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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Measles: the actual risks

Since there is so much ridiculous ignorance being blathered about, particularly on the pro-vaccine side, I thought it would make sense to remind everyone of the actual facts of the matter. First of all, vaccines have had even less impact with regards to measles than I'd shown yesterday, because 1912-1916 was not the peak of the pre-vaccination era. From the CDC:

1900-1909:   8377 deaths per year (average) associated with measles.
1920-1929:   6659 deaths per year (average) associated with measles.
1953-1962:    444 deaths per year (average) associated with measles.
1959-1962:    404 deaths per year (average) associated with measles.

To be more precise, lets look at the actual annual deaths recorded in the years leading up to the introduction of the vaccine. Remember that the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963.

1950: 468
1951: 683  
1952: 618  
1953: 462  
1954: 518  
1955: 345 
1956: 530  
1957: 389  
1958: 552  
1959: 385  
1960: 380  
1961: 434  
1962: 408

Obviously, the reduction of deaths from 8,377 to 408 is even better than the decline from 5,300 to 450 cited in the Oxford Journals study yesterday. That means that  95.1 percent of the decline in measles mortality had NOTHING to do with vaccination. It could not have. The vaccine had not yet been introduced.


However, even this astonishing reduction in measles mortality doesn't fully account for the reduction in risk, because the population of the USA was much larger in 1962 than in 1909. 186,537,737 in 1962 versus 92,228,496 in 1909, to be precise. So, the risk of measles mortality was 1 in 11,010 in 1909 versus 1 in 457,200 in 1962.

In other words, 97.6 percent of the population-corrected decline in measles mortality took place prior to the introduction of measles vaccination. And this was despite the fact that 90 percent of the population was infected with measles at one point or another.

It might be tempting to conclude that with a 2014 population of 318,881,992, the worst case scenario for the USA is 697 measles deaths per year. (Just to put it in perspective, this is very close to the 677 annual bicycle deaths per year.) However, this assumes medical care circa 1962, which is obviously incorrect. So, we need a proxy to provide us with an estimate how the improvement in medical technology over the last 53 years would likely affect the rate of measles mortality.

Age-adjusted death rates per 100,000 persons (standardized to the 1940 U.S. population) for diseases of the heart (i.e., coronary heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, and rheumatic heart disease) have decreased from a peak of 307.4 in 1950 to 134.6 in 1996, an overall decline of 56%

As of 2011, the age-adjusted death rate had further declined to 109.2, indicating a probable 64.5 percent reduction of measles mortality. So, the reasonable worst case scenario for a completely unvaccinated US population is 248 measles deaths per year.

And so I would ask the pro-vaccine advocate, precisely how much human liberty are you willing to sacrifice for a mere 248 deaths per year. If you're convinced that is a sufficient justification, how can you possibly justify permitting your child to be a passenger in a car, ride a bike, or even take a bath if you believe that the use of government force and the elimination of parent right to medical consent is justified in order to eliminate the 1 in 1,287,026 risk that so frightens you.

NB: "Each year approximately 800 school-aged children are killed in motor vehicle crashes during normal school travel hours." If you genuinely want to save children's lives, don't stop unvaccinated children from going to school, stop ALL children, vaccinated or unvaccinated, from going to school.

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179 Comments:

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 8:13 AM  

Can one of the more graphically oriented ilk turn this into an info graphic that can go viral?

Anonymous R Bauer February 05, 2015 8:13 AM  

Homeschool or die?

Anonymous DJF February 05, 2015 8:15 AM  

I wonder how much the decline had to do with immigration policies which prior to 1963 kept out the third world immigrants?

Blogger Nate February 05, 2015 8:16 AM  

Well... that was a bitch slapping.

Anonymous Old Man in a Villa February 05, 2015 8:16 AM  

Vaccinations, like taxes have little or nothing to do with their claimed purpose.

Being told what to do, accepting the commands of the government, compliance and social control are the ends. If the government cared a whit about public safety they would close borders.

Blogger Nate February 05, 2015 8:17 AM  

"Can one of the more graphically oriented ilk turn this into an info graphic that can go viral?"

actually a youtube penny demonstration would be idea.

the numbers involved are just to big for the average idiot to understand.

92 million just means Big Number to them. 188 million also just means Big Number.

The Fiver concept is real.

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 8:21 AM  

actually a youtube penny demonstration would be idea.

the numbers involved are just to big for the average idiot to understand.


You don't use the numbers, you use the increase.

So 92 mm to 188 mm becomes "the US population MORE THAN DOUBLED" etc

Blogger Vox February 05, 2015 8:23 AM  

Well... that was a bitch slapping.

You'd think people would learn to stop calling me out on my assertions. I never make assertions without being prepared to back them up.

Blogger Student in Blue February 05, 2015 8:26 AM  

Psh, yeah, whatever. You probably just made up those numbers, and made up whatever that CDC thing is too! You anti-science bigot!

/sarcasm

Anonymous DT February 05, 2015 8:33 AM  

My only critique is that the decrease in heart disease mortality is a terrible proxy for measles. They are fundamentally different diseases. And we have made great technological gains against heart disease while making relatively few gains against viral diseases.

Influenza would be a much better proxy for gauging health care improvements that could impact a modern measles mortality rate absent the vaccine. But unfortunately influenza mortality rates are "estimates" that are all over the place and likely exaggerated in any case.

Still, even if we assume treatment today would be no more effective then in 1962, you have quite effectively made the point. Or as Nate might say, even if you concede my complaint your post on the whole remains quite the bitch slap.

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 8:33 AM  

Can someone with a reddit account post this to http://www.reddit.com/r/theydidthemath?

Blogger Jeff Burton February 05, 2015 8:33 AM  

There is one unambiguously awesome thing about this vaccine controversy - it might take more kids out of the public schools.

I have a question for Vox, prompted by genuine curiosity and devoid of malice or concealed agenda, which vaccines, if any, do you think ARE worthwhile?

Blogger Nate February 05, 2015 8:34 AM  

Wouldn't a 1962 measels mortality rate comparison to say... the 2000 flu mortality rate be entertaining? don't like... 40,000 people die of the flue every year?

Anonymous joe doakes February 05, 2015 8:36 AM  

When I compared vaccine deaths to peanut allergy deaths, a vaccine advocate said "Yes, but a dead peanut kid doesn't kill thousands more with his allergy as the unvaccinated kid could do." I had no rebuttal . . . until now. Thanks!

Anonymous donnel February 05, 2015 8:36 AM  

Is your contention that mortality is the only risk from the measles.

Also, why are you concentrating on measles alone to make a case against vaccination in general?

Blogger IM2L844 February 05, 2015 8:37 AM  

...you use the increase.

So if you factor in the increased population, the decrease in instances of measles drops by more than 4,000% over the course of roughly 60 years all by itself? Am I thinking about this correctly? It doesn't seem right.

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 8:38 AM  

I have a question for Vox, prompted by genuine curiosity and devoid of malice or concealed agenda, which vaccines, if any, do you think ARE worthwhile?

He's answered that in a past post.

Blogger Nate February 05, 2015 8:44 AM  

" Also, why are you concentrating on measles alone to make a case against vaccination in general?"

You can actually apply this same methodology to any almost any disease of the 20th century. Small Pox... Polio... Wooping Cough... all were in epic decline before the vaccines were ever invented.

Measles is in the news so he used Measles.

Anonymous DT February 05, 2015 8:45 AM  

Wouldn't a 1962 measels mortality rate comparison to say... the 2000 flu mortality rate be entertaining? don't like... 40,000 people die of the flue every year?

The FastStats page estimates 53,826 for Influenza and Pneumonia in 2010.

I'm not sure how much faith I put into that estimate. But it is the "official" CDC position. And even if it's inflated by a factor of 10 it's still entertaining given the current drama over the measles vaccine.

Then again, it might not be a good idea to point this out to the pro-vaccination crowd. They are far more likely to push for mandatory flu shots then to recognize the error of their ways.

OpenID cailcorishev February 05, 2015 8:45 AM  

Deusberg's book on the AIDS myth is instructive on this topic. Whether or not you agree with his conclusion on AIDS (it's an old book now, so I don't know if he still does), he does a good job of exposing the medical industry's biases. Because of the early successes against some infectious diseases (the low-hanging fruit), the entire medical industry became virus-hunters, and all the funding went that direction. They even continued hunting for infectious causes of diseases like pellagra after a nutritional cause had been found and the disease eliminated. Even cancer research was largely diverted to the search for a viral cause.

That's still driving a lot of this. A new vaccine looks like a magic bullet, and it has the potential for making its discoverer famous and its owners very rich. Much better than a nutritional or behavioral solution that requires millions of people gradually to change their ways, or (God forbid) stop eating the very profitable stuff that comes in boxes and bags.

Anonymous DT February 05, 2015 8:49 AM  

Psh, yeah, whatever. You probably just made up those numbers, and made up whatever that CDC thing is too! You anti-science bigot!

Can we make the argument that measles is harder on girls then boys? If so, we can accuse Vox of being a misogynist on top of everything else ;-)

Anonymous Andrew Spooner Jr. February 05, 2015 9:03 AM  

I was citing these statistics to a friend the other day, and he brought up the associated risk of encephalitis and pneumonia resulted in further hospitalizations, death, and brain damage. I maintained that these were still so statistically insignificant in regards to the public health risk that they did not amount to a public health emergency, but I would be interested to hear Vox's take on these numbers in regards to other public safety risks.

Blogger CM February 05, 2015 9:10 AM  

I have a question for Vox, prompted by genuine curiosity and devoid of malice or concealed agenda, which vaccines, if any, do you think ARE worthwhile?

Hep B for 100% of newborns is definitely a must.

Anonymous Storm Saxon's Gall Bladder February 05, 2015 9:11 AM  

donnel, our host does not argue against 'vaccinations in general,' but against an overbearing government requirement to Obey.

Ask your doctor if vaccination is right for your kids.
If you are asking a political candidate you should probably reconsider having them in the first place.

Anonymous The Great Martini February 05, 2015 9:11 AM  

To make actual comparisons of mortality rate you would need to know national birth rates for the prior years of whatever year you're interested in. In other words, you would have to know the population of young children. When measles does kill, it's almost always at five years and under. So to compare 1900 with 1962 you would need to know how many five and unders are in each year. I tried to get Wolfram Alpha to tell me these number, but as we all know, WA is useless. I think the usual mortality rate for measles cited is 0.2%, which is way higher than even your 1909 number.

Blogger Vox February 05, 2015 9:12 AM  

Is your contention that mortality is the only risk from the measles.

No.

Also, why are you concentrating on measles alone to make a case against vaccination in general?

I'm not making a case against vaccination in general. I am responding directly to false claims that were addressed to me with regards to historical measles mortality rates.

So if you factor in the increased population, the decrease in instances of measles drops by more than 4,000% over the course of roughly 60 years all by itself? Am I thinking about this correctly? It doesn't seem right.

That is correct. It is right.

Blogger Student in Blue February 05, 2015 9:14 AM  

Can we make the argument that measles is harder on girls then boys? If so, we can accuse Vox of being a misogynist on top of everything else ;-)

Well, if women are the "primary victims in war" according to Hillary Clinton due to losing the men in their lives and having to flee their homes, it's not that much of a leap in logic to declare women as the "primary victims of measles" due to losing the men in their lives from such a dangerous, high-morbidity rate disease, and having to be locked in their homes to recover.

Anonymous Bah February 05, 2015 9:15 AM  

"I would ask the pro-vaccine advocate, precisely how much human liberty are you willing to sacrifice for a mere 248 deaths per year."

All of it, since the 248 deaths are completely preventable in exchange for a quick injection.

"how can you possibly justify permitting your child to be a passenger in a car, ride a bike, or even take a bath"

Easy. You cannot avoid riding in a car or taking a bath, but you can avoid getting measles. The bike, eh, I'm OK with banning those if that's the way you want to go.

The true cost to society of not vaccinating is not just the deaths. It is also the hospitalizations, and those affected by non-fatal long-term effects of the disease. Vaccination has a major role in cost-avoidance. (And I am sure you have noticed that the cost of medical care has skyrocketed since 1962.)

Costs to society of vaccinating: NEGLIGIBLE.
Benefits to society of vaccinating: LARGE.

I have no sympathy at all for those who won't spare their kid a week of suffering a miserable disease, even with a small chance of death, for the sake of "liberty". That's simply asinine.

Anonymous Edjamacator February 05, 2015 9:21 AM  

I have no sympathy at all for those who won't spare their kid a week of suffering a miserable disease, even with a small chance of death, for the sake of "liberty". That's simply asinine.

"That'll do, pig. That'll do."

Blogger Student in Blue February 05, 2015 9:23 AM  

@Bah
You cannot avoid riding in a car or taking a bath

Did you think about what you wrote here? You can avoid both of those two.

1) You have two legs. You can very well walk.

2) There is no one holding a gun to your head and saying you must bathe.

Ergo, you can avoid both of those things. I'm sure many homeless people have accomplished such as well.

Anonymous Quartermaster February 05, 2015 9:24 AM  

The biggest factor in the reduction of death by disease has been sanitation. Vaccination is quite minor in the regard. An effective vaccination program can decrease incidence of a given disease. It can even eradicate it (Small Pox is a good example). Some diseases, such as Cholera, are eradicated by sanitation. There is a Cholera vaccine, but disease is avoided simply by not drinking contaminated water. If you catch it you can be saved by keeping you properly hydrated, which will require an IV. The vaccine is only about 60% effective.

Anonymous Quartermaster February 05, 2015 9:27 AM  

Bash, you need to do a modicum of thinking before you those fingers flying across the keyboard. That was one of the most stupid posts I've seen on the net outside of a libtard "news" site.

Blogger Vox February 05, 2015 9:28 AM  

I have no sympathy at all for those who won't spare their kid a week of suffering a miserable disease, even with a small chance of death, for the sake of "liberty". That's simply asinine.

And I have no sympathy at all when your kind is shot in the back of the head by the monsters you empowered. Die as you lived, slave, on your knees. You are contemptible.

Anonymous Gecko February 05, 2015 9:29 AM  

Costs to society of vaccinating: NEGLIGIBLE.

Please, do go on. I look forward to finally seeing someone quantify the risks of vaccinating by actually using the scientific method.

Anonymous JJM February 05, 2015 9:32 AM  

What role does the phenomenon of mass 3rd world immigration play in all of this? Should that factor into one's decision* to have the child receive this vaccination?

*I'm treating the parental decision as a much different question / issue than that of gov't coercion.

Blogger Shibes Meadow February 05, 2015 9:34 AM  

But

also

Blogger IM2L844 February 05, 2015 9:36 AM  

That is correct. It is right.

Well then, thanks for overlooking my sloppy language. It was just the instances of measles that fell not the decrease in instances that fell.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler February 05, 2015 9:45 AM  

"Human liberty" was an innovation of the Enlightenment. Before that, it was the "common good". What your stats don't portray, is how many people were sickened and out of school due to measles. If you add "Just sick" and "stayed at home" due to measles, I bet the figures will be higher.

Vaccination against Measles means not only fewer deaths, means lesser sick days, missed school or work and prescriptions to heal the measles. Traditional Government makes decisions upon the Common Good, not on 'human liberty'. It is foolishness to base political decisions, talking of the Old Order and under prudence, to base political decisions on liberty. Most people want order, discipline and safety.

Does a measles vaccination lessen missed school days and sick children? Yes. Can a society order vaccinations? Yes. If this was an anarchist society, it can decide it doesn't want to vaccinate. It's up to the society what it wants to do. There is doctrinarianism on both sides, "You can't make me vaccinate" is as doctrinaire as "You must vaccinate your children".

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 9:47 AM  

Vox, before I make another comment on this, I want to ask something:

Why is your primary argument made with regards to fatalities, not cases of infection or other non-fatal effects?

Anonymous Native Baltimoron February 05, 2015 9:48 AM  

The rate of demyelinating encephalitis in measles cases is 1 in 1,000. In one of four encephalitis cases, permanent brain damage results. Those estimates are from the UK, and I don't know how old they are or, more importantly, for what countries they were reported, because given the ~10-15% mortality asserted, they seem inconsistent with even the early 1900s death figures (it's important to note over half of measles deaths are from pneumonia).

That being said, if encephalitis caused by measles would indeed result in 75,000 cases of permanent brain damage, I would expect that to be the main impetus for vaccination.

Adjusting for relative population, that would be something like 23,000 cases of permanent brain damage caused by measles in 1909. I don't know whether that decreased similarly to deaths pre-MMR vaccine, but I'm hoping Vox already has that data.

Anonymous Skillet February 05, 2015 9:49 AM  

The vaccine makers deserve to be questioned and doubted. Just look at the carnage caused by the Gardasil vaccine for HPV. Lots of otherwise healthy young girls are now dead or seriously disabled from a shot that claims to protect against just four strains of HPV. Several countries have put a stop to it, but the FDA still says it's ok. There's another outfit that should also be questioned and doubted.

Blogger njartist February 05, 2015 9:50 AM  

@ DT February 05, 2015 8:45 AM
Then again, it might not be a good idea to point this out to the pro-vaccination crowd. They are far more likely to push for mandatory flu shots then to recognize the error of their ways.
Best not point that out to the Ilk: the elderly are the most likely to die from the flu; and there are many here who would love to see the Boomers die! Die! Die!
/satire

Blogger Nate February 05, 2015 9:57 AM  

"What your stats don't portray, is how many people were sickened and out of school due to measles. If you add "Just sick" and "stayed at home" due to measles, I bet the figures will be higher. "

its almost impossible to track this because these records weren't kept. even hospitalization would be hard because people didn't go to the doctor for measles in the 40s and 50s... doctors came to them to limit the communication of the disease.

Anonymous Gecko February 05, 2015 9:59 AM  

If Vox were to subtract the MMR deaths, then adjust for a conservative estimate of VAERS underreporting and percentage of population actually taking MMR, the numbers would be even more insignificant. It's certainly not necessary to make his case, though.

Anonymous Andrew Spooner Jr. February 05, 2015 10:03 AM  

I've been looking for reliable numbers on the encephalitis and related infections but so far I haven't found anything to infer a reliable estimate from.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler February 05, 2015 10:07 AM  

This is the important point here: according to referenced Wikipedia, once Measles does develop in a person, it lasts 7 to 10 days.

Any organism, organization, lives on being efficient. When a child goes down with Measles, the mother has to expend extra energy to take care of a sick child. Sickness takes time and money. It also affects the poor harder than the rich. Getting sick affects the efficiency of the family, the child's learning and in large outbreaks affects society, its hospitals and public money in loss time and work.

Second, It is mentioned that 408 people died of the disease in 1962. According to a referenced line at Wikipedia "Before immunization in the United States between three and four million cases occurred a year."

That is a lot of sick children. At least three million children were sick for seven days thus affecting not only the child but the mother and probably the Father, increased doctor visits and money outlaid for relieve of symptoms.

Third is ethical. It is an easily transmittable disease. If one is unvaccinated would be a carrier to affect other people. That is unethical. The premise of "human liberty" does not void virtue nor ethics toward the good. "Human Liberty" does not void out ethics. We are responsible to our fellow kinsmen to do what is right for the benefit of the whole. When one person opts out, he threatens the good of the herd. It is unethical.

Just these two examples show the need for vaccinations against measles. It should be mandatory. I'm with Bah; I agree with his statement: I have no sympathy at all for those who won't spare their kid a week of suffering a miserable disease, even with a small chance of death, for the sake of "liberty". That's simply asinine.

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 10:08 AM  

"Human liberty" was an innovation of the Enlightenment. Before that, it was the "common good".

The basis of a democratic state is liberty; which, according to the common opinion of men, can only be enjoyed in such a state; this they affirm to be the great end of every democracy.

Aristotle, Politics, 6.2

Blogger Salt February 05, 2015 10:12 AM  

How do the numbers breakdown according to cleanliness, or perhaps nutrition, geographically?

Anonymous Gecko February 05, 2015 10:12 AM  

Vox is not claiming that there are no other factors to consider. However, you have to work with what is measurable when making comparisons.

There is a staggering lack of scientific information regarding all the potential benefits and risks of vaccination - hence the demand for proper scientific studies, which gets ignored. That alone is a valid reason for avoidance, as it is an indicator of dishonesty and ill intent.

Anonymous The other skeptic February 05, 2015 10:15 AM  

Yes, but a dead peanut kid doesn't kill thousands more with his allergy as the unvaccinated kid could do.

Surely, by the ideology of the pro-vaxxers, the unvaccinated only risk their own lives and the lives of other unvaccinated people, who are too stupid any way.

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 10:17 AM  

It should be mandatory. I'm with Bah; I agree with his statement: I have no sympathy at all for those who won't spare their kid a week of suffering a miserable disease, even with a small chance of death, for the sake of "liberty". That's simply asinine.

Do you also think we should ban schools and bicycles?

What about fast food and junk food? Guns?

Anonymous The other skeptic February 05, 2015 10:18 AM  

Third is ethical. It is an easily transmittable disease. If one is unvaccinated would be a carrier to affect other people. That is unethical. The premise of "human liberty" does not void virtue nor ethics toward the good. "Human Liberty" does not void out ethics. We are responsible to our fellow kinsmen to do what is right for the benefit of the whole. When one person opts out, he threatens the good of the herd. It is unethical.

Would you like to recast that argument in terms of uncivilized behavior, like killing white people for sport?

Racist!

Anonymous Edjamacator February 05, 2015 10:19 AM  

The premise of "human liberty" does not void virtue nor ethics toward the good. "Human Liberty" does not void out ethics. We are responsible to our fellow kinsmen to do what is right for the benefit of the whole.

So you agree with banning all unhealthy foods that can be shown to have negative effects on a child's/adult's health, which ends up costing society more in healthcare? How about all alcohol? All drugs? All activities?

When one person opts out, he threatens the good of the herd. It is unethical.

The word your kind should use is "flock," not herd.

Anonymous Mr. Rational February 05, 2015 10:26 AM  

What's not accounted for in simplistic numbers of fatalities?

1.)  Cost to families and the economy of caring for sick children, as per Wheeler above.
2.)  Cost of non-fatal complications, such as blindness, deafness and general brain damage due to encephalitis.

What's happened between 1963 and today that would make measles control far more difficult?

1.)  Jet travel, both nationally and international, is almost universally available and affordable.
2.)  Control of the border has broken down almost completely.
3.)  Internal controls such as quarantines have fallen out of favor, if not been prohibited under "civil rights".

In 1990 measles was the 12th-biggest cause of mortality worldwide.  Without vaccination, such statistics could apply to the USA.  People who advocate actions which would make this likely (or even possible) are reckless and shameless.

Anonymous Will Best February 05, 2015 10:27 AM  

@Wheeler

1) Its only an economic hit to families with no stay at home parent.

2) 7 missed days of school is trivial for a child. Parents pull their kids out of school just as long to go to Disneyworld.

3) The only people that are harmed by the transmission are those that are not immune. You seem to be implying that some people should get special privileges because they tried to get immunity and it didn't take. Those people however are just as much a free rider and danger (if not more so because they think they are immune) on the system as those that make a conscious decision not to vaccinate. And as such they are entitled to no more protection. Stop trying to give them a participation ribbon.

4) You cannot mandate voluntary action be taken to prevent injury in one area and say it doesn't apply in another area of equal or greater risk. You are being an arbitrary tyrant based on your own feel bads.

5) For all those people bringing up encephalitis stats, as a reason that Measles is more dangerous than just mortality, you have a fair point. Make sure that you compare apples to apples and include not just bike/traffic fatalities, but permanent injury as well.

Anonymous jay c February 05, 2015 10:27 AM  

W.LindsayWheeler February 05, 2015 9:45 AM

"Human liberty" was an innovation of the Enlightenment.


Lev 25:10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.

Blogger Hd Hammer February 05, 2015 10:30 AM  

Vox,
OT and not sure whether it is just my computer, but the link to Castalia House says 502 Bad Gateway. The links to the specific books at the right on VP works but not the Homepage.

Blogger IM2L844 February 05, 2015 10:31 AM  

We've become a nation of whiners that run to the emergency room every time we get a runny nose. The bar for what constitutes pain and suffering will soon be laying on the ground and hang nails will be the cause unbearable anguish and gnashing of teeth.

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 10:33 AM  

I find the comparison of death via human activity to death via disease to be somewhat disingenuous... It's an amusing rhetorical tack, but of little value for a real discussion.

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 10:34 AM  

Without vaccination, such statistics could apply to the USA.

NO THEY CAN'T. Did you even read the post?

Anonymous Toby Temple February 05, 2015 10:40 AM  

I find the comparison of death via human activity to death via disease to be somewhat disingenuous... It's an amusing rhetorical tack, but of little value for a real discussion.

That's because you are not thinking it through.

Why is death via human activity a lesser issue than death via disease when both deaths are considered preventable?

Anonymous Will Best February 05, 2015 10:40 AM  

Without vaccination, such statistics could apply to the USA.

Really? Based on what theory? I have clean water, sanitation, a temperature controlled environment, the ability to provide reasonable amounts of sterility through a W/D multiple outfits, blankets/sheets, pillows, ibprofen and other anti-inflammatories. I have or have immediate access to via the corner Walgreens all sort of topical creams, wound dressings, disinfectants. I have grocery stores with thousands of products to push a high nutrient diet. Including organic berries in the dead of winter with all their nutrients and antioxidants. I have antiboitics on hand in the off chance there is a secondary infection. I have a doctor I could see within a couple hours if an emergency, and if I can't wait that long a hospital less than 2 miles away.

How exactly, do you figure my risk is the same as somebody living in some third world shithole?

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 10:41 AM  

How exactly, do you figure my risk is the same as somebody living in some third world shithole?

I think you need to check your privilege...

Anonymous Lysander Spooner February 05, 2015 10:43 AM  

"The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue,
if you don't vaccinate your chilllren we will shit on you."

-Hitlery Clit-Ton

Anonymous The other skeptic February 05, 2015 10:43 AM  

Mr Ignorant said:

In 1990 measles was the 12th-biggest cause of mortality worldwide. Without vaccination, such statistics could apply to the USA. People who advocate actions which would make this likely (or even possible) are reckless and shameless.

So how do you account for the reduction in mortality from Measles in the US prior to the introduction of vaccines?

Moron!

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 10:46 AM  

Human activity serves many benefits. Becoming sick does not.

I find the more accurate comparison is that a same parent is going to have his children wear helmets while riding bicycles; if you support vaccination, then of course you have to support wearing bike helmets.

But mostly this is just people taking Vox's original comment, a refutation by proxy, and applying it en masse. His original point was good, the subsequent ones not so much.

Blogger Frank Brady February 05, 2015 10:46 AM  

Josh asked earlier if there was a graphic that would display data related to Vox's point. There is.

Go to http://blog.drbrownstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Vaccine-graph-us-deaths-1900-19651-1024x636.jpg for the kind of graphic

Blogger Frank Brady February 05, 2015 10:47 AM  

Josh asked earlier if there was a graphic that would display data related to Vox's point. There is.

Go to http://blog.drbrownstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Vaccine-graph-us-deaths-1900-19651-1024x636.jpg.

Forgive the double post.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler February 05, 2015 10:49 AM  

A good society is based on Wisdom and the use of the prudence. Wisdom would say, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". So on basis of "human liberty", some children will be able to have seven days of agony where 1 in 1000 will incur brain encephalitis. That's great.

An ounce is more preferable to a pound. Yes?

Yes, Josh, the Renaissance resurrected democracy labelled republicanism. At Politics VI, ii, 4, Aristotle writes that "...since it is expedient to be in a state of suspense and NOT to be able to do everything exactly as seems good tone, for liberty to do whatever one likes cannot guard against the evil that is in every man's character".

That is the argument du jour against Libertarianism. Aristotle also classifies democracy as the worst form of government and his best form as Mixed government, i.e. true republicanism. Aristotle, like his teacher Plato, states, the excess of liberty turns the people into slaves for they become slaves to their passions. All things in nature have limits and so philosophy, taking its teaching from Nature, teaches that limits are good and healthful. What does Wisdom teach? That is the question.

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 10:52 AM  

Wheeler my point was that you were wrong about liberty being an invention of the enlightenment.

Blogger Sioux February 05, 2015 10:53 AM  

I just had this discussion with my daughter in New Zealand - she had her first baby and probably only baby. She worries about the complications from the measles and other diseases that can cause death or impairment. Very very rare, she admits, but doesn't want to take a chance with her one and only babe. This is not a rational thought, but rather a deep feeling which no numbers will help change. She trusts the NZ govt. more than she trusts the American one, and that's why she is there and not here.

Be that as it may, the point is that with real numbers such as what Vox has posted here, parents have true "informed consent" to make a decision whether or not to vaccinate for measles. The Govt. and Big Pharma have to lie to make their case - and then resort to force if you don't comply. That is what I despise with every fiber of my being.

Blogger CM February 05, 2015 10:53 AM  

Ugh... without forced vaccinations, how many of the population get vaccines? How much has that varied after the celebrity autism stuff (not counting delayed vaccination)? Has it varied so greatly and gone up so much that we feel a need to throw government force behind an action the vast majority of Americans participate in?

Blogger Vox February 05, 2015 10:55 AM  

I find the comparison of death via human activity to death via disease to be somewhat disingenuous... It's an amusing rhetorical tack, but of little value for a real discussion.

It has obviously escaped your attention that the entire topic of death via disease is nothing but pure rhetoric. The discussion is not and never was dialectic.

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 10:55 AM  

I think Wheeler is confusing Liberty with Libertarianism.

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 10:57 AM  

In the mainstream, yes, but here? This is one of the few places where I can find at least a few people who aren't one or another brand of extremist on the issue.

It wasn't your use of it that bothered me, but the subsequent parroting of it as a response to every objection.

Anonymous Anonymous February 05, 2015 10:58 AM  

Wisdom has taught me that the cost of vaccinating children is very high due to the gift of endless medical bills it keeps on giving. I erased my longer rant, which is what I will usually do here, as I don't have time for lengthy arguments. Some of the people commenting here remind me of the movie Hot Fuzz, wherein the people in the village are trying to maintain an outward utopia at all cost, and they quite creepily keep muttering, "The greater good! The greater good!"

Blogger Vox February 05, 2015 11:01 AM  

Why is your primary argument made with regards to fatalities, not cases of infection or other non-fatal effects?

Because that was the argument the other side was making. How often do I need to point out to you would-be critics that when I am RESPONDING to an argument that someone else is making, I always do so ON THE PRECISE SAME TERMS THEY WERE UTILIZING.

If you have a problem with those terms, then take it up with them. Not with me. I get very tired of Moron A making stupid and fallacious argument A, I disprove stupid and fallacious argument A, then Moron B comes up and starts complaining that I am wrong because I haven't addressed stupid and fallacious argument B.

No, I'm not wrong in that case. BECAUSE ARGUMENT A IS NOT ARGUMENT B. Twelve years and people still can't figure that out. I may need to revise MPAI to MPAFI.

Blogger Vox February 05, 2015 11:02 AM  

In the mainstream, yes, but here?

Yes. This post is the detailed expansion of a post yesterday that was addressing a moron who was attacking me on Twitter.

Blogger Nate February 05, 2015 11:06 AM  

"I think Wheeler is confusing Liberty with Libertarianism."

Wheeler had developed a bad habit of picking up the goal posts, throwing them into the truck and driving off with them.

Blogger Nate February 05, 2015 11:07 AM  

"I may need to revise MPAI to MPAFI."

I support this change.

Blogger Josh February 05, 2015 11:12 AM  

I may need to revise MPAI to MPAFI.

Hell yes.

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 11:12 AM  

Just to be clear, I'm "pro-vaxx" in that I support their use personally, not in that I support mandatory use. I just wanted to be clear on what stance you were taking.

My issue with the "measles vs bicycles" comment is not that you used it on Twitter to confound some moron, but that people in the comments keep using it as if it's some sort of grand argument against vaccination generally.

Anonymous Lysander Spooner February 05, 2015 11:20 AM  

MPAFI = Most People are "FREINDLY" Idiots

;) ;)

Anonymous robwbright February 05, 2015 11:22 AM  

A problem with "death by measles" is that it seems that no one has an actual definition for it. People don't generally die from measles, but rather from a complication related to measles. But here is how various studies have defined "death by measles":

"Seventeen studies provided a definition of measles death with most considering a measles death to be any death within 6 weeks (45 days) of rash onset excluding accidental deaths. Three studies used a 30 day limit, whereas another considered 60 days; all four excluded accidental deaths. Two studies employed a more restrictive definition including deaths that occurred within 45 days of rash onset with diarrhoea, dysentery and/or respiratory problems. One study included cases where measles was listed either on the death certificate or clinical signs within 3 months of death from a parental interview. One study considered a measles death to be any death that occurred after a measles complication (diarrhoea, pneumonia, otitis media, encephalitis or haemorrhagic rash). One study restricted measles deaths to those within 15 days of onset of rash. Two others stated that only acute deaths from measles were considered from death records where measles is presumably listed as the primary cause of death and one used only verbal autopsy. One study exploring the longitudinal impact of measles infection used a wide definition, including cases that died up to 3 years after infection...

Conclusions: Values for measles CFRs remain imprecise, resulting in continued uncertainty about the actual toll measles exacts.

http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/38/1/192.full

Which explains how the WHO and CDC can claim that measles had a 65% mortality rate in 1980 (WHO and CDC repeatedly cite 2.6 million deaths in 1980. The below linked article says there were around 4 million cases of measles in 1980. Thus, they're claiming a 65% mortality rate.)

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110525/full/473434a.html#B1

Note that some vaccine safety studies stop following the kids after 3 or 4 days or a week or two and issue that arises after that time is discounted as not related to the vaccine. But when they're attempting to determine whether the disease killed anyone, then their standard might be "... any death within 6 weeks (45 days) of rash onset..."

Blogger Nate February 05, 2015 11:27 AM  

"Note that some vaccine safety studies stop following the kids after 3 or 4 days or a week or two and issue that arises after that time is discounted as not related to the vaccine."

and in many instances reactions to vaccines are discounted because they happened seconds later.

Anonymous Toby Temple February 05, 2015 11:27 AM  

Human activity serves many benefits. Becoming sick does not.

Someone has no idea about the simple health benefits of being sick.

Ever wonder how people become immune to measles without vaccines?

Anonymous Dan in Tx February 05, 2015 11:28 AM  

I just get the feeling that all this genning up hysteria about measles is nothing more than an attempt to bump the stock prices of the pharmaceutical companies.

Anonymous patrick kelly February 05, 2015 11:34 AM  

"people in the comments keep using it as if it's some sort of grand argument against vaccination generally."

They did this first in response to a rather idiotic attempt at rebutting an argument Vox didn't even make, the argument was not presented as grand at all as nothing grand was necessary to bitch slap the idiot.

I doubt any of the posters of arguments about voluntary activity considered those arguments to be some profound, all encompassing smack down of vaccine use.

Please accept my humble suggestion to at least read all the posts involved before performing Pavlovian jumping to conclusions.

Blogger Vox February 05, 2015 11:38 AM  

My issue with the "measles vs bicycles" comment is not that you used it on Twitter to confound some moron, but that people in the comments keep using it as if it's some sort of grand argument against vaccination generally.

It is an effective rhetorical and logical response to a common rhetorical argument. One thing that you will learn is that we are, for the most part, Aristotelians here. If you seek dialectical discourse, you will find it. If you are limited to the rhetorical level, you will be responded to on that level. And if you try to switch between one and the other in a dishonest attempt to avoid losing an argument, you'll be ruthlessly exposed.

The reason fatalities are so often used is, as in the case of crime, they are more easily tracked. It's not possible to reasonably compare cases of brain damage in 1910 vs 2010, and anyone who claims to be able to do so is not being honest.

Anonymous patrick kelly February 05, 2015 11:38 AM  

"Ever wonder how people become immune to measles without vaccines?"

This, with other diseases also.

Ever notice when reading the description of the mildest version of symptoms infected may have might hardly even be noticed or identified as the disease? People who contract that version, maybe due to better immune system condition, nutrition, hygiene etc. still get the benefit of immunity and may never be aware they had the disease.

Blogger Hoots February 05, 2015 12:07 PM  

The rate of uptake of the MMR vaccine should also be considered. According to UK data (can't find US data) the percentage of vaccinated individuals hovered around 50% until the 1980s, during which time Measles incidence (to say nothing of mortality) effectively dropped to zero. The hysterical notion that anything less than 100% uptake is risky is, well, nothing more than hysteria.

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 12:09 PM  

@toby/Patrick - if only there were a way to get the benefit of antibodies without the cost of actually getting sick...

In all seriousness, yes, getting sick serves the indirect purpose of developing antibodies... Heck, even not really getting sick can do that if your immune system is up to snuff. But vaccines, working as intended, give that benefit without the risks.

This is the reason that I have reservations about the flu vaccine... It's known to only be somewhat effective, and getting a different strain while your immune system is handling the vaccine puts you at risk.

@Vox - that's why I'm commenting here, and not somewhere else. Even when I vehemently disagree with you or someone else, it's engaging.

Anonymous DavidKathome February 05, 2015 12:20 PM  

Another aspect of natural immunity versus vaccination which is now being explored...it has been discovered that for some diseases like chicken pox, adults who had it as children actually get a boost of immunity when their own children catch it and the parents are exposed. Effectively each generation catching the disease provided benefits to older generations. Vaccinations have now interrupted that cycle. In the long term vaccinations may cause more harm than good.

Anonymous Stilicho February 05, 2015 12:22 PM  

OT: from Obama's National Prayer Breakfast:

"Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ," Obama said. "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

"So it is not unique to one group or one religion," Obama said. "There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith."

Obama called for all people of faiths to show humility about their beliefs and reject the idea that "God speaks only to us and doesn't speak to others."

Anonymous Toby Temple February 05, 2015 12:25 PM  

But vaccines, working as intended, give that benefit without the risks.

Not always. As for me, the mmr vaccine failed me. My parents paid for the cost and yet I got measles, mumps and rubella as I grew up.

So you could end up thinking you are immune even when you are not.

So might as well get it young, enjoy staying at home being treated and spoiled by your parents for several days while your classmates go to school and become permanently immune.

Anonymous DavidKathome February 05, 2015 12:26 PM  

For those who still think measles is highly dangerous, I can remember when it was no big deal. Parents simply kept their children at home until their child recovered. Catching measles was like catching the flu only you had bad rashes and only go through it once. Imagine for a moment a vaccine is developed for the common cold, and now imagine yourself 50 years in the future listening to hysteria on TV and the internet that not enough people are getting vaccinated against the cold and 70 children have caught the cold at Disneyland. If you can imagine how ridiculous that would look to you, great, now you see how I look at all this.

Blogger Salt February 05, 2015 12:30 PM  

IIRC, I was taken to a chicken-pox or measles party when I was 6 or so. Got that one over with.

Blogger William Hughes February 05, 2015 12:37 PM  

The issue I care about is state enforced vaccination. The numbers regarding measles mortality are fascinating and comparing small risks is always a fun reveal of what people find important. The quantified risks clearly do not justify collective enforcement of vaccination against measles, easily shown since actions against other similar risks are also not collectively enforced.

As real risk rises, more and more people might consider enforcement reasonable. At what level of preventable mortality would we consider enforcement?



Anonymous Dan Melson February 05, 2015 12:43 PM  

This is known as telling the truth, but not all of it. Perhaps you might research the public health methods they used that were so successful. Not exactly unobtrusive, and given the civil liberties and legal climate of today, not likely to work or to be effective (at least not until enough government officials lose someone to plague). Given the choice of that or vaccine, I know which choice I'll make for myself and my family.

Anonymous Vaccine myth denier February 05, 2015 12:45 PM  

"Perhaps you might research the public health methods they used that were so successful. Not exactly unobtrusive, and given the civil liberties and legal climate of today, not likely to work or to be effective (at least not until enough government officials lose someone to plague)."

Standard rabbit ploy. Sow seeds of doubt but not actually link to what you are claiming they did.

Dishonest.

Anonymous patrick kelly February 05, 2015 12:48 PM  

"Perhaps you might research the public health methods they used that were so successful."

You mean something like quarantine? Which in this case is keeping your kid home from school....oh the horror....

Anonymous Edjamacator February 05, 2015 12:52 PM  

This seemed interesting, and on topic. More numbers to check out.

Anonymous clk February 05, 2015 12:52 PM  

VD say "The discussion is not and never was dialectic."..

... thats the most right statement in the whole thread ... the rest of your analysis, the math is simple .. what it appears to show .. I dont really know .... but the cold hard numbers are that on either side "the concern" is an insignificant number of deaths or even adverse effects (either by measles or by side eftects of vaccine) when compared to other causes of death/injury etc. With a population of >300 M, the death of a few hundred is really just mathematical noise .. until your numbers that approach some percentage of the replenish rate it really has not effect ... But when it becomes your child.. its real ... and on both sides you have real parents trying to do what they think is best .... The corp medical vaccine industry .. not so sure.. like most capitalists they care about profits and losses. Politicians.. we know what they care about...

But for me... I think the most interesting thing is the sudden decrease in measles after the 1930's --- what sort of inputs can be driving this ? .. you might think to give credit to improvements in medicine and medical technology, but there are a lot of other potential drivers --- for example a change in demographics of the family --- multi generational to single families, movement from the citys to post WW2 suburbs. In the early 1900's there were also great strides in public infrastructure that accellerated during the depression and then after WW2 ... In fact ... it looks like the data on measles decrease generally fits the introduction and the expansion of chlorine in public water treatment much better than the introduction of the vaccine.

Now if we really are going to argue about vaccines its has to be for a disease thats a real high precentage mortality killer ..the flu ? .. no thanks .. I could use a few days off anyway... cancer ... thats a vaccine I might agree to.

Blogger Karl February 05, 2015 12:55 PM  

Something about this issue really struck a nerve with a lot of conservatives in the U.S. The following was written by Megan McArdle, supposedly a right-libertarian. People lost their minds this week about it. People who, I had thought, were able to rationally discuss issues totally flipped their shit.

I'm not saying that we should force parents to vaccinate their kids at gunpoint. On the other hand, we might treat vaccines the way we treat drunken driving or car insurance. You have the perfect right to drive your uninsured automobile -- on your own property. I doubt the cops are going to come after you for a DUI on your own back 40, either. But when you enter into public space, you have an obligation to protect others from the possible consequences of your actions: You can't drive recklessly, you can't drive without liability insurance, and you cannot drink a fifth of scotch and then get behind the wheel of a car.

So say to parents: You have a perfect right not to vaccinate your children, and we will not force you. But unless you have a vaccination certificate, a letter from a doctor explaining that your child falls into a small number of well-recognized medical exemptions, or a testament from your minister that vaccinating violates the tenets of a church of which you are an active member, failing to vaccinate your child also means failing to qualify for any public benefits for those children. No tax deduction. No public school, college or municipal activities. No team sports that practice on public land. No federally subsidized student loans. No airplane rides for anyone under 18 unless the TSA gets an up-to-date vaccination certificate. If you will not help society protect itself, then society will deny its help to you, and it will do its best to keep your child out of crowded spaces where they might infect someone.

Is this coercive? Of course. So is putting some stranger -- often an infant, by the way -- at risk of disease and death. Some level of coercion is necessary to protect public health. It is coercive to force you to pay for an expensive sewer hookup rather than dump your waste into the nearest cistern or river. It is also unfortunately necessary to keep cities from becoming death traps. We should try to minimize the coercion as much as possible, which I think this does: If you want to home-school and keep to yourselves, you are free to risk the lives of your own children. But you're much less free to put others at risk.

Blogger JaimeInTexas February 05, 2015 12:56 PM  

Sioux, re. your grandchild

What we did was to vaccinate our 4 children on our schedule. The thought of injecting biological/chemical agents designed to effect (shock?) a immune response in the body in such large and fast schedule was and is crazy.

If the child is to be vaccinated, wait several weeks or months before another vaccine. Try to vaccinate against one disease at a time if at all possible. Demand no mercury in the preservative.

And have your daughter to talk with the doctor about dosage. I think that vaccines use the same dosage for children as the adults. I do not buy that it does not matter.

Other vaccines we did only when the College or school required it, without the ability for conscientious objection, and we had to make a decision whether to vaccinate or quit school. Of course, at this point we advised.

The point about getting a boost from your children illness was interesting. I had Measles and Chicken Pox when I was a child and last year I came down with Shingles. Boy, Shingles is something!

Blogger Vox February 05, 2015 12:58 PM  

@Vox - that's why I'm commenting here, and not somewhere else. Even when I vehemently disagree with you or someone else, it's engaging.

Good. I neither want nor expect everyone to agree with me. I'm not entirely sure that is even theoretically possible, given the range of IQs and logical capacities here.

Having constant critics keeps you honest, if nothing else. Not that I'm often tempted to shade the truth, but on the rare occasion that it crosses my mind, I just laugh. What is the point? It won't hold up anyhow.

Anonymous patrick kelly February 05, 2015 12:59 PM  

@Karl

Thanks for another example of why women shouldn't vote.

Blogger Salt February 05, 2015 1:04 PM  

But when you enter into public space, you have an obligation to protect others from the possible consequences of your actions:

Peanuts. Peanuts are deadly I was told @Twitter. Banned from schools. For the kids safety. Yet the idiot who told me this is fine with them in public, as they are not illegal.

How the stupid does burn.

Anonymous Daniel February 05, 2015 1:15 PM  

I'm pretty sure that brain damage from measles has increased exponentially since the introduction of the vaccine. How else do you explain people this slow?

Anonymous clk February 05, 2015 1:18 PM  

"Peanuts. Peanuts are deadly .."

So what my moral obligation to avoid something that is legal and healthy because there is a small percentage of people whom are allergic.... sure I dont want to see anyone die on my account but if we look across the spectrum of allegies and banned all things that people can be allegric to it doesnt leave too many choices...

Its not that much different for the vaccination (assuming the risks and rewards are real) -- whats the obliogation for one parent to risk vaccination side effects in thier healthy kid against a normally non life threatening illness that can be life threatening in a small percentage of other children ... whats the moral call here ??? Does scripture give any guidance ?

Anonymous Will Best February 05, 2015 1:31 PM  

failing to vaccinate your child also means failing to qualify for any public benefits for those children. No tax deduction. No public school, college or municipal activities.

Except you can't force people to pay for things that you prohibit them from using. If we lived in Megan's world, I would be forced to not vaccinate my children simply because I would get 90% of my property tax dollars back, and somewhere around 60% of my state income and sales taxes along with a fair percentage of my federal tax obligation.

That is just too much money for me to pass up considering the triviality of the restrictions she is placing.

Anonymous BoysMom February 05, 2015 1:32 PM  

I think I could live with banning unvaccinated kids from public schools. I wonder if the public school system could?
Maybe we should support that. (FWIW, every family I've known that didn't vaccinate was home schooling already.)

Anonymous Anubis February 05, 2015 1:36 PM  

Hell illegal alien drunk drivers kill more americans in 2 weeks than avg of the 10 years before the vaccine came out, going by the last year record where kept its probably worse now.

Anonymous rtp February 05, 2015 1:40 PM  

Just in case anybody missed by total demolishing of the case for *all* vaccines. Here it is again:

The following pretty much destroys any notion that vaccines have served any purpose (well any good purpose anyway).

Disability rates for the US as per the US census data:

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v18n6/v18n6p20.pdf for 1954 (ie pre-widespread use of vaccines) and http://www.census.gov/people/disability/publications/sipp2010.html (Table A-4) for 2010

Showing a tenfold increase in the rate of disabilities since the widespread use of vaccines. And before you come up with a straw man, I am not saying disabilities necessarily *caused* this astronomical rise, merely that they have, at the very least, been useless at preventing it.

Healthcare expenditure data: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1200478

Showing a fourfold increase in the US as a per cent of GDP (it is 3 fold for the UK and Australia).

Infectious disease mortality rates pre and post-vaccination: www.childhealthsafety.com/graphs

This is more than sufficient to prove that they are all worthless but the following quote is pertinent.

http://www.cdc.gov/.../pubs/surv-manual/chpt07-measles.html

"To minimize the problem of false positive laboratory results, it is important to restrict case investigation and laboratory tests to patients most likely to have measles (i.e., those who meet the clinical case definition, especially if they have risk factors for measles, such as being unvaccinated, [...]"

Just to demonstrate precisely what has happened: we don't have any measles/polio/diphtheria/Hib etc cases because - and only because - doctors refuse to diagnose these diseases when they see it and instead diagnose something else (you can easily google the name of the original disease and differential diagnosis to see what they get renamed as). That is why they haven't led to any real world benefits.

For example measles vaccine was supposed to reduce the amount of encephalitis. It has not.

Polio vaccine was supposed to reduce the number of crippled children. There is no evidence for this.

Rubella vaccine was supposed to reduce the number of children born with defects. Congenital defects have risen massively.

Hepatitis vaccines were supposed to reduce the rate of liver disease. They have not.

Hib was supposed to reduce meningitis, pneumonia, sepsis, airway obstructions. It has done none of those things.

They are the greatest lie in history. None of them work. None of them could work. A ridiculous and dangerous answer to a question that nobody should have ever asked. We all have c100 trillion bacteria/viruses etc on and in us all the time. The notion that preventing a dozen of them (even assuming that were possible) through vaccines is like taking a bucket, dipping it into the ocean, pouring the contents onto land and declaring the days of drowning to be behind us.

Anonymous rtp February 05, 2015 1:43 PM  

And for all those who claim that their dangers are nothing more than equating correlation with causation, in medicine there is a principle called challenge, dechallenge, rechallenge which is considered beyond all reasonable doubt 'proof' of causation of medicine and side effects.

There are many, many such cases of vaccines and autism symptoms (as well as other reactions). So that is sufficient proof there.

And what is more, not one vaccine defender here or anywhere on this planet will do what would have been done for *any* other consumer product whose safety was questioned and taken a dose of the infant immunisation schedule (weight adjusted) for themselves.

If people won't put their money where their mouths are you can be 100 per cent certain they are lying.

Oh and by the way Vox.

Thank you. You are amazing.

Anonymous Carlotta February 05, 2015 1:59 PM  

How can an UNvaccinated kid kill anyone who is vaccinated if vaccines work? Why take them except to be around UNvaccinated and ill people?

Ask the idiot to explain why you get a vaccine to begin with.

Anonymous Anubis February 05, 2015 2:02 PM  

"And we have made great technological gains against heart disease while making relatively few gains against viral diseases."

Is this still the 80s where AIDS was a death sentence? Today there are gays that get HIV on purpose, called bug chasers, so they can sit around on social security disability and post SJW stuff online when not having sex. Lets extrapolate AIDS survivability out 60+ years to get your data.

"How exactly, do you figure my risk is the same as somebody living in some third world shithole?"

3rd world comes to you. 3rd worlders say whites shower too often. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/naya-rivera-showering-every-day-is-a-white-people-thing-9976829.html

Vaccine companies do horrible jobs at expressing risk. If the Gardasil vaccine was given to all girls and 3 a year dropped dead as soon as injected it would be an appropriate risk for girls, but too high a risk to give to boys.

Anonymous wEz February 05, 2015 2:04 PM  

After reading many quality comments both pro and against vaccines, I must ask, is there any current, ongoing, non-biased, double-blind longitudinal studies that will hopefully help shed some light and evidence either way in due time?

Anonymous Carlotta February 05, 2015 2:05 PM  

Bah are you for a woman's right to chose an abortion?

Anonymous Carlotta February 05, 2015 2:19 PM  

No wez. Don't you find that strange? No matter how many times people ask for it.

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 2:25 PM  

@rtp - Well, since you managed to bring your (mis)information dump over to this comment thread, I'll just respond to it in full here


Just in case anybody missed by total demolishing of the case for *all* vaccines. Here it is again:

***The following pretty much destroys any notion that vaccines have served any purpose (well any good purpose anyway).

Disability rates for the US as per the US census data:

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v18n6/v18n6p20.pdf for 1954 (ie pre-widespread use of vaccines) and http://www.census.gov/people/disability/publications/sipp2010.html (Table A-4) for 2010***


Response: You are comparing apples to oranges here. The first paper gives the definition of "disabled" as "as used here, refers to those persons
of all ages who, because of some physical or mental disease or impairment, have for more than 6 months been unable to work or to follow other normal activities-such as keeping house or attending school-"

The second section of papers has a huge range of definitions as listed here: http://www.census.gov/people/disability/publications/disab10/figure_1.pdf

Comparing these numbers is actually pointless.


***Healthcare expenditure data: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1200478

Showing a fourfold increase in the US as a per cent of GDP (it is 3 fold for the UK and Australia).***


What does this have to do with vaccines? Vaccines are cheap. Most of this expenditure, as *noted on the site*, can be linked to medicare medicaid.


***Infectious disease mortality rates pre and post-vaccination: www.childhealthsafety.com/graphs***


Uhhhh, that's mortality rate *from contracted diseases*. Vaccination is intended to prevent people from contracting a disease, not prevent the disease from killing them.


This is more than sufficient to prove that they are all worthless but the following quote is pertinent.

***http://www.cdc.gov/.../pubs/surv-manual/chpt07-measles.html***


Your link is broken, so I can't comment on this.


***For example measles vaccine was supposed to reduce the amount of encephalitis. It has not.

Polio vaccine was supposed to [snip]***


Do you actually have any data to support these assertions?


***They are the greatest lie in history. None of them work. None of them could work. A ridiculous and dangerous answer to a question that nobody should have ever asked. We all have c100 trillion bacteria/viruses etc on and in us all the time. The notion that preventing a dozen of them (even assuming that were possible) through vaccines is like taking a bucket, dipping it into the ocean, pouring the contents onto land and declaring the days of drowning to be behind us.***


No. Go read about probiotics and the difference between bacteria and viruses. This entire paragraph is just nonsense.

Anonymous Carlotta February 05, 2015 2:26 PM  

Just something interesting to note. I had both chicken pox and measles growing up. I have also had every vaccine due to an old job.

All my pregnancies I have been pushed to be revaccinated. I explained that I have immunity. It always came back from the lab work I had no immunity.

This last pregnancy all my children had the chicken pox, yet again I was told to revaccinate and that my titer was too low....while being around a bunch of other people daily with it and not coming down with it.

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 2:26 PM  

@wez/Carlotta - It's not really that strange. Most of these vaccines were developed several decades ago, so "ongoing" or "present" studies aren't going to exist.

Anonymous JK February 05, 2015 2:28 PM  

Vox,
(I am asking sincerely) Now you are apparently against Measles vaccines due to probability factors but in your post Saturday, November 23, 2013
Mailvox: a more reasonable vaccine schedule, you advocated the measles vaccine at walking age. Has your stance on the tetanus vaccine stance changed as well or is it the same?
I am working on the pre-vaccine era (1947-49) probability of 1 in 190,000 (CDC) risk factor of an unvaccinated <= 5year old contracting tetanus with a 1 in 790,000 of death an essentially zero chance of sequelae in survival. Considering your proxy of improvement of healthcare (56%)in the ensuing years the odds seem OK for me to leave my 5 year old boy who 3 days got a large splinter in his foot and me verbal barage from the GP; unvaccinated.
What say you and the ilk?

Anonymous Peter Garstig February 05, 2015 2:34 PM  

Worth noting is that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program lists a total of 76 deaths claimed to be related to measles vaccinations since 1989, which is 5 per year. Don't make the mistake to compare this 5 with the 408 of 1962 - for obvious reasons, they are not comparable. Don't make the mistake to compare those numbers to the So whoever said vaccinations have negligable cost is certainly wrong.

OpenID cailcorishev February 05, 2015 2:43 PM  

wEz, you can't do double-blind studies of vaccines, because everyone knows they're critical to health, which means it would be unethical to make people be unvaccinated without their knowledge.

Anonymous jay c February 05, 2015 2:55 PM  

@JK

Since you asked the Ilk...

Did Vox say he is against the Measles vaccine? He might have, but I don't recall reading that in this thread.

Anonymous wEz February 05, 2015 2:59 PM  

Ok, thanks for clarification S1AL. Hopefully some are in the works. As health, truth, accountability, and transparency are what the advocates and professionals seek right?

Anonymous Donn February 05, 2015 3:08 PM  

Doesn't all this apply to the draconian measures school and public facilities take towards food allergies especially peanut allergies. I'm sure more people die from almost anything you care to name than peanut allergies. I'll bet choking on nuts kills more kids than the allergy.

Anonymous wEz February 05, 2015 3:15 PM  

Then Im sure there are people that opt-out and have done so all along, that would freely volunteer to be part of a large study. Even if it's not double-blind, they could still get up-to-date results of such a study and supply them to general public over time. I mean, what do they have to lose other then billions of dollars if the results don't go their way?

Anonymous JK February 05, 2015 3:15 PM  

@jay C

Yes, you are right, he is definitely against, mandatory vaccination, and he is has not said he has changed his mind, and that is why added the word apparently, because it seems that way to me.
But...having been here a long, long time, I have not seen it happen much. The odds of it happening are probably much lower than 1 in 190,000...
I guess it is interesting in some way to know what known odds we all are willing to run against essentially unknown odds (no double-blind, placebo-contolled, vaccination sequelae studies). Maybe I have lower thresholds than Vox i.e. I will run the odds lower when faced with unknown, knowing that I trust my God for the outcome.
Be interesting though to ask the ilk: What odds are your threshold? 1 in a million? one in 500,000 in 1 on 10,000,000? Everyone has their price surely, even the pro-vaxxers.
So how about you Jay C? To voluntarily not vaccinate, what odds of non-contraction, non-death, non-sequelae?
And you Vox?

Anonymous JK February 05, 2015 3:23 PM  

I should add that I am not making this a competition and that I am better than anyone or Vox, or anything like that. My post kind of sounds pompous. Sorry about that. I am very interested though. cheers to all.

Anonymous wEz February 05, 2015 3:33 PM  

Yep, vaccines are so critical to health, cailcor. So much so that everyone I know that hasn't been vaccinated is perfectly healthy. Our 2 1/2 year old (completely non-vaccinated) has been sick twice in her life with a normal cold and otherwise completely healthy. I havent got a booster for nearly 20 years and I haven't gotten even the flu once.
Now I will admit, there are lonely nights where I imagine what if my daughter was vaccinated, what if I allowed them to pump this shit into her system? My golly she probably wouldn't have been sick at all yet!!
And to everyone who thinks I'm a monster for not vaccinating my child... go fuck yourselves. I don't care, nor worry, or give a shit about you and your own familys' personal decisions.

Anonymous Vaccine myth denier February 05, 2015 3:35 PM  

"Perhaps you might research the public health methods they used that were so successful."

Usually, what this means when it comes from the mouths of people like S1AL et all is "I don't actually understand it but someone said it or I read it somewhere" and I am parroting it here.

If they understood it they would be able to explain it, n'est-ce pas?

Blogger CM February 05, 2015 3:36 PM  

Jay c and jk,

From the Nov ''13 post, it appears that his position was he and his vaccinate certain vaccines that they find necessary (Tetanus being a necessary and flu an unnecessary per that post). And absolutely not to the US vac schedule.

No to mandatory/state required (and even medically enforced) vaccinations.

I don't know if measles was in the Nov '13 post. I didn't read it closely.

As to tetanus and walking age, I thought the risk was rusted debris (not wood splinters...though there are metal splinters). I waited a while to vaccinate tetanus because we don't have high risk for it in our home.

However, the more time we spend at my parents', the more risk I incur for pushing out tetanus, so environment should affect when you decide is best to vaccinating for tetanus.

Anonymous jay c February 05, 2015 3:48 PM  

@JK

The question is more complicated than that. If you are only talking about measles and not influenza or any of the myriad other virii, then odds of contraction are irrelevant. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't vaccinate my son at all regardless of the odds of contracting the disease. I don't think it's a serious enough disease to spend a lot of time worrying about it.

Anonymous jay c February 05, 2015 3:48 PM  

Maybe I should ahve said the question is *simpler* than that...

Anonymous DT February 05, 2015 3:59 PM  

Anubis February 05, 2015 2:02 PM - "And we have made great technological gains against heart disease while making relatively few gains against viral diseases."

Is this still the 80s where AIDS was a death sentence? Today there are gays that get HIV on purpose, called bug chasers, so they can sit around on social security disability and post SJW stuff online when not having sex. Lets extrapolate AIDS survivability out 60+ years to get your data.


The tools we have to fight HIV are not all applicable to measles.

Note that I am not saying Vox is wrong in his prediction that measles mortality, absent vaccine, would be lower today then in 1962. Simply that we cannot estimate how much lower by looking at heart disease mortality rates. I don't think HIV would be a good proxy either.

Anonymous Vaccine myth denier February 05, 2015 4:05 PM  

Seen somewhere else:

"I remember Tom Wolfe’s essay about all the diseases that were eradicated by modern hygiene coming back in the late 1960’s at places like Woodstock. Gotta love the natural life…"

Anonymous JK February 05, 2015 4:21 PM  

@Jay C

Arguable whether measles is not serious or not. I would say so. I still don't vaccinate. So pick another disease that is polio, tetanus, whatever, then give me your threshold odds for not voluntarily vaccinating, or if you like, the reverse, the threshold odds for vaccinating.
You'd have to have your price Jay C.

Anonymous Custodi February 05, 2015 4:40 PM  

Vox, even if you were responding with rhetoric, if you look at the twitter comments, you are the one that lept from "health risk" to "death".

Anonymous rtp February 05, 2015 4:46 PM  

“Response: You are comparing apples to oranges here. The first paper gives the definition of "disabled" as "as used here, refers to those persons
of all ages who, because of some physical or mental disease or impairment, have for more than 6 months been unable to work or to follow other normal activities-such as keeping house or attending school-"

The second section of papers has a huge range of definitions as listed here: http://www.census.gov/people/disability/publications/disab10/figure_1.pdf”

I already responded to this. Even if you only use the figures for “severely disabled” in 2010 (for those between 6 and 14) you still get a five fold increase. You are welcome to say “oh but that still isn’t exactly apples to apples”, but it is *your* assertion that vaccines work not mine. You need to be able to support this assertion. I am merely providing data that might otherwise corroborate your claim and in actual fact it appears to show the opposite.

“Comparing these numbers is actually pointless.”

So is comparing the number of polio cases when all cases were diagnosed clinically to today when all cases *must* be confirmed by laboratory. But for some reason you are perfectly comfortable with doing that. Why the hypocrisy S1AL? Are you just fundamentally dishonest?


“What does this have to do with vaccines? Vaccines are cheap. Most of this expenditure, as *noted on the site*, can be linked to medicare medicaid.”

We have been told that vaccines have led us to a wonderful health utopia. That is the propaganda. Ergo it stands to reason that they should have been followed by a decrease in overall health expenditure. Clearly they have not. Of course the increase in spending is due to a large number of factors but on what grounds could you claim that vaccines should lead to a reduction in future spending as many do? If you want to say it should only make a difference ceteris paribus that might be ok but it just goes to show that whatever benefit they have had or are expected to have is trivial.

What is more, the increase in healthcare expenditure corroborates the disability data suggesting that we have been getting sicker as the number of vaccines rises. As I said before, correlation doesn’t prove causation, but if the correlation runs the opposite way it was supposed to, how on earth can you maintain the line that they have done any good?

But you say nothing about this do you S1AL? You just think that your position should be the default one and you don’t have to provide any evidence for it.

“Uhhhh, that's mortality rate *from contracted diseases*. Vaccination is intended to prevent people from contracting a disease, not prevent the disease from killing them.”

Que? I don’t think you understand it. It doesn’t show the mortality rate per disease but per person.

“Your link is broken, so I can't comment on this.”

Why didn’t you just comment on the quote? Anyway here is an unbroken link http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt07-measles.html


“Do you actually have any data to support these assertions?”

It is *your* assertion S1AL. You want us to believe that vaccines work and yet here you are in such a pathetic position that you throw your hands up and say “well you can’t put the burden of proof on me because then I would have no chance would I?”


“No. Go read about probiotics and the difference between bacteria and viruses. This entire paragraph is just nonsense.”

As I said previously, the bacteria on and in us includes those that are considered pathogenic such as Hib, diphtheria, e coli, etc. No idea what you mean by difference between bacteria and viruses. Are you saying that we *never* have viruses in us unless we are sick?

Anonymous Will Best February 05, 2015 4:46 PM  

Doesn't all this apply to the draconian measures school and public facilities take towards food allergies especially peanut allergies. I'm sure more people die from almost anything you care to name than peanut allergies. I'll bet choking on nuts kills more kids than the allergy.

Seems a bit different to me. If somebody in your school gets the measles, and you are vaccinated your odds of getting measles are quite small. Your odds of death or serious injury are insignificant. By contrast, everybody with a peanut allergy has a nontrivial risk of serious injury (anaphylaxis).

Also, there is a difference in what you are being asked to do. If the school mandates you get a vaccine, you are having to engage in an action with permanent and irreparable consequences of unknown risk. Whereas if the school mandates that you not bring peanuts into the school, you are being asked to refrain from doing something that will have no lasting harm to your child.

Lastly, school districts opt for the ban because the alternative would be to either provide vouchers for those with peanut allergies or assume the risk of exposure while the child was in their care, a choice it need not make with respect to protecting the unvaccinated children whose parents voluntarily assume that risk.

Anonymous rtp February 05, 2015 4:52 PM  

"wEz, you can't do double-blind studies of vaccines, because everyone knows they're critical to health, which means it would be unethical to make people be unvaccinated without their knowledge."

What absolute rubbish. You could use that argument to justify the mandating of any kind of snake oil you liked. I come up with a potion *guaranteed* to make everybody smarter, faster and better looking and tell everybody not to test it because that would just waste time getting it out to people who so desperately need it.

At any rate you have no idea what you are talking about. Clearly been brainwashed by government/pharma company propaganda. Vaccine manufacturers regularly use non-vaccines as controls despite their self-serving protestations that to do so would be "unethical". The Gardasil vaccine didn't have a vaccine as a control. But here's the thing - it *still* wasn't inert. They used aluminium salts in the control (actually there was a saline control but its results were obscured because the very small saline group were mixed in with the large aluminium group).

And there other cases of vaccine manufacturers using completely different vaccines as controls (ie vaccines for different diseases).

In short, the only consistency in the tests is that they injure enough children in the control cohort to artificially make the new vaccine look comparatively safe.

To put it another way they deliberately inflict grievous bodily harm upon children in order to make profits.

Each and every single last one of them should be executed.

Anonymous rtp February 05, 2015 4:57 PM  

“Response: You are comparing apples to oranges here. The first paper gives the definition of "disabled" as "as used here, refers to those persons
of all ages who, because of some physical or mental disease or impairment, have for more than 6 months been unable to work or to follow other normal activities-such as keeping house or attending school-"

The second section of papers has a huge range of definitions as listed here: http://www.census.gov/people/disability/publications/disab10/figure_1.pdf”

I already responded to this. Even if you only use the figures for “severely disabled” in 2010 (for those between 6 and 14) you still get a five fold increase. You are welcome to say “oh but that still isn’t exactly apples to apples”, but it is *your* assertion that vaccines work not mine. You need to be able to support this assertion. I am merely providing data that might otherwise corroborate your claim and in actual fact it appears to show the opposite.

“Comparing these numbers is actually pointless.”

So is comparing the number of polio cases when all cases were diagnosed clinically to today when all cases *must* be confirmed by laboratory. But for some reason you are perfectly comfortable with doing that. Why the hypocrisy S1AL? Are you just fundamentally dishonest?


“What does this have to do with vaccines? Vaccines are cheap. Most of this expenditure, as *noted on the site*, can be linked to medicare medicaid.”

We have been told that vaccines have led us to a wonderful health utopia. That is the propaganda. Ergo it stands to reason that they should have been followed by a decrease in overall health expenditure. Clearly they have not. Of course the increase in spending is due to a large number of factors but on what grounds could you claim that vaccines should lead to a reduction in future spending as many do? If you want to say it should only make a difference ceteris paribus that might be ok but it just goes to show that whatever benefit they have had or are expected to have is trivial.

What is more, the increase in healthcare expenditure corroborates the disability data suggesting that we have been getting sicker as the number of vaccines rises. As I said before, correlation doesn’t prove causation, but if the correlation runs the opposite way it was supposed to, how on earth can you maintain the line that they have done any good?

But you say nothing about this do you S1AL? You just think that your position should be the default one and you don’t have to provide any evidence for it.

“Uhhhh, that's mortality rate *from contracted diseases*. Vaccination is intended to prevent people from contracting a disease, not prevent the disease from killing them.”

Que? I don’t think you understand it. It doesn’t show the mortality rate per disease but per person.

“Your link is broken, so I can't comment on this.”

Why didn’t you just comment on the quote? Anyway here is an unbroken link http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt07-measles.html


“Do you actually have any data to support these assertions?”

Here is one for liver cancer http://news.cancerconnect.com/liver-cancer-incidence-is-on-the-rise-in-the-united-states/

At any rate it is *your* assertion S1AL. You want us to believe that vaccines work and yet here you are in such a pathetic position that you throw your hands up and say “well you can’t put the burden of proof on me because then I would have no chance would I?”


“No. Go read about probiotics and the difference between bacteria and viruses. This entire paragraph is just nonsense.”

As I said previously, the bacteria on and in us includes those that are considered pathogenic such as Hib, diphtheria, e coli, etc. No idea what you mean by difference between bacteria and viruses. Are you saying that we *never* have viruses in us unless we are sick?

OpenID cailcorishev February 05, 2015 5:03 PM  

Then Im sure there are people that opt-out and have done so all along, that would freely volunteer to be part of a large study.

Right, they could, but I was answering your question of why they don't do double-blind. Studies where people are self-selected are often pretty worthless, and rarely convince people except when they're backing up the status quo. Even if you found that unvaccinated people are healthier, there would be so many other correlations you would have to try to rule out. Maybe those people also tend to eat better, because they don't have that extra sense of "protection," or just because they're obviously more proactive about their health. Maybe they come from healthier families, so they haven't seen as much illness and don't feel the same need for protection. And so on. People who didn't want to believe it still wouldn't, and would simply assume you were missing something. That's how it works with all the studies that show a grain-heavy diet is bad for you, for instance -- must be some other factor; it couldn't be that.

By the way, I hope my facetiousness was clear when I said "everyone knows" vaccines are essential for health. (As far as I can tell, if "everyone knows" something important, it's most likely false.) That's what people in the industry think, though, so to them, putting people in a double-blind study where people think they're getting vaccinated but some of them aren't would be like consigning some of them to die.

Blogger Allan Davis February 05, 2015 5:08 PM  

Someone mentioned calculating the odds, and the odds of something more deadly than flu or measles, like, say polio.

What are the odds of being exposed to polio? Well, considering the WHO declared it wiped out in this hemisphere years ago, pretty slim.

But, if we move beyond that, and lightning strikes and you *are* exposed, now you're dead, right? Horribly fatal crippling polio?

Actually, 90% of those exposed to polio show little or no symptoms. And more than 98% of those exposed come out of it with no permanent damage.

All of that combined leads me to believe that the chances of my kids being crippled or killed by polio are extremely slim, provided that we reduce exposure by staying away from other countries where it's more prevalent (easy) and staying away from others who might be carrying it (also relatively easy, since my kids are homeschooled).

On the other hand, what are the odds of being injured by the vaccine itself? Practically every case of "polio" in the US for the last several years has been attributed to the vaccine and not the disease, so there is a non-zero chance getting polio from the vaccine. And there is a non-zero chance of reactions to the vaccine in general.

I'm a writer and photographer, not a math geek; I don't know the actual probabilities that go along with these numbers. But just guesstimating between the two, it sure seems to me that the risks of the disease are far outweighed by the risks of the vaccine. I can reduce exposure to the disease to almost nothing--provided I don't go out of my way and force exposure to the disease by getting the vaccine itself.

-=ad=-

OpenID cailcorishev February 05, 2015 5:19 PM  

What absolute rubbish. You could use that argument to justify the mandating of any kind of snake oil you liked.

Sigh. I guess I should have used sarcasm tags. I was explaining the thinking of "medical" "professionals," not making an argument. As far as they're concerned, the effectiveness of and need for vaccines is settled science -- you know, like evolution and climate change -- and it's only disputed by a few nutballs -- people so loopy they probably shouldn't be allowed to decide such things for themselves anyway. So they would consider withholding a vaccine from a person without his knowledge to be nearly the equivalent of secretly injecting him with the disease in question.

Anonymous rtp February 05, 2015 5:32 PM  

Sorry. I misinterpreted cail

Although for those who are keen to make this argument the information I provided is still pertinent.

Anonymous jay c February 05, 2015 5:51 PM  

@JK
So pick another disease that is polio, tetanus, whatever, then give me your threshold odds for not voluntarily vaccinating, or if you like, the reverse, the threshold odds for vaccinating.
You'd have to have your price Jay C.


Maybe I would, but I couldn't give you a specific number, because I don't know what it would be. I'd consider the severity of symptoms, communicability, mortality rate, lifestyle considerations, etc. I haven't given it enough thought to say that any particular combination of statistics would convince me that vaccination is a good idea or necessary. I don't think it's necessary for most diseases regardless. Because of the lack of reliable data, in the cases of those diseases I would consider vaccinating against, it would probably come down to my gut.

All of which is mildly interesting material for speculation, but the real question is at what point would I consider forcing other people to vaccinate their children. Probably none. If vaccination works, then why should I try to force it on anyone outside of my own house? If the government would keep its nose out of healthcare, my neighbors' health would be their own business, and none of mine.

Blogger S1AL February 05, 2015 6:02 PM  

To bad I never said that, though it's a policy I practice.

OpenID cailcorishev February 05, 2015 6:41 PM  

Rtp, no problem; if two people here misunderstand me, I probably really was unclear.

Anonymous JK February 05, 2015 7:37 PM  

@Jay c
Then you must either use another argument besides probability to not vaccinate or just use a gut feeling or go by Vox's calculations. But what I am asking is hardly out of context as this whole post (and yesterday's) revolves entirely around probability.
So you don't have to answer but you know that there is a point at which you will vaccinate, you have said as much, but whether you are too lazy to, or the numbers too big or whatever, you choose not to.

Anonymous jay c February 05, 2015 8:30 PM  

Nonsense. I can use any combination of probability and gut feeling I care to. That's how people survive walking across the street. They weigh vectors, velocities, & past experience and then they go with their gut. No computers. No actuarial tables. Just on-the-spot brani power and instinct. Most of the time, it works out fine.

Anonymous Donn February 05, 2015 8:51 PM  

Non trivial risk. Fewer than three hundred people die from all food allergies in the US every year. I can't think of a less trivial danger.

If a kid has a deadly allergy to peanuts maybe his parents should tell him not to eat peanut products. Or perhaps keep him home until his parents can be sure he won't stick peanuts in his gob.

Anonymous Mr. Rational February 05, 2015 10:05 PM  

Without vaccination, such statistics could apply to the USA.

NO THEY CAN'T.


Of course they can.  It wasn't biology that changed between 1913 and 1963.  If social restraints snubbed the spread of measles before the vaccine in 1963, and those social restraints have all been degraded or eliminated, eliminating vaccination will lead straight to epidemics once more since the biology remains the same.

Medical treatment and public sanitation are confounding factors in fatality rates, of course.  Sulfa drugs arrived in 1935.  Water treatment got better overall throughout the USA.  These will change the rate and outcome of e.g. secondary infections.

Did you even read the post?

Do you even try to think about causation?

The graphic of US fatality rates by disease shows a general decline over time, but the one for diptheria takes a particularly steep dive after the vaccine arrived in 1920.  In 20 years fatality rates fell an order of magnitude, much more quickly than the rest.

Anonymous Mr. Rational February 05, 2015 10:06 PM  

I have clean water, sanitation, a temperature controlled environment...

Now imagine hundreds or thousands of people with developing infections touching door handles, counters, items on store shelves, shaking your hand, sneezing in your immediate vicinity....

You have to realize that your level of preparation puts you in perhaps the top 1% in the USA.  Think ghettos and barrios.

Anonymous Mr. Rational February 05, 2015 10:08 PM  

how do you account for the reduction in mortality from Measles in the US prior to the introduction of vaccines?

Public sanitation, active surveillance and quarantines.  Only one of which works very well any more, and can break down at any time if incompetence is unleashed upon it via e.g. Affirmative Action.

Moron!

Yeah, a nurse with a developing case of ebola gets on a plane and flies from Texas to Cleveland and back, and one index case of measles leads to infections in a score of states due to lax vaccination... and anyone who suggests this problem can easily balloon if the right measures aren't taken is a "moron", according to you.

Anonymous Rhys February 05, 2015 10:50 PM  

I posted it to reddit: ( http://www.reddit.com/r/theydidthemath/comments/2uy5cq/offsite_vox_day_does_the_math_on_the_actual_risks/ ) to see what happens.

For future reference Josh it takes two seconds to create a new reddit account - no email required, just a username and six digit password.

Anonymous DT February 05, 2015 11:35 PM  

Mr. Rational February 05, 2015 10:08 PM - Yeah, a nurse with a developing case of ebola gets on a plane and flies from Texas to Cleveland and back, and one index case of measles leads to infections in a score of states due to lax vaccination... and anyone who suggests this problem can easily balloon if the right measures aren't taken is a "moron", according to you.

No doubt that the number of measles cases could "balloon" relative to the almost non-existent number now.

However, you said: In 1990 measles was the 12th-biggest cause of mortality worldwide. Without vaccination, such statistics could apply to the USA.

There would have to be a major break down in health care and infrastructure for measles to rise to the #12 spot on the U.S. mortality list, particularly in light of the number of people who are vaccinated. A break down so severe that we would clearly have worse problems, such as the immediate and direct effects of the nuclear war or asteroid impact that led to it.

Anonymous JK February 05, 2015 11:37 PM  

@Jay C
You just said the same as what I said! Now you're just running away. Accept that If there was a 10:1 chance your kid would get polio, tetanus, measles or whooping cough with a resultant even money chance of whatever threatening sequelae the diseases have you would fight me to the top of the queue and be done with it.
Admit that all of us anti-vaxxers are running on probability whether we work the numbers or run on gut feelings like you. Sheesh.

Anonymous DT February 05, 2015 11:41 PM  

There would have to be a major break down in health care and infrastructure for measles to rise to the #12 spot on the U.S. mortality list, particularly in light of the number of people who are vaccinated.

Just to clarify that I realize you said "without vaccination", which I assumed to mean everyone stops getting the measles vaccine right now. That would still leave plenty of vaccinated people.

But even in a hypothetical, alternate history America which never had the vaccine, measles would not get close to #12. Look at the numbers posted by Vox. Again, there would have to be a civilization crippling breakdown in services for measles to become truly dangerous in America, even in an America that never had a vaccine for it.

Anonymous JK February 05, 2015 11:54 PM  

actually I am not anti-vaccine I am pro-vaccine science for sure. Just to clarify that point. Stupid comment.

Anonymous The other skeptic February 06, 2015 12:00 AM  

Mr Irrational Moron seemed to say:

how do you account for the reduction in mortality from Measles in the US prior to the introduction of vaccines?


Public sanitation, active surveillance and quarantines. Only one of which works very well any more, and can break down at any time if incompetence is unleashed upon it via e.g. Affirmative Action.


Of course, what you fail to realize is that the vast majority of white people are not troubled much by measles ... we shrug it off.

All those other people who have high levels of mortality from measles have things we don't have:

1. Poorer sanitation,
2. Poorer nutrition,
3. No reduction of the susceptible through past deaths and thus removal of the genetically susceptible from the gene pool.

We no longer need quarantine and it looks to me like nutrition will hold up for a while yet.

Blogger Sioux February 06, 2015 12:02 AM  

JaimeinTexas: Thanks for all your tips and insight - I sent your remarks on to my daughter. The little guy had another round of shots on Monday (he is 5 months now), and he has been out of sorts all week.

I had all the common childhood diseases back in the '50s (two kinds of measles, mumps twice, chicken pox). Toughens you up. A few years ago I had the shingles, too, and as you say, not fun. I was forced to have the flu vaccine from 2009 until 2012 as a condition of remaining employed. If I had any other option for work, I would have resigned. Crazy Times!

Anonymous map February 06, 2015 1:36 AM  

I suppose it's too much to ask for the link to that data?

:)

Blogger JCclimber February 06, 2015 2:52 AM  

How many children die each year after picking up a disease like influenza or cold virus from daycare?

I think we should make it illegal to dump your unwanted infant or toddler off on a bunch of strangers to raise while you go to work.

Blogger Vox February 06, 2015 4:25 AM  

Vox, even if you were responding with rhetoric, if you look at the twitter comments, you are the one that lept from "health risk" to "death".

No. You didn't look at the cartoon, which was what prompted my going into the details.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler February 06, 2015 5:42 AM  

On an historical note about vaccination battles, in the colonies and England there was a strategy to deal with smallpox. They would take string, run it thru the sore of somebody's smallpox and then inoculate healthy individuals by running the string, infected with smallpox, thru their skin.

In the small towns of New England, village selectmen would decide to inoculate or not to inoculate. Protestant preachers preached that it was sinful to be inoculated, for if you were to die, you were supposed to die. In one incident, the radical revolutionaries, Ethan Allen and Dr. Thomas Young, staged an inoculation in the town of Salesbury, CN against the village selectmen. It was an act of rebellion and of revolution. Dr. Young inoculated Ethan Allen. (This is laid out in Matthew Stewart's Nature's God, pg 39f)

Dr. Young brandishing his lancet, lanced a drunk and loud Ethan Allen in the public square and then ran a thread bathed in smallpox festering pustule from another individual.

So, 200 years ago, to inoculate was a revolutionary idea and now 200 years later, revolutionaries carry and do the opposite thing of resisting inoculation. The moral of the story? Revolutionaries are never happy. They swing from one extreme to the next extreme. It is interesting to note that Ethan Allen, Dr. Young, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson all rejected Christianity in their early youth, around the ages of 10 to twelve. Very highly intelligent, bibliophiles, (except Ethan, all he had was the Bible), precocious individuals. I noticed the same paradigm of most of the Enlightenment sophists, all very young men, highly intelligent--running off in tangents before their twenties or at their twenties.

It is just very interesting that vaccination or not to vaccination grabs revolutionary/rebel attention.

Anonymous Custodi February 06, 2015 6:25 AM  

Vox, the New Yorker cartoon that also doesn't mention death?

Anonymous Rhys February 06, 2015 6:46 AM  

I posted this on reddit per Josh's request (for future reference making a reddit account takes 2 seconds) and so far this is the only response:

This is a great assessment of the morality case for allowing opt-outs, but it fails to take into consideration those who contract measles and do not die. On average there were 503,282 cases of measles per year between 1958 and 1962, or 279.6 cases per 100,000 people per year. Compare that to 1998 when only 89 cases were reported, or an incident rate of .03 cases per 100,000. While Vox Day notes that excess mortality has decreased substantially, rates of contraction are wholey seperate from any medical improvements made over the last 50 years -- kids will still get sick, and they will still suffer for a period of time before their immune system defeats the disease and they recover. Pro-vaccination parents want to protect their children from preventable suffering -- and death isn't the only down-side to childhood diseases

And the thread has been downvoted at least twice and upvoted once and is sitting on 0 karma. I won't post the link since my two previous comments were ate by blogger but search for vox day measles on reddit and you'll probably find it.

Blogger CM February 06, 2015 8:02 AM  

While Vox Day notes that excess mortality has decreased substantially, rates of contraction are wholey seperate from any medical improvements made over the last 50 years -- kids will still get sick, and they will still suffer for a period of time before their immune system defeats the disease and they recover. Pro-vaccination parents want to protect their children from preventable suffering -- and death isn't the only down-side to childhood diseases

Caring for sick babies sucks. But forcing vaccinations doesn't prevent your kid from getting sick.

I have to deal with rounds of illness with my daughter about twice a year... and they last for weeks. Her brother comes home, takes a nap and is fine. And there are no vaccinations for them.

Anonymous White on White February 06, 2015 10:45 AM  

failing to qualify for any public benefits for those children. No tax deduction. No public school, college or municipal activities. No team sports that practice on public land. No federally subsidized student loans. No airplane rides for anyone under 18 unless the TSA gets an up-to-date vaccination certificate. If you will not help society protect itself, then society will deny its help to you, and it will do its best to keep your child out of crowded spaces where they might infect someone.

Her entire rant is based on her belief in the benevolent and necessary power of the State. She is simply another Statist who is fearful and faithless, seeking to live in a risk-free Utopia, like her fearful, fantastical fascist and marxist comrades.
Her defense of two planks of the Commie Manifesto are duly noted, and her ideas about property to boot.

Were she to believe in freedom, she would ignore this issue and be on a constant rant about how none of the things she believes to be "public benefits" is any of the governments' damned business.
She is fearful of a world without the progressive income tax, government schooling and the TSA to fondle white grandma and child at the airport.
How very Progressive of this 1913, John Dewey conservative.

Piece of propagandizing rat filth.

Anonymous Monkey Virus Culture February 06, 2015 11:58 AM  

that vaccination or not to vaccination grabs revolutionary/rebel attention

No, you Authoritarian knee bender. Jesus =/ the State.

It grabs the attention of parents who are more concerned about their children than anyone else is concerned about their children.

Especially considering the lack of science regarding the claims and the "information outlets" propaganda and money at the back of the Authorities (revolving door Corporate State).

It grabs the very attention of those interested in the well being of their children, science, money, authority, propaganda, results, nature, liberty, and most important of all - the Truth.

Anonymous Redditcommander February 06, 2015 2:25 PM  

This is a great assessment of the morality case for allowing opt-outs, but it fails to take into consideration those who contract measles and do not die. On average there were 503,282 cases of measles per year between 1958 and 1962[1] , or 279.6 cases per 100,000 people per year. Compare that to 1998 when only 89 cases were reported, or an incident rate of .03 cases per 100,000. While Vox Day notes that excess mortality has decreased substantially, rates of contraction are wholey seperate from any medical improvements made over the last 50 years -- kids will still get sick, and they will still suffer for a period of time before their immune system defeats the disease and they recover. Pro-vaccination parents want to protect their children from preventable suffering -- and death isn't the only down-side to childhood diseases.

Anonymous rtp February 06, 2015 4:40 PM  

Reddit,

The other affliction that measles supposedly caused was encephalitis. The evidence for this is non-existent of course but let's just take it as given.

It follows then that if the measles vaccine actually provided any benefit then rates of encephalitis should have fallen significantly since the MMR right?

Has it?

And you can do the same thing for the rubella component. We were told that rubella was responsible for a great number of congenital defects (congenital rubella syndrome (CRS)). Now we are told that CRS has fallen because we no longer diagnose rubella. But has the rate of congenital defects fallen?

If it hasn't (and it hasn't - it has risen) then what must we conclude? Well there are two options aren't there? Either the vaccine is completely useless and we just stop diagnosing CRS and blame congenital defects on something else, or CRS was never the massive issue we were told it was. (Or both).

Either way we have been lied to.

Anonymous rtp February 06, 2015 4:48 PM  

S1AL?

Any response?

Anonymous The other skeptic February 06, 2015 11:23 PM  

From: The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century

He believes that there has been an unprecedented improvement in health in the United States since about the middle of the eighteenth century, associated primarily with a rise in real income.

I guess we can look forward to that changing as we return to third-world incomes for the majority of people in the US.

Anonymous The other skeptic February 06, 2015 11:46 PM  

Any response?

I think he ran away.

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