Hard Conversations: Vaccines and Autism, Part 4: Response to Dr. Healy

This post has been hanging in my drafts for a bit – I’m still not happy with it, but I felt like sitting on it longer would make it just irrelevant. I might edit it significantly to make it more readable or understandable. Infact I’d like to make it a collaborative effort – feel free to post comments about how to improve this piece, and if it’s reasonable I may change it accordingly.  Heck, feel free to post general suggestions to improve this blog. Everything from “Your grammar sucks, work on it”, “get a darn thesaurus, stop saying disappointing so much”  to “you really need to get off of this topic, it’s no longer relevant to me”. Go wild with it! 

This post is a reaction to Bernadine Healy’s recent post on US-News & World Report. Dr Healy’s post can be found here. Please also read Parts 1,2, and 3. Our resource to educate today is “Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses” published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, full citation at end of post.

I was planning on leaving Dr Healy for another day. Originally Part 4 was going to be my breakdown of the “mitochondrial disease” hypothesis of autism-vaccine connection! Unfortunately Dr Healy wrote a post that I found so profoundly incorrect it required immediate response. Age of Autism advocates have touted Dr Healy’s credentials and her seemingly ambiguous position on this issue as proof that they have a legitimate concern, and this can no longer be tolerated.

Let’s be clear, this post is not an ad hominem, but before discussing the content of her post we’ll start by talking about who she is. I have the utmost of respect for Dr Healy as a cardiologist. I don’t know enough, and don’t have enough time to learn about whether she was a competent head of the NIH. By all accounts she was a good dean at Ohio State University College of medicine. I will not in discuss her tenure as president and CEO of the American Red Cross. In passing I’d like to mention that Dr Healy was a member of the Advisory board of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC). TASSC is a lobby group funded initially by Philip Morris that promotes the idea that scientific research on issues such as smoking and global warming is “junk science”. It is operated by Steve Milloy and I encourage you to investigate that connection yourself. Dr Healy was also declared Age of Autism’s Person of the Year.

None of this immediately invalidates anything Dr Healy says. A shady connection does not discredit someone altogether. It’s important to look at the connections someone has, but it’s also important not to impugn someone’s reputation entirely on the basis of connections – I will not be committing a tobacco shill gambit here. One must look at, and weigh the evidence, then come to an appropriate conclusion. Note the difference between my position on this, and the position advocated by many of our anti-vaccine commenters, who ignore evidence if they can find even a passing conflict of interest in opposing viewpoints.

Here’s the problem: Dr Healy has neglected her responsibility to educate herself before she speaks from her pulpit. When you are not an expert on something yourself, you had darn well better do your homework before talking! I’m extremely disappointmed in Dr Healy for this article and for her position on this issue in general. Dr Healy is not an immunologist. Dr Healy is not a pediatrician. Dr Healy is not a scientist. Dr Healy does not express an understanding of the evidence in her article.

We’ll start at the beginning.

McCarthy and Carrey and two colleagues from the autism advocacy group she founded, Generation Rescue, took the AAP to task for its unwillingness to give at all in the controversy over vaccine safety and, while holding up a vaccine ad in its journal, accused the group of shilling for vaccine manufacturers.

Firstly, McCarthy and Carrey did not found Generation Rescue, J.B. Handley did. Secondly, complaining that the AAP won’t “give” is the Gray Fallacy, that we addressed in Part 1. Just because the AAP says “vaccinate” and someone else says “Don’t vaccinate” doesn’t mean that the appropriate response is in between. Generation Rescue is wrong. Terribly wrong. Disturbingly wrong. So wrong that no doctor should be advocating for them! Lastly, she reiterates McCarthy and Carrey’s pharma shill gambit. The pharma shill gambit does not a real argument make. Early on Dr Healy reveals a lack of understanding of the basic issues at hand.

Next Dr Healy brings up the “Vaccine overload hypothesis”, which we have discussed in part 3.

the United States now gives more vaccines to all its children, and earlier in life, than the rest of the developed world: some 36 doses before our little ones hit kindergarten, with most crammed into the first 18 months of life. If you look at the best-performing countries in terms of infant and early-childhood mortality, the average number of doses is 18, with most of the Scandinavian countries, Japan, and Israel mandating just 11 to 12.

To support her hypothesis she brings up a non peer reviewed “study” by Generation Rescue complaining that we give more vaccines than other countries . I will not discuss this study here at all, it doesn’t even pretend to be science, and has been thoroughly disassembled by Dr David Gorski here.

Next up she complains about specific vaccines: Hep B, Rotavirus, Hep A, and chicken pox.

The extras here include protection against the sexually transmitted hepatitis B virus, which many countries (and the United States in the past) recommend only for infants at high risk because of an infected mother; a vaccine against the rotavirus, which causes some cases of infant diarrhea…

Rotavirus is a group of viruses that cause lots of childhood diarrhea – actually they’re the single largest cause of childhood diarrhea. They also cause the less known, but more embarrassing med-student-on-pediatrics-rotation diarrhea. Per the CDC, rotavirus leads to the hospitalization of 55000 children in the US and the deaths of 600000 children worldwide each year. Yet another fact has been glibly ignored by the good doctor.

She also makes a mistake I thought no doctor would make “sexually transmitted hepatitis B”. Tsk tsk Dr Healy. Lest we forget our basic virology, Hep B is body fluid transmitted, not just sexually transmitted. This often chronic disease is regularly missed in patients before they do lots of liver damage, and if a child is infected young, they are far more likely to get chronic disease, that will lead to liver failure, and death.

She complains about loosening the vaccine schedule, I won’t paste her entire argument here, all I’ll say is this: There isn’t a study showing a good reason to loosen the vaccine schedule. If you were to loosen the schedule, what infectious disease would you decide to bring back first? Polio? Tetanus? Measles? Hepatitis?

Even more disappointing, she brings up the idea that many people are susceptible to side effects of vaccines – and brings up Hannah Poling and mitochondrial disease and implies a connection with autism. We’ll be discussing this in the next part.

Some have lobbied to keep vaccines out of the government’s autism research agenda, because they see the case as closed and fear further study will threaten confidence in vaccines. Doing so would be just plain wrong.

This is ridiculous, those lobbying to keep vaccines out of the government’s autism research agenda are doing so because further study won’t reveal any more evidence, and will be like flushing money down the toilet. Not because it will threaten confidence in vaccines. Doing so would be just plain right.

Finally there is this pearl, where Dr Healy really reveals that NIH director or not, she is no scientist.

so is a study comparing groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated children.

Now someone with much less education made the very same suggestion earlier on this blog, and I called it unethical. She suggests  that this is completely reasonable. Bravo Dr Healy. Bravo. Not one immunologist thinks that we need that data. Not one expert in the field sees this as necessary. Only a thorough misunderstanding of science, and statistics, makes that sound like an OK idea. Of course, Dr Healy doesn’t actually believe in evidence based medicine, as she said here. It’s hard to imagine going from the thorough misunderstanding of EBM shown there to being able to suggest reasonable science.

 

 

Ref:Gerber, J., & Offit, P. (2009). Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses Clinical Infectious Diseases, 48 (4), 456-461 DOI: 10.1086/596476

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102 Comments on “Hard Conversations: Vaccines and Autism, Part 4: Response to Dr. Healy”

  1. Lynnea Waters Says:

    I’m a college student writing a paper on the misinformation surrounding the anti-vaccine movement, and I have to say that your posts have been extremely helpful and accessible, and I like that you give citations so I can follow the information for myself, and I like that you explain all the fallacies instead of just saying “well that’s wrong”. I think it’s extremely important to teach people how to be critical of the information they’re given, and knowing these fallacies can help a parent know what to be wary of when they’re deciding whether or not to vaccinate their child.

    Good work, I say!

  2. InkRose Says:

    I’m just picking some nits here, but you asked for it. 🙂 So here goes:

    I’m sure you have the _utmost_ respect for Dr. Healy as a cardiologist. Dunno if upmost is a valid construction or not, but I doubt it is in this context in any case.

    And you’re extremely disappointed (It says ‘disappointment’ atm. An artefact of much editing, probably.) in Dr. Healy for the article.

    Just a space missing here, in between the last words quoted: ‘…the appropriate response is inbetween’.

    You might want an apostrophe at: ‘…keep vaccines out of the government’s autism research agenda…’.

    And finally, there’s something missing here: ‘She suggests is completely reasonable’.

    Now, I might also be inclined to throw a few more commas around, but, since they’re not strictly necessary, I’ll forgo that.

    As far as the substance of the post goes, very good work. I’ve read a little about Dr. Healy’s antics elsewhere as well, but they were more focused on her academic shortcomings.


  3. Thanks InkRose, corrections made. I’m often embarassed by my grammatical misadventures.

    Unfortunately, back in highschool I thought I’d never need to write again… little did I know that later I would want to write!

    Lynnea – Thanks for the kind words, thats exactly what I’m going for! I’m hoping by picking out the fallacies, and explaining them, that people will be able to apply those on their own. A little more critical thinking from us all would go a long way!

    If you want more information, email me! Contact info is on the contact page on the right hand sidebar.

    As it happens I have much more information on the subject, and some other good citations. The ones that make it here are the ones that are the most accessible, but there is alot more out there.

  4. John H. Says:

    The best way to get better as a writer is to write. Practice. Having an editor look over your work helps accelerate the skill-building.


  5. I’m not ashamed to say John, thats one of the reasons I’m writing the blog – it’s a good way to commit me to writing at least a few times a week!

    I’m always interested in communicating better. I spent the first 20some years of my life talking to people with more education and knowledge than me. Spending most of the rest educating people is a completely different skillset that I’m hoping to improve on here.


  6. I’m really enjoy your writing. With so many blogs attacking Jenny’s University of Google theories, it’s hard to stand out. What I particularly enjoy about your comments is that you write in an “everyman” style. You’ll be a hit on the blogosphere. We will then say we knew you before you became the next PZ Myers.

    🙂

    Anyways, one idea I’ve started getting my arms around is the whole notion of “impact factor” of published articles. The higher the factor, the better the journal. I think that we have to take on the pseudoscience crowd on several points, many of which you’ve mentioned above.

    One other item that interested me. You state that Dr. Healy is not a scientist. You do realize that many people think that if you have MD after your name, you now know everything there is to know about science. Are you saying MD’s are not, by default, scientists? Or just Dr. Healy?

    • ddw11 Says:

      I would say, unequivocally, that MD’s are not scientists. Many are, but that is not from a standard medical school education. In medical school we learn a lot of facts, we learn how the body works and how medicines work. We learn what we need to know to be doctors, but we are not scientists. I would venture to say that many of my fellow students would not be able to give a good, scientific definition of “fact,” “theory,” or “hypothesis.”

      • trrll Says:

        I agree. I teach medical students, and they get the bare amount of science they need to comprehend the subject matter. Most of them arrive in medical school knowing more science than they will learn in medical school. I’m a basic scientist myself, and I’d love to teach the science, but medical students have a huge amount to learn, and they have very little time to spare for anything that is not immediately related to patient care. The days when physicians were also scientists are long gone. If a physician wants to learn scientific research, he generally either gets an MD/PhD, or else does a postdoc in the lab of a research scientist.


      • That would make medicine an applied science, much like engineering.

        • Ninjahedge Says:

          Well, not all engineering, but I see your point.

          Engineering is usually a more scientific study simply because much of it comes from experimentation and curve fitting. When you deal with something as amorphous as a bunch of rocks, sand and cement all mixed together with bumpy steel bars (rebar) it is hard to get pure theory to agree with what you are saying without quite a few test samples!

          But Engineering is more an applied science than anything else, and not all engineers are true scientists.

          Doctors are diagnosticians. Take what you know and try to fit something to it. Their skill, and validity, comes from not only their ability to make these connections, but the sources from which they are using to compare what they observe to previously known and proven maladies.

          As you all have observed, so few people know what true science is. If I hear one more person use “theory” as if it was a childrens story, well…..Well I’ll be mad, but that goes without saying.

          So I said it! 😉

          Keep it up guys, lots of useful information here (just wanted to speak out for any Engineers in the audience!!!)


        • Point well taken Ninjahedge
          The difficulty of using few words is that you’re stuck painting with a rather broad brush.

          Incidentally, I’m an engineer as well, which is perhaps why I stick on that connection as being particularly valid.


    • I will flesh this out into it’s own post actually, becuase it’s an important part.
      Infact you and the other commenters have scooped my essential idea.

      I’m actually saying doctors are not scientists.

      Doctors are engineers. I say this having a degree in engineering as well as medicine. They are both fields where you need a basic understanding of the scientific theory, and an extensive knowledge of it’s application.

      In both cases the breadth of knowledge required in the time allowed for education is just too far.

      We get 2 years of pre-clinical “basic and clinical science” training. Just not enough to be a scientist. Additionally, even with the emphasis on research in getting residencies, the process of science just isn’t emphasized enough for us to understand it as deeply as the doctoral research students.

  7. Wu-tang Says:

    1. Your constant references to Dr. Paul Offit are disturbing and very disappointing.

    2. The question that is never brought into the light is, “What is the threshold for vaccines that the body is able to tolerate?” If your ascertain is 10,000 as Dr. Paul Offit says, where is the proof? Where are the studies? I invoke the Tufted Titmouse Law here.
    http://tuftedtitmouse.blogspot.com/2009/04/titmouse-law.html

    3. The implication is here, you are right. Clearly, Dr. Healy has access to much more information than many of us do. Perhaps you should attempt to interview her yourself and attempt to find a basis for your claim that she is wrong.

    4. What I find generally appalling is the gumption and testicular fortitude to state that something does not exist (a relation between neurological disorders and vaccines) because in your opinion no evidence exists. I am sure during your short tenure as a medical student, you have learned the valuable lesson of washing your hands. The ‘Quack’ Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes had the gall to suggest that physicians should wash their hands prior to delivering a child to prevent puerperal sepsis. No double-blinded studies nor peer-reviewed articles at the time supported his idea and it was generally frowned upon.

    5. Your constant belly-flopping on this issue, while entertaining, is not a value-add to this discussion overall. Referencing someone’s statistical post concerning a MR decrease while Autism increases based on IDEA data? Are you serious? Who is the pseudo-scientist? What was looked at for data? What about Asthma? Is that another anomaly we are ‘better’ at diagnosing?

    • ddw11 Says:

      1. Why? Because he disagrees with you?

      2. The safety and efficacy of our vaccine schedule has been long established and covered with specific references in earlier discussion threads on this topic. I suggest you read them.

      3. She really has access to more information than us? Peer reviewed research on this subject as well as all others is available to anyone who cares to look. Again, specific references with links are provided in earlier discussions.

      4. What I find generally appalling is the gumption and testicular fortitude to state that something is absolutely true without evidence and, in fact, in direct contradiction to the evidence we do have.

      5. Speaking of not adding value to the discussion…


    • For shame Dr Wu-Tang. I linked specifically to parts 1, 2 and 3. You have not looked at those articles. Furthermore, if you read those articles you’d have read my posting guidelines, which remind you that not posting citations with your extraordinary claims is tantamount to dishonesty. You are clearly not posting in good faith. This is your warning, read and follow the rules.

      Additionally, I have HONcode certification, which requires any comments implying medical knowledge be accompanied by explicit stating of credentials.
      Had you read my posting guidelines you’d have stated your credentials before offering any comments that could be taken as medical advice. As you have not stated your credentials, to reduce confusion I have edited your comments removing Dr from your posting name.
      Additionally, anything that is not explicitly written as personal experience requires a citation. You have provided no citations.


    • 1. Your constant references to Dr. Paul Offit are disturbing and very disappointing.

      Ad hominem is the most shameful form of attack. You have offered no objection to any substantive claim of Dr Offit – an acknowledged expert in the field. As such this comment is of no value.

      I invoke the Tufted Titmouse Law here.

      Epic fail. Firstly you got the name wrong, its “The Titmouse Law”. Secondly, The Titmouse Law pertains to NON PEER REVIEWED journal articles. Infact, all of my citations are from peer reviewed journals!

      Clearly, Dr. Healy has access to much more information than many of us do

      Clearly is a wallpaper word. It’s used when the situation isn’t clear at all. Infact, theres no reason to believe Dr Healy has access to any information that we don’t have.

      She cited a Generation Rescue “study” that any scientist would have known to discount for it’s sampling bias, it’s cherry picking, and ignoring data that disagrees with their assertions.

      Additionally, argument to authority is just as fallacious as argument ad hominem. Dr Healy is a cardiologist. She is not a pediatrician or an immunologist. So for what reason would she have “special information.”

      What I find generally appalling is the gumption and testicular fortitude to state that something does not exist (a relation between neurological disorders and vaccines) because in your opinion no evidence exists.

      I do not present my opinion on this subject alone. I present evidence. Lots of evidence. Had you read my other posts before argueing this, or placed a citation disagreeing with me, I might take you seriously.

      I am sure during your short tenure as a medical student

      Aha, so, as far as I know, you aren’t in the medical field at all. You haven’t shown any knowledge indicating you know what you’re talking about. You haven’t shown a citation indicating you’ve studied the science on the subject. Yet you have the testicular fortitude to criticize my tenure as a medical student.

      you have learned the valuable lesson of washing your hands. The ‘Quack’ Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes had the gall to suggest that physicians should wash their hands prior to delivering a child to prevent puerperal sepsis. No double-blinded studies nor peer-reviewed articles at the time supported his idea and it was generally frowned upon.

      Most ridiculous point ever. This is a variation of the Galileo Gambit. Yet to be the next Galileo, not only must the mainstream establishment disagree with you, but you must have some evidence that you are correct.

      No double blinded studies or peer reviewed articles existed at the time. Had they existed, they would have shown then, as now, that washing ones hands prevents puerperal sepsis.

      Incidentally, Oliver Wendell Holmes was a huge advocate for evidence in the practice of medicine. I refer you to his famous treatise on homeopathy. Don’t speak of that which you do not understand.

      5. Your constant belly-flopping on this issue, while entertaining, is not a value-add to this discussion overall.

      I’m not sure what you mean by belly flopping. You have yet to provide substantive criticism of any claim I’ve made in this blog.

      Referencing someone’s statistical post concerning a MR decrease while Autism increases based on IDEA data? Are you serious?

      I did not reference a blog post anywhere in my citations. I may have linked to a blog post in the comments, but my citations are all to peer reviewed journals.

      On the other hand, the vaccine denialists are the ones who cite IDEA data as showing the autism epidemic! Therefore, showing the real IDEA data correctly is the appropriate response to such madness.

      Who is the pseudo-scientist? What was looked at for data? What about Asthma? Is that another anomaly we are ‘better’ at diagnosing?

      I believe you still are. You haven’t cited a study anywhere. Anywhere.

      Asthma is not the subject of this blog. I don’t see how it’s relevant. If you plan on discussing asthma, I expect a citation.

    • Dr Benway Says:

      Reading comprehension.

      Ur doin it rong.

  8. Wu-tang Says:

    ddw11-

    It is unfortunate vaccine apologists have a difficult time ever answering the question, “What is a safe amount?” Can you answer that question instead of whimsically stating some non-nonsensical argument that the ‘vaccine schedule has long been established’? Pure rubbish.

    And to Dr. Haley, are you saying that she is not in contact with knowledgeable people concerning the topic? That is an insane proposition! What is unethical about your argument is assuming there is no risk by injecting a typical neurologically developing infant with who knows what. Is it really a stretch to think that it is any more ethical to do studies on adults and assume the same ‘fantastic’ results would be experienced by children? Even when almost an entire population is vaccinated, there is no guarantee they are safe or guarantee coverage.

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=527753

    I’m sure you are going to tell me that Gardasil is safe now?

    • ddw11 Says:

      I stated that the safety and efficacy of the current vaccination schedule has long been established. If this is nonsensical to you, I am sorry. Is English not your first language?

      I am not stating that Dr. Haley is not in contact with knowledgeable people. I AM stating that knowledgeable people put their research into peer reviewed journals and that this research is available for anyone that cares to look. In fact, much of this research is specifically referenced in earlier discussions on vaccine safety on this very blog, with links! Read it. I am also stating that no, she does not have special access to information that the rest of us don’t. If she does, perhaps she should make it available. (Prepare foil helmet)

      And why should whitecoat have to interview her? She is wrong based on her stated view in a published article she herself wrote.

      No one assumes there is no risk in vaccinating children. We are well aware of the risks and continually monitor populations for unforeseen problems. Again, safety studies have been done, are being done, and will continue to be done.


    • Wu-Tang, you have failed again to cite an article justifying your claims. Newspaper articles are meaningless in the context of scientific discussion.

      As for Dr Healy, I am saying that she has shown no evidence of being in contact with knowledgeable people. She cites Generation Rescue, rather than anyone “knowledgeable.”

      It is not an insane proposition. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

      Is it really a stretch to think that it is any more ethical to do studies on adults and assume the same ‘fantastic’ results would be experienced by children?

      I have no idea what you’re talking about because you still haven’t cited a single study.

      Additionally, gardisil is a complete non-sequitor. It’s not yet part of the recommended vaccine schedule, it’s not at all linked to autism because it didn’t exist!

  9. trrll Says:

    The question that is never brought into the light is, “What is the threshold for vaccines that the body is able to tolerate?” If your ascertain is 10,000 as Dr. Paul Offit says, where is the proof? Where are the studies? I invoke the Tufted Titmouse Law here.

    A more rational question is, “Why should there be any kind of threshold?” After all, our immune system evolved to deal with constant exposure to thousands of bacteria and viruses, each one of them with hundreds or thousands of antigens. Infection by any of the common vaccine-preventable diseases entailed exposure to all of the antigens in vaccines, and many more besides. Compared to that, vaccination is a drop in the ocean. If there were some sort of a “threshold,” our ancestors would not have survived to beget us. Indeed, there is a more reasonable concern, backed by some evidence, that we are not getting enough exposure to foreign antigens. The idea is that our immune system evolved to live with a much higher level of exposure to foreign antigens, and that our modern, highly sanitary environment leads the immune system to “turn up the gain,” increasing the risk of allergic disorders.

    • Wu-tang Says:

      I didn’t know who I was really trying to kid by asking you to even attempt such an answer. Pro-vaccine immunologists frequently use the ‘thimble of water’ analogy.

      These same pro-vaccine immunologists frequently state that ‘pro-biotics’ are garbage because they ‘elicit an immune response’ and then in the same breath say vaccines are ‘good’ because they do the very same thing!

      No, trrll, I patently reject your idea. It would be plausible to the layman but not in this discussion. You are assuming that because we are not exposed to ‘enough foreign antigens’ that we are susceptible to disease when that is simply not the case. Your proposed theory is dangerous because it is linking a correlative event to causation. I could say, “I never get sick when I wear my Nike shoes.”

      As in the case with the last article I posted, I propose the students in that article were exposed to the proper vaccine, per the health expert(s) in the article, yet they still received the disease. With many recent outbreaks, many of the children have already been vaccinated.

      The notion that vaccines provide 100% safety provides a false sense of security for the general public.

      To your question ‘why should there be any kind of threshold?’

      Simply put (if that is your problem statement?) :
      If the hypothesis is: 10 vaccines are safe; it should be tested. If the hypothesis is: 100 vaccines are safe; it should be tested. If the hypothesis is: 1000 vaccines are safe; it should be tested.

      The hot topic in ‘vaccineology’ is Gardasil which has not been fully tested, per its package insert. Yet doctors are still making the recommendation it is efficacious! I’m sure you are a busy physician but have you taken the time to read this yet? If all are efficacious and rigorously safety tested as claimed, this is extremely troubling and perplexing.

      • Scott Says:

        “These same pro-vaccine immunologists frequently state that ‘pro-biotics’ are garbage because they ‘elicit an immune response’ and then in the same breath say vaccines are ‘good’ because they do the very same thing!”

        In both cases the statement is significantly more precise than that. Claiming they are equivalent is grossly incorrect. Not all immune responses are the same!

        “No, trrll, I patently reject your idea. It would be plausible to the layman but not in this discussion. You are assuming that because we are not exposed to ‘enough foreign antigens’ that we are susceptible to disease when that is simply not the case. Your proposed theory is dangerous because it is linking a correlative event to causation. I could say, “I never get sick when I wear my Nike shoes.””

        Trrll did not state this as fact. Calling it an “assumption” or “proposed theory” doesn’t at all match with the actual language used: “there is a more reasonable concern, backed by some evidence” is nowhere near as strong a statement as you’re making it out to be.

        “The notion that vaccines provide 100% safety provides a false sense of security for the general public.”

        Said notion is NOT promulgated by the medical community. This is a pure strawman. It is in fact generally acknowledged that vaccines are less than 100% effective; this is (one of the reasons) why herd immunity is so important.

        “To your question ‘why should there be any kind of threshold?’

        Simply put (if that is your problem statement?) :
        If the hypothesis is: 10 vaccines are safe; it should be tested. If the hypothesis is: 100 vaccines are safe; it should be tested. If the hypothesis is: 1000 vaccines are safe; it should be tested.”

        And the current recommended vaccine schedule has in fact been tested. So I don’t see your point. If you wish to make the claim that the current schedule is “too much”, contrary to the current evidence of safety and effectiveness, it is incumbent upon you to provide support for that claim.

        “The hot topic in ‘vaccineology’ is Gardasil which has not been fully tested, per its package insert. Yet doctors are still making the recommendation it is efficacious! I’m sure you are a busy physician but have you taken the time to read this yet? If all are efficacious and rigorously safety tested as claimed, this is extremely troubling and perplexing.”

        Given that Gardasil is not on the recommended schedule precisely *because* it has not yet been sufficiently tested to be confident that its risk/benefit ratio is small enough to justify that recommendation, this argument rather undermines the point you’re trying to make.


      • Pro-vaccine immunologists

        Show me anti-vaccine immunologists.

        By implication, specifying pro vaccine immunologist implies that there are credible anti-vaccine immunologists.

        You’re posts are incredibly deceptive.

        These same pro-vaccine immunologists frequently state that ‘pro-biotics’ are garbage because they ‘elicit an immune response’ and then in the same breath say vaccines are ‘good’ because they do the very same thing!

        “elicit an immune response” is a highly non-specific phrase in science. What kind of immune response? What cells are involved? What cytokines? Bacteria, and viruses, and fungi all elicit different immune responses. Different bacteria elicit completely different responses. Your use of this phrase identifies you as someone unfamiliar with the world of science.

        Simply put (if that is your problem statement?) :
        If the hypothesis is: 10 vaccines are safe; it should be tested. If the hypothesis is: 100 vaccines are safe; it should be tested. If the hypothesis is: 1000 vaccines are safe; it should be tested.

        This is incoherant. Our hypothesis is always “is the current recommended schedule safe.” This has been confirmed again and again, yes it’s safe.

        Stop bringing up Gardasil, it has no place in this discussion. You have posted no information saying it is unsafe. So stop talking about it unless you plan on backing up your statements with evidence.

      • Jeffry Says:

        That’s easy. Its on page 10 of the insert.

        13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
        GARDASIL has not been evaluated for the potential to cause carcinogenicity or genotoxicity.

        http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/g/gardasil/gardasil_pi.pdf

        • trrll Says:

          That’s easy. Its on page 10 of the insert.

          13.1 Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
          GARDASIL has not been evaluated for the potential to cause carcinogenicity or genotoxicity.

          It hasn’t been evaluated for the potential to turn people purple, either.

          Ohmigod! Gardasil is turning people purple!!!!

        • Jeffry Says:

          I’m glad you are at least laughing. It brings a whole new level of seriousness to the discussion.


      • That’s easy. Its on page 10 of the insert.

        Jeffry, Wu-Tang says:

        Yet doctors are still making the recommendation it is efficacious!

        Infact, showing that they have not given evidence on it’s potential to cause cancer, or genotoxicity is not evidence that it is not efficacious. Wu-Tang has provided no evidence on the efficacy, or lack of efficacy of Gardasil. Furthermore, he has yet to show how it is relevant to a discussion of vaccines and autism.

        Jeffry: I thought I had banned you, clearly I haven’t figured out wordpress as well as I’d thought. If you provide noise instead of understanding at this time, I will scour the forum for how to actually make sure you don’t comment here again – you have no warnings left.

        • Jeffry Says:

          I think the point he is trying to make which you are missing is that yourself as well as others are stating a “fact” that: vaccines are tested for safety.

          This is one instance where this isn’t the case.

          Relating to Autism? Perhaps not. I’m sure there is a high probability they are giving it to Autistic girls as a precaution. That is a theory.

          Is the argument on Autism over vaccine safety? No it is not on the schedule but if this is a vaccine I can see it relating in regards to raising concern in parents minds for safety.


        • Vaccines are tested for safety. It is a fact. This does not “disprove” that fact.

          The argument is not over “vaccine safety” but a connection between vaccines and autism.

        • Jeffry Says:

          Vaccines are tested for safety in adult cohorts.

          White Coat, you can attack me or whatever you want with this….

          … coming from a parent, White Coat, that is what parents fear. When the theory is, “Vaccines cause Autism,” parents do not just look at Vaccines A, B, & C. They look at all of them.

          The vaccine safety argument and Autism go hand in hand. Ask (I am using the qualifier)’most’ any parent with an Autistic child.


        • And that is exactly why this blog exists: to educate parents on what they should actually worry about.

        • Jeffry Says:

          Which is!?

          What should I worry about being a parent of an Autistic child!?

          There are ample posts on ‘not what’ to worry about. In addition, there are more than enough posts/comments on attempting to ‘debunk’ anyone who ponders the thought that vaccines are not safe.

          I understand there is much at stake here! Reputations, jobs, etc. I do not take this argument lightly!

          I would like your two cents on what I should worry about. I can honestly say that I know of 5 families that have recovered their children from autism by modalities labeled ‘quackery’ on this forum. You have my personal information and if you so have the desire I will put you in contact with those families.

          Isn’t that at least worth studying, how families are recovering their children?

        • ddw11 Says:

          This conversation has happened already. The evidence for the safety of vaccines was placed right in front of you in the 3rd installment of this series. There isn’t much more to be said that hasn’t already been said.

        • Jeffry Says:

          ddw11-

          I have read it. I appreciate the information.

          There is the distinct possibility I have not taken away perhaps what White Coat intended:

          …to educate parents on what they should actually worry about.

          What should I worry about then? The perception is that everyone here but me knows what I should be worrying about. Not to be even more crass, but there is a ton of mudslinging on both sides of the fence. I question intent regardless of what the data says… which is what I learned long ago. Data can be self-serving or manipulated. I didn’t say all cases, but it can in some.

          There have been some very interesting points brought up that I have noted. There are some things I did not know concerning pro-autism research concerning potential conflicts of interest outside of the realm of A. Wakefield.

          Understand, it doesn’t bode well, either, when for example, the CDC references http://www.immunize.org for vaccine information. The CDC has even given monies to the organization. I have compiled a list of conflicts of interests on the advisory board of that organization as well. If you want, White Coat can send you my personal information and I will send the list I have compiled. I have no qualms about doing so.

          So you see, it isn’t a black and white issue even though I would like it to be. Much is to be gained and/or lost by ‘winning’ the debate.


        • Conflict of interest isn’t a magic wand with which you can immediately wave off any opinion that disagrees with you! The reality is that every research on both sides of the aisle has a conflict of interest somewhere!

          You still must deal with the evidence. Note in my post about Dr Wakefield. First comes the evidence: studies could not be replicated, nonspecific findings, bad theories, basic science that doesn’t match up to the hypothesis proposed. Then comes the conflict of interest, adding to the overall negative picture.

          On the other hand, at least two commenters have tried to say “OO Dr Offit makes money off rotavirus vaccine, therefore he has a stake in other vaccines!” and then waving off a review article that cites a bunch of other studies, done by independant investigators.

          The data doesn’t lie. It’s not one study. It’s not two studies. It’s sum total of all of the studies out there.

          The data here is overwhelming, not just suggestive. The data overwhelmingly says that vaccines are not connected with autism.

          Incidentally, by saying it is not a black/white issue, you are explicitly bringing up my favorite fallacy: The grey fallacy, mentioned in part one. Saying “well there are people who say vaccines cause autism, and people hwo say they don’t. The truth must be somewhere inbetween: maybe vaccines sometimes cause autism.” is a fallacy.

          Someone shouting loudly with an opposing viewpoint has no effect on the truth.

          This whole pathway of argument is similar to the “teach the controversy” creationist lobby argument. It says “My argument has no merits, so I will only snipe on the potential demerits of the opposing viewpoint.”


        • I swear I replied to this thread this morning, but I guess I was caffeine deficient at the time.

          The grey fallacy is based on the public giving equal weight to two divergent points of view. The first hypothesis that vaccines do not cause any neurological disorder is backed by a wealth of data in peer-reviewed journals, in epidemiological research, and by the lack of any credible physiological or biochemical theory that would support a causal link.

          The alternative hypothesis, supported by the Jenny McCarthy crowd, is backed by rumor, anecdotes, Wakefield’s paper (completely disavowed by most of the authors), and no other evidence.

          The public gives equal weight to the scientists and to Jenny McCarthy, when in fact, the vaccines cause autism hypothesis should get no weight in the argument at all. This is because most people don’t have the time to read everything about vaccines as we have, so the blonde gets the same credit as the geeky scientist!

          There are several hallmarks that indicate to most educated individuals as to what is or is not pseudoscience. Let’s list them and see how the anti-vaccine individuals do:

          1. Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims. Check. They make vague scientific claims, failure to make use of parsimony (see Occam’s razor), that is to find the explanation for autism that requires the fewest assumptions, lack of boundary definitions, meaning the areas where vaccines might not have an effect on autism, and, finally, lack of effective controls, such as placebo and double-blind, in experimental design–oh, there isn’t an experimental design that’s been done to test the theory, so we’re done here.
          2. Over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation. Check. In other words, as others have said in a more cogent manner, the anti-vaccine woo-meisters fail to accept the possibility that experiments or observations may show their theory to be false. It has become a religious cult, hardly different than Creationists, in that there is no possibility that they are wrong. Most scientists make no such absolutist claims. In fact, many researchers will state, that there might be a possibility that vaccinations cause autism, but they can find a mechanism for it to happen and they haven’t seen any results that support such a theory. In other words, scientists are completely open minded to any result, whereas the anti-vaccine league of undistinguished playboy playmates are completely closeminded to logic.
          3. Over-reliance on testimonial, anecdotal evidence or personal experience. Yes. Self explanatory.
          4. Lack of openness to testing by other experts. Check. Evasion of peer reviewed publications and use of popular press is precisely the lack of openness that prevents discussion. Jenny McCarthy and company complain that science is hiding the truth. Nothing could be further from the truth. Scientists, despite the lack of a scientific foundation in the vaccine causes autism hypothesis, spent years trying to test the theory. They found nothing that supports it.
          4. Absence of progress. Check. Basically science evolves (kind of cute the way I said that, right?). As new results appear, science develops new theories that may modify or even replace the old one. When I was working on my graduate degree in Biochemistry, we did not know what caused AIDS. Every biochemistry lab in the world was trying to figure it out. There were a whole slew of theories on what caused it (some of them were laughable), but now we know that HIV infection causes AIDS. That’s how science works.
          5. Personalization of issues. Check, and my particular favorite. Those vaccine denialists resort to name calling (we are all bought out by Big Pharma), appeal to authority or whatever other appeal that’s handy, and, of course, conspiracies.
          6. Use of misleading language. Check. Denialists of all sorts use scientific jargon to make superficial claims that the theory is scientifically sound. Like a couple of denialist comments here, there is a constant use of fancy terminology that makes no sense when read.

          That I can go through this checklist so easily is an indication of the complete lack of scientific basis of the anti-vaccine woo cabal.

        • Perez Says:

          When I was working on my graduate degree in Biochemistry, we did not know what caused AIDS. Every biochemistry lab in the world was trying to figure it out. There were a whole slew of theories on what caused it (some of them were laughable), but now we know that HIV infection causes AIDS. That’s how science works.

          Perhaps you should read the book “The River” by Edward Hooper. Source documentation concerning the subject.


        • Oh my.

          For those gentle readers at home who aren’t familiar: Edward Hooper is a conspiracy theorist who believes that AIDS is the result of experimentation with the oral polio vaccine.

          This theory has been rejected by science. I will cover this more fully after we finish the vaccines and autism series.

          Perez, your bringing this into the discussion really just removes your credibility altogether. Not that you had much to begin with…

          For more information I refer you to the following articles on the subject.
          doi:10.1126/science.288.5472.1757. PMID 10877695.
          doi:10.1038/80356. PMID 11017114
          doi:10.1126/science.292.5517.615a
          doi:10.1038/428820a

        • Perez Says:

          I have no more credability than you.

          This subject has been documented 110%.

          I suppose the patent for an AIDS cure is fallacious as well? Is that why you deleted my post to the US Government Patent Office with the Cure?

          Read the GAO’s inquiry into the U.S. Special Virus Program or US H.R. 15090 (page 129).


        • You still haven’t read the rules. Patent office links are not evidence. You can patent perfectly ridiculous things.
          You offered medical advice.
          I deleted your post to comply with my HONcode certification, and the rules I’ve posted in my disclaimers.

          The beautiful thing is that I don’t need creditibility, nothing on this blog depends on me! Everything I write about is thoroughly documented and cited.

          The patent for an AIDS cure is fallacious, and psuedoscience. Nothing “zaps” AIDS virus with electricity. It’s one of the most deceptive things I’ve ever heard of.

          Edward Hooper is hawking a theory that he scientific community has long since abandoned for BEING WRONG!

        • Perez Says:

          I offered medical advice? There you go jumping to conclusions again. I posted a link to a patent. I never addressed anyone specifically. No one asked me for advice.

          You live in your own little world. Edward Hooper has source documentation on the issue none of which I am sure you have read. You point out succinctly that everyone but you understands, you ultimately are blinded by your narrow-mindedness. Read the information for yourself. You automatically discredit anything that counters your sphere of righteousness. Because if you actually got off your duff and read source documents on Dr. Gallo and the simian virus, Fort Dietrich, Litton Bionetics, Bayer documents on Factor 8, The Rockefeller Cancer Experiment of 1932, etc. you might actually wake up instead of being spoon fed. Then while your at it read the declassified document from Henry Kissinger’s memorandum 200. Do you have children? I pray to God none become Autistic or develop a neurological disorder from you sticking them.


        • I have explained the rules. They posted clearly under “disclaimers”, I have referred you there multiple times.
          Offering medical advice has nothing to do with being asked, nor anything to do with addressing someone specifically.
          Your comment could be construed as medical advice. Per my rules, you can speak of your personal experiences, or you can give a citation to appropriate peer reviewed literature.
          Posting a link to a patent and calling it a cure for aids absolutely counts as medical advice, a fact you’d have known had you read the rules.

          As for the whole OPV-AIDS thing, I have read into the “source material” you’re talking about. It’s useless, irrelevant, and unimportant. FOr everyone elses edification eventually I’ll write a fleshed out post on the subject.

          With your “spoon feeding” gibberish, you’re a step away from “sheeple.”
          I discredit things that are counter to reality, not that are counter to my sphere of righteousness.

        • Wu-tang Says:

          As for the whole OPV-AIDS thing, I have read into the “source material” you’re talking about. It’s useless, irrelevant, and unimportant. FOr everyone elses edification eventually I’ll write a fleshed out post on the subject.

          In other words, that is “doctor talk” for, “I haven’t read the material.” Notice the patterns. He’s blowing it out his backside Perez. If he actually read any of it he would be able to cite specifically what is not relevant, just like he asks everyone else to do. It is pretty deceptive how he does it. See how they get around actually reading it? Just give a bunch of horse hoey and maybe we will eat it.

          We better watch out because we will all get banned for disagreeing.


        • In other words, that is “doctor talk” for, “I haven’t read the material.”

          Ignoramus, I cited the material in my other reply. I did not ask everyone to “cite exactly what is not relevant” I asked people to cite RELEVANT information. Your reading comprehension fails you.

          For more information I refer you to the following articles on the subject.
          doi:10.1126/science.288.5472.1757. PMID 10877695.
          doi:10.1038/80356. PMID 11017114
          doi:10.1126/science.292.5517.615a
          doi:10.1038/428820a

          Again, you may not call yourself Dr Wu-Tang on these forums without supplying credentials, especially since your first post appeared to offer medical advice.

        • Wu-tang Says:

          Negative Ghostrider. Once again, YOU cited someone else’s opinion on the subject and adopted it as your own stance. WHAT SOURCE MATERIAL are you referencing?


        • Email me personally if you want to discuss Edward Hooper’s OPV-AIDS source material, he makes it easy by putting it all on one website for us doesn’t he?
          I’m not posting that crap here. I will only cite legitimate science here. I will not provide a citation of pseudoscience.


        • Wu-Tang,
          Wordpress software is flagging your posts as spam.
          It has done so under the rule banning Jeffry. This is consistant with what we’ve seen from you.
          You are welcome to contest this, email me if you think this is in error.


        • Patents are granted without respect to their actual ability to do anything. According to the US patent office:

          In order for an invention to be patentable it must be new as defined in the patent law, which provides that an invention cannot be patented if: “(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent,” or “(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to the application for patent in the United States . . .”

          In other words, as long as no one knows about it or it wasn’t described, it can be patented. If there was a “cure”, the holder of the patent would be a multi-billionaire by now. Since it isn’t really a cure, someone spent a couple of hundred dollars to get their name on a patent. Not really important.


        • Edward Hooper’s AIDS denialism was sent into oblivion about 10 years ago. If you want to jump on some woo-meister bandwagon that’s a bit more current, Peter Duesberg’s brand of AIDS denialism is a current rage. And he’s actually got some credentials that makes him mildly interesting, though no one supports him. It must be that conspiracy run by the Jews, Big Pharma, and US Government to suppress all sorts of denialism about the Holocaust, AIDS origins, and vaccines causing autism that suppresses all knowledge.

        • ddw11 Says:

          we just entered a whole new level of crazy here


        • Edward Hooper is an AIDS denialist. He’s no different than Jenny McCarthy, David Irving, and Michael Behe, vaccine, holocaust, and evolution denialists respectively.

          A popular press book, by the way, is not a valid source. It’s not peer-reviewed, and represents the opinion of a pseudoscientist. I’d rather read the two dozen articles that have concluded the OPV AIDS theory was a non-starter.

        • Scott Says:

          The point, I believe, is that what you should worry about are people who promote dangerous treatments and responses (e.g. chelation, avoiding vaccination) despite the evidence being against them.

          Having children come into contact with unvaccinated playmates/friends/classmates, and contract a dangerous and possibly lethal infectious disease because of it, is something ALL parents should be worried about.

          Parents of autistic children in particular should worry about people who try to sell them dangerous and useless “treatments” to “recover” their child.

          And so on.

        • Wu-tang Says:

          Therein LIEs the quandary. If vaccines work so well what do parents of vaccinated children have to worry about? That very question has been a source of great reflection for posterity!


        • I don’t know what you’re trying to reference by saying “therein lies the quandary” this isn’t actually a reply to a post.

          This is also a strawman argument, parents of vaccinated children have to worry because children are not completely vaccinated at birth. Some children with specific allergies may not be eligble for vaccines. Vaccines aren’t 100% effective and noone claimed they are. What is closer to 100% effective is herd immunity.

          It’s not my job to do your homework for you, if you’re bringing an argument, learn basic immunology before posting.

          Between you not posting credentials, and not showing any knowledge of immunology, I’d say that means you aren’t a physician, or scientist, and don’t have any such background.

          Study, then accuse.

        • Wu-tang Says:

          Your silly software is putting the posts in the wrong place!


        • Don’t make up excuses for your own mistakes. Noone else seems to be having this problem.

        • Wu-tang Says:

          You really can not come to grip that someone in the medical field could not have scruples. Everything is still pie-in-the-sky.

          Moreover if you even looked at Tuskegee where black males were intentionally given syphilis maybe you would be less apt to name call. I’m positive all of your customers love you. I have no reservations about that.


        • I have no idea what you’re referring to.

          If you find reply not working, why not quote to provide context?

          Now you tell me, what does Tuskegee have to do with this?
          Tuskegee was terrible, everyone agrees, but claiming that it has something to do with vaccines is similar to claiming that Charles Darwin is responsible for Nazi Germany – both are baseless claims that require horriblly long convuluted chains of information.

        • Wu-tang Says:

          The point being, our government doesn’t have our best interests in mind! They have experimented on people in the past. Therefore, while you liberally throw out ‘tin foil’ comments, maybe you should keep in mind there is damn good reason to be a skeptic on anything they say.


        • Wu-tang, you’re a moving target for ad hominems. Now it’s the untrustworthy government.

          With regards to the OPV-AIDS conspiracy theory, let me quote from Weiss RA (2001). “Polio vaccines exonerated”. Nature 410 (6832): 1035–6.

          The new data may not convince the hardened conspiracy theorist who thinks that contamination of OPV by chimpanzee virus was subsequently and deliberately covered up. But those of us who were formerly willing to give some credence to the OPV hypothesis will now consider that the matter has been laid to rest.

          I’m not sure what else to say to you, but I can get a couple of tin-foil hats for your personal use.

        • Wu-tang Says:

          The million dollar question is, if your paradigm ever changes will you actually admit it on here or will you save face?


        • Incidentally, I don’t have customers, I have patients.

        • ddw11 Says:

          “question intent regardless of what the data says… which is what I learned long ago. Data can be self-serving or manipulated. I didn’t say all cases, but it can in some.”

          It certainly can. This is why scientists must submit papers for peer review if they wish to publish. If you are not familiar with peer review, it is a grindhouse. The paper is picked through, not only for data and statistical analysis, but even to make sure appropriately reserved conclusions are drawn. Of course, after publication, other, independent researchers will attempt to replicate the results. All of this safeguards against fraud and manipulation. Its not perfect, but it is the most effective means known.

          The propositions people from “your side” put forth do not make it through this process. “Your side” either goes to the popular press with its message, or creates its own hack journals in a move to gain credibility from the title, “published in a peer reviewed journal.”

          You really throw around “conflicts of interest” as if that invalidates the research these scientists have done. I know “my side” references conflicts of interest as well in regards to Wakefield and others. However, on “my side” conflicts of interests are disclosed openly, if they are not, a rather large scandal will ensue. See what has recently been going on at JAMA. Your side does not disclose their conflicts of interest, which is the difference between the cases. Studies with undisclosed conflicts of interest with non-reviewed data taken to the popular press will not impress here.

          And the issue is black and white. The evidence for the safety and efficacy of vaccines is overwhelmingly on “my side.” The truth does not lie somewhere in the middle of our divide. Sometimes someone is just right and someone is just plain wrong.

        • trrll Says:

          I would like your two cents on what I should worry about. I can honestly say that I know of 5 families that have recovered their children from autism by modalities labeled ‘quackery’ on this forum. You have my personal information and if you so have the desire I will put you in contact with those families.

          Isn’t that at least worth studying, how families are recovering their children

          Not really. Such anecdotes are a dime a dozen. Autistic children frequently show periods of apparent stasis punctuated by sudden improvement. Pretty much all autistic children are receiving some kind of “therapy,” so when improvement occurs, the therapy tends to get the credit, whether it was responsible or not. Indeed, this is often seen in placebo controlled trials, in which parents of children receiving the placebo are convinced that the treatment made their child get better. So testimonials are nearly worthless. Only careful statistical analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trials can tell which treatments work and which do not.

  10. trrll Says:

    No, trrll, I patently reject your idea. It would be plausible to the layman but not in this discussion. You are assuming that because we are not exposed to ‘enough foreign antigens’ that we are susceptible to disease when that is simply not the case. Your proposed theory is dangerous because it is linking a correlative event to causation. I could say, “I never get sick when I wear my Nike shoes.”

    It is not “my” proposed theory, but a well-known hypothesis that is the basis of considerable research. Unlike your arbitrary and implausible assumption that harm would result from added exposure to a tiny fraction of the immense number of antigens that every child encounters routinely in daily life, the idea that low antigen exposure could be a source of illness is both rational (even with vaccination, modern sanitation and disease control measures result in much lower exposure to foreign antigens than in the past) and supported by some evidence. If you’d like to educate yourself, a starting point is here.

    Simply put (if that is your problem statement?) :
    If the hypothesis is: 10 vaccines are safe; it should be tested. If the hypothesis is: 100 vaccines are safe; it should be tested. If the hypothesis is: 1000 vaccines are safe; it should be tested.

    Before being added to the vaccination schedule, each new vaccine is tested in combination with the other vaccinations in the standard schedule. So if there is some implausible “limit,” we have not yet encountered it.

    The notion that vaccines provide 100% safety provides a false sense of security for the general public.

    Misstating the arguments of those you disagree with conveys the impression that your realize that your own position is too weak to be able to convince anybody honestly. Here is the CDC vaccine safety web site. Please direct me to where it says that vaccines are 100% without risk.

    The hot topic in ‘vaccineology’ is Gardasil which has not been fully tested, per its package insert. Yet doctors are still making the recommendation it is efficacious!

    Nothing is ever really “fully” tested. There are always additional tests that could be done. However, Gardasil has been tested and shown to be efficacious in protecting against HPV, a significant cause of cancer, with a low risk of adverse effects. However, it is not part of the standard vaccination schedule, and some physicians question whether its benefits in the context of mass vaccination justify its cost.


  11. trrll, ddw11, Michael Simpson, and Scott as always I greatly appreciate your bringing the knowledge back into this discussion! I’m convinced I have among the smartest readers out there!


  12. I was messing with thread settings, and somehow we ended up with 10 thread deep allowed (which was madness!), when I changed it to 4, some posts got juggled around. My apologies for the resulting confusion.

    You should worry about caring for you child. You should worry about finding legitimate therapies, proven therapies and ways to help. You shouldn’t chase false hope offered by deceptive “doctors.”

    If anything, you should be on guard for people who offer “cures” and “quick fixes” or special diets. There are always people ready to prey on the vulnerable. Thats yet another reason we need EBM to light the way.

    On this blog, no reputation, or job is at stake. I post anonymously. Frankly, if I posted my information, I doubt this blog would hurt my reputation.

    Methods that work certainly are worth studying. Yet the pseudoscientific methods you are referring to have produced anecdotal results.

    The fact of the matter is that autism is a disease with a variable course, some people get better, some people don’t. Evidence based medicine lets us differentiate treatments that actually work, from people cherry picking out “successes” that are really variable course improvements.

    When placed in randomized controlled trials of actual patients, in statistically significant numbers, the therapies you are alluding too don’t work! Not at all! Most of them have no basic science basis.

    These parent’s aren’t “recovering” their children. Their children are progressing along the course of a complicated condition. The unproven,

    • Jeffry Says:

      Conflict of interest isn’t a magic wand with which you can immediately wave off any opinion that disagrees with you! The reality is that every research on both sides of the aisle has a conflict of interest somewhere!

      NO! One can’t dismiss the information!

      Yet, one needs to weigh the information for bias!

      You should worry about caring for you child. You should worry about finding legitimate therapies, proven therapies and ways to help. You shouldn’t chase false hope offered by deceptive “doctors.”

      Exactly. The help I have sought thus far have been from some pretty reputable doctors. One, for example, was a doctor of nutrition for NASA. He has recommended some of the therapies labeled as ‘quackery’. I do not consider myself being ‘preyed’ upon.

      Most Autistic children experience GI issues. Either chronic diarrhea or constipation. Again, I implore you to ask the next parent you see of an Autistic child. Most Autistic children have been healed by treating GI issues.

      And, I agree with you! (is this a first? 😉 ) There DOES need to be more research. For example, why do some children respond remarkably well to a GF/CF diet while others (like mine) respond minimally? Why are some very sensitive to salicylates or phenols? Some respond VERY well to various anti-fungals.

      Because there is no ‘standard’ treatment for Autism, mainstream doctors should not disregard what has worked in some cases for some parents. And therein lies the dichotomy: Parents want hope, doctors want evidence.


      • Please cite a reference or email me information pertaining to any “doctor of nutrition from NASA”.

        We need more research – but not about diet.
        Frankly, treating GI issues in patients who have GI issues is normal… The statement isn’t specific enough to really make sense.

        The reason some children seem to respond to a GF/CF diet and some don’t is because autism has a variable course. Those patients when taken off of the GF/CF diet, will proceed the same way they were going to regardless of gluten or casein. The anti fungals don’t work. There is no evidence pointing to chronic candidiasis as a cause of autism. The metamatrix labs often pointed at to make this point are useless, and not approved because they don’t work!

        Most of the good evidence on autism points to genetic causes (citations on this coming in part 6, I know thats unsatisfying, but I also know there is too much information to get out all at once).

        They do not point to causes that would be amenable to diet alterations. While sometimes idiosyncratic treatments
        Correlation is not causation as has been said many times by both sides in this discussion. Yet your examples are purely correlative.

        Parents want hope. Doctors want to make sure it’s not false hope.

  13. Jeffry Says:

    Zoroglu SS, et al. Increased oxidative stress and altered activities of erythrocyte free radical scavenging enzymes in autism. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2004 Jun;254(3):143-7

    McGinnis WR, Oxidative stress in autism. Altern Ther Health Med. 2004 Nov-Dec;10(6):22-36

    My question is: Is it possible vaccines or environmental toxins could be causing oxidative stress?

    If so, what would be a modality to address this? Good cellular nutrition?


    • No.
      Firstly because vaccines are a small amount. There is not enough of any given chemical to give a legitimate “oxidative stress” argument. We will address the oxidative stress argument in part 5. Please defer furthers posts on this hypothesis until then.

      “Environmental toxins” is an incoherhant phrase. What are toxins? Why would they put oxidative stress on patients?

      The reality is that “environmental toxins” has been a catch all boogyman term, that really doesn’t mean anything. If you worry about a specific chemical, or class of chemicals, we can test that hypothesis.

      “good cellular nutrition” by the way, isn’t a sensible term either. It doesn’t mean anything at all.

  14. John H. Says:

    I have to ask Jeffry a few questions.

    In your perfect world, what would you like to see happen with respect to childhood vaccinations? How would you change what’s being done, to ensure our children are protected against disease?

    I’ve asked questions like these of others on your “side” of the debate, but not gotten a satisfactory answer. No good proposals, just more implications of wrongdoing on the side of science.

    You should know: I stand on the side of medical science. Medicine has an answer for childhood diseases–vaccines. I know of nothing in this life that is 100% safe or 100% effective, but we all do what we can at every step along the way. One thing that I’m certain would be wrong, would be to return to the state of things that existed when I was a child, where kids simply got what went around. Most of us will not agree to that–ever.

    It’s time for serious people to talk, and provide serious answers. This is why I ask.

    • Jeffry Says:

      John H.

      I have to say, first, thank you for asking. I realize I do run the risk of being severly chastized here.

      The caveat is, John, that I also ask people on ‘my side of the fence’ about thimerisol not being in the MMR, etc. Thimerisol is a moving target and I believe that anyone who makes thimerisol a single argument for vaccinating or not vaccinating is a disinformer. It is an important issue, but not the only one.

      However, my cousin passed away from SIDS when I was younger. The suspect was DTAP.

      In your perfect world, what would you like to see happen with respect to childhood vaccinations? How would you change what’s being done, to ensure our children are protected against disease?

      Overall, it is my interpretation of someone who wants to be a doctor or a healer has the aspirations to improve the human condition and ease suffering.

      Specifically, regarding childhood vaccines, first and foremost, it should be the parents choice! Parents should not have to fear their doctor every time they go to the emergency room or a checkup that CPS will be called because they are being viewed as a ‘bad parent’.

      Remedies are in place, for example, in the state I live in (Colorado) C.R.S. 25-4 to quarantine those that have a communicable disease in the case of an outbreak. Most parents (who don’t vaccinate)accept this as a reality.

      Secondly, doctors are supposed to treat individuals. If there is a 70-80% success rate in vaccines, wouldn’t it behove us to know why? If life is important… before I trust my son or daughter to a doctor, I want to know they care about them. When a jab is given without prior testing to genetic sensativities or reactions, it is a jab-first-ask-questions-later mentality many have a problem with. We are putting attenuated viruses, adjuvants, etc. into a young person and it is only after they receive it we may form reservations.

      If the question is preserving life, testing first is a good start. If there are adverse reactions it would be nice to know what the risks are. The people on ‘your side of the fence’ say the risks are so low we shouldn’t worry about it. If the DTaP was the cause of my cousin’s death, I’m sure my Aunt and Uncle would have liked to know if there was a significant risk before hand. To the one parent that has lost a child, the risk is not worth it. Do we still vaccinate in that case?

      This is just addressing the vaccine question you asked though, John. I really don’t believe vaccines are the panacea. There is a mountain of evidence that suggests optimal nutrition and sanitary conditions stem acute diseases. There is every bit of evidence to suggest that once ‘white man’ food is introduced, being refined flour and sugar, disease is detected. Weston Price has documented this thoroughly. I recommend before you read what is on ‘Quackwatch’ to read the information for yourself. Francis Pottenger did another good study with cats concerning nutrition.

      Perhaps you have heard of the chemical constituants of plants being useful for combating disease-causing agents? I’m sure there are those that will call ‘bunk’ on this. So be it.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12694455

      To respect what White Coat asked, I will not post links ad nauseum.

      You should know: I stand on the side of medical science. Medicine has an answer for childhood diseases–vaccines. I know of nothing in this life that is 100% safe or 100% effective, but we all do what we can at every step along the way.

      I can appreciate this standpoint. One of my complaints in the past has been how little doctors are trained in nutrition versus pharmacology. Docere means to teach. This is the root word, of course for doctor. Most I have spoken to are incredibly intelligent and well-mannered. If a doctor is taught from a pharmalogical standpoint, that is what he/she knows and teaches from. These are the teachings I expect for the most part when I go to a doctor: pharmalogical.

      I haven’t quite found a good answer to the polio question thus far, outside of vaccination. Paul Offit himself didn’t even take the smallpox vaccine. I believe Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Pertussis & a few others are very managable as children (much more serious as adults) with the help of managed care.

      This may be much to White Coat’s shagrin, however…

      Many of you may or may not know of who Bertrand Russell was. Mr. Russell was a prominent public figure and very influential. I would like to point out one particular passage from his writings. I promise you I did not take this out of context.

      “Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.”

      Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1953, p. 50.

      I don’t even want to touch the ‘injections’ portion of his comment. White Coat eluded to ‘special diets’ before. I think we need to take a hard look at our food supply and how it affects us long term neurologically in conjunction w/ vaccines and environmental toxins (flouride, lead, etc).

      And White Coat, I am providing this information for you not to ‘counter’ your argument but to show that this is valid information (especially when parents say vaccines are the sole cause for ASD [ADD/ADHD, etc])! NO MOM AND DAD! Maybe it’s the HO-HO’s!?! A special diet is viable!

      http://www.feingold.org/Research/lancet.html
      (a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial)

      The reviewer, Alison Schonwald, MD, FAAP, is an expert in developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Schonwald writes:

      Despite increasing data supporting the efficacy of stimulants in preschoolers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) parents and providers understandably seek safe and effective interventions that require no prescription. A recent meta-analysis of 15 trials concludes that there is “accumulating evidence that neurobehavioral toxicity may characterize a variety of widely distributed chemicals.” [Schab DW, et al. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004;25:423–434] Some children may be more sensitive to the effects of these chemicals, and the authors suggest there is a need to better identify responders. In real life, practitioners faced with hyperactive preschoolers have a reasonable option to offer parents. For the child without a medical, emotional, or environmental etiology of ADHD behaviors, a trial of a preservative-free, food coloring–free diet is a reasonable intervention.

      • John H. Says:

        I think everyone agrees that we should find and see doctors whom we trust. I am very fortunate to have an internist I trust. There is no doubt that as patients (and parents/children of patients) that we need to communicate with our health care providers and believe in the advice they give us.

        To that point, I find it very hard to accept that my own doctor would knowingly dispense advice (such as vaccinations, tests, etc.) that would be against my best interests. The money he makes doesn’t offset the potential for harm. Furthermore, I know he cares about his patients; he would not give advice he would not himself follow.

        That said, doctors are only people, and people make mistakes.

        On the surface, making the vaccinate-or-not-vaccinate decision a personal one sounds like good advice. Except when enough people don’t have their children vaccinated, and these diseases then begin to make a comeback. As the scientists will tell you, herd immunity is important because of the gaps in the protection levels of individuals.

        I won’t attempt to debate the science here. Whitecoat’s purpose is to provide meaningful information to patients (and their parents) about the safety of early childhood vaccines. Today science has found no relationship between vaccines and autism. Anecdotal “evidence” abounds at the individual case level, but I have to put quotes around the word because what appears to be true for individuals doesn’t always hold up when we look at entire populations.

        To the one parent that has lost a child, the risk is not worth it. Do we still vaccinate in that case?

        With respect to risk, when I was a kid they told us that some very few individuals could actually get polio from the vaccine. People vaccinated anyway because the risk was indeed less than the harm the disease caused. Still is, though I’m sure today’s vaccine is much safer.

        I can’t argue for or against a causal relationship between a child’s death and vaccinations. The problem is that at the individual level, things can happen–things can go wrong. Things do go wrong. I know that’s very small consolation to a grieving parent. Very small. A common assertion is that vaccines cause a rather significant loss of life and cause other damage, but the facts don’t support it. There are small risks, but the damage the wild diseases cause is much worse. For one parent at their child’s funeral this doesn’t seem “small” at all, but if we ask the thousands of parents who once lost children to polio, measles, etc., etc., it tends to be more than offset.

        So my answer to your question above is yes.

        I really don’t believe vaccines are the panacea. There is a mountain of evidence that suggests optimal nutrition and sanitary conditions stem acute diseases. There is every bit of evidence to suggest that once ‘white man’ food is introduced, being refined flour and sugar, disease is detected.

        Except for all those places where people have poor nutrition and no sanitation, and have never had “white man” food. They have plenty of these diseases. But I think you’re arguing the opposite, that with proper diet and sanitary conditions there is no disease. Not only is that not true, we simply cannot control diet and environment effectively. Because of this, proper vaccination does provide the best, cheapest, most effective protection against these deadly diseases. No panacea, to be sure, but better than the alternative.


      • Thimerisol is a moving target and I believe that anyone who makes thimerisol a single argument for vaccinating or not vaccinating is a disinformer. It is an important issue, but not the only one.

        It is not an important issue. It is not an issue at all. It’s been throughly debunked everywhere in this blog, with great citations.

        However, my cousin passed away from SIDS when I was younger. The suspect was DTAP.

        This is utter bilge. SIDS is not related to vaccines. If you’re going to make a claim about a disease that has no known etiology, you had damn well better make a citation. A good citation, not some cohort study.

        Overall, it is my interpretation of someone who wants to be a doctor or a healer has the aspirations to improve the human condition and ease suffering.

        Certainly true, but saying so doesn’t have anything to do with anything else you’ve said.

        Specifically, regarding childhood vaccines, first and foremost, it should be the parents choice! Parents should not have to fear their doctor every time they go to the emergency room or a checkup that CPS will be called because they are being viewed as a ‘bad parent’.

        This is BS. If your child has pneumonia and you go to the ER, your child gets antibiotics. If you refuse, CPS WILL be called, it is legally, and ethically required. It’s not always “parents choice.” We make decisions for childrens safety, and public safety.
        While there is not a similar legal precedent for vaccination yet, it is absolutely bad parenting not to get your children the appropriate vaccines. Your job as a parent is to educate yourself appropriately.

        Remedies are in place, for example, in the state I live in (Colorado) C.R.S. 25-4 to quarantine those that have a communicable disease in the case of an outbreak. Most parents (who don’t vaccinate)accept this as a reality.

        Infact quarantine exists specifically for public health protection. Vaccinations are, and should be, required for the same, public health reasons.

        Secondly, doctors are supposed to treat individuals.

        This is a nonstatement. Doctors are responsible to our individual patients, as well as to society.

        If there is a 70-80% success rate in vaccines, wouldn’t it behove us to know why?

        This is a deceptive if. This is not the case. You are implying a fact, with a questionmark, that is completely untrue.

        If life is important… before I trust my son or daughter to a doctor, I want to know they care about them. When a jab is given without prior testing to genetic sensativities or reactions, it is a jab-first-ask-questions-later mentality many have a problem with. We are putting attenuated viruses, adjuvants, etc. into a young person and it is only after they receive it we may form reservations.

        Yet most of these sensitivities don’t have a known genetic basis, and are far rarer than you are implying. “jab first ask quesitons later” is a provactive statement that means nothing. We also “jab first” when drawing basic labs, and “jab first” when giving antibiotics for infection. We treat empirically for large portions of medicine. It is appropriate to do so.
        Your reservations are without basis. That’s really the point. You keep posting here with things that would potentially sound reasonable to a parent reading this, yet you clearly ignore everything previously said on this blog when you do so. You are trying to produce a “reasonable sounding, caring front” from which to push your agenda.

        If the question is preserving life, testing first is a good start. If there are adverse reactions it would be nice to know what the risks are. The people on ‘your side of the fence’ say the risks are so low we shouldn’t worry about it.

        This statement is incoherant. It’s not “people on my side” that say this, it’s the objective evidence. The evidence that you persistantly ignore, and obfuscate in your advocacy.

        If the DTaP was the cause of my cousin’s death, I’m sure my Aunt and Uncle would have liked to know if there was a significant risk before hand. To the one parent that has lost a child, the risk is not worth it. Do we still vaccinate in that case?

        Well, DTAP is not at all correlated with SIDS. Should we similarly test the risk of watching sesame street being a cause of SIDS? Sure there is no correlation, but I’m sure I could find someone with reservations about sesame street, who just doesn’t think the risk is worthwhile.

        This is just addressing the vaccine question you asked though, John. I really don’t believe vaccines are the panacea. There is a mountain of evidence that suggests optimal nutrition and sanitary conditions stem acute diseases.

        There is no such mountain of evidence. Sure, “good nutrition” vs “malnutrition” shows evidence of helping with acute disease. But you are suggesting obscure, ridiculous, unproven diets as proven. This is incorrect.

        There is every bit of evidence to suggest that once ‘white man’ food is introduced, being refined flour and sugar, disease is detected. Weston Price has documented this thoroughly. I recommend before you read what is on ‘Quackwatch’ to read the information for yourself. Francis Pottenger did another good study with cats concerning nutrition.

        I’m ashamed of you. You’re gish galluping. On top of gish galluping, you are using bilge arguments. Disease has existed long before “white man” food.

        Perhaps you have heard of the chemical constituants of plants being useful for combating disease-causing agents? I’m sure there are those that will call ‘bunk’ on this. So be it.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12694455

        This has nothing to do with anything. Noone denies that chemical constituents of plants can’t be used in combating disease. In no way is this connected to vaccines or autism. This entire paragraph is a non-sequitor, here to obscure the issue.

        To respect what White Coat asked, I will not post links ad nauseum.

        You haven’t respected anything else that I’ve asked.

        I can appreciate this standpoint. One of my complaints in the past has been how little doctors are trained in nutrition versus pharmacology. Docere means to teach. This is the root word, of course for doctor. Most I have spoken to are incredibly intelligent and well-mannered. If a doctor is taught from a pharmalogical standpoint, that is what he/she knows and teaches from. These are the teachings I expect for the most part when I go to a doctor: pharmalogical.

        Meaningless gibberish. Docere aside, we learn nutrition, and pharmacology. I have commented that I wish we learn more nutrition, but we also have specialists, who deal entirely with nutrition. I wish we learned more about cancer too, but hey, the oncologists learn the higher level stuff. I wish we learned more trauma. But of course only the trauma surgeons and ER docs have time for that.

        I haven’t quite found a good answer to the polio question thus far, outside of vaccination. Paul Offit himself didn’t even take the smallpox vaccine. I believe Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Pertussis & a few others are very managable as children (much more serious as adults) with the help of managed care.

        Firstly, smallpox has nothing to do with this. Smallpox has been eradicated so Paul Offit’s taking or not taing is has nothing to do with it. Secondly, in this country we use an inactivated polio vaccine, with which you cannot get polio. Only the live oral polio virus has even a small possibility of vaccine related polio.
        Measles mumps, rubella, varicella, pertussis, and a few others are NOT manageable as children. These diseases used to be the major killers of children here. They are still major killers elsewhere in the world. “the help of managed care” wouldn’t exist – the hospital systems are held to breaking point as it is, an extra load of infectious disease would merely mean people dead, who don’t need to die.

        Many of you may or may not know of who Bertrand Russell was. Mr. Russell was a prominent public figure and very influential. I would like to point out one particular passage from his writings. I promise you I did not take this out of context.
        “Diet, injections, and injunctions will combine, from a very early age, to produce the sort of character and the sort of beliefs that the authorities consider desirable, and any serious criticism of the powers that be will become psychologically impossible.”
        Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1953, p. 50.

        Bertrand Russell isn’t a scientist! Just because you found someone prominent who had odd, ignorant beliefs outside of his field of expertise doesn’t mean you’ve found anything of important.

        I don’t even want to touch the ‘injections’ portion of his comment. White Coat eluded to ’special diets’ before. I think we need to take a hard look at our food supply and how it affects us long term neurologically in conjunction w/ vaccines and environmental toxins (flouride, lead, etc).

        All of these things have already been tested. And found wanting.

        And White Coat, I am providing this information for you not to ‘counter’ your argument but to show that this is valid information (especially when parents say vaccines are the sole cause for ASD [ADD/ADHD, etc])! NO MOM AND DAD! Maybe it’s the HO-HO’s!?! A special diet is viable!
        http://www.feingold.org/Research/lancet.html
        (a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial)

        You’ve just posted articles that have NOTHING TO DO WITH VACCINES AND AUTISM.
        You’re points are not at all connected with the discussion going on at this blog.
        You have avoided “posting links ad nauseum” by posting no links and continueing to make unsubstantiated, ridiculous claims.
        You have persisted in breaking all the rules, and being very deceptive to those parents who may actually have something to gain from this site.
        So Jeffry, you are banned.

    • Perez Says:

      @Jeffry: You bring up taboo issues that they do not have answers for! Tsk! Tsk! I saw your post before it was deleted concerning CPS and I to would like to know what they are hiding? What law? Who made them God? Is this America or are we living in the Soviet Union?

      By the way Jeffry, the big secret is there are no ramifications for their actions. Frankly the National Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 gives vaccine makers NO responsability under the auspice of avoiding ‘costly lawsuits’.

      I have read the posts. Whitecoattales political cheerleaders are in all probability his medical classmates and or teacher. This is probably a school project with no real objective other than to get a good grade. The more he enflames, the higher the grade.

      @Whitecoattales: Much of my breath won’t be wasted here. I say not much, but I am going to tell you to grow up. Go back and look at your posts. You are doing EXACTLY what you are banning people for. Your logic is flawed only to the degree where it suits your needs. Epic Fail.

      Jeffry also mentioned in his deleted post about VAERS. Is Jeffry making this up? Are parents making this up?

      Where are everyone’s credentials? I don’t see them posted on here for several posters. Why are you calling out specific posters that disagree wtih you versus not doing so with ones that agree with your viewpoint? Are you attempting to be objective or selective in your theories?


      • @Jeffry: You bring up taboo issues that they do not have answers for! Tsk! Tsk!

        There is no taboo. We have discussed Jeffrys concerns to death on parts 1, 2, and 3, and in the adjoining comments sections. He has added no new material. He was effectively reposting the same arguments that got him banned initially.

        I saw your post before it was deleted concerning CPS and I to would like to know what they are hiding? What law? Who made them God? Is this America or are we living in the Soviet Union?

        There is ample precedent for administering antibiotics and calling CPS in the scenario I gave: a child with pneumonia whose parents refuse antibiotic treatment for otherwise dangerous, and easily treatable conditions. It’s actually a classic ethics question for my board exams.

        I suggest you study
        Prince v. Massachusetts, U.S. Supreme Court, (1944)
        A case, in the united states.
        This lack of basic research on Jeffry’s part before making accusations is the kind of behavior that led to the banning. You are more than welcome to disagree with me. But you must play by the same rules as everyone else.

        By the way Jeffry, the big secret is there are no ramifications for their actions. Frankly the National Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 gives vaccine makers NO responsability under the auspice of avoiding ‘costly lawsuits’.

        The national vaccine injury act exists beucase drug companies stopped making vaccines due to litigation. The profit per vaccine shot is not large, litigation is an extremely expensive thing. I suggest you read into history before making accusations.

        I have read the posts. Whitecoattales political cheerleaders are in all probability his medical classmates and or teacher. This is probably a school project with no real objective other than to get a good grade. The more he enflames, the higher the grade.

        I’m afraid this sentence doesn’t make sense. This is not a school project. I’m in medical school, why would they make me blog as a project? Additionally, the commenters on my blog here, for the most part, well known commenters elsewhere in the blogosphere. This sounds like a pretty crazy conspiracy theory.

        @Whitecoattales: Much of my breath won’t be wasted here. I say not much, but I am going to tell you to grow up. Go back and look at your posts. You are doing EXACTLY what you are banning people for. Your logic is flawed only to the degree where it suits your needs. Epic Fail.

        Nowhere do I do what Jeffry does. Only your poor reading comprehension makes you think that.

        Jeffry also mentioned in his deleted post about VAERS. Is Jeffry making this up? Are parents making this up?

        What did he say abour VAERS? He implied that VAERS proves that vaccine reactions are common. In truth, VAERS shows that vaccine reactions of the type Jeffry advocates are quite rare. Noones making anything up, Jeffry just can’t read scientific data. Sofar, it looks like you can’t either.

        Where are everyone’s credentials? I don’t see them posted on here for several posters. Why are you calling out specific posters that disagree wtih you versus not doing so with ones that agree with your viewpoint? Are you attempting to be objective or selective in your theories?

        You do not see posters credentials because you have not read parts 1, 2 and 3. Had they made a claim that could have been interpreted as medical advice, I’d have called them to terms on it right away here as well!

        The post I deleted was posted by Jeffry after he was banned. He recieved multiple warnings for not following the rules, which are clearly posted in my disclaimers section of the website. The comment could have been completely inoffensive, it doesn’t matter. Banned is banned, trying to weasel your way around it doesn’t work.

        • Perez Says:

          I suggest you study
          Prince v. Massachusetts, U.S. Supreme Court, (1944)
          A case, in the united states.
          This lack of basic research on Jeffry’s part before making accusations is the kind of behavior that led to the banning. You are more than welcome to disagree with me. But you must play by the same rules as everyone else.

          Once again, a gross assumption on your part. Your posts are littered with them!

          So Prince v. Massachusetts, U.S. Supreme Court 1944, huh? Citing case law? What are we supposed to take from that specifically? How is this applicable to medical rights?

          I want the SPECIFIC LAW that grants you authority. Not case law or statutes.

          You will not find your answer until you look at the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946, period!

          us cfr 302.34
          302.34 Cooperative arrangements.

          (a) The State plan shall provide that the State will enter
          into written agreements for cooperative arrangements with appropriate courts and law enforcement officials. Such arrangements may be entered into with a single official covering more than one court, official, or agency, if the single official has the legal authority to enter into arrangements on behalf of the courts, officials, or agencies.

          Maybe you should ask for your institutions cooperative agreement? Get a clue before you ruin another family’s life.

          I suppose next you are going to tell me the Constitution is a living document?

        • Wu-tang Says:

          Perez back down on him with this one. He’s just a student. All they spoon feed him with is that he needs to call CSP if the parents decide not to vaccinate, if say, a child comes in with a broken leg.

          The laws state in most states (48) %%and I will be happy to cite them%% that the laws actually say otherwise. There are philosophical or religious exemptions otherwise and the state(s) have recognized quarantine as a valid remedy.

          In layman’s terms, they are on a power trip but don’t know it yet.


  15. Unfortunately, the “public” (whatever that is) gives equal weight to science and pseudoscience which leads to the grey. What our job must be is that the weight isn’t equal. But will the “public” understand what we’re saying? I think the science is so complicated that everyone dozes off, and we go back to equal weight. The pseudoscience pushers, whether it be vaccines cause autism or acupuncture works, have less nuanced, more cogent pleas.

    And I still get annoyed by those who think that someone how Big Pharma is unethical. And Wakefield isn’t. It makes no sense.

  16. Scott Says:

    “Thimerisol is a moving target and I believe that anyone who makes thimerisol a single argument for vaccinating or not vaccinating is a disinformer. It is an important issue, but not the only one.”

    The problem with this statement is that the evidence against thimerosal being an issue *at all*, much less an “important” issue, is far beyond overwhelming.

    “However, my cousin passed away from SIDS when I was younger. The suspect was DTAP.”

    Suspected by whom? Last I heard, there is no good evidence for any link between vaccination and SIDS. If that’s incorrect, I’d be quite interested to know about such evidence.

    “Specifically, regarding childhood vaccines, first and foremost, it should be the parents choice! Parents should not have to fear their doctor every time they go to the emergency room or a checkup that CPS will be called because they are being viewed as a ‘bad parent’.”

    It is quite reasonable for parents who make bad decisions (a VERY different thing from being a ‘bad parent’, and I would generically object to that term being used in such a situation) to fear being called out on them. I might even suggest that this is a good thing; societal pressure to do what’s best for the child and the rest of the community can be quite effective.

    However, it is NOT reasonable to portray vaccination as a pure freedom-of-choice issue, given that failure to vaccinate places everyone who comes into contact with the child at risk. Due to that, it’s inappropriate to oversimplify.

    “Secondly, doctors are supposed to treat individuals. If there is a 70-80% success rate in vaccines, wouldn’t it behove us to know why?”

    Efforts to improve vaccines are ongoing. I’m quite confident that said efforts include research into precisely what limits their efficacy. (Where does your 70-80% figure come from, by the way?)

    “If life is important… before I trust my son or daughter to a doctor, I want to know they care about them.”

    Of course. However, this is quite irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    “When a jab is given without prior testing to genetic sensativities or reactions, it is a jab-first-ask-questions-later mentality many have a problem with. We are putting attenuated viruses, adjuvants, etc. into a young person and it is only after they receive it we may form reservations.”

    There are known contraindications for vaccination, and doctors check those as a matter of course. This is a gross mischaracterization of the process.

    “If the question is preserving life, testing first is a good start. If there are adverse reactions it would be nice to know what the risks are. The people on ‘your side of the fence’ say the risks are so low we shouldn’t worry about it. If the DTaP was the cause of my cousin’s death, I’m sure my Aunt and Uncle would have liked to know if there was a significant risk before hand. To the one parent that has lost a child, the risk is not worth it. Do we still vaccinate in that case?”

    Bottom line, yes. We do. If we could *know* that a sufficiently adverse reaction would occur, then of course the child doesn’t get vaccinated. But we can’t, unfortunately, so we have to go with what is overall the smaller risk.

    There’s a line from House that seems appropriate here: “I take risks, sometimes patients die. But not taking risks causes more patients to die, so I guess my biggest problem is I’ve been cursed with the ability to do the math.” Of course, House takes much bigger risks than vaccination. But the spirit is right.

    “This is just addressing the vaccine question you asked though, John. I really don’t believe vaccines are the panacea. There is a mountain of evidence that suggests optimal nutrition and sanitary conditions stem acute diseases. There is every bit of evidence to suggest that once ‘white man’ food is introduced, being refined flour and sugar, disease is detected. Weston Price has documented this thoroughly. I recommend before you read what is on ‘Quackwatch’ to read the information for yourself. Francis Pottenger did another good study with cats concerning nutrition.”

    If you’re going to claim a “mountain” and “every bit” of evidence, a bit more support is called for.

    “Perhaps you have heard of the chemical constituants of plants being useful for combating disease-causing agents? I’m sure there are those that will call ‘bunk’ on this. So be it.”

    I don’t think anybody informed would call this ‘bunk’. Yes, of course plant-derived compounds can be medically useful. There are all sorts of medications that derive from exactly that. (Aspirin being only the most famous example.) But that’s a far cry from the claim that “optimal nutrition and sanitary conditions stem acute diseases.”

    “I can appreciate this standpoint. One of my complaints in the past has been how little doctors are trained in nutrition versus pharmacology. Docere means to teach. This is the root word, of course for doctor. Most I have spoken to are incredibly intelligent and well-mannered. If a doctor is taught from a pharmalogical standpoint, that is what he/she knows and teaches from. These are the teachings I expect for the most part when I go to a doctor: pharmalogical.”

    I can’t speak to your experience, but every doctor I’ve had (or the rest of my family has had) has stressed nutrition, exercise, etc. quite strongly. Medication is turned to only if lifestyle changes are inadequate.

    “Paul Offit himself didn’t even take the smallpox vaccine.”

    Why should he? It’s eradicated in the wild; the main possibility for smallpox exposure (other than people who work in the labs which maintain samples) is a bioweapon attack. So why take even the very small risk?

    This is actually an excellent illustration of how much care is taken with the vaccine schedule. Once a vaccine no longer provides sufficient benefits to outweigh the risks, it is removed.

    “I believe Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella, Pertussis & a few others are very managable as children (much more serious as adults) with the help of managed care.”

    Then you are wrong. Measles can kill or cause permanent brain damage. Pertussis can kill. And so on. Yes, even with high-quality first-world medical care.


  17. […] Beyond the Short Coat Medicine – Soft on Patients, Hard on Woo! « Hard Conversations: Vaccines and Autism, Part 4: Response to Dr. Healy […]

  18. Wu-tang Says:

    It is a convenient way out. I understand. http://www.boydgraves.com is another site you can pontificate.


    • Oh boy, boydgraves.com – I’m very familiar.
      Don’t I need to wear a tinfoil hat to keep my thoughts in if I’m reading that site?

      Maybe the CIA is also breeding bananas into a mind control device, thats why we were so heavily involved in central america!

      Wu-Tang, I’m halfheartedly contemplating accusing you of being a Poe-sockpuppet about now, your opinions are so insane, and so unfounded, that the probability that you yourself are satire approachs 100%.

      • Wu-tang Says:

        I think you should go for the gusto. You want to stifle real debate by ’emailing me personally’.

        Have fun arguing with government documents and financial appropriations. Its a good thing the Pentagon can’t account for our money as well, no? Everything is pie in the sky here in White-coat-tale-land.


        • This is a medical blog.
          I want it to be legitimate information, right now, on vaccines, for parents.

          This isn’t even tangentially relevant, since we don’t use the OPV in this country!

          Oddly enough, a government document doesn’t prove science. Scientists prove science.

          Speaking of debate, you came in going strong to the hoop on the actual issue I posted about. But somehow once everyone where took your post apart you haven’t had much “debate” to give. Instead you’ve gone off into conspiracy theory land and made a bunch of accusations. You’ve said that you WOULD cite sometihng, but you still haven’t yet.


  19. For those who have been following along, and worry that our trolls represent a big chunk of the country:

    There is significant evidence that perez, Wu-Tang, and Jeffry are indeed, all the same person.

    If you disagree, you are welcome to email me to confirm/deny this.

    • John H. Says:

      Sock puppetry. It certainly seemed as though the intent was only to derail any serious discussion. Perhaps if they were enough of a nuisance you might just decide to give up.

      How about a post highlighting the stark difference between serious people (“our side”) and dishonest dissemblers? I won’t even call them a “side,” just a tinfoil hat faction. Honest folks can (and do) disagree openly and honestly.

      And to think I thought “Jeffry” was serious. I stand corrected.

  20. ddw11 Says:

    I smell sock puppets.

    • ddw11 Says:

      Oh, i see so do you. Comments are screwy. I posted this at the bottom of the page and it landed up here.

  21. trrll Says:

    Therein LIEs the quandary. If vaccines work so well what do parents of vaccinated children have to worry about? That very question has been a source of great reflection for posterity!

    Not among those who have bothered to do even the most rudimentary reading on the topic. The most important way in which vaccines protect the population is not be providing infallible protection of individuals against infection, but by reducing the population of highly susceptible individuals low enough to that the virus is unable to propagate rapidly enough to sustain an epidemic. But even a vaccinated person will be at some risk if they come into contact with an infected individual. Moreover, their are some children who for valid medical reasons are genuinely unable to tolerate vaccination, and are at extremely high risk.

  22. sokCipsoova Says:

    TEst progon bbbb 344 bab5


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