ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)
[personal profile] ecosophia
skeptical childOver the last few weeks there's been a running discussion over on the comments page of the blog about the pros and cons of vaccination. I've been pleased to see the participants keeping their tempers and continuing to discuss the matter in a civil fashion -- all the more as this is one of the real hot-button topics these days, and sees a lot of inflammatory rhetoric on both sides. At the same time, it's gotten a little intrusive over there, and a very long distance off topic. 

I've therefore decided to ask everyone involved in that discussion, or interested in following it, to move the conversation here. The same rules apply: no flaming, no trolling, no personal insults, and I'll be moderating each comment before it appears to guarantee that these rules are followed. Fair enough? Have at it. -- JMG
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(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-08 12:39 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Stated premise A: Vaccines cause autism.

Invisible premise B.

Conclusion: Vaccines are bad.


Fact: Autistic people are about 1% of the population, a figure that does not vary when comparing people who were vaccinated as children and people who were not.

Fact: The MMR vaccine, which is the one usually targeted in the first premise above, is so named because it vaccinates against measles, mumps, and rubella.

Fact: Measles is seriously deadly.

Fact: In areas where the measles vaccination rate is above the level at which herd immunity kicks in, measles deaths are unknown.


Let's revisit Invisible Premise B.

Sure sounds like the thing not being said here is "having an autistic kid is worse than having a kid die of measles". Because given the facts, nothing else leads to that conclusion.

As an autistic adult leading a fine life, thank you very much, you can imagine how disgusted I am by Invisible Premise B.

Oh, and Stated Premise A is false. In fact, given that autistic people go into STEM fields at a higher rate than allistic people, one might reasonably say autism causes vaccines.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-08 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yeah, as another autistic adult those annoy me too. Here's a better theory for how vaccines can be harmful:

Measles is only seriously deadly if you're lacking vitamin A or immunosupressed. WHO lists up to 6% deaths in malnourished people, 30% in displaced people:
Compare to data from England & Wales:
Here's a chart:
During WW2 it's 0.2%, then drops post-war to 0.02% - before the first measles vaccine in 1963, and MMR in 1971.

When you compare people with good nutrition, hygiene, healthcare and vaccines to people who lack all of them the former obviously comes out better. But you can't look at the death rates of the latter group, and assume the former would have the same death rate if they didn't vaccinate! Now, it may be that the vaccine is even safer than this (though it hasn't really been investigated, and there are issues getting scientific evidence on that rare events), but calling something that kills 1 in 5000 seriously deadly is exagerration. You have much worse odds in any surgery.

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immune activation

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vaccine ingredients

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

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complications diagnosing autism

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Re: complications diagnosing autism

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(no subject)

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(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-08 02:05 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think vaccines are good in moderation. I think the problem is there are too many, and that this is responsible for the spike in adverse reactions. That and perhaps the quality has dropped. The quality of everything else has dropped lately, why would vaccines be an exception?

(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-09 07:19 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Exactly this!

It stopped being about health and now is just a way to sell more government subsidised product to a captive audience, and some of the product is utter rubbish.

If it were *truly* about immunisation against disease, drug companies would have a little credibility on this one. It's obviously not, and so they don't.

(no subject)

From: [personal profile] methylethyl - Date: 2018-11-09 07:10 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

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A Compromise Position

Date: 2018-11-08 06:26 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I’d like to offer the solution I would propose (if I were queen, as a dear friend likes to say).

What if the government issued its vaccine recommendations, just like it does now, only anyone could opt out partially, in full, or even to avoid a single vaccine) on behalf of themselves, their children, (and others under their legal care) under one condition, that is they submitted their future medical history to a long-term comprehensive study of vaccine safety. (You could add a second condition, a brief quarantine if returning from a country with certain dangerous diseases). We could have all these questions definitively, undeniably answered in a generation or less, and vaccination rates would naturally rise as the safety of vaccines was conclusively proven in large-scale studies.

I have read studies “conclusively proving” that vaccines did not cause a given condition when the study used less than 100 children to find a relation to conditions present in 1 in 150 children. If you think the current science is definitive, I suggest you read the current studies available, with a critical eye at things like sample size and duration of the study. I also suggest you read about the acrobatics scientists must do to argue a vaccine set on a 2 year old (adult) chimp is comparable to the same shots on a two year old human child. Moreover, long-term studies on humans are very rare because once a vaccine is proven effective it is deemed scientifically unethical to deny it to people in further studies, but we have a population perfectly willing to give up those vaccines, a ready population for thorough, widespread, irrefutable studies that could give us much more accurate numbers for cost-benefit analysis and could potentially discover unknown vaccine interactions as some people pick and choose which vaccines to take.

Yes, in the interim we may have a brief period of increased rates of disease, but it is far less dangerous than the insidious control of parenting being imposed by the state. Right now, in Illinois, it is illegal to leave a child home alone until the child turns 14 years old. (Illinois is the highest at 14 but a shocking number of states have similar laws for children up to age 13... which is the worst age to start leaving children alone, by the way. They need to learn to be responsible BEFORE they get exposed to sex and drugs, otherwise maybe you should never leave them home alone at all). Children don’t play outside anymore. The creek behind my house was filled with trails (created and maintained by al the little feet in the neighborhood) when my mother was a child, and now there’s no evidence of anyone back there except for signs of one other person (who appears to be adult, I’m guessing a fisherman, but I’ve never actually seen anyone I didn’t bring with me).

We need to accept that the world can be dangerous for children, and teach them to live in it anyway, because right now we are raising generations of children who have no idea how to really live, and life does not get safer or easier as we get older.

Jessi Thompson

Re: A Compromise Position

Date: 2018-11-09 07:15 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi Jessi,

In this part: ".... anyone could opt out partially, in full, or even to avoid a single vaccine) on behalf of themselves, their children, (and others under their legal care) under one condition, that is they submitted their future medical history to a long-term comprehensive study of vaccine safety."

This sounds good to me.

Why is it, though, that whenever I suggest the need for a long term comprehensive study of people who *are* vaccinated in order to maybe conclusively test the safety of vaccines, I'm shouted down because vaccines are obviously safe... ?

Doctors in Australia don't even seem to be required to report obvious vaccine side effects. (Screamed all night after she had the shot? Both times? Coincidence!)

I (usually) no longer participate in discussions about vaccines because it's become so angst-ridden no productive conversation can be had. It's a shame, because it's important.

Thank you, JMG, for opening this discussion in possibly the one 'place' on the whole internet where a sane discussion about this topic is possible.

Re: A Compromise Position

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vaccines: a data point

Date: 2018-11-08 01:24 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Cut and pasted from the blog. Apologies for ranging so far off topic-- feel free to delete from there.

MethylEthyl here:

@Scotlyn et al, re: vaccines:

I am enjoying the generally civil and well-reasoned discussion. If you’d like to add a meager point to your dataset, here’s what we have done.

My husband and I were both plagued by respiratory and ear infections as children. Husband has asthma. We kind of expected our kids to be similarly plagued. Instead, they are remarkably healthy. There are two things I think contributed greatly to this: no antibiotics, and delayed/minimized vaccinations.

I’m not all fired up about either thing as some sort of political issue. I’ve resisted antibiotics because I’ve read some of the literature, and am concerned about their overuse, resistance issues, and there’s pretty good evidence that after you take them, your gut microbiome never really recovers. Also good evidence that antibiotic use in the first year of life at least doubles the incidence of asthma and allergies. I’d still use them for something life-threatening, but… so far we’ve avoided them. The kids haven’t needed them– they get sick, and my youngest has been caught licking shopping carts! 🙁 But so far, they get over it without much drama. We monitor for high fevers, keep Oral Rehydration Salts in our medkit for emergencies, keep them hydrated and make them rest… and they get better.

Vaccines weren’t something I thought about at all until a close relative had a bad experience with them. Each time they took their infant for the scheduled round of shots (and this happened three times, to an infant), the child developed a 106-degree fever and had to be taken to the hospital, the same evening. Three times. Each time, the doctors roundly denied that the vaccines had anything to do with it, and insisted on sticking to the prescribed schedule. The child is… not quite right. There could be any number of reasons for this. Maybe the bad reactions were a result of there being something else going on with the child already. We’ll never know. But for me, it introduced doubt. All the pediatrician papers I received talked about how rare complications were, and how mild, etc. But… that’s all based on the VAERS data. And here I actually knew someone who had adverse effects that I KNEW had not been reported. And the way the situation had gone down, it seemed obvious that this was standard procedure. How many data points are missing from VAERS because of this attitude in the medical profession? VAERS is obviously not working with a complete dataset. That leaves safety stats as kind of a huge question mark.

I’m not, in the end, anti-vaxx. My kids have had some of them. But I’ve been exceedingly cautious, and slow. Neither of them had their first vax until after age 1. I’ve kept them current on tetanus since, because of where we live, and our attitudes about taking risks and playing outdoors. Everything else… we pick and choose, and we are waaaay “behind schedule” on most. We’ve never gotten more than one shot in a six-week span. Ultimately we would like to travel internationally with the kids, and if we do that, we’ll make sure we’re all current on Hep A &B, polio, typhoid (I’ve had all of these due to travel), and yellow fever if it seems relevant. We don’t bother at all with Varicella (pretty sure the kids have already had it anyway– maybe we’ll get their titres checked instead).

I’m certainly not going to attack anyone for getting shots or not getting them. It seems obvious that there’s not a single right answer for everyone. I wish NIH would put more effort into figuring out which people are likely to react badly to them, so that they could possibly be identified *before* they are permanently damaged. I would love to see a quick saliva test your doc could do, and say “hey, great, your kid should be fine with this vaccine!” or, alternately “Oh, darn, you have xyz factor, you shouldn’t have this shot.” But at this point, it seems like if you even suggest that, you’re an evil “antivaxxer”, and if anybody in govt or pharma admits there’s a downside to vaccines, it’s all “OMG evil corporate conspiracy!” That doesn’t leave space for any reasoned discussion or problem solving at all.

Re: vaccines: a data point

Date: 2018-11-08 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I have anecdata about antibiotics and allergies. We have six kids. One has allergies-most pollen, horses, and SLS. He's also the only one who has had antibiotics, it was before two years of age, and the only one who struggles with weight. There really was no question about giving him the antibiotics: he had bacterial pneumonia, and definitely the current situation beats death.

It would be fascinating for studies to look for such a link, but I doubt it will happen.


Re: vaccines: a data point

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Flu vaccine

Date: 2018-11-08 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I am a 42 year old male asthmatic. Should I get a flu shot this year? I would like everyone’s opinion. Thanks a lot.

Re: Flu vaccine

Date: 2018-11-09 02:17 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's illegal in the US to offer this kind of advice; it qualifies as practicing medicine without a license.

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It's natural that skepticism grows

Date: 2018-11-08 04:02 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ripsawridge
If I look at this problem from some remove, then it makes sense to me that a population emerges that doesn't want vaccines. As a preamble, I've got kids here in Germany, and we vaccinated them on a schedule somewhat longer than the usual. Our doctor thought that was okay, though we grew wary of telling friends about the delayed schedule...reactions were strong. This was a decade ago and I'm no longer up on the details of vaccines at this moment, I'm just interested to see that this argument continues and gets ever hotter.

As I see it, there are several developments:

* Our experience of the world becomes more complex.
* There are experts on all sides, each denouncing the other side.
* Vaccines themselves become ever more complex.
* Our experiences with the "products" of technology become increasingly frustrating as features are added.
* Our relationship with pharmaceutical companies is highly strained with mistrust and fear that they operate without a moral compass.

If you take all those together, doesn't it just follow that in a mixed population an assortment of people will opt out? And if you argue with them, you just become ever more of an instance of one of the negative factors above.

I'll say another thing that will probably lose me my "basic human being" card. A commenter earlier wondered if people felt dying of measles was a better outcome than the burden of raising an autistic child.

Well, as a parent, in this culture where the intellect is valued above every other property, I think some people actually *do* feel that way. Looking at do I...and then, I stop and reconsider...I realize it's up to me to define what's important and love and being of course trumps all else. However, I have to reflect for a bit to get there.

Much of this discourse is carried out at an only partially conscious levels...people are tweeting and raging here and there without fully thinking things through. In our environment of "Oh Dearism" today, we've seen many news programs about the terrible burden of raising a severely autistic child. So yes, there is huge negativity around that eventuality. Combine it with the factors mentioned above, and it's no surprise that we're dealing with this.

Coming from another angle, you could say where there's smoke, there's fire. Perhaps there is "something wrong" in our world and the issue around vaccination makes it more visible. Then of course, people jump to conclusions, trundling off into conspiracy theories and the like.

Anyway, I hope those are useful thoughts, and thanks for the thoughtful forum in which to share. I know that here, if there is any merit to my ideas, they'll be treated respectfully by folks!

Edited (wanted to expand one sentence) Date: 2018-11-08 04:03 pm (UTC)

Re: It's natural that skepticism grows

Date: 2018-11-20 04:14 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I have been a full-time carer for a child who needed 24hr nursing care (three nurse shifts while in hospital which somehow needed to be covered by mostly me alone when he came home). It was only for a year, as it turned out, thankfully, but we didn't know that going in. If he had continued to need that level of care, after a few years I know I would have been willing to risk anything for a cure, just due to lack of sleep if nothing else. His issues were due to premature birth brought on in part from my typical immune response (severe cold symptoms) to the routine pregnant woman flu shot. I'm sure this wasn't recorded anywhere as an adverse outcome.

So I understand the 'better dead than autistic' viewpoint. That is, if 'autistic' means someone who needs intensive full time care for their entire life, in the context that very few families have the resources to provide that care. Although, ongoing disability from measles, mumps etc is also a much more common side effect than death. In the absence of reliable research it would be very hard to weigh up the relative risks of injury either way, including the long term risks such as breeding worse viruses.

This is unfortunate, because in a declining world, the difficulty of caring for people with a high level of disability is going to increase substantially, as will the risk of diseases. Vaccination could potentially mitigate things a bit, but by refusing to track outcomes, we seem to have squandered our opportunity to learn how to build the best vaccines with the lowest side effects.


Immune system capacity

Date: 2018-11-08 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I wasn't going to weigh in on this because I mostly find the conversation drearily predictable and boring, however I noticed the comment about too many vaccines.

There may be something to this. There's no system I know of that has an infinite information-carrying capacity, and I fail to see why the immune system should be an exception.

John Roth

Number of vaccines

Date: 2018-11-08 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I have mostly said what I wanted to say on the other blog. I just think it would be nice to have absolute numbers on the official vaccine calendar, as differences between countries in these numbers seem to explain part of the different attitudes toward vaccination. Somebody over there commented that in the US there are recommended vaccines before the age of 18, which does seem very high.

In Brazil, in coastal regions, I counted 13 shots recommended by the government until age 18 (some of them with multiple antigens).


Re: Number of vaccines

Date: 2018-11-08 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Sorry, forgot the all-important number... The number that was given on the other blog (I didn't check it) was 70 vaccines in the US before age 18.

Re: Number of vaccines

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Re: Number of vaccines

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(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-08 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Vaccines are not subject to the same testing that regular medications are. How many people know that?

I am shocked at how many shots a baby must endure under the age of one. It's another example of the myth of progress. I got measles as a kid - it's very rarely fatal. Vaccines can kill too - do we need a vaccine for the vaccine?! Why not?

Why do parents trust the medical establishment so blindly when it's THEIR kids on the line. Thalidomide anyone? If the child is vaccine damaged the docs go into denial mode. It's a brilliant ruse by Big Pharma - yes some vaccinations are useful, but profiteering by scaremongering by the drug companies has to be stopped. But governments are too corrupt to stand up to them with notable exceptions like Japan.

Kids are being used as lab rats - no wonder autism is so common now. Drinking fluoridated water is another cause of autism too. That topic needs discussion too JMG.


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(no subject)

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lack of testing

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(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-08 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This reminds me of the perfect diet issue. Everyone has his or her own take on the matter, much of it snarled up with their perceptions of the medical, political, and social issues currently bedeviling us. I don't see any way to resolve the controversy even if any of us were to write a hundred books much less post our views on a blog.

Are vaccines perfect? Well, no, nobody ever said they were. But how many people do you know who are permanently disfigured because of a bout with smallpox, crippled by polio or killed off by a tetanus infection?

For every vaccine flaw, I could point out lives saved, bodies not maimed, brains not damaged (by measles or rubella for example). Few of us have had any experience of living in a time when infants, children and adults got routinely culled by epidemics sweeping through. A look at the old Victorian post-mortem photos families often had taken before their loved one was buried makes for sobering viewing.

People try to make a case saying human health was already improving because of improvements in sanitation and food production. That works as an argument up to a certain point. Native Americans lived healthy life styles with nourishing diets (they were often much taller and robust than the runty Europeans who came ashore). But none of that saved them from the ravages of smallpox and measles.

No system of disease prevention is perfect and never will be no matter how much we perfectionists insist on it. Yes, there's plenty of room for improvement but as nobody seems to be able to agree on what needs to be done, it doesn't look like anything is going to improve anytime soon. Rather than engage in a lot of pointless debating I will just go ahead and continue to get flu and tetanus shots.

By the way if anybody should ever happen to meet me, I will be happy to pull up my sleeve and show you my old smallpox vaccination scar.



Date: 2018-11-09 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ritaer
I have seen a lamb die of tetanus. It was not pretty. Keep up your tetanus vaccinations, if no other.

Whooping cough (pertussis) is pretty ugly too. My sister and I had it in 1960. I was 12, she was 11. She had the worse symptoms and was taken to the doctor. He was new in practice and had never seen a case in his training. My grandmother told him it was whooping cough. We had both had the normal vaccinations, which at that time finished up about age 2 or earlier and did not call for any renewals. The only thing we had after that age were the then newly developed Salk polio shots.

I have two close friends and one acquaintance (the writer Robert Anton Wilson, now deceased), who had polio back before the vaccines. All were lucky and not killed or crippled. But one of them suffers post-polio syndrome.

Less heat, more light.


(no subject)

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Weird Idea

Date: 2018-11-09 02:02 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Let me try a different perspective, just for the sake of discussion …

As we know from the news, bacteria evolve into super mega resistant bacteria after prolonged exposure to antibiotics.

So we get an arms race between the bacteria genome and antibiotic researchers. The degree to which these new powerful antibiotics can be used safety on the entire population is questionable - it seems to make sense that the more powerful an agent is, there will be a larger percentage of the population than would have an adverse reaction.

So might a similar situation apply to vaccines? Are we "inadvertently" creating a population immune to a historic set of viruses when we insist on 100% of the population to be vaccinated? Are we accelerating virus evolution? Who might benefit from such a situation?

Perhaps we should honor those that choose not to have their children vaccinated.

One, because they take the risk of infection for a belief, and two that they act as a petri dish for existing viruses to sustain themselves, lowering the rate of mutation and delaying the onset of who know into what such viruses would evolve.

Re: Weird Idea

Date: 2018-11-09 09:02 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That's something I've wondered as well - there's some indications of it happening in commercial birds.

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virus evolution

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Re: Weird Idea

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(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-09 03:28 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
My parents chose not to have me vaccinated as a child. As a result, I received my first vaccine as a teenager when I got a minor injury and my mother agreed that a tetanus shot was a good idea (at first the nurse did not know whether or not it was a tetanus-only vaccination, then when she checked she learned it was a TDAP, and my mother would not let her give me the vaccine until the nurse came back with what she was certain was a tetanus-only vaccine).

My mother was concerned about mercury in the vaccines (at that time, the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism was not widespread, and my mother probably was not aware of that). She figured that the anitbodies in breastmilk would protect me when I was most vulnerable. Both of my parents had measles, whooping cough, etc. as children, so they figured that if I contracted those diseases I would survive too. Later, as an adult, I got a measles-mumps-rubella vaccine so that I would qualify for a certain visa.

The only one of the infectious childhood diseases I ever contracted was whooping cough, and that was as a teenager. It was unpleasant, but not a risk to my life (whooping cough is rarely fatal for anyone over the age of 5, and most of the fatalities are infants). I've read that the newer whooping cough vaccines are less effective than the older whooping cough vaccines, and that is why whooping cough is becoming more prevalent in the USA.

In my opinion, my parents took too much of a risk by not letting me receive the childhood vaccines, but I did not suffer from it (except the whooping cough, and maybe the vaccine would not have prevented that), and all's well that ends well. However, my parents do not fit the stereotype of 'anti-vaxers'. That is why, even though I agree with the pro-vaccine side that vaccines are a net positive for public health, I am wary of how they caricature the anti-vaccine side.

(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-09 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ripsawridge
Thanks for acknowledging a certain messy reality! In some ways, parents are on their own, and know that ultimate responsibility rests with them. On some level they know they should trust their instincts. Every parent has examples of situations where what their own kid needed was not the same as what their peers and the greater society advocated -- they stuck to their idea and ultimately were vindicated (from their subjective point of view).

This is good. However, the downside is that having become aware of that heightened responsibility, they now know they really (really!) should trust their feelings...and this creates the possibility of serious error. So, a strong attraction towards an idea or it's opposite means that they might do something that is worse for the kid from an objective standpoint. I guess the TL;DR is that if you are really in the role of parent, mistakes are inevitable.

All the best,

Ever more

Date: 2018-11-09 08:27 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
First of all I was fully vaccinated and so are my children so far but I did refuse some shoots for them that were supposed to happen right after birth ( Vit K etc).
However the growing pressure through public schools; states are starting to mandate the vaccinations to attend public schools and religious exemptions are being eradicated; made me suspicious why for example all of sudden the Hep A is a mandatory vaccine, while even 8 years ago it was a "convenience" option. It's plain jaundice after all. At the same time your OBGYN will affirmatively tell you that almost " every" baby is born with a type of jaundice. Btw, even that isn't true if you just casually observe the babies at natal station.
Also curiously the list of other life threatening diseases keeps growing every year and so of course the handy vaccines with them. Take Gardasil, which btw was pulled by the Japanese Health authority from distribution after a disastrous chain of severely damaged girls. Japan with its longevity has a much thinner vaccination schedule; how so?
The best money maker is the annual flu vaccine which supposedly largely decomposes before it even hits the doctor's office.

Obviously the original vaccination success has been misused to guarantee profits without the opportunity to reevaluate the need for ongoing expansion.

Flu jab

Date: 2018-11-09 09:29 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Don't get the flu jab 42 year old male.

I have never got it but people I know who have say 'Never again'. I use elderberry to help protect against colds and flu.

Re: Flu jab

Date: 2018-11-09 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ritaer
I have used homeopathic treatments since about 1982. My practitioner warns against flu vaccine. I also have conventional insurance thru an HMO and chose an osteopath as my primary physician. Interestingly I have not gotten any reminder from him to get the flu shots even though such reminders are all over the clinic building when I go to pick up prescriptions. I am in several of the supposed 'at risk' groups. Just another data point.


Re: Flu jab

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Re: Flu jab

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(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-10 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] kashtan
I'll weigh in as someone who's very critical of current vaccination policies and the push for more and stricter mandates.

My research and experiences have led me to believe that vaccines have considerably more negative effects than are officially admitted. This includes a certain amount of severe injuries as well as more subtle adverse effects on the immune system of a greater amount of individuals. Most of the diseases vaccinated against had a very low fatality rate at the time of the introduction of the vaccine (at least in the US and other developed nations) even if they formerly were much more deadly, probably mostly because of changes in nutrition and sanitation. Unlike the more extreme end of the anti-vax scene, I do accept that vaccines are at least in many cases effective against diseases, albeit not as reliably as most people like to think.

Something else that is rarely considered is what effect the relatively sudden absence of getting childhood diseases that human populations have evolved with. Some studies such as have indicated a possible lowering of the risk of allergic conditions in children who have had the measles (but no correlation from the vaccine). The "hygiene hypothesis" of the increase of certain immune conditions may very well extend to diseases that have been greatly reduced by vaccination.

I am not going to go into detail about how I came to my conclusions as it would take a long time, there's lots of other places where the pros and cons been discussed in detail and I think it's best to encourage others to do their own research and listen to others' experiences. I don't have all the answers and no one does, the immune system is extraordinarily complex. What I would like to speak to more in depth is the politics of the issue.

Although opinions on vaccines range widely, the establishment and the media see to be doing everything in their power to place everyone who questions what the CDC says under the "anti-vax" label. To me, that's poised to backfire in a major way. Most of us who are critical of the CDC would prefer to just have their choice in what vaccines to get for themselves and their families and get on with our lives, and will only make a big issue of it if we feel threatened.

Whatever the ultimate truth about vaccines is, the way the media and the medical system is acting right now is not going to shed any light on it. The current push for censorship seems to me to be desperation. When Robert de Niro decided to show the film "Vaxxed" at the Tribeca film festival (which has shown documentaries on plenty of controversial issues before) he was completely unprepared for the intensity of the reaction, he was quickly bullied into removing it from the lineup. The even crazier thing is that none of the mainstream reviews of the film that I saw even
mentioned that the film was about a whistleblower inside the CDC who admitted that he had been a part of fraudulent scientific studies, obviously hoping they would keep the majority from watching it or even researching it any more.

Vaccine resistance is nothing new, it's been around since vaccines have been, but it's definitely getting more prevalent along with the general fading of trust in the establishment. From everything I see, we're here to stay, although still a distinct minority at this point. So, more mandates may be able to be pushed through right now, but if that happens it will only polarize the country further and the vaccine resistance will increasingly find common cause with those with other grievances against the establishment.

Unfortunately, I don't see any easy settlement to the vaccine issue. Whatever happens, people will suffer and die from diseases and/or vaccines, that's the world we live in. I don't deny that herd immunity is real, so I'll propose the best compromise would be dealing with vaccines at the local level such as Retrotopia dealt with so many issues. It already is to a certain extent in America as the states generally have control of vaccine issues, but my proposal would be to bring it down to a more local level than that. Different places would tend to draw in people with different views on the issue, and it would be helpful to have the comparison of different communities doing different things, they can learn from each other. Pushing for the whole world to do the same thing out of some idea to save the world is really just "putting all our eggs in one basket".


Date: 2018-11-11 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Like most people I never heard of an Anti-Vaxxer until a few years ago, but I wanted to be prepared just in case I ever ran into one of these wingnuts, so I tried to find out who these people were and what was their beef. It took a while but finally dawned on me that I know a couple of nurses who never get the flu shots, so I searched "vaccination rates among nurses." Search sent me to PubMed, the online library of everything that's ever been published in a medical journal; there were over 1700 articles from all over the world going back decades. Skimmed enough of the articles to get the picture. Whereas 85% of the general population is compliant with the schedule, only 80% of doctors and only 60% of nurses are compliant. So your typical anti-vaxxer is a medical professional.

And what's their beef? These same articles referred to study after study and always the same top three answers:

1. They think the dangers of some of the diseases are being exaggerated.

2. They think the dangers of the vaccines are being downplayed.

3. They think everyone should have a choice.

In other words, a significant subset of medical professionals don't want the shots because they think the vaccines are more dangerous than the diseases. Not the story we hear in mainstream media, but don't forget to follow the money; in a non-election year more than half the ad revenue for media comes from Pharma.

Re: anti-vaxxers

Date: 2018-11-12 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] emmanuelg
Looking at the Very Big Picture--

With any sort of recommended practice, you are going to have people who WILL follow the current advice, and people who WON'T follow the advice. This seems to me like a deeply-rooted instinct for the survival of the human race. One group says eating Cassava melons is essential for healthy life. The other group says the daing Cassavas will make you crazy now, and kill you later.
Life is complex, and none of us really knows whether the Cassavas are good, bad or indifferent in the long term. But its important that some choose one and others choose the other for the long-term survival of the race.

As a health worker, I think vaccines are generally a good thing to get if one's own risk factors don't preclude them, but I don't go out of my way to urge people to get them. Some will and some won't, and I can't say the ones who won't are wrong.

Also, let's remember where we are holding this discussion. In my experience, everyone I know has a bit of precognition going on, a bit of psi ability, and some of us have a lot of it! What if someone that people call an anti-vaxxer has caught a glimpse of an alternate reality in which s/he was disabled or even killed by a vaccine? No vaccines may be the right course for some individuals who are dead-set against them.

I AM curious though -- Has anyone here tried divination to decide whether it's a good idea for themselves to get a flu shot, this year?
And, year by year, are there some years when the divination says 'Yes,' and others where it says 'No?'

Best I can offer is, 'Try to make an informed decision, and follow your gut.'

Re: anti-vaxxers

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Re: anti-vaxxers

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(no subject)

Date: 2018-11-13 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
One thing I think needs to be kept in mind is a subject our host has brought up in many other contexts: the law of diminishing returns. Let's say that vaccines work. (They appear to work on non-human animals, so i can accept that.) Let's also say that they have side effects. (What doesn't?) Now, if you get rabies, you will die a horrible death, pretty much full stop end of sentence. Even so, we do not proactively vaccinate the general population for rabies. My first cat died of feline distemper; having watched that at the tender age of 5, I wouldn't wish it even on an opposing politician. We DO vaccinate our animals for these diseases. But as time marches on, we come up with vaccines for less serious diseases. At some point, the statistical risks of the vaccine will approach those of the disease. Accurately determining those risks is ambiguous, as is deciding where the threshold should be.
Me, I'd be reasonably happy with a vaccine schedule that vaccinated for one disease at a time, in order of historical (pre-vaccine) mortality, with sufficient time between to give the little tyke some time to recover.


Date: 2018-11-15 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
For a good explanation of how vaccines interact with, and influence, the immune system, the book "Vaccines, Autoimmunity and the Changing Nature of Childhood Illnesses" by Tom Cowan, M.D. is quite enlightening. Dr. Cowan is a practicing physician in California who has had a decades-long family practice. It's hard to characterize his fine book in a nutshell, but basically he describes the two major aspects of the immune system, and how vaccines strengthen one side of the immune system while weakening the other, thus opening the body to many problems. However, what I just said is quite simplistic compared to his writing! He is an out-of-the -box thinker (his last book was entitled "The Heart is Not a Pump", and he means exactly that), but his ideas are firmly based on a strong scientific background. It will make you think....

10 Commandments

Date: 2018-11-17 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
1. Vaccines Eradicated Smallpox and Polio.
2. Vaccines are the Greatest Medical Innovation of the 20th Century.
3. Vaccines are Safe and Effective.
4. The Science is Settled.
5. Vaccines do not cause Autism.
6. And the British doctor who said so lost his license.
7. Everyone needs to be vaccinated for Herd Immunity.
8. Pay no attention to social media or the internet.
9. Listen to and Obey the Doctors.
10. They are The Experts because They went to Medical School.

Is it science or is it religion?

Re: 10 Commandments

Date: 2018-11-27 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
If you wander around long enough and deep enough in the rabbit hole of vaccine issues you eventually run into one of the things JMG has been warning us about for years; secular religion. In this case our anointed medical experts are so sure of the infinite power of the Holy Trinity of Science, Technology and Progress, that they have convinced themselves, and most of the general public, that they can win a war against the microbes.

This of course is insane. Just look at anti-biotics; sure, we held them off for a few decades but now they are coming back worse than before. Tens of thousands of Americans are now dying from antibiotic resistant infections every year. That's how my mom died. We already have evidence that the vaccines are starting to cause the same kinds of problems.

1918 Spanish Flu

Date: 2018-11-20 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Has anyone heard this story?

Aspirin went off patent in 1917 and a flood of new generics hit the market just in time for the 1918 flu season. Doctors were prescribing doses as high as 31,200 mg per day. It wasn't until 1968 that science established a lethal dose as 500 mg per kilogram of body weight.

A fascinating idea and surely more research is needed, but is it possible that doctors killed more people in WWI than all the armies combined?

They had no clue what they were doing back then but you can be sure they were saying that the science was settled and that they should be trusted because they went to medical school. Is the situation really any different today?


Date: 2018-11-21 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Before 1986 there were so many lawsuits against pharma for vaccine injuries that their insurers stopped underwriting them and pharma stopped selling them. We were down to just one company selling vaccines. In an effort to rescue the vaccine program congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

This law and subsequent updates removed all product liability from pharma. You can no longer sue a drug company for a vaccine injury.

After 1986 is when the vaccine schedule exploded. This is also the start of what we call the Millennials. Some say as many as 40% of these people are still living with their parents. 25% don't have driver's licenses. The military says 71% of high school graduates don't qualify for service. Most analysts will knot themselves into pretzels trying to explain this with bad parenting, character flaws and any number of blame-the-victim arguments to explain the short-comings of these people.

But what if it's not their fault? What if they are victims? What if call people born after 1986 the Vaccine Generation?


Date: 2018-11-24 03:18 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Vaxx/Unvaxx studies do exist but they are hard to find and getting harder with the ever increasing censorship of the web. Here is one:

A couple of quotes from the study:

"Vaccination with the DTP vaccine the first 3-5 months of age was associated with a 10 fold higher mortality rate compared to unvaccinated infants."

"All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diptheria, tetanus, or pertussis."

Other vaxx/unvaxx studies come to similar conclusions; you are less likely to get sick and/or die from the disease you have been vaccinated against but the vaccines compromise your immune system to the point that you end up 4-5 times more likely to get sick and/or die from something else.

Identifying the goal as it changes...

Date: 2018-11-25 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I think the thing that hamstrings scientific and government information gathering about vaccines is that there is no agreement, or even mention, of the real, underlying goals:

We have vaccines that tend to prevent outright death in infants and children, and others that tend to prevent life-long disability. For the elderly, vaccines primarily prevent death, not long-term disability. Death is well defined, but "disability" is not. Someone on one end of the "disability" spectrum can be completely dependent on others to an extent that, given the choice, that person would choose death--especially if the person had an abusive family, or lived in times of scarcity or war. On the other end of the disability spectrum are those who live fulfilling lives they enjoy--either because the disability is mild, or because the community supports are robust. A person born in 1950s United States could expect significant supports from the government that a person born in 2018 might not be able to expect, as energy, the economy, and the environment degrade. Death from the flu is tragic when it happens to a six year old who hasn't lived yet, or to a young parent. When it happens to an elderly person in distress from pain or dementia, it is "the old person's friend". Each person will get a death. We will usually want to avoid it when we are young, and often want to pursue when we get old. Some deaths are pretty quick & not so hard to make comfortable. Others take soul-destroying years. Some centuries, in some locations, are safe, supportive places for everyone. Other places and times are terrifying and painful places for anyone not vigorously healthy. So, the risk/benefit analysis for any single vaccine will change during the life of every individual, and also during every decade, and from location to location.
All of the clinical studies have an unspoken assumption that each member of the public, in all places and times, will share the same definition of what constitutes acceptable risk, acceptable levels of pain, disability, or likelihood of death. And, for children in any school system or daycare, public or private, each parent's choice impacts all the other kids. The same with assisted-living, nursing homes, prisons, group homes, etc...each person's choices affect everyone else in that environment, and many folks are forced into that environment against their will.

It's a thorny problem. Most parents and other decision makers don't have time to study the clinical studies for every vaccination. Maybe it would be good to have recommended vaccines be grouped into packages for different age-groups, with different package score for death-avoidance vs. disability avoidance, and factoring in the off-set liability of death and/or disability as a side-effect of each vaccine. Thus, a person could say "I am 91 years old and ready to go, I prefer death to even mild disability, but I want to avoid pain". And there would be a different package of recommendations for a six-year old child who will likely attend daycare and school, etc...

Re: Identifying the goal as it changes...

Date: 2018-11-29 11:31 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
There is in fact an agreement of underlying goals. It is called the Global Vaccine Action Plan and was endorsed by the 194 member states of the World Health Assembly in 2012. Here is a link:

The goal is to bring vaccination to every man woman and child on the planet by 2020. The main funding for the program is a ten billion dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. "all partners - government officials, health professionals, academia, manufacturers, and the media - are committed to achieving the ambitious goals of the GVAP."

Freedom of choice and informed consent are not part of the plan.

This is not Alex Jones conspiracy theory, it is right there in plain sight on the website of the World Health Organization. Check it out.


Date: 2018-11-26 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
The government(CDC) has two databases to keep track of vaccine injuries; VAERS and VSD.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System is an open source, passive database. Anyone can make an entry, anyone can access and search the database. Not all events get reported. Estimates of under-reporting range from only 1 in 10 to only 1 in 200. Some events get reported more than others.

The Vaccine Safety Datalink is an active database. It includes the complete medical records of ten million people from eight HMOs scattered about the country. You can not access this database, not even with a FOIA request. Last year the President's Commission on Vaccine Safety requested access to the database and was denied.

Think about this. Real world information about vaccine safety is so secret that not even the President is allowed to see it.


Date: 2018-11-28 01:49 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So what is the future of the vaccine debate?

The vast majority of anti-vaxxers came to their position not because of any rational or logical inquiries, rather they experienced or witnessed vaccine injury and did not believe it was just a coincidence. Only then did they start researching the topic, and it doesn't actually take that much research to discover that the vaccine program is reckless and corrupt to the core.

As the program continues to expand more and more people will have this experience and at some point their numbers will reach a critical mass. My own prediction is this will occur sometime in the coming decade. This prediction is based on the exponential growth curve in autism rates; study the curve and you will see that we are on track to be at one in ten in the 2020's.

So I don't expect the debate to calm down. It could very well become the most heated debate dividing what's left of our culture.

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