters who give the precise date. Notice how it's always, 'it was introduced in the 40s'. Well, yes, it was. 1949. And it took me a while to track that down on this site:

http://www.immunize.org/timeline/

Here's the list of incidents by dates on CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/surv-reporting/cases-by-year.html

And just for the hell of it, read this page under the headings Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, near the top: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00041645.htm

Notice how they tend to give such precise dates for everything but when DPT was licensed and issued? I don't mind saying it, I'm highly suspicious at the ambiguity of this simple piece of information.

Why so coy?

I would suspect they don't want to draw too much attention to it. They're also very thoughtful with their phraseology.


(Also there are other numbers on that page that are interesting too, like they manage to draw huge ratios from tiny samples. I believe I've heard this mentioned on this blog before too.)

If suspicions are to be believed, CDC too knows the ambiguity of the connection between DPT and the decline and they don't want it to be too obvious, while maintaining a safe-zone of non-absolute language.

Also, I looked up Wiki for penicillin. The first application of penicillin was in 1942, but mass-production for the civilian populace was actually by 1945 (because until then, the soldiers were the priority), which in my opinion is a strong position for the hypothesis. (I would consider anything between 1935 and 1945 a strong position for consideration.)

Also of note is that an anti-flu vaccine was produced 1942.

Anyhow, I shall continue my quest, for it is virtuous. And C.S Lewis just reprimanded me for considering playing some Quake 4 instead. I hope to turn up some interesting results.

Anonymous Mudz June 01, 2013 6:49 AM  

Though the obvious question is: Why don't they go back to DTP if it worked so well?

I suspect that if they're forced to that pass, much trouble would ensue if they don't have a reason prepared for it being ineffective, assuming it is. (Or they're waiting for the decline.)

Again, preliminary speculation.

Anonymous Sigyn June 01, 2013 8:05 AM  

Okay, I got some dates wrong. Thanks for correcting me. Better to know the truth, right?

But my theory still holds, then: Pertussis was on the ropes as of the public widespread use of penicillin, not immmunization.

Anonymous CLK June 01, 2013 12:04 PM  

Sigyn says

"Furthermore, I challenge your numbers on the projected deaths. You provide no sources nor methodology. Turnabout's fair play, after all."


I know .. its a woman thing.. my wife has the same problem admitting when she is wrong too. Its the burden of being married to an engineer .. we are hardly every wrong.

I am using CDC data --- linear extrapolation assuming constant percentages starting with data prior to introduction of the vaccine.

You asked a question - per the VD rules I answered it with real data and analysis. I have not been afforded that same courtesy.

Good luck...

Anonymous Mudz June 01, 2013 2:32 PM  

@ Sigyn

Absolutely. 1945 was my pick for maximum of the most important range for consideration. Imo, better than '42. (I've got my heart set on late 30s though.)

I don't know if one could prove it yet (history, man, it only happens once). But the downtrend can be far more plausibly attributed to it, at this point. So far as I know, it appears to be the most convincing hypothesis.

The important thing to note here, is that DPT is a loser.

It appears to have had no inferrable effect. If they didn't draw it onto the graph, you would never have suspected anything unusual had happened around 1949.

Peak numbers was 1934: 265,000

1948: 75,000

1949: 70,000

1950: 121,000

That's why they don't want to point out the date.

Anyone who says the numbers provides any support of DPT, is unfortunately wrong, or lying. It is at best, completely unproveable it did anything at all, and the most plausible bareface inference is that it didn't.

If we drew a median line, the downtrend curve begins far behind 1949.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.

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