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Monday, May 11, 2015

No, Virginia, vaccines are not safe

As I keep pointing out to little avail, to claim that vaccines are either intrinsically safe or intrinsically unsafe is to miss the point entirely:
Mexico's public health system has suspended infant vaccines after two babies died and 29 were sickened in an impoverished community.

Six of the 29 babies are in grave condition after receiving vaccinations for tuberculosis, rotovirus and Hepatitis B, which are generally administered between 0 and 6 months, according to a national schedule. The cause of the adverse reactions is not known, the Mexican Institute for Social Security said Sunday.

The institute said it stopped vaccines nationwide on Saturday as a precaution.
To even attempt to discuss "vaccine safety" as a single, uniform subject is blitheringly stupid. I am neither an "anti-vaxxer" nor a "pro-vaxxer", I simply believe that each vaccine, each combination of vaccines, and each vaccine schedule need to be considered separately, and to take the age, size, and risk profile of the recipient into account. People seem to understand that holistic "car safety" is a not a meaningful subject when contemplating the difference between the crash tests of an old Pinto and a modern Humvee, so it's bizarre that they insist on lumping a single tetanus vaccine for a 200-pound adult in with a series of shots given to a 12-pound infant under the single topic of "vaccine safety".

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31 Comments:

Blogger Josh May 11, 2015 8:23 AM  

What percentage of the pro vax crowd can even get the current US vaccine schedule right?

Blogger Tiny Tim May 11, 2015 8:44 AM  

If you believe vaccines are pushed on us by our government because they care about you and they want you to live happy, healthy and productive lives, then you are a moron who will believe anything.

Blogger Tiny Tim May 11, 2015 8:45 AM  

And fluoride is in our water because the "powers that be" want us to have bright, white teeth.

What a joke.

Anonymous p-dawg May 11, 2015 8:59 AM  

It's a pretty smart way to shut down debate. It allows vaccine defenders to shift the debate depending upon your line of attack by pretending that all vaccines are equal when it suits them.

Blogger Josh May 11, 2015 9:11 AM  

I really want some pro vaxxer to point out that Virginia is not Mexico...

Anonymous Stephen J. May 11, 2015 9:22 AM  

I was just about to note that if we're talking Mexican vaccines I *might* consider other factors first when evaluating their risk level.

Blogger Guitar Man May 11, 2015 9:24 AM  

Mexico has the balls to do what America hasn't. I applaud them for that. The HPV vaccine has killed about 100 girls, yet the government keeps pimping out the goods to unsuspecting people.

Anonymous CunningDove May 11, 2015 9:29 AM  

Stephen J. May 11, 2015 9:22 AM
I was just about to note that if we're talking Mexican vaccines I *might* consider other factors first when evaluating their risk level.


Other factors like, "each vaccine, each combination of vaccines, and each vaccine schedule need to be considered separately, and to take the age, size, and risk profile of the recipient into account."

Yes, those might be some good factors to take into account.

Blogger D. Lane May 11, 2015 9:47 AM  

It isn't bizarre at all. If the average person has difficulty grasping basic economic concepts or even distinguishing between scientistry and scientody, why should anyone expect that same person to understand something as relatively complicated as the human immune system?

The vax/anti-vax crowd likes things simple. It's how they understand the world. When you brazenly suggest things aren't so simple, you're just being an anti-science jackass.

Such has been my impression, anyways.

Blogger Chris Mallory May 11, 2015 9:52 AM  

Yeah, Rotavirus is a nasty bug. But in a developed country it isn't worth the risk of the vaccine. My daughter had it. We had a few days of cleaning up messes. But we knew to keep her hydrated and clean. It wasn't that big of a deal in the long term. The same goes for chickenpox. A few days of itching, then you are better.

Anonymous Danny #0265 May 11, 2015 10:20 AM  

Agreed re: Rotavirus, chickenpox, etc... But when I bring this up among certain people at work, I receive the same blank stare...for example, when I point out things like the fact that each virus is different and should be evaluated seperately for age, weight, brain-blood barrier (cortex), etc...

Well, I might as well be claiming the Earth is flat.....heh.

This Chiapas link will certainly help the more competent colleagues, anyway. Thanks for sharing, Vox.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler May 11, 2015 10:20 AM  

Your commentary I can accept. You are right about that. "one size does not fit all". But methinks the situation in Mejico is about contamination or a bad batch.

On the other hand, society operates, like any organization, on effeciency. The more complications there are the more problems arise as the same as one size fits all. In the end, Nature must have her way.

Anonymous The other robot May 11, 2015 10:22 AM  

OT: Damn you Jim Butcher. You kept me up late last night reading Storm Front!

I wanted to see what his writing was like prior to reading the nominated work and see whether what Nick said had any merit. I had never read that genre before and I could not stop.

Anonymous 10900209 May 11, 2015 10:23 AM  

This huge push for mandatory vaccination that has sprung up on social media in the last couple years reeks of astroturfing to me. You do see a lot of trendy leftoids picking it up and marching with it, but you only have to question them briefly to see that they have no idea what they're talking about and are only jumping on the bandwagon.

Anonymous BigGaySteve May 11, 2015 10:30 AM  

I was just about to note that if we're talking Mexican vaccines I *might* consider other factors first when evaluating their risk level.

While it fits the non-Asian minorities affected worse box, just remember most people in Mexico including the people who give vaccines are non-Asian minorities. While I advocate risk vs. benefit the TB vaccine just isn't worth it for anyone you would care about.

The HPV vaccine has killed about 100 girls, yet the government keeps pimping out the goods to unsuspecting people.

For risk vs. benefit that falls under acceptable risk for girls, at least as long as its not your kid. For boys it does not. Please note that what works 85% of the time often becomes standard treatment. For disease management doctors usually start on the cheap/ low side effects drugs and if they don't work move down the line. BiDil is a drug specially formulated to deal with black's heart problems, they have limited success with others. White privilege also means that the $4 heart meds at Wal mart will work for you, in part because people didn't understand that blacks kidneys are different & like to retain salt. If you ever get a urinalysis and see both a GRF and African American GRF that's why.

"social media in the last couple years reeks of astroturfing to me."

You should have seen how much money & tchotchkes drug reps would throw at everyone wearing scrubs before social media. Now they just give doughnuts & pens.

Blogger toadbile May 11, 2015 10:34 AM  

No system is better than the people who run it.
Everything works fine until run by a generation of people divorced from morality and the ethical grooming of a good parents.
There is nothing inherently bad about the federal reserve or the police force or the vaccine system or even academia.
But no system is better than the people who run it.

Blogger Josh May 11, 2015 10:35 AM  

This huge push for mandatory vaccination that has sprung up on social media in the last couple years reeks of astroturfing to me. You do see a lot of trendy leftoids picking it up and marching with it, but you only have to question them briefly to see that they have no idea what they're talking about and are only jumping on the bandwagon.

It's not astroturfing. It's simple. The reason most people support vaccination, and talk about vaccination on social media, is they vaccinated their kids. And they couldn't be bad parents. So vaccination must be a good thing.

Blogger Marissa May 11, 2015 10:37 AM  

Is it necessary for infants to get Hepatitis B if both parents are free of the disease? It seems like a few infant practices assume mother is out fornicating with random men. I understand this assumption in this day and age, but I don't understand why they will have to burn my child's eyes with silver nitrate even though I don't have gonorrhea.

Anonymous BGS May 11, 2015 11:11 AM  

I don't understand why they will have to burn my child's eyes with silver nitrate even though I don't have gonorrhea.

You can thank lawyers for that. If you used risk factors to determine that would be racist. Also there are enough ghetto lottery winners without having to pay malpractice money for sluts with blind kids. SJWs are attacking a Baltimore cop who said Freddie Gray was a pro ghetto lottery player.
http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/2013/04/ghetto-lottery-again.html
http://heavy.com/news/2015/04/avi-avraham-tasher-baltimore-maryland-police-officer-cop-facebook-twitter-posts-cnn-photos-video-pictures-photo-freddie-gray-investigation-protests-injured-himself-banged-head-van-other-prisoner-witne/

reason most people support vaccination, ..., is they vaccinated their kids. And they couldn't be bad parents.

Sort of like the bad parents who push for swimming pool alarms because their kids died, who would be too irresponsible to keep the batteries up.

OT Ted Cruz fails brown paper bag test. http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2015/05/10/sweet-mother-of-hades-reverse-the-punditparty-affiliation-and-imagine-what-would-happen/

Blogger Noah B #120 May 11, 2015 11:14 AM  

"...so it's bizarre that they insist on lumping a single tetanus vaccine for a 200-pound adult in with a series of shots given to a 12-pound infant under the single topic of "vaccine safety"."

MPAI proves true yet again.

Anonymous 10900209 May 11, 2015 12:45 PM  

Josh, are all the mandatory-vaccination advocates parents? If you go on Reddit, where there's a post celebrating some country announcing mandatory vaccinations every other week, you'll see a lot of young, non-parents jumping on the bandwagon, too.

I suspect it's part of the "I fucking love science!" trend that has every 20something college kid jacking off to Black Science Man and hyperventilating about "climate deniers". They don't know anything about science, but being a nerdy science-lover is cool right now, and obviously only uncool, Luddite ReTHUGlican conspiracy-theorist Tea-Baggers don't trust the government to mandate what they inject into their bodies.

Blogger Josh May 11, 2015 12:49 PM  

Josh, are all the mandatory-vaccination advocates parents? If you go on Reddit, where there's a post celebrating some country announcing mandatory vaccinations every other week, you'll see a lot of young, non-parents jumping on the bandwagon, too.

That's because vaccines obviously didn't hurt them so they can't be that bad.

Anonymous Quartermaster May 11, 2015 3:17 PM  

"The same goes for chickenpox. A few days of itching, then you are better."

Easier said than suffered. My bout was sheer misery and lasted a week in the late 50s. Oatmeal baths accomplished exactly nothing.

Blogger Expendable Faceless Minion May 11, 2015 3:21 PM  

Though I'm in favor of vaccines, I do recall in the Army when we received our mandatory vaccinations, for the next week we were all sick and the TB thing itched.

Now were young males in the very peak of health, and it's absurd to think that what made us miserable for a week wouldn't be dangerous, if not lethal, to NON pre-screened children.

Mandatory vaccination is a good question, and in the words of Penn Gillette, "When in doubt, let's come down on the side of personal freedom".

Blogger YIH May 11, 2015 3:29 PM  

Chris Mallory:
The same goes for chickenpox. A few days of itching, then you are better.
If you get it as a kid, sure. If you don't get it as a kid, it can indeed be hell.

Blogger OldFan May 11, 2015 3:39 PM  

The vaccination controversy is not really about science, but represents a loss of trust in the government by the average citizen. Lied to about an ever-increasing list of topics, ordinary people are beginning to distrust the state and its agencies and question whose interests are being upheld.

The pro-vacc side of the house makes a lot of pseudo-scientific noises, but it is really about being outraged that the underclass should disobey their betters. Who do they think they are?

This is all a part of the century-long struggle over exactly what the State is and is not and what it may and may not do to the individual. Western Civilization has not worked out a good solution to this issue - unlike "divine right of kings" which has pretty much been put to bed.

"Buckle your seat belts - it's going to be bumpy ride"

Anonymous paradox May 11, 2015 3:59 PM  

Just found out my 6 month old son has FPIES. An allergic reaction to food proteins. It can be a few foods or all kinds different foods. A strong enough reaction can lead to shock then death. Which he came close to shock, when the wife feed him oatmeal. That's how we found out he has FPIES. We didn't have him vaccinated. If we had, he could have died from a reaction. His doctor said she won't even talk about vaccinations for him.

Anonymous paradox May 11, 2015 5:05 PM  

If you get it as a kid, sure. If you don't get it as a kid, it can indeed be hell.

So then you weigh the vaccine risks vs the chicken pox as you become older.

Anonymous rtp May 11, 2015 7:29 PM  

Actually it is pretty simple because no vaccine works. Yes they are all dangerous but it is a moot point because no vaccine does work and no vaccine could work.

The entire so-called success of vaccines is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy. Johnny has a rash and fever and if he had gone to the doctor 40 years ago with said symptoms the doctor would have said "he has measles". But if he goes to the doctor now the doctor will say "I see he has had his MMR shots so it must be roseolar (or fifth disease or dermatitis, etc)".

Or if he sees a crippled child the doctor will say "it must be Guillain Barre [or transverse myelitis or coxsackie etc]".

That is why all the macro data (ie all the data that has no pro-vaccine bias) is showing a massive deterioration in the health of the populous since the widespread use of vaccines (disability data, healthcare expenditure).

Anonymous FriarBob May 11, 2015 10:44 PM  

I find it amusing that (some) people support vaccines, which work* on the principle of giving a small amount of toxin to a person to stimulate their immune system to prevent a reinfection at a later date.

Yet the same people, for reasons that truly escape me, often vehemently denounce homeopathics... which work on the same basic principle. Much more diluted, yes. **MUCH** more. But essentially the same basic principle nonetheless.

**(when the do at all, of course... and they actually do SOME of the time... but not all the time)

Blogger Danby May 12, 2015 12:16 AM  

If you get it as a kid, sure. If you don't get it as a kid, it can indeed be hell.

I dunno. I got chicken pox at the age of 23. i was pretty sick, but it wasn't hell. It wasn't even purgatory. Nothing at all compared to a kidney stone, say. I was really sick for a week, and kind a sick for another one. I couldn't work for 3 weeks, because i "might" be contagious.

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